EXTRAORDINARY GOLD DISCOVERY
(From the Polynesian, July 15.)
We have received per Euphemia dates from California to the 20th June. Our files of Cali- fornia papers up the dates of their death have come to hand. The yellow fever has taken hold of the members of the craft there, from the editor to the imps, and carried them off—to the gold mines. The only item of interest is the news norn the gold diggers—other matters receive no attention. The whole country is in a state of turmoil, and everybody is flying to the gold region to reap a fortune. All the sea- port towns are deserted. Out of a population of nearly 1000, San Fransisco only contains about 50 or 60 souls, and these would leave were it possible. The news of the gold dis- coveries has spread with lightning speed, and the minister, merchant, artizan, mechanic, farmer, -labourer, and loafer have all gone to seek their fortune. Farms and crops are deserted, and all branches of business is at a stand. Up to the latest dates there were some 2000 men women and children on the
ground digging, and the roads were thronged with multitudes more pressing forward to obtain a portion of the glittering treasure. The Mormons have laid claim to a large por- tion of the territory, and demand a per centage of the ore taken therefrom. An express has been sent to the Salt Lake settlement where about 10,000 Mormons are located. There is a rumour that equally rich mines have been dis- covered in that region, and that the Mormons encamped there are engaged in mining opera-
tions. If this be not true the whole Mormon
force will probably muster and come to the Sacramento for the purpose of digging gold. It is idle to indulge in speculations as to the
final result of all this. That there will be a scarcity of provisions must be apparent to every one ; and that there is danger of serious collisions is also apparent. It needs no pro- phetic eye to see that the effect will be anything but favourable to the morals of the people or the permanent prosperity of the country. In the eager strife for worldly gain, personal rights and perhaps life will be disregarded.
From all the information which we can
gather we are of opinion that the rumours afloat here are somewhat exaggerated ; but that there has been an immense mine of gold discovered there can be no question. We have
received letters from individuals in whom we have the utmost confidence, and those state- ments can be relied upon as true. We extract the following from a letter dated May 29th :
"A strange revolution is at present taking place in California. A gold region has been discovered on the American fork of the Sacra- mento, and all California is rushing thither to dig. Half the population of San Fransisco has already gone.
"I have conversed with several intelligent and trustworthy gentlemen who have just been on a visit there to satisfy themselves of the truth of the reports. The gold occurs in an allu- vium and is disseminated over a region of 50 or more miles in length. The people who are there digging obtain on an average from 10 to 50 dollars per day washing by hand— some obtain 100 dollars per day, but not continually. It is on wild land, and of course everybody goes and digs that pleases. All who have been to examine either remain to dig or have returned with their families to make preparations. As a consequence all branches of business except gold digging is at a dead stand. Workmen of all sorts are off at
once—gardens, crops, mills, and everything else are left to take care of themselves. Even
Forbes' great quicksilver mine will have to stop operations from the desertion, of the
hands. Labourers could be hired in abundance a month ago for 25 dollars per month. Now they are not to be had for 10 dollars per day in fact not at all.
"The crops will in all probability be exten- sively neglected, and food will doubtless have to be imported to prevent scarcity.
"The gold occurs in small flat grains aver- aging about the size of flax seeds—the largest pieces yet found are 10 dollars worth. What the
result of this will be no one can tell. That it
will prove disastrous to the permanent welfare of the country I have no doubt. It certainly will not promote industry, sobriety, or good
The following is from a letter dated June
" The yellow fever increases here daily. People are quitting the towns by hundreds. The principal places are depopulated; nine family waggons with all appurtenances nave just passed on their route for the Sacramento. More people, it is said, are waiting at the straits above than can be ferried over in three weeks. From 1000 to 2000 are now on the ground digging. What a spectacle ! almost all Cali- fornia to a man-men, women, and children, editors, merchants, lawyers, farmers, smiths, schoolmasters, alcaldes, shoemakers, specula- tors, millers, ministers, volunteers, loafers, blacklegs, &c, all with pick, shovel' and*bowl? digging and washing the earth ; as busy as Bunyan's man with the muck rake-scraping together the sticks and straws! Woe to the morals of the country, and woe to the mouths that some months hence will want food. If
the gold deposit hold out it will be a good thing for the business of the islands."
