James Haun Diary, August 1853

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Monday 1, Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3, Thursday 4 – The fourth night, I dreamed I was in Georgetown and saw you as plain as could be, well and hearty in Mrs. Pratt’s room. I shook hands with Mrs. Pratt. You said to me to go to your room. I then woke up.

Friday 5 – I dreamed of being there again, but do not recollect particulars.

Saturday 6 – At work on the ditch.

Sunday 7 – We all went to Nelson Creek except John and had somewhat of a disturbance and afterwards a fight between an Irishman and an Englishman. The first named proved the best.

Monday 8 – The difficulty is not settled yet. John bought out Major Brookie’s claim for $50 down and $200 in sixty days and expenses included.

Tuesday 9 – We all went to work this morning except B.I. Mathews. He lost all the week by sickness. In the afternoon we took up another water claim.

Wednesday 10, Thursday 11, Friday 12, Saturday 13 – We blocked off work at noon. John had to wash two shirts each, after a fashion.

Sunday 14 – Five of us shouldered our guns to hunt the head water of the branch of the creek that we took up to see if we could turn it in the other branch that we are at work on.

Monday 15 – We are still at work on the ditch and are getting along well.

Tuesday 16 – Dug a rattlesnake out of the ditch. John received a letter from you on Sunday 14 of, date June 9th.1

Wednesday 17 – The weather is beautiful, all sunshine. A breeze springs up every day to keep it pleasant.

Thursday 18 – The snow continues on the mountains. We are camped within 2 or 3 miles. I see it every day, when I look that way.

Friday 19 – Ate pork and beans in consequence of which dreamed that I was in Georgetown at General Pratt’s. A large collection of people seemed to be passing about all through the house, and you, my wife, seemed to pay but very little notice of me.

Saturday 20 – We finished digging our ditch and let the water in. Had a supper of tea, bacon and bread. Six of the company went to the Point and got drunk and got back after midnight.

Sunday 21 – All hands at camp sitting around a watermelon that cost 5$. I’ve had as good for 25 cents.

Monday 22 – I commenced to make sluice boxes to run the dirt through to catch the gold.
To 1/2 quire letter paper, $.50

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 – We finished one set of sluice boxes and set them.

Thursday 25 – We commenced washing for gold. We got today about $8.

Friday 26 – We got about $30.00. Cloudy all day.

Saturday 27 – We about $12.00. Cloudy all day.
I was the balance of the week making another set of sluice boxes. It thundered powerful and the lightning seemed to blind me as it was right before me on Saturday night and rained a very small shower. Not enough. Came through my bark roof bed.
On Thursday night the 25th there was a ball given by Dr Vaughn and his partner at the mouth of Nelson Creek on a sand bar. They built a temporary house and danced all night. Had about 15 ladies. John went down to see after supper and got a letter from wife of date June 27, 18532 giving an account of death of her brother James Hurst and Mrs Smarr.

Sunday 28 – One hour before sunrise. John is getting breakfast while I am setting in my bunk writing down the past events of the week with my wife’s letter before me. John and I went down before noon and cut more grass to fill up my tick. This evening the company has split up into two messes, 3 in one 3 in another. I and John in the last. Supper is quite ready.
Wrote my 5th letter to my dear wife —

Monday 29 – The men divided off into messes. John and I went down to Nelson Creek after quitting work and packed up our provisions and a hard pack in the dark.

Tuesday 30 – Two of the men startled a grisly going to their work about 150 yards from our tent. We had four guns but could not get to see him.

Wednesday 31 – Our digging is not goof this week.

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  1. Martha Haun’s letter of June 9 1853 has been preserved and is available here.
  2. Martha Haun’s letter of June 27 1853 has been preserved and is available here.