Green Russell and Gold by Elma Dill Russell SpencerGreen Russell and Gold by Elma Dill Russell Spencer

Green Russell and Gold

byElma Dill Russell SpencerIllustratorBen Carlton Mead

Paperback | April 15, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 173 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The family history of the Russells of Georgia is a saga of the Westward Movement during the middle fifty years of the nineteenth century. The "Russell boys," as prospectors and miners, moved with the frontier as it followed fresh discoveries of gold, from Georgia to California to Colorado. Then, after the interlude of the Civil War, they settled in the new territories, turning their abilities and ruggedness of character to the development of careers on other frontiers—ranching, farming, land development, medicine—in Montana, Colorado, and Texas.

Elma Dill Russell Spencer, a descendant of one of these unusual brothers, relates their story as she learned it from family tradition transmitted by Grandma Russell, from family letters, from public documents, and from historical accounts of the exciting era.

The reader of her narrative sees the evolution of Western society in the vast wasteland of mountain and prairie from the viewpoint of the people who were making history, people too engrossed in their own problems to realize the far-reaching significance of their achievement. The reader sees the struggle to wrest gold from the streams and hills with primitive tools and techniques; the development of tent villages into populous towns affording most of the comforts of the East; the evolution of a code of mining laws, of protection from violence and crime; the building of schools; the emergence of sectional problems and divided loyalties; the Civil War, mostly through noncombatants' eyes; the progressive changes in transportation, until the railroads tied the West to the East. The reader also encounters Indians, who ride in and out of these pages, and other fascinating types of characters associated with "the wild, varied, and always unpredictable" frontier.

The odyssey of the Russell brothers as they struggle home to Georgia from Union-sympathizing Denver is particularly full of action, with tense moments in the account of narrowly escaped death—at the hands of Indians, through the ravages of disease, and from the enmity of Yankee foes.

This book was originally published as Gold Country in 1958; the University of Texas Press edition was completely revised and first published in 1966.

Elma Dill Russell Spencer (1895–1969), a San Antonio resident, had an intense interest in the history and the culture of the Southwest.
Title:Green Russell and GoldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:262 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292741790

ISBN - 13:9780292741799


Table of Contents

  • Publisher’s Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Grandma Said
  • 1. Cherokee Gold
  • 2. The First Auraria
  • 3. There’s Millions in It
  • 4. Stampede to the Sierras
  • 5. Early Russell Luck
  • 6. “The Russell Boys”
  • 7. To Ralston’s Creek
  • 8. Thirteen Stayed
  • 9. Drift Gold
  • 10. Rumors Ran Rife
  • 11. Two-Way Gold Trails
  • 12. The New Auraria
  • 13. Christmas in the Rockies
  • 14. Waiting Out the Winter
  • 15. Gregory’s Strike Came First
  • 16. Green’s Was Not Far Behind
  • 17. Russell Gulch and Greeley
  • 18. Boom-Town Problems
  • 19. Necktie Justice and a Mattress
  • 20. Winter Interlude in Georgia
  • 21. Denver Was a Good Name
  • 22. War Clouds
  • 23. The Comanches Take a Hand
  • 24. Four Months at Fort Union
  • 25. Home with the Gold
  • 26. Separate Roads West
  • 27. Texas Lures Levi and Oliver
  • 28. The End of the Road for Green
  • 29. Freethinking Is Not Free
  • 30. The Last Stand of the Old Prospectors
  • Appendix: Genealogical Tables
  • Bibliography
  • Index