Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
January, 9, 1850. No. 3.
My dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
I did not have an opportunity to send a letter by the last mail, therefore did not write. Now I have
an opportunity to send by private conveyance, to the Miss. River [Mississippi River], and as I get no information from home, I fear, my letters will not reach you. I have written twice only, this is the third time. I improve every chance to send for letters, but have received none. Who of my friends may be alive, or who dead I know not, what sorrows or joys await them I know not, but as I can do them no good, I try to bear up under my privations, as well as I can, Hoping all are well, and all enjoying themselves and one another.
I cannot tell what my prospects are in Cal. [California] but think, they are some what flattering. I have refused to take $200, and my board, a month, for driving an ox team next summer, I have good reason to believe I can make that & perhaps four time as much mining.
I was too late in the mines last fall, to get a start before the winter set in, but I have been able to get enough to pay my expenses, which have been almost $350, I fear some times, that I shall not make as much mining as in some other way, but the chance is so much in favor of making more, that I am not willing to accept of such an offer as $200 a month. [My] information is more extensive than when I last wrote, and I think that the majority of the emigrants are not sorry that they are here, <and> instead of one in ten as I stated in my seco<o>nd letter, but nearly all that were comfortably situated at home, wish they had stayed there, and many that thought they were not well off at home, have learned here that they were.
With the knowledge I have now I think hard of advising Ralph [Ralph E. Grant] & Marcus [Marcus Grant] to come here, to spend a few months next summer if they should be so disposed, but I dont know as it would be best. If they were christians, as I am here; I would advise them to come, but a <yong> young man ought to have not only a fixed, but a christian character to withstand all the temptations that are set before him in this country. Many a fine young man is ruined here. If they should come, by all means take the rout by the Isthmus or through Mexico via, Vera Cruz. The Mexican rout I am not acquainted with.
Now I think of it, I want you to save newspapers, containing Cal. [California] news, so that I can see them on my return, also inform me who is Governor of Cal. [California] when you write, and such other news as you think I would like to hear. We know not what is going on except in our own neighborhood.
Write often, I shall get some letters some time, I have no doubt. I will say again direct to Sacramento <river> City pay no postage. If R. [Ralph E. Grant] & M. [Marcus Grant] one or both would come and find me, I think they with the characters they have already formed, and my assistance, <they> would not run much risk of getting in to bad company, but It might be impossible to find me, for a long time, I am now near Hangtown, but I do not <know who> suppose any one could find me in a month if they should try, I shall write again, thogh, so you will get it before time to start, and by that time I shall probably know where my summer location will be, I want them to start so as to get to Sacramento City about the first of Aug. and not stay at Sac City at all, but push for the mines, or hire out the first opportunity, to drive team or any employment they may find, at such wages as they think best, but it is not likely that wages will be less, than $200, per month, for the summer, they were from $300, to $400 last sumer. If I can get $250, from the man that offered me $200, I shall drive team, because he is a man that I know will pay. I ask him $300. When I commenced this letter, I did not thin[k] of saying any <thyn> thing about anyone coming out here, but as I have said so much I will finish this sheet with the subject.
You can learn more about the steamers from N. Y. [New York] to San F. [San Francisco, California] than I can, therefore I leave that with you. I suppose the passage takes a month and a little more, then if the boat leaves N. Y. [New York] the first of July, take the July boat, they will be soon enough in Cal [California], then for the climate, and to take advantage of the best months for mining which are the fall months, and sometimes Dec. Bring no fine clothes with you, or white shirts, but <penty> plenty of flannel shirts.
They can find employment cutting hay in the <y> vicinity of Sacramento or San Fransisco [San Francisco, California]. Hay is worth in Sacramento, 16 cts. per lb. by small quantities, and will be next summer from $100, to $150 or $200 per ton.
The thought has come into my mind that you (thoughtful soul) will be sending out some things to me because prices are so high, but dont do it, it might save me some thing & might not. Daniel.
