Early in the summer of 1860 I had a bad attack of gold fever. In Chicago the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue. Gold had been discovered in the fall of 1858 in the vicinity of Pike's Peak, by a party of Georgian prospectors, and for several years afterward the whole gold region for seventy miles to the north was called "Pike's Peak." Others in the East heard of the gold discoveries and went West the next spring; so that during the summer of 1859 a great deal of prospecting was done in the mountains as far north as Denver and Boulder Creek. Those who returned in the autumn of that year, having perhaps claims and mines to sell, told large stories of their rich finds, which grew larger as they were repeated, amplified and circulated by those who dealt in mining outfits and mills. Then these accounts were fed out to the public daily in an appetizing way by the newspapers. The result was that by the next spring the epidemic became as prevalent in Chicago as cholera was a few years later. Four of the fever stricken ones, Enos Ayres, T. R. Stubbs, John Sollitt and myself, formed a partnership, raised about $9,000 and went to work to purchase the necessary outfit for gold mining. Mr. Ayres furnished a larger share of the capital than any of the others and was not to go with the expedition, but might join us the following year. Mr. Stubbs and I were both to go, while Mr. Sollitt was to be represented by a substitute, a relative whose name was also John Sollitt, and who had been a farmer and butcher and was supposed to know all about oxen. Mr. Stubbs was a good mechanic, an intelligent, well-read man, and ten years before had been to California in search of gold. Our outfit consisted of a 12-stamp quartz mill with engine and boiler, and all the equipments understood to be necessary for extracting gold from the rock, including mining tools, powder, quicksilver, copper plate and chemicals; also a supply of provisions for a year. The staple articles of the latter were flour, beans, salt pork, coffee and sugar. Then we had rice, cornmeal, dried fruit, tea, bacon and a barrel of syrup; besides a good supply of hardtack, crackers and cheese for use while crossing the plains, when a fire for cooking might not be found practicable. These things were all purchased in Chicago, together with the fourteen wagons necessary to carry them across the plains. Then all were shipped by rail to St. Joseph, Mo., where the oxen were to be purchased. The entire outfit when loaded on the cars, weighed twenty-four tons. I stayed in Chicago till the last to help purchase and forward the outfit and supplies, while Stubbs and Sollitt (the substitute) went to St. Joe to receive and load them on the wagons and to purchase the oxen.
Pappity Stampoy wrote this popular book that continues to be widely read today despite its age.
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A book of memories of childhood in Yorkshire (England), mostly from age 6 - 12 years, which has been compiled from two booklets of the writings of Hubert Moxon Earnshaw J.P. by his daughter Dr Audrey Coatesworth. The book gives a unique insight into the tough but emotionally rich and interesting life of a young boy in a rural village between 1914 -1920, with a few additions from later years. Audrey Coatesworth writes: 'I received my copy of his first small book from my father at Christmas 1982. I think my father would be delighted to have his interesting little books of the village available to many. Living and dying before the computer age that was something he would not have thought possible. It is a small piece of rural history, written from his memories in his last two to three years of his life. It is my tribute to my father to edit these writings. Some chapters are from his first book and others from his second. I have not altered any punctuation or words in the script, but not all chapters from the two books are included, as some are purely family or work related. The writings are presented just how he wrote them, except that, because of a wider readership, I have blanked out the names of villagers other than our own family or relatives. Anything I have added into the script is in a bracket and in italics e.g. (italics) I hope those who read these words written by my father are taken back in time to an era long since gone. A time which, though it could be hard and with much grief, was, at least in his childhood, also a time of family cohesion, village togetherness and emotional warmth. The village is the same as the one in my past life book 'Beyond Mercy', and a link exists between the two books. Audrey Coatesworth 2014
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