Thomas Wrightington

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Wrightington adobe Thomas Wrightington adobe.jpg
Wrightington adobe

Thomas Wrightington (c. 1797July 8, 1853) was an early settler of San Diego, California.

Thomas Wrightington was born in Massachusetts. He was a shoemaker from Fall River, Massachusetts and moved to San Diego in 1833. He came with Abel Stearns on the Ayucucho, while Stearns continued up the coast to Los Angeles. Wrightington was probably the second American settler in San Diego, after Henry D. Fitch. Wrightington was naturalized as a Mexican citizen in 1838. He served as a volunteer in the Mexican-American War.

Fall River, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Fall River is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The City of Fall River is located approximately 53 miles (85 km) south of Boston, 17 miles (27 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, 20 miles (32 km) south of Taunton, 12 miles (19 km) west of New Bedford, 20 miles (32 km) north of Newport, Rhode Island, and 200 miles (320 km) northeast of New York City. The City of Fall River's population was 87,103 at the 2010 census, making it the tenth-largest city in the state.

San Diego City in California, United States

San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

Abel Stearns American mayor

Abel Stearns was a trader who came to the Pueblo de Los Angeles, Alta California in 1829 and became a major landowner, cattle rancher and one of the area's wealthiest citizens.

Wrightington married Juana Machado Alipas, a widow with three children and daughter of José Manuel Machado, one of the first soldiers at the Presidio of San Diego and Serafina Valdez. She was born in June 1814. They had 3 sons and 1 daughter.

Presidio of San Diego fort

El Presidio Reál de San Diego is a historic fort in San Diego, California. It was established on May 14, 1769, by Gaspar de Portolá, leader of the first European land exploration of Alta California - at that time an unexplored northwestern frontier area of New Spain. The presidio was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the present-day United States. As the first of the presidios and Spanish missions in California, it was the base of operations for the Spanish colonization of California. The associated Mission San Diego de Alcalá later moved a few miles away.

Juana Machado Alipas de Wrightington, along with being a wife and mother, often rode with Father Ubach into the back country to visit the Indian rancherías and to check conditions. Her neighbors called her the "Florence Nightingale of Old Town."

Wrightington served several offices under the Mexican and American governments. During 1844 and again during 1847March 1848 he was Suplente (Substitute Justice of the Peace or Mayor) of San Diego Pueblo.

Wrightington lived in the adobe built by his wife's first husband, Damasio Alipas around 1830. Wrightington added a wing in 1852. The adobe still stands in Old Town State Historical Park, in the west corner of the town square, and is open to the public as a retail store.

Richard Henry Dana, Jr. in his novel Two Years Before the Mast commented on first coming ashore at San Diego that

<i>Two Years Before the Mast</i> 1840 sea voyage memoir by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Two Years Before the Mast is a memoir by the American author Richard Henry Dana Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship starting in 1834. A film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946.

sailor-like, [we] steered for the first grog-shop. This was a small mud building, of only one room, in which were liquors, dry and West India goods, shoes, bread, fruits, and everything which is vendible in California. It was kept by a Yankee [Thomas Wrightington], a one-eyed man, who belonged formerly to Fall River, came out to the Pacific in a whale-ship, left her at the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii] and came to California. . . the liquor was a real (12½ cents) a glass.

Wrightington died in 1853. According to Dana he "fell from his horse when drunk, and was found nearly eaten up by coyotes".

Wrightington's widow Juana Wrightington remained in the house until the late 1890s. A room was rented out of her house to Dr. George McKinstry for over 30 years as a physician's office, with Juana as a nurse. Her final days were spent with her daughter Serafina Israel in Coronado. She died on December 24, 1901. Juana is buried in Calvary Cemetery (now Pioneer Park) in Mission Hills, San Diego with a headstone that reads "JUANITA WRIGHTINGTON 18141901".

Coronado, California City in California

Coronado is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. It was founded in the 1880s. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census.

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