Charles J. Whiting (1850-52)

Photo of Charles J. Whiting

Charles J. Whiting was born in Massachusetts and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1835. After graduation, he served as a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd U. S. Artillery. He resigned in 1836, and spent time in Mississippi, surveying the delta of the Mississippi River, and as an Assisstant Surveyor on the boundary between the United States and Mexico.

He came to California, and on December 22, 1849, the State Legislature appointed Charles Whiting Surveyor General over a field of three other candidates. Whiting was the only appointed Surveyor General; all of his successors were elected to office.

The Legislature did not authorize procurement of furniture and supplies for Whiting's office until two days after his appointment, and did not outline the duties of the Surveyor General until January 19, 1850. The statute that defined his duties was passed on April 17, 1850. According to State Controller records, Mr. Whiting was paid $20.56 per day.

From 1854 -1855, Whiting served as a railroad construction engineer with the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company.

He reinstated March 3, 1855, as Captain, 2nd U.S. Cavalry. His assignments included: Captain, 5th U.S. Cavalry; Major, 2nd U.S. Cavalry (1862), commanding 1st Brigade, Pleasnton’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and mustered out of service in 1871. Whiting died in 1890, and is burried in Castine, Maine.

Annual Report

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.