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Miss Hetta P. Letts,


Wood Lawn, Staten Island,



Most Respectfully Dedicated,



Ilote to the Read er.

I HAVE, in these pages, endeavored to convey a correct impression, I have stated such facts only as I knew to be facts, and interspersed them with incidents that fell under my own observation. A season's residence in the mineral regions enabled

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me to obtain a correct interior view of life in California. The

illustrations are truthful, and can be relied upon as faithfully portraying the scenes they are designed to represent. They were drawn upon the spot, and in order to preserve characteristics, even the attitudes of the individuals represented are truthfully given. The first part of this volume is written in a concise manner, with a view to brevity, as the reader is presumed to be anxious to make the shortest possible passage to the Eldorada.


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CHAPTER FIRST.-Sail from New York-Our Pilot leaves us--Land recedes from View-Sea-
Sickness-A Whale-Enter the Gulf Stream-Encounter a Gale-Enter the Tropic of Cancer
_"Land, ho!"--Caycos and Turk's Islands-St. Domingo-Cuba--Enter the Caribbean Sea-
Sporting-Sunday-Standing in for the Port of Chagres- Beautiful Scene--Drop Anchor, 9
CHAPTER SECOND.--Natives and “ Bungoes"-Crescent City arrives-We sail into the

mouth of the River-Prepare for a Fight-Fashions and Fortifications-An honest AlcaldeNon-fulfillment of Contracts,

13 CHAPTER THIRD.--First Attempt at Boat building-Excitement on "Change"--A Launch

and Clearance-The Crew-A Mutiny--Quelled-Poor Accommodations-A Night in AngerAn Anthem to the Sun-Nature in Full Dress,

16 CHAPTER FOURTH.--Breakfast--Primitive Mode of Life--Meet the Orus--Mutiny and Rain-

A Step backward-Encampment--A fortified and frightened Individual-Sporting-Mosquitos, 20 CHAPTER FIFTH.–First Rapid- An Unfortunate Individual-A Step Backward--Several

Individuals in a State of Excitement-Tin Pans not exactly the thing-A Breakfast Extinguished Sporting-Monkey Amusements-A Flash in the Pan-Two Feet in our Provision Basket-Poverty of the Inhabitants and their Dogs--Arrival at Gorgona,

23 CHAPTER SIXTH.-Customs and Dress of the Nobility- A Suspicious Individual-Journey to Panama-A Night Procession-A wealthy Lady in “Bloomer" --An Agreeable Night Surprise -"Hush" on Horseback--Captain Tyler shot--A Mountain Pass at Night-Thunder Storm in the Tropics,

27 CHAPTER SEVENTH.--Panama-Cathedral and Convents--Religious Ceremonies.Amalgamation-Fandango,

33 CHAPTER EIGHTH.-Bay of Panama-Islands Soldiers--Arrival of $1,000,000 in Gold and

Silver--A Conducta-.“ Bungoes" " up” for California,Wall Street Represented--Sail for San Francisco-Chimborazo--Cross the Equator-A Calm-A Death at Sea,


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CHAPTER NINTH.---Stand in for San Francisco--Indications of Land-The Coast-Enter

the “Golden Gate!--Inner Bay-San Francisco--Lumps of Gold--Notes of Enterprise-Surrounding Scene-Gambling,


CHAPTER TENTH.—The “Hounds"--Villainy--Indignation Meeting--Vigilance Committee, 51 CHAPTER ELEVENTH.--Start for the Mineral Regions Banks of the Sacramento River

Shot at--Gold versus Mica-Sutterville-Primitive Mode of Life-Sacramento City-An Individual who had "seen the Elephant,”

56 CHAPTER TWELFTH --Sutter's Fort--A Herd of Cattle--"Lassoing\--Rio de los Ameri

canos--A Disappointed Hunter--A Californian Serenade--A Mule and his Rider-Parting Company-Thirst-Serenades supported by Direct Taxation--Sierra Nevada,

63 CHAPTER THIRTEENTH.-Venison--First View of the Gold Regions--Surrounding Scenery

-"Mormon Bar”-A Pocket--My Machine in Motion-Certainty of Success- First Dinner"Prospecting”-A Good " Lead"-Disappointed Miners-A New Companion-A Higher Point on the River-Volcanoes-Snowy Mountain-AuburnLonely Encampment,

70 CHAPTER FOURTEENTH.-A Sea Captain as Cook-A Herd of Deer-Return to Mormon

Bar--Keeping House--Our Machine in Motion--$1,500 in One Hour--An Elopement-Wash Day-Sporting--Prospecting--Discovery of Gold--Excitement--Fatigue--The Cakes "hurried up..Incentives to Exertion--Canalling a Bar,

80 CHAPTER FIFTEENTH.Start for Sacramento City-The “Niagara Co."-Frederick

Jerome A Love Chase-Heroine under a Blanket-Suspicious Boots--Part of a Lady's Hat found-A Ball-Arrival at Sacramento City--Poor Accommodations--Return to the Interior-A Chase-A New York Merchant-Beals. Bar-Embark in Trade-A Mountaineer-Indian Characteristics,


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Page CHAPTER SIXTEENTH.-The Mormons-The attempted Murder of Gov. Boggs-Canalling Mormon Bar--False Theories in reference to Gold Deposits-Influence of Amasa Lyman,

"mento City,

95 CHAPTER SEVENTEENTH - False Reports and their Influences--Daily Average-Abun

dance of Gold--Original Deposit--"Coyotaing' --Sailors-Their Success and Noble Characteristics--Theatrical Tendencies-Jack in the After-Piece--Miners on a “Spree"--The Wrong Tent,

101 CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH.- Arrivals-Preparation for the Rainy Season --New Discoveries

-Coloma--Gambler versus Bayonets—"Hangtown”Public Executions-Fashionable Entertainments-Wild Cattle-Dangerous Sporting-Murdered Indians—The Wrongs they suffer,

107 CHAPTER NINETEENTH.—Canalling operations-Unsuccessful Experiments-Coffee

Mills and Gold Washers-Formation of Bars-Gold removed from the Mountains during the Rainy Season-Snow on the Mountains, and its Dissolution-Rise and Fall of the RiverStock Speculations-Quicksilver Machines Separation of Gold and Quicksilver-Individual Enterprise-Incentives to Exertion--Expenses,

113 CHAPTER TWENTIETH.--Commotion in the Political Elements California a State---Slavery Prohibited--Political Campaign, and the Rainy Season--Speech of a Would-be-Governor

-Enthusiasm and Brandy-- Election Districts---Ballot-Boxes and Umbrellas-Miners in a Transition State-Preparations for the Rainy Season-Primitive Habitations--Trade Improving-Advent of the Rainy Season--Its Terrific Effects--Rapid Rise of the River--Machines destroyed--Arrivals---My Store and Bed-A Business Suit-Distressing Groans-The Bottle a Consolation-Several Strange Specimens of Humanity cooking Breakfast--The Scurvy-A Death,

118 CHAPTER TWENTY-FIRST.-Dangerous Navigation-A Trip over the Falls--A Night

from Home-Sailor Hospitality-Scarcity of Provisions-A Hazardous Alternative-A Way. ward Boy--Preparations for leaving the interior-Distribution rf Effects–Our Traveling Suit —Start for San Francisco-Farewell—Three Individuals under a Full Head of Steam-Arrival at the “Half-Way Tent”-Poor Accommodations-A Morning Walk and Poor Breakfast, Wading Lagoons-Wild Geese--Arrival at the American River–Our Toilet, and entry into Sacramento City,

123 CHAPTER TWENTY-SECOND-A Dry Suit-Restaurants—Waiters and ChampagneT'wo Individuals "Tight”-A $10 Dinner-Monte Banks and Mud-Gambling and its Results--Growth of Sacramento City-Unparalleled Prosperity“A Revulsion and its CauseThe Flood,

