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The Diary of David Lewis Drew

~1856~

CALAVERAS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

January 1856

All diary spellings and punctuations are those used by Grandpa Drew

TUESDAY 1 -- Went up to Sprinfield to try and settle up with Sinclare. did not come to any understanding Wrote to Charles Wadsworth

We know nothing about Sinclair, and have no clue as to what the business to be settled was. Springfield was about a mile southwest of Columbia, on upper Mormon Creek. It was first known as Tim's Springs or Tim's Garden. At the time of Drew's diary it was a large camp. At its peak, some 600 miners were registered to vote there. A post office was established in 1857. Ten years later the camp had declined and only 60 or so miners remained, and the post office was discontinued the following year. Charles Wadsworth was one of David's friends back in Plymouth.

WEDNESDAY 2 -- Commenced putting up boxes from Markes flooming

A flume was a structure generally constructed of wood though sometimes of canvas, and even sometimes of rock and dirt, to provide a temporary channel for the river water, or in the sense referred to here, to provide a source of water to a set of sluce boxes. Jim Marks, who had been working upstream from Drew, was and Englishman. He was naturalized in Tuolumne County just the previous October.

THURSDAY 3 -- Pretty cold weather for California bar all covered with frost

FRIDAY 4 -- White went up to settle with Sinclare made arrangements to pay him $150. went to Jim Town to buy Grovers interest at auction Found it sold. received a letter from mother.

A.H. Grover was a mine in Jamestown, from Missouri. Jos. Cartwrite appears in the archives as a juror on an inquest at Robinson's House, near Sonora, on January 24, 1857.

SATURDAY 5 -- White returned Saw Cartwrite He agreed to settle the Sinclare business

SUNDAY 6 -- Went up on the flat Came back by the way of Sprinfield Found Len there he having settled the sinclair business by one hundred dolars

MONDAY 7 -- Raised our boxes Got about two foot more fall. this evening commenced the history of England by Hume

TUESDAY 8 -- put on the rest of the boxes and went to diging dich

WEDNESDAY 9 -- Rained a part of the day Went to work in the afternoon

THURSDAY 10 -- Rained in the morning About ten oclock went to work. This evening commenced the life of Franklin

FRIDAY 11 -- Looked rainey but cleared up about night

SATURDAY 12 -- Finished dich and set boxes and got the watter in Found the dich too high. the dich broke away about night 6 o'clock

Notice how much trouble Drew has with the problem of sine versus double consonants. He used capital letters sparingly, but always at the beginning of an entry.

SUNDAY 13 -- Wrote to Farther and sent the orders back. Went up on the flat Found the flumeing all done on the new claim Thought that they would get to washing by Wednesday

Sunday was rigidly observed in the mines as a day when no work was done. It could be spent going on short trips, visiting, or just staying around the cabin, washing clothes, reading, or engaged in other similar occupations. The new claim refers to the fact that Drew "Bought of Julius Stetson his interest in a claim near the Niger Claim Shaws Flat, in Company with G.H. Haskins, A Pierce, R B Bartlett, paid one hundred and twenty-five dollars the said interest being one forth of the whole" on November 26th, 1855. He was thus obligated to either work or pay for the work represented by his share (one-twelfth). Since he was busy down on the river, he chose to pay. Stetson, Haskins and Pierce were all Massachusetts boys, listed at Shaws Flat. Captain Robert Bartlett, who also appears later in the diary, was not listed in the Directory of 1856.

MONDAY 14 -- Raised our boxes and went to diging dich

TUESDAY 15 -- Finished the dich Rained a little in the afternoon

WEDNESDAY 16 -- Got the watter in washed a little and found our sluces to flat Raised them and turned the watter on about noon A couple of boxes tumbled down

THURSDAY 17 -- Got the water on after we finished raising the sluces and lowering the dich a little. had been to work a few minits when a couple boxes came down, put them up and lowered the dich 6 in

FRIDAY 18 -- Turned the watter on and had been to work a little while when one of the driftes caved in

We are uncertain at to the precise meaning of "drift" as used by Drew. It could mean a short tunnel into the pay dirt, or it could refer to an open trench down into the ground.

SATURDAY 19 -- Received a letter to day from William Keene, worked all the fore noon Thought that we had done pretty well not haveing any tumble downs. just at noon part of the dich and one of the drifts caved in.

We don't know who William Keene was, but assume he had been a close friend of David's at Plymouth.

SUNDAY 20 -- Went up on the flat All complaneing of dry times up there. Got James Stetson to sell our share in the New York tunnell paid an assessment of eight dolars on the tunnell raines a little this evening

White, Covington and Drew bought a one-twentieth interest in the New York tunnel for $66.87 on September 29th, 1855. This tunnel was being driven under Table Mountain below Peroria Bar, above the workings of the Stanislaus Company, and below the St. Lawrence Company. Up to January 1st, 1856, they had paid $47.50 in assessments. Assessments were the cash payments required by the owners of an interest or share if they were not available to work their share. This was the origin of assessable stock, so widely used later in western mining incorporations. If you failed to pay your assessment, you lost your share, for it reverted back to the company.

The tunnel was incorporated on May 4, 1857, as New York Company, with Drew, Julius Stetson, Robert Bartlett, and Nathan Churchill, all among the incorporators. There were many other companies driving tunnels under the long Table Mountain, and most of these proved to be failures. James B. Stetson, who was also from Massachusetts, apparently did not sell the share. Stetson served as constable of Shaws Flat and his trade was that of a tinsmith.

