(Written by Colonel J.C. Fremont in 1847 (and updated in 1852) about his explorations and observations of California during the Gold Rush.)
Mr. Neligh, an agent of Commodore Stockton, had been at work about three weeks in the neighborhood, and showed me in bags and bottles over $2,000 worth of gold; and Mr. Lyman, a gentleman of education and worthy of every credit, said he had been engaged with four others, with a machine, on the American fork, just below Sutter's mill; that they worked eight days, and that his share was at the rate of $50 a day; but hearing that others were doing better at Weber's place they had removed there, and were then on the point of resuming operations. I might tell of hundreds of similar instances; but to illustrate how plentiful the gold was in the pockets of common laborers, I will mention a simple occurrence which took place in my presence when I was at Weber's store. This store was nothing but an arbor of bushes, under which he had exposed for sale goods and groceries suited to his customers. A man came in, picked up a box of Seidlitz powders and asked the price. Captain Weber told him it was not for sale. The man offered an ounce of gold, but Capt. Weber told it only cost fifty cents, and he did not wish to sell it. The man then offered an ounce and a half, when Capt. Weber _had_ to take it. The prices of all things are high, and yet Indians, who before hardly knew what a breech cloth was, can now afford to buy the most gaudy dresses.