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Biographies Unit Biographies

Manuel Dominguez 1803-1882
Signer of the California Constitution

Manuel Dominguez was born at the presidio of San Diego. He was well educated and spoke both English and Spanish. As a young man, Dominguez took charge of a large rancho that his family had inherited from a great-uncle. The uncle, a soldier, came to Alta California with Gaspar de Portolá and Junípero Serra. The uncle later was granted 75,000 acres of land south of Los Angeles. It was known as Rancho San Pedro.

Dominguez was a respected leader. He was elected alcalde of Los Angeles three times. He also served as an official in the Mexican government. He was a delegate to the California state constitutional convention. He helped make sure that Californios had equal rights in the new state constitution. After California became a state, Dominguez was an official in the government of Los Angeles.

Today, many towns sit on the land Dominguez once owned. The Dominguez adobe is a historical museum in Carson.

Comprehension Check

What was Rancho San Pedro?

Critical Thinking

What made Dominguez a good delegate for the constitutional convention?