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August 11, 1861: New Almaden

August 14, 2011

Camp 46

Professor Whitney returned [today], when I rode down twelve miles to San Jose with him.

San Jose (always pronounced as if one word, San-ho-zay´) is a pretty town in the Santa Clara Valley, on a level plain. Orchards, gardens, pretty houses, fruit, fertile fields are the features—a bustling, thriving town, of probably six or seven thousand inhabitants. The roads at this season are dusty beyond description and the town looks accordingly.

I bade good-bye to Professor Whitney and then went to church—Mr. Hamilton’s church (of Ovid).6 He was absent, but Mrs. Hamilton (formerly Miss Mead, you remember, of Gorham and Ovid) was there, and on my going up to her after service she was as much surprised as if I had really dropped from the clouds, as she asked me if I had—although no clouds had been seen here for months. I went to the parsonage, a neat house next the church, where they are living very neatly and comfortably indeed. She has become thoroughly Californian, is delighted with the country, climate, people, etc. A pretty little boy with light hair and fine gray eyes was running around, the pride of his mother’s heart. Mr. Hamilton had been absent six weeks in Oregon, but was daily expected back. I need not say that we had a pleasant chat until it was time for me to return.

We were down with the wagon. I ran around town but very little, for the climbing up and down so many hundred feet of ladders the previous day in the mine had told fearfully on my lame knee, and I began to be anxious. I bought some medicine for it, and we returned to camp at nightfall. Monday I was so lame that I resolved to stay in camp quietly and recruit my knee before it grew worse, as I had some mountain climbing to do during the week.

In the evening I rode up to Mr. Day’s.7 He has two daughters now home. A young lady was visiting, and half a dozen came in, and a lively time we had of it. We were invited to a horseback ride the next afternoon with some of the ladies. Mr. Day is a son of President Day of Yale College, is a fine man with a very fine family, has been here twelve years, and many a chat we have had about New Haven and old Yale. The room I occupied in college was his old room at home.

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