African Californios: Uncovering the African past of Spanish and Mexican California using Data Science Methods

Cameron Jones, Evan Witulski and Foaad Khosmood
Digital Humanities 2023
Poster or Panel Discussion
Graz, Austria

Scholars and the public readily accept that Afro-descendants populated Spanish and Mexican California, though little work has been done on the topic. Often cited is the 1790 census of California’s four presidios, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, and its two struggling towns, San Jose and Los Angeles, which identifies roughly 19% of their populations as being of African descent.  The extent of the impact of Afro-descendants in early California, however, has been little understood and underexamined.