The Land of Gold: Reality Versus Fiction
Hinton Rowan Helper (1829-1909) of North Carolina became one of the South's most controversial figures in the 1850s for his criticisms of slavery in The land of gold and his better known book, The impending crisis. Indeed, he found it prudent to move to New York before the Civil War, and he received diplomatic appointments in Latin America from the Lincoln administration. The land of gold (1855) draws on Helper's three years residence in California and leads him to the conclusion, "California is the poorest State in the Union." Aside from gold, he can see nothing to recommend the state economically, and his book damns the state's populace in terms of morals and intelligence. He spends three chapters dismissing San Francisco (although he later has good words for the Vigilance Committee), is disgusted by the Digger Indians at Bodega, finds fault with Sacramento, and reflects on prospecting on Yuba River and at Columbia. Some good words are reserved for Stockton, but on the whole, Helper writes to discourage emigrants from retracing his course round the Horn.
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Page 115 - From women's eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire ; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world...
Page 167 - The best hotel in the place is a one-story structure, built of unhewn saplings, covered with canvas and floored with dirt. It consists of one undivided room, in which the tables, berths and benches are all arranged. Here we sleep, eat and drink. Four or five tiers of berths or bunks, one directly above another, are built against the walls of the cabin The bedding is composed of a small straw mattress about two feet wide, an uncased pillow .... and a single blanket.
Page 311 - STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES CECIL H. GREEN LIBRARY STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 94305.6004 (415) 723.1493 All books may be recalled after 7 days DATE DUE...
Page 221 - It's quite clear," said our guide, " that you've become a mere Kitat (Chinese), and think that a man must not set out upon a journey unless the earth is perfectly dry and the sky perfectly cloudless. I have no doubt you go out to lead your sheep with an umbrella in one hand and a fan in the other.
Page 167 - ... of unhewn saplings, covered with canvas and floored with dirt. It consists of one undivided room, in which the tables, berths and benches are all arranged. Here we sleep, eat and drink. Four or five tiers of berths or bunks, one directly above another, are built against the walls of the cabin .... The bedding is composed of a small straw mattress about two feet wide, an uncased pillow .... and a single blanket.104 Another representative account describes a journey in the Feather River country...
Page 146 - His hand is against every man; and every man's hand is against him.
Page 96 - It is so with the negroes in the South ; it is so with the Irish in the North ; it was so with the Indians in New England ; and it will be so with the Chinese in California.
Page 67 - I have seen purer liquors, better segars, finer tobacco, truer guns and pistols, larger dirks and bowie knives, and prettier courtezans here, than in any other place I have ever visited ; and it is my unbiased opinion that California can and does furnish the best bad things that are obtainable in America.
Page 117 - Nov. 14th, at Mission Dolores, a rich treat will be prepared for them, and that they will have an opportunity of enjoying a fund of the raciest sport of the season. TWO LARGE BULLS AND A BEAR, all in prime condition for fighting, and under the management of experienced Mexicans, will contribute to the amusement of the audience. Programme— In two Acts. Act I. BULL AND BEAR— "HERCULES" and "TROJAN," Will be conducted into the arena, and there chained together, where they will fight until one kills...