MAJORITY REPORT and YJNORITY REPORT of the CQIAMITTEE on SiiNES and MINING INTERESTS. Sacramento, 1856. sku franciscd history centeb San Francisco Public Library TACKS REFERENCE BOOK Not to be taken from the Library [Document No. — . j IN TUE eJJSNATJS.J [SESSION ot isotj. MAJOKITY REPORT &F THE COMMITTEE ON MINES AND MINING INTERESTS. JAMES ALLS::, STATE PBINTE .1. E E P E T To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of California: The Committee on Mines raid Mining Interests to whom was referred Senate Bill No. 11, relating to the tax now levied and collected from that portion of the residents of this State ineligible by law to become citizens, and is understood as repealing the Statute now in force, passed day of 1855, have had the same under advisement, and after the best investigation they were able to give the subject return the same to the body whence it originated and recom- mend its passage. Your committee are aware that the objects sought to be accomplished by the enactment of this law elicit the utmost diversity of opinion from all who have examined the subject, not only in regard to the expediency or propriety of the particular law now recommended to the favorable consideration of the Legisla- ture, but extending further and embracing the question of the policy of toler- ating, under any circumstances, the presence of this 'unfortunate people in our midst, as well as the further question of the constitutionality of any law on the subject. Deeply impressed with the importance of the matter under investiga- tion, and fully aware that the public mind is looking anxiously to the course about to be taken by this body, your committee have in deference to these facts availed themselves of every accessible means o! information, and arrive at the conclusion that the law now in force was passed and became a law without due investigation. In other words, we would be understood distinctly as condemning it as a hasty, imprudent and mischievous piece of legislation, unauthorized by the existeuce of any evil at the time in view, or demanded by any fair expression of public opinion. Those who orpose and denounce the propriety of passing this bill urge that these people exhaust our mines and subtract from our wealth by carrying to their remote homes the gold they produce, and that being an in- ferior race, ignorant and bigoted as well as cruel and selfish, that we, as a peo- ple, lose something in the way of dignity and personal self-respect by associa- tion with them. They further urge that this people, though extracting from our mines a vast amount of gold, yet are, to a very limited extent, consumers of the agricultural productions of the State, or at any rate that there is the widest possible margin between what they receive, and what they disburse. These reasons are entitled to great con-ideration, as it is believed that they include the main grounds of opposition to this b'.lh California possesses illimitable wealth. Between the snowy mountains which make her eastern boundary and the wide rolling Pacific are cradled riches sur- passing in extent the magnificence of all other lands. Her soil is rich in every generous production which the earth ever yielded to her children. Her moun- tains and hills reck with a metal which has through all time controlled the world. These mighty resources are undeveloped for the want of population, and our c uutiy, fnlly aware of these facts, has ever made it her policy, to which so much of our national greatness is to be attributed, to invite hitlnr all who had the strength and will to labor. This invitation may not have been an express one, but it is known to have been our policy, and if it was implied and not ex- pressed it is the more cordial because of that fact; and as they are here addi- tional argument why we should deal justly with them can be derived from this view of the matter. The mines of California are neither exhausted of their wealth or crowded by ex- cess of pofulaiion ; on the contrary, they are scarcely developed, and there is room for all who are willing to work. There is room, yes, a demand in California for » million of men. It is in the knowledge of all who are conversant with t!,is branch of our subject, that this people labor only in placers abandoned and condemned by others whose ideas of the value of money is more liberal than theirs; and that on account of their frugal habits, and the cheap character of the food they consume, they are able to procure adequate remuneration fur their patient toil in places where another would find it difficult, if not impossible to procure a subsistence. It may not be our policy to invite them hither; however this may be, it is certainly not good policy or sound morals to attempt, Ly the enactment of oppressive sumptuary laws, to drive them hence, especially, when they had no notice before coming that such would be the line of policy pursued by us towards them. The kw, as it now stands, is