Everybody that worked had plenty of money. Some men would start back to their homes, getting as far as San Francisco with as much as $30,000. Reaching San Francisco,in having a good time, would spend all their money, get broke, and return to the mountains and work in the same old place. I have seen them return and it amused me to hear them tell how they spent their money.
From: Recollections of a '49er, by EW McIlhany. 1908, Kansas City: Hailman Printing Company. Page 71.