State of Scott
|Free and Independent State of Scott|
|Unrecognized Territorial Enclave of the United States|
|Government||Organized unrecognized State|
|-||Proposed by Senator Andrew Johnson||June 4, 1861|
|-||Tennessee secedes from Union||June 8, 1861|
|-||re-integration into the State of Tennessee||1986|
The State of Scott was the result of a secessionist movement by Scott County (in the Eastern Division of Tennessee), which officially passed a proclamation during the American Civil War to secede from Tennessee and form the Free and Independent State of Scott in protest of the state's separation from the United States. Scott became an enclave community of the Union within Tennessee. Although its edict had never been officially recognized by any government, the county didn't officially rescind its act of secession until 1986.
Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union. On June 8, 1861, the people of Scott County, spurred on in part by a speech delivered four days earlier on the steps of the Huntsville courthouse by then senator (and future president), Andrew Johnson—a Democrat and himself a slave holder—voted overwhelmingly (541–19) against Tennessee's referendum on secession from the Union. Later that year, the county court voted to approve the Scott County Assembly's unanimous resolution of secession from Tennessee, while allowing the immediate formation of the "Independent State of Scott," an enclave community whose sympathies remained strongly loyal to the Union throughout the war.
Of little strategic value, the mountainous State of Scott was not the site of any fighting on a major scale during the Civil War, instead seeing mostly guerrilla warfare, bushwhacking, and skirmishing, which was often of a very vicious and violent nature.
The proclamation was finally repealed by Scott County in 1986. The county successfully petitioned the state of Tennessee for readmission, which was ceremonially granted, even though its secession had not been recognized by the state —nor the federal governments of either the Union or the Confederacy.
Today, a roadside marker on Highway 63, near the county seat, Huntsville, Tennessee, reads:
|“||United States Senator Andrew Johnson delivered a speech at the Courthouse at Huntsville on June 4, 1861 against separation. At the election four days later Scott County voted against separation by the largest percentage margin of any county in Tennessee. Later that year in defiance of the state's action of secession, the county court by resolution seceded from the state and formed the Free and Independent State of Scott.||”|
A cemetery in the Annadale (sometimes Annadel or Annadell) community of Scott County is the only cemetery ever recognized as a national cemetery by the State of Scott. The cemetery (which is also known as Botts Cemetery), surrounds what is now the Annadale Baptist Church. In early 1947, John F. Ellis announced that all properties held by his family would be donated to the Independent State of Scott "as a sanctuary for the fallen soldiers of Scott County" and as a standing monument to Jennings, Gason, and Marion Ellis. Jennings and Marion Ellis were highly decorated World War II soldiers.
- Republic of Winston, a similar area in Alabama
- Nickajack, a similar region in North Alabama and East Tennessee
- Astor, Aaron (June 11, 2011), "The Switzerland of America", Opinionator: Exclusive On-Line Commentary From The Times (New York Times), retrieved 2011-12-21
- Margaret D. Binnicker, "Scott County", Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture Encyclopedia (Tennesseeencyclopedia.net), retrieved 2011-02-08
- "Churches of Scott County, TN". Scottcounty.com. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- "Independent State of Scott – 1F32 – Huntsville, TN – Tennessee Historical Markers on". Waymarking.com. December 28, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- Scott County News, January 4, 1946
- This land had been originally acquired by Maude Ellis.Scott County Historical Society, Church news from 1946–1966
- "Minutes of the West Union Association of United Baptist Churches"; 1967; p24.
- Crofts, Daniel W; "Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis.”
- Fischer, Noel C; “War at Every Door: Partisan Politics and Guerrilla Violence in East Tennessee, 1860–1869.”
- Groce, W. Todd; “Mountain Rebels: East Tennessee Confederates and the Civil War, 1860–1870”
- Temple, Oliver Temple; “East Tennessee and the Civil War.”
- Gason, J.H.; "Mist in the Mountains. A Chronicle of Scott County"