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Anson Williber Callen

Anson Williber Callen was born in New York state in 1832 and as a young man moved to Junction City, KS, with his wife. According to the family, "at least twice in his life he was a millionaire, but he spent it as quickly as he earned it. He had a great interest in fine jewelry and after each strike he had fabulous pieces of jewelry made." In the 1880s, Callen gave the watch to his daughter, Ella, and the chain to his son, Jacob. For each presentation, they were engraved. The watch, given to his daughter, has the inscription "A W Callen to his daughter E E Callen on the 16th anniversary of her birth April 19th 1886" and on the chain "To J B Callen on the 27th anniversary of his birth with love from his father "Old Grizzly" Junction City, Kansas September 22, 1885." In 1937, the back of the chain was inscribed to the donor.

 

 

 

 


"Sacramento," From The Days of ‘49

"Sacramento" from the recording entitled The Days of ’49: Songs of the Gold Rush , Folkways FH 5255, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. © 1957. Used by permission.

When news of finding gold (mostly exaggerated) came from Sutter’s Creek, men took off singly and in groups for "the promised land." Ships were chartered to make the long trip round the "Horn", and wagon trains were formed to cross the great western plains. As they made their way West, they sang this song with enthusiasm and jubilation, and as they made their way back, they added bitter stanzas which mirrored their disappointment. The version sung here is obviously from the early days when men dreamed of fantastic "strikes" and tremendous fortunes to be had for the "picking." When the gold rush fever died down, the song remained at sea where it was sung, with appropriate verses, as a captain shanty.

Partial Lyrics:
"…The gold is there most anywhere
We dig it out rich with an iron bar,
But where it is thick, with spade or pick
We take out chunks as big as a brick.

Then, Ho, boys Ho, to Californy-O,
There’s plenty of gold, so I’ve been told,
On the banks of the Sacramento

Then, Ho, boys Ho, to Californy-O,
There’s plenty of gold, so I’ve been told,
On the banks of the Sacramento.”

 



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