I have a hypothesis now about why he came to California. It was simply getting too hot for him in New York. In the early 19th century there seems to have been a disagreement between large landowners of Dutch descent and settlers about rent leading to the anti-rent or barnburner riots. Thomas Sedgwick had three Van Valkenburg sons-in-law so there is a hint as to which side he would have been on. He was a deputy sheriff. He had a bullet lodged in his head which he used to let his grandchildren in Calif. feel when I thought they had been good. This may be putting two and two together and getting five. Any other ideas would be welcome.