převzato z http://www.colapublib.org/libs/rosemead/commandments.html dne 18.1.2005
THE MINER'S TEN COMMANDMENTS
A LITTLE ONE THROWN IN—Thou shalt not dig up a public road, unless thou canst afford to fix it again as good as before, otherwise thou injurest the teamster to benefit thyself, and he curse thee every time he passeth. Amen.
[James M. Hutchings]
převzato z http://www.library.ca.gov/goldrush/images/pioneers_ten_com_1849.jpg
|James Hutchings came to California from England in 1849 seeking gold
like thousands of others. While not a very successful prospector he did make
a name for himself as a writer, and "The Miners Ten Commandments" (reproduced
here as it appered in the June 4th, 1853 edition of The
Placerville Herald) was his first great success. It was later reprinted
as a letter sheet and sold nearly 100,000 copies to miners and prospectors
who used it as stationary for letters home.
The acclaim and money that Hutchings received after publishing his "Ten Commandments" convinced him to continue writing and he soon founded Hutchings' California Magazine, which included fiction, poetry, etchings and descriptions of California life in the mid-nineteenth century. A pair of articles he wrote in 1857 are especially useful for people interested in the tools used by miners during the Gold Rush.
These articles are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You need to be sure you have the freely-available Acrobat Reader Utility downloaded and installed on your system.
Once you have the Acrobat Reader utility downloaded and installed, follow the links below to download the articles. They are fairly large files and will take a little while to download, but it's worth the wait!
These Commandments were honored more in the breach than in the observance by the men in the gold fields of California. Life in booming Nevada, Tuolumne or Calaveras Counties was full of violence (with homicide rates 4 to 5 times any modern American city), disease (cholera, scurvy), alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, and general dissipation. After six days hard labor looking for a "rich crevice" the last thing these men wanted to do was sit around a camp and mend clothing or chop a week's worth of firewood, as advocated by Hutchings. Most of them headed off to gamble at games like faro, roulette, and poker, drink themselves blind or pay a pinch of gold (then worth $16) merely to have a woman sit next to him at the gaming table or bar. Since men outnumbered women 20-1 in the state during the Gold Rush, prostitution became a very profitable enterprise, with one madame clearing over $100,000 in less than a year of operating a brothel where a night with a woman could cost $50 to $100. As this example shows, the people who made the real money during the Gold Rush were the ones who preyed on the 49ers' vices.
For more reading on the violent life of the Gold Rush frontier town, check out "Violence in America" by David T. Courtwright in American Heritage, September, 1996.