Rancho San Pedro

 Life on a Rancho
Mexican Period 5, Mexican American War

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Photo credit: Dominguez Adobe
The adobe of Rancho San Pedro as can be seen today.

Did the Dominguez family get title of the Rancho?

Did the Dominguez get the Sepulveda family off the Rancho?

Manuel Dominguez filed a petition with Governor Jose Maria Echeandia to have the Sepulveda family and their cattle removed from the Rancho on May 16, 1826. Four days later, the heirs of Cristobal Dominguez were confirmed as owners of Rancho San Pedro.

Manuel Dominguez married nineteen year old, Maria Engracia de Cota, at the San Gabriel Mission on December 7, 1826. She was the granddaughter of Manuel Nieto, the original owner of Rancho Los Nietos, a neighbor to the east of the Los Angeles River.

After Manuel’s marriage, the Rancho was divided among the six brothers and sisters. The Rancho was divided into strips extending from the Los Angeles River, each being about two miles from north to south. Manuel and Nasario’s share were the central part of the Rancho, which included Dominguez Hill.

What happened at the Rancho during the war with Mexico?

In 1845, Manuel was called as a member of the local defense council. In 1846, the Rancho was the scene of one of the local battles in the war between Mexico and the United States. The event grew out of a conflict at pueblo Los Angeles. The pueblo and surrounding area was occupied by American soldiers. They were outnumbered and allowed to withdraw to the harbor to board a merchant vessel. At the harbor, they picked up reinforcements and started back to recapture Los Angeles. They camped at Rancho San Pedro, taking over everything but the family house. The family was not disturbed, but they did provide beef and other food supplies. That night a group of one hundred men from Los Angeles took positions at the Los Angeles River below Dominguez Hill. The fight ensued and the Americans were unable to move North, so they retreated back to the harbor.


Photo credit: Webmaster's sketch
Sketch of old highway, battles, and Indian Villages

In February of 1848, the war between the United States and Mexico ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In the treaty, Mexico surrendered half its land to the United States. The treaty stated that Mexicans had the right to retain their property and their language, culture, and customs. It also gave them a choice of becoming citizens of the United States or returning to Mexico. Since most Mexicans were born in California and their families had never lived elsewhere, they decided to stay.


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