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Ramon Abella

Volume I, Page 686.

Abella (Ramon), 1798, Span, friar, who served chiefly at S. F., S. Carlos, and S. Luis Ob., dying in 1842; for many years the only survivor of those who came before 1800. Biog., iv. 647; mention in i. list of auth., p. 432, 577, 712, 732; ii. 130-2, 159-60, 198, 288, 321-3, 329-30, 373, 375, 383, 394, 616, 655; iii. 92, 96, 191, 319, 356, 396, 446, 588, 622, 679, 681, 683; iv. 46, 372, 657.

Volume IV, Page 647.

Ramon Abella was born May 28, 1764, at Monforte, Aragon, Spain; and became a Franciscan at Zaragoza on March 6, 1784, coming to the Mexican college in 1795 and to Cal. in 1798. His missionary service of 44 years was at S. Francisco in 1798–1819, S. Cárlos in 1819–33, S. Luis Obispo in 1833–42, and Purísima in Feb.-May 1842. He was rated by his superiors as one of the most zealous and ablest friars in the country for missionary work proper, and fitted for any office, but somewhat unfitted for tem '' ement. Autobiog. Autog. de los Padres, MS., Sarria, Inf. de 1817, MS 71, 117; Pay eras Inf. 1820, MS., 135–6. As early as 1804 he wished to quit the country. In 1807 and 1811 he made entradas among the gentiles, of which his narratives are extant. See list of auth. vol. i. On July 22, 1814, at S. Francisco, he buried the last Indian who remembered the foundation of the mission in 1776, Biridiana, a woman of 63 years, born on the very site of the mission. S. F. Lib. Mis., M.S., 74. He was present at the founding of S. Rafael in Dec. 1817; and there is hardly a mission register in Cal. in which his name does not appear. In 1826 he professed obedience to the republican government, though refusing to take the oath. Before leaving S. Carlos he became sick and infirm; and his term of service at San Luis Obispo was one of illness and discouragement, nearly approaching dotage at the last. In 1836, he was brooding over impending death, lamenting the unhappy fate of the missions and friars, and wishing that he could get the money due him so that he might pay his debts and secure a passage to some other country. In 1838 he declared his neophytes to be the most wretched and poverty-stricken beings on earth, and himself as needy as any. In 1839 he went to Purísima for a time, refusing to live at S. Luis unless Angel Ramirez with his open immorality and 'genio dominante' should be removed. Why he was sent to take charge of Purísima in 1842 it is hard to imagine, unless it was to humor a whim of his own. While at this mission he declared that he had been robbed of all he brought from S. Luis; and P. Jimeno, in a letter of March 9th, Guerra, Doc., MS., charged the administrator and others, 'who were not Indians’ as pretended, with the robbery, and with having treated the old padre 'with the greatest ingratitude, inhumanity, and vileness.' Rafael Gonzalez, Mem., MS., 5–8, who had an interview with Abella at Purísima, describes him as having acted in a very strange manner, evidently insane or in his dotage. His last days were spent at Sta Inés, where he was buried on May 24, 1842, in the church near the presbytery on the epistle side about two varas from the church wall. Sta Inés, Lib, Mis., M.S., 25–6.


Gabriel Moraga

Volume IV, Page 744-45.

M. (Gabriel), 1776, son of José Joaq. who came as a boy with his parents, enlisting in 1784 and serving as soldier, cororal, sergt, alférez, and lieut of the S.F., Mont., and Sta B. companies till his death in 1823. Biog. ii. 571; ment. i. 470, 549, 559, 569–72, 587, 716–17, 719,723; ii. 47, 50–7, 91–2, 126, 132, 140, 150, 199, 202, 204, 254, 288, 300–4, 319, 322–30, 334, 336–7, 341, 354, 361, 370, 385, 442, 559, 585, 631. His wife was Ana María Bernal; and later María Joaquina Alvarado at Sta B. in '50; among his children were Domingo, José Guadalupe, and Vicente.

Volume II, Page 571.

