[Columbia, Ca. Gazette Print, 1853]. Broadside, 10 3/4 x 8 inches, printed in three columns. A bit of light foxing, mostly in the margins. Near fine. In a folding cloth clamshell case, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM46036
A rare broadside printing of the laws of the Columbia Mining District in California in 1853, created and enforced by the miners for their own self-government. The seventeen articles all deal with regulations for mining and claims. The first nine set out rules for making and operating claims. The next three address foreign ownership of claims. Article 10: "None but Americans and Europeans who have or shall declare their intentions of becoming citizens, shall hold claims in this district...." Article 11: "Neither Asiatics nor South Sea Islanders shall be allowed to mine in this district, either for themselves or for others." Article 12 sets out a punishment for any miner who sells a claim to an Asian or Polynesian. The final five articles set out rules for enforcing the laws, including the creation of a Miners Committee, and a system of binding arbitration. According to the text, the laws were adopted "at a meeting of the Miners of the Columbia Mining District, held Oct. 1st, 1853...," and the laws are signed in print by "C.H. Chamberlain, Pres." and "R.A. Robinson, Sec'y." "The item is of basic importance...as an example of how the California miners - or men beyond the reach of government anywhere else in our States and Territories, for that matter - banded together and enacted and enforced codes of law for their own protection" - Eberstadt. The COLUMBIA GAZETTE (which printed this broadside) was, according to Kemble, the second newspaper to operate in Columbia, starting operations in the fall of 1852. The first newspaper in the area, the COLUMBIA STAR, apparently printed only two or three issues in October-November of 1851, before the printing press was destroyed by vandals. Greenwood locates only three copies, at the California Historical Society, the Bancroft Library, and the Streeter copy, which was sold at the Clifford sale in 1994. Rocq lists a copy at the Huntington Library. OCLC adds copies at Yale, Library of Congress, University of California at San Diego, Stanford, and DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University. A rare and interesting example of the search for order in the tumult of the gold rush. GREENWOOD 381. ROCQ 15427. EBERSTADT 131:105. STREETER SALE 2735. CLIFFORD SALE 26. OCLC 29876358.