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AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum

Post #1 - CAAP

California’s African American Pioneers
Developed by Guy Washington, National Park Service
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700; Oakland, CA 94607; 510 817-1390
January 3, 2005

“Aaron”
He was a black man who was the personal servant of Colonel Richard B. Mason. #3, p.8

In 1848 he remained loyal in his duty as a servant to Colonel Richard B. Mason when others deserted and headed for the gold fields. #20, pp. 67, 75

Abram
This black person died on August 20, 1850 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 6, Lot 7. The age and nativity of the person are unknown. #50, p.4

Adams, John
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Adams, Rhoda
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

Adkins, Samuel
He was a black man from New York who died on October 17, 1850 at age 27.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 4, Lot 323. #50, p.4

Alexander, Alfred
He was a black man from North Carolina who died on February 15, 1852 at age 44.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 11, Lot 98. #50, p.4

Alexander, Charles
He was born free of mixed blood, with an Indian father and a black mother.
He and his wife Nancy were married in Springfield, Illinois on December 25, 1849.
The couple settled in St. Louis, where Charles operated a grist mill for 16 years until 1857.
He and Nancy left for California with their two children in a wagon pulled by a team of oxen. #58, p.87

On July 1, 1859 he arrived in Victoria, British Columbia on the steamship Oregon.
After mining for gold, he returned in 1861 to his family in Victoria, where he worked as a carpenter.
He and his wife eventually had twelve children and he became a prosperous farmer in Saanich. #58, p.88

Alexander, Mary
She was a black woman who did washing at Washerwoman’s Bay, a pond located between Franklin, Octavia, Filbert, and Lombard Streets in San Francisco. #3, p.104

Alexander, Nancy
She was born free of mixed blood, with an Irish father and a black mother.
She and her husband Charles were married in Springfield, Illinois on December 25, 1849.
The couple settled in St. Louis before leaving for California with their two children in 1857.
They traveled on the overland route in a wagon pulled by a team of oxen. #58, p.87

In 1861 she and her children were joined by Charles in Victoria, where he worked as a carpenter.
She and Charles eventually had twelve children and lived on a farm in Saanich. #58 p.88

Alexander, Preston
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Alexander, William H.
In 1866 he was elected 2nd Lieutenant of the newly formed Brannan Guards by its 45 members.
Other officers selected were A.B. Dennison, Captain, James Phillips, 1st Lieutenant and A. Jackson, Orderly Sergeant. #58, p.24

The group met for drills on Wednesdays at their armory, located at 925 Pacific Street in San Francisco.
The unit participated in a parade in 1870 celebrating the ratification of the 15th Amendment. #58, p.25

“Allen”
He was an elderly slave who came to California from Mississippi with his owner.
Reverend Woods, a fellow miner, arranged his freedom papers. #3, p.73

Allen, John
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Grass Valley. #15, p.102

He was a black miner in California in1849. #15, p.105

Allen, Robert
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Grass Valley. #15, p.102

Allen, Thomas
He was a black man from New York who died on February 25, 1853 at age 62.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 3, Lot 518. #50, p.4

Allen, Thomas
He was a black man from New York who died on March 23, 1854 at age 60.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 19, Lot 105. #50, p.4

Altamarino, Justa,
He was one of two mulattos stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco in 1790.
The other was Maria Garcia, wife of Joseph M. Martinez. #58, p. 40

Anderson, A.J.
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and was a pioneer of Chico in Butte County.
He was a fruit buyer for Roseburg Packing Company. #15, p.103

Anderson, Hestor (Miss)
She was a black woman who was liberated along with Miss Belle Grant in 1868 or 1869 through the efforts of William Robinson of Red Bluff. #15, p.92

Anderson, John
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

Anderson, Peter (1819?-1879)
He was a black man, who was originally from Pennsylvania. #3, p.211

