May 19 1865 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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Mollie Burns writes to her sweetheart John Haun at home in Geogetown, KY describing a visit to relatives in Louisville, during which she visited the Cave Hill Cemetery, and saw her sister Dora.

May 19 1865

Dear Friend,

Yours of the 9th was received by Cousin Mary on last Saturday. I have been up to town for the last two weeks, and she would not send it to me or I should have answered it ere this. She does not allow me to stay with Cousin Mag at all and keeps my letters to get me back. I was thinking you were rather dilatory about writing but had divined your reason, which proved true on the arrival of your letter with the explanation.

You don’t see why I can’t stay a little longer with my cousin, as no one is in a hurry to see me. Now don’t you want to see me? Sure enough you do to. Well I don’t care if you don’t; I want to see you any how.

Dora has been out. I guess you all had a fine time of it. But Dora is not to supplant me in Uncle Pack’s affections if she has in yours, for he used to say I was one of his favorites. And you all had several romps—well that is just like all the boy that ever visited our house. They will romp and play with her and sit back as if they had a horror of me, and I am sure I do not try to inspire such a feeling. I love as well as anyone. Dora told you the joke did she? Cousin enjoyed it finely but I was somewhat teased over it.

Dora says I have not written telling them when I was coming home. I presume my letter must have arrived after that for I have written home that I intend to start home this coming Thursday. I do not think I will allow anything to detain me that can be avoided. I want to see them all at home so bad. I never stayed away from home so long before. It looks to me like a dream; I can scarcely realize it. The Confederacy seems to have wound up in a perfect hurrah. President Davis1 is to pass through here today or tomorrow. Many houses here are still draped in morning for President Lincoln.

And you have heard from home I suppose that they feel somewhat relieved now that you are allowed to roam at your pleasure. Don’t you want me to help you to drop corn? I think I would make a splendid hand don’t you, with a little instruction. A party of us visited Cave Hill Cemetery on Tuesday. It is a lovely place. I have a leaf from Courtland Prentice’s2 grave. Quite a number of Rebel Soldiers are buried there. Their graves are covered with flowers planted by the ladies. I also saw the box with the remains of the Kentucky Giant who lived and died at a little place near hear called Shippenport. It was a very large box indeed. He was over 7 feet tall.

I do not suppose your last letter was opened in Georgetown but it was the fault of the General that this arrived unmolested. I do not know whether or not you employed aunt Jemima’s plaster to seal it. I don’t know the name of those flowers I sent; they came out of my cousin’s yard. Consequently, I cannot tell you the emblem. Just attached some pretty emblem to them to suit yourself, and I will be satisfied.

If you get this letter in time enough to answer before I start home, do so. If you think not, it will be be all right. I shall not stop long on the way home. If you were here this morning I would make you a pretty bouquet. The yard is full of flowers—I have never seen as many roses in one place before, and such a variety. Now don’t tell me you are too busy to write, and have no time till after tea. I expect you are kept busy sparking some of the girls. I am coming home and will break up that arrangement. I don’t intend to give up of my sweethearts to the girls unless the gentleman in question is particularly anxious—then I shall not have anything else to say.

But for this morning, I shall bid you adieu. My love to Scheezicks.

As ever Your Friend,

Mollie C.B.

Metadata: Postmark: Louisville, KY | May 20
Sender’s location: Portland, KY | Georgetown, KY

April 22 1865 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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Mollie describes a recent visit to Indiana, and writes to John of her family, and their opinions of the couple’s relationship.

Saturday Morning
April 22nd 1865

Dearest Friend,

You obey well, I was pleased to find Your letter awaiting my return, it arrived on Wednesday and myself, yesterday.

Jimmie C. has not called yet. Mollie will always treat your friends well and not only treat Jimmie well for your sake, but like him very much myself. Does he intend to stay in Louisville, or is he only passing through?

I was pleased to hear of your being with my sisters on Sunday last. What do you think of Mrs Jenkins, Charlie’s ma? I wish he was more like her. I believe I want to see Fannie’s three little ones and Charlie Boots worse than any of you all up there. But I want to see you mighty bad. I am getting a little homesick. I never could stay away very long at a time.

Such a blowing up—well, well, you know I could not get along without scolding a little, but we will let it all pass. I love to tease you so much, you don’t know how much I enjoy it or you would allow me the privilege, would you not? I never had any secrets from ma or pa, not that they were prying at tall, but I never do anything that I object to them knowing. I guess pa just took it for granted. You had heard from me I shall go and call on Cliff when I get to Midway. It was quite laughable what Mrs Lemon said indeed, but I think she was excusable under the circumstances.

Ruby is the name I like so well to hear you call me. It might not sound so well from anyone else, or other lips. I guess if Mrs Shelton should die Bob S. and Alice S. would marry.

The city here is still in mourning for Lincoln. We went down on the Morning Star, the boat you bad Rebels pressed into taking you over into Indiana. Captain Ballard told me you all like to have scared him to death. Blue River Island is just above where we got off, where Hines buried some of his men. I was delighted with the first Clerk, and had the pleasure of his attention down and up, in all my spare time. He was an acquaintance of my Cousin’s. We had a fine string band on board, some very pleasant young ladies, and a nice dance on our way back, but I did not care to be introduced to any stranger, consequently I held no conversation with any gentleman but the captain, the clerk and my cousin. We were on all night on our return, being delayed receiving freight. I slept very little, there was so much noise at the landings.

Cousin Sallie Hutchins and I went to two house parties. Their style of dress here I could better describe with my tongue, having more power to employ it to a better advantage than my pen, for instead light lawn dresses, they wore black skirts, bows of blue, red, and yellow ribbon in profusion, with no required to color or taste. Sallie and I being from the city had choice of the gentleman or course, if there was any choice. Of course WE put on all the style imaginable. We had our own fun. You, knowing girls’ vanity, will think our imagination had a great deal to do with it—but if we had been two live elephants we would not have been gazed at more. Now I know you all up there will say, yes just like her.

There is a great sensation in that portion of the country concerning oil, as they are boring for it have found some. But deliver me from Indiana, what little I seen of it. They told me on the boat what I might expect to see, but I told them on my return their descriptive powers failed to give me the least idea of the country till I had seen it. But there is a pretty good joke out on me. I have written home and told them about it. But I don’t believe I will tell you. Ask Dora if you would like to know—but I guess you are not that much interested.

Dora says she believes you love me, and you wish to know, what I think of it. Well I would not like to think otherwise. You can answer this letter. I may make a start for home the last of next week or the first of the following week. I have just commenced to make Cousin Mary a frame and will have it to finish. Cousin wants me to stay with her till the forth of June till her husband comes home like to be accommodating, but am getting a little home sick now.

