John Haun Diary, July 1855

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Sunday 1 – Pa and Shaw started early this morning for Marysville. The rest of us went to the Point. Came back about noon and after dinner went to the Willow Ranch to look at the big cut in the flat. Came home and I went to sleep. Nothing else today.

Monday 2 – Went to work in Lawrance’s diggings—set the hose and prepared for
washing. Nothing more today unusual.

Tuesday 3 – The hoses burst several times today. We lost nearly the whole day mending them. Nothing otherwise new today.

Wednesday 4 – Everybody going to the valley to see the bear and bull fight. Eves started also. We stayed at home and worked all day. Nothing else today.

Thursday 5 – Piped all day as usual, washed a good deal of dirt. McFall came by the diggings from the valley, perfectly disgusted with the fight. An old man came up to the diggings by the name of Hueston. He was acquainted with H.P. I had some talk with him, but he did not stay long.

Friday 6 – Cleaned bedrock all day and took out 2 oz, minus $2. Nothing else today.

Saturday 7 – Cleaned bedrock again today and took out $39. Nothing else today.

Sunday 8 – All of us went to the Point in the morning and stayed a little while, got some provisions. Came back and we went to the Willow Ranch and over to Sterling’s diggings and found some chinamen at work in the ravine. We killed a rattle snake. Lloyd’s partner came up to the cabin after a knife and fork and some other little things. Nothing interesting today.

Monday 9 – Worked today as usual, but made nothing. The hose burst in the forenoon. Nothing else uncommon today.

Tuesday 10 – Worked as usual and took out $12. Set the boxes ready for cleaning up. Davies came up in the forenoon to see Lawrance concerning Shaw’s money. Nothing else uncommon today.

Wednesday 11 – Cleaned bedrock all day and took out $7 minus $2 Pa and Shaw came to the diggings  little before sunset and we quit work and came to the house all well at H.P.’s nothing more today

Thursday 12 – Pa and I went to work in the upper diggings cleaned off the rocks. Shaw and the balance went up Pikes ditch to turn in more water to fix up the dam. Heard that Buchanan was dead.

Friday 13 – Pa and I worked in the old channel, but made nothing. Cleaned off a great many rocks. Nothing else today.

Saturday 14 – Pa and I still at work in the old channel made pretty near wages. Moved a great many rocks and roots. Nothing more today.

Sunday 15 – All of us went to the Point in the forenoon and I came back with Tom Eves before dinner to get a letter of his. I stayed about the cabin in the evening and shot squirrels. Lawrance went to the Point to start below. Nothing else new today.

Monday 16 – Went to work with the pipe in the left side of the ravine. Prish came up to buy Shaw out, but did not do it. I had some talk with Shaw about buying him out. Weston Haver came to the diggings in the evening from below. He stayed  all night at the Point.

Tuesday 17 – Pa and I worked as usual. I bargained to buy Shaw’s interest in everything for $550. Him and I went to the Point after supper but did not stay long. A temperance meeting was held at the point tonight. Nothing else uncommon today.

Wednesday 18 – Moved down the hose and pipe to the lower diggings, cleared off some ground for the hose. Got to piping in the afternoon but had but little water. Cloudy today. Nothing more I believe.

Thursday 19 – Piped today as usual. Washed up two trees. Had a hail storm in the evening, it increased the water considerably.

Friday 20 – Worked with the pipe all day washing off the top dirt &c.

Saturday 21 – Lawrance sold out to Rositer and we three worked as usual, cutting and piling up logs and stumps. Cleaned up our boxes in the evening and took out 3 oz minus $1. Nothing else uncommon.

Sunday 22 – Had a settlement in the morning of all our business, then went to the Point. I took down some shirts to wash. Came back pretty near by night and got supper. Pa received a letter from Dave in Iowa starting that he was coming out as soon as possible.

Monday 23 – Worked in the same place as usual. I cleaned bedrock nearly all day but did not clean up the boxes. We commenced using the reservoir, not having water sufficient. Nothing else.

Tuesday 24 – Worked as usual I cleaned bedrock all day and took out $62. Shaw, Lawrance and another man came by the diggings on their way to the Point. Nothing of interest today.

Wednesday 25 – Today worked as usual cleaning bedrock and piping. Did not clean up boxes.

Thursday 26 – Worked as usual piping and cleaning bedrock. Took out $66. Rositer and went to the Point after supper. We seen Shaw and Lawrance.

Friday 27 – Worked as usual piping &c. Shaw and Lawrance came up to the diggings early in the morning. Nothing else of consequence today.

Saturday 28 – Worked all day at a stump and got it out of the way in the evening, and cleaned a little bedrock and got $76. Pretty good days’ work today.

Sunday 29 – Pa, Rositer and myself went up the Pike ditch early in the morning to see about the water. Came back and went to the Point and stayed a little after dinner, ground some axes &c. Went up our ditch in the evening Rositer and I divided out grub into four parts after supper. Nothing else of consequence today.

Monday 30 – Worked as usual and took out $24. Warm as usual. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 31 – Piped in the forenoon and cleaned bedrock in the evening. Also cleaned up and set our boxes, took out $22. Nothing else today of interest.

