In early photographs, people often would pose with objects that had special meaning to them, such as tools of a trade, or, as in this case, a book. This woman holds Frosts Pictorial History of California, by John Frost, first published in 1850. She is probably a “Californio,” a Latina native to California, resident after the American annexation following the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. This daguerreotype dates to the early 1850s, soon after the Gold Rush, the war, and the annexation of California as a state in 1850.