He was one of the Colored Convention leaders. #3, p.161

On September 27, 1855 he was part of a committee that signed a call for a Colored Convention.
The group included James Carter of Sacramento, J.H. Townsend, Peter Anderson, William H. Newby, D.W. Ruggles and J.B. Sanderson, all of San Francisco. #15, p.55

He was a member of committee on black public schools in San Francisco.
It was made up of Collins, Anderson, Fletcher, Sanderson, Ruggles. #3, p. 173

He signed an 1862 petition in San Francisco for better education for black children.
Other signers included J.B. Sanderson, Barney Fletcher, H.F. Sampson, Isaac Reed, John Kinney, Charles Smith, P. Anderson, J. Madison Bell, Samuel E. Burris, A.B. Smith and R.T. Houston. #3, p.176

In September 1855 he signed a call for a Colored Convention at San Francisco’s Athenium Institute.
Other signers of the petition calling for the convention to be held in Sacramento on November 20, 1855 were J.H. Townsend, W.H. Newby, David Ruggles and James Carter (Sacramento). #3, p.212

In 1859 he was vice president of California Savings and Land Association.
Other officers were Henry M. Collins (President), E.R. Johnson (Secretary), William Hall, Edward Cain, Thomas Bundy, Benjamin Harris, Thomas Taylor, George W. Dennis (all on Board of Directors) #3, p.265

He was the editor of Pacific Appeal newspaper. #27, p.5

During 1850s he owned a steam scouring or cleaning business located at 541 Merchant Street, San Francisco. #27, p.5

He wrote for eastern publications under pseudonym, “Tall Son of Pennsylvania.” #27, p.5

He served on a special committee selected by the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
The Executive Committee met in San Francisco during 1863 after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of this committee at a Scott Street church meeting.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

In 1860 he operated a clothing store in San Francisco. #45, p.45

He maintained his clothing store before and after he entered the newspaper business. #45, p.56

“Andy”
He was a black man who was noted Indian fighter and a friend of Goldsborough Bruff. Along with several whites he participated in the rape of an Indian girl. #3, p.85

Anthony, (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sutter’s Creek. #15, p.103

Anthony, Robert
He purchased his own freedom and in 1849 was owner of a quartz mill at Hornitos. #1

He was a black miner in California in 1849.
He owned the first quartz mill in the state.
It was located at Horncutt, between Yuba and Dry-cut. #15, p.105

He came to Sacramento from St. Louis, Missouri in 1852.
He traveled by ox team with his owner.
He worked for two years in the mines to pay for his freedom.
He saved money by working at night and he purchased and built two quartz mines at Horncutt.
While working at the mills he learned of an enslaved black girl working as a sheepherder at Hansonville.
He drove by wagon to the place and took her to Colusa.
Some time afterward he married the girl, Miss Addie Taylor, with witnesses Allen Pincard and Thomas Scott.
They had a son who worked for one of the Hearst papers. #15, pp.90-91

Appleby, (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California and became a pioneer of Redlands. #15, p.103

Armington, William S.
He was a black man who died on June 29, 1860 at age 33.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier/Lot 150. #50, p.4

Astor, John
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Grass Valley. #15, p.102

Atencia, Miguel
He was a black man attacked by Mexican Californians in 1860. His horse was tripped and Miguel was beaten. #3, p.124

Augusta, Alexander T. (1825-1890)
Born free in Norfolk, Virginia, he obtained his early education by stealth.
He spent three years in California as a young man before settling in Canada.
He graduated from Trinity Medical College in Toronto and practiced medicine in Canada and the West Indies until the Civil War.
In 1863 he received an appointment as surgeon in the Federal Army, with the rank of major.
He was the first black man to hold the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After the war he remained in Washington as a doctor and a member of Howard University’s medical school faculty. #54, pp.371-72

He and Dr. Anderson R. Abbot attended a Presidential reception at the White House, where they met President and Mrs. Lincoln. #54, p.359

A photograph of Major Alexander T. Augusta appears in this work by Sterling. #54, p.333

