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Related Categories: Central Valley | Racial Justice
2021 Rancho Cordova Juneteenth at the William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Working Landscape
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2021 10:55 AM
Unyielding spirits of our Indigenous, Native American, Russian and Pan African Pioneers (1840-1875) along the American River are finally being acknowledged and the healing will soon begin, as prophesied long ago, #1619-2019. Genesis 15:12-14 may indeed be seen in today's challenges at Negro Bar State Historic Park.
leidesdorff.jpg
Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was born on a farm in 1810, St. Croix, Virgin Islands to his African-Cuban mother, Anna Marie Sparks and Danish-Jewish father, Alexander Leidesdorff, Sr.

The first of five children, William Jr. was naturalized as a Danish citizen, naturalized a U.S. citizen in 1834, and obtained Mexican citizenship in 1843, Monterey, Alta California, unheard of for a man of Pan African Ancestry in the 19th century.

Leidesdorff died very suddenly, some say murdered, the morning of May 18, 1848, a day before public announcement of the Gold Rush in the streets of San Francisco, William is buried just inside the front entrance to Mission Delores Basilica, S.F., CA.

Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was a very successful maritime captain who owned many profitable businesses and held valuable maritime contracts throughout Louisiana, Alaska, New York, Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii, and California.

Leidesdorff was reportedly one of the wealthiest men in pre- Gold Rush California. He was the first elected San Francisco Treasurer, President of the San Francisco School Board, agent for the Russian American Fur Company and U.S. Vice Consul to Mexican California.

Most of his personal and official records are hidden, partial records are dispersed at universities, public libraries and private collections throughout the world, it is time to share his stolen legacy.

In 1844, Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. established his Mexican land grant called Rancho Rio de Los Americanos and built an enormous cattle and wheat ranch compound in today's City of Rancho Cordova.

Unique to his Mexican land grant was an added stipulation to allow the indigenous native population to remain undisturbed on a significant portion of his 35,500 acre Leidesdorff Ranch.

Today, sacred burial grounds, ancient Maidu-Miwuk acorn grinding holes and other anthropological treasures are worthy to be preserved. Interestingly under modern day controversy is the authentic legacy along the mile long portion of the American River known as Negro Bar, Sacramento County, the initial gold mining district, today known as the City of Folsom.

This area was a legendary early Gold Rush mining community. 4 miles upstream the twin towns of Mormon Island and Negro Hills, El Dorado County were also rich in gold deposits.

Spanish conquistadors and Mexican revolutionaries never discovered the treasure of Negro Bar. Untold centuries of today's American River natural swirling pattern caused by a limestone bluff, this steep geographical landmark contains layers of ocean life forms and peaks archeological interest, since the Pacific Ocean is 100 miles away, part of the hidden story of Negro Bar - Historic State Park too difficult to interpret given the fixation on erasing authentic history.

Captain Leidesdorff navigated the first steamship in California to develop overnight steam transportation for agricultural products from the Sacramento Valley Working Landscape. His famous steamship voyage of, The Sitka, is seen on our California State Seal.

Leidesdorff's greatest historical legacy, one day will be viewed as, the founder of Public Education in California; he organized construction, built and opened the first public school in California, at Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, yet most modern educators are encouraged to steer clear of the Leidesdorff story.

In 1848, William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. commissioned a survey to verify vast quantities of reported gold on his land. He received favorable Gold reports and tales of murder at Negro Bar prior to his death from brain fever or far worse. Several million dollars worth of gold was mined on his land, today a Gold Rush is on his prime real estate is called Folsom Ranch.

The voices of restless souls buried in the desecrated California Gold Rush Era cemeteries including Negro Hills and Negro Bar; cry out to tell us their authentic story.

Unyielding spirits of our Indigenous, Native American, Russian and Negro Pioneers along the American River are finally being acknowledged and the healing will soon begin, as prophesied long ago, #1619-2019. Genesis 15:12-14 may indeed be seen in today's challenges.
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