at the Pioneer claim, in a silicious rock.
(For sulphuret of mercury, see Cinnabar.)
Mercury, iodide of. Santa Barbara county, (Mr. G. E. Moore.)
Mispickel. Grass valley, Nevada county, at Betsey mine, with gold. This
mineral is a common associate of gold in the quartz of the State. Crystals of
mispickel are sometimes penetrated with gold.
Molybdate of had. State of Nevada, Comstock lode, in the upper part of
the California mine, in the "rusty lode," in small yellow crystals; in good
crystals in the (?) mine, "Weaver district, Arizona.
Molybdenite. Occurs in fine specimens at several localities in the gold re-
gion .; Nevada county, at the Excelsior mine, Excelsior district, abundantly
Mountain cork. Tuolumne county,
Nickel. (See Emerald nickel.)
Orthoclase. San Diego county, in granite veins along the road between
Santa Isabel and San Pasquale, associated with tourmalines and garnet. Fresno
county, at Fort Miller, in coarse-grained granite, under the edge of the lava
Opal semi-opal. A white milky variety of opal is found in Calaveras
county, at Mokelumne Hill, or on the hill near that place known as Stockton
Hill,. on the west side of Chile gulch. A shaft has been sunk there three hun-
dred and forty-five feet, and the opals are found in a thin stratum of red gravel.
They vary in size from a kernel of corn to the size of walnuts. Many of them
contain dendritic infiltrations of manganese oxide, looking like moss. About a
bushel of these stones are raised in one day, and are said to have a market
value. A white milky variety, similar to the above, and without " fire," is
found with magnesite in Mount Diablo range, thirty miles south of the moun-
tain ; also in the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada, at the Four Creeks.
Pearl spar. (See Dolomite.)
Petroleum. Abundantly distributed throughout the coast counties, from San
Diego in the south to Crescent City in the north. The purest and most limpid
natural oils have thus far been obtained from the localities north of San Fran-
cisco, in Humboldt and Colusa counties. These oils are green by reflected
light, and resemble the best samples from Pennsylvania. No abundantly flow-
ing wells have yet been found. In Humboldt county there are many springs,
giving both oil and gas, and numerous wells are in progress. So also in Colusa
county, at Bear valley, about twenty-five miles west of Colusa, several springs,
giving a fine quality of lubricating oil and much gas ; also at Antelope dis-
trict, nineteen miles west of Colusa. In Contra Costa county, ten miles from
Oakland, there are petroleum springs, and a very superior oil has been obtained
from the region of Mount Diablo. In Tulare county there is an extensive
region where oil and gas springs abound. The localities are numerous in the
counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Los Angeles.
Platina. With iridium and iridosmine, on the coast at Cape Blanco, south-
ern Oregon. Analysis of a sample of the mixed metals from Port Orford, in
eighteen hundred and fifty -four, gave forty-three and fifty-four one-lmndredths
per cent, of platina.
Proustiie, (light red silver ore.) In the veins about Austin, Lander county,
Nevada. At the Daney mine, and occasionally in the ore of the Comstock
Pyrargyrite, (dark red silver ore.) (See Ruby silver.)
208 EESOURCES OF STATES AND TERRITORIES
Pyrolusite. Red Island, Bay of San Francisco, in vein or bed 3' to 4' wide,
in the metamorphic jaspery shales the "prasoid" rocks. This is a remarkably
pure ore of manganese, and has been extensively mined for shipment.
Pyrophyllite occurs in the gold region ; locality not known.
Pyroxene. In fine crystals, dark green, near Mud springs, Eldorado
Pyromorpliite, (phosphate of had.) In Nevada, in the outcrops of the
Comstock lode, especially the back ledges of the Ophir ground, giving green
coats and crusts on the surface of the quartz.
Pyrrhotine, (magnetic pyrites ) Mariposa county, at the Ion a Copper
Company's tunnel, north side of the Merced river, on the trail from Bear valley
Quartz. This abundant mineral is obtained in fine crystals in the quartz
veins in various parts of the State, and in the mines of Wafhoe. Some large
and well-formed crystals, from three to four inches or more in diameter, have
been found at Red Hill, in Placer county, (cabinet of C. W. Smith, Grass
valley,) and in the placer claims in the vicinity of Placerville, where, also, a
fine large crystal of smoky quartz was found. Mariposa county, on Whitlock's
and Shirlock's creeks, in the quartz veins, in fine groups of crystals ; also at
the Mariposa mine, and in the eastern parts of the Princeton vein. Calaveras
county, at the Noble claim, on Domingo creek. Nevada county, in the Grass
Valley mines, often supporting gold between the crystals, and at the " French
lode," (Eureka?) crystals of a light greenish tinge, like that of datfyolite.
Red oxide of copper occurs sparingly in thin crusts and sheets with the
surface ores of the principal copper mines in Calaveras county, especially the
Union and Keystone. In Mariposa county, at La Victoire mine, with green
and blue carbonates of copper. Del Norte county, at the Evoca, Alta, and
other mines, in very good cabinet specimens, the cavities being lined with crys-
tals. In Piumas county, and in the upper parts of most of the copper veins of
the State. Arizona, at the Arizona Copper-Mining Company's claim, near the
Gila river, in large masses, with native copper and thin crusts of green car-
bonate. At the claim known as No. 15, Yavapais district, with native copper.
Ruby silver, (pyrargyrite.) This beautiful ore of silver was first discov-
ered in the Daney mine, Washoe, by the writer, in eighteen hundred and sixty-
jane, and has since been found sparingly in the Ophir and the Gould & Curry.
In the latter mine some very fine specimens were obtained by Mr. Strong, and
are deposited in the cabinet of the company, at the office in Virginia City. This
ore is abundant in the veins about Austin, Ileese river, and is often so thoroughly
spread through the quartz of the gaugue as to give it a decided reddish color.
It is generally associated with sulphuret of silver. No good crystals have yet
Salt roc7v salt. Abundant in the dry season as an incrustation throughout
California. Found in large quantities in Nevada, in the beds of desiccated lakes
at numerous places. About twelve miles north of Armagosa mine, in large
masses. In the Wasatch mountains, southeast of Lake Timpanogos, on the
headwaters of a small creek tributary to Utah lake, in thick strata of red clay.
(Fremont's Geog. Mem., 67.) This is said to be the same locality mentioned
by Father Escalante in his journal, and noted by Humboldt on his map as
" Montagnes de Sd Gemmed Salt crystallizes from the spray of the waters of
the Great Salt lake, and is found abundantly on its shores, and on twigs and
shrubs. The Great Salt lake is a saturated solution of common salt. The
shores in the dry season are incrusted with salt, and shallow arms of the lake
present beds of salt for miles. Plants and shrubs are incrusted to a thickness
of an inch or more with crystallized salt deposited by the spray. Five gallons
of the wat^r tnken in the month of September, and evaporated by Colonel Fre-
WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 209
moDt over a fire, gave fourteen pints of salt, which analysis showed to have th<3
following proportions (Fremont's Memoir, 9 :)
Chloride of sodium , 97.80
Chloride of calcium 0.61
Chloride of magnesium 0.24
Sulphate of soda 0.23
Sulphate of lime 1.12
Schorl, (see Tourmaline.) Selenite. In beautiful stellar crystallizations
on the crossing of the Little Truckee, Henness Pass road. The blades compos-
ing these aggregates are from half an inch to two inches in length, and from
one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch in width. They are perfectly clear, and
most of them hemitroped so as to form arrow-headed crystals. (Cabinet of C.
Selenid of mercury In large masses from the vicinity of Clear lake.
Silver, native. This metal, in its native state, is rare in the State of Cali-
fornia. At Silver Mountain district (formerly Eldorado county) it occurs in
the decomposed surface ores. Los Angeles county, in the decomposed parts of
the Maris vein, Soledad, covering surfaces of syenite. Sonora, at the celebrated
Planchas de la Plata, just south of the Arizona line, and near the meridian
of Tubac. According to the best Mexican and Jesuit authorities, large
masses of native silver were discovered there in 1769. One mass is reported
to have weighed three thousand six hundred pounds. No vein has been
found; the deposit is a placer. (Pumpelly.) Nevada Story county, in
the Comstock lode, in filaments, and matted, hairy masses "wire silver,"
usually closely associated with silver glance and stephanite. At the Burn-
ing Moscow claim (Ophir) some large masses of ore were taken out in
1864 completely charged with the metal. Occurs also at the Daney mine,
with native gold and sulphuret of silver. Lander county, in the veins about
Austin, associated with the surface ores, such as the chloride and bromide of
silver, and green and blue carbonates of copper. Idaho Territory, in large
masses at the " Poor Man's lode," or " Candle-box mine," where it was said
the lumps of silver were as large as candle boxes. That a great quantity
of large masses of the metal was taken out there is no doubt. It is common in
the silver lodes of the Owyhee, and is usually very filamentous and finely
divided and embedded in granular quartz.
Silver, (telluret of.) A single specimen was obtained by the author in
1854, near Georgetown, in Eldorado county. It had been washed out from
the gold drift, and the parent vein has never been found. (Rep. Geol. Rec,
Smoky quartz. A large crystal about six inches in diameter, from Placer
county, and in the cabinet of Dr. White, Placerville.
Sphene. In small hair-Drown crystals in the granite of the Sierra Nevada.
Stephanite, (brittle sulpJmret of silver.) Very fine crystals of stephanit
were obtained from the Ophir and Mexican mines, Nevada, soon after they were
opened. These crystals were from half an inch to two inches in length, but
were generally imperfectly formed. They greatly resemble the crystallizations
of vitreous copper from the Bristol mine in Connecticut. A large collection of
these was made by R. L. Ogden in 1859 and 1860, and were noticed by the
writer in the Mining Magazine. They are now more rare, but have been found
in nearly all the principal claims upon the Comstock lode. Some very good
specimens were taken from the Gould & Curry, preserved in the cabinet
by C. L. Strong, in 1864. They are frequently implanted among quartz crys-
tals in nests or geodes, and are covered with a hairy growth of wire silver.
Crystals of silver ore from Silver Mountain district are probably this specie*.
St^bmte. Tulare county, in a large vein near the Pass of San Amedio
H. Ex. Doa 29 14
210 RESOURCES OF STATES AND TERRITORIES
(vide Rep. Geol. Rec Cal., pp. 292-3.) It occurs in large, solid masses,
boulders of which are numerous in the beds of the arroyos leading from the vein.
In Nevada, at or near the Gem mine, Dunglen ; at the Sheba mine, in beauti-
ful needle-like crystals, and at the De Soto and other mines in that vicinity ;
in Russ district, Great Basin.
Stroymeyerite. Arizona. Heintzelman mine.
Sulphur. Colusa county ; Napa county, at the Geysers. In Nevada, in
extinct solfataras, Humboldt valley.
Sulphuret of silver Nevada, Comstock lode ; occurs with stephanite in the
Ophir, Mexican, Gould & Curry, and other mines upon that line of claims.
It is also present in the ore of the vein at Gold Hill, and appears to be the chief
source of the silver in those ores. It has not been observed in crystals. In
the large chamber of the Ophir mine, in eighteen hundred and sixty-one, it was
very abundant, in irregular masses ramifying through the fragmentary white
quartz so as to hold it together in hand specimens. Large masses of vein-stuff
could be broken down, in which the sulphuret of silver constituted at least half
of the whole weight. Native gold was commonly associated with it in that
part of the mine. ' It is now more frequently found associated with copper
pyrites and galena. This species is also found in small crystals in the ore of
the Daney mine, associated with native silver, gold, and ruby silver. It is
eommon in the ores of Reese river, associated with ^'uby silver and manganese
spar. It is probably the chief ore of silver in the Cortez district.
Sulphuret of iron (See Iron pyrites?}
Telluret of silver. El Dorado county. (See Silver.)
Tetrakedrite, (gray copper.) Mariposa county, with the gold in the Pine
Tree vein; also with the gold in the same or similar vein at the Crown lode,
Emily Peak, and at Coulterville in several claims. Calaveras county, at Carson
Hill, in the large vein, and associated with gold. This ore, in decomposing,
leaves a blue stain of carbonate in the quartz, and where it is found the rock is
generally rich in gold. In Nevada it occurs abundantly in the Sheba mine,
Humboldt county, massive and rich in silver. It is associated with the follow-
ing species, which were noted from time to time by Mr. Moss, the superintend-
ent, and in part by the author : Ruby silver, argentiferous galena, antimonial
galena, iron pyrites, blende, cerusite, calcite, quartz with acicular antimony,
sulphuret of antimony in delicate needles and massive native silver, bournonite.
Found also in Lander county, with the silver ores of the veins near Austin ; at
the Comet lode, Veatch canon, south of Austin. Los Angeles county at the
Zapata claim, San Gabriel mountains. Arizona at the Heintzelman mine,
containing from one to one and a half per cent, of silver. (Pumpelly.) Also,
at the Santa Rita mine, associated with galena.
Tellurium and gold, (tetradyrmte ?) At the Melones and Stanislaus mines,
one mile south of Carson Hill, Calaveras county, very beautiful specimens of
native gold, associated with tellurium, were taken out of a vein from six to
eighteen inches thick, and at a depth of two hundred feet from the surface.
This tellurct has a tin-white color, and is not foliated like the tetradymite
from the Field vein in Georgia. Its exact specific character is not yet de-
Tin ore, (oxyd of tin.) (See Cassiterite.)
