“First we labor, then we buy” is the motto and the fulfilling goal of foreign immigrant. A stake and land purchase is the goal as is the emigrant from “the States” as both arrive in California beginning in the 1830s. Working as part of a cooperative labor crew is common practice for the 49er. Labor management becomes more formalized as Chinese, Filipinos, Iberians, Asian Indians, Dust Bowl refugees, and Mexicans are contracted into labor gangs for itinerant, seasonal farm work. California agriculture is a commodity business from its inception. Reconsider the California dream as we trace the contribution of the pioneer laborer from the Chinese railroad worker to the end of the Bracero program.