December 1856

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Monday 1 – Left after breakfast and arrived at Rabbit Creek about 11 o’clock. We took dinner and looked around town awhile. We started at half past 2 o’clock and got to the Columbus House before supper. Brooks, Chunnky and I went up to see Nate Hayes. Cloudy in the evening.

Tuesday 2 – We left the Columbus House about 5 o’clock in the morning and got breakfast at the New York Ranch, or House. I took the stage for Marysville, arrived in the evening. We got supper at a restaurant. Hickman and I walked around awhile. Brooks stopped at the St. Charles Hotel. I stayed all night at the stable.

Thursday 4 – Pa and I went out to H.P.’s. Nearly noon. Nobody about the house but Dave. H.P. and Cath came home about noon. H.P. bought a hog and weighed it. We all went up to the upper Ranch with the buggy and set fire to stubble. Nothing else new today.

Friday 5 – Pa, Dave and I went rabbit hunting and got back about one o’clock but caught no rabbit. H.P. went to town and stayed all day. The balance of us stayed  about the house all evening.

Saturday 6 – Pa, Dave and I went to Hooper’s watermelon patch. We started a couple of hoses but did not catch either of them H.P. and family went to town. Durrick came home with them.

Sunday 7 – Rained a little today. Stayed about the house all day. We started a couple of hases73 but caught none. John Rose and his love started for Marysville after dinner. Nothing else today.

Monday 8 – Went across the river after a horse for H.P. but did not get him. I went on to town. Hickman came out with me before noon. We got dinner and I went to town with him again and stayed all night. We took a bed at a hotel after being up until 12 o’clock nothing else new today.

Tuesday 9 – I got a horse to take out to H.P.’s. Dave got into town early in the morning on his way after a sowing machine. I went out to the ranch and found H.P.’s driver stalled with the wagon in the river with a load of hay. I came on and met a team going to town. He helped him out. Old Bub was at H.P.’s but soon went home. We did not get any money from him. We all went to the upper ranch to burn off stubble. We started a couple of hases but only had one race. Nothing else.

Wednesday 10 – Rained all day at a pretty good rate. I stayed about the house all day.

Thursday 11 – We went up to Turness, all of us. We run a hose about a mile on the plans but did not catch him. H.P. bought an ox for 80$. Dave and I killed a skunk in Hooper’s field. Nothing else today.

Friday 12 – I went to town on the hay wagon and stayed all day and night. Heard some good music at the Nicaragua Saloon. I slept at the stable.

Saturday 13 – Stayed in town all day. Durrick and I went to the theatre at night. It was very poor indeed.

Sunday 14 – Went out to H.P.’s and stayed all day. H.P. and I went to the upper place

Monday 15 – Rode a colt. He fell down with me and got on my leg. Nothing more.

Tuesday 16 – I rode the colt again today. We went to the upper field. We burned some straw. Rained after supper. The surveyor came in and stayed until after supper running off the line between H.P.  and Landis. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 17 – We all went to the upper field. H.P. and Kath went in the buggy. We went out on the plains to start a hare but did not succeed. I rode the colt.

Thursday 18 – Pa and I went to town with H.P. in the buggy to start home. We took dinner at Lindley’s. We stayed about town all day and slept at the stable.

Friday 19 – We started early in the morning for home in the stage. The stage got out of fix at the Oregon House but was fixed. We got to the New York House late in the evening and took mules to the Columbia House and arrived about 8 o’clock at night.

Saturday 20 – Started for Rabbit Creek in the morning on mules and got there about 12 o’clock and then took it afoot. Took dinner at Gibsonville about 2 o’clock.

Sunday 21 – Got to Onion Valley a little before dark and stayed all night &c. Started for the Point in the morning and arrived about noon. We took dinner with Sherwin and he went with us home or to Quincy. We got home after dark a little. Nothing else of interest today.

Monday 22 – Bill Rains and I hauled a load of hay from Wheelers to Judkins Mill and some lumber back. Turned warm after supper and rained in the night a little. Nothing else new today.

Tuesday 23 – Nothing of interest today. Rained today. Did not work today.

Wednesday 24 – Bill Rains and I hauled a load of hay from Wheelers to Elizabethtown. It snowed in the in the evening some. Everybody preparing for the ball at Spanish Ranch.74 The wagon broke down opposite Dueslers house in the branch and we had to unload our hay. Nothing else.

Thursday 25 – Our folks went to a ball at Spanish Ranch, being Christmas day with Sherwin and Waits. Bill and Pa stayed at home. Pretty cold at night. We built a fire in the Root house to keep the potatoes from freezing.

Friday 26 – Pretty cold today. Our folks got home after noon a little. Waits and Sherwin came up after supper and stayed awhile. No more today.

Saturday 27 – Nothing of interest today. Bill Moore and I hauled a load of wood

Sunday 28 – Nothing of interest today. Fine sleighing.

Monday 29 – Pretty cold today. A party at Elizabethtown tonight. Our folks all went and came home about 2 o’clock at night. They had a fine time.

Tuesday 30 – Nothing of interest today. Bill and I hauled some logs for Duesler to make wood out of.

Wednesday 31 – Rained and snowed nearly all day; a disagreeable day. A ball at Taplin’s tonight. Bill and I looked on awhile but did not take a hand. We made milk punch after supper and Saturday up until our folks came home. Moore got sick and vomited after going to bed. Had quite a pleasant time at the ball.

June 1855

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Friday 1 – Pa and I cleaned bedrock all day and took out 44 oz. Lawrance commenced working in Joe’s Ravine today. Shaw and Bill still washing in the flat. They have got nothing as yet. Nothing else to day.

Saturday 2 – Pa and I set the boxes and washed under the big stump, took out $7.50.

Sunday 3 – Stayed about the cabin all day. Done some washing. The rest went to the Point. Bill and Shaw went to a negro show after night.

Monday 4 – Piped to day as usual. Pa found a piece weighing 2 oz minus $1.50. Nothing else of consequence today.

Tuesday 5 – Patch to day as usual–the hose busted twice today. We took out $15. The sump caved in in the evening, Shaw and Bill struck it to day, took out considerable. Nothing else of consequence today.

Wednesday 6 – Still at work at the stump and got it out after dinner. Made but little today. Set on boxes for washing and nothing made today.

Thursday 7 – Pa and I cleaned bedrock into the forenoon and Rositer helped us in the evening. We took out $44. Nothing else to day, I believe.

Friday 8 – Pat and I piped all day and took out $8. A good many prospectors around, Jennings came to the diggings yesterday evening took supper with us. Shaw and Bill made 6 oz, $5. Lawrance got to piping in the big vein below us. Nothing else to do of interest.

Saturday 9 – Washed as usual to day took out 1 oz. Nothing else today.

Sunday 10 – all of us went to the Point in the forenoon and stayed  until after dinner. I done some mending on my old boots and washed out a pan of butter. Pa let Thompson have some more money. He made a big mistake in the weight of it. Nothing else today, I believe.

Monday 11 – Piped to day as usual and made but little. Paid off the hired boys and Shaw washed with Lawrance in the big ravine below us. No more.

Tuesday 12 – Commenced raining in the morning and continued all day. Did not clean up today. Duesler came to the diggings after dinner. Bill and Rositer got back after supper from prospecting. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 13 – Pa and I piped as usual, took out $15. Shaw and Lawrance have not made anything yet. Nothing more today.

Thursday 14 – Piped all day and made nothing. A man by the name of Thom Eves came into the cabin about supper, an old acquaintance of Pa, and nothing else.

Friday 15 – Eves went to work with us this morning and we took out $40. Washed a great deal of dirt. Lawrance done pretty well today.

Saturday 16 – Piped in the forenoon and cleaned bedrock in the after. Pa found a piece weighing upwards of 8 oz. Lawrance found good diggings on the side of the ravine and took up four claims. Root came by the diggings about quitting time and ordered us to work on the road, &c &c.

Sunday 17 – All of us went to the Point in the forenoon and took supper with Mr Duesler felt pretty badly all day nothing else today.

Monday 18 – Pa and I cleaned some bedrock and set the boxes. Felt very badly all day. Rositer washed with Shaw and Lawrance. Duesler and his friend came up to look at the diggings. Nothing else today of interest.

Tuesday 19 – I went to the Point in the forenoon to see Bill and got some medicine from him and Duesler. Came back with me, done no work in the forenoon. Nothing else today, uncommon.

Wednesday 20 – I went out to work but did not feel well enough to work long. Sewed on the hose while Pa cleaned bedrock and made 8$. More prospectors around.

Thursday 21 – I sewed on the hose today. Pa cleaned bedrock but did not make much. Nothing of consequence today.

Friday 22 – We commenced piping today in the old channel that we worked out in ’54. Made nothing today. Eves is very sick today, taking medicine. Lawrance done pretty well today.

Saturday 23 – Fixing up some boxes and set them in the forenoon and rung off some mud. We done nothing in the afternoon. Everybody on a spree from drinking milk punch.1 Eves and self walked up the ditch a piece and back. Nothing else today.

Sunday 24 – All of us except Eves went to the Point in the forenoon Eves and I went again in the evening. Shaw bought Pike’s ditch for $162.50.

Monday 25 – Worked today with the pipe and took out $28.50. Did not commence piping until after dinner. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 26 – Worked all day with the pipe and made nothing. Eves left this morning for the Mountain House. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 27 – Worked in the forenoon. I felt very badly, could hardly wash at all. I did not work in the evening. I had some fever and aches. Very sick towards night. I took some pills at bed time.

Thursday 28 – I felt a little better today. Stayed at the cabin in the forenoon and read to pass away the time. Ate but little breakfast—a piece of dry bread. Took some tea and toast for dinner and felt better. I went out to the diggings in the evening and looked around. Rositer came in in the forenoon, sick with the headache.

Friday 29 – I went to the Point in the morning and got some medicine from Bill. I stayed  about the cabin the rest of the day felt a little better. Eves came to the diggings in the evening. Nothing else to day.

Saturday 30 – Felt a great deal better to day. Eves went to work with Pa in the 
diggings. I stayed about the cabin in the forenoon and went out to the
diggings in the evening. Pa and Shaw went to the Point after supper to get ready to start below. Nothing else new today.

James Haun Diary, June 1855

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Friday 1 – Summer seems to have set in. The little insects are running around at a tremendous rate, and the sun shone out quite warm today. I and John was cleaning up bedrock and got gold $76. I got Lawrance and Roister to prop up a large pitch pine that we cut down, and we have run the dirt from under it for 75 feet off the but, except the stump and the end lays on the roots.
Since I received the letter from wife stating that she did not expect to come to California under the present existing circumstances, I feel more like going home than I’ve done heretofore. I cant quit the diggins yet while they pay so well.

Saturday 2 – We are all at work as usual and the weather is quite warm. At noon the wind blew quite pleasant. I and John commenced to wash down the pine stump. We got gold $7. I do not feel satisfied that my wife is not coming out as I expected.

Sunday 3 – I was waked up this morning at daybreak by the robins and a field lark singing. They seemed to be doing their best.
I got up and went out in my shirt tails, but returned again to my bunk to indulge a while longer. Yes to think alone an hour. At sunrise I got up, built a fire, and called up John to get breakfast as we usually have much to do setting up, and the gold dust to divide. Lawrance had $368 that him and Roister had taken out in last 2 weeks, of which I and John got $128, and we had $310.50. Our share is $233.
I read the 20th chapter of Saint Luke.
Four of us dressed up and went down to the Point and changed off $94 worth of dust. We paid Rains $25, besides sundries $17.25, and I was ordered to work the road between this and the courthouse by the overseer on Wednesday. I and Lawrance came home to eat dinner.