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James Haun Diary, September 1855

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Saturday 1 – This is one of those delightful days that is so common in this country and especially in the dry season of the year. Our work was anything but pleasant this A.M., carrying some large boxes and setting them up to wash dirt through. We got gold $22.50. After supper I and Roister went down to the Point. We were till 12 at night getting back.
Twenty-four years ago I was married to one of the best women that I’ve known. Tonight I am a-climbing over these Feather River mountains by the light of the moon, for she is at least 1 1/2 hours since rose. I still live, think, move, and feel—yes, and hope—my dear wife, we will not pass another 12 months until we shall be happy in each others embraces again. May God speed the time, for our reunion again —

Sunday 2 – Rather late getting getting up after keeping such late hours. Breakfast over, I read the 12th, 13th and 18th chapters of Revelations and now, for the want of better employment, I hunted up some cotton damask to put in the bottom of an old cradle rocker to make it answer to rock out the square box that we pan out in every night.
I, Roister and John all put to work. They finished about 4:00 P.M., so I finished my 22nd letter to my wife and will take it down to the Point this evening and mail it.
We cleaned out one of the pans. It had $32. The other we will have to quicksilver, as the gold is fine. I and Roister brought up some beef. Supper over, we washed up the dishes and baked a loaf of bread for tomorrow. All three of us is setting in my cabin, a good comfortable fire and not a word said, but John playing that some old fiddle —

Monday 3 – We got along very well with our work. One of our troubles is to keep from getting wet. We have to put on two gum coats, as they are leaky. We got gold $16.

Tuesday 4 – I dreamed of my wife last night and thought she was traveling on water and had two other little girls besides Lizzy to raise. I thought they were nieces —
We rolled two logs out of the way and have three others burning off to get out. We got gold $27.
After supper Roister and I went down to the Point. We had four political speeches and good order—something uncommon. The speaking over, we put out for home.

Wednesday 5 – Somewhat cool this morning but no frost. It was with some difficulty that we got to work, owing to the constant application and getting wet more or less everyday, but there is no other alternative.

P.M. we three went down to the Point to the election. John and Roister came up in time to work some, and got gold $10.50. I stayed the rest of the day to see if I could collect the $300 I had loaned to Isaac Jennings. He did not get the money for me. I paid tax on $1000, in the amount of $12. I feel out of sorts and quite unhappy.

Thursday 6 – I dreamed that I was in Georgetown, but nothing pleasant occurred.
As I  was out of sorts on last evening and I felt down in spirits all of today, we was late getting to work. Roister complained of rheumatism in his left shoulder. In consequence his inability I had the more to do. Well, so be it. We got gold $38.
Tonight I’ve been making a cape of my boot leg tops and putting it to my gum coat to keep my shoulders dry.

Friday 7 – We worked all together on the left side. My object in so doing was to prove it, which we did, and got gold $9. It is much deeper than the right side as we go up.

Saturday 8 – We fixed our boxes to work the right side of the channel and got $17. We rolled out three large logs that I’ve been burning into for the last weeks. I’ve been all day cleaning off brush and cutting small trees and logs. Duesler stayed all night.

Sunday 9 – Duesler started home before breakfast. After breakfast I moved some wood, raked up some chips, set a fire and threw on two of my flannel shirts. John is quick-silvering some fine gold to keep from loosing it. It netted $40.50 —
I cut down the cedar tree that stood within three feet of the  north west corner of my cabin. It lent over the cabin, but we pushed it away from the cabin. We then went up the Pike ditch and did some calking to the boxes that the water runs in. We came home to eat dinner and then went down to the Point. I paid Thompson $33.25 for grub and the smith $4, all for the company. Shaw and Rains arrived. Rains went home with us; bad news for the locals. All got beat, below and up here.
My lesson is the 1st chapter of Matthew.
I dreamed of being in bed with my wife and thought I was enjoying myself and felt pleasant twice and waked up making the third effort; but all a dream.

Monday 10 – Rains went down to the Point and we to our work. We had the penstock to move; it took us till noon.

P.M. I was cleaning up brush and cutting up logs. John and Roister got gold $8.50. Rains came up while we were at supper.

Tuesday 11 – John and Roister went to mining and I and Rains went up the Pike ditch to take out the water higher up the canyon to keep it from running through the dam. We cut the ditch longer and ran the water in without a dam. We finished in the middle of the afternoon and then went up our ditch and stopped some leaks. Night drove us in. The boys got $37.

Wednesday 12 – I dreamed of my wife having been traveling on the sea and that we were together. I thought Jane Cooper was with us and that she was in great distress, but quiet I thought. I kissed her and my wife said she was so sorry for her. I did not think Jane was married.
I and Rains went to cutting and rolling off logs. John and Roister to mining.

P.M. We rolled a log into the cut and broke the boxes all to pieces. We had to cut it in two twice to roll it it out again. While the boys was fixing things up again I went to the cabin and made one box. I’ve another on the way. We could not clean up.

Thursday 13 – I dreamed of my wife last night and thought she was taking a bath in some pond of water, swimming about with great ease. I was standing on the bank looking on.
John and Roister got gold $26 and I and Rains were cleaning up and setting heaps afire till noon.

P.M. I and Bill went up to the upper diggins to cut a pile of logs the rest of the day. After supper I wrote Jack a letter and posted the books. John has been playing on that same old fiddle.

Friday 14 – I and Rains cut and piled the timber that I, John and Dobson had cut down in March 1854. John and Roister got gold $11.50. After supper John and Rains went down to the Point and mailed a letter to Jack.