The following account of a trip to the mines, and information respecting the quantities of gold taken, we copy from a letter dated on the ground of operations, June 13lh :
" From San Francisco, our road lay through the valley of Pueblo to San Jose, a distance of about 60 miles A lovelier country eye of mine never gazed on-the level prairies com- pletely matted with flowers of every hue, tra- versed here and there with streams, together with "cattle on the thousand hills," presented a beautiful picture. All that was wanting in my mind to heighten the effect, and indeed without which I thought it incomplete, was a number of snug New England farm nouses scattered along the valley, ana enlbosomed in the "trees near the road ; the " village church" should pierce the clouds with its glistening spire; instead of which a short time in the road brought ns in Bight of the dingy tile covered mission of St.
Clara!-The road leads from this to the San Joaquin, which we forded and travelled on to Sutter's Fort, through a country of great rich- ness, and apparently capable of supporting an immense population. But not a human being was now to be seen ; rancherias and all had been deserted, and Americans, Californians, and Indians, had all gone to the 'gold diggings.' On arriving at Sutter's, however, we found at the fort a young Manchester. The blacksmith, the turner, the carpenter, and indeed mechanics of every trade actively engaged in their various callings, and all aiming at one grand object, viz., the means of washing the gold at the mines, which are some 40 miles above the fort.
" After leaving the fort, we passed along the banks of the ' American Fork,' as this branch of the Sacramento is called, and soon com- menced ascending the hills which stretch out from the base of the great Sierra Nevada. About noon we stopped to prepare a cup of coffee, and partTke ota,lunch, and while the fire was being kindled, one of our party dipped a tin cup full of the sana" from the bed of the little brook which run gurgling down, washed it, and at the bottom found some four or five pieces of gold. This was our first attempt at go d digging. About sunset we arrived at the saw mills of Captain Suiter, where the gold was first discovered, while digging the "mill-race. We had ridden over gold, silver, platina, and iron mines, some 25 or 30 miles, and over a road, too, where a city cab could travel witb ease and perfect safety, and through a country blooming with flowers, and sparkling with springs.
" Should I relate to you all that I have been told in regard to the mines since I arrived (but a few hours), I am fearful you would think the savor fishy. As near as I can ascertain there are about one thousand white men engaged in gold digging thus far. The term ' white men' is used in contradistinction to * Mormon.' These last named fanatics, with the sly Brannan at their head, are quite numerous, having laid claim to a large proportion of the gold region, demanding 30 per cent, of the ore from all peisons digging thereon. This fact will un- doubtedly lead to trouble, and perhaps blood-
shed. Those of the 'white men' who have last arrived from the sea coast have stated their
determination not to pay any per centage, and swear that whatever has already been paid shall
be 'choked out' of Brannan. This disin- terested man, when .last at San Francisco, ar- ranged all his affairs, and passed receipts with every one with whom he had business, stating, with a very lengthened phiz, that perhaps he should not survive to return, as the miners had threatened to shoot him, but that duty urged
"Thus far the gold has been obtained in the most primitive manner by washing the earth in tin pans, wooden bowls, Indian baskets, &c. The average I am told has been 16 dollars per day for each man engaged, and the deeper the soil is dug the richer it becomes. One man obtained over 30 dollars in one washing-say 15 minutes. I was told by an old miner that not more than one half of the gold, is secured in the present rude careless way of working. With a proper machine, and the use of quick- silver, double the amount could be taken from the same soil. The largest amount taken by one person in one day was 200 dollars. The pieces are of an extraordinary size, the largest weighing half an ounce. The mountains have been explored on every side, and gold found oh every creek. It is the opinion of all, that 30,000 ¿or 40,000 persons, could Jbe profitably employed Ion the ground now explored. Nor is gold the
only mineral discovered here. Platina has been , found m one place in some considerable quan- tity, and very extensive mines of silver ore have been discovered within five miles of the saw mill, and are said to be very rich. Iron is also abundant, and will pay about 85 per
cent. The richness of the soil in the im-
mediate neighbourhood of the mines is most astonishing. Farms can be made in every
direction that will feed all the miners that
can be employed. The climate is found to be very healthy, and free from the chilly winds that howl around the sea coast. The granite of the mountains is said to be equal to the cele- brated Quincy, and a beautiful quarry of marble has been discovered on the Cosnmmy river, specimens of which will before many years adorn the fronts of public buildings in your flourishing city.
