The Diary of a Forty-niner

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Chauncey L. Canfield
M. Shepard Company, 1906 - California - 231 pages

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As a boy I spent years of my childhood camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In particular, at a family cabin in Downieville, CA. (A mining settlement mentioned in the book.) Those who are familiar with the unique pleasures of California's Gold Country will be proud of the heritage and spirit represented in this book. The Gold Rush period of California history was marked by hardship. Countless prospecting fortunes were won and lost to bad luck, murderous greed and reckless gambling. Amid such upheaval, a simple puritanical Yankee patiently earned a living, made a life-long friend and found the love of his life. The forty-niner sought gold and through principles of kindness, hard work and friendship, he found all the wealth life has to offer. The simple beauty of his success, more than a century ago, has left this reader with an overwhelming sense of envy. 

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Page 12 - I AM monarch of all I survey, My right there is none to dispute ; From the centre all round to the sea I am lord of the fowl and the brute. 0 Solitude ! where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face ? Better dwell in the midst of alarms Than reign in this horrible place.
Page 11 - Joe Bowers, Before we hitch for life, You ought to get a little home To keep your little wife.
Page 11 - My dearest Sally, oh Sally, for your sake, I'll go to Californy, and try to raise a stake.
Page 200 - Indians are mere cumberers of the ground, and have no rights that a white man is bound to respect, then will there be danger from the aborigines Food and clothing are the necessities of the Indians.
Page 48 - There was an old woman who had three sons — • Joshua, James and John! Josh got shot, and Jim got drowned, And John got lost and never was found, And that was the end of the woman's three sons, Joshua, James and John.
Page 37 - Kit was as glad to see me, as I was to see him, and was rather surprised when I told him that I was all ready to go with him to the mines. Jim Bridger said, "What are you going there for Will?
Page 209 - A short time later at Deer Creek, some Chinese diverted water without permission, and "about fifty miners gathered together, ran the Chinamen out of the District, broke up their pumps, burned up their cabins, tore out their dams, destroyed their ditches, and warned them not to come back under penalty of being shot if they made a reappearance." 82 been driven off their claim immediately." 83 Frank Marryat, who had lived in Amoy, knew the Chinese were not aggressive: "Chinamen are [a] long time coming...
Page 29 - Anderson says it will be a good idea to extend our ditch and 28 sell the water to the miners who might want to use it, but I don't see what right we have got to it more than anybody else. Anyway, he has put a notice at the head of the ditch claiming all the water it will hold, and as there is no law in the case he says he will make a law out of the precedent.
Page 104 - ... claim, valuing a fourth at ten thousand dollars, and, when the game quit, Zeke Roubier, another of the partners, won back eight thousand dollars and held to his fourth interest. The other two went broke and Breedlove ended by owning three fourths of the claim and winning fourteen thousand dollars, so that altogether he was thirty-four thousand dollars ahead. He offered his old partners work in the mine at an ounce a day, which they refused, packed their blankets and started out in search of new...
Page 55 - We thought they were curious and had no idea that there were solid streaks of it. I saw one piece in Hamlet Davis' store to-day that had been brought up from Grass Valley. It was as big as my head and all covered over with gold. Davis said there was as much as five hundred dollars in it.

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