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Full text of "A history of California and an extended history of its southern coast counties, also containing biographies of well-known citizens of the past and present"

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GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



3 1833 01148 4091 



A HISTORY ' 



CALIFORNIA 



Extended History of Its Southern Coast Counties 



Containing Biographies of Well-known Citizens of the Past and Present. 



J. M. GUINN, A. M., 



Secretary and Late President of the Historical Society of Southern California, 
Member of the American Historical Association of Washington, D. C. 



ILLUSTRATED. 
COMPLETE IN TWO VOLUMES. 



VOLUME 



HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY 

LOS ANGELES, CAL. 
1907 



Copyright, 1907 



HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY. 



PREFACE. 



FEW states of the Union have a more varied, a more interesting or a more instructive 
history than California, and few have done so little to preserve their history. In this 
statement I do not contrast California with older states of the Atlantic seaboard, but 
draw a parallel between our state and the more recently created states of the far west, many 
years younger in statehood than the Golden State of the Pacific. 

When Kansas and Nebraska were uninhabited except by buffaloes and Indians, California 
was a populous state pouring fifty millions of gold yearly into the world's coffers. For more 
than a quarter of a century these states, from their public funds, have maintained state historical 
societies that have gathered and are preserving valuable historical material, while California, 
without a protest, has allowed literary pot hunters and speculative curio collectors to rob her 
of her historical treasures. When Washington, Montana and the two Dakotas were Indian hunt- 
ing grounds, California was a state of a quarter million inhabitants; each of these states now 
has its State Historical Society supported by appropriations from its public funds. 

California, of all the states west of the Mississippi river, spends nothing from its public 
funds to collect and preserve its history. 1 r ? t ^Q5«i c > c ^ 

To a lover of California, this is humiliating; to a student ofher history exasperating. While 
preparing this History of California I visited all the large public libraries of the state. I 
found in all of them a very limited collection of books on California, and an almost entire ab- 
sence of manuscripts and of the rarer books of the earlier eras. Evidently the demand for works 
pertaining to California history is not very insistent. If it were, more of an effort would be 
put forth to procure them. 

The lack of interest in our history is due largely to the fact that California was settled by 
one nation and developed by another. In the rapid development of the state by the conquering 
nation, the trials, struggles and privations of the first colonists who were of another nation have 
been ignored or forgotten. No forefathers' day keeps their memory green, no observance cele- 
brates the anniversary of their landing. To many of its people the history of California begins 
with the discovery of gold, and all before that time is regarded as of little importance. 

The race characteristics of the two peoples who have dominated California, differ widely ; and 
from this divergence arises the lack of sympathetic unison. Perhaps no better expression for 
this difference can be given than is found in the popular by-words of each. The "poco tiempo" 
(by and by) of the Spaniard is significant of a people who are willing to wait — who would defer 
action till manana — to-morrow — rather than act with haste to-day. The "go ahead" of the 
American is indicative of hurry, of rush, of a strenuous existence, of a people impatient of pres- 
ent conditions. 

In narrating the story of California, I have endeavored to deal justly with the different eras 
and episodes of its history ; to state facts ; to tell the truth without favoritism or prejudice ; to 



PREFACE. 

give credit where credit is due and censure where it is deserved. In the preparation of this his- 
tory I have endeavored to make it readable and reliable. 

The subject matter is presented by topic and much of it in monographic form. I have 
deemed it better to treat fully important topics even if by so doing some minor events be ex- 
cluded. The plan of this work includes, first, a general history of California from its dis- 
covery by Cabrillo in 1542, to its subdivision into counties by the first Legislature in 1850; and, 
second, a history of the southern coast counties from the dates of their organization to the 
close of the year 1906. 

In compiling the history of the Spanish and Mexican eras, I have taken Bancroft's History 
of California as the most reliable authority. I have obtained much original historical material 
from the Proceedings of the Ayuntamiento or Municipal Council of Los Angeles (1828 to 
1850). The jurisdiction of that Ayuntamiento extended over an area now included in four of the 
seven counties commonly classified as Southern California. This accounts in part for the promi- 
nence of Los Angeles in the second half of this volume. 

In presenting the history of the southern coast counties I have given first that of the orig- 
inal counties in the order they are named in the act of the Legislature creating them — San 
Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Originally these included all the ocean frontage of 
the southern coast of California. Hence the appropriateness of the term southern coast counties. 
Next I have taken up the history of the others in the order of their separation from an 
original county. 

In gathering material for this work, I have examined the collections in a number of libra- 
ries, public and private, have consulted state, county and city archives, and have scanned thou- 
sands of pages of newspapers and magazines. In the preparation of the history of the southern 
counties I have found files of newspapers the most fruitful source for material. Without the 
files of the San Diego Herald, the Los Angeles Star and the Santa Barbara Gazette, the pio- 
neer papers of Southern California, the early history of the original counties would be very 
meager — almost a blank. 

From the files of The Californian, The California Star and The Alta Californian, pioneer 
papers of the state, I have obtained much valuable data that has not heretofore been incor- 
porated into a volume of history. Where extracts have been made from authorities, due credit 
has been given in the body of the work. I have received valuable assistance from librarians, 
from pioneers of the state, from city and county officials, from editors and others. To all who 
have assisted me I return my sincere thanks. 

Los Angeles, December 31, 1907. J. M. Guinn. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PACE 

Spanish Explorations and Discoveries 33 

Romance and Reality— The Seven Cities of Cibola— The Myth of Quivera— E! Dorado- 
Sandoval's Isle of the Amazons— Mutineers Discover the Peninsula of Lower California 
— Origin of the Name California — Cortes's Attempts at Colonization — Discovery of the 
Rio Colorado — Coronado's Explorations— Ulloa's Voyage. 

Jl Jl Jl 

CHAPTER II. 

Alta or Nueva California 37 

Voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo — Enters the Bay of San Diego in Alta California — 
Discovers the Islands of San Salvador and Vitoria — The Bay of Smokes and Fires — The 
Santa Barbara Islands — Reaches Cape Mendocino — His Death and Burial on the Island of 
San Miguel — Ferrolo Continues the Voyage — Drake, the Sea King of Devon — His Hatred 
of the Spaniard — Sails into the South Sea — Plunders the Spanish Settlements of the South 
Pacific — Vain Search for the Straits of Anian — Refits His Ships in a California Harbor — 
Takes Possession of the Country for the English Queen — Sails Across the Pacific Ocean 
to Escape the Vengeance of the Spaniards — Sebastian Rodriguez Cermcno Attempts a 
Survey of the California Coast — Loss of the San Agustin — Sufferings of the Shipwrecked 
Mariners — Sebastian Viscaino's Explorations — Makes No New Discoveries — Changes the 
Names Given by Cabrillo to the Bays and Islands— Some Boom Literature— Failure of 
His Colonization Scheme — His Death. 

j* M Jt 

CHAPTER III. 
Colonization of Alta California 43 

Jesuit Missions of Lower California — Father Kino or Kuhn's Explorations — Expulsion of 



the Jesuits — Spain's Decadence — Her Northwestern Possessions Threatened by the Rus- 
sians and English — The Franciscans to Christianize and Colonize Alta California — Galvez 
Fits Out Two Expeditions — Their Safe Arrival at San Diego — First Mission Founded — 
Portola's Explorations — Fails to Find Monterey Bay — Discovers the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco—Return of the Explorers— Portola's Second Expedition— Founding of San Carlos 
Mission and the Presidio of Monterey. 

J* & Jl 

CHAPTER IV. 
Aborigines of California 49 

Inferiority of the California Indian — No Great Tribes — Indians of the San Gabriel Valley — 
Hugo Reid's Description of Their Government — Religion and Customs — Indians of the 
Santa Barbara Channel — Their God Chupu — Northern Indians — Indian Myths and Tra- 
ditions. 

19 



20 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. 

PAGE 

Franciscan Missions of Alta California 56 

Founding of San Diego de Alcala — San Carlos Barromeo — San Antonio de Padua — San 
Gabriel Arcangel — San Luis Obispo — San Francisco de Asis — San Juan Capistrano — Santa 
Clara— San Buenaventura— Santa Barbara— La Purisima Concepcion— Santa Cruz— La 
Soledad — San Jose — San Juan Bautista — San Miguel — San Fernando del Rey, San Luis 
Key, Santa Ynez — San Rafael — San Francisco Solano — Architecture — General Plan of the 
Missionary Establishments— Houses of the Neophytes— Their Uncleanliness. 

& J* jit 

CHAPTER VI. 

Presidios of California 66 

Presidio in Colonization— Founding of San Diego— General Plan of the Presidio— Found- 
ing of Monterey— Rejoicing over the Event— Hard Times at the Presidio— Bear Meat Diet 
— Two Hundred Immigrants for the Presidio — Founding of the Presidio of San Francisco 
— Anza's Overland Route from Sonora — Quarrel with Rivera — Anza's Return to Sonora — 
Founding of Santa Barbara — Disappointment of Father Serra — Quarrel of the Captain with 
the Missionaries over Indian Laborers— Soldiers' Dreary Life at the Presidios. 

JS Jt Jt 

CHAPTER VII. 

Pueblos 73 

Pueblo Plan of Colonization— Necessity for Agricultural Colonies— Governor Filipe de 
Neve Selects Pueblo Sites — San Jose Founded — Named for the Patron Saint of California 
—Area of the Spanish Pueblc— Government Supplies to Colonists— Founding of the 
Pueblo of Los Angeles— Names of the Founders— Probable Origin of the Name— Sub- 
divisions of Pueblo Lands— Lands Assigned to Colonists— Founding of Branciforte, the 
last Spanish Pueblo. 

Jt Jt Jt 

CHAPTER VIII. 
The Passing of Spain's Domination 78 



Spain's Exclusiveness— The First Foreign Ship in Monterey Bay— Vancouver's Visit- 
Government Monopoly of the Fur Trade— American Smugglers— The Memorias— Russian 
Aggression— Famine at Sitka— Rezanoff's Visit— A Love Affair and Its Tragic Ending- 
Fort Ross— Failure of the Russian Colony Scheme— The War of Mexican Independence- 
Sola the Royalist Governor — California Loyalists — The Year of Earthquakes — Bouchard 
the Privateer Burns Monterey— The Lima Tallow Ships— Hard Times— No Money and 
Little Credit— The Friars Supreme. 

CHAPTER IX. 

From Empire to Republic 82 

Sola Calls for Troops— Cholas Sent Him— Success of the Revolutionists— Plan of Iguala— 
The Three Guarantees— The Empire — Downfall of Agustin I.— Rise of the Republic- 
Bitter Disappointments of Governor Sola and the Friars— Disloyalty of the Mission 
Friars— Refuse to Take the Oath of Allegiance— Arguella. Governor— Advent of Foreign- 
ers — Coming of the Hide Droghers — Indian Outbreak. 



CONTEXTS. 21 

CHAPTER X. 

PJ»GE 

First Decade of Mexican Rule 87 

Echeandia Governor — Make San Diego Hi? Capital — Padres of the Four Southern Mis- 
sions Take the Oath oi Allegiance to the Republic — Friars of the Northern Missions 
Contumacious — Arrest of Padre Sarria — Expulsion of the Spaniards — Clandestine De- 
parture of Padres Ripoll and Altimira — Exile of Padre Martinez — The Diputacion — 
Queer Legislation — The Mexican Congress Attempts to Make California a Penal Colony — 
Liberal Colonization Laws — Captain Jedediah S. Smith, the Pioneer of Overland Travel, 
Arrives— Is Arrested— First White Man to Cross the Sierra Nevadas— Coming of the 
Fur Trappers— The Pattie Party— Imprisoned by Echeandia— Death of the Elder Pattie— 
John Ohio Pattie's Bluster — Peg Leg Smith — Ewing Young — The Solis Revolution — A 
Bloodless Battle — Echeandia's Mission Secularization Decree — He Is Hated by the Friars 
— Dios y Libertad — The Fitch Romance. 



CHAPTER XI. 
Revolutions — The Hijar Colonists 



93 



Victoria, Governor — His Unpopularity — Defeated by the Southern Revolutionists — Abdi- 
cates and is Shipped out of the Country — Pio Pico, Governor — Echeandia, Governor of 
Abajenos ( Lowers )— Zamarano of the Arribanos (Uppers) — Dual Governors and a No 
Man's Land — War Clouds — Los Angeles the Political Storm Center — Figueroa Appointed 
Gefe Politico — The Dual Governors Surrender — Figueroa the Right Man in the Place — 
Hijar's Colonization Scheme — Padres, the Promoter — Hijar to be Gefe Politico — A Fa- 
mous Ride — A Cobbler Heads a Revolution — Hijar and Padres Arrested and Deported — 
Disastrous End of the Compania Cosmopolitana — Death of Figueroa. 



CHAPTER XII. 
The Decline and Fall of the Missions 96 

Sentiment vs. History — The Friars' Right to the Mission Lands Only That of Occupa- 
tion — Governor Borica's Opinion of the Mission System — Title to the Mission Domains — 
Viceroy Bucarili's Instructions — Secularization — Decree of the Spanish Cortes in 1813 — 
Mission Land Monopoly — No Land for Settlers — Secularization Plans, Decrees and Regla- 
mentos — No Attempt to Educate the Neophytes — Destruction of Mission Property, 
Ruthless Slaughter of Cattle — Emancipation in Theory and in Practice — Depravity or the 
Neophytes— What Did Six Decades of Mission Rule Accomplish?— What Became of the 
Mission Estates— The Passing of the Neophytes. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

The Free and Sovereign State of Alta California 101 

Castro, Gefe Politico— Nicolas Gutierrez, Comandante and Political Chief— Chico, "Gober- 
nador Propritario"— Makes Himself Unpopular— His Hatred of Foreigners— Makes 
Trouble Wherever He Goes— Shipped Back to Mexico— Gutierrez Again Political Chief- 
Centralism His Nemesis— Revolt of Castro and Alvarado — Gutierrez Besieged— Surrenders 
and Leaves the Country— Declaration of California's Independence — El Estado Libre y 
Soberano de La Alta California— Alvarado Declared Governor— The Ship of State 



22 CONTENTS. 



Launched — Encounters a Storm — The South Opposes California's Independence — Los An- 
geles Made a City and the Capital of the Territory by the Mexican Congress — The Capital 
Question the Cause of Opposition — War Between the North and South — Battle of San 
Buenaventura — Los Angeles Captured — Peace in the Free State — Carlos Carrillo, Gov- 
ernor of the South — War Again — Defeat of Carrillo at Las Flores — Peace — Alvarado 
Appointed Governor by the Supreme Government — Release of Alvarado's Prisoners of 
State— Exit the Free State. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Decline and Fall of Mexican Domination 108 

Hijos del Pais in Power — The Capital Question — The Foreigners Becoming a Menace — 
Graham Affair — Micheltorena Appointed Governor — His Cholo Army — Commodore Jones 
Captures Monterey — The Governor and the Commodore Meet at Los Angeles — Extrava- 
gant Demands of Micheltorena — Revolt Against Micheltorena and His Army of Chicken 
Thieves — Sutter and Graham Join Forces with Micheltorena — The Picos Unite with 
Alvarado and Castro — Battle of Cahuenga — Micheltorena and His Cholos Deported— Pico, 
Governor — Castro Rebellious — The Old Feud Between the North and the South — Los 
Angeles the Capita! — Plots and Counter-Plots — Pico Made Governor by President Herrera 
— Immigration from the United States. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Municipal Government — Homes and Home Life of the Californians 114 

The "Muy Ilustre Ayuntamiento," or Municipal Council — Its Unlimited Power, Queer Cus- 
toms and Quaint Usages — Blue Laws — How Office Sought the Man and Caught Him — 
Architecture of the Mission' Age Not Aesthetic — Dress of the Better Class — Undress of 
the Neophyte and the Peon— Fashions That Changed but Once in Fifty Years— Filial 
Respect— Honor Thy Father and Mother— Economy in Government— When Men's Pleas- 
ures and Vices Paid the Cost of Governing— No Fire Department— No Paid Police — No 
Taxes. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
Territorial Expansion by Conquest. 



The Mexican War— More Slave Territory Needed— Hostilities Begun in Texas— Trouble 
Brewing in California — Fremont at Monterey — Fremont and Castro Quarrel — Fremont 
and His Men Depart — Arrival of Lieutenant Gillespie — Follows Fremont — Fremont's Re- 
turn — The Bear Flag Revolt — Seizure of Sonoma — A Short-Lived Republic — Commodore 
Sloat Seizes California — Castro's Army Retreats Southward — Meets Pico's Advancing 
Northward — Retreat to Los Angeles — Stockton and Fremont Invade the South — Pico and 
Castro Vainly Attempt to Arouse the People — Pico's Humane Proclamation — Flight of 
Pico and Castro — Stockton Captures Los Angeles — Issues a Proclamation — Some His- 
torical Myths— The First Newspaper Published in California. 



CONTENTS. 23 

CHAPTER XVII. 

PACE 

Revolt of the Californians 125 

Stockton Returns to His Ship and Fremont Leaves for the North— Captain Gillespie, 
Comandante. in the South— Attempts Reforms— Californians Rebei— The Americans Be- 
sieged on Fort Hill — Juan Flaca's Famous Ride — Battle of Chino — Wilson's Company 
Prisoners— Americans Agree to Evacute Los Angeles— Retreat to San Pedro— Cannon 
Thrown into the Bay— Flores in Command of the Californians. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
Defeat and Retreat of Mervine's Men 



Mervine, in Command of the Savannah, Arrives at San Pedro — Landing of the Troops — 
Mervine and Gillespie Unite Their Forces— On to Los Angeles— Duvall's Log Book— An 
Authentic Account of the March, Battle and Retreat— Names of the Killed and Wounded— 
Burial of the Dead on Dead Man's Island — Names of the Commanding Officers — Flores 
the Last Gefe Politico and Comandante-General— Jealousy of the Hijos del Pais— Hard 
Times in the Old Pueblo. 

J* j* jt 

CHAPTER XIX. 



Final Conquest of California. 



Affairs in the North — Fremont's Battalion — Battle of Natividad — Bloodless Battle of Santa 
Clara — End of the War in the North — Stockton at San Pedro — Carrillo's Strategy A Re- 
markable Battle — Stockton Arrives at San Diego — Building of a Fort — Raid on the 
Ranchos — The Flag Episode — General Kearny Arrives at Warner's Pass — Battle of San 
Pasqual— Defeat of Kearny — Heavy Loss— Relief Sent Him from San Diego— Preparing 
for the Capture of Los Angeles — The March — Battle of Paso de Bartolo — Battle of La 
Mesa — Small Losses — American Names of These Battles Misnomers. 

jt Jt jt 

CHAPTER XX. 
Capture and Occupation of the Capital 



Surrender of Los Angeles— March of the Victors— The Last Volley— A Chilly Recep- 
tion—A Famous Scold— On the Plaza— Stockton's Headquarters— Emory's Fort— Fre- 
mont's Battalion at San Fernando — The Flight of Flores — Negotiations with General Pico — 
Treaty of Cabuenga— Its Importance— Fremont's Battalion Enters the City— Fremont, 
Governor — Quarrel Between Kearny and Stockton — Kearny Departs for San Diego and 
Stockton's Men for San Pedro. 

J* Jt „ 

CHAPTER XXI. 



Transition and Transformation. 



Colonel Fremont in Command at Los Angeles— The Mormon Battalion— Its Arrival at 
San Luis Rey, Sent to Los Angeles— General Kearny Governor at Monterey— Rival 
Governors— Col. R. B. Mason, Inspector of the Troops in California— He Quarrels with 
Fremont— Fremont Challenges Him— Colonel Cooke Made Commander of the Military 



129 



133 



I41 



144 



24 CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

District of the South — Fremont's Battalion Mustered Out — Fremont Ordered to Report 
to Kearny — Returns to the States with Kearny — Placed Under Arrest — Court-Martialed 
—Found Guilty — Pardoned by the President — Rumors of a Mexican Invasion — Building 
of a Fort — Col. J. B. Stevenson Commands in the Southern District — A Fourth of July 
Celebration — The Fort Dedicated and Named Fort Moore — The New York Volunteers — 
Company F, Third U. S. Artillery, Arrives — The Mormon Battalion Mustered Out — 
Commodore Shubrick and General Kearny Jointly Issue a Proclamation to the People — 
Col. R. B. Mason, Military Governor of California — A Policy of Conciliation — Varela, 
Agitator and Revolutionist, Makes Trouble — Overland Immigration Under Mexican Rule — 
The First Train — Dr. Marsh's Meanness — The Fate of the Donner Party. 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Mexican Laws and American Officials 150 

Richard A. Mason, Commander of the Military Forces and Civil Governor of California — 
Civil and Military Laws — The First Trial by Jury — Americanizing the People — Perverse 
Electors and Contumacious Councilmen — Absolute Alcaldes — Nash at Sonoma and Bill 
Blackburn at Santa Cruz — Queer Decisions — El Canon Perdido of Santa Barbara — Ex- 
Governor Pio Pico Returns — Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo — Peace Proclaimed — The 
News Reaches California — Country Acquired by the Treaty — The Volunteers Mustered 



Out. 



„* a* S 



CHAPTER XXIII. 
Gold! Gold! Gold! 155 

Traditions of Early Gold Discoveries in California — The First Authenticated Discover) — 
Marshall's Discovery at Coloma — Disputed Dates and Conflicting Stories About the 
Discovery — Sutter's Account — James W. Marshall — His Story — The News Travels Slowly — 
First Newspaper Report — The Rush Begins — San Francisco Deserted — The Star and the 
Californian Suspend Publication — The News Spreads — Sonorian Migration — Oregonians 
Come— The News Reaches the States— A Tea Caddy Full of Gold at the War Office, 
Washington — Seeing Is Believing — Gold Hunters Come by Land and Sea — The Pacific 
Mail Steamship Company — Magical Growth of San Francisco — The Dry Diggings — Some 
Remarkable Yields — Forty Dollars for a Butcher Knife — Extent of the Gold Fields. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
Making a State 162 

Bennett Riley, Governor— Unsatisfactory Form of Government— Semi-Civil and Semi-Mil- 
itary—Congress Does Nothing — The Slave-Holding Faction Prevents Action — Growing 
Dissatisfaction — Call for Convention — Constitution Making — The Great Seal — Election of 
State Officers— Peter H. Burnett, Governor— Inauguration of a State Government— The 
First Legislature— A Self-Constituted State— The Pro-Slavery Faction in Congress— Op- 
pose the Admission of California— Defeat of the Obstructionists— California Admitted into 
the Union— Great Rejoicing— A Magnificent Procession— California Full Grown at Birth— 
The Capital Question — San Jose Loses the Capital — Vallejo Wins — Goes to Sacramento — 
Comes to Benicia— Capital Question in the Courts— Sacramento Wins— Capitol Building 
Begun in 1S60— Completed in i86q. 



CONTEXTS. 



CHAPTER XXV. 



The Argonauts 169 

Who First Called Them Argonauts — How They Came and From Where They Came — 
Extent of the Gold Fields— Mining Appliances— Batcas. Gold Pans, Rockers, Long Toms, 
Sluices — Useless Machines and Worthless Inventions — Some Famous Gold Rushes — Gold 
Lake— Gold Bluffs— Kern River— Frazer River— Washoe— Ho (or Idaho!— Social Level- 
ing — Capacity for Physical Labor the Standard — Independency and Honesty of the Argo- 



naut-. 



,< 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Sax Francisco 175 

The First House — A Famous Fourth of July Celebration — The Enterprise of Jacob P. Leese 
— General Kearny's Decree for the Sale of Water Lots — Alcalde Bartlett Changes the 
Name of the Town from Yerba Buena to San Francisco — Hostility of the Star to the 
Change — Great Sale of Lots in the City of Francisca. now Benicia — Its Boom Bursts — 
Population of San Francisco September 4, 1847 — Vocations of Its Inhabitants — Population 
March, 1848 — Vioget's Survey — O'Farrell's Survey — Wharves — The First School House— 
The Gold Discovery Depopulates the City — Reaction — Rapid Growth — Description of the 
City in April, 1850 — Great Increase in Population — How the People Lived and Labored — 
Enormous Rents — High Priced Real Estate — Awful Streets — Flour Sacks, Cooking Stove 
and Tobacco Box Sidewalk — Ships for Houses — The Six Great Fires — The Boom of 1853 — 
The Burst of 1855 — Harry Meigs — Steady Growth of the City. 

J* J» Jit 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

Crime, Criminals and Vigilance Committees 182 

But Little Crime in California Under Spanish and Mexican Rule — The First Vigilance 
Committee of California — The United Defenders of Public Safety — Execution of Alispaz 
and Maria del Rosario Villa — Advent of the Criminal Element — Criminal Element in the 
Ascendency — Incendiarism, Theft and Murder — The San Francisco Vigilance Committee 
of 1851 — Hanging of Jenkins — A Case of Mistaken Identity — Burdue for Stuart — Arrest, 
Trial and Hanging of Stuart — Hanging of Whittaker and McKenzie — The Committee 
Adjourns but Does Not Disband — Its Work Approved — Corrupt Officials — James King 
of William Attacks Political Corruption in the Bulletin — Richardson killed by Cora — 
Scathing Editorials— Murders and Thefts— Attempts to Silence King— King Exposes 
James P. Casey's State's Prison Record— Cowardly Assassination of King by Casey— 
Organization of the Vigilance Committee of 1856 — Fatal Mistake of the Herald — Casey 
and Cora in the Hands of the Committee— Death of King— Hanging of Casey and Cora— 
Other Executions — Law and Order Party — Terry and His Chivalrous Friends — They Are 
Glad to Subside — Black List and Deportations — The Augean Stable Cleaned — The Com- 
mittee's Grand Parade— Vigilance Committees in Los Angeles— Joaquin Murrieta and His 
Banditti — Tiburcio Vasquez and His Gang. 

.* ^t .* 

CHAPTER XXVIH. 

Filibusters and Filibustering 193 

The Origin of Filibustering in California — Raousset-Boulbon's Futile Schemes — His Ex- 
ecution — William Walker — His Career as a Doctor. Lawyer and Journalist — Recruits Fili- 
busters — Lands at La Paz — His Infamous Conduct in Lower California — Failure of His 



26 CONTENTS. 



Scheme— A Farcical Trial— Lionized in San Francisco— His Operations in Nicaragua- 
Battles— Decrees Slavery in Nicaragua— Driven Out of Nicaragua— Tries Again— Is Cap- 
tured and Shot— Crabb and His Unfortunate Expedition— Massacre of the Misguided 
Adventurers— Filibustering Ends When Secession Begins. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
From Gold to Grain and Fruits 199 

Mexican Farming — But Little Fruit and Few Vegetables — Crude Farming Implements — 
The Agricultural Capabilities of California Underestimated — Wheat the Staple in Central 
California — Cattle in the South — Gold in the North — Big Profits in Grapes — Orange Culture 
Begun in the South— Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums— The Sheep Industry— The Famine 
Years of 1863 and 1864 Bring Disaster to the Cattle Kings of the South— The Doom of 
Their Dynasty — Improvement of Domestic Animals — Exit the Mustang — Agricultural Col- 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Civil War — Loyalty and Disloyalty 204 

State Division and What Became of It— Broderick's Early Life— Arrival in California- 
Enters the Political Arena— Gwin and Broderick— Duel Between Terry and Broderick— 
Death of Broderick— Gwin-Latham Combination— Firing on Fort Sumter— State Loyal- 
Treasonable Utterance — A Pacific Republic — Disloyalty Rampant in Southern California- 
Union Sentiments Triumphant— Confederate Sympathizers Silenced. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

Trade, Travel and Transportation 211 

Spanish Trade— Fixed Prices— No Cornering the Market— Mexico's Methods of Trade— 
The Hide Droghers— Trade— Ocean Commerce and Travel— Overland Routes— Overland 
Stage Routes— Inland Commerce— The Pony Express— Stage Lines— Pack Trains— Camel 
Caravans— The Telegraph and the Railroad— Express Companies. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

Railroads 218 

Early Agitation of the Pacific Railroad Scheme— The Pacific Railroad in Politics— Northern 
Routes and Southern Routes — First Railroad in California — Pacific Railroad Bills in Con- 
gress—A Decade of Agitation and No Road— The Central and Union Pacific Railroads- 
Act of 1862 — Subsidies — The Southern Pacific Railroad System — Its Incorporation and 
Charter — Its Growth and Development — The Santa Fe System — Other Railroads. 



CONTENTS. 27 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

PAGE 

The Indian Question 223 

Treatment of 'he Indians by Spain and Mexico — A Conquista — Unsanitary Condition of the 
Mission Villages— The Mission Neophyte and What Became of Him— Wanton Outrages on 
the Savages — Some So-Called Indian Wars — Extermination of the Aborigines — Indian 
Island Massacre — The Mountaineer Battalion — The Two Years' War — The Modoc War. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 
Some Political History 229 

Advent of the Chinese — Kindly Received at First — Given a Public Reception — The "China 
Boys" Become Too Many — Agitation and Legislation Against Them — Dennis Kearney 
and the Sand Lot Agitation — Kearney's Slogan, "The Chinese Must Go" — How Kearney 
Went— The New Constitution— A Mixed Convention— Opposition to the Constitution— 
The Constitution Adopted — Defeat of the Workingmen's Party — A New Treaty with 
China— Governors of California, Spanish, Mexican and American. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Education and Educational Institution 235 

Public Schools in the Spanish Era — Schools of the Mexican Period — No Schools for the 
Neophytes — Early American Schools — First School House in San Francisco — The First 
American Teacher — The First School Law — A Grand School System — University of the 
Pacific — College of California — University of California — Stanford University — Normal 
Schools. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 
Cities of California — Their Origin and Growth 



The Spaniards and Mexicans Not Town Builders — Francisca, on the Straits of Carquinez, 
the First American City — Its Brilliant Prospects and Dismal Failure — San Francisco — Its 
Population and Expansion— The Earthquake of April l8, 1906— The Great Fire that Fol- 
lowed the Earthquake— The Effects of the Earthquake at Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, San 
Jose, Santa Rosa and Other Points Around the Bay of San Francisco — Oakland, an 
American City— Population— Sacramento, the Metropolis of the Mines— San Jose, the Gar- 
den City— Stockton, the Entrepot of the Southern Mines— Fresno — Vallejo — Nevada City- 
Grass Valley — Eureka — Marysville— Redding. 



28 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
Southern California, Introductory 254 

No Count}' Government under Spain and Mexico— No Tax on Land— Mexican Laws 
Continued in Force after the Conquest— The Territorial Government was Semi-Military 
and Semi-Civil— A De Facto State— It is Divided into Counties. 

San Diego County 255 

Boundaries Somewhat Erratic — Imperial in Area but Limited in Population — First Assess- 
ment of Property — County Officials — Yuma Indian Outbreak — Massacre of Dr. Lincoln 
and Ten of his Men at the Colorado Ferry — Depositions of two of the Survivors — Names 
of Those Massacred — Call for Troops — General Morehead's Gila Expedition — No Indians 
Killed— Expensive War— Second Indian War— Indians Resist Taxation of their Cattle- 
Antonio Garra, Chief of the San Luis Rey Indians — His Attempt to Form a Confederation — 
Sacking of Warner's Rancho — Warner's Account of the Indian Raid — Massacre of the 
Americans at Agua Caliente — San Diego under Martial Law — Battle at Los Coyotes — 
Defeat of the Indians — Four Minor Chiefs Executed — Hanging of Bill Marshall and Juan 
Verde — Capture of Antonio Garra — Tried by Court Martial — Execution of Antonio Garra — 
Bean's Second Expedition, or the Garra War Very Expensive. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
San Diego County — Continued 262 



The Pueblo of San Diego — The Early History of the City and County Identical — Organi- 
zation of the Pueblo — First Survey of Pueblo Lands — San Diego Fifty Years ago the 
Largest City in the United States — The Founding of New Town — Names of its Founders — 
The First Building — A Wharf Built — Fate of the First Wharf — The Pioneer Newspaper 
and its Proprietor— The Dime Catcher— Some Alleged Adventures of the Press and its 
Proprietor on the Isthmus — Ames' Own Story — Lieutenant Derby Entrusted with the Ed- 
itorial Tripod — The Herald's Political Somersault — The Famous Mill between Phoenix 
and Boston — Ames' Remarks — The Herald Plant Moved to San Bernardino — Death of 
Ames and his Newspaper — Travel by Sea and Land — Steamers Plying between San Diego 
and San Francisco in the Early '50s — Overland Mail between San Diego and San Antonio, 
Texas— Change of Route— Old Town and New Town at a Standstill. 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

San Diego County — Continued 268 

The Back Country Undeveloped— Wagon Road to San Bernardino— Market Supplies from 
the Mormon Town — The Famine Years of 1863-1864 Less Disastrous in San Diego than 
Elsewhere — Great Ranchos Still Intact — Water Development — Thirteen Reservoirs — The 
Imperial Valley and Salton Sea — Overland Routes Across the Desert — Desert Tragedies — 
First Scheme for the Reclamation of the Desert — The California Development Company 
and Its Work — Rapid Development of the Imperial Country — The Waters of the Colorado 
Find their Way into Salton Sink— Great Flood of the Gila— The Old Channel of the Colo- 
rado Left High and Dry — Salton Sea Spreads Over Four Hundred Square Miles — South- 
ern Pacific Compelled to Change its Track around the Salton Sea — The Colorado Forced 
into its Old Channel— Old Town, Roseville and La Playa— National City— Coronado— Ocean- 
side — Escondido — La Tolla — Fallbrook — Pala — Julian — Banner — Ramona. 



CONTEXTS. 29 

CHAPTER XL. 

San Diego City 275 

Act of Incorporation— First City Election— Names of Officers Elected— The First Council- 
Patriots of the Pocket— The Cobblestone Jail— The First Prisoner Digs Out with His 
Pocket Knife — The City Disincorporates — Governed by Trustees — Postoffice Established — 
High Rates of Postage— San Diego a Port of Delivery— A Port of Delivery at the Junction 
of the Gila and Colorado — No Applicants for the Position of Revenue Collector — The 
Pioneer Railroad Project — Great Railroad Meeting in 1853 — The San Diego and Gila South- 
ern Pacific & Atlantic — Railroad Incorporated — The Legislature Authorizes a Donation of 
Two Leagues of Pueblo Lands to the Railroad — Rivalry Over Routes Defeats Railroad 
Building— San Diego in a Comatose Condition— No Newspaper for Eight Years— Hor- 
ton Comes and San Diego Awakes— Horton Buys a Town Site— Horton's Tin Horn— San 
Diego in 1867— The Memphis, El Paso & Pacific Railroad— John C. Fremont its President— 
The Rush to San Diego in i860— Lot Buying and Selling— The Horton House Built— Some 
of the Great Hotels of the World at That Time— The Texas Pacific Railroad Coming- 
Congress Passes an Act Giving Land Grant to the Road in 1871— Great Rejoicing at San 
Diego — San Diego's Great Real Estate Boom— Some Boom Poetry— Postoffice at South San 
Diego Named San Diego — The Financial Crisis of 1873 Stops Railroad Building— Generous 
Act of Father Horton— A New Railroad Scheme— The Kimball Brothers— The California 
Southern Railroad— The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Built— The Great Real- 
Estate Boom of 1887— Town Sites Galore— The Bursting of the Boom— The Boom a Bless- 
ing in Disguise — The Aftermath — Recuperation — Disasters — Summary of Events to the End 
of the Century — Schools — San Diego Free Public Library — Chamber of Commerce — Parks 
of San Diego. 

Jt jt Jt 

CHAPTER XLI. 



Los Angeles County. 



Los Angeles County Originally did not Take in the Colorado Desert— The Boundaries as 
Defined in the Act of February 18, 1850— Boundaries as Given in Act of April 25, 1851 — 
Boundaries as Given in 1853 When San Bernardino County was Created— Los Angeles County 
an Empire in Itself — Various and Variable Climates — County of Kern Created — Orange 
County, the Last Slice taken from Los Angeles— Organization of a County Government — 
First County Officers— Court of Sessions— Judges of the Plains— Fees and Salaries— Big 
Pay for Little Work— The First County Jail— Criminal Aristocrats— Spanish and Mexican 
Land Grants— The Township of Los Angeles— Immigrants and Immigrant Routes— The 
Sonoran Migration— A Job Lot of Immigrants— The Salt Lake Route— Ox Carts, Stages 
and Steamers— Passenger Rates and Bill of Fare on the Steamers— Landing Passengers- 
Bucking Sailors— Imports Greatly Exceeded Exports— Grapes the Principal Fruit— The First 
State Census— Slow Growth of the County in the '50s. 

•.* Jt Jt 

CHAPTER XLII. 

Growth of Los Angeles County and City in Wealth and Population 293 

No Land Tax under Spanish and Mexican Rule— Salaries Small— And Revenue Ditto— The 
First County Assessment — One Small Book Contained it All — Expansive Territory but Lit- 
tle Wealth — Assessment of 1856 — First Record of City Assessment — Assessment of 1866 — 
No Increase in Wealth for Ten Years — Great Loss of Property in the Famine Years of 
1863-1864— Land without Value— The Alamitos Rancho of 28,000 Acres Sold for $152 Delin- 
quent Taxes — Low Value of City Real Estate — Decline of the Cattle Industry — Second 
Great Drought Kills Sheep Industry— Real-Estate Boom of 1887— Rapid Rise in Values— 



30 CONTENTS. 

Depression and Decrease of Values Follow— The Table of Yearly Assessments Shows Peri- 
ods of Prosperity and Adversity — Yearly Assessments from 1851 to 1906 both Inclusive — 
City Assessment Combined with the County During First Decade — City Assessment 
from i860 to 1906 both Inclusive — Banks of Los Angeles — Capital — Bank Clearances for Ten 
Years — Number of Buildings and Cost of Erection in Los Angeles City since 1900 — Increase 
in Assessment Each Year Since 1900 — Population as Shown by the School Census — Popu- 
lation of Los Angeles City by Decades Since its Founding— Population of the County of 
Los Angeles from 1850 to 1900 — Vote of Los Angeles County at Presidential Elections 
1856 to 1904 Inclusive. 

Jt j* £ 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
Mining Rushes and Real Estate Booms 298 

But Few of the Argonauts of '49 Remained in Los Angeles County — First Discovery of 
Gold in California Made in Los Angeles County — The Kern River Gold Rush Brought 
Experienced Miners to Los Angeles — Prospecting in the Mountains of Los Angeles County — 
Santa Anita Placers — Mining on the San Gabriel River — Some Rich Strikes — El Dorado- 
ville the Mining Metropolis of San Gabriel — The Flood of 1859 — Shipment of Gold Dust 
by Wells Fargo & Co. — Mining Boom on the Island of Santa Catalina — Queen City the 
Mining Metropolis of the Island— Many Claims Located — Collapse of the Boom — Govern- 
ment Takes Possession of the Island — The Great Real Estate Boom of 1887 — That Boom a 
Turning Point in the History of Los Angeles— Great Financial Booms of the Past— No Spec- 
ulation in Real-Estate during Spanish and Mexican Rule in California — Dull Times after 
the Gold Rush of '49— Financial Depression of the Later '70s— Completion of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad Gives Los Angeles a New Outlet — Immigrants Coming — Causes that Pre- 
cipitated the Boom— Creation of New- Towns— Completion of the Santa Fe Railroad— Wild 
Rush to Buy Lots— All Night Vigils— The Fate of the City of Gladstone— Phantom Cities 
of the Boom— Homberg's Famous Twin Cities— Carlton Nature's Rendezvous— Magnitude 
of Our Boom Compared with Other Great Financial Bubbles — Great Cities on Paper but 
Few Inhabitants — Methods of Advertising — Disappearance of the Professional Boomers— 
The Collapse of the Boom Gradual. 

^t ^ Jt 

CHAPTER XLIV. 

Los Angeles City, From Pueblo to Ciudad (From Town to City) 306 

Los Angeles a Pueblo for Fifty-Five Years — Raised to the Dignity of a Ciudad by the 
Mexican Congress — The Raise Made no Change in its Government — Area of the Pueblo- 
Narrow Streets and House Lots of All Shapes — Expansion of the Pueblo to Sixteen 
Leagues— No Written Titles to House Lots— Report of the Commissioners on Titles— Street 
Commissioners' Reports — Narrow Streets for Warm Countries — Squaring the Plaza — Pedro's 
Obstinacy Twists a Street— Ord's Plan of the City — His Terms for his Survey — Names of 
the Streets in Ord's Plan— Some Old Street Names— The Wickedest Street on Earth— 
Calle del Toro — Heroic Act— Adjustment of the Houses to the New Streets— The Passing of 
the Ayuntamiento — Act of the Legislature Incorporating the City. 

J* Si <£ 

CHAPTER XLV. 

Los Angeles City — Continued 312 

The Evolution of a Metropolis — Act of the Legislature Incorporating the City Reduces 
its Area — First City Election — Names of the City Officers Elected — Sworn to Support the 
Constitution of the State of California, and yet There was no State — The First Council a 



CONTENTS. 31 

Patriotic Body— All Except one Member had been Citizens of Mexico — Some Early Ordi- 
nances—Selling Indian Prisoners— "Ordinance Relative to Public Washing"— Americaniz- 
ing the People a Difficult Task — The Indian a Disturbing Element — The Whipping Post 
for the Red Man — The United States Land Claims Commissions' Herculean Task — City 
Claims Sixteen Leagues — Hancock's Survey of the Pueblo Lands — Commission Gives the 
City Four Square Leagues — United States Patent Issued in 1875 — City Donation Lots — 
Pueblo Lands Frittered Away— A Woeful Waste of a Royal Patrimony— The Huber Tract- 
City Prosperous in the Early '50s — Reaction^Hard Times in the South — Dry Years and 
Dying Cattle— A Building Boom in 1859— The Telegraph Completed to Los Angeles in i860— 
The Civil War Divides the People— Depression— Low Price of Lots and Acreage— Famine 
Years — Small-pox Epidemic — A Gleam of Light Penetrates the Financial Gloom — Passing 
of the Cattle Barons— Gas Introduced into the City— A High-priced Luxury— Los Angeles 
& San Pedro Railroad Completed— The Pioneer Ice Factory— The First Bank— The First 
Street Railroad Franchise Granted — Subdivision of the Great Ranchos Benefits the City — 
Houses Numbered— Population of the City in 1870— Railroad Bond Issue of 1872— Rival 
Railroad Schemes and Rival Offers — Southern Pacific Wins — A Year of Disasters — The 
Drought of 1877 Kills the Sheep Industry— Population of the City in 1880— Hard Times 
Continue. 

Jt Jt J* 

CHAPTER XLVL 

Los Angeles in Its Second Century 319 

The Centennial Celebration of Los Angeles City— A Curious Blending of the Old and the 
New— An Ancient Belle— The 5th of September Celebrated Instead of the 4th— Modern 
Improvements not Much in Evidence — The City a Sea of Green — The City Beautiful— 
The Best Description Ever Written of Los Angeles at the End of Its First Century — 
B. F. Taylor's Prose Poem of the Angel City — Direct Connection with the East by Rail- 
road — Tourists Begin to Arrive by the New Route — Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe System 
Gives Los Angeles a Second Transcontinental Road — Cheap Fares Boom Travel — Tourists 
Delighted— Real-Estate Values Rise Rapidly— The Speculative Mania Infects Old Timers and 
New Comers — In One Hundred Years the Business Center Moved from the Plaza to First 
Street — The Demand During the Boom for Offices Drives it South — Sudden Rise in Rents — 
The First City Hall— The First Cable Railway— The First Electric Street Car Line Built, 
not a Success — City Lighted by Electricity — The Cable Railway System Begun — Passing of 
the Horse Car— First Oil Wells Within the City Limits Bored— The Oil Boom of 1890 and 
1900 — Fake Oil Companies — Cheap Oil Stock — The Belgian Hare Industry — The Fad Be- 
comes Epidemic — Sudden Collapse — But Little Advance in Real-Estate Prices in the Decade 
Between 1890-1900— H. E. Huntington Buys Controlling Interest in the Los Angeles Elec- 
tric System — Building of Interurban Electric Railways — Rapid Rise in Real-Estate Values- 
Increase in Building Permits and Value of Buildings Erected — Increase in City Assess- 
ments — Increase in Population from 1903 to 1906 Inclusive. 

„•* J* JJ 

CHArTER XLYII. 

The Schools of Los Angeles City and County 326 

Education in Los Angeles Under Spanish Rule — Luciano Valdez — The First Teacher Under 
Mexican Domination a Failure — School Master Morago a Success — Fantoja Asks for More 
Wages and Loses his Job — Fifteen Dollars a Month the Limit of the School Master's Pay- 
Don Ygnacio Coronel and his Daughter Soledad Improve School Methods — The Lancas- 
trian School of Lieutenant Medina — The School Master Paid in Merchandise — A Revolu- 
tion Closes the School— The First School for Girls— School Furniture and Expenses Under 
the Ayuntamiento's Rule — The First School Under American Control — The City Council a 



32 CONTENTS. 

School Board— The Schools Run on a Go-as-you-please System— The First School Ordi- 
nance — Free Schools — The Mayor of the City is Superintendent of Schools — The First 
School House Built Located on the Northwest Corner of Spring and Second Streets — Grow- 
ing Shade Trees on the School Lot Under Difficulties— City School Superintendents from 
1853 to 1006— The First Teachers' Institute— Public Schools Unpopular in the Early '60s— 
Los Angeles Behind Other Cities in Schools in the '70s— Separate Schools for Negro Chil- 
dren — Polytechnic High School — Non-Partisan School Board — School Bonds to the Amount 
of $780,000 Voted— High School Annex Built— County School Reports for Fifty Years- 
High Schools in the County. 

J* J* jt 

CHAPTER XLVIII. 

Postal Service of Los Angeles 334 

Postal Service of California Under the Rule of Spain — The Los Angeles Postoffice One 
Hundred Years Ago — Postal Service and Routes Under Mexico — Slow Mail Service — The 
First Mail Route Established After the Conquest— Act of Congress Establishing Postoffices 
in California— The Tub Postoffice at Los Angeles— Postmasters of Los Angeles— Locations 
of the Postoffice— The Soap Box Postoffice— Postmaster's Duties Light and Pay Lighter— 
The Stage Coach Era of Mail Carrying — The Butterfield Overland Stage Coach — The Los 
Angeles Postmaster's Salary in i860— Postal Statistics in 1887-1890— Site of the Downey 
Block Donated to the Government for a Postoffice Site — Sale of the Site of the First Post- 
office Building— Demolition of the Building. 

CHAPTER XLIX. 

Water System of Los Angeles 338 

The Los Angeles River the Sole Water Supply of the City— Its Water Rights Decreed by 
Royal Reglamento — First Community Work in the Pueblo — The Building of the Zanja 
Madre— The Indian the Ditch Builder— The Indian the Water Carrier— The First Water 
Pipe System — The Dryden Reservoir on the Plaza — Scrip and Water Bonds Issued to Build 
Distributing Water Works — Expensive Dam Built — Municipal Ownership an Expensive Bur- 
den — Water Works Leased to Sansevain — Water Works and Waters of the River Sold by 
the City Council — Mayor Vetoes the Ordinance — Water Works and the Waters of the Los 
Angeles River Leased for Thirty Years— Opposition to the Leasing — The Fountain on the 
Plaza — P. Beaudry's Water System — The Canal and Reservoir Company's System — A Cen- 
tury of Litigation — The First Contest Over the Waters of the River Began in 1810 — Trouble 
in 1833 — The Regidores Allowed No Cloud to Rest on the City's Water Rights — Numerous 
Legal Contests over the City's Water Rights Under American Rule — Expiration of the Thirty 
Years' Lease to the Water Company — Refusal of the Company to Abide by the Award of 
the Arbitrators — The Council Agrees to Pay Nearly a Million Dollars More for the Plant 
than the Amount Awarded by the Arbitrators — Bonds Issued and City Gains Possession 
of the Water Plant— The Owens River Project— Originator of the Scheme— Its Esti- 
mated Cost. 

CHAPTER L. 

Pioneer Churches of Los Angeles City 347 

Early Records of the Protestant Churches not Preserved — The First Chapel Built in 1784 — 
Cornerstone of a New Church Laid in 1814 — Change of Location — Contributions of the 
Mission to the Building Fund of the Parish Church — Indians the Builders — The Church of 
Our Lady of the Angels Completed and Dedicated — Changes in the Building — Indians With- 



CONTENTS. 33 

out a Boss Rounded up to Repair the Building— Giurch of Our Lady of the Angels the 
Oldest Parish Church on the Pacific Coast of the United States— Cathedral of St. Vibiana— 
Cornerstone Laid October 3. i860— Change of Location— Dedication of the Cathedral— Meth- 
odist Episcopal Churches— First Protestant Sermon Preached in Los Angeles Delivered by 
a Methodist Minister— Rev. Adam Blind First Protestant Missionary in Los Angeles- 
Contract for a Church Building that was not Built— The Field Abandoned in 1858— First 
Church Built in 1868 — Account of its Dedication — First Methodist Church South Built in 
1873 — Changes of Location — Presbyterian Churches — Rev. James Woods the Pioneer Min- 
ister — Succeeded by the Rev. F. N. Davis — The Presbyterians Abandon the Field in 1856 — 
A Period of Spiritual Darkness — The Rev. William E. Boardman comes in 1859 — The First 
Protestant Society Organized — Its Constitution — The Building of a Protestant Church Be- 
gun — Rev. Boardman Leaves — Church Advertised for Sale on Account of Delinquent Taxes- 
Church Built on Corner of Fort and Second Streets — Church Sold and the Congregation 
Divides into two Organizations— Protestant Episcopal Churches— First Service Held in 1857— 
A Lay Reader Appointed— The Episcopalians Secure the Church Building of the First 
Protestant Society— The Building Sold and Church Built on Olive Street— Congregational 
Churches— Church Organized in 1867— Account of the Dedication— New Church Built on 
Corner of Third and Hill Streets— Baptist Churches— First Baptist Sermon Preached in 
1853— First Church Organized in 1874— Church Built on Corner of Broadway and Sixth 
Streets in 1884— Christian Churches— First Service Held by a Member of the Christian 
Church in 1874— A Church Founded— The First Church Erected During the Rev. B. F. 
Coulter's Ministration — The Rev. B. F. Coulter Erects a Church at his Own Expense — 
Unitarian Churches— The First Unitarian Service was Held in 1877— Rev. Dr. Fay Holds 
Service in Child's Opera House — A Church Erected on the Corner of Broadway and 
Seventh Street— Destroyed by Fire— Jewish Synagogues— Other Denominations. 

CHAPTER LI. 
The Pioneer Newspapers of Los Angeles 354 

A History of the Newspapers That Have Been Published Twenty-five Years or More— No 
Newspapers in California Under Spain and Mexico — First Newspaper in California Pub- 
lished in 1846 — Rapid Increase in Newspapers After the Discovery of Gold — Proposition 
to Publish a Newspaper in Los Angeles — Location of the First Printing Office — The First 
Issue of La Estrella de Los Angeles — Names of the Publishers — The First Job Done for 
the City — The Tribulations of a Pioneer Publisher — Change of Ownership — Burning Issues 
of the Early '50s — Pacific Railroad — Camel Caravans and Dromedary Express — Subscrip- 
tions Payable in Produce After Harvest — The Star for Sale at $1,000 Less Than Cost — 
Hard Times in the Old Pueblo — Henry Hamilton Becomes the Owner of the Star— The 
Star Sets in Darkness— After Four Years it Appears Again— The Daily Star Issued— The 
Star Ceases to Shine — The Southern California!! — The Second Paper of Los Angeles Issued 
in 1854— Frequent Changes of Owners— Suspends Publication in January. 1850— El Clamor 
Publico— The First Paper in Los Angeles Printed in Spanish— Suspends Publication Decem- 
ber 31, 1859— The Southern Vineyard Founded by Col. J. J. Warner— Becomes a Semi- 
Weekly— Suspends— The Los Angeles Daily and Weekly News— Established in January, 
i860, as a Weekly— Changed to a Semi-Weekly— Then to a Tri-Weekly— Republican in Pol- 
itics—Changes to Democratic— The Daily News Issued January 1, i860— The Paper Dies in 
1873— The Wilmington Journal the First Paper Published Outside of Los Angeles City— 
The Plant of the Star Used for Its Publication— The News Gives it a Doubtful Compliment — 
The Los Angeles Express — The Oldest Newspaper Now Published in Los Angeles— Founded 
by an Association of Practical Printers — Sold to Ayers & Lynch — Frequent Changes of 
Ownership — E. T. Earl buys It and Builds a Home for It — Los Dos Republicas — Originally 
La Cronica — An Influential Spanish Paper — Independent in Politics — The Daily and Weekly 
Herald — Founded in 1873 by C. A. Storke — Sold to a Stock Company — Organ of the 
Grange Movement — Ayers & Lynch Become Proprietors — The Leading Democratic Journal 



34 CONTENTS. 

of California— Sold to a Syndicate of Politicians— Frequent Changes of Ownership— The 
Herald Publishing Company Become Owners— Becomes Republican in Politics— Wallace L. 
Hardison, President of the Company— Sold Again to a Syndicate of Which Frank G. Fin- 
layson is President— Politics Changed Again— Now the Organ of the Democratic Party— 
The Rural Califomian— Predecessor was Southern California Horticulturist — First Issue 
September, 1877— Los Angeles Weekly Mirror— The Los Angeles Daily Times— Date of Its 
Founding— Changes in Ownership— Increase of Capital Stock— Present Officers. 



CHAPTER LII. 

Educational Institutions, Colleges and Universities 362 

No Collegiate Institutions in California Under Spanish and Mexican Rule— Grants Made 
After the American Occupation— St. Vincent's College— The First College Founded— First 
Site Sold— Military Instruction Introduced— College Has a High Reputation— University of 
Southern California— Oldest Protestant Educational Institution— Offers of Land Made- 
Tract Selected in West Los Angeles— Building Erected— College of Medicine Founded in 
1885— Building Constructed in 1895— Library Building Built— Colleges Included in the Uni- 
versity — Pomona College— Founded at Pomona— Location at Claremont— Buildings— Pres- 
idents— Library— Attempt to Unite the Congregational, Baptist and Disciples in One Col- 
legiate Institution— Rapid Growth of the College— Occidental College— The First Site 
Chosen — Building Erected — The First President — College Building Destroyed by Fire — Loca- 
tion Changed— First Building on the New Site Erected in 1898— Hall of Letters Built— The 
Stimson Library — A $200,000 Endowment Secured — New President — Throop Polytechnic 
Institute — Founded at Pasadena in 1891 by Hon. Amos G. Throop — Endowment— First 
Board of Trustees— Change of Name— Buildings Erected— Stickney Memorial Building— 
Throop Hall— Endowments— Institute Comprises Five Schools— Whittier College— Whittier 
Academy Established in 1891 — Whittier College Organized in 1901 — College Buildings Com- 
pleted — Gymnasium Built — Successful Effort to Raise a $100,000 Endowment — Harvard 
School (Military) — A School Where Military Training and Scholarship are Combined- 
Founded by Prof. Grenville C. Emery, A. M.— Site Selected and Buildings Erected— Rapid 
Growth of the School— New Buildings Erected— Rifle Range Established— Cadet Band 
Organized. 



CHAPTER LIII. 

Literary and Scientific Organizations 367 

The Los Angeles Public Library — The Amigos del Pais and Their Library — The Mechanics 
Institute — The First Library — Its Organization — Officers— Books Sold at Auction to Pay 
Expenses — Organization of the Present Library — Its First Location — Librarians — Attempts 
to Secure a Library Building — Library Moved from the City Hall — Roof Garden Reading 
Room — Appropriation for Support of the Library — Historical Society of Southern California 
— Founded November I, 1883 — The First Officers — Publications — Widely Circulated Library 
— Legislature of 1904 Appropriates $125,000 — Bill Vetoed by Governor Pardee — Southern 
California Academy of Science — Organized as the Southern California Science Associa- 
tion — Objects of the Society — Membership — Line of Work — Publications — Pioneers of Los 
Angeles County — Its Object Historical — Organization — Founders — First Officers — Publica- 
tions — The Southwest Society of Archaeological Institute of America — Date of its Found- 
ing — Rapid Growth — Collection of Folk-Songs — Relics of Fremont and Other Pioneers — 
Scientific Explorations — Purchase of a Site — The First Officers of the Society. 



CONTENTS. 35 

CHAPTER LIV. 

Climatic and Seismic Tragedies 373 

California Proud of Its Climate — Excuses Climatic Extremes on the Plea of Exceptional 
Years — Earthquakes — Seismic Disturbances Epidemic — Frequent Earthquakes at the Time 
of the First Settlement — San Gabriel River Named El Rio de Los Temblores, The Year 
of Earthquakes — Destruction of the Mission San Juan Capistrano — Injury to Other 
Mission Buildings— Earthquakes of 1856 and 1857— Owens' Valley Earthquake— Earthquake 
of 1899— Floods— Meager Weather Reports in Early Days— Flood of 1810- 11— Great Flood 
of 1825 — Changes the Course of the Los Angeles River — Flood of 1832 — Changes Face of 
the Country — Argonauts' First Experience of a California Flood — Flood of 1852 Dis- 
astrous to the Miners — The Noachian Deluge of 1861-62 — Very Destructive to Property — 
Flood of 1867-68 Makes a New River in Los Angeles County— Floods of 1884 and 1886 — 
Droughts — After the Deluge — Droughts — Short Crops — Slaughter of Horses — Noveiias to 
San Antonio of Padua — Famine- Years of 1863 and 1864 — Great Loss of Cattle — Dry Year 
of 1877 Destructive to the Sheep Industry — Water Development has Mitigated the Evil 
Effects of Dry Years — Record of the Rainfall at Los Angeles for Twenty Years. 

^ Jl J* 

CHAPTER LV. 

Commercial Corporations 378 

The First Chamber of Commerce Organized in 1873— Proposed to Call It a Board of 
Trade— Names Changed to Chamber of Commerce — First Board of Directors— Incorporated 
for Fifty Years — Works to Secure Appropriation for San Pedro Harbor — Hard Times 
Kill It — Board of Trade — Oldest Commercial Corporation — First Officers — Incorporates — 
Take the Initiative in Many Beneficial Enterprises — Presidents from its Organization to 
the Present Time — Secretaries — Second Chamber of Commerce — W. E. Hughes Inaugurates 
the Movement — The First Meeting for Organization — Resolutions — Decide on Name— The 
First Members — Constitution and By-laws Drafted — The First Officers — First Work Efforts 
lo Secure Appropriation for San Pedro Harbor— Facts and Figures— First Pamphlet Issued — 
California on Wheels — Contest Over Free Harbor Location — San Pedro Wins — Homes of 
the Chamber — Its Work — Exhibitions— Presidents— Secretaries — The Merchants and Manu- 
facturers Association — Youngest Commercial Corporation — Two Organizations United — 
Movement for Patronizing Home Products — Presidents of the Association — Secretaries. 

jC JH & 

CHAPTER LVI. 

Pacadena 383 

Dr. Reid's Labors to Preserve the Early History of Pasadena — The Citizens Owe Him a 
Debt of Gratitude — Origin of the Name San Pascual— Some Romancing About the First 
Owner — Dona Eulalia Perez de Guillen not an Owner — Juan Marine Granted the Rancho 
in 1835 — Don Manuel Garfias Became Owner of the Rancho — Builds a Costly Residence — 
Loses the Rancho on a Mortgage to Dr. J. S. Griffin — Mrs. Johnston, Wife of Gen. Albert 
Sidney Johnston, Purchases Part of the Rancho and Builds a House — Judge B. S. Eaton 
Locates on the Rancho and Plants a Vineyard — The Great Oil Boom of 1865 — The Pioneer 
Oil Company Obtains a Deed to All Petroleum, Rock Oil, etc., on the Rancho San Pasqual — 
The San Pasqual Plantation Scheme — The California Colony of Indiana — The San Gabriel 
Orange Grove Association Purchases 4.000 Acres — Subdivision of the Land — Orange Grow- 
ing a Success— The Lake Vineyard and Water Company Tract— The First Store and Post- 
office — No Town in 1880 — Pasadena Wins Prizes at Citrus Fairs — Pasadena, Key of the 
Valley— Helen Hunt Jackson's Romancing— Raymond Hotel Built—Railroad Built— First 
Reverberation of the Boom— Sale of the School-house Tract— Inflation of Values— Boom 



36 CONTENTS. 

Bursts— Depression Does not Last Long— Rehabilitation— A Second Railroad— Population in 
jgpo— The Mount Lowe Railroad— Mount Lowe Observatory Built— The Pacific Electric 
Railway Built— New Buildings— Company I, Seventh Regiment— Population in 1900— Throop 
Polytechnic Built— Building Boom of 1904-05— City Assessment— The Rose Tournament- 
Board of Trade— The Public Library— Pioneer Newspapers— The Chronicle— It Fails— The 
Star & Union— The Star Still Shines. 

CHAPTER LVII. 

Cities and Towns of the San Gabriel Valley • • • 39° 

Pomona a Child of the Colony Era— Origin of the Name— The San Jose Rancho— The Los 
Angeles Immigration and Land Co-operative Association— Object of the Association— Great 
Auction Sale of Lots in Pomona — Disaster Comes upon the Town — Population in 1880— 
Incorporated as a City— Rapid Growth During the Boom— The Pioneer Newspaper— Pop- 
ulation— Completion of the Salt Lake Road to Pomona— Great Prosperity in 1904-1905 — 
Pomona Library— Orange Shipment in 1906— Clarement— Lordsburg— San Dimas— Glendora 
— Azusa City— Covina— Duarte— Irwindale— Monrovia— El Monte— San Gabriel— South Pas- 
adena— Tropico— Glendale— Burbank— San Fernando— Newhall— Hollywood— Sherman— The 
Soldiers' Home and Sawtelle— Compton— Whittier— Norwalk— Downey— Rivera— Artesia— 
Santa Fe Springs— Dolgeville— Alhambra— Sierra Madre. 

j» j* & 

CHAPTER LVIII. 
Long Beach 399 

A Modern Town— A City of To-day— Some Military History— The Rancho Los Cerritos 
Bought by Bixby & Co.— Willmore City— The American Colony— The Teachers' Colony not 
a Success— Old Timers not Good Colonist Material— Eastern People Coming— Colony Tract 
and Town Lots Sold to the Land & Water Company— Name of Town Changed to Long 
Beach— The First Car Service— Mulish Propelling Power— Southern Pacific Builds a Spur 
Road into the Town— Depression— Population in 1890— The Terminal Railroad Built— The 
Chautauqua Assembly— Population in 1900— Electric Road Built— The Los Angeles Dock & 
Terminal Company— Annexed Territory— Schools— The Bixby Hotel Disaster— Long Beach 
Library. 

jt & J* 

CHAPTER LIX. 

. Cities and Towns by the Seaside 402 

San Pedro— The First House— Smuggling— Banning and Tomlinson— First Harbor Im- 
provements—The Free Harbor— Misfortunes of the First Contractors— Increased Exports 
and Imports— Free Public Library— Wilmington— Banning Founds New San Pedro— Explo- 
sion of the Steamer Ada Hancock— Extension of the Railroad— Decline of Business— Revi- 
val— Santa Monica— Redondo — Avalon— Playa del Rey— Ocean Park— Venice of America- 
Naples. 

CHAPTER LX. 
Santa Barbara County 4 11 

Cabrillo, the Discoverer of the Santa Barbara Channel, Does not Name It— Named by 
Padre de La Ascension— Presidio and Mission Take Their Names from the Channel— New 
Historical Material in Regard to Bouchard and his Privateers— Captain Peter Conrey's Story 
—Differs Widely from the Spanish Accounts— Cause of the Burning of Monterey— Pillag- 
ing of Ortegas Rancho— Bouchard Spares Santa Barbara— Organization of the County— 



CONTENTS. 37 

Boundaries — Transition from Mexican Forms to American — The First Officers Under Amer- 
ican Rule — The First County Seal — First Assessment of Property — Fitness and Family 
Chief Requisites in Officeholder — Crime and Criminals — No Vigilantes in Santa Barbara — 
Downfall of the Cattle Kings — Subdivision of the Great Ranchos — The Railroad Comes. 

j* Jl v < 

CHAPTER LXI. 

Santa Barbara County — Continued 419 

The First School Cinder Spanish Rule — The First Under Mexican Domination — Futile 
Attempts to Establish a School System — The Common Council in 1850 Takes Charge of 
the School — The District Judge Elected County School Superintendent — The English Lan- 
guage Introduced in the Schools — Slow Growth of the Public School System — Cities and 
Towns — Lompoc — Founded as a Temperance Colony— Contest with the Liquor Forces — 
Growth of the City — Guadalupe — Betteravia — Santa Maria — Santa Ynez — Las Olivas — Los 
Alamos — Goleta — El Montecito — Summerland — Carpinteria — The Channel Islands. 

CHAPTER LXII. 

The City of Santa Barbara 4 2 3 

The Inhabitants Always Conservative— Not Given to Revolutions— Capture of Santa Bar- 
bara by Commodore Stockton— Fremont Recaptures It— Incorporation of the City— Early 
Municipal Records Carelessly Kept— First Common Council— Salisbury Haley's Survey of 
the City Lands— Wrackenrueder's Survey— The Council Officially Recognizes the United 
States Revenue Collector— The Indian Question— A Queer Judicial Decision— The First 
Sunday Closing Ordinance — Careless Councilmen — City Lands — Street Nomenclature — The 
Canon Perdido Affair— The Lost Cannon— City Seal— Squatter Troubles— The Pioneer News- 
paper—Gazette's Description of the City in 1855— Vigorous arraignment of Derelict Officials 
— Slow Growth of City — Hard Times — The New Era — The First Wharf Built — Improve- 
ments—The Natural History Society— The Public Library— The Decade Between 1870- 
1880, the Transformation Period— First Railroad Train Arrives August, 1887— Real-Estate 
Boom— Southern Pacific Coast Line Completed in 1001— St. Anthony's College— Recent Im- 
provements—Ocean Boulevard— Extension of the City Water System— La Cumbre Trail. 



CHAPTER LXIII. 

San Bernardino County 43 2 

A Portion of the Area of San Bernardino County Originally in San Diego— First White 
Settlers— San Bernardino Township— Robidoux a Judge of the Court of Sessions at the 
Organization of Los Angeles County— Politana the First Settlement— Father Caballeria's 
Account of the Founding and Destruction— The Mission Establishment at Old San Bernar- 
dino— Destroved by the Mountain Indians— Hostile Indians— The First Land Grant— New 
Mexican Colonists— The Lugo Grants— The Transition Era— Indian Horse Thieves— A True 
Account of the Irving Affair— Names of the Members of Irving's Gang— The Mormon 
Immigration — The First Arrivals— Welcomed to California— The State of Deseret— Its 
Organization at Salt Lake— Boundaries Included Nearly All of Southern California— Brig- 
ham Young Elected Governor— Congress Refused to Admit the State of Deseret— Los 
Angeles Star's Description of the San Bernardino Valley in 1851— The Mormons buy the 
San Bernardino Rancho— Indian Depredations— Stockade Built at San Bernardino to Protect 
the Settlers from Indian Raids. 



38 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER LXIV. 
San Bernardino County — Continued 440 

Organization of the County— Act Creating the County Approved April 26, 1853— Town Site 
of San Bernardino Laid Off— Council House Built— Rancho Subdivided into Small Tracts- 
Express to Salt Lake Established— The First Pony Express— Failure of the Wheat Crop- 
Hard Times— The Colony Prosperous— School Established— Political— Vote for President- 
Recall of the Saints— Brigham Young Defies the Government— The Exodus Begins— Rival 
Fourth of July Celebrations — Report of Mountain Meadows Massacre Hastens the Mor- 
mon Departure— Sacrifice of Property— Departure of the Last Train— After the Mormon 
Exodus— Reminiscences of an Old Pioneer— Unsocial Events— Hard Times— Gold Mining— 
Holcomb Valley Discoveries— Pioneer Newspaper— J. Judson Ames Moves the San Diego 
Herald to San Bernardino— Demise of the San Bernardino Herald— The Great Flood of 
1861-62— Agua Manza Washed Away— Indian Depredations— Population in 1870— Railroad 
Projects — The Southern Pacific Railroad. 

Jjt jt j* 

CHAPTER LXV. 
San Bernardino County — Continued 447 



Cities and Towns — San Bernardino City — Its Early History Identical with That of the 
County — Not Often Visited in Early Times by Travelers — Trade with the Mines — Court- 
house Built in 1875 — The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Reaches the City — The 
California Southern Railroad — Car Shops Built — The Stewart Hotel — Disaster — Board of 
Trade — Southern Pacific Railroad Builds a Line into the City — City Charter Granted — 
Colton — A Railroad Town — Pioneer Newspaper — Town Becomes a City — Redlands — The" 
Town Plat Filed — Agitation over Incorporation of the Several Towns into One City — The 
Smileys' Arrival — The Redlands Water Company — Board of Trade — Ontario and Upland — 
Founding of the Colony — Founding of the Chaffey College of Agriculture — A Gala Day at 
the Colony Site— Euclid Avenue— The Gravity Mule Car — Ontario Library— Upland— For- 
merly North Ontario — Change of Name — Public Library — Chino, Meaning of the Word — 
The Chino Rancho — Chino Sugar Factory— Rialto— The Semi-Tropic Land & Water Com- 
pany—Its Failure — Highland— Early Settlers— Secures a Railroad— Cucamonga— Etiwanda— 
Ioamosa — Barstow — The Needles. 

CHAPTER LXVI. 

Ventura County 455 

Early History of Ventura County— Part ot Santa Barbara— The Oldest Roads up the 
Coast— Little Shipping from the Port of San Buenaventura in Early Days— The Battle of 
San Buenaventura— First Settlers after the Conquest— The First School— The First Attempt 
to Form a County from the Eastern Part of Santa Barbara— First Attempt to Incorporate 
the Town— Floods— Subdivision of the Great Ranchos Brings Immigrants— Coast Stage Line 
—Josephine Clifford's Description of a Night Ride— The First Wharf— Formation of the 
New County— Reasons for Segregation— Election Frauds— The Bill Creating the County 
Approved— Commissioners Appointed— Names of the First County Officers Elected— The 
Courthouse War — Prosperity. 

J* Jit jX 

CHAPTER LXVII. 

Ventura County — Continued 4°"i- 

Annals of Ventura Town and County— No Colony Settlements— School Bonds Issued— 
Ventura Library Association Formed— Two Newspapers— News Items Scarce— Newspaper 
War— The First Fire Company— Loss of the Steamer Kalorama— Crimes and Criminals— 



CONTENTS. 39 

Lynching of Hargen— The T. Wallace More Murder— The Murder Trial a Famous Case- 
Conviction of Two of the Conspirators— Discharge of the Others— Wreck of the Crimea- 
Loss of the Brig Mary Ann— Destruction of the Sheep Industry— Assessed Value of the 
County in 1870— Beginning of the Bean Industry— Flood of 1884— Building of the South- 
ern Pacific— Population in 1890— Pioneer Society Organized— Assassination of County Su- 
perintendent Buckman— Railroad to Nordhoff— High Schools— Beet Sugar Industry— Popu- 
lation in 1900 — Chatsworth Tunnel Completed — Towns — Hueneme — Nordhoff — Santa Paula — 
Oxnard — Islands of Ventura County — The Anacapas — Meaning of the Name — Loss of the 
Steamer Winfield Scott on the Anacapas — San Nicolas — Massacre of the Inhabitants by the 
Aleut Fur Hunters — Removal of the Survivors to the Mainland — Story of the Lone Woman 
of San Nicolas— Killed by Kindness. 

j« g. jl 

CHAPTER LXVIII. 

Orange County 47 l 

The First Attempt to Create a New County— The Originator of the County Division 
Scheme — Bill to Create the County of Anaheim Passed by the Lower House of the Legis- 
lature—Opposition of Los Angeles City— Bill Defeated in the Senate— No More Coin from 
the Faithful— Major Max Stroble, a Soldier of Fortune— His Career— He Starts a News- 
paper—Attempt to Form the County of Santa Ana— A Concession That Does not Conciliate — 
Failure of the Fourth Attempt— The Final Struggle— Success— The County of Orange Cre- 
ated—County Officials Elected— Boundaries and Area of the New County— Spanish Ranchos 
in Orange County— The Oldest Spanish Grant— Boundaries of the Santiago de Santa Ana— 
The Santa Ana River Changes the Boundaries— The Squatter War— A Long Drawn Out 
Legal Contest— Indefinite Boundaries of the Mexican Land Grants Cause of Much Litiga- 
tion—An Example of Crude Boundary Lines— Schools— High Schools— Population— His- 
tory of the Celery Industry — The Oil Industry. 

CHAPTER LXIX. 

Orange County — Continued 47$ 

Cities and Towns— Anaheim, One of the Oldest Colony Experiments in California— A Vine- 
yard Colony— The Los Angeles Vineyard Company— The Purchase of 1,200 Acres Near 
the Santa Ana River— Plan of the Colony— George Hansen Appointed Superintendent- 
Names of the Trustees — The Colony Tract Named Anaheim— Improvements Begun— Plant- 
ing Vines — Distribution of the Vineyard Tracts by Lot — Anaheim Township Created — Hard 
Struggle— The First School-house— The Colony Flooded— The Anaheim Water Company— 
The Cajon Irrigation Company— School District Bonded and a $10,000 Schoolhouse Built 
—The Pioneer Newspaper— The Mysterious Vine Disease Destroys the Vineyards— Pioneer 
Churches— Improvements— Santa Ana— Founded by William H. Spurgeon— The First Store 
—Organization of a School District— The First Schoolhouse— The Town off the Main 
Road— The Stage Route Diverted to a New Road— Postoffice Established— Small Pay to the 
Postmaster— The Railroad Reaches the Town— The First Newspaper— Pioneer Churches- 
Pioneer Banks— The Press— Recent Improvements— New City Hall— Improved Water Sys- 
tem—The Parade of Products— Wonderful Display of Products— Santa Ana Free Public 
Library— Orange Formerly Known as Richland— Postoffice Established— New Ditch Con- 
structed—Incorporated as a City— Public Library— Tustin— Founded by Columbus Tustin— 
Builds a Schoolhouse at His Own Expense— Postoffice Established— Fullerton a Young 
City— Center of Large Citrus District— Large Walnut Production— High School— Hunting- 
ton Beach— Westminster Colony— Garden Grove— Los Alamitos— Buena Park— Newport 
Beach — Capistrano — Bay City. 



40 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER LXX. 



Riverside County. 



First Attempt to Form Riverside County a Failure — Effort to Form Three Counties — Sec- 
ond Attempt to Form the County Succeeds — Varieties of Climate and Productions — Era of 
Agricultural Experiments — Riverside Owes Its Location to the Sericulture Fad — The Failure 
of the Silk Industry Experiment — Death of Louis Prevost, the Principal Promoter of the 
Industry — Judge North's Colony Association — Judge North Visits Southern California — 
Purchase of the Silk Center Association's Land — The Southern California Colony Associa- 
tion Formed — Names of the Members of the Association — Lands Surveyed and Subdivided 
—Town of Jurupa Laid Off — Name Changed to Riverside — Arrival of the First Colonists — 
Irrigating Canal Constructed — First Orange Trees Planted — Raisin Grape Extensively 
Planted — The Bahia or Washington Navel Orange Introduced by L. C. Tibbetts — Millions 
of the Trees Propagated — Arlington — Samuel C. Evans Buys a Half Interest in the Harts- 
horn Tract — Evans and Sayward Begin the Construction of a Canal — Consolidation of 
Water Systems — The World-famous Magnolia Avenue Begun — Various Colonies United 
under One Water System — Riverside in 1875 not a Temperance Town — Railroad Prospect — 
An Amusing Resolution — The First Citrus Fair — Fruit Culture in 18715 — Some Recent 
Statistics — Riverside the Richest Community in the World — Some First Events — The River- 
side Free Public Library — The Pioneer Newspaper — The Weekly News — Bucks Brief Vale- 
dictory — The Riverside Press — The Daily Enterprise. 

& & J« 

CHAPTER LXXI. 

Riverside County — Continued 491 

Riverside Water System — Riverside Water Company — Sources of Supply — Extent — The 
Gage Canal — Mathew Gage — Difficulties That Beset Him in the Beginning — Success Crowns 
His Efforts — Extent of the System — Cost — Jurupa Canal — Riverside Highland Water Com- 
pany — Cities and Towns — Riverside City — A Modern City — Area — The Replanting of a 
Famous Tree — Recent Rapid Growth — Public Building Erected — Mount Robidoux Boule- 
vard — Notable Thoroughfares — Corona — Laid Off in a Circular Form — Rapid Growth — 
New Water Supply — Manufactures — Public Library — Temecula — Murietta — Elsinore — Perris 
— Winchester — Lakeview — Hemet — San Jacinto City — Strawberry Valley — Beaumont — Ban- 
ning — The Coachilla Valley — Some Twentieth Century Events — City High School — The 
County Jail — The Sherman Institute — Laying of the Corner Stone — Objects of the Institute — 
The School a Success — The Concrete Bridge over the Santa Ana River One of the World's 
Famous Bridges — Cost. 





, sy Ol^h^a) 



CALIFORNIA 



CHAPTER I. 



SPANISH EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES. 



FOR centuries there had been a vague tra- 
dition of a land lying somewhere in the 
seemingly limitless expanse of ocean 
stretching westward from the shores of Europe. 
The poetical fancy of the Greeks had located in 
it the Garden of Hesperides, where grew the 
Golden Apples. The myths and superstitions of 
the middle ages had peopled it with gorgons 
and demons and made it the abode of lost souls. 
When Columbus proved the existence of a 
new world beyond the Atlantic, his discovery 
did not altogether dispel the mysteries and su- 
perstitions that for ages had enshrouded the 
fabled Atlantis, the lost continent of the Hesperi- 
des. ' Romance and credulity had much to do 
with hastening the exploration of the newly dis- 
covered western world. Its interior might hold 
wonderful possibilities for wealth, fame and con- 
quest to the adventurers who should penetrate 
its dark unknown. The dimly told traditions of 
the natives were translated to fit the cupidity or 
the credulity of adventurers, and sometimes 
served to promote enterprises that produced re- 
sults far different from those originally intended. 
The fabled fountain of youth lured Ponce 
de Leon over many a league in the wilds of 
Florida; and although he found no spring spout- 
ing forth the elixir of life, he explored a rich 
and fertile country, in which the Spaniards 
planted the first settlement ever made within the 
territory now held by the United States. The 
legend of El Dorado, the gilded man of the 
golden lake, stimulated adventurers to brave the 
horrors of the miasmatic forests of the Amazon 
and the Orinoco; and the search for that gold- 



covered hombre hastened, perhaps, by a hun- 
dred years, the exploration of the tropical re- 
gions of South America. Although the myth of 
Ouivira that sent Coronado wandering over des- 
ert, mountain and plain, far into the interior of 
Xorth America, and his quest for the seven cities 
of Cibola, that a romancing monk, Marcos de 
Niza, "led by the Holy Ghost," imagined he 
saw in the wilds of Pimeria, brought neither 
wealth nor pride of conquest to that adventur- 
ous explorer, yet these myths were the indirect 
cause of giving to the world an early knowledge 
of the vast regions to the north of Mexico. 

When Cortes' lieutenant, Gonzalo de Sando- 
val, gave his superior officer an account of a 
wonderful island ten days westward from the 
Pacific coast of Mexico, inhabited by women 
only, and exceedingly rich in pearls and gold, 
although he no doubt derived his story from 
Montalvo's romance, "The Serpas of Esplan- 
dian," a popular novel of that day, yet Cortes 
seems to have given credence to his subordi- 
nate's tale, and kept in view the conquest of the 
island. 

To the energy, the enterprise and the genius 
of Hernan Cortes is due the early exploration 
of the northwest coast of Xorth America. In 
1522, eighty-five years before the English 
planted their first colony in America, and nearly 
a century before the landing of the Pilgrims on 
Plymouth rock, Cortes had established a ship- 
yard at Zacatula, the most northern port on the 
Pacific coast of the country that he had just 
conquered. Here he intended to build ships to 
explore the upper coast of the South Sea (as 



34 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the Pacific Ocean was then called), but his good 
fortune, that had hitherto given success to his 
undertakings, seemed to have deserted him, and 
disaster followed disaster. His warehouse, 
filled with material for shipbuilding, that with 
great labor and expense had been packed on 
muleback from Vera Cruz, took fire and all was 
destroyed. It required years to accumulate an- 
other supply. He finally, in 1527, succeeded in 
launching four ships. Three of these were taken 
possession of by the king's orders for service in 
the East Indies. The fourth and the smallest 
made a short voyage up the coast. The com- 
mander, Maldonado, returned with glowing re- 
ports of a rich country he had discovered. He 
imagined he had seen evidence of the existence 
of gold and silver, but he brought none with 
him. 

In 1528 Cortes was unjustly deprived of the 
government of the country he had conquered. 
His successor, Nuno de Guzman, president of 
the royal audiencia, as the new form of gov- 
ernment for New Spain (Mexico) was called, had 
pursued him for years with the malignity of a 
demon. Cortes returned to Spain to defend 
himself against the rancorous and malignant 
charges of his enemies. He was received at 
court with a show of high honors, but which in 
reality were hollow professions of friendship 
and insincere expressions of esteem. He was 
rewarded by the bestowal of an empty title. He 
was empowered to conquer and colonize coun- 
tries at his own expense, for which he was to 
receive the twelfth part of the revenue. Cortes 
returned to Mexico and in 1532 he had two ships 
fitted out, which sailed from Acapulco, in June 
of that year, up the coast of Jalisco. Portions 
of the crews of each vessel mutinied. The mu- 
tineers were put aboard of the vessel com- 
manded by Mazuela and the other vessels, com- 
manded by Hurtardo, continued the voyage as 
far as the Yaqui country. Here, having landed 
in search of provisions, the natives massacred 
the commander and all the crew. The crew of 
the other vessel shared the same fate lower 
down the coast. The stranded vessel was after- 
wards plundered and dismantled by Nuno de 
Guzman, who was about as much of a savage as 
the predatory and murderous natives. 



In 1533 Cortes, undismayed by his disasters, 
fitted out two more ships for the exploration 
of the" northern coast of Mexico. On board one 
of these ships, commanded by Bercerra de Men- 
doza, the crew, headed by the chief pilot, Jim- 
inez, mutinied. Mendoza was killed and all 
who would not join the mutineers were forced 
to go ashore on the coast of Jalisco. The muti- 
neers, to escape punishment by the authorities, 
under the command of the pilot, Fortuno Jim- 
inez, sailed westerly away from the coast of 
the main land. After several days' sailing out 
of sight of land, they discovered what they sup- 
posed to be an island. They landed at a place 
now known as La Paz, Lower California. Here 
Jiminez and twenty of his confederates were 
killed by the Indians, or their fellow mutineers, 
it is uncertain which. The survivors of the ill- 
fated expedition managed to navigate the vessel 
back to Jalisco, where they reported the dis- 
covery of an island rich in gold and pearls. This 
fabrication doubtlessly saved their necks. There 
is no record of their punishment for mutiny. 
Cortes' other ship accomplished even less than 
the one captured by the mutineers. Grixalvo, 
the commander of this vessel, discovered a des- 
olate island, forty leagues south of Cape San 
Lucas, which he named Santo Tomas. But the 
discovery that should immortalize Grixalvo, and 
place him in the category with the romancing 
Monk, de Niza and Sandoval of the Amazonian 
isle, was the seeing of a merman. It swam about 
about the ship for a long time, playing antics 
like a monkey for the amusement of the sailors, 
washing its face with its hands, combing its hair 
with its fingers; at last, frightened by a sea 
bird, it disappeared. 

Cortes, having heard of Jiminez's discovery, 
and possibly believing it to be Sandoval's isle 
of the Amazons, rich with gold and pearls, set 
about building more ships for exploration and 
for the colonization of the island. He ordered 
the building of three ships at Tehauntepec. The 
royal audencia having failed to give him any 
redress or protection against his enemy, Nuno 
de Guzman, he determined to punish him him- 
self. Collecting a considerable force of cava- 
liers and soldiers, he marched to Chiametla. 
There he found his vessel, La Concepcion, lying 



1359855 

HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



35 



on her beam ends, a wreck, and plundered of 
everything of value. He failed to find Guzman, 
that worthy having taken a hasty departure be- 
fore his arrival. His ships having come up 
from Tehauntepec, he embarked as many sol- 
diers and settlers as his vessels would carry, and 
sailed away for Jiminez's island. May 3, 1535, 
he landed at the port where Jiminez and his fel- 
low mutineers were killed, which he named 
Santa Cruz. The colonists were landed on the 
supposed island and the ships were sent back 
to Chiametla for the remainder of the settlers. 
His usual ill luck followed him. The vessels 
became separated on the gulf in a storm and 
the smaller of the three returned to Santa Cruz. 
Embarking in it, Cortes set sail to find his miss- 
ing ships. He found them at the port of Guaya- 
bal, one loaded with provisions, the other dis- 
mantled and run ashore. Its sailors had de- 
serted and those of the other ship were about 
to follow. Cortes stopped this, took command 
of the vessels and had them repaired. When the 
repairs were completed he set sail for his colony. 
But misfortune followed him. His chief pilot 
was killed by the falling of a spar when scarce 
out of sight of land. Cortes took command of 
the vessels himself. Then the ships encountered 
a terrific storm that threatened their destruc- 
tion. Finally they reached their destination, 
Santa Cruz. There again misfortune awaited 
him. The colonists could obtain no sustenance 
from the barren soil of the desolate island. 
Their provisions exhausted, some of them died 
of starvation and the others killed themselves 
by over-eating when relief came. 

Cortes, finding the interior of the supposed 
island as desolate and forbidding as the coast, 
and the native inhabitants degraded and brutal 
savages, without houses or clothing, living on 
vermin, insects and the scant products of the 
sterile land, determined to abandon his coloniza- 
tion scheme. Gathering together the wretched 
survivors of his colony, he embarked them on 
his ships and in the early part of 1537 landed 
them in the port of Acapulco. 

At some time between 1535 and 1537 the 
name California was applied to the supposed 
island, but whether applied by Cortes to en- 
courage his disappointed colonists, or whether 



given by them in derision, is an unsettled ques- 
tion. The name itself is derived from a Spanish 
romance, the "Sergas de Esplandian," written 
by Ordonez de Montalvo and published in Se- 
ville, Spain, about the year 15 10. The passage 
in which the name California occurs is as fol- 
lows: "Know that on the right hand of the In- 
dies there is an island called California, very near 
the terrestrial paradise, which was peopled with 
black women, without any men among them, 
because they were accustomed to live after the 
fashion of Amazons. They were of strong and 
hardened bodies, of ardent courage and great 
force. The island was the strongest in the 
world from its steep rocks and great cliffs. 
Their arms were all of gold and so were the 
caparison of the wild beasts which they rode, 
after having trained them, for in all the island 
there is no other metal." The "steep rocks ana 
great cliffs" of Jiminez's island may have sug- 
gested to Cortes or to his colonists some fan- 
cied resemblance to the California of Montalvo's 
romance, but there was no other similarity. 

For years Cortes had been fitting out ex- 
peditions by land and sea to explore the un- 
known regions northward of that portion of 
Mexico which he had conquered, but disaster 
after disaster had wrecked his hopes and im- 
poverished his purse. The last expedition sent 
out by him was one commanded by Francisco 
Ulloa, who, in 1539, with two ships, sailed up 
the Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortes, on the 
Sonora side, to its head. Thence he proceeded 
down the inner coast of Lower California' to 
the cape at its southern extremity, which he 
doubled, and then sailed up the outer coast to 
Cabo del Engano, the "Cape of Deceit." Fail- 
ing to make any progress against the head 
winds, April 5, 1540, the two ships parted com- 
pany in a storm. The smaller one, the Santa 
Agueda, returned safely to Santiago. The 
larger, La Trinidad, after vainly endeavoring to 
continue the voyage, turned back. The fate of 
Ulloa and of the vessel too, is uncertain. One 
authority says he was assassinated after reach- 
ing the coast of Jalisco by one of his soldiers, 
who, for some trivial cause, stabbed him to 
death; another account says that nothing is 
known of his fate, nor is it certainlv known 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



whether his vessel ever returned. The only 
thing accomplished by this voyage was to dem- 
onstrate that Lower California was a peninsula. 
Even this fact, although proved by Ulloa's voy- 
age, was not fully admitted by geographers until 
two centuries later. 

In 1540 Cortes returned to Spain to obtain, if 
possible, some recognition and recompense from 
the king for his valuable services. His declin- 
ing years had been filled with bitter disappoint- 
ments. Shipwreck and mutiny at sea; disaster 
and defeat to his forces on land; the treachery 
of his subordinates and the jealousy of royal of- 
ficials continually thwarted his plans and wasted 
his substance. After expending nearly a million 
dollars in explorations, conquests and attempts 
at colonization, fretted and worried by the in- 
difference and the ingratitude of a monarch for 
whom he had sacrified so much, disappointed, 
disheartened, impoverished, he died at an ob- 
scure hamlet near Seville, Spain, in December, 
1547- 

The next exploration that had something to 
do with the discovery of California was that of 
Hernando de Alarcon. With two ships he sailed 
from Acapulco, May 9. 1540, up the Gulf of Cal- 
ifornia. His object was to co-operate with the 
expedition of Coronado. Coronado, with an 
army of four hundred men, had marched from 
Culiacan, April 22, 1540, to conquer the seven 
cities of Cibola. In the early part of 1537 Al- 
varo Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and three compan- 
ions (the only survivors of six hundred men that 
Panfilo de Narvaes, ten years before, had landed 
in Florida for the conquest of that province) 
after almost incredible sufferings and hardships 
arrived in Culiacan on the Pacific coast. On 
their long journey passing from one Indian tribe 
to another they had seen many wondrous things 
and had heard of many more. Among others 
they had been told of seven great cities in a 
country called Cibola that were rich in gold and 
silver and precious stones. 

A Franciscan friar, Marcos de Niza, having 
heard their wonderful stories determined to find 
the seven cities. Securing the service of 
Estevanico, a negro slave, who was one of Ca- 
beza de Vaca's party, he set out in quest of the 
cities. With a number of Indian porters and 



Estevanico as a guide, he traveled northward 
a hundred leagues when he came to a desert 
that took four days to cross. Beyond this he 
found natives who told him of people four days 
further away who had gold in abundance. He 
sent the negro to investigate and that individual 
sent back word .that Cibola was yet thirty days' 
journey to the northward. Following the trail 
of his guide, Niza travelled for two weeks cross- 
ing several deserts. The stories of the magnifi- 
cence of the seven cities increased with every 
tribe of Indians through whose country he 
passed. At length, when almost to the prom- 
ised land, a messenger brought the sad tidings 
that Estevanico had been put to death with all 
of his companions but two by the inhabitants of 
Cibola. To go forward meant death to the 
monk and all his party, but before turning back 
he climbed a high mountain and looked down 
upon the seven cities with their high houses and 
teeming populations thronging their streets. 
Then he returned to Culiacan to tell his wonder- 
ful stories. His tales fired the ambition and 
stimulated the avarice of a horde of adventurers. 
At the head of four hundred of these Coronado 
penetrated the wilds of Pimeria (now Arizona). 
He found seven Indian towns but no lofty 
houses, no great cities, no gold or silver. Cibola 
was a myth. Hearing of a country called Ouivira 
far to the north, richer than Cibola, with part of 
his force he set out to find it. In his search he 
penetrated inland as far as the plains of Kansas, 
but Quivira proved to be as poor as Cibola, and 
Coronado returned disgusted. The Friar de 
Niza had evidently drawn on his imagination 
which seemed to be quite rich in cities. 

Alarcon reached the head of the Gulf of Cal- 
ifornia. Seeing what he supposed to be an in- 
let, but the water proving too shallow for his 
ships to enter it. he manned two boats and 
found his supposed inlet to be the mouth of a 
great river. He named it Buena Guia (Good 
Guide) now the Colorado. He sailed up it some 
distance and was probably the first white man to 
set foot upon the soil of Upper California. He 
heard of Coronado in the interior but was unable 
to establish communication with him. He de- 
scended the river in his boats, embarked on his 
vessels and returned to Mexico. The Viceroy 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RF.CORD. 



37 



Mendoza, who had fitted out the expedition of 
Alarcon, was bitterly disappointed on the re- 
turn of that explorer. He had hoped to find the 
ships loaded with the spoils of the seven cities. 



The report of the discovery of a great river did 
not interest his sordid soul. Alarcon found him- 
self a disgraced man. lie retired to private life 
and not long after died a broken hearted man. 



CHAPTER II. 

ALTA OR NUEVA CALIFORNIA. 



WHILE Coronado was still wandering 
in the interior of the continent search- 
ing for Ouivira and its king, Tatar- 
rax, who wore a long beard, adored a gol- 
den cross and worshipped an image of the 
queen of heaven, Pedro de Alvarado, one of 
Cortes' former lieutenants, arrived from Guate- 
mala, of which country he was governor, with a 
Meet of twelve ships. These were anchored in 
the harbor of Xavidad. Mendoza, the viceroy, 
had been intriguing with Alvarado against 
Cortes; obtaining an interest in the fleet, he 
and Alvarado began preparations for an ex- 
tensive scheme of exploration and conquest. Be- 
fore they had perfected their plans an insurrec- 
tion broke out among the Indians of Jalisco, and 
Pedro de Alvarado in attempting to quell 'it 
was killed. Mendoza fell heir to the fleet. The 
return of Coronado about this time dispelled the 
popular beliefs in Cibola and Quivira and put 
an end to further explorations of the inland re- 
gions of the northwest. 

It became necessary for Mendoza to find 
something for his fleet to do. The Islas de 
Poiniente, or Isles of the Setting Sun (now the 
Philippines), had been discovered by Magellan. 
To these Mendoza dispatched five ships of the 
fleet under command of Lopez de Yillalobos to 
establish trade with the natives. Two ships of 
the fleet, the San Salvador and the Vitoria, were 
placed under the command of Juan Rodriguez 
Cabrillo, reputed to be a Portuguese by birth and 
dispatched to explore the northwest coast of 
the Pacific. Cabrillo sailed from Xavidad, June 
27, 1542. Rounding the southern extremity of 
the peninsula of Lower California, he sailed up 
its outer coast. August 20 he reached Cabo del 
Engano, the most northerly point of Ulloa's ex- 
ploration. On the 28th of September, 1542, he 



entered a bay which he named San Miguel (now 
San Uiego), where he found "a land locked and 
very good harbor." He remained in this harbor 
until October 3. Continuing his voyage he sailed 
along the coast eighteen leagues, discovering 
two islands about seven leagues from the main 
land. These he named San Salvador and Vitoria 
after his ships (now Santa Catalina and San 
Clemente). On the 8th of October he crossed 
the channel between the islands and main land 
and anchored in a bay which he named Bahia 
de los Fumos y Fuegos, the Bay of Smokes and 
Fires (now known as the Bay of San Pedro). 
Heavy clouds of smoke hung over the head- 
lands of the coast; and inland, fierce fires were 
raging. The Indians either through accident 
or design had set fire to the long dry grass that 
covered the plains at this season of the year. 

After sailing six leagues further up the coast 
he anchored in a large ensenada or bight, now 
the Bay of Santa Monica. It is uncertain 
whether he landed at either place. The next 
day he sailed eight leagues to an Indian town 
which he named the Pueblo de las Canoas (the 
town of Canoes). This town was located on or 
near the present site of San Buenaventura. 
Sailing northwestward he passed through the 
Santa Barbara Channel, discovering the islands 
of Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. 
Continuing up the coast he passed a long nar- 
row point of land extending into the sea, which 
from its resemblance to a galley boat he named 
Cabo de la Galera, the Cape of the Galley (now 
called Point Concepcion). Baffled by head 
winds, the explorers slowly beat their way up 
the coast. On the 17th of November, they cast 
anchor in a large bay which they named Bahia. 
de los Pinos, the Bay of Pines (now the Bay 
of Monterey). Finding it impossible to land on 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



account of the heavy sea, Cabrillo continued his 
voyage northward. After reaching a point on 
the coast in 40 degrees north latitude, accord- 
ing to his reckoning, the increasing cold and 
the storms becoming more frequent, he turned 
back and ran down the coast to the island of 
San Miguel, which he reached November 23. 
Here he decided to winter. 

While on the island in October, he had broken 
his arm by a fall. Suffering from his broken 
arm he had continued in command. Exposure 
and unskilful surgery caused his death. He 
died January 3, 1543, and was buried on the 
island. His last resting place is supposed to 
be on the shore of Cuyler's harbor, on the 
island of San Miguel. No trace of his grave 
has ever been found. His companions named 
the island Juan Rodriguez, but he has been 
robbed of even this slight tribute to his mem- 
ory. It would be a slight token of regard if 
the state would name the island Cabrillo. Saint 
Miguel has been well remembered in California 
and could spare an island. 

Cabrillo on his death bed urged his successor 
in command, the pilot Bartolome Ferrolo, to 
continue the exploration. Ferrolo prosecuted 
the voyage of discovery with a courage and dar- 
ing equal to that of Cabrillo. About the middle 
of February he left the harbor where he had 
spent most of the winter and after having made 
a short voyage in search of more islands he 
sailed up the coast. February 28, he discovered 
a cape which he named Mendocino in honor of 
the viceroy, a name it still bears. Passing the 
cape he encountered a fierce storm which drove 
him violently to the northeast, greatly endanger- 
ing his ships. On March 1st, the fog partially 
lifting, he discovered a cape which he named 
Blanco, in the southern part of what is now the 
state of Oregon. The weather continuing stormy 
and the cold increasing as he sailed northward, 
Ferrolo reluctantly turned back. Running 
down the coast he reached the island of San 
Clemente. There in a storm the ships parted 
company and Ferrolo, after a search, gave up 
the Vitoria as lost. The ships, however, came 
together at Cerros island and from there, in 
sore distress for provisions, the explorers 
reached Navidad April 18, 1543. On the discov- 



eries made by Cabrillo and Ferrolo the Span- 
iards claimed the territory on the Pacific coast 
of North America up to the forty-second degree 
of north latitude, a claim that they maintained 
for three hundred years. 

The next navigator who visited California was 
Francis Drake, an Englishman. He was not 
seeking new lands, but a way to escape the 
vengeance of the Spaniards. Francis Drake, 
the "Sea King of Devon," was one of the brav- 
est men that ever lived. Early in his maritime 
life he had suffered from the cruelty and injus- 
tice of the Spaniards. Throughout his subse- 
quent career, which reads more like romance 
than reality, he let no opportunity slip to pun- 
ish his old-time enemies. It mattered little to 
Drake whether his country was at peace or war 
with Spain; he considered a Spanish ship or a 
Spanish town his legitimate prey. On one of 
his predatory expeditions he captured a Spanish 
town on the isthmus of Panama named El Nom- 
bre de Dios, The Name of God. Its holy name 
did not protect it from Drake's rapacity. While 
on the isthmus he obtained information of the 
Spanish settlements of the South Pacific and 
from a high point of land saw the South sea, as 
the Pacific ocean was then called. On his re- 
turn to England he announced his intention of 
fitting out a privateering expedition against the 
Spaniards of the South Pacific. Although Spain 
and England were at peace, he received encour- 
agement from the nobility, even Queen Eliza- 
beth herself secretly contributing a thousand 
crown towards the venture. 

Drake sailed out of Plymouth harbor, Eng- 
land, December 13, 1577, in command of a fleet 
of five small vessels, bound for the Pacific coast 
of South America. Some of his vessels were 
lost at sea and others turned back, until when 
he emerged from the Straits of Magellan he had 
but one left, the Pelican. He changed its name 
to the Golden Hind. It was a ship of only one 
hundred tons' burden. Sailing up the South 
Pacific coast, he spread terror and devastation 
among the Spanish settlements, robbing towns 
and capturing ships until, in the quaint language 
of a chronicler of the expedition, he "had loaded 
his vessel with a fabulous amount of fine wares 
of Asia, precious stones, church ornaments, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



gold plate and so mooch silver as did ballas the 
Goulden Hinde." 

From one treasure ship, the Caca Fuego, he 
obtained thirteen chests of silver, eighty pounds 
weight of gold, twenty-six tons of uncoined sil- 
ver, two silver drinking vessels, precious stones 
and a quantity of jewels; the total value of his 
prize amounted to three hundred and sixty 
thousand pesos (dollars). Having spoiled the 
Spaniards of treasure amounting to "eight hun- 
dred sixty-six thousand pesos of silver * * * 
a hundred thousand pesos of gold * * * 
and other things of great worth, he thought it 
not good to return by the streight (Magellan) 
* * * least the Spaniards should there waite 
and attend for him in great numbers and 
strength, whose hands, he being left but one 
ship, he could not possibly escape." 

Surfeited with spoils and his ship loaded with 
plunder, it became necessary for him to find the 
shortest and safest route home. To return by 
the way he came was to invite certain destruc- 
tion to his ship and death to all on board. At 
an island off the coast of Nicaragua he over- 
hauled and refitted his ship. He determined to 
seek the Straits of Anian that were believed to 
connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Strik- 
ing boldly out on an unknown sea, he sailed 
more than a thousand leagues northward. En- 
countering contrary winds and the cold in- 
creasing as he advanced, he gave up his search 
for the mythical straits, and, turning, he ran 
down the northwest coast of North America to 
latitude 38 , where "hee found a harborrow for 
his ship." He anchored in it June 17, 1579. 
This "convenient and fit harborrow" is under 
the lee of Point Reyes and is now known as 
Sir Francis Drake's Bay. 

Fletcher, the chronicler of Drake's voyage, in 
his narrative, "The World Encompassed," says: 
"The 3rd day following, viz., the 21st, our ship 
having received a leake at sea was brought to 
anchor neerer the shoare that her goods being 
landed she might be repaired; but for that we 
were to prevent any danger that might chance 
against our safety our Generall first of all 
landed his men with necessary provision to build 
tents and make a fort for defense of ourselves 
and goeds; and that we might under the shel- 



ter of it with more safety (whatsoever should 
befall) end our business." 

The ship was drawn upon the beach, careened 
on its side, caulked and refitted. While the 
crew were repairing the ship the natives visited 
them in great numbers. From some of their ac- 
tions Drake inferred that they regarded himself 
and his men as gods. To disabuse them of this 
idea, Drake ordered his chaplain, Fletcher, to 
perform divine service according to the English 
Church Ritual and preach a sermon. The In- 
dians were greatly delighted with the psalm 
singing, but their opinion of Fletcher's sermon 
is not known. 

From certain ceremonial performance Drake 
imagined that the Indians were offering him the 
sovereignty of their land and themselves as sub- 
jects of the English crown. Drake gladly ac- 
cepted their proffered allegiance and formally 
took possession of the country in the name of 
the English sovereign, Queen Elizabeth. He 
named it New Albion, "for two causes: the one 
in respect of the white bankes and cliffes which 
ly towardes the sea; and the other because it 
might have some affinitie with our own country 
in name which sometimes was so called." 

Having completed the reoairs to his ship, 
Drake made ready to depart, but before leav- 
ing "Our Generall with his company made a 
journey up into the land. The inland we found 
to be farre different from the shoare; a goodly 
country and fruitful soyle, stored with many 
blessings fit for the use of man ; infinite was the 
company of very large and fat deere which 
there we saw by thousands as we supposed in a 
heard."* They saw great numbers of small bur- 
rowing animals, which they called conies, but 
which were probably ground squirrels. Before 
departing, Drake set up a monument to show 
that he had taken possession of the country. To a 
large post firmly set in the ground he nailed a 
brass plate on which was engraved the name of 
the English Queen, the date of his arrival and the 
statement that the king and people of the coun- 
try had voluntarily become vassals of the Eng- 
lish crown; a new sixpence was fastened to the 
plate to show the Queen's likeness. 



'World Encompassed. 



40 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



After a stay of thirty-six days, Drake took 
his departure, much to the regret of the Indians. 
He stopped at the Farallones islands for a short 
time to lay in a supply of seal meat; then he 
sailed for England by the way of the Cape of 
Good Hope. After encountering many perils, 
he arrived safely at Plymouth, the port from 
which he sailed nearly three years before, hav- 
ing "encompassed" or circumnavigated the 
globe. His exploits and the booty he brought 
back made him the most famous naval hero of 
his time. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 
and accorded extraordinary honors by the na- 
tion. He believed himself to be the first dis- 
coverer of the country he called New Albion. 
"The Spaniards never had any dealings or so 
much as set foote in this country; t'he utmost 
of their discoveries reaching only to many de- 
grees southward of this place."* The English 
founded no claim on Drake's discoveries. The 
land hunger that characterizes that nation now 
had not then been developed. 

Fifty years passed after Cabrillo's visit to Cal- 
ifornia before another attempt was made by the 
Spaniards to explore her coast. Through all 
these years on their return voyage far out be- 
yond the islands the Manila galleons, freighted 
with the wealth of "Ormus and Ind," sailed 
down the coast of Las Californias from Cape 
Mendocino to Acapulco. Often storm-tossed 
and always scourged with that dread malady of 
the sea, the scurvy, there was no harbor of ref- 
uge for them to put into because his most Cath- 
olic Majesty, the King of Spain, had no money 
to spend in exploring an unknown coast where 
there was no return to be expected except per- 
haps the saving of a few sailors' lives. 

In 1593, the question of a survey of the Cali- 
fornia coast for harbors to accommodate the in- 
creasing Philippine trade was agitated and Don 
Luis de Velasco, viceroy of New Spain, in a let- 
ter dated at Mexico, April 8, 1593, thus writes to 
his majesty: "In order to make the exploration 
or demarcation of the harbors of this main as 
far as the Philippine islands, as your majesty 
orders, money is lacking, and if it be not taken 
from the royal strong box it cannot be supplied, 

*The World Encompassed. 



as for some time past a great deal of money has 
been owing to the royal treasury on account 
of fines forfeited to it, legal cost and the like." 
Don Luis fortunately discovers a way to save 
the contents of the royal strong box and hastens 
to acquaint his majesty with his plan. In a let- 
ter written to the king from the City of Mexico, 
April 6, 1594, he says: "I ordered the navigator 
who at present sails in the flag ship, who is 
named Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeho, and who 
is a man of experience in his calling, one who 
can be depended upon and who has means of 
his own, although he is a Portuguese, there 
being no Spaniards of his profession whose serv- 
ices are available, that he should make the ex- 
ploration and demarcation, and I offered, if he 
would do this, to give him his remuneration in 
the way of taking on board merchandise; and 
I wrote to the governor (of the Philippines) 
that he should allow him to put on board the 
ship some tons of cloth that he might have the 
benefit of the freight-money." The result of 
Don Luis's economy and the outcome of at- 
tempting to explore an unknown coast in a 
heavily laden merchant ship are given in a para- 
graph taken from a letter written by a royal offi- 
cer from Acapulco, February 1, 1596, to the 
viceroy Conde de Monterey, the successor of 
Velasco: "On Wednesday, the 31st of January 
of this year, there entered this harbor a vessel 
of the kind called in the Philippines a viroco, 
having on board Juan de Morgana, navigating 
officer, four Spanish sailors, five Indians and a 
negro, who brought tidings that the ship San 
Agustin, of the exploring expedition, had been 
lost on a coast where she struck and went to 
pieces, and that a barefooted friar and another 
person of those on board had been drowned and 
that the seventy men or more who embarked in 
this small vessel only these came in her, be- 
cause the captain of said ship, Sebastian Rodri- 
guez Cermeho, and the others went ashore at 
the port of Navidad, and, as they understand, 
have already arrived in that city (Mexico). An 
account of the voyage and of the loss of the 
ship, together with the statement made under 
oath by said navigating officer, Juan de Mor- 
gana, accompany this. We visited officially the 
vessel, finding no kind of merchandise on board, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and that the men were almost naked. The ves- 
sel being so small it seems miraculous that she 
should have reached this country with so many 
people on board." A viroco was a small vessel 
without a deck, having one or two square sails, 
and propelled by sweeps. Its hull was formed 
from a single tree, hollowed out and having the 
sides built up with planks. The San Agustin 
was wrecked in what is now called Francis 
Drake's Bay, about thirty miles north of San 
Francisco. To make a voyage from there to 
Acapulco in such a vessel, with seventy men on 
board, and live to tell the tale, was an exploit 
that exceeded the most hazardous undertakings 
of the Argonauts of '49. 

The viceroy, Conde de Monte Rey, in a let- 
ter dated at Mexico, April 19, 1596, gives the 
king tidings of the loss of the San Agustin. He 
writes: "Touching the loss of the ship, San 
Agustin, which was on its way from the islands 
of the west (the Philippines) for the purpose of 
making the exploration of the coast of the South 
Sea, in accordance with your Majesty's orders 
to Viceroy, Don Luis de Yelasco, I wrote to 
Your Majesty by the second packet (mailship) 
what I send as duplicate with this." He then 
goes on to tell how he had examined the offi- 
cers in regard to the loss of the vessel and that 
they tried to inculpate one another. The navi- 
gating officer even in the viroco tried to ex- 
plore the principal bays which they crossed, but 
on account of the hunger and illness they expe- 
rienced he was compelled to hasten the voyage. 
The viceroy concludes: "Thus I take it, as to 
this exploration the intention of Your Majesty 
has not been carried into effect. It is the gen- 
eral opinion that this enterprise should not be 
attempted on the return voyage from the islands 
and with a laden ship, but from this coast and 
by constantly following along it." The above 
account of the loss of the San Agustin is taken 
from Volume II, Publications of the Historical 
Society of Southern California, and is the only 
correct account published. In September, 1595, 
just before the viceroy, Don Luis de Yelasco, 
was superseded by Conde de Monte Rey, he 
entered into a contract with certain parties of 
whom Sebastian Yiscaino, a ship captain, was 
the principal, to make an expedition up the Gulf 



of California "for the purpose of fishing for 
pearls." There was also a provision in the con- 
tract empowering Yiscaino to make explorations 
and take possession of his discoveries for the 
crown of Spain. The Conde de Monte Rey 
seems, from a letter written to the King, to have 
seriously doubted whether Yiscaino was the 
right man for so important an expedition, but 
finally allowed him to depart. In September, 
1596, Yiscaino sailed up the gulf with a fleet of 
three vessels, the flag ship San Francisco, the 
San Jose and a Lancha. The flag ship was dis- 
abled and left at La Paz. With the other two 
vessels he sailed up the gulf to latitude 29 . He 
encountered severe storms. At some island he 
had trouble with the Indians and killed several. 
As the long boat was departing an Indian 
wounded one of the rowers with an arrow. The 
sailor dropped his oar, the boat careened and 
upset, drowning twenty of the twenty-six sol- 
diers and sailors in it, 

Yiscaino returned without having procured 
any pearls or made any important discoveries. 
He proposed to continue his explorations of the 
Californias, but on account of his misfortunes 
his request was held in abeyance. He wrote a 
letter to the king in 1597, setting forth what 
supplies he required for the voyage. His in- 
ventory of the items needed is interesting, but 
altogether too long for insertion here. Among 
the items were "$35,000 in money"; "eighty ar- 
robas of powder"; "twenty quintals of lead"; 
"four pipes of wine for mass and sick friars"; 
"vestments for the clergy and $2,000 to be in- 
vested in trifles for the Indians for the purpose 
of attracting them peaceably to receive the holy 
gospel." Yiscaino's request was not granted at 
that time. The viceroy and the royal audiencia 
at one time ordered his commission revoked. 
Philip II died in 1598 and was succeeded by 
Philip III. After five years' waiting, Viscaino 
was allowed to proceed w-ith his explorations. 
From Acapulcc on the 5th of May, 1602, he 
writes to the king that he is ready to sail with 
his ships "for the discovery of harbors and bays 
of the coast of the South Sea as far as Cape 
Mendocino." "I report," he says, "merely that 
the said Viceroy (Conde de Monterey) has en- 
trusted to me the accomplishment of the same 



i-1 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



in two ships, a lancha and a barcoluengo, 
manned with sailors and soldiers and provi- 
sioned for eleven months. To-day being Sun- 
day, the 5th of May, I sail at five o'clock in the 
names of God and his blessed mother and your 
majesty." 

