Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It

Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It

by Michael J. Trinklein, Quirk Books Staff


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Everyone knows the fifty nifty united states—but what about the hundreds of other statehood proposals that never came to pass? Lost States is a tribute to such great unrealized dreams as West Florida, Texlahoma, Montezuma, Rough and Ready, and Yazoo. Some of these states came remarkably close to joining the Union. Others never had a chance. Many are still trying. Consider:
     •  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, the settlers gave up and joined California.
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. Welcome to the world of Lost States!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594744105
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 02/01/2010
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 927,222
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

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 Times. He lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2010 Michael J. Trinklein
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59474-410-5

Chapter One


Just what we need: Another squarish western state.

You may laugh at the notion of Absaroka becoming a state, but the same people who proposed the idea may have persuaded your family to visit this region when you were a kid.

The story goes like this: Because the area was so desolate, local businesspeople figured they needed a monumental attraction to convince people to visit.

So they carved Mount Rushmore.

Granted, I'm leaving out a lot of detail, but the point is that many of the big thinkers who pushed for the giant president heads also thought it would be nifty to have their own state.

At least that's what they proposed back in the 1930s. Absaroka would have sliced off sections of South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming to create the forty-ninth state. The boundaries on my map are conjectural because Absaroka enthusiasts produced several different maps.

Petitions circulated, especially in South Dakota, and aggressive proponents stamped out license plates and even held a Miss Absaroka pageant in 1939. Since no follow-up contest ever occurred, I assume the winner is still wearing her tiara.

Even today, there remains a certain economic logic to Absaroka. The state would be the nation's top producer of a particularly valuable commodity: grass. There may be no better place to grow the stuff. The region's grass farmers earn a tidy income-because cows really like to eat grass. And people really like to eat cows.

Americans are also fascinated with the men who tend the cows, so that's become another economic engine for the area. For dudes who want the real cowboy experience, no other setting can match Absaroka. It's not uncommon for city slickers to spend $2,000 a day for the privilege of sleeping on the ground, drinking water from a creek, and watching horses poop (hopefully not in the same creek).

And the name? Absaroka comes from a Crow word meaning "children of the large-beaked bird." So if Sesame Street's Big Bird ever has a baby, they have to name him Absaroka, don't you think?


Or Just Maine. Time for a Divorce?

Today's Maine has a split personality. The south is filled with fancy folk for whom the word summer is a verb. In the north are hardscrabble Mainers living in a still-wild country of forests and mountains. Increasingly, the two groups have little in common. So in 1998, Republican representative Henry Joy sponsored a bill to study the idea of splitting the state in two.

Northerners supported the plan. They were sick of the regulations that, they believed, limit their livelihood. They want to shoot more fauna and chop more flora. Southerners, on the other hand, would prefer that everyone enjoy more civilized activities, such as growing organic blueberries or hosting Shakespeare festivals. If only the northerners could shed their genteel neighbors to the south, they could ramp up their economy by capitalizing on the resources that grow, swim, and molt throughout the region.

What would the new state be named? Many wanted to call it "Maine," which would force the lower half of the state to rename itself with a more appropriate moniker-perhaps "North Massachusetts." Others have argued that the upper half should change its name; one of the most popular suggestions was "Acadia." This name, curiously enough, applied to land that is now Maryland and Virginia in the 1500s. Over the years, the name gradually floated north until it came to rest on the region that now consists of Maine and nearby Canadian provinces.

Then there is the question of where to draw the line to form the new state. Acadia's proponents never created a definitive map showing its boundaries. I drew a fairly arbitrary east-west line. Feel free to draw your own.

Representative Joy's proposal didn't get very far, so he tried again in 2005, with the same results.

But there's always hope. Remember, the idea did work at least once before: Maine used to be just a part of Massachusetts until 1820, when it was split off to form a new state. Perhaps lightning can strike twice in the same place.


A New Fatherland-in Texas?

Let's move Germany to Texas." As bizarre as it sounds, that was the quite-serious plan of some rich and influential Germans in the mid-1840s.

The groundwork was laid by Gottfried Duden, whose popular German books painted an idyllic and adventurous picture of America. Even today, more Germans tour the western United States than any other European people.

By 1842 Germany's economy was failing, so twenty-one nobles devised a plan to move massive numbers of Germans to Texas. Settlers were promised comfortable travel and guaranteed jobs. The Germans were organized (of course), but a bit too optimistic. Travel costs were higher than expected, nasty weather caused problems, and disease took its toll.

