Jonesborough (historically also Jonesboro) is a town in, and the county seat of, Washington County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The population was 5,975 at the 2010 census. It is "Tennessee's oldest town".
Jonesborough is part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.
Jonesborough was founded in 1779, 17 years before Tennessee became a state and while the area was under the jurisdiction of North Carolina. It was named after North Carolina legislator, Willie Jones, who had supported the state's westward expansion across the Appalachian Mountains.
The town was renamed "Jonesboro" for a period of time, but it has been changed back to the original spelling.
Jonesborough was originally a part of the Washington District. In 1784, it became the capital of the autonomous State of Franklin (ostensibly named after American founding father, Benjamin Franklin). Congress, however, never recognized Franklin, which was re-claimed by North Carolina in late 1788.
Jonesborough is often considered to be the center of the abolitionist movement within the states that would join the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Elihu Embree printed his publication, The Emancipator, from Jonesborough.