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William Earp collection, 1862
MANUSCRIPT 1842-1843
Collection Overview


William Earp collection, 1862


Earp, William, 1832-1888, creator


The William Earp collection consists of: a leather satchel with "William Earp Pontiac Illinois" written on the side (the satchel he took to California according to family lore); a 90-page diary for the year 1862; three photographs of Earp (one tintype); a remembrance card printed on his death in 1888.
William Earp's diary begins on Jan. 1, 1862: "Comenst work for the North Fork Company on the dich at forty dollars for month. Francis Clark. Wm Earp." Continuing through until Oct. 10 of that year, he enters similar laconic notations documenting his labor and wages. Earp is initially located near Auburn on the American River but by March 15 he has moved on. "This is a fine day and I went to Ashland and Folsom to find work and got a job at Stocton's mill."
"Stocton's mill" was also known as the Granite Flour Mills and was then owned in part by Edward Stockton. During the winter of 1861 flooding of the American River had washed away much of the mill works. By March, rebuilding was underway and Earp participated in this effort. While he is involved in constructing the millrace from March through July, many notations read: "Working for Stocton at the mill at blastin and drillen. Earp." Later he works on the dam for the mill and then, beginning in August, starts milling wheat.
During these months, Earp is unable to work several times. Once it is a toothache and, in June: "I am not to work this day for am sick and not abel to work for I hav got the pilles." At the end of July, he falls from the dock and is "laim" for several days. Sundays are a day of rest and typically Earp writes: "This is a fine and pleasant day hear and all is well and prospers with us. Ashland, Sacramento Co." But some Sundays other feelings prevail: "This is a nother lonsom and hard day hear and I am tired of it to night and I think I shall goe to bed and sleep it a way." These fleeting personal references are rare, however, and Earp's diary offers primarily a day-by-day account of the solitary laborer's workaday world.


1862 (issued)


1842. Diary and portraits. -- 1843. Satchel.


Earp, William -- 1832-1888 -- Diaries
Earp, William -- 1832-1888 -- Portraits
Construction workers -- California -- Ashland (Sacramento County) -- Diaries
Flour mills -- California -- Ashland (Sacramento County) -- History
Ashland (Sacramento County, Calif.) -- History


According to census material, William C. Earp was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. He arrived in California from Illinois sometime in the 1850s. In 1856, he is listed in the "Miner's and business men's directory" as living in Table Mountain, Tuolumne County, where he is working as a miner. By 1862, he had given up mining and was working as a construction worker near Folsom. Earp returned to Illinois sometime thereafter and is listed in the 1880 census as living in Amity, Livingston County, with his wife, Amanda, and three daughters and a son. William Earp died on Sept. 5, 1888.
William Earp collection
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.



Physical Description:

6 items : ports.




MANUSCRIPT 1842-1843



Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.