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Title: California As It Is and As It May Be - A Guide To The Gold Region
Author: Wierzbicki, Felix Paul
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Preface                                                    3
  The Country and Its Resources                              5
  The Gold Region                                           24
  Advice to the Miner                                       33
  Towns of California, and What Relates to Them             49
  The Harbor of San Francisco                               55
    Directions for Entering the Harbor of San Francisco     55
    Regulations for the Harbor and Port of San Francisco    56
  The Towns of California (_continued_)                     57
  Errata                                                    61











The residence of several years in the country together with his
familiarity with its whole extent, not excluding the Gold Region in
which he passed more than four months rambling over its mountains,
and even crossing the Sierra Nevada to the verge of the great Western
Desert, give the writer of these pages a degree of confidence in the
belief that by presenting this work to the public, notwithstanding the
numerous books that have already appeared upon the subject, he supplies
the desideratum so much needed at this moment, and renders justice to
California that of late suffered a little in her reputation by the
indiscretion of some of her friends.


  SAN FRANCISCO, SEPT. 30, 1849.



The country lying between the _Sierra Nevada_ and the Pacific Ocean,
and bounded at the north, though somewhat indefinitely, by the Oregon
Territory, and at the South by the Lower California, confined by
the late treaty of the two neighboring Republics to the line three
miles south of San Diego, is known as Upper California, a country
now engrossing the attention of the civilized world with its future
importance. There is no other instance known in history where a country
just emerging so to say, from obscurity, immediately acquired such
complicated and multifarious relations, not only to the nation of whose
territory it is only a small portion, but to the whole civilized world,
as California has. In view of these various relations, we propose here
to consider the subject of Upper California.

Before California can answer all those expectations, the realization of
which the world with good reason looks for, an increase of population
must be secured for her. To effect which it will not be very difficult,
if to its natural advantages, the government of the Union will add its
efforts to promote by every legislative and administrative measure the
influx of new settlers. But in all its proceedings, liberality should
be its motto, and none of that miserly policy that is afraid of losing
an acre from its lands or a dollar from its treasury.

California holds in its bosom resources that no other country can
boast of comprised in so small a territory--its mineral wealth, its
agricultural capacity, its geographical position, conspire to make it
in time one of the most favored lands. And it will lie in the power of
the government either to accelerate or retard the unfolding of its
future importance. When considered in point of mineral productions,
if allowed to be developed by capitalists, California is capable of
becoming an important centre of the commerce of the Pacific. Here
we find in the neighborhood of the Clear Lake, about a hundred and
twenty-five miles north of Sonoma, Lead, Copper, Sulpher and Saltpetre;
on the South side of San Francisco Bay, Silver-mines have been found
in the vicinity of Pueblo de San Jose; Quicksilver mines which are
pronounced to be richer than those of Spain, are already being worked
to a great profit in the same region; Coal strata have been also found
in the coast range of mountains near Santa Cruz, in the neighborhood
of the Mission of San Luis Obispo, and near San Diego. California Coal
seems to be in the intermediate state between the anthracite and the
bituminous; it is not as hard as the former nor so soft as the latter;
it burns more easily than the first, and does not give out so smoky and
unpleasant a flame as the second; it ignites easily and burns with a
very pleasant flame without much smoke. Iron is scattered through the
mountains of the country, and we have no doubt that a workable mine of
it will before long be discovered. We mention not the gold washings
that are being worked so successfully at present, for as respects
their duration and the developement of the industry of the country,
they scarcely deserve the attention of the economist be they ever so
rich; as all other mines are more beneficent in their influence to the
progress of a country than gold mines. These will become the means of
advancing the prosperity of the country only when a regular system of
mining by sinking shafts into the rocks shall commence, which it is to
be hoped will be done ere long.

The labor expended in working these various mines would give a firm
support to the agriculture of the country, which at this day is totally
neglected. There is no country, probably, where the soil is so grateful
to the hand that cultivates it. There is almost no plant, grain, or
fruit that cannot be raised here. Rye grows wild on the skirts of
the gold region towards the _Sierra Nevada_; oats cover completely
the coast range of the mountains; wheat and corn grow luxuriantly on
all the plains, notwithstanding it rains only in the winter season;
potatoes, onions and every other kind of garden vegetables with very
little care grow to a very large size and of excellent flavor. Some
of these vegetables can be kept growing all the year round, such as
onions, peas, and some others. Every description of fruit trees seem
to be natural to the soil, for they attain here a great perfection.
The apple, the peach, the pear, the apricot, the fig, the cherry, the
plum, the grape, the pomegranate, the citron, the orange, the olive,
the currant, the gooseberry and various other berries are found here
either cultivated or in a wild state. The inhabitants of the country
have not done much towards the culture of any fruit trees or shrubs;
and that is the reason the quantity of any fruit is very limited, when
compared with the wants of the population and the capacities of the
soil. Knowledge and industry with very little exertion would increase
the quantity not only to supply the wants of the country but even
to a super-abundance. The pear and the olive seem to have been the
favorite fruit with the Priests of the Missions, as they have raised
them in large quantities and of excellent quality. The California olive
is among the largest known, and in flavor surpasses that of France;
the varieties of the pear are numerous and delicious in quality. The
grape vine grows throughout the country, from the extreme north down
to San Diego. Excellent grape is produced at Sonoma, at the Mission
of San Jose, and some other points. The best however, or where it was
made the best use of, is that of the Pueblo de los Angeles. The wine
produced there by several vine growers is of excellent quality; in the
opinion of many judges in the matter, it is superior to any wine that
Spain or Portugal can produce. Its color, its flavor and its strength
are _sui generis_; it wants only to be known to be sought after by
_amateurs_; and there is no doubt but its culture and the exportation
of it will extend rapidly with the increase of commerce on this coast.
The most celebrated wine at present is that made by M. Vignes, a French
gentleman who settled in the country some fifteen years ago and was
the first to plant a vineyard in this region. There are two qualities
of it, red and white; the latter is more inviting than the former by
the very beauty of its color. The growing of the grape vine and of the
olive may be made a very profitable branch of foreign commerce, if
there were men to attend to the business; settlers from the South of
Europe could develope this branch of industry to great advantage, and
could not fail to make themselves opulent. There are in the country
appropriate spots for the culture of rice and the sugar cane: the
former could be easily raised on the overflowed lands of the San
Joaquin and on the creeks of San Francisco Bay. Cotton even might be
raised here, but we think one could employ his time more profitably in
some other business, as cotton is so cheap elsewhere. Hemp grows wild
in different parts of the country.

There is yet another branch of industry at which we have not heretofore
so much as hinted, but which would prove for California one of the
richest mines of which she could boast; we mean the raising of sheep.
The climate of the country and much of its surface are admirably
adapted for the purpose; in fact, as it proved a source of wealth
to New South Wales, it would be equally so to California; a great
similarity of climate of the two countries guarantees the result. In
this way every portion of the country would be turned to advantage; the
mountains now lying barren would be a grazing ground for the sheep; and
the valleys now trodden exclusively by cattle and horses would be given
up to the plough, and there would be no more livestock raised than
the actual wants of the country require. Merino rams could be easily
procured from Oregon, Peru, or even New South Wales, to improve the
native breed of the sheep. He who enters upon this business the first
will lay the foundation for a colossal fortune which he can realize in
a few years.

The face of the country being broken up into mountains and having
large valleys separating the two coast ranges of mountains into the
sea coast range on the west, and the spurs of the Sierra Nevada on the
East, offers an ample ground for the shepherd and agriculturalist. The
valleys south of San Francisco Bay lie almost parallel with the sea
coast, gradually receding with it in a South-east direction. This gives
an opportunity for the North-west winds, which prevail on the coast, to
sweep over them, and thus temper the heat of the sun, renovate the air,
and carry away over the snowy mountains any _miasmata_ that might be
suspended in the atmosphere, and which if left undisturbed might prove
a prolific source of disease. This accounts for the extreme healthiness
of the sea coast of California. The portion of the country that is
less salubrious than the rest of it is confined between the Sacramento
and the San Joaquin; fevers seem to be dominant there, yet even there
people can get acclimated and enjoy good health for years. In point
of climate San Francisco and San Diego present a striking contrast.
The former being so much exposed to the North-west winds has a very
disagreeable temperature; but it is nothing more than disagreeable,
as fogs and winds have their periods there; it is however, far from
being unhealthy; with ordinary care and prudence, one in a few months
gets acclimated, and cannot but enjoy perfect health. Its winter,
notwithstanding the rains, is more agreeable than its summer, when fog
and chilling winds prevail. This climate extends only the length of the
bay; it improves as we recede farther south. On the contrary, in San
Diego the climate is most delicious and equable; neither enervating by
excessive heat, nor disagreeable on account of Northern blasts. Rains
are scanty, yet vegetation is luxuriant wherever the soil is good.

We may observe here in regard to the climate of California in general,
that for the sake of health, summer dress should be entirely dispensed
with; the nights throughout the coast are cold, and every new comer is
more liable to suffer through neglect of this precaution than even the
natives. Woolen dress is never oppressive here, but always beneficial.
Strangers, if they suffer, owe their illness to the oversight of this
fact, together with the excesses that some of them commit.

The agriculture of a country should be made the basis of every branch
of industry and trade; these latter should, so to say, feed the springs
of the former. In California every facility is offered to the farmer.
The working of the various mines will guarantee him a profitable sale
of all his productions. The exterior commerce naturally following the
working of mines, will equally contribute its share in favor of the
agriculturalist. The American whalers scattered throughout the Pacific
Ocean to the number of nearly 700, will come to California for fresh
provisions if they have the security that they will run no risk of
losing their crews on their arrival there. It will be the duty of the
Federal Government, as well as of the local authorities, to devise
measures that will give this security to all shipping. The government
squadron that will be constantly stationed in the Pacific, will also
draw its provisions from California as soon as she shall be able to
furnish them, since it will be less expensive to the Government, and
more beneficial for the service; for much of the stores that are now
shipped round Cape Horn at considerable expense, become unfit for use
by the time they are wanted by the Navy.

Such are the unfailing sources from which the labor of the farmer
will be liberally paid; but they are not the only ones. Every year
will see them expand and always working for the advantage of the
agriculturalist. It is not necessary to be gifted with an extraordinary
foresight to predict that as soon as the industry and enterprise of
the Americans take a fair footing on this soil, the commerce of the
country will grow daily; the trade with China, with the Islands of
the Pacific, and with the whole western coast of America will be ere
many years, in the hands of American citizens resident in California,
which will be made a _depot_ of the industry of the whole Union. To
swell this commercial tide beating against the shores of California
comes the railroad that must inevitably be built across the territory
of the Union, and whose terminus must be on the Bay of San Francisco.
It may take many years before this work will be accomplished, but we
have no doubt of its being sooner or later entered upon. We have a
particular right to express our faith in the accomplishment of the
work, as we were the first, at least to our knowledge, who, five years
ago, prophesied on a public occasion, the union of New York with San
Francisco by means of the iron bars laid across the continent. At that
time it was more difficult to foresee than it is now, and probably
those who then smiled at our enthusiastic visions of the future, will
now agree with us that the time is not far removed when the Pacific
shore railroad will pass into the facts of history. The accomplishment
of this work will appear less difficult when we consider that one
half of the proposed railroad is already built--we mean the distance
from New York to Natchez. Now, combining all the results of the
different branches of industry above spoken of, and which can and will
be exercised in this territory whenever there shall be a sufficient
number of inhabitants for the work, is it difficult to foresee the
part California is to perform in the civilized world? And all this
will ultimately turn to the especial benefit of the tiller of the
soil. The country can sustain several millions of inhabitants with the
greatest ease possible. The apparent drawback upon the agriculture of
the country in the eyes of a farmer from the States is the comparative
scarcity of timber and water; and he is more disagreeably impressed,
if, arriving by land, he beholds, first of all, the extensive plains of
the Sacramento.--Should he come from Oregon he feels home-sick, and is
willing almost immediately to turn upon his heels for his well wooded
home. But the Sacramento plains are not the best representatives of the
country; they are good only for a scanty population; the want of an
abundant supply of wood and water is only apparent at first sight, and
particularly to those whose first idea of farming is to clear away the
woods from the land they are to settle upon. The same time which the
farmer in Oregon devotes to the clearing of land can be, if necessary,
devoted to looking for and securing a lasting spring of water that
may answer for all farming purposes--a thing very easily done, if one
possesses a little knowledge and industry. We can say safely, that
there is hardly a spot in California on which water cannot be found if
looked for; although frequently on the surface there may be no signs
of it, yet the ground, notwithstanding this, is so percolated with it
that it needs, comparatively speaking, but little labor to strike upon
a lasting spring. We doubt not that those who have means would find it
profitable to sink an artesian well, if the land require it, which work
would not be very expensive here, because there is never an occasion
to go very deep in search of water in California. By what we have said
we do not mean to imply that the necessity for these wells will be
felt throughout the country; far from it--there are not only numerous
streams in the hills that never dry up, offering fine mill sites, but
others that wash the plains can be turned to agricultural purposes
with all ease. At one time, when California was under the direction
of the Spanish priests, it was like a garden; but the Mexican misrule
blasted it like the Northern wind when it breathes upon a budding
flower. Those who have not seen such things before, would be surprised
at finding wheat and corn, the principal grains that are raised here,
growing luxuriantly in plains where there are but scanty rains. We
have seen excellent potatoes grow on a slope of a hill in the Bay of
Monterey. This is undoubtedly owing to the moisture brought from the
sea by winds, nightly dews, and to the fact that the sub-soil is always
more or less moist. There is a remarkable advantage in the climate of
California for the farmer; the seasons and their peculiarities are so
well known that he can count almost with certainty upon the results of
his rural labors.