MONDAY 21 - had three brake downs to day. But we got off a pretty good piece of dirt.

Dirts is used in the sense that "muck" is underground; that is, pay dirt or ore. On the river, dirt was apt to be a mixture of sand, gravel, and soil or fines, but, every miner hoped, carrying particles of gold.

TUESDAY 22 -- Rained pretty much all day. Held up a little while in the afternoon and we sowed some barley for feed. Mr Covinton and my self think of buying a couple of horses.

WEDNESDAY 23 -- Showery to day found the dich caved in three or four places this morning took us all day to dig it out. the river was pretty high and floated off some of the boxes. hauled some lumber out of the river after diner.

THURSDAY 24 -- Clear weather to day set up our boxes and got the watter in and filled the drifts full of watter to cave them down. did not do much this afternoon.

FRIDAY 25 -- Was not very well this morning and did not work in the fornoon. Worked a little while in the afternoon

SATURDAY 26 -- White went to Jamestown to day to attend the meeting of the know nothing Company. paid an assessment of one hundred and forty dolars. washed this fornoon this afternoon shifted sluce.

On October 20th, 1855, the river partners "Both fours interests in the K N tunnel paid $12.00 the said interests being four twelfths of the whole. the said tunnel being located in Table Mountain about a mile and a half below James Town. Assessments up to Jan 1st 56 $407.87" Drew refers to this s speculation both as the "K N tunnel" and the know nothing tunnel:. The name was taken from the nickname of the popular American political party.

SUNDAY 27 -- Went on the Flat. had been washing a little and the new claime did not pay very well. Thought of trying it another week and see if it would do better.

MONDAY 28 -- Took until half past ten to get the watter on. washed until noon. rained this afternoon. so that thought it best to pull the boxes out. just after diner a couple of boxes tunbled down

TUESDAY 29 -- Put up our boxes and got the watter on and washed until most night and then shifted sluce. thought that we had done pretty well to day. got along without any brake downs

WEDNESDAY 30 -- Have not worked more than at washing to day been bothered like the devel. had a few short showers to day.

THURSDAY 31 -- Have got along first rate to day have not been bothered any. got off a big piece of dirt White went up to Columbia to get some hose to try the hydraulic power. finished the bible to night.

Hydraulic power refers to the use of water under pressure, and sprayed out of a nozzle onto the dirt, breaking it up and washing it into the sauce boxes.


February 1856

FRIDAY 1 -- Put on our hose and got the watter on and found our hose too small took them off and worked the old way. commenced the bible to night.

SATURDAY 2 -- got letters and papers to night. one letter from Mother and one from Sally Ann. answered mothers

Sally Ann was David's sister, five years younger than he, and was only 12 years old when David left home. He had now been away from home for nearly four years, but he kept in close contact by letter writing with most of his brothers and sisters, as well as with his father and step-mother. In addition to writing to David, they sent newspapers and small luxuries that he ordered that we unobtainable locally except at great expense.

SUNDAY 3 -- Went on the flat. found that they had not been to work on the new claim this week think that it will not pay

MONDAY 4 -- Rained this morning so we did not get to work until ten oclock we then set our sluces and went to washing the bottom dirt

TUESDAY 5 -- Worked all day to day and an ounce. have not had any brake downs for four or five days

WEDNESDAY 6 -- Did not work this afternoon was not very well

THURSDAY 7 -- Not able to work to day got a kind of disentery

FRIDAY 8 -- Not any better to day Find it dull work laying around in the house.

SATURDAY 9 -- Felt better this morning so I went to work. had a little rain this morning. thought that we'd have rainy day. but it cleared up before noon. Took out this week $130.50

SUNDAY 10 -- Did not feel very well so I staid at home to day and done up my washing and wrote a letter to William Keene

MONDAY 11 -- Had to go up and turn the watter on this morning Have rather bad news from the K.N. tunnel afraid that we have made rather a bad speculation there

TUESDAY 12 -- Fine weather The boys on the flat will (have) a good time to loafe in. there not being any watter to wash with.

Just as today up here we follow the weather very closely, particularly in the rainy season, so they did during the gold rush. In fact, it was of even greater concern to them because water was the mens of recovering the gold from the placer deposits. Up in the "dry diggins" work could be done only when the ditches brought water to the miners. Down on the river, the water lasted longer, but in dry years the season was considerably shortened.

WEDNESDAY 13 -- Things went on as usual to day. sun lays down on the bak pretty warm

THURSDAY 14 -- Washed until about the middle of the afternoon and then shifted sluce

FRIDAY 15 -- Turned on the watter and went to work about night the watter began to slack off. Wrote to sally ann this evening

SATURDAY 16 -- Had to go up this morning and shift our spouts which took us until ten oclock got a pretty good days work to day four ounces and two dollars. took out $162.38 this week. received a letter from Harry

Harry was David's brother. Harrison Warren Drew, two years his junior. In this day's entry, Drew refers to the day's cleanup as being "four ounces and two dollars". They received approximately $16 per ounce, and figured the fractional part of an ounce in dollars. We think that spouts )spots, sputs) were the connections from the ditch or flume to the sluice boxes, or from one string of boxes to another.

SUNDAY 17 -- Went up on the flat to day. found it rather dry times. Mr. James Cooper arrived there to day from Plymouth

MONDAY 18 -- Done pretty well to day got six ounces and twelve dolars looks like rain to night

TUESDAY 19 -- Clear weather this morning it does not look as if it was agoing to rain again this winter

WEDNESDAY 20 -- Rained nearly all day to day. went up after diner and took our upper boxes out

THURSDAY 21 -- Clear weather this morning put our boxes in and went to work. quite showery this afternoon with a little thunder

FRIDAY 22 -- Got the watter on and went to work as usual

SATURDAY 23 -- Went to Jim town to day to attend a meeting of the K. N. Tunnel Co. paid an assessment of $25.00 White shot a cat this morning

Most probably a bob cat

SUNDAY 24 -- Stoped in Columbia last night blowed quite a gale all night. Find it rather dull work loafing around Columbia. taken out this week $275.00

MONDAY 25-- Cleared out our dich and got the watter on and went to ground sluceing White shot a fox last night. I skined him to make a tamborine of Len is sich today

TUESDAY 26 -- Went up to Clumbia this morning to get some boots this makes the second pair of ruber that I have had this year

WEDNESDAY 27 -- White went up this morning to get his boots fixed. Mr. Sisson was down here this forenoon. Milk man came to day. wants a dolar and a quarter a galon for his milk

THURSDAY 28 -- Len went to work this morning. got off a big piece of dirt to day

FRIDAY 29 -- Wrote to Harry and Ausitn this evening

Austin was David's brother, seven years younger.


March 1856

SATURDAY 1 -- finished ground sluceing below the dich to day. here it is spring again time seemes to slip away awfull fast

SUNDAY 2 -- Went up on the Flat to day. dry times up there watter dried up

MONDAY 3 -- Commenced ground sluceing above the dich today

TUESDAY 4 -- Found the dirt so hard above the dich that we concluded

WEDNESDAY 5 -- Ground did not pay very well to day only got ten dolars

THURSDAY 6 -- Quit about the midle of the afternoon. The slide company are sluceing across our dich and cut it away. White went up to colmbia after letters did not get any

FRIDAY 7 -- Got our watter on this morning and went to washing

SATURDAY 8 -- Been to work in a sink to day and it paid pretty well. Got forty dolars. Took out $97.50 this week

A "sink" is a low spot in the bedrock of the stream bed. Frequently these were especially rich in gold nuggets.

SUNDAY 9 -- Went up to Columbia to day. Paid $26.50 expenses on my Shaws Flat claim.

References to "the flat" may have meant just up on the generally level ground around Columbia, Springfield, and Shaws Flat, or specifically Shaws. The latter was a fairly well established town, and apparently was the headquarters of a number of the Pilgrim Mining company members who came out form Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1849, as well as those, like David Drew, who followed later. Most of the speculative deals in which David was involved were with other members of this group of Massachusetts Argonauts.

MONDAY 10 -- Shifted Sauce and washed the top dirt

TUESDAY 11 -- Pretty warme to day and does not look as if it was agoing to rain again this season

WEDNESDAY 12 -- Looked like rain all day to day. but does not seem to make a raise. took out six oz and ten dollars to day

THURSDAY 13 -- Rained a little last night and has looked squally all day to day. Washed down and shifted sauce this afternoon

FRIDAY 14 -- Rained this afternoon so that we did not work. the river rose so about night that we thought it best to take our boxes and spouts

SATURDAY 15 -- Good weather this morning. Put in our boxes and spurs and went to washing. Took out $265.25 this week

SUNDAY 16 -- Went up on Shaws Flat to day. Paid an assessment of $11.00 on the New York tunnel

MONDAY 17 -- White stoped up to Colubia last night to try and sell some of our shares in the Know Nothing tunnel

TUESDAY 18 -- White came down to day. has disposed of one share. and there is a prospect of getting clear of the rest

WEDNESDAY 19 -- Commenced ground (slucing) to day. We have come to the conclusion that it is not going to rain again this year

THURSDAY 20 -- Been pretty warm too day. and it makes the sweat start. The floweres are a begining to bloom on the hills

FRIDAY 21 -- The river rose considerable this fornoon. the affects of warme weather

SATURDAY 22 -- Len was not very well to day and so he did not work

SUNDAY 23 -- Went up on the Flat to day. Took diner at Capt. Bartletts. set a pretty good table

MONDAY 24 -- River is up pretty high this warm weather melts the snow

TUESDAY 25 -- John is down to day a prospecting the bar above

WEDNESDAY 26 -- It looks as if we might have some rain to night. and I hope that we shall for it is needed bad enough

THURSDAY 27 -- It looked bad enough to rain too day but it is starlight to night

FRIDAY 28 -- Len was not very well and did not work

SATURDAY 29 -- My self and white went to Jim town at day to attend a meeting of the K.N. tunnel company paid an assessment of $13.50 to the share

SUNDAY 30 -- Staide on Shaws Flat to day raind pretty much all day. Received two letters one from farther and one from Charly Wadsworth

MONDAY 31 -- Came down from Shaws this morning worked a few minits and it commened to rain and kept it up all day Wrote to farther to day


April 1856

TUESDAY 1 -- Looks rainey and the river is up pretty high. Four years from home to day

WEDNESDAY 2 -- Cleared up fine to night

THURSDAY 3 -- Charly dug out a dead man yeasterday. supposed that he had met with foul play

