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06 October 2020

Profiles of the Signers of the 1849 California Constitution

Chris Pattillo writes: 
Book cover
Cover design: Lois Elling

We are excited to announce the publication of a new resource for California history research: Profiles of the Signers of the 1849 California Constitution. This new work, available on our website, includes biographical sketches of the forty-eight men who signed the California Constitution, plus five other convention participants. While we know that some of the information contained in the 500-page document is outdated, we also know that these profiles include much useful information never before published. Each profile includes a family history, a photograph of the individual, and in most cases his signature. 

The newly completed book is based on research done by George R. Dorman (1901-1983), who was a member of CGS for 47 years. Sometime probably in the late 1990s, CGS member Wayne Shepard used Dorman’s research to compile and edit the book, which includes a 16-page bibliography and a 63-page index. CGS originally had planned to publish the book in hard copy for sale but for various reasons the project was abandoned in 2002. The individual profiles were originally published in our newsletter and later in The California Nugget.
Henry Halleck, delegate from the Monterey District

This spring, the manuscript was revived by the Website Content Committee. After some consideration, the Publication Committee decided to move forward with the project. CGS Member Barbara Kridl, who has a professional background in publishing, took the lead and has done an outstanding job of preparing the book for publication on our website. Barbara cleaned up the formatting of the entire book and reworked the format of the bibliography.  She added a preface that explains the origins of the project and worked with member Evan R. Wilson to write a history of the 1849 California Constitution Convention. Other Publication Committee members who assisted with the review and editing are Lois Elling, Stacy Hoover Haines, Arlene Miles, Chris Pattillo, Marie Treleaven and Jennifer Dix. Lois Elling also designed the book cover.

This is a wonderful resource that we are excited to make available to researchers. Over the years CGS members have undertaken several monumental projects – the Judge and Sherman books come to mind. This is the first time I have been personally involved with an effort of this type. It was a wonder and pleasure to see everyone offer to take on pieces of the project and complete them at a high standard. Our members are superheroes and a pleasure to work with. Please say thanks next time you see one of them in a Zoom meeting, and enjoy the book! 

To start exploring, click HERE.


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