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Full text of "History of Mendocino County, California : comprising its geography, geology, topography, climatography, springs and timber"

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3 1833 02007 8108 

Gc 979.401 M52p 
Palmer, Lyman L. 
History of Mendocino County, 
California . . . 




-«iCALIFORNIA.&i*- - 



Sfpmj^GS AJ^^ TIM(BE(R. 


Mills and Milling, Mines and Mining Interests; 

A Full and Particular Record of the Mexican Grants; Early History and 
Settlement, compiled frojn the Most Authentic Sources; Names of 
Original Spanish and A merican Pioneers; A Full Record of 
its Organization; a complete Political History, includ- 
ing a Tabular Statement of Oflice-holders since 
the Formation of the County. 

Separate Histories of Anderson, Arena, Big River, Calpella, Little Lake, Round 

Valley, Sanel, Ten-mile River and Ukiah Townships; Incidents of 

Pioneer Life, and Biographical Sketches of Early and 

Prominent Settlers and Representative Men. 


Jl Distol•^cv^l §kctch of the ^tatc of Califoniiit, 






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year J880, by AlLET, Bowek & Co., 
of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D, C. 


12th and Cfstro Streets, Oakland, 
And 527 Commercial Street, San Francisco. 



" History cannot be written ; only the prominent headlands are sighted as 
the historian sails along over the mazy sea of events," remarked a friend to 
the writer some time since, and we have been most thoroughly impressed 
with the truthfulness of the assertion while endeavoring to collate and fix 
upon the pages of this book the complete history of Mendocino county. 
Despite all our efibrts to prevent them, errors of omission and commission 
have crept into the work. Owing to the transitory state of society during 
the early days of California, it is impossible, at this remote period, to fix the 
exact dates of many occurrences, or to get at the full truth of the matter. 
Special care has been taken, however, to avoid all discrepancies, and we flat- 
ter ourselves that, in the main, the facts set forth in the following pages will 
prove to be perfectly reliable. Our chief desire has been to make this a work 
of reference and authority concerning the matters' set forth in it ; hence the 
extra care and labor that have been bestowed upon it. 

The book is illustrated, as will be seen at a glance, -with the portraits of 
worthy pioneer settlers and prominent citizens of Mendocino county, aU of 
whom deserve the proud position they occupy, and are well worthy to go 
down to posterity as representative men of the county.- There are hosts of 
other gentlemen who well merit a place in these pages, and we regret that 
our space forbade the further extension of the courtesy. 

The various departments of the work will be found replete with informa- 
tion. The settlement of the county is given by years, so as to locate the 
events in groups, and thus the reader may with ease follow up the chain, 
link by link, and have the entire panorama pass before his mind in an unbro- 
ken series. The Political and L3gislative chapters are very exhaustive and 
complete, bringing the history of county and township governments from 
their first incipiency in North America down to the very latest phases in 
this county. The table showing all the officers that have served from 18.59 
to 1880, inclusive, is as complete as it is possible to get it, and will prove a 

valuable matter of reference. The several appointments made by the Board 
of Supervisors between each general election are also included in this table, 
making it far superior to anything ever placed before the people of this 
county before. 

The histories of the several townships of the county will prove one of the 
most interesting features of the work, as in them will be found all the special 
history of each individual section, including Lodges, Churches, Schools, Socie- 
ties, etc., etc. We have preferred to make these chapters very full, to the 
detriment, in a small degree, of the chapter on General History and Settle- 

Much space has been allotted to the subjects of timber, and mills and 
milling, which fact is owing to the prominence of the latter industry in 
Mendocino county. The greatest resource of the county is to be found in 
her extensive redwood and pine forests. But while we have given promi- 
nence to this interest, we have tried to fully set foi'th the many other 
sources of revenue and wealth which the county possesses. 

The biographical department contains very much of interest; and a half 
century from now it will be the oftenest read of all, for people dehght to 
read of the " men of olden times," and to peruse a record of their deeds. 
With what pride wiU the descendants of these gentlemen point to the page 
which contains the sketch of their progenitors in that far away future 

We have tried to make the book readable withal, and have endeavoi'ed to 
break up the monotony of the narration of historical facts by the introduc- 
tion of some of the fsecetia of the olden days, and to clothe the skeleton of 
data with such a garb of language as would present it to the reader in as 
attractive form as possible. 

We wish to return our sincere thanks to the citizens of Mendocino county 
for their kind encouragement and generous patronage. We are under 
special obligations to all of the county officers, 'without exception, for cour- 
tesies extended while collecting the data for this work from the records in 
their respective offices, and particularly to Mr. J. L. Wilson, ex-County Clerk, 
whose perfect familiarity with all papers on file in the Clerk's office, and his 
untiring efforts to assist us rendered the greatest of material aid. To the 
gentlemen of the press, for your many kindly notices and all other assist- 
ance rendered, we say sincerely, thank you! And to all those pastors of 

churches who so kindly furnished us with sketches of their organizations, 
our sincere thanks are due. Our special thanks are due Mr. A. O. Carpenter 
for the full and exhaustive sketch of the topography of the county, supplied 
us by his pen. 

Our intercoui'se with the people of Mendocino county, both of a business 
and social nature, has been nothing but the most pleasant in every respect, 
and our only hope is that as much pleasure may accrue to each reader of 
this history as we have found in collecting the facts and writing it. Hoping, 
with heartfelt sincerity, that all may find much to commend, and but little 
to condemn in our work, and that the mantle of charity may be thrown 
over all defects, we, with great reluctance indeed, pen the last words which 
end our pleasant task, and subscribe ourselves, 

Yours very truly, 

Lyman L. Palmer, Histcn-ian. 

San Francisco, California, December 1, 1880. 

• T 

• • 




Historical Sketch op Califor- 

Mendocino County Agricultu- 



ral Association , 


The Bear Flag War _ 


Statistical History op Mendo- 

History op Mendocino County 


cino County 


Derivation of Name 


Eeal Estate and Per. Property 




Personal Property 




Agricultural Products 




Fruit Trees, etc 




Mendocino's Eich Men 


Soils _ . 


Eeport of County Treasurer. 


Water Courses . _ _ - 


Mendocino's Schools 




Census - 


Mines and Mining 


Wool Interests 


Eel Eiver Mining District . . _ 


Future --. 


Potter Valley " 


The Legislative History of 



Mendocino County 




The organization of the Co. . - 


Usal Petroleum " 


Political History op Mendo- 

Garcia " " 


cino County 


Pt. Arena" " 


Tabular Statement of County 

Copper Mines 




Coal " 


Homicides op Mendocino Co. - . 


Mills and Milling 


People vs. George Dutton . . . . 


Tabular Statement of Mills . _ 


" John B. Hargrave. 


Boundaries op School Dis- 

" James Thornton... 




Fidello Wallace . . . 


The Indians op Mendocino 

T. J. Faught 




Charles Bradually . 


Mexican Grants _ _ 


Eli D. Hooper 


The Yokayo Grant 


" George W. Strong . 


The Sanel Grant 


Silas E. Gaskill ... 
" Harrison Standley. 


The Grante del Norte, or 


" Henry Fairbanks . 
" Calvin Stewart 


The Albion Grant 


The General History and Set- 

James Thornton . . 


tlement OF Mendocino Co. 


" Elisha Cain 


People vs. John Armstrong . . 335 

Geo. W. Cleveland- 335 

John Coates 335 

Eobert M. Darr . . _ 335 

Daniel & W. Lynch 335 

E. Marks- 335 

Murder of Jerry Cain 336 

Killing of John Eector 336 

The Little Lake Vendetta- . _ 336 

Murder of Mrs. G. W. Strong 337 
Murder of Mrs. Eeynolds and 

suicide of Joseph Caneza -. 339 

Killing of James Clow 340 

Murder of J. B. Owens 340 

Murder of A. J. Shrum 340 

Killing of William Mclnturf . 340 
Lynching of Indian Charley- 341 
Lynching at Little' Lake - , . . 341 
People vs. Harvey Mortier .. 342 
" Nells Hammerland 342 
Killing of Frank Southard and 

Wilbur McCoy 343 

Killing of M. W.|,Gardnier and 

Jacob i£. Fitch 343 

The Mendocino Outlaws 344 


Anderson - 357 

Geography - 357 

Topography - 357 

Soil 357 

Climate '. . . . 357 

Products 359 

Timber 360 

Early Settlement 360 

Towns 362 

Mills 363 

Eoads 364 

The Future 364 

Arena - - 365 

Geography 365 

Topography 365 

Soil 365 

Climate 365 

Products 366 

Timber - . . 367 

Early Settlement 367 

Gualala 371 

Point Aren-^. 372 

Business Directory 374 

F. & A. M. 374 

I. O. O. F. 375 

I. O. G. T. .- 375 

H. & L. Co. 375 

Presbyterian Church 376 

Methodist Church 376 

Tannery - _ 377 

Eagle Paper Mill 377 

Brewery 379 

Point Arena News 380 

Manchester - 380 

Landing and Chutes 380 

Mills 381 

Schooners Built 384 

Shipwrecks 384 

Seals 385 

Light-house 385 

Big Eiver 389 

Geography ' 389 

Topography 389 

Streams 389 

Soil 390 

Climate 396 

Products - - 397 

Timber 397 

Early Settlement 398 

Bridgeport 404 

Cuffey's Cove 405 

Catholic Church 405 

Nevarra 406 

Catholic Church 406 

Salmon Creek - 407 

Albion 408 

Little Eiver 

Mendocino City 

Bank of Mendocino - 

Mendocino Discount Bank 


I. O. O. F 

A. O. U. W -- 

F. &A. M._ 



Catholic Church _ 

Mendocino Brewery - 

Pine (trove 


Baptist Church 


Albion Grant 

Chutes, Wharves and Booms 

Eoads and Bridges .-. 

The Mendocino Eeservation 

Fort Bragg - 


Eailroads - - 




Calpella 441 

Geography 441 

Topography - 441 

Soil 441 

Climate 441 

Products 442 

Timber 442 

Early Settlement . _ 443 

Calpella . ;...._..: 444 

PoMO 444 

M. E. Church South 445 

Centerville 445 

Mills 446 

Mines and Mining 446 

Eoads. 447' 

. Little Lake 448 

* Geography 448 

Topography 448 

Soil 448 

Climate 448 



Early Settlement 

Little Lake 

WiLLITSVILLE ..:::.... 

I. 0. G. T 

I. 0.0. F 

A. O. U. W 

Congregational Church 


Cahto : 

LO.O. F 

Little Lake Tannery 


Mud Springs 

Mendo. Agricultural Ass'n. . . 

EouND Valley : 


Topography - 



Products - - 


Early Settlement 

COVELO - - - 

F. &A. M 

1.0. G.T -.-. 


Eound Val. Indian Eeserv'n. 

Sanel . . - . 

Geograph J' - 

Togography . . . 

Soil ". 



Timber . -■ 

Early Settlement 

Sanel - - . 


I. O. G. T 



Legend of "Lover's Leap.". 

Ten-mile Eiver 

Geography . - 



Topography 469 

Soil _ 469 

Products. _ _ 469 

Climate 469 

Timber .._ 469 

Early Settlement 469 

Newport 470 


Westport 470 

UsAL 470 

Ports and Chutes 470 

Mills 471 

TJkiah .___... 472 

Geograj^hy 472 

Topography . . 472 

Soil . 472 

Products 472 

Climate.--. -.. 472 

Timber 475 

Early Settlement 475 

Ukiah 476 

Yearly Eesume 479 

City Ordinances 490 

City Expenditure 492 

Bank of Santa Eosa 492 

Bank of Ukiah 492 

I. O. O. F 493 

I. O. O. F. Encampment ... 493 

F. & A. M 493 

E.A.M 494 

I. O. G. T 494 

A. O. U. W 494 

Eagle Fire Co _ 495 

Baptist Church 495 

M. E. Church South 496 

Christian Church 496 

Presbyterian Church 499 

M. E. Church 500 

Catholic Church 501 

Newspapers _ 501 

The Herald 501 

The Constitutional Demo- 
crat 502 

The Democratic Weekly 

Dispatch . _ 502 

The Ukiah City Press 503 

The Mendocino Co. Demo- 
crat 503 

Ukiah City Mills 504 

" Waterworks 504 

Maxim Gas Works 504 

Ukiah Brewery 504 

" City Schools 504 

" Business Directory.. 505 

" Professional " . 505 

The Future 505 

Saw Mills 503 

Flour Mills 503 


Arthur, C. E 517 

Ackerman, Captain E. 528 

Angle, E. 561 

Albertson, F. C 625 

Asbill, P 595 

Asbill, F. M 596 

Brereton, G. V 509 

Bartlett, N. 625 

Ball, J. D 509 

Berryhill, J. T 625 

Burke, A. 626 

Burger, J. L. 626 

Bruiier, F. 


Beaver, G. B. 


Beaver, S. 



Bea'ttie, T. F 


Burchard, D. W 


Bransford, W. L 


Briggs, M. C. 


Bailey, C 


Berry, J. L., Dr. 


Buchanan, C.J 


Baeehtel, S. S 


Baechtel, M 579 

Baechtel, H. S.... 579 

Barnard, L 531 

Burns, B. _ 580 

Bransford, Z. W. . _ 561 

Bevans, J.P. 562 

Busch, J. G 562 

Budd, E. E. (deceased) 628 

Colby, H 531 

Ciimmings, J. ... 532 

Coombs, S. 532 

Carothers, T. L. . 629 

Colson, E. W 630 

Crockett, D. C . . 631 

Cox, E 631 

Corrigan, J. S __ 533 

Colbert, P . . _ 533 

Carlson, J. E. 534 

Caughey, E. . _ _ 517 

Cunningham, W. W ... 632 

Copsey, D. M 610 

Chambers, J. K 597 

Chambers, T. S 597 

Compton, N. P 563 

Cunningham, J. P 598 

Corbett, M 597 

Carpenter, A. O. . _ 632 

Cleveland, W.J. 563 

Christy, J. H 564 

Clift, O 534 

Cooper, J. A _ 634 

Denman, M 518 

Davis, W. F . 580 

Duncan, E. H _ 610 

Donohoe, M 535 

Dickinson, A .619 

Day, L. T 635 

Deuel, P. A 599 

Diggins, C. H.... 598 

Donohoe, J. H .__ 636 

Day, B. W.... 635 

Dunlap, J. L _ 599 

iozier, B., M. D 637 

Daugherty, B 580 

Decker, G. A 581 

Davidson, A 581 

Dodge, L 619 

Dashiell, T. W 564 

Everson, A. (deceased) 536 

Ellege, W. C 637 

Eberle, C.H _. 599 

English, C. H... 565 

English, W. P 565 

Fox, B. B ._ 610 

Friel, A _.__ 620 

Friel, J 619 

Furlong, T. P 536 

Forse, W. H 637 

Fulwider, W. 582 

Farley, J. 582 

Fowzer, J 639 

Forsyth, B. F 565 

Gsehwind, J. 509 

Gordon, A 620 

Gray,P.W 537 

Gobbi, D 639 

Gibson, G. W 640 

Gibson, T. J 640 

Gibson, E. J 641 

Gibson, A. J 641 

Gray,' J. S 537 

Gray, L. L 537 

Goforth, M. P 566 

Gould.T. J 611 

Gillaspie, H.L 642 

Griffiths, I. Y ..567 

Gilbert, W. T 600 

Grover, L. P 567 

Hoyt, S. S ,. 518 

Hall, A. W .-. 538 

Holliday, J. C 519 

Hamilton, C. C 539 

Hansen, P 540 

Higgins, J. P - 510 

Higgins, W 042 

Hiatt, E. M 510 

Higgins, J 611 

Howell, O - 612 

Hiatt, J. F. M 612 

Henry, J.E 612 

Henry, G 642 

Henry, P 643 


Harrison, T. W.. 643 

Hinshaw, N. C... 644 

Hoffman, J. P 644 

Hofman, C - 644 

Hildreth, W. J - - 645 

Hoak, N.E 540 

Heeser, A - - 541 

Heywood, W. B -.. 519 

Hamilton, J. A 519 

Hegenmeyer, G 541 

Heeser, W 541 

Hansen, A - --- 542 

Haile, J. S - 649 

Hagans, W. A 645 

Huff, B. B - - - 613 

Hopper, C. A.- 567 

Howard, T 583 

Hornbrooke, S. - 601 

Henley, W - 601 

Henley, G. W .- ---. 600 

Hughes, J. L. 568 

Handley, W. (deceased) 542 

Holden, W 646 

Henley, T. B 600 

Irish, H.O - 511 

Isbell, W --.. 650 

Iversen, N - - - 520 

Jamison, J. A --- 651 

Jefferson, A. 543 

Johns, J. F 620 

King, J.-. - 544 

*Kent, W. H._ 544 

Knowles, S. W -- 511 

Knox, J. A ---- 613 

King, E. W., M. D 652 

Kaisen, B. P. E...- 545 

Kaisen, C. E - 545 

Kenney, J 546 

Kimball, J. S 546 

Kelley, F 546 

Lake, A. B...... --- 547 

Lenfest, E. G 548 

Luce, J. M - 652 

Long, L. F - 614 

Luce, C- 652 

Lovell, H. S 602 

Lacock, D . 

Layton, F. B 

Lamar, J. B 

McGarvey, E 

Morse, L. G _ 

McSpadden, J. W 

McDonald, A. (deceased) 

McAbee, J. W 

Mason, G. T., M. D 

Morgan, E, H 

McClure, J. B 

Mahlman, A. F 

McMuUen, S. W 

Morse, L 

Moyle, W. (deceased) 

Moore, W. W 

Morris, J. VV 

Montague, L. D 

McDamels,G, VV -..- 

Michel, W., M. D 

Moore, J. E 

McUloud, J. W 

McClellan, G. W 

Morse, J. G., M. D. (deceased) 

Mosher, M. E., M. D...- 

Murray, J, D 

Miller, W. E _ 

Moss, W. S..._ 

Munroe, J 

Morrow, J. J _ _ - - 

Mewhinney, S - - 

McGee, H. P ,.-- 

Mathews, J. E 

Neece, G. W 

Nolan, J _ 

Niepp, F -- -- 

Neil, C - 

Nuckolls, J. N - 

Orr, S 

Ottson, C - -- --- 

O'Niel, E. W --- 

Pease, C, B 

Prather, W - 

Prather, C _ - 

Parsons, W. E - 

Pen-y. A, C. - 




J. Fennimore Cooper, in one of his most able works, says: "On the 
human imagination events produce the effects of time. Thus, he "who has 
traveled far and seen much is apt to fancy that he has Uved long ; and the 
history that most abounds in important incidents soonest assumes the aspect 
of antiquity. In no other way can we account for the venerable air that i:s 
already gathering around American annals. When the mind reverts to the 
earhest days of colonial history, the period seems remote and obscure, the 
thousand changes that thicken along the hnks of recollections, throwing back 
the origin of the nation to a. day so distant as seemingly to reach the mists of 
time ; and yet four Hves of ordinary duration would suffice to transmit, from 
mouth to mouth, ui the form of tradition, all that civilized man has achieved 
within the hmits of the republic." The gifted author here speaks of the 
many changes which the comparatively few short years have worked upon 
the banks of the noble Hudson. He remarks: "Other similar memorials of 
the infancy of the country are to be found scattered through what is now 
deemed the very centre of American civilization, aftording the plainest proofi< 
that all we possess of security fi-om invasion and hostile violence, is the growth 
of but little more than the time that is frequently filled by a .single human life." 
If such may be deemed remarkable on the shores of that stream, how much 
more closely do they apply to the giant strides eftected by the indomitable will 
of man on the Pacific coast. 

America was discovered by Columbus on the twelfth day of October, 1492, 
and what a feat was this ! Not so much a marvel is it that he came upon 
the vast continent, as that, m so-called dark ages there were found men 
of such great courage and knowledge, unscientific though that may be, to 
sail away into the darkness, as it were, and sustain themselves against peril 
on every hand to eventually give, not only to then- country, but to mankind 
the rarest continent of a beatific creation. As the veriest schoolboy knows and 
utters m a sing-song drawl, America was discovered as stated above, and 
became the territory of Spain. The Pacific ocean was given to the world by 
Vasco Nunez do Balboa, who looked down from the heights of Panama upon 
its placid bosom on the twenty -fifth day of September, 1513. In 1519 Mexico 
Avas conquered by Hernando Cortez, and sixteen j^ears thereafter, in 1537, 


his pilot, Zimenez, discovered Lower California. In 1542 a voyage of discovery 
was made along the Califomian coast by the famous Captain Juan Rodriguez 
Cabrillo, on the 5 th July of which year, he landed at Cape St. Lucas, in 
Lower California, and following the coast he finally entered the delightful 
harbor of San Diego, in Upper California, on September 2Sth. This place 
he named San Miguel, which was afterwards changed hj Viscaino to that 
which it now bears. 

The noted Enghsh voyager. Sir Francis Drake, sailed along the coast in 
1579, but historians are doubtful as to whether he discovered the San Fran- 
cisco bay. It would appear that this voyage was made from Oregon, where 
it is said his Spanish pilot, Morera, left him, and thence found his way over- 
land to Mexico, a distance of three thousand five hundred miles. The name 
of New Albion was given to the country by Drake, with the evident intention 
of secviring it for the British crown. 

It was not until 1602, however, that the Spaniards took any actual 
steps to possess and colonize the continent. In that year Don Sebastian Vis- 
caiiio was dispatched by the Viceroy of Mexico, acting under the instructions 
of his royal master. King Philip III, on a voyage of search in three small 
vessels. He vi.sited various points on the coast, among them San Diego; was 
well pleased with the appearance of the country, and on December 10th 
discovered and entered a harbor, which he named in honor of Count de 
Monterey, the Viceroy who had dispatched him on the cruise. We are told 
that part of this expedition reached as high as the Columbia river, and that 
the whole subsequently returned to Acapulco. Its efforts were pronounced 
satisfactory, a glowing description of the landscape was given, but whether 
they discovered the San Francisco baj^ is as much a matter of conjecture and 
doubt as Drake's visit. 

For some unexplained cause not much use had been made of the informa- 
tion gained fi-om these trips, which were of frequent occurrence, and it was not 
for one hundi'ed and sixty-eight years that any steps towards the permanent 
settlement of Upper California were undertaken. Under the joint manage- 
ment of Church and State a plan with this end in view was commenced in 
the year 1683, but it failed, the State being there represented by Admual 
Otondo, and the Church by a Jesuit Father named Kino, La Paz being 
their point of operation ; but we beheve we are correct in stating that they 
did not all visit Upper California. The settlement of the peninsula was finally 
undertaken fourteen years later, when sixteen missionary establishments were 
founded by Father Salva Tierra. The order which he represented failing 
into disgrace in Europe, however, was banished from the dominions of Spain 
and Lower California in 1768, after laboring for seventy years. They were 
in turn succeeded by the Franciscans and Dominicans, the former of whom, 
under the guidance of Father Junipera SeiTa, proceeded to the conquest and 
conversion of this part of the country. This Reverend Father is recognized 



by the Catholic Church as the apostle of Upper California, and acknowledged 
in history as its founder. 

The first permanent settlement was made in San Diego in 1769, when was 
also established the first mission, whence further operations were directed and 
new mLssions founded. On July 14, 17C9, Caspar de Portala, who com- 
manded the expedition that called a halt at San Diego, left that place for 
Monterey, and there erected a cross. 

"Pious Portala, journeying by land, 
Reared high a cross upon the heathen strand^ 
Then far away, 

his slow caravan to Monterey. " 

With Father Junipera Serra, he continued his northward journey and, by 
the merest accident, came upon the world-renowned bay of San Francisco. 

Finding it a place answering every requirement he named it after San 
Francisco de Asis, and seven years later, June 27, 1776, possession was taken 
of the spot and a presidio established, the mission being located on the site of 
the present church. There may be a doiibt as to whether the bay was ever 
discovered by Drake or Viscaiuo, but there is none of the visit of Caspar de 
Portala, then Governor of the Californias. Henceforward the establishment 
of missions was rapid, as will be gathered from the accompanying list : 

Mission San Diego, in San Diego county, founded under Carlos III, July 16. 

1769; containing 22.24 acres. 
Mission San Luis Eey, iu San Diego county, founded under Carlos IV, June 

13, 1798; containing 53.39 acres. 
Mission San Juan Capistrano, in Los Angeles county, founded under Cai-los 

III, November 10, 1776; containing 44.40 acres. 
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, in Los Angeles county, founded under Carlos 

III, Septembers, 1771; containing 190.69 acres. Patented. 
Mission San Buenaventura, in Santa Barbara county, founded under Carlos 

III. March 31, 1782; containing 36.27 acres. 
Mission San Fernando, in Los Angeles county, founded under Carlos IV. 

September 8, 1797; containing 76.94 acres. 
Mission Santa Barbara, in Santi Barbara county, founded under Carlos III 

December 4, 1786; containing 37.83 acres. 
Mission Santa Inez, in Santa Barbara county, founded under Carlos IV, 

September 17, 1804; containing 17.35 acres. 
Mission La Purisima Concepcion, in Santa Barbara county, founded under 

Carlos in, December 8, 1787. 
Mission San Luis Obispo, in San Luis Obispo county, founded under Carlos 

III, September 1, 1772, containing 52.72 acres. Patented. 
Mission San Miguel Arcangel, in San Luis Obispo county, founded under 

Carlos IV, July 25, 1797; containing 33. 97 acres. Patented. 


Mission San Antonio de Padua, in San Luis Obispo county, founded under 

Carlos III, July 14, 1771; containing 33.19 acres. Patented. 
Mission La Soledad, in Monterey county, founded under Carlos IV, October 

9, 1791; containing 34.47 acres. Patented. 
Mission El Carme, or San Carlos de Montere}^ in Monterey county, founded 

under Carlos III, June 3, 1770 ; containing 9 acres. Patented. 
Mission San Juan Bautista, in Monterey county, founded under Carlos IV, 

June 24, 1797; containing 55.33 acres. Patented. 
Mission Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz county, founded under Caiios IV, August 

28, 1791; containing 16.94 acres. Patented. 
Mission Santa Clara, in Santa Clara county, founded under Carlos III, 

January 18, 1777; containing 13.13 acres! Patented. 
Mission San Jose, in Alameda county, founded |_under Carlos IV, June 11, 

1797; containing 28.33 acres. Patented. 
Mission Dolores, or San Francisco de Asis, in San Francisco county, founded 

under Carlos III, October 9, 1776; two lots, one containing 4.3 acres, 

and the other 4.51 acres. Patented. 
Mission San Rafael Arcangel, in Marin county, founded under Fernando VIT, 

December 18, 1817; containing 6.48 acres. Patented. 
Mission San Francisco Solano, in Sonoma county, founded under Fernando 

VII, August 25. 1823; containing 14.20 acres. 
If Sir Francis Drake did not actually enter the broad sheet of water now 
known as the Bay of San Francisco, in 1579, he must have tarried in its 
vicinity, for the historian of that famous voyage wrote: "They here discov- 
ered a bay, which,, entering with a favorable gale, they found several huts by 
the water side, well defended from the severity of the Aveather. Going on 
shore they found a fire in the middle of each, and the people lying round 
it upon rushes. The men go quite naked, but the women have a deer skin 
over their shoulders, and around their waists a covering of bulrushes, after 
the manner of hemp. These people, bringing the A dmiral a present of feathers, 
and cauls of net-work, he entertamed them so kindly and generously, that 
they were extremely pleased, and soon afterwards they sent him a present of 
feathers and bags of tobacco. A number of them coming to deliver it, gath- 
ered themselves together on the top of a small hill, from the highest point of 
which one of them harangued the Admiral, whose tent was placed at the 
bottom. When the speech was ended they laid down their arms and came 
down, offering then- presents ; at the same time returning what the Admiral 
had given them. The women remaining on the hill, tearing their hair and 
making dreadful bowlings. The Admiral supposed them engaged in making 
sacrifices, and thereupon ordered divine service to be performed in his tent, at 
which these people attended with astonishment. 

" The arrival of the English in California being soon known through the 
country, two per.sons in the character of ambassadors, came to the Admiral 


and informed him in the best manner they were able, that the King would 
assist hun if he might he assured of comiag in safety. Being satisfied on this 
pouit, a numerous company soon appeared, in front of which was a very comely 
person bearing a kind of sceptre, on which hung two crowns and three chains 
of great length ; the chains were of bones and the crowns of net- work curi- 
ously wrought with feathers of many colors. 

"Next to the sceptre-bearer, came the King, a handsome, majestic person, 
surrounded by a number of tall men, dressed in skins, who were followed by 
the common people, who, to make the grander appearance, had painted their 
faces of various colors, and all of them, even the children, being loaded with 
presents. The men being drawn up in line of battle, the Admiral stood ready 
to receive the King within the entrance of his tent. The company having 
halted at a distance, the sceptre-bearer made a speech, half an hour long, at 
the end of which he began singing and dancing, in which he was followed by 
the King and all his people — who, continuing to sing and dance, came quite 
up to the tent; when, sitting down, the King taking off his crown of feathers, 
placed it on the Admiral's head, and put upon him the other ensigns of 
royalty ; and it is said he made him a solemn tender of his whole kingdom. 
All of which the Admu-al accepted in the name of the Queen, liis sovereign, in 
hope these proceedings might, one time or other, contribute to the advantage 
of England. 

"The common people, dispersing themselves among the Admu-al's tenis, 
professed the utmost admu-ation and esteem for the English, whom they con- 
sidered as more than mortal — and accordingly prepared to offer sacrifices to 
them; but they wei-e told, by signs, that . their- religious worship was alone due to 
the Supreme Maker and Preserver of all tilings. The Admiral and some of 
his people, traveling to a distance in the country, " saw such a quantity of 
rabbits that it appeared an entire waiTen; they also saw deer in such plenty 
as to run a thousand in a herd. The earth of the country seemed to promise 
rich veins of gold and silver, some of the ore being constantly found on digging. 
The Admu-al, at his departure, set up a pillar with a large plate on it, on 
which was engraved her Majesty's, (Queen Elizabeth) name, picture, arms, 
and title to the country, together with the Admiral's name, and the time of his 
anival there." • 

Such is the extraordinary pen-picture of the aboriginal Cahfornians when 
visited by Drake and his historian. That the clap-trap description of the King 
profi'ering his regaha to the Admiral was written with an evident purpose, is 
fuUy carried out in the subsequent showermg of honors upon Drake by Eliza- 
beth, who, on knighting him, said "that his actions did him more honor than 
his title." 

The following extract from a letter written b}'^ Father Junipero to his friend 
Father Palou, shows from another stand point what the general situation of 
affairs was at that date, July 3, 1769: — 


" The tract through which we passed is generally very good land, with plenty 
of water, and there, as well as here, the country is neither rocky nor overrun 
with brushwood. There are, however, many hills, but they are composed of 
earth. The road has been in some places good, but the greater part bad. 
About half-way, the valleys and banks of rivulets began to be dehghtful. We 
found vines of a large size, and in some cases quite loaded with grapes ; we also 
found an abundance of roses, which appeared to be like those of Castile, in 
line, it is a good country, and very different from old California. 

"We have seen Indians in immense numbers, and all those on this coast of 
the Pacific contrive to make a good subsistence on various seeds, and by fish- 
ing. The latter they carry on by means of rafts or canoes, made of tule, 
(buh'ushes), with which they go a great way to sea. They are very civil. All 
the males, old and young, go naked; the women, however, and the female 
children, are decently covered from their breasts downwards. We found on 
our journey, as weU as the place where we stepped, that they treated us with 
an much confidence and good will as if they had known us all their Hves. But 
when we ofiei'ed them any of our victuals, they always refused them. AH 
they cared for was cloth, and only for something of this sort would they 
exchange their fish or whatever else they had. During the whole march we 
found hares, rabbits, some deer, and a multitude of berendos, a kind of wild 

In the establishment of missions the three agencies brought to bear were the 
military, the civU and the rehgious, being each represented by the Presidio, or 
garrison; the Pueblo, the town or civic community, and the Mission, the 
church, which played the most prominent part. Says one writer : "The Span- 
iards had then, what we are lacking to-day — a complete municipal system. 
Theirs was derived from the Romans. Under the civil Roman law, and the 
Gothic, Spanish and Mexican laws, municipal communities were never incor- 
porated into artificial persons, with a common seal and pei-petual succession, 
as with us under English and American laws; consequentlj^ under the former, 
communities in towns held their lands in common ; when thirty families had 
located on a spot, the pueblo or town was a fact. They were not incorporated, 
because the law did not make it a necessity, a general law or custom having 
established the system. The right to organize a local government, by the 
election of an alcalde or mayor, and a town council, which was known as 
an Ayuntamiento, was patent. The instant the ijoblacion was formed, it 
became thereby entitled to four leagues of land, and the pohladors, citizens, 
held it in pro indivisa. The title was a natural right. 

"The missions were designed for the civihzation and conversion of the 
Indians. The latter were instructed in the mysteries of rehgion (so far as they 
could comprehend them) and the arts of peace. Instruction of the savage in 
agriculture and manufactures, as well as in prayers and elementary education. 
^vas the parh-e's business. The soldiers protected them from the hostility of 


the intractable natives, hunted down the latter, and brought them within the 
confines of the mission, to labor and salvation." 

Father Gleeson* tells us in his able History of the Catholic Church in Cali- 
fornia, that the missions were usually quadrilateral buildings, two stories high, 
enclosing a court yard ornamented with fountains and trees. The whole con- 
sisting of the church, father's apartments, store-houses, barracks, etc. The 
quadrilateral sides were each about six hundred feet in length, one of which 
was partl)'^ occupied by the church. Within the quach-angie and correspond- 
ing with the second story, was a gallery running round the entire structure, 
and opening upon the workshops, store rooms and other apartments. 

The entii'e management of each establishment was under the care of two 
Rehgious; the elder attended to the interior and the younger to the exterior 
administration. One portion of the building, which was called the monastery, 
was inhabited by the young Indian girls. There, under the care of approved 
matrons, they were carefully trained and instructed in those branches necessary 
for their condition in life. They were not permitted to leave till of an age to 
be married, and this with the view of preserving their morahty. In the schools, 
those who exhibited more talent than their companions, were taught vocal and 
instrumental music, the latter consisting of the flute, horn and viohn. In the 
mechanical departments, too, the most apt were promoted to the position of 
foremen. The better to preserve the morals of aU, none of the whites, except 
those absolutely necessary, were employed at the mission. 

The daily routine at each establishment was almost the same as that fol- 
lowed by the Jesuits in Lower California. At sunrise they arose and pro- 
ceeded to church, where, after morning prayer, they assisted at the holy sacri- 
fice of the mass. Breakfast next followed, when they proceeded to their re- 
spective emplojrments. Toward noon they returned to the mission, and spent 
the time from then till two o'clock between dinner and repose ; after which 
they again repau-ed to their work, and remained engaged till the evening an- 
gelus, about an hour before sundown. All then betook themselves to the 
church for evening devotions, which consisted of the ordinary family prayers 
and the rosary, except on special occasions, when other devotional exercises 
were added. After supper, which immediately followed, they amused them- 
selves in divers sports, games and dancing, till the hour for repose. Their 
diet, of which the poor of any country might be justly envious, consisted of 
an abundance of excellent beef and mutton, with vegetables in the season. 
Wheaten cakes and puddings, or porridges, called " atole and pinole," also 
formed a portion of the repast. The dress was, for the males, linen shirts, 
pants, and a blanket to be used as an overcoat. The women received each, 
annually, two undergarments, a gown, and a blanket. In years of plenty, 

* History of the Catholic Church in California, by W. Gleeson, M. A., Professor St. Mary's 
College, San i'rancisco, Cal., in two volumes, illustrated. Printed for the author by A. L. Ban- 
croft and Company, San Francisco, 1872. 


after the missions became rich, the fathers distributed all the surplus moneys 
among them in clothing and trinkets. Such was the general character of the 
early mLssiona established in Upper California. 

Let us now briefly consider what was the character and condition of the 
Califo]-nia Indian on the arrival of the Spanish Fathers. We have already 
given the experience of Sir Francis Drake and Father Junipei'O. We shall now 
endeavor to outline more closely the principal features of their manners and 

For veracit3r's sake we must aver that the California Indian was anything 
but an easy subject for civilization. Knowledge he had none; his religion or 
morals were of the crudest foi'm, while all in all he was the most degraded of 
mortals. He lived without labor, and existed for naught save his ease and 
pleasure. In physique he was unprepossessing; being possessed of much 
endurance and strength; his features were unattractive, his hair in texture 
hke the mane of the horse, and his complexion as dark as the Ethiop's skin. 
His chief delight was the satisfying of his appetite and lust, while he lacked 
courage enough to be warlike, and was devoid of that spirit of independence 
usually the principal characteristic of his race. The best portion of his life 
was passed in sleeping and dancing, whUe in the temperate California chmate 
■ the fertile valleys and hillsides grew an abundance of edible seeds and wild 
fruits, which were garnered, and by them held in great store. Such 
means of existence being so easily obtained is perhaps a reason for the 
wonderful disinclination of Indians to perform any kind of labor. Indeed, 
what need was there that they should toil, when beneficent Nature had, with 
a generosity that knew no stint, placed within their grasp an unlimited supply 
of health -giving food. 

The aboriginal Californian's life was a roving one, for they had no fixed hab- 
itation, but roamed about from place to place, fishing, hunting, and gathering 
supplies. In everjr stream were fish, and on every mountain-side and valley, 
game ; acorns and pine nuts, roots and wild oats were included in the category 
of their edibles, while it is said that theh' tastes precluded them not from eat- 
ing vermin. Their remains consist of earth and shell mounds, which were 
used as places of sepulture, then- dead being interred in a sitting posture, while 
ultra-civilized cremation was a common practice among them. Their dialects 
wei-e as various as are those of China to-day, and the natives of San Diego 
could not understand those of Los Angeles or Monterey. 

These Indians had as dwellings the meanest of huts, built of willows and 
thatched with tules or rushes. They were fashioned by taking a few poles and 
placing them in a circle; which were woven together to a conical point, giving 
them, when completed, the appearance of inverted baskets. They were small 
and easily warmed in winter, and when swarming with vermin could readily 
be reduced to ashes and others built in their places. Their cabins or "wickeup" 
were usually constructed on the banks of streams, or in the dells of mountains 


but always near some running ■water-course. Here, without a vestige of cov- 
ering, they slept hke " sardines in a tin," those on the outer edge quarrelling, 
as in more civUized circles, for an inside place. On rising from their htters, be 
it summer or winter, the first performance would be a plunge into the river, 
after which they would dance and play around a large fire, when witL a healthy 
appetite they would rehsh a hearty meal. This was their custom in the cold 
mountain regions as well as in the more temperate vaUej'S. The skins of wild 
beasts made them a covering comfortable enough, but the males generally wore 
absolutely nothing upon then- persons save an arrow passed through the hair as a 
skiver, something like the mode of hair ornament in vogue with fashionable belles 
some yeai-s ago. One of these warriors thus clad, on one occasion paid General Val- 
lejo a visit at Sonoma. As the day was cold the General asked his guest if he 
was not cold. "No," was the answer, " Is your face cold ?" "Not at all," 
replied the veteran commandante, "I never wear anything on my face." 
" Then," rejoined the Indian, triumphantly pointing to his bodj^, "lam all 
face !" The toilet of the women was more pretentious, consisting only of a 
scanty apron of fancy skins or feathei-s, extending to the knees. Those of 
them who were unmarried wore also a bracelet around the ancle or arm, near 
the shoulder. This ornament was generally made of bone or fancy wood. 
Polygamy was a recognized institution. Chiefs generally possessed eleven 
wives, sub-chiefs nine, and ordinary warriors, two or more, according to their 
wealth or property. But Indian-like, they would fight among themselves, and 
bloody fights they often were. Their weapons were bows and arrows, clubs 
and spears, with which they were very adroit. They wore a kind of helmet 
made of skins. They were remarkable athletes, and as swimmers and run- 
ners were unexcelled. In times of peace they kept up their martial 
spirit, little though it was, by sham fights and tournaments, their women par- 
ticipating in their battles, not as actual belligerents, but as a sanitary brigade; 
they followed their warriors and supplied them with provisions and attended 
them when wounded, carrying their pappooses on their backs at the same 

In a descriptive sketch of Napa and the adjacent counties* C. A. Menefee, 
the author, says of the Indian of Upper California: 

'• Of navigation they were almost wholly ignorant. Theu- only method of 
crossing streams was by means of rafts constructed of bundles of tule bound 
together, somewhat similar, but far inferior to the balsas used by the Peruvian 
Indians upon Lake Titicaca, far up among the Andes. 

" Their knowledge of the proper treatment of disease was on a level with 
then- attainments in aU the arts of life. Roots and herbs were sometimes used 
as remedies, but the ' sweat-house ' was the principal reliance in desperate 

* Historical and descriptive sketch-book of Napa, Sonoma, Lske and Jfendocino, comprising 
sketches of their topography, productions, history, scenery, and peculiar attractions, by C. A. 
M>:ue£ee, Napa City, Reporter IVblishing House, 1S73. 


cases. This great sanitary institution, found in every rancheria, was a large 
circular excavation, covered with a roof of boughs, plastered with mud, hav- 
ing a hole on one side foi* an entrance, and another ia the roof to serve as a 
chimney. A jSre having been hghted in the centre, the sick were placed there 
to undergo a sweat-bath for many hours, to be succeeded by a plunge in cold 
water. This treatment was their cure-all, and whether it killed or reUeved the 
patient depended upon the nature of his disease and the vigor of his constitu- 
tion. A gentleman who was tempted, some years ago, to enter one of the san- 
itary institutions, gives the following story of his experience : — 

" 'A sweat-house is of the shape of an inverted bowl. It is generally about 
forty feet in diameter at the bottom, and is built of strong poles and branches 
of trees, covered with earth to prevent the escape of heat. There is a small 
hole near the ground, large enough for the Diggers to creep in one at a time; 
and another at the top of the house, to give vent to the smoke. When a dance 
is to occur, a large fire is kindled in the centre of the edifice, the crowd assem- 
bles, the white spectators crawl in and seat -themselves anywhere out of the 
way. The apertxires, both above and below, are then closed, and the dancers 
take their position. 

" 'Four-and- twenty squaws, en dishabille, one side of the fire, and as many 
hombres in puris naturalibus on the other. Simultaneous with the com- 
mencement of the dancing, which is a kind of shufiling hobble-de-hoy, the 
music bursts forth. Yes, music fit to raise the dead. A whole legion of 
deviLs broke loose ! Such screaming, shrieking, yelling and roaring was never 
before heard since the foundation of the world. A thousand cross-cut saws, 
filed by steam power — a miiltitude of tom-cats lashed together and flung over 
a clothes-line — innumerable pigs under the gate, all combined, would produce 
a heavenly melody compared with it. Yet this uproar, deafening as it is, 
might possibly be endured ; but another sense soon comes to be saluted. Talk 
of the thousand stinks of the city of Cologne ! Here are at least forty thousand 
combined in one grand overwhelming stench, and yet every particular odor 
distinctly definable. Round about the roaring fire the Indians go capering, 
jumping and screaming, with the perspiration starting from every pore. The! 
spectators look on until the air grows tliick and heavy,- and a sense of oppress- 
ino- suffocation overcomes them, when they make a simultaneous rush at the 
door, for seK-protection. Judge of their astonishment, terror and dismay to 
find it fastened securely ; bolted and barred on the outside. They rush frantic- 
ally around the walls in hope to discover some weak point through which they 
may find egress ; but the house seems to have been constructed purposely to 
frustrate such attempts. More furious than caged hons, they rush bodily 
agaiost the sides, but the stout poles resist every onset. Our army swore 
tei-rihly in Flanders, but even my uncle Toby himself would stand aghast were 
he here now. 

" ' There is no alternative but to sit down in hopes that the troop of naked 


fiends win soon cease from sheer exhaustion. Vain expectation ! The uproar but 
increases in fury, the fii-e waxes hotter and hotter, and they seem to be prepar- 
ing for fresh exhibitions of their powers. The combat deepens, on, ye brave ! See 
that wild Indian, a newly-elected captain, as with glaring eyes, blazing face, 
and complexion like that of a boiled lobster, he tosses his arms wildly aloft, as 
in pursuit of imaginary devils, while rivers of persph-ation roU down his naked 
frame. Was ever the human body thrown into such contortions before? 
Another efibrt of that kind and the whole vertebral column must certainly come 
down with a crash. Another such convulsion, and his lunbs will assuredly be 
torn asunder, and the disjointed members fiy to the four parts of the compass. 
Can the human frame endure this much longer? The heat is equal to that of 
a bake-oven. Temperature five hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Pressui-e of 
steam one thousand pounds to the square inch. The reeking atmosphere has 
become almost palpable, and the victimized audience are absolutely gasping for 
life. Millions for a cubic inch of fresh air, worlds for a drop of water to cool 
the parched tongue ! This is terrible ! To meet one's fate among the white- 
caps of the Lake, in a swamped canoe, or to sink down on the bald mountain's 
brow, worn out by famine, fatigue and exposure, were glorious; but to die 
here, suffocating in a solution of human perspiration, carbonic acid gas and 
charcoal smoke, is horrible. The idea is absolutely appalling. But there is no 
avail. Assistance might as well be sought from a legion of unchained imps, as 
fi-om a troop of Indians maddened hj excitement. 

" ' Death shows his visage, not more than five minutes distant. The fire glim- 
mers away, leagues off. The uproar dies into the subdued rumble of a 
remote cataract, and respiration becomes lower and more labored. The whole 
system is sinking into utter insensibility, and all hope of relief has departed, 
when suddenty a grand triumphal crash, similar to that with which the ghosts 
closed their orgies, when they doused the hghts and started in pursuit of Tam 
O'Shanter and his old gray mare, the upi'oar ceases and the Indians vanish 
through an aperture, opened for the purpose. The half-dead victims to their 
own curiosity dash through it like an arrow, and in a moment more are draw- 
ing in whole bucketsfuU of the cold, frosty air, every inhalation of Avhich cuts' 
the lungs like a knife, and thrills the system hke an electric shock. They are 
in time to see the Indians plunge headlong into the ice-cold waters of a neigh- 
boring stream, and crawl out and sink down on the banks, utterly exhausted. 
This is the last act of the drama, the grand climax, and the fandango is over.' 

"The sweat-house also served as a council chamber and banquet hall. In it 
the bodies of the dead were sometimes burned, amid the bowlings of the sur- 
vivors. Generally, however, the cremation of the dead took place in the open 
air. The body, before burning, was bound closely together, the legs and arms 
folded, and forced, by binding, into as small a compass as possible. It was 
then placed upon a funeral pile of wood, which was set on fire by the mother, 
wife, or some near relative of the deceased, and the mourners, with therr faces 


daubed with pitch, set up a feai-ful howling and weeping, accompanied with 
the most frantic gesticulations. The body being consumed, the ashes were 
carefully collected. 

" A portion of these were mingled with pitch, with which they daubed their 
faces and went into mourning. During the progress of the cremation, the 
friends and relatives of the deceased thrust sharp sticks into the burning corpse, 
and cast into the fire the ornaments, feather head-dresses, weapons, and every- 
thing known to have belonged to the departed. They had a superstitious 
dread of the consequences of keeping back any article pertaining to the 
defunct. An old Indian woman, whose husband was sick, was recently asked 
what ailed him. Her reply was, ' he had kept some feathers belonging to a 
dead Indian that should have been burned with his body, and that he would be 
sick tiUhe died.' 

" The idea of a future state was universal among the California Indians, and 
they had a vague idea of rewards and punishments. As one expressed it, 
' Good Indian go big hill ; bad Indian go bad place.' Others thought if the 
deceased had been good ia his life-time, his spu'it would travel west to where 
the earth and sky meet, and become a star ; if bad, he would be changed into 
a grizzly, or his spirit-wanderings Avould contiuue for an indefinite period. 
They expressed the idea of the change from this life to another by saying that 
' as the moon died and came to life agaiu, so man came to life after death ;' 
and they beheved that ' the hearts of good chiefs went up to the .sky, and were 
changed iuto stars to keep watch over their tribes on earth.' Although 
exceedingly superstitious, they were evidently not destitute of some religious 
conceptions. Certain rocks and mountains were regarded as sacred. Uncle 
Sam, in Lake county, was one of these sacred mountains, and no one, except 
the priest or wizard of his tribe, dared to ascend it. Two huge bowlders, 
between Napa City and Capel Valley, were also sacred, and no Indian would 
approach them. They also held the grizzly in superstitious awe, and nothing 
could induce them to eat its flesh. 

The Diggers too had their sorcerers, male and female, who had great influence 
over them. They pretended to foresee future events, and to exercise super- 
natural control over their bodies, and to cure diseases by curious incantations 
and ceremonies. They likewise believed in a Cucusuy, or mischief-maker, who 
took deUght in their annoyance, and to him and his agent they attributed much 
of their sickness and other misfortunes. It may not be out of place here to 
relate the following legend : — 

When the Spaniards were crossing the mountain called Bolgones, where 
an Indian spirit was supposed to dwell, having a cave for his haunt, he was 
disturbed by the approach of the soldiers, and, emerging from the gloom, 
arrayed in aU his feathers and war-paint, and very Uttle else by M'ay of costume, 
motioned to them to depart, threatening, by gesticulation, to weave a spell 
around them ; but the stm-dy warriors were not to be thus easily awed. They 



beckoned him to approach ; this invitation, however, the wizard declined, when 
one of the men secured him with a lasso to see if he were ' goblin damn'd' or 
ordinar}"- mortal. Even now he would not speak, but continued his mumblings, 
when an extra tug caused him to shout and pray to be released. On the 
relation of this adventui-e the Indians pointed to Bolgones, calling it the 
mountain of the Cucusuy, which the Spaniards translated into Monte Diabl6. 
Hence the name of the mountain which is the meridian of scientific exploration 
in California. 

Four times a year each tribe united in a great dance, having some religious 
pui-pose and signification. One of these was held by night in Napa county in 
1841, about the time of the vernal equinox, and was terminated by a strange 
inexplicable pantomime, accompanied with wild gestures and screams, the 
object of which the Indians said was ' to scare the devil away from their 
rancherias.' An old gentleman who witnessed the performance says he has 
no doubt that their object must have been attained, if the devil had the shghtest 
ear for music. Superstition wrapped these savages like a cloud, from which 
they never emerged. The phenomena of nature on every hand, indeed, taught 
them that there was some unseen cause for all thmgs — some power which they 
could neither comprehend nor resist. The volcano and the earthquake taught 
them this, and many accounts of these in past ages are preserved in their tradi- 
tions, but farther than this their minds could not penetrate. 

It will readily be acknowledged that to catch, subdue and educate a race 
like this was a task of no mean difiiculty, while to perfect it, even remotely, 
demanded aU the elements of success. It was nece-ssary to comingle both 
force and persuasion. The former was represented by the soldiers at the pre- 
sidio, and the latter by the Fathers at the mission. To keep them together 
was a task which required the most perfect skill, in short nothing but the at- 
tractiveness of new objects and strange ways, with the pleasant accessories of 
good diet and kind conduct, could have ever kept these roving spirits, even for 
a time, from straying to their original haunts. 

Let us for a moment glance at the state of the missions in the early part of 
the present century. In the year 1767 the property possessed by the Jesuits, 
then known as the Pious Fund, was taken charge of by the government, and 
used for the benefit of the missions. At that time this possession jnelded an 
annual revenue of fifty thousand dollars, twenty -four thousand of which were 
expended in the stipends of the Franciscan and Dominican missionaries, and the 
balance for the maintenance of the missions generally. Father Gleeson says: 
" The first inroad made on these pious donations was about the year 1806, 
when, to relieve the national wants of the parent country, caused by the wars 
of ISOl and 1804, between Portugal in the one instance and Great Britain in 
the other, his majesty's fiscal at Me.Kico scrupled not to confiscate and remit to 
the authorities in Spain as much as two hundred thousand dollars of the Pious 
Fund." By tliis means the missions were deprived of most substantial aid, 



and the fathers left upon their own resources; add to these difficulties the 
unsettled state of the country between the years 1811 and 1831, and still their 
work of civilization was never stayed. 

To demonstrate this we reproduce the following tabular statement, which 
will at a glance show the state of the missions of Upper California, from 1802 
to 1822:— 

THE YEARS 1802 AND 1822: 

Name of Mission. 





Name of Missios. 





















San Luis Rer 

San Antonio de Padua 
Our Lady of Soledad. . 

San Juan Capi^tiano . 


San Fei-nando 

San Juan Bautista.... 


Santa Bailjara 

1 394 

Purissima Conception. 
San Luis Obispo 

San Francisco 

Totals.— Baptized, 74,621 ; Married, 20,112 ; Died, 47,925 ; Existing, 20,958. 

It will thus be observed that by this, out of the seventy-four thousand six 
hundred and twenty-one converts received into the missions, the large number 
of twenty thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight had succumbed to disease. 
Of what nature was this plague it is hard to establish ; the missionaries them- 
selves could assign no cause. Syphilis, measles and small-pox carried off num- 
bers, and these diseases were generated, in all probabihty, by a sudden change 
in their lives from a free, wandering existence, to a state of settled quietude. 

Father Gleeson, in his valuable work, says : "In 1813. when the contest 
for national independence was being waged on Mexican territory, the cortes of 
Spain resolved upon dLspensing with the services of the Fathers, by placing 
the missions in the hands of the secular clergy. The professed object of this 
secularization scheme was, indeed, the welfare of the Inchans and colonists; 
but how httle this accorded with the real intentions of the government, is 
seen from the seventh section of the decree passed by the cortes, wherein it is 
stated that one-half of the land was to be hypothecated for the payment of the 
the national debt. The decree ordering this commences as follows: 'The 
cortes general and extraordinary, considering that the reduction of common 
land to private property is one of the measures most imperiously demanded for 
the welfare of the pueblos, and the improvement of agriculture and industry, 
and wishing at the same time to derive from this class of land aid to relieve 
the public necessities, a, vewsiYd to the worthy defenders of the country and 
rehef to the citizens not proprietors, decree, etc.,* without prejudice to the fore- 
going provisions one-half of the vacant land and lands belonging to the royal 

•History of Ciiliforuia— Dvvinelle. 


patrimon}' of the monarchy, except the suburbs of the pueblos, is hereb_y 
reserved, to be in "whole or in part, as may be deemed necessary, hypothecated 
for \hepayvient of the national debt,' etc. 

" This decree of the Government was not carried out at the time, j'et it had 
its effect on the state and aa'cII -being of the missions in general. It could 
not be expected that with such a resolution under their eyes, the fathers would 
be as zealous in developing the natural resources of the country as before, see- 
ing that the result of their labors was at any moment liable to be seized on by 
government, and handed over to strangers. The insecurity thus created 
naturally acted upon the converts in turn, for when it became apparent that the 
authority of the missionaries was more nominal than real, a spuit of opposition 
and independence on the part of some of the people was the natural result. Even 
before this determination had been come to on the part of the government, there 
were not wanting evidences of an evil disposition on the part of the peo- 
ple; for as early as 1803 one of the missions had become the scene of a revolt; 
and earlier still, as we learn from an unpublished correspondence of the fathers, 
it was not unusual for some of the converts to abandon the missions and return 
to their former wandering life. It was customaiy on those occasions to pursue 
the deserters, and compel them to return. * » * * « 

" Meantime, the internal state of the missions was becoming more and more 
complex and disordered. The desertions were more frequent and numerous, 
the hostility of the unconverted more daring, and the general disposition of the 
people inclined to revolt. American traders and freebooters had entered the 
country, spread themselves aU over the province, and sowed the seeds of dis- 
cord and revolt among the inhabitants. Many of the more reckless and evil 
minded readily hstened to their suggestions, adopted their counsels, and broke 
out into open hostilities. Their hostile attack was first directed against the 
mission of Santa Cruz, wliich they captured and plundered, when they 
directed their course to Monterey, and, in common with their American friends, 
attacked and plundered that place. From these and other like occurrences, it 
was clear that the conditions of the missions was one of the greatest peril. 
The spii'it of discord had spread among the people, hostility to the authority 
of the Fathers had become common, while desertion from the ^dUages was of 
frequent and almost constant occurrence. To remedy this unpleasant state 
of affairs, the military then in the country was entii-ely inadequate, and so 
matters continued, with little or no ditierence, till 1824, when by the action 
of the Mexican government, the missions began rapidly to decline. 

"Two years after Mexico had been formed into a i-epubhc, the government 
authorities began to interfere with the rights of the Fathers and the existing 
state of affaii-s. In 1826 instructions were forwarded by the federal govern- 
ment to the authorities of California for the Uberation of the Indians. This 
was followed a few yeairs later by another act of the Legislature, ordering the 
whole of the missions to be secularized and the Keligious to withdraw. The 


ostensible object assigned by the authors of this measure, was the execution of 
the original plan formed by government. The missions, it was alleged, were 
never intended to be permanent establishments ; they were to give way in the 
course of some years to the regular ecclesiastical sj^stem, when the people 
would be formed into parishes, attended by a secular clergy. * * * * » 

"Beneath these specious pretexts," says Dwinelle in his Colonial History, 
"was, undoubtedly, a perfect understanding between the government at Mexico 
and the leading men in California, and in such a condition of things the 
supreme government might absorb the pious fund, under the pretence that it 
was no longer necessary for missionary purposes, and thus had reverted to the 
State as a quasi escheat, while the co-actors in California should appropriate 
the local wealth of the missions, by the rapid and sure process of administering 
their temporalities." And again: "These laws (the secularization laws), 
whose ostensible purpose was to convert the missionary establishments into 
Indian pueblos, then- churches into parish churches, and to elevate the chris- 
tianized Indians to the rank of citizens, were, after all, executed in such a 
manner that the so-called secularization of the missions resulted only in their 
plunder and complete ruin, and in the demoralization and dispersion of the 
christianized Indians." 

Immediately on the receipt of the decree, the then acting Governor of Cah- 
fornia, Don Jose Figueroa, commenced the carrying out of its provisions, to 
which end he prepared certain provisional rules, and in accordance therewith 
the alteration in the missionary system was begun, to be immediately followed 
by the absolute ruin of both missions and country. Within a very few years 
the exertions of the Fathers were entuely destroyed ; the lands which had 
hitherto teemed with abundance, were handed over to the Indians, to be by 
them neglected and permitted to return to their primitive wUdness, and the 
thousands of cattle were divided among the people and the administrators for 
the personal benefit of either. 

Let us now briefly follow Father Gleeson in his contrast of the state of the 
people before and after secularization. He says: "It has been stated already 
that in 1822 the entire number of Indians then inhabiting the different missions, 
amounted to twenty thousand and upwards. To these others were being 
constantly added, even during these years of poHtical strife which immediately 
preceded the independence of Mexico, until, in 1836, the numbere amounted to 
thirty thousand and more. Provided with aU the necessaries and comforts of 
life, instrastei in everything requisite for their state in society, and devoutly 
trained in the duties and requirements of religion, th&se thirty thousand Cali- 
fornian converts led a peaceful, happy, contented life, strangers to those cares, 
troubles and anxieties common to higher and more civihzed conditions of life. 
At the same time that their religious condition was one of thankfulness and 
grateful satisfaction to the Fathers, their worldly position was one of unri- 
valed abundance and prosperity. Divided between the different missions from 


San Lucas to San Francisco, close upon one million of live stock belonged to 
the people. Of these four hundred thousand were homed cattle, sixty thou- 
sand horses and more than three hundred thousand sheep, goats and swine. 
The united annual return of the cereals, consisting of wheat, maize, beans and 
the like, was upwards of one hundred and twenty thousand bushels; while at 
the same time throughout the difierent missions, the preparation and manufac- 
ture of soap, leather, wine, brandy, hides, wool, oil, cotton, hemp, linen, tobacco, 
salt and soda, was largely and extensively cultivated. And to such perfection 
were these articles brought, that some of them were eagerly sought for and 
purchased in the principal cities of Europe. 

"The material prosperity of the country was furthei increased by an annual 
revenue of about one million of doUars, the net proceeds of the hides and tallow 
of one hundi-ed thousand oxen slaughtered annually at the different missions. 
Another hundred thousand were slaughtered by the settlers for their own 
private advantage. The revenues on the articles of which there are no specific 
returns, is also supposed to have averaged another million dollars, which, when 
added to the foregoing, makes the annual revenue of the California Catholic 
missions, at the time of their supremacy, between two and three million dollars. 
Independent of these, there were the rich and extensive gardens and orchards 
attached to the missions, exquisitely ornamented and enriched, in many 
instances, with a great variety of European and tropical fi'uit trees, plums, 
bananas, oranges, olives and figs; added to which were the numerous and 
fei'tile vineyards, rivaling in the quantity and quahty of the grape of the 
old countries of Europe, and all used for the comfort and maintenance of the 
natives. In a word, the happy results, both sph-itual and temporal, produced 
in Upper California by the spiritual children of St. Fi-ancis, during the sixty 
3'ears of their missionary career, were such as have rarely been equaled and 
never surpassed in modern times. In a country naturally salubrious, and it 
must be admitted fertile beyond many parts of the world, yet presenting at 
the outset numerous obstacles to the labors of the missionary, the Fathers 
succeeded in establishing at regular distances along the coast as many as one- 
and-twenty missionary establishments. Into these holy retreats their zeal 
and ability enabled them to gather the whole of the indigenous race, with the 
exception of a few wandering tribes who, it is only reasonable to suppose, 
would also have followed the example of their brethren, had not the labors of 
the Fathers been dispensed with by the civU authorities. There, in those 
peaceful, happy abodes, abounding in more than the ordinary enjoyment of 
things, spu-itual and temporal, thirty thousand faithful, simple-hearted Indians 
passed then- days in the practice of vu-tue and the improvement of the country. 
From a wandering, savage, uncultivated race, unconscious as weU of the God 
who created them as the end for which they were made, they became, after the 
advent of the Fathers, a civilized, domestic, Christian people, whose morals 
were as pure as their hves were simple. Daily attendance at the holy sacrifice 



of che mass, morning and night prayer, confession and communion at state^l 
times — the trTie worship, in a word, of the Deity, succeeded the Ustless, aimless 
hfe, the rude pagan games and the ilUcit amours. The plains and valleys, 
which for centuries lay uncultivated and unproductive, now teemed under an 
abundance of every species of coi'n ; the hills and plains were covered with 
stock; the fig tree, the olive and the vine yielded their rich abundance, whUe 
lying in the harbors, waiting to carry to foi'eign markets the rich products of 
the country, might be seen numerous vessels from different parts of the world. 
Such was the happy and prosperous condition of the country under the mission- 
ary rule ; and with this the reader is requested to contrast the condition of the 
people after the removal of the Religious, and the transfer of power to the 
secular authorities. 

"In 1833, the decree for the liberation of the Indians was passed by the 
Mexican Congress, and put in force in the following year. The dispersion and 
demorahzation of the people was the immediate result. Within eight years 
after the execution of the decree, the number of Christians diminished from 
thirty thousand six hundred and fifty to four thousand four hundred and fifty ! 
Some of the missions, which in 1834 had as many as one thousand five hundred 
souls, numbered only a few hundred in 1842. The two missions of San Rafael 
and San Francisco Solano decreased respectively within this period from one 
thousand two hundred and fifty and one thousand three hundi-ed, to twenty 
and seventy! A hke diminution was observed in the cattle and general 
products of the country. Of the eight hundred and eight thousand head of 
live stock belonging to the missions at the date above mentioned, only sixty- 
three thousand and twenty remained in 1842. The diminution in the cereals 
was equally striking ; it fell from seventy to four thousand hectohtres. * * * 
By descending to particular instances, this (the advantage of the Religious 
over the civil administration) will become even more manifest still. At one 
period during the supremacy of the Fathers, the principal mission of the country 
(San Diego), produced as much as six thousand fanegas of wheat, and an equal 
quantity of maize, but in 1842 the return for this mission was only eighteen 
hundred fanegas in aU." 




