Luis María Peralta

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Luis María Peralta (1759, Sonora, New Spain – August 26, 1851) was a soldier in the Spanish Army, who received one of the largest of the Spanish land grants, Rancho San Antonio, a 44,800-acre (181 km2) plot that encompassed most of the East Bay region of California.

Biography[edit]

The Peralta family (the 17 year-old Luis, his father, mother and three siblings) was part of the group of settlers that arrived in Alta California with Juan Bautista de Anza on his 1776 expedition. This group of settlers subsequently helped found the Presidio of San Francisco, Mission Santa Clara, and the Pueblo of San José. When he reached the age of 21, Luís entered, as was traditional, into the military of the King of Spain.

Upon his marriage to María Loreto Alviso in 1784, Luís transferred from the Monterey to the San Francisco Company serving with the Escolta (guards) at Mission Santa Clara, Mission San José and as corporal of the guard at Mission Santa Cruz. Phyllis Filiberti Butler records in her book, The Valley of Santa Clara, Historic Buildings, 1792–1920, that after an attack on the priest and majordomo of Mission San José in 1805, "he led the full garrison from the fort at San Francisco into the San Joaquin Valley in pursuit of the Indians." Surprising the Indians in their village, Peralta won a swift victory, which enhanced his reputation. Then a sergeant, he was honored by appointment as comisionado in charge of Pueblo San José in 1807, the highest military and civilian official. Peralta held this position until 1822, when the position ended with Mexico's independence from Spain.background[›]

In 1804, he moved into what is now known as the Peralta Adobe, the oldest building in San José. In 1820, he was rewarded for his long service with the Rancho San Antonio land grant.grant[›] He never lived on the rancho, however, but his four sons, Hermenegildo Ignacio, José Domingo, Antonio María, and José Vicente, did. In 1842 he split the rancho among them, leaving his five daughters Che[›] his cattle, his adobe, and the land on which it sat. He died in 1851 in San José.

Content notes[edit]

^ background: "Luis María Peralta: Peralta was a soldier and one of the owners of one of the largest ranchos in Mexican California. His father, Corporal Gabriel Peralta, brought his family with him during the Anza expedition (1775–76) and was one of the first 15 families living in San Jose listed in the "padrón" of 1778. When he reached the age of 21, Luis entered, as was traditional, into the military of the King of Spain. Wedding Maria Loreto Alviso in 1784, Luis afterwards transferred from the Monterey to the San Francisco Company serving with the Escolta (guards) at Mission Santa Clara, Mission San Jose and as corporeal [sic] of the guard at Mission Santa Cruz. Phyllis Filiberti Butler records, in her book, The Valley of Santa Clara, Historic Buildings, 1792–1920, that after an attack on the priest and majordomo of Mission San Jose in 1805, 'he led the full garrison from the fort at San Francisco into the San Juaquim [sic] Valley in pursuit of the Indians.' Surprising the Indians in their village, Peralta won a swift victory, which enhanced his reputation. Then a sergeant, he was honored by appointment as comisionado in charge of Pueblo San Jose in 1807, the highest military and civilian official. Don Luis Maria Peralta held this position until 1822, when the position ended with Mexico's independence from Spain." Source: http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/santaclara/text.htm

^ grant: "Sgt. Luis María Peralta ... had been granted 44,800 acres (181 km2) of East Bay lands in August of 1820." Source: http://www.peralta.edu/Projects/322/Peralta%20Catalogs/03-05%20Merritt%20Catalog.pdf

^ Che: Through his daughter María Luisa Fermina Peralta (b. 27 August 1790, d. 12 August 1865), Luís María Peralta would become the great-great-great grandfather of Che Guevara.