Early this morning I set a brush heap on fire and burned quite a lot of old clothes among the rest one of those coarse towels my wife put in my trunk was thrown in. The first one.

P.M. John did some washing and mending. I washed those suspenders my wife gave me and did some sewing on my pants. After supper I wrote a letter to Lawrance’s wife for him, &c. I paid Thompson $5 to pay expenses to go over to the American Valley and go my security in the case with Lloyd, &c.

Monday 4 – All six at work as usual. I and John are digging away at our stump. The weather could never be pleasanter. The wind blows a pleasant breeze for five hours at noon. We got gold today $30.50.

Tuesday 5 – I did not get up until the men in the other cabin had started out to work. We got breakfast and went out. We was not long at work before our hose burst. Shaw got gold for the first time in his and the Lloyd’s claim, $23.50. A fine breeze commenced blowing early and continued till late. We got gold $15 and Lawrance some too. Our hose bursted a second time in same place.

Wednesday 6 – O, this delightful climate–one continued stretch of sunshine and pleasant breeze. All were at work betimes. We succeeded in rolling the big stump out of the way and got gold $1.50. The other boys made fair work. The sheriff was to see me to collect $5 for services done in the case with Lloyd and to collect $15 that John bid for Freer’s interest in the ditch that was sold under an execution in favor of me against Freer and Vaughn. So John has two deeds to that interest.

Thursday 7 – I and John was cleaning up bedrock, got gold $44. It was too warm for me to keep two shirts on, so off comes my blue flannel. I loaned my friends T. and I. Jennings $300.
Friday 8 – Delightful weather. I and John got gold $8. Shaw and Rains got $103. We burst our hose in the spot that was ripped twist before. Lawrance and Roister is piping away for the first time at his old claim, down below us in same ravine.

Saturday 9 – All well, and at work in good earnest. I and John got gold $16. I feel lonesome and disappointed on account of my wife not coming out.

Sunday 10 – A few drops of rain fell last night, or rather just before day. We breakfasted and divided out our gold. I and John dug $115, Shaw and Rains $199.25, and Lawrance and Roister had $41. We then dressed up and went down to the Point. I gave Duesler 1/2 of the $199.25, he paying $40 for hired help and board. I got $75 to my share. I then deposited with Thompson $395.25, making in all $1000 bearing date June 6th 1855, at the rate of two per cent per month, as he had given my security in the suit with Lloyd. I came home in company with Lawrance and took dinner, though rather late. We then walked up the to its head all right. I shall read the 8th chapter of John and go to bed, &c.

Monday 11 – I and John went to our place, and Shaw and Lawrance to work in the same ravine. We do not expect to hire anybody at present. Rains and Roister has not left yet. It was somewhat cloudy but no rain. We got gold $7. The other two made about the same. I paid Rains $66.75 for work done for the company, and $28.75 for Duesler.

Tuesday 12 – Well it has hailed and rained. In cold, stormy weather, in comes the miner to a good warm fire, without any gold dust. There is considerable thunder. I went to bed early feeling somewhat unwell, ate no supper, &c.

Wednesday 13 – Rained more or less through the night. I lay abed until a late hour, the sun at least one hour high. Cloudy this morning but cleared up soon and the day was warm and pleasant again. I and John got gold $15. Shaw and Lawrance has found it good, by going out in to the left bank. There is another channel that is rich, &c.

Thursday 14 – A fine day. I and John is piping together through where we commenced to work after five of the old company had left us. We got so wet and cold, the water falling on us all the time, that we knocked off early. We had not long been at the house when Tom Eaves came to our cabin. I knew him at first sight, not withstanding all his whiskers. He came across the plains in 1854. We talk a little about old times, &c —

Friday 15 – I John and Eaves went out to the diggins. Tom said he wanted to help work, so I sent him off after his things and told him he could try it a while until he could do better. We got gold $40. Shaw had Rains to work for him, as has a bad cold and don’t feel well. Lawrance and Rains done well —

Saturday 16 – I, John and Tom Eaves was at work in good time. The bank has slid in again last night. That kept us some time in getting away the dirt and rock. Well before noon we were piping. I saw and picked up a piece of gold that weighs 8 ounces and 10 drams–just $150 at the currant rate of $17.40 to the ounce.
Shaw and Lawrance has struck new diggins that is very rich so we’ve got a claim a piece there, in all four. We feel confident that we will be able to get our piles out of those new claims, but I wont throw away the old ones, by no means. We cleaned up some bedrock and then the sluice boxes this P.M. and got gold $97 add the two together and make $235 at $16 per oz —

Sunday 17 – After breakfast we spent much time in setting up for hired help and boarding the hands, so we fell in debt to Shaw $140.75, including money loaned, and paid out more than his share. He also paid the smith $7.50 for the company and  $10.75 for provisions to Thompson after we went down to the Point. I and John took tea with Duesler and his wife. John got pair gum boots, cost $9. My lesson is the 19th chapter of Saint John.
I and John was ordered out to work the road from the Point to the courthouse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next, or pay $3 per day for not working.1 The overseer was over to see us yesterday evening —
Duesler gave me a large penknife.

Monday 18 – I and John went out to work. He complains very much of debility and palpitation of the heart, &c. but worked the day out. We was setting our boxes anew at the very spot that we and Dobson commenced to work about the first of February 1854. We put in the Riffles–that was some trouble to mend. After noon, we was cleaning off brush and small bushes to set our penstock in a new place higher up the hill. Duesler came up, and Mr. Merrill. He wants to buy Shaw out, but I’d rather not. Shaw, Lawrance and Roister is at work our new claims.

