History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 440
44 HITR FTXS
scriptive articles, personal recollections, inciaents
of travel, poems and novels, all
seeking to portray some phase of the miner's
life in California during the ' flush times
there, but no one really knows what that life
was or ever can know except the miner himself.
"In the meantime, while I was working
away on the Yuba river, one of those periodic
crazes which sweep over mining camps broke
out and a grand rush was made for the Gila
river country of Arizona, where everybody
was reported to be getting rich. I went
along with the rest, but soon found after
reaching the new 'field' that there was
nothing in it.
<" I went back into northern California and
mined for a while in Shasta county, when I
determined to make a trip tup the Pacific
coast. A party of twenty-two was organized
and we worked our way up the coast through
the Territories of Oregon and Washington
and into British Columbia. There we heard
of promising fields in Alaska. This was in
1859, and Alaska at that time was one of
those countries of which but very little had
been heard and nothing practically was
known. But I decided to see it and try my
luck in the newly found mines there. Joining
three or four others we struck out for the
land of the' Midnight Sun.' Our trip was without
venture save such as made up our everyd-ty
life, to detail which now would consume
too munch time. We reached the 'gold fields'
in due time, and found to our chagrin that
they were covered with from four to six feet
of snow, which would probably lie on the
ground for months. Our 'grub' supply was
limited, and we were a long way from where
more could be had; so we thought imprudent
to abandon the enterprise and ret nl south.
" I went direct to San Francisco, where,
having heard of the outbreak of the Civil war
between the North and South, I undertook
to join the Confederate army; but Union
sympathizers were in authority and I could
do nothing. I had formed the acquaintance
of a Kentuckian named T. J. Sears and a
Georgian named Baldy Starks in San Francisco,
and I induced them to accompany me
back to Washington Territory, whither we
went by the usual route of travel, making our
first stop at the Dalles on Columbia river.
There we heard of the Nez Perces mines then
but recently discovered, to which we immediately
made our way and staked off
claims. We remained there during the
winter, mining a little as we could.
,, By the following spring I had determined
to return to the States and enter the Confederate
army. In May or June a company was
made up including Sears, Starks, myself and
others, and taking the old Nez Perces trail
we crossed the Bitter Root mountains, in
northern Idaho, the Rockies in western
Montana and made our way on foot and with
pack-horses to old Fort Benton, Montana,
then the head of navigation on the Missouri
river. Here the horses were disposed of to
Indians and traders and a good-sized flatboat
was constructed, on which thirteen of
us started down the river for civilization.
"t That trip down the Missouri I have good
reason to remember, for not only was it
maked by hardships unusual even in those
days of trial, but I came near losing my scalp
on two or three occasions at the hands of the
redskins, who then roamed over the entire
Northwest and were practically without restraint
in their pillaging and murderous operations.
Our first encounter with thesewas
after we got about twenty miles out of the
Bad Lands. We were hailed one day by a
band of Indians in the Piegan language,
HISTORY O TEAS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/472/ocr/: accessed October 1, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .