In 1908 Josiah Royce published Race Questions,
Provincialism, and Other American Problems.
This was during the gold rush.
Bayard Taylor’s El Dorado: or Adventures in the Path of
Empire (1850) and Marryat’s Mountains and Molehills
(1855) can be considered the high points of contemporary
nonfiction coverage, although one must also make
reference to such other outstanding works as Hinton
Rowan Helper’s The Land of Gold: Reality Versus Fiction
(1855), J. Douglas Borthwick’s Three Years in California
Alonzo Delano voiced his observations in Pen-Knife
Sketches (1853) and Old Block’s Sketch Book (1856)
These were important facts and statements recorded for
San Francisco was supporting literary culture.
Through the 1860s San Francisco continued to flourish as
a solitary Pacific Coast epicenter of urbanism and artistic
Arriving in San Francisco in 1868 was the Scottish born
naturalist John Muir, who proceeded almost directly to the
Fleeing the Civil war, in which he had served briefly as a
Confederate irregular, Samuel Clemens, a Former
Mississippi riverboat pilot from Hannibal Missouri, joined
his pro-Union brother Orion, secretary to the territorial
governor of Nevada, in Carson City in the summer of
1861, one of thousands of great men grateful to be
escaping the battlefields of the East.
The literature of California in the 1850s was characterized
by humor, history, and memoir; in the 1860s, by local
color, literary journalism, and poetry.