“Agriculture is all at an end—and will remain so God knows how long. Provisions are all brought from other countries and yet, though there is an immense quantity on hand the prices are beyond anything ever before heard of. I will just give you a summary: Salt Pork here [San Francisco] 75 cents per Ib., at the mines $200 per Barrel. Flour $2.00 per Ib. Bread at the mines one to one half dollars per Ib. Sugar at the mines $2.00 per Ib, tea $4.00. Revolving pistols worth in N. York $11.00 are here worth $55-75 dol. each. Onions 25-50 cents each. Potatoes about $30 a bushel. A ship load of the latter would bring two hundred thousand dollars .”
— From a miner’s letter, San Francisco, August, 1849 .