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Here for the first time in a book for young readers is the story of the African American forty-niners who went west to seek fortunes and freedom in the California Gold Rush.
Among the thousands drawn west by the California Gold Rush were many African Americans. Some were free men and women in search of opportunity; others were slaves brought from the slave states of the South. Some found freedom and wealth in the gold fields and growing cities of California, but all faced the deeply entrenched prejudices of the era.
To tell this story Hurry Freedom! focuses on the life of Mifflin Gibbs, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850 and established a successful boot and shoe business. But Gibbs’s story is more than one of business and personal success: With other African American San Franciscans, he led a campaign to obtain equal legal and civil rights for Blacks in California.
From the award-winning author of Children of the Dustbowl comes a sobering look at two of the most frequently romanticized events in American history. For the native peoples of California, the period from 1769, when the first Spanish Mission was founded, to the 1850s, when the Gold Rush was at its height, was one of terrible violence and destruction. First, Spanish priests and soldiers sought to convert the Indians to Christianity and a "civilized" way of life. Yet for the Indians the story of the missions was one of hunger, disease, rebellion, and death. Then, during the Gold Rush, Indians were frequently kidnapped, murdered, and sold into slavery by white settlers. By the end of the nineteenth century, the surviving California Indians had been forced onto reservations and their way of life had been largely destroyed. With maps, a timeline, and glossaries on California's Indian tribes and mission history, Jerry Stanley tells the story of modern California from the poignant perspective of the Native American.
Describes the plight of the migrant workers who traveled from the Dust Bowl to California during the Depression and were forced to live in a federal labor camp and discusses the school that was built for their children.