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 • Saint Dominics Catholic Cemetery
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Maria de la Concepcion Marcela ArgŁello
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Birth: Feb. 19, 1791
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Death: Dec. 20, 1857
Benicia
Solano County
California, USA

NOTE: THIS IS HER ORIGINAL BURIAL LOCATION. IN 1894 HER BODY WAS MOVED TO SAINT DOMINICS CATHOLIC CEMETERY.

AKA: Sister Mary Dominica Arguello

Historical figure, first native daughter to become a nun. Maria de la Concepcion Marcela Arguello, daughter of Presidio Commandante Don Jose Arguello and Maria Ygnacia Moraga, was born in the Presidio on February 19, 1791. She was betrothed at the age of 15 to Russian Count Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov, Chamberlain of Tsar Alexander I of Russia, whom she met On April 8, 1806 when he sailed into San Francisco aboard the Juno thus spawning the legendary love story that continues until today. When Rezanov proposed to Concepcion he noted the response: "My proposal shocked her parents, raised in fanaticism - the difference in religion and the future separation from their daughter were like a thunder clap to them." The Arguellos worried about the religious differences so it was agreed that Rezanov would head back to St. Petersburg in order to gain consent from the Russian emperor and the Pope for the mixed Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic wedding. On May 21, 1806, the Juno sailed out of the San Francisco Bay towards Sitka. During his overland attempt to reach St. Petersburg, driven by the promise of new love, Rezanov pressed thousands of miles across the Siberian winter wasteland. Rezanov caught pneumonia three times and exhausted and stricken by fever, he fell from his horse. Unable to continue, he died on Mar. 1, 1807 in Krasnoyarsk. Concepcion, not knowing of his death, waited, watching the sea for his ship to return. A locket he wore was eventually returned to Concepcion, proving he died loving her. She was the first native daughter to become a nun, entering the Dominican Order in 1851. When the Dominican nuns moved to Benicia, she went there to continue her work. She died on December 20, 1857. Their story was first made famous by Bret Harte in a beautiful poem titled, "Concepcion de Arguello". The Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky also wrote of her unrelenting love and his poem became the basis of the musical Juno and Avos. In 2000, a Russian man was moved by the story to bring the two lovers together so he brought soil from Count Resanov's grave to place on Conchita's, and took soil from her grave back to Russia to place on Resanov's grave. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Maria Ygnacia Moraga ArgŁello (____ - 1835)
 
 Siblings:
  Maria Isabel Marciala Arguello Estrada (1789 - 1835)*
  Maria de la Concepcion Marcela ArgŁello (1791 - 1857)
  Maria Asumpcion Jacinta Joaquina Arguello (1793 - 1796)*
  Maria Dolores Guadalupe Arguello Ozio (1801 - 1827)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Saint Dominics Catholic Cemetery
Benicia
Solano County
California, USA
 
Created by: Debbie
Record added: Jul 22, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11401250
Maria de la Concepcion Marcela ArgŁello
Added by: Debbie
 
Maria de la Concepcion Marcela ArgŁello
Added by: Debbie
 
Maria de la Concepcion Marcela ArgŁello
Cemetery Photo
Added by: I Rutter Parker
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Rest In Peace, Dearest Maria, Sister Dominica!
- Eman Bonnici
 Added: Aug. 25, 2016

- Alina
 Added: Sep. 6, 2015
For My Beautiful Aunty <3
- Lorri Elizabeth Hollo Hardy de Estrada
 Added: Mar. 19, 2011
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