SPENCER COUNTY GENEALOGY
The Planter, March 7, 1850 SELLING OUT FOR CALIFORNIA The undersigned are now offering their MILL PROPERTY, for sale;
Situated 5 ~ miles North-West of the Town of Rockport, Indiana, together with 160 ACRES OF LAND in Timber. The Price is low-and the Terms made easy.
Also, A lot of STOCK Hogs, Cattle, and Sheep.
For further particulars, enquire of the Subscribers, on the premises or of C. R. RUDD, Esq., of Rockport.
J. & H. Shoptaugh March 7, 1850 The Planter, Mar. 7, 1850, Vol. 2, No. 50
The Planter, March 7, 1850 A RARE CHANCE
The owner of out lot No. 77~ having been seized with a violent attack of California fever offers the above named lot for sale at a most unusually low rate for cash.
Out lot No.77, containing 355-100 acres joining the Corporation line is an excellent pasture or meadow lot well watered and surrounded with streets.
Persons wishing to purchase a great bargain, please call or the undersigned who is authorized to sell the above named lot.
T. J. Langdon Rockport, March 7,1850 The Planter, March 7, 18 ), Vol. 2, No. 50
From the Grand River Eagle (The Planter April 25, 1850, Vol. 3, No.5, Pg 2) GOLD ON THE YELLOW STONE The Grand River Eagle has a letter which says, I have been credibly informed, and by good authority, that a man, some thirteen years ago, was taken by the Black Feet Indians, and has been kept in a measure confined in that region until a short time, when he effected his escape, bringing the glorious intelligence that that region abounds in the precious metal, bringing some 60 pounds of gold dust, taken from the surface, so pure that it is worth $14 to the ounce, whilst the pure is worth $16, making the amount of his burden, at the time he made his escape, at $14 the ounce, $13,440.
I understand that the same individual is now in Chicago, raising companies, to be equipped with rifles, for the purpose of returning to the golden sands, to make a further exploration of the country; and for the benefit of said companies, has deposited in bank $3,000 to pay expenses of fitting out, etc.
Perhaps this is true, and perhaps it is not. The Planter, April 25, 1850, Vol. 3, No.5, Pg 2
The Planter, August 19, 1848
A telegraphic dispatch from St. Louis on the 25th instant. Gives the following Item of news.
The celebrated Kit Carson whose death had been reported, arrived here from California, in the capacity of a bearer of dispatches. He left Santa Fe on the 26th June.
The accounts furnished by him confirm the death of Postmaster Spaulding.
An attack had been made by a hundred Apache Indians upon fourteen Americans, which resulted in the death of four and wounding of five. The assailants succeeded In driving off eighty horses. Nat. Int.
The Planter, August 19, 1848, Vol. 1, No. 21
August 21, 1852
Killed By Indians - We have information stating that the company who left Terre Haute, last Spring for Oregon, under the direction of James Newman, were all killed with the exception of Mrs. Marks and a little son of Mr. Newman, in an affray with the Indians. Some distance beyond Fort Laramie, they were attacked and over powered by the savages. The fate of Mrs.M. and child is unknown. Mr. Marks and family, we think were from Sullivan County.
Vincennes Gazette The Planter, August 2 I, 1852, Vol. 5, No. 16
August 16, 1851
( A letter from Lieut. John F. Britton)
We again present our readers with a letter from Lieut. John F. Britton, dated Salmon River, California, June 1st, 1851. It will be read with interest.
Dear Sister, Having an opportunity of sending a letter from here to the coast, I take advantage of it, and write to you. I got a letter from home last week dated January 17th, and I was glad to hear from you all. I am mining on the north fork of this river, about a mile above the junction, there is four of us in partnership, Mr. Brown, Richardson, Woodruff and myself, we are making about a half ounce a day to the man, and expect our claim to last a couple of weeks, all the boys here from Spencer are well. There are a good many miners on this river now, and generally are not doing much on the amount of the high water. The miners and Indians had a fracus here last week which intended (ended?) in a couple of Indians getting killed.
Provision is worth fifty cents per pound. I have still got my tent yet, and have it pitched on the bank where we work and inside there is a nice bed of dry leaves on which I stretch myself of a night rolled up in blankets. . I lay there listening to the rain pattering down on the tent and sleep quite as comfortable as I would, if I were home on a feather bed.
The only cooking utensil we have is a frying pan. In that we bake bread and broil meat on the coals, make coffee or tea in a tin cup, and so ____ keep from getting hungry and __ times for the sake of getting a change of diet we bake a cake in the hot coals and have a __ in the pan.
There is a good many curiosities in this part of the world; there is the grisly bear, which is as large as a cow, and the bravest man when he meets him along is not ashamed to and hide himself from the sight of grim old monster. There is lots of elk and black tailed deer in the mountains here.
