San Francisco, 1902
All cities have an interest in promoting their town and attracting residents and businesses. Read the two excerpts below. The first is by the Promotion Committee of San Francisco in 1902. Pay attention to the tone of the passage. Who is the intended audience? What are San Francisco's promising qualities, according to the writer? Use the second passage to help you analyze some of the language used by the Promotion Committee.
The California Promotion Committee of San Francisco, 1902
People are coming to San Francisco from hither and yon, to settle in the community. New business enterprises are being started, old ones enlarged. . . .
Never did any land have more to offer the home seeker than has California. The orange grows to perfection in valleys a hundred miles north of San Francisco, where it ripens by November, a month earlier than in any other part of the United States. . . . The prunes of San Jose and the raisins of Fresno have acquired world-wide fame, while California wines compete successfully at international expositions with their French predecessors and rivals. The improved railroad facilities have made it possible of late to ship early fresh vegetables, as well as all of the fresh fruits to the Eastern market. . . .
One other great natural source of wealth California possesses, namely her forests. But every true lover of the wildwood looks with dismay at the recklessness with which this treasure is being squandered. Nor it is by any means a sentimental motive which has actuated the protest against this ruin and waste. The future of California depends upon the conservation of its water supply. Without this the land will become a desert. The forests are the only power which can restrain the impatient torrents from despoiling the land . . . .
Source: Keeler, Charles. "San Francisco and Thereabout." The California Promotion Committee of San Francisco, 1902. San Francisco Genealogy. http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/history/sindex.htm
In the late 19th century, California experienced a movement towards horticulture or small-farming and fruit-growing, which was meant to challenge the larger wheat industry. The passage below describes the horticulturalists' point of view.
These middle-class property owners fashioned a class ideology based on the construction of an ideal garden landscape. Through this they sought to speak for the wider interests of fruit growers and claimed to represent the larger social and moral interests of the state of California. Their annual conventions broached all aspects of social life. A vital element in the horticulturalists’ drive was to develop an aesthetic concern for California’s built environment; they frequently discussed [how California could be more beautiful] with the aide of garden plantings. . . .
Race and ethnicity also connected with the civilization theme. Horticulture’s champions affirmed Anglo-Saxon superiority as part of their rejection of the labor and ethnic [characteristics] of the wheat and pastoral economies. The initial targets were Hispanic. . . . [One horticulturalist] rejoiced that the “Yankee’s ploughshare” had taken over from “retreating herds of Mexican cattle.” So contemptuous of the shepherds was she that they were not even singled out from the animals they tended. In affirming the garden, the middle class staked out its preferences against . . . ethnic groups.
Source: Tyrrell, Ian. True Garden of the Gods: Californian-Australian Environmental Reform, 1860-1930. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1999. 43, 46-47.
1. What parts of the San Francisco region did the Promotion Committee think were the most attractive?
2. What do you think the Promotion Committee means when they say "the forests are the only power which can restrain the impatient torrents from despoiling the land?"
3. The second passage suggests that the Promotion Committee may have been part of a larger group of middle-class Anglo-Saxon property owners. What words or phrases in the Promotion Committee passage support that interpretation?