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Brides of the Gold Rush
David Allan Comstock

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Price: $20.00

Many of California's forty-niners returned home, married their Eastern sweethearts and brought their brides back to the mining camps. From contemporary news accounts and hundreds of actual letters written to and from the gold fields we get an intimate look at the rough and tumble (frequently violent) era of the 1850's.

"Writers have seldom used diaries, letters and documents to record gold-rushers’ lives, but seldom as humanly and as sensitively as this biographer. He has found that women tend to rite in more detail than men, and about a great variety of subjects, making his pages an adventure to read. His pioneers are not the morality-play heroes of the Old West, but real people, tangled in their feelings, decent, at times deficient – but always determined to meet the challenge.” – Barbara Burdick, Monterey Peninsula Herald

“The first volume of David Allan Comstock’s Nevada County Chronicles focused on the men who joined the rush for gold and found opportunity in Nevada City, the largest and most prosperous mining town of the early fifties; this volume is on the brides they brought to their new home… This book quotes extensively from a large and remarkable cache of letters… [that] reveal much that we only suspected about women in the mines.” – Ralph Mann, California History magazine

An absorbing history of a frontier community that is distinctive because… gold prospecting is its major attraction.” – Wendell Tripp, New York History magazine

“Brides of the Gold Rush presents the thrilling and vast mosaic of frontier life – here is Lola Montez and her bear, duels, prize fights, lynchings, claim jumping, the Know-Nothing party, the disgraceful treatment of the Indians, the rampant racism and, of course, 19th century sexism… Fascinating material to begin with, of course; but David Comstock’s rare gift of creating entertaining history shouldn’t be minimized.” – Jesse F. Knight, The Californians magazine

“Because the women are caught up in the details of daily living, their letters are delightfully personal and informal… And it’s greatly to the author’s credit that while the book is filled with the warmth of these letters, he also paints a picture of a burgeoning city, political rivalries, brushes with the Indians – the excitement of the times.” – Jean Couzens, Sierra Heritage magazine

“Based on public records and private papers, the account provides new insights into early California.” – Pasadena Star-News


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