Post Office Box 801
Rough & Ready, California 95975
Rough and Ready
Chamber of Commerce
The Great Republic
By the late 1840s, the population of the town of Rough and Ready had exploded to over 3,000. The town suffered the effects of general lawlessness and a growing resentment for the government having imposed a Mining Tax on all claims. On April 7th, 1850, a mass meeting of the townfolks was called to propose seceding from the Union. The town reacted by shaking its collective fist at the government with all its taxes and non-existent law and order. The Great Republic of Rough and Ready was formed that day as a free and independent republic. In the heat of the rebellion, they elected Col. E.F. Brundage as President. The new President issued Brundage’s Manifesto, which read in part: “We...deem it necessary and prudent to withdraw from said Territory (of California) and from the United States of America to form, peacefully if we can, forcibly if we must, the Great Republic of Rough and Ready.” Along with his Secretary of State, Justice of the Peace Hans Q. Roberts, they signed a constitution similar to that of the United States.
The Great Republic of Rough and Ready lasted only three months as one of the world’s smallest nations. On July 4th, swept by a patriotic fervor, maybe feeling a little guilty (and possibly, according to some accounts, reacting to the refusal of Nevada City and Grass Valley saloons to sell liquor to the