This copious collection of reminiscences, reports, letters, and documents allows readers to experience the vast and varied landscape of early California from the viewpoint of its inhabitants. What emerges is not the Spanish California depicted by casual visitors—a culture obsessed with finery, horses, and fandangos—but an ever-shifting world of aspiration and tragedy, pride and loss. Conflicts between missionaries and soldiers, Indians and settlers, friends and neighbors spill from these pages, bringing the ferment of daily life into sharp focus.
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