Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Gold Rush Letter

This random one-off letter from G.W. Lawson to Charles L. Hansicker is in the Sutter’s Fort Pioneer Collection at the California State Library, along with papers from John Bidwell, John Sutter, and George McKinstry. It’s a glimpse of the news … Continue reading

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Ten Years and a Thousand Posts

I started this blog ten years ago to promote the book I wrote about John Bidwell, and to note any bits of Northern California history that caught my fancy. Now I have reached my one-thousandth post, and it’s time to … Continue reading

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Jennie Carter on Equality

Jennie Carter, African American journalist in California, had some strong words when it came to issues of civil rights and equality. Her “Letter from Nevada County” in The Elevator on September 25, 1868 comes down hard on Southern Democrats, including … Continue reading

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May 9, 1841 — Go West, Young Man

A pledge was drawn up in which every signer agreed to purchase a suitable outfit, and to rendezvous at Sapling Grove in what is now the state of Kansas, on the 9th of the following May, armed and equipped to … Continue reading

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Mother’s Day 1915

On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing the second Sunday in May as a day for honoring mothers and calling on government officials to display the flag to show “love and reverence for the mothers of … Continue reading

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On the Trail with Videos from OCTA

If you are a history buff, if you’ve wondered what it would be like to be a pioneer, if you want to trace the trail that brought your great-grandpa to California, then you will enjoy the videos produced by the … Continue reading

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Stephen Hill and Slavery in the Golden State

California was admitted to the Union in 1850 as a free state. Nevertheless, slaves were brought to California by slave-owning southerners both before and after statehood, and the slave owners usually got away with it. Slaves made the effort to … Continue reading

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George Washington Dennis — African-American Forty-Niner

I’ve been reading Delilah Beasley’s classic work on African-Americans in California, The Negro Trail Blazers of California, published in 1919. Ms. Beasley spent years researching the stories of blacks in California. I got the book from the public library, but … Continue reading

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Titus Hale Encounters a Desperado

In his autobiography written for the Society of California Pioneers, Titus Hale has one more good story to tell: I passed through the so-called trying times without any great amount of trouble or anxiety, and it was not till 1899 … Continue reading

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Titus Hale — More Adventures of a Teen-Age Forty-Niner

Titus Hale was an enterprising young man at sixteen years of age. A few days after that [the election] we sold our team, and I engaged in business peddling Nuts. I bought my first stock from R. Gelston, 25 lbs. … Continue reading

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