1868 AND 1869

The Democrats labeled the Fifteenth Amendment the major issue of the California election of 1869, charging that the measure would enfranchise the Chinese and give control of the state to capitalists and large corporations. Taking advantage of an economic depression, the Democrats also stressed even more strongly than before Chinese labor’s threat to the white workingman. “Me-tooism” afflicted the Republican platform, which while favoring the Fifteenth Amendment, recognized the federal government’s power to prevent Chinese immigration and emphatically opposed Chinese voting and citizenship. Again the emphasis on race to the virtual exclusion of any other issue brought the Democrats success and with this election they achieved a majority in both houses of the California legislature.[1]

For a number of reasons, in 1868 and 1869 the cheap labor question came into greater prominence than in previous years. The Fourteenth Amendment forbidding the states to deny any person equal protection of the law became a part of the Constitution in July 1868. In that same month, the Senate ratified the Burlingame Treaty. This treaty recognized the right of Americans and Chinese to immigrate and granted each country’s citizens the “most favored nation” treatment. With the opening of the Central Valley to agriculture, Chinese immigration increased to meet the farmers’ needs for cheap and reliable labor. In 1869 several thousand more Chinese laborers joined the working force on their release from the Central Pacific Railroad. Anti-Asian agitation rose and some newspapers noted frequent physical attacks on individual Chinese. Alexander Saxton estimates that Chinese men made up one-fifth of the total number of persons employed in the state in 1870 and notes that one-quarter of all the workers available for hire in the early 1870s would have been Chinese.[2]

The completion of the transcontinental railroad brought western manufacturers into competition with eastern industry. Higher wages in the West made goods too expensive to compete profitably with eastern, mass-produced products, causing problems for the relatively new western industries. By the end of 1869 white immigrants coming west by rail swelled the ranks of the unemployed into the thousands. An added complication was the shift in the 1860s of the state’s population, including Chinese miners, from the mining towns to cities like San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland. As placer mining began to decline, the gold rush areas lost power and wealth, and the cities faced population growth and the assimilation of various ethnic groups.[3]

California’s labor needs and labor supply customarily fluctuated; an oversupply of unskilled labor often existed in the cities during the winters and an undersupply in the farming areas during the summer. Nonetheless, at the end of 1868, the Sacramento Union noted, “The year 1868 has been notably the most prosperous year ever experienced in this State. It is the third of a series of three consecutive years during which agriculture has risen to the front rank in our industries, whilst mining has in the same time, receded into comparative insignificance.” The newspaper also observed that the state had made no advances in manufacturing owing to “causes we could not control—as general derangement of the labor market here though unwise legislation, and more lively competition of the Eastern trade in our old markets east of the mountains, by means of the railway.” In addition, the Union predicted that the 1870 Census would decrease the political power of the mining counties. The paper pointed out that before the 1860 Census the mining counties provided almost half of the state’s taxable property and controlled the state legislature. After 1860, however, the agricultural section and the cities gained legislative dominance. The Union speculated that the 1870 Census would make the mining counties a powerless minority (at this time they still controlled two-fifths of the Assembly and over one-third of the Senate seats) and completely transfer the legislature to the urban and agricultural populations—“where the wealth of the State is rapidly centering.” The paper cited El Dorado, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties as those showing the greatest decline in prosperity and population.[4]

The San Francisco Daily Alta California commented on the trend to urbanization with a survey of the votes cast at the 1868 presidential election. The newspaper stated, “San Francisco as the metropolis has more electors than all the towns in the State put together. . . . In San Francisco, . . . the voters are all city people, and yet they outnumber the joint sum of the electors in thirty towns next in rank. In 1860 our city cast only 14,415 votes, and on the 3d instant, 25,655, an increase of 77 per cent.” According to the Alta, Oakland, which had only 352 voters in 1860, “now has 1,273; and “San Jose is now third in the State, whereas eight years ago it had only 1,000 and was the seventh.” In another article the paper noted that in 1852 the majority of the state’s population lived in the mining counties. In the first presidential election El Dorado County cast 11,000 votes, exceeding San Francisco by 3,000. Calaveras, Nevada, Placer, and Tuolumne counties each had over 5,000 voters. “There are now fifty counties,” the paper observed, “and nine cast more than 3,000 votes each at the last election, and of these only three—Nevada, Placer and El Dorado—are in the mountains.” The Alta attributed the mining counties’ decline to the gradual impoverishment of the placers and the departure of the Chinese to work on the Central Pacific Railroad. When the Chinese left, both gold production and public revenue decreased.[5]

Following the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the main bulk of the Chinese population shifted to the Sacramento Valley, the Central Valley, and to the cities. The Chinese population of San Francisco City and County in 1870 was 12,022; in 1860 it had numbered only 2,719. Santa Clara County saw the Chinese increase from 22 in 1860 to 1,525 in 1870, while in Sacramento County during the same period the Chinese increased from 1,731 to 3,595. Sonoma County’s Chinese population rose from 51 in 1860 to 473 in 1870, and in Siskiyou the increase was from 515 Chinese to 1,440 in the same ten-year period. Some of the legislators who spoke most bitterly against the Fifteenth Amendment came from the counties listed above.[6]

Political Cartoon
“Pacific Chivalry”


(Courtesy of the California State Library)
Harper’s Weekly, August 7, 1869

The 12,022 Chinese in San Francisco were about one-quarter of the state’s total Chinese population of 49,310. In 1870 about one-half of the total Irish population, or 25,864 lived in that city, as did 13,602 Germans. The 1870 census figures show how the Irish and the Chinese crowded each other in certain occupations, not only in the cities, but statewide. For example, California had 1,362 Irish and 1,637 Chinese agricultural workers. Listed under “Professional and Personal Services,” there were 14,778 Irish and 15,867 Chinese workers. The Irish numbered 4,434 domestic servants and the Chinese, 4,343. The census listed 7,670 Irish common laborers and 7,800 Chinese in that category. Under “Mining and Manufactures,” the census noted 8,389 Irish workers and 13,346 Chinese. There were 542 Irish and 393 Chinese boot and shoemakers. But the 1,705 Chinese cigar makers outnumbered all other national groups including Americans. The 9,087 Chinese miners also outnumbered the 2,858 Irish workers listed in that occupation. The largest group of miners was composed of 12,518 Americans; there were also 3,143 British and Welsh miners. A chronic labor shortage had existed in California before 1869, but this situation changed between 1868 and 1870, leading to large-scale unemployment. As a result, the competition between the Irish and Chinese became more acute.[7]

