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Stock# 71608

Original Patent From the United States Granting Title For A Sonora County Mexican Land Grant

Fine original survey of Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi. along with an 11 page document describing the grant and establishing ownership of the lands within the former Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi for the first time under California law.

Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi lies in southwestern part of Sonoma County, approximately 7 miles west of Bodega Bay.  The Rancho is noteworthy as 1 of 3 early Mexican California pioneer settlements established at the direction of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo to combat the eastward movement of the Russian American Company lands on the coast of California and the newly constructed presidio at Sonoma, California. 

This patent is a marvelous artifact which describes the complicated process by which final title was granted to lands in California previously been claimed under Spanish and/or Mexican Land Grants which pre-dated California's annexation into the United States by the Treaty of Guadlupe Hidalgo in 1848.   

The present Patent was executed November 3, 1858, by the President of the United States, James Buchanan (by T.J. Albright, Secretary) and J.N. Granger Recorder of the General Land Office, and entered by the 7th Judicial District Court in the County of Sonoma on June 16, 1861, the document conferred title to the former Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi to F[rederick]G[ustav] Blume, Maria Antonia Blume, and others. 

On the front cover, the patent notes that it was filed for recording on June 24, 1861 at 2 pm at the office of Jackson Temple, Esq (1827-1902.  Temple, A Yale Law School Graduate, would go on take over the law practice of fellow Yale alumnus Henry H. Haight, 10th Governor of California in 1867 and later become a 3 term California Supreme Court Justice). Opposite the court certification, a separate note indicates that the Patent was recorded on July 2, 1861.

Annexed to the Patent is a land survey, signed by Deputy Surveyor Charles C. Tracey, which is based upon Tracey's field survey and notes undertaken in May 1858.  The multi-page legal description in the patent is approved by J.W. Mandeville US Surveyor General in California, dated June 13, 1858.

The Cazares Land Claim and Process

Cazares claim was based upon a Mexican Land Grant made by Manuel Michelorena, dated February 12, 1844 and approved by the Departmental Assembly on December 26, 1845.

The process by which land was confirmed in California to claimants was passed by Act of Congress on March 3, 1851.  Maria Antonia Cazares, widow of James Dawson, filed her petition with the California Land Commissioners on February 3, 1852.  After deliberation, the Land Commisioners rendered a "decree of confirmation" of the claim on April 11, 1853.  

The Patent notes that the decree of confirmation was affirmed on appeal to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on March 24, 1856.  Following the expiration of the time to appeal to the California Supreme Court, the District Court on November 8, 1856 entered a final order, which was authenticated by the United States General Land Office on June 30, 1858, by the signature of the Surveyor General of the Public Lands in California (JW Mandeville)

Prior Surveys

Of note, as part of the claims process, Carzares prepared an original survey which was undertaken by John C. Hays and dated the following day, September 27, 1854.

Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi -- Mexico's Defense of California Against The Russians in the 1830s

Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi (also called "Cañada de Pogolome" and "Cañada de Pogolomi") was an 8,800 acre Mexican land grant in present-day Sonoma County, California given in 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to María Antonia Cazares, widow of James Dawson.

Prior to the grants, in 1835, at the direction of Governor José Figueroa in 1835, General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo began construction of the Presidio of Sonoma to counter the Russian presence at Fort Ross. To extend the settlements in the direction of Fort Ross to further frustate and encroach upon the lands claimed by the Russians, Vallejo sent three men (Edward McIntosh, James Black (1810–1870), and James Dawson) west toward the Russian settlement, directing each to settle on the lands.  The three men had arrived by ship in California about 1830, along with Captain Juan B.R. Cooper, General Vallejo's brother in law, and had established themselves as early California pioneers, with Dawson and McIntosh applying for Mexican citizenship.   Black settled upon what is now known as Rancho Cañada de Jonive, while Dawson and McIntosh settled upon what would become known as Rancho Estero Americano. They formed a partnership to build a saw-mill on Salmon Creek, near the town of Freestone.

The Russian-American Company left Fort Ross and sold it to John Sutter in 1841. The mill on Rancho Cañada de Jonive operated until 1849, at which time its owners sold all the lumber they had and left for the gold mines.

McIntosh and Dawson agreed to make application jointly to the Mexican government for the two square league grant known as the Rancho Estero Americano, to confirm the title given them by General Vallejo. McIntosh went the capital in Monterey to get the necessary papers in 1839. However at that time, the Mexican authorities did not like making grants to multiple owners. When McIntosh returned, Dawson on examining the papers, found that they were made out only in the name of McIntosh.  Believing that he had been defrauded, legend provides that Dawson sawed in half the home he and McIntosh had built on the land, before proceeding to successfully petition for his share of the land, which would become known as Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi (or Pogolome).

In June 1840, James Dawson married 14-year-old María Antonia Cazares. Dawson continued to reside on his rancho with his wife until his death in October 1843. The Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi grant was made to his widow, María Antonia Cazares (1826–1880) in February 1844. 

María Antonia Cazares de Dawson married Frederick Gustavus Blume (1815–1890), a Sonoma, California physician, surgeon and merchant, in November 1847. Blume was born in Bautzen, Kingdom of Saxony in 1815, and first traveled to California in late 1842. From Sonoma, Blume put his brother-in-law Henry Hagler in charge of his wife's rancho for the winter. The Blumes moved from Sonoma to live on the rancho in 1848, on a prominence overlooking the town of Freestone.

The town of Bloomfield, located on the rancho, was named in honor of Blume. 

With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Cañada de Pogolimi was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852, and the grant was formally patented to María Antonia Cazares in 1858, 4 years after this survey was completed.


Original California Land Patents are extremely rare on the market, especially those which include the original map.  We note only one example offered at auction in the records or RareBookHub.

While copies of the original patent surveys appear occasionally on the market, as do non-Mexican Rancho patents, this is the first example of an original patent conferring title to Mexican Land Grant to a Californio which we have seen on the market.

Condition Description
Original manuscript, consisting of decorative cover sheets, large folding map and 11 text pages