From Islapedia


  • 1843-1858 Jose Antonio and Carlos Carrillo, brothers, receive the island as a land grant from Mexican governor of Alta California, Micheltorena. They assign their rights to Carlos Carrillo's daughters, Manuela and Francisca, who were married to Americans, John C. Jones and Alpheus Thompson.
  • 1859-1901 Alexander More and Henry More. Henry dies in 1881 leaving Alexander More as sole owner.
  • 1893-1901 A. P. More left his estate to his sole surviving brother, John F. More, four sisters, and ten nieces and nephews, children of his deceased siblings. Between his death in 1893 and 1901 when Vail & Vickers began purchasing fractional interests, some of the interests had changed hands.

Martha Jane More [Orcutt] sister June 8, 1901 3/24th
Cornelia A. More [Baldwin] sister June 12, 1901 3/24th
Martha A. Duval niece; daughter of Eliza More Miller June 17, 1901 3/24th
Eliza More Miller sister June 22, 1901 4/24th
George Sexton Edwards received interests of T. Wallace More's daughter, Mattie More Law June 9, 1901 1/24th
H. Clifford More, Winfield R. More, & N. Rose More children of brother Lawrence W. More June 12, 1901 3/24th
Albert and John More nephews; sons of brother Andrew More December 19, 1901 2/24th
Elinor H. More estate sister March 4, 1922 3/24th
Hammersley & Richards received interests of T. Wallace More's son, T. R. More October 21, 1902 1/24th

  • By 1902, 21/24ths of the island interests had been purchased by Vail & Vickers. The last fractional interest (3/24ths) was finally purchased by them in 1922.

  • 1901-1986 Vail & Vickers. Channel Islands National Park was created in 1980; Vail & Vickers were paid for the island in 1986.

  • 1986 Santa Rosa Island is acquired by Channel Islands National Park

Note: The following is inscribed in the scrapbook from which the information has been transcribed:

Jan. 26, 1956
For Ed Vail — with apologies for a miserable translation and best regards—
Francis Price

Note: Francis “Frank” Price (1890-1965), graduate of Stanford law school, was a founding partner of the law firm of Heaney, Price & Postel (now Price, Postel & Parma).

EXPEDIENTE (Proceedings) No. 313 The Island called Santa Rosa

  • PROCEEDINGS. Promoted by Don Jose Antonio Carrillo pertaining to the Island of Santa Rosa.
  • Letter to Governor Micheltorena from Jose Antonio Carrillo
Provisionally authorized by the Maritime Customs of the Port of Monterey; in the Department of the Californias, for the year 1843.
Manuel Castañares (rubric)
SEALS of Customs of Government
Most excellent governor. Jose Anto. Carrillo, for himself and on behalf of Don Carlos Carrillo, before your excellency in due form and of right, represents and says:
That the Supreme government having pleased to favor us with one of the desert islands adjacent to this Department for our benefit and in reward of merit as indicated in the respective order a certified copy of which is duly attached and having in the year 1842 sought that we be given possession of the one which is known by the name of Santa Rosa in the Santa Barbara Channel, the worthy governor who proceeded you not having wished to grant the application, he informed me orally that said island had already been allocated to Don Jose Castro in association with the governor himself and that neither this nor any other of the useful islands could be given to us; because they were destined for other individuals. In view of this expression and considering on our part the impossibility of opposing the decision I have cited, we decided to await a better opportunity to petition, as we do now, for granting said island and making formal delivery to us according to the terms and as required by said supreme order. For the reason that I wish to cultivate it as soon as possible, I seek and pray it will please you to order title conferred in the manner which may be most convenient in the premises.
Monterey, Sept. 20, 1843
Jose Antonio Carrillo (rubric)
  • Letter to Governor Micheltorena from Manuel Jimeno

Sir Governor:

In the office under my charge there is no proceeding or any document of any person that pertains to the granting of the island of Santa Rosa; the only one authorized by me was a title which the government issued to Don Jose Castro conferring the said island.
This is the only valid information I have for your information in response to your direction dated yesterday.
Manuel Jimeno (rubric)
Monterey, Sept. 22, 1843
Micheltorena (rubric)
  • Letter to Governor Micheltorena from Jose Castro
Excellent Señor,
Pursuant to the foregoing decree, I say that having seen that the island to which it refers was unoccupied for a period of three years without having been sought for by any individual, making use of rights, I asked for it, and it was conceded to me as in the title which accompanies (this).
Jose Castro (rubric)
Monterey, Sept. 23, 1843
(Illegible word) to Don Jose Antonio Carrillo that he should see the explanation of Señor Castro and (Illegible word) title which accompanies it and (illegible words) speak.
Micheltorena (rubric)(seal)
  • Letter from Manuel Jimeno

