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When brothers Ethan and Hosea Grosh left Pennsylvania in 1849, they joined throngs of men from all over the world intent on finding a fortune in the California Gold Rush. Their search for wealth took them from San Francisco into the gold country and then over the Sierra into Nevada's Gold Canyon, where they placer-mined for gold and discovered a deposit of silver. The letters they sent back to their family offer vivid commentaries on the turbulent western frontier, the diverse society of the Gold Rush camps, and the heartbreaking labor and frustration of mining. Their lively descriptions of Gold Canyon provide one of the earliest accounts of life in what would soon become the fabulously wealthy Comstock Mining District. The Groshes' letters are rich in color and important historical details. Generously annotated and with an introduction that provides a context for the brothers' career and the setting in which they tried to make their fortune, these documents powerfully depict the often harsh realities of Gold Rush life and society.