Gabriel Moraga was a son of Lieut. Jose Joaquin Moraga, the first comandante of San Francisco, and of his wife Dona Maria del Pilar de Leon y Barcelo, born some years before his parents came to California. He enlisted in 1784, and July 16th of that year was married at S. Francisco to Ana Maria Bernal. Padre Palou officiated, and Capt. Nicolas Soler was present. S. Francisco, Lib. Mision, MS., 57. In 1788 he became corporal in the Monterey company, and for 12 years commanded various mission escoltas. From 1800 to 1806 he was sergeant of the same company; and was then transferred to S. Francisco as alferez. In 1811 he was made brevet lieutenant for his gallantry in a battle with the Indians on the strait of Carquines, and in April 1818 he received his commission as lieutenant of the Sta Barbara company by a mistake made in Mexico or Spain, with which on account of his health he was well pleased. Prov. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., li 4; lxix. 32; Prov. Rec, MS., ix. 196; Prov. St. Pap., MS., xx. 194; Vallejo, Doc. Hist. Cal., MS., xvi. 48. In 1800 he commanded a small party sent against the Indians from Monterey, and he became one of the most famous Indian fighters in California. Before 1806 he had visited and named the San Joaquin river, where his father had been long before. His later recorded expeditions include that made to the broad region beyond the Tulares in Sept. and Oct. 1806; to the S. Joaquin in 1807; two visits to the S. Joaquin in search of mission sites, a trip to Bodega, the famous fight at Carquines Strait in May, and a campaign in the region of San Gabriel—all in 1810; three visits to Ross in 1812-13-14; and an expedition toward the Colorado in 1819: see chap. iii. xiv. and xv. this volume. According to his hoja de servicios of 1820 he had been connected with 46 expeditions against Indians and taken part in 10 battles. Prov. St. Pap., Ben. Mil., MS., li. 4.

From about 1818 Lieut. Moraga tried frequently to obtain retirement on account of chronic rheumatism and other infirmities resulting from old age and past exposure. With this object of retirement in view he obtained certificates from Gov. Sola, Capt. Jose D. Arguello, Capt. Francisco Ruiz, Surgeon Quijano, and padres Seflan and Payeras, all of whom spoke in terms of the highest praise respecting his character and the value of his past services. Guerra, Doc. Hist. Vol., MS., vi. 180-204. No attention was paid to his demands so far as the records show; nor to his appeal of Oct. 29, 1822, to Iturbide, in which he pleaded earnestly at some length for retirement and full pay as the only means to protect his family from poverty and suffering. Id., vii. 117-22. Of the remaining 8 months of his life we know nothing; and of his death only that he was buried in the cemetery of Sta Barbara mission on June 15, 1823. Sta Barbara, Lib. Mision, MS., 35. Though an illiterate man, Moraga was honest, moral, kind-hearted, popular, and a very energetic and successful officer.

Moraga's wife and also a son died on Feb. 11, 1802. Pror. St. Pap., MS., xviii. 197. He subsequently married Maria Joaquina Alvarado. Two of bis sons, Jose Guadalupe and Domingo, were soldados distinguidos in the San Francisco company in 1818. S. Francteco, Cuentas, MS., i. iii. The former became a cadet in the San Diego company. Another son, Vicente, born at San Antonio Jan. 23. 1790. S. Antonio. Lih Mision, MS. 7 was in 1833-5 a school-


Jose Sanchez

Volume V, Page 710.

Sanchez (Jose Antonio), nat. of Sinaloa, soldier of the S. F. comp. from 1791, corp. from 1805, scrgt from 1806, brevet alferez from '20, and alferez from '27, or, as some records indicate, from '32. He was for some years corp. of the Sta Cruz escolta. i. 496, 526, 535; was later engaged in over 20 Ind. campaigns and exploring exped., especially in '17-26, being famous for his skill and courage as an Ind. fighter, ii. 91-2, 126, 232, 322, 329, 335, 339, 371, 445, 497-9, 538, 584; iii. 111-12, 123. In '27-35 he was the grantee of Buriburi rancho, S.F. ii. 591-5, 664; iii. 711; in '29-33 com. at S.F., though involved in the revolt of '29. iii. 75, 96, 223-4, 333, 365, 701 ; but in '32-4 apparently attached nominally to the Mont. comp. iii. 67 1 . In '36 he was retired from active service, living on his rancho or at the mission; is named on the padron of '42 as 67 years of age; and died in '43, being denied the comforts of religion on his death-bed, and for a time Christian burial, through some quarrel with the friars, to whom he was always hostile, iv. 373. He was a good man, of known honesty and valor, but very ignorant and unfit for promotion. His sons were Jose de la Cruz. Francisco, Manuel, and Isidro. His daughters married Fran, de Haro, two Valencias, and John Read.


Francisco Solano

Volume V, Page 727.

