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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Diego in San Diego County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Sylvester Pattie

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Sylvester Pattie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, May 26, 2001
1. Sylvester Pattie Marker
Inscription.
Leader of the first party of Americans into Alta California over southern trails
Arrived at San Diego Presidio
March 27, 1828
An officer in the war of 1812
Born in Kentucky August 25, 1782
Died near this spot April 24, 1828
First American buried in California soil
Commemorating also his son
James Ohio Pattie
and companions
Jesse Ferguson, William Pope,
Richard Laughlin, James Puter,
Nathaniel Pryor and Isaac Slover

 
Location. 32° 45.541′ N, 117° 11.675′ W. Marker is in San Diego, California, in San Diego County. Marker is on Presidio Drive. Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Serra Museum at Presidio Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2727 Presidio Drive, San Diego CA 92103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Diego Presidio Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Fray Junipero Serra (within shouting distance of this marker); George White Marston (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Junipero Serra Museum (about 500 feet away); Serra Palm (about 500
1782  Sylvester Pattie  1878 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2015
2. 1782  Sylvester Pattie  1878
United Daughters of 1812
San Diego Chapter – April 1992
feet away); Derby Dike (about 500 feet away); La Playa Trail (about 500 feet away); Women of the Mormon Battalion (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Diego.
 
Also see . . .  Guide to the Pattie Party Memorial Plaque Records. Notes about this marker from the San Diego History Center Document Collection.

“Sylvester Pattie and his son, James Ohio Pattie, led a trapping expedition to New Mexico in 1824. In 1827, the Patties, along with Nathaniel Pryor, Richard Laughlin, William Pope, Isaac Slover, Jesse Ferguston, James Puter and several others left Santa Fe on a trapping expedition that led into Arizona and California. The party reached the junctions of the Colorado and Gila rivers on December 1, 1827. Being told by the Yuman Indians that there were Christians down river, the party began following the Colorado River southward. On February 16, 1828, the party buried their traps and furs and started westward across the Baja desert. They reached Santa Catarina Mission on March 12, 1828. Ten days later, the party was arrested as Spanish spies by a wary Mexican governor, Jose de Maria Echeandia, and brought to San Diego. Sylvester Pattie died while imprisoned at the San Diego Presidio on
Sylvester Pattie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2015
3. Sylvester Pattie Marker
April 24, 1828, and the remainder of the party was held captive until February 1829. The deceased expedition leader is credited as being both the first leader of an American expedition across the Southwest to California, and as the first American buried in California soil.

Sylvester’s son James Pattie was later enlisted by Echeandia to help inoculate Californians against smallpox; however, his claim to have vaccinated 20,000 people seems a bit ambitious. Pattie returned to the East in 1830 and published his story, "Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky," which became “the first Western potboiler.” The story of the Pattie Party’s imprisonment and his father’s death remained relatively unknown in San Diego until researchers associated with the San Diego Historical Society began to gather information in the early twentieth century. Isaac Frazee, a Long Beach resident, spearheaded the movement for recognition of the Pattie Party by the placement of a plaque on Presidio Hill. Frazee was the grandson of Ephraim Frazee and nephew of Dr. Lewis J. Frazee, who both knew and grew up with Sylvester Pattie in Kentucky. It was out of Frazee’s interest in his family history that he first became aware of the Pattie Party, and he was soon an outspoken advocate for the memorialization of Sylvester Pattie and the rest of his party in San Diego, where their expedition
Sylvester Pattie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, May 26, 2001
4. Sylvester Pattie Marker
had come to an end. The San Diego Historical Society took up Frazee’s cause in 1929 with the enthusiasm of both George Marston and John Davidson, and was able to dedicate a bronze memorial plaque on Presidio Hill in honor of Sylvester Pattie and the Pattie Party on April 24, 1931, the anniversary of Sylvester Pattie’s death. The bronze tablet bearing the names of the imprisoned men is located on the bastion of Presidio Hill, which is nearest to the site of the old prison as possible due to the changed landscape since 1829.”

— San Diego Historical Society
(Submitted on July 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. ExplorationNotable PersonsSettlements & Settlers
 
The Burial of Mr. Pattie image. Click for full size.
By J. O. Pattie
5. The Burial of Mr. Pattie
From The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, of Kentucky, 1905.
Pentagram<br>On the Roof of the Pattie Memoral image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 29, 2015
6. Pentagram
On the Roof of the Pattie Memoral
This structure is widely reported to be haunted and this Pentagram appears to have been used for ritual purposes.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 27, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 705 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 27, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   2, 3. submitted on July 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on January 27, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   5, 6. submitted on July 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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