San Francisco History

Seventy-five Years in San Francisco


Forty-First Meeting

At a meeting of the Town Council held January 2, 1850, there were present:
Messrs. Steuart, Brannan, Ellis, Green, Price, Davis and Turk. Hon. John W. Geary, presiding.

The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and approved,

Communication from B. Nollner, concerning a grant of a 50 vara lot, laid on the table.

Communication from the Prefect referred to a committee previously appointed for a similar communication. Col. Steuart, chairman

Communication from W. C. Rogers returned.

Communication from J. Gilbert laid on table.

Communication from S. C. Simmons laid on table.

Petition of A. Melhado laid on table.

Petition of S. W. Hastings, Earl and McIntosh for relief from loss sustained from fire. Referred to judiciary committee.

Petition of Z. Snyder and J. D. Atkinson to assist J. B. Brown. Laid on table.

Petition of W. S. Clark laid on table, and the Alcalde authorized to strike the lot referred to from the catalogue, if he deem it proper.

The following report of Wm. Heath Davis, Chairman of Committee on Expenditures, read and accepted: to wit, that the following bills be paid.

Wm. M. Eddy, and others, surveying, $3,487.80
Tucker, Pierson & Co., coffins, $550.00
Joel Allen, coffins, $800.00
Geo. Smith & Co., burying the dead, $570.00
Charles Marshall, boarding bill, $79.00
Robert Beck, furnishing Station House, $89.50
Brooks & Friel, furnishing Station House, $76.50
E. Laffan, rent, $150.00
Robert Beck, holding inquest, $22.00
John Riker, posting bills, $20.00
Shepherd & Devor, candles, $47.50
C. W. Cornell & Co., coffins, $300.00
Tucker, Pierson & Co., coffins, $156.00
E. Laffan, rent, $460.00
Chas. S. Hallock, coffins, $780
Wm. W. Whaites, candles, $93.00
Eastman & Barr, rope, at fire Dec. 24, $10.00
Chas. E. Hitchcock, Street Inspector, $185.00
Chas. E. Hitchcock, Street Inspector, $300.00
Samuel J. Clark, Jr., Coroner’s fees, $60.00
C. C. Parker, Lumber, $74.00

Total, $8,310.30

Report of Col. Steuart, Chairman of Committee on Health and Police, read and laid on the table for future consideration.

Report of S. Brannan, Chairman of Committee to whom was referred petition of P. Dexter Tiffany, offering lot for sale for public use of the Town,—read and accepted.

Report of Frank Turk, Esq., Chairman of Committee to consider petition of H. McAllister, asking confirmation to title of 50 vara lot, No. 432, read and accepted.

On motion of Col. Steuart, the rules were suspended to take into consideration the report of the Committee on Health and Police. After adopting five sections of said report, it was again laid on the table.

On motion of Mr. Brannan, Resolved that a Committee of two be appointed by the chair to draft a petition to the Governor for the suspension of the Prefect and Justice Colton, for malfeasance in office.

Messrs. Turk and Price were appointed.

On motion of Col. Steuart, Resolved, that the Secretary be authorized to procure an iron chest suitable for the safe keeping of the books and papers containing the proceedings of this council.

On motion, adjourned.
H. L. Dodge.

(Los Angeles Star, September 27, 1856)

I was at San Rafael in June 1846 when the then Captain Frémont arrived at that Mission with his troops. The second day after his arrival there was a boat landed three men at the mouth of the estero on Point San Pedro. As soon as they were descried by Frémont there were three men (of whom Kit Carson was one) detailed to meet them. They mounted their horses and after advancing about one hundred yards halted and Carson returned to where Frémont was standing on the corridor of the Mission, in company with Gillespie, myself, and others, and said: “Captain, shall I take these men prisoners?” In response Frémont waved his hand and said: “I have got no room for prisoners.” They then advanced to within fifty yards of the three unfortunate and unarmed Californians, alighted from their horses, and deliberately shot them. One of them was an old and respected Californian, Don José R. Berreyesa, whose son was the Alcalde of Sonoma. The two others were twin brothers and sons of Don Francisco de Haro, a citizen of the Pueblo of Yerba Buena. I saw Carson some two years ago and spoke to him of this act and he assured me that then and since he regretted to be compelled to shoot those men, but Frémont was bloodthirsty enough to order otherwise, and he further remarked that it was not the only brutal act he was compelled to commit while under his command.

