The two letters differ in tone and substance. However, they each give a glimpse of the 7-month ocean voyage around Cape Horn, South America. Amos Catlin’s decision to join the Gold Rush seemed somewhat out of character for a 26-year-old man who had spent his adult life studying and then practicing law in New York. These letters exhibit his detailed observations that would be reflected in letters Amos wrote later while living in California.
History From Kevin Knauss
Posts related to historical topics such the Gold Rush, early California, Maps, and historical documents.
In 1843, John Bidwell rode over the potential grant property with John Sinclair. The two men were examining the property for Nathan Spear who was considering petitioning the Mexican government for a land grant. William Alexander Leidesdorff would petition for the property and in 1844 was awarded a land grant named the rancho Rio de Los Americanos by the Mexican government. John A. Sutter subsequently rode over the property with Leidesdorff and would give him juridical possession of the property 4 leagues in width east to west, 2 leagues in length to the south, encompassing 8 leagues of land.
It was a pandemic lengthen 2-year project to research and write a book on the life of Amos Catlin. In the course of the research, I could not locate the burial site for several of Amos Catlin’s children. Historic Sacramento Cemetery documents indicated that some of the children had been moved closer to their mother Ruth Anne (Donaldson) Catlin who died in 1878. However, there were no headstones in the plot with Ruth Anne and Amos.
“Amos P. Catlin, The Whig Who Put Sacramento On The Map,” chronicles Amos’ life from his arrival in California in 1849 to his death in 1900 in Sacramento. Particular attention is paid to Amos’ work on organizing and building the Natoma water ditch in the early 1850s. It was during the ditch construction that Amos was elected to the California Senate. He wrote the bill to relocate the state’s capital to Sacramento. However, Amos did not consider the water projects or the state capital his most significant accomplishments in life.
Snowshoeing is hard work. You can quickly work up a sweat. Unless it is windy and very cold, you will be taking off your heavy goose down jacket shortly after commencing your hike. I have found that a leather jack is very comfortable, similar to what the immigrants wore, because it breaths and does not retain too much body heat.
A dam site at Salmon Falls was too low in elevation to allow for the ditch to exit the river canyon between Red Bank and Mormon Island. Consequently, the dam site was moved to Rocky Bar which had an elevation of approximately 450 feet. With a small dam across the river, the headwaters for the canal would be elevated to 465 feet. The minimal slope of the ditch line would put the water canal at between 390 to 395 feet of elevation at the saddle.
My Dear Mrs. Judah, a subject which has often been upon my mind, and upon which I have often intended to write to you has quite recently been renewed itself with more than usual force. History is now being made for California and much of it false. You know with what studious zeal efforts have been in a certain quarter to bury the memory of Theo. D. Judah out of sight to the future reader of the history of California. You know also how some of his friends have endeavored at times to preserve that memory.
About one week after this while I was at work on Tennessee Bar, I saw deft with another man going to that part of the race which is made of lumber and is called the “Break”. He said he was going to cut it down. I followed him, he cut it down and let the water in the river. The direct consequence of which was that water overflowed what is called the Middle Bar of the Virginia Co. on which was located plaintiff’s claim. This was about three weeks ago.
From the main exit, where the main trail ends, I walked the short distance to the entrance or opening where Coyote Creek enters. The entrance is more spectacular than the exit. The exit opening is around eight feet in height. The entrance is at least 30 feet and the interior soars even higher. It is this section that most resembles a gothic cathedral. At the entrance, there are several large bedrock mortars, six inches in width and depth that indicate Native Americans were present long before the Europeans arrived.
In 1871 California had fifty different counties. These counties were outlined in water color on an 1871 County Map of the State of California. Counties yet to be created were Glenn, Imperial, Kings, Madera, Modoc, Orange, Riverside, San Benito, and Ventura. The 1871 map also has an inset of San Francisco that also has water-colored […]