A DRAMATIZATION OF THE 1849 DEBATES BETWEEN
September 1st and October 13th

WHICH RESULTED IN THE
1849 CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION  

written by Morgan Stock. 
Revised, November 22, 1999
with special thanks
to the Colton Hall Museum
City of Monterey, California

 

 

The dialogue is based on the daily journal of the debates 
kept by John Ross Browne (1817-1875) of Kentucky, 
 official reporter for the California State Constitutional Convention
of September-October 1849.  

Edited and condensed for classroom Reader's Theater
 by Mimi Lozano, editor of Somos Primos, 2016 

 

 

 

SETTING

The Announcer stands stage right, on the apron. Setting: table center stage, with chairs on both sides of the table. Classroom items (globe, books, blackboard) and an American flag of 1846. 

Next to the Announcer is an easel, on which the important topic under discussion and voted on is mounted dependent on the dates identified by the narrator. The transition facilitated by a woman character, in a long skirt and fluffy long-sleeve blouse.  
September 4, 5, 12, 22, 24, 26, 27 October 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

List of Characters in order of appearance:
Suggestions: characters (not the announcer or interpreter) have name label which can be read from the audience.  It will emphasize that the decisions for Spanish colonized California were being discussed by non-Hispanics; only Carrillo name will display a Spanish connection. Dress: dark suit, white shirt, BOW-TIE, and vest.  Hair, plastered down a bit. Women seated behind the men in bonnets and shawls would add to the period.

Except for Semple, who is in poor health wise, all characters should deliver their lines standing up. Frances J. Lippitt should be seated at the table with Semple.
It will make the transition when Lippert is acting as president smoother. Semple coughs every now and a woman brings Semple a glass of water.

Please go to Somos Primos
http://www.somosprimos.com/sp2010/spnov10/spnov10.htm#1849 
for information on the individuals whose words were recorded and here-in shared. A copy of the summary of the delegates who signed the constitution could be distributed to the audience.  

Announcer
Jose Antonio Carrillo
Interpreter
Henry Hill
Kennith H. Dimmick
Robert B. Semple
W. M. Gwinn
Stephen C. Foster
W. E. Shannon
Edw. Gilbert
Henry A. Tefft
Ch. T. Botts
Frances J. Lippitt
H. W. Halleck
M. M. McGarver
J. M. Jones
Jacob R. Snyder


Posters:

1. Robert B Semple
2. Poster: Allocation of delegates for 10 California Districts
3. Each session to open Prayer
4. Territorial government vs statehood
5. Proceedings to be printed in Spanish and English.]
6. Woman’s Suffrage
7. California Natives Suffrage Rights
8. Permanent seat of Government
9. California Boundaries
10. Effect of possible Mormon future action
11. Public Education
12. Fighting a duel, unconstitutional ]
13. Spanish law and women’s separate property rights
14. Sierra Nevada Eastern Boundary for the State of California
15. October 13, 1849, Bilingual Constitution signed by delegates



==========================================

Announcer:
Ladies and gentlemen, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on the second of February, 1848.  This ended the Mexican American War, conferring complete control to all the lands west of the Mississippi, to the United States government. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo allowed Spanish/Mexican citizens to keep their properties (with proof of ownership).  They also had the option to become US citizens, (if they applied). 

In the years 1849 and 1850, United States General Bennet C. Riley commanded the Military Department and exercised the duties of Provincial Governor of Upper California. He was given the task to assist the residents living in California to determine if California was to be a State or a Territory. The election of delegates was held on August 1, 1849.

Elections were held throughout cities in California. Forty-eight delegates from ten districts debated complicated issues. There were thirty-eight delegates who signed the constitution, seven were native Californios and spoke Spanish, the 8th was a native of Spain.  The convention was conduction in English.  Before voting, each resolution and article was translated into Spanish for the benefit of the eight delegates who spoke only Spanish.  

California's first Constitution was the first constitution in the United States to be written as a bilingual document, Spanish/English.  Perhaps, making the California constitution unique in the modern world: a conquering army respecting the residents with the inclusion of their language in the constitution.  

The convention and debate were scheduled to be held throughout September and October.  The Constitution convention met in Colton Hall, in the town of Monterey, at 12 o'clock noon on Saturday, September 1, 1849, and admitted to seats 48 delegates.

