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ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



CM 



SENEALOGV 

[979.4 
3 1 833 01 744 5708 ^ 2 4E 



1905 



Organized November i, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891 

PART III. VOL. VI. 



ANNUAL PUBLICATION 



OF THE 



Historical Society 



OF 



I Southern California 

Published by the Society 
\9o$ 



LOS ANGELES, CAL. 

Geo. Rice & Sons 

1906 



Organise! November i, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891 

PART III. VOL. VI. 



ANNUAL PUBLICATION 



OF THE 



Historical Society 



OF 



Southern California 

Published by the Society 
i9o^ 



LOS ANGELES, CAL. 

Geo. Rice & Sons 

1 9 O fi 



CONTENTS 



Officers of the Historical Society 1905-1906 

Los Angeles Fifty Years Ago H. D. Barrows . 

How New Zealand Got Its Honey Bees. .Mary M. Bowman. 
Pioneer Courts and Lawyers of Los Angeles . . W. R. Bacon . 

How California Escaped State Division J. M. Guinn. 

Two Pioneer Physicians of Los Angeles H. D. Barrows. 

J. Lancaster Brent H. D. Barrows . 

Extracts From the Los Angeles Archives H. J. Lelande. 

The Old Highways of Los Angeles J. M. Guinn. 



202 
203 
208 
211 
223 
233 
238 
242 
253 



Officers of the Historical Society 



1905 

OFFICERS 

Walter R. Bacon President 

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson First Vice-President 

Hon. Henry E. Carter Second Vice-President 

Edwin Baxter Treasurer 

J. M. Guinn Secretary and Curator 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Walter R. Bacon A. C Vroman 

Hon. Henry E. Carter H. D. Barrows 

J. M. Guinn Edwin Baxter 

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson 



1906 

OFFICERS 

Walter R. Bacon President 

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson First Vice-President 

Hon. Henry E. Carter Second Vice-President 

Edwin Baxter Treasurer 

J. M. Guinn Sesretary and Curator 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Walter R. Bacon Dr. J. D. Moody 

Hon. Henry E. Carter H. D. Barrows 

J. M. Guinn Edwin Baxter 

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson 



Historical Society 

OF 

Southern California 

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 
1905 



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO 

Read before Historical Society, April 16, 1905 

By H. D. Barrows 

The first time that I ever heard that there was such a place 
as Los Angeles, was in the summer of 1854, at Benicia, where, in 
buying some fruit, which at that time, was both of indifferent 
quality and scarce, as well as dear, a friend told me that Los 
Angeles grapes would, later, be in the market and that they 
would be far superior to any other kind of fruit then to be 
had. 

I arrived in Los Angeles December 12, 1854, and it has been 
my home ever since. I came from San Francisco on the steamer 
"Goliah," in company with the late William Wolf skill, the 
Pioneer, and his nephew John Wolfskill, the latter still a resident 
of this county. The fare on the steamer at that time was forty 
dollars. Arriving at the Port of San Pedro, we came ashore 
on a lighter, and from thence by stage to Los Angeles, where we 
arrived about noon. 

There are many striking contrasts between both the city and 
county of that day, and the Los Angeles of today. Topograph- 
ically, this then, was an imperial county, including, as it did, 
all of San Bernardino and Orange counties, and the greater 
part of the present county of Riverside. The immense valley 



204 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

or s eries of valleys, lying between the great, grisly Sierra Madre 
or series of valleys, lying between the great grizzly Sierra Madre 
mountains and the ocean, and extending 80 or 90 miles fror. 
Simi Pass, to Mount San Bernardino, at that period was one vast, 
almost treeless region, over which roamed unnumbered cattle, 
horses and sheep. The planting since of the various species 
of the Australian Eucalypti, and of continuous orange, walnut 
and other orchards, throughout thesie valleys, has radically 
changed their appearance. To the new-comer of today, the 
landscape of these prairie-valleys of Southern California presents 
the appearance of a wooded country, similar to other sections of 
the United States. 

The city of Los Angeles, when I first saw It. half a century 
ago, was a one-stoiy, adobe town, of less than five thousand 
inhabitants, a large portion of whom were of Spanish descent, 
and among whom, of course Spanish customs and the us»e of the 
Spanish language prevailed. There were, I think, not to exceed 
three or four two-story buildings in tbe town. 

Behold, what a magical change half a century has wrought [ 
The population of the former Spanish Pueblo or Ciudad of 5,000 
or less, has risen to nearly 200.000 souls. The quaint, flat-roofed 
white-washed, one-story houses, clustering around or near the 
Plaza, have given way to splendid, fire-proof, brick and steel 
blocks, of two, three, five and ten stories; and to p'icturesque, 
luxurious homes 'extending throughout and beyond the four 
square leagues of territory granted to the ancient Pueblo, by the 
King of Spain, under whose authority its foundations were 
laid by that wise Spanish Governor, Don Felipe de Neve, nearly 
a century and a quarter ago. 

When I first came here, Los Angeles had but one Roman 
Catholic church edifice, that fronting the plaza ; and not one 
Protestant or other church building. How many places of wor- 
ship there are now, of the numerous religious sects of the 
city and county, I do not know. There were then but two public 
school houses in the city : one, on the site of the present 
Bryson Block, on Spring street; the other, was located on the 
east side of Bath street, north of the Plaza. Today there are, 
I know not how many, large, commodious school buildings scat- 
tered throughout the widely extended sections of the munici- 
pality, and new ones are constantly being built, to meet the 
pressing necessities of our rapidly increasing population. The 
number of pupils attending the two schools in '54, probably 
did not exceed 200. The number of children between the ages 



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO 205 

of 5 and 17 years, who attended the public schools during the 
school year 1903-1904, as reported by Superintendent Foshay, 
was 29,072 ; and of those who attended private schools 2,322 ; — 
making the total number of both public and private school 
pupils, 31,394. 

By the census of April, 1904, there were 35,411 children 
between the ages of 5 and 15; and 9,812 under five years; or 
altogether, 45,223 children of 17 years and under in Los Angeles 
one year ago. I think it a fair statement to say that at the 
present time there must be at least 50,000 children ; and that 
the total population of the city must be not far from 200,000. 

We had no High, Polytechnic, or Normal schools in those 
early years. Los Angeles was so isolated from all the rest 
of the world, and so difficult of access, that first-class teachers 
were not easily obtained ; and when one was secured he or 
she was retained if possible by any reasonable increase of salary. 
In the early '50s, I think we had but one District (Superior) 
court, presided over by Judge Benjamin Hayes,, and later by 
Judge Publo de la Guerra, of Santa Barbara, who in turn 
was succeeded by Judge Ygnacio Sepulveda, who is now con- 
nected with the United States Embassy at the City of Mexico., 
The former jurisdiction of this district included besides Los 
Angeles, the counties of San Diego and Santa Barbara. We 
had also a County Court, and court of Sessions which was also 
a Probate Court, over which Judge Wm. G. Dryden presided for 
many years. 

We had besides a U. S. District Court in the fifties, of which 
I. S. K. Ogier was the presiding Judge. This Southern dis- 
trict included all the southern part of the State extending to a 
line just north of the city of Santa Cruz. Sessions of this 
court were held alternately at Monterey and Los Angeles. In 
those early days of the fifties, we had no horse or steam rail- 
roads or telegraphs. Electric roads, telephones, bicycles, auto- 
mobiles and the like, so necessary to our recent modern life, 
were totally unknown anywhere. 

We had no paved streets or sidewalks. We had no elevators, 
because, first, we had no use for them as our houses were of 
but one story; and second, because elevators were unknown. 
Type-writing machines and Linotype printing machines^ and. 
operators of the same, were unknown and unthought of. Ws 
had no gas, and electric-lighting had not been invented. We had, 
I think, but one book store, and, although modest attempt to 
establish a public library was made, it soon petered out. I know 



206 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

I contributed a few books to it, but I remember that, having made 
a trip to the Atlantic States in '57, when I came back, I learned 
that the library had been abolished and that the books, including 
those I had donated, had been sold. 

We had neither mercantile nor savings banks during the 
entire decade of the '50s, and but few money safes. All mer- 
chandise not produced here, was brought from San Francisco 
by steamer or sail-vessels, lightered at San Pedro, and brought up 
to town by big mule trains of "prairie schooners." Until vine- 
yards and orchards were planted and came to bearing in the 
upper country, after the change of Government, the people 
of that part of the State, including the population of the mining 
regions, depended on the vineyards of Los Angeles for their 
fruit. I know that for several years large shipments of mission 
grapes, the only kind grown bere then, were made by each 
steamer during the grape season. The "vignerones" hero, real- 
ized all the way from one to two bits, (reales) a pound for 
their grapes. Other fruits besides the "mission grape" (which 
was originally brought from Spain, and which was one of the 
best raised there,) were scarce here also, as well as in the 
north, and generally of inferior quality, until improved varieties 
were introduced from the eastern states. Among the enterpris- 
ing pioneers who first brought the best standard fruits and 
vegetables to Los Angeles, were Dr. Wra. B. Osborne, Los 
Angeles' first Postmaster, H. C. Cardwell, O. W. Childs, etc. 

The Hollisters of Santa Barbara brought a flock of American 
improved sheep all the way from Ohio to Los Angeles, arriving 
here in the early part of 1854. Los Angeles was long known as 
one of the "Cow counties," as stock raising was extensively car- 
ried on throughout Southern California for some years under 
American rule, as it had been in mission times; and it was very 
profitable even in spite of occasional severe drouths, as these coun- 
ties were natural grass countries: burr-clover, alfileria and 
wild oats being especially valuable indigenous grasses. Cattle 
did not need to be fed and housed in winter in our mild climate, as 
they are required to be fed in colder countries Besides the best 
known breeds of horse, sheep and neat cattle stock were gradually 
introduced. But eventually, as the admirable adaptation of 
Southern California for the perfection in growth of citrus fruits 
was demonstrated, and the splendid seedless navel orange was dis- 
covered the immense cattle ranges were gradually converted into 
orange and lemon orchards. The English Walnut crop has been 
found to be profitable here also, and thus, as we now see, our orch- 



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO 207 

ards have taken the place of what were formerly 'extensive cattle 
ranges. 

In '55, the "Star," established in '51 by McElroy and Lewis, 
and the "Southern California," published by Wheeler and Butts, 
both weekly, were the only local newspapers Los Angeles could 
boast of. We heard from the outside world by steamer from San 
Francisco, twice a month. 

When Johnny Temple built a theatre in '58, on the site of 
the present Bullard Block, our list of entertainments was some- 
what enlarged. Instead of high-toned "Horse Shows" like that 
just held in Pasadena, we sometimes had in those primitive times, 
Bear and Bull fights, cock fights and frequent horse, mule and 
donkey races, and occasionally a Spanish circus, or "maroma," 
and at Christmas times we were regaled with the quaint, beauti- 
ful characteristically-Spanish "Pastorela," which was very 
effectively and charmingly presented by a thoroughly trained 
company under the direction of Don Antonio Coronel. So that 
despite our isolation, we had many and varied amusements. 

Of the adult people of Los AngeLes who were living here when 
I came here, and with whon I gradually became more or less ac- 
quainted very very fiew are now alive, although many of their 
children have grown up, and have become heads of families. 

I cannot suppress a feeling of sadness as I necall the past and 
review the changes that have occurred, in persons, and scenes that 
now, as I look back seem but dreams, but which then were indeed 
so real. And the thought arises, if such great changes have oc- 
curred during the past fifty years, who can till or even imagine 
what Los Angeles will be fifty years hence, or what is In store for 
our children and grandchildren? Of the present citizens of 
Los Angeles except the younger portion, very few indeed will then 
be alive. And although we may strain our eyes to peer into the 
future, 

"And strive to see what things shall be;" — 

* * # # * 

"Events and deeds for us exist, 
As figures moving in a mist; 
And what approaches — bliss or woe — 
We cannot tell, we may not know — 
Not yet, not yet!" — 



HOW NEW ZEALAND GOT ITS HONEY BEES. 
By Mary M. Bowman. 

Most people whose faces time has turned toward the setting 
sun would feel gratified could they be assured that when the 
light of earth fades from the vision some one had been happier 
because they had lived; that some little spot of earth had been 
made bettor and brighter that they had labored in it. To few 
men has it been given to create a great industry to add to the 
wealth of a country and the welfare of its inhabitants by one 
unselfish, unpretentious service. 

This opportunity came to my friend, Mr. Noah Levering, the 
founder of this society and how well he improved it, is the 
purpose of this paper to set forth. Mr. Lettering's interest and 
enthusiasm in local history has been the inspiration of much 
useful and permanent work being done, in the preservation of 
landmarks and valuable records of the past, not only here but 
much more extensively in other localities in which he has lived. 
When he related the story of how New Zealand procured its 
Ligurnian or honey bees, which transformed it from an annual 
importer of red clover seed into an extensive exporter of that 
important factor of the dairy products of the country, as though 
it were an everyday affair, I was intensely interested. It was 
history interwoven with the industrial progress of two continents 
and worthy of record in the annals of this society, more per- 
manent than the columns of ephemeral newspapers. At my 
earnest solicitation Mr. Levering was induced to furnish the 
notes from which this brief account is written, of his very suc- 
cessful experiment in sending the little captains of industry 
across the equator and eJight thousand miles over seas to a 
foreign country. 

For several years previous to 1880, when this shipment was 
sent, numerous trials had been made by the best apiarists of 
Europe and America in exporting the Ligurnian bee to the 
island of New Zealand, but in every instance it had resulted in 
failure ; when the hives reached their destination the occupants 
were dea-d. The success of the project was considered so 
essential to the welfare of the country, the Commissioner of 
Colonial Industries urged the appropriation of $2500 to send a 



HOW NEW ZEALAND GOT ITS HONEY BEES 209 

man to Europe on this especial errand. But, while the matter 
was under consideration private enterprise was at work striving 
to bring about its accomplishment. S. C. Farr, secretary of the 
Canterbury Acclimation socjiely,, had communicated with R. 
J. Creighton of the San Francisco Post, the official representative 
of New Zealand in that city. Mr. Creighton wrote to Mr. Lever- 
ing, a pioneer bee keeper in Los Angeles county, then conducting 
a department of apiaculture in the Los Angeles Herald, request- 
ing his assistance, which was readily given. 

