State of Lincoln

State of Lincoln

Lincoln is one of several proposed states of the United States of America (see 51st state).

Historical Proposal to Call Wyoming Territory Lincoln

When Wyoming Territory was formed in 1868, it was originally called Lincoln Territory. This name sparked much debate in Congress because, at that time, no state or territory had been named for a particular person. Nevada Senator James W. Nye finally proposed the name Wyoming. This was a revitalization of the name originally suggested when a proposal to form the territory had failed to pass three years earlier in 1865. The name came from Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. Wyoming was the simple English translation of the Lenape Indian tribe's word for "large plains." [Urbanek, Mae. "Wyoming Place Names". Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1988. ]

Lincoln in the Northwest

The State of Lincoln has been proposed to consist of the Panhandle of Idaho and Eastern Washington (that is, east of the Cascade Mountains). It was first proposed by Idaho in 1864, when the Capital was moved from Lewiston to its present-day location of Boise, which made governing the out-of-reach panhandle more difficult. The 1864 proposal was to make the panhandle its own state. This proposal failed, but in 1901 another proposal was made, this time to combine the Idaho Panhandle with Eastern Washington to create the state of Lincoln, in honor of President Abraham Lincoln. From the Washington end, proposals have been made as recently as 1996, 1999, and 2005. Other than Lincoln, the names "Columbia" and "Eastern (or East) Washington" were proposed to be used for the state. While the disconnection between Western Washington and Eastern Washington is well known and documented, Northern Idaho has a similar dynamic in which its residents often feel disconnected from the state's political center in Boise. However, Northern Idaho residents do not typically profess any feeling of connection with Eastern Washington, and in fact in terms of its politics and sociology and the fact that it is largely mountains and forests and lakes, it is much more similar to Western Montana. Therefore, parallel suggestions of a "State of Kootenai" have been made, referring to a proposed union of the six northern-most counties of Idaho, and the six western-most counties of Montana, creating a geographically, politically, and ecologically connected state of 524,888 residents, putting it ahead of other states such as Wyoming. Other conceptions of a potential "State of Lincoln" have been rendered, specifically a possible combination of Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon. This union is actually the more commonly suggested one, rather than the Washington-Idaho entity. This results from the fact that the two eastern regions of the states are both made up of largely farmland and plains, and therefore economically and sociologically similar. The people of Eastern Oregon also often express the same frustration with being coupled with Portland and the region west of the Cascades that Eastern Washingtonians do with respect to Seattle. This proposed coupling would create one of the largest states in the country, stretching all the way from the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range to the border with Idaho in the east. The Washington State Legislature is the only government among these three states that has seen bills proposing secession or splintering. If combined with the proposed State of Jefferson, which overlaps a proposed Oregon-Washington "State of Lincoln" in southeastern Oregon and is proposed for many of the same reasons, it would create a state that is even larger.

The Inland Empire region (which also includes parts of Oregon and Montana) roughly corresponds to the area that might comprise such a State of Lincoln.

Lincoln in Texas

Another state that was to be named "Lincoln" was in Texas after the U.S. Civil War. It was proposed in 1869 to be carved out of the territory of Texas from the area south and west of the state's Colorado River. Unlike many other Texas division proposals of the Reconstruction period this one was presented to Congress, but like the others it failed.


*Handbook of Texas|id=DD/mqd1|name=Division of Texas

ee also

* State of Jefferson

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