SOURCE: New England Puritan, published Boston
TRANSCRIBER: Marilyn Labbe

Thursday, Jan. 29, 1852

Experience of a California Gold Digger (Who sailed from Boston in the ship Edward Everett, in a letter to his sister, dated Indian Valley, California, Oct. 1851.)

My Dear Sister:--That you may know something of my doings and whereabouts, concerning which I presume you have heard but little, I propose to give you a few lines. I have so much to say, that I scarcely know where best to begin; but I will be methodical.
Soon after my arrival I went to the southern mines, where, by hard labor, in three months I made some 500 dollars; then winter came on, and I left the mines, and went to Benicia, to get my boxes and any letters which might have been sent me. This took me some three weeks, and cost me about 250 dollars. Before I accomplished it, the rains were falling in torrents, and I concluded to remain in Sacramento city a few months, and then early in the spring take a new start for the mines; so I lost abut 100 dollars worth of things at the Proquel Mine River, in the southern mines. With the money I had left, I speculated in horses and mules, making about 12 dollars a day, for a week or two. But I was in a doomed city; for the rain fell, snow melted, and Sacramento city was 10 feet under water. At midnight I found refuge on ship-board; all my clothes, books, and traps and letters were carried away by the flood, which lasted about one month. I boarded until my money was most gone, and then started for the Yba mine at the foot of the mountains. I worked, and in two months had made 500 dollars again. Well, then in May, I pushed up about 50 miles higher on the same river; and the water being still high because of the melting of the snow, I unfortunately joined a daming company. We worked steadily for four months. Cut a race 700 feet long; blasted through 100 feet of ledge rock, and by working in the water up to our necks, succeeded completely in damming the stream, and laying the bed of the river bare. But you may conceive of our disappointment, when we found it would not pay to work. So here I had lost the summer; every day of which, had I been working on the banks, I might have made from 20 to 30 dollars per day. I spent all my money, and got 100 dollars in debt; for provisions were very high:--flour 60 dollars per hundred pounds; Pork and Sugar, each 80 dollars per hundred. You know I am not one to parade my misfortunes, so I thought it would be best not to write to you then. "Immediately upon the failure of this undertaking, I went to work in the bank; paid my debts, helped others to pay their's and made enough to winter comfortably near the valley, for the snow was beginning to fall in the mountains. Last March with six others of the unfortunates, who were with me in the dam, I came up the Yuba River, again to Indian Valley, where I have been mining ever since; occasionally, however, spending a week or two in the mountains and gulches round, prospecting for gold. I have thus given you a succinct account of my roamings. Many adventures I have had, which I should like to tell you. I have endured much hardship and exposure; living and sleeping out of doors for months--sometimes in the snow, and then again in the rain. We were locked in the mountains by snow once without provisions, and once I came near being drowned in a mountain torrent, which swept me and my mules beneath its foaming current; but I have not had an hour's sickness since I came to the country, and I think it one of the healthiest climates in the world; but it is fearfully hot at midday; but I have frequently worked through the hottest days without hurt. All nations are here represented, and eager after gold. Though I have made little, I have seen much since I left the States, and only regret I worked for so many years in England for nothing. I intend going some 300 miles south of this, to winter in dry diggins, to make more or lose the little I have. This is a beautiful valley, but diggins are getting rather poor--averaging about five or six dollars per day to each digger. I have experienced more kindness from the Spaniards, Chilians especially, than from other people. I can talk Castilian tolerably, but books are high--a grammar cost me the other day 14 dollars. I have been constantly going to answer your kind letter which I lost in the flood of '49, but I kept deferring it, as I had no luck to tell of, no stationery at hand, and knew not at what place I should be a month from any time. I have been paying expressmen to get letters for me; but all I have received is one from papa, yourself and my friend C. The chances of my gettings a letter soon, if you do answer this, are poor; but if you are inclined to oblige me, by giving me a line telling me all about your dear self, your charming children, your kind husband, our parents and brother, I will make an extra effort to get it. Direct to me; San Francisco post office. I should like to send you some specimens of gold, but have no way. I have now about 50 ounces of gold dust. I shall quit mining next spring, if not before. I have felt the want of capital much. Believe me ever your attached brother, E.F."

