Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [California Gold Rush] S.H. Meeker, an Original Forty-Niner, Writes About "El Dorado." Major S. H. Meeker. Autograph Letter Signed ("Harry"), 6 pages, recto and verso, 8" by 10.5", Sacramento City, California, March 24, 1851. To "My Dear Captain." In Fine condition. With typed transcription. Major Meeker came to California in '49, when the first reports of major gold strikes were just starting to sweep the country, and stayed until his death in '63, becoming along the way a much respected merchant. Here, just a couple years into his stay, he writes an old comrade about the wonders to behold - and reports on the booming business. In part: "...We now have eight large class steamers plying between this place and San Francisco and the way the price of fare is knocked down occasionally is a Caution to California profits, and the rapidity with which the comforts not only but the luxuries of traveling have increased is equally surprising. Eighteen months since I paid $30 for the privilege of a deck passage from San Francisco on the old propeller McKinn - Now the fare in the saloon on first class steamers...can be had for one Dollar... The progress of civilization and refinement is equally visible in other quarters. A few months since we considered ourselves fortunate to get enough hard bread and bacon... Now an abundant supply of game and excellent vegetables are served up to us daily with all the proper appointments... We are a fast people and it is not too much to predict that some parts of this country will in less than two years equal in Splendor and luxurious living any part of the World. Both the desire for it and the gold to pay for it exist here in a great degree. The Ladies are coming too!" Meeker continues to rhapsodize about the hunting, the climate, even the lettuce. He sends news, too, of other young men from the East who've gone West.... From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 832

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on Feb 21, 2006 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search