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  CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH LETTER. Historic early California letter with great descriptions of Oakland & San Francisco. April 14th, 1853 San Francisco. Four page ink written ALS , 8” x 10” lined blue paper..

"San Francisco April 14th 1853

Dear Aunt Crea

With pleasure I hasten to answer your welcome letter of Feb 23d hoping to get another of the same kind in return. For although my list of correspondents is not small, yet I could happily find time to answer one from you every mail if you could but have seen me as I walked along the streets from the Post Office reading your letter, running carelessly into some Spanish Senorita, or stumbling head first into a lazy Chinaman or lamp post in my haste to read it through. You would have blamed yourself much in having kept so great a pleasure from me so long. But better late than never is the good old saying and I am glad to see you have adopted it. Uncle, by a few lines in your letter acknowledged the receipt of my letter of Jan 14th. I have written to him since then informing him of the safe arrival of my Father who came across the Isthmus in Jan last. Since my last I have sold out my store and am now working at my trade again. I did not make much in the three months of (page 2)  My store keeping, neither did I lose for I got my board out of the operation and my money back when I sold out which was much better than I could have done at my trade in the rainy season. There is no doubt but what I shall do well this next summer for I am now acquainted with pretty much all the principle builders in town and when I have worked for them once I am pretty sure of a second job for they seem to take quite a fancy to me. I am now getting seven dollars per day while the average wage are but six. So much for doing my best. This is a country in which if a man tries to do when he win be appreciated and well paid. But I think I have dwelt about long enough on that subject and so will jump into something else. I will give you an account of an excursion I had across the Bay to a very pretty town called Oakland and very appropriately named for it is situated in a perfect forest of dwarf oaks which are about the same size of our apple trees in Mass. Say from fifteen to twenty feet high. I hired a horse at one of the Mexican stables and after breakfast. I started off with a friend for the redwoods which were some twelve miles across the mountains where we arrived at noon (page 3) The Red Woods is the only place in the state at present to supply the Cities with boards and timber. These woods are ten miles square the trees are the largest I ever saw. I measured one as it was lying on the ground it was thirteen feet through at the butt and more than three hundred feet long. They now have three steam saw mills going night and day, the lumber is worth one hundred dollars per thousand in _an Francisco. It is about the same coulor of northern cedar and very soft and brittle used mostly for rough work. After stopping at one of the mills where I was acquainted to a diner of salt junk and Pork and Beans we started for Oakland where we arrived in time to take the boat for San Francisco and tired enough too for eight hours in the saddle in one day is no joke. As we neared the city I could not help thinking that scarce three and one half years ago it was nothing but a miserable settlement of Mexicans who lived in the most filthy and degraded manner at that time there were but half dozen Americans in the place but how different now. See what Yankee enterprise has made it. Where once were hills of drifting sand, are now beautiful level streets for the hills have all been carted down to the waters edge, thereby extending (page 4) Our city front The water formerly ebd and flowed up to Mont Gomery Street but now this street is a quarter of a mile from the wharves and where vessels came to anchor in 1849 you will now see large fire proof brick stores it is not uncommon sight to see large ships clear up high and dry among our brick buildings in the center of the city the land having been filled in around them which makes them look as though they had run out of their element in fear of being engulfed in its treacherous billows. I must say your letter gave me quite a good stock of news but I was sorry to hear that Lizzy Stevens is so dangerously ill please remember me to Uncle Stevens and family and in fact to anyone who cares a fig for me. The rainy season is not quite over yet but it will not last much longer and we may begin to expect nothing but dry weather until next October the climate agrees with me remarkably well my health never was better than at present You make up your mind never to see me in the Atlantic states again for I am resolved the Western States shall be my home in future Tell Gilbert I have not heard from him lately. Kiss little Mary for me and let me hear from you as often as possible. From Your Nep Charles F Meyers San Francisco Cal

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