Alcatraz Island and the Workman and Temple Families, Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri If President Millard Fillmore's executive order of December 1850 stipulating that Alcatraz Island, along with other California parcels, was government property was truly the last word about the legal status of the island, this post would have been limited to yesterday's part one. But, over five years later, a newspaper article... Continue Reading →

Curious Cases: Lawyers of Los Angeles, 1850-1875, Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Sunday's Curious Cases presentation on lawyers in greater Los Angeles during the period 1850-1875 covered many attorneys practicing in the town as it gradually grew from a remote frontier community to a nascent city.  During that quarter century, virtually all the practicing barristers in the area were Americans, though there were... Continue Reading →

On This Day: The California Land Claims Act of 3 March 1851

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Among the many major issues confronting authorities in the newly seized American possession of California was how to approach the thorny question of land grants made by officials under Mexico and Spain.  The stunning discovery of gold in early 1848, followed quickly by the massive rush the following year, also provided... Continue Reading →

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