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striking him over the head with a spade, is the only thing that has happened to mar the pleasure of the journey, thus far.
"The governor has a Santa Fe paper (Elnoro Amejicano) of the 17th of October, from which I have been reading an official report of Capt. N. J. Pishon, U. S. A., concerning the recent mining discoveries among the San Francisco mountains, 'Weaver's and Walker's District.' Capt. Pishon left Fort Craig, New Mexico, with his company, to escort Surveyor-General John A. Clark, to the newly discovered gold fields of Capt. Walker and party.
"The San Francisco mountains of Arizona lie north of the Gila, and from one hundred to two hundred miles east of the Colorado River. Pishon says in his report that the mines are far richer than any previously discovered. He was there twelve days, travelling and prospecting. Gold was found everywhere. No pan was washed out but yielded more or less of the yellow metal. A quantity of dirt-about twothirds full of a flour sack-was washed and yielded $8.75. The mining ground is known to extend one hundred and fifty miles, and Capt. Walker is confident that richer mines and more water for mining purposes exist further to the east, but he cannot venture into that country on account of the hostility of the Indians. Those whom they have encountered thus far are perfectly friendly, but the Tonto Apaches, who live just beyond, say that the whites shall not go into their country for any purpose whatever. The climate in the districts already discovered is said to be unequalled in California, being quite exempt from extremes of heat or cold.
The whole country is covered with grass, which, in the valleys, is most luxuriant. The mountains are covered with forest timber of great rarity, there being the white and black oak, hackberry, mulberry, walnut, pine, cedar, etc.
"There is plenty of game, deer, antelope, turkey, mountain sheep, etc. A soldier here, who was with Capt. Pishon in his prospecting tour, endorses the above report. He says at the time they left the country there were not more than forty or fifty men in both districts, but that they met at least three hundred more travelling towards the new 'El Dorado.' If all that I have read and heard be true-which I have no reason to doubt-I think it will do me good to go up there and turn over a few sods. What say you? Many of the men of our train intend going into the mines on our arrival.
"We leave for Fort Union tomorrow, crossing the Raton Mountains about eighty miles from here. Are afraid of finding snow. If successful, we shall arrive at Santa Fe, distant three hundred and thirty-four miles, in twenty days.
"One hundred and four miles from Santa Fe. "Fort Union, New Mexico. "Nov. 9th, 1863.
"We have just camped, and are busy reloading wagons, and proceed westward in the morning.
"In my previous letters from the different Forts, (Riley, Larned, and Lyon), I gave you brief accounts of our journey thus far, my letters giving descriptions of travel from Lyon
to our present camp I shall have to omit until our arrival at Santa Fe, which is about four days' travel from here. I will merely state that we left Lyon in a heavy snowstorm, and consequently found no grass for mules and horses until we arrived at the foot of the mountains (four days), when we found forage. We lost two mules and one horse-died of colic.
"Have just been informed by Judge (Howell) that on our arrival at Santa Fe, after stopping a week or ten days, we proceed directly to the mines, (San Francisco Mountains). They now intend establishing the Capital at or near the mines instead of at Tucson. Everyone in the party is gold struck. The fever is raging furiously. Mules and Mexican ponies in Santa Fe bring $200. Governor has letters here from responsible men stating that fortunes are daily made, etc. We shall purchase tools in Santa Fe. At Fort Lyon I wrote and sent receipts for $40 which please send me at once as I need it for an outfit. Direct care of Judge Howell (Arizona party). We shall probably get our mail for the present at Tucson, Arizona, which is about one hundred miles from the mines. I write in haste. Much love to all.
"Santa Fe, New Mexico,
"We left Fort Lyon on Friday, Oct. 30th, in a heavy snowstorm, and on camping at five p. m., on the bank of the Arkansas, twenty miles from Lyon, found eight inches of snow. Saturday, 31st, pleasant, snow fast disappear
ing. At ten o'clock passed Bent's Fort, an old trading post owned and occupied by Col. Bent, an old Indian trader (French), and crossed the Arkansas, fording it. Had a good meal of fresh venison and rabbit.
"Saturday, cold, with strong northwest wind; broke camp at seven, and took a last look at the 'Arkansaw'; steered south thirty-three miles, and camped at Iron Springs. No grass or wood to be had. Monday broke camp at seven and proceeded. Found the roads very bad, country broken and rocky; traveled thirty-three miles and camped at the 'Hole in the Prairie'; six mules sick and one horse died. No grass to be had and were obliged to give double allowance of corn. Tuesday, cold and windy, broke camp at the usual hour and proceeded; left two dead horses and one mule. At twelve o'clock arrived at the foot of the Raton Mountains at a small village called Picketware, in Colorado Territory, or 'Purgatory' as called by many. Camped early so as to make an early start on the morrow. Judge Howell and I feeling tired, put on a little style and concluded to take supper at a restaurant at 'Gray's Ranch,' instead of cooking our own meal in camp. On dinner being announced, we presented ourselves, and were soon engaged masticating what little grub lay before us. The bill of fare consisted of bear's meat, a few boiled beans, hard bread and coffee without sugar. What a luxury? Who would not sell a farm and come out here to board?
"We met at the table Judge Howard, formerly of Ann Arbor, and Atty. Hinsdell, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, cousin of Chester and Henry
Hinsdell of Grand Rapids. Judge Howard and Atty. Hinsdell have been in Colorado two or three years, making their headquarters at Denver. They were holding court at Gray's Ranch for a few days. I visited a man nearby who had been attacked and badly mangled a few days before by a cinnamon bear. The animal afterwards was killed, and weighed 800 lbs. He was a monster.
"Wednesday, broke camp at eight, and proceeded; at ten passed through a small Mexican town called Trinidad, or 'Peth' where two out of every three men starve to death. Saw many fresh bear tracks in our ascent, but had the good fortune not to meet the dreaded maker thereof. Camped at six p. m. at 'The Cabins' six miles below the summit. Found plenty of wood, pine, cedar, oak and cherry, and water of the purest kind. "The Cabins' is a level place between two tall peaks, where a large train belonging to Russell & Majors was snowed in last winter. They were obliged to build a number of small tenements or cabins, whence the name of the pass, which still remain and are occupied by many a weary and grateful traveller. In one of the cabins we found the head of an Indian woman which had not long been severed from the body. It had been scalped, but the rings still remained in the ears.
"Thursday, Nov. 5th, at eight, broke camp and proceeded and at nine passed up the 'divide,' a hill one mile long, the division line between Colorado and New Mexico. Arrived on the summit; had a fine view of the Spanish Peaks lying to the northwest, and Pike's Peak, northeast, distant one hundred miles. In our de