Vassalboro, Maine: 1852. Biofolium of blue paper, with 2-1/3 pages of manuscript writing [containing 2 letters], 53 + 8 lines, ~660 + 100 words [respectively]. One panel hand addressed to South Braintree Mass, with stamped No. Vassalboro ME postmark [Mar 15] & "Paid 3" circular stamp. Unfolded: 9-3/4" x 7-5/8". Folded: 3" x 4-3/8". Now housed in an archival mylar sleeve. Fold lines. Age-toning along some exterior folds. Red sealing wax remnants. Penciled "Grandma Keith" above address. Very Good. Item #46494
Ms Keith begins as most mothers do... relating her regrets for not writing sooner, followed by health news of divers relations. Page 2 starts with the news that "There is a great many men in this region gone to California it is thought Maine must suffer a good deal in consequence of so many of her Citizens going to that Country the loss of the men is not all the State is injured by having so much money carried out of it. Since the sufferings of those gone there have been made known & likewise how small the chance of making money enough to fetch them back even many who were calculating to go have given it up at least for the present."
The second letter by Keith to affirm to Miss Marcy that she wishes good relations between the two of them, expressing appreciation of the "complimentary manner in which you mentioned my son..."
An intimate look at the allure of California's the 1850s myth, tempered with the reality relayed back by some of those who succumbed.