Death by Accident on a Railroad

Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Arnold Welles Brown, a son of Dr. J. B. Brown, of this city, was killed on the Newton Branch Railroad. He had been out to Newton Lower Falls, on a visit to his uncle, Dr. Warren, and while crossing one of the bridges in that place, on his way to the depot to take the cars on his return, he was met by the train. The bridge was narrow, and although Mr. Brown, on discovering his perilous position, stood close against the railing, he was struck by the step of the second car, rolled under the cars, and thrown off the bridge a mangled corpse.
His death was as sudden as it was awful. A coroner's inquest held on the body acquitted the conductor and the engineer of the train of all blame, every effort having been made to avert the catastrophe; but the jury found that the bridge was too narrow for safety. Mr. Brown was a student at Andover Theological Seminary, and was a young man of much promise.
His sudden and afflictive death will be lamented by a large circle of friends. He was about 25 years of age.--Traveller of Thursday.

Railroad Accident

The morning train from Worcester, on the Boston and Worcester Railroad, which is due in Boston at a quarter past 9 o'clock, was detained an hour by an accident that occurred in Grafton, MA, near the Millbury Junction. One of the wheels to the tender broke and forced a hole through it, and let out the water required for the engine. No further damage was done nor any person injured.--Mail 23d.

New Factories.

The Lawrence Courier says that ground will be immediately, if it has not already been, broken for a new corporation to go in below the Bay State Mills, for the manufacture of cotton duck. At first but one mill will be erected, 125 by 60 feet, four stories high. The picker house will be 45 by 24 feet, two stories high. The cotton house 35 by 35 feet, and the office 25 by 15 feet, each one story high. The Courier also states that the plans are out for a new corporation, to go below the Atlantic, for the manufacture of worsteds, delaines, or some other of the finer articles of wool.

Thrilling Event.

The Springfield Republican describes a thrilling event, which occurred on the railroad bridge, over Deerfield river, near Greenfield, on Saturday afternoon week. The bridge, as most of our readers know, is about 80 fett above low water mark, and the railroad track is laid on top of it.
The last train from the North being behind time, was pushing rapidly ahead, and a footman found himself near the middle of the bridge as the train approached with lightning speed. He had not time to get off the bridge at either end--the space at the sides of the track was too sloping to be resorted to with safety--and a leap upon the ice below was sure death. In this terrible dilemma, he threw himself into the trough between the rails, and hugging the bottom closely, the train passed over him without harm.

Death of Mrs. Cooper.

A despatch from Cooperstown, NY on Friday says, "The widow of J. Fennimore Cooper, died suddenly this morning, of asthma. Her death was quite unexpected."


Capt. Tilley Richardson

At the residence of Wines H. Skeels, Esq. in Watertown, NY, on the 14th inst., Capt. Tilley Richardson, 93. He has left to mourn his loss, one hundred and twenty children, grand-children, and great-grand-children.
Capt. Richardson volunteered as a soldier at the commencement of the War of the Revolution; he was at the taking of Burgoyne in 1779; he emigrated from New Hampshire to Litchfield, in Herkimer Co., NY, in 1792, and from thence to Watertown in 1802, and settled on the farm on which he died.
He was a kind husband and father, a good neighbor and a peace maker. He has never been a party in a litigated suit, and very rarely, if ever, has such a suit originated in his neighborhood. He had no enemies, and as many friends as knew him and enjoyed his acquaintance. His heart and hand has always been open to the wants of the poor. His integrity was never questioned. Community has lost a good citizen and his numerous family their best friend.
The deceased was a maternal uncle of one of the editors of this journal. A daring exploit was performed by Capt. Richardson, when the American and British armies lay on Rhode Island. One day he observed two horses, who had strayed from the British lines toward the American camp. He formed the purpose of bringing them in, and went round them and started them for the American lines. The British saw him and commenced firing a cannon at him. The first ball came within a short distance of him; nothing daunted, he still continued to drive on his horses, at the same time keeping watch of the cannon. When he saw its flash, he fell upon the ground; each ball came nearer and nearer, one ball ploughing the ground by his side, half covering him with dust; he arose, swung his hat, and hurrahed. The British gunner felt sure of his object at the next shot; but Capt. R. reached a hay stack before the next discharge of the cannon. The ball passed through the edge of the stack, and did him no harm. He drove both horses into the camp, brought them to head-quarters, and received pay for them. This exploit was done in full view of both armies. The American army watched his progress with intense anxiety, cheering him only repeated huzzas.

