February 1855

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Thursday 1 – Shaw, Lawrance and I went to Sterling’s old diggings to look at them. Tried several pans of dirt but got nothing of consequence. I came back and made a pick handle. Pa and I went to the reservoir in the evening to see about the water and went by the diggings and turned it out of the hose. Commenced raining after supper but didn’t continue long. Nothing more today, I believe.

Friday 2 – All hands worked in the diggings cutting leading ditches and covered the hose in the forenoon and run off tailings. In the after the hose bursted after dinner. Allen came back from the valley about supper.

Saturday 3 – Worked as usual in the diggings running off old tailings and made about $7. Nothing else worth notice today.

Sunday 4 – I stayed about the cabin all day and done some washing. A beautiful day overhead. Pa went to the Point in the morning and got a couple of letters—one for me and from Iowa. Allen left today for the valley.

Monday 5 – Worked as usual piping old tailings and took out $7. Cloudy today. Thought about Iowa a great deal. Nothing more today.

Tuesday 6 – Cloudy all day and looked very much like rain, but none. Shaw and myself cleaned bedrock all day and took out 2 oz and $9.50. The hose bursted in the forenoon. Nothing more today.

Wednesday 7 – Cleaned bedrock and got 1 oz and $2—pretty good for one hand. Shaw worked with Lawrance today. The hose bursted again we took them off of the pen stalk and brought them to the house for the purpose of sewing them over again. Pa went to the Point before dark and found Lloyd there drunk. It hailed a little about noon and rained a little about sunset. Nothing more today.

Thursday 8 – Rained a little all day. Pa sewed the hose all day and Shaw and myself cleaned bedrock and took out 2 oz. Lawrance done pretty well today. Lloyd still on spree at the Point.

Friday 9 – Shaw and I cleaned bedrock in the forenoon and run off tailings in the after, and took out one oz and $.50. Lawrance took out 19$ alone. A beautiful day, warm and pleasant. Nothing more today.

Saturday 10 – Shaw and I run off tailings all day and got $29. Rained a little in the forenoon, also rained in the evening and snowed a little. Lloyd not back yet from the Point. Cleaned up all of the boxes.

Sunday 11 – Clear and pretty all of us went to the Point after dinner came back and put a box in the ditch so as to turn the water out of the reservoir, also helped Lawrance fix his boxes. Lloyd not back yet from the Point.

Monday 12 – Pretty cool today. All of us helped Lawrance run off tailings and shoveled in the sluices for him. Nothing more today.

Tuesday 13 – Shaw and I cleaned bedrock in the forenoon and got 8$ set boxes and hose and put in false bottoms. Nothing more.

Wednesday 14 – Went to piping today and took out 1 oz and 6$. Cloudy all day. Commenced raining after supper.

Thursday 15 – A beautiful day, clear and pretty. Piped in the forenoon. The hose burst and we were compelled to strip without them. In the afternoon, took out 2 oz and $2. Lloyd not back yet from the Point.

Friday 16 – Clear and pretty all day. Worked with the pipe as usual and took out 8 oz and $3.50. The wind blew about noon, and after supper. Lloyd got back in the forenoon from his spree. He went to bed and looked very badly had the Delirium Tremens. Nothing otherwise new today.

Saturday 17 – All of us cleaned bedrock all day. Lawrance worked with us in the afternoon and took out 9 oz, minus $1. Lloyd came out to the diggings in the afternoon. Nothing else today.

Sunday 18 – Stayed about the cabin all day and wrote a letter to Pauline Haun in Iowa.  Pa and Lawrance made riffles in the forenoon and he went to the Point in the afternoon. We had a settlement with Lawrance after supper. Nothing else today of interest.

Monday 19 – Turned very cold in the forenoon and stayed so all day. J. Shutts came up to work in Lloyd’s place as a hired man. Took out $27.50. Shively came up to the diggings after dinner. No more.

Tuesday 20 – All of us except Lloyd started for the valley and arrived at Elizabethtown about noon and took dinner at Bivens and started over towards Blackhawk to see about some water but there was no chance of getting it. We came back to town and stayed all night at Bivens.

Wednesday 21 – Took breakfast there and started to look at some water on the other hillside. Went to the American Ranch, took dinner and started for home. Stopped on the way and looked at Payne’s ditch, and from there, home. Got there before night. Nothing more, I believe, uncommon.

Thursday 22 – Snowed a little all day. I stayed about the cabin all day. Pa went to the Point and bought an oven for $2. Shaw and myself went up the ravine near the cabin and got a couple of pans of dirt and got 50 cents—good prospect.

Friday 23 – Snowed to the diggings and laid the hose anew and put the boxes to rights. We had a divide of the gold in the company purse amounting to $640.

Saturday 24 – I stayed about the cabin all day, mended my old boots &c &c. Meeting was held at Independence Bar among the vigilance committee. Nothing otherwise new today.

Sunday 25 – Clear and pretty in the forenoon, but clouded up and snowed a little in the evening. I stayed in the cabin all day, mended my boots and done some washing. Nothing more today.

Monday 26 – The snow about 6 inches deep this morning and continued to rain and snow nearly all day. Went up the ditch on the forenoon and mended some broken places in the covering. I stayed  about the cabin all evening and done some mending. Pa and Lawrance caulked the big flume after dinner. Nothing more today, I believe.

Tuesday 27 – Went to the diggings to see if we could work but there not water enough. Went up the ditch and started it down in the forenoon and got it to the diggings about 1 o’clock. Warm today. Nothing more.

Wednesday 28 – Found it raining in the morning. I went to the Point after Shults to work in Lloyd’s place. Rained constantly all day. Piped all day. A large head of water in the ditch. Shaw and myself went to the head of the ditch after work to turn off some of the water. We found several places broken. Nothing more today.

December 1854

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Friday 1 – Worked as usual and took out $6 run off tailings in the forenoon and cleaned bedrock in the after. On account of the hose bursting, all hands went to building a bear trap to catch a grizzly. Worked all day, cool and windy all day. Charlie Allen came in about supper time from the valley and stayed all night with us.

Sunday 3 – Went to the Point after breakfast to hire a man but did not get any. I got some beef to bate the trap with. We finished it in the evening. Allen started for the valley after dinner. Rained nearly all day but quit about night. Nothing more today.

Monday 4 – Damp and cloudy all day but no rain. Shaw and myself run off tailings in the forenoon and mended the hose and washed with the pipe in the evening. A man came from Winters Creek1 to hire on. Nothing more today.

Tuesday 5 – Worked today as usual and took out 6 oz, $11. The hired man set in to day. Very cool in the morning. Nothing otherwise today.

