On January 24, 1848 gold had been discovered in the Sacramento Valley in California by a man named Henry William Bigle. He had documented in a small note book saying, this day some kind of mettle… that looks like goald. (Created Equal, 2010, p.
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312). Soon after the discovery of gold many immigrants from all over came to Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1849 and soon gained the name the Forty-Niners because of the year the immigrants had gone to go search for gold themselves which was in 1849. Many different cultures from Gold Rush years were bunched together and people from different countries began to acknowledge the Mexican culture.
California had become part of the U.S. after the U.S.-Mexican War. In 1848 a Treaty of Peace Limits, and Settlements had ended the Mexican-American War (Deer, 2005), which helped the U.S. obtain about 530,000 square miles of land that went from northwest Texas to California. This was called he Mexican Cession, this land became home to over 13,000 Spanish speakers and 100,000 Indians (Created Equal, 2010,p. 312). With all of this happening slavery had tensions bearing high making civil war a possible threat that resulted in the Compromise of 1850.
The Compromise of 1850 was brought up in an attempt to sooth a conflict between the North and South about keeping slavery in California. This Compromise could interrupt balance between free and slave states in the U.S. Senate (Primary Documents in American History). Senator Henry Clay had tried putting some resolutions on the table to fix the problem and avoid any more conflict with the North and South because if not they would have been major fighting going on civilly. In the beginning the bill had been in the air until Calhoun had tried attacking that the North should not have to limit their slavery, Webster had made a speech trying to make his abolitionist supporters extremely upset, Senator William H. Seward of New York had opposed the bill and gained a reputation for radicalism by claiming that a higher law than the Constitution was meant to check slavery (Compromise to Slavery Authors).
In a book called The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law 1850-1860 is describes the arguments that had risen to make this bill into a working law. The law was meant to protect and give the free slaves the same rights as a common white man at the time.
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