The convention actually convened for 43 days, between September 1st and October 13th. We will be looking in on some scenes from 12 days in which votes were taken on some of the most important issues facing the delegates. Robert B. Semple, newspaperman was elected California State Constitutional Convention. Semple, dealing with poor health, was assisted in that task by Francis Lippett, a veteran of the Mexican American War and Colonel and Brigadier General in the American Civil War.

Tuesday, September 4th [Poster, Robert B Semple] The order of the day was the selection of a President. The 42 year old Semple, a printer who had lived in California for five years, was elected President by secret ballot.  He accepts the honor.

Semple:  While, with an open heart, I feel grateful for the honor conferred upon me, yet I must say that I feel great regret that it has not fallen into abler hands. So far as the duties of the President of this Convention shall devolve upon me, I shall use every effort to perform them with as much moderation as I can, and as nearly as practicable with justice and attention to the right. We are now, fellow citizens, occupying a position to which all eyes are turned. The eyes not only of our sister and parent States are upon us, but the eyes of all Europe are now directed toward California. This is the preliminary movement for the organization of a civil government, and the establishment of social institutions.

It is important, than, that in your proceedings you should use all possible care, discretion, and judgment; and especially that a spirit of compromise should prevail in all your deliberations. It is to be hoped that every feeling of harm will be cherished to the utmost in this convention. By this course, fellow citizens, I am satisfied that we can prove to the world that California has not been settled entirely by unintelligent and unlettered men... Let us, then go onward and upward, and let our motto be "Justice, Industry, and Economy". (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)

Announcer: Californiano Jose Antonio Carrillo, at 53 years old, was the senior member of the delegates stands to his feet. Here he is addressing the assembly concerning the number of delegates each of the ten districts should have.  Counties had not yet been established in California.
[Poster: Allocation of delegates for 10 California Districts]

 

Carrillo: Distinguidos colegas, miembros de la Asemblea del día cuatro de sept. de 1849. Siento no poder hablarles en inglés, pero con su indulgencia mi intérprete puede repetir lo que digo para que lo oigan en su idioma natal. He visto la representación del Sr. Botts y su añadidura y me sorprende que Los Angleles está al mismo nivil que Monterey. Puesto que Los Angleles tiene el doble el número de habitantes. También noto que Santa Barbara no tiene más de tres miembros. Espero que el Sr. Botts cambie lo que propone para que Los Angleles y Santa Barbara tengan el número de representantes al cual tienen derecho. En mi humilde opinión, Santa Barbara debe tener una cantidad igual al número de representantes de Monterey y Los Angeles siete miembros. Gracias por haberme escuchado.

Interpreter: Distinguished colleagues, members of the Assembly of September 4, 1849. I am sorry not to be able to speak to you in English, but with your indulgence, my interpreter may repeat what I say so that you might here it in your natal language. I have seen the presentation of Mr. Botts and his addition, and it surprises me that Los Angeles is on the same level as Monterey. Especially since Los Angeles has twice the number of inhabitants. I also note that Santa Barbara only has three members. I hope that Mr. Botts changes what he proposes so that Los Angeles and Santa Barbara have the number of representatives they are due. In my humble opinion Santa Barbara and Monterey should have the same number of representatives as Los Angeles, seven members. Thank you for having listened to me.
 

Hill: Mr. President, I move that the District of Los Angeles be entitled to seven delegates instead of five; and Santa Barbara five, instead of three.

Dimmick: Do I hear a second? (A SECOND IS HEARD) All in favor, say aye. (UNANIMOUS AYES) So carried.

Announcer: A few more resolutions were offered September 4th.
[Poster: Each session to open with Prayer] One of the more important resolutions was that a committee of three was appointed to call upon the clergy of Monterey, and request them to open this convention each day with a prayer. The Convention was then adjourned until ten o'clock the next morning.

On Wednesday, September 5th: The convention began with a prayer by the Reverend Padre Antonio Ramirez. Then the President and members took the oath to support the Constitution of the U.S. The order of the day was to vote on a resolution proposed by Mr. Gwinn for a select committee to report a plan of the State Constitution for the action of the whole convention. Mr. Gwinn is ' speaking.
[Poster: Territorial government vs statehood]

Gwinn: Mr. President, I do not think there is a member on this floor in favor of a territorial government.

