Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monterey in 1846

This is an entry from a family journal. The author, photographed later in life, was 24 when he visited Monterey in 1846.

"The inhabitants of Monterey appeared to be either Spaniards of pure descent, Indians, or half-breeds. The former were a graceful, good-looking race, and carried themselves in a stately manner. The men were inclined to be dark, with curly hair and heavy beards. The senoras and senoritas of Monterey were extremely attractive; many were beautiful with a healthful, ruddy glow in their cheeks, and with dark tresses. They seemed lively, graceful, natural, and unaffected, and those I watched dancing were adept at this art, being vivacious and merry without violating the rules of decorum.

While I was staying at Monterey, the American officers gave a dance in one of the large rooms where we were quartered; ten of these dashing senoritas attended. In addition to cotillons and quadrilles, several waltzes were played. From the sidelines I watched the senoritas who were having endless trouble managing their partners. Many of the soldiers had never waltzed before and were about as agile as bears."

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