Some estimate that between 200-300 African Americans were enslaved in the mining areas of California during the gold rush, despite the wide belief that slavery was supposedly banned in the state by the Compromise of 1850. Old newspaper accounts described slave escapes, while ads offer slaves for sale. Even court records list freedom papers and cases involving enslavement. California Indians were also held as slaves during this period. This site, launched originally in 2004 as part of the California State University - Sacremento Library's celebration of Black History Month, offers high quality digital images of letters, journals, photographs, documents, newspapers and more to tell the often overlooked experiences of slaves in the state.
Here's the link: