Sisters of Fortune

Being the true story of how three motherless sisters saved their home in New England and raised their younger brother while their father went fortune hunting in the California Gold Rush

Nancy Coffey Heffernan and Ann Page Stecker

Sisters of Fortune

Nancy Coffey Heffernan and Ann Page Stecker

Distributed for University Press of New England

311 pages | 6 x 9
In 1850 , James Wilson, a widowed congressman from Keene, New Hampshire, left his three daughters and young son to seek his fortune in the California gold rush. During his twelve year absence, the daughters wrote their father almost 350 letters filled with accounts of daily life and lively observations on local and national events. The daughters -- Mary Elizabeth, 24, Annie, 18, and Charlotte, 16, when their father left -- were conventional, upper-middle-class young women struggling to keep up appearances in a society that accorded them few rights. These letters and the story they tell constitute a valuable social and cultural document and offer readers a vivid description of mid-19th century American life.
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