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Prospecting for Gold

July 11, 1850
Hello Journal,

I am sorry that I have neglected your pages for two days. This American dream, to have everyone live fuller and richer lives, seems harder to reach every day. I refuse to give up. I have a plan for the future. I have been away from my Jamie for months now and I will return to her and marry her. We will live among the wealthy with a huge gorgeous house with many tiny feet running through the carpets. How I miss her sweet face… I hope she hasn’t left me for someone else.

I know I have been here a long time and have been writing even longer, but I have yet to express the angst I experienced coming from New York. That was the hardest trip of my life. I took the 4 month trek across the United States. I have officially seen my share of death, including one of my precious oxen, and wish not to say more because it was so gut wrenching. I plan on returning by boat. Thank God that I only left one person behind. I was living from apartment to apartment and I am so undeserving of my precious Jamie that I knew I had to come out here to be able to return with the life she deserves.

Every day I wake up and it is so bittersweet because all I can see is her smile. She is both my heartache and inspiration. I am up as soon as the sun is and I eat on the go. Whatever I can find and cook fast over my fire, I do. I am often in the same clothes and change once a week. I have no soap, but the rivers seem to suffice. I take comfort in the starry nights knowing that God is with me and watching. Sunday is the only day I don’t work. I have already found a gold flake about two and a half weeks ago and I hope to find much more soon.

Prices keep going up and up. The only things I have bought so far are new jeans and food. These Levis are amazing! I try to stay away from the women that cook and clean. To wash my clothes I would have to pay $25 dollars! This mining camp I am at is quite small. One of the men even brought his wife with him. She isn’t able to have children and she couldn’t bear for him to leave. There are days I wish that I had brought Jamie… Most of these men are Christian, but we have three so far who aren’t and we are trying so hard to show them Jesus! I love the fellowship even when the days get long. We are very territorial about our claims, but very good at sharing food and laughs. There have been many stories brought this way about killings of foreigners and savages. I feel very bad for these people and think they may be very misunderstood. I continue to pray for their freedom, both spiritually and physically.

I have definitely become a stronger human being and I praise God every day that I am still breathing. May he keep my Jamie safe and blessed.


John Wood



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