Scope and Content of Collection
Title: The Vallejo Family Papers
Bulk Dates: 1850-1938
Collection number: 243.1
Mariano G. Vallejo
Francisca Maria Felipa
Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo
Luisa Eugenia “Lulu”
Platon Mariano Guadalupe
Extent: 5 cubic feet
California. Department of Parks and Recreation
Sonoma State Historic Park, Sonoma, CA
The collection is open for research.
Property rights reside with the California State Parks. Literary rights
are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to
reproduce or to publish, please contact California State Parks.
[Item] Vallejo Family papers, 243.1, California State Parks, Sacramento,
A prominent early native Californian, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
(1807-1890) was born in Monterey in 1807. In 1834, with the title Military
Commander and Director of Colonization of the Northern Frontier, the Mexican
Army sent him to take charge of secularization of Mission San Francisco Solano
at what is now Sonoma. On June 24, 1835, he founded the Pueblo of Sonoma,
laying out the 8-acre plaza and structures facing the plaza such as the
soldiers’ barracks and his first home Casa Grande. A portion of the site of
Casa Grande, the barracks, and the Mission are now on the site of the Sonoma
State Historic Park. General Vallejo’s private rancho in Petaluma was a highly
productive agricultural empire. The Petaluma Adobe is one of the largest adobe
structures still standing in California, and is also a State Historic Park.
General Vallejo was an advocate of United States annexation of
California, and was active in early California State government. He established
the new city of Vallejo as the second state capital, and was also involved in
the founding of Benicia, the third state capital, which was named for his wife,
Francisca Maria Felipa Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo (1815-1891). He also served
twice as mayor of Sonoma.
In 1850, General Vallejo purchased the land to
build his new home, Lachryma Montis. The General and his wife lived there for
35 years. During that time, he was also involved in the establishment of the
Sonoma City Water Works, utilizing the spring at Lachryma Montis.
and Mrs. Vallejo had 16 children, 10 of who survived to adulthood. (Genealogy
attached; more detailed genealogy on file at Sonoma State Historic Park.) Much
of the documentary artifact collection of the Vallejo family is from the papers
of daughter Luisa “Lulu” Vallejo Emparan. The 15th of their children, she
inherited, with her younger sister Maria Vallejo Cutter, Lachryma Montis. Mrs.
Emparan was a major force in having her father’s place in early California
history recognized, and acted as the first curator when her home became a State
Historical Monument in 1933. With the assistance of her son, Richard Raoul
”Dal” Emparan, Mrs. Emparan also ran the Sonoma City Water Works until 1933,
when ownership was transferred to the City of Sonoma.
in the collection are the other Vallejo children and their descendants as well
as the Carrillo family line of Mrs. Vallejo.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Sonoma (Calif.) History.
Sonoma (Calif.) History
Sonoma County (Calif.)
Sonoma County (Calif.)
Vallejo, Mariano G.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Vallejo Family Papers can be divided into 5 main categories of
documents: correspondence, manuscripts and other writings, financial and legal
documents, periodicals and publications, and a variety of miscellaneous
documents. The collection includes facsimiles of original documents in addition
to original documents, as well as research materials and specialized groupings,
such as the memorabilia from Luisa Vallejo Emparan’s 1932 voyage to Panama as
hostess on the S.S. Santa Rosa.
Correspondence, composed of letters, greeting cards, postcards, and
telegrams, is primarily between family members, the largest groupings of which
are Spanish language photostatic copies of letters from General Vallejo to his
children, and a large collection of letters and greeting cards kept by
recipient Luisa Emparan. The collection of almost 200 postcards to/from family
members not only serves to illustrate the family relations, but can also be
seen as a reflection of social and cultural history.
The family’s love of
history as well as the arts (especially poetry and music) can be seen in the
writings of both the immediate family and their descendants. General Vallejo
himself left a diverse array of documents, from treatises on California history
to poetry written on his children’s birthdays. Son Platon Vallejo wrote his
“Memoirs of the Vallejo’s” in 1914. His brother Napoleon wrote a series of
essays that covers a range of subjects, from defending his father’s place in
history to reflections on “the ideal mate.” Platon’s daughter Francisca Vallejo
McGettigan was an accomplished and published poet and composer.
and legal documents also cover a wide range. Household receipts from local
merchants give details of daily family life. Land deeds, titles, and mortgages
show not just the history of the Vallejo family holdings but also of the
evolution of the town of Sonoma. Also included are court documents in the case
of Mariano G. Vallejo vs. the United States, in which he petitions for
restitution in the face of the losses he sustained as a result of the Mexican
The family’s interest in the intertwined subjects of their
own history and California history are evident in the periodicals and other
publications in the collection. From esoteric journals such as the
Society of California Pioneers Quarterly and
The Grizzly Bear, published by the Native Sons
of the Golden West, and the literary journal
, to mainstream periodicals such as
Motorland, family members were subjects of,
contributors to, and collectors of such published material. Interest in the
arts is again seen in the wide array of sheet music and music books, mostly
used by Luisa Emparan but also by her oldest brother, music teacher Andronico
Vallejo, and other family members.
Finally, the collection contains a
variety of miscellaneous documents and research materials such as scrapbooks,
newspaper clippings, invitations and programs for events and performances, and
a Senate Resolution issued in 1943 honoring Luisa Emparan. Also included are 2
research documents, one that focuses on the Vallejo genealogy and the other on
General Vallejo’s relationship with Native Americans in California.
The Vallejo Family papers have been organized into the following
- General Mariano G. Vallejo
- Francisca Maria Felipa Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo
- Luisa Eugenia “Lulu” Vallejo Emparan
- Platon Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, M.D.
- Napoleon Primo Vallejo
- Other Vallejo Descendants
- Sonoma Water Works