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stock of liquors and preserved provisions." | pense, taking half the gold obtained for their Their expenses at this “ hotel,” it should be remuneration. Many of the Americans emnamed, were eleven dollars a day, for man ployed Indians and others to work for them, and mule, exclusive of lodgings. They are, giving them balf the produce of their labor, oddly enough, divided into four dollars for in addition to finding them provisions, which the man, and seven for the mule! barley would cost about a dollar a day. Rather being a dollar the quart, and grass a dollar poorly kept, either in quantity or quality, we the handful.
should suppose they would be at this price,
provisions of all kinds being "enormously “Our first move was for the river bottom, dear.” On their journey to the place, a little where a number of Americans, Sonorians, and Kanakas” (Sandwich Islanders,) “ were at work had cost them five dollars. Mr. Taylor and
more than a bushel of wheat, for the mules, in the hot sun. The bar as it was called, was nothing more or less than a level space at the his friends were hospitably entertained by janction of the river with a dry arroyo, or
the miners; and were not a little surprised at "gulch," which winds for about eight miles the “table in the wilderness,” spread for among the hills.”
them in the airy hotel we have mentioned.
Jerked beef, (they had, en roule, bought The “gulch” denotes a mountain ravine of about six yards, for half a dollar) and bread a very abrupt character.
was the best they had expected : and, oh, “ It was hard and rocky, with no loose sand ex- table" green corn, green peas, and beans,
omnipotent power of gold! they saw on the. cept such as had lodged between the large masses fresh oysters
, roast turkey, Goshen butter, of stone, which must of course be thrown aside to get at the gold. The whole space, containing and excellent coffee. I will not pretend, about four acres, appeared to have been turned he adds, "to say what they cost, but I be-' over with great labor, and all the holes slanting gan to think the fable of Aladdin was nothing down between the broken strata of slate to have very remarkable after all
. The genie will been explored to the bottom. No spot could ap- come—but the rubbing of the lamp! There pear more unpromising to the inexperienced gold is nothing so hard on the hands." hunter. Yet the Sonorians, washing out the loose dust, or dirt , which they scraped up among table ;” and next morning found the party,
He slept that night soundly on the dining the rocks, obtained from ten dollars to two ounces daily. The first party we saw had just succeeded at work, in the sunshine, with two hours' in cutting a new channel for the shrunken waters hard labor at baling out the water before of the Mokelumr.e, and were commencing opera- they could begin to wash. Again : tions on about twenty yards of the river bed, which they had laid bare. They were ten in number; and their only implements were shovels,
“ The prospect looked uninviting, but when I a rude cradle for the top layer of earth, and flat went there again, towards noon, one of them was wooden bowls for washing out the sands. Bap scraping up the sand from the bed with his knife, tiste took one of the bowls, which was full of and throwing it into a basin, the bottom of which sand, and in five minutes showed us a dozen glittered with gold. Every knife-full brought out grains of bright gold. The company hud made
a quantity of grains and scales, some of which in the forenoon about three pounds ; we watched
were as large as the finger-nail. At last a twothem at their work till the evening, when three noon's work amounted to nearly six pounds. It
ounce lump fell plump into the pan. Their fore. pounds more were produced, making an average is only by such operations as these, through assoof seven ounces for each man. The gold was of ciated labor, that great profits are to be made in the purest quality and most beautiful color.- those districts which have been visited by the first When I first saw the men carrying heavy stones in the sun, standing nearly waist-deep in water, casily reached are soon exhausted by the crowd,
eager horde of gold-hunters. The deposits most and grubbing with their hands in the gravel and and the labor required to carry on further work clay, there seemed to me little virtue in resisting successfully deters single individuals from attemptthe temptation to gold-digging; but when the tin basin, 1 confess there was a sudden itching in about the gold, when in fact they have humbugged shining particles were poured out lavishly from a ing it. Those who, retaining their health, return
home disappointed, say they have been humbugged my fingers to seize the heaviest crowbar and the themselves about the work. If any one expects biggest shovel.”
