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Benjamin Avery, California Poetry and Prose, 1878

Poetic and descriptive tributes to the California landscape


In addition to men seeking their fortune in the gold fields, California drew educated professionals seeking a new life on the West Coast. Benjamin Avery was a New York journalist who moved to California in the 1850s and became part owner of the Marysville Appeal. This database is a collection of "word-sketches" Avery wrote that details the scenery and peoples of northern California. These essays and poems describe the Sierra Nevadas, Yosemite, and Mount Shasta among other areas. For those with ancestors from the area, this can be an illuminating look into the geography in which they lived.

Extended Description

New York journalist Benjamin Parke Avery (1828-1875) emigrated to California and became part owner of the Marysville Appeal in the 1850s and later published a newspaper in San Francisco and served as state printer. Californian pictures in prose and verse (1878) contains his "word-sketches," which are largely confined to California scenery, although some picture Native Americans and miners whom he knew when he prospected on the Trinity River in 1850 as well as the city of San Francisco. Most of the book is devoted to poems and essays dealing with mountains of the Coast Range, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Santa Cruz range and their passes and lakes; Yosemite, upper Sacramento Valley, Mount Shasta, and the geysers.
 •  Benjamin D. Wilson, Report on California Indians, 1852  A report of the indians of southern California in 1852 as written by an indian agent
 •  Judge Benjamin Hayes, California Diary  Pioneer notes from the diaries of Judge Benjamin Hayes, 1849-1875.
 •  Fort Omaha, Nebraska Directory, 1888-96  Listing of soldiers and civilians living at Fort Omaha in Nebraska between 1888 and 1896
 •  Constance Gordon-Cumming, Five Months in California  Collection of travel letters from an Englishwoman who spent five months in Northern California in 1878
 •  Walter Colton, Three Years in California, 1846-49  The 1846-1849 journal of Walter Colton, member of California's high society
 •  Felix Wierzbicki, California Guidebook, 1849  A straightforward guide book to California's 1849 gold fields
 •  William H. Davis, Seventy-Five Years in California  Seventy-five years in California as recounted and observed by one prominent citizen
 •  Leonard Kip, Gold Mine Sketches  Observations of a young New York lawyer turned prospector in 1849
 •  Chicago Irish Families, 1875-1925  12,500 records of Chicago's Irish families, often immigrants
 •  Frank Marryat, California Mountains and Molehills, 1855  Observations of an English adventurer in California between 1850-1855.

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