A History of California: The Spanish Period


Read by Steven Seitel

(4.1 stars; 11 reviews)

If you have ever wondered why Spain (and not Japan, which was so so much better positioned to do it) was first to “settle” the Golden State, this book is for you. Professor Chapman has produced a comprehensive and highly entertaining popular history of “the Californias,” beginning with a nod to geography and the native races and carrying on through to the arrival of Old Glory in 1848. What might in less capable hands have proved a heavy historical loaf to digest is lightened and leavened with the yeast of “interesting incident” throughout. Consider the plight of the newly-appointed Governor of Alta California, Pedro Fages, whose own wife, the fiery Catalan Doña Eulalia Callis, who, when she wasn't giving away to the “naked indians” all of her own clothes (and the Governor's, too) secretly petitioned the authorities in Mexico for his removal from office. The author relates at some length the romantic story of beautiful Conceptión Argüello, who chose to wait faithfully all her life for the return of the rascally Razánov the Russian, with whom she had fallen in love. The tragic conclusion of this affair is touchingly imagined in an extended quote from the famous poem by Bret Harte.(1) But not all is frivolity. The historical meat is here as well, in breadth and in detail. The author's stated purpose is “to show that California history is important as well as interesting,—that the great Anza expedition of 1775-1776 and the Yuma massacre of 1781 demand inclusion in any comprehensive history of the United States,—that California, while it indeed has a romantic history to tell, has also a great deal more than that to contribute to the cherished traditions of the American people.” (Preface) (1) Conceptión de Argüello. by Bret Harte, Presidio de San Francisco, 1800. - Summary by Steven Seitel (20 hr 9 min)

Chapters

Preface 9:06 Read by Steven Seitel
The Effect of Geography upon California History 18:51 Read by Steven Seitel
The Indians 29:57 Read by Steven Seitel
The Chinese along the Pacific Coast in Ancient Times 24:45 Read by Steven Seitel
The Japanese Opportunity in the Pacific in the Early Modern Period 30:26 Read by Steven Seitel
Cortés and California 28:42 Read by Steven Seitel
Origin and Application of the Name California 37:17 Read by Steven Seitel
The Northern Mystery and the Discovery of Alta California 34:26 Read by Steven Seitel
The Manila Galleon 34:33 Read by Steven Seitel
Drake and New Albion 39:16 Read by Steven Seitel
Gali and Rodríguez Cermenho 30:14 Read by Steven Seitel
Sebastián Vizcaíno 48:20 Read by Steven Seitel
The Overland Advance to the California Border, 1521-1687 37:33 Read by Steven Seitel
Sea Approaches from New Spain to California, 1615-1697 37:17 Read by Steven Seitel
The Jesuits in Baja California, 1697-1768 35:36 Read by Steven Seitel
Progress of the Idea of Overland Advance to the Californias, 1697-1765 56:17 Read by Steven Seitel
José de Gálvez 24:31 Read by Steven Seitel
The Spanish Occupation of Alta California 44:27 Read by Steven Seitel
The Pacification of Sonora 26:59 Read by Steven Seitel
The Precarious Footing of the Early Settlements in Alta California 26:52 Read by Steven Seitel
The Russian and English Agressions in the Pacific Northwest 35:50 Read by Steven Seitel
Antonio Bucareli 31:14 Read by Steven Seitel
Bucareli's Attention to the Local Problems of the Californias 26:33 Read by Steven Seitel
Juan Bautista de Anza 19:35 Read by Steven Seitel
The Founding of San Francisco 32:35 Read by Steven Seitel
The Commandancy General of the Frontier Provinces 33:21 Read by Steven Seitel
The Yuma Massacre 28:55 Read by Steven Seitel
The Aftermath 20:37 Read by Steven Seitel
Junípero Serra 29:50 Read by Steven Seitel
Fermín Francisco de Lasuén 48:23 Read by Steven Seitel
Spanish Californian Institutions 33:12 Read by Steven Seitel
The Romantic Period, 1782-1810 49:37 Read by Steven Seitel
Inland Explorations and Indian Wars, 1804-1823 48:58 Read by Steven Seitel
Era of the Wars of Independence, 1810-1822 40:38 Read by Steven Seitel
Under Mexican Governors, 1822-1835 43:32 Read by Steven Seitel
Waiting for Old Gloriy, 1835-1847 31:11 Read by Steven Seitel

Reviews

INTERESTING


(5 stars)

Having lived in California many years I found this book very interesting. I lived on a sailboat and we did extensive sailing in the waters described. I now live in the Pacific NW, so it all ties in. The narrator mr. Seitel did an excellent job. Looking forward to the 2nd book in this series. Thank you Librivox, JK (compulsive reader)