Roundtable: Southern and Californio Convergence in Southern California

The first Bancroft Round Table of the Spring 2013 Semester will take place on at noon, Thursday, February 21 in the Lewis-Latimer Room of the Faculty Club.  Daniel Lynch, Ph.D. candidate in the UCLA Department of History and Bancroft Library Gunther Barth Fellowship recipient will present ?Southern and Californio Convergence in Southern California: General Andrés Pico and the Chivalry Democrats, 1846-1861.?

Focusing on the life of the native-born Californio Andres Pico, this talk explores how two groups of southern Californians­Southerners and Californios­mediated the region’s incorporation into the United States during the third quarter of the nineteenth century. After leading Californio insurgents to their sole victory Mexican-American War at the Battle of San Pasqual, Pico launched a successful American political career as a state legislator. He joined the pro-slavery ?Chivalry? faction of the state Democratic Party to forge a powerful regional political alliance between Southerners and Californios. This unusual alliance shared goals of keeping taxes low, protecting land ownership, masculine honor and female virtue, and maintaining hierarchies of race, class and gender.

The way in which partisans of the losing sides of two successive wars, the Mexican and U.S. Civil, found common ground and came to form the nucleus of a southern California elite political alliance is both fascinating in itself and crucial for an understanding of California politics in the ensuing century and beyond.  The community is invited to join us at this talk.  The Bancroft Round Table series aims to highlight the vast resources of our library to enrich our understanding of our historical heritage.