Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas (based in Overton, TX): They are a constitutional republic, whose current President is Daniel A. Miller. The movement began in West Texas when the residents of Jeff Davis County began a legal process in April of 1994 to regain the state and secure its transition into a Republic. The inception of its Provisional Government was on December 12/13, 1995, when delegates met in Bulverde (near San Antonio) to elect its members; this was also when the final documents which were meant to reinstate Texas as a Republic were filed with the International Court of Justice, at the Hague. On the 27th of that month, John C. VanKirk, standing on the steps of the state Capitol, proclaimed Texas a neutral nation unto itself. According to the ROT, “In 1836, the Republic of Texas separated from Mexico and became a separate nation.” This lasted until 1845, when the ROT “was supposedly brought into the union by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Then in 1861, the Republic of Texas decided to annul that agreement, and left the United States to resume its former status as a sovereign nation.” They formed an alliance with the Confederate States, without actually becoming one. In 1865, after the Civil War, “The United States invaded the Republic of Texas, conquering it with military force, and holding it as a captive nation.” The ROT's patriotic adherents believe the annexation of Texas in 1845 was illegal and invalid, therefore they do not recognize Texas statehood. The Republic “never died — it was just covered up with a blanket called the State of Texas for a century and a half.” Their modern mission, in spite of the fact that in April of 1996 a U.S. District Judge ruled that the ROT was an unincorporated company/business and not a sovereign nation, is “to restore freedom and liberty to Texas” by attempting to “throw off that dusty blanket and come back into the light”. In 1996, the group even addressed a letter to “All Nations of the World” and to the U.N. General Assembly, notifying them of its official flag, symbols, emblems, and military insignia. Also in December of that year, they had sterling silver “Ranger” badges manufactured for their “Defense Forces”. The items, which were made even though this was prohibited by law, were never delivered; the group did not fully pay for them, leaving the Austin jewelers — whose business had by then been threatened with destruction — stuck with an inventory of 75 badges they couldn't sell. To make matters worse for the ROT, at around the same time their mail delivery was even cut off or “temporarily disrupted” by Postal officials.
For numerous months, the Republic remained beset with internal bickering and chaos among its own ranks. The leaders, though appearing to have the same earnest objectives, had been driven apart by their own incompatible policies/activities into separate, squabbling factions; conciliation, for the time being, was out of the question. Depending on who tossed whom out of office, and who fired/suspended/replaced whom in retaliation, at least 3 or 4 major rival factions arose. The older “provisional government” was led by Archie Lowe (who was the successor to VanKirk, who was dethroned in March of 1996, and who'd been linked by federal authorities to the right-wing Freemen of Montana). The newer “provisional government” was led by David Johnson (who left the Lowe-McLaren faction in the fall of '96) and then Jesse Enloe. There was also a “provisional government” led by Boyce Halbison (elected in April of '97) and then by Steven Crear (appointed President in May of '97 by McLaren). They all claimed to be the main arm of the movement. This split in the leadership seemed to indicate that the ROT was beginning to self-destruct.
The organization also weathered a mounting series of ongoing clashes with the judicial system. In July of 1996, A State District Judge was forced to disband the self-proclaimed Supreme Court of the ROT, issuing a permanent injunction that forbade their 5 “justices” from making rulings and barred them from passing themselves off as judges or a genuine court, or using any purported seal of the state to give a realistic appearance to any of their documents. In another legal quandary which took place that same month, Attorney General Dan Morales instituted an action in the District Court which resulted in his obtaining a temporary restraining order against the group, prohibiting them from filing false liens against public or private property. In October the courts also ordered the group to rescind and recant letters sent to about 175 banks, which had instructed them to transfer/reassign all monetary assets held by the state, its agencies and political subdivisions, to the group. Apart from trying to seize state bank accounts, they were making use of phony court judgments, tampering with government records, interfering with property sales and restraining trade. The Johnson faction did contend that Richard Lance McLaren, their Chief Ambassador and Consul General, was behind many of those offences. He and his accomplices from the Lowe faction, “in a crazed and unintelligent move”, supposedly acted unconstitutionally by entering into a conspiracy to create the “Republic of Texas Trust”, which was done in secrecy, completely without the knowledge of the Provisional Government. Once the ROT became aware of this, they took several protective measures against their underhanded doings and disassociated themselves from the culprits and their wrongful acts. This ultimately led to the impeachment of McLaren and other members of the council. McLaren and his conspirators were ultimately accused of issuing more than $1.8 billion in bogus documents. “We're going to do this thing 100 percent legal,” vowed Johnson, but some individuals in his faction apparently were not squeaky-clean either; they were also being investigated for possible banking law violations by selling about 60 Republic banking charters, which were not recognized by federal or state regulators, for $2,000 each. By January of 1997, Governor George W. Bush and his Attorney General declared the issue an “emergency”, which cleared the way for lawmakers to make it a high priority and give it immediate attention, in the hopes of passing legislation that would crack down on the group's filing of fraudulent documents (which they described as “paper terrorism”). These types of transgressions only exacerbated the political/philosophical differences within the fractured ROT, making reunification in the foreseeable future seem highly unlikely.
