Daily gunfights, daily murders, frequent public hangings. Welcome to Los Angeles, California in the 1850s. This amazing first-person account of adventures, revolution, history, and tales, Reminiscences of a Ranger, was written by Major Horace Bell, who was there when it happened and wrote this eyewitness account of Los Angeles’ violent transition from a Mexican pueblo to an American city. You’ll learn the beginnings and of political scheming and corruption. Bell was witness to the election of the first US Senators and Congressmen from California and saw the original corrupt practices of running for office.
Among the many stories and tall tales you’ll hear how:
- Los Angeles became the Murder Capital of the United States in the 1850s
- A political schemer changed a presidential vote by lying to a parish priest
- A woman’s angry curse gave Los Angeles its largest public park
- A bunch of foot soldiers, with no enemy to fight, invented California’s Bear flag
- An old Spanish soldier with a 30-year-old memory of Spain caused Los Angeles to become a pueblo
- Men bought liquor on Sunday during mass in old Mission San Gabriel
- The gold rush in the North changed the Southern California economy
- Dozens of Chinese were massacred as a result of misunderstanding
- The old Spanish Californio life was shattered by lawyers, taxes, and drought
- Americans tried to make money bringing democracy to Nicaragua
- Spanish California became part of the Gringo nation
Reminiscences of a Ranger is considered by many as one of the most accurate, albeit flamboyant and irreverent, books of the early history of Los Angeles and California. It is a true story of how Los Angeles became Los Angeles and California became California. It contains 37 chapters, plus an original afterword with occasional sound effects and music.