Jesse D Mason.

History of Santa Barbara county, California, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers online

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Online LibraryJesse D MasonHistory of Santa Barbara county, California, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 21 of 117)
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only a mob without authority, but Congress adjouriu'd
to meet on Sunday. The appropriation bill and the
bill for providing a (Tovernmcnt for California had
been tacked to each other; a jnethod of legislation
sometimes adopted to move a stubborn minority.
On Sunday a tacit understanding was had, the meas-
ures were separated, and both were passed. Ports of
entrj' were provided for, and the boundaries of the
territory were established.


Not much was expected of Congress in view of the
divergency of the opinions of the members, and pub-
lic meetings were held in ditferent places to consider
the necessity of a more thorough organization. Gov-
ernor Eiley issued a proclamation, as he said, b}' the
advice of the President, calling for a Convention to
be held at Monterey, September 1st. The number of
delegates was fixed at thirt^'-seven, and the members
wei'e apportioned as well as circumstances would
admit. The vote was exceedingly small, and the
assumed name of " Territorial Convention" seemed a
burlesque, but the members met according to the call.
Many men, afterwards famous in the history of Cal-
ifornia, were present, among whom where H. W.
Halleck, John A. Sutter, Thomas O. Larkin, Charles
T. Botts, John McDougal, General Covari'ubias, Pablo
de la Guerra, General Vallejo, and Dr. Gwin. W. E.
P. Hartnell was made interpreter; J. Brown,
official reporter. Notwithstanding the multitude of
orators, the business of the Convention went stead-
ily on. To Mr. Shannon belongs the credit of intro-
ducing the article which was destined to keep Cali-
fornia still longer out of the Union, and help bring
on the great and inevitable struggle, which even then
was looming up in the political horizon, which pro-
vided that '' Neither slavery nor involuntary servi-
tude, except for the punishment of crime, shall
ever be tolerated in this State." For once, in the
world, this sentiment did not produce an angry
debate, being passed in the committee of the whole
unanimously, though a desperate eifort was made to
prohibit the immigration of free negroes. An effort
was made, also, to make the proposed State include
what has since been incorporated into a half dozen
States, including Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Ne-
vada, as well as Utah, and New Mexico. This, it
seems, was designed to prevent the agitation of
slavery in Congress.

A day for an election was appointed, and the Con-
stitution adopted by a vote of 12,064 for, and 811
against. This was a much smaller vote than was
expected, and was accounted for by a drenching
rain, which kept the people away from the polls.

A month after the adoption of the Constitution,

the fir^l Tjogislature met at San Jose, which was
made the capital. On the third day of the session,
the two houses mot in joint convention to elect Sena-
tors. Fro'nonl w;i-< cKM'lod on llic first l)Mlli)t, and
Wni. M Gwin oi, the third ballot. In (i.^liTiniiiin;;
for the longer or shorter term, the latter fell to


Fremont and Gwin wiiit to Washington, asking
admittance for California into the family of States.
The prohibition of slavery raised a contest which
seemed for a while likely, not only to keep California
out of the Union, but to dissolve that Union itself.
Though the acquisition of territory was ostensibly
made for the extension of the area of freedom, the
real purpose was known to be the extension of slave
territory, and the perpetuation of the pro-slavery
dominion; hence the agitation which followed the
defeat of their project. Never were the sources of
power and the nature of our Government more ably
discussed. In this discussion the nature of the Consti-
tution, its relation to States, the relation of States to
each other, the rights of citizens in States and Terri-
tories, were found to be very differently considered by
different portions of the Union, as each were inter-
ested in the result. Congress spent four months
wrangling over the question, and t!alifornia was
finally admitted b}- making a conditional compromise
on several other bills, the opposition all coming from
the slave-holding States. Little did the hundred
thousand immigrants, who were coming to California
by land and sea that summer, di-eam of the terrible
strain the structure of our Ship of State was under-
going. The storm passed over, and peace, for another
decade, rested on the land.


