THE GOLD RUSH DIARY OF RAMON GIL NAVARRO.
Edition: First printing.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, (2000.) dj. Hardcover first edition - 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. ISBN: 0-803233434.
Condition: Very near fine in a fine dustjacket (corners slightly bumped).