Mr. Creighton ordered two colonies of bees sent to San Fran- 
cisco early in July in time for the steamer Australia, which 
was to sail for Aukland, under command of Captain Cargill. 
All the details were left to Mr. Levering 's well known knowl- 
edge and experience in bee culture. He had hives constructed 
after his own plan, similar to those used in his apiary, except 
that special provision was made for ventilation in crossing 
the equator. An orifice was left in the side of the hive in front, 
covered with wire cloth. A small V-shaped box was placed 
over the opening on the outside with a sliding cover on top. 
The box was filled with sponge to be moistened occasionally 
with fresh water, which the bees could inhale through the wire 
cloth and which also cooled the atmosphere of their prison. A 
similar opening was left in the top of the hive, covered wth 
wire and provided with a sliding lid for protection against 
possible cold. Several three-quarter inch augur holes in the floor 
permitted a circulation of air. The alighting board and the 
top board, each extended out about four inches and the space 
between being securely covered with wire cloth formed an air 
chamber through which the honey-makers could circulate at 
will, or at the promptings of instinct, as the case may be. A 
sufficient amount of honey in old comb well sealed over, was 
provided for food, a frame or two of brood comb, empty frames 
and frames of empty comb, kept in place by wooden slats, filled 
the remaining space and supplied the working implements for 
the ever-busy and industrious inmates. About one-half the 
colony with a queen was put in each hive and the tops firmly 
screwed down; the object of dividing the colony' being to 
obviate the heat that the whole would engender in crossing 
the equator, which would have melted the comb and caused the 
bees to perish in their own sweetness. In Mr. Levering 's opinion 
the failures of other shippers were due to their putting an entire 
colony in a hive, which, with the honey and the comb necessary, 
could not withstand the heat of the equator; an important 
factor in the success of the undertaking which had been over- 



210 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHORN CALIFORNIA 

looked. After the bees were placed aboard the steamer a 
gentleman considered an authority on bee culture, assured 
Captain Cargill that they could not survive the voyage, owing 
to the faulty construction of the hives. 

In October following, the Herald of Aukland announced the 
safe arrival of the Los Angeles county bees; a public demon- 
stration of rejoicing was held and more orders! for bees followed. 
In the courste of a few months Mr. Levering shipped a number of 
colonies without the loss of a single bee, and the increase soon 
supplied New Zealand. Mr. Levering, having been so successful 
with Italian bees, was asked to send bumble bees, but after a 
long and fruitless search for them in Southern California, he was 
forced to abandon the project, as they are not natives of this 
part of the world. 

Red clover had previously been raised in New Zealand, but 
produced no seed, there being no insect there to pollenlze the 
blossom, consequently seed for each crop had to be imported 
from other countries. In 1889 the newspapers of Aukland stated 
that the island was then exporting clover seed of home raising. 
New Zealand is unquestionably deeply indebted to California and 
to Ma*. Levering for the growth of its resources in apiaculture 
and a very valuable and appetizing food product, but aside from 
newspaper glory, the mere price of the colonies of bees and the 
satisfaction of a deed well done there has been no substantial 
acknowledgement of the debt. 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS 
ANGELES 

By Walter R. Bacon 

The first Constitution of California provided a judicial system 
that was installed under the acts of the legislature of 1850, and 
was continued practically unchanged until the adoption and going 
into force of the Constitution of 1879. Under this system transi- 
tion was made from the Spanish to the American method of pro- 
cedure in law courts. Under the first Constitution the judiciary 
comprised : the Court of Sessions, the County Court, the District 
Court and the Supreme Court. 

The Legislature on April 11, 1850, adopted Chapter 86 of the 
laws of that year which established the Court of Sessions. The 
court as constituted consisted of three judges. The County 
Judge being ex-officlo, one member, the other two being justices 
of the peace from the body of the County, the law providing 
that after the first election all the justices of the peace of the coun- 
ty should meet in the court room of the County Court and select 
two of their number to serve as members of the County Court 
for a given term, at the end of which two successors should be 
elected in the same manner. 

This court had jurisdiction of all cases of assault, assault and 
battery, breaches of the peace, affrays, petit larceny, and all 
misdemeanors punishable by fine of no more than $500, or 
imprisonment of not more than three months, or both. 

Its ministerial and executive functions embraced the entire 
care of all County property. It ordered expenditure of money for 
county purposes, fixed the roads, audited the expenses of all de- 
partments of the County Government, ordered them paid and lev- 
ied taxes. Thus in additon to its manifold and important duties 
as a court it performed all the duties now devolving on the Super- 
visors. 

COUNTY COURT 

On the 14th day of April, 1850, the legislature passed an act 
to put into effect the provision in the Constitution for a County 
Court. Each County elected a County Judge, who was president 



212 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

at County Court. The court had exclusive probate jurisdiction, 
heard appeals from Justices' Courts and had original jurisdiction 
in the issuance of writs of extraordinary remedies, such as habeas 
corpus, mandamus, injunction and attachments. 

DISTRICT COURTS 

The District Courts had jurisdiction much similar to our 
Superior Courts. The notable difference being that all probate 
matters were then cognizable by the County Court, whilst now 
the Superior Court has this jurisdiction. One fruitful source of 
pride for Anglo Saxons is the apparent excellence of its judicial 
system under the old common law, in which reason and justice are 
given large play. The English point with pride to the fact that 
the Dreyfus incident could never have occurred in England, which 
is doubtless true, but we Americans believe that we have taken 
all that is good of the common law and by appropriate machinery 
adapted Its rules and principles to our peculiar political exigencies 
and social conditions, in such a manner that no where in the world 
is life or liberty under the law less subject to caprice in judges, or 
prejudice of juries than here. So that from the beginning of 
a legal assault on either of these, the defendant if guilty, knows 
that the law will but proceed against him in an orderly manner 
and without the spirit of vengance, and if innocent, that although 
circumstances may point to his guilt he will have the presumption 
of innocence in h'is favor under the law, and all the machinery of 
the law to procure the evidence of the innocence of apparently 
guilty circumstances, and then if convicted an appeal to a court 
of ample power, whose judges are good men and nearly always 
good lawyers, who have but recently submitted their qualifi- 
cations to the people at an election, are close enough to the 
soil to have retained what sacred writ terms "the bowels of com- 
passion," and an intimate sympathy with the short-comings and 
needs of the people, yet, by our system are enough removed from 
local influences not to be swayed by popular prejudices ; 
then in case of ultimate failure in the courts, intelligent 
executive clemency may be appealed to, so that we are quite 
certain that the Graves incident in England could never have 
occurred In America. 

There is inherent respect for law and its exponents in all 
civilized peoples. And the ease of transition from life under 
one system of jurisprudence to a system radical'y different with 
as little friction as attended the change from the regime of crude 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 213 

Spanish law to the American system in California is a pleasant 
commentary upon the law-abiding character of Californians and 
of the beneficence of American laws. The leaders of the old 
naturally became leaders under the new. 

FIRST COUNTY JUDGE 

Agustin Olvera was elected the first county Judge of this 
county. He seems to have been a fair lawyer and was a polished 
gentleman with a good education. He was prominent as a 
Californian prior to the Mexican war and was one of the signa- 
tories of the Cahuenga treaty, and was otherwise a man of promi- 
nence. For a long time he resided in his house which is still 
standing on the north side of the Plaza at the corner of Olivera 
and Marchessault streets. Olivera street was named for him, 
although some cartographer has changed the spelling, the maps 
having it "Olivera," while his old county Court records in his own 
fine hand, spell it without the "i". On May 31, 1850, Judge 
Olvera opened County Court and made a provisional order 
dividing the county into four towns or townships, naming them 
Los Angeles, San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Juan Cap- 
istrano. 

The county then comprised all the territory now In Los 
Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and a 
portion of Ventura. On the 22nd of August, 1850, the Court 
of Sessions created the new town of Santa Ana out of portions 
of the towns of San Bernardino and San Juan Capistrano. 

This was: done according to law upon petition of Leonardo 
Cota and 52 others, the Justice for that town to reside at San 
Antonio. These towns stood as the legal subdivisions of the 
county for a number of years, and each town elected a Justice 
of the peace. Immediately after the first election in 1850, 
the County Judge, Agustin Olvera, convened the township justices 
and they selected Jonathan R. Scott and Louis Roubidoux, 
two of their members, as members of the County Court. The 
county was districted into towns on May 31. An election of 
justices was held In this wide and sparsely settled territory. 
The justices 1 elected theareat met and selected two of their 
number as members of the Court of Sessions, and the Court of 
Sessions, then duly constituted, met for business on the 24th 
day of June, 1850. 

The County Judge presiding and Jonathan R. Scott, Asso- 
ciate Justice, were the only two Judges present at the first few 



214 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

meetings of the court. Judges Scott and Olvera lived at Los 
Angeles. Judge Roubidoux lived on the Santa Ana River 
on the present site of Riverside. He lived so far away that he 
was elected justice of the peace for San Bernardino Township 
and afterwards was chosen a member of the Court of Sessions 
before he had ever heard that there was to be an election. After 
this example of celerity who will say that early California 
was slow. 

At the first meeting of the Court of Sessions on June 24th, 
there were present : Win. C. Ferrill, District Attorney ; G. T. 
Burrill, Sheriff; Benjamin D. Wilson, Clerk; besides the two 
Judges. 

Albert H. Clark was sworn in as Deputy County Clerk to look 
after the business of the Court of Sessions. The first business 
transacted was the action taken on the report of the District 
Attorney that Antonio F. Coronel, County Assessor elect, and 
Charles R. Cullen, Coroner elect, had not qualified; and a citation 
was issued requiring them "to appear tomorrow morning and 
give bond according to law." Whereupon the court adjourned 
"until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning." On the 25th, "Tomor- 
row morning," Senor Coronel appeared and gave bond and was 
sworn in as County Assessor, but Mr. Cullen declined to serve as 
County Coroner. What visions of long processions of aspiring 
and perspiring office seekers flock the vistas of imagination and 
crowd the chambers of the memory, as we view the acts of this 
first coroner of Los Angeles county. Who can say 55 years 
afterward what controlled him? He may have been deterred 
from entering the duties of his. office by fear of unpleasant 
scenes at inquests that might be frequent in a county then on 
the frontier and the goal of countless adventurers, or it may 
be, that for the benefit of those coming after he desired to serve 
as an example of the citizen who prefers to serve his fellows by 
his orderly private life rather than by striving, or even holding 
on to the pomp and show of office. If the latter impulse 
controlled him his Idea fell on stony ground ; since then scores 
of officers have been elected in this county, but Charles R. Cullen 
is the only person who refused to serve. 

The record is silent as to his reason for declining, but if 
intended as a patriotic sacrifice the lesson was absolutely wasted. 

Much business of a routine character was transacted at this 
second session of the court. The Sheriff was ordered to report 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 215 

on the condition of the County Jail. The District Attorney to 
inquire into the title to it, etc. 

Samuel Whiting was appointed Jailor at a salary of $7.00 per 
day, out of which he was to provide himself with an assistant. 
Fifty cents a day was allowed the sheriff for feeding prisoners, 
one-fourth to be spent for bread or rice, and the balance for meat. 
Meat then cost less than one-third as much as it does now, and 
still our sheriff is supposed to make quite a sum in feeding prison- 
ers at 11 cents per day. 

On the same day in the afternoon, A. P. Hodges, M. D., was 
appointed physician to the County Jail and then Coroner to 
fill the vacancy occasioned by failure of Mr. Cullen to qualify. 

It is amusing and instructive if viewed in proper light, to 
note into what few hands was concentrated the administration 
of justice at that time. 

The minutes of the District Court inform us that G. T. 
Burrill was Sheriff, and on the same day G. Thompson Burrill 
was appointed interpreter for the courts of the county at a 
salary of $50 per month. This differentiation of names was 
doubtless by design, as during all the time that he appears in 
the records of either court or the reports made by the coroner 
the name selected for each official position is never changed. 

In July 1850, the Court of Sessions was active in looking after 
the County property and by proper citation called upon Abel 
Stearns, formerly Alcalde at Los Angeles, to turn over to the 
Sheriff, as an officer of the court, the muskets and their ammuni- 
tion that were in his hands for the defense of the people. Abel 
Stearns for sometime made no reply, but in the fall reported that 
he did not believe the guns belonged to the County; that 
there was no mention of them in the treaty of Guadaloupe 
Hidalgo, under which the political dominion of Mexico was 
abolished, and that there was nothing in the Constitution of 
the new state to compel their surrender. That in fact, under the 
constitution he could not be compelled to give them up. This 
was the first constitutional question raised in the courts of this 
County. But as is always the habit of courts they avoided 
deciding the issue on the constitutional question, and afterwards 
such of the guns as had not been sold by Stearns while in his 
possession, under his constitutional right thereto, were returned 
to the County. 

Judge Olvera must have been a man of much executive 



216 , „ HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

ability. On July 8, 1850, the first criminal docket was called in 
a court in this County. 

Casildo Aguilar was tried on a plea of guilty of assault and 
battery and fined one dollar and costs. 

Juan Jose Villeros charged with an affray with Juan Am- 
borsis pleaded guilty and was fined one dollar and costs. 

Refugio Guaternos charged with an affray and resisting an 
officer was fined one dollar and costs. 

Pedro Dominguez, charged with battery upon the person 
of Xasario Dominguez, pleaded not guilty, and a jury of six was 
impanelled to try him, composed of the following citizens : 

Lewis Granger, W. Jones, G. W. Robinson, A. J. Courtney, 
Charles Burrows and Louis Llamareux. The jury found defend- 
ant guilty and fixed his fine at $5.00 and costs, and judgment was 
entered accordingly. 

Nasario Dominguez then under the bonds to keep the peace 
was then tried by the same jury and was ordered to give bond 
in the sum of $1000 to keep the peace for six months toward the 
people of the state and particularly toward Manuel Dominguez, 
and finally Comenio Mejio pleaded not guilty to a charge of 
petit larceny, was tried by the same jury, found not guilty and 
prisoner was discharged. 

