Topic: Gold Rush

Dahlonega Georgia in 1848

Dahlonega, Georgia, April, 1848 The Cherokee word Dah-lon-e-ga signifies the place of yellow metal; and is now applied to a small hamlet at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, in Lumpkin County, Georgia, which is reputed to be the wealthiest gold region in the United States. It is recorded of De Soto and his followers that, in the sixteenth century, they explored this entire Southern country in search of gold, and unquestionable evidences of their work have been discovered in various sections of the State. Among these testimonials may be mentioned the remains of an old furnace, and other works for mining, which have been brought to light by recent explorations. But the attention of our own people was first directed to this region while yet the Cherokees were in possession of the land, though the digging of gold was not made a regular business until after they had been politely banished by the General Government. As soon as the State of Georgia had become the rightful possessor of the soil (according to law), much contention and excitement arose among the people as to who should have the best opportunities for making fortunes; and, to settle all difficulties, it was decided by the State Legislature that the country should be surveyed and divided into lots of forty and one hundred and sixty acres, and distributed to the people by...

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General History of the Western Indian Tribes 1851-1870 – Indian Wars

Up to 1851, the immense uninhabited plains east of the Rocky Mountains were admitted to be Indian Territory, and numerous tribes roamed from Texas and Mexico to the Northern boundary of the United States. Then came the discovery of gold in California, drawing a tide of emigration across this wide reservation, and it became necessary, by treaty with the Indians, to secure a broad highway to the Pacific shore. By these treaties the Indians were restricted to certain limits, but with the privilege of ranging, for hunting purposes, over the belt thus re-reserved as a route of travel. The...

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The Curse of Gold

Two months had passed after the tragedy at Wailatpu, and the volunteers were still at The Dalles, when an event occurred that revolutionized the Pacific coast, changed the course of affairs throughout the United States, and visibly affected the entire world. It was the discovery of gold in California, or rather the discovery that it existed in quantity. The Spaniards had long known that there was gold in the country, and Mr. Dana, with Wilkes’s exploring expedition, had picked up auriferous rock in Oregon and on the Sacramento, but no one thought it to be in paying quantity, and no attention was paid to it. The Mormons claim to have worked the placers before Marshall made his discovery, but their story is either untrue, or so adulterated with untruth as to deserve no credence, besides being contrary to other evidence. The account of their discovery, as published in September, 1854, by George M. Evans, the professed discoverer, is, in substance, as follows: During the month of October or November, 1845, in a house or groggery on Pacific Street, San Francisco (as it is now called), a Mexican, who was called ‘Salvador,’ was shot because he had a bag of gold dust, described as about one thousand to two thousand dollars, and would not tell where he got it. At last, when dying, he pointed in the direction of San...

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Gold Digger’s, Indians, and the Santa Fe Trail

In 1858 and 1859, during the period of the Pike’s Peak gold excitement, large numbers of gold hunters passed over the trail for the new diggings. Some of these were driving good teams and wagons, some were on horseback, others had small push carts, and some even wheelbarrows, loaded with all their earthly possessions tied in a small roll. During one day in 1859 three hundred and twenty-five vehicles by actual count crossed at the ford on Elm creek, near the old mail station. At the height of the gold excitement it was not unusual thing for five hundred vehicles to cross at that ford in a single day. Often the wagons bore the inscription “Pike’s Peak or Bust” painted on the wagon covers, and it is a matter of history that many of these pilgrims returned “busted’.’ – some having never reached the gold fields. Others, however, were successful, and became founders of Colorado towns. A few years since the Kansas Daughters of the American Revolution, assisted by the State Historical Society, marked the line of the trail across the state, setting one or more substantial granite markers in every county through which the trail passed. To accomplish this the legislature made an appropriation of $1000, while the school children of the state raised by penny contributions the balance needed to do the marking. One of the markers...