Tuesday 19 – Eaves wanted to know why me and John did not like for him to buy Shaw out. I told him I did not know that he wanted to sell. Tom said he was satisfied. John went down to see Dr. Hill and got some medicine in the A.M. and in the P.M. he was out of work. Duesler came up with him. I put him to mending the hose while the rest of us was setting up the penstock, cutting ditches and burning logs and brush.

Wednesday 20 – Eaves is still staying with us. He was prospecting for himself. I and John was mending the hose. The thread was broke in many places.

P.M. I helped the other boys roll a log out of their diggins, cleaned up bedrock and got gold $10. John was sewing a new seam to strengthen the old ones in the hose. It has been so warm today that I pulled off my flannel shirt.

Thursday 21 – Quite warm today. John is sewing the hose and I cleaning up bedrock, got gold $5. We did not work the road according to orders.

Friday 22 – I and John set our pipe to work to clean away the rocks that us and Dobson handled in February 1854, the first place we three commenced to make money after the other five members of the company had left. We are running off the tailing and throwing out the stumps and rocks. The other boys are doing well —

Saturday 23 – I and John set up another set of sluice boxes and riffles alongside those that were already up, in order to work at either place as best suits the ground after getting under good headway.
The rest of boys had got a gallon of milk punch.2 I concluded to get on a bust, which I did to the full of my heart’s content. I fell at noon to raise no more on my
birthday, being 44. If my wife had been here it would not have been so with me, but it is done and I am again on my feet once more.
Tom Eaves has been sick since Wednesday last, but is now up again. There was no work done in consequence of the spree that I and Roister was in — I pulled off my shoes and socks and run about bare foot and cut my left heel. Soon I was doomed to fall down. I went into the brush, not knowing what I did, but I rose again at sunset &c. I gave $1 for the punch —

Sunday 24 – I breakfasted quite hearty, and soon after we set to and had a settlement. We had over $300 to our shares. Shaw paid $22 for beef and $4 to Thompson for the company. We four bought Pike’s water ditch, tools, provisions and cabin all for $162.50. We now will be able to work all summer.
My lesson is the 9th chapter Acts.

Monday 25 – I and John together this forenoon was sluicing down some top dirt that had fallen in our way.

P.M. we was striping away and have no occasion to be discouraged. We got gold $28.50. Shaw was attending to the things that we purchased in the forenoon. Lawrance and Roister was fixing the new ditch, and extending it also. In the  P.M. they was rigging to pipe —

Tuesday 26 – Tom Eaves asked me if he could go to work. We told him that there was not work for three, so after breakfast he started with others over to the Mountain House3 to join his company again. I and John went to work, he to piping and I to cutting up some logs that we left a year ago last March. The other three were piping away at their place.

P.M. all hands built a log heap at our place and then to their work. Shaw went to sewing the hose we got from Pike with two more seams. They got gold; we none.

Wednesday 27 – John complaining considerable4 though we was at work cleaning away a lot of top dirt that slid in the way.

P.M. I was at work alone. John quite sick at night. He had a high fever and said he was quite cold and chilly. I got gold $9.50. The other boys made none. I had my own supper to get.

Thursday 28 – John is laid up. He took a dose of Wright’s Vegetable Patent Pills5 last night, and complains no little.
I’ve had to do my own cooking today. Rains helped me to work in Johns place. The left bank of our diggins caved in and we had to pull out the boxes to keep the dirt from breaking them. We got no gold. John came out to the diggins late in the P.M. Shaw and Lawrance done well. Roister sick.

Friday 29 – John is better and went down to the Point this forenoon. No letters, but my papers had come that I have to take or send to the supreme court in the case with Lloyd. I and Rains was cleaning up bedrock and got gold $138. Shaw and Lawrance done well. Roister went out to work in the

P.M. Thomas Eaves came to our diggins late this evening; he is with us tonight.

Saturday 30 – I and Tom Eaves was at work. John says he feels better than he has done for some time. We all quit work early to settle up. The two companies had $322. I had to pay $18.50 for grub and $18 for board and lost time. I got my papers at last from the county clerk to take to the supreme court at Sacramento. The clerks fees for making them out was $46.80. I gave a receipt for the papers and also got one for the money for clerk from Thompson.

James Haun Diary, August 1854

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Tuesday 1 – I am still living on milk and mush, molasses and light bread. I feel quite well indeed without any kind of meat, and work hard every day. Marysville has been burned twice. The first fire, about six weeks, ago swept three squares. The last one four1.

Wednesday 2 – The nights are cool and days warm. We got gold $23 the last 2 days. Shaw and I went down to the Point after supper. A third woman has made her appearance at the gambling table to help out.

Thursday 3 – Quite warm, cloudy in the afternoon with thunder but no rain. Lloyd took Shaw’s and my picks down to the Point to have them sharpened. He brought me a letter from my wife dated May 10 18542. This is four weeks since John received a letter dated May 26th from his ma, a difference of five weeks. My letter gives an account of James Toppass being shot by Glass &c. We got gold $25.50.

Friday 4 – I commenced taking a cold bath every morning. We got gold $39.50. Shaw and I went down to the Point after supper. I paid $3 pole tax and $1.50 for bottle of brandy for John. I saw a woman try to get a revolver from her paramour to shot a gambler for breaking a lamp and spilling the grease all over and her and cards. She cursed him and then would cry. Half-a-dozen China women came to the Point today to get up trade &c.

Saturday 5 – We got out of the hard cement where Shaw & I are at work. We all got gold $84. After supper Shaw, John, and I, and Cook who is working for Lloyd, went down to the Point. The women are gambling as usual with music to draw the crowd. The China woman are camped on the sand bar of Feather River to sleep &c —

Sunday 6 – We all started for the American Valley with seven picks and a broken hoe to get Black Hawk to fix them. We went over to Sister Betsey’s. We then went back to Bradley’s and got dinner $1.75. We got picks and paid $7. It was cloudy all day and rained a sprinkle. Something to be wondered at–on our road home we picked and ate some ripe Thimbleberries.