There were three trials to a jury with verdict and judgment 
following in each case, besides pleas of guilty and judgment in 
three other cases, all in one day, at the very first day's session of a 
criminal court in the County, and still people nowadays after 
witnessing a two or three or four days' jury trial of a petty 
offender in our police courts patronizingly refer to the old 
Californians as slow. 

On the 9th and 10th, several more such cases were tried, 
resulting in verdicts of guilty with fines fixed by the jury at from 
$1.00 to $20, but on the afternoon of the 10th the case of the 
people vs. Henry Hines for assault on the person of Lewis Gran- 
ger was tried to the same jury as were all the preceeding cases, 
except that Mr. Granger, now the complaining witness, was 
relieved of jury duty and W. B. Osburn took his place. The 
trial consumed only the usual short time and resulted in a 
verdict of guilty, the jury fixing the punishment at six months' 
hard labor and judgment of the court went accordingly and the 
prisoner was remanded. 

The minutes of this trial are dispassionate, and disclose 
nothing more than do the minutes of the other trials, so that 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 217 

inquiry as to the real reason for this great disparity of punish- 
ment for crimes of the same name, is but speculation, unless 
we consider that the jury felt outraged that a member of their 
august body should be assaulted by a common citizen, and deem- 
ing it a heinous offense, "made the penalty fit the crime," but 
5n their zeal they "overlooked a bet." Three months' imprison- 
ment was the extent of the jurisdiction of that court, but as to 
whether Hines ever availed himself of this fact the records are 
silent. 

On July 12, 1850, the Court of Sessions appointed Abel 
Stearns, Francisco Figueroa and B. D. Wilson to recommend a 
site for a county jail and the Mayor and Council of Los Angeles 
were requested to confer with the court on the subject of a 
site at the next session. 

On the 16th of July the court met and adjourned to the 
Mayor's office, the committee reported verbally, recommending 
that the city donate for a jail site Lots 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9 of 
Square 34 of Ord's Survey, and the court ordered that the 
city be requested to donate the site and loan the County $2000 
with which to build a jail, the city to have free use of it for its 
prisoners until the loan was repaid. 

On July 22, 1850 Judge Roubidoux sat as one of the justices 
of the court of sessions. The court had been in existence for 
about a month, had transacted much business in an apparently 
intelligent manner and was now in full swing. On this day the 
County Treasurer filed a report showing that he had sold the 
effects of Doctor Francisco Fallon, deceased, for $505.06. An 
inquest had been held by the coroner and a jury, upon the 
remains of the deceased Doctor and on this day the coroner, 
the sheriff and the interpreter and the jurors filed bills for 
services at the inquest and the disposition of his effects as 
follows : 

Dr. Hodges, Coroner $80.00 

Sheriff Geo. T. Burrill 32.00 

Interpreter G. Thompson Burrill. 50.00 
And other claimants for sums from $20 to $91.15 each to bring 
the total to $351.15. The next day the court allowed to each of 
six jurors $26.00— $156.00 and $27.50 each to three witnesses, 
$82.50 and all but the $50.00 for interpreter— a total of $539.65 
was ordered paid out of the proceeds of the deceased's estate. 
We sometimes object to the delays in settlement of estates by 
our public administrator and think that his fee of iy 2 per cent 



218 HISTORICAL SGCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

for himself and the same amount for his attorney in small estates, 
is too much, but here was no delay. The doctor shuffles off on 
the 20th day of July. An inquest is held, his effects are sold for 
$505.06 July 22, and on the 23rd this money is reported on hand 
by the treasurer and on the same day the entire testate and 
$34.59 more is ordered distributed in fees and expenses, and the 
incident and estate are closed, and still we sometimes bear people 
sighing for the return of the good old days. 

This incident shows conclusively that though unused to forms, 
their genius of self-government — that is, the art of taking care 
of themselves, was of high order and though possibly latent, 
needed only opportunity to spring full flowered into existence. 

The County Court had little business during the first few 
months of its existence. The district court for this County con- 
vened in Los Angeles for the first time on June 5, 1850, with 
District Judge 0. S. Witherby, presiding. And the court being 
advised that William F. Ferrill had been elected District At- 
torney, George T. Burrill, Sheriff, and Benjamin D. Wilson, 
Clerk, that all had qualified and all were present, declared the 
court organized. William F. Ferrill, Al H. Clark, Jonathan R. 
Scott and Benjamin Hays, attorneys of Los Angeles, were duly 
admitted to practice. There being no other business, court ad- 
journed to the next term. On October 7, 1850, the fall term 
convened and the first case heard was the suit of Abel Stearns 
against Jose Antonio Carillo, in which plaintiff had judgment 
for amount prayed for and costs,. Abel Stearns was the most 
prominent litigant in all the courts for years thereafter. 

Antonio F. Coronel was also frequently mentioned in court 
proceedings of the time. It will be remembered that he was 
sworn in as Assessor in June 1850. On October 8th of that year, 
he was also drawn on and served as a member of the Grand 
Jury. And Abel Stearns was drawn and served on the first 
petit jury in the District Court. 

The first criminal case filed in the District Court was en- 
titled, "The People vs. Manuel Duarte," and on the same day, 
October 15th, 1850, the Grand Jury indicted Vicente Alisado for 
manslaughter and his case was set for trial on the 18th. There 
is no further mention of the case in the records of the District 
Court, but on the 18th the case of "the People vs Jose Salvador" 
"for manslaughter" was tried. This case had not been men- 
tioned previously. The defendant was an Indian and only two 
Indian witnesses, "Darius" and "Pasqual" were examined. The 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 219 

jury found the defendant not guilty "for want of sufficient evi- 
dence that the crime was committed in the county." 

It is fairly inferable that when the defendant was called for 
trial he gave a name, as. his true name, different from the one 
under which he was indicted. 

On this day the Grand Jury brought in an indictment which 
was entitled, "The People of the State of California vs. the 
County Jail." The indictment is lost, but the minutes of the 
court say respecting it, "Court refers so much of it as relates 
to the condition of the jail, the building being at San Pedro* 
which obstructs the public highway and the Indian Village as 
being a nuisance, to the Court of Sessions. And so much as 
relates to the filthy condition of the City to the Common Council 
of this City. ' ' 

Such a state of the record simply stimulates the imagination 
in an endeavor to realize what the local conditions neally were 
at that time with the jail at San Pedro, and the Pueblo in such 
condition that a Grand Jury of that day composed almost entirely 
of native Calif ornians, called it "filthy." 

On the 19th of October, 1850, the Court admitted to practice 
J. R. Woolridge, Louis Granger and J. L. Brent. 

The first murder trial in the District Court that attracted 
much attention to the lawyers then practicing, was that of Wm. 
B. Lee, who was tried in December, 1854. Benjamin Hays, who 
was admitted to practice at the first session of the court in 
1850, was now Judge of the District Court, and Jonathan 
Scott, who was one of the first Justices of the Court of 
Sessions, was one of the attorneys for the defendant. Scott 
and Hays had been partners prior to the elevation of Hays to 
the bench. 

Lee had killed a man named Frederick Leatherman in a 
dispute over a boundary fence. On the 5th of December when 
the case was called for trial, Scott and J. L. Brent for the de- 
fendant, moved for a change of venue, and filed in support of 
their motion affidavits charging prejudice in the Judge. The 
motion was denied and case tried. All the testimony including 
the examination of jurors was reduced to writing as the case pro- 
ceeded and the defendant finally found guilty by the jury. 

C. E. Thorn and I. Hartman assisted the District Attorney 
to prosecute. On the 16th day of December 1854, Lee was 
sentenced to be hanged at the County Jail on February 12, 1855. 
Just before sentencing the defendant the court called Messrs. 



220 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

Scott and Brent to the bar and informed them that they were 
in contempt of court by reason of the affidavits they had filed 
in support of their motion for change of venue. That the affidav- 
its were false and defamatory in the highest degree and that 
they knew they were lies at the time they were penned, that 
the court held them beneath his contempt, that he could find 
no way under the law to punish them for It, but would order the 
offending affidavits stricken from the files. The Court used 
language that reeked with invective adjectives and to the extent 
that their record takes a whole page of a large minute book. 

John G. Downey was admitted to citizenship in the Dis- 
trict Court, as appears by the records of that Court for June 21, 
1851, and on the same day, one James R. Holman executed a 
peculiar indenture which was by the Court ordered copied into 
the minutes and there appears at length, a reminder of conditions 
we have all heard about, but the real purport of which we have 
forgotten. This document goes on to say that Holman had 
removed from Crawford county, Arkansas, to California in 1850, 
and brought with him as his slave a negro woman named Clarissa 
about 29 years old. That by bringing ber into a free state she 
became free, but that she had two boys, three and six years old 
respectively, that had been left behind under a chattel mortgage 
to AYhitfield Brown. Holman in this remarkable instrument 
agreed that if Clarissa would serve him two years more she 
should be free and that he would pay the mortgage on the boys 
and set them free when they became 21 years of age, and he fixes 
the date of this event for one of the boys at October 15, 1865, 
and the other January 15th, 1866. A higher power than Holman 
set the boys free before the time fixed by this agreement. Just 
why such a paper should be found in the minutes of the District 
Court is not clear, as there is no mention of any proceeding 
thereon, or statement that Holman was even in court, but there 
it stands at pages 110 and 111 of the first minute book of our 
District Court, as notice to the student that man has not always 
been free and lest we be careful we may at any time fall into 
bondage. 

In the courts at this time pleadings were allowed to be filed^ 
in either the Spanish or English language and were translated 
by an officer of the court. 

I have spent much of your time with recitals of the doings 
of the Court of Sessions, a court of inferior jurisdiction, but this 
was with design. To appraise an edifice we always inspect its 



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 221 

foundation. If this is unsafe we value the superstructure lightly, 
because when the foundation gives way there is no saving the 
building, but if the foundation is broadly laid and solid, the 
building can be repaired with profit at any time it is out of order. 
The common people are the people — the country — and their in- 
stitutions — their courts, that is the courts that they administer 
and in which most of their litigation occurs, are the criterions 
of the liberties of all the people. Appellate Courts decide ab- 
stract questions of law, they are impersonal. The judges of the 
Court of Sessions shook hands with trouble and looked crime di- 
rectly in the face. Justice was dispensed at short arms length, 
hence such a court reflected directly the genius of the people. 
With this view of their functions and import, the early courts of 
this county as disclosed by their records and traditions show that 
the orderly process of courts in the administration of justice in 
the spirit of American laws, was as well appreciated by the 
early settlers of this country as it is now by their descendants 
and the immigrants that have followed them. 

Some incidents peculiar to frontier courts occurred in early 
times in our courts. W. G. Dryden was for a long time a prom- 
inent man in the affairs of the courts of this County. He was, 
a member of the first Grand Jury impaneled in this County in 
1850. Was afterward admitted to the bar and was for many 
years County Judge of the County. He died about 36 years ago,i 
to be exact on the 11th day of September, 1869. 

During the stormy period which embraced the years of the 
Civil War he was County Judge and proved himself a faithful 
official and just judge. The etiquette of courts and particularly 
that of the inferior courts was not strict at that time. In fact 
it may be said that the intercourse between Court and bar was 
informal, indeed very informal. Judge Dryden while realizing 
that in deciding each case aright he was doing his full duty by 
litigants, also felt that too much levity in court was unseemly 
and tended to bring the courts into contempt with the masses. 
So that on a certain day in 1867 he caused to be entered a minute 
order reciting the fact, that, "the Court, having due regard to 
the rights of attorneys practicing herein and realizing by exper- 
ience that a lawyer is but human and subject to the temptation 
of looseness of habits that are always engendered in a warm 
climate, has after due consideration of the matter concluded 
that the proceedings of this court are not conducted in that 
dignified and orderly manner to which their importance entitles 



222 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

them. That the personal habits of many members of the bar are 
not suited to lend dignity to the court in which they practice, 
and in view of these facts, it is ordered that hereafter attorneys 
while in attendance upon court will be required to wear a coat 
of some kind and will not be allowed to rest their feet on the 
tops of tables, or whittle or spit tobacco juice on the floor or 
stove. And the Court sinoerely hopes that all attorneys will ob- 
serve this rule to the end that decent order and decorum may 
be had without trouble." 

I had intended to relate some of the incidents of the more im- 
portant trials of early days and give you some short biographical 
sketches of the early judges and prominent lawyers. It is a rich 
field and I have been able to collect much authentic data that 
is very entertaining. Many of the early lawyers were men of 
great natural ability and high attainments, with spLendid social 
qualities, and the part they played in getting the machinery 
of state started is well worth study. I hope soon to have neady a 
paper of more popular interest than this, but time will not 
permit reciting any of it here. 



HOW CALIFORNIA ESCAPED STATE DIVISION 
By J. M. Guinn 

The antagonism between Northern and Southern California, 
which still to a limited extent exists and which in times past 
has, culminated in attempts to divide the state and from the 
parts form new commonwealths, ante-dates the American occu- 
pation many years. 

Away back in the first quarter of the last century Echandia, 
who was governor of Las Californias, made San Diego his official 
residence. The politicians of Monterey were greatly offended. 
They demanded that the governor should reside at Monterey, the 
capital ; but Echandia who was somewhat of an invalid preferred 
the gentle sea breezes and the genial sunshine of San Diego to 
the fogs and north winds of Monterey. When Victoria, the 
successor of Echandia, was overthrown at the battle of Lomitas 
by the soldiers of San Diego and Los Angeles and compelled to 
abdicate, Echandia again became governor. 

He established the seat of his government at San Diego. The 
rebellious arribanos (uppers) of the north induced Agustin V. 
Zamarano, Victoria's Secretary of State, to raise the standard of 
revolt and make Monterey his capital. Each governor mar- 
shaled his adherents in battle array, but finally compromised by 
dividing California into two territories. The northern limit of 
Echandia 's dominions was San Gabriel Mission, and the southern 
boundary of Zamorano's jurisdiction was the Mission of San 
Fernando. Between the borders was a strip of neutral ground — 
a no man's land — across which the respective armies of the 
frontier could defy their opponents and threaten to do things 
to them if they dared to cross the line. There is no record 
that the defies were heeded. No David and Goliath champion- 
ing the respective sides settled the contest with sling shots. 

