|Feb 8 1852
|Chitt, away on a trip,
asks his father to send a
coach to meet
him on his return to Columbus.
|Mar 19 1852
|Ann describes the
steamer trip from Cincinnatti and
in St. Louis for passage to St. Joseph. The men are busy buying
for the trip.
|Apr 14/19/20 1852
|Ann mentions that
their steamer was slowed by ice,
ship, the Saluda, blew up killing 150. They are
waiting for enough
grass for the trip. Many Indians are in town.
|May 11 1852
|Chitt relates that the
trip is going well. They
passed some Indians
without incident, but met some groups returning after losing their
There has been some cholera on the plains.
|Jun 26 1852
| Chitt writes a brief
note en route and discusses
an Indian and catching trout. Noyce Gregory has left the party.
|Aug 8 1852
| The party arrives at
Placerville on Aug. 6. Chitt
discusses the trip and the life here (trading, gambling, etc.). He
hopes to get to the Bay soon for news and trading.
|Aug 10 1852
| Ann stays at the
hotel while Parker and Chitt go
to the Bay for mail and goods. She is shocked by the Sunday commerce
and tells of the trouble crossing the mountains.
|Aug 30 1852
| Chitt writes a long
discussion of the trip across
the plains, and a trip to San Francisco to sell his cattle. He talks
about the life, the food, the wonderful climate for agriculture, and
|Dec 6 1852
|Ann was ill but is
recovering. They have decided to
build in Placerville and manage a store. She talks about cooking for
the store, prices, and the Sacramento fire.
|Dec 23/27 1852
|A lot of mail from the
States has been received.
the activities of the children, Chitt and Parker's mining, and the
Methodist minister; unfotrunately there is no Baptist minister.
|Feb 23 1853
|Smallpox hits the
village and the family. Ann
becomes ill and delivers her baby prematurely, but the baby sucumbs
after three weeks. Parker is very ill; Clara is not as sick--all are
|May 13 1853
|Parker worked at a
sawmill near Mokelumne until he
was badly hurt in an accident. He is now home and recovering. Ann
continues baking for the store, and they moved into their own house.
|Aug 8 1853
|Ann sends a brief note
welcoming her parents back
trip to Vermont. Then she talks about the cost of things in California
and wants everybody to come west and make their "pile."
|Nov 13 1853
|Ann writes to sister
Jane and says they just moved
into their new
house up the hill. Then she recalls how she always wanted to travel and
how much she loves being in wonderful California.
|Mar 27 1854
|Chit writes to his
father in Granville where he has
just moved from Johnstown. He says he will try to come back home for a
visit in the spring, He is busy going to San Francisco to buy goods.
|Jun 28 1854
|Ann talks about baking
pies, the lack of
Baptist preaching or news and Parker's work. She is
sometimes weary of baking. Chitt adds a line saying he hopes to come
home this summer.
|Oct 29 1854
|Ann dreams of going
home for a visit but can't
afford it. She talks
about the success of Parker's tunnel and about the schools for the
children. Chitt is still in Ohio.
|Nov 6 1854
|Chit is in New York on
the return trip to
California and is bringing brother Harris with him. They sail later
today on the "George Law." Harrris did some sightseeing and writes
|Jan 12/17 1855
|Harris, in Placerville
with Ann, comments on things
in general and composes a Valentine verse. Ann says she is very busy
and talks about Christmas. She gives the menu and mentions presents.
|Mar 5 1855
|Harris writes about
the weather (a very dry winter)
but now rain will permit gold to be taken out and the store will
profit. It is a very healthy climate--everybody should emigrate.
|Ann tells about their
life--Chitt buys and oversees
the store while Harris and Hale man it. Parker hopes to sell his claim
and move to the bay. James Morrow leaves for Ohio. Harris adds a note.
|Mar 13 1855
|Chit writes to father
and promises to send money to
buy sheep and to send Mary to school. Business is good, and he has
opened a second store with Hale as partner.
|May 14 1855
|Ann tells about school
for the children and about
her baby. They bought
a cow and sell the milk. Harris continues with news of the stores and
tells father it is best to invest his money in land.
|Jun 15 1855
|Chitt is in San
Francisco to buy stock for his
stores. He worries about
the hot, dry weather--many fires are threatening the towns. He now has
a quarter claim in Parker's tunnel.
|Sep 18/19 1855
|Haris writes about the
cost of food and hopes the
legislature will pass
Sunday closing laws. Ann talks about her baby and says she got to go to
the church supper with Mrs. Lee.
|Oct 11/17 1855
|Harris says things are
going well, but no trips
home are likely soon.
