• Mining expert and historian Ernest A. Wiltsee (1862-1947)
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Wiltsee Collection panels 151-160

2019-03-20T14:11:51-04:00
Posted on March 18, 2019

Panel 151

Panel 151

Panel 151

Letters from Railroad Flat, Rattlesnake, Rio Vista, Rock Creek, and Red Dog.

No. 969 Sent from Rail Road Flat, California, to P. Lewis in Liberty, Michigan.

No. 970 Sent by T. Rodgers Johnson to Independence Lodge in Rail Road Flat, California. Dated August 12, 1871.

No. 971 Sent from Rattlesnake, California, to H. T. Craig in Searsmont, Maine.

No. 972 Sent from Rio Vista, California, to Peter Willson in Jackson.

No. 973 Sent from Rock Creek, California, to Willborn Beeson in Phoenix, Oregon. Dated May 18, 1867.

No. 974 Sent from Red Bluff, California, to J. Rosburough in Yreka.

No. 975 Sent from the Tremont Hotel in Red Bluff, California, to Mrs. A. D. Moore in San Francisco.

No. 976 Sent from Red Dog, California, to Miss Lizzie Heydlauff in North Plains, Michigan. Dated October 10, 1860. Delivered by Overland Mail.

No. 977 Sent from Red Dog, California, to Mrs. Mary Downer in San Francisco.

Photograph of Heydlauff’s store in Red Dog, California, 1930s.

Panel 152

Panel 152

Panel 152

Letters from Rough and Ready, Round Tent, San Bernardino, Salmon Falls, San Andreas, and San Diego.

No. 978 Sent from Rough and Ready, California, to Mrs. W. C. Faden in Lewiston, Maine. Dated November 17, 1855.

No. 979 Sent from Rough and Ready, California, to D. R. Brenman in San Francisco.

No. 980 Sent from Rough and Ready, California, to B. C. Smith in Fredericksburg, Ohio.

No. 981 Sent to Nevada City, California, and forwarded to Jonas Atherson in Round Tent.

No. 982 Sent from San Bernardino, California, to Lionel M. Jacobs in Tucson, Arizona.

No. 983 Sent from Salmon Falls, California, to John Stockman in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. Dated 1854.

No. 984 Sent from San Andreas. The original address is greatly faded.

No. 985 Sent from San Diego, California, to A. W. Bee in San Francisco. Inside is a letter dated January 24, 1849. Nathaniel Ramsay wrote from Columbia to Mr. Bee after being invited to join business together: “I regret very much my inability to join my fortune with yours.”

No. 986 Sent from San Diego, California, to Stephen Wales in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Dated 1857.

Photograph of an old building in San Andreas, California, 1930s.

Panel 153

Panel 153

Panel 153

Letters from Sacramento.

No. 987 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Col. J. Bailey in Portland, Maine. Inside is a letter dated Oct. 24, 1849, from Francis Bailey to his father announcing his safe arrival in Sacramento and his plans on leaving quickly to find a place to mine further inland. Bailey explained his impression of San Francisco as, “a great place. Every thing is in confusion and bustle.” A common fascination in gold rush era letters concerned the prices for wages, boarding, and commodities in California. California prices were highly inflated for many people compared to home states. So it is not surprising that Bailey detailed the prices of things in San Francisco: “Carpenters are getting from 12 to 16 dollars per day, common labourers 8 dollars per day. Board 21 to 30 dollars per week. Lumber from $260 to $275 per. Washing 8 dollars per doz.”

No. 988 Sent from Sacramento, California, to William Ide in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Inside is a letter from John Ide to his brother dated March 10, 1850, about 10 weeks after he arrived in California. Writing “four miles below Beales Barr American River,” Ide started his letter, “Imagine me situated in the forest some two hundred miles from the Post Office in San Francisco where the steamer is to take this letter to you, situated in a small tent that was made for the soldiers of the Mexican War, then I think it is a sufficient apology for writing at this early date as there is no Mail until the first of the next month and it is uncertain when and by whom I can send it to the post office.”

