The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927 Page: 46
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Southwestern Ilistorical Quarterly
interests to devise a policy for the taxation of the mines was
frustrated by the miners.
State Ownership of the Minerals. There had always prevailed
an opinion in California that by right the gold fields belonged to
the state and not to the Federal government. This doctrine gained
considerable popularity when the State Supreme Court held in
the case of Hlicks v. Bell that, "the mines of gold and silver on
the public lands are as much the property of this State, by virtue
of her sovereignty, as are similar mines in the hands of private
citizens." This principle was reiterated two years later in the
case of Stoalces v. Barrett.41 The Placer Times and Transcript
congratulated the people of California upon the "acquisition of
so splendid a heritage." Why should we entrust these matters,
it said, to those who are removed from us thousands of miles, and
who do not possess the necessary knowledge nor sympathy to man-
age the mines efficiently.42
In the Senate, Dosh introduced a bill which assumed for the
state, by virtue of its sovereignty, the ownership of all the mines.
In his minority report on the bill, Dosh contended that under the
Spanish and Mexican law, the minerals in all lands, public and
private, were reserved to the sovereignty. The right to the mines
in these lands became vested in the "sovereignty which superseded
that of Mexico," that is the State of California. This conclusion
was based upon the following argument: For many years pre-
vious to the conquest by the United States, the department of
California had a "regularly organized government"; this system
of laws, with some modifications, continued in force until the time
when the state government was put into full operation. "The
first recognition of California by Congress was as an independent
sovereignty," a state; and by reason of that independent sover-
eignty, the right of eminent domain "which had been transferred
to the government of the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe
41"icks v. Bell, 3 Cal., 227; Stoakes v. Barrett, 5 Cal., 39. But in
Moore v. Smaw, and Fremont v. Flower (17 Cal., 223), the supreme court
of California refused to sustain the doctrine advanced in the above cases.
"Placer Times and Transcript, August 14, 1853. The Alta of August
12, 1853, and the Sacramento Union of August 17, 1853, expressed them-
selves against the doctrine of state ownership of the mines.
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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/m1/54/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.