O. F. DAVENPORT PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The papers include a typescript of 9 letters written by O.F. Davenport to his father between May 12, 1850 and October 5, 1851. The letters detail his journey from Georgia to the California gold fields and give a first hand account of mining life.
Collection also available on microfilm: Mflm 199.
The collection is open for research.
O.F. Davenport Papers are the physical property of the Denver Public Library
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
In 1850, O.F. Davenport traveled overland from Georgia to California. He left behind his parents and son Billy Grant to find his fortune in the gold mines. His journey took him to Chattanooga, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Fort Laramie, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Sacramento City, California; Nevada City, California and Union Bar, California.
Along the way Davenport dealt with cholera, harsh weather, the lack of food and water and the sins of the west: gambling and drinking. His party made the unfortunate mistake of taking the Hastings route around the southern end of the Great Salt Lake and found that they did not have enough provisions to complete the trip. On the Humboldt River, they had to eat only beef soup without bread to save flour.
Once Davenport reached California, he found life to be hard and lawless. He and his partner, Cochran had two mules stolen and a gun shot through their gold pan to prevent them from working. Even though Davenport experienced some success in mining, he still longed for home and dreamed of running a farm once he returned to Georgia.
1 box (.25 linear feet)
1 microfilm reel (Mflm199)
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Purchased from William Reese in 1981.
Number of Boxes: 1 (.25 linear ft.)
Microfilm: 1 reel (Mflm199)
- California -- Gold discoveries. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Davenport, O. F. -- Archives
- Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Gold mines and mining -- West (U.S.) -- History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Letters. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Miners -- United States -- History Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Mines and mineral resources -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Overland journeys to the Pacific. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- O.F. DAVENPORT PAPERS
- NOVEMBER 2007
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script