In the years from 1820 to 1870, hundreds of thousands of Cornish miners and engineers were forced to abandon their native land in search of opportunities elsewhere. Cornish expertise in the design of mining equipment and in the techniques of hard rock mining were much in demand. This is the personal story of one “Cousin Jack” who came to America in 1832 with nothing but an overarching will to succeed. In 1849 he joined the multitudes who had caught gold fever and ventured across the continent by wagon trains to California. During this journey, he learned first-hand the dangers lurking in the Great Plains and the western deserts. Eventually, having lost everything, our presenter’s itinerant ancestor reached California on foot. Not by luck, but by skill and sheer perseverance, he found success in the gold fields of Mariposa.