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant],
I suppose this sheet will make double postage but I dont care for that, I pay a dollar to get it carried to the states, & I suppose it will be the same whether I send one sheet or two. The man that takes it leaves for the states on the 16th of Jan. and will take the Feb. boat, he is from Mo. [Missouri] has made $1,500, and thinks he can’t stay from his family any longer He run a carriage from Hangtown to Sac. City [Sacramento City, California]. will not be more than a year from his family. I have been able to preserve your letter sent by Dr. [Blye] and have just read it, & will answer it. The logs Mr. Root was right about. You did right about the saddle. Mr. Tichenor must have been mistaken about the dollar, for I paid him the common price for all he did. The long dress I did not want, but shall I ever get home, should have thrown it away as I did a good many things, if I had had it. I sent a letter from Ft. Larimie [Ft. Laramie, Wyoming] in wh. [which] I enclosed a lock of hair, but perhaps you did not get it. Will send another lock in this, my hair is short now, cut it myself, & cliped pretty close. I will give you some description of our company. We have 2 houses built in a small <rav> ravine, about 2 miles from the road leading from Hangtown, & Weverville, to Sac. C. [Sacramento City, California] about 45m from the City. Our house is 14 ft. by 12 ft. with a chimney at one end, built out side. My chums are Walter Young, of Sheboygan [Wisconsin] & Joseph Ludington, of Mil. [Milwaukee, Wisconsin] Young is a tailor & not very agreeable, though a tolerable good fellow. I worked with him, from the commencement of my mining, till <...> December first. Then we separated, & for three weeks, not feeling well, I did not mine. He is very profane. Ludington is a very pleasant young man 20 years old, also profane but not as bad as Young. Young left his wife with her father near Diesner’s mill. He is 35 years old. At the other house is Mr. Burlieu, from Sheboygan 25 years old, quite profane but a first rate fellow, also Mr. Peters fr. [from] She. [Sheboygan Wisconsin] 25y old very profane, but a good companion in every other respect. Mr Jones from the lead mines Wis. [Wisconsin] 35y old I guess, uses profane language some, & is a clever man. The other (for there are four) is Mr. Matthewson fr. Hartford Ct. [Connecticut] A fine young man, does not use profane language, but is not so agreeable as I wish he was, a good companion though much more so than Young. He is my present partner.
Last week we took out $168, 80, $68, of it in one one day. We are at work in what is called dry diggins, or what I should call winter diggins.
In wet diggins there is too much water in the winter and in dry diggins no water in summer. The wet are much the most productive.
A good many came from the States last summer and got from $1500, to $10000, and returned, are at home before this time, but big strikes though somewhat common, are in proportion to the number engaged, few & far between.
The mine<e>rs however almost invariably make money, some spend it fast as they get it, others save it, some soon as they get a few dollars go with it, to the gambling table. I have heard a report that a young man came into the mines, & was successfull, took out in a short time $5000, went to Sac. C. [Sacramento City, California] and bet it all at once, at the time telling the gamblers, that it was the last bet he ever should make, whether he won or lost, & if he won, he should go home, but if he lost he should go back to the mines, He won, took his $10000, & went home. Every store almost & every public house is a drinking & gambling shop. The Sabbath is not regarded here, except as a day of rest, and not even for that by some. Probably 99 out of a hundred of all the inhabitants of Cal. [California] are in the habit of using language. Yet there never was a country in the world, where there was better order, & less crime.
I enjoy myself very well. You know I mean as well as I can. My greatest trouble is I am separated from my family, and can’t hear one word from them or any of my friends. I never could put up with it but I think the Lord had a design in my coming therefore, I try to be content.
The Indians are somewhat troublesome in some places, not far from here, they burnt a sickman about a week since. They sometimes steal oxen & horses and other things, but if they steal to much extent, the whites raise 30, or 40 men, go in pursuit kill all they can, recover the property & take what they can from the Indians.
The country is generally barren, producing little except trees, which are scattered all over the mountains. below the mountains there is no timber, or anything else except on the ranches, as the fertile spots on the rivers are called where grass grows luxuriantly.
The winter is delightful, so far, where we are located, but a little higher up, the mountains are covered with snow. I think every day how you are hemmed in with snow & the cold wind whistling through every crevice, while I can sit by the open door, & write or read without fire, and be warm & perhaps a little too warm. A little fire though is generally comfortable.
Oxen are generally worth about $200, [ ] & cows from $100, to $150, dollars a apiece, milk at Sac. C. [Sacramento City, California] is $1, per g’t. Almost all kinds of business is profitable.
The rainy season is not so unpleasant as I supposed. Sometimes it rains for 3 or 4 days so hard that we cannot work, & sometime will be wet for more than a week, raining more or less evey day, then a spell of fair weather for a few days, or may be a few weeks. The nights are frosty in fair wether. The rainy season continues 3 months, & generally commences between the 20th Dec. & first Jan. This season it commenced the <first> second week in Nov. so I suppose the rainy season is pretty well along. Today is the 10, thursday & the third rainy day this week. I probably shall not make any more than $20, this week, perhaps not that.
I have written a long letter for me. I dont know who there is to read it, but some of my friends are alive. I dont know which of them. I will put a few verses in to this <...> for [Abby]. I clipped them from a Newspaper I hope that I shall see my father & mother a gain, but I fear I shall not. Your affectionate husband
Daniel [Daniel Grant]
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] <Mrs. Caroline Grant>
Dea. E. Grant [Deacon Elijah Grant]
Mill Brook [Connecticut]
California, Feb. 3d 1850.
Dearest Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant],
I wish I knew whether you are alive or not. I shall continue to direct my letters to you till I know. I have another opportunity to send a letter to the states, & this time to Boston, the chance is so good that I cannot let it pass, for if this man is careful<l> to mail it at Boston or N.York [New York], it will most certainly reach you. Twice I supposed I had sent for letters when I had not, the first time I left my name with Mr. Mudd, I think from Ct. [Connecticut] but instead of bringing letters he went to his home in the states. Next I left my name with 3 or 400 others at a store in Hangtown, to be sent by express but in consequence of some little difficulty between the merchant, & express men, the merchant would not let the express have the names, I have sent again & the man is expected back every day. If he does not bring letters for me I shall go myself pretty soon. It will cost me at least one hundred dollars to go to San Fransisco [San Francisco, California], & back, my time too will be worth another hundred, but I want a letter I would give a hundred dollars tonight, to get a letter, if I could get none cheaper.
