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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

We found 191 items that match your search

"Arrest of Stephen S. Hill" (with text supports)

As this newspaper announcement indicates, the status of slaves in California was unclear and fluid. Even though California was admitted as a free state to the Union in 1850, many southerners, claiming their stay was temporary, brought their slaves [...]

"Meeting of Colored Citizens"

At least 2,000 African Americans participated in the California Gold Rush. Though some were brought as slaves by southern masters, many were free northern blacks who migrated west with other Americans. African Americans, even free citizens, however, [...]

"Meeting of Colored Citizens" (with text supports)

At least 2,000 African Americans participated in the California Gold Rush. Though some were brought as slaves by southern masters, many were free northern blacks who migrated west with other Americans. African Americans, even free citizens, however, [...]

A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush

Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Diary/Letter
A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush (with text supports)

Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]

California Gold Diggers

This lithograph of miners on the shore of the Sacramento River captures the crowded, thrilling early days of the California Gold Rush. People from diverse racial, national, and class backgrounds all participate in one way or another. In the [...]

Early Accounts of Indians in the California Gold Rush

Newspaper reports, letters, and guidebooks from the early days of the Gold Rush clearly indicate the presence of Native Americans working as miners. Reports from 1848 and early 1849 estimate there were about twice as many Indian miners as white [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

An Indian Child Apprentice Poses for a Photographer

This photograph of a Native American child apprentice was taken near Red Bluff, Tehama County, California. The boy, about ten years old, would be “bound” to a master until he was 25, as California law apprenticed boys under 14 until [...]

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