Topaz. In clear, colorless crystals, finely terminated, from one-eighth of an
inch to half an inch in diameter, found in the tin washings of Durango, Mexico.
(Cabinet of the author, 1864.) Noticed by C. F. Chandler, American Journal
of Science, 1865.
Tourmaline. San Diego county, north side of the valley of San Felipe, in
feldsoathic veins, (for description and figures see Rep. Geol. Rec. Cal., Blake, p.
304;) Tuolumne county.
Tremolite. White and fibrous in limestone, Columbia, Tuolumne county.
WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 211
Tung-state of manganese. With tungstate of lime, in the Mammoth mining
district, Nevada. (C. T. Jackson, Proc. Cal. Acad., iii, 199.)
Variegated copper ore, ("Horseflesh ore.") Sigel lode, in Plumas county.
Vitreous copper. (See Copper Glance,)
Zinc. (See Blende.)
Principal public and private mineralogical and geological collections in Cali-
fornia, known to the author.
I. PUBLIC COLLECTIONS.
STATE GEOLOGICAL COLLECTION Sacramento and San Francisco ; not
arranged, and in part destroyed by fire in eighteen hundred and sixty-five, at
the Pacific warehouse.
STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY'S At Sacramento ; partly in cases, hut not
classified or arranged.
SAN JOAQUIN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY At Stockton ; collected chiefly hy
Dr. Holden ; not large, nor well arranged.
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES At San Francisco; not
arranged ; in boxes, and stored, awaiting a suitable room or building for their
display. This collection was made in great part by and through the exertions
of Dr. J. G. Trask, and has many valuable specimens taken from our mines
soon after their discovery.
COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA At Oakland. A collection of minerals and fos-
sils of California ; partly arranged.
SANTA CLARA COLLEGE. (No particulars known.)
ODD FELLOWS' LIBRARY ASSOCIATION At San Francisco. A valuable
miscellaneous collection of minerals, ores, fossils, and curiosities, chiefly the
donation of the members of the Order ; arranged in cases, at the Hall. The
Order is indebted, chiefly, for this valuable addition to their rooms, to the zeal
and enthusiasm of their president, S. H. Parker, esq.
OCCIDENTAL HOTEL Lewis Leland, San Francisco. A collection contain-
ing many very choice and valuable specimens of ores and precious metals of the
II. PRIVATE COLLECTIONS.
W. P. BLAKE At San Francisco and Oakland. A collection of minerals,
ores, geological specimens, and fossils, from California, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho,
Mexico, the eastern States, Japan, and China, with some European minerals.
About sixty boxes of this collection were destroyed in the Pacific warehouse,
by fire, in eighteen hundred and sixty-five. A portion, stored at the college and
elsewhere, was uninjured. It is now partly in boxes, and partly in cases, in
San Francisco, and at the College of California, Oakland. There are probably
five thousand to six thousand specimens, a great part of them selected by the
owner at the localities. It contains a valuable and extensive suit of crystalline
Dr. J. M. FREY Sacramento. A large and valuable miscellaneous collec-
tion of Pacific coast minerals, including a fine suit of gold in crystals. Arranged
in part, in cases, in Sacramento.
Dr. JOHN HEWSTON, Jr. San Francisco. Miscellaneous collection.
Dr. JONES Murphy's, Calaveras county. A miscellaneous collection,
A. P. MOLITOR San Francisco. Miscellaneous collection.
K. L. OGDEN San Francisco. A miscellaneous collection of copper and
gold ores. A large collection made by this gentleman up to eighteen hundred
ind sixty-one, was purchased by W. P. Blake, in eighteen hundred and sixty-one.
212 RESOURCES OF STATES AND TERRITORIES
AUGCSTE EEMOND San Francisco. (No particulars known.)
Dr. SNELL Sonora, Tuolumne county. A rich and valuable collection of
fossils and aboriginal relics from the auriferous gravel under Table mountain,
and of minerals and ores from that region. This is the richest collection of
relics of the mastodon and the mammoth in California.
T. J. SPEAR San Francisco ; formerly at Georgetown, in eighteen hundred
and sixty- two and three. A small miscellaneous collection, which included an
ammonite, from the gold slates of the American river ; valuable to science as
one of the evidences of the secondary age of the gold-bearing rocks of California.
Dr. STOUT San Francisco. A miscellaneous collection of Eastern and
European specimens, arranged in cases.
C. W. SMITH -Grass valley, Nevada county. An interesting collection,
arranged in cases, afid containing some choice specimens from the mines of
Dr. WHITE Placerville, El Dorado county. A miscellaneous collection,
containing many interesting specimens from that region, and some foreign mine-
rals, by exchange.
W. R. WATERS Sacramento. Miscellaneous collection of minerals and
ores, arranged in case.
Notes on tlie geographical distribution and 'geology of the precious metals and
valuable minerals on tlie Pacific slope oj' the United States.
If we attempt to delineate by colors upon a map the geographical distribution
of the gold, silver, copper, and quicksilver localities of the Pacific slope, we ob-
tain a series of nearly parallel belts or zones, following the general course or
trend of the mountain chains and of the coast. So, also, if we enter the Golden
Gate and travel eastward across the country to the Rocky mountains, we pass
successively through zones or belts of country characterized mineralogically by
different metals and minerals.
In the Coast mountains, for example, quicksilver is the chief, and the highly
characteristic economical mineral. The localities of its ore are strung along the
mountains through the counties north and south of the Golden Gate. We have
also petroleum, sulphur, and calcareous springs, nearly coincident in their dis-
tribution. Passing from this grouping of minerals eastward over the coal beds
of Mount Diablo, and crossing the great interior valley of California, (probably
underlaid by lignite,) we rise upon the slope of the Sierra Nevada, and reach
the copper-producing rocks. These form a well marked zone, which has been
traced almost uninterruptedly from Mariposa to Oregon, following the lower
hills of the Sierra Nevada.
East of the copper belt, (and in the central counties, over a chain of hills
known as "Bear mountains,") we find the great gold-bearing zone, characterized
by lines of quartz ledges, following the mountains in their general northwesterly
and southeasterly course. This gold belt is composite in its character the
veins traversing either slates, limestones, sandstones, or granite.
Crossing the snow-covered crest of the Sierra, where in some parts iron ores
have been found, we leave the region of gold and enter that of silver, mingled
with gold, extending up and down the interior eastern slope of the Sierra through-
out California, into Arizona and Mexico on the south, and Idaho on the north.
At the Reese River mountains, further east, towards Salt Lake, the gold is
replaced by silver, associated with copper, antimony, and arsenic ; and this
grouping is in its turn replaced by the gold-bearing sulphurets of the Rocky
mountains. This is the general distribution of the precious metals. There are,
doubtless, local exceptions.
It is evident that this distribution of the metals and minerals in zones has
been determined by the nature of the rocky strata, and by their condition of
WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 213
metamorphism. It is worthy of note that the minerals of the coast ranges are
chiefly the more volatile and soluble, such as cinnabar, sulphur, petroleum, and
borax, distributed in rocks ranging from the tertiary to the cretaceous, inclu-
The longitudinal extension of the gold-bearing zone is yet undetermined.
The metal has been traced through the whole length of California, through Ore-
gon and Washington, into British Columbia, and beyond, along the Russian
possessions, towards the Arctic sea. Southward, it is prolonged into Sonora
and Mexico, and there is every reason to believe that its extension is. coincident
with the great mountain chain of North America in its course around the globe,
into and through Asia.
After years of laborious search for fossils by which the age of the gold-
bearing rocks might be determined, I had the pleasure, early in 1863, to
obtain a specimen containing Ammonites from a locality on the American
river, preserved in the cabinet of Mr. Spear. This fossil was of extreme
importance, being indicative of the secondary age of the gold bearing slates,
and was therefore photographed, and copies of it sent to the Smithsonian
Institution at Washington, for description. It was subsequently noticed in the
proceedings of the California Academy of Natural Sciences, September, 1864,
The same year, when at Bear valley, Mariposa county, upon the chief gold-
bearing rocks of California, I identified a group of secondary fossils from the
slates contiguous to the Pine Tree vein, and noticed them at a meeting of the
California Academy, October 3, 1864, announcing the Jurassic or cretaceous age
of these slates. The best characterized fossil was a Plagwstoma,(oY Lima,} to
which I provisionally attached the name Erringtoni* The attention of the
geological survey having been directed to this locality by my announcement and
exhibition of the fossils in San Francisco and at the academy, Mr. Gabb, the
palaeontologist of the survey, visited the locality and obtained specimens. These
fossils were of such interest and importance to science, and to the geological
description of the State, that an extra plate was engraved for them and pub-
lished in the appendix to the volume on the geology, recently issued.!
Fossils of the secondary age from Genesee valley, in the northern part of the
State, were common in collections in 1864, and are described by the State Geo-
logical Survey, volume one, " Palaeontology." It appears also, from the same
source, that Mr. King, a gentleman connected with the survey, had obtained
bclemites from the Mariposa rocks in 1864, but no figures or description are
We may thus regard the secondary age of a part, at least, of the gold-bearing