By Stephen Van Wormer
Milton Fintzelberg Awards
San Diego History Center 1982 Institute of History
The Jamacha Valley lies nestled in the foothills to the east of San Diego at the base of San Miguel Mountain.1 During the Mexican Period the valley was part of Rancho Jamacha, a Mexican land grant consisting of two square leagues, owned by Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana.2 Following the American conquest of California, Doña Apolinaria lost the rancho to the invading Americans.
The manner by which she lost control of her property has often perplexed historians. Following the Mexican War, many California rancheros lost their land to American squatters and land speculators as a result of the Land Act of 1851. Unfamiliar with American legal procedures and forced to mortgage their ranchos in order to cover court costs, most Mexican Californians lost their property while waiting for final confirmation of their claims. It has been contended by many historians, however, that Doña Apolinaria did not lose Rancho Jamacha as a result of the Land Act of 1851, but that the land was taken from her through illegal means.3 This belief seems to have been based on a statement by historian, Hubert Howe Bancroft, who wrote that she lost the ranch through “some legal hocus-pocus that the old woman never understood.”4
Although it may never be known if Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana understood the process by which she lost all rights to Rancho Jamacha, she was, in fact, typical of many Mexican rancheros who lost their property as a consequence of the Land Act of 1851. The transfer of ownership was legal and a consequence of her own action.
In order to better understand the events that led to Lorenzana’s loss of Jamacha, it seems appropriate to discuss the rancho’s history previous to 1850. Before it was granted to Doña Apolinaria, the Jamacha Valley had been part of the lands belonging to Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Prior to this the Kumeyaay or Diegueno Indians had inhabited the valley and surrounding region. Traditionally hunters and gatherers, their occupation of an area tended to be seasonal, with bands moving throughout a specific territory in order to exploit major food resources.5 The founding of the mission and presidio of San Diego in 1769, however, drastically changed the lifestyle and culture of the area’s native population. Although the Spanish established missions in California in order to “civilize” the Indians, their efforts resulted in the destruction of the very people they intended to save.6
The first historical record of missionary contact with the native inhabitants of the Jamacha Valley was in October, 1775, when Padres Jayme, Fuster, Lasuen, and Amarrion baptized the natives of the Rancheria San Jacome de la Marca, or Jamacha.7 Part of the population, however, did not readily accept its new-found salvation. The following month a combined force of natives from nineteen different rancherias, including Jamacha, attacked Mission San Diego, killing Father Jayme, a blacksmith, and a carpenter. One of the warriors from Jamacha, a baptized Christian known as Chilcacop, participated in the murder of Father Jayme.8
Instead of discouraging the missionaries, the attack reinforced their determination.9 The Spanish soon regained control, and conversion of the natives continued. By 1809, fifty-one members of the rancheria at Jamacha had been baptized.10 As the mission prospered, the valley was used to graze herds of sheep and horses, which numbered over 16,000 by 1830.11
Even though the California missions enjoyed several decades of prosperity, the missionaries ultimately destroyed the California Indians. They subjected the natives to unaccustomed labor, unsanitary living conditions, exposure to disease, and a disruption of family ties, social relationships, and cultural values. This resulted in the physical and moral decline of the aboriginal population.12 At their peak, the twenty-one California missions controlled approximately 30,000 Indians.13 By 1834,. the year before secularization took the institutions away from the missionaries, only 15,000 natives remained.14 At San Diego, the death rate amounted to half the number of baptisms between 1769 and 1800, and constituted seventy-seven percent of the number of baptisms and thirty-five percent of the aboriginal population by 1820.15 Disease, a low birth rate, and an inability to adapt to an alien culture were destroying the California Indians.16 The native population of the Jamacha Valley suffered the same fate as did their aboriginal brethren throughout the state who had come under mission control. Although the rancheria is mentioned in a report of 1827, it is doubtful that more than a few individuals remained in the valley in 1835 when the San Diego Mission was secularized.17
Secularization of Mission San Diego resulted in the conversion of the Jamacha Valley into a privately owned rancho. Following secularization, former mission lands throughout California became the property of a small aristocratic class of rancheros. The chief economic activity during this period consisted of exporting hides and tallow. The California ranchero put little effort into improving his surroundings, allowing his cattle and horses to roam freely over the open range, feeding and reproducing naturally. Agriculture amounted to planting only enough food for the small population. Grain or other produce for export or livestock feed was not grown, and manufacturing was almost nonexistent.18
The Jamacha Valley became like many other ranchos of the period. It differed, however, in some ways, from the average Mexican cattle ranch. The average rancho was owned by a member of the rancho aristocracy who had gained his land by opposing the missionaries and advocating secularization.19 Rancho Jamacha, on the other hand, had been granted by the missionaries at San Diego to Doña Apolinaria, a single, pious woman devoted to the church.
The missionaries granted Jamacha in reaction to the threat of secularization, which they saw as an attempt by the aristocracy to gain control of the church’s wealth. In preparation for the inevitable, measures were undertaken in the early 1830s to preserve what could be saved of the mission’s property and to convert the remainder into cash. The priests at several missions ceased to care for the buildings and began to slaughter the vast herds of cattle for their hides and tallow.20 The missionaries of San Diego, therefore, granted a large portion of the mission’s grazing land to Doña Apolinaria, who had long been a devoted friend and servant of the mission. The lands consisted of three separate grants: San Juan de Las Secuas, San Juan de Los Coches, and San Jacome de la Marca or Jamacha.21
Born in Mexico, Apolinaria Lorenzana had been sent with her mother and several other families to California about the year 1800.22 Her mother remarried and returned to Mexico, where she later died. Apolinaria, left in the care of Captain Raymundo Carrillo and his family of Monterey, moved to San Diego at the age of twelve, where the captain had been transferred. Soon after her arrival, the young girl fell ill and became a patient of the missionaries. Upon her recovery, the fathers made her a nurse in the mission hospital. Apolinaria became devoted to the priests and the church. She remained at the mission and never married, teaching the Indians to sew, and caring for the sick.23 As a result of her religious devotion, the people of San Diego nicknamed Apolinaria “La Beata,” meaning “the pious one.”24
Doña Apolinaria first occupied the Jamacha Valley in 1831.25 In 1833, the missionaries gave her the necessary certificates and she applied to the government for ownership. In 1840, she received a grant for two square leagues of land which, according to her diseño, lay entirely within the Jamacha Valley.26 Meanwhile, she built a house, corral, and lime kiln on the west side of the valley, and planted wheat and corn in the valley’s bottom, on the east side of the Sweetwater River.27 During this period, however, Doña Apolinaria continued to live at the mission and attended the priests and a few remaining neophytes. She hired a mayordomo, or foreman, to oversee the rancho, occasionally staying there herself for a few days at a time.28
In 1837, during one of her periodic visits to the rancho, tragedy struck. Natives from the Jacumba area attacked the neighboring Jamul Rancho, which had been granted to Don Pío Pico.29 The hostile band killed the mayordomo, Juan Leiva, and two servants, and kidnapped Leiva’s two daughters. Doña María de Los Angeles, Don Pío Pico’s mother and mistress of the rancho, fled with her daughter to Jamacha where Apolinaria gave them refuge. Friendly natives from the nearby rancheria of Sequa were summoned to help defend Jamacha. The hostile band from Jacumba, however, retreated after attacking Jamul.30
Doña Apolinaria continued to reside at the mission, leaving her ranches to the care of mayordomos. The mission, however, was declining rapidly. In 1846, the last resident priest, Father Vicente Oliva, who had remained at his post following secularization, moved to San Juan Capistrano. His move left the San Diego Mission abandoned. The buildings by this time had become dilapidated and only a very few neophytes remained.31
Soon Apolinaria would also leave. In the spring of 1846 war broke out between the United States and Mexico, and American troops occupied San Diego in July.32 In January, 1847, a company of American volunteers, the Mormon Battalion, occupied the mission.33 At this point, Apolinaria followed Father Oliva to San Juan Capistrano, abandoning her ranchos. Her first love and dedication had always been to the church and priests. The mission filled with American soldiers and, with the missionaries and most of the Indians gone, she had no reason to remain.34
Following the conquest of California by the United States, Rancho Jamacha became the property of the invading Americans. Upon the termination of hostilities, Mexican Californians were given guarantees by the United States Government that their property and civil rights would be respected. Article 19 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo stated that Mexican Californians “would be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, . . .”35 However, despite these guarantees, a combination of political, economic, and social factors resulted in the loss of a large portion of rancho lands by their original owners or their descendants.36 The land policy of California, which favored midwestern and eastern settlement patterns consisting of small farms, became the most significant of these factors. The state land policy resulted from pressure by many newly arrived Yankee immigrants who could not accept the fact that thirteen million acres of the best land in California was controlled by only a few hundred individuals.37
Pressure from newly arrived immigrants resulted in the Land Act of 1851 that established the United States Land Commission in order to investigate the legitimacy of all land claimed under Mexican period grants. Although the law could have been justified under Article 19 of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as an attempt to protect the claims of Mexican Californians, the manner in which it was executed violated the treaty’s spirit. Rather than a quick and speedy process, the ordeal of investigation and confirmation took decades, placing the rancheros at a distinct disadvantage.38
In attempting to validate their claims, the Mexican Californians faced several barriers. The burden of proof was placed on the rancheros. However, Mexican grants had been poorly documented and many of their original records lost, so that a number of landowners found it difficult to produce proof acceptable in a court of the United States government. In addition, the rancheros had no understanding of American legal procedures and were unfamiliar with the laws of the United States. This problem was compounded by the fact that very few of the ranchero aristocracy could speak English. Finally, the complex and lengthy process of claim validation forced many Mexican Californians to mortgage their lands in order to pay court costs and lawyers’ fees, and this eventually led to the loss of their property.39
Typical of many land cases, it was during the long wait for final confirmation to her claim that Apolinaria lost Jamacha. Early in 1852, she petitioned the United States Land Commission for the return of the rartcho.40 However, by this time events were already in motion that would result in the eventual loss of her property.
