California thru 1859

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California is about the same size as Japan or Sweden.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
 The state covers 163,707 sq. miles and has over 32.6 million people. The Pacific coastline stretches for 840 miles.
 (WSJ, 11/26/97, p.CA4)(SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.6)
  The state marine fish is the bright-orange Garibaldi. The state bird is the California quail.
 (SFC, 3/30/98, p.A17)(SFC, 7/8/99, p.A13)
  California has 58 counties. The Washoe Indian tribe once ranged along the Sierra from Honey Lake to Mono Lake. There were some 80 California Indian languages of which 30 were extinct. The Takic family of languages was spoken in Northern and Southern California. The Cahuilla [Kaweah] and Cupeno languages are part of the Cupan family, which is part of the Takic family.
 (SFC, 6/22/97, p.A18)

John Conness was one of the first senators from California. The Conness family settled Stockton, Ca.
 (SFC, 3/5/96, p.A16)
The Anz-Borrego Desert State Park, west of the Salton Sea, was the largest in Ca. at over a million acres.
 (SFEC, 3/15/98, p.T7)

225Mil BC-65 Mil BC    Dinosaurs were both numerous and varied in California. In 2003 Richard P. Hilton authored “Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California." California was under water at the beginning of the Mesozoic (255-63). By the end of the era roughly the eastern third of the state had emerged.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.26)(CW, Winter 04, p.51)

170Mil BC    In northern California magma burbled up through older, softer rock and formed a granite pluton. Wind and water over the next 100 million years scrubbed the area which later became known as Castle Crags.
    (SSFC, 5/14/06, p.G8)

150Mil BC-145Mil BC    The Santiago Peak Volcanics took place in southern California.
    (Fremontia, 4/2009, p.27)(

140 Million    Masses of peridotite rack heaved onto the sea floor from the earth’s crust about this time. It mingled with seabed sediment and merged with an oceanic plate that slid toward the Sierra foothills and the Klamath region of northern California until it hit the North American plate. The peridotite turned to serpentine under pressure and rose to parallel the San Andreas Fault.
    (CW, Fall ‘03, p.42)

115 Million    Dinosaur bones from the Budden Canyon Formation of western Shasta Ct., Ca., dated to this time of the Cretaceous. It was a small bipedal herbivore about the size of a deer. It seemed similar to a group known as hypsilophodonts, small a primitive members of the suborder Ornithopoda. The region was a seafloor west of the coastline of this time.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.26)

110Mil BC - 80Mil BC The Pacific Plate collided with the North American Plate at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada and in the process created the Farallon Islands, which then slowly moved north some 300 miles to stand off the coast of San Francisco.
    (SFC, 5/25/13, p.C1)

85-65 Million    California dinosaur fossils of the Cretaceous have been found in the Moreno and upper Panoche Formations of western Fresno Ct., the Point Loma Formation near San Diego, and the Ladd and Williams Formations of Riverside Ct. These include the Saurolophus, a large bipedal "duckbill" dinosaur.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.28)

c84 Million    Garnet-rich crustal rock called eclogite formed below an area that later became the Sierra Nevada of California.
    (SFC, 7/30/04, p.A4)

80 Million BP    Dinosaurs roamed the Sierra foothills. A therapod bone fossil was found in Placer Ct. in 1997, in a geological region called the Chico formation. Here sediment was laid down by the Pacific Ocean whose tides washed the cliffs of the Sierra Nevada.
    (SFC, 6/20/97, p.A1)

76 Million    The Point Loma Formation contained a nodosaurid, a quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur with an extensive covering of bony armor.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.30)

60Mil BC - 40Mil BC    The collision of the North American and Pacific Farallon plate, began lifting the Sierra Nevada about this time. The Clear Lake basin of California rose above sea level. The rise of the Sierra Nevada continued for another 20 million years.
    (SSFC, 6/9/02, p.C8)(SSFC, 1/16/11, p.C2)(SFC, 5/8/12, p.A9)

31Mil BC - 28 Mil BC    California’s northern Sierra rose by nearly 10,500 feet over this period.
    (SSFC, 1/16/11, p.C2)

~30 Million    The Mendocino triple junction (MTJ), the meeting of the Pacific, North American and Gorda plates, was born about this time and began moving up the California coast. It was later believed to be responsible for the northern California Coast Range.
    (SFC, 10/13/03, p.A6)

23 Million    A volcano erupted that later became known as the Pinnacles of central California. It was on the San Andres fault line and half stayed in southern California as the other half migrated north.
    (SSFC, 4/15/01, p.T4)

15 Million    In 2005 the fragmentary remains of a 3-toed horse from this time were reported from the central valley of California. Merychippus californicus stood 3 ½ feet at the shoulder.
    (SFC, 2/23/05, p.B1)

10Mil BC    Oceanic spreading began a process of mountain building in southern California, including formation of the San Andreas Fault, migration of the Baja California peninsula away from the mainland of Mexico, the loss of summer rainfall and the diversification of species.
    (Fremontia, 4/2009, p.20)
10Mil BC    In the Mohave National Preserve volcanic formations of this age formed caves of congealed lava over 25,600 acres.
    (SFC, 4/21/99, p.A17)

4-3 Million    Mount Whitney, Ca., and sister peaks in the Sierra Nevada were formed during this period as a chunk of Earth’s crust broke loose sinking into the mantle generating upward forces.
    (SFC, 7/30/04, p.A4)

3.4Mil BC    In California volcanic ash from about this time covered coastal redwood forests. In 1871 petrified redwood trees, dating to this time, were discovered in Calistoga, Ca.
    (KCSM TV, Calif. Gold, 10/10/11)

3 Million    The Petrified Forest, 6 miles west of downtown Calistoga dates to this time. A volcanic eruption felled redwood trees that turned to stone.
    (SFEC, 2/22/98, p.T1)

2Mil BC    About this time California’s King’s Canyon was carved out by a slab of ice 2,000 feet thick.
    (SSFC, 7/24/05, p.F7)

1.8Mil BC - 300k BC    The Irvingtonian period: In 2009 Southern California Edison, a utility company preparing to build a new substation in an arid canyon southeast of Los Angeles, stumbled on a trove of animal fossils dating back 1.4 million years. All the bones were dated to the Irvingtonian period, which spanned 1.8 million to 300,000 years ago. The bones found in Riverside County were dated by observing the layers of sediment they were found in and fall at about 1.4 million years ago.
    (AP, 9/21/10)
1.8Mil BC -400k BC    A mammoth found in 2005 in Moorpark, southern California, dated to this period.
    (SFC, 4/8/05, p.A17)

c760,000    Mono Lake has existed since at least this time. Mono Lake is 700,000 years old.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.38)(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.T6)

c760,000BP    The Long Valley Caldera, a 10 by 20 mile crater in central-eastern California, was created by a volcanic eruption in what later became the Bishop area. Mammoth Lakes was later set on the edge of the caldera, 215 miles northeast of LA. In 2003 it was reported that the Long Valley dome had been thrusting upward about an inch a year for the last 8 years.
    (SFC,11/15/97, p.A4)(SFC,12/11/97, p.A8)(SFC, 12/20/99, p.A8)(SFC, 12/8/03, p.A4)

c750,000BP     California's Mono Lake was formed as the Sierra Range lifted and the Great Basin sank.
    (SSFC, 9/28/03, p.C12)

c560,000BP    Tectonic uplifting caused the Central Valley inland Corcoran Lake to rise and cut an exit to drain into the Bay Area. This carved Carquinez Strait and plugged the Salinas Valley outlet to Monterey Bay.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A8)

c500,000BP    The Medicine Lake Volcano created lava tubes that later became known as Lava Beds National Monument in northern California.
    (SFC, 5/29/04, p.B4)

c435,000BP    A major eruption by Mount Lassen left sediment called the Rockland Ash that could later be seen in the sea cliffs of Fort Funston on the SF coast.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A8)

400k BC    Activity at Mount Tehama volcano, Part of the Lassen volcanic center in the Sacramento Valley of California, declined about this time. Volcanic ash from its eruptions could later be seen in a band of white material on the cliff of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach at Fort Funston.
    (, 6/21/15, p.A2)

250k-50,000    The San Joaquin soil was formed as glacial runoff from the Sierra Nevada.
    (SFC,12/31/97, p.A6)

240,000BC - 9,000BC This is called the Rancholabrean age and is named after the La Brea tar pits near Los Angeles.
    (SFC, 8/3/13, p.C3)

200,000BC - 50,000BC Fossils from this period of horses, turtles, giant bison and Columbian mammoths were found in 2015 during grading at the Carlsbad Quarry Creek in southern California.
    (SFC, 9/5/15, p.A7)

150,000BP    The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, Ca., are no older than 150k years.
    (SFC, 4/8/05, p.A17)

130,700 BC    Researchers in 2017 said humanlike behavior dating to about this time was shown in the smashed bones of elephant-like mastodon unearthed by during a routine dig in the winter of 1992-93 during a freeway expansion project in San Diego, Ca. Researchers speculated that the bone smashers could have been Neanderthals, Denisovans or Homo erectus.
    (SFC, 4/27/17, p.A7)(Econ, 4/29/17, p.64)

c100,000    In 1943 construction workers in Millbrae, Ca., uncovered elephant bones that dated to about this time.
    (Ind, 9/21/02, 5A)

66,000BC    Scientists in 2010 said Mammoth Mountain in the central California Sierras was formed about this time as a result of volcanic eruptions that took place over less than 2,000 years.
    (SFC, 3/8/10, p.C1)

c40,000 BP    Volcanic activity began forming the craters and mountains around Mono Lake.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.2)

38k BC    The oldest fossils found at the La Brea tar pits in southern California dated back to about this time. In 1913 mass excavations began there.
    (Econ, 11/9/13, p.85)

c17,000BP    The SF west coast extended out 6 miles past the Farallon Islands.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A8)

14000BC-10000BC    Rock art was inscribed in the Coso Mountains of California. In 2005 the area was designated as the Coso Rock Art National Historic Landmark.
    (SSFC, 10/23/05, p.F12)

14000BC - 9000BC    The Columbia mammoths, Mammuthus columbi, went extinct during this period. The species grew as tall as 14 feet and ranged widely in California. Remains were later found as far south as Florida and Central America.
    (SFC, 3/31/11, p.A13)

c12,000BC    Rising ocean waters flowed into the Golden Gate and formed the nascent SF Bay.
    (SFC, 12/20/99, p.A8)
c12,000BC    During the last ice age the Channel Islands off California were part of one vast island geologists call Santarosae. The northern islands were linked, but probably not with the mainland.
    (SFEC, 4/26/98, p.T11)

11000BC    Scientists in 2009 said an oak bush in the Jurupa Hills of Riverside County, Ca., was about 13,000 years old, dating to about this time.
    (SFC, 12/23/09, p.A8)

11,000-9,000BC    A woman's bones were discovered in 1959 at Arlington Canyon on Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands off California. Two tests in 1999 dated the bones as 11,000 and 13,000 years of age.
    (SFC, 4/12/99, p.A1,15)

8024BC    In 1976 scientists in southern California scientists unearthed skeletal remains dating to about this time. They were among the oldest ever found in the Western Hemisphere.
    (AP, 1/15/12)

8,000BC    Researchers in 1986 dated a clay floor in Stanislaus National Forest, 150 miles east of SF, to this time.
    (SFC, 9/19/97, p.A3)
8,000BC    Grinding tools from this time were found in 1999 in the Cross Creek site of San Luis Obispo. Beads, shells, tools, seeds and carved stone fish suggested that humans came to the area by sea and did not rely on hunting for subsistence.
    (SFC, 6/25/99, p.A6)
8,000BC    Pigmy mammoths browsed on the Channel Islands.
    (SFEC, 1/18/98, Z1 p.1)

7,500-7000    Evidence of human habitation has been found from this time at El Portal in Yosemite.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)

6,000BC    The Wappo Indians settled in the area northern California around Mt. Konocti. The eruption of Mt. Konocti millions of years earlier left a fissure in the earth through which ground water reaches the hot magma at 4,000 feet, and resurfaces as Indian Springs’ three thermal geysers at 212 degrees. The water rises through old sea beds adding rich mineral and salt traces. The Wappo built sweat lodges over the escaping steam.
    (Flyer on Indian Springs, 7/95)(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T8)

c6,000BC    The Hokan Indians preceded the Miwoks in Northern California.
    (SFEC, 10/4/98, p.B5)
c6,000BC    In 1999 human skull fragments and a tooth of this time were found at the Huntington Beach development site of the Bolsa Chica wetlands.
    (SFC, 8/13/99, p.D4)

c3,000 BC    Evidence of human habitation in the Yosemite Valley.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)

c3,000 BC    "Bison Hunter" villages around Middle Lake in Modoc Ct. were carbon-dated to this time.
    (SFEC, 5/10/98, p.T9)

c1,000BC    The Miwok Indians arrived in Northern California about this time.
    (SFEC, 10/4/98, p.B5)

c0CE       The last small lake disappeared from the Death Valley basin about this time. At least 4 lakes covered the valley floor in Earth's history.
    (SFEC, 1/3/99, p.T5)
c0CE        In Death Valley the Ubehebe Crater formed by the explosion of steam when magma met water-soaked rock.
    (SSFC, 3/14/04, p.D5)

c1300        The Panum Crater at Mono Lake erupted about this time.
    (SFEC, 5/31/98, p.T4)

c1400        The Ahwahneechee, a Southern Sierra Miwok band, first began to inhabit Yosemite.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)

c1500        Lake Cauhilla, the predecessor to the Salton Sea, measured 50 by 100 miles and began evaporating.
    (SFC, 11/30/98, p.A22)

1510        In Spain Garci Ordonez de Montalvo authored "Serges de Esplandian" (The Adventures of Esplandian), a novel that described an island filled with gold named California and ruled by Queen Califia.
    (SFEC, 4/18/99, BR p.1)(SFC, 2/25/00, p.C14)

1542        Jun 27, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo set out from the port of Navidad, Mexico, with 2 ships, the San Salvador and the Victoria, to "discover the coast of New Spain." Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed California for Spain. [see Sep 28]
    (NPS-CNM, 4/1/97)(MC, 6/27/02)

1542        Sept 28, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Spanish explorer, stepped ashore at the present day harbor of San Diego and named it San Miguel. He went on to explore the coast of California. The tip of Point Loma in San Diego is the home of the Cabrillo National Monument, the second most visited monument in the US after the Statue of Liberty. The island of Coronado was named in honor of the Four Crowned Martyrs, Los Quatro Martires Coronados, on whose feast day it was discovered.   
    (TL-MB, 1988, p.16)(AAM, 3/96, p.52)(NPS-CNM, 4/1/97)(SFC,12/26/97, p.C22)

1542        Oct 7, Explorer Cabrillo discovered Catalina Island off the Southern California coast.
    (MC, 10/7/01)

1542        Nov, Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo landed at the Channel Island later known as San Miguel. His men soon got into a scuffle with local Indians and Cabrillo broke a leg. The party continued to sail north almost to present day Fort Ross.
    (NPS-CNM, 4/1/97)

1542        Explorer Juan Cabrillo spotted and named the 534 foot rock at Morro Bay, Ca.
    (SFEC, 8/25/96, p.T10)(SFC, 10/12/97, p.T3)

