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.

Free Museum Presentation

It’s free museum weekend in Butte County and I will be giving a free talk at the Pioneer History Museum in Oroville. Please come and meet me, enjoy the museum, and learn about Alvin Coffey and Black Slavery in Gold … Continue reading

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Jennie Carter Visits Oroville

Jennie Carter, African-American journalist writing for The Elevator, predicted the future of California in all its scenic variety and human diversity. Oroville, June 13, 1869 Mr. Editor,–California as a part of Uncle Sam’s domains is truly an important part, and … Continue reading

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Jennie and Dennis Carter

Jennie occasionally used stories from her husband’s life to illustrate her writings. In 1866 she had married Dennis Drummond Carter in Nevada County, California. Dennis was born free in Virginia in 1814. After the death of his father, his mother … Continue reading

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Jennie Carter on Women’s Art

Letter from Nevada County. Mud Hill, May 3, 1868 Mr. Editor:– All women admire the beautiful. Here lies a broad field for woman’s talent–painting, sculpting, music, all the fine arts. Here her intuitive faculties can have full play; she can … Continue reading

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More from Jennie Carter, Black California Journalist

Some time ago I wrote about Jennie Carter, who lived in Nevada City and wrote letters and columns for the Elevator (San Francisco) newspaper. At the time I didn’t have a book about her, but now I do, and I … Continue reading

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Free Museum Weekend!

February 25th and 26th is Free Museum Weekend in Butte County, with more events and activities than anyone could possibly fit into one weekend. All participating museums, galleries, and cultural centers will offer free admission from 10am-4pm all weekend, and … Continue reading

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A Valentine from the Bard of Butte

Our very own Bard of Butte, poet Pres Longley, penned this valentine one hundred and sixty years ago. It appeared in the Weekly Butte Record on February 28, 1863, and undoubtedly touched many a lonely miner’s heart. Lines to Etna … Continue reading

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Lucy and Freedom

Black history in California has many tales to tell of slavery and freedom. Here is just one, the story of a girl named Lucy, who proved her freedom in spite of an attempt to re-enslave her. In the same issue … Continue reading

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President Lincoln and California

Happy Birthday to President Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12, 1809. Although he never visited California, he was very aware of its importance in the Union and hoped one day to see it for himself. To his life-long friend Charles … Continue reading

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A Black Vaquero in Butte County

Let’s begin Black History Month with a little item from early days on Rancho Chico. What kind of men did John Bidwell hire to work on Rancho Chico? In 1849 good reliable men were hard to come by — most … Continue reading

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