California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is a bicameral legislature consisting of a lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members. Both houses of the Legislature convene at the California State Capitol in Sacramento; the California State Legislature is one of just ten full-time state legislatures in the United States. The Democratic Party holds supermajorities in both houses of the California State Legislature; the Assembly consists of 61 Democrats and 19 Republicans, while the Senate is composed of 28 Democrats and 10 Republicans, with two vacancies. Except for a brief period from 1995 to 1996, the Assembly has been in Democratic hands since the 1970 election; the Senate, has been under continuous Democratic control since 1970. New legislators convene each new two-year session, to organize, in the Assembly and Senate Chambers at noon on the first Monday in December following the election. After the organizational meeting, both houses are in recess until the first Monday in January, except when the first Monday is January 1 or January 1 is a Sunday, in which case they meet the following Wednesday.
Aside from the recess, the legislature is in session year-round. Since California was given official statehood by the U. S. in September 9, 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850, the state capital was variously San Jose and Benicia, until Sacramento was selected in 1854. The first Californian State House was a hotel in San Jose owned by businessman Pierre "Don Pedro" Sainsevain and his associates; the State Legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Members of the Assembly serve two-year terms. All 80 Assembly seats are subject to election every two years. Members of the Senate serve four-year terms; every two years, one half of the Senate is subject to election, with odd-numbered districts up for election during presidential elections, even-numbered districts up for election during midterm elections. Term limits were established in 1990 following the passage of Proposition 140. In June 2012, voters approved Proposition 28, which limits legislators to a maximum of 12 years, without regard to whether they serve those years in the State Assembly or the State Senate.
Legislators first elected on or before June 5, 2012 are restricted by the previous term limits, approved in 1990, which limited legislators to three terms in the State Assembly and two terms in the State Senate. The proceedings of the California State Legislature are summarized in published journals, which show votes and who proposed or withdrew what. Reports produced by California executive agencies, as well as the Legislature, were published in the Appendices to the Journals from 1849 to 1970. Since the 1990s, the legislature has provided a live video feed for its sessions, has been broadcast statewide on the California Channel and local Public-access television cable TV. Due to the expense and the obvious political downside, California did not keep verbatim records of actual speeches made by members of the Assembly and Senate until the video feed began; as a result, reconstructing legislative intent outside of an act's preamble is difficult in California for legislation passed before the 1990s.
Since 1993, the Legislature has hosted a web/ftp site in another. The current Website contains the text of all statutes, all bills, the text of all versions of the bills, all the committee analyses of bills, all the votes on bills in committee or on the floor, veto messages from the Governor. Before committees published reports for significant bills, but most bills were not important enough to justify the expense of printing and distributing a report to archives and law libraries across the state. For bills lacking such a formal committee report, the only way to discover legislative intent is to access the state archives in Sacramento and manually review the files of relevant legislators, legislative committees, the Governor's Office from the relevant time period, in the hope of finding a statement of intent and evidence that the statement reflected the views of several of the legislators who voted for the bill; the most sought-after legislative committee appointments are to banking and insurance.
These are sometimes called "juice" committees, because membership in these committees aids the campaign fundraising efforts of the committee members, because powerful lobbying groups want to donate to members of these committees. A bill is a proposal to repeal, or add to existing state law. An Assembly Bill is one introduced in the Assembly. Bills are designated in the order of introduction in each house. For example, AB 16 refers to the 16th bill introduced in the Assembly; the numbering starts afresh each session. There may be one or more "extraordinary" sessions; the bill numbering starts again for each of these. For example, the third bill introduced in the Assembly for the second extraordinary session is ABX2 3; the name of the author, the legislator who introduced the bill, becomes part of the title of the bill. The legislative procedure, is divided into distinct stages: Drafting; the procedure begins when a Assembly Member decides to author a bill. A legislator sends the idea for the bill to the California Office of the Legislative Counsel, which drafts it into bill form and returns the draft to the legislator for introduction.
Introduction or First Reading. A legislator introduces a bill for the first time by reading or having read: the bill number, name of
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product, the sixth largest population, the 25th largest land area of all U. S. states. Illinois is noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population; the Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, located in the central part of the state. Although today's Illinois' largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled the vast Mississippi of the Illinois Country of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars; the Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Three U. S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name, spelled in many different ways in the early records. American scholars thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois; this etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, plural of "man" is ireniwaki. The name Illiniwek has been said to mean "tribe of superior men", a false etymology; the name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language in the Ottawa dialect, modified into ilinwe·.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area; the Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms. American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans; the Koster Site demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois, they built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre plaza larger than 35 football fields, a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico. It is 100 feet high, 951 feet long, 836 feet wide, covers 13.8 acres. It contains about 814,000 cubic yards of earth, it was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet in length and 48 feet in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet, been as much as 50 feet high, making its peak 150 feet above the level of the pl
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is located on a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, the most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. New Jersey lies within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U. S. state by median household income as of 2017. New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes founded the first European settlements in the state; the English seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel Islands and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton.
