Stevenson in the States: Notes of an Amateur Immigrant
Volume 2 in the Atelier26 Regeneration Series
Travel third-class by immigrant train across the U.S. of the 1870s. Glimpse the adversities that the newly arrived immigrant faced then, much as they still do now, and be inspired by their resiliency. Remember the rich cultural and linguistic streams that have fed the great river of American life. Recall that California, whose constitution was authored in Spanish as well as English, was native American, Spanish, and Mexican first. Your guide: one of western literature's finest, Robert Louis Stevenson, writing in his homeless, impoverished, heartsick days before world fame arrived.
"[Monterey, California], when I was there, was a place of two or three streets, economically paved with seasand...Spanish was the language of the streets. It was difficult to get along without a word or two of that language for an occasion...The town, then, was essentially and wholly Mexican."
"[San Francisco] is essentially not Anglo-Saxon; still more essentially not American. The Yankee and the Englishman find themselves alike in a strange country...The shops along the street are like the consulates of different nations."