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November 4, 1863: Low Divide

November 4, 2013

Copper ore occurs here, scattered over quite an extent of country. A great number of claims are taken up and much work is being done on them. Only one of the mines, out of over thirty, has paid expenses, and this has produced as yet scarcely over five hundred tons of ore, sold at perhaps $50,000. But all hope to get rich. I trudged over the hills by day and sat in the dirty barroom or saloon during the evenings, and watched men lose their earnings at poker….

We had rainy weather there a part of the time, which increased my discomforts—standing at night in a crowded barroom, with seats for half a dozen, while twenty or thirty wet, dirty men from the mines steamed around the hot stove. To go to bed was no relief. We slept on the floor upstairs, some twenty or twenty-five of us—they kept running in and out all night. The noise from below prevented sleep until late, and the last of the card players would be getting to bed in the morning after the first risers were up.

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