The Library of Congress
[American Memory]

California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900
General Collections and
Rare Book and Special Collections Division

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"California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900 consists of the full texts and illustrations of 190 works documenting the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts. The collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams. The production of this collection was supported by a generous grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Special Presentation
Early California History: An Overview

Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

California Regional Map:
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Additional Resources

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How to View text | illustrations

Digitizing the Collection

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