New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century. In the 19th century, factories in cities, Paterson, Trenton, Jersey City, Elizabeth helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's geographic location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the northeast, Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. to the southwest, fueled its rapid growth through the process of suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st century, this suburbanization began reverting with the consolidation of New Jersey's culturally diverse populace toward more urban settings within the state, with towns home to commuter rail stations outpacing the population growth of more automobile-oriented suburbs since 2008. Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa; the pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains.
Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers and gorges. New Jersey was settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time of contact. Scheyichbi is the Lenape name for the land, now New Jersey; the Lenape were several autonomous groups that practiced maize agriculture in order to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, western Long Island Sound. The Lenape society was divided into matrilinear clans; these clans were organized into three distinct phratries identified by their animal sign: Turtle and Wolf. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade; the Dutch became the first Europeans to lay claim to lands in New Jersey. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern Middle Atlantic states. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required its colonists to purchase the land that they settled.
The first to do so was Michiel Pauw who established a patronship called Pavonia in 1630 along the North River which became the Bergen. Peter Minuit's purchase of lands along the Delaware River established the colony of New Sweden; the entire region became a territory of England on June 24, 1664, after an English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is now New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam, annexing the entire province. During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to the King, it was from the Royal Square in Saint Helier that Charles II of England was proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I. The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York, the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony. James granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton.
The area was named the Province of New Jersey. Since the state's inception, New Jersey has been characterized by religious diversity. New England Congregationalists settled alongside Scots Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed migrants. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres, a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Unlike Plymouth Colony and other colonies, New Jersey was populated by a secondary wave of immigrants who came from other colonies instead of those who migrated directly from Europe. New Jersey remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, commercial farming developed sporadically; some townships, such as Burlington on the Delaware River and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York City and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, New Jersey's population had increased to 120,000 by 1775. Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule took place along Hackensack River and Arthur Kill –
A lye is a metal hydroxide traditionally obtained by leaching ashes, or a strong alkali, soluble in water producing caustic basic solutions. "Lye" is an alternative name of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, though the term "lye" refers most to sodium hydroxide. Today, lye is commercially manufactured using a membrane cell chloralkali process, it is supplied in various forms such as flakes, microbeads, coarse powder or a solution. Lyes are used to cure many types of food, including the traditional Nordic lutefisk, canned mandarin oranges, lye rolls, century eggs, pretzels and the traditional Turkish pumpkin dessert Kabak tatlısı, they are used as a tenderizer in the crust of baked Cantonese moon cakes, in "zongzi", in chewy southern Chinese noodles popular in Hong Kong and southern China, in Japanese ramen noodles. They are used in kutsinta, a type of rice cake from the Philippines together with pitsi-pitsî. In the United States, food-grade lye must meet the requirements outlined in the Food Chemicals Codex,as prescribed by the U.
S. Food and Drug Administration. Lower grades of lye which are unsuitable for use in food preparation are used as drain de-cloggers and oven cleaners. Lye in the form of both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide is used in making soap. Potassium hydroxide soaps are softer and more dissolved in water than sodium hydroxide soaps. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are not interchangeable in either the proportions required or the properties produced in making soaps. "Hot process" soap making uses lye as the main ingredient. Lye is added to water, cooled for a few minutes and added to oils and butters; the mixture is cooked over a period of time in a slow cooker, placed into a mold. This method is much quicker than cold process; the ancient use of lye for soap-making and as a detergent is the origin of the English word, deriving from Proto-Germanic *laugo and from the Proto-Indo-European root *leue-, "to wash." Relatives in other Germanic languages, besides their words for lye, include the Nordic languages' words for Saturday, meaning "washing day".
