XII. Mining Companies

“The real trasures of Gold Deposits are yet to be found.”

Prospectus, Sonora Gold Mining Company

Mining Claim, Snow Point, Nevada County

October 15, 1853.

[autographed bill of sales].

4 p.

For the sum of $1,000 John Mulcahy obtained partial interest in a mining claim owned by J. E. Lorrer & Company. The purchase also included the right to one sixth of all the water owned by Lorrer's company. This legal document further recorded conditions of payment. In April 1854, Mulcahy sold his claim to two others for $1,500, and they in turn, sold their interest in the claim to three other partners the following month for $2,000! These other two transactions are recorded on this same document.

Articles of Incorporation: Yreka Water Company, Siskiyou County

October 28, 1853.

4 p.

A gold strike at Yreka Flats in 1851 brought miners by the thousands to the area. It became one of the leading hydraulic mining centers, and supplying water to the miners was a vital business. According to this manuscript the object of the company "shall be to construct a race, or flume, or both, for the purpose of conducting water from the Shasta River, or from any of its branches, through Shasta Valley, in Siskiyou County, by the most eligible [sic] route, to the mines along said route, and to those above and below Yreka City."

The Laws of Chinese Camp Relating to the Mines and Mining Claims


23 p.

This volume documents the beginnings of legal authority in Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County. At the first meeting held on September 17, 1850, the miners elected Isaac Caps as mayor and Samuel G. Chamberlain as sheriff and adopted seven rules and regulations governing mining claims.

Prospectus for the Sonora Gold Mining Company

New York.

April 28, 1852.

4 p.

This printed circular serves as an excellent example of the heavy Wall Street capitalization needed to support the mines as they became highly mechanized. The principal operations of the mines centered on the celebrated Cliff Vein, situated in the city of Sonora. The company stated: "The real treasures of Gold Deposits are yet to be found in the Quartz formations." The prospectus states that fifty horse-power steam engines had already been installed and that an ore stamper of the "most improved and durable construction" was being shipped.

American Quicksilver Company of California

New-York: Pudney & Russell, Printers, 1849.


28 p.

This document is regarded as the first promotional publication of a California mining company. The company's prospectus begins by extolling the richness of the California mines and the importance of quicksilver to the Gold Rush. The company was located near the New Almaden Mine in Santa Clara County.

Anglo-American Gold Mining Company

Report of Capt. Sir Henry Vere Huntley, R.N. Chief Superintendent




8 p.

Sir Henry Vere Huntley, an Englishman and chief superintendent of the mining company, wrote this report which focused on the stamp mills of the Mariposa and Agua Fria mines and the quartz veins claimed by John C. Frémont.

Constitution of the Young America Mining Company

Town of White Rock, Butte County

New York.


Plain wrappers.

8 p.

The shareholders formed the company for the purposes of mining by means of flumes on the Feather River and raised capital stock in the amount of $40,000. Typical of many mining company constitutions, this publication consisted of 15 sections and was incorporated on October 24, 1854. The Library's copy is signed "French Paige Esq. Bidwell, Nov 1, 1854."

Charter of the Grass Valley Gold Mining Company

Organized July 25, 1851, under the General Incorporation Act of California. Together with Extracts from the Law, and Various Documents Illustrating the Business of Quartz Mining

New York.



50 p.

Formed for the business of quartz mining, this charter well illustrates the transition from solitary gold seeking to the need for capitalization in order to purchase the equipment and labor needed to extract gold. A notice of the press from the New York Herald brought up another important advantage of these companies:

Many of those who contemplate going to California would, probably, realize more gold, and immensely less suffering and mortification, by investing the money it will cost them to go and return, in some well managed company.

The first quartz mine in California went into operation in Grass Valley in 1851.