Jefferson (proposed Pacific state)
||This article or section appears to contradict itself about the proposed borders: text, infobox, and map mix differing ideas, some without references. (November 2012)|
|State of Jefferson
|Nickname(s): State of Mind|
|Capital||Yreka, California (proposed 1941)|
|Largest city||Redding, California|
|Largest metro area||Medford, Oregon|
|Area||Ranked 41st (hypothetical) in the U.S.|
|- Total||67,472 sq mi
|- Width||265 miles (467 km)|
|- Length||113 miles (182 km)|
|- % water||Unknown|
|- Latitude||38°45'N to 43°57'N|
|- Longitude||119°18'W to 124°25'W|
|Population||Ranked 51st (hypothetical) in the U.S.|
|- Density||6.27/sq mi (2.49/km2)
Ranked 48th (hypothetical) in the U.S.
|- Highest point||Mount Shasta
14,179 ft (4316.58 m)
|- Mean||7,081 ft (2158.29 m)|
|- Lowest point||sea level|
|Admission to Union||(Not admitted)|
|- Upper house||None|
|- Lower house||None|
|U.S. House delegation||None (list)|
|Time zone||Pacific: UTC-8/-7|
The State of Jefferson was a proposed U.S. state that would span the contiguous, mostly rural area of southern Oregon and northern California, where several attempts to secede from Oregon and California, respectively, have taken place in order to gain own statehood.
This region on the Pacific Coast is the most famous of several that have sought to adopt the name of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson sent the Lewis and Clark expedition into the Pacific Northwest in 1803, and envisioned the establishment of an independent nation in the western portion of North America which he dubbed the "Republic of the Pacific", hence the association of his name with regional autonomy. The independence movement (rather than statehood) is instead known as Cascadia.
The name "Jefferson" has also been used for other proposed states: the name was proposed in the 19th century for Jefferson Territory (roughly modern Colorado), as well as in 1915 in a bill in the Texas legislature for a proposed state that would be created from the Texas Panhandle region.
20th century 
In October 1941, the mayor of Port Orford, Oregon, Gilbert Gable, announced that the Oregon counties of Curry, Josephine, Jackson, and Klamath should join with the California counties of Del Norte, Siskiyou, and Modoc to form a new state, later named Jefferson.
On November 27, 1941, a group of young men gained national media attention when, brandishing hunting rifles for dramatic effect, they stopped traffic on U.S. Route 99 south of Yreka, and handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence, stating that the state of Jefferson was in "patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon" and would continue to "secede every Thursday until further notice."
The secession movement came to an abrupt end, though not before John C. Childs of Yreka was inaugurated as the governor of the State of Jefferson. The first blow was the death of Mayor Gable on December 2, followed five days later by the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7. Secessionists focused their efforts on the war effort, which crippled the movement. Coincidentally, the "state of Jefferson" was one of the few places in the continental USA to be the subject of an attack during World War II, when Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs on the Oregon Coast near Brookings on September 9, 1942.
As described by James V. Risser in a 2003 American Journalism Review article:
The "state" is diverse politically, with a mixture of conservatives and liberals. Many share the Westerner's common disdain of government and politics. "Politicians and diapers need to be changed often for the same reason," reads one bumper sticker. And many also share a desire to hang on to the landscape that draws both residents and tourists to an area that stretches from the stunning Oregon coast to ethereal Crater Lake and down to California's towering Mt. Shasta. The region retains this identity reinforced by institutions such as Jefferson Public Radio.
The Jefferson area has preferred Republican presidential candidates in recent decades, contrary to the consistent Democratic-lean of California and Oregon as a whole. The state plurality have voted for Democrats in every election in California since 1992 and in Oregon since 1988. However, Republican candidates have carried the seven counties of the Jefferson proposal since 1996, except for a close Democratic victory in Jackson County in 2008. Ross Perot, a third-party presidential candidate, fared better in this region in 1992 than he did on average nationwide.
Jefferson is commemorated by the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway between Yreka and O'Brien, Oregon, which runs 109 miles along State Route 96 and U.S. Forest Service Primary Route 48. Near the California - Oregon border, a turnout provides scenic views of the Klamath River valley and three informative display signs about the republic.
As of the 2010 Census, if the Jefferson counties were a state, the state's population would be 457,859 – smaller than any state at the time. Approximately 82% of those residents live in Oregon. Its land area would be 23,193.76 square miles (60,071.6 km2) – a little smaller than West Virginia. The area is almost evenly divided between Oregon and California. Its population density would be 19.74 inhabitants per square mile (7.62 /km2) – comparable to Idaho.
In 1989, KSOR, the National Public Radio member station based at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, near Medford, rebranded itself as Jefferson Public Radio. It had built a massive network of transmitters over the last decade, and had recently realized that its service area was virtually coextensive with the old State of Jefferson. Though it bears the Jefferson name, the programming often does not reflect the ideals of the Jefferson populace. In the Fall of 2010, Jefferson Public Radio was rumored to have attempted to buy KSYC-FM, the primary radio station in Siskiyou County. Public outcry over the purchase by the left leaning Jefferson Public Radio, and a vote by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors against purchase, caused JPR to withdraw its offer. The circumstances surrounding the attempted purchase are reflective of the division between the traditional conservative views of the Jefferson population, and the views of those who have migrated in from the more left-leaning west coast areas outside of the Jefferson area.
Flag and seal 
The field of the flag is green, and the charge is the Seal of the State of Jefferson: a gold mining pan with the words "The Great Seal Of State Of Jefferson" engraved into the lip, and two Xs askew of each other. The two Xs are known as the "Double Cross", and signifies the region's sense of abandonment from the state governments in both Salem, Oregon and Sacramento, California.
See also 
- Jefferson (proposed Mountain state)
- Jefferson (proposed Southern state)
- Absaroka (proposed state)
- Franklin (proposed state)
- Lincoln (proposed Northwestern state)
- Lincoln (proposed Southern state)
- Upstate California
- Cascadia (independence movement)
- American Redoubt
- Northwest Territorial Imperative
- List of U.S. state partition proposals
- "Beginnings of Self-Government". End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- Division of Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Hall, Christopher: "A Jefferson State of Mind," Via: AAA Traveler's Companion, Sept. 2003
- D'Souza, Tony (December 11, 2008). "State of Jefferson dreams were dashed by Pearl Harbor". Mount Shasta Herald. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Holt, Tim (June 24, 2011). "A modest proposal -- downsize California!". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Oregon State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/exhibits/ww2/threat/bombs.htm
- Risser, James V. (April 2003). "Public Radio Paradise". American Journalism Review.
- Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Accessed November 21, 2012. California county-by-county results: 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992.
Oregon county-by-county results: 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992.
- Using the 2010 Census QuickFacts figures for each of the following counties: Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc.
"DataSet.txt". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2012. (See "Download the Database" for an explanation of this data set.)
Further reading 
- James T. Rock. The State of Jefferson: the Dream Lives on! Siskiyou County Museum, 1999.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: State of Jefferson|
- Jefferson Public Radio on the State of Jefferson
- State Of Jefferson Home Page The Jefferson Statehood Project
- Museum of the Siskiyou Trail
- Jefferson State website
- Jefferson Public Radio
- State of Jefferson by Ian Jones
- The Mythical State of Jefferson by Megan Shaw at Bad Subjects
- A State of Mind:Exploring the untamed wonders of Jefferson by Glenn Garnett at CottageLink Magazine
- A Jefferson State of Mind by Christopher Hall at AAA's Via Magazine
- The Jefferson Proposal Official Jefferson State Joint Committee website[dead link]
- The State of Jefferson Images of America series (Google Books)