Dueling in California (A Legal History)

The delegates who met in Monterey in 1849 to draft California’s first constitution debated the need to limit dueling during the convention. Noting that the formality associated with dueling primarily made it a practice of political elites, delegate William Gwin began to push for the penalty to be (rather than a prison term), a permanent […]

Capitol Ghost Stories

Standing in the well-lit hallway outside the Governor’s office, you wouldn’t necessarily think that the State Capitol has a scary past. The friendly Highway Patrol officers pose for photos with visitors and the county displays offer cheerful reminders of the diversity of California’s people and places. There is also a less known history of murders […]

Detangling Confusing Names

One of the most wicked mistakes you can make while doing research is confusing two people with similar names. Some people with similar names are easy to differentiate; for example the two Edmund G. Browns. Although they had similar names and held some of the same offices (Governor and Attorney General), the father and son went by […]