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“I suppose you have read some large stories about the mines but they arc not half of them true; no two men tell the same story. Some men make $16,000 in one day, but it is only one chance out of a thousand; the average is from ½ to 2 ounces per day.…I shall stay up to the mines all winter, if I can make an ounce a day.”

From a miner’s letter, September, 1849 .