Today there’s a new story from my series of counterfactual biographies up at The Emprise Review. I have to send some thanks out to Amber Sparks for being the perfect history nerd for this story. This one’s called “John Sevier” and it’s about the one and only Governor of the lost state of Franklin.
Franklin existed as a state in the union for about four years, until it was absorbed into what’s now Eastern Tennessee. Apparently, there are several of these “lost states” that existed for a little while and then just…went away. The research I did for this flash is by far the most interesting research I’ve done throughout this project. There are all kinds of interesting things about Franklin and Sevier that just couldn’t fit into this story, so I recommend looking them up if you’re inclined. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the glimpse this story provides!
Here’s a sample:
What haunts him most, more than the ghosts of those he buried in Franklin who now rest in Tennessee, is that no one saw the greatness he saw. He was one vote shy of being granted statehood. In desperation, he even tried to negotiate a deal with the Spanish who, despite their lust for a foothold in the Appalachians, did not send the money.
And when it was time to fight for Franklin, to fight for freedom and liberty and the land beneath their own feet, his soldiers wouldn’t charge. They spared shots against their former neighbors, playing at bad aim and jammed rifles. Even when Sevier’s own sons were taken, his men would not fight. He had to retreat like a wounded horse, send an unarmed man to retrieve his boys.