Settlers in what was to become Tennessee organized themselves into the Watauga Association in 1772 for protection and the administration of justice. John Sevier was one of the leaders of this group. Tennessee pioneers, led by Sevier and Isaac Shelby, joined in the American revolution and were important in the victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain that prevented two British forces from joining.
After the Revolutionary War and skirmishes with Cherokee Indians for control of the territory, in 1784 the State of Franklin was formed in eastern Tennessee from land ceded by North Carolina to the federal government. John Sevier was named governor. North Carolina would not recognize the new state. Sevier was arrested in 1788, and the state collapsed.
President Washington commissioned William Blount as governor of all U.S. territory south of the Ohio River in 1780. On June 1, 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state, with Sevier as the first governor. Tennessee provided 2,800 troops in the War of 1812, and native son Andrew Jackson distinguished himself and his troops. Tennessee was part of the Confederacy, although there were internal struggles between the abolitionist eastern part of the state and the slave-holding central and west. At the end of the war, Tennessee was the first state re -admitted to the Union.