Monday 7 – Shaw, Lloyd and I took three axes and a hatchet down to the Point and ground
them. Shaw and I came back to dinner and Lloyd stayed all day.

P.M. We went out to make a reservoir to catch water over night, as it is getting too scarce to work to an advantage. John and Cook got gold $5.50 and paid Cross $5 sharp.

Tuesday 8 – All four of us was at work on the reservoir. Lloyd came home last night but went back soon this morning and is not at home yet.

Wednesday 9 – All four of us making the reservoir. Lloyd not at home yet —

Thursday 10 – We went to mining but the water soon failed. Shaw and I went up the ditch and cleaned it out considerably but the water has failed us. Lloyd got home before dinner, not pleased with himself. John and Cook got gold $7.50.

Friday 11 – All five of us went to work on the reservoir throwing on more dirt. Lloyd went to nailing it together. We built it a log higher and concluded it was done at quit
ing time. After a hard day’s work I washed three shirts for myself.

Saturday 12 – All five of us went to mining and got gold $49. Shaw and I went down to the Point after supper. I got a letter from my wife dated June 24 18543 giving an account of Thomas Attwell and Matilda Stevenson getting married, Thornton and May Smarr running off and getting married, and old Brother Smith wants me to write how much gold I’ve got, that he may tell me when to come home, &c. I paid $3 for pole tax and one dollar for the letter. I am now and have been for sometime taking a cold bath at daylight.

Sunday 13 – Friday night I washed two cotton shirts and one hickory. I’ve had no washing done for a month or more. We settled up for expenses and then divided our gold after dinner. Shaw, I and John went down to the Point. John mailed a letter to Frank Rankin and I to one to H.P. Haun, paid cash $5.50. John did some washing for himself. My lesson is Chapter 1 of St. John. I paid Thompson $104.50, that pays off his bill entirely he has had against me since last fall.

Monday 14 – Lloyd and John went to work at their place and Shaw and I at our place. We got gold $27.50. They got none. Our water has failed so much we can’t half work.

Tuesday 15 – I and Shaw got gold $46. The Johns are striping off the top dirt. Our water has improved some today, owing to the Reservoir having got well soaked.

Wednesday 16 – Warm and sultry. I and Shaw got gold $22. The Johns have set up their boxes to wash for gold tomorrow. Our water was very weak this evening. I hope the weather will change soon. I and Shaw went down to the Point after supper. I got a 5th of meal, 75 cents.

Thursday 17 – We all got gold $38. The weather is warm and dry and our water is failing fast.

Friday 18 – We got gold $39. After supper Shaw, John and I went down to the Point. I told Free’s agent Roots that I had no use for his water and that it was ready for him at all times and to take it and use it for I did not want it.
I saw Green McHatton and had a long chat with him.
There was a stag dance came off: seven men, the other happened to be a gambling woman. They kept it up for some time. Old married men engaged in the sport but there wives and children in the states. Dr Vaughn is one of them sort.

Saturday 19 – We got gold $97. I gave $1 for whiskey. On Friday night Shaw, John and I went down to the Point after super. The China woman has left the Point but there is many men here that would do well to leave also.

Sunday 20 – I read Chapter 11 of John, finished my 13th letter to my wife and mailed it for 25 cents. Whiskey 50 cents.
I got acquainted with W.R. Dickson of the sunny south. He says he went to Havana with W.G. and helped him build a race track there. He has a wife and four daughters living in Wisconsin. He has been better raised than he now lives, I’ve no doubt. He says he will come and see me soon —

Monday 21 – It was cloudy this morning and rained some in the A.M. The sun shone out again from the middle afternoon till sunset. I and Shaw got gold $14.50, in all today $59.50 —

Tuesday 22 – It rained considerable last night and was foggy this morning but clear and pleasant all day. Shaw and I got gold $97.50 and the Johns $20. We can pick the nuggets up off the bedrock. We are close to the place where the camp took it out at $30 per day.

Wednesday 23 – I and Shaw went down to the Point last night after supper. I understood that Cross took out $2200 in Feather River below the mouth of Nelson Creek. I and Shaw were prospecting the 30 channel. We got some gold in consequence. We only got $21 and the Johns got gold $15, in all $36. Quite cool last night, almost a frost.

Thursday 24 – I and Shaw got gold $92 and the Johns $33.50, in all $125.50. Shaw and I were striping off top dirt nearly all day. We got the $92 in 2 1/2 hours.
After supper we went down to the Point. I was introduced to Gildersleeve the celebrated race man, Dr Vaughn said, “How do you do, Mr Haun.”

Friday 25 – Shaw and I got gold $70 and moved our hose and pipe. The Johns got $19. They had to strip in the afternoon.

Saturday 26 – I and Shaw got gold $58.50. The Johns are striping off the top dirt. I and Shaw went down to the Point after supper. I received a letter from H.P. advising me to pay off the suit with Vaughn to save cost.

Sunday 27 – All four of us went up to our reservoir and cut a small ditch to run the leakage water through the pipe. While we were up there Green McHatten came to us and stayed with me all day and night. The rest of the boys went down to the Point and Lloyd got drunk. He did not get home until the afternoon of the next day. My lesson is Acts Chapter 5.

Monday 28 – Shaw and John went out to work. I and McHatten went down to the Point. We talked about all the people we could think off in Kentucky while together. I got 8 pounds meal $1.25 and and came home to dinner.
I tried to get Lloyd home but he could not make it then. I frequently thought of you as it
was your birthday, wife. We were cleaning up bedrock and got gold $44. It rained Saturday night last here and snowed at Onion Valley. A frost the Sunday night following.

