November 20, 1863

Mayfield Santa Clara Co., Cal.

Dear Brother William,

Surprised doubtless you will be at receiving an epistle from you long absent Brother Charles. Yet I am determined to remind you that your prodigal brother yet exists and in the far off God Forsaken State of California, and a country pedagogue in the rural little village of Mayfield, where he pursues the “even tenor of his way.” […] I am begining  to come to the conclusion that I have so honed mine so as to turn out to be nothing but a “bounty school teacher – Bah! It realy  disgusts me. I grow richer and sicker of my business every day although I am getting very good wages. $811 per month. I am happy to hear of the prosperity that attends you and Malley. […]

I have been in California now over three years.  I have had a good many “ups and downs.” It would consume many sheets of paper for me to give you even a very slight sketch of my adventures, and they are many. Some amusing and some  – not quite – so much so to me.  Suffice it to say I have a very good position as teacher at present but how long I shall remain I hardly know. I can retain the position as long as I wish, but I am  working for something more lucrative. In fact I have almost made up my mind to go into Mexico in the Spring. If I make certain arrangements I shall be off in about two months. I have a number of friends there in the mining business.  ––– My health is very good. The climate of California is excellent. I often meet Maine men here + a number of Bowdoin College Students. I was in San Francisco and met on one of the street cars a College class mate of mine. He has been here only three months – You have no idea what a fast country California is. By that I mean immoral. You can have no conception of it. […]

Your affectionate Bro. C. S. McArthur

Charles McArthur to his brother, William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]