FRIDAY 4 -- John and his partner came down to see us this eavening

SATURDAY 5 -- Finished the history of England this eavening

SUNDAY 6 -- Went up to Columbia to day. Find it rather dull a loafing around there all day

MONDAY 7 -- Shifted sauce to day. The watter was so high in the river that it backed into the boxes

TUESDAY 8 -- Looks like rain to day. but you can not tell much by looks this season

WEDNESDAY 9 -- Commenced reading Rose Clark. By Fanny Fern

THURSDAY 10 -- Rained pretty much all day to day

FRIDAY 11 -- Commenced raining this afternoon about four oclock. so that we had to quit. Finished reading Rose Clark tonight

SATURDAY 12 -- Finished ground sluceing to day and I am glad of it. White and Len went up to the log to miners meeting this evening to make some new laws

"The log" refers to Pine Log Crossing, on the South Fork of the Stanislaus, about 1 3/4 miles above the confluence.

SUNDAY 13 -- Went up on the Flat to day and bought a Horse of George Collingwood and (paid) him one hundred dollars

Collingwood was another miner from Massachusetts, living at Shaws Flat, and was listed in the census taken in May, 1851

MONDAY 14 -- Got my horse shoed to day. cost me three dollars. Hauled down lumber for sluces. to day had to pay six $ and a half per foot

TUESDAY 15 -- Set up sluces to day and got ready to go to washing. Len bought a horse to day. Commenced Ruth Hall to night

WEDNESDAY 16 -- Commenced washing to day

THURSDAY 17 -- Finished reading Ruth Hall to night Liked it first rate

FRIDAY 18 -- Shifted sluce to day Seth Homes another Mass boy was down here to see us to day and stoped and got diner

Seth Richard Holmes was involved n the Stanislaus Tunnel Company. His shares were up for sale, according to an advertisement in the "Weekly Columbian" of December 20th, 1856, presumably because he had failed to pay his assessment.

SATURDAY 19 -- White and Len have gone up to the log to night to a miners meeting. Took out one hundred and eighteen dollars and eighty -five cents

The "Columbia Gazette" of April 26, 1856, reports that White was elected Chairman for the Pine Log Crossing Mining District at this meeting. This district apparently included the downstream bars down to where White was working.

SUNDAY 20 -- Went up to the fat to day Took diner at Capt Bartletts. Took a ride up to Yankey hill this afternoon

MONDAY 21 -- Our horses strayed off last night and Len found them up to Jarvis's ranch.

E.S. Jarvis, a `state of Mainer", had a ranch in the vicinity of Gold Springs. This comment and the one about the miners meeting at Pine Log Crossing are two of the good reasons for believing that Drew was mining up near the South Fork. But the horses could easily have strayed up this far from Walker's Bar

TUESDAY 22 -- Paned out to nigh and got $29.25 our dirt did not pay very well this last two days

WEDNESDAY 23 -- John and Co were down here last eavening and we had a game of cards for the first time in a good while

THURSDAY 24 -- Blowed pretty hard down here to day

FRIDAY 25 -- Took out one hundred and forty eight dollars and twenty four cents this week

SATURDAY 26 -- Went down to Jimtown to attend a meeting of the Know Nothing tunnel Company. Took dinner with William Bradford

SUNDAY 27 -- Went up on the Flat to day

MONDAY 28 -- White went to sonora to day. Rained a little this morning

TUESDAY 29 -- Charly and his Company commenced work on there claim to day

WEDNESDAY 30 -- Rained a little to day. Shifted sluce this afternoon. Caught a sheep that had strayed down the hill


May 1856

THURSDAY 1 -- Wrote to Charles Wadsworth to day. Finished the New Testament the for the second time to night

FRIDAY 2 -- Commenced the New Testament again to night. A couple of spouts tumbled down last night

SATURDAY 3 -- Feels kind of winterish to night and looks like a storm. Took out $182.53 this week

SUNDAY 4 -- Went to sonora to day and come back through the flat. Recived a letter from Harry and one from Frederick A. Drew

Frederick A. Drew was a distant cousin of David's. We suspect that he held Frederick in particular esteem. (Frederick Augustus Drew married Emilie Gardner and was David's second cousin in Plymouth)

MONDAY 5 -- Had lots of visitors to day. G. H. Haskins, G Tabor, and E Holbrooks George H. Haskins came down to buy White out

Haskins we have met before. Gorge Tabor filed a claim in `53, and also was reported as a juror at Sonora in `65. Elisha Holbrooks, from Massachusetts, was listed at Springfield, and was listed in the Sonora Herald for an uncalled for letter on October 23, 1852. Nathan Churchill, in addition to being an incorporator of the New York company, also served in the same capacity in the Stanislaus and Bay State Tunnel Companies.

TUESDAY 6 - Nathan Churchill was down here to day to see our bar claime having a notion to buy it

WEDNESDAY 7 -- White went up on the Flat to day

THURSDAY 8 -- Getting to be pretty warm weather again

FRIDAY 9 -- We had a smash up to day a stump came down while we were at diner and broke one spar and one sauce box and done other damage

A spar was a mast or a boom, rigged up with ropes, for moving sluice boxes or boulders or other heavy objects.

