A posting from my San Francisco history site, let me know what you think.

American Town: Creating San Francisco, 1814-1865


What do we know about life and nature along San Francisco Bay before European exploration and settlement? Ethnographers and anthropologists have already learned a surprising amount about the supposedly ‘lost’ native peoples, and geologists, biologists, botanists, and other researchers are rebuilding an image of pre-contact San Francisco.

Herewith, as Ursula K. LeGuin once called them, are some ‘fragments’ of that story:

I dream of you: I dream of you jumping. Rabbit, jackrabbit, quail.
Ohlone Song

 A people clever, sociable, and friendly.
Letters of Father Junipero Serra 

 They are as fragile as glass.
Padre of Mission San José

The Costanoan group is extinct so far as all practical purposes are concerned.
Alfred Kroeber, Handbook of the Indians of California (1925)

‘An immense arm of the sea’ was how Gaspar de Portolà described what he saw on November 4, 1769. Looking out from a peak near the Bay, with a similar…

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