William Edward Petty Hartnell

William Edward Petty Hartnell

William Edward Petty Hartnell

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William Edward Petty Hartnell, a.k.a. Don Guillermo Arnel (April 24, 1798 – February 2, 1854) was a prominent early immigrant to Alta California who played a vital role in the history of Monterey County, California as well as the history of California.

Early life

William Hartnell was born in Backbarrow, Lancashire, England, and attended the College of Commerce in Bremen, Germany. He went to Chile in 1819 to work in the Santiago branch of John Begg & Co., a firm where his uncle, Edward Petty Hartnell, had helped him secure a job. With the waning of Spanish power in the region, the English trading company gradually expanded its commercial activities from Valparaiso (port of Santiago) to Callao (port of Lima, Peru) and other northern ports on the Pacific coast of South America. While in Lima, he met Hugh McCulloch, a Scottish merchant, who persuaded him to become partners in a rawhide and tallow trade in California. They established a new trading company in 1822 called McCulloch and Hartnell, commonly called Macala y Arnel. It was at this time that he adopted the named "Arnel," as it was easier for the Spanish-speaking residents to pronounce.

Arrival in Alta California

The pair arrived in Monterey in 1822 and, with funding from the company, proceeded to contract with the missions, as they had lots of cattle. Hartnell was personable and successfully persuaded Governor Pablo Vicente de Solá to permit the British subjects to do business and live in Alta...
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