Letters

A photo of Bret Harte's fiction chronicled the colorful lives of gamblers and miners during the California Gold Rush.
CALIFORNIA LETTERS

He Left His Harte

Bret Harte (1836-1902) was an important figure in California literature as a chronicler of 19th century life and teller of tales. He wrote these dispatches for The Christian Register in Boston and The Republican in Springfield, Mass.

Thomas O. Larkin
CALIFORNIA LETTERS

SF’s First Boom

Thomas O. Larkin was the Navy’s agent in San Francisco, as well as being a successful businessman himself. His Gold Rush letters to his friends and colleagues tell familiar stories about life amid a financial boom.

Kate Crane Gartz
CALIFORNIA LETTERS

Socialist Socialite

Kate Crane Gartz (1865-1949) was an epitome of a famous American type: the wealthy progressive firebrand. she railed against injustice in these eloquent, impassioned letters — written from her mansion in Altadena.

John Muir seated on rock with lake and trees in background.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
CALIFORNIA LETTERS

John Muir, Naturally

John Muir's evocative description of Yosemite Valley and the wilds of California

Portrait photograph of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, more popularly known as Mark Twain, seated, reading a newspaper.
CHARLES E. BOLLES
CALIFORNIA LETTERS

Twain’s California

During the period 1862-68, Mark Twain penned letters for publications both from California and to California newspapers, including the original Alta California, the Territorial Enterprise and others. Here is a sample of those letters: