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under Sol. Pico and Powers, and the Vidal fight. The drought of 1863^ in-
flicted a severe blow by destroying nearly all the cattle while directing atten-
tion to horticulture and irrigation. In 1872 the eastern section separated to
form Ventura county, with tne seat of government at the mission of San
Buenaventura, which was laid out as a town. J. Arnay sought in 1848 to
found a city near the mission, but it languished till Waterman, Vassault, &
Co., who then controlled the land, made a survey in 1862, and gave so success-
ful an impulse that incorporation followed soon after. Cal. Statutes, 1865-6,
216; 1873-4, 54; 875-6, 534; Ventura Shjnal, July 8, 1876, a journal started
in 1871. The destruction of the wharf in 1877 proved a check on progress.
Population 1,370 in 1880. A promising shipping point at Hueneme was
established in 1870 by T. R. Bard, and marked by wharf and lighthouse.
Population 166 in 1880. The name is Indian. A rising valley town was
Santa Paula, where a flour-mill was founded in 1870 by Blanchard and Brad-
ley, and the town in 1875. Nordhoff is a health resort in the Ojai Valley. Near
by are promising oil deposits. The census of 1880 assigns the county a
population of 5,070, with 573 farms, value $2,734,000, produce $649,000, live-
stock $535,000, while Sta Barbara retained a population of 9,500, with 713
farms of double area, though valued at only $3,471,000, produce $746,000,
live-stock $759,000.

In San Luis Obispo, whose rocky barriers turned the main route of land
trafiic, the early mission influence lingers in many of the settlements, by vir-
tue of restricted choice of sites, and in the later county, San Luis Obispo town
blossomed into its administration seat. Although existing as a village, it was
surveyed for a town site in 1850, incorporated in 1856, and disincorporated.
Cal. Statutes, 1856, 30; 1858, 396; 1863, 293; 1871-2, 220, 434; 1875-6, 381,
382; 1883, 390; Coopers S. L. Ob., 12-36; Avila, Doc, 25 et seq.; S. L. Oh.
Arch., 2, etc. Population 2,240 in 1880. Port Harford is its landing for the
petty settlements to which this hilly district is so far restricted, with dairy
and stock-raising as the predominating industries. In rank second to S. L.
Obispo stands Cambria, which originated during the copper excitement of 1863,
assisted by quicksilver in 1871, and by saw-mills. San Simeon, a whaling
station, shares with Leffingwell's wharf in its shipments. Cayucos and Arroyo
Grande are other landing-places. San Miguel mission lingers a mere hamlet;
El Paso de Robles is famed for its medicinal springs. The county has in-
creased in population from 500 in 1852 to 1,780 in 1860, and 9,150 in 1880,
with 832 farms, value $4,430,000, produce $925,000, live-stock $1,139,000.

Monterey has undergone greater changes. The fertile valley of Salinas
became a prominent wheat-producing section, centring in the town of Salinas,
which sprang up to take in 1872 the county seat from the Mexican capital on


the bay, leaving it to decline into a mere seaside resort and petty shipping-

A wayside hotel was opened at Salinas in 1856 by E. Howe, a hamlet
sprang up, and in 1867 Ricker, Jackson, and Sherwood laid it out as a central
town, which was incorporated in 1874. Cal. Statutes, 1873-4, 242, 820; 1875-
6, 94, 545; Salinas Index, May 1872 et seq.; Butlers Mont., 24. As the
county seat prior to 1872, Monterey held its own for a long time, with incor-
porated title. Cal. Statutes, 1850, 131; 1851, 367; 1853, 159. Its history is
minutely recorded in Hayes Monterey, passim; also Walton s Monterey; Roaclis
Stit., MS.; Mo)it. Arch., v.-xii.; Ashley s Doc.; Avlla, Doc.

The railroads have revived a number of stations, such as Pajaro and Cas-
troville in the north, the latter founded in 1864 by J. B. Castro, and securing
a journal and large tributary population. Moss' Landing assists as a near
shipping-point to sustain it. Pajaro is derived from Rio Pajaro, bird river.
Then there are Gonzales and Soledad, the ancient mission, to the south.
Gonzales' Stat., MS., 5-7, named after this writer's family. Beyond the Gavi-
lau range lay another fine valley, whose rapid development led in 1872 to the
formation of San Benito county, with the seat of government at the recently
founded HoUister, which quickly overshadowed San Juan Bautista, supreme
since Mexican times. Hollister was named after the prominent pioneer of
the valley, who had built the first house on this site in 1862. It was laid out
in 1868 by the S. Justo Homestead Assoc, and stimulated by the railway.
Population 1,030 by 1883; J. Watson was the first settler near the site, in 1854.
Cal. Statutes, 1873-4, 675, 840, refers to its incorporation. San Juan Bautista
changed from mission to pueblo during Mexican rule. Yet it still figured
with a population of 480 in 1880. Tres Pinos is one of the stations. The
population of the county was 5,580 according to the census of 1880, with 593
farms, acreage 365,000, value $3,346,000, produce .$430,000, live-stock §397,-
000. Monterey stood assigned a population of 11,300, with 834 farms of less
extent, value $6,863,000, produce $1,784,000, stock $1,031,000. In 1850 its
improved acreage stood at 13,700.

Still richer was the valley of Santa Clara, which ranked next to Los An-
geles in early days for density of settlements. Its centre has remained at
San Jose, for a while the capital of the state, and now a busy yet homelike
garden city of centennial dignity. It was incorporated in 1850, and reincor-
porated. Cal. Statutes, 1850, 479; 1857, 113; 1871-2, 333; 1873-4, 345, 727,
734. Comments on its selection for the capital city, in (S. F. Herald, Feb. 4,
1851; AUa Cal., Dec. 24, 1850; S. F. Picayune, Sept. 28, 1850; Cal. Courier.
The loss of this preeminence checked progress, yet its centennial was cele-
brated under glorious auspices in 1877. For special and full descriptions, I
refer to S. Jos6 Arch., L. Pap., passim; HalVs Hist. S. Josi, Stat., MS., by
Behlen, the first mayor; Fernandez, Doc, MS., 6 et seq.; and S. J. Pioneer,
as the most historic among its journals. The former Mexican predomination
here has declined to a small section. Population 12,570 by 1880. The mis-
sion by its side has nobly maintained its course, now as the college town of
Santa Clara and suburb of San Jose, with a share in its trade, and with incor-
poration honors. Cal. Statutes, 1871-2, 251; 1856, 79; population over 2,400


in ISSO. Gilroy ranks next at the head of the valle}', assisted by its springs,
by railroad traffic, and by tobacco manufacture and mills. The first hamlet
here was San Isidro, named after the rancho of Ortega, into which family
that early Scotch ijioneer Gilroy, or Cameron, married. It gradually came
to be known after this settler, but in time settlement shifted over round the
inn established two miles oflf by J. Houck in 1850. This was formally laid
out in 1808 by Huber, and incorporated in 1870. Cal. Statutes, 1869-70, 2G3;
1871-2, 1006. Gas followed in 1871; population 1,620 in 1880. Gilroy Advo-
cate, Sept. -Oct. 1879. The S. F. Times of Nov. 11, 1867, speaks of its pros-
pects. WTiere the water-power of the creek led J. A. Forbes in 1850 to build
a flour-mill, Los Gatos was established. In 1863 a lumber-yard was added.
The arrival of the railroad in 1877 gave it an impulse which viniculture has
affirmed. Near by lie the Saratoga paper-mills and springs. Alviso, once
an important shipping-point for the valley, was pushed aside by the railroads.
It was laid out in 1849, with a great flourish, having projects for docks, etc.,
by J. D. Hoppe, P. Burnett, and C. Marvin, and named after the Mexican
land-owner there. BiiffumsSix Mo., 154; Coltons Three Years, 418; AltaCal,
Dec. 15, 1849; Pac. Neim, Dec. 25, 1849. Wharves and warehouses appeared,
and incorporation in 1852. Cal. Statutes, 1852, 222. Swamp-land titles gave
trouble. It retained sufficient trade to figure as a village. On either side
are the stations Maytield, Mountain View, and Milpitas. The quicksilver
mines of New Almaden, the most productive in tlie world, sustain a large
village. For 1865 the yield rose to 47, 194 flasks. Later it was little over
20,000. The county ranks among the leading agricultural districts, with
1,492 farms, according to the census of 1880, covering 257,000 acres, value
$15,320,000, produce §2,157,000, live-stock §968,000; population 35,000,
against 11,900 in 1860. In 1852 it raised 570,000 bushels of grain, and
656,000 bushels of potatots.

The adjoining Santa Cruz presents a contrast in resources, with its vast
forests of redwood and water-power along difi"erent streams, which fostered
mills and factories, and for a long time placed the county next to San Francisco
as a manufacturing field. Saw-mills, tanneries, ship-yards, foundries, existed
on a certain scale prior to 1849, and powder- works and lime-kilns were added,
together with some mining. The census of 1850 assigned it an improved acreage
of 2,045. By 1880 the population had increased from 1,220 to 12,800, with 584
smaller farms, value $3,848,000, produce §726,000, live-stock §264,000. A
commodious position at the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek assisted Santa Cruz,
the city of terraces, to remain the leading town and seat, sustained greatly
as the nearest seaside resort for the bay dwellers. Branciforte, the earlier
real town, was merged in Sta Cruz, the mission settlement before the conquest,
although the legislature of 1850 considered this same point. Cal. Jour. Ho.,
1850, 13.36. Population 3,900 by 1880. A similar control of water-power
and resources made Sequel a prosperous manufacturing place, while the valley
of Pajaro lifted Watsonville to the second rank. It was laid out in 1852 by
J. H. Watson and D. S. Gregory. Clouded title for a time checked progress,
but this being settled, it advanced, was incorporated in 1868, Cal. Statutes,
1S67-S, 688, obtained gas and watsr works, and by 1880 a population of 1,800.
Watsonville Direct. , 1 873, 5-24, and later. Felton has saw-mills and lime-kilns.


The development of San Mateo county is greatly clue to its proximity to
the metropolis, to which it once pertained, as the source for supplies and site
for country residences and resorts. Upon its segregation in 1856, the seat of
government was assigned to Belmont — where Augelo's hotel formed the initial
settlement in 1850-1, and speedily made it the resort for which it is now chiefly
famed — but was transferred the same year to Redwood City, whose valuable
timber land and water route to the bay obtained for it a predominance which
the rival town of San Mateo sought in vain to overcome, like the still less
unsuccessful Menlo Park and Ravenswood. On the coast is a farming district
supporting two small towns. Capt. A. Smith built the first house at Redwood
City; ship-building began the same year, and a squatter raid upon Las Pulgas
rancho in 1852 brought j)opulation, for which W. Shaw opened the first store.
Road traffic started wagon-making; mills and tanneries followed. In 1854 it
was laid out by J. M. Mezes and named after him, but the familiar appellation
Redwood prevailed, and was affirmed by the charter of 1867. Cal. Statutes,
1867-8,411; 1873-4, 946; iPetZwJoocZ Tmes, Jan. -March 1879, etc. Poijulation
1,380 in 1880. San Mateo was founded properly in 1863 as a railroad station
for the many residents who had their villas there, and was of steady growth,
partly as a way-station for Pescadero. In 1874 it was chosen as county seat,
but by arbitration the dignity was retained for Redwood. Menlo Park was
incorporated in 1874. Ravenswood was founded in 1853 as a shipping-point,
but dropped down to a brick-yard. Pescadero, a popular resort, signifies
fishing-place; Spanishtown was of gradual growth. The population of the
county increased from 3,200 in 1860 to 8,670 in 1880; possessing 669 farms,
valued at $7,916,000: produce $716,000; live-stock .§511,000. The saw-mill
industry was started by C. Brown just prior to the gold excitement.

