People v. Hall
People v. Hall
Foreign Miners Tax. As a result of the Gold Rush in 1849, people from all over the world flocked to California. In part as a result of the fierce competition in the gold fields, the state legislature and court system structured the law to socially and financially benefit Anglo-Americans. One example was the Foreign Miners Tax of 1850, which forced nonwhites—usually varying Hispanic groups (local californios as well as Mexicans) and Chinese immigrants—to pay sixteen dollars per month on their mining claims. Racist violence of Anglo-American miners against nonwhite miners was also common.
The Case. People v. Hall (1854) reflected the racist climate of California’s early settlement. A white defendant was convicted on the basis of the testimony from a Chinese witness. On appeal the defendant’s lawyer argued that a nonwhite witness could not testify against a white person. The legal basis for this claim was a California law that stated that blacks, mulattos, and Indians could not testify in any case against a white person. This law did not specifically mention the Chinese. However, in People v. Hall California Supreme Court justice John Murray decided that since all nonwhite peoples were similarly “degraded,” no one of nonwhite blood, including the Chinese, could ever testify against a white. Such a court decision mirrored the prejudice, especially anti-Chinese racism, prevalent in California well into the twentieth century.
Patricia Nelson Limerick, Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: Norton, 1987);
Cheng-Tsu Wu, ed., “Chink!” A Documentary History of Anti-Chinese Prejudice in America (New York: World, 1972).
"People v. Hall." American Eras. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/people-v-hall
"People v. Hall." American Eras. . Retrieved August 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/people-v-hall
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.