Although some of the Chinese immigrants moved to other states, their increasing numbers in California helped to keep anti-Chinese feeling at a high pitch. In June 1869, a crowd of men and boys stoned and chased a large group of Chinese who had just landed in San Francisco from the steamer “Great Republic.” In San Jose anti-Chinese elements threatened to burn the buildings of men who employed Chinese laborers. The Sacramento Bee published a story in July 1869 about the burning of a hop farmer’s ranch because he used Chinese farmhands. More threats to property in the Santa Clara Valley occurred in October 1869. Concerning the situation in San Francisco, the Alta wrote, “There is hardly a week passes in which there may not be found in the local columns of the city papers some account of an unprovoked assault committed upon an innocent foreigner.” Ever since 1850 the Chinese had suffered intermittent verbal and physical aggression; now the sustained verbal attacks of the Democrats, combined with economic unrest, unleashed almost continuous physical violence against the Chinese.[8]

The threat of violence existed in the mining areas as well. By striking, the Cornish miners in Grass Valley tried to prevent their mine owners from using the giant powder, single-drill method of mining that was more economical than the old methods and also ideally suited to the newly released Chinese railroad workers who were already familiar with dynamite. Fighting diminishing yields, the mine owners would have welcomed Chinese labor at $1.50 a day per man as opposed to $3 for a white worker, but they feared reprisals in the form of arson and other damage. The Alta argued that employing Chinese labor would enable owners to reopen many idle deep lode quartz mines. Chinese labor might “throw 2,000 white miners out of their present kind of work, we think not more,” the paper stated, “and it would make work for 10,000 white men as foundry men, blacksmiths, carpenters, gardeners, prospectors and overseers.” The Alta declared that quartz mine owners had wanted to employ Chinese “for years,” but had been prevented “by the fear that they would be murdered or ruined by bad white men, hostile to Chinamen.” “The farmers have taken the risk, and the miners will have to take it, also,” the paper advised.[9]

In the 1860s then, Californians experienced marked social and economic changes. The impact of national affairs and the national economy added to the tensions already present. In the cities ethnic groups jockeyed for privilege and position, and in the foothill and mountain towns, the miners felt the loss of status and power. Urban labor groups sought to improve their economic position through eight-hour laws, mechanics’ lien legislation, and wage protection plans, all of which were passed in the 1868 legislative session. Although the Chinese are not thought today to be the main cause of the economic distress of the late 1860s and the 1870s, they filled the need of insecure groups to find someone to blame for their distress. The Chinese became the scapegoat for both voter and politician. In contrast to the miners and city workers, California’s farmers welcomed the new Chinese immigrants responding to the need for large numbers of men to help with clearing land, building dikes, irrigating, and harvesting crops. A power struggle was inherent in the needs of these differing groups.[10]

The Anti-Coolie Association’s anti-Chinese arguments are revealed in some of its various statements. A memorial to the California legislature claimed:

. . . thousands of young men and girls from fourteen to twenty-one years of age are unable to find employment in our manufactories and industrial pursuits in consequence of the extensive use of Chinese labor. . . .our mines are being worked out by the Chinese, and their wealth exported to China, with no adequate return to our Commonwealth. . . . agricultural . . .pursuits, public works, . . .and every avenue of labor are fast passing into the hands of the barbarian hordes of China.

The memorial asked the legislature to do all in its power to restrain Chinese immigration and also to petition Congress to that end. Another statement charged that there were 110,000 Chinese in the state, “1000,000 of whom are in a state of peonage or slavery, . . .” The article blamed Chinese workers for retarding the immigration of “deserving” whites from the East and denied that the anti-Chinese movement was an Irish crusade against cheap labor. The author thought the West could be fully developed with free white labor as, he claimed, was done in the Eastern states, and he did not want to see the West overrun with a “heathen and semi-barbarous set of slaves who can never homogeneate [sic] with the American people.” The Anti-Coolie Association of San Francisco declared that the increased Chinese immigration threatened to make California “little better than a Chinese colony, conducting its business for the benefit of the Emperor of that country-- . . .” [11]

The seasonal aspects of California’s employment pattern aggravated the racial aspects. Between November and April, unemployed men gathered in San Francisco to wait for better weather and an increase in building and farm work. A scarcity of laborers often developed during the summer. In 1868 a group of San Franciscans started the California Labor Exchange as a means of equalizing the supply and the demand. The report of this Exchange for eighteen months showed that an over-demand existed for heavy, common, and domestic labor; the oversupply consisted of men who wanted indoor work and men who could only perform low-skilled city occupations. In 1868 the Alta commented both on the need for skilled labor and California’s abundance of “aimless and anxious young men” with “no special calling in life.”[12]

The events of 1869 also illustrated California’s difficult labor situation. In July the Sacramento Bee stated that the West and the South were “famishing for want of laborers,” and added, “There is plenty of work for all the people that will come in the next fifty years, we care not how fast they may be precipitated upon us, nor from what quarter.” But in August, the Sacramento Union commented on the hundreds of unemployed men streaming into the state and said, “We are now in the same situation (or worse) as last year, when a lowering of fares on the Isthmus brought crowds of immigrants to the State.” The paper called for another labor exchange to place the newcomers, but said California’s real difficulty lay in the high prices and costly production that prevented local industries from competing with Eastern goods. “Why growl at competition with Chinese labor when it is cheaper labor in the East that beats us?” the Union asked. “We have borne competition with Asiatic labor and had the Chinese in our midst these twenty years,” the paper added, “and thriven under that state of things; but a moment’s contact with the East has prostrated us—it is competition with Eastern labor and capital that we cannot stand.” In contrast, the Alta blamed the business depression on “the determination . . . of the Trades Unions to exact ten hours pay for eight hours work,” and asserted that “the rise in wages chiefly . . . has brought improvement to a standstill.” In January 1870, the Alta again blamed labor’s wage demands and the eight-hour day for the “destitution of thousands of workingmen in this and other States . . .” Despite the year’s obvious troubles, the Union noted in its annual summary, “1869 has been characterized in California by general prosperity,” but added in a wry comment on the railroad, “The final completion, in May, of communication by rail with the great centers of trade and commerce east of the Mississippi offered to businessmen and to our citizens generally an unworked problem of great commercial significance.” [13]

In May 1869, a new voice joined the anti-Chinese movement when a young man named Henry George wrote a letter about California’s Chinese to the New York Tribune. George’s letter covered the whole range of complaints raised against the Chinese since their arrival in the state: their moral standards were as low as the living standards that allowed them to work for reduced wages; they came from a “vast human hive”; they could not understand Christianity; they would never be assimilated, and they were controlled by powerful companies. Furthermore, the Chinese would reduce the wages of white labor and would soon take over every trade as, he charged, they had taken over the cigar industry. In addition, the use of Chinese labor was the most potent force in the concentration of wealth. The result would be “to make the rich richer and the poor poorer; to make nabobs and princes of our capitalists, and crush our working classes into the dust; . . .” George predicted that the Chinese would “crowd white labor to the wall” all across the continent and suggested that the United States might go the way of Babylon and Rome if Chinese immigration was not stopped.[14]

George’s letter brought the Chinese issue into both national and international prominence and won him the patronage of Governor Henry H. Haight. Haight gave George the editorship of the Daily Oakland Transcript and then in 1870 brought him to Sacramento to edit the Democratic Party newspaper, the State Capital Reporter. Meanwhile George had sent a copy of his Tribune letter to English economist John Stuart Mill and published Mill’s answer in the Transcript. Mill agreed that Chinese immigration ought to be restricted because Chinese competition would lower the white worker’s living standards. He questioned, however, whether it was moral on the part of those “who have first taken possession of the unoccupied portion of the earth’s surface to exclude the remainder of mankind from inhabiting it?” Mill also asked if the Chinese might not change under the influence of American institutions and “in time be raised to the level of the Americans?” George ignored Mill’s troubling questions and declared that Mill had agreed with his economic position. At this time neither George nor most of his fellow Californians had either the imagination or the sympathy to see the Chinese as individuals and human beings, capable of adapting and changing just as other immigrants with equally strong attachments to their homelands had done and would continue to do in the future. Even the San Francisco Alta, favorable as it was to the Chinese, saw them as immutable, saying, “This is to him a heathen and foreign land, and so will it ever remain. . . .Laws may change, but the Chinaman never will.”[15]

The Democrats’ growing insistence on exclusion prompted the Union and the Alta to question the party’s sincerity. The Union, which by February 1868 had become the bitter enemy of the Central Pacific Railroad, asserted, “The absolute humbug of this demagogic issue is shown in the fact that while Democratic politicians are talking about excluding Chinese labor, their partisans are using it more and more. . . . They do not mean to dispense with Chinese labor themselves.” The Alta called the Chinese indispensable in mining, agriculture, manufactures, and road building. If the Chinese were excluded, the paper said, the value of land in San Francisco and the central parts of the state would fall more than 50 percent. Furthermore, white workers would be paid lower rather than higher wages, as there would be fewer consumers and less business. The paper claimed, “A large proportion of the Democrats, including nearly all who own farms and productive mines, are in favor of Chinese labor, the necessity of which they can understand; . . .” According to the Alta, the problem was that the Democrats did not realize that “their obligation to the State is higher than that to their party; . . .” The need for and value of Chinese labor impressed the Alta, but that paper was even more concerned with the possibilities of trade with China. In 1868 and 1869 editorial after editorial mentioned the desirability of such trade and pointed out San Francisco’s particularly favorable position as the port through which such commerce would have to pass. In June 1869 the paper ran an editorial encouraging Chinese immigration and saying with a marked lack of realism, “there is an eager demand for the [Chinese] immigrant in all parts of the Union, with no opposition but from an insignificant local prejudice, . . . “ The Alta was a Republican newspaper which devoted little space to the problems of the white workingman.[16]

The Alta also twitted the Democrats because in 1869 Southern planters held a convention to explore the use of Chinese labor. “New York and Pennsylvanian and Southern Democracy are manfully battling for the introduction of Chinese labor into the United States,” the paper stated, while “California Democracy is manfully battling for its exclusion and is cracking the sconces of the Chinese on every safe occasion.” In the Sacramento Union’s opinion, “it was, if not quite true, almost true that the opposition to, and the persecution of, the Chinese here, are wholly confined to dirty demagogues, and the miserable white prolitaires [sic] whom the demagogues are using to do the rough work which they are too cowardly to attempt themselves.” In this situation, as in similar political backlash movements, accurate assessment of the politicians’ sincerity is difficult. But there is no doubt that the California Democrats had found an issue that appealed to the voters, and by 1871 the Republicans had adopted a firm anti-Chinese plank themselves. And such was the movement’s growing strength that by 1876 both national parties also included anti-Chinese clauses in their party platforms.[17]

Another indication of the prevailing sentiment toward the Chinese was their exclusion from the ceremonies in San Francisco and Sacramento celebrating the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The San Francisco Elevator noticed the omission, saying, “we missed one of the principal adjuncts of the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, without whose aid the road would not have been completed . . . The Chinese should, of course have been represented in the celebration of the completion of a work on which they have been a prominent feature” Judge Nathaniel Bennett, the main speaker in San Francisco, attributed the railroad’s success to the fact that his fellow Californians were “composed of the right materials, derived from the proper origins.” Varying the contemporary ideology of race, he declared:

In the veins of our people flows the commingled blood of the four greatest nationalities of modern days. The impetuous daring and dash of the French, the philosophical and sturdy spirit of the German, the unflinching solidity of the English, and the light-hearted impetuosity of the Irish, have all contributed its appropriate share. . . . A people deducing its origins from such races, and condensing their best traits into its national life, is capable of any achievements.

