In this revelatory study, award-winning historian Leonard L. Richards outlines the links between the Gold Rush and the Civil War.Richards explains that Southerners envisioned California as a new market for slaves who could dig for gold, schemed to tie California to the South via railroad, and imagined splitting off the state's southern half as a slave state. We learn how the Gold Rush influenced other regional and national squabbles, and we meet renegade New York Democrat David Broderick, who became a force in San Francisco politics in 1849, and his archrival, William Gwin, a major Mississippi slaveholder. Richards recounts the political battles and the fiery California feuds, duels, and, perhaps, outright murders as the state came shockingly close to being divided in two.
"Richards' characters evince impressive depth, and her blend of old and modern makes for a pleasant deviation from the standard historical novel." (Publishers Weekly)
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Not typically covered in history class...
- John M
A Must For Civil War Buffs