Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer
Peter Hardeman Burnett (1807-1895) spent his early years in Tennessee and Missouri, serving as a district attorney in the latter state. In 1843 he joined an emigrant party bound for Oregon, where he became a prominent and controversial lawyer, judge, and politician in the new territory. In 1848, he went to California in search of gold and soon became a business and political leader of that territory. Recollections and opinions of an old pioneer (1880) contains Burnett's recollections of his early life in Missouri, his career in Oregon, and his decision to join a wagon train to California in the summer of 1848. There he seeks gold for six months before resuming the practice of law and the pursuit of politics. Elected a judge in August and governor in December 1849, Burnett turned to the practice of law in the 1850s and the business of banking in the 1860s. He touches on his various professional pursuits and his home life in Sacramento.
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Page 311 - Members of the legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation : " I do solemnly swear (or affirm...
Page 315 - The only government which remained was that established by the military authority during the war. Regarding this to be a de facto government, and that by the presumed consent of the inhabitants it might be continued temporarily, they were advised to conform and submit to it for the short intervening period before Congress would again assemble and could legislate on the subject.
Page 362 - ... provisions of the Constitution of the State, the undersigned hereby resigns his powers as Governor of California. In thus dissolving his official connection with the people of this country, he would tender to them his heartfelt thanks for their many kind attentions, and for the uniform support which they have given to the measures of his administration. The principal object of all his wishes is now accomplished — the people have a government of their own choice, and one which, under the favor...
Page 323 - We would recommend that the delegates be intrusted with large discretion to deliberate upon the best measures to be taken ; and to form, if they upon mature consideration should deem it advisable, a state constitution, to be submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection by a direct vote at the polls.
Page 285 - Religion! what treasure untold Resides in that heavenly word! More precious than silver and gold, Or all that this earth can afford. But the sound of the church-going bell These valleys and rocks never heard, Never sighed at the sound of a knell, Or smiled when a sabbath appeared.
Page 217 - Section 6. That if any such free negro or mulatto shall fail to quit the country as required by this act, he or she may be arrested upon a warrant issued by some justice of the peace, and if guilty upon trial before such justice, shall receive upon his or her bare back not less than twenty nor more than thirty-nine stripes, to be inflicted by the constable of the proper county.
Page 362 - A new executive having been elected and installed into office, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the State, the undersigned hereby resigns his powers as Governor of California.
Page 377 - Mission, there was some of the most rapid driving that I ever witnessed. The distance was some fifty miles, most of the route being over smooth, dry, hard prairie ; and the drivers put their mustang teams to the utmost of their speed. As we flew past on our rapid course, the people flocked to the road to see what caused our fast driving and loud shouting, and, without slackening our speed in the slightest degree, we took off our hats, waved them...