Category Archives: George McKinstry

Gold on the Feather River — A Timeline

When did John Bidwell discover gold on the Feather River? As you can see from the following timeline, he made more than one discovery, culminating in finding rich deposits at Bidwell’s Bar. It is also interesting to notice how much … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell's Bar, George McKinstry, Gold, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“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

“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

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Tomorrow I shall land in the “diggings”

Here is John Bidwell, about to go searching for gold on the Feather River, in this letter to George McKinstry. Lots of interesting tidbits here — see notes further down. Hock June 19th 1848 Dear Sir, I have been up … Continue reading

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“I foresee great struggles in the mining regions”

In 1848 things were happening in California. John Bidwell had been quietly and steadily developing a ranch on Butte Creek. He was also still doing occasional jobs for John Sutter — drawing up contracts, surveying, laying out lots in Sutterville. … Continue reading

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