The boundaries, as determined at the first session
of the Legislature, were: —

"Beginning on the sea coast at the mouth of the
creek called Santa Maria, and running up the middle
of said creek to its source; thence due northeast to
the summit of the Coast Range, the farm of Santa
Maria falling within Santa Barbara C!ounty; thence
following the summit of the Coast Range to the
northwest corner of Los Angeles County; thence
along the northwestern boundary of said county to
the ocean, and three English miles therein; and
thence in a northwesterly- direction parallel with the
coast, to a point due west of the mouth of Santa
Maria Creek, which was the |)lace of beginning,
including the islands of Santa Barbara, San Nicolas,
San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and all others
in the vicinity. Santa Barbara shall be the county

The machinery of the county government went
into operation in August, 1850. Joaquin Carrillo was
County Judge. The first matter before him as Judge of
the Probate Court was the estate of James Scott,
deceased, who was a partner of Captain WilLson in
trade. The will was approved, and Pablo de la



Guerra and N. A. Dcu were appointed appraisers of
the estate. J. W. Burroughs acted as sheriff, county
auditor, coroner, and justice of the peace.

Henry A. Tefft took his seat as Judge of the Sec-
ond Judicial District, August 5, 1850. John M. Hud-
dars acted as Clerk. Eugene Lies, of New York,
was admitted to practice, and was sworn in as inter-
preter and translator. A demand was made of the
Alcalde, Joaquin de la Guerra, for the records of the
Court of the First Instance, which was refused, for
some reason, Jose de la Guerra y Noriega having
been the Judge. It is quite likely that the Castilian
contempt for the new Court which was set up super-
seding the old authorities, may have been the cause.
N. A. Den was made foreman of the first Grand Jury,
the names of which were not given. At a session
held April 7, 1851, a better record was kept.

Grand Jury impanelled: Antonio Arrellanes, John
Kays, Rafael Gonzales, Octaviano Gutierrez, Man-
uel Cota, Raymundo Olivera, Bsteban Ortega, Geo.
Nidever, Augustus F. Hinchman, Jose Lorenzano,
Juan Rodriguez, Cevero Bncinas, Robert Parks, John
Davis, Juan Rodriguez, Ygnacio Oi'tega, Antonio
Maria Ortega, Simon B. Steere, Raymundo Carrillo,
Juan Sanchez, Daniel A. Hill, Ramon Gonzales. Ex-
cused from serving, Antonio Maria Ortega, Guillermoe
Carrillo, Edward S. Hoar, A. F. Hinchman, Jose Car-
rillo, Lewis T. Burton, Augustine Janssens, Joaquin
Carrillo, Vicente Hill. The following pei-sons were
fined 125.00 for not answering to their names. An-
tonio de la Guerra, Jose Antonio de la Guerra, Luis
Carrillo, Antonio Rodriguez, Teodoro Arrellanes, Gas-
par Orena, Jose de Jesus Carrillo, and Juan Camarillo.
In the case of the People vs. Francisco Romeo et. al.
the defendants having escaped from custody the wit-
nesses were discharged, and the sureties relieved.
It is said that the jail was a most convenient affair
To get rid of a troublesome man it was only necessary
to put him in jail for some little oifense, when he
would break and leave for good. The grand jury
found indictments against Francisco Figueroa and
Guadalupe Sanchez for murder, and made a present-
ment or complaint of the jail as unfit for use, and

Edward S. Hoar, brother of the famous Massachu-
setts Senator, was appointed District Attorney. The
records of this Court were kept for some months in a
pocket memorandum, and were carried around in a
coat pocket by the Clerk who fished and hunted
abalone shells. In fact all of the county records
were very badly kept for a time as the history will

The Court ordered a county seal described as fol-
lows: —

" Around the margin the words, County Court of
Santa Barbara County, with the following device in
the center: A female figure holding in her right hand
a balance, and in her left a rod of justice; aljove the
figure a rising sun, and below, the letters CAL."

Pablo de la Guerra was the first State Senator, and
J. M. Covarrubias and Henry Carnes the first Assem-


Licenses for doing business were granted as fol-
lows: —

No. 1. John A. Vidal & Co., August 23d, to retail

No. 2. Luis Burton, August 23d, merchandise and

No. 3. Francisco Caballero, August 23d, retail liquors.

No. 4. Francisco Leiba, August 23d, retail liquors.

No. 5. Pascal Bottilleas, August 24th, retail liquors.

No. 6. Isaac J. Sparks, August 24th, general mer-

No. 7. John Todd, August 24th, liquors.

