November 10, 1841

“I went to R. Livermore’s, which is about 20 miles from Marsh’s, nearly W[est]; he has a Spanish wife and is surrounded by 5 or 6 Spanish families.”

Robert Livermore was an Englishman; one of those sailors who jumped ship and stayed in California. Born in 1790, he landed in California in 1822 in San Pedro and worked as a ranch foreman until he could acquire his own land grant. In 1834 he and his partner Jose Noriega started running cattle on a ranch in what became Alameda County, and in 1839 they acquired title to Rancho Las Positas. In 1838 he married Maria Josefa de Jesus Higuera Molina. They had eight children.

He had a reputation as a hospitable and honest man. He stayed out of politics and didn’t even go prospecting for gold during the Gold Rush. He probably realized that his land, livestock, and crops were more valuable in the long run than gold could ever be.

Robert Livermore died in 1858, and the town of Livermore is named after him.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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