Sojourner of Warren’s Camp



Bent on helping his father find a lost quartz ledge, at fourteen, Samuel Chambers gets an education in survival against murdering thieves, unforgiving country, and a charming dancehall lady.


Sojourner of Warren’s Camp is a coming-of-age mining adventure involving fourteen-year-old Samuel Chambers. This introduction of Samuel Chambers deals with hardship and life-lessons, coming-of-age, conflicting friendships, cultural prejudices, and lawlessness. It is written at a cross-over level between teenager and adult and is quite suitable for older teens. It is rich in Chinese culture, the Native Americans, and 19th century prospecting and mining. It is based on the geography and history of Central Idaho, particularly Warren, Idaho and follows the 1871 history of the region while enfolding Samuel’s adventures. It introduces several of Idaho’s historical figures such as the Shearers and Frederick Burgdorf and gives historical anecdotes of these individuals.Sojourner of Warren’s Camp was awarded a silver medal for best cultural fiction Next Generation Independent Book Awards. It was also awarded Editor’s Choice by iUniverse.

Sojourner of Warren’s Camp is the third 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 Warren’s Meadows.

A novel by Joseph Dorris Paperback: 316 pages Publisher: iUniverse; first edition (November 11, 2011) Language: English.

Softcover ISBN: 978-1-4620-6347-5

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4620-6349-9

E-book ISBN: 978-1-4620-6348-2

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


DESCRIPTION: It is 1871 in Idaho Territory, and fourteen-year-old Samuel Chambers is, in many ways, already a man. After journeying west with his father in search of a golden ledge, Samuel finds himself living in the midst of a raucous mining camp filled with gold-hungry Chinese. Gold is scarce, and everyone wants it—including Samuel, whose main goal in life is to get “lucky rich.” But Samuel has no idea that the path to achieving his dream is lined with danger like he has never seen before. Samuel refuses to believe all the naysayers as he embarks on a journey from placer mining to prospecting and from peddling merchandise to running assays. But life in the Wild West is unpredictable, and there are those so intent on finding riches that they will kill anyone who happens to get in their way. Even as danger lurks in the shadows, Samuel cannot keep his eyes off Miss Lilly, a beautiful dancehall lady who intrigues him more than he would like to admit. Despite his attempts to balance a courtship with achieving his dream, nothing prepares Samuel for what is about to happen next. In this compelling historical tale, a teenager on a coming-of-age journey in remote Idaho faces prejudice and peril as he struggles to carve a living from the land and build a new future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               AUTHOR’S NOTES (excerpt): When I first visited Warren’s camp (Warren, Idaho) as a young teenager, a longtime Warren prospector taught me how to recognize gold ore and took me to a quartz ledge that ran dozens of feet. The hanging wall showed visible gold in a rusty red quartz. The ledge, inaccessible and now reclaimed by the forest, is the basis for O’Riley’s lost ledge. In 1871, a teenage white boy and a teenage Chinese boy resided in Washington, Idaho Territory. Among 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 Bemis; Sheriff Sinclair; Doctor C. A. Sears; R. McLane; and Amasa (Pony) Smead. Historical vignettes involving these people are accurate, and readers will recognize other historical individuals used in context. How these individuals would have interacted with Samuel Chambers and Sing Chen are, of course, fictional. The life of Warren’s camp is depicted as it could be based on historical accounts of the time. All geography is described as it exists. Although some of the trails are lost, the routes described are accurate. Bare Knob Creek is known as the Left Fork of Slaughter Creek. Other place names from 1871 are used—for example, Elk Creek (now Elkhorn Creek). The mines and mills that are depicted and events surrounding them are historically correct. The Sweet Mary and the O’Riley are fictional but based on similar mines. Most of Warren’s buildings have disappeared, but they included the businesses depicted, except for some names like Ma Reynolds’s boarding house and Hinley’s assay building. Little evidence of the Chinese structures remains. Some old Chinese cabins can be found buried under brush and timber. The Chinese cemetery remains. The Chinese terrace gardens remain, now overgrown and returning to the land. The Chinese flooded into Idaho Territory during this novel’s setting and remained at Warren, reworking old placers and peddling vegetables, bringing with them their opium and Oriental beliefs, living in their own ways, yet becoming an integral part of the community. At times, they outnumbered the whites three to one. As a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, their numbers continued a steady decline until the last Chinese at Warren died in 1934.


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