Albert E. Reynolds II (essay date 1970)
SOURCE: “The California Gold Rush as a Basis for Literature,” in Americana-Austriaca: Beitrage zur Amerikakunde, Vol. 2, 1970, pp. 61-80.
[In the following essay, Reynolds presents an overview of the literature of the gold rush era in California, offering a detailed history of the period and examining how the literature reflected the times.]
The discovery of gold on the banks of the American River in 1848 was the signal for one of the most unique mass migrations since the Völkerwanderung of the Germanic tribes. Some 100,000 adventurers are estimated to have converged on the gold fields of California within the twelve months following James Marshall's sensational...
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