130 CHAPTER TWENTY-THIRD.--Sail for San Francisco-A Fleet-Mud-Prosperity-Ships and Storehouses-Buoyant Seas–Shoals in Business--Revulsion and Fire--Their Consequences-Sail for Santa Barbara-The Town,Dexterous Feat by a Grizzly Bear--FashionsSail for St. Lucas-Porpoises and Sea Fowls-Their Sports-Approach the town--Peculiar Sky--Caverns in the Sea-Cactus,Beautiful Sea Shells-Sail for Acapulco--Magnificent Scenery-Volcanos and Cascades—Volcanos at Night-Eternal Snow,

. 134

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOURTH.-Acapulco-The Tree of Love-Bathing and Females--A

Californian in a Tight Place-Earthquakes-Sail for Realejo-Volcano Viejo-Its Devastating Eruption--Realejo and Harbor--A Cart and its Passengers--A Wall-street Financier fleecedChinandega—l's beautiful Arbors--Bathing-Preparing Tortillos--Leon-Its magnificence and desolation-Don Pedro Vaca and Family,


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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIFTH-A Problem in Mathematics worked out with a Cane-Pueblo

Nueva-Cultivating the Acquaintance of a Horse-Looking for the Rider--An "Old Salt" stuck in the Mud--Uncomfortable Night's Rest-Nagarotes--Lake Leon and the surrounding Volcanos-- Matares--Delightful Country-Managua-Don Jose Maria Rivas—Nindaree-Ruins of a Volcano--A Long Individual in Spurs--A Dilemma-One of my Horse's Legs in motion- A Boy in a Musical Mood-Entry into Massaya-Bloomerism,

151 CHAPTER TWENTY-SIXTH.--Massaya—The Carnival-Female Labors--Gourds--Maid

ens consigned to a Volcano--A Donkey "non est' --Ox versus Donkey--Same Medicine prescribed--- Lake Nicaragua Grenada-A" Priest” in a Convent—"Our" Horse--A Group of Islands-Cross the Lake--Mr. Derbyshire's Plantation-Breakfast--Bullocks stepping on Board—Sail for San Carlos-Magnificent Scene--A Hymn of Thanks--A Mountain CityGold Mines--Arrival at San Carlos-Custom House Regulations repudiated,

157 CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVENTH.--Passage down the San Juan River--Castilian Rapids-

The " Director" - Arrival at San Juan-Boarded by a Posse of Negroes-British ProtectoratePhilanthropy of Great Britain--Her Magnanimous and Disinterested Conduct towards the Nations of the Earth-Nicaragua graciously remembered-A Hunt for a Sovereign-A FullGrown King Discovered—His Diplomacy-Invincibility- Amusements and Coronation--His First Pair of Pantaloons--Hail "King of the Mosquito Coast”!!!--All hail, Jamaca I.!!!“Hear! hear!!!"

, 163

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHTH.--Sail for Home-Pass the Golden Gate'--Sad Condition of the Passengers-Graves at the Base of the Snowy Mountains-Land Recedes-Luxuries on

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Board-A Death and Burial-Another Death-Whales and Porpoises versus Serpents of FireThunder Storm-Death of Dr. Reed-Three Dead Bodies found on Board--The Scur

rvy-Five of the Passengers Insane-Evils of the Credit System--A Cultivated Mind deranged--Memory

lost---Its Cause--The Victim upon the Verge of Death--Harpooning Porpoises--Exciting Sport, 169 CHAPTER TWENTY-NINTH.-Cloud and Clipperton Islands-Whales, Sharks, Porpoises,

and Dolphins--A Shark captured-Shark Steak—" Caudle Lecture"-Death of Samuel B. Lewis-A Calm-Foot Races by the Ship’s Furniture-Passenger Peculiarities Short of Provisions-“ 'Bout Ship’-First of January-Its Luxuries at Sea-A Tame Sea Fowl-A Passenger Dying-A Shark-A delightful Evening Scene-A Death-Burial at Sea by Candle Light--A Turtle navigating the Ocean-His suspicious conduct-A written Protest against the Captain--Cocus Island-Capturing “Boobies,"

