Tag Archives: claim dispute

May 1856

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Thursday 1 – Some ice froze this morning, but it commenced storming. Snow and rain at intervals in the A.M.
Several ladies came over from the American Valley to the ball at Fox’s. Among them were my wife and Liz.
We bought the cook stove from Ed Bass at $40. It took four of us to carry it down to our new cabin. After supper we all went up to the Point to the ball. I stayed all night and slept with my wife—what a time I did sleep!
I gave Frank Goble $5. No work done in our diggins in the last two days on account of rain it has not been safe to drift.

Friday 2 – Snowed some last night, and snowing at intervals today. We all moved into our new cabin today. The inside is lined with canvass. The bunks were finished today, bolts and latches made of wood were put on the doors, and the boys are all gone to bed. I am alone, sitting by the stove making this entry.
I was up at the Point this P.M. and helped my wife off for the valley with the rest of the crowd that was over at the ball.

Saturday 3 – Cold and frosty last night. I, Dave, Kyler, and Len went up to the Point to help Sherwin on the flume. We went up to the mill, but no Sherwin. We went down to his house and found him asleep. I got him up and we all went to work the rest  of the day.

Sunday 4 – Cold and frosty last night. Us four went to work on the flume for Sherwin. Rains, John and Joe came up the flume to see me to get directions for the ranch. John and Joe got gold __$ this week.

Monday 5 – Cold and frosty last night again. I slept with Shults—rather crowded but the best I can do at present. Us four went to work for Sherwin today. Its getting along quite slow. There is a lack of tools, so we have to wait on each other. I’ve been patching up some work that was done the week before last. I am in hope there will be no more of that sort.
John and Joe came down to Rocky Bar early. Joe on his way to Marysville and John off to the American Ranch, so the old mountain diggins is deserted at last, I hope only for a short time.
Quite warm this P.M. for the first time.

Tuesday 6 – Nights are not so cold. Days are getting warm. The four of us are at work on the flume, besides three other men.

P.M. Sherwin came over from the valley and brought me a letter from H.P. dated April 26th.1 Clouded up and rained a very little. Sherwin helped us on the flume and says that 5 or 6 hands is enough for tomorrow.

Wednesday 7 – I left the boys at work on the flume. I went up to the Point and mailed a letter to H.P., cost 25 cents. I gave 25 cents for four boxes of matches. A. Morehead gave me a pair of pantaloons. Shults sent Liz a dress pattern, and Morehead loaned me a mule to ride over to the ranch. I arrived in time to dine with my wife. In the P.M. I and John worked at building a plank fence.

Thursday 8 – Bill went up to the mill after lumber to finish making a plank fence. He got 511 pounds of potatoes of Havland. It was late before he returned.
I and John was making a fence. It rained some this P.M., with thunder and lightning.

Friday 9 – Foggy this morning. I and John were working at the fence. We finished our part this afternoon. It rained quite a shower about noon. Bill made a load of stakes and hauled them. After dinner, he set stakes till night.

Saturday 10 – A storm started early last night—thunder and lightning with a heavy shower of rain and hail. I and John were putting up fence this A.M. In the P.M. all three of us worked at the plank fence and made a finish of it about dark. I received $2 for ranching.

Sunday 11 – The weather is quite warm and pleasant. In the P.M. John and Bill started for the diggins and drove Terwilliger’s yoke of cattle home that we had borrowed, or hired. Soon after they started, Kyler came over from Rocky Bar and then Sam Baloo. He came over for the purpose of having our Sockum Ditch surveyed.

Monday 12 – No frosts of nights, but warm days. Baloo and three other men went and surveyed the ditch. I was starting my new plank fence.

P.M. I was assisting our lawyer to answer a complaint in law. Later Bob Elliott turned in one yoke to be ranched at $4 per month a-head. My wife and Liz went to a concert this evening.
I paid Cross $.50 for smithing.

Tuesday 13 – I was staking plank fence and putting strips on it.

P.M. I and Duesler went to Chapman’s to see a cow, but did not like it. I paid Willman & Co. $60 on account for store goods.

Wednesday 14 – Cold and frosty last night. I was engaged today in making square wash tubs. Bradberry turned a mule on the ranch today. Kyler stopped with us tonight on his way to Rocky Bar.

Thursday 15 – Warm and pleasant again. I and my wife were making a garden.

P.M. I paid Frank Goble $8.50, making in all $48.50 for 21 days work. I collected $40 for ranching 21 head of sheep – Rayes’.

Friday 16 – I planted some melon seed and made two dressing tables to put up stairs. I collected $1 for mule ranching and $3 for the hire of a yoke of oxen yesterday. I paid $4 for a hand saw and made a sliding gate to open into the  pasture, and planted six beach kernels on the west side chicken lot.

Saturday 17 – Days are quite warm. I made wheels and put them on two gates.

P.M. paid $1.75 for coffee. Made handles to a plough all to finishing. I and Myres went Phillips’ security for $500 in a suit-at-law to the supreme court. John and Bill came over this evening.

Sunday 18 – I collected for ranching stock, of Bass $6, of Barnett $2.50, of Willman, on horse $1.50, on sheep $2.25. I also paid Willman $42.75 balance on account in the store, in all $102.75.
I, Bill, John, and my wife took a walk down on the ranch; we returned about noon. Liz went up to Meadow Valley in company with Tro Ward2 and returned.