Saturday 15 – All hands went to mining. The boxes was set to work the left hand channel, as we concluded it was worth working. I managed the pipe. Roister and John raked down, and Bill went to forking out the rocks. We got gold $31.
I dreamed last night that I was the father of a little boy baby. I did not know its mother.
It commenced raining about sunset, but a light prickle after all the blowing.

Sunday 16 – I read the 12th chapter of Matthew.
After breakfast all four of us went up the the reservoir then into the tunnel that those intruders had cut. I measured it: 114 feet into the hill. It is cut through a rotten pile of boulders. We then went down and mended up the log heaps and on to the cabin.
We divided our dust and went down to the Point. John paid $4 for one pair of pants and 75 cents for washing two shirts. I got pair of half soles to bottom my gum boots for 50 cents and paid 25 cents in paper tax. We all went home to eat dinner. I had to put the half soling on my gum boots. That done, I split up two cedar logs that was cut last fall —
Cloudy all day. Commenced raining at dark very moderately.

Monday 17 – It rained quite a little shower in the fore part of the night. It has laid the dust. We’ve had 1/3 more water today then yesterday. I made some three riffles or false bottoms for the sluice boxes. In the A.M. the hose ripped. I mended it in the P.M. and went to mining with the rest.
Cloudy, thundered and rained a light sprinkle. We partially cleaned up and got gold $15. I looked to see when Lloyd’s time was up to keep the peace in. It so happened that today closes out his time. He used to say that his hands was tied; he could do nothing on that account. What next?

Tuesday 18 – Foggy this morning. We were rather late getting out to work. The sun shone out at intervals, thundered this evening and late into the night.
Our hose ripped again. We got gold $18.50 —

Wednesday 19 – Quite foggy this morning. Cold dew on the leaves. It was a pleasant day, though a little cloudy. I had the hose to mend before we could work to any advantage.

P.M. Nothing hindered us. We washed down a quantity of dirt and got gold $27. After supper I attempted to wash two hickory shirts and my towel. They look rather dark to be well done. If they will only feel a little soft to my back it is all I want, while I sleep by myself, what say you pot?

Thursday 20 – These mornings feel a little cool. It makes me feel like flinching when it comes to put myself where the water splashes all over me. We did more work today than usual and only got gold $11. Roister went down to the Point and got a fiddle string and John is playing the fiddle. I hear the geese going South.

Friday 21 – Some frost here last night. We was at work early. Somewhat cloudy in the A.M. but pleasant in the P.M. Got gold $28.

Saturday 22 – I dreamed of wife again. O, the grateful delusion—
There was quite a frost last night. I called up all hands at daylight. We worked in the deep channel and got gold $22.50.

Sunday 23 – As usual I was up soon. I took a hip bath or washing down at the box and read the 24th chapter of Matthew. I put a handle in Roister’s ax and made a pick handle. We divided our dust and set up. We took dinner, and all hands went down to the Point. No letters. I am disappointed very much. I paid 3/4 of $29.50 for 102 pounds bacon hams to Timberman, and $2.50 for a hoe to Thompson. Roister paid me $8 for water. John paid $1.50 for two pair socks.

Monday 24 – I dreamed of having good diggins.
Rains did not work today. We was at a loss to know how to work. After dinner we commenced piping, but the hose ripped. I soon mended it and we went at it again. I was the rest P.M. mending an outside pipe hose.
After supper, with the moon two hours high, I took the rifle and set in the door of the other cabin watching for the mountain cats or fishers.1 One came up to the slop hole. I shot at it but missed. I loaded and waited for another. It soon came. I made it squall, and yet it was able to get away.
We did not clean up tonight —

Tuesday 25 – I dreamed of being in company with my wife. As she was passing by I  caught her by the foot in play. It seemed that it was in Georgetown —
I called up the men and got out early. We were soon stopped by the hose ripping twice—once in the A.M. and once in the P.M. We got gold $6.50. I hope to do better tomorrow.

Wednesday 26 – I dreamed last night of being in company with my wife again. I thought that we were together in some city, and alone. She had on a dress for bed, as I thought. I asked her where she slept. She told me in some tavern, but I forgot the name of the house. I then asked her if  she could accommodate me. She told me if I would give  her all the money I could conveniently do without, that she would. I was about to swear by God and I changed to the holy Saint Patrick. I was so much vexed that I woke up immediately and did not sleep good again the last half the night —
besides, I’ve felt uncomfortable all day. The dream was in my head all the time.
We was at work early but the water has failed us so we cannot half work.

P.M. John and Roister went up the ditch to see if all was right. I went to sewing the hose. We got to piping late and did not clean up.

Thursday 27 – I slept more composed last night. I only dreamed of seeing Jas Barlow. I do not recollect at what place.
The weather was never more pleasant and dry. The water is quite gone—not enough to fill the pipe half the day with all we can save in the reservoir. Its after noon and I am sewing the hose to be ready when the water comes again.
Roister sold out to Rains for $150, so this P.M. Roister quit work and Rains took his place. We cleaned up and got gold $10. We took out while Roister was in the company $1085 at $16 per ounce.

Friday 28 – I dreamed of my wife again. I certainly will see her soon.
I called up all hands at daylight. Roister had got back. After breakfast we settled up and paid $8 for beef and tea. Our share and then weighed out in gold dust at $17.50 per ounce. $100 was loaned to Rains to pay Roister. He divided out his wearing apparel to us and bid us a final adieu. It brought tears in his eyes to leave us. I threw an old shoe after him. We then went to work with the pipe till noon.

