Mexican Gold Trail: The Journal of a Forty-Niner
Written by: George W. B. Evans
Edited by: Glenn S. Dumke
Category: Western History
Format: 360 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 9 b/w illustrations, paperback
Release Date: 2006-10-01
About this Book
On February 20, 1849, 29-year-old attorney George W. B. Evans set out from Defiance, Ohio, determined to make a fortune for his wife and family in the Gold Rush. He kept a painstaking record of his journey to California on one of the least known of the overland routes, crossing northern Mexico on the wild, little-used trail through Chihuahua and across the deserts of southern Arizona. Along the way, he faced many perils and hardships, including cholera outbreaks, Indian attacks, and long, waterless treks. Evans reached the Agua Fria diggings on the Mariposa Grant in late October that year, but failed to strike it rich. Moving on to work as a customs inspector in San Francisco and then as an auctioneer in Sacramento, he became weakened by disease and overwork and died at age 31 on December 16, 1850.
About the Author
George W. B. Evans (1819–1850) kept a vivid, detailed diary of his journey to California via Mexico to join in the Gold Rush. Peter J. Blodgettis the H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts at the Huntington Library. Robert Glass Cleland(1885–1957) was the author or editor of numerous books dealing with the history of California and Mexico.
Reviews of Mexican Gold Trail: The Journal of a Forty-Niner:
“This well designed and executive volume [gives an] account of a little-known route to the gold fields, [Evans’] day-by-day entries on the results of actual mining, and sheds light on bay and river life and the hubbub of early Sacramento.” --Pacific Historical Review
“With its unexpected color and the author’s literate style…this book is a surprise and a delight…one has the feeling of being there.” --California Folklore Quarterly
“[This] is the journal of a tenderfoot who ‘saw the elephant’ on a strange trail, who faced death by disease, starvation or thirst more than once, whose single desire was to gain wealth enough in the gold fields to permit him to return to his family in Ohio, and who, failing to attain this desire, died at an early age a few days after the journal ends.” --Southwest Review
"Both professional and casual students of the gold rush and the Borderlands will appreciate the opportunity to acquire an affordable copy of this crucial primary source."—New Mexico Historical Review
See additional works by Robert Cleland: The Irvine Ranch, Cattle on a Thousand Hills, and A Mormon Chronicle