They met by chance in Mexican-owned California, each drawn to the pastoral province in different years and for entirely different reasons. For John Sinclair, it was the continuation of a continental adventure. For Mary Eyre, it was a dramatic intervention on the Oregon Trail. They married and settled on a great Sacramento Valley rancho, the predecessors of the tide of Americans who emigrated West in covered wagons in search of a brighter future. Their ranch was just across the American River from Captain John Sutter’s famed trading post, located at a geographic crossroads that put the Sinclairs square in the middle of history-making events: the alarming, if short-lived, Bear Flag Revolt; the perilous rescue of the stranded, doomed Donner Party; the American military conquest of California; and the tumultuous California Gold Rush. They lived though it all and died long ago, yet their Rancho del Paso lives on in street and neighborhood names to the north of modern Sacramento. Told with compelling imagery, this is the true story of a couple whose lives and experiences are part of the Golden State’s pioneer past.
Available on Amazon

“Yet another great book from Cheryl Anne Stapp”

Five Star Review on Amazon By William

Yet another great book from Cheryl Anne Stapp! After reading her previous title, Disaster &Triumph, I had the wonderful opportunity to finally visit Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. Not only was I delighted to visit this famous location, the Trade Store within it’s historic walls carried Mrs. Stapp’s fascinating new book (which I promptly purchased from the gentleman at the store). While much has been written about John Sutter and his colony of New Helvetia, Before the Gold Rush sheds some light on the life and legacy of some of his lesser known neighbors to the north (John and Mary Sinclair). From the Sinclairs journey west and the settling of Rancho Del Paso, to the untimely demise of John Sinclair and the Sinclair’s only child, this book is a gripping and fascinating read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that his fascinated with California History.

About the Author

Cheryl Anne Stapp is the author of Sacramento Chronicles – A Golden Past; The Stagecoach in Northern California: Rough Rides, Gold Camps & Daring Drivers; and award-winning Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War. She lives in Sacramento, California, in bygone days an important Gold Rush town.

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