This collection contains the
professional and personal papers of Southern California businessman and political Abel
Stearns (1798-1871). The materials in the collection deal with life in California during the
Mexican and early statehood periods, including the cattle industry, ranching, real estate,
political and social life, and the gold discoveries in Southern California in
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 1871.
61.34 Linear Feet
(97 boxes, 1 envelope)
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.
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at
the Huntington Library for more information.