January 2nd, 2009



I'm searching for a house for my characters. I want it to be a victorian, I know that but I don't know where to go from there. I'm a very visual person and it really helps me to see something to get an idea of what I want to write about and I've seen a couple of pictures of houses that would be perfect for my character to live in. I know that this is a long shot but I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about the houses and where you would see them, like which state?

Here are some links, if anyone could help me, I'd greatly appreciate it! I've searched everything from yellow victorians, to victorians in Tennessee. I've even looked at some victorians that have been on TV and movies, namely Charmed.

House Number 1. I know it's not the greatest picture. But I like it. I don't even know the style.

House Number 2. I believe that this is a Queen Anne style, but I'm not sure either.

And finally,
House Number 3.

Thank you, again I know this is a long shot.

Legal Practice in California, 1850 -1880

While this is a small detail in the current fic I'm writing, I like to have the details right.  

I know that the California Bar Association was founded in 1919, and therefore oversaw the Bar examinations from that date.  What I'm trying to establish is what the practice was in the half century before that, specifically from the 1850s onwards.

What I *think* I've established is that by the mid 19th century there were a number of law schools in the US.  Graduates usually followed a career that combined an "apprenticeship" for several years with an established lawyer (where they "read" law and practised things like drawing up deeds and wills etc) with a period in a formal law school getting a more rounded education.  Each state had its own bar examination, the final hurdle before a man (and it usually was a man!) could practice law unsupervised and as a proper lawyer.

California achieved statehood in 1850.  If the Bar wasn't formally founded until nearly 70 years later, there had to be some interim system for training and graduating lawyers.  What I've not been able to do is determine what that is or how the Spanish-based legal practices of Mexico affected Californian law and for how long.  I'm assuming, for example, that  land law was most likely to be affected by Mexican legal principles (ie primogeniture)  but I'm not sure how this would affect something like a deed of partnership for a Californian ranch in the 1870s.

My POV character for the story I'm writing graduated from Columbia College, NY, in 1848 and moved to California after statehood was granted.  I'd be glad of any information (or googling hints) that would help me understand
 (i) if he was able to practise in California and what formal training/sanction he would need to set up his practice; and
 (ii) how far the legacy of the Spanish legal system would affect  a father's ability in 1870 to make his two adult sons equal partners with him in his ranch - if at all!

I've googled Californian legal history, Californian bar history, Californian legal practice/practise history (taking account of differing US and UK conventions there!) and variations thereof, to no avail.