Foster: I beg to differ with the gentleman! Some members are in favor of a territorial government. I, for one, am opposed at present to entering into a state government. My colleague, Senior Carillo, feels strongly...

Carrillo: distritos de California, y yo no creo que sea para el mejor interés de mis constituyentes que el gobierno del estado debe ser formado. Y que al mismo tiempo, como la mayoría de esta Convención parece estar a favor del govierno del estado...

Halleck: Mr. President.

Semple: Yes

Halleck: Delegate Carrillo has given me a statement which I will endeavor to translate. "I, Mr. Carrillo, represent one of the most respectable communities in California, and I do not believe it to be in the best interests of my constituents that a state government should be formed. At the same time, as a majority of this Convention appears to be in favor of a state government, I propose that the country should be divided by running a line East from San Luis Obispo, so that all north of that line might have a state government, and all south thereof a territorial organization. (GENERAL HUBBUB... CRIES: NO, NO! NOT THAT!)  (Continues) Although a gentleman belonging to this body has stated this morning that it was not the object of the convention to form a constitution for the Californians, I beg leave to say that I consider myself as much an American citizen as the gentleman who made that assertion." (CRIES OF GOOD FOR YOU SENOR CARRILLO...SOME APPLAUSE)

Gwinn: Mr. President, What I said was that the Constitution which we're about to form is for the American population. Because the American population is the majority. But it is for the protection of the minority: The Native Californians. The majority of any community is the party to be governed; they are to be restrained from infringing upon the rights of the minority. 

Carrillo: Estoy satisfecho. 

Halleck: Mr. Carrillo is satisfied.

Announcer:  On Saturday, two of the sections of the Bill of Rights were passed.  Twenty-seven year old W.E. Shannon, from Ireland, moved to insert the following:

Shannon: I move that we insert, as an additional section, the following: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of a crime, shall ever be tolerated in this State.

Announcer:  It is an honor to the memory of this convention, that the section was adopted unanimously. The approval of that section set forever that California would be a free state.  Then Shannon continued with another important issue, respect and legitimacy of the Spanish language.
[Poster: Proceedings to be printed in Spanish and English.]

Shannon:
Mr. Chairman, I move that a committee of three be appointed to receive proposals for the printing of the proceedings of this Convention in Spanish and in English, with instructions to receive all bids, and to report to the House. 

 

Announcer: The chairman appointed a committee and adjourned the Convention.  The delegates reassembled on September 12th and debated the very important right of suffrage.[Poster: Woman’s Suffrage]

The section reads as follows: "Every white male citizen of the United States, of any age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State for six months next preceding the election, and the County, in which he claims his vote twenty days shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now, or hereafter may be, authorized by law." 

Gilbert: Mr. Chairman, I move to amend the section as follows: After the words "United States" and before the word "of, insert "and every male citizen of Mexico who shall have elected to become a citizen of the United States, under the treaty of peace, exchanged and ratified at Queretaro"

Announcer: Mr. Gilbert then proceeded to read from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Peace Treaty, and pointed out that if his amendment was not adopted, the Mexicans would not have the right to vote, as the Treaty did not seem give them that right. At this point, Mr. Botts proposed that the amendment include the word white before the words "male citizen of Mexico." Mr. Gwinn asked Mr. Carrillo if Indians and Africans were entitled to vote under Mexican law. 

Mr. Carrillo replied that according to Mexican law, no race of any kind is excluded from voting. 

Mr. Gwinn then asked if Indians were considered Mexican citizens, and Mr. Carrillo answered that some of the first men in the Republic were of the Indian race. They are still talking about Indians and Mr. Tefft has the floor.
[Poster: California Natives Suffrage Rights]

Tefft: From my earliest youth I have felt something like a reverence for the Indian. I admire their heroic deeds in defense of their homes, their wild eloquence and uncompromising pride. Has not injustice enough already been visited upon the Indian race? They have been driven from one extremity of the land to the other. Shall they now be driven into the waves of the Pacific? Shall we prohibit them from becoming civilized? Surely the prejudice against color does not extend so far! I consider that this native population is better entitled to the right of suffrage than I, or a thousand others who came here but yesterday. (MURMURING OF APPROVAL)

Announcer: Eventually, Mr. Gilbert's amendment — "and every male citizen of Mexico etc — was passed, and a number of other sections passed without debate. Mr. Ch.T. Botts, a 40 year old Attorney at Law, who has made his residence in Monterey for sixteen months spoke.

