First African American Diplomat in U.S. History honored by the California State Legislature

Folsom, CA August 24, 2004 –First African American Diplomat in U.S. History is honored by the California Legislature.

Saturday, October 9, 2004
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Free Community Dedication Ceremony

Courtyard By Marriott
2575 Iron Point Road
Folsom, CA

California Assemblymembers Dave Cox, Mervyn Dymally and Darrell Steinberg authored legislation to establish the William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. Memorial Highway.

Sacramento Valley Regional leadership will join to help create a festive event to celebrate the dedication the William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. Memorial Highway.

The Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. was the first elected Treasurer in the City of San Francisco, he built the first shipping warehouse with ship building yards, organized the first horse race with legal wagering, owned the largest home and built the first City Hotel in San Francisco.

His greatest historical legacy is probably as founder of Public Education in California; he donated the land, financed the school construction and served as President of the first Public School Board in California.

Leidesdorff owned and financed many profitable businesses throughout New York, Louisiana, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and California. In in California, Leidesdorff was an influential leader of California becoming the 31st state, on September September 9, 1850.

He showcased cosmopolitan elegance while serving as United States Vice-Consul to Mexican California, first African-American Diplomat in U.S. History, during our Mexican-American War.

Capt. Leidesdorff navigated the only steamship in California prior to the Gold Rush of 1848 developing overnight cargo transportation from his vast holdings in Sacramento Valley to San Francisco. His famous steamship voyage of, The Sitka, is seen on our California State Seal. His influence helped solidify Sacramento Valley as a political, agricultural and transportation center in the Western United States.

William Alexander Leidesdorff Jr. Memorial Highway is an excellent first step toward providing an accurate living history educational program to showase Black Farmers in California.

Our proposed restoration of Rancho Leidesdorf, a demonstration farm, will help teach a restoration of agriculture as the foundation of Black Culture, a vision of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association in the Americas, Caribbean, and throughout our African Union.

Today we can embrace our cultural historical authenticity we are reconnected with a powerful sense of continuity that contributes to a positive forward flow of humanity. Without utilizing this ancient wisdom we often become victims of internalized oppression, a xenophile, embracing a plethora of negative affects from institutional racism and ignorance.

Today, we invite you to join our celebration of a small victory in our ongoing battle against cultural global terrorism.

For more media information contact:

Michael Harris
Leidesdorff Project Coordinator
(916) 220-5320

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