Although timber cannot be found on every spot that is arable, yet we
may safely assert that there is a sufficient quantity of it through the
country to satisfy all the wants of the inhabitants that are yet to
settle here. The coast range of mountains from Oregon down, is quite
plentifully wooded; particularly near Botega on the North and Santa
Cruz on the South side of the Bay of San Francisco. There are already
from six to eight saw-mills in the country, and there is yet room for
more. In fact, in our opinion, if the American farmer get rid of his
_stereotyped_ notions of farming, and using his intelligence, adapts
himself to the climate and the state of the country, he will reap a
golden harvest much more abundant than anywhere else; and even we would
go farther and assert that he will do so with much less labor than in
any of the States.

In connexion with the farming interest we cannot overlook the excellent
state of natural roads throughout the country. A good road enables
the farmer to dispose of his produce and greatly diminishes his rural
labors. There are but a few, if any, countries that can boast of so
good natural roads as California. From San Francisco down to San Diego,
a carriage may pass along the valleys almost upon a beaten track,
although everything in relation to roads is at present completely
neglected. In Spanish times they were in a better state, for the
Priests then used to make their journeys to San Diego in carriages all
along the coast. A very little labor would make them even now all that
roads need be.

Not less important to the farming interest, as to every interest in the
country, is a railroad uniting the States on the East side of the Rocky
Mountains with the Pacific shores. The advantages of such a National
work are numerous, and if the people and the government of the Union
understand fully its importance, they will lose no time in undertaking
it. The practicability of the work is not to be questioned; the country
through which it _should_ pass, and the energy and enterprise of the
American citizens are sufficient guarantees for its feasibility. The
immense advantages in a commercial point of view to be derived from
such an enterprise are indisputable. The trade of China, of the Islands
of the Pacific and the whole Western coast of America, will be brought
so much nearer the Union that it will not fail to pour immense wealth
into her lap. She will become really a formidable commercial rival
of Great Britain, and a common carrier to the whole of Europe. It
will bind the whole Union with more indissoluble ties; the sectional
interests of each State will be mingled and merged in the common
interest made fast to the Pacific shore. To California individually,
such a railroad will be of great consequence, as it will make it a
centre of an extensive commerce, and will bring to her a sufficient
population to develope all her internal resources.

Once before we have indicated the route for such a railroad, and we
will take this opportunity to enforce it upon the public still more, as
farther reflection and information upon the subject enables us to do
even with more reason than before.

The projected railroad across the continent should start from the
Mississippi near the mouth of the Ohio, or at such a point that the
navigation will never be liable to be interrupted by ice; thence to
the vicinity of the Arkansas; thence along the prairie ridge which
separates the waters that flow into the Arkansas from those which
flow into the Mississippi and Missouri, to the point where the road
passes from Missouri to New Mexico, and by _San Miguel_ to _Santa
Fe_; thence up the valley of the _Rio del Norte_ to the mouth of the
_Abaca_ creek; thence up the creek to the town of the same name, and
thence through a pine forest of low sandy hills ninety miles in length
to the _Rio de la Plata_, which is a tributary of the _San Juan_. The
latter is a tributary of the _Colorado_. It should cross the _Colorado_
to the Northwest side and proceed along the trail from _Santa Fe_
to California to a point between the _Mahahve_ river and the _San
Bernardino_ mountain; thence through about ten miles of low hills to
the great valley of the _San Joaquin_; thence down that magnificent
and fertile valley, about five hundred miles on a level, to the tide
water of the Bay of San Francisco. By this route the road will pass
over a dead level of about eight hundred miles at the eastern end, and
about five hundred miles at the western; it will have _no mountains to
cross_, will be nearly free from snow in all parts, will afford, for
New Mexico, an outlet to both Oceans, and terminate at the best part of
the western coast of America.

The point of the terminus of the railroad is by an accident, so to
speak, already selected with a good deal of discernment; it is called
the New York of the Pacific, situated at the upper part of the Bay of
San Francisco, known here as Suisun Bay. An enterprising company, at
the head of which is Col. Stevenson, have bought a tract of land at
the mouth of the _San Joaquin_, where it mingles its waters with those
of the Sacramento, and are already building a town. Its situation for
the terminus of the railroad is very advantageous; it is level; has
abundance of land to expand upon; it is in the neighborhood of grazing
farms; its climate is healthy, as is the rest of the south bank of the
San Joaquin; well-water can be found there within a few feet of the
surface; the river is deep enough to admit large vessels close to the
shore, and its water here is fresh and sweet; ships can water here with
the greatest facility. The vessels going up the Sacramento pass within
sight of it. It is a spot very judiciously selected for a town, and we
have no doubt it will grow, as the proprietors spare no efforts to make
it acceptable to new settlers.

But the railroad should not stop here; it should branch away along
the shore to the point where now the town of _Martinez_ is being laid
out,--a very pretty site facing the straits of Carquinez; thence
it should strike the valley of San Jose--one of the richest spots
in California and which would support, a million of industrious
inhabitants--and following along the coast terminate at San Diego.

The advantages of uniting the two opposite points of the country by
means of a railroad, will not only help its speedy settlement--an
important consideration in many respects--but will be equal to gaining
a free port on the coast of Mexico for the exclusive benefit of
American citizens. By the means of _Santa Fe_ and _San Diego_, should
the railroad be constructed as indicated above, the Union will have the
command of the largest share of the Mexican trade.

So far as we know, and we have taken considerable pains to ascertain
the fact, we may assert that there is no better route for a railroad
from the States to California. No other passage through the _Sierra
Nevada_ can be found but the one we have indicated. There is none to
be found between the heads of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.
We have rambled over that region, and the conformation of the country
gives us confidence in saying that it is not at all favorable to such
a passage; and besides, supposing that such a passage could be found,
a single fact in relation to the subject will destroy all hopes of
effecting the object; we mean that from the line where the auriferous
region terminates, to the very ridge of the _Sierra Nevada_--the region
of granite, occasional limestone, and Masses of sand-stone--snow
lies for six months, accompanied with intense cold; the depressions
of the mountains are filled up with it to such a degree that the
tops of the highest trees only peep through it as if they were but
so many insignificant bushes. In fine, the snow levels the tops of
the mountains into a continuous plain, as it were, through which the
melting sun alone, by degrees, can effect a passage towards the end
of June or the beginning of July. This is the time when the Snowy
Mountains can be traversed. The government a few weeks ago sent an
expedition in search of such a passage through the Northern portion of
the gold region about the head of the Sacramento river. We feel sure
that the attempt will be fruitless.

It would be well, on the part of the government, to look for passages
for military roads leading from the States to the Pacific, or to take
advantage of those already discovered. There ought to be at least three
such roads; one leading to Oregon, another to the north of California,
striking at the head of the Bear Creek, and the third taking a
southerly course to San Diego. These roads would offer great facilities
to the emigrants from the States, who never should take the same
track in large companies, on account of the scantiness of grass. The
military posts thus established would keep in check the roving tribes
of Indians, offering security to the emigrants. There is already,
considering the character of the country through which it passes, a
very good road made by the renowned mountaineer, Greenwood, leading by
the head of _Yuba_ and striking at the _Bear Creek_ valley, till it
reaches Johnson’s farm on the confines of the plains. This road may be
made better and much shorter, if it should follow from the ridge at the
head of Bear Creek valley, striking at the head of the north fork of
the same creek, and following it along a little towards the Yuba side,
then again turning towards the Bear Creek, and continuing so till the
hills acquire a more confused outline, and finally striking Johnson’s
farm. By this route the journey would be shortened several days, and
the difficult descent at the junction of the North Fork of the Bear
Creek with the same creek would be avoided.

The military roads thus disposed would give a security to the
settlements from horse thieving Indians, who now frequently make
incursions upon them, carrying away herds of horses and mules, and
sometimes even pick up an unaware traveller on his journey. The present
disposition of the troops is of no real service to the country. They
are stationed in comfortable and quiet quarters in towns where they are
the least wanted, and the thieving Indians are allowed to make nightly
excursions into the settlements, and to infest the roads. Under the
Spanish government there were different military posts established in
the country, and the troops in detachments were made constantly to
traverse the country in different directions from post to post, thus
keeping always on the road, they kept in check the predatory Indians,
who, by the way, are neither very brave nor formidable in numbers.
According to our notions, soldiers are not kept for the purpose of
meddling with politics and living always in towns; they should perform
the service that the country may need at their hands, although that
service may lead them into camp life.

Since the occupation of the country by the American forces, the
inhabitants complained bitterly of the frequent depredations of
the horse thieving Indians, but the powers that be listened with
indifference to them, and offered no effective remedy for the evil, and
it does not seem probable that the present military authorities will
do any better for the country, judging from the disposition they have
made of the forces. The inhabitants, if they can combine, will have to
take the subject into their own hands, for it is even doubtful whether
the highest authorities of the Union will deign to look into the wants
of the _benighted ranchero_ of California. However, we will not lay the
faults of the past government at the door of the present one; we will
hope still a while longer for the best at its hands.

It is of no small importance to those who wish to settle in California
to know the state of landed property in the country; it will be but
following their wishes if we offer a few pertinent remarks upon the
subject, which we will do after a few preliminaries. A line drawn
from the coast eastward that would pass at the southern edge of
the Clear-lake valley; then another that would go north and south,
intersecting the former, touching the western side of the auriferous
region, and following it down to the frontier line south of San Diego,
may be considered as enclosing the inhabited portions of the country.
There is very little public land within the above described lines, as
it is almost entirely occupied by proprietors or covered by titles.

The government, therefore, cannot expect to find much in the settled
portion of the country that should come under its immediate control
in the shape of public lands. The land on the north and east sides
of the imaginary lines we drew, is either unoccupied or inhabited
by rambling tribes of Indians. We may say that the whole auriferous
region is occupied by Indians in its whole extent, and the oak is the
frontier line of the Indian dominions; beyond that line the undisputed
possessions of the pine and the bear commence. The wild Indians of
California are probably the most inferior race of all the Aborigines of
the continent; they lack energy and spirit; they live on roots, acorns,
pine-nuts, insects, and occasionally on game, when they can catch it,
or on horse or mule flesh when they can steal it. North of the Bay of
San Francisco, and between the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, some
of the Indians live in the families of the settlers, or near their
farms, working for their subsistence and an occasional blanket. These
are called in Spanish, very properly, _Indios manzos_--(tame Indians.)
The others live in the woods, rambling frequently from spot to spot and
sustaining themselves in the way we have already mentioned.