Alameda ranked in the last census as the most productive agricultural
county on the coast, yet it owes much to its position on the bay, and Oak-
land, the official head, is practically a residence suburb of San Francisco,
fitly the consort with balmier air and beauty, and with thriving educational
establishments. When the county was organized in 1853, Alvarado became
the seat of government as the most central among available settlements, and
with a good shipi)ing-place, to which San Jose mission and other points were
tributary. Cal. Statutes, 1853, 319; Id., Jour. Ass., 1853, 692, 699. But polit-
ical influence gained the privilege soon after for San Leandi-o, a town with
similar advantages, but more attractive in site and appearance, which had to
surrender it 20 years later to its powerful neighbor. It was laid out in 1851
as New Haven, by H. C. Smith, who as assemblyman manceuvred the crea-
tion of the county and the seat, allowing the lieutenant-governor to rename
the place in honor of the Mexican ex -governor. It grew, embraced Union
City, and became the chief town of the southern section, with several facto-
ries. ]Vash. Indep., Jan. 5, 1878. In 1850 San Leandro contained only the
residence of J. J. Estudillo, the owner of the tract, and a school-house, but
agriculture and river traffic gave it impulse. It gained the seat in 1854, but
did not actually obtain it till 1856. It assumed incorporation honors i:i 1872,
partly to strengthen itself against Oakland's struggle for the county seat.
This dignity was lost, yet the town continues to prosper. Cal. Statutes, 1856,


26; 1871-2, 458; 1873-4, 63. Population 1,370 by 1880. Contra Costa, i. 17.
A number of squatters on Estudillo's rancho gathered at Sau Lorenzo in
1852-3, forming the so-called Squatterville of the census report of 1852, and
the manufacture of farming implements was started, with a few adjuncts in
the shape of hotels and shops. W. Hayward settled at the place of that
name in 1851, and soon engaged in store and hotel keeping. G. Castro,
owner of S. Lorenzo grant, laid out the town in 1854, applying the name of
his tract, which did not long prevail. The railroad gave it new life, and in
1876 it received a charter. It has two breweries. Population 1,230 in 1880.
See Oro(jan vs Hay wards. The adjoining San Lorenzo failed to grow, but
Haywards, with its fine situation, rivals it, and in the south the railroads
have lifted several stations to share the trade with earlier villages, as Niles,
Suuol, Pleasanton, first called Alisal, and Washington Corners, the last the
supply-place for San Jose mission. Newark overshadows Centreville. In
the east Livermore holds the advantage. A. Ladd settled there in 1865, and
built a hotel, which became the nucleus for Laddville; but the approach of
the railroad caused W. Mendenhall to lay out Livermore half a mile west-
ward, and this gained the supremacy and was incorporated in 1876. It was
named after K Livermore, owner of the grant, whose adobe dwelling stood
a mile and a half northward. Cal. Statutes, 1875-6, 913. Population 850 by
1880. The population of the county increased from 8,930 in 18G0 to 62,980
in 1880, with property assessed at $42,822,000, of which $19,527,000 repre-
sents the value of 1,520 farms, produce $2,385,000, live-stock $940,000. Salt-
works, jute and cotton mills, and a sugar factory figure among the industries.
Beyond the range northward a number of small towns nestle in the valleys
tributary to the bays of San Pablo and Suisun, beginning with Lafayette, of
ante-aurum quietude, founded in 1847 by E. Brown, with the first grist-mill
in the county, in 1853, followed by Walnut Creek, Danville, Concord, and
other towns, and culminating in Martinez, which, disappointed in its aspira-
tions like the opposite Benicia, had to rest content with the position of peace-
ful county seat for Contra Costa. It was laid out in 1849 by W. M. Smith,
as agent for the Martinez family owning the grant. Larlcbis Doc, vii. 134;
Sac. Transcript, Nov. 14, 1850. N. Hunsaker erected the first building, and
T. A. Brown the first store. In 1850-1 the owner of the Welch rancho laid
out a large addition to the prospective metropolis. After an attempt at in-
corporation in 1851 a charter was obtained in 1876. Cal. Statutes, 1875-6, 822.
Warehouses and salmon canneries helped to sustain it. The entrepot trade of
the valleys was largely absorbed by diS'erent shipping points, as Point Pinole
and Port Costa, a wheat-shipping place and ferry station for the railroad.
Depth of shore water caused it to be selected. The ferry slip was completed
in 1879, shipments beginning soon after. At Pinole and round the point are
powder-works. The inland Pacheco, on Walnut Creek, with wareliouses and
flour-mill, was laid out in 1860 on the strength of existing warehouses and
trade, and named after S. Pacheco. Antioch, the second town of the county,
was the centre for the fertile San Joaquin district. It was first known as
Smith's Landing, after J. H. and W. W. Smith, who settled there in 1849,
and christened Antioch in 1851. In 1852-3 came brick-making and a store.
It grew slowly till the coal developments gave it energy, and enabled it to


incorporate in 1872. Population 620 in 1880. Antioch had a share in the
traffic of the coal-mining villages of Nortonville, Somersville, and Judson-
ville. The chief delivery stations for these important mines are, however, at
Pittsburg and at New York, which was started with great flourish early in
1849 as a rival of San Francisco, but failed to rise above a hamlet. It has an
interest in the fish canneries, which, with powder-works, figure among the
supplementary industries of this coal and farming county. The census of
1852 ascribes to it 317,000 bushels of grain, 85,000 bushels of potatoes, and
51,000 head of stock. By 1880 the population had increased from 2,780 to
12,520, with 885 farms valued at $6,713,000, produce $1,377,000, stock
$507,000. Pittsburg has been referred to as Black Diamond, which properly
adjoins it. New York of the Pacific was laid out by Col Stevenson and W.
C. Parker, and surveyed by Gen, Sherman. See his Mem., i. 73-4; Coltons
Three Years, 417; Biiffums Six Mo., 150; Taylors Eldorado, i. 217; ii. 48;
McCollums Cal. The latter two scout at its aspirations, yet Cal. Courier,
Nov. 2, 1850, stiU assumes that it will become a port for S. Joaquin Valley.
Members of the Kennebec Trading Co. settled here. Boijntons Stat., MS., 1;
Hayes' Orvj. Doc., 3-4; Friend, 1849, ii.; Pico, Doc, i. 207. The Smith
brothers built the first house, and a few more rose upon the numerous lots
disposed of during the excitement started by the projectors. After 1850 it
was recognized as a failure. Two canneries were established there.




The Colonization System— Land Grants by Spain and Mexico— Infor-
malities OF Title— Treaty Obligations of the United States— Ef-
fect of the Gold Discovery — The Squatters— Reports of Jones and
Halleck— Discussions in Congress— Fremont, Benton, and Gwin—
The Act of 1851— The Land Commission— Progress and Statistics
of Litigation— Principles— Floating Grants— Surveys— Fraudu-
lent Claims— Specimen Cases— Castillero— Fremont— Gomez— Li-
mantour — Peralta — Santillan— Sutter — Vallejo — Mission Lands
— Friars, Neophytes, and Church — Pico's Sales — Archbishop's
Claim— Pueblo Lands— The Case of San Francisco— Statistics of
1880— More of Squatterism— Black and Jones— Attempts to Reopen
Litigation— General Conclusions— The Act o'^ 1851 Oppressive and
Ruinous — What should have been Done.

The subject of Mexican land titles in California is
one that with concise treatment might fill a volume.
Any one of its dozen leading phases would require
much more space than this chapter affords. Yet I
give it all the space permitted by a symmetrical plan,
taking into consideration its historical importance in
comparison with other matters ; and I try to present
a comprehensive and satisfactory view.

