The Elusive State of Jefferson: A Journey through the 51st State

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Overview

By 1941, a nascent statehood movement began to coalesce into an active and explicit secession campaign seeking to carve from Northern California and Southern Oregon a new State of Jefferson. Yreka, California, home of the secession movement, was named the temporary state capital. Local proponents, Members of the State of Jefferson Citizens Committee, began to stop traffic along Highway 99 at armed roadblocks to pass out political broadsides – their Proclamation of Independence. And, in December of that year, ...
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Elusive State of Jefferson: A Journey through the 51st State

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Overview

By 1941, a nascent statehood movement began to coalesce into an active and explicit secession campaign seeking to carve from Northern California and Southern Oregon a new State of Jefferson. Yreka, California, home of the secession movement, was named the temporary state capital. Local proponents, Members of the State of Jefferson Citizens Committee, began to stop traffic along Highway 99 at armed roadblocks to pass out political broadsides – their Proclamation of Independence. And, in December of that year, Judge John Childs of Crescent City, California, was elected the first Governor of the State of Jefferson.The United States' entry into World War II just days later interrupted this growing movement. News of the bombing of Pearl Harbor replaced the planned coverage of Child's election and overshadowed Jeffersonians perceived marginalization with a national sense of unity. But today what often is referred to as the mythical State of Jefferson remains as both an emblem of the north counties' frustrations and as a cultural signifier that differentiates the region from the rest of California and the nation.Through interviews with residents and travels through the region, Laufer reveals the story of what could have been and the identity of the region that remains even more than sixty years after the apex of the movement.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Entertaining, lively, and astute, Peter Laufer's journey exposes the varied people and cultures composing the historical, mythical State of Jefferson. With uncanny skill and a sharp eye, he navigates all sides of the issues tearing at this region to ultimately reveal conflicts that resonate with all of us. A timely, sometimes humorous, and always fascinating read."Keith Scribner author of The Oregon Experiment and Oregon State University Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing"The Elusive State of Jefferson documents how a news story—embellished and abetted by the reporter--went 'viral' long before the Internet. Peter Laufer's book is part history and part travelogue, providing a fascinating account of how the mythical 'State of Jefferson' began and how its spirit is still very much alive today for many who live there."Steve Bass, President, Oregon Public Broadcasting "A lively, vivid, and compelling story about unbridgeable cultures on the rural border between California and Oregon. Laufer reveals how the way we report on events has a profound effect on the events themselves and may, in some cases, create them."-- University of Oregon English and Classics Professor Steven Shankman, UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace
From the Publisher

“Entertaining, lively, and astute, Peter Laufer’s journey exposes the varied people and cultures composing the historical, mythical State of Jefferson.  With uncanny skill and a sharp eye, he navigates all sides of the issues tearing at this region to ultimately reveal conflicts that resonate with all of us.  A timely, sometimes humorous, and always fascinating read.”

Keith Scribner author of The Oregon Experiment and Oregon State University Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing

"The Elusive State of Jefferson documents how a news story—embellished and abetted by the reporter--went 'viral' long before the Internet.  Peter Laufer's book is part history and part travelogue, providing a fascinating account of how the mythical 'State of Jefferson' began and how its spirit is still very much alive today for many who live there."

Steve Bass, President, Oregon Public Broadcasting 

"A lively, vivid, and compelling story about unbridgeable cultures on the rural border between California and Oregon.  Laufer reveals how the way we report on events has a profound effect on the events themselves and may, in some cases, create them."

-- University of Oregon English and Classics Professor Steven Shankman, UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and Peace

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762788361
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2013
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,394,785
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Laufer, P.h.D., is the author of more than a dozen books that deal with social and political issues, including Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq, Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border, and Iron Curtain Rising: A Personal Journey through the Changing Landscape of Eastern Europe. He is the coanchor of The Peter Laufer Show on radio station Green 960 in San Francisco. More about his books, documentary films, and broadcasts, which have won the George Polk, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward R. Murrow, and other awards, can be found at peterlaufer.com.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Very disappointing

    I was hoping to learn the reasons behind the push for a state of Jefferson. Instead I found I was reading a travel guide of the author's quest for the history behind this movement. I got tired of hearing about his various breakfast and coffee stops - just give me the facts, no the menu! And when he referred to one place in Oregon being the westernmost spot on the continental U.S., I gave up (ever heard of Alasaka?)

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