Viscaino followed the same course marked 
out by Cabrillo sixty years before. November 
10, 1602, he anchored in Cabrillo's Bay of San 
Miguel. Whether the faulty reckoning of Ca- 
brillo left him in doubt of the points named by 
the first discoverer, or whether it was that he 
might receive the credit of their discovery, Vis- 
caino changed the names given by Cabrillo to 
the islands, bays and headlands along the Cali- 
fornia coast.- Cabrillo's Bahia San Miguel be- 
came the Bay of San Diego; San Salvador and 
Vitoria were changed to Santa Catalina and 
San Clemente, and Cabrillo's Bahia de los 
Fumos y Fuegos appears on Viscaino's map as 
the Ensenada de San Andres, but in a descrip- 
tion of the voyage compiled by the cosmog- 
rapher, Cabrero Bueno, it is named San Pedro. 
It is not named for the Apostle St. Peter, but 
for St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, whose day 
in the Catholic calendar is November 26, the 
day of the month Viscaino anchored in the Bay 
of San Pedro. 

Sailing up the coast, Viscaino passed through 
the Santa Barbara channel, which was so named 
by Antonio de la Ascencion, a Carmelite friar, 
who was chaplain of one of the ships. The ex- 
pedition entered the channel December 4, which 
is the day in the Catholic calendar dedicated to 
Santa Barbara. He visited the mainland near 
Point Concepcion where the Indian chief of a 
populous rancheria offered each Spaniard who 
would become a resident of his town ten wives. 
This generous offer was rejected. December 
15, 1602, he reached Point Pinos, so named by 
Cabrillo, and cast anchor in the bay formed by 
its projection. This bay he named Monterey, 
in honor of the viceroy, Conde de Monte Rey. 
Many of his men were sick with the scurvy and 
his provisions were becoming exhausted; so, 
placing the sick and disabled on the San Tomas, 
he sent them back to Acapulco; but few of them 
ever reached their destination. On the 3d of 
January, 1603, with two ships, he proceeded on 



his search for Cape Mendocino, the northern 
limit of his survey. The Manila galleons on 
their return voyage from the Philippines sailed 
up the Asiatic coast to the latitude of Japan, 
when, taking advantage of the westerly winds 
and the Japan current, they crossed the Pacific, 
striking the North American coast in about the 
latitude of Cape Mendocino, and from there 
they ran down the coast of Las Californias and 
across the gulf to Acapulco. After leaving 
Point Reyes a storm separated his ships and 
drove him as far north as Cape Blanco. The 
smaller vessel, commanded by Martin de Agui- 
lar, was driven north by the storm to latitude 
43 , where he discovered what seemed to be 
the mouth of a great river; attempting to enter 
it, he was driven back by the swift current. 
Aguilar, believing he had discovered the western 
entrance of the Straits of Anian, sailed for 
New Spain to report his discovery. He, his 
chief pilot and most of his crew died of scurvy 
before the vessel reached Navidad. Viscaino, 
after sighting Cape Blanco, turned and sailed 
down the coast of California, reaching Acapulco 
March 21, 1603. 

Viscaino, in a letter to the King of Spain, 
dated at the City of Mexico, May 23, 1603, 
grows enthusiastic over California climate and 
productions. It is the earliest known specimen 
of California boom literature. After depicting 
the commodiousness of Monterey Bay as a port 
of safety for the Philippine ships, he says: "This 
port is sheltered from all winds, while on the im- 
mediate shores there are pines, from which masts 
of any desired size can be obtained, as well as 
live oaks and white oaks, rosemary, the vine, the 
rose of Alexandria, a great variety of game, such 
as rabbits, hare, partridges and other sorts and 
species found in Spain. This land has a genial 
climate, its waters are good and it is fertile, 
judging from the varied and luxuriant growth 
of trees and plants; and it is thickly settled with 
people whom I found to be of gentle disposition, 
peaceable and docile. * * * Their food con- 
sists of seeds which they have in great abun- 
dance and variety, and of the flesh of game such 
as deer, which are larger than cows, and bear, 
and of neat cattle and bisons and many other 
animals. .Th? Iadians are of gQO.d stature and 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



4:5 



fair complexion, the women being somewhat 
less in size than the men, and of pleasing counte- 
nance. The clothing of the people of the coast 
lands consists of the skins of the sea wolves 
(otter) abounding there, which they tan and 
dress better than is done in Castile; they pos- 
sess also in great quantity flax like that of Cas- 
tile, hemp and cotton, from which they make 
fishing lines and nets for rabbits and hares. 
They have vessels of pine wood, very well made, 
in which they go to sea with fourteen paddle- 
men of a side, with great dexterity in very 
stormy weather. * * * They are well ac- 
quainted with gold and silver and said that 
these were found in the interior." 



The object of Yiscaino's boom literature of 
three hundred years ago was the promotion of a 
colony scheme for the founding of a settlement 
on Monterey Bay. He visited Spain to obtain the 
consent of the king and assistance in planting 
a colony. After many delays, Philip III, in 
1606, ordered the viceroy of New Spain to fit 
out immediately an expedition to be com- 
manded by Yiscaino for the occupation and set- 
tlement of the port of Monterey. Before the ex- 
pedition could be gotten ready Viscaino died and • 
his colonization scheme died with him. Had he 
lived to carry out his scheme, the settlement of 
California would have antedated that of James- 
town, Va., by one year. 



CHAPTER III. 



COLONIZATION OF ALTA CALIFORNIA. 



^ HUNDRED and sixty years passed after 
the abandonment of Yiscaino's coloniza- 
tion scheme before the Spanish crown 
made another attempt to utilize its vast posses- 
sions in Alta California. The Manila galleons 
sailed down the coast year after year for more 
than a century and a half, yet in all this long 
space of time none of them so far as we know 
ever entered a harbor or bay on the upper Cali- 
fornia coast. Spain still held her vast colonial 
possessions in America, but with a loosening 
grasp. As the years went by she had fallen 
from her high estate. Her power on sea and 
land had weakened. Those brave old sea kings, 
Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher, had destroyed 
her invincible Armada and burned her ships in 
her very harbors. The English and Dutch pri- 
vateers had preyed upon her commerce on the 
high seas and the buccaneers had robbed her 
treasure ships and devastated her settlements on 
the islands and the Spanish main, while the free- 
booters of many nations had time and again 
captured her galleons and ravished her colonies 
on the Pacific coast. The energy and enterprise 
that had been a marked characteristic of her 
people in the days of Cortes and Pizarro were 
ebbing away. The age of luxury that began 



with the inilux of the wealth which flowed into 
the mother country from her American colonies 
engendered intrigue and official corruption 
among her rulers, demoralized her army and 
prostrated her industries. While her kings and 
her nobles were revelling in luxury the poor were 
crying for bread. Prescriptive laws and the fear 
of her Holy Inquisition had driven into exile 
many of the most enterprising and most intelli- 
gent of her people. These baneful influences 
had palsied the bravery and spirit of adventure 
that had been marked characteristics of the 
Spaniards in the fifteenth and sixteenth cen- 
turies. Other nations stood ready to take ad- 
vantage of her decadence. Her old-time enemy, 
England, which had gained in power as Spain 
had lost, was ever on the alert to take advantage 
of her weakness ; and another power, Russia, 
almost unknown among the powers of Europe 
when Spain was in her prime, was threatening 
her possessions in Alta California. To hold this 
vast country it must be colonized, but her re- 
strictions on commerce and her prescriptive laws 
against foreign immigrants had shut the door to 
her colonial possessions against colonists from 
all other nations. Her sparse settlements in Mex- 
ico could spare no colonists. The native in- 



44 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



habitants of California must be converted to 
Christianity and made into citizens. Poor mate- 
rial indeed were these degraded savages, but 
Spain's needs were pressing and missionary zeal 
was powerful. Indeed, -the pristine courage and 
daring of the Spanish soldier seemed to have 
passed to her missionary priest. 

The Jesuits had begun missionary work in 
1697 among the degraded inhabitants of Lower 
California. With a perseverance that was highly 
commendable and a bravery that was heroic, 
under their devoted leaders, Salvatierra, Kino, 
Ugarte, Piccolo and their successors, they 
founded sixteen missions on the peninsula. 
Father Kino (or Kuhn), a German Jesuit, be- 
sides his missionary work, between 1694 and 
1702, had made explorations around the head 
of the Gulf of California and up the Rio Colo- 
rado to the mouth of the Gila, which had clearly 
demonstrated that Lower California was a pen- 
insula and not an island. Although Ulloa had 
sailed down the inner coast and up the outer 
coast of Lower California and Domingo del 
Castillo, a Spanish pilot, had made a correct 
map showing it to be a peninsula, so strong was 
the belief in the existence of the Straits of 
Anian that one hundred and sixty years after 
Ulloa's voyage Las Californias were still be- 
lieved to be islands and were sometimes called 
Islas Carolinas, or the Islands of Charles, named 
so for Charles II. of Spain. Father Kino had 
formed the design of establishing a chain of mis- 
sions from Sonora around the head of the gulf 
and down the inner coast of Lower California to 
Cape San Lucas. He did not live to complete 
his ambitious project. The Jesuit missions of 
Baja California never grew rich in flocks and 
herds. The country was sterile and the few 
small valleys of fertile land around the missions 
gave the padres and the neophytes at best but a 
frugal return for their labors. 

For years there had been, in the Catholic 
countries of Europe, a growing fear and dis- 
trust of the Jesuits. Portugal had declared them 
traitors to the government and had banished 
them in 1759 from her dominions. France had 
suppressed the order in her domains in 1764. 
In 1767, King Carlos III., by a pragmatic sanc- 
tion or decree, ordered their expulsion from 



Spain and all her American colonies. So great 
and powerful was the influence of the order that 
the decree for their expulsion was kept secret 
until the moment of its execution. Throughout 
all parts of the kingdom, at a certain hour of 
the night, a summons came to every college, 
monastery or other establishment where mem- 
bers of the order dwelt, to assemble by com- 
mand of the king in the chapel or refectory 
immediately. The decree of perpetual banish- 
ment was then read to them. They were hastily 
bundled into vehicles that were awaiting them 
outside and hurried to the nearest seaport, 
where they were shipped to Rome. During 
their journey to the sea-coast they were not al- 
lowed to communicate with their friends nor 
permitted to speak to persons they met on the 
way. By order of the king, any subject who 
should undertake to vindicate the Jesuits in writ- 
ing should be deemed guilty of treason and con- 
demned to death. 

The Lower California missions were too dis- 
tant and too isolated to enforce the king's de- 
cree with the same haste and secrecy that was 
observed in Spain and Mexico. To Governor 
Caspar de Portola was entrusted the enforce- 
ment of their banishment. These missions were 
transferred to the Franciscans, but it took time 
to make the substitution. He proceeded with 
great caution and care lest the Indians should 
become rebellious and demoralized. It was not 
until February, 1768, that all the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries were assembled at La Paz ; from there 
they were sent to Mexico and on the 13th of 
April, at Vera Cruz, they bade farewell to the 
western continent. 

At the head of the Franciscan contingent that 
took charge of the abandoned missions of Baja 
California, was Father Junipero Serra, a man 
of indomitable will and great missionary zeal. 
Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of 
Majorica in the year 1713. After completing his 
studies in the Lullian University, at the age of 
eighteen he became a monk and was admitted 
into the order of Franciscans. On taking or- 
ders he assumed the name of Junipero (Juniper). 
Among the disciples of St. Francis was a very 
zealous and devoted monk who bore the name 
of Junipero, of whom St. Francis once said, 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



4.1 



"Would to God, my brothers, that I had a whole 
forest of such Junipers." Serra's favorite study 
was the "Lives of the Saints," and no doubt the 
study of the life of the original Junipero influ- 
enced him to take that saint's name. Serra's 
ambition was to become a missionary, but it was 
not until he was nearly forty years of age that 
his desire was gratified. In 1749 he came to 
Mexico and January 1, 1750, entered the College 
of San Fernando. A few months later he was 
given charge of an Indian mission in the Sierra 
Gorda mountains, where, with his assistant and 
lifelong friend, Father Palou, he remained nine 
years. Under his instructions the Indians were 
taught agriculture and the mission became a 
model establishment of its kind. From this 
mountain mission Serra returned to the city of 
Mexico. He spent seven years in doing mis- 
sionary work among the Spanish population of 
the capital and surrounding country. His suc- 
cess as a preacher and his great missionary zeal 
led to his selection as president of the missions 
of California, from which the Jesuits had been 
removed. April 2, 1768, he arrived in the port of 
Loreto with fifteen associates from the College 
of San Fernando. These were sent to the dif- 
ferent missions of the peninsula. These mis- 
sions extended over a territory seven hundred 
miles in length and it required several months 
to locate all the missionaries. 

The scheme for the occupation and coloniza- 
tion of Alta California was to be jointly the 
work of church and state. The representative 
of the state was Jose de Galvez, visitador-gen- 
eral of Xew Spain, a man of untiring energy, 
great executive ability, sound business sense 
and, as such men are and ought to be, some- 
what arbitrary. Galvez reached La Paz in July, 
1768. At once he began investigating the condi- 
tion of the peninsular missions and supplying 
their needs. This done, he turned his attention 
to the northern colonization. Establishing his 
headquarters at Santa Ana near La Paz, he sum- 
moned Father Junipero for consultation in 
regard to the founding of missions in Alta Cali- 
fornia. It was decided to proceed to the initial 
points, San Diego and Monterey, by land and 
sea. Three ships were to be dispatched carrying 
the heavier articles, such as agricultural imple- 



ments, church ornaments, and a supply of provi- 
sions for the support of the soldiers and priest 
after their arrival in California. The expedi- 
tion by land was to take along cattle and 
horses to stock the country. This expedition 
was divided into two detachments, the advance 
one under the command of Rivera y Moncada, 
who had been a long time in the country, and 
the second division under Governor Gaspar de 
Portola, who was a newcomer. Captain Rivera 
was sent northward to collect from the missions 
ail the live stock and supplies that could be 
spared and take them to Santa Maria, the most 
northern mission of the peninsula. Stores of 
all kinds were collected at La Paz. Father 
Serra made a tour of the missions and secured 
such church furniture, ornaments and vestments 
as could be spared. 

The first vessel fitted out for the expedition 
by sea was the San Carlos, a ship of about 
two hundred tons burden, leaky and badly con- 
structed. She sailed from La Paz January 9, 
1769, under the command of Vicente Vila. In 
addition to the crew there were twenty-five Cat- 
aionian soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant 
Fages, Pedro Prat, the surgeon, a Franciscan 
friar, two blacksmiths, a baker, a cook and two 
tortilla makers. Galvez in a small vessel accom- 
panied the San Carlos to Cape San Lucas, where 
he landed and set to work to fit out the San 
Antonio. On the 15th of February this vessel 
sailed from San Jose del Cabo (San Jose of the 
Cape), under the command of Juan Perez, an 
expert pilot, who had been engaged in the Phil- 
ippine trade. On this vessel went two Franciscan 
friars, Juan Viscaino and Francisco Gomez. 
Captain Rivera y Moncada, who was to pioneer 
the way, had collected supplies and cattle at Vel- 
icata on the northern frontier. From here, with 
a small force of soldiers, a gang of neophytes 
and three muleteers, and accompanied by Padre 
Crespi, he began his march to San Diego on the 
24th of March, 1769. 

The second land expedition, commanded by 
Governor Gaspar de Portola in person, began 
its march from Loreto, March 9, 1769. Father 
Serra, who was to have accompanied it, was de- 
tained at Loreto by a sore leg. He joined the 
expedition at Santa Maria, May 5, where it had 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



been waiting for him some time. It then pro- 
ceeded to Rivera's camp at Velicata, sixty miles 
further north, where Serra founded a mission, 
naming it San Fernando. Campa Coy, a friar 
who had accompanied the expedition thus far, 
was left in charge. This mission was intended 
as a frontier post in the travel between the pen- 
insular missions and the Alta California settle- 
ments. On the 15th of May Portola began his 
northern march, following the trail of Rivera. 
Galvez had named, by proclamation, St. Joseph 
as the patron saint of the California expeditions. 
Santa Maria was designated as the patroness of 
conversions. 

The San Antonia, the last vessel to sail, was 
the first to arrive at San Diego. It anchored in 
the bay April 11, 1769, after a prosperous voy- 
age of twenty-four days. There she remained 
at anchor, awaiting the arrival of the San Car- 
los, the flag ship of the expedition, which had 
sailed more than a month before her. On the 
29th of April the San Carlos, after a disastrous 
voyage of one hundred and ten days, drifted 
into the Bay of San Diego, her crew prostrated 
with the scurvy, not enough able-bodied men 
being left to man a boat. Canvas tents were 
pitched and the afflicted men taken ashore. 
When the disease had run its course nearly all 
of the crew of the San Carlos, half of the sol- 
diers who had come on her, and nine of the 
sailors of the San Antonio, were dead. 

On the 14th of May Captain Rivera y Mon- 
cada's detachment arrived. The expedition had 
made the journey from Velicata in fifty-one 
days. On the first of July the second division, 
commanded by Portola, arrived. The journey 
had been uneventful. The four divisions of the 
grand expedition were now united, but its num- 
bers had been greatly reduced. Out of two 
hundred and nineteen who had set out by land 
and sea only one hundred and twenty-six re- 
mained; death from scurvy and the desertion of 
the neophytes had reduced the numbers nearly 
one-half. The ravages of the scurvy had de- 
stroyed the crew of one of the vessels and 
greatly crippled that of the other, so it was im- 
possible to proceed by sea to Monterey, the 
second objective point of the expedition. A 
council of the officers was held and it was de- 



cided to send the San Antonia back to San Bias 
for supplies and sailors to man the San Carlos. 
The San Antonia sailed on the 9th of July and 
after a voyage of twenty days reached her des- 
tination; but short as the voyage was, half of 
the crew died of the scurvy on the passage. In 
early American navigation the scurvy was the 
most dreaded scourge of the sea, more to be 
feared than storm and shipwreck. These might 
happen occasionally, but the scurvy always made 
its appearance on long voyages, and sometimes 
destroyed the whole ship's crew. Its appearance 
and ravages were largely due to the neglect of 
sanitary precautions and to the utter indiffer- 
ence of those in authority to provide for the 
comfort and health of the sailors. The interces- 
sion of the saints, novenas, fasts and penance 
were relied upon to protect and save the vessel 
and her crew, while the simplest sanitary meas- 
ures were utterly disregarded. A blind, unrea- 
soning faith that was always seeking interposi- 
tion from some power without to preserve and 
ignoring the power within, was the bane and 
curse of that age of superstition. 

If the mandates of King Carlos III. and the 
instructions of the visitador-general, Jose de 
Galvez, were to be carried out, the expedition 
for the settlement of the second point designated 
(Monterey) must be made by land; accordingly 
Governor Portola set about organizing his 
forces for the overland journey. On the 14th 
of July the expedition began its march. It con- 
sisted of Governor Portola, Padres Crespi and 
Gomez, Captain Rivera y Moncada, Lieutenant 
Pedro Pages, Engineer Miguel Constanso, sol- 
diers, muleteers and Indian servants, number- 
ing in all sixty-two persons. 

On the i6th of July, two days after the de- 
parture of Governor Portola, Father Junipero, 
assisted by Padres Viscaino and Parron, founded 
the mission of San Diego. The site selected 
was in what is now Old Town, near the tempo- 
rary presidio, which had been hastily con- 
structed before the departure of Governor Por- 
tola. A hut of boughs had been constructed 
and in this the ceremonies of founding were 
held. The Indians, while interested in what was 
going on, manifested no desire to be converted. 
They were willing to receive gifts, particularly 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



17 



of cloth, but would not taste the food of the 
Spaniards, fearing that it contained poison and 
attributing the many deaths among the soldiers 
and sailors to the food. The Indians had a great 
liking for pieces of cloth, and their desire to 
obtain this led to an attack upon the people of 
the mission. On the 14th of August, taking 
advantage of the absence of Padre Parron and 
two soldiers, they broke into the mission and 
began robbing it and the beds of the sick. The 
four soldiers, a carpenter and a blacksmith ral- 
lied to the defense, and after several of their 
numbers had fallen by the guns of the soldiers, 
the Indians fled. A boy servant of the padres 
was killed and Father Viscaino wounded in the 
hand. After this the Indians were more cau- 
tious. 

We now return to the march of Portola's ex- 
pedition. As the first exploration of the main 
land of California was made by it, I give con- 
siderable space to the incidents of the journey. 
Crespi, Constanso and Fages kept journals of 
the march. I quote from those of Constanso 
and Crespi. Lieutenant Constanso thus de- 
scribes the order of the march. "The setting- 
forth was on the 14th day of June* of the cited 
year of '69. The two divisions of the expedition 
by land marched in one, the commander so ar- 
ranging because the number of horse-herd and 
packs was much, since of provisions and victuals 
alone they carried one hundred packs, which he 
estimated to be necessary to ration all the folk 
during six months; thus providing against a 
delay of the packets, altho' it was held to be 
impossible that in this interval some one of 
them should fail to arrive at Monterey. On 
the marches the following order was observed: 
At the head went the commandant with the offi- 
cers, the six men of the Catalonia volunteers, 
who added themselves at San Diego, and some 
friendly Indians, with spades, mattocks, crow- 
bars, axes and other implements of pioneers, to 
chop and open a passage whenever necessary. 
After them followed the pack-train, divided into 
four bands with the muleteers and a competent 
number of garrison soldiers for their escort with 
each band. In the rear guard with the rest of 

♦Evidently an error; it should be July 14th. 



the troops and friendly Indians came the cap- 
tain, Don Fernando Rivera, convoying the 
horse-herd and the mule herd for relays." 

"It must be well considered that the marches 
of these troops with such a train and with such 
embarrassments thro' unknown lands and un- 
used paths could not be long ones ; leaving aside 
the other causes which obliged them to halt 
and camp early in the afternoon, that is to say, 
the necessity of exploring the land one day for 
the next, so as to regulate them (the marches) 
according to the distance of the watering-places 
and to take in consequence the proper precau- 
tions; setting forth again on special occasions 
in the evening, after having given water to the 
beasts in that same hour upon the sure informa- 
tion that in the following stretch there was no 
water or that the watering place was low, or the 
pasture scarce. The restings were measured by 
the necessity, every four days, more or less, 
according to the extraordinary fatigue occa- 
sioned by the greater roughness of the road, 
the toil of the pioneers, or the wandering off of 
the beasts which were missing from the horse 
herd and which it was necessary to seek by their 
tracks. At other times, by the necessity of 
humoring the sick, when there were any, and 
with time there were many who yielded up their 
strength to the continued fatigue, the excessive 
heat and cruel cold. In the form and according 
to the method related the Spaniards executed 
their marches; traversing immense lands more 
fertile and more pleasing in proportion as they 
penetrated more to the north. Al! in general are 
peopled with a multitude of Indians, who came 
out to meet them and in some parts accompa- 
nied them from one stage of the journey to the 
next; a folk very docile and tractable chiefly 
from San Diego onward." 

Constanso's description of the Indians of 
Santa Barbara will be found in the chapter on the 
"Aborigines of California." "From the chan- 
nel of Santa Barbara onward the lands are not 
so populous nor the Indians so industrious, but 
they are equally affable and tractable. The 
Spaniards pursued their voyage without opposi- 
tion up to the Sierra of Santa Lucia, which they 
contrived to cross with much hardship. At the 



4S 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



foot of said Sierra on the north side is to be 
found the port of Monterey, according to an- 
cient reports, between the Point of Pines and 
that of Alio Nuevo (New Year). The Spaniards 
caught sight of said points on the 1st of October 
of the year '69, and, believing they had arrived 
at the end of their voyage, the commandant sent 
the scouts forward to reconnoitre the Point of 
Pines; in whose near vicinity lies said Port in 
36 degrees and 40 minutes North Latitude. But 
the scant tokens and equivocal ones which are 
given of it by the Pilot Cabrera Bueno, the only 
clue of this voyage, and the character of this 
Port, which rather merits the name of Bay, 
being spacious (in likeness to that of Cadiz), 
not corresponding with ideas which it is natural 
to form in reading the log of the aforemen- 
tioned Cabrera Bueno, nor with the latitude of 
27 degrees in which he located it, the scouts were 
persuaded that the Port must be farther to the 
north and they returned to the camp which our 
people occupied with the report that what they 
sought was not to be seen in those parts." 

They decided that the Port was still further 
north and resumed their march. Seventeen of 
their number were sick with the scurvy, some of 
whom, Constanso says, seemed to be in their 
last extremity; these had to be carried in lit- 
ters. To add to their miseries, the rains began 
in the latter part of October, and with them 
came an epidemic of diarrhea, "which spread to 
all without exception; and it came to be feared 
that this sickness which prostrated their powers 
and left the persons spiritless, would finish with 
the expedition altogether. But it turned out 
quite to the contrary.'' Those afflicted with the 
scurvy began to mend and in a short time they 
wererestoredto health. Constanso thus describes 
the discovery of the Bay of San Francisco: 
"The last day of October the Expedition by land 
came in sight of Punta de Los Reyes and the 
Farallones of the Port of San Francisco, whose 
landmarks, compared with those related by 
the log of the Pilot Cabrera Bueno, were found 
exact. Thereupon it became of evident knowl- 
edge that the Port of Monterey had been left 
behind; there being few who stuck to the 
contrary opinion. Nevertheless the comman- 
dant resolved to send to reconnoitre the 



land as far as Point de los Reyes. The scouts 
who were commissioned for this purpose found 
themselves obstructed by immense estuaries, 
which run extraordinarily far back into the land 
and were obliged to make great detours to get 
around the heads of these. * * * Having 
arrived at the end of the first estuary and recon- 
noitered the land that would have to be followed 
to arrive at the Point de Los Reyes, interrupted 
with new estuaries, scant pasturage and fire- 
wood and ha zing recognized, besides this, the 
uncertainty of the news and the misapprehen- 
sion the scouts had labored under, the com- 
mandant, with the advice of his officers, resolved 
upon a retreat to the Point of Pines in hopes of 
finding the Port of Monterey and encountering 
in it the Packet San Jose or the San Antonia, 
whose succor already was necessary; since of 
the provisions which had been taken in San 
Diego no more remained than some few sacks of 
flour of which a short ration was issued to each 
individual daily." 

"On the eleventh day of November was put 
into execution the retreat in search of Mon- 
terey. The Spaniards reached said port and 
the Point of Pines on the 28th of Novem- 
ber. They maintained themselves in this place 
•until the 10th of December without any ves- 
sel having appeared in this time. For which 
reason and noting also a lack of victuals, and 
that the sierra of Santa Lucia was covering 
itself with snow, the commandant, Don Gaspar 
de Portola, saw himself obliged to decide to 
continue the retreat unto San Diego, leaving 
it until a better occasion to return to the enter- 
prise. On this retreat the Spaniards experi- 
enced some hardships and necessities, because 
they entirely lacked provisions, and because the 
long marches, which necessity obliged to make 
to reach San Diego, gave no time for seeking 
sustenance by the chase, nor did game abound 
equally everywhere. At this juncture they killed 
twelve mules of the pack-train on whose meat 
the folk nourished themselves unto San Diego, 
at which new establishment they arrived, all in 
health, on the 24th of January, 1770." 

The San Jose, the third ship fitted out by 
Visitador-General Galvez, and which Governor 
Portola expected to find in the Bay of Monte- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



re}-, sailed from San Jose del Cabo in May, 
1770, with supplies and a double crew to sup- 
ply the loss of sailors on the other vessels, but 
nothing was ever heard of her afterwards. Pro- 
visions were running low at San Diego, no ship 
had arrived, and Governor Portola had decided 
to abandon the place and return to Loreto. 
Father Junipero was averse to this and prayed 
unceasingly for the intercession of Saint Joseph, 
the patron of the expedition. A novena or nine 
days' public prayer was instituted to terminate 
with a grand ceremonial on March 19th, which 
was the saint's own day. But on the 23rd of 
March, when all were ready to depart, the 
packet San Antonia arrived. She had sailed 
from San Bias the 20th of December. She en- 
countered a storm which drove her four hun- 
dred leagues from the coast; then she made 
iand in 35 degrees north latitude. Turning her 
prow southward, she ran down to Point Concep- 
cion, where at an anchorage in the Santa Bar- 
bara channel the captain, Perez, took on water 
and learned from the Indians of the return of 
Portola's expedition. The vessel then ran down 
to San Diego, where its opportune arrival 
prevented the abandonment of that settle- 
ment. 



With an abundant supply of provisions and a 
vessel to carry the heavier articles needed in 
forming a settlement at Monterey, Portola or- 
ganized a second expedition. This time he took 
with him only twenty soldiers and one officer, 
Lieutenant Pedro Fages. He set out from San 
Diego on the 17th of April and followed his trail 
made the previous year. Father Serra and the 
engineer, Constanso, sailed on the San Antonia, 
which left the port of San Diego on the 16th of 
April. The land expedition reached Monterey 
on the 23d of May and the San Antonia on the 
31st of the same month. On the 3d of June, 
1770, the mission of San Carlos Borromeo de 
Monterey was formally founded with solemn 
church ceremonies, accompanied by the ringing 
of bells, the crack of musketry and the roar of 
cannon. Father Serra conducted the church 
services. Governor Portola took possession of 
the land in the name of King Carlos III. A 
presidio or fort of palisades was built and a few 
huts erected. Portola, having formed the nu- 
cleus of a settlement, turned over the command 
of the territory to Lieutenant Fages. On the 
9th of July, 1770, he sailed on the San Antonia 
for San Bias. He never returned to Alta Cali- 
fornia. 



CHAPTER IV. 



ABORIGINES OF CALIFORNIA. 



WHETHER the primitive California In- 
dian was the low and degraded being 
that some modern writers represent 
him to have been, admits of doubt. A mis- 
sion training continued through three gen- 
erations did not elevate him in morals at least. 
When freed from mission restraint and brought 
in contact with the white race he lapsed into a 
condition more degraded and more debased than 
that in which the missionaries found him. 
Whether it was the inherent fault of the Indian 
or the fault of his training is a question that is 
useless to discuss now. If we are to believe the 
accounts of the California Indian given by Vis- 
caino and Constanso, who saw him before he 



had come in contact with civilization he was not 
inferior in intelligence to the nomad aborigines 
of the country east of the Rocky mountains. 

Sebastian Viscaino thus describes the In- 
dians he found on the shores of Monterey Bay 
three hundred years ago: 

"The Indians are of good stature and fair 
complexion, the women being somewhat less in 
size than the men and of pleasing countenance. 
The clothing of the people of the coast lands 
consists of the skins of the sea-wolves (otter) 
abounding there, which they tan and dress bet- 
ter than is done in Castile; they possess also, 
in great quafitity, flax like that of Castile, hemp 
and cotton, from which they make fishing-lines 



50 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and nets for rabbits and hares. They have ves- 
sels of pine wood very well made, in which they 
go to sea with fourteen paddle men on a side 
with great dexterity, even in stormy weather." 

Indians who could construct boats of pine 
boards that took twenty-eight paddle men to 
row were certainly superior in maritime craft 
to the birch bark canoe savages of the east. 
We might accuse Viscaino, who was trying to 
induce King Philip III. to found a colony on' 
Monterey Bay, of exaggeration in regard to 
the Indian boats were not his statements con- 
firmed by the engineer, Miguel Constanso, who 
accompanied Portola's expedition one hundred 
and sixty-seven years after Viscaino visited the 
coast. Constanso, writing of the Indians of the 
Santa Barbara Channel, says, "The dexterity 
and skill of these Indians is surpassing in the 
construction of their launches made of pine 
planking. They are from eight to ten varas 
(twenty-three to twenty-eight feet) in length, 
including their rake and a vara and a half (four 
feet three inches) beam. Into their fabric enters 
no iron whatever, of the use of which they know 
little. But they fasten the boards with firmness, 
one to another, working their drills just so far 
apart and at a distance of an inch from the edge, 
the holes in the upper boards corresponding 
with those in the lower, and through these holes 
they pass strong lashings of deer sinews. They 
pitch and calk the seams, and paint the whole 
in sightly colors. They handle the boats with 
equal cleverness, and three or four men go out 
to sea to fish in them, though they have capacity 
to carry eight or ten. They use long oars with 
two blades and row with unspeakable lightness 
and velocity. They know all the arts of fishing, 
and fish abound along their coasts as has been 
said of San Diego. They have communication 
and commerce with the natives of the islands, 
whence they get the beads of coral which are 
current in place of money through these lands, 
although they hold in more esteem the glass 
beads which the Spaniards gave them, and of- 
fered in exchange for these whatever they had 
like trays, otter skins, baskets and wooden 
plates. * * * 

"They are likewise great hunters. To kill 
deer and antelope they avail themselves of an 



admirable ingenuity. They preserve the hide 
of the head and part of the neck of some one 
of these animals, skinned with care and leaving 
the horns attached to the same hide, which they 
stuff with grass or straw to keep its shape. 
They put this said shell like a cap upon the head 
and go forth to the woods with this rare equip- 
age. On sighting the deer or antelope they go 
dragging themselves along the ground little by 
little with the left hand. In the right they carry 
the bow and four arrows. They lower and raise 
the head, moving it to one side and the other, 
and making other demonstrations so like these 
animals that they attract them without difficulty 
to the snare; and having them within a short 
distance, they discharge their arrows at them 
with certainty of hitting." 

In the two chief occupations of the savage, 
hunting and fishing, the Indians of the Santa 
Barbara Channel seem to have been the equals 
if not the superiors of their eastern brethren. 
In the art of war they were inferior. Their 
easy conquest by the Spaniards and their tame 
subjection to mission rule no doubt had much 
to do with giving them a reputation for infe- 
riority. 

The Indians of the interior valleys and those 
of the coast belonged to the same general fam- 
ily. There were no great tribal divisions like 
those that existed among the Indians east of the 
Rocky mountains. Each rancheria was to a 
certain extent independent of all others, al- 
though at times they were known to combine 
for war or plunder. Although not warlike, they 
sometimes resisted the whites in battle with 
great bravery. Each village had its own terri- 
tory in which to hunt and fish and its own sec- 
tion in which to gather nuts, seeds and herbs. 
While their mode of living was somewhat no- 
madic they seem to have had a fixed location for 
their rancherias. 

The early Spanish settlers of California and 
the mission padres have left but very meager 
accounts of the manners, customs, traditions, 
government and religion of the aborigines. The 
padres were too intent upon driving out the old 
religious beliefs of the Indian and instilling new 
ones to care much what the aborigine had for- 
merly believed or what traditions or myths he 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



r,l 



had inherited from his ancestors. They ruth- 
lessly destroyed his fetiches and his altars 
wherever they found them, regarding them as 
inventions of the devil. 

The best account that has come down to us 
of the primitive life of the Southern California 
aborigines is found in a series of letters written 
by Hugo Reid and published in the Los An- 
geles Star in 1851-52. Reid was an educated 
Scotchman, who came to Los Angeles in 1834. 
He married an Indian woman, Dona Victoria, a 
neophyte of the San Gabriel mission. She was 
the daughter of an Indian chief. It is said that 
Reid had been crossed in love by some high 
toned Spanish sehorita and married the Indian 
woman because she had the same name as his 
lost love. It is generally believed that Reid was 
the putative father of Helen Hunt Jackson's 
heroine, Ramona. 

From these letters, now in the possession of 
the Historical Society of Southern California, 
I briefly collate some of the leading character- 
istics of the Southern Indians: 

GOVERNMENT. 

"Before the Indians belonging to the greater 
part of this country were known to the whites 
they comprised, as it were, one great family 
under distinct chiefs; they spoke nearly the same 
language, with the exception of a few words, 
and were more to be distinguished by a local 
intonation of the voice than anything else. Be- 
ing related by blood and marriage war was 
never carried on between them. When war was 
consequently waged against neighboring tribes 
of no affinity it was a common cause." 

"The government of the people was invested 
in the hands of their chiefs, each captain com- 
manding his own lodge. The command was 
hereditary in a family. If the right line of de- 
scent ran out they elected one of the same kin 
nearest in blood. Laws in general were made 
as required, with some few standing ones. Rob- 
bery was never known among them. Murder 
was of rare occurrence and punished with death. 
Incest was likewise punished with death, being 
held in such abhorrence that marriages between 
kinsfolk were not allowed. The manner of put- 
ting to death was by shooting the delinquent 



with arrows. If a quarrel ensued between two 
parties the chief of the lodge took cognizance 
in the case and decided according to the testi- 
mony produced. But if a quarrel occurred 
between parties of distinct lodges, each chief 
heard the witnesses produced by his own people, 
and then, associated with the chief of the oppo- 
site side, they passed sentence. In case they 
could not agree an impartial chief was called in, 
who heard the statements made by both and he 
alone decided. There was no appeal from his de- 
cision. Whipping was never resorted to as a 
punishment. All fines and sentences consisted in 
delivering shells, money, food and skins." 

RELIGION. 

"They believed in one God, the Maker and 
Creator of all things, whose name was and is 
held so sacred among them as hardly ever to be 
used, and when used only in a low voice. That 
name is Qua-o-ar. When they have to use the 
name of the supreme being on an ordinary oc- 
casion they substitute in its stead the word 
Y-yo-ha-rory-nain or the Giver of Life. They 
have only one word to designate life and 
soul." 

"The world was at one time in a state of chaos, 
until God gave it its present formation, fixing 
it on the shoulders of seven giants, made ex- 
pressly for this end. They have their names, 
and when they move themselves an earthquake 
is the consequence. Animals w : ere then formed, 
and lastly man and woman were formed, separ- 
ately from earth and ordered to live together. 
The man's name was Tobahar and the woman's 
Probavit. God ascended to Heaven immediately 
afterward, where he receives the souls of all who 
die. They had no bad spirits connected with 
their creed, and never heard of a 'devil' or a 
'hell' until the coming of the Spaniards. They 
believed in no resurrection whatever " 



"Chiefs had one, two or three wives, as their 
inclination dictated, the subjects only one. When 
a person wished to marry and had selected a 
suitable partner, he advertised the same to all 
his relatives, even to the nineteenth cousin. On 
a day appointed the male portion of the lodge 



52 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



brought in a collection of money beads. All the 
relations having come in with their share, 
they (the males) proceeded in a body to the resi- 
dence of the bride, to whom timely notice had 
been given. All of the bride's female relations 
had been assembled and the money was equally 
divided among them, the bride receiving noth- 
ing, as it was a sort of purchase. After a few 
days the bride's female relations returned the 
compliment by taking to the bridegroom's 
dwelling baskets of meal made of chia, which 
was distributed among the male relatives. These 
preliminaries over, a day was fixed for the cere- 
mony, which consisted in decking out the bride 
in innumerable strings of beads, paint, feathers 
and skins. On being ready she was taken up 
in the arms of one of her strongest male rela- 
tives, who carried her, dancing, towards her 
lover's habitation. All of her family, friends and 
neighbors accompanied, dancing around, throw- 
ing food and edible seeds at her feet at even- 
step. These were collected in a scramble by the 
spectators as best they could. The relations 
of the bridegroom met them half way, and, tak- 
ing the bride, carried her themselves, joining in 
the ceremonious walking dance. On arriving at 
the bridegroom's (who was sitting within his 
hut) she was inducted into her new residence by 
being placed alongside of her husband, while 
baskets of seeds were liberally emptied on their 
heads to denote blessings and plenty. This was 
likewise scrambled for by the spectators, who, 
on gathering up all the bride's seed cake, de- 
parted, leaving them to enjoy their honeymoon 
according to usage. A grand dance was given 
on the occasion, the warriors doing the danc- 
ing, the young women doing the singing. The 
wife never visited her relatives from that day 
forth, although they were at liberty to visit her." 



"When a person died all the kin collected to 
mourn his or her loss. Each one had his own 
peculiar mode of crying or howling, as easily dis- 
tinguished the one from the other as one song 
is from another. After lamenting awhile a 
mourning dirge was sung in a low whining tone, 
accompanied by a shrill whistle produced by 
blowing into the tube of a deer's leg bone. 



Dancing can hardly be said to have formed a 
part of the rites, as it was merely a monotonous 
action of the foot on the ground. This was con- 
tinued alternately until the body showed signs 
of decay, when it was wrapped in the covering 
used in life. The hands were crossed upon the 
breast and the body tied from head to foot. A 
grave having been dug in their burial ground, 
the body was deposited with seeds, etc., accord- 
ing to the means of the family. If the deceased 
were the head of the family or a favorite son, 
the hut in which he lived was burned up, as 
likewise were all his personal effects." 

FEUDS THE SONG FIGHTS. 

"Animosity between persons or families was 
of long duration, particularly between those of 
different tribes. These feuds descended from 
father to son until it was impossible to tell of 
how many generations. They were, however, 
harmless in themselves, being merely a war of 
songs, composed and sung against the conflict- 
ing party, and they were all of the most obscene 
and indecent language imaginable. There are 
two families at this day (1851) whose feud com- 
menced before the Spaniards were ever dreamed 
of and they still -continue singing and dancing 
against each other. The one resides at the mis- 
sion of San Gabriel and the other at San Juan 
Capistrano; they both lived at San Bernardino 
when the quarrel commenced. During the sing- 
ing they continue stamping on the ground to 
express the pleasure they would derive from 
tramping on the graves of their foes. Eight days 
was the duration of the song fight." 

UTENSILS. 

"From the bark of nettles was manufactured 
thread for nets, fishing lines, etc. Needles, fish- 
hooks, awls and many other articles were made 
of either bone or shell; for cutting up meat a 
knife of cane was invariably used. Mortars and 
pestles were made of granite. Sharp stones and 
perseverance were the only things used in their 
manufacture, and so skillfully did they combine 
the two that their work was always remarkably 
uniform. Their pots to cook in were made of 
soapstone of about an inch in thickness and 
procured from the Indians of Santa Catalina. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



.-,;>, 



Their baskets, made out of a certain species of 
rush, were used only for dry purposes, although 
they were water proof. The vessels in use for 
liquids were roughly made of rushes and plas- 
tered outside and in with bitumen or pitch." 

INDIANS OF THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL. 

Miguel Constanso, the engineer who accom- 
panied Portola s expedition in 1769, gives us the 
best description of the Santa Barbara Indians 
extant. 

"The Indians in whom was recognized more 
vivacity and industry are those that inhabit the 
islands and the coast of the Santa Barbara 
channel. They live in pueblos (villages) whose 
houses are of spherical form in the fashion of a 
half orange covered with rushes. They are up 
to twenty varas (fifty-five feet) in diameter. Each 
house contains three or four families. The 
hearth is in the middle and in the top of the 
house they leave a vent or chimney to give exit 
for the smoke. In nothing did these gentiles 
give the lie to the affability and good treatment 
which were experienced at their hands in other 
times (1602) by the Spaniards who landed upon 
those coasts with General Sebastian Vizcayno. 
They are men and women of good figure and as- 
pect, very much given to painting and staining 
their faces and bodies with red ochre. 

"They use great head dresses of feathers and 
some panderellas (small darts) which they bind 
up amid their hair with various trinkets and 
beads of coral of various colors. The men go 
entirely naked, but in time of cold they sport 
some long capes of tanned skins of nutrias (ot- 
ters) and some mantles made of the same skins 
cut in long strips, which they twist in such a 
manner that all the fur remains outside; then 
they weave these strands one with another, 
forming a weft, and give it the pattern referred 
to. 

"The women go with more decency, girt 
about the waist with tanned skins of deer which 
cover them in front and behind more than half 
down the leg, and with a mantelet of nutria over 
the body. There are some of them with good 
features. These are the Indian women who 
make the trays and vases of rushes, to which 
they give a thousand different forms and grace- 



ful patterns, according to the uses to which they 
are destined, whether it be for eating, drinking, 
guarding their seeds, or for other purposes; for 
these peoples do not know the use of earthen 
ware as those of San Diego use it. 

"The men work handsome trays of wood, with 
finer inlays of coral or of bone; and some vases 
of much capacity, closing at the mouth, which 
appear to be made with a lathe — and with this 
machine they would not come out better hol- 
lowed nor of more perfect form. They give the 
whole a luster which appears the finished handi- 
work of a skilled artisan. The large vessels 
which hold water are of a very strong weave of 
rushes pitched within; and they give them the 
same form as our water jars. 

"To eat the seeds which they use in place of 
bread they toast them first in great trays, put- 
ting among the seeds some pebbles or small 
stones heated until red; then they move and 
shake the tray so it may not burn; and getting 
the seed sufficiently toasted they grind it in mor- 
tars or almireses of stone. Some of these mor- 
tars were of extraordinary size, as well wrought 
as ii they had had for the purpose the best steel 
tools. The constancy, attention to trifles, and 
labor which they employ in finishing these pieces 
are well worthy of admiration. The mortars are 
so appreciated among themselves that for those 
who, dying, leave behind such handiworks, they 
are wont to place them over the spot where they 
are buried, that the memory of their skill and 
application may not be lost. 

"They inter their dead. They have their cem- 
eteries within the very pueblo. The funerals of 
their captains they make with great pomp, and 
set up over their bodies some rods or poles, ex- 
tremely tall, from which they hang a variety of 
utensils and chattels which were used by them. 
They likewise put in the same place some great 
planks of pine, with various paintings and fig- 
ures in which without doubt they explain the 
exploits and prowesses of the personage. 

"Plurality of wives is not lawful among these 
peoples. Only the captains have a right to 
marry two. In all their pueblos the attention 
was taken by a species of men who lived like the 
women, kept company with them, dressed in the 
same garb, adorned themselves with beads, pen- 



54 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



dants, necklaces and other womanish adorn- 
ments, and enjoyed great consideration among 
the people. The lack of an interpreter did not 
permit us to find out what class of men they 
were, or to what ministry they were destined, 
though all suspect a defect in sex, or some 
abuse among those gentiles. 

"In their houses the married couples have 
their separate beds on platforms elevated from 
the ground. Their mattresses are some simple 
petates (mats) of rushes and their pillows are 
of the same petates rolled up at the head of the 
bed. All these beds are hung about with like 
mats, which serve for decency and protect from 
the cold." 

From the descriptions given by Viscaino and 
Constanso of the coast Indians they do not ap- 
pear to have been the degraded creatures that 
some modern writers have pictured them. In 
mechanical ingenuity they were superior to the 
Indians of the Atlantic seaboard or those of the 
Mississippi valley. Much of the credit that has 
been given to the mission padres for the patient 
training they gave the Indians in mechanical 
arts should be given to the Indian himself. He 
was no mean mechanic when the padres took 
him in hand. 

Bancroft says "the Northern California In- 
dians were in every way superior to the central 
and southern tribes." The difference was more 
in climate than in race. Those of Northern Cal- 
ifornia living in an invigorating climate were 
more active and more warlike than their 
sluggish brethren of the south. They gained 
their living by hunting larger game than 
those of the south whose subsistence was derived 
mostly from acorns, seeds, small game and fish. 
Those of the interior valleys of the north were 
of lighter complexion and had better forms and 
features than their southern kinsmen. They 
were divided into numerous small tribes or 
clans, like those of central and Southern Cali- 
fornia. The Spaniards never penetrated very 
far into the Indian country of the north and 
consequently knew little or nothing about the 
habits and customs of the aborigines there. 
After the discovery of gold the miners invaded 
their country in search of the precious metal. 
The Indians at first were not hostile, but ill 



treatment soon made them so. When they re- 
taliated on the whites a war of extermination 
was waged against them. Like the mission In- 
dians of the south they are almost extinct. 

All of the coast Indians seem to have had 
some idea of a supreme being. The name dif- 
fered with the different tribes. According to 
Hugo Reid the god of the San Gabriel Indian 
was named Quaoar. Father Boscana, who 
wrote "A Historical Account of the Origin, 
Customs and Traditions of the Indians" at the 
missionary establishment of San Juan Capis- 
trano, published in Alfred Robinson's "Life in 
California," gives a lengthy account of the relig- 
ion of those Indians before their conversion to 
Christianity. Their god was Chinigchinich. Evi- 
dently the three old men from whom Boscana 
derived his information mixed some of the 
religious teachings of the padres with their 
own primitive beliefs, and made up for the father 
a nondescript religion half heathen and half 
Christian. Boscana was greatly pleased to find 
so many allusions to Scriptural truths, evidently 
never suspecting that the Indians were imposing 
upon him. 

The religious belief of the Santa Barbara 
Channel Indians appears to have been the most 
rational of any of the beliefs held by the Cali- 
fornia aborigines. Their god, Chupu, was the 
deification of good; and Nunaxus, their Satan, 
the personification of evil. Chupu the all-powerful 
created Nunaxus, who rebelled against his cre- 
ator and tried to overthrow him ; but Chupu, the 
almighty, punished him by creating man who, by 
devouring the animal and vegetable products of 
the earth, checked the physical growth of 
Nunaxus, who had hoped by liberal feeding to 
become like unto a mountain. Foiled in his am- 
bition, Nunaxus ever afterwards sought to in- 
jure mankind. To secure Chupu's protection, 
offerings were made to him and dances were 
instituted in his honor. Flutes and other in- 
struments were played to attract his attention. 
When Nunaxus brought calamity upon the In- 
dians in the shape of dry years, which caused a 
dearth of animal and vegetable products, or sent 
sickness to afflict them, their old men interceded 
with Chupu to protect them; and to exorcise 
their Satan they shot arrows and threw 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



r,-> 



stones in the direction in which he was sup- 
posed to be. 

Of the Indian myths and traditions Hugo 
Reid says: "They were of incredible length 
and contained more metamorphoses than Ovid 
could have engendered in his brain had he lived 
a thousand years." 

The Cahuilla tribes who formerly inhabited 
the mountain districts of the southeastern part 
of the state had a tradition of their creation. Ac- 
cording to this tradition the primeval Adam and 
Eve were created by the Supreme Being in the 
waters of a northern sea. They came up out 
of the water upon the land, which they found to 
be soft and miry. They traveled southward for 
many moons in search of land suitable for their 
residence and where they could obtain susten- 
ance from the earth. This they found at last on 
the mountain sides in Southern California. 

Some of the Indian myths when divested of 
their crudities and ideas clothed in fitting 
language are as poetical as those of Greece or 
Scandinavia. The following one which Hugo 
Reid found among the San Gabriel Indians 
bears a striking resemblance to the Grecian 
myths of Orpheus and Eurydice but it is not at 
all probable that the Indians ever heard the 
Grecian fable. Ages ago, so runs this Indian 
myth, a powerful people dwelt on the banks of 
the Arroyo Seco and hunted over the hills and 
plains of what are now our modern Pasadena 
and the valley of San Fernando. They com- 
mitted a grievous crime against the Great Spirit. 
A pestilence destroyed them all save a boy and 
girl who were saved by a foster mother pos- 
sessed of supernatural powers. They grew to 
manhood and womanhood and became husband 
and wife. Their devotion to each other angered 
the foster mother, who fancied herself neglected. 
She plotted to destroy the wife. The young 
woman, divining her fate, told her husband that 
should he at any time feel a tear drop on his 
shoulder, he might know that she was dead. 
While he was away hunting the dread signal 
came. He hastened back to destroy the hag who 
had brought death to his wife, but the sorceress 
had escaped. Disconsolate he threw himself on 
the grave of his wife. For three days he neither 
ate nor drank. On the third dav a whirlwind 



arose from the grave and moved toward the 
south. Perceiving in it the form of his wife, he 
hastened on until he overtook it. Then a voice 
came out of the cloud saying: "Whither I go, 
thou canst not come. Thou art of earth but I 
am dead to the world. Return, my husband, 
return!" He plead piteously to be taken with 
her. She consenting, he was wrapt in the cloud 
with her and borne across the illimitable sea that 
separates the abode of the living from that of 
the dead. When they reached the realms of 
ghosts a spirit voice said: "Sister, thou comest 
to us with an odor of earth; what dost thou 
bring?" Then she confessed that she had 
brought her living husband. "Take him away!" 
said a voice stern and commanding. She plead 
that he might remain and recounted his many 
virtues. To test his virtues, the spirits gave him 
four labors. First to bring a feather from the 
top of a pole so high that its summit was in- 
visible. Next to split a hair of great length and 
exceeding fineness; third to make on the ground 
a map of the constellation of the lesser bear and 
locate the north star and last to slay the celestial 
deer that had the form of black beetles and were 
exceedingly swift. With the aid of his wife he 
accomplished all the tasks. 

But no mortal was allowed to dwell in the 
abodes of death. "Take thou thy wife and re- 
turn with her to the earth," said the spirit. "Yet 
remember, thou shalt not speak to her; thou 
shalt not touch her until three suns have passed. 
A penalty awaits thy disobedience." He prom- 
ised. They pass from the spirit land and travel 
to the confines of matter. By day she is invis- 
ible but by the flickering light of his camp-fire 
he sees the dim outline of her form. Three days 
pass. As the sun sinks behind the western hills 
he builds his camp-fire. She appears before 
him in all the beauty of life. He stretches forth 
his arms to embrace her. She is snatched from 
his grasp. Although invisible to him yet the 
upper rim of the great orb of day hung above 
the western verge. He had broken his prom- 
ise. Like Orpheus, disconsolate, he wandered 
over the' earth until, relenting, the spirits sent 
their servant Death to bring him to Tecupar 
(Heaven). 

The following myth of the mountain Indians 



r,<; 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



of the north bears a strong resemblance to the 
Norse fable of Gyoll the River of Death and its 
glittering bridge, over which the spirits of the 
dead pass to Hel, the land of spirits. The In- 
dian, however, had no idea of any kind of a 
bridge except a foot log across a stream. The 
myth in a crude form was narrated to me many 
years ago by an old pioneer. 

According to this myth when an Indian died 
his spirit form was conducted by an unseen 
guide over a mountain trail unknown and inac- 
cessible to mortals, to the rapidly flowing river 
which separated the abode of the living from 
that of the dead. As the trail descended to the 
river it branched to the right and left. The right 
hand path led to a foot bridge made of the mas- 



sive trunk of a rough barked pine which spanned 
the Indian styx; the left led to a slender, iresh 
peeled birch pole that hung high above the roar- 
ing torrent. At the parting of the trail an in- 
exorable fate forced the bad to the left, while 
the spirit form of the good passed on to the 
right and over the rough barked pine to the 
happy hunting grounds, the Indian heaven. The 
bad reaching the river's brink and gazing long- 
ingly upon the delights beyond, essayed to cross 
the slippery pole — a slip, a slide, a clutch at 
empty space, and the ghostly spirit form was 
hurled into the mad torrent below, and was 
borne by the rushing waters into a vast lethean 
lake where it sunk beneath the waves and was 
blotted from existence forever. 



CHAPTER V. 

FRANCISCAN MISSIONS OF ALTA CALIFORNIA. 

San Diego de Alcala'. 



THE two objective points chosen by Vis- 
itador General Galvez and President 
Junipero Serra to begin the spiritual 
conquest and civilization of the savages of Alta 
California, were San Diego and Monterey. The 
expeditions sent by land and sea were all united 
at San Diego July i, 1769. Father Serra lost no 
time in beginning the founding of missions. 
On the 16th of July, 1769, he founded the mis- 
sion of San Diego de Alcala. It was the first 
link in the chain of missionary establishments 
that eventually stretched northward from San 
Diego to Solano, a distance of seven hundred 
miles, a chain that was fifty-five years in forging. 
The first site of the San Diego mission was at 
a place called by the Indians "Cosoy." It was 
located near the- presidio established by Gov- 
ernor Portola before he set out in search of 
Monterey. The locality is now known as Old 
Town. 

Temporary buildings were erected here, but 
the location proving unsuitable, in August, 
1774, the mission was removed about two 
leagues up the San Diego river to a place called 
by the natives "Nipaguay." Here a dwelling for 



the padres, a store house, a smithy and a 
wooden church 18x57 feet were erected. 

The mission buildings at Cosoy were given 
up to the presidio except two rooms, one for 
the visiting priests and the other for a temporary 
store room for mission supplies coming by sea. 
The missionaries had been fairly successful in 
the conversions of the natives and some prog- 
ress had been made in teaching them to labor. 
On the night of November 4, 1775, without any 
previous warning, the gentiles or unconverted 
Indians in great numbers attacked the mission. 
One of the friars, Fray Funster, escaped to the 
soldiers' quarters ; the other, Father Jaume, was 
killed by the savages. The blacksmith also was 
killed; the carpenter succeeded in reaching the 
soldiers. The Indians set fire to the buildings 
which were nearly all of wood. The soldiers, the 
priest and carpenter were driven into a small 
adobe building that had been used as a kitchen. 
Two of the soldiers were wounded. The cor- 
poral, one soldier and the carpenter were all 
that were left to hold at bay a thousand howl- 
ing fiends. The corporal, who was a sharp 
shooter, did deadly execution on the savages. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



57 



Father Funster saved the defenders from being 
blown to pieces by the explosion of a fifty pound 
sack of gunpowder. He spread his cloak over 
the sack and sat on it, thus preventing the pow- 
der from being ignited by the sparks of the 
burning building. The fight lasted till daylight, 
when the hostiles fled. The Christian Indians 
who professed to have been coerced by the sav- 
ages then appeared and made many protesta- 
tions of sorrow at what had happened. The mili- 
tary commander was not satisfied that they were 
innocent but the padres believed them. New 
buildings were erected at the same place, the 
soldiers of the presidio for a time assisting the 
Indians in their erection. 

The mission was fairly prosperous. In 1800 
the cattle numbered 6,960 and the agricultural 
products amounted to 2,600 bushels. From 
1769 to 1834 there were 6,638 persons baptized 
and 4,428 buried. The largest number of cat- 
tle possessed by the mission at one time was 
9,245 head in 1822. The old building now stand- 
ing on the mission site at the head of the valley 
is the third church erected there. The first, 
built of wood and roofed with tiles, was erected 
in 1774; the second, built of adobe, was com- 
pleted in 1780 (the walls of this were badly 
cracked by an earthquake in 1803); the third was 
begun in 1808 and dedicated November 12, 
1813. The mission was secularized in 1834. 

SAN CARLOS DE BORROMEO. 

As narrated in a former chapter, Governor 
Portola, who with a small force had set out from 
San Diego to find Monterey Bay, reached that 
port May 24, 1770. Father Serra, who came 
up by sea on the San Antonia, arrived at the 
same place May 31. All things being in readi- 
ness the Presidio of Monterey and the mission 
of San Carlos de Borromeo were founded on 
the same day — June 3, 1770. The boom of ar- 
tillery and the roar of musketry accompani- 
ments to the service of the double founding 
frightened the Indians away from the mission 
and it was some time before the savages could 
muster courage to return. In June, 1771, the 
site of the mission was moved to the Carmelo 
river. This was done by Father Serra to re- 
move the neophytes from the contaminating in- 



fluence of the soldiers at the presidio. The erec- 
tion of the stone church still standing was be- 
gun in 1793. It was completed and dedicated 
in 1797. The largest neophyte population at 
San Carlos was reached in 1794, when it num- 
bered nine hundred and seventy-one. Between 
1800 and 1810 it declined to seven hundred and 
forty-seven. In 1820 the population had de- 
creased to three hundred and eighty-one and 
at the end of the next decade it had fallen to 
two hundred and nine. In 1834, when the de- 
cree of secularization was put in force, there were 
about one hundred and fifty neophytes at the 
mission. At the rate of decrease under mission 
rule, a few more years would have pro- 
duced the same result that secularization did, 
namely, the extinction of the mission Indian. 

SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA. 

The third mission founded in California was 
San Antonio de Padua. It was located about 
twenty-five leagues from Monterey. Here, on 
the 14th of June, 1771, in La Canada de los 
Robles, the canon of oaks beneath a shelter of 
branches, Father Serra performed the services 
of founding. The Indians seem to have been 
more tractable than those of San Diego or Mon- 
terey. The first convert was baptized one 
month after the establishment of the mission. 
San Antonio attained the highest limit of its 
neophyte population in 1805, when it had 
twelve hundred and ninety-six souls within its 
fold. In 1831 there were six hundred and sixty- 
one Indians at or near the mission. In 1834, the 
date of secularization, there were five hundred 
and sixty-seven. After its disestablishment the 
property of the mission was quickly squandered 
through inefficient administrators. The build- 
ings are in ruins. 

SAN GABRIEL ARCAXGEL. 

San Gabriel Arcangel was the fourth mission 
founded in California. Father Junipero Serra, 
as previously narrated, had gone north in 1770 
and founded the mission of San Carlos Bor- 
romeo on Monterey Bay and the following year 
he established the mission of San Antonio de 
Padua on the Salinas river about twenty-five 
leagues south of Monterey. 



r,s 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Or. the 6th of August, 1771, a cavalcade of 
soldiers and musketeers escorting Padres 
Somero and Cambon set out from San Diego 
over the trail made by Portola's expedition in 
1769 (when it went north in search of Monterey 
Bay) to found a new mission on the River Jesus 
de los Temblores or to give it its full name, El 
Rio del Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus de los 
Temblores, the river of the sweetest name of 
Jesus of the Earthquakes. Not finding a suit- 
able location on that river (now the Santa Ana) 
they pushed on to the Rio San Miguel, also 
known as the Rio de los Temblores. Here 
they selected a site where wood and water were 
abundant. A stockade of poles was built inclos- 
ing a square within which a church was erected, 
covered with boughs. 

September 8, 1771, the mission was formally 
founded and dedicated to the archangel Gabriel. 
The Indians who at the coming of the Spaniards 
were docile and friendly, a few days after the 
founding of the mission suddenly attacked two 
soldiers who were guarding the horses. One of 
these soldiers had outraged the wife of the chief 
who led the attack. The soldier who committed 
the crime killed the chieftain with a musket ball 
and the other Indians fled. The soldiers then 
cut off the chief's head and fastened it to a pole 
at the presidio gate. From all accounts the sol- 
diers at this mission were more brutal and bar- 
barous than the Indians and more in need of 
missionaries to convert them than the Indians. 
The progress of the mission was slow. At the 
end of the second year only seventy-three chil- 
dren and adults had been baptized. Father Serra 
attributed the lack of conversions to the bad 
conduct of the soldiers. 

The first buildings at the mission Vieja were 
all of wood. The church was 45x18 feet, built of 
logs and covered with tule thatch. The church 
and other wooden buildings used by the padres 
stood within a square inclosed by pointed stakes. 
In 1776, five years after its founding, the mis- 
sion was moved from its first location to a new 
site about a league distant from the old one. 
The old site was subject to overflow by the 
river. The adobe ruins pointed out to tourists 
as the foundations of the old mission are the 
debris of a building erected for a ranch house 



about sixty years ago. The buildings at the 
mission Vieja were all of wood and no trace of 
them remains. A chapel was first built at the 
new site. It was replaced by a church built of 
adobes one hundred and eight feet long by 
twenty-one feet wide. The present stone church, 
begun about 1794, and completed about 1806, 
is the fourth church erected. 

The mission attained the acme of its impor- 
tance in 1817, when there were seventeen hun- 
dred and one neophytes in the mission fold. 

The largest grain crop raised at any mission 
was that harvested at San Gabriel in 1821, which 
amounted to 29,400 bushels. The number of cat- 
tle belonging to the mission in 1830 was 25,725. 
During the whole period of the mission's exist- 
ence, i. e., from 1771 to 1834, according to sta- 
tistics compiled by Bancroft from mission rec- 
ords, the total number of baptisms was 7,854, 
of which 4,355 were Indian adults and 2,459 
were Indian children and the remainder gente de 
razon or people of reason. The deaths were 
5,656, of which 2,916 were Indian adults and 
2,363 Indian children. If all the Indian children 
born were baptized it would seem (if the sta- 
tistics are correct) that but very few ever grew 
up to manhood and womanhood. In 1834, the 
year of its secularization, its neophyte popula- 
tion was 1,320. 

The missionaries of San Gabriel established 
a station at old San Bernardino about 1820. It 
was not an asistencia like pala, but merely an 
agricultural station or ranch headquarters. The 
buildings were f destroyed by the Indians in 1834. 

SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA. 

On his journey southward in 1782, President 
Serra and Padre Cavalier, with a small escort of 
soldiers and a few Lower California Indians, on 
September 1, 1772, founded the mission of San 
Luis Obispo de Tolosa (St. Louis, Bishop of 
Tolouse). The site selected was on a creek 
twenty-five leagues southerly from San An- 
tonio. The soldiers and Indians were set at 
work to erect buildings. Padre Cavalier was left 
in charge of the mission, Father Serra continu- 
ing his journey southward. This mission was 
never a very important one. Its greatest popu- 
lation was in 1803, when there were eight 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



59 



hundred and fifty-two neophytes within its juris- 
diction. From that time to 1834 their number 
declined to two hundred and sixty-four. The 
average death rate was 7.30 per cent of the pop- 
ulation—a lower rate than at some of the more 
populous missions. The adobe church built in 
1793 is still in use, but has been so remodeled 
that it bears but little resemblance to the church 
of mission days. 

SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS. 

The expedition under command of Portola 
in 1769 failed to rind Monterey Bay but it passed 
on and discovered the great bay of San Fran- 
cisco. So far no attempt had been made to 
plant a mission or presidio on its shores. Early 
in 1775, Lieutenant Ayala was ordered to ex- 
plore the bay with a view to forming a settle- 
ment near it. Rivera had previously explored 
the land bordering on the bay where the city 
now stands. Captain Anza, the discoverer of the 
overland route from Mexico to California via 
the Colorado river, had recruited an expedition 
of two hundred persons in Sonora for the pur- 
pose of forming a settlement at San Francisco. 
He set out in 1775 and reached Monterey March 
10, 1776. A quarrel between him and Rivera, 
who was in command at Monterey, defeated for 
a time the purpose for which the settlers had 
been brought, and Anza, disgusted with the 
treatment he had received from Rivera, aban- 
doned the enterprise. Anza had selected a site 
for a presidio at San Francisco. After his de- 
parture Rivera changed his policy of delay that 
had frustrated all of Anza's plans and decided at 
once to proceed to the establishment of a pre- 
sidio. The presidio was formally founded Sep- 
tember 17, 1776, at what is now known as Fort 
Point. The ship San Carlos had brought a num- 
ber of persons; these with the settlers who had 
come up from Monterey made an assemblage of 
more than one hundred and fifty persons. 

After the founding of the presidio Lieutenant 
Moraga in command of the military and Captain 
Ouiros of the San Carlos, set vigorously at work 
to build a church for the mission. A wooden 
building having been constructed on the 9th of 
October, 1776, the mission was dedicated, 
Father Palou conducting the service, assisted by 



Fathers Cambon, Nocedal and Pcha. The site 
selected for the mission was on the Laguna de 
los Dolores. The lands at the mission were not 
very productive. The mission, however, was 
fairly prosperous. In 1820 it owned 11,240 cat- 
tle and the total product of wheat was 114.480 
bushels. In 1820 there were 1,252 neophytes 
attached to it. The death rate was very heavy — 
the average rate being 12.4 per cent of the pop- 
ulation. In 1832 the population had decreased 
to two hundred and four and at the time of 
secularization it had declined to one hundred 
and fifty. A number of neophytes had been 
taken to the new mission of San Francisco So- 
lano. 

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO. 

The revolt of the Indians at San Diego de- 
layed the founding of San Juan Capistrano a 
year. October 30, 1775, the initiatory services 
of the founding had been held when a messenger 
came with the news of the uprising of the sav- 
ages and the massacre of Father Jaume and 
others. The bells which had been hung on a 
tree were taken down and buried. The soldiers 
and the padres hastened to San Diego. Novem- 
ber 1, 1776, Fathers Serra, Mugartegui and 
Amurrio, with an escort of soldiers, arrived at 
the site formerly selected. The bells were dug up 
and hung on a tree, an enramada of boughs was 
constructed and Father Serra said mass. The 
first location of the mission was several miles 
northeasterly from the present site at the foot 
of the mountain. The abandoned site is still 
known a la Mision Vieja (the Old Mission). 
Just when the change of location was made is 
not known. 

The erection of a stone church was begun in 
February, 1797, and completed in 1806. A 
master builder had been brought from Mexico 
and under his superintendence the neophytes 
did the mechanical labor. It was the largest and 
handsomest church in California and was the 
pride of mission architecture. The year 1812 
was known in California as el ano de los tem- 
blores — the year of earthquakes. For months 
the seismic disturbance was almost continuous. 
On Sunday, December 8, 1812, a severe shock 
threw down the lofty church tower, which 
crashed through the vaulted roof on the congre- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



gatiori below. The padre who was celebrating 
mass escaped through the sacristy. Of the fifty 
persons present only five or six escaped. The 
church was never rebuilt. "There is not much 
doubt," says Bancroft, "that the disaster was 
due rather to faulty construction than to the 
violence of the temblor." The edifice was of the 
usual cruciform shape, about 90x180 feet on 
the ground, with very thick walls and arched 
dome-like roof all constructed of stones imbed- 
ded in mortar or cement. The stones were not 
hewn, but of irregular size and shape, a kind of 
structure evidently requiring great skill to en- 
sure solidity. The mission reached its maxi- 
mum in 1819; from that on till the date of its 
secularization there was a rapid decline in the 
numbers of its live stock and of its neophytes. 

This was one of the missions in which Gov- 
ernor Figueroa tried his experiment of forming 
Indian pueblos of the neophytes. For a time 
the experiment was a partial success, but even- 
tually it went the way of all the other missions. 
Its lands were granted to private individuals 
and the neophytes scattered. Its picturesque 
ruins are a great attraction to touiists. 

SANTA CLARA. 

The mission of Santa Clara was founded Jan- 
uary 12, 1777. The site had been selected some 
time before and two missionaries designated for 
service at it, but the comandante of the terri- 
tory, Rivera y Moncada, who was an exceed- 
ingly obstinate person, had opposed the found- 
ing on various pretexts, but posititve orders 
coming from the viceroy Rivera did not longer 
delay, so on the 6th of January, 1777, a detach- 
ment of soldiers under Lieutenant Moraga, ac- 
companied by Father Pena, was sent from San 
Francisco to the site selected which was about 
sixteen leagues south of San Francisco. Here 
under an enramada the services of dedication 
were held. The Indians were not averse to re- 
ceiving a new religion and at the close of the 
year sixty-seven had been baptized. 

The mission was quite prosperous and be- 
came one of the most important in the territory. 
It was located in the heart of a rich agricul- 
tural district. The total product of wheat was 
175,800 bushels. In 1828 the mission flocks and 



herds numbered over 30,000 animals. The 
neophyte population in 1827 was 1,464. The 
death rate was high, averaging 12.63 P er cent 
of the population. The total number of bap- 
tisms was 8,640; number of deaths 6,950. In 
1834 the population had declined to 800. 
Secularization was effected in 1837. 

SAN BUENAVENTURA. 

The founding of San Buenaventura had been 
long delayed. It was to have been among the 
first missions founded by Father Serra; it proved 
to be his last. On the 26th of March, 1782, 
Governor de Neve, accompanied by Father 
Serra (who had come down afoot from San 
Carlos), and Father Cambon, with a convoy of 
soldiers and a number of neophytes, set out 
from San Gabriel to found the mission. At the 
first camping place Governor de Neve was re- 
called to San Gabriel by a message from Col. 
Pedro Fages, informing him of the orders of the 
council of war to proceed against the Yumas 
who had the previous year destroyed the two 
missions on the Colorado river and massacred 
the missionaries. 

On the 29th, the remainder of the company 
reached a place on the coast named by Portola 
in 1769, Asuncion de Nuestra Seiiora, which 
had for some time been selected for a mission 
site. Near it was a large Indian rancheria. On 
Easter Sunday, March 31st, the mission was for- 
mally founded with the usual ceremonies and 
dedicated to San Buenaventura (Giovanni de 
Fidanza of Tuscany), a follower of St. Francis, 
the founder of the Franciscans. 

The progress of the mission was slow at first, 
only two adults were baptized in 1782, the 
year of its founding. The first buildings built 
of wood were destroyed by fire. The church 
still used for service, built of brick and adobe, 
was completed and dedicated, September 9, 1809. 
The earthquake of December 8, 1812, damaged 
the church to such an extent that the tower 
and part of the facade had to be rebuilt. After 
the earthquake the whole site of the mission 
for a time seemed to be sinking. The inhabi- 
tants, fearful of being engulfed by the sea, re- 
moved to San Joaquin y Santa Ana, where they 
remained several months. The mission at- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



(il 



tained its greatest prosperity in 1816, when its 
neophyte population numbered 1,330 and it 
owned 23,400 cattle. 

SANTA BARBARA. 

Governor Felipe de Neve founded the presidio 
of Santa Barbara April 21, 1782. Father Serra 
had hoped to found the mission at the same time, 
but in this he was disappointed. His death in 
1784 still further delayed the founding and it 
was not until the latter part of 1786 that every- 
thing was in readiness for the establishing of 
the new mission. On the 22d of November 
Father Lasuen, who had succeeded Father 
Serra as president of the missions, arrived at 
Santa Barbara, accompanied by two missiona- 
ries recently from Mexico. He selected a site 
about a mile distant from the presidio. The 
place was called Taynagan (Rocky Hill) by the 
Indians. There was a plentiful supply of stone 
on the site for building and an abundance of 
water for irrigation. 

On the 15th of December, 1786, Father 
Lasuen, in a hut of boughs, celebrated the first 
mass; but December 4, the day that the fiesta of 
Santa Barbara is commemorated, is considered 
the date of its founding. Part of the services 
were held on that day. A chapel built of adobes 
and roofed with thatch was erected in 1787. Sev- 
eral other buildings of adobe were erected the 
same year. In 1788, tile took the place of 
thatch. In 1789, a second church, much larger 
than the first, was built. A third church of adobe 
was commenced in 1793 and finished in 1794. 
A brick portico was added in 1795 and the walls 
plastered. 

The great earthquake of December, 18 12, de- 
molished the mission church and destroyed 
nearly all the buildings. The years 1813 and 
1814 were spent in removing the debris of the 
ruined buildings and in preparing for the erec- 
tion of new ones. The erection of the present 
mission church was begun in 181 5. It was com- 
pleted and dedicated September 10, 1820. 

Father Caballeria, in his History of Santa 
Barbara, gives the dimensions of the church as 
follows : "Length (including walls), sixty varas ; 
width, fourteen varas; height, ten varas (a vara 
is thirty-four inches)." The walls are of stone 



and rest on a foundation of rock and cement 
They are six feet thick and are further strength 
ened by buttresses. Notwithstanding the build- 
ing has withstood the storms of four score years, 
it is still in an excellent state of preservation. 
Its exterior has not been disfigured by attempts 
at modernizing. 

The highest neophyte population was reached 
at Santa Barbara in 1803, when it numbered 
1,792. The largest number of cattle was 5,200 in 
1809. In 1834, the year of secularization, the 
neophytes numbered 556, which was a decrease 
of 155 from the number in 1830. At such a rate 
of decrease it would not, even if mission rule 
had continued, have taken more than a dozen 
years to depopulate the mission. 

LA PURISIMA CONCEPCIOX. 

Two missions, San Buenaventura and Santa 
Barbara, had been founded on the Santa Bar- 
bara channel in accordance with Neve's report of 
1777, in which he recommended the founding of 
three missions and a presidio in that district. 
It was the intention of General La Croix to con- 
duct these on a different plan from that prevail- 
ing in the older missions. The natives were not 
to be gathered into a missionary establishment, 
but were to remain in their rancherias, which 
were to be converted into mission pueblos. The 
Indians were to receive instruction in religion, 
industrial arts and self-government while com- 
paratively free from restraint. The plan which 
no doubt originated with Governor de Neve, 
was a good one theoretically, and possibly might 
have been practically. The missionaries were 
bitterly opposed to it. Unfortunately it was 
tried first in the Colorado river missions among 
the fierce and treacherous Yumas. The mas- 
sacre of the padres and soldiers of these mis- 
sions was attributed to this innovation. 

In establishing the channel missions the mis- 
sionaries opposed the inauguration of this plan 
and by their persistence succeeded in setting it 
aside; and the old system was adopted. La 
Purisima Concepcion, or the Immaculate Con- 
ception of the Blessed Virgin, the third of the 
channel missions, was founded December 8, 
1787. by Father Lasuen at a place called by the 
natives Algsacupi. Its location is about twelve 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



62 

miles from the ocean on the Santa Ynez river. 
Three years after its founding three hundred 
converts had been baptized but not all of them 
lived at the mission. The first church was a 
temporary structure. The second church, built 
of adobe and roofed with tile, was completed in 
1802. December 21, 1812, an earthquake de- 
molished the church and also about one hundred 
adobe houses of the neophytes. A site across 
the river and about four miles distant from the 
former one, was selected for new buildings. A 
temporary building for a church was erected 
there. A new church, built of adobe and roofed 
with tile, was completed and dedicated in 1818. 

The Indians revolted in 1824 and damaged 
the building. They took possession of it and a 
battle lasting four hours was fought between one 
hundred and thirty soldiers and four hundred 
Indians. The neophytes cut loop holes in the 
church and used two old rusty cannon and a 
few guns they possessed; but, unused to fire 
arms, they were routed with the loss of several 
killed. During the revolt which lasted several 
months four white men and fifteen or twenty In- 
dians were killed. The hostiles, most of whom 
fled to the Tulares, were finally subdued. The 
leaders were punished with imprisonment and 
the others returned to their missions. 

This mission's population was largest in 1804, 
when it numbered 1,520. In 1834 there were but 
407 neophytes connected with it. It was secular- 
ized in February, 1835. During mission rule 
from 1787 to 1834, the total number of Indian 
children baptized was 1,492; died 902, which was 
a lower death rate than at most of the southern 
missions. 

SANTA CRUZ. 

Santa Cruz, one of the smallest of the twenty- 
one missions of California, was founded Septem- 
ber 25, 1790. The mission was never very pros- 
perous. In 1798 many of the neophytes de- 
serted and the same year a flood covered the 
planting fields and damaged the church. In 1812 
the neophytes murdered the missionary in 
charge, Padre Andres Quintana. They claimed 
that he had treated them with great cruelty. 
Five of those implicated in the murder received 
two hundred lashes each and were sentenced to 
work in chains from two to ten years. Only 



one survived the punishment. The maximum 
of its population was reached in 1798, when 
there were six hundred and forty-four Indians 
in the mission fold. The total number bap- 
tized from the date of its founding to 1834 was 
2,466; the total number of deaths was 2,034. The 
average death rate was 10.93 P er cent °f tne 
population. At the time of its secularization in 
1834 there were only two hundred and fifty In- 
dians belonging to the mission. 

LA SOLEDAD. 

The mission of our Lady of Solitude was 
founded September 29, 1791. The site selected 
had borne the name Soledad (solitude) ever 
since the first exploration of the country. The 
location was thirty miles northeast of San Car- 
los de Monterey. La Soledad, by which name 
it was generally known, was unfortunate in its 
early missionaries. One of them, Padre Gracia, 
was supposed to be insane and the other, Padre 
Rubi, was very immoral. Rubi was later on ex- 
pelled from his college for licentiousness. At 
the close of the century the mission had become 
fairly prosperous, but in 1802 an epidemic broke 
out and five or six deaths occurred daily. The 
Indians in alarm fled from the mission. The 
largest population of the mission was seven 
hundred and twenty-five in 1805. At the time 
of secularization its population had decreased to 
three hundred. The total number of baptisms 
during its existence was 2,222; number of deaths 
1,803. 

SAN JOSE. 

St. Joseph had been designated by the visita- 
dor General Galvez and Father Junipero Serra 
as the patron saint of the mission colonization of 
California. Thirteen missions had been founded 
and yet none had been dedicated to San Jose. 
Orders came from Mexico that one be estab- 
lished and named for him. Accordingly a de- 
tail of a corporal and five men, accompanied by 
Father Lasuen, president of the missions, pro- 
ceeded to the site selected, which was about 
twelve miles northerly from the pueblo of San 
Jose. There, on June 11, 1797, the mission was 
founded. The mission was well located agricul- 
turally and became one of the most prosperous 
in California. In 1820 it had a population of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1,75.+, the highest of any mission except San 
Luis Rey. The total number of baptisms from 
its founding to 1834 was 6,737; deaths 5,109. 
Secularization was effected in 1836-37. The to- 
tal valuation of the mission property, not in- 
cluding lands or the church, was $155,000. 

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA. 

In May, 1797, Governor Borica ordered the 
comandante at Monterey to detail a corporal 
and five soldiers to proceed to a site that had 
been previously chosen for a mission which was 
about ten leagues northeast from Monterey. 
Here the soldiers erected of wood a church, 
priest's house, granary and guard house. June 
24, 1797, President Lasuen, assisted by Fathers 
Catala and Martiari, founded the mission of 
San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist). At 
the close of the year, eighty-five converts had 
been baptized. The neighboring Indian tribes 
were hostile and some of them had to be killed 
before the others learned to behave themselves. 
A new church, measuring 60x160 feet, was com- 
pleted and dedicated in 1812. San Juan was the 
only mission whose population increased between 
1820 and 1830. This was due to the fact that its 
numbers were recruited from the eastern tribes, 
its location being favorable for obtaining new 
recruits from the gentiles. The largest popula- 
tion it ever reached was 1,248 in 1823. In 1834 
there were but 850 neophytes at the mission. 

SAN MIGUEL. 

Midway between the old missions of San An- 
tonio and San Luis Obispo, on the 25th of July, 
1797, was founded the mission of San Miguel 
Arcangel. The two old missions contributed 
horses, cattle and sheep to start the new one. 
The mission had a propitious beginning; fifteen 
children were baptized on the day the mission 
was founded. At the close of the century the 
number of converts reached three hundred and 
eighty-five, of whom fifty-three had died. The 
mission population numbered 1,076 in 1814; 
after that it steadily declined until, in 1834, there 
were only 599 attached to the establishment. 
Total number of baptisms was 2,588; deaths 
2,038. The average death rate was 6.91 per 
cent of the population, the lowest rate in any 



of the missions. The mission was secularized 
in 1836. 

SAN FERNANDO REY DE ESPANA. 

In the closing years of the century explora- 
tions were made for new mission sites in Cali- 
fornia. These were to be located between mis- 
sions already founded. Among those selected 
at that time was the site of the mission San Fer- 
nando on the Encino Rancho, then occupied by 
Francisco Reyes. Reyes surrendered whatever 
right he had to the land and the padres occupied 
his house for a dwelling while new buildings 
were in the course of erection. 

September 8, 1797, with the usual ceremo- 
nies, the mission was founded by President 
Lasuen, assisted by Father Dumetz. According 
to instructions from Mexico it was dedicated to 
San Fernando Rey de Espaha (Fernando III., 
King of Spain, 12 17- 125 1). At the end of the 
year 1797, fifty-five converts had been gathered 
into the mission fold and at the end of the cen- 
tury three hundred and fifty-two had been bap- 
tized. 

The adobe church began before the close of 
the century was completed and dedicated in De- 
cember, 1806. It had a tiled roof. It was but 
slightly injured by the great earthquakes of De- 
cember, 1812, which were so destructive to the 
mission buildings at San Juan Capistrano, Santa 
Barbara, La Purisima and Santa Ynez. This 
mission reached its greatest prosperity in 1819, 
when its neophyte population numbered 1,080. 
The largest number of cattle owned by it at one 
time was 12,800 in 1819. 

Its decline was not so rapid as that of some 
of the other missions, but the death rate, espe- 
cially among the children, was fully as high. Of 
the 1,367 Indian children baptized there during 
the existence of mission rule 965, or over seventy 
per cent, died in childhood. It was not strange 
that the fearful death rate both of children and 
adults at the missions sometimes frightened 
the neophytes into running away. 

SAN LUIS REY DE FRAXCIA. 

Several explorations had been made for a mis- 
sion site between San Diego and San Juan 
Capistrano. There was quite a large Indian 



64 HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 

population that had not been brought into the northwesterly from Santa Barbara, on the east- 
folds of either mission. In October, 1797, a erly side of the Santa Ynez mountains and- 
new exploration of this territory was ordered eighteen miles southeasterly from La Purisima. 

Father Tapis, president of the missions from 
1803 to 1812, preached the sermon and was 
assisted in the ceremonies by Fathers Cipies, 
Calzada and Gutierrez. Carrillo, the comandante 
at the presidio, was present, as were also a num- 
ber of neophytes from Santa Barbara and La 
Purisima. Some of these were transferred to 
the new mission. 

The earthquake of December, 1812, shook 
down a portion of the church and destroyed a 
number of the neophytes' houses. In 1815 the ' 
erection of a new church was begun. It was built 
of adobes, lined with brick, and was completed 
and dedicated July 4, 18 17. The Indian revolt of 
1824, described in the sketch of La Purisima, 
broke out first at this mission. The neophytes 
took possession of the church. The mission 
guard defended themselves and the padre. At 
the approach of the troops from Santa Barbara 
the Indians fled to La Purisima. 

San Ynez attained its greatest population, 
770, in 1816. In 1834 its population had de- 
creased to 334. From its founding in 1804 to 
1834, when the decrees of secularization were 
put in force, 757 Indian children were baptized 
and 519 died, leaving only 238, or about thirty 
per cent of those baptized to grow up. 

SAN RAFAEL. 

San Rafael was the first mission established 
north of the Bay of San Francisco. It was 
founded December 14, 1817. At first it was an 
asistencia or branch of San Francisco. An epi- 
demic had broken out in the Mission Dolores 
and a number of the Indians were transferred to 
San Rafael to escape the plague. Later on it 
attained to the dignity of a mission. In 1828 its 
population was 1,140. After 1830 it began to 
decline and at the time of its secularization in 
1834 there were not more than 500 connected 
with it. In the seventeen years of its existence 
under mission rule there were 1,873 baptisms an d 
698 deaths. The average death rate was 6.09 
per cent of the population. The mission was 
secularized in 1834. All traces of the mission 
building have disappeared. 



and a site was finally selected, although the ag- 
ricultural advantages were regarded as not sat- 
isfactory. 

Governor Borica, February 28, 1798, issued 
orders to the comandante at San Diego to 
furnish a detail of soldiers to aid in erecting the 
necessary buildings. June 13, 1798, President 
Lasuen, the successor of President Serra, as- 
sisted by Fathers Peyri and Santiago, with the 
usual services, founded the new mission. It 
was named San Luis Rey de Francia (St. Louis, 
King of France). Its location was near a river 
on which was bestowed the name of the mis- 
sion. The mission flourished from its very be- 
ginning. Its controlling power was Padre An- 
tonio Peyri. He remained in charge of it from 
its founding almost to its downfall, in all thirty- 
three years. He was a man of great executive 
abilities and under his administration it be- 
came one of the largest and most prosperous 
missions in California. It reached its maximum 
in 1826, when its neophyte population numbered 
2,869, tne largest number at one time connected 
with any mission in the territory. 

The asistencia or auxiliary mission of San 
Antonio was established at Pala, seven leagues 
easterly from the parent mission. A chapel was 
erected here and regular services held. One of 
the padres connected with San Luis Rey was 
in charge of this station. Father Peyri left Cal- 
ifornia in 1831, with the exiled Governor Vic- 
toria. He went to Mexico and from there to 
Spain and lastly to Rome, where he died. The 
mission was converted into an Indian pueblo in 
1834, but the pueblo was not a success. Most 
of the neophytes drifted to Los Angeles and 
San Gabriel. During the Mexican conquest 
American troops were stationed there. It has 
recently been partially repaired and is now used 
for a Franciscan school under charge of Father 
J. J. O'Keefe. 

SANTA YNEZ. 

Santa Ynez was the last mission founded in 
Southern California. It was established Sep- 
tember 17, 1804. Its location is about forty miles 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



65 



SAN FRANCISCO SOLANO. 

The mission of San Francisco de Asis had 
fallen into a rapid decline. The epidemic that 
had carried off a number of the neophytes and 
had caused the transfer of a considerable num- 
ber to San Rafael had greatly reduced its popu- 
lation. Besides, the sterility of the soil in the 
vicinity of the mission necessitated going a long 
distance for agricultural land and pasturage for 
the herds and nocks. On this account and also 
for the reason that a number of new converts 
might be obtained from the gentiles living in 
the district north of the bay, Governor Arguello 
and the mission authorities decided to establish 
a mission in that region. Explorations were 
made in June and July, 1823. On the 4th of 
July a site was selected, a cross blessed and 
raised, a volley of musketry fired and mass said 
at a place named New San Francisco, but after- 
wards designated as the Mission of San Fran- 
cisco Solano. On the 25th of August work was 
begun on the mission building and on the 4th of 
April, 1824, a church, 24x105 feet, built of wood, 
was dedicated. 

It had been intended to remove the neophytes 
from the old mission of San Francisco to the 
new; but the padres of the old mission opposed 
its depopulation and suppression. A com- 
promise was effected by allowing all neophytes 
of the old mission who so elected to go to the 
new. Although well located, the Mission of 
Solano was not prosperous. Its largest popula- 
tion, 996, was reached in 1832. The total num- 
ber of baptisms were 1,315; deaths, 651. The 
average death rate was 7.8 per cent of the pop- 
ulation. The mission was secularized in 1835, at 
which time there were about 550 neophytes at- 
tached to it. 

The architecture of the missions was Moorish 
— that is, if it belonged to any school. The 
padres in most cases were the architects and mas- 
ter builders. The main feature of the buildings 
was massiveness. Built of adobe or rough stone, 
their walls were of great thickness. Most of the 
church buildings were narrow, their width being 
out of proportion to their length. This was 
necessitated by the difficulty of procuring joists 
and rafters of sufficient length for wide build- 
ings. The padres had no means or perhaps no 



knowledge of trussing a roof, and the width 
of the building had to be proportioned to the 
length of the timbers procurable. Some of the 
buildings were planned with an eye for the pic- 
turesque, others for utility only. The sites se- 
lected for the mission buildings in nearly every 
case commanded a fine view of the surrounding 
country. In their prime, their white walls loom- 
ing up on the horizon could be seen at long 
distance and acted as beacons to guide the trav- 
eler to their hospitable shelter. 

Col. J. J. Warner, who came to California in 
1831, and saw the mission buildings before they 
had fallen into decay, thus describes their gen- 
eral plan: "As soon after the founding of a 
mission as circumstances would permit, a large 
pile of buildings in the form of a quadrangle, 
composed in part of burnt brick, but chiefly of 
sun-dried ones, was erected around a spacious 
court. A large and capacious church, which 
usually occupied one of the outer corners of the 
quadrangle, was a conspicuous part of the pile, 
hi this massive building, covered with red tile, 
was the habitation of the friars, rooms for guests 
and for the major domos and their families. In 
other buildings of the quadrangle were hospital 
wards, storehouses and granaries, rooms for 
carding, spinning and weaving of woolen fab- 
rics, shops for blacksmiths, joiners and carpen- 
ters, saddlers, shoemakers and soap boilers, and 
cellars for storing the product (wine and brandy) 
of the vineyards. Near the habitation of the 
friars another building of similar material was 
placed and used as quarters for a small number 
— about a corporal's guard — of soldiers under 
command of a non-commissioned officer, to hold 
the Indian neophytes in check as well as to pro- 
tect the mission from the attacks of hostile In- 
dians." The Indians, when the buildings of the 
establishment were complete, lived in adobe 
houses built in lines near the quadrangle. Some 
of the buildings of the square were occupied by 
the alcaldes or Indian bosses. When the In- 
dians were gathered into the missions at first 
they lived in brush shanties constructed in the 
same manner as their forefathers had built them 
for generations. In some of the missions these 
huts were not replaced by adobe buildings for 
a generation or more. Vancouver, who visited 



&■> 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the Mission of San Francisco in 1792, sixteen 
years after its founding, describes the Indian 
village with its brush-built huts. He says: 
"These miserable habitations, each of which was 
allotted for the residence of a whole family, 
were erected with some degree of uniformity 
about three or four feet asunder in straight rows, 
leaving lanes or passageways at right angles be- 
tween them; but these were so abominably in- 
fested with every kind of filth and nastiness as 
to be rendered no less offensive than degrading 
to the human species." 

Of the houses at Santa Clara, Vancouver 
says: "The habitations were not so regularly 
disposed nor did it (the village) contain so many 
as the village of San Francisco, yet the same 
horrid state of uncleanliness and laziness seemed 
to pervade the whole." Better houses were then 
in the course of construction at Santa Clara. 
"Each house would contain two rooms and a 
garret with a garden in the rear." Vancouver 



visited San Carlos de Monterey in 1792, twenty- 
two years after its founding. He says: "Not- 
withstanding these people are taught and em- 
ployed from time to time in many of the occu- 
pations most useful to civil society, they had not 
made themselves any more comfortable habita- 
tions than those of their forefathers; nor did 
they seem in any respect to have benefited by 
the instruction they had received." 

Captain Beechey, of the English navy, who 
visited San Francisco and the missions around 
the bay in 1828, found the Indians at San Fran- 
cisco still living in their filthy hovels and grind- 
ing acorns for food. "San Jose (mission)," he 
says, "on the other hand, was all neatness, clean- 
liness and comfort." At San Carlos he found 
that the filthy hovels described by Vancouver 
had nearly all disappeared and the Indians were 
comfortably housed. He adds: "Sickness in 
general prevailed to an incredible extent in all 
the missions." 



CHAPTER VI. 

PRESIDIOS OF CALIFORNIA. 

San Diego. 



THE presidio was an essential feature of 
the Spanish colonization of America. It 
was usually a fortified square of brick or 
stone, inside of which were the barracks of the 
soldiers, the officers' quarters, a church, store 
houses for provisions and military supplies. The 
gates at the entrance were closed at night, and 
it was usually provisioned for a siege. In the 
colonization of California there were four pre- 
sidios established, namely: San Diego, Monte- 
rey, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Each 
was the headquarters of a military district and 
besides a body of troops kept at the presidio 
it furnished guards for the missions in its re- 
spective district and also for the pueblos if there 
were any in the district. The first presidio was 
founded at San Diego. As stated in a previous 
chapter, the two ships of the expedition by sea 
for the settlement of California arrived at the 
port of San Diego in a deplorable condition 



from scurvy. The San Antonia, after a voyage 
of fifty-nine days, arrived on April 1 1 ; the San 
Carlos, although she had sailed a month earlier, 
did not arrive until April 29, consuming one 
hundred and ten days in the voyage. Don 
Miguel Constanso, the engineer who came on 
this vessel, says in his report : "The scurvy had 
infected all without exception ; in such sort that 
on entering San Diego already two men had 
died of the said sickness; most of the seamen, 
and half of the troops, found themselves pros- 
trate in their beds; only four mariners remained 
on their feet, and attended, aided by the troops, 
to trimming and furling the sails and other 
working of the ship." "The San Antonia," says 
Constanso, "had the half of its crew equally 
affected by the scurvy, of which illness two men 
had likewise died." This vessel, although it had 
arrived at the port on the nth of April, had evi- 
dently not landed any of its sick. On the 1st of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



67 



May, Don Pedro Fages, the commander of the 
troops, Constanso and Estorace, the second cap- 
tain of the San Carlos, with twenty-five soldiers, 
set out to find a watering place where they could 
fill their barrels with fresh water. "Following 
the west shore of the port, after going a mat- 
ter of three leagues, they arrived at the banks 
of a river hemmed in with a fringe of willows 
and cottonwoods. Its channel must have been 
twenty varas wide and it discharges into an 
estuary which at high tide could admit the 
launch and made it convenient for accomplish- 
ing the taking on of water." * * * "Hav- 
ing reconnoitered the watering place, the Span- 
iards betook themselves back on board the 
vessels and as these were found to be very far 
away from the estuary in which the river dis- 
charges, their captains, Vicente Vila and Don 
Juan Perez, resolved to approach it as closely 
as they could in order to give less work to the 
people handling the launches. These labors 
were accomplished with satiety of hardship; for 
from one day to the next the number of the sick 
kept increasing, along with the dying of the 
most aggravated cases and augmented the fa- 
tigue of the few who remained on their 
feet." 

"Immediate to the beach on the side toward 
the east a scanty enclosure was constructed 
formed of a parapet of earth and fascines, which 
was garnished with two cannons. They disem- 
barked some sails and awnings from the packets 
with which they made two tents capacious 
enough for a hospital. At one side the two offi- 
cers, the missionary fathers and the surgeon put 
up their own tents; the sick were brought in 
launches to this improvised presidio and hospi- 
tal." "But these diligencies," says Constanso, 
"were not enough to procure them health." 
* * * "The cold made itself felt with rigor at ' 
night in the barracks and the sun by day, alter- 
nations which made the sick suffer cruelly, two 
or three of them dying every day. And this 
whole expedition, which had been composed of 
more than ninety men, saw itself reduced to only 
eight soldiers and as many mariners in a state to 
attend to the safeguarding of the barks, the 
working of the launches, custody of the camp 
and service of the sick." 



Rivera y Moncada, the commander of the 
first detachment of the land expedition, arrived 
at San Diego May 14. It was decided by the 
officers to remove the camp to a point near the 
river. This had not been done before on ac- 
count of the small force able to work and the 
lack of beasts of burden. Rivera's men were all 
in good health and after a day's rest "all were 
removed to a new camp, which was transferred 
one league further north on the right side of 
the river upon a hill of middling height." 

Here a presidio was built, the remains of 
which can still be seen. It was a parapet of 
earth similar to that thrown up at the first camp, 
which, according to Bancroft, was probably 
within the limits of New Town and the last one 
in Old Town or North San Diego. 

While Portola's expedition was away search- 
ing for the port of Monterey, the Indians made 
an attack on the camp at San Diego, killed a 
Spanish youth and wounded Padre Viscaino, the 
blacksmith, and a Lower California neophyte. 
The soldiers remaining at San Diego sur- 
rounded the buildings with a stockade. Con- 
stanso says, on the return of the Spaniards of 
Portola's expedition: "They found in good con- 
dition their humble buildings, surrounded with 
a palisade of trunks of trees, capable of a good 
defense in case of necessity." 

"In 1782, the presidial force at San Diego, be- 
sides the commissioned officers, consisted of five 
corporals and forty-six soldiers. Six men were 
constantly on duty at each of the three missions 
of the district, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano 
and San Gabriel; while four served at the pueblo 
of Los Angeles, thus leaving a sergeant, two 
corporals and about twenty-five men to garrison 
the fort, care for the horses and a small herd of 
cattle, and to carry the mails, which latter duty 
was the hardest connected with the presidio 
service in time of peace. There were a carpenter 
and blacksmith constantly employed, besides a 
few servants, mostly natives. The population of 
the district in 1790, not including Indians, was 
220."* 

Before the close of the century the wooden 
palisades had been replaced by a thick adobe 



"Bancroft's History of California, Vol. I. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



wall, but even then the fort was not a very for- 
midable defense. Vancouver, the English navi- 
gator, who visited it in 1793, describes it as 
"irregularly built on very uneven ground, which 
makes it liable to some inconveniences without 
the obvious appearance of any object for select- 
ing such a spot." It then mounted three small 
brass cannon. 

Gradually a town grew up around the pre- 
sidio. Robinson, who visited San Diego in 
1829, thus describes it: "On the lawn beneath 
the hill on which the presidio is built stood 
about thirty houses of rude appearance, mostly 
occupied by retired veterans, not so well con- 
structed in respect either to beauty or stability 
as the houses at Monterey, with the exception of 
that belonging to our Administrador, Don Juan 
Bandini, whose mansion, then in an unfinished 
state, bid fair, when completed, to surpass any 
other in the country." 

Under Spain there was attempt at least to 
keep the presidio in repair, but under Mexican 
domination it fell into decay. Dana describes it 
as he saw it in 1836: "The first place we went 
to was the old ruinous presidio, which stands on 
rising ground near the village which it over- 
looks. It is built in the form of an open square, 
like all the other presidios, and was in a most 
ruinous state, with the exception of one side, 
in which the comandante lived with his family. 
There were only two guns, one of which was 
spiked and the other had no carriage. Twelve 
half clothed and half starved looking fellows 
composed the garrison; and they, it was said, 
had not a musket apiece. The small settlement 
lay directly below the fort composed of about 
forty dark brown looking huts or houses and 
three or four larger ones whitewashed, which 
belonged to the gente de razon." 

THE PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY. 

In a previous chapter has been narrated the 
story of Portola's expedition in search of Mon- 
terey Bay, how the explorers, failing to recog- 
nize it, passed on to the northward and discov- 
ered the great Bay of San Francisco. On their 
return they set up a cross at what they supposed 
was the Bay of Monterey; and at the foot of 
the cross buried a letter giving information to 



any ship that might come up the coast in search 
of them that they had returned to San Diego. 
They had continually been on the lookout for 
the San Jose, which was to co-operate with 
them, but that vessel had been lost at sea with 
all on board. On their return to San Diego, in 
January, 1770, preparations were made for a 
return as soon as a vessel should arrive. It 
was not until the 16th of April that the San An- 
tonia, the only vessel available, was ready to 
depart for the second objective point of settle- 
ment. On the 17th of April, Governor Portola, 
Lieutenant Fages, Father Crespi and nineteen 
soldiers took up their line of march for Monte- 
rey. They followed the trail made in 1769 and 
reached the point where they had set up the 
cross April 24. They found it decorated with 
feathers, bows and arrows and a string of fish. 
Evidently the Indians regarded it as the white 
man's fetich and tried to propitiate it by offer- 
ings. 

The San Antonia, bearing Father Serra, 
Pedro Prat, the surgeon, and Miguel Constanso, 
the civil engineer, and supplies for the mission 
and presidio, arrived the last day of May. Por- 
tola was still uncertain whether this was really 
Monterey Bay. It was hard to discover in the 
open roadstead stretching out before them Vis- 
caino's land-locked harbor, sheltered from all 
winds. After the arrival of the San Antonia the 
officers of the land and sea expedition made a 
reconnaissance of the bay and all concurred that 
at last they had reached the destined port. They 
located the oak under whose wide-spreading 
branches Padre Ascension, Viscaino's chaplain, 
had celebrated mass in 1602, and the springs of 
fresh water near by. Preparations were begun 
at once for the founding of mission and presidio. 
A shelter of boughs was constructed, an altar 
raised and the bells hung upon the branch of a 
tree. Father Serra sang mass and as they had 
no musical instrument, salvos of artillery and 
volleys of musketry furnished an accompani- 
ment to the service. After the religious services 
the royal standard was raised and Governor 
Portola took possession of the country in the 
name of King Carlos III., King of Spain. The 
ceremony closed with the pulling of grass and 
the casting of stones around, significant of en- 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



69 



tire possession of the "earth and its products. 
After the service all feasted. 

Two messengers were sent by Portola with 
dispatches to the city of Mexico. A day's jour- 
ney below San Diego they met Rivera and 
twenty soldiers coming with a herd of cattle and 
a flock of sheep to stock the mission pastures. 
Rivera sent back five of his soldiers with Tor- 
tola's carriers. The messengers reached Todos 
Santos near Cape San Lucas in forty-nine days 
from Monterey. From there the couriers were 
sent to San Bias by ship, arriving at the city of 
Mexico August 10. There was great rejoicing 
at the capital. Marquis Le Croix and Visitador 
Galvez received congratulations in the King's 
name for the extension of his domain. 

Portola superintended the building of some 
rude huts for the shelter of the soldiers, the 
officers and the padres. Around the square 
containing the huts a palisade of poles was con- 
structed. July 9, Portola having turned over 
the command of the troops to Lieutenant Pages, 
embarked on the San Antonia for San Bias; 
with him went the civil engineer, Constanso, 
from whose report I have frequently quoted. 
Neither of them ever returned to California. 

The difficulty of reaching California by ship 
on account of the head winds that blow down 
the coast caused long delays in the arrival of 
vessels with supplies. This brought about a 
scarcity of provisions at the presidios and mis- 
sions. 

In 1772 the padres of San Gabriel were re- 
duced to a milk diet and what little they could 
obtain from the Indians. At Monterey and San 
Antonio the padres and the soldiers were obliged 
to live on vegetables. In this emergency Lieu- 
tenant Fages and a squad of soldiers went on a 
bear hunt. They spent three months in the 
summer of 1772 killing bears in the Canada de 
los Osos (Bear Canon). The soldiers and mis- 
sionaries had a plentiful supply of bear meat. 
There were not enough cattle in the country to 
admit of slaughtering any for food. The pre- 
sidial walls which were substituted for the pal- 
isades were built of adobes and stone. The 
inclosure measured one hundred and ten yards 
on each side. The buildings were roofed with 
tiles. "On the north were the main entrance, 



the guard house, and the warehouses ; on the 
west the houses of the governor comandante 
and other officers, some fifteen apartments in 
all ; on the east nine houses for soldiers, and a 
blacksmith shop; and on the south, besides 
nine similar houses, was the presidio church, 
opposite the main gateway."* 

The military force at the presidio consisted of 
cavalry, infantry and artillery, their numbers 
varying from one hundred to one hundred and 
twenty in all. These soldiers furnished guards 
for the missions of San Carlos, San Antonio, 
San Miguel, Soledad and San Luis Obispo. The 
total population of gente de razon in the district 
at the close of the century numbered four hun- 
dren and ninety. The rancho "del rey" or 
rancho of the king was located where Salinas 
City now stands. This rancho was managed by 
the soldiers of presidio and was intended to 
furnish the military with meat and a supply of 
horses for the cavalry. At the presidio a num- 
ber of invalided soldiers who had served out 
their time were settled; these were allowed to 
cultivate land and raise cattle on the unoccu- 
pied lands of the public domain. A town grad- 
ually grew up around the presidio square. 

Vancouver, the English navigator, visited the 
presidio of Monterey in 1792 and describes it as 
it then appeared: "The buildings of the pre- 
sidio form a parallelogram or long square com- 
prehending an area of about three hundred 
yards long by two hundred and fifty wide, mak- 
ing one entire enclosure. The external wall is 
of the same magnitude and built with the same 
materials, and except that the officers' apart- 
ments are covered with red tile made in the 
neighborhood, the whole presents the same 
lonely, uninteresting appearance as that already 
described at San Francisco. Like that estab- 
lishment, the several buildings for the use of the 
officers, soldiers, and for the protection of stores 
and provisions are erected along the walls on 
the inside of the inclosure, which admits of but 
one entrance for carriages or persons on horse- 
back; this, as at San Francisco, is on the side 
of the square fronting the church which was 
rebuilding with stone like that at San Carlos." 



^Bancroft's History of California, Vol. I. 



70 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



"At each corner of the square is a small kind 
of block house raised a little above the top of 
the wall where swivels might be mounted for its 
protection. On the outside, before the entrance 
into the presidio, which fronts the shores of 
the bay, are placed seven cannon, four nine and 
three three-pounders, mounted. The guns are 
planted on the open plain ground without 
breastwork or other screen for those employed 
in working them or the least protection from the 
weather." 

THE PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO. 

In a previous chapter I have given an account 
of the discovery of San Francisco Bay by Por- 
tola's expedition in 1769. The discovery of that 
great bay seems to have been regarded as an 
unimportant event by the governmental offi- 
cials. While there was great rejoicing at the 
city of Mexico over the founding of a mission 
for the conversion of a few naked savages, the 
discovery of the bay was scarcely noticed, ex- 
cept to construe it into some kind of a miracle. 
Father Serra assumed that St. Francis had con- 
cealed Monterey from the explorers and led 
them to the discovery of the bay in order that 
he (St. Francis) might have a mission named 
for him. Indeed, the only use to which the 
discovery could be put, according to Serra's 
ideas, was a site for a mission on its shores, dedi- 
cated to the founder of the Franciscans. Several 
explorations were made with this in view. In 
1772, Lieutenant Fages, Father Crespi and six- 
teen soldiers passed up the western side of the 
bay and in 1774 Captain Rivera, Father Palou 
and a squad of soldiers passed up the eastern 
shore, returning by way of Monte Diablo, 
Amador valley and Alameda creek to the Santa 
Clara valley. 

In the latter part of the year 1774, viceroy 
Bucureli ordered the founding of a mission and 
presidio at San Francisco. Hitherto all explora- 
tions of the bay had been made by land expedi- 
tions. Xo one had ventured on its waters. In 
1775 Lieutenant Juan de Ayala of the royal 
navy was sent in the old pioneer mission ship, 
the San Carlos, to make a survey of it. August 
5, 1775, he passed through the Golden Gate. 
He moored his ship at an island called by him 



Nuestra Sefiora de los Angeles, now Angel 
Island. He spent forty days in making explora- 
tions. His ship was the first vessel to sail upon 
the great Bay of San Francisco. 

In 1774, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, com- 
mander of the presidio of Tubac in Sonora, had 
made an exploration of a route from Sonora via 
the Colorado river, across the desert and 
through the San Gorgonia pass to San Gabriel 
mission. From Tubac to the Colorado river the 
route had been traveled before but from the 
Colorado westward the country was a terra in- 
cognita. He was guided over this by a lower 
California neophyte who had deserted from San 
Gabriel mission and alone had reached the 
rancherias on the Colorado. 

After Anza's return to Sonora he was com- 
missioned by the viceroy to recruit soldiers and 
settlers for San Francisco. October 23, 1775, 
Anza set out from Tubac with an expedition 
numbering two hundred and thirty-five persons, 
composed of soldiers and their families, colon- 
ists, musketeers and vaqueros. They brought 
with them large herds of horses, mules and cat- 
tle. The journey was accomplished without loss 
of life, but with a considerable amount of suf- 
fering. January 4, 1776, the immigrants ar- 
rived at San Gabriel mission, where they stopped 
to rest, but were soon compelled to move on, 
provisions at the mission becoming scarce. They 
arrived at Monterey, March 10. Here they went 
into camp. Anza with an escort of soldiers pro- 
ceeded to San Francisco to select a presidio 
site. Having found a site he returned to Mon- 
terey. Rivera, the commander of the territory, 
had manifested a spirit of jealousy toward Anza 
and had endeavored to thwart him in his at- 
tempts to found a settlement. Disgusted with 
the action of the commander, Anza, leaving his 
colonists to the number of two hundred at Mon- 
terey took his departure from California. Anza 
in his explorations for a presidio site had fixed 
upon what is now Fort Point. 

After his departure Rivera experienced a 
change of heart and instead of trying to delay 
the founding he did everything to hasten it. The 
imperative orders of the viceroy received at 
about this time brought about the change. He 
ordered Lieutenant Moraga, to whom Anza had 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



71 



turned over the command of his soldiers and 
colonists, to proceed at once to San Francisco 
with twenty soldiers to found the fort. The San 
Carlos, which had just arrived at Monterey, was 
ordered to proceed to San Francisco to assist 
in the founding. Moraga with his soldiers ar- 
rived June 2"], and encamped on the Laguna 
de los Dolores, where the mission was a short 
time afterwards founded. Moraga decided to 
located the presidio at the site selected by Anza 
but awaited the arrival of the San Carlos before 
proceeding to build. August 18 the vessel ar- 
rived. It had been driven down the coast to the 
latitude of San Diego by contrary winds and 
then up the coast to latitude 42 degrees. On the 
arrival of the vessel work was begun at once on 
the fort. A square of ninety-two varas (two 
hundred and forty-seven feet) on each side was 
inclosed with palisades. Barracks, officers' 
quarters and a chapel were built inside the 
square. September 17, 1776, was set apart for 
the services of founding, that being the day of 
the "Sores of our seraphic father St. Francis." 
The royal standard was raised in front of the 
square and the usual ceremony of pulling grass 
and throwing stones was performed. Posses- 
sion of the region round about was taken in the 
name of Carlos III., King of Spain. Over one 
hundred and fifty persons witnessed the cere- 
mony. Vancouver, who visited the presidio in 
November, 1792, describes it as a "square area 
whose sides were about two hundred yards in 
length, enclosed by a mud wall and resembling 
a pound for cattle. Above this wall the thatched 
roofs of the low small houses just made their 
appearance." The wall was "about fourteen feet 
high and five feet in breadth and was first 
formed by upright and horizontal rafters of 
large timber, between which dried sods and 
moistened earth were pressed as close and hard 
as possible, after which the whole was cased with 
the earth made into a sort of mud plaster which 
gave it the appearance of durability." 

