Narrative of Samuel Hancock: Adventure, Escape, and Massacre During the California Gold Rush

by Samuel Hancock, Introduction by Arthur D. Howden Smith

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This work is an unusual autobiography, chronicling the experiences of Samuel Hancock between 1845-60. It details his journey to Oregon, his frustrating attempts to mine for gold in California, and his dramatic time as a captive under Native Americans. Hancock would go on to become a trader with the Native Americans, having used his time while under captivity to study the ceremonial rituals, building styles, medical practices, and other facets of Native American culture. Perhaps somewhat sensational, it offers interesting insights on the mindset of colonizers like Hancock.