James Haun Diary, March 1856

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Saturday 1 – Cold as usual. Nothing doing. After dinner I went out to mend the hose. I put a patch on, but more sewing to be done.

Sunday 2 – A cold night. I finished a hose race this morning. Last night, one eye was badly gouged.
Miss Cleveland and Miss Russell McNabb and Sterling came to see us this P.M.
I wrote a letter to H.P. and mailed it. Dave, John and I was mending the hose this P.M. My lesson is the first Matthew.

Monday 3 – Cold last night and this morning. We are setting around the fire consulting. I, Dave and Shults went out to mine. I and Dave sewed on the hose till noon. Shults sluicing down.

P.M. We let the water on to pipe, but the hose soon tore. I put on a patch and we went at it again. We did not clean up.
I paid Duesler $39 yesterday; $35 for a hog, the rest on Jacks pants, whole amount $12—

Tuesday 4 – Cold last night. Icy about the diggins. We were at work soon Isaac Jennings came to the diggins and took dinner with us. He wants to sell me the American Ranch.
We cleaned up and got gold $32. Jennings went down to the Point.

Wednesday 5 – Cold last night. Breakfast over, we were ready to go to work.
Isaac Jennings came up, breakfasted. We two went out to the diggins and the hose ripped. I mended the hose. We all went to dinner.

P.M. I agreed to take the American Ranch and am to give $200 more, to be paid from 30 to 180 days, and paid $30 in dust for hay. I am to go over on Saturday next to close the trade. The amount due me on the mortgage is $3,686.

Thursday 6 – Cold last night, but more pleasant today.
I, Dave, and Bill were mining. The hose ripped a little. We cleaned up today and got gold $25.50. Lawyer Hogan and Firman was to see us to this evening, took supper and went home.

Friday 7 – Still cool last night. We were mining as usual. John and Bray came over this A.M. After dinner I went down to the Point in company with Bray and Shults; I stayed till sunset. John, Bill and Dave got gold $15.1

Saturday 8 – Not so cold. I and John started for Quincy. We were there all day.

P.M. One of the Massack diggers told me that if we did not let the water that was dispute out of our ditch he would release it and let the water in the old channel.
After supper I closed the trade with the Jennings for the American Ranch. I executed my three notes for $500 each, and one for $300, and one for $200, all to be paid in six months. We slept at the Ward Tavern and ate at the Jennings’.

Sunday 9 – The weather is still moderating. We put out for home and arrived at the diggins at 1:00 P.M. I then went down to the Point. The county hired W.R. Dickson to go over to the Massack diggins to take care of the ditch. My lesson was the 7th chapter of Matthew.

Monday 10 – After breakfast John started for Marysville. Dave, Bill and Shults went to mining. Bray and Dickson went over to Massack. After dinner my wife and Lizzy went over to Quincy with Firman. I went to the diggins to get company. I felt very much like we were parting again for sometime, but I hope not. We got gold $18.50.

Tuesday 11 – The boys to mining and I went to packing up provisions and other little notions.

P.M. Firman came. We packed two mules and one to ride between us. We arrived about sunset at Quincy.

Wednesday 12 – Again I was with my wife and Liz. In the A.M. I was looking over the ranch, the plowed ground and fencing, to see how much was ready for seed and so on. Firman brought us over another mule-load of flour.

Thursday 13 – I was measuring the plowed ground today.

P.M. I was called to set on a jury case. It was decided after night, in favor of the defendant. I received $3 as a jury fee. I paid Firman $20 for packing us over to Quincy.

Friday 14 – Raining last night and today with snow mixed with it in the valley and snowing on the mountains. Did not do anything today.

Saturday 15 – Cold last night and this morning. I was at work getting the hogs and other stock off the ranch.

P.M. I and Duesler was mending up the fence down the road to Wheeler’s Ranch.

Sunday 16 – Quite cold this morning. About 10 A.M. I and Duesler each got a mule and helped Jennings and I to drive his cows to Judkins and Cate’s ranch. Then we went  up to Massack diggins and saw Dickson. We got our dinners and John got blankets and boots and other clothing and went to the Illinois Ranch.
Duesler went home and I went to my old mountain cabins, all deserted and gone. I went in all the cabins but no one to be seen, the fires gone out. O, think what one week has done for this once happy group of inmates, if it was but for a short time.
I picked up my bible and read the 10th, 11th and 12th Chapters of Matthew.

