SAN JOSÉ, California, is located seven miles below the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, on Coyote Creek and the Guadalupe River, fifty miles southeast of San Francisco. It is the seat of Santa Clara County. It was founded in 1777 as San José de Guadalupe under the Spanish Reglamento Provisional because the Spanish government wanted to lessen the dependency of the presidios (forts) on the missions for their food supply. It was the first civil town (pueblo) established by the Spanish in what was then known as Alta California. Until the gold rush of 1848 it was the most important town in the province. When California entered the union in 1850, the first state legislature met in San José, but only for a year. Major agricultural products included tree fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, and livestock, and it was the world's largest dried-fruit packing and canning center.
Beginning with scientific development related to World War II, the entire county became a center for electronics research and space-related technology, ultimately acquiring the nickname Silicon Valley. San José is home to San José State University, the oldest public institution of higher learning in California, founded in 1857. The 2000 census listed the population of San José, the third-largest city in the state, as 894,943.
McCarthy, Francis Florence. A History of Mission San Jose, California, 1797–1835. Fresno, Calif.: Academy Library Guild, 1958.
Mora Torres, Gregorio. Los Mexicanos de San José, California: Life in a Mexican Pueblo, 1777–1846. 1994.
Winther, Oscar Osburn. Story of San Jose, 1777–1889, California's First Pueblo. San Francisco: California Historical Society, 1935.