1543        Jan 3, Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (43-44) died of gangrene and was buried at San Miguel. He was injured in December while helping defend his men fight off a band of Indians in the Channel Islands off California. In 1989 Harry Kelsey authored the biography “Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo."
    (NPS-CNM, 4/1/97)(SFC, 10/18/14, p.A1)

1565        Father Andres Urdaneta sighted land believed to be the California coast while sailing on the Manila to Acapulco trade route.
    (SFC,10/17/97, p.A25)

1579        Jun 17, Sir Francis Drake sailed into San Francisco Bay and proclaimed English sovereignty over New Albion (California). Some claim that Sir Francis Drake sailed into the SF Bay. Sir Francis Drake claimed San Francisco Bay for England. It may have been Drake’s Bay or Bolinas Lagoon. In 1999 there were 17 proposed locations for his landing with the latest set in Oregon and described by Bob Ward in the book "Lost Harbor Found." A brass plate, allegedly left by Drake, was found in 1993, but determined to be a fake in 1977.
    (TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4)(HN, 6/17/98)(SFEC, 8/22/98, p.T6) (SFC, 10/29/99, p.A3)(SFC, 2/15/03, p.A1)

1579        Jun 23,  Francis Fletcher, the chaplain of the Golden Hind, gave the first-ever Protestant service in North America somewhere around Point Reyes, Ca. The Golden Hind, under the command of English privateer Francis Drake, had stopped here for repairs and supplies after failing to find the fabled Strait of Anian. 
    (SFC, 8/10/13, p.C3)

1579        Jul 26, Francis Drake left SF to cross Pacific Ocean.
    (MC, 7/26/02)

1579        Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay. His mate, Bartolome Ferrelo, continued exploring north. [see 1542]
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)

1587        Oct 18, Spanish Captain Pedro de Unamuno "discovered" California. He landed at a place he called Port San Lucas, later identified as Morro Bay City, while sailing from Macao to Acapulco with a crew of Luzon Indians.
    (SFC,10/17/97, p.A25)

1595        Nov, The San Agustin, a Spanish galleon from Manila, sank off the coast of northern California near Point Reyes with a load of silks and porcelains from the Orient. Skipper Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno sailed with survivors in an open boat 2,500 miles to Acapulco.
    (SFC, 9/26/97, p.A21)(SFC, 8/23/11, p.C3)

1602        May, Sebastian Vizcaino, a Basque merchant, led 4 small ships north from Acapulco, Mexico, to chart the coast of California.
    (SFC, 11/13/02, p.A8)

1602        Nov 12, The Vizcaino expedition held Mass on the feast day of San Diego de Alcala. He named the California landing port after the saint.
    (SFC, 11/13/02, p.A8)

1602        Dec 16-Jan 3, The Vizcaino expedition stopped at Monterey, Ca., and grizzly bears were seen feeding on a whale carcass. Sebastian Vizcaino, Spanish Explorer, discovered an island off the coast of California that he named San Nicolas. It is the outermost of the eight Channel Islands about 75 miles southwest of Los Angeles. It was later used as the site for Scott O'Dell’s novel: "Island of the Blue Dolphins." [see 1835-1853] Santa Barbara was named by the Vizcaino expedition.
    (Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.12)(IBD, 1960, p.183)(Via, 3-4/99, p.41)

1602        Father Antonio de la Ascencio was the 1st European to see a California condor in Baja.
    (SFC, 3/3/00, p.A21)

1603        Jan 1, The party of Sebastion Vizcaino sighted a point off the Central California coast that they named Ano Nuevo.
    (SFEC, 2/27/00, p.T8)

c1650        The Cinder Cone at Mt. Lassen volcano was formed.
    (SFEC, 8/13/00, p.T1)

1700        Jan 26, A magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Colombia. It triggered tsunami that damages villages in Japan.
    (AP, 2/27/10)

1700        Jan 27, A tsunami hit Honshu Island, Japan. It was later estimated that wave was triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in California.
    (CW, Spring ‘99, p.32)

1739        In northern California and Oregon some sort of extreme climactic event slowed the growth of redwood and other trees according to later tree ring studies by researchers.
    (SFC, 8/14/13, p.A9)

c1750    A caldera erupted in the middle of Mono Lake.
    (SFC, 8/20/01, p.A6)

1768        King Carlos III of Spain sent Father Junipero Serra from Mallorca to California.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1769        Mar, King Carlos III of Spain chose Don Jose Galvez to protect interests in Mexico. Galvez sent Gaspar de Portola and Father Junipero Serra with 62 Spanish soldiers out to establish a settlement at San Diego and on a northerly journey from Loreto to found missions along the Baha Peninsula and into California. Jose Antonio Yorba was one of the 62 soldiers. For his loyalty he received 62,000 acres of land that included much of what later became Santa Ana, Tustin, Orange and Mosta Mesa.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)(SFC, 6/17/98, p.C4)

1769        Mar, Captain Portola set out with a group of soldiers, priests, Christian Native Americans and muleteers. Their intention was to go as far as Monterey Bay but passed it. Gaspar de Portola led the first European land expedition to sight the San Francisco Bay from land. Captain Portola had been appointed governor of Baja and Alta California and sent on an expedition to explore and replace the Jesuits with Franciscans in the Baja missions and start new Franciscan missions in Alta.
    (SFC, 5/19/96, City Guide, p.16)(Park, Spring/95)(SFC, 5/19/96, City Guide, p.16)

1769        Jul 16, Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcala, the 1st mission in Calif. The Franciscan friars soon planted cuttings of olive trees. California’s first olive press was established in Ventura County in 1871. Serra went on to build nine missions along the coast and to take over tribal lands.
    (, 8/27/06, p.F2)(SFC, 1/23/15, p.A12)

1769        Oct 30, Captain Portola and his party camped at what is now Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica. They climbed the ridge above Linda Mar and saw the Farallon Islands as well as the cliffs of Point Reyes. Portola camped in San Pedro Valley and sent Sergeant Jose Ortega out to survey what was ahead.
    (SFC, 5/19/96, City Guide, p.16)(Ind, 6/13/00,16A)(SFC, 11/7/15, p.C2)

1769        Nov 1-3, Sgt. Jose Francisco Ortega with his scouting party climbed Sweeney Ridge and first looked upon SF Bay from the vicinity of Point Lobos.
    (SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4)(Ind, 6/13/00,16A)

1769        Nov 4, Portola received reports of a large bay ahead and went to see for himself. He crossed Sweeney Ridge in San Mateo County and saw the SF bay. Francisco de Ulloa was a navigator and member of the party.
    (SFC, 5/19/96, City Guide, p.16)(SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)

1769        Father Junipero Serra blessed the 1st mission, San Diego de Alcala.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1769        Los Angeles was born as El Pueblo de Nuestra de Los Angeles.
    (SFEC,12/797, p.T3)

1769        El Camino Real began as a footpath when Franciscan missionaries began to establish missions from San Diego to Sonoma. Gaspar de Portola reportedly camped under El Palo Alto during his expedition that discovered the SF Bay.
    (SFC, 4/10/99, p.A15)(SFEC, 6/6/99, p.T7)

1769        A seafaring explorer first chronicled Morro Rock, the Gibraltar of the Pacific. It later became state landmark No. 801.
    (SFC, 10/12/97, p.T3)

1769-1848    This period is covered in the 1999 book "A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush" edited by Joshua Paddison.
    (SFC, 4/1/99, p.E1)

1770        Jun 3, Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo on the shores of Monterey Bay as a chapel for the new Spanish Presidio of Monterey. A year later he moved the mission to Carmel.
    (SSFC, 11/25/01, p.C5)(

1771        Jul 14, Father Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Antonio de Padua in California. Repairs a hundred years later were knocked out by the 1906 earthquake. It was reconstructed in 1948 with help from the Hearst Foundation.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)(SSFC, 7/25/04, p.D6)

1771        Sep 8, Mission San Gabriel Archangel was formed in California.
    (MC, 9/8/01)

1771        Father Junipero Serra moved the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Rio Carmelo over from Monterey. The Carmel mission was his 7th.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T5)

1772        Apr 2, Father Juan Crespi looked out over a bay, later called Suisun Bay, and believed he had found the fabled Northwest Passage, a shortcut to the Colorado River. After Father Serra established a mission in Monterey, Ca, Pedro Fages and Father Juan Crespi had set out to explore the SF Bay by land.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)(SFC, 5/3/13, p.D1)

1772        Sep 1, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa formed in California. Father Junipero Serra held the 1st Mass at San Luis Obispo. He left Father Jose Cavalier the task of building the state’s 5th mission.
    (SFEC, 10/11/98, p.T6)(MC, 9/1/02)(SSFC, 10/20/02, p.C1)

1774        Fernando Rivera and 4 soldiers climbed San Bruno Mountain and watched the sun rise over the bay.
    (GTP, 1973, p.126)

1774        Juan Bautista de Anza was the first non-native to cross the Sierra to scout the Bay Area.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)

1775        Sep 29, Mexican Captain Juan Bautista de Anza (39) and his party of Spanish soldiers and setters departed Tubac, Arizona, on a journey to the SF Bay Area following reports of a great river flowing into the bay. Anza led 240 soldiers, priests and settlers to Monterey. Jose Manuel Valencia was one of the soldiers. His son, Candelario Valencia, later served in the military at the Presidio and owned a ranch in Lafayette and property next to Mission Dolores. One of the soldiers was Don Salvio Pacheco.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)(SFC, 12/31/99, p.A22)(SFC, 9/14/13, p.C4)

1775        Oct 30, Fr. Lasuen founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, but the site was abandoned after eight days when they received word of an attack at the San Diego Mission. They quickly buried the bells for safe keeping and fled to the Presidio (fort) in San Diego for shelter.

1775        Captain Bruno Heceta led a group of explorers along the slopes of San Bruno Mountain to the shores of Lake Merced. He most likely named the mountain.
    (GTP, 1973, p.124)

1775        Bodega Bay, Ca., was founded by the Spanish.
    (SFEC, 9/14/97, p.T3)

1775-1776    Juan Bautista de Anza led 198 colonists and 1,000 cattle from Sonora, Mexico, to California.
    (SFC, 6/7/00, p.A15)

c1775-1799    In the late 1700s padres from the Santa Cruz Mission introduced livestock raising over Rancho del Matadero, an area from Point Ano Nuevo to the Pajaro River.
    (Ind, 7/11/00,10A)

1776        Mar 10, The expedition of Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza arrived in Monterey, Ca. Colonists were left in Monterey as a smaller party departed for the SF Bay.
    (, 9/14/13, p.C4)

1776        Mar 28, Mexican Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, Lt. Jose Moraga, and Franciscan priest Pedro Font arrived at the tip of San Francisco. De Anza planted a cross at what is now Fort Point. They camped at Mountain Lake and searched inland for a more hospitable area and found a site they called Laguna de los Dolores or the Friday of Sorrows since the day was Friday before Palm Sunday. Anza became known as the “father of SF." Mission Dolores was founded by Father Francisco Palou and Father Pedro Cambon. Rancho San Pedro, near what is now Pacifica, served as the agricultural center. Laguna de los Dolores was later believed to be a spring near the modern-day corner of Duboce and Sanchez.
    (, 9/21/97, p.C7)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)(SFC, 2/19/11, p.A10)

1776        Mar 31, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and a crew that included such names as Castro, Peralta, Bernal, Moraga, Alviso and Berryessa, among others, arrived at the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay on a 5-day expedition to explore the area.
    (SFC, 12/5/11, p.A1)

1776        Nov 1, Father Junipero Serra arrived at the site of Mission of San Juan Capistrano and re-founded it. His mission was to convert the members of the Acagchemem tribe called Juanenos by the Spaniards. The tribe at the time was experiencing the end of a 7-year draught.
    (HT, 3/97, p.58)(

1776        Don Marcos Briones came to San Francisco. His daughter, Juana Briones, was the first settler on Powell St. in North Beach. She was a battered wife and was the first California woman to get a divorce.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)

1777        Jan 12, Franciscans founded Mission Santa Clara de Asis, the 8th of California’s original 21 missions.
    (SFC, 8/19/00, p.A13)(MC, 1/12/02)

1777        Nov 30, San Jose, California, was founded by the Spanish as El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadeloupe, California's first town.
    (SFEC, 7/11/99, BR p.1)(SFC, 9/2/99, p.A12)(SFC, 11/30/07, p.B4)

1777        The Acagchemem Indians built a small adobe church at Mission San Juan Capistrano. It’s been renamed the Serra Chapel and is the oldest building still in use in California. In 1791 a bell tower was completed.
    (HT, 3/97, p.60)(

1799        The Russian-American Co. was chartered by Tsar Paul I. It expanded into Spanish California (see 1812) when sea otter populations declined in Alaska.
    (SFC, 6/15/01, WBb p.7)

1781        Jul 17, Yuma Indians in southern California attacked two missions killing all the men but two and enslaving the women and children. They were upset after a Spanish officer let a large horse herd loose to graze in Yuma fields.
    (SFC, 12/13/14, p.C2)

1781        Jul 18, Yuma Indians in southern California ambushed Spanish Capt. Fernando Rivera y Moncada and his soldiers. Rivera had been ordered to recruit settlers in Sinaloa and Sonora and lead them through the desert over the Anza trail to a new settlement called Los Angeles. Rivera and all his soldiers were killed.
    (SFC, 12/13/14, p.C2)

1781        Sep 4, Mexican Provincial Governor, Felipe de Neve, founded Los Angeles. He founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles (Valley of Smokes), originally named Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, by Gaspar de Portola, a Spanish army captain and Juan Crespi, a Franciscan priest, who had noticed the beautiful area as they traveled north from San Diego in 1769. 44 Spanish settlers named a tiny village near San Gabriel, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, first an Indian village Yangma, was founded by Spanish decree. 26 of the settlers were of African ancestry.
    (HFA, '96, p.38)(AP, 9/4/97)(SFEC, 4/12/98, Par p.20)(HN, 9/4/98)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)(HN, 9/4/00)(MC, 9/4/01)

1782        Father Serra held Easter Day services on the beach in Ventura, Ca., and founded the Mission San Buenaventura.
    (SSFC, 10/14/01, p.T8)(SFCM, 7/18/04, p.16)

1782        Father Serra and Jose Ortega were welcomed in Santa Barbara by the native Chumash Indians.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.41)

1782        The Presidio at Santa Barbara was built by the Spanish military.
    (SFEC, 5/4/97, p.T6)

1784        Aug 28, Father Junipero Serra (b.1713) died of tuberculosis at the adobe church of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, later Carmel.
    (, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1785        Manual Gonzalez, the 3rd mayor of Pueblo San Jose de Guadelupe (California), conscripted local residents to build the town’s 1st City Hall.
    (SFC, 8/10/05, p.B4)

1786        Sep 14, Two French ships appeared off the coast of Monterey, the first foreign vessels to visit Spain's California colonies. Aboard was a party of eminent scientists, navigators, cartographers, illustrators, and physicians. For the next ten days Jean Francois de La Pérouse, the commander of this expedition, took detailed notes on the life and character of the area. Perouse’s notes were later published under the title “Life in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786: The Journals of Jean Francois De LA Perouse."

