Buried in Hubert Howe Bancroft’s History of California is a 6 1/2 Page Footnote that directly contradicts the text to which it refers. This “account” stands on its own as a valuable hidden history of the so-called Squatter Riots of August 1850 – a little-known but serious conflict that led to the deaths of Sacramento’s sheriff and assessor as well as six other citizens (the mayor was shot off his horse and left office to convalesce in San Francisco). Following this clash, the city was subjected to martial law and suffered from a collapse in both its economy and population, with up to 80 percent of its residents departing as real estate prices crashed and one bank after another failed. Dr. Charles Robinson, the leader of the Settler’s Association was elected to the first California legislature while in prison and went on to serve as the first governor of Kansas.
It’s odd that most residents are unaware that the city almost died at the hands of speculators, and those who led a local revolution are nearly unknown and all-but-absent from card catalogs in our libraries. I’ll soon be presenting information to support my suspicion that there was a large-scale revision of history to suppress the true story of California’s theft. Stay tuned!