James Haun Diary, November 1854

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Wednesday 1 – Cool and clear. I and the Johns got gold $35.50. Shaw and Lawrence got $5 in the last three days. They are a-going to move their boxes in the morning to a new place.

Thursday 2 – I and the Johns got gold $77.50. Shaw and Lawrence is at work in the foot of the same ravine that we are. They are running a cut in to strike the bedrock. The weather is clear, and not so cool as it was, and very pleasant indeed, and calm.

Friday 3 – Delightful weather. I and the Johns got gold $199.50, one piece with a hole in it  weighs 5 3/4 oz and $.50. That will do good enough. Shaw and Lawrence is still working at the foot of the ravine. They will put in boxes tomorrow to see if there is gold to be had, &c. —

Saturday 4 – Warm and clear, very pleasant. I and John were sluicing off. We gold gold $2. In the P.M. Lloyd rocked out the box that we panned out at the house and got gold $39.50. We washed out the sand bottle and got $6.50, in all $38.50.
Shaw and Lawrence has run a deep cut in the same ravine that we are at work in down, at the foot. They got some gold but it was not weighed.

Sunday 5 – Shaw and Lawrence went over to the American Valley early. While there, they saw a Mexican that had helped to kill three Chinamen on Friday night last. The other Mexican got away.1
I and John fixed up our fireplace and daubed some of the cracks. Late in evening, big Das came by to sell me the sawmill. He said he was a-going to start home in the morning. I did not buy it. We divided out $97 to the sluice box.
My lesson is the 5th Chapter, First Epistle General of Peter.

Monday 6 – Before day I and John started to the American Ranch to attend court. The sun had just rose before we got there. The court was in session. About noon my case was called, but was laid over for Vaughn, and finally postponed until tomorrow for his witnesses. John and I went over to Sister Betsey’s where we stayed all night. For supper lodging and breakfast $4.

Tuesday 7 – We went back to court early, but it was near noon before court opened. Five witnesses were examined for Vaughn and one for me. The case was argued and submitted and a verdict brought in against me. I and John then started for home. The sun had quite set. We traveled most of the way in the dark, as the moon had not rose. We put ourselves through in good time. I paid for our dinners yesterday $2, and paid Buck $1.50 for milk. A balance for the company.

Wednesday 8 – Up before day as usual. Did some mending on my pants. Called John. We got breakfast and then went to mining.
A warm pleasant day. John and I went to piping. We got gold $28.50. Lloyd and Lawrence have been at work since Monday in the foot of the ravine and have got but little gold. Shaw started below on Monday about noon on business.
I put a piece of blanket on the foot of my socks to make them stand winter use, &c.

Thursday 9 – I and John had to reset our boxes and fix up the riffles. It was near noon by the time we got ready for washing. After noon we let on the water. I was washing away tailings. We got gold $23. Lloyd and Lawrence done better. The gold is not weighed yet.

Friday 10 – Last night I dreamed that I picked up a quantity of gold, several large pieces, until I had filled my pants pockets and vest pockets, &c.
The weather is delightful. I’ve not experienced a solitary gale of wind, to say nothing of a storm, since I’ve been in California. It is calm and still. John and I got gold $37. Lloyd and Lawrence have not weighed. Cool nights and warm days. A man wanted to sell turnips at $8 per hundred— we can’t afford it.

Saturday 11 – I and John cleaned up the boxes and got gold $9. We then fixed for sluicing off the top dirt and tailings. In the afternoon Deputy Sheriff Neal came and levied on my diggins and tools &c. but he left without taking any of the things away because I said that Shaw would take charge of my share of the money that would be taken out for a few days. One of our boxes got injured by a fork breaking down from the weight of rock and gravel stopping in them.

Sunday 12 – Early, after breakfast, Lawrence and I went down to the Point to see if there was any letters. We did not get any. We came home to dinner.

P.M. I did some mending on John’s pants. I suppose it was near midnight last night that I dreamed that my wife had come. I thought she came out to where I was at work and said, I’ve come. I thought I said, I did not expect you so soon, &c. John mailed a letter to his ma this evening. My lesson is the first chapter of Revelations. The letter cost 25 cents. Black thread, 25 cents.

Monday 13 – I and John were out sluicing. Just at noon the hose busted. I went down to the Point and got two needles gave to me. I went home and mended the hose and we went to work again. I am up late tonight, &c. Just ate supper. I mended the pants John brought from Kentucky. I lined them and put two large patches in front and one behind. They have all gone to bed and had a good sleep. I eat and sleep when it suits me, and no one to complain.

Tuesday 14 – Shaw came from Onion Vally, a distance of 7 miles, before sunrise. I John and Shaw worked together, and an Englishman that came up with Shaw worked with us. He said he would work for us for grub. We got gold $6.
I set up late mending my shirt. I mended the sleeves and put a cover on the back, all over.

Wednesday 15 – Beautiful weather, cool nights and warm days, though it was somewhat cloudy today. I, John, Shaw and the Englishman got gold $33.50. We have been striping off top dirt. Lloyd and Lawrence is still getting gold. They don’t weigh.

