Gold Dust and Gunsmoke: Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes


A lively collection of true tales of villainy and violence during the California Gold Rush

"Boessenecker has done as much as anyone to change and illuminate California's Wild West image... if you would like a good read about how gold fever ignited a rush not only of families, but prostitutes, feuds, lynchings, duels, bare-knuckle prizefights, and vigilantes, then is this the place to start." -Wild West

"A lively, thoughtful, well-researched book, and those interested in the rough, early years of the Mother Lode will not be disappointed." -Ledger-Dispatch (Jackson, Ca)

"[Boessenecker] has done an amazing job of researching newspapers, legal documents, diaries, and other sources, as well as making skillful use of the recent research.... Excellent narrative.... Very well done, Gold Dust & Gunsmoke is a 'must.'" -True West

"Boessenecker's meticulous research and vivid prose make this excellent book a fascinating collection of true stories." -Tulsa World

Packed with never-before-told tales of the American frontier, Gold Dust & Gunsmoke sends us galloping through the tumultuous California territory of the mid-nineteenth century, where disputes were settled with six-shooters and the lines of justice were in perpetual flux. Armed with meticulous research, John Boessenecker displays a remarkable knack for finding the perfect details to capture all the color, excitement, and hullabaloo of the Gold Rush. Published in tandem with the 150th anniversary of California's statehood, these authentic stories of gunfighters, lawmen, vigilantes, and barroom brawlers are an important contribution to the rich lore of the American West.


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