Monday 19 – Cloudy this morning and rained a considerable shower in the P.M. I finished my plow handles. Bill hauled a load of planks for Garland and Robertson. One of the bands came off the wheel and Crofts put it on again, cost $2, I gave Hundley $25 to pay witness fees and paid Harlan $31 for potatoes. I received $5 of of Garland for hauling and let Bill have $1.

Tuesday 20 – Cool and cloudy. I and Bill commenced to lay out the garden in three foot rows, and to plant potatoes and other things. But Bill quit and went up town and got drunk. After dinner I and John finished laying out. Judge Searls came to hold court.

Wednesday 21 – Cold and rainy. Court was opened. Our case was called and set for tomorrow. Dave came over about noon.

P.M. Snowed considerably. John, Dave and Bill planted the last lot of potatoes. Still snowing and continued into the night.

Thursday 22 – Cold, snowy and unpleasant this morning. Our case was called and went in to trial. 12  jurymen were seated and sworn in. Most of the day was spent taking evidence. The case submitted about 9:00 P.M. and a verdict rendered at 4:00 in the morning.

Friday 23 – The defendant, Terwilliger, is to have 10 inches of water3 out of the disputed creek when it is there, and none when that amount is not there. Also, the disputed ditch, and the interveners are to pay cost of the intervention and get nothing, and we are to have the rest of the water in the creek at all times. When there is not 10 inches in the creek, we are to have the remainder. We are to pay the cost of the suit, except what the interveners have to pay. So may it be.
Cloudy and rainy at intervals. I gave $5 to buy butter. John and Bray went over to Nelson Creek this morning.
Rains hauled home Judkins and company’s plow and harrow, and got them 175 pounds of screenings for chickens and then went to Alford’s and hauled a load of lumber to Betsy Town for Alford. Rains bought a bald sorrel mare and is to pay $135 in 6 weeks —

Saturday 24 – Cloudy and unpleasant. Rains planted some corn, turnip seed, beet, and parsnip seeds. I and Balloo was getting up our costs and trying to ascertain what rights are left us in the suit, &c, &c
Dave and Kyler came over about noon and have gone to Betsy Town. I collected $26 for ranching, and $4.50 from Dickson. Jim Shults came over and stayed all night.

Sunday 25 – Cloudy and rainy, Balloo came over from Nelson Creek and stayed. Terwilliger was gassing about the lawsuit, what he was going to do with us for damages, &c.

P.M. I, Dave and Kyler started for Rocky Bar. I was riding the Rains’ bald pony. We went by my old cabins to see John. He was all alone. He gave me $57.50 in dust—what had been got the week before by him and Rains, and what he had washed out of the square box. We all went down to the Point. I gave Frank Fox $50 and told him to get more and go over to Quincy and pay the cost of the suit. We all went down to Rocky Bar.

Monday 26 – An early breakfast. I and John started for the Point. Dave and Kyler was to take the dimensions of J.C. Lewis’ flume and water ditch, as he is going to improve it. I paid John Thompson $13 for Joe Ficklin and $2.50 stable fee for the bald pony. After 9 o’clock, I and Thompson started for Marysville. There was considerable snow on the way to Grass Valley. There we took dinner and fed the ponies, cost $1.50. We set out again and stopped at Woods’.

Tuesday 27 – After breakfast I paid my bill, $4. We set out for the city. We arrived in town at 1:00 P.M. I was very much fatigued and sore. I lay about the stable on the hay all evening. I took supper at the cost of 50 cents and stayed with Derick all night —

Wednesday 28 – I feel much better. I breakfasted, $.50, and got the pony shod all round, $4, and got me a gold pan cost, $3, and got some oranges, $.75.
I saddled up the pony and went out to H.P.‘s ranch. I paid ferriage $.50. I took dinner with Cath and children. Jack came from the upper ranch. He’d done cutting hay up there and started the machine on the lower ranch and we then started for town and met H.P. I turned back with him. He says there is considerable excitement at San Francisco occasioned by the vigilance committee and the hanging of Casey and Cora.4

Thursday 29 – At half past nine I started for R.C. Bowne. I arrived at 1:00, took dinner, and told Bub my business. We put in most of the evening walking over his ranch. I borrowed $5 of H.P. and $1 of Derrick.

Friday 30 – The weather is cool and pleasant. After breakfast, Bourne started for the mountain mines to get money and I for Marysville. I arrived at H.P. at half past 12 noon, a distance of 25 miles.

Saturday 31 – At about 10:00 A.M. I and Ficklin went a-fishing at Jas Simpson’s lake. We very soon left off. I went in a-bathing and then to town $.50. Later I rode out with H.P. to the ranch.

August 1855

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Thursday 1 – The rats have annoyed me lately of nights. I fixed a deadfall,1 so I caught two last night. I did some sewing on the hose.

P.M. All was at work doing well, but it could not hold out so, for the hose burst—our new one at that. I was the rest of the day mending it, John and Roister was cleaning up bedrock and got gold $44.

Thursday 2 – We took out two pieces of old hose. It took me some time to fix them up and slip them over the main ones. That done I went to piping again in the left set of boxes. We got but little out of them.
John was cleaning up bedrock in the middle set and got gold $25. Streater, the tax assessor, came to our diggins late in the day and assisted me.

