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Spanish in the Americas

Descubrimiento, Conquista y Exploacion e Nicaragua.Spanish in San Francisco.

Descubrimiento, Conquista y Exploracion de NicaraguaShips, Nicaragua.

Jaime Incer Barquero
The book is in Spanish, which can make it hard to access for the English readers. .
A collection of 43 chronicles selected from original sources that relate the discovery, conquest and exploration of Nicaragua. They were written by explorers, conquerors, governors, historians and monks who explored or lived in Nicaragua, who traveled throughout the country, or who simply referred to the country’s interesting and novel features that they observed.

Days of the Dons: On the Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley
Roscoe D. Wyatt
The years from 1833 to 1850 were golden for families of Mexican descent, many of whom were of Spanish bloodline. The missions were breaking up, the presidios were deserted, the population dispersed, and land could be had for the asking. The country was lovely, the climate delightful, the valleys filled with horses and cattle. Wants were few by these familes; however, farming and grazing caused an even great reduction in the Indians' natural food supply. The Indian population was already in a weakened condition, suffering from disease and lack of food, and from violent confrontations with the new landowners.

The three population centers of California in 1835 were Los Angeles with 1,500 people, San Jose with 600, and Villa de Branciforte with 150.

Once the Americans arrived, California Indians were at an even greater disadvantage. With the lure of instant wealth in front of them, the new settlers wanted little to do with those who were here before.

Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of (Spanish) CaliforniaThe Founding of Spanish California.
In the year 1749, at the age of thirty-six, Junípero Serra left his position as a highly regarded priest in Spain for the turbulent and dangerous New World, knowing he would never return.

The Spanish Crown and the Catholic Church both sought expansion in Mexico—the former in search of gold, the latter seeking souls—as well as entry into the mysterious land to the north called “California.” Serra’s mission: to spread Christianity in this unknown world by building churches wherever possible and by converting the native peoples to the Word of God. It was an undertaking that seemed impossible, given the vast distances, the challenges of the unforgiving landscape, and the danger posed by resistant native tribes. Such a journey would require bottomless physical stamina, indomitable psychic strength, and, above all, the deepest faith.

The Children of Coyote. Missionaries of Saint Francis.

Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850 Children of Coyote. Missionaries of Saint Francis.
(Published for the Omohundro Institute. History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia)
Recovering lost voices and exploring issues intimate and institutional, this sweeping examination of Spanish California illuminates Indian struggles against a confining colonial order and amidst harrowing depopulation.

Missions proved disastrously unhealthful and coercive, as Franciscans sought control over Indians' beliefs and instituted unfamiliar systems of labor and punishment. Even so, remnants of Indian groups still survived when Mexican officials ended Franciscan rule in the 1830s. Many regained land and found strength in ancestral cultures that predated the Spaniards' arrival.

Piratas y Aventureros en las Costas de NicaraguaPiratas y Aventureros en las Costas de Nicaragua.

Jaime Incer Barquero

Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past

William Deverell
Deverell portrays Los Angeles during the 1850s as a city seething with racial enmity due to the recent war with Mexico. He explains how, within a generation, the city's business interests, looking for a commercially viable way to establish urban identity, borrowed Mexican cultural traditions and put on a carnival called La Fiesta de Los Angeles. He analyzes the subtle ways in which ethnicity came to bear on efforts to corral the unpredictable Los Angeles River and shows how the resident Mexican population was put to work fashioning the modern metropolis.

California, its Past History, its Present Position, its Future Prospects; Containing a History of the Country from its Colonization by the Spaniards.

G. A. Fleming


The Horse. Wendy Williams.

Author Wendy Williams chronicles the 56-million-year journey of horses as she visits with experts around the world, exploring what our biological affinities and differences can tell us about the bond between horses and humans, and what our longtime companion might think and feel. Recent scientific breakthroughs regarding the social and cognitive capacities of the horse and its ability to adapt to changing ecosystems indicate that this animal is a major evolutionary triumph. Williams charts the course that leads to our modern Equus-from the protohorse to the Dutch Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, and cow ponies of the twenty-first century.

She observes magnificent ancient cave art in France and Spain that signals a deep respect and admiration for horses well before they were domesticated; visits the mountains of Wyoming with experts in equine behavior to understand the dynamics of free-roaming mustangs; witnesses the fluid gracefulness of the famous Lipizzans of Vienna; contemplates what life is like for the sure-footed, mustachioed Garrano horses who thrive on the rugged terrain of Galicia; meets a family devoted to rehabilitating abandoned mustangs on their New Hampshire farm; celebrates the Takhi horses of Mongolia; and more. She blends profound scientific insights with remarkable stories to create a unique biography of the horse as a sentient being with a fascinating past and a finely nuanced mind. The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble CompanionThe Horse. is a revealing account of the animal who has been at our side through the ages, befriending us and traveling with us over the mountains and across the plains.

North American Horses.

Fifteen horses were brought by the Cortez expedition and were imported by Spanish homesteaders to Mexico and New Mexico. The re-introduced species made their way north through the western U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains to the coast, following the expansion of the Mexican/Spanish. Although greatly valued by their owners, they occasionally escaped, fueling Navajo raiders as early as 1606. Trading and warring among Natives resulted in a rapid spread pf horses through the continent.

Horses in Native American Cultures.

Within 150 years of the first colonizers, herds of millions -- mostly Spanish Andaluz Mustangs — were roaming the plains. The following centuries saw other European settlers bringing their own horses from the east. British and French colonizers introduced Thoroughbreds, where as Russians are thought to have brought horses to the continent from the Northwest, but this is unestablished.

Most non-Spanish stock blended together, becaming "North American breeds" through cross-breeding. In the 1800s in the U.S., millions of horses were collected for riding and other use by ranchers and the military. By the late 1800s millions of wild horses were killed due to increasing land conflicts with ranchers.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.




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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California.

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