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July 13, 1863: Aurora

July 13, 2013

[Today] we visited one of the mines and were kindly shown through it and the mill. We looked a little around the region and got supplies to the limit of our means. But our want of money was the great drawback—we could not get all we wanted for the return trip. My pants were used up. I got a pair of cheap overalls, which I had to sew over entirely two days after, as they ripped the whole length of the legs.

Immense sums of money have been spent here in this region, an immense number of claims have been taken up, nearly twenty quartz mills have been erected, costing perhaps over a million; but whether the mines will ever pay is to me a question. I hear that five thousand claims have been recorded, and I question if ten have as yet paid the money expended on them; in fact, only a very small part of this immense number have ever been worked at all, only taken to speculate on. One or two mines may pay, the majority never will.

Where Aurora is, is as yet not known. We think it in California, but there is a dispute whether it be not over the line and in Nevada Territory. Most of the inhabitants wish it there, so that Uncle Sam will pay their bills of government, but like true American citizens, who will not be deprived of their rights, they vote in both places, in California and in Nevada, and their votes have thus far been accepted in both. Politicians may well exclaim, “Bully for Aurora!”

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