Letter to uncle James Addison Bushnell in Oregon.
                                                                               Piety Hill, Cal. Dec 1st 1860

My dear Uncle

I was somewhat surprised to receive a letter from about two weeks ago and now (at this late date) after my surprise has in a manner subsided I take the responsibility of replying to it without further preliminaries.

I may state that I am well and blessed with enough to eat and wear and entertain a notion that I may yet be so very fortunate as some day or other to reach Oregon with soul and body together. I am working out as usual for it pays better than going it on my own hook at mining. You say it is hard times in Oregon as regards money matters. This is the land of gold-seekers and gold-finders but even here the money market is not flush and the cry of “hard times” is raised with as much earnestness as anywhere still I should say there is more money here than in other countries we read of. We have not had much rain yet but miners are looking anxiously for the rainy season to commence.

I have not had anything from ma in the way of letters for two months. I however get ‘The Kirksville Democrat” semi-occasionally and judging from it I should say that Kirksville was exactly as it was when I left. Bill Parcels was elected to the Legislature over J. T. Smith. Edwin has preached 120 times in the last 41/2 months he said they had organized a church at Greentop if you know where that is and that he had to preach to them this winter  he had not been home for sometime.

I have not much to write so I must bring this letter to a close. Give my love to one and all and ever believe me your dutiful

                                                           nephew  W. A. Bushnell
[According to California Gold Camps by  Erwin G. Gudde, there were two Piety Hill camps. One in Nevada Co. CA is now part of Nevada City and was mentioned as a settlement by (Edwin F.) Bean's History and Directory of Nevada County, 1867. Also, Shasta Co. CA, southwest of Redding, about a mile east of Igo. According to Gertrude Steger, Place Names of Shasta County, 1945, the American residents gradually moved to Igo, and by 1880 only Chinese were left. Mining in nearby Clear Creed and Dry Creek in the 1850s and its revival in the early 1870s is described in Raymond, Rossiter W., U. S. Treasury Dept., Statistics of Mines and Mining in the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains, Annual Reports 1-8, 1869-1877 (V, p. 99; VI pp. 143 ff). The Hardscrabble or Piety Hill Hydralic Mine was a good producer until 1880. In the 1930s there was again activity with power shovels and dragline dredges in the district.]

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