Description : During the California gold rush, 300,000 prospectors flocked to California in the hopes of making it rich. Among them was Alonzo Delano, who set out alone at the age of forty-two, leaving his family behind in Illinois, both to seek out new opportunity and because of a doctor’s prescription for a western climate to help cure a lung ailment. He was, in his words, both seized by a “fever of the body” as well as a “fever of mind for gold,” and his hope was to cure both. Unlike many of the other gold rushers, Delano was a highly observant and literate man, and he wrote frequent correspondence back home that later became the book Life on the Plains and among the Diggings. In it, Delano recounts the incredible adventure to California, one that was filled with humor and equal parts unrivaled optimism and crushing tragedy; not all of the hopeful prospectors survived the journey. With keen, true-to-life observations and an eye for detail, Delano describes the trek past the northern plains, through the Wyoming wilderness, across the brutal Nevada Black Rock Desert, and finally into the promised land of California. He goes on to recount how he settles into a new life, becoming an influential writer. Life on the Plains and among the Diggings is an amazing, true story of adventure and a fascinating look at the brave pioneers who made America what it is today. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Description : Two kinds of illness set Alonzo Delano on the path to California in 1849: a bodily sickness that his doctor said would improve in the West...and GOLD FEVER.In one of the most fascinating pioneer accounts of the "mistakes and sufferings of the emigrants" as well as interactions with Native Americans, Delano left a highly detailed, fast-paced account of his trip across the plains and his time in the California gold rush.Unlike many of his contemporaries, Delano evinces a sympathy for the plight of Native Americans of his time and frustration with the white settlers' inability to see what was happening to an entire people in the West. Nevertheless, more than once he was armed and ready to confront approaching bands of Indians.Equally fascinating is Delano's descriptions of early California, the rough and tumble world of prospecting, and the lawless life in frontier towns. He made a successful life there after his mining expeditions and stayed for the rest of his days.
Description : A study of the ways in which Americans from the east, who traveled to the "gold country" of California in 18491851, obtained and used information.
Description : Pioneer women going west carried distinct images of themselves and of American Indians. Their views reflected stereotypes pervading the popular literature and journalism of the nineteenth century: women were weak and defenseless, their westward trek was a noble mission, and American Indians were savages. But as a result of their frontier experience, many women changed or discarded their earlier opinions. This book is the first account of how and why pioneer women altered their self-images and their views of American Indians. In Women and Indians on the Frontier, Riley substantially revises the conventional melodramatic picture of pioneer women cowering when confronted with Indians. Frontier life required women to be self-reliant, independent, and hardy: as they learned to adapt, frontierswomen also learned to reexamine stereotypes in the light of experience. Interestingly, Riley explains, while pioneer women frequently changed their beliefs about Indians, they did not often revise their attitudes toward Mormon or Mexican women following contact with them. Frontierswomen also differed from men, whose unfavorable impression of Indians seldom changed. Riley's work is an important addition to Western history, women's studies, and American Indian studies. She examines in detail images and myths of both women and Indians, using examples from history, literature, and film, complemented by period photographs and illustrations. Her comparative account will interest a variety of scholars concerned with cultures in conflict and transition.
Description : The diaries and letters of women who braved the overland trails during the great nineteenth-century westward migration are treasured documents in the study of the American West. These eight firsthand accounts are among the best ever written. They were selected for the power with which they portray the hardship, adventure, and boundless love for friends and family that characterized the overland experience. Some were written with the skilled pens of educated women. Others bear the marks of crude cabin learning, with archaic and imaginative spelling and a simplicity of expression. All convey the profound effect the westward trek had on these women. For too long these diaries and letters were secreted away in attics and basements or collected dust on the shelves of manuscript collections across the country. Their publication gives us a fresh perspective on the pioneer experience.
Description : When The World Rushed In was first published in 1981, the Washington Post predicted, “It seems unlikely that anyone will write a more comprehensive book about the Gold Rush.” Twenty years later, no one has emerged to contradict that judgment, and the book has gained recognition as a classic. As the San Francisco Examiner noted, “It is not often that a work of history can be said to supplant every book on the same subject that has gone before it.” Through the diary and letters of William Swain--augmented by interpolations from more than five hundred other gold seekers and by letters sent to Swain from his wife and brother back home--the complete cycle of the gold rush is recreated: the overland migration of over thirty thousand men, the struggle to “strike it rich” in the mining camps of the Sierra Nevadas, and the return home through the jungles of the Isthmus of Panama. In a new preface, the author reappraises our continuing fascination with the “gold rush experience” as a defining epoch in western--indeed, American--history.
Description : Robidoux Chronicles treats with comprehensive documentary detail the factual history of the Robidoux lineage in North America from the first progenitor who arrived in Quebec in about 1665, through the famous six brothers who distinguished themselves as Mountain Men, up until even recent times on reservations in the US. Many members of the Robidoux family were intimately connected to the entire history of the North American fur trade. The six brothers, born in St. Louis before the coming of Lewis & Clark, were important fur-traders during the classical Rendezvous era of the North American fur trade. They became key players in the organization & articulation of the Overland Trail, only to die soon afterward in relative obscurity upon the plains of Kansas & Nebraska. By the 1950's, the story of the Robidoux had been almost entirely forgotten. Subsequent historians had lost all but a scant & fragmentary knowledge of the true role & exploits of the Robidoux & their French-Indian compatriots upon the frontiers of the old west. Antoine Robidoux was the first to establish permanent trading settlements west of the Rockies in the Inter-Montane corridor, & his brother Michel was one of the first expeditions to traverse the length of the Grand Canyon. The eldest brother Joseph became one of the earliest established traders on the upper Missouri & founded St. Joseph, Missouri, which was later to be the primary starting point of the Overland Trail. His younger brother Louis became one of the earliest ranch owners in California, becoming Don of the Jurupa, that encompassed the areas known today as Riverside, San Bernardino, San Jacinto & San Timoteo. An entire inter-tribal French-Indian ethnocultural orientation had developed upon the plains, prairies & mountains of the Trans-Mississippi west a good fifty years before the coming of the Iron Horse & the Pony Express, & has been carried on today in proximity to the reservations of Kansas & Oklahoma, South Dakota & Wyoming.