Letters to P.E.I. - Letter from Peter J. Poole to the Islander, 21 Sep., 1849

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Transcribed by Gary Carroll, [email protected]

Islander 21 Sep., 1849, page 2:


It will be in the recollection of many of our readers that about six years ago a person calling himself "Elder Dixon" and professing the Mormon faith, came to Charlottetown, and succeeded in making a number of converts to his doctrine; the consequence of which was that several persons, including some of the members of the family of the late Mr. Poole, who was for many years Millar to the late Hon. George Wright, left the Island to follow the fortunes of the Mormon people in the United States; and have subsequently proceeded to California. We mention these facts in order to preface the introduction of a letter lately received from Mr. Peter J. Poole, and from which we make the following extracts, the more particularly for the information of those persons who already have or are about to embark in the California expedition. The letter is addressed to Mr. Richard Leman, and is dated SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 1849.

Mr. Poole says: "I have had no chance of writing before, but I expect a Steamer in a few days which will take a regular mail, and we will then be able to send a letter at any time. "We stayed in Boston five months, when we concluded to go to California. We went to New York, and sailed from thence the 4th February, in the ship 'Brooklyn' for California. We had but two gales of wind, the first was in the Gulf of Mexico, which lasted three days, and which the Captain said was a very heavy storm. We had on board 130 persons, about 50 of whom were women. We had 32 state rooms between deck.

"We called at the Island of 'Juan Fernando', or Robinson Cruso Island, where we took in wood and water, and stayed seven days. We then sailed for the Sandwich Islands, where we remained eleven days. We had a lovely time of it; the trade winds lasted all the way, and we landed in California after a voyage of six months. We found the place all in an uproar, the Americans had just taken it, and the Spaniards were gathering themselves togehter; the people were called out of their beds in the night to defend the place, but the Spaniards did not come.

"There are Cattle and Horses here without number; when we first came we could get a good Horse for $10; but now they are $100. the town of San Francisco is very healthy, and is the best place in the world for anyone to get a living in. The Bay in front of the town is very large and beautiful.

"You have no doubt heard about the California Gold Mines. You may have your doubts about it, but it is true. It is not a great distance from the place where we live. I have been to them and have dug about eight days, and got about $800. --- this is but a trifle to what some have obtained.

I have often thought about my old friends, and wished they could be here to share with me; but I will not persuade any one lest I should not do right. "A word to the wise is sufficient."

"Peter J. Poole"

Note: Peter John Poole (1823-1887) was a son of John Poole & Mary Crammer.

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