Library


Uncle Sam's Oversight

by Elliott Flower

This article is offered in the Pala Presents series of reprints for its description of gemstone prospecting and mining in Baja California in the early 20th century. On the way to that destination, the reader will encounter author Elliott Flower’s breezy characterization of the spoils of the Mexican-American War as Uncle Sam’s “little settlement” as well as his allusion to that most infamous of images—the “sleeping Mexican”—and more. We could say that Flowers was a product of his time, but that characterization has to be reconciled with the purpose of his article—to dispel a stereotype, i.e., the image of Baja as being nothing more than a pile of rocks. “Topographically and climatically, this 600-mile peninsula is said to resemble Italy more nearly than any other place on the map of the world.” That’s some makeover. Oh, and, yes, it has “rocks.”

 


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