On the south side of the Bay of San Francisco and the San Joaquin
rivers, the Indians are more numerous, and particularly as we go
further south they are more spirited and enterprising in thieving than
those of the north; and those particularly on the southern frontier
of California are brave and formidable. The _Indios manzos_ are
sufficiently numerous in the settlements here, and some thousands of
them were living at the Missions. The wild Indians in this portion
of the country occupy the mountains back of the settlements; amongst
them are now found in large numbers, those who, after the Mexican
government succeeded in ruining the Missions, fled into the mountains
and resumed their former life. In these mountains are found numerous
beautiful valleys, well watered and full of game of every description;
the climate is said to be very benign. It would be very difficult to
estimate accurately the number of Indians, both tame and wild, in the
country; we therefore will not offer any supposition of our own on the

The government at Washington will find itself somewhat embarrassed
in selecting a course of conduct with these Indians; they have been
accustomed to a different system of management than that of the United
States. They cannot be removed, in justice and humanity, from the
country, for there is no place to remove them to where they could
subsist; it would be dooming them to destruction; and it would be more
humane to butcher them outright than expose them to a slow but sure
extinction. The system that the Spanish government pursued with them
seems to suit, at least the Indians of this country, better than the
American way. It acknowledged no rights in them to the soil, but it
sends out missionaries to gather them into the folds of the church,
and to make settlements of them under the directions of the Priests.
In our opinion, the only safe and humane mode of bringing them within
the pale of civilization, would be by establishing Protestant Missions,
if you like,--but modeled somewhat after the Spanish fashion,--in
those mountains on the spots fit for agriculture and grazing, where
they could be brought to an industrious and peaceable life by
persuasion, which could be easily effected, as they are sufficiently
docile, and in this manner their services might be secured for the
country as heretofore; they are, when engaged with settlers, those
who generally perform the labors of the field or about the house,
without losing, however, their freedom. In these occupations they seem
quite contented, if they have enough meat to eat, which of course
never fails in California. There can be in California no other but
free labor hereafter, as it has been heretofore. The new settlers,
as well as the old ones, are extremely opposed to any other. It is
in vain that the gentlemen from the Southern States of the Union, in
their dreaming hours, try, or have tried, to introduce their black
institutions through the _legal doors_, as they think, of Congress
into the territory of California. Whether Congress may please, in its
wisdom, to think that it has a right to introduce slavery into its new
territories or not, it matters not for California; she cares very
little what Congress may do in forgetfulness of its duty towards her,
but she is resolved to resist any such measure; and whoever entertains
the question for a moment, either in the legislative halls or before
the public, shows his ignorance of the disposition and unanimous
determination of the inhabitants of California. The slave-holder who
would come here with his legalized chattles, would find his sojourn
very uncomfortable, and would lose completely on his speculation. The
inhabitants of this country feel already indignant at the intrigues
of the Southern gentlemen who prevented, in the last Congress, the
passage of necessary laws for California. We may state here once for
all, that if Congress wish to govern this country, it must be just and
paternal in its care of it; if it pass any laws it must not pass them
in ignorance of the state of things in California; it must not imagine
that this country is only inhabited by semi-barbarous tribes that can
be co-erced into obedience. The inhabitants are very easily governed
by justice, and there are no more loyal citizens in the whole Union
than the California settlers; but they think they understand their
rights, and would not be downtrodden by any legislative bodies. At this
moment the larger portion of them are Europeans and Americans, and the
rest are Mexicans either born in California or in other States of that
Republic. It is the interest of the Union to keep them in good humor,
and consolidate the new territories by just and liberal laws.

Judging from the specimens of the laws proposed in Congress for the
benefit of California, and which, thanks to the knowledge, wisdom and
eloquence of Hon. T. H. Benton, Senator from Missouri, failed to go
into effect, we fear that that honorable body is in danger of running
on shoals in its legislative measures relating to this country, and
particularly in laws affecting landed property. The gentlemen in
Congress apply their American ideas of the value of landed property
to a country that has been, so to say, born and raised under Spanish
system of laws, and is totally different from any of the States in
its domestic and civil arrangements. It would be impossible by any
legislative act to change suddenly the character of former civil
institutions of the country without committing outrageous injustice
to its inhabitants, and even running the risk of raising their
opposition. California, as well as New Mexico, comes into the Union as
a full-grown man, whose habits are already formed, connects himself by
ties of matrimony with another family; his new relations, if they be
wise, do not wish him to be like themselves in every particular, but
gradually by gentle influences, try to assimilate him to themselves,
in which, in the long run, they will succeed. This is precisely the
position of the government of the Union in regard to these newly
acquired territories. To assimilate them by degrees without doing
violence or injustice to their habits and possessions, should be the
rule of a wise legislation. They are not to be punished for what,
in the eyes of American legislators, appears to be defective in the
Spanish or Mexican laws; if so, it would be doing violence to justice,
to the laws of nations, and to the very late treaty by which the
American government bound itself to respect their rights of property
precisely as the Mexican government would have done or did do. The
plain meaning of this is that the government of the United States is
bound to recognize and legalize after its fashion to suit its system of
laws, the present possessions of the Californians as it finds them, and
has no right to go behind the fact of actual possession and scrutinize
and invalidate them. The Mexican government has left them so, as we
find them, and if it had continued its sway in these countries, there
is no possible doubt but it would not have disturbed them. These people
who were brought up to tend their cattle on a large surface of land,
as their grazing farms are, without any knowledge of any other mode
of getting a living, if cut down to the American idea of a farm, of a
hundred and eighty acres, or supposing even a section of 640 acres,
would be reduced to beggary, nay, worse, to servitude. Would such a
step be creditable to an enlightened, Christian nation like the United
States? Tending cattle is their only occupation and only knowledge; it
will take some time before they be trained to a different mode of life.
The Spanish and Mexican law does not know a fee-simple title,--in the
meaning of the U. S. laws it is a grant of perpetual lease, on some
conditions. To suit its own practice, the American government should
recognize the titles as it finds them in the country by giving the
proprietors a fee-simple title, after its own fashion, on the top of
the former one by which the land was held.

The Spanish and Mexican governments were liberal in giving facilities
to acquire land, particularly in California. It was a common practice
of the Mexican government that when a foreigner married a native he
was recognized as a citizen, and by applying, could obtain a grant of
land for a grazing farm of from a league to four leagues, or sometimes
even more. As a general rule, the largest grazing farm that could have
been granted under Mexican government, consisted of eleven leagues;
there are, however, individuals that possess as many as thirty and
forty leagues of land. Such large possessions are open to suspicion in
regard to their being legal possessions, and into such the American
government may inquire with more justice, as they are larger than even
the necessities of California farmer’s life could require. But small
proprietors cannot have more than is absolutely necessary to their

The landed possessions in California may be arranged into three
categories, which sprang very naturally from the system of the
colonization of the country. There are Mission lands, _Pueblo_ lands
and _ranchos_, as they are called here, but in better Spanish they
would be called _haciendas_, and in plain English, grazing farmlands of
private individuals.

The settlement of California was owing to the will of a pious Countess
in Mexico, who left an immense fortune to christianize the heathen
inhabitants of this country. About the year of 1670, an expedition,
led by a missionary priest, and escorted by a company of soldiers and
settlers, landed on the shores of California. The first attempts at
colonizing the country were not successful, but by perseverence in
repeated efforts the Spaniards at last succeeded in getting a foot-hold
in this land. They gathered Indians about them, christianized them
after their fashion, and made them _manzos_; soon, with their labor,
Mission buildings were erected, farms put in order, cattle raised, and
the Indians were instructed in various handicrafts. Finally, in course
of time, through the whole length of the land, Missions were planted,
and flourished; the Priests grew fat and rich, and the Indians became
tame and industrious, and were well taken care of. The country smiled
with abundance and the people were happy. Soon, settlers came into the
country and planted themselves, very naturally, near the Missions,
on which, at first, they depended for their worldly goods; but by
degrees they sprung into _Pueblos_, viz. towns. These towns had lands
alloted to them by leagues, which were to be used in common by all
the inhabitants for their cattle; or if any of them wished to till a
piece of land, by an application to the _alcalde_, if there were no
objections by the inhabitants, he received a permit from the judge
so to do, and as long as he or his heirs occupied it, no body had a
right to disturb them. In this way it followed that the inhabitants of
towns acquired small portions of land for their houses and tillage,
while the rest of the town land was used in common for grazing. Under
this arrangement of town property there was always enough land for all
new settlers that might come to inhabit these _Pueblos_. This manner
of disposing of town land, sanctioned by Mexican law, served as a
precedent to the town authorities of San Francisco, Pueblo de San Jose,
Santa Cruz and Monterey, when they, in 1847, disposed of a portion
of the land belonging to those respective towns, giving perpetual
leases to their possessors. This measure was particularly favorable to
foreigners recently arrived in the country, as thus they were enabled
to buy the rights of the natives who were not disposed to put much
value upon so small parcels of land, and thereby the American interest
was much promoted.

The land of the _ranchos_ was always either a royal grant of Spain
or of the supreme government of Mexico, or latterly of the Governor
of California; all these grants practically had the same effect; the
possessor of the tract of land thus granted was always in the full
enjoyment of his rights and privileges, and no authority could disturb
him in his possessions. As the country was frequently disturbed by
revolutions, when it was not uncommon for one of the contending
parties to burn up or carry away or destroy the archives of a town or
even of the country, the land proprietors were not molested in their
possessions, although they could not show their property enregistered
in the records. Besides the officers of the Mexican government being
proverbially negligent of their duties, may not have paid sufficient
attention to proper order in these matters. Under such circumstances it
would not be surprising if some proprietors should find their property
unregistered in the archives of the country. Whatever land is left that
has not been disposed of in one of the ways aforesaid, is public land
at the disposal of the government.

Such being the disposition of landed property in California, the
American government, if it be just and does not wish to create a
general disaffection among the people towards itself, must recognize
the actual possessors in their possessions by a summary act of
legislation recognizing the rights they claim, and to prevent all
future difficulties, giving them the fee-simple title to their
possessions. The _ranchos_ must be acknowledged to be the property of
private individuals; the towns must have their rights to their town
lands, and the Missions, if they yet have any Indians, ought to retain
their tracts of land; or if these exist no longer, the church and
public education have the next and best right to them. The lands of
the Missions were always considered as Indian lands, or lands devoted
for the benefit of the Indians living at the Missions; the priest was
but a steward of the Mission. When the riches of the Missions excited
the envy of some high persons in office, they set themselves to work
to secularize them--and they succeeded under the Mexican government.
The Missions were secularized and circumscribed, and received laymen
for their administrators, who superintended and administered them so
well that the riches of the Missions fled, their buildings were ruined,
their Indians scattered, and at present scarcely their shadow is left;
yet they do exist just to remind the world of their former opulence.
With the exception of two or three, on all of them there are yet some
Indians and a Priest left shorn of their former glory.

In view of the state of landed property of the country, there are three
methods by the means of which California may receive an increase to
its population without any violence to justice or law being committed.
Supposing that the American government has recognized all titles to
lands as it found them, then those who have no means of buying land
from private individuals should receive liberal donations from the
government, or settle in one of the towns where yet town lands exist,
and taking advantage of the Mexican law by petitioning the _alcalde_,
the settler could get land for his house and tillage, and being
more industrious than the natives, he could even grow rich soon and
enjoy his possessions as if they were his in fee simple. Those who
have means could find tracts of land to buy, either enough only for
themselves, or larger than they actually need, to be divided into farms
of sufficient size and induce new settlers, by offering them liberal
terms, to settle around them; by this arrangement both parties would be

In our view of the subject, we think the interest of the whole country
would induce the government to use all means at its disposal to favor
a prompt settlement of California, since the sooner it will be densely
settled the sooner its vast resources will be developed, and the sooner
the whole Union will reap advantages resulting from such a developement.


It is now nearly two years since the discovery of the gold mines in
the country, and yet it is for the first time, we can say, that we are
able to give a correct account of them, an account that can be relied
upon. Heretofore we have heard nothing but Arabian Nights stories about
the gold region, drawn, if possible, with more vivid colors than even
the Asiatic fancy could conjure up. The whole civilized world became
electrified with these surprising stories and set in motion, and every
day brings strangers to our shore from the most distant regions of
the earth. So far so good; but it may not be so, much longer, when
crowds from Europe will begin to pour upon these shores. We feel
it our duty, in view of bad consequences that all exaggerations do
produce, to contribute our share towards rectifying the impressions
that went abroad upon the subject of the mines of this country. Even
our government at home had not received an official account from its
subordinates here, that represent the truth in its simple garb. In a
word, there has been no thorough investigations of the subject; but
people on all sides, simple citizens as well as government officers,
were content to seize upon a few remarkable cases, that were made more
so by passing through many lips, and represent them abroad as of
common occurrence. Hence much disappointment followed to hundreds who
came here to shovel in, as they thought, the precious dust and be off
for their respective homes in the twinkling of an eye.

It is not to be understood that we are going to decry the prunes; no,
far from it; we mean to divest them of the mantle which heated fancy
cast about them; and represent the simple truth without any poetic

On the outset we wish it to be understood that we speak advisedly; we
have surveyed, so to speak, the length and breadth of the mines by
personal inspection and observation, at a great expense of our time,
money and labor, and besides we claim the right to presume somewhat
upon the authority of science.

The region which here is known as the gold mines, is closed on the
east by the _Sierra Nevada_, or Snowy Mountains, running nearly north
and south. Two large streams descend from the Sierra Nevada, one at
the north called the Sacramento river, the other on the south known
as San Joaquin. These two streams run, as if purposely to the apex of
the triangle they enclose, there to meet and make a common and united
irruption upon the waters of San Francisco Bay. In this triangle thus
formed by these two rivers with the Snowy Mountains are numerous
streams; but they all are tributaries either of one or the other of
these two rivers; the largest of them are at the north and empty
themselves into the Sacramento. The surface of the country, looking
westward from the ridge of the Snowy Mountains, which are more than
seven thousand feet above the level of the sea, is broken up into
ridges, giving direction to the streams that separate, some west by
north, others west by south, and gradually growing smaller, they get
confused into hills, till finally soften into the plains enclosed by
the two above mentioned rivers. The plains, generally speaking, are
covered with luxuriant grass skirted along the rivers with the oak.

