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Transcript of the proceedings in case No. 626-William Bennitz,

claimant, vs. The United States, defendant-for the place named Breisgan.

OFFICE OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS To ascertain and settle the private land claims in the State of Cal'a.

Be it remembered, that on this 24th day of February, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, before the commissioners to ascertain and settle the private land claims in the State of California, sitting as a board in the city of San Francisco, in the State aforesaid, in the United States of America, the following proceedings were had, to wit:

The petition of William Bennitz, for the place named “Breisgan, was presented, and ordered to be filed and docketed with No. 626 and is as follows, to wit:

(Vide påge 3 of this Transcript.) Upon which petition the following subsequent proceedings were had in their chronological order, to wit:

SAN FRANCISCO, September 3d, 1853. In case No. 626, William Bennitz, for the place named "Breisgan,” the deposition of J. J. Warner, a witness in behalf of the claimánt, taken before Commissioner Alpheus Felch, with document marked No. 1, A. F., annexed thereto, was filed. (Vide page 5 of this Transcript.)

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 25, 1854. Case No. 626 was submitted without argument.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 26th, 1854. In the same case, Commissioner. S. B. Farwell delivered the opinion of the board, rejecting the claim. (Vide page

of this Transcript.) And the following order was made, to wit:

of this Transcript.)

Petition. To the Board of Land Commission for the ascertaining and settling

of private land claims in California; The petition of William Bennitz respectfully represents to your honorable board, that having been for a long time in the military service of California, from the year 1840, and not having received any recompensation for it, he made and presented his petition in

[REC. CCLIX, D, T., 1857.)-1

(Vide page

writing to Governor Micheltorena on the 18th June, 1844, soliciting for himself the tract of land hereafter described.

That said governor referred the subject to the secretary of the department, who referred it for further report to John A. Sutter.

That said Sutter, on the 16th July, 1844, reported in favor of your petition. That said governor thereupon, on the 26th day of July, 1844, granted your petitioner provisionally the occupancy of said land, promising at the same time to inspect said land personally, and then to execute the formal title-papers.

And your petitioner further saith, that said Micheltorena never came to those parts of the country where your petitioner's land is situated, and therefore did not execute a grant to him; but that your petitioner has, from said year 1844, been in the quiet and peaceable possession of said land, without becoming aware of the existence of any title conflicting with, or superior to his own.

And your petitioner further saith, that said land is situated in the present county of Shasta, on the east shore of the Sacramento river, is known by the name of “Breisgan,” and bounded as follows: commencing at a point on the eastern shore of the Sacramento river, half a league south of the junction of the Arroyo de los Eresnos with the Sacramento; thence following the eastern shore of said Sacramento, about two leagues south to the most northern point of an island formed by said Sacramento; thence along the western line of said island to its most southern point; thence at right angles due east one league and a half; thence at right angles north to a point due east of the point of commencement; thence west to the place of beginning, containing altogether five Spanish square leagues, more or less; and your petitioner further saith, that the documents above referred to are herewith submitted to your hon. body's inspection.

Your petitioner therefore claims to be the owner of said land, and prays that your hon. body will confirm and validate his claim and title thereto.


Att’ys for Bennitz Filed in office Feb’y 24th, 1853.

GEO. FISHER, Sec'y. Recorded in vol. 1 of Petitions, on pages 624, 625

GEO. FISHER, Sec’y. Deposition of J. J. Warner.

No. 626. OFFICE OF COMMISSIONERS OF LAND CLAIMS IN CALIFORNIA. This day before Com'r Alpheus Felch came J. J. Warner, a witness in behalf of claimant, Wm. Bennitz, No. 626, who, after being duly sworn, deposed as follows:

Questions by Mr. Clark, Atty for Claimant. 1st question. What is your name, age, and place of business? Answer. My name is J.J. Warner; my age forty-five


and I reside at San Diego, in the State of California.

2d question. Look upon the document now here presented to you, marked Exhibit No. 1, with the initials A. F., purporting to be a petition for a grant of land to Governor Micheltorena, and signed by Guillermo Bennitz, with other documents on the same sheet of paper attached to this deposition, and say what you know of the genuineness of the signatures appearing on said document?

Answer. I have looked on the document; I am acquainted with the signatures of Manuel Micheltorena and Manuel Jimeno, and have seen them write; their signatures, each appearing in two several places on said document, I believe to be their true and genuine signatures respectively; I believe the signature appearing thereon as that of J. A. Sutter to be the true and genuine signature of John A. Sutter; I have correspondence with said Sutter, and written to him, and received answers from him, and believe this to be his signature; I do not remember of ever having seen him write.

