Well received by critics when first published in 1941, The Cattle on a Thousand Hills describes Southern California in its transition from a cattle frontier of Mexican rule and culture to an agricultural American community on the eve of great industrial and urban expansion. The story includes the conversion of great grazing ranchos into farms and settlements, the gradual displacement of frontier violence and instability by a more restrained, law-abiding society, and the impact of Anglo-Saxon customs and institutions upon the pastoral life of the Spanish-Californians.
Robert Glass Cleland (1885-1957) was Professor of History at Occidental College and the author and editor of numerous books on the history of California and Mexico.
“The book provides about as good a jumping-off place for a modern day researcher into early California as can be found.”—Jim Crutchfield Roundup Magazine
REVIEWS OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION:
"The Cattle on a Thousand Hills
is without peer as a broad, rich, specific, and authenticated description of southern California in transition....Professor Cleland's book is written with a great deal of charm and is a striking illustration of the wealth of material in the Huntington Library."—Mississippi Valley Historical Review
"A first-rate portrait of the pastoral life of Spanish California undergoing sharp changes under the impact of the new Anglo-Saxon civilization."—New York Herald Tribune
"A vivid and mature portrayal of local history, of the impact of Anglo-Saxon customs and institutions on the simple pastoral life of the Spanish Californians."—Geographical Review