Assigned Readings:  Jigsaw Day

  • Group A: Johnson, Roaring Camp, Chapter 2 (p.99-140): domestic life in the mines
  • Group B: Johnson, Roaring Camp, Chapter 4 (p.185-236): mining & racial conflict
  • Group C: Johnson, Roaring Camp, parts of Chapters 5 & 6 (p.237-258, 275-289): bust: the decline of the Gold Rush

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

    Group A: Chapter 2

    1. Content In the Southern Mines, what are some of the ways that people organized the division of labor to take care of subsistence needs (food, shelter, caring for the sick, etc.)?
    2. Themes Why does she argue that this division of labor is important for how we understand the Gold Rush and the mining camps? How do these subsistence practices produce and/or reflect ideas of race and gender? And how did race/gender affect how people understood the practices of others?
    3. Analysis & Critical Thinking What types of sources is she using to make these claims? Is she convincing?
    4. QuestionsDo you have any questions about this reading?

    Group B: Chapter 4

    1. Content What types of labor systems for mining gold does she describe in this chapter? What ideas about labor and class are these systems built upon? How does this create opportunities for racial conflict?
    2. Content What types of mechanisms do Anglo Americans use to bar non-US citizens and non-whites from mining areas? Why are white miners' efforts so effective at creating a system of dominance?
    3. Themes Conflict is central to this chapter, but so is resistance. What strategies do non-white miners use to fight back against white miners' restrictions? How do ideas of class, race, and gender fuel these resistance efforts?
    4. QuestionsDo you have any questions about this reading?

    Group C: Chapter 5

    1. Content In these chapters, she describes both the decline of the Gold Rush mining boom and white Americans' consolidation of power (both governmental and social power). What factors lead to these changes in 1850s California?
    2. Themes How does she describe relations of class, gender, and power changing during the early 1850s in this region?
    3. Analysis & Critical Thinking
    4. Why do these changes contribute to the decline of mining and the integration of California into the nation and a global economy?

    5. QuestionsDo you have any questions about this reading?

    Helpful Context

    Remember that you'll be responsible for teaching the chapter you read to your classmates. For this reason, it's more important than usual that you come to class prepared and with a good understanding of this chapter.

    Also remember that if you run into a name or another concept from an earlier chapter you didn't read, you can try to look it up in the index to learn more about it.

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

    Johnson, Roaring Camp