Friday 3 – We are taking the world easily. Remained in bed until after sunrise (what a bed!) and then cooked our own breakfast. This is what one would call a retired way of living. I’m not fond of company.
Shaw and Lawrance came to our diggins early. They wanted we should pay them off before the time. We concluded to do so, if they would knock off a liberal discount. We are to let them know on Sunday. That is a busy day is this country. We got gold $14.

Saturday 4 – I dreamed last night that I was in company with my wife and sister Mary, on horse back. I was riding old Trump. My wife said he was nearly starved to death. I know not where we were going. I thought John was riding his pony in some town. I felt that my wife did not treat me as she ought to have done. She seemed distant.
Well, we worked steady and hard all day and only got $26. We have so much moving of boxes and hose and pipe. We had a pleasant haze at noontime, but no appearance of rain.
I so often think of my wife. Will she come out this fall with Dave?

Sunday 5 – Well this is another sabbath. I’ve read the first and second chapters of Colossians, it being my place of reading. We next got down our sand bottle and emptied it into a pan. I poured in quick silver and paned out the sand and got out of the quick silver, $17. We rocked out of the square box and got $5.50, but stopped for the want of a better rocker.
Shaw came up to see if we was ready to let him off, so we all went down to the Point. I gave Roister his share of last week’s work, it being $41.75. I then collected $200 in gold dust from John Bass for the purpose of paying off Shaw, but he said he would not leave until Wednesday morning. Besides, he did not want to pay me $25 discount before it was due.
John was in the express and got two letters from his ma, the first one written to him on June 19th2, and three sheets full with a piece of poetry to me dated June 23 18553 giving an account of Moore’s4 treatment to her and Lizzie, and other things too tedious to mention, also some lines of poetry—very appropriate indeed. She gave an account of the death Alex Keene and Mrs T. White and Mrs Grant and the breaking of some of my acquaintances, and her not being not so low spirited as she was when she  wrote John’s letter, but winds up by saying that she does not want to come to California.
I gave $1 for a brush to brush down the gold in the boxes and 50 cents for the two letters.

Monday 6 – We been a little lazy of late in getting up. The sun is generally up before we get up. Breakfast is soon got and then to work. We cut down two small trees moved the logs out of the way. We washed down one of the stumps.

P.M. I did some mending on the hose. John cleaned some bedrock got gold $9.

Tuesday 7 – We was at work as usual. We built a log heap and then fixed for mining. John went to let the water on the pipe and saw it was muddy. He then went up to the reservoir and found two men at work near it. He told them not to muddy the water.

P.M. I went up there and told them that they was at work on my ground and it was no use for hem to prospect it. I had a notice on it two days previous. They quit work for the present. I told them that Shaw knew we hit the ground for more than a year. Shaw told them so. I paid Shaw $530 for the note he held against us instead of $550 due on the first of September, and borrowed $104 of John Thompson. Besides I loaned Roister $60 to pay off Lawrance, the Yankee knave.

Wednesday 8 – We went on Tuesday to the diggins for the purpose of working, but did very little in the A.M. John went to see Lawrance at the Willow Ranch to get 3/8 of $8 that Lawrance had washed out of a sand bottle, but he would not let him have it. So I went down and made him shell it out. A mean yankee —
Well, next this company said they were going to work that ground or die, so I told them I would keep them from it if I could. They accordingly went to work again. They are using our water and making it very muddy.
We cleaned out the ditch below them that leads the seep water into our hose and pipe. I took off a piece of hose as it was too long, and had to sew on a short piece. We got all ready again for tomorrow. John paid the Bucks $1 for whiskey.

Thursday 9 – We was at work in fair time and let the water on our hose and pipe, but is was not long before the muddy water was down on us from the mines between our reservoir and our seep ditch. we was compelled to quit work.
We all three went up to where they were at work. I told them that we was compelled to quit work that they muddied our water so the screen would choke up and the water run over. They swore they would work it or die. Old Lloyd was there. We started away, and he commenced to talk. I went back and told the good for nothing old murderer not to open his mouth. I told him to ask Jennings Clark what he was good for. He had been stealing money out of draw. I then told him if ever I heard a word that he said about me I would punish him for it and that I meant to make him eat his words, what he had said about me. I dared to repeat it. He was afraid to say one word even.
So, I wrote a letter to H.P. stating to him my troubles and for Jack to come up. Also, my 21st letter to my wife. All three of us went down to the Point. I mailed the letters and paid $.25, and John got a letter cost $.25 from H.P. stating that there were all well and that he was a candidate for the senate and would be elected. We got gold $27 —

Friday 10 – Up this morning before sunrise and called the rest up. We went to work, but it was not long before the muddy water came down on us.
My friends Duesler and Shaw came  up early. I threw off my rubber clothes and we three went up to the place where they were using our water. I told them again, you have stopped us from work and our hose was choked with mud this morning. They had a riffle, revolver and dirk knife each. I told them they seemed to be well armed, as to my part, I had nothing, but I said to them that I would try them for stealing—a penal offense. I got Duesler to look at the position of the water and ditches and reservoir, and so they did not muddy our water this after noon. I suppose they did not work. We got gold $17.50 —

Saturday 11 – We fixed for cleaning up bedrock and did so. Got gold $32. The men did not muddy our water but for a short time this A.M.
After supper all three of us went down to the Point, to get two picks and hatchet sharpened. I paid Thompson $80 of the $104 that I had borrowed, and joined the W.K., at the cost of $4. We then came home.

