Act for Admission of California

ACT FOR ADMISSION OF CALIFORNIA—1850[1]

[Thirty-first Congress, First Session]

An Act for the admission of the State of California into the Union.

Whereas the people of California have presented a constitution and asked admission into the Union, which constitution was submitted to Congress by the President of the United States, by message dated February thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty, and which, on due examination, is found to be republican in its form of government:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the State of California shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, until the Representatives in Congress shall be apportioned according to an actual enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, the State of California shall be entitled to two Representatives in Congress.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said State of California is admitted into the Union upon the express condition that the people of said State, through their legislature or otherwise, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands within its limits, and shall pass no law and do no act whereby the title of the United States, to, and right to dispose of, the same shall be impaired or questioned; and that they shall never lay any tax or assessment of any description whatsoever upon the public domain of the United States, and in no case shall non-resident proprietors, who are citizens of the United States, be taxed higher than residents; and that all the navigable waters within the said State shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of said State as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as recognizing or rejecting the propositions tendered by the people of California as articles of compact in the ordinance adopted by the convention which formed the constitution of that State.

Approved, September 9, 1850.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

  1. An act of March 3, 1849, extended the revenue laws to California and erected a collection district therein. Congress having failed to pass a bill establishing a territorial government in California, which was presented in 1849, and two bills establishing a State government there, which were presented in 1849 and in 1850, passed this act for the admission of California as one of the United States, which was approved September 9, 1850. A subsequent act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, provided, “That all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within the said State of California as elsewhere within the United States.”