The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52 cover

#1 - 00 – Introduction

The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52

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Download 00 – Introduction audio
Download Letter 01 – The Journey to Rich Bar audio
Download Letter 02 – Rich Bar – Its Hotels and Pioneer Families audio
Download Letter 03 – Life and Fortune at the Bar-Diggings audio
Download Letter 04 – Accidents-Surgery-Death-Festivity audio
Download Letter 05 – Death of a Mother – Life of Pioneer Women audio
Download Letter 06 – Use of Profanity – Uncertainty of Mining audio
Download Letter 07 – The New Log-cabin Home at Indian Bar audio
Download Letter 08 – Life and Characters at Indian Bar audio
Download Letter 09 – Theft of Gold-Dust – Trial and Punishment audio
Download Letter 10 – Amateur Mining-Hairbreadth β€˜Scapes, &c. audio
Download Letter 11 – Robbery, Trial, Execution – More Tragedy audio
Download Letter 12 – A Stormy Winter – Holiday Saturnalias audio
Download Letter 13 – Sociability and Excitements of Mining-life audio
Download Letter 14 – Springtide – Linguistics – Storms – Accidents audio
Download Letter 15 – Mining Methods – Miners, Gamblers, Etc. audio
Download Letter 16 – Birth – Stabbing – Foreigners Ousted – Revels audio
Download Letter 17 – Supplies by Pack-Mules – Kanakas and Indians audio
Download Letter 18 – Fourth of July Festival – Spanish Attacked audio
Download Letter 19 – Murder, Theft, Riot, Hanging, Whipping, &c. audio
Download Letter 20 – Murder – Mining Scenes – Spanish Breakfast audio
Download Letter 21 – Discomforts of Trip to Political Convention audio
Download Letter 22 – The Overland Tide of Immigration audio
Download Letter 23 – Mining Failures – Departure from Indian Bar audio
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Summary

Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe moved to California from Massachusetts during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800’s. During her travels, Louise was offered the opportunity to write for The Herald about her travel adventures. It was at this point that Louise chose the name β€œShirley” as her pen name. Dame Shirley wrote a series of 23 letters to her sister Mary Jane (also known as Molly) in Massachusetts in 1851 and 1852. The β€œShirley Letters”, as the collected whole later became known, gave true accounts of life in two gold mining camps on the Feather River in the 1850s. She described these camps in Northern California with vividness in portraying the wildness of Gold Rush life. The letters give detailed accounts of the vast and beautiful landscape that was the background to the hustle and bustle of mining life. Louise’s perspective as a woman provided a contrast to the typically all-male mining camps that she occupied. The letters were later published in the Pioneer, a California literary magazine based out of San Francisco.

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