|Governor Romualdo Pacheco|
Rancher, gold miner, Judge, State Senator,
State Treasurer, Lt. Governor, Governor,
Congressman, Ambassador and
(Editor - Here is a profile of a great Hispanic American from the olden days . . . from the days before a majority of Hispanic voters sold their soul to the Democratic Party in return for a few Socialist crumbs form the table of the Big Brother Welfare State.)
United States Representative
Republican of California
March 4, 1877 - February 7, 1878
Forty-seventh - Forty-eighth Congresses
March 4, 1879 - March 3, 1883
José Antonio Romualdo Pacheco, Jr. (October 31, 1831 – January 23, 1899).
Romualdo Pacheco is the only Hispanic who has served as Governor of California.
He was born in Santa Barbara, California on October 31, 1831, to Ramona Carrillo de Pacheco and Captain Romualdo Pacheco, a prominent Californio family. Captain Pacheco, a native of Guanajuato, went to California in 1825 as an aide-de-camp to Governor Echeandia. Captain Pacheco died when Romualdo was five weeks old.
A few years later Romualdo's mother remarried a Scotsman, Captain John D. Wilson. Wilson sent young Romualdo to be educated in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the age of twelve he returned to California and was apprenticed to a trading vessels agent, under whose guidance Pacheco became an excellent seaman. In July 1846, during the Mexican-American War, at 15, Pacheco worked as an officer on his stepfather’s merchant ships.
During the Mexican War Pacheco’s ship, which flew the Mexican flag, was captured by the U.S.S. Cyane. He was permitted to sail into San Francisco, where his vessel was captured again. He was allowed to leave after he pledged his allegiance to the United States. In 1848, Pacheco began working on his parents’ large estates. He was skilled at raising animal stock.
|Governor Romualdo Pacheco|
He began his political career in 1853, when he was elected judge of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court. His fluency in English and Spanish, in addition to his ability to garner the support of both prominent Californio families and the newly-arrived Anglos, contributed to his political success. He became active in the Democratic Party, and in 1857 he was elected to the State Senate; subsequently he was reelected twice.
Pacheco was one of the first Hispanics to denounce slavery and pledge allegiance to the Union, and in the early 1860's he changed party affiliation to the Union Party. In 1860 Pacheco took an extended trip to Europe. He returned to California in the summer of 1861, just in time to start campaigning as a Republican for a seat in the California State Senate. He won the election, but did not spend much time in Sacramento, because Governor Leland Stanford appointed Pacheco a brigadier general, with command of the First Brigade of California's "Native Cavalry."
In May 1862 Pacheco received orders to take immediate possession of all weapons previously issued to various military companies within Los Angeles County, with the exception of those held by Union loyalists. In September 1862, Pacheco was reelected to the State Senate where he served until 1863.
|GOP House Minority Leader James Garfield|
came to the defense of Pacheco in the disputed
election of 1876.
In 1869 Pacheco was once again elected to the State Senate. In June 1871 Pacheco received the Republican Party nomination for Lieutenant Governor, and Newton Booth received the nomination for Governor. Both Pacheco and Booth were elected. During his service as Lieutenant Governor, Pacheco was warden of the San Quentin penitentiary, where he worked to ameliorate conditions.
In 1875, when Newton Booth was elected to the U.S. Senate, Pacheco became Governor of California. In this position he stressed the importance of higher education and worked for the development of the University of California and the State Normal School in San Francisco.
Elected to the House of Representatives
In November 1876 Pacheco was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by a margin of one vote. His opponent, Peter D. Wigginton, contested the election and the case was referred to the House Committee on Elections. Meanwhile the Republican leader in the House, James A. Garfield, answered Wigginton's charges of election fraud by stating that Pacheco held the certificate of election, which was conferred by the Supreme Court of California. Pacheco was seated on October 17, 1877 and was appointed to the Committee on Public Lands. On February 7, 1878 the House Committee on Elections refused to accept Pacheco's certificate of election and voted in favor of Wigginton.
|Pacheco was of a prominent Californio family|
Upon Pacheco's return to California, he joined a San Francisco brokerage house and later became a partner in a firm called Hale & Pacheco, that mainly dealt with mining investments. On September 3, 1879 Pacheco was once again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was reelected two years later. In the House Pacheco became a member of the Select Committee on the Death of President Garfield, where he recalled Garfield's plea on his behalf.
In the 47th Congress Pacheco chaired the Committee on Private Land Claims, becoming the first Hispanic to chair a standing committee in Congress. After his service in Congress, Pacheco moved to the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico, where he managed a large cattle ranch for five years.
In December 1890, Pacheco was appointed U.S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Central American States. The duties involved in maintaining diplomatic relations with the entire region were more than one man could handle; therefore, in July 1891 Pacheco was named Minister Plenipotentiary to Honduras and Guatemala, a post he held until June 21, 1893. At the end of his service he returned to California.
He died on January 23, 1899 in Oakland, California.
(Library of Congress)
|As a youth all the way to the end of his life, Pacheco worked|
on cattle ranches.