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The entire pueblo came to Pico’s home on December 24. Six girls, dressed in white with red mantillas, stood three on each side of the makeshift stage and sang Christmas music. Before Pico, a large man, could make his entrance and harass the innocent shepherds, a rifle butt pounded the door. Outside was Comandante Don José Castro and a squadron of “yellow jacket” soldiers come to arrest Pico for treachery. You can’t escape, Castro told the man in the Devil outfit. Your house is surrounded.

Festivities stopped. “The families retired to their houses,” writes Machado, “grieving over the fate of our captured countryman.

“I think it was during the detention of Don Pio [that] the sad event took place at his Jamul ranch.”

Next time: The Jamul Incident.

— Jeff Smith

SOURCES:
Beebe, Rose Marie, and Robert M. Senkewicz, eds., Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848; Lorenzana’s recollections, pp. 165–192; Berkeley, 2006.

Haas, Lisbeth, Conquests and Historical Identities in California: 1769–1936; Berkeley, 1995.

Heilbron, Carl, History of San Diego County; San Diego, 1936.

Hernandez, Salome, “No Settlement without Women: Three Spanish California Settlement Schemes, 1790–1800”; Southern California Quarterly, vol. 72, no. 3, 1990.

Hutchinson, C. Alan, Frontier Settlement in Mexican California: The Hijar-Padres Colony and Its Origins, 1789–1835, New Haven, 1969; “Notes and Documents: An Official List of the Members of the Hijar-Padres Colony for Mexican California, 1834”; Pacific Historical Review, vol. 42, August 1973.

Machado, Doña Juana, “Times Gone By in Alta California” (trans. Raymond S. Brandes); The Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly, September 1959; also in Testimonios (pp. 119–144).

Martin, Luís, Daughters of the Conquistadores: Women of the Viceroyalty of Peru; Dallas, 1983.

Padilla, Genaro M., My History, Not Yours: The Formation of Mexican-American Autobiography; Madison, 1993.

Sánchez, Rosaura, Telling Identities: The Californio Testimonios; Minnesota, 1995.

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