California And The Californians By David Starr Jordan


'A Western man, says Dr. Amos Griswold Warner, is an Eastern man who
has had some additional experiences. The Californian - Page 6
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'A Western Man," Says Dr. Amos Griswold Warner, "Is An Eastern Man Who Has Had Some Additional Experiences." The Californian

Is a man from anywhere in America or Europe, typically from New England, perhaps, who has learned a thing or

Two he did not know in the East, and perhaps, has forgotten some things it would have been as well to remember. The things he has learned relate chiefly to elbow room, nature at first hand and "the unearned increment." The thing that he is most likely to forget is that the escape from public opinion is not escape from the consequences of wrong action.

Of elbow room California offers abundance. In an old civilization men grow like trees in a close-set forest. Individual growth and symmetry give way to the necessity of crowding. Every man spends some large part of his strength in being not himself, but what some dozens of other people expect him to be. There is no room for spreading branches, and the characteristic qualities and fruitage develop only at the top. On the frontier men grow as the California white oak, which, in the open field, sends its branches far and wide.

With plenty of elbow-room the Californian works out his own inborn character. If he is greedy, malicious, intemperate, by nature, his bad qualities rise to the second degree in California, and sometimes to the third. The whole responsibility rests on himself. Society has no part of it, and he does not pretend to be what he is not, out of deference to society.

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