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Moses Rodgers

Moses Rodgers (? -1890), mining engineer and owner of several mines in California, was born a slave in Missouri. He seized every opportunity he could to obtain an education, giving special attention to mathematics and engineering. Arriving in California in 1849 at the peak of the gold rush, he was highly successful in working his claims. With this gold, he was able to purchase mines at Hornitos, Mariposa County, California. One of the first carloads of machinery to arrive in the state was consigned to the mines at Mount Gains in Mariposa County; Moses Rodgers, as the superintendent, guaranteed that the mind would be worked on a paying basis.

            To establish his family where the children could be educated, he built an attractive house in Stockton, where boring for a gas well, he spent thousands of dollars until he finally reached the source.

            Moses Rodgers almost lost his fortune when he acted as a bondsman for a bank cashier in Merced. This man, accused of a discrepancy in his accounts, committed suicide before his trial. Rodgers had to make good the shortage in the account and lost as much as $30,000 in the case. Despite this loss, he left his family comfortable because he still had a few of his mines intact. The Merced Star, carrying an account of his death, stated: He was an expert in his line and his opinion was always sought by intending purchasers of mines. He was a man of honor and his word was as good as his bond.”


Source: International Library of Negro Life and History by Wilhelmena S. Robinson, Publishers Company, Inc., New York, Washington, London under the auspices of The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1967).*Black has been substituted for the word “Negro” originally used in this citation or the word “Negro” is used in its historical context of respect.








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