As these hills rise, vegetation becomes scantier. The range of
mountains in which gold is found is distinguished by a uniformity of
its vegetable kingdom, which is neither meagre nor very abundant. The
oak predominates here, only now and then relieved by several varieties
of the pine family. As the gold disappears, the reign of the pine and
the granite extends. The depositories of gold look universally more
smiling to the beholder than their barren neighbors; the former always
have the figure described by the line of beauty, viz: the curved line,
be they ever so precipitous as they frequently are; a distinction
never to be lost sight of. The extent of these auriferous hills is
greater than the public know or imagine, but not in the direction it
is supposed. They extend beyond the Sacramento and even San Joaquin,
northwest of the former and southwest of the latter, bending round
the sea coast. Nay, the same formation, with more or less difference,
runs along the whole Pacific shores, till it is lost in the southern
portion of the Chilean republic, but gold has not been, nor probably
will be found anywhere in equal abundance, as in Upper California. This
abundance is much, however, exaggerated by the heated imagination of
the public. It is not in the nature of placer gold to be durable long.
A very few years when there will be many arms at work, will exhaust
it; its origin will be the guarantee of this fact. The breadth of this
auriferous region limits itself within the lines running north and
south from forty to sixty miles from the ridge of the Sierra Nevada;
and on the west, as the hills begin to soften into the plains.

At some remote period in the history of the globe, the same internal
convulsions that heaved up the Sierra Nevada, have also upheaved the
auriferous hills, which at first presented a naked surface to the
atmospheric changes, by the influences of which, the quartz constantly
breaking up, left free the precious metal on its surface. In the
progress of time, the same atmospheric influences caused to accumulate
on these hills soil which grew deeper with every decay of vegetation
till it grew strong enough to support the majestic oak. The freed
particles of gold thus became covered by the soil and mixed up with
it, and the process of the separation of the metal from the stone was
arrested. How gold was injected into the veins of quartz is more than
we can say, but the fact that it was so in a liquid state, is beyond
question, as we see it adapt itself to the sides of the stone in all
imaginable forms, from the finest filament to the largest lump ever
found, with a most varied indented surface, filling up, completely,
the crack of the stone, always tending to a rounded tear-like
appearance, as is the case with all melting substances. When freed,
external friction of course modifies its appearance more or less; hence
we find it in rivers particularly, in fine flakes, but when it is in
larger bulk, it puts on plate-like appearance as if it were hammered
out by the hands of an artisan--as really it is by the frequently
enormous weight of stones under which it is deposited. Water, that
universal carrier, washing the sides of the hills, brought the gold
from their surface into the ravines and rivers, to which its own weight
facilitated the process.

According to the strength of the current of water, the weight of the
particles of gold, and the obstacles in the way, it is deposited in
one or another spot, the lighter particles of course floating away the
farthest from their original bed. As this process of gold deposition
has taken place in some remote period of the earth’s existence, hence
we find all these deposites, generally speaking, covered with greater
or smaller depth of soil, sand, gravel and stones. Strictly speaking,
gold does not belong to the rivers--it was washed into them from the
hills; hence it is useless to look for gold at the head of these
streams, when the neighboring hills are not of the auriferous nature;
and we find this fact corroborated by our personal examination of the
heads of the streams of the gold region. The same rule holds good, for
the same reasons, in regard to the lower portion of a gold carrying
stream, except that it is limited by the fact that light particles of
gold may be deposited a considerable distance below their original

The mode of deposit being made clear, it will be equally clear that it
is not on every spot in this very auriferous region that we must look
for gold, which fact experience proves to be true; or at least it is
not on every spot that we can find enough of it to make it an object
to bestow our labor on it. Hence it equally follows, the limitation
of the quantity of gold to be expected from the mines as a general
aggregate, however rich they may prove. The first comers had the best
chances to hit upon rich deposits; but as diggers multiply, the chances
of falling upon virgin deposits grow smaller, and they will have to be
content with what the others, through imperfection of their labor have
left; consequently the work becomes more heavy and less profitable,
although it may be yet sufficiently compensatory if the expenses of
living be not excessive. This is precisely already the case, the labor
is much harder this year than it was last. At present there are not
so many of those happy hits as formerly, although we yet hear now and
then of a lucky haul, which however, when it reaches the ears of the
public, becomes extremely distorted, and particularly so when companies
that have dammed some spots of some of the rivers wish to dispose
advantageously of their shares; these easily find ready letter-writers
who communicate the lucky event to the public through the press. The
accounts of successful digging in gold that went abroad never have
been accompanied with statements of hardships attending the process;
yet we are free to confess that there is no harder labor than that of
gold digging and washing; this species of labor requires the strongest
sinews enured to fatigue. Peculiar localities, together with general
discomfort attending upon the life in the mines, may make gold digging
particularly irksome. Yet all this can be borne, and one’s labor may
sometimes be crowned with a brilliant success. We have made the above
statement with the view of laying the subject before those who may yet
be novices in the matter, that they may understand their own case; we
are far from discouraging the new aspirants after the favors of the
dame fortune; we tell them, take your chance, it may be a very good
one, but such and such circumstances are attending this courtship.
Those from distant parts who on mere sound of the discovery of gold
in California, rush head-long, sometimes leaving very good business
and comfortable living, cannot but rue the day, if they put their sole
dependence upon their success in the mines. If they would come here
with an intention of following some patient calling, they could not but
grow rich with time. We have already plenty of miners; a larger number
of them only diminishes the profits of all. However, come they must,
for they are bent on it, be the consequences what they may.

When this gold mania ceases to rage, individuals will abandon the
mines; and then there will be a good opportunity for companies with
heavy capital to step in; there will be enough of profitable work for
them; and it is then that the country will enter on a career of real
progress, and not till then. Such companies, with superior mechanical
facilities to do much labor, in a short space, will be enabled to go
over the whole mineral field, although already dug over by individuals,
and reap yet a rich reward of their efforts. And when there will be
no more gold washing to be done, then a new era in the mining of the
country will commence--we mean a regular system of mining by sinking
shafts into the very bowels of the rocks will be entered upon. Spots
for this system of mining are to be found in the auriferous region.
(Since our return from the mountains our statement already is farther
corroborated, as we learn that Col. Fremont, who just arrived from
Stockton, has also found a regular vein of gold in the rock on the
river Mariposa, which he proposes to work in the regular mining
fashion, as it is a very promising one we understand.)

If we had a voice in the Legislative Halls of the Union, with the
knowledge of the whole country in general, and the mineral region in
particular, we have--seeking to gratify no men nor set of men--we would
say, divide the whole _elevated_ portion of the land enclosed by the
Sacramento and San Joaquin into a set of lots to be sold to mining
companies at a very moderate price. The low lands or the plains of the
same region should be divided into a separate set of lots, to be sold
to those only who wish to establish themselves as farmers. To avoid all
difficulty and confusion in giving boundaries to these lots, we would
adopt the following plan: In the mining district proper, the elevated
portion of the land, every lot should have for its centre the whole
extent of one of the streams that fall either into the Sacramento or
San Joaquin; the lateral boundaries of these lots would be the ridges
on both the north and south side, that turn the minor streams and
ravines into the principal ones selected as centres of the lots. These
lots, unless they are as large as this division would make them, would
not be worth the having; the land is worthless for any other purpose,
except mining; and if this even should fail, then the only means left
for the unfortunate buyers to save themselves, would be to turn their
attention to the making of turpentine, for which they would find an
extensive field. The other set of lots, comprising the low lands,
should have for their bases the banks of the streams that run through
the plains. There should be but two lots between two neighboring
streams, so that they would have the same line for their common
boundary while their respective bases, would rest on their respective
streams. The reason for such a division is, that the central portion
of the plain lying between two streams, generally is destitute of
timber and water; is exposed to the constant burning sun and scorching
wind, and consequently offering no spot for a farm house. For the same
reason this portion of the country admits only of a spare population,
whose principal occupation must be raising of livestock, as there is
plenty of grazing ground; each farmer, however, must have a bank of a
river to put his residence upon. In view of these circumstances these
lots should be made sufficiently large to enable the farmer to devote
his attention particularly to the raising of the livestock. By this
arrangement the whole country will be benefited; for the raising of
livestock will be daily less attended to in the country south of San
Francisco Bay, as the land there admits of smaller subdivisions for
agricultural purposes. And it is there that farmers will crowd, as its
climate and fertility of the soil are favorable to the maintenance of a
dense population.

By the above disposition of the mineral region, we conceive the country
will be greatly benefitted. The mineral region being under the sole
control of mining companies will exclude all private adventurers; thus
first benefiting the commerce by checking the now unavoidable desertion
of the crews of its shipping, which at this very moment amounts to
more than sixty thousand tons, of the finest ships in the world lying
in the harbor, and nearly all of them unable to proceed on an outward
voyage for want of hands on board--and secondly, preventing an influx
of all sorts of adventurers into the country, whose presence is more
of a nuisance than benefit to any country. Then a farming population,
cured of the gold mania, will seek to enrich itself by more sure means,
the product of the soil, and will crowd to the Pacific shores. The
arts will take a start--every species of industry will be called into
existence; the surplus capital of the commerce will be devoted to the
developement of internal resources of the country; nay, even capital
from abroad may find an employment here; the commerce of the country
will be put on a firm footing and will grow daily and steadily. Even
the government itself, thus rid of this bother of California gold,
will find more leisure to do its duty to this newly acquired territory.
In fine, the country will grow steadily in a permanent population, in
strength of order and law; and the business of life will unavoidably
fall into its natural and proper channels.

We flatter ourselves we have said enough upon the subject in hand to
clear up a little, the vision of the public that suffered itself to be
blinded by the brilliancy of the California gold.

As we have above referred to Mr. T. H. BENTON’S speech, delivered in
the Senate of the United States, January 15, 1849, on the subject
of land titles and sale of gold mines in New Mexico and California,
we give a place here to his substitute for the bill then before the
Senate, supposing it may be interesting to those who have not seen it.
It is fortunate for California to have such a defender of her rights as
the gifted Senator from Missouri. This is the substitute that defeated
the bill in question:

  “To recommit the bill to the Committee on Public Lands, with
  instruction to inquire into the expediency of reporting a bill for
  ascertaining the public and unappropriated lands in the territory
  of California, and for surveying and selling the same, and for
  granting donations to actual settlers, and permits to work the gold
  mines; and for that purpose to provide--

  “FIRST. For the appointment of a recorder of land titles, who shall
  have the custody of all the public archives in relation to the
  disposition of the public lands, and shall record all the grants
  and all claims that shall be discovered, made known to him, and
  shall make two abstracts of the same, one to be sent to the General
  Land Office in Washington city, the other to be delivered to the
  Surveyor General of California, that he may lay down the grants and
  claims on a map to be retained in his office, and of which map a
  copy to be transmitted to the General Land Office, and another to
  be filed with the recorder of land titles in California.

  “SECOND. To provide for the ascertainment of invalid grants or
  possessions, by authorizing a _scire facias_ to be issued from
  the United States District Court against the party in possession
  to come in and hear the objections to his claim and to show cause
  why the grant should not be annulled, or the possession vacated in
  every case in which the recorder of land titles, upon consultation
  with the district attorney, or by orders from the General Land
  Office, shall be so instructed, shall be of opinion that the same
  is not valid under the treaty with Mexico, the law of nations,
  and the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States--the
  decisions of the district court to be final, if against the United
  Stales, in all cases where the land in question shall be worth less
  than five thousand dollars. But no _pueblo_ or rancheria Indians to
  be disturbed in their possessions, without special orders from the
  General Government.

  “THIRD. To provide for the appointment of a surveyor general, and
  for the establishment of three land offices.

  “FOURTH. To provide for donations of land to actual settlers, heads
  of families, widows, and single men over eighteen years of age, and
  an allowance of land for children under eighteen years of age, and
  for the wife in her own right, according to the provisions of the
  bill proposing donations to the settles in Oregon, which passed the
  Senate January 3, 1843.

  “FIFTH. To provide for preserving order in working gold mines, by
  appointing an agent to grant permits for working small lots, and
  settling summarily, and on the spot, all questions of boundary or
  interference among the diggers. The said permits to continue in
  force while the lot is worked by the person receiving it, and to be
  limited to ---- feet square.”

It is not necessary for us to offer here any comments upon this
substitute for the bill above alluded to, as we have already in
anticipation expressed our opinion in relation to the measures to be
adopted by the Government of the Union respecting land titles and gold
mines in California.


