Go West Book Project

Avi; Hard Gold by Avi /// presentation by Zach Haas

Focus Question:

Why did people from the eastern United States move west during the mid-nineteenth century?

Main reason for movement west:

The book "Hard Gold" by Avi explains that the westward movement for Early and Jesse Wittcomb during mid-1800s was for the Colorado Gold rush, but if you asked them after the journey, they would say that the journey was a terrible idea.

Bad idea?

Yes, a terrible idea.

For Early Wittcomb, the journey to the west was a rough one. He was traveling with a group of nice people, but one of the folks had it out for him because of Early's brothers acts of killing a man. Along the way, this man named Mr.Mawr shot at buffalo's feet so they would try to trample Early and kill him. However, even with this man along for the ride Early still got where he wanted to go.

Images of Movement West. All of these examples were commonly used in my book:

Main routes west:

The two trails taken by the characters Jesse and Early were the Cherry Creek trail and the Oregon Trail. Both of these were convenient because there were lots of animals to hunt along these trails and they were both close to fresh water sources like rivers and lakes.

Struggles and Obstacles for Early Wittcomb

Early's main struggles on his journey were Mr.Mawr, the Rocky Mountains, and the lack of supplies. Mr.Mawr was his arch nemesis on this trip and even tried to kill him. When he crossed the Rocky Mountains, they had to dump many supplies and his group even lost a travel companion while going through the Rockies. Last, there lack of supplies along the way caused much starvation and dehydration which caused death along the way.
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"Jesse... if we don't leave for the west to get gold, were gonna lose the farm." says Early.

"I could feel my head burning and my feet melting as I trecked along side the wagon train in the Rockies." says Miss Elena.