[In reference to the commentary, “Sayonara, Raleigh: It’s Time for Us to Go,” June 8, Xpress] I was surprised [the writer] didn’t mention that Western North Carolina had tried this before.
Western North Carolina in the years just before and after the Revolutionary War was a different place than it is today. It was in a different place. It was where eastern Tennessee is now.
Sparsely settled East Tennessee was the first frontier and was supposed to be administrated by North Carolina. Henry Earnest, my ancestor, and a group of prominent men, including John Sevier (who went on to be Tennessee’s first governor, serving seven terms) felt like they had to do something about the lawlessness and disorder.
Henry rode his horse to Fayetteville, N.C., then the capital. He was not successful in getting any relief. Shortly thereafter, the group founded the state of Franklin. There are many reasons it failed, but I think it was that middle Tennessee was growing by leaps and bounds, and plantation economy trumped the mountain yeoman farmers.
Then there were the Cherokees, which the new republic was loath to deal with. Andrew Jackson solved that problem.
Maybe we shouldn’t worry too much about Donald Trump. We survived at least one racist maverick president.
— Robert Rhea Earnest