Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Vasquez' History in Brief.
The World (newspaper),
San Diego, Cal.

Monday, May 18, 1874.
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Story Story

Vasquez' History in Brief.

    Vasquez is now busily engaged in chronicling his own history, by giving it in detail to all who visits him. He was born in Monterey county, in this State, August 11th, 1835, and is there­fore thirty-nine years of age. He has three brothers and two sisters living. He was never married, but has one child in this county. He attended school in Monterey County, and can read and write. He became first in­censed against Americans, and was led into fights, which placed him un­der the ban of the law, through jeal­ousy at fandangos, in early days, when the Americans would be more success­ful with the senoritas than his own class. After an arrest for one of these fights, he gathered a gang of cattle and went to Mendocino County, where the officers sought him out and tried to ar­rest him. But he resisted; and escap­ed. He then went home, and asked his mother for her blessing for he was going out into the world to suffer and take the chances—that is, live off the world and take his chances of suffer­ing at its hands. His first exploit was the robbing of some peddlers in Mon­terey county; the next the capture and robbery of a stage. He had confedera­tes from the start, and was always rec­ognized as a leader. He continued robbing until 1857, when he was sent to San Quenten from this city for five years for grand larceny. On his liber­ation, he made a faint and successful effort at reform; but soon fell in with Procopio and Soto, and marauded with those notorious highwaymen, the lat­ter of whom was killed by Morse in his celebrated fight with the gang in Alameda County. From this time un­til the affair of the Tres Pinos nothing of note transpired. His version of this affair is as follows: He sent three of his party, Chavez, Leiva and another into the hamlet to take a few drinks, reconnoitre the situation and report. When he arrived at the place, he found that his subordinates had engaged in a carnival of blood, contrary to his or­ders; that they had killed three men, two by the hands of Levia, as he was informed. Finding it a bad business and not having secured as much mon­ey as he wanted, he went to a woman whose husband was tied, and told her she must get him a certain sum of mon­ey or her husband would be dispatch­ed. The money was procured, and they packed up the goods they wanted and started for the Elizabeth Lake country. Here he seduced Levia's wife, and their liaison being discovered by the husband, the latter determined on revenge. Leiva left the band, and shortly after allowed himself to be ar­rested by Rowland, so as to turn State's evidence, and help to deliver the sedu­cer of his wife into the hands of the law. Vasquez, finding that his love affair was about to get him into trou­ble, made a raid on Firebaugh's Ferry, to raise money to send the woman to her parents. The raid was successful, and Madame Leiva was sent home. The next notable affair of Vasquez was at King's river, where, with a party of eight men, he tied up thirty-five per­sons, and robbed them. But the peo­ple of the place began to show fight, and he retired with eight hundred dollars and considerable jewelry. His next exploit was the robbery of the stage and teams at Coyote Holes sta­tion, on the Owen's river road. Cha­vez and himself were alone engaged in this affair, and they captured sixteen men got $200 in money, and pistols, watches, jewelry, etc. A quantity of mining stock taken from James Craig was thown away. This affair was fol­lowed, at quite an interval, by the rob­bery of Repetto at the Mission of San Gabriel, the story of which is fresh in the minds of our readers. After his escape up the Arroyo Seco, he wander­ed for some time in the mountains, and was at times hid in the dense bush near enough to his pursuers to have killed them in detail, if he had been so disposed. For the past few weeks he camped in the neighborhood of the Cahuenga, and went frequently to meals at Greek George's house. He says he was fairly surprised by John­ston and his party, and if he had had the slightest warning, he would have made it hot for them. Before Leiva's defection, he and Chavez were his counselors in arranging plans; but since that time Chavez alone has been consulted. But, usually, he had no confidants, and never had any difficul­ty in raising a party when he wanted one. When the job was finished, his volunteers would return into the bosom of society until again wanted. In this way he had men engaged in ordinary occupations all over the county. He does not believe he would have had much trouble in "revolutionizing" Southern California, if he had had fifty or sixty thousand dollars to procure the necessary arms, and he was doubt­less "laying" for a chance to make a "strike" to carry out this revolutionary project. In the meantime he was gathering arms all the while, and four hundred rounds of ammunition were seized at the house where he was cap­tured. There is the material in Vas­quez' history for another thrilling addi­tion to our yellow-covered literature, and we have no doubt some of our enterprising blood-and-thunder writers will hasten to manufacture it into a de­lectable volume.—Los Angeles Express.

Newspaper images: 9600 dpi jpeg of 300 dpi jpg of original newspaper from the collection of Alan Pollack

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