Chalkey J. Hambleton
genre - Memoir
my rating - 3 out of 5 stars
"Early in the summer of 1860 I had a bad attack of gold fever...Gold had been discovered in the fall of 1858 in the vicinity of Pike's Peak...[the stories of returning miners] were fed out to the public daily in an appetizing way by the newspapers. The result was that by the next spring the epidemic became as prevalent in Chicago as cholera was a few years later."
Mr. Hambleton formed a partnership with three other individuals, raised $9,000 dollars and started gathering the equipment, supplies and men needed to furnish a mining outfit headed for Colorado.
He tells all kinds of stories about driving young oxen, passing through millions of 'buffalo', meeting with the Native Americans in that area, food on the trail, prairie dogs and wolves, and information about prospecting and the fascinating miners that he met, including a young George M. Pullman.
I love how he concluded his memoir: "In summing up the losses and gains of the expedition, I have to charge on one side two years and four months of time devoted to hard work, with many privations, and about $500 in cash which I was out of pocket.
On the other side, I had built up a fine constitution, increased in strength and endurance, gained valuable business experience, learned in a measure to persevere under difficulties, and to bear with patience and fortitude the back-sets, reverses and disappointments that so often beset...Did the enterprise pay?"
A special 'thank you' to the volunteer at LibriVox for taking the time to record this book. While I could tell she was not a professionally trained vocalist, she did a fine job.
About the author -
I could find very little about Hambleton. He was a prominent Chicago lawyer, real estate developer, and a member of the Chicago Board of Education. He wrote this candid account for family and friends, publishing it privately in 1898.