Elizabethton is a city in, and the county seat of, Carter County, Tennessee, United States. Elizabethton is the historical site of the first independent American government (known as the Watauga Association, created in 1772) located west of both the Eastern Continental Divide and the original thirteen British American colonies.
The city is also the historical site of the Transylvania Purchase (1775), a major historic muster site during the American Revolutionary War for both the Battle of Musgrove Mill (1780) and the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780). It was within the secessionist North Carolina "State of Franklin" territory (1784–1788).
The population of Elizabethton was enumerated at 14,176 during the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census.
Fort Watauga, more properly Fort Caswell, was an American Revolutionary War fort that once stood at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River in what is now Elizabethton, Tennessee. The fort was originally built in 1775–1776 by the area's frontier government, the Watauga Association, to help defend Watauga settlers from Native American (primarily Cherokee) attacks, which were in part instigated by the British. Fort Watauga was originally named Fort Caswell after North Carolina Governor Richard Caswell.
In the 1970s, as part of the nation's bicentennial celebrations, the state of Tennessee authorized a reconstruction of Fort Watauga. Archaeologists conducted excavations in the Sycamore Shoals area and uncovered several trenches believed to have been part of the fort's walls. The fort was then rebuilt based on information gained about the fort's design from the excavation, descriptions of the fort in historical sources, and the general design of typical Appalachian frontier forts. The reconstructed fort is now part of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.