Governor Figueroa united the divided territory, made Mon- 
terey his official residence, and for a time peace reigned, but the 
♦end of the controversy was not yet — the politicians of the south 
were placid, but they were plotting. 

In 1835, Jose Antonio Carrillo, the Machievali of California 
history, secured the passing of a decree by the Mexican Con- 



224 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

gress raising Los Angeles to the dignity of a city and making 
it the capital of the two Californias. The denizens of Angeles 
sent a demand to Monterey for the archives and a request that 
the governor remove to the capital. The politicians of the old 
capital were complaisant. They would obey the orders of the 
supreme government, but first Los Angeles must provide a 
suitable "palacio" for the government and they sent committees 
down to find one. Search as they might, never a suitable house 
could they find. Then to add insult to injury, they exasperated 
the dwellers in the Angel City by invidious comparisons — taunted 
them with lack of polish, twitted them on their provincialisms 
and sneered at their poverty. 

Then came the Revolution of 1836, when Alvarado and Castro 
drove out the Mexican-born Governor Gutierrez and set up a 
government with the taking title — El Estado Libre de Alta Cali- 
fornia — The Free State of Alta California — a state that was to be 
independent of the supreme government and whose affairs should 
be administered by the hijos del pais — the native sons. 

In the attempt to make California independent the people 
of Angeles discerned a scheme to defraud them of the capital. 
They promptly rebelled. San Diego joined them and once more 
the North and the South were arrayed against each other. Each 
raised an army and prepared for hostilities. Alvarado and 
Castro marched down the coast with a superior force and the 
Southerners surrendered. Then Jose Antonio Carrillo turned 
Warwick-kingmaker and with the assistance of President Bus- 
tamente, made not a king, but a governor, Carlos Carrillo, Jose's 
brother was made governor of California. 

The people of Los Angeles invited Carlos to make their city 
the seat of his government. He accepted and was inaugurated with 
imposing ceremonies. Never before was the old Pueblo the scene 
of such festivities and rejoicing. Never before or since was it 
so supremely happy Then Alvarado determined to punish the 
recalcitrant Surenos (Southerners). He gathered together an 
army of two hundred men and moved down the coast. He met 
the Southern army at San Buenaventura or rather he found 
it safely sheltered in the Old Mission building. For two days 
the battle raged. The walls of the old mission were mortally 
wounded in many places, Castenada's mustangs were captured 
and the Southern army was compelled to surrender. Alvarado 
and Castro moved down upon the Southern capital, which sur- 
rendered without opposition. Carlos Carrillo with the remnants 



HOW CALIFORNIA ESCAPED STATE DIVISION 225 

of his grand army, which had escaped capture, fled to San Diego, 
where, being reinforced, his troops,under a Gen. Tobar, of Mexico, 
moved northward to confront Alvarado. The armies met at 
Campo de Las Flores and a bloodless battle ensued. Carlos Car- 
rillo was defeated and captured. His soldiers were sent to 
their homes and ordered to stay there and behave themselves. 
El Estado Libre — the free state — was united under one govern- 
or and Monterey was the capital. 

With the overthrow of Micheltorena, the last of the Mexi- 
can governors, at the battle of Cahuenga, Pio Pico became 
governor and Los Angeles was the capital. For twenty years the 
internecine strife between the North and the South had existed. 
Three times the territory had been rent assunder by the war- 
ring factions. For ten years Los Angeles had struggled to 
become the capital. It had won, but the victory was dearly 
bought, and it was but half a victory at best. The archives 
remained at Monterey. The standing army of the territory, 
if it could be called an army, was stationed there and there 
Castro, the military commandante, resided. 

Castro, was accused of plotting to set up a government in 
the old capital in opposition to Pico. The last act in the 
drama of Mexican domination in California was an attempt 
of Pico's with his little army of Southerners to suppress Castro 
and the plotting politicians of Monterey. He had advanced 
northward as far as San Luis Obispo when a courier met him 
with the sad tidings, that Commodore Sloat had raised the Amer- 
ican flag at Monterey and taken possession of California in the 
name of the United States. Pico and his Southern adherents 
retreated to Los Angeles and Castro with the fragment of his 
army followed after. The war of factions that for two decades 
past had distracted California, was ended. The fued between 
the arribenos and the abajenos — between the Uppers of Mon- 
terey and the Lowers of Angeles — was forgotten in the 
presence of an enemy that threatened their political extinction. 
But repentance came too late. California was lost to the sons 
of the soil, to the hijos del pais. 

Under its new master Calfornia became the bone of con- 
tention between the North and the South. It was not the old 
territorial contest of Uppers and Lowers for supremacy, but 
a faction fight in Congress to determine which should gain 
the new state — the slaveholders of the South or the freemen 
of the North. The balance of power then was nicely adjusted, 



226 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

There were fifteen slave states and fifteen free. Into which- 
ever scale the new state was thrown the balance would be 
destroyed. The tidal wave of immigration that swept over Cali- 
fornia after the news of the discovery of gold spread abroad, 
made her a free state. When she knocked at the doors of 
Congress asking admission into the union of states the slave 
oligarchs of the South denied her request. In the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1849 the Southern faction led by Gwin 
made the eastern boundary of the inchoate state the crest of the 
Rocky Mountains. Gwin's plan was to make the area of the 
state so large that Congress would refuse to admit it as one 
state, and would divide it into two states on the line of the 
Missouri Compromise 36 degrees 30 minutes. The Northern men 
in the convention discovered G win's scheme and defeated it by 
a reconsideration of the boundary section at the very close of the 
Convention. A majority of two votes changed the boundary 
from the crest of the Rockies to the crest of the Sierra Nevadas. 
After a long and bitter contest between the two factions in 
Congress, California was admitted into the Union as a free 
state, but its admission as a free state did not in the opinion 
of the pro slavery men of the state preclude the possibility of 
securing a portion of its territory for the peculiar institution 
of the South — slavery. 

For a decade after it became a state, its division and the 
creation of a new state or states from its area came up in 
some form at nearly every session of the State Legislature. The 
pro slavery men in the state reasoned that if a new state could 
be cut off from the southern portion it could be made slave 
territory. Many pro slavery men had settled in that section 
and although slave labor might not be profitable, the accession 
of two pro slavery senators would help to maintain the bal- 
ance of power to the South in the Senate. In the Legislature of 
1854-55 Jefferson Hunt, Assemblyman from San Bernardino 
County, introduced a bill to civate and establish out of the 
territory embraced within the limits of the state of California a 
new state to be called the State of Columbia. The territory 
embraced within the Counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San 
Joaquin, Calaveras, Amador. Tuolumne. Stanislaus, Mariposa, 
Tulane, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, 
San Bernardino and San Diego with the islands on the coast 
was to constitute the new state. 

"The people residing within the above mentioned terri- 



HOW| CALIFORNIA ESCAPED STATE DIVISION 227 

tory shall be and they are hereby authorized so soon as the 
consent of the Congress of the United States shall be obtained 
thereto to proceed to organize a state government under such 
rules as are prescribed by the Constitution of the United 
States. ' ' 

The Bill, which was Assembly Bill No. 262, was referred to 
a select committee of thirteen members representing different 
sections of the state. This committee reported as a substi- 
tute, "An Act to create three states out of the territory of 
California;" and also drafted an address to the people of Cal- 
ifornia, advocating the passage of the bill. 

The line as proposed by this section, says the committee's report, 
"Alters the boundary line of California on the east, so as to 
embrace every portion of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains, which borders the present state of California, which 
can be brought under profitable cultivation. The eastern line 
will run through the center of the Great American Desert. ' ' 

The eastern line as stated in the section was to be the 119 
degree of longitude west of Greenwich. This line passes through 
Nevada considerably west of the center of that State. These 
legislators seem to have been somewhat hazy in regard to the 
location of the Great American Desert. 

Section 2, of the Act creates a new state to be called Colo- 
rado containing the portion of the territory now known as the 
counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Santa 
Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Merced, Tulare, Buena 
Vista and part of Mariposa. Buena Vista was a mythical 
country that for five or six years put in a spec- 
tral appearance in the legislative records, but never was 
officially created. It would have included the territory now 
embraced in Kern County, had it been organized. The northern 
boundary of the State of Colorado began at the mouth of the 
Pajara river, running up that river to the summit of the Coast 
range ; thence in a straight line to the mouth of the Merced river, 
then up that river to the summit of the Sierra Nevadas, and 
thence due east to the newly established state line. 

Section 3 creates a new state called Shasta. The southern 
boundary commenoes at the mouth of Maron's River; thence 
elajsterly along khe boundary line between Yuba and Butte 
and the line between Sierra and Plumas, to the summit of the 
Sierra Nevada and thence to the newly established state line. 
Maron's River was a mythical river. The committee found 



228 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

the name on Eddy's map of California, but no one to my knowl- 
edge ever found the stream. The state of Shasta included the 
counties of Klamath (now Modoc), Siskiyou, Humbolt, Shasta, 
Trinity, Plumas and part each of the following; Butte, Colusa 
and Mendocino. 

The territory not embraced in the states of Colorado and 
Shasta was to constitute the State of California. 

The committee in its address to the people proceeds to 
show that the revenue derived from taxes and other sources 
would be ample to support the state governments of the pro- 
posed states. The taxable property of Shasta for the previous 
year, 1854, amounted to $7,000,000, an amount less than 
one-third of the assessed value of the city of 
Pasadena. The revenue from all sources was estimated 
at $100,000 a year, a sum barely sufficient to pay 
the present salaries of the teachers of Los Angeles 
City for five weeks. The taxable property of the new State of 
California for 1854 amounted to $97,661,000 about one-half of 
the present assessed value of Los Angeles City. The yearly 
revenue, it was estimated, would amount to $970,000, a sum about 
equal to the amount Los Angeles City now expends on its 
schools alone. 

The value of the taxable property in the proposed State of 
Colorado for the year of 1854 amounted to $9,764,000. Its total 
revenue from all sources was estimated at $186,000, a sum that 
would pay the present expense of our police department 
for about three months. The committee states that in its opin- 
ion, "each of the states will be amply able to support the expense 
of a separate government." Evidently it did not require a 
large revenue to run a state government in the olden, golden 
days of fifty years ago. 

The relative size of the three states as described is as fol- 
lows, viz.: "Colorado will be the second in its dimensions in 
the rank of the states now in the union — California, the third 
and Shasta the ninth. The committee in its long address to 
the people of California set forth the evils experienced from our 
now extensive territory, 

"The difficulties of intercommunication between the inhabi- 
tants of an overgrown territory are so great also, that it is 
next to impossible to find that unanimity of sentiment or to 
create that identity of interest which renders popular action 
consistent and efficacious. The center reaps all the benefits, 



HOW CALIFONRIA ESCAPED STATE DIVISION 229 

enjoys all the advantages of government favor, while the extrem- 
ities ane compelled to bear a large proportion of the burden 
of taxation. * * * "As the matter now stands, even the 
poor privilege of supplying officers of the state is not allowed 
them ; the 'populous center outnumbering the extremities in 
votes controls all official patronage. California as now bounded 
contains 188,981 square miles; 23,315 square miles more than 
the area of ten states on the Atlantic seaboard. These states 
have twenty Senators in the United States Senate, while Cali- 
fornia has but two. Division of the state would give the 
Pacific Coast six (Oregon had not then become a state). After 
all, it was "them offices", as Nasby used to say, that was the 
chief incentive to state division. 

The bill met with very little opposition. It passed the 

Assembly, but the legislative session came to an end before it 
reached the Senate. It was confidently predicted that it would 
pass both houses of the next legislature and state division 
would be effected; and so undoubtedly it would have been, but 
for one of those political cataclysms that occasionally over- 
whelm the schemes of politicians. California had been solidly 
democratic since its admission into the Union. The pro slavery, 
wing of that party ruled in state affairs, represented the state 
in Congress and controlled the federal patronage of the state. 
If the state was divided the party's power would be increased 
in Congress, and would give the South six votes instead of two. 
At the fall election in 1855 the Know Nothing or American 
party carried the State, elected a governor and state officers, 
the legislature and the congressmen. This political cyclone 
swept away the hopes of the State divisionists. The question 
did not come up in the legislature of 1856. The bitter fued 
beween Gwin, the leader of the pro slavery or chivalry cohorts, 
of the democratic party and Broderick the leader of the liberal 
element, still further disconcerted and delayed the schemes of 
the divisionists. 

The Legislature of 1858-59 was strongly democratic with 
the chivalry wing in the ascendancy and State division again 
came to the front. In January, 1859, Daniel Rogers introduced 
a bill in the Assembly to set off the six southern counties and 
form a separate territorial government for them ; it passed 
both the Assembly and the Senate and was approved by the 
governor April 19, 1859. 

The boundaries of the proposed state were as follows: "All 



230 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

that portion of the present territory of this state lying all south 
of a line drawn eastward from the west boundary of the state 
along the sixth standard parallel south of the Mount Diablo 
meridian east to the summit of the Coast range ; thence south- 
erly following said summit to the seventh standard parallel; 
thence due east on said standard, parallel to its intersection 
with the northwest boundary of Los Angeles County; thence 
northeast along said boundary to the eastern boundary of the 
state, including the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Bar- 
bara, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino and a part of 
Buena Vista shall be segregated from the remaining portion of 
the state for the purpose of the formation by Congress with the 
concurrent action of said portion (the consent for the segrega- 
tion of which is hereby granted) of a territorial or other gov- 
ernment under the name of the 'Territory of Colorado' or such 
name as may be deemed meet and proper." 

Section 2, provided for the submitting of the question of "For 
a Territory or against a Territory" to the vote of the people 
living in the portion sought to be segregated at the next general 
election ; and in case two-thirds of the whole number of voters 
voting thereon shall vote for a change of government, the consent 
hereby given shall be deemed consummated. In case the vote 
was favorable the Secretary of State was to send a certified copy 
of the result of the election and a copy of the act to the President 
of the United States and to the senators and representatives 
in Congress. 

