Searching for Gold in Yuba County, California, in 1854 – “THERE IS EVERY KIND OF PEOPLE ON THE EARTH HERE- INDIANS WHERE I AM ARE VERY FRIENDLY. THERE IS APLENTY OF CHINA PEOPLE, MEXICANS, SPANIARDS & FRENCH HERE.” & THERE HAS BEEN BEARS KILLED THAT WEIGHED 1800 & 2000 LBS.
Like many of those that headed West during the California Gold Rush, Samuel Black writes of his “adventures” to his uncle and aunt back East. The letter is written in nice dark ink on legal size stationery from and back. Here is the content:
- Jan. 23, 1854. High Point, Yuba Co., California. Dear Uncle & Aunt: I embrace this opportunity of informing you that I am at present enjoying fine health. Hoping that those few lines may find you both enjoying the blessing.
- I am also better pleased with California than I was when I wrote to before although I have not succeeded in accomplishing any money yet of my consequence- but I begin to think that I WILL BE SO FORTUNATE AS TO GET A PORTION OF CALIFORNIA’S RICHES YET BEFORE I LEAVE IT.
- I am now mining but not for myself as I have no Claims at present but I intend to have some before a great while or leave these diggings and strike for Bath County, Virginia.
- I am getting $65 per month at present. I suppose if I was in old Va. I could get about that amount from old Mr. Harrison for one year or from some other old Rich Farmer.
- I have only received two letters from you yet but I suppose I would have got one last mail but I left Nevada City a short time before the mail came in and left directions for my letters to be sent to me when they come but the weather has been somewhat bad and prevented them from bringing the mail to my office.
- But I will get them in a day or two certain. My Post Office now is Foster’s Bar, North Yuba, California. You must be certain to send me a letter every mail and I will do the same. Give me all the news you can let me know something of Brother Dick and John and Sister and my Uncle. I should like to hear from Mrs. McCulloch’s Family also.
- I suppose you have had considerable snow in your County this winter from what Mr. Palmer wrote in October. He stated that it was about 12 inches deep but I think I can go over that statement some little.
- THE DEPTH OF THE SNOW HERE LAST WEEK WAS JUST ABOUT 30 INCHES. Now it is raining and I think by tomorrow night we will be free from snow as it is very warm. This is in the Northern part of the state and even down in the valley there is no snow at all.
- I have grown some since I came to this county in height but I am not much heavier than I was when I left. But I think when I stop growing I will gain considerable.
- MY APPETITE TO EAT IS WORSE THAN ANY HOUND DOG PUPPY. I was very near bringing the dyspepsia upon myself by eating so I have to govern myself as much as I can.
- My board or what we miners call grub consists of Bacon, Pickled Port. Beef Steaks, Venison, Beans, Potatoes, Cabbage, Tea & Coffee, Molasses, Butter. But no Milk and no Fresh Butter. There hardly any Corn Meal in this country.
- I will give you a full history of this country in some other letter. THERE IS EVERY KIND OF PEOPLE ON THE EARTH HERE- INDIANS WHERE I AM ARE VERY FRIENDLY. THERE IS APLENTY OF CHINA PEOPLE, MEXICANS, SPANIARDS & FRENCH HERE.
- Tell Samuel McCullough that I would like for him to come out and kill some of the California deer, Grizzly Bears, Ducks, Geese and every other sort of game.
- THERE HAS BEEN BEARS KILLED THAT WEIGHED 1800 & 2000 LBS.
- Remember the office- Foster’s Bar, North Yuba, California. I remain your true nephew until Death. Samuel Black To E.S. & M.T. Brown I am with Mr. Cullen’s Boy’s now.
If you want a great hobby, collect Gold Rush letters and mark on a California map where they were written from. Make it a goal to visit some of these old California towns. There are many spots where you can still pan for gold!
#L1-23-54CA – Price $395