Mrs. Martha Brainerd Wilson

In Marietta, OH, 10th inst., Mrs. Martha Brainerd Wilson, 70. She was born at Lebanon, CT Jan. 18, 1782, and married in 1798 to Stephen R., son of Col. Benjamin Wilson, an officer of the revolutionary army, and a member of the Virginia Convention to ratify the Constitution of the United States. During the ministry of the Rev. S. P. Robbins, in the year 1819, she united with the Congregational Church of Marietta, OH, of which her father was one of the first two deacons. Her life of active piety, her walks of usefulness and love, her unpretending yet watchful and sweet charities, as well as the beautiful symmetry of her whole character attest the genuiness of her faith in Christ. Her end was peace. Death came suddenly, perhaps unexpectedly; but it did not find her unprepared. At midnight there was a cry made; Behold the bridegroom cometh. We cannot doubt that her lamp was burning.


In this city, 22d inst., Mr. Lucius C. CHASE, of Boston, to Miss Abby MOORE, of Hancock, NH; on the 21st inst., Mr. A. D. SHAW to Miss Mary S. GRAY, both of Boston.

In Newburyport, 22d inst., Mr. Jacob B. MERRILL, of N., to Miss Elizabeth M. DONE, of West Newbury.

In West Newbury, by Rev. Mr. EDGELL, Mr. John E. BARTLETT, JR. to Miss Eliza A. FOLLANSBEE, all of W. Newbury.

In Concord, 28th ult., by Rev. L. H. ANGIER, Mr. Orin COOLIDGE, JR to Miss Ann M. P. FLETCHER, both of Westford.

In Rowley, 13th inst., by Rev. Mr. PIKE, Mr. George A. TODD to Miss Ruth PAYSON.

In Stoneham, 20th inst., by Rev. Wm. C. WHITCOMB, Mr. Charles NICHOLS, of Woburn, to Miss Sarah GERRY of Stoneham; also by the same 22d inst., Mr. Arad GERRY to Miss Eliza Jane GERRY, both of Stoneham.

In South Reading, 14th inst., by Rev. Reuben EMERSON, Mr. Daniel G. WALTON, to Miss E. Jeanette ABORN.

In Salem, 22d inst., by Rev. Mr. MILLS, Mr. Geo. Cabot WARD, of Boston, to Miss Mary Ann SOUTHWICK, of S.

In Attleboro, at the Second Congregational Church, by Rev. J. CRANE, Dr. John R. BRONSON, of Pawtucket, to Miss Catherine F. WHEELOCK, of Attleboro.

In Worcester, 22d inst., by Rev. E. SMALLEY, Mr. Thomas LEADWORTH to Miss Martha GEORGE, both of W.

In Middleboro, 22d inst., by Rev. Mr. THACHER, Mr. Laban P. FOBES, of Bridgewater, to Miss Hannah S., only daughter of Dr. John PERKINS, of M.

In Newport, RI, 21st inst., Mr. Joseph G. PECKHAM to Miss Sarah F. MUNRO, both of N.; 22d inst., Mr. William H. TOWNSEND, of New Orleans, to Miss Martha G., daughter of the late Mr. Isaac C. PECKHAM, of Newport.

