Literature of the California Gold Rush Criticism: The Rise Of Western Local Color - Essay

Criticism: The Rise Of Western Local Color

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Bret Harte, Mark Twain, and the San Francisco Circle,” in A Literary History of the American West, Texas Christian University Press, 1987, pp. 339-58.

[In the following essay, Morrow details the birth and growth of the Western local color movement, emphasizing the contributions of such figures as Bret Harte and Mark Twain.]

The year was 1866. The Civil War concluded, America (save the South) had settled into an era of prosperity, and San Francisco proved to be at the vanguard of this national trend. In almost all phases of economic expansion, San Francisco by 1866 had been booming for more than a decade. No longer a supply station and recreation center for...

(The entire section is 8563 words.)