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[William Hibbard]


Coloma Oct 12th 1854

My Dear Brother

I received your letter of Aug [August] 17th in Sept. [September] but not in time to answer it by last mail

You can readily conceive that it was with much anxiety that I opened it, for the black seal told me, too well, that some-one who was near and dear to me had been taken by the hand of Death, to that bourne from whence no traveller [traveler] returns.

I should have liked very much to have seen brother Benton again in this world, but the will of the Lord be done, He has in his infinite mercy, death with exceeding kindness towards us as a family, in sparing the lives of so many of us thus far. This, I must deeply feel, and while humbly thanking him for his goodness towards us, oh, most earnestly, and, fervently do I ask him to spare us yet longer, that we may be enabled to meet again on this side of eternity

The knowledge that the cholera was prevailing to a large extent in Montreal has given one much anxiety but as it was decreasing when you wrote, I hope, and, trust that you will all escape that terrible scourge.

It gave me much pleasure to hear that Father and Mothers health continued so good, for the principle reason that I have for wishing to return to Canada, is, that I may see them once more. And I trust that God will

grant my desire. I still continue to enjoy excellent health, and, am generaly [generally] in good spirits, altough [although] (a bachelors privilege) getting somewhat cross and crabbed.

I have worked very hard this Summer, and, as far as raising good crops goes have been successfull [successful] but prices have been so low that I have made but little except in the way of improvements on my farm. My fruit trees are getting on finely. The Peach trees will bean next season. I have several hundred choice Grape vines that are in a flourishing condition and in a few years they will make a fine vinyard [vineyard]

My farm lies on the north bank of the American River opposite the town of Coloma and, in a few years will be a valuable piece of property. After I have made some further improvements upon it I intend to send you a dagueratype [daguerreotype] view of it. You mentioned in your letter that Emmie was married but did not mention the name of her husband, or, say anything else about him. Now that is the first and all that I have heard about it. I should have thought that she would have enlightened me somewhat on the subject but as she has not, I do not suppose that she will. Therefore when you write again (which I hope will be as soon as you get this) I want you to give me her address, and, what information you are possessed of concerning husband. The reason why I do not think that she will write is that Harriet never wrote me that she, was to be, or, was married, and although I have written to her twice since that event took place, I never have received the first line from her, therefore, I conclude that the joys of the married life, connubial felicity, [be],-are such, that corresponding with a brother is extremely insipid (ask your wife what she thinks of it) In one of your letters you wished me to send you a piece of gold that I had dug myself to make a ring for you little daughter. I have none just now that I have dug myself except some choice specimens, but one of these days I am going to take a pan, pick, and, shovel, and, dig some out of my farm for there is gold in it although it has never been found in sufficient quantities to make it profitable mining in it. And then I will send you enough of the shining [ore] to make a ring for your wife, and, one for your daughter (what is her name). We have just heard of the loss of the Steam Ship Yankee Blade. She was wrecked on the reef 250 miles below San Francisco, which port She on the 1st with 1200 passengers of whom it is supposed that about 300 have perished. It is supposed that the awfull [awful] catastrophe was caused by a gang of desperadoes on board of her, by tampering with the compass or helmsman, for as soon as the vessel struck they commenced pillaging, breaking open trunks and ripping carpet bags. They were armed to the teeth with Revolvers, and, knives, and ruthlessly shot and stabed [stabbed] many passengers who attempted to resist them. There were some on board that ill-fated vessel, with whom I was well and intimately acquainted. Who like myself had been toiling here to amass a certain amount of money, and then to return to the

loved ones at home, and enjoy for a brief season the pleasure of their society, doubly enhanced by the long seperation [separation]. The point was gained, the pick and shovel were dropped, the ticket was purchased that gave them a passage upon the fleetest ship, that cut the waters of the Pacific, and, oh how their hearts must have [bounded] with joy and swelled with hope as the noble ship moved out of the Bay into the wide Ocean. But Alas, where are they now. They sleep the sleep of death. The Ocean which was so proudly to have borne them to the loved ones, now moans their funeral dirge. In trying to save that, which they had toiled so long for it is probable that the bullet or knife of the assisin [assassin] reached them, and, their hopes and joys, for this world were forever ended. May God in his infinite mercy preserve me from such a fate.

You wish me to keep my promise to write once a month. I will, as far as I can, but it is impossible for you to know the many things there are to prevent me from so doing. Do not wait to get letters from me before you write, for although my occupations prevent me from writing as often I could wish, yet they do not in the least lessen the anxiety I have to hear from home every mail. Give my kindest love to all and tell them to write. Send me papers as often as you can think of it. May God bless you all

Your Affectionate




Coloma, [Calif.]

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Letter from Augustin Hibbard to [William Hibbard] 1854 Oct. 12

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