Tuesday 29 – My potato tops have been frost bitten. Shaw and I got gold $29. The Johns are stripping. After supper I and Shaw went down to the Point. l loaned Green McHatton $100 and partly heard Able make a Democratic speech.
I saw a mob pull down a China house, or rather upset where it had been. The China woman were boo-hooing. Old Amy came along, and just at that moment came the crash of the house and a yell from the mob. She sang out, O, Lord! and fell in the arms of her paramour. She soon recovered again and went to her cabin, I suppose —
I paid $1.25 for sharpening a pick.

Wednesday 30 – Shaw and I are still cleaning up bedrock. We gold gold $42. The Johns are digging up a big pitch pine tree and stripping. Shaw and I went down to the Point after supper. I paid $2.50 for half soling my gum boots.

Thursday 31 – I and Shaw are working over the ravine that paid us so well last fall, as we have just finished up to it yesterday. We got gold $32, and $23 of the $42 we got the day before was out of the ravine where it had been worked before. I laid in bed so long last night that I had the back ache this morning.

James Haun Diary, January 1854

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Sunday 1 – I finished my 7th letter of near two sheets to send to my wife. I went down to the Point to mail it, but to my great surprise, I received one of three sheets full up to the brim of date October 29th 18531. Also one to John of 1 1/2 sheets of date November 14th 18532. John’s gives an account of the death of M. Lemon and Masher and mine an account of having gone to housekeeping in Alvin Duval’s old house.
So, I concluded not to send it but write something more, as it did not make any difference. The mail would not go out for some days from these mountains. I opened my letter but I dare not read it until I went home, it being the first one since August last 27th3.
On arriving, my partner Dobson was drinking. He was for having a fuss with the men in other cabins so I did not have the pleasure in reading my wides letter that I anticipated. After dinner and supper–for it was all one–we all went to bed.

Monday 2 – So I got up before day and reads the letters over again. O, what a treat. We three are prospecting because we have no water to wash dirt.

Tuesday 3 – Still a-prospecting on the creek. John and I went up the ditch to see if could get the water down. We came across quite a number of lion’s tracks in the snow, all going the same way and crossing the ditch. Got the water down as the days are warm and pleasant and the snow is melted of in places. I closed the P. S. to my wife’s letter this evening, it being 7th.

Wednesday 4 – After dinner I went down to the Point and mailed the letter to my wife. 25 cents for letters to Marysville.

Thursday 5 – The coldest day we’ve had. Last night the water froze in the cabin.

Friday 6 – Still cold last night. The water in Sterling’s ditch froze up so as to run over and filled up hole in the bank that we was prospecting in. We had some trouble to get our tools out. We did no work today but get wood.

Saturday 7 – Compelled to get up before day to rest my back–it does ache no little, and when I am up it does not hurt much. Pleasant all day. We started another hole farther down the creek about 100 yards.

Sunday 8 – Beautiful day. I was walking about in my shirtsleeves and the snow is nearly all over the ground yet. I commenced on the first day of 1854 to read Matthew and so on. Today I closed by reading the 16th chapter of Luke, of the unjust steward.

Monday 9 – Warm and pleasant and some cloudy and snowed some. We are on the bedrock in the second hole. Commenced drifting in and we are getting small prospects.

Tuesday 10 – Snowed a little this morning but warm and pleasant the balance of the day. We dug into the bank about 5 feet. My testament–or the one I have with me–Saint John Chapter 10, verse 27, and then one leaf out, and commenced again in a part of the 12th verse and 12th chapter. As follows “were come to the feast”.

Wednesday 11 – Beautiful and warm all day. Some snow on the ground in spots. We are at work in the bank today but can’t find much gold.

Thursday 12 – It commenced drizzling last night. We concluded to open up the ditch. We set out with two shovels and an ax. We knocked the ice loose and got the water to wash it down. I walk in the ditch all the way of 1 1/2 miles and got the water down in good style. In the evening we were ground sluicing.

Friday 13 – Rained all night last, and all day today. We were out ground sluicing, washing off the top dirt. My lesson is Acts XXI, Paul goeth to Jerusalem. Still raining at bedtime. Changed to snow before we went to bed and continued all night.

Saturday 14 – Snowed all day. We were all day out cutting a ditch through a flat at the foot of the rich ravine.

Sunday 15 – Snowed all day, and is at it yet. We’ve all been putting leather souls on our gum boots. If you could but see us–we are in these lonely, snow covered mountains, two small cabins, and the South East one deserted–you could but weep for your flesh and blood, to say nothing of him who penned these lines.
In memory of these awful deathlike silence that seems to speak within us. All is hushed when we lay down our implements for mining. Then, not the rustling of these tall pines is heard nor the chirp of a bird, and not even the howl of a coyote. All is still except the crackling of the fire. But is still small voices is speaking in tones that may be heard in time to come4.
I shall read for my comfort and edification Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 11 of the newness of life before I sleep.

Monday 16 – It continues to snow, but lightly, with intervals of sunshine. We waded over to the gulch where our tools were, to see if there was water running but found so little we gathered up our tools and waded back to the cabin. The snow is 22 inches deep, and enough on the trees to make it a foot deeper if it had fallen regular.

Tuesday 17 – It is still snowing and continued all last night. We are compelled to stay indoors. We can do nothing out but sit by the fire and mend our duds. It continued all day and night snowing.

Wednesday 18 – Snowed all day and night. Its about three feet deep and a quantity on the trees. We stayed in doors all day. I wrote a letter to W. G. yesterday but cannot mail it. The snow is too deep to go to the Point.

Thursday 19 – The sun rose bright and clear and not a breath of air stirring. We turned out and made two roads to the trees we had cut down through the snow and cut wood to make fires. John made a road to the spring yesterday. Dobson is cooking peaches to make pies. I warmed some water last night and put my box near the fire and stripped off and got in washed all over and wiped. I put on a clean shirt and the only pair of drawers I have with me, an old pair my wife made me. Maybe you don’t think I feel clean.

