Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 164

Price Realized: $ 344
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
(CALIFORNIA.) Letters from a gold-mining engineer in Oroville at war with his investor. 3 Autograph Letters Signed as "Jack" to his partner Eric. 13 total pages on 7 sheets of lined paper, 9 3/4 x 8 inches; minor wear. Oroville, CA, 10 October to 27 November [circa 1900?]

Additional Details

Our correspondent was working out a new mechanical process for gold mining on a promising site. However, his partner Eric had given power of attorney to an investor named Wyckoff who is described as "a snoty little devil" who "knows no more about a mine or my affairs than a jack rabbit," but was starving the operation of cash while delivering a steady stream of insults. At one point he "left me without cash for ten days when we had nothing but potatoes to feed in the camp." Wyckoff is also suspected of trying to steal the proprietary process, which had already yielded fruit in Mexico. If that wasn't bad enough, the author was in poor health--passing blood, suffering from continuous headaches, and feeling faint. And yet, as with any mining venture, a fortune was just around the corner: "I will make you money in the mine and prove the process, so we can get bigger mines. Everybody is gold-crazy over here." Someone familiar with the history of Oroville mining might be able to identify the author.