Written by a true miner - not all letters from California in this period are from miners. This was acquired locally, and was addressed to a person in Petersburg, Virginia. The names mentioned within the letter are names common to Petersburg, and the writer thanks the recipient for "two late Petersburg Papers...." The letter is from E.A. Batte to his sister, and it is datelined "Auburn Placer Co. Cal. Feby 4th/53." A newsy letter in which the miner writes to his sister, in part, "I am still in the same old business, and attended with the same bad success. I have been thinking for some time past that I would give it up and try something else for mining is the most uncertain business in this Country. Myself as well as some dozen others who commenced mining the same time I did and are still here, and like myself have not made more than a few hundred Dollars over our expences. the chances of making money by mining are decreasing every day on account of the large emigration that are constantly arriving in the mines. Men are glad to get $45. to $50. per month to hire out in the mines. I do not believe that more than one man out of twenty makes more than will board him the course of the year. It has so happened to me since I have been in this country that whenever I would make a little money, some accident would occur by which I would have to spend it." He then relates several accidents - nearly cutting off his thumb while slicing a ham, and a horse falling on him. He further writes, "Provisions have been very high in the Mines this winter Flour 40 cts Ham 50 cts Butter $1. and everything else in proportion. The winter so far has been the coldist that I ever felt in this Country. The rain commenced the 1st of Nov. and continued for 10 weeks without one clear day during the time." Some personal matters, and a note that "A peice of pan gold was found last week where I am camping that weigh fifteen hundred and twenty eight Dollars, but such peices are very scarce. I have never had the luck to find a peice that weighed over $30. and only one of them."