THE SETTLEMENT OF CALIFORNIA by George Sanderlin

THE SETTLEMENT OF CALIFORNIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The saga of California's discovery and settlement is reconstructed through minimally connected passages from the primary sources, ranging from Father Crespi's manuscripts and the journal of one of Cabrillo's sailors to ""James Marshall's Own Account of the Discovery of Gold in California."" Sanderlin even relies on other novelists and historians for characterization and interpretation -- citing Gertrude Atherton's fictionalized account of the meeting between the Russian explorer/fur trader Rezanov and his Spanish inamorata Concepcion Arguello and attacking the myth of Yankee heroism in the ""liberation"" of California from Mexico by quoting historian Hubert Howe Bancroft's account of the seizure of Sonoma. A few of the sources are as familiar as Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, many have been reprinted before, but most -- particularly the letters of ""Dame Shirley"" (Louise Clappe) describing life in an early mining town and Stephen Field's ""Justice in '49"" -- are well attuned to the interests of high school age students. A valuable supplement to more conventional histories of early California and an enlarging view of how that history came to be made by ordinary, and not so ordinary, men.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan