Download After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento by David Vaught PDF

By David Vaught

"It is an excellent country," exclaimed Stephen J. box, the longer term U.S. ultimate 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 chanced on themselves face-to-face with whatever commensurate to their skill to dream. so much didn't hit pay airborne dirt and dust in gold. Thereafter, one illustrative workforce of them struggled to make a dwelling in wheat, farm animals, and fruit alongside Putah Creek within the reduce Sacramento Valley. Like box, they by no means forgot that first "glorious" second in California while something 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 come back to grips with the vagaries of neighborhood, nationwide, and global markets.Their dramatic tale exposes the bottom of the yank dream and the haunting outcomes of attempting to strike it wealthy. (2007)

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Additional resources for After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley (Revisiting Rural America)

Sample text

When farmers brought what little grain they had to Hutchinson’s warehouse in the fall of 1849, they demanded cash instead of the usual receipts, whose value had greatly diminished. Hutchinson, strapped for cash himself, gave his word that all accounts would be settled when navigation opened up the following spring. But when several vessels full of wheat left the docks on April 6, 1850, no one had been paid. Farmers armed with clubs, pitchforks, and axes stormed the warehouse screaming bloody murder, but too late.

I at once comprehended that the creek had overflowed its banks, and that we were in a dangerous position. I gave the order to the teamster to turn around immediately, but it was too late. 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.

The Mexican War soon followed, ending on February 2, 1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded California to the United States. Just nine days earlier, James Marshall had discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill. More than 100,000 people from every corner of the globe swarmed the Sierra Nevada foothills, many of whom forded Putah Creek at Wolfskill’s crossing on their way from San Francisco. California became a state, governed not by Mexican law, but by a new constitution patterned, often word for word, after those of Iowa and New York.

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