Finding Aid to the Father Jean Alexis Bachelot Letter MS.700
Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library2012 November 9
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
Title: Father Jean Alexis Bachelot Letter
Identifier/Call Number: MS.700
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.1 linear feet (1 folder)
Date: circa 1932
Abstract: This is a photostat of a letter of recommendation for Abel Stearns written in Spanish by Jean Alexis Bachelot, prefect apostolic of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), 1836 July 11. A translation and reference from David Burkenroad sent to Librarian Ruth Christensen in 1977 is also included in the collection.
creator: Bachelot, Jean Alexis, Father
This is a photostat of a letter of recommendation for Abel Stearns written in Spanish by Jean Alexis Bachelot, prefect apostolic of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), 1836 July 11. A translation and reference from David Burkenroad sent to Librarian Ruth Christensen in 1977 is also included in the collection.
Father Jean Alexis Bachelot Letter, circa 1932, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.700.
Processed by Library staff after 1981. Finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, 2012 November 9, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).
Donated by Henry Raup Wagner, 1932 July.
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Jean-Augustin Bachelot (1796, February 22 – 1837, December 5) was a Roman Catholic priest best known for his tenure as the first Prefect Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands. In that role, he led the first permanent Catholic mission to the Kingdom of Hawaii. Bachelot was raised in France, where he attended the Irish College in Paris, and was ordained a priest in 1820. He led the first Catholic mission to Hawaii, arriving in 1827.
Bachelot then traveled to California, where he served as an assistant minister while pastoring and teaching. In January 1832, Bachelot and Short traveled to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, where they were welcomed by the Franciscans who staffed the mission. Bachelot later became the pastor of a church in Los Angeles, served as an assistant minister for the mission, and led the mission on an interim basis after its priest was reassigned in 1834. He also taught in Los Angeles schools during a teacher shortage.
In 1837, having learned of Queen Kaahumanu's death and King Kamehameha III's willingness to allow Catholic priests on the island, Bachelot returned to Hawaii, intending to continue his missionary work. However, by Bachelot's arrival, Kamehameha III had again changed his mind and Bachelot was removed from the island and confined to a ship for several months. He was freed only after the French and British navies imposed a naval blockade on the Honolulu harbor. Although he was later able to secure passage on a ship to Micronesia, he died en route and was buried on an islet near Pohnpei. His treatment in Hawaii prompted the government of France to dispatch a frigate to the island; the resulting intervention is known as the French Incident and led to the emancipation of Catholics in Hawaii.
Abel Stearns (1798, February 9 – 1871, August 23) was a trader who came to Los Angeles, Alta California in 1829 and became a major landowner, cattle rancher and one of the area's wealthiest citizens.
Born in Lunenburg, Mass., Stearns went to Colonial Mexico in about 1826, where he became a naturalized citizen. In 1829, Abel Stearns came to Monterey, California, then settled in Pueblo de Los Angeles. Abel Stearns represented Los Angeles under American military rule, 1848-1850. He was a delegate to the 1849 California Constitutional Convention, representing the district of Los Angeles; later he was California State Assemblyman, and a Los Angeles County Supervisor, and a member of the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city government.
By 1860, Abel Stearns was the most important land owner in Southern California, and owned Rancho La Habra, Rancho Los Coyotes, Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, Rancho Las Bolsas, Rancho La Bolsa Chica, Rancho Jurupa and Rancho La Sierra (Sepulveda). Stearns was hit hard by the drought of 1863-64, causing the loss of thousands of cattle. By 1868 Stearns had suffered such financial reverses that he mortgaged all his ranch assets in what were then Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. He became a founding member of the Robinson Trust, formed to sell off land from the huge ranchos. By 1870, Stearns had paid off his debts. He died in August 1871 in a hotel in San Francsico.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Stearns, Abel, 1798-1871
San Gabriel (Calif.)