well calculated to defoat the very object for which it was passed, by re- ducing them to a condition of such abject penury that they will never be able to leave or do anything else. It is strange that this reflection did cot cross the minds- et' the astute gmtlemen concerned in its passage. Most of the gold produced by them is left in the State ; yet even if it were not, it is not because of that fact lost to us or to mankind, but yet remains as so much of the aggregate wealth of the world, in the reach of any one who has an equivalent, to offer therefor. These peo- ple do not crowd our pool houses — " they are not found begging on street corners'* — they are scarcely ever seen in our Courts — in our prisons, they are scarcely ever met. Yet if all this were true, and they were really a bad people, would it be good to take their money and effects from them, reduce them to abject poverty, and thus incidentally force them into crime ? It may be proper to adopt measures to rid the country of them ; if so, scud them out, but do not attempt to do so by legalizing a crusade of questionable deceucy against the property they have made here, or brought with them to this country. Again, they are a weak people, and are at our mercy, and it is certainly not the policy of a proud, powerful, and magnanimous nation to oppress auy one, least of ail. a class of defenseless strangers. Again. For the last one hundred and fifty years, the commerce of the nation of which this people are representatives, has been considered, and is now detmtd to be one of the richest prizes for which a nation struggles; up to this time, no one particularly can be said to have borne off the palm The contest is yet un- settled, and the lists are yet open — while from our geographical position we possess great advantages, facing them, as we do, across the sea. The United States, fully impressed with this important matter, has signalled in the most emphatic manner, a desire not only U> continue and perpetuate, but to create further friendship with these nations by sending thither, on a very re- cent occasion, one of its best appointed fleets. In this connection it may not be inappropriate to observe — That the history of our country, inculcating as it doe?, the highest political maxims which the mind of man is capable of comprehending, also teaches as it were, a political morality, and recognizes if it does not directly indoctrinate a belief in the sanc- tity of our Christian faith. In ages past and gone, our race separated from this people. Their lot lay to the East, and d rkness has covered them with a man- tle. Ours lay to the West, and be it said, in no feeling of vanity or gratulation, that around our path, and over our destiny has been shed a bright refulgent light, by which we ever have, read and taught, as our cardinal maxims, Virtue and Morality, Faith, Hope and Charity. In this remote land — the westernmost track in the tread of empire, we meet ngain. Let us not signalize this meeting by an Act of unprovoked oppression. They learn many things by association with us. They perhaps return to their own land, to speak of the lessons they have received in this. Would it not be wrong — aye, even sinful — to teach them that we, who boast of ourselves as being in the van of civilization, and living evidences of the might of faith, of the fruition of hope, and of that charity which does to others as it would be done by, yet were found deficient in all these generous attributes, and were only bigot- ed, proscriptive, and intolerant? These questions belong to the casuist, but your committee cannot forbear all mention of them. In regard to the assertion that society is corrupted by the presence of this class, your committee are unable to sanction a proposition so little complimen- tary to the intelligence and dignity of the American character. Intelligent men do not copy their inferiors, nor is the tendency of human mind downwards. Any one who would be corrupted by any association of this sort, is already by nature, beyond the reach of redemption, or the power of recall. Negatively we think that they have done us no harm, they have certainly done us a great deal of positive good, in the way of contributions towards the sapport of our government. The chairman of your committee addressed a note to onr efficient and polite Controller of State, requesting a statement of the amount received into the State Treasury from this source — we here beg leave to introduce his kind reply: Office of Controller of State, ) January 18, 1856. j Hon. Chas. Westmoreland, Chairman of the Committee, on Mines and Mining Interests ; Sir: Tour favor requesting " the amount of revenue received into the State Trea- sury from the sale of Foreign Miners' Licenses, from the enactment of the law relating thereto, up to the present time," was duly received. Below I have the houor to submit a statement, which I trust will be satisfactory: e Receipts, 2nd fiscal year, ..... $29,991 20 3d do 1,002 53 4th do - 53,121 01 5th do 100,557 92 6th do 123.323 25 from July 1st, 1855, to Jan. 12, 1356, - • 121,439 00 Total receipts from Foreign Miners' Licenses, ... $429,434 91 Respectfully, Your ob't servant, GEORGE W. WHITMAN, Controller of State. An araonnt at least equal to this has been paid into the various County Treas- uries, and the whole of this revenue is jeopardized by the law now in force. El Dorado is believed to be ODe of the most important mining counties in thb State. The Treasury of that County received from this source, in 1853 ..... $10,042 62 1854, ..... 