November 16, 1849

From letter published in the Missouri Whig , Palmyra February 7, 1850


We make the following extracts from a letter from C. F. Kirtley, Esq., to S. Buckner Esq. at this place. The letter is dated Sacramento city, Nov. 16, 1849.

Dear Stanton, I wrote to you some time ago asking you to come out and bring Virginia with you. That was sent by a private conveyance. I have since written a lengthy letter to you, in which I gave you various instructions in relation to crossing the plains, thinking that they would be useful to you in the event that you should conclude to come to this country by the way of the plains. That letter I sent by mail.

Although the overland route would be a money making operation, if you were to outfit as I suggested, yet under all the circumstances, I think the water route would be preferable for you. The land route is exceedingly mountainous, hard, toilsome, and in many places difficult. The stoutest men get through very much jaded, and not a few entirely sink under the fatigue and exposure of the trip. Scurvy and mountain fever are attendant to the land route. Muldrow, Gen Durkee, Godfrey, Ousley’s old Jim and many others had the scurvy very badly.

An election was held here on last Monday for Governor, Congressmen and other officers. There are a great many old land claims in this country, and it is the opinion of many that as soon as a regular Government is established, there will be a great deal of land litigation. If you ever intend coming here, it would be well for you to be here early, and get a start with the country, for I do assure you that town property is increasing in value very rapidly. It is no longer problematical that this is to be a great and flourishing State. I think that if you were to come and bring a good law library, that you might make money in that way. But there are a thousand other modes of making money besides at the law.

James Dudley is driving the ox-team that we sold, at $10 per day and found, hauling to the mines at this time is worth 25 cents per pound any distance from 45 to 60 miles, and as you go further the price increased in proportion. It is about double what it was before the wet weather set in. None but the best kind of cattle will go now. Provisions have risen since I wrote last, not ???…….

……….a close. I forgot to state in my last letter that we paid $750 for our lot.

Mrs. Newbower is keeping a boarding house; Hazlip is keeping a bar in the front of her house. Muldrow has left his mining company—has rented a Ranch, talkes about damming several rivers to catch fish, and is as full of his visionary schemes as ever. He has been very sick, and has just got about. A. B. Hawkins and family got to this city last night. He took the Lawson, or northern route, which is 300 miles out of the way. He lost his oxen in the mountains, and had a hard time in getting through. Martin Gash has gone upon the American, with Cap. Ross, Bates Miller and Gabe Calwell, to get out timber and raft it down in the spring. Press and Tom Young have gone into the mines. Isham White and Briscoe are here; they have been somewhat sick, and done nothing. Jameson Hawkins has made money handsomely by speculating in stock and selling hay. Pye got here very early—is in partnership with Paul and Weaver in a livery stable and dairy. They bought wild Spanish cows and keep them in stalls and feed them. I do not think they pay according to their expectations.

Transcribed courtesy of Kathleen Wilham