by Walter Swarthout
I immigrated to San Francisco from England in 1961 and became fascinated with the citys history. In 1984 I founded Londonborn Publications to publish a biography of two stray dogs, Bummer and Lazarus.
These two canny canines whose unique bond of friendship and expertise
at killing rats endeared them to the local citizenry became wards of the city in 1861. Today they are memorialized by a bronze plaque at the base of San Franciscos tallest landmark, the TransAmerica pyramid building.
Later I became intrigued by hundreds of letters, diaries, journals, and out-of-print books I found in local archives. These told in very human terms just what it was like living in San Francisco from the time of the first civilian settlement there in 1835 through the terrifying earthquake and fire of 1906.
By reprinting a selection of these accounts in chronological order in The San Francisco Memoirs Trilogy I allow these early San Franciscans to tell us in their own words the history of one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Details of these three books can be found elsewhere on this web site.
I became an
American citizen in 1983.
Malcolm E. Barker
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