VALLEJO, General Mariano Guadalupe
Date of Obituary
1890 January 19
General Vallejo is Dead
Passing Away at Sonoma Surrounded by His Family and Friends.
IN THE EIGHTY-SECOND YEAR OF HIS AGE.
An Honorable and Respected Record Left Behind Him – A Prominent Factor of California Politics in 1849 – A Member of the Territorial Deputation in 1831 – His Position as Revolutionary Governor in 1836.
Sonoma, January 18 - General Vallejo, the old and honored settlor, is dead. Many will mourn the demise of this venerable representative of the ancien regime. His name is as well cherished In Spain, the home of his ancestors, as in this, the land of his birth and choice. At his deathbed were gathered his wife and children, as well as Mrs. General Frisbie of Mexico, Mrs. Dr. Frisbie of Vallejo, Mrs. Haraszthy, Mrs. Cutter, Mrs. Emparan, Professor A. A. Vallejo, Dr. P. Vallejo, N. Vallejo, Messrs. Emparan and Cutter.
A DISTINGUISHED CALIFORNIAN
His name in full was Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, and he was ono of the most distinguished of our Hispano-Californians. The Vallejo family occupied for many generations a most honorable position in Spain, branches of which emigrated to America, and were distinguished as dignitaries of the Jesuit order. A genealogical statement of the family was filed in 1806 in the Spanish archives of California.
General Vallejo was born In Monterey, Upper California, July 1808, being the eighth of thirteen children. He was educated at the college there and tutored the military service as a cadet and private secretary to Governor Arguello. Being rapidly promoted, he reached the rank of Brigadier-General in 1810. In 1829, as Lieutenant commanding, he was placed in charge of the Northern Department, which included all the country to the north of Santa Cruz, having his headquarters at the Presidio of San Francisco, in which capacity ho remained until 1837, exercising until 1835 both civil and military functions for the section north of San Jose, when officers were elected for the Partigo or District of San Francisco, which dates the foundation of the first organization of the character at such important point.
In the fall of 1829, soon after assuming command of his department, a man by the name of Soils inaugurated a revolutionary movement against Governor Echandea, chiefly because the latter preferred to live at San Diego Instead of at the capital, Monterey. Vallejo was importuned to join the revolutionists, and upon his refusal was placed in the calaboose at Monterey, from which he escaped, joined the Governor’s forces at San Diego and assisted in defeating the insurgents at Santa Barbara. He was elected a member of the Territorial Deputation in 1831, at which period Victoria was Governor, and had rendered himself obnoxious to Californians by his cruel and arbitrary conduct. Articles of impeachment wore presented by Lieutenant Vallejo against the Governor, who attempted to seduce the young man from his purpose by the offer of a superior commission, and finding these overtures resented he determined to arrest his antagonist and all others engaged in the proceedings. This precipitated a revolution, in which the Governor’s party sustained defeat, and he himself was sent away on an American vessel then lying in the port of San Diego.
In 1882 he was married to Francisca Benicia Carrlllos, by whom he has had seventeen children, General John B. Frisbie, proprietor of the City of Vallejo, being his eldest son-in-law. He was with Bandini elected a delegate to the Mexican Congress, but did not attend. In 1888 Governor Chico was deposed, and he appointed Gutierez his provisional successor. Gutierez proceeding to carry into effect the objectionable measures of Chico, the country arose in opposition, appointing Vallejo General-in-Chief and Revolutionary Governor ad interim. Upon assuming command Vallejo convened the Territorial Deputation, and turned over the reins of civil government to Alvarado, the President of that body.
In 1888 the Mexican Government confirmed the acts of the revolutionary Californians, and sent as. Governor, Micheltorena, who appointed Vallejo Military Commander of all the territory lying north of the Santa Inez mountains. In 1844-5 the last revolution of the Californians. amongst themselves occurred; Governor Mieheltorena was expelled from the country, Vallejo being the principal person in securing that event. He advised Captain John A. Sutter, who was collecting a body of foreign residents and Sacramento Indians to support the Governor, to abandon the idea, and at the same time asked Mieheltorena to send back to Mexico the objectionable troops and officers he had brought from that country. His advice was unheeded by both, and upon the surrender of Mieheltorena Sutter’s life was saved only by the Joint interposition of the foreigners enlisted on both sides. Vallejo refused to Join the Governor’s forces on the ground that he did not wish to make war upon his friends and relatives, Alvarado and Castro, the principal leaders of the revolutionists, being his nephews.
