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New England to Gold Rush California: The Journal of Alfred and Chastina W. Rix

Archivist and author Lynn A. Bonfield will talk about her new book, New England to Gold Rush California: The Journal of Alfred and Chastina W. Rix 1849-1854, on September 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm in the Special Collections Reading Room.

In 1972, Bonfield discovered the Rixes’s journal at the California Historical Society. Beginning on their wedding day in July 1849, the Peacham, Vermont couple alternated journal entries in a leather-bound copy book. In the unusual “double gender” journal, they wrote about life in Peacham, where they both taught at Peacham Academy; Alfred’s involvement in the California Gold Rush; and the couple’s subsequent life in San Francisco, where Alfred became a successful lawyer. The journal touches on many general themes and events of the time, including political struggles over slavery, migration out of New England, temperance, the value of education, and much more. New England to Gold Rush California includes the journal, commentary by Bonfield based on many years of research, and photographs of the family and their homes in Peacham and California.

Lynn A. Bonfield is retired director of the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University. She is coauthor of Roxana’s Children: The Biography of a Nineteenth-Century Vermont Family, among other publications.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about the event, call 656-2138 or email Special Collections

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