Volunteer Forty-niners: Tennesseans and the California Gold Rush
Other than the Civil War, no single event of the nineteenth century affected so many Americans as did the California Gold Rush of 1849. Responding with the same enthusiasm shown by the Mexican War volunteers, Tennessee gold seekers rushed to be among the first from the South to reach the California mines. In Volunteer Forty-Niners, Walter T. Durham provides the first comprehensive examination of the role Tennessee and Tennesseans played in creating a new state and a new society on the West Coast. Drawing from such archival sources as personal narratives in letters and diaries, public records, and newspaper reports, Durham has woven a wealth of information into his recounting of their adventures. He follows many of the emigrants into the mines and details the activities of others in commerce and government. In the process, he shows that Tennesseans made an enormous contribution to the beginnings of government in California. Among the many offices they held were governor, assemblyman, sheriff, state senator, secretary of state, state treasurer, controller, U.S. senator, U.S. marshal, U.S. surveyor general, and Indian commissioner.
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