Learn About This Location
Jonesborough was founded in 1779, before Tennessee became a state, when the area was under North Carolina's jurisdiction.
Jonesborough was originally a part of the Washington District, and in 1784 became the capital of the State of Franklin (ostensibly named after Benjamin Franklin). Franklin, however, was never recognized by Congress, and was re-claimed by North Carolina.
Jonesborough is considered to be the starting place of the abolitionist movement during the American Civil War. Elihu Embree printed his publication, The Emancipator, from Jonesborough in 1820, making The Emancipator the first US periodical dedicated exclusively to the abolition of slavery. While Tennessee would join the Confederacy, most people in the east had Union allegiances.