The California Gold Rush
In Their Own Words and Images

Below are links to excerpts of letters by miners involved in the California gold rush and other residents of the Mother Lode region in the 1800s; other writings about the California gold rush; and historical images pertaining to the California gold rush and mining.
Letters & Other Writings Images
Hiram Dwight Pierce to his wife Sara Jane Pierce
dated October 18, 1849

San Francisco, 1850

Sara Jane Pierce to her husband Hiram Dwight Pierce
dated March 10, 1850
Nevada City, 1852
Hiram Dwight Pierce to Jas Harlow
dated April 28, 1850
Miners and Equipment, 1850
George H. Goddard to Augustus Goddard
dated April 4, 1851
Sonora, 1852
Sketch by George H. Goddard
Martin Rodney to T.J. Rodney
dated August 9, 1852
Malakoff Diggings
Photograph by Carleton Watkins
R.J. Ogleby to Thompson West
dated February 26, 1880
Tallman H. Rolfe to Samuel Rolfe
dated September 12, 1855
Tallman H. Rolfe to H.C. Rolfe
dated April 15, 1857
Dr. Wm. H. G. Henderson to his wife Weltha
dated December 10,1859
Horace Root to his wife Eliza
dated October 11, 1851
Excerpt from “Roughing It” by Mark Twain
first published 1872
Excerpt from “Eldorado, or, Adventure in the Path of Empire” by Bayard Taylor
first published 1850
The Discovery of Gold in California by Gen. John A. Sutter - Hutchings’ California Magazine, November 1857
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The Land of Glittering Dreams
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