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care 20.000 dollars in two werks. It is reported that new ani! day: but the evenings and mornings remarkably cool and plea$3 szable auki mines bave been discovered upon the Turkce river, sant. After passing this plain I began to ascend the Alpine re
i the other side of the Sierra Nevada, and that several parties gion. Here the face of mature changes suudenly, the vegetation frun the forks were on their way thither. It is stated that being confined principally to the pine and dwarf beech, and a frxen 54to 1.000 dollars have been dus per day. If this report sinall shrub of the myrtle species, being a hard iron-wood with is true the real diggings are just being discovered." An exten
which the Indi point their arrows. The grou here is of a sive tract of new "diggings" has been discovered recently on a red marly clay, and contains gold even to the summit of the hills, river called Truity. This river is said to issue from a range of which are interspersed with large crags and rocks. The river to mountains which run parallel with the Snowy mountains, and which you descend to get into what is called the placere, or gold Al into the sea abont 2 to 3 degrees N of Ross, or Rossi, a set- washings, is a rapid dangerous mountain-torrent, running betlernent once in possession of the Russian Fur company, situated tween bold banks of crags and rocks, from the sand accumulated aikat? N of San Francisco. The American assayers report that amongst which the gold is washed out. As yet mining has been
e earliest specimens of C. gold submitted to thein are 21} carats done in a very imperfect manner by the adventurers who first be, or within hall-a-carat of the quality of English sovereigns tlocked to these regions, and who, finding gold so abundant on an! American eagles The gold is usually obtained in sinall the surface, gave themselves little trouble, and did not care to sans and sometimes in grains or dust. Some specimens are penetrate into the bowels of the earth The gold runs in a reguipired with crystals of quartz; and some lumps of pure gold of a lar strata, formed, in my opinion, by the alluvial deposit from the Large size have been obtained.
neighbouring hills during a lapse of ages, and, as a natural conThe following is chietly extracted from the journal of a scien- sequence, arising from the gravity of the metal, the substrata is tific and practical miner in the gold region in 1849. “Starting infinitely richer than that upon the surface. I am at present från San Francisco, you cross the bay of the same name to the (June 1849) working at a place on the Juba where the cold has kewanl of Angel island, enter the bay of San Pablo, and pro- already been taken from the surface, and I find that the deeper I e up to the straits of Carquen to the new town of Benecia,
dig the richer the earth is. As a proof that this gold is all alluwhere you enter the bay of Suisun (which I think is · Freshwater vial-or brought down by the river--it is found in greater qua: Bay of Beachey), about 25 m. NW of San Francisco. After tities at a bend where the river forms a bar. I have also observed passing the bay of Suisun-into which the Sacramento empties that where the hills on the sides of the river are bold and preciits -- the river runs in a northerly direction for about 15 m. pitate, the auriferous deposit is generally greater than where they though a low marshy country. At this point the river forms run in a gentle slope. As yet I have seen no veins of gold in two hranches--one the main branch running a little to the east- these mountains, but a specimen of gold imbedded in a matrix of wal--and another called the Sleugh or Sluice. This latter is white quartz was shown to me, said to have been brought froin rally the one takeu by boats, as it cuts off about 18 m. of a
the Snowy ridge. It was exceedingly rich, the greatest part of bez which the main river forins: the country between the the ore being pure gold, and weighing about 4 lbs. Troy. That the branch and the main stream forining an island of considerable beds of these rivers contain incredible riches I have little doubi, ES! DI, thiekly wooded and full of lakes and swamps formed by because after the freshets occasioned by the melting of the snow the orerflowing of the river. The banks, upon entering the are reduced, and a part of the course of the stream is left dry, Sozh, become bold and woody on both sides, the principal the earth dug out is much richer than that found up the banks; trinting white oak of an inferior kind, the sycamore, and a which is easily accounted for, as the principal bed of the river reEnd of bastard beech. The gramens which I noticed upon this ceives the auriferous deposit from all the hills which it passes river are the wild tare, the lichen, and various species of trefoil
from its source, whereas the higher banks can only be enriched The earth is of a sandy alluvial character, with a sub-strata of by the gold washed down from the nearest mountains." biars claves mud The banks of the river abound in deer and With reference to the actual annual production of the precious file hares and rubbits. Of the feline tribe I have noticed only metals, M. Chevalier gives as the result of his researches the folcae. kule by one of my men, of the small panther species. lowing calculations with respect to gold. The quantities are exGrizzly bears of a large size, are numerous. The ornithology | pressed in kilogrammes, of which, to avoid ininute fractions, it of this part of the country is poor and of very little variety, with
may be sufficient for the general reader to state that one kil. is the reception of the aquatic binis. Ducks, geese, the corinorant,
equal to about 2 lb. 3 oz. avoird. The values are rendered in and the stork are very numerous. The land birds noticed by me round numbers into sterling. The production of were, the raven, the common cmw, the jar falcon, and the white
America (North and South) is stated at 14,950 kil, or £2,059,760 bawk, besides a species of mocking bird with a blue plumage. I
1,300 id. or 179,120 Haare also noticed one species of humming bird of the dwarf kind.
30,000 id, or 4,133,320 with very beautiful red and green plumage. Rattlesnakes aboud Africa, and Southern Asia,
17,000 id. or 2,342,200 on the banks of the river, although they are said not to be so Feni mous here as in the warmer regions. There are also sev.