Then there was the land-grant problem. In order to receive land in Texas, the Germans agreed to settle a region that was the homeland of the Comanche. I have to assume this was some sort of cruel joke, since the Comanche were known to be especially fierce. If you encroached on their territory, they'd kill you.

But Germans don't give up easily. They developed a great rapport with the Comanche and managed to strike a deal that was beneficial to both-the only time in American history that a private group forged a lasting treaty with a Plains Indian tribe. We don't know exactly why the two got along so well, but the Comanche were clearly fascinated with German leader John Meusenbach's flame-red beard-they even nicknamed him "The Red Sun." And when the toughest people on the continent give you a cool nickname, you know you've earned lasting street cred.

The Germans in Texas hoped to form their own nation, or perhaps their own state, named Adelsverein. But American state lines weren't drawn to accommodate ethnic enclaves, and the dream of a German state eventually faded.

Regardless, the lure of freedom and free land meant continued German immigration-less to Texas and more to the upper Midwest. But no one in Berlin, Wisconsin, or New Germany, Minnesota, ever proposed a new German Fatherland.

That idea never got beyond Texas.


They love America-like a stalker.

Thousands of Albanians would love for their country to become the fifty-first state. And it's not just some offbeat splinter group requesting the inclusion. The whole country seems rabidly pro-American.

When President George W. Bush visited in 2007, no one protested. No one. (I couldn't believe it either.) It seems that Bush enjoyed higher approval ratings in Albania than in a roomful of oil executives. In fact, his visit invoked newspaper headlines that read: "Please Occupy Us!" No kidding.

This odd love affair with America dates even earlier. During Bill Clinton's presidency, thousands of Albanians named their babies Bill and Hillary. Again, all true.

Albania was also among the first nations to join the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it unflinchingly supports every American policy in the region. When the United States couldn't find any country in the world to accept deported Guantanamo detainees, Albania stepped up and took them off America's hands.

Much of this loyalty dates back to the post-World War I period, when President Woodrow Wilson made sure that the Albanian homeland wasn't chopped into sections and handed over to its neighbors. Yet that doesn't fully explain the obsession. After all, we also bailed out France in World War II, but you didn't see an uptick in French children named "Dwight" or "Franklin."

It is hard to makes sense of it all. Perhaps a little historical context is needed to understand Albania's true intentions. Remember that, during the Stalin era, Albania formed a political alliance with the USSR. When that relationship hit a rough patch, Albania jumped into bed with China, but those two lovebirds had a fight and broke up in the late 1970s. Now Albania thinks America is really cute. Right away they're bringing up statehood. That's really no different than talking about marriage on the first date.

Run, America, run!


Picking Up the Pieces of a Broken Canada?

Canada has relationship issues. The French culture of Quebec doesn't always mesh with the English-speaking culture of the other provinces. They share a love of hockey, but that's about it.

So it should come as no surprise that Quebec has threatened to secede from Canada to form its own nation. The idea has heated up and cooled down over the years, depending on a variety of factors. In a 1995 referendum, secession lost by the slimmest margin yet: 49.5 percent to 50.5 percent. Americans may not have noticed, but their neighbor to the north came within a few thousand votes of breaking apart.

So what would happen if Quebec broke away? It's possible that the rest of the country could carry on, but a smaller, weakened version of Canada could be difficult to hold together. The strongest provinces might soon look southward for a new alliance.

Many have argued that Alberta would be most likely to petition for U.S. statehood. It has a ton of oil and a Western, "Texas-like" way of life. I imagine that Americans would love to add a new, petroleum-rich state to the union. Plus, many Albertans believe they aren't adequately compensated for all the oil flowing out of their borders to the rest of Canada. So if the United States offered a better deal, they might just jump at statehood.

British Columbia is another possible candidate. Most of its population resides in the Vancouver area, which is just minutes from Seattle but more than a thousand miles from Calgary, its closest big-city neighbor in Canada. British Columbia also has a thriving movie industry. Partly, that's because Hollywood bigwigs think Vancouver has more of an American look than, well, America. That may be reason enough for statehood.

As for Ontario, Manitoba, and the remaining provinces, a wholesale absorption into the United States is unlikely. The rest of the world would certainly see it as a sign of U.S. imperialism and domination-a touchy subject in many parts.


This Is What Happens When There's No Mail.

