Civil War Colonel 7th West Virginia Cavalry California Gold Rush Signed Letter For SaleLUCIEN LOESER
(1828 - 1902)
Mexican-American War & Civil War West Point Officer,
Lt. Colonel 7th West Virginia Cavalry
Col. Loeser brought the news of the discovery of Gold in California to President Polk which set off Gold Rush Fever across the Nation!
Loeser arrived with his company at monterey, mexico in 1847, and it was he who was chosen personally to carry the news of the discovery of gold in california, along with the samples of gold, to president james k. polk, who announced the discovery to the nation within a few days of loeser’s arrival in washington in Dec. 1848, thus precipitating the “California Gold RuSh” of 1849!!
HERE'S A RARE AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY LOESER to THE Second Auditor, U. S. Treasury Department, Washington, D. C., dated at “47 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, New York, May 23, 1889” concerning back military pay due him from his service in the Mexican-American War over 40 years earlier!! A RARE AUTOGRAPH ACCOMPANIED BY ANOTHER DOCUMENT FROM THE AUDITOR TO LOESER. THIS IS THE FIRST LOESER ITEM WHICH WE RECALL SEEING SINCE HIS ENTIRE CAREER, EXCEPT HIS EARLY COLORFUL CALIFORNIA SERVICE, WAS ONE CONDUCTED IN OBSCURITY!
THE PIECE MEASURES 5” x 8” AND IS IN VERY GOOD, CLEAN & CRISP CONDITION. NOTE THAT THE BIOGRAPHY PICTURED IN THE LISTING IS INCLUDED WITH THE AUTOGRAPH!
A RARE ADDITION TO YOUR CIVIL WAR GENERALS AUTOGRAPH,
MANUSCRIPT & EPHEMERA COLLECTION!
Story of Gen. Lucien Loeser & the Doscovery of Gold in California
Colonel Richard B. Mason took his time filling out a carefully detailed report of his observations in the gold fields. He completing the report on August 17, 1848, and dispatched a courier, Lieutenant Lucien Loeser, on a roundabout route back to Washington with Mason's official report; along with a tea-caddy crammed with over 230 ounces of gold. On August 30, 1848, Loeser sailed from Monterey by schooner to Payta, Peru, where he caught a British steamer to Panama. After crossing the Isthmus, Loeser booked passage to Jamaica, and from there to New Orleans where news of the official confirmation of the gold discovery created much excitement. Loeser telegraphed his report to the War Department and resumed his journey to the capital.
President Polk received a copy of Mason's report from the War Department and promptly hailed it as justification for the none too popular war with Mexico and his manifest destiny policy. In his dispatch, Mason mentioned that "There is more gold in the country drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers than would pay the cost of the late war with Mexico a hundred times over."
Mason's dispatch figured prominently in Polk's final State of the Union address to Congress on December 5, 1848. Polk told Congress, “The accounts of the abundance of gold in that territory are of such an extraordinary character as would scarcely command belief were they not corroborated by the authentic reports of officers in the public service...”
Two days later, Loeser arrived in Washington with the tea caddy crammed with gold that caused an immediate sensation. There it was for all to see. 230 ounces, 15 pennyweights and nine grains of gold purchased with civil funds by Mason to present as evidence of the golden harvest to the people back east. The official assay confirmed that it averaged 0.894 fine; high-grade gold. The gold was placed on display at the War Office where it was announced that some nuggets would be preserved, some coined, with the rest of the gold cast into medals "commemorative of the heroism and valor of our officers."
Loeser's tea caddy touched off the gold mania that soon swept across the nation much the same way as Brannan's vial of gold had electrified San Francisco. The gold fever spread in all directions and found the country ripe for new adventures as thousands of people began making frenzied plans to journey to the land of El Dorado. The news of the gold discoveries came at an opportune time as the nation was on the rebound from the war with Mexico and a tremendous territorial expansion. Many of the recently released Veterans were restless, finding readjustment to the humdrum life difficult, and longed for something different.
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