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Leese & Vallejo vs Clark, 1851-1856.
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Leese & Vallejo vs Clark, 1851-1856


Yale, Gregory, 1816-1871


Case documents (1851-1856) prepared by Gregory Yale for plaintiffs Jacob P. Leese & Salvador Vallejo versus William S. Clark to recover possession of waterfront property in San Francisco, based upon a Mexican land grant of 1839, purchased independently by William S. Clark in 1846.


1851 (issued)


Leese, Jacob P. (Jacob Primer) -- 1809-1892
Vallejo, Salvador
Clark, William S
Land grants -- California -- History -- 19th century
Land grants -- California -- San Francisco
Land grants -- Law and legislation -- California
Litigation and arbitration


Salvador Vallejo (1813-1876) was the brother of Mariano Vallejo, and was a pioneer rancher in Napa and Lake Counties.
Gregory Yale was a San Francisco attorney who arrived in California in 1849. He was born in Virginia in 1817 and died in San Francisco in 1871. He was reputed for his ability to conduct difficult court cases, according to his obituary in the S.F. Chronicle of June 6, 1871.
Jacob P. Leese was an early California settler who came to California in 1832, while engaged in the Santa Fe trade. He was married to Salvador Vallejo's sister, Rosalia. In 1839, he and Salvador Vallejo were granted two 100 Vara lots in Yerba Buena to establish a wharf and warehouse to engage in trade with the Russians. This property is located today near the corner of Broadway and Battery Streets in San Francisco.
William S. Clark came to San Francisco in 1846 and obtained a lot at a place called Clark's Point where he built a warehouse and wharf. According to Bancroft's Pioneer Register, he still owned the land 40 years later. Clark was a successful miner who invested his gold in city lots, becoming a millionaire in later years. Apparently, Clark's Point was in the same place as Leese and Vallejo's land grant.
Leese and Vallejo pursued a series of court cases to recover title to the land granted in 1839. Gregory Yale represented them from Superior Court through the U.S. Land Grant Commission (case #74), to the Supreme Court of California. The Superior Court found that the grant did not convey title to the plaintiffs because it was never confirmed by the Territorial Legislature, as required by Mexican law. The Supreme Court also found the plaintiff's title defective. Leese and Vallejo gradually lost most of their originally extensive California properties, as various court cases consumed their fortunes. Apparently, Gregory Yale kept up with appeals to higher courts by being given a piece of the granted property.
Inventory available in library; folder level control.
Unrestricted. Please Credit California State Library.
California State Library, California History Section; 900 N Street, Sacramento, California 95814 cau

Physical Description:

1 manuscript box; 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 3 in.







Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please Credit California State Library.