Orland Free Library’s own Children’s Librarian, Nancy Leek, is an author! Her book is John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer, just out from the Association for Northern California Historical Research.
John Bidwell led a very adventurous life. After his claim in Missouri was jumped by a squatter, he set out for California in the first wagon train to head directly to California. Arriving in 1841, he went to work for John Sutter, supervised the dismantling of Fort Ross (which Sutter had just bought from the Russians), took part in the Bear Flag Revolt, wrote the contract for the building of Sutter’s Mill (where gold was discovered), and discovered gold himself on the Feather River.
From the money he made as a miner and a merchant, he bought Rancho del Arroyo Chico. He was elected a state senator and brought the news back to San Francisco that California had been admitted to the Union in 1850. Later he served as a congressman in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Annie Kennedy. He ran for governor four times, and ran for president of the United States on the Prohibition Party ticket. He was a busy man—energetic, ambitious, and determined to get ahead.
The book is aimed at young readers, but adult readers will find plenty in it to keep them interested as well. If you would like to know more, talk to Nancy any time in the library. Or come to a special book-signing event on Thursday, December 2nd at 5:30 p.m. Nancy will talk about her book and have copies for sale.