Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and used under a Creative Commons license

Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and used under a Creative Commons license

Helen Hunt Jackson – misunderstood romantic, misremembered advocate of Native American rights – lingered some weeks in Los Angeles between December 1881 and the end of January 1882, on assignment for The Century Magazine to write about Southern California as a destination for adventurous tourists. She apparently came with a larger purpose than a series of travel sketches, although her purpose was never fully realized. The seductive power of an invented past, created by rival mythmakers seeking to preserve their place in newly American Los Angeles, made her plan a failure and Helen Hunt Jackson famous. More