April 2, 1863: Clayton
[Today] we went by stage to Clayton near Mount Diablo, where our mules were. The plain on the north was covered with young grass of the softest green; the majestic oaks scattered over the plain are just coming into leaf.
At Clayton we found all in excitement. Supposed copper mines and quicksilver mines had just been discovered—worthless—and great is the excitement. The town was filled, the one “hotel” crowded, speculators from all the adjacent country were on hand—one heard nothing but “stocks,” and “feet,” and “ledges,” and “claims.” We remained there that day, getting our mules shod, etc., and had the full benefit of the excitement. Among the crowd was one man on his way to the San Joaquin to buy a drove of hogs. He had been for ten years a hog drover for the butchers of San Francisco, and what mines were to other people hogs were to him. He talked “hog” all the time, and it was a relief to find one man not crazy about copper. While we were sitting in front of the hotel a Mexican came in with two small hogs packed on a horse—our drover was interested and admired the horse that would carry live hogs on its back. We left him the next morning, still talking about hogs, totally regardless of copper mines or quicksilver leads.