This is the nineth diary that has survived the years, however it has suffered from damp. John E. Bz. wrote about 20% of this diary, particularly the instructions, but most of the daily entries were made by the mayordomos, Mr. Hill until September and Mr. C. Gillyatt (formerly at estancia Chirú) after that.
Per the notes on the blotter pages, it appears John was preparing for his eventual departure to Los Algarrobos. His notes describe the practices, with recommendations, of when best to shear, when to breed the ewes and mares, the makeup of the shearing crew, the days it took a herd to come down from Los Palmares, etc. The notes are brief but provide useful information for the operation of La California.
Background: The background image is John Schreiber’s lithograph of “La California”, which he drew in 1878.
Reference Pages: To aid the reader with Spanglish terminology, unfamiliar names (people & places), and old measures (weights, distances, currencies, etc.) we have provided a set of: Reference Pages. We recommend you have these available — they will open in a second window or tab.
Click on a title below to download a PDF file containing images of the actual diary pages. Many blotter pages have comments, some aligned with dates on the facing diary page. We transcribed onto the blotter pages comments that are difficult to read (written in faint pencil).
Spanglish speakers! Please help us transcribe these diaries so others can enjoy them as well! For example, see 1890.
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)