Wednesday 6 – Worked as usual today and took out $94 Lawrance and Lloyd doing a little better today.Nothing more new.

Thursday 7 – Today worked as usual and took out 6 oz, $2.50. Pa came back about dark from below and brought a lot of gum clothes with him. No more today.

Friday 8 – Washed off tailings in the forenoon and set the pipe and washed in the evening. Nothing else new today.

Saturday 9 – Worked with the pipe today and took out nothing of consequence.

Sunday 10 – Went to the Point in the forenoon, and ground our axes and got a new one. Came back and done some washing. Cut some wood &c. Pa sent off some gold to Marysville about $1,500. Nothing else new today.

Monday 11 – My birthday. We commenced to cover the ditch today. Very cool in the morning, froze up the water in the ditch. Worked very hard all day. No more today.

Tuesday 12 – Worked on the ditch all day covering it. Nothing more today.

Wednesday 13 – Still at work on the ditch. Worked hard all day. Nothing more today.

Thursday 14 – Still on the ditch today and finished it to the reservoir. Old Cornelision a man named Payne came from Elizabethtown prospecting. No more.

Friday 15 – Worked in the diggings today and took out 2 3/4 oz. Nothing else today.

Saturday 16 – Everybody started for the American Valley early in the morning to get their boots soled and picks sharpened. Billy, Cook and I covered the ditch above the middle flume to the trees. Nothing else uncommon today.

Sunday 17 – Stayed about the cabin all day. Cornelison and Payne sunk a hole on the hill above the cabin about 30 feet deep. They got home from the valley about noon. Pa went to the Point after dinner. Nothing more today.

Monday 18 – Went to washing and done but little, having but little water. Washed in the evening and took out 1 3/4 oz. Nothing more new today.

Tuesday 19 – Done no work today on account of the water failing. It dried up having no rain for some time. Shaw and Lawrance caught a cat2 in the bear trap and brought it home and chained it.

Wednesday 20 – All of us started with Cornelison and Payne for Winters Creek. We went over the mountain and down the other side to the river, and such a tramp as we had of it! We arrived at the creek about noon and only stayed a little while. We went up Bachelors Creek and had a long jaunt of it over the mountain. Lloyd started for Nelson Point from Rich Bar and got a letter for Pa and myself from home3. Nothing else today.

Thursday 21 – Done no work in the diggings today. H Bray came up in the evening and stayed a while. Our cat made his escape by breaking his chain. A man came after Shaw from below to go to his ranch on business. Nothing more today.

Friday 22 – Shaw started this morning below. H Bray and another man came up. Pa and Lawrance went with them up the mountain to look at the country. Cornelison and Payne still sinking a hole above the cabin. Nothing more new today.

Saturday 23 – Worked today in the diggings and made but little. Lloyd and Lawrance done pretty well today. Cornelison and Payne left for the valley yesterday morning for their things. No more today.

Sunday 24 – Stayed about the cabin all day. Pa went to the Point in the evening and came home tight. Very windy all day and looked like rain. Nothing else.

Monday 25 – Christmas Day. Worked as usual. Pa and myself took out 3 oz, $3.50. A big day at the valley–a ball at the American Ranch. Allen came in about supper time. Nothing more new today, I believe.

Tuesday 26 – Worked as usual. C. Allen worked in Shaw’s place. Piped in the forenoon but the hose burst in the afternoon. We cleaned bedrock and took out $21. Commenced snowing in the evening but quit about dark. Too cold to snow. Nothing more to day.

Wednesday 27 – A little shiff of snow on the ground all day. The coldest day we have had this winter. Took out $10.50 today. Lawrance and myself went to the bear trap after dinner to set it. A cat got in and gnawed out. No more.

Thursday 28 – Done no mining today, the water being frozen up in the ditch. Cleared off some ground ahead of us in the ravine and set fire to it. Caught a cat in the trap today. Nothing more of interest.

Friday 29 – Very cold again today. Got wood all day. Clouded up in the evening and the wind blew, but no rain. Nothing else today.

Saturday 30 – Nothing particularly new today. Cut and split wood all day and done some washing. Lawrance and Allen went to the valley today and got back after dark. Nothing more, I believe.

Sunday 31 – Found a little snow on the ground this morning but it commenced raining after dinner and continued all day. Lawrance, Pa and myself went up the ditch ditch in the forenoon to see about the water. Lawrance and myself fixed up the old sled. I altered my gum coat a little.

October 1854

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Sunday 1 – Stayed at the cabin nearly all day. Went to the Point in the forenoon to get some beef and grind the hatchet. Lloyd went to the Point about noon and stayed until dark. Mended my old duds. Nothing more.

Monday 2 – Worked on the big flume and finished it a little after dinner. Turned in the water but it did not get down. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 3 – I started in the morning for Snake Lake1 valley and got there by sunset after a hard day’s walk. Took dinner at the US Hotel in Elizabethtown. Found Pa and Shaw prospecting in the hill. Stayed there all night, slept on the ground. No more.

Wednesday 4 – Started for home early in the morning and got to Elizabethtown about noon and took dinner at Varner’s and got home about supper time with three picks and Pa’s rifle. Rained a little about sunset. No more.

Thursday 5 – Cloudy in the morning, rained a good shower in the night and gave us plenty of water. Ground sluiced all day. Lloyd and I went to the Point after supper. There was a man killed the night before from being stabbed. Nothing else today.

Friday 6 – Lloyd and I run off tailings and top dirt, had plenty of water. Cloudy at times all day, the coldest weather we have had. Nothing more.

Saturday 7 – Ground sluiced today as usual. Lloyd did not work in the evening. Mc came in from the Point after supper. Nothing else today.

Sunday 8 – Cloudy at times all day, but no rain. Went up the ditch in the forenoon. Mc and Lloyd started for American Valley early in the morning. Went down to the boys’ cabin in the forenoon near the ranch. Went to the Point after dinner, got a letter for Pa and one for myself from home. Nothing more new today, I believe.

Monday 9 – Went to sluicing off the top dirt. Lloyd hired a man to work in his place, one of the new company, bringing in a ditch, by the name of Edward Keene. Rained off and on all day, a little.

Tuesday 10 – Lloyd went away in the morning but has not returned yet &c &c. Cloudy and rained a little all day. Lloyd hired the same man again today. Ground sluiced all day. Pa came home about an hour by the sun from Wapansea. No prospect yet at Wapansee. Lloyd didn’t come home tonight. Pa read his letter and mine also, felt badly after hearing them read. Nothing otherwise today.

