Charles Christian Nahl, 1818-1878

Charles Christian Nahl, 1818-1878

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Sunday Morning in the Mines, 1872

In this work, Nahl sums up what he saw of human nature as revealed in the gold fields. The work is a combination of history and morality, a composite view of the California gold fields which brought out the lawlessness, enterprise and greed and virtue in human nature.

 It is the Sabbath: tools of work are put aside; one man writes a letter home; two others wash and clean their tattered clothes; another reads from the Bible to his cabin-mates.

It is the Sabbath: tools of work are put aside; one man writes a letter home; two others wash and clean their tattered clothes; another reads from the Bible to his cabin-mates.

 On the left: One man smokes idly; four others race madly into camp; two crooks get ready to fleece a drunken miner of the gold that flies from his open sack; in the back, a murderous fight has broken out at the gambler's cabin.

On the left: One man smokes idly; four others race madly into camp; two crooks get ready to fleece a drunken miner of the gold that flies from his open sack; in the back, a murderous fight has broken out at the gambler's cabin.

 Note that both of the drunkard's "friends" have their left ( sinister ) foot forward.

Note that both of the drunkard's "friends" have their left (sinister) foot forward.

 Predators and Prey

Predators and Prey

 A card game in the gambler's cabin turns violent.

A card game in the gambler's cabin turns violent.