No. 989 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Mrs. Lorenzo Smith in Boston, Massachusetts. Inside is a letter dated May 18, 1850, from an unidentified miner to his sister. Writing about his claim on the Yuba River, named Cape Cod Bar, he explained, “some will make fortunes and many make nothing however I shall take my chance with the rest and either make or break there is no other way in gold digging.” He described a recent trip to the Post Office: “I rode [my mule] 100 miles in two days last week from Auburn to Sacramento City and back. I went down to see if there were any letters for any of us… I wonder if anyone at home would go that distance over a wild country to inquire if there were any letters for him but hundreds do it here and if they get but a single letter consider themselves more than paid.”

No. 990 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Secretary of State John Houston in San Jose. Inside is a letter dated July 17, 1850, from the Transcript Office in Sacramento.

No. 991 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Mrs. Harriet B. Newell at Westport, New York. Dated August 5, 1850.

No. 992 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Edward Hick in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Inside is a letter written at Dry Creek dated August 10, 1850. Thomas Bell wrote to his friend about his difficulty receiving mail since there are 3 men with the same name in the area. He described a conflict his company had with another group of miners who attempted to steal their claim.

No. 993 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Miss Sarah Atwood in Bristol, Connecticut.

No. 994 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Mrs. Nancy Delano in Strong, Maine. Inside is a letter dated January 5, 1851. Mr. Stanwood wrote to his mother about his plans: “I am quite anxious to get money enough to come home and shall not wait long after I obtain sufficient to establish myself on business somewhere in the States.” He also shared his feelings about mail in California: “I am exceedingly anxious to hear from you and know how things go along with you. I feel provoked with the mail arrangements of this country for I am convinced that I have letters in the office for me and it is only through negligence of the office that I do not receive them… You will not be offended with me for not paying the postage for it is so uncertain about this ever reaching you that I do not like to pay and not have them reach you… It cost me $2.00 to get a letter from home and this $1.50 goes to the man who brings it from San Francisco.”

Photograph of an old building in Washington, California, 1930s.

Panel 154

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Panel 154

Letters from Sacramento.

No. 995 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to John Hager in San Francisco.

No. 996 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to the State Comptroller in San Jose. Inside is a letter dated December 29, 1851, from Henry Harr Hartley, the Treasurer for Yolo County. In the letter Hartley explains that he cannot send a duplicate of the taxes for the year since they are not complete. He did not know if he should send what he has currently or wait for the Sherriff to finish collecting taxes.

No. 997 Sent From Sacramento City, California, to Winslow Pierce in Vallejo. Inside is a letter dated August 10, 1852, from Henry Harr Hartley, the Treasurer of Yolo County. It concerns a delay in collecting the year’s taxes due to a tax list with many errors. Hartley wrote that he would send the taxes when the Sheriff finished collecting and estimated that they would not exceed $400.

No. 998 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to J. Hager in San Francisco.

No. 999 Sent to Walter G. Dry in Sacramento City, California.

No. 1000 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Nancy Delano in Strong, Massachusetts. Inside is a letter dated December 31, 1852 from Mr. Stanwood to his mother: “I have written you every mail and this time you will hardly call it a letter as I have not time to say much – But you will know that I am still among the living.”

No. 1001 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Cynthia McGaffee in Port Gibson, New York.

No. 1002 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Nancy Delano in Strong, Maine. Inside is a letter dated April 14, 1854, from Mr. Stanwood to his mother.

Photograph of Senator Stanford’s house in Sacramento, 1930s.

Panel 155

Panel 155

Panel 155

Letters from Sacramento.

No. 1003 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to John H. Boyd in Whitehall, New York. Inside is a letter dated June 24, 1852, from Herman Scofield to his friend in New York. After his wife joined him in California, Scofield discovered that he still owed on an old debt to John Boyd. Scofield wrote to “cheerfully make it all right with you as I always said that you were the last man that would ever be a looser by me.”

No. 1004 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to Mrs. Lucy Brooks in Barnard, Vermont.

No. 1005 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to Albert G. Underwood in Fayette, Maine. Dated August 15, 1854.

No. 1006 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Miss Catherine Young in Dry Fork, Kentucky.

No. 1007 Sent from Ohio to Rev. G. S. Phillips in Sacramento City, California. Dated November 15, 1856.

No. 1008 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to Walter North in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dated March 19, 1857.

No. 1009 Sent by Overland Mail from Sacramento City, California, to Collin A. Cartly in Essex, Vermont.

No. 1010 Sent from Sacramento City, California, to Rev. George S. Phillips at the Female Collegiate Institute in Santa Clara. Dated October 19, 1860.

Photograph of the old hotel in Washington, California, 1930s.

Panel 156

Panel 156

Panel 156

Letters from Sacramento.

No. 1011 Sent from Phoenix, New York, to Merritt Mc Koon in Sacramento, California. Dated March 1, 1862.

No. 1012 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Miss E. M. G. Sanborn in Massachusetts. Dated February 13, 1863.

No. 1013 Sent from Sacramento, California, to John Hall in Stockton. Dated October 18, 1866.

No. 1014 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Charles Lott in Oroville.

No. 1015 Sent from Sacramento, California, to E. T. Wilkins in Marysville.

No. 1016 Sent from Sacramento, California, to S. S. Smith in San Francisco.

No. 1017 Sent from Sacramento, California, to Locarno in the Ticino Canton of Switzerland.

Panel 157

Panel 157

Panel 157

Letters from San Francisco.

No. 1018 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Amos Jones in North Adams, Massachusetts. Likely sent in 1849.

No. 1019 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Miss Mary Lawrence in New Haven, Connecticut.

No. 1020 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Gen. Lawrence Brown in Epping, New Hampshire. Inside is a letter written by B. M. Folsom dated December 21st, 1849: “I take the liberty to address you thinking that you would pardon my boldness by giving you some information concerning your son Monroe. I accidentally ran across his track this afternoon. He has been here about six weeks. He is well and looks quite fleshy… He had not heard anything from home and was very much affected when I told him of his sister Mary’s death… I tried to persuade him to write but he said that it had been so long since he left he was ashamed to. So I have taken the liberty thinking that you would like to hear from him.”

No. 1021 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Mrs. Lydia C. Rossiter in Newbury Port, Massachusetts. Possibly dated January 15, 1850.

No. 1022 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Secretary of State William Van Voorhies in San Jose. Inside is a letter from John Y. Bryant dated December 2, 1850. He writes following a letter of introduction asking for an appointment as Notary Public to facilitate his business as a land agent. He enclosed a copy of the business details for Bryant and Moulder, the General Land Agency he owned at the Cronise Brothers store at the corner of Jackson and Montgomery Streets.

No. 1023 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Peter H. Burnett in San Jose. Inside is a letter from R. A. Wilson dated August 21, 1850: “I am sorry to learn that you have as bad an opinion of me that you would refuse a petty office to a man on the ground that I recommended him…”

No. 1024 Sent from San Francisco, California, to James Reed in San Jose.

Photograph of I.O.O.F building in Columbia, California, 1930s.

Panel 158

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Panel 158

Letters from San Francisco.

No. 1025 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Washington D. C. and forwarded to Lexington, Virginia. Inside is a letter dated May 26, 1850, from Thomas Henley to William H. English: “I don’t think you have ever seen an act of man to justify the opinion that I would ever in this distant country take the advantage of any man much less a friend and partner to the amount of a single dollar. I know one thing that but for me your interest in this country would long since have been quick and gone far beyond your reach and I should have had my share of the spoils …”

No. 1026 Sent from San Francisco, California, to G. Clarke Smith in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

No. 1027 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Marshall Smith I. Boothbay, Maine.

No. 1028 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Elbert H. Jones at Oyster Bay, Long Island in New York.

No. 1029 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Mrs. Cynthia Ellis in Waterville, Maine.

No. 1030 Sent from San Francisco, California, to David P. Elmer in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

No. 1031 Sent from Boston, Massachusetts, to Ellis Crosby & Co. in San Francisco, California. Inside is a letter dated December 11, 1849, from W. Hapgood and Charles Crosby to Ellis Crosby and Co. The letter includes an invoice of goods shipped by Hapgood on the Charlotte River. The correspondence demonstrates the difficulty of doing business coast-to- coast in 1849. Hapgood had sent goods by ship with John Ferguson. The ship and goods arrived, but Ferguson didn’t: “A member of your firm Mr. Crosby informs me that Ferguson had not arrived up to Nov. 1st and through his influences I am to trouble you in the matter He (Mr. C.) Says Mess. Greely Fetton and Co. agreed to store the goods for a charge until Ferguson should arrive. Now whether they have stored them of where they are is more than I know …” Hapgood asked Quincy to find out what happened to the goods and “advise me per first mail of the result of your investigations.”

