See Washington County, Tennessee for further information about Washington (old) County, North Carolina.
In 1776 settlers in what would eventually become Tennessee successfully petitioned North Carolina to recognize the Washington District. The District included all of modern Tennessee except two small settlements (North-of-Holston, Fincastle County, and Pendleton, Washington County) in the far northeast that were considered part of Virginia at the time. Washington (old) County was created from Washington District by North Carolina in 1777 as the western county of North Carolina.
In August 1784 delegates from Washington and two other western North Carolina counties which had split off from Washington (all now in Tennessee), declared their Independence from North Carolina because of perceived neglect, and misuse by North Carolina’s legislature. By May 1785 they had petitioned to be admitted to the United States as the new State of Franklin. The Franklin statehood request was denied. By 1789 the hopes for a State of Franklin faded. North Carolina refused to recognize several counties created by Franklin out of Washington County.
In 1789 North Carolina was admitted to the Union and ceded her western counties to the United States. The United States made these western counties into the Southwest Territory. In 1792 North Carolina divided Washington (old) County and annexed some of its land that would later become Alleghany
, and Watauga
counties in North Carolina to Wilkes
County, North Carolina.
In 1796 the remainder of Washington County became part of the new State of Tennessee.