Steamboat Slough

In 1848, the year of the gold discovery, Steamboat Slough was referred to as the “Middle Fork” of the Sacramento River, winding among several islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. As the Gold Rush brought thousands into the region, it became the preferred route over the “old river” because it was more than eight Continue reading Steamboat Slough

Gold Rush Steamboats

Before the California gold discovery, steam engines propelled riverboats over inland waterways, but ocean-going vessels were ships under sail. Yet when the siren call of gold beckoned, speed was the prime consideration—and very quickly steam-powered ships were upgraded and pressed into service as ocean transport. Continue reading Gold Rush Steamboats

The Pioneers: J. Goldsborough Bruff

Joseph Goldsborough Bruff is a well-remembered participant in the California Gold Rush. A committed diarist and talented amateur artist, he left reams of hand-written observations and sketches of his “gold rush hysteria” experiences, starting with his departure from St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1849. Unlike most of his Continue reading The Pioneers: J. Goldsborough Bruff

The Pioneers: Jacob Leese

Ohio-born Jacob Primer Leese, aged 21, was a trapper in Arkansas and soon afterwards a trader in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He first came to Mexican-owned California in 1833 to transport mules between New Mexico (also a Mexican province) and Southern California, returning in 1834 to settle briefly in Los Angeles. Two Continue reading The Pioneers: Jacob Leese

The Pioneers: Charles Weber

The son of a Protestant minister, Weber was born in Germany in 1814, and educated by private tutors. In 1836 he journeyed to America to see an uncle who had immigrated to Illinois. Apparently he never made this visit, occupied instead by business ventures in New Orleans and an excursion to Texas to fight with Continue reading The Pioneers: Charles Weber