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Henry Perry letters

Identifier: VAULT box-Ayer-MS-709


Letters (Jan. 24, 1849-May 28, 1850) written from New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Sacramento by Henry Perry to his Bridgeport family (parents Mr. and Mrs. David Perry, sister Emmeline, and brothers Alf, Tom, and Frederick), regarding his experiences en route to San Francisco, his return voyage from Hawaii, and economic and living conditions in gold rush San Francisco and Sacramento. Of particular interest are accounts of robberies in Sacramento, and pen drawings of miner attire, accommodations, and implements. Also news of family acquaintances in California and requests for newspapers and news of family and friends in Connecticut.


  • Creation: 1849-1850


Biographical / Historical

Bridgeport, Conn., native and California gold rush participant. Perry embarked from New York City on Feb. 25, 1849, sailed around Cape Horn, with stops in South America at Rio de Janeiro and Valparaiso, and arrived in San Francisco during August or early September. With Egbert Wiltsie, Perry soon sailed to Hawaii to sell a stock of goods, and returned to San Francisco in March, 1850. By May he was clerking at the firm of Harney and Wiltsie in Sacramento and had also set up a provision store with a partner, Billy B.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library)

Bibliographic References

Butler, R.L. Checklist of Mss. in the Ayer Coll., 709

Catalog Record Only
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

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Chicago Illinois 60610 United States