Fifty states is such a round, even, striking number. Everyone knows the fifty nifty United States-but what about the hundreds of other statehood proposals that never came to pass? An Astounding Atlas of Altered States is a tribute to such great unrealized dreams as West Florida, Hazard , Montezuma, Rough and Ready, and Yazoo. Some of these states came remarkably close to joining the union while others never had a chance. You could even be living in an area that once fancied itself a brand new state.
Consider some of the following states that just didn't make the cut. Frontier legend Daniel Boone once proposed a state of Transylvania in the Appalachian wilderness (his plan was resurrected a few years later with the new name of Kentucky). Residents of Bucolic South Jersey wanted to secede from their urban north Jersey neighbors and form the fifty-first state. The Gold Rush Territory of Nataqua could have made a fine state-but since no women were willing to live there, settlers gave up and joined California. Long Island is bigger than Rhode Island and already had a larger population than twenty states, but the rest of New York refused to let it go. Texlahoma was an odd combination of forty six counties in Texas and another twenty-three from Oklahoma that nearly became America's Forty-ninth state.
Each story offers a fascinating glimpse at the nation we might have become-along with plenty of absurd characters, bureaucratic red tape, and political gamesmanship. Accompanying these tales are beautifully rendered maps detailing the proposed state boundaries, plus images of real life artifacts and ephemera. Enjoy exploring this astounding atlas of lost, abandoned, and altered states.
Michael J. Trinklein wrote and produced the Emmy Nominated PBS documentary Pioneers of Television (2008), as well as The Gold Rush (1998) and The Oregon Trail (1993). His work has been consistently praised in the national media, including USA Today, Washington Post, Parade, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Time. He lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.