On arriving in California, the gold hunters, if we may be pardoned the
expression, first touch the shore at San Francisco.--There they look
for information how and what are the means to get the precious pelf in
large quantities, that they may not stay in the country too long; if
they happen to have a letter to some one in the place, or if they meet
an old friend, they put a thousand questions to him faster than he is
able to answer them, evidently hurried by anxiety to lose no time and
opportunity. Then they will tell him about their plans, how they are
going to proceed in the business, what excellent machinery they bring
from New York or some other place, to work with, and so forth. The
Americans, and particularly those that call themselves, or are called,
Yankees _par excellence_, have the reputation of putting many questions
to people they happen to fall in with; but on this occasion, they are
more, even than Yankees, in pouring upon the stranger they meet, their
interrogatories. Now, we propose here to benefit both parties, the
_annoying_ and _annoyed_--we use the expression not to disguise the
truth in obscure words as it is really the plain fact--and anticipate
all such questions by suitable information, upon which they can put
at least some reliance, as we are neither a merchant, a trader, or
speculator in land or mines.

Neither San Francisco, the city of Sacramento nor Stockton are the
places where reliable information is to be expected by one who proposes
to go to the mines, as these places may be compared to the famous
Dyonius’ ear, where the gentlest whisper is re-echoed a thousand times.
Interest and ignorance frequently conspire in circulating extraordinary
stories of success, on very slender foundation, for some never have
been in the mines at all, and have not the slightest idea of them,
crediting everything they hear; others have _their_ posts established
on some particular spot, where, of course, the mines _must be very
rich_. The trading portion of the inhabitants of these places see gold
brought in in large quantities, but they never trouble themselves with
how much labor it is got out, who has failed and who has succeeded; in
fine, they hear only of constant success. The fact is, that while there
are many who succeed, there are others who scarcely pay their expenses.
This should not be withheld from the knowledge of a new comer, since
in case of failure in his mining expectations, he will be somewhat
prepared for such an event, and will be able to make the best of it.

The new comer, on preparing himself to start for the mines, first
should know what he wants for his expedition. Many start lumbered
with baggage, imagining that they cannot and must not forego the
indispensable comforts of life. All baggage is a burden and heavy
expense to the miner; the cost and sometimes the difficulty of
transportation forbid any such commodities; and besides, it will
always impede his free movement, if he should want to go from place to
place. He should have absolutely nothing more than what he can carry
on a beast, if he be able to have one; or if not, what he can shoulder
himself. The less one brings to the mines, the better prospects of
success he may have, and the more he is loaded with goods, the more
probably he will lose. This is the secret why all hard working men
who are inured to hard labor and strangers to enervating comforts,
such as sailors and mechanics, generally do very well. The miner
needs good, stout and warm clothing, just enough in quantity for a
change for the sake of cleanliness--a pair of stout boots or shoes,
or both, two good blankets to sleep comfortable, warm and dry; his
mining tools consisting of a pick-axe, spade, spade, crowbar, a tin
pan to wash gold in, a good sheath knife, iron spoon and a trowel. The
pick-axe and crowbar should be of a convenient size for handling, and
well steeled on the ends. A washing machine is used when there are
two or more working in partnership. All the machines that have been
brought here from the States are absolutely useless; they have proved
profitable only to the venders there. The simple machine which here
is in common use consists of three light boards three feet long and
about ten inches high, put together in the shape of a cradle with two
rockers underneath; the bottom board is made a little narrower; the
sides on the upper edge from the middle backwards, are bevelled off two
or three inches, and the same is done forwards so that the board, when
looked upon from the side, presents an irregular hexagon; at the head
part of the machine, on the upper edges of the boards, rests a box
of boards, called a sieve or riddle, from three to five inches high,
with a tin or sheet-iron perforated bottom; it is fixed, sometimes,
in a manner to be taken out when necessary, sometimes on hinges to be
thrown backwards when it is necessary to throw away the washed stones.
The head part of the machine is well boarded; at the opposite extremity
a board is likewise placed, the upper half of which is cut out in the
shape of a cresent, leaving about three or four inches at the bottom of
it; this opening serves for a passage of dirt, stones and water that
are thrown in at the head into the sieve. It has also one or two bars
or cleets across the bottom board at the distance of a foot each, and
about three inches high. The perforations of the sieve or riddle are
sometimes triangular, whose base and sides are about an inch, sometimes
they are circular, of the diameter of about three-quarters of an inch.
Under the riddle, in the interior of the machine, a board inclined
diagonally and backwards is fixed, leaving however a sufficient space
at the lower edge of it for the passage of the stones, dirt and water;
it is called by the miners an apron or screen; the object of it is to
throw back the water that it may cover the whole bottom equally and run
an even current. In the bottom board, about the centre of it, there is
a hole an inch in diameter, made back and close to the first and second
cleet, if there be but two of them, which is well stopped and opened
only when it becomes necessary to take out the residue, dirt and gold,
to separate the latter from the former by washing it in a tin pan,
which should be of the size of milk pans used in the States. The tin
pans are to be got at San Francisco at from three to four dollars, or
in the mines at the trading posts for the double amount. The machines
can be got at these posts by paying from two to four ounces; but it is
so easily made that any one himself can make it and save the money.
If put together by means of screws rather than nails, it could be
taken apart and conveniently carried about when necessary. The machine
requires also a piece of strong wood of from two to three feet long,
to be firmly fixed to both sides across the box to be used as a handle
for rocking. To work these machines, in some places, as on the banks
of rivers, two persons only are required; while in dry diggings where
water and gold dirt are not so conveniently situated, it requires
three or four persons to do the same work; one to work the machine,
another to dip and throw water on it, a third to carry dirt, and the
fourth to dig it; or two to dig and carry, and two to wash dirt.
However, according to circumstances these partnerships are formed, it
can only be said that there is no occasion for more than four persons
in a company, and frequently three or two do better than four. For
protection and occasional service that one may require from another,
it is always better to be in partnership with a suitable person or
persons: in messing, for instance, it is better to have several in a
mess for the sake of occupying the same tent, and having less cooking
to do, as in such cases this is done by turns. The small machines have
thus far been the best machines in use, and under the circumstances of
pressing necessities of miners, in which they had their origin, nothing
better or more convenient could have been got up; but they cannot be
said to be the result of a scientific investigation and extensive
experience. Recently, a very great improvement has been introduced
into the method of washing placer gold. This improvement is the “Burke
Rocker,” as improved by Jackson, and which is now generally used in
Virginia for washing gold in similar deposites to those of California;
it is there no longer an experiment as it has been used in those mines
for thirty years past, after an examination of all the processes for
washing gold both in Europe and America. This rocker has been found to
be perfectly applicable to the soil here, as two of them have been in
a successful operation on Mormon Island for some time past under the
immediate superintendence of Mr. Jackson himself. It is destined to
effect great changes in the process of washing gold in this country,
and particularly when the miner that now works independently and alone
will find his labor very hard and not paying him sufficiently, since
this machine being worked with mercury, saves the most minute particles
of gold that escape the eye, and thus gives in aggregate a greater
result than can be sometimes obtained by washing large pieces alone. It
requires five persons only to work one of these rockers; their great
excellence can be summed up in a very few words: by the use of one
about four times the quantity of earth may be washed by each man daily,
and probably from two-fifths to three-fifths more gold is obtained from
any given quantity washed. They will be doubtless ere long used with
great success in going over the field already washed by the present
imperfect method; as the bars and banks of rivers and the earth in
“dry diggings,” for certain it is that the amount of fine gold dust
inevitably lost by the smaller machines is greater than all that is
saved ordinarily.

This machine is a simple trough about nine feet long with a bottom
made of cast iron plates perforated throughout, the size of the holes
increasing gradually as they descend towards the lower end; beneath
these plates there are draws in which mercury is put; the dirt, as
the machine keeps rocking slowly, is carried along the plates by the
water thrown from above by a pump and washed down, gold together with
finer particles of dirt descend into the draws to be amalgamated with
mercury. The produce of such a washing is then put into a retort to
separate the gold from the mercury. In the process of separation of the
former from the latter, about two per cent. only of mercury is lost.
These two kinds of machines are the only ones which we can recommend
from our own observation; they are well adapted for these mines at
least, and they can be easily procured here. Numerous inventions for
this purpose were brought from the States, and none of them answered
the sanguine expectations of their owners; they are not worth here even
the cost of the materials they are made of.

The provisions used by the miners consist of mess pork, bacon, hams,
jerked beef, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate, beans, rice and
dried apples, fresh beef and mutton whenever they can get it, which is
sometimes the case, and deer meat when they can kill it. As much as
one can, for the sake of his health, he should abstain from using much
salted provisions in the mines, and to counteract their bad effect on
the system, it is advisable to use vegetable acids, like lemon juice,
which in the mines is sold bottled up; citric acid, which is more easy
to carry, or even tartaric acid, dried apples, and other dried fruit
serve the same purpose. In using these acids it is better to use them
with water alone without sugar; just making it acid enough to suit
the individual taste. Dried apples made into apple sauce with sugar
are agreeable to take, and are calculated to keep the bowels open, an
important consideration for the miner. If one should be attacked with
diarrhœa or dysentery of course he should abstain from them. One of the
articles equally important as others we have not yet mentioned; we mean
saleratus. In making camp bread it is necessary to use it to make the
bread lighter. The prices at which provisions can be bought at present
in San Francisco are the following:

  Mess Pork,         per bbl.       $28.00
  Bacon,             per lb.            28
  Hams,              do.                35
  Sausages,          do.                40
  Flour,             per bbl.        12.00
  Sugar,             per lb.            15
  Tea,               do.              1.00
  Coffee,            do.                12 1-2
  Chocolate,         do.                40
  Beans,             per bu.          1.50
  Rice,              per lb.            10
  Dried Apples,      do.                25
  Jerked Beef,       do.                25
  Lemon Juice,       per bottle,      1,00
  Salæratus,         per lb.          1,00
  Vinegar,           per gal.         1,00

As the miner proceeds on his route and farther from San Francisco,
he will find, as a general rule, that traders expect to make each a
hundred per cent. profit upon the original price they paid. In this way
it happens that in the remotest points of the mines he will have to pay
three or even four hundred per cent. upon San Francisco prices. One
of the chief reasons for this is the high charges for transportation
of goods. However, competition has already effected some changes in
these matters, and ere long may effect more. Notwithstanding these
high prices, it may be sometimes more convenient for the miner to buy
his provisions at the nearest point where he intends to work, or is
working, than to carry them along with him all the way; here we cannot
give him any advice as to what would be the best course; he must
determine himself according to the circumstances he may be in, and the
means he may command.

The last, although not of the least important articles for a miner,
are arms. One need not be armed cap-a-pie in the mines, but a good
rifle may be frequently useful to keep the evil minded at a respectable
distance; or when in the woods, or far away in the mountains, an Indian
may be in his way, or the grisly bear, and then a fire-arm may be
sometimes necessary. Colt’s pistols are very convenient weapons. It
is hardly necessary to say that he needs a few cooking utensils, with
which he should be provided. A small hatchet may be equally necessary.
In conclusion, we would say to the miner in one word, take no more with
you than you absolutely need, that you may move lightly; as it may be
sometimes necessary for you to go on foot. Thus equipped in all the
necessaries, the miner will start on board of a lanch, where he has to
pay from 14 to 16 dollars passage money, and if he have much baggage,
from 2 to 3 dollars per hundred weight freight, bound to the city of
Sacramento, or to Stockton, according to his fancy. He is to provide
himself with provisions for the trip, which may last from three to
seven or eight days. Taking the Mokelamy river as dividing the gold
region into the northern and southern portion, the miner is to start
accordingly--for the Sacramento city when he wishes to go northward,
or for Stockton on the San Joaquin, if he go southward. It may be
expected from us that we should give particular advice to the miner
where it is best for him to go to dig. Now, it is impossible so to do
conscienciously; the whole extent of the mining district is crowded
with people, consequently for the very crowd, those spots that were
good for a few, now are not so when there are many, as the subdivisions
of the produce must be greater, and less must fall to the share of
each. We may say in general terms, that farther south from the Touolomy
to the San Joaquin, the diggers were not so numerous as elsewhere,
consequently there is yet a better chance there than on other points.
West of the Sacramento, some two hundred miles from the city of
Sacramento, about the Trinity river, there are yet virgin ravines and
streams, as very few have ventured so far.

On the Feather river and the Yuba, there were very good diggings;
crowds of people, whites and Indians, have worked there for these two
seasons; however, by going farther up these rivers some untouched
spots may be found. We will remark here once for all, that the higher
you go up the rivers the greater difficulties you will meet in getting
over the ground, as they are more inaccessible; at the same time mules
and horses are needed to carry you and your provisions, and you may
also lack grass for your animals. But to know how far one may go up
the rivers of the gold region, he must exercise his judgment, and he
may depend on this fact, that there is no gold at the heads of these
rivers, as we have examined them, and they all spring in the Sierra
Nevada; as soon as you see the oak and red soil disappear from the
hills surrounding them, you need not go beyond this line farther than
from five to ten miles to convince yourself there is no gold there.

