Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (Dear America Series)
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Susanna Fairchild and her family are on board a ship sailing from New York to the West, where they plan to start a new life in Oregon. But tragedy strikes when Susanna¹s mother is lost to the sea. Hearing stories of great wealth, Susanna¹s physician father decides he wants to join the hordes of men rushing to California to mine for gold.
with us, for the boy’s sake, and for ours. This brings me to our second good thing. I saved it until supper when we were around the fire. Captain Clinkingbeard cooked flapjacks and we ate them rolled up with bacon inside. Good hot coffee, too. “Papa,” I said, “Clara and I found something last night.” Reaching into my pocket I pulled out a rock and held it in my palm. It was yellowish, the size of a walnut. He leaned forward in the light to see better. He put it in his mouth and tapped his teeth
95 It appears that Rosita’s baby will be born sooner than later, for she is quite round in the middle. She is relieved that our father is nearby. Papa has some new patients. One is the dancehall lady, but he won’t say what the matter is. The others are three fellows up Waterfall Creek. They fell ill from eating mushrooms so Papa tended them until they were back in their right minds. He was paid with a plump hen, which he gave to Clara. She flung it over a tree stump and swiftly chopped off its
26TH OF AUGUST In the middle of the night I woke suddenly and sat up in bed. I finally figured out that since Jenny Winslow killed one man and not three, a murderer is still on the loose. Rosita and Tomás came for supper with Esperanza and Antonio. Our evening was not as jovial as our last Sunday together because Papa brought up the subject of Oregon. When asked why not just winter 139 in San Francisco, he explained that we have family up north. Since he has taken Clara and me so far away from
written permission of the publisher. For information regarding permission, write to Scholastic Inc., Attention: Permissions Department, 555 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kristiana, Gregory. Seeds of hope : the gold rush diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849 / by Kristiana Gregory. p. cm. — (Dear America) Summary: A diary account of fourteen-year-old Susanna Fairchild’s life in 1849, when her father succumbs to gold fever on
day of the New Year and my first entry in this journal. I plan to record the dreams of our family and my own thoughts as well. It is what Mother had intended. These empty pages testify to her sickness the first weeks of our voyage, when she was unable to eat or even hold up her head. Now, so many weeks later, the empty pages speak of our tragedy at sea. I will write of it another time. SATURDAY, THE 6TH OF JANUARY We are still anchored in the sheltered harbor of Callao, Peru. The breeze is as