Aviery, Dennis
He was a black man who came to California enslaved to E.H. Taylor of Georgia.
He purchased his freedom from Taylor and he was released from bondage in Coloma, Eldorado County on February 8, 1851. #15, p.85

His freedom papers read: “To Whom It May Concern: This is to certify that Dennis Aviery has been my slave in the State of Georgia for about the term of eight years, but by virtue of money to me in hand paid, he is free and liberated from all allegiance to my authority.” –E.H. Taylor; Coloma, El Dorado County, Calif; February 8, 1851. #46, p.62

Baily, Catherine
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Grass Valley. #15, p.102

Baily, William H.
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Marysville.
He was the cousin of Frederick Douglass. #15, p.102

Baines, Buela
She was a former slave who performed in California at the age of 12.
She made her debut in a tiny log theater in Rabbit Creek, where she sang and danced for miners.
William Davis, a black minstral, taught her soft-shoe, and Jake Wallace taught her to play the banjo.
Lola Montez introduced her to Spanish dancing. #46, p.14

Baltimore, Joseph
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Grass Valley. #15, p. 102

Banks, Thomas
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Colusa. #15, p.103

Barbadoes, Frederick
He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson, R.A. Hall, Peter A. Bell and J.B.Sanderson. #15, p.54

He was a Colored Convention leader who attended Oberlin College in Ohio, along with Daniel Seals, C.M. Wilson, Fielding Smithea. #3, p.191

He co-wrote pamphlet entitled “Address of the State Executive Committee to the Colored People of the State of California” along with C.M. Wilson and William H. Hall. #3, p.236

He served on a special committee selected by the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention.
The Executive Committee met in San Francisco during 1863 after passage of the Testimony Bill.
Solomon Peneton recommended the appointment of this committee at a Scott Street church meeting.
C. Wilson moved that a committee of three would be sufficient.
Elected were T.M.D. Ward as president, Peter Anderson as secretary, Alex Ferguson, J.B. Sanderson, F.G. Barbadoes, Shadrack Howard and William Yates. #15, p.60

He was a member of the Executive Committee for the Colored Convention selected in 1865.
The committee included F.G. Barbadoes as president, Solomon Peneton as vice-president, Henry Hall as corresponding secretary, James R. Starkey as treasurer, Shadrack Howard as recording secretary, William Yates, Henry Collins. William H. Hall, James P. Dyer, J. Madison Bell, Edward W. Parker, David W. Ruggles and John F. Meshaw.
The Publicity Committee for Equal Rights Before the Law included William H. Yates, James R. Starkey, R. A. Hall, James P. Dyer, F.G. Barbadoes, S. Hall and Philip A. Bell. #15, p

Barber, John A.
He was a black man who was a Grand Marshall, Agitator, Orator. #1

He was an officer of Livingstone Institute, which was organized in 1860 as the West’s first attempt at a secondary school for blacks.
Money was returned to investors with interest in 1863 due to a legal change.
Barney Fletcher (President), Rev. Moore (Financial, Traveling Secretary), John A Barber, William Hall, James Sampson, William Ringold, David W. Ruggles, William A. Carter (Trustees), and Henry M. Collins and Nathaniel Gray (Treasurers) #27, p.7

Barber, Richard
He was one of the most prosperous blacks in San Francisco in 1870.
He worked as a porter and accumulated $71,800 in wealth.
All but $1,800 of this was invested in real estate. #45, p.26

Barker, Elijah
He was a 40-year-old black man from Georgia who was held as a slave in El Dorado County in California. His master returned to Georgia and Barker continued to mine gold for him, and later paid his own fare back to Georgia. #3,p. 68

Barnes, (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Petaluma. #15, p.103

Barnes, Peggy (“Aunt”)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Petaluma. #15, p.103

Barnett, Elizabeth
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Stockton. #15, p.103

Barnswell, Mary
She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the estate of a sugar planter.
When her father was killed in a rebellion there, she was brought to California.
In the 1880s she went to Victoria, British Columbia with Captain and Mrs. John Deveux.
She married John Barnswell, a native of Kingston, Jamaica. #58, p.89

Barthelome, Joseph
He was a black man who came to California with his owner, who hired out his time.
He worked in the mines and saved enough gold to buy his freedom and that of his wife and four children.
The children were named Christian, Joe, Henry and Frank. #15, p.71
He continued to work in the mines and save money.
In 1861 he returned to Missouri and moved his family to Sparta, Illinois, where he bought a home.

