Exhibit Theme

Conflict Over California

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First Constitution of California,...
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First Constitution of California, 1849

In 1849 California adopted a constitution banning slavery and applied for admission to the United States. To balance California’s entry into the Union as a free state, the Compromise of 1850 included other measures—such as a stricter law on the return of fugitive slaves—that appeased the South.

"...Neither Slavery nor involuntary Servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State."

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration