Journal of Alta California

DEATH of a CALIFORNIO

n August 3, 1849, with the gold rush in full frenzy, the instant city of San Francisco held municipal elections. All those voted into office were Americans, with one exception: a Californio—a Spanish-speaking inhabitant of pre-cessation California—named Francisco Guerrero was chosen as a subprefect, a top administrative position. Guerrero’s victory demonstrated the high regard in which he was held. It was a dizzying time for the 38-year-old Guerrero and his young metropolis. Mexico had ceded the California territory to the United States just three years earlier. Then gold was

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