Sunday 12 – It was quite late when we breakfasted. I read the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy. I made a pick handle. I and John started up the ditch with tools and rifle. We laid out, and dug a ditch from the largest ravine to the entry of our ditch. That done, we went home and had some dinner rather late.
We next went up the Pike ditch and worked on it  until night. Then John half soled his gum boots. I cut and split some wood. I took out the ashes and got new and irons. I built a fire and lit a candle and read the Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy while they were baking bread and getting supper.
I shed many tears of grief, while thinking of our lonely condition and that of my poor wife, separated as we were. I tried to sing some old fashioned hymns but I am in a strange land, my harp is hung upon the cedars. O, weep not for me my own dearest wife. In noting this down I’ve shed tears that burned my cheeks as they pass down among the unshaven beard. For nearly two years we have been apart.

Monday 13 – I and John was taking our rest  after sunrise when all of a sudden Roister wrapped several times quite hard. We soon got ready for work and fixed for cleaning up bedrock — but it was not long before our water was made muddy by those intruders. It remained muddy till noon, and soon after we got done cleaning up. It was late before we got ready for piping but we made a start. We got gold $16.

Sunday 14 – Well, we done a great amount of work with hose and pipe to have only got $2, besides our water was made quite muddy most of the day. I was up sooner this morning than previous ones. Our notice was renewed up on the reservoir flat —

Wednesday 15 – Well, we worked over considerable ground and did not make two bits. We run the bedrock out of the ground and came to where the channel split. We quit the one on our left and followed the one on our right. We had to set out boxes anew and made a commencement.

Thursday 16 – We are at work alongside where John and old Lloyd worked this time last year, but I fear there there is not so much gold to be had as was then. At least our day’s work is quite slim, only $9 —
I dreamed of my wife the last two nights in connection with some other young woman: the first night she was with Lizzy and last night Miss Tess Connor.

Friday 17 – We have run our diggins to the top of the ground, what I would call entirely out of gold. We scrapped and cleaned about, and only got $1 by noon. So we concluded to move our tools. We set to work in the P.M. cleaning the brush off the ground claimed by Roister, down below where we first commenced on these claims. I mended a piece of hose to lengthen those we are at work with, in order to get a  head on the pipe.
I dreamed of G. Toppass. I thought he was broke and that his sisters broke him. I still think of two woman and I hope they will make their appearance soon.

Saturday 18 – We worked till noon cutting and burning brush and small logs on Roister’s claim. In the P.M. we mended up the heap and cut a small ditch to run the water onto the diggins.
It was cloudy all day and sprinkled a very little this P.M. We quit work much before sunset and all took a good wash, as we were quite black and dirty. After supper we went down to the Point. It was quite late when returned to our cabins.

Sunday 19 – Rained some this morning before daylight to cover the dust a little. We were rather late getting breakfast. I and Roister went down to the Point.
I took dinner with F.S. Fox, the present proprietor of the Thompson House, formally the cook for Thompson. After dinner I was invited in to see Mrs Fox, the mother of F.S. Fox. I talked with the old lady for more than one hour. I wore a read flannel shirt outside my pants and an old dirty cotton shirt. No cravat or socks. On first acquaintance I was treated quite cleaver indeed. I excused my self for having occupied so much of her time. Dinner $1.
I read the general Epistle of James. Cloudy. Thundered and rained a little in the P.M.

Monday 20 – We was till noon setting our boxes and penstock and leading troughs. After dinner we commenced to pipe down and wash dirt for gold again. We got $9, much more than we expected for a start. We have come to the conclusion to move lower down, as we think it will pay. We expect to do so tomorrow.

Tuesday 21 – I paid Duesler $2 for our share of the planks last Saturday night.
We accordingly moved penstock, hose, boxes, and the rest our tools downhill to where there has been a little mining. We got ready for work a short time after dinner, but it was not long until our hose burst the sewing. I was sometime in mending it. We turned on the water again and did considerable washing. We cleaned up and got gold $1 rather low down.
I dreamed of my wife last night. I thought I was in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Wednesday 22 – We concluded to run a narrow cut up, until it pays better. We let the water on, but there was not enough to do any good. John went up to the reservoir and let out some.
After dinner I applied calk to the boxes that brought in the water, known as Pike’s ditch. John and Roister got gold $5.

Thursday 23 – Again we are found at our post, ready to dig out the shining stuff, but our water is failing some, and at a time when there is none to spare. John went up to the reservoir and let out some water. At noon we stopped the water. After noon we let it out again. We have to be very careful of the water, or else we cannot get enough to work with.
Late in the morning the hose ripped. It took me the rest of the day to mend it up again. We got gold $10.

Friday 24 – I woke out of sleep this morning sometime before day. I was too warm, so I threw off the blankets and thought of my wife. Where shall I look for her? I’ve tried to fix a day, but cannot make it out. I fell to sleep again. I dreamed of her being with me, and it was not at all unpleasant. I was up at day light. Breakfast was soon over and then to work. There is more or less time taken up in fixing for work. The dirt is hard to wash. Late in the evening our hose ripped again, and the rest of my time was put in mending it. We got gold $16.50.
After supper I set in the doorway and looked at the moon and towards my native home. I felt low spirited, but again when I leave the cabins for work I’ve caught myself looking back to see if wife is not coming up the hill.

