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1875 Hudson Bay Co Wells Fargo Alaska CA History Letter


This is a vintage correspondence lot of items addressed to Charles Carson Reno. The Reno family in the Sharpsville/New Castle area of Pennsylvania was related to the Reno who was associated with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

There's an envelope addressed to Sharpsville PA with a 1914 postmark. The return address is Reno Hall in East Liberty, Pittsburgh PA (end was torn off envelope to remove the contents)

There's a letter (dated Nov 15 from Sidney Champaign Co Ill) from Reno's friend (Curtiss Porterfield). The letter discusses the writer's fall harvest problems & his attendance at a writing school. The envelope has a California postmark & its end has been torn off to remove the letter. It was addressed simply to a post office in Mercer County PA.

The third item is a letter dated June 29 1875 from San Francisco, written by the recipient's uncle (Geo H Davis). The Wells Fargo & Co letterhead envelope appears to be hand cancelled & initialed (by the postmaster?). The envelope is addressed simply to a post office in Mercer County PA & the edge was slit to remove the letter. The letter is filled with historically significant content. The writer was a sailor by occupation & had traveled the coast from Alaska to Guatemala. He was very impressed by the canoe-making of the Alaskan Indians, which he describes in detail. The Indians used hand adzes furnished by the Hudson Bay Co. He also describes in detail the world's largest war canoe made by the Bella Bella Indians, which carried a 250-man war party to sea. While he was there Mr McCrae (agent of the Hudson Bay Co) was forced to travel by Indian canoe because there were no steamers available. The writer was also quite impressed with San Francisco and describes in detail its beauty, his visit aboard the magnificent new steamships built in Pennsylvania, his visits to the old Spanish missions, an Indian woman whose documented age was 120-150 years old, and his plan to make a long prospecting & exploration trip financed with money he was expecting to receive from his mining claims in Bear Valley. The letter is well-written, entertaining, & easily readable and its fascinating content makes it of museum quality.

Inventory #3567

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 18 December, 2009.

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