Frank Baumgardner

Fall, 2013


Freedom, Hope of Immigrants to a New Land

Alta California's "Surveyor General" Jasper O'Farrell arrived from a whaler at Sausalito in October, 1843. Born in Wexford County, Ireland in 1817, he was educated in Dublin at Dublin University where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering about 1840.
Part of a British surveying expedition to South America, he made his way across the Andes to Valparaiso, Chile where he learned Spanish before coming to California.
He surveyed numerous northern and southern California ranchos after fighting in Micheltorena's War in early 1845. Since hard money was hard to come by for rancheros, O'Farrell took payment for his work in cattle and horses. He earned a lnad grant with his work which he traded for Sonoma County's Canada de Jonive. He fell in love with Mary McChristian, an American girl who crossed the Plains in 1845 with her family on the Grigsby-Ide Party. He was nearly lynched for his work on the 1847 Plan of San Francisco, the foremost early map of the city. He also suveyed Sonoma, Benicia and Stockton.

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O'Farrell is early California's most forgotten pioneer. Jasper O'Farrell had surveyed in Chile before arriving in Northern California while a crewman on a whaler in 1843. He surveyed and plotted many southern California ranchos before returning to Northern California in early 1846. Because many of his ranchero clients had little hard money to pay him, they paid him in horses and cattle he had to herd up to the San Francisco Bay Area.
By late 1846 he was recognized by both Americans and Californios as a master civil engineer and surveyor. Commissioned by the San Francisco City Council, he completed the first map of the City. It was the first plan for town destined to become what he envisioned as the "Empire City" of the West Coast.
During the following months O'Farrell also mapped Benicia, Sonoma and Stockton as well as numerous Northern California ranches. He married sixteen year old American woman Mary McChristian, who had immigrated to California over the California Trail with the Grigsby-Ide party. in 1845.

For the complete story see the soon-to-be published, "Blood Will Tell Divvying Up Early California from Col. Juan Bautista de Anza to Jasper O'Farrell."

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A family portrait of the "Californio," pioneer Jasper O'Farrell. Courtesy of his great great granddaughter Janis Miller.

San Francisco Bay, as Fr. Fray Pedro Font who accompanied Captain de Anza in 1777.
One of three maps Fr. Font made of the Bay or what the Spaniards called the "Estero." It is, of course, a 1777 map of the San Francisco Bay Area.

How the San Francisco Bay looked to Captain Portola, 1777
Do you see the image of Snoopy in the south Bay? Some have!!

Captain Portola s full name was Don Juan de la Quadra y Bodega. Source, "FONT'S COMPLETE DIARY A CHRONICLE OF THE FOUNDING OF SAN FRANCISCO," TRANSLATED AND EDITED BY HERBERT EUGENE BOLTON, Professor of American History and Director of the BANCROFT LIBRARY, University of California at Berkeley, 1931, University of California Press, Berkeley, Californa.

A bilingual civil engineer named Jasper O'Farrell landed in Sausalito October 20, 1843.
Despite mapping ranchos and towns throughout Alta California he was destined to become one of California's forgotten pioneers.
"Blood Will Tell Divvying Up Early California from Col. Juan Bautista de Anza to Jasper O'Farrell" was published in March, 2015. It is available at​books or on kindle. Also at Copperfields Books in Sonoma County, California. It was published by CreateSpace, the online self-publishing company based in Charleston, SC.

Assault rifles, multiple-round clips of ammo and the NRA's current (12/26/12) stand

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Old stuff, Frank. Site needs updating.

Two weeks ago fourteen innocent people died, slaughtered in less than fifteen minutes by the Farouk couple in San Bernardino, California. I think this horrific incident underlines the need for stronger national background checks even though the man who bought these two automatic rifles bought them "legally." He has been arrested and will stand trial on terrorism charges, We will face this legal question for years to come. Its a dilemma left by the Founding Fathers and the 2nd Amendment that they never foresaw happening. I think responsible gun owners, most of whom only load their rifles for hunting, should always retain their rights to their weapons. Still I think we need a change, even if this involves great controversy, and the opposition of the NRA. What do you think?

In the month of December, 2012 the nation already witnessed two multiple murders in two separate locations, Newton, CN and Webster, NY. What is most unique about these two separate multiple murders by a lone gunman is that in each case the same weapon was used. The weapon, made by a company by Bushmaster and sold all over the country in gun shows, online and elsewhere, can spray a large number of bullets in a very short interval of time. As a father and grandfather myself, I am compelled by my conscience to say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, DAMN IT!"

The current leadership of the NRA has said on many occasions that the rationale and legal basis for its stand against the banning of this kind of military killing machine is the Second Amendment. If you examine American history even for a second you'll find out this is one of the core concepts of the American Revolution and independence achieved by Gen. Washington in 1781 at the Battle of Yorktown. This resulted ultimately in the adoption of the US Constitution in the late 1780's when the only weapon available, on the market, was a kind of single shot shotgun called by scholars the "blunderbust." To kill an animal such as a bear or deer with it one almost HAD to be within six feet of less in order to able to hit the animal's head or heart. Note that I did not include human enemies but the only enemies faced by the Founders who conceived of and wrote the American Constitution were either the British, French or Spanish Governments or Native Americans, now known simply as Indians. There were no weapons such as the one currently being sold in great numbers to the public that could kill many victims just by pulling the trigger many times in a short space of time.

American citizens today, whether they be elderly, adults, school children such as the twenty cut down earlier this month in Newton, CN, or babes in arms, face an entirely different, much more deadly challenge. Sudden, unexpected death by a lone gunman carrying such a deadly piece of advanced technology.

After the attempted but failed attempt to kill Pres. Reagan in the early '70s Congress with Pres. Ronald Reagan, Pres. HK Bush's and for part of Pres. Clinton's term, support of the president, instituted a kind of limited gun control law. it was effective in preventing any such horrific event as Columbine, Tucson, again Columbine, Milwaukee and now, still in 2012, Newton and Webster. Guns such as this one were banned with strict controls on who might own, collect or buy one.

The real question we face as a nation of freedom-loving people today face is really quite simple: can we live with this same kind of mass killing of our citizens or not? I say it is time, really past time, to make changes to preserve the safety of all Americans.

What does this have to do with my two already published books and one on the way you ask? If you have read either of my two books= Killing for Land in Early California OR Yanks in the Redwoods- you cannot escape noting the anti-violent tone and themes of each.

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Hi, Frank. I very much like the site. Re this post: as a gun owner and daughter of a man who ate every deer he killed, every fish landed, and so on, I must say that there is NO reason for multiple-clip assault weapons in anything that can clearly be called hunting. They destroy human beings in war; we have no "right" to them in peace, at home.

Hi Frank,

I like your site, you have some interesting posts. My site compliments yours, consisting of interesting articles and a free writers yearbook with over 1000 book publishers currently accepting submissions. Keep up the good work.

Regards, Brian.

I like it very much!
-- Susie from Idaho