1786        Mission Santa Barbara, at 2201 Laguna St., was founded as a place for the Franciscan friars to assemble and convert the native Chumash Indians.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.41)(SFEC, 5/4/97, p.T6)

1787        La Purisima Concepcion church was founded in Lompoc, Ca. It was rebuilt closer to El Camino Real after an earthquake in 1812.
    (SSFC, 7/25/04, p.D6)

1790s        In Ventura Chumash workers built a 7-mile aqueduct and reservoir to store water form the Ventura River.
    (SSFC, 10/14/01, p.T8)

1791        Gregorio Briones, son of Don Marcos Briones, was born in Monterey.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)

1791        Jose Cardero, a Spanish artist, painted "Vista del Presidio de Monterey."
    (SFC, 4/21/99, p.E6)

1792        Construction began on the Royal Chapel at Carmel, Ca. It was dedicated in 1795.
    (SSFC, 1/4/09, p.B3)

1793        The Spanish Governor of Alta California made the first official notice of the fire problem in California. He warned military officers, missions and civil authorities of the problem.
    (SFC, 10/23/96, p.A8)

1794        A church was built at San Juan Capistrano. [see 1777]
    (SFEC, 7/11/99, p.T6)
1794        Gov. Diego Borica took command of Alta California and remarked on the general fecundity of the Bay Area.
    (BN, 4/07, p.25)
1794        Twenty horse soldiers were dispatched from the Presidio of San Francisco to quell an Ohlone rebellion in the Santa Cruz mountains.
    (SFC, 9/29/14, p.A1)
1794        Archibald Menzies introduced the California poppy to England. The seed that he brought to Kew Gardens did not survive. [see 1792, 1816,1825-1833]
    (NBJ, 2/96, p.12)

1795        Jan 25, The Royal Chapel at Carmel, Ca., was dedicated with a Mass of Thanksgiving. A major renovation was undertaken in 1856.
    (SSFC, 1/4/09, p.B3)

1797        Jun 11, Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen and a few Spanish soldiers established Mission San Jose on a little creek and grove of trees that they called Alameda. It was the 14th of 21 California missions. It was the end of a way of life for the local Ohlone Indians.
    (SFC, 6/12/97, p.A17)

1797        Jun 24, Mission San Juan Bautista, the 15th and largest in California, was founded in the lands of the Mutsun Indians. Father Fermin de Lasuen blessed the future site of Mission San Juan Bautista in California.
    (SFC, 6/21/97, p.A16)(SJSVB, 6/24/96, p.41)(SFC, 9/3/97, p.A17)

1797        Jul 25, Presidente Fermin Francisco de Lasuen founded Mission San Miguel Archangel, the 16th California mission. He took possession of the land on behalf of Viceroy Branciforte. The mission facilitated travel between Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission San Antonio.
    (SB, 3/28/02)

1797        Father Juan Norberto de Santiago arrived in the area of Temecula in Riverside County, Ca., to build a mission and convert the Pechanga Indians (renamed Luiseno Indians by the Spanish).
    (SSFC, 5/23/04, p.D5)

1798        Jun 13, Mission San Luis Rey was founded. Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen founded the Mission at San Luis Rey in 1797. Lasuen founded a total of 9 missions. 
    (HFA, '96, p.32)(SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1799        The Mutsun Indians built a chapel at Mission San Juan Buatista.
    (SFC, 9/3/97, p.A17)

19th cent    David Kerr charted more than 100 sq. miles of Bay Area marshland for the US Coast Survey, the first federal mapping agency.
    (SFC, 10/25/96, p.A10)

19th cent    Floods turned the Central Valley into a lake 700 miles long.
    (SFC, 1/7/97, p.A10)

1802-1889    Juana Briones Y Tapia de Miranda was born in Santa Cruz. She was a battered wife and became the first California woman to get a divorce. She was the first to settle on Powell St. in what is now North Beach, SF. In 1989 the Women’s Heritage Museum persuaded the state to authorize a plaque in her honor to be set in Washington Square.
    (SFEC, 5/26/97, p.A11)(SFC,11/17/97, p.A1,21)

1803        A series of severe earthquakes cracked and split the walls of the original church at Mission San Juan Bautista.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1805        Spanish soldiers under Lt. Francisco Ruiz discovered badgers in a canyon during an expedition in southern California. The area was thus named El Tejon (the badger).
    (SFC, 5/9/08, p.A1)

1806        Apr, Nicolai Rezanov (42), a director of the Russian-American Co., arrived in SF aboard the Juno. He had proposed a California outpost to serve the Russian colonies in Alaska and sailed south to establish a settlement on the Columbia River but could not land there due to difficult seas. He sailed south to the Presidio at Monterey and negotiated a trade deal with Commander Jose Arguello. He also fell in love with Commander Arguello’s daughter and proposed marriage. He died that winter while crossing Siberia.
    (SFEC, 3/23/97,  p.T5)(SFC, 2/18/06, p.A1)

1806        May 21, Nicolai Rezanov (1764-1806), a director of the Russian-American Co., departed SF for Sitka, Alaska. He died that winter while crossing Siberia.
    (SFEC, 3/23/97,  p.T5)(SFC, 2/18/06, p.A1)

1806        An earthquake destroyed the church at San Juan Capistrano.
    (SFEC, 7/11/99, p.T6)
1806        A fire destroyed a major portion of Mission San Miguel Arcangel. It was rebuilt in 1816.
    (SB, 3/28/02)(SSFC, 7/25/04, p.D6)

1807        In Santa Barbara the padres built a dam on Mission Creek.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.41)

1809        A stone mission was completed in Ventura after the original burned down.
    (SSFC, 10/14/01, p.T8)

1810-1813    Boston-based whalers slaughtered an estimated 150,000 fur seals on the Farallon Islands, 28 miles west of San Francisco. Russian hunters followed and occupied the islands for the next 25 years during which they wiped out the remaining fur seals. Fur seals began to return around 1977, but their first pup wasn’t born until 1996.
    (Bay, 4/07, p.33)

1811        Feb 2, Russian settlers established Ft. Ross trading post in northern California. Fort Ross was settled by peg-legged Ivan Kuzkov (Kuskov) in Sonoma County (1912). It was designed as a base for fur hunters and a warm weather supplier for the Russian colonies in Alaska. The colonists included 25 Russians and over 80 Aleut Indians from the islands of western Alaska. Kuskov managed the settlement until 1821.
    (SFEC, 3/23/97,  p.T5)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)(SFC, 6/15/01, WBb p.7)(MC, 2/2/02)

1812        Dec 8, The Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano crashed down after an earthquake just 6 years after being completed. Forty worshippers were killed. Half of the church under the work of architect Isidro Aguilar (d.1803) remained standing.
    (HT, 3/97, p.60)   

1812        Mission San Juan Bautista in San Benito County was completed.
    (SFEC, 9/12/98, p.T6)

1812        A tidal wave damaged the church and belfry in Ventura.
    (SSFC, 10/14/01, p.T8)

1812        The 1787 La Purisima Concepcion Church in Lompoc, Ca., was rebuilt closer to El Camino Real after an earthquake.
    (SSFC, 7/25/04, p.D6)

1813        In San Juan Bautista a structure was built to house Spanish soldiers. In 1856-58 Angelo Zanetta added a 2nd floor and it became the Plaza Hotel. It was purchased by the state in 1933.

1813        John (Cameron) Gilroy of Scotland sailed from England on the Isaac Todd to Monterey where he was dropped off to recover from scurvy.
    (SFC, 11/29/97, p.A14)

1814        The Avila House, a thick-walled adobe building at 14 Olvera in Los Angeles, was built.
    (SFEC,12/797, p.T3)

1814        Jose Dario Arguello, Spanish-born commander of the Presidio, served as the governor of Alta California. He was later buried at Mission Dolores.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)

1816        San Antonio de Pala Church in northern San Diego County was built as a sub-mission (asistencia) of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia.
    (SSFC, 7/25/04, p.D6)
1816        A new church at the Mission San Juan Bautista was completed.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)
1816        Stone foundations were laid for the church at Mission San Miguel.
    (SB, 3/28/02)
1816        The California poppy was correctly described and named by Adelbert von Chamisso, a native Frenchmen driven to Germany by the revolution. He was appointed naturalist with the Russian scientific and trapping voyage of Kotzebue and developed an intimate relationship with the ship’s surgeon, Dr. Johann Frederich Eschscholtz, for whom he named the San Francisco poppy, Eschscholzia californica. [see 1792,1794, 1825-1833]
    (NBJ, 2/96, p.12)(SFC, 4/1/99, p.E1)
1816        Adelbert von Chamisso spent a month around SF Bay while aboard the Russian ship Rurik, which was circumnavigating the globe. Captain Otto von Kotzebue said the Gov. of California invited the crew to witness a bear and bull fight. Spanish troops captured a grizzly bear and a wild bull and chained them for battle on a beach.
    (SFC, 4/1/99, p.E1)(SFC, 3/4/17, p.C1)
1816        Thomas W. Doak, a sailor from Boston, jumped ship and became the 1st American settler in California. He painted the reredos behind the altar of the Mission San Juan Bautista.

1818        Nov 21, Argentine privateers Frenchman Hipolito Bouchard and Englishman Peter Corney led a 2-ship attack against the presidio at Monterey, Ca. The women, children, and men unfit to fight were sent to an inland mission at Soledad. Five of the attackers were killed as Commander Pablo Vicente de Sola defended the fort.
    (, 10/10/03, p.B3)(SFC, 11/25/17, p.C2)

1818        Nov 22, Argentine privateer Hipolito Bouchard led 200 men and nine boats ashore in Monterey. Bouchard’s men, 130 with rifles and 70 with spears landed 7 km (4.3 mi) away from the Monterey fort. The fort resisted ineffectively, and after an hour of combat the Argentine flag flew over it. The Argentines took the city for six days, during which time they stole the cattle and burned the fort, the artillery headquarters, the governor's residence and the Spanish houses. The town's residents were unharmed.
    (, 11/25/17, p.C2)

1818        Nov 23, Spanish soldier Dolores Cantua galloped into the Presidio of San Francisco to report that two foreign ships had attacked Monterey.
    (SFC, 11/11/17, p.C1)

1818        Dec 14, Argentine privateer Hippolyte Bouchard demanded gunpowder and other supplies from the padres at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The padres refused and the pirate sent 140 men to destroy the mission and the town was stripped of its provisions.
    (HT, 3/97, p.61)(SFC, 11/25/17, p.C2)

1821        Feb 24, Mexico rebels proclaimed the "Plan de Iguala," their declaration of independence from Spain, and took over the mission lands in California.
    (HT, 3/97, p.61)(AP, 2/24/98)(HN, 2/24/98)

1821        John (Cameron) Gilroy of Scotland married Maria Clara Ortega, the 13-year-old granddaughter of Jose Francis Ortega, a member of the "Sacred Expedition" of 1769. They lived in San Ysidro. The town of Gilroy is named after John Gilroy.
    (SFC, 11/29/97, p.A18)

1821        In California Esteban Munras, engaged by Friar Juan Francisco Martin, arrived at Mission San Miguel and supervised the interior decorations of the new church. Munras, an artist trained by the Spanish, designed murals for the new church.
    (SB, 3/28/02)(SFC, 10/1/09, p.E6)

1821-1846    Mexico ruled over California with a series of 12 governors. During part of this time Gen’l. Jose Castro commanded all of the Spanish forces in California and was an active opponent of US rule in 1846.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)

1822        The Queen of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles was built.
    (SFEC,12/797, p.T3)

1822        California passed from Spanish to Mexican rule.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.41)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1822        Monterey had begun the century as the Spanish capital of Alta California but in this year became the Mexican capital of Alta California.
    (SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.71)

1822        Gregorio Briones married Ramona Garcia, sister of Rafael Garcia.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)

1822-1825    Luis Antonio Arguello, son of Jose Dario, was the first native-born governor of Alta California.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)

1823        Mission San Francisco de Solano de Sonoma was established by Father Jose Altimira. It was to be the last of the 21 California missions set up to convert the native Indians and develop the local resources. The native Indians were of the Nappa tribe, hence the name of the Napa Valley. Spanish explorer Francisco Castro accompanied Father Altimira and they planted the first grapevines.
    (WCG, p.58)(INV, 7/95, p.12)(SFC, 7/14/00, WBb, p.8)

1824        Mar 9, Leland Stanford (d.1863), railroad builder and founder of Stanford University, was born in what was then Watervliet, New York (later the town of Colonie).
    (HN, 3/9/98)(

1824        The Mexican governor of California offered all missions for sale under a program of secularization.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T4)

1824        In California Rafael Garcia led the defense of Mission San Rafael against hostile Indians.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)

1825        Franciscan missionaries planted vineyards north of San Francisco to make sacramental wine.
    (WSJ, 4/16/97, p.CA1)

1826        Nov 27, Jebediah Smith’s expedition reached San Diego, becoming the first Americans to cross the south-western part of the continent. He crossed the Mohave Desert and the San Bernadino Mountains from Utah.
    (HN, 11/27/98)(SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T5)

1827-1828    An epidemic hit the missions of northern California. Researchers later believed it was measles.
    (SFC, 5/16/20, p.B4)

1828        Feb, Alta California Gov. Jose Echeandia arrested 8 men and imprisoned them in San Diego for entering the area without passports or permission. James Ohio Pattie (~1803-~1833) was among those arrested. Pattie was released in December after agreeing to vaccinate people on the coast following an outbreak of smallpox in northern California.
    (SFC, 5/2/20, p.B2)

1828        Jun 7, A party led by Jebediah Smith completed a journey down the Klamath River and were on the verge of starvation when they were visited by Indians who brought food. Smith's party proceeded north to Oregon and most of the party was killed by Umpqua Indians. Smith was killed in 1831 by Comanches on the Cimarron River. Smith’s party were the 1st white people to see Lake Earl, the biggest lagoon on the West Coast.
    (SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T5)(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.B1)

c1828        Don Salvio Pacheco petitioned for a land grant in northern California.
    (SFC, 12/31/99, p.A22)

1830        The non-Indian population of California was 4,256.
    (SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1830s        Ignacio Pacheco retired as a customs officer in San Francisco's Presidio and received a land grant in Sonoma County. He thought it unsuitable for agriculture and traded it for a 7,776 acre plot in Marin County. Much of it later became Hamilton air Force Base.
    (SFC, 1/15/04, p.D4)

1830s        In the late 1830s Rancho Matadero was renamed Rancho Refugio and deeded to a soldier named Joaquin Castro.
    (Ind, 7/11/00,10A)

1831        James Alexander Forbes, Scotsman, arrived in the SF Bay Area on the whaler Fanny. He became the British vice-consul while California was under Mexican rule. [see 1850]
    (SSFC, 12/9/01, p.C5)
1831        George Calvert Yount of North Carolina first arrived in the Napa Valley, Ca.

1831        Mexico appointed Manuel Victoria to replace Alta California Gov. Jose Maria de Echeandia.
    (SFC, 4/4/15, p.C2)

1832        Don Pio Pico led a rebellion against Gov. Manuel Victoria, but served only 20 days as rivals in San Diego and Monterey also declared themselves governor.
    (WSJ, 1/5/00, p.CA1)

1833        George C. Yount built the first structure in Sonoma, Ca., and planted the first grape vines in Napa Valley, the coarse Mission variety.
    (SFEC, 2/22/98, p.T4)(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.T8)

1833        Mexico took mission property from the Church and turned out the Acagchemem Indians at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
    (HT, 3/97, p.61)

1834        Orders to secularize the California missions arrived from Mexico as did General Mariano Vallejo to Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma. General Vallejo’s job was to establish a town and so Sonoma was designed around a central plaza. This ended mission ownership by the Franciscans.
    (WCG, p.58)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)(SFC, 7/14/00, WBb, p.8)

1834        Mexico granted Don Salvio Pacheco 18,000 acres in northern California known as Monte del Diablo, which included what would later became Concord and Walnut Creek. The family later donated land to the government for roads and public buildings. The area was originally inhabited by the Bolbones Indians.
    (SFC, 12/31/99, p.A22)(SFC, 5/26/01, p.A13)(SFC, 7/17/06, p.B5)

1834        John Thomas Reed (d.1843) obtained a Mexican land grant for Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio and shortly thereafter built a landmark mill that gave Mill Valley, California, its name. The land grant spanned 9,000 acres from Tiburon to San Rafael.
    (SFC, 5/19/04, p.A4)(SSFC, 7/17/05, p.A25)

1834        California’s 1st printing press, an old wooden Ramage press, was off-loaded at Monterey, Ca. It later produced the 1st issues of 5 California newspapers of the gold rush. It was burned by ruffians in Columbia, Ca, on Nov 13, 1861.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.10)

1834        In California some 60,000 native Indians had died by this time in the Catholic missions. Missionaries had baptized about 80,000.
    (SSFC, 9/20/15, p.A14)

1835        Petronillo Rios supervised the building of an adobe home with Indian labor next to Mission San Miguel.
    (SB, 3/28/02)

1835        George Calvert Yount chose to settle in the heart of the Napa Valley at what is now called Yountville.
    (SFC, 6/9/96, DB p.69)

1835        Alexander Forbes served as the British vice-consul in Monterey, Ca.
    (SFC, 12/5/03, p.D6)

1836        Mar, George Yount became the grantee of the Rancho Caymus (11,814 acres), the first US citizen to be ceded a Spanish land grant in Napa Valley, Ca., in exchange for making wooden shingles for Gen. Mariano Vallejo. In Oct 1843 he was deeded the Rancho de La Jota (4,053 acres).
    (WCG, 7/95, p.21)(

1836        Jul 14, Ignacio Coronel assumed jurisdiction over Mission San Miguel for the civil government.
    (SB, 3/28/02)

1836        Oct, Don Juan Alvarado, president of the 7-man legislature in the Mexican territory of California, fled Monterey with his deputies to Mission San Juan Bautista under threats from Lt. Col. Nicolas Gutierrez, the military governor. There they formed plans for a coup.
    (ON, 4/04, p.9)

1836        Nov 4, Don Juan Alvarado and a group of followers forced the surrender of Lt. Col. Nicolas Gutierrez, the military governor of Monterey. They quickly drafted a constitution and proclaimed California independent of Mexico. Officials in southern California refused to recognize Alvarado's government and he agreed to make California a territory of Mexico with himself as governor.
    (ON, 4/04, p.10)

1836        Richard Henry Dana, author of "Two Years Before the Mast," attended a 3-day wedding party at Casa de la Guerra.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.41)

1836        Father Veniaminov, later canonized, as St. Innokenty of Alaska, spent 3 months at Fort Ross, baptizing, burying and teaching.
    (SFEC, 3/23/97,  p.T3)

1836        Rafael Garcia petitioned for and was granted the Rancho Tomales y Baulenes from the slopes of Tamalpais to the ocean, from Bolinas Bay north to Tomales Bay. He moved to the vicinity of Olema, ran cattle and became Don Rafael.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)

1836        Faxon Dean Atherton, ship captain, settled in California.
    (SFC, 11/6/01, p.A20)

1837        A smallpox epidemic hit northern California and decimated the North Bay Indians. It was later believed to have originated at Fort Ross.
    (SFC, 5/16/19, p.B4)

1837        John Marsh (1799-1856), Harvard graduate and Minnesota Indian agent, bought Rancho de Los Meganos east of Mount Diablo and became the 1st American in the San Joaquin Valley. He purchased the Rancho Los Meganos from Jose Noriega for $300 in cowhides. The land stood where the hills of Contra Costa met the San Joaquin Valley. He built a stone Gothic mansion in 1856. In 2002 plans were made to restore the Marsh House.
    (SFC, 12/7/02, p.E4)(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.B3)

1837        Jose Maria Amador led a "recapturing expedition." They found and murdered 200 Indians.
    (SFC, 12/31/00, BR p.12)

1838        Apr 21, John Muir (d.1914), naturalist, was born. He discovered glaciers in the High Sierras.
    (HN, 4/21/98)(SFEC, 1/2/00, DB p.23)

1838        In California an earthquake, estimated at magnitude 7.7 -7.9, hit two miles off the coast of San Francisco.
    (SFC, 1/27/14, p.C2)
1838        George Calvert Yount, trapper and mountainman, came into the Napa Valley and began building a log cabin home. [see 1831, 1833, 1835]
    (SFEM, 10/25/98, p.4)
1838        Monterey became the state capital under Juan Bautista Alvarado. He named Mariano Vallejo commandant general.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W34)
1838        A smallpox epidemic north of San Francisco killed over 60,000 Indians.
    (SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1839        Capt. John Sutter (1803-1880), a Swiss who claimed to have been an officer in the French army arrived in California. Sutter was born in present-day Germany and lived much of his early years in Switzerland. He convinced the Mexican governor to grant him lands on the Sacramento River. He established a fort on a hill near the American River east of Sacramento Ca. A biography of Sutter was later written by Richard Dillon.
    (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T3)(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A13)(HNQ, 11/18/00)
1839        Richard Henry Dana, author, obtained a grant of 37,887 acres near San Luis Obispo, built an adobe house, and raised a family of 21 children.
    (SFEC,12/14/97, BR p.7)
1839        Jose Manuel Boronda, the middle son of his father with the same name, received a 6,625 land grant in Carmel Valley from the Mexican governor of Alta California. Rancho Los Laureles was shared with another family, but was purchased outright by the Borondas in 1851.
    (SSFC, 3/3/19, p.M8)
1839        A Mexican land grant was awarded to Francisco Guerrero y Palomares. He built an adobe next to Denniston Creek. The area, originally called Rancho Coral de Tierra Palomares, was near Moss Beach, Ca. and in 2011 federal officials confirmed a transaction allowing the 3,939 acres of the 4,262-acre rancho to be preserved as parkland.
    (SFC, 5/21/11, p.A1)

1840        Richard Dana published his novel "Two Years Before the Mast." It was based on his voyage from Boston to California around Cape Horn.
    (WSJ, 2/10/98, p.A16)

1840        Mexican Gov. Juan Bautista Alvarado granted 12,500-acres in the mid-Peninsula to Irishman John Coppinger, who carved up the property. 942-acres of the area later became San Mateo’s Wunderlich Park.
    (Ind, 5/26/01, 5A)

1840        A SF physician established a small health resort at a Sonoma site that had served as a sacred healing site for Native Americans. It burned down in 1923 and was rebuilt in 1927 and later became the Sonoma Mission Inn.
    (SFEM, 3/5/00, p.6)

1841        May 1, The 1st emigrant wagon train left Independence, Missouri, for California.
    (MC, 5/1/02)

1841        Nov 4, The 1st wagon train arrived in California.
    (MC, 11/4/01)

1841          Nov, The first overland party of settlers arrived at the Rancho Los Meganos in present day Brentwood, Contra Costa, California.  This makes the Rancho of Dr. John Marsh the first terminus of the California Trail. They were inspired to make this trip by letter from Dr. John Marsh the first American to settle in the San Joaquin Valley. His Stone House is now part of the newest State Park in the California system.

1841        John Sutter built a fort on the Sacramento River.
    (HNQ, 11/18/00)
1841        The Russian fur traders sold Fort Ross, Bodega and all their ranches and livestock in California to John Sutter. They had made a settlement at Fort Ross (an archaic form of Russia) in order to develop a source of provisions for themselves and their Sitka, Alaska settlement. 
    (WCG, p.58)(SFEC, 3/23/97,  p.T15)
1841        The Bartleson-Bidwell Party made the trek to California. John Bidwell was on the 1st wagon train over the Sierra Nevada and later founded Chico. Also in the group was Paul Geddes, who had robbed a bank in Philadelphia, and renamed himself Talbot Green. His true ID was exposed in 1850 as he was about to run for mayor of SF.
    (SFC, 12/7/02, p.E4)(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.B3)(SFC, 6/14/14, p.C2)(SFC, 2/6/21, p.B2)
1841        Princess Helena, wife of the governor-general of Siberia and the Russian colonies on the Pacific Coast, christened the highest mountain, an extinct volcano, on Dr. Bale’s Rancho "Mount Saint Helena," reportedly after her patron saint, mother of Constantine the Great.
    (Article on Calistoga by Sybbil McCabe, 7/95)
1841        Dr. Edward Turner Bale was granted the lands between Rutherford and Calistoga, Ca. which he named Rancho Carne Humana. He later built the Bale Grist Mill. [see 1846]
    (WCG, 7/95, p.21)
1841        The valley stretching north from Sonoma, Ca. was referred to as "Valle de la Luna."
    (SFC, 5/5/96, p.T-3)

1842        Oct 18, US Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones sailed into Monterey, the Mexican capital of California, on the mistaken belief that the US and Mexico had gone to war.
    (SFC, 1/9/04, p.D2)

1842        Oct 19, US Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones ordered the surrender of Mexican officials in Monterey, Ca., on the mistaken belief that the US and Mexico had gone to war. He soon learned of his error and returned Monterey to Mexican authority.
    (SFC, 1/9/04, p.D2)

1842-1846    The Sanchez Adobe was constructed in Pacifica by Francisco Sanchez, owner of the Rancho San Pedro. He led volunteer forces against the US in the Battle of Santa Clara.

1860        Apr 3, The US Pony Express mail system began when one horse and rider carrying a bulging mail pouch began the 10 1/2-day run from San Francisco, Calif., to St. Joseph, Mo. Riders left St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, Ca., at the same time. They averaged 12 mph over 75-100 mile segments between 153 (190) change stations. The freight company of Russell, Majors and Waddell began the service. The enterprise failed after only 18 months, however, due to mounting financial losses and competition from the ever-expanding telegraph network. Donald C. Biggs (d.2000 at 72), prof. of history at SF State, later authored "The Pony Express: Creation of the Legend."
    (, 2/15/97, p.D4)(AP, 4/3/97)(SFC, 6/12/00, p.A24)

1843        Olompali (later Olompali State Park near Novato) was part of a Mexican land grant to Camilo Ynitia, a Christianized Miwok and the last "hoipu" (headman) of the Olompoli village.
    (SFC, 7/28/00, WBb p.7)

1843        In California a land grant established Rancho El Tejon. The area was named El Tejon (the badger) after Spanish soldiers under Lt. Francisco Ruiz discovered the species during an 1805 expedition.
    (SFC, 5/9/08, p.A1)

1844        Juana Briones bought the 4,400-acre Rancho la Purisima Concepcion for $300.
    (SFC, 4/12/01, p.A19)

1844        By this time Charles Brown, a pioneer lumberman, acquired a 2,880-acre portion of the Coppinger land grant in San Mateo Ct. Brown called his holding Mountain Home Ranch.
    (Ind, 5/26/01, 5A)

1845        Don Pio Pico was again appointed governor of California and made his capital in Los Angeles.
    (WSJ, 1/5/00, p.CA1)

1845        The California Missions were ordered to be sold at public auction.
    (SB, 3/28/02)

1845        Don Juan Forster, brother-in-law of the Mexican governor of California, bought the Mission of San Juan Capistrano for $710.
    (HT, 3/97, p.62)

1846        Apr 15, The Donner family set out for California from Springfield, Ill.
    (SFC, 7/20/96, p.C1)

1846        May 13, The US under Pres. Polk declared war against Mexico, 2 months after fighting began.
    (WCG, p.59)(HFA, ‘96, p.48)(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)

1846        Jun 8, Don Pio Pico, the last governor of California under Mexican rule, allegedly signed an order to award "the mission of San Gabriel with all its lands and improvements of town and country" to ranchers Hugo Reid and William Workman for services rendered. A US attorney contested the deed in 1855.
    (WSJ, 1/5/00, p.CA1)

1846        Jun 13, Jose Noe, owner of a 4,000-acre ranch in the center of SF, was the last chief magistrate under Mexican rule. He became a city official when the Americans took over and is buried in Mission Dolores.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)

1846        Jun 14, Americans in Northern California rebelled against Mexican authorities in what is called the Bear Flag Revolt and proclaimed the Republic of California. The band of American settlers stormed the Sonoma adobe of Mariano Vallejo. Wagonmaster William B. Ide, leader of the Bear Flag Party, was urged to loot the Mexican stronghold but said: "Choose ye this day what you will be! We are robbers or we must be conquerors." Although the US had declared war against Mexico in May, word did not reach California until July. Commodore John Sloat raised the Stars and Stripes over the American Customs House in Monterey, and three days later it flew over the Sonoma Plaza. Ide was installed as president of the new republic.
    (WCG, p.59) (SFEM, 6/9/96, p.32)(AP, 6/14/97)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W36)(SFC, 1/11/20, p.C2)
1846        Jun 14, William L. Todd, nephew of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln designed a flag for the Bear Flag Revolt with the words California Republic. With rusty nails and blackberry juice he painted a grizzly and a star on white cloth. The lower red border was said to come from the flannel petticoat of Nancy Kelsey, who sewed the flag. The Bear Flag Revolt got its name from the presence of a grizzly bear on the standard proposed for the independent California.
    (Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.16)(HN, 6/14/99)

1846        Jun 28, Near San Rafael, Ca., a US military detachment was approached by 3 unarmed Mexicans, Jose de los Reyes Berryessa, Francisco de Haro and his twin brother Ramon. Captain Fremont was asked by trapper Kit Carson whether he should take the men as prisoners. Fremont responded that he had no room for prisoners and Carson shot the men dead and left their bodies to rot.
    (SFC, 6/5/98, p.A20)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E1)

1846        Jun, After the June 14 Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, California, Gen. Jose Castro raised 160 men and there was a skirmish at Olompali, north of Novato, in which two Californios were killed. The Mexican forces soon dissipated.
    (SFC, 1/11/20, p.C2)

1846        Jul 7, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after Commodore John Sloat reached Monterey and claimed California for the US.
    (HFA, '96, p.48)(AP, 7/7/97)

1846        Jul 9, Captain J.B. Montgomery raised the American flag over San Francisco. Montgomery claimed Yerba Buena (SF) for US.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W36)(MC, 7/9/02)

1846        Jul 21, Mormons founded the 1st English settlement in the San Joaquin Valley of Calif.
    (MC, 7/21/02)

1846        Jul 23, The California Battalion was officially authorized under Commodore Robert F. Stockton (U.S. Navy), the senior military officer in California who had replaced  Commodore John D. Sloat as the commander of the US Navy's Pacific Squadron in July 1846.

