Assigned Readings

  1. Johnson, Roaring Camp, Chapter 1 (p.57-97)
  2. McCarthy, "Frontier Diaries" (p. 8-13) - link to Box

Questions to guide your reading:
Remember to include specific examples in your notes.

Johnson, Roaring Camp

  1. Content Who migrated to California during the Early Gold Rush, and why?
  2. Themes She will talk a lot in the coming chapters about the construction of race and whiteness in Gold Rush California. At this point, the beginning of the Gold Rush, who is white in California? How were ideas of race tied to ideas of gender?
  3. Analysis & Critical Thinking She spends a lot of time detailing these groups - who they were and how they came to migrate to California? Why will this be important in the coming chapters? How do these peoples form a global network within California?

McCarthy, "Frontier Diaries"

  1. Content What was the pocket diary and what functions does McCarthy argue that they held for California migrants?

Helpful Context

The first three pages of Chapter 1 of Roaring Camp are a tough place to jump into this book, but try not to get bogged down here by using the guiding questions to help you tackle this. She's primarily trying to set up that people came to Gold Rush California from many different places for a multitude of reasons and had greatly divergent experiences there. Her point on page 59 is key: "Gold Rush social relations, then, arose out of the backgrounds and aspirations of polyglot peoples differently affected by worldwide economic and cultural change."

See tips and reminders on reading/taking notes in this course.

Johnson, Roaring Camp