Early California

Early California, Race: March 1851 - Jan. 1852

United States Commissioners meet with 420 California Indian tribes to negotiate treaties in which native people would vacate vast areas in exchange for settlement on “reservations” with livestock and farm equipment. California legislature recommends that the U.S. Senate reject the treaties and remove Indians from California.

Early California, Race: 1852

In closed session, Congress rejects the treaties negotiated with California Indian tribes but not before Indians have left their land.

Legislature passes a Fugitive Slave Law. The law lapses in 1855.

Early California, Women: 1852

Girls and young women are brought from impoverished families in China and forced into prostitution in San Francisco and mining regions. In 1852, there are only 19 Chinese women in San Francisco, and almost 3,000 Chinese men.

Early California, Immigrants' Rights: 1852

Chinese MinersChinese MinersForeign Miners’ Tax revived with the clear intention that it be applied only to Chinese miners.

Early California, Criminal Justice, Race: 1854

State supreme court bars Chinese from testifying against whites because, the chief justice reasons, Chinese are racially indistinct from Indians, whose testimony is already prohibited.

Early California, Race: 1855

Legislature rescinds the constitutional requirement that all laws be published in Spanish.

Legislature passes the “Greaser Law,” allowing law enforcement officers to arrest for “vagrancy” people of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry.

Criminal Justice, Early California, Race: 1855

Legislature passes the “Greaser Law,” allowing law enforcement officers to arrest people of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry for “vagrancy.”

Criminal Justice, Early California: 1856

Fort GunnybagsFort GunnybagsLeaders of the 1851 Committee of Vigilance revive the group after two sensational shootings. During its three months of existence, the Committee executed four men and banished 30 others.

Early California, Race: 1856

MasonMasonBiddy Mason, a slave, wins her freedom in a judicial ruling by a Los Angeles judge.

Early California: 1858

Legislature criminalizes advertising, advising, or hinting about how to obtain an abortion.
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