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By Richard G. Beidleman

This booklet chronicles the attention-grabbing tale of the enthusiastic, stalwart, and proficient naturalists who have been attracted to California's fabulous traditional bounty over the a long time from 1786, while the l. a. P?rouse excursion arrived at Monterey, to the demise Valley excursion in 1890-91, the proclaimed "end" of the yankee frontier. Richard G. Beidleman's enticing and marvelously designated narrative describes those botanists, zoologists, geologists, paleontologists, astronomers, and ethnologists as they camped less than stars and confronted blizzards, made discoveries and accumulated collections, stored journals and misplaced valuables, sketched flora and landscapes, recorded comets and local languages. He weaves jointly the tales in their lives, their not easy fieldwork, their contributions to technological know-how, and their intriguing adventures opposed to the backdrop of California and global history.California's Frontier Naturalists covers all of the significant expeditions to California in addition to person and institutional explorations, introducing naturalists who observed boundary surveys, joined federal railroad events, traveled with river topographical expeditions, observed troops concerned with the Mexican battle, and made up California's personal geological survey. between those early naturalists are well-known names--David Douglas, Thomas Nuttall, John Charles Fremont, William Brewer--as good as those who find themselves much less famous, together with Paolo Botta, Richard Hinds, and Sara Lemmon.

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In early February 1795 there was a three-day stop at Albemarle (now Isabela), largest of the Galápagos Islands. Forty years later, in September 1835, Charles Darwin, naturalist with HMS Beagle, would set foot on the same island. Unfortunately, Menzies’s journal observations when ashore at Albemarle are among the missing. Vancouver then proceeded along the Peruvian and Chilean coastlines, with a stay at Valparaiso, Chile, where some of the northern plants in the greenhouse that had succumbed to the sultry climate were replaced with South American ones.

The Spanish ladies, embarrassed, excused themselves from the performance. Vancouver missed this excitement, having retired early to the Discovery. Next evening the British threw their own party for the Spanish dignitaries and their wives aboard the Discovery at anchor, where the ladies became sea- 30 The Oceanic Expeditions sick from the undulations of the vessel. On another evening, Vancouver had to abandon a second attempt at a shipboard party when a storm came up, and the Spanish gentlemen and their ladies had to be quickly deposited back on shore.

To abet Menzies’s assignment, Banks arranged to have a wood-and-glass “planthutch,” eight feet by twelve feet, assembled on the Discovery’s quarterdeck, a navy ship’s hallowed site. The plant frame was for live plants and germinating seeds. Several men with artistic ability were with this expedition, the most productive being John Sykes, a young Discovery officer who made 177 drawings, ten of which were published in Vancouver’s Voyage, including all that portrayed California. Later in his career Sykes achieved the rank of admiral.

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