Botts:
I move that no person living in California, who has left his family elsewhere, shall be considered as a resident of California.

Lippett: The Chair recognizes Mr. Halleck.

 

Halleck: (angrily) I would like to know if the persons to whom the gentleman has made reference were not included under the head of "idiots and insane persons" in the 5th section?

Gilbert: I think it rather unfair that a gentleman who enjoys the blessing of having his family here, should be so hard upon those who, like myself, have left theirs at home.

Botts: I really suppose there would not be a dissenting voice to this very plain proposition. As to the difficulty of Mr. Gillbert, I would answer him as others have been answered- We will provide for him in the schedule (LAUGHTER). But seriously, the object of the amendment was to have some guarantee that persons who are to assist in making our laws will remain in the country long enough to be subject to the operation of those laws.

Announcer:  Objections continued.  Mr. M.M. McCarver who had been in California for one year stated:

McCarver: I protest against this proposition. It would be very hard if I should after my long residence here be deprived of my right to vote because my family is elsewhere.

Lippett: Mr. Halleck.

Halleck: I think one more provision ought to be introduced — that all single men should be married in three months. (HEARTY LAUGHTER) 

Lippett:
All those in favor of Mr. Botts' motion say Aye, opposed, (NO NO). The motion is defeated.  Convention adjourned. 

Announcer: Saturday, September 22: We join the Convention now on a discussion of the boundaries for the state.
[Poster: California Boundaries]
The Boundary Committee about a week ago gave the Northern boundary of Oregon; the southern boundary of Mexico; the western boundary of the Pacific Ocean; and the eastern boundary as a line on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas. 

Gilbert: I believe that the boundary of the State of California should include all that tract of country from New Mexico to the Pacific, including the Great Salt Lake. 

Gwinn: Mr. Chairman.  

Lippett: Yes. Mr. Gwinn

Gwinn: I look upon it as a matter of great importance that the boundary should include the entire territory so that there could be no question hereafter.
[Effect of possible Mormon future action]
It is true that this proposition embraces an immense unexplored region; that it brings in the Mormon settlement on the Salt Lake. But the Mormons have already applied for a government, and if they do not desire to remain in the State of California, it is very easy for them to form a separate government.

Shannon: Mr. Chairman, I am opposed to Mr. Gwinn's amendment, and I support the Committee's boundaries, with the eastern boundary being along the crest of the Sierra Nevada. I consider that it is indispensably necessary that we should have more fixed limits to the new State of California. This is an immense territory which the gentlemen proposes to include. The northeastern portion of it is, as the gentleman states, settled now by a large population of people, whose religious tenets certainly form a great barrier to their introduction among the people of California. They will say: We had no hand in forming this Constitution which you endeavor to force upon us, and we will not submit to it.

Lippett: Mr Gwinn.

Gwinn:
As this is a very important question, I propose that the subject be laid aside, and that the Secretary be directed to prepare copies of the amendments to be laid before the members, so that when the subject comes up again we may be prepared to act upon it.  

Lippett: I would entertain a motion that the Convention be adjourned until 10 o'clock Monday next. 

Halleck: I so move. (A SECOND AND AYES)

Lippett: (POUND THE GAVEL) The Convention is now adjourned.

Announcer: Monday September 24, After some verbal amendments made by Mr. Shannon and Mr. Gwinn on their amendments, the debate waxed heavy on the question of the boundary for the entire day and night session, the Convention voted to establish the eastern boundary of the State at the Territory of New Mexico. Then Mr. Semple brought up a new subject.

Semple: Do I hear a motion that we form the Committee of the Whole for the debate on Article VIII on education?  [Poster: Public Education]

Voice: I so move. (SECOND AND AYES)

Semple: Done.

