OF PLACER-MIXING IN CALIFORNIA. 47
March, 1848, the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was made, and Mexico ceded
California to the United States. By the end of the same year mines were
opened at far-distant points. Miners were at work in every large stream
on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, from Feather River to the
Tuolumne, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles.
First Publication of Gold Discoveries.—The first printed notice of the discovery of gold appeared in the Californian (?),
a newspaper published in San Francisco, on March 15, 1848. On May 29
the same paper announced that its publication would be suspended, the
whole population having betaken itself to the mines.
1849 the placers of Trinity and Mariposa were opened. At this period
hired men were the exception, every man working for himself, and rocker
claims were very abundant. In 1850 the deposits of Klamath and Scott's
Valley were discovered.
First Attempt to build Ditches.—The
chief want of the placer-miner being water, the first noteworthy
attempt at ditch-building was made in March, 1850, at Coyote Hill,
the spring of the same year gold was reported as lying in heaps on the
banks of Gold Lake, near Downie-ville. This caused a tremendous
excitement and a rush of miners to that locality. In a few weeks
thousands returned from the lake poorer than when they started. — On
September 9, 1850, California was admitted into the Union as a State.
The number of persons then engaged in mining was estimated at fifty
thousand. River-mining at this period occupied a prominent place in the
industries of the State.
First Use of the "Long Tom."—The
winter of 1849-50 was very stormy and comparatively little work was
done in the rivers or creeks, but in the spring of 1850 mining was
resumed on those bars which were subject to overflow only at extreme
high water. The pick, shovel.