But wliy prolong these instances which are adduced by the learned and 
Reverend Father? Better will it be to let the reader judge for himself. 
Figures are incontrovertible facts; let them speak: 






No. OF SHEE', 



Time of 



OF Horsed 





K m 













San Diego 

June 16, 1769 . 








17 000 



65 0| 80,000 






San .luan Caplstrano 

Nov. 1, 1776.. 


I'"" '(' ' 5O0 


J 50 



Sept. 8,1771.. 






San Feinandn 

Sept. 8,1797.. 





San Buenaventura 

March 31, 1782 







Santa Baibara 

Dec. 4, i78S. - . 

.1 M ...o.i.i l,SO;j 







14, ^UJ lu.uuo 





La Purissima Conception.. . 

Dec. 8, 1787... 



15,000 800 







9,000 300 






4,000 40 

San Antonio . . 

July 14, 1771.. 




12,000 800 












San Juan BautisU 

June 24, 1V99. 
Aug. 28, 1791. 










13,000 l,.^^ 


2[6 15,00C 



San Jose 

June 18,1797. 



2,400 8,00t 





6,000 6C 


5( 4,00C 





San Francisco Solano 

Aug. 25,1823. 








396,400 29,020 


3,820 321,60o'31,600 


Being twenty-one missions in aU distributed over a distance of two hundred 
and eighty-nine leagues. 

We have thus far dwelt principally upon the establishment of the mis.sions, 
and the manner of hfe pursued by the native Indians ; let us now retrace our 
steps, and briefly take into consideration the attempt made by yet another nation 
to get a foothold on the coast of California, but which would appear not to have 
heretofore received the attention which the subject would demand. 

The Russians, to whom then belonged all that territory now known as 
Alaska, had found their country of almost perpetual cold, without facilities for 
the cultivation of those fruits and cereals which are necessary to the mainte- 
nance of hfe ; of game there was an inexhaustible supply ; still, a variety was 
wanted. Thus, ships were dispatched along the coast in quest of a spot where 
a station might be established and those wants supplied, at the same time bear- 
ing in mind the nece.ssity of choosing a location easy of access to the head- 
quarters of their fur-hunters in Russian America. In a voyage of this nature 
the port of Bodega in Sonoma county, which had been discovered in the year 
1775 by its sponsor. Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadi-a, was 
visited in January, 1811, by Alexander Koskoff, who took posse.ssion of the 
place on the fi-ag'le pleas that he had been refused a supply of water at Yerba 


Buena, and that he had obtained, by right of purehase from the Indians, all 
the land lying between Point Reyes and Point Arena, and for a distance of 
three leagues inland. Here he remained for awhile, and to Bodega gave the 
name of Romanzoff, calling the stream now known as Russian river, 

The King of Spain, it should be remembered, claimed all territory north to 
the Fuca straits. Therefore, on Governor Arguello receiving the intelhgence 
of the Russian occupation of Bodega, he reported the circumstance to the 
Viceroy, ReviEa Gigedo, who returned dispatches ordering the Muscovite intru- 
der to depart. The only answer received to this communication was a verbal 
message, saying that the orders of the viceroy of Spain had been received and 
transmitted to St. Petersburg for the action of the Czar. Here, howeA'er, the 
matter did not rest. There arrived in the harlior of San Francisco, in 1816, 
in the Russian brig " Rurick," a scientific expedition, under the command of 
Otto von Kotzebue. In accordance with instructions received from the 
Spanish authorities. Governor Sola proceeded to San Francisco, visited Kotze- 
bue, and, as directed by his government, offered liis aid in furtherance of the 
endeavors to advance scientific research on the coast. At the same time he 
complained of Koskoff; informed him of the action taken on either side, and 
laid particular emphasis on the fact that the Russians had been occupiers of 
Spanish territory for five yeare. Upon this complaint Don Gervasio Arguello 
was dispatched to Bodega as the bearer of a message from Kotzebue to Kos- 
koff. requu-ing his presence in San Francisco. This messenger was the first to 
bring a definite report of the Russian settlement there, which then consisted of 
twenty-five Russians and eighty Kodiac Indians. On the twenty-eighth day 
of October, a conference was held on board the " Rurick " in the harbor of San 
Francisco, between Arguello, Kotzebue and Koskoff; there being also present 
Jose Maria Estudillo, Luis Antonio Arguello and a naturalist named Cham- 
isso, who acted as interpreter. No new developement was made at this inter- 
view, for Koskoff claimed he was acting in strict conformity with instructions 
from the Governor of Sitka, therefore Kotzebue declined to to take any action 
in the matter, contenting himself with the simple promise that the entire affair 
should be submitted to St. Petersburg to await the instructions of the Emperor 
of Russia. Thus the matter then rested. Communications subsequently 
made produced a like unsatisfactory result, and the Russians were permitted 
to remain for a lengthened period possessors of the land they had so arbitrarily 

In Bodega, the Russians, however, went to work with a will, whether they 
had a right to the soil or not. They proceeded into the country about six 
miles and there established a settlement, houses being built, fields fenced, and 
agricultural pm-suits vigoi-ously engaged in. As soon as the first crop had 
matured and was ready for shipment, it became necessary for them to have a 
warehouse at the bay, where their vessels could be loaded, which was done, it 


being used for the storage of gi-ain or furs as necessity called for. It was not 
long before they found there was a strong opposition to them and that it would 
be necessary to build a fort for their protection if they would keep possession 
of their newly acquired domain. Open warfare was threatened, and the Rus- 
sians had reason to believe that the threats would be carried out. Besides 
the Spaniards, there was another enemy to ward against — the Imlians — over 
whom the former, through the missions, had absolute control, and the Rus- 
sians apprehended that this power would be used against them. Several 
expeditions were organized by the Spanish to march against the Russians, 
and while they all came to naught, yet they served to cause them to seek for 
some place of refuge in case of attack. This they did not care to look for at 
anj^ point nearer the Bay of San Francisco, for thus they would be brought in 
closer proximity to the enemy, hence they went in an opposite direction. 
Doubtless the Muscovite would have been glad to have adopted a laissezfaire 
policy towards the Spanish, and would have been well satisfied to have let 
them alone if they would only have retaliated in hke manner; fearing, however, 
to trust the Spaniards, they proceeded to search for such a location as would 
afford them natural protection from their enemies. 

In passing up the coast to the northward, they came to Fort Ross, where 
they found everything they d&sired. Vast meadows stretched to the east- 
ward, afibrding pasture to flocks without number. 

" This is the forest primeval; the raiirmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss and in (garments green, indistinct in the twilight. 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic. 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks and in accents disconsolate, answers the wail of the forest." 

There was a beautiful Httle cove in which vessels might lie in safety from 
the fury of northern storms ; near at hand was an ample stretch of beach, on 
which their rude yet staunch argosies could be constructed and easily launched 
upon the mighty deep ; no more propitious place could have been foiind for 
the establishment of the Russian headquarters. The location once chosen 
they set to work to prepare their new homes. A site was chosen for the 
stockade near .the shore of the ocean, and in such a position as to protect all 
their ships l3'ing in the little cove, and prevent any ve.ssel inimical to them 
from landing. The plat of ground inclosed in this stockade was a parallelo- 
gram, two hundred and eighty feet wide and three hundred and twelve feet 
long, and containing about two acres. Its angles were placed very nearly 
upon the cardinal points of the compass. At the north and south angle there 
was constructed an octagonal bastion, two stories high, and furnished with 
six pieces of artillery. These bastions were built exactly ahke, and were 
about twenty-four feet in diameter. The walls were formed of hewed logs, 
mortised together at the corners, and were about eight inches in thickness. 


The roof was conical shaiDed, having a small flag-staif at the apex. The 
stockade approached these towers in such a way that one-half of them was 
within the inclosure and the other half on the outside, the entrance to them 
being through small doors on the inside, while there were embrasures both on 
the inside and outside. They were thus arranged so as to protect those within 
from an outside enemy, and to also have all within, under the range of the 
cannon, so that in case of an internal eruption the officers could readily quell the 
emute. The stockade was constructed as follows: A trench was excavated two 
feet deep, while every ten feet along the bottom of the trench a hole was dug 
one foot deep. In these holes posts about six by ten inches were inserted, and 
between the posts and on the bottom of the trenches there was a strong girder 
firmly mortised into the posts, and fastened with a strong wooden pin. Slabs 
of varying widths, but all being about six inches thick, were then placed in 
an upright position between the first posts and resting on the gu'der in the 
trench, being firmly fastened to them. At a distance up the posts of twelve 
feet from the lower girder, there was run anotl^er gu-dcr, which was also mor- 
tised into the posts and made fast with pins. These girders rested on the tops 
of the slabs mentioned as being placed between the posts. The slabs were 
slotted at the top, and a piece of timber passed into the slots, then huge wooden 
pins were passed down through the girders and the piece in the slots, and well 
into the body of the slab. The main posts extended about three feet higher, 
and near the top a fighter girder was run along, and betAveen the last two 
mentioned there was a row of fight slabs, two inches thick and four inches 
wide, pointed at the top fike pickets. It may well be imagined that when the 
trench Avas filled up with tamped rock and dirt, that this stockade was ahnost 
invuhierable, when we remember the implements of war likely to be brought 
against it in those days of rude weapons. AH around the stockade there 
were embrasures suitable for the use of muskets or carronades, of which latter, 
it is said, there were several in the fortress. 

On the northern side of the eastern angle there was erected a chapel which 
it is said was used by the officers of the garrison, alone. It was twenty-five 
by thu-ty-one feet in dimensions, and strongly built, the outer wall forming a 
part of the stockade, and the round port-holes for the use of carronades, are 
peculiar looking openings in a house of worship. The entrance was on the 
inside of the fort, and consisted of a rude, , heavy wooden door, held upon 
wooden hinges. There was a vestibule about ten by twenty-five feet in size, 
thus leaving the auditorium twenty-one by twenty-five feet. From the 
vestibule a narrow stairway led to a low loft, while the building was sur- 
mounted with two domes, one of which was round, and the other pentagonal in 
shape, in which it is said the muscovites had hung a chime of bells. The roof 
was made of long planks, either sawed or rove from redwood, likewise the side 
of the chapel in the fort. Some degree of carpenter's skill was displayed in 
the construction of the building, for a faint attempt at getting out mouldings 


for the inner door and window casings was made, a bead being worked around 
the outer edge of the casing, and mitered at the comers. 

On the west side of the northern angle there was a two-story building, 
twenty-eight by eighty feet in dimensions, which was rouglily constructed and 
doubtless used as the barracks for the men of the garrison. On the northern 
side of the western angle there was a one-story building, twenty-nine by fifty 
feet, constructed in a better style of workmanship and evidently used as officers' 
quarters. On the southern side of the westei-n angle was a one-story building 
twenty-five by seventy-five feet, which was probably used for a working 
house, as various branches of industry were prosecuted within its walls, and 
on the eastern side of the southern angle there was a row of low shed buOd- 
ings, used, it is presumed, for the stabling of stock and storing of feed. The 
fi-ame work of aU the buildings was made of very large, heavy timbers, many 
of them being twelve inches square. The rafters were all great, ponderous, 
round pine logs, a considerable number of them being six inches in diameter. 
The above includes the stockade and all its interior buildings. 

We will now draw attention to the exterior buildings, for be it known that 
there was at one time a colony numbering two hundred and fifty souls at Fort 
Ross. In 1 845, there were the remains of a village of about twenty -five small 
dwelling houses on the north side of the stockade, all of which were in keeping 
with those at Bodega. They were probably not over twelve by fourteen feet 
in dimensions, and constructed from rough slabs riven from redwood. These 
hardy muscovites were so rugged and inured to the cold of the higher latitudes 
that they cai-ed not for the few cracks that might admit the fi-esh, bahny aii- 
of the California winter mornings. Also, to the northward of and near this 
village, situated on an eminence, was a windmill, which was the motor for 
driving a single run of burrs, and also for a stamping machine used for grind- 
ing tan-bark. The wind-mi U produced all the flour used in that and the 
Bodega settlements, and probablj^ a considerable amount was also sent with 
the annual shipment to Sitka. To the south of the stockade, and in a deep 
gulch at the debouchure of a small stream into the ocean, there stood a very 
large building, probably eighty by a hundred feet in size, the rear half of 
which was. used for the purpose of tanning leather. There were six vats in 
all, constructed of heavy, rough redwood slabs, and each with a capacity of fifty 
barrels; there were also the usual appliances necessary to conduct a tannery, 
but these implements were large and rough in their make, still with these, they 
were able to manufacture a good quality of leather in large quantities. The 
front half of the building, or that fronting on the ocean, was used as a work- 
shop for the construction of ships. Waj's were constructed on a sand beach 
at this point leading into deep water, and upon them were built a number of 
staunch vessels, and from here was launched the very fii-st sea-going craft 
constructed in California. Still further to the south, and near the ocean 
shore, stood a building eighty by a hundred feet, which boie all the marks of 


having been used as a store-house; it was, however, unfortunately blown down 
by a storm on July 1(5, 1878, and soon there will be nothing to mark its site. 

Tradition says that to the eastward of the fort and across the galch, there 
once stood a very large building, which was used as a church for the common 
people of the settlement, near which the cemetery was located. A French 
tourist once paid Fort Ross a visit, and arriving after dark asked permission 
to remain over night with the parties, who at that time owned that portion of 
the grant on which the settlement was located. During the evening the 
conversation naturally drifted upon the old history of the place. The tourist 
displayed a familiarity with all the surroundings, which sui-prised the resi- 
dents, and caused them to ask if he had ever lived there with the Russians. 
He answered that he had not, but that he had a very warm friend in 
St. Petersburg, who had spent thirty j^ears at Fort Ross as a Muscovite priest, 
and that he had made him a promise, upon his departure for Califoi-nia, about 
a year before, to pay a visit to the scenes of the holy labors of the priest, and 
it was in compliance with this promise that he was there at the time. Among 
the other things inquired about was the church close to the cemetery mentioned 
above. All traces of this building had long since disappeared, and the settlers 
were surprised to hear that it ever stood there. The tourist assured them that 
the priest had stated distinctly that such a building once occupied that site, and 
also that a number of other buildings stood near it, used by the peasants for homes. 
Ernest Rufus, of Sonoma, who went to Fort Ross in 1845, tells us that when 
the land went into disuse after the Russians had left, that wild oats grew very 
rank, often reaching a height of ten feet, and that the Indians were accus- 
tomed to set it on fire, and that during these conflagrations the fences and 
many of the smaller houses of the Russians were consumed, and that he well 
remembers that there were a number of small houses near the cemetery, and 
that the blackened ruins of a very large building also remained, which the 
half-breed Russo-Indians told him had been used for a church. The tourist 
mentioned above stated that his friend, the priest, was greatly attached to the 
place, as had been all who had Uved in the settlement. They found the climate 
genial, the soil productive, and the resources of the country great, and, all in 
all, it was a most desirable place to live in. 

The Russians had farmed very extensively at this place, having at least 
two thousand acres under fence, besides a great deal that was not fenced. 
These fences, which were chiefly of that kind known as rail and post, 
as stated before, nearly all perished in the wild fires. Their agricultural 
processes were as crude as any of their other work. Their plow was very 
similar to the old Spanish implement, so common in this country at that time 
and still extant in Mexico, with the exception that the Muscovite instrument 
possessed a mold-board. They employed oxen and cows as di-aft animals, 
using the old Spanish yoke adj listed to their horns instead of to their necks. 
We have no accoimt of any attempt of constructing either cart or wagon, but 


it is probable that they had vehicles the same as those described as being in 
• UFO among the Californians at that time, while it is supposed they used to a 
great extent sleds for transporting their produce when cut to the threshing 
floor, which was constructed differently from those then common in the country. 
It was simply a floor composed of heavy puncheons, circular in shape, and 
elevated somewhat above the ground. Between the puncheons were inter- 
stices through which the grain fell under the floor as it was released 
from the head. The threshing was done in this wise: A laj^er of grain, 
in the straw, of a foot or two in thickness, was placed upon the floor. 
Oxen were then driven over it, hitched to a log with rows of wooden pegs 
inserted into it. As the log revolved, these pegs acted well the part of a flail, 
and the straw was expeditiously reheved of its burden of grain. It was, 
doubtless, no hai'd job to winnow the grain after it was threshed, as the wind 
blows a stiif blast at that point during all the Summer months. 

The Russians constructed a wharf at the northern side of the little cove, 
and graded a road down the steep ocean shore to it. Its line is still to be 
seen, as it passed much of the way through solid rock. This wharf was made 
fast to the rocks on which it was constructed, with long ii'on bolts, of which 
only a few that were driven into the hard surface now remain; the wharf 
itself is gone, hence we are unable to give its dimensions, or further details 
concerning it. 

These old Muscovites, doubtless, produced the first lumber with a saw ever 
made north of the San Francisco bay, for they had both a pit and whip- 
saw, the former of which can be seen to this day. Judging from the number of 
stumps still standing, and the extent of territory over which they extended 
their logging operations, they evidently consumed large quantities of lumber. 
The timber was only about one mile distant from the ship-yard and landing, 
while the stumps of tr^es cut by them are still standing, and beside them 
from one to six shoots have sprung up, many of which have now reached a 
size suflicient for lumber purposes. This growth has been remarkable, and 
goes to show that if proper care were taken, each half centurj' would see a 
new crop of redwoods, sufficiently large for all practical purposes, while ten 
decades would see gigantic trees. 

As stated above, the cemetery lay to the eastward of the fort, about one- 
fourth of a mile, and across a very deep gulch, and was near the church for 
the peasants. There were never more than fifty graves in it, though all traces 
are obliterated now of more than a dozen; most of them still remaining had 
some sort of a wooden structure built over them. One manner of construct- 
ing these mausoleums was to make a series of rectangular frames of square 
timbers, about six inches in diameter, each frame a certain degree smaller thg,n 
the one below it, which were placed one above another, until an apex was 
reached, which was surmounted with a cross. Another method was to con- 
struct a rectangular frame of heavy planking about one foot high and cover 


the top with two heavy planks, placed so as to be roof -shaped ; others had simply 
a rude cross ; others, a cross on which some mechanical skill was displayed, and 
one has a large round post, standing high above the adjacent crosses. They 
are all buried in graves dug due east and west, and, presumably, with heads 
to the west. There are now no inscriptions to be seen upon any of the graves, 
and it is not likely that there ever were any, while from their size some of 
them must have contained children. Silently are these sleeping in their far- 
away graves, where the eyes of those who knew and loved them in their 
earthly life can never rest on their tombs again, and while the eternal roar of 
the Pacific makes music in the midnight watches will they await the great 
day that shall restore them to their long-lost friends. Sleep on, brave hearts, 
and peaceful be thy slumber ' 

In an easterly direction, and about one mile distant from the fort, there was 
an enclosure containing about five acres, which was enclosed by a fence about 
eight feet high, made of redwood slabs about two inches in thickness, these 
being driven into the ground, while the tops were nailed firmty to girders 
extending from post to post, set about ten feet apart. Within the enclosure 
there was an orchard, consisting of apple, prune and cheny trees. Of these 
fifty of the first and nine of the last-named, moss-grown and gray with age, 
stUl remain, whUe it is said that all the old stock of German prunes ia Cali- 
fornia came from seed produced there. 

The Russians had a small settlement at a 'place now known as Russian 
Gulch, where they evidently grew wheat, for the remains of a warehouse are 
stUl to be seen. 

There were several commanders who had charge of the Russian interests on 
the Pacific coast, but the names of all save the first, Alexander Koskoff, and 
the last, Rotscheff", have been lost to tradition. General Wilham T. Sherman 
relates a pleasing uacident in his "Memoirs," which is called to mind by the 
mention of the name of Rotscheff : While lying at anchor in a Mediterranean 
port, the vessel on which Sherman was traveling was visited by the officers of 
a Russian naval vessel. During the exchange of courtesies and in the course 
of conversation, one of the Russian officers took occasion to remark to Sher- 
man that he was an American by bh'th, having been born in the Russian col- 
ony in California, and that he was the son of one of the Colonial rulers. He 
was doubtless the son of Rotscheff and his beautiful bride, the Princess de 
Gargarin, in whose honor Mount St. Helena was named. The beauty of this 
lady excited so ardent a passion in the breast of Solano, chief of the Indians 
in that part of the country, that he formed a plan to capture, by force or 
strategy, the object of his love, and he might have succeeded had his design 
not been frustrated by General M. G. Vallejo. 

We have thus set forth all the facts concerning the Russian occupancy, and 
their habits, manners, buildings, occupations, etc. ; we will now trace the 
causes which led to their departure from the genial shores of California: 


It is stated that the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine caused them to 
leave ; but that is hardly the fact, for they remained seventeen years after 
this pohcy was announced and accepted by the nations of Europe; it is, how- 
ever, probably true that European nations had something to do with it, for 
both France and England had an eye upon this territory, and both hoped some 
day to possess it. As long as the Russians maintained a colony here, they 
had a prior claim to the territory; hence they must be got rid of. The Rus- 
sians also recognized the fact that the Americans were beginning to come into 
the country in considerable numbers and that it was inevitable that they 
would soon overrun and possess it. The subsequent train of events proved 
that their surmises were correct; one thing, however, is evident, and that is, 
that they did not depart at the recjuest or behest of either the Spanish or Mex- 
ican governments. It is almost certain that the Russians contemplated a per- 
manent settlement at this point when they located here, as this section would 
provide them with wheat, an article much needed for the supply of their sta- 
tions in the far north. Of course as soon as the Spanish authorities came to 
know of their permanent location, word was sent of the fact to Madrid. In 
due course of time reply came from the seat of government ordering the Mus- 
covite intruders to depart, but to this peremptory order, then- only answer 
was that the matter had been referred to St. Petersburg. 

We have shown above that an interview had taken place between Koskoif 
and the Spanish authorities on board the "Rurick," when anchored in the Bay 
of San Francisco, to consult on the complaints of the latter, but that nothing 
came of it. The commandants under the Mexican regime, in later years, 
organized several militarj^ expeditions for the purpose of marching against the 
intruders, but none in that direction was ever made. For more than a quar- 
ter of a century they continued to hold undisturbed possession of the disputed 
territory, and prosecuted theu- farming, stock-raising, hunting, trapping and 
ship-building enterprises, and, whatever may have been the causes which led 
to it, there finally came a time when the Russian authorities had deciiied to 
withdraw the Cahfornia colony. The proposition was made first by them to 
the government authorities at Monterey, to dispose of their uiterest at Bodega 
and Fort Ross, including their title to the land, but, as the authorities had 
never recognized their right or title, and did not wish to do so at that 
late date, they refused to purchase. Application was next made to Gen. 
M. G. Vallejo, but on the same grounds he refused to purchase. They then 
apphed to Captain John A. Sutter, a gentleman at that time residing near 
where Sacramento city now stands, and who had made a journey from Sitka, 
some yeai-s before, in one of their vessels. They persuaded Sutter into the 
belief that their title was good, and could be maintained; so, after making out 
a full invoice of the articles they had for disposal, including aU the land lying 
between Point Reyes and Point Mendocino, and one league inland, as well as 
cattle, farming and mechanical implements; also, a schooner of one hundred 


and eighty tons burthen, some arms, a four-pound brass field piece, etc., a 
price "was decided upon, the sum being thirty thousand dollars, which, how- 
ever, was not paid at one time, but in cash instalments of a few thousand 
dollars, the last payment being made through ex-Governor Burnett in 
1849. All the stipulations of the sale having been arranged satisfactorily to 
both parties, the transfer was duly made, and Sutter became, as he thought, 
the greatest land-holder in California — the grants given by the Mexican gov- 
ernment seemed mere bagatelles when compared with his almost provincial 
possessions; but, alas for human hopes and aspirations; for in reahty he had 
paid an enormous price for a very paltry compensation of personal and chattel 
property. It is apropos to remark here that in 1859 Sutter disposed of his 
Hussian claim, which was a six-eighths interest in the lands mentioned above, 
to William Muldrew, George R. Moore and Daniel \V. Welty, but they only 
succeeded in getting six thousand dollars out of one settler, and the remainder 
refusing to pay, the claim was dropped. Some of the settlers were inclined to 
consider the Muldrew claim, as it is called, a blackmailing affair, and to cen- 
sure General Sutter for disposing of it to them, charging that he sanctioned the 
blackmailing process, and was to share in its profits, but we will say in justice 
to the General, that so far as he was concerned, there was no idea of black- 
mail on his part. He supposed that he did purchase a bona fide claim and 
title to the land in question, of the Russians, and has always considered the 
grants given by the Mexican government as bogus, hence on giving this quit- 
claim deed to Muldrew et al., he sincerely thought that he was deeding that 
to which he alone had any just or legal claim. 

Orders were sent to the settlers at Fort Ross to repair at once to San 
Francisco bay, and ships were dispatched to bring them there, where whahng 
vessels, which were bound for the north-west whaling grounds, had been 
chartered to convey them to Sitka. The vessels arrived at an early hour in the 
day, and the orders shown to the commander, Rotschetf, who immediately 
caused the bells in the chapel towers to be rung, and the cannon to be dis- 
charged, this being the usual method of convocating the people at an unu.sual 
hour, or for some special purpose, so everything was suspended just there — 
the husbandman left his plow standing in the half -turned furrow, and unloosed 
his oxen, never again to j^oke them, leaving them to wander at will over the 
fields; the mechanic dropped his planes and saws on the bench, leaving the 
half-smoothed board still in the vise; the tanner left his tools where he was 
using them, and doffed his apron to don it no more in California. As soon as 
the entire population had assembled, Rotschetf arose and read the orders. 
Very sad and unwelcome, indeed, was this inteUigenee, but the edict had 
emanated from a source which could not be gainsaid, and the only alternative 
was a speedy and complete compliance, however reluctant it might be — and 
thus four hundred people were made homeless by the fiat of a single word. 
Time was only given to gather up a few household effects, with some of the 


choicest mementoes, and they were hurried on board the ships. Scarcely time 
was given to those whose loved ones were sleeping m the grave yard near by, 
tx) pay a last sad visit to their resting place. Embarcation was commenced 
at once. 

" And with the ebb of the tide the shij^s sailed out of the harbor 
Leaving behind them the dead on the shore." 

And all the happy scenes of then- lives, which had ghded smoothly along, 
on the beautiful shores of the Pacific, and in the garden spot of the world. 
Sad and heavy must have been their hearts, as they gazed for the last time 
upon the receding landscape which their eyes had learned to love, because it 
had been that best of places — Home. 

" This is the forest primeval ; but where are the hearts that beneath it 
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman? 
Waste are the pleasant farms, all the farmers forever departed ! 
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October 
Seize them and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far over the ocean. 
Naught but tradition remains. 

Still stands the forest primeval ; but under the shade of its branches 
Dwells another race, with other customs and language. 
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate, answers the wail of the forest." 

It may be asked how did the population having an European origin come to 
be located in California? The reply is simple; the sources from which they 
sprung were the presidio and pueblo. 

In its early day the whole mihtary force in upper California did not number 
more than from two to three hundred men, divided between the four presidios 
of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco, while there were 
but two towns or pueblos, Los Angeles and San Jose. Another was subse- 
quently started in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, which was named Bran- 
ciforte, after a Spanish Vicero}"-. It may be conjectured that the garrisons 
were not maintained in a very efiective condition ; such a supposition would 
be correct, for every where betokened the disuse of arms and the long absence 
of an enemy. The cannon of the presidio at San Francisco were grey with 
mould, and women and children were to be seen snugly located within the 
military lines. The soldiers of the San Francisco district were divided into 
three cantonments — one at the Presidio, one at Santa Clara Mission, and one 
at the Mission of San Jose. We here append a list of the soldiers connected 
with the Presidio in the year 1790, which has been copied from the Spanish 
archives in San Francisco. Here wiU be found the names, positions, nati^ ity, 
color, race, age, etc., of the soldiers, as weU as those of their wives, when 

Don Josef ArgueUo, Commandant, age 39. 
Don Ramon Laro de la Neda, Alferez de Campo, age 34. 

Pc^lro Amador, Sergeant, Spaniard, from Guadalaxara, age 51; wife, Eamona 
Noreiga, Spanish, agei 30; 7 childien. 


Nicolas Galinda, mestizo, Durango, 42. 
Majio Chavoya, City of Mexico, 34; wife, a Bcrnal. 
Miguel Pacheco, 36; wife, a Sanches. 

Luis Maria Peralta, Spaniard, Sonora, 32 ; wife, Maria Loretta Alvisa, 19. 
Justa Altamarino, mulatto, Sonora, 45. 

Ygnacio Limaxes, Sonora, 49 ; wife, Maria Gertruda Rivas, Spaniard, 38. 
Ygnacio Soto, 41 ; wife, Barbara Espinoza. 
Juan Bernal, mestizo, Sonora, 53 ;wife. Maxima I de Soto. 
Jph Maria Martinez, Sonora, 35 ; wife, Maria Garcia, mulatto, 18. 
Salvado Iguera, L. C, 38; wife, Alexa Marinda, Sonora, 38. 
■ Nicolas Beriyessa, mestizo, 25 ; wife, Maria Gertrudis Peralta, 24. 
Pedro Peralta, Sonora, 26; wife, Maria Carmen Grisalva, 19. 
Ygnacio Pacheco, Sonora, 30; wife, Maria Dolares Cantua, mestizo, age 16. 
Francisco Bernal, wife, Sinaloa, 27 ; Maria Petrona, Indian, 29. 
Bartolo Pacheco, Sonora, 25 ; wife, Maria Francisco Soto, 18. 
Apolinario Bernal, Sonora, 25. 

Joaquin Bernal Sonora, 28; wife, Josefa Sanchez, 21. 
Josef Aceva, Durango, 26. 

Manuel Boranda, Guadalaxara. 40; wife, Gertrudis Higuera, 13. 
Francisco Valencia, Sonora, 22; wife, Maria Victoria Higuera, 15. 
Josef Antonio Sanchez, Guadalaxara, 39; wife, Maria Dolora Moxales, 34. 
Josef Ortiz. Guadalaxara, 23. 

Josef Aguila, Guadalaxara, 22 ; wife, Conellaria Eemixa, 14. 
Alexandre Avisto, Durango, 23. 
Juan Josef Higuera, Sonora, 20. 
Francisco Flores, Guadalaxara, 20. 
Josef Maria CastUla, Guadalaxara, 19. 

Ygnacio Higuera, Sonora, 23;wife, Maria Micaelo Bojorques, 28. 
Ramon Linare, Sonora, 19. 
Josef Miguel Saens, Sonora, 18. 
Carto Serviente, San Diego, Indian, 60. 
Augustia Xirviento, L. C, 20. 
Nicolas Presidairo, Indian, 40. 
Gabriel Peralta, invalid, Sonora. 
ManuelVutron, invalid, Indian. 
Ramon Bojorques, invalid, 98. 
Francisco Remero, invaUd, 52. 

A recapitulation shows that the inmates of the Presidio consisted altogether 
of one hunch-ed and forty-four persons, iaeluding men, women and children, 
soldiers and civilians. There were thirty-eight soldiers and three laborers. Of 
these one was a European, other than Spanish, seventy-eight Spaniards, five 
Indians, two mulattos, and forty-four of other castes. 

An inventory of the rich men of the Presidio, bearing date 1793, was dis- 


covered some _years since, showing tliat Pedro Amarlor was the proprietor of 
thirteen head of stock and fif ty -two sheep ; Nicolas Gahnda, ten head of stock; 
Luis Peralta, two head of stock ; Manuel Boranda, three head of stock ; Juan 
Bernal twenty -three head of stock and two hundred and forty-six sheep; 
Salvador Youere, three head of stock; Aleso Miranda, fifteen head of stock; 
Pedro Peralta, two head of stock ; Francisco Bernal, sixteen head of stock ; 
Barthol Pacheco, seven head of stock ; Joaquin Bernal, eight head of stock ; 
Francisco Valencia, two head of stock ; Berancia Galindo, six head of stock ; 
Hermenes Sal, (who appears to have been a Secretary, or something besides a 
soldier), five head of stock and three mares. Computing these we find the 
total amount of stock owned by these men were one hundred and fifteen cattle, 
two hundred and ninety-eight sheep and seventeen mares. 

These are the men who laid the foundation of these immense hordes of cattle 
which were wont to roam about the entu'e State, and who were the fathers 
of those whom we now term native Californians. As year succeeded year so 
did their stock increase. They received tracts of land " almost for the asking ;" 
let us, however, see what was their style of hfe. Mr. William Halley says of 
them: From 1833 to 1850 may be set down as the golden age of the native 
Cahfornians. Not till then did the settlement of the rancheros become general. 
The missions were breaking up, the presidios deserted, the poJ)ulation dispersed, 
and land could be had almost for the asking. Never before, and never since, 
did a people settle down under the blessings of more divei-se advantages. The 
country was lovely, the chmate delightful; the valleys "were filled with hoi-ses 
and cattle : wants were few, and no one dreaded dearth. There was meat for 
the pot and wine for the cup, and wild game in abundance. No one was in 
a hurry. "Bills pa3'able" nor the state of the stocks troubled no one, and 
Arcadia seems to have temporarily^ made this her seat. The people did not, 
necessarily, even have to stir the soil for a hvelihood, because the abundance 
of their stock fui-nished them with food and enough hides and tallow to pro- 
cure money for every purpose. They had also the advantage of cheap and 
docile labor in the Indians, already trained to work at the missions. And had 
they looked in the earth for gold, they could have found it in abundance. 

They were exceedingly hospitable and sociable. Every guesC was wel- 
comed. The sparsity of the population made them relj^ on each other, and 
they had many occasions to bring them together. Church days, bull-fights, 
rodeos, were all occasions of festivity. Horsemanship was practiced as it was 
never before out of Arabia ; dancing found a ball-room in every house, and 
music was not unknown. For a caballero to pick up a silver coin from the 
ground, at full gallop, was not considered a feat, and any native youth could 
perform the mustang riding which was lately accomplished with such credit 
by young Peralta in New York. To fasten down a mad bull with the Lariat, 
or even subdue him single-handed in a corral, were every-day performances. 
The branding and selecting of cattle in rodeos was always a gala occasion. 


Gambling was a passion, and love-making was ever betokened in the 
tender glances of the dark-eyed senoritas. Monte was the common amuse- 
ment of every household. Its public practice was against the law, but in the 
privacy of the family it went on unhindered. 

What farming they did was of a very rude description; their plow was a 
primitive contrivance, their vehicles unwieldy. Such articles of husbandry 
as reapers, mowers and headers had not entered their dreams, and they were 
perfectly independent of their advantages. Grain wa^ cut with a short, 
stumpy, smooth-edged sickle; it was threshed by the tramping of horses. 
One of then- few evils was the depredations of the wild Indians, who would 
sometimes steal their st*ck, and then the cattle would have to perform the 
work of separation. The cleaning of grain was performed by throwing it in 
the air with wooden shovels and allowing the wind to carry ofi" the chafF. 

While the young men found means to gratify their tastes for highly 
wrought saddles and elegant bridle^ the women had their fill of finery, furnished 
by the Yankee vessels that visited them regularly for trade every year. Few 
schools were established, but the rudunents of education were given at home. 

There was a strict code of laws in force for maintaining order, and crime 
seldom went unpunished. Chastity was guarded, and trouble about females 
was not as frequent as might be supposed. Women, unfaithful to their vows, 
were confined in convents or compelled to periods of servitude. Men, guilty of 
adultery, were sent to the presidios and compelled to serve as soldiers. The 
law was administered by Alcaldes, Prefects and Governor. Murder was very 
rare, suicide unknown, and San Francisco was without a jail. Wine -was 
plentiful, and so was brand3^ There was a native liquor in use that was 
very intoxicating. It was a sort of cognac, which was very agreeable and 
very volatile, and went like a flash to the brain. It was expensive, and those 
selling it made a large profit. This liquor was known a,^ aguardiente, sxii. 
was the favorite tipple until supplanted by the whisky of the Americanos. 
It was mostly made in Los Angeles, where the better part of the grapes raised 
were used for it. When any considerable crime was ever committed, it was 
under its influence. Its evil efiects, however, might possibly be attributed to a 
counterfeit, which is yet in use in the southern part of the State, and which 
is one of the vilest of concoctions. Those who are acquainted with its evil 
effects say that it is "too unutterably villainous for words, and the wretch 
who has swallowed three fingers of it maj^ bid adieu to all hope of days passed 
without headaches and nights put in without unsufferable agony, for a week 
at least." The beverage most in use, however, was the mission wine, and a 
major domo has informed the writer that he made fifty barrels a year of it at 
MLs.sion San Josd. Milk and cheese, beef, mutton, vegetables, bread, tortiUos. 
beans and fruit constituted the daily diet. Potatoes were unknown, but 
pinole was plentiful Wild strawberries were numerous about the coast, and 
honey was procured from wild bees. 


The Californians were not without their native manufactures, and they did 
not, as is generally supposed, rely altogether upon the slaughter of cattle and the 
sale of hides and tallow. The missionaries had taught them the cultivation 
of the grape and manufacture of wine. Hemp, flax, cotton and tobacco wei e 
grown in small quantities. Soap, leather, oil, brandy, wool, salt, soda, har- 
ness, saddles, wagons, blankets, etc., were manufactured. Wheat even then 
■ was an article of export and sold to Eussian vessels. 

There were occasional pohtical troubles, but these did not much interfere 
with the profound quiet into which the people had .settled. The change from 
a monarchy into a republic scarcely produced a ripple. The invasions of the 
Americans did not stir them very profoundly; and if their domains had not 
been invaded, their lands seized, their cattle stolen, their w(X)d cut and carried 
oft" and their taxes increased, no doubt they would have continued in their 
once self-satisfied state to the present day. But they received such a shock 
in their slumbers that they too, like their predecessors the Indians, are rapidly 
passing away. 

Whether the rude and unjust treatment they have received at the hands of 
bhe new-comers, or that the band of Mexican cut-throats imported by Michel- 
torena in 1842 as soldiers, have bred a race of thieves and vagabonds, will not 
here be determined ; but certainly the Mexican population of California has 
produced, since the American occupation, a large number of dangerous and 
i^ery troublesome criminals. Happily, owing to the exertions of intrepid offi- 
cers they have been exterpated. Horse and cattle stealing was their great 

Let us now briefly outline that remarkable march of events, the rapidity 
of which is a wonder of the world. 

War between the United States and Mexico broke out in the year 1846, at 
which time it is estimated there were fifteen thousand people in Upper Cali- 
fornia, exclusive of Indians. Of these, nearly two thousand were from the 
United States. In the month of March of that year, there came over the 
plains and across the mountains to California, on his way to Oregon, Colonel 
John C. Fremont. He suddenly appeared at Monterey, and there requested 
permission of Governor Castro to proceed on his errand, via the San Joaquin 
valley, which was granted, but almost immediately after revoked, and he and 
his party of forty-two men ordered to leave the coimtry, but not being of the 
same way of thinking as the Governor, he did not leave, but proceeded on his 
journey, choosing his route by way of the Mis.sion San Jose, Stocliton, and 
finally entered the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, but on reaching the 
Great Klamath Lakes, he received dispatches notif3ang him of hostile demon- 
strations in his rear, whereupon he determined to retrace his steps. In the 
meantime the "Bear Flag" had been raised at Sonoma, the Mexican foree.s 
driven out of that part of the province north of the Sacramento river, the 
guns of the old fort near the Presidio of San Francisco spiked, and the inde- 


pendence of California declared. This was not all. War had been declared 
between the United States and Mexico, and Commodore Sloat had taken pos- 
session of Monterey, the capital of California, and there hoisted the American 
flag. With a greatly increased force Fremont was in pursuit of the hostile 
Mexican bands, levying supplies as he went along, and when asked by what 
right he thus deprived people of their stock and other property, his character- 
istic reply was, "by the right of my rifles." Before long the country was soon' 
quered. Fremont's corps disbanded, and many of his men became permanent 
settlers in the county. 

With the year 1846 more emigrants mounted the Sierra.s, and descended 
into the California valleys, some to remain; but there were those who never 
arrived, as the following interesting relation of the sufferings of the ill-fated 
Donner party will exemplify: 

Tuthills' History of California tells us: "Of the overland emigration to 
California, in 1846, about eighty wagons took a new route, from fort Bridger, 
around the south end of Great Salt Lake. The pioneers of the party arrived 
in good season over the mountains; but Mr. Reed's and Mr. Donner 's com- 
panies opened a new route through the desert, lost a month's time by their 
explorations, and reached the foot of the Truckee pass, in the Sierra Nevada, 
on the 31st of October, instead of the 1st, as they had intended. The snow 
began to fall on the mountains two or three weeks earlier than usual that 
year, and was already piled up in the Pass that they could not proceed. They 
attempted it repeatedly, but were as often forced to return. One party built 
their cabins near the Truckee Lake, kiUed their cattle, and went into winter 
quarters. The other (Donner 's) party, stiU beheved that they could tlu-ead 
the pass, and so failed to build their cabins before more snow came and buried 
their cattle alive. Of course these were soon utterly destitute of food, for they 
coukl not tell where tlie cattle were buried, and thei-e was no hope of game on 
a desert so piled with snow that nothing without wings could move. The 
number of those who were thus storm-stayed, at the very threshold of the 
land whose winters are one long spring, was eighty, of whom thirty were 
females, and several children. The Mr. Donner who had charge of one com- 
pany, was an Illinoisian, sixty years of age, a man of high respectabihty and 
abundant means. His wife was a woman of education and refinement, and 
much younger than he. 

During November it snowed thirteen days; during December and January, 
eight days in each. Much of the time the tops of the cabins wer.e below the 
snow level. 

It was six weeks after the halt was made that a party of fifteen, including 
five women and two Indians who acted as guides, set out on snow-shoes to 
cross the mountains, and give notice to the people of the California settlements 
of the condition of their friends. At first the snow was so light and feathery 
that even in snow-shoes they sank neai-ly a foot at every step. On the 


second day tliey crossed the 'divide,' finding the snow at the summit twelve 
feet deep. Pushing forward with the courage of despair, they made from 
four to eight miles a day. 

Within a week they got entirely out of provisions; and three of them, 
succumbing to cold, weariness, and starvation, had died. Then a heavy 
snow-storm came on, which compelled them to lie still, buried between their 
blankets under the snow, for thirtj'-six hours. By the evening of the tenth 
day three more had died, and the hvmg had been four days without food. 
The horrid alternative was accepted — they took the flesh from the bones of 
their dead, remained in camp two days to diy it, and then pushed on. 

On New Year.^, the sixteenth day smce leaving Truckee • Lake, they were 
toiling up a steep mountain. Theii- feet were frozen. Every step was marked 
with blood. On the second of January, their food again gave out. On the 
third, they had nothing to eat but the strings of their snow-shoes. On the 
fourth, the Indians eloped, justly suspicious that they might be sacrificed for 
food. On the fifth, they shot a deer, and that day one of then- number died. 
Soon after three others died, and every death now eked out the existence of 
the survivors. On the seventeenth, all gave out, and concluded their wander- 
ings useless, except one. He, guided by two stray friendly Indians, dragged 
himself on till he reached a settlement on Bear river. By midnight the 
settlers had found and were treating with aU Christian kindness what 
remained of the little company that, after more than a month of the most 
terrible suftiirings, had that morning halted to die. 

The story that there were emigrants perishing on the other side of the 
snowy barrier ran swiftly down the Sacramento valley to New Helvetia, and 
Captain Sutter, at his own expense, fitted out an expedition of men and of 
mules laden with provisions, to cross the mountains and relieve them. It ran 
on to San Francisco, and the people, rallying in public meetmg, raised fifteen 
hundred dollars, and with it fitted out another expedition. The naval com- 
mandant of the port fitted out still others. 

The first of the i-elief parties reached Truckee lake on the nineteenth of 
February. Ten of the people in the nearest camp were dead. For four 
weeks those who were still alive had fed only on bullocks' hides. At Donner's 
camp they had but one hide remaining. The visitors left a small supply of 
provisions with the twenty-nine whom they could not take with them, and 
started back with the remainder. Four of the children they carried on their 

Another of the rehef parties reached Truckee lake on the first of March. 
They immediately started back with seventeen of the sufferers ; but, a heavy 
snow storm overtaking them, they left all, except three of the children, on the 
road. Another party went after those who were left on the way; found three 
of them djad, and the rest sustaining life by feeding on the flesh of the dead. 

The last relief party reached Donner's camp late in April, when the snows 


hai m3ltei SO much that ths earth appjarai ia spjts. Th3 main cabin was 
empiy, but som3 miles distant they fouai tha last survivor of all lying on the 
cabin floor smoking his pips. He was ferosious in aspect, savage and repulsive 
in manner. His camp-kettle was over the fire and in it his meal of human preparing. The stripped bones of his fellow -suff'erers lay around him. 
He refused to return with the party, and only consented when he saw there 
was no escape. 

Mrs. Donner was the last to die. Her husband's body, carefully laid out 
and wrapped in a sheet, was found at his tent. Circumstances led to the 
suspicion that the survivor had kille:! Mrs. Donner for her flesh and her 
money, and when he was threatened with hanging, and the rope tightened 
arouml his neck, he produced over five hundred dollars in gold, which, prob- 
ably, he had appropriated from her store." 

In relation to this dreary story of suffering, this portion of our history will 
be concluded by the narration of the prophetic dream of George Yount, 
attended, as it was, with such marvelous results. 

At this time (the winter of 1845), while resiling in Napa county, of which 
he was the pioneer settler, he dreamt that a party of emigrants were snow- 
bound in the Sierra Nevadas, high up in the mountains, where they were 
siiffering the most distressing privations from cold and want of food. The 
locality where his dream had placed these unhappy mortals, he had never 
visited, yet so clear was his vision that he described the sheet of water sur- 
rounded by lofty peaks, deep-covered with snow, while on every hand tow- 
ering pme trees reared their heads far above the limitless waste. In his sleep 
he saw the hungry human beings ravenously tear the flash from the bones of 
their fellow -creatures, slain to satisfy their craving appatites, in the midst of 
a gloomy desolation. He dreamed his dream on three suscessive nights, after 
which he related it to others, among whom were a few who had been on 
hunting expeditions in the Sierras. These wished for a precise description 
of the scene foreshadowed to him. They recognized the Truckee, now the 
Donner lake. On the strength of this recognition Mr. Yount fitted out a 
search expedition, and, with these men as guides, went to the place indicated, 
and, prodigious to relate, was one of the successful relieving parties to reach 
the ill-fated Donner party. 

Who does not think of 1848 with feelings almost akin to inspiration? 

The year 1848 is one wherein reached the nearest attainment of the discov- 
ery of the Philosopher's stone, which it has been the lot of Christendom to 
witness: On January 19th gold was discovered at Coloma, on the American 
River, and the most unbelieving and coldblooded were, by the middle of 
spring, irretrievably bound in its fascinating meshes. The wonder is that the 
discovery was not made earlier. Emigrants, settlers, hunters, practical 
miners, scientific exploring parties had camped on, settled in, hunted through, 
dug in and ransacked the region, yet never found it; the discovery was 


entirely accidental. Franklin Tuthill, in his History of California, tells the 
story in these words: "Captain Sutter had contracted with James W. Mar- 
shall, in September, 1847, for the construction of a sawniiU, in Coloma. In 
the course of the winter a dam and race were made, but, when the water was 
let on, the tail-race was too narrow. To widen and deepen it, Marshall let in 
a strong current of water directly to the race, which bore a large body of 
mud and gravel to the foot. 

On the 1,9th of January, 1848, Marshall observed some glittering particles 
in the race, which he was curious enough to examine. He called five car- 
penters on the mill to see them ; but though they talked over the possibihty 
of its being gold, the vision did not inflame them. Peter L. Weimar claims 
that he was with Marshall when the first piece of " yellow stufi"" was picked 
up. It was a pebble, weighing six pennyweights and eleven grains. Mar- 
shall gave it to Mrs. Wiemar, and asked her to boil it in saleratus water and 
see what came of it. As she was making soap at the time, she pitched it into 
the soap kettle. About twenty -four hours afterwards it was fished out and 
found all the brighter for its boiling. 

Marshall, two or three weeks later, took the specimens below, and gave 
them to Sutter to have them tested. Before Sutter had quite satisfied him- 
self as to their nature, he went up to the mill, and, with Marshall, made a 
treaty with the Indians, buying of them their titles to the region round about, 
for a certain amount of goods. There was an eflbrt made to keep the secret inside 
the little circle that knew it, but it soon leaked out. They had many mis- 
givings and much discussion whether they were not making themselves ridicu- 
lous ; yet by common consent aU began to hunt, though with no great spirit, 
for the "yellow stuff"" that might prove such a prize. 

In Feljruary, one of the party went to Yerba Buena, taking some of the 
dust with him. Fortunately he stumbled upon Isaac Humphrey, an old 
Geoi-gian gold-miner, who at the first look at the specimens, said they were 
gold, and that the diggings must be rich. Humphrey tried to induce sone 
of his friends to go up with hun to the mill, but they thought it a era; y 
expedition, and left him to go alone. He reached there on the 7th of March. A 
few were hunting for gold, bat rather lazily, and the work on the mill went 
on as usual. Next day he began "prospecting," and soon satisfied himself 
that he had struck a rich placer. He made a rocker, and then commenced 
work in earnest. 

A few days later, a Frenchman, Baptiste, formerly a miner in Mexico, left 
the lumber he was sawing for Sutter at Weber's, ten miles east of Coloma, 
and came to the mill. He agi-eed with Humphrey that the region was rich, 
and, like him, took to the pan and the rocker. These two men were the com- 
petent practical teachers of the crowd that flocked in to see how they did it. 
The lesson was easy, the process simple. An hour's observation fitted the 
li-ast experienced for workijig to advantage," 


Slowly and surely, however, did these discoveries creep into the minds of 
those at home and abroad; the whole civilized world was set agog with the 
startling news from the shores of the Pacific. Young and old were seized 
with the California fever;, high and low, rich and poor were infected by it; 
the prospect was altogether too gorgeous to contemplate. Why, they could 
actually pick up a fortune for the seeking it ! Positive affluence was within 
the grasp of the weakest ; the very coast was shining with the bright metal, 
which could be obtained by picking it out with a knife. 

Says Tuthill: Before such considerations as these, the conservatism of the 
most stable bent. Men of small means, whose tastes inclined them to keep 
out of all hazardous schemes and uncertain enterprises, thought they saw 
duty beckoning them around the Horn, or across the Plains. In many a 
family circle, where nothing but the strictest economy could make the two 
ends of the year meet, there were long and anxious consultations, which 
resulted in sellmg oft' a piece of the homestead or the woodland, or the choicest 
of the stock, to fit out one sturdy representative to make a fortune for the 
family. Hundreds of farms were mortgaged to buy tickets for the land of 
gold. Some insured their lives and pledged their policies for an outfit. The 
wUd boy was packed off hopefully. The black sheep of the flock was dis- 
missed with a blessing, and the forlorn hope that, with a change of skies, 
there might be a change of manners. The stay of the happy household said, 
" Good-bye, but only for a year or two," to his charge. Unhappy husbands 
availed themselves cheerfully of this cheap and reputable method of divorce, 
trusting Time to mend or mar matters in their absence. Here was a chance 
to begin life anew. Whoever had begun it badly, or made slow headway on 
the right course, might start again in a region where Fortune had not learned 
to coquette with and dupe her wooers. 

The adventurers generaUy formed companies, expecting to go overland or 
by sea to the mines, and to dissolve partnership only after a first trial of luck, 
together in the "diggings." In the Eastern and Middle States they would 
buy up an old whaling ship, just ready to be condemned to the wreckers, 
put in a cargo of such stuff as they must need themselves, and provisions, 
tools, or goods, that must be sure to bring returns enough to make the venture 
profitable. Of course, the whole fleet rushing together through the Golden 
Gate, made most of these ventures profitless, even when the guess was happy 
as to the kind of supplies needed by the Californians. It can hardly be 
believed what sieves of ships started, and how many of them actually made 
the voyage. Little river-steamers, that had scarcely tasted salt water before, 
were fitted out to thread the Straits of Magellan, and these were welcomed to 
the bays and rivers of California, whose waters some of them ploughed and 
vexed busily for years afterwards. 

Then steamers, as well as all manner of sailing vessels, began to be adver- 
tised to run to the Isthmus; and they generally went crowded to excess with 


pa.?sengers, some of whom were fortunate enough, after the toilsome ascent 
of the Chagres river, and the descent either on mules or on foot to Panama, 
not to be detained more than a month waiting for the craft that had rounded 
the Horn, and by which they were ticketed to proceed to San Francisco. 
But hundreds broke down under the horrors of the voyage in the steerage; 
contracted on the Isthmus the low typhoid fevers incident to tropical marshy 
regions, and died. 

The Overland emigrants, unless they came too late in the season to the 
Sierras, seldom suffered as much, as they had no groat variation of climate 
on their route. They had this advantage too, that the mmes lay at the end 
of their long road ; while the sea-faring, when they landed, had still a weary 
journey before them. Few tarried longer at San FrancLsco than was neces- 
sary to learn how utterly useless were the curious patent mining contrivances 
they had brought, and to replace them with the pick and shovel, pan and 
cradle. If any one found himself destitute of funds to go farther, there was 
work enough to raise them by. Labor was honorable; and the daintiest 
dandy, if he were honest, could not resist the temptation to work where wages 
were so high, pay so prompt, and employers so flush. 

There were not lacking in San Francisco, grumblers who had tried the 
mines and satistied themselves that it cost a dollar's worth of sweat and time, 
and living exclusively on bacon, beans, and "slap-jacks," to pick a dollar's 
worth of gold out of rock, or river bed, or dry ground ; but they confessed 
that the good luck which they never enjoj^ed abode with others. Then the 
display of dust, slugs, and bars of gold in the public gambling places; the 
sight of men arriving every day freighted with belts full, which they parted 
with so freely, as men only can when they have got it easily; the testimony 
of the miniature rocks; the solid nuggets brought down from above every 
few days, whose size and value rumor multiplied according to the number of 
her tongues. The talk, day and night, unceasingly and exclusively of 
"gold, easy to get and hard to hold," inflamed all new comers with the desire 
to hurry on and share the chances. They chafed at the necessary deten- 
tions. They nervously feared that all would be gone before they should 

The prevalent impres.sion was that the placers would give out in a year or 
two. Then it behooved him who expected to gain much, to be among the 
earliest on the ground. When experiment was so fresh in the field, one 
theory was about as good as another. An hypothesis that lured men perpet- 
ually further up the gorges of the foot-hills, and to explore the canons of the 
mountains, was this: — that the gold which had been found in the beds of 
rivers, or in gulches through which streams once ran, must have been washed 
down from the places of original deposit further up the mountains. The 
higher up the gold-hunter went, then, the nearer he approached the source 
of supply. 


To reach the mmes from San Francisco, the course lay up San Pablo and 
Suisun bays, and the Sacramento — not then, as now, a yellow, muddy stream, 
but a river pellucid and deep — to the landing for Sutter's Fort; and they 
who made the voyage in sailmg vessels, thought Mount Diablo significantly 
named, so long it kept them company and swung its shadow over their 
path. From Sutter's the most common route was across the broad, fertile 
valley to the foot-hills, and up the American or some one of its tributaries ; on, 
ascending the Sacramento to the Feather and the Yuba, the company staked 
off a claim, pitched its tent or constructed a cabin, and set up its rocker, or 
began to oust the river from a portion of its bed. Good luck might hold the 
impatient adventurers for a whole season on one bar; bad luck scattered 
them always further up. 

Roads sought the mmmg camps, which did not stop to study roads. 
Traders came in to supply the camps, and not very fast, but still to some 
extent ; mechanics and farmers to supply both traders and miners. So. as if 
by magic, within a year or two after the rush began, the map of the country 
was written thick with the names of settlements. 

Some of these were the nuclei of towns that now flourish and promise to 
continue as long as the State is peopled. Others, in districts where the placers 
were soon exhausted, were deserted almost as hastily as they were begun, and 
now no traces remain of them except the short chimney-stack, the broken 
surface of the ground, heaps of cobble-stones, rotting, half -buried sluice-boxes, 
empty whisky bottles, scattered playing cards and ru.sty cans. 

The "Fall of '49 and Spring of '50" is the era of California history which 
the pioneer always speaks of with warmth. It was the free and easy age 
when everybody was flush, and fortune, if not in the palm, was onl^^ just 
beyond the grasp of all. Men Hved chiefly in tents, or in cabins scarcely 
more durable, and behaved themselves like a generation of bachelors. The 
family was beyond the mountains; the restraints of society had not yet 
arrived. Men threw off the masks they had lived behind, and appeared out 
in their true character. A few did not discharge the consciences and convic- 
tions they had brought with them. More rollicked in a perfect freedom from 
those bonds which good men cheerfully assume in settled society for the good 
of the greater number. Some afterwards resumed their temperate and steady 
habits, but hosts were wrecked before the period of their license expired. 

Very rarely did men, on their arrival in the country, begin to work at their 
old trade or profession. To the mines first. If fortune favoi-ed, they soon 
quit for more congenial employments. If she frowned, they might depart 
disgusted, if they were able; but oftener, from sheer inabihty to leave the, they kept on, di'ifting from bar to bar, living fast, reckless, improv- 
ident, half-civilized hves; comparatively rich to-day, poor to-morrow; tor- 
mented with rheumatisms and agues, remembering dimly the joys of the old 


homestead; nearly weaned from the fiiends at home, who, because they were 
never heard from, soon became like dead men in their memory; seeing little 
of women and nothing of churches; self-reliant, yet satisfied that there was 
nowhere any "show" for them; full of enterprise in the direct line of their 
business, and utterly lost in the threshold of any other ; genial companions, 
morbidly craving after- newspapei-s ; good fellows, but short-lived." 

Such was the mfel;?trom which ckagged all into its vortex thirty years ago ! 
Now, almost the entire generation of pioneer miners, who remained in that 
business has passed away, and the survivors feel hke men who are lost and 
old before their time, among the new comers, who may be just as old, but 
lack their long, strange chapter of adventures. 

In the Spring of 1848 the treaty of peace was signed by which California 
was annexed to the United States, and on the fu-st day of September, 1849, 
the first Constitutiona] Convention was commenced at Monterey. The first 
Legislature met at San Jose, December 13, 1849, and thereafter the welfare 
of the State became a part of the Union. 

Thus far we have brought the reader. The events which have occurred 
since the admission of California is a matter of general knowledge. These 
items on which we have dwelt are those which come under the category of 
things not generally known, therefore they have been given a place in this 
work. It is for the reader to decide if it enhances the historic value of the 




In the early part of this century California would appear to have found 
extreme favor in the jealous eyes of three great powers. We have elsewhere 
shown what the Russians did on the coast, and how they actually gained a 
foothold at Bodega and Fort Ross, Sonoma county. In the year 1818, Gov- 
ernor Sola received a communication from Friar Marquinez, of Guadalajara, 
in Old Spain, wherein he informs His Excellency of the rumors of war 
between the United States and Spain, whUe, in February of the following 
year, Father Josd Sanchez, writes to the same official that there is a report 
abroad of the fitting out of an American expedition in New Mexico. Both 
of these epistles remark that California is the coveted prize. Great Britain 
wanted it, it is said, for several reasons, the chief of which was, that in the 
possession of so extended a coast line she would have the finest harbors in the 
world for her fleets. This desire would appear to have been still manifested 
in 1840, for we find in February of that year, in the New York Express, the 
following: "The Californias. — The rumor has reached New Orleans from 
Mexico of the cession to England of the Californias. The cession of the two 
provinces would give to Great Britain an extensive and valuable territorj-- in 
a part of the world where she has long been anxious to gain a foothold, 
^jesides securing an object still more desirable — a spacious range of sea-coast 
on the Pacific, stretching more than a thousand miles from the forty-second 
degree of latitude south, sweejiing the peninsula of California, and embracing 
the harbors of that gulf, the finest in North America." 

These rumors, so rife batween the years 1842 and 1843, necessitated the 
maintenance of a large and powerful fleet by both the Americans and 
British on the Pacific Ocean, each closely observing the other. The first 
move in the deep game was made for the United States in September, 1842, 
by Commodore Ap Catesby Jones. He became possessed of two newspapers 
which would appear to have caused him to take immediate action. One of 
these, published in New Orleans, stated that California had been ceded by 
Mexico to Great Britain in consideration of the sum of seven millions of 
dollars ; the other, a Mexican publication, caused him to believe that war had 
been declared between the two countries. The sudden departure of two of 
the British vessels strengthened him in this belief, and, that they were en 
route for Panama to embark soldiers from the Wisst Indies for tha occupa- 
tion of Califorala. To forestall this move of "perfidious Albion," Commo- 
dore Jonas lefb Callao, Peru, on September 7, lSi2, and crowded all sail 

%;"*"''^^-^/ -,^,i|! 





ostensibly for the port of Monterey; but when two days out, his squadron 
hove to, a council of the Captains of the Flag-ship, "" and "Dale" was 
held, when the decision was come to that possession should be taken of Cali- 
fornia at all hazards, and abide by the consequences, whatever they might 
be. The accompanying letter from an officer of the "Dale," dated Panama, 
September 23, 1842, tells it own story: " We sailed from Callao on the 7th 
of Septembar in company with the "United States" and "Cyane" sloop, but 
on the 10th day out, the 17th, separated, and bore up for this port. Just 
previous to our departure, two British ships-of-war, the razee "Dublin," 
fifty guns, and the sloop-of-war "Champion," eighteen guns, sailed thence on 
secret service. This mysterious movement of Admiral Thomas elicited a 
hundred comments and conjectures as to his destination, the most probable 
of which seemed to be that he was bound for the northwest coast of Mexico, 
where it is surmised that a British settlement (station) is to be located in 
accordance with a secret convention between the Mexican and English Gov- 
ernments, and it is among the on dits in the squadron that the frigate 
"Unite;! States," "Cyane" and "Dale" are to rendezvous as soon as possible 
at Monterey, to keep an eye on John Bull's movem.ents in that quarter." 
These rumors were all strengthened by the fact that eight hundred troops 
had been embarked at Mazatlan in February, 1842, by General Micheltorena, 
to assist the English, it was apprehended, to carry out the secret treaty 
whereby California was to be handed over to Great Britain. Of these 
troops, who were mostly convicts, Micheltorena lost a great number by deser- 
tion ; and after much delay and vexation, marched out of Mazatlan on July 
2.5, 1842, with only four hundred and fifty men, arriving at San Diego on 
August 25th. Between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, with his army 
reduced to but three hundred from desertion, at 11 o'clock on the night of 
October 24th, he received the astounding inteUigenee that Commodore Jones 
had entered the port of Monterey, with the frigate "United States" and 
corvette "Cyane," landed an armed force, hauled down the Mexican flag, 
hoisted the American in its place, and issued a proclamation declaring Cali- 
fornia to be henceforth belonging to the United States. These startling 
occurrences took place on October 19, 1842. On the 28th, the Commodore 
reflected on his latest achievement, and becoming convinced that an error 
had been committed, he lowered the American ensign, replaced it with that 
of Mexico, and on the following day saluted it, sailed for Mazatlan, and 
reported his proceedings to Washington. 

On hearing of the capture of Monterey, the Mexican General withdrew to 
the Mission of San Fernando, and there remained for some time, when he 
finally, on the horizon being cleared, transferred his staff" to Los Angeles, and 
there entertained Commodore Jones on Janusiry 19, 1843. 