I was till in hopes of someone coming home before dark, but no one is here save me.

Monday 17 – Shults came up from the Point early. He got breakfast. After putting things to rights I walked down to the Willow Ranch and got the mule that I left there overnight. I paid $1.50 for his keeping, and now on to the American Ranch. I met Dave and Bill 1 1/2 miles from our cabins. After consulting a short time I gave Bill $10 to bear his expenses to Marysville any mule hire to Firman $10.

Tuesday 18 – I was looking around to see what could be done and putting up the fences. We got gold last week $41.

Wednesday 19 – Ed Linton came over early with his oxen and wagon to help me sew some grain. I had to send him to Judkins for 1050 pounds of seed, plow and harrow, which he brought by noon. In the P.M. we did some plowing.

Thursday 20 – I had the plow pointed and sharpened early, cost $3. I commenced sewing wheat, and, in the P.M. to harrowing it in as we got done plowing.

Friday 21 – I sent Linton after 100 pounds wheat, as there had been a mistake against me. Finished sewing this piece of ground in the P.M. and commenced sewing barley the rest of the day.

Saturday 22 – By noon we had put in all the seed we had.

P.M. I sent Linton after 600 pounds more seed. He returned after dark.

Sunday 23 – All the past week my left shin has been getting very sore just below the knee. It is inflamed and swelled very much. I continued up most of the day. Late in the P.M. I was compelled to lie down, being in so much pain. I gave W.R. Dickson $5 on Tuesday evening last.

Monday 24 – Suffered very much last night and today. Linton came to work, but I got him to go after Dr. Cate at Betsy Town. Took medicine; had quite a fever all day. I paid Curlin $2 for putting up a shelf and lock on the door upstairs last week.

Tuesday 25 – I was quite sick last night, and no better this morning. The doctor came. He left more medicine and directions. Nothing can be done for my  leg but to keep it cool with sugar of lead2 water.

P.M. Rains arrived with two yoke of cattle from Marysville. H.P. sent me and $20 he gave to Bill to bear expenses up, and $12 more to be paid on the road.

Wednesday 26 – Rested very little last night. Took a blue pill3 this morning. Was very sick all day. Dave came over this morning. The doctor came to see me twice today. Rains rested today.

Thursday 27 – I rested better last night and feel a  little better this morning. Rains went to Judkins’ and got a plow for breaking sod. We had it sharpened at the cost of $2 and gave $1 to get a broom.

P.M. Rains got Elliot to help him to plow, but it is too hard for two yoke of cattle to pull. The doctor came and said he would have to lance my leg on tomorrow. Dave went home.

Friday 28 – I’ve rested better. It has commenced to rain and continued more or less all day. John came up yesterday and was over to see us today. He did not get his money but says that Bub will get it for him by the 15th of April. Rains has been hauling rails all day.

P.M. the doctor lanced my leg. It took two cuts to finish. Rather a severe operation. A quantity of matter let out &c.

Saturday 29 – Still raining. John went over to the digging to set things a-moving again, about right.
Shults came over to see us this P.M. I signed his bond for $150 to Musgrave for three months commencing April 1st 1856.
The doctor was to see me and said he would call in a few days again. The butcher came. I paid him for beef $5.25, and am now up to date. Rains was hauling rails most of the day and made Liz a bedstead.
It has been snowing at intervals.

Sunday 30 – The storm is on the increase. It is snowing very fast at times. Rains went over to the diggins. Shults stayed all day with us. I’ve improved very much. I got out of bed and went in the kitchen. I sat up a long time after supper. Rains got home. It was snowing very fast this evening.

Monday 31 – I slept sound from after 10 till daylight. I got up went in to the kitchen, ate breakfast, dressed my leg, and remained setting up. Rains is hauling rails. Not much rain or snow falling, rain at intervals. Shults has gone home. Rains got one yoke of oxen to work of John Terwilliger yesterday evening. At noon is started raining considerably and in the P.M. the sun shone out handsome till quite late, then raining again. I continued up all day.

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  1. John Haun reports that on this date, James purchased the American Ranch for $5,716.
  2. Another name for lead acetate. In the 19th century it was widely used as a sugar substitute, despite its toxicity. It is still in use today in manufacturing, and as a dye.
  3. Also known as ‘blue mass’ a popular remedy at the time used to treat a range of disorders. The mediation was mercury based and continued use can result in poisoning.