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Raven Jake

This one from a timeless classic from 1902. This is just plain weird; you wouldn't expect someone named Juan Caballeria to take such a dim view of Latinos. It gives a different overview of the battle (and Rev Caballeria wasn't there) He sure loved Isaac Williams, though.

History of San Bernardino Valley from the padres to the pioneers, 1810-1851




The Americans who came into California in the early days were not ordinary men. As a rule they were men endowed with unusual characteristics. It was not love of gold that led them to face the perils of a journey across mountain, desert, plain or ocean, for gold had not yet been discovered In California. It was rather a restlessness of spirit that could not brook the restraints of an older civilization and found in the freer life of the frontier that which appealed strongest to their adventure-loving natures. Such men have ever been of the vanguard in the progress of civilization. From out of the old lands of a weary old world they crossed the stormy
Atlantic to the new lands of a newer world; then, step by step across a continent until the calm, smiling waters of the Pacific seemed to set a boundary beyond which they could not further go. But the wheels of Progress will not stay their
resistless course and men must advance, always to some far-
off ideal the end of which is beyond vision. So these Amer-
icans came to California and found here what appeared to
ihem limitless possibilities — wealth without labor, life without
toil. These big, strong, virile American men were favored
by the dark-eyed senoritas of the sunny land and with their
love went dower of rich lands and herds of fat cattle. Thos.)
that came in search of adventure stayed. Here was wealth,
beauty, pleasure, love, and the spell of it all soon bound them
in a thrall they did not care to break. It was lotus-land and
tile cooler northern blood was not proof against the languor*



ol the southern sun, and the desire to bask forever in U\e
soft, warm rays grew upon them until the wild spirit of ad-
venture which had thrilled their pulses and led them from
afar slumbered under the spell and no longer beckoned. Then
they took to themselves wives, the beautiful daughters of the
best families in the land . All that was required of them was
some slight formality in the way of change of faith — and their
leligious prejudices were not strong — and an allegiance to an-
other government than their own. This did not weigh heav-
ily upon them, so they embraced the new faith and tlie new
customs — and yet they became not so much a part of the
latter, for in return they infused into the new life that which
Vie native Californians lacked — a spirit of enterprise and tho
energy of the colder-blooded race.

Isaac Williams of the Rancho del Chino, was a typinal
American pioneer of that period. He was the first American
fo settle in this section of the State. His was a spirit born t:
command. Whole-souled, generous, hospitable, he kept open
house for every American passing his door. A hearty greet-
ing awaited every comer; the best the rancho afforded was at
their disposal and they were invited to regard it as their own,
and when at last the time came for departure, it was with
sincere expressions of regret that the genial owner of the
place bade them God-speed. Many a party of exhausted emi-
grants halted at the Chino rancho, and mf\ny a weary, foot-
sore wanderer found here a resting place. Not one amoag
his countrymen, if in need, left the home of Isaac Williams
empty handed . Indeed, it is stated, that Colonel Williams,
in his desire to aid his countrymen, sometimes came very near
to embarrassing himself. However, if he erred at all in this
respect it was on the right side, and if the blessings and rem-
oTnbrance of the weary, home-sick, heart-sick travelers in a
&trange land may count to his credit. Colonel Williams needs
no other monument.

Isaac Williams, generally known in California as Julian


Williams, was born in Wyoming Valley, Penn., Sept. 19, 1799
He came to Los Angeles in 1832 with Ewing Young's party of
thirty men who had been engaged in hunting and trapping on
the Gila River, in New Mexico. With this party alpo carac
Moses Carson, a brother of the celebrated Kit Carson. Mr.
Williams appears to have become prominent in local affa'r?
very soon atfer his arrival, as his name is mentioned in con-
nection with several matters. He was a member of the vig-
ilance committee in 1835. In 1839 he took the oath of al-
legiance and became a naturalized citizen of Mexico. Im-
mediately following he married Senorita Maria de Jesus Lugo,
daughter of Don Antonio Maria Lugo, and in 1841 became
owner of the Chino rancho, of which Don Antonio was the
original grantee. In 1843 he obtained an additional grant of
land adjoining his Chino property and settled down as a
lancher and stock breeder, devoting himself to the manage-
ment of his large estate. In 1846 he proposed to build a fort
Jit the Cajon, on condition that he be allowed to bring goods ■'o
the value of $25,000 into California, free of import duty, as ar
that time there was a tax of $600 on every vessel.