The ROT is a true-blue secessionist movement, and some of these anti-government separatists have gone to vehement extremes to prove their seriousness about being a fully independent country. In 1997, they again made headlines when a “rogue faction” led by McLaren staged a week-long siege at his compound deep in the Davis Mountains; this metal building in a resort development was the “Embassy of the Republic of Texas, Office of Foreign Affairs”. McLaren, who was wanted on a burglary charge (in August of 1995, he helped a woman break into the house she, due to foreclosure, no longer owned) and who was no stranger to the courthouse or the jailhouse, had been entrenched there since December of '96 because a federal judge had issued an arrest warrant against him after he refused to appear at civil court hearings. On March 22, 1997, the self-styled commander had already been expelled by several leaders of the original group for trying to “usurp authority” and wanting to steer the group into a perilously criminal direction. In the past, McLaren had been careful to insist that the ROT was simply waging a paper war, but he now advocated an alignment with militias and plotted a violent strategy to remove the federal government from their Texan turf. Public officials and his fellow ROT members had begun expressing concern that his dangerously risky rhetoric could evolve into a shooting. It was largely for those reasons, as well as the financial matters, that the ROT became so intensely divided. Ousted, McLaren then formed his own breakaway clique, comprised of 12-20 militia members who swore allegiance to the wiry-haired McLaren and continued to consider him the ROT's actual leader. They now found themselves holed up in their “embassy” (this scene of the siege was sold at auction to The Nature Conservancy of Texas in 1998). Their insurrection occurred because two of their cohorts had been arrested by law-enforcement officers. McLaren and his “Defense Forces” then took two neighbors as hostages on April 27; the militant group was then surrounded by police and Texas Rangers; one sheriff was even quoted saying that he was prepared to take “extreme measures” to arrest the wanted man. McLaren, who had renounced his U.S. citizenship, issued a faxed press release in which they asserted that the arrests were a “violation of international law.” He and his group demanded the release of their two comrades and an unconditional statewide referendum for voters to decide on the independence of Texas. “We are in a declared state of war,” McLaren said during the uprising. “We have two prisoners of war. They have two of ours.” McLaren had even ordered his loyalists to begin picking up federal judges, legislators, and IRS agents — all considered “foreigners” — for “immediate deportation” if they were found on Texas soil. Officers negotiated with the furious group by telephone, and after 12 hours McLaren agreed to release the hostages, one of whom had been wounded during the assault by flying shards of glass, in exchange for one of his jailed men. Despite having vowed to fight to the death, McLaren ended the highly publicized revolt on May 3rd by signing a cease-fire agreement and by turning himself over to police about five hours after his wife had surrendered. Meanwhile, two of his camouflaged, armed followers fled from the hideout into the juniper and pine slopes that dotted the landscape of this remote area. A massive manhunt ensued, and one of the fugitives was killed during an exchange of gunfire with authorities. McLaren's imprisonment dampened his partisans' fervor, but in a statement addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, they denounced McLaren's arrest as an “unlawful attack” on a Republic citizen. Even after he began serving a 99-year state term for his role in the kidnapping, in June of 1998 McLaren was sentenced to 12 additional years in federal prison on state and federal conspiracy/fraud charges; he was also ordered to pay $426,000 in restitution to those he defrauded. The sensible members of the legitimate and lawful ROT, who “were misinformed and grossly led astray” by McLaren, even charged him with high treason, sedition and five other offenses. McLaren and his aggressively headstrong associates were but a “splinter cell” of the Republic and did not represent the peaceful values and beliefs of the Interim Government. In fact, the ROT disavowed all of the maverick's latest actions. After the dust had settled, it was even disclosed that there was a plot to assassinate, among other individuals, George W. Bush. McLaren had tried to purchase machine guns and more powerful weaponry such as an anti-aircraft missile to target the future president's plane. In a related topic, 2 ROT members were convicted in Oct. 1998 of sending threatening e-mails to top federal, state, local employees and their families (including President Clinton, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and FBI Director Louis Freeh), but acquitted on numerous other charges all related to an alleged plot to slay government officials using cactus needles coated with a deadly biological toxin; they'd planned to infect their unsuspecting victims by shooting the poisoned, germ-tipped darts out of a modified cigarette lighter.
