By David Vaught
"It is a wonderful country," exclaimed Stephen J. box, the longer term U.S. preferrred court docket justice, upon arriving in California in 1849. Field's pronouncement used to be greater than simply an expression of exuberance. For an electrifying second, he and one other 100,000 hopeful gold miners discovered themselves face-to-face with anything commensurate to their ability to dream. such a lot didn't hit pay airborne dirt and dust in gold. Thereafter, one illustrative team of them struggled to make a dwelling in wheat, cattle, and fruit alongside Putah Creek within the reduce Sacramento Valley. Like box, they by no means forgot that first "glorious" second in California whilst whatever appeared attainable. In After the Gold Rush, David Vaught examines the hard-luck miners-turned-farmers -- the Pierces, Greenes, Montgomerys, Careys, and others -- who refused to confess a moment failure, confronted flood and drought, persevered huge disputes and confusion over land coverage, and struggled to return to grips with the vagaries of neighborhood, nationwide, and global markets.Their dramatic tale exposes the bottom of the yank dream and the haunting results of attempting to strike it wealthy. (2007)
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Additional info for After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley (Revisiting Rural America)
13 Sometime during the winter of 1851–52, Washington made the gut-wrenching decision that confronted so many men of his generation and their families. It was time to go to California. More unusual was Eunice’s insistence that she accompany him. While several thousand women participated in the gold rush—some with their husbands, some alone—it was predominantly a male phenomenon. Eunice clearly was just as concerned as her husband about their family’s economic and emotional well-being. She may have insisted that the team that worked so well together on the farm should not be broken up—that together they could work a claim that much more proﬁtably and then return home to start anew that much more quickly.
Very quickly, however, the Davis family learned that cattle could defend themselves much better than hogs against Sacramento Valley predators—grizzly bears, in particular—and that the demand for fresh beef was so high that butchers did not have to limit their purchases to only a few cattle each week to avoid spoilage. Best of all, while cattlemen in Ohio regularly drove their herds at least 400 miles for forty days over the Allegheny Mountains to Atlantic markets, Sacramento was but ﬁfteen miles away.
8 There was also an expanding Mexican presence in northern California, though it too was minimal. Expeditions into the Sacramento Valley dated back to the 32 Making a Settlement Spanish colonial period, but their purposes were to evaluate the perceived Indian menace and to search for intruding foreigners—Russian, British, or American— not to encourage settlement. North of the San Francisco Bay, the metropolis was Sonoma, where the last of the Franciscan missions in Alta California had been established in 1824.
After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley (Revisiting Rural America) by David Vaught