Working from the autobiographical writings of influential and legendary pioneers to California, the author weaves a rich tapestry of the California landscape in the 19th century.
Kit Carson, explorer and mountain man; Richard Henry Dana, seaman; William Heath Davis, Jr., prominent trader who assimilated into the Californio upper class; James Ohio Pattie, fur trapper; William Dane Phelps, ship captain; Alfred Robinson, trader and prominent merchant and sailor; Henry Augustus Wise, U.S. Navy Lieutenant hell-bent on expansion; William Henry Thomes, feckless thrill-seeker; Leonard and Nidever, explorers; Benjamin Davis Wilson, Indian Agent; and Thomas Jefferson Farnham, participant in the Graham Affair, are included.
All provide observations that enhance our understanding of the attitudes of California immigrants. Records of their perspectives, expectations, ideals and loyalties expose the contradictions and complexities of what it can mean to be an American.
These personal narratives, combined with social, cultural, political and economic elements, offer an authentic record of early California society. This original interpretation examines personal prejudices and chauvinism at work on the pre-gold rush frontier.
Edition strictly limited to 750 copies