In 1900, founding members of The Society of California Pioneers were asked to write down what they remembered about arriving and settling in California. These recollections were transcribed and bound into eight leather volumes which The Society still has today. The Autobiographies and Reminiscences provide first-hand accounts of the migration west prior to 1850 and descriptions of life in California up until 1904. Some of the narratives make mention of the places the settlers came from. All of them describe to some extent the journey out by overland or ship, sometimes via Missouri, a frequent point of departure, and often via Central and South America. The Autobiographies and Reminiscences also include discussions of the industries in which the pioneers worked, among them agriculture, ranching, and mining, as well as observations about contemporary politics, social movements, and the leisure activities of the day.
The database is searchable via the Online Archive of California by name, subject, date, and keywords. To search the Autobiographies and Reminiscences of Early Pioneers, click here: Online Archive of California.