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      This camp is situated on the North side of the Stanislaus River, 30 miles from Mokelumne Hill and 9 from Columbia, and in the midst of a fine mineral district.  It was one among the first places opened in the south and was discovered by a man by the name of Murphy, and from whom the camp was afterwards named.—Murphy had the control and command of a tribe of digger Indians, who he made work in the mines and give him their dust, which we are informed amounted to many thousands.—Central Hill which was the great mining attraction in ’51 and ’52, was discovered by John Talbot, a “Typo” who took out his thousands, and as freely gave it to his friends and all who asked for money.  This same lucky miner, on hearing of the discovery of Gold on the Amazon, made up a party of thirty and started for that far off and unexplored country; his company was the only one that made a thorough exploration, and after travelling for thousands of miles, returned to Murphy’s Camp, minus everything and 17 of his brave and adventurous companions, most of whom died of fatigue and the want of the necessaries to sustain life in that dreary country.

      We copy from a private letter the following, which gives a good idea of the diggings and the first opening of the camp.

      “In August 1849, when I came to this camp, the method of Mining was with the pick shovel and pan, myself with four others, were engaged in mining on the flat, we had from 6 to 8 feet of surface to strip off before we could commence to wash.  It was one man’s business to carry the dirt in a sack 450 or 500 yards, and was in a pan, in very riley water.  Three would sit in the hole with knives, and pick out all the Gold they could see ; when the man would return from panning, they would give him about three pans of this dirt that had been picked over, his average washing was about 8 sacks per day ; the fifth man was engaged in clearing off the surface, we washed five inches of gravel above a tough clay, which we though was clay ledge, but since has proved to be good paying dirt.—I think this mode of mining was generally adopted on the flat.  On the 4th day of October ’49, we got upon a large quartz boulder, too large to move, we dug a holy nearly underneath and let it drop in, and immediately behind where it lay, we took out a pan of dirt and took it up to our brush tent at noon and washed it and had 42 oz. of dust, 63 oz. was our proceeds on that day.  Could we have had the facilities for mining then, that we now have, we could have made 50 lbs. of Gold in a day; and I believe there were others doing quite as well.  The first rocker that was in this placer was brought from Sacramento. Messrs. Smith, Hayes and myself purchased it in July ’49, for $30, it weighed 20 lbs, we took it on the north branch of the American river, to Horse Shoe Bar, paid 20 cents per lb for hauling it, worked with it about three weeks, and returned to Sacramento, where we met a gentleman from Stockton buying mule teams, from there we got the rocker taken to Stockton, and to this place, I presume when we got here it had cost us near $50; we could not use it to any advantage for the want of water, until the rainy season set in; on first day of November, our only washing place was a small spring at the lower end of the flat.  Mr. Vandling, one of our partners, being a blacksmith, gave us an advantage over other miners, in keeping our picks in order, he brought the hammer he used at home with him, and would dress our picks on a large rock for an anvil.  In November ’49, I went to Stockton and purchased 1200 lbs provisions, engaged an ox team to haul them, for which we paid him $600 in dust, at $16 per oz.; later in the season five bitts were paid, we were 9 days from Stockton to this place.  On the 22nd of Jan, 1850, snow fell two feet deep.  Capt. Bell and Dr. Moore were out one or two miles from camp, hunting; the latter, becoming fatigued laid down and perished.  The day following three men went out to hunt Dr. Moore, and got benighted a quarter mile from camp, and laid down in a tree top, and in the morning one of them was frozen.

      In the fall of 1850, when the secrect (sic) diggings or McKinney’s humbug, was discovered, A. Vandling and his partner went from this camp, not having lumber to make long toms, they dug one out of a tree.  In a few weeks they discovered that the diggings would not pay, so they engaged a Mexican (sic), with mules to bring them back.  The Long-tom being unhandy to pack, the Mexican (sic) declined taking it; Vandling took it upon his back, and only laid it down once until he reached this camp, a distance of 15 miles over the worst roads in the Southern mines.  He carried it within four miles of camp before he laid it down, on the summit of a mountain as high as the one from the Stanislaus river to Gold Spring.

      In December 1849, when one of my partners and myself went to prospect Pennsylvania Gulch near this place, and being the first Americans to work it, it took its name from us, being called the Pennsylvania Company.  On going down the Gulch we came to a precipice of rocks where the water was running over, we noticed several pieces of Gold on the rocks, in washing a few pans and picking up what we saw, we had about half an ounce, started to go home intending to try a few pans further up the Gulch; put our dust on a small flat rock, my partner was carrying it, with his hands carelessly behind his back, and when we came to look for the Gold, he had turned the rock upside down, and our prospects were gone, and nothing to show our success to the other partners.