In Sacramento Edwin B. Crocker was the only speaker who alluded to the Chinese. He told the audience, “I wish to call to your minds that the early completion of this railroad we have built has been in large measure due to that poor, despised class of laborers called the Chinese—to the fidelity and industry they have shown.”[18]

Meanwhile, it was part of Secretary of State William H. Seward’s empire-building policy for America to encourage Chinese immigration. The United States would use cheap labor to become a world economic power. More than any of his predecessors, Seward viewed Asia as a battleground for power—the country that won the battle would be the one with the strongest economic and power base. In Seward’s opinion, Americans should “Open up a highway through your country from New York to San Francisco. Put your domain under cultivation, and your ten thousand wheels of manufacture in motion. Multiply your ships, and send them forth to the east.” “The nation that draws most materials and provisions from the earth,” Seward predicted, “and fabricates the most, and sells the most of productions and fabrics to foreign nations, must be, and will be, the great power of the earth.” Seward based his vision of an American empire on “a law of Providence—that empire has, for the last three thousand years . . . made its way constantly westward, and that it must continue to move on westward until the tides of the renewed and of the decaying civilizations of the world meet on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.”[19]

Seward expected to achieve success with China because of America’s open door policy, which espoused equal commercial privileges for all countries and frowned on any territorial aggression. Between 1861 and 1867, Seward’s minister to China, Anson Burlingame, fostered the open door policy with skill and dedication. Burlingame worked with British Minister Sir Frederick Bruce to bring about, without military coercion, a relaxation of restrictions on foreign navigation in China’s inland waters and on trade and residence in the interior. The French and Russian ministers also joined this effort. The “Co-operative Policy” recognized that many nations shared a common interest in China and urged a unified, peaceful approach in dealings with the Chinese government, which was threatened by rebellion, a weak administration, and lack of funds. Furthermore, the majority of the Chinese educated classes disapproved of any changes in policy that would increase contact with or allow additional commercial privileges to foreign countries.[20]

In 1867 Burlingame retired as United States minister to China. Before he left the country, the Chinese government asked him to be China’s “high minister extraordinary” leading a special mission to Washington and the major European capitals. The purpose of Burlingame’s mission was to explain China’s precarious position to the most important nations dealing with her government. Burlingame received no formal authority from Chinese leaders to discuss new treaty agreements. But Seward, aware of Britain’s intention to revise her treaty with China, seized the opportunity afforded by Burlingame’s mission to revise the previous United States treaty, the 1858 Treaty of Tientsin. The atmosphere in Washington at the time, with its “intense political excitement and bitterness,” was not conducive to open discussions. As Seward’s son later described the setting, “It seemed as if Congress and the nation had gone daft over the question of impeaching President Johnson. Every other subject was subordinated and misconstrued by some supposed connection therewith. . . . Correspondence and discussion would instantly have aroused antagonisms that would be fatal.” Seward and Burlingame therefore discussed the treaty terms during private conversations. Seward’s encouragement of Chinese immigration ran into opposition from the American West. According to the Alta, California’s Senator John Conness opposed the treaty in its original form “as opening the door too wide for the citizenship of the Asiatics.” The final treaty prohibited naturalization rights for either the Chinese in the United States or Americans in China.[21]

The Burlingame Treaty, as it was called, was ratified by the United States in July 1868, and by the Chinese government in November 1869. In California the treaty further increased the discontent of those who opposed Chinese immigration. Previous treaties with China had not included reciprocity, which the Burlingame agreement provided. Articles V, VI, and VII caused the most controversy in California. Article V said that America and China recognized the “inherent and inalienable right of man to change his home and allegiance, and also the mutual advantage of the free migration and emigration of their citizens . . . from one country to the other for purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents.” Article VI gave Chinese citizens visiting or residing in the United States (and American citizens in China) “the same privileges, immunities, and exemptions in respect to travel or residence as may there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation.” Article VII provided for reciprocal educational privileges in the public schools and said the Chinese and Americans could establish their own schools. Although Seward drafted the treaty terms, critics blamed Burlingame for the free migration clause and much of the later disapproval of him and the treaty stemmed from Article V. Burlingame later explained to German leaders that he concluded a new treaty with the United States to help the Chinese in California. He said, “A treaty, being the supreme law of the land, overrides the obnoxious local legislation against the Chinese immigrants.”[22]

State and civic leaders entertained Burlingame and the Chinese envoys at a lavish banquet during their stay in San Francisco en route to Washington. Even Governor Haight partially rose to the occasion, saying:

I will not attempt, at this time, to picture the grand results which I trust will flow from this auspicious event, not merely to America and to Europe, but to China and to mankind. I see in the near future a vast commerce springing up between the Chinese Empire and the nations of the West; an interchange of products and manufactures mutually beneficial; the watch words of progress and the precepts of a pure religion uttered to the ears of one-third of the human race hitherto resisting with the inertia of a dead weight, all progress, material, political, social or spiritual.

The San Francisco Alta termed the Burlingame mission “but a shadow of the future,” and predicted “when the locomotive shall find a continuous rail from the Pacific to the Atlantic, another epoch will dawn on our Western Ocean, the great effect of which cannot be forecast.” Enthusiastically looking ahead, the paper imagined an industrial revolution in China and a time “when the foreign trade of China will be a hundred times as great as it now is, and California will reap a golden harvest from her traffic with the Asiatics.” Such was the Republican viewpoint; the Democrats looked at Burlingame and the treaty quite differently.[23]

The San Francisco Examiner professed to see the agreement as providing the treaty powers the right to the immigration of “coolies.” The paper conceded that the Chinese “among us at present can and must be borne, but it is against the infatuation which exists for Coolie labor that we protest. The Burlingame treaty was framed to send them here in swarms.” The Examiner also interpreted the treaty as a means of naturalization for the Chinese, saying, “Our Government, under the plea of advancing great commercial interests, has formed a treaty under which a system of naturalization is aimed at; . . . The treaty with China and the Fifteenth Amendment are parts of the system devised to introduce and fasten upon the country cheap labor.” Admitting that the treaty did not automatically naturalize the Chinese, the paper asserted that the important point was the agreement said a man could change his allegiance. The State Capital Reporter was appalled at the thought of California being overrun by “degraded serfs and Coolies from that vast hive of 400,000,000 in the Eastern World.” The Reporter estimated there were 70,000 Chinese in the state of whom “it is safe to say that fully 50,000 are slaves in the fullest sense of the word.” The newspaper blamed Burlingame and George C. Gorham, who was now secretary of the United States Senate, for the treaty and lamented, in a reference to Chinese labor, that “the free State and the free men of California have to deal with this monstrous evil.”[24]

At a meeting of the Anti-Coolie Club of the Ninth Ward in San Francisco, the Burlingame mission was denounced as “base pandering to an oriental aristocracy,” and the club’s secretary was asked to write Ninth Ward citizens who employed Chinese workers and request that they discharge them. The Alta blamed the Anti-Coolie men—“who are all Democrats”—for the frequent physical attacks on the Chinese saying:

The boys who set dogs on Chinamen and throw stones at them are only imitating the spirit and temper of their parents, who make brutal speeches and pass windy resolutions concerning the abused race. It will do no good for the Anti-Coolieites to disavow these frequent ruffianisms, which are such legitimate results of their teachings.[25]

At the Democratic convention in June 1869, a committee drafted an “Address to the People of California” on the Chinese question. The authors noted the increased interest of capitalists in Chinese labor, and said, “To crown the whole, our Government has entered into a treaty with the Emperor of China, which guarantees to them the right to emigrate to our country, which provides for their admission into all our schools and educational establishments, and places them on equal footing with the citizens or subjects of the most favored nations of Europe.” After describing China and the condition of its people in detail, the committee concluded, “We object to them because they can never become good and valuable citizens; because they are addicted to a gross and demoralizing idolatry, and lastly we object to them in the interest of the labor of our own people.” Almost as an afterthought, the authors added, “And here, let us remark, that however objectionable negro suffrage may be, it is preferable to that of the Chinese.”[26]


(Courtesy of the California State Library

The Burlingame Treaty gave the Democrats a potent weapon in their economic and political crusade against the Chinese in California. They fought the treaty until the federal government modified it in 1880. Two Republicans—one an American in the service of a foreign country—had concluded the measure in semi-secrecy, and it seemed to the Democrats that the agreement benefited only the wealthy and the Chinese. The agreement provided the means to nullify discriminatory state measures against the Chinese, and the Chinese government officially recognized the right of its citizens to immigrate. Although the Republican newspapers claimed that just “the Irish, and politicians of a baser sort” opposed the Chinese, on election days the Democrats proved that their party generated much wider support. Republicans in California and in the federal government underestimated the strength of the anti-Chinese movement at this period of its evolution.[27]

In 1868 California Assembly Democrats showed their animosity toward the Chinese by rejecting the bill of Republican Senator Charles A. Tweed (Placer) to allow Chinese testimony against whites in cases involving injury to persons or property. Although the bill passed the Republican controlled Senate, Democrats in the Assembly defeated it by a vote of thirty-six to twenty-eight. Of those who voted for the bill, only six were Democrats, and among those who voted against the bill only two were not Democrats. The Alta blamed pressure from the mining districts for the bill’s failure and said, “it may be doubtful as to whether a very convincing argument could be adduced to establish that California is entitled to rank among civilized communities.” The Union called the bill’s defeat “something more than a political sin,” and remarked, “It was so manifestly false in principle, so dyed with the color of ignorance and prejudice and malignity, that it can hardly fail to advertise us all over the Union as either the most obtuse people in understanding or the most unjust anywhere to be found in the realm of pretended civilization.”[28]

The California Supreme Court upheld the prohibition against Chinese testimony in trials involving whites in 1871. Justice Jackson Temple denied the appellant’s contention that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which had become part of the Constitution in July 1868. The amendment declared that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens; that no state may make a law that abridges the privileges of citizens; that no state may deprive a person of “life, liberty, or property,” without due process of law, and that no state can deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. In March 1868, however, the California legislature had refused to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. Not until a revision of the California Codes took effect on January 1, 1873, were witnesses admitted to the courts whatever their race or nationality.[29]

Although the 1869 California election lacked the conflict and excitement that marked the 1867 contest, the racial themes remained constant. By linking Chinese suffrage to the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, the Democrats put the Republicans on the defensive and assured the party of the urban workers’ votes. The Examiner announced, “If it is possible we intend to force the issue of the Fifteenth Amendment in this canvass until every voter of the one hundred and ten thousand in this State understands its effects. In this city there are not five thousand voters who are in favor of negro suffrage in this State, . . .” Charging that the Republicans would give the Chinese the vote to maintain themselves in power, the Examiner asked, “Dare any lover of his country picture in his fancy the agreeable sensation produced by having Fung Tong Governor of California?” Californians, the newspaper stated, must send to the legislature men pledged to reject “this crowning ignominy of the nineteenth century, the proposed Fifteenth Amendment.” The State Capital Reporter advised Democrats, “look well to your nominations—put up men who are sound on this question. California must not ratify the amendment. It rests with you to save her from the stigma of such an act.” The Reporter quoted the Shasta Courier as saying it saw no necessity for the Fifteenth Amendment. The Courier, a Republican paper, pointed out that in the event of ratification, “there would be nothing to prevent Chinese becoming citizens except the United States naturalization laws.” The Reporter also quoted another Republican newspaper, the Calaveras Chronicle, which warned, “The persistency with which the ratification is being pushed, in violation of every principle of right, justice, and law, places in the hands of our opponents a weapon which ultimately will deal the death blow to the Republican organization.” The Reporter itself told its readers, “the meaning and intent of the Fifteenth Amendment is to make negroes and Chinamen voters and politically and socially the equals of white men.”[30]

The San Francisco Elevator agreed that the fall elections would decide whether California ratified the Fifteen Amendment and willingly admitted black citizens to suffrage, “or whether the ruling powers will be compelled unwillingly to acknowledge our citizenship; for we hold it as a foregone conclusion, that the . . . amendment will be ratified.” The newspaper preferred California to willingly admit blacks to their voting rights, but conceded that “to produce so desirable a consummation, requires exertion on our part. We should show to the people of this State that we earnestly desire the glorious privilege, that we appreciate it, and are capable of exercising it judiciously, and not only with credit to ourselves, but to the advantage of the commonwealth.” The Sacramento Bee agreed with the Elevator that the amendment would be ratified by enough other states to make it a part of the Constitution, saying, “We may as well look on the fifteenth amendment as ratified; for it will be just as sure as the sun shines, and California can neither hasten nor retard the process! What then are these old hens fussing about?” But the Bee warned “The Democracy will jeer the Union candidates from the Sierra to the sea if they or their party attempt to sneak out of or dodge this plain, open, square and proper issue.” The paper also correctly prophesied that silence or a negative attitude on the issue would mean defeat.[31]

In 1868 the Democratic state convention adopted a resolution vowing, “That it is not only the patriotic duty, but the deliberate purpose of the democratic party never to submit to be governed by negroes, nor by those claiming to be elected by negro suffrage; . . . .” By June 1869, however, the emphasis had shifted from African Americans to the Chinese, and anti-Chinese planks appeared in both party planks. The Democratic convention also adopted a plank reading:

we are opposed to the adoption of the proposed fifteenth amendment . . . believing the same to be . . . certain to degrade the right of suffrage; to ruin the laboring white man, by bringing untold hordes of Pagan slaves (in all but name) into direct competition with his efforts to earn a livelihood; to build up an aristocratic class of oligarchs in our midst, created and maintained by Chinese votes; to give the negro and Chinaman the right to vote and hold office; . . [32]

