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Monday 1 – We was out to the diggins in good time, but there was very little water. We concluded mining was up with us until rain comes. We went back to the house and took a shovel apiece and one pick and cleaned out in part the Pike ditch near the diggins. A tree had fallen a cross the ditch and the water all ran out. We closed it up again and went down to the diggins. After dinner we went to piping but the hose soon tore and by the time I got it mended the water had run down. We then cleaned up and got $3.50.
Tuesday 2 – We went to work very leisurely, knowing we could not have water to work with after noon. About 10 A.M. Duesler came to our diggins with two other strangers. I called him to me. The other two soon left, going to dinner. He told me his business: it was to borrow money to buy a house at Rabbit Creek.
P.M. We did nothing but clean up and got $14.50. Supper over, we went down to the Point and learned that Lloyd had left yesterday morning for Sacramento to see after his lawsuit. I suppose it is the best thing he can do to leave here and never come back.
Wednesday 3 – The weather is quite warm and has been for some days. We are not in much of a hurry to get to work as the water gives out after half a day’s work. We do but little and get small pay. Got gold $3. We worked all together in the right hand channel. As we go up we shall quit.
Thursday 4 – We started shortly after sunup for the American Valley. I shot a squirrel and farther on I shot at a deer. I got within 150 steps and did not scare the animal. I reloaded as John was trying to get near enough to shoot it, but off it went. I went over to collect money that I had loaned but both the parties was not at home. I reported Buck to the prosecuting attorney for gambling. We took dinner at Ward’s, $3 for all, and went home.
Friday 5 – Breakfast over we all three went down to the Point. No mail. I soon got through my business and went home again. Bill and I went out to the diggins to set our sluice boxes in the left channel as we go up. While we were at it John Bass came over from the valley to see me about the money he owes me and said could not pay it before the 16th instant. He left and we finished fixing our sluice boxes and went to dinner.
P.M. John and Bill let on the water. We all put in for the rest of the day. About closing time Jack stood on the bank of the ravine singing out. We dropped all and went up to him. We whooped and yelled no little. He said he left all well and their business in good fix. We went to the cabins took tea. Jack, somewhat wearied, soon fell off to sleep.
Saturday 6 – We breakfasted and then all hands went to work. Jack was fixed up in the best suit of gum boots and coat we had to spare. We cleaned up at noon and had gold $33. After dinner we all went up Feather River to look at some diggins. We returned home. I shot two grey squirrels on my way home.
Sunday 7 – Breakfast over, we fixed up our gun and took a round in the woods up by the diggins to renew a notice. I killed two grey squirrels and Jack two ground squirrels. We expect to breakfast quite hearty off those little animals in the morning.
After dinner all went down to the Point and then on to the Columbia Flat to show Jack the diggins. The sun had set when we arrived at home.
My lesson is the first chapter of Saint Luke.
I’ve patched my gum coat. The boys have all turned in their bunks and asleep —
Monday 8 – All four of us went to the work this forenoon.
P.M. I and Jack started over Feather River to see H. Bray but met him before we got down to the river. We talked a while about buying 1/4 of him. He wanted $1,500. Jack thinks it won’t suit at them licks.
We killed four squirrels. I.C. Lewis brought us a few very fine potatoes. Bill and John was at work in the diggins, but did not clean up.
Cloudy all day—looks very much like rain, but cleared up in the night.
Tuesday 9 – Clear and pleasant all day. Bill started early for the American Valley. Us three went to work. The hose ripped soon after the water was let on. I tied it up till noon.
P.M. I the hose them and then went to piping down. I continued till late. The water giving out we did not clean up.
Bill has not returned — I let him have 1 1/2 oz gold dust amounting to $26.25.
My back has been so lame that I applied a pitch plaster.
Wednesday 10 – We three was at work as usual. John had gone to shut off the water for dinner. A rock was rolled down. I looked up. There stood two ladies and two gentleman. Mrs Fox and Mrs Edwards, and Edwards and McGuire. We all soon put out for the cabins. Seated, I showed then my wife’s likeness, then some fine gold specimens, which I gave them according to fancy. They appeared pleased. I felt kind towards them and I managed to kiss them both. Dinner was got ready by John. I invited them over to the other cabin. They were seated and we waited on them. They did not tarry long after dinner. They being the first ladies that has ever visited my diggins, I thanked them very kindly and invited them to call again soon.1
We cleaned up and got $6.50 and went down to the Point. I paid Lewis $24 for 300 pounds of potatoes he brought us today. Root made a party, we left them dancing. Bill came home with us tonight from the Point.
