More from The Center for Sacramento History

It’s been over two weeks since I have posted anything about California history, but I have a good excuse. My three cute granddaughters were visiting for two weeks, and when you have grandchildren around, nothing else gets done.

But now it’s back to history—

As I mentioned in my last post, I visited The Center for Sacramento History with John Rudderow. We were looking for deeds and other legal papers relating to Butte County, before it was Butte County. I was particularly interested to see if I could find a power of attorney granted by John Bidwell to someone he trusted in 1850, when he left for Washington, D.C.

Well, I didn’t find it. We did find one for Samuel Hensley, who went with Bidwell to Washington. It looks like this:


Hensley gave his power of attorney to Robert D Merrill, who was his business partner in Sacramento. Although Hensley owned a land grant adjoining Bidwell’s grant, he didn’t live on it and spent his time in Sacramento and San Jose.


Samuel J. Hensley

This particular power of attorney was recorded on May 31, 1850. On that date John Bidwell was in San Francisco, according to a letter he wrote to George McKinstrey. He says in the letter that “Mr. H.E. Robinson was down here, and I made an arrangement for him to act in my stead.” This is in regard to properties in Sutterville, but possibly he gave Robinson authority to act in all his business. But I don’t know who H.E. Robinson was.

I wonder if I’ll ever find out?


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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