Hard Masters
1845, Alto California

after James Clyman

January 1
Cloudy and warm
in fact a coat
has been but little
needed this winter
except in rain
or mornings

January 4 Sunday
Fine growing wether
verry much resembling
a Missouri April
the wild oats about
ancle high shewing fine
as a May wheatfield
of Wisconsin
Killed 14 Deer
some fine and fat
during the week

January 5
Wind seldom blows more
than and hour or two
and that at commencement
of a rainy spell
The mountains
are high and steep
Residents of this country
are mostly poor
malcontent forreners
But little educated
they strive to live easy
feast or fammin
as they say
This is a fat land
I hear of but one
who has troubled
to title his lands
and fix them beyond
altiration & dispute
strange as may be
Never was a californiano
a mechanic of any kind
How they formerly made
to cultivate the land
is a mistery to me
not yet solved
The main busyness
is beef for hides
and tallow shipped
by the cape to Boston
the meat wasted
in vast heaps
scavenged by wolves
bear and great vultures

Jan 8 bear hunt
Crossed the Napa vally
and a high rough high
rugged mountain
company consisting
of six and a boy
Two gray (grises) growling
toward us dismounted
dropped both but old she
only at last gave out
after four balls
through her vitals
Slaughtered two more
noble Urse and 17 Deer
Concluded we had pork

Jan 12
Fremont has arrived
at Sutters Fort
plus other parties
from U States
Unlike old-timers
the recently arrived
appear to be industrious
in making preperations
for living in civilized form
all hands busy
plowing and sowing
wheat barly &c
or at least all
that expect to harvest
from their own labor
They see us and say
we are hard masters
for we reape what we sow not
and we gather what is not strewn

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
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