• Pike's Peak Gold Rush: Just Like California Gold Diggings

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    PIKE’S PEAK GOLD RUSH, later known as the Colorado Gold Rush, was the boom in gold prospecting and mining in the Pike’s Peak Country of western Kansas Territory and southwestern Nebraska Territory, which began in July 1858 and lasted until roughly the creation of the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. An estimated 100,000 gold seekers took part in one of the greatest gold rushes in North American history.  Gold rush participants were known as the “Fifty-Niners” after 1859, the peak year – often used with the motto “Pike’s Peak or Bust!”  [Research included]


    L.M. Barker writes to his brother from Eddyville, January 25, 1859, 4 pp, 5 x 8.  He doesn’t mention the state and a number of cities bear that name.  However, he could be writing from Eddyville, Iowa. 

    He mentions Pike’s Peak gold digging, that a great many are going and that the area looks like “the California gold diggings.” 


    In part, “…I have rented a building that has rooms enough for my shop and to live in, also which will make it very convenient. I do not feel safe to leave the store alone at night. I don’t pay much for rent for all of the house as I did for my other place and it is in a more business part of the city and a better house.  After we get going, I don’t believe it will cost us any more…than it did me to board before I was married…My business is increasing steadily. The prospects for Eddyville are very good now. There is one railroad finished to within twenty miles of us…Probably there will be three railroads to Eddyville, which will make it quite an important place. I have not given up going to Missouri yet but don’t know when it will be…


    “Is there any excitement about the Pike’s Peak gold digging…A great many are going.  I don’t suppose there is any doubt but what there is gold there and enough to make it pay. I have seen men that has been through there and they say the country looks just like the California gold diggings.  I don’t think I shall go at present…L.M. Barker”


    Light toning, folds. Very readable and always great to see a letter mentioning the gold rush.


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