Minister of the Interior

Excellent Sir —
His Excellency, the President, desiring on the one hand to protect the population of the desert islands adjacent to this Department, and which are a part of the National Territory, and to impede on the other (hand) the acquisition by foreign adventurers of these considerable possessions from which they could do great damage to our national fisheries and commercial interests, it has been resolved that your excellency with the consent of the Departmental Council should proceed with action and prudence to grant and transfer lands on said islands to such nationals as seek them, recommending at once to your excellency citizens Antonio and Carlos Carrillo for their useful and patriotic services so that they shall receive preference and that there shall be assigned to them exclusively one of said islands which they themselves may select. I have the honor (balance of page torn off)
and corresponding assets — God and Liberty.
Mexico, July 20, 1838 — Pesado —
Most excellent governor of the Department of the Californias.
This is a true copy taken from the original. It is compared and correct, to which I, the Secretary of State of the Department of the Californias, do certify with two witnesses.
Monterey, the 17th of May, 1943.
Manuel Jimeno (rubric)
Manuel Castro (rubric)
  • Document

We certify that Don Carlos Antonio Carrillo, a resident of this municipality, spoke to us about two years ago about transporting a quantity of cattle to the island of Santa Rosa and paying freightage, and that we replied that we could not enter into any charter because the ship was engaged in a coastal voyage on our affairs, and at the instance of said gentleman we give this in Santa Barbara on the 19th of May, 1842.

Scott and Wilson (2 rubrics)
  • Letter to Governor Micheltorena

Provisionally authorized by the Maritime Customs of the Port of Monterey, in the Department of the Californias, for the year 1843.

Manuel Castañares

(Seal of Customs)

Most Excellent Governor:

Jose Antonio Carrillo for himself and as representative of Don Carlos Carrillo before the notary (makes) justification to your excellency with due respect, and as will be developed, answering the showing of Don Jose Castro and what appears to in the prior decree of your excellency dated the 23rd of the present month says: That the opposition which said gentleman makes against my petition is very strange when he is as well aware as I of the justice with which it is presented and even though he should wish to, can never say more than is stated in my said petition; but to continue, although I must do myself violence, I should state that the basis of my petition proving the lack of such in the opposition of Sr. Castro. This gentleman says, that he sought the island in question because it appeared that it was vacant for three years, and that no one has solicited it, and it was granted him as shown by the accompanying title. It should then clearly be seen that the island should be occupied by someone and that it had not been verified at the time he wished it, he could denounce it as vacant, and he did so; this involves the precise condition upon which they grant lands so that within one year from the issuance of title, it may be occupied by the claimant; and if this is not land denounceable by another, I ask: "How did Don Jose Castro seek the island? Either he denounced it as vacant after the passage of a period of no occupancy by some one who should have done so, or how without this requirement. If the former is the case, it is very strange that having the power to make his claim he did not do so in conformity with the necessary formalities, and if the latter is the case, why should he refer to that which for three years was not occupied? No, most excellent Sir, Don Jose Castro knew very well that there was an order of the Supreme Government for the occupation of the island referred to for the benefit of another with preference to such person, and at the very same time Don Andres Castillero had an equal order in his favor, but referring to the islands located adjacent to the frontier of Baja California; Castillero had the character of Representatives of this Department and in virtue of said order of the Supreme Government sought the island of Santa Cruz adjacent to Santa Rosa, which is the one in question; and as governor Don Juan B. Alvarado then must yield to Sr. Castillero he agreed to make an adjudication to him of the island mentioned. He at once commenced to expedite carrying out the supreme order issued in my favor although I was not the one preferred in said concession, that he undertook it at my request for title to Santa Rosa. He answered me orally that it has already been conceded to St. Castro.

Though to this point, Most Excellent Sir, I appear dispossessed, I have of necessity made the statements as above which have not been reported.

I have already indicated the confusion which was caused me by the request of Don Jose Castro and the reason therefore, now I shall give that which applies to the infamy in the title he claims, and why it should be invalid. It was required for the adjudication of lands that to issue a title to property, there must first be a request before making the docket. These things are so (unintelligible word) that I apologize for stating them, but I cannot proceed in silence without noting that never for a day was title passed to Sr. Castro nor did any respective proceeding exist according to the showing of the Sr. Secretary, which could have gone to him. You may examine, also, the claimed title and you will at once observe that it was rather a predisposition of Sr. Alvarado in favor of Don Jose Castro and against me, than justice. The action referred to was taken without any of the requirements established for it, and it is more notable, because it is certain that Sr. Castro did not seek the island to occupy it but to sell it, to do which it was necessary that the title should be as attached without the condition that the land cannot be sold, and I ask now, will a document be valid which lacks the required formalities? I believe not. We will go on. Sr. Castro says that he sought the island because for three years it was vacant, and he has occupied it from the time it was given to him to this date. Looking at this, and he not having made proof of it, or having carried on the idea for which he sought it, which is to sell it, or that he knows that the title he has is insufficient because it lacks the conditions in the form and manner required by law. I. your Excellency, seek no more than that the order of the Supreme Government be carried out and as a consequence the privilege which I understood was provided for me since the date proof was received with the accompanying documents, which was what I proposed on seeking the title to the island in question, and surely there was no failure to comply with the desires of the Supreme Government and the object it intended.

Finally, based on what has been said last, your Excellency to be kind enough to judge my petition and compare it with that presented by Sr. Castro, so that the matter may be resolved in accordance with justice.