The Miners

Letters Home from the Diggings of California – “Placerville, Aug 4, 1850”

[Gridley Family letters from 1835 – 1859] Cris Alarcon,, Posted by Toni Mann

PLACERVILLE, California (InEDC) Dec 15, 2022 — After a long and somewhat tedious journey, I have the pleasure of informing you that we are at length safely arrived at the diggings of California. We came by the way of Salt Lake – arrived there June 19th – left the 25th, and arrived here the 31st of July. We have all been in good health, and spirits, with very few exceptions, ever since our departure from home. George had an attack Cholera morbus on the Platte river. Mr. Parsons, Linebeck, C. Clingman and myself were all sick a few days, between South Pass and Salt Lake with a mountain fever. Otherwise, we have been in perfect health. We left our waggon and tent a few miles this side of the desert and packed the rest of the way through. We lost none of our horses that we started with from home. An old broken-down horse that we bought at the Bluffs gave out on the Humboldt river about 400 miles back. The others were very much reduced when we got through. We sold all but one – they brought from 16 to $35.00 each.

We have been here but 4 days and cannot yet give you much information about matters and things in California. We have not received a line from home since we started -I shall send to Sacramento City for letters, by a man going there, tomorrow. We found J. Howard at this place and a number of other acquaintances – some from our vicinity have got through and some are still on the road. Mr. Barnes from Antioch came through this season – has been here a few days – has seen enough of California, and sets out upon his return tomorrow. Thinking that you would be anxious to hear from us I have written these few lines to send to you by him. For further information and particulars you must wait until we have had more acquaintance with the business, circumstances and operations of the country.

Say to the friends of the others of our mess, that they may expect to hear from them soon. we will all write soon as we get letters from home, or as soon as we can give you a fair description of matters and things here – As for myself I am not in t. least degree homesick and have never for a moment regretted my embarkation in the expedition – I hope soon to hear from you and I will write you a longer letter as quick as I conveniently can.

The most of this was written in the dark of the evening and all of it in a hurry as the writing plainly evinces, excuse the errors and brevity and oblige your Affectionate Brother.

John T. Gridley

To Elisha Gridley