Letters from Smith to his family describe his trip to San Francisco via Panama, his gold mining and his trip to Oregon. The
collection also includes certificates, other correspondence, his diary and various receipts.
John Marsh Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, August 20, 1818. He married Elizabeth Tyson in 1843. Leaving his wife and
two children, he came to California in 1849, by ship via Panama, to search for gold. He prospected in the area around Sacramento
in 1849 and 1850. In 1850, he moved to Portland, Oregon, and a few years later he returned to Maryland. He died at Sandy Spring,
Maryland, on July 29, 1890.