THE CALIFORNIAN GOLD FINDERS.
The accounts continue to increase in interest Thc New York Herald introduces a highly interest ing letter from à correspondent at Monterey, Cali, fornia, with the following mysterious paragraph :
" We have alsoreYel^ed a private a|»i confiden tial letter, which contains intelligence so astound ing concerning the gold regions that we forbear tc give it to the public at .this time lest they should not credit it, arid might only laugh at us for oui pains, and accuse us of attempting^ hoax »nd de ceive the public."
The Herald then goes on to declare that there were strong reasons for believing that Governor Mason and all his officers, men, mules, and wag gons, were engaged digging on the banks of the Sacramento river. Colonel Stephenson badalso disbanded his regiment, and gone on the like er rand. This officer ir said to have collected up wards of one million of dellars worth of gold dust: Captain Marcy, son of the United States Secretary of War, was engaged in the same pursuit. The correspondent's letter, which is dated Monterey, November 16, is highly interesting ; we therefore give it entire i
"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 Con gress gives us a government and a code. The old foreign residents of California, having done very .well ten or twenty years Vithout law, care but very little whether Congress pays early or late at tention to the subject. Those who have emigrated from the Atlantio States within the last three or four years deem the subject an important one ; I only call it difficult. '1 he carrying out a code ol law?, under existing circumstances, ia far from being an easy task. The general government may appoint governors, secretaries, and other public functionaries ; and judges, marshals, collectors, &e., may accept offices with salaries of 3,000 dois, or 4.0D0 dois, per annum; but how they are to obtain their petty officers, at half these sums, re mains to be seen. The pay of a member of Con gress will be accepted here by those alone who do not know enough- to better themselves. Mechanics can now get ten dois, to sixteen dois, per day ; la bourers on the wharfs or elsewhere, five dois, to ten dois.; clerks and storekeepers, 1,000 dois, to3,000 dois, per annum, some engage to keep store during their pleasure at eight dois, per day. or one pound or one pound and a-half of gold per month ; cooks and stewards, sixty dois, to one hundred dois, per month. In fact, labour of every description com mands exorbitant prices. My previous informa tion to you I merely forwarded to your office to open the way to the future belief of your many readers. I bad 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 toa murh to play upon the credulity of New Yorkers or Yankees. I suppose my story passed as an eulaiged-edition Of the Arabian Nights, improved and adapted to
" Whether you or your readerslook thè'talë'Tor fiction or truth, I know not. Your last paper that has rescued us is of April. This 1 know, the Sandwich Islands, Oregon, and Lower California are fast parting with their inhabitants, all bound for this coast, and thence to the great ' placer' of the Sacramento valley, where the digging and washing of one man that does pot produce 100 trpy ounces of gold, twenty-three carats, from the sue of a half spangle to one pound in one month, set the digger to 'prospecting.' that is, looking for better grounds. Your ' Paisano* eau point out many a man who has, for fifteen to twenty days in succession, bagged up five to ten ounces of gold a day. Our placer, or gold region, now extends over 30 J or 4ti0 miles of country, embracing all (he creeks and branches on the east side of the San Joaquin. In my travels I have, when resting under
a tree and staging my horse, seen pieces of pure gold taken from crevices of the rocks or slate where we were stopping. On one occasion, noon- ing or refreshing on the side of a stream entirely unknown to diggers or 'prospectors,' or rather, if known, not attended to, one of my companions in rolling in the sand, said, "Give me a tin pan ; why should we not be cooking in gold sands?" He took a pan, filled it with sand, washed it out, and pro- duced in five minutes two or three dollars' worth of gold, merely saying, as he threw both pan and gold on the sand, "I thought so." Perhaps it is fair that your readers should learn, however plen tifully the Sacramento valley may afford gold, the obtaining of it has its disadvantages. From the 1st of July to the 1st of October, more or less, one half of the people Avil I have fever and ague, or in terminent lever, ja the. winter, it is too cold to work in the water. Some work in the sand by washing from tire surface in a wooden bowl or tin pan ; some gouge it out from the rocks or slate ; the more lazy ones roll about abd pickup the large pieces, leaving the small gold for the next emigra tion. The extent of the gold region on the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers extends a dist anee of 8 JO mile* in length by IOU in width. It em braces not only goj^, .but quantitlös of quicksil ver in almost general abundance. It is estimated that a small population actively engaged in mining operations in that region could export I00,00j).0Uü. dois, in gold every year, and that an increased po?, pulation might increase that amount to 3 '0,000, 00 dois, annually. You may believe me when I. say that for some time to come "California will export yearly, nearly or quite 500,O'J0 ounces of gold, twenty-two to ..twenty-four carats fine; some pieces of that wijl weigh sixteen ponnd, very many one pound. Many men who began lastsfane to dig gold with a capital >f-fifty dois:, can now show 5000 to I5.0C0 dots, ¿ saw a manj»--day making purchases of dry goods,' &c, for-his family, lay-on the counter a bagm^deof raw-hide^ well sewed np, containing 100 ounces. .1 observed, '.That ia-a good way to pack gold dust*' ..jfjle.very innocently replied, ' All the bags! brought down are that way,
