Tuesday Open Line

The War of Independence was barely over when the young United States faced a secession movement. On this date in 1784, several counties in a territory appended to North Carolina sought admittance as a new state, called Franklin. These counties were on the eastern fringe of a large tract stretching from the Allegheny Mountains to the Mississippi. In 1785, Franklin fell short of the votes in Congress for admittance, but existed for a few years as an independent republic. Reabsorbed into U.S. territory in the 1790s, the area now forms the eastern portion of Tennessee. If the notional state of Franklin existed today, the latest Census estimates of its counties’ population is 892,000, and would make it 46th in size among 51 states and the District of Columbia.  Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.