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Portrait of Peter Hardeman Burnett showing upper torso, face front, seated in redwood framed chair. Wearing black suit and white shirt with black cravat. Brown curly short hair, blue eyes, impresssionistic style. Painted from a photograph. Exhibited as part of "19th Century San Jose Portraits" at the Pacific Hotel, History Park (April-October 1978) with the following caption: Though not a long-term resident of Santa Clara County, Peter Burnett shared San Jose's glory when it became the first capital of the new state of California in 1850. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Burnett was a District Attorney in Missouri when his wife's poor health led him to move to the Pacific Coast in 1843. Never an easy journey, the cross-country trek was especially difficult before the Forty-Niners blazed the trail. Even with these odds, Burnett's train of 600 people lost only four along the way. Settling first in Oregon, he came to California in 1848 and to the San Jose area in 1849. A prominent lawyer, Burnett was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1849 and again in 1857. When San Jose became the capital in 1850, Peter Burnett was elected Governor by a large majority. He served the State until 1851 when he resigned to more closely attend to his personal business. In 1863 he left his home in Alviso for San Francisco where he established and became president of the Pacific Bank.
Pioneers--California (LCSH) Men Lawyers Judges Governors Nineteenth century (LCSH) Portrait paintings Burnett, Peter Hardeman