John A. Brewster (1856-57)

Photo of John A. Brewster

In 1856, Brewster was elected Surveyor General of the State of California.

Apart from Brewster's reports concerning his reconnaissance of the Downieville and Calaveras routes to Carson Valley, Brewster apparently did not actually engage in any surveying activities. However, he maintained many of Marlette's procedures used in dealing with County officials and as a result, the information regarding statistics of the State are the most complete to that time. Brewster also supported Marlette's negative view of Eddy's state map, and further enlarged the reliable map collection begun by Marlette.

There is little evidence of the manner in which Brewster spent the early years of his life. Nothing is known about his background or education, although it is possible, from later actions, to speculate that he had some experience as an engineer.

Following his term as Surveyor General, Brewster returned to Buffalo, New York and married Julia E. Kaene on November 1, 1858. They returned to California and settled in either Stockton or Santa Rosa. Although the sources vary on that point, it is clear that Brewster did reside in Sonoma County for some years before his death.

Annual Reports

Surveyors General

The following include a short biography, photo of, and the annual reports from each Surveyor General, documenting some of the activities and observations of the Surveyors General, and record the early geographical development of the new state.