The best books on the Lost State of Franklin

Why am I passionate about this?

Lori Benton is an award-winning, multi-published author of historical novels set during 18th century North America. Her literary passion is bringing little-known historical events to life through the eyes of those who lived it, particularly those set along the Appalachian frontier, where European and Native American cultural and world views collided. Her second published historical novel, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, is set against the backdrop of the State of Franklin conflict, in which a young woman and a frontiersman flee across the mountains of North Carolina to keep her free of an unwanted marriage, just as tensions over who is destined to govern the Overmountain settlers erupts into violence.


I wrote...

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

By Lori Benton,

Book cover of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

What is my book about?

In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn't come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Lost State of Franklin: America's First Secession

Lori Benton Why did I love this book?

It’s been a decade since I wrote my novel that featured as a backdrop the conflict over North Carolina’s western (Overmountain) counties’ attempt to form the controversial State of Franklin, but I remember how helpful Barksdale’s book was in forming my understanding of the era, the place, and the people involved. If I didn’t, the copious highlights and notes I left in my copy of this book would be enough to jog my memory. This book was highly readable and rich in detail.

By Kevin T. Barksdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost State of Franklin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amid the economic turmoil, Native American warfare, and political unrest following the Revolutionary War, the leadership of the Tennessee Valley declared their region independent from North Carolina and formed the state of Franklin. In The Lost State of Franklin: America's First Secession, Kevin T. Barksdale chronicles the rise and fall of the ill-fated Franklin statehood movement. Barksdale describes the dramatic four years in which the Franklinites crafted a backcountry bureaucracy, expanded their regional market economy, and nearly eradicated the southwestern frontier's Native American population, all with the goal of becoming America's fourteenth state. Although the Franklin statehood movement collapsed in…


Book cover of History of the Lost State of Franklin

Lori Benton Why did I love this book?

For many years this was the most comprehensive examination of the ill-fated State of Franklin. The author goes into great detail presenting the factors that led to this secession of its western counties from the State of North Carolina, in 1784. Still a must-read for anyone exploring this subject.

By Samuel Cole Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked History of the Lost State of Franklin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No other movement for separate statehood reached, even approximately, the stage attained by Franklin, that of a de facto government, waging war, negotiating treaties and functioning for a term of years in the three great departments that mark an American State, the legislative, executive, and judicial. Genealogical and biographical information is included here as well. The author has preserved the names of minor participants in the struggle, for or against separate statehood. Of the leaders, a fuller account is given. For some of these, even, this is a rescue of their names and deeds from near-oblivion.


Book cover of Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition

Lori Benton Why did I love this book?

This book not only provides a chapter on the State of Franklin era (1780s) but several leading up to it, beginning with a survey of eastern Tennessee topography, its native peoples, and the earliest encroaching exploration and settlement of Europeans. Several more chapters of the region’s history follow the information on the failed statehood attempt. Along the way the author captures the spirit of the various people groups who called this region home, detailing many individuals such as Attakullakulla, Nancy Ward, Daniel Boone, John Sevier, Davy Crockett, Andrew Jackson, and John Ross, among others.

By John R. Finger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tennessee Frontiers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This chronicle of the formation of Tennessee from indigenous settlements to the closing of the frontier in 1840 begins with an account of the prehistoric frontiers and a millennia-long habitation by Native Americans. The rest of the book deals with Tennessee's historic period beginning with the incursion of Hernando de Soto's Spanish army in 1540. John R. Finger follows two narratives of the creation and closing of the frontier. The first starts with the early interaction of Native Americans and Euro-Americans and ends when the latter effectively gained the upper hand. The last land cession by the Cherokees and the…


Book cover of The Overmountain Men

Lori Benton Why did I love this book?

If you want your information supplemented with copious amounts of photos, sketches, maps, tax lists and other helpful records, as well as excerpts from original source documents, this is the book on the State of Franklin for you. It also covers the Battle of King’s Mountain and several other key eras and events in the formation of what became eastern Tennessee.

By Pat Alderman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Overmountain Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume is a compilation of a series of booklets planned by the author to cover succeeding periods of early Tennessee history. Beginning with the long hunters in the 1760s, and the ending with the Tennessee's admittance to the Union in 1796, the thirty-six eventful years are divided into five sections: The Overmountain Men; One Heroic Hour at King's Mountain; The Cumberland Decade; State of Franklin; and Southwest Territory

Filled with photographs, maps, and illustrations, this compact, readable text includes "Sycamore Shoals Treaty, March 17, 1775" "Washington County List of Taxable 1778" "Signers of the Franklin Petition" and many other…


Book cover of The Wataugans

Lori Benton Why did I love this book?

Another in-depth examination of the development of government in the Overmountain/East Tennessee region, lending a deeper understanding of what led to the failed State of Franklin movement, also covered in this book. A slender volume originally published as part of a series for Tennessee American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, it highlights many individual and conflicting viewpoints over the issues that impacted this region’s settlers and natives alike.

By Max Dixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wataugans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published as part of a series for the Tennessee American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, this well-written volume gives necessary background information and details the early activities in that area in the 1760s. It thoroughly covers the settlement during its vanguard role in the 1770s and chronicles the various events that brought a change from that of a holding action to one of aggressive expansion in the 1780s.


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Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

Book cover of Wrightsville Beach

Suzanne Goodwyn Author Of Wrightsville Beach

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing all my life, but was never able to find my voice until I had my daughters. It was for them I wrote “Wrightsville Beach”. I wanted to show them what a good relationship should look like and how their decisions make a difference in where they will go. I want my readers to relive that feeling of falling in love and to be sent in unexpected directions, as life so often does to us. I want you to enjoy it so much, you don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished and once you do, to sit and reflect on it, savoring the feeling it has left behind.

Suzanne's book list on smart women trying to figure it all out

What is my book about?

Two years ago, devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Hank Atwater went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested. Since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess feel connected to each other in a way neither has ever felt before.

But when Hank’s past leads to a frightful incident, it ends their relationship. Jess leaves to work on the beach with sea turtles, thinking about what really happened that summer with Hank, while Hank sets out to find his own path in hopes of one day winning her back.

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

What is this book about?

Two years ago, Hank Atwater made a terrible mistake. Devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Rob, he went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested for aggravated assault. Sober since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck.

Working a dead-end delivery job, Hank uses surfing and running to deal with being ostracized as he waits for his probation to end. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the State of Franklin, Tennessee, and North Carolina?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the State of Franklin, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

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