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The Growth Of Quartz Mining Discoveries

Prospecting early indicated that the future mineral wealth of Idaho would depend upon quartz mining, and accordingly efforts were early made to develop that feature of Idaho’s principal industry. In the autumn of 1863 it was found that thirty-three claims of gold and silver quartz-mines had been made on the south Boise alone, ail of which promised well. The Ida Elmore, near the head of Bear creek, the first and most famous of the south Boise quartz mines in that year, was discovered in June. In an arastra it yielded two hundred and seventy dollars to the ton of rock; but at length it fell into the hands of speculators. The next several mines of this class were the Barker, East Barker, Ophir, Idaho, Independence, Southern Confederacy, Esmeralda, General Lane, Western Star, Golden Star, Mendocino, Abe Lincoln, Emmett and Hibernia. The Idaho assayed, thirty feet below the surface, one thou-sand seven hundred and forty-four dollars in gold and ninety-four dollars and eighty-six cents in silver; Golden Eagle, two thousand two hundred and forty dollars in gold and twenty-seven dollars in silver, from the croppings. At the Ida Elmore a town was laid out called Fredericksburg, and other towns were also laid out elsewhere, many of which remained towns only in the imagination. Rocky Bar, however, laid out in 1864, beautifully materialized, while Boise City, founded at the junction of...

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Idaho, the Gem of the Mountains, Origin of the Name

The Mountains have ever been the bulwarks of freedom. Valor is born there; virtue is cherished there, and these are the seeds of song and story. No land ever yet had a literature to endure that had not these for its theme, these off-springs of the pure, sweet atmosphere and sublime splendor of inspiring Mountains; and the more glorious the Mountains, the more glorious the song and story. What then may we not prophesy for Idaho when her torn and devastated placer fields all are terraced vineyards, as in Savoy, and the peace and rest of the old pastoral days of Greece shall possess her? Meanwhile it remains for us to dwell rather upon the vital present; to note the assurances offered in the fair new state of Idaho as this wonderful nineteenth century draws rapidly to its close. Here nature has been lavish to prodigality; here mountain and valley yield forth their treasures; and here are the homes of a progressive, enlightened and a loyal people who honor and receive honor from the whole noble sisterhood of states. The Gem of the Mountains may well challenge admiration, and it is hoped that the pages of this work may bear their part in perpetuating the dramatic story of the brave men and virtuous women who gathered about the cradle of the infant Idaho, and also tell the latter-day story...

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Owyhee County Its History, Towns, Industries

In 1862 the present county of Owyhee was a part of Boise County, which comprised all of the western portion of Washington Territory lying south of what was then called Idaho county, its area being nearly equal to that of Pennsylvania. When Idaho was created a territory by act of congress, March 3, 1863, Boise county became part and parcel of the territory of Idaho, and at the first session of the territorial legislature, held at Lewiston, Idaho, Owyhee County was created, December 31, 1863, out of all territory south of Snake River and west of the Rocky mountains. In 1864 Oneida County, and in 1879 Cassia County, were cut off of Owyhee County, reducing it to its present limits. Its northern boundary line is the Snake River. Cassia County on the east, state of Oregon on the west, and the state of Nevada forms its southern boundary. Its area is 8,130 square miles, being somewhat larger than the state of Massachusetts. Its name, “Owyhee,” is believed to have been borrowed from the Hawaiian language, and to have been given to the Owyhee River by two Kanakas in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Prior to the spring of 1863, Owyhee County was an unexplored country, inhabited only by bands of hostile Indians, while at that time the diggings of Boise basin and Oro Fino boasted of a...

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Discovery Of Gold in Idaho

It is reported that gold was discovered by a French Canadian in Pend d’Oreille river, in 1852. Two years later General Lander found gold while exploring the route for a military road from the Columbia to Fort Bridger. The earliest discoveries of which we have any authentic record, however, were probably made by members of the party with that veteran pioneer and path-finder, Captain John Mullan, the originator of the now famous Mullan road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, a distance of six hundred and twenty-four miles. In a letter dated Washington, D. C, June 4, 1884, to Mr. A. F. Parker, of Eagle City, he says: I am not at all surprised at the discovery of numerous rich gold deposits in your mountains, because both on the waters of the St. Joseph and the Coeur d’Alene, when there many years ago, I frequently noticed vast masses of quartz strewing the ground, particularly on the St. Joseph river, and wide veins of quartz projecting at numerous points along the line of my road along the Coeur d’Alene, all of which indicated the presence of gold. Nay, more: I now recall quite vividly the fact that one of my herders and hunters, a man by the name of Moise, coming into camp one day with a handful of coarse gold, which he said he found on the waters of...