63,250 id, or £8.714,400 eral species of red and black streaked snakes, but they are perfertiy harmless. The water abonnds with salmon and trout of The actual annual production of silver M. Chevalier estimates an excellent quality After passing the Sleugh, the river (Sacra- at 875.000 kil., including 100,000 for China, Japan, and the Inmento) makes a bold sweep almost due N, its width being about
dian archipelago. Of the total quantity America, Spanish Ameri quadri and a half, 120 yards. Following this direction, you
ica for the greater part of the whole, yielded 615,000 kil., against mech a place called the Russian embarcadero, where the Rus
900,000 at the commencement of the present century. The coinSans formerly had an establishment for trading with the Indians.
parative results, shown at an interval of half-a-century, are thus The features of the banks of the river continue the samne, with a given. At the commencement of this century production wasest firiile enuntry in the back ground, covered with flowers of In gold–32,950 kil., or
£4,539,760 ETETY description; and amongst the numerous bulbous piants I In silver-900,000 kil, or
8,000,000 seaded sime of the lily speries, very large and beautiful. These plains are bounded on each side of the river by a range of moun
£12,539,760 tains at a distance of about 25 or 30 m, those on the W side
Production at the present timebeing low and apparently wooded. Those on the E side consist of two distinct ridges, one apparently of secondary formation,
In gold-63.250 kil., or
£8,714,400 fran which the auriferous rivers descend; and beyond this the
In silver --875,000 kil, or
7,776,680 Grand Snowy ridge, or cordillera of the Sierra Nevada, which as
£16,491,080 Fit has been but little explored.
* On the eighth day after leaving San Francisco we arrived at Thus, whilst the production of gold has very sensibly increased the new town called the Disembarcadero, situated near the junc- within the hi -century, that of silver has diminished, although tom of the Rio de los Americanos, or American fork, with the in a much less proportion. It must be observed here, however, Stamento. The banks here continue to maintain the same that the materials are not so exact and available for estimating features as already described. At this point, leaving the larger the production of gold as of silver, and possibly that of gold is vesel-a launch or barge--I proceeded up the river in a whale- more likely to be underrated. The result of this change in the ku to a distance of about 55 m., where the river is joined by proportions of the metals, or rather in the extraordinary increase noties of its tributaries called Feather river, This river, which of the gold produced, accompanied with some falling off in the runs in a direction nearly due E, from the mountains to the Sa- silver, has been that, at the beginning of this cent., 27, or proba. Cornenie, is a brond, deep, rapid stream, its banks rather bolder bly more than 30, kil, of silver were received in the general mar. than those of the other river, but presenting the same geological ket against one kil. of gold. Taking 27 only, and estimating the and botanical features; and it is singular to remark that none of two metals according to the tariff of French money, this was the rivers in their course towards the ocean, roll any stones, equivalent to 1 franc 76 cent. in silver against 1 franc in gold. an I believe but little gravel, along with them. No stones are At the present time it is 14 kil. of silver only against one of gold, to be found on the banks, the only thing approaching to them or, in specie values, 89 cent, in silver against one franc in gold. being tosca,' a petrifaction of sand. The only shells found on This, M. Chevalier remarks, is the most remarkable variation bothe banks are a few bivalvula, or fresh water mussel. Proceed- tween the two values ever known, except for a short time during ing up Feather river to a distance of about 50 m., you come to the great era of the Brazilian gold mines towards the middle of the junction of the Yuba, or Juba, the banks of which are covered the 18th cent. Ordinarily, the relations had been from 40 to 50 with wild grapes
At this point I left the boats on account of kil. of silver to 1 of gold. This extraordinary revolution, quite the rapidity of the current, finding it too laborious to pull against unforeseen twenty years ago, is attributable to the gold mines the strean. I crossed a valley on horseback for about 15 m., the and production of Russia. In 1828 these mines yielded only whole of which is a magniticent country, fertile in the extreme, 10,440 lbs, of gold; in 1845, 40,740 lbs. povered with clumps of wood which reminded me of a park in Professor Ansted conceives the supply will not be great enough Enziant. The weather, although only the end of April, was un- to materially affect the relative price of the precious metals in commonly hot, the therin, standing at 90° in the shade at mid Europe, or produce the revolution anticipated. He shows from
Humlwldt that the quantity of metal extracted from the South, the horizon. Mexican miners are employed in workAmerican mines, from the discovery of the New World to the year 1803, a periont of nearly three centuries, was in gold about ing it, by driving shafts and galleries, about 6 by 7 6,798,571 lbs. avoirdupois, and in silver 351,565, 714;" and the I ft., following the vein. The fragments of rock and value of the metals, estimated roughly, may be stated as ore are removed on the backs of Indians, in raw-hide 370,000,000 sterling in gold, and 1,280,000,000 in silver: the sacks. The ore is then huuled, in an ox-waggon, proportion between the two metals in quantity being as 1 to 51, but in value as 1 to 3)." He also calculates the average
from the mouth of the mine down to a valley well supply of gold for some years past to have exceeded 5,000,000 supplied with wood and water, in which the furnaces sterling, and that of silver about 8.000,000. Hence the stock of are situated. The furnaces are of the simplest conthe precious metals in Europe, arising from these sources, is nostruction,-exactly like a common bake-oven, in the so iiniense, that, as the professor remarks: “ Even should there be a very much greater increase in the total quantity of golul crown of which is inserted a whaler's frying-kettle; supplied than has ever yet taken place-as, for example, if the another inverted kettle forms the lid. From a hole quantity should be doubled for some years to come-yet this in the lid a small brick channel leads to an apartlarge increase must now be made to act upon so very large a capital stock already accumulated, as not to be likely to producement, or chamber, in the bottom of which is inserted any immediate effect. Judging by the supplies which have been a small iron kettle. The chamber has a chimney. introduced within the last few years from Siberia, and the effect hitherto, it is clear that the fears of those who anticipate a rapid the mineral, broken in small pieces, and mixed with
In the morning of each day the kettles are filled with and considerable change in the market values of gold and silver, are unreasonable and unfounded." He calculates that if C. by lime; fire is then applied and kept up all day. The any possibility could yield so large a supply of gold as £5,500,000 mercury is volatilized, passes into the chamber, beper annum (which equals that from all other countries), "the
comes condensed on the sides and bottom, and flows effect produced would be, after all, only that of an average addition of less than one per cent per annum, calculated upon the
into the pot prepared for it. No water is used to whole stock existing in the world."
