“Amos P. Catlin, The Whig Who Put Sacramento On The Map,” chronicles Amos’ life from his arrival in California in 1849 to his death in 1900 in Sacramento. Particular attention is paid to Amos’ work on organizing and building the Natoma water ditch in the early 1850s. It was during the ditch construction that Amos was elected to the California Senate. He wrote the bill to relocate the state’s capital to Sacramento. However, Amos did not consider the water projects or the state capital his most significant accomplishments in life.
Posts I have written about local and regional history, people, places, documents, maps, Sacramento, Placer, and California.
A dam site at Salmon Falls was too low in elevation to allow for the ditch to exit the river canyon between Red Bank and Mormon Island. Consequently, the dam site was moved to Rocky Bar which had an elevation of approximately 450 feet. With a small dam across the river, the headwaters for the canal would be elevated to 465 feet. The minimal slope of the ditch line would put the water canal at between 390 to 395 feet of elevation at the saddle.
My Dear Mrs. Judah, a subject which has often been upon my mind, and upon which I have often intended to write to you has quite recently been renewed itself with more than usual force. History is now being made for California and much of it false. You know with what studious zeal efforts have been in a certain quarter to bury the memory of Theo. D. Judah out of sight to the future reader of the history of California. You know also how some of his friends have endeavored at times to preserve that memory.
About one week after this while I was at work on Tennessee Bar, I saw deft with another man going to that part of the race which is made of lumber and is called the “Break”. He said he was going to cut it down. I followed him, he cut it down and let the water in the river. The direct consequence of which was that water overflowed what is called the Middle Bar of the Virginia Co. on which was located plaintiff’s claim. This was about three weeks ago.
From the main exit, where the main trail ends, I walked the short distance to the entrance or opening where Coyote Creek enters. The entrance is more spectacular than the exit. The exit opening is around eight feet in height. The entrance is at least 30 feet and the interior soars even higher. It is this section that most resembles a gothic cathedral. At the entrance, there are several large bedrock mortars, six inches in width and depth that indicate Native Americans were present long before the Europeans arrived.
In 1871 California had fifty different counties. These counties were outlined in water color on an 1871 County Map of the State of California. Counties yet to be created were Glenn, Imperial, Kings, Madera, Modoc, Orange, Riverside, San Benito, and Ventura. The 1871 map also has an inset of San Francisco that also has water-colored […]
By 1849, because of the Gold Rush, Sacramento had become a magnet for immigrants seeking their fortune in the gold fields. The Sacramento River was the primary conduit for passage from San Francisco. The importance of the river corridor prompted an 1850 hydrographic expedition to map the Sacramento River and associated sloughs, along with the […]
Section 1. It is hereby made the duty of each and every Chinese within the limits of the city of Sacramento, and they are hereby, each and every one, directed to remove without the limits of the city of Sacramento on or before the 1st day of March, 1886.
Amos was also a racist. He supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act and California’s version of the fugitive slave act while as a State Senator and Assemblyman. Later in the 1870s he denounced Chinese immigration as the greatest evil to California. He saw no reason to extend suffrage to black men or women.
Labor, cheap labor, being the one great palpable need of the Pacific States, – far more indeed than the capital the want and necessity of their prosperity, – we should all say that these Chinese would be welcomed on every hand, their emigration encouraged, and themselves protected by law. Instead of which, we see them the victims of all sorts of prejudice and injustice. Ever since they began to come here, even now, it is a disputed question with the public, whether they should not be forbidden our shores. They do not ask or wish for citizenship; they have no ambition to become voters; but they are even denied protection in person and property by the law.