Announcer: The first section concerning the election of a Superintendent of Public Instruction by the people was passed without debate. Then Mr McCarver read the second section.,

McCarver: The Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvements. The money raised from land grants, etc. shall remain a perpetual fund for the support of public schools throughout the state. Provided that the Legislature may, if the exigencies of the State require it, appropriate these monies designated for education to other purposes.

 

Lippett: Mr. Botts

Botts: I move to strike out the proviso. It seems to me to be inconsistent with the previous portion of the section. In one part you say that the proceeds of these lands shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of public schools. Yet, then turn around and say, provided the Legislature shall not enact laws to the contrary. Either the first clause or the last should be stricken out. I cannot see how a friend of this school fund could vote for this proviso.

Lippett: Mr Semple.

Semple: There cannot be too large a fund for educational purposes. Why should we send our sons to Europe to finish their education? If we have the means here we can procure the necessary talent; we can bring the President of Oxford University here by offering a sufficient salary. We should therefore carefully provide that this fund shall be used for no other purpose. Education, Sir, is the foundation of republican institutions.

Lippett: Mr. Jones.

Jones: I think the proviso should be retained. There are but few children here now, and it is not probable the number will be great for some time to come.

Botts: Does the gentleman propose that we, who have children, shall wait until he and all others who have none shall procure such appendages?

Jones: Not at all, Sir.

Lippett: Could we vote on Mr. Botts' amendment that the proviso be stricken out. Is there any more debate on the subject? (YES, YES ETC) All in favor that the proviso permitting money allotted to school funds be spent for things other than schools be stricken out, say aye. (CHORUS OF AYES). Opposed; The proviso is ordered out.

Announcer: Wednesday, September 26:
[Poster: Permanent seat of Government]
In the evening session so far the article on the Judiciary has been passed and laid on the table. We now rejoin this session of the Convention; Mr. Lippett is speaking...

Lippett: We will now hear the report of the Committee on the Constitution as relates to "Miscellaneous Provisions." The first section being under consideration, as follows: "The first session of the Legislature shall be held in the Pueblo de San Jose, which place shall be permanent seat of Government until removed by law.

Announcer: The location for the first session of the California Legislature to be held was greatly debated. In addition to San Jose, Monterey, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Stockton,   Mr. Carrillo suggested Santa Barbara.

Carrillo:

Carrillo: En este momento se discute un asunto de sumo interés a saber el emplazamiento de la capital de California. No creo que pudiera elegir mejor lugar que Santa Barbara. Tanto por su localización privilegiada como por su clima tan saludable. Espero que la Convención tome en consideración estás ventajas al tomar su decisión.

Interpreter:  You are now debating a very interesting question — where the capitol of California should be. I do not believe you can fix upon a more eligible place than Santa Barbara, both because of its eligible position and salubrity of climate. I hope the Convention will take its advantages into consideration.  

(CRIES OF LETS VOTE, ETC)  Voices: Let's vote on Mr. Bott's amendment, etc. Call for the question. 

Lippett: Those in favor of Mr. Bott's amendment that the first meeting of the Legislature be held in Monterey please say aye (SOME STRONG AYE) Opposed (MAJORITY OF NO'S)

Announcer:  In spite of the impassioned suggestions, all suggestions were defeated.  It was determined by vote, the meeting of the first Legislature was to be held in San Jose.

 

Announcer: Thursday, September 27, Mr. Shannon is Chairman of the Committee on Miscellaneous Provisions.
[Poster: Fighting a duel, unconstitutional ]

Botts: I shall read the second section of the article on Miscellaneous Provisions: Any citizen of the State who shall, fight a duel with deadly weapons or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, with a citizen of this State, or who shall act as second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those so offending, shall be deprived of holding any office of profit, and of enjoying the right of suffrage under this Constitution. 

Tefft: No clause that you can introduce in the constitution will prevent a man from fighting a duel, if it be in defense of his honor. If we had in the Constitution of the United States a clause like this, Hamilton, Randolph, Clay and Benton would have been dropped from the roll of American Statesmen. 

Semple: Duelling itself is, so far as I am individually concerned, unconstitutional. My Constitution forbids it, and I have resolved never to fight a duel if I can honorably get out of it. Now I have an instinctive dread of death. I dislike the idea of dying; but give me my choice, whether I shall be branded with infamy, prohibited from holding any office I should choose death in preference. I would dislike very much to fight a duel, because I might be killed. 