The present border between Arizona and New Mexico was chosen out of spite. The original boundary extended east to west, not north to south as it does today. The east-west line might have become permanent had the U.S. Congress not despised the man who initially authorized it: Jefferson Davis.

The backstory goes like this: The tiny population of the American Southwest might have simply tried to ignore the Civil War, but in early 1861 the Union cut off funding for the region's only cross-country mail service. This made the locals mad. After all, interrupting mail during this era is akin to blocking cell phone service at a modern high school. Revolt was certain. In fact, Southwesterners were so upset that they decided to join the Confederacy.

Confederate president Jefferson Davis was delighted to welcome Arizona Territory into his new nation. His administration sketched out a horizontal territory that encompassed the southern half of modern New Mexico and Arizona. One of the territory's biggest benefits was that it included the best route then known for a transcontinental railroad. In fact, most folks saw no other value to the land; the notion that people might actually want to live there didn't come until much later.

As you know, the Confederacy lost the Civil War and the United States retook control of both Arizona and the Southwest. But the victors were not about to accept any boundaries drawn by Jefferson Davis or his ilk. Instead they arbitrarily chose a north-south line, thus creating the modern border between the two states.

Today, "horizontalists" still cling to the notion that southern Arizona (and maybe parts of southern New Mexico) should form a new state called Baja Arizona. The movement isn't terribly serious, but it does illuminate the distinct political contrast between the liberal Tucson region in the south and the conservative Phoenix area to the north. For example, Baja Arizona proponents acknowledge that their state would likely send two new Democrats to the U.S. Senate. Contrast that with the rest of Arizona, the state that gave rise to Republican standard-bearers Barry Goldwater and John McCain.


That Taxation Without Representation Thing-Again.

State Representative James H. Brennan was hopping mad. So on a hot July day in 1919, he marched over to the clerk's office in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and filed a bill to make Boston a separate state.

Brennan had his reasons. His primary beef was unjust taxation-the kind of issue Bostonians thought they'd settled 150 years before. And though there's no record of Brennan dumping any caffeinated beverages into Boston Harbor, he was just as ticked off as his tea party predecessors.

Consider this quote by Brennan: "The people of Boston must fight for the right of self-determination. The Republican Legislature [has] loaded us down with unjust taxation." He was talking specifically about $600,000 that Boston was required to pay into the state kitty for funding schools-money that would not benefit the children of greater Boston.

The whole thing blew over pretty quickly, but it points to a curious aspect of New England geography: jurisdictions divide and combine with amoebalike frequency. It started with the Pilgrims and Puritans, who split off from their homeland. The two groups were independent for a time and then melded to form the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.

Maine was actually a part of Massachusetts for years, until the northerners succeeded in cleaving themselves from the state.

Then there's Roger Williams, who got along with the Pilgrims for a while, until they kicked him out in 1635. So he founded the settlement that would later become Rhode Island.

It's a good thing this trend didn't continue. If every New England squabble led to the creation of a new state, the U.S. flag would have a thousand stars.


A Plan to Populate the Midwest ... with Prisoners.

The French and British have a long history of beating up each other. So it should be no surprise that, during colonial times, their conflict spilled from the Old World into the New.

If you picture those big pull-down maps from your fourth-grade social studies class, you'll remember that in the mid-1700s, the British controlled only a portion of the eastern seaboard of the North American continent. The land between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains was claimed by their nemesis, the French.

When France and England went to war in the 1750s, it was inevitable that their American colonies would become involved. In Europe, this conflict is known as the Seven Years War; in America it became the French and Indian War. Regardless of what name you call it, the French lost, and much of their American territory was turned over to the British.

Many Brits figured that to keep their new land, they'd better get settlers there quickly, and so brochures were published extolling the virtues of a new colony called Charlotina. The proposed colony encompassed all of what is now Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, plus tidbits of Indiana and Minnesota.

The pamphleteer suggested populating the new land with debtors "pining in jails throughout Britain and Ireland." As an added benefit to Britain, these new settlers could prevent a return of the French and "check Indian insurrections."

The British crown never seriously considered the Charlotina proposal. Instead, it took the opposite approach: preventing settlement in order to pacify the native peoples. The quote King George might have used (if he had borrowed from another famous George) is, "Read my lips: No new colonies." Despite the king's wishes, settlement moved forward-because people just can't resist free land.

But the borders of Charlotina were forgotten.


