Mr. Jefferson's Western States

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Archangel Michael, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Archangel Michael Has a gif for that

    Jan 3, 2004
    In 1783, Virginia contracted Thomas Jefferson to divide the Northwest Territories into new states. Jefferson came up with this map. The proposed names of the states are as followed:

    1. Sylvania
    2. Michigan
    3. Chersonesus
    4. Assenisipia
    5. Metropotamia
    6. Illinoia
    7. Saratoga
    8. Washington
    9. Polypotamia
    10. Pelisipia
    11-14. Unknown

    States 11-14 didn't have names because before Jefferson could finish his work, he was called to France as the American minister. Jefferson's successor to this project, James Monroe, split the Northwest Territories into a small number of states. Over the years, changes were made until we got the current states we have now. I got a few WI questions regarding this.

    1. WI Jefferson had completed his work? What could the other four states' names be? And would the US government form the Northwest Territories into Jefferson's states?
    2. WI Monroe's plan (can anybody find a map or information about his plan?) was adopted? We'd probably end up with the same states, maybe with different names, though.
    3. WI Jefferson's plan was adopted? Would states 11 and 12 form Tennessee and 13 and 14 form Mississippi, or would they be given new names. This is pretty much the same as option 1, though
    4. WI some body else, say Franklin, was invited to draw up the plans. What do you think it would look like?

    If we took option number one or three, what would the other four state names be? Here are some of my suggestions:

    1. State 11: Tennessee of Cumberland
    2. State 12: Franklin or Cumberland
    3. State 13: Mississippi or North Mississippi
    4. State 14: West Florida, Franklin, or South Mississippi
    5. Merge states 11 and 12 to form the state of Tennessee, Cumberland, or Franklin.
    6. Merge states 13 and 14 to form the state of Mississippi.

    If we took option number four with Franklin or somebody else, what would the number of states be? What would be there names, and were would they be? If Jefferson's, or somebody else's plan, was adopted, what effect would that have on the development of the United States?

    And what would the capital of those states be? Here are some suggestions:

    1. Green Bay or Saint Paul
    2. Milwaukee
    3. ?
    4. Chicago
    5. Detroit or Lansing
    6. Springfield
    7. Indianapolis (different name?)
    8. Columbus
    9. ?
    10. Lexington
    11. Memphis
    12. Nashville
    13. ?
    14. Jackson
    10 & 11. Lexington
    13 & 14. Jackson

    Oh, and what about flags?

    All this information came from here.

  2. Beck Reilly . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Jan 2, 2004
    Boston, Massachusetts
    On March 1, 1784, Thomas Jefferson, then a member of the Continental Congress, reported to Congress a temporary plan of government, but no plan was accepted until the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The ordinance provided for the formation of not less than three, nor more than five, states. It defined the boundaries of these states, forbade slavery in the territory, and set at 60,000 free inhabitants the population requirement for statehood there.

    I doubt Jefferson's divisions would have been acted on. There were too many territories and it would have taken way too long to build up a free population of 60,000 in each. His divisions were also unrealistic in that they were too geometrical. They didn't rely enough on the natural barriers which exist between OTL's states (i.e. rivers, mountains, etc.).
  3. Archangel Michael Has a gif for that

    Jan 3, 2004
    Maybe not a complete version fo Jefferson's plan, maybe a modified on with maybe six states.

    Here's something I found looking up the term 'Pelipsia':

    "Jefferson did try to turn the Middle West into a bunch of straight-sided states with awful Greco-Roman names like Pelipsia, Cheronesus, Metropotamia, Polypotamia, and Assenisipia."-Charles E. Little, Albuqureque Tribune
  4. Melvin Loh Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Darwin, NT, Australia
    Transylvania and Vandalia ?

    Weren't there also other proposed new territory/state names like Transylvania and Vandalia ?
  5. Landshark The Falcon!

    Jan 1, 2004
    The United Kingdom
    At least four of Jefferson's propsed names sound like medical conditions.
    CtrlAltHistory likes this.
  6. David S Poepoe Banned

    Jan 1, 2004
    El Segundo, California
    Yes they were. They were names suggested for possible colonies pre-independence. They wouldn't have been in the Northwest Territory area, but those lands between the Ohio River and the Appalachians.
  7. tom Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Twinsburg, Ohio
    I vant to dlink your bloot.
  8. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

    Jan 1, 2004
    Deepest Wales
    I can't see Green Bay OR Saint Paul as a name for a state

    Grey Wolf
  9. Archangel Michael Has a gif for that

    Jan 3, 2004
    Were are you getting that?
  10. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

    Jan 1, 2004
    Deepest Wales
    Um they were listed as the only options for one of the states in a post below, but neither feels right to me. One name sounds too religious, the other sounds too 'modern' - can you imagine a STATE called Green Bay ? It would ptobably have some kind of Indian name being up there

    Grey Wolf
  11. David S Poepoe Banned

    Jan 1, 2004
    El Segundo, California
    All the 'what that..', 'what this..' and 'what would be the name of..' of this WI sounds vaguely Confederateflyish - which isn't a complement.

    That being said. Had the states been formed as they are proposed the citizens of the region would choose the capital. Its entirely likely, as in California for example, the capital would would wander about for several years before finally some city bagged it. Of the potential capitals listed there is no indication, from the POV of the late 18th century or even the 19th, that those particular cities will be prosperous and warrant consideration as possible capital locations. On top of that there's usually efforts not to place capitals in major cities, since those living in the country will fear that their interests will not be protected, the usual country vs. city mentality.

    So going over the map and looking a possible locations, usually centralized in the more regularly formed states, I suggest or nominate:

    1. Duluth, or even Superior, theres a cluster of cities there. Nicely centralized. Not Green Bay or Saint Paul, if you look really carefully neither are located in the state!

    2. Madison or Adams. Centralized.

    3. Saginaw or Bay City. Saginaw sounds better. Centralized.

    4. Mendota or De Kalb. Aurora has a nice sound to it also.

    5. Toledo, Ann Arbor, Tecumseh or even Kalamazoo. Centralized. Many to choose from here. Definitely not Detroit. No capitals close to foreign borders where they can be seized easily. There is the city of Cassopolis which would fit in since it 'sounds right' in the Jeffersonian plan.

    6. Springfield. Fits the criteria.

    7. Indianapolis (different name?). Fits criteria.

    8. Columbus. Fits the criteria.

    9. Mount Vernon or Centralia. Fits criteria.

    10. Louisville. More centralized than Lexington and on the Ohio River. Important for commerce. Tho nearby Jeffersonville or New Albany seem fine.

    11. Jackson. Centralized and not near a border as Memphis. Alternatives: Lexington or Trenton.

    12. Nashville, possibly, tho Columbia, Murfreesboro and Shelbyville also would work. Tho nearby Springfield would probably work also.

    13. Grenada or Winona. Fits criteria.

    14. Jackson. Fits criteria.
  12. DocOrlando Turgid

    May 19, 2004
    Those were in the list of CITY NAMES for potential capitals, not STATE names. Read a bit closer.

    ETA: And, for the record, St. Paul is the state capital of Minnesota. Green Bay is a city in upstate Wisconsin, home of Lambeau Field and the mighty Green Bay Packers.