P.S. I was sewing the hose, besides there was no water to work the pipe. We got $6.50.

Saturday 29 – We were at work as usual and washed quite a lot of dirt up to noon.

P.M. I was sewing the hose. Rains and John cleaned up $15.

Sunday 30 – The sun had risen an hour before we crawled out of our bunks. After breakfast we went to the reservoir and examined the drift that the intruders is making. We then went down to the diggins and set about mended some log heaps.
Then we went by the cabin that old Lloyd stays in. While there, he came in. I told him we owned 4/5 of it. He said it was a damned lie. He drew up his rifle to cock it as he had it when he came in, but I stuck too close to him. He then tried to get to his bed and get his knife but I got between. He gave back and got out of doors and I close alongside of him. He commenced to halloo for the Bucks and them other fellows. Two of them came to his assistance. He talked keen for a fight, so I handed my gun to Rains and pulled up my shirt to let him see that I had no weapons. He still hung on to his rifle. I took hold of the muzzle and snatched it away from him. He then struck me and I gathered him and threw him in a bunch of bushes. His thumb was soon between my ivory and my fingers in his eyes. He sung out for help, but Rains and John would not let me be taken off him till he sung out again and again. Then Rains took me off him. He went in the cabin and got his butcher knife and got to the door. By this time I had my riffle cocked and invited him out. He did not come.
So, we went home and took dinner after a while and then went down to the Point. There I saw the old cock again. He commenced to abuse me again, so, whack, I took him over the head and bled him good. I had him lying on his back across the counter when I was pulled off him. So we closed, except a few thrusts with the unruly member. Him with gauged eyes, a badly chewed thumb and a bad cut on the head, and i barely scratched.
I wrote a letter to Jack and paid the postage  $.25 and then home. After supper I read the 7th and 8th chapters of Mark. I hope God will pardon me for today’s conduct.

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James Haun Diary, December 1854

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Friday 1 – Breakfast and lodging $1. Before sunrise I was on the road for Marysville, a distance of 19 miles, which which I made before noon. I paid $1.50 for whiskey I had a mule ride 6 miles I then went to Row & Haun’s office and had a consultation about my suit, in which they both said there would be no difficulty in gaining it for me in the supreme court, only I had to send back the papers and have them maid out anew on paper of a certain kind before they would be admitted in that court. I paid $1.50 for paper and $1 for the express to take it back. I then went to the stable to Derick. He did not know me for some time. I went home with H.P. Cath1 is not well, quite feeble, and little Cath has got the chills and the nerves. H.P. is not in good health either. Derick is well.
Cloudy the last two days.

Saturday 2 – H.P. and I went to town and stayed all day. I gave 25 cents for grapes to eat and got acquainted with Bob Bowen whom Dave called “little Bub,” &c. So we two went home with the judge at dark. Cloudy today.

Sunday 3 – Rained all day. Bowen asked me to loan him $1000 at 3 per cent a month, and he would make me safe by mortgage. I agreed to send it down as soon as practicable. We stayed all day at the Judge’s —

Monday 4 – Bowen started home. I and the Judge went to town and then to the post office. I got two letters, one from my wife dated October 18 18542 giving an account of old Ben Ford’s death, and the reception of a bill of exchange for $200, and her determination to remain in Kentucky for the present, and one from Lizzy of October 253, which says she wants us to come home in the spring, if we could.
I stayed in town all day. After dinner Jack came in. He did not know me at first. I went out with the Judge at dark, &c —

Tuesday 5 – Jack came out before breakfast. I and the judge went to town, he on the hunt of beef cattle, and I to get two gum coats, white $16; and two pair of gum overalls, $6; one cover to a hat, $1; two red flannel shirts, $3.50; four pair socks, $2; one pair gum boots, $7; five fiddle strings; and a pair of tweezers, $1.25. I left Row $30 to pay the entrance fee of suit to the clerk of the supreme court, and 25 cents for grapes. I slept in the stable was quite sick all night.

Wednesday 6 – Paid $10 to ride up to the Columbus House in the stage. Cold and foggy at Marysville. Dinner $1 at the Oregon House. We got to the Columbus at 8 o’clock P.M. I took supper, $1, and went to bed, $.50, and took breakfast, $1.

Thursday 7 – I gave $6 to ride a mule to Gibsonville and got my dinner there, $1, at 2:00 P.M. I then had to foot it two miles home which I did arriving a little after dark, carrying quite a pack. I spent 50 cents for whiskey at the Point.

Friday 8 – We all went to work including Cook, a hired man. We cleaned off tailing and top dirt, but did not clean up our boxes. All well. Weather clear and cool. The moon has just rose above the hills, and the men have turned into their bunks. I will soon follow.

Saturday 9 – Quite cool of nights and mornings, so much so that our water in the ditch is nearly blocked up with ice till noon when the sun melts the ice some. Shaw, John, I, and Cook, a young man that we hire, were striping today, though we got gold  $2.50. Lloyd and Lawrence continued striping.

Sunday 10 – Cool and clear. We divided our dust from the last two weeks, getting $111.50 per share, after paying $23 for the company for hired help to John Bull. My lost time amounted to $28. For two pairs of gum gloves I paid $3.50. I wrote a letter to H.P. and sent him a check for $1,500 by F.H. Everett & Co. Express to be loaned at 3 per cent a month. I bought an ax and handle, paid $3, whiskey 50 cents &c. My lesson is the 10th Chapter of Matthew —

Monday 11 – All six of us were at work on the ditch, covering it to keep it from being filled up with snow and breaking the levy, as was done last year. John is 20 years old today, and John Lloyd 50.

Tuesday 12 – The nights are quite cold, so much so that the water is frozen considerably in the ditch. Where it is covered it does not freeze.

Wednesday 13 – Still putting brush over the ditch. Six men have been at work on the ditch for four days each. The nights cold and days warm. The yellow jackets are flying about at noon. The wind does not blow the least bit, only its clouding up for rain or snow.

Thursday 14 – We finished covering the ditch with brush. Delightful sunshine, very pleasant to work.

Friday 15 – I and Lawrence was cleaning rocks out the ditch till noon. The other four was setting up the boxes and hose and cutting down some small trees and brush off the diggins. After dinner four of us got gold $44. The sun shines warm and pleasant. I paid 25 cents for paper tax —

Saturday 16 – I, Shaw, Lloyd, and Levi Lawrence gathered up six picks, and each one of them gathered their gum boots, and I took John’s, so that we had four pairs in all, and we went over to Betsey Town. He had the boots half soled with leather, cost $2.50, and the picks steeled and sharpened.
I met a woman in company with a man dressed in men’s clothes and riding straddle. She is quite common stock. Another woman has left her husband, one of the proprietors of U.S. Hotel in Betsy Town, and gone with her lover. This took place some three weeks ago.
My dinner and supper $2, plus lodging.
(Two men worked one day each on the ditch, 2 others one  half day each.)

Sunday 17 – After breakfast, $1, we started for home and arrived at 1 o’clock. We took dinner and went down to the Point. The county clerk had made out the papers again on the right kind of paper for my suit with Vaughn. I sent them by Everett’s Express to Marysville, to Row and Haun. &c. Cost 50 cents. My lesson is Matthew, Chapter 21.

Monday 18 – Four of us went to work at our diggins. The water soon ran out where Levi and Lloyd were at work, on account of the reservoir being at their chocked up by the cold, and no rain or snow to raise the break. The nights are cold and the water freezes. The days are dry and pleasant. We had to stop work till noon. We then had water till night and made $28. Levi and Lloyd do not weigh their gold till the close of the week, &c.

Tuesday 19 – We was ready for work betimes as usual, but there was no water to work with.
Shaw, Lloyd and Lawrence went up the ditch to the bear trap and took out what is called a “cat.”4 His front is grey and the hind part of his body grows gradually black. His long bushy tail, his legs and feet, his head, eyes and ears resemble those of a bear. They lassoed him in the trap and choked him till quite dead. Then they tied him before he came to again. We got some coarse wire and made a chain.
I paid off Cook for 12 days work $24. I went down to the Point with him. I returned at noon. After dinner I and John cut and split some wood, as none of the company worked in the diggins.

Wednesday 20 – After breakfast I, John, Lloyd, Shaw, and Lawrence and two other men who are prospecting near our cabins all concluded to go down to Rich Bar and cross over Feather River and up Winters Creek. We tied up some bread and meat in a handkerchief to eat. We went right over Slate Mountain. It was very difficult to get down, I had to hold on to the rocks and bushes. We went up Winters Creek and arrived at the place where crystallized quarts has been got. I picked up a piece and took it to my cabin. We spent the day in climbing over the mountains and ravines.
Lloyd went up the river to the Point and got a letter for himself and one for John dated October 25 18545 from his ma. She said a great deal about our coming home in the Spring, and about a conversation she had with Littiss. There was also a letter for me from my wife dated November 13 18546, giving an account of her unhappy situation in being separated from us. She wants us to come home in the spring any how.
Well, we have not worked any today on account of the water being froze up. The nights are cold but the days is so delightful.

Thursday 21 – Cold nights and pleasant days. The first thing we done was to plague our pet until he broke the chain and none of us could catch him again. He is free again, except a collar around his neck and some little chain to it.
We did nothing at mining. I and John was getting wood. We cut up the tree that lay just behind our cabin and split some of it, &c., &c.

Friday 22 – Last night a man came up after Shaw, telling him to go down to his ranch. Accordingly this morning he started. Hannibal Bray came up according to appointment. Two others and myself took a tramp over the mountains but made no new discoveries. I was at home by 2:00 P.M. I ate dinner and split wood until night.

Saturday 23 – I, John Lloyd and Lawrence was all at work. We had plenty of water. John and I got gold $7.50. Lloyd and C. did not weigh. It was somewhat cloudy today.

Sunday 24 – Warm and cloudy, with wind blowing from the South. I split some wood that lay near my door and piled it up in anticipation of rain and snow. I finished my 16th letter to my wife and went down to the Point and mailed it (25 cents) and got a letter (50 cents) from H.P. acknowledging the receipt of a check for $1,500. I got John a hickory shirt for $1, and then got drink and went home. I gave $3.50 for whiskey.
I did wrong. I own up, and ask for forgiveness.

Monday 25 – Christmas morning. Up before day and built up a fire. I would like to catch my wife again in a Christmas gift. A little two far off. Cloudy, and wind blowing from the South. My lesson is the 8th Chapter of Mark. All four of us went to work. I and John got gold $57.50. It rained some in the forenoon. In the afternoon it was somewhat cloudy with sunshine at intervals, and all clear by bedtime.

