Message #259

Date: Tue Ocotber 3, 1998
Subject: Santa Barbara Presidio Memorias y Facturas

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Bernadette Niederer
SB Trust for Historic Preservation

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Proudly
announces The Publication of:

Documenting Everyday Life in Early Spanish California:
The Santa Barbara Presidio Memorias y Facturas, 1779-1810

Edited by Giorgio Perissinotto
University of California, Santa Barbara
Principal Researchers
Catherine E. Rudolph
Director of Research, S. B.Trust for historic Preservation
Elaine Miller
University of California, Santa Barbara
408 pages, 6x9 inches, bound in linen with a full-color dust
jacket. Supplemented with an historical introduction,
full-color illustrations of discovered artifacts, and
facsimiles, bibliography and index. Issued in an edition of
1000 copies. Designed by Robert Clark.

Special Introductory Price: $45.00 (includes tax)
Shipping: $2.50 first book, $1.50 each additional 
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Checks, & Cash
Call (805) 965-0093 for information

Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 388, Santa Barbara, CA 93102

Documenting Everyday Life in Early Spanish California:
The Santa Barbara Presidio Memorias y facturas 1779-1810

The everyday life of Spanish Alta California's early
settlers has been enshrouded in romantic myth and
conjecture, causing misleading interpretations and
misunderstandings of how they survived and thrived on the
far frontier of Spain's American empire. A major factor
was the annual arrival of a government ship bringing the
supplies necessary for life on the outer fringes of
Spain's New World colonies. These supplies are described
in memorias (requisitions) and facturas (invoices).

Fifty-two of these documents from the Santa Barbara Presidio,
the last of Alta California's four military garrisons, are
transcribed and translated in this volume, with the text
printed in both Spanish and English on facing pages. They
give a detailed picture of the types and quantities of goods
used by these hardy pioneers. The stuff of everyday life is
here presented in full: staple foodstuffs, exotic spices, and
specialty foods "for officers only," cooking utensils and
tableware, textiles, beads, and spangles, made-to-order
uniforms, basic household equipment and gold-trimmed crystal,
agricultural and construction tools, weapons, medicines,
liquors, books and manuals, musical instruments and fireworks,
priestly garments and church decorations, and much more.

Emanating from the documents is a picture of a people,
mostly mestizo (European and Indian), forging a new
culture with elements of both Old and New Worlds. This is
expressed distinctly in the language of the documents, as
well as in the goods they requested.

This was also a people on the outer fringes of civilization,
yet with access to goods, even luxury goods, from throughout
the world. They and the world they inhabited emerge from
these documents more clearly and more humanly than we've
ever seen them before.

It is our hope that the publication of these documents will
help dispel some of the myths and conjecture surrounding Alta
California's beginnings and will serve as a catalyst to
further study of similar documents from other presidios and

A thorough historical introduction prepared by Dr. Perissinotto
provides context and clarification for the mass of data found
in the documents. A thorough index to the work is included.
The volume is supplemented with full-color illustrations of
artifacts discovered in the archaeological work performed at
anta Barbara, and with facsimile reproductions of a page from a
memorias and a facturas.