The City of the Angels was, in 1863, a rowdy, disorganized, and often disgraceful place, its penchant for crime and vice were so well known. Lacking the Gold Rush-borne wealth that was then transforming San Francisco, Northern Californians looked on the cow counties with disdain. Moreover, Los Angeles was only then beginning to shake a history of vigilantism. What is not so well known is the role Los Angeles and Southern Californians played in the Civil War.
While no battles were fought on California terrain, Los Angeles was swept into the fever that permeated much of the country, and many of its leading citizens' hidden Southern sympathies became the source of intrigue and scandal during the war years. You'll visit Los Angeles in 1863, learn about the time and place, and meet the personalities who shaped both Union and Confederate politics of the place.
Our speaker this month is Steven A. Preston, FAICP, deputy city manager and community development director for historic San Gabriel. A long-time student of the regional history of Southern California, Mr. Preston has bachelor's and master's degrees in urban and regional planning from Cal Poly, Pomona. He is a director of the American Planning Association, a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and has a background in historic preservation. This month's presentation is based on his presentation at last November's West Coast Civil War Round Table Conference.
Travel back with us to Los Angeles as you never knew it and see a snapshot of a place, a time, and a hint of intrigue as we visit the year 1863.
Return to Past Presentations Calender