It costs a dollar & 60 cts. [cents] besides the postage to get letters from S. Francisco[San Francisco, California]. We have papers from N. Y. [New York] & Bos. [Boston] of Dec. 13, so that we get some news.
It seems that the rush still continues from the states to Cal. [California] I suppose it will as long as one man in ten thousand makes a strike, as we call it, when he takes out a number of thousands of dollars in a short time.
I have pretty good luck now and then, but most of the time I am doing but little. Week before last I got $3, and about 60 cts, last week about $30, & my prospects are better this week, I think, but can’t tell, we may get $30, or more in one day & next day not more than $5,. Week before last it commenced snowing on monday, in the forenoon & snowed till wednesday night, then turned into rain & rained till Sat. night, but many who think they know something about it say that the rains are over, & I think that there is reason to think it is so, I never saw a more beautiful<l> sky, or more delightful weather, than was yesterday & day before. Today has been very pleasant, but the sky covered with thin clouds. It is clear again this evening I hardly know what to write, because I do not know how things are at home, & shall not write much in this letter. I know if I have any friends that they wish to hear from me, & I shall take every measure that falls in my reach to have them.
My health is generally pretty good, but I have a slight attack of scurvy, think I shall be able to check it, but dont know what it may do to me, My blood is very thin, & I am troubled some with the nose bleed. I am better than I was a few days since.
Rather a laughable occurrence took place when I first began to feel the effects of the scurvy. It <seen> seemed that I felt bugs crawling about me, & biting pretty sharp occasionally. I did not know what to make of it, or what to do, I could find nothing but felt them frequently, they troubled me very much. In two or three days after I began to feel the bugs, one morning I saw Mr. Young My first partner, pick something [o]f his wrist & throw it in the fire, & said he “big flea.”
I knew he was a dirty fellow, that he wore his clothes a long time, & that he had worn a pair of flannel drawers, nearly 3 months & how much longer I did not know. That, with the “big flea” set me going. I boiled all my clothes, blankets &c. in water and ashes, & left the house for another place – got in near by with a man from Rhode Island who was living in a small cab<b>in by himself his partner hav<e>ing gone to San Fransisco [San Francisco, California]. Got some mercurial ointment & used it pretty freely &c, &c.
At last I found some scurvy sores, & as I have seen no bugs – I conclude that it was scurvy instead of bugs, that was crawling over me.
I have been made <about> happy today – I know you can guess how – this P. M. Mr. Hoffman the man I sent by for letters returned & bought 3 letters for me. I took them in my hand, and caught <anoter> one of my companions by the arm and <ran> asked him to pay the bill and ran for the bushes, but with my happiness there was a pang your hand writing I could not see on the outside. I fear I was never to see it again, I opened a letter the writing of which I could not recognize, I read a few lines & thought I could not get the news I wanted, & threw it down & opened another, there I found your own writing & learned that you were all comfortably well at home, though it is two months since the last letter was written, a load is removed. The other letter I looked at again and was satisfied it was for some body else whose name is Dan’l Grant & sent it back to San Fransisco [San Francisco, California]. The 3 letters only cost $5.20 I can’t write more now, you know I must have a little time to think of what I have heard, this is letter No. ?
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant
Newark, N. J. [New Jersey] Dec. 8, 1850
Dear Sister Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant]
You may be in doubt why I have so long delayed writing you. I will tell you. You did not say to whose care I ought to direct. I wrote to Joel to inform me, but I hear nothing – I presume however you will get my letter at length with only the ordinary address, so I will not wait longer.
And now first I must express my regret that you did not allow me to see you when you passed through Newark [New Jersey]. Could you not stop? Had I received your letter in season I could not have found it expedient to dismiss my school for such an interview as the mere stopping of the train would allow – which would only have been sufficient to remind us of what we would but could not say. However I did not get your letter from Hadley untill nearly three hours after you were to pass. So it does not avail to say what might have been, but rather what ought to be under like circumstances again. Let me then say that I shall expect a different arrangement when you return. You must then stay several hours at least – see how your brother is located, and let him show you such hospitality as circumstances permit. Should your return be at such time as to allow it I will be your escort hence to New York. But more particularly of that in future.
And now as to that visit which you expect from me in Flemington [New Jersey]. Be assured you could not anticipate it with more pleasure than I, if I supposed it would be practicable. But I see not how it can be. I am not to have any vacation until spring except the week between Christmas and New Year’s - in which I must go home – and shall not have a day too much. Were the conveyance so arranged that I could spend Thanksgiving with you I would plan to do so, but it is not. So you must not expect me for many weeks if at all. I know not how you came to suppose I entertained such a purpose. I indeed wrote to Mother that if you went to Flemington [New Jersey] I should of course see your meaning that I took it as a matter of course that you would not pass us by without allowing such privilege.