Wednesday 11 – Pa and myself set boxes in the morning and went to washing and only made $4. Pa went to the Point after dinner. Lloyd came home from his spree. Nothing else today, more than usual.

Thursday 12 – All of us went to washing today and took out $32.50. Cloudy all day and commenced raining about dark, and continued, I suppose, until morning. Barney McLane came over to where we were working in the forenoon and stayed until after dinner. George Poor came after him for a witness on some case. Nothing more today.

Friday 13 – Worked today as usual and took out 18$. Pa went to the Point in the forenoon. Rained nearly all day found a little skiff of snow on the ground this morning, but soon went off.

Saturday 14 – Lloyd and I worked today as usual and took out $13.50. Pa went to Rich Bar to see about getting some money from Goodshall coming to us.

Sunday 15 – A pretty day. Laid about the cabin all day got up some wood in the morning and fixed to throw a tree that was leaning over our cabin. Pa killed a couple of squirrels. Shaw and Lawrance came over in the evening. Nothing more today.

Monday 16 – All hands went to work in the diggings, except Lloyd. Lawrance worked in his place. Lawrance and myself worked in the evening and took out 6 oz, $3.50. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 17 – All hands worked today except Lloyd. We took out $66 all went to the Point except Lloyd. We bought out provisions for the winter.

Wednesday 18 – Very cool of mornings. Worked as usual and took out $58. No more.

Thursday 19 – Worked as usual, except Lloyd, and took out $91. Part of our provisions came up today. Nothing more new today.

Friday 20 – Worked today as usual and took out $28.50. Nothing more.

Saturday 21 – Worked as usual and took out $32.50, finished that stripping. Shaw, Lawrance and I went by the flat to take a look at it. Pa went to the Point to settle for our provisions and came back late in the evening. McFall came by about supper time. Nothing else today.

Sunday 22 – Rained all day without stopping. We all went to the Point after breakfast and ground our axes. The river was rising very fast. Came back and stayed at the cabin the balance of the day. Pa came back about supper time, renewed our notices in the morning &c &c.

Monday 23 – Rained a little in the morning, ceased until sunset and continued, I suppose, all night. Shaw and Lawrance on the new claim on the flat claimed by the company near the Willow Ranch. The boys came up to see about it. Pa went to the Point after breakfast to fix his plane. Lloyd and I cut a ditch near the reservoir. Old Goodshall came by and stayed until supper time. Lloyd and I stripped in the afternoon. Nothing more today.

Tuesday 24 – Lloyd and myself still stripping while Shaw and Lawrance carried boxes over to the new claim and set up. Pa made leading troughs. Shaw staked off his claims on the flat. Him and the Willow Ranch company compromised the matter about the diggings. Rained off and on all day. Half soled my boots after supper.

Wednesday 25 – Rained at times, as usual, today. Lawrance worked with us, stripped all day. Pa and Shaw had a fuss with the company near the ranch about a claim; we got it without much difficulty. No more today.

Thursday 26 – Snowed all forenoon. Nobody worked in the forenoon but went to stripping in the ravine. Preacher Bonner and James stopped a while with us. James stayed all night. The Willow Ranch company have finished their ditch to the ravine in front of our cabin.

Friday 27 – Clear today. All hands set up hose and pipe and went to stripping. Raised the penstock higher. Bonner and James left this morning for the valley.

Saturday 28 – Washed with the pipe today; burst the hose several times and finally took off the pipe and went to ground sluicing. Took out 18$.

Sunday 29 – A beautiful day. Stayed about the cabin today. Pa went to the Point to get some picks sharpened and brought a letter from home for me dated September 3rd2. Pa and Shaw cut down the Spruce tree that was leaning over out cabin. Shaw and myself sewed some on the hose in the afternoon. Also walked around and took a view of matters and things. Nothing more new today, I believe.

Monday 30 – Cool and cloudy in the morning but turned out a beautiful day. Lloyd and myself went to washing in the same place and took out 9$. Shaw and Lawrance set into work at the foot of the ravine near the shaft. Pa made bottoms for boxes. Nothing more new today.

Tuesday 31 – Worked all day as usual and took one ounce. Nothing more today.

September 1854

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Friday 1 – Still ground sluicing. Pa and Shaw took out $10. Nothing else today.

Saturday 2 – Washed today and took out $15. All hands took out $97. Had a divide of the gold as Shaw is going to start below in the morning. Pa and Shaw took out a piece weighing over 2 oz. Nothing else today.

Sunday 3 – Shaw started this morning for below for his ranch. All of us went to the Point and ground some old axes. Came back and stayed about the cabin the rest of the day. Pa got a letter from home.1

Monday 4 – Went to work as usual this morning. Pa worked with us in the evening and we took out $29. Nothing else of interest today.

Tuesday 5 – Worked as usual and took out 38$. Pa worked by himself all day, took out in all $62. Our water is failing very fast. Pa and Lloyd went to the Point after supper. Nothing more than usual.

Wednesday 6 – Washed all day and took out $18. Pa went to the Point after dinner to the Election of county officers. Nothing strange today.

Thursday 7 – Pa and I started for the valley early in the morning and arrived there about 10:00 A.M. Great excitement about the election. I took dinner at Bradley’s while Pa went to Elizabethtown. Our trial at court did not come off. Started from there about sunset and got home after dark. Great excitement at the Point about some men that tore down the front stair. The miners have taken them in custody. Nothing else.

Friday 8 – Worked today as usual and took out $20.50. Pa worked with an old man by the name of McFall, a hired man. Nothing more today.

Saturday 9 – Worked as usual and took out $19—pretty good today. Pa and Lloyd went to the Point after supper. Nothing worthy of notice.

Sunday 10 – Stayed about the cabin all day. Shaw came home in the forenoon. Right side up with care. Lloyd went to the Slate mountain and got back about supper. Parish came up about supper on his way below.

Monday 11 – Worked as usual with McFall and took out $13.50. Shaw didn’t work today. Talked of buying a claim on Columbia flat, Pa, Shaw and myself. Pa went up Nelson Creek to get Pat Curley as a witness in his case at American Valley. Nothing new today.

Tuesday 12 – Pa, Mc and myself started very early in the morning for American Valley and got there about 10 o’clock. Case came off and we lost it. Mc went to Elizabethtown to look at some diggings. He came back before sunset and started for home. Pa and I came as far as the Illinois Ranch and stayed all night. Felt badly all day. Nothing else of consequence today.

Wednesday 13 – Started before day from the ranch and arrived at the cabin about breakfast time, very hungry and much fatigued after missing supper and breakfast. Went to work as usual. Old Mc also felled the pine in the ravine and took out $16.

