Map Depicting the Proposed State of Franklin
"Charte der XV Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America Nach Murdochischer Projection...", Gussefeld, Franz Ludwig
Subject: Eastern United States, Franklin
Period: 1800 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
20.4 x 18.4 inches
51.8 x 46.7 cm
One of the most interesting and scarce features on early maps of the United States is the appearance of the proposed State of Franklin. In 1784, settlers in the frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains organized a government for a state to be named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Congress turned down their appeal, but the state maintained a legislature and governor until 1788. This ephemeral state appeared on a small number of maps into the early part of the 19th century. On this map, and other continental European maps, Franklin is misplaced in the region that is now West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, instead of eastern Tennessee. Elsewhere on this interesting map, the region north of the Ohio River is labeled Indiana. The map includes locations of Indian villages and a few early settlements and forts. Maine extends well into New Brunswick. This is the first state of the map. See our June 2015 newsletter article on the State of Franklin here, and our updated carto-bibliography here.
References: Baynton-Williams (TMC-72) #12; Dotson & Baker (OWA) #15.1.
There is light toning, scattered foxing, and a horizontal extraneous crease across the middle of the image. In the blank margins, there are chips and edge tears, well away from map image.