The California letters which you forwarded to me were duly received, read, and sent on their way. I am glad the brothers are together and hope they will be greatly blessed with health, success and prosperity of every kind. I fear however at the same time that they will not get rich very fast. We cannot do better than be hopeful however, and trust the result to an all wise Providence. I hope we shall have further intelligence by the mail soon to come in.
I am glad you are so favorably situated for the present in the family of your dear sister. May her faithful affection comfort and console your heart in its anxiety – and you enjoy the peaceful happiness of which you have formed an anticipation. I repeat that should it at any time while you are with your sister <it should> appear consistent with my engagements to visit you, I shall not neglect to do so. Please give her my best regards – I have not the pleasure of an acquaintance with Mr. Hill but hope I may at some future time.
I am as prosperous as I can expect in my enterprize here. My school numbers 12 and all appears well and promising. Cannot but hope strongly for the future.
I live on bachelorizing, and see no reason to expect to do otherwise soon. But great and important changes cannot be made at once even if they are practicable. We must wait the developments of time.
Now, dear sister, don’t send me any more half sheet apologies for letters but just betake yourself to letters, “as is” letters – Write soon – I shall be absent from Newark [New Jersey] during the holydays.
Your affectionate brother
Jno. Grant [John Grant]
P. S. Neither you nor any one else has said a word to me of the children. Are they or either of them with you? If so tell them of Uncle John – and kiss them for me. In haste. Yours –
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Marysville [California], Dec. 9, 1850.
My Dear Wife,
It is a long time since I wrote home, longer I think than it will be again. You may expect a letter every mail after this, or twice a month. I am now in Marysville [California] & have been for some time. As long as I remain here, or where I can get to the P. O. [Post Office] I shall send by every mail, & I would be glad to receive by every mail.
Have had no news from you since M. [Marcus Grant] arrived because I suppose, I have not sent for any or have sent but once & then the express did not return. I shall send to Sacramento city by the next mail, to have letters forwarded to Marysville [California], if the P. M. [Post Master] will regard my request I have no doubt I shall hear from you, but it is very uncertain whether he will, Post Master are either exceding careless here, or else exceeding indifferent.
I have been searching for a piece of land for M. [Marcus Grant] & myself & for cows that we could buy but both are very difficult to find or at least it is difficult to find land at the present time that suits in quality & location, six months ago I could have found it.
There is a place about two miles from here where I think to go & build a small cabin & if I can get a few cows, & keep there I will, & when M. [Marcus Grant] comes we will decide whether it is best for us to stay there, or not.
M. [Marcus Grant] is still on the Yuba river & I suppose doing pretty well, I have not heard def<f>inite from him since I left him, some six weeks since, suppose he has had no opportunity to send.
Marysville[California] is a flourishing place, & I think will continue to grow for a time yet, the city as it is called is regularly laid out the streets crossing at right angles. It is a very pretty location, & I think healthy there were two or three cases of <clol> chol[e]r<y> [cholera] when it was so bad at S. City [Sacramento City, California], but I can see no reason why it is not healthy.
The buildings are mostly made of cloth & almost every house is a store, tavern or some other kind of shop. A great deal of gambling is done every day, every tavern is furnished with cards & tables for the accommodation of visiters, & loafers many is the game played for a drink & even for money, the monta bank [montebank] is the principal bank here, there being many of them, but Faro is common & Rolet, [Roulette?] Ronda & all other kinds of games are always to be found.
The stores are none of them furnished with stoves, but the weather is considered warm enough to throw the doors wide open & admit all the air.
There are but few women here of the right sort, but plenty of bad ones. It seems that bad women & gambl<ing>ers are good associates.
Yesterday I attended church, meeting was held in the court house. The minister is a young man, & <prety> smart enough for this country I suppose, he told us that he wanted us to contribute enough to enable him to live, said “the laborer is worthy of his hire,” & “all he asked was enough to live,” & I am sure it [will] not cost him but little more to [live?] here with the high prices, than it <is f> does most of our ministers at home. You must not think that it is for want of talent that he will live cheap, it is the absence of false pride, & a sense of our wickedness in this country, & a desire to do us good, he is some like that man we liked so well in Wis. [Wisconsin], I have forgotten his name.
Do you think I thought of home while I was at church, ah! you know I am thinking of home nearly every moment, but the impressions were more vivid when there.
I thought to write a full letter this time & give you a good deal of information about myself & other things here but, I think I must cut it short & see if I cant do it next time.
