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San Francisco Nov 20th 1855
My Dearest Brother
According to my promise in my letter to William by the last mail, I now proceed to answer yours of July 8th. If you could actually realize my dear brother the pleasure that your letters give me and how anxiously I look for letters from home every mail, you would I think, often devote a few leisure moments in writing to me. I know that I am sadly remiss of my duty, in writing home so seldom, but the privations, hardships, and, disapointments [disappointments] I have experienced during the past six years have rendered it no easy task for me to write to anyone who took an interest in my prosperity. You will I think, fully understand the feeling which has thus prevented me from writing to you often, and not attribute it to a careless indifference to the claims of those who are near and dear to me. I do not deny but that during the past six years, (and even now) the whole of my faculties, and energies have been absorbed in the desire, and endeavors, to accumulate an honest competency but the motive which has actuated me has not, I assure you [has] been a selfish nor a sordid one. The enjoyment of the wealth, for which I have struggled, and, hoped to obtain, has always been associated with a return to the home of my youth, the society of my brothers and sisters and, the ability to be of service to my parents in their declining
years, and this is what has made me feel more severely some of the bitter trials, and disapointments [disappointments] I have experienced here. However, I am not disheartened, I have health, and, energy still, and as long as I am possessed of these, the hope of eventualy [eventually] succeeding will not entirely forsake me. I am at present engaged as Book Keeper in a Commission house in the city at a salery [salary] of $100.pr month. The situation is not permanent for the firm are about closing up their business. When I came here I was in debt some $500. a part of which I have paid and I think the situation will last long enough to enable me to clear off the Bal. I have often regretted very much that I even left this city, when I have been told of the fortunes that some had made, who came here about the same time that I did, but now that I am here as I look arrround [around] me, I find that there is but a very small proportion of those whom I knew here in 1849 have been successful in business. While many of those who had been successful in business have been ruined by the great fires, by which this city has several times been devastated. Business is now very good here, and I think is established on a firmer basis that it had been heretofore. The society has improved very much in the last two years, and one would think that it ought to be very good, judging from the number of Churches there are in proportion to the population. But still an occasional duel takes place between prominent men, and scenes of bloodshed in the principle streets occur now and then. I witnessed one last evening in which a prominent member of the Community was shot through the heart. I passed him, arm in arm, with the man who shot him, and had gone but a few steps when I heard the fatal report of the pistol. I immediately turned and saw the murderer holding his victim against the side of a house, and when he let go of him he fell a corpse upon the sidewalk. The man who was shot was a General Richardson U S Marshal of the state and the man who shot him was a Gambler by the name of Cora. I suppose that as many as fifty people saw the the murder committed. It was in one of the most frequented streets in the city, and, quite a crowd had gathered arround [around] as the two men it seems had some high words together just before I passed, but had apparently settled the difficulty, and walked away from the crowd arm in arm, they had proceeded but a few steps, when Cora drew a small Derrenger [Derringer] pistol from this pocket, and placing the Muzle [muzzle] close to the Marshals breast, fired. The Marshall was taken into a drug store near, and life was found to be extinct. The Murderer was arrested on the spot by a policeman and taken to jail, but I should not be at all surprised if he should be taken out and hung by the mob, for the excitement occasioned by such a cold blooded murdered is intense. But I sincerely hope that the law will be allowed to deal with the miserable man and that mob law is at an end in this city. I have been so busy writing business letters by this mail that I have barely had time to write this much, which you will see has been done in a hurry. Love to all, write soon, Your affcte [affectionate] Brother
San Francisco, CA
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MSS2.H621 HIBBARD, AUGUSTIN GOLD RUSH LETTERS
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Hibbard, Augustin, "Letter from Augustin Hibbard to [William Hibbard] 1855 Nov. 20" (1855). Gold Rush Life. 16.