In honor of Women’s History Month the Historical Museum will host a series of talks to inspire you. Join us for a talk by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz, authors of the book Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848.
When in the early 1870s historian Hubert Howe Bancroft sent interviewers out to gather oral histories from the pre-statehood gentry of California, he didn’t count on one thing: the women. When the men weren’t available, the interviewers collected the stories of the women of the household—sometimes almost as an afterthought. These interviews were eventually archived at the University of California, Berkeley though many were all but forgotten.
Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848 presents thirteen women’s firsthand accounts from the days when California was part of Spain and Mexico. Having lived through the gold rush and seen their country change so drastically, these women understood the need to tell the full story of the people and the places that were their California.