[Eldorado & Iowa Hill: 1856-1860]. Four manuscript documents, including three letters, totaling six pages. Old folds, moderate toning, minor edge wear, a few tears, a small hole in one letter. Good. Item #4301
A neat group of four manuscript letters and documents all related to the mining activities of L.D. Davis of Georgia over a four-year period during the latter years of the California Gold Rush. Davis appears to be a lawyer living somewhere back east, and may have been an investor in California mines or managing the financials for some mining concern from afar. The documents include an 1856 promissory note regarding "noted for collection," a long undated letter (likely from California) to Davis detailing amounts of gold taken from an unspecified mine and the mine's ownership situation, and two letters overtly datelined from California -- the first from Iowa Hill in 1859 and the second from Georgetown in El Dorado County in 1860. Each document presents a unique set of concerns for Davis. Notable details of the three letters are as follows:
1) Autograph Letter, Signed, from A.J. Huff to Mr. L.D. Davis. Iowa Hill, Ca., April 17, 1859, pp. The text reads, in part "I have been very very sick for the last three weeks but am at this time improving...the disease is caused by the exposure of this last winter having worked continually in the rain and snow preparing my claim for the season.... Times are very hard in this country now everyone has to work hard and is in big luck if he makes a decent living.... A great many are making money very fast but in comparison not one in ten to the number than used several years back to make money or in other words the chances are about one in ten when they were one in fifty two and three in this country.... If a man can get a good claim he can make more clear money out of it than he could then owing to the fact that everything is cheaper and experience has taught the People of California a great deal in respect to saving the gold and expediting the work. I think I have a very good claim which will last for a long time three or four years. It has been very expensive opening it but that is pretty well all over with now."
2) Autograph Letter, Signed, from J.D. Arranaut to L.D. Davis. Georgetown, Eldorado County, Ca., April 28, 1860, pp. Here, a colleague of Davis's in California seems to be struggling and writes thanking Davis for a loan. The text reads, in part (with spelling normalized): "I was glad to hear from you and to...learn that you would comply with my request by letting my wife have $25 worth of corn for her use and please find enclosed a [bank] draft.... I take it as a great favor as I am far from home.... Let me know how my wife is getting along and if she stands in need of anything...."
3) Autograph Letter, Signed, from J.H. Worley to L.D. Davis, Esq. N.p., n.d., p. The letter concerns percentage ownership in an unspecified mine, and opens with a four-line listing of the "amt. of gold taken from [mine] 513.51.1 while under my control." The author then writes, in part: "The rent and expenses were take out of the above account and after the gold was sold one half after paying expenses.... I know you are too well positioned in law to know that I dare not have settled with any other person unless I had been so instructed according to law.... When Mr. Findley returned from Burke County he stated to me that one half the mine was for Mr Adams and myself and the other was for himself and his friends, but did not say who they were...."