In a speech to the convention, Governor Haight lent the prestige of his office to the Democratic campaign against the Fifteenth Amendment, saying, “The adoption of the proposed amendment will make Chinese suffrage inevitable.” Haight told the delegates that Easterners did not realize the Chinese were not as well qualified for citizenship as Europeans. “They do not comprehend that Chinese are Pagans,” the governor declared, “with no knowledge of the true God—with no enlightened conscience to which an appeal can be made—and . . . no conception of free institutions-- . . .” To give the Chinese the vote, Haight added, would be “to give the party or candidate who pay the largest sum the vote of the whole mass of Chinese.” In Haight’s opinion, capitalists and corporations would then control the state. U.S. Senator Eugene Casserly (Democrat) echoed Haight when he told the Jeffersonian Society that the Fifteenth Amendment “means suffrage to the Chinaman in this and every other State.” What troubled Casserly about Chinese labor was “the question of a systematized, if not concerted, movement for the purpose of bringing here the laborers of China, in such numbers as to practically supplant the white labor of the whole country . . .”[33]

The Alta’s obsession with the possibilities of trade with China led it to challenge the Democracy to face the logical result of their anti-Chinese propaganda. If Congress prohibited Chinese immigration, the paper stated, “We will then have a real . . . issue, and that issue will be nothing less than the destruction of the very objects for which the Pacific Railroad was built.” The railroad was constructed, the paper claimed, “mainly to secure for us the whole or the greater part of that vast trade which for centuries has enriched every nation that has been engaged in it. If we close our ports against the Chinese, we may expect to have their ports closed against us.”[34]

The Republican platform tried to ignore the black suffrage issue and at the same time temper Radicalism with the statement that “the negro question has ceased to be an element in American politics, and . . . the ratification of the fifteenth amendment . . . ought to be followed by an act of universal amnesty and enfranchisement of the southern people.” The platform recognized the federal government’s power to restrict or prevent Chinese immigration, but warned that the adoption of a non-intercourse policy with China would surrender “to Europe the commerce of the empires of Asia.” While favoring full protection of the law for the Chinese, the platform opposed Chinese suffrage “in any form” as well as any change in the naturalization laws. The Republicans’ Chinese policy was well on its way to being a carbon copy of the Democratic platform. U.S. Senator Cornelius Cole (Republican) wrote to a constituent in San Francisco that he did not fear the Chinese would overrun the state. He offered the unusual suggestion that they would find a “proper home” in Mexico in “due season.” But as for a Chinese person ever exercising the privileges of citizenship, “he could not if he would, and he would not if he could.” In San Francisco Cole’s fellow Republican, U.S. Senator Carl Schurz of Missouri, told a group of 2,000 German-Americans that “it was preposterous to say that the negro would ever become the peer of the white man,” but the vote would serve as protection for blacks. Urging his audience to vote with the party of “progress and enlightenment,” Schurz stressed that Chinese immigration was small in comparison with that from Europe, and the Chinese did not want to stay in America. The Fifteenth Amendment was “founded on the principles of right and justice,” Schurz assured his audience and he advised them not to fear it.[35]

The Elevator, however, charged that not even the Republican state organization was supporting the Fifteenth Amendment as enthusiastically as it could. Calling the party “inert, as usual,” the paper pointed out that the Republicans had no speakers in the field and it looked as if they intended to let the election go by default. To the Elevator, the Republican newspapers also seemed indifferent to the amendment, and the paper accused the San Francisco Spirit of the Times of openly denouncing it. The black newspaper also reserved some criticism for the Democrats, observing that Senator Casserly, having fled political oppression in Ireland, and “having obtained wealth, position, and undeserved honors here he is bending his whole energies, feeble though they be, to reduce the colored man to the condition of Irish serfs.” In 1868 the Elevator had taken frank exception to the “Copperhead papers and Democratic orators” who still brought up the idea that suffrage rights would mean social equality. Saying that plain language must be used, the paper stated, “the highest condition of social equality is sexual intercourse,” and that southern society sustained and encouraged “indiscriminate intercourse between the races.” The Elevator asserted, “The chief cornerstone of the institution of slavery has been adultery, until a virtuous female slave was almost considered an exception, and their offspring were fast becoming a race of bastards.” Democrats, the paper said, do not object to adulterous intercourse when the female African American is the victim, “but they are struck with holy horror at the mere possibility of niggers marrying their daughters.” The paper expressed contentment with the blacks’ social status, saying, “we ask no more.” But in 1869, the paper did resent the Democratic charge that the Fifteenth Amendment would enfranchise the Chinese, complaining bitterly, “In spite of all evidence to the contrary, notwithstanding the express prohibition in the naturalization laws, in order to deprive us of rights which this amendment bestows upon us, they insist on lugging in the question of Chinese suffrage.”[36]

Despite the Elevator’s criticism, there were Republican newspapers in California that favored the Fifteenth Amendment. Having apparently modified its opinions of 1867, the Alta consistently supported the measure. The newspaper called for a Republican legislature because “That party has the Fifteenth Amendment and other great questions to fight for.” The Republican Party’s principles “are immortal,” the paper declared, “and sooner or later must become triumphant. We have our duty to perform to the great cause of civilization, and we cannot furl our banners without everlasting disgrace.” The Sacramento Union also commended the amendment to its readers, saying, “it provides for a want long felt by the wisest men of the country—the equality of citizenship of the United States in each and all the States alike.” “If California is true to herself and would be consistent with her glorious record since 1861, the paper observed, “she will vote tomorrow as she did in 1864, for republican principles, and against a party too blind to see the right or too degraded to follow where it leads.” The Union also strongly objected to the Democrats’ political tactics, citing a combination of fraud and brutality on the part of “demagogues” using prejudice against the Chinese in order to carry the election. Equally indignant, the Alta trumpeted, “We do not think that the whole history of the politics of this country contains anywhere an instance of such an unblushing attempt to hoodwink and bamboozle a large body of the voters as this.[37]