Friday 20 – Clear and cold. A. D. McDonald and Ed Sterling came to see us. They wanted a sack of flour. We loaned them one. It was so cold that we all had to get up last nigh and build a fire to get warm. McDonald stayed all night.

Saturday 21 – Clear and cold. We all four went to the Point. I got ink and letter paper, 50 cents; pair boots, $6.00; and skein black thread, 25 cents. John got grey flannel shirt, $3.00. A quantity of ice is running in the Feather River.

Sunday 22 – Cloudy all day. Weather moderated some. We found that our potatoes were froze considerable. We sorted them out–one sack out of three were hard froze. We had wood to get and I washed a shirt, a pair of socks and towel before I went to bed. Commenced snowing after dark.

Monday 23 – Snowing some this morning but not so cold. We are setting round the fire. You ought to have seen the pair of socks that we mended. They are the kind that is mostly used in this country–eastern wove and the foot twice as long as the leg, and all raggedy. When new, they cost one dollar.
My place of reading was this morning was Chapter 3 of the First Epistle of Peter, on the duty of wives and husbands. Dobson let his leaven get froze. The dough that he baked tonight is not rose much.

Tuesday 24 – I am up before day I don’t know the what time it is. This I know: I am not sleepy, for the snow falls in such quantities off the trees on the cabin roof that makes me fairly jump. It seems to be raining some, at least it is thawing, and the trees a cracking on account of the wet snow on them.
Rained all day and night. I was all day putting cotton lining in my jeans shirt. I use it as a kind of coat by cutting it open in front.

Wednesday 25 – Early, before day, it was snowing and continued until about 10:00 A.M. and then cleared off. Warm and pleasant. We went over to see if there was water to work, but there was not enough. We waded back to the cabin through the snow. It is more than knee deep and occasionally it holds us up.
We cut and split wood and piled it up under the shed alongside of the house the rest of the day.
We are sitting around the fire, Dobson and John reading novels and I making this entry. All is still and quiet except small bits of frozen snow that fall from the trees on the cabin’s roof. I think of you, wife, always when I write in this book. It seems to me that I can see you reading it and asking questions and saying, I would have done this and so.

Thursday 26 – Cold last night, but warm and pleasant today. I closed Saint John the Divine.

Friday 27 – Cool this morning, but somewhat hazy in the evening. I made some boards with an ax to stop the few leaks. I read five chapters of First Matthew before I went to bed, and five more before daylight.

Saturday 28 – Cloudy last night and this morning, but it was warm and pleasant all day. I put some boards on my cabin and split some wood and commenced a letter to D.H. Smith.

Sunday 29 – Finished my Letter to D. H. Smith and went down to the Point and mailed it, and one to W. G. Haun. This was a warm and sunshiny day. I was in my shirtsleeves all day and the snow is knee deep.

Monday 30 – Warm and pleasant all day. We went up the ditch to see if we could get the water down. The ditch was broke in several places and water running out and the long flume was leaking bad from the quantity of ice hanging to it. We called all and raised some of the boxes and got the water through before night.

Tuesday 31 – Warm and pleasant. We shoveled out the snow for nearly one mile and got the water down to our work. I dreamed General Pratt had sold the tavern out last night.

James Haun Diary, August 1853

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Monday 1, Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3, Thursday 4 – The fourth night, I dreamed I was in Georgetown and saw you as plain as could be, well and hearty in Mrs. Pratt’s room. I shook hands with Mrs. Pratt. You said to me to go to your room. I then woke up.

Friday 5 – I dreamed of being there again, but do not recollect particulars.

Saturday 6 – At work on the ditch.

Sunday 7 – We all went to Nelson Creek except John and had somewhat of a disturbance and afterwards a fight between an Irishman and an Englishman. The first named proved the best.

Monday 8 – The difficulty is not settled yet. John bought out Major Brookie’s claim for $50 down and $200 in sixty days and expenses included.

Tuesday 9 – We all went to work this morning except B.I. Mathews. He lost all the week by sickness. In the afternoon we took up another water claim.

Wednesday 10, Thursday 11, Friday 12, Saturday 13 – We blocked off work at noon. John had to wash two shirts each, after a fashion.

Sunday 14 – Five of us shouldered our guns to hunt the head water of the branch of the creek that we took up to see if we could turn it in the other branch that we are at work on.

Monday 15 – We are still at work on the ditch and are getting along well.

Tuesday 16 – Dug a rattlesnake out of the ditch. John received a letter from you on Sunday 14 of, date June 9th.1

Wednesday 17 – The weather is beautiful, all sunshine. A breeze springs up every day to keep it pleasant.

Thursday 18 – The snow continues on the mountains. We are camped within 2 or 3 miles. I see it every day, when I look that way.

Friday 19 – Ate pork and beans in consequence of which dreamed that I was in Georgetown at General Pratt’s. A large collection of people seemed to be passing about all through the house, and you, my wife, seemed to pay but very little notice of me.

Saturday 20 – We finished digging our ditch and let the water in. Had a supper of tea, bacon and bread. Six of the company went to the Point and got drunk and got back after midnight.

Sunday 21 – All hands at camp sitting around a watermelon that cost 5$. I’ve had as good for 25 cents.

Monday 22 – I commenced to make sluice boxes to run the dirt through to catch the gold.
To 1/2 quire letter paper, $.50

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 – We finished one set of sluice boxes and set them.

Thursday 25 – We commenced washing for gold. We got today about $8.

Friday 26 – We got about $30.00. Cloudy all day.

