• Gold Rush Miner Details Challenges But Pledges To Continue In California


    Offering a 4 pp, 8 x 10 1/2, gold rush letter, San Francisco, March 16/60, by William H. Cone to his friend Jas E. Price, with fine coverage of his plight as a gold miner, indicative of the struggles many gold miners of the period experienced. He discusses his minor successes – “took out $100” – and his trials – “Pike’s Peak was a humbug” – along with his sentiments – “I am bound to stick to the ship.” 

    Very clean yellow cover with a San Francisco, Cal, postmark. Stamp present.

    “Dr. Friend...I heard by the way Wm Hamlin that you were in this country. I think Vol Cook informed him, that he saw you in Sac[ramento].  I was in Sacramento in Nov last. Staid there one night & part of a day. I was also there...about a month ago. I should have tried to look you up if I had known where to [find] you. I supposed by what Bill H. said you had left there long ago. I regret very much that I did not see you...

    “When I last saw you at the M.C. Depot little did I think the next time I heard from you that you would be in Cal[ifornia].

    “Now I will give you a slight sketch of things in general. We all were together till we arrived at Fort Kearney. There the most of the Utica Company concluded that Pike’s Peak was a humbug & all but Geo King, Morgan & myself turned there towards home.  R.M. & Cone bought Cameron’s and Andrew’s interest... & bid them goodby & started for the Pacific Coast. Had a good time the most of the way on the plains.

    “The latter part of the road my left eye became very sore. We reached our journeys end Aug. 8th. The first four weeks after my arrival my eye confined me to a dark room, the most of the time. I tell you the future looked dark to me. It costs $10 pr week to live.  All trouble comes to an end sometime & so did mine. As soon as I got to work Kiny & I commenced mining near Nelson’s Point. Mined for two months. Took out $100 each. My eye continuing bad I was obliged to give up out door work. So I concluded to leave. Nov. 15th I started for Diamond Springs, remained there till the 13th of Feb. While there I stopped with Jared Larkin, the husband of Alma Tanner...I have been here seven months & have not been able to work more than three & amount out of pocket nearly $100 since I landed on this side of the S. Nevada mountains.

    “You will see by this that I have not had the best kind of luck. But in spite of all this, I am bound to stick to the ship, as long as there is a plank left...Now I would say to you stick, don’t give up till you have tried Cal thoroughly. I came to make money and I am bound to stay if it’s five years till I have more than I had when I left home...I arrived in this city on the 14th of Feb with a letter of introduction to E.G. Baker, a friend of Larkins. Mr. L. wrote to him setting forth my case & in his reply he said a friend of his wanted someone to assist him in a confectionary store & if I see fit, I could get my board for assisting him...doing that...I have been sloping with Baker at $45 per month. I am in hopes when the month is up that I can do better. I think I am in big luck.

    "Baker is in the confectionary business. He also has several newspaper routes which pay him $200 or more per month. I stay in the store most of the time. I also assist him in delivering his morning papers. ...I am in hopes of getting some routes myself...I know of some routes in this city that pay $400 per month...

    “Wm Hamlin is sloping at Fiddletown. Geo is at St. Louis at work in a tunnel. Fred Cone crossed the Plains last season & was sloping some time ago near Marysville. Wm H. Cone S.F. Cal”

    Folds. On blue lined paper, typical of gold rush letters, with some bleed through.


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