Sewell A. Knapp was born in Columbia, Tuolumne County, California on September 9th, 1854.
Raised in Columbia during the height of the gold rush Knapp began working as an assayer,
later to be involved in prospecting and consulting for large mining concerns in California
and Nevada. His papers include a monograph entitled, Observations & Reminiscences of
Early Days in the Mining Camps of California and Nevada, which contains a detailed account
of life during the gold boom and considerable technical information on mining itself.
However, the bulk of the collection deals with the Peralta land grant in Alameda County and
the court proceedings surrounding it.
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