The I'ecall of Jones was demanded by the Mexican Minister at Washing- 
ton, which was compiled with, and Captain Alexander J. Dallas instructed 


to relieve him of the command of the Pacific squadron. Dallas at once pro- 
ceed to Callao, via Panama, to assume his new functions, and on arrival 
took the "Erie," an old store-ship, and proceeded in search of the Commodore, 
who had in the meantime received intelligence of the turn affairs had taken, 
a"id kept steering from port to porb, and finally touching at Valparaiso, 
Chili, he sailed for home around Cape Horn. The reign of Captain Dallas 
was short; he died on board the frigate " Savannah," at CaUao, June 3, 1844, 
and was succeeded by Commodore John Drake Sloat. 

Between the years 1844 and 1846, the American and British fleets keenly 
watched each other, and anxiously awaited the declaration of war between 
Mexico and the United States. During this time the revolution which drove 
General Micheltorena and his army from California, had broken out and been 
quelled ; while the Oregon boundary and the annexation of Texas were ques- 
tions which kept the naval authorities at fever heat. 

Let us now leave these American and British sailors with their mighty 
ships jealously watching the movements of each other, to consider the doings 
of one who before long was to take a prominent part in the affairs of Cali- 

In the month of March, 1845, Brevet Captain John Charles Fremont 
departed from Washington for the purpose of organizing a third expedition 
for the topographical survey of Oregon and California, which having done, 
he left B>;nt's fort, on or about the l(Jth of April, his command consisting of 
sixty-two men, six of whom were Delaware Indians. It is not our wish 
here, nor indeed have we the space, to tell of the hardships endured, and the 
perilous journeys made by Fremont, Kit Carson, Theodore Talbot, and others 
of that band, whose wanderings have formed the theme of many a ravishing 
tale; our duty will only permit of defining the part taken by them in regard 
to our especial subject. 

About June 1, 1843, General Jose Castro, with Lieutenant Francisco de 
Arci, his Secretary, left the Santa Clara Mission, where they had ensconced 
themselves after pursuing Fremont from that district, and passing through 
Yerba Buena (San Francisco) crossed the bay to the Mission of San Rafael, 
and there collected a number of horses which he directed Arci to take to 
Sonoma, with as many more as he could capture on the way, and from there 
proceed with all haste to the Santa Clara Mission by ^vny of Knight's Land- 
ing and Sutter's Fort. These horses were intended to be used against Fre- 
mont and Governor Pio Pico by Castro, both of whom had defied his 
authority. On June 5th, Castro moved from Santa Clara to Monterey, and 
on the 12th, while on his return, was met by a courier bearing the intelli- 
gence that Lieutenant Arci had been surprised and taken prisoner on the 
10th by a band of adventurers, who had also seized a large number of the 
horsL'S which he had in charge for the headquarters at Santa Clara. Here 
was a dilemma. Castro's education in writing had been sadly neglected — 


it is said he could only paint his signature — and being without his amanu- 
ensis, he at once turned back to Monterey, and on June 12th dictated a letter, 
thi-ough ex-Governor Don Juan B. Alvarado, to the Prefect Manuel Castro, 
saying that the time had come when their differences should be laid aside, 
and conjoint action taken for the defence and protection of their common 
country, at the same time asking that he should collect all the men and 
horses possible and send them to Santa Clai-a. He then returned to his head- 
quarters, and on the 17th promulgated a soul-stirring proclamation to the 

When Lieutenant Arci left Sonoma with the cahallada of horses and 
mares, crossing the dividing ridge, he passed up the Sacramento vallej' to 
Knight's Landing, on the left bank of the Sacramento river, about fifteen 
miles north of the present city of Sacramento. [This ferry was kept by 
William Knight, who had left Missouri May 6, 1841, arrived in Cahfornia 
November 10, 1841, received a grant of land and settled at Knight's Land- 
ing, Yolo county of to-day. He died at the mines on the Stanislaus river, in 
November 1849.] When Lieutenant Arci reached the ferry or crossing, he 
met Mrs. Knight, to whom, on account of her being a New Mexican by birth, 
and therefore thought to be trustworthy, he confided the seci'et of the expedi- 
tion. Such knowledge was too much for any ordinary feminine bosom to con- 
tain. She told her husband, who, in assisting the ofiicer to cross his horse.s, 
gave him fair words so that suspicion might be lulled, and then bestriding his 
fleetest horse, he made direct for Captain Fremont's camp at the confluence 
of the Feather and Yuba rivers, where he arrived early in the morning 
of June 9 th. Here Knight, who found some twenty settlers that had 
arrived earlier than he, discussing mattere, communicated to Captain Fremont 
and the settlers that Lieutenant Arci had, the evening before, the Sth, crossed 
at his landing, bound to Santa Clara via the Cosumne river ; that Arci had 
told Mrs. Knight, in confidence, that the animals were intended to be used 
by Castro in expelling the American settlers from the country, and that it 
was also the intention to fortify the Bear river pass above the rancho of 
William Johnson, thereby putting a stop to aU immigration; a move of 
Castro's which was strengthened by the return to Sutter's Fort, on June 
7th, of a force that had gone out to chastise the Mokelumne Indians, who 
had threatened to burn the settlers' crops, incited thereto, presumably, by 

Fremont, while encamped at the Buttes, war. visited by nearly aU the 
settlers, and from them gleaned vast stores of fr&sh information hitherto 
unknown to him. Among these were, that the greater proportion of foreign- 
ers in the country had become Mexican citizens, and married ladies of the 
country, for the sake of procuring land, and through them had become pos- 
sessed of deep secrets supposed to be known only to the prominent Califor- 
nians. Another was that a convention had been held at the San Juan Mis- 


sion to decide which one of the two nations, America or Great Britain, should 
guarantee protection to California against all others for certain priveleges 
and considerations. 

Liexitenant Revere says : " I have been favored by an intelligent member 
of the Junta with the following authentic report of the substance of Pico's 
speech to that illustrious body of statesmen: — 

"Excellent Sirs: To what a deplorable condition is our country reduced ! 
Mexico, professing to be our mother and our protectress, has given us 
neither arms nor money, nor the material of war for our defense. She is 
not likely to do anything m our behalf, although she is quite willing to afflict 
us with her extortionate minions, who come hither in the guise of soldiers 
and civil officers, to harass and oppress our people. We possess a glorious 
country, capable of attaining a phy.sical and moral greatness corresponding 
with the grandeur and beauty which an Almighty hand has stamped on the 
face of our beloved California. But although nature has been prodigal, it 
cannot be denied that we are not in a position to avail ourselves of her bounty. 
Our population is not large, and it is sparsely scattered over valley and moun- 
tain, covering an immense area of virgin soil, destitute of roads and traversed 
with difficulty; henee it is hardly possible to collect an army of any consider- 
able force. Our people are poor, as well as few, and cannot well govern 
themselves and maintain a decent show of sovereign power. Although we 
Hve in the midst of plenty, we lay up nothing; but, tilling the earth in an 
imperfect manner, all our time is requireti to provide subsistence for ourselves 
and our families. Thus circumstanced, we find ourselves suddenly threatened 
by hordes of Yankee emigrants, who have already begun to flock iato our 
country, and whose progress we cannot arrest. A.lready have the wagons of 
that perfidious people scaled the almost- inaccessible summits of the Sierra 
Nevada, crossed the entire continent, and penetrated the fruitful vallejr. of 
the Sacramento. What that astonishing people will ilext undertake I cannot 
say ; but in whatever enterprise they embark they wiU be sure to prove 
successful. Already are these adventurous land-voyagers spreading them- 
selves far and wide over a country which seems suited to their tastes. They 
are cultivatmg farms, establishing vineyards, erecting' mills, sawing up lum- 
ber, building workshops, and doing a thousand other things which seem 
natural to them, but which Californians neglect or despise. What tlien are 
we to do? Shall we remain supine whUe these daring strangers are over- 
running our fertile plains and gradually outnumbering and displacing us? 
Shall these incursions go on unchecked, until we shall become strangers in 
our own land? We cannot successfully oppose them by our own unaided 
power ; and the swelling tide of immigration rendci-s the odds against us more . 
formidable every day. We cannot stand alone against them, nor can we 
ci-editably maintain our independence even against Mexico; but there is 
something we can do which will elevate our country, strengthen her at all 


points, and yet enable us to preserve our identity and remain masters of our 
own soil. Perhaps what I am about to suggest may seem to some, faint- 
hearted and dishonorable. But to me it does not seem so. It is the last 
hope of a feeble people, struggling against a tjrrannical government which 
claims their submission at home, and threatened by bands of avaricious 
strangers from without, voluntarily to connect themselves with a power 
able and willing to defend and preserve them. It is the right and the duty 
of the weak to demand support from the strong, provided the demand be 
made upon terms just to both parties, I see no dishonor in this last refuge 
of the oppressed and powerless, and I boldly avow that such is the step that 
1 would have California take. There are two great powers in Europe, which 
seem destined to divide between them the unappropriated countries of the 
world. They have large fleets and armies not unpractised in the art of war. 
Is it not better to connect ourselves with one of those powerful nations, 
than to struggle on without hope, as we are doing now? Is it not better that 
one of them should be invited to send a fleet and an army, to defend and pro- 
tect California, rather than we should fall an easy prey to the lawless advent- 
urers who are overrunning our beautiful country? I pronounce for annexa- 
tion to France or England, and the people of California will never regret 
having taken my advice. They will no longer be subjected to the trouble 
and grievous expense of governing themselves ; and their beef and their grain, 
winch they produce in such abundance, would find a ready market among 
the new comers. But I hear some one say: ' No monarchy ' ' But is not 
monarchy better than anarchy? Is not existence in some shape, better than 
annihilation? No monarch! and what is there so terrible in a monarchy? 
Have not we all lived ynder a monarchy far more despotic than that of 
France or England, and were not our people happy under it? Have not the 
leadipg men among our agriculturists been bred beneath the royal rule of 
Spain, and have they been happier since the mock republic of Mexico has 
supplied its place? Na;y, does not every man abhor the miserable abortion 
christened the republic of Mexico, and look back with regret to the golden 
days of the Spanish monarchy? Let us restore that glorious era. Then may 
our people go quietly to their ranchos, and hve there as of yore, leading a 
thoughtless and merry life, untroubled by poUtics or cares of State, sure of 
what is their own, and safe from the incursions of the Yankees, who would 
soon be forced to retreat Into their own country." 

It was a happy thing for California, and, as the sequel proved, for the views 
of the government of the United States, a man was found at this juncture 
whose ideas were more enlightened and consonant with the times than those 
of the rulers of his countiy, both civU and militai-y. Patriotism was half 
his soul ; he therefore could not silently witness the land of his birth sold to 
any monarchy, however old; and he rightly judged that although foreign pro- 
tection might postpone, it could not avert that assumption of power which 


was beginning to make itself felt. Possessed at the time of no political power, 
and having had few early advantages, still his position was so exalted, and 
his character so highly respected by both the foreign and native population, 
that he had been invited to participate in the deliberations of the Junta. 
This man was Don Mariano Guadalupe Vailejo. Born in California, he com- 
menced his career in the army as an alferes, or ensign, and in this humble 
grade, he volunteered, at the suggestion of the Mexican government, with a 
command of fifty soldiers, to establish a colony on the north side of the bay 
of San Francisco, for the protection of the frontier. He effectually subdued 
the hostile Indians inhabiting that then remote region, and laid the founda- 
tion of a reputation for integrity, judgment, and ability, uneqiialed by any 
of his countrymen. Although quite a young man, he had already filled the 
highest offices in the province, and had at this time retired to private fife 
near his estates in the vicinity of the town of Sonoma. He did not hesitate 
to oppose with all his strength the views advanced by Pico and Castro. He 
spoke nearly as follows: — ■ 

"I cannot, gentlemen, coincide in opinion with the military and civil 
functionaries who have advocated the cession of our country to France or 
England. It is most true, that to rely any longer upon Mexico to govern 
and defend us, would be idle and absurd. To this extent I fully agree with 
my distinguished colleagues. It is also true that we possess a noble country, 
every way calculated from position and resources to become great and 
powerful. For that very reason I would not have her a mere dependency 
upon a foreign monarchy, naturally alien, or at lea-st indifferent, to our 
interests and our welfare. It is not to be denied that feeble nations have in 
former times thrown themselves upon the protection of their powerful neigh- 
bors. The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons, and fell an easy 
prey to their protectors, who seized their lands, and treated them like slaves. 
Long before that time, feeble and distracted provinces had appealed for aid 
to the all-conquering arms of imperial Rome ; and they were at the same time 
protected and subjugated by their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate 
the idea of dependence, ought we to go to distant Europe for a master? 
What possible sympath}'- could exist between us and a nation separated from 
us by two vast oceans? But waiving this in.superable objection, how could 
we endure to come under the dominion of a monarchy? For, although 
others speak lightly of a form of Government, as a freeman. I cannot do so. 
We are republicans — badly governed and badly situated as we are — still we 
are all, iq sentiment, republicans. So far as we are governed at all, we at 
least profess to be self-governed. Who, then, that possesses true patriotism 
will consent to subject himself and his children to the caprices of a foreign 
King and his official minions? But it is asked, if we do not throw ourselves 
upon the protection of France or England, what shall we do? I do not come 
here to support the existing order of things, but I come prepared to propose 


instant and effective action to extricate our country from her present forlorn 
condition. My opinion is made up that we must persevere in tkrowing off 
the galling ji-oke of Mexico, and proclaim our independence of her forever. 
We have endured her official coromants and her villainous soldiery until we 
can endure no longer. All will probably agree with me that we ought at 
once to rid ourselves of what may remain of Mexican domination. But some 
profess to doubt our ability to maintain our position. To my mind there 
comes no doubt. Look at Texas, and see how long she withstood the power 
of united Mexico. The resources of Texas were not to be compared with 
ours, and she was much nearer to her enemy than we are. Our position is so 
remote, either bj^ land or sea, that we ai-e in no danger from Mexican inva- 
sion. Why, then, should we hesitate still to assert our independence? We 
have indeed taken the first step, by electing our own Governor, bxit another 
remains to be taken. I will mention it plainly and distinctly — it is annex- 
ation to the United States. In contemplating this consummation of our 
destiny, I feel nothing but pleasure, and I ask you to share it. Discard old 
prejudices, chsregard old customs, and prepai'e for the glorious change which 
awaits our country. Why should we shrink fiom incorporating ourselves 
with the happiest and freest nation in the world, destined soon to be the 
most wealthy and powerful? Why should we go abroad for protection when 
this great nation is our adjoining neighbor? When we join our fortunes to 
hers, we shall not become subjects, but fellow-citizens, possessing all the rights 
of the people of the United States, and choosing our own federal and local 
rulers. We shall have a stable government and just laws. California will 
grow strong and flourish, and her people will be prosperous, happy and free. 
Look not, therefore, with jealousy upon the hardy pioneers, who scale our 
mountains and cultivate our unoccupied plains; but rather welcome them as 
brothers, who come ix> share with us a common destiny." 

Such was the substance of General Vallejo's observations; those who 
hstened to him, however, were far behind in general knowledge and intelli- 
gence. His arguments failed to carry conviction to the greater number of 
his auditors, but the bold position taken by him was the cause of an imme- 
diate adjournment of the Junta, no result having been arrived at concerning 
the weighty aflairs on which they had met to deliberate. On his retiring from 
the Junta he embodied the views he had expressed in a letter to Don Pio 
Pico, and reiterated his refusal to participate in any action having for its end 
the adoption of any protection other than that of the United States. In this 
communication he also declared that' he would never serve under any Gov- 
ernment which was prepared to surrender California to an European power; 
he then returned to his estates, there to await the issue of events. 

We left William Knight at Fremont's camp, where he had arrived on the 
morning of June 9, 1S4G, imparting his information to that officer and the 
twenty settlers who had there assembled. At 10 A. M., of that day, a party 


of eleven men, under the oldest member, Ezekiel Merritt, started in pursuit 
of Lieutenant Arci and his horses. On arrival at Hock farm they were 
joined by two more, and having crossed the American River at Sinclair's, 
reached the rancho of Allen Montgomery, sixty miles from Fremont's camp 
at the Buttes, towards evening, and there supped. Here they received the 
intellio-ence that Lieutenant Arci had reached Sutter's Fort on the 8th, and 
had that morning resumed his march, inten ling to camp that night at the 
rancho of Martin Murphy, twenty miles south, on the Cosumne river. 
Supper finished and a short rest indulged in, the party were once more in the 
saddle, being strengthened by the addition of Montgomery and another man, 
making the total force fifteen. They proceeded to within about five miles 
of Murphy's, and there lay concealed till daylight, when they were again 
on the move, and proceeded to within half a mile of the camp. Unperceived, 
they cautiously advanced to within a short distance, and then suddenly 
charging, secured the Lieutenant and his party, as well as the horses. 
Lieutenant Arci was permitted to retain his sword, each of his party was 
o-iven a horse wherewith to reach Santa Clara, and a person traveling with 
him was permitted to take six of the animals which he claimed as private 
property; the Lieutenant was then instructed to depart, and say to his chief, 
General Castro, that the remainder of the horses were at his disposal when- 
ever he should wish to come and take them. The Americans at once 
returned, to Montgomery's, with the horses, and there breakfasted ; that night, 
the 10th, they camped twenty-seven miles above Sutter's, on the rancho of 
Nicolas AUgier, a German, not far from the mouth of Bear river, and, in the 
morning, ascertaining that Fremont had moved his camp thither from the 
Buttes, they joined him on the 11th, at 10 A. M., having traveled about one 
hundred and fifty miles in forty-eight hours. 

On arriv'mg at Fremont's camp it was found that the garrison had been 
considerably augmented by the arrival of moi-e settlers who were all 
ardently discussing the events of the past two days, and its probable results. 
After a full hearmg it was determined by them that, having gone so far, 
their only chance of safety was in a rapid march to the town of Sonoma, to 
effect its capture, and to accomplLsli this before the news of the stoppage of 
Lieutenant Arci and his horses could have time to rea^h that garrison. It 
was felt that should this design prove successf'.il all further obstacles to the 
eventual capture of the country would have vanished. The daring band 
then reorganized, still retaining in his position of Captain, Ezekiel Merritt. 
At 3 P. M., June 12th, under their leader they left Fremont's camp for 
Sonoma, one, hundred and twenty miles distant, and traveling all that night, 
passed the rancho of WiUiam Gordon, about ten miles from the present town 
of Woodland, Yolo county, whom they desh'cd to inform all Americans that 
could be trusted, of their intention. At 9 A. M., on the 13th, they reached 
Captain John Grig-sby's, at the head of Napa valley, and were joined by 


William L. Todd, William Scott and others. Here the company, which 
now mustered thirty-three men, was reorganized, and addressed by Doctor 
Robert Semple. Not desiring, however, to ■ reach Sonoma till daylight, they 
halted here till midnight, when they once more resumed their march, and 
before it was yet the dawn of June 14, 1846, surprised and captured the 
garrison of Sonoma, consisting of six soldiers, nine pieces of artillery, and 
some small arms, etc., "all private property being religiously respected; and 
in generations yet to. come their children's children may look back with 
pride and pleasure upon the commencement of a revolution which was carried 
on by then- fathers' fathers upon principles as high and holy as the laws of 
eternal justice." 

Their distinguished prisoners were General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Prudon, Captain Don Salvador Mundo Vallejo, 
brother to the general, and Mr. Jacob Primer' Leese, brother-in-law to the 

We would now lay before the reader the account of this episode, as 
described by General Vallejo, at the Centennial exercises, held at Santa Rosa, 
July 4, 1876:— 

" I have now to say something of the epoch which inaugurated a new era 
for this country. A httle before dawn on June 14, 1846, a party of hunters 
and trappers, with some foreign settlers, under command of Captain Merritt 
Doctor Semple, and William B. Ide, surrounded my residence at Sonoma, and 
without firing a shot, made prisoners of mysalf, then Commander of the 
northern frontier; of Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Prudon, Captain Salvador 
Vallejo, and Jacob P. Leese. I should here state that down to October. 1845, 
I had maintained at my own expense a respectable garrison at Sonoma, 
which often, in union with the settlers, did good service in campaigns against 
the Indians ; but at last, th-ed of spending money which the Mexican Govern- 
ment never refunded, I disbanded the force, and most of the soldiers who 
had constituted it left Sonoma. Thus in June, 1846, the Plaza was entirely 
unprotected, although there were ten pieces of artillery, with other arms and 
munitions of war. The parties who unfurled the Bear Flag were well 
aware that Sonoma was without defense, and lost no time in taking advan- 
tage of this fact, and carrying out their plans. Years before, I had 
urgently represented to the Government of Mexico the necessity of stationmg 
a sufficient force on the frontier, else Sonoma would be lost, which would be 
equivalent to leaving the rest of the country an easy prey to the invader. 
What think you, my friends, were the instructions sent me in reply to my 
repeated demands for means to fortify the country? These instructions were 
that I should at once force the emigrants to reeross the Sierra Nevada, and 
depart fi-om the territory of the Republic. To say nothing of the mhuman- 
ity of these orders, their execution was physically impossible — first, because 
the immigrants came in Autumn, when snow covered the Sierra.s so quickly 


as to make a return impracticable. Under the circumstances, not only I, 
but Comraandante General Castro, resolved to provide the immigrants with 
letters of security, that they might remain temporarily in the country. We 
always made a show of authority, but well convinced all the time that we 
had no power to resist the invasion which was coming upon us. With the 
frankness of a soldier I can assure you that the American immigrants never 
had cause to complain of the treatment they received at the hands of either 
pAithorities or citizens. They carried us as prisoners to Sacramento, and kept 
us in a calaboose for sixty days or mofe, until the authority of the United 
States made itself respected, and the honorable and humane Commodore 
Stockton returned us to our hearths." 

On the seizure of their prisoners the revolutionists at once took steps to 
appoint a captain, who was found in the person of John Grigsby, for Ezekiel 
Morritt wished not to retain the permanent command; a meeting was then 
called at the barracks, situated at the north-east corner of the Plaza, under 
the presidency of WiUiam B. Ide, Doctor Robert Semple being secretary. 
At this conference Semple urged the independence of the country, stating 
that having once commenced they must proceed, for to turn back was certain 
death. Before the dissolution of the convention, however, rumoi-s were rife 
that secret emissaries were being dispatched to the Mexican rancheros, to 
inform them of the recent occurrences, therefore to prevent any attempt at a 
rescue it was deemed best to transfer their prisoners to Sutter's Fort, where 
the danger of such would be less. 

Before transferriog their prisoners, however, a treaty, or agreement was 
entered into between the captiv&s and cap tore, which will appear in the 
annexed documents kindly furnished to us by General Vallejo, and which have 
never before been given to the public. The first is ia English, signed by the 
principal actors in the revolution and reads: — • 

"We, the undersigned, havmg resolved to establish a government upon 
Itepubliean principals in connection with others of our fellow-citizens, and 
having taken up arms to support it, we have taken three Mexican officere as 
prisoners; General M. G. Vallejo, Lieut. Col. Victor Prudon, and Captain D. 
Salvador Vallejo, having formed and pubUshed to the world no regular plan 
of government, feel it our duty to say that it is not our intention to take or 
injure any person who is not found in oppsition to the cause, nor will we take 
or destroy the property of private individuals further than is necessary for 
om- immediate support. Ezektel Merritt, 

R. Semple, 
William Fallon, 
Samuel Kelsey." 

The second is in the Spanish language and reads as follows : — • 

" Conste pr. la preste. qe. habiendo sido sorprendido pr. una numeros a fuerza 
armada qe. me tomo prisionero y a los gefes y officiales que. estaban de 


guarnicion en esta plaza de la qe. se apodero la espresada fuerza, habiendola 
encontrado absolutamte. indefensa, tanto j'^o, como los S. S. Officiales qe. 
sascribero eomprometenios nue stra palabra de honor, de qe. estando bajo las 
garantias de prisionero da guerra, no tomaremos la,s armas ni a favor ni contra 
repetida fuerza armada de quien hemos reeibiro la intimacion del momto. y un 
escrito fuinado qe. garantiza nuestras vidas, familias de intereses, y los de 
toto el vecindario de esta jurLsdn. mientras no hagamos oposicion. Sonoma, 
Junio, 14 de 1846, M. G. Vallejo. 

VcE. Peudon. Salvadok Vallejo." 

But to proceed with our narrative of the removal of the general, his brother 
and Prudon to Sutter's Fort. A guard consisting of William B. Ide, as 
captain, Captain Grigsby. Captain Merritt, Kit Carson, William Hargrave, 
and five others left Sonoma for Sutter's Fort with their prisoners upon horses 
actually supplied by General Vallejo himself. We are told that on the first 
night after leaving Sonoma with their prisoners, the revolutionists, with sin- 
gular inconsistency, encamped and went to sleep without setting sentinel or 
guard; that during the night they were surrounded by a party under the 
command of Juan de Padilla, who crept up stealthily and awoke one of the 
prisoners, telling him that there was with him close at hand a strong and 
well-armed force of rancheros, who, if need be, could surprise and slay the 
Americans before there was time for them to fly to arms, but that he. Padilla, 
before giving such instructions awaited the orders of General VaUejo, whose 
rank entitled him to the command of any such demonstration. The general 
Avas cautiously aroused and the scheme divulged to him, but with a self-sac- 
rifice which cannot be too highly commended, answered that he should go 
voluntarily with his guardians, that he anticipated a speedy and satisfactory 
settlement of the whole matter, advised Padilla to return to his rancho and 
disperse his band, and pooitively refused to permit any violence to the guard, 
as he was convinced that such would lead to disastrous consequences, and 
probably involve the rancheros and their families in ruin, without accom- 
plishing any good result. Lieutenant Revere says of this episode: — 

"This was not told to me by VaUejo, but by a person who was present, 
and it tallies well with the account given by the revolutionists themselves, 
several of whom informed me that no guard was kept by them that night, 
and that the prisoners might have easily escaped had they felt so inclined. 
The same person also told me that when Vallejo was called out of bed and 
made a prisoner in his own house, he requested to be informed as to the 
plans and objects of the revolutionists, signifying his readiness to collect and 
take command of a force of liLs countrymeu in the cause of independence." 

Having traveled about two-thh-ds of the way from Sutter's Fort, Captain 
Merritt and Kit Carson rode on ahead with the news of the capture of 
Sonoma, desning that arrangements be maile for the reception of the pris- 
oners. They entered the fort early in the morning of June IGth. That 


evening the rest of the party, with their prisoners came and were handed 
over to the safe-keeping of Captain Sutter, who, it is said, was severely cen- 
sured by Captain Fremont for his indulgence to them. 

Mr. Thomas C. Lancey, the author of several interesting letters on this 
subject, which appeared in The Pioneer during the year 1878, remarks: — 

■■'There have been so many questions raised during this year (1878) in rela- 
tion to the date of the hoisting of the 'Bear Flag,' who made it and what 
material it was manufactured from, as well as the date of the capture of 
Sonoma, and the number of men who marched that morning, that I shall 
give the statements of several who are entitled to a hearing, as they were 
actors in that drama. 

" The writer of this (Mr. Lancej^) was here in 1846, and served during the 
war, and has never left the country since, but was not one of the 'Bear Flag 
party,' but claims from his acquaintance with those who were, to be able to 
form a correct opinion as to the correctness of these dates. Dr. Eobert Semple, 
who was one of that party from the first, says, in his diary, that they entered 
Sonoma at early dawn on the 14th of June, 1846, thirty-three men, rank and 
file. William B. Ide. who was chosen their commander, says in his diary the 
same. Captain Henry L. Ford, another of this number, says, or rather his 
historian, S. H. W., of Santa Cruz, who I take to be the Rev. S. H. Willey, 
makes him say they captured Sonoma on the 12th of June, with thirty-three 
men. Lieutenant Wm. Baldridge, one of the party, makes the date the 14th 
of June, and number of men twenty-three. Lieutenant Joseph Warren 
Revere, of the United States Ship 'Portsmouth,' who hauled down the 'Bear 
Flag' and hoisted the American tiag, on the 9th of July, and at a later date 
commanded the garrison, says, the place was captured on the 14th of June." 
To this list is now added the documentary evidence produced above, fixing 
the date of the capture of General Vallejo and his officers, and therefore the 
taking of Sonoma, as June 14, 1846. 

On the seizure of the citadel of Sonoma, the Independents found floating 
from the flagstaff-head the flag of Mexico, a fact which had escaped notice 
during the buvstle of the morning. It was at once lowered, and they set to 
work to devise a banner which they should claim as their own. They were 
as one on the subject of there being a star on the groundwork, but they taxed 
their ingenuity to have some other device, for. the "lone star" had been already 
appropriated by Texas. 

So manj^ accounts of the manufacture of this insignia have been published, 
that we give the reader those quoted by the writer in The Pioneer: — 

"A piece of cotton cloth," says Mr. Lancey, "was obtained, and a man by 
the name of Todd proceeded to paint from a pot of red paint a star in the 
corner. Before he Avas finished Henry L. Ford, one of the party, proposes to 
paint on the center, facing the star, a grizzly boar. This was unanimously 
agreed to, and the grizzly bear was painted accordingly. When it was done, 


the flag was taken to the flag-staff, and hoisted among the hurrahs of the 
httle party, who swore to defend it with their lives." 

Of this matter Lieutenant Eevere says: "A flag was also hoisted hearing 
a grizzly bear rampant, with one stripe below, and the words 'Republic of 
California,' above the bear, and a single star ia the Union." This is the evi- 
dence of the ofiicer who hauled down the Bear flag and replaced it with the 
Stars and Stripes on July 9, 1846. 

The Western Shore Gazetteer has the following version: "On the 14th of 
June, 1846, this little handful of men pi'oclaijied California a free and inde- 
pendent republic, and on that day hoisted their flag, known as the 'Bear 
flag;' this consisted of a strip of worn-out cotton domestic, furnished by Mrs. 
Kelley, bordered with red flannel, furnished by Mrs. John Sears, who had 
fled from some distant part to Sonoma for safety upon hearing that war had 
been thus commenced. In the center of the flag was a representation of a 
bear, en passant, painted with Venetian red, and in one corner was painted a 
star of the same color. Under the boar v/ere inscribed the words 'Republic 
of California,' put on with common writing ink. This flag is preserved by 
the California Pioneer Association, and may be seen at their rooms in San 
FraTieisco. It was designed and executed by W. L. Todd." 

The Sonoma Democrat under the caption, A True History of the Bear 
Flag, tells its story: "The rest of the revolutionary party remained in pos- 
session of the town. Among them were three young men, Todd, Benjamin 
Duell and Thomas Cowie. A few days after the capture, in a casual conver- 
sation between these young men, the matter of a flag came up. They had 
no authority to raise the American flag, and they determined to make one. 
Their general idea was to imitate without following too closely then- national 
ensign. Mrs. W. B. Elliott had been brought to the town of Sonoma by her 
husband from his ranch on Mark West creek for safety. The old Elliott 
cabin may be seen to this day on Mark "West creek, about a mile above the 
Springs. From Mrs. Elliott, Ben Duell got a piece of new red flannel, some 
white domestic, needles and thread. A piece of blue drilling was obtained 
elsewhere. From this material, without consultation with any one else, thefe 
three young men made the Bear Flag. Cowie had been a saddler. Datll 
had also served a short time at the same trade. To form the flag Duel! and 
Cowie sewed together alternate strips of red, white, and blue. Todd drew 
in the upper corner a star and painted on the lower a rude picture of a grizzly 
bear, which was not standing as has been sometimes represented, but was 
drawn with head down. The bear was afterwards adopted as the design of 
the great seal of the State of California. On the original flag it was so 
rudely executed that two of those who saw it raised have told us that it 
looked more hke a hog than a bear. Be that as it may, its meaning was 
plain — that the revolutionary part}^ would, if necessary, fight their way 
tln-ough at all hazards. In the language of our informant, it meant that 


there was no back out; they intended to fight it out. There were no 
halyards on the flag-staff which stood in front of the barracks. It was 
again reared, and the flag which was soon to be replaced by that of the 
Republic for'the first time floated on the breeze." 

Besides the above quoted authorities, John S. Hittell, historian of the 
Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco, and H. H. Bancroft, the Pacific 
Coast historian, fixed the dates of the raising of the Bear flag as June 12th 
and June 1.5th, respectively. William Winter, Secretary of the Association 
of Territorial Pioneers of California, and Mr. Lancey, questioned the correct- 
ness of these dates, and entered into correspondence with all the men known 
to be ahve who were of that party, and others who wer^ hkely to throw any 
hght on the subject. Among many answers received, we quote the following 
portion of a letter from James G. Bleak: — 

" St. George, Utah, 16th of April, 1878. 
" To William Winter, Esq., Secretary of Association 'Territorial Pioneers 
of California' — 

" Dear Sir: — Your communication of 3d instant is placed in my hands by 
the widow of a departed friend — James M. Ide, son of William B. — as I have 
at present in my charge some of his papers. In reply to your question ask- 
ing for ' the correct date' of raising the ' Bear Flag' at Sonoma, in 1846, 1 will 
quote from the writing of William B. Ide, deceased : ' The said Bear flag 
(was) made of plane (plain) cotton cloth, and ornamented with the red flan- 
nel of a shirt from the back of one of the men, and christened by the 'Cali- 
fornia Republic,' in red paint letters on both sides; (it) was raised upon the 
standard where had floated on the breezes the Mexican flag aforetime; it was 
the 14th June, '46. Our whole number was twenty-four, all told. The 
mechanism of the flag was performed by William L. Todd, of Illinois. The 
grizzly bear was chosen as an emblem of strength and unyielding resistance.' " 

The following testimony conveyed to the Los Angeles Express from the 
artist of the flag, we now produce as possibly the best that can be found: — 
"Los Angeles, January 11, 1878. 

" Your letter of the 9th inst. came duly to hand, and in answer I have to 
say in regard to the making of the original Bear flag of California, at Sonoma, 
in 1846, that when the Americans, who had taken up arms against the Span- 
ish regime, had determined what kind of a flag should be adopted, the follow- 
ing persons performed the work: Granville P. Swift, Peter Storm, Henry L. 
Ford and mj^self ; we procured in the house where we made our headquarters, 
a piece of new unbleached cotton domestic, not quite a yard wide, with strips 
of red flannel about four inches wide, furnished by Mrs. John Sears, on the 
lower side of the canvas. On the upper left hand corner was a star, and in the 
center was the image made to represent a grizzly bear passant, so common in 
this country at the time. The bear and star were painted with paint made 


of linseed oil and Venetian red or Spanish brown. Underneath the bear were 
the words 'California Repubhc' The other persons engaged with me got the 
materials together, while 1 acted as artist. The forms of the bear and star 
and the letters were first lined out with pen and ink by myself, and the two 
forms were filled in with the red paint, but the letters with ink. The flag 
mentioned by Mr. Hittell with the bear rampant, was made, as I always 
understood, at Santa Barbara, and was painted black. Allow me to say, that 
at that time there was not a wheelwright shop in California. The flag I 
painted, I saw in the rooms of the California Pioneers in San Francisco, in 
1870, and the secretary will show it to any person who will call on him, at 
any time. If it is the one that I painted, it will be known by a mistake in 
tinting out the words ' California Repubhc' The letters were first lined out 
with a pen, and I left out the letter ' I,' and hned out the letter 'C in its 
place. But afterwards I lined out the letter 'I' over the 'C,' so that the last 
syllable of 'Repubhc' looks as if the two last letters were blended. 

"Yours respectfuUj^ Wm. L. Todd." 

The San Francisco Evening Post of April 20, 1874, has the following: 
" General Sherman has just forwarded to the Society of Cahfornia Pioneers 
the guidon which the Bear Company bore at the time of the conquest of 
California. The relic is of white silk, with a two-inch wide red stripe at the 
bottom, and a bear in the center, over which is the inscription : ' Republic 
of California.' It is accompanied by the following letter from the donor: — 

" Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco, California — Gentlemen : 
At the suggestion of General Sherman I beg leave to send to your Society 
herewith a guidon formerly belonging to the Sonoma troop of the California 
Battauon of 1846 for preservation. This guidon I found among the efiects 
of that troop when I hauled down the Bear Flag and substituted the flag of 
the United States at Sonoma, on the 9th of July, 1846, and have preserved 
it ever since. Very respectfully, etc. 

"'Jos. W. Ueyere, Brigadier-General. 

"Morristown, N. J., February 20, 1874.'" 

The garrison being now in possession, it was necessary to elect ofiicers, 
therefore, Henry L. Ford was elected Fkst Lieutenant; Granville P. Swift, 
First Sergeant; and Samuel Gibson, Second Sergeant. Sentries were posted, 
and a system of military routine inaugurated. In the forenoon, while on 
parade, Lieutenant Ford addressed the company in these words: "My coun- 
trymen ! We have taken upon ourselves a very responsible duty. We have 
entered into a war with the Mexican nation. We are bound to defend each 
other or be shot ! There's no half-way place about it. To defend ourselves, 
we must have discipline. Each of you has had a voice in choosmg your offi- 
cers. Now they are chosen they must be obeyed! " To which the entire band 
responded that the authority of the ofiicers should be suppoi-ted. The words 


of William B. Ide, in continaation of the letter quoted above, throw fiirther 
lioht upon the machinery of the civil-military force: " The men were divided 
into two companies of ten men each! The First Artillery were busily engaged 
in putting the cannons in order, which were charged doubly with grape and 
canister. The First Rifle Company were busied in cleaning, repairing and 
loading the small arms. The Commander, after setting a guard and posting 
a sentinel on one of the highest buildings to watch the approach of any per- 
sons who might feel a curiosity to inspect our operations, directed his leisure 
to the establishment of some system of finance, whereby all the defenders' 
families might be brought within the lines of our garrison and supported. Ten 
thousand pounds of flour Avere purchased on the credit of the government, 
and deposited with the garrison. And an account was opened, on terms 
agreed upon, for a supply of beef, and a few barrels of salt, constitvited our 
main suppUes. Whisky was contrabanded all together. After the first round 
of duties was performed, as many as could be spared off guard were called 
together and our situation fully explained to the men by the commanders of 
the gari'ison. 

" It was fully represented that our success — nay, our very life depended on 
the magnanimity and justice of our course of conduct, coupled with sleepless 
vigilance and care. (But ere this we had gathered as many of the surround- 
ing citizens as was possible, and placed them out of harm's way, between 
four strong walls. They were more than twice our number.) The commander 
chose fi'om these strangers the most intelligent, and by the use of an interpre- 
ter went on to explain the cause of our coming together. Our determination 
to offer equal protection and equal justice to all good and virtuous citizens; 
that we had not called them there to rob them of any portion of their prop- 
erty, or to disturb them in their social relations one with another ; nor yet to 
desecrate their religion." 

As will be learned from the foregoing the number of those who were under 
the protection of the Bear flag within Sonoma, had been considerably increased. 
A messenger had been dispatched to San Francisco to inform Captain Mont- 
gomery, of the United States ship " Portsmouth," of the action taken by 
them, he further stating that it was the intention of the insurgents never to 
lay down their arms until the independence of their adopted country had been 
estabhshed. Another message was dispatched about this time but in a differ- 
ent direction. Lieutenant Ford, finding that the magazine was short of powder, 
sent two men named Cowie and Fowler, to the Sotoyome rancho, owned by H. 
D. Fitch, for a bag of rifle powder. The former messenger returned, the latter, 
never. Before starting, they were cautioned against proceeding by travelerl 
ways; good advice, which, however, they only followed for the first ten miles 
of their journey, when they struck into the main thoroughfare to Santa Rosa. 
A t about two miles from that place they were attacked and slaughtered by a 
party of Californians. Two others were dispatched on special duty, they. 


too, were captured, but were treated better. Receiving no intelligence from 
either of the parties, foul play was suspected, therefore, on the morning of the 
2()th of June, Sergeant Gibson was ordered Avith four men, to proceed to the 
Sotoyome rancho, learn, if possible, the whereabouts of the missLag men, and 
procure the powder. They went as directed, secured the ammunition, but got 
no news of the missing men. As they were passing Santa Rosa, on then- 
return, they were attacked at dajdight by a few Californians, and turning 
upon then- assailants, captured two of them. Bias Angelina, and Bernadino 
Garcia, alias Three-fingered Jack, and took them to Sonoma. They told of 
the taking and slaying of Cowie and Fowler, and that their captors were 
Ramon Mesa Domingo, Mesa Juan PadUla, Ramon Carrillo, Barnardino Garcia, 
Bias Angelina, Francisco Tibran, Ygnacio Balensuella, Juan Peralta, Jnan 
Soleto, Inaguan Carrello, Marieno Merando, Francisco Garcia, Ygnacio Stig- 
ger. The story of their death is a sad one. After Cowie and Fowler had 
been seized by the Californians, they encamped for the night, and the follow- 
ing morning determined m council what should be the fate of their captives. 
A swarthy New Mexican, named Mesa Juan PadUla, and Three-fingered 
Jack, the Cahfornian. were loudest in their denunciation of the prisoners as 
deserving of death, and unhappily theii" counsels prevailed. The unfortunate 
young men were then led out, stripped naked, bound to a tree with a lariat, 
whUe, for a time, the iahuman monsters practised knife-thiwing at their 
naked bodies, the victims the while praying to be shot. They then com- 
menced throwing stones at them, one of which broke the jaw of Fowler. 
The fiend. Three-fingered Jack, then advancing, thrust the end of his lariat 
(a rawhide rope) through the mouth, cut an incision in the throat, and then 
made a tie, by which the jaw was dragged out. They next proceeded to 
kill them slowly with their knives. Cowie, who had fainted, had the flesh 
stripped from his arms and shoulders, and pieces of flesh were cut from their 
bodies and crammed into then- mouths, they being finally disemboweled 
Their mutilated remains were afterwards found and buried where they fell, 
upon the farm now owned by George Moore, two miles north of Santa Rosa. 
No stone marks the grave of these pioneers, one of whom took so con- 
spicuous a part in the events which gave to the Union the great State of Cah- 

Three-fingered Jack was killed by Captaia Harry Love's Ranger^, July 
27, 1853, at Pinola Pass, near the Merced river, with the bandit, Joaquin 
Murietta; while Ramon Carrillo met his death at the hands of the Vigi- 
lantes, between Los Angelas and San Diego, May 21, 1864. At the time 
of his death, the above murder, in which it was said he was implicated, 
became the subject of newspaper comment, indeed, so bitter were the 
remarks made, that on June 4, 1SG4, the Sonoma Democrat published a letter 
from Julio Carrillo, a respected citizen of Santa, an extract from which 
we reproduce: — 


" But I wish more particulariy to call attention to an old charge, which I 
presume owes its revival to the same source, to wit: That my brother, Ramon 
Carrillo, was connected with the murder of two Americans, who had been 
taken prisoners by a company commanded by Juan PadUla in 1846. 

"I presume this charge hrst originated from the fact that my brother had 
been active in raising the company which was commanded by Padilla, and 
from the further fact that the mui'der occurred near the Santa .Rosa farm, 
then occupied by my mother's family. 

" Notwithstanding these appearances, I have proof which is incontestible, 
that my brother was not connected with this affair, and was not even aware 
that these men had been taken prisoners until after they had been killed. 
The act was disapproved of by all the native Californians at the time, except- 
ing those imphcated in the killing, and caused a difference which was never 
entu-ely healed. 

" There are, as I believe, many Americans now living in this vicinity, who 
were here at the time, and who know the facts I have mentioned. I am 
ready to furnish proof of what I have said to any who may desire it." 

The messenger despatched to the U. S. ship "Portsmouth" returned on the 
17th in company with the First Lieutenant of that ship, John Storny Miss- 
room and John E. Montgomery, son and clerk of Captain Montgomery, who 
despatched by express, letters from that officer to Fremont and Sutter. These 
arrived the following day, the 18th, and the day after, the 19th, Fremont 
came to Sutter's with twenty -two men and Josi^ Noriega of San Jos^ and 
Vicente Peralta as prisoners. 

At Sonoma on this day, June 18th, Captain Wilham B. Ide, with the con- 
sent of the garrison, issued the following: — 

"A proclamation to all persons and citizens of the District of Sonoma, 
requesting them to remain at peace and foUow their rightful occupations with- 
out fear of molestation. 

" The commander-in-chief of the troops assembled at the fortress of Sonoma 
gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California, not found under arms, 
that they shall not be disturbed in their persons, their property, or social rela- 
tion, one with another, by men under his command. 

" He also solemnly declares his object to be: — first, to defend himself and 
companions in arms, who were invited to this country by a promise of lands 
on which to settle themselves and families; who were also promised a Repub- 
lican Government; when, having arrived in California, they were denied the 
privilege of buying or renting lands of their friends, who, instead of being 
allowed to participate in or being protected by a Republican Government, 
were oppressed by a military despotism ; who were even threatened by proc- 
lamation by the chief officers of the aforesaid despotism with extermination 
if they .should not depart out of the country, leaving all their property, arms 
and beasts of burden ; and thus deprived of their means of flight or defense. 


were to be driven through deserts inhabited by hostile Indians, to certain 

" To overthrow a government which has siezed upon the projjerty of the 
missions for its individual aggrandizement; which has ruined and shamefully 
oppressed the laboring people of California by enormous exactions on goods 
imported into the country, is the determined purpose of the brave men who 
are associated under my command. 

"I also solemnlj'- declare my object, in the second place, to be to invite all 
peaceable and good citizens of California who are friendly to the maintenance 
of good order and equal rights, and I do hereby invite them to repair to my 
camp at Sonoma without delay to assist us in establishing and perpetuating a 
Republican Government, which shall secure to aU, civil and religious liberty ; 
which shall encourage virtue and literature ; which shall leave unshackled by 
fetters, agriculture, commerce and manufactures. 

" I fui'ther declare that I rely upon the rectitude of our intentions, the favor 
of heaven and the bravery of those who are bound and associated with me by 
the principles of self-preservation, by the love of truth and the hatred of 
tyi-anny, for my hopes of success. 

" I furthermore declare that I believe that a government to be prosperous 
and happy must originate with the people who are friendly to its existence; 
that the citizens are its guardians, the officers its servants, its glory its 
reward. " William B. Ide. 

"Headquarters, Sonoma, June 18, 1846." 

The Pioneer says Captain William B. Ide was born in Ohio, came over- 
land, reaching Sutter's Fort in October, 1845. June 7, 1847, Governor Mason 
appointed him land surveyor for the northern district of California, and same 
month was Justice of the Peace at Cache Creek. At an early day he got a 
grant of land which was called the rancho Barranca Colorado, just below Red 
Creek in Colusa county, as it was then organized. In 1851 he was elected 
countj'^ treasurer, with an assessment roll of three hundred and seventy-three 
thousand two hundred and six dollars. Moved with the county seat to Mon- 
roeville, at the mouth of Stoney Creek, September 3, 1851, he was elected 
County Judge of Colusa county, and practiced law, having a license. Judge 
Ide died of small-pox at MonroeviUe on Saturday, December 18, 1852, aged 
fifty years. 

Let us for a moment turn to the doings of Castr-o. On June 17th, he issued 
two proclamations, one to the new, the other to the old citizens and foreign- 
ers. Appended are translations: — 

" The citizen Jose Castro, Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry in the Mexican 
Army, and acting General Commandant of the Department of California. 

"Fellow Citizens: — The contemptible policy of the agents of the United 
States of North America in this Department has induced a number of 
adventurers, who, regardless of the rights of men, have designedly commenced 


an invasion, possessing themselves of the town of Sonoma, taking by surprise 
all the place, the military commander of that border, Col. Don Mariano Guad- 
alupe Vallejo, Lieutenant-Colonel Don Victor Prudon, Captain Don Salvador 
Vallejo and Mr. Jacob P. Leese. 

" Fellow countrymen, the defense of our liberty, the true religion which 
our fathers possessed, and our independence call upon us to sacrifice our- 
selves rather than lose those inestimable blessings. Banish from your hearts 
all petty resentments. Turn you and behold yourselves, these families, these 
innocent little ones, which have unfortunately fallen into the hands of our 
enemies, dragged from the bosoms of their fathers, who are prisoners among 
foreigners and are calling upon us to succor them. There is still time for 
us to rise en masse, as iiresistible as retribution. You need not doubt but 
that divine Providence will direct us in the way to glory. You should not 
vacillate because of the smallness of the garrison of the general head- 
quarters, for he who will first saci'ifice himself will be your friend and feUow- 
citizen. Jose Castro. 

" Headquai'ters, Santa Clara, June 17, 1S4G." 

" The citizen Jos^ Castro, Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry in the Mexican 
Army and Acting Commandant of the Department of California. 

"All foreigners residing among \is, occupied with their business, may rest 
assured of the protection of all the authorities of the Department while they 
refrain entirely fron all revolutionary movements. 

" The general comandancia under my charge will never proceed with vigor 
against any persons ; neither will its authority result in mere words, wanting 
proof to support it. Declarations shall be taken, proofs executed, and the 
liberty and rights of the laborious, which is ever commendable, shall be pro- 

"Let the fortunes of war take its chance with those ungrateful men, who, 
with arms in their hands, have attacked the country, without recollecting 
that they were treated by the andersigned with all the indulgence of which 
ho is so characteristic. The imperative inhabitants of the department are 
witness to the truth of this. I have nothing to fear; my duty leads me to 
death or victory. I am a Mexican Soldier, and I will bo free and independ- 
ent, or I will gladly die for those inestimable blessings. 

"Jose Castro. 

"Headquarters, Santa Clara, June 17, 1846." 

On June 20th, a body of about seventy CaHfornians, under Captain Jose' 
Joaquin de la Torre, crossed the bay of San Francisco, and being joined hv 
Correo and Padea, marched to the vicinity of San Rafael, wlaile General 
Castro had, by the utmost pressure, raised his forces to two hundred and 
fifty men, most of them being forced volunteers. Of this sy.steui of recruit- 
ing Lieutenant Kevere says: "1 heard that on a feast d;iv, when the 



rancheros came to the mission in their 'go-to-meeting' clothes, with their wives 
and children, Castro seized their horses, and forced the men to volunteer in 
defense of their homes, against los Stdvages Americanos." Casti'o, at the 
head of his army, on the evening of the 27th of June, marched out of Santa 
Clara, and proceeding around the head of the Bay of San Francisco, as far as 
the San Leandro creek, halted on the rancho of Estudillo, where we shall 
leave them for the present. 

Captaui J. C. Fremont having concluded that it had become his duty to 
take a personal part in the revolution which he had fostered, on June 21st 
transferred his impedimenta to the safe keeping of Captaui Sutter at the fort, 
and recrossing the American river, encamped on the Sinclair rancho, where 
he was joined by Pearson B. Redding and all the trappers about Sutter's 
Fort, and there awaited orders. On the afternoon of the 23d, Harrison 
Pierce, who had .settled in the Napa valley in 1843, ' came into their camp, 
having lidden the eighty miles with but one change of horses, which he 
procured from John R. Wolfskill, on Putah creek, now Solano county, and 
conveyed to Fremont the intelligence that the little garrison at Sonoma was 
gi-eatly excited, consequent on news i-eceived that General Castro, with a 
considerable force, was advancing on the town and hurling threats of recap- 
ture and hanging of the rebels. On receivmg the promise of Fremont to 
come to their rescue as soon as he could put ninety men into the saddle. 
Pierce obtained a fresh mount, and returned without drawing rein to the 
anxious garrison, who received him and his message with every demonstration 
of joy. Fremont having found horses for Ins ninety mounted ri ties left the 
Sinclair rancho on June 23d — a curious looking cavalcade, truly. One of the 
party writes of them: — 

"There were Americans, French, English, Swiss, Poles, Russians^, Prussians, 
Chileans, Germans, Greeks, Austrians, Pawnees, native Indians, etc., all riding 
side by side and talking a polyglot Ungual hash never exceeded in diversibility 
since the conf u.sion of tongues at the tower of Babel. 

"Some wore the relics of their home-spun garments, some relied upon the 
antelope and the bear for their wardrobe, some lightly habited in buck- 
skin leggings and a coat of war-paint, and their weapons were equally 

" There was the grim old hunter with his long heavy rifle, the farmer with 
his doubie-barreled shot-gun, the Indian with his bow and arrows ; and others 
with horse-pistols, revolvers, sabres, ships' cutlasses, bowie-knives and 'pepper- 
boxes' (Allen's revolvers)." 

Though the Bear Flag army was incongruous in •personnel, as a body it 
was composed of tlie best fighting material. Each of them was inured to 
hardship and privation, seK-reliant, fertile in resources, versed in woodcraft 
an 1 Imlian fighting, accustomed to hanille firearms, ami full of energy and 
daring. It was a band of hardy adventurers, such as in an earher ao'e wrested 


this land from the feebler aborigines. With this band Fremont arrived at 
Sonoma at two o'clock on the morning of June 25, 1846, having made forced 

The reader may not have forgotten the capture and horrible butchery of 
Cowie and Fowler by the Padilla party. A few days thereafter, while 
William L. Todd (the artist of the Bear flag) was trying to catch a at a 
little distance from the barracks at Sonoma, he was captured by the same 
gang, and afterwards falling in with another man, he too was taken prisoner. 
The party several times signified their intention of slaying Todd, but he for- 
tunately knowing something of the Spanish tongue was enabled to make them 
understand that his death would seal General Vallejo's doom, which saved 
him. He and his companion in misfortune, with whom he had no opportun- 
ity to converse, but who appeared like an Englishman — a half fool and com- 
mon loafer — were conveyed to the Indian rancherie called Olompah, some eight 
miles from Petaluma. 

For the purpose of liberating the prisoners and keeping the enemy in check, 
until the arrival of Captain Fremont, Lieutenant Ford mustered a squad, 
variously stated at from twenty to twentj^-three men, among whom were 
Granville P. Swift, Samuel Kelsey, William Baldridge, and Frank Bedwell, 
and on June 23d, taking with them the two prisoners, Bias Angelina and 
Three-fingered Jack from Sonoma, marched for where it was thought the Cal- 
ifornians had estabhshed their headquarters. Here they learned from some 
Indians, under considerable military pressure, that the Californian troops had 
left three hours before. They now partook of a hasty meal, and with one of 
the Indians as guide, proceeded towards the Laguna de San Antonio, and that 
night halted within half a mile of the enemy's camp. At dawn they charged 
the place, took the only men they found there prisoners ; their number was 
four, the remainder having left for San Rafael. 

Four men were left here to guard their prisoners and horses, Ford, with four- 
teen others starting in pursuit of the enemy. Leaving the lagoon of San Anto- 
nio, and having struck into the road leading into San Rafael, after a quick 
ride of four miles, they came in sight of the house where the Californians had 
passed the night with their two prisoners, Todd and his companion, and were 
then within its walls enjoying themselves. Ford's men were as ignorant of 
tlieir proximity, as the Californians were of theirs. However, when the 
advanced guard arrived in sight of the corral, and perceiving it to be full of 
horses, with a number of Indian vacqueros around it, they made a brilliant 
dash to prevent the animals from being turned loose. While exulting over 
their good fortune at this unlooked for addition to their cavalry arm, they 
were surprised to see the Californians rush out of the house and mount tlieir 
already saddled quadrupeds. It should be said that the house was situated 
on the edge of a plain, some sixty yards from a grove of brushwood. In a 
moment Ford formed his men into two half companies and charged the enemy. 


who, perceiving the movement, retreated behind the grove of trees. From 
his position Ford counted them and found that there were eighty-five. Not- 
withstanding he had but fourteen in his ranks, nothing daunted, he dismounted 
his men, and taking advantage of the protection offered by the brushwood, 
prepared for action. The Cahfornians observing this evohition became 
emboldened and prepared for a charge; on this. Ford calmly awaited the 
attack, giving stringent orders that his rear rank should hold their fire until 
the enemy were well up. On they came with shouts, the brandishing of 
swords and the fiash of pistols, until within thu-ty yards of the Americans, 
whose fi-ont rank then opened a withering fire and emptied the saddles of 
eight of the Mexican soldiery. On receiving this volley the enemy wheeled to 
the right-about and made a break for the hOls, while Ford's rear rank played 
upon them at long range, causing three more to bite the earth, and wounding 
two othei-s. The remainder retreated helter-skelter to a hiU in the du-ection 
of San Rafael, leaving the two prisoners in the house. Ford's little force hav- 
ing now attained the object of their expedition, secured their prisoners-of-war, 
and going to the corral where the enemy had a large drove of horses, changed 
their jaded nags for fresh ones, took the balance, some four hundred, and 
retraced their victorious steps to Sonoma, where they were heartily welcomed 
by their anxious countrymen, who had feared for their safety. 

We last left Captain Fremont at Sonoma, where he had arrived at 2 A. M. 
of the 25th June. Mter giving his men and horses a short rest, and receiv- 
ing a small addition to his force, he was once more in the saddle and started 
for San Rafael, Adhere it was said that Castro had joined de la Torre with two 
liuncU-ed and fifty men. At four o'clock in the afternoon they came in sight 
of the position thought to be occupied by the enemy. This thcj^ approached cau- 
tiousl}^ imtil quite close, then charged, the three first to enter being Fremont, 
Kit Carson, and J. W. Marshall, (the future discoverer of gold), but they 
found the lines occupied by only four men. Captain Torre having left some 
three hours previously, Fremont camped on the ground that night, and on 
the following morning, the 26th, dispatched scouting parties, while the main 
body remained at San Rafael for three days. Captain Torre had departed, 
no one knew whither ; he left not a trace ; but General Castro was seen from 
the commandmg hills behind, approaching on the other side of the bay. 
One evening a scout brought in an Indian on whom was found a letter 
from Torre to Castro, purporting to inform the latter that he would, that 
night, concentrate his forces and march upon Sonoma and attack it in the 

Captain Gillespie and Lieutenant Ford held that the letter was a ruse 
designed for the purpose of ch-awing the American forces back to Sonoma, and 
thus leave an avenue of escape open for the Cahfornians. Opinions on the 
subject were divided: however, by midnight every man of them was in 
Sonoma. It was afterwards known that they had passed the night within a 


mile of Captain de la Torre's camp, who, on ascertaining tlie departure of the 
]-evolutioniste effected his escape to Santa Clara via Saucelito. 

On or about the 26th of June, Lieutenant Joseph W. Revere, of the sloop- 
of- war "Portsmouth," in company with Dr. Andrew A. Henderaon, and a 
boat load of supplies, arrived at Sutter's Fort; there arriving also on the same 
ilay a number of men from Oregon, who at once cast their lot with the "Bear 
Flag " party, while on the 28th, another boat with Lieutenants Washington 
and Bartlett put in an appearance. 

Of this visit of Lieutenant Revere to what afterwards became Sacramento 
city, he says: — 

" On arriving at the ' Embarcadei'O ' (landing) we were not surprised to find 
a mounted guard of ' patriots,' Avho had long been apprised by the Indians 
that a boat was ascending the river. These Indians were indeed important 
auxiliaries to the revolutionists during the short period of strife between the 
parties contending for the sovereignty of Cahfornia. Having been most cru- 
elly treated by the Spanish race, murdered even, on the shghtest provocation, 
when their oppressors made marauding expeditions for servants, and when 
captured compelled to labor for their unsparing task-masters, the Indians 
throughout the country hailed the day when the hardy strangers from beyond 
the Sierra Nevada rose up in arms against the Mjos de pais (sons of the 
country). Entertaining an exalted opinion of the skiU and prowess of the 
Americans, and knowmg from experience that they were of a milder and lass 
sanguinary character than the rancheros, they anticipated a complete deliver- 
ance from their burdens, and assisted the revolutionists to the full extent of 
their humble abilities. 

" Emerging from the woods lining the river, we stood upon a plain of 
immense extent, bounded on the west by the heavy timber which marks the 
eoui-se of the Sacramento, the dim outline of the Sierra Nevada appearing in 
the distance. We now came to some extensive fields of wheat in fuU bear- 
ing, waving gracefully in the gentle breeze, like the billows of the sea, and 
saw the white-washed walls of the fort, situated on a small eminence com- 
manding the approaches on all sides. 

" We were met and welcomed by Captain Sutter and the ofiicer in com- 
mand of the garrison ; but the appearance of things indicated that our recep- 
tion would have been very different had we come on a hostile errand. 

" The appearance of the fort, with its crenatod walls, fortified gate-way 
and bastioned angles; the heavily-bearded, fierce-looking hunters and trap- 
pers, armed with lifles, bowie-knives and pistols; their ornamented hunting 
shirts and gartered leggings; their lung hair turbaned with colored handker- 
chiefs; their wild and almost savage looks and dauntless and independent 
bearing; the wagons filled with golden grain; the arid, yet fertile plains; 
the cahallados driven across it by Avild, shouting Indians, enveloped in clouds 
of dust, and the dashing horsemen scouring the fields in every dnection; all 


these accessories conspii-ed to carry me back to the Romantic East, and 1 
could ahnost fancy again that 1 was once more the guest of some powerful 
Arab chieftain, in his desert strongliold. Everything bore the impress of vig- 
ilance and preparation of defense, and not without reason, for Castro, then at 
the Pueblo de San Jos^, with a force of several hundred men, well provided 
with horses and artillery, had threatened to march upon the valley of the 

" The fort consists of a parellelogram, enclosed by adobe walls fifteen feet 
high and two thick, with bastions or towers at the angles, the walls of which 
arc four feet thick, and their embrasures so arranged as to flank the curtain 
on all sides. A good house occupies the center of the interior area, serving 
for officei-s' quarters, armories, guard and state rooms, and also for a kind of 
citadel There is a second wall on the inner face, the space between it and 
the outer wall being roofed and divided into workshops, quarters, etc., and 
the usual oflices are provided, and also a well of good water. Corrals for the 
tattle and horses of the garrison are conveniently placed where they can be 
tinder the eye of the guard. Cannon frown from the various embrasures, 
and the ensemble presents the very ideal of a border fortress. It must have 
' astonished the natives ' when this monument of the white man's skill arose 
from the plaiu and showed its dreadful teeth in the midst of those peaceful 

" I found during this visit that General VaUejo and his companions were 
rigorously guarded by the ' patriots, but I saw him and had some conversa- 
tion with him, which it was easy to see excited a very ridiculous amount of 
suspicion on the part of his vigilant jailors, whose position, however, as revo- 
lutionists was a little ticklish and excited in them that distrust which in dan- 
gerous times is inseparable from low and ignorant minds. Indeed, they car- 
ried their doubts so far as to threaten to shoot Sutter for being pohte to his 

Fremont having with his men partaken of the early meal, on the morning 
of the 27th June returned to San Rafael, after being absent only twenty- 
four hours. 

Castro, who had been for three days watching the movements of Fremont 
from the other side of the bay, sent three men, Don Josd Reyes Berryesa, (a 
retired Sergeant of the Presidio Company of San Francisco), and Ramon and 
Francisco de Haro (twin sons of Don Francisco de Haro, Alcalde of San 
Francisco in 1838-39), to reconnoiter, who landed on what is now known as 
Point San Quentin. On landing they were seized with their arms, and on 
them were found written orders from Castro to Captain de la Torre, (who it 
was not known had made his escape to Santa Clara) to kill every foreign man, 
woman and child. These men were shot on the spot; first as spies, second in 
retaliation for the Americans so cruelly butchered by the Californians. i Gen- 
era] Castro, fearing that he might, if caught, shai-e tlie fate of his spies, left 


the rancho of the Estudillos, and after a hasty march arrived at the Santa 
Clara Mission on June 29, 1846. 

