The Heirs of the Founder of Stockton Auctions off His Lands
Spectacular promotional broadsheet map of Stockton, advertising one of the major real estate sales of the 19th Century.
Stockton was founded by Charles M. Weber and officially named after Commodore Robert F. Stockton, a naval officer who was responsible for driving the Mexican forces out of California in the 1840’s, the first city in California named after an American Citizen. Incorporated on July 23, 1850, by 1854, Stockton was the fourth largest city in California.
The lands being auctioned, show in red, comprise a significant portion of the town. Surrounding the town are promotional tracts describing the town's strategic location and economic advantages. The map shows a detailed street plan, Steamer Landing, railroad lines, freight depos, major mills and the names of larger land owners outside the main part of town, etc.
While the map identifies H.T. Compon as the maker, the City Engineer was in fact Harry T. Compton, who became City Engineer in about 1893.
Charles Maria Weber
Charles Maria Weber (1814-1881) was born Karl David Weber in Steinwender, Germany.
Weber emigrated to America in 1836. After spending time in Texas, he arrived in California in 1841 as part of the Bartleson-Bidwell Party, traveling overland from Missouri. He began working with John Sutter, before settling in the Pueblo of San Jose, where he became a business partner of Guillermo (William) Gulnac, operating a corn-mill, bakery, blacksmith's shop, and other small enterprises. Gulnac, as a Mexican citizen, also petitioned the Governor for lands to settle, which resulted in his being granted Rancho Campo de los Frances.
Gulnac and Weber dissolved their partnership in 1843. Gulnac's attempts to settle the Rancho Campo de los Franceses failed, and he sold the land to Weber in 1845. In 1846, Weber induced a number of settlers to locate on the rancho, when the Mexican–American War broke out. Weber was offered a captaincy by Mexican General José Castro, which he declined. He later became a captain in the cavalry of the United States, which alienated most of his business colleagues.
Weber moved to Rancho Campo de los Franceses in 1847, where he laid out a town in 1849, with the original name of Tuleburg, but shortly thereafter renamed Stockton.
Weber tried gold mining, but quickly recognized that more reliable fortunes could be made supplying gold seekers from all over the world. Following the cession of California to the United States after the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, Weber filed a claim with the Public Land Commission in 1852 and the grant was confirmed by the Commission in 1855 and the US District Court in 1857. Following a decision of the US Supreme Court, the grant of approximately 48,000 acres was patented to Carlos Weber in 1861.
OCLC locates 2 copies, Bancroft Library and Yale.