A Letter to California


Rachael Green

[John, Jesse, and Joseph Green had been away in the California gold fields since April of 1849. In January 1850, Rachael wrote to tell her brother Joseph all of the local news and to ask him for more frequent letters about their doings. Spelling and punctuation are as in the original. Explanatory comments appear in brackets.]

Dayton Ills Lasalle January 19th 1850
Dear Brother I am now going to give you all the news about home this winter we are all well we have enjoyed very good health since you left the friends generally are well there has been but two deaths amongst our relations this sumer Aunt Anna Grove [Anna Houser, wife of David Grove, died 8 Aug 1849] and little Byron [John Byron, son of Jesse & Isabella (Trumbo) Green] we reiceved letters from you all about two weeks ago it was a joyful time Christ Stickley is postmaster now he come hollering there is california letters before daylight we was glad to get a specimen of the gold it has to be showed to a great many as all are anxious too see what it was that took you away from your friends Elias Trumbo Jonathan and Tom all got your letter to them with the gold in it. we have had some ferstrate sleighing this winter and have improved it pretty well but we miss you every where but we have some cousins that are very kind to us Martha Green [probably the daughter of William and Sarah (Pitzer) Green] is spending the winter with us Rebecca and I were out to visit them this fall we stayed seven weeks we have cotillion parties at our house every saturday night per formance commences at six oclock and quits at ten we have verry pleasant parties there is some very nice smart folks living over in fords house they attend the parties Hites Boys have got to be good dancers Ben Hite lives with us this winter David [her brother, David Green] says Ben is his right hand man that foolish talk that there was last winter all stoped and every body thinks as much of him as any of the boys i guess i have told you enough about Ben this time when you write again tell us about all the freinds in california David was up to Mr Beams on new years day and read them all of our letters from you Beams have never got bot one letter from Jackson since he left home David sayed he was so glad that he almost jumped up and down tell Jackson he must do better after this when you write again tell us all about Dan Stadden his folks are verry ornary about him as they have not heard from him they are afraid he has left your company tell us whether John size ever got wits or not he was here about two weeks after you left and sayed he was bound to overtake you if he had to get a pack mule we are anxious to hear from all our freinds that have started to california Nancy Dunavan has got a young son [John, son of Joseph Albert & Nancy (Green) Dunavan]  and i want her to call him John Tray because i think he must be a good clever fellow there is a great many men in the world have taken the chance that he had to get gold last spring with you know, tell us whether he still holds out faith full Catharine has a young son and Isabella has a daughter she calls her Clara Olevia [Clara Isabella, daughter of Jesse & Isabella (Trumbo) Green] Joseph we had a party at our house a christ monday and new years day we spent at home verry plesantly Eliza [her sister, Eliza Green, wife of William Lair Dunavan] was here today her family are all and she sends her love to you all Mother send her love to you all and wishes you to return as soon as you feel satisfied Mrs George Turner died last thursday morning she had been sick all winter so she had to keep her bed Robert Turners folks still live here but the old man has gone to Ohio Ben has been on the illinois river hunting he killed fourteen deer in two weeks it is getting late i must stop and let Rebecca write som do write as often as possible Tell Father and Jesse they must write as we are verry anxious to hear from give my love to Father Jesse and my love yourself

Rachael Green

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