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tv   John Bidwell and California  CSPAN  April 1, 2017 12:42pm-1:01pm EDT

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the book sort of -- i don't know -- challenges the question of how do we best make this decision and try to maybe appreciate it on a case-by-case basis. it's easy to look at black and white crime rates but here we have detail and data to appreciate the complexity of these youth' lives coming into the picture. and appreciate sort of just the unbelievable challenge that exists in figuring out exactly how to either rehabilitate. the successfully to pour enough resources into the capital offender program so it can serve more than 18 youth over six-month period, or potentially make a determination that a youth is beyond rehabilitation, whether it's because they view themselves as a lost cause for so long or the system now has sort of determined that.
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>> we're standing in front of the john bidwell mansion here in chico, california, as we continue the look the city's nonfiction literary culture, we'll hear one author's story about the life and writings of this california pioneer. >> the john bidwell was one of the early california pioneers and most famous as the organizer of the first wagon train immigrant party of overland pioneers who came from the frontier of the united states and at that time in missouri and blazed the california trail in 1841, to northern california, arriving at marsh's rancho and then sutter's fort. bidwell was born in upstate new york in 1819. this family moved around.
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they were frontier homesteaders and they moved from new york into pennsylvania and then ohio, and then in his early 20s, bidwell left his family and headed out to what was then the frontier in iowa and then missouri. he tried developing a claim in western missouri and gave up on that after just a year or two, and decided to head to california, which was then still mexican territory, and he helped organize what became known as the bidwell bartleson party and they're the great claim to fame is the first party of overlanders to california. bidwell, like a lot of early american overlanders, got his first job working for john sutter at sutter's fort, and there he is learned first hand of california's rich potential
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as a agricultural producer and as a place to raise livestock sutter had herds of cattle and large wheat fields, and bidwell went to work for sutter, and kind of got some good on the job training for what would later become his own operation a few years later at rancho chico. in 1846, when john c. fremont and his small group of armed american explorers ostensibly were moving up and down california, their presence in the state encouraged american settlers who were interested in separating from mexico and kind of imitating the example of the texas rebellion of 1836, they,
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with fremont's encouragement, took action and seized the mexican garrison the northernmost mexican settlementment and then raced the bear flag. bidwell did not participate in the revolt. he was still at sutter's fort but word quickly arrived that the revolt had taken place and at that point bidwell left sutter's fort and joined their bear flag rebels at sonoma and was active in that from that point forward. then the whole rerevolt was fremonted when the word got out that the united states has already gone to war with mexico and the bear flag rebels gave up their own independent rebellion and joined up with fremont's group and became part of the california battalion under fremonts command, and then they
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all end up participate neglect california phase of the mexican war, participating in the american conquest of california. but in the course of that he did some exploring in the sacramento valley, helped other settlers locate land, including peter lassen and the process of the downies north of sacramento he came to become fame with chico creek and the chico area and was very traited -- attracted to its and its potentials. he -- during the goal rush in 1848 and-49, bidwell did quite well and made quite a bit of money mining gold in the sutter river area in what became known as bidwell bar, just north and
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east 0 oroville on the feather with. now underneath the waters of the oroville reservoir. with the money that the earned in the two seasons of mining in '48 and '49 he had enough money to buy the rancho chico property from the original mexican grantee, william dickie, who bidwell had helped locate on the property and in the process of locating that rancho grant, bidwell came to really admire the property and when he had enough money, in the gold rush, he came back and bought it. starting in 1849 bidwell located on the rancho chico profit and began developing what game one of the great model farms farms e 19th century california. for about a full decade, decade of the 1850s, the settlement of chico and rancho chico were one in the same thing.
