Oregon free press. (Oregon City [Or.]) 1848-1848, November 04, 1848, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    OR EG
"Here shall the Press the people's rights maintain, Unawed by influence, and unbribed by gain."
One copy, per annum, (in advance,) three dollars
and fifty cents, cash for six months, two dollars.
Advertising. Each square, (12 lines or less,) first
insertion, two dollars- each subsequent insertion, one
dollar. A reasonable deduction made on yearly
Currency and produce taken at their cash value.
It appears that in the first part of -February-last,
Messrs. Marshall ifennctt were engaged
with a party in erecting a saw mill for Capt. J.
A. Sutter, "on the American Fork of the Snc
ramento river, about forty miles above its
mouth. In excavating the tail race, they re
moved the rock during the day and let in 'he
water after nigh, in order to wash out the loose
dirt and sand. On the morning of the 10h, af
ter shutting off the water, Mr. Marshall jdiB
jovercd (he .first qld. lyino-nn deenmnosed eraiv
ite in in e bottom of the race. It would seem
(hat but little doubt was entertained of its be
ing the real 'simon pure, for operations imme
diately ceased on the mill, and all hands com
menced searching for gold. It was soon found
that gold abounded along the American Fork
lor a distance of thirty miles. For a time the
discoverers were the only ones aware of the
fact, but the news finally spread through the set
tlements. But little credit however, was gained by
the report, though occasionally a solitary "gold hunt
er" might be seen, stealing down to a launch with
a pick and shovel, moro than half ashamed of his cre
dulity. Some lime during the month of May, a num
ber of credible persons arrived in town from the scene
of operations, bringing specimens of the ore, and
stating that those engaged in collecting the precious
metal were making from 3 to sio per day. Then
commenced the grand rush ! The inhabitants through
out the territory were in commotion. Large compa
nies of men, women and children could be seen on
every road leading to the mines, their wagons load
ed down with tools ior digging, provisions, Launch
aftor launch left the wharves of our city, crowded
with passengers and freight for the Sacramento. Me
chanical operations of every kind ceased, whole streets,
that were but a short week before alive with a busy
population, were entiroly deserted, and the place wore
the appearance or a city that had been suddenly vis
ited by a devastating plague. To cap the climax,
newspapers uere obliged to stop printing for want of
Meantime our mercantile friends were doing an un
wonted "stroke" of business, Every arrival from the
mining district brought more or less gold dust, the
major part, of which immediately passed into the
hands of merchants for goods, etcImmense quanti
ties of merchandise were conveyed to the mines, un
til it became a matter of astonishment where so
much could be disposed of. During the first eight
weeks of the "golden limes'' the receipts at this place
in pold dust amounted to 525,000. For the eight weeks
ending at this date, they were C6OO.000. The number
of persons now engaged in gold hunting probably
exceed 60CO, including Indians, and one ounce per day
is the lowest average we can put for each person,
while many collect their hundreds of dollars for a
number of days in succession, and instances have
been known where one individual has collected from
i5oo to si boo worth of pure gold in a day. Explora
tions have been progressing, and it is now fully as
certained that gold exists on both sides of the Sier
ra Nevada, from lat. 41 North to as far South as the
he?d waters of the San Joaquin river, a distance of
i-Cr-ilcc in length and 100 in bcojutth. Tarlhor than -
this has not been explored, but from the nature of
the country beyond the sources of the San Joaquin,
we doubt not gold will also be found there in equal
abundance. The gold region already known is how
ever sufficiently Extensive to give profitable employ
ment to 100,000 persons for generations to come. The
ore is in a virgin state, disseminated in small doses,
and is found in three distinct deposits sand and grav
el beds, on decomposed granite, and intermixed witk
a kind of slate.
For a long time subsequent to the discovery of the
mines, the only implements ueed in washing the gold
were large tin pans, or Indian baskets. Latterly;
"machines" were usedat first a rough log hollowed
out (in some instances) by burning, and scraping
with a butcher knife; afterwards more finished ones
made their appearance, built of red wood boards ia
the shape of an ordinary trough, "about ten feet
long and two feet wide at the top, with a riddle or
seive at one end to catch the larger graved, and three
or four smal bars across the bottom, about half am.
inch high to keep the gold from going out with the
dirt and water at the lower end. This machine is
sol upon rockers, which gives a half rotary motion
to the water and dirt inside." Four men are requi
site to work one of these machines properly.
qjt The Washington Union publishes an official
army order, wherein the President directs it to be
anounced in 'general orders that deserters from the
army at large, may peacably return to their homes
without being subject to punishment or trial on ac
count of such desertion.