States That Never Were 1774–85


Map Code: Ax00695

By the 1770s many colonists insisted that the British could not be allowed to impede expansion into the west. John Cartwright, a British parliamentary reformer, responded by making plans for 19 new colonies in 1774. He created carefully researched, comprehensive state maps. His plans were rejected because they were politically radical, and included a congress that excluded the British parliament. Between 1775–83, during the Revolutionary War, there were competing land claims in the region west of the Allegheny mountains. Residents of western Virginia and Pennsylvania proposed turning their region into Westsylvania. Transylvania was founded in 1775 by a land speculator and lasted until December 1778. In 1784, Franklin was given to the federal government by North Carolina to pay off debts, but had insufficient votes to become the 14th state. Jefferson’s proposed states in the ‘Old Northwest’ never materialized, as they demanded too many cessions from established states.

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