The Pioneers: Theodore Judah

Theodore Dehone Judah was the brilliant engineer and visionary who convinced a group of merchants, and the United States Congress, that it was possible to build a railroad across the razorback spine of the Sierra Nevada. His dream was the 19th century equivalent of today’s Space Program. Born in 1826 in Continue reading The Pioneers: Theodore Judah

The Pioneers: J. Goldsborough Bruff

Joseph Goldsborough Bruff is a well-remembered participant in the California Gold Rush. A committed diarist and talented amateur artist, he left reams of hand-written observations and sketches of his “gold rush hysteria” experiences, starting with his departure from St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1849. Unlike most of his Continue reading The Pioneers: J. Goldsborough Bruff

The Pioneers: Jacob Leese

Ohio-born Jacob Primer Leese, aged 21, was a trapper in Arkansas and soon afterwards a trader in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He first came to Mexican-owned California in 1833 to transport mules between New Mexico (also a Mexican province) and Southern California, returning in 1834 to settle briefly in Los Angeles. Two Continue reading The Pioneers: Jacob Leese

The Pioneers: Charles Weber

The son of a Protestant minister, Weber was born in Germany in 1814, and educated by private tutors. In 1836 he journeyed to America to see an uncle who had immigrated to Illinois. Apparently he never made this visit, occupied instead by business ventures in New Orleans and an excursion to Texas to fight with Continue reading The Pioneers: Charles Weber