The men who would come to own Jamacha Rancho had arrived in San Diego following the Mexican War. Unlike the north, where gold seekers constituted the majority of new emigrants, military men made up most of the Americans in San Diego during the early 1850s. In April, 1849, five companies of the Second U.S. Infantry received orders to take post at San Diego. Shortly after their arrival, two companies occupied the mission.41 The following June the United States Boundary Commission arrived in town.42 Among the members of the U.S. Infantry and the Boundary Commission were many of the individuals who would affect San Diego’s history over the next decade.
A group of the newly arrived military personnel and local businessmen attempted to develop a city on San Diego Bay, known as New San Diego or New Town. Although doomed to failure, the project provided a nucleus that brought together the future owners of Rancho Jamacha. Among the entrepreneurs involved in the New Town Project were Colonel John Bankhead Magruder,43 First Lieutenant Asher R. Eddy,44 Eugene B. Pendleton,45 Frank Ames,46 and Robert Kelly.47 These men would control the Jamacha Rancho for the next twenty years.
Through the efforts of Colonel Magruder, the five men came to own Rancho Jamacha. As previously stated, at the time of the Second Infantry’s arrival in San Diego, Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana resided in San Juan Capistrano and had abandoned the property.48 When she left San Diego, Apolinaria appointed Juan Forster as her agent in charge of the ranch.49 In 1850 or 1851, Magruder obtained permission from Forster to graze the Army’s livestock on the Jamacha.50 In September, 1852, Magruder, Eddy, Kelly, Ames, and Pendleton formed a partnership and began to work the ranch.51
As yet, the five entrepreneurs had no title to the land, and Doña Apolinaria earlier that year had petitioned the United States Land Commission for the return of her property.52 On January 17, 1853, Colonel Magruder purchased the Jamacha Rancho from Lorenzana for $2,500. According to the terms of the transaction, executed through a deed and mortgage of the same date, Magruder paid Doña Apolinaria $500 in hand, the balance being due six months after the Land Commission confirmed her claim to the property.53 On March 26, 1853, Colonel Magruder sold an undivided two-thirds of the ranch to Eddy, Ames, and Pendleton for $333.34 in hand and $1,333.34 to be paid to Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana six months after the Land Commission confirmed her claim, as two-thirds of the balance owed on the property by Magruder. This transaction was also executed through a deed and mortgage of the same date.54 At this point, therefore, Doña Apolinaria had sold her property, as had many of the Mexican Rancheros, yet she still retained rights to the land through the mortgage made to her by Colonel Magruder.
Before final confirmation of her claim, Apolinaria gave up her rights to the property. The Land Commission ordered a survey of Rancho Jamacha in 1857 and issued a preliminary confirmation to Lorenzana in 1858.55 According to the Act of 1851, however, final confirmation and a patent could not be issued until the original survey had stood uncontested for twelve years.56 Doña Apolinaria did not wait, but sold her mortgage on the property, in 1860, to J. C. Keiver of Los Angeles for $800, thereby giving up all rights that she had retained to Jamacha Rancho.57 In May, 1864, Keiver sold the mortgage to Lieutenant Eddy’s brother, E. W. Eddy of San Francisco, for $600.58 Although Lorenzana now had no legal title to the property, in the years to come she would insist that she did retain rights to the land and that it had been stolen from her.59 Her claim would finally be denied when the rancho was subdivided in the early 1880s.
Until its final subdivision, Rancho Jamacha was primarily used to graze livestock. By the time Eddy, Kelly, Ames, Pendleton, and Magruder had received title to the ranch, they were already running a well-established business on the property.60 During the early 1850s, Southern California ranches prospered as they never had before. An increase of population in the northern part of the state, as a consequence of the gold rush, sent livestock prices soaring. The ranchers of Southern California quickly took advantage of this new market. No longer did hides and tallow constitute the sole source of a livestock man’s profits.61 It was this atmosphere, no doubt, that encouraged Eddy, Kelly, Ames, and Pendleton to develop the Jamacha Ranch. Colonel Magruder, although retaining control of his one-third interest, dropped out of the picture after 1853.
