George W. Tyrer went to the California Gold Rush in 1850’s, for Don Fieldhouse has a photocopy of a letter that George had written to his family from Cherokee, Nevada Co., Calif.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Father and Mother, brothers and sisters,
I once more take the opportunity to write a few lines to let you know that Asa [Edward Asa] and me still in good health, hoping that these few lines will find you all in the same state of health. This is the third letter that I have written since I have received anything from you. I think I should not have written so soon, but I had this sheet of paper gave to me and I thought I would send it to you so as you might see the different modes of mining. [A flyer was enclosed with letter].
Robbing and murder is so common that it is not noticed unless there is strong payoff. There is a man in this vicinity by the name of Bell, that there is a $2000 reward offered for him, dead or alive. They gave him several boat chases. The deputy shot 3 fair shots at him, not more than 300 feet, he _ (word unreadable) _ that Bell has a armor on to prevent the balls from penetrating to his skin. This Bell robbed a teamster about two weeks ago of 300 dollars. He did not hurt the teamster. There has been several men found dead with ballshot in some part of the body. All of the suspicion is resting on Bell for being the murderer.
I received a letter last spring with some of Adaline’s condiments and a specimen of her needlework as a token of kindness and love for me and as which gladened my heart to think that I had one sister out of 10 brothers and sisters that would give me a scratch of their pen. Adaline said in her letter that she wishes I would send my daguerreotype. I can not send my daguerreotype for I look so much like the devil that she would not write anymore. So I will try by sending the description of my person. I am chief cook and pot master, my pants are slick with grease and my shirt nearly the same and my hair long and has not been combed since New Years. I have not been shaved since August 1853. I have been looking in the glass and this is as near my likeness as I can scratch it with a pen.
Asa has been gathering some flowers and says I must send some to you. So I will try no more at present. Give my respects to all inquiring friends and my love to all relatives. Please write as soon as you receive this.
George W. Tyrer