Gadsden Secures Land To Serve As The Dividing Line For The Two Californias

Gadsden had supported nullification in 1831, and he advocated secession by South Carolina in 1850 when California was admitted to the Union as a free state.

Gadsden considered slavery “a social blessing” and abolitionists as “the greatest curse of the nation.”

When that secession failed, Gadsden, working with his cousin Isaac Edward Holmes, who had moved to San Francisco in 1851 to practice law, and the California state senator Thomas Jefferson Green, attempted to divide California in two with the southern half allowing slavery. Gadsden planned to establish a slave holding colony based on rice, cotton, and sugar, while building with slave labor, a railroad and highway, originating in either San Antonio or on the Red River, that would transport people to the California gold fields. Towards this end, on December 31, 1851, Gadsden asked Green to secure from the state legislature a large land grant located between the 34th and 36th parallels that would eventually serve as the dividing line for the two California states.

A few months after this Gadsden and 1,200 potential settlers from South Carolina and Florida submitted a petition to the California legislature for permanent citizenship and permission to establish a rural district that would be farmed by "not less than Two Thousand of their African Domestics". The petition stimulated some debate, but it finally died in committee.

# Gadsden Purchase of 1853, United States purchased a strip of land along the U.S.-Mexico border for $10 million, now in New Mexico and Arizona. This territory was later used for the southern transcontinental railroad.