Letters from Sidney Walter Curtis

[Ruhama is Sidney's sister. Leander is probably Leander Estell Curtis, his brother. I've added punctuation and capitalization and guessed at a number of words]

Addressed to: R. J. Curtis Hockingport, Athens County, Ohio

Sacramento City, California, Dec 15 1853

Dear Ruhama

By last mail, which left here for the states 15 days ago, I wrote Leander? a long letter giving my reasons for my delay in writing you. But as the Manfield Scott [ship?] which carried the mail was lost and a greater portion of the mail, you may not receive it. But from the middle of July until the first of November I have been over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Carson Valley buying cattle which my partners and myself drove over to this side in the valley the first of November and with which we shall do very well with so soon as they get fat enough for sale. Since I returned I have been in this place in the grocery business and shall remain here until I make sale of my stock and it’s probable become permanent here but for the _tain during my trip over the mountains. I had a good time and like much my business prospects here. The business here is most entirely done with the mining region of the country and done for cash exclusively and take it altogether. I am very much pleased with California so far as I have been and I have seen a good portion of the state. You will no doubt before receiving this see Harvey Curtis who left here for home a few days before I came in from the mountains. I saw him but once in this country. (When) you will see him he will tell you all about the way we go on. On this side of Jordon. About the books you spoke of I wrote to Vance reminding him of them and telling him if he had not sent them to do so and hope you have by this received them. If not let me know in your next. You will hereafter hear from me regular, once a month at fast_ unless I should go into the mountains again which I shall not this season. While in the mountains this fall I killed one grand and elegant grizzly bear which done me more good than all the shooting I ever done before or ever expect to do here after. The way I done it was to put a bait and watched it up a tree by moonlight and when the varment came I perhaps by [word crossed out] made a good shot and killed it which looked days to me as it weighed over 600 pounds. Some of them weigh as high as 1000 and hundred but I saw none of that kind. I also killed five deer but saw no Antelope nor elk although they are plenty this side of the mountains in the valley. Now that I have written about enough, I will stop by saying you will hear from again from me by next mail. There is two mails leaving this country every month for New Orleans and New York and your case write me just as often as you ever did and I hope if not too much trouble to hear from you every mail. My regards to all. Leander, hoping soon to hear from you again. I will send you a California paper with this

I am very truly your

S. W. Curtis

Addressed to: R. J. Curtis Hockingport, Athens County, Ohio

Sacramento, April 13 1854

Dear Ruhama

On this sheet I hand you the entire city of Sacramento. In the rear of the city you have the range of Sierra Nevada Mountains which look very near on this sheet but are from one to one hundred and twenty five miles distance and it may not come amiss to tell you that in these mountains is where I shot the grizzly bear last summer when I went over into Eutaw [Utah] territory or Carson Vallley. From these mountains snow is visible the year round. In the summer they go up and gather snow and bring it down and sell it for ice 25 pound That is done here ice is scarce here which is often the case here. Now that I have said enough about this and that I will only say as I have no news to write you that I am in good health ditto spirits and hope this may find you all enjoying the same blessing. In the last steances day I wrote you. You are now in my debt two please pay up. I sent a pictorial union on which are many places that I have seen. They all look very fine on paper, very different when you arrive at them. My regards to all.

Truly yours,

S. W. C.