Description

    [California Gold Rush]. Constant Luce Autograph Letter Signed "Constant Luce." Four pages, 7.25" X 12.25", Monroe [Michigan], January 30, 1849. Writing to his grandfather, he discusses his brother-in-law's journey to California during the gold rush and the Wilmot Proviso in addition to family news. In part, as written:

    "Mr. Adams has gone to California. He started two weeks ago. Yesterday for Washington on his way he goes out as agent of a company that he got up in this place . . . before he started he got a letter from Genl Cass to President Polk which I saw and should think was a very strong letter. Mr. Felch our Senator in Congress is an old and intimate friend of his . . . I think with all of this he will succeed in getting something to do in that land of promise . . . The Gold fever rages in this western country . . . I think it is not more than an average for the State which would make about five thousand and if the rest of the United States should send such a proportion it would send between two three hundred thousand people from the United States alone in six months but if one half of that number goes the Wilmot Proviso need not be passed . . . I see by your letter you take our defeat of last fall by Old Zach [Zachary Taylor] rather cooly. I am glad you do but it is hard for me to but we shall have to stand it for four years and I think we can as well as the Whigs can and better than some they don't all like it . . . hope all of the free Soilers will get full satisfaction get what they deserve, but there is no use in crying for spilt milk.; I presume that this letter will put you in mind of President Polks message or Tom Bentons defense of Fremont."

    Constant Luce (1820-1904) enlisted as a captain in Co. "A," 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry at the onset of the Civil War. He resigned in November of that year, but re-enlisted in the 17th Michigan Infantry and received a lieutenant colonel's commission. He was promoted to full colonel in March 1863 and was discharged in November 1864.

    The Wilmot Proviso was first introduced by Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot in 1846 during the first months of the Mexican War. The proviso would have prevented the spread of slavery into any territory wrested from Mexico, but failed in the Senate. It was reintroduced twice more (in 1847 and 1848), but failed to pass in all instances.

    Usual folds with ink bleedthrough.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    24th Sunday
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