Vallejo's Shopping List
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo was born on July 4, 1807, shortly after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. California was then a part of Spain. Vallejo's father had come to California as a soldier with the Serra party and had lived for some time in Monterey.
Vallejo was raised to be honest and patriotic. He was given a good education for the times, he could read and write. Much of his education was to prepare him for the Military. Most importantly, he was given a political education, the politics of California.
He was seventeen when the new nation of Mexico became independent of Spainish rule. Like all Californios, and most Americans for that matter, he looked forward to self rule, local government that represented the people's interest and the end to political corruption.
Vallejo entered the military where he was well-liked and considered able, honest and dependable. Respected and well liked, he quickly rose in authority. His major military experience was in an Indian Campaign in Northern California. The purpose of the campaign was to move the Indians further away from the settlements for the protection of the Californios. For his victory and service he was rewarded with a land grant that included the city of Sonoma and parts of the Sonoma, Napa and Petaluma Valleys.
There were allegations of prisoners among the losers who were killed by the soldiers. These were investigated but no charges were ever brought against Vallejo.
From his new home in Sonoma he was responsible for defense of of the Northern Frontier. This mostly meant defense from Indian attack or theft. There were also the Russians at Fort Ross to be concerned about. Further away were the British in what is now Washington State although the Americans claimed the northwest to Russian Alaska. Despite all of these possibilities, life in Sonoma was peaceful.
From the watch tower in the square of Sonoma the General could see the San Pablo Bay leading into the San Francisco Bay.
The Spanish had restricted trade to only Spanish or Mexican ships. After the Revolution trade was opened and soon American, British and French ships were frequent visitors. Some sailors married local girls and decided to stay in California.
Permission was required to immigrate. Mexico did not allow illegal immigration at all. California needed honest men of ability so permission was granted to such men who became a Mexican citizens and joined the Catholic Church.
Californians had no training in business or financial skills so soon much of the trade and finance was in the hands of Americans. The only Doctor in the area was British. Californians were even unable to go to sea as they became ill from the ship's movement.
The peace and isolation was taken away by the arrival of Jedediah Smith and his party who were the first to travel to California by land from the east.
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Jed Smith Comes to California