condense the mercury. This mine is very valuable Minerals.] Lieut. Emory, in his official military of itself, and will become the more so in connexion survey from Fort Leavenworth to San Diego, makes with the recent discovery of gold in C., as mercury is frequent mention of copper and other mines, workeil extensively used in obtaining gold. It is not at preat some time past, but now abandoned, the traces of sent used for that purpose, but doubtless will be at which he encountered in his route. At the base of some future time. [Jason's Report, 1818.] the Sierra Socoro, in New Mexico, he found speci- Region east of the Sierra Nevada.) We have now mens of galena and copper ore, very pure, but was described the W part of Upper C., or that portion of prevented, by lack of time, from ascertaining the the country which is at present the great scene of extent of the beds. He was told that the ore here foreign enterprise and immigration, and to which had formerly been worked for gold, but that the dif- our remarks on the climate, productions, and popuficulty of procuring quicksilver-with which the ore lation of C. have almost exclusive reference. Before is collected-induced the operator to remove to the introducing these, however, we shall complete our opposite side of the mountain, near Manzanas, topographical details by epitomising the only mewhere, however, he found no better luck in regard moirs we yet possess relative to that portion of Upto quicksilver, and the mine was abandoned. In the per C. which lies to the E of the Sierra Nevada, and valley of the Mimtres he also discovered some de- which are chiefly contained in the official reports of serted copper mines. They were said to be very Fremont and Mason to the United States govertirich both in copper and gold, and the specimens he ment. saw amply bore out the assertion. Those who had been
The Great Basin.)" East of the Sierra Nevada, and between engaged in them were realizing immense sums; but it and the Rocky mountains," says Captain Fremont, " is that a quarrel having arisen between the miners and the anomalous feature in our continent, the Great Basin (GB), the exIndians, the latter turned out en masse, and drove istence of which was advanced as a theory after the second ex.
pedition, and is now established as a geographical fact. off the whites, and totally destroyed the mining set- ular feature: a basin of some 500 m. diameter, every way; tlement, with all the apparatus. There still were between 4,000 and 5,000 ft. above the level of the sea; shut in visible the remains of twenty or thirty adobe (mud) all around by mountains, - with its own system of lakes and ri
vers; and having no connection whatever with the sea Partly houses, and ten or fifteen shafts appeared to have arid and sparsely inhabited, the general character of the Great been sunk. The entire surface of the hill was covered Basin is that of desert, but with great exceptions; there being with iron pyrites, and red oxide of copper. Many many parts of it very fit for the residence of a civilized people; veins of native copper were found, but the principal selves in one of the largest and best. Mountain is the predomi
and of these parts, the Mormons have lately established them ore is the sulpharet. One or two specimens of silver nating structure of the interior of the basin, with plains between; ore were also obtained. A Mr. M‘Knight, one of the inountains wooded and watered, the plains arid and sterile. the earliest adventurers in New Mexico, was the The interior mountains conform to the law which governs the
course of the Rocky mountains and of the Sierra Nevada, rangprincipal operator in these mines, and is said to have ing nearly N and s, and present a very uniform character of ah. amassed a great fortune. On his first arrival in the ruptness, rising suddenly from a narrow base of 10 to 20 m., country he was suspected to be an agent of the and attaining an elevation of 2,000 to 5,000 ft. above the level of United States, and thrown into prison at Sonora, their summit-peaks during the greater part of the year, and af
the country. They are grassy and wooded, showing snow ou where he was kept in irons for eleven years. He is fording small streams of water from 5 10 50 feet wide, which Jose said to have stated that the gold found in the ore of themselves, some in lakes, some in the dry plains, and some in these mines paid all the expenses of mining, and the the belt of alluvial soil at the base; for these mountains have
very uniformly this belt of alluvion,--the wash and abrasion of transportation of the ore to the city of Mexico, their sides, rich in excellent grass, fertile and light, and loose where it was reduced. Mines of quicksilver of ex- enough to absorb small streams. Between these mountains are traordinary richness have also been discovered in c. the arid plains which receive and deserve the name of desert
Such is the general structure of the interior of the Great basin, In one called New Almaden, on a spur of the moun
more Asiatic than American in its character, and much resemtains 12 m. Sof San Joseph, and at an alt. of 1,000 ft. bling the elevated region between the Caspian sea and Northern above sea-level, belonging to the English house of Persia. The rim of this basin is massive ranges of mountains of
which the Sierra Nevada on the W, and the Wah-satch and TimBarron, Forbes, and Co., a few workmen, with the
panogos chains on the E, are the most conspicuous. On the N. rudest description of mining implements, and at an it is separated from the waters of the Columbia by a branch of expense very trilling indeed, have been for some the Rocky mountains; and froin the gulf of California on the S time past procuring quicksilver to the value of 300 by a bed of mountainous ranges, of which the existence has
been only recently determined. Snow abounds on them all dollars per day. When proper implements and ma
on some, in their loftier parts, the whole year, with wond and chinery, which have been contracted for in England, grass ; with copious streams of water, sometimes amounting 10 shall have arrived, this company expect to produce considerable rivers, towing inwards, and forming lakes or sinkimmense quantities of this valuable metal. The ore
ing in the sands. Belts or benches of good alluvion are usually
found at their base. occurs in a large vein, dipping at a strong angle to · Lukes in the Great Basin.] The Great Salt lake and the
It is a
[tah lake are in this basin, towards its eastern rim, and consti- handsome in their outline, capped with snow the greater part of tute its most interesting feature; the one, a saturated solution of the year, well clothed with grass and wood, and abundant in conmou sait-the other, fresh; the Utah about 100 ft. above the water. The stream is a narrow line, without affluents, losing by level of the Salt lake, which is itself 4,200 ft. above the level of absorption and evaporation as it goes, and terminating in a the sea; and both connected by a strait, or river, 35 m long. marshy lake, with low shores, fringed with bulrushes, and whitThese lakes drain an area of 10,000 or 12,000 sq. m.; and have, ened with suline incrustations. It has a moderate current, is from on the E along the base of the mountain, the usual bench of al. two to six feet deep in the dry season, and probable not fordable any lavion, which extends to a distance of 300 m., with wood and where below the junction of the forks during the time of melting aler, and aboudant grass. The Mormons have established snows, when both lake and river are considerably enlarged. The thenselves on the strait between these two lakes, and will find country through which it passes (except its immediate valley) is schcient arable land for a large settlement, important from its a dry sandy plain, without grass, wood, or arable soil; from about position as intermediate between the Mississippi valley and the 4,700 ft. (at the forks) to 4,200 ft. (at the lake) above the level of Pacific ocean, and on the line of communication to C. and Ore- the sea, winding among broken ranges of mountains, and varypoo The Ctah (u) is about 35 m. long; and is remarkable for the ing from a few miles to twenty in breadth. Its own immediate bomerous and bold streams which it receives, coming down from valley is a rich alluvion, beautiřully covered with blue-grass, herdthe mountains on the SE, all fresh water, although a large for- grass, clover, and other nutritious grasses; and its course is markmation of mck-salt, irabedded in red clay, is found within the ed through the plain by a line of willow and cotton-wood trees, ara on the SE, which it drains. The lake and its affluents afford serving for fuel. The Indians in the fall set fire to the grass, and large trout and other fish in great numbers, which constitute the destroy all trees except in low grounds near the water. This Eod of the Utah Indians during the fishing season. The Great river possesses qualities which, in the progress of events, may Sat lake ($$$) has a very irregular outline, greatly extended at time give it both value and fame. It lies on the line of travel to Caliei ineltin snows. It is about 70 m. in length ; both lakes rang- fornia and Oregon, and is the best route now known through the ing nearly N and 8, in conformity to the range of the moun- Great Basin, and the one travelled by emigrants Its direction, tains, and is remarkable for its predominance of salt. The whole nearly E and W, is the right course for that travel. It furnishes lase waters seem thoroughly saturated with it, and every evapo- a level unobstructed way for nearly 300 m., and a continuous ration of the water leaves salt behind. The rocky shores of the supply of the indispensable articles of water, wood, and grass. Its islands are whitened by the spray, which leaves salt on every- head is towards the Great Salt lake, and consequently towards thing it touches and a covering like ice forins over the water the Monnon settlement, which must become a point in the line which the waves throw among the rocks. The shores of the of emigration to California and the lower Columbia. Its termilake in the dry season, when the waters recede, and especially nation is within 50 m. of the base of the Sierra Nevada, and opon the S side, are whitened with incrustations of tine white salt; posite the Salmon Trout river pass---A pass only 7,200 ft. above the shallow arms of the lake, at the same time, under a slight the level of the sea, and less than half that above the level of the cosering of briny water, present beds of salt for miles, resem- Basin, and leading into the valley of the Sacramento, some 40 m. bLax softened ice, into which the horses' feet sink to the fetlock. N of Nueva Helvetia. Pants and bushes, blown by the wind upon these fields, are en- " The other principal rivers of the Great Basin are found on its Lly incrusted with crystallized salt, more than an inch in circumference, collecting their waters from the Snowy mountains,
Upon this lake of salt the fresh water received, which surround it.-Bear river, on the E, rises in the massive thrush great in quantity, has no perceptible effect. No fish, or range of the Timpanogos mountains, and falls into the Great Salt an.mal life of any kind, is found in it; the larve on the shore lake, after a doubling course through a fertile and picturesque being found to belong to winged insects. A geological examina- valley, 2000 m. long--The Utah river, and Timpanaozu or Timtip of the bed and shores of this lake is of the highest interest. panogos, discharging themselves into the Utah lake on the E, Five gallons of water taken from this lake in the month of Sept., after gathering their copious streams in the adjoining parts of and roughly evaporated over a fire, gave 14 pints of salt, a part the Wah-satch and Timpanogos mountains.--Nicollet river, ris. of which, being subjected to analysis, gave the following propor- ing in the long range of the Wah-watch mountains, falls into a tions:
lake of its own naine, after making an arable and grassy valley, Chloride of sorliam (common salt),
200 m. in length. through mountainous country.-Salmon Trout Chloride of calcium,
river, on the W, runs down from the Sierra Nevada and falls into Chloride of magnesium,
Pyramid lake, after a course of about 100 m. From its source, Sulphate of soda,
