The papers consist primarily of correspondence from 1846-1881 written by Franklin A. Buck to his sister, Mary Sewall Buck
Bradley, living in Bucksport, ME. They detail his activities in New York City until early 1849 and then his life in various
parts of California and Nevada from 1849 to 1881. Because Franklin regularly addresses his letters and envelopes to his sister
as Mary Sewall Bradley and does not include her maiden name, the cataloging of the collection reflects this use.
>The collection also contains five letters from Franklin A. Buck to his father, Rufus Buck, who was also living in Bucksport,
ME. Franklin's younger brother, Sewall Buck (d. 1862), who tried his luck at mining in California, wrote six letters to their
sister Mary between the years 1851-1854, and this correspondence is also found in the collection. There is also an exchange
of letters between Franklin and a friend named Edwin Kirk in San Francisco, CA, in 1852.
>At the end of the collection is a typed document by Rockwell Dennis Hunt (1868-1966) which discusses the Franklin A. Buck
Franklin Augustus Buck was born in 1826. He grew up in Bucksport, ME, and moved to New York City in 1846. In late 1848 he
caught a severe case of gold fever and set sail in January 1849 on the brig George Emery bound for San Francisco, CA, via Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Cape Horn, and Callao (Peru). After arriving in California, Buck
spent some time in San Francisco and Sacramento before settling in Weaverville as a merchant and occasionally prospected for
gold. In 1855 he and his business partner built a sawmill on the North Fork of the Trinity River, and Buck was engaged in
providing lumber for the local burgeoning towns and miners until he returned to the Atlantic States for a visit home for much
of 1858. He returned to California in late 1858, settling again in Weaverville, but this time with his new bride, Jennie.
They lived in Weaverville until 1867, when Buck began ranching in Red Bluff, CA. In 1869 Buck followed the latest silver mining
boom and moved his family to Pioche, NV, where he once again took up ranching and the lumber trade and later expanded his
operations to include a dairy. Buck became interested in gold mining activities in Bodie and the Mammoth Lakes region of California
in 1879 and tried his luck as an investor but instead accepted a friend's offer to move to a ranch near Napa, CA, in 1880.
Buck and his family moved to Oakville, CA, in 1880 and engaged in various agricultural activities, including growing grapes,
making wine, producing butter, and raising chickens. Buck died in 1909.
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