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Related Categories: San Francisco | Education & Student Activism
Plans for October 2018 Celebration for Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr.
by Michael Harris
Monday May 14th, 2018 5:32 AM
May 18, 1848, 170 years ago the "African Founding Father of California" was laid to rest inside Mission Delores San Francisco with great honor. Later that evening most of the town was preparing to head toward his property and look for gold. Today, we prepare for an October rededication to share his living legacy with the world.
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Our Sacramento Regional Community is planning a historic memorial rededication ceremony of a 15 mile portion of U.S. Highway 50, the William Alexander Leidedorff, Jr. Memorial Highway.

Then, California Assemblyman Dave Cox, with bipartisan support, successfully authored legislation to create William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Memorial Highway, along the 35,500+ acre Rancho Rio de Los Americanos.

Honorable William Alexander Leidesodorff, Jr. of African Cuban, Danish Jewish heritage served our nation as the first known Diplomat of African Ancestry in United States history, (1845-1846) as Vice-Cousul of Mexican Alta California.

His good name was well known throughout Port communities of New York, Maryland, Louisiana, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and California as a successful and reliable maritime merchant during the age of sail.

In April 1848, when large quantities of gold was reported by Pierson Reading and James Marshall, Leidesdorff owned the largest home in San Francisco, 41 downtown lots, he built the City Hotel. He built the first shipping warehouse and ship building yards at the Port of San Francisco, donated land to build the first public school in California, while serving as President of the first Public Board of Education.

Leidesdorff capitained the only steam vessel in California prior to the Gold Rush and his ship, "The Sitka" is seen on the California State Seal showcasing his vision for Agricultural Export from his vast cattle and wheat property to world markets.

Early Californa maps clearly show Leidesdorff Ranch, over 35,000 acres of fertile land, showcasing the early vision of Black Agriculturalists in California History.

Again, we will plan well for International dignitaries to join Tova Leidesdorf and Michael Harris to honor and share the greatest "hidden figure" of California Pan African Heritage.

Leidesdorff Memorialq Rededication
October 2018
(916) 346-3327