The legendary Nellie Cashman
Nellie Cashman was a woman ahead of her time – independent, resourceful and adventurous, flinging away the restricting conventions of her day. Still, all who met her became intrigued by this determined petite Irishwoman who became known as the Angel of the Cassiar, the Miner’s Angel, the Saint of the Klondike, and few ever forgot their encounters with her.
Fueled by gold fever, she traveled the West, and her reputation grew with every restaurant, boardinghouse and store she established to support herself while she hunted the elusive yellow mineral, all while raising her beloved sister’s five children.
From San Francisco to Tombstone, Mexico and British Columbia, her notoriety grew, finally taking her to the place she loved best – the farthest reaches of Alaska Territory. She never grew rich from her endeavors, because she gave most of her money away to build hospitals, schools and churches everywhere she went, always taking care of anyone who needed a helping hand. “Golddigger” is a testament to Nellie – bringing to life this woman who gave life and hope to so many others.
Including never before seen photographs and documents from Nellie’s family, Kathleen Morris paints a definitive and honest portrait of Nellie Cashman – philanthropist, adventurer, and a woman of substance like no other.
Midwest Book Review
Golddigger: The Legendary Nellie Cashman is a historical novel about a literal golddigger of the past, Nellie Cashman, whose exploits were driven by a lust for gold in an era when gold fever and the specter of Alaskan riches had struck the nation.
Cashman’s first-person story opens with the ring of revelation and the convincing reality of a character whose life in 1924 was filled with action and achievement: “I am a woman with a reputation. I’m an angel, maybe even a saint. That’s what the newspapers say, and don’t we always believe what those self-proclaimed savants tell us?”
As Cashman reflects on the nature of this journey at the end of her life, readers receive a vivid story that blends the history of the times with the ambitions, perspective, and driving desires of a woman who stepped out of her predictable role to make a name for herself as an extraordinary individual.
From the gold fever which sent her journeying to her unexpected task of caring for her dead sister’s children, which threatens to tamp any sense of adventure and wanderlust, Golddigger not only brings these times to life, but reflects a vibrant sense of the times and the motivations that drove people to perform extraordinary feats.
Kathleen Morris is especially adept at juxtaposing personal insights and history, presenting scenes, events, and options through Nellie’s eyes in a way that brings these times and places to life:
“I stayed on board and still could clearly see the town itself was three times the size I’d remembered. Many more buildings, many more houses and many more people. Such was the cost of prosperity and civilization, I supposed, but it was here I realized again that I desired less of it, and felt assured for the first time that I was going in the right direction, gold or not. You’re a restless, solitary soul, Nellie Cashman, I thought. You must make careful choices on how you achieve your wishes.”
The result is a compelling saga that captures the reality of the times and the options women faced in general, which Nellie struggled with in particular.
Libraries and readers seeking vivid reenactments of historical events and times will find Golddigger powered by gold fever, adventure, and a taste for success that brings the real riches of this world to life. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
- Publisher : Dunraven Press (January 31, 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 173798668X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1737986683
- Item Weight : 13.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.76 x 8.5
Another brave woman of the Old West
What I enjoyed most about the book is that it's NOT a book about Doc Holliday. Though I am very much a fan of the Doc Holliday story, this book has a different tale to tell. The story is scattered with non facts and reality but overall it's well told and well written. But most important it told by a woman of the Old West about life in the Old West. I recently visited the grave of "Big Nose" Kate in Prescott, AZ so I really felt a connection with her. Her grave is simple but people are always leaving flowers, trinkets, and other tidbits.
A very well written historical novel by Kathleen Morris.
This is a wonderfully written book that could appeal to both women and men. I don’t typically read Westerns, but this book had so many great elements, that it kept my interest throughout the book. It is a great story of perseverance, through extreme difficulty.
A great read from cover to cover.
Beautifully written, telling the story of a young girl, and her growing into a woman of the "wild west". If you love stories of triumph over tragedy, placed in an historical setting with an accuracy and a telling, that will keep you turning each page to learn more...you will love this book.
A Spirited Book of a True Woman of the West
You don't have to love reading westerns to thoroughly enjoy this book. From the beginning to the end, Kathleen Morris' superbly written work of fact entwined with fiction portrays the life and tragedies of Mary Katherine (Kate) Haroney, Big Nose Kate. It is a book I could not put down. From the moment Kate's parents fled the Mexican court of Emperor Maximilian to her days filled with saloons, gambling, entrepreneurship, betrayed friendships, tragic courtships and death, Kate was a true survivor in a man's world amongst the unforgiving and lawless west.
Enjoyable and hard-to-put-down book!
Loved how the historical characters came alive. I especially enjoyed reading about Kate’s life and how she lived, loved, and survived as a woman in the wild west. Lots of page turning intrigue as well as interesting historical background. I can’t wait for Kathleen Morris to publish her next book!