Captain William D. Phelps, of Lexington, Massachusetts, who was lying 
at Saucelito with his bark, the "Moscow," remarks, says Mr. Lancey: — 

"When Fremont passed San Rafael in pursuit of Captain de la Torre's 
party, I had just left them, and he sent me word that he would drive them 
to Saucelito that night, when they could not escape unless they got my boats. 
I hastened back to the ship and made all safe. There was a large launch 
lying near the beach; this was anchored further ofi^ and I put provisions on 
board to be ready for Fremont should he need her. At night there was not 
a boat on the shore. Torre's party must shortly arrive and show fight or 
surrender. Towards morning we heard them arrive, and to our surprise they 
were seen passing with a small boat from the shore to the launch ; (a small 
boat had arrived from Yerba Buena during the night which had proved their 
salvation). I dispatched a note to the commander of the 'Portsmouth,' 
sloop-of-war, then lying at Yerba Buena, a cove (now San Francisco), inform- 
ing him of their movements, and intimating that a couple of his boats could 
easily intercept and capture them. Captain Montgomery replied that not 
having received any official notice of war existing he could not act in the 

"It was thus the poor scamps escaped. They pulled clear of the ship and 
thus escaped supping on grape and canister which we had prepared for them. 

"Fremont arrived and encamped opposite my vessel, the bark, 'Moscow,' 
the following night. They were early astir the next morning when I land d 
to visit Captain Fremont, and were all variously employed in taking care of 
their horees, mending saddles, cleaning their arms, etc. I had not up to this 
time seen Fremont, but from reports of his character and exploits m}^ imag- 
ination had painted him as a large sized, martial looking man or personage, 
towering above his companions, whiskered and ferocious looking. 

" I took a survey of the party, but could not discovery any one who looked, 
as I thought the captain to look. Seeing a tall, lank, Kentucky-looking 
chap (])oetor R. Semple), dressed in a greasy deer-skia hunting shirt, with 
trowsers to match, and which terminated just below the knees, his head sur- 
mounted by a coon-skin cap, tail in front, who, I supposed, was an officer, as 
he was given orders to the men. I approached and asked him if the captain 
was in camp. He looked and pointed out a slender-made, well-proportioned 
man sitting in front of a tent. His dress was a blue woolen shirt of some- 
what novel style, open at the neck, trimmed with white, and with a star on 
each point of the collar (a man-of-war's man's shirt), over this a deer-skin 
hunting shirt, trimmed and fringed, which had evidently seen hard times or 
service, his head unencumbered by hat or cap, but had a light cotton hand- 
kerchief bound around it, and deer-skin moccasins completed the suit, which 
if not fasliionable for Broadway, or for a presentation di-ess at court, struck 


me as being an excellent rig to scud under or fight in. A few minutes' con- 
versation convinced me that 1 stood in the presence of the King of the Rocky- 

Captain Fremont and his men remained at Saucelito until July 2d, when 
they left for Sonoma, and there prepared for a more perfect organization, their 
plan being to keep the Califomians to the southern part of the State until the 
immigrants then on their way had time to cross the Sierra Nevada into Cal- 
ifornia. On the 4th the National Holiday was celebrated with due pomp; 
while on the 5th, the California Battalion of Mounted Riflemen, two hundred 
and fifty strong, was organized. Brevet-Captain John C. Fremont, Second 
Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers, was chosen Commandant; First 
Lieutenant of Marines, Archibald H. Gillespie, Adjutant and Inspector, with 
the rank of Captain. Says Fremont: — 

" In concert and in co-operation with the American settlers, and in the 
brief space of thirty days, all was accomplished north of the Bay of San 
Francisco, and independence declared on the 5th of July. This was done at 
Sonoma where the American settlers had assembled. I was called by my 
position and by the general voice to the chief direction of affairs, and on the 
6th of July, at the head of the mounted riflemen, set out to find Castro. 

"We had to make the circuit of the head of the bay, crossing the Sacra- 
mento river (at Knight's Landing). On the 10th of July, when within ten 
miles of Sutter's Fort, we received (by the hands of William Scott) the joyful 
intelligence that Commodore John Drake Sloat was at Monterey and had 
taken it on the 7th of July, and that war existed between the United States 
and Mexico. Instantly we pull down the flag of Independence (Bear Flag) 
and ran up that of the United States amid general rejoicing and a national 
salute of twenty-one guns on the morning of the 11th, from Sutter's Fort, 
from a brass four-pounder called "Sutter." 

We find that at two o'clock on the morning of July 9th, Lieutenant Joseph 
Warren Revere, of the " Portsmouth," left that ship in one of her boats, and 
reaching the garrison at Sonoma, did at noon of that day haul down the 
Bear Flag and raise in its place the stars and stripes; and at the same time 
forwarded one to Sutter's Fort by the hands of William Scott, and another to 
Captain Stephen Smith at Bodega. Thus ended what was called the Bear 
Flag War. 

The following is the Mexican account of the Bear Flag war: — • 

"About a year before the commencement of the war a band of adventurers, 
proceeding from the United States, and scattering over the vast territory of 
California, awaited only the signal of their Government to take the first step 

Note. — We find that it is still a moot question as to who actually brought the first news of 
the war to Fremont. The honor is claimed by Harry Bee and John Daubenbiss, who are stated 
to have gone by Livermore and there met the gallant colonel; but the above quoted observa- 
tions purport to be Colonel Fremont's own. 


in the contest for usurpation. Various acts committed by these adventurers 
in violation of the laws of the country indicated their intentions. But unfor- 
tunately the authorities then existing, divided among themselves, neither 
desired nor knew how to arrest the tempest. In the month of July, 1846, 
Captain Fremont, an engineer of the U. S. A., entered the Mexican territory 
■with a few mounted riflemen under the pretext of a scientific commission, and 
sohcited and obtained from the Commandant-General, D. Jos^ Castro, per- 
mission to traverse the country. Three months afterwards, on the 19th of 
May (June 14th), that same force and their commander took possession by 
armed force, and surprised the important town of Sonoma, seizing all the 
artillery, ammunition, armaments, etc., wliich it contained. 

"The adventurers scattered along the Sacramento river, amounting to 
about four hundred, one hundred and sixty men having joined their force. 
They proclaimed for themselves aiid on their own authority the independence 
of California, raising a rose-colored flag with a bear and a star. The result of 
this scandalous proceeding was the plundering of the property of some Mexi- 
cans and the assassination of others — three men shot as spies by Fremont, 
who, faithful to their duty to the country, wished to make resistance. The 
Commandant-General demanded explanations on the subject of the Comman- 
der of an American ship-of-war, the "Portsmouth," anchored in the Bay of 
San Francisco; and although it was positively known that munitions of war, 
arms and clothiag were sent on shore to the adventurers, the Commander, 
J. B. Montgomery, replied that "neither the Government of the United States 
nor the subalterns had any part in the insurrection, and that the Mexican 
authorities ought, therefore, to punish its authors in conformity with the 
laws.' " 



Mendocino County is bounded on the north by Humboldt, Trinity and 
Tehama counties; on the east by Tehama, Colusa and Lake counties; on the 
south by Sonoma county; and on the west by the Pacific ocean. The terri- 
tory embraced within tlie above described limits is very extensive, compris- 
ing three thousand five hundred square miles, and two million acres of land. 
It has about one hundred miles of coast line, along which there are a host of 
bights, bays, and landings which add much to the prosperity of the section, 
as they afford ample opportunity for expoi'ting all the products of that por- 
tion of the county. It would seem almost as if the matter had been arranged 
by an omniscient power, for the heaviest articles of export, — lumber, wood, 
ties, etc., are produced nearest the coast, while the lighter products are con- 
fined to the interior. These coves and inlets will be fully described in the 
body of the work. 

Derivation of Name. — This county derives its name from Cape Mendo- 
cino, which lies to the northward of its northern boundary onlv a few 
leagues. The cape was given its name by the famous Spanish navigator of 
the IGth century, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered it in 1.542, while 
on a voyage of discovery along the Pacific coast, and named it in honor of 
the "illustrious Sefior Antonio de Mendoza," the viceroy of Mexico, and the 
patron of the voyageiir. This name once attached to the cape retained its 
grasp till this section of the State was divided into counties, when, naturallv 
enough, one of the counties was named in honor of the old, old name, that, 
had come down from far back of the Spanish regime in California. 

Topography. — Mendocino county lies upon the coast of the Pacific ocean,, 
which bounds it on the west. Its extreme length in due north and south 
course is eighty-four miles, and its largest breadth is sixty miles, covering an 


area over three thousand five hundred square miles. By the United States 
survey it has ninety-eight townships of thirty-six square miles each, which 
in situation may be divided between its three great geographical sections, 
as follows: The Eel river country, forty -nine townships; Russian river, 
seventeen townships; and the coast, thirty-two townships. Eel river has its 
source in the center of the county, and along the line of Lake, Colusa, and 
Tehama counties, which bound Mendocino ontlie east. This grand, wild and 
ever-flowing stream waters but little arable or bottom-land in this county in 
proportion to the immense area it drains. Hundreds of miles of its tribu- 
taries flow through rocky gorges or lave the base of steep, open hill-sides 
of rich grazing land, with miles upon miles of their length without enough 
valley for the foundation of a cartway. Having its .sources in the summit 
of the Coast Range, with the snows of Sanhedrim, Mount Hood, Hull Moun- 
tain, Yola Bola, and the Trinity range to feed it, its waters are cold, clear 
and rapid, flowing freely all summer. 

Round Valley is the principal valley in the Eel river section. It is situ- 
ated in township 23 north, 12 west of the Mount Diablo base line and meri- 
dian, being one hundred and forty-four miles north of San Francisco, and 
forty-two miles west. It is due north of Ukiah, the county seat, distant 
forty-two miles by compass, and sixty-five by the traveled route. The 
valley is surrounded by low ranges which divide it from the middle fork of Eel 
river which in its course flows from its eastern, around its southern and west- 
ern boundary, and receives the water from the valley at its south-eastern 
limit. Its extreme length is six and one-half miles, and its width four miles, 
with an arable area of about twelve thousand acres varying in soil from the 
rich, black clover-sod, to the gravel beds deposited on its eastei'n side by a 
large inflowing creek. Some years ago the waters of its creeks spread over 
the surface of the ground during the winter, they having no channels, and 
we recollect having seen the mowers running where the water was fetlock 
deep to the horses- The creek immediately adjoining the same field now has 
a channel twelve feet deep and fifty feet wide. 

The best land of the valley is occupied by the United States as an Indian 
reservation, five thousand acres of valley land being fenced in at the north 
end of the valley and in use for cultivation and pasture. The present year 
the Reservation has over eight hundred acres in grain, the major part of the 
work being done by the Indians, of whom there are about eight hundred, old 
and young, now on the farm. 

Owing to the lack of mill facilities, grain raising, as an industry, has 
remained of secondary importance to grazing, to which latter purpose the 
most of the valley lands are devoted. The center of an immense grazing 
country, were but a large flour-mill established there, the valley would 
become the center of supply for a region of country forty miles square. 

k::^^^ J^^^^c^-c^trZ^^^^ 


Eden Valley is upon a tributai-y of Eel river, and lies about ten miles 
south of Round valley. It Is principally owned by Townsend & Gary, of 
Sacramento, who by purchase have acquired title to ten thousand acres of 
grazing land, of which their Eden Valley ranch is the center. The valley is 
about a mile in length and half a mile wide, and is the home of two families 
besides the Townsend & Gary ranch. 

Little Lake is the next in size of the Eel river valleys, and is about 
three miles square, or more nearly round, containing, but for the annual 
overflow from the winter rains, about five thousand acres of arable land. It 
is twenty-two miles north-west from Ukiah. 

Sherwood Valley lies north-west from Little Lake ten miles. It is a 
long narrow valley, only one farm wide, with out-lying flanks in different 
directions, with but a few hundred acres of arable land all told. 

Long Valley is thirty-six miles north and eighteen miles west from 
LTkiah, and sixteen miles west and a little south of Round valley. Like 
Sherwood, it is a long narrow strip of level land in the mountains, seldom 
more than one farm in width, with here and there nooks running up the 
inflowing creeks. Gahto, the principal one of these is a fine detached valley 
of two hundred and fifty acres of very rich land, once a lake, until drained 
by artificial means. 

These four constitute the valley land in the Eel river country, making in 
all not over one township of arable land out of forty-nine. The hills are 
all of good soil, of the black, rich vegetable mold, producing more feed to 
the acre than the grazing land of the Russian river section. The ridges are 
are all so high as to be covered more or less with snow in winter, some of 
the higher ones having six and eight feet on them last winter. The general 
direction of Eel river and its tributaries is north-west, draining the country 
to within ten miles of the coast, and flowing through Humboldt county to 
the bay of that name. 

Russian River heads in Potter and Walker valleys, and flows southerly 
through Mendocino to Sonoma county. Having no snow to feed it, its bed 
is often dry in summer in many places, yet the water is ever flowing under 
the gravel, next the bed-rock or clay subsoil underlying the alluvial, or made 
soil of all our mountain valleys. The main Goast or Mayacmas range, 
divides it from the waters flowing by way of Cache and Putah creeks to the 
Sacramento, and from Napa river. The ridge of this range runs in nearly 
a north and south line from Eel river to Gloverdale, with scarcely an impor- 
tant break in it, some fifty miles. And yet a low gap at Blue Lakes affords 
a fine passage for a railroad from the waters of the Sacramento to Russian 
river and the coast, or into Eel river, Humboldt and Oregon. 


The Russian river water-shed in Mendocino is forty-five miles long and 
about twelve miles wide, and covers an area of about seventeen townships. 
It is about two-thirds productive of grasses, grain, or valuable timber, the 
other third being waste land or chemissal. The principal valleys are Potter, 
Redwood, Walker, Ukiah, Sanel, and Knight's valley. The is seven 
miles long, north-west and south-east, and contains about four thousand 
acres of good land, and as much more of second-rate. Ukiah valley is some 
nine miles long and in extreme width three miles, narrowing to one ranch at 
each end. The soil of all the valley is either a rich sandy river loam, or a 
black vegetable mold called clover land, not being adobe, either bearing 
heavy crops of grain, corn or hops. Fields have averaged one hundred and 
twenty -five bushels of oats, ninety bushels of bai'ley, and a ton of hops to 
the acre is not unusual. Snow scarcely ever falls in the valleys, and then 
only lies a day or two. The deepest known in the Russian river valleys 
being six inches. The extremes of heat and cold are one hundred and four- 
teen degrees and thirteen degrees. The warmest summer being 1876, and 
the coldest winter 1879-80. The usual range is from one hundred and four 
degrees to twenty-two degrees. 

The coast section is watered by numerous streams that rise in the ridge 
west of Russian river, and flow westerly until within a few miles of their 
mouths, when they turn nearly due west to the ocean. This is a distinguish- 
ing feature of the Gualala, Garcia, Alder, Elk, Greenwood, and even of the 
Nevarra's south fork. They all run more or less during the summer, the 
Garcia especially having quite a strong stream through the dry season. These 
streams have narrow deep gorges with but little bottom-land, and that little 
exceedingly fertile ; the Garcia bottoms being considered the best land in 
the county. North of the Nevarra river, comes Salmon, Albion, Big, 
Caspar, Noyo, and Ten-mile rivers, whose general course is westerly, and 
having similar characteristics as to their steep gorges and little bottoms. 
The country along the sea-coast generally consists of level benches between 
the rivers from Gai"cia to the jSevarra. North of the latter and south 
of the former it is more or less hilly. In some places the gorges of the 
streams are absolutely frightful to contemplate, the Mai Paso grade being 
about half a mile long, and the goi-ge then crossed on a bridge ninety feet 
high and one hundred and ten feet long. The. coast section is heavily tim- 
bered nearly to the ocean with redwood, red and white fir, oak of several 
varieties, and madroiia. In the gorges are to be found alder and laurel, and 
occasionally the nutmeg tree and yew. Along the coast are alluvial benches 
varying from a half mile to three miles in width, which are exceedingly fertile 
from the washings of the I'idges, the soil being of a black, rich vegetable 
mold, light and friable, and in places twenty feet deep. On this gi-ound 
are raised the fine jjotatoes which market under the name of Humboldt 
and CuflTej's Cove. The climate of the coast is very equable, the mercury 


usually ranging between fifty and seventy-five degrees, though the extremes 
of thirty and ninety degrees are sometimes touched. Immediately on the 
ocean banks high winds and fogs alternate, but back a few miles both are 
tempered by the sun or broken by the timber, and the most delightful 
climate of the world is found. Anywhere in the county, apples, pears and 
plums luxuriate, except when exposed to the direct blasts of the north-west 
trade-winds on the ocean bank. In the interior all other fruits do well, save 
apricots, which are often caught by late spring frosts. Heavy fogs mark 
the coast during the summer months, and heavier rains may be looked for 
from October to May, eighty inches having fallen in 1877-8. 

The Eel river section also has much fog, and heavy rain or snow, while the 
Russian river section receives but little fog and less rain than the other two 
portions, but yet enough for crop purposes, twenty-one and thirty-four one 
hundredths inches having been the lightest fall, and fifty-four inches the 
heaviest in any one year during the last seven years. No data beyond that 
is at hand. 

The county is thus divided into three great sections, diversified inphysica' 
characteristics, climate, and occupations. The predominating industry of the 
coast section is lumbering, with somewhat of agriculture and stock-raising; 
Russian river country predominating in agricultui-e, with some lumbering 
and stock-raising; Eel river almost entirely given to stock and wool, with a 
little agriculture and lumber. Were there only railroads connecting the 
interior with the coast, the county would develop wonderfully, and double 
its capital in ten years. There are in the county two hundred and twenty- 
four thousand six hundred and four acres enclosed, and fifty-four thousand 
two hundred and forty-eight acres in cultivation. Our product of wool in 
1880 amounted to #.500,000 ,• stock sold, .':?100,000 ; forty million feet of 
lumber was producetl, and one million four hundred and fifty thousand 
shingles. The grain and potatoes shipped cannot be stated, but must amount 
to thousands of tons, besides the butter, hides, cheese, furs, etc., sent out. 

Geology. — There is, perhaps, no subject in the whole range of scientific 
research so fraught with interest, and so sure to yield a rich harvest to the 
investigator as the study of the earth's crust, its formations and upbuilding. 
In this, the careful student and close observer sees more to prove the asser- 
tion " that in the beginning GoiJ created the heavens and the earth," than 
can be found on any written page. Indeed, it may be well called a written 
page — a tablet of stone on which the finger of God has written, in letters of 
life and death, the history of the world from the time when the earth was 
"without form and void," until the present day. What a wonderful scroll 
is it which, to him who comprehends, unfolds the story of the ages long since 
buried in the deep and long forgotten past! In wonder and amazement he 
reads the opening chapters, which reveal to his astonished gaze, the formation 


of the igneous bed-rock or foundation crust on which, and of which, all the 
superstructure must be built. The formless and void matter is slowly- 
crystallizing into that peculiarly organized tripartite mass known now as 
granite, than which there is no moie curiously formed thing on earth, and 
none could be better adapted for foundation purposes than this adamantine 
stone. Silica, spar and mica, three independent substances, all crystalliziag 
freely and separately, each after the manner and under the laws which 
govern its special formation, are so indissolubly united in one mass, that the 
action of the elements for centuries is scarcely perceptible, and the corrosive 
tooth of time makes but a print upon its polished surface during ages. 

From this page we turn to the one above it, for be it known that the 
geological book is arranged so that its primary pages come at the bottom. 
Here is found incipient life, in the form of trilobites, polyps, various classes 
of mollusks, together with worms and crustaceans. Near the close of the 
page there is found ^the record of fish also. All through the page is found 
descriptions of the primal vegetable life which existed on the earth in the 
shape of sea-weed and algpe. The entire face of the earth was then covered 
with water, for this was before the decree had gone forth which said, " Let 
the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let 
the dry land appear." What an era of storms and tempests that must have 
been I No continents nor even islands, against which the angry waves could 
dash in their mad fury. What tides there must have been ! But all this 
great commotion was necessary, for enough of the great granite body had 
to be dissolved and eroded to form a body of matter several hundred feet in 
thickness in the lowest places. 

Another page is turned to view, and here is to be read the fact that 
the sea was full to overflowing with fish. And now the dry land had 
appeared, " and the earth brought forth grass." Here was the beginning of 
veo-etable life in the world, other than that which grew in the sea. Animal 
life has now advanced to the vertebratas, and vegetable life has been 
ushered into the world. Great earthquakes now begin to occur, and moun- 
tain ranges are formed. Storm and tempest rage much as in the last age, 
and erosion is going on rapidly, and detritus is forming layer after layer of 
the rocks now classified as belonging to this geological period. What cycles 
of time, as measured by man's chronology, transpired during this age no one 
can tell, yet to man, if it could be told to him, it would seem to be not a 
time, but an eternity. 

The unfolding of the next page reveals to man, the most useful as well as 
wonderful epoch in the upbuilding of the earth's superstructure. It is now 
that the great coal-fields are formed, from which man, in the due fullness of 
time, is permitted to draw his supplies of fuel for all purposes. How 
wonderfully is the munificence and wisdom of God exemplified in this one 
age in the world's formation ' Quite large areas of land have now been 


elevated above the surface of the raging Devonian sea. The native heat of 
the earth radiating continuously, expanded the water into vast volumes of 
mist, which floated upward till it came in contact with the cooler stratas of 
air, when it was precipitated to the earth in gi-and old thunder-showers. 
The atmosphere was chai'ged with heat, and burdened with moisture and 
carbonic acid. These were conditions most favorable for the development of 
a gigantic and profuse growth of vegetation, and the surface of the earth 
was covered with such a forest as the mind of man cannot conceive of. 
Centuries rolled by, and at last large masses of these trees had grown up, 
fallen down and formed themselves into interminable and impenetrable 
jungles. Then the continents began to exchange places with the seas, and 
water covered the great forests so lately in the full flush of their exotic 
pride. Then the silt and sand formed great bodies of shales and slate-stone 
upon the top of the forest, and the weight of the body of rock and earth 
pressed it till it formed into the mass we now find it, and the process of 
solidification occurred and stone coal was the result. In accordance with 
the laws of the correlation and conservation of forces, the great coal-beds are 
only immense reservoirs of heat in a latent state, only awaiting the proper 
conditions for development and application to the uses and advantages of 
the human family. Could a man have seen the process of coal making going 
on, away back in the almost twilight of the early dawn of the earth's exist- 
ence, he would naturally have asked. To what use can that brittle, black 
material ever be put ? Too fragile for building purposes, and too hard and 
sterile for agricultural economics, and yet evidently designed by the All- 
wise Creator for some beneficent purpose. But to-day the answer is written 
on every hand in letters of living light. The sunbeam charged with heat, 
comes from the bo.som of that great source of light and heat, and assimilates 
itself with the great body of vegetation, then everywhere so rife. Ages roll 
on, and that sunbeam and its brothers of that day, have long since been 
forgotten. The fullness of time has now come, and a race of beings 
inhabit the earth, which existed only in the will and mind of the Infinite 
One at the time of the upbuilding of these great coal measures. These 
creatures are called men, and they are delving far down into the deep 
recesses of the earth. For what are they searching amid the dark chambers 
and along the gloomy passages which they have burrowed out in the bosom 
of the earth ? We follow and find them with pick and drill, dislodging 
a heavy black substance, and sending it in cars to the surface of the ground. 
We follow it as it passes from hand to hand. Do you see that happy 
household band gathered around the cheerful hearth, while without the 
storm king rages with all the fury of a demon ? Hark ! do you hear the 
clank and whir of machinery, which comes from those buildings, affording 
employment for hundreds of needy men and women, keeping the wolf from 
the door, and even making them happy ? Do you see that train of cars 


speeding over hills, through valleys, and across plains, bearing with it a host 
of people, hurrying to or from their avocations of life? Do you see the 
inighty steamer which plows the ocean's crested main from port to port, 
from land to land, bearing the wonderful burdens of commerce in its 
capacious maw? Yes, you see them all. You hear the pulse and throb of 
the mighty engine which drives all these wonders on to success, and which 
is so conducive to man's happiness and best good. But did you ever stop to 
think that away back, ere time was, almost, the agent which was destined to 
perform all these marvels, was garnered away in God's great storehouses — 
the coal-fields, and that to-day we are reaping the full fruition of all these 
centuries. How grand the theme ! How the heart should echo his praise 
for his wonderful goodness to the generations of men ! 

The next page upward reveals to us the fact that reptiles, frogs and birds, 
came into existence, or rather that the two former developed into the full 
vigor of their generation, while the latter was introduced for the first time 
upon the scene of action. It is not our purpose here to make any close inquiries 
into the origin of aniinal life, and shall use the word developed in relation to 
the introduction of a new series of animal life, as being eminently proper, but 
not as having anj^ reference to the Darwinian idea of development, although 
the day has already dawned when the human race will accept the truths of 
that theory, let them be ever so contradictory to what is now taught. For 
our purpose one theory is as good as another. The fact is that in the carbo- 
niferous or coal period there are no traces of birds at all, and in the next 
age we find their foot-prints on the sandstone formations. Whence they 
came we know not nor do we care. They were of gigantic stature evidently, 
for their tracks often measured eighteen inches long, and their stride ranged 
from three to five feet! Another phase of animal life was developed in this 
age, and that was the mammal, which was an insect-eating marsupial. 

Another page is laid open for our perusal and on it we read that the 
race of reptiles reached their culmination in this age, holding undisputed 
sway over land and sei, and in the air. They were very numerous, and 
their forms exceedingly varied and strange, and their size in many cases 
gigantic. Some kinds, like the pliosaurus, plesiosaurus, and ichthyosau- 
rus were sea saurians, from ten to forty feet in length ; othei's were more 
like lizards and crocodiles; others like the megalosaurus and iguanodon 
were dinosaurs from thirty to sixty feet in length ; others like the 
pterodactylus, were flying saurians ; and others turtles. The megalo- 
saurus was a land saurian and was carniverous. This is the first land 
animal of which there is any record, which subsisted on the flesh of other 
animals. The pterodactyl was one of the most wonderful animals which 
ever existed on the face of the earth. It had a body like a mammal, wings 
like a bat, and the jaws and teeth of a crocodile. It was only about one 
foot long. 


The next page does not reveal any very marked changes from the last. 
The same gigantic reptiles are in existence, but on the wane, and finally 
become extinct during this era. The vertebrates make a great stride for- 
ward towards their present condition, while all the leading order of fishes 
are developed just as they exist to-day. Up to this time the fish had not 
been of the bony kind, but now that peculiarity is developed. 

We have now perused the great book of Nature until we have come up 
to those pages which are everywhere present on the surface of the earth. 
Figuratively, we may consider this page divided into three sections; the 
first or lower of which contains nothing in common with the present age, 
all life of that day having long since become extinct. The second section 
contains fossils, more nearly related to the present time; from ten to forty 
per cent being identical with the living species. In the third section the 
percentage of similar species runs from fifty to ninety. The continents of 
the world had assumed very nearly the same shape and outline which they 
maintain at the present time. Sharks reached the height of their glory in 
this age, while the reptiles assumed their true form of snakes, crocodiles and 
turtles. For the first time in the history of the world is there any record of 
snakes, and how far they preceded man will remain for the reader to deter- 
mine from w^iat follows further on. Birds were the same as at the present 
time so far as they went. The mammals of this age are the chief objects of 
interest, not only on account of their great number and the extended variety 
of forms under which they appear, but especially because this period marks 
the time of the introduction of the true mammals on the earth. The sea and 
estuaries, though rich in animal life, no longer furnish the most prominent 
representatives of the animal kingdom ; but in this period the mammals assume 
the first rank. But it must be here stated that none of these species lived 
beyond the close of this age. These animals inhabited the upper Missouri 
section in great quantities, and comprised the mouse, rhinoceros, a species 
similar to the horse, tapir, peccary, camel, deer, hyeoa, dog, panther, beaver, 
porcupine, musk deer, deer, mastodon, wolf and fox. How like a dream it 
seems that these precursors of the present races of mammals should all be 
swept out of existence, .still when we come to know what wonderful climatic 
changes occurred at the close of this period we will not wonder any longer. 
Not only were the " fountains of the great deep broken up and the rains 
descended," but the continent sank deep below its present surface, and a 
great sea of ice from the north swept over its face, bearing death and 
destruction to all living creatures in its path. This was the glacial period, 
and its results are written on the next page. 

This page reveals a wonderful mj'stery ! The throes of death were the 
travails of birth, and that condition of things which swept from the face of 
the earth an entire animal kingdom, paved the way for the existence of a 
higher and fuller life, even man himself Hitherto the earth had been in a 


process of incubation as it were — " the Spirit of the Lord had brooded over 
. the earth," and this was the finality to it all. This was the long winter of 
death which proceeded the spring of life. This is known as the drift or 
boulder period, and its phenomena are spread out before us over North 
America. The drift consists of materials derived from all the previous for- 
mations, and comprise all stages from the finest sand to boulders and frag- 
ments of rock of gigantic size. When the vast sea of ice came crushing 
down from the far away home of old Boreas an inestimable quantity of 
rock was caught in its giant clutch and ground to powder. Others were 
rolled and polished till they were as smooth as glass, while others were fast- 
ened into the body of ice, and carried along miles and leagues from their 
native ledge.s. Throughout the Mississippi valley are numerous granite 
boulders, but no known ledge of it exists nearer than the Northern lakes. 
As soon as the continents had risen from their depressed condition and the 
icy era had subsided, wonderful to relate, life sprang into existence in a fuller 
and stronger condition than ever before. The vegetable and animal life 
of this age was the same as to-day, except the mammals, which, strange to 
say, passed away almost entirely at the end of that era. The elephant dur- 
ing that period was about one-third larger than the present species, and near 
the close of the last century one of these monster animals was found imbed- 
ded in the ice on the coast of Siberia in such a state of preservation, that 
the dogs ate its Hesh. Among the many pictures which this fertile subject 
calls up none is more curious than that presented by the cavern deposits of 
this era. We may close oar survey of this period with the exploration of one 
of these strange repositories; and may select Kent's Hole at Torquay, so care- 
fully excavated and illuminated with the magnesium light of scientific 
inquiry by Mr. Pengelly, and a committee of the British Association. In 
this cave there are a series of deposits in which there are bones and other 
evidences of its habitation both by animals and men. The lowest stratum 
is comprised of a mass of broken and rounded stones, with hard red clay in 
the interstices. In this mass are numerous bones, all of the cave bear. The 
next stratum is composed of stalagmites, and is three feet in thickness, 
and also contains the bones of this bear. The existence of man is inferred 
at this time from the existence of a single flint-flake and a single flint chip. 
Water seems to have now flooded the cave, and the next stratum is composed 
of stones, clay and debris, such as would naturally be deposited by water. 
But the strangest part of it is, that this flood-stratum is rich in relics of its 
former inhabitants, yielding large quantities of teeth and bones of the ele- 
phant, rhinoceros, horse, hyena, cave bear, reindeer and Irish elk. With 
these were found weapons of chipped flint, and harpoons, needles, and bod- 
kins of bone, precisely similar to those of the North American Indians. This 
stratum is four feet in thickness, and in ona spot near the top there is a 
layer of charcoal and burnt wood, with remains which go to show that 


human beings had been there, and prepared their food for eating by cooking 
it, and it also proves that the knowledge and use of fire was known far down 
into the early dawn of man's existence on earth. It is to be borne in mind 
that this is all anterior to the present state of affairs, and that all the 
animals mentioned as contemporaneous with these primitive men have long 
since passed out of existence, and may not the race of men to which those 
people belonged have passed away also, and another race sprung up in their 
stead the same as other races of animals have developed to supply the place 
of those passed away ! These are questions worthy more than a hasty glance. 
Another layer of stalagmite now appears to have been formed in which are 
bones, having the same characteristics as those mentioned above, only the 
jaw-bone of a man with the teeth in it was found. Now a wonderful 
change occurs. The next stratum is black mold and is from three to ten 
inches thick, but in it are found only evidences of modern times, both in 
the relics of man and beast. The bones of the animals are of the orders 
which exist at the present time, and the relics of men extend from the old 
Briton tribes before the Roman invasion up to the porter bottles, and drop- 
ped half -pence of yesterday's visitors. How long a time transpired between 
the last visit of the first race of men who knew this cavern, and the first 
visit of the old Britons is hard to even guess. That it was many ages none 
will dare to question. 

We now come to the last page of the great geological book which records 
the present era of the world's history, which is preeminently the age of 
man. That man existed previous to the present order of things, there can 
be no question, but it remained for this period to fullj^ develop him in all his 
glories and powers. The dark night of winter with its snows and ice, 
before whose destructive and frigid breath all things which had lived on the 
earth had perished, including primitive man, had passed away, and the 
whole face of the earth was smiling and rejoicing in the spring-time of its 
new existence. The seasons were fully established, and summer's suns and 
winter's ice assumed their appi-opriate offices in the grand economy of the 
earth. The seed-time of spring and the harvest time of autumn followed 
each other through the cycles of centuries with never a change. The earth 
was all vii-gui soil and very rich and productive. The air was fresh, brac- 
ing, and free from all poisonous exhalations.. AH nature was complete. 
Animal life had again covered the world, and all was ready for the crowning 
effort of Nature — man. Far away in Western Asia there was a land favored 
far above all the countries of the earth; so much so, that it could truly be 
called a paradise. It was a table-land, at the head waters of the rivers that 
flow into the Uxine and Caspian seas, and the Persian Gulf. Its climate 
was healthful and bracing, with enough of variety to secure vigor, and not so 
inclement as to exact any artificial provision for clotliing or shelter. Its 
flora afforded an abundance of edible fruits to sustain life, and was ricli in 


all the more beautiful forms of plant life, while its clear streams, alluvial 
soil, and undulating surface, afforded a variety of beautiful scenery, and all 
that would go to make up the sine qua non of human existence. It was 
not infested with the more powerful and predacious quadrupeds, and the 
animals which did inhabit the region had nothing to fear, for man was 
originally purely vegetarian in his diet, and in this paradise man found 
ample supplies of wholesome food. His requirements for shelter were met 
by weaving bowers of the overhanging trees. The streams furnished gold 
for ornament, shells for vessels, and agate for his few and simple cutting 
instruments. Such was man's estate in the first days of his existence ; but 
the eternal laws of progression soon forced him out of his primitive bowers 
into huts, and thence to houses and palaces, and the end of that progression 
is not yet. And the human race has a future before it which, if it could be 
seen and comprehended at one glance, would cause the heart of man to 
stand still in wonder and astonishment. 

We will now pass to a consideration of the geological features of Men- 
docino county. Geologists all recognize the fact that the entire coast range 
of mountains is of comparatively recent formation. It is very probable 
that when the chionology of the Bible began, this whole section was under 
water, and the eastern shores of the Pacific extended far up the sides of 
the main Sierra range. Slowly the western side of the continent arose from 
beneath the flood waters of the ocean, volcanic action thrust the ranges of 
mountains and hills to their present altitudes and outlines. Our California 
soil is full of alkaline and saline matter, showing that the day is not far 
past when the salt sea water covered it all. The adobe soil so common here, 
is but the slimy sedimentary deposit of such an era. No traces of striation 
appear on any of the mountains or boulders, hence it is evident that at the 
time of the glacial period these mountains were far beneath the level of the 
sea. No tree that grows in the forests of the Coast Range would carry us 
back more than a thousand years, and the majority do not extend back over 
three hundred. Volcanic action has been very recent indeed, for the craters 
are still bare, and the of the streams of lava as they flowed through 
the country are still easily traceable, and the ashes remain about in the same 
condition as when belched forth from the heart of the earth, not enough 
time having yet elapsed to allow them to assimulate with, and become soil. 
Hot springs burst forth from beds of lava on every hand. The Geysers of 
Sonoma county are a very striking example, and no place on the Pacifie 
coast is more fraught with interest to the scientific student, and none so 
well repays a visit from the tourist and pleasure-seeker. The Vichy hot 
springs, a few miles east of Ukiah City, well up from a bed of lava charged 
with sulphur, soda, and iron, coming evidently from the region of some long 
since extinguished crater. A wonderful exhibition of volcanic action can be 
seen a few miles east of Booneville, in Anderson valley, on the road leading 



to Ukiah. Here an immense volume of lava and ashes has been deposited, 
and has rushed southward over the face of the country, leaving traces of its 
pathway, still plainly discernable to the present day. The same evidences 
are to be found on the road leading from Gahto to Westport, and it is to be 
inferred that it is a part of the pathway of the same lava stream. Whence 
it came is at present unknown, but its source could be easily traced out. 
A lai-ge percentage of the rock forming the mountains of Mendocino county, 
are of volcanic origin, being comprised mostly of trap, basalt, and volcanic 
tufa. It is true that along the ocean shore the rock is mostly of a sand- 
stone formation, and is easily worn away by the action of the waves, mak- 
ing great caverns. At the Point Arena light-house can be seen a fair 
sample of the action of the water on this soft sandstone. About one 
hundred feet from the extreme point, there is a hole in the earth, which 
extends down to the level of the sea, connecting with a tunnel which opens 
into the ocean. This sandstone formation has, at some period of the earth's 
existence, been thrown upon its edge at an angle of nearly ninety degrees, 
and some of the strata seem much softer than the others, and these soft 
seams wash out and form the caverns spoken of above. Gradually the 
cavern is worn out entirely across a point, and then it becomes a small 
island, entirely detached from the main-land. There evidently was a time 
when Point Arena extended as far into the sea as what is now known as 
"wash rocks;" but gradually, year after year, has the soft rock succumbed 
to the action of the waves until nothing but a reef remains to mark the site 
of the former headland. All along the Mendocino coast are to be seen these 
little islands; and a beautiful result of this action can be seen a few miles 
south of Point Arena, where the entire rock has been washed down to 
about tide level, and the beach, if it may be so called, presents the appear- 
ance of a deeply furrowed field. 

Another wonderful and interesting phase of wave action is to be found in 
the long stretch of sand beach extending from Pudding creek to Ten-mile 
river. The ocean margin was originally low and marshy here, and the 
sands of the sea began to be washed out upon the beach, and to be swept 
back into the interior by the winds. There is a strip of about ten miles of 
this beach, and the bed of sand extends back from the sea from one to three 
miles, and will average a depth of perhaps fifty feet. This gigantic dune is 
traveling now at the rate of several rods a year, covering up trees, fences, 
and houses, in its onward and remorseless march. One great peculiarity 
about it is, that at times a peculiar white sand will wash up, which forms a 
crust as hard as rock, and a team and heavily laden wagon can be driven 
on it the same as on a floor of marble. But this only lasts a day or so, 
when it is covered with a coarse, loose brown sand. Whence comes this 
great volume of sand, and why it should creep out from the bed of old ocean 
at this particular point, are questions which puzzle the brain of the scientist, 
especially the phenomenon of the hard white sand. 


Anotber interesting geological occurrence is the formation of great 
boulder beds, which are sometimes met with, a striking example of which 
occurs on the road south of Willitsville, along the southern Walker valley 
grade. Here, a huge mass of boulders, extending in size from marbles to 
several feet in diameter, have been formed into one solid mass almost as hard 
as rock itself, the interstices being filled with a slimy clay, which seasoned 
as firmly as water cement, which indeed it was in point of fact. But the 
question may arise, Whence came these boulders ? Evidently they were 
formed by the action of the water, as they are of a kind similar to the 
rock in the adjacent mountains, and present no striations, hence could not 
have been the result of glacial action. 

Passing from the general to the special geological features of Mendocino 
county, we will name and describe the various minerals to be found in its 
borders: — 

Coal of a good quality has been found in at least two sections of the 
county, viz. : In Sanel township, near McDonald's place, and in Round valley. 
The out-cropping of the vein in the latter place was from six to ten feet in 
width. Could this coal be easily marketed, it would yield a great amount 
of fuel. It is, however, .similar to all the coal on this coast, — lignite or 
brown; and as it does not occur in the carboniferous formation of the earthy 
it can hardly be called true coal. It is as one born out of due time. The 
days for the formation of true coals had gone by when this coast was 
developed to the right conditions for the formation of a coal-field, hence the 
coal here is not coal at all, in the full sense of the word. It is hardly 
probable that a rich vein of true coal underlies the upper formations, for if 
such were the case, in all of the upheavals and eruptions which have 
occurred on this coast some traces of it would have been revealed ere now. 

Petroleum, which is very nearly allied to coal, has been found quite 
extensively in several places in the county. The first vein located was at 
Point Arena, which was in 1864. This vein was so rich with petroleum, 
that several gallons flowed from it daily. At Usal there was also a large 
vein of it discovered in 1865, but as no permanent work was done at either 
of these places, it is to be presumed that the oil did not flow in paying 

Quicksilver.— This metal has been found in small quantities in some por- 
tions of the county, and it stands to reason that there-should be quite large 
bodies of it, especially near the eastern border, as the mountain ranges there 
are so closely allied with the ranges of Napa and Lake counties in which it 
abounds. This metal usually appears in the form of cinnabar, which is, in 
its composition, 81f grains of quicksilver to 18i grains of sulphur. When 
it occurs free from sulphur it is said to be native, and the Rattlesnake mine, 
in Sonoma county; between Cloverdale and the Mendocino county line, is an 


example of .siicli a iniiiu. In tliis place the piive glolmles of mercury ai-e 
interspersed thi'ough so''t talcose rock. 

Borax. — Borate of sodium is found in much of the mineral spring waters 
of this county, but the amount is not great enough to pay for the reduction. 

Umbers and Ochres. — These mineral substances, used extensively for 
painting purposes, occur frequently in the county. Red Mountain, above 
Cahto, is composed of terra rle Sienna, and could be worked to good advan- 

Petrifactions. — Petrifactions are very common all over this coast, yet 
strange to say, fossils are not so common as at the East, especially in the 
Mississippi valley. A wonderful geological and chemical transformation 
occurs in the process of petrifaction, and it is well worthy the careful study 
of any one to observe the peculiarities of the operation. 

Argentiferous Ores. — Silver bearing lead is quite common in several 
portions of the county, and will yet be quite an industry. Silver also occur.s 
in connection with copper, an example of which was the ledge located in 
1863, in Sanel township, known as the Independent. 

Copper. — Copper has been found in several portions of the county, both in 
composition with other ores and in a native state. In the ledge above 
referred to — ^the Independent — the ore yielded forty per cent of copper. 
There was a fine lead of it opened near Point Arena, in 1863. From some 
cause it has not yet been discovered in quantities large enough to pay for 
working it. 

Iron. — This useful metal is found all through the mountains of this county, 
the ores consisting mainly of chromic, which is found on the southern border 
of the county, where the rock is mostly serpentine, hematite, magnetic and 
titanic. No iron mines have, however, been worked to any extent in this 
county, from the fact that fuel is too scarce at home and it is too far to 
freight the ore to the 'citj'. 

Gold. — Gold in quite large quantities has been found in this count}^ and 
from time to time there have been periodical gold excitements. This metal 
occurs in quartz and in gravel, and in sulphurets. It is quite probable that 
a time will come when the gold mines of this section will be very success- 
fully worked. 

Platinum. — This most rare of all the metals of earth, which enters at all 
largely into our economics, has been discovered in this county near Calpella. 
It is probable, however, that it will never yield enough to pay for working. 

Plumbago. — Rich specimens of this mineral have been discovered in the 
county, but in no paying quantities. 

Sulphur. — This substance is to be found in cjmpodtion with other min- 
erals and in solution in mineral springs. 


Soda. — This mineral is to be found in the form of carbonates, sulphates 
and chlorides, in several combinations, and in all mineral waters. 

Lime. — -Sulphate of lime (gypsum), carbonates and magnesian lime are 
found in small quantities all over the county. 

Manganese. — The peroxj'd of manganese occurs in its massive form in 
several localities, and it could doubtless be worked to good advantage. 

Other Metals. — Tracings of many other minerals and metals are to be 
found upon a close analysis of the waters and soils of the county, such as 
alumnium, chromium, etc. 

Minerals. — Of the six hundred simple minerals which have been dis- 
covered in the earth's surface, only nine form any considerable portion 
of it. These are quartz, feldspar, mica, limestone, hornblende, serpentine, 
gypsum, talc and oxyd of iron. Of these quartz, or silica, is the most 
abundant of all, comprising at least three-fourths of all the crust of the 
earth. In the granite it forms one of the three elements, in all the 
sandstones of the world it constitutes the sole element, and in all the 
soils and vegetables it forms a large percentage. Quartz crystallizes 
beautifully, and is found in all shades imaginable, owing to its ready union 
with foreign substances. The red shades are the results of combination with 
the oxyd of iron ; the purple has manganese, or perhaps cobalt, as the col- 
oring matter. In Mendocino county the very waysides are strewn with 
gems, in the shape of quartz crystals, which would cause the heart of the 
specimen hunter of the Eastern States to leap for very joy. The boy, list- 
lessly driving his cows home from pasture at nightfall, hurls beautiful and 
glistening jewels after them, little caring for their loveliness. The more 
highly esteemed varieties of quartz crystals are the amethyst, rose quartz, 
prase, smoky and milk quartz, chalcedony, carnelian, agate, onyx, jasper and 
bloodstone. Most all of these varieties occur in greater or less amounts 
throughout the county. 

Feldspar. — This is one of the elements which enter into the composition 
of granite, and is quite common in other forms, though not at all approxi- 
mating quartz. When decomposed it forms a clay well adapted to the pur- 
poses of pottery and brick-making, which is known in commerce as kaolin. 
Spar is not found in any great bodies in Mendocino county, although it is 
scattered thi-oughout the whole of it. 

Mica. — This is the third element in granite, and is discerned from spar 
and quartz by always being crystallized in flakes, and is usually black, form - 
ing the black specks observable in most of granite rock. There is little or 
no mica in Mendocino county, as far as is known ; although it would be but 
natural for there to be quantities of it. 


Limestones. — There are no very extensive bodies of any sort of limestone 
in Mendocino county. The same, however, may be said of the most of Cal- 
ifornia, with the exception of Santa Cruz, Marin and Solano counties. 
Marble is the most valuable form of limestone, though not at all the most 

Hornblende. — ^This is a tough mineral, generally dark colored, and occurs 
in all volcanic rock. It is found in large quantities all through the mount- 
ains of Mendocino county. It is not useful for any of th& general economic 

Serpentine. — This mineral, in a coarse, massive form, occurs in large bodies 
in the mountains of Mendocino county. It is, however, a brittle rock, and 
of no particular use to man, except some choice varieties, like verd-antique, 
which is not found here. 

Oxycl of Iron. — This is the matter which is commonly known as iron rust, 
and which gives color to almost all the stones and clays which come under 
our daily observation. In the red sandstone or the yellow clay the coloring 
matter is the same. In the red brick, or the yellow " settlings" on the 
rock over which the water from a mineral spring has passed, the color is 
alone attributable to the oxyd of iron. Iron, however, seldom occurs in a 
body as purely the oxyd, hence in this form it is not found in this county. 

Granite. — Strange as it may appear, although the entire surface of Men- 
docino county is covered with mountains, yet the eruptions did not extend 
deep enough, or were not sufficiently violent, to expose the bed-rock of the 
universe — granite. In fact, but little granite is to be found along the coast 
counties. In Marin there is an outcropping at Point Reyes and at Tomales 
Point, and in Sonoma county at Bodega Head, but not north of that in the 
State, so far as known at the present time. 

Springs. — The spi-ings of Mendocino county are a marvel, and to write of 
their beauty and usefulness, would require the pen of a poet. They may be 
divided into three general classes, as follows: Pure cold water, cold 
mineral water, and thermal mineral water. Of the first there are thou- 
sands and thousands. Every hill and mountain side teems with them, 
and the weary traveler and his thirsty beast find streams of pure water, cool 
and fresh, gushing from the wayside banks, and gathered into troughs for 
his convenience. The flow of these springs vaiy from a few gallons a day 
to barrels per minute. The largest flow, perhaps, in the county, is from the 
spring, the stream from which crosses the road a few miles north of Clover- 
dale, on the new toll route to Ukiah, The amount of water which comes 
pouring forth from this place, is something wonderful to contemplate, and 
what is more strange, the yield seems to be always the same. Winter's 
flood nor summer's drouth seems to have no appreciable eflect upon it. 


Whence comes all this grand body of pure water which is yearly poured 
from the mountain sides of Mendocino county? No one knows! It is 
evident that the fountain head is far away from the outlet, and far above it 
also. The snow melting on the far away Sierras, must be the grand center 
of supply, and when we come to contemplate what a wonderful system of 
channels and veins there are in the surface of the earth, and how perfectly 
they all work, it is a fit subject for reverential meditation. How it gushes 
from the rock, in its pure and crystalline beauty, glittering and glistening in 
the sunshine as it dances down the hill-side, refreshing and cheering the 
thirsty world, making the flowers to spring up in their glorious grandeur, 
making the grass to put forth its greenest shoots the whole year through. 
What a glorious mission on earth has this spring of water ! To man, and 
beast, and bird, and tree, and shrub, and grass, and flower, and fruit — to all 
that exists on the the face of the earth, it proves a grand, glorious, inestimable 

" From the rock amid the desert. 
Gushing forth at God's command, 
Streams of water, pure and sparkling, 
Laved and cooled the thirsty land; 
Hearts were cheered and eyes grew brighter. 
Pleasure thrilled in every vein; 
Even age forgot its weakness, 

While it drank and drank again. ^ 

O, the spring forever flowing, 
Life and health and hope bestowing!" 

As stated above, the mineral springs are divided into two general, classes, 
cold and thermal. Each of these classes have quite a number of representa- 
tives in the county. Of the former there is a very nice one about one mile 
south-west of Ukiah, near the residence of Mr. D. Gobbi. This spring 
contains a smaller percentage of mineral than some others, yet it is present 
in quantities sufficient to be appi-eciable. Peroxyd of iron, sulphur and 
magnesium seem to be the principal minerals contained in it, and it is veiy 
palatable and refreshing as a drink. Another spring of this character may 
be found on the road leading from Ukiah to Booneville, which is more 
strongly impregnated with minerals than the last mentioned. This one 
contains about the same ingredients as the first, with a goodly supply of 
carbonic acid gas, which makes it a sparkling,_grateful beverage. In all of 
these springs there is more or less of the salts of sodium, but they are not 
characteristically soda springs, although they are so called generally. There 
are several other such springs all over the county, many of which doubtless 
have not yet been discovered. 

Of the thermal mineral springs, the Vichy, situated three miles east of 
Ukiah, afford an excellent example. There are two of them, each of a 
temperature about equal to blood heat. The mineral elements of these 
springs are about the same as those mentioned above. Unfortunately, no 



chemical analysis has been made of any of the mineral springs in the county. 
The water is a delightful temperature for bathing purposes, and possesses, 
doubtless, excellent remedial qualities. Another example is the Orr spring, 
situated west of Ukiah a few miles. The water in this spring is quite warm. 
There are other springs of this nature in various parts of the county, every 
one of which will prove to be a healing fountain, and will, when pi-operly 
appreciated, become favorite places of resort for the ailing and diseased from 
all parts of the Union. 

Timber. — Mendocino county is so preeminently a timber section, that an 
extended description of the timber belts of the Pacific coast, taken in connec- 
tion and compared with its own timber belts, will not be without great 
interest to the readers of this volume. Mr. A. W. Chase, in an article 
entitled " Timber Belts of the Pacific Coast," published in the Overland 
Monthly in 1874, gives such a clear and comprehensive view of the subject, 
that we cannot refrain from quoting quite extensively from it in this 
connection. " Commencing at the southern boundary of California, we find 
the great coast counties of San Diego and Los Angeles almost destitute of 
timber of any description, except the planted orchards. The few scattered 
oaks in some of the valleys, are not sufficient to supply even the immediate 
neighborhood with fuel, which is therefore brought from Santa Barbara and 
other points to the north w&rd, the oak commanding as high as §16 per cord 
in the city of Los Angeles. A great deal of willow, which grows along the 
streams and in the marshy places of that section, is used for fuel. In that 
mild climate, where fuel-is used principally for the preparation of food, this 
light wood answers every purpose, and even better than coal or oak. 
On the island of Santa Catalina glows a stunted tree, called ' sour wood.' 
This timber is very soft when cut, but rapidly hardens by exposure, and at 
last attains the firmness of iron-wood. It is often used for such portions of 
the small vessels plying along the coast as require durability, such as tiller- 
heads, blocks, etc. Once properly introduced, this wood might supply the 
place of some imported varieties. 

There is said to be a growth of pine and fir on the mountains back of Los 
Angeles, but at a great distance, and so inaccessible, that it will probably 
never be utilized. Going northward, we find back of Santa Barbara a few 
scattered groves of live-oak, but of so inconsiderable an extent, as not to 
merit the name of timber belt. Such as they are, however, they furnish 
fuel sufficient for the uses of the inhabitants, and even for export to Los 
Angeles. It is a pity that the groves should be cut, as, besides adding to the 
beauty of the landscape, they, no doubt, make the difference in rain-fall 
between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, which is in favor of the former. 
These scattered oak groves are found in the valleys till we reach Point 
Conception, when they cease. From thence to Point Cypress, the north 


point of Carmel bay, the coast line is destitute of timber, if we except a few 
scattered redwood trees on the crests and flanks of the high hills behind San 
Simeon, marking the southern limit of the redwood belt. At Point Cypress 
is found the beautiful tree known as the Monterey cypress. This, although 
a great ornament to a garden, is not extensively used at present for lumber. 
Point Piiios, the next point northward, is heavily wooded with a species of 
pine, valueless, however, on account of its limited extent and inaccessibility. 
Passing the scattered oak-groves of Monterey, we come next to the fair 
beginning of the great redwood belt of the coast, extending northward from 
the vicinity of Santa Cruz to Crescent City, in Del Norte county, including 
Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt 
and Del Norte counties. These redwood trees along the coast are known as 
the Sequoia sempervirens, and have been the principal source of lumber 
for the past quarter of a century or more. Great inroads have already been 
made into these mighty forests of the coast, as can be seen along the streams 
of Mendocino county, especially within easy sailing distance of San Fran- 
cisco, and a gi-eat proportion of the available timber has been converted into 
lumber and sent to market. There is, however, an immense belt of this 
redwood extending from Russian river northward, and j ust in off the coast a 
few miles. Mills are located at all the available points, and the work of 
lumbering is being pushed vigorously along, and the annual lumber product 
is something marvelous to contemplate. Under the head of ' Mills and 
Milling,' will be found estimates of the lumber yield of Mendocino county. 
At all these mills from year to year, the logs are becoming further removed, 
hence the expense is greater and the work more difficult, and one of 
two things must ultimately happen, viz. : either the price of lumber must 
appreciate, or the mills must cease operations. As the demand for lumber 
will always preclude the latter event, the former must result, except, of 
course, when the supply is greatly in excess of the demand and the market 
thus overstocked. The logging district is very extensive indeed, and the 
opportunities for opening new districts are very great, so that the suppl}' of 
lumber cannot be appreciably diminished for a number of years to come yet. 
There are immense bodies of redwood extending from the Gualala river 
northward to the Eel and Mad rivers, back from the coast a few miles, in 
which the sound of the woodman's ax has not yet echoed or been heard. 
There is an immense belt back of Trinidad. Thence northward the redwood 
becomes scattered, until we reach the vicinity of Crescent City. Back of 
this place and covering the low lands, once evidently overflowed by the sea, 
between Pelican bay on the north, and Crescent bay on the south, is an 
exceedingly heavy body of this timber. It exteiids up the flanks of the 
lower spurs of the Siskiyou mountains, which here put down to the sea, and 
ceases at an elevation of about one thousand two hundred feet above the 
the tide. Many of these trees have a diameter at their base of thirteen or 


fourteen feet, and the average run of saw logs would be from six to eight feet. 

This redwood belt abruptl_y ceases in the valley of Smith's river, a few miles 
south of the Oregon boundary, and from thence northward it is unknown as 
a forest tree, though a few clumps are found over the Oregon line. Although 
to a casual observer the redwood appears the same wherever grown, yet 
there is a marked difference in the quality of that from different sections. 
Even in the same district some groves are valueless, while others, not a mile 
distant, yield clear lumber. The tree, for instance, that grows in low or 
swampy ground is apt, from excess of moisture, to be swelled or hollow-but- 
ted, and to have more or less of rottenness and defect; while on rolling land 
and the slopes of the mountains the trees will be solid and free from blemish. 
Again, the timber cut from the lower end of the belt contains a greater 
percentage of refuse and less clear lumber than that fi-om Humboldt, Trini- 
dad or Crescent City. There is a \-ariety of the Sequoia sevipervirens back of 
Crescent City that is quite peculiar. The tree is of the ordinary size and leaf 
of the common redwood, but the wood itself is white and remarkably free 
from knots and imperfections. 

When the redwood grows in swamp.s and other moist places, there some- 
times forms on its outside a remarkable excrescence, called 'redwood fungus.' 
This appears in the shape of a huge knot or wart on the tree, and is a 
growth of the bark, not having any distinct grain. When cut into slabs this 
knot shows a mottled, deep-red color, filled with little ' bird's-eyes,' remai'k- 
ably beautiful, and bearing a high polish. When cut into veneers, it is used for 
panel-work on billiard-tables, etc., and commands a high price in the mar- 
ket. In the northern redwoods one frequently sees bunches of ferns and 
trailing plants growing on these knots, the fallen leaves lodging on the pro- 
tubei-ence having in time created a soil. These little air gardens are very 
beautiful. Sometimes a redwood tree will take a twist or curl when young 
from some accidental cause, and this continues as it grows older, and in due 
time forms ' curly redwood,' exhibiting when sawed, a succession of spiral 
whorls in the grain. This variety is very fanciful sometimes, and is much 
sought after for ornamentation. Redwood is very durable in the ground; 
and is much used for fence posts and bridge mud-sills on this account, but 
does not endure atmospheric exposure nearly so well as some other varieties 
of wood. .It will not bear a heavy strain, being in a measure quite brittle, 
hence is not adapted to ship-building or other purposes where lightness and 
strength are desired in combination. In the early days, however, a number 
of ships were constructed from it at Fort Ross by the Russians, one of which 
is still alive. This lumber has been exported with profit for. some years 
to South America, the Pacific Islands and Australia. 

We have next to consider the different trees that, commencing with the 
redwood belt, grow in the same climate and soil, and in some instances, as 
with the red and yellow firs, the laurel and oak, extend beyond it. Of these 


the two which extend the fartherest south are the laurel {Oreodaphne Cali- 
fornica) and roadrona {Arbutus Menziesii.) The former is found in the shel- 
tered valleys as far down as Santa Barbara, but on the lower coast rarelj' 
attains any size. As we go northward, the tree increases in diameter and 
the wood in beauty. The laurel requires a rich soil and plenty of moisture 
for its proper development, and we accordingly find it growing on the river 
bottoms in groves and patches — never in forests, like the coniferoe. The 
gnarled and twisted trunks, and the glossy deep-green leaves of this beau- 
tiful tree make it very ornamental, and were it not for the great length of 
time required for its growth, it could be introduced advantageously as a 
garden shrub, or an ornamental lawn tree. It bears a small oily nut of a 
strong aromatic flavor, which is sometimes used as food by the northern In- 
dians. The laurel is an evergreen, but has an annual flow of sap, which is 
quite an important fact to be taken in connection with its preparation for 
ship-building, or other use where it will be expo.sed to the action of moisture. 
The pi'oper time for cutting is during the months of September, October and 
November. If cut before or after these months, the wood is liable to decay, 
also to be attacked by a small worm, but when cut in the proper season, 
and when water or dock seasoned, it is fully equal to any Eastern oak. The 
knees for the United States war steamer Saginaiv, were made of this wood, 
and were obtained from Black Point, Marin county. The steamer was con- 
structed in 1864, at Mare Island, and upon being dismantled some years later, 
it was found that while many of the ti'abers were perfectly sound, others had 
entirely decayed. This instance is often cited as a case in point to show the 
unreliability of the wood of the laurel, but it is really no criterion, for it will 
be remembered that that steamer was constructed dui-ing the rush and 
excitement of the heat of the Rebellion, and she was needed for active ser- 
vice immediately, hence ample time was not taken to fully prepare all the 
timber as it should have been. Now, however, that its peculiar character- 
istics are known, and the proper treatment of it perfectlj- understood, it is 
rapidly growing in favor as a substitute for Eastern oak, and will event- 
ually practically supplant it in our markets. 

The beauty of laurel as a fine wood for cabinet purposes has been demon- 
strated in San Francisco, by the elegant flnish of several buildings fitted up 
with it, also the paneling and wainscoting of steamboats and cars. Its 
infinite variety of figure and shade fi'om the fine bird's-eye obtained from 
the knots and corrugations to the clear yellow of the straight tree, make it 
particularly pleasing. The dark figures in the wood are obtained by sub- 
jecting it to the action of salt-water; the tanic acid then in combination 
with the salt produces the wavy spiral lines and stains. Some of the most 
beautiful figures are obtained from the roots and the feather-like figures 
from the ' crotches ' — that is where the limbs join the tree. Laurel bears a 
very high polish, but it has to be carefully treated and well seasoned to 


prevent warping. It is, therefore, generally veneered on some light wood 
When well seasoned it forms a very good material for wood-carving, having 
no decided grain, and being tough in texture. Should the wood ever 
become as fashionable as black-walnut for furniture, it will prove a valuable 
article of export. Some of the largest laurel on the coast grow on the Klam- 
ath river, in Del Norte county. It is found also on all the small streams 
north of this, and in great quantities on the Coquille, in Oregon. The local 
name, or rather misnomer, for the wood by the Oregonians is 'myrtle.' 
The northern limit of the laurel belt seems to be Coos bay, although it is 
found in small quantities on the Umpqua. 

Growing in the same belt with the laurel; but usually preferring the hill- 
sides and tops, to the more fertile valleys, is found the madrona (Arbutus 
Menziesii). This tree, so aptly named by Bret Harte, 'harlequin of the 
woods,' is one of the most striking objects of our forests. It is rarely found 
growing straight, the trunks are usuall}^ twisted into every conceivable 
shape. The peculiarity of the bark, which peels off in thin strips, and seems 
to consist of several layers attracts the eye at once. It is smooth and yel- 
low in young trees, but changes in the old to a deep madder-red. This is 
the thin outside layer, and when that scales oft' the inside layer appears 
green on the tender shoots, and yellow on the oldei- wood. The bark shed- 
ding process occurs in the spring and early summer, and is a very marked 
peculiarity of the tree. The madroria bears a small red beiTy, which is a 
favorite food for the wild pigeon. The leaves are large and have a gl&ssy 
green appearance fully as rich as the magnolia. On the lower coast it sel- 
dom attains a diameter to exceed more than two feet, while the most of it is 
far under that, but on the Rogue river of Oregon there are several extensive 
belts in which some of the trees attain great size. The wood is not exten- 
sively used at present for any pui'pose, although it has a fine grain. It 
is similar in color to maple though darker, but does not bear the high polish 
which laurel will, and is objected to by cabinet-makers on account of the 
fact that it checks very easily, and is hard to season. 

Growing in the same belt with the laurel and madrona, but extending 
beyond them, being found in large groves on the rich bottoms of the Colum- 
bia, is the soft or Oregon maple. The first trees of any size are on the Klam- 
ath river ; from thence northward the alluvial bottoms of all the streams 
emptying on the coast contain groves of maple. The tree is identical in ap- 
pearance with the soft maple {acer rubrum) of the East, and the foliage in 
autumn assumes the same gorgeous tints so often admired by travelers. The 
wood is white and quite tough, and while it will take quite a high polish it will 
not equal the laurel in that respect. It is soft and easily worked, but not 
especially beautiful, excepting when the wood of a tree has taken a wavy or 
spiral form, when it is called ' curly maple,' and is much prized for choice fur- 
niture or otlier veneering. The maple growing in damp spots frequently has 


the fungi, or excrescences of the bark and wood, spoken of above as occur- 
ring on the laurel and redwood ; and when a perfect piece of this can be 
found it is quite valuable, being curiously marked with little bird's-eyes or 
lighter and darker spots. 

