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2019 Folsom Community Service Day ~ 170th Anniversary of the Gold Rush Town, Negro Bar, CA
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Friday Aug 30th, 2019 4:05 PM
Together, we are poised for a special 170th Anniversary of Negro Bar, Sacramento County by utilizing both private and public resources to forever preserve and interpret our unique contributions to the forward flow of humanity.
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In 1848, Negro Bar, California was officially recognized as the first mining camp along today’s American River Parkway.

In 1849, the town Negro Bar grew into the first regional hub of first Mining District along the American River during the California Gold Rush, today’s City of Folsom.

Over $2,000,000 US dollars of gold was estimated mined at Negro Bar in the early years from 1848-1855 by Theodore Judah, Surveyor and Civil Engineer, of the first passenger Railroad West of the Mississippi River.

In 1854, the Sacramento Valley Railroad survey was published showing the proposed route from Negro Bar, Sacramento County to the City of Sacramento.

During the transition from Mexican rule to US Military conquest, Negro Bar was a pristine geographic feature within the northeastern part of Leidesdorff Ranch, a Mexican Land Grant entitled to the “African Founding Father of California” who owned and operated a vast wheat and cattle agribusiness.

The the northeastern part of his 35,500 acre property did not disturb the Nisenan/Miwok people, as uniquely stipulated in his Mexican Land Grant grant title.

Spring of 1848, Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. commissioned and received official written reports with samples, of “probable” vast sums of gold on his property along the south bank of the American River, “poachers” mining gold throughout the area were observed by Lt. Reading and James Marshall.

Many regional and national newspapers, along with official Sacramento Valley Railroad corporate documents show several survey maps documenting the exact location of amazing success mining "below the hill" in the town of Negro Bar, Sacramento, County, California.

“Hidden Figures” of Pan African ancestry are painstakingly discovered within International Archives, Private Collections, CA State Archives and CA State and University Libraries where we quantify and qualify our early presence in Alta California as early California Pan African Pioneers during the transition from Mexican rule to U.S. statehood.

Today, a broad based coalition is essential to “rediscover” our unique contribution that challenges entrenched support, values and belief that support ongoing systemic institutional racism best shared in 1849 recorded proceedings of the California Constitutional Convention in Monterey, CA and original legislation established during the first California Legislative Session in San Jose, CA, Fall of 1849.

Together, 170 years later we are poised to review and analyze the data points to educate and advocate California leaders to demonstrate a renewed timely will and determination to discover, research, authenticate, preserve and interpret the fragmented primary source documents.

Private collections, international archives and official State of California records will highlight our unique journey toward a greater measure of freedom this special 400 Year of Return, here at Negro Bar, Sacramento County.

The discovery of gold in the millrace at Sutter's Lumber Mill by a diverse workforce along the South Fork of the American River in Coloma Valley forever changed Alta California during the Mexican/US War. That spark that ignited our Golden Legacy of California continues to impact the world.

James Marshall, construction foreman at Sutter’s Lumber Mill, reportedly rode through a very heavy rainstorm to report the discovery at Sutter’s Fort. Beginning in 1839, Johann Sutter, an immigrant from Switzerland, was granted extensive land in Alta California by the Mexican Government to control the fertile region at the confluence of the Sacramento and American River. James Marshall, construction foreman at Sutter’s Lumber Mill, reportedly rode through a very heavy rainstorm to report the discovery at Sutter’s Fort.

The early discovery of gold was known to only the diverse workers of Native America, Pan African, European and Mormon workers who promised to finish the lumber mill and placer mine in their spare time. Those early miners were rewarded for their labor with easy gold mining success.

Word of the discovery of gold began to spread and subsequent verification of additional gold sites on Rancho Rio De Los Americanos, Leidesdorff Ranch were leaked to the public. The untimely death and burial of the “African Founding Father of California,” on May 18, 1848, was followed the very next day with a very public announcement of gold, gold, gold along the American River triggered the world’s first global news story.

By the summer of 1849, migrants from all over the world would make their way to California's gold fields by ship, wagon, horseback, and on foot.

People from the Pan African Diaspora, from all over the world, were among the first immigrants in California to find hard work to find wealth along a large mile long gravel bar located on the south bank of the lower American River, in today’s City of Folsom.

Most early placer miners were forced to leave the gold diggings at Negro Bar in 1852, given record levels of a spring flood reported 30ft above normal and the passage of the 1852 California Fugitive Slave Law as Texas Hill and Virginia Mining Companies brought enslaved labor from the South into the Gold Mining District.

Free pioneers of Pan African ancestry moved to other nearby gold fields such as Negro Hill, Negro Flat, Mormon Island, Salmon Falls and Massachusetts Flat where these gold mining camps were even more successful, Negro Hill becoming the regional hub. .

Today, kickoff plans for the 170th Anniversary of the California Gold Mining Town of Negro Bar, part of Folsom Lake Recreation Area, within the California State Parks System.

Folsom Community Service Day will help clean up the State Park as we call upon California Historians, Business Leaders and Political Leaders to join us to showcase the reason to retain the authentic historic name of California's first gold mining established in 1849, honoring the history and legacy of California Pioneers of Pan African Ancestry in the California Gold Rush, in perpetuity.

Together, we are poised for a special 170th Anniversary of Negro Bar, Sacramento County by utilizing both private and public resources to forever preserve and interpret our unique contributions to the forward flow of humanity.

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