In addition to the presidio there was another 
fort at Fort Point named Castillo de San Joa- 
quin. It was completed and blessed December 
8, 1794. "It was of horseshoe shape, about one 
hundred by one hundred and twenty feet." The 
structure rested mainly on sand; the brick-faced 



adobe walls crumbled at the shock whenever a 
salute was fired; the guns were badly mounted 
and for the most part worn out, only two of the 
thirteen twenty-four-pounders being serviceable 
or capable of sending a ball across the entrance 
of the fort.* 

PRESIDIO OF SANTA BARBARA. 

Cabrillo, in 1542, found a large Indian popula- 
tion inhabiting the main land of the Santa Bar- 
bara channel. Two hundred and twenty-seven 
years later, when Portola made his exploration, 
apparently there had been no decrease in the 
number of inhabitants. No portion of the coast 
offered a better field for missionary labor and 
Father Serra was anxious to enter it. In ac- 
cordance with Governor Felipe de Neve's report 
of 1777, it had been decided to found three mis- 
sions and a presidio on the channel. Various 
causes had delayed the founding and it was not 
until April 17, 1782, that Governor de Neve 
arrived at the point where he had decided to 
locate the presidio of Santa Barbara. The 
troops that were to man the fort reached San 
Gabriel in the fall of 178 1. It was thought best 
for them to remain there until the rainy sea- 
son was over. March 26, 1782, the governor and 
Father Serra, accompanied by the largest body 
of troops that had ever before been collected in 
California, set out to found the mission of San 
Buenaventura and the presidio. The governor, 
as has been stated in a former chapter, was re- 
called to San Gabriel. The mission was founded 
and the governor having rejoined the cavalcade 
a few weeks later proceeded to find a location 
for the presidio. 

"On reaching a point nine leagues from San 
Buenaventura, the governor called a halt and in 
company with Father Serra at once proceeded to 
select a site for the presidio. The choice re- 
sulted in the adoption of the square now 
formed by city blocks 139, 140, 155 and 156, 
and bounded in common by the following 
streets: Figueroa, Canon Perdido, Garden and 
Anacapa. A large community of Indians were 
residing there but orders were given to leave 
them undisturbed. The soldiers were at once 



•■Bancroft's "History of California." Vol. I. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



directed to hew timbers and gather brush to 
erect temporary barracks which, when com- 
pleted, were also used as a chapel. A large 
wooden cross was made that it might be planted 
in the center of the square and possession of 
the country was taken in the name of the cross, 
the emblem of Christianity. 

April 21, 1782, the soldiers formed a square 
and with edifying solemnity raised the cross and 
secured it in the earth. Father Serra blessed 
and consecrated the district and preached a ser- 
mon. The royal standard of Spain was un- 
furled."* 

An inclosure, sixty varas square, was made of 
palisades. The Indians were friendly, and 
through their chief Yanoalit, who controlled thir- 
teen rancherias, details of them were secured 
to assist the soldiers in the work of building. 
The natives were paid in food and clothing for 
their labor. 

Irrigation works were constructed, consisting 
of a large reservoir made of stone and cement, 
with a zanja for conducting water to the pre- 
sidio. The soldiers, who had families, cultivated 
small gardens which aided in their support. 
Lieutenant Ortega was in command of the pre- 
sidio for two years after its founding. He was 
succeeded by Lieutenant Felipe de Goycoechea. 
After the founding of the mission in 1786, a 
bitter feud broke out between the padres and 
the comandante of the presidio. Goycoechea 
claimed the right to employ the Indians in the 
building of the presidio as he had done before 
the coming of the friars. This they denied. 
After an acrimonious controversy the dispute 
was finally compromised by dividing the Indians 
into two bands, a mission band and a presidio 
band. 

Gradually the palisades were replaced by an 
adobe wall twelve feet high. It had a stone 
foundation and was strongly built. The plaza or 
inclosed square was three hundred and thirty 
feet on each side. On two sides of this inclos- 
ure were ranged the family houses of the sol- 
diers, averaging in size 15x25 feet. On one side 
stood the officers' quarters and the church. On 



"Father Cabelleria's History of Santa Barbara. 



the remaining side were the main entrance four 
varas wide, the store rooms, soldiers' quarters 
and a guard room; and adjoining these outside 
the walls were the corrals for cattle and horses. 
A force of from fifty to sixty soldiers was kept 
at the post. There were bastions at two of the 
corners for cannon. 

The presidio was completed about 1790, with 
the exception of the chapel, which was not fin- 
ished until 1797. Many of the soldiers when 
they had served out their time desired to re- 
main in the country. These were given permis- 
sion to build houses outside the walls of the 
presidio and in course of time a village grew up 
around it. 

At the close of the century the population of 
the gente de razon of the district numbered 
three hundred and seventy. The presidio when 
completed was the best in California. Van- 
couver, the English navigator, who visited it in 
November, 1793, says of it: "The buildings ap- 
peared to be regular and well constructed; the 
walls clean and white and the roofs of the houses 
were covered with a bright red tile. The pre- 
sidio excels all the others in neatness, cleanli- 
ness and other smaller though essential com- 
forts; it is placed on an elevated part of the 
plain and is raised some feet from the ground 
by a basement story which adds much to its 
pleasantness." 

During the Spanish regime the settlement at 
the presidio grew in the leisurely way that all 
Spanish towns grew in California. There was 
but little immigration from Mexico and about 
the only source of increase was from invalid 
soldiers and the children of the soldiers grow- 
ing up to manhood and womanhood. It was a 
dreary and monotonous existence that the sol- 
diers led at the presidios. A few of them had 
their families with them. These when the coun- 
try became more settled had their own houses 
adjoining the presidio and formed the nuclei 
of the towns that grew up around the different 
forts. There was but little fighting to do and 
the soldiers' service consisted mainly of a round 
of guard duty at the forts and missions. Oc- 
casionally there were conquistas into the In- 
dian country to secure new material for con- 
verts from the gentiles. The soldiers were oc- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



73 



casionally employed in hunting hindas or run- 
aways from the missions. These when brought 
back were thoroughly flogged and compelled to 
wear clogs attached to their legs. Once a month 
the soldier couriers brought up from Loreta a 
budget of mail made up of official bandos and a 



few letters. These contained about all the news 
that reached them from their old homes in 
Mexico. But few of the soldiers returned to 
Mexico when their term of enlistment expired. 
In course of time these and their descendants 
formed the bulk of California's population. 



CHAPTER VII. 



PUEBLOS. 



THE pueblo plan of colonization so com- 
mon in Hispano-American countries did 
not originate with the Spanish-Amer- 
ican colonists. It was older even than Spain 
herself. In early European colonization, the 
pueblo plan, the common square in the center 
of the town, the house lots grouped round it, 
the arable fields and the common pasture lands 
beyond, appears in the Aryan village, in the an- 
cient German mark and in the old Roman 
praesidium. The Puritans adopted this form in 
their first settlements in New England. Around 
the public square or common where stood the 
meeting house and the town house, they laid off 
their home lots and beyond these were their 
cultivated fields and their common pasture lands. 
This form of colonization was a combination of 
communal interests and individual ownership. 
Primarily, no doubt, it was adopted for protec- 
tion against the hostile aborigines of the coun- 
try, and secondly for social advantage. It re- 
versed the order of our own western coloniza- 
tion. The town came first, it was the initial 
point from which the settlement radiated; while 
with our western pioneers the town was an after- 
thought, a center point for the convenience of 
trade. 

When it had been decided to send colonists 
to colonize California the settlements naturally 
took the pueblo form. The difficulty of obtain- 
ing regular supplies for the presidios from Mex- 
ico, added to the great expense of shipping such 
a long distance, was the principal cause that in- 
fluenced the government to establish pueblos de 
gente de razon. The presidios received their 
shipments of grain for breadstuff from San Bias 



by sailing vessels. The arrival of these was un- 
certain. Once when the vessels were unusually 
long in coming, the padres and the soldiers at 
the presidios and missions were reduced to liv- 
ing on milk, bear meat and what provisions they 
could obtain from the Indians. When Felipe de 
Neve was made governor of Alta or Nueva 
California in 1776 he was instructed by the vice- 
roy to make observations on the agricultural 
possibilities of the country and the feasibility of 
founding pueblos where grain could be produced 
to supply the military establishments. 

On his journey from San Diego to San Fran- 
cisco in 1777 he carefully examined the coun- 
try; and as a result of his observations recom- 
mended the founding of two pueblos; one on the 
Rio de Porciuncula in the south, and the other 
on the Rio de Guadalupe in the north. On the 
29th of November, 1777, the Pueblo of San 
Jose de Guadelupe was founded. The colonists 
were nine of the presidio soldiers from San 
Francisco and Monterey, who had some knowl- 
edge of farming and five of Anza's pobladores 
who had come with his expedition the previous 
years to found the presidio of San Francisco, 
making with their families sixty-one persons in 
ail. The pueblo was named for the patron saint 
of California, San Jose (St. Joseph), husband of 
Santa Maria, Queen of the Angeles. 

The site selected for the town was about a 
mile and a quarter north of the center of the 
present city. The first houses were built of pal- 
isades and the interstices plastered with mud. 
These huts were roofed with earth and the floor 
was the hard beaten ground. Each head of a 
family was given a suerte or sowing lot of two 



74 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



hundred varas square, a house lot, "ten dollars 
a month and a soldier's rations." Each, also, 
received a yoke of oxen, two cows, a mule, two 
sheep and two goats, together with the neces- 
sary implements and seed, all of which were to 
be repaid in products of the soil delivered at the 
royal warehouse. The first communal work 
done by the pobladores (colonists) was to dam 
the river, and construct a ditch to irrigate their 
sowing fields. The dam was not a success and 
the first sowing of grain was lost. The site se- 
lected for the houses was low and subject to 
overflow. 

During wet winters the inhabitants were com- 
pelled to take a circuitous route of three leagues 
to attend church service at the mission of Santa 
Clara. After enduring this state of affairs 
through seven winters they petitioned the 
governor for permission to remove the pu- 
eblo further south on higher ground. The gov- 
ernor did not have power to grant the request. 
The petition was referred to the comandante- 
general of the Intendencia in Mexico in 1785. 
He seems to have studied over the matter two 
years and having advised with the asesor-general 
"finally issued a decree, June 21, 1787, to Gov- 
ernor Fages, authorizing the settlers to remove 
to the "adjacent loma (hill) selected by them as 
more useful and advantageous without chang- 
ing or altering, for this reason, the limits and 
boundaries of the territory or district assigned 
to said settlement and to the neighboring Mis- 
sion of Santa Clara, as there is no just cause 
why the latter should attempt to appropriate to 
herself that land." 

Having frequently suffered from floods, it 
would naturally be supposed that the inhabi- 
tants, permission being granted, moved right 
away. They did nothing of the kind. Ten years 
passed and they were still located on the old 
marshy site, still discussing the advantages of 
the new site on the other side of the river. 
Whether the padres of the Mission of Santa 
Clara opposed the moving does not appear in 
the records, but from the last clause of the com- 
andante-general's decree in which he says "there 
is not just cause why the latter (the Mission of 
Santa Clara) should attempt to appropriate to 
herself the land," it would seem that the mission 



padres were endeavoring to secure the new site 
or at least prevent its occupancy. There was a 
dispute between the padres and the pobladores 
over the boundary line between the pueblo and 
mission that outlived the century. After hav- 
ing been referred to the titled officials, civil and 
ecclesiastical, a boundary line was finally estab- 
lished, July 24, 1801, that was satisfactory to 
both. "According to the best evidence I have 
discovered," says Hall in his History of San 
Jose, "the removal of the pueblo took place in 
1797," just twenty years after the founding. In 
1798 the juzgado or town hall was built. It 
was located on Market street near El Dorado 
street. 

The area of a pueblo was four square leagues 
(Spanish) or about twenty-seven square miles. 
This was sometimes granted in a square and 
sometimes in a rectangular form. The pueblo 
lands were divided into classes: Solares, house 
lots; suertes (chance), sowing fields, so named 
because they were distributed by lot; propios, 
municipal lands or lands the rent of which went 
to defray municipal expenses; ejidas, vacant 
suburbs or commons; dehesas, pasture where 
the large herds of the pueblo grazed; realenges, 
royal lands also used for raising revenue; these 
were unappropriated lands. 

From various causes the founding of the sec- 
ond pueblo had been delayed. In the latter part 
of 1779, active preparations were begun for car- 
rying out the plan of founding a presidio and 
three missions on the Santa Barbara Channel 
and a pueblo on the Rio Porciuncula to be 
named "Reyna de Los Angeles." The comand- 
ante-general of the Four Interior Provinces of 
the West (which embraced the Californias, So- 
nora, New Mexico and Viscaya), Don Teodoro 
de Croix or "El Cavallero de Croix," "The 
Knight of the Cross," as he usually styled him- 
self, gave instructions to Don Fernando de Ri- 
vera y Moncada to recruit soldiers and settlers 
for the proposed presidio and pueblo in Nueva 
California. He, Rivera, crossed the gulf and be- 
gan recruiting in Sonora and Sinaloa. His in- 
structions were to secure twenty-four settlers, 
who were heads of families. They must be ro- 
bust and well behaved, so that they might set 
a good example to the natives. Their families 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



must accompany them and unmarried female 
relatives must be encouraged to go, with the 
view to marrying them to bachelor sol- 
diers. 

According to the regulations drafted by Gov- 
ernor Felipe de Neve, June i, 1779, for the gov- 
ernment of the province of California and ap- 
proved by the king, in a royal order of the 24th 
of October, 1781, settlers in California from the 
older provinces were each to be granted a house 
lot and a tract of land for cultivation. Each 
poblador in addition was to receive $116.50 a 
vear for the first two years, "the rations to be 
understood as comprehended in this amount, 
and in lieu of rations for the next three years 
they will receive $60 yearly." 

Section 3 of Title 14 of the Reglamento pro- 
vided that "To each poblador and to the com- 
munity of the pueblo there shall be given under 
condition of repayment in horses and mules fit 
to be given and received, and in the payment of 
the other large and small cattle at the just prices, 
which are to be fixed by tariff, and of the tools 
and implements at cost, as it is ordained, two 
mares, two cows, and one calf, two sheep and 
two goats, all breeding animals, and one yoke of 
oxen or steers, one plow point, one hoe, one 
spade, one axe, one sickle, one wood knife, one 
musket and one leather shield, two horses and 
one cargo mule. To the community there shall 
likewise be given the males corresponding to 
the total number of cattle of different kinds dis- 
tributed amongst all the inhabitants, one forge 
and anvil, six crowbars, six iron spades or shov- 
els and the necessary tools for carpenter and 
cast work." For the government's assistance to 
the pobladores in starting their colony the set- 
tlers were required to sell to the presidios the 
surplus products of their lands and herds at fair 
prices, which were to be fixed by the govern- 
ment. 

The terms offered to the settlers were cer- 
tainly liberal, and by our own hardy pioneers, 
who in the closing years of the last century were 
making their way over the Alleghany mountains 
into Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, they would 
have been considered munificent; but to the in- 
dolent and energyless mixed breeds of Sonora 
and Sinaloa thev were no inducement. After 



spending nearly nine months in recruiting, Ri- 
vera was able to obtain only fourteen pobladores, 
but little over half the number required, and two 
of these deserted before reaching California. 
The soldiers that Rivera had recruited for Cal- 
ifornia, forty-two in number, with their families, 
were ordered to proceed overland from Alamos, 
in Sonora, by way of Tucson and the Colorado 
river to San Gabriel Mission. These were com- 
manded by Rivera in person. 

Leaving Alamos in April, 1781, they arrived 
in the latter part of June at the junction of the 
Gila and Colorado rivers. After a short delay 
to rest, the main company was sent on to San 
Gabriel Mission. Rivera, with ten or twelve 
soldiers, remained to recruit his live stock before 
crossing the desert. Two missions had been es- 
tablished on the California side of the Colorado 
the previous year. Before the arrival of Rivera 
the Indians had been behaving badly. Rivera's 
large herd of cattle and horses destroyed the 
mesquite trees and intruded upon the Indians' 
melon patches. This, with their previous quar- 
rel with the padres, provoked the savages to an 
uprising. They, on July 17, attacked the two 
missions, massacred the padres and the Spanish 
settlers attached to the missions and killed Ri- 
vera and his soldiers, forty-six persons in all. 
The Indians burned the mission buildings. 
These were never rebuilt nor was there any at- 
tempt made to convert the Yumas. The hos- 
tility of the Yumas practically closed the Colo- 
rado route to California for many years. 

The pobladores who had been recruited for 
the founding of the new pueblo, with their fami- 
lies and a military escort, all under the command 
of Lieut. Jose Zuniga, crossed the gulf from 
Guaymas to Loreto, in Lower California, and by 
the 16th of May were ready for their long jour- 
ney northward. In the meantime two of the re- 
cruits had deserted and one was left behind at 
Loreto. On the 18th of August the eleven who 
had remained faithful to their contract, with 
their families, arrived at San Gabriel. On ac- 
count of smallpox among some of the children 
the company was placed in quarantine about a 
league from the mission. 

On the 26th of August, 1781, from San Ga- 
briel, Governor de Neve issued his instructions 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



76 

for the founding of Los Angeles, which gave 
some additional rules in regard to the distribu- 
tion of lots not found in the royal reglamento 
previously mentioned. 

On the 4th of September, 1781, the colonists, 
with a military escort headed by Governor Fe- 
lip de Neve, took up their line of march from 
the Mission San Gabriel to the site selected for 
their pueblo on the Rio de Porciuncula. There, 
with religious ceremonies, the Pueblo de Nues- 
tra Sehora La Reina de Los Angeles was for- 
mally founded. A mass was said by a priest 
from the Mission San Gabriel, assisted by the 
choristers and musicians of that mission. There 
were salvos of musketry and a procession with 
a cross, candlestick, etc. At the head of the 
procession the soldiers bore the standard of 
Spain and the women followed bearing a ban- 
ner with the image of our Lady the Queen of 
the Angels. This procession made a circuit of 
the plaza, the priest blessing it and the building 
lots. At the close of the services Governor de 
Neve made an address full of good advice to the 
colonists. Then the governor, his military es- 
cort and the priests returned to San Gabriel and 
the colonists were left to work out their 
destiny. 

Few of the great cities of the land have had 
such humble founders as Los Angeles. Of the 
eleven pobladores who built their huts of poles 
and tule thatch around the plaza vieja one hun- 
dred and twenty-five years ago, not one could 
read or write. Not one could boast of an un- 
mixed ancestry. They were mongrels in race, 
Caucasian, Indian and Negro mixed. Poor in 
purse, poor in blood, poor in all the sterner qual- 
ities of character that our own hardy pioneers 
of the west possessed, they left no impress on 
the city they founded; and the conquering race 
that possesses the land that they colonized has 
forgotten them. No street or landmark in the 
city bears the name of any one of them. No 
monument or tablet marks the spot where they 
planted the germ of their settlement. No Fore- 
fathers' day preserves the memory of their serv- 
ices and sacrifices.- Their names, race and the 
number of persons in each family have been 
preserved in the archives of California. They 
are as follows: 



1. Jose de Lara, a Spaniard (or reputed to be 
one, although it is doubtful whether he was of 
pure blood) had an Indian wife and three chil- 
dren. 

2. Jose Antonio Navarro, a Mestizo, forty- 
two years old; wife a mulattress; three children. 

3. Basilio Rosas, an Indian, sixty-eight years 
old, had a mulatto wife and two children. 

4. Antonio Mesa, a negro, thirty-eight years 
old; had a mulatto wife and two children. 

5. Antonio Felix Villavicencio, a Spaniard, 
thirty years old; had an Indian wife and one 
child. 

6. Jose Vanegas, an Indian, twenty-eight 
years old; had an Indian wife and one child. 

7. Alejandro Rosas, an Indian, nineteen years 
old, and had an Indian wife. (In the records, 
"wife, Coyote-Indian.") 

8. Pablo Rodriguez, an Indian, twenty-five 
years old; had an Indian wife and one child. 

9. Manuel Camero, a mulatto, thirty years 
old; had a mulatto wife. 

10. Luis Quintero, a negro, fifty-five years 
old, and had a mulatto wife and five children. 

11. Jose Morena, a mulatto, twenty-two 
years old, and had a mulatto wife. 

Antonio Miranda, the twelfth person described 
in the padron (list) as a Chino, fifty years old 
and having one child, was left at Loreto when 
the expedition marched northward. It would 
have been impossible for him to have rejoined 
the colonists before the founding. Presumably 
his child remained with him, consequently there 
were but forty-four instead of "forty-six persons 
in all." Col. J. J. Warner, in his "Historical 
Sketch of Los Angeles," originated the fiction 
that one of the founders (Miranda, the Chino,) 
was born in China. Chino, while it does mean a 
Chinaman, is also applied in Spanish-American 
countries to persons or animals having curly 
hair. Miranda was probably of mixed Spanish 
and Negro blood, and curly haired. There is 
no record to show that Miranda ever came to 
Alta California. 

When Jose de Galvez was fitting out the ex- 
pedition for occupying San Diego and Monte- 
rey, he issued a proclamation naming St. Jo- 
seph as the patron saint of his California colon- 
ization scheme. Bearing this fact in mind, no 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



77 



doubt, Governor de Neve, when he founded San 
Jose, named St. Jose^I: its patron saint. Hav- 
ing named one of the two pueblos for San Jose 
it naturally followed that the other should be 
named for Santa Maria, the Queen of the An- 
gels, wife of San Jose. 

On the ist of August, 1769, Portola's expedi- 
tion, on its journey northward in search of Mon- 
terey Bay, had halted in the San Gabriel valley 
near where the Mission Vieja was afterwards lo- 
cated, to reconnoiter the country and "above 
all," as Father Crespi observes, "for the purpose 
of celebrating the jubilee of Our Lady of the 
Angels of Porciuncula." Next day, August 2, 
after traveling about three leagues (nine miles), 
Father Crespi, in his diary, says: "We came to 
a rather wide Canada having a great many Cot- 
tonwood and alder trees. Through it ran a 
beautiful river toward the north-northeast and 
curving around the point of a cliff it takes a di- 
rection to the south. Toward the north-north- 
east we saw another river bed which must have 
been a great overflow, but we found it dry. This 
arm unites with the river and its great floods 
during the rainy season are clearly demon- 
strated by the many uprooted trees scattered 
along the banks." (This dry river is the Arroyo 
Seco.) "We stopped not very far from the river, 
to which we gave the name of Porciuncula." 
Porciuncula is the name of a hamlet in Italy 
near which was located the little church of Our 
Lady of the Angels, in which St. Francis of As- 
sisi was praying when the jubilee was granted 
him. Father Crespi, speaking of the plain 
through which the river flows, says: "This is 
the best locality of all those we have yet seen 
for a mission, besides having all the resources 
required for a large town." Padre Crespi was 
evidently somewhat of a prophet. 

The fact that this locality had for a number 
of years borne the name of "Our Lady of the 
Angels of Porciuncula" may have influenced 
Governor de Neve to locate his pueblo here. 
The full name of the town, El Pueblo de Nuestra 
Senora La Reyna de Los Angeles, was seldom 
used. It was too long for everyday use. In the 
earlier years of the town's history it seems to 
have had a variety of names. It appears in the 
records as El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de Los 



Angeles, as El Pueblo de La Reyna de Los An- 
geles and as El Pueblo de Santa Maria de Los 
Angeles. Sometimes it was abbreviated to 
Santa Maria, but it was most commonly spoken 
of as El Pueblo, the town. At what time the 
name of Rio Porciuncula was changed to Rio 
Los Angeles is uncertain. The change no doubt 
was gradual. 

The site selected for the pueblo of Los An- 
geles was picturesque and romantic. From 
where Alameda street now is to the eastern 
bank of the river the land was covered with a 
dense growth of willows, cottonwoods and al- 
ders; while here and there, rising above the 
swampy copse, towered a giant aliso (sycamore). 
Wild grapevines festooned the branches of the 
trees and wild roses bloomed in profusion. Be- 
hind the narrow shelf of mesa land where the 
pueblo was located rose the brown hills, and in 
the distance towered the lofty Sierra Madre 
mountains. 

The last pueblo founded in California under 
Spanish domination was Villa de Branciforte, 
located on the opposite side of the river from 
the Mission of Santa Cruz. It was named after 
the Viceroy Branciforte. It was designed as a 
coast defense and a place to colonize discharged 
soldiers. The scheme was discussed for a con- 
siderable time before anything was done. Gov- 
ernor Borica recommended "that an adobe 
house be built for each settler so that the prev- 
alent state of things in San Jose and Los An- 
geles, where the settlers still live in tule huts, be- 
ing unable to build better dwellings without 
neglecting their fields, may be prevented, the 
houses to cost not over two hundred dollars."* 

The first detachment of the colonists arrived 
May 12, 1797, on the Concepcion in a destitute 
condition. Lieutenant Aloraga was sent to su- 
perintend the construction of houses for the 
colonists. He was instructed to build temporary 
huts for himself and the guard, then to build 
some larger buildings to accommodate fifteen or 
twenty families each. These were to be tem- 
porary. Only nine families came and they were 
of a vagabond class that had a constitutional 
antipathy to work. The settlers received the 



♦Bancroft's History of California, Vol. I. 



7S 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



same amount of supplies and allowance of 
money as the colonists of San Jose and Los 
Angeles. Although the colonists were called 
Spaniards and assumed to be of a superior race 
to the first settlers of the other pueblos, they 
made less progress and were more unruly than 
the mixed and mongrel inhabitants of the older 
pueblos. 

Although at the close of the century three 
decades had passed since the first settlement was 
made in California, the colonists had made but 
little progress. Three pueblos of gente de razon 
had been founded and a few ranchos granted to 
ex-soldiers. Exclusive of the soldiers, the white 
population in the year 1800 did not exceed six 
hundred. The people lived in the most primi- 
tive manner. There was no commerce and no 
manufacturing except a little at the missions. 
Their houses were adobe huts roofed with tule 
thatch. The floor was the beaten earth and the 



scant furniture home-made. There was a scarcity 
of cloth for clothing. Padre Salazar relates that 
when he was at San Gabriel Mission in 1795 a 
man who had a thousand horses and cattle in 
proportion came there to beg cloth for a shirt, 
for none could be had at the pueblo of Los An- 
geles nor at the presidio of Santa Barbara. 

Hermanagildo Sal, the comandante of San 
Francisco, writing to a friend in 1799, says, "I 
send you, by the wife of the pensioner Jose 
Barbo, one piece of cotton goods and an ounce 
of sewing silk. There are no combs and I have 
no hope of receiving any for three years." Think 
of waiting three years for a comb! 

Eighteen missions had been founded at the 
close of the century. Except at a few of the 
older missions, the buildings were temporary 
structures. The neophytes for the most part 
were living in wigwams constructed like those 
they had occupied in their wild state. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



THE PASSING OF SPAIN'S DOMINATION. 



THE Spaniards were not a commercial peo- 
ple. Their great desire was to be let alone 
in their American possessions. Philip II. 
once promulgated a decree pronouncing death 
upon any foreigner who entered the Gulf of 
Mexico. It was easy to promulgate a decree or 
to pass restrictive laws against foreign trade, but 
quite another thing to enforce them. 

After the first settlement of California seven- 
teen years passed before a foreign vessel entered 
any of its ports. The first to arrive were the 
two vessels of the French explorer, La Perouse, 
who anchored in the harbor of Monterey, Sep- 
tember 15, 1786. Being of the same faith, and 
France having been an ally of Spain in former 
times, he was well received. During his brief 
stay he made a study of the mission system and 
his observations on it are plainly given. He 
found a similarity in it to the slave plantations 
of Santo Domingo. November 14, 1792, the 
English navigator, Capt. George Vancouver, in 
the ship Discovery, entered the Bay of San 



Francisco. He was cordially received by the 
comandante of the port, Hermanagildo Sal, and 
the friars of the mission. On the 20th of the 
month, with several of his officers, he visited the 
Mission of Santa Clara, where he was kindly 
treated. He also visited the Mission of San 
Carlos de Monterey. He wrote an interesting 
account of his visit and his observations on the 
country. Vancouver was surprised at the back- 
wardness of the country and the antiquated cus- 
toms of the people. He says: "Instead of find- 
ing a country tolerably well inhabited, and far 
advanced in cultivation, if we except its natural 
pastures, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, 
there is not an object to indicate the most re- 
mote connection with any European or other 
civilized nation." On a subsequent visit, Cap- 
tain Vancouver met a chilly reception from the 
acting governor, Arrillaga. The Spaniards sus- 
pected him of spying out the weakness of their 
defenses. Through the English, the Spaniards 
became acquainted with the importance and 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



value of the fur trade. The bays and lagoons of 
California abounded in sea otter. Their skins 
were worth in China all the way from $30 to 
$100 each. The trade was made a government 
monopoly. The skins were to be collected from 
the natives, soldiers and others by the mission- 
aries, at prices ranging from $2.50 to $10 each, 
and turned over to the government officials ap- 
pointed to receive them. All trade by private 
persons was prohibited. The government was 
sole trader. But the government failed to make 
the trade profitable. In the closing years of 
the century the American smugglers began to 
haunt the coast. The restrictions against trade 
with foreigners were proscriptive and the penal- 
ties for evasion severe, but men will trade under 
the most adverse circumstances. Spain was a 
long way off, and smuggling was not a very 
venal sin in the eyes of layman or churchman. 
Fast sailing vessels were fitted out in Boston 
for illicit trade on the California coast. Watch- 
ing their opportunities, these vessels slipped 
into the bays and inlets along the coast. There 
was a rapid exchange of Yankee notions for sea 
otter skins, the most valued peltry of California, 
and the vessels were out to sea before the rev- 
enue officers could intercept them. If success- 
ful in escaping capture, the profits of a smug- 
gling voyage were enormous, ranging from 500 
to 1,000 per cent above cost on the goods ex- 
changed; but the risks were great. The smug- 
gler had no protection; he was an outlaw. He 
was the legitimate prey of the padres, the peo- 
ple and the revenue officers. The Yankee smug- 
gler usually came out ahead. His vessel was 
heavily armed, and when speed or stratagem 
failed he was ready to fight his way out of a 
scrape. 

Each year two ships were sent from San 
Bias with the memorias — mission and presidio 
supplies. These took back a small cargo of the 
products of the territory, wheat being the prin- 
cipal. This was all the legitimate commerce 
allowed California. 

The fear of Russian aggression had been one 
of the causes that had forced Spain to attempt 
the colonization of California. Bering, in 1741, 
had discovered the strait that bears his name 
and had taken possession, for the Russian gov- 



ernment, of the northwestern coast of America. 
Four years later, the first permanent Russian 
settlement, Sitka, had been made on one of the 
coast islands. Rumors of the Russian explora- 
tions and settlements had reached Madrid and 
in 1774 Captain Perez, in the San Antonia, was 
sent up the coast to find out what the Russians 
were doing. 

Had Russian America contained arable land 
where grain and vegetables could have been 
grown, it is probable that the Russians and 
Spaniards in America would not have come in 
contact; for another nation, the United States, 
had taken possession of the intervening coun- 
try, bordering the Columbia river. 

The supplies of breadstuffs for the Sitka col- 
onists had to be sent overland across Siberia 
or shipped around Cape Horn. Failure of sup- 
plies sometimes reduced the colonists to sore 
straits. In 1806, famine and diseases incident 
to starvation threatened the extinction of the 
Russian colony. Count Rezanoff, a high officer 
of the Russian government, had arrived at the 
Sitka settlement in September, 1805. The des- 
titution prevailing there induced him to visit 
California with the hope of obtaining relief for 
the starving colonists. In the ship Juno (pur- 
chased from an American trader), with a scurvy 
afflicted crew, he made a perilous voyage down 
the stormy coast and on the 5th of April, 1806, 
anchored safely in the Bay of San Francisco. 
He had brought with him a cargo of goods for 
exchange but the restrictive commercial regula- 
tions of Spain prohibited trade with foreigners. 
Although the friars and the people needed the 
goods the governor could not allow the ex- 
change. Count Rezanoff would be permitted to 
purchase grain for cash, but the Russian's ex- 
chequer was not plethoric and his ship was al- 
ready loaded with goods. Love that laughs at 
locksmiths eventually unlocked the shackles 
that hampered commerce. Rezanoff fell in love 
with Dona Concepcion, the beautiful daughter 
of Don Jose Arguello, the comandante of San 
Francisco, and an old time friend of the gov- 
ernor, Arrillaga. The attraction was mutual. 
Through the influence of Dona Concepcion, the 
friars and Arguello, the governor was induced 
to sanction a plan by which cash was the sup- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



posed medium of exchange on both sides, but 
grain on the one side and goods on the other 
were the real currency. 

The romance of Rezanoff and Dona Concep- 
cion had a sad ending. On his journey through 
Siberia to St. Petersburg to obtain the consent 
of the emperor to his marriage he was killed 
by a fall from his horse. It was several years 
before the news of his death reached his af- 
fianced bride. Faithful to his memory, she never 
married, but dedicated her life to deeds of char- 
ity. After Rezanoff s visit the Russians came 
frequently to California, partly to trade, but 
more often to hunt otter. While on these fur 
hunting expeditions they examined the coast 
north of San Francisco with the design of plant- 
ing an agricultural colony where they could 
raise grain to supply the settlements in the far 
north. In 1812 they founded a town and built 
a fort on the coast north of Bodega Bay, which 
they named Ross. The fort mounted ten guns. 
They maintained a fort at Bodega Bay and also 
a small settlement on Russian river. The Span- 
iards protested against this aggression and 
threatened to drive the Russians out of the ter- 
ritory, but nothing came of their protests and 
they were powerless to enforce their demands. 
The Russian ships came to California for sup- 
plies and were welcomed by the people and the 
friars if not by the government officials. The 
Russian colony at Ross was not a success. The 
ignorant soldiers and the Aluets who formed 
the bulk of its three or four hundred inhab- 
itants, knew little or nothing about farming and 
were too stupid to learn. After the decline of 
fur hunting the settlement became unprofitable. 
In 1841 the buildings and the stock were sold 
by the Russian governor to Capt. John A. Sut- 
ter for $30,000. The settlement was abandoned 
and the fort and the town are in ruins. 

On the 15th of September, 1810, the patriot 
priest, Miguel Hidalgo, struck the' first blow 
for Mexican independence. The revolution 
which began in the province of Guanajuato was 
at first regarded by the authorities as a mere 
riot of ignorant Indians that would be speedily 
suppressed. But the insurrection spread rap- 
idly. Long years of oppression and cruelty had 
instilled into the hearts of the people an undy- 



ing hatred for their Spanish oppressors. Hidalgo 
soon found himself at the head of a motley 
army, poorly armed and undisciplined, but its 
numbers swept away opposition. Unfortunately 
through over-confidence reverses came and in 
March, 181 1, the patriots met an overwhelming 
defeat at the bridge of Calderon. Hidalgo was 
betrayed, captured and shot. Though sup- 
pressed for a time, the cause of independence 
was not lost. For eleven years a fratricidal war 
was waged — cruel, bloody and devastating. Al- 
lende, Mina, Moreles, Aldama, Rayon and other 
patriot leaders met death on the field of battle 
or were captured and shot as rebels, but "Free- 
dom's battle" bequeathed from bleeding sire to 
son was won at last. 

Of the political upheavals that shook Spain 
in the first decades of the century only the faint- 
est rumblings reached far distant California. 
Notwithstanding the many changes of rulers 
that political revolutions and Napoleonic wars 
gave the mother country, the people of Califor- 
nia remained loyal to the Spanish crown, al- 
though at times they must have been in doubt 
who wore the crown. 

Arrillaga was governor of California when 
the war of Mexican independence began. Al- 
though born in Mexico he was of pure Spanish 
parentage and was thoroughly in sympathy with 
Spain in the contest. He did not live to see the 
end of the war. He died in 1814 and was suc- 
ceeded by Pablo Vicente de Sola. Sola was 
Spanish born and was bitterly opposed to the 
revolution, even going so far as to threaten 
death to any one who should speak in favor of 
it. He had received his appointment from 
Viceroy Calleja, the butcher of Guanajuato, the 
crudest and most bloodthirsty of the vice regal 
governors of new Spain. The friars were to a 
man loyal to Spain. The success of the repub- 
lic meant the downfall of their domination. 
They hated republican ideas and regarded 
their dissemination as a crime. They were the 
ruling power in California. The governors 
and the people were subservient to their 
wishes. 

The decade between 1810 and 1820 was 
marked by two important events, the year of the 
earthquakes and the year of the insurgents. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



81 



The year 1812 was the Ano de los Temblores. 
The seismic disturbance that for forty years or 
more had shaken California seemed to concen- 
trate in power that year and expend its force 
on the mission churches. The massive church 
of San Juan Capistrano, the pride of mission 
architecture, was thrown down and forty per- 
sons killed. The walls of San Gabriel Mission 
were cracked and some of the saints shaken out 
of their niches. At San Buenaventura there 
were three heavy shocks which injured the 
church so that the tower and much of the facade 
had to be rebuilt. The whole mission site 
seemed to settle and the inhabitants, fearful 
that they might be engulfed by the sea, moved 
up the valley about two miles, where they re- 
mained three months. At Santa Barbara both 
church and the presidio were damaged and at 
Santa Inez the church was shaken down. The 
quakes continued for several months and the 
people were so terrified that they abandoned 
their houses and lived in the open air. 

The other important epoch of the decade was 
El Ano de los Insurgentes, the year of the in- 
surgents. In November, 1818, Bouchard, a 
Frenchman in the service of Buenos Ayres and 
provided with letters of marque by San Mar- 
tain, the president of that republic, to prey upon 
Spanish commerce, appeared in the port of 
Monterey with two ships carrying sixty-six 
guns and three hundred and fifty men. He at- 
tacked Monterey and after an obstinate re- 
sistance by the Californians, it was taken by the 
insurgents and burned. Bouchard next pillaged 
Ortega's rancho and burned the buildings. 
Then sailing down the coast he scared the Santa 
Barbaranos; then keeping on down he looked 
into San Pedro, but finding nothing there to 
tempt him he kept on to San Juan Capistrano. 
There he landed, robbed the mission of -a few 
articles and drank the padres' wine. Then he 
sailed away and disappeared. He left six of his 
men in California, among them Joseph Chap- 
man of Boston, the first American resident of 
California. 

In the early part of the last century there 
was a limited commerce with Lima. That 



being a Spanish dependency, trade with it was 
not prohibited. Gilroy, who arrived in Califor- 
nia in 1814, says in his reminiscences:* 

"The only article of export then was tallow, 
of which one cargo was sent annually to Callao 
in a Spanish ship. This tallow sold for $1.50 
per hundred weight in silver or $2.00 in trade 
or goods. Hides, except those used for tallow 
bags, were thrown away. Wheat, barley and 
beans had no market. Nearly everything con- 
sumed by the people was produced at home. 
There was no foreign trade." 

As the revolution in Mexico progressed 
times grew harder in California. The mission 
memorias ceased to come. No tallow ships from 
Callao arrived. The soldiers' pay was years in 
arrears and their uniforms in rags. What little 
wealth there was in the country was in the 
hands of the padres. They were supreme. "The 
friars," says Gilroy, "had everything their own 
way. The governor and the military were ex- 
pected to do whatever the friars requested. The 
missions contained all the wealth of the coun- 
try." The friars supported the government and 
supplied the troops with food from the products 
of the neophytes' labor. The crude manufac- 
turers of the missions supplied the people with 
cloth for clothing and some other necessities. 
The needs of the common people were easily 
satisfied. They were not used to luxuries nor 
were they accustomed to what we would now 
consider necessities. Gilroy, in the reminis- 
cences heretofore referred to, states that at the 
time of his arrival (1814) "There was not a saw- 
mill, whip saw or spoked wheel in California. 
Such lumber as was used was cut with an axe. 
Chairs, tables and wood floors were not to be 
found except in the governor's house. Plates 
were rare unless that name could be applied to 
the tiles used instead. Money was a rarity. 
There were no stores and no merchandise to 
sell. There was no employment for a laborer. 
The neophytes did all the work and all the busi- 
ness of the country was in the hands of the 
friars." 



*Alta California, June 25, 



82 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



CHAPTER IX. 



FROM EMPIRE TO REPUBLIC. 



THE condition of affairs in California stead- 
ily grew worse as the revolution in Mex- 
ico progressed. Sola had made strenuous 
efforts to arouse the Spanish authorities of New 
Spain to take some action towards benefiting the 
territory. After the affair with the insurgent 
Bouchard he had appealed to the viceroy for re- 
inforcements. In answer to his urgent entreaties 
a force of one hundred men was sent from Ma- 
zatlan to garrison San Diego and an equal force 
from San Bias for Monterey. They reached Cal- 
ifornia in August, 1819, and Sola was greatly 
rejoiced, but his joy was turned to deep disgust 
when he discovered the true character of the re- 
inforcement and arms sent him. The only equip- 
ments of the soldiers were a few hundred old 
worn-out sabers that Sola declared were unfit 
for sickles. He ordered them returned to the 
comandante of San Bias, who had sent them. 
The troops were a worse lot than the arms sent. 
They had been taken out of the prisons or con- 
scripted from the lowest class of the population 
of the cities. They were thieves, drunkards and 
vagabonds, who, as soon as landed, resorted to 
robberies, brawls and assassinations. Sola wrote 
to the viceroy that the outcasts called troops 
sent him from the jails of Tepic and San Bias 
by their vices caused continual disorders; their 
evil example had debauched the minds of the 
Indians and that the cost incurred in their col- 
lection and transportation had been worse than 
thrown away. He could not get rid of them, 
so he had to control them as best he could. 
Governor Sola labored faithfully to benefit the 
country over which he had been placed and to 
arouse the Spanish authorities in Mexico to do 
something for the advancement of California; 
but the government did nothing. Indeed it was 
in no condition to do anything. The revolution 
would not down. No sooner was one revolution- 
ary leader suppressed and the rebellion ap- 
parently crushed than there was an uprising in 



some other part of the country under a new 
leader. 

Ten years of intermittent warfare had been 
waged — one army of patriots after another had 
been defeated and the leaders shot; the strug- 
gle for independence was almost ended and the 
royalists were congratulating themselves on the 
triumph of the Spanish crown, when a sudden 
change came and the vice regal government 
that for three hundred years had swayed the 
destinies of New Spain went down forever. 
Agustin Iturbide, a colonel in the royal army, 
who in February, 1821, had been sent with a 
corps of five thousand men from the capital to 
the Sierras near Acapulco to suppress Guerrero, 
the last of the patriot chiefs, suddenly changed 
his allegiance, raised the banner of the revolu- 
tion and declared for the independence of Mex- 
ico under the plan of Iguala, so named for the 
town where it was first proclaimed. The central 
ideas of the plan were "Union, civil and re- 
ligious liberty." 

There was a general uprising in all parts of 
the country and men rallied to the support of the 
Army of the Three Guarantees, religion, union, 
independence. Guerrero joined forces with 
Iturbide and September 21, 182 1, at the head 
of sixteen thousand men, amid the rejoicing of 
the people, they entered the capital. The viceroy 
was compelled to recognize the independence of 
Mexico. A provisional government under a 
regency was appointed at first, but a few months 
later Iturbide was crowned emperor, taking the 
title of his most serene majesty, Agustin I., by 
divine providence and by the congress of the 
nation, first constitutional emperor of Mexico. 

Sola had heard rumors of the turn affairs 
were taking in Mexico, but he had kept the re- 
ports a secret and still hoped and prayed for 
the success of the Spanish arms. At length a 
vessel appeared in the harbor of Monterey float- 
ing an unknown flag, and cast anchor beyond 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the reach of the guns of the castillo. The sol- 
diers were called to arms. A boat from the ship 
put off for shore and landed an officer, who de- 
clared himself the bearer of dispatches to Don 
Pablo Vicente de Sola, the governor of the 
province. "I demand," said he, "to be con- 
ducted to his presence in the name of my sov- 
ereign, the liberator of Mexico, General Agustin 
de Iturbide." There was a murmur of applause 
from the soldiers, greatly to the surprise of their 
officers, who were all loyalists. Governor Sola 
was bitterly disappointed. Only a few days be- 
fore he had harangued the soldiers in the square 
of the presidio and threatened "to shoot down 
any one high or low without the formality of a 
trial who dared to say a word in favor of the 
traitor Iturbide." 

For half a century the banner of Spain had 
floated from the flag staff of the presidio of 
Monterey. Sadly Sola ordered it lowered and 
in its place was hoisted the imperial flag of the 
Mexican Empire. A few months pass, Iturbide 
is forced to abdicate the throne of empire and 
is banished from Mexico. The imperial stand- 
ard is supplanted by the tricolor of the republic. 
Thus the Californians, in little more than one 
year, have passed under three different forms 
of government, that of a kingdom, an empire 
and a republic, and Sola from the most 
loyal of Spanish governors in the kingdom 
of Spain has been transformed in a Mexican 
republican. 

The friars, if possible, were more bitterly dis- 
appointed than the governor. They saw in the 
success of the republic the doom of their estab- 
lishments. Republican ideas were repulsive to 
them. Liberty meant license to men to think 
for themselves. The shackles of creed and the 
fetters of priestcraft would be loosened bv the 
growth of liberal ideas. It was not strange, 
viewing the question from their standpoint, that 
they refused to take the oath of allegiance to 
the republic. Nearly all of them were Spanish 
born. Spain had aided them to plant their mis- 
sions, had fostered their establishments and had 
made them supreme in the territory. Their al- 
legiance was due to the Spanish crown. They 
would not transfer it to a republic and they did 
not; to the last they were loyal to Spain in 



heart, even if they did acquiesce in the ob- 
servance of the rule of the republic. 

Sola had long desired to be relieved of the 
governorship. He was growing old and was in 
poor health. The condition of the country wor- 
ried him. He had frequently asked to be re- 
lieved and allowed to retire from military duty. 
His requests were unheeded; the vice regal 
government of New Spain had weightier mat- 
ters to attend to than requests or the complaints 
of the governor of a distant and unimportant 
province. The inauguration of the empire 
brought him the desired relief. 

Under the empire Alta California was allowed 
a diputado or delegate in the imperial congress. 
Sola was elected delegate and took his de- 
parture for Mexico in the autumn of 1822. Luis 
Antonio Arguello, president of the provincial 
diputacion, an institution that had come into ex- 
istence after the inauguration of the empire, be- 
came governor by virtue of his position as 
president. He was the first hijo del pais or na- 
tive of the country to hold the office of gov- 
ernor. He was born at San Francisco in 1784, 
while his father, an ensign at the presidio, was 
in command there. His opportunities for ob- 
taining an education were extremely meager, 
but he made the best use of what he had. He 
entered the army at sixteen and was, at the time 
he became temporary governor, comandante at 
San Francisco. 

The inauguration of a new form of govern- 
ment had brought no relief to California. The 
two Spanish ships that had annually brought 
los memorias del rey (the remembrances of the 
king) had long since ceased to come with their 
supplies of money and goods for the soldiers. 
The California ports were closed to foreign com- 
merce. There was no sale for the products of 
the country. So the missions had to throw open 
their warehouses and relieve the necessities of 
the government. 

The change in the form of government had 
made no change in the dislike of foreigners, 
that was a characteristic of the Spaniard. Dur- 
ing the Spanish era very few foreigners had 
been allowed to remain in California. Run- 
away sailors and shipwrecked mariners, notwith- 
standing they might wish to remain in the coun- 



84 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



try and become Catholics, were shipped to 
Mexico and returned to their own country. 
John Gilroy, whose real name was said to be 
John Cameron, was the first permanent English 
speaking resident of California. When a boy 
of eighteen he was left by the captain of a Hud- 
son Bay company's ship at Monterey in 1814. 
He was sick with the scurvy and not expected 
to live. Nursing and a vegetable diet brought 
him out all right, but he could not get away. 
He did not like the country and every day for 
several years he went down to the beach and 
scanned the ocean for a foreign sail. When one 
did come he had gotten over his home-sickness, 
had learned the language, fallen in love, turned 
Catholic and married. 

In 1822 William E. P. Hartnell, an English- 
man, connected with a Lima business house, 
visited California and entered into a contract 
with Padre Payeras, the prefect of the missions, 
for the purchase of hides and tallow. Hartnell 
a few years later married a California lady and 
became a permanent resident of the territory. 
Other foreigners who came about the same time 
as Hartnell and who became prominent in Cal- 
ifornia were William A. Richardson, an Eng- 
lishman; Capt. John R. Cooper of Boston and 
William A. Gale, also of Boston. Gale had first 
visited California in 1810 as a fur trader. He 
returned in 1822 on the ship Sachem, the pioneer 
Boston hide drogher. The hide drogher was 
in a certain sense the pioneer emigrant ship 
of California. It brought to the coast a 
number of Americans who became permanent 
residents of the territory. California, on ac- 
count of its long distance from the world's 
marts of trade, had but few products for ex- 
change that would bear the cost of shipment. 
Its chief commodities for barter during the 
Mexican era were hides and tallow. The vast 
range of country adapted to cattle raising made 
that its most profitable industry. Cattle in- 
creased rapidly and required but little care or 
attention from their owners. As the native Cal- 
ifornians were averse to hard labor cattle rais- 
ing became almost the sole industry of the 
country. 

After the inauguration of a republican form 
of government in Mexico some of the most 



burdensome restrictions on foreign commerce 
were removed. The Mexican Congress of 1824 
enacted a colonization law, which was quite 
liberal. Under it foreigners could obtain land 
from the public domain. The Roman Catholic 
religion was the state religion and a foreigner, 
before he could become a permanent resident of 
the country, acquire property or marry, was 
required to be baptized and embrace the doc- 
trines of that church. After the Mexican Con- 
gress repealed the restrictive laws against for- 
eign commerce a profitable trade grew up 
between the New England ship owners and the 
Californians. 

Vessels called hide droghers were fitted out 
in Boston with assorted cargoes suitable for the 
California trade. Making the voyage by way of 
Cape Horn they reached California. Stopping 
at the various ports along the coast they ex- 
changed their stocks of goods and Yankee 
notions for hides and tallow. It took from two 
to three years to make a voyage to California 
and return to Boston, but the profits on the 
goods sold and on the hides received in ex- 
change were so large that these ventures paid 
handsomely. The arrival of a hide drogher 
with its department store cargo was heralded 
up and down the coast. It broke the monotony 
of existence, gave the people something new 
to talk about and stirred them up as nothing 
else could do unless possibly a revolution. 

"On the arrival of a new vessel from the 
United States," says Robinson in his "Life in 
California," "every man, woman, boy and girl 
took a proportionate share of interest as to the 
qualities of her cargo. If the first inquired for 
rice, sugar or tobacco, the latter asked for prints, 
silks and satins; and if the boy wanted a Wil- 
son's jack knife, the girl hoped that there might 
be some satin ribbons for her. Thus the whole 
population hailed with eagerness an arrival. Even 
the Indian in his unsophisticated style asked for 
Panas Colorados and Abalaris — red handker- 
chiefs and beads. 

"After the arrival of our trading vessel (at San 
Pedro) our friends came in the morning flock- 
ing on board from all quarters; and soon a busy 
scene commenced afloat and ashore. Boats 
were passing to the beach, and men, women 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and children partaking in the general excite- 
ment. On shore all was confusion, cattle and 
carts laden with hides and tallow, gente de razon 
and Indians busily employed in the delivery of 
their produce and receiving in return its value 
in goods. Groups of individuals seated around 
little bonfires upon the ground, and horsemen 
racing over the plains in every direction. Thus 
the day passed, some arriving, some departing, 
till long after sunset, the low white road, lead- 
ing across the plains to the town (Los Angeles), 
appeared a living panorama." 

The commerce of California during the Mex- 
ican era was principally carried on by the hide 
droghers. The few stores at the pueblos and 
presidios obtained their supplies from them 
and retailed their goods to customers in the in- 
tervals between the arrivals of the department 
store droghers. 

The year 1824 was marked by a serious out- 
break among the Indians of several missions. 
Although in the older missionary establish- 
ments many of the neophytes had spent half a 
century under the Christianizing influence of 
the padres and in these, too, a younger genera- 
tion had grown from childhood to manhood 
under mission tutelage, yet their Christian train- 
ing had not eliminated all the aboriginal sav- 
agery from their natures. The California Indians 
were divided into numerous small tribes, each 
speaking a different dialect. They had never 
learned, like the eastern Indians did, the ad- 
vantages of uniting against a common enemy. 
When these numerous small tribes were gath- 
ered into the missions they were kept as far as 
it was possible separate and it is said the padres 
encouraged their feuds and tribal animosities to 
prevent their uniting against the missionaries. 
Their long residence in the missions had de- 
stroyed their tribal distinctions and merged 
them into one body. It had taught them, too, 
the value of combination. 

How long the Indians had been plotting no 
one knew. The conspiracy began among the 
neophytes of Santa Ynez and La Purisima, but 
it spread to the missions of San Luis Obispo, 
Santa Barbara, San Buenaventura, San Fer- 
nando and San Gabriel. Their plan was to mas- 
sacre the padres and the mission guard and 



having obtained arms lo Idll all the gente <\i 
razon and thus free themselves from mission 
thralldom and regain their old time freedom. 
The plotting had been carried on with great 
secrecy. Rumors had passed from mission to 
mission arranging the details of the uprising 
without the whites suspecting anything. Sunday, 
February 22, 1824, was the day set for begin- 
ning the slaughter. At the hour of celebrating 
mass, when the soldiers and the padres were 
within the church, the bloody work was to be- 
gin. The plot might have succeeded had not 
the Indians at Santa Ynez began their work 
prematurely. One account (Hindi's History of 
California) says that on Saturday afternoon be- 
fore the appointed Sunday they determined to 
begin the work by the murder of Padre Fran- 
cisco Xavier Una, who was sleeping in a cham- 
ber next the mission church. He was warned 
by a faithful page. Springing from. his couch 
and rushing to a window he saw the Indians ap- 
proaching. Seizing a musket from several that 
were in the room he shot the first Indian that 
reached the threshold dead. He seized a sec- 
ond musket and laid another Indian low. The 
soldiers now rallied to his assistance and the 
Indians were driven back; they set fire to the 
mission church, but a small body of troops un- 
der Sergeant Carrillo, sent from Santa Barbara 
to reinforce the mission guard, coming up at 
this time, the Indians fled to Purisima. The 
fire was extinguished before the church was 
consumed. At Purisima the Indians were more 
successful. The mission was defended by Cor- 
poral Tapia and five soldiers. The Indians de- 
manded that Tapia surrender, but the corporal 
refused. The fight began and continued all 
night. The Indians set fire to the building, but 
all they could burn was the rafters. Tapia, by a 
strategic movement, succeeded in collecting all 
the soldiers and the women and children inside 
the walls of one of the largest buildings from 
which the roof had been burnt. From this the 
Indians could not dislodge him. The fight was 
kept up till morning, when one of the Indians, 
who had been a mission alcade, made a prop- 
osition to the corporal to surrender. Tapia re- 
fused to consider it, but Father Bias Ordaz in- 
terfered and insisted on a compromise. After 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



much contention Tapia found himself overruled. 
The Indians agreed to spare the lives of all on 
condition that the whites laid down their arms. 
The soldiers laid down their arms and sur- 
rendered two small cannon belonging to the 
church. The soldiers, the women and the chil- 
dren were then allowed to march to Santa Ynez. 
While the fight was going on the Indians killed 
four white men, two of them, Dolores Sepulveda 
and Ramon Satelo, were on their way to Los 
Angeles and came to the mission not suspecting 
any danger. Seven Indians were killed in the 
fight and a number wounded. 

The Indians at Santa Barbara began hostilities 
according to their prearranged plot. They made 
an attack upon the mission. Captain de la 
Guerra, who was in command at the presidio, 
marched to the mission and a fight of several 
hours ensued. The Indians sheltered them- 
selves behind the pillars of the corridor and 
fought with guns and arrows. After losing sev- 
eral of their number they fled to the hills. Four 
soldiers were wounded. The report of the up- 
rising reached Monterey and measures were 
taken at once to subdue the rebellious 
neophytes. A force of one hundred men was 
sent under Lieut. Jose Estrada to co-operate 
with Captain de la Guerra against the rebels. 
On the 1 6th of March the soldiers surrounded 
the Indians who had taken possession of the 
mission church at Purisima and opened fire 
upon them. The Indians replied with their cap- 
tured cannon, muskets and arrows. Estrada's 
artillery battered down the walls of the church. 
The Indians, unused to arms, did little execu- 
tion. Driven out of the wrecked building, they 
attempted to make their escape by flight, but 
were intercepted by the cavalry which had been 
deployed for that purpose. Finding themselves 



hemmed in on all sides the neophytes sur- 
rendered. They had lost sixteen killed and a 
large number of wounded. Seven of the prison- 
ers were shot for complicity in the murder of 
Sepulveda and the three other travelers. The 
four leaders in the revolt, Mariano Pacomio, 
Benito and Bernabe, were sentenced to ten 
years hard labor at the presidio and eight oth- 
ers to lesser terms. There were four hundred 
Indians engaged in the battle. 

The Indians of the Santa Barbara missions 
and escapes from Santa Ynez and Purisima 
made their way over the mountains to the 
Tulares. A force of eighty men under com- 
mand of a lieutenant was sent against these. 
The troops had two engagements with the reb- 
els, whom they found at Buenavista Lake and 
San Emigdio. Finding his force insufficient to 
subdue them the lieutenant retreated to Santa 
Barbara. Another force of one hundred and 
thirty men under Captain Portilla and Lieuten- 
ant Valle was sent after the rebels. Father 
Ripoll had induced the governor to offer a gen- 
eral pardon. The padre claimed that the In- 
dians had not harmed the friars nor committed 
sacrilege in the church and from his narrow 
view these were about the only venal sins they 
could commit. The troops found the fugitive 
neophytes encamped at San Emigdio. They 
now professed repentance for their misdeeds and 
were willing to return to mission life if they 
could escape punishment. Padres Ripoll and 
Sarria, who had accompanied the expedition, 
entered into negotiations with the Indians; par- 
don was promised them for their offenses. They 
then surrendered and marched back with the 
soldiers to their respective missions. This was 
the last attempt of the Indians to escape from 
mission rule. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



87 



CHAPTER X 



FIRST DECADE OF MEXICAN RULE. 



JOSE MARIA ECHEAXDIA, a lieutenant 
colonel of the Mexican army, was ap- 
pointed governor of the two Californias, 
February I, 1825. With his staff officers and 
a few soldiers he landed at Loreto June 
22. After a delay of a few months at Lo- 
reto he marched overland to San Diego, 
where he arrived about the middle of October. 
He summoned Arguello to meet him there, 
which he did and turned over the government, 
October 31. 1S25. Echeandia established his 
capital at San Diego, that town being about the 
center of his jurisdiction. This did not suit the 
people of Monterey, who became prejudiced 
against the new governor. Shortly after his 
inauguration he began an investigation of the 
attitude of the mission friars towards the re- 
public of Mexico. He called padres Sanches, 
Zalvidea, Peyri and Martin, representatives of 
the four southern missions, to San Diego and 
demanded of them whether they would take the 
oath of allegiance to the supreme government. 
They expressed their willingness and were ac- 
cordingly sworn to support the constitution of 
1824. Many of the friars of the northern mis- 
sions remained contumacious. Among the 
most stubborn of these was Padre Vicente 
Francisco de Sarria, former president of the 
missions. He had resigned the presidency to 
escape taking the oath of allegiance and still 
continued his opposition. He was put under ar- 
rest and an order issued for his expulsion by 
the supreme government, but the execution of 
the order was delayed for fear that if he were 
banished others of the disloyal padres would 
abandon their missions and secretly leave the 
country. The government was not ready yet to 
take possession of the missions. The friars 
could keep the neophytes in subjection and 
make them work. The business of the country 
was in the hands of the friars and any radical 
change would have been disastrous. 



The national government in 1827 had issued 
a decree for the expulsion of Spaniards from 
Mexican territory. There were certain classes 
of those born in Spain who were exempt from 
banishment, but the friars were not among the 
exempts. The decree of expulsion reached Cal- 
ifornia in 1828; but it was not enforced for the 
reason that all of the mission padres except 
three were Spaniards. To have sent these out 
of the country would have demoralized the mis- 
sions. The Spanish friars were expelled from 
Mexico; but those in California, although some 
of them had boldly proclaimed their willingness 
to die for their king and their religion and de- 
manded their passports to leave the country, 
were allowed to remain in the country. Their 
passports were not given them for reasons 
above stated. Padres Ripoll and Altimira made 
their escape without passports. They secretly 
took passage on an American brig lying at 
Santa Barbara. Orders were issued to seize the 
vessel should she put into any other harbor on 
the coast, but the captain, who no doubt had 
been liberally paid, took no chance of capture 
and the padres eventually reached Spain in 
safety. There was a suspicion that the two 
friars had taken with them a large amount of 
money from the mission funds, but nothing was 
proved. It was certain that they carried away 
something more than the bag and staff, the only 
property allowed them by the rules of their 
order. 

The most bitter opponent of the new govern- 
ment was Father Luis Antonio Martinez of San 
Luis Obispo. Before the clandestine departure 
of Ripoll and Altimira there were rumors that 
he meditated a secret departure from the coun- 
try. The mysterious shipment of $6,000 in gold 
belonging to the mission on a vessel called the 
Santa Apolonia gave credence to the report of 
his intended flight. He had been given a pass- 
port but still remained in the territory. His 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



outspoken disloyalty and his well known suc- 
cess in evading the revenue laws and smuggling 
goods into the country had made him particu- 
larly obnoxious to the authorities. Governor 
Echeandia determined to make an example of 
him. He was arrested in February, 1830, and 
confined in a room at Santa Barbara. In his 
trial before a council of war an attempt was 
made to connect him with complicity in the Solis 
revolution, but the evidence against him was 
weak. By a vote of five to one it was decided 
to send him out of the country. He was put 
on board an English vessel bound for Callao and 
there transferred to a vessel bound for Europe; 
he finally arrived safely at Madrid. 

Under the empire a diputacion or provincial 
legislature had been established in California. 
Arguello in 1825 had suppressed this while he 
was governor. Echeandia, shortly after his ar- 
rival, ordered an election for a new diputacion. 
The diputacion made the general laws of the 
territory. It consisted of seven members called 
vocals. These were chosen by an electoral 
junta, the members of which were elected by 
the people. The diputacion chose a diputado or 
delegate to the Mexican Congress. As it was a 
long distance for some of the members to travel 
to the territorial capital a suplente or substitute 
was chosen for each member, so as to assure a 
quorum. The diputacion called by Echeandia 
met at Monterey, June 14, 1828. The sessions, 
of which there were two each week, were held in 
the governor's palacio. This diputacion passed 
a rather peculiar revenue law. It taxed domestic 
aguardiente (grape brandy) $5 a barrel and 
wine half that amount in the jurisdictions of 
Monterey and San Francisco; but in the juris- 
dictions of Santa Barbara and San Diego the 
rates were doubled, brandy was taxed $10 
a barrel and wine $5. San Diego, Los An- 
geles and Santa Barbara were wine producing 
districts, while Monterey and San Francisco 
were not. As there was a larger consumption of 
the product in the wine producing districts than 
in the others the law was enacted for revenue 
and not for prevention of drinking. 

Another peculiar freak of legislation perpe- 
trated by this diputacion was the attempt to 
change the name of the territory. The supreme 



government was memorialized to change the 
name of Alta California to that of Montezuma 
and also that of the Pueblo de Nuestra Seriora 
de los Angeles to that of Villa Victoria de la 
Reyna de los Angeles and make it the capital 
of the territory. A coat of arms was adopted 
for the territory. It consisted of an oval with 
the figure of an oak tree on one side, an olive 
tree on the other and a plumed Indian in the 
center with his bow and quiver, just in the 
act of stepping across the mythical straits 
of Anian. The memorial was sent to Mexico, 
but the supreme government paid no attention 
to it. 

The political upheavals, revolutions and coun- 
ter revolutions that followed the inauguration 
of a republican form of government in Mexico 
demoralized the people and produced a prolific 
crop of criminals. The jails were always full 
and it became a serious question what to do 
with them. It was proposed to make California 
a penal colony, similar to England's Botany 
Bay. Orders were issued to send criminals to 
California as a means of reforming their mor- 
als. The Californians protested against the 
sending of these undesirable immigrants, but in 
vain. In February, 1830, the brig Maria Ester 
brought eighty convicts from Acapulco to San 
Diego. They were not allowed to land there 
and were taken to Santa Barbara. What to 
do with them was a serious question with the 
Santa Barbara authorities. The jail would not 
hold a tenth part of the shipment and to turn 
them loose in the sparsely settled country was 
dangerous to the peace of the community. Fin- 
ally, about thirty or forty of the worst of the 
bad lot were shipped over to the island of Santa 
Cruz. They were given a supply of cattle, some 
fishhooks and a few tools and turned loose on 
the island to shift for themselves. They staid 
on the island until they had slaughtered and 
eaten the cattle, then they built a raft and 
drifted back to Santa Barbara, where they 
quartered themselves on the padres of the mis- 
sion. Fifty more were sent from Mexico a few 
months later. These shipments of prison exiles 
were distributed around among the settlements. 
Some served out their time and returned to their 
native land, a few escaped over the border, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



others remained in the territory after their time 
was up and became fairly good citizens. 

The colonization law passed by the Mexican 
Congress 'August 18, 1824, was the first break 
in the proscriptive regulations that had pre- 
vailed in Spanish-American countries since their 
settlement. Any foreigner of good character 
who should locate in the country and become a 
Roman Catholic could obtain a grant of public 
land, not exceeding eleven leagues; but no for- 
eigner was allowed to obtain a grant within 
twenty leagues of the boundary of a foreign 
country nor within ten leagues of the sea coast. 
The law of April 14, 1828, allowed foreigners 
to become naturalized citizens. The applicant 
was required to have resided at least two years 
in the country, to be or to become a Roman 
Catholic, to renounce allegiance to his former 
country and to swear to support the constitution 
and laws of the Mexican republic. Quite a 
number of foreigners who had been residing 
a number of years in California took advantage 
of this law and became Mexican citizens by nat- 
uralization. The colonization law of Novem- 
ber 18, 1828, prescribed a series of rules and 
regulations for the making of grants of land. 
Colonists were required to settle on and culti- 
vate the land granted within a specified time or 
forfeit their grants. Any one residing outside 
of the republic could not retain possession of 
his land. The minimum size of a grant as de- 
fined by this law was two hundred varas square 
of irrigable land, eight hundred varas square 
of arable land (depending on the seasons) and 
twelve hundred varas square grazing land. The 
size of a house lot was one hundred varas 
square. 

The Californians had grown accustomed to 
foreigners coming to the country by sea, but 
they were not prepared to have them come over- 
land. The mountains and deserts that inter- 
vened between the United States and California 
were supposed to be an insurmountable barrier 
to foreign immigration by land. It was no doubt 
with feelings of dismay, mingled with anger, 
that Governor Echeandia received the advance 
guard of maldito estranjeros, who came across 
the continent. Echeandia hated foreigners and 
particularly Americans. The pioneer of over- 



land travel from the United States to California 
was Capt. Jedediah S. Smith. Smith was born 
in Connecticut and when quite young came 
with his father to Ohio and located in Ashtabula 
county, where he grew to manhood amid the 
rude surroundings of pioneer life in the west. 
By some means he obtained a fairly good educa- 
tion. We have no record of when he began the 
life of a trapper. We first hear of him as an 
employe of General Ashley in 1822. He had 
command of a band of trappers on the waters of 
the Snake river in 1S24. Afterwards he became 
a partner of Ashley under the firm name of 
Ashley & Smith and subsequently one of the 
members of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. 
The latter company had about 1825 established 
a post and fort near Great Salt Lake. From 
this, August 22, 1826, Captain Smith with a 
band of fifteen hunters and trappers started on 
his first expedition to California. His object 
was to find some new country that had not been 
occupied by a fur company. Traveling in a south- 
westerly direction he discovered a river which 
he named Adams (after President John Quincy 
Adams) now known as the Rio Virgin. This 
stream he followed down to its junction with 
the Colorado. Traveling down the latter river 
he arrived at the Mojave villages, where he 
rested fifteen days. Here he found two wander- 
ing neophytes, who guided his party across the 
desert to the San Gabriel mission, where he and 
his men arrived safely early in December, 1826. 
The arrival of a party of armed Americans 
from across the mountains and deserts alarmed 
the padres and couriers were hastily dispatched 
to Governor Echeandia at San Diego. The 
Americans were placed under arrest and com- 
pelled to give up their arms. Smith was taken 
to San Diego to give an account of himself. He 
claimed that he had been compelled to enter 
the territory on account of the loss of horses 
and a scarcity of provisions. He was finally re- 
leased from prison upon the endorsement of 
several American ship captains and supercar- 
goes who were then at San Diego. He was al- 
lowed to return to San Gabriel, where he pur- 
chased horses and supplies. He moved his camp 
to San Bernardino, where he remained until 
February. The authorities had grown uneasy 



«.H) 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



at his continued presence in the country and 
orders were sent to arrest him, but before this 
could be done he left for the Tulare country by 
way of Cajon Pass. He trapped on the tribu- 
taries of the San Joaquin. By the ist of May 
he and his party had reached a fork of the Sac- 
ramento (near where the town of Folsom now 
stands). Here he established a summer camp 
and the river ever since has been known as the 
American fork from that circumstance. 

Here again the presence of the Americans 
worried the Mexican authorities. Smith wrote 
a conciliatory letter to Padre Duran, president 
of the missions, informing him that he had 
"made several efforts to pass over the moun- 
tains, but the snow being so deep I could not 
succeed in getting over. I returned to this 
place, it being the only point to kill meat, to 
wait a few weeks until the snow melts so that I 
can go on." "On May 20, 1827," Smith writes, 
"with two men, seven horses and two mules, I 
started from the valley. In eight days we 
crossed Mount Joseph, losing two horses and 
one mule. After a march of twenty days east- 
ward from Mount Joseph (the Sierra Nevadas) 
I reached the southwesterly corner of the Great 
Salt Lake. The country separating it from the 
mountains is arid and without game. Often we 
had no water for two days at a time. When 
we reached Salt Lake we had left only one horse 
and one mule, so exhausted that they could 
hardly carry our slight baggage. We had been 
forced to eat the horses that had succumbed." 

Smith's route over the Sierras to Salt Lake 
was substantially the same as that followed by the 
overland emigration of later years. He discov- 
ered the Humboldt, which he named the Mary 
river, a name it bore until changed by Fremont 
in 1845. He was the first white man to cross 
the Sierra Nevadas. Smith left his party of 
trappers except the two who accompanied him 
in the Sacramento valley. He returned next 
year with reinforcements and was ordered out 
of the country by the governor. He traveled up 
the coast towards Oregon. On the Umpqua 
river he was attacked by the Indians. All his 
party except himself and two others were mas- 
sacred. He lost all of his horses and furs. He 
reached Fort Vancouver, his clothing- torn to 



rags and almost starved to death. In 1831 he 
started with a train of wagons to Santa Fe on a 
trading expedition. While alone searching for 
water near the Cimarron river he was set upon 
by a party of Indians and killed. Thus perished 
by the hands of cowardly savages in the wilds of 
New Mexico a man who, through almost in- 
credible dangers and sufferings, had explored 
an unknown region as vast in extent as that 
which gave fame and immortality to the African 
explorer, Stanley; and who marked out trails 
over mountains and across deserts that Fre- 
mont following years afterwards won the title 
of "Pathfinder of the Great West." Smith led 
the advance guard of the fur trappers to Cali- 
fornia. Notwithstanding the fact that they were 
unwelcome visitors these adventurers continued 
to come at intervals up to 1845. They trapped 
on the tributaries of the San Joaquin, Sacramento 
and the rivers in the northern part of the terri- 
tory. A few of them remained in the country 
and became permanent residents, but most of 
them sooner or later met death by the savages. 

Capt. Jedediah S. Smith marked out two of 
the great immigrant trails by which the overland 
travel, after the discovery of gold, entered Cal- 
ifornia, one by way of the Humboldt river over 
the Sierra Nevadas, the other southerly from 
Salt Lake, Utah Lake, the Rio Virgin, across 
the Colorado desert, through the Cajon Pass to 
Los Angeles. A third immigrant route was 
blazed by the Pattie party. This route led from 
Santa Fe, across New Mexico, down the Gila 
to the Colorado and from thence across the 
desert through the San Gorgonio Pass to Los 
Angeles. 

This party consisted of Sylvester Pattie, 
James Ohio Pattie, his son, Nathaniel M. 
Pryor, Richard Laughlin, Jesse Furguson, Isaac 
Sl'over, William Pope and James Puter. The 
Patties left Kentucky in 1824 and followed trap- 
ping in New Mexico and Arizona until 1827; 
the elder Pattie for a time managing the cop- 
per mines of Santa Rita. In May, 1827, Pattie 
the elder, in command of a party of thirty trap- 
pers and hunters, set out to trap the tributaries 
of the Colorado. Losses by Indian hostilities, 
by dissensions and desertions reduced the party 
to eight persons. December 1st, 1827, while 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



91 



these were encamped on the Colorado near the 
mouth of the Gila, the Yuma Indians stole all 
their horses. They constructed rafts and floated 
down the Colorado, expecting to find Spanish 
settlements on its banks, where they hoped to 
procure horses to take them back to Santa Fe. 
They floated down the river until they encoun- 
tered the flood tide from the gulf. Finding it 
impossible to go ahead on account of the tide 
or back on account of the river current, they 
landed, cached their furs and traps and with 
two days' supply of beaver meat struck out 
westerly across the desert. After traveling for 
twenty-four days and suffering almost incredible 
hardships they reached the old Mission of Santa 
Catalina near the head of the Gulf of California. 
Here they were detained until news of their ar- 
rival could be sent to Governor Echeandia at 
San Diego. A guard of sixteen soldiers was sent 
for them and they were conducted to San Diego, 
where they arrived February 27, 1828. Their 
arms were taken from them and they were put 
in prison. The elder Pattie died during their 
imprisonment. In September all the party ex- 
cept young Pattie, who was retained as a host- 
age, were released and permitted to go after 
their buried furs. They found their furs had been 
ruined by the overflow of the river. Two of the 
party, Slover and Pope, made their way back 
to Santa Fe; the others returned, bringing with 
them their beaver traps. They were again im- 
prisoned by Governor Echeandia, but were fin- 
ally released. 

Three of the party, Nathaniel M. Pryor, 
Richard Laughlin and Jesse Furguson, became 
permanent residents of California. Young Pat- 
tie returned to the United States by way of 
Mexico. After his return, with the assistance 
of the Rev. Timothy Flint, he wrote an account 
of his adventures, which was published in Cin- 
cinnati in 1833, under the title of "Pattie's Nar- 
rative." Young Pattie was inclined to exaggera- 
tion. In his narrative he claims that with vac- 
cine matter brought by his father from the 
Santa Rita mines he vaccinated twenty-two 
thousand people in California. In Los Angeles 
alone, he vaccinated twenty-five hundred, 
which was more than double the population of 
the town in 1828. He took a contract from the 



president of the missions to vaccinate all the 
neophytes in the territory. When his job was 
finished the president offered him in pay five 
hundred cattle and five hundred mules 
with land to pasture his stock on condition 
he would become a Roman Catholic and 
a citizen of Mexico. Pattie scorned the of- 
fer and roundly upbraided the padre for taking 
advantage of him. He had previously given 
Governor Eacheandia a tongue lashing and had 
threatened to shoot him on sight. From his 
narrative he seems to have put in most of his 
time in California blustering and threatening to 
shoot somebody. 

Another famous trapper of this period was 
"Peg Leg" Smith. His real name was Thomas 
L. Smith. It is said that in a fight with the 
Indians his leg below the knee was shattered by 
a bullet. He coolly amputated his leg at the 
knee with no other instrument than his hunting 
knife. He wore a wooden leg and from this 
came his nickname. He first came to California 
in 1829. He was ordered out of the country. 
He and his party took their departure, but with 
them went three or four hundred California 
horses. He died in a San Francisco hospital in 
1866. 

Ewing Young, a famous captain of trappers, 
made several visits to California from 1830 to 
1837. In 1 83 1 he led a party of thirty hunters 
and trappers, among those of his party who 
remained in California was Col. J. J. Warner, 
who became prominent in the territory and 
state. In 1837 Ewing Young with a party of 
sixteen men came down from Oregon, where 
he finally located, to purchase cattle for the new 
settlements on the Willamette river. They 
bought seven hundred cattle at $3 per head from 
the government and drove them overland to 
Oregon, reaching there after a toilsome journey 
of four months with six hundred. Young died 
in Oregon in 1841. 

From the downfall of Spanish domination in 
1822, to the close of that decade there had been 
but few political disturbances in California. The 
only one of any consequence was Solis' and 
Herrera's attempt to revolutionize the territory 
and seize the government. Jose' Maria Herrera 
had come to California as a commissioner of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the commissary department, but after a short 
term of service had been removed .from office 
for fraud. Joaquin Solis was a convict who was 
serving a ten years sentence of banishment from 
Mexico. The ex-official and the exile with oth- 
ers of damaged character combined to overturn 
the government. 

On the night of November 12, 1829, Solis, 
with a band of soldiers that he had induced to 
join his standard, seized the principal govern- 
ment officials at Monterey and put them in 
prison. At Solis' solicitation Herrera drew up 
a pronunciamento. It followed the usual line 
of such documents. It began by deploring the 
evils that had come upon the territory through 
Echeandia's misgovernment and closed with 
promises of reformation if the revolutionists 
should obtain control of the government. To 
obtain the sinews of war the rebels seized 
$3,000 of the public funds. This was dis- 
tributed among the soldiers and proved a great 
attraction to the rebel cause. Solis with twen- 
ty men went to San Francisco and the sol- 
diers there joined his standard. Next he 
marched against Santa Barbara with an army 
of one hundred and fifty men. Echeandia on 
hearing of the revolt had marched northward 
with all the soldiers he could enlist. The two 
armies met at Santa Ynez. Solis opened fire on 
the governor's army. The fire was returned. 
Solis' men began to break away and soon the 
army and its valiant leader were in rapid flight. 
Pacheco's cavalry captured the leaders of the 
revolt. Herrara, Solis and thirteen others were 
shipped to Mexico under arrest to be tried for 
their crimes. The Mexican authorities, always 
lenient to California revolutionists, probably 
from a fellow feeling, turned them all loose 
and Herrera was sent back to fill his former 
office. 

Near the close of his term Governor 
Echeandia formulated a plan for converting the 
mission into pueblos. To ascertain the fitness 
of the neophytes for citizenship he made an in- 
vestigation to find out how many could read and 
write. He found so very few that he ordered 
schools opened at the missions. A pretense was 
made of establishing schools, but very little was 
accomplished. The padres were opposed to edu- 



cating the natives for the same reSson that the 
southern slave-holders were opposed to educat- 
ing the negro, namely, that an ignorant people 
were more easily kept in subjection. Echeandia's 
plan of secularization was quite elaborate and 
dealt fairly with the neophytes. It received the 
sanction of the diputacion when that body met 
in July, 1830, but before anything could be done 
towards enforcing it another governor was ap- 
pointed. Echeandia was thoroughly hated by 
the mission friars and their adherents. Robin- 
son in his "Life in California" calls him a man 
of vice and makes a number of damaging asser- 
tions about his character and conduct, which 
are not in accordance with the facts. It was dur- 
ing Echeandia's term as governor that the motto 
of Mexico, Dios y Libertad (God and Liberty), 
was adopted. It became immensely popular 
and was used on all public documents and often 
in private correspondence. 

A romantic episode that has furnished a 
theme for fiction writers occurred in the last 
year of Echeandia's rule. It was the elopement 
of Henry D. Fitch with Doha Josefa, daughter 
of Joaquin Carrillo of San Diego. Fitch was a 
native of New Bedford, Mass. He came to Cal- 
ifornia in 1826 as master of the Maria Ester. 
He fell in love with Doha Josefa. There were 
legal obstructions to their marriage. Fitch was 
a foreigner and a Protestant. The latter objec- 
tion was easily removed by Fitch becoming a 
Catholic. The Dominican friar who was to per- 
form the marriage service, fearful that he might 
incur the wrath of the authorities, civil and cler- 
ical, refused to perform the ceremony, but sug- 
gested that there were other countries where 
the laws were less strict and offered to go beyond 
the limits of California and marry them. It is 
said that at this point Doha Josefa said: "Why 
don't you carry me off, Don Enrique?" The 
suggestion was quickly acted upon. The next 
night the lady, mounted on a steed with her 
cousin, Pio Pico, as an escort, was secretly 
taken to a point on the bay shore where a boat 
was waiting for her. The boat put off to the 
Vulture, where Captain Fitch received her on 
board and the vessel sailed for Valparaiso, 
where the couple were married. A year later 
Captain Fitch returned to California with his 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



93 



wife and infant son. At Monterey Fitch was 
arrested on an order of Padre Sanchez of San 
Gabriel and put in prison. His wife was also 
placed under arrest at the house of Captain 
Cooper. Fitch was taken to San Gabriel for trial. 
"his offenses being most heinous." At her in- 
tercession, Governor Echeandia released Airs. 
Fitch and allowed her to go to San Gabriel, 
where her husband was imprisoned in one of the 
rooms of the mission. This act of clemency 
greatly enraged the friar and his fiscal, Pa- 
lomares, and they seriously considered the ques- 
tion of arresting the governor. The trial 
dragged along for nearly a month. Many wit- 
nesses were examined and many learned points 
of clerical law discussed. Vicar Sanchez finally 
gave his decision that the marriage at Val- 
paraiso, though not legitimate, was not null and 
void, but valid. The couple were condemned 



to do penance by "presenting themselves in 
church with lighted candles in their hands to 
hear high mass for three feast days and recite 
together for thirty days one-third of the rosary 
of the holy virgin."* In addition to these joint 
penances the vicar inflicted an additional pen- 
alty on Fitch in these words: "Yet considering 
the great scandal which Don Enrique has 
caused in this province I condemn him to give 
as penance and reparation a bell of at least fifty 
pounds in weight for the church at Los An- 
geles, which barely has a borrowed one." Fitch 
and his wife no doubt performed the joint pen- 
ance imposed upon them, but the church at Los 
Angeles had to get along with its borrowed bell. 
Don Enrique never gave it one of fifty pounds 
or any other weight. 



croft's History of California, Vol. 1 1 1-144. 



CHAPTER XI. 



REVOLUTIONS— THE HIJAR COLONISTS. 



TUT ANUEL VICTORIA was appointed 
/ \ governor in March, 1830, but did not 
reach California until the last month 
of the year. Victoria very soon became un- 
popular. He undertook to overturn the civil 
authority and substitute military rule. He 
recommended the abolition of the ayunta- 
mientos and refused to call together the ter- 
ritorial diputacion. He exiled Don Abel 
Stearns and Jose Antonio Carrillo; and at dif- 
ferent times, on trumped-up charges, had half 
a hundred of the leading citizens of Los An- 
geles incarcerated in the pueblo jail. Alcalde 
Vicente Sanchez was the petty despot of the 
pueblo, who carried out the tyrannical decrees 
of his master, Victoria. Among others who 
were imprisoned in the cuartel was Jose Maria 
Avila. Avila was proud, haughty and over- 
bearing. He had incurred the hatred of both 
Victoria and Sanchez. Sanchez, under orders 
from Victoria, placed Avila in prison, and to 
humiliate him put him in irons. Avila brooded 
over the indignities inflicted upon him and 
vowed to be revenged. 



Victoria's persecutions became so unbearable 
that Pio Pico, Juan Bandini and Jose Antonio 
Carrillo raised the standard of revolt at San 
Diego and issued a pronunciamento, in which 
they set forth the reasons why they felt them- 
selves obliged to rise against the tyrant, Vic- 
toria. Pablo de Portilla, comandante of the 
presidio of San Diego, and his officers, with a 
force of fifty soldiers, joined the revolutionists 
and marched to Los Angeles. Sanchez's pris- 
oners were released and he was chained up in 
the pueblo jail. Here Portilla's force was re- 
cruited to two hundred men. Avila and a num- 
ber of the other released prisoners joined the 
revolutionists, and all marched forth to meet 
Victoria, who was moving southward with an 
armed force to suppress the insurrection. The 
two forces met on the plains of Cahuenga, west 
of the pueblo, at a place known as the Lomitas 
de la Canada de Breita. The sight of his per- 
secutor so infuriated Avila that alone he rushed 
upon him to run him through with his lance. 
Captain Pacheco, of Victoria's staff, parried the 
lance thrust. Avila shot him dead with one of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



his pistols and again attacked the governor and 
succeeded in wounding him, when he himself 
received a pistol ball that unhorsed him. After 
a desperate struggle (in which he seized Vic- 
toria by the foot and dragged him from his 
horse) he was shot by one of Victoria's soldiers. 
Portilla's army fell back in a panic to Los An- 
geles and Victoria's men carried the wounded 
governor to the Mission San Gabriel, where 
his wounds were dressed by Joseph Chapman, 
who, to his many other accomplishments, added 
that of amateur surgeon. Some citizens who 
had taken no part in the fight brought the 
bodies of Avila and Pacheco to the town. 
"They were taken to the same house, the same: 
hands rendered them the last sad rites, and 
they were laid side by side. Side by side knelt 
their widows and mingled their tears, while 
sympathizing countrymen chanted the solemn 
prayers of the church for the repose of the 
souls of these untimely dead. Side by side be- 
neath the orange and the olive in the little 
churchyard upon the plaza sleep the slayer and 
the slain."* 

Next day, Victoria, supposing himself mor- 
tally wounded, abdicated and turned over the 
governorship of the territory to Echeandia. He 
resigned the office December 9, 1831, having 
been governor a little over ten months. When 
Victoria was able to travel he was sent to San 
Diego, from where he was deported to Mexico, 
San Diego borrowing $125 from the ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles to pay the expense of 
shipping him out of the country. Several years 
afterwards the money had not been repaid, and 
the town council began proceedings to recover 
it, but there is no record in the archives to show 
that it was ever paid. And thus it was that 
California got rid of a bad governor and Los 
Angeles incurred a bad debt. 

January 10, 1832, the territorial legislature 
met at Los Angeles to choose a "gefe politico," 
or governor, for the territory. Echeandia was 
invited to preside but replied from San Juan 
Capistrano that he was busy getting Victoria 
out of the country. The diputacion, after wait- 
ing some time and receiving no satisfaction 



'Stephen C. Foster. 



from Echeandia whether he wanted the office 
or not, declared Pio Pico, by virtue of his office 
of senior vocal, "gefe politico." 

No sooner had Pico been sworn into office 
than Echeandia discovered that he wanted the 
office and wanted it badly. He protested against 
the action of the diputacion and intrigued 
against Pico. Another revolution was threat- 
ened. Los Angeles favored Echeandia, al- 
though all the other towns in the territory had 
accepted Pico. (Pico at that time was a resi- 
dent of San Diego.) A mass meeting was called 
on February 12, 1832, at Los Angeles, to dis- 
cuss the question whether it should be Pico or 
Echeandia. I give the report of the meeting in 
the quaint language of the pueblo archives: 

"The town, acting in accord with the Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento, answered in a loud 
voice, saying they would not admit Citizen Pio 
Pico as 'gefe politico,' but desired that Lieut.- 
Col. Citizen Jose Maria Echeandia be retained 
in office until the supreme government appoint. 
Then the president of the meeting, seeing the 
determination of the people, asked the motive or 
reason of refusing Citizen Pio Pico, who was 
of unblemished character. To this the people 
responded that while it was true that Citizen 
Pio Pico was to some extent qualified, yet they 
preferred Lieut.-Col. Citizen Jose M. Echean- 
dia. The president of the meeting then asked 
the people whether they had been bribed, or 
was it merely insubordination that they op- 
posed the resolution of the Most Excellent Di- 
putacion? Whereupon the people answered 
that they had not been bribed, nor were they 
insubordinate, but that they opposed the pro- 
posed 'gefe politico' because he had not been 
named by the supreme government." 

At a public meeting February 19 the matter 
was again brought up. Again the people cried 
out "they would not recognize or obey any 
other gefe politico than Echeandia." The Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento opposed Pio Pico for 
two reasons: "First, because his name appeared 
first on the plan to oust Gefe Politico Citizen 
Manuel Victoria," and "Second, because he, 
Pico, had not sufficient capacity to fulfil the 
duties of the office." Then Jose Perez and Jose 
Antonio Carrillo withdrew from the meeting, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



95 



saying they would not recognize Echeandia as 
"gefe politico." Pico, after holding the office 
for twenty days, resigned for the sake of peace. 
And this was the length of Pico's first term as 
governor. 

Echeandia, by obstinacy and intrigue, had ob- 
tained the coveted office, "gefe politico," but he 
did not long enjoy it in peace. News came 
from Monterey that Capt. Agustin V. Zamo- 
rano had declared himself governor and was 
gathering a force to invade the south and en- 
force his authority. Echeandia began at once 
marshaling his forces to oppose him. Ybarra, 
Zamarano's military chief, with a force of one 
hundred men, by a forced march, reached Paso 
de Bartolo, on the San Gabriel river, where, 
fifteen years later, Stockton fought the Mexican 
troops under Flores. Here Ybarra found Cap- 
tain Borroso posted with a piece of artillery and 
fourteen men. He did not dare to attack him. 
Echeandia and Borroso gathered a force of a 
thousand neophytes at Paso de Bartolo, where 
they drilled them in military evolutions. Ybar- 
ra's troops had fallen back to Santa Barbara, 
where he was joined by Zamorano with rein- 
forcements. Ybarra's force was largely made up 
of ex-convicts and other undesirable characters, 
who took what they needed, asking no questions 
of the owners. The Angelenos, fearing those 
marauders, gave their adhesion to Zamorano's 
plan and recognized him as military chief of the 
territory. Captain Borroso, Echeandia's faith- 
ful adherent, disgusted with the fickleness of 
the Angelenos, at the head of a thousand 
mounted Indians, threatened to invade the re- 
calcitrant pueblo, but at the intercession of the 
frightened inhabitants this modern Coriolanus 
turned aside and regaled his neophyte retainers 
on the fat bullocks of the Mission San Gabriel, 
much to the disgust of the padres. The neo- 
phyte warriors were disbanded and sent to their 
respective missions. 

A peace was patched up betwen Zamorano 
and Echeandia. Aha California was divided 
into two territories. Echeandia was given juris- 
diction over all south of San Gabriel and Zamo- 
rano all north of San Fernando. This division 
apparently left a neutral district, or "no man's 
land," between. Whether Los Angeles was in 



this neutral territory the records do not show. 
If it was, it is probable that neither of the gov- 
ernors wanted the job of governing the rebel- 
lious pueblo. 

In January, 1833, Governor Figueroa arrived 
in California. Echeandia and Zamorano each 
surrendered his half of the divided territory to 
the newly appointed governor, and California 
was united and at peace. Figueroa proved to 
be the right man for the times. He conciliated 
the factions and brought order out of chaos. 
The two most important events in Figueroa's 
term of office were the arrival of the Hijar Col- 
ony in California and the secularization of the 
missions. These events were most potent fac- 
tors in the evolution of the territory. 

In 1833 the first California colonization 
scheme was inaugurated in Mexico. At the 
head of this was Jose Maria Hijar. a Mexican 
gentleman of wealth and influence. He was 
assisted in its promulgation by Jose M. Padres, 
an adventurer, who had been banished from 
California by Governor Victoria. Padres, like 
some of our modern real estate boomers, pic- 
tured the country as an earthly paradise — an 
improved and enlarged Garden of Eden. 
Among other inducements held out to the colo- 
nists, it is said, was the promise of a division 
among them of the mission property and a dis- 
tribution of the neophytes for servants. 

Headquarters were established at the city 
of Mexico and two hundred and fifty colonists 
enlisted. Each family received a bonus of 
$10, and all were to receive free transporta- 
tion to California and rations while on the jour- 
ney. Each head of a family was promised a 
farm from the public domain, live stock and 
farming implements; these advances to be paid 
for on the installment plan. The orignal plan was 
to found a colony somewhere north of San 
Francisco bay, but this was not carried out 
Two vessels were dispatched with the colonists 
— the Morelos and the Natalia. The latter was 
compelled to put into San Diego on account of 
sickness on board. She reached that port Sep- 
tember I, 1834. A part of the colonists on 
board her were sent to San Pedro and from 
there they were taken to Los Angeles and San 
Gabriel. The Morelos reached Monterey Sep- 



96 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



tember 25. Hijar had been appointed governor 
of California by President Farias, but after the 
sailing of the expedition, Santa Ana, who had 
succeeded Farias, dispatched a courier over- 
land with a countermanding order. By one of 
the famous rides of history, Amador, the courier, 
made the journey from the city of Mexico to 
Monterey in forty days and delivered his mes- 
sage to Governor Figueroa. When Hijar ar- 
rived he found to his dismay that he was only 
a private citizen of the territory instead of its 
governor. The colonization scheme was aban- 
doned and the immigrants distributed them- 
selves throughout the territory. Generally they 
were a good class of citizens, and many of them 
became prominent in California affairs. 

That storm center of political disturbances, 
Los Angeles, produced but one small revolution 
during Figueroa's term as governor. A party 
of fifty or sixty Sonorans, some of whom were 
Hijar colonists who were living either in the 
town or its immediate neighborhood, assembled 
at Los Nietos on the night of March 7, 1835. 
They formulated a pronunciamiento against 
Don Jose Figueroa, in which they first vigor- 
ously arraigned him for sins of omission and 
commission and then laid down their plan of 
government of the territory. Armed with this 
formidable document and a few muskets and 
lances, these' patriots, headed by Juan Gallado, 
a cobbler, and Felipe Castillo, a cigarmaker, in 
the gray light of the morning, rode into the 
pueblo, took possession of the town hall and 
the big cannon and the ammunition that had 



been stored there when the Indians of San Luis 
Rev had threatened hostilities. The slumbering 
inhabitants were aroused from their dreams of 
peace by the drum beat of war. The terrified 
citizens rallied to the juzgado, the ayuntamiento 
met, the cobbler statesman, Gallado, presented 
his plan; it was discussed and rejected. The 
revolutionists, after holding possession of the 
pueblo throughout the day, tired, hungry and 
disappointed in not receiving their pay for sav- 
ing the country, surrendered to the legal author- 
ities the real leaders of the revolution and 
disbanded. The leaders proved to be Torres, 
a clerk, and Apalategui, a doctor, both supposed 
to be emissaries of Hijar. They were imprisoned 
at San Gabriel. When news of the revolt 
reached Figueroa he had Hijar and Padres ar- 
rested for complicity in the outbreak. Hijar, 
with half a dozen of his adherents, was shipped 
back to Mexico. And thus the man who the 
year before had landed in California with a 
commission as governor and authority to take 
possession of all the property belonging to the 
missions returned to his native land an exile. 
His grand colonization scheme and his "Com- 
pania Cosmopolitana" that was to revolutionize 
California commerce were both disastrous fail- 
ures. 

Governor Jose Figueroa died at Monterey 
on the 29th of September, 1835. He is generally 
regarded as the best of the Mexican governors 
sent to California. He was of Aztec extraction 
and took a great deal of pride in his Indian 
blood. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE MISSIONS. 



THE Franciscan Missions of Alta Califor- 
nia have of late been a prolific theme 
for a certain class of writers and espe- 
cially have they dwelt upon the secularization 
of these establishments. Their productions 
have added little or nothing to our previous 
knowledge of these institutions. Carried away 
by sentiment these writers draw pictures of mis- 
sion life that are unreal, that are purely imag- 



inary, and aroused to indignation at the injus- 
tice they fancy was done to their ideal institu- 
tions they deal out denunciations against the 
authorities that brought about secularization as 
unjust as they are undeserved. Such expres- 
sions as "the robber hand of secularization," and 
"the brutal and thievish disestablishment of the 
missions," emanate from writers who seem to 
be ignorant of the purpose for which the mis- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



97 



sions were founded, and who ignore, or who 
do not know, the causes which brought about 
their secularization. 

It is an historical fact known to all acquainted 
with California history that these establishments 
were not intended by the Crown of Spain to 
become permanent institutions. The purpose 
for which the Spanish government fostered and 
protected them was to Christianize the Indians 
and make of them self-supporting citizens. Very 
early in its history, Governor Borica, Fages and 
other intelligent Spanish officers in California 
discovered the weakness of the mission system. 
Governor Borica, writing in 1796, said: "Ac- 
cording to the laws the natives are to be free 
from tutelage at the end of ten years, the mis- 
sions then becoming doctrinairs, but those of 
New California, at the rate they are advancing, 
will not reach the goal in ten centuries; the rea- 
son God knows, and men, too, know something 
about it." 

The tenure by which the mission friars held 
their lands is admirably set forth in William 
Carey Jones' "Report on Land Titles in Cali- 
fornia," made in 1850. He says, "It had been 
supposed that the lands they (the missions) oc- 
cupied were grants held as the property of the 
church or of the misson establishments as cor- 
porations. Such, however, was not the case; 
all the missions in Upper California were estab- 
lished under the direction and mainly at the 
expense of the government, and the missionaries 
there had never any other right than to the 
occupation and use of the lands for the purpose 
of the missions and at the pleasure of the gov- 
ernment. This is shown by the history and 
principles of their foundation, by the laws in 
relation to them, by the constant practice of 
the government toward them and, in fact, by the 
rules of the Franciscan order, which forbid its 
members to possess property." 

With the downfall of Spanish domination in 
Mexico came the beginning of the end of mis- 
sionary ride in California. The majority of the 
mission padres were Spanish born. In the war 
of Mexican independence their sympathies were 
with their mother country, Spain. After Mex- 
ico attained her independence, some of them 
refused to acknowledge allegiance to the repub- 



lic. The Mexican authorities feared and dis- 
trusted them. In this, in part, they found a pre- 
text for the disestablishment of the missions and 
the confiscation of the mission estates. There 
was another cause or reason for secularization 
more potent than the loyalty of the padres to 
Spain. Few forms of land monopoly have ever, 
exceeded that in vogue under the mission system 
of California. From San Diego to San Fran- 
cisco bay the twenty missions established under 
Spanish rule monopolized the greater part of the 
fertile land between the coast range and the sea. 
The limits of one mission were said to cover 
the intervening space to the limits of the next. 
There was but little left for other settlers. A 
settler could not obtain a grant of land if the 
padres of the nearest mission objected. 

The twenty-four ranchos owned by the Mis- 
sion San Gabriel contained about a million and 
a half acres and extended from the sea to the 
San Bernardino mountains. The greatest 
neophyte population of San Gabriel was in 181 7, 
when it reached 1,701. Its yearly average for 
the first three decades of the present century 
did not exceed 1,500. It took a thousand acres 
of fertile land under the mission system to sup- 
port an Indian, even the smallest papoose of the 
mission flock. It is not strange that the people 
clamored for a subdivision of the mission estates; 
and secularization became a public necessity. 
The most enthusiastic admirer of the missions 
to-day, had he lived in California seventy years 
ago, would no doubt have been among the loud- 
est in his wail against the mission system. 

The abuse heaped upon the Mexican authori- 
ties for their secularization of these institutions 
is as unjust as it is unmerited. The act of the 
Mexican Congress of August 17, 1833, was 
not the initiative movement towards their dis- 
establishment. Indeed in their foundation their 
secularization, their subdivision into pueblos, 
was provided for and the local authorities were 
never without lawful authority over them. In 
the very beginning of missionary work in Alta 
California the process of secularizing the mis- 
sion establishments was mapped out in the fol- 
lowing "Instructions given by Viceroy Bucarili 
August 17, 1773, to the comandante of the new 
establishments of San Diego and Monterey. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Article 15, when it shall happen that a mission 
is to be formed into a pueblo or village the 
comandante will proceed to reduce it to the civil 
and economical government, which, according 
to the laws, is observed by other villages of this 
kingdom; their giving it a name and declaring 
"for its patron the saint under whose memory 
and protection the mission was founded." 

The purpose for which the mission was 
founded was to aid in the settlement of the 
country, and to convert the natives to Christian- 
ity. "These objects accomplished the mission- 
ary's labor was considered fulfilled and the es- 
tablishment subject to dissolution. This view 
of their purpose and destiny fully appears in 
the tenor of the decree of the Spanish Cortes 
of September 13, 1813. It was passed in conse- 
quence of a complaint by the Bishop of Guiana 
of the evils that affected that province on ac- 
count of the Indian settlements in charge of 
missions not being delivered to the ecclesiastical 
ordinary, although thirty, forty and fifty years 
had passed since the reduction and conversion 
of the Indians."* 

The Cortes decreed 1st, that all the new 
reduciones y doctrinairs (settlements of newly 
converted Indians) not yet formed into parishes 
of the province beyond the sea which were in 
charge of missionary monks and had been ten 
years subjected should be delivered immediately 
to the respective ecclesiastical ordinaries (bish- 
ops) without resort to any excuse or pretext 
conformably to the laws and cedulas in that 
respect. Section 2nd, provided that the secular 
clergy should attend to the spiritual wants of 
these curacies. Section 3rd, the missionary 
monks relieved from the converted settlements 
shall proceed to the conversion of other 
heathen." 

The decree of the Mexican Congress, passed 
November 20, 1833, for the secularization of the 
missions of Upper and Lower California, was 
very similar in its provisions to the decree of the 
Spanish Cortes of September, 1813. The Mex- 
ican government simply followed tbq. example 
of Spain and in the conversion 01 tne missions 
into pueblos was attempting to enforce a prin- 

*William Carey Jones' Report. 



ciple inherent in the foundation of the mission- 
ary establishments. That secularization resulted 
disastrously to the Indians was not the fault 
of the Mexican government so much as it was 
the defect in the industrial and intellectual 
training of the neophytes. Except in the case 
of those who were trained for choir services in 
the churches there was no attempt made to 
teach the Indians to read or write. The padres 
generally entertained a poor opinion of the 
neophytes' intellectual ability. The reglamento 
governing the secularization of the missions, 
published by Governor Echeandia in 1830, but 
not enforced, and that formulated by the diputa- 
cion under Governor Figueroa in 1834, approved 
by the Mexican Congress and finally enforced 
in 1834-5-6, were humane measures. These reg- 
ulations provided for the colonization of the 
neophytes into pueblos or villages. A portion of 
the personal property and a part of the lands 
held by the missions were to be distributed 
among the Indians as follows: 

"Article 5 — To each head of a family and all 
who are more than twenty years old, although 
without families, will be given from the lands 
of the mission, whether temporal (lands depend- 
ent on the seasons) or watered, a lot of ground 
not to contain more than four hundred varas 
(yards) in length, and as many in breadth not 
less than one hundred. Sufficient land for water- 
ing the cattle will be given in common. The 
outlets or roads shall be marked out by each vil- 
lage, and at the proper time the corporation 
lands shall be designated." This colonization 
of the neophytes into pueblos would have 
thrown large bodies of the land held by the mis- 
sions open to settlement by white settlers. The 
personal property of missionary establishments 
was to have been divided among their neophyte 
retainers thus: "Article 6. Among the said in- 
dividuals will be distributed, ratably and justly, 
according to the discretion of the political chief, 
the half of the movable property, taking as a 
basis the last inventory which the missionaries 
have presented of all descriptions of cattle. Arti- 
cle 7. One-half or less of the implements and 
seeds indispensable for agriculture shall be al- 
lotted to them." 

The political government of the Indian pu- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



99 



eblos was to be organized in accordance with 
existing laws of the territory governing other 
towns. The neophyte could not sell, mortgage 
or dispose of the land granted him; nor could 
he sell his cattle. The regulations provided that 
"Religious missionaries shall be relieved from 
the administration of temporalities and shall 
only exercise the duties of their ministry so far 
as they relate to spiritual matters." The nunner- 
ies or the houses where the Indian girls -were 
kept under the charge of a duena until they 
were of marriageable age were to be abolished 
and the children restored to their parents. Rule 
7 provided that "What is called the 'priest- 
hood' shall immediately cease, female children 
whom they have in charge being handed over 
to their fathers, explaining to them the care 
they should take of them, and pointing out their 
obligations as parents. The same shall be done 
with the male children." 

Commissioners were to be appointed to take 
charge of the mission property and superintend 
its subdivision among the neophytes. The con- 
version of ten of the missionary establishments 
into pueblos was to begin in August, 1835. That 
of the others was to follow as soon as possible. 
San Gabriel, San Fernando and San Juan Capis- 
trano were among the ten that were to be 
secularized first. For years secularization had 
threatened the missions, but hitherto something 
had occurred at the critical time to avert it. 
The missionaries had used their influence 
against it, had urged that the neophytes were 
unfitted for self-support, had argued that the 
emancipation of the natives from mission rule 
would result in disaster to them. Through all 
the agitation of the question in previous years 
the padres had labored on in the preservation 
and upbuilding of their establishments; but with 
the issuing of the secularization decree by the 
Mexican Congress, August 17, 1833, the or- 
ganization of the Hijar Colony in Mexico and 
the instructions of acting president Farias to 
Hijar to occupy all the property of the missions 
and subdivide it among the colonists on their 
arrival in California, convinced the missionaries 
that the blow could no longer be averted. The 
revocation of Hijar's appointment as governor 
and the controversy which followed between 



him and Governor Figueroa and the diputacion 
for a time delayed the enforcement of the de- 
cree. 

In the meantime, with the energy born of de- 
spair, eager at any cost to outwit those who 
sought to profit by their ruin, the mission fath- 
ers hastened to destroy that which through 
more than half a century thousands of human 
beings had spent their lives to accumulate. The 
wealth of the missions lay in their herds of cat- 
tle. The only marketable products of these were 
the hides and tallow. Heretofore a certain num- 
ber of cattle had been slaughtered each week 
to feed the neophytes and sometimes when the 
ranges were in danger of becoming over- 
stocked cattle were killed for their hides and 
tallow, and the meat left to the coyotes and the 
carrion crows. The mission fathers knew that 
if they allowed the possession of their herds to 
pass to other hands neither they nor the 
neophytes would obtain any reward for years of 
labor. The blow was liable to fall at any time. 
Haste was required. The mission butchers could 
not slaughter the animals fast enough. Con- 
tracts were made with the rancheros to kill 
on shares. The work of destruction began at 
the missions. The country became a mighty 
shambles. The matansas were no longer used. 
An animal was lassoed on the plain, thrown, its 
throat cut and while yet writhing in death agony, 
its hide was stripped and pegged upon the 
ground to dry. There were no vessels to con- 
tain the tallow and this was run into pits in the 
ground to be taken out when there was more 
time to spare and less cattle to be killed. The 
work of destruction went on as long as there 
were cattle to kill. So great was the stench 
from rotting carcasses of the cattle on the plains 
that a pestilence was threatened. The ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles, November 15, 1833, 
passed an ordinance compelling all persons 
slaughtering cattle for the hides and tallow to 
cremate the carcasses. Some of the rancheros 
laid the foundations of their future wealth by ap- 
propriating herds of young cattle from the mis- 
sion ranges. 

Hugo Reid, in the letters previously referred 
to in this volume, says of this period at San 
Gabriel, "These facts (the decree of secularization 



100 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and the distribution of the mission property) 
being known to Padre Tomas (Estenaga), he, 
in all probability, by order of his superior, com- 
menced a work of destruction. The back build- 
ings were unroofed and the timber converted 
into fire wood. Cattle were killed on the halves 
by people who took a lion's share. Utensils 
were disposed of and goods and other articles 
distributed in profusion among the neophytes. 
The vineyards were ordered to be cut down, 
which, however, the Indians refused to do." 
After the mission was placed in charge of an 
administrator, Padre Tomas remained as min- 
ister of the church at a stipend of $1,500 per 
annum, derived from the pious fund. 

Hugo Reid says of him, "As a wrong im- 
pression of his character may be produced from 
the preceding remarks, in justice to his memory, 
be it stated that he was a truly good man, a sin- 
cere Christian and a despiser of hypocrisy. He 
had a kind, unsophisticated heart, so that he be- 
lieved every word told him. There has never 
been a purer priest in California. Reduced in 
circumstances, annoyed on many occasions by 
the petulancy of administrators, he fulfilled his 
duties according to his conscience, with be- 
nevolence and good humor. The nuns, who, 
when the secular movement came into opera- 
tion, had been set free, were again gathered to- 
gether under his supervision and maintained at 
his expense, as were also a number of old men 
and women." 

The experiment of colonizing the Indians in 
pueblos was a failure and they were gathered 
back into the mission, or as many of them as 
could be got back, and placed in charge of ad- 
ministrators. "The Indians," says Reid, "were 
made happy at this time in being permitted to 
enjoy once more the luxury of a tule dwelling, 
from which the greater part had been debarred 
for so long; they could now breathe freely 
again." (The close adobe buildings in which 
they had been housed in mission days were no 
doubt one of the causes of the great mortality 
among them.) 

"Administrator followed administrator until 
the mission could support no more, when 
the system was broken up." * * * "The 
Indians during this period were continually run- 



ning off. Scantily clothed and still more scant- 
ily supplied with food, it was not to be wondered 
at. Nearly all the Gabrielinos went north, while 
those of San Diego, San Luis and San Juan 
overrun this country, filling the Angeles and 
surrounding ranchos with more servants than 
were required. Labor, in consequence, was 
very cheap. The different missions, however, 
had alcaldes continually on the move, hunting 
them up and carrying them back, but to no pur- 
pose; it was labor in vain." 

"Even under the dominion of the church in 
mission days," Reid says, "the neophytes were 
addicted both to drinking and gaming, with 
an inclination to steal;" but after their emanci- 
pation they went from bad to worse. Those at- 
tached to the ranchos and those located in the 
town were virtually slaves. They had bosses 
or owners and when they ran away were cap- 
tured and returned to their master. The account 
book for 1840 of the sindico of Los Angeles 
contains this item, "For the delivery of two 
Indians to their boss $12." 

In all the large towns there was an Indian 
village known as the pueblito or little town. 
These were the sink holes of crime and the 
favorite resorts of dissolute characters, both 
white and red. The Indian village at Los An- 
geles between what is now Aliso and First street 
became such an intolerable nuisance that on 
petition of the citizens it was removed across 
the river to the "Spring of the Abilas," but its 
removal did not improve its morals. Vicente 
Guerrero, the sindico, discussing the Indian 
question before the ayuntamiento said, "The In- 
dians are so utterly depraved that no matter 
where they may settle down their conduct would 
be the same, since they look upon death even 
with indifference, provided they can indulge in 
their pleasures and vices." This was their con- 
dition in less than a decade after they were freed 
from mission control. 

What did six decades of mission rule accom- 
plish for the Indian? In all the older missions 
between their founding and their secularization 
three generations of adults had come under the 
influence of mission life and training — first, the 
adult converts made soon after the founding; 
second, their children born at the missions, and 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



nil 



third, the children of these who had grown to 
manhood before the fall of the missions. How 
great an improvement had the neophytes of the 
third generation made over those of the first? 
They had to a great extent lost their original 
language and had acquired a speaking knowl- 
edge of Spanish. They had abandoned or 
forgotten their primitive religious belief, but 
their new religion exercised but little influence 
on their lives. After their emancipation they 
went from bad to worse. Some of the more 
daring escaped to the mountains and joining 
the wild tribes there became the leaders in 
frequent predatory excursions on the horses and 
cattle of the settlers in the valleys. They were 
hunted down and shot like wild beasts. 

What became of the mission estates? As the 
cattle were killed off the different ranchos of 
the mission domains, settlers petitioned the 
ayuntamiento for grants. If upon investigation 
it was found that the land asked for was vacant 
the petition was referred to the governor for his 
approval. In this way the vast mission domains 
passed into private hands. The country im- 
proved more in wealth and population between 
1836 and 1846 than in the previous fifty years. 
Secularization was destruction to the mission 



and death to the Indian, but it was beneficial 
to the country at large. The decline of the mis- 
sions and the passing of the neophyte had be- 
gun long before the decrees of secularization 
were enforced. Nearly all the missions passed 
their zenith in population during the second 
decade of the century. Even had the mission- 
ary establishments not been secularized they 
would eventually have been depopulated. At no 
time during the mission rule were the number 
of births equal to the number of deaths. When 
recruits could no longer be obtained from the 
Gentiles or wild Indians the decline became 
more rapid. The mission annals show that from 
1769 to 1834, when secularization was enforced 
— an interval of sixty-five years — 79,000 con- 
verts were baptized and 62,000 deaths recorded. 
The death rate among the neophytes was about 
twice that of the negro in this country and 
four times that of the white race. The extinc- 
tion of the neophyte or mission Indian was 
due to the enforcement of that inexorable law 
or decree of nature, the Survival of the Fittest. 
Where a stronger race comes in contact with 
a weaker, there can be but one termination 
of the contest — the extermination of the 
weaker. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE FREE AND SOVEREIGN STATE OF ALTA CALIFORNIA. 



GOVERNOR FIGUEROA on his death- 
bed turned over the civil command of 
the territory to Jose Castro, who there- 
by became "gefe politico ad interem." The 
military command was given to Lieut.-Col. 
Nicolas Gutierrez with the rank of comandante 
general. The separation of the two commands 
was in accordance with the national law of May 
6, 1822. 

Castro was a member of the diputacion, but 
was not senior vocal or president. Jose An- 
tonio Carrillo, who held that position, was 
diputado or delegate to congress and was at 
that time in the city of Mexico. It was he who 
secured the decree from the Mexican Congress 
May 23, 1835, making Los Angeles the capital 



of California, and elevating it to the rank of a 
city. The second vocal, Jose Antonio Estudillo, 
was sick at his home in San Diego. Jose Cas- 
tro ranked third. He was the only one of the 
diputacion at the capital and at the previous 
meeting of the diputacion he had acted as pre- 
siding officer. Gutierrez, who was at San Ga- 
briel when appointed to the military command, 
hastened to Monterey, but did not reach there 
until after the death of Figucroa. Castro, on 
assuming command, sent a notification of his 
appointment to the civil authorities of the dif- 
ferent jurisdictions. All responded favorably 
except San Diego and Los Angeles. San Diego 
claimed the office for Estudillo, second vocal, 
and Los Angeles declared against Castro be 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



cause he was only third vocal and demanded that 
the diputacion should meet at the legal capital 
(Los Angeles) of the territory. This was the 
beginning of the capital war that lasted ten years 
and increased in bitterness as it increased in 
age. The diputacion met at Monterey. It de- 
cided in favor of Castro and against removing 
the capital to Los Angeles. 

Castro executed the civil functions of gefe 
politico four months and then, in accordance 
with orders from the supreme government, he 
turned over his part of the governorship to 
Comandante General Gutierrez and again the 
two commands were united in one person. 
Gutierrez filled the office of "gobernador in- 
terno" from January 2, 1836, to the arrival of his 
successor, Mariano Chico. Chico had been ap- 
pointed governor by President Barragan, Decem- 
ber 16, 1835, but did not arrive in California 
until April, 1836. Thus California had four 
governors within nine months. They changed 
so rapidly there was not time to foment a rev- 
olution. Chico began his administration by a 
series of petty tyrannies. Just before his ar- 
rival in California a vigilance committee at Los 
Angeles shot to death Gervacio Alispaz and his 
paramour, Maria del Rosaria Villa, for the mur- 
der of the woman's husband, Domingo Feliz. 
Alispaz was a countryman of Chico. Chico had 
the leaders arrested and came down to Los 
Angeles with the avowed purpose of executing 
Prudon, Arzaga and Aranjo, the president, sec- 
retary and military commander, respectively, of 
the Defenders of Public Security, as the vigi- 
lantes called themselves. He announced his 
intention of arresting and punishing every man 
who had taken part in the banishment of Gov- 
ernor Victoria. He summoned Don Abel 
Stearns to Monterey and threatened to have him 
shot for some imaginary offense. He fulminated 
a fierce pronunciamento against foreigners, that 
incurred their wrath, and made himself so odious 
that he was hated by all, native or foreigner. 
He was a centralist and opposed to popular 
rights. Exasperated beyond endurance by his 
scandalous conduct and unseemly exhibitions of 
temper the people of Monterey rose en masse 
against him, and so terrified him that he took 
passage on board a brig that was lying in the 



harbor and sailed for Mexico with the threat 
that he would return with an armed force to 
punish the rebellious Californians, but he never 
came back again. 

With the enforced departure of Chico, the 
civil command of the territory devolved upon 
Nicolas Gutierrez, who still held the military 
command. He was of Spanish birth and a cen- 
tralist or anti-federalist in politics. Although a 
mild mannered man he seemed to be impressed 
with the idea that he must carry out the arbi- 
trary measures of his predecessor. Centralism 
was his nemesis. Like Chico, he was opposed 
to popular rights and at one time gave orders ■ 
to disperse the diputacion by force. He was 
not long in making himself unpopular by at- 
tempting to enforce the centralist decrees of the 
Mexican Congress. 

He quarreled with Juan Bautista Alvarado, 
the ablest of the native Californians. Alvarado 
and Jose Castro raised the standard of revolt. 
They gathered together a small army of ranch- 
eros and an auxiliary force of twenty-five Amer- 
ican hunters and trappers under Graham, a 
backwoodsman from Tennessee. By a strategic 
movement they captured the castillo or fort 
which commanded the presidio, where Gutierrez 
and the Mexican army officials were stationed. 
The patriots demanded the surrender of the 
presidio and the arms. The governor refused. 
The revolutionists had been able to find but 
a single cannon ball in the castillo, but this was 
sufficient to do the business. A well-directed 
shot tore through the roof of the governor's 
house, covering him and his staff with the debris 
of broken tiles; that and the desertion of most 
of his soldiers to the patriots brought him to 
terms. On the 5th of November, 1836, he sur- 
rendered the presidio and resigned his authority 
as governor. He and about seventy of his ad- 
herents were sent aboard a vessel lying in the 
harbor and shipped out of the country. 

With the Mexican governor and his officers 
out of the country, the next move of Castro and 
Alvarado was to call a meeting of the diputa- 
cion or territorial congress. A plan for the 
independence of California was adopted. This, 
which was known afterwards as the Monterey 
plan, consisted of six sections, the most im- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



portant of which were as follows: "First, Alta 
California hereby declares itself independent 
from Mexico until the Federal System of 1824 
is restored. Second, the same California is 
hereby declared a free and sovereign state; es- 
tablishing a congress to enact the special laws 
of the country and the other necessary supreme 
powers. Third, the Roman Apostolic Catholic 
religion shall prevail; no other creed shall be 
allowed, but the government shall not molest 
anyone on account of his private opinions." 
The diputacion issued a declaration of independ- 
ence that arraigned the mother country, Mexico, 
and her officials very much in the style that our 
own Declaration gives it to King George III. 
and England. 

Castro issued a pronunciamiento, ending with 
Viva La Federacion! Viva La Libertad! Viva 
el Estado Libre y Soberano de Alta California! 
Thus amid vivas and proclamations, with the 
beating of drums and the booming of cannon, 
El Estado Libre de Alta California (The Free 
State of Alta California) was launched on the 
political sea. But it was rough sailing for the 
little craft. Her ship of state struck a rock and 
for a time shipwreck was threatened. 

For years there had been a growing jealousy 
between Northern and Southern California. 
Los Angeles, as has been stated before, had by a 
decree of the Mexican congress been made the 
capital of the territory. Monterey had per- 
sistently refused to give up the governor and 
the archives. In the movement to make Alta 
California a free and independent state, the An- 
gelenos recognized an attempt on the part of 
the people of the north to deprive them of the 
capital. Although as bitterly opposed to Mex- 
ican governors, and as active in fomenting revo- 
lutions against them as the people of Monterey, 
the Angelenos chose to profess loyalty to the 
mother country. They opposed the plan of 
government adopted by the congress at Mon- 
terey and promulgated a plan of their own, in 
which they declared California was not free; 
that the "Roman Catholic Apostolic religion 
shall prevail in this jurisdiction, and any person 
publicly professing any other shall be pros- 
ecuted by law as heretofore." A mass meeting 
was called to take measures "to prevent the 



spreading of the Monterey revolution, so that 
the progress of the nation may not be 
paralyzed," and to appoint a person to take mil- 
itary command of the department. 

San Diego and San Luis Rey took the part 
of Los Angeles in the quarrel, Sonoma and San 
Jose joined Monterey, while Santa Barbara, al- 
ways conservative, was undecided, but finally 
issued a plan of her own. Alvarado and Castro 
determined to suppress the revolutionary An- 
gelenos. They collected a force of one hun- 
dred men, made up of natives, with Graham's 
contingent of twenty-five American riflemen. 
With this army they prepared to move against 
the recalcitrant surerios. 

The ayuntamiento of Los Angeles began 
preparations to resist the invaders. An army of 
two hundred and seventy men was enrolled, a 
part of which was made up of neophytes. To se- 
cure the sinews of war Jose Sepulveda, second al- 
calde, was sent to the Mission San Fernando 
to secure what money there was in the hands of 
the major domo. He returned with two pack- 
ages, which, when counted, were found to con- 
tain $2,000. 

Scouts patrolled the Santa Barbara road as 
far as San Buenaventura to give warning of the 
approach of the enemy, and pickets guarded the 
Pass of Cahuenga and the Rodeo de Las Aguas 
to prevent northern spies from entering and 
southern traitors from getting out of the pueblo. 
The southern army was stationed at San Fer- 
nando under the command of Alferez (Lieut.) 
Rocha. Alvarado and Castro, pushing down the 
coast, reached Santa Barbara, where they were 
kindly received and their force recruited to one 
hundred and twenty men with two pieces of 
artillery. Jose Sepulveda at San Fernando sent 
to Los Angeles for the cannon at the town 
house and $200 of the mission money to pay his 
men. 

On the 16th of January, 1837, Alvarado from 
San Buenaventura dispatched a communication 
to the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles and the 
citizens, telling them vhat military resources 
he had, which he would use against them if it 
became necessary, but he was willing to confer 
upon a plan of settlement. Sepulveda and An- 
tonio M. Osio were appointed commissioners 



1(M 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and sent to confer with the governor, armed 
with several propositions, the substance of 
which was that California shall not be free and 
the Catholic religion must prevail with the 
privilege to prosecute any other religion, "ac- 
cording to law as heretofore." The commission- 
ers met Alvarado on "neutral ground," between 
San Fernando and San Buenaventura. A long 
discussion followed without either coming to the 
point. Alvarado, by a coup d'etat, brought it 
to an end. In the language of the commission- 
ers' report to the ayuntamiento: "While we 
were a certain distance from our own forces with 
only four unarmed men and were on the point of 
coming to an agreement with Juan B. Alvarado, 
we saw the Monterey division advancing upon 
us and we were forced to deliver up the instruc- 
tions of this illustrious body through fear of 
being attacked." They delivered up not only 
the instructions, but the Mission San Fer- 
nando. The southern army was compelled to 
surrender it and fall back on the pueblo, Rocha 
swearing worse than "our army in Flanders" 
because he was not allowed to fight. The south- 
ern soldiers had a wholesome dread of Gra- 
ham's riflemen. These fellows, armed with long 
Kentucky rifles, shot to kill, and a battle once 
begun somebody would have died for his coun- 
try and it would not have been Alvarado's rifle- 
men. 

The day after the surrender of the mission, 
January 21, 1837, the ayuntamiento held a ses- 
sion and the members were as obdurate and 
belligerent as ever. They resolved that it was 
only in the interests of humanity that the mis- 
sion had been surrendered and their army 
forced to retire. "This ayuntamiento, consider- 
ing the commissioners were forced to comply, 
annuls all action of the commissioners and does 
not recognize this territory as a free and sov- 
ereign state nor Juan B. Alvarado as its gov- 
ernor, and declares itself in favor of the Supreme 
Government of Mexico." A few days later Al- 
varado entered the city without opposition, the 
Angelenian soldiers retiring to San Gabriel and 
from there scattering to their homes. 

On the 26th of January an extraordinary 
session of the most illustrious ayuntamiento was 
held. Alvarado was present and made a lengthy 



speech, in which he said, "The native sons were 
subjected to ridicule by the Mexican mandarins 
sent here, and knowing our rights we ought to 
shake off the ominous yoke of bondage." Then 
he produced and read the six articles of the 
Monterey plan, the council also produced a plan 
and a treaty of amity was effected. Alvarado 
was recognized as governor pro tern, and peace 
reigned. The belligerent surehos vied with each 
other in expressing their admiration for the new 
order of things. Pio Pico wished to ex- 
press the pleasure it gave him to see a "hijo 
del pais" in office. And Antonio Osio, 
the most belligerent of the surehos, declared 
"that sooner than again submit to a Mexican 
dictator as governor, he would flee to the forest 
and be devoured by wild beasts." The ayunta- 
miento was asked to provide a building for the 
government, "this being the capital of the state." 
The hatchet apparently was buried. Peace 
reigned in El Estado Libre. At the meeting of 
the town council, on the 30th of January, Al- 
varado made another speech, but it was neither 
conciliatory nor complimentary. He arraigned 
the "traitors who were working against the 
peace of the country" and urged the members to 
take measures "to liberate the city from the 
hidden hands that will tangle them in their own 
ruin." The pay of his troops who were ordered 
here for the welfare of California is due "and 
it is an honorable and preferred debt, therefore 
the ayuntamiento will deliver to the government 
the San Fernando money," said he. With a 
wry face, very much such as a boy wears when 
he is told that he has been spanked for his own 
good, the alcalde turned over the balance of 
the mission money to Juan Bautista, and the 
governor took his departure for Monterey, 
leaving, however, Col. Jose Castro with part of 
his army stationed at Mission San Gabriel, os- 
tensibly "to support the city's authority," but in 
reality to keep a close watch on the city author- 
ities. 

Los Angeles was subjugated, peace reigned 
and El Estado Libre de Alta California took her 
place among the nations of the earth. But 
peace's reign was brief. At the meeting of the 
ayuntamiento May 27, 1838, Juan Bandini and 
Santiago E. Arguello of San Diego, appeared 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



105 



with a pronunciamiento and a plan, San 
Diego's plan of government. Monterey, Santa 
Barbara and Los Angeles had each formulated 
a plan of government for the territory, and now 
it was San Diego's turn. Agustin V, Zamorano, 
who had been exiled with Governor Gutierrez, 
had crossed the frontier and was made comand- 
ante-general and territorial political chief ad 
interim by the San Diego revolutionists. The 
plan restored California to obedience to the 
supreme government; all acts of the diputa- 
cion and the Monterey plan were annulled and 
the northern rebels were to be arraigned and 
tried for their part in the revolution; and so on 
through twenty articles. 

On the plea of an Indian outbreak near San 
Diego, in which the redmen, it was said, "were 
to make an end of the white race," the big can- 
non and a number of men were secured at Los 
Angeles to assist in suppressing the Indians, 
but in reality to reinforce the army of the San 
Diego revolutionists. With a force of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five men under Zamorano and 
Portilla, "the army of the supreme government" 
moved against Castro at Los Angeles. Castro 
retreated to Santa Barbara and Portilla's army 
took position at San Fernando. 

The civil and military officials of Los Angeles 
took the oath to support the Mexican consti- 
tution of 1836 and, in their opinion, this 
absolved them from all allegiance to Juan Bau- 
tista and his Monterey plan. Alvarado hurried 
reinforcements to Castro at Santa Barbara, and 
Portilla called loudly for "men, arms and 
horses," to march against the northern rebels. 
But neither military chieftain advanced, and the 
summer wore away without a battle. There 
were rumors that Mexico was preparing to send 
an army of one thousand men to subjugate the 
rebellious Californians. In October came the 
news that Jose Antonio Carrillo, the Machiavelli 
of California politics, had persuaded President 
Bustamente to appoint Carlos Carrillo, Jose's 
brother, governor of Alta California. 

Then consternation seized the arribenos (up- 
pers) of the north and the abajenos (lowers) of 
Los Angeles went wild with joy. It was not 
that they loved Carlos Carrillo, for he was a 
Santa Barbara man and had opposed them in 



the late unpleasantness, but they saw in his ap- 
pointment an opportunity to get revenge on 
Juan Bautista for the way he had humiliated 
them. They sent congratulatory messages to 
Carrillo and invited him to make Los Angeles 
the seat of his government. Carrillo was flat- 
tered by their attentions and consented. The 
6th of December, 1837, was" set for his inaugura- 
tion, and great preparations were made for the 
event. The big cannon was brought over from 
San Gabriel to fire salutes and the city was 
ordered illuminated on the nights of the 6th, 
7th and 8th of December. Cards of invitation 
were issued and the people from the city and 
country were invited to attend the inauguration 
ceremonies, "dressed as decent as possible," so 
read the invitations. 

The widow Josefa Alvarado's house, the fin- 
est in the city, was secured for the governor's 
palacio (palace). The largest hall in the city 
was secured for the services and decorated as 
well as it was possible. The city treasury, being 
in its usual state of collapse, a subscription for 
defraying the expenses was opened and horses, 
hides and tallow, the current coin of the pueblo, 
were liberally contributed. 

On the appointed day, "the most illustrious 
ayuntamiento and the citizens of the neighbor- 
hood(sothe old archives read)met his excellency, 
the governor, Don Carlos Carrillo, who made 
his appearance with a magnificent accompani- 
ment." The secretary, Narciso Botello, "read in 
a loud, clear and intelligible voice, the oath, and 
the governor repeated it after him." At the 
moment the oath was completed, the artillery 
thundered forth a salute and the bells rang out 
a merry peal. The governor made a speech, 
when all adjourned to the church, where a mass 
was said and a solemn Te Detim sung; after 
which all repaired to the house of his excellency, 
where the southern patriots drank his health in 
bumpers of wine and shouted themselves hoarse 
in vivas to the new government. An inaugura- 
tion ball was held — the "beauty and the chivalry 
of the south were gathered there." Outside the 
tallow dips flared and flickered from the porticos 
of the house, bonfires blazed in the streets and 
cannon boomed salvos from the old plaza. Los 
Angeles was the capital at last and had a gov- 



106 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ernor all to herself, for Santa Barbara refused 
to recognize Carrillo, although he belonged 
within its jurisdiction. 

The Angelehos determined to subjugate the 
Barbarerios. An army of two hundred men, 
under Castenada, was sent to capture the city. 
After a few futile demonstrations, Castenada's 
forces fell back to San Buenaventura. 

Then Alvarado determined to subjugate the 
Angelehos. He and Castro, gathering together 
an army of two hundred men, by forced marches 
reached San Buenaventura, and by a strategic 
movement captured all of Castenada's horses 
and drove his army into the mission church. 
For two days the battle raged and, "cannon to 
the right of them," and "cannon in front of them 
volleyed and thundered." One man was killed 
on the northern side and the blood of several 
mustangs watered the soil of their native land — 
died for their country. The southerners slipped 
out of the church at night and fled up the val- 
ley on foot. Castro's caballeros captured about 
seventy prisoners. Pio Pico, with reinforce- 
ments, met the remnant of Castenada's army at 
the Santa Clara river, and together all fell back 
to Los Angeles. Then there was wailing in the 
old pueblo, where so lately there had been re- 
joicing. Gov. Carlos Carrillo gathered to- 
gether what men he could get to go with him 
and retreated to San Diego. Alvarado's army 
took possession of the southern capital and 
some of the leading conspirators were sent as 
prisoners to the Castillo at Sonoma. 

Carrillo, at San Diego, received a small re- 
inforcement from Mexico, under a Captain 
Tobar. Tobar was made general and given 
command of the southern army. Carrillo, hav- 
ing recovered from his fright, sent an order to 
the northern rebels to surrender within fifteen 
days under penalty of being shot as traitors if 
they refused. In the meantime Los Angeles 
was held by the enemy. The second alcalde 
(the first, Louis Aranas, was a prisoner) called 
a meeting to devise some means "to have his 
excellency, Don Carlos Carrillo, return to this 
capital, as his presence is very much desired by 
the citizens to protect their lives and property." 
A committee was appointed to locate Don 
Carlos. 



Instead of surrendering, Castro and Alvarado, 
with a force of two hundred men, advanced 
against Carrillo. The two armies met at Campo 
de Las Flores. General Tobar had fortified a 
cattle corral with rawhides, carretas and Cot- 
tonwood poles. A few shots from Alvarado's 
artillery scattered Tobar's rawhide fortifications. 
Carrillo surrendered. Tobar and a few of the 
leaders escaped to Mexico. Alvarado ordered 
the misguided Angelehian soldiers to go home 
and behave themselves. He brought the captive 
governor back with him and left him with his 
(Carrillo's) wife at Santa Barbara, who became 
surety for the deposed ruler. Not content with 
his unfortunate attempts to rule, he again 
claimed the governorship on the plea that he 
had been appointed by the supreme government. 
But the Angelehos had had enough of him. 
Disgusted with his incompetency, Juan Gallardo, 
at the session of May 14, 1838, presented a pe- 
tition praying that this ayuntamiento do not rec- 
ognize Carlos Carrillo as governor, and setting 
forth the reasons why we, the petitioners, 
"should declare ourselves subject to the north- 
ern governor" and why they opposed Car- 
rillo. 

"First. In having compromised the people 
from San Buenaventura south into a declara- 
tion of war, the incalculable calamities of which 
will never be forgotten, not even by the most 
ignorant. 

"Second. Not satisfied with the unfortunate 
event of San Buenaventura, he repeated the 
same at Campo de Las Flores, which, only 
through a divine dispensation, California is not 
to-day in mourning." Seventy citizens signed 
the petition, but the city attorney, who had done 
time in Vallejo's castillo, decided the petition il- 
legal because it was written on common paper 
when paper with the proper seal could be ob- 
tained. 

Next day Gallardo returned with his petition 
on legal paper. The ayuntamiento decided to 
sound the "public alarm" and call the people to- 
gether to give them "public speech." The pub- 
lic alarm was sounded. The people assembled 
at the city hall; speeches were made on both 
sides; and when the vote was taken twenty-two 
were in favor of the northern governor, five 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



107 



in favor of whatever the ayuntamiento decides, 
and Serbulo Yareles alone voted for Don Carlos 
Carrillo. So the council decided to recognize 
Don Juan Bautista Alvarado as governor and 
leave the supreme government to settle the con- 
test between him and Carrillo. 

Notwithstanding this apparent burying of the 
hatchet, there were rumors of plots and in- 
trigues in Los Angeles and San Diego against 
Alvarado. At length, aggravated beyond en- 
durance, the governor sent word to the surerios 
that if they did not behave themselves he would 
shoot ten of the leading men of the south. As 
he had about that number locked up in the 
Castillo at Sonoma, his was no idle threat. One 
by one Alvarado's prisoners of state were re- 
leased from Yallejo's bastile at Sonoma and re- 
turned to Los Angeles, sadder if not wiser men. 
At the session of the ayuntamiento October 20, 
1838, the president announced that Senior 
Regidor Jose Palomares had returned from 
Sonoma, where he had been compelled to go 
by reason of "political differences," and that he 
should be allowed his seat in the council. The 
request was granted unanimously. 

At the next meeting Narciso Botello, its for- 
mer secretary, after five and a half months' im- 
prisonment at Sonoma, put in an appearance and 
claimed his office and his pay. Although others 
had filled the office in the interim the illustrious 
ayuntamiento, "ignoring for what offense he was 
incarcerated, could not suspend his salary." 
But his salary was suspended. The treasury 
was empty. The last horse and the last hide had 
been paid out to defray the expense of the in- 
auguration festivities of Carlos, the Pretender, 
and the civil war that followed. Indeed there 
was a treasury deficit of whole caballadas of 
horses, and bales of hides. Narciso's back pay 



was a preferred claim that outlasted El Estado 
Libre. 

The surenos of Los Angeles and San Diego, 
finding that in Alvarado they had a man of cour- 
age and determination to deal with, ceased from 
troubling him and submitted to the inevitable. 
At the meeting of the ayuntamiento, October 5, 
1839, a notification was received, stating that the 
supreme government of Mexico had appointed 
Juan Bautista Alvarado governor of the depart- 
ment. There was no grumbling or dissent. On 
the contrary, the records say, "This illustrious 
body acknowledges receipt of the communica- 
tion and congratulated his excellency. It will 
announce the same to the citizens to-morrow 
(Sunday), will raise the national colors, salute 
the same with the required number of volleys, 
and will invite the people to illuminate their 
houses for a better display in rejoicing at such 
a happy appointment." With his appointment 
by the supreme government the "free and sov- 
ereign state of Alta California" became a dream 
of the past — a dead nation. Indeed, months be- 
fore Alvarado had abandoned his idea of found- 
ing an independent state and had taken the oath 
oi allegiance to the constitution of 1836. The 
loyal surenos received no thanks from the su- 
preme government for all their professions of 
loyalty, whilst the rebellious arribenos of the 
north obtained all the rewards — the governor, 
the capital and the offices. The supreme gov- 
ernment gave the deposed governor, Carlos 
Carrillo, a. grant of the island of Santa Rosa, 
in the Santa Barbara Channel, but whether it 
was given him as a salve to his wounded dignity 
or as an Elba or St. Helena, where, in the event 
of his stirring up another revolution, he might 
be banished a la Napoleon, the records do not 
inform us. 



108 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

DECLINE AND FALL OF MEXICAN DOMINATION. 



WHILE the revolution begun by Al- 
varado and Castro had not established 
California's independence, it had effect- 
ually rid the territory of Mexican dictators. 
A native son was governor of the depart- 
ment of the Californians (by the constitu- 
tion of 1836 Upper and Lower California had 
been united into a department); another native 
son was comandante of its military forces. The 
membership of the departmental junta, which 
had taken the place of the diputacion, was 
largely made up of sons of the soil, and natives 
rilled the minor offices. In their zeal to rid 
themselves of Mexican office-holders they had 
invoked the assistance of another element that 
was ultimately to be their undoing. 

During the revolutionary era just passed the 
foreign population had largely increased. Not 
only had the foreigners come by sea, but they 
had come by land. Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, a. 
New England-born trapper and hunter, was the 
first man to enter California by the overland 
route. A number of trappers and hunters came 
in the early '30s from New Mexico by way of 
the old Spanish trail. This immigration was 
largely American, and was made up of a bold, 
adventurous class of men, some of them not 
the most desirable immigrants. Of this latter 
class were some of Graham's followers. 

By invoking Graham's aid to put him in 
power, Alvarado had fastened upon his shoul- 
ders an old Man of the Sea. It was easy enough 
to enlist the services of Graham's riflemen, but 
altogether another matter to get rid of them. 
Now that he was firmly established in power, 
Alvarado would, no doubt, have been glad to be 
rid entirely of his recent allies, but Graham and 
his adherents were not backward in giving him 
to understand that he owed his position to them, 
and they were inclined to put themselves on an 
equality with him. This did not comport with 
his ideas of the dignity of his office. To be 



hailed by some rough buckskin-clad trapper 
with "Ho! Bautista; come here, I want to speak 
with you," was an affront to his pride that the 
governor of the two Californias could not 
quietly pass over, and, besides, like all of his 
countrymen, he disliked foreigners. 

There were rumors of another revolution, and 
it was not difficult to persuade Alvarado that 
the foreigners were plottingto revolutionize Cal- 
ifornia. Mexico had recently lost Texas, and 
the same class of "malditos extranjeros" (wicked 
strangers) were invading California, and would 
ultimately possess themselves of the country. Ac- 
cordingly, secret orders were sent throughout 
the department to arrest and imprison all for- 
eigners. Over one hundred men of different 
nationalities were arrested, principally Amer- 
icans and English. Of these forty-seven were 
shipped to San Bias, and from there marched 
overland to Tepic, where they were imprisoned 
for several months. Through the efforts of the 
British consul, Barron, they were released. 
Castro, who had accompanied the prisoners to 
Mexico to prefer charges against them, was 
placed under arrest and afterwards tried by 
court-martial, but was acquitted. He had been 
acting under orders from his superiors. After 
an absence of over a year twenty of the exiles 
landed at Monterey on their return from Mex- 
ico. Robinson, who saw them land, says: 
"They returned neatly dressed, armed with rifles 
and swords, and looking in much better condi- 
tion than when they were sent away, or probably 
than they had ever looked in their lives before." 
The Mexican government had been compelled 
to pay them damages for their arrest and im- 
prisonment and to return them to California. 
Graham, the reputed leader of the foreigners, 
was the owner of a distillery near Santa Cruz, 
and had gathered a number of hard characters 
around him. It would have been no loss had he 
never returned. 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



The only other event of importance during 
Alvarado's term as governor was the capture of 
Monterey by Commodore Ap Catesby Jones, of 
the United States navy. This event happened 
after Alvarado's successor, Micheltorena, had 
landed in California, but before the government 
had been formally turned over to him. 

The following extract from the diary of a 
pioneer, who was an eye-witness of the affair, 
gives a good description of the capture: 

"Monterey, Oct. 19, 1842.— At 2 p. m. the 
United States man-of-war United States, Com- 
modore Ap Catesby Jones, came to anchor close 
alongside and in-shore of all the ships in port. 
About 3 p. m. Capt. Armstrong came ashore, 
accompanied by an interpreter, and went direct 
to the governor's house, where he had a private 
conversation with him, which proved to be a 
demand for the surrender of the entire coast of 
California, upper and lower, to the United 
States government. When he was about to go 
on board he gave three or four copies of a 
proclamation to the inhabitants of the two Cali- 
fornias. assuring them of the protection of their 
lives, persons and property. In his notice to the 
governor (Alvarado) he gave him only until the 
following morning at 9 a. m. to decide. If he 
received no answer, then he would fire upon the 
town." 

"I remained on shore that night and went 
down to the governor's with Mr. Larkin and 
Mr. Eagle. The governor had had some idea 
of running away and leaving Monterey to its 
fate, but was told by Mr. Spence that he should 
not go, and finally he resolved to await the re- 
sult. At 12 at night some persons were sent 
on board the United States who had been ap- 
pointed by the governor to meet the commodore 
and arrange the terms of the surrender. Next 
morning at half-past ten o'clock about one hun- 
dred sailors and fifty marines disembarked. The 
sailors marched up from the shore and took pos- 
session of the fort. The American colors were 
hoisted. The United States fired a salute of thir- 
teen guns ; it was returned by the fort, which fired 
twenty-six guns. The marines in the meantime 
had marched up to the government house. The 
officers and soldiers of the California govern- 
ment were discharged and their guns and other 



arms taken possession of and carried to the fort. 
The stars and stripes now wave over us. Long 
may they wave here in California!" 

"Oct. 21, 4 p. in. — Elags were again changed, 
the vessels were released, and all was quiet again. 
The commodore had received later news bv 
some Mexican newspapers." 

Commodore Jones had been stationed at Cal- 
lao with a squadron of four vessels. An English 
fleet was also there, and a French fleet was 
cruising in the Pacific. Both these were sup- 
posed to have designs on California. Jones 
learned that the English admiral had received 
orders to sail next day. Surmising that his des- 
tination might be California, he slipped out of 
the harbor the night before and crowded all sail 
to reach California before the English admiral. 
The loss of Texas, and the constant influx of im- 
migrants and adventurers from the United 
States into California, had embittered the Mex- 
ican government more and more against 
foreigners. Manuel Micheltorena, who had 
served under Santa Anna in the Texas war, 
was appointed January 19, 1842, comandante- 
general inspector and gobernador propietario of 
the Californias. 

Santa Anna was president of the Mexican re- 
public. His experience with Americans in 
Texas during the Texan war of independence, 
in 1836-37, had decided him to use every 
effort to prevent California from sharing the fate 
of Texas. 

Micheltorena, the newly-appointed governor, 
was instructed to take with him sufficient force 
to check the ingress of Americans. He recruited 
a force of three hundred and fifty men, prin- 
cipally convicts enlisted from the prisons of 
Mexico. His army of thieves and ragamuffins 
landed at San Diego in August, 1842. 

Robinson, who was at San Diego when one 
of the vessels conveying Micheltorena's cholos 
(convicts) landed, thus describes them: "Five 
days afterward the brig Chato arrived with 
ninety soldiers and their families. I saw them 
land, and to me they presented a state of 
wretchedness and misery unequaled. Not one 
individual among them possessed a jacket or 
pantaloons, but, naked, and like the savage In- 
dians, they concealed their nudity with dirty, 



Ill) 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



miserable blankets. The females were not much 
better off, for the scantiness of their mean ap- 
parel was too apparent for modest observers. 
They appeared like convicts, and, indeed, the 
greater portion of them had been charged with 
crime, either of murder or theft." 

Micheltorena drilled his Falstaffian army at 
San Diego for several weeks and then began his 
march northward; Los Angeles made great 
preparations to receive the new governor. Seven 
years had passed since she had been decreed the 
capital of the territory, and in all these years 
she had been denied her rights by Monterey. 
A favorable impression on the new governor 
might induce him to make the ciudad his capital. 
The national fiesta of September 16 was post- 
poned until the arrival of the governor. The 
best house in the town was secured for him 
and his staff. A grand ball was projected 
and the city illuminated the night of his arrival. 
A camp was established down by the river and 
the cholos, who in the meantime had been given 
white linen uniforms, were put through the drill 
and the manual of arms. They were incorrigible 
thieves, and stole for the very pleasure of steal- 
ing. They robbed the hen roosts, the orchards, 
the vineyards and the vegetable gardens of the 
citizens. To the Angelenos the glory of their 
city as the capital of the territory faded in the 
presence of their empty chicken coops and 
plundered orchards. They longed to speed the 
departure of their now unwelcome guests. After 
a stay of a month in the city Micheltorena and 
his army took up their line of march northward. 
He reached a point about twenty miles north 
of San Fernando, when, on the night of the 
24th of October, a messenger aroused him from 
his slumbers with the news that the capital had 
been captured by the Americans. Micheltorena 
seized the occasion to make political capital for 
himself with the home government. He spent 
the remainder of the night in fulminating proc- 
lamations against the invaders fiercer than the 
thunderbolts of Jove, copies of which were dis- 
patched post haste to Mexico. He even wished 
himself a thunderbolt "that he might fly over 
intervening space and annihilate the invaders." 
Then, with his own courage and doubtless that 
of his brave cholos aroused to the highest 



pitch, instead of rushing on the invaders, he and 
his army fled back to San Fernando, where, 
afraid to advance or retreat, he halted until news 
reached him that Commodore Jones had re- 
stored Monterey to the Californians. Then his 
valor reached the boiling point. He boldly 
marched to Los Angeles, established his head' 
quarters in the city and awaited the coming 
of Commodore Jones and his officers from Mon- 
terey. 

On the 19th of January, 1843, Commodore 
Jones and his staff came to Los Angeles to meet 
the governor. At the famous conference in 
the Palacio de Don Abel, Micheltorena pre- 
sented his articles of convention. Among other 
ridiculous demands were the following: "Ar- 
ticle VI. Thomas Ap C. Jones will deliver fif- 
teen hundred complete infantry uniforms to re- 
place those of nearly one-half of the Mexican 
force, which have been ruined in the violent 
march and the continued rains while they were 
on their way to recover the port thus invaded." 
"Article VII. Jones to pay $15,000 into the 
national treasury for expenses incurred from the 
general alarm; also a complete set of musical 
instruments in place of those ruined on this 
occasion."* Judging from Robinson's descrip- 
tion of the dress of Micheltorena's cholos it is 
doubtful whether there was an entire uniform 
among them. 

"The commodore's first impulse," writes a 
member of his staff, "was to return the papers 
without comment and to refuse further com- 
munication with a man who could have the ef- 
frontery to trump up such charges as those for 
which indemnification was claimed." The com- 
modore on reflection put aside his personal feel- 
ings, and met the governor at the grand ball in 
Sanchez hall, held in honor of the occasion. 
The ball was a brilliant affair, "the dancing 
ceased only with the rising of the sun next 
morning." The commodore returned the articles 
without his signature. The governor did not 
again refer to his demands. Next morning, 
January 21, 1843, Jones and his officers took 
their departure from the city "amidst the beat- 
ing of drums, the firing of cannon and the ring- 



*Bancroft's History of California, Vol. IV. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Ill 



ing of bells, saluted by the general and his wife 
from the door of their quarters. On the 31st 
of December, Micheltorena had taken the oath 
of office in Sanchez' hall, which stood on the 
east side of the plaza. Salutes were fired, the 
bells were rung and the city was illuminated 
for three evenings. For the second time a gov- 
ernor had been inaugurated in Los Angeles. 

Micheltorena and his cholo army remained in 
Los Angeles about eight months. The An- 
gelerios had all the capital they cared for. They 
were perfectly willing to have the governor and 
his army take up their residence in Monterey. 
The cholos had devoured the country like an 
army of chapules (locusts) and were willing to 
move on. Monterey would no doubt have gladly 
transferred what right she had to the capital 
if at the same time she could have transferred 
to her old rival, Los Angeles, Micheltorena's 
cholos. Their pilfering was largely enforced 
by their necessities. They received little or no 
pay, and they often had to steal or starve. The 
leading native Californians still entertained their 
old dislike to "Mexican dictators" and the ret- 
inue of three hundred chicken thieves accom- 
panying the last dictator intensified their hatred. 

Micheltorena, while not a model governor, 
had many good qualities and was generally liked 
by the better class of foreign residents. He 
made an earnest effort to establish a system of 
public education in the territory. Schools were 
established in all the principal towns, and ter- 
ritorial aid from the public funds to the amount 
of $500 each was given them. The school at 
Los Angeles had over one hundred pupils in 
attendance. His worst fault was a disposition 
to meddle in local affairs. He was unreliable 
and not careful to keep his agreements. He 
might have succeeded in giving California a 
stable government had it not been for the antip- 
athy to his soldiers and the old feud between 
the "hijos del pais" and the Mexican dictators. 

These proved his undoing. The native sons 
under Alvarado and Castro rose in rebellion. 
In November, 1844, a revolution was inaugu- 
rated at Santa Clara. The governor marched 
with an army of one hundred and fifty men 
against the rebel forces, numbering about two 
hundred. They met at a place called the La- 



guna de Alvires. A treaty was signed in which 
Micheltorena agreed to ship his cholos back to 
Mexico. 

This treaty the governor deliberately broke. 
He then intrigued with Capt. John A. Sutter of 
New Helvetia and Isaac Graham to obtain as- 
sistance to crush the rebels. January 9, 1845, 
Micheltorena and Sutter formed a junction of 
their forces at Salinas — their united commands 
numbering about five hundred men. They 
marched against the rebels to crush them. But 
the rebels did not wait to be crushed. Alvarado 
and Castro, with about ninety men, started for 
Los Angeles, and those left behind scattered 
to their homes. Alvarado and his men reached 
Los Angeles on the night of January 20, 1845. 
The garrison stationed at the curate's house 
was surprised and captured. One man was 
killed and several wounded. Lieutenant Me- 
dina, of Micheltorena's army, was the com- 
mander of the pueblo troops. Alvarado's army 
encamped on the plaza and he and Castro set 
to work to revolutionize the old pueblo. The 
leading Angelenos had no great love for Juan 
Bautista, and did not readily fall into his 
schemes. They had not forgotten their en- 
forced detention in Vallejo's bastile during the 
Civil war. An extraordinary session of the 
ayuntamiento was called January 21. Alvarado 
and Castro were present and made eloquent ap- 
peals. The records say: "The ayuntamiento 
listened, and after a short interval of silence and 
meditation decided to notify the senior member 
of the department assembly of Don Alvarado 
and Castros' wishes." 

They were more successful with the Pico 
brothers. Pio Pico was senior vocal, and in 
case Micheltorena was disposed he, by virtue of 
his office, would become governor. Through 
the influence of the Picos the revolution gained 
ground. The most potent influence in spread- 
ing the revolt was the fear of Micheltorena's 
army of chicken thieves. Should the town be 
captured by them it certainly would be looted. 
The department assembly was called together. 
A peace commission was sent to meet Michel- 
torena, who was leisurely marching southward, 
and intercede with him to give up his proposed 
invasion of the south. He refused. Then the 



112 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



assembly pronounced him a traitor, deposed 
him by vote and appointed Pio Pico governor. 
Recruiting went on rapidly. Hundreds of sad- 
dle horses were contributed, "old rusty guns 
were repaired, hacked swords sharpened, rude 
lances manufactured" and cartridges made for 
the cannon. Some fifty foreigners of the south 
joined Alvarado's army; not that they had 
much interest in the revolution, but to protect 
their property against the rapacious invaders — 
the cholos — and Sutter's Indians,* who were as 
much dreaded as the cholos. On the 19th of 
February, Micheltorena reached the Encinos, 
and the Angelenian army marched out through 
Cahuenga Pass to meet him. On the 20th the 
two armies met on the southern edge of the 
San Fernando valley, about fifteen miles from 
Los Angeles. Each army numbered about four 
hundred men. Micheltorena had three pieces 
of artillery and Castro two. They opened on 
each other at long range and seem to have 
fought the battle throughout at very long range. 
A mustang or a mule (authorities differ) was 
killed. 

Wilson, Workman and McKinley of Castro's 
army decided to induce the Americans on the 
other side, many of whom were their personal 
friends, to abandon Micheltorena. Passing up 
a ravine, they succeeded in attracting the atten- 
tion of some of them by means of a white flag. 
Gantt, Hensley and Bidwell joined them in the 
ravine. The situation was discussed and the 
Americans of Micheltorena's army agreed to 
desert him if Pico would protect them in their 
land grants. Wilson, in his account of the bat- 
tle, says:f "I knew, and so did Pico, that these 
land questions were the point with those young 
Americans. Before I started on my journey or 
embassy, Pico was sent for; on his arrival 
among us I, in a few words, explained to him 
what the party had advanced. 'Gentlemen,' said 
he, 'are any of you citizens of Mexico?' They 
answered 'No.' 'Then your title deeds given 
you by Micheltorena are not worth the paper 

*Sutter had under his command a company of In- 
dians. He had drilled these in the use of firearms. 
The employing of these savages by Micheltorena was 
bitterly resented by the Californians. 

tPiih. Historical Society of Southern California, 
Vol. III. 



they are written on, and he knew it well when 
he gave them to you; but if you will abandon 
his cause I will give you my word of honor as 
a gentleman, and Don Benito Wilson and Don 
Juan Workman to carry out what I promise, 
that I will protect each one of you in the land 
that you now hold, and when you become citi- 
zens of Mexico I will issue you the proper ti- 
tles.' They said that was all they asked, and 
promised not to fire a gun against us. They also 
asked not to be required to fight on our side, 
which was agreed to. 

"Micheltorena discovered (how, I do not know) 
that his Americans had abandoned him. About 
an hour afterwards he raised his camp and 
flanked us by going further into the valley to- 
wards San Fernando, then marching as though 
he intended to come around the bend of the 
river to the city. The Californians and we for- 
eigners at once broke up our camp and came 
back through the Cahuenga Pass, marched 
through the gap into the Feliz ranch, on the 
Los Angeles River, till we came into close 
proximity to Micheltorena's camp. It was now 
night, as it was dark when we broke up our 
camp. Here we waited for daylight, and some 
of our men commenced maneuvering for a fight 
with the enemy. A few cannon shots were 
fired, when a white flag was discovered flying 
from Micheltorena's front. The whole matter 
then went into the hands of negotiators ap- 
pointed by both parties and the terms of sur- 
render were agreed upon, one of which was that 
Micheltorena and his obnoxious officers and 
men were to march back up the river to the 
Cahuenga Pass, then down on the plain to the 
west of Los Angeles, the most direct line to 
San Pedro, and embark at that point on a vessel 
then anchored there to carry them back to Mex- 
ico." Sutter was taken prisoner, and his Indians, 
after being corralled for a time, were sent back 
to the Sacramento. 

The roar of the battle of Cahuenga, or the 
Alamo, as it is sometimes called, could be dis- 
tinctly heard in Los Angeles, and the people 
remaining in the city were greatly alarmed. 
William Heath Davis, in his Sixty Years in Cal- 
ifornia, thus describes the alarm in the town: 
"Directly to the north of the town was a high 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



113 



hill" (now known as Mt. Lookout). "As soon 
as firing was heard all the people remaining in 
the town, men, women and children, ran to the 
top of this hill. As the wind was blowing from 
the north, the firing was distinctly heard, five 
leagues away, on the battle-field throughout the 
day. All business places in town were closed. 
The scene on the hill was a remarkable one, 
women and children, with crosses in their hands, 
kneeling and praying to the saints for the safety 
of their fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, lovers, 
cousins, that they might not be killed in the bat- 
tle; indifferent to their personal appearance, 
tears streaming from their eyes, and their hair 
blown about by the wind, which had increased 
to quite a breeze. Don Abel Stearns, myself and 
others tried to calm and pacify them, assuring 
them that there was probably no danger; some- 
what against our convictions, it is true, judg- 
ing from what we heard of the firing and from 
our knowledge of Micheltorena's disciplined 
force, his battery, and the riflemen he had with 
him. During the day the scene on the hill con- 
tinued. The night that followed was a gloomy 
one, caused by the lamentations of the women 
and children." 

Davis, who was supercargo on the Don 
Quixote, the vessel on which Micheltorena and 
his soldiers were shipped to Mexico, claims that 
the general "had ordered his command not to 
injure the Californians in the force opposed to 
him, but to fire over their heads, as he had no 
desire to kill them." 

Another Mexican-born governor had been 
deposed and deported, gone to join his fellows, 
Victoria, Chico and Gutierrez. In accordance 
with the treaty of Cahuenga and by virtue of 
his rank as senior member of the departmental 
assembly, Pio Pico became governor. The hijos 
del pais were once more in the ascendency. 
Jose Castro was made comandante-general. Al- 
varado was given charge of the custom house at 
Monterey, and Jose Antonio Carrillo was ap- 
pointed commander of the military district of 
the south. Los Angeles was made the capital, 
although the archives and the treasury remained 
in Monterey. The revolution apparently had 
been a success. In the proceedings of the Los 
Angeles ayuntamiento, March i, 1845, appears 
8 . 



this record: "The agreements entered into at 
Cahuenga between Gen. Emanuel Michel- 
torena and Lieut.-Col. Jose Castro were then 
read, and as they contain a happy termination of 
affairs in favor of the government, this Illustri- 
ous Body listened with satisfaction and so an- 
swered the communication." 

The people joined with the ayuntamiento in 
expressing their "satisfaction" that a "happy 
termination" had been reached of the political 
disturbances which had distracted the country. 
But the end was not yet. Pico did his best to 
conciliate the conflicting elements, but the old 
sectional jealousies that had divided the people 
of the territory would crop out. Jose Antonio 
Carrillo, the Machiavcl of the south, hated Cas- 
tro and Alvarado and was jealous of Pico's good 
fortune. He was the superior of any of them 
in ability, but made himself unpopular by his 
intrigues and his sarcastic speech. When Cas- 
tro and Alvarado came south to raise the stand- 
ard of revolt they tried to win him over. He 
did assist them. He was willing enough to plot 
against Micheltorena, but after the overthrow 
of the Mexican he was equally ready to plot 
against Pico and Castro. In the summer of 
1845 he was implicated in a plot to depose Pico, 
who, by the way, was his brother-in-law. Pico 
placed him and two of his fellow conspirators, 
Serbulo and Hilario Yarela, under arrest. Car- 
rillo and Hilario Yarela were shipped to Mazat- 
lan to be tried for their misdeed. Serbulo Va- 
rela made his escape from prison. The two 
exiles returned early in 1846 unpunished and 
ready for new plots. 

Pico was appointed gobernador proprietario, 
or constitutional governor of California, Sep- 
tember 3, 1845, by President Herrera. The su- 
preme government of Mexico never seemed to 
take offense or harbor resentment against the 
Californians for deposing and sending home a 
governor. As the officials of the supreme gov- 
ernment usually obtained office by revolution, 
they no doubt had a fellow feeling for the revolt- 
ing Californians. When Micheltorena returned 
to Mexico he was coldly received and a com- 
missioner was sent to Pico with dispatches vir- 
tually approving all that had been done. 

Castro, too, gave Pico a great deal of uneasi- 



114 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ness. He ignored the governor and managed 
the military affairs of the territory to suit him- 
self. His headquarters were at Monterey and 
doubtless he had the sympathy if not the en- 
couragement of the people of the north in his 
course. But the cause of the greatest uneasi- 
ness was the increasing immigration from the 
United States. A stream of emigrants from the 
western states, increasing each year, poured 
down the Sierra Nevadas and spread over the 
rich valleys of California. The Californians rec- 
ognized that through the advent of these "for- 
eign adventurers, "as they called them, the "man- 
ifest destiny" of California was to be absorbed by 
the United States. Alvarado had appealed to 
Mexico for men and arms and had been an- 
swered by the arrival of Micheltorena and his 
cholos. Pico appealed and for a time the Cali- 
fornians were cheered by the prospect of aid. 



In the summer of 1845 a f° rce °f s i x hundred 
veteran soldiers, under command of Colonel 
Iniestra, reached Acapulco, where ships were ly- 
ing to take them to California, but a revolution 
broke out in Mexico and the troops destined for 
the defense of California were used to overthrow 
President Herrera and to seat Paredes. Cali- 
fornia was left to work out her own destiny 
unaided or drift with the tide — and she drifted. 
In the early months of 1846 there was a rapid 
succession of important events in her history, 
each in passing bearing her near and nearer to 
a manifest destiny — the downfall of Mexican 
domination in California. These will be pre- 
sented fully in the chapter on the Acquisition of 
California by the United States. But before 
taking up these we will turn aside to review life 
in California in the olden time under Spanish 
and Mexican rule. 



CHAPTER XV. 

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT— HOMES AND HOME-LIFE OF 
THE CALIFORNIANS. 



UNDER Spain the government of Califor- 
nia was semi-military and semi-clerical. 
The governors were military officers and 
had command of the troops in the territory, and 
looked after affairs at the pueblos; the friars 
were supreme at the missions. The municipal 
government of the pueblos was vested in ayun- 
tamientos. The decree of the Spanish Cortes 
passed May 23, 1812, regulated the membership 
of the ayuntamiento according to the popula- 
tion of the town — "there shall be one alcalde 
(mayor), two regidores (councilmen), and one 
procurador-syndico (treasurer) in all towns 
which do not have more than two hundred in- 
habitants; one alcalde, four regidores and one 
syndico in those the population of which ex- 
ceeds two hundred, but does not exceed five 
hundred." When the population of a town ex- 
ceeded one thousand it was allowed two al- 
caldes, eight regidores and two syndicos. Over 
the members of the ayuntamiento in the early 
years of Spanish rule was a quasi-military offi- 



cer called a comisionado, a sort of petty dictator 
or military despot, who, when occasion required 
or inclination moved him, embodied within him- 
self all three departments of government, judi- 
ciary, legislative and executive. After Mexico 
became a republic the office of comisionado was 
abolished. The alcalde acted as president of 
the ayuntamiento, as mayor and as judge of 
the court of first instance. The second alcalde 
took his place when that officer was ill or ab- 
sent. The syndico was a general utility man. 
He acted as city or town attorney, tax collector 
and treasurer. The secretary was an important 
officer; he kept the records, acted as clerk of 
the alcalde's court and was the only municipal 
officer who received pay, except the syndico, 
who received a commission on his collections. 

In 1837 the Mexican Congress passed a decree 
abolishing ayuntamientos in capitals of depart- 
ments having a population of less than four 
thousand and in interior towns of less than 
eight thousand. In 1839 Governor Alvarado 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Ill 



reported to the Departmental Assembly that no 
town in California had the requisite population. 
The ayuntamientos all closed January i, 1840. 
They were re-established in 1844. During their 
abolition the towns were governed by prelects 
and justices of the peace, and the special laws 
or ordinances were enacted by the departmental 
assembly. 

The jurisdiction of the ayuntamiento often 
extended over a large area of country beyond 
the town limits. That of Los Angeles, after the 
secularization of the missions, extended over a 
country as large as the state of Massachusetts. 
The authority of the ayuntamiento was as ex- 
tensive as its jurisdiction. It granted town lots 
and recommended to the governor grants of 
land from the public domain. In addition to 
passing ordinances its members sometimes 
acted as executive officers to enforce them. It 
exercised the powers of a board of health, a 
board of education, a police commission and a 
street department. During the civil war be- 
tween Northern and Southern California, in 
1837-38, the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles 
raised and ecpiipped an army and assumed the 
right to govern the southern half of the terri- 
tory. 

The ayuntamiento was spoken of as Muy 
Ilustre (Most Illustrious), in the same sense 
that we speak of the honorable city council, but 
it was a much more dignified body than a city 
council. The members were required to attend 
their public functions "attired in black apparel. 
so as to add solemnity to the meetings." They 
served without pay, but if a member was absent 
from a meeting without a good excuse he was 
liable to a fine. As there was no pay in the office 
and its duties were numerous and onerous, there 
was not a large crop of aspirants for council- 
men in those days, and the office usually sought 
the man. It might be added that when it caught 
the right man it was loath to let go of him. 

The misfortunes that beset Francisco Pantoja 
aptly illustrate the difficulty of resigning in the 
days when office sought the man, not man the 
office. Pantoja was elected fourth regidor of 
the. ayuntamiento of Los Angeles in 1837. In 
those days wild horses were very numerous. 
When the pasture in the foothills was exhausted 



they came down into the valleys and ate up 
the feed needed for the cattle. On this account, 
and because most of these wild horses were 
worthless, the rancheros slaughtered them. A 
corral was built with wings extending out on 
the right and left from the main entrance. When 
the corral was completed a day was set for a 
wild horse drive. The bands were rounded up 
and driven into the corral. The pick of the 
caballados were lassoed and taken out to be 
broken to the saddle and the refuse of the drive 
killed. The Yejars had obtained permission 
from the ayuntamiento to build a corral between 
the Cerritos and the Salinas for the purpose of 
corralling wild horses. Pantoja, being some- 
thing of a sport, petitioned his fellow regidores 
for a twenty days' leave of absence to join in 
the wild horse chase. A wild horse chase was 
wild sport and dangerous, too. Somebody was 
sure to get hurt, and Pantoja in this one was 
one of the unfo'rtunates. When his twenty days' 
leave of absence was up he did not return to 
his duties of regidor. but instead sent his res- 
ignation on plea of illness. His resignation was 
not accepted and the president of the ayunta- 
miento appointed a committee to investigate 
his physical condition. There were no physi- 
cians in Los Angeles in those days, so the com- 
mittee took along Santiago McKinley, a canny 
Scotch merchant, who was reputed to have some 
knowledge of surgery. The committee and the 
improvised surgeon held an ante-mortem in- 
quest on what remained of Pantoja. The com- 
mittee reported to the council that he was a 
physical wreck; that he could not mount a 
horse nor ride one when mounted. A native 
Californian who had reached such a state of 
physical dilapidation that he could not mount 
a horse might well be excused from official du- 
ties. To excuse him might establish a danger- 
ous precedent. The ayuntamiento heard the 
report, pondered over it and then sent it and 
the resignation to the governor. The governor 
took them under advisement. In, the meantime 
a revolution broke out and before peace was re- 
stored and the governor had time to pass upon 
the case Pantoja's term had expired by limita- 
tion. 

That modern fad of reform legislation, the 



116 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



referendum, was in full force and effect in Cali- 
fornia three-quarters of a century ago. When 
some question of great importance to the com- 
munity was before the ayuntamiento and the 
regidores were divided in opinion, the alarma 
publica or public alarm was sounded by the 
beating of the long roll on the drum and all the 
citizens were summoned to the hall of sessions. 
Any one hearing the alarm and not heed- 
ing it was fined $3. When the citizens were con- 
vened the president of the ayuntamiento, speak- 
ing in a loud voice, stated the question and the 
people were given "public speech." The ques- 
tion was debated by all who wished to speak. 
When all had had their say it was decided by a 
show of hands. 

The ayuntamientos regulated the social func- 
tions of the pueblos as well as the civic. Ordi- 
nance 5, ayuntamiento proceedings of Los 
Angeles, reads: "All individuals serenading pro- 
miscuously around the street of the city at night 
without first having obtained permission from 
the alcalde will be fined $1.50 for the first of- 
fense, $3 for the second offense, and for the 
third punished according to law." Ordinance 4, 
adopted by the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles, 
January 28, 1838, reads: "Every person not 
having any apparent occupation in this city or 
its jurisdiction is hereby ordered to look for 
work within three days, counting from the day 
this ordinance is published; if not complied 
with, he will be fined $2 for the first offense, $4 
for the second offense, and will be given com- 
pulsory work for the third." From the reading 
of the ordinance it would seem if the tramp 
kept looking for work, but was careful not to 
find it, there could be no offense and conse- 
quently no fines or compulsory work. 

Some of the enactments of the old regidores 
would fade the azure out of the blue laws of 
Connecticut in severity. In the plan of gov- 
ernment adopted by the surenos in the rebellion 
of 1837 appears this article: "Article 3, The 
Roman Catholic Apostolic religion shall pre- 
vail throughout this jurisdiction; and any per- 
son professing publicly any other religion shall 
be prosecuted." 

Here is a bine law of Monterey, enacted 
March 23, 1816: "All persons must attend mass 



and respond in a loud voice, and if any persons 
should fail to do so without good cause they 
will be put in the stocks for three hours." 

The architecture of the Spanish and Mexican 
eras of California was homely almost to ugliness. 
There was no external ornamentation to the 
dwellings and no internal conveniences. There 
was but little attempt at variety and the houses 
were mostly of one style, square walled, tile cov- 
ered, or flat roofed with pitch, and usually but 
one story high. Some of the mission churches 
were massive, grand and ornamental, while 
others were devoid of beauty and travesties on 
the rules of architecture. Every man was his 
own architect and master builder. He had no 
choice of material, or, rather, with his ease- 
loving disposition, he chose to use that which 
was most convenient, and that was adobe clay, 
made into sun-dried brick. The Indian was the 
brickmaker, and he toiled for his taskmasters, 
like the Hebrew of old for the Egyptian, making 
bricks without straw and without pay. There 
were no labor strikes in the building trades then. 
The Indian was the builder, and he did not 
know how to strike for higher wages, because 
he received no wages, high or low. The adobe 
bricks were moulded into form and set up to 
dry. Through the long summer days they 
baked in the hot sun, first on one side, then on 
the other; and when dried through they were 
laid in the wall with mud mortar. Then the 
walls had to dry and dry perhaps through an- 
other summer before the house was habitable. 
Time was the essense of building contracts then. 

There was but little wood used in house con- 
struction then. It was only the aristocrats who 
could indulge in the luxury of wooden floors. 
Most of the houses had floors of the beaten 
earth. Such floors were cheap and durable. 
Gilroy says, when he came to Monterey in 1814, 
only the governor's house had a wooden floor. 
A door of rawhide shut out intruders and 
wooden-barred windows admitted sunshine and 
air. 

The legendry of the hearthstone and the fire- 
side which fills so large a place in the home life 
and literature of the Anglo-Saxon had no part 
in the domestic system of the old-time Califor- 
nian. He had no hearthstone and no fireside, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



117 



nor could that pleasing fiction of Santa Claus 
coming down the chimney with toys on Christ- 
mas eve that so delights the children of to-day 
have been understood by the youthful Califor- 
nian of long ago. There were no chimneys in 
California. The only means of warming the 
houses by artificial heat was a pan (or brasero) 
of coals set on the floor. The people lived out 
of doors in the open air and invigorating sun- 
shine; and they were healthy and long-lived. 
Their houses were places to sleep in or shelters 
from rain. 

The furniture was meager and mostly home- 
made. A few benches or rawhide-bottomed 
chairs to sit on; a rough table; a chest or two 
to keep the family finery in ; a few cheap prints 
of saints on the walls — these formed the furnish- 
ings and the decorations of the living rooms of 
the common people. The bed was the pride and 
the ambition of the housewife. Even in humble 
dwellings, sometimes, a snowy counterpane and 
lace-trimmed pillows decorated a couch whose 
base was a dried bullock's hide stretched on a 
rough frame of wood. A shrine dedicated to the 
patron saint of the household was a very essen- 
tial part of a well-regulated home. 

Fashions in dress did not change with the sea- 
sons. A man could wear his grandfather's hat 
and his coat, too, and not be out of the fashion. 
Robinson, writing of California in 1829. says: 
"The people were still adhering to the costumes 
of the past century." It was not until after 1834, 
when the Hijar colonists brought the latest fash- 
ions from the City of Mexico, that the style of 
dress for men and women began to change. The 
next change took place after the American con- 
quest. Only two changes in half a century, a 
garment had to be very durable to become un- 
fashionable. 

The few wealthy people in the territory 
dressed well, even extravagantly. Robinson de- 
scribes the dress of Tomas Yorba, a wealthy 
ranchero of the Upper Santa Ana, as he saw 
him in 1829: "Upon his head he wore a black 
silk handkerchief, the four corners of which 
hung down his neck behind. An embroidered 
shirt; a cravat of white jaconet, tastefully tied; 
a blue damask vest; short clothes of crimson 
velvet; a bright green cloth jacket, with large 



silver buttons, and shoes of embroidered deer- 
skin composed his dress. 1 was afterwards in- 
formed by Don Manuel (Dominguez) that on 
some occasions, such as some particular feast 
day or festival, his entire display often exceeded 
in value a thousand dollars." 

"The dress worn by the middle class of fe- 
males is a chemise, with short embroidered 
sleeves, richly trimmed with lace; a muslin pet- 
ticoat, flounced with scarlet and secured at the 
waist by a silk band of the same color; shoes of 
velvet or blue satin; a cotton reboso or scarf; 
pearl necklace and earrings; with hair falling in 
broad plaits down the back."" Alter 1834 the 
men generally adopted calzoneras instead of the 
knee breeches or short clothes of the last cen- 
tury. 

"The calzoneras were pantaloons with the ex- 
terior seam open throughout its length. On the 
upper edge was a strip of cloth, red, blue or 
black, in which were buttonholes. On the other 
edge were eyelet holes for buttons. In some 
cases the calzonera was sewn from hip to the 
middle of the thigh; in others, buttoned. From 
the middle of the thigh downward the leg was 
covered by the bota or leggins, used by every 
one, whatever his dress." The short jacket, 
with silver or bronze buttons, and the silken 
sash that served as a connecting link between 
the calzoneras and the jacket, and also supplied 
the place of what the Californians did not wear, 
suspenders, this constituted a picturesque cos- 
tume, that continued in vogue until the con- 
quest, and with many of the natives for years 
after. "After 1S34 the fashionable women of Cal- 
ifornia exchanged their narrow for more flowing 
garments and abandoned the braided hair for 
the coil and the large combs till then in use for 
smaller combs. "f 

For outer wraps the serapa for men and the 
rebosa for women were universally worn. The 
texture of these marked the social standing of 
the wearer. It ranged from cheap cotton and 
coarse serge to the costliest silk and the finest 
French broadcloth. The costume of the neo- 
phyte changed but once in centuries, and that 



♦Robinson, Life in California. 
tBancroft's Pastoral California. 



118 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



was when he divested himself of his coat of 
mud and smear of paint and put on the mission 
shirt and breech clout. Shoes he did not wear 
and in time his feet became as hard as the hoofs 
of an animal. The dress of the mission women 
consisted of a chemise and a skirt; the dress of 
the children was a shirt and sometimes even this 
was dispensed. 

Filial obedience and respect for parental au- 
thority were early impressed upon the minds of 
the children. The commandment, "Honor thy 
father and mother," was observed with an ori- 
ental devotion. A child was never too old or too 
large to be exempt from punishment. Stephen 
C. Foster used to relate an amusing story of a 
case of parental disciplining he once saw at Los 
Angeles. An old lady, a grandmother, was be- 
laboring, with a barrel stave, her son, a man 
thirty years of age. The son had done some- 
thing of which the mother did not approve. She 
sent for him to come over to the maternal home 
to receive his punishment. He came. She took 
him out to the metaphorical woodshed, which, 
in this case, was the portico of her house, where 
she stood him up and proceeded to administer 
corporal punishment. With the resounding 
thwacks of the stave, she would exclaim, "I'll 
teach you to behave yourself." "I'll mend your 
manners, sir." "Now you'll be good, won't 
you?" The big man took his punishment with- 
out a thought of resisting or rebelling. In fact, 
he seemed to enjoy it. It brought back feeL- 
ingly and forcibly a memory of his boyhood 
days. 

In the earlier years of the republic, before 
revolutionary ideas had perverted the usages of 
the Californians, great respect was shown to 
those in authority, and the authorities were 
strict in requiring deference from their constit- 
uents. In the Los Angeles archives of 1828 are 
the records of an impeachment trial of Don 
Antonio Maria Lugo, held to depose him from 
the office of judge of the plains. The principal 
duty of such a judge was to decide cases of dis- 
puted ownership of horses and cattle. Lugo 
seems to have had an exalted idea of the dignity 
of his office. Among the complaints presented 
at the trial was one from young Pedro Sanchez, 
in which he testified that Lugo had tried to ride 



his horse over him in the street because he, 
Sanchez, would not take off his hat to the juez 
del campo and remain standing uncovered while 
the judge rode past. Another complainant at the 
same trial related how at a rodeo Lugo ad- 
judged a neighbor's boy guilty of contempt of 
court because the boy gave him an impertinent 
answer, and then he proceeded to give the boy 
an unmerciful whipping. So heinous was the 
offense in the estimation of the judge that the 
complainant said, "had not Lugo fallen over a 
chair he would have been beating the boy yet." 

Under Mexican domination in California 
there was no tax levied on land and improve- 
ments. The municipal funds of the pueblos were 
obtained from revenue on wine and brandy; 
from the licenses of saloons and other business 
houses; from the tariff on imports; from per- 
mits to give balls or dances; from the fines of 
transgressors, and from the tax on bull rings 
and cock pits. Then men's pleasures and vices 
paid the cost of governing. In the early '40s 
the city of Los Angeles claimed a population of 
two thousand, yet the municipal revenues rarely 
exceeded $1,000 a year. With this small amount 
the authorities ran a city government and kept 
out of debt. It did not cost much to run a city 
government then. There was no army of high- 
salaried officials with a horde of political heelers 
quartered on the municipality and fed from the 
public crib at the expense of the taxpayer. Poli- 
ticians may have been no more honest then 
than now, but where there was nothing to steal 
there was no stealing. The alcaldes and regi- 
dores put no temptation in the way of the poli- 
ticians, and thus they kept them reasonably 
honest, or at least they kept them from plunder- 
ing the taxpayers by the simple expedient of 
having no taxpayers. 

The functions of the various departments of 
the municipal governments were economically 
administered. Street cleaning and lighting were 
performed at individual expense instead of pub- 
lic. There was an ordinance in force in Los 
Angeles and Santa Barbara and probably in 
other municipalities that required each owner of 
a house every Saturday to sweep and clean in 
front of his premises to the middle of the street. 
His neighbor on the opposite side met him half 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



119 



way, and the street was swept without expense 
to the pueblo. There was another ordinance 
that required each owner of a house of more 
that two rooms on a main street to hang a 
lighted lantern in front of his door from twilight 
to eight o'clock in winter and to nine in sum- 
mer. There were fines for neglect of these duties. 
There was no fire department in the pueblos. 
The adobe houses with their clay walls, earthen 
floors, tiled roofs and rawhide doors were as 
nearly fireproof as any human habitation could 
kp. wade. The cooking was done in detached 



kitchens and in beehive-shaped ovens without 
flues. The houses were without chimneys, so 
the danger from fire was reduced to a minimum. 
A general conflagration was something un- 
known in the old pueblo days of California. 

There was no paid police department. Every 
able-bodied young man was subject to military 
duty. A volunteer guard or patrol was kept on 
duty at the cuartels or guard houses. The 
guards policed the pueblos, but they were not 
paid. Each young man had to take his turn at 
guard duty. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



TERRITORIAL EXPANSION BY CONQUEST. 



THE Mexican war marked the beginning 
by the United States of territorial ex- 
pansion by conquest. "It was," says 
General Grant, "an instance of a republic fol- 
lowing the bad example of European mon- 
archies in not considering justice in their desire 
to acquire additional territory." The "additional 
territory" was needed for the creation of slave 
states. The southern politicians of the extreme 
pro-slavery school saw in the rapid settlement 
of the northwestern states the downfall of their 
domination and the doom of their beloved insti- 
tution, slavery. Their peculiar institution could 
not expand northward and on the south it had 
reached the Mexican boundary. The only way 
of acquiring new territory for the extension of 
slavery on the south was to take it by force from 
the weak Republic of Mexico. The annexation 
of Texas brought with it a disputed boundary 
line. The claim to a strip of country between 
the Rio Nueces and the Rio Grande furnished a 
convenient pretext to force Mexico to hostili- 
ties. Texas as an independent state had never 
exercised jurisdiction over the disputed terri- 
tory. As a state of the Union after annexation 
she could not rightfully lay claim to what she 
never possessed, but the army of occupation 
took possession of it as United States property, 
and the war was on. In the end we acquired a 
large slice of Mexican territory, but the irony 



of fate decreed that not an acre of its soil should 
be tilled by slave labor. 

The causes that led to the acquisition of Cali- 
fornia antedated the annexation of Texas and 
the invasion of Mexico. After the adoption of 
liberal colonization laws by the Mexican gov- 
ernment in 1824, there set in a steady drift 
of Americans to California. At first they came 
by sea, but after the opening of the overland 
route in 1841 they came in great numbers by 
land. It was a settled conviction in the minds 
of these adventurous nomads that the manifest 
destiny of California was to become a part of the 
United States, and they were only too willing to 
aid destiny when an opportunity offered. The 
opportunity came and it found them ready for it. 

Capt. John C. Fremont, an engineer and ex- 
plorer in the services of the United States, ap- 
peared at Monterey in January, 1846, and ap- 
plied to General Castro, the military comandante, 
for permission to buy supplies for his party of 
sixty-two men who were encamped in the San 
Joaquin valley, in what is now Kern county. 
Permission was given him. There seems to 
have been a tacit agreement between Castro and 
Fremont that the exploring party should not 
enter the settlements, but early in March the 
whole force was encamped in the Salinas val- 
ley. Castro regarded the marching of a body 
of armed men through the country as an act of 



120 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



hostility, and ordered them out of the country. 
Instead of leaving, Fremont intrenched himself 
on an eminence known as Gabilian Peak (about 
thirty miles from Monterey), raised the stars 
and stripes over his barricade, and defied Castro. 
Castro maneuvered his troops on the plain 
below, but did not attack Fremont. After two 
days' waiting Fremont abandoned his position 
and began his march northward. On May 9, 
when near the Oregon line, he was overtaken 
by Lieutenant Gillespie, of the United States 
navy, with a dispatch from the president. Gil- 
lespie had left the United States in November, 
1845, and, disguised, had crossed Mexico from 
Vera Cruz to Mazatlan, and from there had 
reached Monterey. The exact nature of the 
dispatches to Fremont is not known, but pre- 
sumably they related to the impending war be- 
tween Mexico and the United States, and the 
necessity for a prompt seizure of the country 
to prevent it from falling into the hands of Eng- 
land. Fremont returned to the Sacramento, 
where he encamped. 

On the 14th of June, 1846, a body of Amer- 
ican settlers from the Napa and Sacramento 
valleys, thirty-three in number, of which Ide, 
Semple, Grigsby and Merritt seem to have been 
the leaders, after a night's march, took posses- 
sion of the old castillo or fort at Sonoma, with 
its rusty muskets and unused cannon, and made 
Gen. M. G. Vallejo, Lieut.-Col. Prudon, Capt. 
Salvador Vallejo and Jacob P. Leese, a brother- 
in-law of the Vallejos, prisoners. There seems 
to have been no privates at the castillo, all offi- 
cers. Exactly what was the object of the Amer- 
ican settlers in taking General Vallejo prisoner 
is not evident. General Vallejo was one of the 
few eminent Californians who favored the an- 
nexation of California to the United States. He 
is said to have made a speech favoring such a 
movement in the junta at Monterey a few 
months before. Castro regarded him with sus- 
picion. The prisoners were sent under an 
armed escort to Fremont's camp. William B. 
Ide was elected captain of the revolutionists 
who remained at Sonoma, to "hold the fort." 
He issued a pronunciamiento in which he de- 
clared California a free and independent gov- 
ernment, under the name of the California Re- 



public. A nation must have a flag of its own, 
so one was improvised. It was made of a piece 
of cotton cloth, or manta, a yard wide and five 
feet long. Strips of red flannel torn from the 
shirt of one of the men were stitched on the 
bottom of the flag for stripes. With a blacking 
brush, or, as another authority says, the end 
of a chewed stick for a brush, and red paint, 
William L. Todd painted the figure of a grizzly 
bear passant on the field of the flag. The na- 
tives called Todd's bear "cochino," a pig; it 
resembled that animal more than a bear. A 
five-pointed star in the left upper corner, 
painted with the same coloring matter, and the 
words "California republic" printed on it in ink, 
completed the famous bear flag. 

The California republic was ushered into ex- 
istence June 14, 1846, attained the acme of its 
power July 4, when Ide and his fellow patriots 
burnt a quantity of powder in salutes, and fired 
off oratorical pyrotechnics in honor of the new 
republic. It utterly collapsed on the 9th of July, 
after an existence of twenty-five days, when 
news reached Sonoma that Commodore Sloat 
had raised the stars and stripes at Monterey and 
taken possession of California in the name of 
the United States. Lieutenant Revere arrived 
at Sonoma on the 9th and he it was who low- 
ered the bear flag from the Mexican flagstaff, 
where it had floated through the brief existence 
of the California republic, and raised in its place 
the banner of the United States. 

Commodore Sloat, who had anchored in 
Monterey Bay July 2, 1846, was for a time un- 
decided whether to take possession of the coun- 
try. He had no official information that war 
had been declared between the United States 
and Mexico; but, acting on the supposition 
that Captain Fremont had received definite in- 
structions, on the 7th of July he raised the flag 
and took possession of the custom-house and 
government buildings at Monterey. Captain 
Montgomery, on the 9th, raised it at San Fran- 
cisco, and on the same day the bear flag gave 
place to the stars and stripes at Sonoma. 

General Castro was holding Santa Clara and 
San Jose when he received Commodore Sloat's 
proclamation informing him that the commo- 
dore had taken possession of Monterey. O** 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



121 



tro, after reading the proclamation, which was 
written in Spanish, formed his men in line, and 
addressing them, said: "Monterey is taken by 
the Americans. What can I do with a handful 
of men against the United States? I am going 
to Mexico. All of you who wish to follow me, 
'About face!' All that wish to remain can go to 
their homes."* A very small part of his force 
followed him. 

Commodore Sloat was superseded by Com- 
modore Stockton, who set about organizing an 
expedition to subjugate the southern part of the 
territory which remained loyal to Mexico. Fre- 
mont's exploring party, recruited to a battalion 
of one hundred and twenty men, had marched 
to Monterey, and from there was sent by vessel 
to San Diego to procure horses and prepare to 
act as cavalry. 

While these stirring events were transpiring 
in the north, what was the condition in the 
south where the capital, Los Angeles, and the 
bulk of the population of the territory were 
located? Pio Pico had entered upon the duties 
of the governorship with a desire to bring peace 
and harmony to the distracted country. He ap- 
pointed Juan Bandini, one of the ablest states- 
men of the south, his secretary. After Bandini 
resigned he chose J. M. Covarrubias, and later 
Jose M. Moreno filled the office. 

The principal offices of the territory had been 
divided equally between the politicians of the 
north and the south. While Los Angeles be- 
came the capital, and the departmental assembly 
met there, the military headquarters, the ar- 
chives and the treasury remained at Monterey. 
But, notwithstanding this division of the spoils 
of office, the old feud between the arribefios 
and the abajenos would not down, and soon the 
old-time quarrel was on with all its bitterness. 
Castro, as military comandante, ignored the 
governor, and Alvarado was regarded by the 
surefios as an emissary of Castro's. The de- 
partmental assembly met at Los Angeles, in 
March, 1846. Pico presided, and in his opening 
message set forth the unfortunate condition of 
affairs in the department. Education was neg- 
lected; justice was not administered; the mis- 
ball's History of San Jose. 



sions were so burdened by debt that but few 
of them could be rented; the army was disor- 
ganized and the treasury empty. 

Not even the danger of war with the Amer- 
icans could make the warring factions forget 
their fratricidal strife. Castro's proclamation 
against Fremont was construed by the surefios 
into a scheme to inveigle the governor to the 
north so that the comandante-general could de- 
pose him and seize the office for himself. Cas- 
tro's preparations to resist by force the en- 
croachments of the Americans were believed 
by Pico and the Angelenians to be fitting out 
of an army to attack Los Angeles and over- 
throw the government. 

On the 16th of June, Tico left Los Angeles 
for Monterey with a military force of a hundred 
men. The object of the expedition was to op- 
pose, and, if possible, to depose Castro. He 
left the capital under the care of the ayunta- 
miento. On the 20th of June, Alcalde Gallardo 
reported to the ayuntamiento that he had posi- 
tive information "that Don Castro had left 
Monterey and would arrive here in three days 
with a military force for the purpose of captur- 
ing this city." (Castro had left Monterey with 
a force of seventy men, but he had gone north 
to San Jose.) The sub-prefect, Don Abel 
Stearns, was authorized to enlist troops to pre- 
serve order. On the 23d of June three compa- 
nies were organized, an artillery company under 
Miguel Pryor, a company of riflemen under 
Benito Wilson, and a cavalry company under 
Gorge Palomares. Pico, with his army at San 
Luis Obispo, was preparing to march against 
Monterey, when the news reached him of the 
capture of S on oma by the Americans, and next 
day, July 12th, the news reached Los Angeles 
just as the council had decided on a plan of 
defense against Castro, who was five hundred 
miles away. Pico, on the impulse of the mo- 
ment, issued a proclamation, in which he 
arraigned the United States for perfidy and 
treachery, and the gang of "North American 
adventurers," who captured Sonoma "with the 
blackest treason the spirit of evil can invent." 
His arraignment of the "North American na- 
tion" was so severe that some of his American 
friends in Los Angeles took umbrage at his 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



pronunciamento. He afterwards tried to recall 

it, but it was too late; it had been published. 

Castro, finding the "foreign adventurers" too 
numerous and too aggressive in the northern 
part of the territory, determined, with what men 
he could induce to go with him, to retreat to 
the south; but before so doing he sent a medi- 
ator to Pico to negotiate a treaty of peace and 
amity between the factions. On the 12th of 
July the two armies met at Santa Margarita, 
near San Luis Obispo. Castro brought the 
news that Commodore Sloat had hoisted the 
United States flag at Monterey and taken pos- 
session of the country for his government. The 
meeting of the governor and the comandante- 
general was not very cordial, but in the presence 
of the impending danger to the territory they 
concealed their mutual dislike and decided to 
do their best to defend the country they both 
loved. 

Sorrowfully they began their retreat to the 
capital; but even threatened disaster to their 
common country could not wholly unite the 
north and the south. The respective armies, 
Castro's numbering about one hundred and fifty 
men, and Pico's one hundred and twenty, kept 
about a day's march apart. They reached Los 
Angeles, and preparations were begun to resist 
the invasion of the Americans. Pico issued a 
proclamation ordering all able-bodied men be- 
tween fifteen and sixty years of age, native and 
naturalized, to take up arms to defend the coun- 
try; any able-bodied Mexican refusing was to 
be treated as a traitor. There was no enthusi- 
asm for the cause. The old factional jealousy 
and distrust was as potent as ever. The militia 
of the south would obey none but their own 
officers; Castro's troops, who considered them- 
selves regulars, ridiculed the raw recruits of 
the surehos, while the naturalized foreigners of 
American extraction secretly sympathized with 
their own people. 

Pico, to counteract the malign influence of his 
Santa Barbara proclamation and enlist the sym- 
pathy and more ready adhesion of the foreign 
element of Los Angeles, issued the following 
circular: (This circular or proclamation has 
never before found its way into print. I find 
no allusion to it in Bancroft's or Hittell's His- 



tories. A copy, probably the only one in exist- 
ence, was donated some years since to the 
Historical Society of Southern California.) 



Gobierno del Dep. 
de Calif omias. 

"Circular. — As owing to the unfortunate 
condition of things that now prevails in this 
department in consequence of the war into 
which the United States has provoked the Mex- 
ican nation, some ill feeling might spring up 
between the citizens of the two countries, out of 
which unfortunate occurrences might grow, and 
as this government desires to remove every 
cause of friction, it has seen fit, in the use of its 
power, to issue the present circular. 

"The Government of the department of Cali- 
fornia declares in the most solemn manner that 
all the citizens of the United States that have 
come lawfully into its territory, relying upon 
the honest administration of the laws and the 
observance of the prevailing treaties, shall not 
be molested in the least, and their lives and 
property shall remain in perfect safety under the 
protection of the Mexican laws and authorities 
legally constituted. 

"Therefore, in the name of the supreme gov- 
ernment of the nation, and by virtue of the 
authority vested upon me, I enjoin upon all the 
inhabitants of California to observe towards the 
citizens of the United States that have lawfully 
come among us, the kindest and most cordial 
conduct, and to abstain from all acts of violence 
against their persons or property; provided they 
remain neutral, as heretofore, and take no part 
in the invasion effected by the armies of their 
nation. 

"The authorities of the various municipalities 
and corporations will be held strictly responsi- 
ble for the faithful fulfillment of this order, and 
shall, as soon as possible, take the necessary 
measures to bring it to the knowledge of the 
people. God and Liberty. 

"Pio Pico. 

"Jose Matias Mareno, Secretary pro tern." 

Angeles, July 27, 1846. 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



123 



When we consider the conditions existing in 
California at the time this circular was issued, 
its sentiments reflect great credit on Pico for 
his humanity and forbearance. A little over a 
month before, a party of Americans seized 
General Vallejo and several other prominent 
Californians in their homes and incarcerated 
them in prison at Sutter's Fort. Nor was this 
outrage mitigated when the stars and stripes 
were raised. The perpetrators of the outrage 
were not punished. These native Californians 
were kept in prison nearly two months without 
any charge against them. Besides, Governor 
Tico and the leading Californians very well 
knew that the Americans whose lives and prop- 
erty this proclamation was designed to protect 
would not remain neutral when their country- 
men invaded the territory. Pio Pico deserved 
better treatment from the Americans than he 
received. He was robbed of his landed posses- 
sions by unscrupulous land sharks, and his char- 
acter defamed by irresponsible historical scrib- 
blers. 

Pico made strenuous efforts to raise men and 
means to resist the threatened invasion. He had 
mortgaged the government house to de Celis 
for $2,000, the mortgage to be paid "as soon as 
order shall be established in the department." 
This loan was really negotiated to fit out the 
expedition against Castro, but a part of it was 
expended after his return to Los Angeles in 
procuring supplies while preparing to meet the 
American army. The government had but little 
credit. The moneyed men of the pueblo were 
averse to putting money into what was almost 
sure to prove a lost cause. The bickerings and 
jealousies between the factions neutralized to a 
considerable degree the efforts of Pico and Cas- 
tro to mobilize the army. 

Castro established his camp on the mesa east 
of the river. Here he and Andres Pico under- 
took to drill the somewhat incongruous collec- 
tion of hombres in military maneuvering. Their 
entire force at no time exceeded three hundred 
men. These were poorly armed and lacking in 
discipline. 

We left Stockton at Monterey preparing an 
expedition against Castro at Los Angeles. On 
taking command of the Pacific squadron, July 



29, he issued a proclamation. It was as bom- 
bastic as the pronunciamiento of a Mexican 
governor. Bancroft says: "The paper was 
made up of falsehood, of irrelevent issues and 
bombastic ranting in about equal parts, the 
tone being offensive and impolitic even in those 
inconsiderable portions which were true and 
legitimate." His only object in taking posses- 
sion of the country was "to save from destruc- 
tion the lives and property of the foreign resi- 
dents and citizens of the territory who had in- 
voked his protection." In view of Pico's humane 
circular and the uniform kind treatment that the 
Californians accorded the American residents, 
there was very little need of Stockton's interfer- 
ence on that score. Commodore Sloat did not 
approve of Stockton's proclamation or of his 
policy. 

On the 6th of August, Stockton reached San 
Pedro and landed three hundred and sixty 
sailors and marines. These were drilled in mili- 
tary movements on land and prepared for the 
march to Los Angeles. 

Castro sent two commissioners, Pablo de La 
Guerra and Jose M. Flores, to Stockton, asking 
for a conference and a cessation of hostilities 
while negotiations were pending. They asked 
that the United States forces remain at San 
Pedro while the terms of the treaty were under 
discussion. These requests Commodore Stock- 
ton peremptorily refused, and the commissioners 
returned to Los Angeles without stating the 
terms on which they proposed 10 treat. 

In several so-called histories, I find a very 
dramatic account of this interview. On the ar- 
rival of the commissioners they were marched 
up to the mouth of an immense mortar, 
shrouded in skins save its huge aperture. Their 
terror and discomfiture were plainly discernible. 
Stockton received them with a stern and forbid- 
ding countenance, harshly demanding their mis- 
sion, which they disclosed in great confusion. 
They bore a letter from Castro proposing a 
truce, each party to hold its own possessions 
until a general pacification should be had. This 
proposal Stockton rejected with contempt, and 
dismissed the commissioners with the assurance 
that only an immediate disbandment of his 
forces and an unconditional surrender would 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



shield Castro from the vengeance of an incensed 
foe. The messengers remounted their horses 
in dismay and fled back to Castro." The mortar 
story, it is needless to say, is pure fabrication, 
yet it runs through a number of so-called his- 
tories of California. Castro, on the 9th of Au- 
gust, held a council of war with his officers at 
the Campo en La Mesa. He announced his in- 
tention of leaving the country for the purpose of 
reporting to the supreme government, and of 
returning at some future day to punish the 
usurpers. He wrote to Pico: "I can count only 
one hundred men, badly armed, wors'e supplied 
and discontented by reason of the miseries they 
suffer; so that I have reason to fear that not 
even these men will fight when the necessity 
arises." And this is the force that some imag- 
inative historians estimate at eight hundred to 
one thousand men. 

Pico and Castro left Los Angeles on the 
night of August 10, for Mexico; Castro going 
by the Colorado River route to Sonora, and 
Pico, after being concealed for a time by his 
brother-in-law, Juan Froster, at the Santa Mar- 
garita and narrowly escaping capture by Fre- 
mont's men, finally reached Lower California 
and later on crossed the Gulf to Sonora. 

Stockton began his march on Los Angeles 
August 11. He took with him a battery of four 
guns. The guns were mounted on carretas, and 
each gun drawn by four oxen. He had with 
him a good brass band. 

Major Fremont, who had been sent to San 
Diego with his battalion of one hundred and 
seventy men, had, after considerable skirmish- 
ing among the ranchos, secured enough horses 
to move, and on the 8th of August had begun 
his march to join Stockton. He took with him 
one hundred and twenty men, leaving about 
fifty to garrison San Diego. 

Stockton consumed three days on the march. 
Fremont's troops joined him just south of the 
city, and at 4 p. m. of the 13th the combined 
force, numbering nearly five hundred men, en- 
tered the town without opposition, "our entry," 
says Major Fremont, "having more the effect 
of a parade of home guards than of an enemy 
taking possession of a conquered town." Stock- 
ton reported finding at Castro's abandoned camp 



ten pieces of artillery, four of them spiked. Fre- 
mont says he (Castro) "had buried part of his 
guns." Castro's troops that he had brought 
down with him took their departure for their 
northern homes soon after their general left, 
breaking up into small squads as they advanced. 
The southern troops that Pico had recruited dis- 
persed to their homes before the arrival of the 
Americans. Squads of Fremont's battalion were 
sent out to scour the country and bring in any of 
the Californian officers or leading men whom 
they could find. These, when found, were 
paroled. 

Another of those historical myths, like the 
mortar story previously mentioned, which is 
palmed off on credulous readers as genuine his- 
tory, runs as follows: "Stockton, while en route 
from San Pedro to Los Angeles, was informed 
by a courier from Castro 'that if he marched 
upon the town he would find it the grave of him- 
self and men.' 'Then,' answered the commodore, 
'tell the general to have the bells ready to toll 
at eight o'clock, as I shall be there by that 
time.' " As Castro left Los Angeles the day 
before Stockton began his march from San 
Pedro, and when the commodore entered the 
city the Mexican general was probably two 
hundred miles away, the bell tolling myth goes 
to join its kindred myths in the category of his- 
tory as it should not be written. 

On the 17th of August, Stockton issued a sec- 
ond proclamation, in which he signs himself 
commander-in-chief and governor of the terri- 
tory of California. It was milder in tone and 
more dignified than the first. He informed the 
people that their country now belonged to the 
United States. For the present it would be 
governed by martial law. They were invited 
to elect their local officers if those now in office 
refused to serve. 

Four days after the capture of Los Angeles, 
The Warren, Captain Hull, commander, an- 
chored at San Pedro. She brought official no- 
tice of the declaration of war between the 
United States and Mexico. Then for the first 
time Stockton learned that there had been an 
official declaration of war between the two 
countries. United States officers had waged 
war and had taken possession of California upon 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



125 



the strength of a rumor that hostilities existed 
between the countries. 

The conquest, if conquest it can be called, was 
accomplished without the loss of a life, if we 
except the two Americans, Fowler and Cowie, 
of the Bear Flag party, who were brutally mur- 
dered by a band of Californians under Padillo, 
and the equally brutal shooting of Beryessa and 
the two de Haro boys by the Americans at San 
Rafael. These three men were shot as spies, 
but there was no proof that they were such, and 
they were not tried. These murders occurred 
before Commodore Sloat raised the stars and 
stripes at Monterey. 

On the 15th of August, 1846, just thirty-seven 
days after the raising of the stars and stripes 
at Monterey, the first newspaper ever published 
in California made its appearance. It was pub- 
lished at Monterey by Semple and Colton and 
named The California!!. Rev. Walter Colton 
was a chaplain in the United States navy and 
came to California on the Congress with Com- 
modore Stockton. He was made alcalde of 
Monterey and built, by the labor of the chain 



gang and from contributions and fines, the 
first schoolhouse in California, named for him 
Colton Hall. Colton thus describes the other 
member of the firm, Dr. Robert Semple: "My 
partner is an emigrant from Kentucky, who 
stands six feet eight in his stockings. He is in 
a buckskin dress, a foxskin cap; is true with his 
rifle, ready with his pen and quick at the type 
case." Semple came to California in 1845, with 
the Hastings party, and was one of the leaders 
in the Bear Flag revolution. The type and 
press used were brought to California by Au- 
gustin V. Zamorano in 1834, and by him sold 
to the territorial government, and had been 
used for printing bandos and pronunciamentos. 
The only paper the publishers of The Californian 
could procure was that used in the manufacture 
of cigarettes, which came in sheets a little 
larger than foolscap. The font of type was 
short of w's, so two v's were substituted for 
that letter, and when these ran out two u's were 
used. The paper was moved to San Francisco 
in 1848 and later on consolidated with the Cali- 
fornia Star. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

REVOLT OF THE CALIFORNIANS. 



HOSTILITIES had ceased in all parts of 
the territory. The leaders of the Cali- 
fornians had escaped to Mexico, and 
Stockton, regarding the conquest as completed, 
set about organizing a government for the con- 
quered territory. Fremont was to be appointed 
military governor. Detachments from his bat- 
talion were to be detailed to garrison different 
towns, while Stockton, with what recruits he 
could gather in California, and his sailors and 
marines, was to undertake a naval expedition 
against the west coast of Mexico, land his forces 
at Mazatlan or Acapulco and march overland 
to "shake hands with General Taylor at the 
gates of Mexico." Captain Gillespie was made 
military commandant of the southern depart- 
ment, with headquarters at Los Angeles, and as- 
signed a garrison of fifty men. Commodore 
Stockton left Los Angeles for the north Sep- 



tember 2. Fremont, with the remainder of his 
battalion, took up his line of march for Monte- 
rey a few days later. Gillespie's orders were to 
place the city under martial law, but not to en- 
force the more burdensome restrictions upon 
quiet and well-disposed citizens. A conciliatory 
policy in accordance with instructions of the 
secretary of the navy was to be adopted and the 
people were to be encouraged to "neutrality, 
self-government and friendship." 

Nearly all historians who have written upon 
this subject lay the blame for the subsequent 
uprising of the Californians and their revolt 
against the rule of the military commandant, 
Gillespie, to his petty tyrannies. Col. J. J. 
Warner, in his Historical Sketch of Los An- 
geles County, says: "Gillespie attempted by a 
coercive system to effect a moral and social 
change in the habits, diversions and pastimes of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the people and to reduce them to his standard 
of propriety." Warner was not an impartial 
judge. He had a grievance against Gillespie 
which embittered him against the captain. Gil- 
lespie may have been lacking in tact, and his 
schooling in the navy under the tyrannical 
regime of the quarterdeck of sixty years ago 
was not the best training to fit him for govern- 
ment, but it is hardly probable that in two 
weeks' time he undertook to enforce a "coercive 
system" looking toward an entire change in the 
moral and social habits of the people. Los An- 
geles under Mexican domination was a hotbed 
of revolutions. It had a turbulent and restless 
element among its inhabitants that was never 
happier than when fomenting strife and con- 
spiring to overthrow those in power. Of this 
class Colton, writing in 1846, says: "They drift 
about like Arabs. If the tide of fortune turns 
against them they disband and scatter to the 
four winds. They never become martyrs to any 
cause. They are too numerous to be brought 
to punishment by any of their governors, and 
thus escape justice." There was a conservative 
class in the territory, made up principally of 
the large landed proprietors, both native and 
foreign-born, but these exerted small influence 
in controlling the turbulent. While Los An- 
geles had a monopoly of this turbulent and rev- 
olutionary element, other settlements in the 
territory furnished their full quota of that class 
of political knight errants whose chief pastime 
was revolution, and whose capital consisted of 
a gaily caparisoned steed, a riata, a lance, a 
dagger and possibly a pair of horse pistols. 
These were the fellows whose "habits, diver- 
sions and pastimes" Gillespie undertook to re- 
duce "to his standard of propriety." 

That Commodore Stockton should have left 
Gillespie so small a garrison to hold the city 
and surrounding country in subjection shows 
that either he was ignorant of the character of 
the people, or that he placed too great reliance 
in the completeness of their subjection. With 
Castro's men in the city or dispersed among the 
neighboring ranchos, many of them still retain- 
ing their arms, and all of them ready to rally 
at a moment's notice to the call of their leaders; 
with no reinforcements nearer than five hundred 



miles to come to the aid of Gillespie in case of 
an uprising, it was foolhardiness in Stockton to 
entrust the holding of the most important place 
in California to a mere handful of men, half 
disciplined and poorly equipped, without forti- 
fications for defense or supplies to hold out in 
case of a siege. 

Scarcely had Stockton and Fremont, with 
their men, left the city before trouble began. 
The turbulent element of the city fomented 
strife and seized every occasion to annoy and 
harass the military commandant and his men. 
While his "petty tyrannies," so called, which 
were probably nothing more than the enforce- 
ment of martial law, may have been somewhat 
provocative, the real cause was more deep 
seated. The Californians, without provocation 
on their part and without really knowing the 
cause why, found their country invaded, their 
property taken from them and their government 
in the hands of an alien race, foreign to them 
in customs and religion. They would have been 
a tame and spiritless people indeed, had they 
neglected the opportunity that Stockton's blun- 
dering gave them to regain their liberties. They 
did not waste much time. Within two weeks 
from the time Stockton sailed from San Pedro 
hostilities had begun and the city was in a state 
of siege. 

Gillespie, writing in the Sacramento States- 
man in 1858, thus describes the first attack: 
"On the 22d of September, at three o'clock in 
the morning, a party of sixty-five Californians 
and Sonorenos made an attack upon my small 
command quartered in the government house. 
We were not wholly surprised, and with twenty- 
one rifles we beat them back without loss to our- 
selves, killing and wounding three of their num- 
ber. When daylight came, Lieutenant Hensley, 
with a few men, took several prisoners and 
drove the Californians from the town. This 
party was merely the nucleus of a revolution 
commenced and known to Colonel Fremont be- 
fore he left Los Angeles. In twenty-four hours, 
six hundred well-mounted horsemen, armed 
with escopetas (shotguns), lances and one fine 
brass piece of light artillery, surrounded Los 
Angeles and summoned me to surrender. There 
were three old honey-combed iron guns (spiked) 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



127 



in the corral of my quarters, which we at once 
cleared and mounted upon the axles of carts." 

Serbulo Varela, a young man of some ability, 
but of a turbulent and reckless character, had 
been the leader at first, but as the uprising as- 
sumed the character of a revolution, Castro's old 
officers came to the front. Capt. Jose Maria 
Flores was chosen comandante-general; Jose 
Antonio Carrillo, major-general; and Andres 
Pico, comandante de escuadron. The main 
camp of the insurgents was located on the mesa, 
east of the river, at a place called Paredon 
Blanco (White Bluff). 

On the 24th of September, from the camp 
at White Bluff, was issued the famous Pronun- 
ciamiento de Barelas y otros Californias contra 
Los Americanos (The Proclamation of Barelas 
and other Californians against the Americans). 
It was signed by Serbulo Varela (spelled Bare- 
las), Leonardo Cota and over three hundred 
ethers. Although this proclamation is gener- 
ally credited to Flores, there is no evidence to 
show that he had anything to do with framing 
it. He promulgated it over his signature Octo- 
ber 1. It is probable that it was written by 
Varela and Cota. It has been the custom of 
American writers to sneer at this production as 
florid and bombastic. In fiery invective and 
fierce denunciation it is the equal of Patrick 
Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me 
death!" Its recital of wrongs is brief, but to 
the point. "And shall we be capable of permit- 
ting ourselves to be subjugated and to accept in 
silence the heavy chains of slavery? Shall we 
lose the soil inherited from our fathers, which 
cost them so much blood? Shall we leave our 
families victims of the most barbarous servi- 
tude? Shall we wait to see our wives outraged, 
<9ur innocent children beaten by American 
whips, our property sacked, our temples pro- 
faned, to drag out a life full of shame and dis- 
grace? No! a thousand times no! Compatriots, 
death rather than that! Who of you does not 
feel his heart beat and his blood boil on con- 
templating our situation? Who will be the 
Mexican that will not be indignant and rise in 
arms to destroy our oppressors? We believe 
there will be not one so vile and cowardly!" 

Gillespie had left the government house (lo- 



cated on what is now the site of the St. Charles 
Hotel) and taken a position on Fort Hill, where 
he had erected a temporary barricade of sacks 
filled with earth and had mounted his cannon 
there. The Americans had been summoned to 
surrender, but had refused. They were besieged 
by the Californians. There was but little firing 
between the combatants, an occasional sortie 
and a volley of rifle balls by the Americans 
when the Californians approached too near. 
The Californians were well mounted, but poorly 
armed, their weapons being principally muskets, 
shotguns, pistols, lances and riatas; while the 
Americans were armed with long-range rifles, 
of which the Californians had a wholesome 
dread. The fear of these arms and his cannon 
doubtless saved Gillespie and his men from 
capture. 

On the 24th Gillespie dispatched a messenger 
to find Stockton at Monterey, or at San Fran- 
cisco if he had left Monterey, and apprise him 
of the perilous situation of the Americans at 
Los Angeles. Gillespie's dispatch bearer, John 
Brown, better known by his California nick- 
name, Juan Flaco or Lean John, made one of 
the most wonderful rides in history. Gillespie 
furnished Juan Flaco with a package of cigar- 
etees, the paper of each bearing the inscription, 
"Believe the bearer;" these were stampd with 
Gillespie's seal. Brown started from Los Angeles 
at 8 p. m., September 24, and claimed to have 
reached Yerba Buena at 8 p. m. of the 28th, 
a ride of six hundred and thirty miles in four 
days. This is incorrect. Colton, who was al- 
calde of Monterey at that time, notes Brown's 
arrival at that place on the evening of the 29th. 
Colton, in his "Three Years in California," says 
that Brown rode the whole distance (Los An- 
geles to Monterey) of four hundred and sixty 
miles in fifty-two hours, during which time he 
had not slept. His intelligence was for Com- 
modore Stockton and, in the nature of the case, 
was not committed to paper, except a few words 
rolled in a cigar fastened in his hair. But the 
commodore had sailed for San Francisco and 
it was necessary he should go one hundred and 
forty miles further. He was quite exhausted 
and was allowed to sleep three hours. Before 
day he was up and away on his journey. Gil- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



lespie, in a letter published in the Los Angeles 
Star, May 28, 1858, describing Juan Flaco's ride 
says: "Before sunrise of the 29th he was lying 
in the bushes at San Francisco, in front of the 
Congress frigate, waiting for the early market 
boat to come on shore, and he delivered my 
dispatches to Commodore Stockton before 7 
o'clock." 

In trying to steal through the picket line of 
the Mexicans at Los Angeles, he was discovered 
and pursued by a squad of them. A hot race 
ensued. Finding the enemy gaining on him he 
forced his horse to leap a wide ravine. A shot 
from one of his pursuers mortally wounded his 
horse, which, after running a short distance, fell 
dead. Flaco, carrying his spurs and riata, made 
his way on foot in the darkness to Las Virgines, 
a distance of twenty-seven miles. Here he se- 
cured another mount and again set off on his 
perilous journey. The trail over which Flaco 
held his way was not like "the road from Win- 
chester town, a good, broad highway leading 
down," but instead a Camino de heradura, bridle 
path, now winding up through rocky canons, 
skirting along the edge of precipitous cliffs, then 
zigzagging down chaparral covered mountains; 
now over the sands of the sea beach and again 
across long stretches of brown mesa, winding 
through narrow valleys and out onto the rolling 
hills — a trail as nature made it, unchanged by 
the hand of man. Such was the highway over 
which Flaco's steeds "stretched away with ut- 
most speed." Harassed and pursued by the 
enemy, facing death night and day, with scarcely 
a stop or a stay to eat or sleep, Juan Flaco rode 
six hundred miles. 

"Of all the rides since the birth of time, 
Told in story or sung in rhyme, 
The fleetest ride that ever was sped," 

was Juan Flaco's ride from Los Angeles to San 
Francisco. Longfellow has immortalized the 
"Ride of Paul Revere," Robert Browning tells 
in stirring verse of the riders who brought the 
good news from Ghent to Aix, and Buchanan 
Read thrills us with the heroic measures of Sher- 
idan's Ride. No poet has sung of Juan Flaco's 
wonderful ride, fleeter, longer and more perilous 
than any of these. Flaco rode six hundred miles 



through the enemy's country, to bring aid to a 
besieged garrison, while Revere and Jorris and 
Sheridan were in the country of friends or pro- 
tected by an army from enemies. 

Gillespie's situation was growing more and 
more desperate each day. B. D. Wilson, who 
with a company of riflemen had been on an 
expedition against the Indians, had been ordered 
by Gillespie to join him. They reached the 
Chino ranch, where a fight took place between 
them and the Californians. Wilson's men being 
out of ammunition were compelled to sur- 
render. In the charge upon the adobe, where 
Wilson and his men had taken refuge, Carlos 
Ballestaros had been killed and several Cali- 
fornians wounded. This and Gillespie's stubborn 
resistance had embittered the Californians against 
him and his men. The Chino prisoners had been 
saved from massacre after their surrender by 
the firmness and bravery of Varela. If Gillespie 
continued to hold the town his obstinacy might 
bring down the vengeance of the Californians 
not only upon him and his men, but upon many 
of the American residents of the south, who had 
favored their countrymen. 

Finally Flores issued his ultimatum to the 
Americans, surrender within twenty-four hours 
or take the consequences of an onslaught by 
the Californians, which might result in the mas- 
sacre of the entire garrison. In the meantime 
he kept his cavalry deployed on the hills, com- 
pletely investing the Americans. Despairing of 
assistance from Stockton, on the advice of Wil- 
son, who had been permitted by Flores to inter- 
cede with Gillespie, articles of capitulation were 
drawn up and signed by Gillespie and the leaders 
of the Californians. On the 30th of September 
the Americans marched out of the city with all 
the honors of war, drums beating, colors flying' 
and two pieces of artillery mounted on carts 
drawn by oxen. They arrived at San Pedro 
without molestation and four or five days later 
embarked on the merchant ship Vandalia, which 
remained at anchor in the bay. Gillespie in 
his march was accompanied by a few of the 
American residents and probably a dozen of the 
Chino prisoners, who had been exchanged for 
the same number of Californians, whom he 
had held under arrest most likely as hostages. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



129 



Gillespie took two cannon with him when he 
evacuated the city, leaving two spiked and broken 
on Fort Hill. There seems to have been a pro- 
viso in the articles of capitulation requiring him 



to deliver the guns to Flores on reaching the 
embarcadero. Ti there was such a stipulation Gil- 
lespie violated it. He spiked the guns, broke off 
the trunnions and rolled one of them into the bay. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE DEFEAT AND RETREAT OF MERVINE'S MEN. 



THE revolt of the Californians at Los An- 
geles w-as followed by similar uprisings 
in the different centers of population 
where American garrisons were stationed. Upon 
the receipt of Gillespie's message Commodore 
Stockton ordered Captain Mervine to proceed 
at once to San Pedro to regain, if possible, the 
lost territory. Juan Flaco had delivered his 
message to Stockton on September 30. Early 
on the morning of October 1st, Captain Mer- 
vine got under way for San Pedro. "He went 
ashore at Sausalito," says Gillespie, "on some 
trivial excuse, and a dense fog coming on he 
was compelled to remain there until the 4th." 

Of the notable events occurring during the 
conquest of California there are few others of 
which there are so contradictory accounts as 
that known as the battle of Dominguez Ranch, 
where Mervine was defeated and compelled to re- 
treat to San Pedro. Historians differ widely 
in the number engaged and in the number killed. 
The following account of Mervine's expedition 
I take from a log book kept by Midshipman and 
Acting-Lieut. Robert C. Duvall of the Savannah. 
He commanded a company during the battle. 
This book was donated to the Historical So- 
ciety of Southern California by Dr. J. E. Cowles 
of Los Angeles, a nephew of Lieutenant Duvall. 
The account given by Lieutenant Duvall is one 
of the fullest and most accurate in existence. 

"At 9.30 a. m." (October 1, 1846), says Lieu- 
tenant Duvall, "we commenced working out of 
the harbor of San Francisco on the ebb tide. 
The ship anchored at Sausalito, where, on ac- 
count of a dense fog, it remained until the 4th, 
when it put to sea. On the 7th the ship entered 
the harbor of San Pedro. At 6:30 p. m., as we 



were standing in for anchorage, we made out. 
the American merchant ship Vandalia, having 
on her decks a body of men. On passing she 
saluted with two guns, which was repeated with 
three cheers, which we returned. * * * * 
Brevet Capt. Archibald Gillespie came on board 
and reported that he had evacuated the Pueblo 
de Los Angeles on account of the overpowering 
force of the enemy and had retired with his 
men on board the Vandalia after having spiked 
his guns, one of which he threw into the water. 
He also reported that the whole of California 
below the pueblo had risen in arms against our 
authorities, headed by Flores, a Mexican cap- 
tain on furlough in this country, who had but 
a few days ago given his parole of honor not 
to take up arms against the United States. We 
made preparations to land a force to march to 
the pueblo at daylight. 

"October 8, at 6 a. m., all the boats left the 
ship for the purpose of landing the forces, num- 
bering in all two hundred and ninety-nine men, 
including the volunteers under command of Cap- 
tain Gillespie. At 6:30 all were landed without 
opposition, the enemy in small detachments re- 
treating toward the pueblo. From their move- 
ments we apprehended that their whole force 
was near. Captain Mervine sent on board ship 
for a reinforcement of eighty men, under com- 
mand of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock. At 8 a. m. 
the several companies, all under command of 
Capt William Mervine, took up the line of 
march for the purpose of retaking the pueblo. 
The enemy retreated as our forces advanced. 
(On landing, William A. Smith, first cabin boy, 
was killed by the accidental discharge of a Colt's 
pistol.) The reinforcements under the com- 



130 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



mand of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock returned on 
board ship. For the first four miles our march 
was through hills and ravines, which the enemy 
might have taken advantage of, but preferred to 
occupy as spectators only, until our approach. 
A few shots from our flankers (who were the 
volunteer riflemen) would start them off; they 
returned the compliment before going. The 
remainder of our march was performed over a 
continuous plain overgrown with wild mustard, 
rising in places to six or eight feet in height. 
The ground was excessively dry, the clouds of 
dust were suffocating and there was not a breath 
of wind in motion. There was no water on our 
line of march for ten or twelve miles and we 
suffered greatly from thirst. 

"At 2:30 p. m. we reached our camping 
ground. The enemy appeared in considerable 
numbers. Their numbers continued to increase 
until sundown, when they formed on a hill near 
us, gradually inclining towards our camp. They 
were admirably formed for a cavalry charge. 
We drew up our forces to meet them, but find- 
ing they were disposed to remain stationary, 
the marines, under command of Captain Mars- 
ton, the Colt's riflemen, under command of 
Lieut. I. B. Carter and myself, and the volun- 
teers, under command of Capt. A. Gillespie, were 
ordered to charge on them, which we did. They 
stood their ground until our shots commenced 
'telling' on them, when they took to flight in 
every direction. They continued to annoy us by 
firing into our camp through the night. About 2 
a. m. they brought a piece of artillery and fired 
into our camp, the shot striking the ground 
near us. The marines, riflemen and volunteers 
were sent in pursuit of the gun, but could see 
or hear nothing of it. 

"We left our camp the next morning at 6 
o'clock. Our plan of march was in column by 
platoon. We had not proceeded far before the 
enemy appeared before us drawn up on each 
side of the road, mounted on fine horses, each 
man armed with a lance and carbine. They also 
had a field piece (a four-pounder), to which were 
hitched eight or ten horses, placed on the road 
ahead of us. 

"Captain Mervine, thinking it was the enemy's 
intention to throw us into confusion by using 



their gun on us loaded with round shot and 
copper grape shot and then charge us with their 
cavalry, ordered us to form a square — which was 
the order of march throughout the battle. When 
within about four hundred yards of them the 
enemy opened on us with their artillery. We 
made frequent charges, driving them before us, 
and at one time causing them to leave some of 
their cannon balls and cartridges; but owing to 
the rapidity with which they could carry off 
the gun, using their lassos on every part, en- 
abled them to choose their own distance, en- 
tirely out of all range of our muskets. Their 
horsemen kept out of danger, apparently con- 
tent to let the gun do the fighting. They kept 
up a constant fire with their carbines, but these 
did no harm. The enemy numbered between 
one hundred and seventy-five and two hundred 
strong. 

"Finding it impossible to capture the gun, the 
retreat was sounded. The captain consulted 
with his officers on the best steps to be taken. 
It was decided unanimously to return on board 
ship. To continue the march would sacrifice 
a number of lives to no purpose, for, admitting 
we could have reached the pueblo, all com- 
munications would be cut off with the ship, and 
we would further be constantly annoyed by their 
artillery without the least chance of capturing 
it. It was reported that the enemy were be- 
tween five and six hundred strong at the city 
and it was thought he had more artillery. On 
retreating they got the gun planted on a hill 
ahead of us. 

