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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 35, August 27, 2000, Article 4

SAN FRANCISCO MINT VISITORS RECORDS 

   In response to last week's question about E. I. Barra's visit to 
   the San Francisco Mint, Mike Hodder writes: "One volume 
   of the SF Mint visitors book does survive. Entitled "Register 
   of Visitors to the Mint, 1854-1892", it is catalogued as 
   record 9.1 of the Preliminary (1995) Inventory of the Records 
   of the San Francisco Mint. It's in the National Archives - Pacific 
   Region (San Bruno, CA)." 

   Dave Bowers notes that "Barra was a Forty Niner in the 
   Gold Rush," and also points out that his collection was sold 
   by W. Elliot Woodward in 1865.   Your editor couldn't find a 
   reference to Barra in Adams, Durst, or Gengerke, but did 
   find a listing in Gengerke for a catalog by L. Keller of San 
   Francisco (2/19/1863, 512 lots, 24 pages, available in the 
   ANS library).  Lorraine Durst lists it as containing lots of 
   Roman coins, foreign coins, U.S. colonials, coins, and tokens. 

   A web search turned up this entry at the Oakland Museum 
   of California - it's a quote from Barra's journal, describing the 
   approach to San Francisco from aboard the Urania in 1849: 

  "on the larboard hand the green hills and deep valleys of the 
  Marin shore came into full view, gladdening the eyes of every 
  person on board On our starboard bow we saw a bluff jutting 
  into the bay on the [top] of which were two or three small 
  brass cannon. Rising far above the cannon was a tall flagstaff 
  from the top of which waved the glorious flag of our country As 
  we sailed into view our eyes were greeted with a sight that they 
  never have encountered since. Shipping in such numbers that it 
  was absolutely impossible to enumerate them; they looked to 
  us as if they were piled up one on top of the other." 
  http://www.museumca.org/goldrush/curriculum/4g/41110129.html 

   Your editor smells enough tangible clues to make for an 
   interesting research project. 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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