Free State Wyoming
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Free State Wyoming (FSW) is a political migration project whose goal is to bring people of "demonstrably ethical character" to the state of Wyoming in the western United States to encourage "political liberty, free trade and voluntary cooperation."
The idea for Free State Wyoming was conceived by Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T. Party). He remains the prominent figure in the promotion and organization of the FSW, while avoiding the "cult of personality" question. "I am not a leader, because I do not want followers," Royce explained.
Royce began research in 1997 on his novel Molôn Labé!—which depicts freedom lovers moving to Wyoming and taking political power by use of the ballot box—several years prior to the Free State Project (FSP). He founded the FSW shortly after October 1, 2003 when the members of the FSP selected New Hampshire as the focus of their efforts. Wyoming placed second in the deciding vote garnering 498 votes, 251 votes short of New Hampshire's 749 votes.
In 2005, the FSW minted a unique one-ounce .999 silver commemorative coin. The 1,000-coin mint run of 2005 sold out by October 2006.
The FSW is active through the FSW Forum as well as through Jamborees and meetings within Wyoming.
The FSW does not advocate a specific list of political goals, however a possible outline is found in the novel Molôn Labé! by Boston T. Party. Aside from information in the Statement of Intent, the goals of the FSW may be stated broadly as:
- Constitutional restoration and strict Bill of Rights enforcement
- personal liberty within capitalism
- property rights
- small government
The FSW seeks to accomplish these goals by involvement in local and state politics and electing favored candidates to political office; but more importantly, by attempting to live as free individuals would. The FSW has chosen to focus initially on the Wyoming counties of Crook (primarily), Weston and Hot Springs. Boston T. Party's top choices of counties are Crook County, Wyoming, Johnson County, Wyoming, a tie between Sublette County, Wyoming with Weston County, Wyoming, Converse County, Wyoming, and Hot Springs County, Wyoming. Other counties in his detailed analysis are Niobrara County, Wyoming, Platte County, Wyoming, Washakie County, Wyoming, Big Horn County, Wyoming, Converse County, Wyoming, Goshen County, Wyoming, Teton County, Wyoming, and Lincoln County, Wyoming.
Each of these counties was selected for reasons including its small population, current political environment, perceived support for the FSW's goals and feasibility of migration. While in June 2005 the entire state was opened for membership purposes in FSW, these counties remain a focus of the group.
Statement of Intent
The Statement of Intent is a statement which one must sign and submit in order to officially join the Free State Wyoming. The Statement of Intent reads as follows:
I solemnly pledge that I am able and willing to join the Free State Wyoming and its effort to populate Wyoming with individuals of demonstrably ethical character who — forsaking fraud, theft and aggression — desire to peaceably co-exist as reasonable neighbors for the goals of political liberty, free trade, and voluntary cooperation.
By hereby joining the Free State Wyoming, I solemnly pledge my best effort to legally establish bona fide voting Wyoming residency (preferably in Crook, Weston, or Hot Springs county) no later than seven years from today.
While early on in the group's history it required people to print out, sign, and mail the statement of intent,along with $25, now one must simply post ten times on their forum, and then typing out the statement of intent and posting it on the forum.
Members and associates who joined under the old mail-in method are now known as founding members and founding associates on the forum.
- Free State Project
- Free West Alliance
- American Redoubt
- Political migration
- Party, Boston T. (1997–2004), Molon Labe!. Ignacio, Colorado: Javelin Press. ISBN 1-888766-07-7