Skip to main content

Mathias Slaten letter

Identifier: 1967-0266M

Scope and Contents

The letter was written by Mathias Slaten while he was at Gregory's Diggins, Colorado, and is addressed to his wife, Bethena Elizabeth Adams, who was at the family home in Georgia. The letter reports Mathias' attempt to earn money in mining or other work near what later became Denver, Colorado. The location where Mathias wrote from was named for John H. Gregory of Georgia, who discovered gold in Colorado on May 6, 1859.

In his letter, Mathias mentions William Green Russell, Mer Willis, and Washington Kiker. Slaten went west in March-April, and the trip took 42 days. This was probably in 1860 because his son was already born, yet there is no direct mention of the Civil War. Mathias appears on the 1860 census with his family but may not have actually been present. This letter was the last that Mathias' wife ever heard from him.


  • 1859


Biographical / Historical

Mathias was the son of Mourning and John Yarbrough Slaten (variously spelled Slatten, Slaton, Slatton, and Slayton) of South Carolina. The family moved to Georgia where they were living in in Gordon County, Georgia, in 1860. Mathias married Bethena Elizabeth Adams, and they had a son, Andrew Jackson, who was born in June 1859. The same year, Mathias traveled west to Colorado in search of gold. On the return trip, Mathias and the party he was traveling with were allegedly killed in Oklahoma.


1 items

Language of Materials


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia Archives Manuscript Collections Repository

5800 Jonesboro Rd
Morrow GA 30214 United States