A History of California: The American Period

Robert Glass Cleland (1885 - 1957)

The Author's own summary surveys “first the faint awakenings of American interest in the Spanish province of Alta California. The New England merchants traffic again along the sunlit, poorly guarded coast; the shadow of Russia hangs for a moment over San Francisco Bay; the hide and tallow vessels laboriously collect their cargoes at every little port...the first adventurous immigrants wind wearily down the mountain trails....
“Then the scene changes...English ambitions hold a threat of danger to the program of the United States; the Sacramento settlers raise the crude Bear Flag as a symbol of revolt; and finally a strong-willed President acquires California as the fruit of war.
“The gold rush follows—a tumultuous beginning for the new day! Statehood then, and a time of social and political adjustment, when a restless people seek to accommodate themselves to ordered government and the restraints of law...they fill the treasury of the world with gold, reclaim an empire from the wilderness, turn the rivers into useful channels, meet the challenge of the mountains with a railroad, and securely lay the material foundations for a splendid state.”
This work may be considered the companion volume to Charles E. Chapman's A History of California: The Spanish Period, which tells the story of first Spanish and then Mexican California, from first discovery until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ceded ownership to the United States of America.
Disclaimer. The listener is reminded that the final chapter, Review and Prophecy, was written at a time when ideas were commonly held that today many regard as blatantly racist and offensive. This chapter has been read "as written," with no attempt at sanitization. It does not reflect the opinions of the narrator. - Summary by Steven Seitel

Genre(s): Modern (19th C)

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 Preface Steven Seitel
Play 01 01 Boston, California, and Canton Steven Seitel
Play 02 02 Restrictions and Evasions Steven Seitel
Play 03 03 The Russian Experiment Steven Seitel
Play 04 04 The Whalers and Hide Traders Steven Seitel
Play 05 05 Jedediah Smith, ''Pathfinder of the Sierras'' Steven Seitel
Play 06 06 James Ohio Pattie, Fur trader and Explorer Steven Seitel
Play 07 07 The Successors of Smith and Pattie Steven Seitel
Play 08 08 Advertising and Immigration--John Bidwell Steven Seitel
Play 09 09 Immigration and Tragedy--The Donner Party Steven Seitel
Play 10 10 Wilkes and Fremont, Government Explorers Steven Seitel
Play 11 11 Jackson, Tyler, and California Steven Seitel
Play 12 12 ''Anarchy and Confusion.'' Steven Seitel
Play 13 13 Plans for Annexation Steven Seitel
Play 14 14 California, Great Britain, and the United States Steven Seitel
Play 15 15 The Bear Flag Revolt Steven Seitel
Play 16 16 The Conquest of California Steven Seitel
Play 17 17 The Gold Rush Steven Seitel
Play 18 18 Statehood Steven Seitel
Play 19 19 Mines and Miners Steven Seitel
Play 20 20 San Francisco, The Boisterous Steven Seitel
Play 21 21 The Queen of the Cow Counties Steven Seitel
Play 22 22 California and Sonora: The Day of the Filibuster Steven Seitel
Play 23 23 The First Decade of Politics Steven Seitel
Play 24 24 The Overland Mail and the Pony Express Steven Seitel
Play 25 25 The Background of the Pacific Railroad Steven Seitel
Play 26 26 The Central Pacific Railroad Steven Seitel
Play 27 27 The Discontented Seventies Steven Seitel
Play 28 28 Politics 1180-1910: A Resume Steven Seitel
Play 29 29 Material Progress Steven Seitel
Play 30 30 Review and Prophecy Steven Seitel