California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State

By Works Progress Administration | Go to book overview

The First Californians

WHEN on June 17, 1579 “it pleased God” to send Francis Drake’s Golden Hind into the “faire and good bay” north of the Golden Gate, he encountered “the people of the country, having their houses close by the water’s edge.” Overawed, they supposed the bearded, white-skinned sailors who bestowed on them “necessary things to cover their nakedness” to be gods and “would not be persuaded to the contrary.” The men, their faces painted in all colors, left their bows behind on a hill and came down to the shore bearing presents of feathers and tobacco. The women remained on the hill, “tormenting themselves” in some sacrificial frenzy and “tearing the flesh from their cheeks.” Their king, “clad with conie skins and other skins,” arrived with a retinue of “tall and warlike men,” bearing a sceptre. After much singing, dancing, and speech making, they begged Drake to “take their province and kingdom into his hand and become their king.”

In the interior Drake’s men found other villages. Up and down California, if they had traveled farther, they would have discovered others, for the Indians of California were widely but unevenly scattered over the State’s fertile regions. The estimated native population of almost one inhabitant to each square mile was comparatively large; the Central Valley was probably more densely populated than any other part of North America at that time.

For an unknown age before the white man first stumbled upon them in the sixteenth century, the Indians of California had dwelt in their scattered bands, walled off from the rest of the aboriginal world

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California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Maps xiii
  • General Information xv
  • Calendar of Events xix
  • A Guide to Recreation xxi
  • Preface 1939 xxix
  • Editorial Staff xxxi
  • Introduction xxxiii
  • Part I - California- From Past to Present 1
  • El Dorado Up to Date 3
  • Natural Setting and Conservation 8
  • The First Californians 33
  • California’s Last Four Centuries 41
  • Riches from the Soil 66
  • Industry and Finance 79
  • From Clipper Ship to Clipper Plane 87
  • Workingmen 95
  • Press and Radio 109
  • The Movies 120
  • Education 131
  • The Arts 139
  • Architecture 167
  • Part II - Signposts to City Scenes 177
  • Berkeley 179
  • Fresno 188
  • Hollywood 192
  • Long Beach 201
  • Los Angeles 206
  • Monterey 230
  • Oakland 237
  • Pasadena 245
  • Sacramento 250
  • San Diego 258
  • San Francisco 265
  • San Jose 298
  • Santa Barbara 304
  • Stockton 311
  • Part III - Up and Down the State 315
  • Tour 1 317
  • Death Valley National Monument 645
  • Sequoia and General Grant National Parks 655
  • Yosemite National Park 667
  • Golden Gate International Exposition 680
  • Part IV - Appendices 685
  • Chronology 687
  • A Select Reading List of California Books 694
  • Index 699
  • Agriculture *
  • Education *
  • Cities I *
  • Cities II *
  • History *
  • Industry; Commerce and Transportation *
  • Architecture *
  • The Natural Setting *
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