An hour before his uncle’s ship was to leave New York, 15-year-old John (J.C.) Bates made a last-minute decision to go to California too. J.C. arrived in San Francisco on March 6, 1853, four weeks after leaving home. During the next five years he worked at several trades and mined for gold. J.C. made new friends and was reunited with old ones from his hometown of Coldsprings. He lived at San Francisco, Nevada City and Michigan Flat, working as a novice candymaker, telegraph lineman and gold miner before returning home at the age of 19. "A clever and resourceful young Yankee who demonstrated the energy of the American nation at that time. He is an archetype at the age of fifteen!” exclaims David M. Rubiales, Professor Emeritus, Yuba College. "Quite fascinating and instructive of the Nevada City ambiance in the gold-rush days," says Hank Searls, author of Jaws II, Overboard, Blood Song and Sounding.
136 pp. 14 illus; hardcover