Within the nineteenth century alone, Californios lived under Spanish, Mexican, and United States forms of government. The lyrics of the songs produced at the time represent a literary/musical documentation of the Mexican Americans' experience during the period. Following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, by which Mexico lost about one half of its territory to the United States after the Mexican-American war, Californios lived in the midst of profound political and cultural conflicts. Manuela Garcia and Jose de la Rosa, Californio songwriters from the time, illustrate through their songs/poems the influence that such diverse historical and social processes exerted on the people of the Southwest. Their literary production is the product of history; one that dates back to the early sixteenth century, if not beyond. Thus, the study of the Charles F. Lummis Collection, containing the entire collections of the aforementioned authors and housed at the Southwest Museum, offers an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the literary history of Californios. It increases our understanding of the formation and development of Mexican American literature, which is part of the larger American literary corpus.