James Haun Diary, January 1858

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Friday 1 – New year has commenced with us again. We are quite discontented owing to out unsettled condition and our affairs being in a very bad fix.

Saturday 2 – I had another dun from Haydin on behalf of Burkholder and also one from A. Mengers from Marysville. I received a letter from him dated the 18th of December last.
Early in the morning Carter and I started over to Mill Creek prospecting but returned without making the desired discovery, though we found some fresh deer sign, that we expect to look after some other time.

Sunday 3 – Cold last night, yet a beautiful sunny morning. Calm and serene, a day of rest, a day that should be devoted to the praise of God—and yet there is none that will set the example.

Monday 4 – I wrote a letter to John at Marysville but failed to get it off. I was lying around as usual not doing anything. I let Maston have the oxen and wagon to haul wood. Dick is to work for the Arkansas company yesterday evening.

Tuesday 5 – It commenced snowing this morning at day light continued all day. The snow is some 6 or 8 inches deep in valley. The sleighs are running.

Thursday 6 – Clear and cold. Nothing to note, but everywhere about this place seems very dull. On Sunday last I got from J.C. Lewis $74.75 in exchange for Lovejoy’s note of the same amount due 3 months with interest at 3 per cent per month. I paid Overton $100 in interest money the same day and gave my note for $125 more for the same. I gave Harper $20 and my note for $120 on an old beef account of the date of December 9th 1857 on Monday last.

Thursday 7 – I let Maston have the ox team to haul wood and hay. The nights are cold but days are sunny and somewhat warm, &c.

Friday 8 – The nights are cold and days somewhat warm. Things were very dull about these diggins yesterday. On Sunday last I collected $10 of Streshly for hay.

Saturday 9 – Its quite cold last night. The water has frozen out in our branch of the creek every night this past week. None comes down till noon for the stock to drink. I gave Byers a letter to carry to Marysville for John to look at, as B. is going down. I and my wife took tea with Lewis and family.

Sunday 10 – Cloudy and snowing a little early this morning. As far as I can discover while noting down the past week occurrences that interested, me the day has passed without any improvement in the morals of the people of Quincy —

Monday 11 – It snowed all day at a moderate rate, but melted quite as fast as it fell. I paid $.25 for tax, put soles on my boots, and played billiards and cards for whiskey. It is what most are at here at Quincy.

Tuesday 12 – Last evening Myers’ little daughter came to board with us while going to school. It snowed last night 8 inches deep in the valley but cleared up today.

Wednesday 13 – The sleighs are in full blast. Today is somewhat cloudy. Nothing to note, all dullness and dissipation. We’ve read the president’s message.1

Thursday 14 – Very cold last night indeed, but the day was warm and sunny. Several citizens went up to Spanish Ranch in sleighs with a view to have a dance.

Friday 15 – Early this morning it is snowing fast and the appearance indicates a deep fall of snow.

P.M. It melts away as fast as it falls. I brought a suit against old Sockum to recover costs in which he was interested. I had a note garnished in the hands of the Jews, Asheim &c.

Saturday 16 – The snow is 6 inches deep here with crust on it, with a damp atmosphere. The sun shines out at intervals. Maston got 73 pounds wheat. There was a dance at Meadow Valley tonight.

Sunday 17 – Today passed off as usual, drinking bad whiskey and playing billiards with most idlers. I too was playing chess with Norton and won the odd game.

Monday 18 – Up at day light while the rest in the house is quiet. The fog is quite dense, but few houses with the smoke ascending the chimney pipes as yet in the town. I cleaned off the hay ladders so the  sun could melt away the snow.

Tuesday 19 – Quite frosty last night. We are still carrying on our  regular do-nothing ways.

P.M. We loaded on some hay and Carter and Jack went to Betsy Town with the hay to Burkholder. I let Hogan have the horse to go over to Indian Valley.

Wednesday 20 – Cloudy and rainy all day. About dark it commenced to snow and continued all night.

Thursday 21 – Still snowing and raining all day, but without increase in the depth of the snow at all in the valley. Very dull indeed.

Friday 22 – The snow fell near one foot deep last night and has been at it all day, but rather too warm to increase its depth. Sockum came to town to settle our lawsuit by giving his note with G. Martin as security for $1,62.85, payable the first of June next. This pays in full for the company.
I sold Maston 75 pounds cabbage at 5 cents and got the cash $3.75. I hauled on the coarsest pair of boots on Wednesday last that I’ve worn in California, for which I am to pay $7. They are the sixth pair I’ve got for my own use since coming to California.

Saturday 23 – It was snowing this morning at daylight very moderately. Several old woman took tea with us, and some men.

Sunday 24 – It was quite cold last night. Sundays is considered no better day than the rest of the week.

Monday 25 – The weather has moderated somewhat, though cloudy and foggy.

Tuesday 26 – The same routine of business and lounging all day.

Wednesday 27 – There is no alteration in the weather, it being cloudy and foggy, nor in the regular employment in town with the citizens.

Thursday 28 – It is the same thing over again day and night: playing cards for whiskey and billiards to see who shall keep his money or pay to the table.

Friday 29 – Cold and clear last night. I let Maston have 53 pounds wheat. The sun shone out warm and pleasant. Nothing doing.

Saturday 30 – Cold and freezing last night and warm today. I played some chess with Norton. I proved rather the best today.
I let Duesler have the oxen and wagon to haul a load of hay.
I let Brewer have 348 pounds wheat at 6 cents per pound and got in return 10 gallons lager beer and had the same amount previous. Hogan came back on Monday last after being gone with the horse one week —

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James Haun Diary, 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.

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