Learn California.org
Home Visit the Students section Visit the Teachers section Visit the Research California section Visit the Sitemap
Keyword Search

Negro Exclusion Bill
AB 395 [1858] 

Original Bill, Cover

Original Bill, Page 1

Original Bill, Page 2

Original Bill, Page 3

<= Go Back

Rep(or)t Fed(eral) Rel(ations)

April 21 [1858]


“Nigger Bill” *

Mr. President

The Committee on Federal Relations to whom was referred Assembly Bill No 395. Entitled “An Act to restrict and prevent the immigrations to and residence in this State of Negroes and Mulattoes” have had the same under Considerations and beg leave to report. That in the opinions of your Committee a law of this Character has become a necessity in California.

The position of the free negro in this state is a peculiar one, he is not the equal of the white man, socially or politically, he can not testify in our courts, or exercise the right of suffrage, hence in our judgement it is not good policy, on our part, to encourage the immigrations, of any class of persons incapable of appreciating and enjoying, to the fullest extent our institutions.

The negro is by nature indolent and in a state of freedom becomes a ready prey to vice, particularly in our large cities. 1 We deem it unnecessary to refer to the conditions of the free Negro, in portions of our union(?), as a proof of the evil of harboring them here in our midst.

The presence of the free negro here is a constant source of disquiet, for we are sorry to say, that there is not wanting, a clan of white men, in our state: whom a false philantrophy leads to fasten the ignorant hide of the free negro, so that he becomes insolent and defiant and if in sufficient numbers would become dangerous, as evidenced by recent occurrences in one of our cities

That there are here in California many worthy and industrious free negroes, your Committee do not deny, in fact we know many who for industry sobriety and good conduct, would be a good example to many of our white citizens, but these are exceptionable instances 2

The Bill does not interfere with those free negroes, already here, but simply requires them to procure a certificate of Registry, from the County Recorder in the County of their residence, to show that they were residents of this state prior to the 1st day of October 1858. This portion of the Bill is necessary to render it Effectual.

Believing therefore that the further immigration of free negroes and Mulattoes into this state, is not desirable, we beg leave to report the Bill back to the Senate and recommend its passage without amendment.

All of which is respectfully submitted

Senate Chairman
of Committee on Federal Relations Isaac Allen
C. E. Thom 3

“Negro Exclusion Bill,” 1858
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Pages 1, 2 and 3 of the original documents should be printed on legal size paper (8.5" x 14") the dimensions are 798 x 1244 pixels, 28.15 x 48.89 cm, or 11.083" x 17.278".

Copyright ©2000-2009 LearnCalifornia.org. All rights reserved.