about one-third of its valley is through a pine-timbered country, Salphate of lime,
and for the remainder of the way, through very rocky, naked
ridges. It is remarkable for the abundance and excellence of its 100.00
salmon trout, and presents some ground for cultivation.--Carson * Southward from the Utah is another lake (g) of which little and Walker rivers, both handsome clear-water streams, nearly more is now known than when Humboldt published his general 100 m. long, come, like the preceding, down the Etlank of the map of Mexico. It is the reservoir of a handsome river, about 200 Sierra Nevada, and form lakes of their own name at its base. They abnz, rising in the Hah-satch mountains (rr), and discharging a contain salmon trout and other fish, and form some large botesiderable volume of water. The river and lake were called by toins of good land. --Owen's river, is uing from the Sierra Nevada the Spaniards, Severo, corrupted by the hunters into Sevier. On on the s, is a large bold stream about 120 m. long, gathering its the map they are called Nicollet, in honour of J. N. Nicollet, waters in the Sierra Nevada, flowing to the S, and forming a *hose premature death interrupted the publication of the learned lake about 15 m. long at the base of the mountain. At a medium Mark on the physical geography of the basin of the Upper Mis- stage it is generally 4 or 5 fl. deep, in some places 15; wooded sisuppi, which five years of labour in the field had prepared him with willow and cotton-wood, and makes continuous bottoms of to nive. On the W side of the basin, and inmediately within the fertile land, at intervals rendered marshy by springs and small tirse range of the Sierra Nevada, is the Pyramid lake (P), receiv- affluents from the mountain The water of the lake in which it up the water of the Salmon-trout river. It is 35 m. long; be- terininates has an unpleasant smell and bad taste, but around its twxn 4,000 and 5,000 ft. above the sea, surrounded by inoill- shores are found small streams of pure water, with good grass, tains: is reinarkably deep and clear, and abounds with uncon- Besides these principal rivers issuing from the mountains on the any large salmon-trout. Southward, along the base of the circumference of the Great Basin, there are many others, all Sierra Nevada, is a range of considerable lakes, formed by many around, all obeying the general law of losing theinselves in sands, Larre streams from the Sierra Lake Walker, the largest among or lakes, or belts of alluvion, and almost all of them an index to Luse, affords great numbers of trout, similar to those of the Py- some arable land, with grass and wood. ramid lake, and is a place of resort for Indians in the fishing Interior of the Great Busin] “ The interior of the Great Basin, Kason. There are probably other collections of water not yet so far as explored, is found to be a succession of sharp mountainknown. The number of sınall lakes is very great, many of them ranges and naked plains, such as have been described. These nzure or less salty, and all, like the rivers which feed them, ranges are isolated, presenting suminit-lines broken into many changing their appearance and extent under the intluence of the peaks, of which the highest are between 10,000 and 11,000 ft. *350rising with the melting of the snows, sinking in the dry above the sea. They are thinly wooded with some varieties of Weathes, and distinctly presenting their high and low water mark. pine, (Pinus monophyllus,) cedar, aspen, and a few other trees; These generally afford some fertile and well-watered land, capa- and afford an excellent quality of bunch grass, equal to any found
in the Rocky mountains. Black-tailed detr and mountain sheep Rirers of the Great busin.] “The most considerable river in are frequent in those mountains; which, in consideration of their the interior of the Great basin is the one called on the map grass, water, and wood, and the alluvion at their base, may be Habarkt river, as the mountains at its head are called Hum- called fertile, in the radical sense of the word, as signifying a caki se tiver mountains, as a sınall mark of respect to the · Nestor of pacity to produce, or bear, in contradistinction to sterility. In entitia travellers, who has done so much to illustrate North this sense these interior mountains may be called fertile. SteriAnterican geography, without leaving his name upon any one of lity, on the contrary, is the absolute characteristic of the valley's ils remarkable features. It is a river long known to hunters,
between the mountains--no wood, no water, no grass; the gloomy und sometimes sketched on maps under the name of Mary's or artemisia the prevailing shrubno animals, except the bares, Open's but now for the first time laid down with any precision. which shelter in these shrubs, and fleet and tiinid antelope, is a very peculiar stream, and has many characteristics of an always on the watch for danger, and finding no place too dry As atic river--the Jordan, for example, though twice as long- and barren which gives it a wide horizon for its view and a clear nanig in mountains and losing itselt in a lake of its own, after a field for its flight. No birds are seen in the plains, and few on
It rises in two streains in mountains the mountains. But few Indians are found, and those in the lowW-st of the Great Salt lake, which unite, after some 50 m, and cst state of human existence; living not even in communities, but bars westwardly along the N side of the basin towards the in the elementary state of families, and sometimes a single indi. Great Sierra Nevada, which it is destined never to reach, much vidual to himself-except about the lakes stocked with fish, les to pass. The mountains in which it rises are round and which become the property and resort of a small tribe. The
bee of settlement."
kanz and solitary course.
abundance and excellence of the fish, in most of these lakes, is a green. The desert was almost destitute of regetation; now and characteristic; and the fishing season is to the Indians the happy then an Ephedra, Enothera, or bunches of Aristidla were seen; season of the year.
