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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/130

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mines. When Mr. Lyman's assistants, who were earning twenty-five dollars a month, heard that their friends at the mines were making as much each day, they also were for starting immediately. Mr. Lyman induced them to finish the work in hand by the promise of going with them if they waited, which was indeed his only alternative, as no more assistants were to be had.

Accordingly, in June, he with a small party started for the mountains, in reaching which they had many difficulties to encounter. Having learned that in order to cross the Strait of Carquinez, which lay in the regular route thither, they must wait three weeks at the ferry, to take their turn with the crowds of gold-seekers already before them, they decided to take a bee-line across the flooded San Joaquin Valley. This they accomplished by improvising a unique boat out of a wagon-body, set into an envelope of rawhides, which they had obtained from wild cattle shot on the way and sewed together for the purpose.

After many other rough experiences of this kind, they reached Sutter's Mill in about a fortnight.

Though they found the district already overrun with diggers, they succeeded in extracting for themselves amounts of gold varying from fifteen to a hundred dollars each daily. The extraordinary price of provisions and all useful articles naturally used up much of their profits—potatoes, sugar, coffee, etc., costing a dollar a pound (and later three dollars!); butter, a dollar and a half a pound; shovels, ten dollars a piece; milk-pans, five to ten dollars; shirts, as high as twenty-five dollars each, etc.

From the mines Mr. Lyman sent to the East some of the first authentic accounts of the gold discovery, which produced much excitement, and found their way into many newspapers. One account was published in "The American Journal of Science."

But life in the gold-region being exceedingly rough, Mr. Lyman after about two months left them, and resumed his work of surveying, which he continued until, with entirely restored health, he returned to New Haven via Panama, in 1850.

Being married in that city, in June of the same year, to Miss Delia W. Wood, a daughter of the Hon. Joseph Wood and granddaughter of Chief-Justice Oliver Ellsworth, he settled permanently in New Haven, engaging in scientific and literary pursuits, among which was the preparation of the definitions of scientific words for new editions of Webster's Dictionary. In 1859 he became Professor of Industrial Mechanics and Physics in Yale College, taking an active part in organizing the Sheffield Scientific School, in which he also taught astronomy, and in the early years of the school rhetoric and moral science. In 1871, with the growth of the school, he was relieved of mechanics, and his professorship was changed to that of Astronomy and Physics. On account of impaired health, he resigned the chair of