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Navarro, Ramon Gil. (edited by Maria Del Carmen Ferreyra & David S. Reher)

ISBN 10: 0803233434 / ISBN 13: 9780803233430
Published by Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, (2000.) dj, 2000
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Hardcover first edition - First printing. First publication of one of the most interesting diaries written during the California gold rush: Navarro did not just come to California from Argentina by himself: he founded a company with 120 investors. His diary (which is a true diary - that is, one written at night each day, rather than a reconstruction of events based on diary notes) actually covers more than the three years that he spent in California, and only about half of the California portion is included in this book (extremely repetitive elements have been reduced, as well as comments about his family back in South America.) From the introduction: " 'I am going to California! Everyone has heard about California. This entire society, from the wisest of the wise to the most rustic hillbilly, has been talking about California. The friars at church talk about its gold, and on walks, in drawing rooms, and even while praying people ask the Lord for a safe trip up there. .They say so much about that far-off land that my diary, even if it were to be completely filled, could never contain all the news that reaches us all the time from that remote land. Summing it up, they say that everyone who gets there can make his fortune. Then fine, that is where I am going.' Navarro diary entry for 15 February 1849. .[this] is a diary written by an Argentinean political exile who first took refuge in Chile, just beyond the reach of the Argentinean political hatreds, disputes, reprisals, and singular lack of political tolerance. From there, he, like thousands of people from all over the world, heard the call of California, the California where gold had been discovered. Heading up a Chilean mining company, he set sail in search of his own personal fortune and destiny. Navarro's intensely personal account is about California and about gold, of course, but it is also about life, love, success, and frustration. A stunning tale of his own experience as a forty-niner, the diary is also an often intensely lyrical exploration into our human condition. Navarro was a keen but seldom dispassionate observer of life with a penchant for literary description. He was strongly, Argentinean in his education, outlook, and temperament, but he was also a man enthusiastically caught up in the maelstrom of life that took place in California during the gold rush." Among the California locations which are part of this diary are San Francisco, Stockton, Sacramento, Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras, Melones, San Andreas, Marysville, and more. Photographs, maps, chronology, glossary of key person, notes, bibliography, index. xx, 305 pp Very near fine in a fine dustjacket (corners slightly bumped). Bookseller Inventory # 38014

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, (2000.) dj

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Gold! Gold! Gold! This seductive mantra, shouted throughout the Americas in 1848–49, convinced thousands of people that California's gold could be had simply by picking it up off the ground. Ramón Gil Navarro, an Argentinean political exile living in Chile, heard these rumors of a new El Dorado, but he was not so naïve as to believe that the gold merely had to be gathered. He understood that mining required extensive capital investment and labor, and along with three other investors he arranged to have 120 workers and a shipload of supplies sent to California. Navarro accompanied the workers to Stockton and began prospecting.

Gold rush California was a rough and tumble world where finding gold—and keeping it—was not a simple matter. Navarro encountered people from all over the world brought together in a society marked by racial and ethnic intolerance, swift and cruel justice, and great hardships. It was a world of contrasts, where the roughest of the rough lived in close proximity to extremely refined cultural circles. Despite his planning, Navarro had not reckoned on the racism he would encounter. He witnessed several instances of Anglo miners harassing Latinos and other ethnic groups. After three years without success, Navarro returned to South America. He became a national representative in the Argentinean congress and worked as a journalist. He never returned to California.

About the Author:

María del Carmen Ferreyra is a researcher affiliated with the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina. She is the great-granddaughter of Ramón Gil Navarro and made the original transcription of his diaries. David S. Reher, a professor of history at the University of Madrid, is the author of Perspectives on the Family in Spain: Past and Present and other works.

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Terms of Sale: is a partnership between Christine Volk and Eugene Iiams, Booksellers. Our mailing address is PO Box 696, Ione CA 95640 USA. Our store is located at 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 USA. Email: Phone: 209-274-6960. We accept Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Discover, checks or Paypal, whichever is most convenient for customers. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to confirm availability. All dustjackets are in archival mylar covers, and books are packed ...

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