Ann says she has been unwell and the baby was a bit sick too--they will
stay here all winter. Harris writes to Jane.
|Jan 3 1856
|Harris writes and
gives advice on land payment. He
and Ann went to Sacramento for Thanksgiving with Truman's family from
Ohio. Tru works
for Chitt and Lucy was in Placerville.
|May 2 1856?
|Chitt has sent a photo
of Placerville and expects
the county seat to move here. He reports that he saw Ann and Lydia
here. Truman is teaming for him, and Harris is now a partner.
|Jul 2 1856
| Harris writes brief
notes to each of the family in
|Aug 1 1856
| Chitt's store burned
down in the Placerville fire
and he is now building a brick replacement. The Vigilance Committee is
meeting in San Francisco and there have been executions.
|Sep 1 1856
| Harris reports that
Chitt's store is rebuilt as
are 30 or 40 new fireproof buildings in Placerville. He is back in the
grocery business with Hale and hopes to hear more news from home.
|Sep 3 1856
| Ann writes to
recently married sister Sarah and
hopes she will come west. She tells about the children's schooling,
music lessons, etc., and Chitt's, Harris's and Parker's work.
|Sep 18 1856
| Chitt talks about his
business and recovery after
the fire. He talks about Truman Fassett and his family--daughter Lucy
is to be married in Sacramento shortly and Harris will go to the
|Dec 10 1856
|Harris writes to
sister Jane while thinking about
home. His business is doing well and he talks about Ann, Chitt, the
beautiful weather, home life and quotes Shakespeare, etc.
|Mar 2 1857
| Harris discusses the
climate and details the high
prices for food. He says Chitt has moved to San Francisco and that
Placerville is now the county seat. He adds a letter to sister Mary
asking her how things are going at the boarding school.
|Apr 2 1857
| Ann tells her mother
that she would not like to
live in Ohio again as Parker and the children are so much healthier
here. She describes her house and furnishings in great detail.
|Apr 3 1857
|Chitt adds a note to
Ann's letter above saying she
looks better than a year ago. He is returning to San Francisco in a few
days. Dr. Carothers has gone to the Gadsden Purchase.
|Sep 16 
| Ann says their house
has been sold but they are
still in Placerville. Parker is away much of the time at Folson hauling
goods and the children help with the work.
|Oct 11 1857
| Chitt mentions the Golden
accident, says Ann moved to the ranch near Martinez, and discusses the
business failures in the East
|Nov 19 1857
| Chitt visited Ann and
says he is too busy to get
He discussed the financial situation in the country.
|Dec 21 1857
| Chitt answers his
mother's letter, says they are
all well and hopes to hear from others back home. He sent Ann's
children plenty of Christmas presents.
|Jan 17 1858
| Harris answers
letters with little news but
comments he is sorry his ambrotype didn't please them (He is now
overweight, wiskered, etc.) He hopes to make enough money this year to
|Jan 31 1858
On the Ranch [near Martinez]
| Ann writes from the
ranch where they will stay
until the crop comes in. Parker and Dwight are plowing now and Ann is
busy with the young children.
|Feb 4 1858
| Chitt sends a hurried
letter enclosing a check for
$50 and offers to send more. He intends to write soon and asks Mary to
write. He plans to go to Oregon on business for about a month.
