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.

Entewa, the Mystery Book

I have been reading an old book about the Sacramento River and California history — The Sacramento, by Julian Dana. It was part of the Rivers of America series and published in 1939.  The book has some entertaining stories, but … Continue reading

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California As I Saw It

If you find accounts of life in early California fascinating, as I do, then the Library of Congress has a treasure trove for you. California as I Saw It contains first-person narratives of life in early California, from 1849 to … Continue reading

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The Further Adventures of Luzena Wilson

It’s been a while since I wrote about Luzena Stanley Wilson and her memoir about life in Gold Rush California, but I have been meaning to get back to it. Her recollections are full of striking detail about everyday life, … Continue reading

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A Wholesale and Damnable Outrage

Another tidbit from the Pioneer Collection at the California State Library — a letter from Butte County Sheriff J.Q. Wilbur to John Bidwell: Hamilton, Butte Co. Cal.  July 4, 1851 Dear Major— I should like to come up this morning … Continue reading

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A Penmanship Copybook

A nice example of a penmanship copybook  is in the Pioneer Collection at the California State Library. The Pioneer Collection consists mostly of letters and oddments that don’t fit into other collections, or don’t rate their own separate collection. This … Continue reading

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“To the Hombre in Charge at Bidwell’s”

I went to the California State Library today. Here’s a little item from the John Bidwell Papers, which I find amusing: It reads: Lassen’s Ranch May 24, 1851 To the hombre in charge at Bidwell’s you will please deliver to … Continue reading

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Who Was Humboldt and Why Are There So Many Things Named After Him?

California has a Humboldt County and so does Nevada. There is a Humboldt River and a Humboldt Bay and a Humboldt Current. At least eight towns in the United States are named for Humboldt. And then there is the Humboldt Wagon … Continue reading

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