California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 153 pages of information about California.
undergone some hardships, and, thanks to the now almost lawless state of this country, I have been deprived of the great mass of my savings, and must, when the dry season comes round again, set to work almost anew.  I have but fourteen hundred dollars’ worth of the precious metal remaining, and, with the rate of prices which now universally prevails here, that will not keep me much over a couple of months.  My own case, though, is that of many others.  As the number of diggers and miners augmented, robberies and violence became frequent.  At first, when we arrived at the Mormon diggings, for example, everything was tranquil.  Every man worked for himself, without disturbing his neighbour.  Now the scene is widely changed indeed.  When I was last there, as you will see by my diary, things were bad enough; but now, according to the reports we hear, no man, known to be in possession of much gold, dare say, as he lays down his head at night, that he will ever rise from his pillow.  The fact is, that there is no executive government of any strength here to put an end to this state of things.  The country is almost a wilderness, whereof Indians are the principal inhabitants.  The small force Colonel Mason has here has been thinned very materially by desertions, and the fidelity of those that remain is, according to the opinion of their commanding officer, not to be over much depended on.

Of course, as you may expect, I am naturally much cast down at the turn which matters have taken—­I mean as regards my own misfortune.  It is heart-breaking to be robbed by a set of villains of what you have worked so hard for, and have undergone so much to obtain.  I am in hopes, however, that my next gold campaign may be a more, successful one.  I dare say there have been plenty of accounts of the doings in California in the newspapers.  As, however, not only you, but Anna and Charley, and my kind friends Mr. and Mrs. ——­ and Miss ——­, and many others, will, I am sure, be glad to know something about my own personal adventures, I send you a rough diary of what I have seen and done.  I hardly know whether you will be able to make the whole of it out, for I have interlined it in many parts, and my writing never was of the most legible character.  You know I have always been in the habit, ever since I first went abroad, of jotting down some record of my movements, scanty enough, but still forming a memorial which it is pleasant to look back upon.  As, however, the gold affair is not only a great feature in a man’s life, but in the history of our times, I made pretty full jottings of my adventures every few days; and since I returned here, I have spent several days in expanding them, and adding to them a few extra particulars which I thought would be of interest.  I don’t know whether you will care to wade through such a bundle of information.  The MS. when I got it all together quite frightened me, and I hardly liked to ask Colonel Mason to transmit such a bulky parcel for me; but

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California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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