1846        Jul, Capt. Thomas Fallon raised the American flag over San Jose 2 months after Congress declared war on Mexico. Commander Thomas Fallon conquered San Jose for the US and later became mayor of the city. Fallon married a Mexican woman and all his children were Latino. Fallon had 2 divorces, a mistress and various lawsuits over his life.
    (SFC,11/12/97, p.A18)(SFC, 10/12/00, p.A18)

1846        Aug 13, The American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.
    (AP, 8/13/97)

1846        Aug 15, The first California newspaper, the “Californian" of Monterey, was issued by Walter Colton and Robert Semple. It was written half in English and half in Spanish. It was printed on the state’s first press, an old Ramage model from Boston, that had arrived in 1834.
    (SFEC, 3/8/8, BR p.6)(SFC, 7/12/14, p.C1)

1846        Aug 17, US took Los Angeles. [see Aug 13]
    (SC, 8/17/02)

1846        Aug, By the end of August the US Pacific Fleet with the help of General John C. Fremont, had occupied the entire state of California.
    (HFA, '96, p.48)

1846        Oct 31, Heavy snows trapped the Donner party in the eastern Sierras near what is now Truckee.
    (SFC, 7/20/96, p.C1)(

1846        Dec 6, Mounted Californio lancers overwhelmed the troops of Gen. Steven Kearny at the Battle of San Pasqual (San Diego). This was the worst defeat suffered by US troops in the California campaign of the Mexican-American War.
    (, 9/1/18, p.C1)

1846        Dec 16, In desperation 10 men and 5 women of the Donner Party left on snowshoes to cross the Sierra Nevada. The 5 women and 2 men survived. All but one of the dead were eaten. Of the 89 members in the whole group 42 died.
    (SFC, 7/20/96, p.C1)

1846        The California Star in Yerba Buena was begun by 2 men a couple of months after the Monterey Californian on the 2nd floor of a mule-powered grist mill on what is now Clay St. Elbert P. Jones was the 1st editor of the California Star.
    (SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.6)(SFCM, 3/28/04, p.16)
1846        Cuthbert Burrel came to California and served under Gen’l. John C. Fremont. His grandson, lawyer Harry Haehl, served under Gen’l. Douglas MacArthur and assisted in the revival of the Japanese merchant marine after WW II.
    (SFC, 1/29/98, p.B2)
1846        US Army forces under the command of John C. Fremont conducted a murderous attack on Sacramento River Maidu Indian villages.
1846        Don Rafael Garcia gave a party for Joseph Revere, a newly arrived American military officer. The large ranch holders were called "Californios." The old families were named Peralta, Noe, Bernal, Castro, Berryessa, and all eventually lost their land.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A11)
1846        Gen’l. Vallejo married Dr. Edward Turner Bale’s niece, and bestowed upon him a land grant. Its last remnant in 1998 was the Old Bale Mill, south of Calistoga. [see 1841]
    (SFEC, 2/22/98, p.T5)
1846        Robert Semple, a Kentucky-born printer, dentist, lawyer, physician and riverboat pilot, helped lead the Bear Flag Revolt. He helped take Gen’l. Vallejo prisoner and with financier Thomas O. Larkin paid Vallejo $100 to become co-owner of 5 sq. miles around Benicia. Larkin was the American ambassador to California and had been sent by Pres. Polk to encourage the Californios to defect to the US.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W36)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E1)
1846        William Reed, Petronillo Rios and Miguel Garcia bought Mission San Miguel and its property from Gov. Pio Pico, who fled south after the Jul 7th American annexation.
    (SB, 3/28/02)
1846        The Applegate Trail across northwest Nevada and northeast California was blazed as a southern approach to Oregon's Willamette Valley.
    (SFEC, 1/23/00, p.T7)
1846        Heinrich Lienhard, Swiss immigrant to the US, and four companions traveled from Independence, Missouri, to New Helvetia, also called Sutter's Fort, Ca., where he stayed and worked until 1849.

1846-1850    Neal Harlow (d.2000 at 92), historian, authored in 1982 "California Conquered: War and Peace on the Pacific, 1846-1850."
    (SFC, 7/20/00, p.C2)

1847        Jan 10, General Stephen Kearny and Commodore Robert Stockton retook Los Angeles in the last California battle of the Mexican War.
    (HN, 1/10/99)

1847        Jan 16, US Navy commodore Robert Stockton appointed John C. Fremont (1830-1890), the famed "Pathfinder" of Western exploration, as governor of California. Fremont, explorer, soldier and politician, earned his nickname "The Pathfinder" because of his explorations of the Pacific Northwest, California, and Nevada during the 1840s.
    (HN, 1/16/99)(HNQ, 3/11/00)(SSFC, 7/1/07, p.M4)

1847        Jan 30, The California Star, founded by Sam Brannon, published the official name change of Yerba Buena to San Francisco on this day. Mayor Washington Bartlett had the town council approve the change. Lt. Bartlett's proclamation changing the name Yerba Buena to San Francisco took effect.
    (,_California)(SFC, 1/25/02, p.G6)

1847        Feb 19, The 1st rescuers finally reached the ill-fated Donner Party in the Sierras, where many resorted to cannibalism to survive.
    (HN, 2/19/99)(ON, SC, p.6)

1847        Mar 1, James Reed reached Donner Lake and found his two children alive along with 15 other survivors.
    (ON, SC, p.7)

1847        Aug, Construction of the first 20 homes in Benicia began. The new city was named "Francisco" after Vallejo’s wife, but residents of Yerba Buena changed the name to San Francisco and Robert Semple renamed his town to "Benicia" after Mrs. Vallejo’s middle name.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)

1847        Hasper O’Farrell, surveyor-general of Northern California, laid out the streets of San Francisco.
    (SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4)

1847        In Palo Alto a tamped-earth adobe home was built on the 4,400 acre Rancho Purisima Concepcion of the Briones family. The house at Old Adobe Road off Arastradero was subject to preservation plans in 2001.
    (SFC, 3/22/99, p.A18)(SFC, 4/12/01, p.A19)

1847        The non-Indian population of California grew to some 15,000.
    (SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1848        Jan 24, Gold was discovered by carpenter James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California. John [James Wilson] Marshall, while inspecting the construction of a mill on the American River, being built for Capt. John Sutter, spotted a gold nugget. Marshall, Sutter and their workers tried to keep the discovery quiet but gold-seekers quickly began pouring into California, raising the state's non-Indian population to about 20,000 in 1848, 100,000 in 1849 and twice that amount by 1852.
    (HFA,'96,p.22)(SFC, 5/19/96,City Guide, p.16)(SFEC, 11/3/96, DB p.71)(SFC, 1/25/97, p.A17)(SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T3)(SFEC, 1/4/98, Z1p.4)(HN, 1/24/99)(HNPD, 1/24/99)

1848        Jan, John Sutter got a "lease" for the land around the gold site from the Culumah Indians in exchange for "some shirts, hats, handkerchiefs, flour and other articles of no great value." He then tried to get the lease recorded with General Mason, the American military governor of California at Monterey. His messenger, Charles Bennett, stopped in Benicia on the way and displayed the gold after scoffing at talk of coal discoveries in Contra Costa County. No title was available because a treaty with Mexico was not yet signed.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.1)
1848        Jan, John Bidwell was a bookkeeper for John Sutter. Bidwell later hauled a lot of gold from the Feather River and purchased the 28,000 Rancho Del Arroyo Chico, where he planted wheat, almonds, olives and some 400 varieties of fruit. John and Annie Bidwell laid out the streets of Chico and donated land for Chico Normal School that evolved into Chico State Univ. They also donated land along the Big Chico Creek that became the 3,618 acre Bidwell Park.
    (SSFC, 8/26/01, p.T5)

1848        Feb 2, US and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico ceded one-third of its territory to the US including California, agreed to the Rio Grande as the boundary between Texas and Mexico and was awarded $15 million. 25,000 Mexicans and 12,000 Americans lost their lives in the 17-month old conflict.
    (HFA, ‘96, p.48)(SFC, 6/13/96, p.A17)(HN, 2/2/99)

1848        Apr 1, The SF-based California Star reported the discovery of a rich silver vein in San Jose valley. The discovery of rich beds of copper were also reported near Clear Lake.
    (SFC, 12/10/04, p.E4)

1848        Apr 22, The SF-based California Star reported the discovery of a rich gold mine towards the head of the American Fork in the Sacramento Valley.
    (SFC, 12/10/04, p.E4)

1848        May 12, Sam Brannan, an elder of the Mormon Church in SF, announced the discovery of gold on the American River. He had just opened a store near the goldfields stocked with shovels and mining tools. He and members of the Mormon battalion were the first to profit in San Francisco from the Gold Rush.
    (SFC, 4/9/96, A-7)(SFEC, 1/4/98, Z1p.4)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)

1848        May 20, The California Star reported that a fleet of launches had left the SF bound up the Sacramento River due to “Gold Fever."
    (SFC, 12/10/04, p.E4)

1848        May 27, The SF-based California Star complained that everybody in the state was under the spell of gold fever.
    (SFC, 12/10/04, p.E4)

1848        May 29, The Californian newspaper complained that everybody in the state was under the spell of gold fever and announced suspension of publication because the staff was heading out to participate. The Californian and the California Star were based in SF.
    (SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.40)(SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.1)(PI, 8/8/98, p.5)

1848        May 30, Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo giving US: New Mexico, California and parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona & Colorado in return for $15 million.
    (MC, 5/30/02)

1848        May, A Frenchman found gold in a ravine north of Coloma and in a week the town of Rich Dry Diggings was founded. It later was renamed Auburn.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)

1848        Jun 5, Army officer John C. Fremont submitted his "Geographical Memoir" to the US Senate where the SF Bay entrance was called Chrysopylae (Golden Gate). He had in mind the Chrysoceras (Golden Horn) of Constantinople, and suggested that the SF Bay would be advantageous for commerce.
    (SFC, 6/5/98, p.A20)

1848        Jul, By this time 4,000 people were out hunting gold.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)

1848        Aug 19, The New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.
    (AP, 8/19/97)

1848        Dec 5, President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California. Paula Mitchell Marks later wrote "Precious Dust," an account of the gold rush. In 2002 H.W. Brands authored "The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream."
    (AP, 12/5/97)(SFEC, 4/12/98, BR p.7)(SSFC, 8/18/02, p.M1)

1848        Dec 26, The 1st California-bound gold seekers arrived in Panama enroute to SF.
    (MC, 12/26/01)

1848        The Empire Saloon became the first commercial structure in Napa, Ca.
    (SSFC, 10/21/18, p.M6)
1848        Charles B. Gillespie (~1821-1907) traveled to California from Pennsylvania during the gold rush and made a number of sketches, including depictions of Sutter’s Mill, some of which he turned into paintings upon returning to Freeport in 1851. In 2008 119 pen-and-ink sketches and 5 oil paintings were put up for auction.
    (SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B9)
1848        Gold was found at Placerville, Murphys, Angels Camp, Mokelumne Hills and Jamestown. Jamestown was named after Col. George F. James after gold was found at nearby Woods Creek.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)(CVG, Vol 16, p.28)
1848        Pierson B. Reading discovered gold in northern California’s Trinity River.
    (SSFC, 8/1/04, p.D5)
1848        Antonio Franco Colonel came up from Los Angeles with 30 companions to find gold. He later became mayor of Los Angeles.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)
1848        One third of the 10,000 Americans in Oregon left by the fall to find gold in California. This included Peter Burnett who became the first governor of Ca. (1849-1851).
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)
1848        Don Luis Peralta owned the Rancho San Antonio. This included nearly all the land on the eastern shore of the SF Bay. He lost his land to the 49ers and the rancho became Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Hayward and a dozen other towns.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.4)
1848        Of the 165,000 people in California, only 15,000 were of European descent, and half of these were Mexican citizens who called themselves Californios.
    (SFEC, 6/21/98, Z1 p.1)

1848-1853    The California gold rush of this period was covered by Edward Dolnick in his 2014 book “The Rush: America’s Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848-1853."
    (SSFC, 9/7/14, p.N7)

1848-1854    The non-Indian population of California exploded from an estimated 13,000 to 300,000.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.6)

1848-1860    The Indian population of California dropped from 150,000 to 36,000 in 12 years.
    (SFC, 12/28/98, p.A13)

1848-1860    Era of the California gold rush. In 2000 Susan Lee Johnson authored "Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush."
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, BR p.9)

1848-1870    The native American population in California dropped from 175,000 to fewer than 30,000, mostly due to diseases that they had no immunity to.
    (SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.6)

1849        Jan, In Placerville, Ca., the town of Old Dry Diggings was unofficially renamed Hangtown when a mob ran down 3 men who reportedly tried to rob a local gambler. The men were flogged and hanged on Main St. Later the Placerville tavern, The Hangman’s Tree, was built over the site of the hanging tree.
    (SFC, 11/30/96, p.A20)(SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T6)

1849        Feb 28, The ship California arrived at San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers.
    (AP, 2/28/98)

1849        Aug 23, The first mail service arrived at Benicia, Sacramento and San Jose.
    (SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.41)

1849        Sep 1, California Constitutional Convention was held in Monterey.
    (SC, 9/1/02)

1849        Sep, Pioneer Jews gathered at Lewis Franklin's tent store on Jackson St. to commemorate Rosh Hashanah.
    (SFC, 9/10/99, p.A17)

1849        Oct 13, The California state constitution, which prohibited slavery, was signed in Monterey. It was written in English and Spanish.
    (HN, 10/13/98)(SFEC, 12/20/98, p.T7)

1849        Nov 13, Voters approved the California state constitution 12,061 to 811. The original Constitution was drafted and signed on 19 hand-written pages of an animal-skin document. At the constitutional convention 48 delegates met in San Jose. This was criticized by the state’s first daily newspaper, the Alta California, as a location among the coyotes. The "Legislature of a thousand drinks" established a code of laws and a judicial system, elected 2 senators and voted to relocate to Vallejo. The constitution abolished slavery but barred blacks from voting, holding public office and testifying in court against whites. John Bidwell was elected to the state Senate.
    (WSJ, 6/11/97, p.CA1)(SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.41)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A27)(SFC, 4/21/07, p.B5)

1849        Dec 3, California asked to be admitted into the Union as a free state.
    (SFC, 2/21/97, p.A25)   

1849        Dec 15, California's first legislature convened in San Jose.
    (SFC, 9/2/99, p.A12)(SFC, 1/16/04, p.A23)

1849        Dec 20, Peter Burnett (1807-1895), the 1st governor of California, gave his inaugural address. Burnett was elected governor of California before it had even become a state. He abruptly resigned from office in 1851. Burnett, who wrote a book about his passionate conversion to Catholicism, is honored with a memorial in the church at Mission Santa Clara. While in office Burnett, a native of Tennessee, proposed that blacks, whether slave or free, be banned from the state by statute. He also saw the necessity for exterminating the state’s Indians if California were to grow.
    (, 4/14/98, p.E5)(SFC, 5/19/11, p.C1)