No. 8. John Kays, August 24th, merchandise and

No. 9. Josd de la Guerra, August 26th, liquors

No. 10. W. A. Streetei', San Buenaventura, August
27th, merchandise and liquors.

No. 11. Ramon Valdez, August 27th, liquors.

No. 12. Juan Camarillo, August 28th, liquors.

No. 13. Francisco Badillo, September 2d, liquors.

No. 14. Miguel Unzuela, September 7th, circus

No. 15. Don Pablo Blancaste, September 10th, gen-
eral merchandise.

No. 16. Circus Co., September 14th, Sunday exhi-

No. 17. Felipe Figueroa, September 17th, liquors.

No. 18. Circus Co., September 21st, exhibition.

No. 19. Juan Ruiz, September 29th, puppets

No. 20. Circus Co., September 30, exhibition.

No. 21. Senora Sierra Jonseca, October 1st, mer-

No. 22. Senora Palty y Torres, October 14th, gen-
eral merchandise.

No. 23. Garino Duarte, October 15th, general mer-

No. 24. Francisco Valdez, October 24th, general

No. 25. Ignacio Ortega, October 25th, liquors.

No. 26. John A. Vidal, October 26, liquors.

No. 27. Francisco Valdez, November 1st, liquors.

No. 28. Victor Juanes, November 1st, general

No. 29. Gaspar de Orefia November 5th, liquors.

No. 30. Francisco Pico, November 25th, liquors.

No. 31. Pascal Bottilleas November 25th, liquors.

No. 32. Francisco Leiba, November 25th, liquors.

No. 33. John Todd, November 25th, liquors.

No. 34. Domingo Sierra, December 1st, general

No. 35. Jose Lorenzano, December 24, liquors.

No. 36. Juan Camarillo, December 24th, liquors.

No. 37. Jose' Antonio Valdina, December 26th, li-

No. 38. Francisco Badillo, December 26th, liquors.



No. 39. Bias Garcia, January 4, ISol, liquors.

No. 40. Antonio Plores, January Gth, liquors.

No. 41. Morritz Goldstein, January 14th, general

No. 42. Morritz Goldstein, January ISth, general
merchandise and liquors.

No. 43. William Hatch, January 21st, general mer-

No. 44. Francisco Badillo, January 22d, liquors.

No. 45. Manuel Rodriguez de Poll, January 22d,
general merchandise.

No. 46. Manuel Kodriguez de Poli, January 22d,
general merchandise and liquors.

No. 47. Manuel Anguesola, January 22d, liquors.

No. 4S. Rimon Valdez, January 24th, liquors.

No. 49. Juan Camarillo. January 30th, liquors.

No. 50. Morritz Goldstein, February loth, general

No. 51". Luis Fleeshman, February- 22d, general

No 52. Luis Fleeshman, February 22d, general
merchandise and liquors.


Of the fifty licenses, issued from August to Febru-
ary, thirty-two were for the sale of liquors. As a
general thing, the Californians were not addicted to
excessive drinking. The simple methods of living,
the mild climate, and plenty of vigorous out-door
exercise had not educated the stomachs of the people
to the morbid desire for artificial stimulants charac-
teristic of the Americans. When they took a social
drink, they usually bought a glass of aguadiente, and
each took a sip. When, for the first time, a crowd of
Americans came to a saloon, and demanded each a
glass of liquor, the astonishment of the native, who
often had but one glass, knew no bounds; he would
rush out to his neighbors to borrow theirs, and tell
them of the terrible Los Americanos who would
swallow, at a gulp, a glass of fiery whisky. They
soon learned, however, the capacity of the American
stomach for whisky, and provided proper accommo-
dations. The number bearing the names of the first
families who engaged in the liquor trade, is rather


Some took out licenses for three mouths, and
renewed them at the end of the time. During the
year 1851, the following persons were in trade of
some kind: —

Pascal Bottilleas, Domingo Sierra, Francisco
Oaballero, Fernando Tico, John Fitle, Ygnacio
Adaro, Gaspar Orena, Policarpio Lopez, Juan
de Dias Bravo, Eamon Valdez, Leonardo Luco,
Emanuel Block, M. Pauli Sehultz, Jose Lorenzano,
B. H. Reed, Morris & Co., Jose Valdez, Lewis T.
Burton, Nicholas Den, Isaac J. Sparks, John Kays,
Juan Camarillo, Santiago Unda, Jose' Girand, Joaquin
Armat, Augustin Janssens, L. B. Steere, Jesus Flores,