Barton, I.B.
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Stockton. #15, p.103

Barton, Polly A. (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Stockton. #15, p.103

Bates, Charley
He was an enslaved black man from Mississippi who escaped in Panama while being returned to slavery. He returned to Stockton, California where antislavery men raised $750 to pay for his freedom.
His master’s creditors wanted Bates sold in order to pay the owner’s debts. #3, p.70

His owner, who promised him freedom after two years, brought him to California.
The owner decided to leave California and Bates accompanied him as far as the Isthmus of Panama.
In Panama he was persuaded to leave his owner and he returned to Stockton.
He was seized there as chattel property and auctioned to pay the debts of his former owner.
A number of antislavery men bought the boy for $750. #15, p.72

He and several other enslaved men were brought by his owner to California from Mississippi.
They were promised their freedom after two years, but the others ran away before the end of the time.
Charley remained the full two years, was granted his freedom and moved to Stockton.
He was seized there by a creditor of his former owner and sold to cover the cost of the debt.
Local abolitionists purchased his freedom for $750. $55, p.16

Bates, Hartwell
He was a black man born in Mississippi who had an orchard outside of Stockton, CA valued at $500. #3, p.114

Beal, Henry
He was a black man who came to California and became a pioneer of Redlands. #15, p.103

Beal, Isaac
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 as a miner and he became a pioneer of Redlands.
He owned an orange grove. #15, p.103

Beard, Dixie
This was a black person who came to California in 1849. #15, p.102

Beckwourth, James
He was a scout, fur trapper, Indian chief, guide #3, p.34

He worked for Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1820s.
He made several visits to California before American control.
He guided several groups of immigrants during the gold rush.
In 1851 he discovered Beckwourth Pass while exploring the Pit River Valley.
It became one of the important routes for wagons bound for the upper Sacramento Valley.
Beckwourth settled in a cabin where he resided for several years raising cattle at the mouth of his pass.
He developed a wagon road with his own resources, though he attempted to secure financial backing.
In 1858 he went to Colorado where he ran a variety of businesses around Denver.
He acted as a government agent with local Indian tribes.
In 1864 Indians killed him at age 64. #3, p.6

In 1851 he guided a company, including child Ina Coolbrith, safely across Sierra Nevada.
In 1852 he helped a Virginian and his group across the Sierra. #3, p.34

Bell, James Madison
He was a black writer who came to California in 1860. #1

He was a member of the convention called by John Brown in Chatham, Ontario in 1859.
He handled recruits for Brown in Canada and used coded references in a letter written to John Brown, Jr. from Chatham on September 14, 1859. #54, pp.281-82

In 1862 he signed a petition and submitted it to San Francisco school superintendent as representative of Board of Education asking for better conditions for educating black children.
Others who signed included J.B. Sanderson, Barney Fletcher, H.J. Sampson, Isaac Reed, John Kinney, Charles Smith, P. Anderson, J. Madison Bell, Samuel E. Burris, A. B. Smith, and R.T. Houston.
Petitioners were residents of San Francisco, including parents, guardians, and friends of children in the Public School for Colored Children, a basement school which was poorly ventilated, loud, with no proper play area.
The petition called for a better, larger place capable of holding up to 150 students, with additional teachers for expansion to higher grade levels.
Petitioners felt the “same deep and absorbing anxiety touching the future of our children that you felt for yours.” #3, p.176

