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As the South breaks away, Californians must make a fateful choice…

Will the Golden State stay with the Union? Will she declare herself a sovereign nation? Or will she split in two, half slave and half free?

Ida Hatfield



A tale of divided loyalties in the Northern Mines of California

At Missouri House, a stagecoach stop in the goldfields of the Sierra Nevada, Ida Hatfield and her mother, Molly, are surrounded by danger as Yankees, Rebels, and outlaws vie to possess the glittering treasure of the Northern Mines. In nearby Nevada City, Will Stafford, a young Virginian attorney, finds California becoming as dear to his heart as his Southern homeland. When the War of Rebellion rages on, his loves and loyalties are put to the ultimate test.

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Nevada City, The Queen of the Northern Mines, was a vibrant community in the 1860's. The story's characters, real and fictional, come from all over the globe. In addition to the central theme of warring Americans, the book tells of Ah Tie, a Chinese mine owner who is denied justice for his two murdered guards; of Peter Kessel, an Austrian musician and absconded revolutionary, who finds an improbable bride in the American wilderness; and of Nutim, a Nisenan Maidu orphan, who plots revenge against the white 'ghost people' who are destroying his tribe.




"In 1860, the ties that bound the Pacific to the Government at Washington were nowhere very strong."

– Asbury Harpending,
Confederate partisan in California

US Grant

"I do not know what we would do in this great National emergency if it was not for the gold coming from California."

– Ulysses S. Grant,
Lieutenant General USA


For more about the untold story of California during the Civil War, click here.

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