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  • Item Type > Diary/Letter (x)

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A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush (with text supports)

Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]

Miners Describe Life and Business in the California Gold Rush

Unlike earlier generations of Americans, many of the ‘49ers could read and write. Not surprisingly, thousands recorded their observations and experiences in letters and journals. Miners often reflected on changes in mining that made it [...]

Tags: Gold Rush
Item Type: Diary/Letter
Harriet Tubman Warns "Kill the Snake Before It Kills You"

Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her [...]

A Runaway Slave Predicts "Freedom Will Reign"

During the Civil War, John Boston, like many other slaves, took advantage of the nearby presence of Union troops to runaway. But in this case, Boston had run into a Union camp in Maryland, a slave state fighting on the side of the Union. This meant [...]

A Citizen Opposes Social Security

In this letter to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, an American protests the Social Security program, created two years earlier. For Social Security, the federal government took money out of working people’s paychecks in order to create a fund that [...]

A Brooklyn Rabbi Supports the New Deal

In September 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to clergyman across the United States, asking them whether conditions in their communities had improved since the start of the New Deal. He was particularly interested in people's [...]

John Ordway Describes Meeting the Teton Sioux

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson hired Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase, recently acquired from France. Lewis and Clark followed the path of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers through eleven [...]

A Mill Girl Explains Why She Is Leaving Factory Life (with text supports)

Born on a Vermont farm, Sarah Rice left home at age 17 to make it on her own. Eventually she journeyed to Masonville, Connecticut to work in textile mills much like those of Lowell. Rice's first letter was written after she had been weaving in the [...]

Harriet Tubman Warns "Kill the Snake Before It Kills You" (with text supports)

Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her [...]

A Runaway Slave Predicts "Freedom Will Reign" (with text supports)

During the Civil War, John Boston took advantage of the nearby presence of Union troops to runaway. But in this case, Boston had run into a Union camp in Maryland, a slave state fighting on the side of the Union. This meant that the regiment from [...]

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