Settlers Revolt! Beyond the Squatters' Riot
Time & Location
About The Event
Join us on Tuesday, September 25th, as Andrew McLeod gives a fascinating presentation about the Settlers’ Revolt, Sacramento’s revolutionary movement that resorted to arms after legal means failed – better known as the deadly 1850 Squatters’ Riot. But as dramatic as it was, that two-day conflict was only one episode of a much longer struggle. Although the dominant narrative tells us that the “Squatters” were driven out and order was restored, new research reveals a more complicated history.
McLeod explains how long-hidden newspapers (and other historic anomalies) indicate that the Settlers’ Association actually maintained some control in a tense stalemate, with eastern areas like Brighton remaining a center of ongoing resistance. The Settlers’ growing strength in the legislature and the streets then triggered a counterrevolutionary crackdown known as the Committees of Vigilance, which undermined civil order in California through at least 1856, and literally wiped Brighton off the map.
Caption (photo above): This woodcut print appeared in a special illustrated edition of the Sacramento Times and Transcript (Jan. 1, 1852). It seems to be the oldest surviving image of the most dramatic incident in Sacramento's history.
Members Free Admission - Guests $5 Admission Fee