|Resource #2-16: Primary Sources by and about Mexicans and Californios|
|Note: Statements made
by delegates to the Constitutional Convention have "CC" as the source citation.
These were recorded by J. Ross Browne, and appeared in The Other Californians
(Heizer and Almquist). Words or phrases enclosed by brackets [ ] were added
to help make the meaning clearer.
Note to teacher:
Mexicans, South Americans and Californios were often referred to as Spaniards by others during this time. As a result, it is not always clear what kind of Latin American is being described. There were very few real Spaniards in California at the timeless than 300.
|"A Spaniard was stabbed
by an American. It seems that the presumptuous foreigner had the impertinence
to ask, very humbly and meekly that hepay him a few dollars which he had
owed him for some time. His high mightiness, the Yankee, was not going
to put up with any such impertinence, and the poor Spaniard received, for
answer, several inches of cold steel in his breast, which inflicted a very
dangerous wound. Nothing was done, and very little was said about this
atrocious affair." (Dame Shirley)
"At Rich Barno foreigner shall work in the mines[this] caused nearly all the Spaniards to immigrate upon Indian Barthe law is selfish, cruel and narrow-minded in the extreme." (Dame Shirley)
July 5, following a July 4 celebration: "Weheard some noisy shouts of 'Down with the Spaniards.' 'The great American people forever,' and other similar cries, evident signs of quite a spirited fight. Seven or eight of the elite of Rich Bar, drunk with whisky and patriotism, were the principal actorswhich resulted in serious injury to two or three Spaniards." (Dame Shirley)
"It is common to hear vulgar Yankees say of the Spaniards, 'Oh, they are half-civilized' These unjust expressions naturally irritate the latter, many of whom are highly educated gentlemen of the most refined and cultivated manners. They think it ischaracteristic of Americans to be prejudiced, opinionated, selfish, avaricious and unjust. It is vain to tell them that [they] are not specimens of American gentlemen. They [the educated foreigners] will answer, 'They call themselves gentlemen, and you receive them in your houses as such.' " (Dame Shirley)
A terrible fight broke out between drunken and rude white and Hispanic miners: "Young Tom Somers laydead [while] a Spanish woman was weeping and moaning in the most piteous and heard-rending manner. Thenarose the most fearful shouts of 'Down with the Spaniards! Drive every foreigner off the river! Don't let one of the murderous devils remain." (Dame Shirley)
Part II, Resource #2-16