Growing on the bottoms of the Klamath and Smith's rivers in California, 
and the Chetko, Rogue and Umpqua rivers in Oregon, is found a variety of 
white ash. The uses to which this valuable wood is applied are well-known, 
yet very little effort has been made to utilize the ash lumber of the Pacific 
coast, though large quantitiee of it are imported yearly from the East. The 
few who have tried the native wood say that it is ' brash' — that is, lacks 
toughness and elasticity. It is just barely possible that the reason for this 
judgment lies in the fact that the timber so far used has come from the 
upper Willamette valley, where it was grown removed from the influence of 
sea air. It is a well-known fact that timber used in ship-building, oak, for 
instance, is of far greater value when grown on the sea-coast, than when 
grown far inland. Whether the sea air acts on the growth of the wood found 
on the coast streams so as to retard it, and thereby increase its toughness and 
pliability, or whether the rich, loamy soil of the interior inclines the trees of 
that section to rank, coarse, fibrous growth, is a question, but the fact is con- 
ceded by all. It is then- to this cause, probably, that the comparative dis- 
favor to the native ash is due ; but very little of that grown on the Klamath 
or other rivers mentioned above has ever foimd its way to the San Francisco 
market. Some little, however, is cut for local consumption, and is considered 
by the country wagon-makers, where it is used, as fully equal, if not supe- 
rior, to the imported article. Although the supply is limited, yet enough of 
this ash lumber could be obtained to meet the demands of our coast, markets 
w I out importing it from the East. 

Also growing in the redwood belt, but extending far beyond it, being 
found as high as Alaska, is another valuable hard wood, the northei-n yew, 
{Taxiis hrevifolia). This is the slowest growing tree of the coast, and the 
trunks rarely attain a large size, a diameter of fifteen inches at the base 
being very rare. The tree is identical with the English yew, planted prin- 
cipally in old graveyards in that country. It has a gnarled and twisted 
trunk, foliage and bark not unlike reiiwood, and bears a red berry. The 
wood is very close and compact, and of a darl^ red color, and its qualities are 
great toughness and elasticity, with ability to bear a high polish. The In- 
dians of the northern coast use it exclusively for their bows, and those of 
Alaska for their clubs and carved instruments. It darkens with age and 
use, getting eventually as black as ebony. It was quite fashionable for fur- 
niture a few hundred years ago in England, and those pieces which remain 
in a state of tolerable preservation to this day present a very sombre appear- 
ance. This wood has never been introduced into the San Francisco market, 
and could only be obtained in small quantities, yet it is believed that it 


would supply the place of some of the more costly imported varieties for 
small articles of use or ornament. 

We will next refer to the conifercc, which grows in the great timber belt 
of the Pacific coast, proceeding north first from the redwood belt. The 
white spruce {Abies alba), and the black spruce {Abies nigra) is first found 
in quantities back of Crescent City, in Del Norte county, California, and it 
grows in low, swampy spots, and has a sparse foliage and thin bark. It is 
especially remarkable for its spreading roots which, when properly hewn 
out, form excellent ships' knees. The lumber obtained from the spruce is 
tough, white and inodorous, and forms a good substitute for the more costly 
cedar and sugar pine, but owing to the fact that it is not easily worked, can 
never supplant them. Spruce is found growing in low places from Crescent 
City to the Columbia river, and the principal supply of the San Francisco 
market comes from the latter place. Of the two the white variety affords 
the finest lumber. 

The next timber of importance, south of the Oregon line, is the fir, of 
which family there are three varieties, the white (Picea grandis), red (Abies 
Doiiglasii), and yellow (Abies Williavisonli), the last named being the most 
valuable, and the first nearly worthless. The red fir has, perhaps, the widest 
geographical distribution of any of the coniferce of the coast, being found 
as low down as Russian river, and forming the great forests of Puget sound, 
whence it is exported under the name of ' Oregon pine.' It makes an in- 
ferior quality of lumber, though very tough and substantial for coarse, heavy 
purposes, such as buUding-frames and the like, where it can be protected 
fi-om the dampness; and it can be produced in such large quantities that it 
occupies a very prominent place in our markets. The red fir is a stately tree, 
with foliage of dark green, and small cones, and while it grows to a great 
height in favored localities, its diameter is never as great as that of the red- 
wood. It prefers the slopes and ridges of the mountains to the low land, 
and is found in the lower coast counties of Oregon, growing well up toward 
the summit of the Siskiyou mountains. The bark of the red fir is rough, 
but close and compact, and it is chiefly by this sign that it is distinguished 
from its congener, the yellow fir, the bark of which latter is loose and scales 
off when rubbed. 

The yellow fir is the best of the species, and afibrds a fine clear lumber, 
close-grained and dressing remarkably well. It is rarely brought into the 
San Francisco market, and when by accident a tree of this variety is cut on 
Puget sound it is confounded witl^ the common or red fir. It is found in 
small quantities in Mendocino county and above, but not in groves of any 
importance until latitude 42"^ is reached. There are fine groves of it back 
of Crescent City, on the Rogue river, in Oregon, and back of Port Orford 
in the same State. The red fir, as before remarked, extends far northward, 
and is especially abundant on Puget sound. This great forest belt, how- 


ever, has suffered from the fires which every season sweep over it. There is 
a district of coast from the Umpqua river northward nearly to the Columbia, 
where the mountains are covered with bare trunks and strips of a heavy 
growth of timber. From the sea these mountains present a curious appear- 
ance, the bleached tree trunks showing white and producing the effect of a 
mist or cloud hanging over them. 

We now come to the consideration of the most valuable belt of timber on 
the coast line proper, namely : the white or Port Orford cedar. This tree is 
exceedingly handsome in appearance, being usually thick at the base and 
tapering gradually upward. The foliage is a bright, lively green, yellowish 
towards the tips of the slender sprouts, flat in shape, and drooping from the 
top downward. The seed pod is very small and has a winged barb, not un- 
like the maple. The bark is in color a light brown, resembling redwood, 
but does not attain to nearly its thickness, while the wood is white, soft, of 
even grain and very odorous. It is rarely if ever affected by rot, seasons 
quickly, and when seasoned never warps. It is used extensively for inside 
finishing and for boat-building, and is especially valuable for linen closets, 
the resinous odor being a sure preventative against moths. White cedar 
commands the highest price of any of the soft woods grown on the coast, and 
ranks in the market next to sugar pine, which latter, being a tree grown 
only in the interior in any considerable bodies, does not come under the 
head of timber belts on the coast. This variety of cedar does not grow in a 
compact body, like redwood, but in clumps or patches, interspersed with firs. 
Its geographical range is the most limited of all the coniferce of the coast, 
being first found in scattered clumps and widely apart on the Klamath and 
Smith rivers in California, next in a small body on Rogue river, Oregon, and 
only assumes the character of a timber belt back of Port Orford. It is then 
found on the plateaus back of the coast line, and on the head-waters of the 
streams until we reach Coos bay, its northern limit. The Alaska cedar, 
some specimens of which have reached the San Francisco market, is a differ- 
ent tree, the lumber being denser, of a yellow cast, and possessing more of 
the working qualities of the fir than the Orford cedar. 

The inflamable character of the bark and wood of the cedar renders the 
timber particularly liable to the ravages of the fires which sweep annually 
over Oregon. Many thousands of acres of this valuable timbei- have been 
thus destroyed, and the principal supply now comes from Coos bay, where, 
however, from fire and cutting, the quantity of available cedar is being 
rapidly diminished. There is a fine body on the Coquille river, but owing 
to the difliculty of passing the bar at the mouth, which is shallow and un- 
safe, very little has ever been shipped from that place. This cedar will, 
however, as the demand increases, find an outlet through Coos bay, by means 
of a canal and railway, or by the way of Port Orford by means of a tram- 
wayor railroad. The cedar is a tree of comparatively rapid growth, and as 


the fires do not seem to have destroyed the seeds buried beneath the light 
soil, it is probable that a new growth will in time spring up to replace the 
old, which may be utilized by the next generation if not by this. In some 
of the districts back of Port Orford there may be seen acres and acres 
thickly covered with a heavy gi'owth of young cedars which have sprung up 
since the fires of 1865. 

In view of the immense destruction of this as well as the less valuable 
timber belts by annual fires, it seems to be the duty of the general and 
State governments to devise some method of preventing them. Were they 
started from accidental causes, or from spontaneous combustion, this would 
be impossible ; but too often they proceed from willful carelessness on the 
part of settlers. A man wishes to clear a potato patch of a few acres, whose 
total yield would not equal in value a single cedar tree, but the fire set to 
his brush-pile spreads through the woods, perhaps hundreds of miles, and 
may only be checked by the fall rains. Often the careless hunter leaves 
his camp-fire burning. It spreads among the dry leaves, communicates to 
the bark of some resinous tree, and soon the whole forest is on fire, the 
flames leaping from tree to tree, and the strong north-west winds spreading 
the flames far and wide. In some instances, the woods are actually set on 
fire; sometimes by hunters who wish to rid the forests of the underbrush, 
and sometimes by herders, who wish to burn oft" the fallen leaves so that 
the fresh grass can grow uninterruptedly. There is, we believe, a law in 
existence in reference to this subject, but it is practically inoperative, and 
very mild in its punishment. Neighbors will not inform on each other 
even if they know that a fire was originated from design, and it would be 
difficult to secure conviction for the oftense. This law should be amended, 
th.e provisions made very stringent, and a person appointed by the govern- 
ment to ferret out, and make a prompt example of these incendiaries. 

In the enumeration of the more important timber belts, mention was 
omitted of several varieties, which, although valuable in themselves, yet are 
not extensiveljr utilized. Of these, the principal are the white or chestnut 
oak, (Quercus densiflora) the poplar, alder, chittiin-wood, bearberry, dog- 
wood, crab-apple, etc. The named, chestnut oak, has a wide range, 
and is usually found growing in company with the conifera'. On the 
northern coast it is frequently found in larg,^ groves on the mountain slopes. 
It has quite a stateh^ growth in Oregon, frequently attaining a height of 
one hundred feet, and a diameter of two or three. The bark is extensively 
used all along the coast for tanning There is, however, a preju- 
dice against the wood, as it is said to rot easily, and to be brittle. That 
this is the case with the trees grown in the hot interior valleys, is undoubt- 
edly true. Further experiments with timber grown near the coast ma}^ dem- 
onstrate that, like the ash, it attains a denser fiber, and is less liable to decay 
when exposed to sea air. Timber grown near the coast, of this variety, is 


close-grained, white, and tough. The poplar and alder are found on the 
banks of all streams north of latitude 41°, and in great quantities on the 
Columbia river. The wood of the former is light, tough, and is scentless, and 
contains no resinous matter, hence it is much used for staves, being especially 
adapted to sugar or syrup barrels, and for the manufacture of churns and 
butter firkins. The alder has some of the same qualities, but decays 
quickly. The chittim-wood is a small tree, with foliage not unlike dog- 
wood, and grow.s from latitude 40° to 43°. The wood is a bright yellow, 
is very tough and light, and is the favorite among farmers for stirrups. 
The bearberry grows quite large in the same latitude, but is only valuable 
for the medicinal properties of its bark. The dogwood and crab-apple are 
found on the banks of the streams in the same latitude as the former. 

The red cedar, a variety of the cupresi^us (cypress) family, is found grow 
ing in the same latitudes as the white, but extends farther northward. It 
is usually found scattered or in small clumps, and is valueless for lumber 
purposes, owing to the numerous limbs. The sugar pine, the most valuable 
of the soft woods of the Pacific coast, is sometimes found in scattered groups 
on the summits of the mountains near the coast, but rarely grows in any 
quantities until a distance of at least fifty miles from the sea is reached. 
The main forest bodies of the coast-line are comprised under the redwood, 
cedar, and fir families, and these timber belts will play a very important 
part in our commercial prosperity during the next score of years. There 
will come a time however, sooner perhaps than even mill owners will allow, 
when our supply must seriously diminish. No one who has witnessed the 
immense destruction of timber in cutting for a mill can have any idea of 
it. This is especially true of the redwood forests. Towering to such an 
immense height, and having a large diameter, when this tree is felled it not 
infrequently crushes others, and on striking the earth shivers large portions 
of it into waste wood. The fires alluded to before, are a potent agent for 
the destruction of the timber, and the prediction may safely be ventured 
that there are men living to-day, who will .see a large percentage of our 
i umber brought from the distant shores of Alaska." 

As all the coniferce which grow in California are represented in Mendo- 
cino county, we append the following list, more as a matter of reference 
than anything else, feeling that it will serve a good purpose for all of our 
readers who are at all observing of the diflferent trees which grow in their 
county; — 

1. Picea 7iobilis, a magnificent tree, growing up to two hundred feet in 
height, flourishing principally in the Shasta mountains. It has dark green 
leaves, which appear silvery underneath. It yields excellent timber, and is 
cultivated largely in Europe for ornamental purposes, being grown there 
from the seed. 

2. Picea amahilis, a similar tree, growing especially near Truckee, where 


large forests of them exist, called by lumbermen red fir; it has, however 
different cones and lighter foliage than the fir. 

3. Picea grandis; ii fine tree, rising up to two hundred feet in heic^ht 
called by lumberman white or balsam fir. The lumber is, however not 
much esteemed, being soft and coarse-grained; but it is exceedin<.ly hand- 
some as an ornamental tree. ° 

4. Pixea cradeata, perhaps the handsomest of all conifers. It is found 
growing in the Santa Lucia mountains, Monterey and San Luis Obispo 
counties. It is a tree of surpassing beauty, and highly esteemed in England 
where young trees of this species are growing. The seed is extremely 
valuable, on account of the fact that many years pass by before the cones 
become perfect and produce seeds capable of germination. There is in San 
Luis Obispo county a grove of one hundred of these trees, worth a trip any 
time to see. Nowhere else are many found. Unless this grove is protected 
it will soon become extinct, as no young trees are growing in it. The tree 
would seem to have ceased to reproduce itself here. It must have aid and 
protection. No one has laid eyes on the handsomest cone-bearer who has 
not been so fortunate as to look up at the Ficea cracteata, the beautiful 
tree, as they call it in Europe, where they consider it a rare gem. 

5. Ahies Bouglasii, a most valuable tree of California, growinc. easily in 
almost any soil, excellent for timber, and found largely in northern Cali- 
fornia and north to British Columbia. 

6. Abies Memiesii, and seventh, Abies Williamsonii, grow chiefly in 
northern California. The lumber is used only for rough purposes, and is 
not very valuable. The first four are of the true firs, while the fifth, sixth, 
and seventh are the spruces of the coast. 

8. Pinus Lambertlana, the sugar-pine, the grandest tree of the country 
cultivated in northern Europe now largely because of its excellent timber 
qualities, and most of the growth there is from seeds sent from here 
especially from British Columbia, and by the Hudson Bay Company durmc^ 
the last twenty-five years. " 

9. Pinus Jefreyii, a beautiful pine growing especially thick near Carson 
Nevada. It is esteemed highly in Europe because of its foliage, its usefulness 
for lumber, and its applicability for ornamentation, and because it will 
grow upon the meanest soil. It reaches an average height of one hundred 
and fifty feet. It is one of the hardiest of evergreens. It has large cones, 
with pyramidal hooked scales. 

10. Pimis Coidteri, found only in the Coast Range; rises about sixty or 
seventy feet; distinguished as having the heaviest cones of any of the 
family of conifers. 

11. Pinus Mancliesteri, named after the Duke of Manchester, who dis- 
covered it in the Yosemite valley. Botanists believe it to be only a variety 
of Pmus ponderosa. It has, however, larger cones. 


12. Fhius tuherculata, a small evergreen found mainly in the Shasta 
mountains. The cones do not, often, open for years, and in order to "get out 
the seeds a high degi-ee of heat has to be applied, such are the resinous 
qualities of the cone. 

13. Pinus insignis, the Monterey pine, one of the handsomest of the 
whole species. It has beautiful light green foliage, which is too tender for 
Europe, where it fails under cultivation. 

14. Pinus 'ponderosa, or heavy wooded pine. It is the pitch-pine of the 
mountains above the altitude of four thousand feet. 

15. Pinus monticola, grows at an altitude of from six thousand to eight 
thousand feet. It is a tall and erect sugar pine, and is used largely for 
railroad ties because of its durability. 

16. Pinus aristata, grows rarely in California. It is called the awned 
cone-pine. Some of the trees are to be found near the Calaveras Grove. 
It reaches fifty or sixty feet in height. 

17. Pinus conforia, an exceedingly tough wood, and does not rot. It 
has recently been introduced into Europe. Douglas found it on swamp 
ground on this coast, near the ocean. It is found in many northern parts of 
the continent. It is very hardy. 

IS. Pinus edulis, a small tree found largely in the lower country, and 
yielding edible nuts. 

19. Sequoia gigantea, the big trees of California. Its synonym is 
Wellingtonia gigantea, and it is also known as Washingtonia gigantea. 
The cones are described as about two inches long, ovate, terminal, solitary, 
and with numerous prickled stipitate scales. The honor of the discovery of 
the great trees is in dispute, as is also the dei-ivation of the name sequoia. 

20. Sequoia semperviren. This is the half-brother of that last named, 
and is the redwood tree of the coast. 

21. Lihocedrus decurrens is the California white cedar. The trees grow 
very large, reaching a height of two hundred feet. It is excellent timber 
for use under.ground. Many of the trees are affected by dry-rot. 

22. Gu]}ressus fragrans, or the fragrant cypress. It grows principally in 
Oregon, and is there called the ginger pine, because of its aromatic flavor. 
It is a fine wood, and is used largely in the best furniture in Oregon. 

Of all the trees mentioned in the foregoing pages let us now look and see 
what ones are indigenous to Mendocino county. Beginning with the coniferce, 
the coast redwood {Sequoia sempervirens) naturally and rightfully heads the 
list. The geographical extent of this tree in Mendocino county is iVom the Gual- 
ala river on the south to the northern boundary line, lying along the coast 
and extending inland from five to twenty-five miles. There was originally 
quite an extensive grove of them in what is now known as Redwood valley. 
This is the only known body of them lying east of the Russian river or the 
series of valleys extending north from its head. Redwood grows in heavier 


and more extensive bodies in this county than any other tree. In fact the 
county lies in the very heart of the great redwood belt of the Pacific coast. 
The next coniferce in importance for its usefulness is the yellow fir {Ahles 
Williamsonii), which grows all through the redwood belt, and extends east- 
ward in clumps and groves to the county limits. It makes excellent lumber 
and several interior mills work on it principally. It grows tall and straight in 
Mendocino county, reaching the height of two hundred feet, and making a very 
stately tree. A congener, white fir (Picea grandis), grows right in the heart 
of the redwood forests on the coast, and is a much more beautiful tree in 
appearance, growing lithe and straight to a lofty height, and having a beau- 
tiful smooth light-colored bark, not so very dissimilar to the ash tree. The 
stranger going for the first time into a redwood logging camp wonders that 
such fine specimens of treehood are passed by and left standing by the 
woodsman, and is more surprised when told that the beautiful tree is very 
coarse grained, and that one year's exposure is sufficient to rot it almost 
completely. This tree extends well over the county in groves and separately. 
Another congener is the red fir {Picea amabillis), commonly known by the 
name of Oregon pine. This is not so generally spread over the county 
as either of the other two brothers, it being confined mostly to the coast, 
and growing best in the redwood belt. It is not considered as good lumber 
here as it is farther north, although it is j)rized for its toughness, but not for 
its durability or fineness of grain, — in both of which qualities it is sadly lack- 
ing. Of the remaining coniferce the sugar pine (Pinus Lambertiana) is 
by far the most important, and in fact it is the only kind of pine of which 
any use can be made at all. As stated above, this is the clioicest of all the 
soft woods which are produced on the Pacific slope. Its fiber is compact and 
its grain fine, while it works very easily, and beyond the fault of season 
" checking " is altogether a desirable lumber. It is used principally for doors, 
sash, blinds, counters, shelving, and similar purposes. While it does not 
grow to an}' great extent in Mendocino county, there is quite a body of it 
about ten miles east of Point Arena on the ridge of the mountains lying 
between the north fork and the main branch of the Garcia river. In the 
course of time it will probably become accessible to the Garcia mill, and 
thence find its way to market, but at present it cannot be reached to 
any advantage at all. The trees are as large and make as good lumber as 
the Sierra mountain product. A few of these trees are scattered along the 
mountain s[iurs all along the Mendocino coast. The last of this family of 
trees which we will mention is what is locally known as "bull pine" (Pinus 
Coulteri), the scraggy, worthless pine-tree growing down on the mesas 
facing the ocean shore. The wood of this tree is not available for any pur- 
pose except kindling-wood or cheap fire-wood, and is being piled up and 
burned off the land to get rid of it. No attempt is made to make lumber of 
it as the trees do not grow to a sufficient size for that purpose. 


Of the other varieties of trees which grow in Mendocino county the 
chestnut oak {Quercus densifiora) is the most important, and affords quite 
an income yearly. It is that variety of the oak which yields the tan bark 
of commerce, and is very familiar to all residents of the county. It seems 
to thrive best in the redwood belt, and, as is said above, it is generally to be 
found growing in company with the coniferce. In this county but little use 
is made of the wood after the bark is stripped from it. It makes quite a 
fair quality of fire-wood, but it hardly pays to ship it so far. It is not 
thought worth whUe to prepare it for market in any other shape, and it is 
not known whether it would be suitable for economical purposes or not, but 
it is to be presumed that it is not so considered by the woodsmen themselves 
or it would be put upon the market in that shape. The laurel, {Oreodaphne 
Califoi'nica), is a wood much prized, and some very fine trees of this grow 
in Mendocino county. It is scattered pretty much all over the county, and 
will eventually be a staple article of export, when the demand for it will 
justify the labor and other expense requisite to get it to the San Francisco 
market. The live-oak {Quercus virens) is the most prized of any of the 
oaks which grow in Mendocino county, for its wood, not for lumbering pur- 
poses, however, but for fire-wood. It is considered the best wood for fuel on 
the coast, and always commands an advanced price in any market where it 
is ofiered for sale. It is to be found on all the mountain sides in the county, 
and as the most of the county is comprised of mountain sides it stands to 
reason that the trees are pretty generally diffused over the country. There 
are several other varieties of oaks, such as the black oak, valley oak, etc., 
none of which aie, however, of any importance either for lumber or wood. 
Probably the widest diffused tree and of least value in Mendocino count}' 
is the madroiia {Arbutus Memiesii). Go where you will the madroua meets 
you on the wayside, until its face becomes so familiar, that should you miss 
it for a mile or two, and come suddenly upon it you gaze with kindly 
eyes, somewhat as you would upon a long-lost friend. There is a tree, the 
soft maple, {Acer rubvum) which grows in Mendocino county, and is not 
seen in the counties south of it. It extends northward and is found in large 
bodies in Oregon. It is a beautiful lawn or avenue tree, and there can he 
nothing more lovely than the multi-colored leaves of a grove of maples in 
the autumn season, after "Jack Frost" has touched them with his icy 
brush, and changed the sombre chlorophyl to the bright-hued colors of the 
rainbow. Another rare tree for Califoinia, the chestnut, {Castanea Califor- 
nica), is found occasionally in Mendocino county. The tree has every out- 
ward appearance of the Eastern chestnut, of which every person reared east 
of the Alleghany mountains has such fond childhood reminiscences, but the 
nut is a great deal smaller. It is encased in a bur just as competent to prick 
the barefoot of the small boy out chestnuting, as its congener at the East. 
he writ er is not aware that there are any other trees of this kind in Call- 


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^^ ty/TOTx-^^ou^ <:l--, 


fornia growing wild in the forests. A few of them can be seen on the road- 
side just north of Sherwood valley, between there and Cahto, and south of 
there also. Quite a considerable alder (Alnux) grows along the streams of 
the county, and on the low flat lands. It is used for nothing except light 
summer fire-wood. It is never exported, as the shipper would come out 
badly in debt on each cargo. There is an occasional white ash (Fraxinus 
alha) and rarely a white poplar {Popidus alba) growing on the mountain 
sides, but not in any bodies at all. 

Passing from trees to shrubs we find the manzanita growing everywhere, 
its bright red bark and deep green leaves contra'^ting beautifully, and 
producing a charming effect on the landscape. Here and there in clumps and 
clusters, the buckeye {Aesculits pavia) grows all over the count}'-, and in the 
time of blooming they make the air in their vicinity redolent with rich odor. 
Another shrub which is the chief of all flowering shrubs in the county is the 
wild oleander, {Rhododendron Californicum). This is described by Volney 
Rattan in his " Popular California Flora " as follows : " R. Californicum, 
Hook, is a large evergreen shrub, with large bell-shaped rose-purple flowers,- 
a true Rhododendron., probably not found south of Mendocino county." 
The beauty of these flowers cannot be described, they must be seen to be 
appreciated. The shrub sometimes attains a heisht of twenty feet or 
more, and is laden to the bending of the limbs with great clu.sters of 
roseate flowers. But the shrub of all shrubs in the mountains of Mendo- 
cino county is the chemissal (pronounced shem^ese). Go where you will and 
there is chemissal to the right, left, fore and aft of you, and it grows so thickly 
that a mountain sheep cannot get through it. It must have been on the top of 
a chemissal mountain whei-e the patriarch Abraham was sent by the Lord to 
try his faith, at least such a mountain would be a good place to find a sheep 
fastened by the horns. 

There are other trees and shrubs growing within the limits of Mendocino 
county, but those of major importance have been mentioned and described. 
Anothei- shrub is the wild hazel, which is perhaps not found south of Men- 
docino county. The writer has given the subject a great deal of research 
and is convinced that for all practical purposes all the trees and shrubs of 
importance have been touched upon, not with the master hand of a profes- 
sional botanist, but rather by a close and careful observer of facts and things 
as he passed by the wayside. Months would be required for the former, 
while weeks suffice for the latter. 

Soils. — The soil of Mendocino count}' is characteristically mountain, or in 
other words, that kiad which is formed by the direct action of the soil-making 
machinery, so to speak, of a mountainous region. There may be said to be 
three classes of soil here, viz. : argillaceous, adobe and loam, and in all of 
these there is more or less of sand and cobble stones. The first named is quite 


widely diftused, and is found on all the mountain sides, and is, of course, not 
very prolific; trees, shrubs and grasses growing only indifferently in it. 
Adobe is to be found on the hill-sides and in the valleys. It is much given 
to land-.sliding in the winter season, and gives much trouble in the way of 
obstructing roads. It is not apparently so rich here as in some of the other 
counties of the State where it predominates, but is considered very fair 
wheat and grazing land. The loam is the best of all soils in the county, and 
is found on the Hiesvts fronting the ocean, and along the rich alluvial river 
bottoms of the county. In it all manner of fruits and vegetables thrive very 
well indeed, and in fact anything that will grow anywhere, will grow in the 
rich soil of the beautiful valleys of Mendocino county. There is a peculiar 
"half-and-half" kind of soil which predominates on the "second bottom," or 
benches of land lying at the foot of the mountains, which is known locally 
as " manzanita soil." It is composed of clay, adobe and loam in spots, with 
here and there an alkali or "scald" spot. It grows a most excellent quality 
of wheat, but not much can be said of the quantity. Ukiah City is located 
on just such soil, while just to the east, beginning in the very sub- 
urbs, lies the true valley, but with adobe soil in it. In all mountainous 
sections the effect of water is to carry off the lighter particles of richer loam 
to the valleys below, and perhaps far away near the mouths of the streams, 
while the heavier, coarser materials are left, and those soils which do not 
wash away easily; hence near the foot of the mountain we find boulders, 
further away cobble stones, and further on coarse gravel, then fine until the 
margin of the stream is reached, where there is a fine bed of loam. Should 
there be a body of adobe or clayey soil near the foot of the mountain, the 
most of it will be found still there, as the water rushing in madcap torrents 
from the goi'ges of the mountains to the river in the valley below, can have 
but little effect on it. There is a .small amount of another kind of soil 
in this county, which, though forming no considerable portion of the soil of 
the county, must not be overlooked. This is the bog or peat soil, formed by 
the decaying vegetation in the swamps of overflowed and tule land in Gahto and 
Round valleys, and perhaps in other places in a limited amount. This soil 
is compo.sed of decayed vegetation, guano, detritions and sedimentary deposits 
from the overflow of streams, mixed with a large percentage of preserved 
roots, the principal preservative agent being tannic acid. This is the richest 
soil known in the county, and the yield of grain and vegetables from fields 
of this character is simply marvelous. 

Water-cuURSES. — There are no navigable streams in Mendocino county, 
and none of any great importance, except for purposes of drainage and 
whatever use they can be put to for driving logs to the mills. Beginning 
at the south-west corner of the county we find the 

Gaalala River, as a part of the boundary line between Mendocino and 
Sonoma counties. This river had originally a ver}' beautiful name, being 


called Valhalla, by the Germans who at one time owned the Rancho de 
Herman in Sonoma county, and being so called after the beautiful stream 
of that name in their own Fatherland. But, unfortunately, everything had 
to be in accordance with the Spanish ideas of things in those days, and the 
musical Valhalla was twisted into Gualala, and has now dwindled down in 
tlie vernacular of the re.sidents of that section, to " Wall-holler-" This 
stream has its origin in the western j^ortion of Sonoma county, flows due 
north parallel with the coast, just inside a range of hills which rise up 
from the shore of the ocean, and after a straight north course for nearly 
twenty-five miles, it turns to the westward, and for some distance forms the 
dividing line between the two counties as mentioned above, and finally 
debouches into the Pacific ocean. A writer has truthfully said, " There was 
never a stream so well named. Great redwood trees shade its limpid waters, 
the favorite haunt of the salmon and the trout; the hills are full of game — 
deer, elk and bear — and if ever there was a jilace where ' the bear roasted 
every morning became whole at night,' it was true, figuratively speaking, 
of the Sonoma Valhalla, for the camp on its margin was never without a 
haunch of venison or creel of fish. May the fellow who tortured the name 
by trying to Peruvianize it, never taste the joys of the real Valhalla ! " 

Garcia River. — In passing up the coast we come to the Garcia river, which 
is a small mountain stream, having its source east of Point Arena. Up from its 
mouth about seven miles, a branch known as the north fork, empties into 
the main river. This passes through large and beautiful forests of red- 
wood and firs, and is an altogether lovely stream. Its waters are clear 
and limpid, and its shores shady and mossy, just such a place as ye Isaac 
Walton would choose to spend a day in hooking the finny beauties from 
their native element. The river ordinarily is a shallow, though swift running- 
stream, but when the flood torrents of mid-winter come bursting down from 
the very mountain tops near by, it is then that the Garcia is to be seen in 
all its glorious gi-andeur as a mad stream. 

Brush Creel: — The next stream north is the Brush creek, which is small 
and insignificant, and has its head in the mountains which skirt along 
the coast, and flows westward and empties into the sea. 

Alder Creek. — The next stream to the north is Alder creek, another small 
stream rising in the coast belt of mountains, and flowing westward into 
the sea. 

JElk Creel: — The next to the north is Elk creek, which is a much 
larger stream than either of the last named. It approximates the propor- 
tions of a river at flood seasons, and was ver}' dangerous formerly, before a 
bridge spanned its mad course. It rise's in the Coast Range, and follows a 
westerly course till it i-eaches the Pacific. 


Greemvood Creeh is the next stream to the northward, and is small and 
insignificant. It serves as a drain to the mountains back from the coast, 
and flows m a westward course to the sea. 

Nevarra River. — This is the next stream, and it is quite worthy the 
appellation of river. It has its source far up amid the mountains, and flows 
through the glades and forests, at first dashing madly along as a mount- 
ain torrent, but finally assuming the solema aspect of a geuuine river, 
flows peacefully along to meet its mother ocean. It is used only for the 
purpose of driving logs to the mill. Its bar admits of the passage of a 
lighter to sea, and in years gone by that was the method of getting all 
lumber from the mill to the vessels outside. 

Salmon Greek. — This is another small stream flowing westward from the 
mountains to the sea. Its banks are lined with a wonderful growth of 

Albion River. — This is a stream of some importance to mill-men, as they 
are able to drive logs down it in flood time. It rises far back amid the 
frowning shadows of the mountain passes, and flowing westward, opens into 
the Pacific. 

Little River. — Passing on north we come to this stream, called so evidently 
in contradistinction to its mate, just north of it. Big river. It is a lovely 
stream, rising in the mountains away to the eastward, and after flowing 
through miles of forest, comes at last to rest on the heaving bosom of the 

Big River. — This stream lies just north of the last named river a few 
miles, and is evidently appropriately named, as it is the largest stream which 
empties into the Pacific ocean in Mendocino county. This is quite a large 
stream, and extends far back into the mountains, having various arms as its 
head-waters are neared, which branch off, causing it to drain a large scope of 
country, and consequently an immense volume of water passes to the ocean 
along its yearly. It is utilized for many miles in the interior for 
driving purposes, and millions upon millions of feet of logs have been borne 
upon its bosom to the mill at its ^ mouth. It flows in a westerly direction, 
and empties into the ocean at Mendocino City. 

Caspar Creek. — This is a small stream rising in the mouutains east of the 
coast, and emptying into the ocean a few miles north of Big river. There 
is a very large body of redwood on its banks. 

Hare Creek is the next stream to the northward. It is very small and 
insignificant. It flows from the eastward out of the mountains. 

Noyo River. — This is quite a considerable stream flowing from the east- 
ward, where it rises amid the mountains. The water on its bar is deep 


enough for lighterage purposes, and all freight coming in or going out passes 
through that channel. There is a good body of water for several miles up 
the river and logs are driven down it in gi-eat quantities. 

Plodding Greek. — This is a very small stream, serving no purpose at all 
except that of drainage. 

Ten-mile River. — This is the last stream worthy of mention as we pass 
north along the Mendocino coast. It is a small but beautiful stream, and 
has its source far away among the eastern mountains. Its waters finally 
reach the Pacific. 

South Eel River. — Passing to the eastward across the northern portion of 
the county, the first stream to which we come of any importance is the 
South Eel river, which has its source near the eastern boundary line of 
Mendocino county, among the snow-capped mountains of that section, and 
flows north-westerly forming almost a quarter-circle in its course through 
Mendocino county, crosses the line into Humboldt county, and there 
unites with the other branches of the river, and eventually reaches the sea 
far away to the northward near Humboldt bay. This river is a genuine 
mountain stream, having all the beauty and abandon of the chief of its 
kind. It is kept at freshet heights until late in the season by the melting 
snow from the adjacent inountains. Bridges are swept away with a ruthless 
hand when its waters are lashed into an angry mood, by dashing headlong 
through the gorges of the mountains. 

Middle Eel River. — This stream lies a few miles to the eastward of the last 
named, and has its source in the extreme north-east corner of the county, and 
flows around a tract of country known as Round valley in such a way as to 
almost entirely surround it. All that was said of the South Eel river can be 
said of this stream. Neither of them are of any importance except for 
drainage purposes. 

Russiam' River. — This is probably the longest river in the county ; that is, 
it flows for a longer distance through the territory of Mendocino. It 
has its source near the upper end of Calpella township, and thence it flows 
in a southerly direction through Ukiah and Sanel townships, and pa.ssesfrom 
the county into Sonoma, a tew miles north-east of Cloverdale in the latter 
county, and thence pursues a southerly course to Healdsburg, and thence 
westerly to the Pacific ocean. It is a beautiful stream and flows quietly 
through the land in the summer season, and one would hardly dream that 
its placid bosom could be lashed into the seething torrent it is in the flood 
sea»son. It is a stream of no importance, however, except for drainage. 

There are other smaller streams which might be mentioned, such as the 
Mai Paso on the coast. Little Lake Outlet, Ackerman creek, etc., but those 
of any real importance have been described. These streams are all beauti- 


ful, aud the water in them is as clear as a crystal. Fish of many varieties, 
principally trout, however, abound in all of them, while to bathe in them at 
the proper season of the year is a luxury not founi anywhere except on the 
sea-beach. Bibblin:^ bi-ooks, singing cheerily as they dance and glint in 
the silvery sunlight, in their merry chase to the sea, is no poet's dream in 
Mendocino county, for they greet one on every hand. 

Climatography. — The climate of Mendocino county dififers very materially 
from, pei'haps, any other county in the State of California. It presents 
many phases, and even within a few miles there can be found wonder- 
ful diversities, not to say extremes, of climate. Along the coast the 
atmosphere is always more or less laden with moisture, and the winds are 
almost constantly blowing, hence it is necessarily cold in that section at all 
seasons of the year. Just inside the first range of mountains the air is 
shorn in a measure of its moisture, but is still damp enough to keep the 
temperature reduced greatly and to make it really the most pleasant place 
in the county to live, it being that happy mean where the wind is shorn of 
its chilling fog, and the heat of the midsummer's sun is tempered by passing 
through a strata of moist air. Farther in the interior the air is shorn of all 
its moisture and becomes arid and parches the vegetation as it passes over 
it. The summer's sun pours its unimpeded rays into those valleys in a mer- 
ciless manner, as if fully determined to prove to mankind that it can shine 
more fervidly to-day than it did yesterday. And yet it is not so very dis- 
agreeable, and those accustomed to it really enjoy its pelting rays. 

The average rain-fall is much more in Mendocino county than it is in San 
Francisco. It is a i-emarkablc fact that there never has been a year yet 
when the crops and grass were an entire failure for the want of rain. It is 
ti'ue that there is more or less complaint among the farmers and stock-men 
this season (1880), on account of the shortness of the feed, owing to a lack 
of _rain. It was not so much, however, owing to the entire lack of rain for 
the season, but it came so late that the hot winds and sun came down upon 
the grass before it had nearly gotten its growth, hence it is very short. This 
being a mountainous district, the rain-fall is naturally great, and the country 
reaps the results of the rains. 

The season of rain in this section may be .said to commence in October 
and end in May. It is rare that it rains more than a day or two at a time, 
and the intervals range from a^ew days to several weeks. This is truly the 
beautiful season for many parts of Mendocino county. The grass now 
springs to newness of life and is bright and green on every side, spreading 
an emerald tapestry over hill and dale fit for the dainty tread of a princess. 
The swelling bud is bursted, and the tree is clothed in its garments of green, 
and the bright flowers gladden the scene with their lovely presence and 
exhale an enchanting aroma which serves to make the spring days all 
the moi'e grateful to man, betokening fruitage and vintage, to which 


the heart of man gladly looks forward ; and in those mountain fastnesses, 
when the sun shines upon the early springing verdure of ground and tree, 
what a halo of glory is spread over the vista ! Ho\r the shadows of the 
fleecy cumuli chase each other over fen and brake, and how the merry sun- 
shine kisses -s^ith loving tenderness the newly-born offspring of Mother 
Earth ! And the birds and the bees are all in their merriest glee, and the 
woods with music ring as the sweet hours of the fresh, bright, joyous spring 
day passes by. Winter's snows are all past now, only on the far-away 
mountain-tops does there remain even a vestige of the icy monster who has so 
lately held a large portion of the land in his chilling grasp, and even that is 
fast disappearing beneath the genial Tuys of the ascending sun. 

Quite an amount of snow falls during the winter months in the mount- 
ains of the interior, though strange to say but little falls on the Coast Range. 
In the interior valleys there is usually a fall of snow each winter, ranging 
from a few inches to several feet, and remaining on the ground from a few 
hours to several days. Some winters are extremely severe, causing much 
stock to perish from exposure. In all the valleys north of Little Lake the 
winters seem to be much more severe than to the southward of it. It is not 
an uncommon thing for it to frost, however, during most of the months of 
the year in some of the southern valleys, while those where the snow was 
the deepest are free from frost. So far this year (July, 1880), there has been 
frost during every month in Ukiah valley, while Sherwood valley has 
been free from it since April. 

February is the growing month of the year, and the life which has sprung 
into existence since the rains came now begins to be vigorous and thrifty. 
The sun has come an appreciable distance to the northward now, and the 
days are lengthened out enough to make the atmosphere very mild and warm 
during the day, and the earth is able to retain a sufficiency of the genial 
rays to keep vegetation springing all night. March is also a great growing 
month; but there is a likelihood of the north wind blowing some days, and 
cold storms coming on and checking the growth of vegetation and casting a 
shadow of gloom over the whole face of nature. April is the month of 
"smiles and tears," and the saying that "April showers make May flowers," 
holds as true here as at the East. The weather is now quite warm almost 
every day, and the air is so deliciously balmy that to live is a pleasure and 
to grow is all that vegetation has to do. May is a continuation of those 
beautiful days, with now and then a real warm one, as a sort of harbinger of 
the days that are to come. 

But June brings with it a change, especially in the valleys. On the 
mountain sides the grass begins to sere and the patches of russet are everywhere 
visible, showing out in bold relief contrasted with the green foliage of the 
shrubbery or trees growing around it. This "sere and yellow leaf " is not the 
sombre hue of death as it is in most parts of the world, but it is a bright and 


beautiful tint, which, while if unbroken, might weary the eye, broken and 
varied as it is in Mendocino county with ample green from the trees, it presents 
a picture of rare beauty, and one on which the skill of a master limner 
might well be exercised to its utmost to catch the delicate tintings which the 
halo that now always overhangs the mountains at early morn and evening, 
casts upon the scene. From now on till the rains come there is but little 
change in the scenery. The russet spots remain the same, and the green 
surrounding them is still the same emerald fringe. 

On the coast the usual fogs of the summer season set in about the first of 
May. This phenomenon is of almost daily occurrence till the middle of 
August, and is an important factor in the growth of grass and crops along 
the sea-coast. About the first of May the trade-winds set in from the north- 
west and prove a great agent in the modification of the climate on the coast, 
serving to reduce the temperature wherever it penetrates among the valleys 
of the interior. These are the breezes which bear on their wings the burdens 
of mist and fog which are so refreshing to the growing vegetation along the 
coast, making the season much longer in that section than farther back, and 
adapting it for grazing and especially for dairying purposes. These great 
fog-banks form every day off the land, caused perhaps by the meeting of a 
cold and warm strata of air. In the afternoons this fog comes inland with 
the breeze which commences .about noon daily. This moisture laden air is 
not deleterious in any way to the health of the inhabitants along the coast, 
except, perhaps, those affected with lung or bronchial troubles. It is a fact, 
on the contrary, that the most healthful portion of the year is that in which 
the fogs prevail. These fog-banks spread over the country in the after- 
noons and continue all night, but the early morning sun is apt to dispel them. 
Sometimes, however, there come several days in succession when the sun is 
shut out from the view of man altogether along the coast. It is then generally 
dreary and cold, and the wind whistles and soughs through the branches of 
the giant redwoods in a mournful, disconsolate sort of a way, and the dash 
of the breakers against the rocky strand gets to be a very melancholy swash, 
monotonous and irksome, and the heart of man longs for a gleam of sunshine 
almost as the prisoner pines for liberty. One must have an experience of 
that sort of weather to fully appreciate the dreariness of it. The thought is 
continually coming up that : 

" The melancholy days have come. 

The saddest of the year.'' 
" While from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and, in accents disconsolate, answers the wail of the forest." 

Bui it is not always thus gloomy, for there are many days, during a season, 
of unexcelled beauty and loveliness — days when the sun shines in unalloyed 
brightness from out the blue empyrean of heaven's own vault, mantling the 
world in a sheen of sih'er — days when the waves of old ocean are all lulled 


to sleep, and naught but a myriad of gentle ripples disturb the placid 
quietude of her face, upon which the glinting rays of the midday's 'sun 
dance in a perfect revelry of delight — days when the roar of the swell of the 
ocean, breating in upon the beach, has been hushed down to a murmering 
whisper which is borne along upon the gentle evening zephyr, and falls upon 
the ear of the listener like the vesper anthems of some far away choir of 
angel singers. 



While Mendocino has not been at all a mining county, yet there has 
been more or less of it done from tinie to time ever since the county 
began to^ttle up. Gold, silver, copper, coal and petroleum have all been 
found in greater or less quantities, and been successfully mined. Under 
date of October 23, 1863, a writer in the Herald has this to say of 
the mines, and the outlook at that date: " The money has been appropriated 
and a company formed to bring water from Forsyth's creek — the main 
branch of the Russian river above Calpella — to Gold Gulch, one and a half 
miles below Calpella. The prospecting for gold, silver and copper- bearing 
quartz still goes on with increased interest. The indications are more flat- 
tering than those of some of the most celebrated mines in the country. So 
far the discoveries have been made in what is known as the Cold 
Creek district, lying north-east of Ukiah. The ledges which first attracted 
attention to this district are about twelve miles distant from Ukiah, on the 
north side of Cold creek, and are well-defined and extensive — in fact, the 
whole country seems to be one continuous bed of copper, some one or two of 
them exhibit the pure metal in the croppings, and all are exceedingly rich in 
the blue and green oxyds of copper. As good rock is found within five feet 
of the surface as is usually found at the depth of fiftj' or one hundred feet in 
other localities in this State. Mill sites are being located on Cold creek, 
which affords a good supply of water throughout the year, which is pure, 
cold and healthful. Among the best ledges in the district are the Eureka, 
Copper Hill, Mineral Point, Committee, Bailey, Cow Mountain, Three Lakes 
and Live Oak. Mendocino county will yet be one of the richest counties in 
the State. We have the best of soil, timber and climate. The mines are not 
confined to the above-named district, nor to copper only — but all around us 
gold, silver, copper and quicksilver are being discovered and prospected. 
The sound of the pick and shovel, and the roar of the exploded blasts are heard 
from all sides, and pack-horses, laden with camp equipages and mining tools, 
are an every-day sight. Near here are also the Montezuma Silver Mines, 
and a cinnabar lead near that." The same writer under date of July 24, 1863, 
says : " In Ukiah valley, at Calpella, and Hildredth's crossing on Eel river, 
there has been found gold in suflficient quantities to pay for working it. 
Also in Round valley the 'color' has been found. Near Eden valley a ledge 
of quartz has been discovered containing sulphurets, and claims located 
thereon; assays $12.00 to the ton." 


Under date of May 1, 1863, the following was published in the Herald : 
" A party has been recently prospecting in the mountains between Round 
valley and Clear lake. There is said to be an exceedingly rich deposit of 
gold in that region, discovered a number of years ago by an unfortunate 
wanderer over the mountains, who, finding a rock that bore unmistakable 
evidence of gold, pounded it up, and extracted one-half pound of gold. 
But he never could find the place again, and many other ardent seekers after 
his lost lead have shared the same ill luck from year to year." 

Eel River Mining District. — At a meeting held on the 15th of July, 
1863, at Eden valley, the following resolution was passed : — 

Resolved, That this mining district shall be known as the Eel river dis- 
trict and shall be bounded as follows : — 

Commencing at a point where the boundary line between Humboldt 
and Mendocino counties intersect main Eel river; thence east along siid boun- 
dary line to the summit of the Coast Range on the line of Tehamacounty ; thence 
along said dividing ridge, heading the south branch of the north fork of Eel 
river to the head of the main South- Eel river; thence down the middle of 
said stream to the forks; thence down the main river to the place of beginning. 

The following By-Laws were adopted : — 

Article 1. All quartz claims shall be two hundred feet on the lead, with 
all dips and angles. 

Art. 2. All discoverers of new ledges shall be entitleil to one additional 
claijn for discovery. 

Art. 3. All claims shall be designated by stakes and notice. 

Art. 4. All quartz claims shall be worked to the amount of $-5.00, or one 
and a half days per month, after three months from date of location ; and 
the owner may work to the amount of $25.00 as soon after location as; he 
may elect, which amount of work shall exempt him from work on said 
claim for six months thereafter. 

Art. 5. All quartz claims shall be designated by a name and in sections. 

Art. 6. All claims shall be recorded within twenty days from date of 

Art. 7. Surface and hill claims shall be one hundred feet square, and be 
designated by a notice and stake at each corner. 

Art. 8. All ravine and gulch claims shall be one hundred feet in length, 
and in breadth, fi'om bank to bank, designated by notice and stake at each 

Art. !). All claims shall be worked within twent3' days from the time 
water can be had in suflicient quantities to work the same. 

Art. 10. All ravine, gulch and surface claims shall be recorded within 
twenty days from date of location. 

Art. 11. All claims not worked accoi-ding to the law.s of this district, 
shall be forfeited and subject to relocation after three months. 



Art. 1:^. There shall ba a recorJer elected, who shall hold his oiiiee for 
the term of one year, ami until his successor is elected. Said recorder shah 
be entitled to one dollar for each claim recorded and located. 

Art. 13. The recorder shall keep a book with all the laws of the district 
written therein, which shall at all times be subject to the inspection of the 
nieiiibei's of said district, and he is furthermore required to post in two or 
more conspicuous pla.ces in the district a copy of the laws of said district. 

C. H. Eberle, Secretarij. M. M. Wormer, Chairman. 

Putter Valley Mining District.— This mining (Ustrict was located in Sep- 
tember, 1863, and was bounded as follows : — 

Commencing at Calpella valley and running up the road leading to Little 
Lake valley, north of the dividing line between Little Lake and Potter val- 
leys, on the top of the main ridge to a point where the main trail, as now 
traveled between these valleys, now passes ; from thence due east to the south 
fork of Eel river; thence vip said fork to a valley called Gravelly valley ; 
from then-3 south to a point that intersects the northern bounilarj' line of 
Lake county ; i'rom thence west to the place of beoiinning. 

Ukiah Mining District.— This mining district was organized in September, 
1863, for the purposes of mining and pros}iecting for gold, silver and cop- 
per. It was bounded as follows; — 

Bounded on the south by the line of the Cloverdale mining district, run- 
ning parallel with the same to the coast; on the west by the coast ; on the 
north, starting at the Noyo river, running easterly to a point on the Round 
valley mining district line, opposite Hildreth's ; thence, following 
s'aid line of the Round valley mining district to the Cloverdale district line. 

RK(jr.\ iliXLXi; Distukt. — At a meeting of the miners of the Requa min- 
ing district, June ■li). 18(1.'), the following boundaries were established : — 

Connuencing at the house of Simp.son & White; thence running easterly, 
following the trail to Round valley to the crossing of Eel river; thence 
southerly to a point easterly of the junction of 'the waters of Little Lake and 
Sherwood valleys; thence westerly to the Yreka and Cloverdale wagon 
road; from thence northerly, following said road to the place of beginning. 

While men were searching through all the mountains in the interior of 
Mendocino county for gold and silver, not a few were engaged in prospect- 
ing for petroleum along the coast, and in 1865- the following districts were 
located : — 

ITsAL Petroleum Mining District. — This was located September 8, 1865, 
and was bounded as follows: — 

On the north by Shelter cove district; thence south along low water 
mark to Alviso creek; thence due east to the south fork of Eel river; thence 
down Eel river to the place of beginning. 

(tARCIA Petroleum District. — This was organized sometime in the early 


part of 18t)5, though it is iiDt known now what wei'e the boumlary lines. 
The wells were located near Point Arena. 

Point Akena Petroleum District. — This district was organized early in 
1865, and the wells were located in the neighborhood of Point Arena. On 
the 12th day of October, 1865, tlie land of the company was sold at sheriff's 
sale, hence it is inferable that the boring for oil did not prove a successful 
venture with this company, and as thei-e are no wells in the county now in 
operation, it is to be presumed that all the other companies found that the 
money was passing the wrong way. 

Copper Mines. — Aside from the copper mines mentioned above in connec- 
tion with the gold and silver mines, there have been claims located and 
worked in other portions of the county. In August, 1863, a claim was located 
on Dry creek — specimens from which yielded forty per cent of copper, with 
a large percentage of silver. The ledge was known then as the Indepen- 
dent. There was also a lead of copper ore struck in the vicinity of Point 
Arena, but nothing is known of its merits. 

Coal Mines. — Although no great amount of work has been done in the 
way of mining for coal in Mendocino county, it has not been because thei'e 
were no good mines awaiting development, but because wood is so plentiful 
a.s yet, that there could possibly be no demand for coal. In May, 1863, a vein 
of coal was discovered some one or two miles south-west of McDonald's place, 
in the southern portion of the county. It was a body of very fine coal, and 
even the outcrop]3ings were pronounced by experts to be of a superior quality. 
A company was organized in Healdsburg for the development of the mine, 
by whom, all the ranches in that vicinity, which would in any way interfere 
with their plans, were purchased. It is not known how much work was 
done by this company, nor what was accomplished in the way of proving 
whether or not the coal of this county is first-class. 

A vein from six to twelve feet in thickness was discovered in Round valley, 
but nothing was ever done in the way of developing the mine. It will be many 
years yet ere the wood is so much exhausted in Mendocino county, that coal 
will be in any demand as a fuel, hence it is not at all likely that these mines 
will be touched again for a score or more of years, unless some other metal 
should be found in such quantities, that coal would be in demand for smelt- 
ing or furnace purposes. 

At the present time (1880) there is (^uite an interest being manifested in 
the placer mines in the vicinity of Calpella, and those interested are very 
sanguine of ultimate success. If the gold is there, there is no reason why it 
should not be gotten out of the ground, for water is plentiful and easy of 
access. The indications are certainly good, and should the diggings pi-ove 
rich, there would be a wonderful revolution in matters in Mendocino county. 

Some platinum is said to exist in the black sand of the placer diggings, 
but probably not enough to ever pay for working. 



People who live in other sections of the United States and who have 
never visited the Pacific slope, have but a meagre conception of the great 
redwood forests of California, and even many of those who have had tlie 
good fortune to enjoy a tour through the State, generally glean but little 
knowledge of them. All touri.sts to California must, either perforce, or per- 
fashion, to coin a word, pay a visit to the "Big Trees of Calaveras," and 
what do they see? Great, mammoth trees to be sure, the equals of which 
are not to be seen in the world, but a visit to them can give the sight-seer 
no adequate idea of the real redwoods of the State. To one who reads 
a graphic description of those patriarchs of the forest there is conveyed, 
if not an idea of impiobability, at least, if he be an utilitarian, an idea 
of non-utility. He can see at a glance that such trees are too large to 
work to any advantage, and also, that when worked into lumber, the 
grain is so coarse that it would be useless. But it must be borne in mind 
that these gigantic redwoods of Calaveras do not form any considerable 
portion of the forests of California, but are only an isolated exception to the 
general rule. In ordinary descriptive articles on the redwoods of California 
the " big trees " are brought prominently to the front, while the real forests 
from wliich the lumber supply of the State is obtained are only mentioned 

A glance at the map of Califoi'nia will discover a small inlet about fifty 
miles to the northward of San Fi-ancisco known as Bodega bay. It is at 
this pomtthat the redwood belt, on tlie coast north of San Francisco begins. 
South of that there are no forests at all at the present time, they having 
been cut out years ago, and but few scattering trees till you go south of San 
Francisco. This tree seems to flourish only under certain peculiar circum- 
stances. There are several difierent varieties all of which thrive under 
different conditions. The " Big Trees " have flourished above the chiefs of 
their congeners in other sections of the State. Where they have grown the 
fogs of the sea have never reached, at least in these latter days, but it is hard 
to tell, now, what was the geological conformation of the Pacific coast region 
in the long, long ago days of their early treehood. They are located also far 
above the level of the sea, and the snows of all these many years have rested, 
oftentimes very heavily, upon their lofty heads and wide-spreading boughs. 
Along the coast the case is far difl^erent. Here the season is ever vernal, 
and snow is to them unknown. Those thrive best which grow nearest the 


sea level, and above all those are the grandest which have spent their days 
in some spot where the dense fogs of the old Pacific have swept in 
among their boughs from 4 o'clock in the afternoon till S) in the morning, 
for at least nine months of the year. The great reason for this is not alone 
that the moisture of the fog does, in a measure, vivify the trees by coming 
in contact with the foliage, but it is mainly due to the fact that their leaves 
possess a peculiar power whereby the moisture is condensed and the water 
precipitated at the roots of the tree, where it sinks into the ground, comes in 
contact with the roots and answers every purpose of irrigation. Indeed 
these trees are called self-irrigators, and where a cluster of them stand 
together enough water will be thus precipitated to cause the ground to be very 
muddy and soft for several feet outside of the area covered by the umbrage 
of the trees. These ti-ees do not grow at any great height above the sea 
level at any place, even in the interior, preferring the low valleys to even 
the hills, and as one proceeds up the mountain side he soon discovers the 
ranks of redwoods to bs gi-owing thinner and other trees coming in to fill 
their places. Passing up the coast from the lower line of Sonoma county, 
the traveler comes suddenly and unannounced upon the redwood belt. He 
travels along amid low, rolling hills, innocent of even a manzanita or chem- 
issal shrub. Presently the hills increase in magnitude and in the distance 
there is here and there a pi-ominent peak suggesting that a small mountain 
range may be near at hand. At last the summit of one of these peaks is 
reached, known locally as Buena Vista, and looking northward, across the 
valley, the first glimpse of the redwoods is had. Strange to say there are 
no straggling trees standing like sentries in advance of the main army, but 
they present a solid phalanx. Just at the brow of the hill the first ranks 
have taken their stand. On the south side of the hill it is as barren as those 
we have just passed, and on the north side the forest is as heavy as it is in 
the very heart of the belt. 

It was in this immediate vicinity that the pioneer milling of California was 
done. The lumber used in the country previous to 1843, had mostly come 
from the Sandwich Islands. Some little of it had come around the Horn in 
trading vessels, and a small amount had been sawed in California with whip 
or pit -saws. It was worth in those days from $300 to $600 per thousand. 
A man by the name of James Dawson was probably the first one to manufac- 
ture lumber with a pit-saw in Sonoma county. This was probably in 1838. 
In the olden days, probably in 1840, certainly not later than 1841, a man by 
the name of Stephen Smith, master of abai-k called the George and Henry, 
came to this coast on a trading expedition.. He hailed from Baltimore, Mary- 
land, of which place he was a native, and brought with him a cargo of sugar 
syrup, tobacco, cotton and other cloths, besides whatever else would find 
ready sale in the California market at that time, taking in exchange therefor 
a cargo of hides, horns and tallow. In his cruise at this time, he paid a 


visit to Bodega bay, and went ashore and visited the entire section of countiy 
surrounding it. Here he saw the giant redwoods growing in rank profusion 
and recognized the fact that in them was the kimber which generations yet 
unborn would use in the construction of their buildings. Being a shrewd, 
far-seeing man, it did not take him long to see that here was a chance for a 
fortune. Here the trees grew in abundance within six miles of a harbor 
which afforded safe and ample anchorage at all seasons of the year and which 
was within less than twent3r-four hours sail of San Francisco. If it would 
pay to bring lumber from the far away islands, and around the Hoi-n, how 
much more would it profit to produce it so near the market 1 He also con- 
ceived the idea of constructing a gi'ist-mill in connection with his saw-mill. 
With his head full of his great project he hied himself away to the Atlantic 
sea-board, and, disposing of his cargo of hides, etc., he took on board a full 
and complete outfit for a steam saw and grist-mill. He then set sail for 
California. On his way out he stopped at Pieta, Peru, where he was united in 
marriage with Donna Manuella Torres, a lady of remarkable refinement and 
intellect. Captain Smith was at that time sixty-one years of age, but hale 
and hearty, and as robust as he was at forty. The Donna had seen but 
sixteen summers, however. At different places he had picked up a ci-ew of 
men whom he expected would be able to take charge of the mill, such as an 
engineer, carpenters, etc. In Baltimore he engaged the services of one Henry 
Hagler as ship's carpenter and mill-wright; while at Pieta he engaged Wil- 
liam Streeter as engineei- of his mill. At Valparaiso he hired David D. Dut" 
ton, now of Vacaville, Solano county, as a mechanic. At other places he hired 
Philip Crawley and a man named Bridges. On the way up from Monterey, 
and while in San Francisco, he hired Jame.= Hudspeth, now of Green Valley, 
Sonoma county, Alexander Copeland and John Daubinbiss of Santa Cruz 
county, and Nathan Coombs, deceased, lately of Napa county. In April, 
1843, the ship cast anchor in the bay of Monterey. He- did not reach Bodega 
till September of that year. He set about at once to construct his mill. 

We will now take a glance at this pioneer steam grist and saw-mill during 
its construction, that we may get a clear idea of its machinery and capac- 
ities. It was situated at the foot of a hill, on the brow of which grew the 
very initial ranks of the redwoods. An excavation about five feet deep and 
thirty by fifty feet was made. In the bottonr of this a well was dug for 
the purpose of furnishing the water supply to the boilers. These boilers 
were three in number and of the most simple pattern known. They were 
thirty-six feet in length, and two and one-half feet in diameter. They wei'e 
single-flue boilers, having each three openings at one end, viz. : one near the 
bottom through which the water entered; one near the top, through which 
the steam passed on its way to the engine, and the large man-hole at the 
center, which was. securely fastened with bolts, nuts and packing. These 
three boilers were arranged in a row, with a furnace oi masonry around 


theiii, the fire being built under, not in tlieni, and the hocat passed under, not 
through them, as at the present time. The engine used was one of the low- 
pressuie stationary afl'airs, common foi'ty years ago. The mill contained 
one run of buhrs, with a probable capacity of ten barrels per day. These 
buhrs were very peculiar in their composition, being formed of small pieces 
of granite firmly united with a very tenacious cement. The saw was what 
is known among mill-men as a sash-saw, i. e., one operated in a perpendic- 
ular position, similar to what they now call a muley-saw. It did not do the 
work nearly so fast as a circular saw, but it was far ahead of the old pit- 
saw, or those operated by either wind or water-power. The other necessary 
appliances, such as log-carriages, flour-bolts, etc., were all in good shape, and 
as far as it went, and for its capacity, the mill was complete in every respect. 
As stated above, it was located at the foot of a hill, on the brow of which 
the trees grew. The logs were cut and then rolled down the hill to the 
mill. This mode of conveying the logs to the mill was adhered to as long- 
as Captain Smith had ]iossession of it. Upon the completion of the mill, 
and when it was found that all its machinery worked perfectly, invitations 
to come and witness its operations were extended to all the people in the 
entire region round about. Upon the day set, men of every nationality 
were there to see the marvelous machinery put in motion. Few, if, indeed, 
any, of that motley crowd had ever seen an engine at work before, and to see 
one was the crowning event of their lives. Let us contemplate that throng- 
for a moment. Here we see the ranchero vi ith his broad sombrero over- 
shadowing him completely, his red bandana 'kerchief tied loosely about his- 
neck, his bosom and arms bared to the sun, his broad-checked pantaloons 
showing out in bold relief, mounted on a fiery, half-tamed caballo de silla. 
By his side, and mounted on just as wild a steed, is the vtr^itero, with som- 
hrero for head, 'kerchief for neck, serape thrown loosely about his shoulders, 
his horse caparisoned as befitting a man in his position, his long lariata 
hanging in graceful coils from his saddle-horn, with mammoth spurs 
dangling from his heels, the bells of which chime harmoniously with the 
mellifluous hum of the babel of tongues, and the size and length of whose 
rowels served to designate the wearer's standing in the community. Then 
there was the old-time soldier, with a dress-parade air about his every look and 
action ; and the grant-holders were there, and the alcaldes, and all the other 
dignitaries within reach of the invitation. It was a grand holiday occasion 
■ for all — a day of sight-seeing not soon to be forgotten. 