Thursday 14 – Lloyd and I worked as usual. Mc went to the Point after his goods and chattels and came back about sunset. Took out $34 today. Cloudy in the evening and thundered hard.

Friday 15 – Worked as usual and took out $38 and the rest took out $34. I talked some with a man from Australia about mining &c &c.

Saturday 16 – Mc worked with us in the forenoon but did not work in the after, and took out $44. Pa, Shaw and Mc helped Buck raise his barn in the evening. Pa and Mc went to the Point after supper.

Sunday 17 – Pleasant today. Pa, Shaw and Mc started in the morning for American Valley on a prospecting tour. Wrote a letter home. Lloyd and I went to the Point in the evening came back and got an old sled on the way to haul wood on. Nothing more today.

Monday 18 – Worked as usual. Lloyd and I and took out $15. None of the company back yet. Nothing more new today of interest.

Tuesday 19 – Worked all day with a weak head of water—took out $24.50. Very warm all day. Nothing else, I believe, today.

Wednesday 20 – Lloyd and myself worked as usual. Water very slim indeed. Took out $13.50. Very warm all day. Nothing else today.

Thursday 21 – Worked only in the forenoon and took out $5. The water almost failed entirely, could hardly wash at all. Nothing else more than usual.

Friday 22 – Lloyd and myself went up the ditch early after breakfast to see about the water saw a couple of very fine deer on the way. Came back and went to stripping of rubbish on the side of the ravine. Cloudy and windy off and on all day. Nothing else new today.

Saturday 23 – Went to stripping on the side of the ravine, having no water to work with. Pa and Shaw came home about supper time. They bought in to a mining claim at Elizabethtown, paid $1.50. Nothing else.

Sunday 24 – Nothing particularly new today. Stayed about the cabin all day, done some washing today. Pa and Lloyd went to the Point in the forenoon. Lloyd came back about noon and went again before night came.

Monday 25 – Shaw started to the valley after dinner so as to set in at the claim. Went to work on the ditch this morning cleaning it out. Mc came from the Point after supper. Nothing else new today.

Tuesday 26 – Worked on the ditch, cleaning it out. Mc worked on the afternoon.

Wednesday 27 – Went to work as usual, all hands on the ditch cleaning it out. Seen a very fine deer as we came from work, but had no gun.

Thursday 28 – All hands worked on the ditch today. Pa went to the Point after dinner for some beef. Nothing else of consequence today.

Friday 29 – All hands worked on the ditch and finished it, all but caulking the flume. Shaw came up after Pa to go to the valley with him to prospect some claims he had taken up near Spanish Ranch. The men they bought diggings of proved not to be the proper owners of them.

Saturday 30 – Pa, Shaw and Mc started for the valley after breakfast to prospect their claims. Lloyd and I worked on the big flume, bracing it. No more today.

January 1854

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Wednesday 4 – All dates previous to this are lost by the burning of the cabin and my trunk. Still working in the drift all day came to where the bedrock run up nearly perpendicular–a bad sign for gold. About to give it up and try another place. Pa went to the Point in the evening to send a letter below. No more today.

Thursday 5 – We went a little farther into the hill to see the end of it. Very cold today, the coldest we have had this winter. Dave Willam came over to see me and took dinner with me. I cut out a pair of gloves after supper. Nothing of particular interest today.

Friday 6 – Nothing new today. Done no work worth naming today. Went to the hole and found it filled nearly full with water caused from the ditch above. We fished out our tools and came home. Cut and carried wood. Having nothing else to do, done some sewing on my gloves made of flower sacks. Very cold today, every thing froze up about as cold as it ever gets this far up in the Sierra Nevada. Nothing more new today I believe.

Saturday 7 – Nothing new today. Very cold today. Hardly know what to do. Water still froze up in the ditch and in the drift. We started a hole near the creek a little farther down the creek but did not get to the bottom before night. Smale came up from American Valley1 and stopped awhile with us. Also McDonald.

Sunday 8 – Nothing new today. Very pleasant today. Laid around the cabin all day. Finished my glove, cut some wood &c.  John Smale came from the Point and stayed  all night with us on his way to the Valley. Baked pies in the evening. Nothing more new today.

Monday 9 – Nothing new today. Worked in the hole near the creek got to the bedrock in the evening and drifted in a piece. Got some small prospects on the bedrock. Williams came by after Smale on his way to the Valley prospecting. The men in the other cabin commenced moving their provisions up Nelson Creek2 to their cabin. Cloudy all day and sprinkled a little in the evening but none to signify.

Tuesday 10 – Nothing new today. Still working in the drift near the creek still in hopes of finding something soon. Very warm and cloudy nearly all day. Snow melting some little. The men in the cabin have abandoned the diggings, I suppose for a while at least.  No more today.

Wednesday 11 – Nothing particularly new today. Still drifting near the creek. Worked hard all day still in hopes of finding something soon. Vary and cloudy and windy all day.

Thursday 12 – Rained a little after supper and the wind blew very hard. Rained all day steady. Went up the ditch in the evening broke up the ice and let the water down. Got wet through. Came to the cabin and put on dry clothes. Ground sluiced in the foot of the ravine in the evening so as to get to washing and make some money.

Friday 13 – Rained all day. Worked hard all day repairing the ditch and dammed the water in its proper place. Ground sluiced some in the forenoon. Rained all night on the 12th  Hitrich came up after his things about noon.

Saturday 14 – Nothing of interest today. Snowed very hard after we got up. I found the snow about 12 inches deep and still snowing fast. Repaired the ditch in the forenoon and ground sluiced some. Saw a mountain cat while we were at work. I stayed  in the cabin in the morning and baked bread and cooked apples. Done some washing after supper. Nothing new today.

Sunday 15 – Nothing new today. Snowed all day. stayed  in the cabin all day and mended our old boots. Dreary cloudy weather.

Monday 16 – Snow upwards of 3 feet deep near the cabin. Weather warm and pleasant for the quantity of snow on the ground. Done no work as to mining. Went over to the ravine to see about the water and to get the tools. Hardly any water running. Got up wood in the forenoon. Nothing of interest today.

Tuesday 17 – Nothing particularly new today. Still snowing a little all day. Done no work today the snow being so deep. stayed  in the cabin all day and read a novel to pass away time, having nothing else to do.

Wednesday 18 – Nothing new today snowed all day hard done no work of consequence today. Made a road through the snow to the spring otherwise stayed  in the cabin and read novels. Snow about three feet deep in places. Cannot mine any as long as the snow continues so deep. Felt restless all day thought a great deal about past events and times gone by. Nothing new today.

