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Colonial America and the War for Independence

Tennessee's Founding and Landmark Documents

John Donelson Journal

From King George’s Proclamation of 1763 to the earliest purchase of land from Native Americans to the first Constitutions of the State of Tennessee, these are among the most important records from our past. Significant milestones in the formation and early history of the state are presented here for the first time in digital form taken directly from the originals, with full transcription and accompanying historical text.

The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans

The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans is an online exhibit that chronicles the exploits of heroic Tennesseans who have served in the military during wartime.

See the section on the Revolutionary War.

Let Freedom Ring: The American War of Independence

Francis Marion

This collection highlights a time when the area that is now the state of Tennessee was land claimed by North Carolina. White settlers and their African-American slaves moved into Upper East Tennessee in the 1770s and established their own government, the Watauga Association. By so doing, these settlers clearly defied British authority which had forbidden settlement west of the Appalachian Mountain chain in the Proclamation of 1763. Fiercely independent, these Overmountain folk and their like-minded kin in Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and Western North and South Carolina, collectively referred to as the Southern Backcountry, had little use for distant colonial governments dominated by the British or wealthy planters.