Civil War: How Southern California Tried to Split from Northern California

USC Libraries

Civil War: How Southern California Tried to Split from Northern California

L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET's SoCal Focus blog featured archived photos and other visual artifacts from Civil War-era Southern California:

One hundred fifty years ago this week, a dispute over a federal fort located in the seceded state of South Carolina erupted into the Civil War. That war would soon engulf much of the nation in armed conflict, claiming the lives of over 600,000 soldiers. While distant Los Angeles, separated from the rest of the nation by long sea voyages or arduous overland treks, was largely spared from the horrors of war, many Southern Californians may not be aware of how close the region came to provoking its own secessionist conflict.

At the time, Southern California lacked a major population center; Los Angeles was then a town of less than 5,000 people. The region's sparse population largely consisted of recent arrivals from the rest of the United States, including many from the South, and Californios from the state's Mexican era, some of them dissatisfied with American rule and still harboring painful memories of the state's conquest only fifteen years prior.

Keep reading the full post on the KCET website.