Monthly Archives: September 2017

Feuding in the Kitchen

If you have attended an event at Bidwell Mansion in the last few years, you may have been lucky enough to see some dramatic vignettes performed inside the Mansion. These short dramas are all based on actual historical accounts — … Continue reading

Posted in ANCHR | 2 Comments

“I do not want to “fail” in this job”

This is John Bidwell’s last letter to George McKinstry for the year 1848. He is still at the ranch of Charles Roether, which was on the Feather River at Honcut Creek, where he has been buying cattle to drive to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1848 Shipping List — Part 2

Here is the rest of Bidwell’s letter to McKinstry on November 1, 1848. It is chiefly concerned with that most important trade item — cattle. Demand was going up, and so were prices. I learn here that Cordua has raised … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Shipping List from 1848

Here is Bidwell, in November 1848, with a list of items that he is shipping to George McKinstry for sale at their trading post at Bidwell Bar. At least that’s where I think all this stuff is going. I’m not … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Admission Day!

Today is California Admission Day, the day that California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state. So do something fun to commemorate this day in history, like the San Franciscans did when they got the news on October … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“If this is true . . . it is outrageous.”

Here is the second half of Bidwell’s September 30, 1848 letter to George McKinstry. He is outraged by a rumor that he has killed two Indians, a charge that he stoutly denies. It would certainly have been out of character … Continue reading

Posted in Michael Nye, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“A great many people have crowded upon this stream”

Another letter from Bidwell to George McKinstry in 1848. I hope you find these letters as interesting as I do. I think the insights into the early days of gold-mining in California are fascinating. Camp 30th Sept. 1848 Dear Mac, … Continue reading

Posted in Edward Farwell, George McKinstry, Theodore Cordua | 2 Comments

“The most laborious business I know of”

This letter is in the McKinstry collection, but I don’t know who wrote it. Possibly it is by the Mr. McCall mentioned in Bidwell’s letter of 24 June 1848. It gives another view of Bidwell and Dickey mining on the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“We did tolerably well washing the sands”

Another 1848 letter from John Bidwell to George McKinstry. Feather River below first camp Saturday 24th June 1848 Dear Mc, Mr. McCall arrived yesterday morning and brought two letters from you dated the 20th inst. We spent the remainder of … Continue reading

Posted in George McKinstry, Uncategorized | 1 Comment