State of Scott

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Free and Independent State of Scott
Unrecognized Territorial Enclave of the United States

 

1861–1986
 

Flag of State of Scott

Flag

Location of State of Scott
Scott County within Tennessee
Capital Huntsville, Tennessee
Government Organized unrecognized State
History
 •  Established 1861
 •  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 a Southern Unionist movement in Scott County, Tennessee, in which the county declared itself a "Free and Independent State" following Tennessee's decision to secede from the United States and align the state with the Confederacy on the eve of the American Civil War in 1861. Like much of East Tennessee, Scott became an enclave community[1] of the Union during the war. Although its edict had never been officially recognized, the county did not officially rescind its act of secession until 1986.

History[edit]

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[2]—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,[3] while allowing the immediate formation of the "Independent State of Scott,"[2][4] 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.[4]

Aftermath[edit]

The proclamation was finally repealed by Scott County in 1986. The county petitioned the state of Tennessee for readmission,[2] 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.

Remnants[edit]

Roadside marker[edit]

Today, a roadside marker on Highway 63, near the county seat, Huntsville, Tennessee, reads:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evan Andrews, "6 Southern Unionist Strongholds During the Civil War, History.com, 13 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Astor, Aaron (June 11, 2011), "The Switzerland of America", Opinionator: Exclusive On-Line Commentary From The Times, New York Times, retrieved 2011-12-21 
  3. ^ Margaret D. Binnicker, "Scott County", Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture Encyclopedia, Tennesseeencyclopedia.net, retrieved 2011-02-08 
  4. ^ a b "Churches of Scott County, TN". Scottcounty.com. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Independent State of Scott – 1F32 – Huntsville, TN – Tennessee Historical Markers on". Waymarking.com. December 28, 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 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"

Coordinates: 36°26′N 84°31′W / 36.43°N 84.51°W / 36.43; -84.51