1858 New Idria note from noted California 49er

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1858 New Idria note from noted California 49er
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This item SOLD at 2018 Mar 18 @ 12:51UTC-7 : PDT/MST
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This is an early 1858 note associated with early California mercury mining. Note to David Gibb of San Francisco to pay Mary Davis for $50. Signed by William Neely Thompson. Thompson was a true California 49er. He came to California on May 18th, 1849 on the ship the Grey Eagle. He joined the Society of California Pioneers on September 8, 1853. His occupation on their records is listed as "Miner", and his address as New York. He was part of the firm Blackburn & Thompson in San Francisco (c.1850), that appears to have been a lumber or building company. He also appears to have been in San Francisco during 1851. The community of New Idria was established to support the New Idra Mine, which mainly extracted mercury. Mercury mining at the location began in 1854. At one time, the New Idria mines were America's second most productive mines, with the New Almaden mines in the vicinity of San Jose, being the first. The discovery of mercury ore at New Idria came soon after the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills, which began the California gold rush. At that time, mercury was important in extracting gold from gold ore. Before the New Idria and New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, the mercury came almost exclusively from Europe. The town of New Idria began around 1857 and about 300 men were employed at the mine by 1861. The first school opened in 1867 and the New Idria Post Office opened in 1869, with Edward A. Morse as the first postmaster. The New Idria Mine closed in 1972 and the town was abandoned. [wikipedia / OAC] (Potter Collection) Date: 1858 Location: New Idria, California HWAC# 58375