Thursday 16 – I dreamed last night of asking Susan Wallace if she would not marry. I thought she told me there was too many pains and aches in a married life. I then dreamed of kissing another woman that I had met in my travels. I forgot who she was &c — Four of us got gold $60. Lloyd and Lawrence is stripping. Beautiful weather.

Friday 17 – Four of us got gold $99.50. Lloyd and Lawrence were stripping &c.

Saturday 18 – I, Shaw and Lloyd started for the American Valley early this morning for the purpose of taking an appeal in the suit with Vaughn. Shaw and Lloyd stood as securities. We took five picks along and had them sharpened, cost $2.75. I paid my lawyer $25 more.
Lawrence and the Englishman worked together, but did not make much. John was at work by himself and took out $97.50, one piece that weighed $55.
It clouded up this morning, but the sun shone at intervals all day. It commenced raining about sunset, though lightly.
I and John are sitting in the cabin taking our ease. He is trying to play a new tune on his fiddle and I’ve wrote this down.

Sunday 19 – Clear and warm. I went down to the Point early and got a letter for John from John Stevens dated October 2nd2 giving an account of Thomas Ridsdale going crazy and his death. Also, the starving condition of the poor in the county and cheapness of young hogs &c. We paid $1 for the letter. We divided our dust for the last two weeks, and we got $211 to our part.
John washed four shirts and one pair drawers. My lesson was Revelations Chapter 15.

Monday 20 – The weather is delightful. Four of us was working together. We’ve hired John Bull at $2 per day. We got gold $58.50. Lloyd and Lawrence is not making much as yet, &c.

Tuesday 21 – Warm and pleasant. We are in the habit of breakfasting by first light and at work by sunrise. Four of us took out $60.50, the other two are stripping.

Wednesday 22 – It commenced drizzling before daylight this morning. We were at our work quite early, and got gold $82.50. It continued to rain a little all day. At 8 o’clock tonight the stairs are shining out again.

Thursday 23 – Cloudy all day but no rain. The four of us got gold $6.50. Lloyd and Lawrence have not made anything this week. The weather is quite warm.

Friday 24 – Cleared off this morning. Warm and pleasant all day. We had the balance of the grub we had engaged sent to us that we, $98 worth. We got gold $54.50.
After supper I and Shaw went down to the Point, but did not get any letters. Something is wrong.

Saturday 25 – Clear and pleasant. We get to work before sunrise, as the days are quite short. Four of us got gold $98.

Sunday 26 – Up before day. Cloudy and rained a little, but a beautiful day. After breakfast Shaw and I went down to the Point. We paid William Limberman $98 for the balance of our grub that was brought up Friday last. We then divided out $83.50 to each share after paying expenses. I paid my lawyer Hunley $25 more, in all $75. Horatio Cross came home with me. We took dinner and walked around our diggins &c. After he left we got some wood. My lesson is the 1st Chapter of Matthew.

Monday 27 – Clear and delightful weather. We all was at work before sunrise, cutting a ditch to halt water seepage and to fill our pipe, and setting boxes in the A.M.

P.M. four of us got gold $21. After supper Lawrence and I went down to the Point, I to see that my papers had been sent by the county clerk for an appearance in the case with Vaughn. They have not been sent —
Paid $1 for whiskey, &c.

Tuesday 28 – I started for the Plumas County Court early. On my arriving I found that my papers has been given the evening before to Russell. I left the seat of county at noon and got home sometime before sunset. Shaw, John and the Englishman got gold $52.50. They found out a channel of gold on the left bank, as we go up. It seems to be quite rich.

Wednesday 29 – Up before day. I washed my socks and feet, they being a little sore from yesterday’s walk. I am making arrangements to be off to Sacramento before sunrise this morning with the Englishman in company. We stopped at the Point, got my papers, and paid the clerk’s fee bill of $32 to Roots. I then paid Squire McNall $5 for is hiring a warrant against Goodshall. We then started up the hill and made Grass Vally. Took dinner at half past one o’clock. Dinner cost $1. We then stopped at Feese, a distance of 33 miles. I did not take supper. It hailed some before I went to bed, &c. Quite cloudy.

Thursday 30 – Breakfast $1. Took dinner at the New York Ranch for $1, and left my Englishman there. This afternoon I saw the pine tree that I, John and my Virginia friend slept under the night 19th June 1853. I put up at the Stanfield Ranch. I covered a distance of 35 to 40 miles today. Supper 75 cents —

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  1. On the morning of November 1 1854 four Chinese men traveling from Elizabethtown to Marysville were attacked. Three were murdered, the fourth was wounded, but able to hide. The bodies were discovered and the authorities notified shortly after; two Mexican travelers were suspected. By the time the Mexicans rode into Quincy that evening, the sheriff was already awaiting them. Seeing the authorities, the two men fled. Bullets were exchanged, and the sheriff’s horse was hit in the neck, allowing one of suspects time to escape. The other man, Jacinto Arro, was caught and arrested. Though initially found guilty of robbery and assault at a trial in Quincy, a subsequent trial in Yuba county resulted in Arro’s ultimate release (Fariss and Smith, pg 215).
  2. Not included in this collection.