The Bear Creek was not very rich in the precious metal, and now may
be less so as it has been worked. On these rivers people generally
were making an ounce per day, some much more; but how long it may
continue so we are not able to say. These rivers being accessible for a
considerable distance to waggons, diggers crowded there, as provisions
were cheaper there than anywhere else. These rivers have their forks,
or in other words, tributaries of more or less importance. Below the
mouth of these forks it is well to look for deposits of gold in the
main streams. The Bear Creek has a tributary called the North Fork, in
extent probably from forty to fifty miles. The Yuba has two forks on
the north bank of some importance. The distance from the Bear Creek
to the Yuba in some places hardly can be more than ten miles. The
general course of the Bear Creek is West by North nearly; it meets the
Feather river about ten miles below the Yuba, which likewise mingles
its waters with the latter. The Feather river, which heads far at the
North, taking almost a parallel course with the Sacramento, runs on in
a South-Westerly direction, and having thus accumulated its waters is
lost in the last mentioned majestic stream some distance below.

From the city of Sacramento, the miner has two routes before him,
from which to select--he may start for the upper tributaries of the
Sacramento, viz: for the town of Vernon, at the mouth of the Feather
river, then up to the mouth of the Bear Creek, and farther up to the
mouth of the Yuba, or to any of these points, direct from the city of
Sacramento. Another route is for the American river, which has three
tributaries, known as the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork.
Waggons go up to the North Fork for seventy miles. The Middle Fork is
inaccessible to waggons--it empties itself into the North Fork about
ten or twelve miles above the South Fork, and the latter joins the
former at the distance of about thirty miles from Sacramento City. At
this junction there is on the South Fork an island called Notoma, or
more commonly Mormon island, from the fact that a company of Mormons
were the first to dig here. The diggings have proved very good; one
could average an ounce per day. There is a company of miners who dammed
or rather turned the current of the river for a short space, and now
are reaping abundant fruits of their labor; they are getting out from
$1500 to $2,000 per week, working with mercury in the Virginia rocker.
It is a trading post, where many traders are established; a stage from
Sacramento City stops here on its way to Sutter’s Mill. Going to the
Middle Fork one must pass the South Fork at the point where is now
quite a settlement, known as Sutter’s Mill or Columa, a corruption,
probably, of _Columba_. The distance from Sacramento City to this
town is 45 miles of tolerably good waggon road. There is no lack of
traders; there is a Saw-Mill and a Post-Office. From this point the
miner has to start with pack-animals if he wish to go up any of the
rivers. The points known on the Middle Fork where a good many miners
have been engaged are the Spanish Bar, higher up Ford’s or Middle Bar,
farther up the Big Bar, and still farther up Rector’s Bar; the first
15 miles distant from Columa, and the last about thirty miles. The
hills bordering on all the streams in the gold region are difficult
of descent generally speaking, and they are so at these points also.
In our opinion, the South Fork, is or was one of the richest portions
of the gold region, its dry diggings proved very profitable to almost
all the miners that have been engaged in them. Every river has its
dry diggings, as it means washing in the ravines neighboring upon
rivers, and which have small streams that are sufficient to afford
water for washing gold. The dry diggings on the right bank of the
South Fork, known as Kelsey’s Diggings, and on the left as the Old Dry
Diggings were very rich. Last winter a good many Oregon people built
log houses in both of those diggings, and passed the winter digging,
when the weather permitted; the fruits of their labor were abundant,
and most of them have left their places with bags full of the precious
pelf.--Although they have done their work pretty thoroughly, yet there
may be some places found that may pay. The South Fork has a tributary
known as Weber’s Creek, on which a good deal of gold has been dug out;
it has a small settlement of log houses in the neighborhood of the
settlement just spoken of, on the left bank of the Fork. The distance
from these trading posts to Sutter’s Mill is about twelve miles. There
is a direct waggon road from Sacramento City to these diggings.

To go from Sacramento City to the Mokelamy, the miner has to pass the
Consumnes at Dailor’s farm, about eighteen miles from the above place,
and then farther south, the Dry Creek, from which the first trading
post at the Mokelamy diggings may be about 30 miles distant. The
Mokelamy diggings are distant from Sacramento City about from 50 to
60 miles--a waggon road leads to them. The Consumnes has not been dug
much, but the Dry Creek had a very good reputation among the miners.
The banks and dry diggings of the Mokelamy have been rich in gold, and
may be so still; some diggers passed last winter there, and were not
sorry for so doing. This summer there have been many digging, but their
labors have been disturbed by hostile Indians. We think there may be
yet rich diggings there.

Supposing our miner to have arrived at Stockton and he proposes to go
to the Mokelamy, he would have to cross the Calaveras at the distance
of about 15 miles, and strike the Mokelamy diggings 70 miles distant
from the above mentioned town. If he should like to go South, he would
find diggings on the Stanislaus, about 40 miles distant from Stockton;
then he might pass on to those of the Touolomy, 20 miles distant from
the latter, and farther on he would meet at the distance of 30 miles
with those of the stream _La Merced_, then at the distance of about 20
miles he would come to the stream _Mariposa_. In a direct line from
Stockton to the Mariposa it may be from 80 to 90 miles. Throughout the
gold region waggon tracks and trails are well worn out at present; at
convenient distances on the roads, there are trading posts established
where can be had water and pasture for animals, and where one can
stop. At Sacramento City or Stockton teamsters are to be found who know
all those routes, and take up miners’ baggage to any place they like,
if it be accessible to waggons. It would be impossible to describe
the routes particularly, considering that they go mostly through an
uninhabited country; the only sure way to learn the direction of the
place one intends going to, is to enquire at the place he starts from.
We can do here no more than give general directions on the subject.
In the Southern portion of the mining district, Indians are somewhat
numerous, and it is well to be on one’s guard, as they, if they do
no other harm, are apt to steal your horses. There is a difficulty
in keeping horses throughout the mining district, on account of the
trouble of taking care of them, or of the danger of losing them, and
which difficulty increases as the season advances, for then grass grows
scanty. In the neighborhood of nearly all the diggings there are men
who make it their business to take charge of miners’ animals, at the
rate of from twenty to thirty dollars per month. Whatever may be the
trouble of keeping a horse in the mines, yet it is a great convenience,
as one is enabled to move about freely whenever he wants. The prices of
horses and mules in the city of Sacramento and Stockton and throughout
the mines, are fluctuating; they are according to season, demand
and supply of the animals. In the commencement of the spring, when
miners were starting for the hills, horses were selling at from two
to three hundred dollars apiece; towards the fall, good horses could
be got for one hundred and fifty, and mules from fifty to one hundred
and fifty dollars; however, next season we believe the animals will
be cheaper than the last, as there has been a large number of them
introduced by the immigrants from the States and from Mexico. The rate
of transportation by waggons varies, of course, according to distances;
but it ranges from twelve to twenty, and sometimes even thirty dollars
per hundred weight. The season and quantity of teamsters regulate these
matters somewhat. In hireing a man to drive a team, one must pay him
from two to three hundred dollars per month, as every one expects that
in whatever business he engages, his chances to make money should be
as good as those of the miner, and that is the principal reason why
wages of all kinds are so high in this country; but they are beginning
to come down a little. Sometimes it is necessary to pay a man for his
day’s work an ounce _per diem_.

Now, we will suppose an inexperienced miner is arrived at the place
of his selection in the mining district; we will suppose him also to
have started for the mines in company with one who has had already some
experience in the handling of the pick-axe, shovel and pan; for he must
have a week or so of apprenticeship in order to be _au fait_ with the
practical part of the business.

On arriving at any spot containing gold deposites, the first step to be
taken is to examine the general appearance of the country. The hills
should be covered with brick-red soil--this should be a prevailing
feature in them, although there may be now and then an exception
to some portions of them; slate rock should be found, of whatever
description, if not on the surface, at least on digging a few feet;
but a general rule, when there is any below the surface, some of it
will be seen above it in one direction or another. Likewise quartz
should be found scattered about on the ground; quartz is a milk-white
opaque stone, of considerable hardness; on these occasions it is
generally veined with red streaks of more or less intensity of color.
The presence of these three signs jointly is sufficient to authorize
one to look for gold by digging in some convenient spot, but any of
them singly is of no validity in this respect. And if by digging and
washing the dirt one finds as a residue black scaly sand--which is
magnetic iron, and which, if one were not able to distinguish by the
eye, could prove it by the magnet--he can safely expect to find some
gold there on some spot or other. The absence of this sand as a residue
after washing, is a positive proof that it is vain to look for gold in
that region. In digging for gold, besides studying the above mentioned
signs, it is necessary to observe and study the currents of water, be
it in ravines or dry diggings or along the banks of rivers. Water is
perpetually changing its current, consequently before striking a spot
with a pick-axe, it is well to consider whether the spot be an ancient
bed of the river or brook, or not; whether there be any obstacle in the
way of the current that would cause a deposite of gold to take place
either before or behind it, for it is only in such places that we can
expect to meet with success. Examine also the rock over which, at
some season, water passes, and then by breaking it up you may discover
a deposite of gold called, by miners, a pocket; such deposites are
frequently found on ledges of slate rock in rivers or small streams. On
opening a hole in search of gold, the top dirt is thrown away, and each
successive layer of earth is examined to ascertain in which portion
of it the gold is found, and thus the careful miner proceeds till he
comes to the _rocky_ bottom; he never should be satisfied with his
work till he does come to a rock, which he should nicely scrape, sweep
and collect, then wash the dirt and decide accordingly; if the rock be
slate rock, he should split it and break it up, and then wash it, as
it is in the cracks and pockets of this rock that gold is frequently
found in considerable pieces. A layer of clay, like a rock, equally
serves as a barrier to gold; it arrests it on its surface. This work,
particularly, should be done carefully when the miner is, as it is
called technically, _prospecting_, when he looks for places where he
would work, as in so doing he at once gets familiar with the character
of the earth in that region, and will know in what portion of it he
should look for gold. It is considered by the miners at present, that
if from a panfull of dirt they are able to get a quantity of gold
equal in value to fifty cents, they are satisfied with the result, and
consider that they can make a little more than an ounce per day with
a pan only. However, as the mines will be getting daily more and more
worked out, they will have to be content with much less. But as yet, if
they get only twelve and a half cents of gold from a pan of dirt, they
do not think it is worth the trouble of getting it.

As a general rule, it is a practice among the miners to leave each
digger a sufficient space for a hole, upon which nobody has a right
to encroach; from four to ten feet they allow among themselves to be
sufficient for each, according as they may be more or less numerous
and as digging may be more or less rich. A tool left in the hole in
which a miner is working, is a sign that it is not abandoned yet, and
that nobody has a right to intrude there, and this regulation, which
is adopted by silent consent of all, is generally complied with. It is
very seldom that any disputes about one’s rights occur; and if they
do, they are easily settled among themselves. In fact, as a general
rule, miners heretofore have been law-abiding people; some excesses
now and then may occur, but seldom of much importance, and if any of
them should commit murder or theft, justice is no where so prompt and
efficacious as among them. At different points of the mining district
there have been persons executed for murder and robbery, by the
stringent code of Judge Lynch, but under the superintendence of juries
and judges selected for the occasion. At present, by order of the
Governor of California, a sort of jurisdiction has been established at
different mining points by elections held for the purpose; but as the
mining population is constantly fluctuating, such arrangements cannot
be permanent, of course.

The time for mining in dry diggings commences about the end of March
and lasts till July, at which time water gets very scarce, and
consequently digging becomes unprofitable, or even impossible. Some dig
on the banks of rivers even in the spring when there is much water, but
it is not a very profitable operation. The time when the rivers begin
to fall by degrees is the month of June, and they continue falling
till the next spring, when the melting snow again replenishes them; In
August the snow from the mountains where they head, disappearing, they
do not receive any new supplies, while the scorching sun keeps wasting
them all the time, and in winter where it snows but does not rain they
continue rather low; thus in winter time they are at their lowest
ebb.--From the middle of September till the end of November is the best
season for mining on the banks of rivers, as it is then that the lowest
bars are uncovered, and even sometimes one may work in the very bed of
the river itself. This is the time at which in many places, the current
of a river may be turned aside with great facility. In so doing, miners
should not rush blindly into the work without examining attending
circumstances; dams have been made where there was not gold enough to
pay one man’s day’s work. It is first necessary to see whether the
hills in the neighborhood warrant the supposition that there must be
gold in the river in that particular spot; then it is important to
see where the current of the river would be most likely to make such
a deposite; this being investigated properly, there will be a better
chance for the company of miners to reap a plentiful harvest, should
they determine upon the work.

