1790 - 1870

Immigrants' Rights: 1790

Congress passes a law limiting naturalization to "free white persons."

Early California: 1848

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican American War.

Gold discovered in California

Early California: July 15, 1849

The HoundsThe HoundsThe Hounds, a paramilitary gang, attack Chileans in San Francisco.

Early California: Sept. 1 - Oct. 30, 1849

Bilingual Spanish-English Constitutional Convention held in Monterey.

Early California, Race: Nov. 13, 1849

Constitucion del Estado de CaliforniaConstitucion del Estado de CaliforniaVoters approve the bilingual state constitution, which outlaws slavery.

Early California: Dec. 15, 1849

First state legislature meets in San Jose.

Criminal Justice, Early California, Race, Women: 1850

Legislature passes laws:

  • Allowing for the virtual slavery of Indian children and of adult Indians declared “vagrants” by judges. The law expires in 1863.
  • Barring African Americans, Indians, and mulattoes from testifying against whites in criminal cases. The following year, the legislature bans testimony from the same groups in civil trials.
  • Criminalizing abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is endangered.

Early California, LGBT Rights: 1850

Legislature criminalizes sodomy as a felony. For decades, the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

Early California, Immigrants' Rights: 1850

Foreign Miners’ Tax of $20 a month is levied to discourage Latino miners. The tax is repealed in 1851.

Early California, Race: 1850

A mob drives Mexican miners out of Tuolumne County, killing many of them.

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