SATURDAY 10 -- Went up this morning to cut another spar got one cut and part way down hill when it ran against a rock and broke in to in the middle

SUNDAY 11 -- Went over to Valeceto to day to see the country and have a ride

MONDAY 12 -- got out a nother spar to day and got it down to the river. Put a nother crossing across the river to night

TUESDAY 13 -- Got our spar up the river and set our sluices this forenoon. This afternoon set up a couple of spots that came down last night

WEDNESDAY 14 -- Commenced washing again. William Stephens came down here to see us to night

THURSDAY 15 -- Len went up on the flat to day to try and get a job for Bill

FRIDAY 16 -- Bill went up on the ranch this (morning) to try and get a job with Jarvis

SATURDAY 17 -- Was sick to day and did not work. Took out $75.35 this week

SUNDAY 18 -- Went up on the Flat to day

MONDAY 19 -- Had quite a tempest this afternoon. the heaviest thunder that I have heard in this Country

TUESDAY 20 -- Rained nearly all the forenoon. quite an excitement about the King case up her

James King of William was the very popular editor of the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin form October, `55 to May 14th, 1856, when he was shot by a corrupt politician, James P. Casey. He died seven days later, and was avenged shortly thereafter by the Vigilante Committee. One of the reasons for the excitement over the King case up in Tuolumne County was that the previous year King's bank had failed due to some very irregular financial arrangements made by the cashier in the Sonora branch. The local citizens raised $31,500 for the benefit of the widow and children of King, as reported in the Sonora Union Democrat, August 15, 1856.

WEDNESDAY 21 -- Come back on the river this afternoon and got a ducking coming down

THURSDAY 22 -- Showery all day to day

FRIDAY 23 -- Got papers to night No letters for me this mail guess that they have dried up writeing

SATURDAY 24 -- Pleasant weather to day the first that we have had this week. Took out $80.25 this week

SUNDAY 25 -- Went to Sonora to day and came back by the way of Shaws Flat and got diner at Capt Bartletts

MONDAY 26 -- Tax colector came along to day to colect the pole tax. The tax was three dollars

This was the principal tax in those days, and was apportioned between the county and state.

TUESDAY 27 --Pretty warm to day It makes the sweat start

WEDNESDAY 28 -- Len went up to Columbia at noon to get the papers

THURSDAY 29 -- Shifted sluice this forenoon

FRIDAY 30 -- The boys below us had a cave in to day and filled there hole full Took out $116.20 this week

SATURDAY 31 -- Went to Jamestown to attend a meeting of the K N tunnel Co. Concluded to lay it over for another month


June 1856

SUNDAY 1 -- Went up on Shaws Flat to day. George H. Haskins came down to go to work for White

MONDAY 2 -- White leaves this morning for home

TUESDAY 3 -- Wrote to Fred Drew last mail

WEDNESDAY 4 -- Jim Marks commenced work on his claim to day and took our water

THURSDAY 5 -- Commenced to work nights last night do not like it very well

It was necessary to work at night because Jim Marks, upstream, was using all the water in the ditch during daytime.

FRIDAY 6 -- Horses strayed away today

SATURDAY 7 -- Len went up this afternoon to try and find our horses Took out this week $177.85

SUNDAY 8 -- Been out all day looking for our horses found them about three oclock this afternoon. heard from White today

MONDAY 9 -- Went up to Columbia this forenoon

TUESDAY 10 -- Shifted sluice this afternoon. Gorge went up on the flat to day

WEDNESDAY 11 -- Begin to like night work better get clear of the hot sun

THURSDAY 12 -- Hot day to day the hottest that we have had this season

FRIDAY 13 -- The river is running down fast it will be down in the course of a fortnight

SATURDAY 14 -- Wrote to Farther this mail. Took out $178.50 this week

SUNDAY 15 -- Took a ride to sonora to day and came back through shaws flat

MONDAY 16 -- Uncle Pell, Mr. Pierce, and Nathan Churchill were down here to day to look at there claim

TUESDAY 17 -- Got some lumber down for spouts to day 1000 ft

WEDNESDAY 18 -- Went up the hill to day to get some barly paid 5 per pound Got states papers to night

"States" was an expression used for a number of years after California itself became a member of the Union. It poignantly indicates how far away the east seemed to Drew

THURSDAY 19 -- Hauled up a spar for Jim Marks to night

FRIDAY 20 -- River is down pretty low now. can wade accross it any where

SATURDAY 21 -- Reed commenced this week to dig a race for his flooming

SUNDAY 22 -- Went up on the flat to day. got a letter from farther to day

MONDAY 23 -- Did not go to work this morning not being very well

TUESDAY 24 -- Went to work today

WEDNESDAY 25 -- Sick again today

THURSDAY 26 -- Had to give up washing to day. the (river) has run down so low that we can not get the watter into the boxes

FRIDAY 27 -- Went up to the doctors this afternoon and got my jaw lanced. which made it feel easyer. Uncle Pell and Co come down to day

SATURDAY 28 -- Went cutting wood this morning. Took out $105.25 this week Expences on claime this month $78.50

SUNDAY 29 -- Took a ride up to Streets big resevior to day. It is a splendid peice of work

This reservoir was built by a company know as Shaws Flat & Tuolumne River Water Company, in Sullivan's Creek, four and a half miles east of town

MONDAY 30 -- Commencid puling in boxes from the spring


July 1856

TUESDAY 1 -- Len and George put on an additon to our house

WEDNESDAY 2 -- Haulled down six hundred feet of lumber and packed home the Walker Co boxes Finished the house this afternoon

