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Manly, William Lewis (1820 - 1903)

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William Lewis Manly (St. Albans, Vermont, 1820, 6 April, - Lodi, California, 1903) is an American pioneer of the mid-nineteenth century. He was first a fur hunter, a guide of Westward bound caravans, a seeker of gold, then a farmer and writer in his later years. He wrote an autobiography, first published with the title From Vermont to California, then a second edition with the title Death Valley in '49, that tells of the Pioneer conquest of America's Far West, in particular the 1848 California Gold Rush. The 10th chapter of the second version is remarkable in that it tells of the crossing in December 1849, in dire circumstances of thirst and near-starvation, of the Timbisha Valley, today known as "Death Valley", located in Inyo County, California. Manly was one of several guides hired to lead a party of pioneers from Utah to the California gold fields; these pioneers are believed to be the first group of European-Americans to see Death Valley....

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Death Valley in '49

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