Tuesday 26 – Cold last night. Charles Allen, one of Shaw’s friends came to my cabin after dark. I hired him to work for Shaw while he is gone. So, we three got gold $21. It snowed a little in the evening and after dark the ground is a little white.

Wednesday 27 – Cloudy last night, but no snow fell of consequence. It is somewhat cloudy today, but quite cool. We three got gold $10.50.

Thursday 28 – So cold last night that the water in the ditch froze up entirely. I, John and Charles were clearing off the ground of brush and small trees, and burning some heaps that we made last winter. Lawrence and Lloyd was at the same in the morning. They went up to the trap before dinner and found another cat in it. After dinner John went up to get it out, but choked it to death. Its of no account —

Friday 29 – Cold. The water is still froze up in the ditch. I and John were getting wood today —

Saturday 30 – Last night it was cold, but its warm today and somewhat cloudy. We finished off cutting and splitting wood, done up in good style. We went out and mended up our log heaps. John washed three shirts, a towel, and pair of socks for me, and some for himself. He had cleaned the table and furniture before, so we are in good shape for the New Year. After supper I washed myself, and then a pair of socks, and then went to bed. Lawrence and Charles went over to the American Valley after his blankets and other fixtures. They got back a little after dark.

Sunday 31 – Warm and cloudy. Snow commenced before day. Sometime after breakfast I, John and Lawrance went up the ditch to look after the water. It was making its way down slowly. While we were up there it commenced raining and left off snowing. After returning we took diner and supper at the same time. Lloyd went down to the Point and has not returned. It continued to rain all day and late at night there was thunder. My lesson is the first chapter of St. Luke. I read four chapters and did some mending to my old duds, &c.

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James Haun Diary, June 1854

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Thursday 1 – Cool last night and today and cloudy with all. I had to put on my coat to work in. The three of us got gold $45.50. Hawkins and I are still a fixing our hose and pipe. I was yesterday and today making Hungarian Riffles to save gold.

Friday 2 – Cool and cloudy most all day, the wind from the South. Rained some in the evening late and after dark. John and Hopkins got $48 in gold. Hawkins and Shaw was setting boxes and I was making new riffles.

Saturday 3 – Cloudy at intervals and rain and thunder this evening. The three got gold $79. I and Hawkins are still fixing. I made two more riffles and Hawkins went down to the Point after two tom irons &c.

Sunday 4 – O, the Delightful weather! Just right for man. We divided out our gold for the last 3 weeks in five shares, each $86.50 and was dividing our provisions also. Dobson came up from Rich Bar about noon and I paid him off the balance for his claim $300. He said he was very sorry for selling out. My lesson is Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 1.

Monday 5 – Shaw and Hopkins got gold $28 and Hawkins and John was working the hose and pipe. They did not wash or clean out the boxes. I do the fiddling: mending boxes, fixing more riffles.

Tuesday 6 – Shaw and Hawkins got gold $37 and us three got $4. I was out in the afternoon. The pipe and hose work very well. We were at work in hard cement. The day was rather cool for sunshine.

Wednesday 7 – Shaw and Hopkins got gold $42. We expect better pay as soon as we are out of this cement. The weather is cool for the time of year, but pleasant enough.

Thursday 8 – Cloudy this evening. I did not feel able to work this afternoon. We got gold $41. I am buying milk at 6 bits1 a gallon.

Friday 9 – Fine weather, the dry season has regularly set in. We got gold $68.50. I did not work. I was too weak after taking four pills last night.

Saturday 10 – Fine weather indeed. No storms. The underbrush is quite green and the pineapple cactus2. A roadside  is peeping out of the ground, quite a number of them. We got gold $67. I shall take a wash and four Barlow pills and to bed.

Sunday 11 – I wrote a letter to H.P. on business, requesting him to send me up some gum coats. We divided our gold from this last week’s work, $59.30 a share. I received a letter from Dave of date April 16 18543 by one of the partners near sunset.
I went down to the Point and mailed my letter to H.P. and came back in the dark before the moon rose. My lesson was the second Epistle of Peter, Chapter 3.
I dreamed that I was in Georgetown going up the street to hug my wife. I saw Lizzy playing with a number of other  girls. They were going around in a circle and she was to turn her back and let one of them hide and then she was to tell by seeing the rest who it was that was gone. If she failed to tell she had to try it again. But she spied me and said, why uncle. We started to go to the house, but I woke up and found myself lying in my bunk. O, what a sad disappointment to find myself in the mountains of California, thousands of miles away.

Monday 12 – Cool and cloudy and rained more or less all day. No work done by the company.

Tuesday 13 – Cloudy in the fore part of the day but fair in the evening. The four went to work and I went down to the Point after dinner and paid Roots and company $6.50 for letters, $9 for a pan and fork, $140 for 7 lb meal, and $1 for a bottle of Medicine. We got gold $76.50.

Wednesday 14 – Pleasant day. All at work. I went out and worked all day, feeling first rate. We got gold $7.50.
I was fixing and cooking. A man stood before the door with two carpet wallets and said, why day bird what brought you out here? It was John Lloyd.

Thursday 15 – The weather is all right and all are at work. We got gold $49. John Lloyd said the gold looked very nice and thought we had good diggins. My wife ought to see me making mush as I am dieting and gaining fast.

Friday 16 – Pleasant weather indeed. We were all at work, got gold $73.50. John Lloyd is a heap of company for me.

