It was wrong for government employees to use the n-word on official maps. Those people perverted history by inserting their bias against Black men and women. I’m not sure why the public display of the n-word was left in the exhibit that I visited. Perhaps, it was an oversight. I hope it was not a rationalization that the handwritten note of the n-word on the map was somehow historic in nature. While racism is historically significant, as historians we do not have to promote it in a public exhibit.
Posts I have written about local and regional history, people, places, documents, maps, Sacramento, Placer, and California.
The mining industry was dominated by Chinse men. Of the 2,655 men claiming to be miners, 48 percent were from China. Men who came from a European country comprised 29 percent of the miners and 21 percent were born in the United States. Of the European miners, 304 listed a birth as Ireland, 141 from the United Kingdom, 99 from Portugal, 81 from regions within Germany, and 79 men of French birth.
The Salmon Falls census tract included the region known as Negro Hill. However, there were very few men or women of color recorded by the census taker in 1860. I’ve transcribed the census pages for 6 other townships in Sacramento and Placer counties for 1860 and this is the first instance I’ve come across where the census recorder listed a person’s color as mulatto. Clearly, the mulatto color designation is subjective relative to the census recorder. In the Salmon Falls census there are 19 persons listed as Black and 12 as mulatto. Of the mulatto individuals, 6 were children all under the age of 6, all born in California.
Accompanying this very suggestive Map are several views on the Central Pacific Railroad, which still further illustrate the difficulties encountered in its construction. The first of these represent the Chinese laborers at work on the road up the Sierra Nevada. The Central Company has over 10,000 of this race in its employ. The picture gives some idea of the Herculean nature of the work of tunneling and excavating through the solid granite of the mountains.
The view above represents the fine and substantial bridge across the American River at Leslie’s Ferry. It was commenced in the spring of 1851 and completed in the month of September of the same year. It is the largest and most substantial structure of the kind in California, being 620 feet in length, 25 feet in width, and 30 feet above low water mark.
The 1860 census for Mississippi Township is enumerated on 8 pages. There were 93 residential dwellings in the township housing 320 individuals. Of the residents in 1860, 40 percent were born in the United States, 29 percent had a European birth, and 30 percent had immigrated from China. As would be expected in a California mining region of 1860, 82 percent of the residents were male.
European immigrants were dominated by people immigrating from Ireland, making up 40 percent. Next were individuals born in England (25.88%) and Germany (18.42%.) Immigrants from France, Scotland, and the Western Islands totaled slightly less than 14 percent of the population. The population of Chinese individuals was close to the number of immigrants who listed England as their birth origin.
Gentleman: Herewith I present a brief report of the present state of progress of grading upon your Road, with an estimate of the amount of work remaining to complete the first Division to the Auburn Ravine or Nevada Station.
The mining industry was dominated by foreign born men. Of the 665 men listing their occupation as miner, 37 percent were of European birth and almost 28 percent were from China. Of course, it was primarily U.S. born men who comprised the gold rush of 1849. The initial gold rush wave of miners scoured the river beds of placer gold. The majority of mining in 1860 was the washing of high and dry ground for placer gold with water supplied by the Natoma ditch system.
Dear Sir, I did not get yours of yesterday until 11/2 o’clock P.M. Consequently, you will not hear from me until tomorrow morning unless I should get a chance to send this to you this evening. The reason that I did not get it is this – The canal broke about one mile below this place about 8 o’clock last night. Consequently, I was not here when the stage came in and Mr. Baldwin gave you letter to Woods and he did not give it to me until this afternoon.