Portrait Gallery

YE Ancient Yuba Miner, of the Days of '49

by Samuel C. Upham

YE Ancient Yuba Miner, of the Days of '49

(Air: “Fine Old English Gentleman”)


To you I'll sing a good old song, made by a Quaker pate.
Of an ancient Yuba miner, who owned no real estate,
But who when asked where he belonged, this son of Uncle Sam,
He scratched his head a moment then in accents clear and
 shrill, straightway ejaculated “Yuba Dam!”
Did this ancient Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


I'm told that simple was his food, he used no forks nor spoons.
And with old flour and coffee sacks he patched his trouser-loons;
He was saucy, lousy, ragged, lank, but happy as a clam.
And when interrogated in relation to the location from whence
 he hailed, he invariably replied, “Yuba Dam!
Did this grizzled Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


On a prospecting tour one day he struck it very rich,
'Twas on a little mountain stream, forninst the Yuba ditch;
Said he, “This claim of mine I'll sell, my purse the dust will cram.”
But when questioned in relation to his antecedents, and from
 whence he came, he articulated, “Yuba Dam!
Did this lucky Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


He started down to 'Frisco town, this man of no estate.
On muleback first, by water then—but never mind the date.
And on his way they questioned him, this son of Uncle Sam;
They asked him the initials of his front name, the mine from
 whence he came, and then he placed his hand beside his
 mouth and roared out, “Yuba Dam!”
Did this jolly Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


When he arrived in 'Frisco town, the mud was very deep,
Said he, “my equilibrium now, I surely mean to keep;”
But then the crowd they jostled him, and finally, in a jam,
He was pitched headlong into the mud, and when fished out
 and asked where he belonged, he sputtered, “Yuba Dam!
Did this wilted Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


Into the “El Dorado” then, he went to try his luck.
Said he, “I'll show those gamboliers a little Yuba pluck,
I'll bust their cussed monte bank, for I am nary sham,”
But soon he emerged a wiser but a badly busted individual
 and to every question asked him, he replied, “Yuba Dam
Did this busted Yuba miner of the days of '49.


Soon on a stretcher he was laid, with his head all caved in.
For the way that they had walloped him was a shame and awful sin;
All mashed and shattered was his head, as if butted by a ram;
The doctor felt his corpus, the parson sung a psalm, and when
 they asked him from whence he came, he faintly whispered,
 “Yuba Dam!
Did this dying Yuba miner, of the days of '49.


The coroner soon an inquest held, and then at his command
They shoved old Yuba in a box, and dumped him in the sand.
At midnight hour they buried him, without show, or pomp or flam.
And when at the last day Gabriel's trump shall sound, among
 the early risers, you bet, will be old “Yuba Dam.
That defunct and ancient miner, of the days of '49.

YE Ancient Yuba Miner, of the Days of '49, Notes of a voyage to California via Cape Horn, together with scenes in El Dorado, in the years of 1849-'50. With an appendix containing reminiscences ... together with the articles of association and roll of members of "The associated pioneers of the territorial days of California.", By Samuel C. Upham, 1878, pp 474-479. (PDF)