March 1883: Was Jimmy Peace the oldest guy in the county?

From the “Redwood City Times & Gazette,” March 17, 1883

A Different Version

A correspondent of the “Santa Cruz Sentinel” takes exception to our biographical sketch of old Jimmy Peace. Following is his version:

While in Carmel Valley at the house of James Meadows, a pioneer of 1837, I saw in the ” S. F. Chronicle” of January 29th an article copied from the “Redwood City Times & Gazette”.

I had heard of Jimmy Peace but had never seen him and I thought when I read the account that San Mateo County was a hard county for old pioneers when they allow an old man of 86 years to work for keep from starvation. After reading the account I showed the paper to Meadows who told me that Peace did not come to California until the year after he did, which would make it 1838, that Jimmy Peace was a year younger than he was in the account of the “Redwood City Times & Gazette.”

James Peace must have been born in the old country in 1816, instead of leaving it at that time, and as he was 20 years of age, when he arrived in California, that would make it 1838. After arriving at the Columbia River on the Neread, he sailed to San Francisco Bay. Dr. McLaughlin, then president of the Hudson Bay posts on the Pacific slope, and his son-in-law, Ray, were passengers. The doctor came to Yerba Buena to establish a trading post there for the Hudson Bay Co. and Ray took charge.

There were several houses in Yerba Buena at the time. 4 or 5. Peace left or ran away and went into the Pulgas redwoods and lived near or with Coppinger. In 1840, Peace, with nearly 40 more Americans and other foreigners was sent down to San Blas, Mexico in the barque, ? Gurpuzcoana, Capt. Snook. He returned next year to California. On his return from Mexico he married the daughter of Pedro Valencia.

With regard to Peace being the oldest settler in the county from abroad, it is a mistake, as there are older ones in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Clara counties.


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