Anita de la Guerra of Santa Barbara married Boston merchant Alfred Robinson in 1836. Taken to the East Coast the following year, she diligently pursued her education and she acculturated while retaining her own priorities, including a patriotic position on Mexican California opposed to her husband’s espousal of “American colonization.” She also facilitated East Coast educations for her children and several nephews that would enhance their opportunities in the new U.S. state of California. In 1852 she was finally able to reunite with her family and fit back into Californio society. The author bases this Californiana’s character and cultural agility on a cache of letters written by Anita de la Guerra, complemented by those written by Robinson and the de la Guerra family.

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