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Register of the John K. Wallis California Diary, 1851-1857
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Collection Overview
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The Wallis Diary entries are well-organized, and--though often terse--form an easily understood, readable description of a miner's and farmer's daily life. Wallis is particulary informative with respect to the business aspects of early placer mining. He describes in some detail his claims purchases, partnership agreements, gold sharing arrangements (including specifics on the amount of gold shared), and his work agreements with various employers. His descriptions of stock breeding and grain farming under the adverse conditions prevailing in California at that time are both touching and informative.
John Wallis was born in Cornwall (1828) and brought to Wisconsin while still a child (1835). His family had been miners in Cornwall but farmed at their new home. There, at age 13, John experienced a religious conversion which influenced his attitudes and behavior for the rest of his life.
Collection is open for research.