Great to be here, Anna.
What is it about the Gold Rush or should I say Rushes? What state do you think of when you hear the words “gold rush”? California, right? What about Colorado and Alaska? You’ve heard of them but they aren’t as famous as the one in California, right? What about North Carolina? No? I’d never heard of a North Carolina gold rush either.
Actually the first gold rush in the United States was in North Carolina in 1803. Gold coins from 1804 through 1828 were minted from Carolina gold that was shipped to Philadelphia for the actual minting.
After this, it became the custom to have a mint at the source of the gold. This is the reason that the first “D” on coins didn’t stand for Denver but for Dalonega, Georgia where there was a small gold rush in 1828.
The next gold rush was the one we all think of when we hear those words, “gold rush”. That’s right the one in 1849. In some ways this is the most significant of the “rushes”. It started the settling of the west, like nothing else before it. The 1849 gold rush led directly to the settlement of California by Americans rather than the Spanish or the Mexicans. This also led to its almost immediate entry into the union as the State of California in 1850.
The Colorado gold rush began as the Pikes Peak gold rush in 1859. But as more gold was found in other places, most famously in Central City, the name was changed.
Many of the miners from California came to Colorado and began mining and settling the Colorado Territory. Colorado wouldn’t become a state until 1876. Along with the miners, came businesses to support them, followed by women to marry them and then families and then churches. Make no mistake, the miners brought in the women to marry, but it was the women who brought civilization. They are the ones who brought in schools and churches, to the untamed land.
The next gold rush was in the Dakota Territory. The rush began in 1874 with the Custer expedition, which we all know how that ended. Not at all well for Custer. The heyday for the Black Hills gold rush was 1876-1877. This is the period that I’ve set my series, Destiny in Deadwood. The first book in the series, REDEEMED BY A REBEL, tells Jake Anderson’s story. He’s on the run for killing one of the men who raped and murdered Jake’s fiancée.
He goes to Deadwood with his brothers. It’s the perfect place for a man like Jake. A man wanting to hide and fade into the woodwork. There is no law in Deadwood. It’s a no man’s land because it belonged to the Sioux Indians. The US Government had no jurisdiction there.
That is until the gold production draws their attention. In February 1877, the Black Hills were annexed by the United States and the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, was rewritten to exclude the Black Hills. The Black Hills are sacred land to the Sioux and the change in the treaty was not well received but there was nothing the Sioux could do.
So what do all these gold rush periods have in common, besides the gold? They brought civilization to an otherwise wild land. We as a nation expanded and settled more land faster than we would have otherwise because of the gold finds. If there had been no gold rushes, we would have still settled the land but it would have taken decades longer.
I hope you’ll pick up my book, REDEEMED BY A REBEL and perhaps get a taste of the gold mining era.
Cynthia Woolf is the author of six historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.
Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
REDEEMED BY A REBEL
TAME A WILD HEART
TAME A WILD WIND
TAME A WILD BRIDE
TAME A SUMMER HEART
LOVE AND MISERY, a very short story
Website – www.cynthiawoolf.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf