Originally Posted by lvcabbie
Pio Pico was the biggest, crookedest land speculator in California history!!!!!
He illegally sold off missions lands, leaving the disciples homeless and without any place to graze their livestock or to live. Literally thousands of Indians died as a direct result of his heartless, crooked service as Mexican governor of California.
ALL of his illegal land deals were overturned when the Americans took control of California.
However, as most crooks do, he lived out his life in the Los Angeles basin as a very well-to-do individual with the vast majority of his children also gaining a great deal, either as officers in the Mexican army or as Lords of their Ranchos - using Indians as slave labor.
And Cinco de Mayo
has NOTHING to do with Mexican Independence - that is celebrated in October for El Grito de Dolores
One of the largest ranchos in California was in SD/Orange counties. It was Rancho Santa Margarita y las Flores. This was deeded to Pico's son in law Forster. There was a court battle after the US take over about this. The O'Neil family owned it last before the US marines took it over in WWII. They were descendants of Pico.
This rancho, Santa Margarita encompassed mision San Juan Capistrano, yes, this is why later, when it was divided part became Rancho mission viejo. But there was no "slavery" involved. I know of and am extremely aware of the life a of a vaquero who worked this rancho.
And no, cinco de mayo has nothing to do with the Mexican independants or revolution. It was when France, knowing the US was involved in the civil war and unable or unwilling to enforce the Monroe doctrine, attacked Mexico but were repelled by the Mexicans at the battle of Puebla.
But to a Californio. . . It's Pio Pico's b-day.