He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention selected in 1865.
The committee included F.G. Barbadoes as president, Solomon Peneton as vice-president, Henry Hall as corresponding secretary, James R. Starkey as treasurer, Shadrack Howard as recording secretary, William Yates, Henry Collins, William H. Hall, James P. Dyer, J.Madison Bell, Edward W. Parker, David W. Ruggles and John F. Meshaw. #15, p63

Bell, Philip A. (1807-1889)
A friend of Frederick Douglass, Bell was a leader in the New York Colored Convention movement. #3, p.257

Bell was mentioned in Frederick Douglass’ first memoir of his escape from slavery.
Before coming to California Bell was the owner and publisher of the Weekly Advocate (1837), the second African American newspaper in the country.
The name was eventually changed to the Colored American.
Many written statements quoted in national newspapers after Bell’s death summarized his character, determination, and persistence in civil rights issues.
All people respected him. #1

He was in New York as editor of the Colored American during a financial crisis in 1837. #54, pp.234-35

He helped establish the Franchise League to secure testimony rights for blacks on August 12, 1862.
Organizers included F.G. Barbadoes, William H. Yates, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson, R.A. Hall, Philip A. Bell and J.B.Sanderson. #15, p.54

He was one of the black men who pledged themselves to lobby in Sacramento for testimony rights.
The group included Henry Collins, Alfred White, Rev. Peter Cassey, William Hall, William A. Smith, George W. Dennis, J.B. Sanderson, John A. Jones, James Brown, Philip Bell, Mifflin Gibbs, David Ruggles, John Moore, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson and R.H. Hall. #15, pp.54-55

As editor of the Pacific Appeal he reported on the activities of the Executive Committee of the Colored Convention in the January 24, 1865 issue of the newspaper.
The Publicity Committee for Equality Before the Law included William H. Yates, James R. Starkey, R.A. Hall, James P. Dyer, F.G. Barbadoes, S. Hall and Philip A. Bell. #15, p.63

Members of the 4th Colored convention held in October 1865 included “Peter” Bell and Andrew Bristol of San Francisco, James Floyd, A.J. White, G.A. Smith, S.J. Marshal, Peter Cassey and Mrs. William A. Smith, all of San Jose. #15, p.63

In 1860, as a new arrival to San Francisco, Bell was featured speaker at literary festival to benefit George W. Dennis. #3, p.256

In San Francisco Bell became co-editor of the Pacific Appeal newspaper in 1862. #3, p.250

In 1864 he visited Victoria, B.C. and reported on the condition of San Francisco black emigrants in a series of articles appearing in the Pacific Appeal. #3, p.249

In 1886 he lived at 622 Clay Street in San Francisco. #27, p.9

During the time he was editor of the Pacific Appeal and the Elevator he advertised his services as a real estate agent. #45, p.56

Bellis, Mary Jane
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

“Ben”
He was the body servant of Lieutenant Archibald Gillespie who accompanied the officer to California. #3, p.8, #15, p.33

Bentley, Horace N. (1848?-1876)
He was a black man and employee of bootblack establishment owned by David C. Lee in San Francisco.
He was also a trustee of Bethel AME Church and a member of the Brannan Guards.
He married the daughter of New Bedford/San Francisco abolitionist Solomon Peneton. #27,p. 1

He worked in hairdressing, bath saloon owned by Richard Brown and located at 215 Samsone Street in San Francisco. #27, p.12

Berry, Benjamin
He was a black man who was born enslaved in Kentucky and taken to Missouri around 1850.
He was sold to a man named Halloway and he traded $3,000 in service for his freedom.
He came to California and settled in Marysville at the southwest corner of Section 12.
In 1863 he was sixty-three years and he filed a court claim to verify his holding under state homestead laws. #15, pp.61, 86

Bettis, Perkins
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Biddle, Henry
He was a black man who died on December 6, 1850 at age 25.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 1, Lot 99. #50, p.4

