Looking for Mr. Prentice Mulford

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I am researching the almost forgotten figure of Prentice Mulford, who wrote for the Daily Chroncle, Golden ERA, AND LIVED ON A WHALEBOAT in NORTH BEACH WITH THE WRECKS OF ABANDONED WHALING SHIPS....KNOWN AS THE COLUMNIST "Dogberry" he was friends with Mark Twain, Bret Harte,Charles Warren Stoddard, and perhaps Emporer Norton.Any guidance would be super..............

-- Alex Streeter (ASTREET152@aol.com), October 30, 1998


The UC libraries' on line catalog has 23 listings under "Prentice Mulford." Might be a good place to start.

-- dorothy (leland@dcn.davis.ca.us), October 30, 1998.

I recently obtained the book set White Cross Library-Thought Forces-How To Use Them. Mulford's writings parellel some of the Rosicrucian writings of Paschal Beverly Randolph (African-American) who founded Rosicrucian lodges in SF in the late 1870's and Freeman B. Dowd who was also a Randolph initiate. My theory is that Mulford was possibly a Rosicrucian, a Randolphian Rosicrucian.

-- Bruce Lee Webb (bwebbtx@earthlink.net), December 03, 2001.

He is forgotten in this era but in his era he was quite well known. You are in luck on this one because there is quite a bit of stuff out there on this guy. In fact, I even saw a photo of him once. He also wrote an autobiography which I have never seen. -- Prentice Mulford came to San Francisco on one of the later waves of the initial Gold Rush hoping to score it big. I believe he was just about 21 years old as so many of the initial gold rushers were practically teenagers. In San Francisco he did some odd jobs to get enough money together to buy equipment to go up to the Gold Fields but found the work extremely difficult and not fit for his short light body. Every gold miner there was complained about how hard the work was. He then ran for mayor in Tuolumne because he loved to give speeches were too flamboyant and insincere and so he lost the election. He caught the eye of a number of people including the editor and publisher of the Golden Era which was a weekly newspaper started in 1852 that focussed on literary works and costs 12 cents an issue. Later he also wrote for the Overland Monthly and Daily Chronicle and several other papers. He wanted more piece and quiet than he got living in the heart of the city at the Occidental Hotel so he moved to the quietest and safest place he knew -- to a whaling boat in the bay. -- He became much interested in spiritualism which included life after death, psychic powers, seeing the future, telepathy, time travel and the occult. It is said that he had an influence on Mark Twain who came to San Francisco later on in the mid 1860s. If so, you can certainly see that in a lot of Twain's writings. -- He became good friends with Warren Stoddard another famous writer and poet. Stoddard then actually included him as a character in one of his novels. -- After traveling to Europe he settled in New Jersey for many years until finally moving to New York where he stayed until he died. That's about all I know about him.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com), December 03, 2001.

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