History of Santa Clara County, California
The History of Santa Clara County was undertaken now nearly a twelve-month since; the result of our labors will be found in the following pages. We claim no literary merit for our work. Our aim is to please the majority by presenting a volume, wherein will be found in convenient shape the principal events that have transpired within the county limits.
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Derivation of Name. — The origin of the name which this county bears is thus described in a report made to the Senate under date April 16, 1850, by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, then the Senator from the District of Sonoma, entitled, "Report of Mr. Vallejo, on the Derivation and Definition of the Names of the several Counties of California." In that report, unequalled in its style, and in the amount of information crowded into a small compass, he says of Santa Clara: "According to the Roman Book of Martyrs, or Martyrology, as Hortalana, the pious mother of Santa Clara, was once kneeling before a crucifix, praying earnestly that, being with child, she might be happily delivered, she heard a voice whispering, 'Fear not, woman, thou shalt safely bring forth;' whereupon a brilliant light suddenly illumined the place, and the mother, inspired by the mysterious prediction, baptized her child Clara, which is the feminine of clear, or bright. Clara was afterwards sanctified, on account of her many eminent virtues, and accordingly venerated by the Catholics in all Roman Catholic churches.