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Dr. Michael Toomey, Associate Professor of History, recently participated in the PBS docu-mentary entitled "The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin". The PBS team originally intended to produce a documentary on the life of John Sevier, but shortly after beginning the project the producers became intrigued with the period of Sevier's life when he served as governor of the State of Franklin. While that was clearly a significant time in Sevier's life, as well as in the early history of Tennessee, the Franklin movement is poorly un-derstood by most Tennesseans and a complete mystery to any-one from outside the region. But the State of Franklin reveals a great deal about the people of the Trans-Appalachian frontier in the years that followed the Revolution. Not only does this documentary portray reflections of the same issues that had sparked the Revolu-tion itself, it also shows examples of new issues that confronted the young nation in the early days of western expansion. The advisory board for the documentary included individuals with diverse back-grounds related to the Franklin movement. Some of the other members of the ad-visory board included Kevin Barksdale, John R. Finger, Penny McLaughlin, and Mike Dahl. Most of Dr. Toomey’s involvement consisted of participating in inter-views, reviewing the script and suggesting possible story lines. His interview by Scott Simon, "The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin," also aired on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

Much of the filming for "The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin" was done at Marble Springs State Historic Site in South Knox County, the last home of John Sevier. Although Sevier’s days as governor of Franklin were over when he moved there, the site still reflects the period very well. Aside from the obvious connection to Sevier, Marble Springs offered other advantages for filming. The site includes several historic structures situated in the center of a thirty-acre piece of property and many of the actors in the film are also involved with the educa-tional programs at Marble Springs. If you would like to learn more about this documentary, please visit the website for Nolichucky Pictures. The link is Once you are on the website, you can click on "The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin" and Dr. Toomey is included there under "Advisory Board".

Special thanks to the LMU Office of Research, Grants and Sponsored Programs for press release.