I shall expect a letter. I may answer it with a letter, and I may answer it in person—which would you prefer? I know you would say in a letter just to be contrary, but I do not like to be teased if I do enjoy teasing myself. and especially from you. Cousin sends her well wishes, and says something else. I will not tell you what. I could not make out what was erased toward the last of your letter this time.

As ever your Friend,


Your letter was open when Cousin got it out. Excuse the envelope.

– Mollie

Metadata: Sender’s location: Portland, KY | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY

July 21 1864 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun

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Mollie tells John the Georgetown news as usual. She mentions that his parents have petitioned their senator on his behalf and wonders whether he will return to California on his release, or visit her in Georgetown. This letter includes an enclosed newspaper clipping of a poem entitled, “Off to the War” by Fleeta which has not been retyped.

Thursday July 21 1864

Dear absent friend,

I think every time, I take up my pen to write to you perhaps it will be the last time I will address a letter to you in prison, that Providence will surely favor you in some way, that once again you may enjoy and be restored to those privileges one knows little how to appreciate until swept away by misfortune’s ceaseless visits. But may hope our guiding star still buoy you on. Never think for a moment or allow yourself to harbor the idea that Mollie can forget former friends and associated fun, or change the old for the new, such is not the case. Although she may not write as often as you might wish, yet it is not because she thinks less of her friends than others, but it is owing to a natural distance, or antipathy for writing.

I expected you would receive our letters on the same days as Mrs Webb sent me a little note, written by your ma requesting her to direct and forward on a letter for you. She not knowing whether or not you had been removed, sent to me wishing to know your address. Your ma spoke of her distress on your account and her application to their Congressman on your behalf. I sincerely hope her endeavors may be crowned with success. She advises you to return to California. I think myself it is very good advice. You would then be away from the difficulties attending war. But I am selfish enough, not considering your own comforts, to wish that you would remain here, and help us, share our troubles.

You say of course there are secrets in your duck’s letters and you will let me see them, if I will promise not to tell Chalk. Well I should like to see them but dislike entering into such an agreement for if she was to insist you know you used to say she was quite an inquisitive little body, and the old adage being true, that woman’s promises are made to be broken, I might tell. Dora I think is some what relieved since she has gotten home as Buddie raised up on the street, shook hands with her and invited her up to see his wife. Dora says it seems as if I was blamed on all sides but she will exonerate me of all blame. And you—I had hoped at least to claim one friend who would rather pity than blame when all the world was to ready to censure—but considering I weigh 121 1/2 pounds I suppose my shoulders are broad enough to bear it.

You want me to select you a pretty plump sweetheart of that weight. I intended to ascertain the weights of the girls, and if there were not any of the specified weight and requirements to give you the original. As to the plump pretty and neat part of it, I can’t say, but suffice it is to say, you would have to be ready to pity when others blame, the last to censure, the friend that sticketh closer in adversity, before you could have the original for a sweetheart. Not thinking of course, that perhaps you would not except of her on any terms. But enough of such.

Mrs Bell White has lost her little girl, Mary Lou White, with scarlet fever. She took it very hard. We have had a great deal of it amongst the children. Fannie’s three have had it, but are well at present or very near. E. Canon is much worse.

There was quite a large picnic in Dudley Davis woods by the well two weeks ago but I did not attend, being in the country. The Georgetown boys contemplate giving one this coming Saturday. They expect Saxton’s band down. I think I shall attend. We three houses have quite a lot of company, Grandma’s, Aunt Price’s, and ours. An aunt and two cousins from Lexington, cousin Tom Chalk, Uncle Bob’s wife and daughter from Paducah, Aunt Ritcherson, and two cousins from Wellington Missouri. No time to get lonesome.

Mat Sanders was up on Saturday and I, thinking he came to see Aunt Tish, went downtown. He is as mad as you please with me, but if my burden does not thicken much faster perhaps I can bare it. Tommie L. and Annie Price are in Clark.

If you will just teach me how to commence a letter as pretty as yours is commenced I will be under lasting obligations to you and will try and teach you something in return, if you have not graduated in everything, so accomplished that Mollie, in her humble attempts, would fail in all undertakings which would be any thing but pleasant to her.
You say you do not remember who it was that came near making you lose your hat. If you remember, you was standing in the middle of the street at the hotel and like all the rest, made good use of your hat till a body would have thought every hat was worn out. Well I shook hands with the one who you, as all the rest, delighted to see, the Legion of the day.

I heard from Fannie Johnson the other day. She is well and hearty. When Fan was here, there was a gentleman from Lexington down to see her, and since Fannie has been gone he came to see me. He came down last Sunday. I am trying my best to cut her out and she knows it, for I told her I was going to try. She does not know he was down last Sunday, and you know I, like all girls am crazy to see her. I know you will say I am mean or a bad girl.

Ma McCann came down the same day I was at Orford, and came on out to see me, but could not find the house. Don’t you think after coming to Georgetown and then out there it was too bad not to find me. I am dealing altogether in Lexington beaus at present which doubtless you will think strange, but if you were to see M.C. you would not wonder. I wish you would come home so I could claim a Georgetown beau. I believe they all know me too well.

I have something to tell you which I thought to tell you in this letter but will wait till I see you. It is some thing that will surprise you very much, I know, for it did me. Perhaps you may hear it but if you have not, you will.

Sometime soon the men of Georgetown are getting up a burlesque show of some kind similar to one we attended for the benefit of the poor. I have no news to tell you scarcely, and still I wish to fill out my sheet of paper, with something to while away your time for a little while, even if it is uninteresting—but am fearful on account of its length, that it will not be delivered. But as mine are generally short and far between they may indulge me some. You surely have drawing masters in Camp Chase from the looks of your letter.

We have such beautiful moon light nights now I often think of the pretty night we were sitting in the door after Johnnie. Gabbie, Eaf, and Ellen had left, and the wonderful meteor on that occasion. I always shall believe you were frightened, for you just sat and would not talk to me for five minuets or more. You say you are going to come and see me if no one else. Well now don’t get out and start home without showing your pretty face in Georgetown.

I have just been wondering to myself if you do think of going home. I believe it is this month one year ago that you were made a prisoner. John Lemon is very sick at Camp Douglas1 I suppose your health is good as nothing has been said on the subject lately. You ought to bleach white as snow in a year leading a prison life, but perhaps it is built on the order of the prison at Frankfort.

I am suffering with a very sore mouth, don’t you feel sorry for me? It hurts me to talk and you know that goes hard with me. You would not try any roguery now, I guess, for fear of contagion, if you were to come home. Mollie, Chalk and Mary in one letter, would you not think of another name, Ruby or something else to call a fellow by. Anybody would imagine you were talking about a dozen girls. Just so you think I am worth that many, it is all right.

Mary has written, now you do the same, the very same or the next day after you get this anyhow. You are selfish and wish to keep all, and send all of yours in return. Well, I should never be satisfied with a part in the world. I am two much like you are yourself in that respect. All or none. I don’t like divisions of that kind do you?

Please write very very soon, from,

Mollie C. Burns

What I thought of telling you that was so astonishing is concerning myself, guess and if you don’t succeed I will tell you.

Metadata: Postmark: Georgetown, KY | July 26
Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Camp Chase, OH

July 18 1853 – Martha Haun to John J. Haun

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Martha Haun writes to her son John Haun, who is mining for gold in California, together with her husband and brother-in-law.

July the 18th 1853

My Dear Son,

I received your letter of date 29 May this morning and also one from Dave dated the 2nd of June. You cannot form any idea the pleasure it gave me to hear of your good health and seeming good spirits. I am truly sorry to hear of Dave’s bad health but hope he will soon get well…

I am at a loss to know from your pa’s letter whether he is satisfied or no, and you do not say whether you are making anything or no, or whether your uncle H.P. and Cath is kind to you and your Pa. Do not, my son, hesitate to tell me everything, for you little know the anxiety of mind I have about you. I would be willing to go any where on earth to be with you. I want to go out there and help you to make enough to buy us a place where we can all be together. Sam is very anxious to go and I think I could go and take him and we could all of us soon make enough to get us a home where we want to. Consult your Pa about this and write me immediately, and if he is willing we will start the last of October or first of November. I know I can stand the trip.

Bled Harman and Louis West got back last night from Texas. Bled says he will move out this Fall. Louis says he will send his children but will not go himself. They were at Mark Hournoy’s and say that he is doing well and well satisfied. They say he can sell his place for twelve thousand dollars more than he gave. They were at old John Emison’s also.

I wrote to your Pa three weeks ago to day and informed him of the death of your uncle James Hurst. He died the 22nd of June. The balance of the relations are all well. Lizzie is at Mr Moore’s at this time. The Negroes are all well and doing well. The town is about as it was when you left; no material changes except the weddings that I have told you of. Betty Holtzclaw stayed with me last night. I told her what you said and she says she is going to write to you. She says, “yes, indeed she is a going to stick to her promise.” Tell Dave Helen was to see me yesterday evening and I delivered his message. He knows how modest she is and of course he would not expect a reply–

Oh, I had liked to have forgot to tell you that Dick West’s wife has a fine son and Bet Moorland soon will have something. Mr Hunt and wife and children and Cass Blackburn all took dinner here yesterday and stayed a few hours on their way to the blue lake that is a fashionable place this summer. Tom Otherwell will go south this Fall. He says he gave sixteen dollars per acre for his land and it is on the  river and first rate land. I know if your Pa and you would go there or Texas it would not take a great deal of money to get us a good home. I want you to tell me how long you expect to stay out there and tell me what you are doing and how much you are making, you and your pa both. Tell me how your pa is satisfied and how you do about clothes.

Johnny Johnson is in town. He asked me about you the other day and told me to give his respects to you. He says he is very anxious to go out there but his mother is not willing. Ben Chambers has come back from Texas. He says he cannot get any more for his labor there than he can here. The fact is he does not want to labor anywhere. I think that is the secret of the matter. Will Wood is waiting on Mary as usual. People think they ought to marry. Burt Johnson and Ben was on a big spree a night or two ago. They wanted to bet which was the drunkest. Burt does nothing else hardly but spree. He comes in town every evening and carouses all night and leaves at daylight in the morning. He sleeps all day and is ready again for night. He has quit the church long since and I think going to ruin as fast as possible. Dave Sullivan stays out home with him nearly all the time and gets drunk with him in town. Dave fell out of one of the window up stairs here two weeks since and has not got over it yet. He was drunk and got up and went to the window to vomit and pitched out head foremost on the pavement just below the bar room. He cut and bruised his head and face up. It was all the hurt he got but he will doctor him self up so it will not spoil his beauty, so they said. Miss Helen Loffton is in town and I think Burt will or is making a desperate effort to renew his old courtship and trying his best to break off from Betty H. He told me positively that he never intended to marry Bet, but she has told me they would marry, so I do not know how it is, I believe now he is trying to get clear of her, but I do not believe she will let him. I know she will not if she can help it, but I think he is off when he talked to me about her the way he did. I advised him to marry her or quit going to see her so often and he is trying to quit. Certainly she has let him be too familiar–and not only him, but any one else—–

This was court day here today and I have never seen so many people in town in my life. There is so much excitement about the election. There was ten thousand dollars bid today here. There was a company of whigs some from Lexington with lots of money to bet with. Every democrat that would bet and they got bets to the amount I named. Lue Flournoy and Wallace Keene bet largely. There has not been so much excitement here for many years about an election. they say there is more money bet

[illegible] was in Kentucky on an election a great
[illegible] whigs will vote for Breckinridge,1 Hench
[illegible] and the Barlows that I know of will vote for Breckinridge and you know they are all whigs.

My dear son, I must stop for I have nearly filled my sheet, and, oh, my darling boy, do not forget to love your mother and write me often and tell me everything, for it is all the pleasure I have. All I can take any interest or pleasure in is you and your dear farther and, oh, do not deprive me of that by not writing to me. Give my love to your pa and tell him that it is the hope of meeting again alone that keeps me up. Oh, God, what would I want to live in the world for without you? I would not want to live in the world, for without you again, for it is a lonely life without your pa and you. Anyhow, give my love to Dave, Jack and all of them. Tell Dave I will write to him soon. So farewell my darling boy.

Your mother,

M. Haun

(I commenced this on the 18th it is now the 19th of July)

Metadata: Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Nelson Creek, CA

John Haun Diary, October 1856

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Wednesday 1 – We run off clay all day and got a small place ready for cleaning up. Dave came home about noon. We bought some potatoes of Butts.

Thursday 2 – Cleaned bedrock today and took out 11 oz and $1. We bought some quicksilver of Hayden.

Friday 3 – Took out 34 oz and $4. I felt a little sick today.

Saturday 4 – Run off clay all fore noon Dave and Dad cleaned some bedrock and piled it up ready for washing Bates and I dug out the drain deeper we set our boxes over again ready for washing.

Sunday 5 – Stayed about the cabin in the morning until nearly noon. Lem Compton and Sherwin came in and stayed about two hours. We all went to the Point and deposited our dust after straightening up our lost time. Ned got back this morning from the Mountain House and brought me some shirts from home.

