November 27, 2015
November 27, 1852. In Auburn, Wells Fargo agent John Q. Jackson experienced California culture shock. "I returned from a ball a few days ago, after attending a very pleasant night in company with the first ladies of the County," he wrote to his father in Petersburg, Virginia. He explained, "Balls, I believe, have nearly gone out of fashion in Virginia; they are in high favour here, and ladies will go any distance to attend." He hoped that the Placer County seat would host at least a half dozen of these dances during the winter. "Working Sundays, [as well as] in the week night and day, with but little recreation, is entirely too fatiguing without some pleasant excitement occasionally to break through the monotony." Some 20 years previously, easterners had protested mail coaches running on Sundays and delivering letters and newspapers to village post offices--the U.S. Mails disrupted quiet, ordered rural life, a day set aside for God, and a time for general socializing. Now, wrote Jackson, "two thirds of the business done in Auburn is transacted on Sunday." He added, "A few weeks ago, a move was made to have business stopped on Sunday, but as yet there is no real step taken -- except the Post Office being closed on that day."