The months of July, August and part of September are sickly in the
mines, and particularly on the Feather river and the Yuba. The
sickness is owing to the extreme heat and carelessness on the part of
the miners; some of them work in the hottest hours of the day, and
sometimes not protecting sufficiently their head and body from the
scorching rays. Fevers, diarrhœa and dysentery are the complaints
commonly met with--occasionally scurvy shows itself; it is more apt to
happen in winter time. But, however, whenever it occurs, it is owing
entirely to the carelessness of the patient; a sufficient attention to
the use of vegetable acids, as we have already mentioned, would prevent
such occurrences.

To guard one’s self against diarrhœa or dysentery, in consequence of
cold, one should sleep under sufficient covering, and if not under a
tent, he should wrap his head into a silk handkerchief on going to bed;
in this way he will do much to prevent it, and particularly if he be of
regular habits. But should one be taken with it, a very simple remedy,
at the command of every miner, if resorted to without delay, may cut it
short at once; if it be slight, let him take a cupfull of lye, which he
can make from the ashes of his own fire by throwing a handfull of them
into a tea cup of warm water, let it settle and then take it; this is
to be repeated two or three times during the day; at the same time he
should be careful to be warmly clothed. If this remedy should not check
the disease the same day, then next morning he may take a tea cupfull
of rice and burn it as coffee is burnt, after which it must be boiled
with no more water than is necessary to make it very soft and of the
consistency of a pudding. This rice, thus prepared, is to be divided
into three doses and taken morning, noon and night. At the same time,
an hour after taking the rice, a good tea-cup full of oak bark tea,
without any sugar, is to be taken twice a day. We can assure our reader
that this simple treatment in our hands never failed in either of the
above complaints. And to avoid constipation after this complaint, which
is apt to follow, and which may equally become uncomfortable, a _small_
quantity of dry fruit, such as prunes or dried apples, taken along with
some farinaceous substance, may restore the bowels to their natural

With these precautions, and with ordinary prudence, one is not in
danger of being afflicted with any of those complaints very seriously
It is frequently necessary to work in water; for that purpose, high
legged water-proof boots are useful; or if one works bare-foot he
should avoid to feel much cold in them, and on concluding his work,
he should dry them and put on shoes or boots. Some miners spend the
winter in the mines, and there is no doubt they are in the end better
paid for their labor than the rest who work in the usual season, for
they work more at their leisure, in a spot they have marked before for
a rich one, and their work is carried on with abundance of water, and
at a time when there are no people to crowd them. Oregon men have done
so last winter at the old dry diggings on the South Fork, and they have
not regretted it. But there are inconveniences that but few will bear
with. He who proposes to spend the winter in the mines should start in
the end of September, and while waggon roads keep good, provide himself
with a log house and sufficient provisions to last him till the middle
of April next, as he must expect to be unable to move from his spot all
that time, as roads are impassable for beast or man. That whole region
almost becomes a mire--the soil is so loose and saturated with water.
At this season he should particularly guard himself against scurvy;
he should daily make use of some acid in some shape or other, such as
dried fruit, lemon juice or citric acid; tea made of fir leaves is
very beneficial and far preferable, for health’s sake, to common tea.
He should use pork rather as a lard necessary in his cooking than as
a meat, and depend more on good dried beef, as commonly made in the
country, which may be rendered very palatable by soking it first and
then pounding before cooking it. Towards the middle of November winter
begins to set in, and while it snows in the mountains it rains in the
settlements; the rains are less frequent, and commence later as we go
farther South; they seem, however, to be sufficient for the necessities
of the country as a general rule.

Before we take leave of the miner, we will give him one more piece of
advice which is none the less important for being the last. On his
return from the mines, should he be so fortunate as to have a large
amount of gold to send over to the States by drafts, he should enquire
if the man who sells him the draft has the power of attorney from the
man he draws upon, which should be exhibited to him, thus satisfied, he
can with greater security trust his money.


Before the occupation of the country by the Americans, its population
was considered to amount to from thirty to forty thousand inhabitants
natives of the Spanish race, Indians and foreigners included; but
since that time its growth appears to be magic, and particularly since
the discovery of the gold mines; every corner of the world seems to
contribute its share of inhabitants; every tongue almost is spoken in
the streets of San Francisco. But this new population does not spread
through the country to benefit it; it crowds only to the mines or the
port of San Francisco. It consists chiefly of speculators and diggers,
and some mechanics; of farmers we do not hear as yet. The town has led
the van in growth; there is nothing similar on records; one may say
without exaggeration that it has been inaugurated in one moment by
some superhuman power, or sprung like one of those ambulating towns
do spring the day before a fair. In fact, it looks very much like one
of those cities only built for a day. Its houses built of planks and
cotton sheetings cannot last but a day; however, whatever they lack
in quality they make up in quantity. Four months ago the town hardly
counted fifty houses, and now it must have upwards of five hundred, and
these are daily increasing; even a theatre is spoken of as being built.
From eight to ten thousand inhabitants may be afloat in the streets of
San Francisco, and hundreds arrive daily; many live in shanties, many
in tents, and many the best way they can. The magic power of gold marks
every spot here; vessels from different parts of the world press into
the harbor, and make already a large floating city in front of the
_terra firma_; goods of all descriptions are scattered on the shore in
open streets that are too narrow for men, animals and carts that pass
up and down. The freaks of fortune are equally as remarkable in this
place as everything else connected with it; some men who two years ago
had not a cent in their pocket, count by thousands now; property that
a year ago could have been bought for five or six thousand dollars,
now pays a rent of thirty thousand dollars per annum; mechanics who
formerly were glad to get a job at two dollars a day, now get from six
to twelve; in fact, mechanics, and particularly carpenters, are the
most independent aristocracy of the place. Strange as it may appear,
yet in the midst of abundance of every kind, women are very scarce;
the domestic circle does not exist here as yet; domestic pleasures are
wanting, and house-hold duties are unfulfilled.

We touch here upon a subject which, if we allowed ourself to speak
feelingly as a bachelor, we might be even eloquent, but in the position
we find ourself as a writer, we are bound to speak philosophically
only, viz: look upon the question before us with that cold eye of
indifference or reserve which becomes an impartial judgment. We will,
therefore, say nothing of ourself--we will speak of the situation
of others; we will try to advocate the cause of poor and forlorn
bachelors, and persuade some respectable heads of families that have
daughters to settle in life, to come to California and build up the
society, which, without woman, is like an edifice built on sand.
Woman, to society, is like a cement to the building of stone; the
society here has no such a cement; its elements float to and fro on
the excited, turbulent, hurried life of California immigrants, or
rather gold hunters, of all colors and shapes, without any affinity;
such an aggregate or mass of human bodies have no souls; they are but
a grand automaton, whose springs Mamon alone makes vibrate. Such is
the society of San Francisco. But bring woman here, and at once the
process of cristalization, if we may be permitted the expression, will
set in in the society, by the natural affinities of the human heart.
There are here many worthy men who have had the good luck to make a
respectable competency, who would like to be married and settled in
life, as honest and sensible men should do; but for want of the fair
ones, they think only of getting away from here as soon as possible.
Now, the country by this state of society, loses much in many respects,
beside losing many valuable inhabitants; and those who stay behind
intend to do the same when their turn comes. This would not be so if
some pleasant families from the States, rich in nothing else but in
intelligent, home educated daughters, they could well provide for all
their members here with much more ease, as yet, than in any portion
of the Union. These families must be easy in their circumstances, so
that they may be able to buy farming lands where they could settle, and
by the natural growth of landed property they would, in a few years,
find themselves wealthy. This country is particularly fitted for that
class of people who once knew what affluence was, and who by a sudden
turn of the wheel of fortune, found their means reduced to mediocrity.
Life in California, although it must have its inconveniences belonging
to a thinly inhabited country, yet it cannot be compared to anything
like life in new settlements in the Western States or Oregon. If
people only were willing to take it easy, they would, ninety-nine out
of a hundred, even like it. The population here is much more ready to
take at once, or very soon, a more agreeable and polished form than
could be expected in any other new country. There is something in
the climate--we of course except San Francisco and the Valley of the
Sacramento, which predisposes one to contentment. The sunny skies for
so long a portion of the year have an exiliarating influence upon the
mind, and so much so that we have known cases of Americans who were in
the habit of carrying care-worn visages in their own country, acquire
here smiling and contented countenances, smoothed by placidity. Indeed,
we would recommend, as a medicine, to all vinegar-faced, care-corroded
gentry, that are well to do in the world, to come and settle in the
rich valleys of California, where good health and azure skies can be
enjoyed; where winter does not touch you with its freezing hand.

The people of the country, of the Spanish race, possess a good deal of
natural simplicity, but without that boorishness and grossness which
characterizes the lower order of some of the European nations; they are
ignorant for want of opportunities of learning, but nature has not
refused them capacities for acquiring knowledge;--they are obliging in
their disposition and hospitable; the latter virtue, however, already
begins to undergo some changes since the arrival of so many foreigners;
yet among themselves, or those upon whom they look favorably, they
preserve their good old custom. Their women are healthy, robust, good
looking and hard working as a general rule; kindness is a universal
feature among them; and if one had to choose between them and ordinary
women of some civilized portions of the world, we do not hesitate to
say that the Californian women would receive the preference, although
in point of information they are deficient.

Their men are somewhat disposed to idleness, but this may be owing
partly to the facility with which they were in the habit of getting
a living, and which now will have to undergo some modification. As a
nation, they are lively, and cannot be said to be vicious; in fine,
they have sufficient good qualities to make up for their deficiencies.
Such as these good people are, they do not offer much temptation
to foreigners who have seen higher forms of civilization to become
commingled with them, but they have some good elements among them, and
if respectable families from the States and Europe would come out here,
the different races would soon be mixed up, and make before many years
one of the most pleasant societies. By such an immigration the country
would gain vastly; because then so many young men that have come here
would form here their family ties, and would bind their interests with
the interests and welfare of the country. But, as it is, California
unavoidably must receive a check in its progress, as it will be only
inhabited by passers-by, so to speak, who will have no permanent
interest in the country.

The greatest privations that a bachelor is in this country exposed to,
consist in not being able to furnish himself with clean linen when he
desires, as domestic service is so difficult to be kept up here for
want of working women. To induce some of the few women that are here
to condescend to wash their linen for them, they have to court them
besides paying six dollars a dozen.

We know an instance of an inveterate bachelor who married a spinster
because she refused to wash his clothes for him, but he was determined
she should do it at any price, as he was a great lover of cleanliness;
in this dilema he resolved to pay her all he was worth, rather than
forego his habit of cleanliness. He is in the habit of saying, “he
who goes without a clean shirt on, keeps his conscience open to
suspicion”--too severe a judgment upon us the inhabitants of this town.

When this uneven slope of the hill on which the town is situated shall
be built up with fine and solid houses, what now looks dreary and
desolate will then look very picturesque and smiling; so will it be
with the society here; when elements that are now daily accumulating
get through their fermentation and become settled, they also will
present a smooth and transparent surface to the moral eye of the
beholder, but as yet, one needs a little philosophy to bear him through
the present that he may lean on the future.

In the moral aspect of the town, save some occurrences, there has
been a good deal to wonder at--that in such a medley of races and
tongues nothing very serious has happened to jeopardize its existence
or to injure its prosperity, under existing circumstances, is very
remarkable; its order and quiet has been only once disturbed for a few
days by a set of men, chiefly from New York, who called themselves,
very significantly, the “Hounds.” For a while they went parading the
streets publicly, by day light, and breaking glass-ware in grog shops
by night; when they commenced to commit outrages upon property, took
the lives of some foreigners and violated the honor of some women, the
citizens rose like one man, armed themselves and arrested them nearly
all and put them in duress on board a man-of-war, to wait for their
trial, after which they were _disposed of according to their merits_.
Since that time order and quiet have prevailed, and more active
measures have been taken to prevent another necessity to chase after
any other pack of “hounds.”

The state of society in California has not yet arrived to that point
of organized life where its most important movements can be stated, or
represented in numbers for the especial satisfaction of the political
economist. We will not therefore attempt anything of the kind, but we
may however state in numbers a few facts in regard to the shipping in
this port.

From the first of January, 1849, to the 30th of September of the same
year, 509 vessels arrived in the harbor.

The sum total of passengers in the same space of time, 18,972.

In the month of August, ending on the 29th, the number of women arrived
by sea 87, among whom 6 were married--42 American.

On the 30th of August there were 61,585 tons of shipping in the harbor
of San Francisco, exclusive of river craft, which amounts to about 60
vessels plying up the rivers Sacramento and San Joaquin.

In one day, on the 29th of August, there arrived in San Francisco by
merchant vessels, 654 male and 27 female passengers.

On the 24th of September 11,000 tons of shipping came into the harbor.

