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Peter H. Burnett

Peter H. BurnettAKA Peter Hardeman Burnett

Born: 15-Nov-1807
Birthplace: Nashville, TN
Died: 17-May-1895
Location of death: San Francisco, CA
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, Santa Clara, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of California, 1849-51

While a lawyer in Liberty, Missouri, Burnett was on the legal team representing Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders from charges of treason, arson, and robbery. The defense attorneys were granted a change of venue, and during the transportation of the prisoners they escaped to Illinois.

Burnett and his family moved to what would become the Oregon Territory, where he served in the provisional legislature. In June 1844 he offered a bill "for the prevention of slavery in Oregon," and it was passed into law. Burnett's legislation, the Exclusion Law of 1844, solved the slavery problem by making it illegal for blacks to live in Oregon. For an incentive to leave Oregon, the law allowed them to be publicly flogged every six months.

As Governor of California, Burnett championed essentially the same bill again. But this time it was defeated in the California legislature, with the help of pro-slavery politicians who specifically wanted to import black labor.

Father: George Burnett
Mother: Dorothy Hardeman
Sister: Constantia Dudley Burnett (b. 6-Feb-1803, d. 13-Feb-1846)
Sister: Agatha Perkins Burnett (b. 16-Oct-1804, d. 7-Aug-1808)
Brother: Glen Owen Burnett (b. 16-Nov-1809, d. 1886)
Brother: George Wiliam Burnett (b. 18-Oct-1811, d. 25-Dec-1877)
Sister: Elizabath Ann Burnett (b. 9-Sep-1813)
Sister: Dolly Comfort Topp Burnett (b. 26-Dec-1816, d. 25-Oct-1819)
Sister: Mary Henry Jones Burnett (b. 10-Jan-1819, d. 4-Apr-1843)
Brother: James White Burnett (b. 3-Feb-1821, d. 21-Nov-1884)
Brother: Thomas Smith Burnett (b. 3-Sep-1823)
Sister: Rebecca Baily Burnett (b. 14-Aug-1825, d. 10-Jun-1829)
Wife: Harriet W. Rogers (m. 20-Aug-1828, six children)
Son: Dwight Jay Burnett (b. 23-May-1829)
Daughter: Martha Letitia Burnett (b. 29-Apr-1833)
Daughter: Ramietta Juett Burnett (b. 14-Feb-1836)
Son: John May Burnett (b. 4-Feb-1838)
Son: Armstead Locke Burnett (b. 7-Oct-1839, d. 26-May-1862)
Daughter: Sallie Canstantia Burnett (b. 27-Sep-1841, d. 24-May-1861)

    Pacific Bank of San Francisco President (1863-80)
    City Council Sacramento, CA
    California State Supreme Court 1857-58
    Governor of California (20-Dec-1849 to 9-Jan-1851), resigned
    Oregon State House of Representatives (provisional legislature)
    Oregon State Supreme Court 1845
    Missouri Bar Association 1839
    Converted to Catholicism
    White Supremacists


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