California, Californios, Osip Volkov

The Bolcoff Adobe – Home Of Osip Volkov The First Non-Native Of Scott’s Valley

Osip Volkov was born to a Russian father and Kamchadal mother in Petropavlosk, Kamchatka around 1798. Nothing is known of his early life, but it appears he became an employee of the Russian America Company as a young man. In 1815, he was either captured by the Spanish or jumped ship near Point Conception, California. Although the Russian American Company tried to get Osip back, Osipn evaded working for the company again by becoming an interpretive for Spanish governor Pablo Vicente de Solá. Osip aquired the Spanish name of José Antonio Bolcoff, as an alias during his work for the Spanish government. Bolcoff married Mariá Candida Castro and was later sent to Mexico on official government business. Governor de Sola later granted Osip Volkov a land grant in present day Santa Cruz County. Historians think that he constructed a house in what is now Scotts Valley, near the site of the Scotts Valley mall. During this period, Osip Volkov was named Alcalde (Spanish for mayor) of Santa Cruz. Osip Volkov is more commonly known in historical sources as Jose Bolcoff, a Hispanicized version of his Russian name. Later in life, after he sold his lands, the records indicate that Jose Bolcoff worked as a shoemaker. Osip Volkov died in 1866, marking the end of a remarkable life.

Andrés Pico, California, Californios, The Pico Act

The Pico Act – A Former Plan To Split Southern California Into A Separate Pro-Slavery State

Photograph Andrés Pico in the 1860s.

In 1859 Andrés Pico, a veteran of the Mexican-American War whom faught in the Battle of San Pascual, worked with an alliance of Mexican Californios and proslavery southerners to formulate “The Pico Act”. Many Californios were concerned that their tax dollars were going to mining efforts in Northern California, and they wanted a separate state that would focus on more agricultural interests.

A meeting of the California State Legislature, in Sacramento, passed “The Pico Act”. However, Southern and Northern Congressman and senators disagreed on whether to expand slavery to the pacific coast, since Northern politicians did not believe the Missouri Compromise should expand to the westernmost part of he United States. Southern politicians wanted to have a pro-slavery State in the south so that they would have a stronger representation in the Senate. The approval of “The Pico Act” was stalled due to stark political disagreements between members of the United States federal legislature and members of the Republican Party, Northern Democrats, Southern Democrats and the Union Party members during the Presidential Election of 1860. Hence, after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and the secession of southern states, “The Pico Act” became a moot issue in the U.S. Congress.