Thursday 11 – The weather is dry, pleasant and warm. I could wish it otherwise, for we can do but little work on account of the scarcity of water. We took out today $12.50. A ball was given by I. Root last night at the Point.
Friday 12 – We attempt to work every day, but to very little good. We were all at it till noon. After I and Jack went down to the Point. We stayed till night. Bill and John went up the ditch and came back and to work. Didn’t clean up.
Saturday 13 – Cloudy all day, but pleasant, and was so yesterday. I think it is fixing for rain.
We were at work the most of the day to the best advantage the water would allow, owing to its scarcity. We cleaned up and got $17.
Sunday 14 – I dreamed last night of being at Captain Hurst’s residence, when he was living. I thought my wife and her sister Jane and some little boys and girls were going with us three over to Jas Nutters, all walking. When we arrived I thought he had torn his house to pieces, but the roof was up, yet he said he was a-going to build a finer one.
I was up at daylight. I put on a clean hickory shirt of my own washing and read the 9th chapter of Luke.
Breakfast over, all four went to hunt some good looking diggins. We returned at noon and took dinner. I, John and Bill went down to the Point. Jack stayed at the cabins. I got a letter from Martha Lloyd dated August 18th 18552 desiring to know if Mr. Lloyd was dead, and for me to write to her immediately.
I bought a ball of cotton twine and all, $1, for I and John; 2 pounds coffee; 2 small cabbage heads, $1 for the company; and a large sledge hammer, $4.50, for the company. After supper I wrote Martha Lloyd a letter about her Johnny —
Monday 15 – We were in no great hurry to get out to work this morning. We set our sluice boxes anew, as the tailings was about to cover them up at the lower end, to run the dirt off in the fork of the two channels. We got ready by noon.
P.M. Jack went down to the Point to get a mule ride over to the American Valley. We three went to work. The water soon gave out. We got gold $4. Jack mailed the letter to Martha Lloyd. Tonight John and Bill have gone down to the Point. I’m all alone.
Tuesday 16 – The weather is so dry and there’s not enough water to half work. It makes the time pass off heavy indeed, and no letter from my wife for more then six weeks. I have to content myself with hoping for better times hereafter—but what is it? Or why is it I do not get a letter from my wife? Well I do not know.
We done what we could at mining, and that was little and less. Of gold only $2.50.
I.C. Lewis came early to see me at the diggins to borrow $500 to buy ground, but it was out of my power to accommodate.
Wednesday 17 – It is quite warm and pleasant for the season, and I suppose will continue so until it rains. We worked a little at mining, and the amount of gold is still less—only $1.50 today. We have struck a bad streak.
This afternoon we put a piece of timber across the other cabin on the top logs and traces to hold up the rafters in case of a heavy fall of snow—
Thursday 18 – Still very pleasant. Somewhat hazy with clouds moving to the South, not likely to rain unless they change right about.
I was getting ready to work when Tom Jennings and Duesler came to the diggins to see about getting money to borrow. I told them my terms and Tom said he must have it before they left. Lewis came, and before he left Jack came from the Illinois Ranch. After dinner I and Jack went down to the Point. No letters. Bill and John got gold $.50.
Friday 19 – We went out to the diggins rather leisurely and did some little work. We cleaned up at noon for the purpose of changing our boxes again, and got gold $3.
Frank Fox came up to the diggins and took dinner with us.
P.M. we set our penstock farther up the hill and are ready to get to work in the morning.
Saturday 20 – Again at work, but the water is very scarce.
P.M. We tried it again, but for a short time. We cleaned and got gold $16.50.
Sunday 21 – We are in the habit of taking what is called leisure, as we have nothing to see to in the shape of stock. I took a warm bath last night. I read the 17th chapter of Saint Luke, then mended my socks, and then mended Johns socks. We all stayed about the cabins.
James Shults came up. I finished my 23rd letter to my wife. After dinner we all five went down to the Point, and I mailed the letter. Judge Ward was anxious to borrow $1,000 of me, money’s out. I paid the smith $1.50 for sharpening two picks for the company —
Monday 22 – After early breakfast I and Jack went over the river to Bray’s diggins. I waited some time for him to return home. I asked him to loan me $500. He said he loaned it all out the Saturday before, so I had to go back home and dig it out. I took dust enough to make $910 at $17.50 per ounce and sold it to John Thompson. He let me have the $1,090 that I had on interest with him to secure him as security in the suit with old Lloyd.
