• This article compares the historiographic methods of two 19th century, California historians.. Mariano Vallejo, former Mexican military commander of Alta California, wrote his Recuerdos at the request of San Francisco-based, Anglo-American historian Hubert H. Bancroft. In his own memoir, Literary Industries (1915), Bancroft describes his relationship with Vallejo, and how he convinced Vallejo to contribute to his project of chronicling the history of the western US, Central America, and South America. In this article I consider Vallejo’s Recuerdos in relation to Bancroft’s Works, investigating the intersections of historical narrative with nationalist sentiment in the seven volumes dedicated to California. The two men’s respective histories of California reveal complex processes of national identification at work, and suggest wealthy rancheros play a constitutive role in Chicana/o literary history.