Francisco P. Ramirez: a short biography.
At a time when a majority of the little town was Spanish-speaking, El Clamor Publico offered a rich commentary on daily life in Los Angeles from a Mexican perspective. It chronicles a village gradually succumbing and adjusting to American domination.
To date, historical interest has focused on Ramirez as editor of El Clamor Publico in the last half of the 1850s. (1) Although he remained a public figure in California for more than twenty years after closing his first newspaper, no attention has been given to his later life, and most of his career is completely unknown. (2)
Among scholars commenting on the lack of biographical material concerning California Mexicans has been Abraham Hoffman, who has identified significant figures from the past worthy of more attention. He notes that: "Another person more mentioned than profiled, was Francisco P. Ramirez, a figure who truly cries for more biographical information." (3) Although brief and limited, this article will help rectify the situation by presenting a summary of Ramirez's life and attempting to resurrect his story from the shadows.
Francisco Ramirez was the child of Juan M. Ramirez and Perra Avila. His grandfather, also named Francisco Ramirez, was a carpenter who arrived in Alta California in 1794 with a party of settlers from Sonora, Mexico. A native of Tepic, the elder Francisco Ramirez and his wife, Rosa Quijada, settled at the Mission Santa Barbara, where Juan M. Ramirez was born in 1801. By 1828, the latter had moved to Los Angeles and constructed an adobe residence on land acquired near the northeast corner of Alameda and Aliso streets. He married Petra Avila, a member of a prominent family, in 1830. She was the granddaughter of Cornelio Avila, a Sonoran who led a caravan of settlers from northern Mexico to Alta California in 1786. Petra's father, Francisco Avila, was once mayor of Los Angeles and built the Avila adobe in 1818. (4) This structure still stands on Olvera Street and is the oldest house in the city.
Juan M. Ramirez did not accumulate much wealth in his lifetime. He had no family connections or political influence great enough to obtain one of the large land grants issued by Mexican governors. He used his modest parcel to grow grapes for commercial winemaking. His property adjoined the vineyards of Jean Louis Vignes, a prosperous French vintner who was a naturalized Mexican citizen. Ramirez developed a life-long camaraderie with Vignes, which led to close friendships with other members of a French community centered on Aliso Street. (5)
Francisco P. Ramirez was born in Los Angeles on February 9, 1837, the fourth of thirteen children. (6) He grew up during an unstable period when Los Angeles was evolving from a remote adobe village on the Mexican frontier to an American enclave. He was an intelligent boy who quickly acquired an excellent knowledge of English from American settlers. He also learned French, a skill taught to him by Jean Louis Vignes and his compatriots. Ramirez's mastery of French and English, together with his native Spanish, made him conversant in three languages before he was fourteen years old.
Ramirez was hired by the Los Angeles Star as a compositor during 1851. The newspaper first appeared on May 17, 1851, to serve American residents who were a distinct minority in a Mexican population. As a gesture toward its surroundings, the back page of the journal was printed in Spanish under the title La Estrella de Los Angeles. Ramirez's fourteenth birthday occurred just three months before the first edition of the Star. Despite his youth, he was a natural candidate for employment by the newspaper. Ramirez was one of the few people in Los Angeles who was at home with the printed word in English and Spanish. He became an expert typesetter and absorbed the details of operating a newspaper.
Ramirez's experience at the Star increased his general knowledge since the paper reprinted articles culled from a variety of domestic and foreign publications. For the first time, he had access to information about the world at large. He was also brought into daily contact with such men as Manuel Clemente Rojo, editor of the Spanish section. This sometime lawyer was a politician, and poet of considerable learning. Ramirez developed a friendship with the older man, whose worldliness must have been instructive. In this environment his unusual attainments were appreciated. The August 23, 1851, La Estrella de Los Angeles reprinted an article from a French newspaper and credited Ramirez for translating it to Spanish.
While working for the Star, Ramirez learned that the Catholic Church had opened Santa Clara College near San Jose. About a dozen students began instruction by the Jesuit faculty in May 1851, thus beginning one of California's first schools after statehood. Ramirez quit his newspaper job during 1852 to investigate the new college. He went north accompanied by his ten-year-old sister Isabel. She enrolled at Notre Dame College, a girl's school in San Jose founded by Belgian nuns in 1851. Jean Louis Vignes paid her tuition, according to school records, and also persuaded his nephew, Pierre Sainsevain, to act as a local guardian for Isabel and Francisco. Vignes was the godfather of both children and took an unusual interest in their welfare. Sainsevain was a pioneer resident of San Jose, ideally situated to watch over his uncle's godchildren. Since Vignes paid Isabel's tuition, it is likely that he assumed Ramirez's expenses as well. (7)
Ramirez decided not to attend Santa Clara College but went to classes in a small adobe structure adjacent to St. Joseph's Church in San Jose. The Jesuits established a school at this location in 1850 called St. Joseph's College. During the early 1850s, Father John Nobili operated both the church, with its tiny school, and Santa Clara College. During their formative period, both colleges were housed in rude adobes and were short of money, and understaffed. (8) Neither was an institution of higher learning in the modern sense. Ramirez may have received some advanced tutoring but could hope for little else. Already trilingual, widely read, and a veteran of newspaper work, he might have been disillusioned by his classes and resistant to Jesuit discipline. For whatever reason, he stayed less than a year.
Ramirez moved to San Francisco and began to work on The Catholic Standard, a newspaper first published on May 6, 1853. (9) It was directed toward Catholic laymen and was affiliated with the Church. Ramirez's passage from a Jesuit college to a Catholic newspaper seems more than coincidence. Perhaps a sympathetic teacher helped him extend the apprenticeship begun on the Los Angeles Star.
When The Catholic Standard went bankrupt in early 1854, Ramirez did not return home. Instead, he went to Marysville and worked for The Weekly, California Express, a newspaper begun in 1852. The town of about 4,500 people stood at the juncture of the Feather and Yuba rivers, with direct communication by steamboat to Sacramento. It was a supply point for the gold fields, a fact that brought Ramirez into contact with American miners. The region had a history of intense hatred toward Mexicans, and Ramirez must have been affected to some extent by this hostility. In later years, American violence toward the Spanish-speaking would be a frequent theme in his newspaper.
Toward the end of 1854, Ramirez left Marysville and returned to Los Angeles. He was seventeen years old, highly skilled in newspaper work, and far more sophisticated than his age would suggest. These qualities induced James S. Waite, owner of the Los Angeles Star, to offer Ramirez the editorship of the paper's Spanish page, La Estrella de Los Angeles. Since the departure of Manuel Clemente Rojo in 1853, La Estrella had been largely neglected. It contained little more than legal notices, statutes, and abstracts from American periodicals translated into Spanish.
RAMIREZ FOUNDS EL CLAMOR PUBLICO
Ramirez was not long content as the editor of La Estrella and aspired to begin his own newspaper. This ambition was encouraged by James S. Waite and probably financed by Jean Louis Vignes. Ramirez chose to call his newspaper El Clamor Publico, a name already in use by one of Madrid's great journals.
From the beginning, the success of the newspaper was jeopardized because Ramirez was out of touch with the profoundly conservative Mexican community in Los Angeles. Ramirez embraced the principles of nineteenth-century liberalism and probably read the work of such Mexicans as Jose Maria Luis Mora and other ideologues of the liberal movement headed by Benito Juarez. One scholar suspects that Ramirez "traveled in Mexican revolutionary circles." (10) Another believes that while in Mexico, he was "exposed to revolutionary ideology." (11) Such opinions are conjectural, since there is no evidence of early visits to Mexico by Ramirez. However, they illustrate the radical nature of the political and social content of his newspaper.
Several recurrent themes appeared in the pages of El Clamor Publico drawn directly from Mexican liberalism. Among them was a fervent belief in racial equality and the abolition of slavery. Others included the impartial administration of justice and full political rights for every citizen. The last two ideals were incorporated in the U.S. Constitution, a document greatly admired by Ramirez, though he believed its value was largely nullified by American racism and slavery.
Traditional Mexican society of Los Angeles was not amenable to the views espoused by Ramirez; most of its members did not share his liberalism. They were joined by Americans arriving from elsewhere in the United States, many of whom supported slavery and regarded abolitionists as part of a lunatic fringe. The most damaging opposition to El Clamor Publico came from wealthy Spanish-speaking landowners who made up only about 3 percent of California Mexicans. (12) This influential group resided in adobe townhouses adjacent to the plaza in Los Angeles when not visiting their outlying ranches. Sometimes known as the "ranchero elite," they controlled the economic, political, and social life of Mexican Los Angeles.
The earliest American political leaders cultivated an alliance with the ranchero elite. One of them, lawyer Joseph Lancaster Brent, learned Spanish and set about recruiting prominent rancheros into the Democratic Party. A Catholic from Maryland, Brent captivated many wealthy Mexican families by his personal charm, religious beliefs, and ability to speak their language. He represented a branch of the Democratic Party originating in the Deep South known as the Chivalry, which zealously supported slavery and its extension into the territories acquired by the Mexican American War. Many of the ranchero elite found the Chivalry appealing. There was a certain analogy between their position as owners of vast estates supported by Indian labor and the aristocratic plantations of the South worked by slaves. By 1853, Brent had solidified a tremendous influence over wealthy Mexicans. (13) The landowners delivered the votes of their employees, friends, and relatives, and their support was key to keeping the Southern Chivalry in power.
Neither a member of the ranchero elite or the working classes, Ramirez's family belonged to a small number of agriculturists, merchants, and entrepreneurs who stood outside the traditional relationship between rancheros and their workers. As a liberal, he aligned himself with the laboring class, hoping to raise their political awareness and induce them to vote for candidates who would reduce discrimination and improve the condition of Spanish-speaking people.
Ramirez encountered difficulties in recruiting Mexican subscribers. In the first edition of El Clamor Publico, published on June 19, 1855, he wrote a column in which he regretted that "foreigners"--meaning the Americans and French--had shown more interest in subscribing than Mexicans. He made the first of many appeals for support from the Spanish-speaking community. His newspaper was "entirely dedicated" to their interests, and would be the "best defense" of the Mexican people. Ramirez condemned those who took no part in matters of public interest. He challenged his countrymen to work together to see what "happy results" they could produce by their efforts.
The first manifestation of Ramirez's radical views was an editorial he published July 24, 1855:
The idea of liberty in the United States is truly curious.... Certain people have no liberty at all. It is denied by the courts to every person of color.... But there is the great liberty of any white man to buy a human being in order to arbitrarily hang him or burn him alive. This happens in states where slavery is tolerated and the vilest despotism runs wild--this, in the center of the nation that calls itself a "model republic."
This sarcastic criticism of the "peculiar institution" was certain to anger white Southerners of the Chivalry who controlled Los Angeles. It also offended their affluent Mexican allies.
American disapproval of El Clamor Publico may have been somewhat mollified by occasional articles expressing admiration for the United States and its people. Ramirez well knew that Mexican liberalism and American democracy arose from common European origins. His writing reflected a profound understanding of American history. The July 3, 1855, edition, for example, printed a translation of the Declaration of Independence and remarkably detailed biographies of the men who inspired it. Ramirez wrote a laudatory column on August 28, 1855, saying that the U.S. government was "formed by men of such greatness and wisdom that they have no parallel in history."
In a strange juxtaposition of items in the May 24, 1856, edition, however, an article praising the United States appeared next to one reporting an American massacre of Chileans and Mexicans in the gold country. Whether by coincidence or not, this issue marked the end of editorials expressing an exalted opinion of the United States.
"CALIFORNIANS! AMERICANS! CITIZENS OF EVERY ORIGIN AND CLASS!"
Throughout the brief existence of El Clamor Publico, Ramirez proposed conflicting ideas on ways to combat American racism. One tactic was his attempt to convince Americans that they ought to accept Mexicans on terms of equality. He apparently thought this might be done by presenting Americans with a law-abiding Mexican population willing to unite with them. A July 19, 1856, editorial urged:
Californians! Americans! Citizens of every origin and class! Let us all unite to see that the laws are obeyed and that our officials are aided in carrying them out when necessary. By doing this we will soon see the regeneration of our country and peacefully enjoy our rights to life and property.
At other times, Ramirez urged the Mexican majority to vote as a bloc and take power away from the Americans. Mexicans could outvote Americans at least until 1862. As he wrote on October 4, 1856, "We have enough votes among ourselves to control the elections in this county and we have the power to elect candidates who will work for our interest." Reacting to unfair treatment by American politicians on May 9, 1857, Ramirez urged that they be replaced by Mexican officeholders, saying, "equality of the Spanish-speaking depends on the will of the people manifested in the electoral urn." Sadly, his attempts to effect change by voting were ignored. The tendency of Mexican voters to support racist Chivalry politicians at the request of the ranchero elite plagued Ramirez throughout his career in Los Angeles. In one of the last issues of El Clamor Publico, December 24, 1859, he complained: "It is unbelievable that after so many insults and affronts, one still sees the sad spectacle in California of Hispanic Americans supporting the Slavery Party with their votes and influence."
The most radical solution to Mexicans' lack of empowerment urged by Ramirez was a complete withdrawal from California. Several leading Mexicans, including ex-Governor Juan Alvarado, met in early February of 1855, at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco to form the Society for the Promotion of the Emigration of Native Californians to Sonora. They appointed Jesus Islas to recruit Mexicans for a movement to leave the state. (14) Islas obtained permission from the state of Sonora to populate the abandoned village of Saric, thirty miles south of Nogales and the Arizona border, which had been abandoned years before due to Apache incursions.
Ramirez supported the movement to Saric. As Islas approached Los Angeles with a caravan of emigrants, Ramirez tried to rally local residents to go south. He wrote on May 10, 1856, that "in California there is no justice, no equality, no liberty. We ask in the name of reason and common sense if it would not be better for us to emigrate to the only asylum that guarantees our liberty." Few in Los Angeles responded favorably. Sonora was known to be a dangerous place filled with hostile Indians, bandits, and bloody political revolts.
Nevertheless, the village of Saric was reestablished by a colony of some two hundred California Mexicans. As late as 1883, a report to the governor of Sonora referred to the California settlers by stating that many of Saric's eight hundred inhabitants "retained the characteristics of colonists." (15) Ramirez did not join the movement to Saric, but in 1859 he again promoted an attempt to leave California for Mexico. The movement was based in Los Angeles and sponsored by Ramirez's friend, Manuel Retes. Ramirez's paper of October 23, 1859, referred to the project of Retes as "a praiseworthy enterprise."
Ramirez's attempts to foster good relations with Americans sometimes met with frustration. Ironically, a conciliatory editorial of July 19, 1856, appeared on the very day an innocent Mexican named Antonio Ruiz was senselessly shot to death by an American deputy marshal named William W. Jenkins. When American authorities refused to punish Jenkins, a furious party of the village Mexican population attacked the plaza in an unsuccessful attempt to lynch him. Partly to placate the Spanish-speaking majority, Jenkins was subjected to a jury trial for manslaughter. An all-American jury acquitted him in fifteen minutes. (16)
At first, Ramirez reacted calmly to this racial affront. Later, in connection with the Jenkins affair and other frustrations brought on by Americans, Ramirez's outrage burst forth, as in his editorial on August 2, 1856:
Almost all the newspapers from the north are continually filled with reports of lynchings in the mines. And, oh fatality! only Mexicans are the victims of the people's insane fury! Mexicans alone have been sacrificed on gallows raised to launch their poor souls into eternity. Is this the liberty and equality of the country we have adopted?
Two weeks later, Ramirez returned to a calmer perspective. In the August 16 issue, he wrote, "It is necessary that there be union in this city to have security. Let us all work together in the same spirit to carry out the laws."
SUPPORTING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
Despite Ramirez's resentment toward Americans for their refusal to accept Mexicans as equals, he found the new Republican Party worthy of support. He was surprised to learn of a well-organized American movement that opposed slavery. Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont seemed ideal to Ramirez. Fremont had treated California Mexicans respectfully while he was military governor in Los Angeles during 1847.
Ramirez used El Clamor Publico to campaign for Fremont. He was gratified that Fremont was against slavery and favored equality for Mexicans. Enemies of Fremont ridiculed him for these views by posting signs in San Francisco reading, "Fremont: Free Niggers and Frijoles." (17) Ramirez's enthusiastic support for Fremont transformed El Clamor Publico into an organ of the Republican Party in southern California. The Los Angeles Star, voice of the Chivalry Democrats, accused Ramirez of being a paid propagandist for the Republicans, something he did not bother to deny.
In 1857 Ramirez was again challenged by American behavior toward Mexicans. On January 23, a group of Mexican outlaws ambushed a posse led by Sheriff James R. Barton near San Juan Capistrano. According to Harris Newmark, when word of Barton's fate reached Los Angeles, "the frenzy was indescribable. " (18) Although the guilty parties were captured and hanged, Americans formed vigilante groups that lynched several innocent Mexicans erroneously believed to be involved in Barton's murder. In various editions of El Clamor Publico thereafter, Ramirez published a series of brilliant editorials denouncing the American vigilante lynchings. As Mexican outrage over the lynchings mounted, it appeared for a time that Los Angeles was on the brink of a race war.
When Ramirez turned twenty-one in 1858, he announced his candidacy for the state assembly. After Fremont's defeat, Ramirez's devotion to the Republican Party was temporarily abated, causing him to run as an independent candidate. His best hope for election was to gather support from a coalition of white Republicans, Mexicans, and members of the French community. The Mexican element was the largest group in Los Angeles, but their voting habits were problematic. Some sold their votes to the Chivalry at the request of their employers among the ranchero elite. The usual price was about a dollar. Ramirez lashed out at this practice in several editorials such as one August 28, 1858, in which he wrote: "There are no words strong enough to condemn a man who sells his vote and vilely prostitutes his conscience and personal rights."
As might be expected, the Chivalry opposition easily defeated Ramirez. Nevertheless, as he wrote in the paper on September 4, 1858, he pledged to continue working against the Chivalry and "all their undertakings which lead to the ruin, misery, and destruction of native Californians."
INSULTING THE READERS AND THE END OF EL CLAMOR
The year 1858 closed with an unfortunate incident for Ramirez and the future of his newspaper. He was severely affected by another lynching of a Mexican on November 30, and the apathetic response of Spanish-speaking residents. Their inertia and failure to elect officials willing to protect Mexicans from American violence triggered a vituperative attack on his own people:
And you, imbecile Californians! You are responsible for the lamentable acts we are witnessing. We are fired of saying: "Open your eyes, now is the time to assert your rights and interests." It is shameful, but necessary to admit that you are the sarcasm of humanity. When the time comes to vote, the first of your rights, you go about the streets in the carriages of candidates, and you will not cast your votes unless you are paid for them ... You are cowardly and stupid, inspiring nothing but disdain.
This insult drastically reduced his credibility among his readers and accelerated the demise of El Clamor Publico.
Near the end of 1859, the failure of El Clamor Publico was imminent. Ramirez could no longer afford to operate with few advertisers and a declining readership. On December 17, 1859, he announced that his newspaper was for sale. Charles R. Conway and Alonso Waite purchased the paper and formed a partnership to operate another newspaper, the Semi-Weekly News.
The final issue of El Clamor Publico appeared December 31, 1859, with a sullen editorial farewell by Ramirez. A week before, he printed an announcement that he had accepted an offer from the governor of Sonora, Mexico, Ignacio Pesqueira, to serve as editor of the state's official newspaper, La Estrella de Occidente. Ramirez left Los Angeles in March 1860 in one of the caravans that regularly moved between Sonora and California. When he arrived in Ures, the capital of Sonora, he was assigned living quarters in the Casa de Correcciones, a state building next to the state printing office. His position as state printer and editor of the official newspaper was considered important in the local government hierarchy. Yet Sonora was nearly bankrupt, and public employees seldom received their full salaries. (19)
SONORA'S STAR OF THE WEST
Political and social conditions in Sonora were chaotic. Apart from the dangers of hostile Indians and outlaw bands, violent political uprisings were common. Ramirez discovered this on September 30, 1860, when a group of insurgents attacked the Casa de Correcciones as part of an effort to overthrow Governor Pesqueira. During a two-hour firefight, seven rebels were killed in front of the building where Ramirez lived and worked. He published his reaction to the experience in La Estrella de Occidente on October 12: "We dare not describe in detail the fear and anguish of the town's population of the horrible consequences that faced them if the perverted beings who made up the attackers had triumphed."
With his position increasingly precarious, Ramirez announced his departure in the February 14, 1862 edition of the newspaper. His experience had been traumatic. Besides being exposed to dangerous conflicts, he was seldom paid. He found Sonora to be an impoverished and brutally violent place. Travel outside Ures was only possible with an armed escort. It was not the idyllic refuge he imagined when he advocated a withdrawal to Sonora by California Mexicans in the pages of El Clamor Publico.
Ramirez returned home by steamer from Guaymas during March 1862. The Civil War was well under way and his old political enemies, the Chivalry Democrats, had made Los Angeles an island of Confederate sympathy. The few Union men in the city feared that local secessionists might attempt to seize southern California. The government warily responded by posting soldiers in the streets to keep an eye on the Southern activists. (20) Although Ramirez had followed the Los Angeles press while in Sonora, he was probably not prepared for the degree of tension between Americans caused by the Civil War.
CIVIL WAR LOYALTIES
One of Ramirez's first acts upon his return to Los Angeles was to apply for a notary public commission. Only eight such positions were allocated to Los Angeles County. He was immediately appointed a notary public by the first Republican governor, Leland Stanford, a belated reward for past political service. (21) At that time, the office of notary public was quite lucrative and prestigious. A single notarization brought a fee of one dollar, as much as a common laborer earned for a full day's work. (22) Ramirez moved into an office with attorney Joseph R. Gitchell.
In the meantime, Ramirez continued to search for employment through his political contacts. His efforts resulted in an appointment as registrar of the federal land office in Los Angeles, a fact announced in the November 8, 1862, Los Angeles Star. This was a genuine Republican sinecure, a position paying five hundred dollars a year but requiring little work. It also provided him with a free office in quarters rented by the U.S. government. (23)
About this time, the local Republican Party changed its name to the Union Party to emphasize its loyalty to the federal government in the Civil War. Ramirez took an active role in Union Party affairs, but was also involved with the Mexican community. Mexicans were deeply disturbed by the recent French invasion of Mexico. According to the May 27, 1862, Los Angeles News, when word of the Mexican victory at Puebla on May 5 reached Los Angeles, there was great rejoicing among the Spanish speaking. A fiesta was held, the first Cinco de Mayo celebration in Los Angeles, to commemorate the Mexican triumph. Ramirez was chosen as the main speaker at the event. He gave a stirring oration after a procession through the streets led by a band.
Largely inspired by Ramirez, a Mexican civic organization was formed called La Junta patriotica de Los Angeles. Ramirez wrote the constitution and was its first secretary. (24) This was part of a larger movement of juntas patrioticas to provide the government of Benito Juarez with support for his resistance to the French invasion.
By virtue of his work for the Union Party, Ramirez was nominated as a candidate for state senator on August 16, 1863. His campaign was aimed at both Americans and Mexicans. On August 31, the Los Angeles News reported that the previous day, Ramirez addressed a "very large crowd of native Californians" in Spanish and that same night spoke in front of the Lafayette Hotel to a "Grand Rally of Union Citizens" in English.
Ramirez's opponent for state senator was Henry Hamilton, editor of the Los Angeles Star. The difference between the men could not be clearer. Hamilton was a spokesman for the Chivalry and a self-proclaimed racist, and the editorials in his newspaper denounced the Union and favored the Confederacy. Los Angeles voters favored his stance, and Hamilton won the election, held on September 2, 1863, garnering 922 votes to 761 for Ramirez. (25)
In the rest of California, the Union Party won easily. Ramirez believed that the state Senate, mainly Union men, would never admit a Confederate sympathizer like Hamilton to their ranks. Ramirez filed a challenge to Hamilton's election and departed for Sacramento to contest it. But Ramirez misjudged the realities of state politics. The Senate did not regard their newly elected colleague as dangerous. Hamilton was one of five Copperheads in the legislature whose presence was considered more of a nuisance than a threat. The Senate relegated Hamilton to a few minor committees where they believed he could do no harm. The Elections Committee delayed a ruling on Ramirez's contest against Hamilton until the end of the session. To his great disappointment, the committee eventually ruled against Ramirez. (26)
RAMIREZ IN SAN FRANCISCO
During his prolonged sojourn in Sacramento, Ramirez made several trips to San Francisco. He observed a large Mexican community near North Beach clustered about the intersection of Powell and Vallejo streets at the foot of Russian Hill. Like their counterparts in Los Angeles, they had earlier formed a junta patriotica to raise support for Benito Juarez. As the junta movement rapidly spread through California, a small cadre of prominent Mexicans formed a guiding organization in San Francisco to coordinate the activities of juntas throughout the state and to receive money for transmission to Mexico. This elite executive body was called the Junta Central. One of its members was Antonio Mancillas, editor of the Spanish-language newspaper, La Voz de Mejico. Mancillas offered Ramirez a position assisting him at his newspaper in San Francisco.
San Francisco was an exciting and dynamic place for a person like Ramirez. The French invasion of Mexico had forced many famous politicians and writers into exile. Several of these celebrities found their way to San Francisco, where they held court among local expatriates. One of the first to arrive was Ignacio Ramirez, popularly known as "El Nigromante." (27) A liberal politician, lawyer, and university professor, El Nigromante is still regarded as one of Mexico's greatest writers. He was a confidante of Benito Juarez and the architect of the liberal constitution of 1857. Diego Rivera portrayed his close relationship with Juarez by placing him next to the president in a mural in the National Palace.
Another writer who took refuge in San Francisco was Jose Maria Vigil. Among other achievements, he was editor of the renowned historical work, Mexico a traves de los siglos [Mexico through the centuries]. Ramirez became acquainted with Vigil and other intellectuals, poets, and artists who helped create a vibrant Mexican community in San Francisco. After returning to Los Angeles, Ramirez decided to accept the position on La Voz de Mejico offered by Antonio Mancillas. He settled his affairs in Los Angeles and returned to San Francisco in October of 1864.
Ramirez, however, found it difficult to work with Mancillas. A mutual dislike developed between the two men, which eventually grew into hatred. Ramirez left La Voz de Mejico when he encountered another opportunity with a newspaper called El Nuevo Mundo.
General Placido Vega, one of the most influential figures in the Mexican community, started El Nuevo Mundo in June 1864. Vega, the governor of Sinaloa, had been sent to San Francisco by Benito Juarez to raise money and troops to support Mexico's struggle against the French. He was also directed to create favorable public opinion for the regime of Juarez in the United States. As part of his public relations mission, Vega opened El Nuevo Mundo and installed Jose Maria Vigil as its editor. (28)
The newspaper was soon in financial trouble. Vigil returned to Mexico after only two months as editor, and Vega was unwilling to put more money into the enterprise. Ramirez volunteered to accept responsibility for the newspaper's debts in exchange for becoming its proprietor. This was agreed to, and during December 1864, El Nuevo Mundo was published by "F. P. Ramirez and Co." (29)
The first goal of Ramirez was to make El Nuevo Mundo an organ of the junta patriotica movement in California. The number of juntas patrioticas increased dramatically after it was known that the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria had been made the spurious "emperor" of Mexico.
Ramirez saw the junta movement as more than a way to raise money for the Juarez government. He understood it had great political potential because many members were voters in American elections. Ramirez hoped that the juntas would evolve into a permanent voting bloc, with him as its leader--if he could deliver the Mexican vote to the Union Party, he would gain the power and influence he desired. (30) Ramirez used El Nuevo Mundo to promote his election as general treasurer of the Junta Central, the most powerful office in the junta movement. Ramirez's drive to control the junta movement brought him into conflict with General Vega, who, as an official representative of the Mexican government, felt he was entitled to appoint the general treasurer without an election. Ramirez responded with editorials in El Nuevo Mundo insulting Vega and denying his authority over the juntas. (31)
The personal animosity between Ramirez and Vega culminated in a physical altercation on March 26, 1865, after a meeting of the Junta Central. Vega approached Ramirez on the sidewalk outside Dashaway Hall on Post Street and violently threw him to the ground. The grappling men were finally separated by the police, who arrested them. (32)
The question of who would be general treasurer of the Junta Central was never settled. Ramirez's newspaper constantly published letters of support from Juntas Patrioticas all over California demanding that he take charge. Much of the correspondence contained donations which Ramirez sent to Mexico, making him the de facto general treasurer. (33)
After the French withdrawal from Mexico and Maximilian's execution, the junta movement declined. In 1868 Ramirez sold El Nuevo Mundo to a Chilean named Felipe Fierro and returned to Los Angeles.
RETURN TO LOS ANGELES AND REPUBLICAN POLITICS
In Los Angeles Ramirez began to study law on his own. During March 1869, he filed a petition with Judge Murray Morrison for admission to the local bar. A committee of three lawyers, Charles Hathaway Larrabee, Andrew J. King, and William McPherson, were appointed to examine Ramirez's qualifications. (34) Based on their recommendation, Ramirez was licensed as a lawyer. Larrabee was sufficiently impressed with Ramirez to hire him. A former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Larrabee was eminently qualified to provide Ramirez a legal apprenticeship.
Ramirez worked as an assistant to Larrabee. They filed several lawsuits in 1869 on behalf of Mexican landowners, most of slight consequence. One involved an injunction to prevent a tenant farmer from harvesting a crop until he paid his landlord three hundred dollars in back rent, another was a demand for $786 by a Mexican rancher against an American who drove away a few head of cattle. Such suits were generally settled out of court, with Larrabee using Ramirez exclusively for Mexican clients. (35)
Ramirez eventually developed his own law practice based mainly on Mexican and French clients, and his drive for political advancement began to assert itself. The Union Party had once again become the Republican Party, and Ramirez attended most of its functions and stumped for its candidates. Ramirez's political activities were rewarded in his being named to the local Republican Central Committee, a significant appointment reported by the June 12, 1871, Los Angeles Evening Express. During this period, he was also involved in a political insurgency led by Max Strobel, a former mayor of Anaheim. Strobel organized the People's Convention in Anaheim on June 25, 1871, which nominated a slate of candidates, the People's Ticket, regardless of political affiliation.
Ramirez did not attend Strobel's convention but found that it had nominated him as a candidate for the state assembly. The platform of the People's Convention would have appealed to him. It was radical in nature, advocating a break up of the "Democratic ring" of Southerners who controlled Los Angeles. After experiencing considerable opposition from both the regular Democratic and Republican parties, Strobel's organization dissolved before the fall election took place. Nevertheless, Ramirez's name appeared for several weeks in paid political advertisements for the People's Ticket. (36)
Most of Ramirez's efforts were on behalf of the Republican candidate for governor, Newton Booth, and Romualdo Pacheco, the party's choice for lieutenant governor. He spent significant time in Sonoratown, the Mexican quarter just north of the Plaza, and was the most effective campaigner the Republicans had among Mexicans. The August 11, 1871, Evening Express noted that Ramirez had been elected president of the Spanish-American Republican Club.
The final Republican rally in support of Booth and Pacheco was on the evening of September 3, 1871, in front of the Lafayette Hotel. Ramirez was announced as a principal speaker. The September 4 Evening Express described his speech as "a very able argument to the Spanish-Americans present in their own language." Ramirez evoked past offenses of the Democratic Party against Mexicans such as the Chivalry's tacit support of Maximilian's empire. He accused them of racism in terms that could have been taken from El Clamor Publico: "The Democrats ridicule Pacheco, pass laws in which they call the Spanish people 'greasers,' then ask for their votes at elections." Ramirez further contributed to the mass meeting by providing the Spanish-American Republican Club for a march through the streets.
The election conformed to the usual pattern of Los Angeles politics. The Democrats, controlled by Southern conservatives, rolled over the Republicans by a vote of nearly two to one. Although Republican Newton Booth, won the gubernatorial election against Democratic incumbent Henry H. Haight, he lost in Los Angeles by 2,177 to 1,421. Despite the efforts of Ramirez and others, the Mexican vote came down on the side of the Democrats. (37)
At the close of 1871, Ramirez met Frederick A. Stanford, a New York lawyer who had arrived in Los Angeles with his wife and children after passing through Texas. Ramirez quickly formed a friendship with Stanford and the two men decided to become partners. The Los Angeles Star on March 28, 1872, advertised the firm of Stanford and Ramirez at Room 6 in the Temple Block, the largest building in the city.
Having Stanford as a partner must have helped Ramirez. In one of their first cases, Verdugo v. Urias, the two men took turns arguing before the jury. (38) In this way, Stanford gave Ramirez a practical lesson on how to conduct a trial before a jury--although Ramirez had already been an attorney for more than three years, he had little trial experience. Under Stanford's tutelage, the number of Ramirez's trials began to increase.
In April 1872, Ramirez's friend, Eduardo Teodoli, approached him to ask if he act as editor of a Spanish-language newspaper Teodoli intended to start called La Cronica. Teodoli, an Italian born in Rome, could not do it himself because his Spanish was deficient. After consulting with Stanford, it was agreed that Ramirez would act as editor only for a few months so as not to put his law partnership at risk.
The first office of La Cronica was purposely placed in Room 16 of the Temple Block, almost adjacent to that of Stanford and Ramirez. In that way, Ramirez would not waste time running between his editorial office and his law practice. The first edition appeared May 4, 1872. Ramirez may have enjoyed his brief return to journalism, but he soon went back to his law practice. The July 27, 1872 edition of La Cronica noted his departure with expressions of gratitude. La Cronica endured for several decades and deserves to be studied for the thriving Mexican community in the heart of Los Angeles revealed in its pages.
During 1873 Ramirez was attracted to a political phenomenon much like the People's Ticket of 1871 that revived Max Strobel's goals to hold nonpartisan elections to clean up the "ring" in Los Angeles were revived. The Los Angeles Star announced a "People's Convention" on July 26, 1873. A "Popular Reform Party" emerged from the event. This time the notion of ridding the city of corrupt party bosses, mainly Southerners, was embraced by the public. The "Monster Meeting of the People's Reform Party" was reported by the September 3, 1873, Los Angeles Star, with Ramirez as the principal speaker at the rally. He was, for once, on the victorious side, and the newly formed party swept the elections in September. Its candidates filled nearly all available municipal and county offices. (39)
Ramirez had enthusiastically supported the People's Reform Party and was a leading speaker on its behalf, but neither Ramirez nor Stanford abandoned the Republicans. Stanford stood in for Ramirez as vice president of the Grand Republican Rally reported by the Los Angeles Star August 26, 1875, because Ramirez was too ill to attend. According to the August 28, 1875, issue of La Cronica, Ramirez was "prostrate with sickness." He was sufficiently recovered by September 15, 1875, to speak at the Mexican Independence Day celebration. He brought Stanford with him to the podium and although Stanford spoke only halting Spanish, his presence with Ramirez was a publicity coup for their firm. (40)
The partnership of Stanford and Ramirez was badly affected by the illness of Stanford's wife during the last half of 1876. Stanford was distracted by his wife's suffering, which finally ended with her death on December 16, 1876. (41) Despite his grief, Stanford attempted to continue his partnership with Ramirez during 1877, and they appeared together in a series of Republican political rallies as reported in the August 16, 1877, Los Angeles Star. They had both become well-known figures in the local Republican Party. Stanford again accompanied Ramirez to the 1877 Mexican Independence Day celebration where Ramirez delivered a long speech and Stanford made a few remarks to the crowd. (42)
In early 1878, Stanford left Los Angeles for Arizona, leaving Ramirez to run their law practice alone. Ramirez remained active in Republican politics. He was a true loyalist to the party, a fact he pointed out to the Republican County Convention in 1880, when his desire for elected office was renewed. The party nominated him by acclamation as its candidate to the state assembly. (43)
The Democrat opposing Ramirez was Reginaldo del Valle, a young attorney just admitted to the bar and the first Mexican to follow in Ramirez's footsteps as a lawyer in Los Angeles. Despite his youth, del Valle adhered to the old Democratic Party regime in Los Angeles, which was still heavily influenced by Southerners who echoed Chivalry sentiments. His father, Ignacio del Valle, was one of the ranchero elite who had embraced the Chivalry, and Joseph Lancaster Brent, the Chivalry leader who first brought wealthy Mexicans into the Democratic fold during the 1850s, was the younger del Valle's godfather. In the election of September 1880, del Valle barely beat Ramirez. (44) This loss, however, was only a minor defeat for Ramirez compared to the disaster about to come his way.
RAMIREZ'S DOWN FALL
On December 1, 1880, Los Angeles residents heard rumors that Ramirez had been arrested on charges of bank fraud. The next day every newspaper in the city confirmed the scandalous affair. Details emerged in the press during the next few weeks outlining the nature of the charges against Ramirez.
An itinerant Mexican, Jesus Hidales, appeared at Ramirez's office in the Temple Block on November 29, 1880. He told Ramirez he had a $2,100 certificate of deposit in his name drawn on a San Francisco bank. A later examination of the certificate would show that it was forged and that Hidales had traced his own name over that of the actual owner. Hidales explained to Ramirez that he could not cash it in Los Angeles because he was unable to prove his identity as the certificate's rightful owner.
Prosecutors charged that Ramirez told Hidales that he would vouch for his identity even though he did not know him. In exchange, Ramirez wanted Hidales to give him five hundred dollars from the proceeds of the cashed certificate. (45)
That night, Hidales went to Sonoratown and got drunk, but unbeknownst to him, one of his drinking companions was an informant for Sheriff Billy Rowland. Hidales took a liking to the informant and suggested that they travel to Mexico together. The informant feigned interest, but said he had no money. Hidales said he would soon have plenty of money and displayed the certificate and explained that the next day he would go to the bank at noon to cash it. He was certain to do so because the lawyer Francisco P. Ramirez had agreed to vouch for him at the bank even though he did not know him and was charging five hundred dollars to help defraud the bank. (46)
The next day at noon, Sheriff Rowland went to the bank to investigate. He discovered that Hidales had been there with Ramirez, but had just left. A few minutes later Rowland found Hidales at a livery stable buying a horse and recovered all the money except five hundred dollars, which Hidales said he had given to Ramirez. (47)
Hidales was arrested at once, but Ramirez was not yet accused of a crime. The next day Ramirez went to the jail to speak with Hidales. Two Spanish-speaking deputies hid behind the door of an interview room to eavesdrop on their conversation. According to the deputies, Ramirez made several statements strongly suggesting his complicity with Hidales. That afternoon Ramirez was arrested and released on one thousand dollars bail. A week later, Ramirez hired Henry T. Gage, who would later become governor of California, as his attorney. Within a few days, Gage filed a motion for dismissal, but the motion had no exculpatory evidence and was denied.
A jury trial was set for March 22, 1881, but Ramirez did not appear. He had jumped bail and took a steamer for Mexico, and the March 27, 1881, Los Angeles Herald reported that Ramirez was believed to be in Mazatlan. He became a fugitive from justice and never returned to California.
In late 1881, Ramirez appeared in Real del Castillo, the capital of northern Baja California, and a boomtown of 2,500 people that had sprung up after a gold strike. Located about sixty miles northeast of modern Ensenada, it no longer exists except for traces of a few building foundations. Ramirez supported himself by teaching in an elementary school and working for a small newspaper, El Fronterizo. He was, apparently, a popular figure and the local people elected him as a juez de paz, or justice of the peace, in 1883. (48)
In Real del Castillo, Ramirez was reunited with his old friend and mentor, Manuel Clemente Rojo, who had moved to Baja California in 1853. When Ramirez arrived, Rojo was the subprefect of the Partido del Norte, a position equivalent to governor of northern Baja California. (49) In 1883 Rojo moved the capital to Ensenada, and an American company given a concession to exploit the resources of Baja California made its headquarters there. Streets were laid out on an American plan, and communications were established with San Diego by telegraph and a weekly steamship. Ensenada was soon a fair-sized city based on American investments and land sales.
A NEW CAREER IN ENSENADA
Ramirez moved to Ensenada in 1884. He opened a law office and attracted several affluent American clients interested in mining investments. He soon bought a large two-story house at the northeast corner of Calle Primera and Avenida Ruiz, which, until its demolition in 1983, was a local landmark. On September 2, 1895, Ramirez married a local woman named Maria Saint Raymond, a twenty-eight year old widow with two children. Ramirez was fifty-eight years old. Despite the wide difference in their ages, seven children were born during their marriage. (50)
While conducting his law practice, Ramirez invested in real estate and acquired a substantial fortune. (51) He could not cross the border for fear of arrest, but, ironically, he represented several American fugitives in Ensenada resisting extradition. (52) Today, Ramirez is regarded in Ensenada as one of the city's founders and has been the subject of interest by Mexican historians. (53) One of his grandsons, Jesus Lorenzo Ramirez, is a commercial fisherman who still resides in the city with his family. He is the child of Ramirez's youngest son, Lorenzo, who never knew his father. Ramirez died on December 28, 1908, at the age of seventy-one from chronic bronchitis before Lorenzo was born. (54) For many years, Lorenzo operated the family homestead as the Hotel Ramirez. His son, Jesus Lorenzo, was born in the 1950s, late in his father's life. The rest of the family, Lorenzo's siblings and their offspring, have died or disappeared in the United States. (55)
Ramirez's passing went unnoticed in Los Angeles. His widow and children took refuge for a long time in Los Angeles, and later, San Diego. Lorenzo was the only child who returned to Ensenada. Ramirez left no will, an omission that caused his wife to lose much of their wealth in confused legal proceedings with relatives, squatters, and corrupt officials. She died in Ensenada in 1945, an eighty year-old living in modest circumstances. (56) Both Ramirez and his wife are buried somewhere in the Ensenada Municipal Cemetery in unmarked graves.
