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.