      When mining on Central Hill, on going down into one of the shafts, sixty feet deep, one morning one of the hands went down to go to work, and the first thing he met after entering the drift a few feet, was a large Buck supposed to have gone down in the night to prospect, he appeared to be in perfect good health.

      Two men have been lynched in the camp, and I think but two shot dead, and two lashed.

      Murphy’s has a population of over one thousand, she has numerous Stores, Hotels, Express and Banking Houses, a Church, Masonic Hall, Division of the Sons of Temperance &c., &c.—The Union Ditch Company have their head quarters here, and from their extensive canal, supply the mines of this, Douglass, Valliceto, Angels, Cherokee and a number of other camps.


Among the many good and substantial buildings under contract and in the process of erection, J. L. Sperry’s Hotel is the largest—its cost when finished will be some $18,000. Mr. S. is induced to go to this heavy outlay in order to accommodate the increased travel through Murphy’s since the discovery of the “Big Tree.”






This Flat is within one mile of Murphy’s, and is an excellent mining district.  Here is the point where the Table Mountain was first taped and its rich treasures discovered.  Two Tunnelling Companies were organized in January 1852, viz: the Ohio, and the South Western.—The Olivers were among the principal shareholders in the former, and Joseph Winn, A. G. Anderson, C. Cherry, B. F. Herring, O. Wooten, E. Varnum, R. Thompson, B. F. Morris, and four others in the South Western, their Company did not “cut the lead” until 1854, since which time they have taken out near half a million of dollars.

      VALLICETO.—Is within 4 miles of Murphy’s and on the road leading to Angel’s Camp.  It is quite a brisk place, and is well improved.  In 1852, a piece of Gold weighing 20 lbs. was found in the Hill, also several other of less weight.

      A Company has been organized and are now engaged in running a large tunnel to drain the Flat, which at present cannot be successfully worked.

      FRENCH CAMP.—Is some three miles South West from Valliceto, and has some good mining ground.  The population is principally French.

      ANGEL’S.—Is On the Public Highway leading North and South ; it is quite a place of business.  Several quart leads in the vicinity are being successfully and profitably worked.  This place was consumed by fire in the summer of 1854, the fire originated in a Chinese brothel.

      The town has since been partially rebuilt, with more substantial and elegant buildings, it has a first class Hotel, Express and Banking Offices, Church, Masonic Lodge and Division of the Sons of Temperance.

      CHEROKEE FLAT.—Is some three miles North of Angel’s, and is attracting considerable attention from the fact of several rich quartz leads having been struck and new Placer Diggings discovered.

      CARSON’S.—In 1851, this was the great Camp of the South; thousands rushed there to get a chance at the Mountain of Quartz, said to contain Gold sufficient for half the world.  Companies were formed, claims taken up and men put to work upon them; disputes arose as to boundary lines, and there was a general war in consequence of these misunderstandings; several persons were killed; many of the claims were thrown into litigation, and cost thousands upon thousands before decisions could be had as to who was the real possessors.  But few of the claims were being worked at this time, but so soon as the proper means are employed, no doubt but they will be the most valuable property in California.

      San Domingo, French Creek, San Jacinto, are small places located on tributaries of the Calaveras.  These small streams furnish employment to quite a population.  They are situated within a few miles of Murphy’s, and at this place, receive their letters and other mail matter.

      There are also other Camps of which we are unable to give a notice at this time, but will receive attention on our second appearance.






Abraham, S., Merchant, Louisiana.

Alma, Daniel, Miner, R. Island.

Barnes, W. H., Miner, Maine.

Bashford, J., Miner, New York.

Beach H. H., Ditchman, New York.

Belding, C., Soda Manufacturer, Penn.

Bender, G. H., Miner, New York.

Bond, E., Miner, Massachusetts.

Briggs, C. A., Miner, Wisconsin.

Briggs, P. C., Miner, Wisconsin.

Briner, J. K., Miner, Pennsylvania.

Brown, A., Miner, N. Hampshire.

Butler, E., Butcher, Maine.


Carley, Joseph, Ditchman, Wisconsin.

Carpenter, G. A., Miner, Massachusetts.

Chase, C. L., Miner, Maine.

Clarssy, Wm., Miner, Maine.

Cogswell, L. T., Ranchero, Connecticut.

Crahm, S. A., Merchant, Louisiana.

Crispin, Wm. Grocer, Massachusetts.

Chriswall, S., Miner, Maine.


Douglass, G. B., Miner, Pennsylvania.

Dowling, James, Miner, Massachusetts.

Faxon, F., Merchant, Massachusetts.

Faxon, J., Merchant, Massachusetts.

