"Dr. Barksdale writes with admirable clarity, explaining convoluted events with engaging and accessible prose, a straight-forward organizational structure, and a rare sense of passion."―David C. Hsiung, Juniata College, author of Two Worlds in the Tennessee Mountains: Exploring the Origins of Appalachian Stereotypes"
"The Lost State of Franklin speaks to a range of important issues in Southern history, issues that transcend narrow debates about North Carolina and Tennessee history. No scholar has done more to delineate the myths surrounding Franklin's statehood from the bitter political battles that animated southern frontier society."―Peter S. Carmichael, Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies, West Virginia University, author of The Last Generation: Young Virginias in Peace, War, and Reunion"
"A riveting and complex story of settlers and leaders who struggled to establish and maintain an independent government. Although short-lived and often forgotten, Franklin rightly deserves Barksdale's engaging account."―Paul H. Bergeron, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Tennessee"
"Kevin Barksdale's painstakingly researched and elegantly written study of America's first secession is required reading for everyone interested in early America, the frontier, and Appalachia."―Ronald L. Lewis, Professor of History Emeritus, West Virginia University"
"The State of Franklin's ill-fated quest for statehood is among the most intriguing episodes on the early American frontier and a pivotal movement in the nation's political history. In Kevin Barksdale's very able hands, this struggle transcends its Tennessee and Appalachian setting to become an even more significant reflection on the meanings of democracy and independence in the tenuous and tumultuous postrevolutionary era of westward expansion and nation-building."―John C. Inscoe, author of Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South"
"The Lost State of Franklin: America's First Secession belongs in the reference collection of any local history buff."―Bristol Herald Courier"
"Deeply researched and painstakingly annotated, this work will be of particular interest to scholars studying the antebellum South. Recommended for Southern history collections in academic libraries."―Library Journal"
"[Barksdale] provides a balanced and accessible account that would interest anyone curious about our regional history."―Chattanooga Free Press"
"I was glad to see a study like this in print, and I recommend it to everyone interested in the eighteenth century or the southern frontier. Thanks to Barksdale's work, we now have a much clearer picture of this brief but fascinating episode in Tennessee history than we've ever had before. The "Lost State of Franklin" didn't endure, but in terms of scholarship, it isn't lost anymore."―Past in the Present"
"Barksdale has provided a nuanced and insightful examination of the state of Franklin. The book will serve as a must-read for students of the "lost" state and of the frontier experience more broadly."―Ohio Valley History"
"Kevin Barksdale presents the first scholarly study of the so-called "lost state" of Franklin since Samuel Cole Williams took up the subject in 1933."―North Carolina Historical Review"
"In this welcome contribution to the problems of governance in the early republic, Kevin Barksdale presents a history of the failed State of Franklin. Franklin's rise and fall remains an important counterpoint to much of American history because it is a story of failed possibilities."―Tennessee Historical Quarterly"
"The Lost State of Franklin has a quality of déjà vu, which gives the reader the impression that the story has played out elsewhere. That is because the book is a microlevel reflection of the American experience. Perhaps that explains why it is so captivating and, more importantly, why it is so relevant."―Journal of American History"
"Barksdale's careful deconstruction of both the myths and realities of the 'lost' state of Franklin should make this book a standard reference for future scholars."―American Historical Review"
"The book will be valuable for regional specialists and students interested in frontier politics, as well as Appalachian history and memory more broadly."―West Virginia History"
"In the twentieth century, the story of Franklin appeared in memorials and exhibits and even inspired an outdoor drama and two romance novels. The story of Franklin deserves to be explored for its legacy in all three centuries."―Register of the Kentucky Historical Society"
"His book is an important study of community grow on the trans-Appalachian frontier at a time when the guidelines for future expansion were being shaped."―Journal of Southern History"―
Kevin T. Barksdale is assistant professor of history at Marshall University.