It may be that we have not realized that, as it took conscious effort to create the history of the Pacific Coast, it will take conscious effort to see that it is recorded and given its proper place in the history of the country at large. If we have not understood this fact, the recital of the activities of historical societies and other agencies in the East should admonish us that it is time, it has long been time, for us to be up and doing. The record of the history that is now in the making will take care of itself, and the machinery is at hand for its preservation. If we shall become the center of a new culture, be assured that it will be its own press-agent. If we shall see grow into fruition a new music among the redwoods of our Bohemian Grove, there are signs that the world will not be kept ignorant of its origin. Literature reflecting local color will survive as the historic basis for it is known and made secure. The debt we owe to Bret Harte for “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” and all the individual types his genius made live again, to Helen Hunt Jackson for her immortal “Ramona,” to Charles Fletcher Lummis for his faithful chronicles of splendid pioneering and research, will only be more appreciated as our knowledge of the historic past becomes more accurate and sure.
But it is the record of that very past, the record of our brief, eventful and enthralling past, that concerns us now. Monuments and reminders of it exist on every side. The record also exists, but scattered over the face of the earth, and it has not yet been collected and transcribed. This history cannot be properly taught until it is properly written, and it cannot be properly written until all essential sources shall have been explored. Mines of information are still open that may soon be closed, perhaps forever. Let us promote such action that no element of the grand drama of world-politics once played on these Pacific shores shall be lost. Let us see to it, also, that our fathers’ high achievement in a later day shall not be unknown to their descendants. In this cause, let us, with hearts courageous and minds determined, each make good his “full measure of devotion.” Thus, may California’s story become known of all Americans, and sink into the hearts of a grateful people.
The Love-Story of Concha Arguello.
[The occasion of the following remarks was the placing of a bronze tablet upon the oldest adobe building in San Francisco, the former residence of the Comandante, now the Officers’ Club, at the Presidio, under the auspices of the California Historical Landmarks League, on Serra Day, November 24, 1913. Maria de la Concepcion Marcela Arguello (pronounced Arg-wail’-yo), daughter of Don Jose Dario Arguello, the Comandante of the Presidio, and his wife, Maria Ygnacia Moraga, was born at this Presidio, February 19, 1791 (Original