Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BLACKBURN, William, pioneer, born in Virginia in 1814; died in California in 1867. He went to California in 1845, took part as volunteer in the conquest of that country in 1846-'7, and was appointed alcalde at Santa Cruz immediately thereafter. In this office he served two years, and in 1850 was elected county judge of Santa Cruz County He was one of the best representatives of the large class of early popular alcaldes in the new territory, legally untrained but socially important men, who administered justice after a manner less accurate in a technical ,ense than useful for the needs of the singular community of those days. His decisions were in some cases widely discussed, and are often quoted in historical sketches.
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