The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18??, August 01, 1873, Image 1

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    L P Fisher
NO. 48.
fltrang Episode la (he MCe of it Mill1
UK Expert.
A Mn rrancisco vlironu-le re
porter gets the following remarka
ble story from a mining expert
named I'wdemeyer, a German
which we doubt not will prove in
Wresting to the general reader, and
therefore transfer it to our columns:
Said lie: I worked four years as
practical miner m my imtiv
country, till 1 was aiioiit 18 years
old I then went to the mining
whool at Duren, and after gradu
atmg there went to Berne, where
also graduated at the mining schoo'
In 1W2 I secured a position
through the Covernment ot Ho
land, as Superintendent ot Mines in
Dutch Ii dia There I remained
principally in the tin mines, tor two
vears. All those tin mines are
worked by Chinese. One head
Chinaman makes the trade for the
coolies, who work on shares witl
the Government, to whom all the
mines belong. They only work
during the dry season of eight
months. The tin is found in the
valleys. The mode of milling is as
follows: The jungle is cut away in
wide scrips across the valley.
these cuts, at short distance from
each other, holes arc bored by hand,
the drill being cased m a copper
cylinder that sinks, and keeps tle
wand from falliixj; into the Iwrc
from the sides; consequently all the
and loosened by the drill is raised
ly its screw to the top ot the cyl
inder, whence it is taken and care
fully washed and aiMyzcd. As
soon as tin is discovered a hole as
large as an oniinary room is dug
straight down into the earth, the
ore being conveyed to the surface
in two baskets mi poles. They use
a sinijle notched tree trunk as a
ladder. All the tools, provisions,
etc., are purchased by the coolie
at their own expense from their
share of the profits, the Govern
ment furnishing them with furnaces.
All the smelling is done by Euro
peans. Those tin are the
richest in the world, and yield im
meuse protit to the Dutch East In
dian Government.
Alter developing many mines in
Dutch India I went to Borneo in
1864, and remained there till 1806.
I he principal mines m borneo are
gold, and thej all belong to the
Sultan. I here are one or two
diamond mines there: but few rubies
are found. They work their mines
in a very primitive style, washing
out the gravel, as in our placer
mines, and melting tli nuggets in
crucibles or furnace's ot Hit-proof
porccain I he mining interests
are not much attended to in l!or
noo, the Sultan receiving all the
gold and gems found. In 1866 I
left Borneo am went to Padang,
in Sumatra. The mines are owned
and worked there by the Dutch
Government. .Malay prisoners are
sometimes used in breaking quartz
ir removing the earth from shafts.
The ore contains only silver, crop
ping out gray, like some specimens
that you see in brokers' windows
on Montgomery ami California
In 1968 I accepted a pos'tion
under the King of Burmah and left
Borneo, being still unman icd. I
as apppointcd General Superin
tendent of all the mines in Upper
Burmah, and at once started for
that kingdom, traveling through
all British India, where I had many
curious and interesting adventures,
which, if yoh like, I will tell you
at some other time. The principal
mines in Upper Burmah are ruby,
gold and silver mines, though sap
phires, emeralds, topazes and spi
nells are also found there. Tliey
are found in gravel beds the ruby
where the gravel is ol a light color,
and sapphires where it is dark;
every mineral and precious stone
known to science, save the diamond,
being found in Upper Burmah.
Reporter Then the diamond is
not found associated with other
Mr. Bfedemeyer Seldom, tlio'
sometimes with rubies. At the
time of the diamond excitement I
was in this city, and was much
amused at the credulity ot your
people who believed that all kinds
ot stones could he gotten m one
place. But to continue. All the
mines are placer gravel mines
quartz mines, which are there in
plenty never being worked. When
the Burmese find a good ledge they
begin to work at it without any
system, always selecting the spots
easiest worked and where they get
the most. They neither dig hor
izontally, perpendicularly, oblique
ly, or in any other regular style,
but go at it helter-skelter and with
out any system. 1 he men dig nut
the gravel and the women and chil
dren carry it in baskets and jars to
the streams, where it is washed in
a deep, almost cone-shaped, wooden
pan (po-gan-bya), exactly like the
Mexican wooden pan used in Cali
fornia in early days. This plan of
working is followed m all their
mines. 1 he men use a pick pointed
at one end only, called a konktlie.
They like very much to bring
things to a point, for they will com
mence a hole as large as a room at
the opening, which by the time it
reaches one hundred teet below the
surface will be so narrow that a
man can scarcely turn around in it.
besides the one-pronged pick, they
use, also, a short-handled shovel,
not unlike your sugar scoops. It is
astonishing to see how quickly they
will excavate with it.
Upper Burmah is, without doubt,
the richest mineral country in the
workl, containing, as I told you,
every known mineral and precious
stone except the diamond. Fabu-
ous quantities ot precious metals
are annually extracted trom the
mines, and yet the miners seldom
save more than sixty per cent, of
the gold and silver in the ore. The
King of Burmah and his nobles
know the richness of their kingdom
and are disinclined to let foreigners
travel there and see tor themselves
the richness of the mines. It was
their jealous watchfulness that
brought about my greatest troubles
and adventures there. Durinii
1868 and 1869, as I told you, I was
General Superintendent of all the
mines of Upper Burmah, consisting
principally of ruby, gold, silver and
.iopiier mines. As the mines under
my superintendence gave very large
profits, 1 was a favorite with the
King who made me equal in rank
to his Governors and Ministers, and
gave me as a guard of honor sol
diers trom iiis own life-guard. I
also frequently received magnificent
presents from his Majesty. I was
the first white man who (raveled
over the entire country of Upper
My good fortune continued till
une, 1869. Everything that hap-
eued thereafter I consider sprang
from a fear on the part of the Bur
mese Government that having seen
a 1 the immense mineral wealth of
their kingdom I might report it to
some foreign Government. It was
about 9 o'clock in the evening, in
June, 1869, just after I had re
viewed the daily report of gains of
the ruby mines of Media, situated
twenty miles above Mandelay, near
the Irrawaddy river, that about
300 Burmese, armed with bamboos,
knives and spears, approached my
bungalow Immediately suspect
ing something wrong, with the as
sistance of my servants, I quickly
got several kegs ot powder out of
the magazine, situated about ten
yards off, and carried them to the
inside of the bungalow. My ser
vants and' guard, immediately after,
ran away and mingled with the
approaching crowd Fortunately
the guard left their firearms in the
bungalow on the gun rack, and so
1 was the only possessor of firearms,
having eight guns and two revol
vers. Just as my interpreter, a
halfbreed Madras, was getting
away, I caught him, and threatened
to shoot, him on the spot if he
moved one step out of the house.
With his assistance I bulled all the
doors, and compelled him to load
and reload the gnus as fast as dis
As soon as the Burmese came
near the house I began to tire sharp
ly upon them, ana so I defended
myself for three days and two
nights, Killing ana wounding a
r umber ot my assailants. They
continued to lurk around until on
the third day I had not a single
bullet remaining. Seeing that I
had ceased tiring when they showed
themselves, they surmised that my
ammunition was exhausted and
surrounded the bungalow to the
number of about three hundred and
began to tear it down alxiut my j
head, Perceiving that further re
sistance was useless I threw away
my sword and surrendered. The
black devils all rushed upon me,
and I was seized by tem and sav
agely beaten until my body was
covered with wounds and bruises.
Then they raised a cry, "Crucify
him! Crucify him! as he says his
Cod was crucified. Hang him on
a cross!" They placed manacles
on mv wrists and ankles, fastening
them with heavy chains to an iron
band around my waist. I was then '
tied with strong thongs to a rude j
cross, my hands, feet and limbs lie-1
ing so tightly lmund that thej
thongs cut deep into my flesh. The !
cross was then raised, and I hung I
on it, susiiended about three feet ;
from the ground, with the scorch-!
ing rays of a trophical sun beating
directly down on my lare head for I
three hours. The agony I endured I
during the first half hour, after,
which I lost all consciousness, no I
tongue can express." Here the!
narrator bent down his head, and
showed the reMrter a number of
deep R'ars on it, which, he said,
were made by his tormentors with
their knives, bamboos and spears.
He also showed the scars on his
' wrMs and ankles and on his iimos
I iwhJa k. iIia u-ln.-h Immwl
iiiauv uy nit
him to "the cross. He was literally
covered with scars from head to
foot "I do not know," he con
tinued." whv f hev did not kill me
at that time, but" for some reason
they took me down after i had
huner three hour on the cross.
When I regained consciousness I
gathered from their conversation j
that they intended to take me
away on horseback and throw me
into one of the tributaries of the
Irrawaddy to drown. They cut
the thongs and removed the man
acles from my limbs, which were
swollen so badly that the fiends
had to cut deep into them to get
at the cords and the clasps of the
I had five horses at the bnnga
low one of them a wild, vicious
animal that no one hut me could
ride. The Burmese took the four
gentle horses awi. placed me on the
other brig, and proceeded on their
way. As soon as my blood began
to circulate through my numbed
and stiffened limbs I began to lay
my plans for escape. Watching a
favorable opportunity, I knocked
the mounted guard nearest to me
down, and striking my horse in the
side dashed furiously away, with
the mounted natives in full pursuit.
The noble animal held gallantly on
his course, outstripping my pursuers
and carried me safely to Mandelay,
the Capital, falling dead under me
as I reached the town. Had I
been politic enough to have gone
immediately to Major Slaiden, the
British Embassador, I would have
saved myself much trouble, but not
suspecting the Government of com
plicity in my persecution, I went
directly to the palace of the King
to demand that my persecutors be
punished. I was not permitted to
see the King, but Pa-Ka-Mendji,
the Chief Minister, accused me of
an attempt to blow up the village
where my bungalow was with gun
powder and with having killed a
number of the subjects of the King.
Upon his order I was chained
hand and foot, and weak, faint and
bruised was imprisonal with 150
murderers and robbers in a room
which was so crowded that none ot
us had room enough to lie down
The twenty-two white residents of
Mandelay, with ihe British Em
bassador, hearing of my misery,
and having assured themselves of
my innocence, went to the King
and expostulated with him concern
ing my cruel treatment, and finally
succeeded in getting me released.
