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Altered states: Texlahoma never made it to a map

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: April 13, 2010 at 4:20 am •  Published: April 13, 2010
A new law directs education officials to inculcate the Oklahoma City bombing into history curricula. That’s good, but we hope it doesn’t start a wave of legislative directives on history lessons.

Such as why Texlahoma didn’t become the 49th state.

Texlahoma was a pre-World War II proposal to combine 46 counties in Texas with 23 in western Oklahoma into a state. The capital would have been Amarillo. The idea is one of many — some silly, some serious — covered in "Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Translyvania and Other States That Never Made It” by Michael J. Trinklein.

Sentiment for such a state, possibly including parts of Kansas, has flared through the years as residents in the area feel left out. Similar sentiment in western Illinois, Trinklein writes, led to the idea for a "Forgottonia.”

History books generally don’t mention Texlahoma, but they do cover the 1906 proposal to create a state of Oklahoma next to a state of Sequoyah. Trinklein says Congress nixed that plan as a slap at Indians. But there’s no evidence that Sequoyah would have been less dominated by whites as Oklahoma itself.

A history text titled "The Story of Oklahoma” blames partisan politics in Washington, not racism, for quashing the two-state plan. That book never mentions Texlahoma, but sources from the 1930s did; a term styled as "Tex-La-Homa” referred to Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Assuming Texlahoma had an income tax (Texas doesn’t), people in Guymon would be gearing up to send their returns to Amarillo about now.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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