[CALIFORNIA]. SMYTHE, William E. History of San Diego, 1542-1908. An Account of the Rise and Progress of the Pioneer Settlement on the Pacific Coast of the United States. San Diego: The History Company, 1908. 2 vols. Vol. I: [1-5] 6-322 pp., frontispiece, 1 leaf of plates; Vol. II:  326-739 pp., 3 leaves of plates. 8vo (24 x 17 cm), original green cloth with gilt-lettered spine. Other than slight shelf wear, very fine.
Second edition (first edition 1907). Cowan II, p. 594. Howell 50:779. Rocq 7924. Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.
The war is covered in Vol. I, pp. 200-227. “The best and probably the first book to focus exclusively on San Diego, lavishly illustrated with portraits and early views” (Howell). Despite some of the hardships described, Smythe observes that the general population seemed nonchalant about the war: “In the midst of it all, the stream of social gaiety flowed on with only slight interruptions and the joy of it was actually increased at times, by the presence of gallant soldiers from abroad” (p. 200).
Smythe (1861-1922) was a Massachusetts native who eventually moved to California. He was a great believer in the benefits of irrigation and founded the Little Lands movement, which posited that farmers could live on small plots of land and with irrigation make a living by selling their surplus produce, a utopian idea that actually proved workable. San Ysidro was founded in 1908 on the concept.