Wolves are plenty, they come in camp at night and steal our meat; there is a species of lion out here also. Rattlesnakes of all kinds thick. Scorpions we dig up dens of them everyday, they resemble a crawfish a good deal and have a sting in the rear of their tail, which is as poisonous as a snake bite. On the coast you can see Whales out in the Pacific spouting water up in the air. There is Poison Oak, a bush that grows out here, which is not safe to touch. The California Fashions have done away with the Coats Vest and Cravats and all such things, long legged boots with breech legs stuffed inside, black or blue woolen shirt collar, laid open, sleeves rolled up above the elbows, a leather belt on, a butcher knife sticking in a greasy scabbard, that I believe is the fashion as near as I can describe it.
Address your letters to Trinidad, Cal.
Your affectionate brother, JOHN F. BRITTON The Planter, August 16, 1851, Vol. 4, No. 18
Feb. 5,1853 Letter from California Mr. A.H. Variel, formerly of New Harmony, and who left this point for California, with the Evansville companies last year, to cross the plains, has written a letter to Mr. Geo. Flower, which we find published in the Mt Vernon Gazette. We make the following extracts. Speaking of California, he says,
"The fanning business must first rate. I subjoin a list of Tavern charges, and the price of provisions. For a man and mule one night, the terms are supper $12, bed 50 cents, breakfast $1, stabling the mule, and one shilling per lb. For this oat-hay to feed him, will swell the bill to about 45. A drink or a cigar is a separate charge, 25 cents each. So you see a dollar goes but a little way. Prices current of Marysville. Pork and hams 30 cents per lb., beef from 20-25 cents and that seems to be the standing price. Flour $35 per bbl. Coffee 30 cents. Tea about the same as in the Atlantic States. Syrup $1.25 per gal. Potatoes 7 1/4 per lb. Onions 12 1/2.Cabbage 15 cents. Turnips 8 cents. All vegetables grow well, are fine in quality and of large size, one turnip raised at this place, weighed the enormous weight of 73 pounds. Beets grown here are the largest and sweeter that I have ever saw.
The labor bestowed on your garden at Harmony would have produced five thousand dollars here. You can sell all that you raise on your ranch for ready money, no truck and turn over here.By taking them in the mines you can make yet more of them. With some means to begin, either at Sacramento or Marysville, in our line of business much more money is to be made with less labor than with you. The climate is loveable. Tho' in the valleys, it is said to be very hot in the summer. I am told it is very pleasant on the coast.A trip on the plains may be felt hard to persons not accustomed to labor and rough living. Yet, aged persons stood the journey very well this season, better than many young ones. the chances are sickness and accident are about the same by land water. By water you payout much more, and what is spent is lost. By land you put your means in stock and wagons and drive all along with you, it is true water way is short, the land long and tedious. But if you got to California safely with the stock it is worth from six to ten times more than you gave for it in the States. Such a wagon as Albert Fisher started from Harmony with is worth here from three to four hundred dollars. Michael Craddock's one hundred, Charles Twigg's wagon, (the dancing feather) which I now own, about one hundred. Such a cow as you had last winter will sell here for $50 - $100. a fat Ox weighing 800 Ibs. Sells for $170 on foot." He alludes to the impositions practiced upon emigrants crossing the plains, at every trading post, and says,
"It seems to be one continued system of spoliation. From the time you commence preparations at home until you get here and into business, a man must be on his guard at all points. But once here in business, it comes back very fast, I assure you. California is the place to make money.
I am wintering just at the foot of the snow line in a beautiful valley, one and a haIf miles from Foster's Bar on the North Ubs River. I have located a small mountain farm, one that I can irrigate with but little labor. We have not sold our team yet, but have them at a ranch at $4 each per month, insured at 480 each, from loss. Tell Mr.Nettletonthat pork is only $60 per bbl., at San Francisco, with a fair prospect for it to be higher. Beef is also scarce and will be high for a year to come, as the demand cannot be supplied from the States by one half. So never fear to bring stock here if you wish to come, for you can get from ten to twenty times what they cost in the States, when they are once in the Sacramento valley. Evansville Journal The Planter, Feb. 5, 1853, Vol. 5, No. 36
Feb. 21. 1852
News From California
New York, Feb 16th The Steamer El Dorado has arrived with four days of late mail from California. She brings $1,100,000 in gold as freight, and $245,000 in the hands of passengers.br
Legislative business was proceeding quietly in Sacramento.
Salt provisions were selling at high rates.
The Miner's Convention was in session at Sacramento. The dry diggings were destitute of water. And the miners were leaving for the city.
New mines of great richness have been discovered north of Scott's River.
A health Department has been established at San Francisco, to support which, $1 per year is taken from all passengers arriving.
No definite proceedings have been taken relative to the election of U. S. Senator.
A resolution has been introduced in the Senate for the election, but was laid on the table. In the House, Mr. Crabbs gave notice of a bill relative to slaves and free people of color.
The Markets are quiet and unchanged. The EI Dorado made the passage in 24 days, the quickest trip yet made.
The health of the Isthmus was good.
Passengers were leaving Panama in sailing vessels.
The Planter, Feb. 21, 1852, Vol. 4, No. 44