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Biography of Erik O. Lindblom

No fiction story teems more with interest than the biography of Erik O. Lindblom, millionaire mine owner, capitalist and banker. From the time he left his home in Sweden at the tender age of seventeen until he uncovered untold riches in the frozen, gravel of Alaska, his life has been one of adventure with hardship and good fortune intermingling. Mr. Lindblom’s father was a wealthy and highly respected land owner and school master in Sweden. Misfortune dealt him a severe blow when by going bondsman for a relative, a large dam which he signed the bond for was washed out, dissipating the fortune he had spent a lifetime accumulating. Although Erik Lindblom was only seventeen, he set out into the world to recover the family’s lost wealth. Born and reared in the iron and copper region he had a fundamental knowledge of mining; and his quest for precious metals took him to Russia, Germany, France, England and finally back to his native land. He had met with fair success, but believing greater treasures lay hidden in the mountains of this continent he came to America in 1886 and engaged in mining in Colorado, Idaho and Montana. In 1898 Mr. Lindblom went to Alaska and suffered hardships of the Frozen North for months. Sleeping bags were the only beds he knew, and twice he found himself on the verge of...

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Biography of Major Joseph H. McGee

Joseph H. McGee was born in Clermont county, Ohio, July 6, 1821. His grandfather, Peter McGee, in company with seven brothers, emigrated from Ireland to the United States prior to the Revolutionary War, and settled in New Jersey. Peter McGee was a major under Washington and participated in the celebrated battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, at which place he now lies buried. Charles McGee, the father of our subject, was born near Monmouth, where he lived until 1815, when he removed to Ohio and settled in, Clermont county. The family lived in the Buckeye State until 1837, Joseph then being in his sixteenth year, when they migrated to Missouri and settled in Daviess county. Young McGee was a tailor by trade, having served a six years apprenticeship in Cincinnati; he located in Gallatin and engaged in that business until burned out by the Mormons during the difficulties which finally culminated in their expulsion from the county. After the Mormon War he worked at his trade and taught school alternately until 1850, in which year he joined the throng who made the trip to California during the memorable gold excitement, and returned in 1852. In 1856 he was elected county clerk, served the full term of six years, and was reelected in 1862 without opposition. He was among the first to offer his services to his country and was commissioned...

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Biography of Nathaniel G. Cruzen

Nathaniel G. Cruzen was born in Jefferson county, Virginia, October 14, 1826, and is the son of Richard R., and Aurelia W. (North) Cruzen. His father was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, and for thirty years filled the position of inspector of the National Armory at Harper’s Ferry. His mother was born in Fairfax county, Virginia. Our subject was educated at Harper’s Ferry and worked under his father’s instructions in the armory until he was twenty years of age, and then immigrated to Missouri and settled upon a farm in Saline county, where he remained until 1849. Then becoming imbued with the “gold fever,” young Cruzen went to California and engaged in mining there during four years with fair success. Returning to Saline county he purchased a farm near his father’s, upon which he lived until the outbreaking of the Civil War, when he enlisted at Miami, in December 1861, in Company A, commanded by F. S. Robertson, and followed the fortunes of the cause of the “Sunny South” through four long years of civil strife. The first engagement in which Company A participated was at Kirkpatrick’s Mill, near Knob Noster, December 19, where the whole command was captured by Col. Jeff. C. Davis. Mr. Cruzen was taken to St. Louis and thrown with others into Gratiot Street Prison. After remaining in confinement there during three months, he was...