Thursday 19 – Nothing of consequence transpired today. A good deal colder than usual.  Made a road through the snow to get wood to burn. Done no work otherwise today. stayed  in the cabin all day and read, baked some pies &c &c

Friday 20 – Very cold today. Everything froze up. We had to get up in the night to warm; could not sleep. McDonald and Stirling came up today. Mc stayed  all night with us. We loaned them a sack of flower &c. Nothing more today.

Saturday 21 – Snow still on the ground. Not melting much. All of us went to the Point with Mc to grind our axe and bought a shirt for 3$. The coldest day that has been this winter Feather River froze up under the bridge. Nothing more today.

Sunday 22 – Stayed about the cabin all day. I got up wood nearly all day. Cloudy all day,  moderated considerably. Snowed after dark a little. I sorted our potatoes, some of them being frozen. Nothing new today.

Monday 23 – Nothing new today. Warm and cloudy nearly all day. Snowed also today. Stayed about the cabin all day and read novels. Nothing new today.

Tuesday 24 – Warm, cloudy and rained all day. Nothing of interest today. Done no work today. Snow melting very fast all day. Stayed in the cabin and read novels and finished one after supper. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 25 – Nothing particularly new today. Snowed early in the morning a little but cleared off and became a pretty day, warm and pleasant. Went over to the ravine to see about the water but done no work, not having enough water. Got wood the balance of the day. Made a cover over the wood to keep it dry.

Thursday 26 – Clear and sunshiny all day but cold in the evening. Water still froze up in the ditch. Got up wood today, split some wood for boards. Snow still on the ground and not melting much. Nothing more today.

Friday 27 – Nothing new today. Cloudy nearly all day. Water still froze up. Done no work as yet. Stayed about the cabin all day. I bursted my carbine. No more.Saturday 28 – Nothing more than usual today. Calm and still today. Stayed about the cabin all day. Split some logs for wood. Cannot mine, any water being froze up or stopped up by the snow. Jacobsen cut my hair &c &c.

Sunday 29 – A clear beautiful sunshiny day. Dobson and myself went visiting for the first time since I have been in the country. Went to McDonald’s cabin but he was not at home. Came home about noon. I set a snare for a coyote. I thought a great deal about home as I walked along the side of the mountain. Everything looked beautiful from the reflection of the sun. Pa went to the Point in the evening and came back about dark. Nothing more new.

Monday 30 – A clear beautiful day. Went up to the ditch to see about the water. Repaired the ditch and caulked the first flume and started the water down. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 31 – Nothing new today. Another beautiful day. Went up and cleaned the snow out of the ditch and got the water running down and ready for work. Nothing else today.

May 1858

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Saturday 1 – We went out to diggins. I made a riffle. We reset the boxes and put another in. While we were fixing the boxes some three new miners came to us. They wanted to work for hire or dig for themselves. So, I let William Davenport sit in as a partner. We cleaned up at noon. We got gold about $15.
I fixed up and started for the American Valley. I wore a pair of gun slippers so as not to have to carry another pair of boots back. By so doing I blistered my feet. I arrived in good time. My wife was at the old house yet, but fixing to go to the tavern to eat supper. We soon did so and took up our lodgings there also.

Sunday 2 – All seems to be going on in the same way, but I am at a loss living at the American Hotel as my wife is proprietress, and our house locked up looks rather deserted. I am made to feel very sad on account of poverty. Will it never alter in my time? I’ve moved often enough.

Monday 3 – My wife is very busy getting dinner for the public, as the grand jury is coming in town. At noon the bell was rung. Quite a number was to dine.

P.M. I handed in my report as overseer of road section number 13 and also my resignation from that post of honor. I collected $12 more in road tax and levies, minus $18. I settled with Tom Carter. He wants to call it even.

Tuesday 4 – Breakfast over, I got ready, shouldered a sack full of one thing and another—a hoe, my rifle and shot pouch, and powder horn, and my old hickory cane—and set out a foot for my diggins. I arrived there at noon after having stopped on the road from Illinois Ranch to my cabin, it being 6 miles less 300 yards. The boys were getting dinner. It over, we went out to work and got gold, some $10 or $12.

Wednesday 5 – I and Mac is alone. We were out in good time. We cleaned up the rest of the boxes, and turned a head of water into another. We was cleaning up bedrock the rest of the day. Got some 2 ounces of gold I suppose, much to the pleasure of Mac.
Before noon our William came to the cabin and got his kit and wardrobe and left  without letting us know about it. After supper I gave my check shirt a cold water rinse and hung out to dry.

Thursday 6 – Mac was mining all day. I went up Nelson Creek and bought some hose and pipe. I gave $20 for it, and I sold what dust I had on hand. It amounted to $82. I also got 40 yards canvas at 65 cents per yard, some beeswax, needles and a palm to sew with. I got to the cabin in the afternoon. I went out to help Mac clean up. We got some $20 in dust, as near as I can guess.

Friday 7 – Mac went down to the Point, got 12 pounds beef and a bottle of ground pepper,  returned, and went to mining. I was making a hose today. Later I went out and helped Mac clean up two boxes and got gold, I guess, about $8. Jake Jourdon came to see if I would let him work with us. I agreed to it.

Saturday 8 – Early in the morning Jake was up with his pick and shovel, so we concluded to repair the chimney. Mac and Jake went at it. I was sewing on hose.

P.M. Mac started for the valley and still later John came over on a horse after me. I concluded to go over and left Jake to take care of the cabin, &c.

Sunday 9 – All’s well. My wife is getting along as well as could be expected. She dislikes to be a lone, or without me. It can’t be helped.
The grand jury closed its session last night at 10:00 P.M., and at about 2:00 P.M. I, Mac and Bill Mackmanaway started for the cabin. We were there before sun down and had supper. Then the two Macs went down to the Point to get some blankets. Bill and I ran some bullets for my revolver, as there is a good deal of excitement about the Indians of late out at Honey Lake. 1and thereabouts.

Monday 10 – The Macs went to sluicing, I to making hose, and Jake to knocking old boxes to pieces. We also did some packing of boxes. I got done sewing one seam of the new hose. Jake helped me to turn it.

Tuesday 11 – The Macs were sluicing this A.M. In the P.M. they cleaned up and got gold. Jake made two sluice boxes in the A.M. After, he went down to Point after some grub. I was making hose.

Wednesday 12 – The Macs is cleaning up for gold. Jake is making flume boxes to conduct water to the pen stock. In the P.M. he went down to Point after nails. I finished the new hoes. The boys got some gold.

