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.

Historic Quilts at Bidwell Mansion

A beautiful quilt show is coming to Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park on September 7th, 8th, and 9th. Annie’s Star Quilt Guild will be sharing historic quilts and reproduction quilts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Quilts will be displayed … Continue reading

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“His First Dollar”

See what your teenager thinks of this– John Bidwell received a letter from S.S. Boynton, editor and publisher of the Oroville Register in 1884, asking him “how he earned his first dollar by work when a boy.” Boynton was writing … Continue reading

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Bidwell Meets Grant

Even more than President Lincoln, John Bidwell wanted to meet General Ulysses S. Grant. It took some wrangling to get a pass from Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War, but Bidwell got it, and then he hurried off to meet … Continue reading

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Lincoln through Bidwell’s Eyes

John Bidwell believed fervently in the Union cause. In 1864 he was one of the California delegates to the Republican National Convention in Baltimore on June 7-8, where Lincoln was renominated for president. Upon his return home, he spoke to … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, John Bidwell!

August 5th marks 200 years since the birth of John Bidwell, California pioneer and founder of Chico.  So wish him a “Happy Birthday!” (wherever he is), and maybe pay a visit to his home, Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park sometime … Continue reading

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Two-Gun Nan Rides Again

Thanks to a couple of comments on my blog series about Two-Gun Nan,  I was inspired to try again to find the Death Valley Days episode about her record-setting cross-country journey. The TV show appeared in 1958 as episode 16 … Continue reading

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How Louise Clappe Became Shirley

Shirley is a common enough feminine name — we all know at least one Shirley. But before 1849 the name was rare as a masculine name, and unknown as a feminine one. It was originally a rather uncommon English surname, … Continue reading

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