Maybe you were not the best history student? The case of Richard Lance McLaren, and his wife Evelyn, demonstrates why it’s important to pay attention, at least just a little bit.
McLaren and his wife, residents of West Texas, apparently forgot that the Lone Star State was, in fact, a state. After appointing himself “Chief Ambassador and Consul General” of the “Republic of Texas,” Mr. McLaren decided the time was right to strike the final blow for independence.
On April 27, 1997, in the name of the Republic of Texas movement, the McLarens and their followers abducted a West Texas couple and held them hostage as “prisoners of war” for 13 hours in the Republic of Texas “embassy” near Fort Davis, Texas. This kidnapping incident led to a seven-day standoff between the Republic of Texas followers and approximately 300 law enforcement officers, and ended in the surrender of the McLarens and most of the Republic of Texas followers.
As part of an “International Agreement and Terms of Cease Fire,” ending the standoff, the would-be revolutionaries earned the right to litigate, once and for all, whether Texas was a free and sovereign nation. The 77 named defendants in their suit included the President, Vice-President, several U.S. Congressmen and Senators, the United States, the Republic of Mexico, and the United Nations. Their choice of forum, naturally, was the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where District Judge Paul L. Friedman, after long and careful deliberation, decided:
In 1845, Texas became the 28th state of the United States of America. The Republic of Texas no longer exists.
Mr. McLaren is now the undisputed Chief Ambassador and Consul General of a ten-by-ten cell, serving a 99-year sentence for kidnapping and other crimes. So kids, pay attention in history class!
The case is McLaren v. U.S. Inc., et al., 2 F.Supp.2d 48 (D.D.C. 1998).