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 Continue reading Steamboats a-Comin’
Thomas Jefferson Shadden, his wife Martha, and their four children born in Arkansas, were among the Oregon-bound wagons of the 1842 immigration. The following year, the family joined a group of Oregon settlers who were led south into Continue reading Pioneer Thomas Shadden
President Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving as a national holiday in September 1863. Prior to that, the observance was sporadically celebrated, mainly in New England, as a day of feasting and Continue reading Thanksgiving, a Brief History
California suffered its first painful economic readjustment in 1853. An unexpected, marked decrease in immigration slashed the very foundation on which merchants, capitalists, and speculators had based their Continue reading Boom or Bust
In the early years of the Gold Rush the mining camps were terrorized by the bloody exploits of a ferocious bandit named Joaquin Murrieta. It was said he had 20 or more accomplices, all horse thieves or fearsome, savage killers Continue reading The Bandit Joaquin!