|Apr 2 1858
| Ann and Parker have
moved from the ranch to the
new town of Pacheco. Chitt has sold his Placerville store; Harris may
open a store in Pacheco. Parker will team in Placerville for the
|Aug 4 1858
|Chitt sends $75 home
to Ohio and writes a quick
note commenting on the
activity on Steamer Day, the possible new steamer company via
Nicaragua, and the weekly pony express to St. Joseph, Mo. He is now
rooming in San Francisco.
|Aug 15 
|Chitt mentions other
boarders in his San Francisco
home. He discusses the view from his hill and the wonderful fruit now
in the market. Everything goes well, but not be able to come home soon.
|Aug 17 1858
25¢ to hem sheets for Hale and
Harris' store; the children play with Emily's children. The crop has
been poor -- they cannot afford any luxuries. Ann thanks sister Mary
|Aug 17 1858
|Harris tells mother
about their new store in
Pacheco, their customers, their goods (wheat, barley etc.) and even
about his dog, cat, horse and favorite songs.
|Sep 4 1858
|Chitt sends check and
tells how things are going at
the new town of Pacheco. He says the Democrats won the election, and he
mentions the success of the Vigilance Committee locally.
|Nov 9 1858
|Chitt was at Ann's
yesterday and all are well; Ann
is in better health now than in Placerville. William Hale will leave
for Iowa and Ohio in December. Chitt encloses $50.
|Dec 5 1858
|Chitt says Mr. Hale
leaves for Iowa and Ohio
tomorrow and will visit them. He will bring presents from Chitt and
Harris. Chitt spent much time on jury duty which kept him from his
|Dec 19 1858
| Chitt sends another
check and letter of
introduction for Mr. C.W. Harvey who is leaving for Ohio. He hopes
Mother will not visit Aunt Ann in Mill Creek again.
|Jan 19 1859
| Chitt comments that
farmers are very busy plowing
and sowing but that the mines are too cold to work. He is less busy.
Trade is quite different here than in Ohio.
|Feb /2 1859?
| Ann sends a brief
note telling her mother how much
she values receiving her letters and tells about the children's
|Apr 1 1859
| William Hale returns
from Ohio with photos of the
Fassetts back home. Ann tells her mother about her feelings and those
of the children too. Harris has seen them and is homesick.
|Apr 3 1859
|William Hale and
Seeley Bennett have
arrived from Ohio after delay in Mexico. Chitt regrets that he
will not be able to come home this summer as now busisness is picking
up. He will return in fall. He mentions the fatal steamship explosion
|Jun 16 1859
|Ann describes life in
Pacheco. Parker has a teaming
business and the
boys help him and the neighbors. Clara does chores and the
younger girls play. Ann describes their house (illustrated with a floor
and she hopes they will soon finish improving it. She wants a sewing
machine but they cannot
afford it. She longs to see her parents.
|Jun 16 1859
|Harris says he has
moved into a hotel across the
street from the store.
He has a new horse having sold his old one at a profit.
|Jun 19 1859
|Chitt comments on how
he enjoys letters from home
then talks about how busy he is with the summer season. He mentions
opening a new store in Columbia, Tuolumne Co. and he discussses
the wonderful fruits and vegitables now available.
|Jul 3 1859
|Chit thanks his father
for his fine letter; then he
talks about politics including
the Vigilence Committies and he morns Jefferson's loss. He talks about
back home and gossips about bankruptcies and some of the emigrants from
|Jul 7 1859
|Chit appologizes for
not writing as he has been
ill, but is better.
|Jul 11 1859
|Harris says business
at the store is fair but he
will soon have
2 boats to San Francisco helping business. He has learned Spanish and
can talk to his customers. The hot weather has turned chilly and the
harvesting is finished.
|Jul 19 1859
|Chitt visited Pacheco
well. Crops are fine this year. He
will go to Columbia for a week and will write his impressions
later. He thinks many of his old Ohio friends could settle in
California if they were younger and better able to adapt to customs
|Oct 4 1859
|Chitt says he will
send suggestions for Mary's
schooling next letter
and promises that his money is always available for the family's needs.
mentioned Ann's new boy, then
comments favorably on Ann's children. Harris is settled in very well.