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rancho chico was located in the domain of the ma which hupta tribe, prank of the midu indian peoples who populated most of what is now butte county. they had some village sites on the rancho chico and when bidwell moved on to the property he reached an accommodation with them and their village site remained on rancho chico, very close to his adobe and later to the mansion itself, and the indian tribe provided bidwell with hays initial labor force. the didn't provide all the labor as the rancho grew but remained a core part of the labor force throughout the entirety of john bidwell's life until he passed
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away in 1900. but bidwell never did participate in california's legalized system of bound sustain slavery or indenture. the indians were always wage earners living on rancho chico, in early 1860 he decided to lay out the town of chico, who he platted on part of this property south of chico creek, on the opposite side of the creek from his adobe at that time, his first residence on rancho chico. and so in 1860 he laid out the town of chico and at that point the community starts to grow. and later on in the 1860s he begins to build the mansion after he was elected to congress in 1864. and while he was away in -- before he left for washington he arranged to have the mansion built and construction of the
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mansion began in 1865. and lasted for these year. is was completed in 1868, and so when he return from washington, dc, he returned to the mansion, and he also returned a married man and brought back from washington annie bidwell, who he had met while serving in congress. bidwell mansion is -- hosted many distinguished visitors over the course of bidwell's life, and annie's life as well. she survived him by 18 years as she passed away in 1918. during that tomorrow they hosted a lot of important visiting dignitaries. this was the place to stop for anybody visiting chico. probably the most famous single visit that took place here was the visit of president ruth irford b. hays who was accompanied by the great civil
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war general, william tecumseh sherman, and sherman and hays stayed the bidwell mansion and bidwell conducted them on a number of tours, clawing -- including a tour to the famous cherokee hydraulic mining site owe of chico and north offeror veil. that was the most famous visit here. john muir was a close friend of the bidwells and john muir spent a number of visits, staying with the bidwells at bidwell mansion. the most important and long-lasting relationship with the federal government, starting with his days in congress, was his close relationship with the united states department of agriculture. he was constantly being sent -- corresponding with officials in the usda and constantly receiving from them different crops that they wanted tested
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out in california's soil and climate, and they really used rancho chico as one of their early experimental farms before they actually owned and ran their own, and bidwell has an extensive correspondence with the usda and evenly would set up an agriculture experiment station for the state of california in what is now bidwell park. became in effect a demonstration farm in the days before there were government sponsored government farms by either the state or the federal department of agriculture. ranch cho chico was the site experiment with crops and oregon emtal plans that bidwell introduced to california along with agriculture produce.
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the mainstay of the ranch was wheat production because california's early agriculture base was the production of wheat, starting during the gold rush. produced initially for the booming domestic markets of the gold rush and can he -- the gold rush population but increasing geared dudders expert to great britain. california became one offed the leading suppliers of what wheat to the industrializing population office great britain, and the bulk of california's wheat crop was sent every year in wooden sailing ships from san francisco, around cape horn, all the way back up the atlantic to liverpool, inning land -- england, and bidwell was a big participate in what was known as the bonanza wheat era of californiaing a agriculture. so bidwell led the movement to
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transfer california into the more lucrative specialty crops that california became famous for, including oranges that bidwell did experimentation with oranges but didn't do as well in this part of the state as they did in southern california but he was an important pioneer of al mont crop, which -- almond crop which is a major crop in northern sacramento valley and eventually rancho chico was covered with a wide variety of orchards that produced both deicides use fountain and fruits and nut crops as well. bidwell passed away the age of 80 in 1900. he was a strong and vigorous, active man, right up until the end inch fact he passed away as the result of a heart attack suffered when he was out
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clearing brush and clearing a roadway on rancho chico so he remained very strong and physically active right up until the end. there are a lot of visible indications of bidwell's influence and life's work. the mansion stands as something of a monument to his work and activity. it's really one of the finest architectural pieces in northern california. one of the best examples of italian made and italian villa victorian architecture in california, and of course, important part of his legacy, his california state university, chico. bidwell was one of the cofounders of the university, which began as the northern branch of the state normal school in 1886, when the --
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aagreed to locate the campus here, and a lot of the decision to locate the campus here had to do with bidwell's offer of land free to the state. the original campus was carved out of rancho chico. he donated eight acres of his cherry orchard on the south bank of chico creek, free of charge to the state of california and that offer helped to sale the deal and a -- seal the deal and allowed chico to get the campus. there were also rivals for the campus. this lasting legacy is in california agriculture. if you look look attars today is still the number -- at california today is still the none oning a cultural state the union, producing a rich variety of crops, something like 250
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different crops and livestock products are produced by california and has been the number one farm state in america since 1948. and i think that legacy of rich agricultural production and diversity owes a lot to the work of john bidwell and what he accomplished near rancho chico. if you look the production of rancho chico, what was being done on this property really was -- set the template for what became california in the 20th 20th century as an agricultural producer and still remains right here in the 21st 21st century. >> live sunday at noon eastern, investigate idea journalist and best sell iraq authorize angie jakobsen is the guest on book of "in depth." >> what is clear is that it's
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moving humans in the military environment toward being comfortable with this idea of merging man and machine. >> known for writings on war, weapons, security, and government secrets and will discuss four recent books, area 51, operation paperclip this pentagon's brain, a finalist in history and her most recentment phenomena, union our live three-hour conversation with annie jab jacobsen, live sunday at noon eastern on book tv's "in depth" on c-span2. >> here's a look at becomes being published this week:
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