CCMS Volume 3 (PDF). California on the Eve of the Gold Rush: The Sojourn of Captain LaPlace in 1839. by Colin Dyer

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CCMS Volume 3 (PDF). California on the Eve of the Gold Rush: The Sojourn of Captain LaPlace in 1839. by Colin Dyer

8.99

ABSTRACT:  In 1839, just nine years before the Gold Rush, French captain Cyrille Laplace visited California for a month with one ship, l’Artémise, and some 460 men. In the “village” of San Francisco he saw few signs of habitation or cultivation, and noted that there were no ships in the harbor, which he considered could be the best in the world. The men Laplace encountered here seemed to be generally unkempt and lazy, but many of the women were graceful and pretty. The Commandant of the Presidio was absent when he called. 
In Santa Cruz he was again disappointed to see ruins and neglect, although the priest of the former mission entertained him very kindly. Here again Laplace noted the people were poor and untidy. However, Monterey appeared to him to be a pretty town surrounded by plantations of fruit trees, cultivated fields and lush pastures. He was welcomed by several California residents, and met Governor-General Alvarado who later came aboard l’Artémise. During this encounter Alvarado suffered an angina attack, and was cared for by the ship’s surgeon. Many people Laplace met believed that the invasion of California, as threatened by the Americans, would be a great advantage for this country. 

California Cultures : A Monograph Series v. 3. 2015
Oakland, CA: Land of Oaks Institute.
47 Pages. Includes bibliographical references, 4 illustrations.
Design and layout by Timothy Jordan and Brian Gleeson.
CCMS editor, Timothy Jordan.
ISSN 2333-9667 (electronic format) PDF version

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Professor Colin Dyer is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. Colin Dyer was born in Portsmouth, England in January 1937. His secondary education was completed at the Portsmouth Southern Grammar School. He began tertiary education at Reading University in England and at l’Université de Nancy in France, and then at Loughborough University (then College) and Nottingham University in England. 

After teaching for several years in secondary schools in Bermuda, France and Guernsey, he completed a Doctorate in Contemporary History at l’Université de Caen in France in 1968 (directeur de thèse, Maurice Lévy- Leboyer at the Sorbonne). 

He was appointed to a position at the University of Queensland in Australia in 1968, and was Visting Professor at the University of Virginia in the U.S.A (1974-1975) and at the University of Victoria in Canada (1992-1993). He has given seminars to doctoral students at, inter alia, the Universities of Toulouse (Le Mirail), Bordeaux (Talence) and Nice in France. 

Over recent years he has taken an active interest in French explorers in the Pacific, and his recent books include “A Frenchman’s Walk Across the Nullarbor”, “The French Explorers and the Aboriginal Australians” and “The French Explorers and Sydney”. He has also published articles on this subject in Russia, New Zealand and Australia.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: via email, languages-cultures@uq.edu.au
website for the University of Queensland Australia School of Languages and Cultures, http://www.languages-cultures.uq.edu.au