"The captain made us an address, saying to 
the troops that it was his intention to march 
straight ahead in the same orderly manner in 
which we had advanced, and that sooner than 
he would surrender to such an enemy, he would 
sacrifice himself and every other man in his 
command. The enemy fired into us four times 
on the retreat, the fourth shot falling short, the 
report of the gun indicating a small quantity of 
powder, after which they remained stationary 
and manifested no further disposition to molest 
us. We proceeded quietly on our march to the 
landing, where we found a body of men under 
command of Lieutenant Hitchcock with two 
nine-pounder cannon gotten from the Vandalia 



HISTORICAL AND I'.IOGRAPHICAL RFCORD. 



13 1 



to render us assistance in case we should need it. 

"We presented truly a pitiable condition, 
many being barely able to drag one foot after 
the other from excessive fatigue, having gone 
through the exertions and excitement in battle 
and afterwards performing a march of eighteen 
or twenty miles without rest. This is the first 
battle I have ever been engaged in, and, having 
taken particular notice of those around me, I 
can assert that no men could have acted more 
bravely. Even when their shipmates were fall- 
ing by their sides, I saw but one impulse and 
that was to push forward, and when retreat was 
ordered I noticed a general reluctance to turn 
their backs to the enemy. 

"The following is a list of the killed and 
wounded: Michael Hoey, ordinary seaman, 
killed; David Johnson, ordinary seaman, killed; 
William II. Berry, ordinary seaman, mortally 
wounded; Charles Sommers, musician, mortally 
wounded; John Tyre, seaman, severely 
wounded; John Anderson, seaman, severely 
wounded; recovery doubtful. The following- 
named were slightly wounded: William Con- 
land, marine; Hiram Rockvill, marine; H. Lin- 
land, marine; James Smith, marine. 

"On the following morning we buried the 
bodies of William A. Smith, Charles Sommers, 
David Johnson and Michael Hoey on an island 
in the harbor. 

"At ii a. m. the captain called a council of 
commissioned officers regarding the proper 
course to adopt in the present crisis, which de- 
cided that no force should be landed, and that 
the ship remain here until further orders from 
the commodore, who is daily expected." 

Entry in the log for Sunday, nth: "William 
H. Berry, ordinary seaman, departed this life 
from the effect of wounds received in battle. 
Sent his body for interment to Dead Man's 
Island, so named by us. Mustered the com- 
mand at quarters, after which performed divine 
service." 

From this account it will be seen that the 
number killed and died of wounds received in 
battle was four; number wounded six, and one 
accidentally killed before the battle. On October 
22d, Henry Lewis died and was buried on the 
island. Lewis' name does not appear in the list 



of wounded. It is presumable that he died of 
disease. Six of the crew of the Savannah were 
buried on Dead Man's Island, four of whom 
were killed in battle. Lieutenant Duvall gives 
the following list of the officers in the "Expedi- 
tion on the march to retake Pueblo de Los An- 
geles:" Capt. William Mervine, commanding; 
Capt. Ward Marston, commanding marines; 
Brevet Capt. A. H. Gillespie, commanding vol- 
unteers; Lieut. Henry W. Queen, adjutant; 
Lieut. B. F. Pinckney, commanding first com- 
pany; Lieut. W. Rinckindoff, commanding sec- 
ond company; Lieut. I. B. Carter, Colt's rifle- 
men; Midshipman R. D. Minor, acting lieuten- 
ant second company; Midshipman S. 1'. Griffin, 
acting lieutenant first company. Midshipman P. 
G. Walmough, acting lieutenant second com- 
pany; Midshipman R. C. Duvall, acting lieuten- 
ant Colt's riflemen; Captain Clark and Captain 
Goodsall, commanding pikemen; Lieutenant 
Hfensley, first lieutenant volunteers; Lieutenant 
Russeau, second lieutenant volunteers. 

The piece of artillery that did such deadly 
execution on the Americans was the famous Old 
Woman's gun. It was a bronze four-pounder, or 
pedrero (swivel-gun) that for a number of years 
had stood on the plaza in front of the church, 
and was used for firing salutes on feast days and 
other occasions. When on the approach of 
Stockton's and Fremont's forces Castro aban- 
doned his artillery and fled, an old lady, Dona 
Clara Cota de Reyes, declared that the gringos 
should not have the church's gun; so, with the 
assistance of her daughters, she buried it in a 
cane pafch near her residence, which stood on 
the east side of Alameda street, near First. 
When the Californians revolted against Gil- 
lespie's rule the gun was unearthed and used 
against him. The Historical Society of South- 
ern California has in its possession a brass 
grapeshot, one of a charge that was fired into 
the face of Fort Hill at Gillespie's men when 
they were posted on the hill. This gun was in 
the exhibit of trophies at the New Orleans Ex- 
position in 1885. The label on it read: "Trophy 
53, No. 63, Class 7. Used by Mexico against 
the United States at the battle of Dominguez' 
Ranch, October 9, 1846; at San Gabriel and the 
Mesa, January 8 and 9, 1847; used by the United 



132 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



States forces against Mexico at Mazatlan, No- 
vember ii, 1847; Urios (crew all killed or 
wounded), Palos Prietos, December 13, 1847, 
and Lower California, at San Jose, February 15, 
1848." 

Before the battle the old gun had been 
mounted on forward axle of a Jersey wagon, 
which a man by the name of Hunt had brought 
across the plains the year before. It was lashed 
to the axle by means of rawhide thongs, and 
was drawn by riatas, as described by Lieutenant 
Duvall. The range was obtained by raising or 
lowering the pole of the wagon. Ignacio Aguilar 
acted as gunner, and having neither lanyard or 
pent-stock to fire it, he touched off the gun with 
the lighted end of a cigarette. Never before or 
since, perhaps, was a battle won with such crude 
artillery. Jose Antonio Carrillo was in com- 
mand of the Californians. During the skirmish- 
ing of the first day he had between eighty and 
ninety men. During the night of the 8th Flores 
joined him with a force of sixty men. Next 
morning Flores returned to Los Angeles, taking 
with him twenty men. Carrillo's force in the 
battle numbered about one hundred and twenty 
men. Had Mervine known that the Californians 
had fired their last shot (their powder being ex- 
hausted) he could have pushed on and captured 
the pueblo. 

The expulsion of Gillespie's garrison from 
Los Angeles and the defeat of Mervine's force 
raised the spirits of the Californians, and there 
was great rejoicing at the pueblo. Detachments 
of Flores' army were kept at Sepulveda's rancho, 
the Palos Verdes, and at Temple's rancho of the 
Cerritos, to watch the Savannah and report any 
attempt at landing. The leaders of the revolt 
were not so sanguine of success as the rank and 
file. They were without means to procure arms 
and supplies. There was a scarcity of ammuni- 
tion, too. An inferior article of gunpowder was 
manufactured in limited quantities at San 
Gabriel. The only uniformity in weapons was 
in lances. These were rough, home-made af- 
fairs, the blade beaten out of a rasp or file, and 
the shaft a willow pole about eight feet long. 
These weapons were formidable in a charge 
against infantry, but easily parried by a swords- 
man in a cavalry charge. 



After the defeat of Mervine, Flores set about 
reorganizing the territorial government. He 
called together the departmental assembly. It 
met at the capital (Los Angeles) October 26th. 
The members present, Figueroa, Botello, Guerra 
and Olvera, were all from the south. The as- 
sembly decided to fill the place of governor, 
vacated by Pico, and that of comandante-gen- 
eral, left vacant by the flight of Castro. 

Jose Maria Flores, who was now recognized 
as the leader of the revolt against American rule, 
was chosen to fill both offices, and the two of- 
fices, as had formerly been the custom, were 
united in one person. He chose Narciso Bo- 
tello for his secretary. Flores, who was Mex- 
ican born, was an intelligent and patriotic officer. 
He used every means in his power to prepare 
his forces for the coming conflict with the 
Americans, but with little success. The old 
jealousy of the hijos del pais against the Mex- 
ican would crop out, and it neutralized his 
efforts. There were bickerings and complaints 
in the ranks and among the officers. The na- 
tives claimed that a Californian ought to be 
chief in command. 

The feeling of jealousy against Flores at 
length culminated in open revolt. Flores had 
decided to send the prisoners taken at the Chino 
fight to Mexico. His object was twofold — first, 
to enhance his own glory with the Mexican 
government, and, secondly, by showing what 
the Californians had already accomplished to 
obtain aid in the coming conflict. As most of 
these men were married to California wives, 
and by marriage related to many of the leading 
California families of the south, there was at 
once a family uproar and fierce denunciations 
of Flores. But as the Chino prisoners were 
foreigners, and had been taken while fighting 
against the Mexican government, it was neces- 
sary to disguise the hostility to Flores under 
some other pretext. He was charged with the 
design of running away to Sono'ra with the pub- 
lic funds. On the night of December 3, Francisco 
Rico, at the head of a party of Californians, took 
possession of the cuartel, or guard house, and 
arrested Flores. A special session of the as- 
sembly was called to investigate the charges. 

Flores expressed his willingness to give up 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRArHICAL RECORD. 



133' 



his purpose of sending the Chino prisoners to 
Mexico, and the assembly found no foundation 
to the charge of his design of running away 
with the public funds, nor did they find any 
funds to run away with. Flores was liberated, 
and Rico imprisoned in turn. 

Flores was really the last Mexican governor 
of California. Like Pico, he was elected by the 
territorial legislature, but he was not confirmed 
by the Mexican congress. Generals Scott and 
Taylor were keeping President Santa Anna and 



his congress on the move so rapidly they had no 
time to spare for California affairs. 

Flores was governor from October 26, 1846, 
to January 8, 1847. 

With a threatened invasion by the Americans 
and a divided people within, it was hard times 
in the old pueblo. The town had to supply 
the army with provisions. The few who pos- 
sessed money hid it away and all business was 
suspended except preparations to meet the 
invaders. 



CHAPTER XIX, 



THE FINAL CONQUEST OF CALIFORNIA. 



COMMODORE STOCKTON, convinced 
that the revolt of the Californians was 
a serious affair, ordered Fremont's bat- 
talion, which had been recruited to one hun- 
dred and sixty men, to proceed to the south to 
co-operate with him in quelling the rebellion. 
The battalion sailed on the Sterling, but shortly 
after putting to sea, meeting the Vandalia, Fre- 
mont learned of Mervine's defeat and also that 
no horses could be procured in the lower coun- 
try; the vessel was put about and the battalion 
landed at Monterey, October 28. It was decided 
to recruit the battalion to a regiment and 
mounting it to march down the coast. Recruit- 
ing was actively begun among the newly ar- 
rived immigrants. Horses and saddles were 
procured by giving receipts on the government, 
payable after the close of the war or by confisca- 
tion if it brought returns quicker than receipts. 

The report of the revolt in the south quickly 
spread among the Californians in the north and 
they made haste to resist their spoilers. Manuel 
Castro was made comandante of the military 
forces of the north, headquarters at San Luis 
Obispo. Castro collected a force of about one 
hundred men, well mounted but poorly armed. 
His purpose was to carry on a sort of guerrilla 
warfare, capturing men and horses from the 
enemy whenever an opportunity offered. 

Fremont, now raised to the rank of lieuten- 
ant-colonel in the regular army with head- 



quarters at Monterey, was rapidly mobilizing his 
motley collection of recruits into a formidable 
force. Officers and men were scouring the 
country for recruits, horses, accouterments and 
supplies. Two of these recruiting squads en- 
countered the enemy in considerable force and 
an engagement known as the battle of Natividad 
ensued. Capt. Charles Burroughs with thirty- 
four men and two hundred horses, recruited at 
Sacramento, arrived at San Juan Bautista, No- 
vember 15, on his way to Monterey on the same 
day Captain Thompson, with about the same 
number of men recruited at San Jose, reached 
San Juan. The Californians, with the design of 
capturing the horses, made a night march from 
their camp on the Salinas. At Gomez rancho 
they took prisoner Thomas O. Larkin, the 
American consul, who was on his way from 
Monterey to San Francisco on official business. 
On the morning of the 16th the Americans be- 
gan their march for Monterey. At Gomez 
rancho their advance learned of the presence of 
the enemy and of the capture of Larkin. A 
squad of six or eight scouts was sent out to find 
the Californians. The scouts encountered a 
detachment of Castro's force at Encinalitos 
(Little Oaks) and a fight ensued. The main body 
of the enemy came up and surrounded the grove 
of oaks. The scouts, though greatly outnum- 
bered, were well armedwith long range rifles and 
held the enemy at bay, until Captains Burroughs 



134 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and Thompson brought up their companies. 
Burroughs, who seems to have been the ranking 
officer, hesitated to charge the Californians, who 
had the superior force, and besides he was fear- 
ful of losing his horses and thus delaying Fre- 
mont's movements. But, taunted with cowardice 
and urged on by Thompson, a fire eater, who 
was making loud protestations of his bravery, 
Burroughs ordered a charge. The Americans, 
badly mounted, were soon strung out in an ir- 
regular line. The Californians, who had made a 
feint of retreating, turned and attacked with 
vigor, Captain Burroughs and four or five others 
were killed. The straggling line fell back on the 
main body and the Californians, having ex- 
pended their ammunition, retreated. The loss 
in killed and wounded amounted to twelve or 
fifteen on each side. 

The only other engagement in the north was 
the bloodless battle of Santa Clara. Fremont's 
methods of procuring horses, cattle and other 
supplies was to take them and give in payment 
demands on the government, payable after the 
close of the war. After his departure the same 
method was continued by the officers of the 
garrisons at San Francisco, San Jose and Mon- 
terey. Indeed, it was their only method of pro- 
curing supplies. The quartermasters were 
without money and the government without 
credit. On the 8th of December, Lieutenant 
Bartlett, also alcalde of Yerba Buena, with a 
squad of five men started down the peninsula 
toward San Jose to purchase supplies. Fran- 
cisco Sanchez, a rancher, whose horse and cattle 
corrals had been raided by former purchasers, 
with a band of Californians waylaid and cap- 
tured Bartlett and his men. Other California 
rancheros who had lost their stock in similar 
raids rallied to the support of Sanchez and soon 
he found himself at the head of one hundred 
men. The object of their organization was 
rather to protect their propertythan to fight. The 
news soon spread that the Californians had re- 
volted and were preparing to massacre the 
Americans. Captain Weber of San Jose had a 
company of thirty-three men organized for de- 
fense. There was also a company of twenty 
men under command of Captain Aram stationed 
at the ex-mission of Santa Clara. On the 29th 



of December, Capt. Ward Marston with a de- 
tachment of thirty-four men and a field piece in 
charge of Master de Long and ten sailors was 
sent to Santa Clara. The entire force collected 
at the seat of war numbered one hundred and 
one men. On January 2 the American force 
encountered the Californians, one hundred 
strong, on the plains of Santa Clara. Firing at 
long range began and continued for an hour or 
more. Sanchez sent in a flag of truce asking an 
armistice preparatory to the settlement of diffi- 
culties. January 3, Captain Maddox arrived 
from Monterey with fifty-nine mounted men, 
and on the 7th Lieutenant Grayson came with 
fifteen men. On the 8th a treaty of peace was 
concluded, by which the enemy surrendered 
Lieutenant Bartlett and all the other prisoners, 
as well as their arms, including a small field 
piece and were permitted to go to their homes. 
Upon "reliable authority" four Californians were 
reported killed, but their graves have never been 
discovered nor did their living relatives, so far 
as known, mourn their loss. 

Stockton with his flagship, the Congress, ar- 
rived at San Pedro on the 23d of October, 1846. 
The Savannah was still lying at anchor in the 
harbor. The commodore had now at San Pedro 
a force of about eight hundred men; but, not- 
withstanding the contemptuous opinion he held 
of the Californian soldiers, he did not march 
against the pueblo. Stockton in his report 
says: "Elated by this transient success (Mer- 
vine's defeat), which the enemy with his usual 
want of veracity magnified into a great victory, 
they collected in large bodies on all the adjacent 
hills and would not permit a hoof except their 
own horses to be within fifty miles of San 
Pedro." But "in the face of their boasting in- 
solence" Stockton landed and again hoisted "the 
glorious stars and stripes in the presence of 
their horse covered hills." "The enemy had 
driven off every animal, man and beast from 
that section of the country; and it was not pos- 
sible by any means in our power to carry pro- 
visions for our march to the city." The city 
was only thirty miles away and American sol- 
diers have been known to carry rations in their 
haversacks for a march of one hundred miles. 
The "transient success" of the insolent enemy 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



lo3 



had evidently made an impression on Stockton. 
He estimated the California force in the vicinity 
of the landing at eight hundred men, which was 
just seven hundred too high. He determined 
to approach Los Angeles by way of San Diego, 
and on the last day of October he sailed for that 
port. B. D. Wilson, Stephen C. Foster and 
others attribute Stockton's abandonment of an 
attack on Los Angeles from San Pedro to a 
trick played on him by Jose Antonio Carrillo. 
Carrillo was in command of the detachment 
stationed at the Cerritos and the Palos Verdes. 
Carrillo was anxious to obtain an interview with 
Stockton and if possible secure a cessation of 
hostilities until the war then progressing in 
Mexico should be decided, thus settling the 
fate of California. B. D. Wilson, one of the 
Chino prisoners, was sent with a Mexican ser- 
geant to raise a white flag as the boats of the 
Congress approached the landing and present 
Carrillo's proposition for a truce. Carrillo, with 
the intention of giving Stockton an exaggerated 
idea of the number of his troops and thus ob- 
taining more favorable terms in the proposed 
treaty, collected droves of wild horses from the 
plains; these his caballeros kept in motion, pass- 
ing and repassing through a gap in the hills, 
which was in plain view from Stockton's vessel. 
Owing to the dust raised by the cavalcade it was 
impossible to discover that most of the horses 
were riderless. The troops were signalled to re- 
turn to the vessel, and the commodore shortly 
afterwards sailed to San Diego. Carrillo al- 
ways regretted that he made too much demon- 
stration. 

As an illustration of the literary trash that 
has been palmed off for California history, I 
give an extract from Frost's Pictorial History 
of California, a book written the year after 
the close of the Mexican war by Prof. 
John Frost, a noted compiler of histories, who 
writes LL. D. after his name. It relates to 
Stockton's exploits at San Pedro. "At the 
Rancho Sepulveda (the Palos Verdes) a large 
force of Californians were posted, Commodore 
Stockton sent one hundred men forward to re- 
ceive the fire of the enemy and then fall back 
on the main body without returning it. The 
main body of Stockton's army .was formed in a 



triangle with the guns hid by the men. By the 
retreat of the advance party the enemy were 
decoyed close to the main force, when the wings 
(of the triangle) were extended and a deadly fire 
from the artillery opened upon the astonished 
Californians. More than one hundred were 
killed, the same number wounded and one hun- 
dred prisoners taken." The mathematical ac- 
curacy of Stockton's artillerists was truly 
astonishing. They killed a man for every one 
wounded and took a prisoner for every man 
they killed. As Flores' army never amounted 
to more than three hundred, if we are to believe 
Frost, Stockton had all the enemy "present or 
accounted for." This silly fabrication of Frost's 
runs through a number of so-called histories of 
California. Stockton was a brave man and a 
very energetic commander, but he would boast 
of his achievements, and his reports are unre- 
liable. 

As previously mentioned, Fremont after his 
return to Monterey proceeded to recruit a force 
to move against Los Angeles by land from Mon- 
terey. His recruits were principally obtained 
from the recently arrived immigrants. Each man 
was furnished with a horse and was to receive 
$25 a month. A force of about four hundred 
and fifty was obtained. Fremont left Monterey 
November 17 and rendezvoused at San Juan 
Bautista, where he remained to the 29th of the 
month organizing his battalion. On the 29th 
of November he began his march southward to 
co-operate with Stockton against Flores. 

After the expulsion of Gillespie and his men 
from Los Angeles, detachments from Flores' 
army were sent to Santa Barbara and San 
Diego to recapture these places. At Santa Bar- 
bara Fremont had left nine men of his battalion 
under Lieut. Theodore Talbot to garrison the 
town. A demand was made on the garrison to 
surrender by Colonel Garfias of Flores' army. 
Two hours were given the Americans to decide. 
Instead of surrendering they fell back into the 
hills, where they remained three or four days, 
hoping that reinforcements might be sent them 
from Monterey. Their only subsistence w^as the 
flesh of an old gray mare of Daniel Hill's that 
they captured, brought into camp and killed. 
They secured one of Micheltorena's cholos that 



13G 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



had remained in the country and was living in 
a canon among the hills for a guide. He fur- 
nished them a horse to carry their blankets and 
conducted them through the mountains to the 
San Joaquin valley. Here the guide left them 
with the Indians, he returning to Santa Barbara. 
The Indians fed them on chia (wild flaxseed), 
mush and acorn bread. They traveled down the 
San Joaquin valley. On their journey they lived 
on the flesh of wild horses, seventeen of which 
they killed. After many hardships they reached 
Monterey on the 8th of November, where they 
joined Fremont's battalion. 

Captain Merritt, of Fremont's battalion, had 
been left at San Diego with forty men to hold 
the town when the battalion marched north to 
co-operate with Stockton against Los Angeles. 
Immediately after Gillespie's retreat, Francisco 
Rico was sent with fifty men to capture the 
place. He was joined by recruits at San Diego. 
Merritt being in no condition to stand a siege, 
took refuge on board the American whale ship 
Stonington, which was lying at anchor. After 
remaining on board the Stonington ten days, 
taking advantage of the laxity of discipline 
among the Californians, he stole a march on 
them, recapturing the town and one piece of 
artillery. He sent Don Miguel de Pedrorena, 
who was one of his allies, in a whale boat with 
four sailors to San Pedro to obtain supplies 
and assistance. Pedrorena arrived at San Pedro 
on the 13th of October with Merritt's dis- 
patches. Captain Mervine chartered the whale 
ship Magnolia, which was lying in the San 
Pedro harbor, and dispatched Lieutenant Minor, 
Midshipman Duvall and Morgan with thirty- 
three sailors and fifteen of Gillespie's volun- 
teers to reinforce Merritt. They reached San 
Diego on the 16th. The combined forces of 
Minor and Merritt, numbering about ninety 
men, put in the greater part of the next two 
weeks in dragging cannon from the old fort 
and mounting them at their barracks, which 
were located on the hill at the edge of the plain 
on the west side of the town, convenient to 
water. They succeeded in mounting six brass 
nine-pounders and building two bastions of 
adobes, taken from an old house. There was 
constant skirmishing between the hostile parties, 



but few fatalities. The Americans claimed to 
have killed three of the enemy, and one Amer- 
ican was ambushed and killed. 

The Californians kept well out of range, but 
prevented the Americans from obtaining sup- 
plies. Their provisions were nearly exhausted, 
and when reduced to almost the last extreme 
they made a successful foraging expedition and 
procured a supply of mutton. Midshipman Du- 
vall thus describes the adventure: "We had 
with us an Indian (chief of a numerous tribe) 
who, from his knowledge of the country, we 
thought could avoid the enemy; and getting 
news of a number of sheep about thirty-five miles 
to the south on the coast, we determined to send 
him and his companion to drive them onto an 
island which at low tide connected with the 
mainland. In a few days a signal was made on 
the island, and the boats of the whale ship 
Stonington, stationed off the island, were sent 
to it. Our good old Indian had managed, 
through his cunning and by keeping concealed 
in ravines, to drive onto the island about six hun- 
dred sheep, but his companion had been caught 
and killed by the enemy. I shall never forget 
his famished appearance, but pride in his Indian 
triumph could be seen playing in his dark eyes. 

"For thirty or forty days we were constantly 
expecting, from the movements of the enemy, 
an attack, soldiers and officers sleeping on their 
arms and ready for action. About the 1st of 
November, Commodore Stockton arrived, and, 
after landing Captain Gillespie with his com- 
pany and about forty-three marines, he suddenly 
disappeared, leaving Lieutenant Minor governor 
of the place and Captain Gillespie command- 
ant."* 

Foraging continued, the whale ship Ston- 
ington, which had been impressed into the 
government service, being used to take parties 
down the coast, who made raids inland and 
brought back with them catties and horses. 

It was probably on one of these excursions 
that the flag-making episode occurred, of which 
there are more versions than Homer had birth- 
places. The correct version of the story is as 
follows: A party had been sent under com- 

*Log Book of Acting Lieutenant Duvall. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



137 



mand of Lieutenant Hensley to Juan Bandini's 
rancho in Lower California to bring up bands 
of cattle and horses. Bandini was an adherent 
of the American cause. He and his family re- 
turned with the cavalcade to San Diego. At 
their last camping place before reaching the 
town, Hensley, in a conversation with Bandini, 
regretted the)' had no flag with them to display 
on their entry into the town. Seriora Bandini 
volunteered to make one, which she did from 
red, white and blue dresses of her children. 
This flag, fastened to a staff, was carried at the 
head of the cavalcade when it made its triumphal 
entry into San Diego. The Mexican govern- 
ment confiscated Bandini's ranchos in Lower 
California on account of his friendship to the 
Americans during the war. 

Skirmishing continued almost daily. Jose 
Antonio Carrillo was now in command of the 
Californians, their force numbering about one 
hundred men. Commodore Stockton returned 
and decided to fortify. Midshipman Duvall, in 
the Log Book referred to in the previous chap- 
ter, thus describes the fort: "The commodore 
now commenced to fortify the hill which over- 
looked the town by building a fort, constructed 
by placing three hundred gallon casks full of 
sand close together. The inclosure was twenty 
by thirty yards. A bank of earth and small gravel 
was thrown up in front as high as the top of 
the casks and a ditch dug around on the outside. 
Inside a ball-proof vault of ketch was built out 
of plank and lined on the inside with adobes, on 
top of which a swivel was mounted. The en- 
trance was guarded by a strong gate, with a 
drawbridge in front across the ditch or moat. 
The whole fortification was completed and the 
guns mounted on it in about three weeks. Our 
men working on the fort were on short allow- 
ance of beef and wheat, and for a time without 
bread, tea, sugar or coffee, many of them being 
destitute of shoes, but there were few com- 
plaints. 

"About the ist of December, information hav- 
ing been received that General Kearny was at 
Warner's Pass, about eighty miles distant, with 
one hundred dragoons on his march to San 
Diego, Commodore Stockton immediately sent 
an escort of fifty men under command of Cap- 



tain Gillespie, accompanied by Past Midshipmen 
Beale and Duncan, having with them one piece 
of artillery. They reached General Kearny with- 
out molestation. On the march the combined 
force was surprised by about ninety-three Cal- 
ifornians at San Pasqual, under command of 
Andres Pico, who had been sent to that part 
of the country to drive off all the cattle and 
horses to prevent us from getting them. In 
the battle that ensued General Kearny lost in 
killed Captains Johnston and Moore and Lieu- 
tenant Hammond, and fifteen dragoons. Seven- 
teen dragoons were severely wounded. The 
enemy captured one piece of artillery. General 
Kearny and Captains Gillespie and Gibson were 
severely wounded; also one of the engineer offi- 
cers. Some of the dragoons have since died." 
* * * 

"After the engagement General Kearny took 
position on a hill covered with large rocks. It 
was well suited for defense. Lieutenant Godey 
of Gillespie's volunteers, the night after the 
battle, escaped through the enemy's line of sen- 
tries and came in with a letter from Captain 
Turner to the commodore. Whilst among the 
rocks, Past Midshipman Beale and Kit Carson 
managed, under cover of night, to pass out 
through the enemy's ranks, and after three days' 
and nights' hard marching through the moun- 
tains without water, succeeded in getting safely 
into San Diego, completely famished. Soon 
after arriving Lieutenant Beale fainted away, 
and for some days entirely lost his reason." 

On the night of Beale's arrival, December 9, 
about 9 p. m., detachments of two hundred sail- 
ors and marines from the Congress and Ports- 
mouth, under the immediate command of Cap- 
tain Zeilin, assisted by Lieutenants Gray, 
Hunter, Renshaw, Parrish. Thompson and 
Tilghman and Midshipmen Duvall and Morgan, 
each man carrying a blanket, three pounds of 
jerked beef and the same of hard-tack, began 
their march to relieve General Kearny. They 
marched all night and camped on a chaparral 
covered mountain during the day. At 4 p. in. 
of the second night's march they reached 
Kearny's camp, surprising him. Godey, who 
had been sent ahead to inform Kearny that as- 
sistance was coming, had been captured by the 



138 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



enemy. General Kearny had burnt and de- 
stroyed all his baggage and camp equipage, sad- 
dles, bridles, clothing, etc., preparatory to 
forcing his way through the enemy's line. 
Burdened with his wounded, it is doubtful 
whether he could have escaped. Midshipman 
Duvall says: "It would not be a hazard of 
opinion to say he would have been overpowered 
and compelled to surrender." The enemy dis- 
appeared on the arrival of reinforcements. The 
relief expedition, with Kearny's men, reached 
San Diego after two days' march. 

A brief explanation of the reason why Kearny 
was at San Pasqual may be necessary. In June, 
1846, Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, commander of 
the Army of the West, as his command was 
designated, left Fort Leavenworth with a force 
of regulars and volunteers to take possession of 
New Mexico. The conquest of that territory 
was accomplished without a battle. Under or- 
ders from the war department, Kearny began his 
march to California with a part of his force to 
co-operate with the naval forces there. Octo- 
ber 6, near Socorro, N. M., he met Kit Carson 
with an escort of fifteen men en route from Los 
Angeles to Washington, bearing dispatches 
from Stockton, giving the report of the con- 
quest of California. Kearny required Carson to 
turn back and act as his guide. Carson was 
very unwilling to do so, as he was within a few 
days' journey of his home and family, from 
whom he had been separated for nearly two 
years. He had been guide for Fremont on his 
exploring expedition. He, however, obeyed 
Kearny's orders. 

General Kearny sent back about three hun- 
dred of his men, taking with him one hundred 
and twenty. After a toilsome march by way 
of the Pima villages, Tucson, the Gila and 
across the Colorado desert, they reached the 
Indian village of San Pasqual (about forty miles 
from San Diego), where the battle was fought. 
It was the bloodiest battle of the conquest; 
Kearny's men, at daybreak, riding on broken 
down mules and half broken horses, in an ir- 
regular and disorderly line, charged the Califor- 
nians. While the American line was stretched 
out over the plain Capt. Andres Pico, who was 
in command, wheeled his column and charged 



the Americans. A fierce hand to hand fight en- 
sued, the Californians using their lances and lar- 
iats, the Americans clubbed guns and sabers. Of 
Kearny's command eighteen men were killed and 
nineteen wounded; three of the wounded died. 
Only one, Capt. Abraham R. Johnston (a rela- 
tive of the author's), was killed by a gunshot; 
all the others were lanced. The mules to one 
of the howitzers became unmanageable and ran 
into the enemy's lines. The driver was killed 
and the gun captured. One Californian was 
captured and several slightly wounded; none 
were killed. Less than half of Kearny's one 
hundred and seventy men* took part in the 
battle. His loss in killed and wounded was fifty 
per cent of those engaged. Dr. John S. Grif- 
fin, for many years a leading physician of Los 
Angeles, was the surgeon of the command. 

The foraging expeditions in Lower Califor- 
nia having been quite successful in bringing in 
cattle, horses and mules, Commodore Stockton 
hastened his preparation for marching against 
Los Angeles. The enemy obtained information 
of the projected movement and left for the 
pueblo. 

"The Cyane having arrived," says Duvall, 
"our force was increased to about six hundred 
men, most of whom, understanding the drill, 
performed the evolutions like regular soldiers. 
Everything being ready for our departure, the 
commodore left Captain Montgomery and offi- 
cers in command of the town, and on the 29th of 
December took up his line of march for Los An- 
geles. General Kearny was second in command 
and having the immediate arrangement of the 
forces, reserving for himself the prerogative 
which his rank necessarily imposed upon him. 
Owing to the weak state of our oxen we had 
not crossed the dry bed of the river San Diego 
before they began breaking down, and the carts, 
which were thirty or forty in number, had to be 
dragged by the men. The general urged on the 
commodore that it was useless to commence 
such a march as was before us with our present 
means of transportation, but the commodore 
insisted on performing at least one day's inarch 



♦General Kearny's original force of one hundred and 
twenty had been increased by Gillespie's command, 
numbering fifty men. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



even if we should have to return the next day. 
We succeeded in reaching the valley of the 
Soledad that night by dragging our carts. Next 
day the commodore proposed to go six miles 
farther, which we accomplished, and then con- 
tinued six miles farther. Having obtained some 
fresh oxen, by assisting the carts up hill we 
made ten or twelve miles a day. At San Luis 
Rey we secured men, carts and oxen, and after 
that our days' marches ranged from fifteen to 
twenty-two miles a day. 

"The third day out from San Luis Rey a white 
flag was seen ahead, the bearer of which had a 
communication from Flores, signing himself 
'Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Califor- 
nia,' asking for a conference for the purpose of 
coming to terms, which would be alike 'honor- 
able to both countries.' The commodore refused 
to answer him in writing, saying to the bearer 
of the truce that his answer was, 'he knew no 
such person as Governor Flores; that he him- 
self was the only governor in California; that 
he knew a rebel by that name, a man who had 
given his parole of honor not to take up arms 
against the government of the United States, 
who, if the people of California now in arms 
against the forces of the United States would 
deliver up, he (Stockton) would treat with them 
on condition that they surrender their arms 
and retire peaceably to their homes and he 
would grant them, as citizens of the United 
States, protection from further molestation.' 
This the embassy refused to entertain, saying 
'they would prefer to die with Flores than to 
surrender on such terms.' " 
* * * 

"On the 8th of January, 1847, they met us on 
the banks of the river San Gabriel with between 
five and six hundred men mounted on good 
horses and armed with lances and carbines, 
having also four pieces of artillery planted on 
the heights about three hundred and fifty yards 
distant from the river. Owing to circumstances 
which have occurred since the surrender of the 
enemy, I prefer not mentioning the particulars 
of this day's battle and also that of the day fol- 
lowing, or of referring to individuals concerned 
in the successful management of our forces." 
(The circumstance to which Lieutenant Duvall 



refers was undoubtedly the quarrel between 
Stockton and Kearny after the capture of Los 
Angeles.) "It is sufficient to say that on the 8th 
of January we succeeded in crossing the river 
and driving the enemy from the heights. Hav- 
ing resisted all their charges, dismounted one 
of their pieces and put them to flight in every 
direction, we encamped on the ground they had 
occupied during the fight. 

"The next day the Californians met us on the 
plains of the mesa. For a time the fighting was 
carried on by both sides with artillery, but that 
proving too hot for them they concentrated 
their whole force in a line ahead of us and at a 
given signal divided from the center and came 
down on us like a tornado, charging us on all 
sides at the same time ; but they were effectually 
defeated and fled in every direction in the ut- 
most confusion. Many of their horses were left 
dead on the field. Their loss in the two battles, 
as given by Andres Pico, second in command, 
was eighty-three killed and wounded; our loss, 
three killed (one accidentally), and fifteen or 
twenty wounded, none dangerously. The enemy 
abandoned two pieces of artillery in an Indian 
village near by." 

I have given at considerable length Midship- 
man Duvall's account of Stockton's march from 
San Diego and of the two battles fought, not 
because it is the fullest account of those events, 
but because it is original historical matter, never 
having appeared in print before, and also be- 
cause it is the observations of a participant 
written at the time the events occurred. In it 
the losses of the enemy are greatly exaggerated, 
but that was a fault of his superior officers as 
well. Commodore Stockton, in his official re- 
ports of the two battles, gives the enemy's loss 
in killed and wounded "between seventy and 
eighty." And General Kearny, in his report of 
the battle of San Pasqual, claimed it as a vic- 
tory, and states that the enemy left six dead on 
the field. The actual loss of the Californians 
in the two battles (San Gabriel river and La 
Mesa) was three killed and ten or twelve 
wounded.* 



*The killed were Ignacio Sepulveda, Francisco 
Rubio, and El Guaymeno, a Yaqui Indian. 



140 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



While the events recorded in this chapter 
were transpiring at San Diego and its vicinity, 
what was the state of affairs in the capital, Los 
Angeles? After the exultation and rejoicing 
over the expulsion of Gillespie's garrison, Mer- 
vine's defeat and the victory over Kearny at 
San Pasqual there came a reaction. Dissension 
continued between the leaders. There was lack 
of arms and laxity of discipline. The army was 
but little better than a mob. Obedience to or- 
ders of a superior was foreign to the nature of a 
Californian. His wild, free life in the saddle 
made him impatient of all restraint. Then the 
impossibility of successful resistance against 
the Americans became more and more apparent 
as the final conflict approached. Fremont's 
army was moving clown on the doomed city 
from the north, and Stockton's was coming up 
from the south. Either one of these, in num- 
bers, exceeded the force that Flores could bring 
into action; combined they would crush him 
out of existence. The California troops were 
greatly discouraged and it was with great diffi- 
culty that the officers kept their men together. 
There was another and more potent element of 
disintegration. Many of the wealthier natives 
and all the foreigners, regarding the contest as 
hopeless, secretly favored the American cause, 
and it was only through fear of loss of property 
that they furnished Flores and his officers any 
supplies for the army. 

During the latter part of December and the 
first days of January Flores' army was stationed 
at the San Fernando Mission, on the lookout 
for Fremont's battalion; but the more rapid 
advance of Stockton's army compelled a change 
of base. On the 6th and 7th of January Flores 
moved his army back secretly through the 



Cahuenga Pass, and, passing to the southward 
of the city, took position where La Jaboneria 
(the soap factory) road crosses the San Gabriel 
river. Here his men were stationed in the thick 
willows to give Stockton a surprise. Stockton 
received information of the trap set for him and 
after leaving the Los Coyotes swung off to the 
right until he struck the Upper Santa Ana road. 
The Californians had barely time to effect a 
change of base and get their cannon planted 
when the Americans arrived at the crossing. 

Stockton called the engagement there the bat- 
tle of San Gabriel river; the Californians call it 
the battle of Paso de Bartolo, which is the bet- 
ter name. The place where the battle was fought 
is on bluff just south of the Upper Santa Ana 
road, near where the Southern California 
railroad crosses the old San Gabriel river. (The 
ford or crossing was formerly known as Pico's 
Crossing.) There was, at the time of the bat- 
tle, but one San Gabriel river. The new river 
channel was made in the great flood of 1868. 
What Stockton, Emory, Duvall and other 
American officers call the battle of the Plains 
of the Mesa the Californians call the battle of 
La Mesa, which is most decidedly a better name 
than the "Plains of the Plain." It was fought at 
a ravine, the Canada de Los Alisos, near the 
southeastern corner of the Los Angeles city 
boundary. In these battles the Californians had 
four pieces of artillery, two iron nine-pounders, 
the old woman's gun and the howitzer captured 
from Kearny. Their powder was very poor. It 
was made at San Gabriel. It was owing to this 
that they did so little execution in the fight. 
That the Californians escaped with so little 
punishment was probably due to the wretched 
marksmanship of Stockton's sailors and marines. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



141 



CHAPTER XX. 

CAPTURE AND OCCUPATION OF THE CAPITAL. 



J\ FTER the battle of La Mesa, the Amer- 
r Y tcans, keeping to the south, crossed the 
Los Angeles river at about the point 
where the south boundary line of the city 
crosses it and camped on the right bank. Here, 
under a willow tree, those killed in battle were 
buried. Lieutenant Emory, in his "Notes of a 
Military Reconnoissance," says: "The town, 
known to contain great quantities of wine and 
aguardiente, was four miles distant (four miles 
from the battlefield). From previous experience 
of the difficulty of controlling men when enter- 
ing towns, it was determined to cross the river 
San Fernando (Los Angeles), halt there for 
the night and enter the town in the morning, 
with the whole day before us. 

"After we had pitched our camp, the enemy 
came down from the hills, and four hundred 
horsemen with four pieces of artillery drew off 
towards the town, in order and regularity, whilst 
about sixty made a movement down the river on 
our rear and left flank. This led us to suppose 
they were not yet whipped, as we thought, and 
that we should have a night attack. 

"January 10 (1847) — . Just as we had raised 
our camp, a flag of truce, borne by Mr. Celis, a 
Castilian; Mr. Workman, an Englishman, and 
Alvarado, the owner of the rancho at the Alisos, 
was brought into camp. They proposed, on 
behalf of the Californians, to surrender their 
dear City of the Angels provided we would re- 
spect property and persons. This was agreed 
to, but not altogether trusting to the honesty 
of General Flores, who had once broken his 
parole, we moved into the town in the same 
order we should have done if expecting an at- 
tack. It was a wise precaution, for the streets 
were full of desperate and drunken fellows, who 
brandished their arms and saluted us with every 
term of reproach. The crest, overlooking the 
town, in rifle range, was covered with horsemen 
engaged in the same hospitable manner. 



"Our men marched steadily on, until crossing 
the ravine leading into the public square (plaza), 
when a fight took place amongst the Califor- 
nians on the hill; one became disarmed and to 
avoid death rolled down the hill towards us, 
his adversary pursuing and lancing him in the 
most cold-blooded manner. The man tumbling 
down the hill was supposed to be one of our 
vaqueros, and the cry of 'rescue him' was 
raised. The crew of the Cyane, nearest the 
scene, at once and without any orders, halted 
and gave the man that was lancing him a volley; 
strange to say, he did not fall. The general 
gave the jack tars a cursing, not so much for 
the firing without orders, as for their bad marks- 
manship." 

Shortly after the above episode, the Cali- 
fornians did open fire from the hill on the 
vaqueros in charge of the cattle. (These 
vaqueros were Californians in the employ of the 
Americans and were regarded by their country- 
men as traitors.) A company of riflemen was 
ordered to clear the hill. A single volley ef- 
fected this, killing two of the enemy. This was 
the last bloodshed in the war; and the second 
conquest of California was completed as the first 
had been by the capture of Los Angeles. Two 
hundred men, witli two pieces of artillery, were 
stationed on the hill. 

The Angelehos did not exactly welcome the 
invaders with "bloody hands to inhospitable 
graves," but they did their best to let them know 
they were not wanted. The better class of the 
native inhabitants closed their houses and took 
refuge with foreign residents or went to the 
ranchos of their friends in the country. The 
fellows of the baser sort, who were in pos- 
session of the city, exhausted their vocabularies 
of abuse on the invading gringos. There was 
one paisano who excelled all his countrymen in 
this species of warfare. It is a pity his name 
has not been preserved in history with that of 



142 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



other famous scolds and kickers. He rode by 
the side of the advancing column up Main street, 
firing volleys of invective and denunciation at 
the hated gringos. At certain points of his 
tirade he worked himself to such a pitch of 
indignation that language failed him; then he 
would solemnly go through the motions of 
"Make ready, take aim!" with an old shotgun 
he carried, but when it came to the order "Fire!" 
discretion got the better of his valor; he low- 
ered his gun and began again, firing invective 
at the gringo soldiers; his mouth would go off 
if his gun would not. 

Commodore Stockton's headquarters were in 
the Abila house, the second house on Olvera 
street, north of the plaza. The building is still 
standing, but has undergone many changes in 
fifty years. A rather amusing account was re- 
cently given me by an old pioneer of the manner 
in which Commodore Stockton got possession 
of the house. The widow Abila and her daugh- 
ters, at the approach of the American army, had 
abandoned their house and taken refuge with 
Don Luis Vignes of the Aliso. Vignes was a 
Frenchman and friendly to both sides. The 
widow left a young Californian in charge of her 
house (which was finely furnished), with strict 
orders to keep it closed. Stockton had with him 
a fine brass band, something new in California. 
When the troops halted on the plaza, the band 
began to play. The boyish guardian of the 
Abila casa could not resist the temptation to 
open the door and look out. The enchanting 
music drew him to the plaza. Stockton and his 
staff, hunting for a place suitable for headquar- 
ters, passing by, found the door invitingly open, 
entered, and, finding the house deserted, took 
possession. The recreant guardian returned, to 
find himself dispossessed and the house in pos- 
session of the enemy. "And the band played on." 

It is a fact not generally known that there 
were two forts planned and partially built on 
Fort Hill during the war for the conquest of 
California. The first was planned by Lieut. Wil- 
liam H. Emory, topographical engineer of Gen- 
eral Kearny's staff, and work was begun on it 
by Commodore Stockton's sailors and marines. 
The second was planned by Lieut. J. W. David- 
son, of the First United States Dragoons, and 



built by the Mormon battalion. The first was 
not completed and not named. The second was 
named Fort Moore. Their location seems to 
have been identical. The first was designed to 
hold one hundred men. The second was much 
larger. Flores' army was supposed to be in the 
neighborhood of the city ready to make a dash 
into it, so Stockton decided to fortify. 

"On January nth," Lieutenant Emory writes, 
"I was ordered to select a site and place a fort 
capable of containing a hundred men. With 
this in view a rapid reconnoissance of the town 
was made and the plan of a fort sketched, so 
placed as to enable a small garrison to com- 
mand the town and the principal avenues to it, 
the plan was approved." 

"January 12. I laid off the work and before 
night broke the first ground. The population 
of the town and its dependencies is about three 
thousand; that of the town itself about fifteen 
hundred. * * * Here all the revolutions 
have had their origin, and it is the point upon 
which any Mexican force from Sonora would 
be directed. It was therefore desirable to estab- 
lish a fort which, in case of trouble, should en- 
able a small garrison to hold out till aid might 
come from San Diego, San Francisco or Mon- 
terey, places which are destined 1o become cen- 
ters of American settlements." 

"January 13. It rained steadily all day and 
nothing was done on the work. At night I 
worked on the details of the fort." 

"January 15. The details to work on the 
fort were by companies. I sent to Captain 
Tilghman, who commanded on the hill, to de- 
tach one of the companies under his command 
to commence the work. He furnished, on the 
16th, a company of artillery (seamen from the 
Congress) for the day's work, which was per- 
formed bravely, and gave me great hopes of 
success." 

On the 18th Lieutenant Emory took his de- 
parture with General Kearny for San Diego. 
From there he was sent with despatches, via 
Panama, to the war department. In his book 
he says: "Subsequent to my departure the en- 
tire plan of the fort was changed, and I am not 
the projector of the work finally adopted for 
defense of that town." 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



143 



As previously stated, Fremont's battalion 
began its march down the coast on the 2yth of 
.November, 1846. The winter rains set in with 
great severity. The volunteers were scantily 
provided with clothing and the horses were in 
poor condition. Many of the horses died of 
starvation and hard usage. The battalion en- 
countered no opposition from the enemy on its 
march and did no fighting. On the nth of 
January, a few miles above San Fernando, Colo- 
nel Fremont received a message from General 
Kearny informing him of the defeat of the 
enemy and the capture of Los Angeles. That 
night the battalion encamped in the mission 
buildings at San Fernando. From the mission 
that evening Jesus Pico, a cousin of Gen. An- 
dres Pico, set out to find the Californian army 
and open negotiations with its ltaders. Jesus 
Pico, better known as Tortoi, had been arrested 
at his home near San Luis Obispo, tried by 
court-martial and sentenced to be shot for 
breaking his parole. Fremont, moved by the 
pleadings of Pico's wife and children, pardoned 
him. He became a warm admirer and devoted 
friend of Fremont's. 

He found the advance guard of the Califor- 
nians encamped at Verdugas. He was detained 
here, and the leading officers of the army were 
summoned to a council. Pico informed them 
of Fremont's arrival and the number of his men. 
With the combined forces of Fremont and 
Stockton against them, their cause was hopeless. 
He urged them to surrender to Fremont, as they 
could obtain better terms from him than from 
Stockton. 

General Flores, who held a commission in the 
Mexican army, and who had been appointed by 
the territorial assembly governor and comand- 
ante-general by virtue of his rank, appointed 
Andres Pico general and gave him command 
of the army. The same night he took his de- 
parture for Mexico, by way of San Gorgonio 
Pass, accompanied by Colonel Garfias, Diego 
Sepulveda, Manuel Castro, Segura, and about 
thirty privates. General Pico, on assuming com- 
mand, appointed Francisco Rico and Francisco 
de La Guerra to go with Jesus Pico to confer 
with Colonel Fremont. Fremont appointed as 
commissioners to negotiate a treaty, Major P. 



B. Reading, Major William H. Russell and 
Capt. Louis McLane. On the return of Guerra 
and Rico to the Californian camp, Gen. Andres 
Pico appointed as commissioners, Jose Antonio 
Carrillo, commander of the cavalry squadron, 
and Agustin Olvera, diputado of the assembly, 
and moved his army near the river at Cahuenga. 
On the 13th Fremont moved his camp to the 
Cahuenga. The commissioners met in the de- 
serted ranch-house, and the treaty was drawn 
up and signed. 

The principal conditions of the treaty or ca- 
pitulation of "Cahuenga," as it was termed, were 
that the Californians, on delivering up their ar- 
tillery and public arms, and promising not again 
to take arms during the war, and conforming 
to the laws and regulations of the United States, 
shall be allowed peaceably to return to their 
homes. They were to be allowed the same rights 
and privileges as are allowed to citizens of the 
United States, and were not to be compelled 
to take an oath of allegiance until a treaty of 
peace was signed between the United States and 
Mexico, and were given the privilege of leaving 
the country if they wished to. An additional 
section was added to the treaty on the 16th at 
Los Angeles releasing the officers from their 
paroles. Two cannon were surrendered, the 
howitzer captured from General Kearny at San 
Pasqual and the woman's gun that won the bat- 
tle of Dominguez. On the 14th, Fremont's bat- 
talion marched through the Cahuenga Pass to 
Los Angeles in a pouring rainstorm, and en- 
tered it four days after its surrender to Stock- 
ton. The conquest of California was com- 
pleted. Stockton approved the treaty, although 
it was not altogether satisfactory to him. On 
the 16th he appointed Colonel Fremont gov- 
ernor of the territory, and William H. Russell, 
of the battalion, secretary of state. 

This precipitated a quarrel between Stockton 
and Kearny, which had been brewing for some 
time. General Kearny claimed that under his 
instructions from the government he should be 
recognized as governor. As he had directly under 
his command but the one company of dragoons 
that he brought across the plain with him, he 
was unable to enforce his authority. He left on 
the 18th for San Diego, taking with him the 



141 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



officers of his staff. On the 20th Commo- 
dore Stockton, with his sailors and marines, 
marched to San Pedro, where they all em- 
barked on a man-of-war for San Diego to re- 



join their ships. Shortly afterwards Commo- 
dore Stockton was superseded in the command 
of the Pacific squadron by Commodore Shu- 
brick. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

TRANSITION AND TRANSFORMATION. 



THE capitulation of Gen. Andres Pico at 
Cahuenga put an end to the war in Cali- 
fornia. The instructions from the secre- 
tary of war were to pursue a policy of concilia- 
tion towards the Californians with the ultimate 
design of transforming them into American citi- 
zens. Colonel Fremont was left in command at 
Los Angeles. He established his headquarters 
on the second floor of the Bell block (corner of 
Los Angeles and Aliso streets), then the best 
building in the city. One company of his bat- 
talion was retained in the city; the others, under 
command of Captain Owens, were quartered at 
the Mission San Gabriel. 

The Mormons had been driven out of Illinois 
and Missouri. A sentiment of antagonism had 
been engendered against them and they had 
begun their migration to the far west, pre- 
sumably to California. They were encamped on 
the Missouri river at Kanesville, now Council 
Bluffs, preparatory to crossing the plains, when 
hostilities broke out between the United States 
and Mexico, in April, 1846. A proposition was 
made by President Polk to their leaders to raise 
a battalion of five hundred men to serve as 
United States volunteers for twelve months. 
These volunteers, under command of regular 
army officers, were to march to Santa Fe, or, 
if necessary, to California, where, at the expira- 
tion of their term of enlistment, they were to be 
discharged and allowed to retain their arms. 
Through the influence of Brigham Young and 
other leaders, the battalion was recruited and 
General Kearny, commanding the Army of the 
West, detailed Capt. James Allen, of the First 
United States Dragoons, to muster them into 
the service and take command of the battalion. 
On the 16th of July, at Council Bluffs, the bat- 



talion was mustered into service and on the 14th 
of August it began its long and weary march. 
About eighty women and children, wives and 
families of the officers and some of the enlisted 
men, accompanied the battalion on its march. 
Shortly after the beginning of the march, Allen, 
who had been promoted to lieutenant-colonel, 
fell sick and died. The battalion was placed 
temporarily under the command of Lieut. A. J. 
Smith, of the regular army. At Santa Fe 
Lieut.-Col. Philip St. George Cooke took com- 
mand under orders from General Kearny. The 
battalion was detailed to open a wagon road by 
the Gila route to California. About sixty of 
the soldiers who had become unfit for duty and 
all the women except five were sent back and 
the remainder of the force, after a toilsome jour- 
ney, reached San Luis Rey, Cal., January 29, 
1847, where it remained until ordered to Los 
Angeles, which place it reached March 17. 

Captain Owens, in command of Fremont's 
battalion, had moved all the artillery, ten pieces, 
from Los Angeles to San Gabriel, probably with 
the design of preventing it falling into the hands 
of Colonel Cooke, who was an adherent of 
General Kearny. General Kearny, under addi- 
tional instructions from the general government, 
brought by Colonel Mason from the war depart- 
ment, had established himself as governor at 
Monterey. With a governor in the north and 
one in the south, antagonistic to each other, 
California had fallen back to its normal condi- 
tion under Mexican rule. Colonel Cooke, 
shortly after his arrival in the territory, thus de- 
scribes the condition prevailing: "General 
Kearny is supreme somewhere up the coast. 
Colonel Fremont is supreme at Pueblo de Los 
Angeles; Colonel Stockton is commander-in- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



145 



chief at San Diego; Commodore Shubrick the 
same at Monterey; and I at San Luis Rey; and 
we are all supremely poor, the government hav- 
ing no money and no credit, and we hold the 
territory because Mexico is the poorest of all." 

Col. R. B. Mason was appointed inspector of 
the troops ' in California and made an official 
visit to Los Angeles. In a misunderstanding 
about some official matters he used insulting 
language to Colonel Fremont. Fremont 
promptly challenged him to fight a duel. The 
challenge was accepted; double-barreled shot- 
guns were chosen as the weapons and the 
Rancho Rosa del Castillo as the place of meet- 
ing. Mason was summoned north and the duel 
was postponed until his return. General Kearny, 
hearing of the proposed affair of honor, put a 
stop to further proceedings by the duelists. 

Col. Philip St. George Cooke, of the Mormon 
battalion, was made commander of the military 
district of the south with headquarters at Los 
Angeles. Fremont's battalion was mustered out 
of service. The Mormon soldiers and the two 
companies of United States Dragoons who 
came with General Kearny were stationed at 
Los Angeles to do guard duty and prevent any 
uprising of the natives. 

Colonel Fremont's appointment as governor 
of California had never been recognized by 
General Kearny. So when the general had 
made himself supreme at Monterey he ordered 
Fremont to report to him at the capital and 
turn over the papers of his governorship. Fre- 
mont did so and passed out of office. He was 
nominally governor of the territory about two 
months. His appointment was made by Com- 
modore Stockton, but was never confirmed by 
the president or secretary of war. His jurisdic- 
tion did not extend beyond Los Angeles. He 
left Los Angeles May 12 for Monterey. From 
that place, in company with General Kearny, 
on May 31, he took his departure for the states. 
The relations between the two were strained. 
While ostensibly traveling as one company, 
each officer, with his staff and escort, made sep- 
arate camps. At Fort Leavenworth General 
Kearny placed Fremont under arrest and pre- 
ferred charges against him for disobedience of 
orders. He was tried by court-martial at Wash- 



ington and was ably defended by his father-in- 
law, Colonel Benton, and his brother-in-law, 
William Carey Jones. The court found him 
guilty and fixed the penalty, dismissal from the 
service. President Polk remitted the penalty 
and ordered Colonel Fremont to resume his 
sword and report for duty. lie did so, but 
shortly afterward resigned his commission and 
left the army. 

While Colonel Cooke was in command of 
the southern district rumors reached Los An- 
geles that the Mexican general, Bustamente, 
with a force of fifteen hundred men, was pre- 
paring to reconquer California. "Positive infor- 
mation," writes Colonel Cooke, under date of 
April 20, 1847, " nas been received that the 
Mexican government has appropriated $600,000 
towards fitting out this force." It was also re- 
ported that cannon and military stores had been 
landed at San Vicente, in Lower California. 
Rumors of an approaching army came thick and 
fast. The natives were supposed to be in league 
with Bustamente and to be secretly preparing 
for an uprising. Precautions were taken against 
a surprise. A troop of cavalry was sent to 
Warner's ranch to patrol the Sonora road as 
far as the desert. The construction of a fort 
on the hill fully commanding the town, which 
had previously been determined upon, was 
begun and a company of infantry posted on 
the hill. 

On the 23d of April, three months after work 
had ceased on Emory's fort, the construction of 
the second fort was begun and pushed vigor- 
ously. Rumors continued to come of the ap- 
proach of the enemy. May 3, Colonel Cooke 
writes: "A report was received through the 
most available sources of information that Gen- 
eral Bustamente had crossed the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia near its head, in boats of the pearl fishers, 
and at last information was at a rancho on the 
western road, seventy leagues below San 
Diego." Colonel Stevenson's regiment of New 
York volunteers had recently arrived in Cali- 
fornia. Two companies of that regiment had 
been sent to Los Angeles and two to San 
Diego. The report that Colonel Cooke had re- 
ceived reinforcement and that Los Angeles was 
being fortified was supposed to have frightened 



146 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Bustamente into abandoning his invasion of 
California. Bustamente's invading army was 
largely the creation of somebody's fertile imag- 
ination. The scare, however, had the effect of 
hurrying up work on the fort. May 13, Colo- 
nel Cooke resigned and Col. J. B. Stevenson 
succeeded him in the command of the southern 
military district. 

Colonel Stevenson continued work on the 
fort and on the 1st of July work had progressed 
so far that he decided to dedicate and name it 
on the 4th. He issued an official order for the 
celebration of the anniversary of the birthday of 
American independence at this port, as he called 
Los Angeles. "At sunrise a Federal salute will 
be fired from the field work on the hill which 
commands this town and for the first time from 
this point the American standard will be dis- 
played. At 11 o'clock all the troops of the 
district, consisting of the Mormon battalion, the 
two companies of dragoons and two companies 
of the New York volunteers, were formed in a 
hollow square at the fort. The Declaration of 
Independence was read in English by Captain 
Stuart Taylor and in Spanish by Stephen C. 
Foster. The native Californians, seated on their 
horses in rear of the soldiers, listened to Don 
Esteban as he rolled out in sonorous Spanish the 
Declaration's arraignment of King George III., 
and smiled. They had probably never heard of 
King George or the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, either, but they knew a pronunciamiento 
when they heard it, and after a pronunciamiento 
in their governmental system came a revolution, 
therefore they smiled at the prospect of a gringo 
revolution. "At the close of this ceremony 
(reading of the Declaration) the field work will 
be dedicated and appropriately named; and at 
12 o'clock a national salute will be fired. The 
field work at this post having been planned and 
the work conducted entirely by Lieutenant Da- 
vidson of the First Dragoons, he is requested 
to hoist upon it for the first time on the morn- 
ing of the 4th the American standard." * * * 
The commander directs that from and after the 
4th instant the fort shall bear the name of 
Moore. Benjamin D. Moore, after whom the fort 
was named, was captain of Company A, First 
United States Dragoons. He was killed by a 



lance thrust in the disastrous charge at the bat- 
tle of San Pasqual. This fort was located on 
what is now called Fort Hill, near the geograph- 
ical center of Los Angeles. It was a breastwork 
about four hundred feet long with bastions and 
embrasures for cannon. The principal em- 
brasure commanded the church and the plaza, 
two places most likely to be the rallying points 
in a rebellion. It was built more for the sup- 
pression of a revolt than to resist an invasion. 
It was in a commanding position; two hundred 
men, about its capacity, could have defended it 
against a thousand if the attack came from the 
front; but as it was never completed, in an at- 
tack from the rear it could easily have been cap- 
tured with an equal force. 

Col. Richard B. Mason succeeded General 
Kearny as commander-in-chief of the troops 
and military governor of California. Col. Philip 
St. George Cooke resigned command of the 
military district of the south May 13, joined 
General Kearny at Monterey and went east 
with him. As previously stated, Col. J. D. Ste- 
venson, of the New York volunteers, succeeded 
him. His regiment, the First New York, but 
really the Seventh, had been recruited in the 
eastern part of the state of New York in the 
summer of 1846, for the double purpose of con- 
quest and colonization. The United States gov- 
ernment had no intention of giving up California 
once it was conquered, and therefore this regi- 
ment came to the coast well provided with pro- 
visions and implements of husbandry. It came 
to California via Cape Horn in three transports. 
The first ship, the Perkins, arrived at San 
Francisco, March 6, 1847; the second, the Drew, 
March 19; and the third, the Loo Choo, March 
26. Hostilities had ceased in California before 
their arrival. Two companies, A and B, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burton, were 
sent to Lower California, where they saw hard 
service and took part in several engagements. 
The other companies of the regiment were sent 
to different towns in Alta California to do gar- 
rison duty. 

Another military organization that reached 
California after the conquest was Company F 
of the Third United States Artillery. It landed 
at Monterey January 28, 1847. It was com- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



147 



manded by Capt. C. Q. Thompkins. With 
it came Lieuts. K O. C. Ord, William T. Sher- 
man and H. W. Halleck, all of whom became 
prominent in California affairs and attained na- 
tional reputation during the Civil war. The 
Mormon battalion was mustered out in July, 
1847. One company under command of Cap- 
tain Hunt re-enlisted. The others made their 
way to Utah, where they joined their brethren 
who the year before had crossed the plains and 
founded the City of Salt Lake. The New York 
volunteers were discharged in August, 1848. 
After the treaty of peace, in 1848, four compa- 
nies of United States Dragoons, under com- 
mand of Major L. P. Graham, marched from 
Chihuahua, by way of Tucson, to California. 
Major Graham was the last military commander 
of the south. 

Commodore W. Branford Shubrick succeeded 
Commodore Stockton in command of the naval 
forces of the north Pacific coast. Jointly with 
General Kearny he issued a circular or proc- 
lamation to the people of California, printed in 
English and Spanish, setting forth "That the 
president of the United States, desirous to give 
and secure to the people of California a share 
of the good government and happy civil organ- 
ization enjoyed by the people of the United 
States, and to protect them at the same time 
from the attacks of foreign foes and from inter- 
nal commotions, has invested the undersigned 
with separate and distinct powers, civil and mil- 
itary; a cordial co-operation in the exercise of 
which, it is hoped and believed, will have the 
happy results desired. 

"To the commander-in-chief of the naval 
forces the president has assigned the regula- 
tion of the import trade, the conditions on which 
vessels of all nations, our own as well as foreign, 
may be admitted into the ports of the territory, 
and the establishment of all port regulations. 
To the commanding military officer the presi- 
dent has assigned the direction of the operations 
on land and has invested him with administra- 
tive functions of government over the people 
and territory occupied by the forces of the 
United States. 

"Done at Monterey, capital of California, this 
1st day of March, A. D. 1847. W. Branford 



Shubrick, commander-in-chief of the naval 
forces. S. W. Kearny, Brig.-Gen. United States 
Army, and Governor of California." 

Under the administration of Col. Richard B. 
Mason, the successor of General Kearny as 
military governor, the reconstruction, or, more 
appropriately, the transformation period began. 
The orders from the general government were 
to conciliate the people and to make no radical 
changes in the form of government. The Mex- 
ican laws were continued in force. Just what 
these laws were, it was difficult to find out. No 
code commissioner had codified the laws and it 
sometimes happened that the judge made the 
law to suit the case. Under the old regime the al- 
calde was often law-giver, judge, jury and exe- 
cutioner, all in one. Occasionally there was fric- 
tion between the military and civil powers, and 
there were rumors of insurrections and inva- 
sions, but nothing came of them. The Califor- 
nians, with easy good nature so characteristic 
of them, made the best of the situation. "A 
thousand things," says Judge Hays, "combined 
to smooth the asperities of war. Fremont had 
been courteous and gay; Mason was just and 
firm. The natural good temper of the popula- 
tion favored a speedy and perfect conciliation. 
The American officers at once found themselves 
happy in every circle. In suppers, balls, visiting 
in town and country, the hours glided away with 
pleasant reflections." 

There were, however, a few individuals who 
were not happy unless they could stir up dis- 
sensions and cause trouble. One of the chief of 
these was Serbulo Yarela, agitator and revolu- 
tionist. Varela, for some offense not specified 
in the records, had been committed to prison by 
the second alcalde of Los Angeles. Colonel Ste- 
venson turned him out of jail, and Varela gave 
the judge a tongue lashing in refuse Castilian. 
The judge's official dignity was hurt. He sent 
a communication to the ayuntamiento saying: 
"Owing to personal abuse which I received at 
the hands of a private individual and from the 
present military commander, I tender my resig- 
nation." 

The ayuntamiento sent a communication to 
Colonel Stevenson asking why he had turned 
Varela out of jail and why he had insulted the 



148 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



judge. The colonel curtly replied that the mili- 
tary would not act as jailers over persons guilty 
of trifling offenses while the city had plenty of 
persons to do guard duty at the jail. As to the 
abuse of the judge, he was not aware that any 
abuse had been given, and would take no further 
notice of him unless he stated the nature of the 
insult offered him. The council decided to no- 
tify the governor of the outrage perpetrated by 
the military commander, and the second alcalde 
said since he could get no satisfaction for insults 
to his authority from the military despot, he 
would resign ; but the council would not accept 
his resignation, so he refused to act, and the city 
had to worry along with one alcalde. 

Although foreigners had been coming to Cali- 
fornia ever since 1814, their numbers had not 
increased very rapidly. Nearly all of these had 
found their way there by sea. Those who had 
become permanent residents had married native 
Californian women and adopted the customs of 
the country. Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, in 1827, 
crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains from Cali- 
fornia and by way of the Humboldt, or, as he 
named it, the Mary River, had reached the Great 
Salt Lake. From there through the South Pass 
of the Rocky mountains the route had been 
traveled for several years by the fur trappers. 
This latter became the great emigrant route to 
California a few years later. A southern route 
by way of Santa Fe had been marked out and 
the Pattee party had found their way to the 
Colorado by the Gila route, but so far no emi- 
grant trains had come from the States to Cali- 
fornia with women and children. The first of 
these mixed trains was organized in western 
Missouri in May, 1841. The party consisted of 
sixty-nine persons, including men, women and 
children. This party divided at Soda Springs, 
half going to Oregon and the others keeping on 
their way to California. They reached the San 
Joaquin valley in November, 1841, after a toil- 
some journey of six months. The first settle- 
ment they found was Dr. Marsh's ranch in what 
is now called Contra Costa county. Marsh gave 
them a cordial reception at first, but afterwards 
treated them meanly. 

Fourteen of the party started for the Pueblo 
de San Jose. At the Mission of San Jose, 



twelve miles from the Pueblo, they were all ar- 
rested by order of General Vallejo. One of the 
men was sent to Dr. Marsh to have him come 
forthwith and explain why an armed force of 
his countrymen were roaming around the coun- 
try without passports. Marsh secured their re- 
lease and passports for all the party. On his 
return home he charged the men who had re- 
mained at his ranch $5 each for a passport, al- 
though the passports had cost him nothing. As 
there was no money in the party, each had to 
put up some equivalent from his scanty posses- 
sions. Marsh had taken this course to reim- 
burse himself for the meal he had given the 
half-starved emigrants the first night of their 
arrival at his ranch. 

In marked contrast with the meanness of 
Marsh was the liberality of Captain Sutter. Sut- 
ter had built a fort at the junction of the Amer- 
ican river and the Sacramento in 1839 and had 
obtained extensive land grants. His fort was 
the frontier post for the overland emigration. 
Gen. John Bidwell, who came with the first 
emigrant train to California, in a description of 
"Life in California Before the Gold Discovery," 
says: "Nearly everybody who came to Califor- 
nia then made it a point to reach Sutter's Fort. 
Sutter was one of the most liberal and hospita- 
ble of men. Everybody was welcome, one man 
or a hundred, it was all the same." 

Another emigrant train, known as the Work- 
man-Rowland party, numbering forty-five per- 
sons, came from Santa Fe by the Gila route to 
Los Angeles. About twenty-five of this party 
were persons who had arrived too late at West- 
port, Mo., to join the northern emigrant party, 
so they went with the annual caravan of St. 
Louis traders to Santa Fe and from there, with 
traders and trappers, continued their journey to 
California. From 1841 to the American con- 
quest immigrant trains came across the plains 
every year. 

One of the most noted of these, on account of 
the tragic fate that befell it, was the Donner 
party. The nucleus of this party, George and 
Jacob Donner and James K. Reed, with their 
families, started from Springfield, 111., in . the 
spring of 1846. By accretions and combinations, 
when it reached Fort Bridger, July 25, it had 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



149 



increased to eighty-seven persons — thirty-six 
men, twenty-one women and thirty children, 
under the command of George Dormer. A new- 
route called the Hastings Cut-Off, had just been 
opened by Lansford W. Hastings. This route 
passed to the south of Great Salt Lake and 
struck the old Fort Hall emigrant road on the 
Humboldt. It was claimed that the "cut-off" 
shortened the distance three hundred miles. 
The Donner party, by misrepresentations, were 
induced to take this route. The cut-off proved 
to be almost impassable. They started on the 
cut-off the last day of July, and it was the end 
of September when they struck the old emigrant 
trail on the Humboldt. They had lost most of 
their cattle and were nearly out of provisions. 
From this on, unmerciful disaster followed them 
fast and faster. In an altercation, Reed, one of 
the best men of the party, killed Snyder. He 
was banished from the train and compelled to 
leave his wife and children behind. An old 
Belgian named Hardcoop and Wolfinger, a 
German, unable to keep up, were abandoned to 
die on the road. Pike was accidentally shot by 
Foster. The Indians stole a number of their 
cattle, and one calamity after another delayed 
them. In the latter part of October they had 
reached the Truckee. Here they encountered a 
heavy snow storm, which blocked all further 
progress. They wasted their strength in trying 
to ascend the mountains in the deep snow that 
had fallen. Finally, finding this impossible, they 
turned back and built cabins at a lake since 
known as Donner Lake, and prepared to pass 
the winter. Most of their oxen had strayed 
away during the storm and perished. Those 
still alive they killed and preserved the meat. 
A party of fifteen, ten men and five women, 



known as the "Forlorn Hope," started, Decem- 
ber 1 6, on snowshoes to cross the Sierras. They 
had provisions for six days, but the journey 
consumed thirty-two days. Eight of the ten 
men perished, and among them the noble Stan- 
ton, who had brought relief to the emigrants 
from Sutter's Fort before the snows began to 
fall. The five women survived. Upon the ar- 
rival of the wretched survivors of the "Forlorn 
Hope," the terrible sufferings of the snow-bourn, 
immigrants were made known at Sutter's Fort> 
and the first relief party was organized, and on 
the 5th of February started for the lake. Seven 
of the thirteen who started succeeded in reach- 
ing the lake. On the 19th they started back 
with twenty-one of the immigrants, three of 
whom died on the way. A second relief, under 
Reed and McCutchen, was organized. Reed 
had gone to Yerba Buena to seek assistance. A 
public meeting was called and $1,500 subscribed. 
The second relief started from Johnston's 
Ranch, the nearest point to the mountains, on 
the 23d of February and reached the camp on 
March 1st. They brought out seventeen. Two 
others were organized and reached Donner 
Lake, the last on the 17th of April. The only 
survivor then was Keseburg, a German, who 
was hated by all the company. There was a 
strong suspicion that he had killed Mrs. Don- 
ner, who had refused to leave her husband (who 
was too weak to travel) with the previous relief. 
There were threats of hanging him. Keseburg 
had saved his life by eating the bodies of the 
dead. Of the original party of eighty-seven, a 
total of thirty-nine perished from starvation. 
Most of the survivors were compelled to resort 
to cannabalism. They were not to blame if they 
did. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



MEXICAN LAWS AND AMERICAN OFFICIALS. 



UPON the departure of General Kearny, 
May 31, 1847, Col. Richard B. Mason 
became governor and commander-in- 
chief of the United States forces in California 
by order of the president. Stockton, Kearny 
and Fremont had taken their departure, the 
dissensions that had existed since the conquest 
of the territory among the conquerors ceased, 
and peace reigned. 

There were reports of Mexican invasions and 
suspicions of secret plottings against gringo 
rule, but the invaders came not and the plottings 
never produced even the mildest form of a Mexi- 
can revolution. Mexican laws were adminis- 
tered for the most part by military officers. The 
municipal authorities were encouraged to con- 
tinue in power and perform their governmental 
functions, but they were indifferent and some- 
times rebelled. Under Mexican rule there was 
no trial by jury. The alcalde acted as judge 
and in criminal cases a council of war settled the 
fate of the criminal. The Rev. Walter Colton, 
while acting as alcalde of Monterey, in 1846-47, 
impaneled the first jury ever summoned in Cali- 
fornia. "The plaintiff and defendant," he writes, 
"are among the principal citizens of the country. 
The case was one involving property on the one 
side and integrity of character on the other. Its 
merits had been pretty widely discussed, and 
had called forth an unusual interest. One-third 
of the jury were Mexicans, one-third Califor- 
nians and the other third Americans. This mix- 
ture may have the better answered the ends of 
justice, but I was apprehensive at one time it 
would embarrass the proceedings; for the plaint- 
iff spoke in English, the defendant in French; 
the jury, save the Americans, Spanish, and the 
witnesses, all the languages known to California. 
By the tact of Mr. Hartnell, who acted as inter- 
preter, and the absence of young lawyers, we 
got along very well. 



"The examination of witnesses lasted five or 
six hours. I then gave the case to the jury, 
stating the questions of fact upon which they 
were to render their verdict. They retired for 
an hour and then returned, when the foreman 
handed in their verdict, which was clear and 
explicit, though the case itself was rather com- 
plicated. To this verdict both parties bowed 
without a word of dissent. The inhabitants who 
witnessed the trial said it was what they liked, 
that there could be no bribery in it, that the 
opinion of twelve honest men should set the 
case forever at rest. And so it did, though 
neither party completely triumphed in the issue. 
One recovered his property, which had been 
taken from him by mistake, the other his char- 
acter, which had been slandered by design." 

The process of Americanizing the people was 
no easy undertaking. The population of the 
country and its laws were in a chaotic condition. 
It was an arduous task that Colonel Mason and 
the military commanders at the various pueblos 
had to perform, that of evolving order out of 
the chaos that had been brought about by the 
change in nations. The native population 
neither understood the language nor the cus- 
toms of their new rulers, and the newcomers 
among the Americans had very little toleration 
for the slow-going Mexican ways and methods 
they found prevailing. To keep peace between 
the factions required more tact than knowledge 
of law, military or civil, in the commanders. 

Los Angeles, under Mexican domination, had 
been the storm center of revolutions, and here 
under the new regime the most difficulty was 
encountered in transforming the quondam rev- 
olutionists into law-abiding and peaceful Amer- 
ican citizens. The ayuntamiento was convened 
in 1847, arter tne conquest, and continued in 
power until the close of the year. When the 
time came round for the election of a new ayun- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



151 



tamiento there was trouble. Stephen C. Foster, 
Colonel Stevenson's interpreter, submitted a 
paper to the council stating that the govern- 
ment had authorized him to get up a register of 
voters. The ayuntamiento voted to return the 
paper just as it was received. Then the colonel 
made a demand of the council to assist Stephen 
in compiling a register of voters. Regidor Cha- 
vez took the floor and said such a register 
should not be gotten up under the auspices of 
the military, but, since the government had so 
disposed, thereby outraging this honorable 
body, no attention should be paid to said com- 
munication. But the council decided that the 
matter did not amount to much, so they granted 
the request, much to the disgust of Chavez. 
The election was held and a new ayuntamiento 
elected. At the last meeting of the old council, 
December 29, 1847, Colonel Stevenson ad- 
dressed a note to it requesting that Stephen C. 
Foster be recognized as first alcalde and judge 
of the first instance. The council decided to 
turn the whole business over to its successor, to 
deal with as it sees fit. 

Colonel Stevenson's request was made in ac- 
cordance with the wish of Governor Mason 
that a part of the civil offices be filled by Amer- 
icans. The new ayuntamiento resented the in- 
terference. How the matter terminated is best 
told in Stephen C. Foster's own words: "Colo- 
nel Stevenson was determined to have our in- 
auguration done in style. So on the day ap- 
pointed, January 1, 1848, he, together with 
myself and colleague, escorted by a guard of 
soldiers, proceeded from the colonel's quarters 
to the alcalde's office. There we found the re- 
tiring ayuntamiento and the new one awaiting 
our arrival. The oath of office was adminis- 
tered by the retiring first alcalde. We knelt to 
take the oath, when we found they had changed 
their minds, and the alcalde told us that if two 
of their number were to be kicked out they 
would all go. So they all marched out and left 
us in possession. Here was a dilemma, but 
Colonel Stevenson was equal to the emergency. 
He said he could give us a swear as well as the 
alcalde. So we stood up and he administered 
to us an oath to support the constitution of 
the United States and administer justice in ac- 



cordance with Mexican law. I then knew as 
much about Mexican law as I did about Chinese, 
and my colleague knew as much as I did. Guer- 
rero gathered up the books that pertained to his 
office and took them to his house, where he 
established his office, and I took the archives 
and records across the street to a house I had 
rented, and there I was duly installed for the 
next seventeen months, the first American al- 
calde and carpet-bagger in Los Angeles." 

Colonel Stevenson issued a call for the elec- 
tion of a new ayuntamiento, but the people 
stayed at home and no votes were cast. At the 
close of the year the voters had gotten over 
their pet and when a call was made a council 
was elected, but only Californians (hijos del 
pais) were returned. The ayuntamientos con- 
tinued to be the governing power in the pueblos 
until superseded by city and county govern- 
ments in 1850. 

The most difficult problem that General Kear- 
ny in his short term had to confront and, un- 
solved, he handed down to his successor, Colo- 
nel Mason, was the authority and jurisdiction 
of the alcaldes. Under the Mexican regime 
these officers were supreme in the pueblo over 
which they ruled. For the Spanish transgressor 
fines of various degrees were the usual penalty; 
for the mission neophyte, the lash, well laid on, 
and labor in the chain gang. There was no 
written code that defined the amount of pun- 
ishment; the alcalde meted out justice and some- 
times injustice, as suited his humor. Kearny 
appointed John H. Nash alcalde of Sonoma. 
Nash was a rather erratic individual, who had 
taken part in the Bear Flag revolution. When 
the offices of the prospective California Re- 
public were divided among the revolutionists, 
he was to be the chief justice. After the col- 
lapse of that short-lived republic, Nash was 
elected alcalde. His rule was so arbitrary and 
his decisions so biased by favoritism or preju- 
dice that the American settlers soon protested 
and General Kearny removed him or tried to. 
He appointed L. W. Boggs, a recently arrived 
immigrant, to the office. Nash refused to sur- 
render the books and papers of the office. Lieut. 
W. T. Sherman was detailed by Colonel Mason, 
after his succession to the office of governor, to 



152 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



proceed to Sonoma and arrest Nash. Sherman 
quietly arrested him at night and before the 
bellicose alcalde's friends (for he had quite a fol- 
lowing) were aware of what was going on, 
marched him off to San Francisco. He was 
put on board the Dale and sent to Monterey. 
Finding that it was useless for him to resist the 
authority of the United States, its army and 
navy as well, Nash expressed his willingness to 
submit to the inevitable, and surrendered his 
office. He was released and ceased from troub- 
ling. Another strenuous alcalde was William 
Blackburn, of Santa Cruz. He came to the 
country in 1845, and before his elevation to the 
honorable position of a judge of the first in- 
stance he had been engaged in making shingles 
in the redwoods. He had no knowledge of law 
and but little acquaintance with books of any 
kind. His decisions were always on the side of 
justice, although some of the penalties imposed 
were somewhat irregular. 

In Alcalde Blackburn's docket for August 14, 
1847, appears this entry: "Pedro Gomez was 
tried for the murder of his wife, Barbara Gomez, 
and found guilty. The sentence of the court is 
that the prisoner be conducted back to prison, 
there to remain until Monday, the 16th of Au- 
gust, and then be taken out and shot." August 
17, sentence carried into effect on the 16th ac- 
cordingly. William Blackburn, Alcalde. 

It does not appear in the records that Black- 
burn was the executioner. He proceeded to 
dispose of the two orphaned children of the 
murderer. The older daughter he indentured to 
Jacinto Castro "to raise until she is twenty-one 
years of age, unless sooner married, said Ja- 
cinto Castro, obligating himself to give her a 
good education, three cows and calves at her 
marriage or when of age." The younger daugh- 
ter was disposed of on similar terms to A. Rod- 
riguez. Colonel Mason severely reprimanded 
Blackburn, but the alcalde replied that there 
was no use making a fuss over it; the man was 
guilty, he had a fair trial before a jury and de- 
served to die. Another case in his court illus- 
trates the versatility of the judge. A Spanish 
boy, out of revenge, sheared the mane and tail 
of a neighbor's horse. The offense was proved, 



but the judge was sorely perplexed when he 
came to sentence the culprit. He could find no 
law in his law books to fit the case. After pon- 
dering over the question a while, he gave this 
decision: "I find no law in any of the statutes 
to fit this case, except in the law of Moses, 'An 
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' Let the 
prisoner be taken out in front of this office and 
there sheared close." The sentence was imme- 
diately executed. 

Another story is told of Blackburn, which 
may or may not be true. A mission Indian who 
had committed murder took the right of sanc- 
tuary in the church, and the padre refused to 
give him up. Blackburn wrote to the governor, 
stating the case. The Indian, considering him- 
self safe while with the padre, left the church 
in company with the priest. Blackburn seized 
him, tried him and hung him. He then reported 
to the governor: "I received your order to sus- 
pend the execution of the condemned man, but 
I had hung him. When I see' you I will ex- 
plain the affair." 

Some of the military commanders of the pre- 
sidios and pueblos gave Governor Mason as 
much trouble as the alcaldes. These, for the 
most part, were officers of the volunteers who 
had arrived after the conquest. They were un- 
used to "war's alarms," and, being new to 
the country and ignorant of the Spanish lan- 
guage, they regarded the natives with suspicion. 
They were on the lookout for plots and revolu- 
tions. Sometimes they found these incubating 
and undertook to crush them, only to discover 
that the affair was a hoax or a practical joke. 
The Canon Perdido (lost canon) of Santa Bar- 
bara episode is a good illustration of the 
trouble one "finicky" man can make when en- 
trusted with military power. 

In the winter of 1847-48 the American bark 
Elisabeth was wrecked on the Santa Barbara 
coast. Among the flotsam of the wreck was a 
brass cannon of uncertain calibre; it might have 
been a six, a nine or a twelve pounder. What 
the capacity of its bore matters not, for the gun 
unloaded made more noise in Santa Barbara 
than it ever did when it belched forth shot and 
shell in battle. The gun, after its rescue from 
a watery grave, lay for some time on the beach, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RKCORD. 



133 



devoid of carriage and useless, apparently, for 
offense or defense. 

One dark night a little squad of native Cali- 
fornians stole down to the beach, loaded the 
gun in an ox cart, hauled it to the estero and 
hid it in the sands. What was their object in 
taking the gun no one knows. Perhaps they 
did not know themselves. It might come handy 
in a revolution, or maybe they only intended to 
play a practical joke on the gringos. Whatever 
their object, the outcome of their prank must 
have astonished them. There was a company 
(F) of Stevenson's New York volunteers sta- 
tioned at Santa Barbara, under command of 
Captain Lippett. Lippett was a fussy, nervous 
individual who lost his head when anything un- 
usual occurred. In the theft of the cannon he 
thought he had discovered a California revolu- 
tion in the formative stages, and he determined 
to crush it in its infancy. He sent post haste a 
courier to Governor Mason at Monterey, in- 
forming him of the prospective uprising of the 
natives and the possible destruction of the 
troops at Santa Barbara by the terrible gun the 
enemy had stolen. 

Colonel Mason, relying on Captain Lippett's 
report, determined to give the natives a lesson 
that would teach them to let guns and revolu- 
tions alone. He issued an order from headquar- 
ters at Monterey, in which he said that ample 
time having been allowed for the return of the 
gun, and the citizens having failed to produce 
it, he ordered that the town be laid under a con- 
tribution of $500, assessed in the following man- 
ner: A capitation tax of $2 on all males over 
twenty years of age; the balance to be paid by 
the heads of families and property-holders in the 
proportion of the value of their respective real 
and personal estate in the town of Santa Bar- 
bara and vicinity. Col. J. D. Stevenson was ap- 
pointed to direct the appraisement of the prop- 
erty and the collection of the assessment. If 
any failed to pay his capitation, enough of his 
property was to be seized and sold to pay his 
enforced contribution. 

The promulgation of the order at Santa Bar- 
bara raised a storm of indignation at the old 
pueblo. Colonel Stevenson came up from Los 
Angeles and had an interview with Don Pablo 



de La Guerra, a leading citizen of Santa Bar- 
bara. Don Pablo was wrathfully indignant at 
the insult put upon his people, but after talking 
over the affair with Colonel Stevenson, he be- 
came somewhat mollified. He invited Colonel 
Stevenson to make Santa Barbara his headquar- 
ters and inquired about the brass band at the 
lower pueblo. Stevenson took the hint and or- 
dered up the band from Los Angeles. July 4th 
had been fixed upon as the day for the payment 
of the fines, doubtless with the idea of giving 
the Californians a little celebration that would 
remind them hereafter of Liberty's natal day. 
Colonel Stevenson contrived to have the band 
reach Santa Barbara on the night of the 3d. 
The band astonished Don Pablo and his family 
with a serenade. The Don was so delighted 
that he hugged the colonel in the most approved 
style. The band serenaded all the Dons of note 
in town and tooted until long after midnight, 
then started in next morning and kept it up 
till ten o'clock, the time set for each man to con- 
tribute his "dos pesos" to the common fund. 
By that time every hombre on the list was so 
filled with wine, music and patriotism that the 
greater portion of the fine was handed over 
without protest. The day closed with a grand 
ball. The beauty and the chivalry of Santa Bar- 
bara danced to the music of a gringo brass 
band and the brass cannon for the nonce was 
forgotten. 

But the memory of the city's ransom rankled, 
and although an American band played Spanish 
airs, American injustice was still remembered. 
When the city's survey was made in 1850 the 
nomenclature of three streets, Canon Perdido 
(Lost Cannon street), Quinientos (Five Hun- 
dred street) and Mason street kept the cannon 
episode green in the memory of the Barbareiios. 
When the pueblo, by legislative act, became a 
ciudad, the municipal authorities selected this 
device for a seal: In the center a cannon em- 
blazoned, encircled with these words, Vale 
Quinientos Pesos — Worth $500, or, more liber- 
ally translated, Good-bye, $500, which, by the 
way, as the sequel of the story will show, is the 
better translation. This seal was used from the 
incorporation of the city in 1850 to i860, when 
another design was chosen. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



After peace was declared, Colonel Mason sent 
the $500 to the prefect at Santa Barbara, with 
instructions to use it in building a city jail; and 
although there was pressing need for a jail, the 
jail was not built. The prefect's needs were 
pressing, too. Several years passed; then the 
city council demanded that the prefect turn the 
money into the city treasury. H'e replied that 
the money was entrusted to him for a specific 
purpose, and he would trust no city treasurer 
with it. The fact was that long before he had 
lost it in a game of monte. 

Ten years passed, and the episode of the lost 
cannon was but a dimly remembered story of 
the olden time. The old gun reposed peacefully 
in its grave of sand and those who buried it 
had forgotten the place of its interment. One 
stormy night in December, 1858, the estero 
(creek) cut a new channel to the ocean. In 
the morning, as some Barbarenos were survey- 
ing the changes caused by the flood, they saw 
the muzzle of a large gun protruding from the 
cut in the bank. They unearthed it, cleaned off 
the sand and discovered that it was El Canon 
Perdido, the lost cannon. It was hauled up 
State street to Canon Perdido, where it was 
mounted on an improvised carriage. But the 
sight of it was a reminder of an unpleasant in- 
cident. The finders sold it to a merchant for 
$80. He shipped it to San Francisco and sold 
it at a handsome profit for old brass. 

Governor Pio Pico returned from Mexico to 
California, arriving at San Gabriel July 17, 1848. 
Although the treaty of peace between the 
United States and Mexico had been signed and 
proclaimed, the news had not reached Califor- 
nia. Pico, from San Fernando, addressed let- 
ters to Colonel Stevenson at Los Angeles and 
Governor Mason at Monterey, stating that as 
Mexican governor of California he had come 
back to the country with the object of carrying 
out the armistice which then existed between 
the United States and Mexico. He further 
stated that he had no desire to impede the es- 
tablishment of peace between the two countries; 
and that he wished to see the Mexicans and 
Americans treat each other in a spirit of frater- 
nity. Mason did not like Pico's assumption of 
the title of Mexican governor of California, al- 



though it is not probable that Pico intended to 
assert any claim to his former position. Gov- 
ernor Mason sent a special courier to Los An- 
geles with orders to Colonel Stevenson to 
arrest the ex-governor, who was then at his 
Santa Margarita rancho, and send him to Mon- 
terey, but the news of the ratification of the 
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo reached Los An- 
geles before the arrest was made, and Pico was 
spared this humiliation. 

The treaty of peace between the United States 
and Mexico was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, 
a hamlet a few miles from the City of Mexico, 
February 2, 1848; ratifications were exchanged 
at Queretaro, May 30 following, and a procla- 
mation that peace had been established between 
the two countries was published July 4, 1848. 
Under this treaty the United States assumed the 
payment of the claims of American citizens 
against Mexico, and paid, in addition, $15,000,- 
000 to Mexico for Texas, New Mexico and 
Alta California. Out of what was the Mexican 
territory of Alta California there has been 
carved all of California, all of Nevada, Utah and 
Arizona and part of Colorado and Wyoming. 
The territory acquired by the treaty of Guada- 
lupe Hidalgo was nearly equal to the aggre- 
gated area of the thirteen original states at the 
time of the Revolutionary war. 

The news of the treaty of peace reached Cali- 
fornia August 6, 1848. On the 7th Governor 
Mason issued a proclamation announcing the 
ratification of the treaty. He announced that 
all residents of California, who wished to be- 
come citizens of the United States, were ab- 
solved from their allegiance to Mexico. Those 
who desired to retain their Mexican citizenship 
could do so, provided they signified such inten- 
tion within one year from May 30, 1848. Those 
who wished to go to Mexico were at liberty to 
do so without passports. Six months before, 
Governor Mason had issued a proclamation pro- 
hibiting any citizen of ' Sonora from entering 
California except on official business, and then 
only under flag of truce. He also required all 
Sonorans in the country to report themselves 
either at Los Angeles or Monterey. 

The war was over; and the treaty of peace 
had made all who so elected, native or foreign 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



155 



born, American citizens. Strict military rule 
was relaxed and the people henceforth were to 
be self-governing. American and Californian 
were one people and were to enjoy the same 
rights and to be subject to the same penalties. 
The war ended, the troops were no longer 
needed. Orders were issued to muster out the 
volunteers. These all belonged to Stevenson's 
New York regiment. The last company of the 
Mormon battalion had been discharged in April. 



The New York volunteers were scattered all 
along the coast from Sonoma to Cape St. Lucas, 
doing garrison duty. They were collected at 
different points and mustered out. Although 
those stationed in Alta California had done 
no fighting, they had performed arduous serv- 
ice in keeping peace in the conquered territory. 
Most of them remained in California after their 
discharge and rendered a good account of them- 
selves as citizens. 



CHAPTER XXIII 



GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! 



SEBASTIAN VISCAINO, from the bay of 
Monterey, writing to the King of Spain 
three hundred years ago, says of the In- 
dians of California: "They are well acquainted 
with gold and silver, and said that these were 
found in the interior." Viscaino was endeavor- 
ing to make a good impression on the mind of 
the king in regard to his discoveries, and the 
remark about the existence of gold and silver 
in California was thrown to excite the cupidity 
of his Catholic majesty. The traditions of the 
existence of gold in California before any was 
discovered are legion. Most of these have been 
evolved since gold was actually found. Col. J. 
J. Warner, a pioneer of 1831, in his Historical 
Sketch of Los Angeles County, briefly and very 
effectually disposes of these rumored discov- 
eries. He says: "While statements respecting 
the existence of gold in the earth of California 
and its procurement therefrom have been made 
and published as historical facts, carrying back 
the date of the knowledge of the auriferous 
character of this state as far as the time of the 
visit of Sir Francis Drake to this coast, there is 
no evidence to be found in the written or oral 
history of the missions, the acts and correspond- 
ence of the civil or military officers, or in the 
unwritten and traditional history of Upper Cali- 
fornia that the existence of gold, either with 
ores or in its virgin state, was ever suspected 
by any inhabitant of California previous to 1841, 
and, furthermore, there is conclusive testimony 



that the first known grain of native gold dust 
was found upon or near the San Francisco ranch, 
about forty-five miles north-westerly from Los 
Angeles City, in the month of June, 1841. This 
discovery consisted of grain gold fields (known 
as placer mines), and the auriferous fields dis- 
covered in that year embraced the greater part 
of the country drained by the Santa Clara river 
from a point some fifteen or twenty miles from 
its mouth to its source, and easterly beyond 
Mount San Bernardino." 

The story of the discovery as told by Warner 
and by Don Abel Stearns agrees in the main 
facts, but differs materially in the date. Stearns 
says gold was first discovered by Francisco 
Lopez, a native of California, in the month of 
March, 1842, at a place called San Francisquito, 
about thirty-five miles northwest from this city 
(Los Angeles). The circumstances of the dis- 
covery by Lopez, as related by himself, are as 
follows: "Lopez, with a companion, was out in 
search of some stray horses, and about midday 
they stopped under some trees and tied their 
horses out to feed, they resting under the shade, 
when Lopez, with his sheath-knife, dug up some 
wild onions, and in the dirt discovered a piece 
of gold, and, searching further, found some 
more. He brought these to town, and showed 
them to his friends, who at once declared there 
must be a placer of gold. This news being cir- 
culated, numbers of the citizens went to the 
place, and commenced prospecting in the neigh- 



156 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



borhood, and found it to be a fact that there was 
a placer of gold." 

Colonel Warner says: "The news of this dis- 
covery soon spread among the inhabitants from 
Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, and in a few 
weeks hundreds of people were engaged in 
washing and winnowing the sands and earth of 
these gold fields." 

Warner visited the mines a few weeks after 
their discovery. He says: "From these mines 
was obtained the first parcel of California gold 
dust received at the United States mint in Phila- 
delphia, and which was sent with Alfred Robin- 
son, and went in a merchant ship around Cape. 
Horn." This shipment of gold was 18.34 ounces 
before and 18.1 ounces after melting; fineness, 
.925; value, $344.75, or over $19 to the ounce, 
a very superior quality of gold dust. It was 
deposited in the mint July 8, 1843. 

It may be regarded as a settled historical fact 
that the first authenticated discovery of gold 
in Alta California was made on the San Fran- 
cisco rancho in the San Feliciano Canon, Los 
Angeles county. This canon is about ten miles 
northwest of Newhall station on the Southern 
Pacific railroad, and about forty miles northwest 
of Los Angeles. 

The date of the discovery is in doubt. A peti- 
tion to the governor (Alvarado) asking permis- 
sion to work the placers, signed by Francisco 
Lopez, Manuel Cota and Domingo Bermudez is 
on file in the California archives. It recites: 
"That as Divine Providence was pleased to give 
■us a placer of gold on the 9th of last March in 
the locality of San Francisco rancho, that be- 
longs tG the late Don Antonio del Valle." This 
petition fixes the day of the month the discovery 
was made, but unfortunately omits all other 
dates. The evidence is about equally divided 
between the years 1841 and 1842. 

It is impossible to obtain definite information 
in regard to the yield of the San Fernando 
placers, as these mines are generally called. 
William Heath Davis, in his "Sixty Years in 
California," states that from $80,000 to $100,000 
was taken out for the first two years after their 
discovery. He says that Melius at one time 
shipped $5,000 of dust on the ship Alert. Ban- 
croft says: "That by December, 1843, two thou- 



sand ounces of gold had been taken from the 
San Fernando mines." Don Antonio Coronel 
informed the author that he, with the assistance 
of three Indian laborers, in 1842, took out $600 
worth of dust in two months. De Mofras, in his 
book, states that Carlos Baric, a Frenchman, in 
1842, was obtaining an ounce a day of pure gold 
from his placer. 

These mines were worked continuously from 
the time of their discovery until the American 
conquest, principally by Sonorians. The dis- 
covery of gold at Coloma, January 24, 1848, 
drew away the miners, and no work was done 
on these mines between 1848 and 1854. After 
the latter dates work was resumed, and in 1855, 
Francisco Garcia, working a gang of Indians, 
is reported to have taken out $65,000 in one 
season. The mines are not exhausted, but the 
scarcity of water prevents working them profit- 
ably. 

It is rather a singular coincidence that the 
exact dates of both the first and second authen- 
ticated discoveries of gold in California are still 
among the undecided questions of history. In 
the first, we know the day but not the year; in 
the second, we know the year but not the day 
of the month on which Marshall picked up the 
first nuggets in the millrace at Coloma. For a 
number of years after the anniversary of Mar- 
shall's discovery began to be observed the 19th 
of January was celebrated. Of late years Jan- 
uary 24 has been fixed upon as the correct date, 
but the Associated Pioneers of the Territorial 
Days of California, an association made up of 
men who were in the territory at the time of 
Marshall's discovery or came here before it 
became a state, object to the change. For nearly 
thirty years they have held their annual dinners 
on January 18, "the anniversary of the discovery 
of gold at Sutter's sawmill, Coloma, Cal." This 
society has its headquarters in New York City. 
In a circular recently issued, disapproving of 
the change of date from the 18th to the 24th, the 
trustees of that society say: "Upon the organi- 
zation of this society, February 11, 1875, it was 
decided to hold its annual dinners on the anni- 
versary of the discovery of gold at Sutter's saw- 
mill, Coloma, Cal. Through the Hon. Newton 
Booth, of the United States Senate, this infor- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



157 






niation was sought, with the result of a commu- 
nication from the secretary of the state of Cali- 
fornia to the effect 'that the archives of the 
state of California recorded the date as of Jan- 
uary iS, 1848. Some years ago this date was 
changed by the society at San Francisco to that 
of January 24, and that date has been adopted 
by other similar societies located upon the 
Pacific and Atlantic coasts. This society took 
the matter under advisement, with the result 
that the new evidence upon which it was pro- 
posed to change the date was not deemed suffi- 
cient to justify this society in ignoring its past 
records, founded on the authority of the state 
of California; therefore it has never accepted 
the new date." 

Marshall himself was uncertain about the 
exact date. At various times he gave three 
different dates — the 18th, 19th and 20th, but 
never moved it along as far as the 24th. In the 
past thirty years three different dates — the 18th, 
19th and 24th of January — have been celebrated 
as the anniversary of Marshall's gold dis- 
covery. 

The evidence upon which the date was changed 
to the 24th is found in an entry in a diary kept 
by H. W. Bigler, a Mormon, who was working 
for Marshall on the millrace at the time gold 
was discovered. The entry reads: "January. 24. 
This day some kind of metal that looks like 
goold was found in the tailrace." On this 
authority about ten years ago the California 
Pioneers adopted the 24th as the correct date 
of Marshall's discovery. 

While written records, especially if made at 
the time of the occurrence of the event, are 
more reliable than oral testimony given long 
after, yet when we take into consideration the 
conflicting stories of Sutter, Marshall, the Win- 
ners and others who were immediately con- 
cerned in some way with the discovery, we must 
concede that the Territorial Pioneers have good 
reasons to hesitate about making a change in 
the date of their anniversarv. T n Dr. Trywhitt 
Brook's "Four Months Among the Gold Find- 
ers," a book published in London in 1819, and 
long since out of print, we have Sutter's version 
of Marshall's discovery given only three months 
after that discovery was made. Dr. Brooks 



visited Sutter's Fort early in May, 1848, and 
received from Sutter himself the story of the 
find. Sutter stated that he was sitting in his 
room at the fort, one afternoon, when Marshall, 
whom he supposed to be at the mill, forty miles 
up the American river, suddenly burst in upon 
him. Marshall was so wildly excited that Sutter, 
suspecting that he was crazy, looked to see 
whether his rifle was in reach. Marshall declared 
that he had made a discovery that would give 
them both millions and millions of dollars. Then 
he drew his sack and poured out a handful of 
nuggets on the table. Sutter, when he had 
tested the metal and found that it was gold, 
became almost as excited as Marshall. He 
eagerly asked if the workmen at the mill knew 
of the discovery. Marshall declared that he had 
not spoken to a single person about it. They 
both agreed to keep it secret. Xext day Sutter 
and Marshall arrived at the sawmill. The day 
after their arrival, they prospected the bars of 
the river and the channels of some of the dry 
creeks and found gold in all. 

"On our return to the mill," says Sutter, "we 
were astonished by the work-people coming up 
to us in a body and showing us some flakes of 
gold similar to those we had ourselves procured. 
Marshall tried to laugh the matter off with them, 
and to persuade them that what they had found 
was only some shining mineral of trifling value; 
but one of the Indians, who had worked at a 
gold mine in the neighborhood of La Paz, 
Lower California, cried out: 'Ora! Oral' (gold! 
gold!), and the secret was out." 

Captain Sutter continues: "I heard afterward 
that one of them, a sly Kentuckian, had dogged 
us about and, that, looking on the ground to see 
if he could discover what we were in search of, 
he lighted on some of the flakes himself." 

If this account is correct, Bigler's entry in 
his diary was made on the day that the workmen 
found gold, which was five or six days after 
Marshall's first find, and consequently the 24th 
is that much too late for the true date of the 
discovery. The story of the discovery given in 
the "Life and Adventures of James W. Mar- 
shall," by George Frederick Parsons, differs 
materially from Sutter's account. The date of 
the discovery given in that book is January 19, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1848. On the morning of that day Marshall, 
after shutting off the water, walked down the 
tailrace to see what sand and gravel had been 
removed during the night. (The water was 
turned into the tailrace during the night to cut 
it deeper.) While examining a mass of debris, 
"his eye caught the glitter of something that lay 
lodged in a crevice on a riffle of soft granite 
some six inches under water." Picking up the 
nugget and examining it, he became satisfied 
that it must be one of three substances — mica, 
sulphurets of copper, or gold. Its weight satis- 
fied him that it was not mica. Knowing that 
gold was malleable, he placed the specimen on 
a flat rock and struck it with another; it bent, 
but did not crack or break. He was satisfied 
that it was gold. He showed the nugget to his 
men. In the course of a few days he had col- 
lected several ounces of precious metal. "Some 
four days after the discovery it became necessary 
for him to go below, for Sutter had failed to 
send a supply of provisions to the mill, and the 
men were on short commons. While oh his way 
down he discovered gold in a ravine at a place 
afterwards known as Mormon island. Arrived 
at the fort, he interviewed Sutter in his private 
office and showed him about three ounces of 
gold nuggets. Sutter did not believe it to be 
gold, but after weighing it in scales against $3.25 
worth of silver, all the coin they could raise at 
the fort, and testing it with nitric acid obtained 
from the gun shop, Sutter became convinced and 
returned to the mill with Marshall. So little did 
the workmen at the mill value the discovery that 
they continued to work for Sutter until the mill 
was completed, March 11, six weeks after the 
nuggets were found in the tailrace. 

The news of the discovery spread slowly. It was 
two months in reaching San Francisco, although 
the distance is not over one hundred and twenty- 
five miles. The great rush to the mines from 
San Francisco did not begin until the middle of 
May, nearly four months after the discovery. On 
the 10th of May, Dr. Brooks, who was in San 
Francisco, writes: "A number of people have ac- 
tually started off with shovels, mattocks and 
pans to dig the gold themselves. It is not likely, 
however, that this will be allowed, for Captain 
Folsom has already written to Colonel Mason 



about taking possession of the mine on behalf of 
the government, it being, he says, on public land." 
As the people began to realize the richness 
and extent of the discovery, the excitement in- 
creased rapidly. May 17, Dr. Brooks writes: 
"This place (San Francisco) is now in a perfect 
furore of excitement; all the workpeople have 
struck. Walking through the town to-day, I 
observed that laborers were employed only upon 
about half a dozen of the fifty new buildings 
which were in course of being run up. The 
majority of the mechanics at this place are mak- 
ing preparations for moving off to the mines, 
and several people of all classes — lawyers, store- 
keepers, merchants, etc., are smitten with the 
fever; in fact, there is a regular gold mania 
springing up. I counted no less than eighteen 
houses which were closed, the owners having 
left. If Colonel Mason is moving a force to 
the American Fork, as is reported here, their 
journey will be in vain." 

Colonel Mason's soldiers moved without 
orders — they nearly all deserted, and ran off to 
the mines. 

The first newspaper announcement of the 
discovery appeared in The Calif ornian of March 
15, 1848, nearly two months after the discovery. 
But little attention was paid to it. In the issue 
of April 19, another discovery is reported. The 
item reads: "New gold mine. It is stated that 
a new gold mine has been discovered on the 
American Fork of the Sacramento, supposed to 
be on the land of W. A. Leidesdorff, of this 
place. A specimen of the gold has been ex- 
hibited, and is represented to be very pure." 
On the 29th of May, The Calif ornian had sus- 
pended publication. "Othello's occupation is 
gone," wails' the editor. "The majority of our 
subscribers and many of our advertising patrons 
have closed their doors and places of business 
and left town, and we have received one order 
after another conveying the pleasant request that 
the printer will please stop my paper or my ad, 
as I am about leaving for Sacramento." 

The editor of the other paper, The California 
Star, made a pilgrimage to the mines in the lat- 
ter part of April, but gave them no extended 
v/rite-up. "Great country, fine climate," he wrote 
on his return. "Full flowing streams, mighty 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



15!) 



timber, large crops, luxuriant clover, fragrant 
flowers, gold and silver," were his comments on 
what he saw. The policy of both papers seems 
to have been to ignore as much as possible the 
gold discovery. To give it publicity was for a 
time, at least, to lose their occupation. 

In The Star of May 20, 1848, its eccentric 
editor, E. C. Kemble, under the caption "El 
Dorado Anew," discourses in a dubious manner 
upon the effects of the discovery and the extent 
of the gold fields: "A terrible visitant we have 
had of late. A fever which has well-nigh de- 
populated a town, a town hard pressing upon a 
thousand souls, and but for the gracious inter- 
position of the elements, perhaps not a goose 
would have been spared to furnish a quill to pen 
the melancholy fate of the remainder. It has 
preyed upon defenseless old age, subdued the 
elasticity of careless youth and attacked indis- 
criminately sex and class, from town councilman 
to tow-frocked cartman, from tailor to tippler, 
of which, thank its pestilential powers, it has 
beneficially drained (of tipplers, we mean) every 
villainous pulperia in the place. 

"And this is the gold fever, the only form of 
that popular southerner, yellow jack, with which 
we can be alarmingly threatened. The insatiate 
maw of the monster, not appeased by the easy 
conquest of the rough-fisted yeomanry of the 
north, must needs ravage a healthy, prosperous 
place beyond his dominion and turn the town 
topsy-turvy in a twinkling. 

"A fleet of launches left this place on Sunday 
and Monday last bound up the Sacramento river, 
close stowed with human beings, led by love of 
filthy lucre to the perennial yielding gold mines 
of the north. When any man can find two ounces 
a day and two thousand men can find their 
hands full, of work, was there ever anything so 
superlatively silly! 

"Honestly, though, we are inclined to believe 
the reputed wealth of that section of country, 
thirty miles in extent, all sham, a superb take-in 
as was ever got up to guzzle the gullible. But 
it is not improbable that this mine, or, properly, 
placer of gold can be traced as far south as the 
city of Los Angeles, where the precious metal 
has been found for a number of years in the bed 
of a stream issuing from its mountains, said 



to be a continuation of this gold chain which 
courses southward from the base of the snowy 
mountains. But our best information respecting 
the metal and the quantity in which it is gath- 
ered varies much from many reports current, yet 
it is beyond a question that no richer mines of 
gold have ever been discovered upon this con- 
tinent. 

"Should there be no paper forthcoming on 
Saturday next, our readers .may assure them- 
selves it will not be the fault of us individually. 
To make the matter public, already our devil has 
rebelled, our pressman (poor fellow) last seen 
was in search of a pickaxe, and we feel like Mr. 
Hamlet, we shall never again look upon the 
likes of him. Then, too, our compositors have, 
in defiance, sworn terrible oaths against type- 
sticking as vulgar and unfashionable. Hope has 
not yet fled us, but really, in the phraseology 
of the day, 'things is getting curious.' " 

And things kept getting more and more curi- 
ous. The rush increased. The next issue of 
The Star (May 27) announces that the Sacra- 
mento, a first-class craft, left here Thursday last 
thronged with passengers for the gold mines, 
a motley assemblage, composed of lawyers, mer- 
chants, grocers, carpenters, cartmen and cooks, 
all possessed with the desire of becoming rich. 
The latest accounts from the gold country are 
highly flattering. Over three hundred men are 
engaged in washing gold, and numbers are con- 
tinually arriving from every part of the country. 
Then the editor closes with a wail: "Persons 
recently arrived from the country speak of 
ranches deserted and crops neglected and suf- 
fered to waste. The unhappy consequence of 
this state of affairs is easily foreseen. One more 
twinkle, and The Star disappeared in the gloom. 
On June 14 appeared a single sheet, the size of 
foolscap. The editor announced: "In fewer 
words than are usually employed in the an- 
nouncement of similar events, we appear before 
the remnant of a reading community on this 
occasion with the material or immaterial in- 
formation that we have stopped the paper, that 
its publication ceased with the last regular issue 
(June 7). On the approach of autumn, we shall 
again appear to announce The Star's redivus. 
We have done. Let our parting word be hasto 



160 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



luego." (Star and Calif ornian reappeared No- 
vember 14, 1848. The Star had absorbed The 
Calif ornian. E. C. Kemble was its editor and 
proprietor.) 

Although there was no paper in existence on 
the coast to spread the news from the gold 
fields, it found its way out of California, and 
the rush from abroad began. It did not acquire 
great force in 1848, but in 1849 the immigration 
to California exceeded all previous migrations 
in the history of the race. 

Among the first foreigners to rush to the 
mines were the Mexicans of Sonora. Many of 
these had had some experience in placer mining 
in their native country, and the report of rich 
placers in California, where gold could be had 
for the picking up, aroused them from their lazy 
self-content and stimulated them to go in search 
of it. Traveling in squads of from fifty to one 
hundred, they came by the old Auza trail across 
the Colorado desert, through the San Gorgonio 
Pass, then up the coast and on to the mines. 
They were a job lot of immigrants, poor in purse 
and poor in brain. They were despised by the 
native Californians and maltreated by the Amer- 
icans. Their knowledge of mining came in play, 
and the more provident among them soon man- 
aged to pick up a few thousand dollars, and then 
returned to their homes, plutocrats. The im- 
provident gambled away their earnings and re- 
mained in the country to add to its criminal ele- 
ment. The Oregoniaus came in force, and all 
the towns in California were almost depopulated 
of their male population. By the close of 1848, 
there were ten thousand men at work in the 
mines. 

The first official report of the discovery was 
sent to Washington by Thomas O. Larkin, June 
1, and reached its destination about the middle 
of September. Lieutenant Beale, by way of 
Mexico, brought dispatches dated a month later, 
which arrived about the same time as Larkin's 
report. These accounts were published in the 
eastern papers, and the excitement began. 

