Sacramento: 1869. 43pp. Original printed wrappers. Spine ends chipped; light wear and dust soiling to wraps. Even tanning, occasional foxing internally. Still very good. Item #1987
Biannual message of Governor Henry Huntly Haight to the state legislature of California at the outset of its eighteenth session in December 1869. Haight was notable for his strongly racist and anti-immigrant views, and was elected in 1867 with no prior experience based on his anti-Chinese, anti-Reconstruction platform. Remarkably he was an early Republican and supported both Frémont and Lincoln for President, but joined the Democratic Party in 1863 after the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. His views are reflected in the present address, particularly in the section on immigration:
"We need population -- not of races inferior in natural traits, pagan in religion, ignorant of free institutions, and incapable of sharing in them without putting the very existence of those institutions in peril -- but we need immigrants of kindred races, who will constitute a congenial element and locate themselves and their families permanently upon the soil.... The legislature have power, without doubt, to make such provisions as will secure the people of the State against the stream of filth and prostitution that has been pouring in from Asia for the past twelve months and at the same time secure the working people of the State against the importation of a class whose servile competition tends directly to cheapen and degrade labor...."
Oddly, Haight is nevertheless in favor of allowing testimony from Asians and other non-Whites during trials and other judicial proceedings. Additional business addressed here includes a report on the first year of operation of the University of California, the progress of several state construction projects, the success of recent incentives for agriculture and industry, and the operations of the state asylum and prison. An appendix provides a list of pardons granted by the governor to individuals convicted of a wide variety of murder, mayhem, and robbery. Overall, a quite interesting synopsis of California government under anti-Reconstruction Democrats after the Civil War.