Biggs, Peter
He was originally an enslaved man from Missouri who was owned by Reuben Middleton of Liberty, Missouri. #3, p.36

He was sold to a U.S. Army officer in the Mexican War who came to California and was given his freedom in Los Angeles
In the early 1850s he worked in Los Angeles as a bootblack and, for a time, as the only black barber in town.
He married a native Mexican woman and by 1860 they had a 12-year old daughter, Juanita #3, p.118

A former acquaintance and friend of Judge Benjamin Hayes from Missouri, he was assisted by the Judge upon his arrival in Los Angeles #3, p.36

He was sold to an army officer at Fort Leavenworth and brought to California.
After the Mexican War his freedom was recognized and he stayed in Los Angeles for many years.
In 1850 he was one of the three or four black residents.
He was a black barber in Los Angeles in 1876. #15, p.101

Billingsley, Calvin
He was a black man who died on December 10, 1851 at age 24.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 3, Lot 295. #50, p.4

Bird, Frank
He was a black man from Virginia who died on September 24, 1857 at age 36.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 27, Lot 16. #50, p.4

Bird, William
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sutter’s Creek. #15, p.103

Bivens, (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who attempted to ride a streetcar in San Francisco in 1864.
She, Mary Ellen Pleasant and Laura Clark were refused admission to the car.
Louise Tyler was allowed to ride because she was light-skinned.
Mr. Brown and his daughter won a suit against the streetcar company that allowed blacks to ride. #15, p.65

“Black Dan (or Dave)”
He was a black man who was the only musician in Weaverville, California in 1851.
He played fiddle on July 4th and New Year’s Eve. #3, p.90

Blackstone, Jonathan
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Stockton. #15, p.103

Blake, William H. (c.1835- )
Born in Maryland, he had a wholesale/retail store at 508 Clay Street in San Francisco during the 1860s.
He carried beauty supplies for barbers and hairdressers and sold cutlery, soaps, oils, and perfumes. #27, p.8

Blue, Daniel
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

“Bob”
He came to California by way of the Gila Trail with a white Southern company.
Also in the party was “Jane” and both were probably enslaved African Americans. #3, p. 31

“Bob”
He came to gold fields with his owner’s brother William Marmaduke from Missouri.
Bob was promised the opportunity to purchase his freedom and he hired out as a cook to earn money #3, p.72

“Bob” (Juan Cristobal)
In 1816 he was a black sailor on the ship Albatross.
Captain Smith left him in California, where he became known as Cristobal. #15, p.100

He was a black sailor on the ship Albatross.
In 1816 he and white shipmateThomas Doak left the ship to become citizens of Spanish California.
In 1819 Father Ripoll of the Santa Barbara mission baptized Bob, who became Juan Cristobal.
Doak took the name Felipe Santiago at this time. #43, pp. 3-4

It is unclear whether the sailors deserted or were captured by the Spanish.
H.H. Bancroft in History of the Pacific States of North Americas stated that the men and their captain were captured.
Dr. Kevin Starr in Americans and the California Dream claims they jumped ship. #43, p.24

Formerly of the vessel Albatross, he was also known as Negro Bob.
He settled in California in 1816 and on August 16, 1819, he was baptized as Juan Cristobal. #58, p.41

Bolton, Isaac
He was a black man from Missouri who died on December 14, 1853 at age 60.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 2, Lot 186. #50, p.4

Bond, Willis (1824-December 22, 1892)
He was born enslaved in Tennessee and came to California as a servant during the gold rush.
He earned enough money to buy his freedom.
He headed to British Columbia for the Fraser River gold rush and lived in Yale beginning in July 1858.
He and a Yorkshireman operated a system for delivering water for washing gold from soil.
He returned to Victoria in 1861 and worked as a general contractor. #58, p.85

He was a huge man with a booming voice who was frequently involved in scrapes with others.
“The Bronze Philosopher” lived at the corner of View and Quadra Streets in Victoria. #58, p.86

