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“Headquarters Department of New Mexico.
“Santa Fe, N. M., September 20, 1863. “General: I have the honor to report that
I Mr. John A. Clark, the surveyor-general of the Territory of New Mexico, has returned from his visit to the newly-discovered gold fields. He has written to me a letter giving a brief synopsis of his observations, a copy of which please to find herewith enclosed.
“General Clark is very careful to keep well within bounds in all he says about the gold, as he desires to give rise to no expectations which may not be realized. That there is a large and rich mineral region between the San Francisco Mountains and the Colorado River there can be no doubt.
“I am making preparations to establish a military post of two companies of infantry at or near the lines; and it is my purpose to have the troops leave the Rio Grande for that point some time about the 10th proximo.
“I beg again respectfully to urge upon the War Department the expediency as well as the necessity of having an appropriation for the making of a road from the Rio Grande to the new gold fields and thence to Fort Mohave on the Colorado River. From the latter point there is already a road up the Mohave River through the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles. Mail facilities should also be put upon the road. The new government of Arizona, if it ever come, will be at the gold fields, not at the insignificant village of Tucson.
“I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“JAMES H. CARLETON, “Brigadier-General, Commanding.
“Brigadier-General Lorenzo Thomas,
Adjutant-General, U. S. A., Washington.
D. C. “Official:
“Erastus W. Wood,
"A. A. A. General." “Headquarters Department of New Mexico.
“Santa Fe, N. M., September 20, 1863. “My dear Sir: Knowing the great interest which you feel in all matters that will increase the prosperity of our country—and more particularly, at this time, in all matters that relate to the moneyed resources I have ventured to write to you concerning the new gold fields recently discovered near the San Francisco Mountains on the 35th parallel, and between the Rio Grande and the Rio Colorado. SurveyorGeneral Clark, of this Territory, has just returned from these new gold fields, and has written a letter to myself, giving a brief account of what he saw. General Clark is prudent in his expressions, lest extravagant expectations might be raised on what he says, leading to disappointment. From what he says, and from what I learn from other sources, a large region of country, extending from near the head of the Gila along the southern slope of the Sierra Blanca, Sierra Mogollon, (copper mountain,) San Francisco Mountains, and thence to the Colorado, is uncommonly rich, even compared with California, in gold, silver, cinnabar, and copper. On the prieta affluent to the Gila, from the north, gold was found by my scouting parties last winter as high as “forty cents to the pan.' And veins of argentiferous galena were found which, I am informed by the best of authority, yielded more than a dollar to the pound of crude ore. If I can but have troops to whip away the Apaches, so that prospecting parties can explore the country and not be in fear all the time of being murdered, you will, without the shadow of a doubt, find that our country has mines of the precious metals unsurpassed in richness, number and extent, by any in the world. Rich copper, in quantity enough to supply the world, is found at the head of the Gila. Some of this copper abounds in gold. Some is pure enough for commerce with but very little refining. The gold is pure.
“I send you herewith a specimen of copper from near Fort West, on the Gila, and two specimens of pure gold from the top of Antelope Mountain, spoken of by General Clark. These specimens were sent to me by Mr. Swilling, the discoverer of the new gold fields, near the San Francisco Mountains. If it be not improper, please give the largest piece of the gold to Mr. Lincoln. It will gratify him to know that Providence is blessing our country, even though it chasteneth.
“Now, would it not be wise for Congress to take early action in legislating for such a region; to open roads; to give force to subjugate the Indians; to give mail facilities; to claim rights of seigniorage in the precious metals, which will help pay our debts, &c. ?
"To so eminent a statesman as yourself it will be sure to occur that timely steps should be taken for the development and security of so rich a country.
“Pray pardon my having trespassed upon your time, and believe me to be “Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"JAMES H. CARLETON, “Brigadier-General, Commanding. “Hon. Salmon P. Chase, “Secretary of the Treasury, Washington,
D. C. “Official :
“Erastus W. Wood,
“A. A. A. General." The world's progress has always been marked by a plenitude of gold and silver. There is little doubt but that the glory of Solomon's reign was created by the discovery of the gold of Ophir. The civilization of Greece and Rome was promoted by the working of the mines of Europe and Asia for precious metals. The civilization of the world relapsed into barbarism during the Middle Ages, but was revived by the discovery of the wealth of the Incas and the Aztecs. The gold fields of California gave new impetus to the wheels of industry in all directions, and, in our day, the highest stage of civilization of the Twentieth Century has been promoted to a great extent through the plenitude of gold and silver as a circulating medium.
In 1863 the placer mines of California were exhausted, but through vein mining and hydraulic mining, the output of gold for that State amounted to about twenty-five millions of dollars per annum. The discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859, and of silver in other portions of Nevada and in Utah, was sufficient to direct the attention of prospectors to the possibilities of rich mines in Arizona and New Mexico. To this fact can be attributed the addition of many thousand energetic and adventurous men who have assisted in reclaiming our State from savagery to civilization.