Saturday 25 – The clouds that had the appearance of rain the last 24 hours have passed off. We three—it is hardly worth while to call us, the once big mountain company—but we are at our posts from day today. We got gold $21.50.
After supper we all went down to the Point. I paid Thompson $29 for beef and grub. I paid him for a new grey shirt $1.50, and paid Mrs Duesler $1.50 for washing four hickory shirts, plus 25 cents for a letter from my wife dated the 2nd July 1855.5 Her letter gives an account of her then happy condition, compared to what it had been. I must confess that I am truly glad to hear it, but it is far from my fix. I think if I only could lay eyes on her I should then feel like myself again. I still hope the time will soon come, &c. We took down a dozen empty bottles and got one filled with whiskey in exchange, not to drink, but to put in our vinegar keg. I read the letter to John after returning home and he is now playing on the old fiddle while I am noting this down.

Saturday 25 – A man by name Frank Walker went up to the bridge that crosses Feather River above Nelson Creek and stopped off to take a wash. He made a dive and struck his head against a rock. Those present became alarmed on account of his long absence under water, and then, seeing the blood in the water, next saw him struggling. They sprang in and hauled him out. That was on Friday evening the 24th, and this evening he is dead. Root was seen gambling witness Roister.

Sunday 26
– We were late getting up, as it was late before we went to our bunks. When breakfasted, we started up the ditch and then up to the spring in the mountains. The coldest water naturally I ever drank for August. We claimed the water and surveyed the rout. We came home, took dinner, and went down to the Point. Got some beef and vegetables &c., and ground John’s ax and the hatchet. I read for my lesson the three first chapters of Revelations.

Monday 27 – We moved our penstock up the hill some to get the full length of the hose straight in a line. The hose will not be so apt to burst, and the pipe shoots harder.
Hannibal Bray came up to see us, so I left the other two at work. Noon came and we all four went and took dinner. Afterwards I did some mending on the hose and then went home with Bray. His water failed so that he can’t work. He showed me his diggins and fixtures. I got home as John arrived from work. We got gold $5; no good.

Tuesday 28 – I was up at day light. I saw a rat in the cabin. I called up John and we killed him, we put in our time at work very constant. We got $24.

Wednesday 29 – The weather is clear and delightful. You are not disagreeably warm. Is it not strange? You scarcely even hear it thunder. Our work is pretty much the same.
I did some cutting and burned of a small heap of logs and trash. We washed and  got gold $15.50—much better than I expected. After supper I left John trimming a ham that the rats had gnawed considerably, to put it on to boil.

Thursday 30 – After a hearty supper and a hard day’s work I am setting in my cabin alone and making this entry and thinking about why am I not ready to start home. Maybe it is not my pleasure, well so be it.
We were piping down till noon. We concluded to cle an up the boxes and got gold $11. We then put our boxes on poles above where they were, in order to clean up the cut and make it deeper to get more fall. We have got it near half done. We did not clean up the boxes tonight, as we will have to do it at noon tomorrow.

Friday 31 – It was quite cool this morning. The fire felt very comfortable. We cleaned up the cut, or rather, where we’ve been at work for the last two weeks. It look us all day. We got gold $29.50.
Now, today closes the last summer day in ’55. Could I have look forward 24 years ago up to this time and saw myself, setting down to a center table of my own making, and making some of my thoughts legible, while John is amusing himself playing on the old fiddle and Roister with us &c —

September 1854

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Friday 1 – 23 years ago I was married. My prospects were bright and flattering, and I had a young wife to cheer me on and give me that pleasure that no other life can afford. O, what a change a short period of 23 years can make in human affairs. I am now sitting in my cabin all alone in a pine forest and surrounding mountains, in Plumas County, California, near opposite the mouth of Nelson Creek, and my wife is in Georgetown Kentucky. May we yet live together a score and three years, to help each other while passing over the down hill of life, and finally to put our trust in Him that is able to help in time of need, &c.
I gave lawyer able $25 to assist in my suit with Vaughn.
We got gold $10.50 —

Saturday 2 – I and Shaw are working the same spot of ground that I and John worked the 9th of September last, alongside of two pitch pines, one large. I cut the small one down last September and the large one blew up by the roots last winter. So we worked under the roots of the large one today and got nearly all of $81 gold, one piece weighing $35.50. The Johns got gold $16, the first they have taken out in 6 1/2 days. We divided out $58.62 and 1/2 cents apiece, after paying $22 expenses &c.

Sunday 3 – My partner Shaw left this morning to go down to his ranch. I and the Johns took three axes to grind and a pick to be sharpened at the Point. I got a letter from my wife dated June 31 18541 and another of July the 24 18542 as the figures indicate. She received a letter from me of date Sunday 3 May 28th on 28th June 1854. Her letter gives an account of Tom Johnson and Laura Miller running off and getting married and many other things too numerous to mention.
My lesson is Act Chapter 18 &c — I now shall retire to bed, but the thought of seeing my wife in these mountains is what I cannot not understand.
I paid $1 for letters and $1 for an ax handle for the company —

Monday 4 – The Johns went to work as usual. I knocked to pieces three old sluice boxes and made a trough off them, and took it out before noon. After dinner I went to work with them. We got gold $29. After supper all three gathered in my cabin and John played the fiddle, the tune
“Old Flies at Home.”

