Hanging, Executions and executioners, Capital punishment, Iron and steel workers, Capital punishment, Executions and executioners, Gold mines and mining, Hanging, Iron and steel workers, Manners and customs, and Records and correspondence
Three letters (11 p.) from a man working as an iron shutter maker in San Francisco, to his sister and husband Jacob C. Hawley in Burlington, Vermont. The letters concern mostly personal affairs and local news including two references to hangings ordered by the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851, and comments on the state of crime in the city and misleading newspaper articles that report only the positive side of gold mining. In one letter, July 11-13, 1851, two of the men hanged are named, Whittaker and MacKenzie. In another letter, Dec. 3, 1851, he writes that a man was executed for stealing an iron safe containing a small amount of money. He also writes about the recovery of some of lost letters he had mailed them that were found later with miners who had been massacred by "Indians."
Four manuscript letters describing George Harrington's 1849 voyage around Cape Horn to California and his subsequent experiences in the gold mines. Three letters were written at sea on board the Harriet Rockwell, while the final letter, dated April 1851, was written from the Long Bar mining camp on the Yuba River. He describes the port towns visited en route to California, including Valparaiso, Santa Catarina (Brazil), as well as the situation in San Francisco. On February 25, 1850 the Harriet Rockwell arrived in San Francisco, and Harrington noted that "there are about 400 vessels at anchor here now & more coming." Harrington describes a city teeming with people, money, and gambling. He also gives a generally positive report from the mines with reference to Jackass Gulch. The letters are addressed to Jacob C. Hawley of Burlington, Vermont, and include the original postmarked mailing envelopes.