Lot 132 of 455:
Early California family's letters incl. the Civil War, 1855-1865  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$480
$800 - $1,200

Group of Snow family letters mostly from California, 1855-1865






12 letters and postal covers dated 1855-1865 (two letters and covers do not match)

12 family letters detailing early life in California. Charles Snow, previously of Massachusetts, was in California by 1852. His son Charles Henry Snow joined him there by 1855. Their mining efforts in El Dorado County were apparently unsuccessful. The letters track the family into ranching and into the Civil War. Letters feature both circular date stamps and manual cancels, which were required before many small post offices had actual ink stamps.

One letter from friend J. Smith in Santa Clara to Snow in Garden Valley, CA (El Dorado County) describes prospects of ranching at Santa Clara and says he (Smith) has bought "Hamilton Ranch" for $700.  Hamilton Ranch and Smith Creek are still on maps today. Their father moved to the area and letters from Milpitas to Garden Valley urge his son to sell claim and move to ranching. Instead, by 1861, the son returned to Massachusetts, enlisted and served three years in Civil War.

There are seven letters from Milpitas, CA, two from Santa Clara, CA, one from Culloma, CA (orig. spelling) and one from Garden Valley, CA. One letter from father in California to Mass, says he killed a grizzly bear 300 yards from house. There are also three Civil War covers and two letters from the siege of Petersburg, Va, from son Charles Henry Snow.

Lot Amendments

Various states of wear; some staining and toning and tears; overall good or better.

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