Note: I transcribed it just as it was written!
A Letter from the “Diggins.”
Vally of the Sacrymento, April 20, 1849.
EDITURS OF THE SUNDY TIMES: — When I wrote before spades was trumps — now its dimunds. These preshus stuns is found in brilyant perfusion on the brow of the Sarah Nevady, and several as large as fenix eggs has been seen in a mountain of gold, diskivered last week near the Sam Joking: and when the snow melts it is supposed that many of the first water will come down with the current. Seed dimunds is remarkabul plenty, but u law has been made against getherin ‘em, because it spoiles the futer crop. None is aloud to be gathered under the size of a piece of chauk. Emrulds abounds, but nobody is green enough to pick ‘em up when they can get dimunds. Other jooils is a drug. Beyond the plains, on what they call a plato of the mountings, bushels of little peaces of silver has been dug up, which is very convenient for small change.
The odoriferous sands on the Sacrymento is forty-eight feet leven inches and three quarters. Wherever we find traces of gold, we sink shafts and draw it up with horses. The sand is so tarnation heavy it puts the mustangs to their metal, I tell you: but there is no help for ‘em: they must hang on with all their might and mane, or down they go, and then its all up with ‘em.
‘Mense quantities of gold, at the very least, has been sent to San Francisco for some time back, and as fast as it is got in it is turned to ingots. Theves cannot egzist at the diggins, bein hung of a spiritus nater very dear. All kinds of salt provisions is sold for a song: the tavern keepers’ most given ‘em away in order to promote thirst. Salt pork is five dollars a hogshead, and brandy ten dollars a half pint. Hows’ever, as gold is plenty, every Jack has his gill.
We have a sort of make-shift government here, got up extruperry as one may say, that ansers purty wel for a new kuntry. Gen. Smith aint nobody. He’s a clever chap and a spunky, no doubt o’ that; but he haint got no more athority than a child in arms, if thar was sich a thing in the settlement. He ishoos general orders and proclamashuns and sich truck, and the people read ‘em, they larf, and shet one eye, and go and do as they pleeze. It’s allus so in nu kuntries.
Agricultur in Californy is purty much left to natur. — It sticks in folks’ crop to be sowing corn when they can dig gold, and so they all go to the placer to make hay while the sun shines. This is the monster deposit bank of the uneversal world, and we’re all cashears and directors. Bring yer ‘taters here if you want ‘em dug, we cant take the truble to raise ‘em. The only wegetable we cultivate is the root of all evil, and if you’ll send us the frutes of the airth, you can have that in exchange.
The rainy season bein over, the weather is settled. I beleeve the heat has’nt been below 99 for a week, which, with bad rum, has proved fatal with some constitushuns.
Emigrants of every kind keeps pourin in by land and water, and the populashun is very promiscous. We Mericans keeps the upper hand of furriners so far: but it takes considerable powder and ball. Colt’s pill is fine for munity. The bottle causes a good many musses, but the barrel allus stops ‘em. I shall probably ship my pile by the Californy, next trip; and if I escape the cholera the injuns, and the yaller fever going through Mexico, you may ‘spect to see me before very long, and perhaps sooner.
A DISBANDED VOLUNTEER.
Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jun 26, 1849