26,649 97 1855, ..... 57,270 05 29th Sept., 1855, to Dec. 1855, - - 8,404 00 Making, - - - - $102,426 64 While the same amount has gone into the State Treasury from this county. This fund so paid into our County and State Treasuries has had a most mark- ed and important influence on our financial history and standing. By the action of the law now in force, in tbe county referred to, there is a monthly diminution of $2,349 78, or annually of $28,197 36, from what has been received infor- mer periods. Are we in a condition to disregard this important branch of our municipal revenue ? It seems to your committee that we are not in any such position. These people have always been willing to pay four dollars per month, but refuse to pay six, when by the action of the law itself it is to be regularly in- creased, thereby driving them to bankruptcy geometrically. They will not pay it and are generally too poor to leave the country. This report, already ex- tended as it lias unavoidably been to a great length, only embraces a very few of the arguments, and those hastily expressed, on this important subject. CHAS. WESTMORELAND, Chairman. JOHN D. COSBY. Document No. ■ i i. maBiammamimammmmmmmmmmimimmmmmmamatm, IS TliF. 8ENATB.J PJSS&IOJ <ii Afcrt. MINOEITY KEPOKT COMMITTEE ON MIKES AND MINING INTERESTS. SUBMITTED MARCH 10, 1856. J\MES ALLEV. STATE PRINTER REPORT. Mr. President: The undersigned, a minority of the Committee on Mines and Mining Interests, to whom whs referred Senate bill No. 11, which proposes to repeal section 1 of an Act passed April 30, 1855, entitled "an Act to amend an Act to provide For the Protection of Foreigners, and to define their Liabilities and Privileges,' 7 pissed Marc!) 30, 1853, respectfully beg leave to report, that they have given the whole subject matter a most careful consideration ; and finding it impossi- ble to approve the sentiments and recommendations of the report adopted by a majority uf this Committee; but believing them to be unwise and impolitic, and contrary to the wishes of a large majority of the electors of this Stale, we have felt it, to be a duty which we owe to our immediate constituency, to make this counter report, and in their name protest against any disturbance of the several Acts now in lorce in regard to the liabilities and privileges of foreigners in this S ate. To this end, we most earnestly recommend an indefinite postponement of the bills under consideration. The purpose of Senate bill No. 11, the passage of which is so earnestly recom- mended, and ably argued in the majority report, is simply this: The reduction of the tax at present imposed, for the privilege of working the mines of Califor- nia, upon that portion of our foreign population who are by law ineligible to become citizens of the United States, from the sum of si ; dollars to four dollars per month. And it is to defeat this purpose, that we recommend the indefinite postponement of the bill. You will here, however, permit us to remark, that, in making this recommen- dation, we have not done so hastily and without due investigation. We are profoundly impressed with the momentous importance of a quest on that involves the disposition of the forty or fifty thousand Chinese now sojourning on our shores. We regard it as of paramount interest to all other questions that are now before the Legislature. We look upon it as a ma iter of too much impor- tance to be considered alone with reference to its temporary results. Taking- hold, as it does, not only of the present, but reaching out into the far distant future, its possible and probable results there should also be weighed and pro- foundly considered by the legislator. With these assurances, we propose to submit, in a very brief and fragmentary manner ;i few remarks in support of the position which we occupy in reference to Senate bill No. 11. And first we would inquire: Is tlie object which the bill proposes to accomplish, viz., a reduction of the Chinese tax lull one-third from the sum now fixed by law, recommended by a sound State policy ? We think not. True, if the Chinese were a desirable population — if their labor w.s necessary to the development of the immense riches which California, to use ihe beautiful Mid vivid language of the majority report, has " cradled be- tween the snowy nountains which mark her eastern boundary, and the wide rolling