During the bitter winter of 1786-87, Daniel Shays, a modest farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, and his compatriot Luke Day led an unsuccessful armed rebellion against the state of Massachusetts. Their desperate struggle was fueled by the injustice of a regressive tax system and a conservative state government that seemed no better than British colonial rule.
In this revelatory study, award-winning historian Leonard L. Richards outlines the links between the Gold Rush and the Civil War. He explains that Southerners envisioned California as a new market for slaves, schemed to tie California to the South via railroad, and imagined splitting off the state's southern half as a slave state. Richards recounts the political battles and the fiery California feuds, duels, and, perhaps, outright murders as the state came shockingly close to being divided in two.
"Not typically covered in history class..."