Prof. Andrew Shears' 124 States of America map, used with permission and courtesy the author at


(NPN) -- Question: What’s North and South Dakota divided by three plus a chunk of Montana?

Answer: Dakota, Pembina and Chippewa, states that were at one time or another proposed during America’s history.

Mansfield University geography professor Andrew Shears recently assembled a map he calls the 124 States of America in his recent online article, “From Absaroka to Yazoo: The 124 United States That Could've Been.”

Based on Shears’ research, Dakota would have been just South Dakota, with Pembina in eastern and northern North Dakota into eastern Montana with the Missouri River as a southern border from Chippewa, which would have been about the top 2/3s of Montana and the southwestern 1/4th of North Dakota.

Shears writes that his inspiration came from Wikipedia’s List of U.S. State Partition Proposals.

“For a geographer/cartographer who's a U.S.-specialist and who's interested in alternate history, this was Kryptonite for my productivity,” Shears noted. “From this list, I stumbled onto listings for U.S. Territories that Failed to Become States and the listing for the hypothetical 51st State. I even came across a nice little book called Lost States, a humorous account from Michael Trinklein that briefly explores a number of random states that never quite happened.”

Shears calls his map and article an “alternative history” of the United States, something that you might see featured on an episode of Star Trek.To read his article and map, browse