Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. Harte moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. His story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp," appearing in "The Overland Monthly" magazine, propelled Harte to nationwide fame.
"The Argonauts of North Liberty" is a longer tale by Harte. Taking place in a staunchly reserved Presbyterian society, it illustrates in its heroine the revolt of an unruly and unregenerate nature against a Puritan society. North Liberty is a Connecticut town, and the "Argonauts" are a man and woman who migrate to California to begin life again, escaping the strictures of their earlier life, like the "Blue Law" setting of the opening. Once in California, Harte's feel for the time and setting can take full flower.