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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Suddenly Sunday - The State of Jefferson?

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday. Hope you are having a great weekend. We have been running around after the new kitten all weekend, but he is pretty good and he and the other cat are starting to tolerate each other. I also finished registering for my first Masters class to start in October – Historical Research Methods. Doesn’t sound like a blast but it is the first class I have to take. But at least I am moving forward!

Have any of you ever watched the show on the History Channel – How the States Got their Shapes? I haven’t actually seen any of the episodes but I always see the commercials and say “I should really watch that show” but it so far hasn’t made it farther than that. But one of my coworkers this week was telling me an interesting tidbit from the show, which I didn’t believe at first but now I certainly do, and want to share with you all.

Back in 1941, and a few other times since then, there was a concerted effort to create a new state from several counties in northern California and southern Oregon – the state of Jefferson. This is an area that was heavy with natural resources, but was not an area of either state that was of interest to the governments. In November 1941 these counties got together to talk about seceding from their current states and forming a new state. The name, Jefferson, was selected from entries submitted in a local newspaper contest.

On November 27, 1941, members of the State of Jefferson Citizens Committee set up blockades on Route 99 near Yreka, CA (the proposed capital of Jefferson) and handed out their Proclamation of Independence. Below you can read the content of that Proclamation:
State of Jefferson Proclamation of Independence 
You are now entering Jefferson, the 49th State of the Union.

Jefferson is now in patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon.

This State has seceded from California and Oregon this Thursday, November 27, 1941.
Patriotic Jeffersonians intend to secede each Thursday until further notice.

For the next hundred miles as you drive along Highway 99, you are traveling parallel to the greatest copper belt in the far West, seventy-five miles west of here.
The United States government needs this vital mineral. But gross neglect by California and Oregon deprives us of necessary roads to bring out the copper ore. 
If you don't believe this, drive down the Klamath River Highwayand see for yourself. Take your chains, shovel and dynamite.

Until California and Oregon build a road into the copper country, Jefferson, as a defense minded state, will be forced to rebel each Thursday and act as a separate State.

(Please carry this proclamation with you and pass them out on your way.)
State of Jefferson Citizens Committee
Temporary State Capitol, Yreka

Several major news organizations came to the area to report on this activity. A governor of this state was elected, Judge John Childs, and a parade was held. The newsreels that were created were to begin being shown on December 8, 1941 – but alas, on December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed and the war effort took over front and center. These newsreels were not shown and the people of Jefferson decided that the war effort was of national importance and dropped the issue – for the time.

While Jefferson is not an actual state – it is considered by those that live there to be a state of mind. They have a flag and a seal and there are many signs throughout the area referring to the State of Jefferson.

For additional information about the State of Jefferson you can check out these websites:



You can also check out the following books:

The State of Jefferson by Bernita Tickner – part of the Images of America series

The State of Jefferson: The Dream Lives On! by James T Rock

Suddenly Sunday is hosted by Svea at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews.

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I've never heard of the state of Jefferson before, but that's quite an interesting historical tidbit.

  2. Also new to me -- but fascinating! I'm going to have to do more research on this -- I love this kind of random Americana.

  3. Wooow. I never heard of that before. That IS an interesting historical information.

  4. Ladies - I had not heard of this before and I was shocked. It is quite the piece of trivia for a game show!

  5. I love, love, love watching How The States Got Their Shapes. It's so fascinating!

  6. Very cool! My friend at work said it was a very interesting show. I may check it out On Demand. Look forward to hearing about your class. Sounds daunting yet, interesting :) Very happy and proud of you. Now not to be silly or uneducated or rude, but what is your Masters in and why? Like what do you want to do with it?
    Just curious becuase I LOVE school :)

  7. Meg - I really need to sit down and watch it!

    Jenny - Thanks for the words of encouragement! I am getting my degree in History-Ancient and Classical History. Mostly I selected it because it is an area that I am interested in and in order to eventually get a promotion at my job you need to have a master's degree, but they don't care about what it is in. I got my bachelor's in Criminal Justice, because it was interesting and thought I wanted to go to law school. But that isn't in my game plan anymore - so I chose something else I am interested in. I am pretty excited about it!

  8. We have watched several of the programs. They are quite good. Love learning all the neat little tidbit they bring out. Will have to check out on demand to see if I can catch up on some we have missed.
    Thanks for the interesting post. Didn't I hear some where on the news lately that there is a move afoot to split the state and form a North and a South California?

    Here in NE TN we have the Lost State of Franklin. For a time this area was part of North Carolina but in 1784 it became an independent republic. It did apply to become a state, but fell 2 votes short. It lasted about 4 years.

  9. Librarypat - I did come across something about them wanting to split into possibly 3 states (Northern, Coastal, and Southern). There actually is a really detailed website with all kinds of info if you should be interested here is the link - http://www.phrelin.com/3Cals/Rationale.htm.

    I did not know that about Tennessee. I will have to go take a look at that myself. I have also heard about Maine wanting to separate into Maine (northern part) and Northern Massachusetts (southern part). http://www.wabi.tv/news/10537/maine-lawmaker-proposes-maine-split-into-2-states.

    I find this so fascinating!


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