In the early part of December, Lieutenant 
Loeser arrived at Washington with Governor 
Mason's report of his observations in the mines 
made in August. But the most positive evidence 
was a tea caddy of gold dust containing about 



two hundred and thirty ounces that Governor 
Mason had caused to be purchased in the mines 
with money from the civil service fund. This the 
lieutenant had brought with him. It was placed 
on exhibition at the war office. Here was tan- 
gible evidence of the existence of gold in Cali- 
fornia, the doubters were silenced and the ex- 
citement was on and the rush began. 

By the 1st of January, 1849, vessels were fit- 
ting out in every seaport on the Atlantic coast 
and the Gulf of Mexico. Sixty ships were an- 
nounced to sail from New York in February and 
seventy from Philadelphia and Boston. All kinds 
of crafts were pressed into the service, some to 
go by way of Cape Horn, others to land their 
passengers at Vera Cruz, Greytown and Chagres, 
the voyagers to take their chances on the Pa- 
cific side for a passage on some unknown ves- 
sel. 

With opening of spring, the overland travel 
began. Forty thousand men gathered at differ- 
ent points on the Missouri river, but principally 
at St. Joseph and Independence. Horses, mules, 
oxen and cows were used for the propelling 
power of the various forms of vehicles that were 
to convey the provisions and other impedimenta 
of the army of gold seekers. By the 1st of May 
the grass was grown enough on the plains to 
furnish feed for the stock, and the vanguard of 
the grand army of gold hunters started. For 
two months, company after company left the 
rendezvous and joined the procession until for 
one thousand miles there was an almost un- 
broken line of wagons and pack trains. The 
first half of the journey was made with little 
inconvenience, but on the last part there was 
great suffering and loss of life. The cholera 
broke out among them, and it is estimated that 
- five thousand died on the plains. The alkali 
desert of the Humboldt was the place where the 
immigrants suffered most. Exhausted by the 
long journey and weakened by lack of food, 
many succumbed under the hardship of the des- 
ert journey and died. The crossing of the Sierras 
was attended with great hardships. From the 
loss of their horses and oxen, many were com- 
pelled to cross the mountains on foot. Their 
provisions exhausted, they would have perished 
but for relief sent out from California. The 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1G1 



greatest sufferers were the woman and children, 
who in considerable numbers made the perilous 
journey. 

The overland immigration of 1850 exceeded 
that of 1849. According to record kept at Fort 
Laramie, there passed that station during the 
season thirty-nine thousand men, two thousand 
five hundred women and six hundred children, 
making a total of forty-two thousand one hun- 
dred persons. These immigrants had with them 
when passing Fort Laramie twenty-three thou- 
sand horses, eight thousand mules, three thou- 
sand six hundred oxen, seven thousand cows 
and nine thousand wagons. 

Besides those coming by the northern route, 
that is by the South Pass and the Humboldt 
river, at least ten thousand found their way to 
the land of gold by the old Spanish trail, by the 
Gila route and by Texas, Coahuila and Chihua- 
hua into Arizona, and thence across the Colo- 
rado desert to Los Angeles, and from there by 
the coast route or the San Joaquin valley to the 
mines. 

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company had 
been organized before the discovery of gold in 
California. March 3, 1847, an act of Congress 
was passed authorizing the secretary of the navy 
to advertise for bids to carry the United States 
mails by one line of steamers between New 
York and Chagres, and by another line between 
Panama and Astoria, Ore. On the Atlantic side 
the contract called for five ships of one thousand 
five hundred tons burden, on the Pacific side two 
of one thousand tons each, and one of six hun- 
dred tons. These were deemed sufficient for the 
trade and travel between the Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts of the United States. The Pacific Mail 
Steamship Company was incorporated April 12, 
1848, with a capital stock of $500,000. October 
6, 1848, the California, the first steamer for the 
Pacific, sailed from New York, and was followed 
in the two succeeding months by the Oregon 
and the Panama. The California sailed before 
the news of the gold discovery had reached New 
York, and she had taken no passengers. When 
she arrived at Panama, January 30, 1849, sne 
encountered a rush of fifteen hundred gold hunt- 
ers, clamorous for a passage. These had reached 
Chagres on sailing vessels, and ascended the 



Chagres river in bongos or dugouts to Gor- 
gona, and from thence by land to Panama. The 
California had accommodations for only one 
hundred, but four hundred managed to find 
some place to stow themselves away. The price 
of tickets rose to a fabulous sum, as high as 
$1,000 having been paid for a steerage passage. 
The California entered the bay of San Francisco 
February 28, J849, and was greeted by the boom 
of cannon and the cheers of thousands of people 
lining the shores of the bay. The other two 
steamers arrived on time, and the Pacific Mail 
Steamship Company became the predominant 
factor in California travel for twenty years, or up 
to the completion of the first transcontinental 
railroad in 1869. The charges for fare on these 
steamers in the early '50s were prohibitory to 
men of small means. From New York to 
Chagres in the saloon the fare was $150. in the 
cabin $120. From Panama to San Francisco in 
the saloon, $250; cabin, $200. Add to these the 
expense of crossing the isthmus, and the argo- 
naut was out a goodly sum when he reached the 
land of the golden fleece, indeed, he was often 
fleeced of his last dollar before he entered the 
Golden Gate. 

The first effect of the gold discovery on San 
Francisco, as we have seen, was to depopulate 
it, and of necessity suspend all building opera- 
tions. In less than three months the reaction 
began, and the city experienced one of the most 
magical booms in history. Real estate doubled 
in some instances in twenty-four hours. The 
Calif ornian of September 3, 1848, says: "The 
vacant lot on the corner of Montgomery and 
Washington streets was offered the day previous 
for $5,000 and next day sold readily for $10,000." 
Lumber went up in value until it was sold at a 
dollar per square foot. Wages kept pace with 
the general advance. Sixteen dollars a day was 
mechanic's wages, and the labor market was not 
overstocked even at these high rates. With the 
approach of winter, the gold seekers came flock- 
ing back to the city to find shelter and to spend 
their suddenly acquired wealth. The latter was 
easily accomplished, but the former was more 
difficult. Any kind of a shelter that would keep 
out the rain was utilized for a dwelling. Rows 
of tents that circled around the business por- 



162 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



tion, shanties patched together from pieces of 
packing boxes and sheds thatched with brush 
from the chaparral-covered hills constituted 
the principal dwellings at that time of the future 
metropolis of California. The yield of the mines 
for 1848 has been estimated at ten million 
dollars. This was the result of only a few 
months' labor of not to exceed at any time ten 
thousand men. The rush of miners did not 
reach the mines until July, and mining opera- 
tions were mainly suspended by the middle of 
October. 

New discoveries had followed in quick suc- 
cession Marshall's find at Coloma until by the 
close of 1848 gold placers had been located on 
all the principal tributaries of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin rivers. Some of the richest 
yields were obtained from what was known as 
"Dry Diggins." These were dry ravines from 
which pay dirt had to be packed to water for 
washing or the gold separated by dry washing, 
tossing the earth into the air until it was 
blown away by the wind, the gold, on account 
of its weight, remaining in the pan. 

A correspondent of the Californian, writing 
August 15, 1848, from what he designates as 
"Dry Diggins," gives this account of the rich- 
ness of that gold field: "At the lower mines 
(Mormon Island) the miners count the success 
of the day in dollars; at the upper mines near 
the mill (Coloma), in ounces, and here in 
pounds. The only instrument used at first was 
a butcher knife, and the demand for that ar- 
ticle was so great that $40 has been refused 
for one. 



"The earth is taken out of the ravines which 
make out of the mountains and is carried in 
wagons or packed on horses from one to three 
miles to water and washed. Four hundred dol- 
lars is the average to the cart load. In one in- 
stance five loads yielded $16,000. Instances are 
known here where men have carried the earth 
on their backs and collected from $800 to $1,500 
a day." 

The rapidity with which the country was ex- 
plored by prospectors was truly remarkable. 
The editor of the Californian, who had sus- 
pended the publication of his paper on May 29 
to visit the mines, returned and resumed it on 
July 15 (1848). In an editorial in that issue he 
gives his observations: "The country from the 
Ajuba (Yuba) to the San Joaquin rivers, a dis- 
tance of one hundred and twenty miles, and 
from the base toward the summit of the moun- 
tains as far as Snow Hill, about seventy miles, 
has been explored, and gold found in every 
part. There are probably three thousand men, 
including Indians, engaged in collecting gold. 
The amount collected by each man who works 
ranges from $10 to $350 per day. The publisher 
of this paper, while on a tour alone to the min- 
ing district, collected, with the aid of a shovel, 
pick and pan, from $44 to $128 a day, averag- 
ing about $100. The largest piece of gold 
known to be found weighed four pounds." 
Among other remarkable yields the Californian 
reports these: "One man dug $12,000 in six 
days, and three others obtained thirty-six 
pounds of pure metal in one day." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



MAKING A STATE. 



COL. R. B. MASON, who had been 
the military governor of California since 
the departure of General Kearny in 
May, 1847, na d grown weary of his task. He 
had been in the military service of his country 
thirty years and wished to be relieved. His 
request was granted, and on the 12th of April, 
1849, Brevet Brigadier General Bennett Riley, 



his successor, arrived at Monterey and the next 
day entered upon his duties as civil governor. 
Gen. Persifer F. Smith, who had been appointed 
commander of the Pacific division of the United 
States army, arrived at San Francisco Febru- 
ary 26, 1849, and relieved Colonel Mason of 
his military command. A brigade of troops 
six hundred and fifty strong had been sent to 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



163 






California for military service on the border 
and to maintain order. Most of these promptly 
deserted as soon as an opportunity offered and 
found their way to the mines. 

Colonel Mason, who under the most trying 
circumstances had faithfully served his govern- 
ment and administered justice to the people of 
California, took his departure May I, 1849. 
The same year he died at St. Louis of cholera. 
A year had passed since the treaty of peace 
with Mexico had been signed, which made Cali- 
fornia United States territory, but Congress 
had done nothing toward giving it a govern- 
ment. The anomalous condition existed of citi- 
zens of the United States, living in the United 
States, being governed by Mexican laws admin- 
istered by a mixed constituency of Mexican- 
born and American-born officials. The pro- 
slavery element in Congress was determined to 
foist the curse of human slavery on a portion 
of the territory acquired from Mexico, but the 
discovery of gold and the consequent rush of 
freemen to the territory had disarranged the 
plans of the slave-holding faction in Congress, 
and as a consequence all legislation was at a 
standstill. 

The people were becoming restive at the long 
delay. The Americanized Mexican laws and 
forms of government were unpopular and it 
was humiliating to the conqueror to be gov- 
erned by the laws of the people conquered. 
The question of calling a convention to form a 
provisional government was agitated by the 
newspapers and met a hearty response from the 
people. Meetings were held at San Jose, De- 
cember 11, 1848; at San Francisco, December 
21, and at Sacramento, January 6, 1849, to 
consider the question of establishing a pro- 
visional government. It was recommended by 
the San Jose meeting that a convention be held 
at that place on the second Monday of January. 
The San Francisco convention recommended 
the 5th of March; this the Monterey committee 
considered too early as it would take the dele- 
gates from below fifteen days to reach the pu- 
eblo of San Jose. There was no regular mail 
and the roads in February (when the delegates 
would have to start) were impassable. The 
committee recommended May 1 as the earliest 



date for the meeting to consider the question of 
calling of a convention. Sonoma, without wait- 
ing, took the initiative and elected ten delegates 
to a provisional government convention. There 
was no unanimity in regard to the time of meet- 
ting or as to what could be done if the conven- 
tion met. It was finally agreed to postpone the 
time of meeting to the first Monday of August, 
when, if Congress had done nothing towards 
giving California some form of government bet- 
ter than that existing, the convention should 
meet and organize a provisional government. 

The local government of San Francisco had 
become so entangled and mixed up by various 
councils that it was doubtful whether it had 
any legal legislative body. When the term of 
the first council, which had been authorized 
by Colonel Mason in 1848, was about to ex- 
pire an election was held December 27, to 
choose their successors. Seven new council- 
men were chosen. The old council declared 
the election fraudulent and ordered a new one. 
An election was held, notwithstanding the pro- 
test of a number of the best citizens, and an- 
other council chosen. So the city was blessed 
or cursed with three separate and distinct coun- 
cils. The old council voted itself out of ex- 
istence and then there were but two, but that 
was one too many. Then the people, disgusted 
with the condition of affairs, called a public 
meeting, at which it was decided to elect a 
legislative assembly of fifteen members, who 
should be empowered to make the necessary 
laws for the government of the city. An election 
was held on the 21st of February, 1849, and a 
legislative assembly and justices elected. Then 
Alcalde Levenworth refused to turn over the 
city records to the Chief Magistrate-elect Nor- 
ton. On the 22d of March the legislative as- 
sembly abolished the office of alcalde, but 
Levenworth still held on to the records. He 
was finally compelled by public opinion and a 
writ of replevin to surrender the official records 
to Judge Norton. The confusion constantly 
arising from the attempt to carry on a govern- 
ment that was semi-military and semi-Mexican 
induced Governor Riley to order an election to 
be held August 1st, to elect delegates to a 
convention to meet in Monterey September 1st, 



164 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1849, t0 f° rm a state constitution or territorial 
organization to be ratified by the people and 
submitted to Congress for its approval. Judges, 
prefects and alcaldes were to be elected at the 
same time in the principal municipal districts. 
The constitutional convention was to consist of 
thirty-seven delegates, apportioned as follows: 
San Diego two, Los Angeles four, Santa Bar- 
bara two, San Luis Obispo two, Monterey five, 
San Jose five, San Francisco five, Sonoma four, 
Sacramento four, and San Joaquin four. In- 
stead of thirty-seven delegates as provided for 
in the call, forty-eight were elected and seated. 

The convention met September I, 1849, at 
Monterey in Colton Hall. This was a stone 
building erected by Alcalde Walter Colton for 
a town hall and school house. The money to 
build it was derived partly from fines and partly 
from subscriptions, the prisoners doing the 
greater part of the work. It was the most 
commodious public building at that time in the 
territory. 

Of the forty-eight delegates elected twenty- 
two were natives of the northern states; fifteen 
of the slave states; four were of foreign birth, 
and seven were native Californians. Several of 
the latter neither spoke nor understood the 
English language and William E. P. Hartnell 
was appointed interpreter. Dr. Robert Semple 
of Bear Flag fame was elected president, Will- 
iam G. Marcy and J. Ross Browne reporters. 

Early in the session the slavery question was 
disposed of by the adoption of a section declar- 
ing that neither slavery or involuntary servitude, 
unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever 
be tolerated in this state. The question of fix- 
ing the boundaries of the future state excited 
the most discussion. The pro-slavery faction 
was led by William M. Gwin, who had a few 
months before migrated from Mississippi to 
California with the avowed purpose of repre- 
senting the new state in the United States sen- 
ate. The scheme of Gwin and his southern as- 
sociates was to make the Rocky mountains the 
eastern boundary. This would create a state 
with an era of about four hundred thousand 
square miles. They reasoned that when the 
admission of the state came before congress the 
southern members would oppose the admission 



of so large an area under a free state constitu- 
tion and that ultimately a compromise might 
be effected. California would be split in two 
from east to west, the old dividing line, the 
parallel of 36 30', would be established and 
Southern California come into the Union as a 
slave state. There were at that time fifteen 
free and fifteen slave states. If two states, one 
free and one slave, could be made out of Califor- 
nia, the equilibrium between the opposing fac- 
tions would be maintained. The Rocky moun- 
tain boundary was at one time during the ses- 
sion adopted, but in the closing days of the 
session the free state men discovered Gwin's 
scheme and it was defeated. The present boun- 
daries were established by a majority of two. 

A committee had been appointed to receive 
propositions and designs for a state seal. Only 
one design was offered. It was presented by 
Caleb Lyon of Lyondale, as he usually signed 
his name, but was drawn by Major Robert S. 
Garnett, an army officer. It contained a figure 
of Minerva in the foreground, a grizzly bear 
feeding on a bunch of grapes; a miner with an 
uplifted pick; a gold rocker and pan; a view of 
the Golden Gate with ships riding at anchor 
in the Bay of San Francisco; the peaks of the 
Sierra Nevadas in the distance; a sheaf of wheat; 
thirty-one stars and above all the word 
"Eureka" (I have found it), which might apply 
either to the miner or the bear. The design 
seems to have been an attempt to advertise the 
resources of the state. General Vallejo wanted 
the bear taken out of the design, or if allowed 
to remain, that he be made fast by a lasso in the 
hands of a vaquero. This amendment was re- 
jected, as was also one submitted by O. M. 
Wozencraft to strike out the figures of the gold 
digger and the bear and introduce instead bales 
of merchandise and bags of gold. The original 
design was adopted with the addition of the 
words, "The Great Seal of the State of Califor- 
nia." The convention voted to give Lyon $1,000 
as full compensation for engraving the seal and 
furnishing the press and all appendages. 

Garnett, the designer of the seal, was a Vir- 
ginian by birth. He graduated from West 
Point in 1841, served through the Mexican war 
and through several of the Indian wars on the 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



105 



Pacific coast. At the breaking out of the re- 
bellion in 1861 he joined the Confederates and 
was made a brigadier general. He was killed 
at the battle of Carrick's Ford July 15, 1S61. 

The constitution was completed on the nth 
of October and an election was called by Gov- 
ernor Riley to be held on the 13th of November 
to vote upon the adoption of the constitution 
and to elect state officers, a legislature and mem- 
bers of congress. 

At the election Peter H. Burnett, recently 
from Oregon territory, who had been quite 
active in urging the organization of a state gov- 
ernment, was chosen governor; John McDou- 
gall, lieutenant governor, and George W. 
.Wright and Edward Gilbert members of con- 
gress. San Jose had been designated by the 
constitutional convention the capital of the state 
pro tern. 

The people of San Jose had pledged them- 
selves to provide a suitable building for the 
meeting of the legislature in hopes that their 
town might be made the permanent capital. 
They were unable to complete the building de- 
signed for a state capital in time for the meet- 
ing. The uncomfortable quarters furnished 
created a great deal of dissatisfaction. The leg- 
islature consisted of sixteen senators and thirty- 
six assemblymen. There being no county or- 
ganization, the members were elected by 
districts. The representation was not equally 
distributed; San Joaquin district had more sen- 
ators than San Francisco. The senate and as- 
sembly were organized on the 17th of Decem- 
ber. E. K. Chamberlain of San Diego was 
elected president pro tern, of the senate and 
Thomas J. White of Sacramento speaker of the 
assembly. The governor and lieutenant-gov- 
ernor were sworn in on the 20th. The state 
government being organized the legislature 
proceeded to the election of United States sen- 
ators. The candidates were T. Butler King, 
John C. Fremont, William M. Gwin, Thomas 
J. Henly, John W. Geary, Robert Semple and 
H. W. Halleck. Fremont received twenty-nine 
out of forty-six votes on the first ballot and was 
declared elected. Of the aspirants, T. Butler 
King and William M. Gwin represented the 
ultra pro-slavery element. King was a cross- 



roads politician from down in Georgia, who 
had been sent to the coast as a confidential 
agent of the government. The officers of the 
army and navy were enjoined to "in all matters 
aid and assist him in carrying out the views of 
the government and be guided by his advice and 
council in the conduct of all proper measures 
within the scope of those instructions." He 
made a tour of the mines, accompanied by Gen- 
eral Smith and his staff; Commodore Ap Catesby 
Jones and staff and a cavalry escort under Lieu- 
tenant Stoneman. He wore a black stovepipe 
hat and a dress coat. He made himself the 
laughing stock of the miners and by traveling 
in the heat of the day contracted a fever that 
very nearly terminated his existence. He had 
been active so far as his influence went in trying 
to bring California into the Union with the hope 
of representing it in the senate. Gwin had 
come a few months before from Mississippi with 
the same object in view. Although the free 
state men were in the majority in the legislature 
they recognized the fact that to elect two sena- 
tors opposed to the extension of slavery would 
result in arraying the pro-slavery faction in con- 
gress against the admission of the state into 
the Union. Of the two representatives of the 
south, Gwin was the least objectionable and on 
the second ballot he was elected. On the 
21 st Governor Burnett delivered his message. 
It was a wordy document, but not marked by 
any very brilliant ideas or valuable suggestions. 
Burnett was a southerner from Missouri. He 
was hobbied on the subject of the exclusion of 
free negroes. The African, free to earn his own 
living unrestrained by a master, was, in his 
opinion, a menace to the perpetuity of the com- 
monwealth. 

On the 22d the legislature elected the remain- 
ing state officers, viz.: Richard Roman, treas- 
urer; John I. Houston, controller; E. J. C. 
Kewen, attorney general; Charles J. Whiting, 
surveyor-general; S. C. Hastings, chief jus- 
tice; Henry Lyons and Nathaniel Bennett, as- 
sociate justices. The legislature continued in 
session until April 22, 1850. Although it was 
nicknamed the "Legislature of a thousand 
drinks," it did a vast amount of work and did 
most of it well. It was not made up of hard 



166 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



drinkers. The majority of its members were 
above the average legislator in intelligence, 
temperance and patriotism. The members were 
not there for payorfor political preferment. They 
were there for the good of their adopted state and 
labored conscientiously for its benefit. The op- 
probrious nickname is said to have originated 
thus: A roystering individual by the name of 
Green had been elected to the senate from Sac- 
ramento as a joke. He regarded the whole pro- 
ceedings as a huge joke. He kept a supply of 
liquors on hand at his quarters and when the 
legislature adjourned he was in the habit of call- 
ing: "Come, boys, let us take a thousand 
drinks." 

The state had set up housekeeping without a 
cent on hand to defray expenses. There was not 
a quire of paper, a pen, nor an inkstand belong- 
ing to the state and no money to buy supplies. 
After wrestling with the financial problem some 
time an act authorizing a loan of $200,000 for 
current expenses was passed. Later on in, the 
session another act was passed authorizing the 
bonding of the state for $300,000 with interest 
at the rate of three per cent a month. The 
legislature divided the state into twenty-seven 
counties, created nine judicial districts, passed 
laws for the collection of revenue, taxing all 
real and personal property and imposing a poll 
tax of $5 on all male inhabitants over twen- 
ty-one and under fifty years of age. 

California was a self-constituted state. It 
had organized a state government and put it into 
successful operation without the sanction of 
congress. Officials, state, county and town, had 
been elected and had sworn to support the con- 
stitution of the state of California and yet there 
was really no state of California. It had not 
been admitted into the Union. It was only a 
state de facto and it continued in that condition 
nine months before it became a state de jure. 

When ^he question of admitting California 
into the Union came before congress it evoked 
a bitter controversy. The senate was equally 
divided, thirty senators from the slave states 
and the same number from the free. There 
were among the southern senators some broad 
minded and patriotic men, willing to do what 
was right, but they were handicapped by an 



ultra pro-slavery faction, extremists, who 
would willingly sacrifice the Union if by that 
they could extend and perpetuate that sum of 
all villainies, human slavery. This faction in 
the long controversy resorted to every known 
parliamentary device to prevent the admission of 
California under a free state constitution. To 
admit two senators from a free state would de- 
stroy the balance of power. That gone, it could 
never be regained by the south. The north was 
increasing in power and population, while the 
south, under the blighting influence of slavery, 
was retrograding. 

Henry Clay, the man of compromises, under- 
took to bridge over the difficulty by a set of 
resolutions known as the Omnibus bill. These 
were largely concessions to the slave holding 
faction for the loss of the territory acquired by 
the Mexican war. Among others was this, that 
provision should be made by law for the restitu- 
tion of fugitive slaves in any state or territory 
of the Union. This afterward was embodied 
into what was known as the fugitive slave law 
and did more perhaps than any other cause to 
destroy the south's beloved institution. 

These resolutions were debated through 
many months and were so amended and changed 
that their author could scarcely recognize them. 
Most of them were adopted in some form and 
effected a temporary compromise. 

On August 13th the bill for the admission 
of California finally came to a vote. It passed 
the senate, thirty-four ayes to eighteen noes. 
Even then the opposition did not cease. Ten 
of the southern pro-slavery extremists, led by 
Jefferson Davis, joined in a protest against the 
action of the majority, the language of which 
was an insult to the senate and treason to the 
government. In the house the bill passed by a 
vote of one hundred and fifty ayes to fifty-six 
ultra southern noes. It was approved and signed 
by President Fillmore September 9, 1850. On 
the nth of September the California senators 
and congressmen presented themselves to be 
sworn in. The slave holding faction in the sen- 
ate, headed by Jefferson Davis, who had been 
one of the most bitter opponents to the admis- 
sion, objected. But their protest availed them 
nothing. Their ascendency was gone. We 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



167 



might sympathize with them had their fight 
been made for a noble principle, but it was not. 
From that day on until the attempt was made 
in 1861 these men schemed to destroy the 
Union. The admission of California as a free 
state was the beginning of the movement to 
destroy the Union of States. 

The news of the admission of California 
reached San Francisco on the morning of Oc- 
tober 18, by the mail steamer Oregon, nearly six 
weeks after congress had admitted it. Business 
was at once suspended, the courts were ad- 
journed and the people went wild with excite- 
ment. Messengers, mounted on fleet steeds, 
spread the news throughout the state. News- 
papers from the states containing an account 
of the proceedings of congress at the time of 
admission sold for $5 each. It was decided to 
hold a formal celebration of the event on the 
29th and preparations were begun for a grand 
demonstration. Neither labor nor money was 
spared to make the procession a success. The 
parade was cosmopolitan in the fullest meaning 
of that word. There were people in it from 
almost every nation under the sun. The Chi- 
nese made quite an imposing spectacle in the 
parade. Dressed in rich native costumes, each 
carrying a gaudily painted fan, they marched 
under command of their own marshals, Ah He 
and AL Sing. At their head proudly marched 
a color bearer carrying a large blue silk ban- 
ner, inscribed the "China boys." Following 
them came a triumphal car, in which was seated 
thirty boys in black trousers and white shirts, 
representing the thirty states. In the center of 
this group, seated on a raised platform, was a 
young girl robed in white with gold and silver 
gauze floating about her and supporting a 
breast plate, upon which was inscribed "Cali- 
fornia, the Union, it must and shall be pre- 
served." The California pioneers carried a ban- 
ner on which was represented a New Englander 
in the act of stepping ashore and facing a na- 
tive Californian with lasso and serape. In the 
center the state seal and the inscription, "Far 
west, Eureka 1846, California pioneers, or- 
ganized August, 1850." Army and navy offi- 
cers, soldiers, sailors and marines, veterans of 
the Mexican war, municipal officers, the fire de- 



partment, secret and benevolent societies and as- 
sociations, with a company of mounted native 
Californians bearing a banner with thirty-one 
stars on a blue satin ground with the inscription 
in gold letters, California, E Pluribus Unum, all 
these various organizations and orders with 
their marshals and aids mounted on gaily 
caparisoned steeds and decked out with their 
gold and silver trimmed scarfs, made an impos- 
ing display that has seldom if ever been equaled 
since in the metropolis of California. 

At the plaza a flag of thirty-one stars was 
raised to the mast head. An oration was de- 
livered by Judge Nathaniel Bennett and Mrs. 
Wills recited an original ode of her own compo- 
sition. The rejoicing over, the people settled 
down to business. Their unprecedented action 
in organizing a state government and putting it 
into operation without the sanction of congress 
had been approved and legalized by that body. 

Like the Goddess Minerva, represented on its 
great seal, who sprung full grown from the 
brain of Jupiter, California was born a fully ma- 
tured state. She passed through no territorial 
probation. No state had such a phenomenal 
growth in its infancy. No state before or since 
has met with such bitter opposition when it 
sought admission into the family of states. 
Never before was there such a medley of nation- 
alities—Yankees, Mexicans, English, Germans, 
French, Spaniards, Peruvians, Polynesians. 
Mongolians — organized into a state and made 
a part of the body politic nolens volens. 

The constitutional convention of 1849 did not 
definitely fix the state capital. San Jose was 
designated as the place of meeting for the legis- 
lature and the organization of the state govern- 
ment. San Jose had offered to donate a square 
of thirty-two acres, valued at $60,000, for cap- 
itol grounds and provide a suitable building for 
the legislature and state officers. The offer was 
accepted, but when the legislature met there 
December 15, 1849, the building was unfinished 
and for a time the meetings of the legislature 
were held at a private residence. There was a 
great deal of complaining and dissatisfaction. 
The first capitol of the state was a two-story 
adobe building 40x60, which had been intended 
for a hotel. It was destroyed by fire April 29, 



168 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1853. The accommodations at San Jose were 
so unsatisfactory that the legislature decided 
to locate the capital at some other point. Prop- 
ositions were received from Monterey, from 
Reed of San Jose, from Stevenson & Parker of 
New York of the Pacific and from Gen. M. G. 
Vallejo. Vallejo's proposition was accepted. 
He offered to donate one hundred and fifty-six 
acres of land in a new town that he proposed 
to lay out on the straits of Carquinez (now Val- 
lejo) for a capital site and within two years to 
give $370,000 in money for the erection of pub- 
lic buildings. He asked that his proposition be 
submitted to a vote of the people at the next 
general election. His proposition was accepted 
by the legislature. At the general election, Octo- 
ber 7, 1850, Vallejo received seventy-four hun- 
dred and seventy-seven votes; San Jose twelve 
hundred and ninety-two, and Monterey three 
hundred and ninety-nine. The second legisla- 
ture convened at San Jose. General Vallejo ex- 
erted himself to have the change made in accord- 
ance with the previous proposition. The cit- 
izens of San Jose made an effort to retain the 
capital, but a bill was passed making Vallejo 
the permanent seat of government after the 
close of the session, provided General Vallejo 
should give bonds to carry out his proposals. 
In June Governor McDougal caused the gov- 
ernmental archives to be removed from San 
Jose to Vallejo. 

When the members of the third legislature 
met at the new capital January 2, 1852, they 
found a large unfurnished and partly unfinished 
wooden building for their reception. Hotel ac- 
commodations could not be obtained and there 
was even a scarcity of food to feed the hungry 
lawmakers. Sacramento offered its new court 
house and on the 16th of January the legislature 
convened in that city. The great flood of 



March, 1852, inundated the city and the law- 
makers were forced to reach the halls of legis- 
lation in boats and again there was dissatisfac- 
tion. Then Benicia came to the front with an 
offer of her new city hall, which was above 
high water mark. General Vallejo had become 
financially embarrassed and could not carry out 
his contract with the state, so it was annulled. 
The offer of Benicia was accepted and on May 
18, 1853, that town was declared the permanent 
capital. 

In the legislature of 1854 the capital question 
again became an issue. Offers were made by 
several aspiring cities, but Sacramento won with 
the proffer of her court house and a block of 
land betwen I and J, Ninth and Tenth streets. 
Then the question of the location of the capital 
got into the courts. The supreme court de- 
cided in favor of Sacramento. Before the legis- 
lature met again the court house that had been 
offered to the state burned down. A new and 
more commodious one was erected and rented 
to the state at $12,000 a year. Oakland made 
an unsuccessful effort to obtain the capital. 
Finally a bill was passed authorizing the erection 
of a capitol building in Sacramento at a cost 
not to exceed $500,000. Work was begun on 
the foundation in October, i860. The great 
flood of 1861-62 inundated the city and ruined 
the foundations of the capitol. San Francisco 
made a vigorous effort to get the capital re- 
moved to that city, but was unsuccessful. Work 
was resumed on the building, the plans were 
changed, the edifice enlarged, and, finally, after 
many delays, it was ready for occupancy in De- 
cember, 1869. From the original limit of half a 
million dollars its cost when completed had 
reached a million and a half. The amount ex- 
pended on the building and grounds to date 
foots up $2,600,000. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



13* 



CHAPTER XXV. 



THE ARGONAUTS. 



WHEN or by whom the name argonaut 
was first applied to the early Cali- 
fornia gold seekers I have not been 
able to ascertain. The earliest allusion to the 
similarity of Jason's voyage after the Golden 
Fleece and the miners' rush to the gold fields of 
California is found in a caricature published in 
the London Punch in 1849. On tne shore of 
an island is a guide board bearing the inscrip- 
tion "California;" near it is a miner digging gold 
and presumably singing at his work. In a 
boat near the shore is a fat individual, a typical 
"Johnny Bull." He is struggling desperately 
with two individuals who are holding him back 
from leaping into the water, so fascinated is he 
by the song of the miner. Under the drawing 
are the words, "The Song of the Sirens." 

If we include among the argonauts all who 
traveled by land or voyaged by sea in search of 
the golden fleece in the days of '49 we will have 
a motley mixture. The tales of the fabulous rich- 
ness of the gold fields of California spread rap- 
idly throughout the civilized world and drew to 
the territory all classes and conditions of men, 
the bad as well as the good, the indolent as well 
as the industrious, the vicious as well as the 
virtuous. They came from Europe, from South 
America and from Mexico. From Australia 
and Tasmania came the ex-convict and the 
ticket-of-leave man; from the isles of the sea 
came the Polynesian, and from Asia the Hindoo 
and the "Heathen Chinee." 

The means of reaching the land of gold were 
as varied as the character of the people who 
came. Almost every form of vehicle was pressed 
into service on land. One individual, if not more, 
made the trip trundling his impedimenta in a 
wheelbarrow. Others started out in carriages, 
intent on making the journey in comfort and 
ease, but finished on foot, weary, worn and 
ragged. When the great rush came, old sailing 
vessels that had long been deemed unseaworthy 



were fitted out for the voyage to California. It 
must have been the providence that protects 
fools which prevented these from going to the 
bottom of the ocean. With the desperate 
chances that the argonauts took on these old 
tubs, it is singular that there were so few ship- 
wrecks and so little loss of life. Some of these 
were such slow sailers that it took them the 
greater part of a year to round Cape Horn and 
reach their destination. On one of these some 
passengers, exasperated at its slowness, landed 
near Cape St. Lucas and made the long journey 
up the peninsula of Lower California and on to 
San Francisco on foot, arriving there a month 
before their vessel. Another party undertook to 
make the voyage from Nicaragua in a whale 
boat and actually did accomplish seven hundred 
miles of it before they were picked up in the last 
extremities by a sailing vessel. 

The Sierra Nevada region, in which gold was 
first found, comprised a strip about thirty miles 
wide and two hundred miles long from north 
to south in the basins of the Feather, Yuba, 
Bear, American, Cosumne, Mokolumne, Stanis- 
laus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers, between the 
elevations of one thousand and five thousand 
feet. In all these streams miners washed gold 
in 1848. The placer mines on the Upper Sacra- 
mento and in the Shasta region were discovered 
and worked late in the fall of 1848. The Kla- 
math mines were discovered later. 

The southern mines, those on the San Joaquin, 
Fresno, Kern and San Gabriel rivers, were lo- 
cated between 1851 and 1855. Gold was found 
in some of the ravines and creeks of San Diego 
county. Practically the gold belt of California 
extends from the Mexican line to Oregon, but 
at some points it is rather thin. The first gold 
digging was done with butcher knives, the gold 
hunter scratching in the sand and crevices of 
the rock to find nuggets. Next the gold pan 
came into use and the miners became experts 



170 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



in twirling the pan in a pool of water, so as to 
wash out the sand and gravel and leave the gold 
dust in the pan. Isaac Humphreys, who had 
mined gold in Georgia, was the first person to 
use a rocker or gold cradle in California. Al- 
though a very simple piece of machinery those 
who reached the mines early found it quite an 
expensive one. Dr. Brooks in his diary, under 
date of June II, 1848, writes: "On Tuesday we 
set to work upon our cradle. We resolved upon 
the construction of two and for this purpose 
went down to the store in a body to see about 
the boards. We found timber extravagantly 
dear, being asked $40 a hundred feet. The next 
question was as to whether we should hire a 
carpenter. We were told there was one or two 
in the diggings, who might be hired, though 
at a very extravagant rate. Accordingly Brad- 
ley and I proceeded to see one of these gentle- 
men, and found him washing away with a hollow 
log and a willow branch sieve. He offered to 
help us at the rate of $35 a day, we finding pro- 
visions and tools, and could not be brought to 
charge less. We thought this by far too ex- 
travagant and left him, determined to undertake 
the work ourselves. After two days' work of 
seven men they produced two rough cradles 
and found that three men with a cradle or rocker 
could wash out as much gold in a day as six 
could with pans in the same time." 

A rocker or gold cradle had some resemblance 
to a child's cradle with similar rockers and was 
rocked by means of a perpendicular handle 
fastened to the cradle box. The cradle box con- 
sisted of a wooden trough about twenty inches 
"wide and forty inches long with sides four or 
five inches high. The lower end was left open. 
On the upper end sat the hopper, a box twenty 
inches square with sides four inches high and 
a bottom of sheet iron or zinc pierced with holes 
one-half inch in diameter. Where zinc or iron 
could not be obtained a sieve of willow rods 
was used. Under the hopper was an apron of 
canvas, which sloped down from the lower end 
of the hopper to the upper end of the cradle 
box. A wooden riffle bar an inch square was 
nailed across the bottom of the cradle box about 
its middle, and another at its lower end. Under 
the cradle box were nailed rockers, and near 



the middle an upright handle by which motion 
was imparted. If water and pay dirt were con- 
venient two men were sufficient to operate the 
machine. Seated on a stool or rock the operator 
rocked with one hand, while with a long handled 
dipper he dipped water from a pool and poured 
it on the sand and gravel in the hopper. When 
the sand and earth had been washed through 
the holes in the sieve the rocks were emptied 
and the hopper filled again from the buckets of 
pay dirt supplied by the other partner. The gold 
was caught on the canvas apron by the riffle 
bars, while the thin mud and sand were washed 
out of the machine by the water. 

In the dry diggings a method of separating 
the gold from the earth was resorted to prin- 
cipally by Sonorans. The pay dirt was dug and 
dried in the sun, then pulverized by pounding 
into fine dust. With a batea or bowl-shaped 
Indian basket filled with this dust, held in both 
hands, the Mexican skillfully tossed the earth 
in the air, allowing the wind to blow away the 
dust and catching the heavier particles and the 
gold in the basket, repeating the process until 
there was little left but the gold. 

The Long Tom was a single sluice with a 
sieve and a box underneath at the end and rif- 
fle bars to stop the gold. The pay dirt was shov- 
eled in at the upper end and a rapid current of 
water washed away the sand and earth, the gold 
falling into the receptacle below. Ground sluic- 
ing was resorted to where a current of water 
from a ditch could be directed against a bank of 
earth or hill with a sloping bedrock. The stream 
of water washing against the upper side of the 
bank caved it down and carried the loose earth 
through a string of sluices, depositing the gold 
in the riffle bars in the bottom of the sluices. 

In the creeks and gulches where there was 
not much fall, sluice mining was commonly re- 
sorted to. A string of sluice boxes was laid, 
each fitting into the upper end of the one below, 
and in the lower ones riffle bars were placed 
to stop the gold. The sluice boxes were placed 
on trestles four feet from the ground and given 
an incline of five or six inches to the rod. The 
gravel from the bedrock up as far as there was 
any pay dirt was shoveled into the upper boxes 
and a rapid current of water flowing through the 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



171 



boxes carried away the gravel and rocks, the 
gold remaining in the riffles. Quicksilver was 
placed between the riffles to catch the fine gold. 
The gold amalgamated with quicksilver was 
cleaned out of the boxes at the end of the day's 
work and separated from the quicksilver in a re- 
tort. These were the principal methods of mining 
used by the argonauts. The machinery and ap- 
pliances were simple and inexpensive. Hy- 
draulic mining came in later, when larger cap- 
ital was required and the mines had fallen into 
the hands of corporations. 

When the news spread throughout the states 
of the wonderful "finds" of gold in California, 
the crudest ideas prevailed in regard to how 
the precious metal was to be extracted from 
the earth. Gold mining was an almost un- 
known industry in the United States. Only 
in a few obscure districts of North Caro- 
lina and Georgia had gold been found, and 
but very few people outside of these dis- 
tricts had ever visited the mines. Not one in 
ten thousand of those who joined the rush 
to California in 1849 na ^ ever seen a grain of 
virgin gold. The idea prevailed among the gold 
seekers that the gold being found in grains it 
could be winnowed from the sand and earth in 
which it- was found like wheat is separated from 
chaff. Imbued with this idea Yankee ingenuity 
set to work to invent labor-saving machines 
that would accomplish the work quickly and 
enrich the miner proportionally. The ships that 
bore the argonauts from their native land car- 
ried out a variety of these gold machines, all 
guaranteed to wrest from the most secret re- 
cesses the auriferous deposits in nature's 
treasure vaults. These machines were of all 
varieties and patterns. They were made of cop- 
per, iron, zinc and brass. Some were operated 
by means of a crank, others had two cranks, 
while others were worked with a treadle. Some 
required that the operator should stand, others 
allowed the miner to sit in an arm chair and 
work in comfort. 

Haskins, in his "Argonauts of California," 
describes one of these machines that was 
brought around the Horn in the ship he came 
on: "It was in the shape of a huge fanning 
mill, with sieves properly arranged for sorting 



the gold ready for bottling. All chunks too 
large for the buttle would be consigned to the 
pork barrel." (The question of bringing home 
the gold in bottles or barrels had been seriously 
discussed and decided in favor of barrels be- 
cause these could be rolled and thus save cost 
of transportation from the mines.) 

"This immense machine which, during our 
passage, excited the envy and jealousy of all 
who had not the means and opportunity of se- 
curing a similar one required, of course, the 
services of a hired man to turn the crank, whilst 
the proprietor would be busily engaged in shov- 
eling in pay dirt and pumping water; the greater 
portion of the time, however, being required, 
as was firmly believed, in corking the bottles 
and fitting the heads in the barrels. This ma- 
chine was owned by a .Mr. Allen of Cambridge, 
Mass., who had brought with him a colored 
servant to manage and control the crank por- 
tion of the invaluable institution. 

"Upon landing we found lying on the sand 
and half buried in the mud hundreds of similar 
machines, bearing silent witness at once to the 
value of our gold saving machines without the 
necessity of a trial." 

Nor was it the argonaut alone who came by 
sea that brought these machines. Some of 
these wonderful inventions were hauled across 
the plains in wagons, their owners often sacri- 
ficing the necessities of life to save the prized 
machine. And, when, after infinite toil and trou- 
ble, they had landed their prize in the mines, 
they were chagrined to find it the subject of jest 
and ridicule by those who had some experience 
in mining. 

The gold rush came early in the history of 
California placer mining. The story of a rich 
strike would often depopulate a mining camp in 
a few hours. Even a bare rumor of rich dig- 
gings in some indefinite locality would send 
scores of miners tramping off on a wild goose 
chase into the mountains. Some of these 
rushes originated through fake stories circu- 
lated for sinister purpose; others were caused 
by exaggerated stories of real discoveries. 

One of the most famous fakes of early days 
was the Gold Lake rush of 1850. This wonder- 
ful lake was supposed to be located about two 



172 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



hundred miles northeast of Marysville, on the 
divide between the Feather and the Yuba rivers. 
The Sacramento Transcript of June 19, 1850, 
says: "We are informed by a gentleman from 
Marysville that it is currently reported there that 
the Indians upon this lake use gold for their 
commonest purposes; that they have a ready 
way of knocking out square blocks, which they 
use for seats and couches upon which to place 
their beds, which are simply bundles of wild 
oats, which grow so profusely in all sections of 
the state. According to report also they use for 
fishhooks crooked pieces of gold and kill their 
game with arrows made of the same material. 
They are reported to be thunderstruck at the 
movements of the whites and their eagerness 
to collect and hoard the materials of the very 
ground upon which they tread. 

"A story is current that a man at Gold Lake 
saw a large piece of gold floating on the lake 
which he succeeded in getting ashore. So 
clear are the waters that another man saw a 
rock of gold on the bottom. After many ef- 
forts he succeeded in lassoing the rock. Three 
days afterward he was seen standing holding on 
to his rope." 

The Placer Times of Marysville reports that 
the specimens brought into Marysville are of a 
value from $1,500 down. Ten ounces is re- 
ported as no unusual yield to the pan. The 
first party of sixty which started out under 
guidance of one who had returned successful 
were assured that they would not get less than 
$500 each per day. We were told that two hun- 
dred had left town with a full supply of pro- 
visions and four hundred mules. Mules and 
horses have doubled in value. Many places of 
business are closed. The diggings at the lake 
are probably the best ever discovered." The 
Times of June 19 says: "It is reported that up 
to last Thursday two thousand persons had 
taken up their journey. Many who were work- 
ing good claims deserted them for the new dis- 
covery. Mules and horses were about impos- 
sible to obtain. Although the truth of the re- 
port rests on the authority of but two or three 
who have returned from Gold Lake, yet few 
are found who doubt the marvelous revelations. 
A party of Kanakas are said to have wintered 



at Gold Lake, subsisting chiefly on the flesh of 
their animals. They are said to have taken out 
$75,000 the first week. When a conviction takes 
such complete possession of a whole com- 
munity, who are fully conversant with all the 
exaggerations that have had their day, it is 
scarcely prudent to utter even a qualified dissent 
from what is universally believed." 

The denouement of the Gold Lake romance 
may be found in the Transcript of July 1, 1850. 
"The Gold Lake excitement, so much talked of 
and acted upon of late, has almost subsided. 
A crazy man comes in for a share of the re- 
sponsibility. Another report is that they have 
found one of the pretended discoverers at 
Marysville and are about to lynch him. In- 
deed, we are told that a demonstration against 
the town is feared by many. People who have 
returned after traveling some one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred miles say that they left vast 
numbers of people roaming between the sources 
of the Yuba and the Feather rivers." 

Scarcely had the deluded argonauts returned 
from a bootless search for the lake of gold when 
another rumored discovery of gold fields of 
fabulous richness sent them rushing off toward 
the sea coast. Now it was Gold Bluff that lured 
them away. On the northwest coast of Califor- 
nia, near the mouth of the Klamath river, 
precipitous bluffs four hundred feet high mark 
the coast line of the ocean. A party of pros- 
pectors in the fall of 1850, who had been up 
in the Del Norte country, were making their 
way down to the little trading and trapping sta- 
tion of Trinidad to procure provisions. On 
reaching the bluffs, thirty miles above Trinidad, 
they were astonished to find stretching out be- 
fore them a beach glittering with golden sands. 
They could not stop to gather gold; they were 
starving. So, scraping up a few handfuls of the 
glittering sands, they hastened on. In due 
time* they reached San Francisco, where they 
exhibited their sand, which proved to be nearly 
half gold. The report of the wonderful find was 
spread by the newspapers and the excitement 
began. Companies were formed and claims lo- 
cated at long range. One company of nine 
locators sent an expert to examine their claims. 
He, by a careful mathematical calculation, as- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



17:5 



certained that the claim would yield forty-three 
million dollars to each partner. As there were 
fifteen miles of gold beach, the amount of gold 
in the sands was sufficient to demonetize the 
precious metal. A laudable desire to benefit 
the human race possessed some of the claim 
owners. They formed joint stock companies with 
shares at $100 each. Gold Bluff mining stock 
went off like the proverbial hot cakes and pros- 
pectors went off as rapidly. Within two days 
after the expert's wonderful story was spread 
abroad nine ships were fitted out for Gold Bluff. 
The first to arrive off the Bluff was the vessel 
containing a party of the original discoverers. 
In attempting to land in a boat, the boat was 
upset in the breakers and five of the six occu- 
pants were drowned, Bertram, the leader of the 
party making the discovery, alone escaping. 
The vessel put back to Trinidad and the gold 
hunters made their way up the coast to the 
Bluff. But alas for their golden dreams! 
Where they had hoped to gather gold by the 
ship load no gold was found. Old ocean had 
gathered it back into his treasure vaults. 

The bubble burst as suddenly as it had ex- 
panded. And yet there was gold at Gold Bluff 
and there is gold there yet. If the ocean could 
be drained or coffer dammed for two hundred 
miles along the gold coast of northern Califor- 
nia and Oregon, all the wealth of Alaska would 
be but the panning out of a prospect hole com- 
pared to the richness that lies hidden in the 
sands of Gold Beach. For years after the 
bursting of the Gold Bluff bubble, when the 
tide was low, the sands along Gold Beach were 
mined with profit. 

The Kern river excitement in the spring of 
1855 surpassed everything that had preceded it. 
Seven years of mining had skimmed the rich- 
ness of the placers. The northern and central 
gold fields of California had been thoroughly 
prospected. The miners who had been accus- 
tomed to the rich strikes of early years could 
not content themselves with moderate returns. 
They were on the qui vive for a rich strike and 
ready for a rush upon the first report of one. 
The first discoveries on the Kern river were 
made in the summer of 1854, but no excitement 
followed immediately. During the fall and win- 



ter rumors were .set afloat of rich strikes on the 
head waters of that stream. The stories grew 
as they traveled. ( me that had a wide circula- 
tion and was readily accepted ran about as fol- 
lows: "A Mexican doctor had appeared in Mari- 
posa loaded down with gold nuggets. He re- 
ported that he and four companions had found 
a region paved with gold. The very hills were 
yellow with outcroppings. While gloating over 
their wealth and loading it into sacks the In- 
dians attacked them and killed his four com- 
panions. He escaped with one sack of gold. He 
proposed to organize a company large enough 
to exterminate the Indians and then bring out 
the gold on pack mules." This as well as other 
stories as improbable were spread broadcast 
throughout the state. Many of the reports of 
wonderful strikes were purposely magnified by 
merchants and dealers in mining supplies who 
were overstocked with unsalable goods; and 
by transportation companies with whom busi- 
ness was slack. Their purpose was accom- 
plished and the rush was on. It began in Jan- 
uary, 1855. Every steamer down the coast to 
Los Angeles was loaded to the guards with 
adventurers for the mines. The sleepy old 
metropolis of the cow counties waked up to 
find itself suddenly transformed into a bustling 
mining camp. The Southern Califomian of Feb- 
ruary 8, 1855, thus describes the situation: "The 
road from our valley is literally thronged with 
people on their way to the mines. Hundreds 
of people have been leaving not only the city, 
but every portion of the county. Every descrip- 
tion of vehicle and animal has been brought 
into requisition to take the exultant seekers 
after wealth to the goal of their hopes. Im- 
mense ten-mule wagons strung out one after 
another; long trains of pack mules and men 
mounted and on foot, with picks and shovels; 
boarding-house keepers with their tents; mer- 
chants with their stocks of miners' necessaries 
and gamblers with their 'papers' are constantly 
leaving for the Kern river mines. The wildest 
stories are afloat. If the mines turn out $10 
a day to the man everybody ought to be satis- 
fied. The opening of these mines has been a 
Godsend to all of us, as the business of the en- 
tire country was on the point of taking to a 



174 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



tree. The great scarcity of money is seen in 
the present exorbitant rates of interest which it 
commands; 8, 10 and even 15 per cent a month 
is freely paid and the supply even at these rates 
is too meager to meet the demands." As the 
rush increased our editor grows more jubilant. 
In his issue of March 7, he throws out these 
headlines: "Stop the Press! Glorious News 
from Kern River! Bring Out the Big Gun! 
There are a thousand gulches rich with gold 
and room for ten thousand miners. Miners 
averaged $50 a day. One man with his own 
hands took out $160 in a day. Five men in ten 
days took out $4,500." 

Another stream of miners and adventurers 
was pouring into the mines by way of the San 
Joaquin valley. From Stockton to the Kern 
river, a distance of three hundred miles, the 
road was crowded with men on foot, on stages, 
on horseback and on every form of convey- 
ance that would take them to the new El Do- 
rado. In four months five or six thousand men 
had found their way into the Kern river basin. 
There was gold there, but not enough to go 
around. A few struck it rich, the many struck 
nothing but "hard luck" and the rush out began. 
Those who had ridden into the valley footed it 
out, and those who had footed it in on sole 
leather footed it out on their natural soles. 

After the wild frenzy of Kern river, the press 
of the state congratulated the public with the 
assurance that the era of wild rushes was past — 
"what had been lost in money had been gained 
in experience." As if prospectors ever profited 
by experience! Scarcely had the victims of Kern 
river resumed work in the old creeks and canons 
they had deserted to join in the rush when a 
rumor came, faint at first, but gathering 
strength at each repetition, that rich diggings 
had been struck in the far north. This time 
it is Frazer river. True, Frazer river is in the 
British possessions, but what of that? There 
are enough miners in California to seize the 
country and hold it until the cream of the mines 
has been skimmed. Rumors of the richness 
of mines increased with every arrival of a 
steamer from the north. Captains, pursers, 
mates, cooks and waiters all confirmed the sto- 
ries of rich strikes. Doubters asserted that the 



dust and nuggets exhibited had made the trip 
from San Francisco to Victoria and back. But 
they were silenced by the assurance that the 
transportation company was preparing to double 
the number of its vessels on that route. Com- 
modore Wright was too smart to run his steam- 
ers on fake reports, and thus the very thing that 
should have caused suspicion was used to con- 
firm the truth of the rumors. The doubters 
doubted no more, but packed their outfits for 
Frazer river. California was played out. Where 
could an honest miner pan out $100 a day 
in California now? He could do it every day 
in Frazer; the papers said so. The first notice 
of the mines was published in March, 1858. The 
rush began the latter part of April and in four 
months thirty thousand men, one-sixth of the 
voting population of the state, had rushed to 
the mines. 

The effect of the craze was disastrous to busi- 
ness in California. Farms were abandoned and 
crops lost for want of hands to harvest them. 
Rich claims in old diggings were sold for a trifle 
of their value. Lots on Montgomery street that 
a few years later were worth $1 ,500 a front foot 
were sold for $100. Real estate in the interior 
towns was sacrificed at 50 to 75 per cent less 
than it was worth before the rush began. But 
a halt was called in the mad rush. The returns 
were not coming in satisfactorily. By the mid- 
dle of July less than $100,000 in dust had 
reached San Francisco, only about $3 for each 
man who had gone to the diggings. There was 
gold there and plenty of it, so those interested 
in keeping up the excitement said : "The Frazer 
river is high; wait till it subsides." But it did 
not subside, and it has not subsided since. If 
the Frazer did not subside the excitement did, 
and that suddenly. Those who had money 
enough or could borrow from their friends got 
away at once. Those who had none hung 
around Victoria and New Westminster until 
they were shipped back at the government's ex- 
pense. The Frazer river craze was the last of the 
mad, unreasoning "gold rushes." The Washoe 
excitement of '59 and the "Ho! for Idaho of 
1863-64" had some of the characteristics of the 
early gold rushes, but they soon settled down to 
steady business and the yield from these fairly 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



175 



recompensed those who were frugal ami indus- 
trious 

Never before perhaps among civilized people 
was there witnessed such a universal leveling 
as occurred in the first years of the mining ex- 
citement in California. "As the labor required 
was physical instead of mental, the usual supe- 
riority of head workers over hand workers dis- 
appeared entirely. Men who had been gov- 
ernors and legislators and judges in the old 
states worked by the side of outlaws and con- 
victs; scholars and students by the side of men 
who could not read or write; those who had 
been masters by the side of those who had been 
slaves; old social distinctions were obliterated; 
everybody did business on his own account, and 
not one man in ten was the employe and much 
less the servant of another. Social distinctions 
appeared to be entirely obliterated and no man 
was considered inferior to another. The hard- 
fisted, unshaven and patch-covered miner was 
on terms of perfect equality with the well- 
dressed lawyer, surgeon or merchant; and in 
general conferences, discussions and even con- 



versations the most weather-beaten and strongly 
marked face, or, in other words, the man who 
had .seen and experienced the most, notwith- 
standing his wild and tattered attire, was lis- 
tened to with more attention and respectful con- 
sideration than the man of polished speech and 
striking antithesis. One reason of this was that in 
those days the roughest-looking man not infre- 
quently knew more than anybody else of what 
was wanted to be known, and the raggedest man 
not infrequently was the most influential and 
sometimes the richest man in the locality."* 

This independent spirit was characteristic of 
the men of '48 and '49. Then nearly everybody 
was honest and theft was almost unknown. 
With the advent of the criminal element in 
1850 and later there came a change. Before that 
a pan of gold dust could be left in an open tent 
unguarded, but with the coming of the Sydney 
ducks from Australia and men of their class it 
became necessary to guard property with sedu- 
lous care. 



Hindi's History of California, Vol. III. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



SAN FRANCISCO. 



IN 1835 Capt. William A. Richardson built 
the first house on the Yerba Buena cove. 
It was a shanty of rough board, which he 
replaced a year later with an adobe building. 
He was granted a lot in 1836 and his building 
stood near what is now the corner of Dupont 
and Clay streets. Richardson had settled at 
Sausalito in 1822. He was an Englishman by 
birth and was one of the first foreigners to settle 
in California. 

Jacob P. Leese, an American, in partnership 
with Spear & Hinckley, obtained a lot in 1836 
and built a house and store near that of Captain 
Richardson. There is a tradition that Mr. Leese 
began his store building on the first of July and 
finished it at ten o'clock on the morning of 
July 4, and for a house warming celebrated the 
glorious Fourth in a style that astonished the 
natives up and down the coast. The house was 
sixty feet long and twenty-five broad, and, if 



completed in three days, Mr. Leese certainly de 
serves the credit of having eclipsed some of 
the remarkable feats in house building that were 
performed after the great fires of San Francisco 
in the early '50s. Mr. Leese and his neighbor, 
Captain Richardson, invited all the high-toned 
Spanish families for a hundred miles around to 
the celebration. The Mexican and American 
flags floated over the building and two six- 
pounders fired salutes. At five o'clock the 
guests sat down to a sumptuous dinner which 
lasted, toasts and all, till 10 o'clock, and then 
came dancing; and, as Mr. Leese remarks in his 
diary : "Our Fourth ended on the evening of 
the fifth." Mr. Leese was an energetic person. 
He built a house in three days, gave a Fourth of 
July celebration that lasted two days, and inside 
of a week had a store opened and was doing a 
thriving business with his late guests. He fell 
in love with the same energy that he did busi- 



176 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ness. Among the guests at his 4th of July 
celebration were the Vallejos, the nabobs of 
Sonoma. Leese courted one of the girls and in 
a few months after the celebration married her. 
Their daughter, Rosalie Leese, was the first 
child born in Yerba Buena. Such was the be- 
ginning of San Francisco. 

This settlement was on a crescent-shaped cove 
that lay between Clark's Point and the Rincon. 
The locality was known as Yerba Buena (good 
herb), a species of mint to which the native Cal- 
ifornians attributed many medicinal virtues. 
The peninsula still bore the name that had been 
applied to it when the mission and presidio 
were founded, San Francisco. Yerba Buena 
was a local appellation and applied only to the 
little hamlet that had grown up on the cove. 
This settlement, although under the Mexican 
government, was not a Mexican town. The 
foreign element, the American predominating, 
had always been in the ascendency. At the time 
of the conquest, among its two hundred inhab- 
itants, were representatives of almost every civ- 
ilized nation on the globe. It was a cosmopol- 
itan town. In a very short time after the con- 
quest it began to take on a new growth and was 
recognized as the coming metropolis of Califor- 
nia. The curving beach of the cove at one 
point (Jackson street) crossed the present line 
of Montgomery street. 

Richardson and Leese had built their stores 
and warehouses back from the beach because of 
a Mexican law that prohibited the building of a 
house on the beach where no custom house ex- 
isted. All houses had to be built back a certain 
number of varas from high-water mark. This 
regulation was made to prevent smuggling. Be- 
tween the shore line of the cove and anchorage 
there was a long stretch of shallow water. This 
made transportation of goods from ship to 
shore very inconvenient and expensive. With 
the advent of the Americans and the inaugura- 
tion of a more progressive era it became neces- 
sary for the convenient landing of ships and for 
the discharging and receiving of their cargoes 
that the beach front of the town should be im- 
proved by building wharves and docks. The dif- 
ficulty was to find the means to do this. The 
general government of the United States could 



not undertake it. The war with Mexico was 
still in progress. The only available way wa9 
to sell off beach lots to private parties, but who 
was to give title was the question. Edwin Bry- 
ant, February 22, 1847, had succeeded Wash- 
ington Bartlett as alcalde. Bryant was a pro- 
gressive man, and, recognizing the necessity of 
improvement in the shipping facilities of the 
town, he urged General Kearny, the acting 
governor, to relinquish, on the part of the gen- 
eral government, its claim to the beach lands in 
front of the town in favor of the municipality 
under certain conditions. General Kearny 
really had no authority to relinquish the claim 
of the general government to the land, for the 
simple reason that the general government had 
not perfected a claim. The country was held 
as conquered territory. Mexico had made no 
concession of the land by treaty. It was not 
certain that California would be ceded to the 
United States. Under Mexican law the gov- 
ernor of the territory, under certain conditions, 
had the right to make grants, and General Kear- 
ny, assuming the power given a Mexican gov- 
ernor, issued the following decree: "I, Brig.- 
Gen. S. W. Kearny, Governor of California, 
by virtue of authority in me vested by the Pres- 
ident of the United States of America, do hereby 
grant, convey, and release unto the Town of San 
Francisco, the people or corporate authorities 
thereof, all the right, title and interest of the 
Government of the United States and of the 
Territory of California in and to the Beach and 
Water Lots on the East front of said Town of 
San Francisco included between the points 
known as the Rincon and Fort Montgomery, 
excepting such lots as may be selected for the 
use of the United States Government by the 
senior officers of the army and navy now there; 
provided, the said ground hereby ceded shall 
be divided into lots and sold by public auction to 
the highest bidder, after three months' notice 
previously given; the proceeds of said sale to 
be for the benefit of the town of San Francisco. 
Given at Monterey, capital of California, this 
10th day of March, 1847, ar >d the seventy-first 
year of the independence of the United States." 
S. W. Kearny, 
Brig.-Gen'l & Gov. of California. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



177 



In pursuance of this decree, Alcalde Bryant 
advertised in the California*! that the ground 
described in the decree, known as Water Lots, 
would be surveyed and divided into convenient 
building lots and sold to the highest bidder on 
the 29th of June (1847). He then proceeds in 
the advertisement to boom the town. "The site 
of the town of San Francisco is known by all 
navigators and mercantile men acquainted with 
the subject to be the most commanding com- 
mercial position on the entire western coast of 
the Pacific ocean, and the Town itself is no 
doubt destined to become the commercial em- 
porium of the western side of the North Ameri- 
can continent." The alcaldes' assertions must 
have seemed rather extravagant to the dwellers 
in the little burgh on the cove of Yerba Buena. 
But Bryant was a far-seeing man and proved 
himself in this instance to be a prophet. 

It will be noticed that both General Kearny 
and Alcalde Bryant call the town San Francisco. 
Alcalde Bartlett, the predecessor in office of 
Alcalde Bryant, had changed its name just be- 
fore he was recalled to his ship. He did not 
like the name Yerba Buena, so he summarily 
changed it. He issued a proclamation setting 
forth that hereafter the town should be known 
as San Francisco. Having proclaimed a change 
of name, he proceeded to give his reasons: 
Yerba Buena was a paltry cognomen for a cer- 
tain kind of mint found on an island in the 
bay; it was a merely local name, unknown be- 
yond the district, while San Francisco had long 
been familiar on the maps. "Therefore it is 
hereby ordained, etc." Bartlett builded better 
than he knew. It would have been a sad mis- 
take for the city to have carried the "outlandish 
name which Americans would mangle in pro- 
nouncing," as the alcalde said. 

The change was made in the latter part of 
January, 1847, but it was some time before the 
new name was generally adopted. 

The California Star, Sam Brannan's paper, 
which had begun to shine January 9, 1847, in 
its issue of March 20, alluding to the change, 
says: "We acquiesce in it, though we prefer 
the old name. When the change was first at- 
tempted we viewed it as a mere assumption of 
authority, without law of precedent, and there- 



fore we adhered to the old name — Yerba 
Buena." 

"It was asserted by the late alcalde, Washing- 
ton Bartlett, that the place was called San 
Francisco in some old Spanish paper which he 
professed to have in his possession; but how 
could we believe a man even about that which 
it is said 'there is nothing in it,' who had so 
often evinced a total disregard for his own honor 
and character and the honor of the country 
which gave him birth and the rights of his fel- 
low citizens in the district?" Evidently the edi- 
tor had a grievance and was anxious to get even 
with the alcalde. Bartlett demanded an inves- 
tigation of some charges made against his ad- 
ministration. He was cleared of all blame. He 
deserves the thanks of all Californians in sum- 
marily suppressing Yerba Buena and preventing 
it from being fastened on the chief city of the 
state. 

There was at that time (on paper) a city of 
Francisca. The city fathers of this budding me- 
tropolis were T. O. Larkin and Robert Semple. 
In a half-column advertisement in the Califor- 
nian of April 20, 1847, ar >d several subsequent 
issues, headed "Great Sale of City Lots," they set 
forth the many advantages and merits of 
Francisca. The streets are eighty feet wide, the 
alleys twenty feet wide, and the lots fifty yards 
front and forty yards back. The whole city 
comprises five square miles." 

"Francisca is situated on the Straits of Car- 
quinez, on the north side of the Bay of San 
Francisco, about thirty miles from the mouth 
of the bay and at the head of ship navigation. 
In front of the city is a commodious bay, large 
enough for two hundred ships to ride at anchor, 
safe from any wind." * * * "The entire 
trade of the great Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys, a fertile country of great width and near 
seven hundred miles long from north to south, 
must of necessity pass through the narrow chan- 
nel of Carquinez and the bay and country is 
so situated that every person who passes from 
one side of the bay to the other will find the 
nearest and best way by Francisca." Francisca, 
with its manifold natural advantages, ought to 
have been a great city, the metropolis of Cali- 
fornia, but the Fates were against it. Alcalde 



178 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Bartlett, probably without any design of doing 
so, dealt it a fearful blow when he dubbed the 
town of the good herb, San Francisco. Two 
cities with names so nearly alike could not live 
and thrive in the same state. Francisca became 
Benicia. The population of San Francisco (or 
Yerba Buena, as it was then called) at the time 
that Captain Montgomery raised the stars and 
stripes and took possession of it probably did 
not exceed two hundred. Its change of masters 
accelerated its growth. The Calif or man of Sep- 
tember 4, 1847 (fourteen months after it came 
under the flag of the United States), gives the 
following statistics of its population and prog- 
ress: Total white male population, 247; female, 
123; Indians, male, 26; female, 8; South Sea 
Islanders, male, 39; female 1; negroes, male, 
9; female 1; total population, 454. 

Nearly every country on the globe had repre- 
sentatives in its population, and the various vo- 
cations by which men earn a living were 
well represented. Minister, one; doctors, three; 
lawyers, three; surveyors, two; agriculturists, 
eleven; bakers, seven; blacksmiths, six; brew- 
er, one; butchers, seven; cabinetmakers, two; 
carpenters, twenty-six; cigarmaker, one; coop- 
ers, three; clerks, thirteen; gardener, one; 
grocers, five; gunsmiths, two; hotel-keepers, 
three; laborers, twenty; masons, four; mer- 
chants, eleven; miner, one; morocco case 
maker, one; navigators (inland), six; navigator 
(ocean), one; painter, one; printer, one; sol- 
dier, one; shoemakers, four; silversmith, one; 
tailors, four; tanners, two; watchmaker, one; 
weaver, one. Previous to April 1, 1847, accord- 
ing to the California)!, there had been erected in 
the town seventy-nine buildings, classified as 
follows : Shanties, twenty-two; frame buildings, 
thirty-one; adobe buildings, twenty-six. Since 
April 1, seventy-eight buildings have been 
erected, viz. : Shanties, twenty; frame buildings, 
forty-seven; adobe buildings, eleven. "Within 
five months last past," triumphantly adds the 
editor of the Californian, "as many buildings 
have been built as were erected in all the pre- 
vious years of the town's existence." 

The town continued to grow with wonderful 
rapidity throughout the year 1847, considering 
that peace had not yet been declared and the 



destiny of California was uncertain. According 
to a school census taken in March, 1848, by 
the Board of Trustees, the population was: 
Males, five hundred and seventy-five; females, 
one hundred and seventy-seven; and "children 
of age to attend school," sixty, a total of eight 
hundred and twelve. Building kept pace with 
the increase of population until the "gold fever" 
became epidemic. Dr. Brooks, writing in his 
diary May 17, says: "Walking through the town 
to-day, I observed that laborers were employed 
only upon about half a dozen of the fifty new 
buildings which were in the course of being 
run up." 

The first survey of lots in the town had been 
made by a Frenchman named Vioget. No 
names had been given to the streets. This sur- 
vey was made before the conquest. In 1847, 
Jasper O'Farrell surveyed and platted the dis- 
trict extending about half a mile in the different 
directions from the plaza. The streets were 
named, and, with a very few changes, still retain 
the names then given. In September the coun- 
cil appointed a committee to report upon the 
building of a wharf. It was decided to con- 
struct two wharves, one from the foot of Clay 
street and the other from the foot of Broadway. 
Money was appropriated to build them and they 
had been extended some distance seaward when 
the rush to the mines suspended operations. 
After considerable agitation by the two news- 
papers and canvassing for funds, the first school- 
house was built. It was completed December 
4, 1847, but, for lack of funds, or, as the Star 
says, for lack of energy in the council, school 
was not opened on the completion of the house. 
In March the council appropriated $400 and 
April 1, 1848, Thomas Douglas, a graduate of 
Yale College, took charge of the school. San 
Francisco was rapidly developing into a pro- 
gressive American city. Unlike the older towns 
of California, it had but a small Mexican popu- 
lation. Even had not gold been discovered, it 
would have grown into a commercial city of con- 
siderable size. 

The first effect of the gold discovery and the 
consequent rush to the mines was to bring 
everything to a standstill. As Kemble, of the 
Star, puts it, it was "as if a curse had arrested 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



179 



our onward course of enterprise; everything 
wears a desolate and sombre look; everywhere 
all is dull, monotonous, dead." The return of 
the inhabitants in a few months and the influx 
of new arrivals gave the town a boom in the 
fall of 1848. Building was only limited by the 
lack of material, and every kind of a makeshift 
was resorted to to provide shelter against win- 
ter rains. From the many attempts at describ- 
ing the town at this stage of its development, I 
select this from "Sights in the Gold Regions," a 
book long since out of print. Its author, T. T. 
Johnson, arrived at San Francisco April 1, 1849. 
"Proceeding on our survey, we found the 
streets, or, properly, the roads, laid out reg- 
ularly, those parallel with the water being a 
succession of terraces, and these ascending the 
hills or along their sides being in some instances 
cut down ten or twelve feet below the surface. 
Except a portion of the streets fronting upon 
the cove, they are all of hard-beaten, sandy clay, 
as solid as if macadamized. About three hun- 
dred houses, stores, shanties and sheds, with a 
great many tents, composed the town at that 
period. The houses were mostly built of rough 
boards and unpainted ; brown cottons or calico 
nailed against the beams and joists answered for 
wall and ceiling of the better class of tenements. 
With the exception of the brick warehouse of 
Howard and Melius, the establishments of the 
commercial houses of which we had heard so 
much were inferior to the outhouses of the 
country seats on the Hudson; and yet it would 
puzzle the New York Exchange to produce 
merchant princes of equal importance." * * * 
"We strolled among the tents in the outskirts 
of the town. Here was 'confusion worse con- 
founded,' chiefly among Mexicans, Peruvians 
and Chilians. Every kind, size, color and shape 
of tent pitched helter-skelter and in the most 
awkward manner were stowed full of everything 
under the sun." 

In the first six months of 1849 fifteen thou- 
sand souls were added to the population of San 
Francisco; in the latter half of that year about 
four thousand arrived every month by sea alone. 
At first the immigrants were from Mexico, 
Chile, Peru and the South American ports gen- 
erally; but early in the spring the Americans 



began to arrive, coming by way of Panama and 
Cape Horn, and later across the plains. Europe 
sent its contingent by sea via Cape Horn ; and 
China, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands 
added to the city's population an undesirable 
element. A large majority of those who came 
by sea made their way to the mines, but many 
soon returned to San Francisco, some to take 
their departure for home, others to become resi- 
dents. At the end of the year San Francisco 
had a population of twenty-five thousand. The 
following graphic description of life in San 
Francisco in the fall of '49 and spring of '50 I take 
from a paper, "Pioneer Days in San Francisco," 
written by John Williamson Palmer, and pub- 
lished in the Century Magazine (1890): "And 
how did they all live? In frame houses of one 
story, more commonly in board shanties and 
canvas tents, pitched in the midst of sand or 
mud and various rubbish and strange filth and 
fleas; and they slept on rude cots or on soft 
planks, under horse blankets, on tables, coun- 
ters, floors, on trucks in the open air, in bunks 
braced against the weather-boarding, forty of 
them in one loft; and so they tossed and 
scratched and swore and laughed and sang and 
skylarked, those who were not tired or drunk 
enough to sleep. And in the working hours 
they bustled, and jostled, and tugged, and 
sweated, and made money, always made money. 
They labored and they lugged ; they worked on 
lighters, drove trucks, packed mules, rang bells, 
carried messages, 'waited' in restaurants, 
'marked' for billiard tables, served drinks in 
bar rooms, 'faked' on the plaza, 'cried' at auc- 
tions, toted lumber for houses, ran a game of 
faro or roulette in the El Dorado or the Bella 
Union, or manipulated three-card monte on 
the head of a barrel in front of the Parker 
House; they speculated, and, as a rule, gam- 
bled. 

"Clerks in stores and offices had munificent 
salaries. Five dollars a day was about the small- 
est stipend even in the custom house, and one 
Baptist preacher was paid $10,000 a year. La- 
borers received $1 an hour; a pick or a shovel 
was worth $10; a tin pan or a wooden bowl 
$5, and a butcher knife $30. At one time car- 
penters who were getting $12 a day struck 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



for $16. Lumber rose to $500 per thou- 
sand feet, and every brick in a house cost 
a dollar one way or another. Wheat, flour 
and salt pork sold at $40 a barrel; a small 
loaf of bread was fifty cents and a hard-boiled 
egg a dollar. You paid $3 to get into the cir- 
cus and $55 for a private box at the theater. 
Forty dollars was the price for ordinary coarse 
boots, and a pair that came above the knees 
and would carry you gallantly through the quag- 
mires brought a round hundred. When a shirt 
became very dirty the wearer threw it away and 
bought a new one. Washing cost $15 a dozen 
in 1849. 

"Rents were simply monstrous; $3,000 a 
month in advance for a 'store' hurriedly built of 
rough boards. Wright & Co. paid $75,000 for 
the wretched little place on the corner of the 
plaza that they called the Miners' Bank, and 
$36,000 was asked for the use of the Old Adobe 
as a custom-house. The Parker House paid 
$120,000 a year in rents, nearly one-half of that 
amount being collected from gamblers who held 
the second floor; and the canvas tent next door 
used as a gambling saloon, and called the El 
Dorado, was good for $40,000 a year. From 
10 to 15 per cent a month was paid in advance 
for the use of money borrowed on substantial 
security. The prices of real estate went up 
among the stars; $8,000 for a fifty-vara lot that 
had been bought in 1849 for $20. A lot pur- 
chased two years before for a barrel of aguar- 
diente sold for $18,000. Yet, for all that, every- 
body made money. 

"The aspect of the streets of San Francisco at 
this time was such as one may imagine of an 
unsightly waste of sand and mud churned by 
the continual grinding of heavy wagons and 
trucks and the tugging and floundering of 
horses, mules and oxen; thoroughfares irregu- 
lar and uneven, ungraded, unpaved, unplanked, 
obstructed by lumber and goods, alternate 
humps and holes, the actual dumping-places of 
the town, handy receptacles for the general 
sweepings and rubbish and indescribable offal 
and filth, the refuse of an indiscriminate popu- 
lation 'pigging' together in shanties and tents. 
And these conditions extended beyond the 
actual settlement into the chaparral and under- 



brush that covered the sand hills on the north 
and west. 

"The flooding rains of winter transformed 
what should have been thoroughfares into 
treacherous quagmires set with holes and traps 
fit to smother horse and man. Loads of brush- 
wood and branches of trees cut from the hills 
were thrown into these swamps; but they served 
no more than a temporary purpose and the in- 
mates of tents and houses made such bridges 
and crossings as they could with boards, boxes 
and barrels. Men waded through the slough 
and thought themselves lucky when they sank 
no deeper than their waists." 

It is said that two horses mired down in the 
mud of Montgomery street were left to die of 
starvation, and that three drunken men were 
suffocated between Washington and Jackson 
streets. It was during the winter of '49 that the 
famous sidewalk of flour sacks, cooking stoves 
and tobacco boxes was built. It extended from 
Simmons, Hutchinson & Co.'s store to Adams 
Express office, a distance of about seventy-five 
yards. The first portion was built of Chilean 
flour in one hundred pound sacks, next came the 
cooking stoves in a long row, and then followed 
a double row of tobacco boxes of large size, 
and a yawning gap of the walk was bridged by 
a piano. Chile flour, cooking stoves, tobacco 
and pianos were cheaper material for building 
walks, owing to the excessive supply of these, 
than lumber at $600 a thousand. 

In the summer of '49 there were more than 
three hundred sailing vessels lying in the harbor 
of San Francisco, from which the sailors had 
deserted to go to the mines. Some of these ves- 
sels rotted where they were moored. Some 
were hauled up in the sand or mud flats and 
used for store houses, lodging houses and sa- 
loons. As the water lots were filled in and built 
upon, these ships sometimes formed part of 
the line of buildings on the street. The brig 
Euphemia was the first jail owned by the city; 
the store ship Apollo was converted into a 
lodging house and saloon, and the Niantic Hotel 
at the corner of Sansome and Clay streets was 
built on the hull of the ship Niantic. As the 
wharves were extended out into the bay the 
space between was filled in from the sand hills 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



18] 



and houses built along the wharves. In this 
way the cove was gradually filled in. The high 
price of lumber and the great scarcity of houses 
brought about the importation from New York, 
Boston, Philadelphia and London of houses 
ready framed to set up. For a time im- 
mense profits were made in this, but an ex- 
cessive shipment like that of the articles of 
which the famous sidewalk was made brought 
down the price below cost, and the business 
ceased. 

The first of the great fires that devastated San 
Francisco occurred on Christmas eve, 1849. It 
started in Denison's Exchange, a gambling 
house on the east side of the plaza. It burned 
the greater part of the block between Wash- 
ington and Clay streets and Kearny and Mont- 
gomery streets. The loss was estimated at a 
million and a quarter dollars. The second great 
fire occurred on May 4, 1850. It burned over 
the three blocks between Montgomery and 
Dupont streets, bounded by Jackson and Clay 
streets, and the north and east sides of Ports- 
mouth square. The loss was estimated at 
$4,000,000. It started in the United States Ex- 
change, a gambling den, at four o'clock in the 
morning, and burned for seven hours. The fire 
was believed to be of incendiary origin and sev- 
eral suspicious characters were arrested, but 
nothing could be proved against them. A num- 
ber of the lookers-on refused to assist in arrest- 
ing the progress of the flames unless paid for 
their labor ; and $3 an hour was demanded and 
paid to some who did. 

On the 14th of June, 1850, a fire broke out in 
the Sacramento House, on the east side of Kear- 
ny street, between Clay and Sacramento. The 
entire district from Kearny street between Clay 
and California to the water front was burned 
over, causing a loss of $3,000,000. Over three 
hundred houses were destroyed. The fourth 
great fire of the fateful year of 1850 occurred 
September 17. It started on Jackson street and 
destroyed the greater part of the blocks be- 
tween Dupont and Montgomery streets from 
Washington to Pacific streets. The loss in this 
was not so great from the fact that the district 
contained mostly one-story houses. It was esti- 
mated at half a million dollars. December 14 



of the same year a fire occurred on Sacramento 
street below Montgomery. Although the dis- 
trict burned over was not extensive, the loss 
was heavy. The buildings were of corrugated 
iron, supposed to be fireproof, and were filled 
with valuable merchandise. The loss amounted 
to $1,000,000. After each fire, building was re- 
sumed almost before the embers of the fire that 
consumed the former buildings were extin- 
guished. After each fire better buildings were 
constructed. A period of six months' exemp- 
tion had encouraged the inhabitants of the fire- 
afflicted city to believe that on account of the 
better class of buildings constructed the danger 
of great conflagrations was past, but the worst 
was yet to come. At 11 p. m. May 3, 1851, a 
fire, started by incendiaries, broke out on the 
south side of the plaza. A strong northwest 
wind swept across Kearny street in broad 
sheets of flame, first southeastward, then, the 
wind changing, the flames veered to the north 
and east. All efforts to arrest them were use- 
less; houses were blown up and torn down in 
attempts to cut off communication, but the en- 
gines were driven back step by step, while some 
of the brave firemen fell victims to the fire fiend. 
The flames, rising aloft in whirling volumes, 
swept away the frame houses and crumbled up 
with intense heat the supposed fireproof struc- 
tures. After ten hours, when, the fire abated for 
want of material to burn, all that remained of 
the city were the sparsely settled outskirts. All 
of the business district between Pine and Pa- 
cific streets, from Kearny to the Battery on 
the water front, was in ruins. Over one thou- 
sand houses had been burned. The loss of prop- 
erty was estimated at $10,000,000, an amount 
greater than the aggregate of all the preceding 
fires. A number of lives were lost. During the 
progress of the fire large quantities of goods 
were stolen by bands of thieves. The sixth and 
last of the great conflagrations that devastated 
the city occurred on the 22d of June, 1851. The 
fire started in a building on Powell street and 
ravaged the district between Clay and Broadway, 
from Powell to Sansome. Four hundred and 
fifty houses were burned, involving a loss of 
$2,500,000. An improved fire department, 
more stringent building regulations and a bet- 



1S2 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ter water supply combined to put an end to the 
era of great fires. 

After the great fires of 185 1 had swept over 
the city there was practically nothing left of 
the old metropolis of the early gold rush. The 
hastily constructed wooden shanties were gone; 
the corrugated iron building imported from 
New York and London, and warranted to be 
fireproof, had proved to be worthless to with- 
stand great heat; the historic buildings had dis- 
appeared; the new city that, Phcenix-like, arose 
from the ashes of the old was a very different 
city from its predecessor that had been wiped 
from the earth by successive conflagrations. 
Stone and brick buildings covered the former 
site of wooden structures. The unsightly mud 
flats between the wharves were filled in from the 
sand hills and some of the streets paved. The 
year 1853 was memorable for the rapid progress 
of the city. Assessed property values increased 
from $18,000,000 to $28,000,000. Real estate 
values went soaring upward and the city was on 
the high tide of prosperity; but a reaction came 
in 1855. The rush to the mines had ceased, im- 
migration had fallen off, and men had begun to 
retrench and settle down to steady business 
habits. Home productions had replaced im- 
ports, and the people were abandoning mining 
for farms. The transition from gold mining to 
grain growing had begun. All these affected 
the city and real estate declined. Lots that sold 
for $8,000 to $10,000 in 1853 could be bought 
for half that amount in 1855. Out of one thou- 
sand business houses, three hundred were va- 
cant. Another influence that helped to bring 
about a depression was the growing political 



corruption and the increased taxation from pec- 
ulations of dishonest officials. 

The defalcations and forgeries of Harry 
Meigs, which occurred in 1854, were a terrible 
blow to the city. Meigs was one of its most 
trusted citizens. He was regarded as the em- 
bodiment of integrity, the stern, incorruptible 
man, the watch-dog of the treasury. By his 
upright conduct he had earned the sobriquet of 
Honest Harry Meigs. Over-speculation and 
reaction from the boom of 1853 embarrassed 
him. He forged a large amount of city scrip 
and hypothecated it to raise money. His forger- 
ies were suspected, but before the truth was 
known he made his escape on the barque 
America to Costa Rica and from there he made 
his way to Peru. His forgeries amounted to 
$1,500,000, of which $1,000,000 was in comp- 
troller's warrants, to which he forged the names 
of Mayor Garrison and Controller Harris. The 
vigilance committee of 1856 cleared the political 
atmosphere by clearing the city, by means of 
hemp and deportation, of a number of bad 
characters. The city was just beginning to re- 
gain its former prosperity when the Frazer river 
excitement brought about a temporary depres- 
sion. The wild rush carried away about one- 
sixth of its population. These all came back 
again, poorer and perhaps wiser; at least, their 
necessities compelled them to go to work and 
weaned them somewhat of their extravagant 
habits and their disinclination to work except for 
the large returns of earlier days. Since 1857 the 
growth of the city has been steady, unmarked 
by real estate booms; nor has it been retarded 
by long periods of financial depression. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

CRIME, CRIMINALS AND VIGILANCE COMMITTEES. 

gregate and find a place of refuge from justice. 
"From 1819 to 1846, that is, during the entire 
period of Mexican domination under the Repub- 
lic," says Bancroft, "there were but six murders 
among the whites in all California." There were 
no lynchings, no mobs, unless some of the rev- 
olutionary uprisings might be called such, and 
but one vigilance committee. 



THERE was but little crime in California 
among its white inhabitants during the 
Spanish and Mexican eras of its history. 
The conditions were not conducive to the de- 
velopment of a criminal element. The inhabit- 
ants were a pastoral people, pursuing an out- 
door vocation, and there were no large towns 
or cities where the viciously inclined could con- 



HISTORICAL AXU BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L83 



San Francisco is credited with the origin of 
that form of popular tribunal known as the vigi- 
lance committee. The name "vigilance com- 
mittee" originated with the uprising, in 185 1, of 
the people of that city against the criminal ele- 
ment; but, years before there was a city of San 
Francisco, Los Angeles had originated a tri- 
bunal of the people, had taken criminals from 
the lawfully constituted authorities and had tried 
and executed them. The causes which called 
into existence the first vigilance committee in 
California were similar to those that created the 
later ones, namely, laxity in the administration 
of the laws and distrust in the integrity of 
those chosen to administer them. During the 
"decade of revolutions," that is, between 1830 
and 1840, the frequent change of rulers and the 
struggles of the different factions for power en- 
gendered in the masses a disregard, not only 
for their rulers, but for law and order as well. 
Criminals escaped punishment through the 
law's delays. No court in California had power 
to pass sentence of death on a civilian until its 
findings had been approved by the superior tri- 
bunal of Mexico. In the slow and tedious proc- 
esses of the different courts, a criminal stood a 
good show of dying of old age before his case 
reached final adjudication. The first committee 
of vigilance in California was organized at Los 
Angeles, in the house of Juan Temple, April 7, 
1836. It was called "Junta Defensora de La 
Seguridad Publica," United Defenders of the 
Public Security (or safety). Its motto, which ap- 
pears in the heading of its "acta," and is there 
credited as a quotation from Montesquieu's Ex- 
position of the Laws, Book 26, Chapter 23, was, 
"Salus populi suprema lex est" (The safety of 
the people is the supreme law). There is a 
marked similarity between the proceedings of 
the Junta Defensora of 1836 and the San Fran- 
cisco vigilance committee of 1856; it is not 
probable, however, that any of the actors in the 
latter committee participated in the former. 
Although there is quite a full account of the 
proceedings of the Junta Defensora in the Los 
Angeles city archives, no historian heretofore 
except Bancroft seems to have found it. 

The circumstances which brought about the 
organization of the Junta Defensora are as fol- 



lows: The wife of Domingo Feliz (part owner 
of the Los Feliz Rancho), who bore the poet- 
ical name of Maria del Rosario Villa, became 
infatuated with a handsome but disreputable 
Sonorau vaquero, Gervacio Alispaz by name. 
She abandoned her husband and lived with Alis- 
paz as his mistress at San Gabriel. Feliz sought 
to reclaim his erring wife, but was met by in- 
sults and abuse from her paramour, whom he 
once wounded in a personal altercation. Feliz 
finally invoked the aid of the authorities. The 
woman was arrested and brought to town. A 
reconciliation was effected between the husband 
and wife. Two days later they left town for the 
rancho, both riding one horse. On the way 
they were met by Alispaz, and in a personal en- 
counter Feliz was stabbed to death by the wife's 
paramour. The body was dragged into a ra- 
vine and covered with brush and leaves. Next 
day, March 29, the body was found and brought 
to the city. The murderer and the woman were 
arrested and imprisoned. The people were filled 
with horror and indignation, and there were 
threats of summary vengeance, but better coun- 
sel prevailed. 

( )n the 30th the funeral of Feliz took place, 
and, like that of James King of William, twenty 
years later, was the occasion for the renewal of 
the outcry for vengeance. The attitude of the 
people became so threatening that on the 1st 
of April an extraordinary session of the avun- 
tamiento was held. A call was made upon the 
citizens to form an organization to preserve the 
peace. A considerable number responded and 
were formed into military patrols under the 
command of Don Juan P.. Leandry. The illus- 
trious ayuntamicnto resolved "that whomsoever 
shall disturb the public tranquillity shall be pun- 
ished according to law." The excitement ap- 
parently died out, but it was only the calm that 
precedes the storm. The beginning of the 
Easter ceremonies was at hand, and it was 
deemed a sacrilege to execute the assassins in 
holy week, so all further attempts at punishment 
were deferred until April 7, the Monday after 
Easter, when at dawn, by previous understand- 
ing, a number of the better class of citizens 
gathered at the house of Juan Temple, which 
stood on the site of the new postoffice. An or- 



184 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ganization was effected. Victor Prudon, a na- 
tive of Breton, France, but a naturalized citizen 
of California, was elected president; Manuel 
Arzaga, a native of California, was elected sec- 
retary, and Francisco Araujo, a retired army 
officer, was placed in command of the armed 
force. Speeches were made by Prudon, and by 
the military commandant and others, setting 
forth the necessity of their organization and jus- 
tifying their actions. It was unanimously de- 
cided that both the man and the woman should 
be shot; their guilt being evident, no trial was 
deemed necessary. 

An address to the authorities and the people 
was formulated. A copy of this is preserved in 
the city archives. It abounds in metaphors. 
It is too long for insertion here. I make a few 
extracts: "* * * Believing that immorality 
has reached such an extreme that public secur- 
ity is menaced and will be lost if the dike of a 
solemn example is not opposed to the torrent 
of atrocious perfidy, we demand of you that you 
execute or deliver to us for immediate execution 
the assassin, Gervacio Alispaz, and the unfaith- 
ful Maria del Rosario Villa, his accomplice. 
* * * Nature trembles at the sight of these 
venomous reptiles and the soil turns barren in 
its refusal to support their detestable existence. 
Let the infernal pair perish! It is the will of the 
people. We will not lay down our arms until our 
petition is granted and the murderers are exe- 
cuted. The proof of their guilt is so clear that 
justice needs no investigation. Public vengeance 
demands an example and it must be given. The 
blood of the Alvarez, of the Patinos, of the 
Jenkins, is not yet cold— they, too, being the 
unfortunate victims of the brutal passions of 
their murderers. Their bloody ghosts shriek 
for vengeance. Their terrible voices re-echo 
from their graves. The afflicted widow, the for- 
saken orphan, the aged father, the brother in 
mourning, the inconsolable mother, the public 
— all demand speedy punishment of the guilty. 
We swear that outraged justice shall be avenged 
to-day or we shall die in the attempt. The blood 
of the murderers shall be shed to-day or ours 
will be to the last drop. It will be published 
throughout the world that judges in Los An- 
geles tolerate murderers, but that there are 



virtuous citizens who sacrifice their lives in 
order to preserve those of their countrymen." 

"A committee will deliver to the First Consti- 
tutional Alcalde a copy of these resolutions, 
that he may decide whatever he finds most con- 
venient, and one hour's time will be given him 
in which to do so. If in that time no answer has 
been received, then the judge will be responsible 
before God and man for what will follow. Death 
to the murderers! 

"God and liberty. Angeles, April 7, 1836." 

Fifty-five signatures are attached to this doc- 
ument; fourteen of these are those of natural- 
ized foreigners and the remainder those of na- 
tive Californians. The junta was made up of 
the best citizens, native and foreign. An extraor- 
dinary session of the ayuntamiento was called. 
The members of the junta, fully armed, marched 
to the city hall to await the decision of the 
authorities. The petition was discussed in the 
council, and, in the language of the archives: 
"This Illustrious Body decided to call said 
Breton Prudon to appear before it and to com- 
pel him to retire with the armed citizens so that 
this Illustrious Body may deliberate at liberty." 

"This was done, but he declined to appear 
before this body, as he and the armed citizens 
were determined to obtain Gervacio Alispaz and 
Maria del Rosario Villa. The ayuntamiento 
decided that as it had not sufficient force to 
compel the armed citizens to disband, they 
being in large numbers and composed of the 
best and most respectable men of the town, to 
send an answer saying that the judges could 
not accede to the demand of the armed citi- 
zens." 

The members of the Junta Defensora then 
marched in a body to the jail and demanded the 
keys of the guard. These were refused. The 
keys were secured by force and Gervacio Alispaz 
taken out and shot. The following demand was 
then sent to the first alcalde, Manuel Requena: 

"It is absolutely necessary that you deliver 
to this junta the key of the apartment where 
Maria del Rosario Villa is kept. 

"God and liberty. 

"Victor Prudon, President. 
"Manuel Arzaga, Secretary." 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



185 



To this the alcaide replied: "Maria del Rosa- 
rio Villa is incarcerated at a private dwelling, 
whose owner has the key, with instructions not 
to deliver the same to any one. The prisoner is 
left there at the disposition of the law only. 

"God and liberty. 

".Manuel Requena, Alcalde." 

The key was obtained. The wretched Maria 
was taken to the place of execution on a car- 
reta and shot. The bodies of the guilty pair 
were brought back to the jail and the following 
communication sent to the alcalde: 

"Junta of the Defenders of Public Safety. 

"To the I st Constitutional Alcalde: 
"The dead bodies of Gervacio Alispaz and 
Maria del Rosario Villa are at your disposal. 
We also forward you the jail keys that you may 
deliver them to whomsoever is on guard. In 
case you are in need of men to serve as guards, 
we are all at your disposal. 

"God and liberty. Angeles, April 7, 1836. 
"Victor Prudon, Prcs. 
"Manuel Arzaga, Sec." 

A few days later the Junta Defensora de La 
Seguridad Publica disbanded; and so ended the 
only instance in the seventy-five years of Span- 
ish and Mexican rule in California, of the people, 
by popular tribunal, taking the administration of 
justice out of the hands of the legally consti- 
tuted authorities. 

The tales of the fabulous richness of the gold 
fields of California were quickly spread through- 
out the world and drew to the territory all 
classes and conditions of men, the bad as well 
as the good, the vicious as well as the virtuous; 
the indolent, the profligate and the criminal 
came to prey upon the industrious. These con- 
glomerate elements of society found the Land 
of Gold practically without law, and the vicious 
among them were not long in making it a land 
without order. With that inherent trait, which 
makes the Anglo-Saxon wherever he may be 
an organizer, the American element of the gold 
seekers soon adjusted a form of government to 
suit the exigencies of the land and the people. 
There may have been too much lynching, too 
much vigilance committee in it and too little 



respect for lawfully constituted authorities, but 
it was effective and was suited to the social 
conditions existing. 

In 1851 the criminal element became so dom- 
inant as to seriously threaten the existence of 
the chief city, San Francisco. Terrible conflagra- 
tions had swept over the city in May and June 
of that year and destroyed the greater part of 
the business portion. The fires were known to 
be of incendiary origin. The bold and defiant 
attitude of the vicious classes led to the or- 
ganization by the better element, of that form 
of popular tribunal called a committee of vigi- 
lance. The law abiding element among the cit- 
izens disregarding the legally constituted 
authorities, who were either too weak or too 
corrupt to control the law-defying, took the 
power in their own hands, organized a vigilance 
committee and tried and executed by hanging 
four notorious criminals, namely: Jenkins, 
Stuart, Whitaker and McKenzie. 

During the proceedings of the vigilance com- 
mittee a case of mistaken identity came near 
costing an innocent man his life. About 8 
o'clock in the evening of February 18, two men 
entered the store of a Mr. Jansen on Mont- 
gomery street and asked to see some blankets. 
As the merchant stooped to get the blankets 
one of the men struck him with a sling shot and 
both of them beat him into insensibility. They 
then opened his desk and carried away all the 
gold they could find, about $2,000. The police 
arrested two men on suspicion of being the rob- 
bers. One of the men was identified as James 
Stuart, a noted criminal, who had murdered 
Sheriff Moore at Auburn. He gave the name of 
Thomas Burdue, but this was believed to be one 
of Stuart's numerous aliases. The men were 
identified by Mr. Jansen as his assailants. They 
were put on trial. When the court adjourned 
over to the next day a determined effort was 
made by the crowd to seize the men and hang 
them. They were finally taken out of the hands 
of the officers and given a trial by a jury selected 
by a committee of citizens. The jury failed to 
agree, three of the jury being convinced that 
the men were not Jansen's assailants. Then the 
mob made a rush to hang the jury, but were 
kept back by a show of revolvers. The prison- 



18fi 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



ers were turned over to the court. One of 
them, Wildred, broke jail and escaped. Burdue 
was tried, convicted and sentenced to fourteen 
years' imprisonment. Before the sentence of 
the court was executed he was taken to Marys- 
ville and arraigned for the murder of Sheriff 
Moore. A number of witnesses swore positively 
that the man was Stuart; others swore even more 
positively that he was not. A close examination 
revealed that the prisoner bore every distin- 
guishing mark on his person by which Stuart 
could be identified. He was convicted and sen- 
tenced to be hanged in thirty days. In the mean- 
time the vigilance committee of 1856 was or- 
ganized and the real Stuart accidentally fell into 
the hands of the vigilantes at San Francisco. 
He was arrested for a theft he had not com- 
mitted and recognized by one of the committee's 
guards that he had formerly employed in the 
mines. By adroit questioning he was forced to 
confess that he was the real Stuart, the murderer 
of Sheriff Moore and the assailant of Jansen. 
His confederate in the robbery was Whitaker, 
one of the four hanged by the committee. Bur- 
due was finally released, after having twice 
stood under the shadow of the gallows for the 
crimes of his double. The confessions of Stuart 
and Whitaker implicated a number of their pals. 
Some of these were convicted and sent to prison 
and others fled the country; about thirty were 
banished. Nearly all of the criminals were ex- 
convicts from Australia and Tasmania. 

The vigorous measures adopted by the com- 
mittee purified the city of the vicious class that 
had preyed upon it. Several of the smaller 
towns and some of the mining camps organized 
vigilance committees and a number of the 
knaves who had fled from San Francisco met a 
deserved fate in other places. 

In the early '50s the better elements of San 
Francisco's population were so engrossed in 
business that they had no time to spare to look 
after its political affairs; and its government 
gradually drifted into the hands of vicious and 
corrupt men. Many of the city authorities had 
obtained their offices by fraud and ballot stuf- 
fing and "instead of protecting the community 
against scoundrels they protected the scoundrels 
against the community." James King of Will- 



iam, an ex-banker and a man of great courage 
and persistence, started a small paper called 
the Daily Evening Bulletin. He vigorously as- 
sailed the criminal elements and the city and 
county officials. His denunciations aroused pub- 
lic sentiment. The murder of United States 
Marshal Richardson by a gambler named Cora 
still further inflamed the public mind. It was 
feared that by the connivance of some of the 
corrupt county officials Cora would escape pun- 
ishment. His trial resulted in a hung jury. 
There was a suspicion that some of the jury- 
men were bribed. King continued through the 
Bulletin to hurl his most bitter invectives against 
the corrupt officials. They determined to silence 
him. He published the fact that James Casey, 
a supervisor from the twelfth ward, was an ex- 
convict of Sing Sing prison. Casey waylaid 
King at the corner of Montgomery and Wash- 
ington streets and in a cowardly manner shot 
him down. The shooting occurred on the 14th 
of May, 1856. Casey immediately surrendered 
himself to a deputy sheriff, Lafayete M. Byrne, 
who was near. King was not killed, but an ex- 
amination of the wound by the physicians de- 
cided that there was no hopes of his recovery. 
Casey was conducted to the city prison and as 
a mob began to gather, for greater safety he 
was taken to the county jail. A crowd pursued 
him crying, "Hang him," "kill him." At the 
jail the mob was stopped by an array of deputy 
sheriffs, police officers and a number of Casey's 
friends, all armed. The excitement spread 
throughout the city. The old vigilance com- 
mittee of 1 85 1, or rather a new organization out 
of the remnant of the old, was formed. Five 
thousand men were enrolled in a few days. 
Arms were procured and headquarters estab- 
lished on Sacramento street between Davis and 
Front. The men were divided into companies. 
William T. Coleman, chairman of the vigilance 
committee of 1851, was made president or No. 1, 
and Isaac Bluxome, Jr., the secretary, was No. 
33. Each man was known by number. Charles 
Doane was elected chief marshal of the military 
division. 

The San Francisco Herald (edited by John 
Nugent), then the leading paper of the city, came 
out with a scathing editorial denouncing the 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



vigilance committee. The merchants at once 
withdrew their advertising patronage. Next 
morning the paper appeared reduced from forty 
columns to a single page, but still hostile to the 
committee. It finally died for want of patron- 
age. 

On Sunday, May iS, 1856, the military di- 
vision was ready to storm the jail if necessary to 
obtain possession of the prisoners, Casey and 
Cora. The different companies, marching from 
their headquarters by certain prescribed routes, 
all reached the jail at the same time and com- 
pletely invested it. They had with them two 
pieces of artillery. One of these guns was 
planted so as to command the door of the jail. 
There were fifteen hundred vigilantes under 
arms. A demand was made on Sheriff Scannell 
for the prisoners, Cora and Casey. The prison 
guard made no resistance, the prisoners were 
surrendered and taken at once to the vigilantes' 
headquarters. 

On the 20th of May the murderers were put 
on trial; while the trial was in progress the 
death of King was announced. Both men were 
convicted and sentenced to be hanged. King's 
funeral, the largest and most imposing ever seen 
in San Francisco, took place on the 23d. While 
the funeral cortege was passing through the 
streets Casey and Cora were hanged in front of 
the windows of the vigilance headquarters. 
About an hour before his execution Cora was 
married to a notorious courtesan, Arabella 
Ryan, but commonly called Belle Cora. A 
Catholic priest, Father Accolti, performed the 
ceremony. 

Governor J. Xeely Johnson, who at first 
seemed inclined not to interfere with the vig- 
ilantes, afterwards acting under the advice of 
David S. Terry, Volney E. Howard and others 
of "the law and order faction," issued a proc- 
lamation commanding the committee to disband, 
to which no attention was paid. The governor 
then appointed William T. Sherman major-gen- 
eral. Sherman called for recruits to suppress 
the uprising. Seventy-five or a hundred, mostly 
gamblers, responded to his call. General Wool, 
in command of the troops in the department of 
the Pacific, refused to loan Governor Johnson 
arms to equip his "law and order" recruits and 



General Sherman resigned. Volney E. Howard 
was then appointed major-general. His princi- 
pal military service consisted in proclaiming 
what he would do to the "pork merchants" who 
constituted the committee. He did nothing ex- 
cept to bluster. A squad of the vigilance po- 
lice attempted to arrest a man named Maloney. 
Maloney was at the time in the company of 
David S. Terry (then chief justice of the state) 
and several other members of the "law and or- 
der" party. They resisted the police and in the 
melee Terry stabbed the sergeant of the squad, 
Sterling A. Hopkins, and then he and his as- 
sociates made their escape to the armory of the 
San Francisco Blues, one of their strongholds. 

When the report of the stabbing reached 
headquarters the great bell sounded the alarm 
and the vigilantes in a very brief space of time 
surrounded the armory building and had their 
cannon planted to batter it down. Terry, Ma- 
loney, and the others of their party in the build- 
ing, considering discretion the better part of 
valor, surrendered and were at once taken to 
Fort Gunnybags,* the vigilantes' headquarters. 
The arms of the "law and order" party at their 
various rendezvous were surrendered to the vig- 
ilantes and the companies disbanded. 

Terry was closely confined in a cell at the 
headquarters of the committee; Hopkins, after 
lingering some time between life and death, 
finally recovered. Terry was tried for assault 
on Hopkins and upon several other persons, was 
found guilty, but, after being held as a prisoner 
for some time, was finally released. He at once 
joined Johnson and Howard at Sacramento, 
where he felt much safer than in San Francisco. 
He gave the vigilantes no more trouble. 

On the 29th of July, Hethrington and Brace 
were hanged from a gallows erected on Davis 
street, between Sacramento and Commercial. 
Both of these men had committed murder. 
These were the last executions by the commit- 
tee. The committee transported from the state 
thirty disreputable characters and a number de- 
ported themselves. A few, and among them the 



*The vigilantes built around the building which they 
used for headquarters a breastwork made of gunny- 
sacks filled with sand. Cannon were planted at the 
corners of the redout. 



188 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



notorious Ned McGowan, managed to keep con- 
cealed until the storm was over. A few of the 
expatriated returned after the committee dis- 
solved and brought suit for damages, but failed 
to recover anything. The committee had paid 
the fare of the exiles. It was only the high 
toned rascals who were given a cabin passage 
that brought the suits. The committee finished 
its labors and dissolved with a grand parade on 
the 1 8th of August (1856). It did a good work. 
For several years after, San Francisco from be- 
ing one of the worst, became one of the best 
governed cities in the United States. The com- 
mittee was made up of men from the northern 
and western states. The so-called "law and 
order" party was mostly composed of the pro- 
slavery office-holding faction that ruled the state 
at that time. 

When the vigilance committees between 1851 
and 1856 drove disreputable characters from 
San Francisco and the northern mines, many of 
them drifted southward and found a lodgment 
for a time in the southern cities and towns. Los 
Angeles was not far from the Mexican line, and 
any one who desired to escape from justice, 
fleet mounted, could speedily put himself be- 
yond the reach of his pursuers. All these 
causes and influences combined to produce a 
saturnalia of crime that disgraced that city in 
the early '50s. 

Gen. J. H. Bean, a prominent citizen of 
Southern California, while returning to Los An- 
geles from his place of business at San Gabriel 
late one evening in November, 1852, was at- 
tacked by two men, who had been lying in wait 
for him. One seized the bridle of his horse and 
jerked the animal back on his haunches; the 
other seized the general and pulled him from the 
saddle. Bean made a desperate resistance, but 
was overpowered and stabbed to death. The 
assassination of General Bean resulted in the 
organization of a vigilance committee and an 
effort was made to rid the country of desper- 
adoes. A number of arrests were made. Three 
suspects were tried by the committee for various 
crimes. One, Cipiano Sandoval, a poor cob- 
bler of San Gabriel, was charged with complicity 
in the murder of General Bean. He strenuously 
maintained that he was innocent. He, with the 



other two, were sentenced to be hanged. On 
the following Sunday morning the doomed men 
were conducted to the top of Fort Hill, where 
the gallows stood. Sandoval made a brief 
speech, again declaring his innocence. The 
others awaited their doom in silence. The trap 
fell and all were launched into eternity. Years 
afterward one of the real murderers on his 
deathbed revealed the truth and confessed his 
part in the crime. The poor cobbler was inno- 
cent. 

In 1854 drunkenness, gambling, murder and 
all forms of immorality and crime were ram- 
pant in Los Angeles. The violent deaths, it is 
said, averaged one for every day in the year. It 
was a common question at the breakfast table, 
"Well, how many were killed last night?" Little 
or no attention was paid to the killing of an 
Indian or a half breed ; it was only when a gente 
de razon was the victim that the community was 
aroused to action. 

The Kern river gold rush, in the winter of 
1854-55, brought from the northern mines fresh 
relays of gamblers and desperadoes and crime 
increased. The Southern Californian of March 
7, 1855, commenting on the general lawlessness 
prevailing, says: "Last Sunday night was a 
brisk night for killing. Four men were shot 
and killed and several wounded in shooting af- 
frays." 

A worthless fellow by the name of David 
Brown, who had, without provocation, killed a 
companion named Clifford, was tried and sen- 
tenced to be hanged with one Felipe Alvitre, a 
Mexican, who had murdered an American 
named Ellington, at El Monte. There was a 
feeling among the people that Brown, through 
quibbles of law, would escape the death penalty, 
and there was talk of lynching. Stephen C. 
Foster, the mayor, promised that if justice was 
not legally meted out to Brown by the law, then 
he would resign his office and head the lynching 
party. January 10, 1855, an order was received 
from Judge Murray, of the supreme court, stay- 
ing the execution of Brown, but leaving Alvitre 
to his fate. January 12 Alvitre was hanged by 
the sheriff in the jail yard in the presence of an 
immense crowd. The gallows were taken down 
and the guards dismissed. The crowd gathered 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L89 



outside the jail yard. Speeches were made. 
The mayor resigned his office and headed the 
mob. The doors of the jail were broken down; 
Brown was taken across Spring street to a 
large gateway opening into a corral and hanged 
from the crossbeam. Foster was re-elected by 
an almost unanimous vote at a special election. 
The city marshal, who had opposed the action 
of the vigilantes, was compelled to resign. 

During 1855 and 1856 lawlessness increased. 
There was an organized band of about one hun- 
dred Mexicans, who patroled the highways, 
robbing and murdering. They threatened the 
extermination of the Americans and there were 
fears of a race war, for many who were not 
members of the gang sympathized with them. 
In 1856 a vigilance committee was organized 
with Myron Norton as president and H. N. 
Alexander as secretary. A number of dis- 
reputable characters were forced to leave town. 
The banditti, under their leaders, Pancho Dan- 
iel and Juan Flores, were plundering and com- 
mitting outrages in the neighborhood of San 
Juan Capistrano. 

On the night of January 22, 1857, Sheriff 
James R. Barton left Los Angeles with a posse, 
consisting of William H. Little, Charles K. 
Baker, Charles F. Daley, Alfred Hardy and 
Frank Alexander with the intention of captur- 
ing some of the robbers. At Sepulveda's ranch 
next morning the sheriff's party was warned that 
the robbers were some fifty strong, well armed 
and mounted, and would probably attack them. 
Twelve miles further the sheriff and his men en- 
countered a detachment of the banditti. A 
short, sharp engagement took place. Barton, 
Baker, Little and Daley were killed. Hardy and 
Alexander made their escape by the fleetness 
of their horses. When the news reached Los 
Angeles the excitement became iutense. A 
public meeting was held to devise plans to rid 
the community not only of the roving gang of 
murderers, but also of the criminal classes in 
the city, who were known to be in sympathy 
with the banditti. All suspicious houses were 
searched and some fifty persons arrested. Sev- 
eral companies were organized; the infantry to 
guard the city and the mounted men to scour 
the country. Companies were also formed at 



San Bernardino and El Monte, wdiile the mil- 
itary authorities at Fort Tejon and San Diego 
despatched soldiers to aid in the good work of 
exterminating crime and criminals. 

The robbers were pursued into the mountains 
and nearly all captured. Gen., Andres Pico, 
with a company of native Californians, was most 
efficient in the pursuit, lie captured Silvas and 
Ardillero, two of the most noted of the gang, 
and hanged them where they were cap- 
tured. Fifty-two were lodged in the city jail. 
Of these, eleven were hanged for various crimes 
and the remainder set free. Juan Flores, one 
of the leaders, was condemned by popular vote 
and on February 14, 1857, was hanged near the 
top of Fort Hill in the presence of nearly the 
entire population of the town. He was only 
twenty-one years of age. Pancho Daniel, an- 
other of the leaders, was captured on the [9th 
of January, 1858, near San Jose. He was found 
by the sheriff, concealed in a haystack. After 
his arrest he was part of the time in jail and part 
of the time out on bail. He had been tried three 
times, but through law quibbles had escaped 
conviction. A change of venue to Santa Bar- 
bara had been granted. The people determined 
to take the law in their own hands. ( )n the 
morning of November 30, 1858, the body of 
Pancho was hanging from a beam across the 
gateway of the jail yard. Four of the banditti 
were executed by the people of San Gabriel, 
and Leonardo Lopez, under sentence of the 
court, was hanged by the sheriff. The gang was 
broken up and the moral atmosphere of Los 
Angeles somewhat purified. 