Solano (Francisco), Ind. chief of the Suisunes, who from '35 was an ally of Vallejo at Sonoma, doing more than any other to keep the Ind. of the northern frontier in order, iii. 295, 360, 598; iv. 71-3, 444, 674. He was the grantee of Suisun rancho in '42. His original name was Numa or Tetoy, and the name Solano, given him at baptism from that of the mission, passed from him to the county. I have no record showing the date of his death. His widow, Isidora, was still living at Sonoma in '74, at an advanced age, and furnished a Relacion that is not without interest.


Mariano Vallejo

Volume V, Page 757-759.

Vallejo (Mariano Guadalupe), son of Ignacio, b. at Mont, in 1808, and educated at the same town. ii. 429; see a sketch of his life to '36 in iii. 471-3. He entered the mil. service in '23 (or from Jan. 1, '24) as cadet of the Mont, comp., and in '27 was promoted to alferez of the S.F. comp., though remaining at Mont, till '30 as habilitado and sometimes acting com., being in '27 a suplente of the dip., and in '29 a prisoner of the Solis revolters, besides making a somewhat famous exped. against the Ind. ii. 583-4, 608; iii. 36, 65, 69, 73, 89, 112-14. From '30 he served at S.F., being com. from '31; but as memb. of the dip. during the revolution against Victoria, of which he was an active promoter, and the Zamorano-Echeandia regime of '32, he was absent in the south much of the time. iii. 50, 99, 187, 189, 192-3, 200, 212, 216-19, 365, 399,701. In '33, though denied a place in the dip. on account of his mil. rank, V. was sent to the northern frontier to select a presidio site and to inspect the Russian establishment, on which he made a report; and was also occupied by troubles with his soldiers and with the missionaries, iii. 245-8, 254-5, 321-4, 393, 631, 699, 716; iv. 161-2. In '34 he was promoted to lieut, sent as comisionado to secularize Solano mission, and was grantee of the Petaluma rancho, besides being intrusted with the preliminary steps toward establishing a civil govt at S. F., and being elected a substitute member of congress, iii. 256-8, 279, 292, 712, 719-20.

In '35 he was the founder of Sonoma, being made com. mil. and director of colonization on the northern frontier, engaging also in Ind. campaigns, iii. 286-7, 294, 354, 360, 363, 721-3; and from this time was indefatigable in his efforts to promote tho settlement and development of the north, efforts that were none the less praiseworthy because they tended to advance his own personal interests. From '35 he was the most independent and in some respects the most powerful man in Cal. The year '36 brought new advancement, for though Lieut V. took no active part in the revolution, yet after the first success had been achieved, such was the weight of his name, that under Alvarado's new govt he was made comandante general of Cal., taking the office on Nov. 29th, and was advanced to the rank of colonel by the Cal. authorities; and in the sectional strife of '37-9, though not personally taking part in mil. operations, he had more influence than any other man in sustaining Alvarado, being advanced by the Mex. govt in '38 to the rank of capt. of the comp. and colonel of defensores, his position as comandante militar being recognized by Mex. from '39. iii. 423, 429-30, 440-3, 456-7, 471-4, 488-9, 511-14, 523-5, 531-4, 541-4, 546-7, 561-2, 567, 570,-4, 579-83, 590-2, 594, 670, 718; iv. 47, 67, 70-4, 86-7, 145. The new admin. being fully established, Gen. V. gave his attention not only to the development of his frontera del norte, but to an attempted reorganization of the presidial companies in anticipation of foreign invasion, and to the commercial interests of Cal.; but insuperable obstacles were encountered, the general's views being in some respects extravagant, the powers at Mont, not being in sympathy with his reforms, and a quarrel with Alvarado being the result. Meanwhile no man's name is more prominent in the annals of '39-42, space permitting special reference hero only to his relations with Sutter and with the Russians, iii. 595-604; iv. 11-12, 6l, 92, 121, 128-9, 133-4, 165, 171-8, 196, 198-206, 208, 213-14, 218-20, 237-9, 249-52, 273-5.

