All right, readers. Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of the Hidalgo Treaty. Keep them raised if you have a clue what that treaty was all about. And keep your device’s camera on so I can take a tally.
Just kidding. No surveillance going on at this end of your web connection. However, I suspect the majority of hands out there are NOT raised.
Interesting fact #1 about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: The document was signed on February 2, 1848. Ground Hog Day—at least since 1877. Please hold that thought until later.
I’m neither a lawyer nor historian. I’ve read the treaty, but I’ll leave interpretation of the actual wording to experts. Officially, the treaty ended the Mexican-American War. Actually, it facilitated a huge land grab in the favor of Uncle Sam. The basic history of much of the western US sums up to the following: Spain stole the “New World” western lands from the indigenous tribes. What became Mexico declared independence from Spain. Then the US essentially annexed (stole, with the help of “The Bear Flag Rebellion”) a huge chunk of Mexico. Those Mexicans deciding to remain in what is now known as California and parts of nearby states were supposed to have their land titles protected. Fat chance of that. A historical example of “white privilege.”
You may agree. You may protest. Hey, what gives lily-white Laurel Anne Hill the standing to talk about anything?
My father was half Mexican, as was my first husband. My indigenous DNA isn’t much, only 7-9%. But my Mexican ancestors have been giving me lots of dreams and advice for 30 years. That’s one reason why it took me 20 years to write my award-winning spirits-meet-steampunk novel about a young Latina, “The Engine Woman’s Light.” I didn’t dare make a mistake. That’s one reason why I’ve spent the past 15 years working on a “spirits meet the Bear Flag Rebellion” novel. Sand Hill Review Press, the publisher of “The Engine Woman’s Light” is reviewing my latest manuscript. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and my main character, Catalina Delgado.
I grew up in poverty. In many of my stories—no matter where or when they take place—one of my themes (like Ground Hog Day) keeps returning. The lower classes of society can make a huge positive difference.
Stay tuned for Part II. I’ll delve into my personal experiences and some of the books I’ve read while researching the Bear Flag days.
With warm regards,
Laurel Anne Hill
Author and Former Underground Storage Tank Operator