Monday 6 – Shoveled in some old drift and some dirt. We threw up Saturday and took out 12 oz and $11. Sherwin came in about supper time and stayed a little while. Cold and cloudy all day.

Tuesday 7 – Cleaned up today and took out 6 1/2 oz. Commenced raining in the forenoon and continued all day at a pretty good rate. We all got wet and cold. We quit a little before night.

Wednesday 8 – We done no work in the forenoon on account of the rain but took out 4 oz and $3 in the evening. Very cold of mornings.

Thursday 9 – Worked today as usual and took out $89. Dad and I cut the drain low
er. A couple of county candidates and McNabb came to the diggings in the forenoon. We heard that Jack was married and gone home.

Friday 10 – Worked as usual and took out 3 oz and $3. We finished the old drift today.

Saturday 11 – Set our boxes and worked the balance of the day and took out 10 3/4 oz. Sam Ballou gave me a note from Quincy. Bill Raina came down and took supper with us and I went to the Point with him and I stayed all night. Sherwin gave an oyster supper and I took a hand with them. We played poker awhile &c.

Sunday 12 – Miss Shores and Lizzie came down to the bar and stayed about an hour. I went to the Point with them. Bill Rains and I went with them as far as the old cabins. We found a couple of them burned down and everything in them, my trunk and clothes. We went home and then went to the Point after supper and I wrote a note to Pa. The company hired Bill to work.

Monday 13 – Worked today as usual and took out $107. Ned and Sweeten bought out Davies and set in today to work.

Tuesday 14 – Took out $212.50. We got it out of the big crevice. Hogan and Sherwin came to the diggings late in the evening.

Wednesday 15 – Worked as usual took out 4 oz 3/4. Pa came in about noon and stayed all night. Cloudy today.

Thursday 16 – Pa, Bill and I went up to the Point after breakfast. Dave also I bought a pair of pants for $3. Pa also bought some things. We went up the Pike ditch and back to Lloyd’s cabin. I.S. Root is building a house on the hill near the road. Rained a little all day. We worked in the evening. The company took out 4 oz and $7.

Friday 17 – Rained all forenoon. We set our boxes over again in the forenoon but worked none. We did not work in the after noon we all went to the Point in the evening and seen a couple of organ girls

Saturday 18 – Worked as usual in the forenoon. Bill and I started for the valley after dinner. We went down after supper and seen the organ girls in the saloon. Nothing else of interest today.

Sunday 19 – I stayed about the house all day. Dr Tredenyer and a little girl came up in the forenoon. Also in the evening after supper. I stayed all night. Nothing more today.

Monday 20 – I helped Pa dig a sack of potatoes to sell. I started home after breakfast. I went to work after dinner as usual. Our boxes fell down and broke some of them all to pieces with our gold in them. Pretty cold all day.

Tuesday 21 – Washed as usual and took out 4 1/2 oz and $2.50. The bank bothered us a great deal from caving in on us.

Wednesday 22 – Did not wash in the forenoon, having no water. We put on a crooked box at the lower end. Dad and I dug a drain on the bank to turn the seepage water. The bank slid in on us some today. The company talked of starting a drift. Did not clean up tonight.

Thursday 23 – Worked today as usual and took out 7 oz. The bank caved in very badly all of the time. The sheriff came by the diggings today. Dad commenced a drift at the lower end of the stripping. Bates to help him.

Friday 24 – Found the bank carved in our hole so we went to running off clay. We turned off the Chinamen at noon. Dave hired Lem Compton to work in his place.

Saturday 25 – Run off clay as usual all day. Dad got in one set of timbers today. We went to the Point after supper and stayed a while. No more.

Sunday 26 – Pretty cold today. Dave and Kyler started for the valley about noon. I gathered up gunny sacks and brought them to the house to send to the ranch. I bought a pair of boots for $10 and a pair of soles for 2.25. Hawks and Hogan made speeches at the Point after supper.

Monday 27 – Run off clay all day. I cleaned up a couple of big boxes to get the Quicksilver. Nothing of interest today.

Tuesday 28 – Run off clay in the forenoon and washed in the after. Also washed the drift dirt and got but very little. Blew up and was cloudy after supper. Swinertin’s boy came after some clothes of Kyler’s about noon.

Wednesday 29 – Washed all day and took out 7 oz and $15, including drift dirt.

Thursday 30 – Washed all day but did not pan out, it being late. We all went to the point after supper. We set our small boxes ready for cleaning up again. I saw the advertisement of Dave’s claims to be raffled the 22nd of November.

Friday 31 – Washed all day but did not clean up the boxes, only the drift, and got $10.

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James Haun Diary, August 1858 to January 1859

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Sunday 1 – Quincy is almost deserted. Times are hard and getting worse.

Monday 2 – Thompson came down soon and closed the trade with John. He is to give up three of my notes and get 1/4 of the Massack ditch and tools also.

Tuesday 3 – I and Henry shouldered our rifles and came to my old diggins. All is quiet and still. Henry made bread, then we had our dinner without meat. We then went down to the Point. I talked with Ray about the right he held to Smith’s interest in Nelson Creek. He let me see the bill of sale. We got some beef and came to the cabin and had supper.

Wednesday 4 – I called to Henry to get up, as it was late. I slept well enough but was harassed by dreams about my business affairs. So, I was in a bad humor to wake up, having been troubled both wake and asleep.

Since the above date, it would be needless for me to attempt anything like a true statement of facts, though I will endeavor to state some of the most prominent events that has happened up to the present time.
I am now takings easy as to work, but I was never so hard up in business matters. Suffice to say I am willing to turn my attention to most anything for relief, for bankruptcy is staring me in the face sometime near the close of August.
Those that were called ‘Douglass Popular Sovereignty Democrats’ held a meeting in which I was nominated coroner. I had to make a small speech on the occasion. In a few days I went to Humbug Valley, stayed one night, then down to Rich Bar on the North Fork of the Feather River. I stayed one night there and the next day went home. At all events, the election came off first week in September and I was beaten, as I expected, by Dr. Cate, by over 200 votes.
About the close of September I went down to Marysville to see if I could borrow some money, but I made very little exertion to get it. I done this for the purpose of getting some relief and out of the way of dunning creditors.
H.P. was down to San Francisco on account of bad health, and his son also. They all came up at the close of the first week in October and stayed all night at Jack’s. Henry said I was a Republican. I said at home when the like was said I gave it the bye. I did not ask him to help me raise any money; neither did I go to see him. On the 10th of October I started for home–for the American Valley. I arrived the evening of the 11th, a Sunday at that.