Thursday 13 – The Macs are cleaning up. They get gold every day. Jake is making flume boxes. He finished by noon. I cut open and sewed up some 10 feet of old hose by noon. After, I and Jake fixed four boxes to clean up about the cabins that were burned. We cut a small ditch and soon had the water running through the boxes. I put in some dirt.

Friday 14 – Bill did not work this forenoon. Nealy was cleaning up. I and Jake was cleaning up around my old cabin and got some gold.

P.M. I was panning it out. Jake was cutting poles to put up the flume. We all carried a box this afternoon. McNealy went down to the Point. He got back about dark. There was $11.37 in gold about the burnt cabins.

Saturday 15 – The Macs put up the lead boxes to the pen stock and dug a ditch. John came over with 100 pounds flour and 115 pounds of potatoes. We got gold this week $50.37 in all. Mac made a stool. Jake put up a bunk. I made a lead box.

Sunday 16 – The Macs went a-prospecting. I and Jake went out to the diggins. We got the picks and took them to the blacksmith’s. We had three sharpened and a hoe mended at the cost of $2. We went down to Point. I settled with Fox and paid him $45.37 for goods previously gotten, and $7 for Bill Mcmanaway, and $20 for John. We then got $23.50 worth of grub that is to be paid for. Mac came down and helped me pack them home. We left Jake down there playing at cards. I saw four more of the Maston family fresh from Mississippi to the American Valley.

Monday 17 – Jake and Mac cleaned up. They’ve done well. I and Bill were cutting ditches and fixing to pipe in the A.M. In the P.M we got at it, but have not a big enough head of water.

Tuesday 18 – We went out to work, but found that we had not water enough to pipe. So, I let the boys have a sluice head to run off top dirt. We took a cold dinner and all four went up the ditch and repaired it, took a box out of it, stopped the break, and mended up the flume, &c.

Wednesday 19 – We took some rags up the ditch to caulk the flume and threw out the rocks and shoveled out the dirt in places. By noon we had the water running down again and Jake helped the water in the ditch to bring the sluice box down to the diggins, but it was raining too hard. So, we left off and went to cabin and got dinner. We all stayed in as it continued to rain in the evening.

Tuesday 20 – Jake and Mac was sluicing down this forenoon. In the P.M. we were shoveling in for pay. I and Bill put two sluice boxes in ahead of the rest in the cut. Later we piped down. It rained with sunshine all day at intervals. No gold today.

Friday 21 – Sun up. Jake got breakfast as usual. That over, we—I and Bill—went to piping down. We tried our boxes for gold at noon but got none, so I closed work at this place at night. Jake and Mac got gold today and finished the place In the P.M. they moved down to another spot.

Saturday 22 – We all four worked at the same place sluicing down. Got some gold in the A.M. After did not work. John came over by noon and led Carter’s mare for me to ride over to Quincy, which I did this P.M.

Sunday 23 – At the American Ranch Hotel with my wife and John. All’s well. Not much doing in the way of hotel keeping. I spent the day in talking politics and so on. It rained quite a shower at Quincy yesterday evening before I got there.

Monday 24 – I gave John $60 to pay off Manges in Marysville. I got a letter from him and H.P. stating there was yet due $55. I then left for the mines on foot in company with four others and carried a large rope, we got over before noon and took dinner. I and David Thurington went up the ditch and up the mountain on the snow hunting for the blue lead. We brought home a mess of wild onions.
It rained quite a shower before we all went to bed. The boys we sluicing down today, but got no gold.

Tuesday 25 – Bill said he was sick and started for the American Valley. I gave him $5. Jake and Mac went to mining. I went down to the Point with Fox. I paid him for $37 for grub and sold him $48.37 cents worth of dust and got two bottles of brandy at the cost of $1.50. I came upon Roots on the hill and had to go to his mill to get a chisel and came home by noon. After grinding it, I made a windless.2 The boys got a little gold today.

Wednesday 26 – The boys are out mining, I finished the windlass and put on the rope with the tub. I made stool and so on by noon. It is still raining.

P.M. It continued much harder. the boys did not go out to work. I made another stool.

Thursday 27 – I, Jake and Mac were all out mining this forenoon. The picks are broke and dull. In the P.M. I took them down to the Point and had four upset and sharpened. I paid the smith $5. The boys were mining and got some gold —

Friday 28 – I went down with Root to see his claims on the Feather River opposite the old Bray diggins. We got the color in every pan, and once three, so we went down to the Point. I got four pounds sugar and 11 1/2 pounds beef and got home by noon. The boys had been out mining.

P.M. I made a pick handle and was to help them the rest of the day. We got gold.

Saturday 29 – Mac is at work by himself, as I and Jake is prospecting some old holes near the cabin. In the first one we could get the color every pan of the bedrock. The second we have got the water out off. We are now getting dinner.
After, Mac helped us. We got the mud out by hard tugging and got some gravel off the bedrock, but not the right kind. It has some gold in it, but I fear not enough to make it pay. So says Jake.

Sunday 30 – We indulged ourselves in lying in our bunks till late, but, breakfast over, we all set out—I and Jake for the Point and Mac up the Feather River to see some diggins. We stayed all day at the Point. I gave $1 to Pike for billiards.

Monday 31 – We all took the windlass and things belonging and carried it up on the reservoir flat and picked out a place to sink a shaft. I set to work at it myself. Jake and Mac went down to the diggins to set sluice boxes and clean up some bedrock. They got some gold and one piece about $10 by noon.

P.M. Jake was to help me sink the hole and Mac is by himself sluicing down. Dick was over to see me yesterday. All’s well. I saw a man by the name of Berry on Sunday last, that was well acquainted with W.G. in Iowa.

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, April 1854

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Saturday 1 – Pleasant morning. I put the wet towel to my throat last night again. It is somewhat better. We fixed for washing, or rather, prospecting. We got gold $6.50. We quit early and fixed for ground sluicing. Again after supper I commenced a letter to my wife.

Sunday 2 – Raining mostly all day. I finished my 10th letter to my wife after dinner and John and I went down to the Point and maid it, paid 25 cents postage to Marysville.

Monday 3 – Fine day. We three and old Goodshall went down to Rich Bar diggins of Feather River to buy a claim.

Tuesday 4 – Stayed all night at Shasta on the opposite side of the River. Our bills each for lodging and fare and liquor, $.50. A fine warm day. We crossed the river four times and paid 75 cents each. We four bought E. K. Parish’s claims and water privilege at $400, tools and cabin and provisions all included.
I dreamed last night that I was in Georgetown and that I got up to see my wife. I thought it was about Pratt’s Tavern. I asked Bet where her mistress was. She told me that she had gone upstairs. It was a place I could not go, though Bet was building a fire to get breakfast.
I, John and Parish came to my cabin this evening. Dobson and Goodshall stayed at the Point all night.

