Pres Longley settled into Butte County in the 1800s to mine gold and write. His verse reflects the interests, concerns, and struggles of California's growing years. He gives the reader an entertaining look at the effect that the gradual arrival of women had on the giant bachelor party that was gold rush California. The decline of mining and the burgeoning of agriculture, the political battles, the debates over how to treat the Indians and the Chinese, and the wars between rival newspapers are all displayed in his verse.
In this volume, building a picture of Pres Longley through his poetry becomes a journey exploring manifest destiny, the beginnings of Pacific journalism, and the economy, politics, and society of California's first six decades. What emerges is the image of a Renaissance man, a gentleman devoted to letters and to his friends, a dreamer, and a man ever in love with the Golden State.
Pres Longley, the Bard of Butte and the poet of Helltown, wrote over three hundred poems during his career. The works presented here are a representative selection of just over one hundred poems and a few short prose pieces from six decades of writing. As far as possible his original spelling and punctuation are retained.
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