. 175 CHAPTER THIRTIETH.--Intense Heat-Human Nature as exhibited by the Passengers-

Danger, not apprehended-A Tattler-A “Dutch Justice”—“ Long Tom Coffin”-A Quaker
Hat-An Individual running Wild--His Oaths, Depredations, Musical Accomplishments,
Showman Propensities, and Pugilistic Developments-"Blubber," Buckskin, and - The Last
Run of Shad”-A capsized Whale Boat-Thrilling Sensation-Harpoon used--A Shark
* Land ho!"-Gulf of Panama-South American Coast—"Sail ho!:-Dolphin for Dinner-
VhaleA Terrific Gale-Our Sails and Spars carried away,

180 CHAPTER THIRTY-FIRST.–Bay of Panama--Its Beauties—Tropical Fruits-The City

in sight-Excitement on Board-Appearance of the City-Her Ruins-Preparations to Drop Anchor-"Stand by !"_"Let go the Anchor!'-Farewell to the Sick--A Perilous Ride on the Back of an Individual.-On Shore--First Dinner-Nothing left--An Individual feeling comfortable-Panama Americanized-A Moonlight Scene viewed from a Brass “ Fifty-Six"-A Dilapidated Convent as seen at Night-Church Bells---Burning the Dead Exposure of the Desecrated Remains-Sickening and Disgusting Sight-Infants cast into Pits--The Rescue of their Souls requiring a Gigantic Effort on the part of the Church--A Catacomb" Eternal Light”—Ignorance of the Mass-Peerless Characteristics,

184 CHAPTER THIRTY-SECOND.-A Nun-Fandango-Marriage Engagement broken-Start

for Gorgona-Our Extreme Modesty-Sagacity of the Mule~Sleep on my Trunk-A DreamAn Alligator with a Moustache-Infernal Regions-Demons- An Individual with Long Ears, and a Mule in Boots--Falling out of Bed—Funeral Procession-Gorgona--Slart for ChagresOur Bungo Full-Spontaneous Combustion, almost-"Poco Tiempo”—Lizards for DinnerThe Hostess—Gatun-Music of the Ocean-Arrival,

190 CHAPTER THIRTY-THIRD.-Chagres, its Growth-Getting on board the Empire City

Magnificent Steamer-Gold Dust on board-Steamers Alabama, Falcon, Cherokee, and Severn-My friend Clark arrives on board-Preparations for Starting--Our Steamer makes her First Leap-“ Adios" ----Caribbean Sea--Heavy Sea on-Jamaica--Port Royal--Kingston"Steady!"--Beautiful Scen Orange Groves-People flocking to the Shore-Drop Anchor

The Town-General Santa Anna's Residence—“Coaling up"--Parrot Pedler in a Dilemma, 196 CHAPTER THIRTY-FOURTH.-Our Wheels revolve-The Natives of the Island Extinct

The Wrongs they have suffered— The Island once a Paradise--San Domingo, her MountainsCuba- A Shower Bath Gratis" Sail ho!”—Caycos Island and Passage--Turtle for DinnerA Sermon-Gallant Conduct of our Steamer-We ship a Sea-A Spanish Vessel in DistressOur Tiller Chains give way--A Knife and Fork in search of Mince Pies--Gulf Stream-Water-Spouts—Light Ship’--Sandy Hook--Anxiety--Sight of New York-Feelings and Condition of the Passengers--A Sad Fate--Aground- A new Pilot--Again under weigh--Near the Dock-Death-Man Overboard--Make Fast-At Home-One Word to those about to embark, 201

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