• Up and Down California in 1860-1864

  • The Journal of William H. Brewer
  • By: William Henry Brewer
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 19 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-24-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (27 ratings)

Regular price: $39.95

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Publisher's Summary

In 1860 William Brewer, a young Yale-educated teacher of the natural sciences and a recent widower, eagerly accepted an offer from Josiah Whitney to assist in the first geological survey of the state of California. Brewer was not a geologist, but his training in agriculture and botany made him an invaluable member of the team. He traveled more than 14,000 miles in the four years he spent in California and spent much of his leisure time writing lively, detailed letters to his brother back East.
These warmly affectionate letters, presented here in their entirety, describe the new state in all its spectacular beauty and paint a vivid picture of California in the mid-19th century. This fourth edition includes a new foreword by William Bright (1500 California Place Names).
©2003 William Henry Brewer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Susie on 04-29-13

A voyage to a Lost California

In 1860, William Henry Brewer joined a team in the very first geological survey of California.

A recent and very young widower, impressionable William wrote letters home, back East, to his brother-- this is his extraordinary diary. Brewer's stories let us look at California in a way that is virtually erased from modern-day eyes.

William's letters are both touching and full of jaw-dropping description, telling of the virgin beauty of the land, the original (and soon to be annihilated) Native culture and relationships he formed, and the beginning of the revolution that would transform California forever.

A primary document like this is priceless and entertaining primary history. It's the kind of story families treasure from generation to generation, saying, “You have to hear about this.” No son or daughter of the West should live without reading this once.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 01-30-18

California backroads of the 1860s

I completely enjoyed this historical journal of an 1860 botanist on a geological (and biological) survey of California.

This is a long and wondrous journal of travels of a geological and biological expedition by foot, horse, and mule up and down central California juxtaposed against the advent of the telegraph, the railroad, and the civil war.

I have lived at the base of Mt. Whitney (Whitney was an intermittent member of the party) and Mt. Diablo (the summit offering one of the best views on earth) and visited most of the places referenced in these journals thus I did not miss the promised (but not provided) maps of the journey. If you are not familiar with California you may want to have Google maps handy. If you are not into maps, you can simply enjoy the stories of unknown California reviled by this journal. If you are a well traveled Californian, you will greatly appreciate this 1860's view of your own backyard.

Although the protagonist was a liberal for that time, there is significant racism and speciesism (he REALLY wants to kill a grisly bear!)

The narration was excellent with subtle but palpable emotionality that heightened my enjoyment of the journal.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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