Monthly Archives: June 2021

Slavery in California

This well-known photograph shows a black miner in the California goldfields. It was taken at Auburn Ravine in 1852, but the man’s name is unknown. Was he free or was he enslaved? Did he strike it rich? Was the gold … Continue reading

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A Cartoon Expedition to California

Comic books have been around longer than you might think, and the California Gold Rush of 1849 proved to be a gold mine (so to speak) for satiric artists. One of the most entertaining is called Outline History of an … Continue reading

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I Went to Hell and So Can You

Bumpass Hell, that is, in Lassen National Volcanic Park. With grandchildren visiting from Wisconsin, and temperatures over 100 degrees in the valley, a trip to Hell turned out to be cooler than staying at home. The trail to Bumpass Hell … Continue reading

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The Bear Flag and John Bidwell

What did John Bidwell think of the Bear Flag Revolt and the famous Bear Flag raised at Sonoma? Not much, if you asked him, and more than one person did ask. I like our state flag — I think it’s … Continue reading

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In Search of Alvin A. Coffey

Today my friend Josie and I went in search of Alvin Coffey‘s presence in Tehama County. I am working on a picture book biography of Coffey, an African American pioneer, and I wanted to see where he lived and where … Continue reading

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A Gold Rush Letter

This random one-off letter from G.W. Lawson to Charles L. Hansicker is in the Sutter’s Fort Pioneer Collection at the California State Library, along with papers from John Bidwell, John Sutter, and George McKinstry. It’s a glimpse of the news … Continue reading

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