Item #519 [Original Autograph Letter Signed from Moores Flat (a Gold Mining Town Later Abandoned in the Early 20th Century), Written by a California Forty-Niner and Talking about the Construction of a “Store-Room” in the General Store or the Hotel of a Town Founder H.M. Moore, Successful Gold Mining, When “an Ounce of Beautiful Gold” was Obtained after an Hour Washing “under Disadvantageous Circumstances,” Nevada County Pioneer and Gold Miner James Weaver, &c.]. Henry M. MOORE, NORTH AMERICA - CALIFORNIA – PIONEERS, GOLD MINERS, John Sutherland MURRAY.
[Original Autograph Letter Signed from Moores Flat (a Gold Mining Town Later Abandoned in the Early 20th Century), Written by a California Forty-Niner and Talking about the Construction of a “Store-Room” in the General Store or the Hotel of a Town Founder H.M. Moore, Successful Gold Mining, When “an Ounce of Beautiful Gold” was Obtained after an Hour Washing “under Disadvantageous Circumstances,” Nevada County Pioneer and Gold Miner James Weaver, &c.].
[Original Autograph Letter Signed from Moores Flat (a Gold Mining Town Later Abandoned in the Early 20th Century), Written by a California Forty-Niner and Talking about the Construction of a “Store-Room” in the General Store or the Hotel of a Town Founder H.M. Moore, Successful Gold Mining, When “an Ounce of Beautiful Gold” was Obtained after an Hour Washing “under Disadvantageous Circumstances,” Nevada County Pioneer and Gold Miner James Weaver, &c.].
Historically Significant Content-Rich Letter About Early Gold Mining in Moores Flat

[Original Autograph Letter Signed from Moores Flat (a Gold Mining Town Later Abandoned in the Early 20th Century), Written by a California Forty-Niner and Talking about the Construction of a “Store-Room” in the General Store or the Hotel of a Town Founder H.M. Moore, Successful Gold Mining, When “an Ounce of Beautiful Gold” was Obtained after an Hour Washing “under Disadvantageous Circumstances,” Nevada County Pioneer and Gold Miner James Weaver, &c.].

Moores Flat (Nevada Co.), 1 January 1854. Quarto bifolium (ca. 25x20 cm). 3 pp. Brown ink on laid paper. Docketed on verso of the second leaf. Fold marks, but overall a very good letter, written in a legible hand.

