The 1858 Black Exodus

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs: founded the first black newspaper in California, joined hundreds of his peers in leaving San Francisco to find his fortune in Canada, became the first black man to join the Victoria city council and eventually returned to the US where he served as the first elected African American municipal judge in the country.

This week, San Franciscans will observe the 150th anniversary of an exodus of hundreds of free black Californians to Canada in order to escape an increasingly racist state government and fugitive slave laws that endangered their lives and to join a more welcoming community in Victoria, British Columbia. A list of commemorative events is available here. Learn more about African American civil rights struggles during the gold rush era at sfmuseum.org.


Undercover Black Man said...

Wow. Thank you, Bay Radical. Of course I never heard of this.

Bay Radical said...

Yeah, we sure didn't cover this in my 4th grade California history unit. I learned about it in the Bay View.

Creative Commons License
Some Rights Reserved.