Tuesday 5 – I was at work all alone. Got gold $24. The Johns got $38, making in all $62. John forked out among the rocks a piece that weighed $24.50. He saw it when he threw it away with the rocks and went and picked it up. It is flat and rough, a nice specimen. After supper I and Lloyd went down to the Point to hear the news. All is quiet except the candidates.

Wednesday 6 – I got gold $5.50 by noon. The Johns got $18.50 all day. After dinner we went down to the Point to the election. Late in the evening, two gamblers went in to a vegetable store and took a Watermelon without the consent of the owner. They then went back to get another but the owner struck one of them on the head with a rock and knocked him down. He got up again and got a butcher knife and run the proprietor out and off— The two gamblers then turned and tore down the storehouse and threw all that was in it into Nelson Creek and then dared anybody to take it up. I’ve not seen anything to equal that. There was at least 100 men looking on &c56

Thursday 7 – I and John started to the American Valley to see after my lawsuit with Vaughn. By staying all day I found out that, by consent of the lawyers, my case would come off next Tuesday at 10 o’clock. So John and I started from Bradley’s Ranch late in the evening for home. I’ve walked several miles in the dark. I had been all day on my feet without eating any dinner.
I went up to Sister Betsy to see my lawyer. Found him sick in bed. He could not tell me when the county Judge would hold court, though Able, my other lawyer, told me.
On arriving at home McFall told me the miners rose and took the two gamblers and were trying them for tearing down the fruit store. The sheriff had come over and demanded the outlaws but the miners did not like to give them up. Lloyd came home from the trial and said that the sheriff had got them from the miners. One, by the name of George Asberry, is from Kentucky. The other is called Buck and comes from the East.
I saw a piece of gold taken out at Sister Betsy’s today weighing 8 oz and $14 with a hole in the middle of it. The diggins I took up last fall up there is very rich. I was trying to get some of them back again but did not see how I was to go about it, so I concluded to hold off for the present.

Friday 8 – McFall, the man I hired for Shaw, and I went to work and got gold $14. The Johns got $20.50.
The sheriff took Buck and Asberry over to the American Valley. They were tied on mules’ backs as they passed the Willow Ranch this morning —

Saturday 9 – I and McFall got gold $10.50 and the Johns got $19, in all $29.50. After supper I and Lloyd went down to the Point. There is great excitement among the miners on account of Buck and Asberry being turned loose again by the civil atrocity, as they have been making some threats &c.

Sunday 10 – I wrote my wife my 14th letter and sent her $200 bill of exchange payable at New York by Adams & Co. express. I was down at the Point and mailed it. The miners met and appointed a committee to look after depredators. My lesson is Chapter 11 of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

Monday 11 – I went up to the Independence to serve a subpoena on Pat Carley for a witness in the case of Freer and Vaughn. He refused to go. I made him a tender of $8. He was afraid not to take it.
I put in the day in looking around. I hired old McFall to work in my place. Shaw went up the ditch. The three of us got gold $13.50 —

Tuesday 12 – John, I and McFall went over to the American Valley in due time. Court was opened. Ward was the judge. Pat Hunley undertook my case in the place of Able. Tom Cox was sick. The plaintiff filed five different objections but was over ruled and the case tried on its merits. Four witnessed against and two for me. The witnesses were heard and the case presented. It was decided against me.
I paid for dinners and whiskey $4. At sunset, after paying Black Hawk $5 for two picks and a hoe, I and John went four miles to Illinois Ranch where we stayed all night. I am to pay $29.50 for company goods.

Wednesday 13 – Paid 50 cents for our lodging and went six miles home to breakfast, and then out to work. I and Shaw and the Johns and McFall dug down there by the big pine tree today. We all got gold $30.
I dreamed I was in Georgetown and went with my wife to her rented house, and we got in bed together and that Sam was killing hogs &c.

Thursday 14 – I and Shaw got gold $19.50 working in the old ravine that was so rich last year. The Johns got gold $34. McFall was not at work.

Friday 15 – I, Shaw and McFall was at work in the old ravine and got gold $34 and the Johns got $38. The water is so weak we don’t use the hose and pipe. It threatened rain yesterday and last night, but none fell.

Saturday 16 – I and Shaw went to work in the old ravine for the last time. We was at it till noon and got gold $5. The Johns were mining all day and McFall with them till noon.

P.M. We three went to the Willow Ranch to help raise a barn. After supper I and McFall went down to the Point. I paid Thompson $4.50 for beef. Green McHatton had left me the $100 I  loaned him. The Johns got gold $44.

Sunday 17 – I, Shaw and McFall started for Sister Betsy’s after settling the past week’s work. We took dinner at Colonel Russell’s in the American Valley. We then stopped at Bradley’s and saw my lawyer. He told me the judge had granted a new trial with Vaughn. Late in afternoon we landed at Betsey Town.

Monday 18 – We started out a-prospecting and put in the day. Did nothing else of importance. My back paid the penalty for sleeping on a hard bed last night.

Tuesday 19 – We bought a claim of Isaac Adams for $150 and put McFall to work our interest &c

Wednesday 20 – There was two old tarrs a-prospecting at the foot of Sister Betsy’s ravine. They asked me to take an interest with them.

