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Judge Benjamin Hayes, California Diary

Pioneer notes from the diaries of Judge Benjamin Hayes, 1849-1875.


The rush to mine gold from the hills of northern California brought many professionals to the new territory in addition to the prospectors. Benjamin Hayes was a lawyer living in Missouri in 1849 when he decided to move to the coast. This database is a collection of his journal writings, including his trip west, experiences riding circuit, and a few entries by his wife. For researchers seeking to understand the jurisprudence of the early territory, this can be an illuminating narrative.

Extended Description

Benjamin Ignatius Hayes (1815-1877) was a Maryland lawyer living in Missouri in 1849 when he decided to make the overland journey to California. There he became a leader of the Los Angeles bar. Pioneer notes (1929) is based on Hayes's diaries. The entries chronicle his trip west and his career as an attorney and judge in Los Angeles 1850-1877, including his experiences riding circuit to San Diego and San Bernardino. The volume also includes entries from the diaries of his wife, who recorded her trip to California in 1851 and the challenge of childrearing and homemaking in Southern California. As Catholics living in Southern California, the Hayeses boasted a wide circle of friends among their Hispanic neighbors, and their diaries reflect a special interest in the Missions and Mission Indians.
 •  Benjamin D. Wilson, Report on California Indians, 1852  A report of the indians of southern California in 1852 as written by an indian agent
 •  Harris Newmark, Sixty Years in California  Narrative of the life of Harris Newmark, Los Angeles religious leader and real estate magnate
 •  Benjamin Avery, California Poetry and Prose, 1878  Poetic and descriptive tributes to the California landscape
 •  Michigan Pioneer Society Collections Report, Vol. 12  A collection of several kinds of important historical documents published by the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society.
 •  Kingston Parish, Virginia Register, 1749-1827  Parish records from Mathews County, Virginia between 1749 and 1827
 •  Walter Colton, Three Years in California, 1846-49  The 1846-1849 journal of Walter Colton, member of California's high society
 •  Felix Wierzbicki, California Guidebook, 1849  A straightforward guide book to California's 1849 gold fields
 •  William H. Davis, Seventy-Five Years in California  Seventy-five years in California as recounted and observed by one prominent citizen
 •  Leonard Kip, Gold Mine Sketches  Observations of a young New York lawyer turned prospector in 1849
 •  Frank Marryat, California Mountains and Molehills, 1855  Observations of an English adventurer in California between 1850-1855.

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