Pacific," then we, too, would urge the removal of all existing restrictions, and demand that they be permitted to go into our mines, and enjoy, "without money and without price, all immunities and privileges possessed by our own citizens. But are they such a population ? and does such necessity for their labor exist ? Who will answer these questions in the affirmative ? Who among the people will, or have answered thus ? No one, save an occasional trader, or packer, or merchant, or, perhaps, some stage or steamboat man, and their imme- diate friends, who are directly benefitted by the presence of the Chinamen in our midst. But surely no such response will be heard coming from that clas3 of men who constitute the great majority of the population of this S f ate — we mean the laborers, the woikingmen — that class to whose strong arms California is indebted for her wondrous rise and unexampled progress, in the short period of six years, from almost utter obscurity to a position alongside of the wealthiest and most important States of our proud Republic. No, Mr. President; the working men of California do not demand the repeal of the txisting law in regard to the Chinese Tax. They are satisfied with its operation. Tint law was placed upon our statute books in obedience to the al- most unanimous voice of the electors ol this State, and especially that portion of them more immediately interested — the miners. They believe that such a l.i w would encourage the Chinese to gradually leave the Slate; experience has proved that such is the effect of the law. Is it then reasonable to suppose that they are dissatisfh d with it now, because it is operating precisely as they antici- pited and hoped? If so, then we ask those whose sympathies are with the Chinamen, where are the evidences of this dissatisfaction? Has any voice ever reached this hall, coming from the miner's cabin, in the mountains, or the humble cottage of the laboring man, in our cities and villages, that asks for its repeal? No. Where then do we find indications of the people's dissatisfaction? Can any one, with truthfulness, say that such dissatisfaction does really exist? If so, then we frankly, and with a proper degree of humiliation, confess that we have utterly failed to discover it, and are totally incompetent to the task of fix- ing its ' local habitation." True, a few petitions from one or more mountain counties, and one from sundry merchants of San Francisco, have been presented to the present Legislature, pray- ing for a modification of the existing law so far as it has reference to the Chinese. But when it is remembered with what universal satisfaction, in every purtion of the country, the passage of the statute now in force was received less thau one year since, it will, we duubt not, be thought by you, as it is by ourselves, that these peti- tions have already received the only consideration to which they are entitled. But, in the absence of any demand on the part of the people for a repeal of the law Of. 1855, we are gravely told by the majority report, which urges the. repeal of that law, that it, was passed " without clue investigation,'' that it was a ' hasty, im- prudent and mischievous piece of legislation, unauthorized by the existence of any evil at the time in view, or demanded by any fair expression of public opinion. In reply, we have only to state what is well known to every newspaper reader ia the State, that the last Legislature was literally flooded with petitions and proceeding of miner's meetings, from almost every mining county in the State, praying the Legis- lature to enact a law which would more effectually rid the State of the disgusting pres- ence of the Chinese, than did the law of 1853. And that it was in obedience to this almost unanimous demand of the miners that the Legislature of 1855, after a longer and more thorough investigation than they gave to any other question during the session, placed upon the statute hook the law now in force. In the face of tliese facts, which should be so familiar to every legislator, it is astonishing that the au- thors tJ the majority repoit, who '' availed themselves of every accessible means of information," should make the extraordidary declaration that " the law uow in force was passed and became a law without due investigation." Uut it is urged, and this seems to be considered by the friends of reduction as the unanswerable argument in its favor, that, unless our laws are so modified as to encouiage thc^e fifH thousand Chinamen to remain among us, our State and County Treasuries will speedily approach bankruptcy. Were it not for the fact that, this argument is u-ed by gentlemen with all the seriousi ess and gravity becoming legis- laiois, we would be dis] osed to look upon it as one of the many facetious emana- tions of the fertile brain of that incomparable wit " Squibob," which keep the good people of California in a state of uninterrupted good humor : but, coining