to dig treasures out of the earth in California A company of thirty, further down the all classes of men, those who pave streets and
without severe labor, he is wofully mistaken. Of river, had cleared a hundred yards of its bed, quarry limestone are best adapted for gold-digand begun washing very successfully. But gers.' they quarrelled, “as most companies do;" and finally arranged with two of their num- People's notions of what are hardships ber, to have all the work done at their ex- ! differ. On this same journey, a disheartened,
returning emigrant strongly advised Mr. I have not attempted. This breathing the fine dust Taylor to turn back; telling him “ you'll have from day to day, under a more than torrid sun, to sleep on the ground every night, and take would soon impair the strongest lungs.” care of your own animals, and you may think yourself lucky if you get your regular
Killing a few Sonorians is, we suppose, of meals."
comparatively little consequence. This was certainly one of the “slow"
The tools used here were the crowbar, men, for which, together with the cautious pick, and knife, the miners being sometimes and desponding ones, our sensible traveler obliged to use them, “lying flat on their remarks, “California is no place. The backs, in cramped and narrow holes"-like grumbler and idler had better stay at home.”
our coal miners ! Where, we are sure, they are not wanted.
And here Mr. Taylor says, “ There is more From 11 A.M., to 4 P.M., the mercury here gold in California than ever was said or "ranged between 98 and 110."
imagined : ages will not exhaust the supThe discovery of this gulch was accidental. ply" The calm, official, Mr. King—all offiDr. Gillette, in company with a friend, was
cials are supposed to be calm-expresses a "prospecting” for gold; and as he rested similar opinion. one day under a tree, struck bis pick care
The labor, however, is admitted to be exlessly into the ground, and presently threw cessive; and from a variety of causes--one out a lump of about two pounds weight. of them, the want of a mint, is to be removed They at once set to work :
—the miners, as a rule, are not the gainers.
• Those who purchase and ship gold to the “ Laboring all that day and the next, and even Atlantic States make large profits; but those using part of the night to quarry out the heavy who dig, lose what others make." High prices pieces of rock. At the end of the second day they and gambling will, to a great extent, account went to the village on the Upper Bar, and weighed for this. "Only traders, speculators, and their profits, which amounted to fourteen pounds.” | gamblers make large fortunes,” says also the
more desponding Mr. Ryan. The largest piece found here was said to It is, however, not easy to ascertain the weigh eleven pounds. Mr. Taylor says he amount of the miners' gains. Like people makes "due allowance for the size which at home, they are apt to complain when doing gold lumps attain the farther they roll;” but very well; and are unwilling to confess disof this he was told on the spot.
appointment. “Climbing up the rocky bottom of the The use of chemical agents, instead of gulch, as by a staircase, for four miles,” the mere mechanical means, in separating the "dry-diggings" were visited.
metal, will lessen both the labor and expense
of the process, as well as add greatly to its Deep holes sunk between the solid strata, or
remunerative returns. On revisiting this into the precipitous sides of the mountains, showed mine, Mr. Taylor found that the use of where veins of the metal had been struck, and quicksilver had been introduced with great followed as long as they yielded lumps large success :-enough to pay for the labor. The loose earth which they had excavated was full of fine gold,
“ The black sand which was formerly rejected, and only needed washing out. A number of So- was washed in a bowl containing a little quicknorians were engaged in dry washing this refuse silver in the bottom, and the amalgam formed by sand--a work which requires no little skill, and the gold yielded four dollars to every pound of would soon kill any other men than these lank sand. Mr. James who had washed out a great and skinny Arabs of the west. Their mode of deal of this sand, evaporated the quicksilver in a work is as follows:--Gathering the loose dry sand retort, and produced a cake of fine gold worth in bowls, they raise it to their heads, and slowly nearly five hundred dollars. ... A heap of pour it upon a blanket spread at their feet. Re- refuse earth, left by the common rocker, after ten peating this several times, and throwing out the thousand dollars had been washed, yielded another worthless piece of rock, they reduce the dust to thousand to the new machine,” with quicksilver. about half its bulk; then balancing the bowl in one hand, by a quick dextrous motion of the Its scarcity and high price have hitherto other they cause it to revolve, at the same time interfered with its more extended employthrowing its contents into the air, and catching ment. But mines of it are found in Califorthem as they fall
. In this manner, everything is nia ; and Mr. King proposes to depart from finally winnowed away, except the heavier grains his exclusive policy with respect to them, in of sand mixed with gold, which is carefully separated by the breath. It is
laborious oc ion, order to encourage their more extensive and one which, fortunately, the American diggers working.
