United States Counties Wiki
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Pautah was a county created by the California Legislature in 1852, out of territory now located in Nevada. The legislature believed that Congress would be willing to cede to California the part of the Sierra Nevada mountains not included in California's borders, so they went ahead and created a county of the land they wanted. The county covered a roughly-diamond shaped area, that included the modern locations of Reno, Virginia City and Carson City, plus the entire eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. The county seat was Carsonville.

But the request to cede the land went nowhere in Congress. The Civil War was looming, and the southern representatives felt the Utah Territory (modern Utah and Nevada) should become a slave state, so they blocked any proposals to expand California's borders. Eventually, in 1859, the California Legislature repealed the act creating Pautah. Ironically, this area was the source of an enormous discovery of silver, just around the time that California relinquished its claim.

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