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Discover the Historic Gold Mining Town of Negro Bar, Sacramento County, California

by Khubaka, Michael Harris
Since the California Gold Rush Era, the Gold Mining Town of Negro Bar, Sacramento California remains a crown jewel along today's American River Parkway; the debate will preserve or erase all authentic aspects of people of African Descent from California History.
negro_bar_mining_district.jpg
On this day in May 1848, the Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. died very mysteriously and was buried the same day near the front entrance of Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco, California.

At dawn of the turn of the 21st century, a renaissance toward considering equity and inclusion was nurtured by the California Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Project through the National Parks Service, Interior Department of the United States.

Today, President Biden Executive Order #13985 is offering a renewed hope towards preserving the 1848 Gold Mining Town of Negro Bar, Sacramento, California and consider the ongoing egregious negative impacts on our California Working Landscape.

Generations of ongoing attempts to completely erase, distort and destroy all recognition of any salient contributions to the forward flow of humanity by people of African Descent along the American River Parkway continues.

President Biden and Governor Newsom, utilizing executive privilege could properly honor the "African Founding Father of California" and our "hidden figures" of the California Gold Rush Era on the journey to California Juneteenth Freedom Celebrations, June 19, 1865.

William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Memorial Highway offered a beginning positive step forward, yet seasoned bipartisan leadership is far more difficult to find in 2022, thus Executive Action may be essential.

2022 Africa Unity Week, we offer a glance at the past with top eye on a new golden age, utilizing world class standards to preserve and promote Historic Negro Bar, Sacramento, California.

California State Legislature enacted Assembly Concurent Resolution 131 (Cox) 2003-2004

WHEREAS, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was a prominent civic leader and pioneer in the successful quest for California to become the 31st state in the United States. He was elected Treasurer of the City of San Francisco, owned the largest home in the city, constructed the first City Hotel, built the first commercial shipping warehouse, and donated the land to build the first public school in California; and

WHEREAS, In 1810, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was born in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to Anna Marie Sparks, an African woman, and William Leidesdorff, Sr., a citizen of Denmark, and died in 1848 of brain fever. He is buried near the entrance of the Old San Francisco Mission Delores Sanctuary; and

WHEREAS, In 1841, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. sailed the first United States shipping vessel, the Julia Ann, into the sleepy Mexican fishing Village of Yerba Buena, modern day San Francisco, to establish a world maritime center; and

WHEREAS, In 1843, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was
naturalized as a Mexican citizen in order to facilitate acquiring a vast land grant from the Mexican authorities in the Sacramento Valley, and was an early advocate of creating dual United States citizenship; and

WHEREAS, In 1844, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. obtained title to Rancho Rio de Los Americanos, well over 35,000 acres of prime real estate along the south bank of the American River. His global trade and commerce projects financed, developed, and helped stabilize the Sacramento Valley; and

WHEREAS, In 1845, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. accepted the position of United States Vice-Consul to the Mexican Alta California region. By serving our nation in this capacity, he was the first African-American diplomat in history, and was affectionately known as the "African Founding Father of California"; and

WHEREAS, In 1846, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. was an active leader in the Bear Flag Revolt during the Mexican-American War. His official reports contain cherished accounts of the United States acquisition of California from Mexico; and

WHEREAS, In 1847, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. captained the first and only steamship in California prior to the Gold Rush of 1848, the Sitka. His maiden steam voyage up the Sacramento River is immortalized on the California State Seal and recognizes his vision for increased maritime transportation of California's agricultural products to world markets; and

WHEREAS, In 1848, prior to his untimely death, William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. received official notification of vast quantities of gold on his immense cattle and wheat ranch along today's State Highway Route 50 corridor; and

WHEREAS, It is a fitting tribute to the legacy of a great American pioneer that a portion of State Highway Route 50 be named the "William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Memorial Highway"; now, therefore, be it resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring,

That the Legislature hereby officially designates the portion of State Highway Route 50 from Bradshaw Road to the eastern Sacramento County Line the William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. Memorial Highway; and be it further resolved, that the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate plaques and markers, consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system, showing
the special designation, and upon receiving donations from the Leidesdorff Project and other nonstate sources sufficient to cover that cost, to erect those plaques and markers; and be it further resolved, that the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Department of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.
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