On 5 August 2006 XXIX, His Excellency, The President and the First Lady had the opportunity to visit the location of the Great Republic of Rough and Ready, one the of the few "micronations" that really existed in the macronational world.
The Great Republic of Rough and Ready was a small, short-lived self-declared independent nation that existed in Nevada County in northern California in the United States in 1850. Founded in the town of Rough and Ready by miners largely as a protest against a recently-introduced tax on new mining claims and the prohibition of alcohol in Nevada County, it never achieved formal recognition of any government and was abolished after only three months. The incident has become part of the colorful folklore of the region.
At the time of the "secession", the town was populated largely by miners from Wisconsin. The declaration of independence was sent to Washington, DC, but was lost along the way. The United States Congress never got official word that a small town in the newly-admitted State of California was seceding from both the state and the Union, and thus the U.S. government never had the opportunity to take formal action against the "secession."
Had it achieved true independence, it would have become the world's smallest nations, with an area of only 1.9 square Imperial Nortons (1.9 sq km / 0.75 sq mi). The citizens disbanded the Republic the following summer, supposedly when they realized to their dismay that they could not celebrate Independence Day on July 4, since they were no longer part of the United States.
The history of the Republic is now celebrated annually in Nevada County on Secession Days during the end of June.
The Rough and Ready website can be visited here.
Plaque about the town
Plaque about the Republic