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August 24, 1861: San Jose

August 24, 2011

Camp 48

[This] morning we found we had lost a roll of maps1. Here was a loss truly. The maps had cost us months of labor, were partly compiled from the Land Office surveys, ranch surveys, coast surveys, and our own labor—the compilations and results of immense labor—and we had no copies. One was, moreover, of the field we were to work up for the remainder of the year. Five hundred dollars would have been a trifling loss compared with the loss of these few sheets of paper. They were in a roll in a tin case and had dropped out of our wagon. I wrote some notices, offering ten dollars reward for their recovery, and sent Hoffmann back. He rode back to our last camp, twenty-one miles—no tidings. Then, recollecting that he was not sure of seeing them since leaving New Almaden, he took the back trail and, by a streak of good luck, found them about twenty-five miles from our camp in a place where we had lost our trail and they had rolled out on the rough ground five days before.

1Examples of Hoffmann’s work here, here, and here.

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