The collection consists mainly of the original correspondence (1839-1869) to and from José Matías Moreno, with the bulk of
it coming in the 1850s and 1860s when Moreno was an important agent, merchant, and political figure in San Diego and Baja
California. There is also some later material dealing with the subsequent history of his Rancho Guadalupe in northern Baja
José Matías Moreno was born about 1818 in Baja California, the son of a Scottish whaler and a Mexican mother. As a youth he
participated in various revolutionary movements, and eventually became the secretary to Governor Pío Pico in Alta California
in 1845. A strong supporter of Mexico all his life, he fled to Baja California with Pico in 1846 in the face of American forces
to continue the fight there against the U.S. After the war he came to San Diego, where he married the natural daughter of
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, thereby becoming related to many of the major californio families. He was vocal in his opposition
to the californios who had backed the U.S. in the war, and defended the interests of his fellow Hispanics in their dealings
with American Anglo businessmen. At the same time he acted as an agent, promoting the development of Baja California and soliciting
American capital. He was also long active in Mexican internal politics in Baja and served in 1861-1862 as political chief
of the border region of the territory for the Mexican government. His frequent extended absences from home resulted in an
extensive correspondence with his wife which lasted throughout their marriage until his death in 1869.
Approximately 1,500 items in 26 boxes
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and
obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please go to following web site.