in The Song of the Sea-Bird, in Shells and Sea-Life.
A long jagged peninsula, where barren heights and cactus-clad mesas glow in the biting rays of an unobscured sun, where water holes are accorded locations on the maps, and where, under the fluttering shade of fluted palm boughs, life becomes a siesta dream. A land great in its past and lean in its present. A land where the rattlesnake and the sidewinder, the tarantula and the scorpion multiply, and where sickness is unknown and fivescore years no uncommon span of life. A land of strange contradictions! A peninsula which to the Spanish conquistadores was an island glistening in the azure web of romance; a land for which the padres gave their lives in fanatic devotion to the Cross; a land rich in history, when the timbers of the Mayflower were yet trees in the forest. Lower California, once sought and guarded for her ores and her jewels, now a veritable terra incognita, slumbering, unnoticed, at the feet of her courted child, the great State of California. Lower California, her romance nigh forgotten, her possibilities overlooked by enterprise and by the statesmen of the two republics.
Arthur W. North,
in The Mother of California.
Above me rise the snowy peaks
Where golden sunbeams gleam and quiver,
And far below, toward Golden Gate,
O’er golden sand flows Yuba River.
Through crystal air the mountain mist
Floats far beyond yon distant eagle,
And swift o’er crag and hill and vale
Steps morning, purple-robed and regal.
in A Vintage of Verse.
With the assistance of Indians and swinging a good axe himself, the worthy padre cut down a number of trees, and, having carried the logs to the Gulf Coast, he there constructed from them a small vessel which was solemnly christened El Triumfo de la Cruz.
Let Ugarte be remembered not only as a man of fine physique, the first ship-builder in the Californias, but as an ardent Christian, a wise old diplomat and a fearless explorer. He stands forth bold, shrewd and aggressive, one of the most heroic figures in early California history. * * *
At the same time that Ugarte was exploring the Gulf of California, Captain George Shevlock of England was cruising about California waters engaged in a little privateering enterprise. On his return to England, Shevlock set forth on the charts that California was an island. This assertion was not surprising, for at this time a controversy was raging between certain of the Episcopal authorities on the Spanish Main as to which bishopric las Islas Californias belonged! Guadalajara was finally awarded the “island.”