California and Back

An 1850's Adventure

Non-Fiction - Travel
78 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2021
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Author Biography

Thank you for reading California and Back, An 1850's Adventure! My name is Adam Thompson and in 2017 I discovered this amazing forgotten memoir of my Great-Great Grandfather, Martin Noble Hine, in an old family travel-trunk that I obtained when my father's dad died, upon clearing out his house back in 1988.
Since the day I took the old trunk home, although being filled with curious family memorabilia and letters, I let it sit unassumingly as a decorative piece at the end of my bed for all those years never bothering to explore it's contents thouroughly! In the middle of one night, during the summer of 2017, I had an extremely vivid dream: "In the dream I opened the trunk, dug to the bottom, and discovered a large manila envelope there." Upon waking, I looked into the trunk and to my amazement at the bottom was a manila envelope containing the fascinating memoir of my ancestor, Martin Noble Hine and his exciting journey to reach the gold fields of California in the early 1850's!
I cannot say why this happened but what could I do? It had to be published! I hope you enjoy!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Daniel D Staats for Readers' Favorite

Adam Thompson shares the fascinating story of his great-great-grandfather Martin Noble Hine's trip to California in 1852. This book is a transcript of notes written by Martin Hine. California and Back: An 1850s Adventure follows Martin’s steamer trip from New York to San Francisco, CA. This is not just a diary of life as normal. This is an adventure of excitement during the Gold Rush of California. Martin never actually visits the gold mines or mines for gold. However, his adventure in the region will keep your interest as he is almost burned to death, drowned, and other exciting adventures. If you have ever wondered about the thousands that swooped into California in the hopes of finding gold, this is the book for you.

While memoirs often have one or two exciting moments, California and Back—edited by Adam Thompson—is a non-stop adventure that makes the word 'exciting' an understatement. This book follows Martin’s life from New York to San Francisco and back. On the way, the steamer he is on runs out of food and is stranded in an old Mexican coastal town. There is romance during the layover. Then Martin travels on to San Francisco amid illnesses. In San Francisco, he experiences typhoid and cholera. He barely escapes the great fire of Sacramento with only what is on his back. Then he is caught in a flood that destroys the small town he has settled in. Adam Thompson did an excellent job presenting his ancestor’s stories. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is incredibly hard to put this book down.

Fun Stuff

Bound for California at the height of the Gold Rush, Martin Noble Hine celebrates the 4th of July on a ship stranded off the coast of Mexico. This is the beginning of Martin’s 18-month long journey as he seeks his fortune in the Wild West of 1852.

Martin’s true-life account paints a vivid picture of his adventures beginning with an unexpected sojourn in Mexico before eventually making his way to old town Sacramento. With a desire for adventure and intending to complete his journey to the Gold Rush region, Martin finds that the West poses more challenges than he could ever imagine. Enduring both devastating fires and disastrous floods along with health epidemics from smallpox, cholera, and typhoid fever it seems as though fate had other plans.

With humorous and fascinating anecdotes from this bygone time, you will be transported back to another era as you join 23-year old Martin Noble Hine on his incredible travels to California and back again in this remarkable memoir.

Irene Chavez

What a find, this short book is a lot of fun! You can read a text book about the California gold rush, the Sacramento fire, and other historical events that took place during that era. Or you can read Martin’s first hand account of what it was like to live through the various events of the time. Thank you to Martin and Adam for allowing me a real glimpse into what life was like and how it felt at the time. I felt like I was right alongside Martin in his adventures, I hope there are more books to come about Martin and his life. I recommend this book it has something for everyone, from romance to history to travel and more. Good reading!