Cover image for Hurry freedom : African Americans in Gold Rush California
Hurry freedom : African Americans in Gold Rush California
Stanley, Jerry, 1941-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown Publishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
85 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Recounts the history of African Americans in California during the Gold Rush while focusing on the life and work of Mifflin Gibbs.
Reading Level:
1090 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.0 4.0 45230.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.3 7 Quiz: 24087 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F865 .S813 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Here for the first time in a book for young readers is the story of the African American forty-niners who went west to seek fortunes and freedom in the California Gold Rush. Among the thousands drawn west by the California Gold Rush were many African Americans. Some were free men and women in search of opportunity; others were slaves brought from the slave states of the South. Some found freedom and wealth in the gold fields and growing cities of California, but all faced the deeply entrenched prejudices of the era. To tell this story Hurry Freedom! focuses on the life of Mifflin Gibbs, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850 and established a successful boot and shoe business. But Gibbs's story is more than one of business and personal success: With other African American San Franciscans, he led a campaign to obtain equal legal and civil rights for Blacks in California.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-More than just a look at life in Gold Rush California, Stanley's brief, fascinating account provides a microcosmic look at the early African-American experience that will most likely have a profound effect on readers. Lured by possible riches and most importantly, opportunity, blacks migrated to California. Unfortunately, the arduous journey across the Oregon and Gila Trails did not affect their position in society. Despite an overwhelmingly racist atmosphere, a few African Americans managed to eke out livings and prevail against injustice. Stanley draws upon the personal experiences of two little-known figures, Mifflin Gibbs and Peter Lester, to exemplify the experience. This narrative choice lends the book a biographical feel rendering it highly readable. Both Gibbs and Lester ultimately succeeded through extremely hard work; as prosperous businessmen they used their shop as a station on the Underground Railroad and furtively lobbied to pass bills that would improve black Californians' lives. Good-quality, archival photos fill the pages. Some of them portray blacks and whites working side by side, others exemplify the time and culture discussed throughout the book. As the title suggests, the focus remains on African Americans, yet Stanley does note that Asian Americans and other minority groups also endured mistreatment at this time. A fine addition.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.