Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Travels in Mexico and California.
By A.B. Clarke. Edited by Anne M. Perry. College Station: A & M University Press, 1988, Maps. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. 143 Pages. $17.50.
This is one of many journals which were kept by travellers coming to California seeking gold. This particular one was by a Massachusetts schoolteacher and druggist who came via the southern route through Mexico and the Southwestern deserts. The trip occurred in 1849, and the journal was originally published in 1852. This well done edition contains the full text, which is heavily annotated; useful maps; a good biographical introduction; and a bibliography. The journal itself is pretty full and entries seem to have been done on a daily basis. Local readers will be most interested in the portions of the journal which detail Clarke’s trip from the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers across the desert to Carrizo Springs, up the grade to Warner’s Ranch, and then on north to Los Angeles. There were many published accounts of that route and it does not appear that Clarke adds anything especially new. Rather it conforms and supplements what we already know.