Unblushing and successful. The election of September 1, 1869, was, noted the San Francisco Examiner, “a complete Democratic triumph.” The Democrats won seven seats in the Senate to dominate that body by twenty-six to twelve. In the Assembly they took fifteen more seats, bringing their total to sixty-seven. The victory was almost as great as in 1867 when the Democrats gained ten seats in the Senate and thirty-three in the Assembly. Once more the politics of prejudice, which the Democrats had perfected in the five years since the end of the Civil War, brought them overwhelming success. But this time the lesson would not be lost on the defeated Republicans.[38]

For apathy, doubt, and fear seem to have afflicted Republican voters. As the Union observed, “If they failed to vote in other parts of the state in the same proportion as in Sacramento county, there were between thirteen and fourteen thousand ‘down-sitting’ Republicans.” The Alta cited the switching of loyal counties from one party to the other as a sign of the uncertainty of the electorate, but admitted, “the result, as a whole, cannot be viewed in any other light than that of an emphatic condemnation of the Fifteenth Amendment.”[39]

In linking the possibility of Chinese citizenship with the Fifteenth Amendment, the Democrats had shrewdly taken advantage of the most politically rewarding issue at hand. Continued and violent opposition to African American suffrage might have reminded voters of the Democracy’s tainted role during the Civil War; but opposition to Chinese voting and office holding rights was safe on all counts. Still, the Republicans’ reluctance to vote in 1869 suggests that they may have harbored reservations about black suffrage. Since 1850 California’s white population had been relatively small and isolated, cut off from close contact with the rest of the United States. In 1861 Western Union extended its telegraph line from Omaha to California, but travel between the West and the East became easier only with the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. While California’s black population was small (4,272 in 1870), in less than ten years the status of African Americans had changed from slave to citizen. It is possible that this change, as well as fear of the possibility of vast Chinese immigration, may have made California’s Republicans as wary as the Democrats of the Fifteenth Amendment. A week before the election the Union remarked, “Rarely has a canvass been more quiet, for seldom has there been less to discuss. The parties agree practically upon nearly all questions really presented, because those upon which they have theoretically differed are recognized as settled.” But the Union could not ignore the question of voting rights. As California voters saw them, the issues were not settled—especially the suffrage issue.[40]

In 1868 and 1869 anti-Chinese feeling increased sharply. In 1868 the Burlingame Treaty and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the Chinese new privileges, protection, and rights under the sanction of the federal government. The treaty recognized the right to immigrate and to change allegiance, provided the most favored nation treatment for Chinese in America, and allowed reciprocal educational privileges in public schools. The completion pf the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 greatly increased white immigration from the eastern United States. At the same time Chinese immigrants responded to the need for agricultural workers in California’s Central Valley. Several thousand Chinese railroad workers also joined the labor force, many returning to the cities. According to the 1870 Census, the Chinese and Irish competed in significant numbers in such areas as mining, some manufacturing, and agricultural and common labor. The Irish possessed the vote, however, and in combination with the Germans they formed a bloc to be reckoned with by any political party.[41]

From the governor on down, the Democrats in 1869 shrewdly exploited the social tensions resulting from increased Chinese immigration, decline of the mining areas, urbanization, and unemployment. Combining with the anti-coolie clubs and trade unions, they mounted a second campaign based on scare tactics and verbal abuse. This campaign resulted in a rising tide of physical violence aimed at Asians and in success in the election of 1869. In a climate where anti-coolie associations and Democratic politicians blamed the Chinese for everything from smallpox epidemics to unemployment, the chances were slight indeed that the California legislature would ratify an amendment that, however remote the possibility, might enfranchise the despised “Celestials.”