At the time of the American invasion of California the
Americans living in the territory were looked upon by the
Californians with more or less suspicion. While nominally
citizens of Mexico, the Americans saw the advantage which
■Hould accrue to California if brought under the government
of the United States, and many of them were pronounced in
advocating the change. This, naturally, was not pieaslng to
the native Californians who were Mexican in their sympathies,
and more or less coldness and friction resulted in consequence.

Open hostilities between the Californians and the Ameri-
cans began at Los Angeles, September, 1846, when Cervol V:i
rela attacked the Americans imder A. H. Gillespie, a Lieuten-
ant of Marines, left in charge as Military Commandant at Los
Angeles, by Commodore Stockton. D. B. Wilson, owner of
the Jurupa rancho, was then in command of a force of twenty


men stationed at Jurupa for the purpose of protecting the in-
liabitants and property on the San Bernardino frontier from
mdian raids. Wilson, ordered by Gillespie to come to lil^
aid, was en route to Los Angeles and stopped at the Chino
rancho, the property of Colonel Williams . The party waa
nearly out of powder and found Williams in the same condi-
tion. In the afternoon of the day of their arrival, while deliberating as to future movements, Isaac Callaghan, a scout
fient out to reconnoitre, returned to the house with a bullet
in his arm and reported the approach of a party of Califor-
nians. After consultation it was decided that, taking all
things into consideration, the Americans were more than equal
to the Californians and they decided, notwithstanding their
lack of ammunition to withstand a siege.

The Californians under Varela, Diego Sepulveda and
Ramon Carillo, with fifty men, made up the attacking party.
They were later reinforced with twenty men from San Ber-
nardino rancho under command of Jose del Carmen Lugo.
The Californians were also short of weapons and ammunition.

The Chino ranch house was an adobe building fashioned
in the usual California manner, surrounding a courtyard. The
roof was of asphaltum. There were few doors and windov/s.
hut the walls were plentifully supplied with loop-holes. The
entire building was surrounded with an adobe wall and a

Early in the morning of the 27th of September, an attacK
v.-as made on the rancho. The Californians, on horseback,
made a fierce onslaught firing as they approached the house,
to which the Americans responded. The horses of the Call
fornians became frightened and in attempting to leap the
ditch threw several of their riders who received injuries, and
ore man, Carlos Ballestros, was killed. Three men inside the
lanch house were wounded. The att.acking party succeeded
in reaching a secure position under the shelter of the walls
and from there set fire to the roof of the building. The


Americans finding themselves trapped and in danger of a.
scorching concluded to surrender, and in order to make as
good terms as possible induced Col. Williams, whose brother-
in-law was one of the captains in command of the assailants,
to take his children and presenting himself outside, make an
appeal to Lugo. The Americans surrendered. The Califor-
nia us then set about extinguishing the flames and afterwards
l-icceeded to loot the building. Enraged at the death of
Fiallestros, who was a general favorite among them, the in-
J'jriated men insisted on putting the prisoners to death, but.
jnil'Jer counsel prevailed and they were taken to Los Angelas,
Then- the more prcminnit ai them were held by Flores until
January, 1847. It is related that these men were promised their
liberty on condition that they agreed not to bear arms or use
their influence in favor of the United States, but to their cred-
it they refu'^ed to secure freedom on such terms. Among those
captured at the battle of Chino were D. B. Wilson, Isaac Wil-
liams, David W. Alexander, John Rowland, Louis Robidoux,
Joseph Perdue, William Skene, Isaac Callaghan, Evan Calla-
ghan, Michael White, Matt Harbin, George Walters.

Colonel Williams returned to the Chino rancho where he
resided until his death, Sept. 13, 1856. He sleeps in the old
cemetery at Los Angeles. He left two daughters, Maria Mer-
ced, wife of John Rains, and Francesca, wife of Robert Car

Jim Hicks

Very Interesting comments on the Battle of Chino.
I find it strange that Benito Wilson, who was assigned to be in charge of the group of Americans by Gillespie goes to war without any ammunition. He and his group were to be prepared but they were out in the mountains hunting for bears and used all their powder. It seems there are many stories that have floated around. One should look at the reputation and motives of Isaac Williams and Benjamin Wilson before taking much stock in what Mike White has to say. His story seems to change at every breath. I find it hard to believe that Isaac Williams would charge him for a blanket when he fed, clothed and gave money to immigrants who came into California in dire straights from the hostile desert. His primary interest during the battle was the safety of his three young children. He also was in a very ackward position, in a battle with his brothers in law and dual citizenship.

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