Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

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A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush

Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

People will learn after while that every man that comes to Cal does not make a fortune. This country is fast getting filled up with Chinamen. They are coming by thousands all the time. The miners in a great many places will not let them work. The miners here drove off about 200 Chinamen about two weeks ago but they have come back about as thick as ever. (I would not help drive them off as I thought they had no right to drive them.)

Source | Robert W. Pitkin to his parents from Jones Bar, California, August 16, 1852; The Bancroft Library, University of California;
Creator | Robert W. Pitkin
Item Type | Diary/Letter
Cite This document | Robert W. Pitkin, “A 49er Writes Home from the Gold Rush,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed February 26, 2024,

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