I like the sise!' Five such bags in New. York would bring nearly. 4O,0O*^olJarsv* This man left his family last August. iThree months* digging and washing, producing four or five bags of 400 ounces each, is better than .being mate of a vessel at-forty dollars per month, as the man Jormerty-was; His companion, a Mexican, who camped.and worked with him, only had two or three-cowhide bags of gold. In this tough, but true golden tale, you must not imagine that all men are equally successful. There are some who have done better eyen.4,0u0 dollars in a month, many 1,000*dollars during the summer; and others, who refused to join a com pany of gold washers who hada cheap made ma chine, and receive one ounce per day, that re turned to the settlement with no¿a. VJBSV pocket full of gold. Some left with only suftcient to pur. chase a horse and saddle, and pay the physician six ounces of gold for one ounce of quinine, calo mel, and jalap in proportion. An onncje of gold for advice gives, sixôunces a visit ^brings ¿he fever and ague to be'¿rather an expensive companion. A * well' man has his proportionate heavy expenses also, to reduce his piles or bags of gild. Dry bee f in the settlements at 'four cents per lb., at the Placer, one dollar to two dolíais per lb ; -salt beef and pork, fifty dois, to one hundred dois, per bar rel ; flour, thirty dois, to seventy-five dois, per barrel; coffee, sugar, and rice, fifty cents, to one dollar per lb. As washing ia fifty cents, to one dollar a garment,- many prefer throwing away their used^ip clothes to paying the washerwoman ; that ia, if they intend returning to the settlements goon, where they can purchase more. As to shav ing, I hare netrer seen a man at the Placer who had time to perform that operation, They do not
work oa Sundays, only brash up the tent, blow on the emery, or fiad black sand from the week'i work. Horses that can travel only one day, nat from that to a week, »re from 100 dois, to 300 dolí Freight charge by launch owners for three days run, five dois, per barrel. Waggoners charge fifi} dois; to one hundred dots, per load, twenty to fift> miles on good road. Corn, barley, peas, and beana ten dois, a bushel. Common pistols any price ¡ powder and lead *ery dear.' I know a physiciat who, in St*-Francisco, purchased a common madi gold washer at twenty dois., or ?thirty dois., made o; seventy or eighty feet of boards. At a great ex pense he boated it up to the first landing on th: Sacramento, and there met a waggoner bound tc one of the diggings with an empty waggon, distan about fifty miles. The waggoner would not take up the machine under ICO dois. The doctor had to consent, and bided his time. June passed over rich'in gold; all on that creek did wonders, when the waggoner fell sick, called on.his friend the doc tor, whose tent was in sight ; the doctor ca he, but would not administer the first dose under the sum of 100 dois., which was agreed to, under a proviso that the - following doses should be furnished more moderate. When a man's time is worth 100 dollars a day to use a spade and tin pan, neither doctors or waggoners can think much of a pound of gold, and you may suppose merchants, traders, and pedlars are not slow to make their fortunes in these golden times. In San Francisco there is more mershatidize sold now monthly than before in a year. Vessels after vessels arrive, land their cargoes, dispose of them and bag up the dust and lay up the vessel, as the crew are soon among the missing. The cleanest clear out is where the captain follows the crew. There are many vessels in San Francisco that can« not weigh anchor, even with the assistance of three or four neighbouring vessels. Supercargoes must land cargo on arriving, or have no crew to do it for them. Some vessels continue io go to sea with small crews at 5'J dois.per month for green hands. Old hands are too wise for them, and prefer dig« ging an ounce or two a day, and drinking hock and champagne at half an ounce a bottle, and eating bad sea bread athone dollar per pound. I have seen a captain of a vessel, wbo by his old contract in the port whence he sailed, was getting 60 dollars per month, paying .his cook 75 dollars, and offering 10 > dois, per month for a steward ; his former crew, even to his mates, having gone a ' prospecting.' - Uncle Sam's ships suffer a little the same way, although they offer from 200 dois, to 5»)0 dois, for the apprehension of a deserter. The Ohio, however, laid tn the port of Monterey about a month, and lost only twenty or thirty men. Colonel Stevenson's regiment is disbanded , 99 oat of a hundred of whom have also gone ' pros pecting,' including the colonel, who arrived in Monterey last mooth from his last post, and was met by his men et the edge of the town to escort and cheer him into the town. The captains, &c, have bought up country carts and oxen, turned drivers, and gone to the placer. Our worthy Go vernor, Colonel of 1st Dragoons, &c, bave, plenty of carts, waggons, horses, anil mules, with a few regulars left, his also gone, but under belter ad vantages, for'tuë second or"thud time, to see the . placer and the couutry. and have justice done to his countrymen or himself. Commodore Jones, lately arrived in Monterey, suppo ed it to be the capital, head quat tere, &c , but found not even the Governor left. Where héad-quarters is maybe uncertain, whether in Monterey, Suttet*á Port, or in a four male waggon travelling over the gold region. Now, whether head-quarters are freighted with munitions of war, &c, or whether the cargo consists of blankets, shirts, &c, to clothe the suffering Indians, for the paltry consideration of gold, no one cares or knows. But the principle shou d be that if privates eau or will be off making their thousands, those who are belter able should not go goldless."
A letter from Commodore Jones states, that many of the pettv nflB.^era and men i>«J J ooo» ioJ «uti gone m search of the gold. He adds, the Indians were selling gold at 5J cents the ounce, Many vessels were deserted by captain, cook, and seamen. The ship Isaac Walton offered discharged soldiers SO dois, pe r mouth to go to Callao, which were refused. She was supplied by government sailors. AH the naval vessels on the coast were short of hamis. Nearly the whole of the 3rd Artillery had deserted. Provisions were scarce and high ; board, four dollars a diy ; washing, six dollars a dozen. Merchants' clerks get from îiOOJ to 3000 dois, 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 emi grants from New York we notice the name of Frederick Jerome, late seaman of the New World