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November 16, 1861: San Francisco

November 16, 2011
Clouds Reflected v2

101 California; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

[Today] my friends, Blake and Pumpelly, sailed for Japan. They go at the invitation of the Japanese Government, to aid in developing the resources of the mines in Japan. Blake stuck hard to have me go with them, but my place looks too secure here, and that looks precarious. Had I been free I would have rejoiced at the chance.

On the other hand, some most influential men of the state want me to go as commissioner to London next spring, in charge of the California collections at the World’s Fair. There is much scrambling and wirepulling for the office of commissioner, but I could get it if I would put in. But the Survey here is a surer thing for me. I have proved myself capable of successfully managing a party, carrying it through times of discomfort, and even hardship, accomplishing much labor, and doing it economically. Whitney feels that I cannot be spared here. I have assurance that should our appropriation next year be cut down I will be the last man discharged—that is, should it be too small to keep a larger party in the field, I will have my place if no one else stays but Whitney. All this is very gratifying, for the actions of legislatures in such matters are very uncertain. We will, of course, get some appropriation, it remains to be seen how much. The present tardiness in paying us up is most unfortunate. It is a very great inconvenience. Even the Governor has not been paid any salary since May last. We hope for better things soon.

I have a pleasant room, hired by the month, and eat my meals at restaurants. I may take board by the week soon—am not yet decided.

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