Everything being in readiness, the hopper is filled with wheat brought 
from a neighboring ranch. The steam is turned slowly on, and the ponder- 
ous fly-wheel commences to revolve. The entire mass of machinery begins 
to vibrate with the power imparted to it by the mighty agent curbed and 
bound in the iron boilers. All is motion, and the whir of machinery is 
added to the hum of the conversation, while, amid exclamations of surprise 


and delight, the grain is sent through the swirling- bnhrs, thence into the 
bolts, and at length . is repi odueed before their wondering gaze as jior cle 
harina — fine white flour. Then a monster redwood log is placed upon the 
carriage and the saw put in motion. Slowly but surely it whips its way 
through it, and the outside slab is thrown aside. The log is passed back, 
and again approaches the saw. This time a beautiful plank is produced. 
Again and again is this operation repeated, until, in a marvtlously short 
time, the entire log is reduced to lumber of different widths and thicknesses. 
While this is being done, and admired by those present, the first grist 
of flour has been sent to the house of the mill-owner, near by, and 
converted into bread. A beeve has been slaughtered, abundance of venison 
is at hand, and a sumptuous repast has been prepared, to which now all 
present betake themselves. After the feast conie the toasts. The health and 
prosperity of the enterprising American host was drank in many an over- 
flowing bumper. After-dinner speeches were indulged in, and General Mari- 
ana Guadelupe Vallejo being there, and being the head and front of all the 
Mexican and native Calif ornian element of that section, was called upon for 
a speech. He arose and remarked that there were those pi-esent who would 
see more steam-engines in the beautiful and fertile valleys of California than 
there were soldiers. Surely he was endowed with a spirit of prophecy, and 
he has had the pleasure of seeing his prediction more than verified. 

And thus was the first steam saw-mill in California seD in motion. Years 
have come and gone since then, and many changes have occurred in their 
round. These changes and impr .vements will be noticed further on when 
we come to describe a saw-mill as seen at the present time. A farewell 
glance at the site of the pioneer mill, and we will pass on. In 1854 the mill 
was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt, as its projector and sustainer. 
Captain Smith, was soon after called to pass the dark river of death. The 
visitor of to-day at the old mill-site, finds the excavation and the well in it ; 
two of the old boilers lie mouldering and rusting on the ground in the exca- 
vation, while at the end of the boiler lies one of the buhrs, slowly but surely 
crumbling back to Mother Earth, time and weather having woi'n great holes 
in it, and the surface that was once able to withstand the steeled edge of the 
millwright's pick, is now as soft as sandstone. Curiosity-seekers are ever 
and anon taking pieces of the granite and cement, and soon all traces of it 
will be gone. On the bank lies the smoke-stack, while here and there stands 
a post used in the foundation. Near by a few logs, which were brought to 
the mill thirty years ago, lie where they were placed in that long ago time, 
mute reminders of what was and what is — links uniting the strange, histor- 
ical past with the living present. 

Since the days of this pioneer mill a mighty change has occurred in 
the style oP lumbering and the general economy of milling. The logs are 
no longer i-olled down hill to the mill ; the sash-saw has long since been sup- 


planted by the double-circular ; the capacity of the mills has been increased 
many fold. A fair criterion of this increase is to be found in the Mendocino 
City mill, one of the best in that section. In 1852 the capacity of the mill 
was only fifteen thousand feet daily. The capacity of the mill has since 
been increased to fifty-five thousand feet daily, which is probably equal to 
any in the county. 

Gang-saws are not used in any of the mills in this section, which 
-accounts for the small capacity of the mills here, as compared with those 
in Michigan or Minnesota. The machinery of these mills ordinarily consists 
of a muley-saw, used for splitting logs which are too large for the double- 
circular saw, and capable of cutting a log eight feet in diameter ; one pair 
of double-circular saws, each sixty inches in diameter ; one pony-saw (single- 
circular), forty inches in diameter, used for ripping the lumber into smaller 
pieces ; planing-machines, picket-headers, shingle-machines, edgers, jointers, 
tongue-and-groove machines, trimmers, lath-saws, and all the other appli- 
ances necessary for preparing lumber for the market. 

We will now give the modus operandi of converting a monster redwood 
log into lumber as we saw it done at one of these mills. We will begin with 
the tree as it stands on the mountain side in its native forest. The woods- 
man chooses his tree, and then proceeds to erect a scaffold around it that will 
elevate him to such a height as he may decide upon cutting the stump. 
Many of the trees have been burned about the roots, or have grown ill- 
shaped for some distance from the ground, so that it is often necessary to 
build a scaffold from ten to twenty feet high. This scaffold, by the way, is 
an ingenious contrivance. Notches are cut in the tree, at the proper height, 
deep enough for the end of a cross-beam to rest in securely. One end of the 
cross-beam is then inserted into the notch, and the other is placed on the end 
of an upright post driven in the ground a proper distance from the tree. 
Loose boards are then laid upon these cross-beams, and the scaffold is com- 
plete. The work of felling the tree then begins. If the tree is above four 
feet in diameter an ax with an extra long helve is used, when one man 
works alone. But the usual method is for two men to work on the same 
side of the tree at once, one chopping right-handed and the other left-handed. 
When the tree is once down, it is carefully trimmed up as far as it will make 
saw-logs. A cross-cut saw is now brought into requisition, which is here 
always plied by one man only, even in the largest logs, and the tree is cut 
into the required lengths. The logs are then stripped of their bark, which 
process is often accomplished by burning it off". It is now ready to be drawn 
to the dump, as the loading place is called. For this purpose large ox-teams 
are used, three or four yoke of oxen being often required to draw the log 
along. The chain by which it is drawn is divided into two parts near its 
end, and on the end of each part there is a nearly right-angled hook. One 
of these hooks is driven into either side of the logf, well down on the under 


^si(.le and near the end next to the team, and then, with many a surge ami 
"whoa, haw!" and an occasional (0 oath, the log is gotten under way and 
drawn out upon a beaten trail, ami thence to the dump. The logs arc 
dragged along upon the ground in this transition, and if there is any ny>- 
hill or otherwise rough ground to pa^s over, the trail is frequently wet with 
water, so that the logs may slide along the more easily. Once at the loading- 
place the hooks of the chain aro withtlrawn, and the oxen move slowly off 
to the woods again for another log. The log-train has just come up, and our 
log, a great eight-foot fellow, is carefidly loadeil upon the cars, with others 
which make up the train-load, ami we are off for the mill. As we go along 
the track on this novel train let us examine it more closely, for at first 
glance we observe that it is not just like any railroad we ever saw before. 
We find that the road-bed has been carefully graded, cuts made when neces- 
sary, fills made where practicable, and ti-estle-work constructed where 
needed. On the ground are laid heavy cross-ties, and on these the rails, 
which are the same as in use on all raih-oads — the ordinary " T " rail. The 
two rails are five feet and eight inches apart, and the entire length of the 
railroad is five miles. We now come to the queer little train which runs 
upon this track. The cars are strongly-cojistructed flats, made nearly 
s(piare, each having four wheels under it. They are so arranged that liy 
fastening them together a combination car of any desired length can be 
formed. And lastly, but by no means least, we come to the peculiarly con- 
structed piece of mach«|>ery which affirds the motor power on this railroad, 
and which they call a dummy. This locomotive — ^boiler, tender and ail — 
stands upon four wheels, each about two-and-a-half feet in diameter. These 
wheels are connected together on each side by a shaft. On the axle of the 
front pair of wheels is placed a large cog-wheel, into which a small cog- 
wheel works, which is on the shaft connected with the engines. There is an 
engine on each side of the boiler, and there is a reverse-lever', so that the 
tlummy can be run either way. By this cog-wheel combination great power 
is gained, but not so much can be said for its speed, though a maximum of 
ten miles an hour can be attained. 

On our way to the mill we pass through a little village of shanties and 
cottages, which prove to be the residences of the choppers and the men en- 
gaged in the woods. Farther on we pass thi-ough a barren, deserted section, 
whence the trees have all been cat years ago, and naught but their black- 
ened stumps remain now, grim vestiges of the pristine glory of the forest 
primeval. Now we pass around a grade, high overhanging the river, and 
with a grand sweep enter the limits of the mill-yard. Our great log is now 
rolled from the car to the platform, and in its turn is placed upon a small 
car for transportation to the saws. A long rope, which passes around a drum 
in the mill, is attached to the car and slowly but surely it is drawn up the 
incline into the mill. Our log is too large for the double-circular, hence the 

<^7^^ W&tA^</^ 


muley-saw must first rip it in two. This is a slow process, aud as we havu 
nearly thirty minutes on our hands, while waiting for our log to pass through 
this saw, let us pa}-- a visit to the shingle-mill. The timber of which shingles 
are made is split into triangular or wedge-shaped pieces, about four feet 
long and about sixteen inches in diameter, which are called bolts. The first 
process is to saw the bolts into proper lengths for shingles, although in 
some mills there are drag or cross-cut saws, run by steam, which cut ofi" 
sections of the log just the desired length. A block is then fastened 
into a rack which passes by a saw, and the shingle is ripped oft'. As the 
rack passes back a ratchet is brought into requisition, which moves the 
bottom of the block in toward the saw just the thickness of the butt of the 
shingle, and the top of the block in to correspond with the thickness of the 
point. When the shingle is ripped ofi", of course its edges ai'e rough. Tiiese 
are subjected to a trimmer, when it becomes a perfect shingle. The shingles 
are packed into bunches and are then ready for market. 

We will now return to our log, which has just been run back on the car- 
riage and awaits further processes. A rope, attached to a side drum, is made 
fast to one half of it, and soon it is lying, back down, on the carriage in 
front of the double-circular. Through this it passes in rapid rotation, until 
it is sawed into broad slabs of the proper thickness to make the desired 
lumber. These slabs are then passed along on rollers to the pony-saw, 
where they are ripped into the different sizes required, such as two by four, 
four by four, four by six, etc. It is then piled upon a truck, the number of 
feet now being marked upon each piece, and is wheeled away to the 
yard ready for shipment. The other half of the log is sawed into boards 
seven-eighths of an inch thick. At the pony-saw it is ripped into plank, 
four, eight, and ten inches in width. These are passed on to the planer, and 
the four-inch lumber comes out tongued and grooved ready for ceiling, and 
the eight and ten-inch boards come out rustic-siding. The ten-inch rustic is 
cut with a certain design and is called " channel," and the eight-inch is cut 
with a different design and is called "V rustic." It must be remembered 
that rustic-siding is used in Calfornia for weather-boarding, and the style of 
lumber used at the East for that purpose is almost unknown here except on 
old houses. Eastern weather-boarding is called clapboards here, and the 
four-foot rove boards, used for covering roofs, are called .shakes. So much, 
parenthetically, for localism. The heavy slabs which we saw come off the 
first few times the log passed the saw, are cut into proper lengths and sawed 
up for pickets. They are passed through a planer, and then thi-ough a picket- 
header, a machine with a series of revolving saws which cut out the design 
of the picket-head, the same as the different members of a moulding are 
produced. The trimmings and the saw-dust are used for fuel as far as neces- 
sary, and the remainder of the refuse is piled up and burned. During the 
season of running the fire never goes out at the waste-dump. 


Thus liave we taken our readers through the entire process of converting 
the mighty forest monarchs into lumber, and we hope we have succeeded in 
making the description, in a measure at least, as interesting to them as it 
was to us when first we saw it. When you have seen the operations of one 
mill you have seen all, except in minor detail, full descriptions of which will 
be found in the township histories in the body of this woi'k. 

To convey an adequate idea of the magnitude and importance of the mill- 
ing and lumbering interests of Mendocino county, we have compiled the 
accompanying table from the most reliable data to be had at the present time- 
The figures and estimates have all been given by mill men themselves ; 
therefore they may be considered reasonably correct. These facts are thus 
given in tabulated form for the sake of convenience, as at a glance any 
desired fact concerning any mill that ever did exist in the county can be 


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From the preceding table it will lie seen, that there are nineteen saw-mills 
in running order at the present time in Mendocino county, with capacities 
ranging from two thousand to fifty-five thousand feet of lumber per day ; 
or, an average capacity of twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and forty- 
seven feet. During the twenty-six working days of a month, they could all 
cut and place upon the market a total of fourteen million seven hundred and 
ninety -four thousand feet of lumber; or, during the lumbering season, which 
usually lasts nine months, the total yield of all these mills would be one hun- 
dred and thirty -four million one hundred and forty-six thousand; which, 
at an average price of $10.(10 per thousand feet, would yield an income of 
$1,341,460. Thus, we are enabled to form a proper conception of the gigan- 
tic proportions of this great industry and its importance to Mendocino 
county. All mill-men have estimated that from one-fifth to one-third of the 
timber has been cut. Sti-iking an average and granting that fully one- 
fourth of the it has been cut, there will j'et remain three billion three 
hundred and eight million one hundred thousand feet standing in the woods. 
Now, if we suppose that mills enough run to cut one hundred and twenty- 
five millions each year, there will be timber enough to keep all going for 
more than a quarter of a century to come. Hence, knowing that no such 
amount will be cut each year as is mentioned above, it is very safe to esti- 
mate that there is timber enough standing m Mendocino county to keep the 
mills running for from fifty to seventy -five years. Of course, the labor will 
increase from year to year, and the expense of production be thus enhanced, 
but the price of lumber must advance in proportion. 

The calamity which will befall the people of Mendocino county by the 
exhaustion of the forests of redwoods could be in a great measure averted, if 
the growth of the young redwoods were fostered. In 1811 a Ru.ssian col- 
ony was established at a place now called Fort Ros.s, and judging from the 
number of stumps still standing, and the extent of territory over which they 
extended their logging operations, they evidently consumed large quantities 
of lumber. Beside these old stumps from one to six shoots have .sprung up, 
many of which have now reached a size sufficient for lumbering purpose.s. 
This growth has been remark ble, and goes to show that if proper cire 
were taken, each half century would see a new crop of redwoods sufficiently 
large for all practical purposes, while a century would see gigantic trees. 
But no care is taken; and, in fact, it seems that an affbrt is made to thor- 
oughly eradicate all traces of the forests. The stumps are fired just to see 
them burn, and fire runs over the land every fall, which serves to com- 
pletely destroy the young shoots. The protection of our forests should be a 
charge of our legislature; for, while the men of to-day may not remain to 
suffer for the want of these forest trees, the commonwealth of the State will 
remain, and its future weal should be cared for by the present generation. 
The lumber of this county reaches market by vessels only. The schooners 


reach those mills on the coast or within a short distance of it. All along 
this 'coast the shore of the ocean is from fifty to five hundred feet higher 
than the watei' ; hence, great chutes have to be consti-ueted for the delivery 
of the lumber on board the vessel. These chutes are of peculiar construc- 
tion, the lower portion of them being formed by an apron which can be 
raised and lowered to suit the stages of the tide. The aprons are never 
allowed to rest upon the edge of the vessel, as the ceasel&ss swell of the 
ocean causes the vessel to rock continually, and it would be chaffed and the 
apron destroyed if they came into contact. The lumber goes down these 
chutes at a great velocity, and a brake is placed on the chute in such a 
manner that as the lumber passes under it the speed is checked. It is 
necessary to stop it on its mad flight, else it would fly far over the edge into 
the sea. 

Quite a village is always built up around a mill, consisting of the homes 
of the managers, some of which are quite palatial ; stores, saloons, black- 
smith shops, hotels, and the host of small houses occupied by the families of 
the lumbermen. Things flourish as long as the lumber lasts in the vicinit}', 
but when it becomes hard of access, and it is found to be cheaper to move 
the mill to the timber than the timber to the mill, then comes a collapse to 
the town, and in a short time it becomes a veritable " deserted village." 
Theie is one village in Sonoma county that had at one time boasted of a 
thousand men, and there are only three families in the place now. The mill 
buildings, which had all been built on a grand scale, were fast going to 
decay, more for want of care than age. The chute over which forty-two 
million feet of lumber had found jts way to market was tottering into the 
sea. Tlie tramways were in disjointed sections, and the cars lay straggling 
alongside the track — mere wrecks of their former selves. The windows 
and doors of the houses were all broken, and where once had been the rush 
and bustle of mill machinerj'- cutting thirty thousand feet of lumber per 
day, and the activity of a thousand people, now the stillness of death 
reigned supreme. At another point only the grade of the tramway and the 
debrif! of the mill remained to mark the site, and the inhabitants near by 
could only give legendaiy information concerning the mill. At another 
place the mill buildings were in good repair, but all the machinery was gone. 
Quite a number of people still lived in the village. This was just the 
tion period. The mill had ceased operations at that point, but had not begun at 
the new location. But not more desolate and forlorn-looking are these deserted 
\illages than is the surrounding country. No more dreary and uninviting 
landscape can be conceived than is presented by a section of country which 
has been ''■ chopped out." The ground is covered with charred trunks, and 
the black stumps stand in grim array, looking like an army from the 
regions of night, Avith here and there a tree standing gnarled and crooked, 
unfit for hiniber, but burned to its top, donned as it were in a garb of 


mourning for the departed greatness of its fallen brothers. Utterly gone, 
root and branch, and nothing is growing up on the land to take their places. 

The woodsmen are a strong, hardy race, but not so inured to hardship 
as their brothers of the northern pineries. Here the work is done in the 
summer- time, beneath fair skies and in a bracing and salubrious atmospliere. 
The strong sea-breeze penetrates the deepest forests and lowers the tempera- 
ture, so that it is seldom uncomfortable, even at midday ; while the nights 
always require two or more blankets. The life they lead is one fraught with 
but little variety, hence but little pleasure. There is a wonderful amount 
of tread-mill and hard work about it. They board in messes generally, and 
a Chinaman does the cooking. They are early risei-s, hence retire early, as 
there is nothing to keep them up but the recreation of a game of cards or 
the telling of threadbare stories. But, on Sundays thej' all go to the mill- 
town and have a " good time," as they call it, which too often means a 
drunken orgie. They are inveterate card players, often spending the whole 
Sunday in the saloon playing for the drinks. The mill-men live in the vil- 
lage and hence see more of life. They congregate nightly at the saloon and 
play cards or billiards for an hour or two and then retire. On Sundays, 
many of them go shooting, or find some out-door amusement for a change 
from the in-door experience of the week. Those who do not have families 
board at the mill hotel, and are well provided for. We joined in a dinner at 
one of these tables, and was surprised to observe the quantity, quality and 
variety of the food furnished them, and what was best of all, it was well 
cooked and nicelj- served. 

The mill proprietor always has a store from which it is expected that all 
employes will purchase their supplies. By this means a large percentage of 
their wages is paid off, and at a large per cent of advantage to the proprietor. 
During the winter months is the idle season here, and the woodsmen and 
mill-men generally drift to San Francisco, and when the spring opens they 
all start for the mills again. In some instances they return to the mill 
where they were employed the former year, but not generally. They like a 
change of location and scenery as well as any one, and they, above all 
others, have reason to desire a change of location. They are easily managed 
by those in authority, and it is only when the proprietor fails, leaving their 
accounts unsettled, that they become at all aggressive. They use good, 
Saxon English, interspersed with strong expletives, on such occasions. It is 
claimed that some mill-men use that as a dodge to avoid paying their men, 
or for forcing them to take their pay out of the store. But that kind of a 
game does not work the seeend time, for the hands all along the coast get 
posted during the winter and keep away from the mill where that trick is 

It must be remembered that lumber is not the sole product of the red- 
woods. Every year thousands upon thousands of railroad ties and fence 


posts are cut in these forests and sent to market. No inconsiderable amount 
of it is cut into cord- wood and sent to the cities, where it is sold for kindling 
wood. Another use for it is found in the construction of fences. Rough 
pickets are split out of it, and one end pointed and driven into the ground. 
The tops are then nailed to cleats overlapping each other. The grain of the 
redwood is veiy straight, and it splits easilv, hence its desirability to work 
up into su3h materials. Sometimes a board will shrink edgewise as well as 
s'ulewlse, but it is not th3 rule for it to shrink endwise. " Shakes," as they 
are called, are not male of redwood to any great e.Kt,ent, although it rives 
very easily. 

The visitor to California has not seen it all until he has spent a week in 
the deep recesses of a redwood forest. It is then, standing beside the tower- 
ing monarch of the forest, that a man will realiza his utter insignificance, 
and how inestimably ephemeral he is compared with many other of God's 
handiworks. He looks upon a tree that stoo.l when Christ was yet in his 
youth, the circles of whose growth but mark the cycles of time almost since 
first man was, and on whose tablets might have been written the records of, 
the mighty men of old — the wanderings of Abraham, the march of Mases; 
and his people, the glory of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the greatness of 
Alexander, the birth of Christ, the dawn and progress of the Christian day. 
The rise and fall of all nations and peoples has this hoary headed patriarch 
seen. Could he but speak he could tell us of the long forgotten past. He 
could inform us who the real aboriginals were ; he could relate how the 
giants of old, both aaim Us and men, disported b3neath his shade centuries 
upon centuries ago. Thus boldly and grandly he stands in his primeval 
might and glory, but the woodsman's ax is struck to his roots, and he is laid 
low. His dissevered members serve the uses of man to which they are 
applied, and a short half century will see returned to dust what it required- 
ages to build up. And what .shall take its place i 

For nearly three decades men have been plunging into the depths of these 
grand old redwood forests, and utilizing those stately trees. Steadily with 
the growth of California this interest has increased until it stands to-day a 
marvel on the commercial catalogue of the State. Millions of feet are cut 
yearly, and yet the source seems practicably inexhaustible. All alono- the 
streams putting back from the coast of the old Pacific this industry teems, 
and many mills have been built, and thousands of mm find daily employ- 
ment, and millions of dollars are thus yearly earned and distributed among 
the laboring classes. To the city market it rolls in one unceasing tide, 
thence it is distributed to all parts of the State. Day and night the hum 
of this industry is heard in every mountain glen, and continues in one grand 
unceasing round, and the sharp ring of the glistening steel as it cleaves the 
mighty bolt makes mellow music to him whose home is in the redwood 



And what a home is that in the redwood forests ! How grand, gloomy 
and peculiar; What a sombre world it is! There is none of the cheerful- 
ness or variety of the maple, ash, or even oak groves — the alternating of sun- 
light and changing shadows. Only the straight, upi'ight trunks of the 
monsters meet the view, as they stand in seried ranks like giant Titans 
going forth to do battle with the elements, or 

" Bearded with moss and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, 
.Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic. 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms." 

But all of life is not so cheerless and grewsome in these forests, if one 
only has an eyesight to the bright and beautiful side of his surroundings. the sharlows of these trees there grows a host of beautiful flowers 
to brighten and enliven the scene, supplemented by fragrant shrubbery, 
while the aroma emitted by the trees themselves is delicious. But when 
night comes and the gentle winds of evening are being wafted through their 
massive and exalted boughs — it is then that their true merit is set forth. If 
the breeze be light you hear a low, melancholy monody ; if stronger, a hushed 
sort of sighing. The wind is able to make a wonderful harp out of the 
giant redwood, and each bough becomes an ^olian harp. How the breeze 
plays upon the mighty forest until every leaf thrills with a note! And what 
a melody it sings when it gives a concert with a full choir of the waves of 
the " deep-voiced neighboring ocean," and performs an anthem amid its top- 
most boughs between the two worlds, that goes up, perhaps, to the very stars, 
which love music most, and sang, first of all created things, the wondrous 
glory of God, the mighty Architect of the universe. 



Ix Mendocino county there are fifty-nine school districts, and so many 
changes have been made since the organization of the county that it will 
prove of the utmost interest to have the boundaries of each district set forth 
in this work. We have taken the liberty to use the compilation made and 
published by ex-Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mr. John C. Ruddock. 
In his preface he says : " These boundaries are submitted to the public gen- 
erally, and to school officers throughout the county in particular, with the 
hope that they will, even though imperfectlj-, enable trustees to identify their 
respective districts. It can be readily seen that the boundaries are ' much 
mixed,' and that many of them are somewhat ambiguous. I have gotten 
them in shape as well as the records of the county, from the date of its 
organization, would permit. Where changes have been made they will be 
found arranged in the order of their dates, the last date being the present 
boundaries. Boundaries of districts should be well defined, and it would not 
be amiss here to say that the whole county sadly needs redistricting." 

Anderson. — Approved May 18, 1859. Bounded on the north and east by 
the range of mountains dividing Anderson valley and TJkiah valley to the 
Redwood ' mountain on the county line, south and west by the Coast 

Subsequent changes : See Yorkville and Con Creek districts. 

Albion. — Approved August 21, 186G. Bounded on the north by Big 
Gulch and the north boundary of Albion election district, on the east by 
boundary of Albion, Nevarra, and Cufi'ey's Cove election districts, on the 
south by Mai Paso, and on the west by the Pacific ocean. 

Subsequent changes : Albion River — Approved November 22, 1866 ; to 
be bounded by the boundaries of Albion election district. Albion — Approved 
November 24, 1866 ; name changed to Nevarra school district. Albion — 
Approved October 13, 1871 ; Albion school district annexed to Nevarra 
district. Albion — Approved May 22, 1872 ; to include all that portion of 
Nevarra district from Salmon creek to Big Culch. 

Beall's Landing. — Approved May, 1876. Commencing on the coast 
on the township line between townships twenty and twenty-one north, and 
running thence east to the north-east corner of section five, township twenty 


north, range seventeen west ; thence south to the north-east corner of section 
seventeen, township twenty north, range seventeen west; thence east to the 
township line, thence north to the line of the Cottonebee school district, thence 
west to the coast, thence alon;^ the coast to the place of beginning. 

Big River. — Approved May 18, 18.59. Bounded on the north by the 
county line, on the south by the Mai Paso, east by the Coast Range and on 
the west by the Pacific ocean. 

Subsequent changes : Big River — Approved November 23, 1865 ; ordered 
that the boundary line between the Big River and Little River school districts, 
be changed so as to run on the south boundary line of William H. Kent's 
farm and thence east to the east boundary line of the district. See Casper 
and Little River. 

Bridgeport (Mai Paso). — Approved March 6, 1873. It is ordered that a 
new school district be made out of a portion of Cutfey's Cove school district, 
to be called Mai Paso school district, and that the same be bounded as 
follows: North by United States township line between townships fourteen 
and fifteen north, range seventeen west, on the west by meanderings of the 
Pacific ocean, on the south by Mai Paso, and on the east by the line of Big 
River and Anderson townships. 

Subsequent changes : Bridgeport — Approved May 22, 1874 ; it is hereby 
ordered that the school district formerly known as Mai Paso school district 
be changed, and that the same shall hereafter be known as Bridgeport 
school district. 

Buchanan. — Approved May 18, 1859. Bounded on the north by the Mai 
Paso, south by the south county line, east by the Coast Range, west by the 
Pacific ocean. 

Subsequent changes : Arena — Approved August 16, 1859 ; Arena school 
district divided as follows : That the south line of Hamilton, Shepherd, 
and Oliver's line to be the dividing line to the river, thence up the 
middle of said river. iJucAanot'n.— Approved May 18, 1871 ; bounded as- 
follows : Commencing at a point where 'the Garcia river intersects the 
Pacific ocean, thence along the south and west bank of said river fifteen 
miles (more or less) to a redwood tree nearly opposite the house now or 
lately owned by A. Brown, thence southerly and westerly seven miles (more 
or less) to a gulch known as Slick Rock Gulch, thence along the meander- 
ings of said gulch ten miles (more or les.s) to the Pacific ocean, thence north 
along the coast of the Pacific ocean to the place of beginning. 

Big Rock.— Approved November 20, 1872. Bounded as follows : Start- 
ing from McKean's creek along said creek to the ridge of Thomas Cooper's 


■ ') ' 



ranch, along said ridge south to the county line, along the said line to the 
county road, along the said road to the north boundary of John Houx's 
ranch, along said boundary east to Bond's ; thence in a north-east course to 
Big Rock ; thence in a direct line to place of beginning. 

Cahto. — Approved Februaiy 24, 1870. Bounded as follows : Beginning 
at the north-east corner of section ten, in township twenty-one north, range 
fifteen west of Mount Diablo meridian, running thence due west to the 
present line of the said Long Valley school district, thence following said 
line in a southerly direction to the line of Sheiwood valley, thence in an 
easterly direction upon said line to a point due south from the place of begin- 
ning ; thence due north to Burris' creek, thence following said creek to the 
quarter line of section fourteen in the above-named townships and range; 
thence due north to the north line of section eleven in same township and 
range, thence due west to the point of beginning. 

Subsequent changes: Cahto — Approved May 18, 1871. Bounded as follows: 
Beginning at the north-east corner of section ten in township twenty-one 
north, of range fifteen west from Mount Diablo meridian, running thence due 
west to the dividing ridge between ihe waters of Eel river and those of the 
coast, thence in a .southerly direction, including the valley, by caiion to the 
north line of Sherwood valley school district, to a point due south of the 
point of beginning ; thence due north, including the north-west quarter and 
the west half of the north-east quarter of section thirty-five in same town- 
ship and range, to Burris' creek, near Long valley ; thence following down 
said creek to the quarter line of section fourteen, iir same township and 
range; thence due north to the north line of section eleven in same town- 
ship and range; thence due west to the point of beginning. 

Calpella. — Approved May 18, 18.59. Bounded on the north by the line 
of mountains dividing Walker valley from Little Lake valley ; east by the 
count)' line ; west by the coast range ; south by the third standard line. 

Subsequent changes : UMaJt and Calpella — Approved September 21, 
1859 ; Ukiah and Calpella districts united and called Ukiah school district. 
UJciah and Calpella — Appi-oved February 21, 1860 ; Ukiah and Calpella 
districts divided and become as when first laid out. Calpella — Approved 
August 24, 1865 ; three separate districts formed out of Calpella district, 
to-wit : Redwood, Coyote, and Calpella. Calpella — Approved August 24, 
1865 ; to embrace all its former territory after setting apart therefrom as 
aforesaid the said Redwood and Coyote districts. Calpella and, Redwood — 
Approved May 16, 1870 ; the boundary line between Calpella and Redwood 
districts is changed so as to include the premises of John Adams and the 
premises of B. F. Forsyth, now occupied by Martin Montgomery in Calpella 
district. Calpella and Redwood — Approved February 24, 1871 ; ordered 


that H. C. AVade and J. D. Hollinsworth be transfei'red from Calpella to 
Redwood school district. Culpella — Approved February 24, 1871 ; bounded 
as follows : On the north by a line beginning on the dividing ridge between 
Redwood valley and Potter valley, due east of the north-east corner of the 
Charles Hopper ranch, and running west on the north line of the Charles 
Hopper ranch to the ford on Ranche ria creek, where the Little Lake road 
crosses it ; thence to the south-east corner of section one in township sixteen, 
range thirteen west ; thence west on the south line of section one and two 
where the survey strikes the north fork of the south branch of Rancheria 
creek, and to follow the creek to its head, and thence to the south-west 
corner of town.ship sixteen, range thirteen west; thence on the south line of 
the same township to the south-east corner ; thence north to the south-east 
corner of section twenty -four, of township sixteen, range thirteen west ; 
thence to the mouth of Gold Gulch and on the dividing ridge between Coy- 
ote and Calpella districts to the place of beginning. 

Casper. — Approved September 14, 1865. Bounded on the south by Rus- 
sian Gulch creek on the west by the Pacific ocean and on the north and 
east bj' the boundaries of Big River township. 

Subsequent changes: Casper — Approved February 25, 1867; bounded 
on the north and east by the boundaries of Big River township, on the west 
by the Pacific ocean, on the south by Dark Ravine, near the south line of 
the Peter Thompson ranch, and a line due east from the head of said ravine 
to the east line of Big river. Casper — Approved August 20, 1867; bounded 
on the south by Russian Gulch creek and the no rth boundary of Big River 
election district, and on the east, north and west by the boundaries of Big- 
River town.ship. 

Central. — Approved February 24, 1871. Bounded as follows : Begin- 
ning at the foot of chimese of Cow mountain on the Edsall creek, thence 
running along the foot of said Cow mountain to Howard creek, thence down 
said creek to the lower gap in the ridge leading to Coyote valley, thence 
north-west to a chimese po int north of Gillaspie's house, thence westerly, to 
Round mountain, north-west of Robert Gibsons, thence south to Buyer 
creek, thence down said creek to the foot of a mountain on the west side of 
Ukiah valley, thence in a south-east direction to the north-west corner of 
Peter Mankin's land, running south of H. Morris, thence to the south-west 
corner of M. W. Howard's land, thence east along the southern boundaries 
of said Howard's land to Russian river, thence across said river to the mouth 
of Edsall cree k to the east bank of Russian river, thence up said creek to 
the place of beginning, 

Subseqent changes : Approved May 18, 1869; ordered that the boundaries 
of Calpella and Central school districts be so changed as to include Thoma.s- 
Gillaspie in Central school district. 


Cotton EBEE. — Approved May, 1875. Commencing at the north-west corner 
of the county and running thence east on the county line to the divide on 
the east side of the south fork of Eel river, thence south on the divide far 
enough to include Legget valley, thence west to the head waters of the south 
foi'k of the Cottonebee creek, thence down said creek to its mouth, thence 
north along the coast to the point of beginning. 

Counts. — Approved May 22, 1860. Ordered that the branch i-unningpast 
Leach's house in Andei-son valley be the dividing line between Counts and 
Anderson school districts. 

Subsequent changes: Counts — Approved May 18, 1871 ; bounded as fol- 
lows ; Beginning at the north-east corner of township fifteen north, range 
fifteen west, running thence west in a southerly direction to the Elder Spring, 
thence west between the lands of Henry Nunn and H. O. Irish to intersect 
the line between Big River and Anderson townships in section sixteen, town- 
ship fourteen north, range fifteen west, thence along said township to the 
head waters of Salmon creek, and thence in an easterly direction to the place 
of beginning. 

Coyote. — Approved May 22, 18(31. Ordered that a school district be 
established in Co3'ote valley, to be bounded as follows: On the north by 
Redwood school district, on the south by Ukiah district, on the by Cold 
creek, on the west by the dividing ridge between the rivers. 

Subsequent changes: Coyote — Approved August 24, 1865 ; to embrace 
all the territory of the former Calpella district lying south and east of the 
dividing ridge between Potter Valley creek and Redwood creek. 

Cuffey's Cove. — Appi-oved February 25, 1867. To embrace the territory 
contained in Cuffey's Cov'e election district. 

Subsequent changes: Cufeys Cove — Approved February 25, 1867; 
bounded on the south an east by Arena township, on the east and north 
b}^ Nevai-ra election district, and on the west by the Pacific ocean. Cuffey's 
Cove — Approved May 18, 1871 ; beginning at a point at the south-west cor- 
ner of the ranch of W. A. McFarland and running thence east to the line 
lietw.een Big River and Anderson townships, thence along said line in a 
.southerly direction to the head of Mai Paso gulch, thence down said Mai 
Paso gulch to the Pacific, thence in a northerly direction following the coast 
to the place of beginning. 

Eel River. — Approved February 18, 1869. Commencing at a point on 
the boundary line of Round Valley township, due west from the north-west 
corner of the quarter section claimed and owned by M. Hoffman, thence east 
to said corner, thence east along the northern boundaiy line of said Hoff- 
man's claim, thence east along the northern boundary line of the Henley 


Brothers' and G. W. Morrison's ranches, thence north along the western 
boundary line of J. H. Griffin's ranch, thence'east along the northern bound- 
ary line of E. R. Potter's ranch, thence east to the township boundary. All 
the territory lying south of said lines to constitute a school district to be called 
Eel River district. 

Subsequent changes: Eel River — Approved February, 187G; it is 
ordered that all that portion of Eel River school district lying north of the 
middle fork of Eel river be and the same is hereby atta-^hed to and made a 
portion of Round Valley school district and that the midi]le fork of Eel river 
is hereby made the boundary line between the said Round Valley and Eel 
River school districts. Eel River — Approved May, 1876 ; ordered that the 
boundaries of Eel River school district be changed and the middle or main 
fork of Eel river is hereby made the southern boundary of Eel River school 
district, and all that portion of the Eel River district lying south of said river 
is hereby thrown out. Eel River — Approved February, 1878 ; commencing 
at a point on the boundary line of Round Valley township, due west from 
the north-west corner of the quarter section claimed and owned by M. Hoti- 
man, thence east to said comer, thence east along the northern boundary line 
of said Hoffman's claim, thence east along the northern boundary line of the 
Henley Brothers' and G. W. Morrison's ranches, thence north along the 
western boundary line of J. H. Griffin's ranch, thence east aloag the north- 
ern boundary line of E. R Potter's ranch, thence east to county boundary, 
thence south following said boundary to the northern boundaVy of Lake 
county, thence west on said northern boundary of Lake county to the sum nit 
of Mount San Hedrin, thence south on western boundary of Lake county to 
head waters of Thomas creek, thence down said Thomas creek to South Eel 
river, thence down Eel river to place of beginning. 

Elk Creek. — Approved, August, 1875. Commencing at a point on the 
Pacific ocean one-half mile north of the south-west corner of section thirteen, 
township fourteen north, of range seventeen west, running thence in a direct 
line parallel with the south line of said section thirteen in an easterly course 
the distance of eight miles, thence due north to a point directly due east of 
the south-east corner of Michael Donohue's land, thence due west to said 
south-east corner, thence on the south boundary- line of said Donohue's land 
to the Pacific ocean, thence in a southerly direction along the shore of the 
ocean to the place of beginning. 

Subsequent changes*. Ellc Creek — Approved September, 1875 ; commenc- 
ing at a point on the Pacific ocean one-half mile north of the south-west 
corner of section twelve, township fourteen north of range seventeen west, 
running thence in a direct line parallel with the south line of said section 
twelve, in an easterly course, the distance of eight miles, thence due north 
to a point directly- due east of the south-east corner of M. Donohue's land. 


thence due west to said south-east corner, thence on the southern boundary 
of said Donohue's land to the Pacific ocean, thence in a southerly direction 
along the shore of the ocean to the place of beginning. 

Fish Rock. — Approved February 28, 1866. Bounded as follows : Begin- 
ning at the mouth of the first gulch south of Peter Johnson's house, thence 
running east to the north fork of the Gualala river, thence north three miles, 
thence west to the mouth of the first gulch south of William Tift's house, 
thence south following the coast to the place of beginning. 

Subsequent changes : Fish Rock — Approved June 13, 1867 ; Fish Rock 
district extended so as to make Slick Rock gulch the northern boundary 

Farley. — Approved February 3, 1873. Bounded as follows : Commenc- 
ing at the Redemeyer Letter Box and running in a dirfect line to the Log 
school-house so as to leave said school-house in the old district, thence in a 
direct eastward line to the eastern boundary of the district, thence south to 
southern boundary line of Long Valle3r school district, thence northward to 
the place of beginning. 

Subsequent changes : Farley — Approved May 16, 1874; commencing at the 
north-west corner of Farley school district or the south-east corner of section 
three, township twenty north, range fifteen west. Mount Diablo meridian, run- 
ning south two miles to the south-east corner of section fifteen, township twenty 
north, range fifteen west, thence due east to the creek discharging the waters 
of the south end of Long valley, thence with the present boundary, thence 
commencing at the surveyor's corner on the northern boundaiy of Farley 
school district between the farms of William Kingbury and the Potton place 
near the old Long Vallejj school-house, running north with the survey one 
mile to the corner of or between R. M. Ward and Jonathan Thomas and 
others, thence due east to the present boundary of Long Valley school 
district, thence south to the boundary of Farley district, thence with 
said boundary. 

Gaskill. — Approved November 21, 1860. Boundaries of school district 
No. 3 of Anderson township and No. 9 of County organization be estab- 
lished from east line of Sawtell's rancho and extending thence to county 
line to be known as Gaskill district. 

Subsequent changes : Gaskill — Approved August 17, 1863; that portion 
of Anderson township lying east of Gaskill school district is attached to 
and hereafter is a part of Gaskill school district. Gaskill — Approved 
May 18, 1871 : bounded as follows : On the north by Dry creek, on the east 
and south by the Sonoma county line and the west by a ridge at the resi- 
dence of Daniel Campbell, that being the dividing line between Rancheria 
and Gaskill school districts. 


GuALALA. — Approved August 17, 1863. That portion of Arena town- 
ship lying south of Slick Rock gulch to be organized into a school district 
to be known as Gualala district. 

Galloway. — Approved, July, 1S74. Commencing on the bank of the 
ocean at the intersection of the north line of the south one-half of section 
nineteen, in township twelve north, range sixteen west, fodowing the ocean 
to the mouth of Slick Rock gulch, the present southern boundary of 
Buchanan district, thence following said gulch in an easteily direction to 
the top of the ridge, thence northerly to the line dividing the section east of 
section nineteen, thence westerly along said line to the place of beginning. 

Garcia. — Approved Maj^ 1877. A school district Icnown as the Garcia 
school district is hereby formed i'rom portions of Manchester and Buch- 
anan districts with boundaries as follows : Commencing at the north-west 
corner of section three, township two north, range sixteen west, Mount Diablo 
meridian, thence running south to south east corner of section sixteen, town- 
ship twelve north, range sixteen west, Mount Diablo meiidian, thence east to 
the south-east corner of section fifteen, township twelve north, range sixteen 
west, thence south to the boundary line between Arena and Gualala election 
precincts, thence east to the boundary of Arena township, thence north 
along the line of said township to the range line between townships twelve 
and thirteen north, thence west along the said line to the place of beginning. 

HOPLAND. — Approved May, 1876. Ou the south by the northern bound- 
ai-y of Big Rock school district, on the east by the eastern boundary line of 
Mendocino county, on the north by the southern boundary line of Lima 
school district, and on the west by Russian river. 

Subsequent changes : Hopland — By a subsequent order of the Board, 
May, 1876, the southern boundary of Hopland school district was fixed at 
McCain creek, 

Hot Springs. — Approved May, 1877. Hot Springs school district shall 
be bounded so as to include the following territory: The west one-half of 
township sixteen north, range thirteen west, Mount Diablo meridian, and 
township sixteen north, range fourteen west, Mount Diablo meridian. 

Indian Creek. — Approved August 22, 1865. Formed out of portions of 
Counts and Anderson districts, and to be bounded as follows : On the south- 
east by the south-eastern boundary line of the ranch of Wintzer and Welle, 
and on the south-west by the boundary line of AVilliam Stein and Noah 
Nunn (between them), aad on the north-east and south-west by the moun- 


Subsequent changes: Indian Creek — Approved August 22, 1800; 
lioundaries changed so as to embrace the claim of S. W. Bransteller within 
the limits of Counts school disti-ict. Indian Creek — Approved May 18, 
1871, being out of a portion of Counts and Anderson districts, and bounded 
as follows: On the south-east Vjy the south-eastern line of C. Denmark 
(formerly Wintzer and Welle), and on the north-west by the boundary line 
Ijutween the farms of H, O. Irish and Henry Nunn (formerly William 
Stein's and Noah Nunn's), and on the north-east and south-west by the 
mountains. These being the boundaries established by the Board of Super- 
visors at the August term, 1865. 

Lima. — Approved November, 1871. Commencing at a point on the Sanel 
and Anderson township lines where the northern boundary of Espy's land 
intersects said lines; thence easterly along the northern line of said Espy's 
land to the lands of McGlashan : thence easterly following round the south 
line of said McGlashan's land to the Russian river ; thence descending said 
river to the south-west corner of the lands of Cunningham; thence east- 
wardly in a straight line along the southern boundary of said Cunningham's 
land to the Lake county line; thence northerly along the Lake county line 
to the head of Dry creek (that runs through the lands of T. U. Smyth); 
thence westwardly descending .said Dry creek to the Russian river; thence 
up said i-iver to the north line of William Henry's land ; thence westerly 
along the north line of said lands to the top of the mountain west of slid 
Henry's house; thencd westwardly along the top of said mountain to the 
line of the lands of J. W. Burke and Clint Ellidge to said Burke's west 
line; thence southwardly along said Burke's west line (ci-ossing Feliz creek) 
in a straight line to the place of beginning, being the boundaries described . 
in petition. 

Little Lake. — Approved May 8, 18.59. Bounded on the north by the 
county line, on the east by the south foiJs of Eel river, west by Coast Range > 
south by Calpella township (or district) line. 

Subsequent changes: Little Lake — Approved May 16, 1865; bounded as 
follows : Beginning at a point on the dividing ridge between the waters of Eel 
river and Big river, where the line which runs through the center of township 
eighteen north intersects said ridge; thence east to the eastern boundary of 
range twelve west ; thence north with said range line dividing ranges eleven 
and twelve north, to the south fork of Eel river; thence down' said south 
fork to the township line dividing townships nineteen and twenty; thence 
west on said line to the summit of .said ridge dividing the waters of 
Eel river from those falling directly into the Pacific ocean; thence southerly 
following said ridge to the place of beginning. Little Luke — Approved May 
18, 1871 ; bounded as follows: Commencing at a stake in township eigh- 


teen nortli, range fourteen west, Mount Diablo meridian, on the line dividing 
sections thirteen and twenty-four, running thence west on said line to Jesse 
C. Thompson's; thence north-west and south to line of beginning; thence 
west to range fifteen ; thence north four miles to corner of sections thirty 
and thirty-one of township nineteen north, range fourteen west; thence 
«ast on said section line to west boundary line of Miles Gibson's ranch ; 
thence north to outlet of Little lake ; thence down said outlet to south Eel 
river'; thence up said river to a point due east of Stephens' ranches; and 
thence west on the line dividing said ranches and on to the section line 
dividing township eighteen north, range thirteen west in the center to said 
stake of beginning. Little Lalx — Approved February, 1878 ; it is ordered 
that the boundaries of Little Lake school district be, and they are hereby 
changed to the following, viz. : Commencing at the south-west corner of sec- 
tion eighteen, township eighteen north, range thirteen west. Mount Diablo 
meridian; thence due north to the north-west corner of section five to town- 
ship line; thence west on said township line to the south-west corner of sec- 
tion thirty-six, township nineteen north, i-ange fourteen west. Mount Diablo 
meridian; thence north on section line to where it crosses the outlet of Little 
Lake ; thence down said outlet to its mouth, where it empties into the 
Eel river; thence up Eel river to the mouth of Motompki creek; thence up 
said creek in a north-westerly direction to where it inter.sects the east line, 
said line commencing at the south-east corner of section eighteen, township 
eighteen north, range thirteen west, Mount Diablo meridian; thence along 
said line to the place of beginning. 

Little River. — Approved May 15, 1865. Bounded on the north by the 
north line of Wm. H. Kent's farm and thence due east to the eastern boun- 
dary line of Big River township; thence south to the southern boundary of 
Big River township ; thence on the boundary of said township to the Pacific 
ocean ; thence northerly on the shore of said ocean to the north line of said 
Kent's farm. See Big River, Compt(;lie and Albion. 

Long Valley. — Approved February 26, 1860. All that portion lying 
to the north of an east and west line passing by William Host's house and 
being in Little Like school district be made into a sepai-ate district and 
called Long Valley school district. 

Subsequent changes: Long Valleij — Approved May 18, 1871 ; bounded 
as follows: Beginning at the south-east corner of section three in township 
twenty nortli, range fifteen we^t. Mount Diablo meridian, running due east, 
to the creek discharging the waters from the south enrl of Long valley; 
thence following said creek to the outlet of Little lake ; thence following 
down said outlet to Eel river; thence down saiil Eel river to the Humboldt 
county line ; thence following west on said county line to the south fork of 


Eel river ; thence following up said south fork to the north line of Cahto 
school district; thence following said north line to the south-east corner of 
the south-west quarter of section two in township tweaty-one in the above 
named range; thence following the east line of Cahto school district to the 
point of beginning. 

Mal Paso (Bridgeport). — Approved E'ebruarv 23, 1871. Bounded as 
follows : Beginning at the Mal Paso creek, thence southward along the 
Pacific ocean to the mouth of Garcia river ; tlience up Garcia river to the 
head waters thereof; thence eastward to the stiminit of the mountains divid- 
ing the waters that flow into Garcia river and Mal Paso creek from 
that flow eastward; thence north along the summit to a point due east of 
the head waters of Mal Paso creek ; thence to the head waters of Mal Paso 
creek and thence doM^n said creek to the place of beginning. 

Subsequent changes: Mal Paso (Bridgeport) — Approved May .5, 1873; 
bounded on the north by United States town.ship fourteen and fifteen north, 
range seventeen west, on the west by the Pacific ocean, on tlie south by the 
Mal Paso, on the east by the line of Big River and Anderson townships. 

Manchester (Formerly Garcia). — Approved May 15, 1865. (Order made 
on a petition for division). Commencing on the north side of the mouth of 
Brush creek, running thence to the north-east corner of John P. Bourn's 
ranch; thence south on the old county road along said Bourn's north and 
south line to the Lagoon; thence east along the line between Clark Fair- 
bank's and John Shoemake's ranch; thence east between Chas. Gliddon's and 
Andrews' ranches to Wm. Shoemake's west line; thence north to said Wm. 
Shoemake's north-west corner; thence running east along the north line of 
said Shoemake known as the line between Vennegerholtz and said Shoe- 
make to the hills; thence south on the east line of Shrider's ranch to the 
north line of Buchanan school district; thence westerly along said line to 
the ocean ; thence northerly along the ocean to the place of beginning. 

Subsequent changes: Manchester — Approved June 13, 1867; ordered 
that Garcia and Punta Arenas districts be and are consolidated into one 
school district, to be called Manchester district. Manchester (Arena) — 
Approved August, 1866. Beginning at the mouth of Brush creek on its 
most northern bank ; thence easterly on its north bank to the west line of 
lands of Henry Fairbanks ; thence southerly, easterly and northerly around 
the lands of Henry Fairbanks (so as to include them in Garcia district) to 
the north bank of Brush creek ; thence easterly on Brush creek to its head 
and to east line of township; thence southerly on east line of township to 
head of Garcia river; thence westerly down on Garcia river to its mouth ; 
thence northerly on Pacific ocean to point of beginning. 


Mill Creek. — Appioved May 18, 1871. Couiniencing at the mouth of 
Sulphur creek, running thence down the center of Russian river to the 
northern boundary line of Feliz grant ; thence due east to the Lake county 
line ; thence north on said Lake county line to a point intersecting a line 
running due east to the place of beginning ; thence in a straight line to the 
place of beginning, in a western direction. 

Nevarra. — Approved February 25, 1867. To be divided. One part to 
embrace the territory contained in the Nevan-a election district, and to 
retain tlie name of Nevarra school district ; the other part, Cuffey's Cove 
district, to embrace the territory contained in Cuffey's Cove election district. 

Subsequent changes : Nevarra — Approved February 25, 1867 ; bounded 
as follows: Beginning on the Pacific ocean where the southern line of James 
Orr intersects the shore, thence east on same to his south-east corner ; thence 
in a straiglit line to where Big River, Anderson and Arena townships corner; 
thence northerly on east line of Big River township to the south-west 
corner of Comptche election district; thence westerly on south line of Albion 
election district to the mouth of Salmon creek ; thence southerly on Pacific 
ocean to point of beginning. 

NoYO. — Approved May 18, 1871. Bounded on the north by Pudding 
creek ; east and south by township line eighteen north, range seventeen 
west, Mount Diablo meridian, and on the west by Pacific ocean. 

OcKAN. — Approved May 16, 1874. Bounded on the south by Pudding 
creek, north by Ten-mile river, on the township line, west by the Pacific 
ocean, and east by Main divide. 

Oriental. — Approved August 21, 1866. Formed out of portions of Potter 
Valley and Union school districts, and bounded on the north by the dividing- 
line between the lands of Benjamin Dashiell and Thadley Dashiell, and 
between McGee and Hopper, and by lines extending due east to the boundary 
of the county, and due west to the divide between Redwood and Potter 
valleys, and on the south by a due east and west line, being the dividing line 
between the lands of William Hayden and Charles Niel, and Preston and 
James Niel, and extending east to the boundary Jine of the county, and west 
to the divide between Redwood and Potter valleys, to be bounded on the east 
by boundary line of the county and on the west by the divide between Red- 
wood and Potter valleys. 

Subsequent changes: Oriemtal — Approved August 23, 1866; the name 
of Central district. Potter valley, is hereby changed to Oriental. Oriental — 
Approved May 18, 1869; boundaries of Calpella and Central districts: 
Ordered that the boundaries of Calpella and Central school districts be so 
changed as to include Thomas Gallispie in Central .school district. Oriental 



— Approved Febrtiary 24, 1870 ; boundaries of Oriental and Union distiicts: 
The boundaiy line between Oriental and Union districts be and is so changed 
as to include the store of G. W. Brown & Smith in the Oriental district, and 
the store of L. D. Bailey in Union district. Oriental — Approved February 
24, 1871; bounded as follows: Beginning at the south-west corner of the 
north-west quarter of section eighteen, township seventeen north, range 
eleven west, and running due east on said line to the east line of Mendocino 
county; thence south on line between Lake and Mendocin'o counties to a 
point due east from the north-west corner of the south-west quarter of sec- 
tion thirty, township seventeen north, range seventeen west; thence on a 
west line to the center of section twenty-eight ; thence due north a quarter 
of a mile ; thence due west one mile ; thence south a quarter of a mile to 
center of section twenty-seven ; thence due west to the said north-west corner 
of the south-west quarter of said section thirty; thence due west to the 
summit between Eedwood valley and Potter valley; thence northward along 
said summit to a point due west of the place of beginning; thence due east 
to the place of beginning. Oriental — Approved February 28, 1871 ; it is 
ordered that T. W. Dashiell be and is hereby transferred from Potter valle}- 
to Oriental school district. 

PoMO. — Approved June 12, 1876. Beginning at the center of section 
twenty-nine, township seventeen north, range eleven north and west of 
Mount Diablo meridian ; thence south three-quarters of a mile; thence east 
four miles; thence south three-quarters of a mile; thence west four miles to 
place of beginning. 

Prairie Camp. — Approved February 3, 1873. Bounded to wit: All that 
portion of Little River school district lying east of a line ten miles east of 
the Pacific ocean. 

Potter Valley.— Approved May 22, 1860. Bounded as follows: Com- 
mencing at a point where the summit of the mountain lying between Red- 
wood and Potter valleys intersects the township (or district) line between 
Calpella and Little Lake townships (or districts); thence down the summit 
of said mountain to the mouth of Potter Valley canyon. 

Subsequent changes: Potter Valley — Approved February 24, 1871; 
hounded as follows: Beginning at the south-west corner of the north-west 
quarter of section eighteen, township seventeen north, range eleven west, 
and running due east on said line to Eel river ; thence down the center of 
said river to the mouth of Tompki creek; thence up the center of said creek 
to the county road leading from Ukiah to Round valley; thence up said 
road to the summit of the mountain at the head of Redwood valley ; thence 
south-east on said summit until due west of the place of beginning; thence 
due east to the place of beginning. 


Redwood. — Approved August 24, 1865. Bounded as follows: On the 
south by a line beginning on the dividing ridge between Potter valley and 
Redwood valley due east of Charley Hopper's north-east corner; thence west 
to and on said Charley Hopper's north line and to the ford of Rancheria 
creek, where the Little Lake road crosses it; thence west to the western line 
of the former line of Calpella district, and to be bounded on the north, east 
and west by the former boundaries of Calpella district. 

Subsequent" changes: Calpella and Redivood — Approved February 23, 
1871; ordered that H. C. Wade and J. D. Hollinsworth be transferred from 
Calpella' to Redwood school district. Redivood — Approved February 28, 
1871 ; bounded as follows: Beginning on the dividing ridge between Potter 
valley and Redwood valley due east of the north-east corner of the Chas. 
Hopper ranch ; thence running west to the ford of Rancheria creek on the 
road between Ukiah and Little Lake ; thence on said road toward Little 
Lake to the divide between Little Lake and Redwood valley ; thence north- 
erly along said divide to the road from Potter valley to Little Lake ; thence 
along said road easterly to the divide between Redwood valley and Potter 
valley ; thence along said ridge to the place of beginning. 

Round Valley. — Approved May 18, 1865. Bounded as follows: On 
the north by the county line, east by the county line, south and west by 
south fork and main branch of Eel river. 

Subsequent changes: Round Valley — Approved May 18, 1871. Com- 
mencing at a point un the boundary line of Mendocino county due east from 
the line separating the old Barbour ranch on the north from the E. Potter 
ranch on the south ; thence west to said line and along said line to the line 
separating the ranches of M. Lambert on the north and J. H. Griffin on the 
south ; thence west along said line ; thence south one-half mile on the line 
dividing Geo. White's ranch and Griffin's on the east; thence west along the 
line dividing the ranches of Geo. White on the north and Geo. Morrison and 
the Henley Bros, on the south; thence west across the valley to the foot-hills 
and through the same to the west boundary line of the township, at a point 
on main Eel river. Round Valley school district embraces the northern 
portion of Round Valley township, Eel River district the southern portion 
of the same, the line above described being the dividing line east and west. 

SANEL.^Approved May 10, 1878. Bounded on the north by the southern 
boundary line of Lima school district, said line commencing at a point on 
the Sanel and Anderson township line where the northern boundary of 
Espey's land intersects said lines, and following said line of Lima school 
district to where it crosses Russian river; thence southerly following the 
bed of Russian river to where the northern boundary line of Big Rock school 
distiict intei'sects said river; thence westerly following said northern line of 


Big Rock district to the summit of the water-shed first west of Russian 
river; thence northerly following summit of said water-shed to a point 
nearest point of beginning; thence in a direct course to point of beginning. 

Sawyers (Upper Little Lake). — Approved May 17, 1864. Ordered that 
said district known as Little Lake district be, and is hereby, divided by a 
line running thi'ough the center of township eighteen in range twelve, thir- 
teen and fourteen, Mount Diablo meridian, and said districts be designated 
as Little Lake district and Upper Little Lake district. 

Subsequent changes: Upper Little Lake — Approved May 18, 1871; 
bounded as follows : Commencing at a point on the Tompki creek known 
as the Jeft'. Stephen ranch, running thence west to the head waters of the 
Noyo river; thence south-east to the dividing ridge of the waters of Little 
lake and Walker valley; thence east about two miles on said divide; and 
thence north-east to the place of beginning. 

Sherwood Valley. — Approved February 23, 1867. To comprise the ter- 
ritory embraced in Sherwood Valley election district, viz. : Beginning at the 
fifty-seven mile post on the State road between Little Lake and Sherwood 
valley ; thence easterly in a straight line to the Little lake outlet ; thence 
down said outlet to its junction with Long Valley creek ; thence up said 
creek to the mouth of Dutch Henry creek; thence up said creek to the 
crossing of the old trail leading to Long Valley : thence due west to the west 
boundary of Little lake; thence southerly on same to a point due west of 
point of beginning ; thence due east to point of beginning. 

Subsequent changes : Sherwood Valley — Approved February 18, 1869; 
the board sot up Sherwood Valley distiict again, bounding it as above 

Ten-milk River.— Approved May 16, 1870. Commencing at a point 
on the north bank of Pudding creek where said creek intersects the Pacific 
ocean ; thence running up said creek to a point three miles east from the 
coast; thence north-westerly to a point on the northern boundary of Mendo- 
cino county three miles east from the coast ; thence west by said boundary 
line to where it intersects the coast; thence southerly by the coast to the 
point of beginning. 

Timber Ridge. — Approved May, 1877. Commencing at the south-east 
corner of the ranch owned by A. Switzer & Brother ; thence north-east to 
the forks of Wages creek; thence east following the south bank of north fork 
of Wages creek to the line forming the eastern boundary of township eleven 
north, range seventeen west, Mount Diablo meridian; thence to follow said 
range of township line south to the north-east corner of section thirteen, 



township twenty north, range seventeen west, Mount Diablo meridian ; 
thence west to the north-west corner of section sixteen, township twenty 
north, range seventeen west, Mount Diablo meridian; thence to place of 

Uriah. — Approved May 18, 1859. Bounded on the north by the third 
standard line, on the south by the line of Anderson township, on the west by 
the Coast Range, on the east by the county line. 

Subsequent changes: Ukiah and Calpella — Approved September 21, 
1859 ; Ukiah and Calpella districts united and called Ukiah school district. 
Ukiah and CaZpeWrt— Approved February 21, 1860 ; Ukiah and Calpella 
districts divided and become as when first laid out. Ukiah — Approved 
November 19, 1861 ; boundaries thereof changed to a point on the west 
side of Ukiah valley, running across said valley and passing on the south 
side of W. Bramlet's, and on the north side of Dunlap's on the line dividing 
the two claims in a direct line from mountain to mountain. Ukiah — Ap- 
proved May 10, 1878 ; to be described by same boundaries as limited it at 
the time of incorporation of town of Ukiah City. 

Union. — Approved February 25, 1867. Ordered that the boundaries of 
Oriental school district and Union school district, in Potter valley, be 
changed so as to include William Hayden in the Union school district. 

Subsequent changes; Union — Approved February 20, 1871; bounded 
to wit: Commencing at the north-west corner of the south-west quarter of 
section thirty, township seventeen north, range eleven west ; thence east to 
center of section twenty- three ; thence north one-quarter mile ; thence east 
one mile; thence south one-quarter mile; thence east to intersect the 
line of Lake county ; thence southward and along said line to the head of 
Cold creek; thence down said creek to its mouth ; thence west to the sum- 
mit of the mountain between Redwood valley and Potter valley; thence 
northward along said summit to a point west of the place of beginning; 
thence east to the place of beginning. 

Walker Valley. — Approved November 21, 1866. All that portion of 
Redwood district lying west of the State road be set apart as a new school 
district, to be called Walker Valley school district. 

Subsequent changes: Walker Valley — Approved August 11, 1867; all 
that portion of Redwood school district lying of the State road be and 
is hereby set apart as a new school district, to be called Walker Valley 
school district. Walker Valley — Approved February 24, 1871 ; bounded as 
ibllows: Commencing at the south-east corner where the Little Lake road 
crosses Rancheria creek; thence to the south-east corner of section one 
in township .sixteen, range thirteen west; thence west on the south line 


of section one and two where the survey strikes the north fork of the 
south branch of Rancheria creek, and to follow the creek to its head ; thence 
west to the dividing ridge between Big river and Russian river, and run- 
ning north on the dividing ridge until it strikes the line running due west 
from a point known as the Big Rock on the Little Lake road; thence run- 
ning east on said line to the Big Rock ; thence south on the Little Lake 
road to the place of beginning. 

Whitcomb. — Approved February, 1877. Commencing at the north-east 
corner of section thirty-six, township eighteen ; thence running west to the 
west end of Grouse ridge, being bounded on the north by the southern 
boundaries of the following farms: B. Capell, William Hopper, J. Simonson, 
J. Hale, P. Muir, G. Bloker, and R. Rawlinson; thence from said Grouse 
ridge south to the northern boundary of Walker Valley school district ; 
thence east to the dividing riilge between Little Lake and Redwood valley ; 
thence north to the place of beginning. 

Whitehall. — Approved May, 1876. Beginning at the north-west cor- 
ner of township twelve north, range twelve west, Mount Diablo merid- 
ian ; thence south following the line of said township to the line between 
the counties of Mendocino and Sonoma; thence east along said county line 
to the center or middle of township twelve north, range twelve west, Mount 
Diablo meridian; thence north along the section line of said township 
between sections three and four, nine and ten, fifteen and sixteen, twenty- 
one and twenty-two, twenty-seven and twenty-eight, thirty-three and 
thirty-four, to township line of said township; thence west to place of 

Williams Valley. — Approved May, 1875. Commencing at the Govern- 
ment survey stake at the point where township twenty-two, range twelve, 
twenty-two, range thirteen, twenty-three, range twelve and twenty-three, 
I'ange thirteen. Mount Diablo meridian corner ; thence east to the south-east 
corner of thirty -five, township twenty-three north, range twelve west ; 
thence south to the south-west corner of section one, township twenty-two 
north, range twelve west; thence due east to the boundary line of thecountj^; 
thence northerly along the eastern boundary line of Mendocino county to 
the point where the south-east corner of Trinity and the north-east corner 
of Mendocino counties meet ; thence west along the boundary line of said 
counties of Trinity and Mendocino to a point due north from the point of 
beginning ; thence south on line between ranges twelve an'l thirteen to point 
of beginning. 

