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