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.
A Californiana in Two Worlds: Anita de la Guerra Robinson, 1821–1855
Michele Brewster Michele Brewster has her master’s degree in Comparative Theology from Harvard Divinity School at Harvard University and her PhD in History from University of California at Irvine. Her dissertation focuses on California’s transition from a province of Mexico to a part of the United States based on the biography of Boston merchant Alfred Robinson, who wrote about California throughout his life, which spanned almost the entire nineteenth century. Michele has been teaching in San Diego, California, at local universities and community colleges for over ten years: U.S. History, World History, Philosophy, World Religions, and Humanities.
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Michele M. Brewster; A Californiana in Two Worlds: Anita de la Guerra Robinson, 1821–1855. Southern California Quarterly 7 May 2020; 102 (2): 101–142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2020.102.2.101
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