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.
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