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David J. Vaught
Texas A & M University, College Station (College Station, TX 77843-0001)
Putah Creek: Rural Life in the Sacramento Valley, 1850-1900

My book seeks to humanize what has long been thought of only as an "industry"--wheat farming in nineteenth-century California. I examine Putah Creek, a prominent agricultural community near Sacramento, from its origins in the Gold Rush, through the bonanza wheat era, and through the state's transition from wheat to fruit. This was a community of remarkable stability, despite being settled by displaced 49ers on a fraudulent Mexican land grant. I analyze farm people's experiences from their own perspectives, paying close attention to their ethnicity, class loyalties, gender identities, and family networks. While my focus is local, even personal, my narrative also pays close attention to regional, national, and international forces.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 8/31/2005