Notes: Chapter VII

[1] Winfield J. Davis, History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 (Sacramento: Publications of the California State Library, No. 1, 1893), 289, 293-294; James Rawls and Walton Bean, California, An Interpretive History (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1993), 178.
[2] Dr. Ping Chiu estimated that the Central Pacific Railroad released approximately 4,000 Chinese construction workers. Another 3,000 to 4,000 laborers remained with the company and worked on branch lines; personal interview by Sheila Skjeie, Dec. 2, 1971; Mary Roberts Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, (New York: Arno Press, 1969; 1st ed., 1909), 350; Alexander Saxton, The Indispensable Enemy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 7.
[3] San Francisco Daily Alta California, Jan. 8, 1868, p. 2, col. 1, Nov. 11, 1868, p. 2 col. 1, Dec. 5, 1868, p. 2, col. 1; Elmer C. Sandmeyer, The Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Urbana, Il., University of Illinois Press, Illini Books edition, 1973), 10.
[4] Sacramento Daily Union, Jan. 1, 1869, p. 1, col. 1, p. 4, col. 1; Jan. 8, 1869, p. 2, col. 2.
[5] Alta, Nov. 11, 1868, p. 2, col. 1, Jan. 8, 1868, p. 2, col. 1, Dec. 5, 1868, p. 2, col. 1.
[6] U.S., Census, Ninth Census, 1870, Vol. I, The Statistics of the Population of the United States, embracing the tables of race, nationality, sex, selected, ages, and occupations. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872), I:15-16. San Francisco’s total white population was 136,059; California’s total Irish population was 54,421. See I:15, 91, 340. The total German population was 22,249. See I:389.
[7] U.S., Census, Ninth Census, 1870, I: 91, 340, 389, 722. Saxton, Indispensable Enemy, On a more personal level, Chico rancher John Bidwell wrote in his diary Nov. 30, 1870, “Irishman beat Cam Chinaman,” and on Dec. 1, 1870, “Discharged Irishman—“ See John Bidwell Diaries, 1864-1900, California State Library, Sacramento.
[8] Alta, June 22, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, June 29, 1869, p. 1, col. 3; Sacramento Daily Bee, July 3, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, Oct. 18, 1869, p. 2, col. 3. See Gordon W. Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, Doubleday Anchor Books Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1958), 55-61, for a description of the conditions leading to violence against an “out-group.”
[9] Bee, May 17, 1869, p. 2, col. 3; Alta, May 22, 1869, p. 2. col. 2, June 7, 1869, p. 1, cols. 3-5, June 17, 1869, p. 2, cols. 1-2; Ping Chiu, Chinese Labor in California 1850-1880 (Madison, WI: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the Department of History, University of Wisconsin, 1967), 32.
[10] Lucile Eaves, A History of California Labor Legislation (Berkeley: The University Press, 1910), 19; Saxton, Indispensable Enemy, 4.
[11] Alta, March 4, 1868, p. 1, col. 4; Alta, June 24, 1869, p. 1, col. 3; Bee, May 29, 1869, p. 2, col. 1.
[12] Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of California (7 vols., San Francisco: The History Company, 1886-1890), VII:349; Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, 346-47; Alta, Jan. 20, 1868, p. 2, col. 1, Nov. 18, 1868, p. 2, col. 1.
[13] Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, 350; Ching Chao Wu, Chinatowns: A Study of Symbiosis and Assimilation, (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1928) 57; Bee, July 19, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; Union, Aug. 4, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, Aug. 18, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, Jan. 1, 1870, p. 1, col. 1; Alta, Dec. 17, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, Jan. 31, 1870, p. 2, cols. 1-2.
[14] Henry George, “The Chinese on the Pacific Coast,” New York Tribune, May 1, 1869, in California Speeches (12 vols., n.p., n.d.), 4:13-19, California State Library, Sacramento.
[15] Saxton, Indispensable Enemy, 92, 102-103; Alta, July 23, 1869, p. 2, col. 1.
[16] Norman E. Tutorow, Leland Stanford: Man of Many Careers (Menlo Park, Ca.: Pacific Coast Publishers, 1971), 132; Union, Aug. 6, 1869, p. 2, col. 1; Alta, June 29, 1869, p. 2, cols. 1-2, Aug. 22, 1869, p. 2, col. 1-2. See also Alta, March 16, 1868, p. 2, col. 2, May 7, 1868, p. 2, cols. 1-2, July 23, 1869, p. 2, col. 1.
[17] Alta, July 15, 1869, p. 1, col. 6, Aug. 13, 1869, p. 2, col. 1; Union, Aug. 16, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; Saxton, Indispensable Enemy, 105.
[18] San Francisco Elevator, May 14, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; Alexander Saxton, “The Army of Canton in the High Sierra,” Pacific Historical Review, 35 (May 1966), 151-52.
[19] William H. Seward quoted in Walter LaFeber, The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860-1898 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Published for the American Historical Association, Cornell University Press, 1963), 25-27; Tyler Dennett, “Seward’s Far Eastern Policy,” American Historical Review 28 (October 1922), 46.
[20] LaFeber, New Empire, 30; Alta, Feb. 18, 1868, p. 2, col. 1; Feb. 21, 1868, p. 1, col. 4, Frederick Wells Williams, Anson Burlingame and the First Chinese Mission to Foreign Powers (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912), 92, 268; Glyndon G. Van Deusen, William Henry Seward (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), 523.
[21] Van Deusen, Seward, 524-25; Williams, Burlingame, 74, 88, 92, 100-101, 144-46, 152; Alta, Aug. 15, 1868, p. 1, col. 5.
[22] Elmer C. Sandmeyer, The Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Urbana, Ill: Illini Books edition, University of Illinois Press, 1973), 78; U.S., Congress, Senate, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements Between the United States of America and other Powers, 1776-1909, Sen. Doc. 357, 61st Cong., 2d. Sess. (2 vols., Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910), 1: 235-36; Williams, Burlingame, 144, 156-57, 243.
[23] Alta, April 11, 1868, p. 1, col. 2, April 28, 1868, p. 2, col. 1, April 29, 1868, p. 1, col. 1.
[24] San Francisco Daily Examiner, Feb. 1, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, March 6, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, July 13, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, July 21, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; State Capital Reporter, Oct. 24, 1868, p. 2, col. 2; Saxton, Indispensable Enemy, 84.
[25] Alta, April 8, 1868, p. 2, col. 2, April 18, 1868, p. 2, col. 2.
[26] Examiner, July 29, 1869, p. 1, cols. 1-5; Davis, Political Conventions, 289-291.
[27] Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, 150-67; Alta, Aug. 8, 1869, p. 3, col. 1; Elmer C. Sandmeyer, “California Anti-Chinese Legislation and the Federal Courts: A Study in Federal Relations,” Pacific Historical Review, 5 (September 1936), 192.
[28] Alta, Feb. 20, 1868, p. 1, col. 3, p. 2, col. 1; Thomas E. Malone, “The Democratic Party in California, 1865-68,” (M.A. thesis, Stanford University, 1949), 97-98; Union, March 31, 1868, p. 2, col. 2.
[29] Forrest G. Wood, Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968), 98; U.S. Constitution, amend. 14, sec. 1; Union, March 18, 1868, p. 1, col. 6; Coolidge, Chinese Immigration, 76.
[30] Examiner, July 12, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, July 19, 1879, p. 2, col. 1, Aug. 17, 1869, p. 2, col. 3; Reporter, Feb. 24, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, Mar. 25, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, June 2, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, June 9, 1869, p. 2, col. 1.
[31]Elevator, April 16, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; Bee, May 17, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, June 25, 1869, p. 2, col. 2.
[32] Davis, Political Conventions, 285, 289-90.
[33] Examiner, July 8, 1869, p.1, cols.1-4, July 31, 1869, p. 1, cols. 1-7.
[34] Alta, Aug. 17, 1869, p. 2, col. 1.
[35] Davis, Political Conventions, 293-94; Alta, July 8, 1869, p. 2, col. 3, Sept. 1, 1869, p. 1, col. 2.
[36] Elevator, July 30, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, Aug. 14, 1868, p. 2, col. 2, Aug. 20, 1869, p. 2, col. 2. [Check this]
[37] Alta, Aug. 8, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, Aug. 27, 1869, p. 2, col. 1; Union, Aug. 14, 1869, p. 2, col. 2, Aug. 31, 1869, p. 2, col. 2.
[38] Examiner, Sept. 2, 1869, p. 2, col. 1; Don A. Allen, Sr., Legislative Sourcebook, The California Legislature and Reapportionment, 1849-1965 (Sacramento: Assembly of the State of California, n.d.), 271-72. In 1869 the Senate contained a total of forty members of whom two were Independents; the Assembly had a total of eighty members of whom ten were Republicans and three were Independents.
[39] Union, Sept. 3, 1869, p. 2, col. 1, Sept. 6, 1869, p. 2, col. 1; Alta, Sept. 9, 1869, p. 2, col. 2.
[40] Union, Aug. 26, 1869, p. 2, col. 2; U.S., Census, Ninth Census, 1870, I: xvii. The total white population was 499,424; the aggregate population, 582,031.
[41] U.S., Census, Ninth Census, 1870, I:722.