1849        Elizabeth Farnham, a matron of New York’s Sing Sing prison, formed the California Association of American Women to bring young women west to civilize the frontier. The plan failed but Farnham did emigrate to the Santa Cruz area and later oversaw the Stockton Insane Asylum. In 2004 JoAnn Levy authored “Unsettling the West: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California.
    (SSFC, 5/16/04, p.M4)
1849        The Benicia Arsenal was founded.
    (SFC, 8/6/01, p.A13)
1849        The Great Seal of California was adopted. It featured a profile of the roman goddess Minerva (born full-grown from Jupiter’s head), representing the political birth of California as a state without having 1st been a territory. 31 stars represent its status as the 31st state. There were 4 design changes before it was standardized in 1937.
1849        Dr. Thomas Stokes Page acquired the 17,000 acre Rancho Cotati from the original Mexican Land-grant holder.
    (SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)
1849        Josiah Gregg and a band of gold miners explored the north coast of California and settled around Humboldt Bay.
    (Hem., 12/96, p.127)
1849        William Slusher, a farmer from the East Coast, built a cabin on Nuts Creek (later Walnut Creek, Ca.) and became the first American settler in the area.
    (SFC, 7/17/06, p.B5)
1849        A prospector named Stevens planted a few grapevines in Coloma.
    (SFEM, 10/31/99, p.28)
1849        A party of 10 African Americans, an American Indian, a Cook Island native and a Scotsman named William Downie struck gold in the California Sierra.
    (SSFC, 4/29/01, p.T9)
1849        Downieville in Sierra County was renamed from The Forks, after the 2 rivers that converge there. Early settlers called the area "Tin Cup Diggings" from legends that a man could capture a tin cup full of gold from the Yuba River. Many of the first minors arrived with "Major" William Downie. Within a few years it became the 5th largest town in California.
    (SFEC, 12/22/96, p.T5)(SFEC, 5/30/99, p.T6)(SSFC, 9/1/02, p.C1)
1849        The Dunham, Carrigan and Hayden company supplied picks and shovels to the miners of the Gold Rush.
    (SFC, 9/30/97, p.A21)
1849        A mass meeting of miners working the Yuba River passed a resolution stating that "no slave or negro should own claims or even work in the mines."   
    (SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.40)
1849        Sarah Eleanor Bayliss Royce, mother of the philosopher Josiah Royce, left New York with her husband and -2-year-old daughter in a covered wagon for California.
    (WSJ, 1/117/00, p.A16)
1849        Charles Louis Ducommun, a Swiss immigrant, walked for 9 months to Los Angeles from Arkansas. He soon opened a general store for miners headed to SF. His 4 sons changed the business to a metals-services operation that later became a part of the aerospace industry.
    (WSJ, 10/9/02, p.B3C)
1849        A party from Kansas, headed for the California Gold Rush, called themselves the Jayhawkers. Another party from Missouri named themselves the Bugsmashers. Both groups left Salt Lake to late to cross the Sierra and took the southern route. The stumbled into the Death Valley region around Christmas. Historian Leroy Johnson later wrote of their experiences in "Escape From Death Valley."
    (SFC, 1/28/99, p.A15)
1849        Numerous Tennesseans went to California for the gold rush. In 1998 Tennessee historian Walter T. Durham wrote "Volunteer Forty-Niners," an account of the Tennesseans experiences in California. In 2000 Brian Roberts authored "American Alchemy" The California gold Rush and Middle-Class Culture."
    (SFC, 4/14/98, p.E5)(SFEC, 9/3/00, BR p.6)
1849        Peter Lassen pioneered a new route to California that bypassed the 40 Mile Desert in Nevada. The trail led from Nevada to Oregon and was combined with another trail that led past his ranch and trading post near Chico. The trail however led across more desert and came to be called "The Death Route."
    (SFC, 8/22/98, p.A13)(SFC, 8/25/98, p.A1,9)
1849        The Odd Fellows fraternal organization arrived in California with the gold rush.
    (SFC, 11/28/00, p.A21)
1849        Miners from Sonora, Mexico, found gold at Woods Hole Creek, Ca. The mining camp of Sonora was soon assembled and grew into the town of Sonora.
    (SSFC, 9/19/10, p.M6)
1849        A large cavern, later known as the California Cavern, was reported near Vallecito. It had been used by Miwok Indians as a dungeon and was initially called Mammoth Cave. Captain Joseph Taylor opened it to the public in 1850.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.29)

1849-1869    In 1997 Ida Rae Egli edited the book: "No Room of Their Own: Women Writers of Early California."
    (SFEC,11/9/97, BR p.9)

1850        Jan 2, William Robinson, a gold rush pioneer, left a letter posted on this date inside a trunk in Death Valley that was found with other artifacts in 1999. Williams died within a few weeks in the Mohave Desert. The trunk was later declared a fake.
    (SFC, 1/20/99, p.A13)(SFC, 1/28/99, p.A1,15)

1850        Jan 29, Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
    (AP, 1/29/98)

1850        Feb 27, The city of Sacramento was incorporated.   
    (SFEC, 1/11/98, DB p.41)

1850        Mar 27, The party of Dr. Thadeus Hildreth found a 22-pound gold nugget in Tuolemne County, Ca. The place was initially named Hildreth’s Diggings, then changed to New Camp, then American Camp and finally Columbia. The population soon swelled to 15,000.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 3/19/00, p.T6)(CVG, Vol 16, p.1)

1850        Apr 4, The city of Los Angeles was incorporated.
    (AP, 4/4/97)

1850        May 31, Joseph Alemany, O.P., was ordained the Bishop of Monterey.
    (GenIV, Winter 04/05)

1850        Jun 11, Cardinal Franzoni told Rev. Joseph Sadoc Alemany, a Dominican missionary who had worked in the Midwest frontier, that he was appointed the new bishop of Monterey, Ca.
    (SSFC, 7/27/03, p.A22)

1850        Jun 16, Pope Pius IX persuaded Rev. Joseph Sadoc Alemany to return to the US and to go to California.
    (SSFC, 7/27/03, p.A22)

1850        Jul 25, The clipper ship Frolic, enroute from Hong Kong to SF, wrecked on a reef at the north edge of what is now California’s Preserve off Point Cabrillo Light Station. It had run opium from India to China to trade for silver and merchandise. The crew escaped in small boats and though all trade goods were lost the area became recognized as ideal for a redwood sawmill.
    (SSFC, 2/11/07, p.G10)(, 12/15/07, p.W10)

1850        Sep 9, California was admitted as the 31st state of the US.
    (INV, 7/95, p.12)(SFC, 6/13/96, p.A17)(SFC, 1/25/97, p.A17)(AP, 9/9/97)

1850        Nov 6, The San Francisco Bay Yerba Buena and Angel islands were reserved for military use.
    (MC, 11/6/01)

1850        Dec 17, In California some 500 Indians in the Yosemite region attacked a store on the Fresno River owned by James Savage. A clerk and two other whites were killed and the $25,000 in cash and goods were taken. This marked the beginning of the Mariposa Indian War. Savage had employed some 500 Yokut Indians to pan for gold.
    (SFC, 5/16/15, p.C2)

1850        Dec, John Woods was killed and skinned alive by Yokut Indians on the south Bank of the Kaweah River. Woods and some fellow miners had refused to leave the area after warnings from the Indians.
    (HN, 4/28/00)(WW, 6/99)

1850        Bayard Taylor authored "El Dorado," a reporter’s account of the California gold rush. In 2001 it was reprinted as "Eldorado: Adventures in the Path of Empire."
    (SSFC, 2/4/01, BR p.5)
1850        The journal of gold seeker D. Jagger ended from a Sierra cabin where he spent the winter. He had written: we were "strangers in a strange land."
    (SFC, 8/27/98, p.A9)
1850        William M. Gwin, originally from Tennessee and a defender of slavery, was elected in California to the US Senate. David C. Broderick, an opponent of slavery, was also elected to the US Senate. The 2 were bitter enemies.
    (Ind, 5/12/01, 5A)
1850        Gen'l. Mariano G. Vallejo donated land and cash for a state capital in Vallejo.
    (SFC, 7/3/99, p.A16)(SFCM, 12/19/04, p.4)
1850        Ygnacio, the grandson of Dona Juana Sanchez de Pacheco, built the first homestead in the Walnut Creek area of northern California.
    (SFC, 7/17/06, p.B5)
1850        James Alexander Forbes, Scotsman, built a stone flour mill on Los Gatos Creek. The area became known as Forbestown until it was renamed Los Gatos after the local mountain lions.
    (SSFC, 12/9/01, p.C5)
1850        Ferry commuting began on the SF Bay.
    (SFEC, 4/21/97, p.A11)
1850        A Philadelphia trained physician working in Valparaiso, Chile, obtained the Spanish land grant for Rancho Cotati. It extended from Petaluma to Santa Rosa.
    (SFC, 5/1/97, p.A26)
1850        Gregorio Briones, a soldier of the Spanish and then Mexican army, claimed title to 13,320 acres of west Marin land. King Ferdinand VIII gave Briones the land grant that included what later became Bolinas.
    (SFC, 5/26/97, p.A10)(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.D4)
1850        Nancy Gooch, a slave, crossed the plains to California by wagon. She obtained her freedom when Ca. joined the Union as a free state and began working in Coloma as cook for miners.
    (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T3)
1850        John Coffee Hays, a Texas Ranger turned Californian, acquired a piece of the Coppinger land grant and called it Hays Ranch. He later became the 1st sheriff of SF and after that served as the federal surveyor-general for the state.
    (Ind, 5/26/01, 5A)
1850        John Berry Hill came to California from Charleston, Ill., to find gold. He later wrote of his years in the gold country and in 1998 his descendent Kristin Delaplane published his account: "A Gold Hunter." He later predicted that by 2090 California would produce "the greatest man of his generation."
    (SFC, 2/4/98, p.E8)
1850        Englishman Thomas Stoddard showed up in Marysville and claimed to have found a gold lake in the Sierras.
    (SFC, 3/31/00, p.D13)
1850        The town of Quartzburg evicted the worst of their worst and the outcasts moved to Hornitos, which became a haven of ill-repute.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T6)
1850        Pres. Millard Fillmore designated the Lime Point Military Reservation, later Fort Baker, on the Marin side of the entrance to SF Bay.
    (SFEC, 8/1/99, p.B4)
1850        Laws in California were passed that allowed the enslavement of Indians.
    (SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)
1850        California passed anti-sodomy legislation in its “crime against nature" law.
    (SSFC, 5/11/08, Books p.4)
1850        Residents of the northern California town of Rough and Ready rebelled against taxes and began a secession movement from the US. It lasted just 3 months in part because nearby saloonkeepers refused to sell liquor to the “foreigners."
    (SSFC, 8/10/08, p.E8)
1850        American settlers first came to San Ramon, Ca., when Leo Norris purchased 4,450 acres from Don Amador. The land had been grazing land under Mission San Jose until it became part of Jose Maria Amador’s Rancho San Ramon. The area was originally home to the Seunen Indians.
    (SSFC, 5/19/13, p.P7)
1850        A cholera epidemic killed 10% of the population in San Jose and 15% of the people in Sacramento.
    (SFEC, 3/14/99, Z1 p.6)

1850s        Joseph A. Donohue and John Parrott founded the Donohue-Kelly Banking Co. in SF.
    (SFC, 6/4/98, p.C4)

1850s        John C. Fremont occupied Fremont’s Ranch in Bear Valley, north of Mariposa, a Mexican land-grant of 44,000 acres. He later became the state’s first US Senator and the first Republican candidate for president. He also became a Civil War general and a governor of the Arizona territory. In 2000 David Roberts authored "A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Fremont, and the Claiming of the American West.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T6)(SFC, 6/5/98, p.A20)(WSJ, 1/10/00, p.A24)

1850s        Harmon Heald settled in the area of a small trading post that later became known as Healdsburg.
    (SFEC, 7/18/99, p.T6)

1850-1851    "The Mariposa Indian Wars 1850-1851." [title mentioned without details]
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.14)

1850-1870    A major wave of Italians immigrated to California. The majority came from Liguria and Tuscany. A 2nd wave began in 1880.
    (SSFC, 7/10/05, p.D5)

1850-1930    In 2005 Richard J. Orsi authored “Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West."
    (SSFC, 5/8/05, p.B1)

1850-1956     The Empire Mine in Grass Valley produced over 5.8 million ounces of gold. It had 365 miles of tunnels and was later turned into a 784-acre state park.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T7)

1850-1969    In 2000 Prof. Marshall Dill Jr. (d.2000 at 84) authored "The Fays and Dills in California: 1850-1969."
    (SFC, 9/6/00, p.D2)

1851        Jan 9, John McDougall (1818-1866), the 2nd governor of California, gave his inaugural address. During his term he issued so many proclamations beginning "I, John McDougall", that he was soon known throughout the state as "I John". McDougall opposed legislation that would outlaw dueling.

1851        Mar 21, Yosemite Valley was discovered (by non-natives) in California. The 58 men of the Mariposa Battalion under Major James D. Savage were the first whites to enter Yosemite Valley. Their first view of the valley was from the plateau later named Mount Beatitude. They expelled Chief Tenaya and his band of Ahwahneechee Indians. Dr. Bunnell, a physician in the battalion, named the valley Yosemite to honor the local Indians. He did not realize that the word "yohemeti" meant "some of them are killers" and was an insult against the valley people.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)(SFEC,12/28/97, Z1 p.1)(MC, 3/21/02)

1851        Apr, Ethnic disputes in the Jewish community spawned 2 rival houses of worship. Traditional Poles established Sherith Israel and more liberal Germans founded Emmanu-El.
    (SFC, 9/10/99, p.A17)

1851        May 12, A treaty was signed on the south bank of the Kaweah River, the site of John Wood's grave. Woods was killed by Yokut Indians. The California Tule River War ended.
    (HN, 4/28/00)(WW, 6/99)(HN, 5/12/01)

1851        Jun, The California Legislature moved to Vallejo.
    (SFC, 1/16/04, p.A23)

1851        Oct 25, The 1st newspaper in Columbia, Ca., the Columbia Star, was produced.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.5)

1851        Sep 19, John Bigler was elected governor of California over the Whig candidate Pearson B. Reading.

1851        California Governor Peter Burnett said that unless the Indians were sent east of the Sierras, "a war of extermination would continue to be waged until the Indian race should become extinct."
    (HN, 4/29/00)(WW, 6/99)
1851        Harry Meiggs, founder of fisherman’s Wharf in SF, sailed to Mendocino with a full sawmill and made Mendocino the primary source for the Bay Area’s lumber. Meiggs had learned of the redwood and fir forests in the area following efforts to retrieve cargo from the 1850 shipwreck of the Frolic. A town built around the sawmill was first called Meiggsville before becoming Mendocino City.
    (SSFC, 6/3/01, Par p.20)(SFC, 8/8/20, p.B4)
1851        The Jesuits established the first degree-granting college in the state at Mission Santa Clara and followed up with St. Ignatius College (now the Univ. of San Francisco) in 1855.
    (SFEC, 2/9/97, p.W4)(SFC, 8/19/00, p.A13)
1851        The Beckwourth Trail, discovered by James P. Beckwourth (1798-1866), an African American explorer, opened to pioneers. It is the lowest pass (5,221 ft) over the Sierras. Beckwourth was a freed slave and mountain man.
    (SSFC, 4/29/01, p.T9)
1851        In northern California gold was found in Plumas County and the mining town of Seneca was born. It later became pretty much a ghost town with a bar called the Gin Mill, which was sold to a pair of hunters in the 1970s. In 2013 the Gin Mill and surrounding 10 acres were put up for sale for $225,000.
    (SSFC, 12/8/13, p.C12)
1851        A flood wiped out the town of Klamath in northern California.
    (SFEC, 12/5/99, p.T5)
1851        Francisco Guerrero, Mexican official in Alta California, was struck in the back of the head by a slingshot and died. His murder was believed to have kept him from testifying in a murder trial.
    (SFEC, 9/21/97, p.C7)
1851        Fewer than 100,000 Indians remained in California.
    (SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1852        Jan 5, Serranus Clinton Hastings (1814-1893) began serving as California’s third Attorney General and continued to Jan 2, 1854.

