Ratification Day marks the day in 1784 when the Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, the peace agreement with Britain. The United States officially became an independent country. Thomas Jefferson, chairman of the ratification committee, went through difficult circumstances to get the necessary signatures on the ratification. He needed approvals from nine of the thirteen colonies. However, that winter was extremely brutal, and many delegates struggled to get to Maryland to sign the document. Finally, on January 14th two more delegates arrived, and the minimum nine signatures made the document a real treaty. Three copies of the document were sent on three different ships back to England. Even the journeys to the ships were challenging, and the ocean voyages were unusually difficult. Children can read about the document at: Ratification Day.
State of Franklin came into being in 1784. Eight counties of then eastern North Carolina seceded from the state and formed their own government that was to be Franklin, the fourteenth state. However, the federal government over time did not recognize the territory, and in 1788 the land returned to North Carolina. Today the counties are part of eastern Tennessee. Children can learn more at: State of Franklin.