Author Archives: nancyleek

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.

Politics in Nineteenth Century California

I am working on a presentation for an OLLI class on Local History. (OLLI is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute — basically retirees teaching other retirees whatever they feel like teaching. It’s a fun and easy way to keep your … Continue reading

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For California’s Gold

I enjoy reading historical fiction, but only if I know it is as authentic as possible. Nothing makes me more testy than to have an anachronism intrude into a good story.  I remember one where two young men arrived by … Continue reading

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Ghosts of Gold Mountain

Ghosts of Gold Mountain, by Gordon H. Chang, is “the epic story of the Chinese who built the transcontinental railroad,” a book that combines faultless scholarship with compelling storytelling. (published by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2019; available at your public library.) … Continue reading

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I’m Back!

And you probably didn’t even know I was gone. I’ve been silent here for the last couple of weeks because I was on vacation. My husband and I went on a trip to Scotland, to see the land of my … Continue reading

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Rise, Ruin & Restoration: A Review

Sutter’s Fort stands at the center of California history. Here its biography, telling the  story of that iconic fort from the day John Sutter arrived at the spot in August 1839, through its building and its decline, to the State … Continue reading

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Kit Carson

I have enjoyed riches and suffered the pangs of poverty. I saw General Grant when he was little known. I baked bread for General Fremont and talked to Kit Carson. Nancy Kelsey When Nancy Kelsey was remembering her adventurous life, … Continue reading

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A Russian in California

San Francisco, Sacramento, Soapweed — the travels of a Russian in California. Nikolai Konstantinovich Sudzilovsky came to California in 1891, but not under that name. When he left Russia, he adopted the English-sounding name Nicholas John Russel, the surname being … Continue reading

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