The Squatter and the Don
The Squatter and the Don (1885) is a novel by Mexican American author María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. The novel, Ruiz de Burton’s second, explores the consequences of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for the Californios whose land was taken following the Mexican American War. Central to its focus are the ways in which Californios were forced to provide proof of ownership while squatters, with the support of the US government, settled on their land.
Following the conquest of California, the Alamar family struggles to assimilate into American culture while maintaining their cultural heritage. Faced with immense prejudice, the Alamars, who like many Californios consider themselves to be racially white, embrace the capitalist culture introduced by American settlers and accelerated by the introduction of the railroad. Against this sociopolitical backdrop, the Alamars become increasingly entwined with the Darrells, a settler family, turning a story of political and economic circumstances into tale of romance between Clarence and Mercedes, whose love becomes representative of a new United States. Both personal and political, historical and fictional, The Squatter and the Don is a novel that captures a complex moment in American history without losing sight of the humanity at its heart.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don is a classic of Mexican American literature reimagined for modern readers.