HOW TO PROSPECT A MINE!
By watching the operations of miners in Washoe we are enabled to lay down the following rules: First, find a lead; no matter what it looks like, or how much bed-rock is mixed with it, so you have something that seems to be running somewhere. If you can't find something that has length, breadth and direction, drive a peg and stick up your notice on the first spot of ground you can see that looks red or yaller -- them's indications, and there's nothing like indications in this county. In locating your claim put in as many stripes of men as you can get - -"variety is the spice of life," as you will soon find. A mixture of Dutch, French, Spanish, Irish, Scotch, American, English and Norwegian makes a very lively company. No matter how rich the prospect you may be able to get on the surface of your lead, go off about 2,000 feet and start a tunnel towards it -- nothing like getting deep enough the first thing -- nothing like a tunnel, especially a long one. 2,000 or 3,000 feet is about the distance most companies "kalkerlate" to run, but a company anxious to do the big thing might go further off from the lead.
Having got your claim located, and having decided upon a sufficiently long tunnel, organize. Nothing like organizing, as you will find, with a very little experience. You can't have too much of it. Get up by-laws; they are very useful, as all members of mining companies are greatly addicted to respecting them. No such thing as getting them too long; their great length will make them more binding. You want a number of officers; the more officers you have, the more plans will be found for prosecuting the work, and you can't have too many plans. Having a President makes you look weighty; it takes well with men from the Bay. All the men you see that are from the Bay believe in having Presidents. You may never have any use for a Treasurer, but it looks well, and men from the Bay will expect it; therefore, it is best to have one. Be sure to have a provision in your by-laws allowing each member to work out his assessments; then the work can go on, whether the company is rich or not, and it will give your foreman something to do, to see that each member does his share of the work. Let the members work two days each, by turns.
Have meetings every two or three days -- nothing like meetings, you get to know each other so well, and the more you know of each other the better you will be apt to agree. Every time you make 5 feet in your tunnel is not too often to have meetings, you will soon become very fond of these "feasts of reason." Having members representing a variety of nations gives you a splendid opportunity for gaining some insight into their languages; you are sure to hear them talk at ll the meetings. You cannot have too many meetings.
[Reprinted in San Francisco Bulletin, May 23, 1862, p. 3.]
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