Pickler Memorial Library

About This Collection

The Gold Rush Letters Digital Collection features correspondence from two Missourians, Jonathan Huff Biswell and Elisha Cotton Winchell, who migrated to California during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. Biswell, a farmer, sought his fortune in the gold fields with modest success, and eventually returned to Missouri. Winchell, a lawyer, settled in Sacramento, established a law practice, and went on to become a well-respected judge and businessman. The letters provide a vivid description of their journey across the country and life in the new state of California.