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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, November 03, 1912, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1912-11-03/ed-1/seq-1/

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Was It Here That the Ancient Queen Calm
Ruled Over Her Golden Manless Kingdom
ASK a Californian about m re**m*s, beauty
and climate of his state and he will answer
your questions by the hour. Ask him how
his state came to be named California and he looks
at you in embarrassment. The truth is, he doesn't
know.
Nobody knows—at least not any of the persons
you might ask. For the origin of the name has
been concealed in ancient romances of fabulous
times, and until recently no one was interested
enough to trace it. The story has to do with an
old legend concerning California's first queen. She
was young, she was strong, she was beautiful, and
she and her band of Amazonian maidens made
things lively in her dominions. When you have
read this story you may realize why California is
the land of gold, of warriors, of the suffragette and
why it is so named.
Garcia Ordonez* de Montalvo first made California
fabulous—2s years before Cortez discovered it to
be real and 338 years before Marshall's pick,
resounding: through the civilized and avaricious
world, announced the lull extent of the fabulous
nature of this empire of the west.
Cortez, acting on an inspiration that could not
have been born in the rocky beaches of Lower
California, gave to it the the island which
was described by the novelist Montalio as "on the
right hand of the Indians, very close to the side of
the terrestrial paradise." Cortez could not have
forseen, either, the ascendency of women in this
commonwealth, yet the name that he gave to Cali
fornia was the name given by the early Spanish
MAGAZINE
SECTION
k PART I

Arthur L. Price
romancer to this island lying close to the-terrestrial
paradise and peopled by Amazons. In the romance
they were black Amazons, led by the wondrous,
Queen Calafia, which has not been fulfilled in the
present day; but the interesting fact is that the
land of California was fabulously rich in gold and
gems, that the women ruled and that it was close
to the terrestrial paradise.
Captious Californians might say that if the name
California referred only to a,place that was "close
to the terrestrial paradise" it might better have
been given to Oregon, Nevada or Arizona, owing
to their historic juxtaposition to the terrestrial para
dise—but'that criticism is beyond the point. All of
California may not be considered paradise—that
description applies ,fully only to the particular
county in which each of us lives—so, possibly,
Cprtez in his nomenclature was even right on that
point.
It was in the romance "The Deeds of Esplandian,"
one of the tales of the "Amadis of Gaul" series,
which were written at the beginning of the six
teenth century, when America was first being
explored, that the tale of the island of California,
and particularly of Calafia, the queen of the .land,
appeared. The author of the romances was Garcia
Ordonez de Montalvo, although there is some dis
pute as to whether or not he wrote the fifth and
concluding book of the series, "The Deeds of
Esplandian," in which-the narrative of Calafia is
given.
There has been much uncertainty among histor
ians regarding the name of California, and until
Continued on Next Page
The San Francisco
Sunday
CALL
I HOW
CALIFORNIA
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