CHAPTER XVII. Rate of Wages
Mode of procuring the Gold
Extent of Gold Region
Price of Provisions.
It will be seen, from the later accounts that each new report continues to realize the wildest expectation. The following letter dated Monterey, November 16th, is highly interesting -
"We can now call ourselves citizens of the United States. We have now only to go by law, as we formerly went by custom; that is, when Congress gives us a government and code. The old foreign residents of California, having done very well ten or twenty years without law, care but very little whether Congress pays early or late attention to the subject. Those who have emigrated from the Atlantic States within the last three or four years deem the subject an important one; I only call it difficult. The carrying out a code of laws, under existing circumstances, is far from being an easy task. The general Government may appoint governors, secretaries, and other public functionaries; and judges, marshals, collectors, etc., may accept offices with salaries of 3000 or 4000 dollars per annum; but how they are to obtain their petty officers, at half these sums, remains to be seen. The pay of a member of Congress will be accepted here by those alone who do not know enough to better themselves. Mechanics can now get 10 to 16 dollars per day; labourers on the wharfs or elsewhere, 5 to 10 dollars; clerks and storekeepers, 1000 to 3000 dollars per annum - some engage to keep store during their pleasure at 8 dollars per day, or 1 lb. or 1-1/2 lb. of gold per month; cooks and stewards, 60 to 100 dollars per month. In fact, labour of every description commands exorbitant prices.