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24th June
written by Richard

Eyewitness accounts of early San Diego are a treasure. The 1872 diary of J. A. Shepherd, the quiet bookkeeper of city founder Alonzo E. Horton, provides a fascinating first-hand look at “poor, isolated San Diego,” as the young town struggled to find success in its obscure corner of the United States.

Jesse A. Shepherd


  1. Alex Estrada

    Richard – thank you for sharing this. More please! Of note – and to the best of my ability to decipher the handwriting of J.A. Shepard, was the following from his journal:

    5/15/1872 – “Life is not all day, neither can death be all night”
    5/19/1872 – “…which under the clouds of this afternoon, and the clouds are little more than the vapors of old ocean, the blue veins of sky press them broadly apart. A lovely hour to pass in the courtship (sp) meadows or the May robed woods. How far removed we are from the beautiful paths of childhood…” nice.- alex

  2. Rick

    Shepherd was talented man. Literate and a great observer. If he’d only lived longer! Just think of the diary entries he might have made during the turbulent 1880s!

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