In the list of counties to be segregated again appears the 
county of Buena Vista. For five years this county had haunted 
the legislators and yet it had no official existence. The territory 
that would have been included in it was still part of Tulare. 
Later it became part of Kern county, when that county was 
created. At the general election in September, 1859, the ques- 
tion of dismemberment of the State was submitted to a vote 
of the people of the southern counties, with the following result : 

Los Angeles Co For, 1,407 Against, 441 

San Bernardino Co For, 441 Against, 29 

San Luis Obispo Co For, 10 Against, 283 

San Diego For, 207 Against, 24 

Santa Barbara For, 395 Against, 51 

Tulare For, 17 Against, 

Total for. 2,477; against 828. The returns of the election 
showed considerably more than two-thirds in favor of a new 



HOW CALIFORNIA ESCAPED STATE DIVISION 231 

state. The results of the vote and the act were sent to the presi- 
dent and congress. And although Milton Latham a northern 
man with southern principles and a pronounced divisionist 
represented California in the U. S. Senate, no notice seems to 
have been taken of the request of the inchoate state of Colorado. 
The Southern senators and congressmen were preparing for 
secession. A sparsely settled state on the Pacific coast, 2,000 
miles away from the prospective Confederacy was not worth con- 
sidering, nad the secessionists of Southern California were left to 
work out their scheme alone. 

The question of division slumbered for twenty years. In 
1881 an effort was made to resurrect the scheme. Feb. 1, 1881 
a citizens' mass meeting was held in Los Angeles to discuss the 
subject of how to improve Wilmington harbor and incidentally 
the question of State division. A committee was appointed to 
take the question under advisement. This committee selected a 
legal committee of nine attorneys to which was submitted the 
questions whether the Act of 1859 was still in force and if so 
what steps were necessary to complete the division and estab- 
lish the new state of Southern California. The legal committee 
decided the Act of 1859 was still in force and it only remained 
for Congress to admit the new state. A mass convention was 
called to meet in Los Angeles, Sept. 8, 1881, to take futher action 
in the matter. The convention met, but there was not a very 
large mass of it. Los Angeles County was in evidence, but the 
other counties of the prospective State of Southern California 
were not largely represented. Los Angeles City wanted to be 
the capital of the new state, wanted to monopolize the offices, 
wanted to be "it." The other counties were not enthusiastic. 
They could not see clearly how they were to be benefitted; so 
the question of division fell into a state of innocuous desuetude. 

In 1888 Gen. Vandever of Ventura Co., member of Congress 
from the sixth California district, introduced a bill to divide 
the state and create the State of Southern California.. The bill 
is still slumbering on the files. There let it sleep. Nearly two 
decades have passed since the last attempt was made to divide 
the state. The necessity for division if it ever existed exists no 
longer. The south, with its rapid increase in population and 
wealth, will soon hold the balance of power or if not, it will 
be able to hold its own with the north. Its astute politicians 
will always see to it that it gets its full share of "them offices." 

While the men who in the past championed dismemberment 



232 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

of the state were no doubt sincere in their belief that such action 
would be beneficial to the people of the various sections, we 
should be thankful that their schemes failed — that our magnifi- 
cent state escaped division. 



TWO PIONEER DOCTORS OF LOS ANGELES. 
By H. D. Barrows. 

In turning over to the Historical Society the accompanying 
brief historical document (which I lately received from Ex- 
Sheriff Wm. R. Rowland), containing the signatures of four 
early physicians of Los Angeles, I have thought that some 
account .of two of the signers whom I knew quite well, would 
be of interest to the members of our Society. 

The document referred to, which Ex-Sheriff Rowland found 
among old papers of the Sheriff's office* was a public notice, 
or "Aviso," of the scale of charges (in Spanish), by the doctors 
of that period (January, 1850), for their professional services, 
as follows : 

Aviso. 

A la junta de la Facultad de Medicos de Los Angeles, Enero 
14, 1850, la seguinte lista de precios era adoptado : 

Art. 1. Por una prescription en la officina $5.00 

Art. 2. Por una visita en la ciudad de dia 5.00 

Art. 3. Por una vista en la ciudad de noche 10.00 

Art. 4. Por una visita en el campo par cada legua . . 5.00 

Art. 5. Por una Sangria 5.00 

Art. 6. Por cada aplicacion de Ventoses 10.00 

Firmamos nuestros nombres al antecedente : 
[Firnados.] CHAS. R. CULLEN, 

A. I. BLACKBURN, 
J. Wj. DODGE, 
GUILLERMO B. OSBOURN. 

(Translation.) 

Notice. 

At a meeting of the Medical Faculty of Los Angeles, January 
14, 1850, the following list of prices was adopted : 

Art. 1. For an office prescription $5.00 

Art. 2. For a day visit within the city 5.00 

Art. 3. For a night visit within the city 10.00 

Art. 4. For a visit in the country, for each league. . 5.00 



234 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

Art, 5. For bleeding 5.00 

Art. 6. For cupping 10.00 

We subscribe our names to the foregoing: 

[Signers.] CHAS. R. CULLEN, 

A. I. BLACKBURN, 
J. Ws DODGE, 
WM. B. OSBOURN. 

Dr. Guillermo B. Osbourn, one of the signers, who was a 
native of New York* came to California in 1847 in Col. Stephen- 
son's regiment. He established the first drug store In Los 
Angeles in 1850, which was succeeded in '51 by that of McFarland 
and Downejr. Daguerreotypes were first taken in Los Angeles 
by Dr. Osbourn and Moses Searles, on August 9, 1851. In 
fact Dr. Osbourn 's versatility was something remarkable. It 
is not easy to recount all the official positions he filled, or the 
numerous important public functions he performed. In those 
early days immediately after the change of Government, by 
means of his keen intellectual ability, together with his knowledge 
of the Spanish language, he made himself a very useful citizen 
in various capacities. When, as often happened in that period* 
an acquaintance with Spanish was a necessity, he often acted 
as Deputy Sheriff. In 1853 he was appointed Postmaster of this 
city by President Pierce. In 1855 he projected the first artesian 
well in Southern California, at the foot of the hills not very 
far from the present junction of First street and Broadway. 
It reached a depth of 800 feet in June, 1856, being still in blue 
clay, when It was abandoned for want of funds. 

In 1852 fruit grafts of improved varieties had been introduced 
by Mayor J. G. Nichols. In 1855 Dr. Osbourn imported from 
Rochester, a grand collection of roses and other choice shrubbery, 
as well as many varieties of the best American fruit trees* which 
up to that time were almost unknown here. He was the first, 
too, in October, 1854, to ship East, fresh Los Angeles grapes, 
which were exhibited and commanded admiration at a meeting 
of the business committee of the New York Agricultural Society 
at Albany. And it is worthy of mention in this connection, that 
as late as November, 1856* when Matthew Keller sent a like 
specimen, it was almost doubted at the U. S. Patent Office, "if 
such products were common in California," 

Henry Osbourn, a son of the doctor by his first wife, was 
for years and until recently, an interpreter in our local courts. 
He lost his life through an accident not very long ago. 



TWO PIONEER DOCTORS OF LOS ANGELES 235 

Dr. Osbourn's second wife, who was a native Calif ornian, 
is I believe- still living in this city. 

Dr. Osbourn, with all his versatility, was not always over- 
scrupulous as to the means he sometimes employed in carrying 
out his schemes. He once recounted to me, without a semblance 
of self reproach, but on the contrary with a palpable chuckle 
because of his success, how he took an active part on a certain 
occasion "in a political contest. Sometime in the early '50s, 
when an election was on for a State senator, and San Bernardino 
was a part of Los Angeles county, he was exceedingly anxious 
to carry the precinct of Agua Mansa> which was mostly settled 
by Mexicans, who knew very little or no English. So he went 
to the Padre who had more influence In his parish than any other 
person, and used his most suave methods of electioneering with 
the Dominie in behalf of his candidate ; and then to clinch the 
matter, he asked the Padre to pray for the repose of the soul 
of his mother — who was then alive and well in New York State. 
And on the next feast day the wily doctor was on hand at the 
church and on his knees,, joining the Padre and his flock, in 
praying for the repose of his mother's soul. He added with just 
a shade of exultation, that his candidate was elected. 

Drs. Blackburn and Dodge, two other signers of the accom- 
panying document, I was not acquainted With. 

Dr. Charles R. Cullen I knew intimately- as he was my 
room-mate for a considerable portion of the time, from my arrival 
in Los Angeles in 1854, till he left for his home in Virginia in 
the latter part of '56. 

Dr. Cullen was a native of Virginia, and a graduate of Brown 
University. He and his brother John came to California soon 
after the discovery of the mines. The doctor was a cultured and 
genial gentleman whom all who made his acquaintance, could 
not help liking. The Spanish-speaking portion of our community 
of that period were especially attached to him, both as a sym- 
pathetic friend and as a physician ; and for years after he went 
away, I remember that if his name was mentioned in the presence 
of those native Californians who had made his acquaintance, 
they would invariably manifest pleasure at the recall of his 
memory, and would exclain : "Ay Don Carlos! donde esta el?" 
or, "Que buen hombre era!" or similar expressions of kindly 
feelings towards him. 

When the San Francisco Bulletin was established, Mr. C. 0. 
Gerberding (father of several persons of that name in California, 



23G 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 



and also I believe of Mrs. Senator Bard), was the business 
manager- and James King, of William, was the brave and ac- 
complished editor. Mr. Gerberding and Dr. Cullen had been 
old friends in Richmond, before they came to California ; and as 
the management of the paper desired to have a permanent resi- 
dent correspondent at Los Angeles, they entered into an engage- 
ment with Dr. Cullen to fill that position, paying him at the rate 
of ten dollars a column.. Late In November, '56, Dr. Cullen 
concluded to return East, and stopping on his way at San Fran- 
cisco* it appears recommended me, without my knowledge, as 
his successor as correspondent of the Biilletin: and accordingly 
he wrote at their request, asking me to keep up the correspond- 
ence, on the same terms, etc., which I did for several years 
thereafter, writing generally by each semi-monthly steamer, 
giving a general resume of currents events in Southern California. 
The doctor's letters, as were mine* were headed in the columns 
of the Bulletin — in small capitals: "Letter from Los Angeles" 
— "From Our Own Correspondent," and were signed "Observa- 
dor. " This signature, however, I soon dropped. My first 
letter was dated December 6, 1856. I would like to add that 
in all my dealings with Mr. Gerberding, the business manager, 
I found him to be a thorough gentleman and a good Mend. 

Before I had any connection with the paper* the assasination 
of James King of William had given the paper much prominence, 
and it had already become and it long remained the leading 
journal of the Pacific Coast. It was very ably edited ostensibly 
by a brother of James King of William, but in reality by James 
Nisbet, a Scotchman, one of the most industrious and the tinest 
literary journalists whom I ever had any acquaintance with. 
Afterwards, Dr. Tuthill was associated with Mr. Xisbet and they 
made a very strong editorial team. 

In 1857 I made a trip East, and I went to Richmond to visit 
Dr. Cullen. I found his mother and sisters and also his uncle, 
the widely known and venerable Dr. Patrick Cullen* by whom 
I was cordially welcomed. Dr. Charley Cullen was then located 
and practising his profession near Hanover Court House, a very 
few years afterwards the locality of some terrific flighting in the 
great Civil War. 

In after years I kept up more or less intermittent correspon- 
dence with the doctor, till his death several years ago. 

Dr. Cullen was a thoroughly conscientious man and a religious 
man — eo-operating with Parson Bland, Revs. Mr. Brier and Mr. 



TWO PIONEER DOCTORS OF LOS ANGELES 237 

Woods, as they came and made brief stays — in all sincerity, in 
which he differed widely from Dr. Osbourn, whose only church 
affiliation, so far as I knew* was that serio-comic episode at 
"Agua Mansa." 

When the late Dr. J .C. Fletcher first came to Los Angeles, 
Dr. Cullen wrote me asking me to hunt him up, which I did, and 
I found him to be a very cultured and widely traveled gentleman. 
He told me that he had resided for a lengthy period at Rio de 
Janiero, Brazil, where he had made the personal acquaintance 
of Dom Pedro, the venerable emperor of Brazil, and also that 
he had lived at Naples, Italy, 18 years. 

Dr. Cullen and Dr. Fletcher were classmates and graduates 
of Brown University. 



J. LANCASTER BRENT. 
By H. D. Barrows. 

A very few of our older citizens, both Americans and native 
Californians, who resided here in the fifties, and who are still 
living, remember well Joseph Lancaster Brent who was a man of 
prominence and great influence in Los Angeles during the years 
of that decade. His recent death at Baltimore awakens many 
memories of events which occurred here in the olden times, in 
which Mr. Brent was an actor, or in which he made his influence 
ftelt in potent fashion. As a matter of fact, he was one of the 
most brilliant figures of our early history after California became 
a State of the American Union. 

Mr. Brent was a native of Maryland. He came to Los Angeles 
in 1850 and immediately acquired the reputation of being a very 
able lawyer and a very astute politician. He was employed by 
many rancheros to present and prosecute their Spanish and 
Mexican land titles before the Land Commission and before the 
Courts to final confirmation. The Spanish rancheros especially, 
who felt themselves so helpless before an American Court, came 
to have unbounded confidence in his ability, and in his fidelity 
to their interests.. 

In 1856 he was elected a member of the Legislature, and 
although a democrat, all parties had confidence in him, and 
took pride, because of his ability, in sending him to assist in the 
councils of the State, at Sacramento. 

At one time Mr. Brent owned the San Pasqual rancho which 
included the site of the present city of Pasadena. 

Mr. Brent was active in organizing the Democratic party of 
the State. Although seldom holding official position himself, he 
was a very astute political manager, and he not only acquired 
wide political influence among Americans, but he was able to 
enlist many native Californians as partisans of democracy. It 
was said, and I believe truly that he influenced the venerable 
patriarch, Don Julio Verdugo, owner and original grantee of San 
Rafael rancho, to vote, with his twelve sons, the straight demo- 
cratic ticket, which, according to tradition, they continued to 
do, without a bolt, during the remainder of the life of the vener- 
able Don. 



J. LANCASTER BRENT 239 

During the year 1859, a notable convention of the democratic 
party of Los Angeles County, was held. At that period, the 
democracy had everything their own way hereabouts, — their 
numerical strength as compared with that of the republicans 
being as two or three or five to one. In fact, they were so strong 
that they sometimes got into fights amongst themselves. 

