South Pass, 1868


South Pass, 1868

James Chisholm's Journal of the Wyoming Gold Rush

Introduced and edited by Lola M. Homsher

246 pages
Illus., maps


August 1975


$16.95 Add to Cart

Author Bio

Lola M. Homsher was director of the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department.


"James Chisholm was a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune sent to report on the gold strike made in the late 1860s at one of the great historical features of the continent—South Pass on the western trails. His journal, illustrated by himself, is a graceful, observant narrative full of the real essence of frontier mining camp life."—Library Journal

"Chisholm had a lively sense of humor, an engaging frankness, and a fine eye for landscape. He was also a candid social critic."—Rocky Mountain News

"Lovers of the Old West will buy Chisholm’s Journal and never part with it."—Pacific Historical Review

"If South Pass failed to produce gold in the paying quantities James Chisholm’s miners thought it would, Chisholm himself produced finer, more lasting gold in his journal account of Wyoming’s short-lived gold rush. His journal exudes the smell of sagebrush and scenic panoramas, of torrential rain storms and night packing, of being small in a big land, and of honest, earthy people who, in business-like fashion, went about the task of risking life, limb, health, and what small fortunes they had, to hit the big one. Chisholm sees with unpretentious eyes. His is an honest appraisal from a detached journalist, leavened with self-effacing humor. His prose is clean and clear. It can be read aloud and remembered."—Charles E. Rankin, editor of Montana: The Magazine of Western History


1960 Spur Award, sponsored by the Western Writers of America, non-fiction winner
Award of Merit, sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History