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Very Important Passengers

San Francisco Gold Rush 1849.

Thomas O. Larkin

Thomas O. Larkin was born in Charlestown, Mass on September 16, 1802.

Early businesses took his health and hard-earned wealth, so Larkin decided to locate his half-brother, John B. R. Cooper, who had married into California's Vallejo family. He obtained space on the Newcastle, Captain Hersey, bound to the Pacific coast in search of markets. She left Boston in September 1831, arrived at the Sandwich Islands in February 1832, then in San Franciscoin April 1832.

Mr. Larkin stayed aboard, and found his brother when then sailed into Monterey.

In 1833, Larkin was married on board of an American ship on the coast of California by John C. Jones, U. S. consul of the Sandwich Islands. His wife, from Massachusetts, was the first lady from the United States to settle in California. He began exporting timber, lumber, singles, flour, potatoes, soap, beaver and otter skins, and horses to the Sandwich Islands, Mazatlan and Acapulco.

In 1844, Larkin was appointed U.S. consul for California -- the first and last American consul ever appointed in the country.

Larkin is greatly responsible for bringing the American flag to California-- he literally assisted in hoisting the national flag in four difference places.

Californian, July 3, 1847

Deed for Benicia City, from M. G. Vallejo, to Semple and Larkin.

In the Town of Sonoma, Upper California, this nineteenth day of the month of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.

I, Mariano G. Vallejo, resident of this jurisdiction and lawful owner of ihe estate known by the name of Soscol in this district, by these presents do declare in my own name, and in the name of my heirs, administrators and others, who through them may have any voice and cause, that I cede and transfer freely, and spontaneously in favor of Don Thomas O. Larkin and Don Robert Semple, for them, their heirs and successors, and whoever through them may have any title, voice and cause, for ever and ever, five miles of land in the said estate of Soscol, in the Straits of Carquinez Bay of San Francisco, according to the measurement, made by Don Jasper O'Farrell, which is as follows:

Beginning at a stone marked RS, and running North seventy-six degrees West to a corner or angle, five English miles; from thence in the direction of South fourteen degrees West to another angle; one mile, thence South seventy-six degrees East to the Bay of the Straits, three quarters of a mile, or one mile a little more or less thence following the sinuosities of the Bay of the Straits to the place where the measurment commenced, which altogether makes an extent of five English miles, following the turns of tho Bay and the sinuosities of the land according to theo measurment and plan made by Don Jasper O'Farrell, Surveyor.

The said place with all its entrances outlets and rights, I cede, transfer and bestow to the before-mentioned Don Thomas O. Larkin, and Don Robert Semple, by way of donation, pure, perpetual and hereditary, that they may enjoy it freely, by virtue of the rights granted to them by these presents, guaranteeing to them the ownership thereof for ever, against whatever reclamations may occur they agreeing to, and strictly fulfilling the following conditions.

1st. The said Don Thomas O. Larkin and Don Robeit Semple, oblige and bind themselves, in the most solemn manner, and under the legal guarantees to found a city; which shall be called Francisca, or Benicia on the said land, and divide it into lots for houses, to be disposed of by sale or otherwise as soon as they can obtain purchasers, and in the course of the present year they shall establish at said place, means of conveyance (ferry boats) to pass from one side of the straits to the other, passengers, carriages, &.c.

2nd. As soon as the city contains one hundred families, a magistrate or municipal authority shall be named for the administration of justice, and the ferry boats, together with the landing places shall belong to the town, and their products destined for the establishment of public schools for the benefit of the families who colonize said city.

3rd. Until the hundred families and the municipal authorities mentioned in the proceeding article be established, the ferry boats and their products shall belong to Don Robert Semple.

In proof and testimony of the mutual agreement of all and each of the contracting parties, they signed these presents in triplicate in the said town, day, month and year, in presence of the Alcalde of the jurisdiction, Don L. W . Boggs, and the undersized witnesses.




Territory of California, District of Sonoma

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, Alcalde of the District of Sonoma, Don Mariano G. Vallejo, Thomas O. Larkin and R. Semple, all being personally known to me to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the above instrument of writing and acknowledged the same to be their act and deed for the purposes therein mentioned. Given under my hand and private's* al, at the office in Sonoma, this 19th day of May, 1847.

(Signed,) LILBURN W. BOGGS, [Seal]

The foregoing as far as thus mark J is a correct translation, and the remainder, a true and faithful copy of the original document, presented to me by T. O. Larkin.

W. E. P. HARTNELL, Government Translator.

In July of 1853, along with Samuel Brannan, he was elected to office inthe "Society of California Pioneers."

Brannan was elected President, and Thomas O. Larkin was a Vice President.

The Annals of San FranciscoThe Annals of San Francico 1855. Early San Francisco.
Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, Jim Nisbet. 1855
Written by three journalists who were witnesses to and participants in the extraordinary events they describe. The Annals of San Francisco is both an essential record for historians and a fascinating narrative for general readers. Over 100 historical engravings are included. Partial Contents: Expeditions of Viscaino; Conduct of the Fathers towards the natives; Pious Fund of California; Colonel John C. Fremont; Insurrection of the Californians; Description of the Golden Gate; The Presidio of San Francisco; Removal of the Hudson's Bay Company; Resolutions concerning gambling; General Effects of the Gold Discoveries; Third Great Fire; Immigration diminished; The Chinese in California; Clipper Ships; Increase of population; and Commercial depression.

BARSKA Anchormaster 15-45x50 Spyscope w/ Mahogany Floor TripodBARSKA Anchormaster Telescope.

BARSKA Anchormaster Spyscope.

High power viewing with zoom magnifications from 15x to 45x and large 50mm objective lens in a polished brass scope

• Fully coated achromatic lenses for brilliant images structured in a refractor design with helical focusing rings
• Internal image-correcting lens provides right-side-up images for the naked eye
• Brass arc mounts allows the scope to move smoothly in all directions
• Stands proudly on a mahogany tripod with extendable legs and polished brass joints

The Project

Ship Passengers, Sea Captains, Maritime Nations, Merchants, Merchandise into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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