Gold Rush Era Letters

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Josephine J. Crawford

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In the vicinity of San Jose it is worse, and also other places. In consequence it will be hard times for many, if not all. We had a very cold winter, more frost that any before and so late it injured the fruit in some localities, but Mr Sanders is looking fine He and bro Brayton are on a business trip as far north as Stockton. Expect them back in a few days. Brayton has improved in health greatly since coming here, and is so contented he is going to remain. Dear Aunt Sarah is well and smart for a person of her age. She has never had to work very hard, so is not worn out. I have not heard from you since I last wrote and also wrote to cousin Julia A Proctor. Have had no word from her. Hope this will find you all in comfortable health and prospering We wish you to accept this as coming from both of us. After a little Allie will have more time to write, but has not yet got fairly settled and I make her more work too. Expect to go back in a few days. I may continue to gain, but if not and I am not able to write Sis. Allie will. She is making her little grandson a waist. She has five grandchildren. Did Oramel leave any children? Is Mrs. Proctor still in Castleton Where is Jane & daughter? Dear Jennie promised to write for you and I wish she may find it convenient to very soon. Please write me just how your all are and all the friends we know. Did you make maple sugar this last spring How large a family have you. Alphonsine joins me in sending much love to all. We would like to see you just as you are in your present home. We well remember to old one. Lovingly yours Josephone Crawford

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Mission San Jose, Alameda Co, Cal. June 6th 61

Dear Aunt C-

Your letter has just reached me & as soon as I finished reading it the second time I took my pen & am going to begin a reply, Aunt, words, are feeble, to express my joy to hear again from you & the dear Home of my childhood old V.T. I often visit you & the dear haunts of my childhood in my dreams & have wished O! so much! to hear from there, but after writing several times to you, Cousins Julia Ann, Cornelia J. Fuller & Charlotte Lewis without receiving a word in reply - I gave up in despair and thought I must depend upon my Father's family to get any information concerning Friends in V.T. - For some time past, I have been thinking I would write again to you hoping I might get an answer- Aunt Calista accept many thanks for your letter. It has filled my heart with joy - Could you know my feelings you would feel richly repaid for writing.

My home is situated on the Pacific Coast about a day's journey from San Francisco - about twenty miles from the head of the Bay of San Francisco - We came here last Oct - Sold our House in the Mountains & came to a milder clime Had both been in poor health for some time I had been down sick for several months-

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with Congestion of the Liver - As soon as I was able to travel Mr Crawford started with me for the Coast. & we have settled here After coming here my health improved rapidly - and I began to think I might recover my health & become strong again - but I have had another attack from which I have only got so to be about again but am still poorly - My liver is enlarged - Have constant pain in my side --- This - is the finest climate in the world & if I can recover anywhere - think I can here - Never spent so pleasant a winter as the last - Have no Snow here & there is no time during the year but we can find Flowers - Last Christmas had a Boquet of wild flowers .- I call our House Crawfords Retreat- Tis a wild rough section of country here (& a back Place) though near the Metropolis of San Francisco Hiram is engaged in the business of Stock raising There is but little land on our "Rancho"- or Farm, suitable for cultivation - Have enough- as Hi does not intend to (or wish to work much of a Farm) so long as he is engaged in this business - Have a nice Garden considering the Short time we have been |here| - The Place was a wild one last Oct . We lived in a Tent Six weeks until we could build a House - Now we have a nice Garden & Orchard Vineyard &cHave about 1800 Grape Vinew - 10 different kinds - Apples Trees 16 different varieties Pear 14 - Plum 4,- Peach 7 - Cherry 5 - Currant 3Gooseberry 3 - Raspberry 2 - Quince 1 Strawberry 8- Figs 2 - Hope soon to be able to sit under our own "Vine & Fig Tree" - Have, now some ripe Cherries on one Tree - Has eight nice Cherries on it - notwithstanding is was set out this Spring Also have a few Currants & Strawberries - Think our Trees took well - & hope it will pove a good Place for raising Fruit - Dont know how it will do here but are going to give it a trial - Aunt C- I wish you could see our Retreat - & visit me in my quiet Home - I love my Friends dearly, devotedly, & wish to see them - but I am sick of the gay frivolous world I would not exchange this quiet Place for a home in a Town we have always lived in a City or little Villiage (save a few months) since we came to Cal but I prefer this Spot for my Home - though many would feel lonely & could not content themselves here. I have |seen| only one woman (an Irish woman) with whom I could converse since we came here - She is our Neighbor lives about a mile from us - There are many Spaniards living in this vicinity One Spanish Woman has been here but I could not speak their language well enough to visit much - So you see I have no congenial female companions - The few neighbors we have are kind neighborly people - but there are no women here that is any company to me - but I am not often lonely I think, read, write & gaze upon the beauties of Nature when

