The World Rushed In by J.S. Holiday: chapters 6 and 7

Sept. 13.  This morn while getting up the cattle, the men saw a catamount, but as they had no firearms with them they allowed the fellow to go off unmolested. So this is probably what comes from being over-educated. When I read the above entry in William Swain’s diary for Sept. 13, 1949, I thought ‘catamount?’  Isn’t that an archaic term for gay man? Were … Continue reading The World Rushed In by J.S. Holiday: chapters 6 and 7

The World Rushed In Ch. IV: Tracks of the Elephant (Ft. Kearny to Ft. Laramie)

Three things struck me from this section of William Swain’s account of his journey to the California gold fields in 1849.  The World Rushed In by J.S. Holiday compiled from the letters William Swain and his family exchanged, augmented with sections for the letters of other 49’ers to fill out the story. The firs thing that struck me this chaptert is how important it was to … Continue reading The World Rushed In Ch. IV: Tracks of the Elephant (Ft. Kearny to Ft. Laramie)

The World Rushed In by J.S. Holiday. Chapter II: Fitting for a Start and Chapter III: The Great California Caravan

Last week in one of his now infamous dissents Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that California does not count as part of the American West.  He was a little more forceful than that.  My initial response was, of course, “Drop dead.”  Not in those words exactly, but you get the picture. It’s a tired and somewhat racist view, this notion that the true America … Continue reading The World Rushed In by J.S. Holiday. Chapter II: Fitting for a Start and Chapter III: The Great California Caravan

Mining for Freedom by Sylvia Alden Roberts

A few months ago an article by Kameron Hurley finally came to my attention via a mention on Podcastle.  “‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative” makes the argument that women have always been warriors and that it’s time to start portraying them as such particularly in science fiction and fantasy.  I’m not enough of a historian to say whether or not … Continue reading Mining for Freedom by Sylvia Alden Roberts