By David Vaught
"It is an excellent country," exclaimed Stephen J. box, the long run U.S. perfect court docket justice, upon arriving in California in 1849. Field's pronouncement was once 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 anything commensurate to their means to dream. so much did not hit pay airborne dirt and dust in gold. Thereafter, one illustrative workforce of them struggled to make a residing 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 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, persisted enormous 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 effects of attempting to strike it wealthy. (2007)
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Extra resources for After the Gold Rush: Tarnished Dreams in the Sacramento Valley (Revisiting Rural America)
Montgomery hoped, along with many hundreds of other Kentucky immigrants in the county, to take advantage of the state preemption act, which permitted squatters to claim 160 acres of the public domain with the guarantee that, once surveyed, they would have the ﬁrst right to purchase their lands at the minimum price of $2 per acre. The costs of moving and getting started—clearing and plowing the heavily forested land, buying seed, implements, and hogs, and building a cabin— did not allow them to save any money, however.
Both 38 Making a Settlement Hutchinson and Davis lobbied the state legislature to secure funding for the society, served as its president at least once, won several ﬁrst-place premiums at society fairs, and clearly reveled in the attention. 20 The zeal with which Hutchinson in particular preached agrarian values seems to reek of hypocrisy; he was hardly what Thomas Je¤erson had in mind, after all. But Hutchinson was no hypocrite in the eyes of his contemporaries. He was a booster, to be sure, but his vision of a thriving, agrarian California had tremendous appeal, especially to the disillusioned miners-turned-farmers anxious to redeem themselves in the Sacramento Valley.
11 Much to his dismay, Wolfskill’s neighborhood began to get a bit more crowded. With the loss of Texas in 1836, the troubled Mexican republic became desperate to secure its northern frontier. Seeking now to encourage immigration from foreign countries, especially the United States, oªcials in Monterey began o¤ering huge tracts of land. That was precisely why they were so willing to issue William Wolfskill’s absentee grant, why Marsh, Yount, and Sutter secured huge tracts of land themselves, and why two organized companies of settlers began making their way to California in the spring of 1841.