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County secessions?


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After finding an older map and discovering that La Paz County, Arizona is only 20 years old, I went looking for the newest county (apparently Broomfield, Colorado, created in 2001) and I found several current secessionist movements in counties on the West Coast.

In Snohomish, Washington, rural residents declared Freedom County several years ago, but it has yet to be recognized because it was not properly submitted to the government.

Also in Washington, rural King County residents are looking to form their own Cascade County. A proposal was rejected in 1999, but it's apparently back this year.

In California, northern Santa Barbara County (Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez) is looking to form its own Mission County. This has been an ongoing drama and is a result of, as the previous examples, virtually polar opposite political viewpoints in the respective areas and apathy towards the county seat (Santa Barbara is a very liberal college town while Santa Maria and Lompoc are more conservative, military towns).

I find this fascinating that counties actually secede. Are there any other examples? Maybe on the East Coast?

I've always thought that some CA and AZ counties should split up, especially San Bernardino and Riverside in CA. Those are just too big.

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That is kind of interesting.

Often the reasoning behind these secessions though is to group like people together so they have more force as a group. I don't think that's such a good idea.

But then again.. sometimes your interests are underrepresented because you live ina county that is run by a majority with completely different interests (like the city/farming divide in many California counties.)

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Some people in northern Fulton County (the seat of which is Atlanta) might try to split off from Fulton and form Milton County as it used to be. You see, Fulton County makes an interesting case study for counties. First of all, it is very irregularly shaped:


Secondly, the current fulton was formed from the merger of three counties back in the 1930's, Fulton, Milton, and Campbell because Milton and Campbell were no longer able to support themselves:




And it is very unevenly populated. Most of the residents live in Atlanta or North Fulton. Most of the wealis found in Atlanta and Northern Fulton, and the pooer families tend to live on the sparsely populated southside.

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Interesting county secession here:
  • During the Civil War, residents of Winston County, Alabama disagreed with the idea of slavery and Alabama's decision to seced, so they seceded from the state itself. Thus, today, Winston County, which later rejoined the state, is known as the "Free State of Winston County" in some circles.


This has actually happened a lot in the past. The State of Franklin emerged in the 18th century when Tennessee was still part of North Carolina so that they wouldn't have to pay the war debts. People in that area still sort of fall back on that history of independence.

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After Alabama seceded from the Union in 1861, Winston County seceded from Alabama and declared itself the Free State of Winston (never seceding from the Union). In return, the sons of Winston County were hunted down and killed or conscripted into the Confederate army. For over a hundred years after that war in the 1860s, Winston County was the only Republican county in Alabama.

The story is told several times each year in a play, "The Incident at Looney's Tavern":


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Back in 1982, the Florida Keys (Monroe County) symbolically seceded from the United States in protest to a Border Patrol station that was set up on the Florida mainland to catch vehicles heading north out of the Keys along US 1, the only major roadway in and out. They were looking for drugs. The mayor of Key West declared the establishment of the Conch Republic and the publicity drew enough attention that soon afterwards the station was removed.

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