In Syracuse, at Onondaga Female Seminary, Oct. 28, by Rev. G. HYDE, Rev. O. W. COOLEY, of LaSalle, IL, to Miss S. A. ADAMS, late Principal of that Seminary, and daughter of the late John ADAMS, Esq. of Hopkinton, MA.

In Gavelston, TX, 31st ult., by Rev. Mr. EATON, Capt. Charles R. COLBURN, (of bark Trinity) to Miss Annie M. DOWNS, formerly of Boston.


In the City, 10th inst., Mr. Joseph NEWELL, 23; 17th inst., Mr. William LAWSON, 45.

In South Boston, 20th inst., of apoplexy, Mr. Francis HALL, 73y7m.

In Lynn, 18th inst., Mr. James MUDGE, 67.

In Salem, 23d inst., Mrs. Beulah, widow of the late Mr. Stephen B. DOCKHAM, 70.

In Beverly, Mr. George Herrick HANNA, 82. He was of the fourth generation of the descendants of George HERRICK, an emigrant from England, who came to Salem in 1685.

In Beverly Farms, 20th inst., Phillis, the well known faithful and laborious colored woman, who for half a century or more served so large a number of families in that town as washerwoman, and in other service. Many have supposed her to be over 100 years of age, but as according to her own recollection she was only about a dozen years old when the Battle of Lexington took place, her age was probably 90 at her decease.

In Weston, 24th inst., Capt. Nathan FISKE, 91yrs 6m--a revolutionary pensioner.

In Falmouth, 19th inst., Hon. E. SWIFT, 77. He represented his native town in the Legislature for several successive years, and for two years was a member of the Executive Council.

In Attleboro, 22d inst., Capt. Caleb PARMENTER, 93 yrs. last August. Mr. P. leaves a widow of the same age, having lived together, in the marriage relation, seventy-two years. He was a revolutionary pensioner, having served his country two years in the revolution, and was present at three engagements--on Dorchester Heights, in Rhode Island, and at Rowland's Ferry, near Fall River.

In Stockbridge, 10th inst., Mrs. Elizabeth, mother of Rev. Dr. Chester DEWEY, of Rochester, NY, 93.

In Cummington, 18th inst., Mr. Sylvanus SHAW, 87,--a revolutionary pensioner.

In Hartford, 21st inst., Charles SEYMOUR, Esq., 75; 15th inst., Mrs. Mary, wife of Mr. Elisha ARNOLD, 36.

In Litchfield, CT, 19th inst., Miss Sarah PIERCE, 84--for a long time at the head of a celebrated Female School in that place.

In Providence, RI, 15th inst., Mrs. Abby W., wife of Mr. Otis T. STANLEY, 36; 18th inst., Mr. Robert C. WOODBURY, 24.

In East Lyman, NH, Mr. Isaac PARKER, 88--one of the first settlers of the town.

In Portland, ME, 21st inst., Dr. Warren E. CHASE, 45--formerly of Boscawen, NH.

In Frankfort, ME, 16th inst., Capt. Lemuel KEMPTON, 73.

In Augusta, ME, 15th inst., Capt. David WALL, 78. He died in the house where he was born, and where he had always resided.

We learn that the Congregational Church in Manchester, MA, have give a call to Rev. Mr. Taylor, of Shrewsbury, NJ, who is a brother of their late pastor.

Decease of Aged Persons

The following are the names and ages of persons, of seventy years and upward, who died in Providence, RI, during the year 1851.