Booth, (Miss)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1852 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

Booth, Edward
He was a black man who came to California in 1848 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

He came to California in the early 1840s and mined gold before the rush.
He returned to Baltimore and paid for the passage to California of his sisters and two brothers.
He paid for the education of his widowed sister’s son at Oberlin College in Ohio. #15, p.38

He was a black leader who was born free in Baltimore and migrated to California with his family.
In November 1851 they left for New York and from there journeyed to Panama.
They waited three weeks for a ship at Panama City on the west coast of the isthmus.
The family was separated due to the lack of space on vessels.
After several weeks Booth was reunited with three siblings in Sacramento. #3, p.39

Booth was a delegate at the 2nd Colored Convention held in Sacramento in December 1856.
He spoke for unity and against regional prejudices. #3, p.223

Several members of the Booth family left California mountain regions for Victoria, British Columbia. #3, p. 246

By 1864 150 blacks were believed to be British subjects in B.C.; in one listing 54 black applicants for citizenship included Mifflin Gibbs, Edward A. Booth, and Archy Lee. #3, p.249

He first came to California in the early 1840s and mined sufficient gold before the rush and returned to Baltimore for his sisters and two brothers, including Elige Booth. #15, p.38

Booth, Elige
He was a black man who came to California in 1852 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

He was a black man from Baltimore who came to San Francisco.
His brother Edward paid his family’s fare to California.
He mined gold and later lived in Sacramento.
As an elderly man he recalled an incident where local white miners defended him from claim jumpers. #15, p.38

Booth, George
He was a black man who came to California in 1852 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Bowen, William
He was a black man who brought charges against a streetcar driver of the City Railway Cars in San Francisco.
He was forcibly ejected from the car in May 1863 and he sued.
He won his court case and the conductors were fined $25 each or ten days in jail. #43, p.20

Bower, Jerry
He was a black man who came to California in 1849. In San Francisco he opened a barber shop with Charles Frederick Easton. #15, p.103

Bowman, James
He was a black teen from New York who died on September 14, 1850 at age 16.
He was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery at Tier 6, Lot 13. #50, p.4

Bowles, Bell
This black person came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Petaluma. #15, p.103

Bracy, Aaron
He was a black man who was lynched and his house plundered and burned by a mob in Auburn, Placer County, in 1858 after he injured a white man in a land dispute.
His brother Henry Bracy of Marysville was unable to claim the land. #3, p.261

Bracy, Henry
He was a black man from Marysville who was the brother of Aaron Bracy.
After Aaron’s murder Henry was driven out of Auburn after he attempted to reclaim the disputed land. #3, p.261

Branna, Sara (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Beaver Valley. #15, p.103

Brannigan Peter
He was a black man who married an Indian woman #3, p.124

Breedon, Charles
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Breeden, James Monroe
He was a black man who came to California in 1848 and became a pioneer of Marysville. #15, p.102

Breedon, Major
He was a black man who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Marysville. #15, p.102

He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Breeden, Richard
He was a black man who came to California in 1852 and became a pioneer of Marysville. #15, p.102

Breeden, Texana
This was a black person who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Marysville. #15, p.102

Brevitt, Albert
He was a black man who came to California in 1849.
He was a gentleman’s nurse. #15, p.102

Brice, (Mrs.)
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Sacramento. #15, p.102

Bristol, Andrew
Members of the 4th Colored Convention held in October 1865 included “Peter” Bell and Andrew Bristol of San Francisco, James Floyd, A.J. White, G.A. Smith, S.J. Marshal, Peter Cassey and Mrs. William A. Smith, all of San Jose. #15, p.63

Brown, Charlotte
She was a black woman who was the wife of James Brown.
She came to California with her husband from Baltimore.
She was a free woman in Baltimore who saved enough money from her earnings as an expert seamstress to purchase freedom for her husband James.
The Browns had two daughters- Margaret Ann, who later married G.W. Dennis, and Charlotte. #11, p.8