Monday 12 – Our circuit court commenced. We had two cases in court. We got a judgement in one case against Jas Smith at Nelson Creek. He has no property to make the money out of. The other case was laid over ten days for time to answer. In that time the court adjourned.
I was somewhat unwell with chills. Overton came over. My wife and I made a deed to the ranch and took up our note and mortgage. We made every effort in our power to wind up. My wife in the meantime closed out at the tavern and we sold off most of our loose plunder. We got a horse and spring wagon to leave the valley in, which we done, but not until we had made some arrangements to get the ranch back. My wife paid $300 and left $150 for John to pay, which he did soon after we left.
There had been a big fall of snow for the season, but we got out before any more fell and in November we were three days in getting down to Jack’s.
Soon after, I went up to Bourne’s to get money he owed. A few days after, he sent me $360 in two parcels. I sold the horse and wagon to Jack for $250. I then sent Overton $550 on November 22nd.
I put in my time helping Jack. I wrote three letters to John to come down and John wrote one to his Ma that he would wait until I came up. We get it about the 20th of January 1859. So, on Sunday morning at 6:00 I put out for the mountains, and that evening, I suppose, John arrived at Jack’s.


Sunday 23 – My passage up to New York House was $6. Then I footed it the rest of the way. Paid $1 for breakfast at Sabriskey’s. I took dinner as I traveled on foot. Often bread and chicken that Ellen had prepared for me. I arrived a few minuted after the saddle train had got in from the same place.

Monday 24 – Lodging and whiskey at the Columbus House, $1. I supped on my bread and chicken and was off at daylight for Rabbit Creek. The road from here on was covered with snow and ice. I beat the train in by half an hour. I was at Rabbit Creek at half past 10:00 A.M. I took dinner on the road to Gibsonville off my bread and chicken and pound cake. I arrived at a quarter past 2:00 and put up for the rest of the day and night.

Tuesday 25 – Supper, lodging and breakfast, $2.50. After sunrise I started for home against the heaviest wind that I’ve had to contend with in these mountains. I got the Nelson Creek before 1:00 P.M. I wasted an hour here, and also at Onion Valley and finished my provisions as I passed my old diggins. I got to Quincy before sunset and none to welcome me home. All desolate dreary. I took supper with Duesler and slept in my own bed all alone.

Wednesday 26 – I breakfasted with Duesler and put in my time around town and again took supper at Duesler’s. I turned in at home for sleep. Our dog Gris was gone, but he came back when I called him by name. He seemed to be well acquainted. I fed him. A right big kitty came in, very glad to see me. I fed him also.

Thursday 27 – I took breakfast with Truitt. I looked around home and cut some wood for my room stove. The white faced cow had a calf on the snow and we put them in the barn. I took supper with Duesler.

Friday 28 – I was at Duesler’s for my breakfast again. I then bought some beef $1.75. I cleaned up the pantry, kitchen and dining room, cooking tools and dishes, and made some biscuits, the first I ever tried. I cooked some beef steak and made tea and ate supper at home.

Saturday 29 – It snowed 6 in deep last night. I warmed up my steak, bread and tea and breakfasted. I paid $.50 for candles, $.75 for a bar of soap, $.50 for a box of blacking, and $.50 for two pieces of window glass. I put one in the pantry. I fixed the sink in kitchen.
I got $4 of Bates and Brooks for one day’s use of oxen and sledge. Preacher Grove paid me $21 for hay and pasturage, and $1.50 for a bale of hay. It has been snowing some all day. I did some sewing on my pants tonight. I wrote my wife a letter on Thursday evening, express $.25, and made this entry.

Sunday 30 – I was up before day and made some repairs to the kitchen. I was some time in getting the stove hot. I made up some dough and put it to baking enough biscuits to last another day, as I only take two meals per day. It snowed considerably last night. Its sloppy and the sun is shining. I put a pane of glass in the dinning room window. No one has been to see me yet.

Monday 31 – Stormy again last night. I paid $1.25 for beef. I get a little wood to cook burn in the house.
I, with five other jurymen, decided the right of property. We received a fee of $3 each.

James Haun Diary, June 1858

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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.

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James Haun Diary, April 1858

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Thursday 1 – It rained last night and continued all day very hard, some times snowing. I and John fixed up the hay ladders in the rain and then put up one load hay before noon.

P.M. John hitched up the oxen and drove to Betsy Town to the butcher. I was a lounging or loafing. Carter started out with mail but returned again in the P.M. Dick went up to the diggins.

Friday 2 – The weather is unsettled. I and John hauled wood for the house, and in the P.M. hauled one load of short wood that was cut for Bass.

Saturday 3 – The sun has come out warm and pleasant. I and John hauled the rest of the short wood, one load to Bass and another for the house of another quality.

P.M. We sacked up 2,786 pounds wheat and John took it to Judkins’ mill. John let Judkins have 800 pounds wheat to pay him $40 that he held my note for. John Overton has come over to get some interest money of me. He took supper with us this evening.

Sunday 4 – It is snowing again this morning and looks rather gloomy, as I’m pressed.

P.M. The weather is inclined to clear up storming but it is hard to tell when it is done.

Monday 5 – John hauled 925 pounds wheat to Burkholder at $5.50 per pound, and brought back some slats to make a pole fence. I cut and split 1 cord wood for Newton. Late in the P.M. I and John staked and rigged up a log fence.

Tuesday 6 – I and John were all day taking our blue potatoes out of the ground. We put them in the wheat house. Carter was sawing and pointing palings till noon. After, he started down with the mail. Jack Stinson got home early this morning.

Wednesday 7 – John and Truit took a load of lumber to Varner on Badger Hill. I and Jack made 20 posts and set them for fence paling in the A.M. After, it commenced to rain and continued till night.
We put on some palings, McNealy helped us. I paid $1.50 for coffee and salt and got six pounds nails on credit. I let Newton have 50 pounds potatoes.

Thursday 8 – There was some snow on the ground this morning. John went to the mill and got some slab scanting and slats for palings, and hauled 200 feet scantling for G. Apple. I and Mac made paling fences, and later Jack helped.

Friday 9 – John and Truit went to hauling plank. I, Mac and Carter went up on the ridge at the head of Mill Creek to find new diggins, but did not succeed. It was very cold up there.

Saturday 10 – John and Truit went to work hauling plank. I went up to Curtis Point to see Squire Reese to get some money. He promised to bring it down tomorrow. Mac was cutting potatoes to plant.

Sunday 11 – The weather is warm and pleasant. Judge Sexton came into town yesterday to hold circuit court. Late this evening Reese came down and loaned me $200 at 5 per cent per month. Hogan is also on the note as a joint party.

