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Samuel V. Tripp Correspondence

Identifier: VAULT-Ayer-MS-3219

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly letters home from Samuel V. Tripp to his married sister, Sarah Ann Hawkins, and to his remarried mother, Nancy Kiersey, 1850-1872; also a few incoming letters from his mother, friends, and other relatives.

Tripp's first few letters back to Ohio describe portions of his overland journey, including his travel through the Indiana and Illinois prairies, his sojourn among the gold seekers in Independence, Mo., his bout of mountain fever prior to his arrival at Salt Lake City, and his trek on horseback through the salt flats near Salt Lake. Tripp's discussions of his life in the California gold regions are quite full, including details regarding his living arrangements, businesses and business partnerships, health, prices, weather, the landscape, the status of the California Indians, and the general moral laxity of the white inhabitants. Also included are descriptions of the Rogue River and Willamette Valley regions of Oregon, a discussion of Uncle Tom's Cabin (July 25, 1853), and frequent comments on the status of the transcontinental railroad and Tripp's own hopes for a return visit to Ohio.

Among the incoming letters to Tripp are two from friends who in 1849 were settling in Illinois. They describe Chicago, Whiteside County, and Brimfield, Ill.


  • Creation: 1849-1906
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1849 - 1906



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Samuel V. Tripp correspondence is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Samuel V. Tripp correspondence is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Samuel V. Tripp

Emigrant to California in 1849.

Samuel V. Tripp was born in New York (probably Allegheny County) in 1829 or 1830 and moved with his parents to Knox County, Ohio, sometime before 1838. Around then Tripp's father deserted the family (mother Nancy, and siblings Samuel, William, and Sarah Ann). Tripp was bound out to the Lamson family of Milford, Ohio, and was released early to travel overland to the gold fields in 1850. He traveled with other Ohioans via Indiana, Illinois, Independence, Mo., and Salt Lake City to California. After spending about a year prospecting for gold with moderate success, Tripp engaged at least until 1855 in vegetable farming, mule-train packing, stock-raising, and storekeeping in the Northern California gold region. At various times he lived at South Deer Creek in El Dorado County, on the Trinity River in Trinity County, at Mill Creek in the Sacramento Valley, and in Shasta County. By 1860 Tripp was living in Southern California at San Bernardino, where he farmed and ran a store. In 1876, he was in Temecula, San Diego County, where he also farmed.

Tripp was married in 1854 to Rose Anna Ramsey. After she died around 1870, he took a second wife, Carrie, by whom he had numerous additional children.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Correspondence, dating mainly from 1849 to 1876, of California emigrant Samuel V. Tripp, addressed primarily to his mother and sister in Ohio, regarding his life in the Northern California gold region and later in Southern California.


The collection is organized into Tripp's incoming and outgoing correspondence, followed by miscellaneous family correspondence. Each sequence is arranged chronologically.

Collection Stack Location

Vault 26 1


Gift of Maurine M. Krohne, 1983.

Processed by

Martha Briggs, April 2000.

Inventory of the Samuel V. Tripp Correspondence, 1849-1906, bulk 1849-1876
Martha Briggs
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States