After my wounds had healed, and
my arms, which my keepers had
disjointed, had been put back in
place, I went among the whites,
who advised me to leave, saying
that I would have more trouble if
I did not. I believed what the
King told me, however, about his
ignorance of my imprisonment, and
listening to his frendly talk I en
gaged in his service again and went
to the silver mines ot Sekkadown
and Sekkawee tor him. This conn,
try was so unhealthy that I daily
lost some of my Burmese miners by
fever. After six weeks 1 also be
came sick, and tearing that I should
die far away from Christians, I sad
dled my horse and rode to the resi
deuce of the Chief Minister, Pa-Ka-Mendji,
and reported myself as sick
and unable to continue my duties
at the silver mines. The Chief
Minister rebuked me severely for
leaving the mines without permis
sion, and ordered me to go back at
once I became suspicious and
went immediately to the British
Embassador, of whom 1 asked pro
tection. His medical adviser told
me that I had been poisoned at the
mines, and the same evening I com
menced to vomit and became fright
fully delirious. After being care
fully nursed by the wife of an Ital
ian jeweler for three days, I recov
ereel and escaped to Calcutta, on
board an English steamer, on which
the British Embassador, Major
Slaiden, also went away on a two
years furlough.
From Calcutta I traveled through
Iliudoostan, Hevah, l'oonah.Thiliet
and Cashmere, over the Himalayas
into China, and returning to Cal
cutta married my present wife. I
then went to Japan and was em
ployed for two years by the Japan
ese Government in their mines.
1 ast June I camo to thiscity. The
story of my adventures in Burmah
were published in several English
and German papers in 1869 and
'70, among them the Calcutta Eng
lishman of October 11, 1869, the
( .'olner Zeitung of February 2, 1870,
but never so fully or correctly as
related to you now by myself.
Cashmere is a perfect Eden.
There are some rich diamond mines
at Reevah and Poonah in Cash
mere. They manufacture the most
exquisitely colored and woven
shawls, sashes, scarfs, etc., there, of
Cashmere goats' wool. They some
times sell what they call Cashmere
shawls in the United States here,
so I am told at $3,000, $4,000, and
even $5,000, but I have never seen
a Cashmere shawl outside of the
East yet. They are fabulously rare
and costly there, even, being seldom
seen except in the jiossession ot some
princely rich Nabob or Arab Pasha
or Sultan. The reason that they
cost so much is because they are all
wrought by hand, no loom being
yet invented that can equal the
weaving ot the primitive loom
handled by the long, delicate, flex
ile fingers of those beautiful Cash
mere women. There is where all
those finest India lawns come from
Reporter Tell me now some
thing of the mines in Japan.
Mr. iredemeyer 1870, I
went to Japan and at once secured
a Ksition under that Government.
Japan is rich in minerals, and the
natives are old miners, working
their mines nearly as systematically
as white men do in this country.
They are the best miners among
the heathen. The mines are worked
partly by the Government and
partly by high officials. The pro
cesses ot the Japanese are rude and
imperfect. They extract only about
six per cent, as much metal as the
Europeans do. In Kasher are soft
coal mines in enormous quantities,
fifty to one hundred feet below the
surface. In Amaxal lodes of anti
mony and anthracite coal from eight
to fifteen feet in thickness, crop out
on the surface in many places. In
Simabarsa are vast beds of sulphur
and a um. The Japanese do not
use or export the m.and seem totally
unacquainted with their value. In
the small islands in the north are
some paying gold mines worked by
an English company under the su
perintendence of Mr. Gower, an
Englishman. All the machinery
used there was brought from San
Francisco. I will show you some
Japanese minera's.
The engineer withdrew trom the
room tor a moment and returned
with a enriousy constructed box
and basket cotaining a variety of
mineral specimens, lhere were
specimens of red lead ore, cobalt,
copper ore mixed with gold, slate
and silver ore, malachite, opals,
large and lustrous, found in ground
bet een the seashore and the high
lakes; rubies, very dark and large;
amber, found in the high lands, with
slate, lead, silver, coal and copper;
lead and silver ore from near Hako
date. After examining the speci
mens to his satisfaction the reporter
took his leave.
Cholera Mixture. The fol
lowing is said to be an absolute
specific for the prevention of Asiatic
cholera, if taken when looseness of
the bowels is first noticed, and it
good at any stage of the disease:
Tinet. Opii.
Tinct. Capisci.
Tinct. lthei co.
Tinct. Menth pip.
Tinct. Campho.
Mix equal parts of each.
In common language, it consists
of a mixture of equal parts of tinct -ure
of opium, red pepper, rhubarb,
peppermint and camphor, and the
dose is ten to thirty drops in two
or three teaspooutuls of water.
Journal of Com.
Wm. M. Tweed, in a recent
conversation with a prominent Dem
ocrat, said that he had grown a
quarter ot a century older in the
last few years; and what had
weighed on him more than any
thing else was the perfidy of bit pro-
fessed friends.