Monday 12 – I sowed about two acres of wheat in the garden. John harrowed it in. Mac laid off the potato ground. I planted 8 rows. I and Duesler paid a debt to Jas Viers of $696 including debt, interest and cost. My part is $201.

Tuesday 13 – John and Truit went to work hauling plank on Badger Hill. I and Mc planted blue potatoes. We’re not half done.

Wednesday 14 – I and John laid into the ground again, and run another furrow over the rest of ground that was not planted in potatoes. Mc worked at cutting in the P.M. Jack helped us. When we got done John and Truit went to mill after a load lumber.

Thursday 15 – John and Truit took another load of lumber to Badger Hill. I and Mc finished the paling and did some other things.
After dark we had a meeting in the courthouse to pass resolutions to sustain Douglass in his course against the Lecompton, Kansas swindle,1 but it was no go. I paid the express $3.25 for services and $2.25 to Bass and Houk on settlement.

Friday 16 – The day is warm and pleasant, though somewhat cloudy. Nothing doing. Coffin got 500 pounds cabbage. In the P.M. John and Mac loaded on hay for G. Apple.

Saturday 17 – It has been several days since I wrote down any transactions, but I was around town as usual.

Sunday 18 – May God help us. We are in a bad fix and see no way to get out of it. We are to be as poor as the poorest, duns from all quarters, and nothing to pay with but the ranch.

Monday 19 – I was helping Maston to fix three picks, cost $1.50 each, in all $4.50. In the P.M. I had him make a claw to draw nails with. I gave $2 for it. John and Mac was fixing the fence down the lane till noon. After they hauled wood for Maston, two loads wood, four cords, for a total of $6.

Tuesday 20 – Early. Watpain came with two pack mules form Coffins to take our grub and tools to the mines at Willow Ranch. Mac and I set out after a short embrace of my wife. My blankets and some of my clothing was on hand. It has been two years since, on the 10th of last March, we all left the same place to live in the American Valley—but what a change! Lizzy has ran off and got married. Dave is gone to Marysville, and John is low spirited with his mother on the ranch. She too, O God, is very unhappy. I left her weeping —
We arrived at the cabin about about noon. We found the camp occupied by two poor dirty miners. We unpacked the mules then took out some provisions that my wife had prepared for us before we left and sat down out of doors to eat. Then we cleaned out the cabin and the area in front, and put our things in. We then went out where these men were mining and saw them clean up. They had $9.
I spread my blankets on a very narrow bedstead and woke up very cold in the night. I got another pair of blankets and tried it again, but with no better success —

Wednesday 21 – I and Mac went down to Rocky Bar and dined with Kyler and company. After, he gave us cups and saucers, knives and spoons, two fry pans and a skillet. We put out for home. At Nelson Point we got $10.50 worth more grub and tools. So, we put for the cabin with our  packs, we took supper as our cooked provisions was not all gone yet.
I changed my bed Wednesday night and slept somewhat better, though I dreamed that John Hurst had came to this country to see after his daughter. Lizzy he seemed very much dissatisfied about him.

Thursday 22 – As we do no cooking breakfast is easy got. After, we started up the ditch to see if all was right. We soon found plenty of water. As we went along the ditch we cleaned it out and cut some brush out of the way that had grown up since I left it. The flume is much out of order, though plenty of water is passing still father up. It has been cut and stopped again recently, and near the head it has broke down and a sluice box has been put in by someone, but it is not large enough to carry the water so it runs over. We stopped some of the water out of the head of the ditch, went home and got diner. After we was hunting for a place to prospect. Mac made up some dough for bread as neither of us had done it.

Friday 23 – We went over to the main ravine to prospect every pan. We put in the day to very little effect.

Saturday 24 – Root was up here last evening and promised to be here soon this morning. We went up the ditch and left him. He overtook us. We examined some diggins at the head of the ditch to the left and found gold on the bedrock and a shovel, sluice, fork, root ax, and three of my sluice boxes. We went up the ravine, but there was too much snow to see the character of the ground, so we returned home and took dinner.
We went down to Willow Ranch then to Nelson Point and stayed till near night. We learned there of quite an excitement in Honey Lake Valley. The Indians is gathering to fight the citizens of that valley, Indian and American. They take the miners as they come to them.
We went home to cabin and as night approaches my thoughts and feelings are anything but pleasant as the distance of 10 miles separates me from my wife and John.

Sunday 25 – It was daylight when I awoke, after dreaming that old Charles was altering some negro boys 8 or 10 years old, as if they were so many pigs.2
In time we had out breakfast. Mac made up some dough for bread. We then went to to reservoir and tried two pans of dirt, but got no color. We came back to the cabin. Mac was baking bread.
After dinner we went down to the Point stayed till the next night. I bought some beef, butter and molasses, which cost $7.50 in cash altogether, then went home. Emmonds brought four letters over from Quincy, two from Marysville, one from Georgetown, Kentucky, and one from my wife. She is about to take charge of the old American Hotel at Quincy.

Monday 26 – Early in the morning I and Mac shoulder our tools and went up to the reservoir to prospect. We set two sluice boxes, one with a riffle in it, turned in the water, and set to diggin. We quit early and cleaned up and got gold.

Tuesday 27 – I came to the conclusion to work at another place for the present until we can get a hose. We are a going to try the channel that Dave left off in. I fixed up three old sluice boxes that was near by, set them up, and had the water running through them. We had to move a part of the rock pile that was under a large pitch pine that had been dug up by the roots.

Wednesday 28 – I dreamed that my wife said some hard things to me. I said nothing in return.
Early in the morning I was making a sluice box out of some old lumber. Mac is out digging or running the top dirt off. I carried the box out.
It commenced snowing, so we quit work and went to the cabin. We stayed inside the rest of day. I drew up some accounts. It snowed all day.

Thursday 29 – Very cold this morning. The ground is covered with snow and clouds from the North. I continued drawing up accounts. We took dinner and went out to ground sluicing. I repaired another old sluice box and put it in below.

Friday 30 – Another beautiful morning. Mac is getting breakfast. Once over, we went to ground sluicing till noon. After we tried to clean up but the cement is so very hard that we made but little headway. At all events, we cleaned up the boxes and got about $4 for a start.

James Haun Diary, September 1856

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Monday 1 – I’ve been married 25 years today, and are here in the American Valley at Quincy. The democrats have had a convention and nominated their country candidates. Some are drunk and fighting. Rains fell out with me because I told him he must not take a candle in the barn.

Tuesday 2 – A trial was held against Betts for keeping a gambling house in Quincy. I was one of the 12 jurymen that found a bill against him. I paid Dr. Cate $200.

Wednesday 3 – I’ve done nothing this week. Rains is drunk and don’t come about until late. Betts sued out a habeas corpus and was set at liberty by Judge Ward.

