Governor #6, Latham

Milton S. Latham’s five day tenure as governor remains the shortest in California history. Latham was a Le Compton (pro-slavery) Democrat who came West on the wave of the Gold Rush in 1850. He briefly served as Court Clerk Recorder in San Francisco, then as District Attorney for Sacramento 1850-1851, Continue reading Governor #6, Latham

Governor #5, Weller

Born in Ohio in 1812, John Weller was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1832, and opened a private practice in Butler County.  He was the prosecuting attorney of Butler County from 1833 until 1836, and served as a Lt. Colonel, 1st Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, during the Mexican-American War. John Weller was a U.S. Continue reading Governor #5, Weller

Governor #4, Johnson

Aged 30 when he took office, John Neely Johnson remains the youngest governor in California history. The son of a politically prominent Indiana family, Johnson was admitted to the Iowa Bar at age 21. He left his legal career to join the gold rush stampede in 1849, arriving in Sacramento “dead broke.” Following a short-lived job hauling merchandise and trying his hand at gold mining, Continue reading Governor #4, Johnson

Governor #3, Bigler

California’s third governor was a Pennsylvania native and self-educated lawyer who came west in 1849 with thousands of others during the Gold Rush. John Bigler  settled in Sacramento, where his kindness and selfless aid to sufferers during the 1850 cholera epidemic was widely applauded.  Until 1863, when the term limit Continue reading Governor #3, Bigler

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