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Title: James Williamson, [California?] to Robert Williamson, Co. Armagh.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWilliamson, James/29
SenderWilliamson, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationgold miner
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCalifornia, USA
DestinationRichill, Co. Armagh, N.Ireland
RecipientWilliamson, Robert
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2680/2/9: Copied by Permission of W. P. Williamson Esq., Ahorey House, Richhill, County Armagh.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9007149
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 06:09:1993.
Word Count1111
TranscriptBuckeys Ravine Oct [October?] 8th 1854

Dear Robert
I received your very welcome
letter dated June 26th I was very glad to find
by the Contents that you were all well at home
There is nothing strange or wonderful going on
in this part of the world so I will have
to put on my considering cap & fill this sheet
with sense & nonsense. I am still to work in
the same place as when I wrote to you last only
I am on my own hook I bought an interest in
a Claim last week for $75 which will keep me
to work until Jan [January?] I think it is good for $3.00
p [per?] day as long as it will last & a Chance for
doing better. William arrived with his children
here in July they were all well & had very
pleasant passage from New York he & his
family have gone into the mountains to try
their luck mining I do not think it probable
that he will go to lower California before next
summer, the great reason that he did not go
was because the greater part of the valleys are
held by Mexicans who had large grants of
land given them by their goverment previous
to the Mexican war, the titles of the
owners of these grants are now being examined
by Commissioners to prove the title to these
grants those who cannot prove their title
the land is then at the disposal of our government
now you see if a man buys a tract of
land before the title to that land is proved
he runs a great risk of losing his money & land
too I have heard very little from Wm [William?] since he
went to the mountains viz that he had got a
Claim and was acting as Clerk for a man until
the rains sets in. While he was in New York
he saw Benj [Benjamin?] Peebles he speaks of him very highly
and also of his sister Caroline he has had his
Daguerotype [daguerreotype?] & that of his Children taken & left
them with her to take to Ahory. He saw
Jonathan Peebles at the same time but between
you & I he was not much preposessed [prepossessed?] in his
favor he thinks he treated him very Coolly
all our acquaintences [acquaintances?] on [bon--?] were all well
when Wm [William?] was there Jo [Joseph?] Taylor was building in
Belvidere & had all the work he could do
Mrs Jno [John?] Sinclair had got a young daughter

& he had just Bought 80 acres of land. well it
is bed time so you will have to wait till tomorrow night
Here I go again after a hard days work throwing
mud & goold [gold?] from 6 to 8 feet High. It has rained
some to day [today?] & I hope it will keep at it until
we have plenty of water. I think we will have
a wet winter this year. I have had no letters
from Tom McClure since I wrote to you although
I have written to him. I have had no letters
from either Robt [Robert?] or Jas [James?] Bain. I intend to write
to Robert next week. The smith work pays
very well here If a man has a good Capital to
start with On rivers the principal work is
on picks to make & sharpen them the price
for new picks is 3 & 4 dollars $1.50 to lay them
25 cents a point to sharpen them In the town
Horse & mule shoeing & repairing wagons is the greater
part of the business for every new shoe $1.00
& to set one 50 cents to set wagon tire $8.00
I am glad to hear of Mr & Mrs Astons welfare
I hope they will have the best of good luck
I am glad to hear that Richard is well I
enclose a little gold dust for him which I
dug in Pennsylvania Ravine. These is a
great difference in gold here on rivers & in
the mountains the gold is gennerally [generally?] of a
better quality than in this place some of
the former will mint from $17 to 19 to the oz [ounce?]
while this mints $13 & 14.50 to the oz [ounce?]. I think that
butter would be the best article that could be
shipped to this Country it is worth from 35 to
40 cents plb [per pound?]. Potatoes and Onions are Cheap here
they are sold in San Francisco for 2 1/2 cents plb [per pound?]
pork is worth 16 plb [per pound?] & corn beef 17 to 19 plb [per pound?]
There has been a great deal of Flour shipped back
to New York & sold there at a higher price than
they could get here for it There was so much of
it shipped to this Country that they Could not
get first Cost on it. The ground is very different here
in some parts of the Country it is a red sandy
Clay in others it is black loam wherever there is a
Difference in the Bed rock the soil is different in the
mountains the Rock is gennerally [generally?] slate while here it
is a soft granite it is easy to tell what the bed
Rock is by the appearance of the ground on top
How will you get the Maine liquor law there? will it be
by the vote of the people or an act of parliament

Have you got that turbine wheel finished. I am glad
to hear that Mrs Tuft & my namesake are well
Tell her I would like to have a chat with her
I think I could coax her to write me a letter
in a very short time. I am happy to hear of
John & his family being in good health. I have had no
letters from him since January. Do you know whether
he got the Belvidere Standard or not I [took?] it for him
for a year & have never heard anything of it since.
Wm [William?] Preston has got married to a sister of Jas [James?] Robinson
& is now engaged buying Hides, Salt, lime &c. I suppose
you will have more Weddings before this Can reach
you. I was much disappointed to find that Hugh
had not got married. If he hangs off much longer
it will be of no use at all. I am glad to hear
that Mother is in good health I hope that she
will long Continue so. I am out of news so
I will have to Conclude Give my love to all
& beleive [believe?] me to be your afft [affectionate?] Brother
Jim [James?] Williamson