The California Colored Conventions and the Formation of Black Abolition in California

In 1850, California ambivalently entered the Union with a state constitution that banned slavery. But the twisted roots of peonage, captivity, and coerced labor immediately distorted that freedom. Two pieces of legislation transformed California into a slave state: the 1850 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1852 which made it legal for plantation owners to retain enslaved African Americans who they had brought to California for the Gold Rush.