I should not have taken the trouble of making this public but that the veracity of a pamphlet published by C. E. Pickett, Esq., in which he mentions the circumstance has been questioned—a history which I am compelled to say is, alas, too true—and from having seen a circular addressed to the native Californians by Frémont, or some of his friends, calling on them to rally to his support, I therefore give the above act publicity, so as to exhibit some of that warrior’s tender mercies and chivalrous exploits, and must say that I feel degraded in soiling paper with the name of a man whom, for that act, I must always look upon with contempt and consider as a murderer and a coward.



In 1838 the following were the prominent families around the bay of San Francisco: At the Mission Dolores were Francisco de Haro, then alcalde, who was married to the daughter of Don José Sánchez; Francisco Guerrero, who was afterward alcalde and subprefect; Tiburcio Vásquez; Doña Carmen Cibrián; Candelario Valencia, married to the daughter of Don José Sánchez; Jesús Valencia, married to another daughter of Sánchez; Don Jesus Noé. The residence of Don José Sánchez was at Buri-buri, which place he owned. It containd 8,000 head of cattle and a great many horses and mares. His sons, who lived there also, were José de Ia Cruz, Francisco, Manuel, Chino and Ysidro. Captain Juan Prado Mesa, who resided with his family at the presidio, was in command of the military post there.

At the Rancho Pinole, near Martínez, resided Teniente Ygnacio Martínez, with his family. At the Rancho San Pablo, Don Joaquín Castro, with his mother, Doña Gabriela Berreyesa de Castro, and his brothers, Antonio, Gabriel, Victor and Jesús María. At Temescal were Don Domingo Peralta and Vicente Peralta. At San Antonio, Ygnacio Peralta and his family, and Antonio María Peralta and his family. At the Rancho San Leandro resided Don José Joaquín Estudillo and family. At the Rancho San Lorenzo, Guillermo Castro and family. At the mission of San José, José Jesús Vallejo, brother of General Vallejo, who was then administrator of that mission, which retained some of its former wealth. At Milpitas resided Don José Crisóstomo Galindo and family; James Alexander Forbes, who was married to a daughter of the latter, and was then acting as British vice-consul, a native of Scotland. He was a thorough Spanish scholar. There were also José María Alviso (“Chico”) and family. At Agua Caliente was Don Fulgencio Higuera and family. At the pueblo of San Jose, Don Antonio Suñol, a native of Spain, a merchant; the Bernal families; Don Antonio María Pico and family; Don Luis Peralta, the father of those before mentioned, with his daughters, he being then nearly a hundred years old. He was a native of Sonora, and had emigrated to this part of the country when a boy. At Santa Clara were Doña Soledad Ortega Argüello, widow of Don Luis Argüello, one of the early governors of the department of California who owned the Rancho Las Pulgas (which means “the Fleas”) in San Mateo County, long possessed by his heirs; also Don Ygnacio Alviso, with his amiable wife, to whom I am indebted for numerous kindnesses.

At these different places there were many others, mostly foreigners, engaged in commercial pursuits.

At Sonoma were General M. G. Vallejo and family, he being commander-in-chief of the forces of the department. His military headquarters were at that place. He owned the Rancho Petaluma, with thousands of cattle and horses. The Rancho Suscol was a national ranch under his control, heavily stocked with cattle and horses. At Sonoma, also, was Salvador Vallejo, brother of the general, who owned a large ranch in Napa Valley, with thousands of cattle and horses. Nicolás Higuera lived at Napa, and was engaged raising stock; so were Cayetano Juárez and Don Joaquín Piña and family. At Santa Rosa resided Doña María Ygnacia López de Carrillo, with her beautiful daughters Juana and Felicidad. Mrs. Carrillo was the grandmother of ex-Governor Romualdo Pacheco and mother-in-law of General Vallejo. At San Rafael were Timothy Murphy, Ygnacio Pacheco and family, and Domingo Sais. At Read’s Ranch was John Read, who married the daughter of Don José Sánchez, with his family. At Sausalito were Captain William A. Richardson and family.

Source: Davis, William Heath. Seventy-five Years in San Francisco. 1929: San Francisco.

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