Under the direction of the remaining four partners, Jamacha became a prosperous and profitable ranch devoted to agriculture and animal husbandry. Robert Kelly directly oversaw the operation of the enterprise, living in the adobe Apolinaria had built on the west side of the valley and acting as foreman or manager.62 Lieutenant Eddy, along with Ames and Pendleton, provided financial backing and supplies.63 Kelly cultivated three hundred acres of land on which he grew wheat, barley, oats, rye, and vegetables such as potatoes and artichokes. Butter was made and sold in Old Town and to the soldiers at the mission.64 As a result, Jamacha Rancho became the first successful large-scale agricultural enterprise in the county. Livestock, the main concern of the business, included sheep, horses, cattle, mules, and hogs. These were purchased throughout the county for the purpose of breeding and resale.65
In September 1858, Robert Kelly terminated his partnership with the owners of Jamacha Rancho and went into the mercantile business in Old Town with Frank Ames.66 Eugene Pendleton had left town a year before and by then the New Town development was only a dream of the past.67 When Robert Kelly left Jamacha Rancho, the livestock boom of the early 1850s was quickly ending. Beef prices had begun to fall in 1855 when herds from out of state were brought in.68 By the end of the decade, ranching could no longer be considered a profitable business in Southern California. As a consequence, Ames and Eddy, the only members of the original five who remained actively involved with the property, ceased to operate the Jamacha Ranch as a business. The once large herds dwindled until, by 1860, livestock on the property included only eleven cattle, and 119 horses.69 From 1861 to 1868 it appears that they had little or no livestock on the ranch.70
Beginning in the late 1860s, ownership of the ranch began to be divided among a number of individuals, which resulted in the property’s final subdivision. In December, 1869, A. R. Eddy sold all of the Jamacha to his wife, Mary H. Eddy.71 The entire parcel, however, was not his to sell since Magruder, Pendleton, and the estate of the by then deceased Frank Ames, still held their respective interests.72
Two years later in 1871, several events occurred which further complicated ownership of the property: William Keighler of Baltimore acquired the estate of Frank Ames, including an undivided one-sixth part of the Jamacha.73 E. B. Pendleton sold a one-eighteenth undivided interest of the property to Salon S. Sanborn.74 Colonel Magruder died in Texas, leaving his share of the ranch to his estate; and the United States government issued a patent to Doña Apolinaria, confirming her title to the Jamacha Grant, even though she had given up all claim to the land a decade earlier.75 By 1872, therefore, owners of the property included W. H. Keighler, the estate of Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, E. B. Pendleton, S. S. Sanborn, and Mary H. Eddy.76
The Jamacha grant was divided even further between 1872 and 1880. The interest purchased by Sanborn passed through a series of transactions by which portions were conveyed to O. S. Sanford, N. H. Conklin, J. G. Pratt and M. G. Stockton.77 Additionally, William H. Ware purchased an undivided 1,500 acres from the estate of J. B. Magruder in 1880 and began to cultivate a portion of the Jamacha Valley.78 In the same year, L. G. Pratt purchased an additional undivided 400 acres from William H. Reighler.79
While Jamacha Rancho was split into various undivided interests, making a subdivision of the tract inevitable, ownership of the property had become even more confused and complex as a result of action taken by Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana. On December 31, 1878, Doña Apolinaria had conveyed the ranchos of Jamacha, Los Coches, and San Juan de Secua, to Monica Romero de Ruiz of Santa Barbara. However, she no longer held legal title to the three ranchos, having sold San Juan de Secua in the 1830s, and Los Coches and Jamacha, following the American conquest.80 How Lorenzana justified the sale of land she no longer possessed is not known. Considering her pious reputation, it seems unlikely she had fraudulent intentions. Doña Apolinaria must have believed that she still owned the three ranchos, perhaps as a result of the final confirmation of her claim to Jamacha in 1871.
In March, 1881, various owners of the Jamacha Rancho filed a suit in Superior Court, asking that the ranch lands be subdivided and portions be granted to the different owners, according to their respective interests. Plaintiffs in the case were William H. Keighler, N. H. Conklin, Minnie G. Stockton, and Susan G. Pratt. The defendants listed included Mary H. Eddy; Eugene B. Pendleton and his wife, Elizabeth Pendleton; O. S. Sanford; William H. Ware; Charles J. Fox, the administrator of the estate of Colonel John Bankhead Magruder; W. J. Plummer and Monica Romero de Ruiz.81
The court, after having investigated the legitimacy of the various claims, ordered that the Jamacha Rancho be surveyed and subdivided into different parcels which could be allowed to the respective claimants. Final allotment of the property was as follows:82
|Estate of John B. Magruder
(ordered sold by Court)
|Minnie G. Stockton||B||39.84|
|N. H. Conklin|
|Minnie G. Stockton|
|Estate of J. B. Magruder
(ordered sold by Court)
|N. H. Conklin||D||72.00|
|W. H. Ware||E||790.00|
|Mary H. Eddy||F||3102.14|
|Mrs. E. A. Pendleton||G||1890.03|
|W. H. Keighler||H||1750.04|
|S. G. Pratt||I||313.84|
In addition, the court concluded that the claims of Monica Romero de Ruiz and E. B. Pendleton were not valid.83
Following the property’s subdivision, Jamacha Rancho would no longer be considered a single tract of land. Over the next few decades, various portions of the ranch would be developed in different ways. The southern portion of the property, which included parts of plats “H” and “I,” would become a basin for Sweetwater Reservoir, while those portions lying within Jamacha Valley, plats “A,” “B,” “C,” ” D,” “E,” and “F,” would be transformed into productive farmlands supporting a small agricultural community.84
With the final subdivision of Jamacha Rancho, Apolinaria Lorenzana’s claim to the property, which she had by then confirmed on Monica Romero de Ruiz, was denied. However, the evidence clearly indicates that Doña Apolinaria had already given up all rights to the ranch in 1860 when she sold her mortgage on the property to J. C. Keiver of Los Angeles. The loss of Jamacha Rancho was, therefore, a result of her own actions and not the consequence of “some legal hocus-pocus” as has been claimed.
