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William H. Davis, Seventy-Five Years in California

Seventy-five years in California as recounted and observed by one prominent citizen


Apart from Los Angeles, San Francisco is perhaps the most important metropolitan area in California. Written by the son of a ship captain and spanning over seventy-five years, this narrative details the political, military and social events of northern California between 1838 and 1920. Researchers will find informative descriptions of the Mexican regime, the territory, admission to the Union as a state, and other social events. Revised and enlarged from the original edition entitled "Sixty Years in California," This database is intended to provide helpful information to researchers attempting to understand the larger context in which their ancestors may have lived.

Extended Description

William Heath Davis (1822-1909) was the son of a Boston ship captain engaged in the Hawaiian trade and a Polynesian mother. He visited California twice on trading voyages before setting up business there in 1838. In 1845 he settled permanently in San Francisco, becoming one of the city's leading merchants. His marriage to Mar¡a de Jesus Estudillo tied him to the Hispanic community in his adopted region. Seventy-five years in California (1929) is an expansion of Sixty years in California, a book Davis published in 1889. It is a history of California as well as the author's memoirs of his life through the mid 1850s with an emphasis on the transformation of Yerba Buena to San Francisco, the Gold Rush, and the imposition of United States power in California.

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