briefly as the state capital. But this investment failed to live up to his expectations as well, for primitive conditions there prompted the legislature to move the seat of government during the next session.
Green continued to dabble in local politics, winning election to the Senate in the first and second legislatures of California, the fourth state in which he would hold elected office. As he had done before, he used his political position to pursue his own interests, securing an appointment as a major general of the California militia. In 1852, he headed an expedition of fifty men against Indians in the Bear Creek area who had been committing depredations against local miners, leading an attack on one village that left eleven Indians dead and four of his men wounded.60 He also lobbied heavily on behalf of his real estate ventures, but, despite some success in making Oro the seat of Sutter County, he was unable to save the project. According to California historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, Green was an "irrepressible senator to whom everything was a large joke, who had been elected in a frolic, and thought legislation a comedy."61 To be sure, Green lived well, and was known for keeping a liberal supply of liquor on hand for legislators and lobbyists, as a result of which the session became known as "The Legislature of a Thousand Drinks."62
Green's efforts as chairman of the Senate finance committee were not well received by some of his more conscientious colleagues. Charged with finding sources of revenue to defray the expenses of the new state, Green, "as unsuitable a man as could be," according to a fellow senator, first proposed a bill authorizing the government to borrow money at an annual interest rate of ten percent, a ridiculous proposal in view of the skyrocketing inflation brought on by the gold rush, which had pushed the cost of borrowing money to five percent per month.63 He next authored the Foreign Miners' Tax Law, a highly imaginative but ill-conceived solution to California's budget problems. According to the provisions of the law, foreigners intending to work in the mines would have to purchase monthly permits for $20. The act, not surprisingly, was immensely popular with Anglo-Americans, who feared foreign competition as much as they feared the introduction of Negro slavery. On the other hand, the law infuriated foreign miners, the most numerous being the Sonorans from northern Mexico, who complained that the cost of the permits was prohibitive. A tax revolt followed, inflaming racial tensions between Hispanic and Anglo-American miners. The threat of civil unrest and mob rule quickly dampened the enthusiasm of many who had initially supported the bill. As foreigners fled the area to escape harassment and vigilante justice from angry whites, demand for mining supplies dropped sharply, prompting merchants to lobby against the tax law. The following year the legislature repealed the act, which had raised little in the way of revenue but succeeded in driving thousands of Mexicans from the California mines.64
In early May of 1852, Green returned to his wife's home in Jamaica Plains,