Thursday 21 – I and Shaw set in with them and sunk it to the bedrock 24 feet and 16 feet under water. We got no gold

Friday 22 – We were examining our diggins and took up two claims adjoining the ones we bought. Last night there was a ball at one of the Hotels. I was looking on to see how they done up things of that sort in California. Old married woman of all ages up to 5 and 40 was on the floor all the night. Scarcely half-a-dozen girls at the ball.

Saturday 23 – After breakfast we paid our bills. Mine was $9.50. We started for home. I stopped at Bradley’s some time and then went to Russell’s and took dinner.

P.M. Went by Myers and saw a quarter race and a first fight. I then started for home with Shaw. I had hot not slept in the same bed two nights, in consequence I was lousy. We got home in good time for supper.

Sunday 24 – I took off my duds last night and laid them aside. I took a cold bath and put on a clean shirt and to bed. I slept comfortable. Got up in the morning, bathed again, breakfasted, and settled our affairs.
I and Lloyd went down to the Point and got some dust changed. I sent Lloyd back with the money for Shaw, as he was going to Sister Betsy’s to work our interest. I stayed till late and saw a fight in which Pat Curley, one of my old partners, got whipped quite easily by Jim Pike, as they call him. We got no money in our new claim. The Johns got gold $62.75. My lesson is the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians.



April, Directions by Givens 1854

To see that portion of California which is desirable to settle in, start from the Mission of San Jose, and travel on horse back to Monterrey passing by the Mission of Santa Clara up the Pueblo Valley to the Mission of San Juan, then to Monterrey


Monday 25 – I and the Johns went to cleaning out the ditch by stopping the water and cutting out the roots and shoveling out the bottom. We have not got sufficient water to wash for gold.

Thursday 26 – We three are still at work on the ditch.

P.M. McFall said he would help us and did so. I have a very bad cold last night. I lay with a wet towel on my forehead to ease the aching.

Wednesday 27 – I, the Johns, and McFall still at work on the ditch.

Thursday 28 – We four are still cleaning up our ditch.

Friday 29 – We four finished cleaning out the ditch. Shaw came home because we had to quit working the claim we bought at Sister Betsy. Other men than those we bought it off claimed it, so they had to fork over our money again, at least $90 and $60 on Sunday next.

Saturday 30 – After breakfast I and Shaw started for the new diggins near Snake Lake. I rolled up two pairs of heavy blankets and a towel, and tied on a tin cup, my rifle and ammunition, the butcher knife tinning at my left side. We stayed all night at Sister Betsy’s after traveling only 12 1/2 miles. Our dinner 75 cents.

July 1854

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Saturday 1 – Me and Shaw, we got gold $38.50. We seem to be getting along peaceable and quiet.

Sunday 2 – Lloyd, Shaw and I went down to the Point and had three picks sharpened, cost $2.75. I paid Thompson $75 and sent $42 to H.P. for five gum coats and 3 pair boots by Snell & Co. For the company I paid freight on sauce $2; one bottle bitters $1; meal 75 cents; paper 50 cents; nails 75 cents. I was offered $2000 for my diggins. After supper I read the Chapter 13 of Matthew.

Monday 3 – Shaw and I got gold $14.50. The Johns are fixing to try a new place below, in the same ravine we are at work in. Dr. Vaughn had an attachment and summons served on me today. Shaw is gone down to the Point to let Hawkins know whether he will sell out to him or not.

Tuesday 4 – John and went down to the Point. I settled with Dr. Vaughn for his medical bill $15 and Vaughn then paid John $20 for five days work. I wrote a letter to H.P.. Paid $1 for twine to sew our hose with and then followed the ladies and The Russian army with brass music up to Independence Bar to a celebration and Ball. I saw my old claim and the place where I laid on the ground. Quite a large crowd of men and some 25 Ladies. Shaw, John and I left before they commenced dancing and got home by sunset. I paid 25 cents for a letter and 75 cents  for liquor.

Wednesday 5 – We went to work and got gold $16.50. After supper Shaw and I went down to the Point. They had a dance at Lewis and Roots. This is the 5th or 6th night in succession, and tomorrow and night following at the American Valley. That is the way they go on out here. I did not get a letter. I saw quite a number of the fair sex this 4th.

Thursday 6
– We got gold $11. The Johns has not made any for some days.

Friday 7 – We made nothing, but the Johns got $2. Linch stayed with us all day and night. He is a broken-down miner of 49 from Kentucky.

Saturday 8 – We got gold $9.50. The Deputy Sheriff attacked my diggins and stopped me from work. I and the Johns went down to the Point and had the case tried before six jurymen. As the squire would not let me have time to get counseled the jury gave a verdict against me. I have five days to take an appeal. I spent $1.75 for liquor.

Sunday 9 – Early this morning I and John started for the and American Valley up to Sister Betsy’s. I saw John Case the lawyer and made an arrangement to take an appeal to the county court. I then went in to hear a Methodist preacher the first of any kind since I’d been in the county and that too in my patched shirt and holes in my pants no coat on rest or hand kerchief of any kind and my old gum slippers and mining hat and my butcher knife at my side. But every chap threw in his 50 cents when the hat came around. There was four ladies.
My present his text is Exodus, (keep the sabbath holy). I read the 20th chapter of Matthew. After service was over I and John started  for Bradley’s Ranch. We took dinner and started for home. $2 for Dinner and 50 cents for preaching.
We arrived at home in good time. John Lloyd had been down to the Point and got a letter to John from my wife dated May 26 18541, giving an account of  Tom Johnson’s return to Georgetown.

