“The scholarly editing of the ‘overlanders’ journal of John W. Jones by Dwight L. Smith…has provided for the student of Western history a classic in his new book, Survival on a Westward Trek: 1858-1859.”
Fred R. Gowans, Journal of the West
“Jones’ journal, with skillful editing by Smith, is an excellent primary source for overland travel in the 1858-1859 period…Jones’ work gives an excellent picture of this quest. Youthful and zestful enthusiasm and vitality — and even ignorance — come through in this journal, making it an enjoyable and worthwhile demonstration of the triumph of the human spirit.”
Ronald A. Averyt, Overland Journal
When gold was discovered in the Fraser River country of British Columbia in the 1850s, St. Paul, Minnesota became the departure point for the plunge westward, as was St. Louis for the American gold rushes. Minnesotans soon caught the fever. Nine young men set out in July of 1858 for the goldfields of British Columbia. Struggling through inhospitable territory, losing their way, and barely surviving the winter, battered remnants of the splintered party straggled out into the Oregon country in the spring, apparently having abandoned their dream of gold. One of the few available accounts of Canadian overlanders in the gold rush, this book is the journal of John Jones, a member of the party. Occasionally, he sent a narrative letter of their progress to newspapers back in Minnesota, but the bulk of this book is Jones’ informative daily entries portraying the agony and the drama of this frustrated trek. Beyond its intrinsically readable and informative value, the Jones journal has significance as a historical document. It is the earliest Canadian gold rush account and it stands alone for the year 1858.
Dwight L. Smith is Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University (Ohio). He is currently investigating British naval surveillance in the Canadian Pacific Northwest coastal waters in the 1860s. More info →
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Release date: September 1989
True Tales of the 1897–1898 Gold Rush
By Melanie J. Mayer
Klondike Women is a compelling collection of historical photographs and first-hand accounts of the adventures, challenges, and disappointments of women on the trails to the Klondike gold fields. In the midst of a depression near the turn of the twentieth century, these women dared to act on the American dream.
Gender Studies · History · American History · Western Americana · Women’s Studies
Black Hills Ghost Towns
By Watson Parker and Hugh K. Lambert
The Black Hills have been famous ever since the gold rush days of the 1870s when General George A. Custer’s expedition in the summer of 1874 found and advertised placer gold in the Black Hills valleys and a rush to the Hills began. Indian claimants to the area were placated, defeated or ignored and by 1875 a gold rush that continues to the present was under way.The Homestake Mining Company in the Black Hills is today one of the largest operating gold mines in the world.
Buckeye Rovers in the Gold Rush
An Edition of Two Diaries
By H. Lee Scamehorn
· Edited by Edwin P. Banks and Jamie Lytle-Webb
When “California Fever” raced through southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1849, a number of residents of Athens County organized a cooperative venture for traveling overland to the mines. Known as the “Buckeye Rovers,” the company began its trip westward in early April. The Buckeye Rovers, along with thousands who traveled the overland route to California, endured numerous hardships and the seemingly constant threat of attacks from hostile Indians.
Literary Collections | Diaries & Journals · American History · 19th century · United States · Ohio and Regional · Western Americana · Gold Rush