Agustín Vicente Zamorano (1798 - 1842)

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About Agustín Vicente Zamorano

Agustín Vicente Zamorano was the provisional Governor of Alta California.

He Zamorano was born in Spanish Florida to Spanish parents and entered the army May 1, 1821 as a cadet. He served in Mexico then came to California in 1825 as Secretary of State to Governor of Alta California to the governor, José María Echeandía. He served until 1831, during which he would create letterhead from woodblocks and type, without a printing press. During January 31, 1832-January 15, 1833, Zamorano served as provisional Governor of Alta California, in the north, with José María de Echeandía, serving in the south.

In February 1827 Zamorano married María Luisa Argüello, daughter of Santiago Argüello, in a famous double wedding in San Diego. His children were Dolores, Luis, Gonzalo, Guadalupe, Josefa, Agustín, and Eulalia. Zamorano participated in the 1831 Mexican Revolution, heading a group of rebels in Monterey, including a number of foreign residents, as Captain of the Monterey Company.

When Governor Manuel Victoria fled California January 1832, in the face of revolution, Echeandía remained acting governor until an assembly met in Los Angeles. Pío Pico was chosen governor according to the Plan of San Diego, but officials in Los Angeles refused to recognize him. Zamorano proceeded to lead a rebellion in northern Alta California, and acting as governor there, with Encheadía acting as governor in the southern Alta California. When Governor José Figueroa arrived in 1833, Zamorano returned to his former duties as his secretary.

Zamorano is most famous for being the first person to bring a printing press to California, a wood-frame Ramage press purchased in Boston. He set up a print shop in Monterey in the summer of 1834 and publishes the first books in California, and, as secretary to the Mexican Governor, printed early proclamations of Mexican governors. The first book printed was Manifiesto a la Republica Mejicana in 1835. The Manifesto granted amnesty to the people of California after the recent rebellion. It was preceded only by sixteen-page Reglamento (1834) and about a half-dozen broadsides and sheets. He also offered to provide "equitable prices with gentlemen who may wish to establish any periodical," but nobody took up his offer. In total, he printed eleven broadsides, six books, six miscellaneous works, and numerous letterheads. The first newspaper wasn't printed until U.S. Commodore Robert F. Stockton found Zamorano's old press and Walter Colton, chaplain of the U.S. frigate Congress and former editor of the Philadelphia North American started the Monterey Californian.

Capt. Zamorano was the last appointed Commandant of the Presidio of San Diego during 1835-1840, but never assumed command. He was in San Diego in that period only during 1837-1838. Zamorano left California in 1838, later returning to San Diego in 1842, and died that year.

The Zamorano Club was formed in 1928 by a group of California book collectors, printers and librarians in honor of Zamorano. In 1986, Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, an Elementary School in Southeastern San Diego was named in his honor.

Source: Wikipedia