Thursday 4 – I and Lizzy went over to Rocky Bar and took dinner. I paid John Ritchey $500 borrowed money and interest from the 7th of April last. He is still due $10. We came home and some very suspicious persons stayed in town last night but left early this morning.

Friday 5 – I’ve been arrogating some.

P.M. Rains made acknowledgements for his bad conduct. I accepted. My wagon was found last week. I had a pick sharpened.

Saturday 6 – Cold and frosty last night. The potato tops froze again. I paid Haydon $200 on the last payment on the ranch. $200 more still due on the 8th. I, Rains and wife cleaned and finished up the hen house. Ben Firman paid me $21 for ranching last night, so we are even. John came over this evening.

Sunday 7 – Nothing of note occurred during the day.

Monday 8 – I, John and Brookey went over to Rocky Bar and stopped some time up at our old diggins.

Tuesday 9 – I stayed all day and worked in the diggins, took out $92.

Wednesday 10 – Brooky and Kyler went over to the American Valley. Rains and I were watering cabbage and potatoes.

Thursday 11 – I and Rains were at work on the east end of the barn putting up planks on the gable end.

Friday 12 – This is the same today.

Saturday 13 – We finished, and did some work on the west end. The plank still need straightening, &c.

Sunday 14 – It is very unlike any other day. Fiddling, drinking and gambling all goes well here. The black Republicans have had their meeting and nominated their county candidates on Thursday last.

Monday 15 – At work on the west end of the barn. We still keep arrogating.

Tuesday 16 – Our work is the same today.

Wednesday 17 – The same as before —

Thursday 18 – My wife, Lizzie and three other ladies went over to Rocky Bar and came back to Illinois Ranch. They took tea and then came home by moonlight. There was dancing at the courthouse.

Friday 19 – Rains was sick on Wednesday last and did no work that day. I finished this end of the barn. Rains went to Alford’s and got eight pieces of scanting to assist in making doors.

Saturday 20 – Rains went to Alford’s after some 20 foot plank and other stuff — I went to making doors in the P.M. We succeeded in making one pair and I received a letter from H.P by E.T. Hogan on Friday last—all’s well1—and one from Dr. Barlow last night stating that our Negroes were all well and that Nelson’s leg would soon be so that he could walk on it again.2 Letters cost $.25.

Sunday 21 – My wife was somewhat unwell on Friday night last, but is well to all appearances. I wrote a letter to H.P., cost $.25. I paid $.25 for paper. Two trains of immigrants and 350 head of stock passed through on their way down to Sacramento Valley.

P.M. Liz took a walk out without leave to meet Ward. All is not right. Done to run off to marry.

Monday 22 – I followed a train to see Phelps up Spanish Creek. Did not succeed. I and Myers are his securities for $500 in a case to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday 23 – I was all day helping Maston make hinges for the barn doors. Dave came over yesterday to hear Governor Foot make a Fillmore speech and returned this morning.

Wednesday 24 – After many strong entreaties by my wife and I we succeeded in getting Liz to renounce T. Ward and write him a note to that effect.
I was engaged in hanging the barn doors at the west end of the barn.

Thursday 25 – I received $215 in costs paid by me in the with Freer and Vaughn. by an attachment against Freer. I also paid Haydon $100 on the last note for the ranch and made doors for the east end of the barn.

Friday 26 – I and Rains were putting up the doors to the east end of the barn and paid Blood & Co. $95 on account. He is without doubt a hard done. I made a small door in a large one.

Saturday 27 – There has been a theater the past two nights. My wife and Liz went with Haydon. At the close, my wife prevented Bradberry from holding a conversation with Liz. In consequence the Ward family was insulted. Mrs. John Ward said in the store that I should apologize for my wife’s conduct or he, Ward, would shoot me.
John came over this morning. I paid $.75 for hinges and screws and hung the small door.

Sunday 28 – I, John and Rains went up to town but were not molested.
P.M. John started for Nelson shortly afterwards. I received a note from Bradberry, saying that no lady would insult a gentleman at such a place, and that he had concluded to take no notice of the conduct, &c. I showed it to Hogan and Deusler, and they advised me to pay no attention to it. We are in hell on earth. We have done everything we can to prevent her from marrying him.

Monday 29 – I was at work planking the North side of the barn below the sill. Bill worked at watering cabbage.

Tuesday 30 – I finished what I was at the day before and feel very much out of humor on account of our domestic troubles, &c. Dave came over, but is not at all pleasant. I sent for him as I heard he was going below.

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James Haun Diary, June 1856

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Sunday 1 – I lay about H.P.’s all day. General Row came out and spent the whole day with us.

P.M. Rained a very little. In the course of the day women’s rights were freely discussed.

Monday 2 – H.P. and company have a leven harvester at work in haymaking. I was in the meadow most of the day.

Tuesday 3 – Cool and windy for the time of year. Haymaking going on in the P.M. Bourne came down with $512 worth in dust, and a note payable to H.P. by R., for $500 in 20 days. Later we walked out in the field.

Wednesday 4 – Bourne started for home early. Henry, his wife, the children, and myself went to town in the carriage. I paid $2 for fixing my wife’s watch, and $17.50 for a ball dress for Lizzy, and borrowed $500 of Cunningham’s, payable in 30 days. I paid $.50 for dinner. We all went out to the ranch &c —

Thursday 5 – Cool and windy weather. I paid Henry $5 borrowed money, also $1 to Derick. I and Henry went to town. I bargained for a bill of goods of Tredwell & Co., in the hardware line, to be sent. Also a bill of $69 for oats; 2 1/2 pounds of peas, $.50; and 1 pound of Cilly Clover seed, $.50; whiskey $.37.

Friday 6 – I and Tom Hickman started for the mountains with seven head of beef cattle belonging go the boys, Henry, Jack and Derick, also Derick’s black Oregon horse. I am to pay him from $80 to $100. Henry went with us across the Yuba at the Linda Ferry. I paid $2 for ferriage. I and Tom took at $.75 each and stopped all night at Davidson’s, 35 miles on.

Saturday 7 – I paid $7.50 for ourselves and horses, and $1.75 for the cattle in pasture. We stopped at Diamond Spring. I took dinner, cost me $2, and traveled on to Grass Valley, 30 miles and put up for the night —
I received a letter from D.H. Smith dated April 16th 18561 on Wednesday last, and one from Dave on the same day from Rabbit Creek,2 stating that he had to get the pipe fixed at the cost of $30. I got Dave’s Latin books at the New York House.

