The Rise of Mariano G. Vallejo

Most Northern Californians probably know about a community in the San Francisco Bay Area named Vallejo. They may also be aware that its name honors General Mariano G. Vallejo, an early California landowner in the Sonoma area. What many people don't know is that a connection exists between Vallejo and San Joaquin County. In fact, the . . . → Read More: The Rise of Mariano G. Vallejo

The Origins of French Camp, California

Jedediah Strong Smith (1799–1831) and about fifteen trappers with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company entered California in November 1826. They were hoping to "find parts of the country as well stocked with Beaver as the waters of the Missouri." Smith and his party had crossed the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains (a route later . . . → Read More: The Origins of French Camp, California

Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 3

There are two remaining stereotypes that I’d like to address. First, that the Indians from San Joaquin County area were nothing special.

It is remarkable enough that the ancestors of the Native people from what is now San Joaquin County settled this area perhaps thirteen thousand years ago and developed lifeways suited to a new and changing . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 3

Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 2

American educators and the mainstream media have depicted the Native peoples of California—especially in the Central Valley—as passive, weak, and disinclined to defend their homelands. Americans tend to put the warrior Indians of the Great Plains on a pedestal, even though their cultures developed after Europeans reintroduced the horse to the New World. California Indians had . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 2