1790 - 1870

Early California, Women: 1850

Legislature passes a ban on abortion; in 1858 the law is extended to criminalize disseminating information about abortion.

Early California: 1850

California admitted as a state to the union.

Early California, Race: 1851

Congress passes a law declaring that all lands occupied by Indians at the time of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo are public lands unless proof of Mexican land title is demonstrated.

Early California: 1851

Legislature passes a liberal divorce law, allowing both women and men to sue for divorce for a range of causes.

San Francisco businessmen form the "Committee of Vigilance," a vigilante organization. By the time the Committee disbands in September, it has executed four men and sentenced 28 to deportation.

After Josefa Segovia (aka "Juanita"), a Mexican woman in Downieville, kills a miner in self-defense, an angry mob conducts a kangaroo court and lynches her.

Early California, Criminal Justice: 1851

San Francisco businessmen form the “Committee of Vigilance,” a vigilante organization. By the time the Committee disbands in September, it has executed four men and sentenced 28 to deportation.

After Josefa Segovia (aka “Juanita”), a Mexican woman in Downieville, kills a miner in self-defense, an angry mob conducts a kangaroo court and lynches her.

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, Immigrants' Rights: 1852

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

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, 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.

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