Above: USA today repeats fake history claim that California had a “slavery legacy”, when slavery NEVER existed there. Not when it was part of Mexico before 1846. Not when it became part of the United States.
How could there be a “slavery legacy” in California if there were never any slaves there? Until 1846, California was part of Mexico which had abolished slavery in 1810. It is true that some Americans broke Mexican law by bringing slaves to Texas which was also part of Mexico before it became independent in 1836. However, Americans did not bring slaves to California while it was part of Mexico for a number of reasons.
When America went to war against Mexico in 1846, there were fewer than 75,000 Mexicans living in all of the Mexican territories north of the Rio Grande. Those territories included what is now Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico as well as California. Because of that, very small contingents of American soldiers quickly occupied California.
Before commanding American soldiers who occupied most of Mexican California in 1846, Robert Stockton earned a reputation capturing slave ships and freeing slaves while a young U.S. Navy Officer between 1811 and 1820. Robert Stockton’s grandfather was New Jersey’s Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Stocktons were a Quaker family who for many years opposed slavery and helped freed slaves obtain education, skills, and economic independence.
Those American soldiers were led by John C. Fremont and Robert Stockton who were both fierce opponents of slavery. Fremont later became one of the founders of the Republican Party, the first national political party dedicated to ending slavery in America. In 1856, Fremont became the first Republican nominee for President. Both were determined to make sure that southern slaveholders did not bring slavery to California as they had done in Texas.
Robert Stockton became a U.S. Navy officer in 1811. For the next ten years, he was in command of U.S. Navy ships that patrolled the coast of Africa to intercept and capture slave ships, and free their slaves. Robert Stockton was the grandson of Richard Stockton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey. For years, Richard Stockton and his family opposed slavery and helped freed slaves get the education and support they needed to live independent lives. Stockton, California is named after Robert Stockton. Stockton University near Atlantic City, New Jersey is named after his grandfather Richard Stockton.
Because slavery was not permitted in California, pro-slave southern Democrats blocked California from becoming a state for four years after it broke free from Mexico. California was finally allowed to become a state free of slavery under the “Compromise of 1850”. That allowed California to be a free state that outlawed slavery, if settlers were free to legalize slavery in the other territories taken from Mexico, namely what are now New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. (As it turned out, none of those territories permitted slavery either). After becoming a state, California gave all of its electoral votes to Republican Abraham Lincoln in both the 1860 and 1864 Presidential elections. California also provided large amounts of gold and men to help the Union win the Civil War and end slavery.
After the Civil War, many freed back slaves from the South moved to California and took advantage of its “boundless opportunities”. If the history professors at Stockton College near Atlantic City, New Jersey had any integrity or sense of justice, they would be among the first to denounce the ludicrous claim that California had a “legacy of slavery”. They would be among the first to explain how claims for “reparations” for blacks in California, whose ancestors were NEVER slave there, are nothing more than attempted theft by deception.
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