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The Lost State of FranklinAmerica's First Secession$
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Kevin T. Barksdale

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125213

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125213.001.0001

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Vassals del Rey de España

Vassals del Rey de España

The Franklin-Spanish Conspiracy, 1786–1789

(p.145) Chapter 7 Vassals del Rey de España
The Lost State of Franklin

Kevin T. Barksdale

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter reveals the Franklin–Spanish conspiracy that threatened to fracture the southwestern frontier in order to reconstruct the shattered remains of Franklin and advance the political and financial fortunes of a cabal of influential Tennessee Valley leading men. It notes that Dr. James White, former North Carolina congressman, visited the former Franklin governor, John Sevier, at Washington County plantation, and revealed a “shadowy scheme” that tantalizingly held out the possibilities of simultaneously resurrecting backcountry separatism and reviving the elusive Muscle Shoals land deal. The chapter shows that the events which unfolded between July 1788 and April 1789 involved the government of Spain, a small group of powerful land speculators, prominent Franklinites, and the communities of “Lesser Franklin.” It observes that the Spanish conspiracy was the last opportunity to preserve Franklin's political and economic hegemony; to pressure North Carolina and the U.S. government; to eliminate the Native American threat; and to advance collective fiscal and political interests.

Keywords:   Franklin–Spanish conspiracy, Tennessee Valley, James White, John Sevier, Muscle Shoals, Spain, North Carolina, U.S. government, Native American

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