Literature of the California Gold Rush Criticism: Gold Rush Folklore And Legend - Essay

Criticism: Gold Rush Folklore And Legend

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Folklore of the Gold Rush,” in Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4, Autumn, 1981, pp. 293-308.

[In the following essay, Rosenberg focuses on gold rush lore, describing three of the most common types of legends: those revolving around the lone prospector, those chronicling the birth and death of boom towns, and those emphasizing the “lost mine.”]

When Jim Marshall's eye was caught by some glittering “color” in the Sutter Mill raceway on the American River that January day in 1848, the greatest internal migration in American history was soon to begin. Late in that year Monterey, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco (as they were then)...

(The entire section is 7376 words.)