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A Gold Hunter's Experience

A Gold Hunter's Experience by Chalkley J. Hambleton

A Gold Hunter's Experience by Chalkley J. Hambleton is a captivating and thrilling account of the author's adventures in search of gold during the California Gold Rush. Hambleton's writing is vivid and engaging, drawing readers into the dangerous and unpredictable world of a gold prospector in the mid-19th century.

The book provides a fascinating glimpse into the hardships and challenges faced by those who sought their fortunes in the goldfields, from treacherous journeys through uncharted wilderness to tense encounters with Native American tribes. Hambleton's firsthand experiences bring a sense of authenticity to the narrative, making it feel as though readers are right there alongside him as he navigates the rugged terrain and faces the uncertainties of life as a gold hunter.

Despite the dangers and setbacks Hambleton encounters, his determination and resilience shine through in his writing. His passion for gold prospecting is evident on every page, as he describes the thrill of a promising find and the disappointment of coming up empty-handed. Through it all, Hambleton's storytelling remains compelling and engaging, making this book a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the California Gold Rush.

Overall, A Gold Hunter's Experience is a gripping and absorbing read that offers a unique perspective on one of the most exciting chapters in American history. Hambleton's narrative is both informative and entertaining, making it a valuable addition to any history buff's bookshelf.

Book Description:

“Early in the summer of 1860, I had an attack of gold fever. In Chicago, the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue.”

Thus Chalkley J. Hambleton begins his pithy and engrossing tale of participation in the Pike’s Peak gold rush.

Four men in partnership hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Denver, Colorado. Hambleton vividly recounts their encounters with buffalo herds, Indians, and”the returning army of disappointed gold seekers.”

Setting up camp near Mountain City, Colorado, Hambleton watched one man wash “several nice nuggets of shining gold” from the dirt and gravel, only to learn afterwards that “these same nuggets had been washed out several times before, whenever a ‘tenderfoot’ would come along, who it was thought might want to buy a rich claim.”

Two years later, “tired and disgusted with the whole business,” Hambleton returned to Chicago, where he arrived “a wiser if not richer man.”

In later years, Hambleton was a prominent Chicago lawyer, real estate developer, and a member of the Chicago Board of Education. He wrote this candid account for family and friends, publishing it privately in 1898. It is based in good part on letters he had sent from the gold fields to his sister. Summing up his experience with wry humor, he writes: “After selling out my interest in the joint enterprise, I still had left some fifty claims on various lodes . . . Some time after returning to Chicago, I was making a real estate trade . . . and I threw in these fifty gold mines. . . Had I only kept them, and gotten up some artistic deeds of conveyance, in gilded letters, what magnificent wedding presents they would have made. . . In the long list of high-sounding, useless presents, the present of a gold mine would have led all the rest.”

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - April 5, 2021
Subject: A Gold Hunters Experience
Great story narrated by at very good reader. I enjoyed very much.

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