Salmon River Kid



Samuel Chambers must eke out a living on the Salmon River during a brutal winter while his heart is torn between a ranch-hand girl and returning to his life as a miner in the high country.

Salmon River Kid is the continuing saga of Samuel Chambers as he falls in love and comes of age in a hostile world in 1872 Idaho Territory. The book reveals life on the Salmon River from Slate Creek to Warrens during the years preceding the Nez Perce War of 1877.


Salmon River Kid is a coming-of-age adventure involving thirteen-year-old Samuel Chambers. This sequel to Sojourner of Warren’s Camp deals with survival, coming-of-age, and mixed cultures. It is written at a cross-over level between teenager and adult and is quite suitable for older teens. It is rich in Chinese miners, Nez Perce history, outlaws, and 19th Century ranching and mining. It is based on the geography and history of Central Idaho, particularly Slate Creek and the Main Salmon River up to French Creek and up to Burgdorf and Warren. Salmon River Kid was awarded a gold medal for best historical fiction Next Generation Independent Book Awards. It was also awarded Editor’s Choice by iUniverse as well as their Star designation.

Salmon River Kid is the fourth novel in a planned series that concludes with the Sheepeater Indian War of 1879. All the novels in the series can stand alone since adequate backstory is given in each. All illustrations are the author’s work. The cover painting depicts the upper headwaters of the Salmon River.

A novel by Joseph Dorris Paperback: 404 pages Publisher: iUniverse Star (May 3, 2017) Language: English

Softcover ISBN: 978-1-5320-2092-6

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5320-2290-6

E-book ISBN: 978-1-5320-2093-3

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

DESCRIPTION: It is 1872 in Idaho Territory and fifteen-year old Samuel Chambers and his father struggle to survive a brutal winter along the Salmon River. While awaiting spring to cross the snowfields into Warren’s camp and return to their gold strike, Samuel ranches at Slate Creek and falls in love. There is one problem: Samuel cannot marry unless he and his father return to Warren’s and prove up their claim. When father and son finally reach Warren’s, they discover their claim has been jumped. With all hopes of earning a fortune seemingly dashed, Samuel wrestles with his desire for revenge and his drive to find gold. He reunites with his Chinese friend, Chen, and peddles merchandise in order to survive. He is also conflicted by a dancehall lady’s renewed interest and his love for the ranch-hand girl. With their last hope, father and son turn to hardrock mining to get the gold they need. But it is when Samuel attempts to pack gold out of the camp under the watchful eyes of road agents that Samuel unwittingly puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Now only time will tell if everything is lost. In this continuing saga based on the history of an Idaho gold camp, a young man embarks on a dangerous coming-of-age journey that reveals an unforgettable glimpse into life in 1870s Salmon River country.                                                                                                                                                                       AUTHOR'S NOTES (excerpt)  As a young teenager, while I was looking for a quartz ledge near Warren’s camp (Warren, Idaho), Tim Williams, a long-time prospector, pointed out to me a scarcely visible cabin, nearly crushed by fallen timber. “That’s where some of the Chinese lived that placered this hillside.” I could see the distinctive cobbles lining the gulch behind the cabin. “Last time I was in that cabin, the dishes were still on the table. I don’t know what happened to the Chinese, though.” That experience and others sparked within me a longing to learn more about these and the other inhabitants of Warren’s camp and the Salmon River country. Salmon River Kid is based on some of these long-ago inhabitants’ stories.   In 1871, a teenage white boy and a teenage Chinese boy resided in Washington (Warren), Idaho Territory. Among other historical people were Frederick, Susan, and their son, George Shearer, at their ferry (now the Howard Ranch); Fred Burgdorf at his hot springs; Warren Hunt; Charlie and Polly Bemis; Sheriff Sinclair; Dr. C. A. Sears; and R. McLane. Historical vignettes involving these people are accurate, and readers will recognize other historical individuals used in context. The ways in which the fictionalized versions of these individuals interact with Samuel Chambers and his father have, of course, been invented. Life at Warren’s camp and along the Salmon River, as represented here, is based on historical accounts of the time. During the time period of this novel, miners wintered on the bars along the Salmon River and managed to recover enough gold to pay for grub until they were able to return to their richer placers and quartz mines in the mountains. Several of the original families of Warren’s left their claims and businesses to homestead on the river at a lower elevation, where they raised gardens and stock. I have tried to describe the life and times in Warren, Idaho, and along the Salmon River in the early 1870s as it was. Where possible, I have used the language, customs, dress, and practices of the times. I recognize that there may be errors in this depiction of the times of the 1870s and the historical events portrayed. In some cases, available sources are in conflict. Where I could determine the more accurate description, I have done so. However, I accept responsibility for any factual errors and welcome any corrections.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Salmon River Kid”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts