Tuesday 1 – I and Jake is putting the shaft down. The water was 15 inches deep in the hole this morning. The hole is 11 1/2 feet deep. This evening it is 21 feet deep and much water to contend with. Mac is sluicing down by himself. Jake and Mac is gone to the Point to see a show of some kind tonight I am at home by myself. Rather lonesome.
Wednesday 2 – Jake got in before daylight, and Mac after sunrise. We were late getting to work. I and Jake sunk the shaft past most of the rotten boulders about 30 feet deep. Tonight Mac is by himself sluicing down very hard cement. We are down to bedrock and no gold from all appearances. We’ve not had time as yet to prospect the bedrock dirt.
Thursday 3 – I and Jake went up to the hole to prospect, but got no gold. I don’t know where to look for gold now. We went north and prospected some old holes but no color of gold. By noon we were out at the diggins helping Mac. In the P.M. we all set in to picking down hard cement. I did not clean up.
I’ve not enjoyed my fate very well. I am all the time thinking what shall I do to make some money. I am willing to work, but fate is against me. I’ve almost given up trying to any longer.
Friday 4 – We all three was at work in the diggins all day. We did not clean up the sluices.
Saturday 5 – We are digging down top dirt and running it through the boxes again. At noon we cleaned up.
Sunday 6 – I stayed at Quincy all day. I collected from Warren Stagg $95 and gave him up his note of $114, or rather he had a man to buy it up for him. I settled with Dr. Kate: paid him $76 in an account of $65 and $11 in cash and so we are even again. I paid A. Richards $11. There is still a balance due him. I got $87.50 on the A.C. Thompson note and Martin as security. The remainder of note goes to Sam Baloo and Fox, so I gave the note to Sam Baloo last night.
Monday 7 – I paid P.O. Hurdley $50 for Harper and Apple on a note of something over $100 and took a receipt for the same. I soon after left for the diggins by myself. I went by Alford’s mill and up the hill. The boys had just gone to work after dinner. I went to the cabin got some thing. I made two small troughs and two pick handles, then went out to help them till night.
Tuesday 8 – I made a pick handle for Jake out of dry oak then went up to the reservoir and turned all the water into the flumes. I then went to help the boys pick down that intolerable hard cement. We soon broke the points of all the picks, though we worked on till night. Jake and Mac has gone down to the Point tonight to have them fixed again. It is very warm, and has been for three days.
Wednesday 9 – Mac stayed at the Point, as there is quite a number of men going up to the blue lead today. Jake came home last night with the picks all sharpened again. I found myself on the way up to the blue lead alone, but I soon overtook two men and mules. When we got onto the ridge we were overtaken by several more. On we went, till we got to the divide between American Valley and Middle Fork of the Feather River. We stayed on the supposed lead and got two men to prospect, for gravel, and then we all three was cleaned up bedrock. In the P.M. we picked down some of that hard cement and cleaned up after supper.
I and Jake went down to the Point. We had $59 worth of dust. I paid Fox $21 for our grub bill, or rather I paid his clerk Myers. I put a letter in the express along with $125 to go to Galloway, Hite & Co at Marysville. I then came home. Jake stayed for the night.
Friday 11 – Jake came up before we got out of our bunks with beef and butter. We were digging down all day without getting gold or trying, or cleaning up.
Saturday 12 – We are still digging away in the cement. Noon came, and no one has come after me. I went out to work again in the P.M., but concluded that I would go to the valley. So I went to the cabin again and, washed myself, put on my best goods, shouldered my rifle, and started. Before I got out of sight of the canyon trail I saw Dick and called him over. I got on the mule and soon made the valley. The boys cleaned up and got gold $53.50, with one piece weighing $23.50.
Sunday 13 – I put in my time at Quincy the best I could. There are some improvements going on: the foundation is being laid and much of the carpentry work is done and doing. I had a good mess of radishes of the ranch.
Monday 14 – I gave Dick $8. John gave him $8 last week and this week. I then got on my mule, and Duesler on his mare, and we rode up to Townley’s diggins above Alford’s mill, then on to my diggins. We found the boys at dinner so we too pitched in. That over, I had Duesler trim my hair. Then we went out to work and Duesler started home with the mule I rode. I picked up a piece of gold about 1 1/2 ounce. We cleaned up one box and got about $5 more. Jes Woodward paid me $8, the balance on account.
Tuesday 15 – We were sluicing down all day. It was cloudy all day and rained a little at night.