The last letter I sent home <&> contains ½ an oz. gold dust M. [Marcus Grant] wrote in the letter, he stated that I was going to packing, so I did, & succeeded in getting the load to the place, but on my return I lost both of my mules for which I paid $165.00 I then gave up doing any more packing. Send your letters to Marysville pay no postage unless Joel continues to be postmaster I am pretty well. Your aff. [affectionate] husband
<There is something of a revival here I hope you & Mary [Mary Burr Hill] will remember & pray for us all that we too may be blessed I went to meeting last Friday there was a very full prayer meeting Halsey Stevens & Ralph Cressey and others have hopes think Erastus & nor Ralph haven’t been awakened R. could not very well attend meetings, I believe it began among the Methodist
Mrs. Rebecca Sexton Canfield has a son 6 days old we had never though of the thing till Mrs. Welch told of it yesterday Elmore Canfield’s wife has one 3 weeks old we heard for the first time today There was a man killed yesterday in Capt. Duvals shop by the burtsing of a grind stone
P. Burr [Pamela Burr]
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Marysville [California], Jan. 1, 1851
My Dear Dear Wife
If we were differantly situated I might wish you a happy new year, & of course I do, but in our present condition, if you have any enjoyments, they are lessened, by our being so far from one another, yet may you have a happy year, & pleasant times in your far off home.
I do not look for enjoyment while I remain in this Country, but <yet> I must stay sometime yet. This year I may wish may be more happy than last, but I see no reason why it will. If I can get some gold & start for home I shall then be a happy man, for a time I know. Marcus has been more lucky than I have since he came I suppose, he had a last accounts. I had a letter from him 10 days since, but it had been a whole month coming, he had then done very well, & wished me to come to him I could not then leave, but shall start tomorrow, he & another young man are together, some distance from my neighbors, & I don’t feel quite easy about them. If I find them doing well shall stay with them but if they are doing nothing we shall probably leave that place, & seek employment elsewhere.
I have found no place to suit for a farm nor shall I be able in this section. Cows & milk are falling in value, I have not bought any.
Wm. Elder, passed through this place on his way home about a month since I saw Wm. Graves as I was walking through the streets, he recognized me & hailed me & told me that Elder had started for home, in a small boat to go down the river. I went to the landing & found the boat had not yet started, saw him got some news from home, & I learned that John Howel was at or near Weaverville, & had made
by tra<i>ding 30 or $40000,00 G. C. Cone had gone home with about $1500, Eliott & Woodworth were in the mines & had a good claim. He gave me to understand that he had made by tra<i>ding about $8000,00 but Graves said he had not made $1000,00 Graves said that he himself had made nothing, but I think he had, two or three hundred dollars, he is keeping a small ranch about 20 miles from here, says he is going home in the spring.
I have been reading some of your old letters presume you can judge better than I can tell you how they make me feel. You inquire if I suffer with headache? I was never so free from it as since I have been here.
Whenever I have paid for a newspapers it has been with others, but never have bought but two or three.
It does me good to think you enjoy many comforts, you say that last winter you did not suffer with cold feet in bed, how bad it is that next winter must come, before <you> I can know but what you do this winter.
I sent to S. City [Sacramento City, California] for letters but got but one, from Joel to Marcus containing but little news. He stated that his success in geting letters to me was so poor, that he should not be very particular. Now I presume you do not wonder that I was careless when I did not know as I could get a letter to you. I believe that we receive the letters that contain no news, but none that <do> are filled, I wish I could be situated so as to at least hear from home. This letter to M. [Marcus Grant] was mailed Sep. 9.
The weather is very dry for the wet season, there has been but five rainy days & then but little water fell. I have been told that the Indians prophesy a dry winter, & thus far the prediction is true.
You will find enclosed a draft for a little money, made payable to the order of brother John, one half is for you, & one half for John I sent it to you, because I do not know whether he is yet in N. H. [New Hampshire] & if not, it might be more likely to get lost. You will notice that this is number first. I shall send in a month number second, I think to Joel at Avon [Connecticut] if he is not there it would not be likely to be lost as at N. H. [New Hampshire] No. third I shall keep till I hear whether you have received no. first or no. second. I want you to use your part of the money as you please but pay sister Mary what I owe her if you can, the rest use yourself. I hope to be able to send more soon, but you know that it is hope alone that sustains me so dont be disappointed. I am pretty certain that nothing but ill health will prevent my getting something this <winter> year.
I should like to hear something about our affairs in Wis. [Wisconsin] but if you should write ever so much I might not get it. Mr. Hubbard did not take the land in Waukesha only till next spring, if you can make any arrangements for a longer time perhaps you had better. I fear I have said more about home in this letter than I ought. You must not think but what I am happy I have a good many comforts Much love to all health good Your aff. [affectionate] husband
D. Grant [Daniel Grant]
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Newark [New Jersey], <Jan.> Feb. 1, 1851.
My Dear Sister,
Your letters of Jan. 15 and 29 were both duly received. The latter (i.e. Daniel’s letter) I forwarded to Joel by last evening’s mail. Accept my thanks for both these favors. I ought to have answered the first ere this time, but not feeling the obligation specially urgent I have delayed.
I rejoice with you in finding the intelligence from our kindred in California, so generally good. It is so comforting to know that they have health, if they may not gather gold as we had hoped they would. I cannot but regret that the brothers should have separated, for how precious must be a brother’s kind presence, in such a land of strangers.
