It had been almost a decade since the issuance of the emancipation proclamation. America Newton may have been free, but Missouri didn’t have to abide by those rules. Newton packed up her young daughter and all their possessions to head west.
The town of Julian had already been established. The gold rush and some defeated confederates took care of that. But for a town of primarily men, dirty from hours of panning and mining for gold, Ms. Newton’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time.
To Newton, the colorful cast of characters that made up the population was surprising. She’d never seen so many different classes and races of people blending before. That didn’t bother her spirit. On the contrary, it made her more determined to succeed.
An industrious woman, Newton launched a laundry business to serve the miner community, all while running an 80-acre ranch. She was so respected and good at her job that her home became a meeting place for folks of the town.
Even though the town stood before her arrival, it hadn’t yet felt the breath of fresh air and life that America Newton would bring to their borders. Her social and nurturing nature created a community out of diverse individuals, a gift we could all use today.