This entry is one of the most compelling statements placing the location of the river claim at Walker's Bar

THURSDAY 3 -- Went up to Columbia this morning after nails Comenced puting in our too inch boxes to day

FRIDAY 4 -- Went to sonora to the celebration. but it rained a part of the fore noon and spoilt our fun. Went to a ball in the eavening at Capt Bartletts

SATURDAY 5 -- Took a ride up in to the mountings this forenoon to see the country. We had a splendid view of the plains and the mountains back

SUNDAY 6 -- Went to Jimtown to day

MONDAY 7 -- Went to work this morning a makeing boxes

TUESDAY 8 -- Went up to Columbia this morning after nails. Mosher was down here to day

WEDNESDAY 9 -- Went to caulking boxes this forenoon. in the afternoon commenced setting sluice

THURSDAY 10 -- Haulled some lumber down this morning

FRIDAY 11 -- Auful hot weather now

SATURDAY 12 -- Dug a celar this afternoon

SUNDAY 13 -- Went on to Shaws Flat to day

MONDAY 14 -- Finished setting boxes to day. I made up three awnings to day

TUESDAY 15 -- Got to washing this afternoon

WEDNESDAY 16 -- Got a letter from Harry to day. and answered it

THURSDAY 17 -- Went up to Columbia to day and got a letter form William Keene

FRIDAY 18 -- Pretty warm to day got a lot of papers from Harry to day

SATURDAY 19 -- Paned out to day got rather a small weeks work

SUNDAY 20 -- Went up on the Flat to day

MONDAY 21 -- George was not very well to day and did not work

TUESDAY 22 -- Business looks brisk down here now the claims are about all opened

WEDNESDAY 23 -- Shifted sluice to day

THURSDAY 24 -- Mr. Card was down here to day and stoped and took diner with us

FRIDAY 25 -- Len did not work this afternoon

SATURDAY 26 -- I am going up to Columbia this evening to attend the ratification meeting

There were three presidential candidates involved in the election of `56. The strong Democratic party had nominated James Buchanan for president. The American (Know Nothing) and Whig parties had united behind ex-president Millard Fillmore, and the ratification meeting on July 26th was called by "Friends of Fillmore." The newly organized Republican party had nominated the "Pathfinder", John C. Fremont, as their first presidential candidate. The somewhat biased publisher of the Sonora Union Democrat expressed his opinions of the situation thus: "MORE FOLLY --All around we hear of ratification meeting of the Republicans and rejoicings, fireworks, etc., in honor of Fremont. In the course of next month it looks as though $100,000 would be spent in gun powder and flummery. All this is mere folly and nonsense. If the Republicans and Americans can be awakened to a sense of their forlorn condition and ridiculous chances, let them unite for a grand movement; otherwise the game is lost, and the less powder they burn, and the less noise they make, the better it will be."

SUNDAY 27 -- Went on to Shaws Flat to day

MONDAY 28 -- Went up Columbia after picks

TUESDAY 29 -- Pretty warm to day

WEDNESDAY 30 - Got a pretty good days work to day

THURSDAY 31 -- Shifted sluice to day


August 1856

FRIDAY 1 -- Wrote to Farther to day

SATURDAY 2 -- Went to sonora this eavening to a political meeting

SUNDAY 3 -- Staid on Shaws Flat to day

MONDAY 4 -- Len and George are sich today. George and myself went u on the Flat this afternoon

TUESDAY 5 -- Got some lumber on to the hill this afternoon

WEDNESDAY 6 -- Went to haulling lumber this morning haulled one load and then give it up

THURSDAY 7 -- Went up on Shaws Flat to day

FRIDAY 8 -- Went up to Columbia this morning after barly. Made up some boxes this afternoon

SATURDAY 9 -- Finished making up boxes this afternoon

SUNDAY 10 -- Went up to town this forenoon. But soon got tired and came home

MONDAY 11 -- Commenced setting up our tail race this morning

TUESDAY 12 -- Washed a little this forenoon and finished puting in our tail race this afternoon

WEDNESDAY 13 -- Washed all day to day

THURSDAY 14 -- George Colingwood was down here to day

FRIDAY 15 -- Have to shovel tailings now there is not watter enough in the river to carry them off

SATURDAY 16 -- Wrote a letter to William Keene to day

SUNDAY 17 -- Went up on Shaws Flat to day and to Sonora

MONDAY 18 -- George went up this evening after papers

TUESDAY 19 -- Harry Richard died yesterday. He was hurt by a timber falling on him. A week ago today

WEDNESDAY 20 -- Shifted sluice to day

SATURDAY 23 -- Nothing worth mentioning transpired this last three days

SUNDAY 24 -- Went the usual round to day to shaws flat &c

MONDAY 25 -- Len is sich to day and did not work Went up the hill this afternoon after some hay

TUESDAY 26 -- George and myself went up the hill this afternoon and hauled some hay down

WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND FRIDAY -- no entries

SATURDAY 30 -- Went down to Jimtown to day to attend the know nothing tunnel meeting

SUNDAY 31 -- Stoped in Columbia last night and went to the circus. Took a ride to sonora


September 1856

MONDAY 1 --Received a coupple of letters from farther and one from Fred A. Drew. Wrote to farther this eavening

TUESDAY 2 -- Commenced striping on our out side peice My horse fell off the bank to night and came pretty near brakeing her neck

WEDNESDAY 3 -- Kate is pretty lame this morning

Kate, of course, is Drew's horse

THURSDAY 4 -- Set up sluice and got ready for washing

FRIDAY 5 -- Commenced washing this morning Jackee Stevens paid us a visite to day

SATURDAY 6 -- Went a guning this afternoon but did not see any game

SUNDAY 7 -- Staid at home to day for the first Sunday in a long time

MONDAY 8 -- Our ground has not pay very well Only got eleven dolars in a day and half

TUESDAY 9 -- Kates shoulder is a getting along first rate

WEDNESDAY 10 -- Paned out to day and got eleven dolars in three days

THURSDAY 11 -- Have got tired of mineing Think that I shall sell out the first chance and try something else

The entries have been getting more laconic and every now and then David skips an entry. He is discouraged, for the claim seems to be playing out, the speculations are not doing well, and after four years of hard mining, the grass looks greener elsewhere. But he had the mining fever in his blood, and he continued mining, off and on, for another fifteen or twenty years along the Stanislaus or close by.

FRIDAY 12 -- Paned out again to day, and come to the conclusion that it will hardly pay to work

SATURDAY 13 -- Len and George went up the hill this afternoon

SUNDAY 14 -- Stayed at home to day

MONDAY 15 -- Cut wood a little while this morning and then went up the hill and hauled some hay down

TUESDAY 16 -- Finished hauling down our hay and then went sawing wood

WEDNESDAY 17 -- Went at work a triping off another pit to day

THURSDAY 18 -- Commenced washing this morning

FRIDAY 19 -- Our dirt does not look very rich

SATURDAY 20 -- Washed out to day and got ten dolars for three days washing

SUNDAY 21 -- Went up to Columbia to day

MONDAY 22 -- Went up on Shaws flat this forenoon

TUESDAY 23 -- Went up to French Camp to find some poles too put up our floom with

French Camp was on the South Fork about four miles above Pine Log Crossing

WEDNESDAY 24 -- Commenced washing an old hole

THURSDAY 25 -- Finished washing Was not very well this forenoon and did not work

FRIDAY 26 -- Done nothing

SATURDAY 27 -- Went to Jim town to attend a meeting of K N tunnel Co. Paid an assessment of $4.00

SUNDAY 28 -- Stoped up in Columbia last night Took a ride down on the Flat this forenoon

MONDAY 29 -- Commenced putting up our fluming

TUESDAY 30 -- Len went up the hill this forenoon to get our level fixed


October 1856

WEDNESDAY 1 -- Went up the hill this morning to haul down some lumber but it had not come

THURSDAY 2 -- Went up after letters. Wrote a letter to Fred Drew and one to Farther

FRIDAY 3 -- Commenced hauling down lumber this morning

SATURDAY 4 -- Finished hauling down lumber this forenoon. Did not work this afternoon Went up to Columbia about night

SUNDAY 5 -- Took a ride down to sonora We had quite a rain last night (This last sentence is crossed out)

MONDAY 6 -- Weather is A getting cool

TUESDAY 7 -- Did not work this afternoon

WEDNESDAY 8 -- Done nothing to day

THURSDAY 9 -- Went down to sonora to the Republican convention. We had quite a shower last night

FRIDAY 10 -- Worked this forenoon but had to wate for spouts this afternoon

SATURDAY 11 -- Cool weather now Days feel like winter

SUNDAY 12 -- Went up on Shaws Flat to day

MONDAY 13 -- Went to work on the flume again this morning

TUESDAY 14 -- Finished puting up boxes this afternoon

WEDNESDAY 15 -- Caulked boxes to day

THURSDAY 16 -- Did not work to day. Len went this morning after letters. wrote to Charles Wadsworth and Sally Ann to day

FRIDAY 17 -- Went to sonora to day

SATURDAY 18 -- Loafed around home today

We are uncertain as to whether David had just given up working, or, more likely, whether the water conditions just didn't justify trying to "wash" the dirt on their river claim

SUNDAY 19 -- Went up on shaw flat

MONDAY 20 -- Commenced getting wood to day

TUESDAY 21 -- Finished cutting wood and hauled it across the river

WEDNESDAY 22 -- Sawed and split up our wood to day

THURSDAY 23 -- Went up to Columbia this afternoon and got a tooth pulled

FRIDAY 24 -- Rainey to day Cut up a little pine wood

SATURDAY 25 -- Had the tooth acre last night, and did not feel very well to day

SUNDAY 26 -- Stayed at home to day for the first time in a good while

MONDAY 27 -- Went up to the republican meeting this eavening but it did not come off

TUESDAY 28 -- Went up to town this eavening

WEDNESDAY 29 -- Went A gunning a little while

THURSDAY 30 -- Went up on the Flat this afternoon

FRIDAY 31 -- Went A gunning this morning and got a few quales


November 1856

SATURDAY 1 -- Went up to Spring field to attend A barbacue given by the American party

SUNDAY 2 -- Stayed at home

MONDAY 3 -- Went up to the Republican meeting this eavning

TUESDAY 4 -- Election day Voted the Republican ticket Sent our horses up on Jim Caapers Ranch

Democrat James Buchanan was elected president with John C. Breckinridge as vice president

WEDNESDAY 5 -- White arrived back from the states

THURSDAY 6 -- Went up on the Flat

FRIDAY 7 -- Went up to Columbia to help White get down his trunk

SATURDAY 8 -- Jobing around the house

SUNDAY 9 -- Stayed at home

MONDAY 10 -- Went to sonora came back through the flat

TUESDAY 11 -- Saw Web Atwood and he came down on the river with us

WEDNESDAY 12 -- Mr. White and myself went A hunting, and got A trout

THURSDAY 13 -- Rolled ten pins

FRIDAY 14 -- Looks like rain

SATURDAY 15 -- Went up on Shaws Flat

SUNDAY 16 -- Web and myself came down on the river this eavning

MONDAY 17 -- Len and White went up on the hill and (brought) down some grub

TUESDAY 18 -- Went up on the Flat

SUNDAY 23 -- Came down from the flat. have been on the flat all week.