Francisco Pico, Francisco Leyba, Juan Ilippolyto,
Manuel de Poli, Pedro de Aneolar, Ijoe & Story,
Janssens & Valdina, Matilda Vnez, Pedro de Aeblar,
Manuel Morrilles, Jose Jesus L'ordero, Faust & Adler,
John Richardson, William liuttler, B. Tannebaum,
Eliliu Hernandez, Roman Viabla, G. Newman, Anas-
tacio Flores, Ventura Pico, Egenia Garcia, Harris
Levy, W. 11. Harmon & Co., David Edwards, Apolo-
nio Pico, Lcandro Saing, Sanchez & Co., Jos6 Maria
Moreno, Dolores Orchoa, W. Hammond & Co., Gold-
berg & Co., Charles Schachne, Vicente de Feliz, Luis
Cranthal, Antonio Peralta, Toby Scherwinsky.
Domingo Davila, Jacob Fitzgerald.


Previous to the advent of the Americans, a sale or
purchase of land was very rare. Soon, however, it
became a common matter. Among the first was
that of the tract called Cocheno. by Nicholas A. Den
to Daniel Hill, September 10, 1851; consideration,

October 13, 1851, Anastacio Oarrillo and Conces-
sion Garcia to Isaac J. Sparks, part of the Rancho
Puenta de la Concepcion, containing 13,320 acres;
consideration, $2,400.

J. M. Covarrubias and wife to Pablo do la Guerra,
one-half the San Carlos Jonata, including all the
cattle on the land; consideration, $25,000.

December 31, 1851, Francisco Villa de Domingucz
to Charles Fremont, Rancho San Lonidio; considera-
tion $2,000.

December 30, 1851, Francisco de la Guerra to
James B. Bolton, southeastern half of the island of
Santa Cruz; consideration, $13,000.


Considerable confusion existed as to county officers,
under the new. government. Sometimes persons
were elected who were utterly incompetent, and
would not qualify. The Americans who understood
the machinery of courts, were few, while the voters
who knew nothing about law, other than the dicta-
tion of a powerful family, were manj-. The follow-
ing items from the records will give an idea of the
•'rotation in office" during this period: —

Antonio Rodriguez gave bonds as Justice of the
Peace, for $5,000.

E. S. Hoar, County Assessor, in 1851.

Raymundo Carrillo, Notary Public, May 12, 1851.

A. F. Ilinehman, Justice of the Peace, 1851.

J. W\ Burroughs, elected Sheriff, 1851; J. W. Bur-
roughs, appointed County Recorder, September 3,
1851; J. W. Burroughs, api.ointed Justice of the
Peace, September 16, 1851.

Manuel J. Cota, apjiointed Justice of the Peace,
February 25, 1852.

John A. Vidal, aiqiointed Justice of the Peace,
March 10, 1852.

Antonio Rodriguez, appointed Justice of the Peace,
March 17, 1852.


C. B. Huse, appointed Couuty Clerk, April 14-, 1852.

J. VV. Burroughs, appointed County Treasurer,
April 14, 1852.

Jose Carrillo, Justice of the Peace, appointed April
26, 1852.

Francisco de la Guerra, appointed County Assessor
by County Judge, Joaquin Carrillo, April 14, 1852.

Jose Moraga, appointed Justice of the Peace, April
28. 1852.

January 23, 1852, J. W. Burroughs acted as
County Clerk; A. F. Hinchman, Deputy.

July 5, 1852, Henry Carnes acted as District Judge
in place of Judge Teffts who was drowned at Port
Harford while trying to land, to hold Court at San
Luis Obispo.

Pedro C. Carrillo, Justice of the Peace, August 9,

Charles Fernald appointed Sheriif ^by Court of
Sessions, August 9, 1852, to fill the place of Valen-
tine Hearne, who resigned.

Manuel Gonzales, Vicente Moraga, and Fernando
Tieo, Constables in San Buenaventura, August 23,


J. M. Covarrubias and A. F. Hinchman, Assembly-
men; Pablo de la Guerra, Senator; William Twist,
Sheriff; Francisco de la Guerra, Assessor; Vitus
Wrackenreuder, Survej^or; J. W. Burroughs, Clerk
and Recorder; Charles Fernald, Disti-iet Attorney;
Eaymundo Carrillo, Public Administrator; Francis J.
Maguire, Justice of the Peace, Township No. 2.

