California the Pre-Civil War Years

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  • 1.California the Pre-Civil War Years
    Tammy Williams

2. The acquisitions of land from Mexico because of the Mexican-American War, posed questions of slaverys expansion.
Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot introduced the Proviso.
The Proviso stipulated that any territory acquired from Mexico would not be a slavery nor involuntary servitude territory.
Equal representation, fifteen slave states and fifteen free states enable southern senators to block Wilmots Proviso.
With the expansion of the cotton frontier into Texas in the 1830s, it was said that slavery had reached the natural limits of its growth and could spread no further into the arid Southwest.
President James K Polk wrote in his diary that the agitation about slaverys expansion was not only mischievous but wicked because there is no probability that any territory will ever be acquired from Mexico in which slavery could ever exist.
3. Californias representatives and senators voted mainly with the proslavery South in the 1850s.
The territories of Utah and New Mexico legalized slavery in 1852 and 1859.
After the United States acquired California, flecks of gold were found.
Tens of thousands of men from all over the Americas, Australia, France, and other countries made their way to California.
House of Representatives with its Northern majority passed legislation to organize California as a free territory.
Most of the Forty-Niners wanted to keep slavery out of California not because of moral principle but because they did not want to compete with slave labor.
Southerners feared that the admission of California as the sixteenth free state would tip the balance of power against slave states.
4. Senator Henry Clay proposed a compromise, to offset Californias admission as a free state and the abolition of slave trading in the District of Columbia, by the admission of New Mexico and Utah without restrictions on slavery.
The Democratic Party dominated California politics through the 1850s.
Californias admission of as a free state had given a more bizarre phenomena of the 1850s filibustering.
Filibustering, is after the Spanish word Filibustero, a freebooter or pirate.
A new slave state was needed to offset California.
A private army of American filibusters led by Narciso Lopez, tried to invade Cuba.Spanish soldiers drove them back and the second time killed fifty-one of the Americans and garroted Lopez.
Henry Crabb led an invasion of the Sonoran province of Mexico.Mexican troops killed or wounded twenty-one filibusters, and executed fifty-nine other ones including Crabb.
5. The champion of filibustering was William Walker.He failed at invading Baja California.
He then invaded Nicaragua, where he allied himself with the local rebels.
He named himself president, and reinstated slavery.
A coalition army of other Central American countries overthrew his regime.
He was captured and executed by Honduran troops in 1860.
California produced a mass migration of settlers who wanted to exclude slavery, and they prevailed.
Perhaps the first shot of the Civil War came from David Terrys pistol that killed David Broderick.The backlash against what many Californians saw as a political assassination weakened the Chivs and redounded to the advantage of the Republican Party.
Terry had moved to Texas and fought in the war for the South.He moved back to California in 1889, he got caught up in a dispute with Stephen J. Field, who was appointed by Lincoln as the senior justice of the California circuit court.
Field jailed Terry and his wife for contempt, Terry vowed revenge.A bodyguard was assigned by the US Marshal.
Terry encountered Field at a railroad station, Terry slapped Fields face, as a challenge to a duel.Fields bodyguard shot Terry dead.Perhaps this was truly the last shot of the Civil War.
6. Principle Events of 1851New York Times,January 1, 1852
Jan 2 The second fugitive slave case in New York under recent law is decided, after a trial of seventeen days.Henry Long, the fugitive, is remanded to his master.
Jan 9 A company of Americans in California attacked an entrenched camp of Indians, and forty-four of the latter were killed.A party of seventy-two miners had previously been surprised and murdered by the savages.
Feb 15 Shadrach, a fugitive slave, is arrested in Boston and amidst great excitement, is forcibly rescued.
Apr 25 President Fillmore issues a proclamation against any attempts at the invasion of Cuba.
April 26 Under the proclamation, the steamer Cleopatra is seized by the United States authorities in New York, on suspicion of being fitted out for a descent upon the territory of Cuban.
7. May 3 A disastrous conflagration occurs at San Francisco, and rages for two days.Upward to 2,000 buildings are destroyed, and property is lost to the value of $2,000,000.Several lives are lost.
June 10 A case of Lynch Law occurs in San Francisco.A returned Sydney convict names Jenkins, being arrested in the act of purloining, and hung by the populace.The merchants of San Francisco formed a Committee of Vigilance for the prevention of further outrages.
July 5 Steamship Union lost on the passage from San Francisco to Panama; the passengers and gold are saved.
July 11 The Vigilance Committee of San Francisco hang another man found guilty of crimes; the 2nd on executed by the mob.
July 17 the first overland emigrants of the season arrived at Placerville, California.
July 21 The Governor of California pronounces against the Vigilance committees, and calls upon all good citizens to assist the executive in upholding the laws.
8. Aug 11 Gen. Lopez captures the captain and mate of a Spanish schooner, and compels them to act as pilots.
Aug 12 Lopez marches to Las Posas, Cuba with 323 men.
Aug 16 Lopez is attacked at Las Posas by 800 Spanish troops.Two hundred Spaniards are killed or wounded.
Aug 21 At Sacramento, California, a convict reprieved by the Governor, is captured and hung.
Aug 24 The Vigilance Committee of San Francisco take two prisoners, named Whittaker and McKenzie, from jail during Devine services, and execute the unhappy culprits.
Aug 29 Gen. Lopez is tracked by bloodhounds, and captured by a party of countrymen.
Aug 31 Lopez is conveyed to Havana, and sentenced to death.
Sept 1 Public execution of General Narcisco Lopez by garrote, at Havana.
Dec 1 Revolution in France; Louis Napoleon by a coup d'tat seizes the reins of government; dissolves the National Assembly; declares a state of siege; arrests the members of the assembly; constitutes an entire new ministry.