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Bill Thayer

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History of California

At some point I may have a general history of California onsite, although for the time being it seems unlikely. At any rate, right now, the following:

Chapter 10 of Herbert E. Bolton's The Spanish Borderlands details the Spanish exploration and colonization of California: Rivera's 1769 expedition, Anza's crossing of the Sierras and his exploration of other parts of California, and the pioneering missionary work of Junípero Serra.

[ 48 pages of print ]

The Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror is a lurid piece of rip-off journalism about the 1906 earthquake. It's poorly written, prurient, and disorganized: but it was churned out within a few weeks of the event with a shrewd eye to what the public wanted to read, and contains eyewitness accounts and many photographs. Verdict: worth reading, if only to get an insight into the impact of the quake at the time.

[ 266 pages of print, 68 photos, 1 drawing, 1 map
presented in 22 webpages ]

Not quite a book, but more than a brief paper:

Visit to Monterey in 1842, an eyewitness memoir of Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones' seizure of Monterey from Mexico — in peacetime — by Dr. Richard T. Maxwell, a naval surgeon on his staff.

Also, these journal articles, listed in more or less chronological order of their subjects:

[image ALT: A close-up of a collection of papers spread out on a table. It is the icon used on this site to represent my American History Notes subsite.]

Memorials of Juan de Fuca: an attempt by a 19c Oregonian to substantiate the existence and Pacific Coast discoveries of the mythical 16c explorer Juan de Fuca. Tangential to California, although printed in a California magazine and pitched to a California reader­ship.

English Interest in the Annexation of California: in which the author finds in then recently released British Foreign Office files that when California looked like it would secede from Mexico, Great Britain did not attempt either to encourage its independence nor to possess themselves of it, merely seeking to keep it out of other nations' hands once it had achieved independence.

A Southern Transcontinental Railroad into California: Texas and Pacific versus Southern Pacific, 1865‑1885 details the struggle of two railroad companies, mostly waged by lobbying the United States Congress: the Texas and Pacific versus the Southern Pacific, 1865‑1885.

The Entrance of the Santa Fé Railroad into California tells how the Santa Fé Railroad finally broke thru to the Pacific coast despite the opposition of the Central Pacific Railroad and its allies.

[ 3/6/16: 2 articles, 17 pages of print ]

[image ALT: A bear walking on all fours towards the viewer's left, on a stylized grass-carpeted mound; slightly above and ahead of the bear, a 5‑pointed star. It is the flag of the State of California.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is the flag of the State of California.

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Site updated: 18 Jan 20