Wednesday 16 – It is raining a little this morning. We were late getting out to work. At noon John came over and took a bite to eat with us. He brought a letter from John B. Overton. He says he must have some money. So, John went down to the Point. I gave him $90 and he had $55, making $145 in all, which he sent to Overton at Onion Valley. We were sluicing down all day.
Thursday 17 – We finished digging down and sluicing down hard cement. We then went to cleaning up bedrock the rest of the day. Jake and Mac have gone down to the Point to get 4 picks sharpened.
Friday 18 – It rained last night and some today. We were late getting out as it was raining. We were cleaning up till noon. We then cleaned up all the boxes.
In the P.M. we had a settlement for Mac’s benefit. It over, the boys went down to the Point. I hurried on my best duds and made for the valley. I arrived at sunset. There were quite a number in attendance at the county convention.
Saturday 19 – Very cool last night. I went to the theater last night with my wife. There was a full house. I was pleased with the performance.
Quincy was full of men today. The convention nominated all Buchanan candidates for office. The Douglass men were all beaten by a coalition of Know Nothings1, old whigs 2 and black Republicans3. Another show tonight. Great dissatisfaction among the Douglass democratic ranks.
Sunday 20 – Still cool at night in the valley. The people are leaving in mass for their homes. I’ve felt quite stupid all day. I gathered my wife a large bunch of flowers last evening. I gave John Overton $56 worth of gold dust to be applied on a note of $361. In all I have paid $201 on it. I then went to bed.
Monday 21 – I feel very much like I don’t want to go over to the diggins, so, after some tome dillydallying about, I wrote a letter to C. Lindley at Marysville. I paid $.25 for the express. I then shouldered my rifle and started. I arrived at noon. Jake was at the cabin and had dinner ready. We ate and then went out to work cleaning up bedrock, and setting the sluice boxes again. Jake had cleaned out about $10 in gold dust before I got there.
Tuesday 22 – We two are all alone and in for a good day’s work cleaning up bedrock. When evening came we cleaned all the sluice boxes and got some 4 ounces of gold dust.
Wednesday 23 – We finished where we were at work, and now for a new place. We are going to set in up the ravine, at the big log that is propped up at the but with two poles. So, we commenced to pack up the sluice boxes and tools. We set two boxes and let the water in. I cleaned out a small ditch to catch all the seep water that was going to waste.
P.M. We ran through all the old tailings, then cleaned up and got about $2.
Today was my birthday, being 47 years old, older than good.
Thursday 24 – We were out at work in time. We set three boxes higher up in the bank than they were and commenced to sluice down.
P.M It rained quite a shower. We did not clean up. We quit early and had supper then went down to the Point and sold out our dust. We had $111. I then paid Fox $18.50 for grub, Cunningham $3 for meal, and Fox $1.50 for an express matter.
Friday 25 – We were a little late in getting up some cool, to sluicing we went but set 2 more boxes we made a large hole in the ground the too last days did not clean up.
Saturday 26 – We cleaned up the cut and also the boxes. Our gold was very scarce—$3.
We concluded to knock off, which we did and got our dinner. I put things to rights and washed off, then dressed and up and went down to the Point. I took out my old cloth vest that I brought from Kentucky and burnt it to ashes with two shirts. I took my gun and made tracks for Quincy. I arrived before sunset. All’s well.
I let Jake have $20 and the $3 dust.
Sunday 27 – There was quite a frost in the valley last night. The vegetation froze some, the wheat and other grains are much injured —
The courthouse is up, and ready for the rafters. There was preaching in the courthouse by a Methodist minister. The hat was handed round, of course.
Monday 28 – Still another heavy frost froze some potato vines. I rode up to see Captain Riddle and the diggins. He has given a mortgage to the rest of the company for $585, and said nothing to me about it. I wanted them to set the mortgage aside, but they would not.
Tuesday 29 – We had another frost last night, harder than all the rest. Negro minstrels came to town, and I was too see them perform last night. I hauled on my mining duds and gun, then I rode to the Illinois Ranch then footed it the diggins. Jake had dinner ready.
P.M. We went to mining where he had set the boxes. We did not clean up.
Wednesday 30 – I was very cold this morning in my bunk with two pairs of blankets and my cotton sheet spread to keep off the dust. I got up, made a fire, and lay down again.
Jake was unwell, so much so he did not go to work all day. I went and dug all day alone. Later a man came to diggins and said he wants to work with us. We agreed. He is paying us $65, when it comes out, for the tools, grub, furniture, and water—if the diggins pay.