I took dinner with Fox, no charge. I and Duesler started for the American Valley, he riding and I walking with $2,000 in my pockets. As we got opposite our cabins we met Tom Jennings. He turned and went back with us. We arrived at his house some time before night. We ate and slept with them while at Quincy. I saw the noted personage Jim Beckworth, a mulatto.
Tuesday 23 – Breakfast over, we went to business and by noon the arrangements was all understood. We all took dinner. We got P.O. Hundley esquire to draw up the mortgage for $3,340 on the American Ranch bearing interest at the rate of 3 per cent per month to be paid quarterly. I sold the Bass, not to Bradley, as he was the man the money was going to, principal and interest $641. He discounted 4 per cent per month; 2 1/4 months on $1000 amount sto $90. I then had $269 to raise in 10 days to finish the loan of $3340 to I and Tom Jennings. It is now understood that I am a favorite among the ladies, my red flannel shirt outside my pants.
Wednesday 24 – After breakfast Isaac Jennings hauled Duesler and me to the Illinois Ranch in a two horse wagon a distance of 4 miles. Jack was there. We three started for the Taylor diggins, all deserted except some buck Indians. We could get the color every pan. We then started for the Socum diggins across the mountains. We found ourselves on the brink of the American Valley. Duesler being crippled he put for the Illinois Ranch, but Jack and I turned about and went 2 miles in the forest and found the place. We got a pan of dirt and carried it back to the valley 2 1/2 miles and did not so much as get the color, it being dark, and 1 1/2 miles to the Illinois Ranch, and nothing to eat since breakfast. It is owned by Thompson and cop.
Thursday 25 – Supper, breakfast and lodging $2. This is all the money that I’ve had to pay since I left home. We waited till 10 o’clock. I and Jack started on foot for home and Duesler waited for the pack train and overtook us on a mule. We arrived in time for dinner. John had got a letter from Dave and my wife on the same sheet dated September 4th 18553 giving an account of their preparation to start for California and saying they will be here by the last of October 1855.
P.M. I sharpened a crosscut saw. That done, Bill and John went to sawing wood. I and Jack went down to the Point. I made an arrangement with Thompson to get the $26. All right. The boys has not made no gold this week.
‘Tis midnight and none of us have gone to bed. O, the thought of once more seeing my wife soon has driven sleep from my eyes!
Friday 26 – We were in a quandary to know what was best to do but I prevailed on Bill and John to work the diggins as long as the water would last, so they brought in $59.50, one piece weighing 3 ounces and 9 drams. I and Jack went to ripping up the old hose and pulling out the threads.
P.M. I continued to work on the hose and the rest went up to the reservoir flat to prospect, while the weather is dry.
Saturday 27 – I and Jack was at work on the hose. John and Bill was out at the diggins, Joe Greeny stopped and took dinner with us. I told him that Thompson would pay him and Bradley the $269 that I owed them.
P.M. I was still sewing on the hose. The rest were prospecting.
Sunday 28 – Last night the rats gnawed a hole through the floor and annoyed me a little. I was up early. I read the 4th chapter of John and straitened the planks of the floor and put in a strip. Breakfast over, we moved out the provisions and tore down the bunks, and cleaned out the trash for the purpose of extending the floor. We shaved down some of the logs to put on washboards. We ate roast potatoes for dinner.
Monday 29 – John and Bill was mining before noon and after a-prospecting. I went to sewing the hose all day and Jack to putting in new bunks. I continued sewing till midnight —
Tuesday 30 – John and Bill was prospecting all the day. They sunk one hole down to the bedrock, but no good. I was sewing all day except when I and Jack went down to the Point to see what grub could be had. The price is very high. I sewed till midnight. Jack put up two more bunks today. Thompson paid off Bradley and Greeny on Saturday last, $269 for me, according to prove it.
Wednesday 31 – Quite a frost last night. The ice was froze in the tubs outside the cabin. Clear, no prospect of rain. Cloudy some yesterday. I finished the second seam and commenced the third, sewing the hose. The boys were sawing off logs to make wood. Bill split up several logs this evening.
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