and occasionally the level was covered with a growth of Obione Climate of the Great Basin.) “The climate of the Great Basin canescens, and a low bush with small oval plaited leaves, unknown. does not present the rigorous winter due to its elevation and The heavy sand had proved too much for many horses, and soine mountainous structure. Around the S shores of the Salt lake, in mules, and all the efforts of their drivers could bring them no lat. 40° 30', to 41°, for two weeks of the month of October 1835, further than the middle of this dreary desert. About 8 o'clock, from the 13th to the 27th, the mean temp. was 40° at sunrise, 70° as we approached the lake, the stench of dead animals confirinell at noon, and 54o at sunset; ranging at sunrise, from 28° to 57°; the reports of the Mexicans, and put to flight all hopes of our at noon, from 62 to 76°; at four in the afternoon, from 58° to 69°; being able to use the water. The basin of the lake, as well as I and at sunset, from 47° to 57o. Until the middle of the month could judge at night, is abont three-quarters of a mile long, and the weather remained fair and very pleasant. On the 15th, it halt-a-mile wide. The water had receded to a pool, diminished began to rain in occasional showers, which whitened with snow to one-half its size, and the approach to it was through a thick the tops of the mountains on the south-eastern side of the valley. soapy quagmire. It was wholly unfit for man or brute, and we Flowers were in bloom during all the month. About the 18th, studiously kept the latter from it, thinking that the use of it wonla on one of the large islands in the south of the lake, helianthus, but aggravate their thirst, A few mezquite trees and a chenoseveral species of aster, erodium, cicutarium, and several other podiaceons shrub bordered the lake. With the sum rose a heavy plants, were in fresh and full bloom; the grass of the second fog from the SW, no doubt from the gulf, and, sweeping towards growth was coming up finely, and vegetation generally betoken- us, enveloped us for two or three hours, wetting our blankets ed the lengthened summer of the climate."
and giving relief to the animals. Before it had disappeared we Geology and Soil.) With respect to the geological character of came to a patch of sun-burned grass. When the fog had entirely this part of C., the late Thomas J. Farnham, in his work entitled dispersed we found ourselves entering a gap in the moumtains, Life, Trare's, and Adventures in California, states, that through- which had been before us for four days. The plain was crossed, out the whole immense tract lying W of the Rocky mountains, but we had not yet found water The first valley we reached the evidences of past volcanic action are strewn far and wide. was dry, and it was not till 12 o'clock, M., that we struck the " The main ranges of the Rocky mountains," he says, " which Cariso creek, within half-a-mile of one of its sources, and alrise froin 12,000 to 27,000 ft. (?) above the level of the sea are though so close to the source, the sands had already absorbed chiefly composed of primitive rock covered with eternal snows. much of its water, and left but little running. A mile or two beHaving passed these, the wayfarer westward enters a region low, the creek entirely disappears. We halted, having made 54 parts of which are occupied by plains covered with volcanic sands m. in the two days, at the source, a magnificent spring 20 or 30 and debris, or piled with mountains of fused rock and decompos- ft. in diameter, highly impregnated with sulphur, and medicinal ing lava, clothed with forests of terebinthine trecs, broken often in its properties. No vessel could be procured to bring home by bold barren tracts of cliffs, and orerhung here and there some of the water for analysis, but I scraperl a handful of the by lofty pinnacles of extinct volcanoes, towering in freezing salt which had effloresced to the surface of the adjacent ground, sublimity, thousands of feet above the line of perpetual frosts-- and Professor Frazer finds it to contain sulphate of lime, and maggreat sentinels in the heavens-clad in the shining raiments of nesia, and chloride of sodium. The spring consisted of a series everlasting snow. This is a general description of the whole ter- of smaller springs, or veins, varying in temp. from 68° to 75o. ritory lying W of the Rocky mountains, and extending from Cape This variation, however, may have been owing to the different San Lucas to the Arctic sea."
exposures of the fountains in which the therm, was immersed Southern (listrict.] “The country," says Lieutenant Emory, | The growth was cane, rush, and a coarse grass, such as is found “ from the Arkansas to the Colorado, a distance of over 1,200 m., on the marshes near the sea shore. The desert over which we in its adaptation to agriculture, has peculiarities which must for had passed, 90 m. from water to water, is an immense triangular ever stamp itself upon the pop. which inhabits it. In no part of plain, bounded on one side by the Colorado; on the W by the this vast tract can the rains from heaven be relied upon to any cordilleras of California, the coast chain of mountains which now extent, for the cultivation of the soil. The earth is destitute of encircles us, extending from the Sacramento river to the Sextrees, and in great part also of any vegetation whatever. A few tremity of the Lower California; and on the NE by a chain of feeble streans flow in different directions from the great moun. mountains, a continuation of the same spur noted on the 22nd as tains, which in many places traverse this region. These streams running SE and NW. It is chiefly covered with floating sand, are separated, sometimes by plains, and sometimes by moun- the surface of which in various places is white with diminative tains, without water and without vegetation, and may be called spinelas, and everywhere over the whole surface is formd the deserts, so far as they perforin any useful part in the sustenance larre and soft muscle shell. I have noted the only two patches of animal life. The cultivation of the earth is therefore contine of grass found during the jornada. There were scattered, at wide to those narrow strips of land which are within the level of the intervals, the Palaforia linearis, Atripler, Encelia farinosa, Da. waters of the streams; and wherever practised in a community leas, Euphorbias, and a Simsia, described by Dr. Torrey as a new with any success, or to any extent, involves a degree of subordi. species. The S termination of this desert is bounded by the Tenation, and absolute obedience to a chief, repugnant to the habits cate chain of mountains, and the Colorado; but its N and E bounof our people. I made many inquiries as to the character of the daries are undefined; and I should suppose from the accounts of vast region of country embraced in the triangle forined by the trappers, and others, who have attempted the passage from CaliColorado of the W, the Del Norte, and the Gila. From all that fornia to the Gila by a more northern route, that it extends many I learn, the country does not differ materially in its physical days' travel beyond the chain of barren mountains which bound character from New Mexico, except, perhaps, being less denuded the horizon in that direction. The portal to the mountains through of soil and vegetation. The sources of the Salina, the San Fran- which we passed was formed by immense buttes of yellow clay cisco, Azul, San Carlos, and Prieto, tributaries of the Gila, take and sand, with large flakes of mica and seams of gypsum. Nothing their rise in it. About their head-waters, and occasionally along could be more forlorn and desolate in appearance.
