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.

A Real John Bull Plum Pudding

The cook at Sutter’s Fort, an Englishman, promised he could produce a Christmas dinner “that would rival Delmonico’s best efforts.” (Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City being the epitome of fine dining.) He also promised to top off the whole … Continue reading

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A Pioneer Repast

If you were living at Sutter’s Fort in 1845, before the Gold Rush, what was available for you to eat? Would you enjoy lots of good foodstuffs, or a limited diet? It could be both, depending on the time of … Continue reading

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A Leader in Public Service in Butte County

In a fascinating article in Diggin’s, the quarterly of the Butte County Historical Society, Nancy Brower tells the story of three pioneering women in local politics: Minnie Abrams, Mattie Lund, and Florence Danforth Boyle. She writes: Most people are startled … Continue reading

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Our American Stories and Me

I’m on the radio! And you can listen to me right here! You can hear me (and a couple of other people) talking about real pioneer woman Nancy Kelsey on Our American Stories. In addition to true stories from American … Continue reading

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The First Newspapers in California

On November 11, 1848, the last issue of the first newspaper to appear in California was published.  The Californian had begun life in August 1846 under the editorship of Walter Colton and Robert Semple in Monterey. By the fall of … Continue reading

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Chivalry vs. Tammany

   Gwin and Broderick Political power in California was in the hands the Democratic Party during the 1850s. Or at least, that’s the way it started out. The opposing party, the Whigs, were fading nationally, and in California, where the … Continue reading

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David C. Broderick

Continuing my series on 19th century California politics– William M. Gwin was not the only man to come to California with political ambitions. David C. Broderick, another Democrat, came for the same reasons. But Broderick was was a Democrat of … Continue reading

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