A St. Patrick’s Day post from the Santa Barbara View Vault
Had it not been for the imminence of the American takeover, it is possible that Santa Barbara might have become part of a plan to establish a large-scale Irish colony, subsidized by the London capitalists with an ultimate view to British annexation of California, Walker A. Tompkins wrote in Yankee Barbarenos.
In 1845, Eugene McNamera had petitioned the president of Mexico for a $71 million grant of land in Alta California on which to establish three, tax-free Irish colonies – one in Santa Barbara. His plan would have transplanted shamrocks amid California poppies and promised to bring 10,000 Irish emigrants to the colonies.
The grant was signed by Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California, but once the Yankees planted their flag in the California soil for good, the grant was declared invalid.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Santa Barbara.