Excerpted from LOST STATES by MICHAEL J. TRINKLEIN Copyright © 2010 by Michael J. Trinklein. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


ABOUT THE MAPS....................9
Alberta and British Columbia....................18
(Baja) Arizona....................21
England, et al....................41
Half-Breed Tracts....................50
Long Island....................64
Lost Dakota....................67
Lower California....................68
New Connecticut....................85
New Sweden....................86
New York City....................89
No Man's Land....................94
North Slope....................97
Philippines....................10l Popham....................102
Puerto Rico....................106
Rio Rico....................109
Rough and Ready....................110
Sonora....................12l South California....................122
South Florida....................125
South Jersey....................126
South Texas....................129
State "X"....................130
West Florida....................149
West Kansas....................150

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Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
SC2010 More than 1 year ago
Pros: 1) Extremely informative as a fun, historical text. 2) The maps (and their approximations) are also very fascinating to look at, particularly because it provokes the reader to think about how different life might be if these "lost states" had never been lost in the first place. Cons: 1) Rather pedestrian writing style. I was expecting it to be a bit more academic and less as a "coffee table" book. However, the writing is clearly designed to appeal to a broader swath of readers, particularly those who are not geography or history buffs. 2) Some of the information presented as facts could have been better served with footnotes or references. Some of the passages I read made me wonder if they were slightly embellished for the "wow" effect or if they were actually true. Overall, I really like this book. I am definitely considering purchasing it as a gift for my friends who have an interest in geography and history. It's a great book to have lying around for when guests come over and want to browse through something that is more engaging than just flipping through pictures.
iluvvideo More than 1 year ago
Lost States is a captivating read. You need not be a history scholar (although an interest helps!) The entries are in alphabetical order (I would have preferred a geographical order) and are fun,fast reads full of quirky geographical history of the many proposed states and reasons why they failed. Each entry is two pages, one of text, one of a map (usually a historical reproduction). Did you know that Navassa was once proposed for statehood? Where? A better question is about the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Or Popham Colony (Maine). Preceding Plymouth by 10 years, abandoned after a year, the inhabitants returning to England. Or Montezuma. Where a handshake deal between two crooked politicians set back statehood for New Mexico by 37 years. Amazing stories made all the more captivating by the fact that they are all TRUE! Do yourself a pleasant favor. Give this book a try!
Anonymous 6 months ago
mhgatti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a cartographer, so I might be a little biased about a book of maps. But Trinkein has a lot of fun with these places that almost might have been. He takes quite a few liberties with both the mapping and the storytelling (some of these places were never more than one nut's crazy idea) but it makes for a funny and quick read.
blueyss82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is super fun!! I love reading true bits of American history. The way this book is organized you can read a little here and a little there. It's the perfect coffee table book and I can see it being a fun family book on roadtrips. It would also be an excellent book for American History or Geography teachers. As someone who makes maps, all of the old historical maps included with the stories made it even more fascinating. I throughly enjoyed reading this book and as I have it sitting out I will be reading it again!
calbookman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Simply put I read this book all the way through in one sitting and read it again. Then I told my father about it and then recommended it to the local teachers I know. It is a great read about state history decidedly not in the history books. The author has a winning sense of humor and style that captures the ideas for each entry succinctly. I am thinking of donating this book to the local library just so they are sure to have a copy. Any person who has taken US history should have had this book as a text. There were only two mistakes in the whole of the book and they were editorial in nature (mis-spellings etc) but noticeable. The best part was reading about the almost-state that some distant relatives came to the US to populate and establish. Congratulations to Trinklein on a wonderful book.
msladylib on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For twenty-eight years, ending in 1702, the colony of New Jersey was two separate colonies, East Jersey and West Jersey. I spent my childhood in the city of Perth Amboy, which was the colonial capital of New Jersey, and found the idea that this small state was once two separate colonies fascinating. The Proprietary House, which was the Governor¿s Mansion, still stands there.So, I was delighted to find in the book Lost States that there have been, in the not so distant past, more ideas about again dividing New Jersey in two, this time with a border separating ¿South Jersey¿ from the rest of the state. Indeed, there is much to commend this: the southern counties are culturally rather distinct from the northern ones. Any resident can vouch for this! I doubt, however, that any plans to divide the state will come to fruition. The only upside I can see to this is an extra set of Senators in Washington, and they¿d not likely agree with my politics!This book is an amusing light-hearted romp through geography and history. The fun the author, Michael J. Trinklein, must have had in gathering his information shows in the writing. It can be inspiring, too, to encourage the reader to investigate in more detail, since the text is as much teaser as informative! The book is visually appealing, too, with a dust jacket that opens into a map, printed to look ¿old,¿ and the pages are wider than tall, with text opposite a full page of maps or illustrations. Delightfully, it¿s clothbound, without being a ¿special edition.¿ I¿d definitely recommend this for middle and high school libraries, and public libraries. It also can make a great coffee table book, for it lends itself to browsing.
kcarmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun book! It's not a lengthy examination with lots of heavy facts. The graphics are great & the information is delivered in an entertaining manner.This would be a great book for a history buff of any age.
MiscMayzee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book Lost States was absolute fun from beginning to end. When I found out I would be receiving Lost States from Library Thing I expected to find a book full of trivia and unknown facts, but this book was a lot more.The author, Michael J. Trinklein has a really well-developed funny bone that made learning all of these facts fun. I found this book a complete joy and actually sent it on to my older brother because he loves fun fact as well!
KilroyWasHere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To be honest, when I first saw this I was expecting one of those quasi-history books that're long on cuteness and short on facts. Lost States bears absolutely no resemblance to that sort of thing.Over 157 pages, Trinklein goes through a rich and diverse list of areas, both within and without current US boundaries, that were proposed or came ever-so-close to statehood at some point in America's history. Trinklein's depth of research really shows in his writing, which takes a playful tone without being too light-hearted. The design is fantastic, too, with at least one page of this oversized book being given over to maps of the prospective states and commonwealths.If you want to know more about the history of Franklin, Trans-Oconee, State X, Greenland, or Taiwan--and who doesn't?--you should definitely make sure to pick up Lost States.
cpom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lost States is a fun look at the states that could have been. Not only do we get to see some history and trivia about these territories, but the author also infuses some humor to keep it fun. I love that the story of each lost state also included a visual representation of how the state would have looked if the propositions had been accepted. A great book for all ages!
SycoticMuskrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting history of the states that could have been. Lots of interesting facts and images help guide you through the book. The cover folds out into a nice sized map along with more information.
detweilermom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this as part of Library Thing's Early reviewer program.This book is a hoot. Not only does it give some of the ridiculous names for states Forgottonia, Half-Breed Tracts, and No Man's Land to name a few. But it also goes into alittle of the history behind each of these state requests.Did you know that when they made Mount Rushmore that they wanted a state that was mainly there becasue of Mount Rushmore?Albania (the Country) loves America so much it wouldlike to become a state? Boston wanted to become it's own state?These are just a few of the tidbits that you will find in this book. It also has a book jacket that when opened has the outlines of some of the more prominent states on a map of the US. This is book is highly interesting and would be a great addition to any family library.
CSMcMahon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's the perfect blend of history, trivia, and snark. The illustrations are gorgeous. The writing is hilarious. It makes for a quick read with a map on one side of the page and the related story on the other side. One of my favorite things about the book is that the cover actually unfolds to another map. As a life-long resident of Illinois, I was surprised (and amused) to read about the lost state of Forgottonia, whose name sounds like it originated in a Marx Brothers movie. This book will have a spot on my coffee table for quite some time.
strogan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book received through Early Reviewers.Lost States is a nice coffee table book that provides quick overviews of the "might have beens" in U.S. geographical history.It is a quick read and provides enough information that, if the reader so wishes, said reader can investigate further if s/he so wishes.The book was humorously enjoyable and I liked the photographs in it, as well as the dust jacket that becomes a foldout map.I do wish that one of two things happened, though for the same reason, it was either longer or there were fewer entries.
phaga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books where I get to the end and I start to get sad knowing it's going to be over soon. It was very interesting, humorous and informative. I only wish it were 100 pages longer, I could have used more info on each of the states, as it was you get little snapshots of each. Perhaps I'm greedy. This was still a great read.
argyriou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting and fun; a good companion to [[How the States Got Their Shapes]]