William Barnes 96 Sarah Taylor 77
Mary Boker 95 Neal McElroy 77
Mina Rogers 94 Mary Temple 77
Anna Sprague 91 Peter Swan 77
Levi Wheaton 90 Ezekiel Carpenter 76
Alice Eddy 89 Anna Hunt 76
Naomi Bacon 89 Mary Peck 76
Sarah Bentley 88 Patrick Marion 75
John Taylor 88 Patrick Masterson 75
Esther Abbott 88 Sarah Grinnell 75
Mehitable Ingraham 86 Patrick Foy 75
Elizabeth Warner 85 John G. Burns 75
Ann Mename 85 Patrick Early 75
Dolly Malcom 84 William Tillinghast 75
Benjamin Aborn 83 Celinda Scott 75
Martha Wardwell 83 Mary Luther 75
William McGowan 82 Charity Easton 75
John Snow 82 Judith Paul 74
Lydia Branch 81 John Gladding 74
Nancy Kimball 81 Henry Mathewson 74
Nathaniel Pearce 81 Charles Annis 74
Sophia Jackson 81 Mary D. Wheeler 74
Isaac Burdick 81 Sarah Bly 73
Betsey La Roach 81 Margaret Beverly 73
Sally Warner 80 Sally Knight 72
Mary Foster 80 Mary B. Lindsay 72
Galen Pond 80 Ann Bradley 72
James Dillaber 80 Nathaniel Lang 71
Hannah Axum 80 Cyrus Wood 71
Coleman Hatch 80 Mary B. Munroe 71
Caleb Earle 80 John Potter 71
Morris Deming 80 Shubael Crowell 71
Philey Anderson 80 Roxana P. Hall 70
Martha Howell 79 Olive Lyon 70
Mary Brownell 79 Susan King 70
Alpheus Billings 78 William McIntosh 70
Elizabeth Farnum 78 Joseph Whipple 70
Hannah Cornell 78 Catharine McKenna 70
Benjamin Merrick 77 John McManus 70

THURSDAY, MAR. 31, 1842


In Boston, on Thursday evening, the 24th inst. Mr. Isaac T. WINCHESTER to Miss Dianthe WENTWORTH, both of Boston

Mr. William STUBBS to Miss Rebecca M. BLAISDELL

In Cambridge, by Rev. Mr. ALBRO, the Rev. Isaac A. BASSETT, to Miss Hannah Louisa, daughter of Mr. Isaac CONANT. Rev. Mr. BASSETT is a recent graduate of the Theo Institute at East Windsor, CT. He is to be soon ordained pastor over the Congregational church in South Wellfleet, MA.

In Dorchester, on the 21st inst., O. W. POLLITZ, Esq. of New York, to Miss Mary M. daughter of the Rev. Dr. CODMAN, of Dorchester.

In Cabotville, on Wednesday evening, the 16th inst. by Rev. Mr. CLAPP, Mr. Rufus N. NICHOLS of South Hadley to Miss Mary J. CHAPIN, of Cabotville.


In this city, on Tuesday last, in peaceful hope of a blessed immortality, Mrs. Susan GORE STODDARD, wife of Dea. Lewis T. STODDARD, aged 33 years.

In Boston, Primus HALL, a respectable colored citizen, and a revolutionary pensioner of the United Sates, aged 84.

In Malden, 15th inst. Mrs. Betsey, wife of Mr. Wm. BANKS, 74.

In Salem, 26th inst., Mrs. Louisa GREEN, widow of the late Rev. Samuel GREEN, of Boston, 49.

In Marshfield, 22d inst., Capt. Luther LITTLE, 86--a hero of the revolution.

In Georgetown, ME, Mrs. Jane EMMONS, widow of the late Benjamin EMMONS, Esq. formerly of Boston, 75.

In Lebanon, CT, 17th inst., Mrs. Abigail FITCH, 88. Mrs. F. was the sister of Hon. Jeremiah MASON of Boston.

In Wethersfield, CT, 21st inst., Wm. MARTIN, aged 6, son of Amasa and Nancy CALDWELL.

At Newington, CT, 23d inst., Miss Caroline DEMING, eldest daughter of Dea. Levi DEMING, 32--an example of early piety--charitable in life--peaceful in death.

In East Windsor, CT, the 17th inst., Mr. Wm. F. ANDROSS, 46.

In Brooklyn, CT, 11th inst., of consumption, Catharine B. SAGE, in the 49th year of her age, daughter of the late Ebenezer SAGE, Esq. of Middletown, CT.

In Hartford, on the 19th inst., of a pulmonary complaint, Mr. Timothy C. HILL, of Northwood, NH, aged 29.