Wednesday 5 – Dobson came up soon this morning and we weigh out Parish the $400. He left for Rich Bar. Young Goodshall and his father takes an interest in those diggings. They came up to my cabin and two other friends. We all took dinner. Then six of us shouldered our packs for Rich Bar, a tramp of 4 miles, leaving John behind to take care of our house and diggings. My pack was 23 pounds bacon and a sack of salt. We soon got down. I bought his bed, four pair blankets, straw bed and sack bottom all for 1/2 oz gold and slept in it with old Goodshell alongside of me. I would have preferred my wife.

Thursday 6 – All six went to work, three to work in the diggins and two to move in a larger shanty and I to do the pottering about. We got gold today $92.

Friday 7 – I spread my bed down on the floor, and Dobson is to sleep with me.
It was quite cool last night. It is like sleeping in a sawmill, for there is one alongside and the water roaring underneath the house.
Four hands washing for gold got $62. I spread my bed again on the floor but I cant stand the hard boards.

Saturday 8 – The weather is pleasant enough. Four hands to washing for gold and got $61, and I to making some sluice boxes and new patient riffles.
Our election came off today for a new set of country officers and a new county taken from Butte and called Plumas1. I voted in the afternoon and went work.

Sunday 9 – Rained in the night last night, and snowing this morning. We had hired a young man in the place of John; we paid him $12 for 3 days work. I, John and Dobson each get $71. We are to be paid back again before the old man and his son gets their share. Dobson and two others went up to the Point on the South side of the river and I went to my cabin on the North side. Don’t tell me that Slate Mountain is easy got up from the river.
Snowing and then sunshine and now raining in the middle of the afternoon. My lesson is Saint Luke, Chapter 11. I sent John down to the Point and him Dobson and the other two young men have just come to my cabin. John has brought two letters, one from Liz dated February 5 18542 giving an account of Jim Robinson’s shooting Hines, and an explanation of that debt that is coming to Clint West from H.P. The other written by A. Duvall and your sister.3 Liz is joining Presbyterian Church.
You ought to have seen me setting to night and mending two hickory4 and two flannel shirts and darning a pairs socks, besides nailing soles on my boots, before I went to bed.

Monday 10 – Cool last night. Rainy and cool today. After John and I breakfasted I started for Rich Bar diggings 4 miles down the Feather River and 21 hundred yards down Slate Mountain to follow the path. I stopped it as well as I could. The flume that brought the water in had fell down and we fixed our sluice boxes. It was middle of afternoon before we got all     right for washing again. Three of us got gold $7.50.

Tuesday 11 – Rained last night, and raining and snowing all the fore-part and cleared off in the after-part of the day. Work a little in the P. M. and got gold $4. I made a new riffle box and riffles.

Wednesday 12 – Fine day. We got gold $18. Fat pork, bread and bad coffee to eat all this week at Rich Bar diggins.

Thursday 13 – Cold night last, but a fine day. We were most all day getting timber for drifting. We got it by going up on the side of Slate Mountain and cutting down trees. We cut off 10 feet rope, tied it to one end and dragged it down. We got gold $2.

Friday 14 – Fine weather. We were setting up timbers for drifting and cutting down bedrock to dam the diggins. We got no gold today.

Saturday 15 – Fine weather. Two were drifting in the bank, two were cutting down bedrock. We got gold at Rich Bar diggins $8. All the gold we got this week was $39.50 and up at our old place. John and two hired men four days each got gold $39. It took $24.50 to pay the men off.

Sunday 16 – After arranging our affairs at Rich Bar diggins, the five of us started up Slate Mountain for our cabin and divided our gold. Took dinner. Examined our diggins and then went down to the Point. I had the smith sharpen four picks. Paid him $3 for out two shears and paid Thompson $100 on our last fall’s provisions. Then went back to my cabin and shouldered ham of bacon and a wallet equal in weight, and then for our Rich Bar diggins in company with John and Dobson. We arrived at dusk, took a supper of beef and soup. My lesson was Saint Luke, the unjust steward —
Well I am now ready to take a little rest. John has fixed our bunk and turned in, as we will sleep together down here.

Monday 17 – Warm and hazy. The company were all present after breakfast, five in all. Old Goldshall said it was no use for all of us to work on a 30 foot claim and prospect the hill for those that had plenty of ground, as some men had dumped our 60 feet down near the river. So I told Goldshall that, if he would make me whole, I and John would with draw and I would loose my work. It was agreed to. After dinner we settled our affairs. John and I rolled up two pair of blankets each. He with a pick and handsaw and I with shovel and hatchet, we started up Slate Mountain for our cabin. We rested four times before we reached the top. This is the third time I climbed this mountain in 9 days. It was very warm this evening and the sweat rolled off us quite free, but we arrived at home in good time. John had to make some light bread before we could eat supper. I took a short nap before it was done.

Tuesday 18 – Rained a little at intervals all day. We went up the ditch to see what went on with all the water. We found the levy broke near the head of the ditch and nearly all the water running out. We was all day mending and cleaning out, and had no dinner into the bargain, but we ate a hearty supper which answered every purpose.

Wednesday 19 – Rainy last night and all of today. I mended three shovels and some other things before dinner. After, we went out to ground sluicing and got somewhat wet. We now have water enough to run a sawmill. After supper the wind was blowing and a man singing out. The men answered him from the other cabin. John has baked one loaf and another is baking. Still another to bake, and then to bed.
Snowing and raining last night and this morning and continued most of the day. We went up the ditch to turn some of the water off as it was raining and snowing so hard. I did not want the levy to brake again. We was up in time to save it. After dinner we went out to ground sluicing but the snow and rain fell too fast for us. We put out for the cabin, built a good fire, and mended up our shirts and I one sock, the other the next night.

Friday 21 – At bedtime stars were shining out all around. Some time in the night, I was up and it was snowing very fast. It continued this morning and past noon. Before it cleared off it was near 1 foot deep. We dined and went out to ground sluicing. I have darned my other sock. I am still looking for my wife out here until I get another letter, then I will know.

Saturday 22 – Cold last night and all of the day. Ice-cycles one foot long hanging to my cabin roof. We were ground sluicing in the water all day and got wet.

