By David Samuel Torres-Rouff
Read or Download Before L.A.: Race, Space, and Municipal Power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894 PDF
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Extra resources for Before L.A.: Race, Space, and Municipal Power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894
But the story of race and place in Los Angeles now turns back from the eighth attempted conquest to the ﬁrst, and joins a band of socially liminal mestizo colonists as they mark off a plaza, draw an irrigation canal from the Porciuncula River, and build a slew of mud huts, or jacales, in which to make their homes and raise their families. CHAPTER 1 A Pueblo by the Porciuncula, 1781–1840 the winter of 1780–81, eleven families recruited from Sonora and Sinaloa set out with their military escort and a phalanx of livestock for Alta California.
From these relationships many Angeleno families gained members with particularly useful commercial and craft acumen. Immigrant men, hailing from the United States and Europe, acquired entry into Southern Californian social and economic circles, without which they could not have organized and orchestrated the local hide and tallow trade so successfully. But these were not simply relationships of political or economic convenience or expedience. Locals opened their homes, businesses, and lands to the newcomers, and the immigrant men converted to Catholicism, swore allegiance to Mexico, and learned local strategies for cultural and economic production.
35 However much Christianized and independent Gabrielinos became incorporated into the town’s economic and social fabric, however, they did not do so as equals. 38 Rather than reproducing the casta system, Los Angeles’s settlers universally reckoned themselves as gente 36 A Pueblo by the Porciuncula de razón, regardless of their individual origins. In so doing, they debased most Gabrielinos as gente sin razón. 40 Although effected on paper with a few quill strokes, many elite Mexicans proved reluctant to relinquish their status.
Before L.A.: Race, Space, and Municipal Power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894 by David Samuel Torres-Rouff