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Title Letters to Jacob P. Leese, 1838-1859
Date 4 Apr 1838 - 24 Oct 1859
Document Type Correspondence
Reference MS OV 10
Library / Archive California Historical Society
Collection Name Jacob P. Leese Papers, 1836-1863
Description Various letters. A circular from the Society of California Pioneers in an attempt to raise funds for a permenant meeting house; a letter regarding the purchasing of a cot; a letter regarding politics and what the upcoming election could mean for California; a letter to J. Leese regarding pricing of a ranch; a letter to J. Leese regarding the sale of a ranch and the price of land; a letter to J. Leese regarding the repayment of a debt to him and a letter to J. Leese regarding some lost papers at the War Department.
Series Description Consists of personal and business correspondence, indentures, legal documents, ship's papers, accounts, inventories, and maps, documenting the activities, business interests, and land holdings of early California merchant Jacob P. Leese, his wife Rosalia Vallejo de Leese, and his partner Thomas O. Larkin, between the years 1837 to 1862. Items of note include indentures for three Chinese servants transported to California from Hong Kong in 1849; accounts for the brig Eveline, on which Leese traveled to China to engage in trade (1849); a signed account statement of John C. Fremont for the United States Army (1847); accounts with Hudson's Bay Company (1841); and deeds and other legal documents for land holdings in San Francisco, Monterey, and Sonoma, including Rancho Sausal. The collection also contains three manuscript maps depicting Rancho Sotoyome (surveyed by Jasper O'Farrell, 1844); lots 327 and 328 at Broad Way and Battery in San Francisco (surveyed by William M. Eddy, 1850); and lots in Monterey belonging to Thomas Larkin and others prior to 1848 (1849).
Biographical Note / History Early California merchant Jacob Primer Leese was born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, in 1809, and came to California in 1833 and again in 1834, engaging in trade in Los Angeles and later in Monterey. In 1836, Leese entered into a mercantile partnership with Monterey businessmen Nathan Spear and William Sturgis Hinckley, relocated to Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), and there opened a store. The partners ran a profitable business, trading merchandise for rancho products. Naturalized in 1837, Leese married Rosalia Vallejo, sister of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. In 1841, Leese sold his business interests to Hudson's Bay Company, and moved to his Sonoma ranch, still retaining extensive land holdings in Yerba Buena. Leese served as alcalde in Sonoma (1844-1845), and was one of the prisoners taken in the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt. Around 1849, he entered into a business partnership with Thomas Oliver Larkin in Monterey, traveling to China on the brig Eveline. Leese and his wife were also major land holders in Monterey County; among their claims was Rancho Sausal, deeded to Rosalia by her brother Mariano G. Vallejo. Leese left California in 1865, returning to the state in 1885. He died in San Francisco in 1892.
Theme(s) Motives for Emigration
People Leese, Jacob P (1809-?1892)
Keywords politics, land, money, American westward expansion
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the California Historical Society catalogue.
Language English
Document(s) linked to Accounts, 1841-1850
Copyright California Historical Society