Rather than the victim of a fraudulent scheme, Doña Apolinaria appears to be typical of those members of the ranchero aristocracy who lost their holdings as a result of the Land Act of 1851. Like many of the Mexican rancheros, she probably did not understand the complex and lengthy process through which her property would be restored, and sold her rights while waiting for final confirmation.85
1. Over the years the valley’s name has been spelled Xamacha, Jamacha, Jamacho and Gamacha. By 1937, the spelling had been officially fixed at Jamacha. John Davidson, “Place Names of San Diego County, No. 188,” The San Diego Evening Tribune, October 22, 1937. The word appears to be a Spanish adulteration of the Kumeyaay Indian word Xamca, which means “wild gourd.” Delfina Cuero, The Autobiography of’ Delfina Cuero as Told to Florence Shipek (Los Angeles: Dawson’s Book Shop, 1968), p. 24.
2. Two square leagues is equal to 8,881 acres. Patent Book 3, San Diego Recorders Office, April 11, 1870, p. 450.
3. Charles Hughes, “The Decline of the Californias: The Case of San Diego”, The Journal of San Diego History, XXI (Summer 1975), p. 13; Davidson, “Place Names;” Fr. Zephyrin Engelhardt, O. F. M., Santa Barbara Mission (San Francisco: James H. Barry Company, 1923), p. 398; William M. Kerr, Notes on Rancho of San Diego West, Vol. 4. (unpublished notes, no date), p. 257, San Diego Historical Society Research archives. One account claims that Lorenzana was tricfced into selling Jamacha by signing a deed that she had been told was a census form. Federal Writers Project, San Diego: A California City (San Diego: San Diego History Center, 1937), p. 56. However, this account is undocumented and no evidence could be found to support the claim.
4. Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of California, Vol. IV (San Francisco: The History Company, 1886), p. 718. Bancroft apparently based his statement on Doña Apolinaria’s testimony that Jamacha had been stolen from her and that she never received any payment for the property (see Note No. 59). Thomas Savage, Introduction to Memoirs of Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana The Pious . . .(Unpublished Manuscript, 1878), page not numbered, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Copy on file at the San Diego Historical Society Research Archives.
5. A. L. Kroeber, Handbook of the Indians of California (Berkeley: California Book Company, 1953), pp. 705-729.
6. Robert Heizer, “Impact of Colonization on the Native California Societies,” The Journal of San Diego History, XXIV (Winter 1978), pp. 121-137.
7. Davidson, “Place Names.”
8. José Francisco de Ortega, Dilexencias Sobre el Alzamiento O Sublebacio que Hubo . . .en la Mision de San Diego en el Año de 1775″, in Diario Del Capitan Commandante Fernando De Rivera Y Moncada (Madrid, José Parrua Turanzas, 1967), pp. 432, 446-448; Bancroft, History of California, Vol. I, p. 28.
9. Father Serra, upon receiving word of the attack at San Diego, wrote “God be thanked, now the soil is watered; now will reduction of the Dieguinos (sic) be complete!” Bancroft, History of California, Vol. I, p. 255.
10. Robert Heizer, “Village Names in Twelve California Mission Records,” in University of California Archaeological Survey No. 74. (Berkeley, University of California Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology, 1968), p. 302.
11. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. II, p. 553; Fr. Zephyrin Engelhardt, O. F. M., San Diego Mission (San Francisco, James H. Barry, 1920), pp. 221-222.
12. Heizer, “Impact of Colonization,” p. 126.
13. H. E. Bolton, “The Mission as a Frontier Institution in the Spanish-American Colonies,” American Historical Review, XXIII (October 1977), pp. 45, 47.
14. Heizer, “Impact of Colonization,” p. 137.
15. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. I, p. 565; Vol. II, p. 346.