The character of the gold deposits does “The city,” Mr. Taylor continues, not vary materially. In dust, Aakes, grains, place by day and another by night; and of the and pieces , weighing from one grain today went down dull and cloudy, a thin fog gath
two its night side was the most peculiar. As the several pounds, it is found in the bars and ered in the humid atmosphere, through which the shoals of rivers, in ravines, and places where ered in the humid atmosphere, through which the quartz containing gold has cropped out and broad obscure gieam, that confused the eye, and been disintegrated.
made the streets most familiar by daylight look We have already given an account of a strangely different. The town, regular mine and its diggings; still in writing of as it was, became a bewildering labyrinth of halfCalifornia, to omit all notice of the Sacra- light and deep darkness, and the perils of traversmento, and its city, would be very like playing it were greatly increased by the mire and freing Hamlet with the part of the Prince left quent pools left by the rain.
“ To one venturing out after dark for the first out.
time, these perils were by no means imaginary. The city, a hundred and thirty miles by Each man wore boots reaching to the knees--or water from San Francisco, stands at the higher, if he could get them—with the pantaloons junction of what is called the American tucked inside; but there were pitfalls, into which Fork, and the “ beautiful stream” whence it had he fallen, even these would have availed littakes its name, and which is not navigable ing and gambling had full swing, there was a
tle. In the more frequented streets, where drinkbeyond it.
partial light streaming out through doors and
crimson window-curtains to guide his steps. “ The aspect of the place on landing was deci- Sometimes a platform of plank received his feet; dedly more novel and picturesque than that of any sometimes he slipped from one loose barrel-stave other town in the country.” “ Boughs and spars to another, laid with the convex side upward ; and were mingled together in striking contrast; the sometimes, deceived by a scanty piece of scantcables were fastened to the trunks and sinewy ling, he walked off its further end into a puddle roots; sign-boards and figure-heads were set up of liquid mud. Now floundering in the stiff mire on shore; and galleys and deck cabins were of the mid-street, he plunged down into a gulley, turned out to grass,' leased as shops, or occupied and was brought up by a pool of water; now as dwellings." Taylor.
venturing near the houses, a scaffold pole, or stray
beam, lent him an unexpected blow. If he wanIt forms a square of one mile and a half— dered into the outskirts of the town, where the the streets laid out at right angles; those tent-city of the emigrants was built, his case was running east and west named alphabetically, forest had not been cleared away, and the stumps, and those north and south, arithmetically.
trunks, and branches of felled trees were distribu
ted over the soil with delightful uncertainty. If " The original forest trees, standing in all parts he escaped these, the lariats of picketed mules of the town, give it a very picturesque appearance. spread their toils for his feet, threatening him with Many of the streets are lined with oaks and syca- entanglement, and a kick from one of the vicious mores, six feet in diameter, and spreading ample animals; tent-ropes and pins took him across the boughs on every side. The emigrants have shins, and the horned heads of cattle, left where ruined the finest of them by kindling camp-fires at they were slaughtered, lay ready to gore him at their bases, which in some instances have burned every step." completely through, leaving a charred and blackened arch for the superb tree to rest upon.”—
" Ah me! what perils do environ
The man who". Taylor.
goes to seek his fortune in California ! This has brought about the destruction of At the time of Mr. Taylor's visit, the city several of them; a thing the more to be re- was thronged with overland emigrants, who gretted, as in summer, when the mercury bore striking traces of the hardships to be enstands at 120, shade is a thing to be desired. dured in that six or even seven months jour
Lands, rents, living, were much on the ney over the salt deserts of the Great Basin, same scale as at San Francisco. “The value the rugged passes of the Sierra Nevada, and of all the houses in the city could not have the arid plains of California. Their very beasts been less than two million of dollars." “had an expression of patient experience
But, “in summer the place is a furnace, which plainly showed that no roads yet to in winter little better than a swamp, and the be traveled would astonish them in the influx of emigrants and discouraged miners least.” To the credit of the sisterhood, we generally exceeds the demand for labor.' must record that the women who had accomFurther, three-fourths of those who settle plished this terrible transit were not “ half there are visited by agues and other debili- so loud as the men in their complaints.” tating complaints.
