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the speaker; he had enlisted in the cause of the dear people, and nothing could induce him to swerve from the performance of his duty. The gist of his remarks was as follows: "Fellow citizens, you have rights to protect. [Hurrah! Three
, . cheers and two drinks of brandy.] I'll spend my last breath in the vindication of those rights. [Three more!!] The mineral lands ought to be given to the people. [Three times three!!! Three cheers and six drinks.] Have not the sovereign people made this country what it is? [Yes! Yes!! and great cheering.) If I am elected I will use my influence to have this immense tract of country, now claimed by Sutter, divided among the people.” [Immense sensation and cheering.] After order was again restored, the speaker was invited to step out of the puddle of water that had dripped from his poncho, and take something to drink. The meeting was conducted with much spirit, and resulted in securing the votes of a majority present for the would-be-Governor.
At this time, this district of country, called the Minerva district, had become so populous that municipal officers had been elected, and now it was regularly divided into election districts, and arrangements made to open polls wherever it was deemed necessary. The qualification for an elector was to be an Amer. ican citizen. The most prominent candidates for Governor were Judge Burnett, H. S. Sherwood and Rodman M. Price, of whom the former was elected. On the day of election the bal. lots were deposited in a hat, over which one of the inspectors held an umbrella.
The middle of October finds the miners in a transition state. There has not a drop of rain fallen during the entire summer, and the earth, six feet below, is as dry as on the surface; one cannot move without being enveloped in dust; and vegetation is as crisp as if it had just been taken from the oven. There has been no haze to shield the earth from the sun, and at night the stars have twinkled with unwonted brilliancy; but now the sun has grown dim and pale, and the stars have fled to their hiding-place. Miners are admonished that it is time to prepare for an untried winter, and on every hand is evinced a disposition not to be taken unawares. Here on the side of the moun. tain is a habitation, three logs high, covered with canvas, the
crevices well "mudded,” all the light used being admitted through the door. There is a cave, walled and roofed with rocks, the canvas closing the entrance being the only indication that it is a tenement. An army tent is also seen, which is well secured, as if in momentary expectation of the approaching blast; dirt has been thrown well over the foot, to prevent the winds from searching out the occupant. In front is a tree, under which is a camp-kettle and frying-pan, and near are a few dying embers, the smoke curling up and mingling with the foliage. It seemed hard that one accustomed to the luxury of a comfortable home, should be doomed to spend the winter in this forlorn condition. Climbing up the side of the mountain, are seen mules heavily laden with provisions and mining utensils, which are destined to some favorite spot in the mountain gorges. Trade begins to improve, miners are laying in their supplies for the winter, and merchants find their stocks exhausted, and are driven to town to replenish. The sun assumes a peculiar color, and where it is reflected in the water is a "royal” purple. Its rays had be
. come very dim, and on the 27th of October the deluge burst upon us.
General Winchester and company had just placed their quicksilver machine, and commenced successful operations on the bar, but one night destroyed their works, carrying one of their machines, laden with twenty-five pounds of quicksilver, a distance of three miles, destroying it, and emptying its valuable contents into the river. The rise of the river was so rapid that those on the opposite side, when it commenced to rain, found it impossible to recross six hours after. The scene was most terrific; the mountain on either side of the river, rose almost perpendicularly, and the torrents rushed down, undermining huge rocks, which, after making a few leaps, would come in contact with others of equal dimensions, when both, with one terrific bound, would dash into the chasm below.
Mining operations were, for the time, suspended, and miners, many of whom were destitute of even the protection of a tent, were hovering about their fires in a most desponding mood; many were entirely destitute of means, and cooking, perhaps, their last day's supply. Teams were constantly arriving with miners fresh from the States, who would descend the mountain