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Re: Peckhams in California, from RI
Posted by: david peckham Date: January 14, 2002 at 11:02:18
In Reply to: Re: Peckhams in California, from RI by Lauren Maehrlein of 684

I have studied one Robert Francis Peckham, 1827 (RI)-1896. The Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley has a great story about this man. At 18, he signed on a whaling ship, and a little more than a year later (August 1846) he deserted at San Francisco. He hooked up with the Mormons who had just arrived from New York, joined the Gold Rush but it didn't suit him, then became a lawyer around statehood. He acquired a lot of land representing the Mexican land claims, notably at Watsonville. Then in 1860 he returned to Rhode Island and convinced four brothers to join him in California. They crossed the isthmus of Panama and settled at Watsonville. George Stillman Peckham is of this branch, without my notes in front of me I will guess that he is a nephew of Robert. Several sisters later came to Watsonvillle, and one of them married a Martinelli, the apple juice makers. RFP's grandson of the same name was also a judge, for whom the Federal Building in San Jose is named.
Dave Peckham


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