Subsequent changes: Approved November 20, 1872; bounded as follows: 
Commencing at the south-east corner of section number eighteen, township 


eighteen, range thirteen north of Mount Diablo meridian ; thence north one 
mile to the south-west corner of section eight; thence east one-half mile; 
thence north one-half mile; thence west one-half mile including the land of 
Seth Toney ; thence north to the Sherwood school district line ; thence west 
with said line seven miles. Second : Commencing at the same plsLCe as first 
line, viz., south-east corner of section eighteen, township eighteen, range 
thirteen west ; thence west one-half mile, south one-fourth mile, west one- 
fourth mile, south one-half mile, west one-half mile, south one-half mile to 
the south-west corner of the land of the Baechtel Bros.; thence in a south- 
westerly direction, including the land of Wm. A. Wright, John Robertson, 
and north and west of them to place of first ending. 

WiLLiTSViLLE. — Approved February, 1875. Commencing at a point in 
the center of Russian river at the south-east corner of the land of Doolan, 
and running thence west and on the line dividing the lands of said Doolan 
from the lands of Edward Cox ; thence westerly to the line of Andereon 
Valley township ; thence southerly along said township line to a point oppo- 
site the south boundary of the lands of Clinton EUidge; thence east and along 
the south boundary of the lands of Hughes Burk to the center of Russian 
river ; thence northerly and along the center of Russian river to the point 
of beginning. 

YoRKViLLE (Rancheria).— Approved May 22, 1860. Ordered that the 
east end of Buckie valley be the dividing line between Anderson and Ran- 
cheria school districts. 

Subsequent changes: Rancheria — Approved August 22, 1866; formed 
out of a part of Anderson school district, to be bounded on the north-west . 
by the divide between Rancheria creek and Anderson valley, and on the 
north-east, south-east and south-west by the divide around the head waters 
of Nevarra river. Rancheria — Approved June 13, 1867; formed out of a 
portion of Anderson school district, and to be bounded by the boundaries of 
Rancheria election district. Bounded on the north-west by Anderson elec- 
tion district, on north-east, south-east and south-west by boundary lines of 
Anderson township. Rancheria — Approved May 18, 1871 ; bounded as fol- 
lows: Beginning at a point on the divide between the waters of Rancheria 
creek and those of Anderson creek west of and including Robert Stubble- 
field's ranch; thence easterly along the said divide between the waters of the 
said Rancheria creek and those of Russian river; thence along said divide to 
a point about one mile below the Pine Grove on the said divide; thence in 
a southerly direction along the divide between the waters of the Rancheria 
creek and those of Dry creek to the Sonoma county line ; thence westerly 
along the said county line to a point west of and including the stock ranch 
of Samuels & Gi-ant, or the Arena township line; thence in a north-easterly 


direction along the said Arena township line so as to include the milk ranch ; 
thence northerly to the place of beginning. Ranckeria — Approved Febru- 
ary, 1878; it is hereby ordered that the name of Rancheria school district be 
changed to Yorkville school district. 

Carroll. — Approved February, 1877. Bounded on the north by a line 
extending in an easterly direction from Russian river between the lands of 
L. M. Ruddick and the Stone farm, the lands of L. M. Ruddick and H. Wah ; 
thence south a quarter of a mile; thence easterly to a point on the county 
Toad two hundred yards south of W. J. Hildreth's residence; thence easterly 
to the county line on the east ; south and west by the same boundary as 
formerly marked Mill Creek district. 

Cox Creek. — Approved November, 1876. Beginning at a point where 
Point Arena and Ukiah road crosses Rancheria creek ; thence down said 
creek to the southern boundary of Indian Creek school district; along south- 
ern boundary to the south-east corner of section ten, township fourteen, 
range fourteen west. Mount Diablo meridian ; thence due east on section line 
to township line ; thence south to the north-east corner of section thirty-six, 
township fourteen, range fourteen west ; thence west to the north-west 
quarter of said section; thence south to intersect Anderson Valley creek; 
thence down Anderson Valley creek to tlie mouth of Beeson creek ; thence 
up Beeson creek to the crossing of the Point Arena road ; thence westerly 
along said road to point of beginning. 

Ferguson's Cove. — Approved August 22, 1865. Formed out of portions 
of Buchanan and Gualala. Bounded on the north by Schooner gulch, on the 
east by the mountains, on the south by the southern boundary of Liff 's 
claim, and on the west by the ocean. 

McDonald. — Approved May 21, 1861. Bounded as follows : North and 
south line passing along the wast side of Howlett's field, said district to con- 
tain east end of township. 

At the close of pamphlet of district boundaries Mr. Ruddock appended a 
series of suggestions to school trustees which were so sensible that we cannot 
refrain from copying them verbatim. If these suggestions were carefully 
lived up to there would be no clash whatever in the machinery of the schools 
of Mendocino county: — 


suggestions to school trustees. 

Office of Superintendent of Schools, ) 
Ukiah, June 1, 1878. J 

1. Keep minutes of all your oiBcial proceedings. 

2. Keep an accurate account of the fumi.s of your di.sfcricfc, and do not fail 
to enter the amounts apportioned you from time to time opposite the proper 

3. Before drawing your order for the last month of teacher's salary, be 
assured that his or her report is made out, and that the school Register has 
been pioperly kept. 

4. Do not let a dollar or two deprive you of a good teacher, and when you 
get a good one keep him. 

5. Expend your money judiciously and economically, as though it were 
your own private funds, and not public, and as far as possible provide for 
the comfort of pupils, both as to grounds and buildings. 

6. Have the moral courage to say no, even to a book agent, when you are 
confident the district does not need his books. 

7. Schools are classed as first, second or third grade, and trustees cannot 
legally employ a teacher the grade of whose certificate is below the grade of 
their school. (See sections 1,755 and 1,771, School Law.) 

8. School districts have three funds: State, county and library. 
The State fund must be used only for payment of teachers. 

The county fund may be used for payment of teachers, incidental expenses, 
supplies, etc. 

The library fund can be used only for the purchase of books and school 

9. Trustees will please number and date orders drawn on the county 
superintendent, and state explicitly for what purpose drawn. 

10. When possible avoid drawing orders in favor of a trustee of your dis- 
trict. (See section 1,876.) 

11. It is the duty of trustees to visit each and every school in his district 
once in each term, and they ought to visit as much oftener 



The Indians which inhabited the section of territory which now com- 
prises Mendocino county did not difter materially in any respect from those 
of other portions of the State. We would refer the reader to the first 
chapter of this work for an extended description of the Aborigine as seen by 
the early settlers. Still there are many facts of interest concerning the 
Indians of Mendocino county, which it will be our province here to record ; 
for, like all facts and data concerning them, they are fast passing into 
oblivion. In an early day they were very numerous in all this section, 
and the valleys were especially full of them. The Indians called Long 
valley Kai-neh-moo, which means the valley of man}' people. At present it 
is impossible to give any definite idea in regard to their tribal relations and 
tribal extent. A few of the names, with a remnant of the people who bore 
them, are all that is to be found in this county now. 

Beginning on the Russian river, at the south, just above Cloverdale, there 
were the Sanel porno, which tribe extended to the vicinity of Ukiah. Here 
the Yo-kai-ah porno lived, their territory extending to where Calpella now 
is. Here the Cul-pa-lau porao — and, in Sherwood valley, the She-bal-ne 
porno — had their habitation. In Round valley the Wylackies held sway. 
The word pomo means people in their language. We are unable to give the 
tribe names. of all the people in valleys, but through the kindness of 
Mr. Alfred E. Sherwood, who came into the county in a very early day, and 
is the best of authority on matters pertaining to the Indian history of this 
section, we are enabled to give the names applied by them to the several 
localities in the county, and to give the signification of the terms. We 
append the following list : Ukiah valley was called Yo-kai-ah and signifies 
deep valley (the word kai signifying valley). Calpella was named after a 
chief by the name of Cul-pa-lau, which signifies a mussel or shell-fish bearer. 
Potter valley was called Be-loh-kai, which signifies leafy valley, or the valley . 
of shade. Little Lake valley was called Ma-tom-kai, which signifies big- 
valley. Long valley was called Kai-neh-moo, which signifies the valley of 
many people. Round valley was called Me-sha-kai, .signifying the valley of 
tule or tall grass. Sherwood valley was called Che-hul-i-kai, .signifying the 
north valley. Cah-to is the name the natives applied to both that location 
and the people who inhabited it. The word " cah " signifies water, and " to " 
means, literally, mush, and was applied to the section owing to the fact that 
there was originally a large swampy lake there, the greater portion of which 


was mii-y and boggy, being veritable water-mush — cah-to. The people were 
known to all surrounding tribes as Cah-to porno. Kai-be-sil-lah meant the 
head of the valley, hence the name is applied to that point where the moun- 
tain spurs project into the ocean and the lands, or valley, ends. The 
town of Kibesillah is located at this point, and the name is about the same 
as the one the Indians used. What is now known as Ten-mile river, was 
called Be-dah-to, literally mush river, the name being applied on account of 
the quick-sand at its mouth. They applied the term Noy-o to what is now 
called Pudding creek. The name was given to it on account of the sand- 
dunes which were near its mouth. To the stream now known as Noyo they 
gave the name of Chim-ne-be-dah, which signified brush creek. Big liver 
was called Bool-dam, on account of the blow-holes around the bay at its 
mouth. The Albion river was called Kah-ba-to-lah, signifying crooked river. 
Anderson valley was called Taa-bo-tah, but its .signification is unknown. 

The Indians in all this .section were as wild as the wildest as late as 18.50; 
and in some sections they remained wild till 1856. It is said that it was a 
custom of the early settlers in Sonoma and Napa counties to make raids 
among the Indians of Sanel and Anderson valleys and capture large num- 
bei-s of them and drive them off and make them work for awhile, allowing 
them to return at the end of the busy season. For instance, the potato 
digging season was a time when help was most needed, and as most of the 
local Indians were gone, assistance had to be had from some source, so a 
raid would be made on the upper valley tribes. When captured, it would 
seem that the thought of escape did not enter their heads, but they con- 
tented themselves to do what they were told to do. To those white men 
who came amonii them and lived with them, they were uniformlj^ kind, 
generous and faithful. Very few of that class of men ever came to grief at 
the hands of an Indian, although a few have been killed by them ; but it 
was usually the white man's fault, for forbearance ceases at times to be a 
virtue even with Indians. The women cho.sen by white men as consorts 
were usually faithful to them in every respect, and it mattered not to 
them whether he chose one or many of the damsels of the tribe, all were 
alike obedient and faithful, the first the crowning virtue in the eyes of an 
Indian, and the last the ultimatum of virtue in her white lord's estimation. 
There were quite a number of men who, in the early days, cohabited with 
the tawny daughters of the forest, and there are quite a number of half-breed 
children in the county as a result. These children are the most unfortunate 
of all people. They are too good to associate with the people of their 
mothers, and not a whit better than their mothers' people in the estimation 
of the whites. They are sometimes sent to school, and this causes trouble, 
for white parents do not wish their children, especially their daughters, to 
grow up in such close relations to them. Sometimes there is one who has 
gone to school and grown up in the neighborhood with the daughters of the 

^ '^^ 


white men, and when the hne of deraarkation is passed by the girl, and she 
stands on the side of womanhood, and closes the door of her childhood's 
friendship in the face of the half-breed boy, it causes pangs of remorse and 
regrets unknown to any but hira who is neither white nor black. It would 
be the part of humanity to provide as well as possible for this class of unfor- 
tunate humans. Something should be done to ameliorate their condition 
and to raise them as far above the level of the Digger Indian as his blood 
has raised him. But that is a question which can not be settled in any 
ordinary method, and requires a great deal of delicacy in adjusting. If these 
Indians were what their Algonquin brothers were of the East, it would not 
be so very bad, for who that has Algonquin blood in him is not proud of it? 
Who was a more worthy progenitor than the great and noble minded Logan? 
But these are a different people in all respects, especially intellectually. 

The fathers of these children are universally men of means, and it would 
be well to form an association and purchase a home for them all, and let each 
man pay his pro-rata in proportion to the number of children he puts into 
the home, and have the property so deeded to the county as a trustee that 
when the place was abandoned by these people, by depletion or other cause, 
that it would revert pro-rata to the heirs of the original purchasers. By 
this means a spirit of thrift and independence would be engendered among 
them, and if they were allowed to have and use the profits of the place they 
would soon develop into traders, and, perhaps, some would wish and be able 
to purchase farms of their own. 

The majority of the men who, in an early day, consorted with Indian 
women, as soon as practicable married white women. The consequence of 
this is sometimes that those white women whose husbands have never con- 
sorted with Indian women are a little inclined to consider themselves free 
from the taint, as it were. A brilliant rebuke to a woman of this class is 
reported to have been given by a lady whose husband had at one time 
cohabited with an Indian woman. Several ladies were present, and it so 
happened that this one was the only one whose husband had formerly lived 
with an Indian woman, and of course the other ladies took occasion several 
times to remind her of that fact. At last she grew weary of their thrusts 

and archly remarked that " Mr. is a very pe'culiar man, and will 

never take anj^thing but the very best that is to be had. Now, when he 
was consorting with an Indian woman he had the best that could be found 
in the land, and to-day he is practicing that cardinal principle of his life." 
The others saw the thrust, and felt it much more keenly than the lady had 
felt their insinuations concerning her husband's having been a "squaw man." 

There have been two reservations set aside for the use of the Indians in 
Mendocino county. The first was known as the Mendocino, and the second 
as the Round Valley reservation. The first named was astablished in 1856. 
The first station was located about one mile north of the Novo river, and 


what was afterwards known as Fort Bragg. Captain H, L. Ford was the 

agent, Robert White, John Simpson, Samuel Watts, Hinckley, H. 

and Stephen Mitchel, G. Hagenmeyer, G. Canning Smith, H. Kier, H. Bell 
and Lloyd Bell, Sr., were there as employes, and Dr. T. M. Ames was the 
physician. This place was always the head-quarters for all other stations of 
the reservation. The next station was established about three miles north- 
east of Noyo, and was known us the " Bald Hill " station. The facetious 
and irrepressible Mike C. Doherty was agent here, and John Clark was his 
assistant. The .station at Ten-mile river came next, with Major Lewis as 
asrent, and E, J. Whipple as assistant. The last station was about half a 
mile south of the Noyo river, and was called " CuUe-Bulle," with John Simp- 
son agent, and William Ray assistant. The reservation was established 
under the supervision of Thomas J. Henley, Superintendent of Indian Affairs 
in California, and contained twenty-four thousand nine hundred and thirty- 
eight and forty-six one-hnndredths acres. It was abandoned about 1867. 
Fort Bragg was established in 1857 by Lieutenant Gibson. The first build- 
ing erected there was the small square house situated on the east side of 
the parade ground. When the soldiers were located there, it was their chief 
business to gather the wild Indians into the fold of the reservation, and for 
this purpose great expeditions were made into the country. The entire 
management of an Indian reservation is as inscrutible as the ways of Prov- 
idence, and altogether past finding out. In the reservation under con- 
sideration, out of the twenty-four thousand acres of land included in its 
limits, there were not that many hundred that were arable. No progress 
worth speaking of was made in tha way of farmiug. A few acrei were 
planted, and if the cattle and other stock were kept off, a small crop was 
grown, but it never was of any advantage to the Indians. We are sorry to 
have to be so severe, but the truth demands that we shall brand the whole sys- 
tem of reservations in this county, until very recently, at least, as a grand 
scheme of vassalage. It has always afforded a place for a few political pets, 
who have thus been enabled to live at the expense of the government, and also 
to " feather their nest " out of the proceeds of the hard work of the Indians. 
The prime and fresh meats were served upon the tables of the employes ; 
while the Indians got the odds and ends. And so it was with everything else. 
Of course, these strictures apply only to those cases where the facts set forth 
did really exist. There have been honest men connected with these reserva- 
tions, and men who have tried to advance the status of the Indian in every 
respect; but that has not always been the case. At the present time there 
seems to be a general feeling of content among the Indians on the reserva- 
tion at Round valley. They are being taught to read and to know wdiat an 
education is worth to them. The following figures, which were collated in 
1877, will give an idea of the work being done in that direction: In the 
reservation school there were enrolled — full-blood, fortv ; half-blood, six. 


Total, fortj^-six. The average attendance was thirty-three. Number who 
could read and write, twenty-four; number who had learned to read and 
write during the year, fifteen ; number in the third grade, twelve. It will 
thus be seen that over eighty-six per cent of the entire number can read, 
and that more than fifty per cent of them can read and write. This speaks 
very well, indeed, for the educational work which is being done there. 

In 1856 the Indian farm was established at None Cult or Round valley. 
It is estimated that there were upwards of five thousand Indians in Mendo- 
cino county at that time, and that three thousand of them were subject to 
the Round Valley farm, and two thousand or more to the Mendocino reserva- 
tion. While this Round valley section was a farm only it was used as a 
stock range principally, and the cattle were tlriven out to the Noyo station 
to be slaughtered. There was a trail, which passed through where Cahto 
now is, which led from the Round Valley farm to the Noyo station. In 18-58 
the Round Valley farm was changed into a regular reservation, which con- 
tained about twenty-five thousand acres. April 14, 1868, it was ordered 
that the reservation should extend to the summit of the surrounding moun- 
tains. March 30, 1870, the land embraced in the above boundaries was set 
apart, by a proclamation of the President of the United States, for reserva- 
tion purpose. March 3, 1873, an act was passed by Congress setting all 
lands formerly embraced in the reservation, south of the line between town- 
ships twenty- two and twenty-three, to the public domain, and extending the 
reservation north to the hills, with certain boundaries, as follows : The line 
between townships twenty-two and twenty-three being the southern bound- 
ary ; main Eel river being the western boundary ; Eel river being the 
northern boundary ; Hull's creek, Williams' creek and middle Eel river 
being the eastern boundary, containing one hundred and two thousand one 
hundred and eighteen and nineteen one-hundredths acres. 

Rev. J. L. Burchard, a former agent at the Round Valley reservation, gave 
the following information to a reporter of the San Francisco Call, in Jan- 
uary, 1878 : " There are on the reservation about one thousand Indians. They 
are peaceable, industrious, and as a rule, sober. They make excellent 
laborers, and for sheep-shearers surpass white men, as they are more gentle 
to the animals. At this work they make from two to three dollars a day. 
At hop-picking they are not excelled by white boys or Chinamen. The 
squaws, especially, make very good pickers, and can make from seventy-five 
cents to one dollar a day. The various tribes on the reservation are the 
Potter Valley, Ukiah Valley, Little Lake, Concho w. Redwood Valley, Pet 
Nuer, Ukies, and Wylackies. As a rule, they are distinct in habits, lan- 
guage and appearance. They are readily domesticated if kept separate from 
other Indians. They attend school regularly and become apt scholars in 
reading and writing, but are weak in arithmetic. Although retaining some 
affection for then- former dainties, they are rapidly adopting the food of the 


white man. A store of provisions is always kept on hand to prevent a 
chance for a famine. Some idea of the produce raised by these Indians can 
be gathered from the following figures : Growing crops on the reservation 
land — small grain, seven hundred acres; hay, six hundred tons; corn, one 
hundred acres ; hops, thirty acres ; gardens, three hundred acres ; and 
orchards, fifteen acres. Their stock comprises three hundred head of cat- 
tle, one hundred head of horses and mules, and three hundred head of hogs. 
All the wheat is ground into flour and stored in the provision house. Many 
of the Indians are learning habits of economy, and a,re, out of their earnings, 
buying little farms for themselves. In this they are assisted by several 
prominent men, among whom may be mentioned Messrs. McClure, Burke 
and Bartlett, who are justly earning the praises of the white men and the 
gratitude of the Indians for their efforts to ameliorate the condition of the 
latter, and training them so that in the near future their descendants will 
become a profit, rather than an incumbrance, to the State. The Sunday- 
school and general religious training are left to the Methodist Episcopal 
church, doing a very beneficial work." 

Speaking of the difference in their dialects, calls to mind the fact that all Indians from Sherwood valley southward talked a kindred tongue, 
and could communicate very readily with each other ; but strange to say, 
those of Sherwood valley could not converse with the "Cah-to pomo," 
less than ten miles away to the northward. This was very remarkable, 

The Indians were capable of the most remarkable endurance. No proper 
conception can be formed of what they could perform in the way of bearing 
burdens. When the Mendocino reservation was established they carried sev- 
eral heavy government wagons from Sherwood valley to Noyo, a distance 
of over twenty miles and over a mountain trail. One man would take a 
wheel and trudge along with it all day ; while two would be able to carry 
an axletree. They delighted, in an early day, to go with some rancher to 
the coast and cany his freight and provisions in to the ranch. It was a sort 
of a holiday spree with them, and there was no scarcity of those who de- 
sired to go when the day of his departure arrived. 

But the Indian is vanishing from the face of the earth surely and not so 
very slowly. It was estimated in 1877, that there were less than ten thou- 
sand left in the entire state of California, distributed as follows : On the 
reservation at Hoopa valley, five hundred and eighty ; Rouud Valley reserva- 
tion, nine hundred and fifty-two; Tule River reservation, twelve hundred; 
and not on any reservation, six thousand five hundred. Making a total of 
nine thousand two hundred and thirty-two. And yet, it is in the memory 
of every old pioneer when there were at least that many living on the terri- 
tory covered now by any one county in the State. It is very strange, and 
yet it seems a matter of destiny, and just as much so as it was that the 



nations of the land of Canaan should disappear before the advance of the 
chosen people of God into their country. Many people are inclined to put 
on a sentimental air and charge that the white man has been the cause of 
all this decimation among their ranks. Such, however, does not seem to be 
the case. The truth is, that they had served their purpose in the great 
economy of God, and the fullness of time for their disappearance from the 
earth has come, and they are going to go. Of course, looking at it from this 
stand-point does not give the white man leave or license to help rid the coun- 
try of them. Far from it; but on the other hand, the great law of Chris- 
tian (by which word is meant Christ-like) charity comes in, and demands 
that they should receive just and honorable usage at the hands of those who 
come into contact with thera. 

At the present time there is quite a village a few miles north of Sanel, 
the remnant of the Sanels, numbering perhaps one hundred and fifty. The 
village consists of some twenty thatched, dome-like huts, and in the 
center of it is located the inevitable sweat-house. South of Ukiah about 
five miles, there are two or three small villages containing in all, perhaps, 
two hunch-ed. Near Calpella there are, perhaps, fifty ; east of Ukiah, there 
are about one hundred. At Cahto there is a village of about seventy -five ; 
at Sherwood valley there are about seventy-five. Near Point Arena there 
is a village of probably one hundred ; and at the mouth of Big river there is 
a rancheria of about one hundred. There are others scattered here and 
there over the county, but these are the main villages. There are some 
Indians from all of these tribes at the reservation. Some tribes have con- 
sented to go bodily, while others go and come, holding their old camping 

How beautifully and truthfully is the result of the invasion of the white 
people portrayed in the following lines from Longfellow's " Hiawatha: " — 

I beheld, too, in that vision 
All the secrets of the future, 
Of the distant days that shall be; 
I beheld the westward marches 
Of the unknown, crowded nations; 
All the land was full of people, 
Restless, struggling, toiling, striving, 
Speaking many tongues, yet feeling 
But one heart-beat in their bosoms. 
In the woodland rang their axes. 
Smoked their towns in all the valleys, 
Over all the lakes and rivers 
Rushed their great canoe of thunder. 
Then a darker, drearier vision 
Passed before me vague and cloudlike; 

I beheld our nation scattered. 
All forgetfiil of my counsels; 
Weakened, warring with each other; 
Saw the remnants of our people 
Sweeping westward, wild and woeful, 
Like the cloud-rack of a tempest. 
Like the withered leaves of Autumn! 

Thus departed Hiawatha 

In the glory of the sunset, 

In the purple mists of evening. 

To the regions of the home wind, 

To the Islands of the Blessed, 

To the kingdom of Ponemah, 

To the laiid of the hereafter! 






The subject of the tenure of land in California is one which is so little 
understood, that it has been deemed best to quote at length the following 
rcport on the subject of land titles in California, made in pursuance of instruc- 
tions from the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Interior, by WilHani 
Carey Jones, published in Washmgton in the Year 1850, — a more exhaustive 
document it would be difficult to find : 

On July 12, 1849. Mr. Jones had been appointed a "confidential agent of 
the Government, to proceed to Mexico and California, for the pui-pose of pro- 
curing infoi'mation as to the condition of land titles in California." Pursuant 
to these instructions, he embarked from New York on the 17th July; arriv- 
ing at Chagres on the 29th, he at once proceeded to Panama, but got no op- 
portunity, until that day month, of proceeding on his journey to this State. 
At length, on September 19th, he arrived at Monterey, the then capital of Cah- 
fornia. After visiting San Jos^ and San- Francisco, he returned to Monterey, 
and there made arrangements for going by land to Los Angeles and San 
Diego, but finding this scheme impracticable on account of the rainy season, 
he made the voyage by steamer. On December 7tli he left San Diego for 
Acapulco in Mexico, where he arrived on the 24th; on the 11th he left that 
city, and on the 18th embarked from Vera Cruz for Mobile. 

We now commence his report, believing that so able a document will prove 
of interest to the reader: — 


All the grants of land made in California (except pueblo or village lots, and 
except, perhaps, some grants north of the Bay of San Francisco, as will be 
hereafter noticed), subsequent to the independence of Mexico, and after the 
establishment of that government in California, were made by the different 
political governors. The great majority of them were made subsequent to 
January, 1832, and consequently under the Mexican Colonization Law of 
Augiist 18, 1824, and the government regulations, adopted in pursuance of 
tha law dated November 21, 1828. In January, 183?, General Jose 


Figueroa became Governor of the then territory of Cahfornia, under a eon.- 
raission from the government at Mexico, replacing Victoria, who, after having 
the year before displaced Echandrea, was himself driven out by a revolution. 
The installation of Figueroa restored quiet, after ten years of civil commotion, 
and was at a time when Mexico was making vigorous efforts to reduce and 
populate her distant territories, and consequently granting lands on a liberal 
scale. In the act of 1824, a league square (being 4,428.402-1000 acres) is 
the smallest measurement of rural property spoken of; and of these leagues 
square, eleven (or nearly fifty thousand acres) might be conceded in a grant to one 
individual. By this law, the States composing the federation, were authorized 
to make special provision for colonization within their respective Umits, and 
the colonization of the territories, " conformably to the principles of law " 
charged upon the Central Government. California was of the latter descrip- 
tion, being designated a Territory in the Acta Constitutiva of the Mexican 
Federation, adopted January 31, 1824, and by the Constitution adopted 4th 
October of the same year.* 

The colonization of California and granting lands therein, was, there- 
fore, subsequent to the law of 18, 1824, under the dii-ection and 
control of the Central Government. That government, as already stated 
gave regulations for the same November 21, 1828. 

The du-ections were very simple. They gave the governors of the terri- 
tories the exclusive faculty of making grants within the terms of the law — 
that is, to the extent of eleven leagues, or sitios, to individuals : and coloniza- 
tion grants (more properly contracts) — that is, grants of larger tracts to 
cmpresarios, or persons who should undertake, for a consideration in land, to 
bring families to the country for the pui-pose of colonization. Grants of the 
first description, that is, to famUies or single persons, and not exceeding eleven 
sitios, were "not to be held definitely valid," until sanctioned by the, Terri- 
torial Deputation. Those of the second class, that is, empresario or coloniza- 
tion grants (or contracts) required a like sanction by the Supreme Govern- 
ment. In case the concurrence of the Deputation was refused to a grant of 
the fii-st mentioned class, the Governor should appeal, in favor of the grantee, 
from the Assembly to the Supreme Government. 

The "first inception" of the claim, pursuant to the i-egulations, and as 
practiced in California, was a petition to the (joveraor, prajnng for the grant, 
specifying usually the quantity of land asked, and designating its position, 
with some descriptive object or boundarj', and also stating the age, country 
and vocation of the petitioner. Sometimes, also, (generally at the commence- 
ment of thLs system) a rude map or plan of the required grant, showing its 

*The political condition of California was changed by the Constitution of 29t,h December, and 
act for the division of the Republic into Departments of December 30, 1836. The two Califor. 
nias tlien became a Department, the confederation being broken up and the States reduced to 
].>epartmeut3. The same colonization system, however, seems to have continued in California. 


sliape and position, with reference to other tracts, or to natural objects, was 
presented with the petition. This practice, however, was gradually disused, 
and few of the grants made in late years have any other than a verbal 

The next step was usually a reference of the petition, made on the margin 
by the governor, to the prefect of the district, or other near local officer whei-e 
the land petitioned for was situated, to know if it was vacant, and could be 
granted without injury to third persons or the public, and sometimes to know 
if the petitioner's account of himself was true. The reply (informe) of the 
prefect, or other officer, was written upon or attached to the petition, and the 
whole returned to the governor. The reply being satisfactory, the governor 
then issued the grant in form. On its receipt, or before, (often before the 
petition, even.) tlie party went into possession. It was not unfrequent, of late 
yeaws, to omit the formality of sending the petition to the local authorities, and 
it was never requisite, if the governor already possessed the necessary infor- 
mation concerning the land and the parties. In that case the grant followed 
immediately on the petition. Again, it sometimes happened that the reply of 
the local authority was not explicit, or that third persons intervened, and the 
gi-ant was thus for some time delayed. With these qualifications, and cover- 
ing the great majority of cases, the practice may be said to have been: 
1. The petition; 2. The reference to the prefect or alcalde; 3. His report, or 
informe ; 4. The grant from the governor. 

" When filed, and how, and by whom recorded." 

The originals of the petition and informe, and any other preliminary 
papers in the case, were tiled, by the secretary, in the government archives, 
and with them a cojyy (the original being delivered to the grantee) of the 
grant ; the whole attached together so as to form one document, entitled, col- 
lectively, an expediente. Duruig the governorship of Figueroa, and some of 
his successors, that is, from May 22, 1833, to May 9, 1836, the grants were 
hkewise recorded in a book kept for (as prescribed in the "regu- 
lations" above referred to) in the archives. Subsequent to that time, there 
was no record, but a brief memorandum of the grant; the expediente, how- 
ever, being still filed. Granis were also sometimes registered in the oiiice of the 
prefect of the district where the lands lay; but 'the practice was not constant, 
nor the record generally in permanent form. 

The next, and final step in the title was the approval of the grant by the 
Territorial Deputation (that is, the local legislature, afterward, when the terri- 
tory was created into a Department, called the '' Departmental Assembly.") 
For this purpose, it was the governor's office to communicate the fact of the 
grant, and all information concerning it, to the assembly. It was here referred 
to a committee (somethnes called a conmiittee on vacant lands, sometimes on 


agriculture), who reported at a subsequent sitting. The apj^roval was seldom 
refused; but there are many instances where the governor omitted to commu- 
nicate the grant to the assembly, and it consequently remained unacted on. 
The approval of the assembly obtained, it was usual for the secretary to 
dehver to the grantee, on application, a eertiticate of the fact ; but no other 
record or registration of it was kept than the written proceedings of the assem- 
bly. There are no doubt instances, therefore, where the approval was in fact 
ob, ned, but a certideate not applied for, and as the journals of the assembly, 
now i-emaining in the archives, are very imperfect, it can hardly be doubted 
that many grants have received the approval of the assembly, and no record 
of the fact now exists. Many grants were passed upon and appi-oved by the 
assembly in the Winter and Spring of 1846, as I discovered by loose memo- 
randa, apparently made by the clerk of the assembly for future entry, and 
refen-ing to the grants by their numbers — sometimes a dozen or more on a 
single small piece of paper, but of which I could find no other record. 

"So, also with the subsequent steps, embracing the proceedings as to sur- 
vey, up to the perfecting of the title." 

There were not, as far as I could learn, any regular surveys made of grant* 
in California, up to the time of the cessation of the former government. 
There was no public or authorized surveyor in the country. The grants 
usually contained a direction that the grantee should receive judicial posses- 
sion of the land from the proper magistrate (usually the nearest alcalde), in 
virtue of the grant, and that the boundaries of the tract should then be desig- 
nated by that functionary with " suitable land marks." But this injunction 
was usually complied with, only by procuiing the attendance of the magis- 
trate, to give judicial possession according to the verbal description contained 
in the grant. Some of the old grants have been subsequently surveyed, as 1 
was informed, by a surveyor under appointment of Col. Mason, acting as 
Governor of California. I did not see any official record of such surveys, or 
understand that there was any. The "perfecting of the title " I suppose to 
have been accomplished when the grant received the concurrence of the 
assembly; all provisions of the law, and of the colonization regulations of the 
supreme government, pre-requisites to the title being "detinitely valid," hav- 
ing been then fulfilled. These, I think, must be counted complete titles. 

" And if there he any more hoolcs, files or archives of any kind zuhatso- 
ever, shoiuingthe nature, character and extent of these grants." 

The foUowmg list comprises the books of record and memoranda of grants, 
which I found existing in the government archives at Monterey: 

1. '• 1828. Cuaderno del registro de los sitios, fierraa y senales que poseaii 
los liabitantes del territurio de la Nueva California." [Book of regist.ratioii 


of the farms, brands, and marks (for marking cattle), possessed by the inhabit 
tants of the territory of New California.] 

This book contains information of the situation, boundaries and appurte- 
nances of several of the niLssions, as hereafter noticed ; of two pueblos, San Jose 
^nd Branciforte, and the records of about twenty grants, made by various Span- 
ish, Mexican and local authorities, at diflei-ent times, between 1784 and 1825, 
and two dated 1829. This book appears to have been arranged upon infor- 
mation obtained in an endeavor of the government to procure a registration 
■of all the occupied lands of the territory. 

2. Book marked " Titulos." 

This book contains records of grants, numbered from one to one liundred 
and eight, of various dates, fi-om May 22, 1833 to May 9, 1836, by the suc- 
cessive governors, Figueroa, Jos^ Castro, Nicholas GutieiTcz and Mariano 
Chico. A part of these grants, (probably all) are inchxded in a file of expe- 
dientes of grants, hereafter described, marked from number one to number 
five hundi'ed and seventy-nine ; but the numbers in the book do not corres- 
pond with the numbers of the same gi-ants in the expedientes. 

3. " Libro donde se asciertan los despachos de terrenes adjudicados en los 
anos de 1839 and 1840." — (Book denotLag the concessions of land adjudicated 
in the yeai-s 1839 and 1840.) 

This book contains a brief entry, by the secretary of the department of 
grants, including their numbers, dates, names of the grantees and of the 
grants, quantity granted, and situation of the land, usually entered in the 
book in the order they were conceded. This book contains the grants made 
from January 18, 1839, to December 8, 1843, inclusive. 

4. A book similar to the above, and containing like entries of grants 
issued between January 8, 1844 and December 23, 1845. 

5. File of expedientes of grants — that is, all the proceedings (except of 
the Assembhr) relating to the respective grants, secured, those of each grant in 
a separate parcel, and marked and labeled with its number and name. This 
file LS marked from No. 1 to No. 579 inclusive, and embraces the space of 
thne between May 13, 1833, to July 1846. The numbers, however, bear 
little relation to tlie dates. Some numbei-s are missing, of some there are 
duphcates — that is, two distinct grants with the same number. The expedi- 
entes are not all complete; in some cases the final grant appeai-s to have been 
refused; in others it was wanting. The collection, however, is evidently 
intended to represent estates which have been granted, and it is probable that 
in many, or most instances, the omission apparent in the archi^'es is supplied 
by original documents in the hands of the parties, or by long permitted occu- 
pation. These embrace all the record books and files belonging to the territo- 
rial, or departmental archiA'cs, which I was able to discover. 

I am assured, however, by Mr. J. C. Fremont, that according to the best of 



his recollection, a book for the year 184G, corresponding to those noticed above, 
extending from 1839, to the end of 1845, existed in the archives while he was 
Governor of California, and was with them when he delivered them in May, 
1847, to the officer apiDointed by Genei-al Kearny to receive them from him 
at Monterey. 


1 took much pain.s both in California and Mexico, to assure myself of the 
situation, in a legal and proprietary point of view, of the fonuer gi-eat 
establishments known as the Missions of Cahfornia. It had been supposed 
that the lands they occupied were grants, held as the pi'operty of the church, 
or of the mission establishments as corporations. Such, however, was not the 
case. All the missions in Upper California were established under the du-ec- 
tion and mainly at the expense of the Government, and the missionaries there 
had never any other rights than the occupation and use of the lands for the 
puipose of the missions, and at the pleasure of the Government. This is 
shown by the history and principles of theu- foundation, by the laws in rela- 
tion to them, by the constant practice of the Government toward them, and, 
in fact, by the rules of the I'ranciscan order, which forbids its members to 
possess property. 

The establishment of missions in remote provinces was a part of the colo- 
nial system of Spain. The Jesuits, by a license from the Viceroy of New 
Spain, commenced in this manner the reduction of Lower California in the 
3'ear 1697. They continued in the spii-itual charge, and in a considerable 
degree of the temporal government of that province until 1767, when the 
royal decree abolishing the Jesuit order throughout New Spain was there 
enforced, and the missions taken out of their hands. They had then founded 
fifteen missions, extending from Cape St. Lucas nearly to the head of the sea of 
C(n-tez, or Californian gulf. Three of the establishments had been suppressed by 
order of the Viceroy ; the remainder were now put in charge of the Fi-an- 
ciscan monks of the college of San Fernando, in Mexico, hence sometimes 
called " Femandinos." The prefect of that college, the Rev. Father Junipero 
Serra, proceeded in person to his new charge, and arrived with a number of 
monks at Loreto, the capital of the peninsula, the following year (1768). He 
was there, soon after, joined b}' Don Jose Galvez, inspector general (visitador) 
of New Spain, who brought an order from the King, directing the founding 
of one or more settlements in Upper California. It was therefore agreed that 
Father Junipero should extend the mission establishments into Upper Cali- 
fornia, under the protection of presidios (armed posts) which the government 
would estabhsh at San Diego and Monterey. Two expeditions, both accom- 
panied by missionaries, wei'e consequently fitted out, one to proceed b}' sea- 


the other by land, to the new territory. In June, 1769, they had arrivei.l, 
and in that month founded the first mission about two leagues from the port 
of San Diego. A pi-esidlo was estabhshed at the same time near the port. 
The same year a presidio was established at Monterey, and a mission estab- 
Hshment begun. Subsequently, the Dominican friars obtained leave from the 
King to take charge of a part of the missions of California, which led to an 
arrangement between the two societies, whereby the missions of Lower Cali- 
fornia were committeil to the Dominicans, and the entire iiekl of the upper 
province remained to the Franciscans. This arrangement was sanctioneil liy 
the pohtical authority, and continues to the present time. The new estab- 
lishments flourished and rapidly augmented their numbers, occupying thst 
the space between San Diogo and Monterey, and subsequently extending to 
the northward. A report from the Viceroy to the King, dated Mexico, 
Deceml^er 27, 1793, gives the following account of the number, time of estab- 
lishment, and locahty of the missions existing in Now California at that 



San Diego de Alcala 

San Carlos de Monte ny . . . . 

San Antonio de Padua 

San Gabriel de los Temblorc: 

San Luis Obispo 

San Francisco (Dolores) .... 
San Juan Capistrano ...... 

Santa Clara 

San Buonaventura 

Santa Barbara 

Puri-ima Conception 

Santa Cruz 

La Soledad 

Lat. 32° 

" 36' 

" 36' 

" 34° 

" 31° 

" 37° 

" 33° 

" 37° 

" 34° 

" 34° 

" 3.5° 

" 36° 

« 36° 

July 16, 1769. 
June 3, 1770. 
July 14, 1771. 
September S, 1771. 
September 1, 1772. 
October 9, 1776. 
November 1, 1776. 
January 18, 1777. 
March 31, 1782. 
October 4, 1786. 
January 8, 1787. 
August 28, 1791. 
October 9, 1791. 

At first the missions nominally occupied the whole territory, except the four 
small military posts of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Fran- 
cisco ; that is, the limits of one mission were said to cover the intervening space 
to the limits of the next; and there were no other occupants except the wild 
Indians, whose reduction and conversion were the objects of the establishments. 
The Indians, as fast as they were reduced, were trained to labor in the mis- 
sions, and hved either within its walls, or in small villages near by, under the 
spu'itual and temporal du-ection of the priests, but the whole under the politi- 
cal control of the Governor of the province, who decided contested questions 
of right or policy, whether between difierent missions, between missions and 


individuals, or concerning the Indians. Soon, however, gi-anis of land began 
to be made to individuals, especially to retired soldiers, who received special 
favor in the distant colonies of Spain, and became the settlers and the founders 
of the country they had reduced and protected. Some settlers were also 
brought from the neighboring provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa, and the towns 
of San Jos^ at the head of the Bay of San Francisco, and of Los Angeles, 
eight leagues from the port of San Pecko, were early founded. The governor 
exerciseil the privilege of making concessions of large tracts, and the captains 
of the presidios were authorized to grant building lots, and small tracts for 
gardens and farms, within the distance of two leagues fi-om the presidios. By 
these means, the mission tracts began respectively to have something like 
known boundaries ; though the lands they thus occupied were still not viewed 
iu any hght as the property of the missionaries, but as the domain of the 
crown, appropriated to the use of the missions whUe the state of the country 
should require it, and at the pleasure of the political authorit3^ 

It was the custom throughout New Spain (and other parts of the Spanish 
colonies, also,) to secularize, or to subvert the mission establishments, at the 
discretion of the ruliug political functionary ; and this not as an act of arbi- 
trarj' power, but in the exercise of an acknowledged ownership and author- 
ity. The great establishments of Sonora, I have been told, were divided 
between white settlements and settlements of the Indian pupils, or neophytes, 
of the establishments. In Texas, the missions were broken up, the Indians 
were dispersed, and the lands have been granted to white settlers. In New 
Mexico, I am led to suppose the Indian pupils of the missions, or their 
descendants, still, in great part, occupy the old estabhshments ; and other 
parts are occupied by white settlers, in virtue of grants and sales.* The 
undisputed exercise of this authority over all the mission establishments, and 
whatever property was pertinent to them, is certain. 

The liabihty of the missions of Upper California, however, to be thus dealt 
with at the pleasure of the government, does not rest onlj;- on the argument 
to be drawn from this constant and uniform practice. It was inherent m 
their foundation — a condition of their establishment. A belief has prevailed, 
and it is so stated in all the works I have examined which treat historically 
of the missions of that country, that the first act which looked to their secu- 
larization, and especially the first act by which any authority was conferred 

* Since writing the above, I have learned from the Hon. Mr. Smith, Delegate from the Ter- 
ritory o£ New Mexico, that the portion of each of the former mission establishments which 
has been allotted to the Indians is one league square. They hold the land, as a general mle, in 
community, and on condition of supporting a priest and maintaining divine worship. This 
portion and these conditions are conformable to the principles of the Spanish laws concerning 
the allotments of Indian villages. Some interesting particulars of the foundation. 


and plan of the missions of New Mexico are contained in the report, or information, before 
quoted, of 1793, from the Viceroy to the King of Spain, and in extracts from it given in the 
papers accompanying this report. 


on the local government for that purpose, or over their tempoi-alities, was an 
act of the Mexican Congress of August 17, 1833. Such, however, was not 
the case. Their secularization — their subversion — was looked for in their 
foundation ; and I do not perceive that the local authoiity (certainly not the 
supreme authority) has ever been without that lawful jurisdiction over them, 
unless subsequent to the colonization regulations of November 21, 1828, 
which temporarily exempted mission lands from colonization. I quot« from 
a letter of "Instructions to the commandant of the new estabhshments of San 
Diego and Monterey," given by Viceroy Bucareli, August 17, 1773; 

"Art. 15. When it shall happen that a mission is to be formed into a 
pueblo (or village) the commandant will proceed to reduce it to the civil and 
economical government, which, according to the laws, is observed by other 
villages of this kingdom ; then giving it a name, and declaring for its patron 
the saint under whose memory and protection the mission was founded." 
(Cuando llegue el caso de que haya de formarse en el pueblo una mision, pro- 
cedera el commandante a reducirlo al gobiemo civil y economico que obser- 
van, segun las leyes, los demas de este reyno ; poniendole nombre entonees, y 
declarandole por su titular el santo bajo cuya memoria y venerable proteccion 
se fundo la mision.) 

The right, then, to remodel these establishments at pleasure, and convert 
them into towns and villages, subject to the known policy and laws which 
governed settlements of that description,* we see was a principal of their 
foundation. Articles 7 and 10 of the same letter of instructions, show 
us also that it was a part of the plan of the missions that their 
condition .should thus be changed; that they were regarded only as 
the nucleus and basis of communities to be thereafter emancipated, 
ac(iuu'e proprietary right'!, and administer their own affairs; and that it was 
the duty of the governor to choose their sites, and direct the construction and 
arrangement of their edifices, with a view to their convenient expansion into 
towns and cities. And not only was this general revolution of the establish- 
ments thus early contemplated and provided for, but meantime the governor 
had authority to reduce their possessions by grants within and without, and 
to change their condition by detail. The same series of instructions author- 
ized the governor to grant lands, either in community or individually, to the 
Indians of the missions, in and about their settlements on the mission lands, 
and also to make grants to settlements of whit<? persons. The governor was 

*A revolution more than equal to the modern secidarizaiion, since the latter only necessarily 
implies the turning over of the temporal concerns of the mission to secular administration. 
Their conversion into pueblos would take from the missions all semblance in organization to 
their originals, and include the reduction of the missionary priests from the heads of great 
establishments and administrators of large temporalities, to parish curates; a change quit& 
inconsistent with the existence in the priests or the church of any proprietary interest or right 
over the establishment. 


likewise authorized at an early day to make gi-ants to soldiers who should 
marry Indian women trained in the missions; and the first grant (and only 
one I found of record) under this authorization, was of a tract near the mis- 
sion edifice of Carmel, near Monterey. The authorization given to the cap- 
tains oi presidios to grant lands within two leagues of their posts, expressly 
restrains them within that distance, so as to leave the territory beyond — though 
all beyond was nominally attached to one or other of the missions — at the 
disposition of the superior guardians of the royal property. In brief, every fact, 
every act of government and principle of law applicable to the case, which I have 
met in this investigation, go to show that the missions of Upper California, wore 
never, from the first, reckoned other than government establishments, or the 
founding of them to work any change in the ownership of the soil, vdiich 
continued in and at the disposal of the crown, or its representatives. This 
position was also confirmed, if had it needed any confirmation, by the 
opinions of high legal and official authorities in Mexico. The missions — 
speaking collectively of priests and pupils— had the usufruct; the priests the 
administration of it; the whole resumable, or otherwise disjjosable, at the will 
of the crown or its representatives. 

The object of the missions was to aid in the settlement and pacification of 
the country, and to convert the natives to Christianity. This accomplished, 
settlements of white people established, and the Indians domiciliated in village.?, 
so as to subject them to the ordinary magistrates, and the spiritual care of 
the ordinary clergy, the tnissionary labor was considered fulfilled, and the 
estabhshment subject to be dissolved or removed. This view of their pur- 
poses and destiny fully appears in the tenor of the decree of the Spanish 
Cortes of September 13, 1813.* 

The provisions of that act. and the reason given for it, develop in fact the 
whole theory of the mission establLshments. It was passed '-inconsequence 
of a complaint by the Bishop elect of Guiana of the evils that afflicterl that 
province, on account of the Inchan settlements in charge of missions not being 
delivered to the ecclesiastical ordinary, though thirty, forty and fifty years 
had passed since the reduction and conversion of the Indians." The Cor(cs 
therefore decreed : — • 

1. That all the new reclucciones y dodrinas (that is, settlements of 
Indians newly converted, and not yet formed into parishes), of the provinces 
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 (bishops), "without resort to any excuse or pretext, conformably to 
the laws and cedulas in that respect." 

2. That as well these missions, (doctrinas) as all others which .should be 

*" Collection of Decrees of the Spanish Corte% r.-pntcd in fore* in Mexico." Mexico, 182'.. 
Page lOG. 


rrected into curacies, should be canonically provided by the said ordinaries 
(observing the laws and cedulas of the royal right of patronage), with fit min- 
isl(;rs of the secular clergy. 

3. That the missionary monks, relieved from the converted settlements, 
which should be delivered to the ordinary, should apply themselves to the 
extension of rehgion in benefit of the inhabitants of other wilderness parts, 
proceeding in the exercise of theu- missions conformably to the dnections of 
jiaragraph 10, article 335, of the Constitution.* 

4. That the missionary monks should discontinue immediately the govern- 
ment and administration of the property of the Indians, who should choose 
by means of their ayuntamientos, with intervention of the superior political 
authority, persons among themselves competent to administer it; the lands 
being distributed and reduced to private ownership, in accordance with the 
deci'ce of January 4, 1813, on reducing vacant and other lands to private 
property, "f 

Jt has also been supposed that the act above alluded to of the Mexican Con- 
gress, (Act of August 17, 1833), was the first assertion by the Mexican gov- 
ernment of property in the missions, or that they by that Act first became (or 
came to be considei'erl) national domain. But this is liliewise an error. The 
Mexican government has always asserted the right of proi^ertj"- over all the 
missions of the country, and I do not think that t!: _ supposition has ever been 
raised in Mexico, that they were the property of the missionaries or the 

The General Congress of Mexico, in a decree of August 14, 1824, concern- 

* The following is the clause referred to, namely, paragraph 10, article 335, Constitution of 
the Spanish Monarchy, 1812. 

" The provincial councils of the provinces beyond sea shall attend to the order, economy, and 
progress of the missions for the conversion of intidel Indians, and to the prevention of abuses in 
that branch of administration. The commissioners of such missions shall render their accounts 
to them, which accounts they shall in their turn forward to the government." 

This clause of itself settles the character of these establishments, as a branch of the public 

+ " Collection of decrees of the Spanish Cortes," etc., p. 56. This decree provides: 

1. That "all the vacant or royal lands, and town reservations (pcopiOi y arbitrios, lands 
reserved in and about towns and cities for the municipal revenue), both in the peninsula and 
islands adjacent, and in the provinces bsyond sea, except such commons as may be necessary for 
the villages, shall be converted into private property; provided, that in regard to town reserva- 
tions, some annual rents shall be reserved." 

2. That " in whatever mode these lands were distributed, it should be in full and exclusive 
ownership, so that their owners may enclose them, (without prejudice of paths, crossings, 
watering places, and servitudes), to enjoy them freely and exclusively, and destine them to such 
use or cultivation as they may bj best adapted to; but without the owners ever being able to 
entad them, or to transfer them, at any time or by any title, in mortmain." 

3. " In the transfer of these lands shall be preferred the inhabitants of the villages, (or settle- 
ments), in the neighborhood where they exist, and who enjoyed the same in common whilst they 
were vacant." 


ing the public revenue, declares the estates of the inquisition, as well as all 
temporalities, to be the property of the nation (that is, no doubt, in contra- 
distinction from property of the States — making no question of their being 
public property). This term would include not only the mission establish- 
ments, but all rents, profits and income, the monks received from them. A 
hke Act of July 7, 1831, again embraces the estates of the inquisition and 
temporaUties as national property, and places them with "other rural and 
suburban estates " under charge of a director-general. The executive regula- 
tions for colonizing the territories, may raise an idea of territorial and native 
property in them, but it puts out of the question any proprietary rights in 
the missionaries. 

The seventeenth article of these regulations (executive regulations for col- 
onization of the territories, adopted November 21, 1828) relates to the mis- 
sions, and dnects that " In those territories where there are missions, the lands 
which they occupy shall not at present be colonized, nor until it be determined 
if they ought to be considered as property of the settlements of the neophyte 
catechumens and Mexican settlers." 

The subsequent acts and measures of the general government of Mexico, in 
.direct reference to missions and affecting those of California, are briefly as 
follows : 

A decree of the Mexican Congress of November 20, 1833, in part analogous 
to the decree before quoted of the Spanish Cortes of September, 1813, direct- 
ing their general secularization, and containing these provisions: 

1. The government shall proceed to secularize the missions of Upper and 
Lower California. 

2. In each of said missions shall be established a parish, served by a curate 
of the secular clergy, with a dotation of two thousand to two thousand five 
hundred dollars, at the discretion of the government. 

4. The mission churches with the sacred vessels and ornaments, shall be 
devoted to the use of the parish. 

5. For each parish, the government shall direct the construction of a cem- 
etery outside of the village. 

7. Of the buildings belonging to each mission, the most fitting shall be 
selected for the dwelling of the curate, with a lot of ground not exceeding 
two hundred varas square, and the othei'S appropriated for a municipal house 
and schools. 

On December 2, 1833, a decree was published to the following effect: 
" The government is authorized to take all measures that may assure the 
colonization, and make effective the secularization of the missions of Upper 
and Lower California, being empowered to this effect, to use, in the manner 
most expedient, thefincas de obras pias (property of the piety fund) of those 
territories, to aid the transportation of the commission and families who are 
now in this capital destined thither." 


The commission and emigrants, spoken of in this circular, were a colony 
ujider the charge of Don Josh Maria Hijar, who was sent out the following- 
Spring (of 1834) as director of colonization, with instructions to the following 
effect: That he should "make beginning by occupying all the property per- 
tinent to the missions of both Cahfornias;" that in the settlements he 
formed, special care should be taken to include the indigenous (Indian) popu- 
lation, mixing them with the other inhabitants, and not permitting any settle- 
ment of Indians alone ; that topographical plans should be made of the squares 
which were to compose the villages, and in each square building lots to be 
distributed to the colonist families; that outside the villages there should be 
distributed to each family of colonists, in fidl dominion and ownei-ship, four 
caballerias* of irrigable land, or eight, if dependent on the seasons, or sixteen, 
if adapted to stock raising, and also live stock and agricultural implements; 
that this distribution made, (out of the moveable property of the mission) one- 
half the remainder of said property should be sold, and the other half reserved 
on account of government, and applied to the expenses of worship, mainte- 
nance of the missionaries, support of schools, and the purchase of agricultural 
implements for gratuitous distribution to the colonists. 

On April 16, 1834, the Mexican Congress passed an act to the following 
effect : 

1 . That all the missions m the Republic shall be secularized. 

2. That the missions shall be converted into curacies, whose limits shall be 
demarked by the governors of the States where said missions exist. 

3. This decree shall take effect within four months from the day of its 

November 7, 1835, an act of the Mexican Congress directed that " the 
curates mentioned in the second article of the law of August 17, 1833 (above 
quoted), should take possession, the government should suspend the execution 
of the other articles, and maintain things in the condition they were before 
said law." 

I have, so far, referred to these various legislative and governmental acts in 
relation to the missions, only to show, beyond equivocation or doubt, the rela- 
tion in which the government stood toward them, and the rights of owner- 
ship which it exercised over them. My attention was next directed to the 
changes that had taken, place in the condition of those establishments, under 
the various provisions for their secularization and conversion into private 

Under the act of the Spanish Cortes of September, 1813, all the missions in 
New Spain were Uable to be secularized; that is, their temporalities delivered 
to lay administration ; their character ' as missions taken away by their con- 
version into parishes under charge of the secular clergy; and the lands perti- 

*A cabalkria of land is a rectangular parallelogram of .552 varas by 1,101 vai-a.s. 


nent to tliem to be disposed of as other pnlilic domain. The que.'^tioii oi piit- 
ting this law in operation with regard to the missions in California, was at 
various times agitated in that province, and in 1830 the then governor, 
Echandrea, published a project for the purpose, but which was defeated by 
the arrival of a new governor, Victoria, almost at the instant the plan was 
made public. Victoria revoked the decree of his predecessor, and restored tlio 
missionaries to the charge of the estabhshments, and in then- authority over 
the Indians. 

Subsequent to that time, and previous to the act of secularization of Augusb 
1833. nothing further to that end appears to have been done in Califoinia. 
Under that act, the first step taken by the Central Government was the expe- 
dition of Hijar, above noticed. But the instructions delivered to him were 
not fulfilled. Hijar had been appointed Governor of California, as well an 
Du-ector of Colonization, with directions to relieve Governor Figueroa. After 
Hijar's departure from Mexico, however, a revolution in the Supreme Govein- 
ment induced Hijar's appointment as political governor to be revoked; and an 
express was sent to California to announce this change, and with directions to 
Figueroa to contmue in the discharge of the governorship. The courier 
arrived in advance of Hijar, who found himself on landing (in Septeuibe)", 
1834) deprived of the principal authority he had expected to exercise. Before 
consenting to cooperate with Hijar in the latter's instructions concerning the 
missions, Figueroa consulted the Territorial Deputation. That body protested 
against the delivery of the vast property included ia the mission estates — and 
to a settlement in which the Indian pupils had undoubtedly an equitable 
claim — into Hijar's possession, and contested that his authority in the matter 
of the missions depended on his commission as Governor, which had been 
revoked, and not on his appointment (unknown to the law) as Director of Col- 
onization. As a conclusion to the contestation which followed, the Goveruor 
and Assembly suspended Hijar from the last mentioned appointment, and 
returned him to Mexico.* 

Figueroa, however, had already adopted (in August. 1834) a project of sec- 
ularization, which he denominates a ''Provisional Regulation." It provided 
that the missions should be converted partially into pueblos, or villages, with 
a distribution of lands and moveable property as follows : To each individual 
head of a family, over twentj^-five years of age, a lot of ground, not exceeding 
four hundred nor less than one hundred varas square, in the common lands of 
the mission, with a sufficient quantity in common for pastvirage of the cattle 
of the village, and also commons and lands for municipal uses; likewise, 
among the same individuals, one-half of the live stock, grain, and agricultural 
implements of the mi,s,sion ; that the remainder of the lands, unmoveable prop- 

*Manifesto a la Repuhlica Mejicana, que hace el Gen«r«l Jose Figueroa, cominandaute geueMl 
y gefe politico de la Alta California. Monterey, 1835. 


erty, stock, and other effects, should be m charge of mayor domos, or other 
puisons appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the general 
Government; that from this common mass should be provided the mainte- 
nance of the priest, and expenses of rehgious service, and the temporal expenses 
of the mission ; that the minister should choose a place in the mission for 
his dwelling; that the emancipated Indians should unite in common labors 
for the cultivation of the vinej^ards, gardens and field lands, which should 
remain unchvided until the determination of the Supreme Government; that 
the donees, under the regulation, should not sell, burthen, or transfer their 
gi-a.nts, either of land or cattle, under any pretext; and any contracts to this 
effect should be null, the property reverting to the nation, the purchaser los- 
ing his money; that lands, the donee of which might die without leaving 
heirs, should revert to the nation ; that ranclverias (hamlets of Indians) situa- 
ted at a distance from the missions, and which exceeded twenty-five families, 
might form separate pueblos, vmder the same rules as the principal one. This 
regulation was to begin with ten of the missions (without specifying them) 
and successively to be applied to the remaming ones. 

The Deputation, in session of the 3d of November of the same year (1834), 
made provision for dividing the missions and other settlements into parishes or 
curacies, according to the law of August, 1833, authorized the missionary 
priests to exercise the functions of curates, until curates of the secular clergy 
should arrive, and provided for their salaries and expenses of worship. No 
change was made in this act, in the regulations established by Gov. Figueroa, 
for the distribution and management of the property. 

Accordingly, for most or all of the missions, administrators were appointed 
by the governor; and in some, but not all, partial distributions of the lands 
and movable property were made, according to the tenor of the regulation. 
From this time, however, all tracts of lands pertinent to the missions, but not 
directly attached to the mission buildings, were granted as any other lands 
of the territory, to the Mexican inhabitants, and to colonists, for stock farms 
and tillage. 

The act of the Mexican Congress of 1835, directing the execution of the 
decree of 1833 to be suspended until the arrival of curates, did not, as far as 
I could ascertain, induce any change in the jDolicy already adopted by the 
tenitorial autliorities. 

On January 17, 1839, Governor Alvarado issued regulations for the gov- 
ernment of the administrators of the missions. These regulations prohibited 
the administrators from contracting debts on accoant of the missions; from 
slaughtering cattle of the missions, except for consumption, and from trading 
the mission horses or mules for clothmg for the Indians; and likewise provided 
for the appointment of an inspector of the missions, to supervise the accounts 
of the administrators, and their fulfillment of their trusts. Art. ll.^ohibited 
the settlement of white pereons in the establishments, "whilst the Indians 




should remain in community." The establishments of San Carlos, San Juan 
BautLsta and Sonoma were excepted from these regulations, and to be governed 
by special rules. 

On Mai-ch 1, 1840, the same (Governor Alvarado suppressed the office of 
administrators, and replaced them by mayor chinos, with new and more 
stringent rules for the management of the estabhshments; but not making 
sny change in the rules of Governor Figueroa regarding the lands or other 

By a proclamation of March 20, 1843, Governor Micheltorena, "in pursu- 
ance (as he states) of an arrangement between the Governor and the prelate 
of the missions," directed the following-named missions to be restored to the 
priests "as tutors to the Inchans, and in the same manner as they formerly 
held them," namely, the missions of San Diego, San Luis Rey, San Juan Cap- 
istrano, San Gabriel, San Fernamlo, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, 
Santa. Ynes, La Purisima, San Antonio, Santa Clara and San Jose. The 
same act set forth that "as pohcy made u-revpcable what was already done," 
the missions .should not reclaim any lands thitherto granted, but should collect 
the cattle and movable propei'ty wluch had been lent out either by the 
priests or administrators, and settle in a friendly way with the creditors; and 
likewise regather the dispersed Indians, except such as had been legally emanci- 
pated, or were at private service. That the priests might provide out of the 
products of the missions for the necessary expenses of converting, subsisting 
and clothing the Indians, for a moderate allowance to themselves, economical 
salaries to the mayor domos, and the maintenance of divine worship, under 
the condition that the priests should bind themselves in honor and conscience 
to deliver to the pubUc treasury one-eighth part of all the annual products of 
the establishments. That the Departmental government would exert all its 
power for the protection of the missions, and the same in respect to individuals 
and to private property, securing to the owners the possession and preserva- 
tion of the lands they now hold, but promising not to make any new grants 
"without consultation with the priests, unless where the lands were notoriously 
unoccupied, or lacked cultivation, or in case of necessity. 

Micheltorena's governorship was shortly after concluded. There had been 
sent into the Department with him a considei-able body of persons called pres- 
idarios, that is, criminals condemned to service — usually, as in this case, mili- 
tary service on the frontier — and then- presence and conduct gave such offiaise 
to the inliabitants that they revolted, and expelled him and the presidarios 
from the country. He was succeeded by Don Pio Pico, in vntue of his being 
the "first vocal " of the Departmental Assejubly,* and also by choice of the 
inhabitants, afterward confirmed by the Central Government, which at the 

*AccordiQg to act of t'le Mexican Congress of May 6, 1822, to provide for supplying the placa 
of provincial eovernors, in default of an iueumbent. 


same time gave additional privileges to the Depai'tment in respect to the man- 
agement of its domestic affairs. 

The next public act which I find in relation to the missions, Is an act of the 
Departmental Assembly, published in a prolamation of Governor Pico, June 5, 
1845. This act provides: 1. "That the governor should call together the 
neophytes of the following named missions: San Rafael, Dolores, Soledad, San 
Miguel and La Purisima; and in case those missions were abandoned by their 
neophytes, that he should give them one month's notice, by proclamation, to 
return and cultivate said missions, which if they did not do, the missions 
should be declared abandoned, and the As,-:embly and governor dispose of them 
for the good of the Department. 2. That the missions of Carmel, San Juan 
Bautista, San Juan Capistrano and San Francisco Solano, should be 
considered as 'pitehl.os, or villages, which was their present condition; and that 
the property which remained to them, the governor, after separating sufficient 
for the curate's house, for churches and their pertinencies, and for a municipal 
house, should sell at public auction, the product to be applied, first to paying 
the debts of the establishments, and the remainder, if any, to the benefit of 
divine worship. 3. That the remainder of the missions to San Diego, inclu- 
sive, should lie rented, at the discretion of the governor, with the pi-oviso, that 
the neophytes should be at liberty to employ themselves at then- option on 
their own grounds, which the governor should designate for them, in the ser- 
vice of the rentee, or of any other person. 4. That the pi-incipal edifice of the 
mission of Santa Barbara should be excepted from the proposed renting, and 
in it the governor should designate the parts most suitable for the residence of 
the bishop and his attendants, and of the missionary piiests then living there ; 
moreover, that the rents arising from the remainder of the property of said 
mission should be disbursed, one-half for the benefit of the church and its min- 
istiy, the other for that of its Indians. 5. That the rents arising from the 
other missions should be divided, one-third to the maintenance of the minister, 
one third to the Indians, one-third to the government." 