Filterre, ____., Grocer, France.

Freeman, F. A., Justice of the Peace, New York.

Genter, J. H., Miner, Massachusetts.

Griffith, W. P., Ditchman, New York.


Hanchett, Silas, Miner, New York.

Haynes & Co., Merchants, New York.

Hardwick & Lapham, Restaurant, N.Y. & Eng.

Hunsdorf, J., Baker, Inidana.

Hunt, E. M., Printer, Louisiana.

Inks, J. B., Miner, Maine.

Johnson, C., Miner, Tennessee.

Laventhal & Brother, Merchants, Germany.


Mai, Geo, Segar Store, Germany.

Mattison, T. J., Livery Stable, New York.

Melton, Wm., Miner, Illinois.

McCalgin, M, Miner, Massachusetts.

McDonald, F. G., Miner, Missouri.

McDonald, B. F., Miner, Maine.

McCullough, T. Dairyman, Michigan.

McNeil, M., Blacksmith, New York.


Parker, G. W. H., Miner, Mass.

Parsons, E., Miner, Indiana.

Parsons, Samuel, Barber, Conn.

Pryor, James, Miner, Maine.

Putney, A. H., Lawyer, Maine.

Putney, E. H., Clerk, Maine.

Putney, H. A., Ranchero, Maine.


Reany, McKee, Miner, Virginia.

Roadhouse, J., Merchant, New York.

Roberts, E. R., Ranchero, Conn.

Rogers, H., Tinsmith, Conn.

Rooney, G., Miner, Louisiana.

Ross, Daniel, Miner, Maine.


Safford, H. C., Miner, New York.

Salaman, A., Watchmaker, ____.

Senter, Riley, Ditchman, New York.

Schuler, & Rothanbusch, Bakers, Ohio.

Similair, Z. B., Grocer, Indiana.

Sperry, J. L., Hotel Keeper, New York.

St. Flanch & Co., Merchants, New York.

Stevens, A. H., Post Master, Maine.

Stiver, James, Miner, Penn.

Stuart, W. W., Miner, Indiana.


Taylor, Charles, Miner, Wisconsin.

Vaughan, J. D., Soda Manufacturer, Indiana.

Weaver, F., Miner, Wisconsin.

Weed, F., Miner, New York.

Worth, Q. M., Carpenter, Maine.



            Douglass’ Flat.                      

Anderson, A. G., Miner, Texas.

Been, G. A., Miner, Indiana.

Cessell, J., Miner, Missouri.

Cherry, C. F., Miner, Texas.

Harper, J. T., Merchant, Iowa.

Hunt, C. A., Miner, Massachusetts.

John, George, Printer, Pennsylvania.

Lewis, B., Miner, New York.

McCalla, J., Miner, Illinois.

Peyton, J. R., Merchant, Louisiana.

Sanders, M. Ranchero, R. Island.

Temperman, J., Hotel Keeper, R. Island.

Winn, Joseph, Merchant, Mississippi.




Andrews, J. Y., Miner, New York.

Barclay, David, Miner, Conn.

Blazengave, J. A., Miner, Alabama.

Bomy, J. L., Miner, Missouri.

Buhler, S., Butcher, Louisiana.


Campbell, James, Miner, Virginia.

Cohn, Levy & Co., Merchants, New York.

Cramer, F., Physician, Germany.

Curry, Wm. C., Merchant, Arkansas.


Dillon, Wm., Miner, Ohio.

Dobbs, J. G., Miner, Mississippi.

Cryer, J., Segar Store, Germany.


Edwards, John, Miner, Wisconsin.

Espil, C., Merchant, France.

Griswold, J. W., Physician, Ohio.

Hardy, A., Miner, Mississippi.

Heise, Wm., Billiard Saloon, Germany

Henker, W. W., Blacksmith, Maine.

Hunt, J. C., Constable, Mississippi.


Ingram. J. B., Miner, Virginia.

Jones, M. O., Merchant, Vermont.

Lewis, W. T., Lawyer, Mississippi.

Lyons, J. R., Miner, Virginia.


Merryman, J., Miner, Texas.

Moore, W. B., Blacksmith, Texas.

Morgan, T. F., Miner, Maine.

Moyle, John, Miner, S. Carolina.

McMurray, J. R., Miner, Virginia.

McMurray, G. S., Post master, Virginia.


Pearson, S. A., Miner, R. Island.

Pleasant, M. C., Ranchero, Tennessee.

Rea, I. W., Miner, Penn.

Ross, H. J., Miner, Maryland.

Russell, W. A., Physician, Tennessee.


Siebert, V., Shoe Maker, Illinois.

Shanks, C., Miner, Texas.

Smith, Wm., Miner, Virginia.

Tash, John, Miner, New Jersey.

Throckmorton, J. A., Lumberman, N. Jersey


Walker, J., Taylor, (sic), Germany.

Weber, T., Miner, Missouri.

Wells, Calvin, Miner, S. Carolina.

Wilson, James, Miner, New Jersey.

Zelmann, O. E., Restaurant, New Jersey.




Bowden, J., Miner, Illinois.

Brouk, J., Miner, New York.

Brown, J., Jr., Hotel Keeper, Mississippi.

Carlow, W. H, Blacksmith, New York.

Clifford, E., Miner, R. Island.

Finnegan, J., Miner, New York.

Finnegan, John, Miner, New York.

Gregory, E., Miner, New York.

Hays, W., Miner, New York.

Hocking, T., Miner, Wisconsin.

Hugbee, W., Miner, Canada.

Land, J., Miner, Massachusetts.

Moss, J. H., Miner, England.

Roberts, J., Miner, Wisconsin.

Smith, D., Miner, New York.

Shurlen, D., Miner, Illinois.

Sutherland, W. H., Miner, Ohio.

Thatcher, G. P., Miner, Maine.

Wentworth, G., Miner, New York.

Williams, T., Miner, Wisconsin.



                   French Creek                             

Baker, J., Miner, Missouri.

Blackburn, J., Miner, Massachusetts.

Burwitts, A., Miner, Missouri.

Carlin, Wm., Miner, New York.

Carlin, P., Miner, N. York.

Chew, C., Miner, Illinois.

Clark, John, Miner, Illinois.

Copeland, J. M., Miner, Tennessee.

Flanagan, R., Miner, Penn.

Hooner, A. J., Miner, Tennessee.

Maul, T., Miner, England.

McDermott, James, Merchant, New York.

McGlaughlan, ____., Miner, Penn.

Taylor, S., Miner, Georgia.

Tope, H. J., Miner, Ohio.

Rich, C. C., Miner, Georgia


Angel’s Camp

Abbott, S. S., Saddler, Connecticut.

Bockmann, J., Miner, Norway.

Brodie, James, Engineer, New York.

Canevan, J., Blacksmith, Mississippi.

Dougherty, Wm., Miner, Wisconsin.

Forbes, John, Engineer, New York.

Frzier, T. J., Hotel Keeper, Mississippi.

Gardner, John, Miner, New York.

Gibbes, C. D., Miner, Texas.

Higgins, Joel, Miner, Alabama.

Lake, C. G., Hotel Keeper, New York.

Love, Alexander, Dairyman, New York.

Maltman, Wm., Miner, Louisiana.

Matthews, H. Merchant, New York.

Nuninger, George, Baker, Virginia.

Scribner, J. C., Merchant, New York.

Strauss, B. J., Merchant, New York.

Thomas, Ellis, blacksmith, Penn.

Webb, Joseph, Ranchero, Arkansas.

Webb, T. J., Ranchero, Arkansas.

Wilson, J. O., Miner, New York


           Sandomingo Creek

Bauchca, ____., Miner, France.

Cogswell H. S., Farmer, Connecticut.

Cogswell, W., Farmer, Connecticut.

Campbell, A., Miner, Illinois.

Gheen, T. E., Miner, Ohio.

King, George, Miner, N. Carolina.

Lapeyre, ____., Miner, France.

Manar, A., Miner, N. Carolina.

Punchon, Peter, Miner, France.

Pierr, S., Miner, France.

Praide, Wm., Miner, New York.

Richard, Albert, Miner, France.


Blaylock, ____., Long Gulch, Miner, Georgia.

Brainard, Wm., Miner, Ohio.

Bridges, Henry, Long Gulch, Ranchero, Ark.

Caddell, C., Long Gulch, Miner, Tenn.

Foster, G., Long Gulch, Miner, Mass.

Foreman, D. N., Slab Ranch, Miner, Wis.

Hill, J. L., Slab Ranch, Miner, Ohio.

Kling, J., San Jacinto, Butcher, Ohio.

Cogswell, L.T., French Gulch, Ranchero, Conn.

Roberts, E. T., French Gulch, Ranchero, Conn.

Wier, Wm., Hawk Eye, Miner, Penn.

Wolf, J., Old Gulch, Butcher, Ohio

Anderson, A. B., Albany Flat, Miner, N. Y.

Feige, F., Albany Flat, Miner, Maryland.

Welch, W., Albany Flat, Miner, Ireland.

Runyon, L., Albany Flat, Merchant, Illinois.





Transcribed by Betty Vickroy.

© 2008 Betty Vickroy.