as it does from grave legislators, we are forced to treat it with becoming gravity In doimx so, however, we confess to a feeling of more than ordinary humiliation. Our pride as Americans, and more especially as Califbrnians, is humbled, when we hear intelligent citizens, through the columns of the newspapers and orherwise, confess the beaef, if the Chinese should some fine day determine lo return to their oriental homes, and put that determination into execution, that the groat State of California would be financially crippled! reduced almost to the verge of bankrupt cy 1 Can it be possible that any facts exist upon which such an extraordinary opinion can be justly ba>ed. Is it true that the hundred thousand Cakfornians are »o poor that they cannot support a government without the aid of the fifty thousand miserable and bestial Chinese now in our midst ? We cannot b elieve it. The very idea is an insult to every citizen within our borders. It is a reflection upon them as men, as Califoruians, as patriots. It is a libel upon :hem as Americans. It armies that they are unfit to enjoy, and incapable of supporting a government of their own making From such a slander the intelligent people of this State need no vin- dication. Our Christianity is also appealed to, and we are told by ninny good men who have at heart the conversion and enlightenment of the Heathen, that the law of 1S55 presents a most serious obstacle iu the path of the missionary. If this be so, as Christian men we most truly deplore it. Li common with good men of every Christian laad, who would see the dark places of the heathen world illu- mined by the Gospel of truth, we desire to encourage the Christian missionary in the prosecution of his arduous, exalted and most holy work To accomplish this we are willing to render every assistance which our duty as men and legis- lators demands. But if the Chinese make it a condition precedent to their con- version to Christianity, that we take them to our bosoms and permit them to work our gold mines, theu we say, with all earnestness, let them continue in the darkness of heathenism. Again, it is urged that the commerce of eastern Asia is a prize for which, during many centuries, the commercial nations of the earth have struggled and that tlie nation which carried off that prize las invariably grown wealthy and powerful. For this reason, it is argued, our true policy dictates that, in order to se- cure this rich prize, we should repeal all laws which restrict the privileges of the Chinese iu this State, and thus, as a nation, gain their especial love. We fully appreciate tlie importance of monopolizing the rich trade of Eastern Asia ; and to accomplish that would hive our commercial intercourse with the people of that part of the "lube as liberal and free as possible. We would remove every unnecessary restriction upon the tra le between the two countries. We desire their trade — we desire to monopolize their ammertp. — but we do not want them. We .are utterly opposed to any interchange pf population. It cannot fail to occur to the re-flectiug mind that there are several evils con- nected with this question, of a character so momentous as to far Outweigh all consideration-* of dollars and cents. The presence of this people in our midst threatens the entailment upon -us of an anomalous kind of slavery unknown to our system of government, and infinitely more obnoxious than the Peon system of Mexico. It likewise threatens to degrade labor, at\d depredate its value. Indeed it has already had that effect. It is to preserve California as the favor- ed and peculiar name of the laboring man, that we urge the exodus of the great body of the Chinese population of this State. But this report has already swelled to a length much greater th?n we intend- ed: therefore, to sum up, in a few words, some of the reasons for advocating the continuance of such laws upon our statute books as will tend to encouragj the Chinese to leave the State, we believe — That their presence here is a great moral and social evil — a disgusting scab upon the fair face of society — a putrefying sore upon the body politic — in short, a nuisance, that, unless speedily abated, is likely to work tremendous and last- ing injury to the State; That they threaten the entailment upon us of a strange system of slavery ob- noxious to our institutions; That they degrade labor, and depreciate the value thereof, to the gre .t det- riment of the working men of this State; % That they are. by law, incapable of becoming citizens of the Slate. That the existing Chinese laws were passed in obedience to the almost unan- imous demand of the laboring men of the country; That these laws operated and are operating precisely as their authors pre- dicted: And, in short, we are opposed to a repeal or modification of the existing laws relating to the Chinese, for the reason that the People do not demand it. S II. POSH. JOHN D. SCELLEN, J. W. MAN.DE YILLE.