REPUBLICS AND MONARCHIES
This essay from March 8, 1856, complements many others published in El Clamor Publico that defend the republic as superior to monarchies and other forms of tyranny. The complexity of these concepts is reflected in the refined prose and rhetorical imagery that permeate this piece.--Armando Miguelez
We all share the desire for everyone to be free and subject to only that which is fair and just and not that which is based on violence. We wish to be ruled by reason, not whim, and we hope that the next generation willingly accepts our legacy rather than actively rejecting it. May we be governed by principle, not greed, and be comrades in our republics rather than slaves. We wish to be full members of society, not just props; human beings rather than simple shadows. May the rich not hamper the poor seeking to become rich, nor the poor become rich by stealing from the powerful. May the nobleman respect the common man, and may the common man accept the nobleman. May all governments take on the responsibility of promoting prosperity among the poor and honor among the virtuous, not the opposite. Clearly, no one person should be of more value than any other because those who partake of excess destroy equality and those who allow excess conspire with those who seek it. Equality is harmony, and thereon rests peace in the Republic. Disrupting equality through excess is out of tune and what was once sweet music becomes simply noise. Republics should have the same relationship with monarchs as the relationship the land ... has with the sea.... The two are intertwined, but the shoreline provides the land with a way of defending itself against the insolence of the sea, which is constantly threatening it, lapping upon its shores, trying to drown it and drink it up. And the land takes its due on the one hand, and hides on the other. The land, always firm and unmoveable, opposes the rowdiness and perpetual discord of the sea's ever-changing nature. The sea rises up in fury at any gust of wind while the land increases its abundance. The sea is enriched by whatever the land offers her, and the land, with fishing hooks and nets, empties out the sea. And in the same way that safety from the sea is found on land, in its ports, squalls are calmed in Republics and gulfs invade kingdoms. Republics must always act with their brain, not their brawn, but they must have sufficient armies and navies to face any challenge.
(TRANSLATED BY CYNTHIA GIAMBRUNO)
LAS REPUBLICAS Y LAS MONARQUIAS
Este ensayo se suma a muchos otros publicarlos en El Clamor Publico en defensa de la republica como algo superior a las monarquias y otras tiranias. La complejidad de estos conceptos se refleja en la refinada prosa y las imagenes retoricas que permean esta pieza.--Armando Miguelez
La pretension que todos tenemos es la libertad de todos, procurando que nuestra sujecion sea a lo justo, y no a lo violento, que nos mande la razon no el albedrio; que seamos de quien nos hereda, no de quien nos arrebata; que seamos cuidado de los principios, no mercancia; y en las republicas companeros, y no esclavos; miembros y no trastos, cuerpos y no sombra. Que el rico no estorbe al pobre que pueda ser rico, ni el pobre se enriquezca con el robo del poderoso. Que el noble no desprecie al plebeyo, ni el plebeyo aborrezca al noble; y que todo el gobierno se ocupe en animar a que todos los pobres sean ricos y honrados los virtuosos, y en estorbar que suceda lo contrario. Hase [sic] de obviar que ninguno pueda, ni valga mas que todos, porque quien excede a todos destruye la igualdad, y quien permite que exceda, le manda que conspire. La igualdad es armonia, en que esta la paz de la republica; pues en turbandola particular exceso, disuena y se oye rumor lo que fue musica. Las republicas han de tener con los reyes la union que tiene la tierra ... con el mar.... Siempre estan abrazados, mas siempre esta se defiende de las insolencias de aquel con la orilla; y siempre aquel la amenaza, la va lamiendo, y procurando anegarla y sorbersela; y esta cobra de si por una parte tanto como ella esconde por otra. La tierra, siempre firme y sin movimiento, se opone al bullicio y perpetua discordia de su inconstancia. Aquel con cualquiera viento se enfurece; esta con todos se fecunda; aquel se enriquece con lo que esta le fia; esta con anzuelos, redes y lazos de pesca y le despuebla. Y de la manera que toda la seguridad del mar y del abrigo esta en la tierra, que da los puertos; asi en las republicas esta el reparo de las borrascas y golfos en los reinos. estas siempre han de militar con el seso, pocas veces con las armas: han de tener ejercitos, y armadas prontas en la suficiencia del caudal, que es el que logra las ocasiones....
BY RODOLFO F. ACUNA
Some historians have believed that Francisco P. Ramirez came from Sonora, Mexico. Indeed, I am one of the sources cited for this error. Records show, however, that Ramirez was born in California, as was his father. Nonetheless, the family's ties to Sonora were strong, and the four pages of the Clamor were full of items on the Mexican state.
The tone of the paper changed over its brief four-year run. At first, Ramirez was optimistic about the prospects for Mexicans under the U.S. Constitution. As it became evident that Mexicans were not going to be granted parity with European Americans and atrocities accumulated, Ramirez's editorials reflected the Mexicanos' disillusionment with U.S.-style democracy and he became an implacable critic of the treatment of Mexicans.
By October 1856 Ramirez encouraged Mexicans and Chileans to join Jesus Isla's Junta Colonizadora de Sonora and return to Mexico. He promoted this emigration society even when it was evident that it was not getting support from Mexico. When a reader objected to Ramirez's "return-to-Mexico" campaign, saying: "California has always been the asylum of Sonorans, and the place where they have found good wages, hospitality, and happiness," Ramirez caustically responded that the letter did not merit comment and asked: "Are the Californios as happy today as when they belonged to the Republic of Mexico, in spite of all of its revolutions and changes in government?"
RODOLFO F. ACUNA is Professor of Chicano Studies at CSUN. After receiving his Ph.D. from USC, he became the founding chair of Chicano Studies at then San Fernando Valley State College. He has authored fifteen books, including Occupied America: A History of Chicanos and Anything But Mexican: Chicanos in Contemporary Los Angeles, and has received numerous academic and community-service awards.
(1) Three of the most important books mentioning Ramirez are Leonard Pitt, The Decline of the Californios (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970), 181-194; Douglas Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990), 219-222; Richard Griswold del Castillo, The Los Angeles Barrio, 1850-1890 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1979), 109, 113, 115-116, 122. None of these books contain factual information about Ramirez beyond his work on El Clamor Publico, which ended when he was twenty-three years old.