16. Heizer, “Impact of Colonization,” pp. 121-137.
17. Bancroft, History of California,Vol. II, p. 553; Engelhardt, San Diego Mission,pp. 221-222. In her memoirs, Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana does not mention any Indians living in the Jamacha Valley during the 1830s. However, she does state that in 1837, when Jamul Rancho was attacked, three of her Indians servants were from San Diego and nearly all the rest were from Sequan. It seems that if there had been more than a few individual natives residing in the valley, they would have been employed on the ranch or at least mentioned by Lorenzana. Perhaps by this time, the inhabitants at Jamacha had merged with those at Sequan. Apolinaria Lorenzana, Memoirs of Doña Apolinaria Lorenzana The Pious: An Old Lady of Some Seventy-Five Years,Dictated by her in Santa Barbara in March 1878 to Thomas Savage, Translated and Annotated by Paula Oden (Unpublished manuscript, 1878), pp. 13-14, 17. Bancroft Library, University of California. Xerox copy on file at the San Diego History Center Research Archives.
18. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. VII, p. 2; Walton Bean, California: An Interpretive History (New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1978), pp. 55-56; Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast (New York, Airmont Publishing Company, 1965), p. 65.
19. Bean, California, p. 55.
20. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. III, pp. 348-349.
21. Ibid., p. 612; Lorenzana, Memoirs, pp. 12-13.
22. It had been stated by many historians that Doña Apolinaria was an orphan when she was sent to California. R. W. Brackett, The History of San Diego County Ranchos (San Diego, Union Title Insurance and Trust Co., 1951), p. 31; Philip S. Rush, Some Old Ranchos and Adobes (San Diego, Neyenesch Printers, Inc., 1965), p. 10. The originator of this misconception appears to have been Bancroft, who wrote that Apolinaria Lorenzana was “one of the foundlings sent from Mexico to California.” Bancroft, History of Calífornia, Vol. IV, p. 718. However, Lorenzana clearly stated in her memoirs that she was sent to California with her mother. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 2.
23. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 6.
24. Savage, Introduction to Lorenzana Memoirs.
25. Santiago Arguello, Testimony given on November 5, 1852. Transcript No. 442, Case No. 48, Apolinaria Lorenzana v. The United States, Southern District, United States Land Commission. Jamacha Rancho Document File, San Diego Historical Society Research Archives.
26. United States Land Commission, Case No, 48, “Jamacho,” Southern District (1852-1871). Bancroft Library, University of California. The diseño was a map of the property claimed in the grant. Most were very badly drawn and roughly surveyed. Lorenzana’s diseño, shown in Figure 1, is oriented incorrectly. The Sweetwater River flows through Jamacha Valley from the northeast to the southwest, not from east to west as shown on the diseño. Furthermore, the narrow entrance to the valley shown on the north of the diseño, is undoubtedly the canyon through which Highway 94, or Campo Road, now passes west of present day Jamacha Junction and is located on the west end of the valley rather than the north.
27. If the diseño is oriented correctly, as explained in the previous note, with the Sweetwater River flowing through Jamacha Valley from the northeast to the southwest, the house is located on the west end of the valley near present day Jamacha Junction. The adobe is accurately located on the subdivision map of 1881.
28. Arguello, Testimony 1852; Lorenzana, Memoirs, pp. 12-17. In 1837, Valentine Rios was mayordomo of the Jamacha Rancho, living there with his family. He had just replaced the former mayordomo, a man name Cayatano. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p.13.
29. Don Pío Pico, born at San Gabriel in 1801, moved to San Diego in 1819, and opened a small shop in the pueblo. He obtained title to Rancho Jamul in 1829. Pico was active in the turbulent politics of the Mexican period, and governor at the time of the American conquest. He also owned Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores in northern San Diego County. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. IV, pp. 778-779.
30. Lorenzana, Memoirs, pp. 13-17; Victor Eugene Janssens, The Life and Adventures in California of Don Agustin Janssens, 1834-1856, edited by William H. Ellison and Francis Henry Price (San Marino, California, Huntington Library, 1953), pp. 65-66.
31. Engelhardt, San Diego Mission, pp.255-257.
32. Richard F. Pourade, The Silver Dons (San Diego, The Union-Tribune Publishing Company, 1963), p. 79.
33. Ibid., p.127.
34. In January, 1848, Doña Apolinaria wrote, in a letter to the Reverend José Joaquin Jimeno from San Juan Capistrano, that she was reluctant to return to San Diego because she did not wish to deprive herself of spiritual comfort. Engelhardt, San Diego Mission, p.259.
35. Richard Morefield, The Mexican Adaption in American California, 1846-1857 (San Francisco, Rand E. Research Assoc., 1971), p.22.
36. Ibid., p. 23.
37. Bean, California, p. 134.
38. Morefield, The Mexican Adaption, p. 22.
39. Mario T. Garcia, “Merchants and Dons: San Diego’s Attempt at Modernization, 1850-1860”, in Mexicans in California After the U.S. Conquest (New York, Arno Press, 1976), p. 70. Originally appearing in The Journal of San Diego History, XXI (Winter 1975), pp. 52-80.
40. United States Land Commission, Case No. 48.
41. Ed Scott, San Diego County Soldier-Pioneers, 1846-1866 (National City, California: Crest Printing Co., 1976), p. 13.
42. The Boundary Commission was established to survey the border between the United States and Mexico established by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. While in San Diego, members of the commission worked closely with the army. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, pp. 15-16.
43. Colonel John Bankhead Magruder, a native of Virginia, graduated from West Point in 1831. A veteran of the Mexican war, he arrived in San Diego with the Second Infantry as commander of the First Artillery. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, p. 19. He purchased ten lots in the New Town development during the early 1850s. Miscellaneous Record Books, San Diego County Recorders Office, December 13, 1879, p. 5. During the Civil War, Magruder fought for the Confederacy. After the war he went to Mexico and fought with Maximilian. Colonel Magruder died in Houston, Texas on February 18, 1871. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, p. 19.
44. First Lieutenant Asher R. Eddy, of Colonel Magruder’s staff, graduated from West Point in 1844. He had been named among the top five men in his class during three of the four years he atlended the military academy. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, pp. 19, 130. Lieutenant Eddy owned a cottage and several lots in New San Diego. Ibid.; The Records of The Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego, hereinafter cited as Superior Court Records, Probate Case Nos. 4105 and 4185, San Diego County Court House. He fought for the Union during the Civil War and remained in the military after the conflict ended. Lieutenant Eddy passed away on the Island of Malta in January, 1879. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, pp. 19, 130.
45. Eugene B. Pendleton, a childhood friend, former classmate at West Point and relative by marriage of Colonel Magruder, became a civic leader and prominent businessman in San Diego from 1851 to 1860. Between 1851 and 1855, he ran a store in New San Diego with Frank Ames. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, p. 13. Pendleton left San Diego in 1857. The San Diego Herald, September 19, 1857, 2:3. He joined the Confederate Army in 1860 and fought with Colonel Magruder in Texas. After the war, he resided in Rapide’s Parish, Louisiana. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, p. 131.
46. Frank Ames, also a leading businessman in the community, owned several lots in the New Town Development. Miscellaneous Records Book 3, San Diego County Recorders Office, July 6, 1879, pp. 78-79.
47. Robert Kelly, born in 1825 on the Isle of Man, came to the United States with his family at the age of sixteen. He arrived in San Diego early in 1851, after journeying overland by way of the southern route. Upon his arrival, he went to work with a construction crew building the New Town wharf. In the latter part of 1851, he began hauling freight for the army from San Diego to Fort Yuma on the Colorado River. Theodore S. Van Dyke, The City and County of San Diego (San Diego, Leberthan and Taylor, 1888), pp. 106-108. Kelly undoubtedly came to know Magruder, Eddy, Pendleton, and Ames during this period through his involvement in New Town and his employment by the military.
48. The Tax Assessment rolls for 1851 and 1852 stated that Rancho Jamacha was vacant and that Doña Apolinaria was living above Los Angeles. The tax rolls list houses, corrals and livestock on all of the ranchos in San Diego County except Jamacha, suggesting that there was no livestock on the property and the corral and house were probably in a state of disrepair. County of San Diego Tax Assessor’s Book, 1850-1860. California Room, San Diego Public Library. It should be noted that on these lists Rancho Jamacha is listed under the name “Polonaria, Dona”.
49. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 13; John Forster, a native of England, arrived in California in 1833. Four years later, in 1837, he married Isadora Pico, the sister of Pio Pico. Don Juan, as he came to be called, became one of the largest landowners in Southern California, possessing ranchos Trabuco, La Nacion, Santa Margarita Y Las Flores, and Mision de San Juan Capistrano. He died at Santa Margarita in 1884 at the age of seventy. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. III, p. 774.
50. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 13.
51. Van Dyke, City and County of San Diego, pp. 106-108.
52. United States Land Commission, Case No. 48.
53. Deed Book OO, San Diego County Recorders Office, January 17, 1853, p. 55; Deed Book D, San Diego County Recorders Office, January 17, 1853, p. 91; Mortgages Book 1, San Diego County Recorders Office, January 17, 1853, p. 66.
54. Deed Book D, San Diego County Recorders Office, March 26, 1853, pp. 105-115.
55. United States Land Commission, Case No. 48; Miscellaneous Records Book 1, San Diego County Recorders Office, March 9, 1858, p. 66.
56. United States Land Commission, Case No. 48.
57. Assignment of Mortgages and Leases Book 1, San Diego County Recorders Office, July 1860, p. 3 (Day of date illegible).
