Cover image for A world transformed : firsthand accounts of California before the Gold Rush
Title:
A world transformed : firsthand accounts of California before the Gold Rush
Author:
Paddison, Joshua, 1974-
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : Heyday Books, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xxiii, 344 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781890771133
Format :
Book

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F864 .W945 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

An anthology of important early writings that chronicle the birth of modern California.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Writer-historian Paddison brings together 11 eyewitness accounts of California from the mid-1700s up to the gold rush days of the 1840s. Though not strictly politically correct (one contributor refers to local Native Americans as "well-behaved good heathens"), there's a wealth of fascinating information here, including observations on all of the strange flora and fauna and detailed descriptions of native customs, daily life, and reactions to white visitors. The first accounts are from Spanish missionaries and explorers. Later, though, it's the British and Americans documenting life in California, a shift that signaled Spain's increasingly tenuous grip on this faraway territory. Interestingly, as the accounts progress, it's clear the merchant class is beginning to dominate California culturally and politically, especially in the San Francisco Bay area. Paddison's introductions to the various entries expertly flesh out the ever changing social and political contexts. --Brian McCombie