(2) Ramirez was born February 9, 1837, and died December 28, 1908. Because this information is generally unknown, one writer states his life span as "1830s-1890?" Matt S. Meier, Mexican American Biographies (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 183-184.
(3) Abraham Hoffman, Needs and Opportunities in Los Angeles Biography, Part 1: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Los Angeles: Historical Society of Southern California, 2002), 8.
(4) Petra Pelanconi, Ramirez's niece, untitled history of the Ramirez family, The Grizzly Bear, (October 1914): 1-4.
(5) Juan M. Ramirez and Jean Louis Vignes lived next to each other and had several business transactions in which they were partners. They filed a joint petition on September 7, 1840, before the Los Angeles prefect, Santiago Arguello, to raise Merino sheep on Catalina Island. On July 8, 1849, Judge Jose del Carmen Lugo approved a contract in which Ramirez would take care of Vignes's cattle for a share of the increase. Los Angeles Prefecture Records, Huntington Library, Volume 1: 321 and Volume A: 685.
(6) Baptismal records, Archival Center, Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
(7) Mary Dominica McNamee, Light in the Valley (Berkeley: Howell-Norton Books, 1967), 39-40.
(8) William F. James and George H. McMurry, The History of San Jose (San Jose: A. H. Cawston, 1933), 92-93.
(9) Dictation of Francisco P. Ramirez, Bancroft Library, BANC MSS C-D 756.
(10) Pitt, Decline of the Californios, 184.
(11) Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers, 219.
(12) Griswold del Castillo, The Los Angeles Barrio, 31.
(13) Henry D. Barrows, "J. Lancaster Brent," Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly VI (1897): 238-241.
(14) M. Colette Standart, "The Sonora Migration to California, 1848-1856: A Study in Prejudice," Southern California Quarterly (Fall 1976): 348-350.
(15) 1883, Prefectura del Distrito de Altar, Informe de la visita oficial a la Municipalidad del Saric en los primeros dias del mes de Noviembre del presente ano. Archivo Historico del Gobierno del Estado de Sonora, Carpeta 824, Ramo Justicia. Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
(16) El Clamor Publico, August 23, 1856.
(17) Andrew Rolle, John Charles Fremont (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 168.
(18) Harris Newmark, Sixty Years in Southern California, (Los Angeles: Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, 1970), 207.
(19) La Estrella de Occidente, May 17, 1861. On behalf of himself and other Sonora state employees, Ramirez criticized failure to pay their salaries as "immoral and fraudulent."
(20) John W. Robinson, Los Angeles in Civil War Days 1860-65 (Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 1977), 55-61.
(21) Los Angeles Semi- Weekly Southern News, June 18, 1862.
(22) Statutes of California, Chapter 3, Section 4, 1851.
(23) National Archives, Laguna Niguel, California. Records Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Los Angeles District Office, Records of the Register. Correspondence between Commissioner J. M. Edmunds, Washington, D.C., and Francisco P. Ramirez, Los Angeles, California, 1862-1864.
(24) La Voz de Mejico, October 9, 1862.
(25) Los Angeles Semi-Weekly News, October 7, 1863.
(26) Alta California, April 3, 1864.
(27) One of El Nigromante's letters to Guillermo Prieto was written in San Francisco and published in La Voz de Mejico, January 21, 1864. Prieto's pseudonym was "Fidel." The letters were later published as Cartas a Fidel, an enduring masterpiece of Mexican literature.
(28) Robert Ryal Miller, "Californians Against the Emperor," California Historical Society Quarterly, XXXVII (1958), 193-214.
(29) El Nuevo Mundo, December 28, 1864.
(30) El Nuevo Mundo, January 6, 1865.
(31) El Nuevo Mundo, February 10, 1865.
(32) El Nuevo Mundo, March 27, 1865.
(33) El Nuevo Mundo, July 31, 1865; August 21, 1865; October 23, 1865; November 22, 1865; December 11, 1865.
(34) Los Angeles Republican, March 11, 1869.
(35) Verdugo v. Howard, Case No. 1472 (May 1869); Colima v. Ramirez, Case No. 1482 (June 1869); Talamantes v. Preuss, Case No. 1553 (November 1869). District Court Records, Los Angeles Area Court Records, Huntington Library.
(36) Every issue of the Los Angeles Star, Republican, and Evening Express from June 27, 1871 to September 5, 1871.
(37) Los Angeles Star, September 13, 1871.
(38) Teodoro Verdugo v. Nicolas Urias, Case No. 1938 (February 1872). District Court Records, Los Angeles Area Court Records, Huntington Library.
(39) Los Angeles Star, September 11, 1873.
(40) La Cronica and Los Angeles Star, September 16, 1875.
(41) Los Angeles Star, December 17, 1876.
(42) Los Angeles Star, September 18, 1877.
(43) Los Angeles Evening Express, August 5, 1880.
(44) Los Angeles Herald, November 4, 1880.
(45) People v. Francisco P. Ramirez, Case No. 648 (1880), Los Angeles Superior Court Archive, Testimony of Ramon Hidales.
(46) People v. Francisco P. Ramirez, Testimony of Adolfo Celis.
(47) People v. Francisco P. Ramirez, Testimony of William R. Rowland.
(48) Coleccion Donald Chaput, Archivos, Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Tijuana.
(49) Antonio Padilla Corona, "Real del Castillo: Subprefectura Politica del Partido Norte de la Baja California, 1872-1888," in Ensenada, Nuevas Aportaciones Para Su Historia (Mexicali: Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, 1999), 115-163.
(50) Hesiquio Trevino, "Fundadores de Ensenada--Lic. Francisco P. Ramirez" Vivir en Ensenada (July 1992), 26-29.
(51) Ramirez bought six parcels of land in downtown Ensenada between 1882 and 1886, Antonio Padilla Corona, "Cuadro Sintesis del Registro Publico de la Propiedad de Ensenada: 1882-1886," in Ensenada, Nuevas Aportaciones Para Su Historia, 259-264.
(52) The last he represented was a fugitive from Connecticut, a bank cashier who fled to Ensenada with a large sum. Reno Evening Gazette, May 4, 1908.
(53) Miguel Agustin Tellez Duarte, "Francisco P. Ramirez: Un Pionero en Ensenada," Seminario de Historia de Baja California (2002), 199-228.
(54) Acta de defuncion, Num. D08-136, Archivo del Registro Civil, Ensenada, B. Cfa. Mexico, Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas, UABC, Tijuana.
(55) Interview with the Ramirez family in Ensenada, June 14, 2002.
(56) Acta de Defuncion, 23 de Noviembre, 1945, Registro Civil de Ensenada, Libro 4, Foja 41, Partida Num. 545.
PAUL BRYAN GRAY is a practicing attorney in Claremont, California. He is the author of the award-winning book Forster vs. Pico: The Struggle for the Rancho Santa Margarita. His second book is a biography of Francisco P. Ramirez.
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|Author:||Gray, Paul Bryan|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2006|
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