I'm looking for any information, images or life details about Josefa Maria Zamorano (also known by her birth name of Josefa Maria de la Paz Zamorano).
I already know that she was born around Monterey, California around Feb. 12, 1834 and was possibly baptised at the Carmel Mission. Her father was Don Agustin Vicente Zamorano (1798-1842) who was the first printer in California and briefly served as a governor during the 1830s. Her mother was Doña Maria Luisa Arguello de Zamorano who died in Los Angeles around 1847.
Josefa was described as being very personable and beautiful and was deeply mourned in San Diego following her early death at her grandfather's rancho on July 7, 1851. A heartfelt obituary can be found in the San Diego Herald of that period:
July 10, 1851
DIED - July 7th, after an illness of a few weeks, at Tijuan, the residence of her grand-father, Don Santiago Arguello, Maria Josefa Zamorano - daughter of the late Capt. Zamorano, of the Mexican Army -- aged 17 years. This young and delicate flower, the beloved and esteemed by all, drooped and withered; and the spirit had now been recalled by that Being, who "gave and has the right to take away." It is hard to realize the fact, that one so young, so lovely, and so endeared to all her friends, by her mild and affectionate disposition, her purity, her truth, her meekness and gentleness -- Indeed by all the finer traits that adorn the female character -- should this be irrevocably taken from the midst of her loving relations and friends; and that never more on this earth, will her kind words be heard, or her sweet smile be seen -- but even now, consolation can be found in the conviction, that her angelic spirit has winged its way to a world of brighter skies. "T"
[I'm also curious to know who "T" was].
The 1850 census of San Diego lists her as "Samorano, Maria Josefa, 16."
I later found the following information online:
"The issue of July 10, 1851, tells of the death at the age of 17 years of Senorita Maria Josefa Zamorano, daughter of the late Captain Augustin Vicente Zamorano, and a grand-daughter of Don Santiago Arguello, at the Arguello residence at La Punta. She was regarded by many as the most beautiful of the many beautiful young Spanish women of the San Diego of those days. The old Arguello home, built in 1836, is still in fair condition, is occupied and stands as a remarkable landmark near the head of San Diego Bay."
[NOTE: 1951 - The Montgomery Freeway was built from the border to Harbor Boulevard in National City and was named in honor of aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery whose home and farm were in the right-of-way and were demolished. The home was the old adobe of Santiago Arguello that had been purchased by John's father Zachary Montgomery who owned a farm at the Fruitlands. By 1973 this freeway was expanded to 8 lanes and became the southernmost section of Interstate 5.]
In addition, I found the following:
"Another news on the Argüello family which we found in ecclesiastical books is the registry of the father apostolic missionary J. Chrisostom Holbein of the following act: “Day 8 of 1851 July, in the cemetery of this town ecclesiastical Josefa Zamorano, unmarried, from age of 16 years, received the holy sacraments in the farm of the Tia Juana.” Maria Josefa Zamorano was daughter of Agustín Zamorano and Maria Luisa Argüello [daughter of Don Santiago] that lived in San Diego and spent seasons in his farm of Tijuana."
There was also an oil on wood portrait being 8½ by 12 inches of Josefa's younger sister, María Eulalia Dorotea Zamorano at age fourteen, which was painted by B. Williston who then presented in to Santiago Argüello in December of 1850. Could a similar portrait exist of Josefa herself?
And finally, in his biography Don Agustin V. Zamorano: Statesman, Soldier, Craftsman & California's First Printer, author George Harding wrote this about Josefa:
"The fifth child of Don Agustin was born at Monterey on February 13, 1834. Her godparents were Don Ignacio del Valle and Doña Ramona Carrillo, the widow of Don Romauldo Pacheco. She was baptized as Josepha María although she is remembered in the family as Josepha Rosa. She is said to have died at San Diego at about the age of seventeen, unmarried. She was a beautiful and vivacious young woman."
So does anyone out there have anything I haven't already collected here? I would very much appreciate any information no matter how trivial or obscure it may be. Thank You!