La Porte, California Gold Rush Letter with Fabulous Content [155417]

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Paper Start Price:500.00 USD Estimated At:1,000.00 - 2,000.00 USD
La Porte, California Gold Rush Letter with Fabulous Content [155417]
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One of the better Gold Rush letters we've come across. 4 pp. letter. Dateline La Porte March 1st, '59. From A.G.M. Craft to John D. Briggs in Omaha City. The letter is well-written, easy to read, and the letter writer seems very educated. "There is no use in retailing to you the scandal and local items of this God forsaken place..." References his well-spoken brother who can give a better lecture (possibly a traveling lecturer?). "I have left Nevada (my second home) for this place, and Dill if you could see the town, I know you would pity me. We have from 15 to 20 ft. of snow in the streets with every prospect of it being increased "ad infinitum." However, I have plenty to eat, lots of wood, little to do, and a "whiskey mill" next door." "As for your gold hunting proclivities, I have very little to say." He seems to be trying to talk Dill from coming to the California gold fields: "I should think however that the experience of the Australia Bays and my own would present sufficiently dark a picture to deter you from sacrificing a good, easy lucrative situation for the hardships and uncertainties of a Miners life." He asks him to answer a single question: "Am I satisfied to leave home, friends, comfort, and all the requirements of civilization to don a wool shirt, accustom myself to the most laborious pursuit known, associate with and work side by side by the wildest, most desperate and dissipated set of men in the world and be exposed to all the dangers of a miners life." He warns: "This state has ruined more young men than all the rest together...they become discouraged and reckless, drink and gamble..." "My own opinion is that there is some "oro" there but not enough to justify the rush and that the excitement is kept alive either by speculators or some aspiring politician who is desirous of going to Congress." Great content! 10 x 8" Folds, very good condition.

La Porte is now located in Plumas County, California. At the time of this letter, it was in Sierra County. La Porte was settled under the name Rabbit Creek in 1850 after gold was discovered by Hamilton Ward and James Murry. The initial settlement remained small and likely seasonal until ditches were built to facilitate hydraulic mining by 1852. The town was renamed to La Porte in 1857. One of California's most important gold districts, with an estimated 3 million ounces of gold produced.

Date: 1859
Country (if not USA):
State: California
City: La Porte