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Robert R. Miller Papers

Identifier: MS-10

A Yankee Smuggler on the Spanish California Coast, written by Robert Ryal Miller, was published by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation in 2001. The bulk of these papers consist of Miller’s research notes, correspondence, and photocopies of articles, documents, and online materials used to write the book. Publication materials include a final camera-ready draft and two reviews of the book.

A separate file contains another article written by Miller in 1975 and a copy of a New Mexican census document that forms the basis for the article.


  • 1752 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist and Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.


2 boxes


Research notes, documents, printed matter, and drafts for the book A Yankee Smuggler on the Spanish California Coast: George Washington Eayrs and the ship Mercury.

Biographical / Historical

Historian Robert Ryal Miller Robert received a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley. He was professor of history at California State University Hayward from 1970-1980 and also taught at Indiana University and New Mexico State University. He has published 13 books and over 20 articles on Latin American history with an emphasis on Mexico and California before statehood. After retirement, he resided in Santa Barbara, California until his death in 2004.

Captain George Washington Eayrs engaged in trading voyages along the California coast between 1806 and 1813, bartering manufactured goods for otter pelts. Captured in 1813 while anchored at Refugio Cove, Eayrs and his ship were brought to Santa Barbara, where he was charged with illicit commerce and put under arrest at the Presidio. He was tried by commandante Captain Jose Dario Arguello. Eayrs was sent to San Diego and then on to Mexico where he lived until his death in 1855. For almost thirty years Eayrs wrote dozens of letters, petitions, and legal appeals, trying to get a compensation for his confiscated ship and its cargo. Finally, in 1842, a joint U.S.-Mexican Claims Commission awarded him $96,000 to be paid by the Mexican government.

Robert R. Miller Papers
Chris S. Ervin CA
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Repository Details

Part of the Presidio Research Center Repository

215 East Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara CA 93101 USA