In the convention to which I refer, Mr. Brent was the leader 
and manager of one — the stronger — faction, and Mr. Downey 
was the Deus ex machina of the other faction, though both, for 
the most part, remained invisible during the progress of the 
convention. 

As I wrote an account of the doings of this Convention at that 
time, for the San Francisco Bulletin, of which I was then the 
regular Los Angeles correspondent, and as Mr. Brent was the 
silent manager and adviser of one faction, I am tempted to ap- 
pend here, my description of the affair. My letter to the Bulletin 
was dated June 14, 1859. After referring briefly to the fight 
in the ranks of the harmonious Democracy as continuing with 
unabated fury, I said : 

"The county convention held in this city on the 8th instant, 
hopelessly split into two factions. * * * Upon the organiza- 
tion of that volcanic body, it appears that one portion found 
itself in the minority — always a sad predicament, to be sure ; but 
by shrewdness it had secured the chair and committee on creden- 
tials almost exclusively on its side, (the side led by Downey). So 
two precincts — San Jose and La Ballona — were attempted to be 
excluded, because in one the primary election was held not on 
the 1st, but on the 6th, and in the other the polls were closed 
half an hour or an hour before the usual time. At the same time, 
both are legal precincts and both elections were legally called 
by the Central Committee, and all that. By quibbles in voting, 
as to who had a right to vote, etc., and the Chair on call, voting 
twice, etc., the four votes from these precincts, out of forty in 
the Convention, were excluded — and that, it is averred, wholly 
on frivolous pretexts. 

Thus, only 36 members were left. Here the Convention split : 
19 delegates finding their will checkmated by the gerrymander- 
ing disgusted, as they say, with the way things were going on, 
organized on their own hook — appointed Mr. Parrish, (still res- 
ident of this county,) Chairman, admitted the Ballona and San 
Jose delegates— making their number 23— and went through 
with their business "according to Hoyle," and adjourned. The 
"shadowy 17" also proceeded to business on their own account, 
and as their opponents wickedly assert, first achieved the absur- 



240 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

dity of admitting 5 persons as delegates from localities wherein 
there was neither a legal precinct nor an election ordered ; and 
this, after having adopted in joint convention, a resolution 
declaring that no delegate should be received who was not chosen 
in a legal precinct at an election called by the Committee. That 
their foolishness might not be so apparent, the report containing 
this resolution was suppressed. 

This present correspondent is not much of a politician, and 
he has no 'ax to grind' — not even a small hatchet — but accord- 
ing to his unsophistocated notions, the case seems a plain one: 
On a basis of representation to which all agreed, the Parrish 
Convention was in the majority any way; rejecting all doubtful 
precincts, and it had 19 members to the other 17 ; admitting 
all precincts, and localities not precincts, and it had 23 to the 
other 22. Of the 13 legal precincts of the county the Parrish 
Convention had 10 — and 23 out of 40 members of the Convention 
— while their opponents had but 3 precincts and 17 members, who 
after the break received into church fellowship the 5 unapostolic 
and unorthodox delegates elected outside of the true and legal 
fold. So this latter body, composed of various materials, went 
through lugubrious incubation and hatched out a complete set 
of chicklets including by 'understanding,' J. G. Downey for 
Lieut. -Governor. " 

The foregoing contemporaneous account of that convention, 
held in this city nearly forty-seven years ago, would be lacking 
in completeness, unless supplemented by a record of some of the 
sequels that grew out of it. 

As a specimen of successful sharp practice by a minority 
faction of a political convention, it was, I think, sui generis. For 
that the faction engineered by Downey, of which Charley Ross 
acted as Chairman, was clearly in the minority, was made man- 
ifest at the subsequent general election in the county when most 
of the local nominees of the Parrish convention were elected. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the delegates of the Downey 
faction of the State Convention from Los Angeles county, only 
represented a minority clique of the local Democracy, neverthe- 
less they were admitted to the State convention, and Milton S. 
Latham and John G. Downey were nominated and elected as 
Governor and Lieut. -Governor, respectively; and as on the second 
day after the meeting of the Legislature in January, 1860, 
Latham was elected U. S. Senator, Downey thereby by constitu- 
tional provision, became Governor. 

And as a further sequel to this result, the constitution of the 



J. LANCASTER BRENT 241 

State was later amended by the people, prohibiting the election 
of a Governor as a U. S. senator. 

Of the personnel of that county convention when Democracy 
"was in flower" in Los Angeles county, only E. C. Parrish, I 
believe, is still living. Charlie Ross was killed in a land quarrel 
in San Francisco, years ago. And now, Mr. Brent, who, though 
not a member, was its dominating organizer? has recently passed 
away. 

When the Civil War broke out, in 1861, Mr. Brent, being an 
ardent sympathizer with the South, went east and joined the 
Confederacy, and in '61 became a brigadier general. After the 
war, he settled in Louisiana, where he married, and where, 
because of his intellectual abilities, he became a prominent and 
influential citizen. As a member of the Legislature, he did effect- 
ive work in fighting the Louisiana lottery. 

He left a widow and a son and daughter. 

Perhaps I should mention one other, though rather unim- 
portant outgrowth of that convention or of the campaign which 
followed it. A dispute arose between Downey and one of his 
henchmen, Jose Rubio, a native Californian, in which Rubio 
accused Downey of not having paid him an "electioneering" 
debt. In the wrangle, Rubio gave Downey the lie, whereupon 
Downey knocked Rubio down with his cane, giving him a terri- 
ble black eye. Rubio challenged Downey, which the latter 
refused, as he did not consider the former his equal, etc. The 
bearer of the belligerent document, Gen. Andres Pico, there- 
upon, as required by the code duello, challenged the Democratic 
candidate for Lieutenant Governor. The latter accepted the 
challenge, and for a time, a fight seemed inevitable; but, by the 
intervention of friends, matters were amicably adjusted. And 
so both the Senator, and a Lieutenant-Governor in prospect, (and 
eventually, as it turned out, a Governor), were saved to the 
Commonwealth. 

And now, after all these years, the hot contestants of that 
far-distant time, save alone Mr. Parrish, rest within their widely- 
scattered graves, in everlasting peace. 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 

Compiled by H. J. Lelande, City Clerk 

(Note) — Mr. H. J. Lelande, City Clerk in whose keeping are 
the archives of Los Angeles City, in preparing an address 
which he delivered before the Friday Morning Club collated 
from the different volumes of the city archives a large amount 
of interesting data. He gave the editors of the Annual Publica- 
tion of the Historical Society of Southern California, a copy of 
his extracts. From these we have selected those that illustrate 
different phases of life in the Mexican and early American 
periods of the city's history. The earliest records of our city 
which have been preserved bear date of October, 1827. This is 
a record of a trial. Some years since the archives of the 
Mexican period comprised in three volumes and of the first three 
years of the American rule which were also written in Spanish, 
were by order of the City Council translated into English. 

The explanations interpolated in this articles are inserted by 
one of the editors (J. M^ Guinn). Much of interest in Mr. L's 
collection had to be omitted for lack of space. The thanks of 
the society are tendered to Mr. Lelande for the use of his valu- 
able manuscript. 



EL MUY ILUSTRE AYUNTAMIENTO. 

The municipality of Los Angeles under Spanish and Mexican 
domination was governed by a town council called an Ayun- 
tamiento. It was usually spoken of as the Muy Ilustne Ayunta- 
miento — (most illustrous council). The term was used in the 
same sense as we speak now of the honorable city council.. 

The early records of the proceedings of the Ayuntamiento 
of Los AngeLes — if any were kept — have been lost. The first 
record of its proceedings preserved in the City Archives bears 
date of January 14, 1832. At that time the Ayuntamiento con- 
sisted of five members, called "regidores." The first alcalde 
was the presiding officer and in his absence the second took his 
place. The secretary who was appointed from outside its mem- 
bership, was an important personage and the only salaried 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 243 

official of the town government. Besides his duties as secre- 
tary of the town council, he was clerk of the Alcalde's Court and 
keeper of the archives. His salary in 1832 was $30 a month. 

The proceedings began (in Spanish) with El Pueblo Nues- 
tra Senora de Los Angeles." (The town of our Lady of the An- 
gels). 

The jurisdiction of the Ayuntamiento, after the secularization 
of the missions extended from San Juan Capistrano on the south 
to and including San Fernando on the north; and eastward to 
the San Bernardino Mountains. It extended over an area now 
comprised in four counties and covering territory as large as 
three New England States. Its authority was as extensive as 
its jurisdiction. It granted town lots and indorsed application 
for grants of ranchos from the public domain. The grants 
were made by the governor. In addition to its legislative du- 
ties', its members sometimes acted as executive officers to enforce 
its laws. It acted as a board of health, a board of education, 
a police commission and a street department. 

The Ayuntamiento to a certain extent regulated the social 
functions of the pueblo and also provided for the spiritual needs 
of the inhabitants. It was local government epitomized. 
The Ayuntamiento of Los Angeles was abolished in 1840 by a 
decree of the Mexican Congress which provided that 'cities 
with less than 4,000 inhabitants should be governed by a pre- 
fecto and the enactments of the department assembly. The 
Ayuntamiento was restored in 1844 and continued to be the local 
governing power until July 3rd, 1850, when it was superseded 
by the City Council. J. M. Guinn, Editor. 



SESSION OF THE 14th, DAY OF JANUARY 

In the town of our Lady of the Angels 'in the Territory of 
Upper California on the fourteenth day of January in the 
year one thousand eight hundred, thirty-two, the Ayuntamiento 
of the place convened in their hall, the meeting being presided over 
by its Alcalde Citizen, Manuel Dominguez, who immediately 
manifested an official document he had received, dated the 9th 
inst. From the regular member of the Excelentisina Deputation, 
Citizen Pio Pico, and then proceeded to take the oath nequired 
by law, from the second member of the same Deputation, Citi- 
zen Tomas Yorba. 

After the above, the said deputies took the seats occupied by 



244 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

the Illustrious Ayuntarniento concluding the session and signing 
the present instrument on the same day, month and year. 
Manuel Dominguez (rubric) Juan Nepomuseno Albarado (rubric) 
Jose Manl. Cota (rubric) Felipe Lugo (rubric) 

Juan Ballesteros (rubric) Ygnacio Ma. Albarado (rubric) 

Vicente de la Ossa, Secretary (rubric) 
(The rubric was a series of flourishes made by the pen and 
took the place of the seal in legal documents. Each man had 
a rubric of his own). 

SESSION OF THE 19th DAY OF JANUARY 

In the town of Our Lady of the Angels in the Territory of 
Upper California, on the 19th day of January in the year 
One thousand eight hundred, thirty-two, the Illustrious Ayunta- 
rniento, dwelt on the lack of improvement shown by the Public 
School of this town and on the necessity of civilizing and mor- 
ally training the children. It was thought wise to place Citi- 
zen Vicente Moraga in charge of said school from this date, 
recognizing in him, the necessary qualifications for the discharge 
of said duties, allowing him fifteen dollars monthly, the same 
that was paid the retiring citizen Luciano Valdez, 

Signed as an act on the same day, month and year. 

(Here follow the signatures of the regidores the same as the 
above.) 

The following extract illustrates the method of designating 
election precincts under the rule of Mexico, three-quarters of a 
century ago. The blocks here named were not city blocks and 
the houses designated were often miles apart. Block 3, com- 
prising the ranchos of the Nietos and that of the Yorbas included 
all of the territorj- from the San Gabriel river to San Juan 
Capistrano. 

The Berdugos and Felis Ranchos added to Block 2, included 
all the country east of the City to Pasadena and north to Bur- 
bank. 

SESSION OF THE 19th DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1832. 

At to-day's session, in consequence of the law of June 12th of 
1830 the following has been determined : Notice to the Public :- 
Being that a primary election is to be held on the first Sunday of 
December for the election of the Ayuntarniento of this town accord- 
ing to the law of June 12th, 1830, the said corporation in observ- 
ance of articles 6. 7 and 8 determined to divide this town into 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 245 

four blocks, and name the commissioners that are to act under 
the terms of the above cited law, and in consequence of which the 
following articles were framed. 

1st. The first block shall comprise the houses from that of 
citizens Tibursio Tapia to that of citizenJose Anto, Romero, nam- 
ing as its commissioner, citizen Tibursio Tapia. 

2nd. The second block shall comprise from citizen Jose An- 
to. Romero house to that of citizen Cayetano Barelas and 
to Romero house to that of citizen Gil. Ybarra. 

3rd. The voting place for these 2 blocks shall be held in 
Gil. Ybarra, 's yard, where the commissioners shall meet as a 
board of election on the first Sunday of next December. 

4th. The third block shall comprise the houses from that 
of citizen Tibursio Tapia to that of citizen Macclno Alanis, cit- 
izen Tomas Yofoa acting as its commissioner. 

5th. The rancho of the Nietos and that of the Yorba 's shall 
comprise the third block. 

6th. The fourth block shall comprise from citizen Maccno 
Alanis' house to that of Nemesio Dominguez and the commission- 
er shall be citizen Francisco Javier Albarado. 

7th. The commissioners as a board of election shall meet 
to hold the said election in citizen Francisco Javier Albarado 's 
yard. 

8th. The Berdugos and Felis ranches shall be added to 
block number 2. 

9th. The Ayuntamlento supposes that the commissioner 
named to act for the different blocks will not need any instruct- 
ion through their lack of a knowledge of the law. 

They may however apply for such instruction to this body, 
in order that the laudable intentions for which they were ap- 
pointed will not suffer to any extent. Let it be known to the 
public that the reason for proceeding after the time determned 
by law is merely the result of some inadvertence. 

Town of our Lady of the Angels Nov. 19th, 1832, Manl. Do- 
minguez, (Rub) Juan Nepomuseno Albarado (Rub) Jose Manuel 
Cota (Rub) Felipe Lugo (Rub) Juan Ballesteros (Rub) Vincente 
de la Ossa. 

The election was not held at the time appointed, the first 
Sunday in December. Nearly all the commissioners appointed 
pfead sickness, or some other disablity. There was no pay for 
serving and no honor either. 