Mr. Taylor gives us a pretty view of Sacramento, in a very pleasing style ; sketched | situation. The town stands about two miles in with neutral tint, and a wash of warm co- from the southern extremity of the bay. The lor passed over the lights, the higher ones northern point, twenty miles distant, rups out being taken out. Views of the Bay of San so far to sea, that the Pacific is not visible Francisco, in November, 1848 and 1849, to from any part of the town Here, as elseindicate the changes that had taken place where, the speculation in land has been exwithin that period, are also given in the same cessive. Its trade is increasing, and is likely manner. Mr. Ryan's “illustrations” are very to be much promoted by the discovery of queer things indeed,—“Pilgrim's Progress" gold, in streams which, having their rise in sort of cuts.
the Sierra Nevada, discharge their waters In Mr. Taylor's ride to Sacramento, we into the Tularé Lakes. Monterey, as a port, have the following description of scenery is much more advantageously situated for Save for the “burnt-up grass,” which is the population which will be thus attracted never an improvement to the landscape, it is to that vicinity, than San Francisco, which a very agreeable one.
is a hundred and twenty miles further from
the lakes. “Our road now led over broad plains, through One quiet afternoon, while remaining here, occasional belts of timber. The grass was almost Mr. Taylor walked out along the sands, past entirely burnt up, and dry, gravelly arroyos, in and the anchorage, till the open sea came into out of which we went with a plunge, marked the view; the " şlow regular swells of the great courses of the winter streams. The air was as
Pacific.” warm and balmy as May” (why not, seeing it was only the beginning of September ?) " and fragrant “The surface of the bay was comparatively with the aroma of a species of gnaphalium, which calm ; but within a few hundred yards of the made it delicious to inhale. Not a cloud was to shore it upheaved with a slow, majestic movebe seen in the sky, and the high, sparsely-wooded ment, forming a single line more than a mile in mountains on either hand showed softened and length, which, as it advanced, presented a perpenindistinct through a blue haze. The character of dicular front of clear, green water, twelve feet in the scenery was entirely new to me. The splen- height. There was a gradual curving in of this did valley, untenanted except by a few solitary emerald wall —a moment's waver—and the whole rancheros, living many miles apart, seemed to be mass fell forward with a thundering crash, hurlsome deserted location of ancient civilization and ing the shattered spray thirty feet into the air. A culture. The wooded slopes of the mountains second rebound followed ; and the boiling, seethare lawns planted by Nature, with a taste to ing waters raced far up the sand, with a sharp, which art could add no charm. The trees have trampling, metallic sound, like the jangling of a nothing of the wild growth of our forests ; they thousand bars of iron. I sat down on a pine-log, are compact, picturesque, and grouped in every above the highest wave-mark, and watched this variety of graceful outline. The hills were cov- sublime phenomenon for a long time. The sandered to the summits with fields of wild oats, color- | hills behind me confined and redoubled the sound, ing them, as far as the eye could reach, with prolonging it from crash to crash, so that the ear tawny gold, against which the dark glossy green
was constantly filled with it. Once a tremendous of the oak and cypress showed with peculiar ef- swell came in close on the heels of one that had fect. As we advanced further, these natural har- just broken, and the two uniting made one wave, vests extended over the plain, mixed with vast which shot far beyond the water-line, and buried beds of wild mustard, eight feet in height, under me above the knee. As far as I could see, the which a thick crop of grass had sprung up, fur- shore was white with the subsiding deluge. It nishing sustenance to the thousands of cattle was a fine illustration of the magnificent language roaming everywhere unheeded. Far on our left, of Scripture: 'He maketh the deep to boil like a the bay made a faint, glimmering line, like a rod pot; he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment ; of light, cutting off the hardly-seen hills beyond it one would think the deep to be hoary.' from the world."
