Reminiscences of a Ranger, Or, Early Times in Southern California
Horace Bell (1830-1918) left Indiana to seek gold in California. In 1852, he moved to Los Angeles and later became involved in American filibustering in Latin America and saw service in the Union Army before returning to Los Angeles after the Civil War to become a lawyer and newspaper publisher. Reminiscences of a ranger (1881) includes anecdotes of Bell's experiences as a Los Angeles Ranger pursuing Joaquin Murietta in 1853, a soldier of fortune in Latin America, a Union officer in the Civil War, and a Los Angeles newspaper editor. He provides lively ancedotes of Los Angeles and its residents under Mexican and American rule, emphasizing cowboys and criminals and native Americans. Throughout, Bell gives special attention to the fate of Hispanic Californians and Native Americans under the United States regime. For another collection of Bell's reminiscences, see On the old west coast (1930).
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Page 238 - Spanish country and got them." "What did they cost you?" we inquired. "They cost me very dearly," said he. "Three of my squaws lost brothers, and one of them a father, on that trip, and I came near going under myself. I lost several other braves, and you can depend on it that I paid for all the horses I drove away. Them Spaniards followed us and fought us in a way Spaniards were never known to do.
Page 28 - Downey Block, where they would sleep away their intoxication and in the morning they would be exposed for sale as slaves for the week. Los Angeles had its slave mart, as well as New Orleans and Constantinople, only the slave at Los Angeles was sold fifty-two times a year as long as he lived, which did not generally exceed one, two, or three years under the new dispensation.
Page 28 - About sundown the pompous marshal, with his Indian special deputies, who had been kept in jail all day to keep them sober, would drive and drag the herd to a big corral in the rear of Downey Block, where they would sleep away their intoxication, and in the morning they would be exposed for sale, as slaves for the week.
Page 246 - California he, almost alone, stands as a sturdy oak midst the desolation around him, all of his contemporaries having bowed, bent and fallen before the storms of adversity.
Page 28 - Mission fathers, and after their emancipation by the Supreme Government of Mexico, had been reasonably well governed by the local authorities, who found in them indispensable auxiliaries as farmers and harvesters, hewers of wood and drawers of water, and besides the best horse breakers and herders in the world, an indispensable adjunct in the management of the great herds of the country. These Indians were Christians, docile even to servility, and the best of laborers.
Page 167 - First, that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and we are the Lord's people ; second, that all...
Page 27 - These thousands of Indians had been held in the most rigid discipline by the Mission Fathers, and after their emancipation by the Supreme Government of Mexico, had been reasonably well governed by the local authorities, who found in them indispensable auxiliaries as farmers and harvesters, hewers of wood and drawers of water, and beside the best horse-breakers and herders in the world, necessary to the management of the great herds of the country.
Page 232 - ... and had his emissaries in the field, and the level-headed McFarland saw at a glance that whatever vantage he gained would be at the price of hard fighting. Friar Juan, learning wisdom from his experience with the most useful man, declined expressing his preference for either Bigler, the Democratic candidate for governor, or for Waldo, his Whig opponent. Neither would he favor my senatorial friend; in fact, like the shoemaker when called on to become a candidate for a seat in the House of Commons,...
Page 212 - Old Buck, was with him, and the two fought, Andy with his knife, and Old Buck with the weapons furnished by nature, and gained the victory over the mountain king. When Thompson found them the bear lay dead, Andy was insensible, and Old Buck, lacerated in a shocking manner, was licking the blood from poor Andy's face. Tenderly were the two, man and dog, brought to the city and comfortably lodged and cared for in the Padilla building, the present US Hotel corner. For many days the struggle between...
Page 169 - I may admire the spirited men who have gone forth on these expeditions, to upbuild, as they claim, the broken altars, and rekindle the extinguished fires of liberty in Mexico or Lower California. It may be that they are not adventurers, gone forth to build up for themselves a cheap fortune in another land. But even were my opinion of their purposes such, and their objects as glowing and as honorable as depicted by counsel, still, sitting as a judge, I should regard only the single question, has the...