Harvard University Press
Andrea G. McDowell illuminates the informal politics California gold miners practiced in the heady days following 1849 in We the Miners: Self Government in the California Gold Rush. Without governmental institutions, the miners developed their own democratic bodies to establish rules, dispense justice, and confront monopolists who threatened their livelihoods and independence. These bodies’ use of violence, especially against racial minorities, reveal the consequences of unbound democracy, however. Reviewer John Suval writes that McDowell “does admirable work unearthing overlooked dimensions of U.S. democracy and frontier law, while enriching our understanding of a storied chapter of American history.”
"We the Miners: Self-Government in the California Gold Rush,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 24
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol24/iss4/13