2 documents related to 1849 California Constitution @ Colton Hall.
Lot 199
CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION, 1849.
Sold for US$ 32,940 inc. premium
Auction Details
2 documents related to 1849 California Constitution @ Colton Hall.
Lot Details
CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION, 1849.
ROSTER SIGNED AT COLTON HALL BY 1849 CONVENTION DELEGATES, PLUS SIGNATORY PAGE PREPARED FOR PRINTING.
2 remarkable documents dating from the birth of the State of California:
1. Document Signed and Inscribed by 46 members of the 1849 California Constitution, 2 pp, bifoliate leaf, Monterey, CA, September 1, 1849, light toning and spotting at edges, with mild creasing at corners, otherwise very fine.
The top of each leaf is inscribed, possibly by Marcy, the Convention's secretary: "Signatures, State where born, Residence and Age of the Delegates convened in general Convention on the 1st day of September 1849. At Monterey, to frame a State Constitution for California." Below, the state's founding fathers sign and add their information: John Sutter, born in Switzerland, now residing on "Stock farm," age 47; Robert Semple, president of the Convention, born in Kentucky, now residing in Benecia, age 42; Henry W. Halleck, born in New York, now a resident of Monterey, age as 32, etc.
2. Document Signed by 44 members of the 1849 California Constitutional Convention, 1 p, folio, Colton Hall, [Monterey, CA], "September & October 1849," likely a preliminary signatory page prepared for a printed version of Constitution, on light blue paper, with penciled annotations, light creasing, very mild foxing at lower margin, otherwise fine. Possibly prepared for publication but superceded by another (complete?) copy, the text at the upper margin reads: "Signatures of the Delegates assembled in Convention in Colton Hall September & October 1849 to form the first Constitution of California." Each signature sits on a penciled line, and spaces for the 5 who haven't signed are left marked with penciled annotations.

In preparation for statehood, California Military Governor Bennet Riley issued a proclamation in June of 1849 calling for the election of delegates to a convention designed to craft a state constitution. Riley called for the election of 37 delegates, apportioning representatives to the various settlements in California, though eventually 48 delegates would serve. Only a handful of delegates were native-born Californians, including Jose Antonio Carillo and the other Spanish-speaking representatives; the rest were from the east coast, south, and Europe.
The Convention was in session 43 days; members adopted the Constitution on October 10 and adjourned October 13. In preparation for the state's admission to the Union, the constitution clearly spells out California's identity as a free state, declaring that "all men are by nature free and independent" and that "Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude ... shall ever be tolerated in this state."
The signatory page is signed by the following: JOSEPH ARAM, CHARLES BOTTS, ELAM BROWN, ELISHA O. CROSBY, JOSE M. COVARRUBIAS, JOSE ANTONIO CARRILLO, LEWIS DENT, PABLO DE LA GUERRA, KIMBALL H. DIMMICK, MANUEL DOMINGUEZ, ALFRED JAMES ELLIS, STEPHEN C. FOSTER, WILLIAM M. GWIN, EDWARD GILBERT, HENRY HILL, JACOB DAVID HOPPE, H.W. HALLACK, JULIAN HANKS, LANSFORD W. HASTINGS, JOSEPH HOBSON, JOHN MCHENRY HOLLINGSWORTH, THOMAS O. LARKIN, JAMES McHALL JONES, FRANCIS J LIPPITT, BENJAMIN S. LIPPINCOTT, B. F. MOORE, M.M. MCCARVER, JOHN MCDOUGAL, P. ORD, MIGUEL DE PEDRORENA, RODMAN M . PRICE, ANTONIO M. PICO, JACINTO RODRIGUEZ, HUGH REID, JOHN A. SUTTER, JACOB R. SNYDER, WINFIELD SCOTT SHERWOOD, WILLIAM E. SHANNON, ABEL STEARNS, ROBERT SEMPLE, WILLIAM M. STEUART, M.G. VALLEJO, JOEL P. WALKER, and OLIVER M. WOZENCRAFT.
The registrar leaves are additionally signed by Julian Hanks, Henry Tefft, Myron Norton, and Thomas L. Vermeule.
The documents have descended together through an old California family with ties to the Santa Clara valley region.
See illustration.
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