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John S. Tatchin
Clarendon, December 27, 1852

"There is some in California that went from here last Spring and are doing well. Most all have sent home some money, one of them, a Blacksmith, sent home $150.00 dollars and wrote to his Brother if he would come, he would send him a one thousand dollars to expend for horses as they bring from Five hundred to One Thousand a span, and his Brother has concluded to go this Spring. He will go the Overland Route, but I expect to go by water so as to get there by the first of April next...." John S. Tatchin, Clarendon, December 27, 1852


Clarendon, December 27, 1852

My Dear Mother--

I write these few lines in haste. I wrote you a letter not long since, but I have not received an answer as yet and as it is generally some time before I do get any answers to my letters, and I have about made up my mind to leave Michigan for awhile and try my luck in some other clim[ate], and [since] there is some going from this place to California in about six weeks, I have some thought of a going with them.

As my wife says I had better go and she will do anything to have me go and see if I can’t get money enough to pay for my place, which I think I can and more in less time than I can get it here.

There is some in California that went from here last Spring and are doing well. Most all have sent home some money, one of them, a Blacksmith, sent home $150.00 dollars and wrote to his Brother if he would come, he would send him a one thousand dollars to expend for horses as they bring from Five hundred to One Thousand a span, and his Brother has concluded to go this Spring. He will go the Overland Route, but I expect to go by water so as to get there by the first of April next.

My place I shall have to let out on shares until I can get back and my wife will live here and among her companions. This,I suppose will be news to you that I should think of going to California, but if I go and live to get back, perhaps, I shall be thought more of, especially if I succeed in getting a pile of gold. It will cost something to go there, I suppose some two hundred dollars. A person can go from here to California in about five or six weeks. If I go, I hope you will not lay awake night on my account, but give your earnest prayer in my behalf. I should like to see you, but if I go to the Land of Gold, I shall not be able to until I can get back.

We are all well, and our little one is well, and very mischievous. Uncle’s family are well. Aunt Betsy told me to write to you and tell you she thought you had forgotten that you had a sister in this Country, Michigan. Cousin George and his wife parted or has left him, but he and his Father went after her and brought here back, and they are both teaching school. Phoebe is teaching school near the Prairie. Cousin Betsy would be glad to see you as well as my self, and some others.

I should be glad to hear from Maria that sister of mine that I have not seen in a long time. I can’t forget an only sister. I should like to hear from her.

I shall expect a letter from you soon, and expect one from Richard. I have written one to him telling him about my going to California. So you need not wait to write to him before you answer this. I did not [think] much of going at the time of writing that other letter, but why not?? I go to California as well as some others that have gone. But some say you will not live to get back—what matters that if we only live aright, whether we fall here or in California. If we only fall in sight of heaven, it will depend some on the feelings of your mind whether I go or not, for I would not want to destroy your peace of mind by so doing. Write soon and very soon too, and let me know what you think about the matter.

I must bring this to a close… From your affectionate son, John S. Tatchin.

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