Monday, November 10, 2008

Lost States

Last week I wrote about How the States Got Their Shapes. It turns out that the fifty states we know and love were not the only states that we might have seen... Over the course of our history, many other states have been proposed, only to be shot down or ignored.

Michael Trinklein has written a book about these failed attempts: Lost States: Real Quests for American Statehood. Heavily illustrated, this book tells the tale of would be state-builders and forgotten corners of geography, with wit and humor. Some of these attempts were very serious, some no more than pranks. Here are two examples:

The colonists who followed Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap in the 1770s called their coloney "Transylvania" (wich means "through the woods" and has nothing to do with vampires). After the start of the Revolutionary War, representatives went to the Continental Congress seeking recognition, but Virginia, who claimed most of that land, would hear nothing of it. Later, the area was rearranged into Kentucky and Tennessee.

Many new states have been proposed by carving up or rearranging already existing states. Often because residents of a region feel neglected by the rest of the state government. Folks in norther California often feel ignored and underappreciated by the rest of the state. The same goes for southern Oregon. In 1941 a new state, Jefferson (to keep Washington company?), was proposed. A cabal attempted to declare independence on December 4... but were overshadowed by the events of December 7.

For more samples, visit the author's website.

UPDATE:  In the Spring of 2010, Trinklein came out with an updated expanded edition.

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At Tuesday, November 11, 2008 , Blogger Michael5000 said...

The public radio station that serves Hometown5000 bills itself as "Jefferson Public Radio" or "public radio for the State of Jefferson."

At Tuesday, November 11, 2008 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Now you know.... the rest of the story.


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