Discover the first frontier, an area rich in history, brought to life by historical reenactors, pioneer homesteads, and museums. It was at Sycamore Shoals between present-day Elizabethton and Watauga that the first independent government, called The Watauga Association, was established. Pioneers successfully negotiated a treaty for land with the Cherokee, however, the treaty was considered illegal by the British Crown. King George's Proclamation of 1763 preemptively barred colonization west of the Appalachian Mountains. Rather than evacuate as commanded, a semi-autonomous, temporary government was formed and the Articles of the Watauga Association were written four years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After the start of the Revolutionary War, the settlement was annexed into North Carolina and the Watuaga Association was quickly dissolved. This would not be the last act of the Wataugans. Fearing post-Revolutionary war debts would result in the sale of a large portion of what is now East Tennessee to Spain or France, the Wataugans would later become involved in an unsuccessful regional attempt to break from North Carolina and establish the "State of Franklin". The region did break from North Carolina but not until 1796 would it became part of the new state of Tennessee. Known as the oldest settlement in the state of Tennessee, the Elizabethton area was also the first permanent settlement west of the Continental Divide, earning it the title, "The First Wild West".