Announcer:  The article was adopted, making dueling illegal.  One more major issue included in the thirteenth section of Miscellaneous Provisions deals with women's property rights. 
[Poster: Spanish law and women’s separate property rights]

Spanish law sanctions women's personal and separate property. It was not a concept easily grasped by many of the delegates.   The arguments against inclusion in the constitution was that it should be formed in the legislature.   Mr. Shannon speaks:

Shannon: Sec. 13. All property, both real and personal, of the wife, owned or claimed by her before marriage, and that acquired afterwards by gift, demise or descent, shall be her separate property, and laws shall be passed more clearly defining the rights of the wife, in relation as well to her separate property as that held in common with her husband. Laws shall also be passed providing for the registration of the wife's separate property. 

Tefft:  "I say that we have not only the right to embrace a provision of this kind in our constitution, but it is our duty. I do contend, Sir, that every wife has a right, a positive right, to the entire control of her private and personal property.  The industrious businessman., with his frugal wife, is not in any way affected by it; but if an idle, dissipated, visionary, or impractical man brings his family to penury and want, than I say it is our duty to put this provision in the Constitution for the protection of that family who are helpless, and who have no other means of subsistence... I trust, in consideration for the native population of California, who always have lived under this system , that it will become a part of our fundamental law.

Jones: I am not wedded either to the common law or the civil law, nor as yet to a woman, but having some hopes that some time or other I may be wedded, and I shall advocate this section of the Constitution, and I would call upon all the bachelors in this convention to vote for it. I do not think we can offer a greater inducement for Women of fortune to come to California. It is the very best provision to get us wives that we can introduce into the Constitution.

Botts: I object to this clause, and I shall vote no to expunge it altogether from the Constitution. I object to it on the general principle so often avowed in this Convention, that it is a Legislative enactment, but I also object because I think it is radically wrong. Sir, the God of nature made woman frail, lovely, and dependent; and such the common law pronounces her. Nature did what the common law has done— put her under the protection of man; and it is the object of this clause to withdraw her from that protection of the law. I say, Sir, the husband will take better care of the wife, provide for her better and protect her better, than the law. He who would not let the winds of heaven too rudely touch her, is her best protector. When she trusts him with her happiness, she may well trust him with her gold... This proposition, I believe, is calculated to produce dissention and strife in families. The only despotism of the husband... This doctrine of women's rights, is the doctrine of those mental hermaphrodites, Abby Folsom, Fanny Wright and the rest of that tribe.  I entreat, Sir, that no such clause may be put in this Constitution. 

Shannon: Mr. Halleck

Halleck: It will be remembered that this section proposed in the Constitution is, and always has been, the law of this country. When we propose, therefore, to put it in the constitution, we are not stepping upon untried ground. For this reason, I am in favor of making it a Constitutional provision. I believe that it is essentially necessary that the wife's property should be protected. I expect myself, Sir, at some future time to take myself a wife. She may be possessed of some little property, and I am not sure but that if it is not secured to her, I may squander it.

Are we prepared to vote on it? (YES YES) The first vote is on Mr. Lippett's  amendment. That laws securing the property rights of the wife should be formed in the legislature, not in this constitution. All in favor, say aye. No (OVERWHELMING NO VOTE)!

All in favor of the section as reported by Committee, That the property rights of the wife belongs in this constitution, say aye. (OVERWHELMING AYE VOTE). So carried.  

Announcer: Having done right by the women folk of California, on October 9th, the Convention moved on to the still unresolved issue of California boundaries.
[Poster: Mormon Territory issues]
The Gwinn-Halleck amendment and proviso included the Mormon Territory.  Unexpectedly, it won by a close vote.  It resulted in much confusion, adding to it was Mr. McCarver, a 42 year old farmer who had lived in Sacramento for a year. . he said . . .   

McCarver:  "We have done enough mischief!  I move we adjourn, sine die!

Announcer: The young Irishman Shannon rose to his feet, shouting:

Shannon:  I give notice that I will file a protest against this vote. Rest assured that the thirty-nine thousand emigrants coming across the Sierra Nevada will NEVER sanction this Constitution if you include the Mormons.

