Oregon Surf Red Alders Logs on Beach Autumn Thicket Wet Sand Formation Trees in Fog Yaquina Bridge Bluff Lettuce Depoe Bay
Kelp and Log Coast Redwoods #1 Sea Stacks Gnarled, Mossy Trees Click images to enlarge Creekmouth on Beach Coast Redwoods #2 Mendocino Humboldt Redwood Forest

State of Jefferson

A Project of the Distant Pacific Series


Many residents of the northernmost counties of California claim that Sacramento neglects their priorities and that San Francisco and Los Angeles offend their sensibilities. Some Southern Oregonians cite the same complaints about Salem and Portland. It is a distinct political region divided by an artificial border at the 42nd Parallel, and this sense of common cause has fomented a longstanding movement to form a new state.

Secessionists came close to succeeding in the fall of 1941. At that time, the issue of contention was the failure of California and Oregon to pave the roads leading to the region's mineral resources. They selected a name (Jefferson), capital (Yreka), and governor. More importantly, they attracted national media.

But when newsreels were scheduled to run their story nationally—something more newsworthy happened: the attack on Pearl Harbor. That and the death of the movement's charismatic leader Gilbert Gable ended the effort for the time being.

Jefferson is not a state yet but is an established "state of mind." It includes most of the Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and some stunning coastline. There is also a vast mountain interior that I have not visited, which is why it is not represented in these photographs.



Related Links

Information about Jefferson from a pro-secessionist perspective, with links to original documents

In depth history that starts with an agreement between the United States and Spain in 1819