The gypsum their courses, are presented sections of land capable of irrigation. had given some consistency to the sand buttes, which were washThe whole extent, except on the margin of streams, is said to be ed into fantastic figures. One ridge formed apparently a comdestitute of forest-trees. The Apaches, a very numerous race, plete circle, giving it the appearance of a crater; and although and the Navajoes, are the chief occupants; but there are many some miles to the left, I should have gone to visit them, supposminor bands, who, unlike the Apaches and Navajoes, are not no- ing it to be a crater, but my mule was sinking with thirst, and madic, but have fixed habitations. Amongst the most remark- water was yet at some distance. able of these are the Soones, most of whom are said to be Albi. ** Nov. 29.-We followed the dry sandy bed of the Cariso nearly noes. The latter cultivate the soil, and live in peace with their all day, at a snail's pace, and at length reached the Little pools more numerous and savage neighbours. Departing from the ford where the grass was luxuriant, but very salt. The water strongly of the Colorado in the direction of Sonora, there is a fearful desert resembled that at the head of the Cariso creek, and the earth, to encounter. Alter, a small town, with a Mexican garrison, is which was very tremulous for many acres about the pools, was the nearest settlement. All accounts concur in representing the covered with salt. This valley is at no point more than half-sjourney as one of extreme hardship, and even peril. The distance mile wide, and on each side are mountains of grey granite and is not exactly known, but it is variously represented at from four pure quartz, rising from 1,000 to 3,000 ft. above it. A few miles to seven days' journey. Persons bound for Sonora from C., who from the spring called Ojo Grande, at the head of the creek, ser. do not mind a circuitous route, should ascend to Gila as far as eral cabbage trees marked the locale of a spring and a small patch the Pimos village, and thence penetrate the province by way of of TASS. We found also to-day, in full hloom, the fouquiera Tucson. At the ford, the Colorado is 1,500 ft. wide, and flows at spinosa, a rare and beautiful plant; the Plantago, new to our fiora; the rate of 1) m. per hour. Its greatest depth in the channel at a new species of Eriogonum, very remarkable for its extremely the ford where we crossed is 4 ft. The banks are low, not more numerous long hair-like fruit stalks and minute fiowers. We than 4 ft. high, and, judging from indications, sometimes, though rode for miles through thickets of the centennial plant, Agare not frequently, overflowed. Its general appearance at this point Americana, and found one in full bloom. The sharp thoms teris much like that of the Arkansas, with its turbid waters and minating every leaf of this plant were a great annoyance to our many shifting sand islands."
dismounted and wearied men, whose legs were now almost bare. Lieutenant Emory's narrative of his journey from this point A number of these plants were cut by the soldiers, and the body across the desert of C. is so interesting and characteristic that we of then used as food. The day was intensely hot, and the sand make a few extracts from it:
deep; the animals, inflated with water and rushes, gave way by “Nov 27 and 28.-- The Mexicans had informed us that the scores. waters of a salt lake, some 30 or 40 m distant, were too salt to " Dec. 12.-We followed the Solidad through a deep fertile val. nise, but other information led us to think the intelligence was ley in the shape of a cross. Here we ascended to the left a steep wrong. We accordingly tried to reach it; about 3 P. M., pe disen. hill to the table lands, which, keeping for a few miles, we de. gaged ourselves froin the sand and went due (magnetic) W, over scended into a waterless valley, leading into False bay at a point an immense level of clay detritus, hard and smooth as a bowling. distant 2 or 3 m. from San Diego. At this place we were in view
of the fort overlooking the town of San Diego, and the barren wild mustard; vineyards and olive orchards, decayed waste which surrounds it."
