Title:James Hamilton letters
Creator/Contributor:Hamilton, James, 1826?-, creator, correspondent.
Creator/Contributor:Hamilton, Elizabeth, correspondent.
Creator/Contributor:McCulloch, J., correspondent.
Three handwritten letters with integral address leaves from a baker who is also working as a gold miner in California gold
rush country to his wife and a friend in Milan, Ohio. Contains descriptions of miner life, bakery and gold mining business
practices, weather, etc. Also includes a typescript transcription of each letter.
December 19, 1853 (2 pages), to his wife Elizabeth mostly containing personal concerns, particularly for their son Willie,
and comments about impatiently waiting for winter rains to start so that the gold mining can commence. He adds he is pleased
that "there is no other Baker shown his face here yet so I have it all to myself and intend to keep it until I am satisfied."
January 30, 1854 (3 pages), to J. McCulloch, a friend living in the same house as his wife Elizabeth, giving details of his
business interests and miner life during the winter months. He writes that he came to American Flat after leaving Placerville
and that all the miners are bored and eager for the winter rains to start in earnest so they can get to work. As a result
of the inactivity, his bakery business is mostly run on credit during this time but makes enough cash to keep his bakery stocked
with flour. He adds the he has also worked as a miner during the past year for men he sold some claims to and finishes the
letter by noting he has asked his wife to consider joining him in California.
February 11, 1854 (4 pages), to his wife Elizabeth containing travel plans and advice for her upcoming trip to California.
He will be sending her a cabin ticket to sail to Central America and cross via Nicaragua along with their son, Willie. He
advises them on what to bring, where to stay while in New York, and how to deal with rude passengers while traveling by notifying
others on board of their behavior, "California emigrants know how to punish such cowardly actions and do it promptly too."
Hamilton, James -- 1826?- -- Correspondence
Hamilton, Elizabeth -- Correspondence
McCulloch, J -- Correspondence
Gold miners -- California -- El Dorado County
Gold mines and mining -- California -- El Dorado County
Bakers -- California -- El Dorado County
Bakeries -- California -- El Dorado County
Voyages to the Pacific coast
California -- History -- 1850-1950
American Flat (El Dorado County, Calif.)
James Hamilton letters, 1853-1854, BANC MSS 2011/198, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Purchase from Jeffrey Marks Rare Books; 20120320.
James Hamilton (born 1826?) was working as a gold miner in Placerville, California in 1850.
BANC MSS 2012/198 v.1