It was wrong for government employees to use the n-word on official maps. Those people perverted history by inserting their bias against Black men and women. I’m not sure why the public display of the n-word was left in the exhibit that I visited. Perhaps, it was an oversight. I hope it was not a rationalization that the handwritten note of the n-word on the map was somehow historic in nature. While racism is historically significant, as historians we do not have to promote it in a public exhibit.
The mining industry was dominated by Chinse men. Of the 2,655 men claiming to be miners, 48 percent were from China. Men who came from a European country comprised 29 percent of the miners and 21 percent were born in the United States. Of the European miners, 304 listed a birth as Ireland, 141 from the United Kingdom, 99 from Portugal, 81 from regions within Germany, and 79 men of French birth.
The view above represents the fine and substantial bridge across the American River at Leslie’s Ferry. It was commenced in the spring of 1851 and completed in the month of September of the same year. It is the largest and most substantial structure of the kind in California, being 620 feet in length, 25 feet in width, and 30 feet above low water mark.
The 1860 census for Mississippi Township is enumerated on 8 pages. There were 93 residential dwellings in the township housing 320 individuals. Of the residents in 1860, 40 percent were born in the United States, 29 percent had a European birth, and 30 percent had immigrated from China. As would be expected in a California mining region of 1860, 82 percent of the residents were male.
Dear Sir, I did not get yours of yesterday until 11/2 o’clock P.M. Consequently, you will not hear from me until tomorrow morning unless I should get a chance to send this to you this evening. The reason that I did not get it is this – The canal broke about one mile below this place about 8 o’clock last night. Consequently, I was not here when the stage came in and Mr. Baldwin gave you letter to Woods and he did not give it to me until this afternoon.
1860 Census data confirms the prominence of Chinese immigrants along the North Fork Ditch in Placer County. U. S. born residents were a minority.
David, the gentleman Ann wrote had been shot in the back, did make it to California. David Beach was also a cousin of Amos Catlin and several people wrote to Amos about news of David’s gunshot injury. Of the other men listed in the letter to Amos Catlin, Judge Hastings was most likely Serranus Clinton Hastings. Judge Hastings lived and practice law in Iowa. He found his way to California and was appointed to the California Supreme Court and later won the election to become the state’s Attorney General.
If you think you can escape from my hands after such dealings, you are mistaken. For by the God who made me, I will have satisfaction, which if it does not shake your pocket will shake your damn cowardly nerves.
The two letters differ in tone and substance. However, they each give a glimpse of the 7-month ocean voyage around Cape Horn, South America. Amos Catlin’s decision to join the Gold Rush seemed somewhat out of character for a 26-year-old man who had spent his adult life studying and then practicing law in New York. These letters exhibit his detailed observations that would be reflected in letters Amos wrote later while living in California.
Even though the miners paid for the water on a daily basis, it was assumed that the mining day was 10 hours long, after which the water was shut down. If a miner continued using water during the night, it was understood they were trying to steal extra water. During his tenure as superintendent, Amos estimated the North Fork Ditch was carrying 2200 to 2300 inches of water as measured under 6 inches of head pressure.