Saturday 17 – Cloudy in the A.M. and rained all P.M. though we worked till late and got gold $72 cleaning up bedrock. John Lloyd took a tramp up the ditch.

Sunday 18 – John Lloyd and I went and staked off claims, seven for me and five for John. We bought those and another two by preemption and picked out one for Lloyd. We then went up the ditch and stopped some holes. Then we came home and breakfasted.
Lloyd and John went down to the Point. Our new partners had already gone. They came back before noon and we divided the gold. First we paid the previous expenses of the company $39 and then divided the remaining $240 making $48 to each. I then paid $36 for lost time in sickness and then the other three paid me for board $41 and Hopkins paid me $32.25 for the use of water.
I broke a hoe cleaning my potatoes and went down to the Point. Gave $2.50 for a new one, $1.50 for a bottle of bitters and then came home in company with Lloyd. My Lesson was Chapter 7 of Revelations.

Monday 19 – We five went to work but made no money. Lloyd went to the Point.

Tuesday 20 – I made a proposition to the company to take in Lloyd on the same terms with Hopkins but it was refused. I then said I would not work in this company longer. So we did nothing all day but disagree. Hawkins in a mean Yankee of New York. Shaw is a gentleman of the West.

Wednesday 21 – We made a settlement with Hawkins and Hopkins. Shaw bought his claim in the water at $150, including all the provisions and tools. I paid him $500 for us four and Shaw $29. That paid his bill. We then went to work in the P.M. Shaw went down to the Point. We got no gold worth weighing. The wind blew pretty hard from the South.

Thursday 22 – Quite a frost last night, it bit some of my potato’s tops. We four all went to work and got gold $29.50. Shaw and I worked together and Lloyd and John.

Friday 23 – Fine weather. We made nothing, but the Johns made $2.50. One ought to see me making mush to eat out of kiln-dried meal.
I was well aware today that I was forty-three years old today.  I often thought of my wife today and expect she did the same of me and wondered what I was at.
I read Revelations Chapter 20, and to bed.

Saturday 24 – We got gold $19.50. We done but little owing to lost time and the brake-up with Hawkins. This Yankee won’t do.

Sunday 25 – We four have been fixing up our grub bill so as to have it easily understood. I read this first chapter of Matthew this morning.
We all went down to the Point in the P.M. I got a letter from H.P. on business. I sent for gum clothes to work in. I paid for sharpening picks and $3.75 for the company. I bought a bottle of bitters for $1.50, and a 5th of meal for 75 cents.
Dobson stabbed a man down at Rich Bar four times. The miners went down to see about it.

Monday 26 – We got an English sailor, Lilly Lane, to come and sew our hose again. They keep a-bursting. Shaw and I hewed out some slabs at the mill for sluice boxes. The Johns were digging and got gold $7.50. A considerable freeze; the leaves was stiff this morning.

Tuesday 27 – The Johns got gold $13.50. I and Shaw got our pipes and hose to work again. The bank caved in and caught my leg under the dirt but I was not hurt.

Wednesday 28 – Cool nights and warm days. We all got gold $11. The Johns got about one dollar. I dreamed last night that I was in Georgetown and that my wife put her arms around my neck and kissed me–but, O, the next moment how sad the disappointment! Sleep had left me and I lay all alone in my bunk considering my disappointment.

Thursday 29 – Fine weather. We were all at work and got gold $40. Now we sit about the cabin doors as if we were exiled. That still small voice that speaks within tells of better days I hope I may come soon.

Friday 30 – We got gold $9. All’s well. The coyotes have commenced to howl again. Our ravine is still hard cement.

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James Haun Diary, February 1854

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Wednesday 1 – Still pleasant. We went to ground sluicing–hauled on our leaky gum boots, rolled up our sleeves and into the water.

Thursday 2 – Up this morning early and darned a hole in the heel of my old grey sock. We go in our shirtsleeves all day. We had a good head of water to wash off the top snow, and we rolled up our sleeves to get in to it all day.

Friday 3 – Last night three lions passed within 200 yards of out cabin between it and our work, and then late this evening a fourth one came on the track of the three before. We came home from work. Somewhat cloudy this evening. Our work is the same: ground sluicing.

Saturday 4 – Rained moderate today. We set up our boxes after digging them up put of the snow. It is knee deep and hard enough to bear in places. Well if this ain’t cold work on hands! I will say no more.
We quit for the day after getting up the boxes and being wet all over from working in the rain. We were quite late for dinner. After dinner I changed my duds for dry ones and went down to the Point. I got a letter of date 28 November1 for John and one for me of the date 29 November2. It mostly says don’t be discouraged.
Well, if you could see us at work you would have no occasion to write such letters, I think.

Sunday 5 – Rained all night last and all of today. We all went to McDonald’s cabin. He was not at home. I closed tonight by reading from Saint Mark from the 7th chapter —

Monday 6 – Rained and snowed last night; mixed and rained all day. We went to washing out gold, $11.25. This is the first since the middle of December last, and not bad for a start. I made a cape out of the legs of gum boots that kept my shoulders dry all day.

Tuesday 7 – Rained last night. I was up this morning before day. It cleared up at daybreak and sun came out. Beautiful all day. We got gold $23.50, not bad for three of us.
I had some cross words with John this morning. He has got in the habit of telling me that I’m mad if I speak to him in the way of a reprimand. He did not go out to work until I came back after him.

