Thomas O. Larkin: A Life of Patriotism and Profit in Old California

Harlan Hague, Author, David J. Langum, Author
Harlan Hague, Author, David J. Langum, Author University of Oklahoma Press $40.25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2302-8
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Long before the Beach Boys, there was the ``California Dream,'' and New England-born Larkin was among the first to pursue it. In 1832, as a young man without a formal education, Larkin traveled to desolate Mexican California in search of his fortune. First as a merchant in Monterey and later as a land speculator who worked largely in booming San Francisco, he became extremely wealthy before his death in 1858. Depicted as a patriot and ``gentle imperialist'' in this tedious bigoraphy that lacks analysis and color, Larkin served as U.S. consul and secret agent during the ticklish Americanization process in 1846-1847. Hague and Langum are the authors of, respectively, Road to California and Law and Community on the Mexican California Frontier. (Dec.)
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