Synopses & Reviews
"The phrase and#8217;seeing the elephantand#8217; symbolized for and#8217;49 gold rushers the exotic, the mythical, the once-in-a-lifetime adventure, unequaled anywhere else but in the journey to the promised land of fortune: California. Most western myths . . . generally depict an exclusively male gold rush. Levyand#8217;s book debunks that myth. Here a variety of women travel, work, and write their way across the pages of western migrant history."-Choice
"One of the best and most comprehensive accounts of gold rush life to date"and#710;and#150;San Francisco Chronicle
andldquo;In a lively, truly delightful style, JoAnn Levy traces the neglected history of womenandrsquo;s experiences in the California gold rush. This is no familiar retelling of the usual gold rush narrative, but a totally new story with women responding vigorously and positively to crisis both on the trail and in California. Ms. Levyandrsquo;s fine narrative is enhanced by revealing quotations from so many little-known women diarists and from guide books that it serves as a source and reference book as well. For those interested in womenandrsquo;s history and in western history, this volume is a must.andrdquo;andmdash;Howard F. Lamar, editor of ?The New Encyclopedia of the American West
andldquo;They Saw the Elephant is beautiful, brilliant, funny and brave. Itandrsquo;s hard to read this book without laughing out loudandmdash;or choking back tears.andrdquo;andmdash;Carolyn See, author of Golden Days
andldquo;One of the best and most comprehensive accounts of gold rush life to date.andrdquo;andmdash;San Francisco Chronicle
Countless letters, diaries, and reminiscences survive to testify to their feelings and their achievements, to their experiences coping with adversity--and the freedom--they found at the frontier. In their own words they tell us how they laid another child to rest along the way encountered Indians, thirsted under the merciless desert sun, and stepped out of their burdensome layers of petticoats to do whatever needed to be done.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-251) and index.
About the Author
JoAnn Levy is a free-lance writer born and raised in California. She lives in Los Angeles, but is most at home in a mountainside cabin near the Old Okum mine in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode.