San Diego 120 Top Influential Pioneers

Photo courtesy of San Diego Historical Society. All rights reserved.
John Judson Ames
John Judson Ames (1821-1861) was the editor and proprietor of the first paper published in the city of San Diego -- the San Diego Herald, which first appeared in 1851.

Ames established the Herald as the organ of U.S. Senator William M. Gwin, who expected to bring about the division of the state, the annexation of Lower California and the Sandwich Islands and the construction of a Southern transcontinental railway terminating at San Diego. This would have made San Diego the capital of the new state, and probably the most important city on the Pacific coast.

In getting his paper established at San Diego, Ames had to overcome obstacles that, as he himself said, "would have disheartened any but a 'live Yankee.'" Had his plans prospered, the Herald would have been the first newspaper printed south of Monterey.

The last number of the San Diego Herald was issued April 7, 1860.

Source: William Ellsworth Smythe's History of San Diego, 1907

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