According to the Butte Record for December 23, 1854, Sarah Pellet had a brilliant plan for promoting temperance among the California miners.
Five thousand young ladies! Miss Pellet certainly did not think small.
The same item was also reported in the Daily Alta California on December 19, 1854, under the headline A Desirable Enterprise. Both newspapers picked up the item from The Miner’s Advocate of Coloma. Was that editor joking, or was Sarah really offering to import young ladies as brides for Sons of Temperance?
The editor of the Daily Alta California commended the plan, but doubted the lady’s ability to carry it out:
If Miss Pellet can carry it out effectually, she will deserve the thanks of the whole bachelor community of the State. There are thousands upon thousands of girls, respectable, well-educated and honest, working from daylight till dark among the deafening machinery of cotton mills, and earning but small wages, who, we should suppose, would gladly come to California if safe conduct and reception, and particularly husbands, were guaranteed them on their arrival, and who are well calculated for helpmates for our farmers, our miners and mechanics, and citizens generally. This is really a very desirable operation of Miss Pellet’s, but, begging the lady’s pardon, we scarcely believe that she possesses the practical ability to carry it into effect.
She didn’t. But anyone out there is welcome to use this story as the basis for a novel about manly miners and New England’s fairest.