Book Synopsis During 1873 a jury trial took place in San Diego to decide whether Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, had been the victim of a fraud by his brother-in-law, John Forster. Pico claimed title to the huge Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores land grant in southern California, located approximately 208 square miles north of San Diego on the California coastline, and today occupied by Camp Pendleton. Pico's battle to retain that grant in the face of formidable legal challenges from John Forster and others, provides an absorbing view of California during its transitional era and Americanization. The introductory chapters are a sweeping view of early California history with an account of the important roles the Pico family and John Forster played in it. Based on meticulous research, including many records, letters, and photographs never before published, the intimate lives and foibles of some of California's most colorful historical figures are examined in unprecedented detail. After a full description of the trial, a definitive analysis of the evidence is given which proves that the controversial verdict should have been different. The underlying circumstances and motives of the struggle between Forster and Pico are fully explained. About the Author Fluent in Spanish, Paul Bryan Gray has practiced law in southern California and Mexico for over thirty years. He divides his time between his professional practice in California and historical research at several institutions, including the Huntington Library.