During his short life, William Alexander Leidesdorff accumulated great wealth. Yet, what happened to his wealth after he died is a story in itself. The Aftermath of Leidesdorff’s Death In addition to his riches, Leidesdorff left many debts. Many of those were a result of his financing of businesses and other ventures like Fremont’s expeditions. […]
Life in Rancho Era Los Angeles: Hardships and Joys
José Jesús López grew up in the Pueblo of Los Angeles in the 1850s, in the neighborhood of *El Paredón Blanco* (today’s Boyle Heights).
Indian Vaqueros in Alta California
Vaqueros were the most important workers in the mission and rancho eras. And some of the first vaqueros were Native American. Learn more about these unique figures on the California frontier. What Does “Vaquero” Mean? The word vaquero is usually translated as “cowboy” in English, and literally means “someone in charge of cows.” It also […]
Land Grants in Alta California
The story of land ownership in modern California begins with the practice of Spanish land grants. Beginning in the 18th century, Spain allowed farming and ranching by private individuals in California. In the 19th century the Mexican government continued and expanded the program. Land Laws in Spain The laws and customs about who could own […]