Wednesday 8 – Fine day. Cold last night, some cloudy this evening. We washed for gold this morning for two hours and got $41, one piece weighing $29. Then we went to ground sluicing the rest of day.

Thursday 9 – Some cloudy. Ground sluicing. Commenced raining at bedtime.

Friday 10 – Snowed some last night and rained pretty hard all day. We were ground sluicing, and got wet and cold at that.

Saturday 11 – Rained hard last night and then snowed before day. We got gold $9. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, but cool this evening.

Sunday 12 – Cold last night and cloudy. Snowing this morning very fast and continued all day. About a foot of new fallen snow on the top of the old and hard snow.
All three of us went down to the Point. I mailed my 8th letter to my wife. I paid $3.50 for sharpening two picks, putting steel in one of the ends and drawing them out out of the ends and drawing them out. Out of the company’s money, 50 cents for turpentine for company. Paid Lewis and Roots $17 for John’s boots and letters. I got a blue flannel shirt on credit. It was still snowing at bedtime.

Monday 13 – Snowed some little last night and all of the day, with sunshine at intervals. Cold and Freezing tonight. We got gold today $10.50. The south west side of ravine bank slid down with four small trees on it and split two of our sluice boxes. It took us all the afternoon to right it.

Tuesday 14 – Cold last night and continues to freeze in the shade and where we are at work. Got gold $34.50 our piece weighed $24.50.

Wednesday 15 – Cold last night, but pleasant today, sunshine in the forenoon but cloudy in the after, and snowed a little. We got gold $24.50. We had flapjacks for dinner as bread was scarce.

Thursday 16 – Snowed some last night. The sun shone but it was dim, hazy and cloudy. Today we got gold $16. My shoulders and elbows ache and my hands are rough and cracked.

Friday 17 – Fine day, the wind is from the North East. Got gold $23.50. We think we’ve found diggins that will last for months.

Saturday 18 – Fine and warm day. We cleaned off the trees and bushes for ground sluicing. We cut a ditch and got the water running through. We cleaned out the pattern riffle box and got gold $2.50. I saw a large flock of wild geese going north–what does it mean?

Sunday 19 – Snowed a little last night and is at it today. Some sunshine at intervals. Wild geese going south again. We cut and packed wood. I cut a tree and felled it in front the cabin, close for back logs. My lesson is Acts, Chapter 20.
I sent John down to the Point to have my pick sharpened and see if there was any letters. I took five pills made by Barlow’s receipt last night, as I am out of sorts–rather bilious.

Monday 20 – Cloudy mostly, with a little snow. Wild geese and ducks going north. I took four more pills on going to bed last night and felt rather bad all day, but worked all day at ground sluicing. The bank caved in and smashed one of out boxes badly. We found it so when we went to work this morning.

Tuesday 21 – Snowed a little last night and all day today but melted as it fell. We were ground sluicing but fixed our boxes in the afternoon for catching gold. We saved some but did not weigh it.

Wednesday 22 – Snowed last night and is falling fast this morning, but melts almost as fast as it falls. We did not work. I patched my new red shirt with some of the old one. It snowed hard all day and night following —

Thursday 23 – and was at it this morning, hard, for a while. Cleared off nice and warm. The snow is knee deep again though it melted away and fell off the trees powerful fast. We went to work in the snow and got gold $42.

Friday 24 – Another storm brewing cloudy and cool. Got gold $9. We were ground sluicing in the afternoon, or rather clearing away all day.

Saturday 25 – Commenced snowing before day and is at it still at 9 o’clock. Dobson is mixing up dough and John is cutting off the hock bone of a ham to boil. I’ve just fixed up the fire and noted these little facts while I think and reflect on one that I love and O, how I should like to see her.
We went to work. There was a pile of top dirt slid down last night that we had to move. We shoveled it in the boxes. It snowed on us till 2:00 P.M. when the sun came out and it quit snowing. We was wet, cold and hungry. We got gold $3.50.
Built a good fire changed clothes, ate dinner and then turned out to get wood. I had to shovel off the snow before I could cut a back log. It commenced snowing in a short time and continued till night.
Now after dark. Dobson baking bread. John cleaning out his tin kettle to cook a mess of beans and I have just read from the 5th to the 10th chapter of First Corinthians, and am now noting this down, that I may see how the time has passed.

Sunday 26 – Snowed all night and all day. Dobson and I went down to the Point. I paid Roots $4 for a long handled shovel, 75 cents for 2 pounds nails, and paid the smith $1 for sharpening a pick. I expected to get a letter but the mail had not come in. We waded back through the snow in places. I broke through and it was up between my knees and hips.
It is not cold, nor has been for the quantity of snow that is on the ground and falling so often. It melts away nearly as fast as it falls. The wind blows but little compared to other places and the days are nearly always warm.
I shall read a chapter or two and then go to bed, as it is late.

Monday 27 – Rained and snowed all of last night and continued this morning until 10 o’clock, and then it snowed till after night. Yes, it fell faster than I ever saw before. It is more than hip deep.
We brought in our new patten riffle box. I made some alterations. That was all we done today. It continued snowing till after dark and I can’t say how much longer.

Tuesday 28 – Cold this morning. We waded through the snow and carried our new patent riffle box to where we intend to work, as it was a fine sunshiny, warm morning. We fixed the boxes till noon and then went up the ditch in several places. We cleared off the snow and mended the broken places and got the water to running in the ditch.

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