Post-Revolutionary War to Civil War
Whaling Ships have been “Totally Abandoned…” Letter with Comments on the California Gold Rush and Whaling
February 14, 1849-Dated, Personal Autograph Letter with Comments on the California Gold Rush and Whaling, New London, CT, Very Fine.
This manuscript letter was written by Betsy Gordon of Connecticut to her “Respected Friend,” John P. Stater, with intriguing comments on the impact of the Gold Rush on whaling. The 3 page Letter measures 9.5” x 7.75”, plus Integral Mailing Leaf. It reads, in part: “…the California business has tended to increase… during the winter… Still many who are engaged in the whaling business will lose their thousands. In a number of instances (whale) ships fitted out from this port… have been totally abandoned (by the sailors for gold fields)… some of them have been absent between two & three years. Their families have heard no news from them since they left the ship.”
Letter has light staining and a small hole along the wax seal, but is otherwise quite nice. This detailed letter addresses how the discovery of gold in California helped spur the decline in the whaling industry, with original first-hand evidence!