The most comprehensive study of the Mexican-American War in California.
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.
Author Neal Harlow was on the staffs of the Bancroft Library, the California State Library, and the library of UCLA; he was Head Librarian at the University of British Columbia for a decade and was Dean of the Graduate School of Library Service, Rutgers University, from 1961 to 1969.