Faith Petrie, November 28, 2019, Los Angeles Sentinel
The ACLU of Northern California in collaboration with radio station KQED, the California Historical Society and the Equal Justice Society co-created an educational project directed at highlighting the stories of slavery throughout California.
Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California includes 13 essays and six audio stories that present the experiences of African Americans and Native Californians during the 1800s.
Candice Francis, communications director of the ACLU of Northern California said that the project originally spawned from wanting to observe the 400th year since enslaved people were brought to the United States from Africa.
“We were guided to rather than take on that mammoth task, to look more closely at California because there was a hidden history there,” Francis said.
One story highlighted on the website surrounds California’s first governor, a white supremicists named Peter Hardeman Burnett. Burnett advocated for the genocide of Native Americans as well as the exclusion of African Americans and other minority groups in California.
Visit Gold Chains Website
Letter from Major John Bidwill of Butte County on how widespread slavery of native people was: “[native people] all amoung us, around us, with us – hardly a farm house – a kitchen without them.”
Report from Indian Affairs Superintendent:
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, George M. Hanson, an ally of Lincoln and opponent of slavery, once found several white men making their way back from Humboldt County with native children in tow. The men said that the children were orphans, and they were providing them with homes and safety. When asked how they knew the children were orphans. The kidnappers replied that they had killed the parents themselves.