The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 351
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Gerald Thompson. Family background induced Beale to seek a naval
career. He enlisted at the age of fourteen, when he was commissioned
acting midshipman, and made midshipman at twenty. In 1846 he
sailed with Commodore Robert F. Stockton on the Congress to Mon-
terrey, where landing was made in July in the midst of the Mexican
War. He was sent to aid General Stephen W. Kearny and assigned to
bring aid to the crippled force after the battle of San Pasqual. There-
after he carried dispatches across the continent six times, including
news of the discovery of gold in California. A constant seeker after
patronage. Beale became superintendent of Indian affairs in Cali-
fornia, surveyor general for California and Nevada, and commander
of an army unit directed to find a wagon or railroad route along the
35th parallel, which Senator Thomas Hart Benton, Beale's strong ad-
vocate, favored. Beale experimented with camels for transportation on
the desert, dabbled in mining gold from quartz, developed the largest
rancho that still survives, and accumulated a fortune that assured him
high social and political standing.
In his various government activities Beale was notoriously careless
in conforming to requirements concerning vouchers and, indeed,
loosely interpreted instructions from Washington. Inability to account
properly for all expenditures was not uncommon among federal of-
ficials in California, as is evidenced by the troubles of John C. Fremont
and other officials during territorial days. Beale's case, however, came
before George W. Manypenny, commissioner of Indian affairs, who
insisted that the accused official should clarify all unanswered ques-
tions. Beale called upon his friends Benton and Fremont, who tried to
picture the charges against Beale as politically and personally inspired.
During the clash, Beale waylaid Manypenny and struck him brutually,
demanding that he accept a challenge. Both men were thoroughly
honest, but Manypenny could not rightfully accept a braggart's chal-
lenge. Manypenny appears to have been blamed, despite Beale's ruf-
Beale's forward-looking effort to establish an Indian reservation at
a time when few Californians were willing to concede anything to the
natives and his drift from the Democratic party to the Republican party
are handled well in this work. Very briefly but effectively the au-
thor shows how Beale neglected his duties in the office of surveyor
general and pushed forward his own schemes for acquiring land. His
great El Tejon ranch, which came to him through outright purchase
when ranchos were going for a song, included 97,612 acres. Three
other ranchos that he purchased amounted to 97,663 acres. In addi-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/399/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.