It comes as a shock to hear of the passing of Thomas H. Naylor in his 76th year of a sudden stroke on December 14, 2012.
Thomas will go down in secessionist history as the founder of the Second Vermont Republic. What is not so widely known is that he was also the co-founder of the notion for Novacadia, the anticipated secessionist breakaway consisting of the Kanadian Maritime provinces and the three New England states of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
Thomas had published an essay in the fall of 2007 identifying the bioregion of Novacadia, but having called it “New Acadia.” In the summer of 2008, during the lead-in to the Third North American Secessionist Conference, Thomas and I spoke several times via telephone. I suggested to him that “New Acadia” was top-heavy with a French ethnic identity and that “Novacadia” would retain the French while also incorporating the Scots and English identities. He had no problem with making this change. The concept was introduced by me as part of a presentation made at the ensuing Secessionist Conference in the fall of that year in Manchester, NH. Within a year, the notion of “Novacadia” had been picked up by the Wall Street Journal. Novacadia was in the world.
Thomas Naylor was a courageous pioneer. We differed on some things, agreed on others, as these things tend to go. His work will be carried on by Dennis Steele and the other Vermonters of the next generation who have gathered under the Second Vermont Republic banner. I recall during one conversation that Thomas was convinced that he would live to see the day of an independent and free Vermont. In his heart that was surely the case.