Oroville, Ca. [ca. 1900]. Three letters, pp. total on seven lined sheets. Previously folded. Minor wear and toning. Very good. Item #2050
An engaging group of three letters from a mining engineer named Jack in Oroville, California, to his partner and perhaps brother Eric that discuss the development of their investments in an area that saw a rapid growth in dredge mining around the turn of the 20th century. Our correspondent was working out a new mechanical process for gold mining on a promising site. However, his partner and addressee had given power of attorney to an investor named Wyckoff who is described as "a snoty little devil" who "knows no more about a mine or my affairs than a jack rabbit," but was starving the operation of cash while delivering a steady stream of insults. At one point Wyckoff, "Left me without cash for ten days when we had nothing but potatoes to feed in the camp." The dastardly money man is also suspected of trying to steal the proprietary process, which had already yielded fruit in Mexico. If that weren't bad enough, the author was in poor health -- passing blood, suffering from continuous headaches, and feeling faint. And yet, as with any mining venture, a fortune was just around the corner: "I will make you money in the mine and prove the process, so we can get bigger mines. Everybody is gold-crazy over here." Good content concerning a region of California that saw significant commercial mining development during the late-19th and early 20th centuries.