The Shirley Letters: From the California Mines, 1851-1852

The Shirley Letters: From the California Mines, 1851-1852 The Shirley Letters, written from the mining camps inand , are something valuable and rare a portrait by a woman of an era dominated by men They offer a vivid picture of gold rush life, from accounts of murders, fearful accidents, bloody deaths, a mob, whippings, a hanging, an attempt at suicide, and a fatal duel to bars lined with that eternal crimson calico which flushes the whole social life of the Golden State, and the rare and welcome luxury of oyster feasts With the wild grandeur and awful magnificence of the Sierra as background, this classic account presents a picture of the gold rush that is at times humorous, at times empathetic, and always trustworthy


10 thoughts on “The Shirley Letters: From the California Mines, 1851-1852

  1. Eve Messenger Eve Messenger says:

    These eloquent, playful letters written by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clapp to her sister during the California Gold Rush are a delight to read They re detailed and full of personality In 1851, Clapp moved to Rich Bar, California, with her doctor husband F because they d heard there weren t enough doctors in the town By the time they arrived, 27 other do


  2. Virginia Welch Virginia Welch says:

    The Shirley Letters, in a way, don t deserve to be reviewed because they weren t written as literature They are what they are, letters from a sister to her beloved sister, written from the California gold mine camps in 1851 1852 Except these letters are very special, filled with description, candor, and charm, from the pen of a woman who was educated, talent


  3. Camille Cusumano Camille Cusumano says:

    The Shirley Letters written by Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe to her sister in New England from 1851 to 1852, are a precious document of life in California s gold country Clappe has been rightfully compared with Mark Twain for her humor, historic recording of the times, and her literary style Having written a number of travel stories on gold country back when I w


  4. Truitti Truitti says:

    I did not read this particular edition, but the edition which is public domain and purchased for Kindle at .com If you are expecting a novel, this is not the book for you I read this book as if I were receiving letters from a relative I also kept in mind that theses letters were Dame Shirleys observations, thoughts and feelings I was impressed with her descriptions both


  5. Jaime Robles Jaime Robles says:

    These are a series of letters, which were also published in the papers of the time, from a young woman who traveled with her doctor husband up the Feather River into the foothills of California during the Gold Rush She describes life there in some detail Perhaps what is most fascinating about the letters is the woman behind them, who despite her 19th century New England upbrin


  6. Lela Lela says:

    The Shirley Letters are a snapshot of the early California mines and culture told from the point of view of a woman It also gives a glimpse of a woman who was not typical for her time period I loved the details she shared about her life and learningabout that time period in California If you have anyone in your genealogy who was in the Gold Rush, you will enjoy this book.


  7. Susie Chocolate Susie Chocolate says:

    I m fascinated with the gold rush era and how the San Francisco Bay Area grew from a population of a few hundred people to tens of thousands of people overnight as a result of the gold rush so when my local library had this book featured as their monthly book, I was hooked These letters are a gem letters written by a woman who went by the pen name of Dame Shirley She and her young doctor


  8. Stephany Wilkes Stephany Wilkes says:

    I liked it The book is rare We don t have many firsthand accounts of life in Gold Rush mining camps I appreciated the details and anecdotes of daily life most, but was also rooting for her to embrace her wild side a bitI wish I knewabout her as a person On several occasions, Clappe says how much she enjoys the mountains, relishes changes in dress, has everything she needs even though the materi


  9. Elaine Elaine says:

    Louise Clappe, aka Dame Shirley, traveled from her genteel, well educated New England household to California during the Gold Rush, accompanying her doctor husband In these 23 letters, she describes not only the majestic natural wonders of mining country, but also the often romanticized rough and tumble lifestyle of the miners that turned bigoted and brutal, with violent attacks on Chinese, Mexicans


  10. Danice Danice says:

    This is an outstanding collection of letters, all written to her sister, later published in a magazine, illustrate a woman s perspective of living during the California Gold Rush, in the Feather River region Reading this collection, I was drawn to the author s attention to detail In descriptions intended for her sister, she painted a picture of her time which was vivid, compassionate, empathetic and animat


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