Not all that glitters is gold, and gold mining was not the simple get-rich-quick scheme many thought it was. The Diary of a Forty-Niner draws readers into the day-to-day life of a prospector during the California Gold Rush. The narrator, Alfred. T. Jackson, leaves home to move out west, dreaming, “I would like to have enough capital so that I would not have to slave from sunrise till dark as I did on dad’s farm”. This fortune doesn’t come easy, though, as his diary documents the rough nights and wild gunfights that were mere occupational hazards of a forty-niner.