Henry William Bigler: Soldier, Gold Miner, Missionary, Chronicler, 1815-1900

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Utah State University Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
Henry Bigler was one of several Mormon Battalion veterans employed by John Sutter, under James Marshall's supervision, to construct the mill that was the site of the California gold discovery. As it turned out, Henry diligently kept the most immediate and accurate record of the event, which historians have since used to determine the official date of discovery—January 24, 1848. Bigler kept many journals and observed or participated in other significant events in early Mormon and western history, from the Mormon exodus out of Nauvoo through western trail-blazing with the Mormon Battalion to proselyting in mid-nineteenth century Hawaii. But with the exception of brief fame in California after his diary account became known, Bigler led a life of obscurity and poverty. Time has brought him additional posthumous fame, though, as the personal records he kept have become widely used by historians seeking sources on a variety of western history topics. By providing much context on the history that Bigler lived and wrote, and by carefully reconstructing the experience of one average, devout, frontier farmer and missionary, Bishop tells much about run-of-the-mill nineteenth-century Mormon lives that biographies of the famous, powerful, or elite may not be able to convey.

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The Making of a Mormon 183638
On the Forge 183945
Marching to the Pacific 184648

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