GOLD! SILVER! (maybe copper) and those seeking their fortunes against the backdrop of the American Civil War, relations between white settlers, Hispanics, and Native Americans, military exploits, salacious news accounts, greed—and one naturalized German with a camera.
Rudolph d’Heureuse—a surveyor, cartographer, civil engineer, mining engineer, oenologist, inventor—who on one momentous journey photographed the Mojave Road in the Desert West from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the banks of the Colorado River and the mines of Eldorado Canyon in today’s Nevada. His subjects included San Bernardino, Cajon Pass, and Los Angeles’s seaport, New San Pedro (Wilmington). He did it in 1863, many years before anyone else took another photo of this desert and its travelers, crossroads, forts, soldiers, and watering holes.
Although a handful of his forty-one known photos of the Mojave Road have been used as supporting illustrations for books and articles, this volume is a monograph of the entire portfolio. Each image is accompanied by contemporary accounts of the various locations using newspaper articles, military reports, personal letters, and reminiscences.