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Pershing Square 1871
Pershing Square in 1871 When Los Angeles was 100 Years Old

Los Angeles was established on September 4, 1781 by the specific order of King Carlos III of Spain to then Spanish Governor of California, Felipe De Neve.

It was created to succeed.

  Photo Gallery of Yesterday's Los Angeles
Reading of Decree
(The Town of Our Lady The Queen of the Angels) was declared
  The town (then referred to as "El Pueblo") was made official by the assignment of a house lot to each of the 11 newly arrived settlers.  
Origina Los Angeles Lot Chart
First Official Plan of Los Angeles

The lots around the Plaza(upper left corner) are the homes of the first settlers. The lots on the right between a ditch and the Los Angeles River were the cultivated lands of each family.

The Settlers

The settlers were eleven families - forty six people total - who agreed to colonize the new Spanish city. They were all farmers - men of Indian, Spanish and African descent. They were chosen from the provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico. They traveled first to San Diego and then to the Mission San Gabriel, where they were delayed for seventeen days because of exposure to smallpox. But then on September 4, 1781 they arrived after traveling twenty miles west to settle along the west side of the Los Angeles River (then known as Río de Porciúncula).

Yang-na Village (Before the settlers)

At the time of the formation of the city there was an Indian village of about 300 people nearby at what is now the intersection of Alameda and Commercial Street (south of the 101) called Yang-na. Very little remained of these people except for accounts of interactions between them and the newly arrived settlers.

Yang-na Artifacts


Above are some of the few artifacts - cooking utensils and tools - left by the people of the Yang-na Village who were here before Los Angeles was formed.

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