George Goss Letters                   


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George Goss was a resident of Waterford who sailed from New York City via the Panama Isthmus to the gold fields in California. The path of his return route home is not known. The following letters are courtesy of George's great granddaughter, Mary Peterson of Oregon, who provided typed copies of the letters. Each letter was scanned using OCR which resulted in some garbage characters which had to be edited.  Spelling and punctuation were not corrected. The reader is advised that the letters were written in the 1850s and contain some descriptions that may offend some individuals. To preserve history, the letters remain as written.

     Journey to New York City,      George has set sail on the S. S. Prometheus,      They have reached Nicaragua,

     He has reached Chili Camp in the Southern Diggings,      He describes the character of a gold camp,      He has met some people from home,

     He now has a cabin,      He discusses the cost of goods and services,      He talks about the lack of morality in the camps,      Just a quick note,

     He is thinking about different work,      He has just learned of his father's death,      He offers some advice about settling his father's estate,

     More advice on the family affairs, a fire has nearly leveled Sonora, California,      He has moved to Woods Diggings,

     He is still unsure whether to come home,      He talks about cooking for the men in the camp,      More about cost of goods, he is dissatisfied with his cooking job,

     More advice to the family,      It is too wet to haul logs, a new sawmill is being built,      He has a new log cabin, bigger than the old,

     He talks about miners; lucky and unlucky,      Spring has finally come to California,      The sawmill is up and running,      The sawmill is turning a profit,

     The sawmill is running nearly full capacity now,      He talks about the lumber business,      He has taken time to visit friends in Stockton,

     He is beginning to plan for his return home,      He talks of how New Years Day was celebrated,      He discusses his job as the accountant,

     A fire has nearly leveled Columbia, California,      He and his partners plan to sell the sawmill,      They are trying to sell the business,

     His final letter before starting for home,      The sawmill is being sold,      The partnership has been dissolved.

Notes: A Gold Rush Exhibit
(A Site Containing Information About the California Gold Rush)

The Southern Mines (Diggings) were located in the area northwest of Yosemite National Park and probably as far north as the Mokelumne river.
The Northern Mines (Diggings) were located closer to Sacramento and were bordered by the Feather and Yuba rivers.
There were two Chili Camps, the first located just east of Lancha Plana, now under the Camanche Reserviour,
the other just west of Campo Seco.

Source: Gudde, Erwin Gustav; "California gold camps: a geographical and historical dictionary of camps, towns, and localities where gold was found and mined, wayside stations and trading centers." Berkeley University of California Press, c1975. x, 467 p. ill.; 27 cm.