HANDY BOOK OF CURIOUS INFORMATION
COMPRISING ; STRANGE HAPPENINGS IN
THE LIFE OF MEN AND ANIMALS. ODD
STATISTICS. EXTRAORDINARY PHENOMENA
AND OUT OF THE WAY FACTS CONCERNING
THE WONDERLANDS OF THE EARTH

William Shepard Walsh  1913



State of Franklin

An American State occupying what is now East Tennessee, which was founded in 1785 and disappeared from the map of the United States in 1788. At that early period the boundary of North Carolina extended indefinitely westward, including all of what is now Tennessee in its sweep, and, by the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1788, all this western territory had been opened up to settlement. The settlers on the Watauga River, framing a code of laws signed by every adult male, became a body politic known as the Watauga Association. Their numbers and their spirit of independence were both increased by immigrants driven from North Carolina by the tyranny of the royal governor Tryon.

After the Revolution a convention held at Joncsboro' on August 23, 1784, supplemented by another on December l4, formed a separate State government, variously called Franklin and Franklan in its official documents. John Sevier was unanimously chosen governor. The legislature sat at Jonesboro' in 1785. But North Carolina reasserted her jurisdiction, and civil war seemed imminent. Fortunately, the North Carolina party in Tennessee overthrew the Franklin party at the polls in May, 1788, and all the original territory peacefully reverted to the parent State. The North Carolina legislature passed an act of oblivion and admitted John Sevier as a member of its own Senate. In 1789 North Carolina ceded the region to the United States, and in 1790 the Territory of Tennessee was organized. Tennessee became a State in 1796.

A curious race of people, who called themselves Malungeons. were among the original Frankl
anders. They were supposed to be of Moorish descent. They affiliated neither with whites nor blacks, were never classed with Indians or negroes, and claimed to be Portuguese. They lived to themselves exclusively in the mountain fastnesses of East Tennessee, where their descendants became moonshiners. They were never slaves, and enjoyed all the rights of citizenship until the State Constitution of 1834 deprived them of their vote. This was, of course, restored in reconstruction times. Such is the mystery which surrounds the origin both of race and name that today a Malungeon is the Tennessean bugaboo for frightening children withal.  " As tricky as a Malungeon " is a proverbal expression among Tennesseans. It has been suggested that for etymological purposes " Malungo," an African word incorporated into the Portuguese language, and signifying " comrade,mate, companion," is sufficiently indicative of the united
and exclusive mode of existence peculiar to the Malungeon-'.


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