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While Cameo stood by, the ten adventures separated into two equal squads, one under Herman Ehrenburg and the other led by Eugene du Bertrand. Both parties would try to reach the mouth of the Klamath, Ehrenburg's by land and Bertrand's by sea in the small boat. Ehrenburg and his people, at noon on April 10, climbed a ridge from where they sighted "a magnificent stream, three quarters of a mile wide, studded with islands, which, as well as the banks and mountains, were clothed in luxuriant foliage." Breakers at the mouth indicated the presence of a bar, but a patch of smooth water showed the location of a pass, 300 yards across. Hundreds of Yurok had gathered at the mouth of the Klamath to net and spear salmon and seal. "They played or caught fish, while the sea lions roared out in the breakers." On the banks were numerous huts, while swift canoes glided over the water.

The appearance of the whites caused the Yurok to take up arms. While the Indians and whites sought to converse, a number of squaws and children emerged from hiding places in the brush. Ehrenburg and his companions made presents of beads and trinkets to the newcomers. This served to pacify the Yurok, and they were induced to ferry the whites across the Klamath. On landing on the south bank, the explorers proceeded to take up claims upon the "site of the new seaport each calling the other to witness that he laid claim to a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, in accordance with the preemption laws of the United States." [4]

They then continued southward along the beach. On the 11th they discovered gold on the beach at Gold Bluffs, but agreed to keep their strike a secret until such time as they could exploit it. On the 13th they reached Trinidad to find the area occupied by whites, instead of Indians. [5] While Cameo was still off Point St. George, another vessel, California, had sighted Trinidad Head. She was piloted into the bay by the four men landed from Cameo March 16. Not conditioned to living off the country, these men were nearly famished for lack of food. California soon returned to San Francisco to report that Trinidad Bay had been found. Other vessels now were fitted out. The most notable of these was the schooner Laura Virginia. [6]

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Last Updated: 15-Mar-2006