58. Assignment of Mortgages and Leases Book 1, San Diego County Recorders Office, May 5, 1864, p. 8; Correspondence, Wetmore and Sanborne to William Keighler, San Diego, July 6, 1869. Jamacha Documents File, San Diego Historical Society Research Archives.
59. When Doña Apolinaria was interviewed in 1878, she insisted that she had never received payment for her property and refused to discuss how she lost it. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 13; Savage, Introduction to Lorenzana Memoirs. Ironically, in December of that year, she deeded all three of her former ranchos to Monica Romero de Ruiz. Deed Book 33, San Diego County Recorders Office, December 31, 1878, p. 66.
60. Transactions recorded in Robert Kelly’s Account Book of Jamacha Rancho clearly indicate that the partners had already occupied the ranch and were conducting business in 1852. Robert Kelly Account Book of Rancho Jamacha, 1852-1853; Kelly Papers, Portfolio 9. California Room, San Diego County Public Library.
61. Leonard M. Pitt, The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish Speaking Californians (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1968), p. 105.
62. The San Diego Union, October 15, 1885, 3:3; Invoices and receipts of Rancho Jamacha, Kelly papers, 1852-1858. California Room, San Diego County Public Library.
63. The roles of Ames and Pendleton, Eddy and Kelly in the business are indicated by transactions recorded in Robert Kelly’s Account Book of the Jamacha Rancho, as well as other documents in the Kelly Papers. Kelly, Account Book of Rancho Jamacha, 1852-1853; Invoices and Receipts of Rancho Jamacha, Kelly Papers, 1852-1858. California Room, San Diego County Public Library.
64. Van Dyke, City and County of San Diego, pp. 106-108; Kelly, Account Book of Rancho Jamacha, 1852-1853; Invoices and Receipts of Rancho Jamacha, 1852-1858; The San Diego Herald, March 25, 1854, 2:5.
66. The San Diego Herald, September 19, 1858, 2:3.
67. The San Diego Herald, September 9, 1857, 2:3.
68. Pitt, The Decline of the Calífornios, pp. 108-109.
69. San Diego County Tax Assessment Rolls, 1860. Tax Collectors Office, San Diego County Administration Building.
70. During the 1850s, tax assessments and personal property owned by Ames and Eddy on the Jamacha Rancho varied from 400 to 6,000 dollars. After 1860, however, no personal property is listed for either Ames or Eddy on Rancho Jamacha. Tax Assessment Rolls 1850-1870.
71. Deed Book 9, San Diego County Recorders Office, December 11, 1869, p. 22.
72. It is believed that Frank Ames died sometime before 1861, since his estate is listed on the County tax assessment rolls for that year. Tax Assessment Rolls, 1861.
73. Deed Book 14, San Diego County Recorders Office, July 8, 1871, p. 7; Miscellaneous Records Book 3, San Diego County Recorders Office, July 6, 1870, pp. 78-79.
74. Deed Book 12, San Diego County Recorders Office, February 24, 1871, p. 468.
75. Scott, Soldier-Pioneers, p. 19; Patents Book 3, San Diego County Recorders Office, April 11, 1871, p. 450.
76. The San Diego Union, February 23, 1872, 3:2, Deed Book 9, San Diego County Recorders Office, December 11, 1869, p. 22.
77. Deed Book 33, San Diego Recorders Office, February 1, 1879, p. 100; Deed Book 35, San Diego Recorders Office, May 7, 1880, p. 113; Superior Court Records, Case No. 13.
78. Terri Elizabeth Jacques, “A History of the Monte Vista Ranch of Rancho Jamacha” (Unpublished M. A. Thesis), p. 47. Copley Library, University of San Diego.
79. Superior Court Records, Case No. 13.
80. Lorenzana, Memoirs, p. 12; Bancroft, History of California, Vol. III, p. 612; Assignment of Mortgages and Leases Book 1, San Diego County Recorders Office, July 1860, p. 3 (day of date illegible); Jacques, A History of the Monte Vista Ranch, p. 31. San Juan de Las Secuas or Secuan (sic) was located northeast of Jamacha Valley and included the Indian Rancheria of Sequan. Lorenzana, Memoírs, p. 32. When interviewed in 1878, Doña Apolinaria claimed that she had sold the Rancho to Juan Lopez. Ibid., p. 12. Lopez solicited a grant for the tract in 1836. However, neither he nor Lorenzana applied to the U.S. Land Commission for confirmation of the grant and it became public domain. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. III, p. 612.
81. Superior Court Records, Case No. 13. In the Superior Court Records, Monica Romero de Ruiz is referred to as Maria Romero de Ruiz.
82. Superior Court Records, Case No. 13.
84. Stephen Van Wormer, A History of the Jamacha Valley (Unpublished report), pp. 25-64. San Diego History Center Research Archives.
85. The author would like to thank Rancho San Diego Land Company and Archaeological Consulting and Technology for financing the research that resulted in this paper and the report cited in Note 84.