The fight for slavery in californiaPresentation Transcript
The Fight for Slavery in California Jean Lowry 50587
Fight for Slavery Three months into the Mexican War, Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot introduced his famous “Proviso” stipulating that in any territory acquired from Mexico “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory” It was a surprise to discover that the territories of Utah and New Mexico legalized slavery in 1852 and 1859 In early 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe hidalgo transferred California from Mexico to the United States Workers building a sawmill on the American River near Sacramento discovered flecks of gold in the riverbed By Spring of 1849 tens of thousands of men from all over were on their way to California These men in San Francisco and the mining camps needed law and order, courts, land and water laws, mail services and other institutions of government
Fight for Slavery In October 1849 they drew up a state constitution and petitioned Congress for admission The Problem was that the proposed state constitution banned slavery Most of the Forty-Niners wanted to keep that institution out of California because they did not want to compete with slave labor The exclusion of Slavery from California was described as an unconstitutional violation of Southern property rights and political equity that would justify a drastic response The democratic Party was dominated by a coalition of Southern-born politicians that became known as the “Chivalry” In 1859 a political mudslinging match between Broderick and David Terry, A Texan who had arrived in California in 1849 and became a prominent Chiv, led to a duel
Fight for Slavery Terry resigned from his post as chief justice of the California Supreme Court in order to challenge Broderick Terry selected pistols, whereupon Terry took careful aim and shot Broderick dead This was the third duel in California during the 1850s in which a Chiv Democrat Killed a member of the anti-Chiv faction Party California’s admission as a free state had given an impetus to one of the most bizarre phenomena of the 1850s –”Filibustering”, a freebooter or pirate All of the filibuster efforts to organize another slave state in order to offset California came to grief The discovery of gold in California produced a mass migration there in which settlers who wanted to exclude slavery prevailed
Fight for Slavery Within California itself, perhaps the first shot of the Civil War came from David Terry’s pistol that killed David Broderick in September 1859 The backlash against what many Californians saw as a political assassination weakened the Chivs and rebounded to the advantage of the state Republican Party During the Civil War most Californians remained loyal to the United States, and the state’s shipment of gold helped finance the union war effort Terry became embroiled in a dispute with another California political rival Stephen J. Field Field jailed Terry and his wife for contempt, Terry vowed revenge Terry encountered Field in a railroad station near Stockton and slapped him across the face, Field’s bodyguard shot Terry Dead Perhaps this was truly the last shot of the Civil War In 1889, Neagle shot and killed David Terry, who had attacked Supreme Court Justice Stephen Fields. Arrested for murder, the Supreme Court ordered Neagle released in a landmark case that set precedents for the power of the executive branch of our government.
Source The Fight for Slavery in California article by: James M. McPherson