March 4, 1863: San Francisco
We had been desiring to examine a region of mountains a little beyond New Almaden, the great quicksilver region. A gentleman came into the office [today] with some fine specimens of cinnabar (quicksilver ore) and was greatly excited thereat. A new mine has just been found, ore very rich, and very abundant—the old story—the farm upon which it occurs can be got very cheap, not over one-hundredth of what even a tolerably good mine is worth—the whole thing could be got for $6,000. He was intensely excited, wanted me to go right down and examine it, would pay me $150 for three days’ work. Now, we are not allowed to take fees from private individuals, but I told him I would go if he would pay my expenses and those of an assistant for a week’s trip in that region. He was delighted.