June 23 – 26 1853

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June 1853

Th 23          upper    each 1$   2 00

Fr 24           Breckfast    ”     1$   2 00
1 pair blankets           —    8 00
1 pan Iron for wash gold 2 00
6 lbs meat & bread 2.40
Old virginia John & I started up
N. Creek to prospect.  We called a hault
at independence 2 1/2 miles at noon
we crosd N. Creek & took up Diskson
Creek washed out several pans &
got the couler every pan.1 Old vir
ginia said it would not do.  We
came down again N.  Creek &
took tea.  Our supper consisted of
soda crackers cold roast beef &
midlen meet & water.  We spread
our blankets & down we lay for
the night.  O that hard bed ——-

June 1853

Sat 25        Our breckfast was of the
same, that ours supper, consul
tation.  Crosd N. Creek & commen
cd paning out.  We got the cou
lor but old virginia said it
would not pay so we put for
the mouth N. Creek.  Took dinner
& supper of the same, stopd at the
inn eat Breckfast

Sun 26       each of us &
I washed some of my colths
& shaved & wrote my fourth
letter to my wife.  & John added
a few lines & gave it to the exp
ress man.  I paid him 25 cts to
put it in the office at M ville.
Colowdy all day.  It snowd
an inch or 2 deep on the moun
tain travler says.

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  1. When panning, miners would place dirt and gravel in the bottom of the pan, add water, and gently shake the pan back and forth, loosening the gravel and soil and allowing the heavier gold to sink to the bottom of the pan. When the water became cloudy, the miners would gently pour out the muddy water and resume with fresh. This process would be repeated about 10 or 20 times. The miner would then rinse the bigger rocks and pebbles and discard them.

    In the next step, the miner would continue shaking the pan, this time tilting it to the side so that any gold might sink to the crease where the sides of the pan meets its base. From there, the miner would begin “washing.” Holding the pan almost perpendicular to the water, he would submerge it and then gently lift it out of the water, letting the top layers of dirt and gravel slide away.

    When only the finest sand was left in the pan, the miner would add a small amount of water and gently rotate, causing the sand to wash to one side of the pan, leaving the heavier gold beached on the opposite end. After several rounds of this, the gold would be isolated from the majority of the remaining sand. At that point, gently wobbling the pan with a very small amount of water would enable the miner to separate the last of the gold.