Photographic book

Tennessee in the years 1780 - 1790


Isaac Shelby
Isaac Shelby

Many Tennessee settlers supported independence of the colonies from Britain, and Tennesseans fought in the revolution against British and Loyalist forces and their Native American allies. On October 7, 1780, in South Carolina, Tennessee riflemen commanded by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier defeated a British force at the Battle of Kings Mountain, which was the turning point of the war in the South.

After the war, in 1784, North Carolina, which had claimed the Tennessee region, ceded its claim to the U.S. government. The residents of eastern Tennessee then began making plans for a new state to be called Franklin. Plans for statehood were carried forward even after North Carolina repealed the cession later that year, and a state administration began functioning with John Sevier as governor.

However, the Congress of the United States declined to admit the new state, and the Franklin government collapsed because of internal dissension in 1788. North Carolina charged Sevier with treason but never brought him to trial.

In the following year, 1789, North Carolina again ceded its western land claims to the federal government. Early in 1790 Congress organized the region as part of the Territory South of the River Ohio, unofficially called the Southwest Territory. William Blount was appointed governor, and voters chose a legislature that began preparing for statehood.

A special census in 1795 showed a population of 77,262, including 66,649 free inhabitants, more than the 60,000 necessary for statehood. In 1796 Tennessee adopted a state constitution, elected a legislature, chose Sevier again as governor, and elected Andrew Jackson as its U.S. congressman. On June 1, 1796, Congress admitted Tennessee as the 16th state in the federal Union. Knoxville was made the state capital. The state’s white population was largely of English, Scots-Irish, and German ethnic origins. "Tennessee" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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