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E. J. C. Kewen


Picture of E. J. C. Kewen
CA Blue Book (2000)
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-13-1849 Nonpartisan CD-AL 1806 Loss
12-18-1849 Democratic Attorney General 0 Win
09-03-1862 Breckinridge Democratic AD-02 0 Win
09-02-1863 Democratic AD-02 0 Win
11-05-1872 Liberal Republican CD-04 9012 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Edward J. C. Kewan
Born: November 2, 1825 in Columbus, Mississippi
Married: Francis White (m. 1849) [daughter of Thomas J. White]
Children: Perrie Kewen and a daughter
Military Service: Private Army of William Walker (Campaign of 1856–1857)
Died: November 25, 1879 in Los Angeles, CA

1855: Financial Agent, Republic of Nicaragua
1855: Judge Advocate General, Nicaraguan Supreme Director Patricio Rivas
1858: Superintendent, Los Angeles City Schools
1859-1861: District Attorney, County of Los Angeles

  • High Rank: Colonel (Republic of Nicaragua Army)
  • QUOTABLE: When speaking as a land-owner to a meeting of squatters at a rally, some of the crowd demanded to know his name. Kewen replied; "My name is Edward Kewen - a man who is not afraid  to face any populace, or give expression to the honest convictions of his heart at any time, or under any circumstances!" 
  • Legal Troubles: In 1862, Kewen was arrested and convicted of making a "treasonable utterance" against President Lincoln. He was sent to Alcatraz Island for two weeks. A year later, in 1863, after getting in a fight, Kewan "borrowed a pistol" and shot his opponent, Fred Lemberg, in the abdomen. He was acquitted in 1866. 
  • Younger Brothers!: In 1854, Achilles L. Kewen, brother of Edward, fought a duel in Oakland with Colonel Devereux J. Woodlief following a political dispute at the Blue Wing saloon in San Francsico. The weapon of choice was the U.S. Model 1841 Mississippi "Yager" rifle (a .54 Caliber) at forty paces. Woodlief, former San Joaquin County Judge, was shot in the head and killed instantly [Source:]. Other sources say that Woodlief was shot in the heart [Source]. Achilles was participating in a filibuster when he died the following year in the first battle of Riva [Nicaragua] in June 1855. Thomas, the youngest of the three, had died the preceding year on the island of Tobago, in the Province of Panama. [Source: An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. By Hon. Win. J. Davis. Lewis Publishing Company 1890. Transcribed by Debbie Gramlick]
  • Silver Screen: Achilles Kewen was portrayed by Bennet Guillory in the movie "Walker" (1987).
  • Perrie Kewen served as the Registrar of the Hastings College of Law from 1885.

Source: History of Sacramento County, California by Thompson & West (1880)
Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)