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John C. Cabaniss Letters, 1851-1855

Title
John C. Cabaniss Letters, 1851-1855
ID
Mss. Acc. 2014.019
Extent
0.05 Cubic Feet
Scope and Contents

This collection contains twelve letters written by John C. Cabaniss, a proprietor of the Folsom Street coal yards in San Francisco, California to his mother, Mrs. Nancy Hill [Nancy Sink Cabaniss Hill] in Franklin County, Virginia.  Cabaniss moved to San Francisco during the Gold Rush.

Most of his letters mention that he is coming home soon, is in good health and the business is doing well.  For a time, a friend from home, Moses G. Noble, lives with him.  The letters also mention the collapse of the banks in San Francisco in 1855 and his family's slaves.   He tells his mother that he will pay to hire or buy Mariah's husband.  He often sends money to his mother, once asking her to give Mariah, and others, $25.  By 1855, he also owns a ranch and still works at the coal yard.

John Cabiness committed suicide on April 25, 1858 and a copy of the April 26, 1858 Sacramento Daily gives details of his death.  A copy of a typed partial biography of John Cabaniss, possibly written by the seller and mostly unsourced, hints at an earlier bankruptcy in Alabama.

Arrangement
Arranged chronologically.
Creators
Cabaniss, John C. (1805-1858)
Hill, Nancy Sink Cabaniss (1785-1868)
Subjects
California--Description and travel--19th century
California--Economic conditions--19th century
Coal--California
Franklin County (Va.)--History
Noble, Moses Greer
San Francisco (Calif.)--19th century
Slavery--Virginia--19th century
Suicide
Genres
Letters (correspondence)
Languages
English

Administrative Information

Acquired
03/12/2014.
Restrictions
Collection is open to all researchers.
Rights
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
Acquisition Note
 Source: Purchases--Michael Brown Rare Books, LLC.
Acc. 2014.019 was received by Special Collections in January 2014.
Related Publications
The probate case on John C. Cabiness's estate can be found in publications on California courts.
Preferred Citation
John C. Cabaniss Letters, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Collection Material Type:
Papers
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