March 10, 2010

Artifacts: A letter full of gold nuggets from Dawson, 1899

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A widow's offer of gold

For your pleasure and education I bring you artifact #2 of my collection. A letter from George H. Light, a Dawson miner who met and became smitten with the widow Mary Smith on the steamship Rosalie. Light wrote at least seven times, but she replied, apparently, only once, on September 22, 1898. It took until June, 1899, for the letter to arrive in Dawson. Light’s reply is rendered as he penned it, complete with horrid grammar.

Dear Friend Mrs Smith

your Litter of Sept 22 Reseve[d] to day June 18 [—] Was [good?] to Here From you but Sorry to think that i Have got but one Letter from you[.] i have Roat 6 Letter[s] to you. i just came up from Egal [Eagle] City[.] i Was down this [way] awl Winter and i Rote [to you] from this [place.] i Send you the price list [of things] from [here] and good[s.] i Wanted you [to] come to Egal City but i think Dawson is the best Place for you if you bring any good[s] With you[.] Mrs Smith[,] i am Wating for you every day[.] i Have a Home For you So When you get to Dawson you Have a Home to go to and Some one to take good car of you and See that you [not] Want Wants For any thing as Long as you Stay in Dawson[.] Mrs. Smith[,] i was Sorry to Here that you Was Sik after going Home From the White Pass. i Have been … awl over the Country gitting Claim[s]. i Have Ennofe Claim[s] to give you Haft of them and Have Ennoufe Left[.] Mrs. Smith[,] … I [would] incourge you more on this Letter but … i Havent Seen you for along time And you mite change your Mind Since i Saw you Last on the White Pass[,] but i Hoop Not For i Would Like to See you once More And if you don’t Like Dawson i Will See that you git back to St Louis Mo, but i think that When you git to Dawson City that [you] Will Like the Plase and Wait till We have Ennofe money and come out togather for i [will] see that you Shell git the best of Car[e] While you are Here With me.

Mrs. Smith[,] i Will Have to bid you good day for this is No Night[.] Here it is awl day Lite Here. give My best Regard to the Little one and tell Jeffei that i got Some gold Nugette[s] Here for Him
And Some for you to[,] Mrs Smith[,] When i See you good by yours truly

Geo Light
[p.s.] if you Should come to Dawson When i am away[,] Call at the Liadeau Co Store [and] you Will find Where i am.

Mary Smith never visited Dawson City.

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Side B

pp. 586-87.


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