Los Angeles Signatures on California Constitution


Streets and cities around Los Angeles reflect the history of founding family heritage, land grants, and early family business owners. Four such families signed the CA Constitution.

Prior to becoming a member of the United States, California was an independent nation....for 25 days, beginning June 14, 1846!  Hence, the nod to the California Republic on the state flag from 1911.  The U.S. is similarly a Republic (Article 4:4), which is not a nod to the political party of the same name any more or less a democracy is a nod to a similarly name political party.

The California Constitution, mirroring the U.S. Constitution, begins with "We, the people...."

We, the people of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its
blessings, do establish this Constitution.

Section 1 similarly establishes "inalienable rights....life and liberty...." and elaborates on those statements in the pre-amble of the U.S. Constitution:

"Sec. 1 – All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness."

There were forty-eight signatures on the final October 13th California Constitution. It was adopted at the September-October 1849 Constitutional Convention of Monterey, this was prior to California attaining U.S. statehood on September 9th, 1850.  Two of the eight Californio delegates represented the District of Los Angeles. The five Los Angeles signers were 

  • José Antonio Carrillo - Three times Alcalde (Mayor) of Los Angeles (1826, 1828-1829, 1833-1834) during the "Mexican era (1821–1848)" On January 13, 1847, Carrillo, acting as a commissioner for Mexico, drafted in English and Spanish the Treaty of Cahuenga, and was present at the signing.
  • Manuel Domínguez - Two times Mayor of Los Angeles (1832-1833 & 1842-1844), the latter term as one of two "Justice of Peace", when the title of alcalde was abolished in 1841 until 1844 then iIn 1852, he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Stephen Clark Foster -  the first American mayor of Los Angeles, he was appointed by the Governor of California (1848-1849) and later elected for four terms to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Hugo Reid - never served in public office.  He wrote a series of articles collected into a book with 200 published copies, "Hugo Reid's Account of the Indians of Los Angeles Countybut later republished in 1939. Repeated speculation is "Reid's fortunes faltered with United States seizure of California, and he may have written the letters in hope of being named a federal Indian agent." He had built an adobe house which later became a part of the property of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
  • Abel Stearns - was born in Massachusetts but when he was 28 he became a naturalized citizen of Mexico. He was the first "Alcalde"(Mayor) of Los Angeles under Mexican rule, from 1821-1822.

This is the handwritten parchment copy of the constitution that the delegates signed on October 13, 1849. It was ordered placed "among the archives of the State". He later became a California State Assembly, L.A. County Board of Supervisor member, and a member of the predecessor to the L.A. City Council. 

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