|Oct 19 1859
|Chit sends $100 from
Harris and himself. He
comments briefly about the
Daguerotypes he received from home and says his former partmer is
leaving tomorrow and may stop in Granville. The Harkers will visit Ann
|Jan 19 1860
|Chitt sends another
check ($50) to his parents and
announces that he
is coming home leaving either February 5th or 20th.
|Apr 15 1860
|Harris thanks his
brother for his letter and says
he won't give news as
Chitt is back home. After philosophising a bit, he asks about news from
specific friends back home and says he won't be home soon.
|Apr 19 1860
|Chitt is in New York
en route to San Fancisco after
visiting his family in Granville, Ohio. He mentions his travel details.
|May 20 & Jul 1
|Ann tells about her
life with much housework and up
to 11 boarders. She sometimes get to sew with a machine. She talks
about the photos Chitt brought back from Ohio and about her children.
It took over a month to finish the letter.
|May 27 1860
|Chitt tells his mother
about his trip back to
California and the subsequent week spent doing business in Los
Angeles. There are wonderful fruits and flowers there all the
writes to his sister Jane and hopes she will
write. He mentions a law suit that came up while he was away and is now
settled. Summer came slowly but crops are now fine -- especially the
fruits. Chitt has grown tired of people asking if he is married yet.
|Aug 5 1860
|Chit says he is now
settled back in his business and rooms. He was so glad to see everybody
in Ohio. He drives his carriage to Pacheco
frequently (on the ferry to Oakland).
The harvest was delayed a full month by the weather, but now is
|Sep 2 1860
|Chitt appologizes for
letters and sends $50. It is the busy season; a young man might not
start if he knew how hard it might be. Breckenridge will carry
California in the election, but not Oregon. His
runningmate, Lane, is a Stick.
|Sep 10 1860
|Harris says he is
superintendent with 3 to 5 men working for him. He seems eager to find
a wife but with no current prospects. He asks young Willie to take care
of the animals and Harry to write to
compare costs here and
|Jan 21 1861
mother on her
birthday and notes that he is no longer her little boy. He talks about
the very fine weather and his dog and horse. The money that Chitt has
been sending is equally from both of us.
|Feb 1 1861
|Chitt says business is
slow. He will go
to Pacheco to take inventory. The tight money crisis is easier
now, but secession is worrysome. California is largely pro
He tells his parents to go north immediately if war breaks out and
comes to Ohio.
|Mar 31 1861
|Chitt writes to Harris
in Ohio about the rain and floods in Pacheco. Some
warehouses and bridges were washed away. Some people may
leave for Washoe, Esmaraldo or Mexico where the government has become
more settled and prospects look good.
|Apr 30 1861
|Chitt says they have
heard of the war. It
is regretable and he blames corrupt government for it. The
news is never very reliable. If Harry and John go
to Lake Superior father should give up farming. Prospects in Pacheco
|May 19/21 1861
|Harris is in
New York City retruning to California and gives he father the
particulars of his trip back. He encourages everyone to write often and
mentions visiting the Great
Eastern, really the ship.
|Jun 16 1861
|Harris is back in Pacheco and finds all
well. A new Sunday closinig law effective Aug. 1 was passed. Many
improvements have been made -- 2 wells are done and a new church
and Fair Grounds are being built.
|Jul 10 1861
|Chitt appologizes for not mailing a
letter from Ann on March 10. He is glad Ohio is not in the war zone --
says if neccessary he might enlist. He is going to Geyser Springs for a
short vacation with friends. Harris has given all the news from home.
|Sep 29 1861
|Chitt discuses the state election in
which the Union candidates overwhelmed the Peace party. He talks about
his rifle used if a call to arms were issued. He says his horse
has arrived from Ohio in poor shape (as expected). Everything is now
|Oct 16 1861
|Chitt's brother John is joining the army
to lead a regiment of recruits. Chitt encourages him and will watch
reports of his movements. He offers to pay the costs of his
recruitiment if needed.
|Oct 18 1861
|Chitt is happy that John will not be a Private. He says Fremont is honest
and respected by Californians but not smart enough to be a General, and
he criticizes his aides. He want his parents to sell their mare and
hopes to get more mail from home.
