Before San Francisco: Spanish and Mexican Peninsula
From the original encounters between local indigenous peoples and
the first Spanish arrivals, to the spread of the disruptive Mission
cattle-based economy, Mexican independence, and eventual abolition of
Indian slavery, the peninsula that became San Francisco had a
fascinating and overlooked pre-urban history. Author Adriana Camarena discusses the fragility of Mexico after its independence from Spain, the multiple efforts to secede, and the daily life of the Californios at the far outer edge of the Mexican nation, depending on Indian labor to maintain vast ranchos of cattle.