Written by Beverly Williams
Submitted by Ed Schultz
Charles Warren Haskins, the son of Reed and Mary Ann Hill Haskins, was born in 1825 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His grandfather Shubel Haskins immigrated from Wales in 1796 with his brothers Joel and Salmon to New York. Charles had an older sister Caroline Frances Haskins. On June 12, 1825, his mother died.
In 1827 Reed married Sarah Hill, the sister of his first wife. Charles had nine stepbrothers and sisters.
Charles was raised in New Bedford. On April 3, 1849, he was on the ship America sailing for San Francisco, California, to become a miner in the gold fields. He soon settled in Placerville, California. By 1851, he decided to return to New Bedford to become married.
His bride, Elaphel O. Brownell, the daughter of Frederick Brownell, was also born and raised in New Bedford. She and Charles were married in Boston, on October 29,1851. They soon went overland to Placerville, California.
At Smith's Flat, which is near Placerville, they settled down and had their family. Their four children, William S., Elizabeth Malvina, Harriet Burton, and Caroline Louise were all raised there and attended school there.
During this time, Charles Haskins owned a mine, a general store, and a farm. He organized a military guard on October 3, 1863.
By 1886 Charles and Elaphel moved to Oakland, California. During the winter of 1887-1888, Charles was with his son William, a mining engineer, in Kingston, Idaho. While there he wrote the book The Argonauts of California. In this book, he told the story of the gold rush days in California. The second half of the book contains the names of 36,000 immigrants to California in 1849. They are listed by the ship in which they arrived or by the wagon train in which they traveled across the country. This book is valuable as a reference book for researchers and scholars studying that period of history.
Charles died in 1904 and Elphel in 1902. Their descendents have spread out across the United States from New York to Hawaii.