Raphael Gallenti

Raphael Gallenti is the earliest known arrest for the crime of "sodomy" in the state of California. We know that he was a sailer from Malta, born about 1814 who lived in Peru before coming to Monterey, California where he continued to work as a mariner. He was arrested and charged with sodomy in the summer of 1853 and was sentenced to five years at the newly established San Quentin. He arrived at the prison on August 13, 1853 and was released on August 9, 1858. His surname as been spelled variously as Gelanti, Galenti, Gallenti and Gallianti.


Newspaper Articles

Daily Alta California - February 3, 1858

Names of prisoners employed as Trusties at the State Prison, San Quentin, January 20, 1858:

[included in the list]:
Raphael Gal enti, watch in ship yard.

Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, California) - August 10, 1858

Raphael Gallianti, convicted at the August term of the Court of Sessions, in Monterey, of sodomy, and sentenced to five years in the State Prison, has been pardoned by the Governor and restored to his former rights, it having been ascertained that he was the victim of popular excitement and prejudice.

Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, California) - January 7, 1859


From the appendix we gather the following statement of the number of persons, with their name and offenses, who have been restored to citizenship for the past year. The whole number is forty-three. The individual cases have already appeared form time to time in our columns:

[included in the list]:
Raphael Galliente, Monterey, sodomy

Daily Alta California - July 31, 1859


San Quentin, July 28, 1859
The following is a correct list of pardons and restorations to citizenship, granted by Gov. Weller and his predecessors in the gubernatorial chair. I find in his annual message of 1859, what purports to be a correct report of pardons up to the date of its issuance; but by a comparison of that and this, quite a difference will be discerned:

[included in the list]:
Rafael Gallenti,* sodomy, 5 years; ar. Aug. 12, 1853; dis. Aug 9. 1858.

*Those with the * opposite their names were restored to citizenship at the time of their discharge, with the exception of those marked ++ who were restored after their discharge, during the years 1858-'59

Census Recrods

1852 State Census - Monterey, California

Name Age Gender Race Occupation Born Last Residence Notes
Rafael Gelanti 38 male white Mariner Malta Peru foreign
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