The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

observation: "Whether a crushing victory over the Confederates,
ending at once the rebellion, before slavery was destroyed, was
wanted by all of those who composed the Washington Govern-
ment may well be suspected. And it is very nearly certain that
there were some who would have preferred defeat to such a
victory with McClellan in command. It was a dark, mysterious,
uncanny thing, which the historian does not need to touch and
prefers not to touch."
Alabama State Teachers College
Land in California. By W. W. Robinson. Berkeley (University
of California Press), 1948. Pp. xiii+291. $4.00.
The sub-title, "The Story of Mission Lands, Ranchos, Squat-
ters, Mining Claims, Railroad Grants, Land Scrip Homesteads,"
of the volume, Land in California, by W. W. Robinson, indicates
the character and scope of this remarkably interesting product of
the University of California Press. It is one of a series of the
Chronicles of California, under the general editorship of Herbert
E. Bolton and John W. Caughey, in commemoration of the state's
centennial. The author qualifies as an expert on "Chain of Title,"
which is the "sequence of ownership as shown by the public rec-
ords of property transfers." He is also possessed of a lively imagi-
nation and an appreciation of human relations. This is shown
by one of his illustrations, history of title of the Rancho San
Pascual, on which present day Pasadena is located. The chain is
followed through Spanish, Mexican, and American transfers, re-
flecting not only changing laws of government, but in which
"people long dead will come to life and testify how a Spanish
Californian acquired a rancho, how he held, lost, or sold his
title, how he and his successors lived, what most concerned them,
how they got along with their neighbors, what interest rate they
paid on their mortgages, the names of their children, what they
provided for in their wills, what happened year by year to the
land and its many owners, and what wars, droughts, booms, and
busts did for or to them."
The author shows sympathetic appreciation of the "First Own-
ers," the Indians, and their rights. He does not enter into special


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed March 31, 2015.