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CALIFORNIA SKETCHES. Oscar Penn Fitzgerald. Paperback, (1880), repr. 2011, 208 pp.
A Southern Methodist minister, Oscar Penn Fitzgerald (1829-1911) of North Carolina was sent to California as a missionary by his denomination in 1855. He remained for more than twenty years, winning appointment as state superintendent of public education in 1867 despite his pro-Southern position during the Civil War. In the late 1870s, Fitzgerald returned to the East, editing the Nashville Christian Advocate, 1878-1890, and accepting appointment as a Southern Methodist bishop. California sketches (1880) is the first of his books dealing with his stay in California, providing brief anecdotes of his life in California in the mid-1850s: pastorate of churches in the gold-mining town of Sonora, 1855-1856, and in Santa Rosa and Santa Clara; editing the Pacific Methodist Advocate in San Francisco; and conflict between Northern and Southern Methodist churches in California.