The discovery of gold in California in 1848 sparked a frenzy that shook the world. People swarmed to the gold fields from as far as China and Australia. They came by ship and overland, braving Tierra del Fuego and the pestilence of Panama, lured by the promise of riches. At the heart of the Age of Gold is the history of Captain John Frémont, who "liberated" California from Mexico only to find himself accused of mutiny. Frémont met his match in young Jessie Benton, a headstrong, fiercely intelligent Senator's daughter. Together, they would play a fateful role in the drama unfolding on the gold fields as they lurched, like so many others, from financial ruin to astonishing riches.