Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Glowing Report Meant to Rebut Negative Opinion of the Boise Mines

On May 21, 1863, The Oregonian published extracts from a private letter from the Placerville area in the Boise Basin. The miner wrote, “What I have to say, in regard to these mines, I hope you will take with due allowance for the fallibility of human judgment.  Daly and McReynolds did not remain here long enough to gain a proper understanding of these mines.“

The mention of “Daly” refers to a letter written to The Oregonian by William A. Daly in November 1862. He had tried his hand at the gold fields during the fall. But, through ineptitude or bad luck, he had failed miserably and returned to Portland. His letter had little good to say about the Boise mining prospects.

The present writer, however, went on, “I therefore ask you to judge their statements and mine with a recollection of the fact, that I have staid [sic] here long enough to satisfy myself thoroughly about them. … If Daly had remained here until the present time, I am sure that he would have changed his mind in relation to the mines.”

The writer had also talked at length with J. Marion More, a man well known in mining circles and “Councilman for the Shoshone district in Washington Territory.” (In fact, the mining vote had overwhelmingly supported More for the Council seat.)
Councilman J. Marion More.
Idaho City Historical Foundation.

J. Marion described the character of the Boise Basin and surrounding country, which might well contain additional fields, but had “never been explored.” The writer closed with, “The gist of Mr. Moore’s [sic] expressed opinion is, that there is a large mining district at Boise, as good or better than any yet discovered, except Florence, and superior as to climate and facilities for working.”

References: “Boise Mines,” The Oregonian, Portland (May 21, 1863).
“The Boise River Mines,” The Oregonian, Portland (November 26, 1862).
Merle W. Wells, Gold Camps & Silver Cities: Nineteenth Century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho, 2nd Edition,  Bulletin 22, Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Mines and Geology, Moscow, Idaho (1983).

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