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April 01 , 2010

Gold Diggers

Striking It Rich in the Klondike


Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of over thirty thousand people. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.
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Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and starvation stalked all who dared to be in Dawson. And yet the possibilities attracted people from all walks of life-not only prospectors but also newspapermen, bankers, prostitutes, priests, and lawmen. Gold Diggers follows six stampeders-Bill Haskell, a farm boy who hungered for striking gold; Father Judge, a Jesuit priest who aimed to save souls and lives; Belinda Mulrooney, a twenty-four-year-old who became the richest businesswoman in town; Flora Shaw, a journalist who transformed the town’s governance; Sam Steele, the officer who finally established order in the lawless town; and most famously Jack London, who left without gold, but with the stories that would make him a legend.

Drawing on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and stories, Charlotte Gray delivers an enthralling tale of the gold madness that swept through a continent and changed a landscape and its people forever.
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