After the raising of the American flag at Monterey in 1842 by Commodore Jones, Vallejo thought that the time had arrived when the annexation of California to the United States was a foregone conclusion, an event which he earnestly desired consummated. The American and British Governments were both anxious to possess California, and at a convention of the leading citizens at Monterey In 1846 the American Consul, Thomas O. Larkin, supported Vallejo in the assertion that the United States would have California even at the cost of a war with any foreign power.
Long existing jealousies between the northern and southern portions of the Territory now became materialized in an appeal to arms. Vallejo was taken prisoner by the “Bear Flag” followers north of the bay of San Francisco, but was released a few weeks later. In 1849 Vallejo became a prominent factor in the politics of the Coast, in 1847 having been appointed a member of the Assembly, a body designed to frame a code of laws for the temporary governance of the Territory, and the fact that he received three communications on the same day, from Stockton, Kearney, and Fremont respectively, each signing himself “Governor and Commander-in-Chief of California,” illustrates the turbulent times then prevailing.
Early in 1849 the Missouri statutes were adopted for the temporary government of the Territory, General Vallejo having been Interested in that movement, after which he was elected a member of the convention called to frame a State Constitution, and on the following year was elected State Senator. His proposition to locate the seat of government at his Suscol Rancho, at the site of the present city of Vallejo was accepted by the Legislature, and confirmed by a vote of the people. He erected a capitol and various other public buildings at that place, expecting to be reimbursed out of the sale of lots at an enhanced valuation, but for various reasons, especially for the want of hotel accommodations, the Legislature met in Vallejo City only twice, and then adjourned to Sacramento.
HIS FORTUNES WRECKED
The rejection of the General’s title by the Supreme Court of the United States to that valuable rancho, together with the large outlays he had made in constructing the public buildings, are the cause of the downfall of his fortunes.
In January 1847, Vallejo and Dr. Robert Semple laid out upon the same rancho the town site of Benicia, which was first christened Francisca, after the first name of Senora Vallejo; but the title or Yerba Buena being soon thereafter officially changed to that of San Francisco, the similarity of the two induced the proprietors to adopt Benicia (Venitia) instead, being the middle name or Mrs. Vallejo.
The General possesses a handsome residence “Lachrymal Montis” in the suburbs of the town of Sonoma, built after the plan of Bonaparte’s villa at Bordentown, NJ, but for want of sufficient income is unable to keep it in proper repair.
In 1865 the General made his first visit to the Eastern States, where he was received with great consideration in Washington by the leading officials of the Government. His career as Mayor and Councilman of his hometown has been active and well directed, and for several years his wines and brandies took the first premiums at the State fairs and at the Mechanics’ Fairs in San Francisco. ‘ General Vallejo’s physique was always striking, attributable largely to the outdoor exercise he has systematically taken and to his temperate manner of living. He was generous, hospitable, high-spirited, of courtly address and distinguished presence, and a pure-blooded Spaniard of the Hidalgo class.
A ONCE VAST PROPERTY
General Vallejo’s name appears in nearly every book descriptive of California and its history. J. Quinn Thornton, who visited this Coast in 1848, and published his experiences in a small pamphlet, says: “Governor-General Vallejo owns 1,000 horses that are broken to the saddle and bridle, and 9,000 that are not broken. Broken horses readily bring $100 apiece, but the unbroken ones can be purchased for a trivial sum.” It was in 1834 that General Vallejo laid out the town of Sonoma as it now exists, and established his headquarters as the Military Commandant of California.
HIS LAST VISIT HERE
General Vallejo made his last public appearance at the celebration of the centennial foundation of the Mission Dolores in this city, on October 8, 1876. He delivered an address at the Mechanics’ Pavilion on that occasion, reciting the history of the missions, in which he was greatly interested. In 1886 Mrs. Orianna Day, the mother of Mrs. John Gamage, painted a life-sized portrait of the General as he appeared in uniform in 1837. The portrait was painted from a sketch made of Vallejo at that time. It is considered by his wife to be life-like.
HIS STORY OF PATTI
Mrs. Gamage tells of a little anecdote the General related to her one day. “ I dined with Patti in 1884, at the Palace,” said he, “ and during our chat she asked me if I recollected the first opera I had heard in California. I replied that I could never forget it She wanted to know how long ago it was, and expressed surprise when I mentioned 1828 as the date and the vicinity of the Palace Hotel as the location. ‘ Who was the prima donna?’ she remarked in astonishment. ‘Well, that I can’t say; but there were 500 coyotes in the chorus.’”
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco, California
Gen Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
BIRTH: 4 Jul 1807 - Monterey, Monterey, California
DEATH: 18 Jan 1890 - Sonoma, Sonoma, California
BURIAL: Mountain Cemetery
Sonoma, Sonoma, California