I was at Joel’s when the last preceeding letter came. Did not know but Joel informed you when he
wrote you sending the sheets from California.
I spent [five?] days at and about home. The weather was very cold. I only went to Norfolk village [Connecticut] once – spent only two or three hours there. Father and Mother were very well then. But you have heard from them since I have. I have no tidings direct from them. The rest too [seem?] well as usual. Cousin Margaret is feeble, but better.
Uncle Luther as usual. Joel, and wife and son very well. I did not take my Christmas dinner there – but left here Christmas morn – reached New Haven about noon – and Avon next day P. M.
Your Abbie seemed very good indeed – especially after the first timidity passed away. Mother indulges her a good deal, but perhaps none too much. Aunt [N]elleton’s family were at Father’s during their absence. By a letter from Avon of about a week ago, I learn that father and mother will get home this week – and their there now probably.
I am glad you are so happy in your present circumstances. While we cannot but be anxious for dear ones far away we can hope and must, and meanwhile ought to use and enjoy the blessings and comforts with which a kind Providence richly favors us. I am glad you find so much that is congenial in the family of Mr. Hill. You cannot fail to find an enjoyment in your sister’s [Mary Burr Hill] society which you would nowhere else.
Of myself, I have nothing of importance to say that is new. I am not now boarding at the Hotel as before but in a private family – find it in the whole quite as pleasant – and it is somewhat less expensive. My school still continues the same numerically and I enjoy it as before.
Joel wrote me that he found some religious interest among his people which encourages him. I heard something of the revival in Norfolk when there. I hope to hear still more.
Mr. Backus writes me that he spent a good part of his College vacation at Dea. Woodward’s. I judge from the visits he made with [Martha], <...> that she is quite received – He speaks of his vacation as very happy. Much love to little Edward from Uncle John. A kind remembrance to your sister and her husband. Write soon again –
Your affectionate brother
Jno. Grant [John Grant]
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Newark [New Jersey], Sat. morn. March 15, 1851
Dear Sister Caroline,
The enclosed letter from California I received from Avon [Connecticut] last eve. I have this moment sent the draft to New York to get it accepted. It is not payable till eight days have elapsed. You have I suppose been informed of the facts of the case in general already. Joel suggests that this money be so placed that the brothers can make it available in case of urgent necessity. It appears to me that if we have special occasion to use it, we may as well do so – if not that we had better invest or employ it in the best way we can. I await your directions respecting the past sent to you. I am glad they were able to send something and hope they will be more prosperous in future.
I duly received yours of the 20th ult. informing of your plans to return to Conn. [Connecticut] I suppose you again passed directly by me. Yet I could not see you. Had there been time and had you not represented your plans as definitely fixed I should have made an effort to change them a little.
I shall not send this till I hear from N.Y. [New York] But if all is right – I will not add more. You may judge thereby. Yours aff. [affectionately]
Jno. Grant. [John Grant]
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Care of Wm. Hill [William Hill] Esq.
N. J. [New Jersey]
Newburyport [Massachusetts] Jan 11th 1851
Dear Daughter. We received your communications this morning was glad to hear from you and my dear absent Children. Joel and John had informed us, that letters had been received with comforting inteligence. It was like cold water to a thirsty soul, my mind had become exceedingly anxious about D. [Daniel Grant] & M [Marcus Grant], and in looking at my contemplated visit, I felt that I must leave home with a heavy heart. But monday P. M a letter was handed in containing information that gave me great relief. We are here at Newburyport [Massachusetts] in good health I have for a long time wanted to write to you <to you> but my body and mind have ben taxed to the utmost. My health has been good I have had but very little suffering. Abby has been uniformly well and happy. She has not complained of being unwell at all. She often speaks of you and her little brother in most affectionate manner. She will say I suppose they think they have not stayed long enough, but I think they have, I hope when they do come <I hope> they will stay five months and two years. One time some one gave her two walnuts I said to her grandma will crack them for you. Oh no I will keep them for Ma and little Eddy, so with many little things she will [say?] I will keep them for Ma and my little brother. When we first talked or when we first began to plan our business we thought of shutting up our house, and I proposed to Mrs Orville Pinney to take her into her family and she and her adopted daughter appeared very much pleased with the plan. Since that your Aunt N. and her daughters concluded they would come & keep our house, and they rather wished that Abby would stay them. So I them as they both wanted her they must divide the time. She might go and stay with Mrs Pinney a while and then she might come and stay with her Aunt. She appears pleased with her prospect. Mrs Pinney came after her and carried her home hours before I left home. I do not feel free from anxiety respecting her although I feel confident, that she will be taken just as good care of as she would if I was with her yet if she should be sick or any accident should befall her, I should wish to be with her, but I hope & <hope> I commit her to his care, who only can protect her. You speak of <her> your return. I hope it will be so that you can leave your sister in time to spend weeks with us before it will be necessary for you to commence your summer’s work. I want <have> you to have a good long visit with your only sister, and do not wish to hasten your return, but I very much want a visit too before summer work comes on. I do not think of any news but what you will hear from the other sources except I had a letter from Susan [Susan Boyd Grant] she sent much love to you and expressed a pleasure in my having Abbie with me for company. She also stated that one of their neighbors were at Mr Barton’s a little time previous, but did not see Elizabeth [Elizabeth Grant Burton] she was near being confined so that in some measure accounts for not writing us in so long a time. I intended writing to her soon when you left, but I have not done it but hope to while here. Give Edward many kisses for grandma may the Lord bless you and keep you is the prayer of your affectionate Mother E G
My dear Neice,
I thank you for your note, received today. Will you dwell on the character of the only living & true God, seek daily to learn more & more of what he is, by studying his word, observing his providences, & receiving his spirit. Think what the Redeemer has done to save our race, & receive his testimony respecting what he desires to do for you. Believe what he says to you, as you would have your children believe what you say to them. In true love, y’rs [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Give my love to Mary [Mary Burr Hill] and her husband hope she will be blessed John was at home a few days left the last day of Dec may God’s blessings attend you my dear child E G [Elizabeth Grant]
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Newark [New Jersey], Sept. 8, 1851
Dear Sister Caroline,
I today have opened my school according to arrangements. I thought it best not to wait till the middle of the month. My numbers of pupils today is only nine – it probably will be increased soon, though I know not how much.
