March 10, 1850

From letter published in the Missouri Whig, Palmyra ca ?, 1850


We make a few extracts from a letter from Gen. D. b, to his wife, which has been kindly furnished us. The letter is dated Cullomo, March 10;

* * * The horrors of war and its demoralization are much talked about, but let me assure you, those of gold hunting are far greater. Hardships, privation, sickness and death, present themselves in the mining districts in their most shocking forms. I could relate numerous cases that have come within my knowledge, which would make your blood run cold, but I shall not thus waste paper. Suffice it to say, your husband has abundant pause to thank a kind Providence for almost a total exemption from the many evils of life in California. My health is better and I am heavier in flesh than you ever saw me, and if my dear wife and children were with me I should be happier than you ever knew me.

I assisted in the painful duty of consigning to the grave, the past week, the remains of John J. Hawkins, of Hannibal, and John Sharp, son of my old and respected friend, Richard Sharp, of Marion county. They both suffered a protracted illness. Spottswood Williams, the brother-in-law of John Sharp has been absent sometime, and I fear is sick, or he would have been here to wait on his brother-in-law. Please drop a line to Mr. Sharp, informing him of his son’s death–that he died on the 8th instant, at 9 o’clock, P. M.; that he lay sick at Mr. Packwood’s and that the last sad offices were performed for him by Missourians in a decent and respectful manner.

Jo. Winlock, Thos. Hart, Wm. Leer, Ben. Ward, and several other Marion boys called on me a few days since, and Winlock and Hart dined with me, Jas. Marnell and Jack Forqueran are working for K. P. Anderson, who carries on tinning and blacksmithing profitably.

I have not heard from Mr. Kirtley for some time. When he last wrote me he had rented out his house at $300 per month, and I presume he intends trading to the mines this season.

Cook Campbell and Edward Murphy went down to Sonoma, or some other town down the Sacramento, to seek their fortune; I have not heard from them lately. I learn that A. J. Butler is keeping a large public house at San Francisco. George Lane is clerking in Sacramento City. I hear that John B Hazlip has gone up one of the forks of the Sacramento river. The fragments of the Muldrow company are scattered far and wide. It is said that Dr. Bowers’ negroes have run away from him, and that he has made but little. I have not heard lately from Geo. Louthan, but presume he is with Hazlip.

Transcribed courtesy of Kathleen Wilham