Lyes are valued for their cleaning effects. Sodium hydroxide is the major constituent in commercial and industrial oven cleaners and clogged drain openers, due to its grease-dissolving abilities. Lyes decompose greases via alkaline ester hydrolysis, yielding water-soluble residues that are removed by rinsing. Sodium or potassium hydroxide can be used to digest tissues of animal carcasses. Referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, the process involves placing the carcass or body into a sealed chamber, adding a mixture of lye and water and the application of heat to accelerate the process. After several hours the chamber will contain a liquid with coffee-like appearance, the only solids that remain are fragile bone hulls of calcium phosphate, which can be mechanically crushed to a fine powder with little force. Sodium hydroxide is used in the process of decomposing roadkill dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors. Due to its low cost and availability, it has been used to dispose of corpses by criminals.
Italian serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli used this chemical to turn dead bodies into soap. In Mexico, a man who worked for drug cartels admitted to having disposed of more than 300 bodies with it. A 3–10% solution of potassium hydroxide gives a color change in some species of mushrooms: In Agaricus, some species such as A. xanthodermus turn yellow with KOH, many have no reaction, A. subrutilescens turns green. Distinctive change occurs for some species of Cortinarius and BoletesSee: Chemical test in mushroom identification Sources recommend immediate removal of contaminated clothing/materials brushing/wiping excess off of skin, flushing the area of exposure with running water for 15–60 minutes while contacting emergency services. Personal protective equipment including safety glasses, chemical-resistant gloves, adequate ventilation are required for the safe handling of lyes; when in proximity to a lye, dissolving in an open container of water, the use of a vapor-resistant face mask is recommended.
Adding lye to water too can cause the solution to boil. Solid lyes have a strong affinity for air moisture. Solid lyes will deliquesce or dissolve when exposed to open air, absorbing a large amount of water vapour. Accordingly, lyes are stored in air-tight plastic containers. Glass is not a good material to be used for storage. Similar to the case of other corrosives, the containers should be labeled to indicate the potential danger of the contents and stored away from children, pets and moisture; the majority of safety concerns with lye are common with most corrosives, such as their destructive effects on living tissues. Solutions containing lyes can cause chemical burns, permanent injuries and blindness upon contact. Lyes may be harmful or fatal if swallowed. Moreover, the solvation of dry solid lyes is exothermic; the reaction between sodium hydroxide and a few metals is hazardous. Aluminium reacts with lyes to produce hydrogen gas. Since hydrogen is flammable, mixing a large quantity of a lye such as sodium hydr
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
Sutter's Mill was a sawmill, owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter, where gold was found, setting off the California Gold Rush, a major event of the history of the United States. It was located on the bank of the South Fork American River in Coloma, California and is nowadays part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. On January 24 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Coloma, California. At the time, Marshall was working to build a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter. On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City which transferred the American Southwest to the United States; when the news got out about the gold, people from all over the world headed for California, speeding statehood and permanently transforming the territory. During the next seven years 300,000 people came to California to seek their fortunes from either mining for gold or selling supplies like food, burros, lumber and shovels to the prospectors.
Henry Bigler and Azariah Smith, like other workers at the mill, were veterans of the Mormon Battalion, wrote about their experience in journals. Bigler recorded January 24, 1848, in his diary; this gold find. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill caused a large mass of migration to California. After the finding of gold California changed going from 14,000 non-natives to an estimated 85,000 newcomers to California in just a year. Many from the eastern states dropped everything they were doing to head West in hopes of becoming rich. There was significant mass immigration of fortune-seekers from many countries. 60,000 Chinese immigrants, 7,000 Mexicans, tens of thousands from many other countries. There were 81,000 newcomers in 1849 and another 91,000 in 1850. Many died from turf wars over mine claims and diseases that broke in the towns as there was not good sanitation. Small villages and towns had turned into bustling cities with all kinds of people. Towns were popping up overnight all over California starting in 1849 into the early 50's.
The infrastructure for the number of people that had come was not there. These towns lacked sewerage, fire departments. Fires wiped out whole towns; the gold rush attracted immigrants from all over the world, who brought with them their unique culture and values. These immigrants formed communities throughout California, added to the rich fabric that makes up the state; the site of the mill is located on the South Fork American River. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is registered as California Historical Landmark number 530; the current Sutter's Mill is a replica of the original building. It was built based on an early day photo of the mill; the mill was the inspiration for a song by singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg. The mill was the namesake for a song by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, for Herb Sutter's blog; the original flake of gold discovered at the mill is at the Smithsonian Institution. Sutter's Fort California gold coinage Sutter's Mill meteorite Discovery of Gold, by John A. Sutter, Hutchings’ California Magazine, November 1857.
