Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | December 3, 2011

December 3, 1846

Mary Brewster, THURSDAY [Dec.] 3rd [1846]: “Early this morning the boat which went to look at the Island and see what could be seen returned bringing a small piece of mineral of a light yellowish cast which they had found whilst wandering on the beach. They saw a cask of water and footsteps. They walked up a short distance from the beach and found a party of Capt. Smith’s and Jeffrey’s men with pickaxes and digging apparatus but seeing them they immediately covered up the spot and left it. Our men asked them what they were digging, one said a well, but finding this stone they concluded it must be gold. They stopped all night and left them with all their secrecy. Capt. Mallory came on board and the story was told to him and he with husband thought they would go ashore and see. Capt. Smith and Jeffrey were there and shewed them pieces of stone with a substance resembling gold in it. They had come up the bay on purpose to dig it and did not intend anyone should know it. Digging gold is all the talk here which to me is amusing.”

NOTE: The CA Gold Rush”proper” (per Joan Druett; She Was A Sister Sailor, page 168-169) did not officially begin until 1849; the above entry clearly indicates there was already tales of striking it rich in CA by this date in 1846. Although, James Marshall didn’t find the first gold along the American River (near Sacramento) until January 1848.

Martha Brown’s journal entries ended on Nov. 11, 1848, when she was reunited with her husband who finally returned to Hawaii after being about six weeks overdue.

Mary Lawrence did not make any journal entries between Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 1857.

Eliza Williams did not make any journal entries from Dec. 1 – 10, 1859.


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