Oak Valley [Yuba Co.], 14 November 1856. Quarto (ca. 24,5x19,5 cm). 2 pp. Brown ink on bluish laid paper. Fold marks, but overall a very good letter, written in a legible hand.
Historically interesting original letter, containing an early reference to the Republicans in California. The author, Lewis D. Adkison, originally from Peru (Miami Co., IN), spent over twelve years in the Yuba county, at first running a general store in Oak Valley and later serving as a county sheriff. In the letter to George R. Bearss (1834 – ca. 1860), a son of his former employer from Peru (IN) Daniel Robert Bearss (1809-1884), Adkison conveys the latest news from the Oak Valley and discusses California politics. He talks about the elections to the California State Senate (which took place just a week earlier, on November 4, 1856), the loss of Democrat candidates, including a former representative of the Yuba County Dr. Charles E. Lippincott (1825-1887), and mentions his betting on the result of the 1856 US presidential election, favouring the Republican candidate John C. Fremont over the Know-Nothing candidate Millard Fillmore. The General Election on November 4, 1856 was the first California election in which Republicans appeared on the ballot, willing a total of two State Senate seats and eleven Assembly seats. Overall an interesting early letter on the history of Republicans in California.
“In 1855 he disposed of his mercantile interests in Peru and emigrating to California opened a general store at Oak Valley, in the mines, in 1856, and while there he attached himself to the order of Freemasons. On the organization of the Republican party in that year he was nominated without his consent for representative. He was subsequently elected supervisor of Yuba county, that state, an office similar to that of county commissioner in Indiana, and after serving a year and a half was chosen sheriff, the duties of which office he discharged for about four years. In 1868 he returned to Indiana <…> In 1882 [Adkison] was elected state senator from the counties of Miami and Howard. <…> In politics he was originally a Whig, but since the organization of the Republican party he has been an ardent supporter of its principles” (Biographical and Genealogical History of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton Counties, Indiana. Vol. 1. Chicago, 1898, pp. 305-306; https://books.google.ca/books?id=1cA_AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA305&lpg=PA305&dq=oak+valley+yuba+republicans+history&source=bl&ots=g-PtQyXYkS&sig=ACfU3U00FQnd5vYR8KfSMO9YYViB5L_txQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjc0arVxdb3AhXCJzQIHeA2AdcQ6AF6BAgdEAM#v=onepage&q=oak%20valley%20yuba%20republicans%20history&f=false).
Excerpts from the letter:
“Mr. George R. Bearss.
Sir, I happened to have a leasure moment to spare & recollecting that you are a good letter writer, I thout [sic!] I would occupy my leasure writing to you not so much in the expectation of edifying you as from a more selfish desire of hearing from you the full particulars of what is going on at Home.
Now so far as matters here is concerned, there is nothing new happening. The only change that has taken place in our Valley is the addition of one blacksmith shop. I am selling as many goods as I want to considering the scarcity of money. Will is working for John & Omar. They have bought goods for Brandy City & will be packing them up next week. Old Dave Brownlee has sold out & left. Tell [Bill …] that Tom Killey left here about two months ago to go down to his ranch since which time he has not been heard of. It is well understood that his property will pay his debts, so that [Bill?] need not feel afraid of loosing what Killey owed him if he never comes back.
Politically this state is Democratic, Know-nothingism is dead in this state & Republicanism is bound to triumph next time. McGuade, Doct. Lippincott & Mike Gray, all these Democrats were defeated by the Republicans voting out for their opponents. <…> Lippencott & Gray had both killed their man & McGuade is a blackgard [sic!]. They call Oak Valley a d… abolition hole. That makes us feel bad you know, but they are beat & that will account for their bad [manner?].
I have a [few?] bets on the election upon which I consider I have the deadwood. I have on with J. Gruse for $30 that Fremont will get more votes than Fillmore & one with [… Failey?] that Fremont will get more states than Fillmore. I won one here that Fillmore would not beat Fremont/15,000 in this state <…>”.
Price: $1,250.00 USD