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  • 1. California in the 1850’s By Sonya Sheets
  • 2. The Fight for Slavery in California
    • Mexican-American War reduced Mexico by more than ½, and the US by 1/3
    • Congressman David Wilmot declared involuntary servitude and slavery to not exist in said territory
    • Plunged into disunion for fifteen years later
    • It was unnecessary considering the West had inhospitable climates toward the cotton growing industry
    • Ironically, the California senators voted proslavery in the 1850’s
  • 3.
    • Hidalgo transferred california from Mexico to the united states
    • Workers built a sawmill near Sacramento, discovering gold in the river nearby
    • Rumors leaked, despite the efforts to keep it secret
    • 1848, rumors reached the East coast, plunging trhe whole country into a gold rush
    Treaty of Guadalupe
  • 4. Banned Slavery
    • After the goldrush went into effect, California modeled a law (by Iowa) to ban slavery on the west coast
    • Was supported by the forty-niners because they did not want to compete with slave labor to find their gold
    • Slave owners still brought their bondsmen to mine gold for them
  • 5. “ It was to work the Gold mines on his continent that the Spaniards first brought Africans to the country.” -Senator Jefferson Davis
    • Fear arose from the south that this 16 th state will tip the scales against slave states in the Senate
    • This was described as an unconstitutional violation of Southern property rights and Political equity
    • California’s law was countered by Texas becoming a slave state
  • 6. Resources
    • The California Gold Rush and Coming Civil War by Leonard L.Richards,Knopf,290pp.