After several years of controversy with the gov., and large sacrifices of private means in fruitless efforts to serve his country, the general induced the Mex. govt to unite the mil. and civil commands in one officer from abroad, and turned over his command to Micheltorena in '42. There is no foundation for the current charge that he sought the governorship and overreached himself. Under the new admin, ho was promoted to lieut-colonel and made com. mil. of the lineadel norte, his jurisdiction extending south to Sta Ines. iv. 281-93, 312-17, 338. In '43 he was granted the Soscol rancho for supplies furnished the govt, his grant of Petaluma being extended; and was engaged in '43-4 not only in his routine duties and efforts for progress, but in minor controversies with Micheltorena, Mercado, and Sutter, iv. 351-3, 356-7, 373, 386-8, 396, 402, 407-8, 423, 444-5, 672, 674. From this time the general clearly foresaw the fate of his country, and became more and more satisfied with the prospects, though still conscientiously performing his duties as a Mex. officer. In the movement against Micheltorena in '44-5 he decided to remain neutral, unwilling and believing it unnecessary to act against a ruler appointed through his influence, and still less disposed to engage in a campaign, the expense of which he would have to bear, in support of a treacherous governor; but he discharged his soldiers to take sides as they chose, and warmly protested against Sutter's villany in arming foreigners and Ind. against his country, the only phase of the affair likely to give a serious aspect to the expulsion of the cholos. Meanwhile ho was a faithful friend to the immigrants, iv. 459-60, 462-5, 481-2, 486, 516, 519, 530, 561, 603, 608.

In the spring of '46 he was an open friend of the U.S. as against the schemes for an English protectorate, though his famous speech on that subject must be regarded as purely imaginary, v. 17, 28, 36, 41, 43, 46, 59-63, 66, 105-6; and in June-Aug., perhaps because of his devotion to tho cause of tho U.S. in its more legitimate form, he was cast into prison at Sutter's fort by the Bears, being rather tardily released by the U.S. authorities, and even awarded some slight honors, and a considerable amount of his 'Cal. claim' being later allowed as partial recompense for his losses, v. 111-21, 123-6, 157, 297-300, 467-8. Commissions of brevet colonel and colonel were issued to him in Mex. in July and Sept. Still mindful of the interests of his section, he gave the site on which Benicia was founded, the town being named for his wife. v. 670-1 ; and in '47 he received the appointments of legislative councillor and Ind. agent. v. 433, 539, 568, 6I0, 667-8. In '49 Vallejo was a member of the constit. convention, in '50 a member of the 1st state senate; from that time he was engaged in brilliant and financially disastrous schemes to make Benicia the permanent capital of Cal., of which more will be found in vol. vi. of this work; and in '52 et seq. the claimant for several ranchos, with varying success. In later years Gen. V. has continued to reside at Sonoma to '85, often called upon to take part in public affairs, though reduced financially to what, in comparison with the wealth that once seemed secure in his grasp, must seem like poverty. That he has been from 1830 one of the leading figures in Cal. annals is clearly shown in the records to which I have referred above; and in connection with the narrative thus referred to will be found much of comment on his acts and character. Here it must suffice to say that without by any means having approved his course in every case, I have found none among the Californians. whose public record in respect of honorable conduct, patriotic zeal, executive ability, and freedom from petty prejudices of race, religion, or sectional politics is more evenly favorable than his.

As a private citizen he was always generous and kind-hearted, maintaining his self-respect as a gentleman and commanding the respect of others, never a gambler or addicted to strong drink, though by no means strict in his relations with women. In the earlier times he was not in all respects a popular man by reason of his haughty, aristocratic, overbearing ways that resulted from pride of race, of wealth, and of military rank. Experience, however, and long before the time of his comparative adversity, effected a gradual disappearance of his least pleasing characteristies, though the general still retained a pompous air and grandiloquence of speech that unfavorably impress those who know him but slightly. He is in a sense the last survivor of old-time Californians of his class; and none will begrudge him the honor that is popularly accorded, even if praise sometimes degenerates into flattery. He is a man of some literary culture, and has always taken a deep interest in his country's hisiory. Many of his writings are named in my list of authorities. His services tome in this connection have been often and most gladly acknowledged. His collection of Doc. Hist. Cal. is a contribution of original data that has never been equalled in this or any other state. His MS. Hisoria de Cal., while of course not to be compared with the original documents, is not only the most extensive but the most fascinating of its class; and while, like the works of Bandini, Osio, Alvarado, Pico, and the rest, it is a strange mixture of fact and fancy, yet to a student who has the key to its cipher, it is a most useful aid; and moreover it should be stated that its defects are not all fairly attributable to the author. In '32 Vallejo married Francisca, daughter of Joaquin Carrillo of S. Diego, who still lives in '85. They had 13 children. None of the sons has ever been prominent in public life; one of them, Platon, is a well-known physician of Vallejo—a town that, like a street in S.F., bears his father's name; and two others still reside in Cal. Two of the daughters married the Frisbie brothers and two others the Haraszthys all well-known men, and four or five I think still live in Cal.