1852        Jan 8, John Bigler (1805-1871), the 3rd governor of California, gave his 1st inaugural address. While Bigler served as governor of California, his brother served as governor of Pennsylvania.

1852        Mar 18, Henry C. Wells founded Wells, Fargo & Co. with William C. Fargo in San Francisco as a Western equivalent to their east coast American Express. It evolved into Wells Fargo Bank, headquartered in San Francisco and now one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. In 2002 Philip L. Fradkin authored "Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and the American West" for the company’s 150th anniversary.
    (SFEC, 1/4/98, Z1p.4)(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A10)(HNQ, 11/20/98)(SFC, 2/6/02, p.D1)(SFC, 3/19/02, p.B1,4)

1852        Jul, San Quentin State Prison opened in Marin County, California.
1852        Jul, In California a group of squatters led by a Major Harvey illegally encroached on Indian reservation lands on the Kings River. A number of “old squaws" were killed.
    (SFC, 5/23/15, p.C2)

1852        Aug 2, State Sen. James W. Denver challenged Edward Gilbert, editor of the SF Alta California newspaper, to a duel due to an inflammatory editorial. The pair met at Fair Oaks, near Sacramento, and when Gilbert forced a 2nd round of shots, Denver put a fatal shot through his chest.
    (PI, 6/13/98, p.5A)

1852        Aug 16, In northern California trader James Savage entered the Kings River Indian reservation and encountered Major Harvey, who had led an attack there on local Indians. A fight ensued and Harvey shot and killed Savage.
    (SFC, 5/23/15, p.C2)

1852        The Vallecito Stage Station was built on the San Diego-San Antonio line called the "jackass route."
    (SSFC, 11/17/02, p.C1)
1852        A general store opened in the town of Knights Ferry, Ca. Operations continued into 2011 as the oldest running store in state history.
    (KCSM TV, Calif. Gold, 10/10/11)
1852        The San Francisco Gas Co. was founded by 3 brothers. In 1905 it merged with California electric Light to form PG&E.
    (SFC, 4/7/01, p.A5)
1852        Sam Brannan, San Francisco newspaperman, arrived in Calistoga, Ca. and began plans for a health spa to rival the famed Saratoga Hot Springs in New York State. [see 1860]
    (Article on Calistoga by Sybil McCabe, 7/95)
1852        The US Senate rejected treaties with 18 California tribes that included some of the Yosemite band.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)
1852        The California legislature convened in Vallejo.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)
1852        California passed a fugitive slave law that allowed slave masters to reside indefinitely despite the state’s prohibition on slavery.
    (SFC, 7/18/98, p.A15,18)
1852        Moses Dinkelspiel opened his Dinkelspiel Store in Vallecito, Calaveras County.
    (SFC, 11/17/98, p.B2)
1852        White Sulphur Springs in St. Helena opened as the 1st spa in California.
    (SSFC, 7/20/03, p.C5)
1852        Almaden Vineyards was begun by Etienne Thee, an émigré from France, who settled near Los Gatos, Ca.
    (SFC, 1/24/08, p.C3)
1852        Miners found caves in Amador County, Ca., near Volcano. They were named the Black Chasm caves.
    (SSFC, 4/8/01, p.T5)

1852        More than 20,000 Chinese immigrants arrived to the US. They were fleeing floods, droughts, famines and revolutions and some 20,000 went to California. A foreign miner's tax was enacted in California and enforced largely against the Chinese. Other states passed similar taxes. The number of Chinese in California reached 25,000, about one-tenth of the non-Indian population.
    (SFC, 7/8/96, p.D2)(SFEC, 2/6/00, Rp.10)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)

1852-1884    Hydraulic gold-mining in the Sierra released large amounts of mercury-enriched sediments into the SF Bay. Hydraulic mining was invented in the Bear River watershed. A report in 2000 was issued on high mercury content in fish in the Bear and Yuba Rivers.
    (SFC, 3/17/99, p.A19)(SFC, 9/27/00, p.A3)

1853        Feb 11, In California the Capitol building in Benicia opened for business. John Bigler, the 3rd governor of the state, had signed a bill proclaiming Benicia the permanent state capital of California. The Legislature passed 180 of 460 bills during its 13 months in Benicia.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)(SSFC, 4/25/21, p.A2)

1853        Jun 6, The ship Carrier Pigeon, a merchant sailing vessel, struck a reef off of Whale Point (later Pigeon Point) on its way from Boston to SF. The wreck helped prompt the erection of the Pigeon Point lighthouse in San Mateo Ct.
    (SFEC, 5/25/97, p.T3)(SFEC,11/16/97, p.B8)(Ind, 8/10/02, 5A)

1853        Jul 25, Joaquin Murrieta (b.1829), aka the Mexican Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was shot and killed by California Rangers near Coalinga. A plaque (California Historical Landmark #344) near Coalinga at the intersection of State Routes 33 and 198 later marked the approximate site of the incident. His head was reportedly paraded around mining camps.
    (, 3/3/14, p.D2)

1853        Oct 13, Lillie Langtry (d.1929), British actress, was born. "The sentimentalist ages far more quickly than the person who loves his work and enjoys new challenges." She started the California Guenoc and Langtry Estate wineries.
    (AP, 7/27/98)(HN, 10/13/00)(SSFC, 6/9/02, p.C8)

1853        Oct 19, Juana Maria, the last living native of San Nicholas, the southernmost Channel Island, died in Santa Barbara weeks after she was found living by herself on the island. Her story later inspired Scott O'Dell's book: "Island of the Blue Dolphins" (1960).
    (, 6/17/18, p.F2)

1853        The California Farmer magazine was founded by Col. J.L.L. Warren, a British immigrant who came to California in 1849. Its last issue was published in 2013.
    (SFC, 4/27/13, p.C2)
1853        James Johnston built a showy New England saltbox home just south of Half Moon Bay. In 1999 it was one of the 12 oldest residences in the Bay Area and the only remaining salt box.
    (Via, 3-4/99, p.46)(SFC, 7/10/99, p.A21)
1853        The state prison at San Quentin was completed. It was built to house 50 inmates.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)(SSFCM, 8/19/01, p.11)
1853        Placerville Hardware at 441 Main St. opened to sell gold pans and shovels to prospectors.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T7)
1853        Silas Coombs, lumberman from Maine, moved to the Mendocino coast of California and built what is now the Little River Inn.
    (SFEC, 4/13/97, p.T9)
1853        Ornithologist and artist Andrew Jackson Grayson, inspired by Audubon's "Birds of America," set out to depict the birds from the Sierra Nevada to the coast and later published "Birds of the Pacific Slope."
    (SFEM, 8/29/99, p.32)
1853        In San Luis Obispo the Dallidet Adobe was constructed by a French vintner.
    (SFEC, 10/11/98, p.T6)
1853        The California Academy of Sciences was founded and established a policy that encouraged the participation of women in every department.
    (PacDis, Winter ’97, p.24)
c1853        Senator William Gwin, a leader of pro-slavery interests in California, proposed to divide California to create a pro-slavery southern half. He was opposed by David C. Broderick.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)
1853        William Waldo, a Whig candidate for governor of California, lost the election and moved to Oregon. He was a major property owner in southern Marin Ct. and his name stuck to the steep hill and later the tunnel just north of the GG Bridge.
    (SFC, 1/26/98, p.A11)(SFC, 8/20/14, p.E4)
1853        Levi Strauss and Co. got its start peddling tough pants to California gold miners. The first pair sold for $13.50 a dozen.
    (SFC, 1/23/96, p.C4)(SFC, 1/9/99, p.D3)
1853        Weaverville Drugs began doing business in Weaverville, Ca.
    (SSFC, 8/1/04, p.D5)
1853        In Columbia, California, Peter Nicholas, described as an obnoxious drunk, stabbed and killed Capt. John Parrot. Nicholas was tried, convicted and sentenced to die, but the governor in Benicia commuted his sentence to no more than 7 years.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T5)
1853        Chief Tenaya of the Yosemite Ahwahneechee (Ahwanichi) was killed by a Paiute chief near Mono Lake.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)(SFC, 5/23/15, p.C2)
1853        In California the steam freighter Tennessee was wrecked off the Marin headlands in heavy fog. Everyone escaped safely. Tennessee Point and Tennessee Cove for named after the freighter. The event spurred Congress to fund a lighthouse at Point Bonita.
    (WSJ, 9/17/96, p.A12)(G, Winter 96/97, p.3)(SSFC, 11/4/01, p.T5)
1853        The side-wheeled steamer Winfield Scott ran aground and sank off Middle Anacapa Island, one of the Channel Islands.
    (SFEC, 4/26/98, p.T11)

1854        Jan 4, Gov. Bigler, supported by David C. Broderick, addressed the 5th Legislature and called to move the capital to Sacramento.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.W26)

1854        Jan 7, John Bigler (1805-1871), the 3rd governor of California, gave his 2nd inaugural address. The 1854 legislature honored Governor Bigler by naming a lake after him. In 1870 Bigler Lake was renamed "Lake Tahoe".

1854        May, The gold mining town of Columbia, Ca., was incorporated as a town.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.1)

1854        Jul 10, Fire destroyed most of the gold mining town of Columbia, Ca.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.24)

1854        Aug 10, Fort Tejon, located in the Grapevine Canyon, the main route between California's great central valley and Southern California, was first garrisoned by the United States Army. It was abandoned ten years later on September 11, 1864.

1854        The Union Democrat newspaper of Sonora, Ca., began publishing.
    (SFC, 1/3/98, p.A19)
1854        A newspaper began publishing in Eureka, Ca. By 2006 Times-Standard operated with a paid circulation of 20,000 and was managed by Dean Singleton of the Denver-based MediaNews Group.
    (SFCM, 8/13/06, p.10)
1854        Sarah Moore Clarke was the first California woman to start a newspaper. She began the Contra Costa weekly in Oakland and printed on the SF Evening Journal’s presses. She and her husband later bought the SF paper.
    (SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.6)
1854        At Coloma in the gold country Bekeart’s Gun Shop and the Odd Fellows Hall were built.
    (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T3)
1854        Downieville in Sierra County missed a chance to become the capital of the state by a few votes in the Legislature.
    (SFEC, 12/22/96, p.T5)
1854        Seth Shaw built his family home in Ferndale, Ca. The town later became a California historic landmark and the Shaw House an Inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    (SSFC, 6/10/07, p.G8)
1854        In California’s Humboldt County the Shaw House was built in Ferndale. It was modeled on Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables.
    (SFEC, 8/2/98,  p.T10)
1854        The Mariposa County courthouse was built. The county initially covered a third of the state. The Mariposa Gazette began operations. In 2003 Mariposa County ranked 53rd among the state's 58 counties in terms of population and income.
    (SFC, 5/29/03, p.A14)(SSFC, 7/1/07, p.W8)
1854        In Mendocino a Victorian house was built on Main St., known as the Ford House. It later became the local state park information center (707-937-5397).
    (SFEC, 6/27/99, p.T6)
1854        The National Hotel was built in Nevada City, Ca. In 2006 it was California’s oldest continuously operating hotel.
    (SSFC, 2/5/06, p.F9)
1854        The town of Old Dry Diggings, aka Hangtown, was renamed Placerville.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T6)
1854        Ulysses S. Grant was stationed at Fort Humboldt in northern California.
    (SFEC, 4/13/97, p.T5)
1854        Yosemite Valley was granted to California as a public trust.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.4)
1854        The California Legislature defined a public graveyard as a place where the bodies of six or more persons are buried. Legislators met in the Sacramento County Courthouse until the state capitol was completed in 1869.
    (WSJ, 12/16/98, p.CA1)(SFC, 1/16/04, p.A23)
1854        The California Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting testimony of blacks and Indians in cases involving whites also applied to the Chinese.
    (SFEC, 2/6/00, Rp.10)
1854        The 1st California State Fair was held in SF. It was managed and funded by Col. J.L.L. Warren, a respected California seed and floral agribusiness man.
    (SSFC, 8/7/05, p.F7)(
1854        George Pendleton Johnson authored anti-dueling legislation.
    (PI, 6/13/98, p.5)
1854        Moses Meder foreclosed on the Rancho Refugio, but continued a dairy operation there.
    (Ind, 7/11/00,10A)
1854        Lola Montez, international performer famed for her “Spider Dance," retired to Grass Valley, Ca., and taught her neighbor, Lotta Crabtree, how to sing and dance.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.11)
1854        Pierre Pellier, having settled in Santa Clara Valley, planted cuttings from France and established his 1st San Jose, Ca., vineyards. In 1881 his daughter married vintner Pierre Mirrasou. Mirrassou sold its brand name to Gallo in 2002.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.D4)(SFC, 8/5/04, p.B7)
1854        The Vichy Springs Resort near Ukiah began ministering to health seekers. The carbonated mineral baths were similar to those in Vichy, France.
    (SSFC, 7/15/01, p.T5)
1854        White settlers in California’s Del Norte County ambushed and killed 30 Tolowa Indians at the Etculet village on Lake Earl.
    (SFEC, 7/16/00, p.B1)

1855        Feb, There was a run on the bank in Columbia and rumors of a failure caused a run throughout the state.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T9)

1855        Mar 3, Congress approved $30,000 to test camels for military use. Sec. of War Jefferson Davis sent agents to northern Africa to purchase a small herd of camels and sent them to New Mexico to transport goods to California
    (SC, 3/3/02)(SFC, 2/20/04, p.A22)

1855        Hinton Rowan Helper of North Carolina published “The Land of Gold: Reality vs. Fiction," in which he critically commented on California and San Francisco based on his three plus years in the state. “Suffice it to say that we know of no country in which there is so much corruption, villainy, outlawry, intemperance, licentiousness, and every variety of crime, folly and meanness." The book was republished in 1948 under the title “Dreadful California."
    (SFC, 6/20/15, p.C1)

1855        George Calvert Yount (1794-1865) founded a town he named Sebastopol in Napa Valley, Ca. Another town already had that name and in 1867 it was renamed Yountville. 
    (, 12/5/04, Par p.8)

1855        David S. Terry (32), born in Kentucky and raised in Texas, was elected to the state’s high court and soon appointed as chief justice.
    (Ind, 5/12/01, 5A)

1855        The Point Pinos Lighthouse was built on the Monterey Peninsula.
    (SSFC, 2/9/03, p.C1)

1855        In northern California tensions between the Wintu Indians and miners brewed into the Battle of Castel Crags. This became one of several triggers for the Modoc War (1872-1873).
    (SSFC, 5/14/06, p.G8)

1855        Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax and Lady Fairfax received a 24-acre site in Marin as a wedding present. The land later became the site of the Marin Town and Country Club.
    (SFC, 5/29/98, p.A19)

1855        Kellogg & Company minted $50 coins on Montgomery Street. In 2001 only 12 of the original coins were known to exist and were valued at $250,000 each. 5,000 new coins were planned to be struck with the original dies from California gold bars salvaged from the 1857 wreck of the Central America.
    (SFC, 8/21/01, p.12)

1855        In the town of Columbia saloon-owner Martha Barclay was verbally abused by an intoxicated John Smith. Her husband happened in, saw Smith push his wife into a chair and shot Smith. A crowd gathered and with a quick trial hung Barclay.
    (SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T9)

1855        Domingo Ghirardelli close his chocolate factory in Hornitos due to the crime and mayhem and moved to SF.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T6)

1855        In the summer the first tourists visited Yosemite Valley.
    (SFEC,12/28/97, Z1 p.1)

1855        The College of California, founded by former Congregational minister Henry Durant from New England, was incorporated in Oakland. The founders chose to set their new campus in Oakland to safeguard the students from the vulgarity of San Francisco.
    (, 1/30/00, p.6)

1855-1858    Miners formed the Columbia and Stanislaus River Water Company and built a 60-mile aqueduct at a cost of $1/2 million. It was soon bought out by the Tuolemne County Water Co.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.9)

1856        Jan 3, John Thompson (1827-1876), Norway-born immigrant, departed Placerville, Ca., with skies and snow shoes on his first mail run to Carson City, Nevada. By the spring of 1857 he made 31 crossings of the Sierra to deliver mail.
    (ON, 4/10, p.7)

1856        Jan 8, Dr. John A. Veatch discovered borax in Tuscan Springs, Calif.
    (MC, 1/8/02)

1856        Jan 9, J. Neeley Johnson (1825-1872), the 4th governor of California, gave his inaugural address. As Governor he once vetoed a bill because of "bad spelling, improper punctuation and erasures", but he also holds the distinction of approving funding for the State Capitol.

1856        Feb 5, John Muir wrote about sawmills encroaching on Redwood forests and the problem of "sheep-men’s" fires in this day’s issue of the Sacramento Daily Union.
    (SFEM, 5/18/97, p.28)

1856        Apr 18, Eureka, Ca., was founded in Humboldt County.
    (SSFC, 4/2/06, p.F10)

1856        Apr 26, Some 20 settlers of Honey Lake Valley, California, met at the cabin of Isaac Roop and formed "the independent Territory of Nataqua." They named the cabin Fort Defiance, chose Peter Lassen as their surveyor and selected Susanville, named after Roop's daughter, as the territorial capital.
    (SFC, 2/27/04, p.D4)

1856        Apr 28, Yokut Indians repelled an attack on their land by 100 would-be Indian fighters in California.
    (HN, 4/28/00)

1856        Apr 29, During the Tule River War Yokut Indians repelled a second attack by the 'Petticoat Rangers,' a band of civilian Indian fighters-some wearing body armor-at Four Creeks, California. The Yokuts lived along the shores of Tulare Lake in the Central Valley, which disappeared by 1900 due to water diversion and farming.
    (HN, 4/29/00)(WW, 6/99)

1856        May 6, U.S. Army troops from Fort Tejon and Fort Miller prepared to ride out to protect Keyesville, California, from Yokut Indian attack.
    (HN, 5/6/00)

1856        Jun 5, U.S. Army troops in the Four creeks region of California, headed back to quarters, officially ending the Tule River War. Fighting, however, continued for a few more years.
    (HN, 6/5/00)

1856        Jul 7, In California the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors held their 1st meeting at the general store of John Vogan on Main Street in Redwood City. The county had just recently been created.
    (Ind, 2/3/01, 5A)(SFC, 5/18/13, p.C2)

1856        Aug 11, A band of rampaging settlers in California killed four Yokut Indians. The settlers had heard unproven rumors of Yokut atrocities.
    (HN, 8/11/99)

1856        Sep 24, John Marsh, Harvard graduate and pioneer California settler, was murdered on the road between Pacheco and Martinez while traveling to SF. Marsh was the 1st non-Hispanic to live in Contra Costa County. He had made a fortune attracting settlers to Contra Costa and selling them land. His new 7,000 stone mansion in Brentwood was later made the center-piece of the John Marsh/Cowell Ranch State Park.
    (SSFC, 9/24/06, p.B3)

1856        Nov 4, Democrat James Buchanan was elected US president. The American or Know-Nothing Party had nominated Zachary Taylor over Millard Fillmore. The Know-Nothing Party was an anti-foreigner, anti-Catholic political organization. Buchanan easily won the presidential election, gaining 174 electoral votes to Republican John C. Fremont’s 141, and Fillmore’s eight. Fremont failed to carry California after Jasper O’Farrell testified against him in the 1846 murder of 3 Californios.
    (, 9/26/96, p.E10)(SFC, 2/21/97, p.A25)(HNQ, 6/17/01)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E1)

1856        California Gov. Neely Johnson declared that SF was in a “state of insurrection" and called upon all citizens to enlist in a state militia, locally commanded by banker William T. Sherman, to crush it. Vigilantes in SF had forced some 25 cronies of Mayor David Broderick onto outbound ships following the discovery of false-bottom ballot boxes. Another 800 of the city’s “worst characters" had also been ordered to leave.
    (SFC, 8/2/14, p.C2)
1856        The 1st theater in California was built in the gold-mining town of Nevada City.
    (SSFC, 2/5/06, p.F9)
1856        The Emmanuel Episcopal Church was built in Coloma.
    (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.T3)
1856        Shelton Fogus, Sacramento merchant and councilman, built a brick mansion in downtown Sacramento, Ca. In 1861 he sold it to Leland Stanford. It was later taken over by the Sisters of Mercy and used as an orphanage. In 2005 a 14-year, $22 million remodeling program was completed.
    (SFC, 7/11/05, p.B2)(
1856        Don Francisco Galindo and his wife, Maria Dolores Manuela Pacheco, built a 2-story house on Amador St. in Todos Santos (later renamed Concord).
    (SFC, 5/26/01, p.A13)
1856        A tobacco and cigar emporium was built in the gold mining town of Columbia near Sonora. The building was later turned into the Cobblestone Theater.
    (SFC, 8/18/00, WBb p.7)
1856        The Breuner Home Furnishings chain was founded in Sacramento, Ca. by the great grandfather of William R. Breuner (d.2005), the last family member to head the chain.
    (SFC, 5/3/05, p.B5)
1856        The D’Agostini Winery in Amador County, Ca. was founded. It later became the Sobon Estate Winery.
    (SFC, 12/10/95, p.T-1)
1856        Mifflin W. Gibbs founded the state’s first black newspaper and lobbied for the repeal of the state’s "black laws."
    (SFC, 7/18/98, p.A15)
1856        John C. Fremont and Edward D. Baker passed through the Feather River region of northern California. Baker was known as the "Gray Eagle of Republicanism" and gave this name to the town of Graegle around 1916.
    (SSFC, 7/7/02, p.C10)
1856        The Mendocino Indian Reservation was established in northern California near the mouth of the Noyo River.
    (SFC, 4/28/12, p.A6)

1857        Jan 9, The Fort Tejon, Ca., earthquake, estimated at magnitude 8, ruptured ground for 225 miles from Parkfield to Tejon Pass. It killed 2 people and destroyed the Tejon Army post.  The fort was established in 1854 and closed in 1864.
    (, 5/21/01, p.A4)(SFC, 12/10/04, p.A4)(

1857        Apr 9, The gold mining town of Columbia, Ca., was incorporated as a city.
    (CVG, Vol 16, p.1)

1857        Aug 25, The California gold rush town of Columbia burned down in a 2nd fire that was blamed on a Chinese cook. Miners soon evicted all Chinese from the town.
    (SFEM, 3/12/00, p.T6)(CVG, Vol 16, p.24,34)

1857        Sep 12, A wooden-hulled steamship, the SS Central America under Capt. William L. Herndon, sank off the coast of Georgia. The ship carried 21 tons of gold from California to New York. The brig Marine and the Norwegian bark Ellen rescued some 141 people. 425 (428) of 528 (578) passengers were drowned. The survivors included Ansel Ives Easton (d.1868) and his new wife Adeline. The wreck was in 8,000 feet of water and in 1987-1988 salvage operations were begun by Tommy Thompson. He hauled in $500 million worth of gold bars, coins and nuggets. After a court battle he was awarded 92% of the gold. The story is told in the 1998 book "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue sea" by Gary Kinder. The loss of the gold sparked "The Panic of 1857." The SS Central America sank off Cape Romain, SC.
    (WSJ, 5/22/98, p.W3)(WSJ, 6/19/98, p.W9)(SFEC, 6/28/98, BR p.3)(WSJ, 12/3/99, p.W16)(WSJ, 1/28/00, p.B1)(ON, 7/01, p.2)(MC, 9/12/01)(Ind, 12/1/01, 5A)

1857        Dec 23, Sister Mary Dominica Arguello (b.1791), formerly Concepcion Arguello, died in at the Dominican convent in Benicia, Ca. At age 15 she had fallen in love with Nicolai Rezanov (1764-1806), a visiting chamberlain to the czar of Russia. [see 1806]
    (SFC, 2/18/06, p.A8)

1857        In northern California Fort Bragg was established by Lt. Horatio Gates Gibson to keep control of the natives confined to the newly established Mendocino Indian Reservation. He named the camp Fort Bragg after Capt. Braxton Bragg, his former commanding officer. Bragg later served as Confederate general in the Civil War.
    (SFC, 7/23/15, p.A6)
1857        The National Hotel and the Red Castle were built in Nevada City, Ca., along with a stone brewery that later became the Nevada City Brewery.
    (SFEC, 4/12/98, p.T7)
1857        The Sisters of Mercy established the West Coast’s 1st hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, in the SF Bay Area.
    (SFC, 7/24/06, p.B8)
1857        In Sonora, Ca., the Sugg House was built by former slave William Sugg. His descendants lived there for over 120 years.
    (SSFC, 9/19/10, p.M6)
1857        Phineas Banning bought 640 acres to found Wilmington, Ca.
    (WSJ, 1/5/00, p.CA1)
1857        Joel Clayton purchased 1,400 acres east of Mt. Diablo, laid out a town and sold plots. The town was named Clayton and incorporated in 1964 to become the 13th city of Contra Costa County. The Rancho del Diablo had been an 18,000-acre land grant under Don Salvio Pacheco, who was a soldier in the 1775 Anza expedition.
    (SFC, 1/14/99, p.A15,19)(SFC, 12/29/99, p.C16)(SFC, 12/31/99, p.A22)

1858        Jan 8, John Weller (1812-1875), the 5th governor of California, gave his inaugural address. As Governor, he intended to make California an independent republic if the North and South divided over slavery, and he personally led an assault on San Quentin Prison to take back possession of it from a commercial contractor. The most wed governor, Weller married four times.

1858        Aug 21, State Sen. William I. Ferguson faced George Pendleton Johnston, clerk of the US Circuit Court, in a duel at Angel Island. Johnston’s 4th shot hit Ferguson’s thigh and shattered 6 inches of bone. Ferguson at first refused to have his leg amputated, but consented on Sep. 14. He did not survive the operation. Johnston was arrested but went free when the court decided that Ferguson’s death resulted from his initial refusal to accept amputation.
    (PI, 6/13/98, p.5)

1858        Sep 15, The Butterfield Overland Mail Company began delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company's motto was: "Remember, boys, nothing on God's earth must stop the United States mail!"
    (HN, 9/15/99)

1858        In San Juan Bautista, Ca., the Plaza Hotel was built. It incorporated the former Spanish military barracks into its ground floor.
    (SSFC, 2/22/04, p.C5)
1858        In Sutter Creek, Ca., the American Exchange Hotel opened. In 1998 it was the oldest continuously operating hotel in the state.
    (SFEC, 1/3/99, p.T6)
1858        Napa winemaker John M. Patchett employed Charles Krug, who used a borrowed cider press to make wine for Patchett. Charles Krug, a German immigrant, decided to put Napa wine onto a business footing using the Mission grapes. He served a short apprenticeship under Col. Agoston Haraszthy in Sonoma.
    (WCG, 7/95, p.21)(SSFC, 10/21/18, p.M6)
1858        The California state Supreme Court invalidated a law that prohibited the sale of goods on Sunday.
    (WSJ, 8/11/00, p.W13)
1858        California voters and the state legislature approved a plan to split off a chunk of southern California and call it the Colorado Territory. Congress failed to ratify the plan as the Civil War loomed.
    (SSFC, 7/20/14, p.A8)
1858        Jacob Gundlach bought a vineyard in Sonoma, Ca., and called it Rhinefarm. Charles Bundschu from Mannheim, Germany, known for his prose and keen business sense, joined the company in 1868, and became part of the family when he married Jacob Gundlach’s daughter Francisca in 1875.
    (SFC, 12/19/02, p.D4)(
1858        Henry Miller founded Miller and Lux Inc., one of California’s largest livestock and agricultural enterprises.
    (SSFC, 6/12/05, p.A21)

1859        Apr 30, The California state legislature granted a charter to St. Ignatius Academy in San Francisco. The school then changed its name to St. Ignatius College with the right to confer degrees.
    (GenIV, Winter 04/05)(

1859        Sep 13, David C. Broderick, a US Senator, faced David S. Terry, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, in a duel at Lake Merced. Broderick was hit in the chest and died after 60 hours. Terry fled the scene and resigned his position the next day. He was charged with murder and was arrested Sep 23, but was not convicted. The weapons used were a pair of Belgian .58-caliber pistols on loan from an associate of Terry. Broderick’s weapon was set with a hair-trigger, and misfired. The pistols sold at auction in 1998 for $34,500.
    (PI, 5/30/98, p.5A)(SFC, 11/25/98, p.B8)(Ind, 5/12/01, 5A)

1859        Oct 19, Pres. James Buchanan signed a letter that confirmed the return of California mission properties to the church.
    (SFEC, 3/12/00, p.T5)

1859        The town of Bodie, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Calif., was founded. It was 8,400 feet high and later the site of a gold find. William S. Body found gold in Mono County and prompted the growth of the town of Bodie. It was later made a State Historic Park maintained in its original condition. In 2002 it became the state’s official Gold Rush ghost town. Neighboring Calico was designated the state’s official Silver Rush ghost town in 2003.
    (SFC, 6/23/96, p.T3)(SFEC,11/23/97, p.D5)(SFC, 8/21/02, p.A2)
1859        Milton Slocum Latham became governor of California. He resigned within hours after receiving an appointment to the US Senate. His SF home at 656 Folsom St. was alleged to be one of the most sumptuous in America.
    (Ind, 1/9/98, p.5A)
1859        Prospectors drove the Wappo Indians out of Pope Valley following rumors of gold and silver deposits. The miners found mercury instead of gold.
    (SFC, 1/3/00, p.A15)
1859        In northern California the 54-pound Dogtown Nugget was shovelled out of dirt in Butte County. Dogtown was later renamed Magalia and the gold nugget became known as the Magalia Nugget.
    (SFC, 10/22/14, p.A14)(

1859        Peter Lassen was killed at Paiute Peak near the Black Rock Desert by a single shot through the skull.
    (SFC, 8/25/98, p.A9)

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