Friday, February 12, 2010

Suisun California

Letter from C.K Wells of Suisun, California, to "Dear Friends". Dated June 14, [circa 1855], the letter contains the well written observations of a young man who made the trip by sea from New York, across the Isthmus of Panama, and then to California on another vessel. The letter begins with great detail of the voyage to Panama, a well described trip across the Isthmus on the Panama Railroad, and the 22 day voyage to San Francisco aboard a crowded ship with poor accomodation. He then traveled by boat and stagecoach from San Francisco to the farm of friends at Suisun, north of San Francisco, and settled into farming. A wonderful and productive country, Wells describes large numbers of cattle and horses which must be branded by their owners as they are allowed to wander, and must be rounded up from time to time, the cutting and threshing of wheat, the great climate . He also notes the poor condition of housing and barns compared to Vermont, and claims no place in California can compare. He claims very few people are better off for coming to California, and there are not many religious opportunities. Asks for news from home, "should be very happy to do myself up in this envelope and find myself taken out in your old kitchen".

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