The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 38
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
protection.12 The adoption of the minority report by the assembly
indicates that the policy then advocated was commonly favored in
California, especially among the mining communities.
Fremont's Bill. Shortly after the California delegation took
their seats in Congress, Fremont introduced a bill in the Senate
to make temporary provision for the working of the gold mines in
California. Its leading principle, in the opinion of its author,
was to reject all ideas of making the minerals in California a
source of revenue for the Federal government; and to prevent any
possibility of the lands being monopolized by the capitalists. The
bill provided for a number of agents in the mining districts whose
duties were to grant permits to American citizens, to visit the
mines, and settle disputes. The quantity of land allowed to each
miner was to be a thirty-foot square lot to be worked by manual
labor on a placer, and two hundred and ten feet square the size
of a lot to be worked by machinery in the rocks. The fee for
the permits was to be one dollar a month for a placer, and twenty-
five dollars a month for a mine. A certain per cent of the pro-
ceeds from the sale of the permits was to go for internal improve-
ments in the State of California. No person could have two per-
mits at the same time; but to encourage prospecting the first
discoverer was to have double the quantity without paying any
fee. The agents, together with a jury of six disinterested miners
in the neighborhood, were to settle all disputes equitably.
The bill elicited considerable discussion in the Committee of
the Whole. Seward moved to amend the bill, extending the privi-
lege of mining gold to persons who should legally declare their
intention of becoming citizens. Such a policy, he said, would
induce immigration to California. The California Senators agreed
to the amendment after it was modified to include only Europeans.
The principal objection of Ewing was the absence of any pro-
vision in the bill insuring the national government a revenue
from the mines, to cover the expenses of the acquisition of the
territory. His amendment provided that the miner should de-
liver weekly the gold collected to the United States district agent
and be paid in United States coin at the rate of sixteen dollars
an ounce, which was the current rate in California. Any one
"1Cal. Legislature Jours., 1850, 802-816.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117142/m1/46/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.