Nancy Leek’s new biography of California pioneer John Bidwell helps to fill the constant and on-going need for good local history books suitable for readers of all ages. In clear, engaging, and accessible prose, Leek tells the exciting story of Bidwell, who helped organize the first overland covered wagon train of American settlers bound for the Golden State, thus blazing the celebrated California Trail.
Arriving at Sutter’s Fort in 1841, Bidwell became Sutter's right-hand man for several years. He explored Northern California, surveyed land grants, served in the Bear Flag Revolt, fought in the Mexican War, discovered gold on the Feather River, won election to Congress during the Civil War, and ran for President of the United States in 1892.
All this, and more, is covered by Leek in a well-written work that will make a welcome addition to any California classroom. A terrific selection for budding young California historians!
—Dr. Michael F. Magliari, California State University, Chico
John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer by Nancy Leek
Nancy Leek is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and a professional librarian. She and her husband Jim live in Chico, where she takes an active interest in local history and serves on the board of the Bidwell Mansion Association.