Bancroft left New York by steamer on February 24, 1852, arriving in San Francisco, via the Isthmus of Panama, on April 1. Though not quite twenty, Bancroft had been entrusted with an important consignment of books and stationery to sell for his brother-in-law, George H. Derby. While awaiting the arrival of the shipment, sent by clipper by way of Cape Horn, Bancroft and his good friend and fellow clerk, George L. Kenny, worked at a quartz mine at Long Bar and in a general merchandise store in Rich Bar.
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