It was at Monterey that the sittings of the Wood and water are the two great defi- Convention, summoned to form a constitution ciencies in California.
for the “infant state," were held. Of this Monterey, formerly the seat of govern- we have an entertaining and somewhat enment, a distinction that it has now lost by thusiastic account from Mr. Taylor, who is the transference of the legislature to San proud of the ability for governing which he José, appeared rather a dull place, after the conceives that his countrymen possess, the overwhelming business and bustle of San result, as we understand him, of their repubFrancisco, whence it is distant a hundred and lican education. We are willing to grant fifty miles southward. This impression, them all the credit they deserve in this parhowever, speedily gave way to a most favora- ticular instance; but we really cannot, either ble one of its climate, scenery, society, and I to his government or countrymen, universal
ly, ascribe "a steady integrity, and inborn | the Americans, but they were over-ruled; capacity for creating and upholding law." and as, in this golden land, the available
He gives us some rather amusing election funds were chiefly in silver, the recipients anecdotes. The candidates for state offices were to be seen carrying their wages
home were almost all unknown to the electors, in tied up in handkerchiefs, or slung in bags consequence of which, some strange rules for over their shoulders. selecting one, rather than the other, were The business of the Convention was conadopted. A Mr. Fair got many votes, on ac- ducted, we are told, “ in a perfectly parliacount of his promising name. Another gen- mentary and decorous manner.” tleman lost about twenty, owing to his having And is it come to this, that both Washingbeen seen wearing a high-crowned silk hat, ton and Westminster must travel to the with a narrow brim. One enlightened elec- extreme West to receive a lesson in good tor thus justified his voting for those whom manners! It is some consolation to our he did not know :
wounded vanity to find that even in this mo“When I left home, I was determined to go it love to hear themselves speak, and, with a
del assemblage, they, like our own senators, blind. I went it blind in coining to California, I like inconvenience attendant upon it, to that and I am not going to stop now. I voted for the constitution, and I've never seen the constitution. which we have experienced : business is hinI'voted for all the candidates, and I dont know one dered by over-much talking. We should of them. I'm going it blind all through, I am.” have been ashamed had we been the sole suf
ferers from this lingual infirmity. A fair specimen, we doubt not, of hundreds, At the close of their legislatorial labors, to wbom, in other countries than this new the members recreated themselves with a
grave responsibility, for such it is, ball, to which the citizens were invited. of contributing to form the character of the White kids could not be had in Monterey legislature is committed; though few would for love or money;" but a pair of patent leabe found thus honestly to confess their own ther boots atte ded, at a price of fifty dolincompetence for such onerous duties. lars; and our pleasant traveler, in borrowed
At this Convention, it will be borne in garments (accommodated to his smaller size mind, it was decided, unanimously, that by a liberal use of pins) and worsted gaiters, slavery should not be one of the “ domestic with very square toes, was, we dare say, not institutions" of California. The southern the worst dressed of the party. members of the Union are not, of course, so During his stay in Monterey, some intewell pleased with such an enactment as are resting documents were placed in his hands, we in England, who, at a “great price, have relative to the missions established in Upper obtained this freedom." But, with our ideas California, by a Franciscan friar, subsequently on the subject, it is very amusing to find Mr. to the Jesuits being driven from the lower King, in his report to the home government, province, in 1786. The society, it will be which we have already alluded to, defending remembered, was suppressed by Pope Ganhimself at some length, and most strenuous ganelli, in 1773. Romish missions do not ly, against even the suspicion of having had generally command much sympathy from Proany hand in the matter. American liberty testants; nevertheless, it were unjust to doubt and equality, however, still suggested a pro- that the originators of these were actuated by hibition of the entrance of free people of co the purest and most self-denying motives in lor into the State. This, too, was rejected undertaking an enterprise attended by so by a large majority; and all attempts to in many dangers and difficulties. “ The controduce any modification of it failed signally. solation," writes one of them, in 1772, "is, The provisions of the constitution thus formed, that troubles, or no troubles, there are va"combined, with few exceptions, the most rious souls in heaven from Monterey, S. Anenlightened features of the constitutions of tonio, and S. Diego.” And Mr. Taylor, the older States.” Those peculiar to itself, while far from lamenting their downfall, yet the boundary question, suffrage, the details acknowledges that they have“ nobly fulfilled of government, and even the difficult ques- the purposes of their creation.” tion of the Great Seal, for which some ludi- We are not told to what extent provision crous designs were presented, were all in is now made for any other worship than turn satisfactorily disposed of. The proposi- that of Mammon, among the thousands upon tion for the payment of the officers, and thousands so suddenly placed upon
these members of the Convention, met wi some shores. To the credit of the Convention it opposition from the Californians and a few of I should, however, be told, that an invitation