Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 54

Vandalia, Franklin,

&

Lost States
of
Westsylvania Southern
Appalachia
The instabilities and uncertainties of the young nation led to several
attempts for states that never came to be.
by Mason Adams * Photos courtesy Marble Springs State Historic Site
America's earliest years as a nation
were fraught and filled with possibility, when every decision marked
a precedent and fate had not yet set
the young republic's course.
In the 1780s, between the British surrender at Yorktown and the
passage of the Constitution, settlers in three different territories
encompassing portions of Appalachia made bids for statehood.
Had they been successful, America
would have seen its first wholly Appalachian state more than 80 years
before West Virginia split from Virginia, and the United States would
look quite different today.
These Appalachian statehood
movements grew from roots in
54 BlueRidgeCountry.com

the mid-1700s, when settlers and
speculators swarmed west across
the Blue Ridge Mountains and
southwest through the Great Appalachian Valley.
A flurry of political maneuvering nearly resulted in the creation
of a 14th colony-Vandalia, which
would have occupied what is now
West Virginia and northeastern
Kentucky, along with parts of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Vandalia was delayed by the French &
Indian War and Pontiac's War in the
1750s and '60s, as well as reticence
from Pennsylvania and Virginia,
who still were defining the western
edges of their respective territories.
The outbreak of the American

War for Independence beginning in
1775 ended the Vandalia movement
but opened new possibilities for settlers living in the mountains on the
western fringe of the colonies.
Many western settlers were taken up with the Spirit of '76-a zealous pursuit of individual liberty
and the republican ideal-and a coinciding frustration that the state
governments to their east were not
doing much to build infrastructure or protect them against Native
American raids.
Settlers in the Vandalia territory,
now known as Westsylvania, petitioned the Continental Congress
for statehood in 1776, early in the
war; Congress ignored the petition.


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017

July/August 2017 - Cover
Table of Contents
Letters / Worth a Click
Contributors
From the Editor
Mill Creek Stories
Creature Feature
The Good Walk
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Eclipse!
Saluting the Blue Ridge Parkway: A Photo Essay
Mountain High Life: Explorations for Summer
‘Swiss’ Towns in the Mountains
The Strange Post-Biltmore Life of Cornelia Vanderbilt
The Almost-Happened Lost States of the Mountains
Farm-to-Table in Upcountry South Carolina
Festivals & Events
Singing in the Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - July/August 2017 - Cover
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Letters / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Contributors
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - The Good Walk
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Eclipse!
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Saluting the Blue Ridge Parkway: A Photo Essay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Mountain High Life: Explorations for Summer
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - ‘Swiss’ Towns in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - The Strange Post-Biltmore Life of Cornelia Vanderbilt
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - The Almost-Happened Lost States of the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Farm-to-Table in Upcountry South Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Singing in the Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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