Alfred Robinson


Alfred Robinson

Alfred Robinson (1806-1895) was an American businessman in California under Mexico and the United States. He wrote "Life in California" (1846)an influential early description of the region.

Robinson sailed to California in 1829 in the employ of Bryant, Sturgis and Company, a Boston-based firm in the hide and tallow trade. He married Anita de la Guerra de Noriega y Carrillo, of the locally prominent de la Guerra family of Santa Barbara. After California was annexed by the U.S. in 1848, Robinson worked as a rancher and land manager during the 1850s through the 1880s. He died in San Francisco.

In 1846, Robinson published "Life in California", a comparatively sympathetic portrait of the lifeways and political vicissitudes of the region under the Mexican Republic. The book subsequently went through several reprintings. Equally important with Robinson's own descriptions was the fact that he appended to it a lengthy ethnographic description of the Indians of Mission San Juan Capistrano written in the 1820s by the Franciscan missionary Jerónimo Boscana.

Robinson's unpublished papers are on file at the California Historical Society's library and at the University of California, Berkeley.

External links

San Diego Historical Society's [http://www.sandiegohistory.org/bio/robinson/robinsonalfred.htm biographical sketch of Robinson]

References

* Ogden, Adele. 1944. "Alfred Robinson, New England Merchant in Mexican California". "California Historical Society Quarterly" 23:193-218.
* Robinson, Alfred. 1846. "Life in California during a Residence of Several Years in that Territory". Wiley & Putnam, New York.


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