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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 Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Sketch

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Levi Richard French Letters to his Family,
    Date (inclusive): 1850-1854
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 85/106 c
    Creator: French, Levi Richard
    Extent: Number of containers: 1 portfolio
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: 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.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Levi Richard French Letters to his Family, BANC MSS 85/106 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Levi Richard French Letters were purchased by the Friends of The Bancroft Library in April 1985.

    Biographical Sketch

    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.
    The collection includes a letter from Tammy to Aunt Grace. It is unclear if either of these people was associated with Levi Richard French. For additional information on the ship Regulus, which French sailed on, see Thomas Williams' journal of his voyage on the Regulus, call number BANC MSS 78/19 c.