Historically significant content-rich original letter, from the first years of the gold mining town of Moores Flat (Nevada Co.) and closely related to its founder Henry M. Moore. In 1851, Moore became the first settler who brought his family to a flat site on the Middle Yuba River, several kilometres northeast of the North Bloomfield, and the growing mining camp was named after him (Bean, E.F. Bean’s History and Directory of Nevada County, California. Nevada, 1867, p. 402). “Shortly thereafter, Moore's Flat became an important hydraulic mining town, with large-scale operations at Moore's Flat, Orleans Flat, Woolsey Flat, Snow Point, and Snow Tent. By 1880, the town had grown to a population of 500, but 1884 brought the Sawyer Decision, which effectively put an end to large-scale hydraulic mining in the northern Sierra Nevada. The district and town lived on while the emphasis changed from hydraulic mining to drift mining and the lode mines. The only significant drifting was done at Snow Point. The mines began to fail in 1895, and the town of Moore's Flat was abandoned” (https://www.mindat.org/loc-267723.html). The last mail coach to Moores Flat arrived in September 1914 (Old Mining Town Erased from Post Office Map// The Grizzly Bear, Vol. XVI, No. 1, whole No. 91, November 1914, p. 23). In the 1850s-1860s, Henry M. Moore was known to keep the only hotel and serve as the postmaster in Moores Flat (Bean’s History and Directory of Nevada County, California, p. 406).
The letter is written by Moore’s partner, John Sutherland Murray - a California pioneer, who arrived in San Francisco from New Zealand in 1849, and since 1850 mined and worked as a land surveyor in the Nevada County, residing in Eureka (Graniteville since 1867). The letter, addressed to one “John McHenry” (apparently, the investor of Murray and Moore’s partnership), provides a detailed account of the partners’ expenses related to the construction of Moore’s general store (or possibly the hotel) in Moore’s Flat. Murray talks about what they spent on hauling, “teamsters’” salary, delivery of hardware, groceries, ale and porter, &c., the progress of the construction of the “store-room,” and mentions their recent success in gold mining. “They washed the other day one hour under disadvantageous circumstances & obtained an ounce of beautiful gold.” He also briefly talks about “Dr. Weaver” – apparently, a Nevada county pioneer Dr. James Weaver, who mined for gold near Eureka and in 1853 constructed the famous 30-mile long water ditch, named “Memphis Race.” Despite the overall positive tone of the letter, Murray & Moore apparently ran into problems with John McHenry. In January 1855, the Supreme Court of California had a hearing on the dispute between the two parties (Reports of Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of California. Vol. 5. San Francisco, 1906, pp. 90-93). Overall an important early California pioneering and gold mining letter.
Excerpts from the letter:
“Dear Sir,
Yours of the 27th ult. enclosing a number of receipted bills & two very explicit & dear statements of account, one with McHenry & Moore & the other with Dr. Weaver came to hand yesterday & would have been fully & [most?] satisfactory answered by this time, but Mr. Moore was necessarily absent & it was deferred until this evening, his presence being necessary to assist in making a statement of accounts paid by him on the groceries which came via of Sac. City.
The express man (Mr. Green) had just informed me that he shall start today for Nevada instead of tomorrow, as I supposed, & I hasten to write a line or two, that you may not think me negligent. I know of no other chance to send a letter before Tuesday (perhaps Wednesday) & will then write in full & give you an account of what Mr. Moore & myself have paid here in cash to teamsters, & for which I think Mr. M. has in all cases taken receipts (at least I so understood him).
The sum total paid by him on freight from Sac. City is I believe over $1000, but this includes the $400 I let him have of the first $500 you gave me & some, paid for Weaver. How much I have not now time to ascertain from the book. The amt. of drafts on S.J. Curtis is I think near $2940. The sums paid for hauling seem to me as to you enormously large, but I trust there is nothing wilfully wrong on the part of any one connected with the disbursement & that the statement of the whole matter will convince you of this.
One thing I know, the estimate of weights of machinery by foundry men & others, & my opinion of the weights of the boxes of crockery, hardware, ale & porter, &c. &c. fell far short of their true weight, in many instances over one hundred per cent.
The completion of the store-room I have hastened as much as I could, by encouraging the workmen & laboring myself, but “Christmas times” has interfered somewhat & the time required to put in doors & windows, lay floors, make partitions, put up shelves & counter &c. &c. was longer than any one anticipated. Many things we cannot open untill we get in, but I have commenced the inventory, & as the store will be complete by Tuesday we will have the whole arranged by the close of the week, & I think by Thursday night, if sixteen hours labor in the twenty four will accomplish it, we will have it done. I have taken on acc. of every thing in the kitchen and pantry & from this date all accounts of expense & receipts of the table will be accurately kept & regularly balanced <…>. The future expenditures <…> will be trifling untill a rain or thaw enables us to wash constantly & then two or three days will fully test their profitableness. They washed the other day one hour under disadvantageous circumstances & obtained an ounce of beautiful gold. Yesterday evening there was water enough to wash two hours & the yield was Mr. Bristow thinks over two ounces. It was too late to fully clean & weigh it last night.
Dr. W. is I suppose with you. He left Nevada on Thursday morning for S.F. The letter of the 24th you refer to has not come to hand. Mr. Moore wishes your opinion on the rates he shall charge Dr. W. for goods &c. <…>”.

Item #519

Price: $2,250.00 USD