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not employed in my domestic duties - Have all I can dowhen I am able to be about - We have hired help- Shepherd's to cook for - Mr Crawford's Partner is an old Physician formerly from Ohio - used to attend upon both of our families when sick when we were children -So we have a Skillful Physician right at Home here -& a learned man - Have plenty of wild game here Grizzly Bears - Coyotes, Panthers - Wild Cats - Deer. Hare. Squirrels Quails &c &c - There are Wild Horses Antelope & Elk - up the San Jooquine River not far distant - but none here - Rattlesnakes are to be found in abundance here - We pitched our Tent by the side of the Bear trail - And now it passes through our Garden - They seem to be puzzled as to the reason of finding a fence in their road & other new sights - hereabouts so they turn & keep up the "Arroyo" Creek - Have not killed any yet though they are about every few weeks - It is not safe for a Hunter to shoot one unless he has a safe place to flee to instanter - if the Bear is not killed instantly. They are Strong ferocious animals - Hard to kill - Have not done any damage to our stock yet - but have killed several valuable Cows for our Neighbors - There are several men within a few miles of us who have Stock here - (but no families) it will not be many years before there will be familiesof Americans here - You ask if we are coming back - We hope to by & by - intend to return on a visit if not to remain - If I am permitted to live a few years I hope to gaze upon the green Hills of my dear Native State - and the dearer much love Friends - That still find a Home there - I feel that I must visit Pond Hill - once more ere I bid it adieu forever - but Time alone can tell how this may be - Aunt C - I often think of you - & I dare say you have not = & could not, if you wished forget the little noisy young-ones that used to be around |you| into |all sorts of| mischief - & up to many childish capers- I can now think what little toments we were - & wonder you had so much |patience| as you had with us - How we must have tried it - How we must have vexed you -- Those days are past but they live in my memory not to be forgotten so long as I retain my reason I remember when you were my Teacher - The prize - "Ribbon & Buds" that Charlotte & I tried to see which should be winner - and have one of the Tickets you gave me in my Case of choice Relics,- & Rupsakes - which you gave me during that term -I was five years old - now I am thirty two - shall be 33- if I live until the 3d of Septr next Tell Aromel - the piece of Marble he gave me graces my centre Table here . Where does he live? Have they any children? Where do you live?- How much I would like to visit you and eat Sugar I have not had any for several years - Am very fond of it

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Where does Aunt Charlotte live? Is Cousin Hoyt in circumstances to take care of his motherless little ones. It seems to me quite sickly in your section so many going with Donsumption - was sorry to hear it - My Cousins & other friends are going. Sad thought but we are all going soon & should not mourn & grieve ourselves as friend after friend departs as we do - but tis natural we cannot help it - notwithstanding we know it will not be very long at the longest, ere we shall be called Aunt Angeline has lived to bury all of her family only P- is she healthy Does she live on (Pond Hill, Sacred Spot, to me, the Name of my Forefathers My dear Aunt I wish to ask so many questions I expect I shall weary your patience - When I commence writing or talking about V.T & V.T folks I never know when to stop and now it has been so long since I have heard from there I dont know as I can find a place to stop Where is Cousin Martha? Cousin Julia Ann is married I have heard how much I do wish she would write to me- Is she happy & pleasantly situated? It would give me much pleasure to hear from any of my friends - I speak of cousin Julia A because she & I, have been together more than some of my Cousins who were younger. Give much love all for me & say to Julia Ann - Florolia Met & all the others that I remember them with the warmest feelings of friendshp & wish them to write to me - Does John & Lucy Farwell still live ? Are they on the old Place? Who lives in the old Yellow House - on Pond Hill Had I wings I think I would fly over & give you all a call I should ask more questions than I do now - Dear me! it does not seem as though I could wait until I can get ready to go back -

I should miss many that welcomed me to their Homes when on my last visit there. Have no Grand Mothers now - I assure you Aunt C I look back upon that visit as one of the happiest in my life You were all so kind & indulgent- I did |not| help you about your work so much as I ought you petted me so much - I remember I used to sleep until breakfast was ready - I find I must stop & take a little cry I feel a child again - so vividly the days "lang Syne" come up befor me O! Memory! you have awakened some sad recollec tions with the pleasing ones - but I must not think & cry-for those days are past I am far, far, from former Home & Friends - no longer a thoughtless child -- but why weep we are all growing old & soon must go hence I hope to meet you then, if I am never permitted to here - We had our likenesses taken to send you a long time ago but waited to hear from you & finally sent them to Mr C- friends west - We have none finished now- will send them as soon as we can - - Wish we had yours Do please write soon again Hiram joins with me in sending much love to your family - Cousin Oscar will you not write to Cousin Josephine? Hope he is wel ere this- Good night your loving niece Josephine J. Crawford

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Joseph A. Benton Journal

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[center:] S.Sk. 1. Ps. 14:1. [double-underlined]

[right:] Sabbath School [underlined]

Jan. 28:1849.

"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God;"

Define the meaning of "fool" in the ordinary acceptance. Define the meaning of "fool" in the Bible acceptance. Who are they that are guilty of indulging in this folly? (a) The avowed Atheist. Having no God & no immortality.

(b) The Deist. Who makes God only abstract and impersonal.

(c) The Rationalist. Who worships his own intellect & philosophy.

(d) The vicious. Who set Him & his laws at defiance.

(e) The Neglecters of God's laws & commands. The believers in "do-nothing."

