Lawrence Thurston was a captain in the U. S. Army stationed near Seattle, Washington on the date of the Change. He was sent to Idaho. When collapse became apparent, he returned to Seattle to rescue his wife Cecile and son Martin. He promoted himself to general and established Boise as the provisional capital of the United States of America. Through force of will, he created what others referred to as the United States of Boise.
Thurston modeled his post Change Army on the Roman Legions. The army so closely resembled a Roman Army that both Rudi, and Mathilda noted that they knew what book he must have read. Thurston himself was very popular among his own soldiers to the point of being the living embodiment of Boise. Before Thurstan's death, he had plans to open elections for a Congress and Presidential seats. He was unable to implement this however before his older son betrayed and murdered him.