Mr. Greenhow objects to this statement in regard to Mr. Sutter's signature, as incompetent proof.

J. J. WARNER. · Mr. Greenhow, associate law agent, was present at the taking of this deposition, but propounded no interrogations to the witness.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, at San Francisco, this third day of September, A. D. 1853.

ALPHEUS FELCH, Commissioner. Filed in office Sept. 3d, 1853.

GEO. FISHER, Sec'y. Recorded in Ev. B., vol. 3, p. 132.


[Here follows map-original, page 6.] Exhibit No. 1, A. F., with map, annexed to Depo. of J.J. Warner.

Sello Cuarto-Dos Reales. Habilitado provisionalmente por la aduana maritima del puerto de Monterey, en el departamento de las Californias, para los años de mil ochocientos cuarenta y cuatro y mil ochocientos cuarenta y cinco.


Guillermo Bennitz, nativo de Allemania, ante V. E. con el mas propuedo respeto se presenta y espone que siendo naturalizado Mejicano, y desendo de di carse a la agricultura suplica a V. E. se di que concederle el terreno conocido con el nombre de Bresiguan, cuyo paraje es valdio consta de cinco sitios de ganado mayor, y son sus finderos al N. al E. q'al S. la sierra y al O. el Rio Sacramento, segun manifiésto el diseño que debidamente acompañia.

B. I. A. V. E. mega se de que a ceder a esta su peticion y recevire merced. Junalo necesario, D. D. Monterey, Junio 18, de 1844.


MONTEREY, Junio 18, de 1844. Informe el S. s’rio del departm’to tomando previdamente los qe. puendan resultar.

MICHELTORENA. Dispone el E. S. gobernador, pase esta instancia al S’or Sutter, para que lo sirva informar sobre su contenido. F’ha la misma.

MANUEL JIMENO. El terreno que solicita el Sr. Dn. Guillermo Bennitz, esta en este pedimiento y que es representado en el adjunto deseño esta desocupado, y do esta certificacion para los fines que le conveynan.

J. A. SUTTER. Nueva Helvetia, Julio 16, de 1844. Translation of Exhibit No. 1, A. F., with map, annexed to the Depo.

of J..J. Warner.

Fourth Stamp-Two Reals. Provisionally authorized by the maritime custom-house of the port of Monterey, in the department of the Californias, for the years eighteen hundred and forty-four and eighteen hundred and forty-five.


Guillermo Bennitz, a native of Germany, before your excellency, , with the most profound respect, appears and says that, being a Mexican by naturalization, and wishing to dedicate himself to agriculture, he asks of your excellency that you be pleased to grant to him the land known by the name of “Breinguan,” which place is vacant, and contains five square leagues of land, (sitios de ganado mayor,) the boundaries of which are, to the northeast and south the (sierra) mountains; to the west, the Sacramento river, as explained in the sketch which I annex.

Therefore I beg of your excellency, that you accede to this petition, in which I shall receive a favor.

I swear, as necessary, &c. Monterey, June 18, 1844. (Signed)


(Marginal note.)

MONTEREY, June 18, 1844. Let the secretary of despatch report, taking previously others. (Signed)

MICHELTORENA. His excellency the governor orders that this petition pass to Señor Sutter, that he may report thereon. Date the same as above. (Signed)

MANUEL JIMENO. The land solicited by Don Guillermo Bennitz in this petition, and which is represented on the annexed sketch, is unoccupied, and I give this certificate for whatever purposes that be of intot the party. New Helvetia, July 16th, 1844. (Signed)

J. A. SUTTER. Most Excellent Governor:

To many petitions like the present a note has been put, that they must wait until your excellency makes a visit about the rivers Sacramento and San Joaquin, and as there is no general maps of those lands the grants asked for cannot be made with certainty; so if your excellency should think fit, this expediente may be detained until these petitions referred to are disposed of. Monterey, July 26th, 1844. (Signed)


MONTEREY, date the same. Let him occupy it provisionally until I go up to conclude it.




No. 626. THE UNITED STATES. Claim for a place called Bonisgan, in the county of Shasta, and con

taining five square leagues. In this case the petitioner has placed on file an application made by him to Governor Micheltorena, on the 18th day of June, 1844, and states in his petition that the same was referred to John Sutter for his opinion, and that on the 16th day of July, 1844, the said Sutter reported in favor of the issue of a grant, and the signatures of the said Micheltorena and the said Sutter being satisfactorily established by proof.

Here the proceeding on the part of the petitioner ends.

The board are of opinion that no sufficient proofs have been offered to entitle the said petitioner to a confirmation, and that the same should rejected. . Rejected. Filed in office Sept, 27th, 1854.


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