Named for Ben, Franklin was the western territory of North Carolina that set up its own government in 1782, applied for statehood, became one of those thriving communities that proverbially studded the frontier -- except that this one expired with the terms of its officers. There were many legal problems -- can part of a state secede from the rest? -- but its settlers were determined to be self-determining, which put the Establishment in an awkward position: how could the newly independent states deny them the same right they had just fought for. Franklin was not so much lost as diffused: its key figures kept moving around and the central government was more concerned with ratifying its Constitution. Ceded by North Carolina to the federal government, it gradually became part of more civilized (they had roads) Tennessee although there were some last ditch efforts to negotiate with Spain. Gerson keeps the hazy developments clear, notes that other states were facing similar breakaways (Vermont from New Hampshire, Maine from Massachusetts), does not neglect the Indians as the most serious losers in the whole deal. A minor incident succinctly presented.