Letter from George Huntoon, Whiskey Diggins, California, to his brother, dated November 18, 1852.

Huntoon, George, Author
Huntoon, [unknown]
, Correspondent
Media Type:
Item Type:
George Huntoon writes to his brother about his experiences at Whiskey, Diggins, California, panning for gold.
Date of Publication:
18 Nov 1851
Local identifier:
Docoument 4
Language of Item:
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Full Text

Wiskey Diggins, Calafornia [California] Nov 18th 1852

Dear Brother, I owe you an apology for not writing

to you before this, but before I shall close this sheet

you will perhaps see the excuse I had for not writing

before. We are all of us in pretty good health and spirits.

I hope these lines may find you all in the enjoyment

of like blessings. I have received but one letter from

home since our arrival in Cala [California], and that one was

from my wife dated June 20 in which she stated that

you and James Baker had both written to me. I have

not seen them. If you would have me get letters

direct them to Marysville, Cala [California]. Since we arived [arrived] in

this place, we have done as well as we could expect to

do under the circumstances. We have had but very

little water until within a week past, and for a

week or more we have had nothing but rain & snow

day and night, we are encouraged to think that as

soon as the weather shall settle we can do better than

we have done. When there is a sufficient quantity of

water [,] the mines here are worked with sluices and

gold is taken out with them as safely and with greater

facility than with a [?]. I think before you get

this that Frank Goodbody will have arrived at home

and if you will spend an hour or two with him

you will get more information concerning the mines

in this place and the mode of working them than I

could give you in a whole sheet. Try it.

[p.2] I wrote a letter to my wife and sent by Frank Goodbody

which I expect she has got by this time and 10 oz.

of clean dust that I sent with it. Since that time we

have laid in our winter's stock of provisions which

consist of 700 lbs of flour $21 per hundred [lbs], [illegible] pork $31 per 100 [lbs.,]

½ bbl [barrel?] salmon 18$, 108 lbs sugar [$] 13*, 107 lbs ham [$]32*, 475 lbs potatoes

[$]6*, 106 [lbs] onions [$]12* [*a line above the numbers may be an abbreviation for

"per 100 lbs"], and other small articles to am[moun]t of 20-

hundred and fifty five pound[s]. I've paid $7 per [illegible] freight

on it from Marysville to this place on wagons, 85 miles

altogether. Our provisions and freight have cost

us five hundred dollars. We have good claims

that will pay even[?] from the top to the bed rock

from 2 to 3 cts [cents] to the bucket[.] others[,] perhaps[,] would

not work such ground, but would spend their

time and money in looking for something better[,]

but we are content to let well enough alone[.]

the diggins [diggings] here are new and not much prospected

and we have ground enough to keep us at work

for two or three years or longer if we should think

of staying here. It is impossible to say how long it will

take us to make our piles, But I think some of us

may[,] if we all have our health[,] be at home about this

time another year. I hope you will answer this

as soon as you get it and let me know all the little

particulars that you can gather from one end of the

Ridge to the other as they will be quite interesting

to us you know. Last week I was at Downieville [?]

on the north abo[ut] twenty eight miles from this place, and

I saw a man by the name of Graham that had been acquainted

[p.3] with Secret Glen Cave he called it and he told me it

had all been worked out this last season. I have

therefore given up all hopes of even seeing it as

long as I can get moderate wages where I am.

the only work I have done since I came to this

place has been with a cradle and the best earth

I have found was 32 buckets $10.50. A few days after

Frank left us I got a letter by Express mailed at

Sacramento City and directed to Geo[rge] Huntoon and

what to make of it I cannot say[.] I will copy it

entire below and let you see for yourself if

it was not enough to astonish anyone.

Sept.10 Dear Brother, I take this time to write a

few lines to you not knowing wheather [whether] you will

get it or not[.] I will not write much. I ar[r]ived here

August 29[.] I received a letter from home before I

left the States. Started for Calafornia [California] I am now

about 30 miles above Sacramento on South fork of

the American River about four miles above Mormon

Island to work at Macdonal [?] Company at six

dollars per day[.] The wages will be better in a few days.

If you get this letter, write to me[.] Direct your letter to

Sacramento, and I will get it from there by express.

I was to Dixon [?] Springs, and Hamblin George has gone home.

William Huntoon

to George Huntoon.

I sent an answer to the above letter as soon as

I got it, but have heard nothing from it since, and if

you can solve the mistery [mystery] for me please do it as soon*

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Letter from George Huntoon, Whiskey Diggins, California, to his brother, dated November 18, 1852.