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Biography of Judge Elbert Osborne Hand

Judge Elbert Osborne Hand, long a distinguished member of the Racine bar and for thirteen years occupying the bench of the County court, passed away June 19, 1915, an occasion which carried with it a sense of deep regret and sorrow to many who have been his associates and contemporaries. He was then nearing the eighty-fifth milestone on life’s journey and there came to him “the blessed accompaniments of age-honor, riches, and troops of friends.” Judge Hand was a native of New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, born November 29, 1830, and came of English ancestry in both the maternal and paternal lines. His grandfathers were natives of New York, and John S. Hand, father of the judge, was born in New Lebanon, in 1804. He became a mechanic and was employed along that line until after his removal to the west, when he became connected with agricultural pursuits. Before leaving New Lebanon, however, he married Miss Emma J. Cowells, who was there born in 1810. She too was of English descent and her grandfather served in the War of 1812. It was in 1841 that John S. and Emma Hand arrived in Wisconsin, settling in Walworth County, where the father entered land and with ‘characteristic energy began the development of a farm. He lived a quiet and unassuming but useful life, never seeking to figure prominently in public...

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Business and Fun in ’62 And ’63

About the Middle of October 1862, the first church organization in Baker County was effected under the supervision of Father Mesplie, of the Catholic Church, who came from Canyon City for that purpose. A long building was secured at the cost of six hundred dollars, but services were not held regularly, owning to the distance the priest had to travel. About the same time Miss O’Brien, now Mrs. Packwood, commenced the first school taught in Baker County, having about forty pupils in attendance. A lot was donated to her for school purposes and a sum of money raised by subscription to pay for the building of a house. She taught six weeks and gave up the position to Mrs. Stafford who continued the school until some time in the winter when she was taken sick and died. The same fall and winter Mrs. Chandler taught a school near Pocahontas in Powder River valley. In the latter part of summer of 1862, Mr. Comstock constructed a toll road from Auburn down Powder river to the valley, which he soon sold to Moore and Norcross, of Auburn, and some-time in the winter they sold it to Mr. Place who kept it up as a toll road for several years when it became a county road, land is now one of the most important thoroughfares in the county, being the route traveled...

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Humboldt Basin

The first discovery of gold in Mormon Basin was made by some men from Humboldt River Nevada. They had been to the Auburn mines, and like many others, became discouraged at first sight of the country and were on their way home again when they made their discovery. Charles Stubley dug the first ditch from Glengary gulch to Sunburnt flat. Mr. Ingraham came to the camp January 2, 1863, and got an interest in some claims where he and two others did the first sluicing in the spring of ’63, taking out $65 per day per man. Mr. Getchell made as high as $200 per day with a rocker on his claim. There was no arrangement made for a formal observance of the Fourth of July at the Basin in 1863, and the miners all through the camp were a little surprised at about nine o’clock in the morning to bear an orator declaiming loudly, and on looking for the source from which the noise emanated, he discovered George Henry in the top of a pine tree rehearsing Patrick Henry’s celebrated speech delivered in the Virginia house of Burgesses in 1775. In the month of May 1867, Samuel Leonard and William Rankin went down Canyon creek from the Basin on a fishing excursion. They left the horse which they took with them on the side of the hill, while...

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Gold Discovery on Giffin’s Gulch

A little more than thirty-one years have passed away since the first discovery of gold on Griffin’s Gulch an event which led to the first permanent settlement in Eastern Oregon southwest of the blue mountains. Many of the pioneers of thirty years ago are still living, but their number is growing less year after year, and soon there will be no living witness to the stirring events. The toils, hardships and adventures of those gold seekers who first made known the resources of the country. True, the old emigrant road passes through Powder river valley, and most of the early settlers of Western Oregon had seen some of the valleys, and most of the early settlers of Western Oregon had seen some of the valleys, the grass – covered hills and timbered mountains through and over which the road passes, but none had thought seriously of making a home so far away in the interior if the country, where they would be constantly exposed to the depredations of hostile Indians. With no navigable streams east and south of the Blue mountains, agriculture could not have flourished; with hostile Indians roaming over the country for hundreds of miles, stock raising would have been too precarious to tempt anybody to engage in that industry and for a long period all that region must have remained uninhabited and almost unexplored but for...

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