"The event that precipitated that climatic Mass Meeting called by Colonel E.F Brundage in April of 1850 was said to have been the episode of Miner Joe Swiegart and the Boston Ravine Slicker.  Joe was popular with the other miners.  He had a claim that the whole camp knew to be a good one. One day the Slicker came into the Saloon where Joe and the others were relaxing. He offered to buy Joe's claim at an exorbitant price.  First he would need to check to see that it was as good as Joe said.  He bet Joe that you couldn't take out $200 worth of gold in a day.  Joe knew his claim was good and accepted the challenge.  Papers were drawn and judges appointed.

"These miners were simple honest law-abiding men and had never even heard of the gentle art of malingering.  The Slicker went to work.  As he drew nearer the $200 mark he slowed more and more.  Just before he reached it he quit entirely.  The papers had not specified how long he was to work.  It was legal but wrong.  Justice was simple in those days but the closest justice was in Marysville, the Territorial headquarters.  So Rough and Ready seceded and established its own law and order.  The next morning it rescued what was left of Joe's money and took the Slicker to the edge of town with instructions never to return."                                                                           

---------- As told by Faye H. Dunbar

PHOTO ABOVE: California Registered Historical Landmark No. 294

Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce l  P.O. Box 801 l Rough and Ready, California 95975

The Great Republic of Rough and Ready

The Story of Joe Swiegart and "The Slicker"


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