Latino involvement in Gold Rush topic of lecture


A Delta College Professor said “this still matters because all of this took place through the courts, and the legal system,” when speaking about the hangings of Latinos during the gold rush.

Dr. Sarah Seekatz spoke about the history of Latinos during the gold rush at a lecture on Oct. 5 sponsored by the Office of Student Equity and Diversity.

The lecture, was held at Atherton Auditorium and was in front of more than 100 people.

Seekatz spoke on the early the stages of how Latino’s migrated from Sonora, Mexico and Chile came through Stockton to get to the gold rush.

She also noted Chileans were the first to get to the gold rush since they had trade with California and heard of the gold rush. When the Chileans got there they opened up bakeries and get the best places to mine.

Seekatz also dropped a nice sports gem during the lecture when noted that the majority of people that came to California was during the year 1949 and most settled in San Francisco, hence the football team San Francisco 49ers and which is also why they have gold in their team colors.

Seekatz spoke on how during the gold rush the government tried to hold back the Latino minors by enforcing the foreign minors which essentially taxes foreigners who were their mining for gold.

Although it was selectively enforced and most Latino Americans were getting charged because they were seem as “more foreign” to the government.

“I came here for extra credit for my class but listening to what these people had to go through, it really opens your eyes and makes you realize that the gold rush is not what Hollywood made it out to be,” said Delta Student Johan Calderon.

During the lecture Seekatz told the audience how profiling minorities is something that has always been around. She said a lot of Latin women during the gold rush were often referred to as Josephina and most males were referred to as Joaquin because what else would their names be to most people of power.

Seekatz told stories of how a woman by the name of Juanita who is also known as “Josephina” was the first woman ever hung because she killed a man who came to apologize after breaking into her house the day before. This also shows how men always get the benefit of doubt when this story should be seen as a women who was using self-defense to someone who broke into her house.

Seekatz ended the lecture by leaving the mic open for questions and handing out evaluation slips.