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Seasons of gold: An environmental history of the Cariboo gold rush

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Prins, Megan
Seasons are history’s constant companion. Spring, summer, winter, and fall mark the calendar and define the possibilities of labour and gender. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the pivotal events that unfolded during the Cariboo gold rush of 1862. In a world before climate-controlled homes, miners, Natives, Chinese, and Hurdy Gurdy girls all had to reckon with nature’s rhythms. This thesis explores how seasons, compounded by the contradictory forces of geographical isolation, a global market for gold, and environmental experiences in previous North American rushes, played a key role in how miners and their accompaniments related to nature and to each other. To pursue the latent wealth of the Cariboo, gold miners had to accommodate the region’s seasonal contingencies. The result was a peculiar rhythm of mining that revealed the intricate ways that nature shaped the most northern mining frontier before the Yukon.
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