Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation, 1769-1850
Edited by: Steven W. Hackel
Category: Western History
Release Date: 2010-10-01
About this Book
Spanish California—with its diverse mix of Indians, soldiers, settlers, and missionaries—provides a fascinating site for the investigation of individual and collective identity in colonial America. Through innovative methodologies and extensive archival research, the nine essays in this volume reshape our understanding of how people in the northernmost Spanish Borderlands viewed themselves and remade their worlds. Essays examine Franciscan identity and missionary tactics in Alta California, Sonora, and the Sierra Gorda; Spanish and Mexican settlers’ identity as revealed in mission records, family relationships, political affiliations, and genetic origins; and Indian identity as shown in mission orchestras and choral guilds as well as in the life of Pablo Tac, a Luiseño who penned his own remembrance of the Spanish conquest of Alta California. The concluding essays examine the identity and historiography of the field of the Spanish Borderlands as it has developed over the last century in North America and Spain.
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About the Author
Steven W. Hackel, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, is general editor of the Huntington’s Early California Population Project and author of Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian–Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769–1850 (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press).
Western Histories 2
"Taken together, the essays demonstrate that much more can be said about the history of Alta California, with no lack of eloquent voices to say it. This volume will be of clear interest to scholars of California, late colonial Mexico, borderlands history, and the early American West as well as scholars interested in Native American history and Catholic missions." --Western Historical Quarterly
"In the current economic environment, the likelihood that a collection of articles such as those under review will be published in book format will become increasingly rare. Yet, whether seeing the light of day as a book or in a scholarly journal, the essays in Alta California merit attention from scholars of the Spanish borderlands and those interested in the early history of modern-day California. Drawing together contributions from established as well as younger scholars such as Rose Marie Beebe, Robert M. Senkewicz, José Refugio de la Torre Curiel, Lisbeth Haas, James A. Sandos, Louise Pubols, John R. Johnson, Joseph G. Lorenz, Albert L. Hurtado, David J. Weber, and Sylvia L. Hilton, these essays roam widely over the interactions between the Spanish missions and their indigenous parishioners. Particularly interesting are the number-crunching studies arising from the data produced by the Early California Population Project. Also intriguing is the pioneer work using DNA studies of current Californios who can trace their ancestry back to specific missions. The concluding essays dealing with the evolving historiography of Spanish and Mexican California will find an audience among students of this period. Recommended."--CHOICE
"A set of probing and fascinating essays by leading scholars, Alta California illuminates the lives of missionaries and Indians in colonial California. With unprecedented depth and precision, the essays explore the interplay of race and culture among the diverse peoples adapting to the radical transformations of a borderland uneasily shared by natives and colonizers."—Alan Taylor, author of The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution
"In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the missions of California and the communities that sprang up around them constituted a unique laboratory where ethnic, imperial, and national identities were molded and transformed. A group of distinguished scholars examine these identities through a variety of sources ranging from mission records and mitochondrial DNA to the historical memory of California's early history."—Andrés Reséndez, author of Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850