More from Dr. Townsend

Another letter from Dr. John Townsend to his wife:


Peyeys Ranch  August 16th 1848


I embrace the opportunity of writing by Mr. Norris. Yesterday Moses arrived at our camp, He is in partnership with Larkin and Green. He has two machines I think he will come to work on the Ubo day after tomorrow. I and Buchanan intend going up the Ubo to look for richer digings. The box you sent by Foster has not yet arrived but it is on the road.

I do not know what to think of buying a house. I fear it will put us too much in debt. We had better rent. If I continue in the mines I intend to have you with me.

Try and get along as well as you can. I may come home when you least expect me.

I enjoy good health but am very thin in flesh. I hope your health will continue pretty good. Write to me every opportunity. The Gold mines, spell mines. Direct to me at the Falls of Ubo.

Your dearest  J. Townsend

Moses Schallenberger was Mrs. Townsend’s younger brother. In 1844, when the Murphy-Townsend-Stevens party came to California, he was 18 years old. When the party abandoned some of their wagons at Donner Lake, he stayed behind to guard them over the winter. He survived by trapping and eating foxes.

Larkin and Green were Thomas O. Larkin and Talbot H. Green, merchant partners at Monterey. Larkin served as consul for the U.S. government.

I am sure I am misreading the name of that ranch, but I don’t know what it is, even though I think I’ve seen it mentioned in other letters somewhere. Any suggestions?

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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