The annals of colonization in California under Span-
ish and Mexican rule, with sufficient explanation of
the land-grant system at successive periods, are given
in earlier volumes.^ At no time before 1846 had it

iPor instruc. to Com. Rivera y Moncada in 1773 on distribution of lands,
see i. 216, Hist. Cal, this series; on pueblo founding, progress, and regulations
down to 1800, i. 311-14, 336-8, 348-50, 388-9, 503-i, 564^72, 600-6; general
remarks on tenure of lands, with names of early grants to 1800, i. 607-18, 661-3,
717; on ranehos of 1801-10, ii. 111-12, 146, 153, 170-3; on grants of 1811-20,
Hist. Cal., Vol. VI. 34 ( 529 )


been so difficult for citizens to obtain farms as for the
government to find settlers for its lands. The original
Spanish occupation of 1769 was a colonization scheme,
the presidio being a temporary device to protect set-
tlements during the process of development, and the
mission another expedient to fit the natives for settlers
and citizens ; ultimately, and soon as was vainly hoped,
California was to be a country of towns and farms
occupied by descendants of the soldiers, civilized In-
dians, and settlers of various races from abroad, the
whole a community of tribute-paying. God-fearing,
Spanish citizens. Three pueblos were founded as
nuclei, and naturally for many years the only distribu-
tion of lands M-as in the form of town lots; but after
1786, if not before, the governor could grant ranchos.
No such grants were made before 1800, though fifteen
or twenty farms were occupied under provisional
licenses. About a dozen more were occupied before
1822, the end of Spanish rule, some of them under
formal grants; and in the first decade of Mexican
independence the number was increased to about fifty
in 1832. From the advent of Governor Figueroa in
1833, under the Mexican colonization law of 1824 and
the reglamento of 1828, land grants numbered on an
average fifty-three each year to 1846, when the total
number was nearly 800.^ It is to be noted also that
most of the Spanish grants were renewed under Mex-
ican forms, being in some instances conferred on the
heirs of the original occupants.

ii. 353-4, 375, .383, 414^15, including decree of '13 on reduction of lands to
private ownership; grants of '21-30, ii. 546-7, 565-6, 592^, 612-16; gen.
account to '30, with list of 50 ranchos, ii. 661-5; colonization law of '24 and
reglamento of '28, ii. 515-16; iii. 34-5; grants of '31-40 in the 5 districts,
iii. 611-12, 633-4, 655-6, 676-«, 711-13; grants of '41-5; iv. 620-1, 63J^5,
642-3, 655-C, 670-4; grants of '46, v. 619, 627-8, 632, 637-8, 659-60,_ 665,
669, 675; also local annals of the 3 pueblos, passim. The references to L 607
-18 and ii. 661-5 are of chief importance for present purposes.

2 These figures, taken after '22 from the Land Com. record in Hoffman s
Reports of '62, are only approximately correct, as some of the larger ranchos
were presented to the com. in several subdivisions. According to this list,
the number of grants to 1800 was 13, and to '22 was 27, which figures amount
to nothing, as most of the Spanish grants were renewed in Mex. times, and
presented under the regrant, while others were subdivided; no. for '2.3-32, 11 ;
'33, 25; '34, 33; '35, 31; '36, 37; '37, 27: '38, 43; '39,59; '40, 37; '41,61; '42,
51, '43. 64; '44. 122; '45, 68; '46, 87; no date, 20.


Under the Mexican law and reglamento any citizen,
native or naturalized, might select a tract of unoccu-
pied land and apply to the governor for a grant. His
petition was generally accompanied by a rude map,
or diseno, and was usually submitted by the governor
to the alcalde or other local authority for investiga-
tion. The alcalde, after consulting other persons in
case his own knowledge did not suffice, if he found
the land vacant and no objection to the grant, re-
turned a favorable informe, or report, on which the
governor, if satisfied with the petitioner's qualifications
— including citizenship, character, and ability to utilize
the land — wrote on the margin, "Let the title issue,"
passing the papers to his secretary of state. The
latter wrote a formal grant, with a borrador, or blot-
ter copy, the former of which, when it had been
signed by the governor and recorded in the toma de
razon, or record book — sometimes by literal copy,
sometimes by mere mention — was delivered to the

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