Item #525 [Original Autograph Letter Written by a Forty-Niner from Cayuga County (NY), Talking about His Voyage to the Oregon Territory Onboard the USS “Massachusetts” in Winter 1848-May 1849, Life and Work in the Oregon City, Local Climate, Prices, Plans to go to the Walla Walla Mines, &c.]. NORTH AMERICA - OREGON – FORTY-NINER, R. B. GUYLES.
[Original Autograph Letter Written by a Forty-Niner from Cayuga County (NY), Talking about His Voyage to the Oregon Territory Onboard the USS “Massachusetts” in Winter 1848-May 1849, Life and Work in the Oregon City, Local Climate, Prices, Plans to go to the Walla Walla Mines, &c.].
[Original Autograph Letter Written by a Forty-Niner from Cayuga County (NY), Talking about His Voyage to the Oregon Territory Onboard the USS “Massachusetts” in Winter 1848-May 1849, Life and Work in the Oregon City, Local Climate, Prices, Plans to go to the Walla Walla Mines, &c.].
Early Oregon Territory Forty-Niner Letter Talking About the Mines at Walla Walla

[Original Autograph Letter Written by a Forty-Niner from Cayuga County (NY), Talking about His Voyage to the Oregon Territory Onboard the USS “Massachusetts” in Winter 1848-May 1849, Life and Work in the Oregon City, Local Climate, Prices, Plans to go to the Walla Walla Mines, &c.].

Oregon City, 25 June 1850. Quarto bifolium (ca. 25x19,5 cm). 2 pp. Dark brown ink on bluish wove paper. Addressed and with remnants of a seal on verso of the second leaf. Fold marks, minor holes on folds, paper with mild stains, but overall a very good letter written in a legible hand.

Early interesting original letter, describing the experiences of a forty-niner in the Oregon Territory. Written by a young man from Ira, Cayuga County (New York), the letter recounts his voyage to Fort Vancouver from New York onboard the USS “Massachusetts” in the winter-spring of 1848-1849, with calls at Rio de Janeiro, Valparaiso and the Sandwich Islands, and briefly describes the mild climate of the Oregon Territory, the abundance of work and high wages there. The author showed optimism about his chances to earn a “good sum of money” and was planning to work at the “mines in Walawalla” (a very early mention of mining activities near Walla Walla, WA). The author also notes that he has “grown very rappidly since I saw you last” and “if you should see me now you would hardly know me.” The letter is addressed to “Mr. Daniel Pierce,” who was identified as an Ira farmer Daniel Addison Pierce (1789-1869). The author also mentions “A.P.B.” who was Daniel Pierce’s son Abram Briggs Pierce (1814-1866), and Abram’s baby son Washington Irving Pierce (1850 or 1851 - 1930). Overall a nice early letter by a forty-niner in the Oregon Territory.
Excerpts from the letter (spelling and syntax are original):
“Dear Sir, <…> since I saw you last, I have went a great distance. I started from New York on the steamship Massaschutts for Oregon Territory. I had the pleasure of seeing Rio de Jenero South America and from thence we passed through the Straits of Magellen and went asshore there but soon came on board again for the Indians was very barbarious. And from thence to Valpiraso South America and thence to the Sandwich Island and from there to Oregon Territory, landed at Fort Vancouver O.T. on the 15th of May 1849.
Dear Sir I am doing very well at present. I have worked very hard since I have come here and I think in a short time I shall be able to come back again with a good sum of money. Every thing is very dear, but wages are large, most any kind of a [machine?] can make from 15 to 20 dolls a day, and labours from 12 to 15 dolls a day, a man can make money at any thing he is a mind to go at. I think in the corse of 2 or 3 months that I shall go to the mines in Walawalla O.T., but I want to hear a little more about it first. The mines are very unhealthy in Callifornia or else I should have gone there &c. This is a very healthy country here, the sumers are cold here and the winters are mild, scarcely any snow is seen in any season of the year. Horses and cattle live on the green grass all winter, some winters there has not been any snow seen.
Dear Sir, I would have wrote to you before but this is the first opportunity that I could get. I should have wrote to my mother but I did not know where to send a letter to her. Dear Sir if you could find out where she is you would do me a kindness if you would send a few lines to her concerning me and tell her I am doing very well and that if I knowed where she was I should send her some money. Tell her to write to me as soon as she can. Give my tenderst love to her and tell her that as soon as I get a handsome of money I shall come home and I think that it won’t be long before I shall start and I hope with all my heart that when I come back that I may see all the old buildings standing as they where before I left and that I shall find you all alive and doing well. Hardly a knight passes by but what I think of you all and what pleasure I had when I was there. Sometimes I say to myself I wonder if I shall ever see A.B.P. son wich he called Washington. I have grown very rappidly since I saw you last. I think that if you should see me now you would hardly know me, but if so I hope I shall have the pleasure of inderducing myself to you <…>”.

Item #525

Price: $1,250.00 USD