Monday 10 – I went over to Onion Valley to serve a process on the squire for an appeal, and to give bond and pay the $80 cost. Dinner and whiskey cost $1.25 and I paid $1.25 for a camp kettle. Got no gold.

Tuesday 11 – The Johns got gold $23.50 and Shaw $20.50. I was making some new sluice boxes, as the bottoms of the old ones is quite worn out, having been in use all most one year. I intend that the three I make now shall last me as long as I mine here. I’ve put false bottoms in them, as they were out put in others.

Wednesday 12 – The boys got gold $16. I was at work making boxes.

P.M. I went down to the Point to get some nails and grind my plain. I then helped Shaw to set up a new sluice box. John has been playing the fiddle tonight while his bread is baking.

Thursday 13 – We did not clean up for gold. I, John and Shaw have got colds and Lloyd has a sore finger. The weather is fine

Friday 14 – Lloyd did not work today on account of his finger. We got gold $11.50.

Saturday 15 – I have the piles so that I could not work, and Lloyd can’t work on account of his finger. John and Shaw got gold $39.

Sunday 16 – Lloyd has a very sore finger, with a fellow, and I am not able to go to work. John washed some shirts for us and I wrote my 12th letter to my wife.2 My lesson is Chapter 6 of Mark.

Monday 17 – I and Lloyd went down to the Point. I got 5 pounds meal, 75 cents, and mailed a letter to my wife, 25 cents. John and Shaw got gold $4.

Tuesday 18 – I mended two shirts and a pair of breeches for myself and a shirt for John. Lloyd has got a bad finger. John and Shaw got gold $19. Floyd and I are on the sick list.

Wednesday 19 – I cut out a lining for my new pants and sewed it in, almost. Lloyd and I went up the ditch and let in quite all the water. There is 3 men at work just below the dam. They said I must leave them a sluice head of water. The boys got no gold today.

Thursday 20 – I finished my pants this morning and Lloyd and I walked out to where the boys is at work the other side. We found a rattle snake with four rattles and a button ,the first I’ve seen this summer.

P.M. I went down to the Point and paid Doosley $5 for attention to my lawsuit and $18 to Lane for mending the hose. Shaw and John got gold $33.

Friday 21 – Shaw, Lloyd and I went up the ditch. Some men at work below the dam. They turned the water through the dam and out of the ditch to work the ravine and said they would do it again. Shaw and John got gold $32.50.

Saturday 22 – I went down to the Point and got a letter for Lloyd from his wife. I was told the bank caved in on a man by the name of Douglass and two others yesterday, but the other two got out and he was drowned in the mud. Shaw and John got gold $38…

Sunday 23 – We all four took a stroll in the woods and up a ravine towards the American Valley. We saw the greatest quantity of honeydew on the leaves, quite as large as if it had been dripping out of the comb, and just as sweet. I tasted a number of them. My lesson Chapter 11 of Mark.

Monday 24 – I went to work today. John had to work by himself. We got gold $9. I and Shaw went to the Point and hired a man to work in Lloyd’s place until his finger gets well.

Tuesday 25 – We got gold $24.50. John had the man hired in Lloyd’s place to help him.

Wednesday 26 – The weather is quite warm and was somewhat cloudy. The misquotes and flies are some troublesome. We got gold $18.

Thursday 27 – I and Shaw was cleaning up bedrock all day and got gold $55. John and his man got $5. After supper Shaw and I went down to the Point. There I saw Green McHatton, an old 49er from Illinois. He says he knows your father’s sister in Illinois by name of Ms. Clark and her four grown children and said that she favored the old captain very much. While in the gambling room my friend Snow struck Abbot on the head twice with a revolver, hurt him badly.

Friday 28 – We were cleaning the bedrock that we had worked over the last five weeks. We got gold $29 and we are not done going over it the second time. John and his man gold gold $17.

Saturday 29 – I and Shaw got gold $12.50 more by noon. We were cleaning up the bedrock.

P.M. We were setting boxes to wash again on Monday. John and his man got no gold today. After supper I and Shaw went down to the Point to hear the news. The first house we stopped in was the billiard saloon. A woman was dealing Lansquenet to at least 10 men. Half-a-dozen gamblers went through with an Indian song and dance, turning somersaults. We next came to the Abbot House. They were playing cards there. At the Thompson House nothing was doing but trade. Then at Fagan’s Saloon there was a woman to draw custom and card playing and a few songs and somersaults and making love to the lady, as they call it. I tired and went home.

Sunday 30
– One of the Sterlings came up to see our fixtures to catch gold. He said it was the best he had seen. We had a settlement, the first since Hawkins left. We had $195 to divide.

P.M. we went down to the Point. I saw two woman, one in each house, dealing Lansquenet. Lots of men to bet at their bank. My lesson was Chapter 8 of St. Luke.

Monday 31 – Shaw and I got gold $19. John Cook, the man that works for Lloyd, got no gold today. Lloyd’s finger is getting well fast. I bathe every night.