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Letter to David W. Fine from George Washington  27 Oct 1855 (George's step-father)
Oro Fino (Calif) 27 Oct 1855
People & places mentioned in letter
David Fine (George's step father)
Oro Fino CA ( off Hwy 3 S.W. of Yreka, CA)
Sissy ( Loretta Harnage--half sister)
Ma (Ann E.Washington Harnage Fine)
Charley (George's brother)
Lou (Leonidas' wife? Leonidas & Lou are in Gilmer Texas by at least 1857 when daughter Ophelia
was born (1860 Upshur Co. Gilmer TX lists L. L. Washington, wife Louisea & children Ophelia age 3 & John age 2 both born in TX)
Mrs. Parks & Joseph Parks
Mat Jackson & love letter sent to Helen Boyce

Dear Sir: (David Fine)
Your very acceptable and highly interesting letter of Aug 20th came to hand yesterday.
It is impossible for me to express my thanks to you for your kindness in favoring me
with letters. This is the second one I have received from you. Your other letter I received
about a week ago; also one from "Ma". I was surprised to learn that James Sutton had
failed--And hope his failure may make some of the money lenders look out for the
future--as these large houses do break sometimes. Adams & Co's failure was a death
blow to the hopes of many of the Californians as they had a very popular house. I am
happy to learn that your crops are looking fine--for I expect you need it for in the
summer of 54 crops failed almost everywhere. The wheat crop did not turn out well
this year in this part of Cal-- Ranchers paid six dollars per bushel. Flour varies from
8 to 12 cents per lb?. Potatoes are worth 8 , cabbage 8, onions 8, vegetable and in
fact all finds of provisions are low this year. Times are dull--not much doing--no money
in circulation --All kinds of business on a stand--to account to you for the present
dullness of times it is necessary to inform you that Californians and the people thereof
look to the "Honest Miner" for support --look to him for the money which at times
circulate through this country so freely that you can't meet a man that has not got plenty
of the grand (Icads or Scads?) and owing to the long dry season. No money having
been taken out. It is but natural to suppose that the times are dull. If it was not for the
honest miner this "Eldorado" would exist but in a son g--but the honest miner looks
forward to the rainy season as the "ultimatum" of all his desires. Sir, thru that he will
take pick, shovel and pan and climb the highest mountains, descend down the deepest
gulches "Coyote" (can't read word) into the yellow banks bring forth the precious
"Ore" and cause a change in the present finances of the country.
The honest miner has to encounter many privations and disappointments in this
country. And they think they are in luck if they can get a claim that will give them
steady work at $3 per day--but a man cannot save anything when he pays all his
expenses with 3 dollar diggings, for I expect Cal (Calif) can produce about a many
temptations to turn the unwary from virtue and honesty as any other country in the
world. You said in yours that Mat Latta was married and never mentioned who he
was married to. I would like to know as it would be impossible for me to guess. I
reckon it was not Iam (Ina) Mitchell? I was surprised to learn that "LOU"? had
"spliced?" and CHARLEY had moved home--much joy, long life and unintercepted
happiness to all of them. I was happy to hear that Miss Lizzie D. was considered the
"Belle" of Washington County. I am almost in the notion to write her a few lines just to
jog her memory with the recollection of the time when I had the pleasure of escorting
her to school, such remembrances should be kept before the mind's eye--for if they are
let lay in one corner of the memory & are never reviewed and thought on they will soon
be thrown among the "sullen waters of oblivion". So I think I will write her a friendly
letter before long. Tell Mrs. Parks that I am particularly anxious to know what young lady
that she spoke a good word to for me. Inasmuch as I am far way and need something to
cheer me in my lonely hours. It would indeed be a great pleasure for me to know.

Tell SISSY it is utterly impossible for me to answer her letter yet but as I can, I will answer
it. I construct it exactly fair for you all to expect letters from me. It would consume too
much time to write to all. Just give "Ma" and all the folks my kind regards & when
I have the chance I will answer
2nd page
You spoke in your (can't read word) you when I thought of coming home--Well, that
is a question that would puzzle a "Jesuit" himself to tell, under the present appearances
of things. I have been unfortunate since I came here--but have that within me that can
buffet the waves of misfortune unwittingly & if I have luck I may come home in the
Spring of '57. I have only been here one year--And it don't seem to me like (missing)
months but when I look back to home & friends it seems a great deal longer--but I am
not home sick. Though I would like to see the folks & all my old acquaintances. I think
I could pass off the time quite merry. What is Joseph Parks doing? Also where is Dock
Crozin & what is he doing? What is Fred Savind doing? Give my best respect to Mr.
Post & tell him that I don't know whether I can live up to his advice or not. When I was
in the States I imagined that there would be nothing easier than making a fortune in
California--but he must recollect that
California am a humbug? State
For out of the world in the bushes
There to meet death or a poor man's fate
Many poor mortal pushes
(a side note says) Tell Ma & Sissie & Charley not to think hard of me if I am dilatory:
about writing but that a letter from them is always acceptable)
And there brings men of almost any conceivable caste and nation here. It is expected that
there are many, very many who are devoid of principle and would not hesitate to do the
darkest deeds to carry out them (can't read word) with purposes. So if a man can live in
this country without being swindled--If he gives men a chance, he must be a lucky man.
I am going to pitch into a claim just as soon as it begins to rain? I sold one half of my
claim to a Preacher--Sold it to him cheap in order to have him to work with. He is a
very preacher--Preaches for us every Sunday. I went to a house last Sunday where Madame
rumor said(can't read word) to young lady with her sister-in-law who had been married
about one month. Well, I went in, set down, called her Miss--told her where I lived, what
I followed & (can't read word) tho by imagined I was getting practice well--thought I
would have (can't read word) bully (can't read word) fab and was just on the point of
winking at her. So as to have an understanding between us when a man come and called
her Wife--Oh! Ye Gods and little fishes how I did "vamoose". I vamoosed the Rancho--
faster but less elated than I came in the morning and when I got back home I concluded
I would go to see no more ladies in California and when I felt like talking with them
just sit down and write to some of the girls at home. Write soon & give me all the
news. My love to all inquiring friends
Very Truly, I Remain Yours
George L. Washington
Direct to Ottawa , Scotts Valley, California
Give my love to Mrs. Gibson & Family . What is Mat Jackson doing? Oh, I have a
splendid joke on Mat--don't say anything about it and I will tell it to you. Well, it
appears from his own (can't read word) that a young lady named Miss Helen Boyce
--has looped herself to the buttonhole of his affections so as to put him to considerable
trouble and vain speculations as to how to manage it. Accordingly he sat down & wrote
her one of the most loving letter I ever read declaring her to be the authoress of his
happiness or misery. She sent the letter to a friend of hers here a few weeks ago and he
let me see it and you cannot imagine how much fun we had over it. Just to read Mat's
(can't read word) of love and eternal constancy was enough to miss (or melt) the heart
of an anchovie (anchorite?) and the poor fellow never dreamed his letter would come to
Cal. Just ask Mat if he has written any letters these times to Miss Boyce--tell him you
heard of one of his letters in California and he must be careful how he corresponds.