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Related Categories: California | San Francisco | Racial Justice
2021 California Maafa Awareness Month Kicks Off in a good way
by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Friday Oct 1st, 2021 10:20 PM
October 2021 is California Maafa Awareness Month and we begin with a special look at the Womanity of the Mother of the African Founding Father of California
negro_bar_town_1854.jpg
Globally, it is time to consider the African Descent bloodline and Womanity of the Mother whose first born son became the greatest California Black Agriculturalist, known as the "African Founding Father of California"

Leidesdorff became the first known US Diplomat of African Descent comes alive October 2021 California Maafa Awareness Month, as we continue the journey to "Reclaim Our Past, to Build Back Better along the American River Parkway."

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, William Leidesdorff, Sr.

His early life in the then Danish Virgin Islands as the first male child was filled with expectation and opportunity. As a young adult William was naturalized a U.S. citizen in 1834, and later obtained Mexican citizenship in 1843, Monterey, Alta California.

Leidesdorff died very suddenly in 1848, a day before the very public announcement of the Gold Rush, and buried near the front entrance of Mission Delores, San Francisco, California.

Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was a very successful maritime captain who owned and operated many profitable businesses. He reportedly held valuable real estate holdings throughout Louisiana, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, and Alta California.

Leidesdorff was one of the wealthiest man in Alta California when he was elected first San Francisco Treasurer, became President of the S.F. School Board and U.S. Vice Consul to the Mexican Republic in Alta California.

Most of his personal and official records are "hidden" with partial records dispersed at universities, public libraries and private collections throughout the world.

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, William Leidesdorff, Sr.

He was born in the then Danish Virgin Islands, naturalized a U.S. citizen in 1834, and obtained Mexican citizenship in 1843, Monterey, Alta California. Leidesdorff died very suddenly in 1848, a day before the very public announcement of the Gold Rush, and buried near the front entrance of Mission Delores, San Francisco, California.

Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was a very successful maritime captain who operated many profitable businesses and reportedly held valuable real estate holdings throughout Louisiana, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, and California. Leidesdorff was one of the wealthiest man in Alta California.

He was elected first San Francisco Treasurer, President of the School Board and U.S. Vice Consul to Mexican California. Most of his personal and official records are "hidden" with partial records dispersed at universities, public libraries and private collections throughout the world.

In 1844, Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. received a land grant he called Rancho Rio de Los Americanos from Mexican authorities and built an enormous cattle and wheat ranch compound along today's proposed American River National Heritage Area.

Unique to his vast land grant was his added stipulation to allow the native Maidu/Miwuk Indigenous communities to remain undisturbed on a significant portion of his 35,000-acre Leidesdorff Ranch, validating over 10,000+ years of native civilization on the land.

Today, ancient signs and symbols of Indigenous culture is still present among the mile long portion of the American River region known as Negro Bar, Sacramento County.

This vast profitable area was an early Gold Rush mining district, a few short miles downstream from the crystal pyramid of Negro Hills, El Dorado County high above the confluence of the North Fork and South Fork of the American River, seen today in record drought conditions.

Very rich gold deposits were found at Negro Bar due to centuries of a rivers natural swirling pattern caused snow melt rushing against a solid limestone bluff on the northern bank of the American River. This steep geographical landmark contains layers of ocean life forms and peaks archeological interest, since the Pacific Ocean is 100 miles away, home to nesting Bald Eagles, American national bird.

Captain Leidesdorff purchased and navigated the first steamship in California to develop overnight steam transportation to obtain his agricultural products in the Sacramento Valley. His famous steamship voyage of, The Sitka, is seen on our California State Seal.

His greatest historical legacy, in my humble opinion he will one day recognized as founder of Public Education in California; he donated land, organized construction, built and opened the first public school in California, at Portsmouth Square, San Francisco.

So much history needs elevated evaluation far beyond a loving tender touch of our "hidden figure" California African Descent.

In 1848, William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. commissioned a survey to verify vast quantities of gold being mined on his land and violent dislocation of the Indigenous population on his land.

He received favorable Gold reports and tales of violent murder in and around the Negro Bar Mining Camps prior to his sudden death.

Several million dollars worth of gold was mined on his land during the California Gold Rush Era, while today a modern Gold Rush is in full bloom on prime real estate along the American River Parkway. The "need" to officially erase the authentic history is balanced by the US Interior Department, National Parks Service, International Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

The voices of restless souls buried in desecrated cemeteries of Negro Hills and Negro Bar; cry out to tell us authentic lessons.

Unyielding spirits of our Indigenous and people of African Descent both free and enslaved along the American River are finally being acknowledged and the healing can finally begin, if we are able to stem the tide of mis-educated Negroes insisting on doing the bidding of the children of defeated Confederate foot soldiers.
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