246 ..HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

SESSION OF THE 18th DAY OF DECEMBER. 

In the town of Our Lady of the Angels, in the territory of 
Upper California on the 18th day of December, in the year One 
Thousand eight hundred and thirty-two. The Illustrious Ayun- 
tamiento met for the purpose of repairing the delay suffered by 
the elections for the renewal of this Ayuntamiento according to 
the law of June 12th, 1830. 

The Ayuntamiento having considered whether the causes 
leading to this delay were or were not sufficient to justify it, 
took into consideration the physical inability of the majority of the 
commissioners and that of most of the people including theAlcalde ; 
and occasioned by a past experience in this town at the time the 
law prescribes this election should take place acting under 
such circumstances, the commissioners having recovered tbeir 
health by this time, except the one named for block 3, who re- 
mains ill, this corporation has seen fit to name in his sitead citizen 
Anto. Machado and orders that the primary election be held on 
the 22nd inst. in the same manner heretofore made known; leaving 
the same commisioners and informing them when to fulfill their 
commission. The present step has been taken for the inform- 
ation and satisfaction of the people that the action of this cor- 
poration may appear justifiable and no responsibility attached to 
them. Passed and signed as an act of said body on this same 
day, month and year. 

Manl. Dominguez (Rub) Felipe Lugo (Rub) Vicente de la 
Ossa Ygnacio Ma. Albarado (Rub) Juan Ballesteros (Rub) 

SESSION OF THE 19th DAY OF DECEMBER 

In the town of Our Lady of the Angels in the Territory of 
the Upper California, on the 19th day of December, in the year 
one thousand eight hundred thirty-two, the Illustrious Ay- 
untemiento meeting in the regular session, acted on a communi- 
cation of this date from citizen Anto. Machado, setting forth his 
physical inability to fulfill the duties as commissioner of block 
3 of this town. Acting on the above and so as to occasion no 
further delay in the election for members of this Ayuntamiento 
Citizen Victo. Moraga was appointed, who was immediately offi- 
cially notified of the same and asked to consult this body on the 
law of June 12th, 1830, that he might act intelligently. 

Manl. Dominguez, Felipe Lugo (Rub) Juan BalLesteros (Rub) 
Ygnacio Ma. Albarado (Rub) Vincent de la Ossa, Ses. (Rub) 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 247 

SESSION OF THE 21st DAY OF DECEMBER. 

In the town of our Lady of the Angels, in the Territory of 
Upper California, on the 21st day of December in the year, one 
thousand eight hundred thirty-two. The constitutional Alcalde 
citizen Manl. Dominguez manifested a communication from citi- 
zen Victo. Moraga, the commissioner appointed for block 3 of this 
town on the 19th inst, where he sets forth his inability to accept 
said comm'ission, not being possessed of the necessary qualifica- 
tions. After some discussion on the matter and not finding any 
other citizen in the abovie mentioned block 3, who could be com- 
missioned according to the law of June 12th, 1830, reappointed 
said Moraga for the reason above stated. 

Passed and signed as an act in this town this same day, month 
and year. 

Manuel. Dominguez (Rub) Felipe Lugo (Rub) Juan Balles- 
teros (Rub) Ygnacio Ma. Albarado (Rub) Vincent de la Ossa, 
(Srio) (Secretary) 



From the following extract it is evident that enough of the 
commissioners recovered their health to hold an election. 

SESSION OF THE 3rd DAY OF JANUARY. 

In the town of our Lady of the Angels, in the Territory of 
Upper California, on the 3rd day of January in the year on^ 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-three. The Illustrious Ay- 
untamiento met in their hall at the call of the Alcalde, its pres- 
ident. At tine outset there was presented an official circular 
dated December 31st, last past directed to this corporation by 
the most Excellent Territorial deputation through its president. 

The contents of said communication are reduced to the fol- 
lowing: 

1st. Giving notice to the Ayuntamiento of the dissolution of 
said corporation the term of the majority of its members having 
expired. 

2nd. Seeking answers to several communications sent to 
this corporation last year, the first dated January 27th and the 
second March 25th. 

3rd. Exhorting them to comply with the law of June 12th, 
1830 so as to begin the elections corresponding to the nomi- 
nations of deputies to the general territorial sovereign congress 
that the new Jefe (governor) may find all in readiness upon his 



248 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

arrival. After sufficiently discussing the matter it was agreed 
to answer the most excellent deputation congratulating them 
upon the good sentiments expressed. 

In reference to the answers claimed, the two regidores of the 
last Ayuntamiento confessed having received those communica- 
tions but that the then Alcalde, citizen Manl. Dominguez, notwith- 
standing their requests, could not be induced to answer the same, 
for said reason it was decided that he should be asked for such 
communications thought to be in his possession that they may 
be answered as prayed. 

With reference to the election it was resolved to invite the 
people of the territory, through this Ayuntamiento so that each 
one for himself in compliance with the law for June 12th, 1830, 
should verify the primaries being that this municipality has the 
right of intervention. That in case the Jefe should be absent from 
the country and his delay be so excessive after verifying the 
above the Ayuntamiento of the Capital take the proper legal 
steps to carry out the general elections, so that the territory will 
not suffer through the lack of representation, by means of which 
towns are made happy and remedy their wants. With this under- 
standing the session adjourned, Regidor Jose Sepulveda being 
absent attending to official duties. 

Jose Anto. Carrillo (Rub), Felipe Lugo (Rub), Antonio Ma- 
chado (Rub)> Tiburcio Tapia (Rub), Ygnacio Ma. Albarado (Rub) 
Vicente de la Ossa (Srio) (Rub). 

SESSION OF JANUARY 22nd. 

Immediately after, the said president alluded to the great 
necessity of having a priest in this town to minister to the wants of 
the spiritual flock and asked if the corporation thought it wise 
to procure the services of Rev. Alejo. Buchelot, by consent of the 
Prelate. It was the opinion of the corporation that this matter 
be considered at the coming session when the question of his 
maintainance as well as other subjects might be discussed and 
decided. The meeting then adjourned, there being present the 
same members as at its last session. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The 
question of the maintenance of a priest for this town was discussed 
and unanimously decided by the corporation that the entire town 
be summoned and informed of the matter on the first holiday, so 
they may stipulate the amount of their contribution to said main- 
tenance. This brought the affair to an end, whereupon the 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 249 

meeting adjourned, the same members being present as at its 
last meeting. 

Jose Anto. Carrillo (Rub), Felipe Lugo (Rub), Antonio Ma- 
chado (Rub), Tiburcio Tapia (Rub), Ygnaeio Ma. Albarado (Rub) 
Vicente, de la Ossa. 

Indian Raids were quite common in those days. The savages 
preferred horses to cattle because horses traveling more rapidly 
the thieves could more easily make their escape with their booty. 

SESSION OF 27th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1833. 

The minutes of the last session were read and approved. The 
Alcalde, president of the meeting, made known that citizen 
Pedro Feliz, owner of the San Jose Rancho, informed him that on 
the 24th inst. there had been stolen from his lands, the greatest 
number of his gentle horses, and according to the tracks on the 
ground, they were being conducted toward the "Tulares, " and 
for other reasons given, he sought permission to go in pursuit of 
them, accompanied by four citizens whom he would take at his 
own expense. 

The corporation opined he should go on this errand only to 
the Rancho San Francisco, on account of the evident dangers 
existing beyond that place. 

Meeting then adjourned, all members being present. 

Jose Antonio Carillo (Rub), Felipe Lugo (Rub), Jose Sepul- 
veda, Antonio Machado (Rub), Tiburcio Tapia (Rub), Vicente 
Moraga. 

THE AMERICAN PERIOD. 

Vol. 4, page 548. An auction was held in the year 1849, at 
which 91 lots in the district bounded by Main, Hill, Third and 
Fourth Streets sold for $6648.00. This property is now worth 
from one to five thousand dollars per front foot. 

MAY 30, 1849. 

Vol. 4, page 572. The Council convened in special session to 
consider a communication from Tomas Talamantes, which stated 
that the Squata Indians of the Sierra SanVicente, Santa Monica 
Mountains, are damaging his ranch, committing barefaced depre- 
dations, such as coming up to his house and stealing three horses 
that had been securely staked, and driving away some of his 
cattle from the adjoining pasture. 

The Council instructed Messrs. Jose Lopez and Francisco Ruiz 



250 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

to solicit from among our citizens, arms and ammunition with 
which to aid Talamantes, with this understanding however, that 
he should return all borrowed arms, and as much ammunition 
as had not been used in the pursuit of the marauders. 

June 9, 1849. 
ORD'S SURVEY. 

Vol. 4, page 575. "In view of a note received from the supe- 
rior territorial Government, ordering the making of a city map to 
serve as a basis for granting vacant city lots out of the unap- 
propriated lands belonging to the municipality, Council resolved: 

"1st. That the said Superior Government be assured of the 
committee's desire to give prompt and due compliance to its 
order, and to inform the same that there is no city map in 
existence whereby concessions of land may be made, and. 
furthermore that there is no surveyor in this town who could 
get up such a map. 

"2nd. That this Honorable body desiring to have this done, 
requests the territorial government to send down a surveyor 
to do this work, for which he will receive pay out of the 
municipal funds, and should they not suffice, by reason of other 
demands having to be met' then he can be paid with unap- 
propiated lands should the government give its consent." 

"Your committee charged by your Hornorable body with 
the duty of conferring with Lieutenant Ord, the surveyor who 
is to get out a map of this city, has had a conference with that 
gentleman and he offers to make a map of the city, demarking 
thereon in a clear and exact manner, the boundary lines and 
points of the municipal lands, for which work he demands a 
compensation of fifteen hundred dollars in coin, ten lots selected 
from among those demarked in the map and vacant lands to 
the extent of one thousand varas, in sections of 200 varas each, 
and whersoever he may choose to select the same> or in case 
this proposition is refused, then he wants to be paid the sum of 
three thousand dollars in cash. Your committee finds the first 
proposition very disadvantageous to the city, because conceding 
to the surveyor the right to select not only the said ten lots, 
but also the thousand varas of vacant land, the city would de- 
prive itself of the most desirable lands and lots which some 
future day may bring more than three thousand dollars. 



EXTRACTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES 251 

The City funds cannot now defray this expense, but should 
your Honorable body deem it indispensable a loan of that amount 
may be negotiated, pledging the credit of the City Council and 
payiing an interest of one per cent a month ; this loan could 
be repaid with the proceeds of the sale of the first lots dis- 
posed of." 

The same day the president was authorized to negotiate a 
loan of three thousand dollars and provision was made for the 
sale of lots from the proceeds of which the loan was to be paid. 

On the 19th day of September the syndic Juan Temple sub- 
mitted to the Council the "Finished city map, as well as a 
receipt showing that he had paid the surveyor the sum of three 
thousand dollars? this amount being a loan made by him to the 
city, to enable it to pay for said map." 

The following December, 41 lots In the survey were sold, 
out of a total of 60 offered, from which the Council realized 
$2490.00, which was paid to Juan Temple on account, leaving 
a balance of $510.00 in his favor, which the Counc'il pledged itself 
to pay out of the proceeds of the first lots sold in the future. 

WATER BONDS, 1862. 

Act of Legislature. 

Section 1. The Mayor and Common Council of the City of 
Los Angeles are hereby authorized to borrow money for the 
purpose of municipal improvements* either for irrigation or for 
furnishing water for domestic purposes, to the amount and in 
the manner hereinafter set forth. 

Sec. 2. The amount borowed under the provisions of this 
act, shall not exceed $25,000.00; the rate of interest shall not 
exceed ten per cent. 

ACT OF INCORPORATION. 

Vol. 7 of Archives, page 299. 

An Act to incorporate the City of Los Angeles. 

The people of the State of California represented in Senate 
and Assembly, do enact as follows: 

Section 1. All that tract of land included within the limits 
of the Pueblo de Los Angeles, as heretofore known and acknowl- 
edged, shall henceforth be known as the City of Los Angeles; 
and the said City is hereby declared to be incorporated accord- 
ing to the provisions of the act, entitled "An act to provide 
for the incorporation of cities," approved March 18th, 1850: 



252 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

Provided, however, that if such limits include more than 
four square miles, the Council shall within three months after 
they are elected and qualified, fix by ordinance the limits of the 
c'ity, not to include more than said quantity of land, and the 
boundaries so determined shall henceforth be the boundaries 
of the city. 

Sec. 2. The number of Councilmen shall be seven. The 
first election of city officers shall be on the second Monday 
of May next. 

Sec. 3. The corporation created by this act, shall succeed 
to all the rights, claims and powers of the Pueblo de Los 
Angeles, in regard to property and shall be subject to all the 
liabilities Incurred and obligations created by the Ayuntamiento 
of said Pueblo. 

JOHN BIGLER, 

Speaker of House of Assembly. 
E. KIRBY CHAMBERLAIN, 

President pro tern of the Senate. 
Approved April 4th, 1850. 

PETER H. BURNETT, 
Governor. 



THE OLD HIGHWAYS OF LOS ANGELES 
By J. M. Guinn. 

Of the old highways that lead out from the Pueblo of Los 
Angeles sixty years ago little remains. The march of improvement, 
the spirit of progress or some other iconoclast has transformed, 
transposed or obliterated them, so that but little is left to us 
beyond the direction in which they ran. Even the land marks that 
in the olden time guided the traveler on his way where the trail 
was faint, ha\e disappeared or have been changed beyond recog- 
nition. These old caminos were not like the 

" road from Winchester town 
A good broad highway leading down" 
instead they were narrow trails on which the nimble footed 
mustang easily found his way but over which wheeled vehicles 
seldom ventured. 

Along these roads there were no milestones to tell the dis- 
tance ; no guide boards to direct the way ; no bridges across the 
rivers; no cuts through hills or fills of the gulches. If a mud 
hole impeded, it was easier to go around it than to fill it. If the 
winter ra'ins cut a deeper channel in the arroyo leaving steeper 
banks on the sides it was more convenient to go up stream or 
down to find a crossing than to grade an incline to the former one. 
Even in the narrow canons where travel must follow in the same 
beaten track three-quarters of a century's use had not cut down 
a deep road bed like the sunken road of Ohain that was the 
undoing of Napoleon at Waterloo. 

