California and Racism Directed at Chinese


Aug 20, 2015
SF Bay Area
After three pages of discussion, no documented evidence has been provided to show that Californians seriously considered seceding over the issue of Chinese immigration.
Instead, there has been speculation and opinion, together with evidence of other well-documented concerns California had, totally independent of Chinese immigration.

I was hoping for something concrete, honestly I found the theory interesting. California was a completely different creature at different points in it's development and it would have been fascinating if there was a genuine organized secession movement of any significant size anywhere near contemporary to the CSA.

Philip Leigh

formerly Harvey Johnson
Oct 22, 2014
I've watched this thread for a bit because I have an interest in the history of the west and California is pretty close to home and the issue of how to treat Chinese is germane to the history of several western states. I'm going to offer an opinion (but one based on lots of reading).

I don't have sources to cite at hand but will just say that in all I've read I've not once seen a reference to secession being considered in either California or Oregon, although both states had southern sympathizers . . .

In contrast, I have cited three sources up-thread, none of which suggested that California was in danger of joining the Southern Confederacy, but might instead seek to become a Pacific Coast republic, or part of one.
. . . Sources documenting that California secession was a genuine concern during the Civil War era are:

William Borneman, Rival Rails, Kindle Loc. 883
Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, 43
Kenneth M. Stampp, And The War Came, 241

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