The California Gold Rush
In Their Own Words and Images
Letter from George H. Goddard to Augustus Goddard
dated April, 1851
page 4 of 4
   Well, I consulted a lawyer who agreed to bring an action against the Colonel for $200 for the drawings I had done for him, and not to charge me if we failed, but after thinking it all over, I determined not to bring the action as I should have been detained there three weeks and been thus at living expenses all the time without much chance of making money in the meantime, and if I gained the action, expenses would have pretty well taken up all the profits and I should have been out of pocket the drawings which have been admired by everybody and I have been so strongly recommended to publish them in lithography and I have been told that I shall sell enough to make a large sum by them in the States that I determined to keep all I had and not bother about Col. Fremont any more and so I once again started for this place, making several interesting views as I came down. In Bear Valley Col. Hayden made me remain at his place a week and I made views of his works and the quartz run and some others, views from which I can make proper drawings, for, not having drawing paper with me, I could not finish them there. He has given me an order for three drawings for which he is to give me $125, but as he has no money at present I shall not do them until I see if his works succeeds. I made a sketch map of Bear Valley which altogether brought me in $25, so here I am, worse off as far as money goes than when I went to the mines.

   I may say my rifle, pistols and many other things are ate up but then the winter is not through and I have altogether 25 or 30 sketches on hand from which I can some time sit down and make proper drawings, and then I have now gained experience of the mines and know exactly the tools to take up and how to manage and so I hope I may put this knowledge to profit in my next visit which I purpose making on Monday. Dr. Manning, in whose room I am staying now, has determined to go up with me and there is another gentleman who came out Dr. in the Lady Amburst who is up at Wood's diggings and so we are going to join him, and a party of three of us, boarding ourselves, ought to do something. But as long as I can do something just to give me a little money, I must look to my drawings for my pile, as the Americans say. One thing, however, the country is most healthy the scenery beautiful, and one has no such feeling as one would have in London without a shilling in one's pocket. One has a Bank here, but it is in the bed of the river and the gold must be dug out and not drawn. I think now I have given you a pretty good sketch of what I have been about. We have been all the winter in the seat of the Indian disturbances and have had plenty of false reports and exaggerations, - the unfortunate Indians are shot down like deer by the Americans and because they refused to work for some (?) of them. a man (?) of the name of Savage who had made them work for him and bring him a pound of gold for which he gave them a pound of tobacco - because at last they preferred to live in their old valleys ? and went away and left him, he set off after them and has gotten up a large party to go fighting them, till at last there is a regular war carried on. The United States Government has sent out two commissioners but they are not much attended to and troops have been gotten together, but as the Americans choose their own officers, instead of choosing a real officer, they have chosen Savage who is now dubbed Major Savage. Poor people they are doomed to be exterminated as they seem unfit to live in any mode but their own, and as that can't continue and they must either set in to work or be hunted down they will soon disappear.

   I must now conclude this as I am in the midst of packing up and selling off things previously to going to the mines for another campaign, which I trust will be more successful than the last.

   So adieu once more -

Yours affly
George H Goddard

Letter from George H. Goddard to his brother Augustus.
Courtesy California State Library

Drawing of Sonora by George Goddard, 1852
Courtesy Tuolumne County Historical Society

Drawing of Sonora, California, 1852

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