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 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 (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.
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: