I’m interested in studying various secessionist movements in American history. Here’s one I just discovered. I’ve transcribed the awkwardly worded marker and have a photo of it. (I go through Van Zandt County often).
The Free State of Van Zandt
Pioneer nickname appropriate to this areas many
freedoms – particularly from want and fear. (Food was
obtained with little effor, and although the Indians
fought white men here as late as 1842, the settlers by
1847 slept in the open with no dread of Indians or
wild animals.) According to tradition Van Zandt County
(created 1848) also by a legal accident had freedom
from sharing debts of its parent county, Henderson –
and was proud of that unusual advantage.
Other parts of Texas share “free state” traditions. In
1826 “Republic of Fredonia” was proclaimed in
Nacogdoches and endured for a few weeks along the
Mexican border. Citizens maintained in 1839-1840 “The
Republic of the Rio Grande”. Because it developed
great self-reliance in recurring border troubles
Hidalgo County called itself a Republic, 1852-1872. A
panhandle county formed the secessionist “Free State
of Ochiltree” in the 1890’s.
All secessions have been brief. When Texas in 1845
voted to become a part of the United States, it was
given (but declined) the right to become five states.
Such movements as “The Free State of Van Zandt” soon
lost force. Ten proud years as the Republic of Texas
invoke unusual loyalty to the state.
Here is a photo of that marker:
You can find more information on Van Zandt county here: