Imagined Lands

f0-siskiyouFolks have made fictitious maps for centuries to convey an opinion or fantasy. Portraying countries as persons or animals for political satire was especially popular in Europe. German and English cartographers made maps of romance and marriage. Maps of allegories and utopias preceded those of today’s Lord of the Rings by hundreds of years. And of course false maps of discovery, gold strikes, and treasure maps have been marketed for centuries.

Some maps have been created to further a political goal. Examples here in California were the maps made for the State of Jefferson. Jefferson was one of several failed attempts to create a new state in the United States. Others included Franklin, Kanawha , and Sequoyah. Four counties on the border seceded in 1941 to form Jefferson though many of the maps of the rebellion included several more counties. The map to the right is from the Siskiyou Daily News in November 1941. The paper held a naming contest listing these possibilities for the would be state: Orofino, Bonanza, Discontent, Jefferson, Del Curiskiyou, and Siscurdelmo. Though a governor was elected, the movement lost steam after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of WW II.