Sourdoughs, Claim Jumpers & Dry Gulchers

Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of Frontier Prospecting

By Matthew P. Mayo
(TwoDot, Paperback, 9780762770649, 320pp.)

Publication Date: June 2012

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For every forthright Forty-Niner pursuing high fortune and a better life in the streambeds and rocky draws of the frontier, the history of prospecting the vast frontier offers up hundreds of tales of parasitical people preying on gullible greenhorns and seeking easy egress to fortune and fame. The list of such precious-metal-and-gemstone-related larcenies in the Old West and the Far North is legion and long and ripe for the reading.
These memorable moments are sometimes humorous, often shocking and brutal, and always all-too-true. Sourdoughs, Claim Jumpers & Dry Gulchers offers 50 tales of hard-bitten sourdoughs, petty bandits, outright outlaws, guilt-free gunmen, and murderous money-grubbers as they scrabbled to gain the lands, foodstuffs, and fortunes of wide-eyed greenhorns, gullible and trusting tenderfoots, and slow-on-the-draw gold panners.

About the Author

Matthew P. Mayo is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books, including Cowboys, Mountain Men, and Grizzly Bears (TwoDot, January 2010) and the Western novels Winters’ War, Wrong Town, and Hot Lead, Cold Heart. Raised in Rhode Island and Vermont, he has spent much of his adult life in Maine, writing about the state for Down East and other publications. Visit him at

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