The Pioneers: Robert Semple

Considering the short time Robert Semple lived in California, he made several contributions to the development of the state. Born in Kentucky, he apprenticed as a printer and somehow learned enough about dentistry to practice. In 1845, aged 39 and widowed, he joined a group of ten adventurous men journeying to Continue reading The Pioneers: Robert Semple

The Pioneers: Thomas Oliver Larkin

A successful North Carolina shopkeeper by age 20 but broke by 28 when he returned to his native Boston, Thomas O. Larkin sailed to California laden with trading goods after learning that his half-brother John Rogers Cooper needed help in his California trading business. On shipboard with him was Rachel Hobson Holmes, a Continue reading The Pioneers: Thomas Oliver Larkin

Independence Day 2017

Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence publicly announced to the world the unanimous decision of the American colonies to declare themselves free and independent states, absolved from any allegiance to Great Britain. Though eloquent, the Declaration was only a statement of intent; a bloody, eleven-year war followed.  Today, remember those who gave their lives for our liberty.

Settling California’s Borders

California Nevada mapCalifornia’s southern border was resolved by treaty in 1848 after the Mexican-American War, but until 1849 its northern limits stretched into Oregon Territory and its eastern boundary extended somewhat vaguely into present day Utah. That year the pre-statehood Constitutional Convention at Monterey set the Continue reading Settling California’s Borders

The Original Mexican Border

Franciscan missionariesDuring the three hundred-plus years Spain claimed ownership of California by right of conquest, Spain’s official religion took a part in setting the state’s first southern boundary. Imperial Spain’s Nueva Espana (New Spain) was far-flung: it included the Caribbean, Mexico, and parts of what are now the southwestern Continue reading The Original Mexican Border