Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sacramento California 1861

Letter dated Sacramento (California), Oct 9 1861, from "Nathan," a sheep rancher, to his brother, "Benjamin," with an excellent reference to slavery and the Civil War. It reads, in part, as follows.

"I have been in the City for a few days making a market for my wool. We sheared this fall about 6000 lbs., but the price is very low and it only amounts to $600, after deducting the amount paid for shearing. I hope by another spring we will get enough from our wool to pay the boys for herding the sheep and then the thing will begin to look like a paying business ... Emily [who had remained in the east with his son] is a real good wife (and here let me say I wish you had as good a one) and I am highly blessed in having her ... She is of a very happy disposition, not easily thrown off her ballance. Always disposed to make the best of everything and contribute to the happiness of those around ... I have not much to write about concerning the War. As you are much nearer the center of atrocities than I am, you must, of course, be better posted, but one thing I can claim an equal interest ... I am sure there is no one more loyal than I am and I would hang the last Rebel who resisted the laws of the U.S. I would wipe out the last Negro slave from the Sunny South [meaning actually that he would eliminate slavery) a year of jubilee [would] break any yoke and since the prejudice of this vile rebellion [is] so low in the estimation of the coming generation that Benedict Arnold's name would shine gloriously when compared with theirs. Of the final result I have no fears ... Think of me when you see the flag at the Elm Tree ... I would take off my hat and give it three cheers and perhaps I may do it when I get out to the Ranch ... [signed] Nathan."

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