Criminal annals, Part 135: Rancher robbed of $4k from beneath his pillow

Continuing with the October 4, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we return to the “From the Interior” articles from Shasta, Sonoma and San Jose.

“SHASTA.

HEAVY ROBBERY. –  It has been reported that Mr. L. H. Sanborn, of Sanborn’s ranch. Was robbed a few nights since of $4000. His house was entered about ten o’clock at night and the money was taken from beneath his pillow. We have seldom heard of such a bold and daring robbery.”

“SONOMA.

“ The Bulletin, speaking of the improvements in that delightful region, says that Gen. Vallejo has completed a beautiful cottage on what is known as the “spring property.” The spring from which the bath-house is supplied furnishes from 20 to 30 gallons of water per minute, irrigating a fine garden and vineyard of about 30 acres. The willows around the spring afford a pleasant retreat in warm weather, and is much visited by citizens and strangers.”

Note: Gen. Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (1807-1890) was the Mexican military commander of Northern California in 1846, when a group of Americans showed up at his home and, after devouring most of his food and wine, took him prisoner. This was the famous “Bear Flag Revolt,” in Sonoma which took place on June 14, 1846. Once the United States defeated Mexico in the war, Vallejo proved his allegiance to his new country by persuading wealthy Californios to accept American rule. An influential member of the state’s Constitutional Convention, he was elected as a member of the first session of the state Senate in 1850.

The Vallejo Estate in Sonoma, also known as Lachryma Montis (crying mountain), is part of the Sonoma State Historic Park. The Rancho Petaluma Adobe, the largest example of the Monterey Colonial style of architecture in the United States, is part of the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. Due to financial restraints, both of these parks have limited hours of operation.

Continuing with the article: “A panther weighing 200 pounds was killed last Saturday at Mr. Spence’s farm, about two miles from Sonoma. He had been prowling in that neighborhood for some time, and it is supposed killed several colts belonging to Mr. Spence.”

“SAN JOSE.

“From the Santa Clara Register [1852-1853, San Jose. Preceded by the Visitor, 1851-1852, and ultimately became part of the San Jose Mercury News] of Thursday, we extract the following:

“STABBED. –  Last Sunday night, about ten o’clock, an Indian was found on Market street, near the Plaza, with a dangerous knife wound in the left side, and several other severe cuts in other parts of the body. It is not known by whom the deed was committed, the Indian being too drunk to give any account of the affair.

“On Monday morning last, the body of an Indian was found on a vacant lot on the south side of Santa Clara street, in a shockingly mutilated state. It is supposed that the Indian was killed on Sunday night, but as yet we have no clue to the murderer.

“An American, name unknown, was killed on Tuesday night, two miles above this city, near the Townsend House. Particulars not known at present.

“A man by the name of Porter was shot by the guard of the county jail on the night of the 19th inst. It seems that Porter had gone near the guard and upon being hailed several times and failing to answer, the guard very naturally suspected his motives and fired upon him. We are pleased to state that the wound though severe is not dangerous, and that the unfortunate man is now convalescent. It was only through Porter’s inadvertency in failing to answer when hailed, that he was shot.

“On Monday morning, a Pennsylvanian by the name of James Blair, was found murdered in the south-eastern portion of San Jose.”

Following this article is the usual, but often entertaining report from the Recorder’s Court.

“Recorder’s Court. – Before Judge McGrew. Saturday, Oct. 2

“Attendance slimmer than usual this morning and not so many colors to variegate the scene.

Jonathan Harold, for assault and battery on the person of Levi Welber. Found guilty and fined $10 and costs – in all $30.

Harry, from Bombay, for drunkenness and disorderly conduct. This was Harry’s first offense, and didn’t amount to anything, at that; so he was permitted to vamos [Spanish – leave hurriedly. Anglicized to “vamoose.”]

“James Hinnessy, for threats made against the person of Blanch Ellis, one of the frail daughters of Eve. Found guilty, and bound over in the sum of $500 to keep the peace for three months.”

Amongst the advertisements in the latter pages of the paper is an article entitled, “From the South,” meaning information from Southern California. It starts with the hearings on the claims for land issued by the Spanish and Mexican governments, but then adds additional information.

“We are indebted to the Alta [Alta California, San Francisco, 1849-1891. Descended from the California Star, 1847-1849] for the following summary:

“LATER FROM THE SOUTH. – The steamer Sea Bird, arrived here yesterday evening after a passage of three days from San Diego. Hon. G. W. Cooley, U. S Law Agent, and several members of this bar who attended the sittings of the Commission were among the passengers.

“Jeronimo [Geronimo], the celebrated chief of the Yumas, was killed at Santa Isabel by the Indians living in that neighborhood. He was enticed there and then treacherously murdered according to the usages of Indian warfare. His scalp and one ear were sent to the American authorities.

“A correspondent who has crossed the plains writes to the Star[Los Angeles, 1851-1879] that the Camanches, Yumas or Shacos, did not show their faces either in the day or night, and not an animal was stolen from their train. Some of the emigrant trains have met the fate of the careless and unconcerned. The southern route is far better for horses and mules than oxen, and the Santa Fe route is the best for those coming to California.

“Nicholas Blair, for several years a resident of Los Angeles, committed suicide on Saturday evening. Mr. Blair came to California as a member of Col. Stevenson’s regiment [New York Volunteers who fought in the Mexican War], and married a native if the country. He was a native of Hungary.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *