Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895

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Burnett was Governor when California was admitted into the U.S. in 1850.

From the description of ALS, 1851 January 3 : San Jose, to Thomas Fox Taylor. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 16951352

Peter Hardeman Burnett, the first American Governor of the state of California, was born in Tennessee in 1807. He was admitted to the bar in 1839. In 1843, he and his family moved to Oregon where he helped form the territorial government. In 1848, Burnett moved to California. Elected a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1848, he was also elected the first American Governor of California in December 1849. Burnett resigned the governorship in 1851 and returned to practicing law. He became a Catholic in 1846 and wrote several religious works including The path which led a Protestant lawyer to the Catholic Church.

From the description of Proclamation concerning the observance of Thanksgiving Day, 1850, Nov. 4. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 86129833

From the description of Oath on assuming office of Governor of California, 1849, Dec. 20. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122396935

Biography

Trader and lawyer in Missouri and Tennessee, Peter Hardeman Burnett came to Oregon in 1843. In 1848 he joined the miners in California where he acted as agent for Sutter. He was active in urging California to form a state government and was elected first constitutional governor of California in 1849. He resigned his governorship in 1851 to return to law practice, becoming supreme judge in 1857. From 1863 until 1880 he was president of the Pacific Bank of San Francisco.

From the guide to the Peter H. Burnett papers, 1849-1885, (The Bancroft Library)

Biographical note

Peter Hardeman Burnett was born on November 15, 1807, in Nashville, Tennessee. He arrived in California on November 5, 1848 via overland route. He served as the first Governor of California, from December 20, 1849 – January 9, 1851. Before becoming governor he worked as a lawyer and was elected Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court, member of the Oregon Territorial Legislature, and appointed to the Superior Tribunal of California. While governor, he encourgaed the development of California’s legal code, and faced challenges such as raising revenue for state expenses and quelling Native American uprisings. After resigning as governor, he continued to work in the legal profession until he became President of the Pacific Bank of San Francisco. In 1880, he wrote Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer. He died in San Francisco on May 17, 1895. Source: Gilbert & Melendy. The Governors of California: From Peter H. Burnett to Edmund G. Brown. (Georgetown, CA: Talisman, 1965.), 25-35. Print.

From the guide to the Burnett, Peter H. Daybook, 1849, (Society of California Pioneers)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Peter H. Burnett letter to George Himes [manuscript], 1889 May 6. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. ALS, 1851 January 3 : San Jose, to Thomas Fox Taylor. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Peter H. Burnett papers, 1849-1885. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn California Judges [graphic - album]: Photographs from the Papers of J. Edward Johnson, 19-- Bancroft Library
creatorOf Heard, John, fl. 1850. Letter from John Heard to Peter H. Burnett, 1850. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Howell, Johnson fl.1850. Letter from Johnson Howell to Peter H. Burnett, 1850. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Jones, James McHall, 1823-1851. James McHall Jones collection of papers. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Garrison family papers, 1801-1948 (inclusive), 1840-1907 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. Daybook, 1849 Society of California Pioneers
referencedIn Monterey Public Library. California History Room. California history, 1846-1849 clippings 1846-2004. Monterey Public Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. The Whitman massacre; and early history of Oregon, 1839-1848. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Documents pertaining to the adjudication of private land claims in California, circa 1852-1892 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Hardeman family. Hardeman family records, 1947 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Peter H. Burnett papers, 1849-1885 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Recollections of the past : San Francisco, 1878. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Peter Hardeman Burnett note, undated New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Oregon. Clackamas County. Judgement docket 1846-1859. Oregon State Archives
referencedIn Montgomery, Ruth, of Moscow, Idaho. Peter H. Burnett : Term paper for History 116, University of Idaho : typescript, [19--]. University of Idaho Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. The Whitman massacre; and early history of Oregon, 1839-1848. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Gray, Charles. Letter from Charles Gray and R.P. Tucker to Peter H. Burnett, 1850, July 10. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Riley, Bennett, 1787-1853. Collection of documents related to Elisha O. Crosby and early California history. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn The Peter Hardeman Burnett family : typescript, [18--?] UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. ALS, 1850 January 28 : San Jose, to Judge O.C. Pratt. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Peter H. Burnett letter to George Himes, 1889 May 6 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Letter to John Wilson and Amasa Syman /by Peter Hardeman Burnett, 1850 Jan 17. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Proclamation concerning the observance of Thanksgiving Day, 1850, Nov. 4. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Burnett, Peter H. (Peter Hardeman), 1807-1895. Oath on assuming office of Governor of California, 1849, Dec. 20. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Los Angeles County Prefecture Records The Huntington Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ambris, Doroteo person
associatedWith Bidwell, John person
associatedWith Broderick, David Colbreth person
associatedWith Burgoyne & Co. corporateBody
correspondedWith Burnett, Peter H. family
associatedWith Burnett, Peter Hardeman person
associatedWith California. Constitutional Convention (1849). Members. corporateBody
associatedWith California. Legislature Members. corporateBody
associatedWith Colton, Gardner Quincey person
associatedWith Dodge, Henry Lee person
correspondedWith Garrison family. family
associatedWith Geary, John White person
associatedWith Gómez, José Miguel person
associatedWith Gray, Charles person
associatedWith Gwin, William McKendree person
associatedWith Halleck, Henry Wager person
associatedWith Hardeman family. family
associatedWith Hawes, Horace person
associatedWith Hayes, Benjamin Ignatius person
associatedWith Heard, John, fl. 1850. person
correspondedWith Himes, George H., family
correspondedWith Himes, George H., 1844-1940 person
associatedWith Howell, Johnson fl.1850. person
associatedWith Johnson, J. Edward, b. 1890 person
associatedWith Jones, James McHall, 1823-1851. person
associatedWith Jones, Thomas Ap Catesby person
associatedWith Letcher, Robert Perkins person
associatedWith McAllister, Hall person
associatedWith Monterey Public Library. California History Room. corporateBody
associatedWith Montgomery, Ruth, of Moscow, Idaho. person
associatedWith New England Society of San Francisco corporateBody
associatedWith Norris, Thomas W. (Thomas Wayne). person
associatedWith Norton, Myron person
associatedWith Oregon. Clackamas County. corporateBody
associatedWith Oregon Pioneer Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Pratt, O. C. person
associatedWith Prefecture of Los Angeles corporateBody
associatedWith Ramirez, José María person
associatedWith Rough and Ready, Calif. Standing Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Ryland, Caius Tacitus person
associatedWith Semple, Robert Baylor person
associatedWith Smith, William Lyncoya person
associatedWith Stevenson, Jonathan Drake person
associatedWith Syman, Amasa. person
associatedWith Taylor, Thomas Fox. person
associatedWith Townsend, Alfred A. person
associatedWith United States. District Court (California) corporateBody
associatedWith Victor, Frances Fuller, 1826-1902, person
associatedWith Wilson, John, fl. 1850. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California
California
Oregon
California
California
California
Sacramento (Calif.) - History - 19th century.
Oregon
California
San Jose (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
Subject
Pioneers--Oregon
Oregon
Pioneers
Thanksgiving Day
Governor
Land tenure
Gold mines and mining
Taxation
Occupation
California. Governor (1849-1851: Burnett)
Function

Person

Birth 1807-11-15

Death 1895

Information

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