In 1868, Bret Harte published The Luck of Roaring Camp in the Overland Monthly, a new publication from San Francisco of which Harte himself was the first editor. Intended to be a competitor to the well-established Atlantic Monthly, the Overland Monthly was looking for "tales of California romance." By "romance," of course, Harte didn't mean "hugs and kisses." He meant stories that would epitomize the grandeur, drama, and glory of old California. The Luck of Roaring Camp was a not-so-fictionalized account of California's gold rush, and of the terrible 1862 flood that threatened to destroy the state.
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