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Dunning Family Papers
mssHM 70310-70360  
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A collection of correspondence of the Dunning family of California and Maine.
Benjamin P. Dunning came from a seafaring and merchant family located in the vicinity of Brunswick, Maine. Before heading to California during the gold rush, Benjamin Dunning was master of sailing vessels and involved in the building of his own ships, which caused considerable financial distress. He came to California shortly before 1853, while his mother Abagail B. Dunning, father James Dunning (born 1793), sister Abby, and brothers Hiram A. Dunning (born 1825), and Clement S. Dunning (born 1833) remained in Maine. While in California, Benjamin, along with his uncle John Merryman, mined for gold and pursued endeavors such as buying and selling claims, running a blacksmith shop, and operating a sawmill. Benjamin returned to Maine between 1855-1858 to become master of the brig Ben Dunning. Eventually Benjamin convinced his brother Hiram, his wife Mary Frances, and brother Clement to join him in California. Although he returned to Maine periodically, Benjamin Dunning remained in California for much of the rest of his life.
1.2 Linear Feet (1 box)
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