The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 40
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the State of California, for the state will know better than the
Federal government how to administer the mines."s
California's Opposition to Fillmore's Recommendation. In spite
of the determined opposition of California to the policy of sell-
ing the gold fields, President Fillmore and his Secretary of the
Interior, Stuart, recommended to Congress to divide these lands
into small tracts to be sold "under such restrictions, as to quan-
tity and time, as will insure the best price, and guard most effectu-
ally against combinations of capitalists to obtain monopolies."
They admitted that the leasing system would be more profitable
to the government, and would afford the best securities against
monopolies, but such a system, they believed, would create feuds
between the government and the lessees, making it difficult to
collect the rents.'
President Fillmore's recommendation was criticized in Cali-
fornia as undemocratic and in the interest of the capitalists. The
suggestion of President Fillmore, said the Pacific News, shows
that the authorities in Washington do not understand the situa-
tion in California. The adoption of such a policy would inevi-
tably result in monopoly, and in such a case the land would be
either kept for speculation and not be mined; or the laboring
people would be forced to pay a high price for it. The Herald
pointed out that the miners had no desire to own the title in
fee simple, for as soon as the "lead" gives out they move to
another place. The mineral lands, said the Alta, are best as they
are now, and they can never become a source of revenue for the
government.20 In the assembly a joint resolution was adopted
declaring that the policy of selling the mineral lands would be
in conflict with the true interests of the state and nation, for
the richest mineral lands would fall into the hands of speculators,
resulting in the stoppage of immigration and the retardation of
the progress of California. It warned the government that the
miners, grown up in a spirit of independence, had become accus-
tomed to consider the mineral lands as a common heritage, and
1"Herald, January 30, 1851.
1"H. Ex. Doec., 31 Cong., 2 Sess., 11, 27-28 (595).
"Alta, March 1, 1851; Pacific News, January 28, February 21, February
28, 1851; Picayune, September 18, 1851; Sacramento Transcript, January
31, 1851; Herald, January 5, 25, 30, 1851.
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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/m1/48/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.