Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's No Statehouse in Franklin, Tennessee

But that doesn't mean people don't come to Franklin looking for one.
It's happened twice that I know of.
Here it is, right in the middle of everything.
I'm in the middle of one of my walking tours on the town square by the Confederate memorial, when someone interrupts, asking, "Where's the statehouse?"
I answer, "Nashville's the capital, it's there."
No, they insist, "The statehouse of the state of Franklin."
Oh, that statehouse.
When I tell them they're about 300 miles away from it, they get very disappointed.

What they're looking for is the capitol (or statehouse) of the "Lost State of Franklin." Yes, there was such a place. For four years, from about 1785 until 1789, four counties in western North Carolina broke away and tried to form a separate state. Approval by Congress failed by just two votes. Ben Franklin didn't think much of the idea, even though its proponents tried to curry favor by naming it for him instead of their original idea, "Frankland."

Nobody ever used to ask me about any statehouse. The only reason they do now is because of a History Channel show "How the States Got Their Shapes." 

We like to think there's a Franklin State of MInd. Once, there really was.

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