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Register of the Tuolumne County (Calif.) Gold Rush Papers, 1853-1861
Mss54  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Tuolumne County (Calif.) Gold Rush Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1853-1861
    Collection number: Mss54
    Creator:
    Extent: 0.3 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Tuolumne County (Calif.) Gold Rush Papers, Mss54, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Biography

    During the Gold Rush Tuolumne County was arguably the heartland of the Southern Mines. One of the original 27 counties (1850), Tuolumne has always had Sonora as her county seat. The major mining area occupied a huge basalt mesa, Table Mountain, that stretches some thirty miles along the Stanislaus River. Close to the northern end lies COLUMBIA, best preserved and most thoroughly restored of the southern mining towns. Near it is SONORA and four miles south lies JAMESTOWN. On the Tuolumne River are located CHINESE CAMP, JACKSONVILLE and BIG OAK FLAT.
    This collection is particularly strong in materials relating to JAMESTOWN, which lay on Woods Creek and was an important early source of much gold (1849-1850). The town declined briefly (1852-1855) when surface gold played out, but revived again with the development of drift mine tunnels (1856-1885). Several items in the collection are probably evidence of sales during the period of decline. Over the years, Jamestown yielded an estimated $30 million, according to Gudde's California Gold Camps.
    COLUMBIA was first mined by Mexicans (1849), but they were run out by a party of Americans in March 1850. One month later the camp had a population of between 3,000 and 6,000 according to Gudde. Although some large nuggets were found there (one of 33.5 lbs. brought over $7,000 in 1858), Columbia lacked water for placer mining and began to decline (1851). This lack was remedied by mid-1852 by means of Tuolumne Water Company's ditch, which brought the necessary fluid from Five Mile Creek. Between 1853 and 1857 the region shipped $100,000 of gold per week. Altogether, Columbia is estimated to have produced $85 million.
    SONORA was first settled by Mexicans (1848). The tax on non-citizen miners soon made them leave (1851). Although Sonora was a city of 5,000 for several years beginning as early as (1849), it was also a mining region. Hittell states that at least twenty nuggets weighing more than one pound each were discovered there between 1850 and 1858. By the latter date, most of the placers were exhausted but quartz mining was continued in the vicinity for several several years. The Sonora district is said to have produced a total of about $11 million.

    Scope and Content

    List of names mentioned in documents
    1-Allen, Ethan...............................1850 census, age 50 MD; list of Tuol. Co. Pioneers in Buckbee 2-Aspenall, William (or Aspenwall)lst notary of Tuol. Co.; list of Tuol. Co. Pioneers in Buckbee; Trinity Co. Gold Rush (1852); Jamestown (1852-53); moved to Vallejo when Sonora became permanent county seat (1854); Justice of Peace of Vallejo Twp. (1856-64; 1877-?); President, Bd. of Trustees, City of Vallejo (1865-76) 3-Baldwin, D.P.............................list of Tuol. Co. Pioneers in Buckbee; Cal. St. Lib. Biogr. List Sacto. Bee (6-5-86), 1-4 4-Brown, D.P............................... 5-Clayton, B................................. 6-Clough, Joseph..........................Cal. St. Lib. Biogr. List Sacto. Bee (6-28-65) 7-Courtright, Milo........................ 8-Donovan, William...................... 9-Dumphy, William.......................Cal. St. Lib. Biogr. List G.W. Sullivan. Early days in Calif. (1888), pp. 180-82 10-Dupont, John........................... 11-Harrison, Benjamin.................. 12-Harrison, L.A.......................... 13-Hodgdon, Jeremiah.................. 14-Holden, Joshua........................operated hotel in Sonora on grounds of old Sonora Union High; responsible for town council buying up town lots to raise money for a local hospital (received insider info that Sonora would be made county seat and was supposed to pass info along to rich friends of informant, but instead told City Council); figures in claim-jumping incident (reported in Buckbee, pp. 170-174) in which Washington Mining Co. staked claim in his vegetable garden & refused to compensate him, upon which he may have recruited some gamblers & toughs who, in any case, took ground by force. Three men killed. He was exonerated of wrong-doing by mass meeting & land returned to him. Holden died June 28, 1853 of "bronchitis" Alta (7-7-53) 15-Juane, Francis.......................... 16-Keith, C.F................................ 17-Kendale, Thomas (or "Kendall")...possibly list of Tuol. Co. Pioneers in Buckbee 18-Long, Leonard C..................... 19-Mas, Francis............................ 20-Moss, H.................................. 21-Navano, Paul (or "Navarro")....1850 census, age 20 MX 22-Nichols, Thomas...................... 23-Parnell, Edmund.......................may be same "E. Parnell" who later farmed in San Joaquin Co. near Tracy (1867); if so, a native of Cornwall who came to California in 1851; list of Tuol. Co. Pioneers in Buckbee 24-Ryder, B.F............................... 25-Scawthorpe, Thomas................ 26-Sloan, Fullerton........................ 27-Smith, China............................ 28-Smith, J.A................................ 29-Smith, James W....................... 30-Stuart, Jacob S........................ 31-Summers, George.................... 32-Way, Franklin.......................... 33-Wellington, Henry................... 34-White, Syrus........................... 35-White, William........................possibly same "Wm. White" who met accidental death Alta (12-18-55) 36-Woodworth, Byron.................1850 census, age 24 MA