Professional and personal papers of Abel Stearns, including corresondence, business records, legal documents, and other manuscripts.
Abel Stearns (1798-1871) was born in Lunenberg,
Massachusetts. As a young man he spent some years at sea,
taking part in the trade with South America and China. In
about 1826 he reached Mexico and during his residence
there became a naturalized citizen. In about 1833, Stearns
settled in Los Angeles, joined Juan Bandini in the trading
business and married Bandini's daughter Arcadia. He became
involved in almost every type of business and held minor
political offices. In 1849 he represented the Los Angeles
district at the constitutional convention in Monterey, and
later was a member of the state assembly. By 1858, he had
become the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County. After the
drought of 1863-1864, he became bankrupt and had to sell a
great deal of his property. He died in San Francisco in
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