Drew doesn't tell us what he was doing up on the Flat. He probably worked up a deal with Web Atwood for his share of the river claim, as well as looked around for a better claim to buy into.

MONDAY 24 -- Commenced working on the claim

TUESDAY 25 -- Went up on the flat

WEDNESDAY 26 -- Worked on the claim to day

FRIDAY 28 -- Sold out to Web Atwood for $600, three hundred down and the rest out of the claime Came up on Shaws Flat this afternoon


December 1856

MONDAY 1 -- Bought a share in A claime of Gorge Colingwood,. Paid $400, to be taken out of the clame

WEDNESDAY 3 -- Received A letter from Mother

FRIDAY 5 -- Horse came down from the ranch

MONDAY 8 -- Sent my horse down on a ranch again

TUESDAY 9 -- Commenced working on the Flat

So, David was again mining, this time up on Shaws Flat, but this seems to be the end of his diary writing. From notes in the back of the little book, we estimate that his 1856 gross income was $1585.14, which included the cash proceeds from the sale of his share in the river claim and other sales of speculative interests. His expenses, which included, in addition to his share of the housekeeping expense, the mining costs and assessments and share expenses on the outside claims, totaled $1575.89, so his net after the above items was about $10 for the year. His outside mining speculations apparently were not very successful. Like most of the miners, he worked very hard, but didn't get very rich.

In 1869 David married Helen Marr Farrar. She had come out from Stewartstown, Coos County, New Hampshire, across the plains with her father and her sister. Her mother had died on the trip (article said before the trip). The Drew's lived for a few years at Bostwick Bar, near Reynolds Ferry, where David was placer mining. About 1880, they moved up to Copperopolis where they raised their family of eight children. David worked at times underground in the copper mines, and also drove a freight team from Stockton and Milton to Copperopolis. The Drew's also rented out rooms to miners working there.

David Drew continued in close touch with his father and his brothers and sisters for the rest of his life. He never returned to the east, even for a visit, in spite of repeated appeals for him to do so. Apparently money was scarce and he must have felt that his large family required his presence at his Copperopolis home. Fortune never seemed to smile upon the Drew's, and the eastern members were in no financial condition to make the long trip either. His father died at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1902, at the age of 93, and David survived him by less than a year. All of the Drew's eight children married, and there were twenty grandchildren.

FRIDAY 14 -- Looks like rain

SATURDAY 15 -- Went up on Shaws Flat

SUNDAY 16 -- Web and myself came down on the river this eavning

MONDAY 17 -- Len and White went up on the hill and (brought) down some grub

TUESDAY 18 -- Went up on the Flat

SUNDAY 23 -- Came down from the flat. have been on the flat all week.

Drew doesn't tell us what he was doing up on the Flat. He probably worked up a deal with Web Atwood for his share of the river claim, as well as looked around for a better claim to buy into.

MONDAY 24 -- Commenced working on the claim

TUESDAY 25 -- Went up on the flat

WEDNESDAY 26 -- Worked on the claim to day

FRIDAY 28 -- Sold out to Web Atwood for $600, three hundred down and the rest out of the claime Came up on Shaws Flat this afternoon

So, David was again mining, this time up on Shaws Flat, but this seems to be the end of his diary writing. From notes in the back of the little book, we estimate that his 1856 gross income was $1585.14, which included the cash proceeds from the sale of his share in the river claim and other sales of speculative interests. His expenses, which included, in addition to his share of the housekeeping expense, the mining costs and assessments and share expenses on the outside claims, totaled $1575.89, so his net after the above items was about $10 for the year. His outside mining speculations apparently were not very successful. Like most of the miners, he worked very hard, but didn't get very rich.

In 1869 David married Helen Marr Farrar. She had come out from Stewartstown, Coos County, New Hampshire, across the plains with her father and her sister. Her mother had died on the trip (article said before the trip). The Drew's lived for a few years at Bostwick Bar, near Reynolds Ferry, where David was placer mining. About 1880, they moved up to Copperopolis where they raised their family of eight children. David worked at times underground in the copper mines, and also drove a freight team from Stockton and Milton to Copperopolis. The Drew's also rented out rooms to miners working there.

David Drew continued in close touch with his father and his brothers and sisters for the rest of his life. He never returned to the east, even for a visit, in spite of repeated appeals for him to do so. Apparently money was scarce and he must have felt that his large family required his presence at his Copperopolis home. Fortune never seemed to smile upon the Drew's, and the eastern members were in no financial condition to make the long trip either. His father died at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1902, at the age of 93, and David survived him by less than a year. All of the Drew's eight children married, and there were twenty grandchildren.