Joel wrote you of the remittance from California by Bill of Exchange which was duly accepted and having matured on Sat. last I procured a Draft in your favor for $119 which you will find enclosed. Any body who has any money dealings will give you money in full for it. The second of the set of Exchange came first to hand so I used that, though the first was waiting me in this place. I will send you the first which is not of any value now - you may feel a curiosity to see it. You may do what you please with it.
Marcus wrote me but nothing beyond what he sent <you> Joel. His letter was in the main a transcript of what he wrote him.
I am glad they have been able to send again this amount. It proves that they are doing something. I shall be able to effect an arrangement by which the money sent you may be deposited for this purpose of bringing Daniel home in case of need, if you wish. Joel advised it and I do not know but it is expedient – cannot tell.
I am not fully refreshed by my vacation so as to be anxious to take hold again, but feel pretty well.
Teaching is hard work as you very well know. I hope to have at least 14 pupils but can live with less, if necessar.
On Thursday eve last attended the wedding of a classmate who has been engaged to the lady he married, six years and more. He takes her this month to San Francisco, where he has been a Commission merchant three years. His name is Bacon – the bride <Cor?.> Cornelia Thomson of New Haven. We had a pleasant evening. I did not fall in love with any of the ladies I believe. The wrath is very hot. Love to Eddie, with a kiss in my name. Your affectionate brother.
Jno. [John Grant] Grant.
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Newark [New Jersey] Jan. 12, 1852.
Dear Sister Caroline,
I took from the P. O. [Post Office] this morning a letter from Joel enclosing the accompanying sheet from California. He does not state when he received it, but I believe it must have come in the same steamer with that from Daniel of which I have written you.
I am sorry to find the intelligence from Daniel and Marcus no more favorable. I don’t know what to think of this prospect – or whether they ought to stay or come home. They seem to think favorably of trying still longer. I fear it will be of no avail.
Nothing has occurred worthy of record since I wrote last week. I remain as when I saw you in regard to hopes and prospects. Have no prospects matrimonially, as you will therein [infer?].
We have still snow enough for sleighing I have not however enjoyed any rides myself. The weather has been mostly cold. Snow has fallen more or less almost every day for a week. I presume you have a great deal of it.
Joel suggests that I set about arranging for Marcus to come home if he will. Probably I had better do so. I have small means to employ for that purpose for I have up to the present time expended my income in paying debts of long standing. I hope however now to be able to employ what I can save for some other purpose. Perhaps it ought to be for that. I am disappointed in his want of success.
Let me hear from you. Give my assurances of regard to your parents and brothers – not forgetting to kiss little Eddie for me too.
Please tell me what arrangements have been made for Daniel’s return if he sees best – to avail himself of them, & how they were effected.
