The fires of secession lit in California’s remote northern Siskiyou County last month (as first reported in this blog) may be spreading. The county’s board of supervisors voted 4-1 on September 3rd (as reported here) to seek separation from the rest of California as the State of Jefferson, with the idea that other counties in northern California and southern Oregon might join in. Talk of northern California splitting off, as either the State of Klamath, the State of Siskiyou, or the State of Shasta, dates to the 1850s, but the far more serious State of Jefferson movement in 1941 aimed to create a 49th state out of California’s three northern border counties and a seven-county block in Oregon’s mountainous southwest. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor chased Jeffersonian statehood off of people’s priority lists, but some feel it may be time again. By now, the idea of splitting from ultra-liberal California is a pipe dream not of farmers and loggers, as in earlier eras, but of Republicans of the Tea Party persuasion who have a beef with the state government’s approaches to guns, taxes, and the environment. California’s usual rural–urban and north–south rifts over water allocation play a role as well.
It took a week or so, but other counties have started chiming in. To Siskiyou’s east, the board of supervisors in Modoc County, which borders both Nevada and Oregon, plans to vote on secession on September 24th. Members of the board of commissioners in Klamath County, one of Oregon’s original “Jefferson” counties, said this week that they found the secession idea appealing and would confer with their Siskiyou counterparts this month or next on the subject. Klamath borders Siskiyou, whose county seat, Yreka, was in 1941 the proposed Jeffersonian state capital.
|I’m not sure this metaphor works. What’s inherently “independent” about toilet paper?|
And who wants their T.P. rough anyway?
|Over the years, proposals for which counties should be in a State of Jefferson have varied.|
|A State of Jefferson flag displayed in the history museum in Klamath County, Oregon|