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An interesting and scarce map of the United States showing the State of Frankland (Franklin) in western North Carolina, predating the appearance of Tennessee. Printed in Paris in 1785 by the Royal Cartographer, Louis Brion de la Tour for Volume XVI of the Histoire Universal.
Map: Height: 9.0”/24.3Cm. Width: 10.5”/26.7cm.
Framed: Height; 13.0”/32.8cm, Width: 15.0”/38.0cm.
Condition is museum quality antique: The print from the engraving is sharp and crisp with the original creases from folding. There is no discernable foxing or discoloration. Hand colored with three stray brush marks of watercolor done during the original coloring. Blank verso. Framed and matted using conservation methods in a contemporary gold drawing frame.
A terrific map showing the course of the Mississippi River at the end of the Revolutionary War. The various Native American tribes and their territories are shown in great detail, as well as several early western forts west of the Mississippi and north of the Missouri Rivers. Kentucke, Kansez, and Tecas are also named.
The State of Franklin was an unrecognized and autonomous territory located in what is today eastern Tennessee. Franklin was created in 1784 from part of the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains that had been offered by North Carolina as a cession to Congress to help pay off debts incurred during the War for Independence. It was founded with the intention of becoming the fourteenth state of the new United States.
Franklin’s first capital was Jonesborough, and after the summer of 1785, the government of Franklin ruled as a ‘parallel government’ together with the re-established North Carolina beaurocracy. Franklin was never admitted into the Union, and existed as an extra-legal state for only about four and a half years, ostensibly as a Republic. In 1790 the State of Franklin was subsumed into North Carolina.
The creation of Franklin was novel, in that it resulted from both a cession (an offering from North Carolina to Congress requesting the creation of the separate state), and a secession (when its offer to Congress was not acted upon, and the original cession was rescinded).
A similar hand colored map was sold on November 5, 2001 at Sotheby’s London in the Travel Sale: Natural History and Maps for 1,116 Pounds.
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