On the 30th of September there were 94,344 tons of shipping in the

The directions for entering the port of San Francisco that have been
heretofore followed, being found incorrect, we give room to the
correction of them, with which Capt. E. A. KING politely furnished us,
together with regulations of the port:


In making the northern entrance, called Sausolito, keep the Fort and
the island of Yerba Buena in one; in coming from the south and making
the southern entrance, keep the island of Alcatrazes or Bird Island,
touching the Fort. After the Fort bear south per compass, steer due
east, (true) to avoid the flats which are making out from Belona’s
beach. No danger can be apprehended from Blossom Rock. In running into
this harbor after passing the Fort, and having it bearing (true) south,
good anchorage can be obtained from five and a half fathoms to three
fathoms. At present there are no buoys, but in the latter part of next
month there will be buoys on Blossom Rock, Anita Rock, on the shoals
on the N. N. W. part of the harbor, and on the bank making out from
Belona’s beach. High water at Yerba Buena or San Francisco full and
change 10 hours 34 minutes. Rise of spring tides 9 feet, neap tides 3
feet. Latitude of the Fort 37 deg. 48 min. 30 sec. N.; Longitude 122
deg. 27 min. 24 sec. W. Variation 15 deg. 36 min. E.

            EDW. A. KING, _Harbor Master_.

  SEPTEMBER 27, 1849.


ART. 1st. On the arrival of Merchant vessels at the port of San
Francisco, a proper berth will be pointed out to the masters thereof,
by the Harbor Master, when he boards them; and no master of a Merchant
vessel shall shift his berth without permission from the Harbor Master,
unless in case of extreme emergency, when he must report his having
done so as early as possible at the office of the Harbor Master.

ART. 2d. Should it be the intention of a master of a vessel to
discharge or receive on board any considerable quantity of merchandise,
a berth will be pointed out to him as close to the landing places as
the safety of the vessel and other circumstances will permit.

ART. 3d. After a proper berth has been pointed out, the master will
then moor his vessel with two bower anchors across the tide, with
thirty-five fathoms chain cable, with buoys attached in summer months,
and fifty fathoms from the hawserhole in winter. December, January,
February and March to be considered the winter months.

ART. 4th. If any vessel properly moored in the harbor shall have
her anchors or cables over-laid by any other vessel in anchoring or
mooring, the master or person having the care or direction of such
last mentioned vessel, shall immediately, or as soon as may be after
application made to him by the party aggrieved, cause the said anchor
or cable so overlaying to be taken up and cleared.

ART. 5th. When any Merchant vessel may be lying in a berth convenient
for discharging, and she shall have completed her unlading or lading,
such vessel shall, at the request of the Harbor Master, remove to a
place designated, should her berth be required by any other vessel
which may desire to load or discharge.

ART. 6th. Merchant vessels arriving with powder on board, must on
arrival, report the same to the Harbor Master, in order that a secure
berth may be pointed out.

ART. 7th. No ballast will be allowed to be thrown overboard. Any
ballast which may be wanted to discharge, by application to the Harbor
Master, a place of discharge will be designated, and any vessel
requiring ballast, instructions will be furnished on application.

ART. 8th. All difficulties arising between ships relative to the
foregoing rules, shall be settled before the Harbor Master.

ART. 9th. Disobedience to the orders of the Harbor Master, in the
discharge of his duty will subject the offender to a fine of fifty
dollars, to go towards the Hospital Fund, of the town of San Francisco.

ART. 10th. After mooring, ships must rig in jib and flying jib-booms.

ART. 11th. Forty-eight hours notice to be given at the Custom House
before clearing.

ART. 12th. No fire arms to be discharged in the Harbor under penalty of
Article 9th.


  THOS. AP C. JONES, _Comdr. U. S. N._
            EDW. A. KING, _Harbor Master_.

Next to the port of San Francisco, in maritime importance, we must
put the Bay of Monterey, with its two ancient towns of Monterey and
Santa Cruz lying on the opposite shores of the bay. At present the
mining operations being confined to the north of the Bay of San
Francisco, the whole commerce is concentrated in that port; but ere
long they will go farther south, and then the town of Monterey will
be likewise benefitted by the trade with the mines, as its facility
of communicating by land with all the points south of San Francisco
promises it.

Monterey was, and is, as yet, the capital of the country, contains
about two thousand inhabitants, principally natives and old established
families of foreigners, who have not neglected to improve opportunities
of making themselves rich. The soil in the neighborhood is good--the
climate a hundred per cent. better than that of San Francisco. The
situation of the town is very picturesque.

On the North side of the Bay lie the Mission and town of Santa Cruz,
with a rich soil abounding in water and timber, as in its neighborhood,
in the mountains, there are six saw-mills in operation. Building timber
is easily and cheaply obtained here; land for building lots can be also
procured at moderate prices. It is an excellent spot for mechanics to
settle upon, as the sea offers them facilities for sending the produce
of their hands into any portion of the country, while at the same
time living is cheap, for everything in the way of provisions can be
produced in the town.

Pueblo de San Jose is another old settlement, and has more than a
thousand inhabitants within its jurisdiction, and is growing rapidly.
By its position, in a magnificent valley, seventy miles in length at
the head of the Bay of San Francisco, approachable by water to vessels
as large as brigs, being a thoroughfare between the North and South of
the country, possessing a rich soil, a mild and salubrious climate,
beautiful landscape, and every facility for cheap and comfortable
living, it cannot but grow rapidly; and we have no doubt that in a few
years, when California shall be a little more settled and organized, it
will become the seat of the State Government, being a more central and
accessible point from all parts of the country than Monterey.

The town of South San Francisco, about three miles South of the city
of San Francisco, possesses the same advantages of the harbor as the
latter, for all classes of vessels, with the superiority of being more
sheltered from the prevailing winds and of having an abundant supply of
water, not only for the use of its inhabitants, but for the shipping.
The same depth of water extends along the shore from one town to the
other. The country is picturesque, the site of the town is more regular
than that of San Francisco; it commands a quarry of stone suitable for
buildings, and it lies on the road from San Francisco to Pueblo de
San Jose. Had the original settlers of San Francisco exercised their
judgment before settling on that windy spot, they would have put their
houses on the site of South San Francisco.--We have no doubt but it
will soon have its share in the commerce of the Bay.

Benicia is a town situated on the north side of the strait of
Carquinez, with great depth of water; ships can discharge there close
to the shore without the aid of wharves. It met with the approbation
of naval and military officers as a good spot for a naval and military
depot; and we understand that it has been recommended by the same to
the government for the erection of government buildings, upon its site.
It has a ferry boat which plies across the strait, and thus keeps the
two portions of the country in constant communication, benefitting the
public while it remunerates the efforts of the enterprising owners of
the town.

Martinez is a projected town on the opposite side to Benicia, and of
which we have already spoken above.

Suisun is a town just springing up into existence on the north side
of the bay of Suisun and right bank of the Sacramento; it is very
advantageously situated for both commercial and agricultural purposes.
It is eighty-five miles distant from San Francisco and fifty from
Benicia; it has a rich soil and is well wooded; it possesses good water
in abundance, and building stone is found in the neighborhood. The
depth of water is sufficient to admit barks to lie close to the shore.
Its importance soon will be felt when the beautiful neighborhood of the
Clear Lake shall be settled by enterprising farmers and miners. Its
climate is mild and healthy.

Sacramento City, once the exclusive property of the well known and
remembered by every stranger who appreciates hospitality, Capt. J. A.
SUTTER, is situated on the east bank of the Sacramento river; vessels
of seven hundred tons are lying close to the shore in the stream. To
show its growth and importance we need only state that on the first
of May last it contained about fifteen houses and tents, the whole
business with the mines being done at the Fort, which is about two
miles distant from the city, and on the first of August it had more
than a hundred houses and numerous tents, probably comprising about
five thousand souls.

The town of Boston is situated in the fork made by the Sacramento and
the American rivers in their junction, and its site extends along the
shores of both of them. Its situation is a little elevated and free
from inundation; the land is rich and well wooded; the same class of
vessels that comes up to Sacramento City, can lie here with equal ease,
being but a mile above the latter; the road that crosses the American
river and leads to the Feather river, the Bear Creek and the Yuba
goes through the town. It is laid out on the old site of an Indian
_Rancheria_, a portion of which they still occupy.

The town of Washington is very beautifully situated on the same bank
with Sacramento City, from which it is only nine miles distant up the
river. The spot is well selected for an inland town where agriculture
and trade with the mines must flourish; it is well provided with timber
and a brook runs through it. The river craft and a steamboat run up to

Springfield is a town in project, close to the town of Vernon.--Vernon
is at the junction of the Feather river with the Sacramento. It is in
the vicinity of many “diggings,” with which it carries on a lively
trade. At any season of the year there is four feet of water in the
river, but for eight months the depth of water is eight feet.--River
craft and a steamboat are constantly plying up to this place. Its
vicinity is a rich and well wooded agricultural country.

The town of Sutter, situated two miles below, and on the same bank with
Sacramento City, possesses the same advantages of the river and soil as
the latter. It has already several houses put up.

New York of the Pacific, at the mouth of the San Joaquin, has been
already spoken of above.

Stockton is a spot happily selected for an inland town of
great importance, and already its present augurs well for the
future.--Situated high up on the San Joaquin, accessible to river craft
at all seasons of the year, cut through in different directions by four
channels communicating with the river, and admitting close to the shore
vessels of the class of barks and brigs, of which thirteen are moored
there at this very moment, surrounded by rich soil and extensive wood
land, contiguous to numerous rich “diggings,” Stockton offers great
advantages to a new settler, and many have already availed themselves
of them. Its proprietor, Mr. Chas. M. Weber, by his liberal provisions
for the public wants of the town, cannot fail to accelerate its

The town of San Joaquin, situated on the river of the same name, at
the highest point to which river steamers can come up at all seasons
of the year, in the neighborhood of the rich mines of the Merced and
Mariposa, to which a good waggon road can be easily made, offers
superior advantages to settlers; its situation is picturesque, as it is
on a rising ground; it is abundantly supplied with good water and grass
all the year through, and its climate is salubrious. Its geographical
position to the surrounding mining district guarantees it the command
as a trading post, to at least one third of the gold region.



Second line in the Preface for Regions read Region.

  Page 6th line 11th, for Mission, San Luis Obispo read Mission of San
                    Luis Obispo.

  Page 7th, line 21st, for los Angelos read los Angeles.

    ” 11th    ”  17th for percolated read percolated.

    ” 11th    ”  20th for requires read require.

    ” 12th    ”  10th for Amerieas read American.

    ” 12th    ”  11th for gets read get.

    ” 12th    ”  11th for him read his.

    ” 13th    ”  20th for Mahahoe read Mahahve.

    ” 14th    ”  19th for Martincr read Martinez.

    ” 14th    ”  20th for Carquines read Carquinez.

    ” 14th    ”  22rd for California--and, read California and.

    ” 15th    ”   6th for masses of sand-stone; read Masses of

    ” 16th    ”   7th for unweary read unaware.

    ” 19th    ”  11th for wishes read wish.

    ” 19th    ”  13th for passes read pass.

    ” 20th    ”  32nd for on perpetual read of perpetual.

    ” 23rd    ”  11th for are no longer read exist no longer.

    ” 23rd    ”  20th for buildings ruined read buildings were ruined.

    ” 27th    ”       for whicr read which.

    ” 29th    ”   6th for minlng read mining.

    ” 31st    ”  for archieves read archives.

    ” 33rd transpose the--after _words_ to alter _plain fact_--.

    ” 31th for knife and, read knife, iron spoon and.

    ” 38th for Saleratus read Salæratus.

    ” 29th for lauch read lanch.

    ” 29th for Tuolomy read Touolomy.

    ” 29th for Fether river read Feather river.

    ” 40th for _Yuber_ or _Ynba_ read always Yuba.

    ” 42nd for Wever’s Creek read Weber’s Creek.

    ” 46th for The tim read time.

    ” 58th for advice that is read advice which is.

    ” 58th for at the _bottom_ of the Bay read at the _head_ of the Bay.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

The ERRATA at the end of the book have been applied to this etext and
to other occcurrences of the same text. Some of the ERRATA’s page
references were incorrect, but the changes were found and made. Some of
the corrections in the ERRATA may be errors, but still were applied.

Text uses both “deposit” and “deposite”.

Page 21: “perseverence” was printed that way.

Page 22: “alloted” was printed that way.

Page 33: “Dyonius” was printed that way.

Page 35: “cresent” was printed that way.

Page 38: The last column in the table used both periods and commas.

Page 39: “conscienciously” was printed that way.

Page 43: “hireing” was printed that way.

Page 48: “soking” was printed that way.

Page 50: “cristalization” was printed that way.

Page 51: “exiliarating” was printed that way.

Page 53: “dilema” was printed that way.

Page 55: “Sausolito” was printed that way.

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