Firsthand Accounts from the Rush That Made the West

Edited by John Richard Stephens

Gold cover

TwoDot Books (Morris Book Publishing, now Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Guilford, CT, 2014, softcover and ebook.

The Gold Rush era was an amazing time in our country's history. California had just been occupied during the Mexican-American War and wasn't officially a U.S. territory yet when gold was discovered in 1848. Suddenly the whole world was electrified by the news and tales of men digging vast amounts of wealth out of the ground, even finding gold nuggets just lying around. Within five years, 250,000 miners dug up more than $200 million in gold--about $600 billion in today's dollars.

Gold offers a feel for what it was like to live through the heady days of the discovery and exploitation of gold in California in the mid-1800s through firsthand accounts, short stories, and tall tales written by the people who were there. These eyewitness accounts offer an immediacy that brings the events to life.

Wild West magazine says, "Stephens sifts some of the most informative and engaging accounts to relate the good, the bad, the ugly and many outright surprising aspects of the gold rush era, capping the anthology with classic short stories of the period.... Like Sutter's gold, the narrative treasures lie waiting to be found."