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George Kennan’s career as a specialist on Russian affairs began in 1865, with his first journey to the Russian empire. A twenty-year-old telegraphic engineer at the time, he was a member of the Russian-American Telegraph Expedition, a now virtually unknown but nevertheless remarkable nineteenth-century adventure story.
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.
Manuel Antonio Chaves’ life (1818–1889) straddled three eras of New Mexican history. A Spanish frontiersman, his long career was interwoven with almost every major historical event which occurred during his adult life—the Texan-Santa Fe Expedition, the Mexican War, the Civil War, skirmishes with Utes, Navajos, and Apaches.