Most of this information was garnered from a fantastic Web-site: It contains a wealth of articles from many sources, including The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, and The Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Since the siege, and during subsequent trials, the mainstream press has perhaps failed to present the ROT case with balance and impartiality. “The Fort Davis standoff has been very difficult for us to live down,” stated Miller, who was unanimously elected President of their Interim Government in August of 2000 after the resignation of Lowe. Miller and other group leaders try to distance their respective organizations from radical tactics and McLaren. Both groups reiterated that McLaren had been stripped of his authority. “It appears that Richard McLaren and those acting with him have gone completely off the deep end,” one of them stated. They insist the Republic of Texas in Overton is “kinder and gentler” and that its citizens will work within the system to achieve their overall goals. Under Miller's guidance, this wing of the ROT is making a successful comeback. Even Overton Chief of Police Ed Williams states that the ROT have basically been “good neighbors who have contributed to the community”. According to Texan Arise — The Republic of Texas: Past, Present and Future, a book written by President Miller and Vice President Lauren L. Savage, by mid-2002, at least 2 of the disputing factions set aside their ideological disagreements and joined together. By mid-2003, a newly revitalized ROT “made an about-face”; they successfully regrouped and began to reassess their means, their aims, and their true intent. It became clear to them “that a fundamental change in direction had to occur”; this included admitting that during its first 8 years, the ROT had “accomplished next to nothing” and that the previous councils “had taken the wrong path” due to the misguided zeal of its leaders. In 2004, the remaining knavish persons who still wanted to do things the old, shady way (in the re-united faction and in the 3rd “other” faction) were expelled from the movement. The ROT sent them termination notices, sued them, and won the lawsuit.
There has been no shortage of other obstacles for the Republic to overcome along the way, such as an attempted coup in June 2004: a small group from the “white-male supremacist” faction, pretending to be visitors, tried to enter the capitol building (previously a municipal hospital) to assume control. The takeover did not succeed. Furthermore, the ROT claims that in October of 2001, they “possibly became one of the first victims in the United States Government's war against dissident groups on what it perceives to be it's own soil. The national website was taken down and our email was totally shut down. Most of the files that we use to publish the website were deleted.” So if you try to visit their Web-site and it's not available, you'll know why!
I purchased 3 items from Mr. Savage. To begin with, their Treasury minted its 1st silver coin “to be used as coinage (money) within the Republic of Texas.” It is a 1/8th of an ounce Texas Silver piece dated 2003. It has since been discontinued because it did not fall into any monetary system:
Secondly, “the citizens of the Republic of Texas movement minted their first silver coin.”
According to Mike Chapman (, who happens to be a coin collector for ROT, explains that the ROT issued a limited series of coins in 1997, the same type were also issued in 2003, but with different markings. The 1997 coin minted is having description on one side as "Remember the Alamo. Remember La Bahia (Collad) T.I. Rusk".
Another 1 ounce “One R.T. Unit” dated 1999 can been seen at: That piece was intended solely for collectors; the same goes for their next coin, a “Remember the Alamo” R.T. Unit, which was minted in 2000. This coin seems to be no longer available for purchase, but it can still be seen at:
Then there is the first piece minted by their Treasury “and ordered to be a coin of the RT monetary system.” It is a 2004 (actually undated) One Gerah, which corresponds in value to 1/20th of a Texas Shekel (as well as 1/20th of an ounce of pure silver). To quote Mr. Savage, this newly adopted “money system was based upon the oldest known system in history...back to ancient Mesopotamia...It was employed by many countries and adopted by ancient Israel, too. According to our treasurer all denominations come out in even divisible numbers — not never-ending decimals. In the future we may ‘texanize’ what the coins are called, but they will be based on the same system.” This coin can be viewed/purchased at the official ROT Web-site: Another ROT site, probably a relic from one of the contending factions, is and
In the end, I would like to thank Erik Victor McCrea for his research, information and for the historical coin.
Chiefa Coins