This anniversary edition concentrates on the origins of the names currently used for the cities, towns, settlements, mountains, and streams of California, with engrossing accounts of the history of their usage. It has been updated to incorporate the latest research on California place names published by regional historians and to include new names that have been added to the California map since 1969.
Readers will appreciate the local pronunciation of place names with unusual spellings; anyone curious about how to say La Jolla or Weitchpec can find the information here, in phonetic transcriptions. Finally, the many California place names of American Indian origin—such as Yreka, Shasta, Napa, Sonoma, Tamalpais, Yosemite, Lompoc, Mugu, Coachella, or Poway—receive particular attention from editor William Bright. The dictionary includes a Glossary and a Bibliography.More info →
The story of the Spanish expedition to found San Diego is told through diary excerpts and the author’s comments, taking the reader day-by-day on the journey through the unexplored, desolate wilderness of northern Baja California. Listed for the first time are the names of all Hispanic members of the expedition party. Full-color maps provide a graphic statement of the journey.
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The most complete biography of Junípero Serra to date.More info →
This book began as a venture to collect official and unofficial documents relating to the interval of American military rule. There proved to be thousands, the writings of Presidents, executive officers, and congressmen, naval and military personnel, governors, settlers, and citizens-routine, familiar, wheedling, seductive, blustering, commanding. As the quantity grew, they seemed eager to be heard. But the documents exhibit the traits of their makers. Containing neither the whole truth nor nothing but the truth, they offer many-sided versions of what people believed or wanted others to accept; they must be taken with a grain of salt. Long, sometimes garbled, and always incomplete, the record requires assessment, a referee to appraise the evidence and form his own imperfect conclusions. And any curious or dissenting reader may, by consulting the numerous cited sources, make his own interpretations. References, whenever possible, have been made to materials in some printed form, leading an inquirer to a vast array of historical evidence.More info →
Documenting Everyday Life in Early Spanish California: The Santa Barbara Presidio Memorias y Facturas, 1779-1810
Anyone who ever wondered about pioneer life in 18th-century Alta California will find this book a treasure-trove of basic information. This hardy group of pioneers traveled on foot and horseback across thousands of miles of desert to settle California. From these transcriptions and translations of fifty-two memorias (requisitions) and facturas (invoices) for goods delivered to the Santa Barbara Presidio between 1781 and 1810, emerges the clearest picture yet obtained of these mestizo people and their everyday life on the outermost fringes of the Spanish Empire.More info →
This book is an irreplaceable resource for anyone doing serious research on the California mission period or the Franciscans in Spanish and Mexican California. Compiled by historian Maynard J. Geiger, OFM, it draws from a number of published and unpublished sources, especially those at the Santa Bárbara Mission, where Geiger was archivist. Although out of print, copies are readily available on Amazon.More info →
A book on the legacy of America’s first Hispanic Saint, Junípero Serra. Celebrating the significant places Serra delivered his message to in each of the three major phases of his life—Mallorca, Mexico, and California. 101 images from original large format film negatives made by Craig Alan Huber, represented in the aesthetic of a platinum/palladium print. The images tell a visual story and communicate a sense of the Spirit present at each of the 37 locations represented. Accompanying text describes a brief history of Serra’s major life experiences from a young man in Mallorca to his final days in Alta California, written by noted Serra biographer Robert M. Senkewicz.More info →
From 1769 to 1823 Spain established twenty-one missions in Alta (or upper) California. These twenty-one missions were charged with converting the natives to Christianity, and provided an important strong-hold for Spain in Alta California.
Graced with original artwork, historical art renderings and color photos, this exquisite book was written by Msgr. Francis J. Weber of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He takes you along El Camino Real where the missions were established and introduces the 142 Spanish friars who administered them and the native peoples who were brought into the fold of Christianity and Spanish culture.
Written in a style directed to inquisitive students, casual readers and even serious scholars, this treatise helps the reader understand the story of the missions within the context of the times and areas in which they existed and in the values of those who staffed and supported them.More info →
John Muir was an early proponent of a view we still hold today—that much of California was pristine, untouched wilderness before the arrival of Europeans. But as this groundbreaking book demonstrates, what Muir was really seeing when he admired the grand vistas of Yosemite and the gold and purple flowers carpeting the Central Valley were the fertile gardens of the Sierra Miwok and Valley Yokuts Indians, modified and made productive by centuries of harvesting, tilling, sowing, pruning, and burning. Marvelously detailed and beautifully written, Tending the Wild is an unparalleled examination of Native American knowledge and uses of California's natural resources that reshapes our understanding of native cultures and shows how we might begin to use their knowledge in our own conservation efforts.
M. Kat Anderson presents a wealth of information on native land management practices gleaned in part from interviews and correspondence with Native Americans who recall what their grandparents told them about how and when areas were burned, which plants were eaten and which were used for basketry, and how plants were tended. The complex picture that emerges from this and other historical source material dispels the hunter-gatherer stereotype long perpetuated in anthropological and historical literature. We come to see California's indigenous people as active agents of environmental change and stewardship. Tending the Wild persuasively argues that this traditional ecological knowledge is essential if we are to successfully meet the challenge of living sustainably.More info →