Posted by Basia Padlo

LOST STATES by Michael Trinklein


Everyone knows the fifty winners—but what about the hundreds of other statehood proposals that never worked out? Lost States is a tribute to such great unrealized states as West Florida, South California, Half-Breed Tracts, Rough and Ready, and others.

History buffs will be entertained and enlightened by these bizarre-but-true stories:

  1. Frontier legend Daniel Boone once proposed a state of Transylvania on the borders of Indiana and Illinois. (His plan was resurrected a few years later with the new name of Kentucky.)
  2. Residents of bucolic South Jersey wanted to secede from their “filthy” north Jersey neighbors and form their own union.
  3. The Gold Rush territory of Nataqua could have made a fine state . . . but since no women were willing to live there, they had to settle for being part of California.

Accompanying the stories are beautiful full-color original maps detailing how these states’ boundaries might have looked, along with images of real-life artifacts and ephemera. Lost States is a quirky reference book for history buffs, geography geeks, and anyone who enjoys lush, fascinating cartography.

MICHAEL 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.