|Nov 19 1861
|Chitt is sorry John could not raise a
company and hopes he will not enlist. We are all well here, Lucy
Gordon is visiting Ann. Our telegraph is working and we get news
right away. Nellie now pulls our buggy.
|Nov 30 1861
|Harris describs his work and the warm
rainy weather cotrasting it with winter in Ohio. Lucy Gordon was here
for 2 weeks; her family is fine. Harris wants to hear from everybody at
home and John's campaign in Western Virginia.
|Feb 6 1862
|Harris says Chitt has gone to La Paz
(lower country) returning in March. Heavy rains have caused huge
floods, the worst since 1827. Everybody is cross. John should try
to buy Uncle Tom's farm. Ann just had another boy. Dwight is learning
|Mar 2 1862
|Harris says that Chitt is not yet back
from Lower Cal, their coal mining may start in the spring and his
"Irish Gal" didn't work out. He describes the terrific floods. He
thanks Mary for her letter and is not happy about his marriage
|Mar 5 1862
Gulf of California
|Chitt has just heard of the devastation
at Pacheco due to the flood. He describes Lower California and camping
on a trip inland by mule. He has heard about Ann's baby boy from Hale.
|Mar 9 1862
|Clara tells Grandma the news about her
sibliings and talks about the flood. Dwight works in a priinting
office, Sarah and Guy are in school. Jane and Harry are at home. The
baby still has no name. Ann says she is still too weak to work.
|Mar 10/12 1862
|Harris gives advice to brother John. He
is glad he has left the service and hopes he will buy or rent his
uncle's farm. Be careful of the details. Sheep business looks good or a
mill. Clara's note of March 9 is enclosed and there are comments to
|Mar 18 1862
|Chitt is back from Mexico and writes a
brief note with more to follow when he has more time. Their flood
losses are considerable, but others are worse off. He
missed hearing the war news while away and is glad for our
|Apr 30 1862
|Chitt sends $150 which he promised Mary
to buy a nice dress. He appologizes for the brief note and is glad that
we have taken New Orleans.
|May 13, 18 1862
|Harris has been very busy rebuilding and
now business is picking up. Spring has come a month later than usual.
He seems a bit lonely as he has received only one letter since February
and asks everyone to write.
|May 15 1862
|Chitt says 30,000 letters are held
up as Indians have stolen the mail horses. Steamer mail arrives
weekly -- slow but dependable. He mentions the new Cariboo and Salmon
River gold rushes. Business is good and the weather now fine after the
|Jun 13 1862
|Chitt send his brother John a $500
check by steamer with a copy by overland mail. He says this is the last
letter mail by steamer.
|Jun 30 1862
|Chitt talks about Steamer Day, when all bills are settled, and the overland mail coming
through. He is especially interested in war news but only gets it
reliably when the telegraph is working. He has been drilling in
case he must serve. Hopes everybody writes.
|Aug 11 1862
|Chitt says the burning of the steamship
Golden Gate is very sad; many here have lost friends. He was in Pacheco
recently where he and Harris went riding Nellie. All there are well,
but Lewis Fassett lost his little girl.
|Sep 19 1862
|Chitt sends John $1000 to buy land. He
says that San Francisco collected $106,000 in 3 days for the Patriotic
Fund and will get $200,000. Last winter they sent $150,000 to
|Sep 21 1862
|Overland mail is now open. Chitt
blames Vanderbilt for closing the mail so he could make
money on his steamer mail. We get news by telegraph two hours
before New York. San Francisco will raise $200,000 for war relief and
$500,000 total for charity.
|Oct 3 1862
|Chitt sends money home, $1000 for John
for his farm and $50 from Harris to Harry. He hopes John did not
reenlist because of the recent excitement in Ohio.
|Nov 19 1862
|Chitt received a photo from Uncle Samuel
of his house; he would like one from father too. Harris has been to
Truman's all are well. Parker and Ann's baby were sick but are better.
McClellan's dismissal is not popular. Democrats will win the next