The Huntington Library is reprinting some of its regional classics. This fine Gold Rush journal by George W.B. Evans was ably edited by the late Glenn Dumke in 1945. It now bears a new introduction by Peter Blodgett.
Dumke began the “rediscovery” of the Gila Trail, largely neglected by historians in 1945. Evans and many others, especially Texas argonauts, preferred this southern route to California. Since its lifeline across the dangerous deserts of New Mexico and Arizona was the Gila River, it came to be called the Gila Trail. Evans’ detailed day-by-day account of his adventurous journey takes us deep into Chihuahua, Mexico, on a very roundabout and little-used road, before he angles northward to the Gila and its junction with the Colorado River at Yuma Crossing. And, unlike many forty-niners, Evans fills us in on his subsequent stay in the Sierra Nevada gold mines. —Richard H. Dillon