Information on a Merchant and Personality

© Cazneau's Quick Step.
This image of Cazneau came from sheet music


1812 March 14 - Born in Boston, Massachusettes. (brother of General William Leslie Cazneau [1807-1876] of Texas)

1843 - Cazneau was Captain of the New York Fusileers. (See Cazneau's Quick Step)

1850 & 1851 - Cazneau was U.S. Commissioner of Deeds.

1851 - Port Warden of San Francisco. Appointed by later Governor John Bigler.

1851 - Cazneau was a member of the (first) San Francisco Vigilance Committee. (He did not join the second Vigilance Committee in San Francisco, because he was politicly opposed to it. Three parties of Democrats were at "war" with words, murder, and duels, causing, soon to be "Republicans", to take the law into their own hands)

1852 January - Had just become Captain of the Columbia Fusileers.

1850s - Cazneau owned and operated a hotel called the Columbia Exchange. This hotel was used as a theatre for both ordinary entertainment and high class events which may have included opera.
Also organized a Hook and Ladder Co. and a military company later known as the Columbia Fusiliers. Meetings of both companies were held at "The Exchange." (By Barbara Eastman - 1962)

1850s - During Cazneau's early life in Columbia he seems to have been divorced from his first wife Catherine Augusta Cazneau, with son William.

1852 July - rumors had flown that the Mexicans were going to poison a well at Saw Mill Flat and create other mayhem. Col. Thomas Cazneau headed a group of militiamen with a small cannon and proceeded to the Flat; firing the cannon every 100 yards or so. The action may have created the desired effect, except that the storekeeper in the Flat said he never had any trouble with Mexicans and that the whole affair was a waste of powder.
(SF Herald, June 8, 1853; H. H. Bancroft, California Inter Pocula, 1888; Republican, July 14, 1852; Alta, June 6, 1852.)

Letter from Saw Mill Flat, July 18, 1852.
"A word as to the 200 Americans from Columbia, ready to destroy the camp, and who would have done so but could not agree, &c The truth is, reports had reached Columbia that we were to be attacked that night, and twenty men all told came over and volunteered to assist in our defence. This offer was thankfully and gratefully declined, being able, in our opinion, to defend ourselves against our foes. So ends, for the present, this great rebellion."
Saw Mill owner, Saw Mill Flat, of the firm of Stacey, Bennett & Turner.
(from the Daily Alta California, July 22, 1852, Pg. 1 Col. 6)

1853 December 23 - Mustered in as: Columbia Fusileers, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, California Militia, Columbia, Tuolumne County.

1854 January - Thomas N. Cazneau, Commissioned: Captain.

1854. He was interested in another lady named Jane T. Mathews that he married in Columbia. She was a native of Searsport, Maine. She had a lot of trouble in her first marriage and may have lived with T.N. Cazneau before being married. If this happened it could have brought out prejudice toward him. They had 3 sons together: Charles Leslie Cazneau born in Columbia 1855, Walter Nugent Cazneau and Thomas Leslie Cazneau.

1856 - He was one of the editors of the Columbia Gazette in 1856 & owned the Broadway Exchange Theatre. His "lady's" most likely were "entertainers" from the theatre.

1857 - Cazneau was still a Colonel when the Columbia Fusileers was mustered out. (see more on the Militia)

1858 - Secretary California State Senate in Sacramento for the Democrat Party.

1859 - Cazneau was instrumental in acquiring hand pump fire engine "Papeete" for Columbia.

1860 - He was a marine insurance adjuster in San Francisco holding a monopoly in that business (until his death)

1861 - His service in California in the Civil War was as Lt. Colonel at training camp in Alameda, California as a tactics instructor. (until 1864)

1862 - Immigration Commissioner of San Francisco. (Federal and State position)

1869 - He was secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee when they printed the leaflet, "Shall Negroes and Chinamen Vote in California?" This four page flyer was an anti-fifteenth Amendment document created to stop Blacks and Chinese from having the right to vote in California. The Final sentence states: "By the united voice of your own race, save your ballot box from the polution of negro and Chinese votes. Signed: Joseph P. Hoge, chairman of State Central Committee, Thomas N. Cazneau, Secretary State Central Committee, et al."

1870-1871 - Cazneau was The Adjutant General of California appointed by Democrat Govener Henry Huntly Haight.

1871 - Cazneau was co-founder of Sausalito hence "Cazneau Ave" there.

1873 July 11 - General Thomas N. Cazneau died at his residence, 113 Stockton Street, San Francisco. (When he died most of the stores in San Francisco closed down and people went to his funeral procession which had full military honors. He enjoyed fine art, poetry, theatre and military parades.)


California State Militia and National Guard Unit Histories.

Sacramento Union, August 6, 1855, Page 3, Column 3.

San Francisco Daily Herald, June 28, 1857, Page 3, Column 2.

San Francisco Daily Morning Call, 12 July, 1873. Transcribed by Jill Crowhurst Chesnik.

The Bee (Sacramento, CA), "Record of Notable Events in the State," 1 Jan 1874. Transcribed by Betty Loose.

Patrick L. Cazneau, Norway, Maine.

This page is created for the benefit of the public by

Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.

Email contact:
fdpoyde3 (at) Yahoo (dot) com
created for the visitors to the Columbia State Historic park.
© Columbia State Historic Park & Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.