California State Assemblys
At the State Capitol, the past, present and future of California interact with equal force. The building serves as both a museum and the state’s working seat of government. Visitors to the Capitol can at once experience California’s rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process.
Find your representatives and visit their Capitol offices
California State Capitol
10th and L Streets
Sacramento, CA 95814
Driving Directions & Map
Weekdays: 9 - 5
Weekends: 9 - 5
Admission is Free
Tours Available Hourly
Groups by Reservation
Shortly after the end of Mexican rule, Californians began to clamor for statehood. In 1849, a constitutional convention met at Colton Hall in Monterey and proposed a constitution, subsequently ratified by the people, which named San Jose as the first capital.
In December 1849, the first Legislature convened in a two-story adobe hotel in San Jose. The city was composed of little more than huts, tents and clapboard buildings, and the general discomfort did little to endear the city to the legislators.
In 1851 a generous offer from General Vallejo induced the legislators to move the capital to Vallejo where a frame building had been erected for their use. Since housing was virtually nonexistent, many of the Members managed to secure lodging on the steamer Empire, which remained moored at a wharf during the session.
Confusion and inconvenience again brought stormy cries for relocation. After convening in Vallejo in 1852, the Legislature moved to Sacramento to finish the legislative session.
In 1853, the Legislature returned to Vallejo only to find conditions as inhospitable as before. To an exasperated membership, an offer from the community of Benicia for the use of its new city hall proved irresistible, and a bill was passed moving the seat of government to that city, where the legislative session finished.
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