Saturday, June 29, 2013

Eastern Newspaper Reports “Unprecedented” Gold Shipments Out of Idaho (and Oregon)

A Philadelphia newspaper, the Public Ledger, reported news of June 29, 1863, from San Francisco. The brief item said, “The steamer Sierra Nevada has arrived here with $50,000 in treasure from Victoria, and the unprecedented amount of $327,000 from Oregon and Idaho.”

In this context, “treasure” referred almost exclusively to gold dust and bullion. At this point, neither Oregon nor Idaho were producing significant amounts of silver. Based on other accounts, at least two thirds of the amount reported “from Oregon and Idaho” probably came from the Idaho gold fields.

The item went on, “The money news from Idaho is extremely favorable. Twelve thousand miners have been engaged to work the mines.”

News like this, appearing in the Eastern newspaper, served to keep a steady flow of hopeful would-be miners on their way to the West.

“From California,” Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (July 2, 1863).

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