California Gold

(Written by Colonel J.C. Fremont in 1847 (and updated in 1852) about his explorations and observations of California during the Gold Rush.)

On the evening of the 25th, the horses of the escort were crossed to Sousoleto in a launch, and on the following day we resumed the journey by way of Bodega and Sonoma to Sutter's fort, where we arrived on the morning of the 2d of July. Along the whole route mills were lying idle, fields of wheat were open to cattle and horses, houses vacant, and farms going to waste. At Sutter's there was more life and business. Launches were discharging their cargoes at the river, and carts were hauling goods to the fort, where already were established several stores, a hotel, &c. Captain Sutter had only two mechanics in his employ, (a wagon-maker and a blacksmith,) whom he was then paying ten dollars a day. Merchants pay him a monthly rent of $100 per room; and while I was there, a two-story house in the fort was rented as a hotel for $500 a month.