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Henry Vizetelly

Book Overview: 

Vizetelly, writing under the pseudonym J. Tyrwhitt Brooks, recalls an expedition to California he took between 1847-1848 . Originally, he planned to enlist as a surgeon for the US Army during the Mexican war, but conflicts had ended by the time he applied. In a quick change of plans, he joined a group of prospectors on their way to the newly found gold fields of California. While he might not find service in the military, his training as a physician made him a valuable addition to the ragtag team of explorers.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Bradley agreed to look about the Fort and see if he could meet with another servant. In this errand, I am sorry to say, he was not successful.

While these several commissions were executing, the Captain returned and walked with me through the Fort. On our way he pointed out the guard-house, the Indian soldiers attached to which had deserted to the mines almost to a man; the woollen factory, with some thirty women still at work; the distillery house, where the famous pisco is made; and the blacksmiths' and wheelwrights' shops, with more work before them than the few mechanics left will be able to get through in a month. Yet all these men talked of starting off to the diggings in a day or two. The Captain told me he had only been able to keep them by greatly increased pay, and by an almost unlimited allowance of pisco and whisky.

It was not easy to pick our way through the crowds of strange people who were moving backwards and forwards in every direction. Carts . . . Read More