No. 1032 Sent from Boston, Massachusetts, to Ellis Crosby and Co. in San Francisco, California. Inside is a letter dated September 10th, 1850, from Mr. Hapgood. While most of the letter discusses business arrangements, Hapgood remarked on the personal difficulty he had reaching his brother in California: “I had a letter from my brother of the 21st July. He was working on Feather River and I have addressed a letter to him in your care and you will oblige if you can forward directly to him by private hand if not hold on till he sends for it. What account have you from Adams and Co. about the letters! I have forwarded to my brother 6 or 8 by them to your care and none of them have reached their destination.”

No. 1033 Sent from Boston, Massachusetts, to Daniel Gibb of San Francisco, California. Inside is a brief letter dated June 7, 1851, from Mr Booth that “Your of the 30th April was duly received. Enclosed I hand you four Custom House Certificates duly signed and sealed.”

Photograph of Douglas Flat, California, 1930s.

Panel 159

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Panel 159

Letters from San Francisco.

No. 1034 Sent to John Haile in San Francisco, California. Inside is a letter dated March 6th, 1849, from Haile’s “affectionate sister Maria.” She wrote about their family and hoped that he had recovered from his seasickness.

No. 1035 Sent to Daniel Gibb in San Francisco, California. Inside is a letter dated February 12th, 1850, written in the port city of Valparaiso, Chile.

No. 1036 Sent to Pilsbury “Chips” Hodgkins in San Francisco, California.

No. 1037 Sent from Hangtown, today Placerville, to Mr. Ladd in San Francisco, California. Inside is a letter dated June 23, 1850, from George Ladd to his “Respected Father.” He wrote, “Some time has passed since I left San Francisco and I have not seen or heard from you. I wrote to let you know if you come where I am. I am placed in a particular spot where I cannot hear from you or anyone else.” Debating on which town he wanted to try next, he planned on keeping his father informed by “leaving a line at the Post Office where you can find me if I go away.”

No. 1038 Sent from San Francisco, California, to D. Gibb. Inside is a letter dated August 15, 1850, from Robinson Bissler and Co. concerning an investment in the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.

No. 1039 Sent from San Francisco, California to John S. Hager.

No. 1040 Sent from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to Captain J. L. Folsom in San Francisco, California. After the death of William A. Leidesdorff, Folsom purchased his estate in California. This cover is part of the correspondence between Folsom and Leidesdorff’s relatives, but the letter originally inside is lost.

Photograph of “Hook & Ladder No. 1,” at Knights Ferry, California, 1930s.

Panel 160

Panel 160

Panel 160

Letters from San Francisco.

No. 1040 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Mess. Sillecks on Fulton Street, New York City, New York. Inside is a letter dated September 17, 1850, from merchants Beck and Elan. They wrote, “We have been so hurried in putting up our new store and getting our new man arranged for business that we are unable by this steamer to make up Sales and must beg your indulgence for a short time say next mail.”

No. 1041 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Ann M. Randolph in Newport, Rhode Island. Inside is a letter dated June 30, 1851.

No. 1042 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Rudolph Hauffman in Wooster, Ohio.

No. 1043 Sent from San Francisco, California, to F. F. Hill in Greensboro, Alabama.

No. 1044 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Mess. Sillecks on Fulton Street in New York City, New York.

No. 1045 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Miss Annie Hill in Greensboro, Alabama.

No. 1046 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Edwin M. Putnam in Boston, Massachusetts.

No. 1047 Sent from San Francisco, California, to E. M. Putnam in Boston, Massachusetts. Inside is a letter dated September 30, 1852, from Macondray and Co.

No. 1048 Sent from San Francisco, California, to Mrs. Patton in Newark Valley, New York.

Photograph of an old building in Placerville, California, 1930s.

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