(f) The Rejecters of G. and his gospel. Who admitting claims - still neglect to comply with them & put them off.

1 Should remember - "Thou God seeest [seest] me."

2 Should act under an abiding impression of the personality, presence, & power of God in his glory.

3 Strive to keep before us a vivid, burning, recognition of all this.

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[center:] S.Sk. 2. Ps. 47:2 - [double-underlined]

[right:] Sab. School

Feb. 11:1849.

"He is a great king in all the Earth."

In these timies much is said & written of human privileges, rights, and duties. The wants & rights of humanity recieve [receive] a generous care. All this is well. But

God has rights more venerable & sacred than these. 1. [right justified:] He deserves respect for (a) The Eternity of his existence. (b) The amount of his being. (c)The wondrous works he has wrought. 2. [right justified:] He deserves obedience for (a) The ability of giving [JC?] the best [illegible] laws. (b) The willingness to do so. (c) Having take the king of [man's?] gov't [government].

3. God, therefore, has rights [underlined] (a) of Proprietorship in all things, in all brings. He formed them of this own discretion - for his own pleasure. (b) of Government - since he only is fitted to reign in glory, as sovereign over all worlds - the Ruler of all rational & moral brings. (c) of Office. Regard & worship, as the most excell., lovely admirable, resplendent, & glorious object of love in the universe.

1 Sh'd [Should] be careful how we speak the name of God. Parents those we respect. 2 Sh'd [Should] be careful how we treat sacred things. Treat friends. 3 Sh'd [Should] be careful about the state of our hearts - feelings, acts, &c [et cetera], -

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[center:] S.Sk. 3. Prov. 20:29- [double-underlined]

[left:] Feb. 25: 1849

[center] "The glory of young men is their strength". [swirly underline]

The great problems of Existence have been the study of the noblest minds. They greatly interest all young men-- should be deeply pondered by them. [tab] Persons of your age are justly thought the most important class of society. [tab] The primary [underlined] thought of the Text is of muscular strength &c. -- But we may take it in a wider sense. 1 [double-underlined] The glory of such consists in their strength of Position [underlined]. (a) Interest [underlined]: he feels - felt in him. (b) Affection [underlined]; heart full of feeling ; not yet calloused, nor hard. (c) Hope [underlined]: world all before him - not soured by disap[t]- [illegible] buoyed up- springs elastic. (d) Confidence [underlined]; in his fellows - in man; in society; in power of success in the goodness that appears [underlined]-- Has never seen the world's depravity. (e) Power of Endurance [underlined]: Can withstand, bear, suffer. Feels that there is force[?] within says ever -- "Oh faith[?] not so." 2 [double-underlined] It Consists in their Force of Rt. Mor. Character. (a) Firmness [underlined]. Knowing and doing the right, true, &c. Not blustering- but ever on hand where required. (b) Self-Reliance [underlined]. Making most of one's self- most of one's powers - his own way in the world. Determination to be somebody. (c) Virtuous Principle [underlined]. Steady resistance of wrong-taking all cheerfully. Looking on the heavenly side of all that comes up. Remembering what temptation is for- slid[?] by principle - not desire. (d) Faith in God and goodness [underlined]. Sure God is true, faithful, good. God will clear himself. Good will prevail at last. The right & just must triumph,-- 1. What young man, then, will not consider what he is? 2. Who of us will not remember what he may & ought to be? 3.Who will not bear in mind the worlds of one of our own poets? "Tell me not"

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[center] S. Sk. 4.

[left:] March 18: 1849. [center] Job 14:14. [double-underlined]

"If a man die, shall he live again?" [swirly underline]

[right-justified] These are two grand, grand [underlined], questions which meet us. (a) Shall I live after death? (b) Will my conduct here affect my condi-tion hereafter? Shall now answer the first inquiry. Immortality vital to true manliefs[?] - to all suicre[?] piety, & religion. The Bible rather implies [underlined] than afserts (asserts?) it; as with respect to the being of God. 1. Change does not involve destruction [underlined]. Thus[?]- by pers-identity, [?] sleeping, swooning, [?], drowning ie[?]. 2. Question of the soul's immateriality, of itself, not decisive. [underlined] God can perpetuate whatever he will- without need to [?]. 3. Argument is a moral one. [under-lined] (a) From the [?] of its nature. (a^2)Not like the soils [?] ie, in nature, (b^2) Not[?] like the vegetables. (c^2) Is above all the brute creation. (d^2) [?] image of God. State this ie[?] (b From its powers + capacities. Can know the universe, can [?] abstract, un-derstand [?], moral [?]; knows God; read forth to infinities. (c) Will not God cause it to [?] to suds[?]? If so, will he not perpetuate its being for sure? He does so with all else, why not with man? Can we dispute that truth without impeading God? Will the soul plunge into everlasting nothing? Will it tumble into an-nihilation, with every dog in the streets?

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S.S.K.3. April 8:1849 Proverbs 3:13-18 13."Happy is the man that findeth wisdom + the man that getteth understanding ++++++++ 17 Her ways are ways of pleasanthelp, and all her paths are peace" All men eagerly ask - "Who will show us any good? The bible answers--in the text--

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