San Francisco: October 4, 1852. pp., with integral address leaf. Old folds, mild staining and soiling, three-inch closed tear to address leaf. Very good. Item #2473
An interesting letter documenting the family side of the California Gold Rush, in which a San Francisco man writes to his brother, offering to send his wife and daughters to Placerville as helpers. Interestingly, at first Phillips addresses the letter to his brother in Ohio, then scratches it out and writes in "Cal;" this most likely indicates the Phillipses hailed from Ohio and trekked to California along with scores of others in hopes of untold riches in the California gold fields. In his letter, Phillips writes that his wife, who has long been in San Francisco looking after a sick friend, can now leave as he is better, "And if you think best she will come up with the little girls and fix your carpets and superintend your affairs for a month or two untill your wife comes..." The formerly sick friend, Mr. Gardner, could also accompany them, apparently, as "He is coming up to P. and he wants you to give him work for a short time. Mr. G. is a good sailsman [sic] having been in the dry goods business...." While not overtly concerned with gold mining, the correspondence is nevertheless interesting for providing details on family routines during the Gold Rush era, when numerous families uprooted their lives and moved not only to places like San Francisco and Placerville, but between such locations during the years of speculation. A nice example of history from below, particularly notable for its domestic implications during the time of the great California Gold Rush.