Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP1631

Sent by:
John Wallace
Sent to:
Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell)
23 November 1851

Sent by John Wallace, Saw Mill Camp, California, USA to Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell) [none given] on 23 November 1851.

Record created:
06 July 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline
Verified by:
23/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline (All except summary checked);


One of a set of excerpts of letters providing in-depth descriptions John Wallace's life in the gold mining town of Columbia, California, building a system to bring water to gold mining operations in the town.

Record contains:

  • letter (2)

View item:

LETTER (WCP1631.4446)

A transcription typewritten  in English.

Typescript copy, created c. 1948

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/3/96/2
Copyright owner:
©Wallace Family
Record scrutiny:
23/05/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline;

Physical description

Transcription information




6. Letter from "Saw Mill Camp". Nov. 23rd. 18512

... However we are now as it were begining[sic] to finish a part of it as we have a saw mill and steam engine erected which has cost us a great deal of labour and money. It has already cost us ten thousand dollars in money, besides our labour, which has been a great deal, as we had first of all to cut a road about 5 miles to get the engine up the mountains. The heaviest part was the two boilers, each weighing abou about 3 tons, which we have now got fixed on a mountain about five thousand feet above Stockton, where we had to bring it from, and & is now working day & night cut-ting up logs into boards at the rate of about 10 thousand feet a day. Our company is named the Tuolumne County Water Company, and the shares are now getting valu-able. A large town has been built, entirely upon the strength of our company bring-ing the water into a large tract of country, abounding in gold, but which is of no value without the water. We expect to be about two months before we finish a partof[sic] it after which we shall be drawing a revenue from the water we shall be ably[sic] to convey, & we shall then finish the remainder next spring.


1. This transcript is typewritten.

2. Paragraph labelled "WP1/3/96/2" in pencil, in an unknown hand, in the right margin.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.