Sunday 23 – Cool last night, the ground all covered with snow. The sun is shining out warm and pleasant indeed. My lesson is John, Chapter 11, Lazarus raised from death.
I and John went down to the Point and spent most of the day there. Thompson told me that H. P. had sent me a keg of fresh butter and it was at the Lexington House. He also told T. that he would send me vegetables all summer.
My partner Dobson was here this evening and said had got a man by the name of Harvey to work in his place for one half. He is to  be here in the morning. I paid 50 cents for a handsaw file.

Monday 24 – Warm and pleasant in the A.M. and cloudy in the P. M. Commenced raining late in evening and is still at it yet.
It is late. John has just finished baking three loves of bread. Harvey came this morning. He did not go to work for Dobson, but went off again.
We were ground sluicing again. I sent John down to the Point to see if there was any letters for us. None.

Tuesday 25 – Snowing this morning and was at it all day with intervals of sunshine. The snow was 3 inches deep this morning and scarcely any to be seen this evening. I and John fixed the boxes to wash for gold. It took us all day. I am still looking for pat…

Wednesday 26 – Cool last night. The ground was froze considerable this morning. We went to washing for gold and got $3. The day was warm and pleasant. Late in the evening it turned somewhat cool. One ought to have seen me take up the ashes while John was panning out the gold. They had not been taken up for a month. I dreamed of getting money of old Dr. Keene and was in partnership.

Thursday 27 – Cloudy this forenoon, and clear and warm in the after part of the day. We were washing for gold.
Old bacon and ham don’t agree with me. Late bedtime and John is baking his last loaf of bread at this time, having baked two already.

Friday 28 – Cloudy and warm, with intervals of sunshine. In the evening commenced raining. We got gold, I loaned Davis $30—

Saturday 29 – Rained last night and all of today. We work hard in the rain and got gold. I loaned Davis $30.

Sunday 30 – Raining and then snowing this morning, then raining and sunshine. We had a general cleaning up. John washed two shirts for each of us and some other things for himself, and done considerable mending, besides cooking a kettle of beans and a kettle of peaches and baking three loves of bread.
After dinner I went down to the Point. No letters. I did not get to see Dobson; something is out with him.
My lesson is the 15th chapter of Acts. I dreamed Friday night that Sam and all his family had run off and that Sam had come back and was sorry for what he had done. And now for a clean shirt and then to bed, as John is doing the baking.

James Haun Diary, January 1854

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Haun Diary, December 1853

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Thursday 1 – Fine weather. Got gold today $34.50.

Friday 2 – We were nearly all day ground sluicing, washing off the top dirt that has no gold in it.1 Got gold $2.50.

Saturday 3 – Fine weather. Got gold today $23.

Sunday 4 – Very pleasant indeed. We go about with cotton and flannel shirts on, pants and no drawers, and comfortable at that. There is some snow yet in spots. Off a few miles it is quite deep.
It commenced raining this afternoon, but very moderately. I finished my bathing box this evening. Wouldn’t I like to see you bathe in my new box? O, yes. Last night I washed a shirt, a pair of socks and then washed myself.
I sat down before the fire an hour and thought–are we so far apart? I sometimes think that you are on your way from Marysville up into these mountains. Why do I keep thinking so. O, foolish thoughts.
John went down to the Point and mailed a letter to his ma. I read the testament of late a good deal. I scarcely see a newspaper.

Monday 5 – Cloudy got gold today $23.00.

Tuesday 6 – Clear and pleasant. Gold today $11.00.

Wednesday 7 – I went over to the American Valley to prospect and stayed until Sunday the 11th. I started home. I and John met on the road as we came to our cabin. I did not succeed in finding a good prospect.
It was quite foggy at the valley and rainy. They got no gold today—

Thursday 8 – Got gold today $1.00.

Friday 9 – Got gold today $9.00. Rained this evening and changed to snow.

Saturday 10 – Snowing off and on all day, no work done.

Sunday 11 – Fine day. No snow in the valley but the mountains around is covered, even the green trees is made white.

Monday 12 – The coldest night we’ve had last night. Was cloudy all day. Seven of us got gold today $12.50, but three of the seven is sinking a hole and was at it all last week. It is 20 feet deep, 5 feet wide, dirt on top the rest is rotten through with round boulders and rock. The water comes in quite fast, but we want to see the bedrock and see if there ain’t gold there. John’s birthday was Sunday the 11th. We had nothing extra on the occasion. Snow six inches deep Tuesday morning.

Tuesday 13 – Got gold today $5.00.

Wednesday 14 – Got gold today $5. Somewhat cool.

Thursday 15 – Got gold today $1. Quite cool.

Friday 16 – Froze up the water in the ditch.

Saturday 17 – Still cold of nights, and mornings no water to wash with. All hands a-prospecting but me. I am making pick handles.
Washed out the square box at the spring. Got gold $__. The men in the other cabin had a big fuss among themselves, whiskey is the cause. Not settled yet.

Sunday 18 – John Dobson came over to my cabin and brought his provisions.

Monday 19 – Nothing done. All in confusion.

Tuesday 20 – Snowed all night and today one foot deep.

Wednesday 21 – Can’t work, water is froze up.

Thursday 22 – Beautiful weather overhead, the snow is settled down some.

Friday 23 – Dobson and I went down to the Point. No letters yet for me. What can the matter be?
I paid Thompson $75.00 and we got $8.75 worth of fresh meat and little notions for a Christmas dinner. I got a new red flannel shirt.

Saturday 24 – Dobson and John set to and made a lot of mince pies for a start.

Sunday 25 – Up before day as usual and caught the boys in a Christmas gift all right. I hauled on my new red shirt. Ate breakfast and then the Johns to making peach pies and plum puddings for dinner, all to our three selves. It snowed on Friday night and Saturday six inches deep on the top of what was on the ground.

Monday 26 – Quite cool today. We cannot work, our ditch is froze dry. We were all day sewing. I lined my casinette pants outside in front with cotton and put a big patch on the seat of the same. Covered the bottom of my socks with cotton and made me a pair of mittens out of the legs of John’s blue pants.

Tuesday 27 – Quite pleasant today, and warm. We three went prospecting, did not get down.

Wednesday 28 – We went a-prospecting and did not as much as get the color. Warm and cloudy. Commend snowing this evening.

Thursday 29 – Continued our prospecting from Tuesday.

Friday 30 – Sunk a hole on the creek in back of the cabin, pitching bedrock.

Saturday 31 – Washed several pans, got better as we went uphill. We knocked off before night. Ate dinner and John washed three shirts and three pairs of socks for him and me. We’ve had nothing to do with the men in the other cabin since the fuss. One of them told me that they were building a cabin up Nelson Creek and were going to move their provisions as soon as they could. I suppose we will have these diggings all to our three selves.