In Alt-USA, State of Superior is atop the map

United States of Alt-America

Andrew Shears crafted this alternative history map based on the many proposed secessions and subdivisions of states proposed over the more than 200 year history of the United States. You’ll note the existence of the State of Superior, a pet topic of this blog. SOURCE: Andrew Shears

Longtime readers know I’m a sucker for maps. Maps tell us what was, what is, what was known and what was imagined. Maps show what people care about. Maps show what one person cares about.

So, when Dr. Andrew Shears and his alternative history map of the United States show up on my desk, I’ll bite. Sure I will. (Click on the map above for a closer view).

Shears went back through historical accounts to find references toward movements, campaigns or general desires for different versions of states to be created. Some of these alternative scenarios would happen through secession, others through political reorganization. The rapid expansion of the western frontier and the volatility of the civil war could have played out many different ways. All of this is detailed in Shears’ description of how his “map” came to be.

I strongly suspect this was sent my way because Shears identified the late 19th Century movement to create a State of Superior in what is now northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I’ve written about the State of Superior before, and on the plausibility scale, this one had a real chance back in the 1800s, especially had the right people known about the mineral wealth to be found in this place. (The region was widely considered an impossible frontier by American leaders at the time).


Event: Superior joins the union as the 74th state.

Differences from Timeline Alpha: The Upper Peninsula of Michigan joined with the northern counties of Wisconsin and the “Arrowhead” of Minnesota to secede from their states and form the new state of Superior.

Unfortunately, Shears’ interpretation of the State of Superior would have drawn the line at St. Louis County, leaving my Itasca County home outside the border of my fantasy state. On the other hand, had this version of reality happened I’d probably be waiting in the willows to fire an old pistol at a passing train full of pensioners headed to the state casinos. Maybe today would be the day they’d throw food. Maybe.

Alternative histories are fun.

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