Pablo de la Guerra, Salvador Vallejo, and Andrés Pico were three prominent Californios who were born in what was then a Spanish colony, worked for the government of Mexico after independence, and died as US citizens after their respective home towns came under US rule following the Mexican-American War.
Pablo de la Guerra (1819-1874), a native of Santa Barbara and the son of an early Spanish-born settler of Alta California, was acting Lieutenant Governor of California in the 1860s and served in the California state legislature.
Salvador Vallejo (1813-1876), the younger brother of a prominent Mexican military officer (Gen. Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo of Sonoma), worked as a captain in the Mexican army alongside the indigenous Chief Sam-Yeto/Chief Solano in Alta California’s campaigns against the indigenous communities of its northern regions. He was commissioned as a Major in the Union army during the US Civil War but did not see any combat.
Andrés Pico (1810-1876) was born in San Diego of mixed Spanish, indigenous, and African ancestry and was the younger brother of Pío Pico, the last official Mexican governor of Alta California. He worked as a military officer and signed the Treaty of Cahuenga of January 13, 1847, marking the end of hostilities between Californio and American troops in Alta California towards the end of the Mexican-American War. After the transition to US rule, he was elected to the California state legislature.
(Photo from the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley.)
Epistola de insulis nuper in mari indico repertis, 1494
Christopher Columbus published a letter detailing his “discovery” of the Indies upon his return from his first voyage to the New World, now called Epistola de insulis nuper in mari indico repertis. The woodcut shown above, from a later Latin edition of the letter, is titled “Insula Hyspana”, and shows Spanish ships arriving at the island that Columbus named “La Española,” and which is usually known in English-language historical tradition as Hispaniola. It is probably the first European visual depiction of the indigenous people of the Americas. The ship depicted on the foreground bears no resemblance to the late 15th century carracks in which Columbus sailed to the New World.
From the Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress.
Place where I’d like to be