and neglected, are among the remaining vestiges; Climate.] Stretched along the mild coast of the only in some places do we see the evidences of what Partic, with a general elevation in its plains and the country is capable. At San Buenaventura, FreFalleys of only a few hundred feet above the level of mont found the olive trees, in January, bending under the sea, and backed by the long and lofty wall of the weight of neglected fruit; and the mission of San the sierra, mildness and geniality may be assumed | Luis Obispo, in N lat. 35°, is still distinguished for as the characteristics of the climate of that portion the excellence of its olives, which are said to be finer of C. which lies to the W of the Sierra Nevada. and larger than those of the Mediterranean. Captain The inhabitant of corresponding latitudes on the Wilkes of the United States exploring expedition, Atlantic side of this continent can with difficulty says: “The soil is as variable as the face of the conceive of the soft air and southern productions country. On the coast-range of hills there is little under the same latitudes in the maritime region of to invite the agriculturist, except in some vales of no Upper C. The singular beauty and purity of the great extent. The hills are, however, admirably sky in the south of this region is characterised by adapted for raising herds and flocks, and are at preHumboldt as a rare phenomenon, and all travellers sent the feeding-grounds of numerous deer, elk, &c., realize the truth of his description. The climate of to which the short, sweet grass, wild mustard and Maritime C. is greatly modified by the structure of carrots, and wild oats, that are spread over them the country; and may be considered as presenting afford a plentiful supply of food. The productions three different districts of climate: viz., the Southern, of the south differ from ihose of the north and of the stretching below Point Conception and Santa Bar- middle districts. Grapes, olives, Indian corn, have been bara mountain, in about N lat. 35°; the Middle, its staples, with many assimilated fruits and grains. inelading the bay and basin of San Francisco, and Tobacco has been recently introduced; and the unithe coast between Point Conception and Cape Men-form summer-heat which follows the wet season, docino; and the Northern, extending from Cape and is uninterrupted by rain, would make the southMendocino to the Oregon boundary. In these three ern country well adapted to cotton. Wheat is the divisions, the rainy season is longest and heaviest in first product of the north, where it always constithe N; and lightest in the S; and vegetation is tuted the principal cultivation of the missions; and governed by them. Around the bay of San Fran- this promises to be the grain-growing region of C cisco, the rains last from December to April. “Sum- | The moisture of the coast seems particularly suited mer and winter, in our sense of the terms, are not to the potato and to the vegetables common to the applicable to this part of the country.
It is not
United States, which grow to an extraordinary size. heat and cold, but wet and dry which mark the sea- Perhaps few parts of the world can produce in such sons; and the winter-months, instead of killing ve- perfection so great a variety of fruits and grains as getation, revive it. The dry season makes a period ihe large and varied region enclosing the bay of San of consecutive drought, the only winter in the vege- Francisco and drained by its waters, and compretation of this country, which can hardly be said at hending the entire valleys of the Sacramento and San any time to cease. In forests where the soil is shel- Joaquin, and the whole western slope of the Sierra tered, and in low lands of streams and hilly country Nevada. “The soil,” says M. de Mofras, “is often, where the ground remains moist, grass continues in the valleys, 2 metres deep. The superior strata constantly green, and flowers bloom in all the months are formed in part of organic detritus, and are, of of the year. In the southern half of the country course, extremely fertile. The soil is never naked: the long summer-drought has rendered irrigation grass covers it through the whole year. The granecessary; and the experience of the missions, in mireous plants attain the height of 8 or 10 ft. But their prosperous day, has shown that in C., as else- | the trees of California, if not the largest, are at any shere, the driest plains are made productive, and rate the tallest on the globe.” Capt. Wilkes says: the heaviest crops produced by that mode of culti- “ The valley of the Sacramento, and that of San vation. With irrigation a succession of crops may | Juan, are the most fruitful parts of C., particularly be produced throughout the year. Salubrity and a the latter, which is capable of producing wheat, Inregulated mildness characterize the climate; there dian corn, rye, oats, &c., with all the fruits of the being no prevailing diseases, and the extremes of temperate, and many of the tropical climates. It heat during the summer being checked by sea-breezes likewise offers pasture-grounds for cattle. This may during the day, and by light airs from the Sierra be termed the garden of C.; but although several Neveda during the night. The nights are generally small streams and lakes serve to water it, yet in dry cool and refreshing, as is the shade during the hot- seasons or droughts, not only the crops, but the test day." (Fremont.] The prevailing wind on the herbage also sutiers extremely, and the cattle are cvast is the SE, which generally blows from April to deprived of food.” The delta of the Sacramento and November; the NW wind lasts during the remaining Joaquin rivers is composed of low alluvial soil, coportion of the year. It has been observed, however, vered with a thick growth of tulé, a species of giganthat the NW wind blows more regularly to the N of tic bulrush, the stem of which is tender and filled Cape Conception in 35° N lat.; and the SE, on the with air-celis. It frequently attains a height of 15 coast to the S of that point.
ft., and has a semi-bulbous root, fresh and pleasant Soil and Productions.] The present condition of to the taste, which is the food of some of the smaller the country affords but slight data for forming cor- amphibious animals. Mr. Revere says: “The whole rect opinions of its agricultural capacity, and the of the tulé lands bordering on these rivers will doubtfertility of the soil. Vancouver in 1792, found, at less be valuable at some day for the culture of rice, the mission of San Buenaventura, in N lat. 34° 16', which will become a prominent product of C., and apples, pears, plums, figs, oranges, grapes, peaches, probably be exported to the accessible and ready and pomegranates growing together with the plan markets of the East Indies. Indeed, I was struck tain, banana, cocoa-nut, sugar-cane, and indigo, all by the resemblance which this immense tract of tule Fielding fruit in abundance, and of excellent quality. land bears to the often laboriously prepared “paddy Humboldt says the olive oil of C. is equal to that of fields' of China, Hindostan, Sumatra, and the Dutch Andalusia. At present but little remains of the high and Malayan archipelago. In the tulé region of C. and varied cultivation which had been attained at bounteous Nature has herself prepared these fields the missions. The fertile valleys are overgrown with | for the industry of any who may choose to cultivate