Sutter describes how Marshall told him of the gold. Early photographs and textual references to Sutter's Mill, via Calisphere, California Digital Library. Official site
The Mormon Battalion, the only religion-based unit in United States military history, served from July 1846 – July 1847 during the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848. The battalion was a volunteer unit of between 534 and 559 Latter-day Saint men, led by Mormon company officers commanded by regular U. S. Army officers. During its service, the battalion made a grueling march of nearly 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego, California; the battalion’s march and service supported the eventual cession of much of the American Southwest from Mexico to the United States the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 of southern Arizona and New Mexico. The march opened a southern wagon route to California. Veterans of the battalion played significant roles in America's westward expansion in California, Utah and other parts of the West. At the time they enlisted, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were seeking U. S. government aid for their migration west to the Rocky Mountains and Salt Lake Valley, despite having their previous petitions for redress of grievances denied.
Under continued religious persecution, they had fled Nauvoo, Illinois, on February 4, 1846 across the Mississippi River. They camped among the Potawatomi Indians near present-day Council Iowa. Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sent Elder Jesse C. Little to Washington, D. C. to seek assistance from the federal government for the Mormon Pioneers fleeing from the Illinois mobs. Little arrived in Washington D. C. on May 21, 1846, only eight days after Congress had declared war on Mexico. Pennsylvania Army officer and attorney Thomas L. Kane offered the Mormons his advice and assistance. Politically well connected through his jurist father, Kane provided letters of recommendation and joined Little in Washington, D. C; the two called on the secretary of state, secretary of war, President James K. Polk. After several interviews in early June 1846, President Polk agreed to Little's offer if "a few hundred" men enlisted. On June 2, 1846, President Polk wrote in his diary: "Col. Kearny was... authorized to receive into service as volunteers a few hundred of the Mormons who are now on their way to California, with a view to conciliate them, attach them to our country, prevent them from taking part against us."On July 1, 1846 Captain James Allen, dispatched by Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, arrived at the Mormons' Mosquito Creek camp.
He carried President Polk's request for a battalion of 500 volunteers to fight in the Mexican War. Most members of the Church were suspicious of the request, as the Federal government had ignored the persecutions they suffered, they were concerned about facing discrimination by the government, as they had from both the state and federal government in the past. Kane obtained U. S. government permission for the refugee Mormons to occupy Pottawattamie and Omaha Indian lands along the Missouri River. After carrying dispatches relating to the land agreements and battalion criteria to Fort Leavenworth, Kane sought out Little in the Mormon encampments on the Missouri. On July 17, 1846, he held a meeting with Captain Allen. Brigham Young had planned on moving the Mormons west that summer, but circumstances were against his plan, he saw several possible advantages to the Saints in the proposed federal service. Their enlistment would be a public relations victory for the church, demonstrating additional evidence of its loyalty to the United States.
As the men were given a uniform allowance at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. of US$42 each, paid in advance, for their one-year enlistment and as they were allowed to wear their civilian clothing for the march, the bulk of those funds were donated to a general Church fund. These funds were used to purchase wagons and other necessities for the American exodus. Having been forced to leave farms and homes in Nauvoo, the Latter-day Saints were going to spend the winter on the banks of the Missouri River. Raising a group of able-bodied men would be difficult. Many men had scattered to outlying areas where they sought jobs with wages to help support the group. Young wrote a letter to the Saints living in Garden Grove, in which he justified the call-up and asked for their help: The President wants to do us good and secure our confidence; the outfit of this five hundred men costs us nothing, their pay will be sufficient to take their families over the mountains. There is war between Mexico and the United States, to whom California must fall a prey, if we are the first settlers the old citizens cannot have a Hancock or Missouri pretext to mob the Saints.
The thing is from above for our own good. The public approval of Brigham Young and other members of the Twelve were critical to gain men's enlistment. While some men volunteered, Young had to persuade reluctant enlistees, it took three weeks to raise the five companies of men. Allen's instructions were to recruit five companies of men who were to receive the "pay and other allowances given to other infantry volunteers." Each company was authorized four women as laundresses, "receiving rations and other allowances given to the laundresses of our army." Thirty-three women, twenty of whom served as laundresses, fifty-one children accompanied the men. Four women would complete the cross-continental trek; the Mormon Battalion was mustered into volunteer service on July 16, 1846 as part of the Army of the West under General Kearny, a seasoned veteran. His units included two regiments of Missouri volunteers, a regiment of New York volunteers who traveled by ships to California to meet him there and infantry battalions, Kearny's own 1