Robert J. Chandler graduated from the University of California, Riverside, with a Ph.D. entitled, “The Press and Civil Liberties in California during the Civil War, 1861-1865.” Broadening his interest in California history from politics, civil rights, and journalism to finance, mining, numismatics, philately, commerce, and transportation, he spent 32 years as the senior research historian for Wells Fargo Bank in the History Department. Public speaking and exhibit design came along with the job. He has written a history of California (2004), an Arcadia volume on Wells Fargo (2006), and the University of Oklahoma Press is publishing his study of African American artist Grafton Tyler Brown, a San Francisco lithographer, 1860-1882, and a Pacific Northwest/Yellowstone landscape painter, 1882-1891. He has written over fifty articles, many on Civil War California’s history, including "Friends in Time of Need: Republicans and Black Civil Rights in California during the Civil War Era," Arizona and the West 24 (Winter 1982): 319-40. His writings incorporate his collection of documents and illustrations and some have won awards from Westerners International. For relaxation, he plaques historical sites with the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus.
Grafton Tyler Brown, the most successful African American artist in the 19th Century west, lived his adult life as a white man. This says more about America’s racial structure than it does about his choice to pass for white. Brown was born on February 22, … Read MoreGrafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)