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The Brewer party, 150 years later

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The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:48 am

You know their names from the peaks: Brewer, Hoffmann, Gardiner, Cotter, Clarence King, Abbot, Gabb, and of course Whitney. 150 years ago, in late 1860, the field team of the California Geological Survey--led by William H. Brewer--started out on their 4-year, 14,000 mile journey around California. Which, of course, included some of the most important early exploration of the High Sierra.

Brewer described their travels in detail in his letters to family back east; these letters were later collected and published as Up and Down California. Brewer's letters form an extraordinary portrait of California at a pivotal moment: the gold rush over, everyone looking for (and promoting) the next boom, Secessionists and Unionists jockeying for control of the state, the best land tied up in hopeless legal tangles thanks to the Mexican land grants; the government bankrupt, the roads poor to non-existent, the transportation unreliable, disparate regions going their own way. Ten years after statehood, California was barely a state at all.

At Up and Down California, we're following Brewer's travels as they happen--posting excerpts from Brewer's account in real time (+150) along with present-day photos of the places Brewer describes. We won't get up to the Sierra until 2013, but for anyone who's interested in history, or California, or California history, there's plenty of fascinating material in the meantime. I hope you'll check it out.



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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby Hetchy » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:49 am

This is wicked cool! Many thanks!
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby Shawn » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:37 am

Wow, how cool. That is one of my favorite pieces of history. Thanks for posting and all of the work behind it (the map is very slick).
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks! Glad y'all like it. Shawn, it's one of my favorite episodes as well (maybe that was obvious ;) )...and one of the reasons I started this is that I didn't see anybody doing anything to commemorate the 150th.
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby markskor » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:08 pm

Agree, very cool read!
Nice job Tom.
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby maverick » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:20 pm

Thanks Tom for posting this, very interesting read, and I too enjoyed the map.
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:21 am

I've added a new page that makes it easy to start at the beginning and follow the posts in chronological order (this'll be continuously updated, and at the end of the project will have date-ordered links to the entire journey).
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby ERIC » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:32 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:I've added a new page that makes it easy to start at the beginning and follow the posts in chronological order (this'll be continuously updated, and at the end of the project will have date-ordered links to the entire journey).


Good work!!
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby BSquared » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:11 pm

This is absolutely terrific! Thanks so much, Tom!
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby copeg » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:47 pm

This is dang cool! Great work putting this together :thumbsup:
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:32 pm

Thanks, y'all! :)
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Re: The Brewer party, 150 years later

Postby Cross Country » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:43 pm

Most of my trips I felt a kinship to these people. I don't feel that I'm like them. The were soooo much braver and more adventurers than I, but nonetheless a kinship.
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