November 8, 1852, J. M. Covarrubias, Countj^
Clerk; Vitus Wrackenreuder, Deputy.

Eaymundo Carrillo, was appointed County Treas-
urer by Court of Sessions, December 6, 1852.


Taxes were not paid more promptly then than now.
Manuel Cota, owner of the San Domingo Eancho, of
13,320 acres, valued at $10,000, improvements, $1,000,
was delinquent on $103. 12J; property three times
exposed for sale with no buyers.

John Temple, 4,440 acres, Ex-Mission Purissima,
valued at $1,200, taxes, $19.50; three times exposed
for sale, without buyers.

January 26, 1852, Joaquin Carrillo resigned as
County Judge, to accept of the position of Judge of
the Second Judicial District, which position ho held
for foui'teen years.

August 17, 1853, the assessment on Teodoro
Arrellanes' personal property was raised $10,000.


Two men left the steamer Savannah at San Diego,
on its way up the coast, for the purchase of cattle,
having considerable sums of money with them.
When camped near the San Gabriel River, they
were murdered by Zavaleta and another native, the
murderers making their way to Santa Barbara,

where they commenced spending money very freely
among the lowest houses. A copy of the Los
Angeles Star, giving a description of the murderers,
was brought into town, and they were recognized
and arrested by a number of citizens acting with the
Sheriff, Valentine Hearne. It is said that the Amer-
icans were more than willing to assist in arresting
criminals, provided they were Mexicans, while the
natives themselves were considerable less than will-
ing to arrest their own countrymen accused of crime.
After the arrest, without a warrant, and, perhaps, on
what then seemed insufficient evidence, the chief
families, among whom was Captain Noriega, pro-
tested against the summary treatment of the men.
Serious ill-feeling resulted between the law-and-order
party, as the natives and their American friends
called themselves, and the hoys on the other part.
A mounted guard of twenty-five men was made up to
accompany the men Sack to Los Angeles', among
whom were the following persons, Henry Carnes
being the Commander: John Bowers, P. H. Dun,
John Dun, John Seollan, Thomas Ganon, Valentine

Hearne, Carter, John Robinson, John Vidal,

Theodore McCarty, Thomas Martin, Theodore Smith,
and Geo. D. Fisher.

A semi-official demand was made upon the town of
Santa Barbara for horses, with threats of retaliation
if the horses were not forthcoming. The horses
were furnished. (See account of the proceedings on
the bills in Court of Sessions, October 11th.) The
men confessed the murder, even to the details, and
pointed out the place where the bodies were buried.
The people of the town (Los Angeles) took the men
to Castle Hill and hung them, the guard of twenty-
five staying until the work was done. Hearne was
Sheriff, and his part of the transaction not pleasing
Dr. Den and the de la Guerras, who were his prin-
cipal sureties, they withdrew from his bonds, thus
forcing him to resign. W. W. Twist, a native of
Nova Scotia, and, as some say, not a citizen, was
appointed to succeed Hearne.


The American population were not always dis-
posed to acquiesce in the large land holdings of the
natives, and of the Americans who had intermarried
among them. John Vidal, a member of Carnes'
Company, of the Stevenson Regiment, was one of
the dissatisfied. He bad rented for a time a tract of
land on the Arroyo Burro, a small creek which runs
into the ocean, west of Santa Barbara. When the
lease expired he claimed the land under the pre-
emption laws as Government land. Suit was brought
in the proper courts, and the title adjudged to rest in
Dr. Den, of whom Vidal had rented. The Sheriff
(Twist) was ordered by the courts to oust Vidal and
put Den in possession. Vidal was known to have
many friends among the gamblers, who often num-
bered a score or more, among whom was the, even
then, notorious Jack Powers, and the matter of dis-



possessing Vidat was considered hazardous. Wiicthcr
wisol)- or not, Twist called out a posse comilatus to
execute the writ of ejectment. The people bejuan to
take sides as thej' ftivored the gamblers or the
law-and-order, or respectable party. Vidal's friends
gathered t

Online LibraryJesse D MasonHistory of Santa Barbara county, California, with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 21 of 117)