Sunday 8 – Frost here last night. I paid our bills in the amount of $8.25, saddled up, and set off for house. We arrived at Nelson Creek at 1:00 P.M.
After much time and trouble, we got our cattle across Feather River. Old Rock, one of the oxen, quite gave out. I then paid John Thompson $269, money loaned me on the 23rd October 1855. Seven and a half months interest at 2 percent per month $40.25, in all $309.25. We then put out for the American Ranch. We left Old Rock at the Illinois Ranch about sunset and arrived at home a little after dark. The whole amount paid out for ourselves and cattle since we left H.P.’s is $21 —

Monday 9 – I had the pleasure of sleeping with my wife last night. All right. Breakfast over, I consulted with William Rains. We concluded to go over to the Massack ditch and diggins. I, Bill and Tom saddled our ponies and set out. We arrived about noon tied our horses out to grass, and put out for the brush camp. We took dinner with Bray and others, and then went to work, four of us digging the ditch, and I and Bray grading the flume. Later Rains took the horses home to American Ranch, he also give me $10 for hauling planks for our company up there.

Tuesday 10 – I slept in company with the rest on a brush bed in a brush camp. Last night we were up early and soon went to to work. I and Bray went to making boxes and setting them up to run water through into the ditch. The other three went to digging the ditch. At noon Bill came over and brought 6 pounds of nails for the company, got of mine. After dinner, I and Bray fixed all the boxes and troughs and turned the water in up at the head of the ditch to keep it soaked and the boxes tight until we are ready to let it through the new ditch. Later I put out for home on Bill’s mare. I arrived after dark.

Wednesday 11 – Last night I again slept in the same bed with wife. Breakfast over, I went up town. There, I met with Bob Elliot and gave him my note for $500 payable in 60 days with interest at the rate of 3 percent per month. I took up a note that was due on Sunday last for the same amount given in payment to the Jenningses on the 8th of March last for the American Ranch. I then paid Hundley $291 for a note of $300 due the 8th of July next.

Thursday 12 – I was at work at the cabbage plants fixing to water them.

Friday 13 – Still at work in the garden. In the P.M. I caught Bill’s pony and the black horse and rode up to the Massack diggins. Rains got ready and we started for home. We came by Illinois Ranch and got Old Rock, the oxen that gave out. I drove him home.

Saturday 14 – I am at work watering the cabbage plants. Rains took two yoke of cattle down to Boyingtons mill and got old Mage to shoe them all around. Came home before noon.

P.M. I gave him $6.50 to buy a 50 pound sack of flour of O’Neal. I gave Judkins $50 due on account. John and Dave came over from Rocky Bar, and Tom Hickman came down from from the Massack diggins.

Sunday 15 – I paid old Mage $24 for shoeing the oxen. Rains went up to Spring Garden valley and got 600 cabbage plants of Yates. We set them out—or some of them—before we went to bed. John and Dave went over to Rocky Bar. I sent Henry Sturgeon with, Tom Hickman up to Massack. I paid Hosselcuth $40 on account and had four picks for Massack. Don’t know the cost of sharpening as yet.

Monday 16 – Rains finished setting out the plants. After an early breakfast he drove up two yoke of cattle and went to Alford’s mill for a load of lumber, but one of the tire bands came off. He had to unload. I was watering the garden. I paid John Bass $50 for William Alford, and Maston $4 for fixing the wagon. I received $1 from Bass for ranching oxen.

Tuesday 17 – Rains hauled three loads of lumber for Alford. I was watering the plants all day till 1:00 in the morning.

Wednesday 18 – Warm days. Rains is hauling for Alford. I am still watering the garden all day and half the night. It rained quite a heavy shower in the this afternoon, rather unusual.

Thursday 19 – Rains is hauling for Alford. I went over to Rocky Bar. I left my horse at Willow Ranch and was down helping the boys to mine day and night.

Friday 20 – Four of us was piping away top dirt till noon. After, John and Kyler and I was sawing logs in two and cutting away brush. Dave and the other two was wheeling out rocks.

Saturday 21 – Cold last night. We all six were tending the pipe. We changed the hose and pipe on the lower side of the diggins.

P.M. Put in another sluice box at the lower end. We turned on the water a short time, but could not keep the boxes clear of tailings for the want of a sufficient amount of water, so we shut it off again. The boys went to wheeling rock out. I and Kyler started for the American Valley. I paid John Thompson $18 for two check shirts and $1 for keeping my horse at Willow Ranch some frost last night in American Valley. I arrived at home about sunset.

Sunday 22 – I took a good night’s sleep and was late getting up. I gave Liz $2 and got 2 twists of tobacco for Tom Hickman. There was preaching morning and evening in the courthouse, but I did not go to hear either of them, as it is so necessary to carry your 4 bits to pitch in the hat, as it is sure to come around. The evening is cool.

Monday 23 – The weather is cool and uncertain, and business matters are very pressing. Rains hauled one load for Alford.

Tuesday 24 – Rains brought home a new grind stone. I am hanging it. Sherwin came over from Nelson Creek and said that H.P. was over at Rocky Bar. I gave $5 for butter and $6.50 for a sack of flour. Rains is hauling for Alford. I received of Elliott $10.50 for ranching oxen and paid for him $5 for 1 1/2 days work.

Wednesday 25 – I received $2.50 for ranching Shaw’s cattle in my 175 head lot last night. I was fixing the grind stone.

P.M. H.P. came over. Rains is hauling for Alford. Henry Sterge came down from Massack late this evening —

Thursday 26 – Sack Stinson commenced to lath our room. I and Henry were  putting timber between the studding for him to lath to. I gave $1.50 for a bottle of brandy and $1 for fish.
It rained a heavy shower in the valley, and the mountains were covered with fresh snow this afternoon. My goods arrived yesterday evening. It cost $4.75 for packing per head, $32 in all. I paid H. Sturgeon $8. He was plowing my potatoes —

Friday 27 – A pleasant day. I , H.P. and Hogan walked up to Betsy Town to see the diggins. We returned at noon. Rains is hauling and Sturgeon plowing.

Saturday 28 – I, Henry and Hogan went up to the Mountain House and vicinity. We took dinner at the cost of $1 each, and came home late at evening. We got the sheriff to go up to Massack ditch and turn the water into our ditch, but it was soon turned out again yesterday by Terwillegar or his company.

Sunday 29 – We all were fixing about till noon. After, I and H.P. started for Rocky Bar. I left the black horse at Willow Ranch and walked down. None of the boys was at home but John and Kyler came about sunset and got supper and went back to the Point to a show.

Monday 30 – All hands came in last night, and more too. After breakfast I gave H.P. $30 and he started for home. The rest went to work after dinner. I and him started for the American Valley and arrived at dark. There is a show at the courthouse tonight.

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