Dale L. Walker, historian and author of Legends and Lies: Great Mysteries of the American West
, takes on the conquest of California in this vivid portrait of America's manifest destiny. Bear Flag Rising
traces the history of California from the Indians who inhabited the land before the first Europeans saw it through the warfare that would finally leave the province in American hands. The lives of the Californios in tranquil days before the advent of American trappers and the steady decline of the province under Mexico's neglectful rule are brought to life in this epic chronicle. Battles and skirmishes, such as the bitter fight on the San Gabriel River during the march to recapture Los Angeles, are meticulously re-created in all their vicious glory. Above all, Bear Flag Rising
is rich with the personalities of the conquest--from John Charles Fremont, the ambitious, enigmatic explorer, to Commodore Robert Field Stockton, a wealthy, imperious, and ruthless naval officer, and Stephen Watts Kearny, who made a 2,000-mile overland march from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, annexing New Mexico on the way, and arrived in California to face Mexican lancers in battle. Bear Flag Rising
reveals, through exacting research and masterful prose, the full story of how Mexico lost California and how this Pacific paradise went on to become "the greatest jewel in the crown of the American Empire."
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About Dale L. Walker
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Published May 1, 2000
by Forge Books.