Your aff. [affectionately] brother Jno. [John Grant] Grant
Letter 12 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Marysville [California] May 23 1852
My Dear Wife
Your letter of April third together with others I took from the office yesterday
I sent a line to S. Fransisco [San Francisco, California] for Ralph [Ralph E. Burr] expecting he would leave N. York [New York] the 10 Apr. but as his journey is delayed that line may be lost & I will write again I am anxious to see him but shall not direct him to come into this quarter he must take his own course though as I wrote in my last I shall if I have an opportunity give him all the information in my power
I have not <seen> conversed with a man who has arrived here within two months past but says Cal. [California] falls much short of their expectations & without exception they wish they had not left home yet it may not be so with Ralph [Ralph E. Burr] I think it is well that he has made the undertaking
The labor of the miners is harder than farming I do not labor as many days as I did in the Wis. [Wisconsin] <but the labor is harder> Yet I labor harder than I ever intend to again after I return
You inquire about a claim I mentioned I don’t recollect about it but suppose it must be the same that I have mentioned several times a share that I work for a share of itself I own the share but it was conveyed to me as security through the transfer is a bonafide sale The owner of the share was all the time drunken & I took a transfer of the share to secure myself from the danger of trouble he might be the means of causing me & also to put it out of his power to dispose of it in a fit of intoxication
You write as though you thought we have conveniences as you do at home but it is not quite so with miners
We can’t always do our cooking as we would or have the conveniences that we would if we were stationary a miner very seldom can form even an opinion how long he will be able to stay where he is therefore he is obliged to do with as little as possible for the expence of moving is very great
The bell is now ringing for church I shall attend today though I do so very seldom I[t] makes me so homesick I can not endure it
I sometimes do washing & mending on the sabbath It is necessary <man> I see no way to avoid it I do not think it wrong under the circumstances I[t] is true many almost all the miners make their calculations to do such things on that day but I try to avoid it. Your affectionate husband
Letter 13 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Caroline Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Oneida Bar opposite Bartons Bar [California] Sept. 6 – 52
I have taken my pen to commence a letter to you, but my hand trembles so that it is difficult to write. You will not wonder, that my <near> nerves are affected, when I tell you that I have just begun to get my strength, after a relapse of my former sickness, of which I made mention in my last, and of the sweeping pestilence, that threatens to depopulated our bars, viz. the cholera.
Nigh before last, (saturday night) six men died with Cholera on the other side of the river, & yesterday five more were added to the number, last night & to day has swelled the number but I know not how much, <two> two of our neighbors breathed their last on this side the river last night, & another is at this moment almost gone.
Great numbers have fled, I say great numbers, I mean proportionably, the whole population on both sides the river, I presume <will> would not exceed 200, when the disease broke out. Now there are not enough, to take care of the sick, <or> and bury the dead.
We hope the plague is stayed. The only question now is are there any new cases? we don’t stop to count the dead.
Not a case has been cured.
It is now six o clock, about three hours since I wrote the foregoing. I fell better than I did then, my hand is a little more steady.
There are no new cases of Cholera that I hear of. Not a man that feels well, & about half the men on both sides of the river are quite unwell. All that have shown symptoms of the dread disease have slept their last sleep.
I hope we may all rest tonight.
Oh! that I may never witness another such a scene.
To go from house to house & prepare bodies for the grave, some of which had been lain for six or eight hours, was almost too much for me in my weak state, but I have been thus far sustained.
Marcus [Marcus Grant] is with me, which is a great comfort. He has been here one week
Tuesday morn. nine oclock. No new cases that I have heard of.
There has been some change in the weather which is favorable. How delicious a little rain would be, yet rain enough to raise the streams would do an immense amount of damage to miners.
There has been no warmer weather this summer than there is every summer, but if I have not strangely forgotten there has been a great deal more of it.
Almost every day for nearly three months, the thermometer has been more than 100 above zero. The highest I have known is 115 in the shade. It sometimes is 120 and more, but this season the weath- has been more uniform than usual.
It has been very unhealthy as far as I know. Nearly the whole population in the low country, either have been or are sick.
Half past six. Two new cases of chol,- are reported but not severe. Oneida & Barton’s Bar [California] look very desolate. The sick & ailing are generally getting better.
Business which was entirely suspended has been commenced by a very few men today. It must be sometime before the number of men that have left will be replaced. I fear it will be a great hindrance to our getting in to the river. Marcus [Marcus Grant] has been to work to-day.
Wednesday morn. The cases of cholera reported yesterday were slight, & I have heard this morn, that they are convalescent.
Everything is quiet now, the stillness of the tomb appears in this usually bustling place.
The air is more bracing than it has been formerly. I have no doubt that many of us owe our lives, to the change in the weather.
I heard this morning that there has been some rain in the mountains, which confirms my opinion of the cause, of the change in the atmosphere.
I have not heard from Ralph [Ralph E. Burr] since he was here, & wrote a letter to Erastus.
Letters from home are becoming almost as scarce as showers, in this now parched country.
After you receive this you may direct all your letters to Parks Bar, Yuba Co. besure to write Yuba Co. Cal,
I think all is not right at Marysvill P.O. [Post Office] Let Marcu’s’ [Marcus Grant] letters be sent to the same place. It may not be long before we shall give other directions, but until we do direct as above.
Our prospects are discouraging again this year. They were some what flattering before this plague broke out. A few days may improve appearances, but at all events there is, & will be a [delay?].
Do write often.
Your affectionate husband
P. S. Thursday morn. Sept. 9. one of the cases of cholera reported yesterday as convalescent has proven fatal, the other is still better.
Another case reported last night has proven fatal, & still another has been attacked this morning.
Sept. 27 My Dear Wife
I wrote the above for the last mail but as we were so unsettled at that time & as the letter would have a tendency to create unnecessary fears I did not send it.
There have been several cases of cholera the opposite side of this river since writing before but it has not been very prevalent in this neighbor At [Bevre’s] Bar a mile above here for some days past it has been severe but is growing less At Marysville & some other places it is pretty bad but does not cause the fears it did at first.