November 17, 1862, John Rains of Cuca- 
monga ranch was murdered near Azusa. De- 
cember 9, 1863, the sheriff was taking Manuel 
Cerradel to San Quentin to serve a ten years' 
sentence. When the sheriff went aboard the tug 
boat Cricket at Wilmington, to proceed to the 
Senator, quite a number of other persons took 
passage. On the way down the harbor, the 
prisoner was seized by the passengers, who 
were vigilantes, and hanged to the rigging; after 
hanging twenty minutes the body was taken 
down, stones tied to the feet and it was thrown 
overboard. Cerradel w r as implicated in the mur- 
der of Rains. 



100 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



In the fall of 1863 lawlessness had again be- 
come rampant in Los Angeles; one of the chiefs 
of the criminal class was a desperado by the 
name of Boston Daimwood. He was suspected 
of the murder of a miner on the desert 
and was loud in his threats against the lives 
of various citizens. He and four other well- 
known criminals, Wood, Chase, Ybarra and 
Olivas, all of whom were either murder- 
ers or horse thieves, were lodged in jail. On 
the 21 st of November two hundred armed 
citizens battered down the doors of the jail, 
took the five wretches out and hanged them to 
the portico of the old court house on Spring 
street, which stood on the present site of the 
Phillips block. 

On the 24th of October, 1871, occurred in 
Los Angeles a most disgraceful affair, known 
as the Chinese massacre. It grew out of one 
of those interminable feuds between rival 
tongs of highbinders, over a woman. Desul- 
tory firing had been kept up between the rival 
factions throughout the day. About 5:30 p. m. 
Policeman Bilderrain visited the seat of war, an 
old adobe house on the corner of Arcadia street 
and "Nigger alley," known as the Coronel build- 
ing. Finding himself unable to quell the dis- 
turbance he called for help. Robert Thompson, 
an old resident of the city, was among the first 
to reach the porch of the house in answer to the 
police call for help. He received a mortal wound 
from a bullet fired through the door of a Chi- 
nese store. He died an hour later in Woll- 
weber's drug store. The Chinese in the mean- 
time barricaded the doors and windows of the 
old adobe and prepared for battle. The news 
of the fight and of the killing of Thompson 
spread throughout the city and an immense 
crowd gathered in the streets around the build- 
ing with the intention of wreaking vengeance on 
the Chinese. 

The first attempt by the mob to dislodge the 
Chinamen was by cutting holes through the flat 
brea covered roof and firing pistol shots into the 
interior of the building. One of the besieged 
crawled out of the building and attempted to 
escape, but was shot down before half way 
across Negro alley. Another attempted to es- 
cape into Los Angeles street; he was seized, 



jed to the gate of Tomlinson's corral on 
New High street, and hanged. 

About 9 o'clock a part of the mob had suc- 
ceeded in battering a hole in the eastern end of 
the building; through this the rioters, with 
demoniac howlings, rushed in, firing pistols to 
the right and left. Huddled in corners and hid- 
den behind boxes they found eight terror- 
stricken Chinamen, who begged piteously for 
their lives. These were brutally dragged out 
and turned over to the fiendish mob. One was 
dragged to death by a rope around his neck; 
three, more dead than alive from kicking and 
beating, were hanged to a wagon on Los An- 
geles street; and four were hanged to the gate- 
way of Tomlinson's corral. Two of the victims 
were mere boys. While the shootings and hang- 
ings were going on thieves were looting the 
other houses in the Chinese quarters. The 
houses were broken into, trunks, boxes and 
other receptacles rifled of their contents, and 
any Chinamen found in the buildings were 
dragged forth to slaughter. Among the vic- 
tims was a doctor, Gene Tung, a quiet, inof- 
fensive old man. He pleaded for his life in good 
English, offering his captors all his money, 
some $2,000 to $3,000. He was hanged, his 
money stolen and one of his fingers cut off to 
obtain a ring he wore. The amount of money 
stolen by the mob from the Chinese quarters 
was variously estimated at from $40,000 to 
$50,000. 

About 9:30 p. m. the law abiding citizens, 
under the leadership of Henry Hazard, R. M. 
Widney, H. C. Austin, Sheriff Burns and oth- 
ers, had rallied in sufficient force to make an 
attempt to quell the mob. Proceeding to China- 
town they rescued several Chinamen from the 
rioters. The mob finding armed opposition 
quickly dispersed. 

The results of the mob's murderous work 
were ten men hanged on Los Angeles street, 
some to wagons and some to awnings; five 
hanged at Tomlinson's corral and four shot to 
death in Negro alley, nineteen in all. Of all the 
Chinamen murdered, the only one known to be 
implicated in the highbinder war was Ah Choy. 
All the other leaders escaped to the country 
before the attack was made by the mob. The 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L91 



grand jury, after weeks of investigation, found 
indictments against one hundred and fifty per- 
sons alleged to have been actively engaged in 
the massacre. The jury's report severely cen- 
sured "the officers of this county, as well as of 
this city, whose duty it is to preserve peace," 
and declared that they "were deplorably ineffi- 
cient in the performance of their duty during 
the scenes of confusion and bloodshed which 
disgraced our city, and has cast a reproach upon 
the people of Los Angeles county." Of all those 
indicted but six were convicted. These were 
sentenced to from four to six years in the state's 
prison, but through some legal technicality they 
were all released after serving a part of their 
sentence. 

The last execution in Los Angeles by a vig- 
ilance committee was that of Michael Lachenias, 
a French desperado, who had killed five or six 
men. The offense for which he was hanged was 
the murder of Jacob Bell, a little inoffensive 
man, who owned a small farm near that of 
Lachenias, south of the city. There had been 
a slight difference between them in regard to 
the use of water from a zanja. Lachenias, with- 
out a word of warning, rode up to Bell, where 
he was at work in his field, drew a revolver and 
shot him dead. The murderer then rode into 
town and boastingly informed the people of 
what he had done and told them where they 
would find Bell's body. He then surrendered 
himself to the officers and was locked up in 
jail. 

Public indignation was aroused. A meeting 
was held in Stearns' hall on Los Angeles street. 
A vigilance committee was formed and the de- 
tails of the execution planned. On the morning 
of the 17th of December, 1870, a body of three 
hundred armed men marched to the jail, took 
Lachenias out and proceeded with him to Tom- 
linson's corral on Temple and New High streets, 
and hanged him. The crowd then quietly dis- 
persed. 

A strange metamorphosis took place in the 
character of the lower classes of the native Cal- 
ifornians after the conquest. (The better classes 
were not changed in character by the changed 
conditions of the country, but throughout were 
true gentlemen and most worthy and honorable 



citizens.) Before the conquest by the Ameri- 
cans they were a peaceful and contented people. 
There were no organized bands of outlaws 
among them. After the discovery of gold the 
evolution of a banditti began and they produced 
some of the boldest robbers and most daring 
highwaymen the world has seen. 

The injustice of their conquerors had much to 
do with producing this change. The Ameri- 
cans not only took possession of their country 
and its government, but in many cases they de- 
spoiled them of their ancestral acres and their 
personal property. Injustice rankles; and it is 
not strange that the more lawless among the 
native population sought revenge and retalia- 
tion. They were often treated by the rougher 
American element as aliens and intruders, who 
had no right in the land of their birth. Such 
treatment embittered them more than loss of 
property. There were those, however, among 
the natives, who, once entered upon a career 
of crime, found robbery and murder congenial 
occupations. The plea of injustice was no ex- 
tenuation for their crimes. 

Joaquin Murieta was the most noted of the 
Mexican and Californian desperadoes of the 
early '50s. He was born in Sonora of good fam- 
ily and received some education. He came to 
California with the Sonoran migration of 1849, 
and secured a rich claim on the Stanislaus. He 
was dispossessed of this by half a dozen Amer- 
ican desperadoes, his wife abused and both 
driven from the diggings. He next took up a 
ranch on the Calaveras, but from this he was 
driven by two Americans. He next tried min- 
ing in the Murphy diggings, but was unsuccess- 
ful. His next occupation was that of a monte 
player. While riding into town on a horse bor- 
rowed from his half-brother he was stopped by 
an American, who claimed that the horse was 
stolen from him. Joaquin protested that the 
horse was a borrowed one from his half-brother 
and offered to procure witnesses to prove it. 
He was dragged from the saddle amid cries of 
"hang the greaser." He was taken to the ranch 
of his brother. The brother was hanged to the 
limb of a tree, no other proof of his crime being 
needed than the assertion of the American that 
the horse was his. Joaquin was stripped, bound 



192 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



to the same tree and flogged. The demon was 
aroused within him, and no wonder, he vowed 
revenge on the men who had murdered his 
brother and beaten him. Faithfully he carried 
out his vow of vengeance. Had he doomed 
only these to slaughter it would have been but 
little loss, but the implacable foe of every 
American, he made the innocent suffer with the 
guilty. He was soon at the head of a band of 
desperadoes, varying in numbers from twenty to 
forty. For three years he and his band were the 
terror of the state. From the northern mines 
to the Mexican border they committed robberies 
and murders. Claudio and some of his sub- 
ordinates were killed, but the robber chief 
seemed to bear a charmed life. Large rewards 
were offered for him dead or alive and numerous 
attempts were made to take him. Capt. Harry 
Love at the head of a band of rangers August, 
1853, came upon Joaquin and six of his gang 
in a camp near the Tejon Pass. In the fight that 
ensued Joaquin and Three Fingered Jack were 
killed. With the loss of their leaders the or- 
ganization was broken up. 

The last organized band of robbers which 
terrorized the southern part of the state was 
that of Vasquez. Tiburcio Vasquez was born 
in Monterey county, of Mexican parents, in 
1837. Earlv in life he began a career of crime. 
After committing a number of robberies and 
thefts he was captured and sent to San Ouentin 
for horse stealing. He was discharged in 1863, 
but continued his disreputable career. He 
united with Procopio and Soto, two noted ban- 
dits. Soto was killed by Sheriff Morse of Ala- 
meda county in a desperate encounter. Vasquez 
and his gang of outlaws committed robberies 
throughout the southern part of the state, rang- 
ing from Santa Clara and Alameda counties to 
the Mexican line. Early in May, 1874, Sheriff 
William Rowland of Los Angeles county, who 
had repeatedly tried to capture Vasquez, but 
whose plans had been foiled by the bandit's 



spies, learned that the robber chief was mak- 
ing his headquarters at the house of Greek 
George, about ten miles due west of Los An- 
geles, toward Santa Monica, in a canon of the 
Cahuenga mountains. The morning of May 15 
was set for the attack. To avert suspicion 
Sheriff Rowland remained in the city. The at- 
tacking force, eight in number, were under 
command of Under-Sheriff Albert Johnson, the 
other members of the force were Major H. M. 
Mitchell, attorney-at-law; J. S. Bryant, city con- 
stable; E. Harris, policeman; W. E. Rogers, 
citizen; B. F. Hartley, chief of police; and D. 
K. Smith, citizen, all of Los Angeles, and a Mr. 
Beers, of San Francisco, special correspondent 
of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

At 4 a. m. on the morning of the 15th of May 
the posse reached Major Mitchell's bee ranch 
in a small canon not far from Greek George's. 
From this point the party reconnoitered the 
bandit's hiding place and planned an attack. As 
the deputy sheriff and his men were about to 
move against the house a high box wagon drove 
up the canon from the direction of Greek 
George's place. In this were two natives; the 
sheriff's party climbed into the high wagon box 
and, lying down, compelled the driver to drive 
up to the back of Greek George's house, 
threatening him and his companion with death 
on the least sign of treachery. Reaching the 
house they surrounded it and burst in the door. 
Vasquez, who had been eating his breakfast, at- 
tempted to escape through a small window. 
The party opened fire on him. Being wounded 
and finding himself surrounded on all sides, he 
surrendered. He was taken to the Los Angeles 
jail. His injuries proved to be mere flesh 
wounds. He received a great deal of maudlin 
sympathy from silly women, who magnified him 
into a hero. He was taken to San Jose, tried 
for murder, found guilty and hanged, March 19, 
1875. His band was thereupon broken up and 
dispersed. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 



FILIBUSTERS AND FILIBUSTERING. 



THE rush of immigration to California in 
the early '50s had brought to the state 
a class of adventurers who were too 
lazy or too proud to work. They were ready 
to engage in almost any lawless undertaking 
that promised plunder and adventure. The de- 
feat of the pro-slavery politicians in their at- 
tempts to fasten their "peculiar institution" upon 
any part of the territory acquired from Mex- 
ico had embittered them. The more un- 
scrupulous among them began to look around 
for new fields, over which slavery might be ex- 
tended. As it could be made profitable only in 
southern lands, Cuba, Mexico and Central 
America became the arenas for enacting that 
form of piracy called "filibustering." The object 
of these forays, when organized by Americans, 
was to seize upon territory as had been done 
in Texas and erect it into an independent gov- 
ernment that ultimately would be annexed to 
the United States and become slave territory. 
Although the armed invasion of countries with 
which the United States was at peace was a di- 
rect violation of its neutrality laws, yet the fed- 
eral office-holders in the southern states and in 
California, all of whom belonged to the pro- 
slavery faction, not only made no attempt to 
prevent these invasions, but secretly aided them 
or at least sympathized with them to the extent 
of allowing them to recruit men and depart 
without molestation. There was a glamour of 
romance about these expeditions that influenced 
unthinking young men of no fixed principles 
to join them; these were to be pitied. But the 
leaders of them and their abettors were cold, 
selfish, scheming politicians, willing, if need be, 
to overthrow the government of the nation and 
build on its ruins an oligarchy of slave holders. 
The first to organize a filibuster expedition in 
California was a Frenchman. Race prejudices 
were strong in early mining days. The United 



States had recently been at war with Mexico. 
The easy conquest of that country had bred a 
contempt for its peoples. The Sonoran migra- 
tion, that begun soon after the discovery of 
gold in California, brought a very undesirable 
class of immigrants to the state. Sailing vessels 
had brought from the west coast of South 
America another despised class of mongrel 
Spanish. It exasperated the Americans to see 
these people digging gold and carrying it out 
of the country. This antagonism extended, more 
or less, to all foreigners, but was strongest 
against men of the Latin races. Many French- 
men, through emigration schemes gotten up 
in Paris, had been induced to come to Califor- 
nia. Some of these were men of education and 
good standing, but they fell under the ban of 
prejudices and by petty persecutions were 
driven out of the mines and forced to earn a 
precarious living in the cities. There was a 
great deal of dissatisfaction amon<j the French- 
men with existing conditions in California, and 
they were ready to embark in any scheme that 
promised greater rewards. Among the French 
population of San Francisco was a man of noble 
family, Count Gaston Roaul de Raousset-Boul- 
bon. He had lost his ancestral lands and was 
in reduced circumstances. He was a man of 
education and ability, but visionary. lie con- 
ceived the idea of establishing a French colony 
on the Sonora border and opening the mines 
that had been abandoned on account of Apache 
depredations. By colonizing the border he 
hoped to put a stop to American encroachments. 
He divulged his scheme to the French consul, 
Dillon, at San Francisco, who entered heartily 
into it. Raousset was sent to the City of Mex- 
ico, where he obtained from President Arista 
the desired concession of land and the promise 
of financial assistance from a leading banking 
house there on condition that he proceed at 



194 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



once to Sonora with an armed company of 
Frenchmen. Returning to San Francisco he 
quickly recruited from among the French resi- 
dents two hundred and fifty men and with these 
he sailed for Guaymas, where he arrived early 
in June, 1852. He was well received at first, 
but soon found himself regarded with suspicion. 
He was required by the authorities to remain 
at Guaymas. After a month's detention he was 
allowed to proceed through Hermosilla to the 
Arizona border. 

When about one hundred miles from Arispe 
he received an order from General Blanco, then 
at Hermosilla, to report to him. While halting 
at El Caric to consider his next move he re- 
ceived a reinforcement of about eighty French 
colonists, who had come to the country the year 
before under command of Pindray. Pindray 
had met his death in a mysterious manner. It 
was supposed that he was poisoned. The colon- 
ist had remained in the country. Raousset sent 
one of his men, Gamier, to interview Blanco. 
General Blanco gave his ultimatum — First, that 
the Frenchmen should become naturalized citi- 
zens of Mexico; or, secondly, they should wait 
until letters of security could be procured from 
the capital, when they might proceed to Arizona 
and take possession of any mines they found; 
or, lastly, they might put themselves under the 
leadership of a Mexican officer and then proceed. 
Raousset and his followers refused to accede to 
any of these propositions. Blanco began col- 
lecting men and munitions of war to oppose the 
French. Raousset raised the flag of revolt and 
invited the inhabitants to join him in gaining 
the independence of Sonora. After drilling his 
men a few weeks and preparing for hostilities 
he began his march against Hermosilla, distant 
one hundred and fifty miles. He met with no 
opposition, the people along his route welcom- 
ing the French. General Blanco had twelve 
hundred men to defend the city. But instead of 
preparing to resist the advancing army he sent 
delegates to Raousset to offer him money to let 
the city alone. Raousset sent back word that 
at 8 o'clock he would begin the attack; and at 
1 1 would be master of the city. He was as good 
as his word. The Frenchmen charged the Mex- 
icans and although the opposing force num- 



bered four to one of the assailants, Raousset's 
men captured the town and drove Blanco's 
troops out of it. The Mexican loss was two 
hundred killed and wounded. The French loss 
seventeen killed and twenty-three wounded 
Raousset's men were mere adventurers and were 
in the country without any definite purpose. 
Could he have relied on them, he might have 
captured all of Sonora. 

He abandoned Hermosilla. Blanco, glad to 
get rid of the filibusters on any terms, raised 
$11,000 and chartered a vessel to carry them 
back to San Francisco. A few elected to re- 
main. Raousset went to Mazatlan and a few 
months later he reached San Francisco, where 
he was lionized as a hero. Upon an invitation 
from Santa Ana, who had succeeded Arista as 
president, he again visited the Mexican capital 
in June, 1853. Santa Ana was profuse in prom- 
ises. He wanted Raousset to recruit five hun- 
dred Frenchmen to protect the Sonora frontier 
against the Indians, promising ample remunera- 
tion and good pay for their services. Raousset, 
finding that Santa Ana's promises could not be 
relied upon, and that the wiley schemer was 
about to have him arrested, made his escape to 
Acapulco, riding several horses to death to 
reach there ahead of his pursuers. He embarked 
immediately for San Francisco. 

In the meantime another filibuster, William 
Walker, with forty-one followers had landed at 
La Paz November 3, 1853, and proclaimed a 
new nation, the Republic of Lower California. 
Santa Ana, frightened by this new invasion, be- 
gan making overtures through the Mexican con- 
sul, Luis del Valle, at San Francisco to secure 
French recruits for military service on the Mex- 
ican frontier. Del Valle applied to the French 
consul, Dillon, and Dillon applied to Raousset. 
Raousset soon secured eight hundred recruits 
and chartered the British ship Challenge to take 
them to Guaymas. Then the pro-slavery federal 
officials at San Francisco were aroused to ac- 
tion. The neutrality laws were being violated. 
It was not that they cared for the laws, but they 
feared that this new filibustering scheme might 
interfere with their pet, Walker, who had, in ad- 
dition to the Republic of Lower California, 
founded another nation, the Republic of Sonora, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L95 



in both of which lie had decreed slavery. The 
ship was seized, but after a short detention was 
allowed to sail with three hundred French- 
men. 

Del Yalle was vigorously prosecuted by the 
federal authorities for violation of a section of 
the neutrality laws, which forbade the enlistment 
within the United States of soldiers to serve un- 
der a foreign power. Dillon, the French con- 
sul, was implicated and on his refusal to testify 
in court he was arrested. He fell back on his 
dignity and asserted that his nation had been in- 
sulted through him and closed his consulate. 
For a time there were fears of international 
trouble. 

Del Yalle was found guilty of violating the 
neutrality laws, but was never punished. The 
pro-slavery pet, Walker, and his gang were 
driven out of Mexico and the federal officials 
had no more interest in enforcing neutrality 
laws. Meanwhile Raousset, after great diffi- 
culties, had joined the three hundred French- 
men at Guaymas. A strip of northern Sonora 
had been sold under what is known as the Gads- 
den purchase to the United States. There was 
no longer any opportunity to secure mines there 
from Mexico, but Raousset thought he could 
erect a barrier to any further encroachments of 
the United States and eventually secure Mexico 
for France. His first orders on reaching Guay- 
mas to the commander of the French, Desmaris, 
was to attack the Mexican troops and capture 
the city. His order did not reach Desmaris. His 
messenger was arrested and the Mexican au- 
thorities begun collecting forces to oppose 
Raousset. Having failed to receive reinforce- 
ments, and his condition becoming unendurable, 
he made an attack on the Mexican forces, twelve 
hundred strong. After a brave assault he was 
defeated. He surrendered to the French consul 
on the assurance that his life and that of his 
men would be spared. He was treacherously 
surrendered by the French consul to the Mex- 
ican general. He was tried by a court-martial, 
found guilty and sentenced to be shot. On the 
morning of August 12, 1854, he was executed. 
His misguided followers were shipped back to 
San Francisco. So ended the first California 
filibuster. 



The first American born filibuster who or- 
ganized one of these piratical expeditions was 
William Walker, a native of Tennessee, lie 
came to California with the rush of 1850. He 
had started out in life to be a doctor, had studied 
law and finally drifted into journalism. He be- 
longed to the extreme pro-slavery faction. lie 
located in San Francisco and found employment 
on the Herald. His bitter invective against the 
courts for their laxity in punishing crime raised 
the ire of Judge Levi Parsons, who fined Walker 
$500 for contempt of court and ordered him 
imprisoned until the fine was paid. Walker re- 
fused to pay the fine and went to jail. He at 
once bounded into notoriety. He was a mar- 
tyr to the freedom of the press. A public in- 
dignation meeting was called. An immense 
crowd of sympathizers called on Walker in jail. 
A writ of habeas corpus was sued out and he 
was released from jail and discharged. In the 
legislature of 1852 he tried to have Parson im- 
peached, but failed. He next opened a law of- 
fice in Marysville. 

The success of Raousset-Boulbon in his first 
expedition to Sonora had aroused the ambition 
of Walker to become the founder of a new gov- 
ernment. His first efforts were directed towards 
procuring from Mexico a grant on the Sonora 
border; this was to be colonized with Americans, 
who would protect the Mexican frontier from 
Apache incursion. This was a mere subterfuge 
and the Mexican authorities were not deceived 
by it — he got no grant. To forestall Raousset- 
Boulbon, who was again in the field with his 
revolutionary scheme, Walker opened a recruit- 
ing office. Each man was to receive a square 
league of land and plunder galore. The bait 
took, meetings were held, scrip sold and re- 
cruits flocked to Walker. The brig Arrow was 
chartered to carry the liberators to their des- 
tination. The pro-slavery officials, who held all 
the offices, winked at this violation of the neu- 
trality laws. There was but one man, General 
Hitchcock, who dared to do his duty. He seized 
the vessel; it was released, and Hitchcock re- 
moved from command. Jefferson Davis was 
secretary of war and Hitchcock was made to feel 
his wrath for interfering with one of Davis' pet 
projects, the extension of slavery. Walker 



196 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



sailed in another vessel, the Caroline, taking 
with him forty-one of his followers, well armed 
with rifles and revolvers to develop the re- 
sources of the country. 

The vessel with Walker and his gang sneaked 
into La Paz under cover of a Mexican flag. He 
seized the unsuspecting governor and other offi- 
cials and then proclaimed the Republic of Lower 
California. He appointed from his following a 
number of officials with high sounding titles. 
He adopted the code of Louisiana as the law of 
the land. This, as far as he was able, introduced 
into the country human slavery, which indeed 
was about the sole purpose of his filibuster- 
ing schemes. Fearing that the Mexican gov- 
ernment might send an expedition across the 
gulf to stop his marauding, he slipped out of 
the harbor and sailed up to Todas Santos, so as 
to be near the United States in case the Mexican 
government should make it uncomfortable for 
him. With this as headquarters he began prepa- 
rations for an invasion of Sonora. His delectable 
followers appropriated to their own use what- 
ever they could find in the poverty-stricken 
country. The news of the great victory at La 
Paz reached San Francisco and created great 
enthusiasm among Walker's sympathizers. His 
vice-president, Watkins, enrolled three hundred 
recruits and sent them to him, "greatly to the 
relief of the criminal calendar." 

Walker began to drill his recruits for the con- 
quest of Sonora. These patriots, who had ral- 
lied to the support of the* new republic, under 
the promise of rich churches to pillage and well- 
stocked ranches to plunder, did not take kindly 
to a diet of jerked beef and beans and hard drill- 
ing under a torrid sun. Some rebelled and it 
became necessary for Walker to use the lash 
and even to shoot two of them for the good of 
the cause. The natives rebelled when they found 
their cattle and frijoles disappearing and the so- 
called battle of La Gualla was fought between 
the natives and a detachment of Walker's forag- 
ers, several of whom were killed. The news of 
this battle reached San Francisco and was mag- 
nified into a great victory. The new republic 
had been baptized in the blood of its martyrs. 

After three months spent in drilling, Walker 
began his march to Sonora with but one hun- 



dred men, and a small herd of cattle for food. 
Most of the others had deserted. In his jour- 
ney across the desert the Indians stole some of 
his cattle and more of his men deserted. On 
reaching the Colorado river about half of his 
force abandoned the expedition and marched 
to Fort Yuma, where Major Heintzelman re- 
lieved their necessities. Walker with thirty-five 
men had started back for Santa Tomas. They 
brought up at Tia Juana, where they crossed 
the American line, surrendered and gave their 
paroles to Major McKinstry of the United 
States army. When -Walker and his Falstaffian 
army reached San Francisco they were lionized 
as heroes. All they had done was to kill a few 
inoffensive natives on the peninsula and steal 
their cattle. Their valiant leader had proclaimed 
two republics and decreed (on paper) that slav- 
ery should prevail in them. He had had sev- 
eral of his dupes whipped and two of them shot, 
which was probably the most commendable 
thing he had done. His proclamations were 
ridiculous and his officers with their high sound- 
ing titles had returned from their burlesque con- 
quest with scarcely rags enough on them to 
cover their nakedness. Yet, despite all this, 
the attempt to enlarge the area of slave territory 
covered him with glory and his rooms were the 
resort of all the pro-slavery officials of Califor- 
nia. 

The federal officials made a show of prosecut- 
ing the filibusters. Watkins, the vice-president 
of the Republic of Lower California and So- 
nora, was put on trial in the United States dis- 
trict court. The evidence was so plain and the 
proof so convincing that the judge was com- 
pelled to convict against his will. This delightful 
specimen of a pro-slavery justice expressed 
from the bench his sympathy for "those spirited 
men who had gone forth to upbuild the broken 
altars and rekindle the extinguished fires of lib- 
erty in Mexico and Lower California." With 
such men to enforce the laws, it was not strange 
that vigilance committees were needed in Cal- 
ifornia. Watkins and Emory, the so-called sec- 
retary of state, were fined each $1,500. The 
fines were never paid and no effort was ever 
made to compel their payment. The secretary 
of war and the secretary of the navy were put 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1!)7 



on trial and acquitted. This ended the shame- 
ful farce. 

Walker's next expedition was to Nicaragua in 
1855. A revolution was in progress there. He 
joined forces with the Democratic party or anti- 
legitimists. He took but fifty-six men with 
him. These were called the American phalanx. 
His first engagement was an attack upon the 
fortified town of Rivas. Although his men 
fought bravely, they were defeated and two of 
his best officers, Kewen and Crocker, killed. 
His next fight was the battle of Virgin Bay, in 
which, with fifty Americans and one hundred 
and twenty natives, he defeated six hundred 
legitimists. He received reinforcements from 
California and reorganized his force. He 
seized the Accessory Transit Company's lake 
steamer La Virgin against the protest of the 
company, embarked his troops on board of it 
and by an adroit movement captured the capi- 
tal city, Granada. His exploits were heralded 
abroad and recruits flocked to his support. The 
legitimist had fired upon a steamer bringing pas- 
sengers up the San Juan river and killed several. 
Walker in retaliation ordered Mateo Mazorga, 
the legitimist secretary of state, whom he had 
taken prisoner at Granada, shot. Peace was de- 
clared between the two parties and Patrico 
Rivas made president. Rivas was president only 
in name; Walker was the real head of the gov- 
ernment and virtually dictator. 

He was now at the zenith of his power. By a 
series of arbitrary acts he confiscated the Ac- 
cessory Transit Company's vessels and charter. 
This company had become a power in California 
travel and had secured the exclusive transit of 
passengers by the Nicaragua route, then the 
most popular route to California. 

By this action he incurred the enmity of Van- 
derbilt, who henceforth worked for his down- 
fall. The confiscation of the transit company's 
right destroyed confidence in the route, and 
travel virtually ceased by it. This was a blow 
to the prosperity of the country. To add to 
Walker's misfortunes, the other Central Amer- 
ican states combined to drive the hated foreign- 
ers out of the country. He had gotten rid of 
Rivas and had secured the presidency for him- 
self. He had secured the repeal of the Nic- 



aragua laws against slavery and thus paved the 
way for the introduction of his revered institu- 
tion. His army now amounted to about twelve 
hundred men, mostly recruited from California 
and the slave slates. The cholera broke out 
among his forces ami in the armies of the allies 
and numbers died. His cause was rapidly wan- 
ing. Many of his dupes deserted. A series of 
disasters arising from his blundering and in- 
capacity, resulted in his overthrow. He and 
sixteen of his officers were taken out of the 
country on the United States sloop of war, St. 
.Mary's. The governor of Panama refused to 
allow him to land in that city. lie was sent 
across the isthmus under guard to Aspinwall 
and from there with his staff took passage to 
New Orleans. His misguided followers were 
transported to Panama and found their way 
back to the United States. 

Upon arriving at New Orleans he began re- 
cruiting for a new expedition. One hundred and 
fifty of his "emigrants" sailed from Mobile; the 
pro-slavery federal officials allowing them to 
depart. They were wrecked on Glover's reef, 
about seventy miles from Balize. They were 
rescued by a British vessel and returned to Mo- 
bile. Walker, with one hundred and thirty-two 
armed emigrants, landed at Punta Arenas, No- 
vember 25, 1857, and hoisted his Nicaraguan 
flag and called himself commander-in-chief of 
the army of Nicaragua. He and his men began 
a career of plunder; seized the fort or Cas- 
tillo on the San Juan river; captured steam- 
ers, killed several inhabitants and made 
prisoners of others. Commander Paulding, 
of the United States flagship Wabash, then 
on that coast, regarded these acts as rapine 
and murder, and Walker and his men as out- 
laws and pirates. He broke up their camp, dis- 
armed Walker and his emigrants and sent them 
to the United States for trial. But instead of 
Walker and his followers being tried for piracy 
their oro-slavery abettors made heroes of them. 
Walker's last effort to regain his lost prestige 
in Nicaragua was made in i860. With two hun- 
dred men, recruited in New Orleans, he landed 
near Truxillo, in Honduras. His intention was 
to make his way by land to Nicaragua. He very 
soon found armed opposition. His new recruits 



198 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



were not inclined to sacrifice themselves to make 
him dictator of some country that they had no 
interest in. So they refused to stand up against 
the heavy odds they encountered in every fight. 
Finding his situation growing desperate, he was 
induced to surrender himself to the captain of 
the British man-of-war Icarus. The authorities 
of Honduras made a demand on the captain for 
Walker. That British officer promptly turned 
the filibuster over to them. He was tried by 
a court-martial, hastily convened, found guilty 
of the offenses charged, and condemned to die. 
September 25, i860, he was marched out and, 
in accordance with his sentence, shot to death. 

Walker's career is an anomaly in the history 
of mankind. Devoid of all the characteristics of 
a great leader, without a commanding presence, 
puny in size, homely to the point of ugliness, 
in disposition, cold, cruel, selfish, heartless, stol- 
idly indifferent to the suffering of others, living 
only to gratify the cravings of his inordinate 
ambition — it is strange that such a man could 
attract thousands to offer their lives for his 
aggrandizement and sacrifice themselves for a 
cause of which he was the exponent, a cause the 
most ignoble, the extension of human slavery, 
that for such a man and for such a cause thou- 
sands did offer up their lives is a sad commen- 
tary on the political morality of that time. It 
is said that over ten thousand men joined 
Walker in his filibustering schemes and that 
fifty-seven hundred of these found graves in 
Nicaragua. Of the number of natives killed in 
battle or who died of disease, there is no record, 
but it greatly exceeded Walker's losses. 

While Walker was attaining some success in 
Nicaragua, another California filibuster entered 
the arena. This was Henry A. Crabb, a Stock- 
ton lawyer. Like Walker, he was a native of 
Tennessee, and, like him, too, he was a rabid 
pro-slavery advocate. He had served in the 
assembly and one term in the state senate. It 
is said he was the author of a bill to allow slave- 
holders who brought their slaves into California 
before its admission to take their human chattels 
back into bondage. He was originally a Whig, 
but had joined the Know-Nothing party and was 
a candidate of that party for United States sen- 
ator in 1856; but his extreme southern princi- 



ples prevented his election. He had married a 
Spanish wife, who had numerous and influential 
relatives in Sonora. It was claimed that Crabb 
had received an invitation from some of these to 
bring down an armed force of Americans to 
overthrow the government and make himself 
master of the country. Whether he did or did 
not receive such an invitation, he did recruit a 
body of men for some kind of service in Sonora. 
With a force of one hundred men, well armed 
with rifles and revolvers, he sailed, in January, 
1857, on the steamer Sea Bird, from San Fran- 
cisco to San Pedro and from there marched over- 
land. As usual, no attempt was made by the 
federal authorities to prevent him from invading 
a neighboring country with an armed force. 

He entered Sonora at Sonita, a small town 
one hundred miles from Yuma. His men helped 
themselves to what they could find. When ap- 
proaching the town of Cavorca they were fired 
upon by a force of men lying in ambush. The 
fire was kept up from all quarters. They made a 
rush and gained the shelter of the houses. In 
the charge two of their men had been killed and 
eighteen wounded. In the house they had taken 
possession of they were exposed to shots from 
a church. Crabb and fifteen of his men at- 
tempted to blow open the doors of the church 
with gunpowder, but in the attempt, which 
failed, five of the men were killed, and seven, 
including Crabb, wounded. After holding out 
for five days they surrendered to the Mexicans, 
Gabilondo, the Mexican commander, promising 
to spare their lives. Next morning they were 
marched out in squads of five to ten and shot. 
Crabb was tied to a post and a hundred balls 
fired into him; his head was cut off and placed 
in a jar of mescal. The only one spared was a 
boy of fifteen, Charles E. Evans. A party of 
sixteen men whom Crabb had left at Sonita 
was surprised and all massacred. The boy 
Evans was the only one left to tell the fate of the 
ill-starred expedition. This put an end to fili- 
bustering expeditions into Sonora. 

These armed forays on the neighboring coun- 
tries to the south of the United States ceaf-f" 
with the beginning of the war of secession. 
They had all been made for the purpose of ac- 
quiring slave territory. The leaders of them 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



199 



were southern men and the rank and file were 
mostly recruited from natives of the slave states. 
Bancroft truthfully says of these filibustering 
expeditions: "They were foul robberies, covered 
by the flimsiest of political and social pretenses, 
gilded by false aphorisms and profane distortion 
of sacred formulae. Liberty dragged in the mud 
for purposes of theft and human enslavement ; 
the cause of humanity bandied in filthy mouths 
to promote atrocious butcheries; peaceful, 



blooming valleys given over to devastation and 
ruin; happy families torn asunder, and widows 
and orphans cast adrift to nurse affliction; and 
finally, the peace of nations imperiled, and the 
morality of right insulted. The thought of such 
results should obliterate all romance, and turn 
pride to shame. They remain an ineffaceable 
stain upon the government of the most progres- 
sive of nations, and veil in dismal irony the 
dream of manifest destiny." 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

FROM GOLD TO GRAIN AND FRUITS. 



UNDER the Spanish and Mexican jurisdic- 
tions there was but little cultivation of 
the soil in California. While the gardens 
of some of the missions, and particularly those 
of Santa Barbara and San Buenaventura, pre- 
sented a most appetizing display of fruit and 
vegetables, at the ranchos there were but mea- 
ger products. Gilroy says that when he came 
to the country, in 1814, potatoes were not cul- 
tivated and it was a rare thing outside of the 
mission gardens to find any onions or cabbages. 
A few acres of wheat and a small patch of maize 
or corn furnished bread, or, rather, tortillas for 
a family. At the missions a thick soup made of 
boiled wheat or maize and meat was the stand- 
ard article of diet for the neophytes. This was 
portioned out to them in the quantity of about 
three pints to each person. Langsdorff, who 
witnessed the distribution of soup rations to the 
Indians at Santa Clara, says: "It appeared in- 
comprehensible how any one could three times a 
day eat so large a portion of such nourishing 
food." The neophytes evidently had healthy ap- 
petites. Frijoles (beans) were the staple vege- 
table dish in Spanish families. These were 
served up at almost every meal. The bill of 
fare for a native Californian family was very 
simple. 

A considerable amount of wheat was raised 
at the more favorably located missions. It was 
not raised for export, but to feed the neophytes. 



The wheat fields had to be fenced in, or perhaps 
it would be more in accordance with the facts 
to say that the cattle had to be fenced out. As 
timber was scarce, adobe brick did duty for 
fencing as well as for house building. Some- 
times the low adobe walls were made high and 
safe by placing on top of them a row of the 
skulls of Spanish cattle with the long, curving 
horns attached to them pointing outward. These 
were brought from the matanzas or slaughter 
corrals where there were thousands of them 
lying around. It was almost impossible for 
man or beast to scale such a fence. 

The agricultural implements of the early Cali- 
fornians were few and simple. The Mexican 
plow was a forked stick with an iron point fas- 
tened to the fork or branch that penetrated the 
ground. It turned no furrow, but merely 
scratched the surface of the ground. After sow- 
ing it was a race between the weeds and the 
grain. It depended on the season which won. 
If the season was cold and backward, so that 
the seed did not sprout readily, the weeds got 
the start and won out easily. And yet with such 
primitive cultivation the yield was sometimes 
astonishing. At the Mission San Diego the 
crop of wheat one year produced one hundred 
and ninety-five fold. As the agriculturist had 
a large area from which to select his arable land, 
only the richest soils were chosen. Before the 
discovery of gold there was little or no market 



200 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



for grain, and each ranchero raised only enough 
for his own use. For a time there was some 
trade with the Russians in grain to supply their 
settlements in Alaska, but this did not continue 
long. 

When some of the Americans who came in 
the gold rush began to turn their attention to 
agriculture they greatly underrated the produc- 
tiveness of the country. To men raised where 
the summer rains were needed to raise a crop 
it seemed impossible to- produce a crop in a 
country that was rainless for six or eight months 
of the year. All attempts at agriculture hitherto 
had been along the rivers, and it was generally 
believed that the plains back from the water 
courses could never be used for any other pur- 
pose than cattle raising. 

The mining rush of '49 found California with- 
out vegetables and fresh fruit. The distance 
was too great for the slow transportation of 
that day to ship these into the country. Those 
who first turned their attention to market gar- 
dening made fortunes. The story is told of an 
old German named Schwartz who had a small 
ranch a few miles below Sacramento. In 1848, 
when everybody was rushing to the mines, he 
remained on his farm, unmoved by the stories 
of the wonderful finds of gold. Anticipating a 
greater rush in 1849, ne planted several acres 
in watermelons. As they ripened he took them 
up to the city and disposed of them at prices 
ranging from $1 to $5, according to size. He 
realized that season from his melons alone 
$30,000. The first field of cabbages, was grown 
by George H. Peck and a partner in 1850. From 
defective seed or some other cause the cabbage 
failed to come to a head. Supposing that the 
defect was in the climate and not in the cabbage, 
the honest rancher marketed his crop in San 
Francisco, carrying a cabbage in each hand 
along the streets until he found a customer. To 
the query why there were no heads to them 
the reply was, "That's the way cabbages grow 
in California." He got rid of his' crop at the 
rate of $1 apiece for each headless cabbage. 
But all the vegetable growing experiments were 
not a financial success. The high price of po- 
tatoes in 1849 started a tuber-growing epidemic 
in 1850. Hundreds of acres were planted to 



"spuds" in the counties contiguous to San 
Francisco, the agriculturists paying as high as 
fifteen cents per pound for seed. The yield was 
enormous and the market was soon overstocked. 
The growers who could not dispose of their 
potatoes stacked them up in huge piles in the 
fields; and there they rotted, filling the country 
around with their effluvia. The next year no- 
body planted potatoes, and prices went up to 
the figures of '49 and the spring of '50. 

The size to which vegetables grew astonished 
the amateur agriculturists. Beets, when allowed 
to grow to maturity, resembled the trunks of 
trees; onions looked like squash, while a patch 
of pumpkins resembled a tented field; and corn 
grew so tall that the stalks had to be felled to 
get at the ears. Onions were a favorite vege- 
table in the mining camps on account of their 
anti-scorbutic properties as a preventive of 
scurvy. The honest miner was not fastidious 
about the aroma. They were a profitable crop, 
too. One ranchero in the Napa valley was re- 
ported to have cleared $8,000 off two acres of 
onions. 

With the decline of gold mining, wheat be- 
came the staple product of central California. 
The nearness to shipping ports and the large 
yields made wheat growing very profitable. In 
the years immediately following the Civil war 
the price ranged high and a fortune was some- 
times made from the products of a single field. 
It may be necessary to explain that the field 
might contain anywhere from five hundred to 
a thousand acres. The grain area was largely 
extended by the discovery that land in the 
upper mesas, which had been regarded as only 
fit for pasture land, was good for cereals. The 
land in the southern part of the state, which 
was held in large grants, continued to be de- 
voted to cattle raising for at least two decades 
after the American conquest. After the dis- 
covery of gold, cattle raising became immensely 
profitable. Under the Mexican regime a steer 
was worth what his hide and tallow would bring 
or about $2 or $3. The rush of immigration in 
1849 sent th e P" ce OI cattle up until a fat bul- 
lock sold for from $30 to $35. The' profit to a 
ranchero who had a thousand or more marketa- 
ble cattle was a fortune. A good, well-stocked 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



201 



cattle ranch was more valuable than a gold 
mine. 

The enormous profits in cattle raising dazed 
the Californians. Had they been thrifty and 
economical, they might have grown rich. But 
the sudden influx of wealth engendered extrava- 
gant habits and when the price of cattle fell, as 
it did in a few- years, the spendthrift customs 
were continued. When the cattle market was 
dull it was easy to raise money by mortgaging 
the ranch. With interest at the rate of 5 per 
cent per month, compounded monthly, it did 
not take long for land and cattle both to change 
hands. It is related of the former owner of 
the Santa Gertrudes rancho that he borrowed 
$500 from a money lender, at 5 per cent a 
month, to beat a poker game, but did not suc- 
ceed. Then he borrowed more money to pay 
the interest on the first and kept on doing so 
until interest and principal amounted to $100,- 
000; then the mortgage was foreclosed and 
property to-day worth $1,000,000 was lost for 
a paltry $500 staked on a poker game. 

Gold mining continued to be the prevailing 
industry of northern California. The gold pro- 
duction reached its acme in 1853, when the 
total yield was $65,000,000. From that time 
there was a gradual decline in production and 
in the number of men employed. Many had 
given up the hopes of striking it rich and quit 
the business for something more certain and 
less illusive. The production of gold in 1852 
was $60,000,000, yet the average yield to each 
man of the one hundred thousand engaged in 
it was only about $600, or a little over $2 per 
day to the man, scarcely living wages as prices 
were then. It has been claimed that the cost of 
producing the gold, counting all expenditures, 
was three times the value of that produced. 
Even if it did, the development of the country 
and impulse given to trade throughout the 
world would more than counterbalance the loss. 

At the time of the discovery of gold nearly all 
of the fruit raised in California was produced at 
Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In Spanish and 
Mexican days, Los Angeles had been the prin- 
cipal wine-producing district of California. Al- 
though wine, as well as other spirituous liquors, 
were in demand, the vineyardists found it more 



profitable to ship their grapes to San Francisco 
than to manufacture them into wine. Grapes 
retailed in the city of San Francisco at from 
twelve and one-half to twenty-live cents a 
pound. The vineyards were as profitable as 
the cattle ranches. The mission Indians did the 
labor in the vineyards and were paid in aguar- 
diente on Saturday night. By Sunday morning 
they were all drunk; then they were gathered 
up and put into a corral. On Monday morning 
they were sold to pay the cost of their dissipa- 
tion. It did not take many years to kill off the 
Indians. The city lias grown over the former 
sites of the vineyards. 

The first orange trees were planted at the 
Mission San Gabriel about the year 181 5 and 
a few at Los Angeles about the same time. But 
little attention w^as given to the industry by the 
Californians. The first extensive grove was 
planted by William Wolfskill in 1840. The im- 
pression then prevailed that oranges could be 
grown only on the low lands near the river. 
The idea of attempting to grow them on the 
mesa lands was scouted at by the Californians 
and the Americans. The success that attended 
the Riverside experiment demonstrated that 
they could be grown on the mesas, and that the 
fruit produced was superior to that grown on 
the river bottoms. This gave such an impetus 
to the industry in the south that it has distanced 
all others. The yearly shipment to the eastern 
markets is twenty thousand car loads. The cit- 
rus belt is extending every year. 

The Californians paid but little attention to 
the quality of the fruit they raised. The seed 
fell in the ground and sprouted. If the twig 
survived and grew to be a tree, they ate the fruit, 
asking no question whether the quality might 
be improved. The pears grown at the missions 
and at some of the ranch houses were hard and 
tasteless. It was said they never ripened. A 
small black fig was cultivated in a few places, 
but the quantity of fruit grown outside of the 
mission gardens was very small. 

The high price of all kinds of fritit in the early 
'50s induced the importation of apple, peach, 
pear, plum and prune trees. These thrived and 
soon supplied the demand. Before the advent 
of the railroads and the shipment east the quan- 



202 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



tity of deciduous fruit produced had outgrown 
the demand, and there was no profit in its pro- 
duction. All this has been changed by eastern 
shipment. 

Sheep were brought to the country with the 
first missionary expeditions. The Indian in his 
primitive condition did not use clothing. A 
coat of mud was his only garment and he was 
not at all particular about the fit of that. After 
his conversion the missionaries put clothing on 
him, or, rather, on part of him. He was given a 
shirt, which was a shirt of Nessus, being made of 
the coarse woolen cloth manufactured at the 
mission. It was irritating to the skin and com- 
pelled the poor wretches to keep up a continual 
scratching; at least, that is what Hugo Reid 
tells us. During the Civil war and for several 
years after, the sheep industry was very profit- 
able. The subdivision of the great ranchos and 
the absorption of the land for grain growing and 
fruit culture have contracted the sheep ranges 
until there is but little left for pasture except the 
foothills that are too rough for cultivation. 

Up to 1863 the great Spanish grants that cov- 
ered the southern part of the state had, with a 
few exceptions, been held intact and cattle rais- 
ing had continued to be the principal industry. 
For several seasons previous to the famine years 
of 1863 and 1864 there had been heavy rainfalls 
and consequently feed was abundant. With the 
price of cattle declining, the rancheros over- 
stocked their ranges to make up by quantity for 
decrease in value. When the dry year of 
1863 set in, the feed on ranches was soon ex- 
hausted and the cattle starving. The second 
famine year following, the cattle industry was 
virtually wiped out of existence and the cattle- 
owners ruined. In Santa Barbara, where 
the cattle barons held almost imperial sway, 
and, with their army of retainers, controlled the 
political affairs of the county, of the two hun- 
dred thousand cattle listed on the assessment 
roll of 1862, only five thousand were alive when 
grass grew in 1865. On the Stearns' ranchos in 
Los Angeles county, one hundred thousand 
head of cattle and horses perished, and the 
owner of a quarter million acres and a large 
amount of city property could not raise money- 
enough to pay his taxes. 



Many of the rancheros were in debt when the 
hard times came, and others mortgaged their 
land at usurious rates of interest to carry them 
through the famine years. Their cattle dead, 
they had no income to meet the interest on the 
cancerous mortgage that was eating up their 
patrimony. The result was that they were com- 
pelled either to sell their land or the mortgage 
was foreclosed and they lost it. This led to the 
subdivision of the large grants into small hold- 
ings, the new proprietors finding that there was 
more profit in selling them off in small tracts 
than in large ones. This brought in an intelli- 
gent and progressive population, and in a few 
years entirely revolutionized the agricultural 
conditions of the south. Grain growing and 
fruit raising became the prevailing industries. 
The adobe ranch house with its matanzas and 
its Golgotha of cattle skulls and bones gave 
place to the tasty farm house with its flower 
garden, lawn and orange grove. 

The Californians paid but little attention to 
improving the breed of their cattle. When the 
only value in an animal was the hide and tallow, 
it did not pay to improve the breed. The hide 
of a long-horned, mouse-colored Spanish steer 
would sell for as much as that of a high-bred 
Durham or Holstein, and, besides, the first 
could exist where the latter would starve to 
death. After the conquest there was for some 
time but little improvement. Cattle were brought 
across the plains, but for the most part these 
were the mongrel breeds of the western states 
and were but little improvement on the Spanish 
stock. It was not until the famine years vir- 
tually exterminated the Spanish cattle that bet- 
ter breeds were introduced. 

As with cattle, so also it was with horses. 
Little attention was given to improving the 
breed. While there were a few fine race horses 
and saddle horses in the country before its 
American occupation, the prevailing equine was 
the mustang. He was a vicious beast, nor was 
it strange that his temper was bad. He had to 
endure starvation and abuse that would have 
killed a more aristocratic animal. He took care 
of himself, subsisted on what he could pick up 
and to the best of his ability resented ill treat- 
ment. Horses during the Mexican regime were 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



203 



used only for riding. Oxen were the draft ani- 
mals. The mustang had one inherent trait that 
did not endear him to an American, and that 
was his propensity to "buck." With his nose 
between his knees, his back arched and his legs 
stiffened, by a series of short, quick jumps, he 
could dismount an inexperienced rider with 
neatness and dispatch. The Californian took 
delight in urging the bronco to "buck" so that 
he (the rider) might exhibit his skillful horse- 
manship. The mustang had some commenda- 
ble traits as well. He was sure-footed as a goat 
and could climb the steep hillsides almost equal 
to that animal. He had an easy gait under the 
saddle and could measure off mile, after mile 
without a halt. His power of endurance was 
wonderful. He could live off the country when 
apparently there was nothing to subsist on ex- 
cept the bare ground. He owed mankind a debt 
of ingratitude which he always stood ready to 
pay when an opportunity offered. The passing 
of the mustang began with the advent of the 
American farmer. 

The founding of agricultural colonies began 
in the '50s. One of the first, if not the first, was 
the German colony of Anaheim, located thirty 
miles south of Los Angeles. A company of 
Germans organized in San Francisco in 1857 
for the purpose of buying land for the cultiva- 
tion of the wine grape and the manufacture of 
wine. The organization was a stock company. 
Eleven hundred acres were purchased in a 
Spanish grant. This was subdivided into twenty 
and forty acre tracts; an irrigating ditch 
brought in from the Santa Ana river. A por- 
tion of each subdivision was planted in vines 
and these were cultivated by the company until 
they came into bearing, when the tracts were 
divided among the stockholders by lot, a cer- 
tain valuation being fixed on each tract. The 
man obtaining a choice lot paid into the fund 
a certain amount and the one receiving an infe- 
rior tract received a certain amount, .so that each 
received the same value in the distribution. The 
colony proved quite a success, and for thirty 
years Anaheim was one of the largest wine- 
producing districts in the United States. In 
1887 a mysterious disease destroyed all the vines 
and the vineyardists turned their attention 



to the cultivation of oranges and English 
walnuts. 

The Riverside colony, then in San Bernardino 
county, now in Riverside county, was founded 
in 1870. The projectors of the colony were 
eastern gentlemen. At the head of the organiza- 
tion was Judge J. W. North. They purchased 
four thousand acres of the Roubidoux or Jurupa 
rancho and fourteen hundred and sixty acres of 
government land from the California Silk Cen- 
ter Association. This association had been or- 
ganized in 1869 for the purpose of founding a 
colony to cultivate mulberry trees and manu- 
facture silk. It had met with reverses, first in 
the death of its president, Louis Prevost, a man 
skilled in the silk business, next in the revoca- 
tion by the legislature of the bounty for mul- 
berry plantations, and lastly in the subsidence 
of the sericulture craze. To encourage silk cul- 
ture in California, the legislature, in 1866, passed 
an act authorizing the payment of a bounty of 
$250 for every plantation of five thousand mul- 
berry trees two years old. This greatly stimu- 
lated the planting of mulberry trees, if it did 
not greatly increase the production of silk. In 
1869 it was estimated that in the central and 
southern portions of the state there were ten 
millions of mulberry trees in various stages of 
growth. Demands for the bounty poured in 
upon the commissioners in such numbers that 
the state treasury was threatened with bank- 
ruptcy. The revocation of the bounty killed 
the silk worms and the mulberry trees; and 
those who had been attacked with the sericulture 
craze quickly recovered. The Silk Center As- 
sociation, having fallen into hard lines, offered 
its landskfor sale at advantageous terms, and in 
September, 1870, they were purchased by the 
Southern California Colony Association. The 
land was bought at $3.50 per acre. It was mesa 
or table land that had never been cultivated. 
It was considered by old-timers indifferent sheep 
pasture, and Roubidoux, it is said, had it struck 
from the tax roll because it was not worth tax- 
ing. 

The company had the land subdiyided and 
laid off a town which was first named Jurupa, 
but afterwards the name was changed to River- 
side. The river, the Santa Ana, did not flow 



204 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



past the town, but the colonists hoped to make 
a goodly portion of its waters do so. The lands 
were put on sale at reasonable prices, a ditch 
at a cost of $50,000 was constructed. Experi- 
ments were made with oranges, raisin grapes 
and deciduous fruits, but the colony finally set- 
tled down to orange producing. In 1873 the 
introduction of the Bahia or navel orange gave 
an additional impetus to orange growing in the 
colony, the fruit of that species being greatly 
superior to any other. This fruit was propa- 
gated by budding from two trees received from 
Washington, D. C, by J. A. Tibbetts, of River- 
side. 



The Indiana colony, which later became Pasa- 
dena, was founded in 1873 by some gentlemen 
from Indiana. Its purpose was the growing of 
citrus fruits and raisin grapes, but it has grown 
into a city, and the orange groves, once the 
pride of the colony, have given place to business 
blocks and stately residences. 

During the early '70s a number of agricul- 
tural colonies were founded in Fresno county. 
These were all fruit-growing and raisin-pro- 
ducing enterprises. They proved successful and 
Fresno has become the largest raisin-pro- 
ducing district in the state. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



THE CIVIL WAR— LOYALTY AND DISLOYALTY. 



THE admission of California into the Union 
as a free state did not, in the opinion of 
the ultra pro-slavery faction, preclude the 
possibility of securing a part of its territory for 
the "peculiar institution" of the south. The 
question of state division which had come up 
in the constitutional convention was again agi- 
tated. The advocates of division hoped to cut 
off from the southern part, territory enough for 
a new state. The ostensible purpose of division 
was kept concealed. The plea of unjust taxa- 
tion was made prominent. The native Califor- 
nians who under Mexican rule paid no taxes on 
their land were given to understand that they 
were bearing an undue proportion of the cost 
of government, while the mining counties, pay- 
ing less tax, had the greater representation. The 
native Californians were opposed to slavery, an 
open advocacy of the real purpose would defeat 
the division scheme. 

The leading men in the southern part of the 
state were from the slave states. If the state 
were divided, the influence of these men would 
carry the new state into the Union with a con- 
stitution authorizing slave-holding and thus the 
south would gain two senators. The division 
question came up in some form in nearly every 
session of the legislature for a decade after Cali- 
fornia became a state. 



In the legislature of 1854-55, Jefferson Hunt, 
of San Bernardino county, introduced a bill in 
the assembly to create and establish, "out of 
the territory embraced within the limits of the 
state of California, a new state, to be called the 
state of Columbia." The territory embraced 
within the counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, 
San Joaquin, Calaveras, Amador, Tuolumne, 
Stanislaus, Mariposa, Tulare, Monterey, Santa 
Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, San 
Bernardino and San Diego, with the islands on 
the coast, were to constitute the new state. 
"The people residing within the above mentioned 
territory shall be and they are hereby author- 
ized, so soon as the consent of the congress of 
the United States shall be obtained thereto, to 
proceed to organize a state government under 
such rules as are prescribed by the constitution 
of the United States." The bill was referred to 
a select committee of thirteen members repre- 
senting different sections of the state. This 
committee reported as a substitute, "An Act to 
create three states out of the territory of Cali- 
fornia," and also drafted an address to the peo- 
ple of California advocating the passage of the 
act. The eastern boundary line of California 
was to be moved over the mountains to the one 
hundred and nineteenth degree of longitude west 
of Greenwich, which would have taken about 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 2t)5 

half of the present state of Nevada. The north- segregated from the remaining portion of the 
ern state was to be called Shasta, the central state for the purpose of the formation by con- 
California and the southern Colorado. gress, with the concurrent action of said portion 

The southern boundary of the state of Shasta (the consent for the segregation of which is 

began at the mouth of Maron's river; thence hereby granted), of a territorial or other gov- 

easterly along the boundary line between Verba eminent under the name of the "Territory of 

ami Butte counties and between Siena and l'lti- Colorado," or such Other name as may be 

mas to the summit of the Sierra Nevadas and deemed meet and proper." 

thence easterly to the newly established state line. Section second provided for the submitting 

The northern boundary of the state of Colo- the question of "For a Territory" or "Against 

rado began at the mouth of the Pajara river, a Territory" to the people of the portion sought 

running up that river to the summit of the to be segregated at the next general election; 

Coast Range; thence in a straight line to the "and in case two-thirds of the whole number of 

mouth of the Merced river, thence up that river voters voting thereon shall vote for a change of 

to the summits of the Sierra Nevadas and then government, the consent hereby given shall be 

due east to the newly established state line. deemed consummated." In case the vote was 

The territory not embraced in the states of favorable the secretary of state was to send a 

Colorado and Shasta was to constitute the state certified copy of the result of the election and 

of California. a copy of the act annexed to the president of 

The taxable property of Shasta for the year the United States and to the senators and rcp- 

1854 was $7,000,000 and the revenue $100,000; resentatives of California in congress. At the 

that of Colorado $9,764,000 and the revenue general election in September, 1859, the ques- 

$186,000. These amounts the committee consid- tion was submitted to a vote of the people of 

ered sufficient to support the state governments, the southern counties, with the following result: 
The bill died on the files. 

The legislature of 1859 was intensely pro- _ , , For - Against. 

™ ,. . . . ~* . . Los Angeles countv 1407 441 

slavery. The divisiomsts saw m it an oppor- San Benlardino . / Jg 29 

tunity to carry out their long-deferred scheme. c; an Diego 207 24 

The so-called Pico law, an act granting the San Luis Obispo 10 283 

consent of the legislature to the formation of a Santa Barbara 305 51 

different government for the southern counties ll are '7 

of this state, was introduced early in the ses- Total 2 x g 2 g 

sion, passed in both houses and approved by 

the governor April 18, 1859. The boundaries The bill to create the county of Buena Vista 
of the proposed state were as follows: "All of from the southern portion of Tulare failed to 
that part or portion of the present territory of pass the legislature, hence the name of that 
this state lying all south of a line drawn east- county does not appear in the returns. The 
ward from the west boundary of the state along result of the vote showed that considerably more 
the sixth standard parallel south of the Mount than two-thirds were in favor of a new state. 
Diablo meridian, east to the summit of the The results of this movement for division and 
coast range; thence southerly following said the act were sent to the president and to con- 
summit to the seventh standard parallel; thence gress, but nothing came of it. The pro-slavery 
due east on said standard, parallel to its inter- faction which with the assistance of its coad.- 
section with the northwest boundary of Los jutors of the north had so long dominated con- 
Angeles county; thence northeast along said, gress had lost its power. The southern senators 
boundary to the eastern boundary of the state, and congressmen were preparing for secession 
including the counties of San Luis Obispo, and had weightier matters to think of than the 
Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, San division of the state of California. Of late years, 
Bernardino and a part of Buena Vista, shall be a few feeble attempts have been made to stir up 



200 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the old question of state division and even to 
resurrect the old "Pico law." 

For more than a decade after its admission 
into the Union, California was a Democratic 
state and controlled by the pro-slavery wing of 
that party. John C. Fremont and William H. 
Gwin, its first senators, were southern born, 
Fremont in South Carolina and Gwin in Ten- 
nessee. Politics had not entered into their 
election, but the lines were soon drawn. Fre- 
mont drew the short term and his services in 
the senate were very brief. He confidently 
expected a re-election, but in this he was 
doomed to disappointment. The legislature of 
1851, after balloting one hundred and forty-two 
times, adjourned without electing, leaving Cali- 
fornia with but one senator in the session of 
1850-51. In the legislature of 1852 John B. 
Wilier was elected. He was a northern man 
with southern principles. His chief opponent 
for the place was David Colbert Broderick, a 
man destined to fill an important place in the 
political history of California. He was an Irish- 
man by birth, but had come to America in his 
boyhood. He had learned the stone cutters' 
trade with his father. His early associations 
were with the rougher element of New York 
City. Aspiring to a higher position than that 
of a stone cutter he entered the political field 
and soon arose to prominence. At the age of 
26 he was nominated for Congress, but was de- 
feated by a small majority through a split in the 
party. In 1849 he came to California, where he 
arrived sick and penniless. With F. D. Kohler, 
an assayer, he engaged in coining gold. The 
profit from buying gold dust at $14 an ounce 
and making it into $5 and $10 pieces put him 
in affluent circumstances. 

His first entry into politics in California was 
his election to fill a vacancy in the senate of the 
first legislature. In 185 1 he became president 
of the senate. He studied law, history and liter- 
ature and was admitted to the bar. He was ap- 
pointed clerk of the supreme court and had as- 
pirations for still higher positions. Although 
Senator Gwin was a Democrat, he had managed 
to control all the federal appointments of Fill- 
more, the Whig president, and he had filled the 
offices with pro-slavery Democrats. 



Xo other free state in the Union had such 
odious laws against negroes as had California. 
The legislature of 1852 enacted a law "respect- 
ing fugitives from labor and slaves brought to 
this state prior to her admission to the Union." 
"Under this law a colored man or woman could 
be brought before a magistrate, claimed as a 
slave, and the person so seized not being per- 
mitted to testify, the judge had no alternative 
but to issue a certificate to the claimant, which 
certificate was conclusive of the right of the per- 
son or persons in whose favor granted, and pre- 
vented all molestation of such person or per- 
sons, by any process issued by any court, judge, 
justice or magistrate or other person whomso- 
ever."* Any one who rendered assistance to a 
fugitive was liable to a fine of $500 or imprison- 
ment for two months. Slaves who had been 
brought into California by their masters before 
it became a state, but who were freed by the 
adoption of a constitution prohibiting slavery, 
were held to be fugitives and were liable to 
arrest, although they had been free for several 
years and some of them had accumulated con- 
siderable property. By limitation the law should 
have become inoperative in 1853, Dut tne legis- 
lature of that year re-enacted it, and the suc- 
ceeding legislatures of 1854 and 1855 continued 
it in force. The intention of the legislators 
who enacted the law was to legalize the kid- 
napping of free negroes, as well as the arrest of 
fugitives. Broderick vigorously opposed the 
prosecution of the colored people and by so 
doing called down upon his head the wrath of 
the pro-slavery chivalry. From that time on he 
was an object of their hatred. While successive 
legislatures were passing laws to punish black 
men for daring to assert their freedom and their 
right to the products of their honest toil, white 
villains were rewarded with political preferment, 
provided always that they belonged to the domi- 
nant wing of the Democratic party. The Whig 
party was but little better than the other, for the 
same element ruled in both. The finances of 
the state were in a deplorable condition and 
continually growing worse. The people's money 
was recklessly squandered. Incompetency was 



"Bancroft's History of California, Vol. VI. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



207 



the rule in office and honesty the exception. 
Ballot box stuffing had been reduced to a me- 
chanical science, jury bribing was one of the 
fine arts and suborning perjury was a recognized 
profession. During one election in San Fran- 
cisco it was estimated that $1,500,000 was spent 
in one way or another to influence voters. Such 
was the state of affairs just preceding the up- 
rising of the people that evolved in San Fran- 
cisco the vigilance committee of 1856. 

At the state election in the fall of 1855 the 
Know Nothings carried the state. The native 
American or Know Nothing party was a party 
of few principles. Opposition to Catholics and 
foreigners was about the only plank in its plat- 
form. There was a strong opposition to for- 
eign miners in the mining districts and the 
pro-slavery faction saw in the increased foreign 
immigration danger to the extension of their 
beloved institution into new territory. The 
most potent cause of the success of the new 
party in California was the hope that it might 
bring reform to relieve the tax burdened people. 
But in this they w-ere disappointed. It was made 
up from the same element that had so long mis- 
governed the state. 

The leaders of the party were either pro- 
slavery men of the south or northern men with 
southern principles. Of the latter class was J. 
Neely Johnson, the governor-elect. In the leg- 
islature of 1855 the contest between Gwin and 
Broderick, which had been waged at the polls 
the previous year, culminated after thirty-eight 
ballots in no choice and Gwin's place in the 
senate became vacant at the expiration of his 
term. In the legislature of 1856 the Know Noth- 
ings had a majority in both houses. It was 
supposed that they would elect a senator to 
succeed Gwin. There were three aspirants: H. 
A. Crabb, formerly a Whig; E. C. Marshall and 
Henry S. Foote, formerly Democrats. All were 
southerners and were in the new party for of- 
fice. The Gwin and Broderick influence was 
strong enough to prevent the Know Nothing 
legislature from electing a senator and Califor- 
nia was left with but one representative in the 
upper house of Congress. 

The Know Nothing party was short lived. At 
the general election in 1856 the Democrats 



swept the .state. Broderick, by his ability in or- 
ganizing and his superior leadership, had se- 
cured a majority in the legislature and was in a 
position to dictate terms to his opponents. Wal- 
ler's senatorial term would soon expire and 
Gwin's already two years vacant left two places 
to be filled. Broderick, who had heretofore 
been contending for Gwin's place, changed his 
tactics and aspired to fill the long term. Ac- 
cording to established custom, the filling of the 
vacancy would come up first, but Broderick, by 
superior finesse, succeeded in having the caucus 
nominate the successor to Weller first. Ex- 
Congressman Latham's friends were induced to 
favor the arrangement on the expectation that 
their candidate would be given the short term. 
Broderick was elected to the long term on the 
first ballot, January 9, 1857, and his commission 
was immediately made out and signed by the 
governor. For years he had bent his energies 
to securing the senatorship and at last he had 
obtained the coveted honor. But he was not 
satisfied yet. He aspired to control the federal 
patronage of the state; in this way he could 
reward his friends. He could dictate the elec- 
tion of his colleague for the short term. Both 
Gwin and Latham were willing to concede to 
him that privilege for the sake of an election. 
Latham tried to make a few reservations for 
some of his friends to whom he had promised 
places. Gwin offered to surrender it all with- 
out reservation. He had had enough of it. 
Gwin was elected and next day published an 
address, announcing his obligation to Broderick 
and renouncing any claim to the distribution of 
the federal patronage. 

Then a wail long and loud went up from the 
chivalry, who for years had monopolized all the 
offices. That they, southern gentlemen of aris- 
tocratic antecedents, should be compelled to ask 
favors of a mudsill of the north was too hu- 
miliating to be borne. Latham, too, was indig- 
nant and Broderick found that his triumph was 
but a hollow mockery. But the worst was to 
come. He who had done so much to unite the 
warring Democracy and give the party a glo- 
rious victory in California at the presidential 
election of 1856 fully expected the approbation 
of President Buchanan, but when he called on 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



that old gentleman he was received coldly and 
during Buchanan's administration he was ig- 
nored and Gwin's advice taken and followed in 
making federal appointments. He returned to 
California in April, 1857, to secure the nomina- 
tion of his friends on the state ticket, but in 
this he was disappointed. The Gwin ele- 
ment was in the ascendency and John 
B. Weller received the nomination for gov- 
ernor. He was regarded as a martyr, having 
been tricked out of a re-election to the sen- 
ate by Broderick. There were other martyrs of 
the Democracy, who received balm for their 
wounds and sympathy for their sufferings at 
that convention. In discussing a resolution de- 
nouncing the vigilance committee, O'Meara in 
his "History of Early Politics in California," 
says: "Col. Joseph P. Hoge, the acknowledged 
leader of the convention, stated that the com- 
mittee had hanged four men, banished twenty- 
eight and arrested two hundred and eighty; and 
that these were nearly all Democrats. 

On Broderick's return to the senate in the 
session of 1857-58, he cast his lot with Senator 
Douglas and opposed the admission of Kansas 
under the infamous Lecompton constitution. 
This cut him loose from the administration 
wing of the party. 

In the state campaign of 1859 Broderick ral- 
lied his followers under the Anti-Lecompton 
standard and Gwin his in support of the Bu- 
chanan administration. The party was hope- 
lessly divided. Two Democratic tickets were 
piaced in the field. The Broderick ticket, with 
John Currey as governor, and the Gwin, with 
Milton Latham, the campaign was bitter. Brod- 
erick took the stump and although not an orator 
his denunciations of Gwin were scathing and 
merciless and in his fearful earnestness he be- 
came almost eloquent. Gwin in turn loosed 
the vials of his wrath upon Broderick and 
criminations and recriminations flew thick and 
fast during the campaign. It was a campaign 
of vituperation, but the first aggressor was 
Gwin. 

Judge Terry, in a speech before the Lecomp- 
ton convention at Sacramento in June, 1859, 
after flinging out sneers at the Republican party, 
characterized Broderick's party as sailing "under 



the flag of Douglas, but it is the banner of the 
black Douglass, whose name is Frederick, not 
Stephen." This taunt was intended to arouse 
the wrath of Broderick. He read Terry's speecli 
while seated at breakfast in the International 
hotel at San Francisco. Broderick denounced 
Terry's utterance in forcible language and 
closed by saying: "I have hitherto spoken of 
him as an honest man, as the only honest 
man on the bench of a miserable, corrupt su- 
preme court, but now I find I was mistaken. I 
take it all back." A lawyer by the name of Per- 
ley, a friend of Terry's, to whom the remark was 
directed, to obtain a little reputation, challenged 
Broderick. Broderick refused to consider Per- 
ley's challenge on the ground that he was not 
his (Broderick's) equal in standing and beside 
that he had declared himself a few days before 
a British subject. Perley did not stand very 
high in the community. Terry had acted as a 
second for him in a duel a few years before. 

Broderick, in his reply to Perley, said: "I 
have determined to take no notice of attacks 
from any source during the canvass. If I were 
to accept your challenge, there are probably 
many other gentlemen who would seek similar 
opportunities for hostile meetings for the pur- 
pose of accomplishing a political object or to 
obtain public notoriety. I cannot afford at the 
present time to descend to a violation of the 
Constitution and state laws to subserve either 
their or your purposes." 

Terry a few days after the close of the cam- 
paign sent a letter to Broderick demanding a 
retraction of the offensive remarks. Broderick, 
well knowing that he would have to fight some 
representative of the chivalry if not several of 
them in succession, did not retract his remarks. 
He had for several years, in expectation of such 
a result in a contest with them, practiced 
himself in the use of fire arms until he had be- 
come quite expert. 

A challenge followed, a meeting was arranged 
to take place in San Mateo county, ten miles 
from San Francisco, on the 12th of September. 
Chief of Police Burke appeared on the scene 
and arrested the principals. They were released 
by the court, no crime having been committed. 
They met next morning at the same place; ex- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Congressman McKibben and David D. Colton 
were Broderick's seconds. Calhoun Benham 
and Thomas Hayes were Terry's. The pistols 
selected belonged to a friend of Terry's. Brod- 
erick was ill, weak and nervous, and it was said 
that his pistol was quicker on the trigger than 
Terry's. When the word was given it was dis- 
charged before it reached a level and the ball 
struck the earth, nine feet from where he stood. 
Terry fired, striking Broderick in the breast. 
He sank to the earth mortally wounded and died 
three days afterwards. Broderick dead was a 
greater man than Broderick living. For years 
he had waged a contest against the representa- 
tives of the slave oligarchy in California and the 
great mass of the people had looked on with 
indifference, even urging on his pursuers to the 
tragic end. Now that he was killed, the cry went 
up for vengeance on his murderers. Terry was 
arrested and admitted to bail in the sum of 
$10,000. The trial was put off on some pretext 
and some ten months later he obtained a change 
of venue to Marin county on the plea that he 
could not obtain a fair and impartial trial in San 
Francisco. His case was afterwards dismissed 
without trial by a pro-slavery judge named 
Hardy. Although freed by the courts he was 
found guilty and condemned by public opinion. 
He went south and joined the Confederates at 
the breaking out of the Civil war. He some 
time after the close of the war returned to Cal- 
ifornia. In 1880 he was a presidential elector 
on the Democratic ticket. His colleagues on 
the ticket were elected, but he was defeated. 
He was killed at Lathrop by a deputy United 
States marshal while attempting an assault on 
United States Supreme Judge Field. 

In the hue and cry that was raised on the 
death of Broderick, the chivalry read the doom 
of their ascendency. Gwin, as he was about to 
take the steamer on his return to Washington, 
"had flaunted in his face a large canvas frame, 
on which was painted a portrait of Broderick 
and this: 'It is the will of the people that the 
murderers of Broderick do not return again to 
California;' and below were also these words 
attributed to Mr. Broderick: 'They have killed 
me because I was opposed to the extension of 
slavery, and a corrupt administration.' " 



Throughout his political career Broderick was 
a consistent anti-slavery man and a friend of 
the common people. Of all the politicians of the 
ante-bellum period, that is, before the Civil war, 
he stands to-day the highest in the estimation of 
the people of California. Like Lincoln, he was 
a self-made man. From a humble origin, 
unaided, he had fought his way up to a lofty po- 
sition. Had he been living during the war 
against the perpetuity of human slavery, he 
would have been a power in the senate or pos- 
sibly a commander on the field of battle. As it 
was, during that struggle in his adopted state, 
his name became a synonyn of patriotism and 
love for the Union. 

-Milton S. Latham, who succeeded John B. 
Weller as governor in i860, was, like his pred- 
ecessor, a northern man with southern prin- 
ciples. Almost from the date of his arrival in 
California he had been an office-holder. He was 
a man of mediocre ability. He was a state di- 
visionist and would have aided in that scheme 
by advocating in the senate of the United States 
(to which body he had been elected three days 
after his inauguration) the segregation of the 
southern counties and their formation into a 
new state with the hopes of restoring the equi- 
librium between the north and the south. But 
the time had passed for such projects. The 
lieutenant-governor, John G. Downey, suc- 
ceeded Latham. Downey gained great popu- 
larity by his veto of the ••bulkhead bill." This 
was a scheme of the San Francisco Dock and 
Wharf Company to build a stone bulkhead 
around the city water front in consideration of 
having the exclusive privilege of collecting 
wharfage and tolls for fifty years. Downey lost 
much of his popularity, particularly with the 
Union men, during the Civil war on account of 
his sympathy with the Confederates. 

At the state election in September, 1861, Le- 
land Stanford was chosen governor. He was 
the first Republican chosen to that office. He- 
received fifty-six thousand votes. Two years 
before he had been a candidate for that office 
and received only ten thousand votes, so rap- 
idly had public sentiment changed. The news 
of the firing upon Fort Sumter reached San 
Francisco April 24, twelve days after its oc- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



currence. It came by pony express. The be- 
ginning of hostilities between the north and the 
south stirred up a strong Union sentiment. The 
great Union mass meeting held in San Fran- 
cisco May ii, 1861, was the largest and most 
enthusiastic public demonstration ever he.ld on 
the Pacific coast. The lines were sharply drawn 
between the friends of the government and its 
enemies. Former political alliances were for- 
gotten. Most of the Anti-Lecompton or Doug- 
las Democrats arrayed themselves on the side 
of the Union. The chivalry wing of the Dem- 
ocratic party were either open or secret sym- 
pathizers with the Confederates. Some of them 
were bold and outspoken in their disloyalty. 
The speech of Edmund Randolph at the Dem- 
ocratic convention July 24, 1861, is a sample 
of such utterances. * * * "To me it seems 
a waste of time to talk. For God's sake, tell 
me of battles fought and won. Tell me of 
usurpers overthrown; that Missouri is again a 
free state, no longer crushed under the armed 
heel of a reckless and odious despot. Tell me 
that the state of Maryland lives again; and, oh! 
gentlemen, let us read, let us hear, at the first 
moment, that not one hostile foot now treads 
the soil of Virginia! (Applause and cheers.) 
If this be rebellion, I am a rebel. Do you want 
a traitor, then I am a traitor. For God's sake, . 
speed the ball; may the lead go quick to his 
heart, and may our country be free from the 
despot usurper that now claims the name 
of the president of the United States."* (Cheers.) 
Some of the chivalry Democrats, most of whom 
had been holding office in California for years, 
went south at the breaking out of the war to 
fight in the armies of the Confederacy, and 
among these was Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, 
who had been superseded in the command of 
the Pacific Department by Gen. Edwin V. Sum- 
ner. Johnston, with a number of fellow sym- 
pathizers, went south by the overland route and 
was killed a year later, at the battle of Shiloh, 
while in command of the Confederate army. 

One form of disloyalty among the class 
known as "copperheads" (northern men with 
southern principles) was the advocacy of a Pa- 



cific republic. Most prominent among these 
was ex-Governor John B. Weller. The move- 
ment was a thinly disguised method of aiding 
the southern Confederacy. The flag of the 
inchoate Pacific republic was raised in Stock- 
ton January 16, 1861. It is thus described by 
the Stockton Argus: "The flag is of silk of the 
medium size of the national ensign and with 
the exception of the Union (evidently a mis- 
nomer in this case) which contains a lone star 
upon a blue ground, is covered by a painting 
representing a wild mountain scene, a huge 
grizzly bear standing in the foreground and the 
words 'Pacific Republic' near the upper border." 
The flag raising was not a success. At first it 
was intended to raise it in the city. But as it 
became evident this would not be allowed, it was 
raised to the mast head of a vessel in the slough. 
It was not allowed to float there long. The hal- 
yards were cut and a boy was sent up the mast 
to pull it down. The owner of the flag was con- 
vinced that it was not safe to trifle with the 
loyal sentiment of the people. 

At the gubernatorial election in September, 
1863, Frederick F. Low, Republican, was 
chosen over John G. Downey, Democrat, by a 
majority of over twenty thousand. In some parts 
of the state Confederate sympathizers were 
largely in the majority. This was the case in 
Los Angeles and in some places in the San 
Joaquin valley. Several of the most outspoken 
were arrested and sent to Fort Alcatraz, where 
they soon became convinced of the error of 
their ways and took the oath of allegiance. 
When the news of the assassination of Lincoln 
reached San Francisco, a mob destroyed the 
newspaper plants of the Democratic Press, 
edited by Beriah Brown; the Occidental, edited 
by Zach. Montgomery; the News Letter, edited 
by F. Marriott, and the Monitor, a Catholic 
paper, edited by Thomas A. Brady. These were 
virulent copperhead sheets that had heaped 
abuse upon the martyred president. Had the 
proprietors of these journals been found the 
mob would, in the excitement that prevailed, 
have treated them with violence. After this 
demonstration Confederate sympathizers kept 
silent. 



•Tuthill's History of California 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



211 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



TRADE, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION. 



THE beginning of the ocean commerce of 
California was the two mission transport 
ships that came every year to bring sup- 
plies for the missions and presidios and take 
back what few products there were to send. 
The government fixed a price upon each and 
every article of import and export. There was 
no cornering the market, no bulls or bears in 
the wheat pit. no rise or fall in prices except 
when ordered by royal authority. An Arancel 
de Precios (fixed rate of prices) was issued at 
certain intervals, and all buying and selling was 
governed accordingly. These arancels included 
everything in the range of human needs — phys- 
ical, spiritual or mental. According to a tariff 
of prices promulgated by Governor Fages in 
1788, which had been approved by the audencia 
and had received the royal sanction, the price 
of a Holy Christ in California was fixed at 
$1.75, a wooden spoon six cents, a horse $9, a 
deerskin twenty-five cents, red pepper eighteen 
cents a pound, a dozen of quail twenty-five 
cents, brandy seventy-five cents per pint, and 
so on throughout the list. 

In 1785 an attempt was made to open up 
trade between California and China, the com- 
modities for exchange being seal and otter 
skins for quicksilver. The trade in peltries was 
to be a government monopoly. The skins were 
to be collected from the natives by the mission 
friars, who were to sell them to a government 
agent at prices ranging from $2.50 to $10 each. 
The neophytes must give up to the friars all 
the skins in their possession. All trade by citi- 
zens or soldiers was prohibited and any one 
attempting to deal in peltries otherwise than 
the regularly ordained authorities was liable, if 
found out, to have his goods confiscated. 
Spain's attempt to engage in the fur trade was 
not a success. The blighting monopoly of 
church and state nipped it in the bud. It died 



out, and the government bought quicksilver, 
on which also it had a monopoly, with coin in- 
stead of otter skins. 

After the government abandoned the fur trade 
the American smugglers began to gather up 
the peltries, and the California producer re- 
ceived better prices for his furs than the mis- 
sionaries paid. 

The Yankee smuggler had no arancel of 
prices fixed by royal edict. His price list va- 
ried according to circumstances. As his trade 
was illicit and his vessel and her cargo were in 
danger of confiscation if he was caught, his' scale 
of prices ranged high. But he paid a higher 
price for the peltries than the government, and 
that was a consolation to the seller. The com- 
merce with the Russian settlements of the 
northwest in the early years of the century fur- 
nished a limited market for the grain produced 
at some of the missions, but the Russians 
helped themselves to the otter and the seal of 
California without saying "By your leave" and 
they were not welcome visitors. 

During the Mexican revolution, as has been 
previously mentioned, trade sprang up between 
Lima and California in tallow, but it was of 
short duration. During the Spanish era it can 
hardly be said that California had any com- 
merce. Foreign vessels were not allowed to 
enter her ports except when in distress, and 
their stay was limited to the shortest time pos- 
sible required to make repairs and take on 
supplies. 

It was not until Mexico gained her inde- 
pendence and removed the proscriptive regu- 
lations with which Spain had hampered com- 
merce that the hide droghers opened up trade 
between New England and California. This 
trade, which began in 1822. grew to consider- 
able proportions. The hide droghers were emi- 
grant ships as well as mercantile vessels. By 



211 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



these came most of the Americans who settled 
in California previous to 1840. The hide and 
tallow trade, the most important item of com- 
merce in the Mexican era, reached its maximum 
in 1834, when the great mission herds were, by 
order of the padres, slaughtered to prevent them 
from falling into the hands of the government 
commissioners. Thirty-two vessels came to the 
coast that year, nearly all of which were en- 
gaged in the hide and tallow trade. 

During the year 1845, the last of Mexican 
rule, sixty vessels visited the coast. These 
were not all trading vessels; eight were men- 
of-war, twelve were whalers and thirteen came 
on miscellaneous business. The total amount 
received at the custom house for revenue during 
that year was $140,000. The majority of the 
vessels trading on the California coast during 
the Mexican era sailed under the stars and 
stripes. Mexico was kinder to California than 
Spain, and under her administration commer- 
cial relations were established to a limited ex- 
tent with foreign nations. Her commerce at 
best was feeble and uncertain. The revenue laws 
and their administration were frequently 
changed, and the shipping merchant was never 
sure what kind of a reception his cargo would 
receive from the custom house officers. The 
duties on imports from foreign countries were 
exorbitant and there was always more or less 
smuggling carried on. The people and the 
padres, when they were a power, gladly wel- 
comed the arrival of a trading vessel on the 
coast and were not averse to buying goods that 
had escaped the tariff if they could do so with 
safety. As there was no land tax, the revenue 
on goods supported the expenses of the govern- 
ment. 

Never in the world's history did any country 
develop an ocean commerce so quickly as did 
California after the discovery of gold. When 
the news spread abroad, the first ships to 
arrive came from Peru, Chile and the South 
Sea islands. The earliest published notice of 
the gold discovery appeared in the Baltimore 
Sun, September 20, 1848, eight months after it 
was made. At first the story was ridiculed, but 
as confirmatory reports came thick and fast, 
preparations began for a grand rush for the 



gold mines. Vessels of all kinds, seaworthy 
and unseaworthy, were overhauled and fitted 
out for California. The American trade with 
California had gone by way of Cape Horn or 
the Straits of Magellan, and this was the route 
that was taken by the pioneers. Then there 
were short cuts by the way of the Isthmus of 
Panama, across Mexico and by Nicaragua. The 
first vessels left the Atlantic seaports in No- 
vember, 1848. By the middle of the winter one 
hundred vessels had sailed from Atlantic and 
Gulf seaports, and by spring one hundred and 
fifty more had taken their departure, all of them 
loaded with human freight and with supplies of 
every description. Five hundred and forty- 
nine vessels arrived in San Francisco in nine 
months, forty-five reaching that port in one day. 

April 12, 1848, before the treaty of peace 
with Mexico had been proclaimed by the Presi- 
dent, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company was 
incorporated with a capital of $500,000. Asto- 
ria, Ore., was to have been the Pacific terminus 
of the company's line, but it never got there. 
The discovery of gold in California made San 
Francisco the end of its route. The contract 
with the government gave the company a sub- 
sidy of $200,000 for maintaining three steamers 
on the Pacific side between Panama and Asto- 
ria. The first of these vessels, the California, 
sailed from New York October 6, 1848, for San 
Francisco and Astoria via Cape Horn. She 
was followed in the two succeeding months by 
the Oregon and the Panama. On the Atlantic 
side the vessels of the line for several years 
were the Ohio, Illinois and Georgia. The ves- 
sels on the Atlantic side were fifteen hundred 
tons burden, while those on the Pacific were a 
thousand tons. Freight and passengers by the 
Panama route were transported across the isth- 
mus by boats up the Chagres river to Gorgona, 
and then by mule-back to Panama. In 1855 the 
Panama railroad was completed. This greatly 
facilitated travel and transportation. The At- 
lantic terminus of the road was Aspinwall, now 
called Colon. 

Another line of travel and commerce between 
the states and California in early days was the 
Nicaragua route. By that route passengers on 
the Atlantic side landed at San Juan del Norte 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Hi:; 



or Greytown. From there they took a river 
steamer and ascended the Rio San J nan to Lake 
Nicaragua, then in a larger vessel they crossed 
the lake to La Virgin. From there a distance 
of about twelve miles was made on foot or on 
mule-back to San Juan del Sur, where they re- 
embarked on board the ocean steamer for San 
Francisco. 

The necessity for the speedy shipment of mer- 
chandise to California before the days of trans- 
continental railroads at a minimum cost, evolved 
the clipper ship. These vessels entered quite 
early into the California trade and soon displaced 
the short, clumsy vessels of a few hundred tons 
burden that took from six to ten months to 
make a voyage around the Horn. The clipper 
ship Flying Cloud, which arrived at San Fran- 
cisco in August, 1 85 1, made the voyage from 
Xew York in eighty-nine days. These vessels 
were built long and narrow and carried heavy 
sail. Their capacity ranged from one to two 
thousand tons burden. The overland railroads 
took away a large amount of their business. 

Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, as previously stated, 
was the real pathfinder of the western moun- 
tains and plains. He marked out the route 
from Salt Lake by way of the Rio Virgin, the 
Colorado and the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles 
in 1826. This route was extensively traveled 
by the belated immigrants of the early '50s. 
Those reaching Salt Lake City too late in the 
season to cross the Sierra Xevadas turned 
southward and entered California by Smith's 
trail. 

The early immigration to California came by 
way of Fort Hall. From there it turned south- 
erly. At Fort Hall the Oregon and California 
immigrants separated. The disasters that be- 
fell the Donner party were brought upon them 
by their taking the Hastings cut-off, which was 
represented to them as saving two hundred and 
fifty miles. It was shorter, but the time spent 
in making a wagon road through a rough coun- 
try delayed them until they were caught by the 
snows in the mountains. Lassen's cut-off was 
another route that brought disaster and delays 
to many of the immigrants who were induced 
to take it. The route up the Platte through the 



South Pass of the Rocky mountains and down 
the Humboldt received by far the larger amount 
of travel. 

The old Santa Fe trail from Independence to 
Santa Fe, and from there by the old Spanish 
trail around the north bank of the Colorado 
across the Rio Virgin down the Mojave river 
and through the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles, 
was next in importance. Another route by 
which much of the southern emigration came 
was what was known as the (iila route. It 
started at Fort Smith, Ark., thence via El Paso 
and Tucson and down the Gila to Yuma, thence 
across the desert through the San Gorgono 
Pass to Los Angeles. In 1852 it was estimated 
one thousand wagons came by this route. There 
was another route still further south than this 
which passed through the northern states of 
Mexico, but it was not popular on account of 
the hostility of the Mexicans and the Apaches. 
The first overland stage line was established 
in 1857. The route extended from San Antonio 
de Bexar, Tex., to San Diego, via El Paso, Mes- 
sillo, Tucson and Colorado City (now Yuma). 
The service was twice a month. The contract 
was let to James E. Burch, the Postal Depart- 
ment reserving "the right to curtail or discon- 
tinue the service should any route subsequently 
put under contract cover the whole or any por- 
tion of the route." The San Diego Herald. 
August 12, 1857, thus notes the departure of the 
first mail by that route: "The pioneer mail 
train from San Diego to San Antonio, Tex., 
under the contract entered into by the govern- 
ment with Mr. James Burch, left here on the 
9th inst. (August <), 18^7) at an early hour in 
the morning, and is now pushing its way for the 
east at a rapid rate. The mail was of course 
carried on pack animals, as will be the case 
until wagons which are being pushed across will 
have been put on the line. * ' The first 

mail from the other side has not yet arrived, 
although somewhat overdue, and conjecture is 
rife as to the cause of the delay." The eastern 
mail arrived a few days later. 

The service continued to improve, and the 
fifth trip from the eastern terminus to San 
Diego "was made in the extraordinary short 



:u 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



time of twenty-six days and twelve hours," and 
the San Diego Herald on this arrival, October 
6, 1857, rushed out an extra "announcing the 
very gratifying fact of the complete triumph of 
the southern route notwithstanding the croak- 
ings of many of the opponents of the adminis- 
tration in this state." But the "triumph of the 
southern route" was of short duration. In 
September, 1858, the stages of the Butterfield 
line began making their semi-weekly trips. 
This route from its western terminus, San Fran- 
cisco, came down the coast to Gilroy, thence 
through Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin val- 
ley, up the valley and by way of Fort Tejon to 
Los Angeles ; from there eastward by Temecula 
and Warner's to Yuma, thence following very 
nearly what is now the route of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad through Arizona and New Mex- 
ico to El Paso, thence turning northward to 
Fort Smith, Ark. There the route divided, one 
branch going to St. Louis and the other to 
Memphis. The mail route from San Antonio 
to San Diego was discontinued. 

The Butterfield stage line was one of the long- 
est continuous lines ever organized. Its length 
was two thousand eight hundred and eighty 
miles. It began operation in September, 1858. 
The first stage from the east reached Los 
Angeles October 7 and San Francisco October 
10. A mass-meeting was held at San Francisco 
the evening of October 11 "for the purpose of 
expressing the sense entertained by the people 
of the city of the great benefits she is to re- 
ceive from the establishment of the overland 
mail." Col. J. B v Crocket acted as president 
and Frank M. Pixley as secretary. The speaker 
of the evening in his enthusiasm said: "In my 
opinion one of the greatest blessings that could 
befall California would be to discontinue at once 
all communication by steamer between San 
Francisco and New York. On yesterday we 
received advices from New York, New Orleans 
and St. Louis in less than twenty-four days via 
El Paso. Next to the discovery of gold this is 
the most important fact yet developed in the 
history of California." W. L. Ormsby, special 
correspondent of the Nczv York Herald, the 
first and only through passenger by the over- 



land mail coming in three hours less than 
twenty-four days, was introduced to the audi- 
ence and was greeted with terrific applause. He 
gave a description of the route and some inci- 
dents of the journey. 

The government gave the Butterfield com- 
pany a subsidy of $600,000 a year for a service 
of two mail coaches each way a week. In 1859 
the postal revenue from this route was only 
$27,000, leaving Uncle Sam more than half a 
million dollars out of pocket. At the breaking 
out of the Civil war the southern overland mail 
route was discontinued and a contract was made 
with Butterfield for a six-times-a-week mail by 
the central route via Salt Lake City, with a 
branch line to Denver. The eastern terminus 
was at first St. Joseph, but on account of the 
war it was changed to Omaha. The western 
terminus was Placerville, Cal., time twenty 
days for eight months, and twenty-three days 
for the remaining four months. The contract 
was for three years at an annual subsidy of 
$1,000,000. The last overland stage contract 
for carrying the mails was awarded to Wells, 
Fargo & Co., October 1, 1868, for $1,750,000 
per annum, with deductions for carriage by rail- 
way. The railway was rapidly reducing the dis- 
tance of stage travel. 

The only inland commerce during the Mexi- 
can era was a few bands of mules sold to New 
Mexican traders and driven overland to Santa 
Fe by the old Spanish trail and one band of 
cattle sold to the Oregon settlers in 1837 and 
driven by the coast route to Oregon City. The 
Californians had no desire to open up an inland 
trade with their neighbors and the traders and 
trappers who came overland were not welcome. 

After the discovery of gold, freighting to the 
mines became an important business. Supplies 
had to be taken by pack trains and wagons. 
Freight charges were excessively high at first. 
In 1848, "it cost $5 to carry a hundred pounds 
of goods from Sutter's Fort to the lower 
mines, a distance of twenty miles, and $10 per 
hundred weight for freight to the upper mines, 
a distance of forty miles. Two horses can draw 
one thousand five hundred pounds." In Decem- 
ber, 1849, tne roads were almost impassable 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



1215 



and teamsters were charging from $40 tu $50 a 
hundred pounds for hauling freight from Sacra- 
mento to Mormon Island. 

In 1855 an inland trade was opened up be- 
tween Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The 
first shipment was made by Banning and Alex- 
ander. The wagon train consisted of fifteen 
ten-mule teams heavily freighted with merchan- 
dise. The venture was a success financially. 
The train left Los Angeles in May and returned 
in September, consuming four months in the 
journey. The trade increased and became quite 
an important factor in the business of the south- 
ern part of the state. In 1859 sixty wagons 
were loaded for Salt Lake in the month of 
January, and in March of the same year one 
hundred and fifty loaded with goods were sent 
to the Mormon capital. In 1865 and 1866 there 
was a considerable shipment of goods from Los 
Angeles to Idaho and Montana by wagon trains. 
These trains went by way of Salt Lake. This 
trade was carried on during the winter months 
when the roads over the Sierras and the Rocky 
mountains were blocked with snow. 

Freighting by wagon train to Washoe formed 
a very important part of the inland commerce 
of California between 1859 and 1869. The im- 
mense freight wagons called "prairie schooners" 
carried almost as much as a freight car. The 
old-time teamster, like the old-time stage driver, 
was a unique character. Both have disappeared. 
Their occupation is gone. We shall never look 
on their like again. 

The pony express rider came early in the his- 
tory of California. Away back in 1775, when 
the continental congress made Benjamin Frank- 
lin postmaster-general of the United Colonies, 
on the Pacific coast soldier couriers, fleet 
mounted, were carrying their monthly budgets 
of mail between Monterey in Alta California, 
and Loreto, near the southern extremity of the 
peninsula of Lower California, a distance of one 
thousand five hundred miles. 

In the winter of 1859-60 a Wall street lobby 
was in Washington trying to get an appropria- 
tion of $5,000,000 for carrying the mails one 
year between Xew York and San Francisco. 
William H. Russell, of the firm of Russell, Ma- 



jors & Waddell, then engaged in running a 
daily stage line between the Missouri river and 
Salt Lake City, hearing of the lobby's efforts, 
offered to bet $200,000 that he could put on a 
mail line between San Francisco and St. Joseph 
that could make the distance, one thousand nine 
hundred and fifty miles, in ten days. The wager 
was accepted. Russell and his business man- 
ager, A. I!. Miller, an old plains man, bought 
the fleetest horses they could find in the west 
and employed one hundred and twenty-five 
riders selected with reference to their light 
weight and courage. It was essential that the 
horses should be loaded as lightly as possible. 
The horses were stationed from ten to twenty 
miles apart and each rider was required to ride 
seventy-five miles. For change of horses and 
mail bag two minutes were allowed, at each 
station. One man took care of the two horses 
kept there. Everything being arranged a start 
was made from St. Joseph, April 3, i860. The 
bet was to be decided on the race eastward. At 
meridian on April 3, i860, a signal gun on a 
steamer at Sacramento proclaimed the hour of 
starting. At that signal Mr. Miller's private 
saddle horse, Border Ruffian, with his rider 
bounded away toward the foothills of the Sierra 
Nevadas. The first twenty miles were covered 
in forty-nine minutes. All went well till the 
Platte river was reached. The river was swollen 
by recent rain. Rider and horse plunged boldly 
into it, but the horse mired in the quicksands 
and was drowned. The rider carrying the mail 
bag footed it ten miles to the next relay sta- 
tion. When the courier arrived at the sixty- 
mile station out from St. Joseph he was one 
hour behind time. The last one had just three 
hours and thirty minutes in which to make the 
sixty miles and win the race. A heavy rain 
was falling and the roads were slippery, but 
with six horses to make the distance he won 
with five minutes and a fraction to spare. And 
thus was finished the longest race for the larg- 
est stake ever run in America. 

The pony express required to do its work- 
nearly five hundred horses, about one hundred 
and ninety stations, two hundred station keepers 
and over a hundred riders. Each rider usually 
rode the horses on about seventy-five miles, 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



but sometimes much greater distances were 
made. Robert H. Haslam, Pony Bob, made on 
one occasion a continuous ride of three hundred 
and eighty miles and William F. Cody, now fa- 
mous as Buffalo Bill, in one continuous trip 
rode three hundred and eighty-four miles, 
stopping only for meals, and to change 
horses. 

The pony express was a semi-weekly service. 
Fifteen pounds was the limit of the weight of 
the waterproof mail bag and its contents. The 
postage or charge was $5 on a letter of half an 
ounce. The limit was two hundred letters, but 
sometimes there were not more than twenty in 
a bag. The line never paid. The shortest time 
ever made by the pony express was seven days 
and seventeen hours. This was in March, 1861, 
when it carried President Lincoln's message. 
At first telegraphic messages were received at 
St. Joseph up to five o'clock p. m. of the day 
of starting and sent to San Francisco on the 
express, arriving at Placerville, which was then 
the eastern terminus of the line. The pony ex- 
press was suspended October 27, 1861, on the 
completion of the telegraph. 

The first stage line was established between 
Sacramento and Mormon Island in September, 
1849, fare $16 to $32, according to times. 
Sacramento was the great distributing point for 
the mines and was also the center from which 
radiated numerous stage lines. In 1853 a dozen 
lines were owned there and the total capital in- 
vested in staging was estimated at $335,000. 
There were lines running to Coloma, Nevada, 
Placerville, Georgetown, Yankee Jim's, Jack- 
son, Stockton, Shasta and Auburn. In 185 1 
Stockton had seven daily stages. The first stage 
line between San Francisco and San Jose was 
established in April, 1850, fare $32. A number 
of lines were consolidated. In i860 the Califor- 
nia stage company controlled eight lines north- 
ward, the longest extending seven hundred and 
ten miles to Portland with sixty stations, thirty- 
five drivers and five hundred horses, eleven 
drivers and one hundred and fifty horses per- 
taining to the rest. There were seven indepen- 
dent lines covering four hundred and sixty-four 
miles, chiefly east and south, the longest to Vir- 



ginia City.* These lines disappeared with the 
advent of the railroad. 

The pack train was a characteristic feature of 
early mining days. Many of the mountain 
camps were inaccessible to wagons and the only 
means of shipping in goods was by pack train. 
A pack train consisted of from ten to twenty 
mules each, laden with from two hundred to 
four hundred pounds. The load was fastened on 
the animal by means of a pack saddle which 
was held in its place by a cinch tightly laced 
around the animal's body. The sure-footed 
mules could climb steep grades and wind round 
narrow trails on the side of steep mountains 
without slipping or tumbling over the cliffs! 
Mexicans were the most expert packers. 

The scheme to utilize camels and dromedaries 
as beasts of burden on the arid plains of the 
southwest was agitated in the early fifties. The 
chief promoter if not the originator of the 
project was Jefferson Davis, afterwards presi- 
dent of the Southern Confederacy. During the 
last days of the congress of 1851, Mr. Davis 
offered an amendment to the army appropria- 
tion bill appropriating $30,000 for the purchase 
of thirty camels and twenty dromedaries. The 
bill was defeated. When Davis was secretary 
of war in 1854, congress appropriated $30,000 
for the purchase and importation of camels and 
in December of that year Major C. Wayne was 
sent to Egypt and Arabia to buy seventy-five. 
He secured the required number and shipped 
them on the naval store ship Supply. They 
were landed at Indianola, Tex.. February 10, 
1857. Three had died on the voyage. About 
half of the herd were taken to Albuquerque, 
where an expedition was fitted out under the 
command of Lieutenant Beale for Fort Tejon, 
Cal. ; the other half was employed in packing on 
the plains of Texas and in the Gadsen Purchase, 
as Southern Arizona was then called. 

It very soon became evident that the camel 
experiment would not be a success. The Amer- 
ican teamster could not be converted into an 
Arabian camel driver. From the very first meet- 
ing there was a mutual antipathy between the 



* Sacramento Union, January 1, 1861. 



HISTORICAL AXO BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



217 



American mule whacker and the beast of the 
prophet. The teamsters when transformed into 
camel drivers deserted and the troopers refused 
to have anything to do with the misshapen 
beasts. So because there was no one to load 
and navigate these ships of the desert their 
voyages became less and less frequent, until 
finally they ceased altogether; and these desert 
ships were anchored at the different forts in 
the southwest. After the breaking out of the 
Civil war the camels at the forts in Texas and 
New Mexico were turned loose to shift for 
themselves. Those in Arizona and California 
were condemned and sold by the government to 
two Frenchmen who used them for packing, 
first in Nevada and later in Arizona, but tiring 
of the animals they turned them out on the 
desert. Some of these camels or possibly their 
descendants are still roaming over the arid 
plains of southern Arizona and Sonora. 

The first telegraph was completed September 
II, 1853. It extended from the business quar- 
ter of San Francisco to the Golden Gate and 
was used for signalling vessels. The first long 
line connected Marysville, Sacramento, Stock- 
ton and San Jose. This was completed October 
24, 1853. Another line about the same time 
was built from San Francisco to Placerville by 
way of Sacramento. A line was built southward 
from San Jose along the Butterfield overland 
mail route to Los Angeles in i860. The Over- 
land Telegraph, begun in 1858, was completed 
November 7, 1861. 

The first express for the States was sent un- 
der the auspices of the California Star (news- 
paper). The Star of March 1, 1848, contained 
the announcement that "We are about to send 
letters by express to the States at fifty cents 
each, papers twelve and a half cents ; to start 
April 15; any mail arriving after that time will 
be returned to the writers. The Star refused 
to send copies of its rival, The Calif ornian, in its 
express. 

The first local express was started by Charles 
L. Cady in August, 1847. It left San Francisco 
every Monday and Fort Sacramento, its other 
terminus, every Thursday. Letters twenty-five 
cents. Its route was by way of Saucelito, Napa 
and Petaluma to Sacramento. 



Weld & Co.'s express was established in Oc- 
tober, 1849. This express ran from San Fran- 
cisco to Marysville, having its principal offices 
in San Francisco, Benicia and Sacramento. It 
was the first express of any consequence estab- 
lished in California. Its name was changed to 
llawley & Co.*s express. The first trip was 
made in the Mint, a sailing vessel, and took 
six days. Afterward it was transferred to the 
steamers Hartford and McKim. The company 
paid these boats $800 per month for the use of 
one state room; later for the same accommoda- 
tion it paid $1,500 per month. The Alta Cali- 
fornia of January 7, 1850, says: 'There are so 
many new express companies daily starting that 
we can scarcely keep the run of them." 

The following named were the principal com- 
panies at that time: llawley & Co., Angel, 
Young & Co., Todd, Bryan, Stockton Express, 
Henly, McKnight & Co., Brown, Knowlton & 
Co. The business of these express companies 
consisted largely in carrying letters to the 
mines. The letters came through the postoffice 
in San Francisco, but the parties to whom they 
were addressed were in the mines. While the 
miner would gladly give an ounce to hear from 
home he could not make the trip to the Bay at 
a loss of several hundred dollars in time and 
money. The express companies obviated this 
difficulty. The Alta of July 27, 1850, says: "We 
scarcely know what we should do if it were not 
for the various express lines established which 
enable us to hold communication with the mines. 
With the present defective mail communication 
we should scarcely ever be able to hear from 
the towns throughout California or from the 
remote portions of the Placers north or south. 
Hawley & Co., Todd & Bryan and Besford & 
Co. are three lines holding communication with 
different sections of the country. Adams & Co. 
occupy the whole of a large building on Mont- 
gomery street." 

Adams & Co., established in 1850, soon be- 
came the leading express company of the coast. 
It absorbed a number of minor companies. It 
established relays of the fastest horses to carry 
the express to the mining towns. As early as 
1852 the company's lines had penetrated the re- 
mote mining camps. Some of its riders per- 



218 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



formed feats in riding that exceeded the famous 
pony express riders. Isaac W. Elwell made the 
trip between Placerville and Sacramento in two 
hours and fifty minutes, distance sixty-four 
miles; Frank Ryan made seventy-five miles in 
four hours and twenty minutes. On his favorite 
horse, Colonel, he made twenty miles in fifty- 
five minutes. Adams & Co. carried on a bank- 
ing business and had branch banks in all the 
leading mining towns. They also became a po- 



litical power. In the great financial crash of 
1855 they failed and in their failure ruined thou- 
sands of their depositors. Wells, Fargo & Co. 
express was organized in 1851. It weathered 
the financial storm that carried down Adams & 
Co. It gained the confidence of the people of 
the Pacific coast and has never betrayed it. Its 
business has grown to immense proportions. It 
is one of the leading express companies of the 
world. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

RAILROADS. 



THE agitation of the Pacific railroad ques- 
tion began only two years after the first 
passenger railway was put in operation 
in the United States. The originator of the 
scheme to secure the commerce of Asia by a 
transcontinental railway from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific was Hartwell Carver, grandson of 
the famous explorer, Jonathan Carver. He 
published articles in the New York Courier and 
Inquirer in 1832 elaborating his idea, and 
memorialized congress on the subject. The 
western terminus was to be on the Columbia 
river. His road was to be made of stone. There 
were to be sleeping cars and dining cars at- 
tached to each train. In 1836, John Plumbe, 
then a resident of Dubuque, Iowa, advocated 
the building of a railroad from Lake Michigan 
to Oregon. At a public meeting held in Du- 
buque, March 26, 1838, which Plumbe ad- 
dressed, a memorial to congress was drafted 
"praying for an appropriation to defray the ex- 
pense of the survey and location of the first link 
in the great Atlantic and Pacific railroad, name- 
ly, from the lakes to the Mississippi." Their 
application was favorably received and an ap- 
propriation being made the same year, which 
was expended under the direction of the secre- 
tary of war, the report being of a very favorable 
character.* 

Plumbe received the indorsement of the Wis- 



"Bancroft's History of California, Vol. VII. , p. 499. 



consin legislature of 1839-40 and a memorial 
was drafted to congress urging the continuance 
of the work. Plumbe went to Washington to 
urge his project. But the times were out of 
joint for great undertakings. The financial 
panic of 1837 had left the government revenues 
in a demoralized condition. Plumbe's plan was 
to issue stock to the amount of $100,000,000 
divided in shares of $5 each. The government 
was to appropriate alternate sections of the 
public lands along the line of the road. Five 
million dollars were to be called in for the first 
installment. After this was expended in building, 
the receipts from the sale of the lands was to 
continue the building of the road. One hundred 
miles were to be built each year and twenty 
years was the time set for the completion of the 
road. A bill granting the subsidy and authoriz- 
ing the building of the road was introduced in 
congress, but was defeated by the southern 
members who feared that it would foster the 
growth of free states. 

The man best known in connection with the 
early agitation of the Pacific railroad scheme 
was Asa Whitney, of Xew York. For a time he 
acted with Carver in promulgating the project, 
but took up a plan of his own. Whitney wanted 
a strip of land sixty miles wide along the whole 
length of the road, which would have given 
about one hundred million acres of the public 
domain. Whitney's scheme called forth a great 
deal of discussion. It was feared by some 



HISTORICAL AND P.IOGRAPIIICAI 



•A i iRD. 



219 



timorous souls that such a monopoly would 
endanger the government and by others that 
it would bankrupt the public treasury. The agi- 
tation was kept up for several years. The 
acquisition of California and New Mexico threw 
the project into politics. The question of de- 
pleting the treasury or giving away the public 
domain no longer worried the pro-slavery poli- 
ticians in congress. The question that agitated 
them now was how far south could the road 
be deflected so that it would enhance the value 
of the lands over which they hoped to spread 
their pet institution — human slavery. 

Another question that agitated the members 
of congress was whether the road should be 
built by the government — should be a national 
road. The route which the road should take 
was fought over year after year in congress. 
The south would not permit the north to have 
the road for fear that freemen would absorb the 
public lands and build up free states. It was 
the old dog-in-the-manger policy so character- 
istic of the southern proslavery politicians. 

The California newspapers early took up the 
discussion and routes were thick as leaves in 
Yalambrosa. In the Star of May 13, 1848, Dr. 
John Marsh outlines a route which was among 
the best proposed: "From the highest point on 
the Bay of San Francisco to which seagoing 
vessels can ascend; thence up the valley of the 
San Joaquin two hundred and fifty miles; 
thence through a low pass (Walker's) to the 
valley of the Colorado and thence through Ari- 
zona and New Mexico by the Santa Fe trail to 
Independence, Mo." 

Routes were surveyed and the reports of the 
engineers laid before congress; memorials were 
received from the people of California praying 
for a road; bills were introduced and discussed, 
but the years passed and the Pacific railroad 
was not begun. Slavery, that "sum of all vil- 
lainies," was an obstruction more impassable 
than the mountains and deserts that intervened 
between the Missouri and the Pacific. Southern 
politicians, aided and abetted by Gwin of Cali- 
fornia neutralized every attempt. 

One of the first of several local railroad 
projects that resulted in something more than 
resolutions, public meetings and the election of 



a board of directors that never directed any- 
thing was the building of a railroad from San 
Francisco to San Jose. The agitation was be- 
gun early in 1850 and by February, 185 1, $100,- 
000 had been subscribed. September 6 of that 
year a company was organized and the pro- 
jected road given the high sounding title of the 
Pacific & Atlantic railroad. Attempts were 
made to secure subscriptions for its stock in 
New York and in Europe, but without success. 
Congress was appealed to, but gave no assist- 
ance and all that there was to the road for ten 
years was its name. In [859 a new organization 
was effected under the name of the San h'ran- 
cisco & San Jose railroad company. An at- 
tempt was made to secure a subsidy of $900,- 
000 from the three counties through which the 
road was to pass, but this failed and the corpora- 
tion dissolved. Another organization, the 
fourth, was effected with a capital stock of 
$2,000,000. The construction of the road was 
begun in October, i860, and completed to San 
Jose January 16, 1864. 

The first railroad completed and put into suc- 
cessful operation in California was the Sacra- 
mento Valley road. It was originally intended 
to extend the road from Sacramento through 
Placer and Sutter counties to Mountain City, 
in Yuba county, a distance of about forty miles. 
It came to a final stop at a little over half that 
distance. Like the San Jose road the question 
of building was agitated several years before 
anything was really done. In 1S53 tnc company 
was reorganized under the railroad act of that 
year. Under the previous organization sub- 
scriptions had been obtained. The Sacramento 
Union of September 19, 1852, says: "The books 
of the Sacramento Yalley railroad company . 
were to have been opened in San Francisco 
Wednesday. Upwards of $200,000 of the neces- 
sary stock has been subscribed from here." 
The Union of September 24 announces, "That 
over $600,000 had already been subscribed at 
San Francisco and Sacramento." Under the re- 
organization a new board was elected November 
12, 1853. C. L. Wilson was made president; 
F. W. Page, treasurer, and W. II. Watson, sec- 
retary. Theodore D. Judah, afterwards famous 
in California railroad building, was employed as 



220 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



engineer and the construction of the road began 
in "February, 1855. It was completed to Fol- 
som a, distance of twenty-two miles from Sacra- 
mento and the formal opening of the road for 
business took place February 22, 1856. Accord- 
ing to the secretary's report for 1857 the earn- 
ings of that year averaged $18,000 per month. 
The total earnings for the year amounted to 
$216,000; the expenses $84,000, leaving a profit 
of $132,000. The cost of the road and its equip- 
ment was estimated at $700,000. From this 
showing it would seem that California's first 
railroad ought to have been a paying invest- 
ment, but it was not. Money then was worth 
5 per cent a month and the dividends from the 
road about 18 per cent a year. The difference 
between one and a half per cent and 5 per cent 
a month brought the road to a standstill. 

Ten years had passed since California had 
become a state and had its representatives in 
congress. In all these years the question of a 
railroad had come up in some form in that body, 
yet the railroad seemingly was as far from a 
consummation as it had been a decade before. 
In 1859 the silver mines of the Washoe were 
discovered and in the winter of 1859-60 the 
great silver rush began. An almost continuous 
stream of wagons, pack trains, horsemen and 
footmen poured over the Sierra Nevadas into 
Carson Valley and up the slopes of Mount 
Davidson to Virginia City. The main line of 
travel was by way of Placerville, through John- 
son's Pass to Carson City. An expensive toll 
road was built over the mountains and monster 
freight wagons hauled great loads of merchan- 
dise and mill machinery to the mines. "In 1863 
the tolls on the new road amounted to $300,000 
and the freight bills on mills and merchandise 
summed up $13,000,000."* 

The rush to Washoe gave a new impetus to 
railroad projecting. A convention of the whole 
coast had been held at San Francisco in Sep- 
tember, 1859, but nothing came of it beyond 
propositions and resolutions. Early in 1861, 
Theodore P. Judah called a railroad meeting at 
the St. Charles hotel in Sacramento. The feasi- 
bility of a road over the mountains, the large 



amount of business that would come to that 
road from the Washoe mines and the necessity 
of Sacramento moving at once to secure that 
trade were pointed out. This road would be the 
beginning of a transcontinental line and Sacra- 
mento had the opportunity of becoming its 
terminus. Judah urged upon some of the lead- 
ing business men the project of organizing a 
company to begin the building of a transconti- 
nental road. The Washoe trade and travel 
would be a very important item in the business 
of the road. 

On the 28th of June, 1861, the Central Pacific 
Railroad company was organized under the 
general incorporation law of the state. Leland 
Stanford was chosen president, C. P. Hunting- 
ton, vice-president, Mark Hopkins, treasurer, 
James Bailey, secretary, and T. D. Judah, chief 
engineer. The directors were those just named 
and E. B. Crocker, John F.Morse, D. W. Strong 
and Charles Marsh. The capital stock of the 
company was $8,500,000 divided into eighty-five 
thousand shares of $100 each. The shares taken 
by individuals were few, Stanford, Huntington, 
Hopkins, Judah and Charles Crocker subscrib- 
ing for one hundred and fifty each; Glidden & 
Williams, one hundred and twenty-five shares; 
Charles A. Lombard and Orville D. Lombard, 
three hundred and twenty shares; Samuel 
Hooper, Benjamin J. Reed, Samuel P. Shaw, 
fifty shares each; R. O. Ives, twenty-five shares: 
Edwin B. Crocker, ten shares; Samuel Bran- 
nan, two hundred shares; cash subscriptions of 
which 10 per cent was required by law to be 
paid down realizing but a few thousand dollars 
with which to begin so important a work as a 
railroad across the Sierra Nevada.* 

The total amount subscribed was $158,000, 
scarcely enough to build five miles of road on 
the level plains if it had all been paid up. None 
of the men in the enterprise was rich. Indeed, 
as fortunes go now, none of them had more than 
a competence. Charles Crocker, who was one 
of the best off, in his sworn statement, placed 
the value of his property at $25,000; C. P. 
Huntington placed the value of his individual 
possessions at $7,222, while Leland Stanford and 



*Bancroff s History of California, Vol. VII., p. 541- * Bancroft's History of California, Vol. VII. 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



521 



his brother together owned property worth 
$32,950. The incubus that so long had pre- 
vented building a Pacific railroad was removed. 
The war of secession had begun. The southern 
senators and representatives were no longer in 
congress to obstruct legislation. The thirty- 
second and the thirty-fifth parallel roads south- 
ern schemes, were out of the way or rather the 
termini of these roads were inside the confeder- 
ate lines. 

A bill "to aid in the construction of a railroad 
and telegraph line from the Missouri river to 
the Pacific ocean and to secure to the govern- 
ment the use of the same for postal, military and 
other purposes passed both houses and became 
a law July 1, 1862. The bill provided for the 
building of the road by two companies. The 
Union Pacific (which was to be a union of 
several roads already projected) was given the 
construction of the road to the eastern boundary 
of California, where it would connect with the 
Central Pacific. Government bonds were to be 
given to the companies to the amount of $16,000 
per mile to the foot of the mountains and 
$48,000 per mile through the mountains when 
forty miles of road had been built and approved 
by the government commissioners. In, addition 
to the bonds the companies were to receive 
"every alternate section of public land desig- 
nated by odd numbers to the amount of five 
alternate sections per mile on each side of the 
railroad on the line thereof and within the limits 
of ten miles on each side of the road not sold, 
reserved or otherwise disposed of by the United 
States." Mineral lands were exempted and any 
lands unsold three years after the completion of 
the entire road were subject to a preemption 
like other public lands at a price not exceeding 
$1.25 per acre, payable to the company. 

The government bonds were a first mortgage 
on the road. The ceremony of breaking ground 
for the beginning of the enterprise took place at 
Sacramento, February 22, 1863, Governor 
Stanford throwing the first shovelful of earth, 
and work was begun on the first eighteen miles 
of the road which was let by contract to be 
finished by August, 1863. The Central Pacific 
company was in hard lines. Its means were not 
sufficient to build fortv miles which must be 



completed before the subsidy could be received. 
In October, 1863, Judah who had been instru- 
mental in securing the first favorable legislation 
set out a second time for Washington to ask 
further assistance from congress. At New York 
he was stricken with a fever and died there. To 
him more than any other man is due the credit 
of securing for the Pacific coast its first trans- 
continental railroad. In July, 18(14, an amended 
act was passed increasing the land grant from 
six thousand four hundred acres to twelve 
thousand eight hundred per mile and reducing 
the number of miles to be built annually from 
fifty to twenty-five. The company was allowed 
to bond its road to the same amount per mile 
as the government subsidy. 

The Western Pacific, which was virtually a 
continuation of the Central Pacific, was organ- 
ized in December, 1862, for the purpose of 
building a railroad from Sacramento via Stock- 
ton to San Jose. A branch of this line was 
constructed from Niles to Oakland, which was 
made the terminus of the Central Pacific. The 
Union Pacific did not begin construction until 
1865, while the Central Pacific had forty-four 
miles constructed. In 1867 the Central Pacific 
had reached the state line. It had met with 
many obstacles in the shape of lawsuits and 
unfavorable comments by the press. From the 
state line it pushed out through Nevada and 
on the 28th of April, 1869, the two companies 
met with their completed roads at Promontory 
Point in Utah, fifty-three miles west of Ogden. 
The ceremony of joining the two roads took 
place May 10. The last tie, a handsomely fin- 
ished piece of California laurel, was laid and 
Governor Stanford with a silver hammer drove 
a golden spike. The two locomotives, one 
from the east and one from the west, bumped 
noses and the first transcontinental railroad 
was completed. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad company of 
California was incorporated in December, 1865. 
It was incorporated to build a railroad from 
some point on the bay of San Francisco through 
the counties of Santa Clara, Monterey, San 
Luis Obispo, Tulare, Los Angeles to San 
Diego and thence easterly through San Diego 
to the eastern boundary of the state there to 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



connect with a railroad from the Mississippi 
river. 

"In July, 1866, congress granted to the At- 
lantic and Pacific Railroad company to aid in 
the construction of its road and telegraph line 
from Springfield, Mo., by the most eligible route 
to Albuquerque in New Mexico and thence by 
the thirty-fifth parallel route to the Pacific, an 
amount of land equal to that granted to the 
Central Pacific. By this act the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad was authorized to connect with 
the Atlantic and Pacific near the boundary line 
of California, at such point as should be deemed 
most suitable by the companies and should have 
therefore the same amount of land per mile as 
the Atlantic and Pacific."* 

In 1867 the Southern Pacific company de- 
cided to change its route and instead of build- 
ing down through the coast counties to go east- 
ward from Gilroy through Pacheco's pass into 
the upper San Joaquin valley through Fresno, 
Kern and San Bernardino to the Colorado river 
near Fort Mojave. This contemplated change 
left the lower coast counties out in the cold and 
caused considerable dissatisfaction, and an at- 
tempt was made to prevent it from getting a 
land subsidy. Congress, however, authorized 
the change, as did the California legislature of 
1870, and the road secured the land. 

The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad 
came into possession of the Southern Pacific 
company, San Francisco donating three thou- 
sand shares of stock in that road on condition 
that the Southern Pacific company, after it se- 
cured the San Jose road, should extend it to 
the southeastern boundary of the state. In 1869 
a proposition was made to the supervisors of 
San Francisco to donate $1,000,000 in bonds of 
the city to the Southern Pacific company, on 
condition that it build two hundred miles south 
from Gilroy, the bonds to be delivered on the 
completion and stocking of each section of fifty 
miles of road. The bonds were voted by the 
people of the city. The road was built to 
Soledad, seventy miles from Gilroy, and then 
stopped. The different branch roads in the San 
Jose and Salinas valley were all consolidated 



Bancroft, VII., p. 594. 



under the name of the Southern Pacific. The 
Central Pacific and the Southern Pacific, al- 
though apparently different organizations, were 
really one company. 

The Southern Pacific built southward from 
Lathrop, a station on the Central Pacific's line, 
a railroad up the valley by way of Tehachapi 
Pass to Los Angeles. While this road was in 
course of construction in 1872 a proposition was 
made to the people of Los Angeles through the 
county board of supervisors to vote a subsidy 
equal to 5 per cent of the entire amount of the 
taxable property of the county on condition that 
the Southern Pacific build fifty miles of its main 
line to Yuma in the county. Part of the subsidy 
was to be paid in bonds of the Los Angeles & 
San Pedro Railroad, amounting to $377,000 and 
sixty acres of land for depot purposes. The 
total amount of subsidy to be given was $610,- 
000. The proposition was accepted by the 
people, the railroad company in addition to its 
original offer agreeing to build a branch road 
twenty-seven miles long to Anaheim. This was 
done to head off the Tom Scott road which 
had made a proposition to build a branch road 
from San Diego to Los Angeles to connect with 
the Texas Pacific road which the year before 
had been granted a right of way from Marshall, 
Tex., to San Diego, and was preparing to build 
its road. The Southern Pacific completed its 
road to Los Angeles in September, 1876, and 
reached the Colorado river on its way east in 
April, 1877. It obtained the old franchise of the 
Texas Pacific and continued its road eastward 
to El Paso, Tex., where it made connections 
with roads to New Orleans and other points 
south and east, thus giving California its second 
transcontinental railroad. This road was com- 
pleted to El Paso in 1881. 

The Atlantic & Pacific road with which the 
Southern Pacific was to connect originally, 
suffered from the financial crash of 1873 and 
suspended operations for a time. Later it en- 
tered into a combination with the Atchison, To- 
peka & Santa Fe and St. Louis & San Francisco 
railroad companies. This gave the Atchison 
road a half interest in the charter of the Atlantic 
& Pacific. The two companies built a main line 
jointly from Albuquerque (where the Atchison 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



road ended) west to the Colorado river at the 
Needles. Their intention was to continue the 
road to Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

The California Southern and the California 
Southern Extension companies were organized 
to extend the Atlantic & Pacific from Barstow 
to San Diego. These companies consolidated 
and completed a road from San Diego to San 
Bernardino September 13, 1883. The Southern 
Pacific interfered. It attempted to prevent the 
California Southern from crossing its tracks at 
Colton by placing a heavy engine at the point 
of crossing, but was compelled to move the en- 
gine to save it from demolition. It built a branch 
from Mojave station to connect with the At- 
lantic & Pacific in which it had an interest. 
This gave connection for the Atlantic & Pacific 
over the Southern Pacific lines with both Los 
Angeles and San Francisco. This was a serious 
blow to the California Southern, but disasters 
never come singly. The great flood of January, 
1884, swept down through the Temecula Canon 
and carried about thirty miles of its track out 
to sea. It was doubtful under the circumstances 
whether it would pay to rebuild it. Finally the 
Southern Pacific agreed to sell its extension 
from Barstow to the Needles to the California 
Southern, reserving its road from Barstow to 



Mojave. Construction was begun at once on 
the California Southern line from Barstow to 
San Bernardino and in November, 1885, the 
road was completed from Barstow to San 
Diego. In October, 1886, the road passed un- 
der control of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa 
Fe, In the spring of 1887 the road was ex- 
tended westerly from San Bernardino to meet 
the San Gabriel valley mad which had been 
built eastward from Los Angeles through Pasa- 
dena. The completed line reached Los Angeles 
in May, 1887, thus giving California a third 
transcontinental line. 

After many delays the gap in the Southern 
Pacific coast line was closed and the first trains 
from the north and the south passed over its 
entire length between Los Angeles and San 
Francisco on the 31st of March, iyoi, nearly 
thirty years after the first section of the road 
was built. 

The Oregon & California and the Central 
Pacific were consolidated in 1870. The two 
ends of the road were united at Ashland, Ore., 
in 1887. The entire line is now controlled by 
the Southern Pacific, and, in connection with 
the Northern Pacific and the Oregon Railway 
& Navigation Road at Portland, forms a fourth 
transcontinental line for California. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

THE INDIAN QUESTION. 



IT IS quite the fashion now with a certain 
school of writers, who take their history of 
California from "Ramona" and their infor- 
mation on the "Indian question" under the rule 
of the mission padres from sources equally fic- 
titious, to draw invidious comparisons between 
the treatment of the Indian by Spain and Mex- 
ico when mission rule was dominant in Cali- 
fornia and his treatment by the United States 
after the conquest. 

That the Indian was brutally treated and un- 
mercifully slaughtered by the American miners 
and rancheros in the early '50s none will deny; 
that he had fared but little better under the rule 



of Spain and Mexico is equally true. The tame 
and submissive Indians of the sea coast with 
whom the mission had to deal were a very 
different people from the mountain tribes with 
whom the Americans came in conflict. 

We know but little of the conquistas or gentile 
hunts that were occasionally sent out from the 
mission to capture subjects for conversion. The 
history of these was not recorded. From "The 
narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Berings 
strait with the Polar expedition; performed in 
his majesty's ship Blossom, under command of 
Capt. F. W. P.eechcy, R. N., in the years 
1825-26-27-28, we have the storv of one of these 



22i 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



conquistas or convert raids. Captain Beechey 
visited California in 1828. While in California 
he studied the missions, or at least those he vis- 
ited, and after his return to England published 
his observations. His observations have great 
value. He was a disinterested observer and 
gave a plain, straightforward, truthful account 
of what he saw, without prejudice or partiality. 
His narrative dispels much of the romance that 
some modern writers throw around mission life. 
This conquista set out from the Mission San 
Jose. 

"At a particular period of the year also, when 
the Indians can be spared from agricultural con- 
cerns of the establishment, many are permitted 
to take the launch of the mission and make ex- 
cursions to the Indian territory. All are anx- 
ious to go on such occasions. Some to visit 
friends, some to procure the manufactures of 
their barbarian countrymen (which, by the by, 
are often better than their own) and some with a 
secret determination never to return. On these 
occasions the padres desire them to induce as 
many of their unconverted brethren as possible 
to accompany them back to the mission; of 
course, implying that this is to be done only by 
persuasion; but the boat being furnished with a 
cannon and musketry and in every respect 
equipped for war, it too often happens that the 
neophytes and the gente de razon, who super- 
intend the direction of the boat, avail them- 
selves of their superiority with the desire of in- 
gratiating themselves with their master and re- 
ceiving a reward. There are besides repeated 
acts of aggression, which it is necessary to pun- 
ish, all of which furnish proselytes. Women and 
children are generally the first objects of cap- 
ture, as their husbands and parents sometimes 
voluntarily follow them into captivity. These 
misunderstandings and captivities keep up a per- 
petual enmity amongst the tribes whose thirst 
for revenge is insatiable." 

We had an opportunity of witnessing the 
tragical issue of one of these holyday excursions 
of the neophytes of the Mission San Jose. The 
launch was armed, as usual, and placed under 
the superintendence of an alcalde of the mission, 
who appears from one statement (for there are 
several), converted the party of pleasure either 



into an attack for procuring proselytes or of 
revenge upon a particular tribe for some ag- 
gression in which they were concerned. They 
proceeded up the Rio San Joachin until they 
came to the territory of a particular tribe named 
Consemenes, when they disembarked with the 
gun and encamped for the night near the vil- 
lage of Los Gentiles, intending to make an at- 
tack upon them next morning, but before they 
were prepared the gentiles, who had been ap- 
prised of their intention and had collected a 
large body of their friends, became the assail- 
ants and pressed so hard upon the party that, 
notwithstanding they dealt death in every direc- 
tion with their cannon and musketry and were 
inspired with confidence by the contempt in 
which they held the valor and tactics of their un- 
converted countrymen, they were overpowered 
by numbers and obliged to seek their safety in 
flight and to leave the gun in the woods. Some 
regained the launch and were saved and others 
found their way overland to the mission, but 
thirty-four of the party never returned to tell 
their tale. 

"There were other accounts of the unfortu- 
nate affair, one of which accused the padre of 
authorizing the attack. The padre was greatly 
displeased at the result of the excursion, as the 
loss of so many Indians to the mission was of 
great consequence and the confidence with 
which the victory would inspire the Indians was 
equally alarming. 

"He therefore joined with the converted In- 
dians in a determination to chastise and strike 
terror into the victorious tribe and in concert 
with the governor planned an expedition against 
them. The mission furnished money, arms, In- 
dians and horses and the presidio troops, headed 
by Alferez Sanches, a veteran, who had been 
frequently engaged with the Indians and was 
acquainted with that part of the country. The 
expedition set out November 19, and we heard 
nothing of it until the 27th, but two days after 
the troops had taken to the field some immense 
columns of smoke rising above the mountains 
in the direction of the Cosemmes bespoke the 
conflagration of the village of the persecuted 
gentiles; and on the day above mentioned the 
veteran Sanches made a triumphant entry into 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the Mission of San Jose, escorting forty miser- 
able women and children. The gun which had 
been lost in the first battle was retaken and 
other trophies captured. 

"This victory, so glorious according to the 
ideas of the conquerors, was achieved with the 
loss of only one man on the part of the Chris- 
tians, who was mortally wounded by the burst- 
ing of his own gun; but on the part of the enemy 
it was considerable, as Sanches the morning 
after the battle counted forty-one men, women 
and children dead. It is remarkable that none 
of the prisoners was wounded and it is greatly 
to be feared that the Christians, who could 
scarcely be prevented from revenging the death 
of their relatives upon those who were brought 
to the mission, glutted their brutal passions on 
all who fell into their hands. 

"The prisoners they had captured were imme- 
diately enrolled in the list of the mission, except 
a nice little boy whose mother was shot while 
running away with him in her arms, and he was 
sent to the presidio and, as I heard, given to 
the Alferez as a reward for his services. The 
poor little orphan had received a slight wound in 
his forehead ; he wept bitterly at first and refused 
to eat, but in time became reconciled to his 
fate. 

"Those who were taken to the mission were 
immediately converted and were daily taught by 
the neophytes to repeat the Lord's prayer and 
certain hymns in the Spanish language. I hap- 
pened to visit the mission about this time and 
saw these unfortunate beings under tuition. 
They were clothed in blankets and arranged in 
a row before a blind Indian, who understood 
their dialect and was assisted by an alcalde to 
keep order. Their tutor began by desiring them 
to kneel, informing them that he was going to 
teach them the names of the persons composing 
the trinity and they were to repeat in Spanish 
what he dictated. The neophytes being ar- 
ranged, the speaker began: 'Santisima Trini- 
dad, Dios. Jesu Christo, Espiritu Santo,' paus- 
ing between each name to listen if the simple 
Indians, who had never before spoken a word 
of Spanish, pronounced it correctly or anything 
near the mark. After they had repeated these 
names satisfactorily, their blind tutor, after a 



pause, added 'Santos' and recapitulated the 
names of a great many saints, which finished the 
morning's lesson. 

"They did not appear to me to pay much at- 
tention to what was going forward and I ob- 
served to the padre that I thought their teachers 
had an arduous task, but he said they had never 
found any difficulty ; that the Indians were ac- 
customed to change their own gods and that 
their conversion was in a measure habitual to 
them. 

"The expenses of the late expedition fell heav- 
ily upon the mission and I was glad to find the 
padre thought it was paying very dear for so 
few converts, as in all probability it will lessen 
his desire to undertake another expedition and 
the poor Indians will be spared the horrors of 
being butchered by their own countrymen or 
dragged from their homes into captivity." 

This conquista and the results that followed 
were very similar to some of the so-called In- 
dian wars that took place after the American 
occupation. The Indians were provoked to hos- 
tilities by outrage and injustice. Then the 
military came down on them and wiped them 
out of existence. 

The unsanitary condition of the Indian vil- 
lages at some of the missions was as fatal as an 
Indian war. The Indian was naturally filthy, but 
in his native state he had the whole country to 
roam over. If his village became too filthy and 
the vermin in it too aggressive, he purified it 
by fire — burned up his wigwam. The adobe 
houses that took the place of the brush hovel, 
which made up the early mission villages, could 
not be burned to purify them. Xo doubt the 
heavy death rate at the missions was due largely 
to the uncleanly habits of the neophytes. The 
statistics given in the chapter on the Franciscan 
missions show that in all the missionary estab- 
lishments a steady decline, a gradual extinction 
of the neophyte population, had been in prog- 
ress for two to three decades before the mis- 
sions were secularized. Had secularization been 
delayed or had it not taken place in the course 
of a few decades, at the rate the neophytes were 
dying off the missions would have become de- 
populated. The death rate was greater than the 
birth rate in all of them and the mortality among 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the children was greater even than among the 
adults. After secularization the neophytes 
drifted to the cities and towns where they could 
more readily gratify their passion for strong 
drink. Their mission training and their Chris- 
tianity had no restraining influence upon them. 
Their vicious habits, which were about the only 
thing they had acquired by their contact with 
the whites, soon put an end to them. 

During the Spanish and Mexican eras North- 
ern California remained practically a terra in- 
cognita. Two missions, San Rafael and San 
Francisco Solano<, and the castillo at Sonora, 
had been established as a sort of protection to 
the northern frontier. A few armed incursions 
had been made into the country beyond these 
to punish Indian horse and cattle thieves. Gen- 
eral Vallejo, who was in command of the 
troops on the frontera del norte, had always 
endeavored to cultivate friendly relations with 
the gentiles, but the padres disliked to have 
these near the missions on account of their in- 
fluence on the neophytes. Near the Mission 
San Rafael, in 1833, occurred one of those In- 
dian massacres not uncommon under Spanish 
and Mexican rule. A body of gentiles from the 
rancherias of Pulia, encouraged by Figueroa 
and Vallejo, came to the Mission San Rafael 
with a view to establishing friendly relations. 
The padre put off the interview until next day. 
During the night a theft was committed, which 
was charged to the gentiles. Fifteen of them 
were seized and sent as prisoners to San Fran- 
cisco. Padre Mercado, fearing that their coun- 
trymen might retaliate, sent out his major doma 
Molina with thirty-seven armed neophytes, who 
surprised the gentiles in their rancheria, killed 
twenty-one, wounded many more and captured 
twenty men, women and children. Vallejo was 
indignant at the shameful violation of his prom- 
ises of protection to the Indians. He released 
the prisoners at San Francisco and the captives 
at the mission and tried to pacify the wrathful 
gentiles. Padre Mercado was suspended from 
his ministry for a short time, but was afterward 
freed and returned to San Rafael.* 

There was a system of Indian slavery in ex- 



Bancroft's History of California, Vol. III. 



istence in California under the rule of Spain and 
Mexico. Most of the wealthier Spanish and 
Mexican families had Indian servants. In the 
raids upon the gentiles the children taken by the 
soldiers were sometimes sold or disposed of to 
families for servants. Expeditions were gotten 
up upon false pretexts, while the main purpose 
was to steal Indian children and sell them to 
families for servants. This practice was carried 
on by the Americans, too, after the conquest. 

For a time after the discovery of gold the In- 
dians and the miners got along amicably. The 
first miners were mainly old Californians, used 
to the Indians, but with the rush of '49 came 
many rough characters who, by their injustice, 
soon stirred up trouble. Sutter had employed a 
large number of Indians on his ranches and in 
various capacities. These were faithful and hon- 
est. Some of them were employed at his mill 
in Coloma and in the diggings. In the spring 
of '49 a band of desperadoes known as the 
Mountain Hounds murdered eight of these at 
the mill. Marshall, in trying to defend them, 
came near being lynched by the drunken brutes. 

The injustice done the Indians soon brought 
on a number of so-called Indian wars. These 
were costly affairs to the state and in less than 
two years had plunged the young common- 
wealth into a debt of nearly $1,000,000. In a 
copy of the Los Angeles Star for February 28, 
1852, I find this enumeration of the wars and 
the estimated cost of each: The Morehead ex- 
pedition, $120,000; General Bean's first expedi- 
tion, $66,000; General Bean's second expedition, 
$50,000; the Mariposa war, $230,000; the El 
Dorado war, $300,000. The Morehead war orig- 
inated out of an injustice done the Yuma In- 
dians. These Indians, in the summer of 1849, 
had obtained an old scow and established a ferry 
across the Colorado river below the mouth of the 
Gila, and were making quite a paying business 
out of it by ferrying emigrants across the river. 
A Dr. A. L. Lincoln, from Illinois, had estab- 
lished a ferry at the mouth of the Gila early in 
1850. Being short handed he employed eight 
men of a party of immigrants, and their leader, 
Jack Glanton, who seems to have been a despera- 
do. Glanton insulted a Yuma chief and the In- 
dians charged him with destroying their boat 



USTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



227 



and killing an Irishman they had employed 

Watching their chance the Yumas killed eleven 
of the ferrymen, including Lincoln and 

Glanton. Governor Burnett ordered Major-Gen- 
eral Bean to march against the Yumas, Bean 
sent his quartermaster-general, Joseph C. More- 
head. Morehead, on Bean's orders, provid- 
ed necessaries for a three months' campaign 
at most extravagant prices, paying for them in 
drafts on the state treasury. Morehead started 
out from Los Angeles with forty men, but by 
the time he reached the Colorado river he had 
recruited his force to one hundred and twenty- 
five men. The liquid supplies taken along doubt- 
less stimulated recruiting. They reached the 
Colorado in the summer of 1850, and camped at 
the ferry. The Indians at their approach fled 
up the river. After two months' services they 
were disbanded. William Carr, one of the three 
ferrymen who escaped, was wounded and came to 
Los Angeles for treatment. The doctor who 
treated him charged the state $500. The man 
who boarded him put in a bill of $120; and the 
patriot who housed him wanted $45 for house 
rent. Bean's first and second expeditions were 
very similar in results to the Morehead cam- 
paign. The El Dorado expedition or Rogers' 
war, as it was sometimes called, was another of 
Governor Burnett's fiascos. He ordered Will- 
iam Rogers, sheriff of El Dorado county, to call 
out two hundred men at the state's expense to 
punish the Indians for killing some whites who 
had, in all probability, been the aggressors and 
the Indians had retaliated. It was well known 
that there were men in that part of the country 
who had wantonly killed Indians for the pleas- 
ure of boasting of their exploits. 

Nor were the whites always the aggressors. 
There were bad Indians, savages, who killed 
without provocation and stole whenever an op- 
portunity offered. In their attempts at retalia- 
tion the Indians slaughtered indiscriminately 
and the innocent more often were their victims 
than the guilty. On the side of the whites it 
was a war of extermination waged in many in- 
stances without regard to age or sex; on the 
part of the Indian it was a war of retaliation 
waged with as little distinction. 

The extermination of the aborigines was fear- 



fully rapid. Of over ten thousand Indians in 
Yuba, Placer, Nevada and Sierra counties in 
1849 not "lore than thirty-eight hundred re- 
mained in 1854. Much of this decrease had been 
brought about by dissipation and disease engen- 
dered by contact with the whiles. Reservations 
were established in various parts of the state, 
where Indians abounded, but the large salaries 
paid to agents and the numerous opportunities 
for peculation made these positions attractive 
to politicians, who were both incompetent ami 
dishonest. The Indians, badly treated at the 
reservations, deserted them whenever an oppor- 
tunity offered. 

A recital of the atrocities committed upon 
each other in the northwestern part of the state 
during a period of nearly twenty years would fill 
a volume. The Indian with all his fiendishness 
was often outmatched in cruelty by his pale 
faced brother. The Indian Island massacre was 
scarcely ever equaled in the annals of Indian 
cruelties. Indian Island lies nearly opposite 
the city of Eureka in Humboldt Bay. On this 
island, fifty years ago, was a large rancheria 
of inoffensive Indians, who lived chiefly by fish- 
ing. They had not been implicated in any of 
the wars or raids that had disturbed that part 
of the country. They maintained many of their 
old customs and had an annual gathering, at 
which they performed various rites and cere- 
monies, accompanied by dancing. A number of 
the Indians from the mainland joined them at 
these times. Near midnight of February 25, 
i860, a number of boats filled with white men 
sped silently out to the island. The whites 
landed and quietly surrounded the Indians, who 
were resting after their orgies, and began the 
slaughter with axes, knives and clubs, splitting 
skulls, knocking out brains and cutting the 
throats of men, women and children. Of the 
two hundred Indians on the island only four or 
five men escaped by swimming to the mainland. 
The same night a rancheria at the entrance of 
Humboldt Bay and another at the mouth of Eel 
river were attacked and about one hundred 
Indians slaughtered. The fiends who commit- 
ted these atrocities belonged to a secret or- 
ganization. No rigid investigation was ever 
made to find out who they were. The grand 



•22S 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



jury mildly condemned the outrage and there 
the matter ended. 

The Indians kept up hostilities, rendering 
travel and traffic unsafe on the borders of Hum- 
boldt, Klamath and Trinity counties. Governor 
Stanford in 1863 issued a proclamation for the 
enlistment of six companies of volunteers from 
the six northwestern counties of the state. 
These recruits were organized into what was 
known as the Mountaineer battalion with Lieut. - 
Col. Stephen G. Whipple in command. A num- 
ber of Indian tribes united and a desultory war- 
fare began. The Indians were worsted in nearly 
every engagement. Their power was broken 
and in February, 1865, fragments of the different 
tribes were gathered into the Hoopa Valley 
reservation. The Mountaineer battalion in what 
was known as the "Two Years' War" settled the 
Indian question from Shasta to the sea for all 
time. 

The Modoc war was the last of the Indian 
disturbances in the state. The Modocs inhab- 
ited the country about Rhett Lake and Lost 
river in the northeast part of the state, bordering 
on Oregon. Their history begins with the mas- 
sacre of an immigrant train of sixty-five per- 
sons, men, women and children, on their way 
from Oregon to California. This brought upon 
them a reprisal by the whites in which forty- 
one out of forty-six Indians who had been in- 
vited by Benjamin Wright to a pow wow after 
they had laid aside their arms were set upon by 
Wright and his companions with revolvers and 
all killed but five. In 1864 a treaty had been 
made with the Modocs by which they were to 
reside on the Klamath reservation. But tiring 
of reservation life, under their leader, Captain 
Jack, they returned to their old homes on Lost 
river. A company of United States troops and 
several volunteers who went along to see the 
fun were sent'to bring them back to the reser- 
vation. They refused to go and a fight ensued 
in which four of the volunteers and one of the 
regulars were killed, and the troops retreated. 
The Modocs after killing several settlers gath- 
ered at the lava beds near Rhett Lake and 
prepared for war. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton with about four 
hundred men attacked the Indians in the lava 



beds January 17, 1873. Captain Jack had but 
fifty-one men. When Wheaton retreated he had 
lost thirty-five men killed and a number 
wounded, but not an Indian had been hurt. A 
few days after the battle a peace commission 
was proposed at Washington. A. B. Meacham, 
Jesse Applegate and Samuel Case were ap- 
pointed. Elijah Steele of Yreka, who was on 
friendly terms with the Indians, was sent for. 
He visited the lava beds with the interpreter, 
Fairchild, and had a big talk. He proposed to 
them to surrender and they would be sent to 
Angel Island near San Francisco, fed and cared 
for and allowed to select any reservation they 
wished. Steele, on his return to camp, reported 
that the Indians accepted the terms, but Fair- 
child said they had not and next day on his re- 
turn Steele found out his mistake and barely 
escaped with his life. Interviews continued 
without obtaining any definite results, some of 
the commission became disgusted and returned 
home. General Canby, commanding the depart- 
ment, had arrived and taken charge of affairs. 
Commissioner Case resigned and Judge Ros- 
borough was appointed in his place and the Rev. 
E. Thomas, a doctor of divinity in the Metho- 
dist church, was added to the commission. A 
man by the name of Riddle and his wife Toby, 
a Modoc, acted as go-betweens and negotiations 
continued. 

A pow wow was arranged at the council tent 
at which all parties were to meet unarmed, but 
Toby was secretly informed that it was the in- 
tention of the Modocs to massacre the commis- 
sioners as had been done to the Indian com- 
missioners twenty years before by Benjamin 
Wright and his gang. On April 10, while 
Meacham and Dyer, the superintendent of the 
Klamath reservation, who had joined the com- 
missioners, were away from camp, the Rev. 
Dr. Thomas made an agreement with a dele- 
gation from Captain Jack for the commission 
and General Canby to meet the Indians at the 
council tent. Meacham on his return opposed 
the arrangement, fearing treachery. The doctor 
insisted that God had done a wonderful work 
in the Modoc camp, but Meacham shocked the 
pious doctor by saying "God had not been in 
the Modoc camp this winter." 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



229 



Two of the Indian leaders, Boston Charley 
and Bogus Charley, came to headquarters to 
accompany the commission. Riddle and his 
wife, Toby, bitterly opposed the commissioners' 
going, telling them they would be killed, and 
Toby going so far as to seize Meacham's horse 
to prevent him from going, telling him, "You get 
kill." Canby and the doctor insisted upon going, 
despite all protests, the doctor saying, "Let us go 
as we agreed and trust in God." Meacham and 
Dyer secured derringers in their side pockets 
before going. When the commissioners, the 
interpreters, Riddle and his wife, reached the 
council tent they found Captain Jack, Schonchin 
John, Black Jim, Shancknasty Jim, Ellen's 
Man and Hooker Jim sitting around a fire at 
the council tent. Concealed behind some 
rocks a short distance away were two young 
Indians with a number of rifles. The two Char- 
leys, Bogus and Boston, who had come with the 
commissioners from headquarters, informed the 
Indians That the commissioners were not armed. 
The interview began. The Indians were very 
insolent. Suddenly, at a given signal, the Indians 
uttered a war whoop, and Captain Jack drew 
a revolver from under his coat and shot Gen- 
eral Canby. Boston Charley shot Dr. Thomas, 
who fell, rose again, but was shot down 
while begging for his life. The young Indians 
had brought up the rifles and a fusillade was 
begun upon the others. All escaped without in- 
jury except Meacham, who, after running some 
distance, was felled by a bullet fired by Hooker 
Jim, and left for dead. He was saved from being 
scalped by the bravery of Toby. He recovered, 
however, although badly disfigured. While this 



was going on, Curly Haired Doctor and several 
other Modocs, with a white flag, inveigled Lieu- 
tenants Boyle and Sherwood beyond the lines. 
Seeing the Indians were armed, the officers 
turned to flee, when Curly Haired Jack fired and 
broke Lieutenant Sherwood's thigh. He died a 
few days later. The troops were called to arms 
when the firing began, but the Indians escaped 
to the lava beds. After a few days' preparation, 
Colonel Giilem, who was m command, began an 
attack on the Indian stronghold. Their position 
was shelled by mountain howitzers. In the 
fighting, which lasted four days, sixteen soldiers 
were killed and thirteen wounded. In a recon- 
noissance under Captain Thomas a few days 
later, a body of seventy troops and fourteen Warm 
Spring Indians ran into an ambush of the In- 
dians and thirteen soldiers, including Thomas, 
were killed. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis was placed 
in command. The Indians were forced out of the 
lava beds, their water supply having been cut 
off. They quarreled among themselves, broke 
up into parties, were chased down and all cap- 
tured. Captain Jack and Schonchin John, the 
two leaders, were shackled together. General 
Davis made preparations to hang these and six 
or eight others, but orders from Washington 
stopped him. The leading Indians were tried 
by court-martial. Captain Jack, Schonchin 
John, Black Jim and Boston Charley were hung, 
two others were sentenced to imprisonment for 
life. The other Modocs, men, women and chil- 
dren, were sent to a fort in Nebraska and after- 
wards transferred to the Ouaw Faw Agency in 
Indian Territory. This ended the Modoc war 
and virtually put an end to the Modoc Indians. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

SOME POLITICAL HISTORY. 



THE first Chinese emigrants to California 
arrived in the brig Eagle, from Hong 
Kong, in the month of February, 1848. 
They were two men and one woman. This was 
before the discovery of gold was known abroad. 
What brought these waifs from the Flowery 



Kingdom to California docs not appear in the 
record. February I, 1849, there were fifty-four 
Chinamen and one Chinawoman in the territory. 
January 1, 1850, seven hundred and eighty-nine 
men and two women had arrived. January I, 
1851, four thousand and eighteen men and seven 



•S.iO 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



women; a year later their numbers had in- 
creased to eight thousand one hundred and 
twenty-one men and eight women; May 7, 1852, 
eleven thousand seven hundred and eighty men 
and seven women had found their way to the 
land of gold. The Alta California, from which 
I take these figures, estimated that between 
seven and ten thousand more would arrive in 
the state before January I, 1853. The editor 
sagely remarks: "No one fears danger or mis- 
fortune from their excessive numbers." There 
was no opposition to their coming; on the con- 
trary, they were welcomed and almost lionized. 
The Alta of April 27, 1851, remarks: "An 
American barque yesterday brought eighty 
worshippers of the sun, moon and many stars. 
These Celestials make excellent citizens and we 
are pleased to notice their daily arrival in large 
numbers." The Alta describes a Great Chinese 
meeting on Portsmouth Square, which took 
place in 185 1. It seems to have been held for 
the purpose of welcoming the Chinese to Cali- 
fornia and at the same time doing missionary 
work and distributing religious tracts among 
them. The report says: "A large assemblage 
of citizens and several ladies collected on the 
plaza to witness the ceremonies. Ah Hee assem- 
bled his division and Ah Sing marched his into 
Kearny street, where the two divisions united 
and then marched to the square. Many carried 
fans. There were several peculiar looking Chi- 
namen among them. One, a very tall, old Celes- 
tial with an extensive tail, excited universal at- 
tention. He had a huge pair of spectacles upon 
his nose, the glasses of which were about the 
size of a telescope lens. He also had a singu- 
larly colored fur mantle or cape upon his shoul- 
ders and a long sort of robe. We presume he 
must be a mandarin at least. 

"Vice Consul F. A. Woodworth, His Honor, 
Major J. W. Geary, Rev. Albert Williams, Rev. 
A. Fitch and Rev. F. D. Hunt were present. 
Ah Hee acted as interpreter. The Rev. Hunt 
gave them some orthodox instruction in which 
they were informed of the existence of a coun- 
try where the China boys would never die; this 
made them laugh quite heartily. Tracts, scrip- 
tural documents, astronomical works, almanacs 
and other useful religious and instructive docu- 



ments printed in Chinese characters were dis- 
tributed among them." 

1 give the report of another meeting of "The 
Chinese residents of San Francisco," taken 
from the Alta of December 10, 1849. I quote 
it to show how the Chinese were regarded when 
they first came to California and how they were 
flattered and complimented by the presence of 
distinguished citizens at their meetings. Their 
treatment a few years later, when they were 
mobbed and beaten in the streets for no fault 
of theirs except for coming to a Christian coun- 
try, must have given them a very poor opinion 
of the white man's consistency. "A public 
meeting of the Chinese residents of the town 
was held on the evening of Monday, November 
19, at the Canton Restaurant on Jackson street. 
The following preamble and resolutions were 
presented and adopted: 

" 'Whereas, It becomes necessary for us, 
strangers as we are in a strange land, unac- 
quainted with the language and customs of our 
adopted country, to have some recognized coun- 
selor and advisor to whom we may all appeal 
with confidence for wholesome instruction, and, 

" 'Whereas, We should be at a loss as to what 
course of action might be necessary for us to 
pursue therefore, 

" 'Resolved, That a committee of four be ap- 
pointed to wait upon Selim E. Woodworth, Esq., 
and request him in behalf of the Chinese resi- 
dents of San Francisco to act in the capacity of 
arbiter and advisor for them.' 

"Mr. Woodworth was waited upon by Ah Hee, 
Jon Ling, Ah Ting and Ah Toon and kindly 
consented to act. The whole affair passed off 
in the happiest manner. Many distinguished 
guests were present, Hon. J. W. Geary, alcalde; 
E. H. Harrison, ex-collector of the port, and 
others." 

At the celebration of the admission of Cali- 
fornia into the Union the "China Boys" were a 
prominent feature. One report says: "The 
Celestials had a banner of crimson satin on 
which were some Chinese characters and the in- 
scription 'China Boys.' They numbered about 
fifty and were arrayed in the richest stuff and 
commanded by their chief, Ah Sing." 

While the "China Bovs" were feted and flat- 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



231 



tered in San Francisco they were not so enthu- 
siastically welcomed by the miners. The legis- 
lature in 1850 passed a law fixing the rate of 
license for a foreign miner at $20 per month. 
This was intended to drive out and keep out of 
the mines all foreigners, but the rate was so 
excessively high that it practically nullified the 
enforcement of the law and it was repealed in 
1 85 1. As the Chinese were only allowed peace- 
able possession of mines that would not pay 
white man's wages they did not make fortunes 
in the diggings. If by chance the Asiatics 
should happen to strike it rich in ground aban- 
doned by white men there was a class among 
the white miners who did not hesitate to rob the 
Chinamen of their ground. 

As a result of their persecution in the mines 
the Chinese flocked to San Francisco and it was 
not long until that city had more "China Boys" 
than it needed in its business. The legislature 
of 1855 enacted a law that masters, owners or 
consignors of vessels bringing to California 
persons incompetent to become citizens under 
the laws of the state should pay a fine of $50 for 
every such person landed. A suit was brought 
to test the validity of the act; it was declared 
unconstitutional. In 1858 the foreign miner's 
tax was $10 per month and as most of the other 
foreigners who had arrived in California in the 
early '50s had by this time become citizens by 
naturalization the foreigners upon whom the 
tax bore most heavily were the Chinese who 
could not become citizens. As a consequence 
many of them were driven out of the mines and 
this again decreased the revenue of the mining 
counties, a large part of which was made up of 
poll tax and license. 

The classes most bitterly opposed to the Chi- 
nese in the mines were the saloon-keepers, the 
gamblers and their constituents. While the 
Chinaman himself is a most inveterate gambler 
and not averse to strong drink he did not divest 
himself of his frugal earnings in the white man's 
saloon or gambling den, and the gentry who 
kept these institutions were the first, like Bill 
Nye in Bret Harte's poem, to raise the cry, 
''We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor." 
While the southern politicians who were the 
rulers of the state before the Civil war were 



opposed to the Chinese and legislated against 
them, it was not done in the interest of the white 
laborer. An act to establish a coolie system of 
servile labor was introduced in the pro-slavery 
legislature of 1854. It was intended as a sub- 
stitute for negro slavery. Senator Roach, a free 
state man, exposed its iniquity. It was defeated. 
The most intolerant and the most bitter oppo- 
nents of the Chinese then and later when opposi- 
tion had intensified were certain servile classes of 
Europeans who in their native countries had al- 
ways been kept in a state of servility to the aris- 
tocracy, but when raised to the dignity of Amer- 
ican citizens by naturalization proceeded to 
celebrate their release from their former serf- 
dom by persecuting the Chinese, whom they re- 
garded as their inferiors. The outcry these peo- 
ple made influenced politicians, who pandered to 
them for the sake of their votes to make laws 
and ordinances that were often burlesques on 
legislation. 

In 1870 the legislature enacted a law impos- 
ing a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more 
than $5,000 or imprisonment upon any one 
bringing to California any subject of China or 
Japan without first presenting evidence of his 
or her good character to the commissioner of 
immigration. The supreme court decided the 
law unconstitutional. Laws were passed pro- 
hibiting the employment of Chinese on the pub- 
lic works; prohibiting them from owning real 
estate and from obtaining licenses for certain 
kinds of business. The supervisors of San Fran- 
cisco passed an ordinance requiring that the 
hair of any male prisoner convicted of an of- 
fense should be cut within one inch of his head. 
This, of course, was aimed at Chinese convicts 
and intended to deprive them of their queues 
and degrade them in the estimation of their peo- 
ple. It was known as the Pig Tail Ordinance; 
the mayor vetoed it. Another piece of class 
legislation by the San Francisco supervisors im- 
posed a license of $15 a quarter on laundries 
using no horses, while a laundry using a one- 
horse wagon paid but $2 per quarter. The Chi- 
nese at this time (1876) did not use horses in 
their laundry business. The courts decided 
against this ordinance. 

Notwithstanding the laws and ordinances 



232 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



against them the Chinese continued to come 
and they found employment of some kind to 
keep them from starving. They were indus- 
trious and economical; there were no Chinese 
tramps. Although they filled a want in the 
state, cheap and reliable labor, at the beginning 
of its railroad and agricultural development, 
they were not desirable citizens. Their habits 
and morals were bad. Their quarters in the 
cities reeked with filth and immorality. They 
maintained their Asiatic customs and despised 
the "white devils" among whom they lived, 
which, by the way, was not strange considering 
the mobbing and maltreatment they received 
from the other aliens. They made merchandise 
of their women and carried on a revolting sys- 
tem of female slavery. 

The Burlingame treaty guaranteed mutual 
protection to the citizens of China and the 
United States on each other's soil ; to freedom in 
religious opinions; to the right to reside in 
either country at will and other privileges ac- 
corded to civilized nations. Under this treaty 
the Chinese could not be kept out of California 
and agitation was begun for the modification or 
entire abrogation of the treaty. 

For a number of years there had been a steady 
decline in the price of labor. Various causes 
had contributed to this. The productiveness of 
the mines had decreased; railroad communica- 
tion with the east had brought in a number of 
workmen and increased competition; the efforts 
of the labor unions to decrease the hours of labor 
and still keep up the wages at the old standard 
had resulted in closing up some of the manu- 
facturing establishments, the proprietors finding 
it impossible to compete with eastern factories. 
All these and other causes brought about a de- 
pression in business and brought on in 1877-78 
a labor agitation that shook the foundations of 
our social fabric. The hard times and decline in 
wages was charged against the Chinese. No 
doubt the presence of the Mongolians in Cali- 
fornia had considerable to do with it and par- 
ticularly in the lower grades of employment 
but the depression was mainly caused from 
over-production and the financial crisis of 1873, 
which had affected the whole United States. 
Another cause local to California was the wild 



mania for stock gambling that had prevailed in 
California for a number of years. The bonanza 
kings of the Washoe by getting up corners in 
stocks running up fraudulent values and then 
unloading on outside buyers had impoverished 
thousands of people of small means and enriched 
themselves without any return to their dupes. 

Hard times always brings to the front a class 
of noisy demagogues who with no remedy to 
prescribe increase the discontent by vitupera- 
tive abuse of everybody outside of their sym- 
pathizers. The first of the famous sand lot mass 
meetings of San Francisco was held July 23, 
1877, on a vacant lot on the Market street 
side of the city hall. Harangues were made and 
resolutions passed denouncing capitalists, de- 
claring against subsidies to steamship and rail- 
road lines, declaring that the reduction of wages 
was part of a conspiracy for the destruction of 
the republic and that the military should not be 
employed against strikers. An anti-coolie club 
was formed and on that and the two succeeding 
evenings a number of Chinese laundries were 
destroyed. In a fight between the police (aided 
by the committee of safety) and the rioters sev- 
eral of the latter were killed. Threats were 
made to destroy the railroad property and burn 
the vessels of the Pacific Mail Steamship Com- 
pany unless the Chinese in their employ were 
immediately discharged. 

Among the agitators that this ebullition of dis- 
content threw to the front was an Irish dray- 
man named Dennis Kearney. He was shrewd 
enough to see that some notoriety and political 
capital could be made by the organization of a 
Workingmen's party. 

On the 5th of October a permanent organiza- 
tion of the Workingmen's party of California was 
effected. Dennis Kearney was chosen president, 
J. G. Day, vice-president, and H. L. Knight, sec- 
retary. The principles of the party were the con- 
densed essence of selfishness. The working 
classes were to be elevated at the expense of 
every other. "We propose to elect none but com- 
petent workingmen and their friends to any of- 
fice whatever." "The rich have ruled us till they 
have ruined us." "The republic must and shall 
be preserved, and only workingmen will do it." 
"This party will exhaust all peaceable means of 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



233 



attaining its ends, but it will not be denied jus- 
tice when it has the power to enforce it." "It 
will encourage no riot or outrage, but it will 
not volunteer to repress or put down or arrest, 
or prosecute the hungry and impatient who 
manifest their hatred of the Chinamen by a cru- 
sade against John or those who employ him." 
These and others as irrelevant and immaterial 
were the principles of the Workingmen's party 
that was to bring the millennium. The move- 
ment spread rapidly, clubs were formed in every 
ward in San Francisco and there were organiza- 
tions in all the cities of the state. The original 
leaders were all of foreign birth, but when the 
movement became popular native born dema- 
gogues, perceiving in it an opportunity to ob- 
tain office, abandoned the old parties and joined 
the new. 

Kearney now devoted his whole time to agi- 
tation, and the applause he received from his 
followers pampered his inordinate conceit. His 
language was highly incendiary. He advised 
every workingman to own a musket and one 
hundred rounds of ammunition and urged the 
formation of military companies. He posed as 
a reformer and even hoped for martyrdom. In 
cne of his harangues he said: "If I don't get 
killed I will do more than any reformer in the 
history of the world. I hope I will be assassi- 
nated, for the success of the movement depends 
on that." The incendiary rant of Kearney and 
his fellows became alarming. It was a tame 
meeting, at which no "thieving millionaire, 
scoundrelly official or extortionate railroad mag- 
nate" escaped lynching by the tongues of la- 
borite reformers. The charitable people of the 
city had raised by subscription $20,000 to al- 
leviate the prevailing distress among the poor. 
It was not comforting to a rich man to hear 
himself doomed to "hemp! hemp! hemp!" 
simply because by industry, economy and enter- 
prise he had made a fortune. It became evident 
that if Kearney and his associates were allowed 
to talk of hanging men and burning the city 
some of their dupes would put in practice the 
teachings of their leaders. The supervisors, 
urged on by the better class of citizens, passed 
an ordinance called by the sand-lotters "Gibbs' 
gag law." On the 29th of October, Kearney and 



his fellow agitators, with a mob of two or three 
thousand followers, held a meeting on Nob Hill, 
where Stanford, Crocker, Hopkins and other 
railroad magnates had built palatial residences. 
He roundly denounced as thieves the nabobs of 
Nob Hill and declared that they would soon feel 
the power of the workingmen. When his party 
was thoroughly organized they would march 
through the city and compel the thieves to give 
up their plunder; that he would lead them to the 
city hall, clear out the police, hang the pros- 
ecuting attorney, burn every book that had a 
particle of law in it. and then enact new laws 
for the workingmen. These and other utter- 
ances equally inflammatory caused his arrest 
while addressing a meeting on the borders of 
the Barbary coast. Trouble was expected, but 
he quietly submitted and was taken to jail and a 
few days later Day, Knight, C. C. O'Donnell and 
Charles E. Pickett were arrested on charges of 
inciting riot and taken to jail. A few days in 
jail cooled them off and they began to "squeal." 
They addressed a letter to the mayor, saying 
their utterances had been incorrectly reported 
by the press and that if released they were will- 
ing to submit to any wise measure to allay the 
excitement. They were turned loose after two 
weeks' imprisonment and their release was cele- 
brated on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, by 
a grand demonstration of sand lotters — seven 
thousand of whom paraded the streets. 

It was not long before Kearney and his fel- 
lows were back on the sand lots hurling out 
threats of lynching, burning and blowing up. 
On January 5 the grand jury presented indict- 
ments against Kearney, Wellock, Knight, 
O'Donnell and Pickett. They were all released 
en the rulings of the judge of the criminal court 
on the grounds that no actual riot had taken 
place. 

The first victory of the so-called Working- 
men's party was the election of a state senator in 
Alameda county to fill a vacancy caused by the 
death of Senator Porter. An individual by the 
name of John W. Bones was elected. On ac- 
count of his being long and lean he was known 
as Barebones and sometimes Praise God Bare- 
bones. His only services in the senate were the 
perpetration of some doggerel verses and a 



i':u 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



speech or two on Kearney's theme, "The Chi- 
nese Must Go." At the election held June 19, 
1878, to choose delegates to a constitutional 
convention of the one hundred and fifty-two 
delegates the Workingmen elected fifty-seven, 
thirty-one of whom were from San Francisco. 
The convention met at Sacramento, September 
28, 1878, and continued to sit in all one hundred 
and fifty-seven days. It was a mixed assem- 
blage. There were some of the ablest men in 
the state in it, and there were some of the most 
narrow minded and intolerant bigots there. The 
Workingmen flocked by themselves, while the 
non-partisans, the Republicans and Democrats, 
for the most part, acted in unison. Opposition 
to the Chinese, which was a fundamental prin- 
ciple of the Workingmen's creed, was not con- 
fined to them alone; some of the non-partisans 
were as bitter in their hatred of the Mongolians 
as the Kearneyites. Some of the crudities pro- 
posed for insertion in the new constitution were 
laughable for their absurdity. One sand lotter 
proposed to amend the bill of rights, that all men 
are by nature free and independent, to read, "All 
men who are capable of becoming citizens of the 
United States are by nature free and inde- 
pendent." One non-partisan wanted to incor- 
porate into the fundamental law of the state 
Kearney's slogan, "The Chinese Must Go." 

After months of discussion the convention 
evolved a constitution that the ablest men in 
that body repudiated, some of them going so far 
as to take the stump against it. But at the elec- 
tion it carried by a large majority. Kearney 
continued his sand lot harangues. In the sum- 
mer of 1879 ne ma de a trip through the south- 
ern counties of the state, delivering his diatribes 
against the railroad magnates, the land mo- 
nopolists and the Chinese. At the town of Santa 
Ana, now the county seat of Orange county, in 
his harangue he made a vituperative attack 
upon the McFadden Brothers, who a year or 
two before had built a steamer and run it in op- 
position to the regular coast line steamers until 
forced to sell it on account of losses incurred by 
the competition. Kearney made a number of 
false and libelous statements in regard to the 
transaction. While he was waiting for the stage 
to San Diego in front' of the hotel he was con- 



fronted by Rule, an employee of the McFad- 
den's, with an imperious demand for the name of 
Kearney's informant. Kearney turned white 
with fear and blubbered out something about 
not giving away his friends. Rule struck him 
a blow that sent him reeling against the build- 
ing. Gathering himself together he made a rush 
into the hotel, drawing a pistol as he ran. Rule 
pursued him through the dining room and out 
across a vacant lot and into a drug store, where 
he downed him and, holding him down with his 
knee on his breast, demanded the name of his 
informer. One of the slandered men pulled 
Rule off the "martyr" and Kearney, with a face 
resembling a beefsteak, took his departure to 
San Diego. From that day on he ceased his 
vituperative attacks on individuals. He had met 
the only argument that could convince him of 
the error of his ways. He lost caste with his 
fellows. This braggadocio, who had boasted of 
leading armies to conquer the enemies of the 
Workingmen, with a pistol in his hand had 
ignominiously fled from an unarmed man and 
had taken a humiliating punishment without a 
show of resistance. His following began to de- 
sert him and Kearney went if the Chinese did 
not. The Workingmen's party put up a state 
ticket in 1879, but it was beaten at the polls and 
went to pieces. In 1880 James Angell of Mich- 
igan, John F. Swift of California, and William 
H. Trescott of South Carolina were appointed 
commissioners to proceed to China for the pur- 
pose of forming new treaties. An agreement 
was reached with the Chinese authorities by 
which laborers could be debarred for a certain 
period from entering the United States. Those 
in the country were all allowed the rights that 
aliens of other countries had. The senate ratified 
the treaty May 5th, 1881. 

The following is a list of the governors of Cal- 
ifornia, Spanish, Mexican and American, with 
date of appointment or election: Spanish: 
Caspar de Portola, 1767: Felipe Barri, 1771; 
Felipe de Neve, 1774; Pedro Fages, 1790; Jose 
Antonio Romeu, 1790; Jose Joaquin de Ar- 
rillaga, 1792; Diego de Borica, 1794; Jose Joa- 
quin de Arrillaga, 1800; Jose Arguello, 18 14: 
Pablo Vicente de Sola, 1815. Mexican gov- 
ernors: Pablo Vicente de Sola, 1822; Luis 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



Arguello, 1823; Jose Maria Echeandia, 1825; 
Manuel Victoria, 1831; Pio Pico, 1832; Jose 
Maria Echeandia, Agustin Zamorano, 1832 ; 
Jose Figucroa, 1833; Jose Castro, 1835; Nicolas 
Gutierrez, 1S36; Mariano Chico, 1836; Nicolas 
Gutierrez, 1836; Juan B. Alvarado, 1836; Man- 
uel Micheltorena, 1842; Pio Pico, 1845. Amer- 
ican military governors: Commodore Robert 
F. Stockton, 1846; Col. John C. Fremont, Jan- 
uary, 1847; Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, March 
1, 1847; Col. Richard B. Mason, May 31, 1847; 
Gen. Bennet Riley, April 13, 1849. American 
governors elected: Peter H. Burnett, 1849. 
John McDougal, Lieutenant-governor, became 
governor on resignation of P. H. Burnett in 
January, 1851; John Bigler, 1851; John Bigler, 



1853; J. Neely Johnson, 1855; John B. Weller, 
1857; M. S. Latham, 1X59; John G. Downey, 
lieutenant-governor, became governor in 1859 
by election of Latham to United States senate; 
Leland Stanford, 1861; Frederick F. Low, 1863; 
Henry II. Haight, 1867; Newton Booth, 1871; 
Romualdo Pacheco, lieutenant governor, be- 
came governor February, 1875, on election of 
Booth to the L T nited States senate; William Ir- 
win, 1875; George C. Perkins, 1879; George 
Stoneman, 1882; Washington Bartlett, 1886; 
Robert W. Waterman, lieutenant-governor, be- 
came governor September 12, 1887, upon the 
death of Governor Bartlett; II. II. Markham, 
1890; James H. Budd, 1894; Henry T. Gage, 
1898; George C. Pardee, 1902; James H. Gillett, 
1906. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. 



THE Franciscans, unlike the Jesuits, were 
not the patrons of education. They 
bent all their energies towards pros- 
elyting. Their object was to fit their converts 
for the next world. An ignorant soul might 
be as happy in paradise as the most learned. 
Why educate the neophyte? He was converted, 
and then instructed in the work assigned him 
at the mission. There were no public schools 
at the missions. A few of the brightest of 
the neophytes, who were trained to sing in 
the church choirs, were taught to read, but the 
great mass of them, even those of the third gen- 
eration, born and reared at the missions, were 
as ignorant of book learning as were their great- 
grandfathers, who ran naked among the oak 
trees of the mesas and fed on acorns. 

Xor was there much attention paid to edu- 
cation among the gente dc razon of the pre- 
sidios and pueblos. But few of the common 
people could read and write. Their ancestors 
had made their way in the world without book 
learning. Why should the child know more 
than the parent? And trained to have great filial 
regard for his parent, it was not often that 
the progeny aspired to rise higher in the scale 



of intelligence than his progenitor. Of the 
eleven heads of families who founded Los An- 
geles, not one could sign his name to the title 
deed of his house lot. Nor were these an ex- 
ceptionally ignorant collection of hombres. Out 
of fifty men comprising the Monterey company 
in 1785, but fourteen could write. In the com- 
pany stationed at San Francisco in 1794 not a 
soldier among them could read or write; and 
forty years later of one hundred men at Sonoma 
not one could write his name. 

The first community want the American pio- 
neers supplied was the school house. Wher- 
ever the immigrants from the New England 
and the middle states planted a settlement, there, 
at the same time, they planted a school house. 
The first community want that the Spanish 
pabladores (colonists) supplied was a church. 
The school house was not wanted or if wanted it 
was a long felt want that was rarely or never 
satisfied. At the time of the acquisition of Cal- 
ifornia by the Americans, seventy-seven years 
from the date of its first settlement, there was 
not a public school house owned by any pre- 
sidio, pueblo or city in all its territorv. 

The first public school in California was 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



opened in San Jose in December, 1794, seven- 
teen years after the founding of that pueblo. 
The pioneer teacher of California was Manuel 
de Vargas, a retired sergeant of infantry. The 
school was opened in the public granary. 
Vargas, in 1795, was offered $250 to open a 
school in San Diego. As this was higher wages 
than he was receiving he accepted the offer. 
Jose Manuel Toca, a gamut e or ship boy, ar- 
rived on a Spanish transport in 1795 and the 
same year was employed at Santa Barbara as 
schoolmaster at a yearly salary of $125. Thus 
the army and the navy pioneered education in 
California. 

Governor Borica, the founder of public 
schools in California, resigned in 1800 and was 
succeeded by Arrillaga. Governor Arrillaga, if 
not opposed to, was at least indifferent to the 
education of the common people. He took life 
easy and the schools took long vacations; in- 
deed, it was nearly all vacation during his term. 
Governor Sola, the successor of Arrillaga, made 
an effort to establish public schools, but the in- 
difference of the people discouraged him. In 
the lower pueblo, Los Angeles, the first school 
was opened in 1817, thirty-six years after the 
founding of the town. The first teacher there 
was Maximo Piha, an invalid soldier. He re- 
ceived $140 a year for his services as school- 
master. If the records are correct, his was the 
only school taught in Los Angeles during the 
Spanish regime. One year of schooling to forty 
years of vacation, there was no educational 
cramming in those days. The schoolmasters of 
the Spanish era were invalid soldiers, possessed 
of that dangerous thing, a "little learning; - ' and 
it was very little indeed. About all they could 
teach was reading, writing and the doctrina 
Christiana. They were brutal tyrants and their 
school government a military despotism. They 
did not spare the rod or the child, either. The 
rod was too mild an instrument of punishment. 
Their implement of torture was a cat-o'-nine- 
tails, made of hempen cords with iron points. 
To fail in learning the doctrina Christiana was 
an unpardonable sin. For this, for laughing 
aloud, playing truant or other offenses no more 
heinous, the guilty boy "was stretched face 
downward upon a bench with a handkerchief 



thrust into his mouth as a gag and lashed with a 
dozen or more blows until the blood ran down 
his little lacerated back." If he could not im- 
bibe the Christian doctrine in any other way, 
it was injected into him with the points of the 
lash. 

Mexico did better for education in California 
than Spain. The school terms were lengthened 
and the vacation shortened proportionally. Gov- 
ernor Echeandia, a man hated by the friars, was 
an enthusiastic friend of education. "He be- 
lieved in the gratuitous and compulsory educa- 
tion of rich and poor, Indians and gcntc de 
ra.:on alike." He held that learning was the 
corner-stone of a people's wealth and it was the 
duty of the government to foster education. 
When the friars heard of his views "they called 
upon God to pardon the unfortunate ruler un- 
able to comprehend how vastly superior a re- 
ligious education was to one merely secular.* 
Echeandia made a brave attempt to establish a 
public school system in the territory. He de- 
manded of the friars that they establish a school 
at each mission for the neophytes; they prom- 
ised, but, with the intention of evading, a show 
was made of opening schools. Soon it was re- 
ported that the funds were exhausted and the 
schools had to close for want of means to sup- 
port them. Nor was Echeandia more successful 
with the people. He issued an order to the 
commanding officers at the presidios to compel 
parents to send their children to school. The 
school at Monterey was opened, the alcalde act- 
ing as schoolmaster. The school furniture con- 
sisted of one table and the school books were 
one arithmetic and four primers. The school 
funds were as meager as the school furniture. 
Echeandia, unable to contend against the enmity 
of the friars, the indifference of the parents and 
the lack of funds, reluctantly abandoned his 
futile fight against ignorance. 

One of the most active and earnest friends of 
the public schools during the Mexican era was 
the much abused Governor Micbeltorena. He 
made an earnest effort to establish a public 
school system in California. Through his efforts 
schools were established in all the principal 



''Bancroft's California Pastoral. 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



237 



towns and a guarantee of $500 from the ter- 
ritorial funds promised to each school. Michel- 
torena promulgated what might be called the 
first school law of California. It was a decree 
issued May 1, 1844, and consisted of ten articles, 
which prescribed what should be taught in the 
schools, school hours, school age of the pupils 
and other regulations. Article 10 named the 
most holy virgin of Guadalupe as patroness of 
the schools. Her image was to be placed in 
each school. But, like all his predecessors, 
Micheltorena failed: the funds were soon ex- 
hausted and the schools closed. 

Even had the people been able to read there 
would have been nothing for them to read but 
religious books. The friars kept vigilant watch 
that no interdicted books were brought into the 
country. If any were found they were seized 
and publicly burned. Castro, Alvarado and Val- 
lejo were at one time excommunicated for read- 
ing Rousseau's works, Telemachus and other 
books on the prohibited list. Alvarado having 
declined to pay Father Duran some money he 
owed him because it was a sin to have anything 
to do with an excommunicated person, and 
therefore it would be a sin for the father to take 
money from him, the padre annulled the sen- 
tence, received the money and gave Alvarado 
permission to read anything he wished. 

During the war for the conquest of California 
and for some time afterwards the schools were 
all closed. The wild rush to the gold mines in 
1848 carried away the male population. No one 
would stay at home and teach school for the 
paltry pay given a schoolmaster. The ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles in the winter of 1849-50 
appointed a committee to establish a school. 
After a three months' hunt the committee re- 
ported "that an individual had just presented 
himself who, although he did not speak English, 
yet could he teach the children many useful 
things; and besides the same person had man- 
aged to get the refusal of Mrs. Pollerena's house 
for school purpose." At the next meeting of the 
ayuntamiento the committee reported that the 
individual who had offered to teach had left for 
the mines and neither a school house nor a 
schoolmaster could be found. 

In June, 1850, the ayuntamiento entered into 



a contract with Francisco Bustamente, an ex- 
soldier, "to teach to the children first, second 
and third lessons and likewise to read script, to 
write and count and so much as I may be com- 
petent to teach them orthography and good 
morals." Bustamente was to receive $60 per 
month and $20 for house rent. This was the 
first school opened in Los Angeles after the 
conquest. 

"The first American school in San Francisco 
and, we believe, in California, was a merely pri- 
vate enterprise. It was opened by a Mr. Mars- 
ton from one of the Atlantic states in April, 
1847, > n a small shanty which stood on the block 
between Broadway and Pacific streets, west of 
Dupont street. There he collected some twenty 
or thirty pupils, whom he continued to teach for 
almost a whole year, his patrons paying for tui- 
tion."* 

In the fall of 1847 a school house was built 
on the southwest coiner of Portsmouth square, 
fronting on Clay street. The money to build it 
was raised by subscription. It was a very mod- 
est structure — box shaped with a door and two 
windows in the front and two windows in each 
end. It served a variety of purposes besides that 
of a school house. It was a public hall for all 
kinds of meetings. Churches held service 111 it. 
The first public amusements were given in it. 
At one time it was used for a court room. The 
first meeting to form a state government was 
held in it. It was finally degraded to a police 
office and a station house. For some time after 
it was built no school was kept in it for want of 
funds. 

On the 21st of February, 1848, a town meet- 
ing was called for the election of a board of 
school trustees and Dr. F. Fourguard, Dr. J. 
Townsend, C. L. Ross, J. Serrini and William 
H. Davis were chosen. On the 3d of April fol- 
lowing these trustees opened a school in the 
school house under the charge of Thomas 
Douglas, A. M., a graduate of Yale College and 
an experienced teacher of high reputation. The 
board pledged him a salary of $1,000 per an- 
num and fixed a tariff of tuition to aid towards 
its payment; and the town council, afterwards, 



*Annals of San Francisco. 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



to make up any deficiency, appropriated to the 
payment of the teacher of the public school in 
this place $200 at the expiration of twelve 
months from the commencement of the school. 
"Soon after this Mr. Marston discontinued his 
private school and Mr. Douglas collected some 
forty pupils."* 

The school flourished for eight or ten weeks. 
Gold had been discovered and rumors were 
coming thick and fast of fortunes made in a day. 
A thousand dollars a year looked large to Mr. 
Douglas when the contract was made, but in the 
light of recent events it looked rather small. 
A man in the diggings might dig out $1,000 in a 
week. So the schoolmaster laid down the 
pedagogical birch, shouldered his pick and hied 
himself away to the diggings. In the rush for 
gold, education was forgotten. December 12, 

1848, Charles W. H. Christian reopened the 
school, charging tuition at the rate of $10. Evi- 
dently he did not teach longer than it took him 
to earn money to reach the mines. April 23, 

1849, the Rev. Albert Williams, pastor of the 
First Presbyterian church, obtained the use of 
the school house and opened a private school, 
charging tuition. He gave up school teaching 
to attend to his ministerial duties. In the fall 
of '49 John C. Pelton, a Massachusetts school- 
master, arrived in San Francisco and December 
26 opened a school with three pupils in the Bap- 
tist church on Washington street. He fitted up 
the church with writing tables and benches at 
his own expense, depending on voluntary con- 
tributions for his support. In the spring of 
1850 he applied to the city council for relief and 
for his services and that of his wife he received 
$500 a month till the summer of 1851, when he 
closed his school. 

Col. T. J. Nevins, in June, 1850, obtained rent 
free the use of a building near the present inter- 
section of Mission and Second streets for school 
purposes. He employed a Mr. Samuel New- 
ton as teacher." The school was opened July 
13. The school passed under the supervision 
of several teachers. The attendance was small 
at first and the school was supported by con- 
tributions, but later the council voted an ap- 

* Annals of San Francisco. 



propriation. The school was closed in 1851. 
Colonel Nevins, in January, 185 1, secured a 
fifty-vara lot at Spring Valley on the Presidio 
road and built principally by subscription a 
large school building, employed a teacher and 
opened a free school, supported by contributions. 
The building was afterwards leased to the city 
to be used for a free school, the term of the 
lease running ninety-nine years. This was the 
first school building in which the city had an 
ownership. Colonel Nevins prepared an ordi- 
nance for the establishment, regulation and 
support of free common schools in the city. 
The ordinance was adopted by the city council 
September 25, 1851, and was the first ordinance 
establishing free schools and providing for their 
maintenance in San Francisco. 

A bill to provide for a public school system 
was introduced in the legislature of 1850, but 
the committee on education reported that it 
would be two or three years before any means 
would become available from the liberal pro- 
visions of the constitution; in the meantime 
the persons who had children to educate could 
do it out of their own pockets. So all action 
was postponed and the people who had children 
paid for their tuition or let them run without 
schooling. 

The first school law was passed in 185 1. It 
was drafted mainly by G. B. Lingley, John C. 
Pelton and the superintendent of public instruc- 
tion, J. G. Marvin. It was revised and amended 
by the legislatures of 1852 and 1853. The state 
school fund then was derived from the sale and 
rental of five hundred thousand acres of state 
land; the estates of deceased persons escheated 
to the state; state poll tax and a state tax of 
five cents on each $100 of assessed property. 
Congress in 1853 granted to California the 16th 
and 36th sections of the public lands for school 
purposes. The total amount of this grant was 
six million seven hundred and sixty-five thou- 
sand five hundred and four acres, of which 
forty-six thousand and eighty acres were to be 
deducted for the founding of a state university 
or college and six thousand four hundred acres 
for public buildings. 

The first apportionment of state funds was 
made in 1854. The amount of state funds for 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



.':;:» 



that year was $52,961. The county and mu- 
nicipal school taxes amounted to $157,702. 
These amounts were supplemented by rate bills 
to the amount of $42,557. In 1856 the state 
fund had increased to $69,961, while rate bills 
had decreased to $28,619. That year there were 
thirty thousand and thirty-nine children of 
school age in the state, of these only about 
fifteen thousand were enrolled in the schools. 

In the earlier years, following the American 
conquest, the schools were confined almost en- 
tirely to the cities. The population in the coun- 
try districts was too sparse to maintain a school. 
The first school house in Sacramento was built 
in 1849. It was located on I street. C. H. T. 
Palmer opened school in it in August. It was 
supported by rate bills and donations. He gath- 
ered together about a dozen pupils. The school 
was soon discontinued. Several other parties 
in succession tried school keeping in Sacra- 
mento, but did not make a success of it. It was 
not until 185 1 that a permanent school was es- 
tablished. A public school was taught in Mon- 
terey in 1849 by R ev - Willey. The school was 
kept in Colton Hall. The first public school 
house in Los Angeles was built in 1854. Hugh 
Overns taught the first free school there in 1850. 

The amount paid for teachers' salaries in 1854 
was $85,860; in 1906 it reached $5,666,045. The 
total expenditures in 1854 for school purposes 
amounted to $275,606; in 1906 to $8,727,008. 
The first high school in the state was established, 
in San Francisco in 1856. In 1906 there were 
one hundred and ninety high schools, with an 
attendance of eighteen thousand eight hundred 
and seventy-nine students. Four millions of dol- 
lars were invested in high school buildings, fur- 
niture and grounds, and one thousand teachers 
were employed in these schools. 

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC. 

This institution was chartered in August, 
185 1, as the California Wesleyan College, which 
name was afterwards changed by act of the leg- 
islature to that it now bears. The charter was 
obtained under the general law of the state as 
it then was, and on the basis of a subscription 
of $27,500 and a donation of some ten acres of 
land adjacent to the village of Santa Clara. A 



school building was erected in which the pre- 
paratory department was opened in May, 1852, 
under the charge of Rev. E. Banister as prin- 
cipal, aided by two assistant teachers, and be- 
fore the end of the first session had over sixty 
pupils. Near the close of the following year 
another edifice was so far completed that the 
male pupils were transferred to it, and the Fe- 
male Collegiate Institute, with its special course 
of study, was organized and continued in the 
original building. In 1854 the classes of the 
college proper were formed ami the requisite 
arrangement with respect to president, faculty, 
and course of study made. In 1858 two young 
men, constituting the first class, received the de- 
gree of A. B., they being the first to receive 
that honor from any college in California. In 
1865 the board of trustees purchased the Stock- 
ton rancho, a large body of land adjoining the 
town of Santa Clara. This was subdivided into 
lots and small tracts and sold at a profit. By 
this means an endowment was secured and an 
excellent site for new college building obtained. 

THE COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA. 

The question of founding a college or uni- 
versity in California had been discussed early in 
1849, before the assembling of the constitutional 
convention at San Jose. The originator of the 
idea was the Rev. Samuel II. Willey, 1). D., of 
the Presbyterian church. At that time he was 
stationed at Monterey. The first legislature 
passed a bill providing for the granting of col- 
lege charters. The bill required that application 
should be made to the supreme court, which was 
to determine whether the property possessed by 
the proposed college was worth $20,000, and 
whether in other respects a charter should be 
granted. A body of land for a college site had 
been offered by James Stokes and Kimball H. 
Dimmick to be selected from a large tract they 
owned on the Guadalupe river, near San Jose. 
When application was made for a # college char- 
ter the supreme court refused to give a charter 
to the applicants on the plea that the land 
was unsurveyed and the title not fully deter- 
mined. 

The Rev. Henry Durant, who had at one time 
been a tutor in Yale College, came to California 



240 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



in 1853 to engage in teaching. At a meeting 
of the presbytery of San Francisco and the Con- 
gregational Association of California held in 
Nevada City in May, 1853, which Mr. Durant 
attended, it was decided to establish an acad- 
emy at Oakland. There were but few houses 
in Oakland then and* the only communication 
with San Francisco was by means of a little 
steamer that crossed the bay two or three times 
a day. A house was obtained at the corner of 
Broadway and Fifth street and the academy 
opened with three pupils. A site was selected 
for the school, which, when the streets were 
opened, proved to be four blocks, located be- 
tween Twelfth and Fourteenth, Franklin and 
Harrison streets. The site of Oakland at that 
time was covered with live oaks and the sand 
was knee deep. Added to other discourage- 
ments, titles were in dispute and squatters were 
seizing upon the vacant lots. A building was 
begun for the school, the money ran out and 
the property was in danger of seizure on a me- 
chanics' lien, but was rescued by the bravery 
and resourcefulness of Dr. Durant. 

In 1855 the College of California was char- 
tered and a search begun for a permanent site. 
A number were offered at various places in the 
state. The trustees finally selected the Berkeley 
site, a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on 
Strawberry creek near Oakland, opposite the 
Golden Gate. The college school in Oakland 
was flourishing. A new building, Academy 
Hall, was erected in 1858. A college faculty 
was organized. The Rev. Henry Durant and 
the Rev. Martin Kellogg were chosen pro- 
fessors and the first college class was organized 
in June, i860. The college classes were taught 
in the buildings of the college school, which 
were usually called the College of California. 
The college classes were small and the endow- 
ment smaller. The faculty met with many dis- 
couragements. It became evident that the in- 
stitution could never become a prominent one 
in the educational field with the limited means 
of support it could command. In 1863 the idea 
of a state university began to be agitated. A bill 
was passed by the state legislature in 1866, de- 
voting to the support of a narrow polytechnical 
school, the federal land grants to California for 



the support of agricultural schools and a college 
of mechanics. The trustees of the College of 
California proposed in 1867 to transfer to the 
state the college site at Berkeley, opposite the 
Golden Gate, together with all the other assets 
remaining after the debts were paid, on con- 
dition that the state would build a University of 
California on the site at Berkeley, which should 
be a classical and technological college. 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 

A bill for the establishing of a state university 
was introduced in the legislature March 5, 1868, 
by Hon. John W. Dwindle of Alameda county. 
After some amendments it was finally passed, 
March 21, and on the 27th of the same month a 
bill was passed making an appropriation for the 
support of the institution. 

The board of regents of the university was 
organized June 9, 1868, and the same day Gen. 
George B. M.cClellan was elected president of 
the university, but at that time being engaged in 
building Stevens Battery at New York he de- 
clined the honor. September 23, 1869, the 
scholastic exercises of the university were be- 
gun in the buildings of the College of Califor- 
nia in Oakland and the first university class was 
graduated in June, 1873. The new buildings of 
the university at Berkeley were occupied in 
September, 1873. Prof. John Le Conte was act- 
ing president for the first year. Dr. Henry 
Durant was chosen to fill that position and was 
succeeded by D. C. Gilman in 1872. The corner- 
stone of the Agricultural College, called the 
South Hall, was laid in August, 1872, and that 
of the North Hall in the spring of 1873. 

The university, as now constituted, consists 
of Colleges of Letters, Social Science, Agricul- 
ture, Mechanics, Mining, Civil Engineering, 
Chemistry and Commerce, located at Berkeley; 
the Lick Astronomical Department at Mount 
Hamilton; and the professional and affiliated 
colleges in San Francisco, namely, the Hastings 
College of Law, the Medical Department, the 
Post-Graduate Medical Department, the Col- 
lege of Dentistry and Pharmacy, the Veterinary 
Department and the Mark Hopkins Institute of 
Art. The total value of the property belonging 
to the university at this time is about $5,000,000 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



and the endowment funds nearly $3,000,000. 
The total income in 1900 was $475,254. 

LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY. 

"When the intention of Senator Stanford to 
found a university in memory of his lamented 
son was first announced, it was expected from 
the broad and comprehensive views which he 
was known to entertain upon the subject, that 
his plans, when formed, would result in no ordi- 
nary college endowment or educational scheme, 
but when these plans were laid before the people 
their magnitude was so far beyond the most ex- 
travagant of public anticipation that all were as- 
tonished at the magnificence of their aggregate, 
the wide scope of their detail and the absolute 
grandeur of their munificence. The brief his- 
tory of California as an American state com- 
prises much that is noble and great, but nothing 
in that history will compare in grandeur with 
this act of one of her leading citizens. The 
records of history may be searched in vain for 
a parallel to this gift of Senator Stanford to the 
state of his adoption. * * * By this act 
Senator Stanford will not only immortalize the 
memory of his son, but will erect for himself a 
monument more enduring than brass or marble, 
for it will be enshrined in the hearts of succeed- 
ing generations for all time to come."* 

Senator Stanford, to protect the endowments 
he proposed to make, prepared a bill, which was 
passed by the legislature, approved by the gov- 
ernor and became a law March 9, 1885. It is 
entitled "An act to advance learning, the arts 
and sciences and to promote the public welfare, 
by providing for the conveyance, holding and 
protection of property, and the creation of trusts 
for the founding, endowment, erection and 
maintenance within this state of universities, 
colleges, schools, seminaries of learning, me- 
chanical institutes, museums and galleries of 
art." 

Section 2 specifies how a grant for the above 
purposes may be made: "Any person desiring 
in his lifetime to promote the public welfare by 
founding, endowing and having maintained 
within this state a university, college, school, 



* Monograph of Leland Stanford Junior University. 



seminary of learning, mechanical institute, mu- 
seum or gallery of art or any or all thereof, may, 
to that end, and for such purpose, by grant in 
writing, convey to a trustee, or any number of 
trustees named in such gram (and their suc- 
cessors), any property, real or personal, belong- 
ing to such person, and situated or being within 
this state; provided, that if any such person be 
married and the property be community prop- 
erty, then both husband and wife must join in 
such grant." The act contains twelve sections. 
After the passage of the act twenty-four trus- 
tees were appointed. Among them were judges 
of the supreme and superior courts, a United 
States senator and business men in various 
lines. 

Among the lands deeded to the university by 
Senator Stanford and his wife were the Palo 
Alto estate, containing seventy-two hundred 
acres. This ranch had been devoted principally 
to the breeding and rearing of thoroughbred 
horses. On this the college buildings were to 
be erected. The site selected was near the town 
of Palo Alto, which is thirty-four miles south 
from San Francisco on the railroad to San Jose, 
in Santa Clara county. 

Another property donated was the Vina 
rancho, situated at the junction of Deer creek 
with the Sacramento river in Tehama county. 
It consisted of fifty-five thousand acres, of 
which thirty-six thousand were planted to vines 
and orchard and the remainder used for grain 
growing and pasture. 

The third rancho given to the support of the 
university was the Gridlcy ranch, containing 
about twenty-one thousand acres. This was sit- 
uated ia Butte county and included within its 
limits some of the richest wheat growing lands 
in the state. At the time it was donated its as- 
sessed value was $1,000,000. The total amount 
of land conveyed to the university by deed of 
trust was eighty-three thousand two hundred 
acres. 

The name selected for the institution was Le- 
land Stanford Junior University. The corner- 
stone of the university was laid May 14, 1887, 
by Senator and Mrs. Leland Stanford. The site 
of the college buildings is about one mile west 
from Palo Alto. In his address to the trustees 



•2±-l 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



November 14, 1885, Senator Stanford said: "We 
do not expect to establish a university and fill 
it with students at once. It must be the growth 
of time and experience. Our idea is that in the 
first instance we shall require the establishment 
of colleges for both sexes; then of primary 
schools, as they may be needed; and out of all 
these will grow the great central institution for 
more advanced study." The growth of the uni- 
versity has been rapid. In a very few years after 
its founding it took rank with the best institu- 
tions of learning in the United States. 

NORMAL SCHOOLS. 

/he legislature of 1862 passed a bill author- 
izing the establishment of a state normal school 
for the training of teachers at San Francisco or 
at such other place as the legislature may here- 
after direct. The school was established and 
conducted for several years at San Francisco, 
but was eventually moved to San Jose, where a 
site had been donated. A building was erected 
and the school became a flourishing institution. 
The first building was destroyed by fire and the 
present handsome and commodious building 
erected on a new site. The first normal school 
established in the state was a private one, con- 
ducted by George W. Minns. It was started in 



San Francisco in 1857, but was discontinued 
after the organization of the state school in 1863, 
Minns becoming principal. A normal school 
was established by the legislature at Los An- 
geles in 1881. It was at first a branch of the 
state school at San Jose and was under control 
of the same board of trustees and the same prin- 
cipal. Later it was made an independent insti- 
tution with a board and principal of its own. 

Normal schools have been established at 
Chico (1889), San Diego (1897) and San Fran- 
cisco (1899). The total number of teachers em- 
ployed in the five state normal schools in 1900 
was one hundred and one, of whom thirty-seven 
were men and sixty-four women. The whole 
number of students in these at that time was 
two thousand and thirty-nine, of whom two hun- 
dred and fifty-six were men and one thousand 
eight hundred and thirty-nine women. 

The total receipts for the support of these 
schools from all sources were for the year end- 
ing June 30, 1906, $429,416; the total expendi- 
tures for the same time were $316,127; the value 
of the normal school property of the state is 
about $1,017,195. The educational system and 
facilities of California, university, college, nor- 
mal school and public school, rank with the best 
in the United States. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

CITIES OF CALIFORNIA— THEIR ORIGIN AND GROWTH. 



JTT LTHOUGH Spain and Mexico possessed 
I \ California for seventy-seven years after 
the date of the first settlement made in 
it, they founded but few towns and but one of 
those founded had attained the dignity of a city 
at the time of the American conquest. In a 
previous chapter I have given sketches of the 
founding of the four presidios and three pueblos 
under Spanish rule. Twenty missions were es- 
tablished under the rule of Spain and one under 
the Mexican Republic. While the country in- 
creased in population under the rule of Mex- 
ico, the only new settlement that was formed 
was the mission at Solano. 



Pueblos grew up at the presidios and some of 
the mission settlements developed into towns. 
The principal towns that have grown up around 
the mission sites are San Juan Capistrano, San 
Gabriel, San Buenaventura, San Miguel, San 
Luis Obispo, Santa Clara and San Rafael. 

The creation of towns began after the Ameri- 
cans got possession of the country. Before the 
treaty of peace between the United States and 
Mexico had been made, and while the war was 
in progress, two enterprising Americans, Robert 
Semple and T. O. Larkin, had created on paper 
an extensive city on the Straits of Carquinez. 
The city of Francisca "comprises five miles," 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



!43 



so the proprietors of the embryo metropolis an- 
nounced in the California* of April 20, 1847, 
and in subsequent numbers. According to the 
theory of its promoters, Francisca had the 
choice of sites and must become the metropolis 
of the coast. "In front of the city," says their 
advertisement, "is a commodious Ray, large 
enough for two hundred ships to ride at anchor 
safe from any wind. The country around the 
city is the best agricultural portion of California 
on both sides of the Bay; the straits being only 
one mile wide, an easy crossing may always be 
made. The entire trade of the great Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin Valleys (a fertile coun- 
try of great width and nearly seven hundred 
miles long from North to South) must of neces- 
sity pass through the narrow channel of Car- 
quinez and the Bay, and the country is so situ- 
ated that every person who passes from one side 
of the Bay to the other will find the nearest and 
best way by Francisca." 

In addition to its natural advantages the pro- 
prietors offered other attractions and induce- 
ments to settlers. They advertised that they 
would give "seventy-five per cent of the net pro- 
ceeds of the ferries and wharves for a school 
fund and the embellishment of the city" ; "they 
have also laid out several entire squares for 
school purposes and several others for public 
walks" (parks). Yet, notwithstanding all the 
superior attractions and natural advantages of 
Francisca, people would migrate to and locate 
at the wind-swept settlement on the Cove of 
Yerba Buena. And the town of the "good 
herb" took to itself the name of San Francisco 
and perforce compelled the Franciscans to be- 
come Benicians. Then came the discovery of 
gold and the consequent rush to the mines, and 
although Francisca, or Benicia, was on the 
route, or one of the routes, somehow San 
Francisco managed to get all the profits out of 
the trade and travel to the mines. 

The rush to the land of gold expanded the 
little settlement formed by Richardson and Leese 
on the Cove of Yerba Buena into a great city 
that in time included within its limits the mis- 
sion and the presidio. The consolidation of the 
city and county governments gave a simpler 



form of municipal rule and gave the city room 
to expand without growing outside of its mu- 
nicipal jurisdiction. The decennial Federal cen- 
sus from 1850 to the close of the century indi- 
cates the remarkable growth of San Francisco. 
Its population in 1850 was 21,000; in i860, 56,- 
802; in 1870, 149,473; in 1880, 234,000; in 1890, 
298,997; in 1900, 342,742. 

In Chapter XXVI, page 175 et seq. of this 
volume, I have given the early history of San 
Francisco, or Yerba Buena, as it was called at 
first. I have there given an account of its 
growth and progress from the little hamlet on 
Yerba Buena cove until it became the metropolis 
of the Pacific coast. In that chapter I have told 
briefly the story of the "Six Great Fires" that, 
between December, 1849, and July, 1851, devas- 
tated the city. These wiped out of existence 
every trace of the make-shift and nondescript 
houses of the early gold period. After each fire 
the burned district was rebuilt with hastily con- 
structed houses, better than those destroyed, but 
far from being substantial and fire-proof struc- 
tures. The losses from these fires, although 
great at the time, would be considered trivial 
now. In the greatest of these — the fifth — start- 
ing on the night of May 3, 185 1, and raging for 
ten hours, the property loss was estimated to be 
between ten and twelve million dollars. There 
were many lives lost. Over one thousand houses 
were destroyed. The brick blocks and corru- 
gated iron houses that by this time had replaced 
the flimsy structures of the earlier period in the 
business quarter of the city were supposed to be 
fire-proof, but the great conflagration of May 
3d and 4th, 185 1, disapproved this claim. They 
were consumed or melted down by the excessive 
heat of that great fire. 

It became evident to the business men and 
property holders that a better class of buildings 
must be constructed, more stringent building 
regulations enforced, and a more abundant wa- 
ter supply secured. All these in due time were 
obtained, and the era of great fires apparently 
ended. As it expanded beyond the business 
quarter it became a city of wooden walls. But 
few dwelling houses were built of brick or stone, 
and south of Market street many of the business 



244 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



houses too were built of wood. Ninety per cent, 
of all the buildings in the modern city were frame 
structures. 

After the great fires of the early '50s San Fran- 
cisco seemed to have become practically immune 
from destructive conflagrations. Other large 
cities of its class had suffered from great fires. 
Chicago, in 1871, had been swept out of existence 
by a fire that destroyed $170,000,000 of property. 
Boston, in 1872, had been forced to give up to the 
fire fiend $75,000,000 of its wealth; and Balti- 
more, in 1904, had suffered a property loss of 
$50,000,000. San Francisco for more than half a 
century had suffered but little loss from fires. 
Those that had started were usually confined to 
the building or the block in which they originat- 
ed. The efficiency of its fire fighters, its fire- 
proof ' business blocks, and the supposed inde- 
structibility of the redwood walls of its dwelling 
houses had engendered in its inhabitants a sense 
of security against destructive fires. 

The emblem on the seal of the city and county 
of San Francisco — the Phoenix rising from the 
flames in front of the Golden Gate — adopted in 
1852, after the last of the "Six Great Fires," had 
little significance to the inhabitants of the modern 
city. The story of the Great Fires was ancient 
history. Nil desperandum — motto of the in- 
visibles who rebuilt the old city six times — 
had no particular meaning to their descendants 
except as a reminder of the energy, enterprise 
and unconquerable determination of the men of 
the olden, golden days. History would not re- 
peat itself. The day of great fires for San Fran- 
cisco was past. This dream of the immunity of 
their city from destructive conflagrations was to 
receive a rude awakening. 

THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE. 

On the morning of April 18, 1906, at thirteen 
minutes past 5 o'clock, its four hundred thousand 
inhabitants were aroused from their slumbers by 
the terrifying shock of an earthquake. The 
temblor was not a new visitor to San Francisco. 
Earthquake shocks had shaken it at intervals ever 
since its founding, but these had done little dam- 
age and had come to be regarded more as a bug- 
bear to frighten new arrivals than anything to 



be feared. The earthquake of October, 1868, was 
the most severe of those in the past. Five lives 
were lost in it by falling walls. The walls of 
many buildings were cracked. But one of the 
most dangerous elements of the last great tem- 
blor did not exist then, that is the electric wire. 
The live wire has become one of the most dread- 
ed agents in great fires. 

The impressions produced by the shock and the 
sights witnessed during the progress of the fire 
are thus graphically described by James Hopper 
in "Everybody's Magazine" for June (1906) : 
"Right away it was incredible — the violence of 
the quake. It started with a directness, a savage 
determination that left no doubt of its purpose. 
It pounced upon the earth as some sideral bull- 
dog, with a rattle of hungry eagerness. The 
earth was a rat, shaken in the grinding teeth, 
shaken, shaken, shaken with periods of slight 
weariness followed by new bursts of vicious rage. 
As far as I can remember my impressions were 
as follows : First for a few seconds a feeling of 
incredulity, capped immediately with one of final- 
ity, of incredulity at the violence of the vibra- 
tions. 'It's incredible, incredible,' I think I said 
aloud. Then the feeling of finality: 'It's the 
end — St. Pierre, Samoa, Vesuvius, Formosa, San 
Francisco — this is death.' Simultaneously with 
that a picture of the city swaying beneath the 
curl of a tidal wave foaming to the sky. Then in- 
credulity again at the length of it, at the sullen 
violence of it. Incredulity again at the mere 
length of the thing, the fearful stubbornness of 
it. Then curiosity — I must see it. 

"I got up and walked to the window. I start- 
ed to open it, but the pane obligingly fell out- 
ward and I poked my head out, the floor like a 
geyser beneath my feet. Then I. heard the roar 
of the bricks coming down in cataracts and the 
groaning of twisted girders all over the city, and 
at the same time I saw the moon, a calm crescent 
in the green sky of dawn. Below it the skeleton 
frame of an unfinished sky-scraper was swaying 
from side to side with a swing as exaggerated 
and absurd as that of a palm in a stage tempest. 

"Just then the quake, with a sound as of a snarl, 
rose to its climax of rage, and the back wall of 
my building for three stories above me fell. I 



HISTORICAL AXD BIOGRArillCAL RECORD. 



245 



saw the mass pass across my vision swift as a 
shadow. It struck some little wooden houses in 
the alley below. I saw them crash in like emptied 
egg shells and the bricks pass through the roof 
as through tissue paper. 

"The vibrations ceased and I began to dress. 
Then I noted the great silence. Throughout the 
long quaking, in this great house full of people 
I had not heard a cry, not a sound, not a sob, not 
a whisper. And now, when the roar of crumbling 
buildings was over and only a brick falling here 
and there like the trickle of a spent rain, this 
silence continued, and it was an awful thing. 
But now in the alley some one began to groan. 
It was a woman's groan, soft and low. 

"I went down the stairs and into the streets, 
and they were full of people, half-clad, dishev- 
elled, but silent, absolutely silent, as if suddenly 
they had become speechless idiots. I went into 
the little alley at the back of the building, but it 
was deserted and the crushed houses seemed 
empty. I went down Post street toward the cen- 
ter of town, and in the morning's garish light I 
saw many men and women with gray faces, but 
none spoke. All of them, they had a singular 
hurt expression, not one of physical pain, but 
rather one of injured sensibilities, as if some 
trusted friend, say, had suddenly wronged them, 
or as if some one had said something rude to 
them." ********** 

He made his way to the Call building, where 
he met the city editor, who said to him : "The 
Brunswick hotel at Sixth and Folsom is down 
with hundreds inside her. You cover that." 

"Going up into the editorial rooms of the Call, 
with water to my ankles, I seized a bunch of copy 
paper and started up Third street. At Tehama 
street I saw the beginning of the fire which was 
to sweep all the district south of Market street. 
It was swirling up the narrow way with a sound 
that was almost a scream. Before it the humble 
population of the district were fleeing, and in its 
path, as far as I could see, frail shanties went 
down like card houses. And this marks the true 
character of the city's agony. Especially in the 
populous districts south of Market street, but 
also throughout the city, hundreds were pinned 
down by the debris, some to a merciful death, 



others to live hideous minutes. The flames swept 
over them while the saved looked on impotently. 
Over the tragedy the fire threw its flaming man- 
tle of hypocrisy, and the full extent of the holo- 
caust will never be known, will remain ever a 
poignant mystery." 

"The firemen there were beginning the tre- 
mendous and hopeless fight which, without inter- 
mission, they were to continue for three days. 
Without water (the mains had been burst by the 
quake) they were attacking the fire with axes, 
with hooks, with sacks, with their hands, re- 
treating sullenly before it only when its feverish 
breath burned their clothing and their skins." 
***** 

He secured an automobile at the hire of $50 a 
day to cover the progress of the fire. 

"We started first to cover the fire I had seen on 
its westward course from Third street. From 
that time I have only a vague kaleidoscopic vi- 
sion of whirring at whistling speed through a 
city of the damned. We tried to make the fallen 
Brunswick hotel at Sixth and Folsom streets. 
We could not make it. The scarlet steeple chaser 
beat us to it, and when we arrived the crushed 
structure was only the base of one great flame 
that rose to heaven with a single twist. By that 
time we knew that the earthquake had been but 
a prologue, and that the tragedy was to be writ- 
ten in fire. We went westward to get the western 
limit of the blaze." 

"Already we had to make a huge circle to get 
above it. The whole district south of Market 
street was now a pitiful sight. By thousands the 
multitudes were pattering along the wide streets 
leading out, heads bowed, eyes dead, silent and 
stupefied. We stopped in passing at the South- 
ern Pacific hospital. Carts, trucks, express 
wagons, vehicles of all kinds laden with wounded, 
were blocking the gate. Upnn the porch stood 
two internes, and their white aprons were red- 
spotted as those of butchers. There were one 
hundred and twenty-five wounded inside and 
eight dead. Among the wounded was Chief Sul- 
livan of the fire department. A chimney of the 
California hotel had crushed through his hous^ 
at the first shock of the earthquake, and he and 
his wife had been taken out of the debris with 



2±6 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



incredible difficulty. He was to die two days 
later, spared the bitter, hopeless effort which his 
men were to know." 

***** 

"At Thirteenth and Valencia streets a policeman 
and a crowd of volunteers were trying to raise 
the debris of a house where a man and woman 
were pinned. One block farther we came to a 
place where the ground had sunk six feet. A 
fissure ran along Fourteenth street for several 
blocks and the car tracks had been jammed along 
their length till they rose in angular projections 
three or four feet high. As we were examining 
the phenomenon in a narrow way called Treat 
avenue a quake occurred. It came upon the far- 
end of endurance of the poor folk crowding the 
alley. Women sank to their knees, drew their 
shawls about their little ones, and broke out in 
piercing lamentations, while men ran up and 
down aimlessly, wringing their hands. An old 
woman led by a crippled old man came wailing 
down the steps of a porch, and she was blind. In 
the center of the street they both fell and all the 
poor encouragement we could give them could 
not raise them. They had made up their minds 
to die." 

* * * * * 

"On Valencia street, between Eighteenth and 
Nineteenth, the Valencia hotel, a four-story 
wooden lodging-house was down, its four stories 
telescoped to the height of one, its upper rooms 
ripped open with the cross section effect of a 
doll-house. A squad of policemen and some fifty 
volunteers were working with rageful energy at 
the tangle of walls and rafters. Eleven men were 
known to have escaped, eight had been taken out 
dead, and more than one hundred were still in 
the ruins. The street here was sunk six feet, and 
again, as I was to see it many times more, I saw 
that strange angular rise of the tracks as if the 
ground had been pinched between some gigantic 
fingers." 

"We went down toward the fire now. We 
met it on Eighth street. From Third it had 
come along in a swath four blocks wide. From 
Market to Folsom, from Second to Eighth, it 
spread its heaving red sea, and with a roar it was 
rushing on, its advance billow curling like a 



monster comber above a flotsam of fleeing hu- 
manity. There were men, women and children. 
Men, women and children — really that is about 
all I remember of them, except that they were 
miserable and crushed. Here and there are still 
little snap-shots in my mind — a woman carrying 
in a cage a green and red parrot, squawking 
incessantly 'Hurry, hurry, hurry;' a little 
smudge-faced girl with long-lashed brown eves 
holding in her arms a blind puppy ; a man with 
naked torso carrying upon his head a hideous 
chromo; another with a mattress and a cracked 
mirror. But by this time the cataclysm itself, its 
manifestation, its ferocious splendor, hypnotized 
the brain, and humans sank into insignificance as 
ants caught in the slide of a mountain. One more 
scene I remember. On Eighth street, between 
Folsom and Howard, was an empty sand lot 
right in the path of the conflagration. It was 
full of refugees, and what struck me was their 
immobility. They sat there upon trunks, upon 
bundles of clothing. On each side, like the claws 
of a crab, the fire was closing in upon them. They 
sat there motionless, as if cast in bronze, as if 
indeed they were wrought upon some frieze rep- 
resenting the Misery of Humanity. The fire 
roared, burning coals showered them, the heat 
rose, their clothes smoked, and they still sat there, 
upon their little boxes, their bundles of rags, their 
goods, the pathetic little hoard which they had 
been able to treasure in their arid lives, a fixed 
determination in their staring eyes not to leave 
again, not to move another step, to die there and 
then, with the treasures for the saving of which 
their bodies had no further strength." 

The vibrations of the first earthquake shock 
had scarcely ceased before the fire broke out in a 
number of different localities. The first alarm 
came from Clay and Drumm streets on the city 
front. Others followed in rapid succession until 
by the afternoon of the first day the fire had al- 
most entirely circled the lower section of the city. 
The firem?n made a brave fight at various points 
to stay its progress, but the water mains had been 
broken and their engines were useless. Then the 
only hope to arrest the march of the fire fiend was 
dynamite. The steady boom, boom of that ex- 
plosive as hour after hour passed and house after 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L'47 



house was blown up told of the losing fight that 
was being waged against the destroying element. 

The wooden houses south of lower Market 
street, one of the sections first attacked by the fire 
fiend, were quickly destroyed and the fire swept 
on to the westward. By Wednesday night it had 
swept up to and leaped across Market street. The 
tall buildings of the Call, Chronicle and Examiner 
at Third and Market streets succumbed and the 
great business blocks of the neighborhood were 
gutted by the flames, only their outer shells re- 
mained. By Thursday morning the flames had 
swept over Sansome and Montgomery to Kear- 
ney and in places beyond. 

Jack London, in "Comer's" of May 5th. gives 
the following dramatic description of the scenes 
in the heart of the business section : 

"At nine o'clock Wednesday evening I walked 
down through the very heart of the city. I 
walked through miles and miles of magnificent 
buildings and towering skyscrapers. Here was 
no fire. All was in perfect order. The police 
patrolled the streets. Every building had its 
watchman at the door. And yet it was doomed, 
all of it. There was no water. The dynamite 
was giving out. And at right angles two differ- 
ent conflagrations were sweeping down upon it. 

"At one o'clock in the morning I walked down 
through the same section. Everything still stood 
intact. There was no fire. And yet there was a 
change. A rain of ashes was falling. The 
watchmen at the doors were gone. The police 
had been withdrawn. There were no firemen, no 
fire-engines, no men fighting with dynamite. 
The district had been absolutely abandoned. I 
stood at the corner of Kearney and Market, in 
the very heart of San Francisco. Kearney street 
was deserted. Half a dozen blocks away it was 
burning on both sides. The street was a wall of 
flame. And against this wall of flame, silhouetted 
sharply, were two United States cavalrymen sit- 
ting their horses, calmly watching. That was 
all. Not another person was in sight. In the 
intact heart of the city two troopers sat their 
horses and watched. 

"Surrender was complete. There was no wa- 
ter. The sewers had long since been pumped 
drv. There was no dynamite. Another fire had 



broken out further up-town, and now from three 
sides conflagrations were sweeping down. The 
fourth side had been burned earlier in the day. 
In that direction stood the tottering walls of the 
Examiner building, the burned-out Call building, 
the smouldering ruins of the Grand hotel, and the 
gutted, devastated, dynamited Palace hotel. The 
following will illustrate the sweep of the flames 
and the inability of men to calculate their speed. 
At eight o'clock Wednesday evening I passed 
through Union Square. It was packed with 
refugees. Thousands of them had gone to bed 
on the grass. Government tents had been set up, 
supper was being cooked, and the refugees were 
lining up for free meals. 

"At half-past one in the morning three sides of 
Union Square were in flames. The fourth side, 
where stood the great St. Francis hotel, was still 
holding out. An hour later, ignited from top and 
sides, the St. Francis was flaming heavenward. 
Union Square, heaped high with mountains of 
trunks, was deserted. Troops, refugees, and all 
had deserted. 

"Remarkable as it may seem, Wednesday 
night, while the whole city crashed and roared 
into ruin, was a quiet night. There were no 
crowds. There was no shouting and yelling. 
There was no hysteria, no disorder. I passed 
Wednesday night in the path of the advancing 
flames, and in all those terrible hours I saw not 
one woman who wept, not one man who was ex- 
cited, not one person who was in the slightest 
degree panic-stricken. 

"Before the flames, throughout the night, fled 
tens of thousands of homeless ones. Some were 
wrapped in blankets. Others carried bundles of 
bedding and dear household treasures. Some- 
times a whole family was harnessed to a carriage 
or delivery wagon that was weighted down with 
their possessions. Baby buggies, toy wagons 
and go-carts were used as trucks, while every 
other person was dragging a trunk. Yet every- 
body was gracious. The most perfect courtesy 
obtained. Never, in all San Francisco's history, 
were her people so kind and courteous as on this 
night of terror." 

***** 

"All night these tens of thousands fled before 



248 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



the flames. Many of them, the poor people from 
the labor ghetto, had fled all day as well. They 
had left their homes burdened with possessions. 
Now and again they lightened up, flinging out 
upon the street clothing and treasures they had 
dragged for miles. 

"They held on longest to their trunks, and over 
these trunks many a strong man broke his heart 
that night. The hills of San Francisco are steep, 
and up these hills, mile after mile, were the trunks 
dragged. Everywhere were trunks, with across 
them lying their exhausted owners, men and wo- 
men. Before the march of the flames were flung 
picket lines of soldiers. And a block at a time, as 
the flames advanced, these pickets retreated. One 
of their tasks was to keep the trunk-pullers mov- 
ing. The exhausted creatures, stirred on by the 
menace of bayonets, would arise and struggle up 
the steep pavements, pausing from weakness 
every five or ten feet. 

"Often, after surmounting a heart-breaking 
hill, they would find another wall of flame advanc- 
ing upon them at right angles and be compelled 
to change anew the line of their retreat. In 
the end, completely played out, after toiling for 
a dozen hours like giants, thousands of them were 
compelled to abandon their trunks. 

"It was in Union Square that I saw a man of- 
fering $1,000 for a team of horses. He was in 
charge of a truck piled high with trunks from 
some hotel. It had been hauled here into what 
was considered safety, and the horses had been 
taken out. The flames were on three sides of the 
Square, and there were no horses." 
***** 

"An hour later, from a distance, I saw the 
truck-load of trunks burning merrily in the mid- 
dle of the street." 

All day Thursday the fight was waged, the 
flames steadily advancing to the westward. It 
was determined to make the last stand on Van 
Ness avenue, the widest street in the city. It was 
solidly lined with magnificent dwellings, the resi- 
dences of many of the wealthy inhabitants. Here 
the fire fighters rallied. Here all the remaining 
resources for fighting the destroying element 
were collected, dynamite, barrels of powder from 



the government stores and a battery of marine 
guns. The mansions lining the avenue for near- 
ly a mile in length were raked with artillery or 
blown up with dynamite and powder. Here and 
there the flames leaped across the line of defense 
and ignited buildings beyond. Two small 
streams of water were secured from unbroken 
pipes and the fires that broke out beyond the line 
of defense were beaten out, principally by the use 
of wet blankets and rugs. By midnight of the 
19th the fire was under control, and by Friday 
morning the flames were conquered. A change 
of wind during the night had aided the fire fight- 
ers to check its westward march. As the wind 
drove it back, it swept around the base of Tele- 
graph Hill and destroyed all the poor tenement 
houses near the base of that hill that it had spared 
on its first advance, except a little oasis on the 
upper slope that had been saved by a liberal use 
of Italian wine. In the great fire of May 4, 1851, 
De Witt & Harrison saved their warehouse, 
which stood on the west side of Sansome street 
between Pacific and Broadway, scarce a stone's 
throw from Telegraph Hill, by knocking in the 
heads of barrels of vinegar and covering the 
building with blankets soaked in that liquid in 
place of water, which could not be obtained. 
Eighty thousand gallons were used, but the on- 
ward march of the flames in that direction was 
stopped. How many gallons of wine were sac- 
rificed will never be known. 

The earthquake shock had scarcely ceased be- 
fore General Funston, in command of the mil- 
itary forces at the Presidio, called out the troops 
and sent them down into the stricken city, to aid 
in keeping order and fighting the fire. Mayor 
Schmitz issued a proclamation placing the city 
under martial law. Across the streets were 
thrown cordons of soldiers, who forced the dazed 
and half-crazed crowd to keep away from the 
danger of the advancing fire and falling walls. 
In addition to their other duties the military had 
to undertake the repression of crime. Even amid 
the scenes, of suffering, desolation and death, 
thieves looted stores and robbed the dead bodies, 
and ghouls, half-drunk with liquor, committed 
deeds of unspeakable horror. These when 
caught received short shrift. They were shot 



HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD. 



L'49 



down without trial. Several regiments of the 
National Guard, from different parts of the state, 
were called out and they did efficient service in 
San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda. The Pre- 
sidio, Golden Gate Park and other parks were 
converted into refugee camps and rations issued. 
Military organization was prompt and effective. 
Four days after the fire there were military 
butchers, blacksmiths, carpenters, chimney inspec- 
tors and sanitary inspectors. Strict military reg- 
ulations were enforced in the various camps and 
a constant watch was kept up to prevent the 
breaking out of epidemic diseases. Train loads 
of provisions and clothing were hurried from all 
parts of the state and beyond for the immediate 
relief of the sufferers. Contributions of money 
flowed in from all over the country, until the to- 
tal ran up into the millions. The railroads fur- 
nished free transportation to all who had friends 
in other cities of the state. The Red Cross Re- 
lief Society, at the head of which is James D. 
Phelan, ex-mayor of San Francisco, had taken 
up the burden of caring for the destitute until 
they could take care of themselves. 

The actual number of lives lost by the earth- 
quake will never be known ; many who were 
pinned down in the wrecked buildings would 
have escaped with slight injuries had not the fire 
followed so quickly after the earthquake shock. 
The total number of deaths officially reported 
up to the last of May was three hundred and 
thirty-three. The property loss ranges from two 
hundred to two hundred and fifty millions of dol- 
lars. Insurance covered about one hundred and 
twenty millions; whether all