Travels in Mexico and California

Overview


The glitter of gold attracted perhaps three hundred thousand people to California in the decade after 1848, including A. B. Clarke, an adventurous former schoolteacher and entrepreneur who took the less traveled path to California—through northern Mexico and the southwestern deserts.

Clarke took daily notes of his journey. Printed in 1852, Clarke’s journal describes in unpretentious prose the features of the land and people he passed. The outbreak of cholera and fear in ...

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Overview


The glitter of gold attracted perhaps three hundred thousand people to California in the decade after 1848, including A. B. Clarke, an adventurous former schoolteacher and entrepreneur who took the less traveled path to California—through northern Mexico and the southwestern deserts.

Clarke took daily notes of his journey. Printed in 1852, Clarke’s journal describes in unpretentious prose the features of the land and people he passed. The outbreak of cholera and fear in Brownsville and the adobe huts and Mexican fortresses, Clarke sketches with ease.

Clarke went West to seek a suitable site for a general store. He found such a place in Marysville and went into business. In 1851, while he was in Massachusetts on some business, a fire destroyed the town’s business district, including his store. Clarke never went West again.

Together, Clarke’s journal and Anne Perry’s notes provide an interesting look, from first-hand and analytical perspectives, at an important period in the West.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- Rarely does a document convey so much information in so few pages as this descriptive journal of Asa Bement Clarke's travels. The clearly written, simple prose provides the background information and supporting evidence to prove that to succeed in crossing the southern route to the West Coast, one had to overcome many obstacles: poor sanitation, sea sickness, cholera, Indian attacks, Mexicans who preyed on : the strangers within their gates, magistrates whose amoral administration rivaled the outlaws they incarcerated, and extreme weather conditions. Perry's editing makes this valuable historical document read like a fast-paced adventure story with greater depth of philosophy and diversity of observations than is usually found in historical diary/journals. The book lends itself to a reading aloud program for the younger grades and will certainly be an excellent text for high-school, middle-school, or public libraries. --Barbara Batty, Port Arthur I.S.D., TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585440801
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1988
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author


ANNE M. PERRY teaches language arts at Klein Intermediate School in Houston.
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