Under the rule of Spain and Mexico in California there seems 
to have been no road laws enacted. When a ranchero applied to 
the government for a grant he was requested to file a map of the 
tract of the land asked for. If there was a road crossing the 
proposed grant, it was marked on the diagram but as the maps 
usually were not drawn to any scale the road might vary miles 
from where it was delineated. 

After the Americans possessed themselves of California, the 
old roads for some time remained in the same condition that they 
had been under the domination of Spain and Mexico. The country 
was too extensive and population too sparse to improve the 



254 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

highways. For several decades the names were not changed. 
There was the Camino Real para San Gabriel y San Bernardino 
the highway to San Gabriel and San Barnardino. The Camino 
para La Jaboneria appeared on the county maps until quite a 
recent date. It was the lower road to San Juan Capistrano anl 
San Diego. The upper road was via La Habra and Santa Ana 
(upper) to San Juan. On some of the maps it was called El Camino 
Viejo (the old road). 

Leading out from the old pueblo to San Pedro were two his- 
toric roads, one by the Punta de La Laguna (point of the lagoon), 
and the other by the Rancho Los Cuervos. Over these in the olden 
time passed the commerce of Los Angeles and the contiguous 
country. The exports were hides and tallow transported on 
wooden wheeled ox-carts. The imports were family supplies, 
dress goods and Yankee notions that had come from Boston 
around Cape Horn in hide droghers. 

Over the Camino by the Punta de La Laguna sixty years ago, 
came the advance guard of the Saxon invaders — Stockton's 
sailors and marines. Along its dusty length, mounted on wooden 
wheeled carretas drawn by oxen, they hauled their cannon. 
By no stretch of the imagination could Stockton's light ox- 
battery be transformed into flying artillery. Louder than the 
tramp, tramp, of the boys a marching rose the shriekings and 
creakings of the ungreased wooden axles of the carretas. 

On the Camino by the way of the Rancho de Los Cuervos, 
Mervine and his men suffered defeat in the battle of Dominguez 
Rancho ; and weary and worm bearing their wounded and dead 
they retreated to their ship. They buried their dead on the Isla 
de Los Muertos, Isle of the Dead (now Deadman's Mand). 

Commerce long since deserted these old channels of trade ; 
and travel found means of easier access to the City of the Angels. 
These historic old roads have been in part abandoned and in 
part changed. Steam first, electricity next ; and lastly the real 
estate promoter with his subdivisions, his streets and avenues, has 
so transformed the landscape that the oldest inhabitant could not 
now locate with certainty a mile of the former road bed of these 
old caminos. 

As population increased and the cattle industry decreased the 
subdivision of the great ranchos began and the existence of the 
old roads and the old system of free and easy road making ended. 
The roads were fenced in and the traveler was no longer allowed 
to make a trail where he pleased. Cut-offs were made in the 



THE OLD HIGHWAYS OF LOS ANGELES 255 

roads by bridging streams and by filling gulches that greatly 
reduced the distance between towns and settlements. 

Some forty years ago the Stearns' Ranchos a great body of 
land in the southeastern part of the county containing nearly 
200,000 acres was subdivided into sections and fractional parts of 
sections. Following the custom in many western states reser- 
vations were made along section lines for roads. As the land was 
sold and settlers improved their holdings the old caminos were 
wiped out of existence and new roads made on section lines. 
There is perhaps not five consecutive miles of the old highways of 
the Spanish and Mexican eras to day in use between the Los 
Angeles and the Santa Ana river and the same is true to a greater 
or less extent throughout the state. 

Under the rule of Spain and Mexico, as I have said, there 
seems to have been no laws or no ordinances! passed locating roads 
in California. Use established the right of way. After the Anglo- 
Saxon gained possession, with his proclivity for organization, it 
was not long till roads were officially located and laws and ordi- 
nances enacted for their government. 

In the archives of Los Angeles County there is a decree of the 
Court of Sessions made May 19, 1851, establishing Caminos Pub- 
licos or Caminos Reales (public highways) in the County of Los 
Angeles which then included all the territory now embraced in 
the counties of San Bernardino and Orange, and also parts of 
Kern and Riverside counties. This decree officially establishes 
certain roads between the missions as public highways and where 
no subsequent ordinance has changed the road the old road is 
still a camino real and needs no legislation to establish it. I 
give the decree in full : 

State of California, County of Los Angeles in the Court of 
Sessions, May term A. D. 1851 (May 19). Ordered that the fol- 
lowing are declared to be public highways within this county 
as heretofore ordered by this court, to-wit : 

Santa Barbara Road. (Camino para Santa Barbara)— From 
Los Angeles to Cahuenga, from Cahuenga to Encino, from Encino 
to Las Virgenes, from Las Virgenes to Triumfo. 

Tulare Road to the Mines by the Tulares and to Santa Barbara 
(Camino para Las Minas por Los Tulares y para Santa Barbara.) 
By Cahuenga or Yerdugo to San Fernando; from San Fernando to 
the Rancho of San Francisco ; from San Francisco to the Canada of 
Alamos; from the Canada of Alamos to Rabbit Lake; from Rabbit 
Lake to Tejon. 



256 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

Roads from Los Angeles to San Diego : 

First, from Los Angeles to the Rancho of Curmurgo by the 
Abra to Santa Ana (upper) or Santa Ana of Theodosio Yorba, 
from Santa Ana (upper) to the Aliso, thence to the San Juan 
Capistrano Mission, thence by San Mateo to San Diego. 

Second, by Las Laguanas to the Jaboneria, thence by the 
rancho of the Nietos, by the Tequlsquite (land of the coyotes) to 
Santa Ana (middle) or the rancho of Don Jose Antonio Yorba, 
thence to the Aliso ; thence to San Juan Capistrano and San 
Mateo. 

San Bernardino and Sonora road. Los Angeles to San Gabriel 
and below Azusa between San Antonio and San Jose by the plain 
below the rancho of Cuca Monga, thence to the hill of Aguajeta by 
the Old Pueblo of the New Mexicans, known as the Land of 
Apolitan, by Jurupa and San Bernardino to Yucaipa and San 
Gorgonio. 

Road to New Mexico : 

Following the above to San Bernardino until arriving at 
Cuca Monga and from thence to the Cajon. 

Colorado Road — Camino para el rio Colorado : From Los 
Angeles to the Mission San Gabriel, thence to the rancho of 
Puente, thence to the rancho ofYbarras, thence to the Sierra and 
Temescal and thence to the Laguna and Tamacold. 

San Pedro Road : First by the pla'in called ' ' Punta de La 
Laguna" and Palos Verdes to San Pedro. Second to the rancho 
of Los Cuervos, the rancho of Los Dominguez, Palos Verdes to San 
Pedro. 

It is further declared that the roads between the Missions of 
San Fernando, San Gabriel and San Juan Capistrano, as they have 
been anciently established and used, shall be deemed public 
highways; and the roads in this order heretofore described are 
understood to be the roads existing as they have been long estab- 
lished and used. 

I, B. D. Wilson. Clerk of the Court of Sessions, Los Angeles 
County, State of California, hereby certify that the above is a 
true copy of an order of said Court given under my hand and 
seal, May 24, 1851. BENJ. D. WILSON, Clerk. 

by Wilson Jones, Deputy. 

Note that in the above order the judges of the Court of 
Sessions say, "the roads between the Missions," had there been 
one road, they would have used the singular number. There is 
no hint in this order of a royal road, evidently the men who com- 



THE OLD HIGHWAYS OF LOS ANGELES 257 

posed the Court of Sessions (the county judge and two justices of 
the peace) had never heard of the so-called King's highway, yet 
they had been in the country before the secularization of the 
missions, and some of them were born while Mexico was under 
the rule of a king. 

The San Bernardino and Sonora Road named in the decree 
was also known as El Camino Real de San Gabriel y San Bernar- 
dino — the road to San Gabriel and San Bernardino. It is traced 
on the old maps of the ranchos through which it passed. It forms 
the south boundary of the Azusa rancho, passes through the San 
Jose and marks the boundary line between the ranchos Cuco- 
mongo and del Chino and on to San Bernardino and Sonora. 

This old Camino Real that leads out from the pueblo of Angeles 
to the Mission of San Gabriel to the hill of spouting water, to 
Agua Manza, to the Land of Apolitan, through the Pass of San 
Gorgonia, across the desert of Colorado and on to Tubac in So- 
nora is the only one that has any claim to be called a King's 
Highway. Thirty thousand dollars were appropriated from the 
royal treasury to pay the expenses of Captain Anza's exploring 
expedition wben in 1774 he opened up this route for travel. 
Over it, in 1775, Anza lead the first immigrants who came to 
California — a band of 240 men, women and children bringing 
with them more than a thousand domestic animals. These 
pobladores were the advance guard of civilization. They built 
the presidio of San Francisco and founded San Jose the first 
colony in California. (A portion of this road stretching from 
Yuma to San Domingo on the border of Sonora was named by 
the Spanish Pioneers Camino del Diablo and today retains its 
evil name Devil's Highway. There is hardly a mile of its two 
hundred that is not marked by one or more cross-shaped stone 
heaps raised over the grave of victims who died of desert thirst.) 

Over this Camino Real came citizen, soldier and priest. 
Across its desert stretches went Rivera and his fated band to 
their death, when the fierce Yumas sacked the missions on the 
Colorado. Along its dreary length rode Amador, Santa Ana's 
flying courier, with a message that saved the mission from the 
clutches of Hijar and Padres. Through its mountain passes and 
over its desert sands fled Castro and his adherents from the 
American invaders who had dispossessed them of the land of their 
birth. Over it came the vanguard of the Argonauts — the evan- 
gels of a strenuous life — the harbingers of a new era for Califor- 
nia, the most romantic, the most poetic, the grandest and most 
glorious " her history. 



PUBLICATIONS 



OF THE 



Historical Society 



OF 



Southern California 



Volume VI 



(ANNUAL PUBLICATIONS OF 1905-1904-190J) 



PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 



LOS ANGELES, CAL. 



Contents of Vol. VI 



Officers of the Historical Society, 1903-1904 4 

Portrait of Captain Benjamin Daviess Moore 4 

A Flag Staff and Flag for Fort Moore .... Evening Express . . 5 

Flag Raising on Site of Fort Moore Daily Times . . 6 

Fort Moore J. M. Guinn . . 7 

Captain Benjamin Daviess Moore M. J. Moore. . 10 

History of Santa Catalina Island . . Mrs. M. Burton Williamson . . 14 

Illustration : Indian Soapstone Quarry 20 

Illustration: Avalon 28 

American Governors of California H. D. Burrows. . 32 

Renunciation of Chona Laura Evertsen King . . 38 

Two Decades of Local History J. M. Guinn . . 41 

Yuma Indian Depredations and the Glanton War, J. M. Guinn . . 50 

Yuma Depredations — Massacre of Dr. Lincoln and His Men . . 52 

Deposition of William Carr 52 

Deposition of Jeremiah Hill 57 

Officers of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County, 1903-1904. ... 63 

Constitution and By-Laws 64 

Reports of Secretary and Treasurer 69 

In the Days of '49 J. M. Guinn . . 71 

An Exciting Episode of the Early '60's. . . .H. D. Barrows. . 78 

Los Angeles Pioneers of 1836 Stephen C. Foster.. 80 

The Myth of Gold Lake J. M. Guinn. . 82 

Biographical Sketches of Deceased Pioneers 00 

George Huntington Peck Autobiography. . 87 

Edmund C. Glidden J. M. Guinn . . 89 

Samuel Meyer Committee Report . . 90 

Carl Felix Heinzman Committee Report . . 90 

Jean Sentous H. D. Barrows . . 92 

Micajah D. Johnson Los Angeles Times . . 92 

Ivar A. Weid Committee Report . . 93 

Julius Brousseau L. A. Evening Express . . 95 

Moritz Morris H. D. Barrows . . 96 

In Memoriam 97 

Roll of Members 98 

Officers of Historical Society, 1904-1905 108 

Portrait of Prof. Marcus Baker 110 

In Memory of Marcus Baker Dr. Robt. E. C. Stearns. . Ill 

Down in Panama J. M. Guinn. . 115 

Sequoyah Dr. J. D. Moody . . 122 



A Notable Manifesto H. D. Barrows . . 126 

Pinacate Laura Evertsen King . . 132 

Officers of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County, 1904-1905 .... 135 

Constitution and By-Laws 136 

Reports of the Secretary and Treasurer 141 

Report of the Finance Committee 142 

Los Angeles— The Old and The New L. T. Fisher. . 143 

Some Historic Fads and Fakes J. M. Guinn . . 148 

Some of My Indian Experiences J. W. Gillette . . 158 

Portrait of Wm. H. Workman 165 

Pioneers Crossing the Plains Illustration. . 165 

Banquet Given to the Pioneers by Wm. H. Workman 165 

Rain and Rain-makers J. M. Guinn. 171 

Biographical Sketches of Deceased Pioneers 

Mathew Teed Compiled . . 177 

Nathaniel Coburn Carter Committee Report . . 178 

Omri J. Bullis Committee Report. . 179 

George Edwin Gard Committee Report . . 180 

Jonathan Dickey Dunlap Committee Report. . 181 

Mrs. Cornelia R. Shaffer Committee Report . . 182 

Thomas D. Mott Los Angeles Times . . 184 

Kilian Messer Committee Report . . 186 

Pascal Ballade Committee Report. . 187 

John Crimmins Committee Report . . 188 

In Memoriam 189 

Roll of Members 191 

Officers of the Historical Society 1905-1906 202 

Los Angeles Fifty Years Ago H. D. Barrows . . 203 

How New Zealand Got Its Honey Bees. .Mary M. Bowman. . 208 

Pioneer Courts and Lawyers of Los Angeles. . W. R. Bacon. . 211 

How California Escaped State Division J. M. Guinn. . 223 

Two Pioneer Physicians of Los Angeles H. D. Barrows. . 233 

J. Lancaster Brent H. D. Barrows . . 238 

Extracts From the Los Angeles Archives H. J. T.elande. . 242 

The Old Highways of Los Angeles J. M. Guinn. . 253 



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