Mahlon Fairchild Manuscript
Scope and Contents
The collection contains a hardbound manuscript, approximately 1,000 pages in length, of reminiscences written by Fairchild between about 1910 and 1913 on his life, immigration west to California, details about Comstock mining, and his experiences in White Pine County. Some topics Fairchild discusses are: California placer mining, Placerville, Nevada City, Snowshoe Thompson, Mormonism, Hank Monk, and the Reveille Mining District, Additionally, newspaper clippings of Fairchild's obituary, a sketch of him, and other ephemera-like materials are pasted into the front of the journal.
In the 1960s, the manuscript was loaned to the California Historical Society. The CHS excerpted parts of the memoir for publication, but never published the complete work. The correspondence regarding the loan and publication is included with the collection.
- Fairchild, Mahlon, 1827-1913 (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild was born on September 7, 1827, in Oneonta, Otsego County, New York to Deborah Palmer and David Fairchild. From a young age, Fairchild was fascinated by the west. By 1844, he was in Michigan and, in 1846, he enlisted to fight in the Mexican-American War, although he never saw action. When the discovery of gold in California was reported, Fairchild quickly decided to make the cross-country journey. Joined by his father, the Fairchilds departed via steamship with ten other individuals comprising the Ganargwe Mining Company on March 15, 1849. After delays in finding passage from the Isthmus of Panama, both men set sail on May 9, 1849, landing in San Francisco Bay on July 21, 1849.
Almost immediately after arriving, the Fairchilds sailed up the river to Sacramento, bound for the mines. He spent the next decade working in mining and also in the newspaper business, of which was a family operation. By 1859, Fairchild was in Placerville, California where he heard about the mining opportunities in Nevada. In May of that year, Fairchild set out to cross the summit of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Fairchild spent the remainder of his life involved in mining. In 1866, he was one of the founding members of the Reville Mining District, located in Nye County, Nevada.
Mahlon Fairchild died in Oakland, California on April 18, 1913.
0.4 Linear Feet (2 folders)
Language of Materials
Mahlon Fairchild (1827-1913) was born in New York and immigrated to California during the 1849 gold rush. In May 1859, Fairchild relocated to Nevada, where he lived until his death. The collection contains a hardbound manuscript of reminiscences written by Fairchild between about 1910 and 1913 on his life, immigration west to California, details about Comstock mining, and his experiences in White Pine County.
Arranged without hierarchy.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Holabird-Kagin Americana in July 2010.
- Guide to the Mahlon Fairchild Manuscript
- Jessica Maddox
- March 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script