Snyder: Your Constitution is gone! Your Constitution is gone! (CRIES OF ORDER! ORDER! FROM ALL PARTS OF THE HOUSE. AND THE CONSTITUTION IS LOST)

Announcer: The assembly did not calm down until Mr. McCarver withdrew his motion to adjourn, sine die, which means without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing.  The meeting was then quietly adjourned until the next morning, October 10, 1849.  

Although for a few days there was still considerable discussion and division, October 11, a vote was taken on a proposal by Mr. J. M. Jones.  Mr. Jones, was a twenty-four a year old attorney from Kentucky, who had been in California four months.  
[Poster: Sierra Nevada Eastern Boundary for the State of California]

Semple: You have heard the motion. The approval of the first part of Mr. Jones' proposal means that eastern boundary line for the State of California will be at the Sierra Nevada line.  
All in favor (A MAJORITY OF AYES) So carried. (BANG THE GRAVEL AND CHEERS AND CLAPPING.)

Announcer: Friday, October 12, 1849 

Halleck: Mr. Chairman.

Semple: Yes, Mr. Halleck.

Halleck: I move that a committee of three be appointed to transmit a copy of the Constitution of the State of California to General Riley, acting Governor of California, with an accompanying letter signed by the President of this body, requesting to the Governor to forward the same to the President of the United States by the earliest opportunity.

Semple: You have heard the motion—all in favor? (ALL AYES) So done. I appoint Mr. Halleck, Mr. Lippett, and General McCarver to the committee. I would like announce to the Convention that I have received official notice from General Riley that a national salute will be fired by his order, on the signing of the Constitution adopted by this Convention. The Convention is adjourned until tomorrow morning.

Announcer: Saturday, October 13, 1849, the delegates recommended that a thank you be sent to General Riley "for the kindness and courtesy which has marked his intercourse, private and official, with the members of the body."  In addition, a thank you be sent to the trustees of Colton Hall for the use of the building.  The final act by a sub-committee completed.

Shannon:  Your Committee appointed to prepare an address to the People of California  has completed its task, and I would like to present that address to the Convention at this time. Plus that the thanks of this convention be presented to the Honorable Robert Semple, for the faithful and impartial manner in which he has discharged the arduous and responsible duties of the chair, and that in retiring, he carries with him the " best wishes of this convention. 

Announcer: The address was unanimously adopted. (AYES. AYES.)

Poster: October 13, 1849, Bilingual Constitution signed.

Semple: I move that we now sign the enrolled Constitution.  (MEN GATHER AROUND AND SIGN THE DOCUMENT.  SEMPLE HAS MOVED TO THE FRONT OF THE TABLE. THE MEN STANDING  EACH SIDE OF SEMPLE, chatting quietly with each other. ) 

Semple: Gentleman of the Convention, I would be remiss if I did not address a few remarks to you. I wish to take this opportunity before we go our separate ways to thank you for the honor you have done me in selecting me as your President; furthermore, I wish to thank you for the courtesy you exhibited to myself and all the members of the Convention, and finally, I want to wish you a safe and speedy return to your homes. 

(A BIT OF HAND CLAPPING). 
McCarver: Mr. President, I move the Convention be adjourned.
Semple: It is done! (TURNS AROUND AND BANGS THE GAVEL. A BIT OF SUBDUED CHEERING, SHAKING HANDS. THE MEMBERS OF THE CONVENTION GATHER UP PAPERS, AND START WALKING OUT OF COLTON HALL IN PAIRS, SINGLY AND IN BUNCHES.

THE ANNOUNCER BANGS THE GAVEL TWICE, EVERYONE FREEZES. ANNOUNCER CONCLUDES WITH THE FOLLOWING:  

Announcer or entire cast in unison: 
The 1849 Constitution thus framed was ratified by the people of California at an election held on November 13, 1849. 

This Constitution served the state both before and after its admission into the union, serving as the basis of government for the State of California until 1879 when a new state constitution was adopted.

CAST WALKS TO FRONT OF STAGE, BOW TOGETHER AND EXIST.

 

 

                                                                    09/22/2016 11:39 AM