mschuyler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the introduction the author laments the fact that the study of the states is often limited to memorizing the fifty state capitals and calls it boring. He seeks to change that. This book is kind of a breezy and lightweight first-person treatment of the subject. The vignettes on each of these 74 'lost states' are short, a page long each, accompanied by a map of what might have been that state on the facing page. Having said that, you will learn something about each state and American history, for sure. Some of the proposed states were serious movements involving thousands of people. Surprisingtly, some of the states are foreign countries such as Iceland, Greenland, Wales, Scotland, England, Albania, Sicily, and Taiwan; and some appear to be more like publicity stunts, tongue-in-cheek proposals, or the musings of a single individual. Regardless, they are all interesting reads. However, the author never misses an opportunity to criticize the contemporary United States, the Iraq War, or George Bush, so unnecessary and irrelevant to his main theme. That detracts. And once in awhile the author flat out gets it wrong. Olympia is not the capital of Oregon; it's Salem. Perhaps he should have paid more attention to that fifth grade memorization project.The book is physically quite beautiful, printed on thick paper. The many maps are as interesting as the text. It's perfect as a coffee table book and as a conversation starter.
melancholy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an adorable book. It¿s designed to be enjoyed in bits and pieces; each unrealized state is allotted two pages ¿ one for three columns of text and one for an illustrated map. The trim size allows Trinklein to include sizable maps without requiring any turning of the book, and for a larger font and chapter heading, which makes the text even more inviting. Trinklein presents the book as a conversation, inviting the reader to stop by for a few minutes of interesting trivia, with no pressure to stay. It¿s clear he had fun researching and writing the book ¿ in his notes about the maps he warns the reader: ¿Don¿t attempt a coup. You will fail. (But if you do, please mention this book as your inspiration. It will probably help sales.)¿ ¿ and his diction only rarely crosses the line from charming to cheesy. I¿d definitely recommend this book to anyone. And the cover unfolds into a map! So fun.(Note: This is not a scholarly book in any way. There aren't any citations, though there is a light bibliography.)
nee-nee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice coffee table book. It's interesting to flip through but, difficult to read cover to cover. Full of fun stories regarding failed attempts at statehood, and great illustrations. The fold out map that shows what America would look like with all of the "alternate" states is cool to look at. A fun read.
iluvvideo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lost States is a captivating read. You need not be a history scholar (although an interest helps!) The entries are in alphabetical order (I would have preferred a geographical order) and are fun,fast reads full of quirky geographical history of the many proposed states and reasons why they failed. Each entry is two pages, one of text, one of a map (usually a historical reproduction). Did you know that Navassa was once proposed for statehood? Where? A better question is about the Guano Islands Act of 1856.Or Popham Colony (Maine). Preceding Plymouth by 10 years, abandoned after a year, the inhabitants returning to England.Or Montezuma. Where a handshake deal between two crooked politicians set back statehood for New Mexico by 37 years.Amazing stories made all the more captivating by the fact that they are all TRUE! Do yourself a pleasant favor. Give this book a try!
sweans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The content of this book is certainly interesting and Trinklein has a great sense of humor. The illustrations are lovely. A high school history fan would probably like this book. However, since the states that never made it are listed alphabetically, the flow of the book is a bit jarring.
GoodGeniusLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lost States will fascinate US History and geography buffs alike. Each two page spread describes an attempt at statehood--some more credible and seriously sought than others. You will learn all kinds of historical tidbits about the settlement of the USA and why some lines exist and other proposed ones do not. A fun read.
rosethorne1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Received this book from the Early Reviewers. I read it on a long plane trip between Alaska and the East Coast. While I wouldn't cite it as a source in an academic paper it was a fun and entertaining read. I will be putting it on my living room table for others to enjoy, once my table is delivered of course! It was beautifully illustrated on the cover, and the map was very detailed and colorful. I wish there had been better annotation of his sources though, so I could do my own research on the content a little easier. None the less, an enjoyable book all around.
morningrob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Trinklein, Michael J. True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States that Never Made It. Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2010.This was a really interesting book. Though by book, it is not so much a narrative, but closer to an encyclopedia of states that wanted to be states but never were states. Within each entry, however, the writing is clear and amusing as well as being informative. This book is great for the American history enthusiasts or for that person who just likes to know about trivia.Each entry is about a part of American that either formally applied to Congress to be a state or for where there were movements that tried to make a new state. It seems that most of these Lost States wanted to form because they felt forgotten by the rest of the state or that they felt that the rest of the state exploited its wealth. Sometimes both feelings happened at the same time. However, there is also influences of world politics, local politics, and personalities that conflicted that created these crazy stories. Each entry also includes a map of where the state would be located. As an added extra, the maps are made to look like a map from the period when the statehood movement took place.This is a fun and interesting book. The perfect place for it- in the bathroom. It can give you something quick to reading when you have time to sit.