June 26 – July 9 1853

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June 1853

Sun 26       Dinner each           $
it raind heer late in the evening
supper for John                       $

Mo 27          Breckfast each       $
Clear cool but pleasant

Tu 28           Out hunting for gold

We 29            ‘       ‘                 ‘      ‘

Th 30             ‘       ‘                ‘       ‘

Fri 1 July      ‘       ‘                ‘       ‘

Sat 2           Moovd up to independence
bar1 & paid our bord each
for the week               11$        22.00
set up traughfs to wash dirt.2

Sun 3         let the water on

Mo 4           workd hard all day four
of us & mad 10$ in all–3

Tu 5           continued our work

We 6          made 8$ two last days

July 1853

Th 7            workd hard all day &
got 5$ in all

Fr 8              we closd out to day
with only 25$ 50 cts the
week for 4 of us, whitch
was a little over one half for our
board it be ing 48$ for the
week so I paid out

sat 9            for John & I $=11:25
& sold my pan for
1$ 75cts after dinner
we put on a clean shirt
that John had washd out with
soap & cold water as he had
done twice before & it was
well done we dont iron–
we then shouldered out blankets
& tools for new diggins

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  1. Consult the map for specific location.
  2. Most likely a sluice box, a trough-like device with riffles and other texturing along its bottom designed to catch gold. Miners would shovel soil and rocks into one end of the trough and allow flowing water to wash it through, leaving the heavier gold trapped in the riffles. Sluices could be laid flat in the a creek bed or operated on shore using water from a flume.
  3. A typical farm laborer might expect to make between $8 and $12 per month during this time, depending on where in the country they lived (Lebergott, pg 453) . Of course, it has been reported that “California farm hands in 1850 earned $60 per month, 400% above the rates in the Midwest.” (Lebergott, pg 452)