Introdution to Gillespie

Interactive Map

Complete Journal Entries

Complete Listing of Sketches

Annotated Bibliography


Billington, Ray Allen.  America’s Frontier Heritage.  New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966.
     In this book, Billington supports Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous “frontier thesis.”  Billington also provides information on the frontier experience and its effects on America.  The reader gains a better understanding of the time period in which Gillespie traveled west.

Brands, H.W.  The Age of the Gold Rush: The California Gold Rush and The New American Dream.  New York: Doubleday Publishing, 2002.

     Brands addresses many topics pertaining to the Gold Rush in this book. Included are stories of well-known figures in Gold Rush history as well as information on less famous forty-niners.  Contains different perspectives on the Gold Rush that can be compared with Gillespie’s experiences.

Caughey, John Walton.  The California Gold Rush.  Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1948.

     Caughey’s book provides a narrative on the California Gold Rush.  The book covers many important themes in Gold Rush history including the discovery of gold, the worldwide rush to mine for gold, work in the mines, and various consequences of the Gold Rush.   

Davis, David Brion.  Antebellum American Culture: An Interpretive Anthology.  University Park, PA:  The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.

     Davis covers various aspects of American antebellum history.  Many primary documents were selected to provide the reader with a better understanding of antebellum society. This book will assist the reader in better understanding the time period in which Gillespie traveled west.

Dippel, John V.  Race to the Frontier: “White Flight” and Westward Expansion.  New York: Algora Publishing, 2005.

     Dippel’s book examines race relations and how they were related to the settling of the west.  Dippel studies why so many individuals’ decisions to move west were racially motivated.  When compared to Gillespie’s motivations, this book provides the reader with different perspectives on reasons for traveling west.

Driesbach, Janice T., Harvey L. Jones, and Katherine Church Holland.  Art of the Gold Rush.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998. 

     This book studies paintings, drawings, and other art from the Gold Rush era.  Includes an array of art by artists both formally trained and self-taught.  Art of he Gold Rush is a quality companion book to pursue when viewing Gillespie’s art.

Heidler, David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler.  Manifest Destiny.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003.

     Manifest Destiny provides the reader with a general understanding of the term and studies the origins of territorial expansion in the U.S.  The book also addresses the many interpretations of this term.

Johnson, Susan Lee.  Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush.  New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001.
     Johnson examines how the California Gold Rush was one of the most multi-cultural events that took place during the nineteenth century.  Johnson also addresses how many men had to reassess gender roles since most women did not travel with their counterparts to California.  This book examines the social world in which Gillespie would become part of.
Kowalewski, Michael Ed.  Gold Rush: A Literary Exploration.  Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books in conjunction with the California Council for the Humanities, 1997.

     This book is the companion to the PBS special entitled The Gold Rush. The book includes several primary accounts of the Gold Rush.  Gillespie is featured in this book.

McPherson, James M.  Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.  New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1988.
     McPherson’s book primarily covers the American Civil War.  However, the time period before the Civil War is also reviewed.  This book provides a comprehensive study on several monumental years in Gillespie’s life.

National Museum of American Art.  Silver and Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush.  Iowa City, IA: The University of Iowa Press, 1998.

     This book contains many images dating to the Gold Rush period.  It provides a look into the material culture of the Gold Rush era.

Ottley, Allan R., editor.  The Sutter Family and the Origins of Gold-Rush Sacramento.  Sacramento: Sacramento Book Collectors Club, 1943.

     Ottley provides a detailed biography of John Sutter Jr., son of John Sutter who owned the property that gold was discovered on.  The biography offers information on a very important family in Gold Rush history.  In addition to the biography, included in the book is a statement by John Sutter Jr. regarding his early experiences in California.

Richards, Leonard L.  The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War.  New York: Knopf Publishing Group, 2007.
     Richards argues that Gold Rush California was a topic of national debate.  The book provides an overview of the Gold Rush and illustrates how California played a role in the coming of the Civil War.  Addresses the political atmosphere that Gillespie became a part of when he traveled to California.  

Roberts, Brian.  American Alchemy: The California Gold Rush and the Middle-Class Culture.  Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

     Roberts makes the argument that many individuals who traveled west during the Gold Rush were of middle-class origin and attempts to dispel the idea that the west was full of free spirited forty-niners.  Roberts also writes on the “unseen” forty-niners who were the women that stayed behind.  Gillespie is somewhat similar to these middle-class men and appeared to be in no financial trouble when he traveled west.

Rohrbough, Malcolm J.  Days of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the American Nation.  Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1997.

     Rohrbough’s book covers the Gold Rush and how it greatly influenced the nation.  The author also examines how the Gold Rush affected individuals, both men and women, across the nation.  Clearly, the Gold Rush affected and played an important role in Gillespie’s life.