Brown, Charlotte L.
She was the daughter of James and Charlotte Brown and the sister of Margaret Brown.
She was directly responsible for winning a civil rights case that allowed blacks to ride common carriers in San Francisco.
She had suffered a humiliating indignity while boarding a streetcar.
Her father James brought suit against the city and won a judgment of $5,000.
The immediate passage of a law extended further legal privileges to blacks in San Francisco. #11, p.8

Mr. Burnett represented her in the streetcar case and Judge Owens ruled in their favor.
She later married James Riker. #15, p.65

On April 17, 1863 she was forcibly removed from a horse-drawn car in San Francisco.
Her father, James E. Brown, brought suit on her behalf against the Omnibus Railroad Company.
The successful suit resulted in $5,000 in damages awarded as well as for the right of blacks to ride the street cars. #58, pp.120-121

Brown, Cloyd
He was a black miner in California in 1849. #15, p.105

Brown, David
He was born a free black man who had secured his freedom papers before starting for California.
The documents were registered at Hampshire County, Virginia on October 27, 1834.
He paid one hundred fifty dollars to Thomas Sturgeon and Samuel Crim for travel expenses.
He paid the money on February 28, 1852 for passage between Lancaster, Ohio and Marysville.
At the time he was twenty-two years old, five feet eight inches tall, with scars on the shin of each leg and a scar on the forefinger of his left hand. #15, p.87

Brown, Ever
He was a black man from New Jersey who mined in Calaveras County near white miners from Rhode Island. #3, p.64

Brown, Frances
She was a black woman who came to California in 1849 and became a pioneer of Beaver Valley. #15, p.103

Brown, Graften Tyler (1841-1918)
He was the son of a black abolitionist and he was born in Harrisburg, PA.
In 1860 at age 19 he arrived in Sacramento, where he worked as a porter at the St. George Hotel.
In 1861 he worked as an apprentice for the lithography firm Kuchel and Dresel at 540 Clay Street in San
Francisco.
He created city views, book illustrations, stock certificates, and maps.
In 1862 he opened his own business, G.T. Brown and Company, at 520 Clay Street.
In 1872 he sold the business and took up landscape painting.
In the 1890s he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. #27, p.8

In 1861 he lived at What Cheer House, located at the corner of Sacramento and Leidesdorff Streets in San Francisco. #27, p.13

Brown, Henry
He was a black man who died on October 20, 1850 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery. #50, p.4

Brown, James E.
He was a black man who was the husband of Charlotte Brown.
He came to California with his wife and two daughters from Baltimore.
His wife purchased his freedom in Baltimore before they left for California.
James brought a lawsuit against the city on behalf of his daughter Charlotte. #15, p.65

He ran a livery stable in San Francisco. #45, p.45

In 1866 he won the right for African Americans to ride streetcars in San Francisco.
After his daughter Charlotte was ejected from a horse-drawn streetcar he sued the transit company.
He successfully sued them for $5,000 in damages in the case of Brown vs Ominbus Railroad Company. #43, p.20

On April 17, 1863 his daughter, Charlotte, was forcibly removed from a street car in San Francisco.
He sued the Omnibus Railroad Company for $5,000 in damages on her behalf.
Brown won his judgment and the case led to greater rights for blacks in California.
Manuscripts of the complete Charlotte L. Brown et. al. case are on file at the California Historical Society. #58, pp.120-121

Mr. Burnett represented him successfully in the streetcar case (Judge Owens). #15, p.65

He was one of a group of black men who pledged themselves to lobby in Sacramento for testimony rights.
The group included Henry Collins, Alfred White, Rev. Peter Cassey, William Hall, William H. Smith, George W. Dennis, J.B. Sanderson, John A. Jones, James Brown, Philip Bell, Mifflin Gibbs, David Ruggles, John Moore, Symon Cook, I.G. Wilson and R.H. Hall. #15, pp.54-55


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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