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1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
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5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
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10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
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13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
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22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

The gold seekers of California (n.d)

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THE accounts which have been received this week from the United States convey intelligence of increasing interest from California. The Washington Union contains a letter from Lieutenant Larkin, dated Monterey, November 16, received at the State Department, containing further confirmation of the previous despatches, public and private, and far outstripping all other news in its exciting character. The gold was increasing in size and quality daily. Lumps were found weighing from 1 lb to 2 lb. Several had been heard of weighing as high as 16 lb., and one 25 lb. Many men who were poor in June were worth 30,000 dollars by digging and trading with the Indians. 100 dollars a day is the average amount realised daily from July to October.

Half the diggers were sick with fevers, though not many deaths had occurred among them. The Indians would readily give an ounce of gold for a common calico shirt- others were selling for 10 dollars each in specie. The gold regions extend over a tract of 300 miles, and it was not known that it did not extend 1000. A letter from Commodore Jones states that many of the petty officers and men had deserted and gone in search of the gold. He adds, the Indians were selling gold at 50c. the ounce. Many vessels were deserted by captain, cook, and seamen. The ship Isaac Walton offered discharged soldiers 50 dollars per month to go to Callao, which was refused. She was supplied by Government sailors. All the naval vessels on the coast were short of hands. Nearly the whole of the 3rd Artillery had deserted, Provisions, were scarce and high; board, 4 dollars a day; washing, 6 dollars a dozen. Merchant's, clerks get from 2000 to 3000 dollars a year.

From all the States of the Union, vessels crowded with passengers were Sailing daily. Even vessels of the very worst description were eagerly bought at very high prices. Amongst the emigrants from New York we. notice the name of Frederick Jerome, late seaman of the New World packet ship.

The Yew York Herald has some curiously interesting correspondence, dated Nov. 16th, from Monterey in California, on the same all-absorbing topic, It is mentioned in that journal that there were strong reasons for believing that Governor Mason and all his officers, men, mules, and wagons, were engaged digging on the banks of the Sacramento river. Colonel Stephenson had also disbanded his regiment., and gone on the like errand. This officer is said to have collected upwards of one million of dollars' worth of _gold dust. Captain Marcy, son of the United States' Secretary of 'war, was engaged in the same pursuit. The Correspondent says:

"We can now call ourselves citizens of the United States. We have now only to go by law, as we formerly went by custom,' that is, when Congress gives us a government and code. The old foreign residents of California, having done very well 10 or 20 years without law, care but very little whether Congress pays early or late attention to the subject. Those who have emigrated from the Atlantic States within the last three or four years deem the subject an important: one; I only call it difficult. The carrying out a code of laws, under existing circumstances, is far from being an easy task. The general Government may appoint Governors, secretaries, and other public functionaries; and judges, marshals, collectors, &c., may accept offices with salaries of 3000 dollars or 4000 dollars per annum ; but how they are to obtain their petty officers, at half these sums, remains to be seen. The pay of a member of Congress will be accepted here by those alone who do-not know enough to better themselves. Mechanics can now get 10 dollars to 16 dollars per day; labourers on the wharfs or elsewhere, 5 dollars to 10 dollars; clerks and storekeepers, 1000 dollars to 3000 dollars per annum ; some engage to keep store during their pleasure at 8 dollars, per day, or 1 lb. to 11/2 lb. of gold per month ; cooks and stewards, 60 dollars to, 100 dollars per month.

In fact, labour of every description commands exorbitant, prices. My previous information to you I merely forwarded to Your office to open the way to the future belief of your many readers. I had not much expectation of being believed. The idea of mountains of quicksilver only wanting the ingenuity of man to make them pour forth as a stream- of rivers, whose bottoms and banks are of gold, is rather too much to play upon the credulity of New Yorkers or Yankees. I suppose my story passed as an enlarged edition of the I Arabian Nights,' improved and adapted to California."

[London, The Illustrated London News & Sketch Ltd.]

Reference : America: A Narrative History, Brief 6th Edition - Digital History Center

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