Includes a packet with an eleven-page handwritten speech. The speech was written by Colonel J.J. Ayers as a celebration for
the 4th of July in 1872. Ayers� speech, given at San Buenaventura, focuses on patriotism and celebrating the founding of the
nation 96 years prior. The packet also includes a poem entitled Ventura!
James Joseph Ayers was born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 27, 1830. His family moved to New Jersey when he was one year old.
By age 18, he was trained in printmaking and was the editor of the Republican in St. Louis. In 1849, Ayers traveled on foot
through Nicaragua to California. Because the Panama steamers were so crowded, the group he was traveling with built their
own boat and sailed to Cape San Lucas, where they were shipwrecked. Eventually, he made it to San Diego and was able to secure
passage to San Francisco. After finding mining less rewarding than he thought, Ayers began working in the printmaking business.
Ayers worked on the staff of multiple newspapers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and other various cities in California
and Nevada. In 1878, Ayers was elected to the Constitutional Convention, which framed the foundation of the laws of California,
where he helped to ensure that both men and women could attend the University of California. Ayers died on November 12, 1897
while living in Azusa in Los Angeles County. He was a member of the Society of California Pioneers.