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Guide to the Levi Richard French Letters to his Family, 1850-1854.
BANC MSS 85/106 c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Letters detailing aspects of his life in California, first as a gold miner, and later as a businessman. A few early letters (1850-1852) detail his life and relatively unsuccessful exploits in the gold fields. Most of the letters (1852-54), however, pertain to the time after he returned to California following a short visit to the East. They describe a somewhat more successful career as a teamster and businessman selling goods to miners, including wagons specially designed to handle the rugged terrain of the gold country, which were shipped from Massachusetts to him by his father. These later letters were written during periods of residence in Thompson's Flat, Onion Valley, Morris Ravine, New Philadelphia and Marysville.
Background
Levi Richard French, like thousands of other men during the Gold Rush, came to California to seek his fortune. This collection of 31 letters from Levi to his father Richard French details his early exploits as a miner in California. Faring poorly as a miner, he returned briefly to Boston in 1851, returning later that year to California. His letters from Thompson's Flat, Onion Valley, Morris Ravine, New Philadelphia, and Marysville indicate a greater success as a businessman than a miner. French opened several stores selling goods to miners and wagons that his father sent from Massachusetts.
Extent
Number of containers: 1 portfolio
Availability
The collection is open for research.