Captain Isaac Graham

by Michael F. Kinsella

Captain Isaac Graham - Time line biography of his life that was written by Mr. Kinsella. The pages use to be available on the internet at another location and are no longer there. I have created these pages because Isaac was a true California hero worth knowing. I once played Isaac at the Everygreen Cemetery in Santa Cruz on May 1st, 1999. - Floyd D. P. Øydegaard

Part 17 - Wife Runs Away

July 17, 1847
Isaac Graham's enemy, William R. Garner, the former convict from the Botany Bay colony prison, filed a complaint in Judge Walter Colton's Monterey court, charging that his character was damaged in print, and that he was due damages. Apparently at the time of Garner's filing of the lawsuit, he was secretary to Judge Colton. Whatever the reasons for his actions, Farnham, who was in bad health at the time of the suits filing, submitted a request for a change of venue while he was residing in San Jose.

Colton Hall

The men each prepared for their case counting on very different men, who obviously had differing views on the way they saw things develop in those earlier days of turmoil in the Mexican province. Garner drew to his side witnesses such as, James McKinley, James Stokes, Charles Walters, Job F. Dye. While Thomas J. Farnham gathered, Mariano M. Castro, Albert T. Morris, as well as a couple of long statements from Isaac Graham regarding his feelings about the mans character, dated September 1, 1847.

Military governor Richard B. Mason headed California, still under military rule. Who, recognizing that the real possibility of an east bay against south bay rivalry developing into a bigger problem as an outcome of the Farnham libel suit. Appointed a neutral judge to decide the change of venue case. And on October 26, 1847, agreed to the change of venue, moving the trial to a more neutral city, San Luis Obispo. The trial of, Garner versus Farnham, began early January in 1848. Garner won the court case.

September 13, 1848
Thomas Jefferson Farnham dies from a fever in San Francisco.

September 15, 1849
24-year-old Jesse Jones Graham apparently had learned about his fathers' whereabouts on this date, at the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, nearby present day Pomona. Jesse was traveling with other Texans.....By all accounts, Isaac Graham wrapped his love around Jesse. His long lost son had returned, and surely he felt remorse that he had not been there to witness the growth of his son to grow up into a strong man, as well as a physical reminder of his own lost youth.

March 31, 1850
Isaac and Jesse packed a couple of horses with their gear and headed off to San Jose for an extended business stay. Catherine, having recently given birth to a stillborn child, packed a few things, along with a substantial amount of gold Isaac had hidden away.

It is interesting here, that the flight from Santa Cruz of Catherine, could not have come at a worst time for him. It was upon his return to his ranch on April 3, that Isaac found out his wife had left him and taken the children, apparently equally important to him was his missing cache of gold. However, also surely on his mind at this time, was the fact that he was also facing an election. For he was up for the office of both, District Attorney of Santa Cruz and Clerk to the State Supreme Court. Surely the shock of his wife leaving him, with the added insult of receiving only three votes for the office of District Attorney and only one, for State Supreme Court Clerk, weighed heavy on his mind. Yet, for Isaac, these matters would only be the beginning of his troubles. For events were quickly taking on a momentum that would be impossible to slow down, let alone stop.

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