Nancy Kelsey

Eighteen-year-old Nancy Kelsey trod nearly 2,000 dangerous miles west from the border of American civilization at the Missouri River, holding her two-year-old daughter Martha Ann in her arms for much of the way

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California Poppy smaller According to one account the “Belle of St. Louis,” teenaged Fanny White came to California in a covered wagon with her family during the gold rush, accompanied all the way by an ardent, and determined, suitor named Edward J. C. Kewen.

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When John Sutter dispatched James Marshall into the Sierra Nevada foothills to build the sawmill Sutter needed for his many improvements projects, he sent a crew of 18 white and Indian men to assist Marshall,

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Mary Ellen Pleasant

Not content to simply speak out for civil rights, Mary Ellen Pleasant personally advanced the cause in California, following the Civil War.  “I am a whole theater to myself,” she reportedly said in her later years, boasting of her many successes.

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Bride

Early attempts to attract marriageable women to the Pacific Coast were largely failures. Mrs. Eliza Farnham hatched a well-publicized, clergy-endorsed plan to import up to 200 proper ladies from the

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