" 'The cry is still they come.' While writing this, two men have just arrived from a valley some five or six miles distant, bringing with them 250 dollars worth of gold obtained in five days. These men have come in for provisions, which by the way are very dear
( The- Star of June 3rd, alluding to the pre- valence of the gold fever, and its effects and results, says :- r ' l"
(| For the next nine months,,or until'legislative action in the seit; of,government,,'or-what Is more probable, the enactment land ..enforcement
of law in this country-the gold mines in the north will gather together as wild a class of unchristianized fellows as ever escaped the thraldom of honest law, and broke loose upon barbarism. Until restricted by measures for the preservation of order, the security of "person, and property protected, yre may hear of con- tinual mischief among the miners in its fearful excess, and rows ana robberies -without inter- mission. It is an exciting; work-that of gold gathering-and it will" be morally impossible for so large a body, composed of such opposite natures, to avoid collision and tumult, Reports reach us hy every arrival from the section of country to which all eyes are turned, of every day's increased addition to the number already actively employed."
The last regular issue of the Star, alluding to the excitement and enthusiasm for gold,.
"Every seaport as far south as San Diego, and every interior town, and nearly every
rancho, from the base of the mountains in which the gold has been found to the Mission of San Luis, south, has become suddenly drained of human beings." Americans, Californians, Indians, and Sandwich Islanders ; men, women, and children indiscriminately. Should there be that success which has repaid the efforts of those employed for the last month, during the present and next, as many are sanguine in their expectations* and we Confess to unhesi- tatingly believe probable, not only will it witness the depopulation of every town, the desertion of every rancho, and the desolation of the »rice promising crops of .the country,-but it will also draw largely uhon adjacent territories^-awake Sonora» and call down, upon us, despite her Indian battles, a great many of the good people of Oregon. There are at Ulis time over one thousand souls busy in washing gold, and the yield per diem may be safely estimated at from fifteen to twenty dollars each individual. We have by every-launch from ihe embarcadero of New Helvetia, returns of enthusiastic gold seekers—heads of families, to effect the trans- portation of their households to the scene of their successful labors, or others, merely re- turned to more fully equip themselves for a protracted, or perhaps permanent stay. Spades, shovels, picks, wooden bowls, Indian baskets, for washing, &c, "find ready purchaser», and are very frequently disposed of at extortionate prices.
"The gold region, so called, thus far ex- plored, is about one hundred miles in length and twenty in width. These imperfect exploi- tions contribute to establish the certainty of the placera extending much further south, pro- bably three or four hundred, miles, as we have before stated, while it is believed to terminate about a league north of the point at which first discovered. The probable amount taken from these mountains since the first of May last we are informed is 100,000 dollars, and which is at this time principally in the hands of the mechanical, agricultural, and laboring classes.
"There is an area explored within which a body of 50,000 men can advantageously labour without maliciously interfering with each
On the 14th of June the Star ceased to twinkle, and the editor sloped for the gold region, after announcing his suspension in the form of a slip.
[From the Polynesian, October 14.]
Such has been the rush of business during the past few weeks that our merchants have had plenty to do. Every warehouse and shop has been drained of goods adapted to the Cali- fornia market, and our streets nave presented a moving panorama of boxes, bales, and bundles. Some are so busy in making money that they can hardly stop to receive or count it.
CHILI.—By the Correo de Cobija, we have dates from Valparaiso to the 25th August.
There is little local news of interest. The ship
Undine, bound to California, had put into Val-
paraiso in distress. A French vessel of war was
lying there, to sail shortly for this place. The Seiz de Junio, from San, Francisco, had arrived. The news of gold discoveries had created a great stir. Gold dust, we are informed, was sold there for 18 dollars per ounce. A large number of vessels will probably go up from Valparaiso.
THE JUDGES OF COUNTY COURTS.-An Order
in Council appears in Friday night's Gazette, directing that the sixty judges of county courts in England shall each be paid £1,000 a-year for their services, instead of being remunerated by
fees as heretofore. The order is to take effect from the 30th of September next.-Liverpool Albion, Aug. 21.
PEODUCTIVE COHCEKT.-At the concert given on Monday last by Mdlle. Jenny Lind for the benefit of the Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest, the sum received amounted to £1,766 15s. The concert having been en tirely free from all the ordinary charges, nearly the whole of the sum obtained will be appropriated to the charity.-Atlas, Aug. 5.