Saturday 27 – We about $12.00. Cloudy all day.
I was the balance of the week making another set of sluice boxes. It thundered powerful and the lightning seemed to blind me as it was right before me on Saturday night and rained a very small shower. Not enough. Came through my bark roof bed.
On Thursday night the 25th there was a ball given by Dr Vaughn and his partner at the mouth of Nelson Creek on a sand bar. They built a temporary house and danced all night. Had about 15 ladies. John went down to see after supper and got a letter from wife of date June 27, 18532 giving an account of death of her brother James Hurst and Mrs Smarr.

Sunday 28 – One hour before sunrise. John is getting breakfast while I am setting in my bunk writing down the past events of the week with my wife’s letter before me. John and I went down before noon and cut more grass to fill up my tick. This evening the company has split up into two messes, 3 in one 3 in another. I and John in the last. Supper is quite ready.
Wrote my 5th letter to my dear wife —

Monday 29 – The men divided off into messes. John and I went down to Nelson Creek after quitting work and packed up our provisions and a hard pack in the dark.

Tuesday 30 – Two of the men startled a grisly going to their work about 150 yards from our tent. We had four guns but could not get to see him.

Wednesday 31 – Our digging is not goof this week.

June 1853

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Wednesday 151 – For medicine, $.50
For mending boot, $.60
For Breakfast in Marysville, $.50
To ferrying about, each $25-50
To carpet wallet, $2.00

Thursday 16 – To packing up cloths

Friday 17 – To starting on tramp and packing gun and wallet at the Ten Mile House
To apple pie and Buttermilk, each $.50, $1.00

We traveled 17 miles and put up for the night. Our feet badly blistered.

Saturday 18 – To supper, breakfast, each $2.00, $4.00.
We are resting at the Oregon House. 7 1/2 miles this morning; our feet quite sore. We continued our tramp until near night and took super, which cost us $1.00 each, $2.00.
We then continued our walk some time in the night in company with a Virginian who had a horse that carried our wallet and coats. We three then spread down his blankets under a pine tree and went to sleep.

Sunday 19 – Got up early Sunday morning and packed up, started on our way. Stopped and took Breakfast, each1$, $2.00.
We continued journey until 1:00 o’clock P.M., put up for the day at Strawberry Valley. Ate supper and lodging, $1.25 each, $2.50.

Monday 20 – Early in the morning we started for Grass Valley. Arrived early in evening. The 4 day travel is called 75 miles. We breakfasted about 10 today, cost us 1$ each, $2.00.
The last 5 miles we passed a quantity of snow some 2 or 3 feet deep in spots about on the ground. Our feet is quite sore, yet while I write there is several men playing at cards, which is the case everywhere I been in public houses, Sundays not excepted.

Supper each $1, $2.00.

Tuesday 21 – Breakfast each 1$, $2.00.
Old Virginia left his horse today for Major Brookey to ride as he got on a spree last night and was not able to travel today. John and I shouldered the gun and wallet and Old Virginia with us off we started for Nelson’s Creek. Its called 18 miles over high mountains and snow, some 3 or 4 miles over snow that was 10 feet deep. We passed through Onion Valley where the snow had been 50 feet deep. The natives showed me a pine tree near their houses that was trimmed for the wood. That looked as high to me as the sycamores I trimmed for Sam Thompson.
The last five miles was down the mountain that we had been on top of. We got so weared in our knees that we was often compelled to an sit down and rest. We made the tramp in the afternoon in good time and put up with Dr. Vaughn, a brother of Jim Ware’s wife. I had not long been here before he asked me if I was not a brother of Judge Haun’s. I asked him why he asked the question. He said because we favored. I then told him I was an elder brother. We are within 30 steps of the mouth of Nelson Creek that emits in the middle fork of Feather River. There is a continual roaring of the water. There is diggins all about here.

Supper each $1, $2.00.

Wednesday 22 – Breakfast each $1, $2.00
Dinner each $1, $2.00
Set about all day. In the evening saw 5 dollars washed out.
Supper each $1, $2.00

Thursday 23 – Breakfast each 1$, $2.00

The balance of our company arrived last evening. Lying by today. Expect to start a-prospecting in the morning after breakfast.
I went in a bathing. I found it cold at the middle fork of Feather River just above the mouth of Nelson Creek. I then went a little up Nelson Creek I saw four men digging. They took out $8 per man.

Dinner each $1, $2.00

Our guide continues to drink. I’ve done nothing today but visit the diggings as we could not get off ourselves, it being my birthday, and 42 years old at that.

I was anxious to start a-gold hunting. This evening I saw two pans, the work of six hands today–about 4 oz2 all told.

Supper each $1, $2.00

Friday 24 – Breakfast each 1$, $2.00
1 pair blankets, $8.00
1 pan, Iron, for washing gold, $2.00
6 lbs meat and bread, $2.40

Old Virginia, John and I started up Nelson Creek to prospect. We called a halt at Independence 2 1/2 miles. At noon we crossed Nelson Creek and took up Dickson Creek. Washed out several pans and got the color every pan.3 Old Virginia said it would not do. We came down again to Nelson Creek and took tea. Our supper consisted of soda crackers, cold roast beef, and midlen meat and water. We spread our blankets and down we lay for the night. O, that hard bed —

Saturday 25 – Our breakfast was of the same, that our supper consisted of. Crossed Nelson Creek and commenced panning out. We got the color, but Old Virginia said it would not pay, so we put out for the mouth Nelson Creek. Took dinner and supper of the same, stopped at the inn to eat breakfast, each of us.

Sunday 26 – I washed some of my clothes and shaved. I wrote my fourth letter to my wife. John added a few lines and gave it to the express man. I paid him 25 cents to put it in the office at Marysville.
Cloudy all day. It snowed an inch or two deep on the mountain a traveler said. It rained here late in the evening.

Dinner each $1
Supper for John, $1

Monday 27 – Breakfast each $1

Clear cool but pleasant.

Tuesday 28 – Out hunting for gold.

Wednesday 29 – Out hunting for gold.

Thursday 30 – Out hunting for gold.