On the 28th October, of the same year (1845), Governor Pico gave public 
notice for the sale to the highest bidder of five missions, to wit: San Rafael, 
Dolores, Soledad, San Miguel and La Purisima ; likewise for the sale of the 
i-emaining buildings in the pueblos (formerly missions) of San Luis Obispo, 
Carmel, San Juan Bautista, and San Juan Capistrano, after separating the 
churches and their appurtenances, and a curate's, municipal and school-hou,ses. 
The auctions were appointed to take place, those of San Luis Obispo, 
Purisima and San Juan Capistrano, the fii-st four days of December follow- 
inc (1845); those of San Rafael, IDolores, San Juan Bautista, Carmel, Soledad 
and San Miguel, the 23rd and 24th of January, 1846 ; meanwhile, the govern- 
ment would receive and take into consideration proposals /n relation to said 


In the same proclamation Pico proposed to rent to the best bidder for a 
period of nine years, and under conditions for the return of the property in 
good order and without waste, the missions of San Fernando, San Buena- 
ventura, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynes; the rentmgs to include all the lands, 
stock, agricultural tools, vineyards, gardens, offices and whatever in virtue of 
the inventories should be appurtenant to said niLssions, with " the exception 
only of those small pieces of ground which have always been occupied by 
some Indians of the mis,sions ; " likewise to include the buildings, saving the 
churches and their appurtenances, and the curate's, municipal and school 
houses, and except in the mission of Santa Barbara, where the whole of the 
principal edifice should be reserved for the bishop and the priests residing 
there. The renting of the missions of San Diego, San Luis Eey, San Gabriel, 
San Antonio, Santa Clara and San Josd, it was further announced should 
take place as soon as some arrangement was made concerning then- debts. It 
was also provided that the neophj^es should be free from then- pupilage, and 
might establish themselves on convenient parts of the missions, with liberty to 
serve the rentee, or any other person ; that the Indians who possessed pieces 
of land, in which they had made their houses and gardens, should apply to 
the government for titles, in order that their lands might be adjudicated to 
them in ownei"ship, "it being understood that they would not have power to 
sell theu' lands, but that they should descend by inheritance." 

On March 30, 1846, the Assembly passed an Act — 

1. Authorizing the governor in order to make effective the object of the 
decree of 28th May previous, to operate, as he should believe most expedient, to 
prevent the total ruin of the missions of San Gabi-iel, San Luis Key, San 
Diego and others found in like circumstances. 

2. That as the remains of said estabhshments had large debts agamst 
them, if the existing propei-ty was not sufficient to cover the same, they might 
be put into banki'uptcy. 

3. That if, from this authorization, the governor, in order to avoid the 
destruction to which the said missions were approaching, should determine to 
sell them to private persons, the sale should be by public auction. 

4. That when sold, if, after the debts were satisfied, there should be any 
remainder, it should be distributed to the Indians of the respective estabhshments. 

5. That in view of tlie expenses necessaiy in the maintenance of the priest, 
and of Divine worship, the governor might determine a portion of the whole 
property, whether of cultivable lands, houses, or of any other description, 
according to his discretion, and by consultation with the respective priests. 

G. The property thus determined should be dehvered as by sale, but sub- 
ject to a perpetual interest of four per cent, for the uses above indicated. 

7. That the present Act should not affect anything already done, or con 
tracts made in pui'suance of the decree of 28th May last, nor prevent an- ■ 
thing bein^- d'jiir confonuable to that decree. 


8. That the governor should provide against all impediments that might 
not be foreseen by the Act, and in six months at farthest, give an account to 
the Assembly of the results of its fulfilment. 

Previous to several of the last mentioned acts, that is on August 24, 1844, 
the Departmental Assembly, in anticipation of a war breaking out, passed a 
law authorizing the governor, on the happening of that contingency, either 
" to sell, hypothecate, or rent, the houses, landed property and field lands of 
the missions, comprehended in the whole extent of the country from San 
Diego to Sonoma," except that of Santa Barbara, "reserved for the residence 
of the bishop." 

These comprise all the general acts of the authorities of California which I 
was able to meet with on the subject of missions. Of the extent or manner 
in which they were carried into execution, so far as the missions proper — that 
is, the mission buikUngs and lands appurtenant — are concerned, but little 
information is afforded by what I could find in the archives. A very consid- 
erable part, however, of the grants made since the secularization of 1833, 
(comprising the bulk of all the grants in the country) are lands previously 
recognized as appurtenances of the missions, and so used as grazing farms, or 
for other purposes. In some cases the petitions for such grants were referred 
to the principal priest at the mission to which the land petitioned for was 
attached, and his opinion taken whether the grant could be made Avithout 
prejudice to the mission. In other cases, and generally this formahty was 
not observed. This remark relates to the farms and grazing grounds (ranchos) 
occupied by the missions, and some titles to Indians, pursuant to the regula- 
tion of Governor Figueroa, and the proclamation of Governor Pico, on record 
in the file of expedicntes of grants before noticed. 

What I have been able to gather from the meagre records and memoranda 
in the archives, and from pi-ivate information and examination of the actual 
state of the missions, is given below. It Ls necessary to explain, however, 
still farther than I have, that in speaking of the missions now, we cannot 
understand the great establishments which they were. Since 1833, and even 
before, farms of great (many leagues) extent, and many of them, have 
reduced the limits they enjoyed, m all cases very greatly, and in some 
instances into a narrow compass ; and while their borders have been thus cut 
off, their planting an 1 other grounds inside are dotted to a greater or less 
extent by private grants. The extent to which this has been the case can only 
be ascertained by the same process that is necessary everywhere in Cali- 
fornia, to separate public from private lands — namely, authorized surveys of 
the grants according to their calls, which though not definite, will almost 
always furnish some distinguishable natural object to guide the surveyor.* 

*I was told by Major J. E. Snyder, the gentleman appointed Territo^rial Surveyor, by Col. 
Mason, and who made surveys of a number of grants in the central part of the country, that 
hn Lad little dilTiculty in following the calls and ascsrtainiug the bounds of the 'grauts. 



The actual condition of the establishments, understanding then\ in the reduced 
sense above shown, was, at the time the Mexican government ceased in Cali- 
fornia, and according to the best information I could obtain, as follows: — 


San Diego 

San Luis Key 

San Juan Caijistraiio 

San Gabriel 

San Fernando 

San Buenaventura, . . 

Santa Barbara 

Santa Ynes 

La Purisima 

San Lui^ Oiiiispo . . . . 

San Miguel 

San Antonio 



San Juan Bautista . . . 

Santa Cruz 

Santa Clara 

San Jos3 


San Rafael 

San Francisco Solano 

Sold to Santiago Arguello, June 8, 1S46. 

Sold to Antonio Cot and Andres Pico, May 13, 1846. 

Pueblo, and remainder sold to John Foster and .lames 

McKinley, December 6, 1845. 
Sold to Julian Workman and Hugo Reid, June IS, 1846. 
Rented to Andres Pico, for nine years from December, 1845, 

and sold to Juan Cells, June, 1846. 
Sold to Joseph Arnaz. 

Rented for nine years, from June 8, 1846, to Nicholas Den. 
Rented to Joaquin Carrillo. 
Sold to John Temple, December 6, 1845. 

House and garden sold to Sobranes, January 4, 1846. 

In charge of priest. 
In charge of priest. 

Mission in charge of priest, 
in charge of priest. 

The information above given concerning the condition of the missions at 
the time of the cessation of the former Government, is partly obtained from 
documents in the archives, and partly from private sources. What is to 
be traced in the archives is on loose sheets of paper, liable to be lost, 
and parts quite likely have been lost; there may be some papers concernino- 
them which in the mass of documents, escaped my examination. I have no 
doubt, however, of the exactness of the statement above given as far as it goes. 

It will be seen, then, that the missions — the principal part of their lands 
cut off by private giants, but still, no doubt, each embracing a considerable 
tract— perhaps from one to ten leagues— have, some of them, been sold or 
granted under the former Government, and become private property; some 
converted into villages and consequently granted in the usual form in lots to 
individuals and heads of families; a part are in the hands of rentees, and 
at the disposal of the Government when these contracts expire, and the 
remainder at its present disposal. • 

If it were within my province to suggest what would be an equitable dis- 
position of such of the missions as remain the property of the Government, I 
should say tf>a,t the churches with all the church property and ornaments,' a 


portion of the principal building for the residence of the priest, with a piece 
of land equal to that designated in the original Act of the Mexican Congress 
for their secularization (to wit, two hundred varas square), with another piece 
for a cemetery, should be granted to the respective Catholic parishes for the 
uses specified, and the remainder of the buildings with portions of land 
attached, for schools and municipal or county purposes, and for the residence 
of the bishop ; the same allotment at the mission of Santa Barbara that was 
made m the last proclamation of Governor Pico. The ch arches, certainly, 
ought not to be appropriated to any other use, and less than the inhabitants 
have always considered and enjoyed as their right. 

To conclude the inquuy in the last portion of your letter of instructions, 
namely, concerning "large grants" other than the supposed ecclesiastical 

I did not find in the archives of CaUfornia any record of large grants in 
the sense I suppose the term to be here used. There are a number of grants 
to the full extent of the privilege accorded by law to individual conces- 
sions and of the authority of the local government to make independent of 
the Central Government — to wit, of eleven sitios, or leagues square. 

There are understood in the country however, to be large claims reputed to 
be founded on grants direct from the Mexican Government — one held by Cap- 
tain Sutter; another by General VaUejo. The archives (as far as I could dis- 
cover) onlj^ show that Captain Sutter received July 18, 1841, from Governor 
Alvarado, the usual grant of eleven sitios on the Sacramento river, and this 
is all I ascei'tamed. The archives likewise show that General VaUejo received 
from Governor Micheltorena, October 22, 1823, a grant of ten sitios called 
"Petaluma," in the district of Sonoma; and I was informed by a respectable 
gentleman in California, that General VaUejo had likewise a grant from the 
Mexican Government given for valuable consideration, of a large tract known 
by the same of "Suscol," and including the site of the present town of 
Benicia, founded by Messrs. VaUejo and Semple, on the Straits of Carquinez. 
It is also reputed that the same gentleman has exten-sive claims in the valley 
of Sonoma and on Suisun bay. It appears from documents which General 
VaUejo caused to be published in the newspapers of CaUfornia in 1847, that 
he was deputed in the year 183.5, by General Figueroa, to found a settlement 
m the vaUey of Sonoma, "with the object of ari-esting the progress of the 
Russian settlements of Bodega and Ross." General VaUejo was at that time 
(1835), miUtary commander of the northern frontier. He afterwards (m 
1836), by virtue of a revolution which occurred in that year in California, 
became mUitary commandant of the department — the civU and miUtary gov- 
ernment being by the same act divided — to which office he was confii-med in 
1838 by the Supreme Government. 

The following extract from Governor Figueroa's instructions to him, will 
show the extent of General 'S'aUejo's powei"s as agent for coloniging the north: 


"You are empowered to solicit families in all the teriitory and other States 
of the Mexican Republic, in order to colonize the northern frontiei-s, granting 
lands to all persons who may wish to establish themselves there, and those 
grants shall be confirmed to them by the Territorial Government, whenever 
the grantees shall apply therefor ; the title which they obtain from you serv- 
ing them in the meantime as a sufficient guarantee, as you are the only indi- 
vidual authorized by the superior authority to concede lands in the fi-ontier 
under your charge. The Supreme Government of the territoiy is convinced 
that you are the only officer to whom so great an enterprise can be entrusted ; 
and in order that it may be accomplished m a certain manner, it is willmg to 
defray the necessary expenses to that end." 

An official letter to General Vallejo from the Department of War and 
Marine, dated Mexico, August 6, 1839, expresses approbation of what had 
thitherto been done in estabhshing the colony, and the desire that the settle- 
ments should continue to increase, "until they should be so strong as to be 
respected not only by the Indian tribes, but also by the establishments of the 
foreigners who should attempt to invade that valuable region." 

I did not find any trace of these documents, or of anything concerning 
General Vallejo's appointment or operations in the government archives. But 
there is no reason to doubt the genuineness of the papers. They do not, 
however, convey any title to lands beyond authority to grant dui'ing the 
time his appointment continued to actual colonizers. The appointment of 
General Vallejo seems to have been made by direction of the Supi-eme 
(National) Go\'ernraent. I had no means of ascertainmg how long the 
appointment lasted, nor to what extent its powers were used ; but infer from 
Vallejo, himself, taking a grant of his rancho of Petaluma, in 1843, that his 
own authority in that respect had then ceased. As there are other grants 
also of con.siderable extent in the same neighborhood embraced in the gov- 
ernment archives, I appi'ehend that most, if not all of the grants made by 
him exclusive of what may be embraced in the town privileges of Sonoma, 
(and which will be noticed hereafter) were confirmed, or regranted to the par- 
ties by the departmental government. In this view, however, I may be mis- 
taken. And I desire to be distinctly understood as not intending to throw 
any doubt or discredit on the titles or claims of either of the gentlemen 1 
have mentioned. I had no opportunity of inspecting any grants they may 
possess, beyond what I have stated, and I imagine their lands can only be 
separated from the domain by the process universally requisite — the registra- 
tion of outstanding grants and their survey. 


The only points of special public importance which I learned were granted 
prior to the ce.ssation of the former government, are the site of the old fort of 


San Joaquin, near the outlet of the Bay of San Francisco, and Alcatraz (or 
Bird) Island, commanding its entrance, the Key of the Golden Gate. The 
date of the first named grant is June 25, 1846: it was made to Benito Diaz, 
and by him transferred to Mr. T. O. Larkin, of Monterey. I understand a 
portion of the land embraced in the giant is in occupation of the United 
States troops, or has property of the United States upon it, and a part in pos- 
session of Mr. Larkin. 

Alcatraz Island was granted in June, 1846, to Mr. Francis P. Temple, of 
Los Angeles. The indispensableness of this point to the Government, both for 
the purpose of fortification, and as a proper position for a light-house, induced 
Lieut-Col. Fremont, when Governor of California, to contract for the purchase 
of it on behalf of the United States. The Government, it is believed, has 
never confirmed the purchase, or paid the consideration. This island is a solid 
rock, of about half-a-mile in circumference, rising out of the sea just in front 
of the inner extremity of the throat or narrows which forms the entrance to 
the bay, and perfectly commands both front and sides. It is also in the line 
of the sailing directions for entering the bay,* and consequently a fight-house 
upon it is indispensable. 

The local government had special authority and instructions from the gen- 
eral government, under date July 12, 1838, to grant and distribute lands in 
"the desert islands adjacent to that department." 

Whether the grants "purport to he inchoate or perfect V The grants 
made in that department under the Mexican law, all, I befieve, purport to be 
perfect, except in the respect of requiring "confirmation by the departmental 
assembly." The difiiculties of determining what grants have not received this 
confirmation have been above explained. 

IV. "If there be any alleged GRAin'S of lands covering a PORTION 

There is but one grant that I could learn of which covers any portion of the 
gold mines. Previous to the occupation of the country by the Americans, the 
parts now known as The Gold Region, were infested with the wild Indians, 
and no attempts made to settle there. The grant that I refer to was made 
by Governor Micheltorena, to Don Juan B. Alvarado, in February, 1844, and 
is called the Mariposas, being situated on the Mariposas creek, and between 
the Sierra Nevadas and the river Joaquin, and comprises ten sitios, or leagues 
square, conceded, as the grant expresses, " in consideration of the pubfic ser- 

*Coccliy's Narrative o£ a voyage to the Pacific; London, 1831; appendix p. fi62. 


vices " of the grantee. It was purchased from the grantee (Alvarado) in Feb- 
ruary, 1847, by Thomas O. Larkin, Esq., for Mr. J. C. Fremont, and is now 
owned by that gentleman. 

The only " conditions or Ivmitations " contained in the grants in Cahfornia 
which could afl'ect the vaUdity of the title, are, that in the grants made by 
some of the governors, a period of time (one year) was fixed, within which the 
grantees should commence improvements on the grant. In case of failure, 
however, the grant was not thereby void, but open to denouncement by other 
persons. This limitation was not contained in such of the grants made in the 
time of Micheltorena, as I have examined, nor is it prescribed by law. No 
doubt, however, the condition was fulfilled in most instances where it was 
inserted, unless in a few cases where the lands conceded were in parts of the 
eoimtry infested by the wUd Indians, and its fulfillment consequently impossi- 
ble. In fact, as far as I understood, it was more customary to occupy the 
land in anticipation of the grant. The grants were generally for actual 
(immediate) occupation and use. 

I cannot find in the Mexican laws or regulations for colonization, or the 
granting of lands, anything that looks to a reservation of the mines of gold 
or silver, quicksilver or other metal or mineral ; and there is not any such 
thing expressed in any of the many grants that came under my inspection. 
1 inquired and examined also, while in Mexico, to this point, and could not 
learn that such reservations were the practice, either in general or in Califor- 
nia in particular. 

V. " In all large grants, or grants of important or valuable sites, 
OR of mines, whether or not thet were surveyed and occupied under 


The first part of this inquiry is already answered, in the statement that, as 
far as I am aware, there were never any surveys made in the country during 
its occupation by either of the former governments. Most of the grants, 
however, were occupied before, or shortly after they were made, and all, as 
far as I am informed, except where the hostile Indian occupation prevented. 
In respect of the grants to which I have made any reference, I did not learn 
that there had been any delay in giving publicity to them. 

Having met, sir, as far as in my power, the several inquiries set forth in 
the letter of instructions you were pleased to honor me with, my attention 
was turned, as far as they were not already answered, to the more detailed 
points of examination furnished me, with your approbation, by the Commis- 
sioner of Public Lands. The very minute information contemplated by those 
instructions, it would have been impossible, as you justly anticipated, to 
obtain in the brief tinie proposed for my absence, even had it been accessible 
in systematic tii-chives and records. My examination, moreover, was suffi- 


cient to show me that such minute and exact information on many of the 
various heads proposed, is not attainable at all; and that the only mode of 
approximaiing it must be through such measures as will produce a general 
registration of wiitten titles, and verbal pi-oof of possession where written 
titles are wanting, followed or accompanied by a general survey. By such 
means only can an approximation be made to the minute information sought 
of the character, extent, position and date, particularly of the old grants in 

The first branch of the inquiries proposed by the instructions from the 
Land Office, relate 'to " grants or claims derived from the Government of 

The chief local authority to grant lands in the province of California was, 
ex ojffieio, the military commandant, who was likewise governor of the prov- 
ince; and the principal recipients of grants, officei-s and soldiers as they 
retired from service. The grants to the soldiere were principally of lots in 
and about the presidios (military posts) or the puehlos (^^llages); to the 
officers, farms and gi^azing lands, in addition to such lots. 

There were also, at different times, settlers brought from Sonora, and other 
provinces of New Spain (single men and families), and grants made to them ; 
usually of village lots, and to the principal men, ranchos in addition. The 
first settlement at San Francisco was thas made ; that is, settlers accompanied 
the expeditions thither, and combined with the mihtary post. The pueblos of 
San Jose and Los Angeles were thus formed. The governor made grants to 
the retired officers under the general colonization laws of Spain, but, as in all 
the remote provinces, much at his own discretion. He had hkewise special 
authority to encourage the population of the country, by making grants of 
farming lots to soldiers who should marry the native bred women at the mis- 
sions. The captains of the presidios were likewise authorized to make grants 
within the distance of two leagues, measuring to the cardinal points from 
their respective posts. Hence, the presidios became in fact villages. The 
Viceroy of New Spain had also of course authority to make grants in CaK- 
fomia, and sometimes exercised it. It was pursuant to his order that presi- 
dios, missions, and pueblos, were severally established, and the places for them 
indicated by the local authority. Under all these authorities, grants were 
made; .strictness of written law required that they should have been made by 
exact measurements, with written titles, and a' record of them kept. In the 
rude and uncultivated state of the country that then existed, and lands pos- 
sessing so httle value, these formaUties were to a great extent disregarded, and 
if not then altogether disregarded, the evidence of their observance in many 
cases were lost. It is certain that the measurements even of the grants of 
village lots, were very unexact and imperfect ; and of larger tracts, such as 
were granted to the principal men, no measurement at all attempted, and even 
the quantity not always expressed, the sole description often biing by a name 

T/t^rc^^ M.^^- 


descriptive, in fact or by repute, of the place granted. The law of custom, 
with the acquiescence of the highest authorities, overcame in these respects, the 
■written law. Written permits and gi-ants were no doubt usually given, but 
if any systematic records or memoranda of them were kept, they have now 
disappeared, or I was not able to meet with them. ]n some cases, but not in 
all, the oi'iginaLs no doubt still exist in the possession of the descendants of the 
grantees ; indeed, I have been assured thei-e are many old written titles in the 
country, of which the archives do not contain any trace. But in other cases, 
no doubt, the titles rested originally only on verbal permits. It was very 
custoinar}'- in the Spanish colonies for the principal neighborhood authorities 
to give permission to occupy and cultivate lands, with the understanding that 
the party interested would afterward at a convenient occasion obtain his 
grant from the functionary above. Under these cu-cumstances the grant was 
seldom refused, but the apphcation for it was very often neglected; the title 
by permission being entu-ely good for the purposes of occupation and use. and 
never questioned by the neighbors. All these titles, whatever their original 
character, have been respected during the twenty -six or twenty-seven year's 
of Mexican and local government. And whether evidenced now or ever by 
any written title, they constitute as meritorious and just claims as property 
is held by in any part of the world. They were, in the first place, the meagre 
rewards for expatriation, and arduous and hazardous public service in a 
remote and savage country; they are now the inheritance of the descendants 
of the first settlers of the country, and who redeemed it from (almost the 
lowest stage of) barbarism. Abstractly con.sidered, there cannot be any higher 
title to the soil. 

Many of the holders of old grants have taken the precaution to have them 
renewed with a designation of boundary and quantity, under the forms of 
the Mexican law ; and of these the proper records exist in the archives. To 
what extent old titles have been thus renewed, could not be ascertained, for 
the reason that there is no record of the old titles by which to make the com- 

The principal difiiculty that must attend the separation of the old grants 
from the public lands, or rather, t« ascertain what is public domain and what 
private property, in the parts where those old grants are situate, is in the 
loose designation of their limits and extent. The only way that presents 
itself of avoiding this difficulty, and of doing justice both to the claimant 
and the government, would seem to be in receiving with respect to the old 
gi-ants, verbal testimony of occupation and of commonly reputed boundaries, 
and thereby, with due consideration of the laws and principles on which the 
grants were made, governing the surveys. 

The military commandant or governor had authority, by virtue of his office, 
to make grants. He had, also, especial authority and direction to do so, in a 
letter of instructions from the Viceroy, August 17, 1773 and entitled 


"Instructions to be observed by the commandant appointed to the new estab- 
hbhments of San Diego and Monterey." These instructions authorized (as 
already noticed) the allotment of lands to Indians, either in communitj^ or 
individually; but it is to ,be understood only of Indians who should be in 
charge of the missions, and of the parcels of land within the mission settle- 
ments. Article thirteen, gave the commandant "equal authority, hkewise, 
to distribute lands to other settlers, according to their merit and conformably 
to the compilation of laws concerning new conquests and settlements," That 
is, according to the compilation of the "Laws of the Indias," which we 
know make certain provisions of the most Uberal character for the founding 
and encouragement of new populations. 

Subsequently, without abrogating the general colonial laws, a special Reg- 
ulation was adopted, with the royal assent, for the government of the Cali- 
fornias, and making special provision for the settlement of that province, and 
the encouragement of colonizers. This regulation was drawn in Monte- 
rey, by Governor Don Felipe Neve, in 1779, and confirmed by a Royal 
cedula of October 14, 1781. Its character and objects are shown in its 
title, namely: "Rules and directions for the Presidios of the Peninsula 
of California, erection of new Missions, and encouragement of the Popula- 
tion, and extension of the establishments of Monterey." The first thirteen 
articles relate to the presidios and military. Title fourteen relates to the 
"Political Government and directions for Peopling." After providing liberal 
bonuses to new settlers in respect of money, cattle, and exemptions from 
various duties and burthens, this Regulation prescribes: That the solares 
(house lots) which shall be granted to the new settlers, shall be designated by 
the governor in the places, and with the extent that the tract chosen for the 
new settlement will allow, and in such manner that they shall form a square, 
with streets conformably to the laws of the kingdom ; and by the same rule 
shall be designated common lands for the pueblos, with pasturage and fields 
for municipal purposes (p7'opios). That each suerte (out-lot), both of irriga- 
ble and unu-rigable land, shall be two hundred varas square; and of these 
sueHes, four (two watered and two dry) shall be given with the solm', or 
house lot, in the name of the King, to each settler. 

These rules relate to the formation of villages and farming settlements, and 
are exclusive of the extensive ranches — ^farms and grazing lands — allotted to 
persons of larger claims or means; sometimes direct from the viceroy, usually 
by the local governor. 

The acts of the Spanish Cortes, in 1813, heretofore quoted, may also be 
referred to as a part of the authority under which grants might be made in 
California, during the continuance of the Spanish government, and prior to 
the colonization laws of Mexico, and afterwards, indeed, as far as not super- 
ceded by those laws. 

The second point of inquiry in the instructions furnished me from the Land 


Office, relating to grants made under the Mexican Government, is already 
met in most respects, as far as was in my power to meet it, in the eaily part 
of this report. The "authority of the granting officers, and their powers for 
alienating the national domain," were derived from appointment by the Cen- 
tral Government, and from the general colonization laws and i-egulations of 
the Eepublic. There Ls Utttle room for discrimination between such as are 
perfect titles, and such as are inceptive and inchoate." A grant by the terri- 
torial (or departmental) governors within the extent of eleven sitios constituted, 
a valid title, and with the approbation of the Departmental Assembly, a per- 
fect one. After the governor's concession, however, it could not with pro- 
priety be termed merely inceptive; for, m fact, it was complete until the 
legislature should refuse its approbation, and then it Avould be the duty of the 
governor to appeal for the claimant to the Supreme Government. 1 am not 
aware that a ca,se of this kind arose. The difficulties, already explained, of 
ascertaining to what grants the legislative approbation was accorded, and 
from what it was withheld; the UHpossibility, m fact, of ascertaining m many 
cases, coupled with the fact that that approbation was so seldom refused, and 
that the party had still an appeal in case of refusal, would seem to render 
that provision of the law of those grants nugatory as a test of their merits. 

The third inquiry, touching -'grants made about the time of the revolution- 
ary movements in California, say in the months of June and July, 1846," is 
chiefly answered m what is said concerning the actual condition of the mis- 
sions, and the giants of Fort Joaquin at the mouth, and Alcatras Island 
inside the entrance of the Bay of San Francisco. In addition to these, the 
large Island of San Clemente, I understood, was granted about that time, saj'- 
in May, 1846. I found nothing in the archives concerning it. I do not 
think there were other grants to attract particular attention, except the pro- 
posed great Macnamara grant or contract, of which the principal papers are 
on file in the State Department, and have been printed in the Congressional 

In the second branch of the last-mentioned inquiry, namely, concerning 
any "grants made subsequent to the tvar," I suppose the intent is, grants, if 
any, made after the reduction of the country by the arms of the United 
States. There are, of course, no Mexican grants by the Mexican authorities, 
which purport to have been issued subsequent to that time. The inquiry 
must relate, therefore, either to supposed simulated grants, by persons for- 
merly in authority there, or to whatever may have been clone, in respect of 
the domain, by or under the American authorities. It is believed in the 
country that there are some simulated grants in existence ; that is, some papers 
purporting to be grants which have been issued since the cessation of the 
Mexican Government, by persons who formerly, at different times, had the 
faculty of making grants in that country. It would be impossible, however, 
to make a list of them, with the particulars enumerated in the instructions; 


for, if there be any such, they would of course not be submitted for public 
inspection, or in any way seek the hght. But I beheve it would not be diffi- 
cult for a person skilled in the grants in that country, and acquainted with 
the archives, and the facts to be gathered from them, to detect any simulated 
paper that might be thus issued after the person issuing it had ceased from 
his office. The test, however, would necessarily have to be applied to each 
case as it arose. No general rule, I believe, can be laid down. 

Eecurrinf , then, to the other point which I suppose the inquiry to relate 
to. The most considerable act, affecting the domain, had subsequent to the 
accession of the American authorities in California, was a "decree" made by 
Gen. Kearney, as governor, under date March 10, 1847, as follows: — 

"I, Brigadier-General S. W. Kearny, Governor of California, by virtue of 
authority in me vested, by the President 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 Govern- 
ment 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 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." 

Pursuant to the terms of this paper, what are termed "government reser- 
vations" were made, both within and outside the hmits specified, and the 
remainder of the lots designated have been siace in great part sold b}' the 
town of San Francisco. These lots extend into the shallow water along the 
beach of San Francisco, and are very suitable and requisite for the business 
purposes of that growing city. The number of four hundred and forty -four 
of them were sold in the Summer ensuing the " decree" and in December last, 
I have learned since my return, the remainder, or a large portion of them, 
were disposed of by the coi-poration. But httle public use has been made of 
what are denominated the " government reservations." Poi-tions of them are 
reputed to be covered by old grants ; portions have been settled on and occu- 
pied by way of pre-emption, and other portions, particularly "Rincon Point," 
have been rented out, as I am informed, to individuals, by the late militaiy 

Under the above decree of General Kearny, and the consequent acts of the 
authorities of San Francisco, such multiplied, diversified and important pri- 
vate interests have arisen, that, at this late day, no good, but immense mis- 
chief would result froiA disturbing them. The city has derived a large 
amount of revenue from the sale of the lots; the lots have been re-sold, and 
transferred in every variety of way, and pa,ssed thi-ough many hands, amd on 


111,111/ of them costly an 1 parmaaent improvements have baen made ; improve- 
ments required by the business and wants of the community, and which ought 
to give the makers of them an equitable interest in the land, even without the 
faith of the Government implied by leaving the act of its agent so long 
unquestioned. An act of Congress, relinquLshmg thus in the lawful mode the 
interest of the United States in those beach and water lots, would seem to be 
only an act of justice to the city and to lot-holders, and to be necessary to 
give that validity and confidence that ought to attach to property of such 
great value and commercial importance. 

In regard to the " government reservations," so called where they may be 
in private hands, whether under a former grant, or by occupancy and 
improvement, the same equity would seem to call for at least a ■pre'emption 
right to be allowed the holders, except for such small parts as may be actually 
required for public uses. In regard to the places known as "Clark's Point," 
and "Rineon Point," which are outside of the land embraced in General Kear- 
ney's decree, and portions of which it is understood have been put in the 
hands of rentees ; perhaps the most equitable use that could be made of them 
(except, as before, the parts needed for pubhc uses), would be to rehnquish 
them to the city, to be sold as the beach and water lots have been ; with due 
regard, at the same time, to rights accruing from valuable improvements that 
may have been made upon them, but repressing a monopoly of property so 
extensive and valuable, and so necessary to the improvement, business and 
groAvth of the city. 

Other operations in lands which had not been reduced to private property 
at the time of the cessation of the former government, have taken place in 
and about different towns and vUlages, by the alcaldes and other municipal 
authorities continuing to make grants of lots and out-lots, more or less accord- 
ing to the mode of the former government. This. I understand, has been 
done, under the supposition of a right to the lands granted, existing in the 
respective towns and corporations. Transactions of this nature have been to 
a very large extent at San FrancLsco ; several hundred in-lots of fifty varas 
square, and out-lots of one hundred varas square, have been thus disposed of 
by the successive alcaldes of the place since the occupation of it by the Amer- 
ican forces, both those appointed by the naval and mihtary commanders, and 
those subsequently chosen by the inhabitants. 

It is undoubtedly conformable to the Spanish colonial laws, that when vil- 
lages were to be established, there should be Hberal allotments to the first set- 
tlei-s, with commons for general use, and municipal lands (propios) for the 
support and extension of the place — that is, to be rented, or otherwise trans- 
ferred, subject to a tax; and that the principal magistrate, in conjunction 
with the ayuntamiento, or town council, should have the disposal of those 
town liberties, under the restrictions of law, for the benefit of the place, and 
the same was the practice in California, under the Mexican government. It 


is not always so easy to determine within what limits this authority might be 
exercised; but in new communities, whether the settlement was founded by 
an empresario (contractor) or by the government, the allotments were always 
on a liberal scale, both for the individuals and the village. A very early law 
(law 6, tit. 3, lib. 4, Eecop. de Indias) fixes "four leagues of limits and land 
(de termino y territorio) in square or prolonged, according to the nature of 
the tract," for a settlement of thirty families; and I suppose thLs is as small a 
tract as has usually been set apart for village uses and Hberties, under the 
Spanish or Mexican government ia New Spain ; sometimes much more exten- 
sive privileges have no doubt been granted. The instructions of 1773 to the 
commandant of the new posts, authorizes pueblos to be formed, without spe- 
cifying their lunits, which would of course bring them under the general law 
of four leagues. 

The Roj^al Eegulation of 1781, for the Californias, directs suitable munici- 
pal allotments to be made, "conformable to the law;" and this likewise must 
refer to the law specifying four leagues square. 

The letter of instructions of 1791, authorizing the captains of presidios to 
make grants, in the neighborhood of their respective posts, specifies the same 
quantity, to wit: "the extent of four common leagues, measured fi-om the 
center of the Presidio square, two leagues in each direction, as sufficient for 
the new pueblos to be formed under the protection of the presidios." 

The Mexican laws, as far as I am aware, make no change in this rule; and 
the colonization regulations of 1828, provide (Art. 13,) that the reunion of 
many families into a town shall follow in its formation policy, etc., the rule 
established by the existing laws for the other towns of the Repubfic." 

From all these, and other acts which might be quoted, it would seem- that 
where no special grant has been made, or Hmits assigned to a village, the com- 
mon extent of four leagues would apply to it; it being understood, however, 
as the same law expresses, that the allotment should not interfere with the 
rights of other parties. The Presidio settlements, under the order of 1791, 
were certainly entitled to then four leagues ; the right of making grants within 
the same only transferred from the presidio captains to the municipal author- 
ities who succeeded him, as is conformable to Spanish and Mexican law and cus- 
tom. This was the case under the Spanish government ; and I am not aware that 
the principle has been changed, though no doubt grants have been made to indi- 
viduals which infringed on such village limits. 'The Territorial Deputation 
of California, however, by an act of August 6, 1834, directed that the ayunta- 
mitntos of the pueblos should "make application for common and municipal 
lands {ejidos y propios) to be assigned them." Wherever it shall appear that 
this was done, the town, I suppose, could only now claim what was then set 
apart for it. Where it was omitted or neglected, custom, reputed limits, and 
the old law, would seem to be a safe rule. 

As to the point now under consideration, that of San Francisco, I find 


that in the acts of the Departmental authorities the settlements in and about 
the presidio were styled "the 'pueblo of San Francisco," and the particular 
place where the village principally was and the city now is, "the point of 
Yerha Buena." The local authorities, as its alcalde, or justice of the peace, 
were termed those of the pueblo of San Francisco. Its privileges were not, 
therefore, at any time limited to the point of Yerba Buena. Originally, 
probably, it had boundaries in common vtdth the mission of Dolores, which 
would restrict it in its four leagues; but after the conversion of the mission 
into a pueblo, the jurisdiction of the authorities of San Francisco was 
extended, and special license given to its principal magistrate to grant lots at 
the mission. San Francisco is situated on a tongue or neck of land lying 
between the bay and the sea, increasing in breadth in a southerly direction. 
A measurement of four leagues south from the presidios would give the city, 
in the present advanced value of property, a magnificent coi-porate domain, but 
not so much as was fairly assignable to the precincts of the presidio under the 
order of 1791, nor so much as all new pueblos are entitled to under the gen- 
eral laws of the Indias. There are private rights, however, existing within 
those limits, apart from any grants of the village authorities, which ought to 
be respected; some through grants from the former government; some by loca- 
tion and improvement, a claim both under our own law and custom and under 
the Spanish law, entitled to respect. To avoid the confusion — the destructifui 
— that would grow out of the disturbing of the multiphed and vast interests 
that have arisen under the acts of the American authorities at San Francisco ; 
to give the city what she would certainly have been entitled to by the tei-ms 
of the old law, what she will need for the pubhc improvements and adorn- 
ments that her future population will require, and what is well due to the 
enterprise which has founded in so brief a space a great metropolis in that 
remote region, perhaps no better or juster measure could be suggested, than a 
confirmation of past acts, a release of government claims to the extent of 
four leagues, measuring south from the presidio, and including all between sea 
and bay, with suitable provision for protecting private rights, whether under 
old grants or by recent improvements, and reser^nng such sites as the govern- 
ment uses may require. 

By the authorities of the village of San Jose, there have been still larger 
operations in the lands belonging or supposed to belong to the liberties of that 
town. The outlands there, as I learned, have been distributed m tracts of 
three to five hundred acres. 

The pueblo of San Jos(^ was founded November 7, 1777, by order of Felipe 
de Neve, then military commandant and governor. The first settlers were 
nine soldiers and five laboring men or farmers, who went thither with cattle, 
tools, etc., from San Francisco where had been established the year before, by 
order of the Viceroy, the presidio and the mission of Dolores. These persons 
took possession, and made their settle^^ent "'in the name of his Majesty, mak- 


ina out the square for the erection of the houses, distributing the solares 
(house lots) and measuring to each settler a piece of ground for the sowing of 
a fanega of maize (two hunndred varas by four hundred,) and for beans and 
other vegetables.* Subsequently, the Regulation of 1781, allowing to the 
new settlers each four lots of two hundred varas square, beside their house 
lots, was no doubt apphed to this village. It was designed for an agricultu- 
ral settlement, and, together with the pueblo of the south (Los Angeles) 
received constantly the favor and encouragement of the government, with the 
view of having sufficient agricultural produce raised for the supply of the mil- 
itary posts. Both villages are situated in fertile plains, selected for their sites 
with that object. In a report, or information, made by the Governor, Don 
Pedro Fao-es, in February, 1791, to his successor, Governor Romeu, the 
encouragement of the two pueblos is the first topic referred to: — • 

1. "Being (says Governor Fages) one of the objects of greatest considera- 
tion, the encouragement of the two pueblos of civilized people, which have 
been estabEshed, the superior government has determined to encourage them 
with all possible aids, domiciliating ui them soldiei's who retire from the pre- 
sidios, and by this means enlarging the settlement. 

"2. By the superior order of April 27, 1784, it is ordered that the grains 
and other produce, which the presidios receive from the inhabitants of 
the two pueblos, shall be paid for in money, or such goods and effects as the 
inhabitants have need of. 

'■3. The distribution of lots of land, and house lots, made with all possible 
requisite formahties, with designation of town Uberties, and other lands for 
the common advantage, as hkewise titles of ownership given to the inhabit- 
ants, were approved by the Senor Commandante General, the 6th February 
of the present year of 1784." 

Thei-e are also records of families being brought at the government expense, 
from the province of Sonora, specially to people the two pueblos. Both these 
villao'es — being thus objects of government favor and encouragement — claim 
to have been founded with more extensive privileges than the ordinary vil- 
lao-e limits; and I have no doubt, from the information I received, that such 
was the case. 

The village of San Jose had a dispute of boundary as early as the j^ear 
1800, with the adjoining mission of Santa Clara, and which was referred the 
following year to the government at Mexico. The fact is noted in the index 
to California papei-s in the Mexican archives, but I did not find the corre- 
sponding record. There is likewise in the book of records marked " 1828," in 
the archives at Monterey, an outline of the boundai-ies claimed by the pueblo 
at that time. But at a later period (in 1834, I beheve), there was a legisla- 
tive action upon the subject, in which, as I understand, the boundaries were 
fully agreed upon. Some documents relating to this settlement are in the 

" Noticiaa dc Nueva California, by tlie Rev. Father Palou; MSS., Archives of Mexico. 


archives at San Jose, and also in the territorial archives. My time did not 
permit me to make a full investigation of the question of those boundaries, 
nor did I think it necessary, because, at all events, they can only be definitely 
settled by a survey, the same as private estates. My instructions, however, 
call for a discrimination between acts done "with legal formalities," and such 
as are "without legal sanction." It is therefore proper for me to say, that I 
do not know of any law which would authorize the distribution of town 
property in California in lots measured by hundreds of acres; such distribu- 
tion, in fact, would seem rather to defeat the ends, for which town grants are 
authorized by the Spanish law. Perhaps an act to authorize the limits of the 
town to be ascertained by sui-vey, and to leave the question of the vahdity of 
those recent large grants within the limits of the same, to be determined 
between the holders, and the town in its corporate capacity, would be as just 
and expedient as any other mode. 

In and about the town of Monterey, hkewise, there were large concessions, as 
I understood, and some including the sites of forts and public places, made by 
the magistrate appointed there after the accession of the American authority. 
The limits of this town, also, I think, depend on an act of the territorial legis- 
lature, and may be ascertained by an authorized survey. 

The city of Los Angeles is one of the oldest establishments of California, 
and its prospei-ity was in the same manner as that of San Jose, an object of 
Government interest and encouragement. An Act of the Mexican Congress 
of May 23, 1835, erected it into a city, and established it as the capital of 
the territory. The limits which, I understood, are claimed as its town privi- 
leges, are quite large, but probably no more than it has enjoyed for sixty 
years, or ever since its foundation. The grants made by this corporation 
since the cessation of the former GoA^ernment, have been, as far as I learned, 
quite in conformity with the Spanish law, in tracts such as were always 
granted for house lots in the village, and vineyards and gardens without, and 
in no greater number than the increase of population and the municipal 
wants required. 

The only provision that seems to be wanting for the pueblo of Los Angelas, 
is for the survey and definition of its extent, according to its ancient recog- 
nized limits. The same remark, as far as I have learned, will apply to the 
remaining towns of the country established under either of the former Gov- 

The remarks made in a previous part of this report in relation to the mis' 
sions, cover to a good degree the substance of that branch of the inquu-ies 
proposed by the Commissioner of the Land Bureau. I have already stated 
that originally the "mission lands" may be said to have been coextensive 
with the province, since, nominally, at least, they occupied the whole extent, 
except the small localities of the presidios, and the part inhabited by the wild 


Indians, whom and whose territory it was their privilege to enter and reduce. 
Among the papers accompanying this report, is included a transcript of their 
recorded boundaries, as stated in a record book heretofore noticed. It will be 
seen from the fact first mentioned of their original occupation of the whole 
province, and from the vast territories accorded to their occupation, as late as 
the year 1828, how inconsistent with any considerable peopling of the 
country would have been any notion of proprietorsJdp m. the missionaries. 

I am also instructed to "make an inquiry into the nature of the Indian 
Rights [in the soil], under the Spanish and Mexican governments." 

It is a principle constantly laid down in the Spanish colonial laws, that the 
Indians shall have a right to as much land as they need for then habitations, 
for tillage, and for pasturage. Where they were already partially settled in 
communities, sufficient of the land which they occupied was secured them for 
those purposes.* If they were wild and scattered in the mountains and wil- 
dernesses, the pohcy of the law, and of the iustructions impressed on the author- 
ities of the distant provinces, was to reduce them, establish them in villages, 
convert them to Christianity, and instruct them in useful employmenis.f 
The province of California was not excepted from the operation of this rule. 
It was for this purpose especially, that the missions were founded and encour- 
aged. The instructions heretofore, quoted, given to the commandant of Upper 
California in August, 1773, enjoin on that functionary, that " the reduction 
of the Indians in proportion as the spiritual conquests advance, shall be one of 
his principal cares; " that the reduction made, " and as rapidly as it proceeds 
it is important for their preservation and augmentation, to congregate them 
in mission settlements, in order that they may be civilized and led to a rational 
life;" which (adds the instructions) "is impossible, if they be left to Uve dis- 
persed in the mountains." 

The early laws were so tender of these rights of the Indians, that they for- 
bade the allotment of lands to the Spaniards, and especially the rearing of 
stock, where it might interfere with the tillage of the Indians. Special 
directions were also given for the selection of lands for the Indian villages, in 
places suitable for agriculture and having the necessary wood and water.| 
The lands set apart to them were likewise inalienable, except by the advice 
and consent of ofiicei-s of the government, whose duty it was to protect the 
natives as minors or pupils. § 

Agreeably to the theory and spirit of these laws, the Indians in Cahfomia 
were always supposed to have a certain property or interest in the mLssions. 
The instructions of 1773 authorized, as we have already seen, the command- 

* Eecopilacion de Indias: laws 7 to 20, tit. 12, book 4. 
+ It., laws 1 and 9, tit. 3, book 6. 

t Law 7, tit. 12 Recop. Indias; ib,, laws S and 20 tit. 3, book 6. 

§Ib., law 27, tit. 6, book 1. Pena y Peua, 1 Practica Forense Mejicana, 248, etc. Alaman, 1 
Hifltoria de Mejico, 23-25. 

IT, /^"^Uc.^^^^ 


ant of the province to make grants to the mission Indians of lands of the 
missions, either in community or individually. But apart fiom any direct 
grant, they have been always reckoned to have a right of settlement; and we 
shall find that all the plans that have been adopted for the secularization of 
the missions, have contemplated, recognized, and provided for this right. That 
the plan of Hijar did not recognize or provide for the settlements of Indians, 
was one of the main objections to it, urged by Governor Figueroa and the 
territorial deputation. That plan was entirely discomfited ; all the successive 
ones that were carried into partial execution, placed the Indian right of 
settlement amongst the first objects to be provided for. We may say, there- 
fore, that, however mal-administration of the law may have destroyed its 
intent, the law itself has constantly asserted the rights of the Indians to hab- 
itations and suflicient fields for their support. The law always intended the 
Indians of the missions — all of them who remained there — to have homes 
upon the mission grounds. The same, I think, may be said of the large 
ranchos — most, or all of which, were formerly mission ranehos — and of the 
Indian settlements or rancherias upon them. 1 understand the law to be, 
that wherever Indian settlements are established, and they till the ground, 
they have a right of occupancy in the land. This right of occupancy, how- 
ever — at least when on private estates — is not transferable ; but whenever the 
Indians abandon it, the title of the owner becomes perfect. Where there is 
no private ownership over the settlement, as where the land it occupies have 
been assigned it b}^ a functionary of the country thereto authorized, there is 
a process, as before shown, by which the natives may ahen their title. I 
believe these remarks cover the principles of the Spanish law in regard to 
Indian settlements, as far as they have been applied in California, and are 
conformable to the customary law that has prevailed there.* 

The continued observance of this law, and the exercise of the public- 
authority to pi-otect the Inchans in their rights under it, cannot, I think, pro- 
duce any great inconvenience ; while a proper regard for long recognized 
rights, and a proper sympathy for an unfortunate and unhappy race, would 
seem to forbid that it should be abrogated, unless for a better. The number 
of subjugated Indians is now too small, and the lands they occupy too insio-- 
nificant in amount, for their protection, to the extent of the law, to cause any 
considerable molestation. Besides there are causes at work by which even 
the present small number is rapidly diminishing; so that any question con- 
cerning them can be but temporary. In 1834, there were employed in the 
mission establishments alone the number of thirty thousand six hundred and 

* Of course, what is here said of the nature of Indian rights, does not refer to titles to lots 
and farming tracts, which have been granted in ownership to individual Indians by the govern- 
ment. These, I suppose to be entitled to the same protection as other private property. 

t This is not an estimate, it is an exact statement. The records of the missions were kept 



In 1842, only aboat eight years after the restraining and compelluig hand 
of the missionaries had been taken off, their number on the missions had 
dwindled to four thousand four hundred and fifty, and the process of reduc- 
tion has been going on as rapidly since. 

In the wUd and wandering tribes, the Spanish law does not recognize any 
title whatever to the soil. 

It is a common opinion that nearly all of what may be called the coast 
country — that is, the country west of the Sacramento and San Joaquin val- 
leys — which hes south of, and including the Sonoma district, has been ceded, 
and is covered with private grants. If this were the case, it would still leave 
the extensive valleys of these large rivers and their lateral tributaries, almost 
intact, and a large extent of territory — ^from three to four degrees of latitude — 
at the north, attached to the pubhc domain within the State of California, 
beside the gold region of unknown extent, along the foot-hills of the Sierra 
Nevada. But while it may be nominally the case, that the greater part of 
the coast country referred to is covered with grants, my observation and 
information convince me that when the country shall be surveyed, after leav- 
ing to every grantee aU that his grant calls for, there will be extensive and 
valuable tracts remaining. This is explained by the fact that the grants were 
not made by measurement, but by a loose designation of boundaries, often 
including a considerably gi-eater extent of land than the quantity expressed 
in the title; but the grant usually provides that the overplus shall i-emain to 
the government. Although, therefore, the surveys, cutting off all above the 
quantity expressed iu the grant, would often interfere with nominal occupa- 
tion. I think justice would generally be done by that mode to all the inter- 
ests concerned — the holders of the grants, the Government, and the wants of 
the population crowding thither. To avoid the possibility of an injustice, 
however, and to provide for cases where long occupation or peculiar circum- 
stances may have given pai-ties a title to the extent of their nominal bounda- 
ries, and above the quantity expressed in their gi-ants, it would be proper to 
authorize any one Avho should feel himself aggrieved by this operation of the 
survey, to bring a suit for the remaindee. 

The grants in Cahfornia, I am bound to say, are mostly perfect titles; that 
is, the holders possess their property by titles that, under the law which cre- 
ated them, were equivalent to patents fi-om our Government; and those which 
are not perfect — that is, which lack some formality, or some evidence of com- 
pleteneas — have the same equity, as those which are perfect, and were and 
would have been equally respected under the government which has passed 
away. Of course, I allude to grants made in good faith, and not to simulated 

with system and exactness; every birth, marriage, and death was recorded, and the name of 
every pupil or neophyte, which is the name by which the mission Indians were known; and 
from this record, an annual return was made to the government of the precise number of 
Indians connected with the establishment. 


grants, if there be any such, issued since the persons who made them ceased 
from their functions in that respect. 

I think the state of land titles in that countrj' will allow the public lands 
to be ascertained, and the private lands set apart by judicious measures, with 
httle difficulty. Any measure calculated to discredit, or cause to be distrusted 
the general character of the titles there, besides the alarm and anxiety which 
it would create among the ancient population, and among all present holders 
of property, would, I believe, also retard the substantial improvement of the 
country: a title discredited is not destroyed, but every one is afraid to touch 
it, or at all events to invest labor and money in improvements that rest on a 
suspected tenure. The holder is afraid to improve ; others are afraid to pur- 
chase, or if they do purchase at its discredited value, willing only to make 
inconsiderable investments upon it. The titles not called in question (as they 
certainly for any reason that I could discover do not deserve to be), the 
pressure of population and the force of circumstances will soon oper- 
ate to break up the existing large tracts into farms of such extent as the 
nature of the country will allow of, and the wants of the community require; 
and this under circumstances and with such assurance of tenure, as will war- 
rant those substantial improvements that the thiift and prosperity of the 
country in other respects invite. 

I think the rights of the Government will be fuUj^ secured, and the inter- 
ests and permanent prosperity of all classes in that country best consulted, by 
no other general measure in relation to private property than an authorized 
survey according to the grants, where the grants are modem, or since the 
accession of the Mexican government, reserving the overplus; or, according 
to ancient possession, where it dates from the time of the Spanish govern- 
ment, and the written evidence of the grant is lost, or does not afford data 
for the survey. But providing that in any case where, from the opinion of 
the proper law officer or agent of the Government in the State, or from 
information in any way received, there may be reason to suppose a gi-ant 
invahd, the Government (or proper officer of it) may direct a suit to be insti- 
tuted for its annulment." 

The Yokato Grant. — On the 11th of September, 1852, Cayetano 
Juarez filed his petition as claimant to the Yokayo grant, containing eight 
square leagues of land. The gi-ant was made to the petitioner May 24, 

1845, by Pio Pico, and approved by the Departmental Assembly June 3, 

1846. The Boai-d of Land Commissioners rejected the claim l^ovember 7, 
1854, and this decision was appealed to the District Court of the United States 
for the Northern District of California, and reversed by it April 17, 1863. It 
was then appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, and at its 
December term, 1864, the decision of the lower court was sustained. The 
grant is about eighteen miles long and one mile wide, and contains thirty- 
five thousand five hundred and forty-one and thirty-three one-hundredths 


Under date of November 28, 18G2, the Herald had the following concern- 
ing the confinnation of this grant: " The Yokayo grant was confirmed by 
a decision of the United States District Court on the Ibth. The news of 
this confirmation has caused some httle excitement here. Some of the set- 
tlers, we understand, express a preference for leaving their claims rather 
than pay the price at which it will be held by the owners. We are not ad- 
vised as to the rate at which it will be offered, but we are assured it 
will be reasonable. In a majority of eases, we have no doubt, this turn of 
affairs will be worse for the settlers than it would have been had it become 
Government land ; but it is not so universally. A serious difficulty would 
have sprung up immediately on the rejection of the grant and its survey by 
the Government. Many of the claims in the valley are not full one-fourth 
of a section ; perhaps they will not average more than one hundred and 
twenty acres to the claim. Thus, about every fifth claim would be entirely 
crowded out, while many of those now holding claims of good land would 
be so far shifted from their present location as to throw all their valuable 
improvements, such as orchards, barns, fences, and even their residences, on 
another's land. But those who now have good paying claims and wish to 
hold to them, can do .so, pi'ovided the grant owners will sell at such rates as to 
justif J' the settlers in purchasing." 

A few weeks later, December 19, 1862, the Herald says: "We are in- 
formed that the owners of the grant will sell the land so as to average two 
dollars and fifty cents per acre for the entire grant." 

In May, 1866, William Doolan was sent to Ukiah as the agent of the 
men who owned the grant, and a survey was made of the- different claims 
and prices agreed upon, and a general settlement made, much to the satis- 
faction of the settlers. None of them were compelled to leave their claims 
except from the fact that they were unable to meet the first payment. 
Judges John Curry, S. C. Hastings and General Carpentier were at this time 
the owners of the grant. The title to it is now very good, being, as far as 
is known, entirely free from a cloud of any character. The last shadow was 
removed in March, 1867, when General M. G. Vallejo and Mortimer Ryan 
released all their claim and title to it, which they held by virtue of a mort- 

The Sanel Grant. — Fernando Feliz, as claimant, filed his petition for 
the Sanel grant with the Land Commissioners, August 14, 1852. The grant 
was made November 9, 1844, by Manuel Micheltorena. The claim was 
rejected October 18, 1853, by the Commissioners. An appeal was taken to 
the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by 
the claimant, where the decision of the Commissioners was reversed June 14, 
1856. The grant contained four leagues, provided that amount of land 
could be found within the boundaries as laid down in the expediente and 


disseiio, and if not, whatever amount was in the limits so defined was thus 

The Grante del Norte, or Garcia Grant. — This grant was said to 
have been given to Kafael Garcia by M. Micheltorena in 1844, and con- 
tained nine leagues, extending from the Gualala river to the Mai Paso, 
and one league back. The grant was given on the ground of dues for mil- 
itary service, which entitled Garcia to eleven leagues of land, two of which 
he held in Marin county, and the other nine located here ; hence the title, 
■" Grante del Norte," the North Grant. Garcia sold his title to Jose Leandi-o 
Luco for the sum of $10,000. In 1852 the claim was submitted to the Land 
Commissioners, and by them rejected. The matter was then appealed to the 
United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and in 
1857 or 1858 the claim was confirmed by that court. The matter was again 
appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the decision of 
the lower court was reversed in 1861. The grant contained about forty 
thousand acres. Its title was faulty, in that the grant made by Michelto- 
rena had never been confirmed by the Departmental Assembly at the city 
of Mexico. Those were matters, however, that there was as much uncer- 
tainty about as where lightning would strike in a western thundei'-storm, 
and what would condemn one claim seemed to be the strength of another. 

The Albion Grant. — This grant contained eleven leagues, and was made 
to Captain Guilermo Richardson in 1844 by Micheltorena. It was never 
confirmed. It extended from Big river south to the Garcia river, and it will 
thus be seen that quite a strip of land lying between the Mai Paso and the 
Garcia river was covered by both claim.s. As neither of them were ever 
confirmed, no trouble ever grew out of that fact. 



The history of any county of California follows so sequentially, and is so 
closely allied with the history of the Pacific coast in general, and this State 
in particular, that to commence the chronicling of events from the beginning 
naturally and properly takes us back to the first discoveries in this portion 
of the globe, made by the bold old voyageurs who left the known world and 
the charted seas behind them and sailed out into an unknown, untraversed, 
unmaped and trackless main, whose mysteries were as great to them as 
those of that "undiscovered bourne from whence no traveler hath yet 
returned." Of all of those old Argonauts, it is not now known that any of 
them ever touched upon the soil of Mendocino county, nor is it at all proba- 
ble that they did, as there aie no harbors along her coast which would 
afford them any decent and safe anchorage, where they would be free from 
the many storms that vex the waters of the Pacific, her placid name to the 
contrary notwithstanding. That several of them sailed close along its bor- 
ders there can be no doubt, and this is especially true of Sir Francis Drake. 
What a curious spectacle, and beautiful witha>, must the coast of Mendocino 
have presented at that time. There were teeming thousands of aboriginals 
within its limits at that time, all of whom, of course, had never seen a ship, 
and when the news spread inland that such a wonder was visible on the 
western horizon, how they must have flocked down to the sea-shore to get a 
glimpse of the white-winged convoy from the land of "The Here- 
after," bearing emissaries from the Great Spirit, " Gitehie Manito." And 
thSj great redwood forests were probably in their infanc}', almost, yet. 
Three hundred years would make a marked difference in the size of even a 
redwood, and it is possible that the hills and mountains of this section were 
comparatively bare at that time. And that same pei'iod of time would 
make a great difference in the configuration of the outline of the coast also. 
The soft sandstone of which the immediate shore of the ocean is formed is 
very susceptible to the action of the waves, and it is possible that thousands 
upon thousands of acres have been washed away since then. It all seems 
more like a dream than a reality, that these bold men did sail so far away 
and make such long voyages into the unknown seas. The principal one of 
these, as far as the Pacific coast is concerned, was Sir Francis Drake, than 
whom no bolder navigator ever sailed the high seas. 

We will now briefly sketch for the information of the reader how it was 


that that famous navigator came to these parts. Captain Francis Drake 
sailed from Plymouth, England, on the thirteenth day of December, A. D. 
1577, for the South Sea Islands, having under his command five vessels, in 
size between fifteen and one hundred tons; in the largest, the Pelican 
afterwards named the Golden Hind he sailed himself, while the men in 
the whole fleet mustered only one hundred and sixty-six in number. On 
December 25, 1577, he sighted the coast of Barbary, and on the 29th the 
Cape Verde Islands, thence sailing across the almost untraveled bosom of 
the broad Atlantic, he made the coast of Brazil on the 5th of April, and 
entering the Rio de la Plata, parted company with two of his vessels, which, 
however, he afterwards met, and taking from them their provisions and men 
turned them adrift. On the 29th of May he entered the port of St. Julian, 
where he lay for two months taking in stores; on the 20th of August he 
entered the Straits of Magellan; on the 25th of September he passed out of 
them, having with him only his own ship, and thus handed his name to pos- 
terity as the first Englishman to voyage through that bleak and tempestu- 
ous arm of the sea. On the 25th of November he arrived at Macao, now a 
Portuguese settlement on the southern coast of China, which he had 
appointed as a place of rendezvous in the event of his ships being separated ; 
but Captain Wintei-, his vice-admiral, had repassed the straits and returned 
to England. Drake thence continued his voyage along the coast of Chili 
and Peru, taking all opportunities of seizing Spanish ships, and attacking 
them off shore, till his men were satiated with plunder. Here he con- 
templated a return to England, but fearing the storm-lashed shores of 
Magellan, and the possible presence of a Spanish fleet, he determined to 
search for a northern connection between the two vast oceans, similar to 
that which he knew to exist in the southern extremity of the continent. 
He, therefore, sailed along the coast upwards in quest of such a route. 
When he started the season was yet young, still the historian of the voyage 
says that on June 3, 1579, in latitude forty -two, now the southern line of 
the State of Oregon, the crew complained bitterly of the cold, while the 
rigging of the ship was rigidly frozen, and again, in latitude forty-four 
" their hands were benumbed, and the meat was frozen when it was taken 
from the fire." With these adversities to contend against, it is no wonder 
then that he resolved to enter the first advantageous anchorage he shoukl 
find. On June 5th they sailed in shore, and brought-to in a harbor, which 
proving unadvantageous through dense fogs and dangerous rocks, he once 
more put to sea, steering southward for some indentation in the coast line, 
where he should be safe. This they found on June 17, 1579, within thirty- 
eight degrees of the equator. 

There seems to have been a very diSerent state of weather existing in 
those days from that prevalent in the same latitudes at the present time, 
and many attempts have been made to harmonize those statements with 


what it is reasonable to suppose was the truth. First of all the statements 
of this chronicler, although a Reverend gentleman, must be taken cum 
grano salis. He was sure that no one could dispute his statements, and he 
was doubtless loth to give this " New Albion " the credit of having a climate 
that would more than vie with " Old Albion." Again it will be remembered 
that the north-west trade-winds which prevail along the coast are fully as 
searching and cold as the winter winds, and tliat to a crew of men just from 
under a tropical sun, it would prove doubly piercing, and they doubtless 
thought these results of cold should occur even if they did not. Again there 
was a legend among the old Indians along this coast that there was once a 
year when snow fell in mid-summer. Now such a climatic somersault may 
have possibly occurred, and the coadition of the weather been just as 

But be that as it may, the truth that Drake did effect a landing in a 
" fair and good " bay stands out boldly and unimpeachably, and to locate 
the place is the subject now in hand. Authorities differ widely in regard to 
the matter, and thorough research fails to establish satisfactorily to all the 
exact situation of that body of water which should be called Drake's bay. 
From time immemorial it was thought that the present Bay of San Fran- 
cisco must have been the place, and all men of thirty years of age and older 
will remember the statement in the old school history to the effect that the 
first white men to sail into the Bay of San Francisco were Sir Francis 
Drake and his crew. Franklin Tuthill, in his " History of California," 
maintains that ground and says: "Its (San Francisco bay) latitude is 
thirty-seven degrees, fifty-nine minutes, to which that given by Drake's 
chronicler is quite as near as those early navigators with their comparatively 
rude instruments were likely to get. The cliffs about San Francisco ai-e 
not remarkably white, even if one notable projection inside the gate is named 
' Lime Point;' but there are many white mountains both north and south of 
it, along the coast, and Drake named the whole land — not his landing place 
alone — New Albion. They did not go into ecstasies about the harboi- — 
they were not hunting harbors, but fortunes in compact form . Harbors, so 
precious to the Spaniards, who had a commerce in the Pacific to be pro- 
tected, were of small account to the roving Englishman. But the best pos- 
sible testimony he could bear as to the harbor's excellence were the thirty- 
six days he spent in it. The probabilities are, then, that it was in San 
Francisco bay that Drake made himself at home. As Columbus, failing to 
give his name to the continent he discovered, was in some measure set right 
by the bestowal of his name upon the continent's choicest part, when poetry 
dealt with the subject, so to Drake, cheated of the honor of naming the 
finest harbor on the coast, is still left a feeble memorial, in the name of a 
closely adjoining dent in the coast line. To the English, then, it may be 
behoved belongs the credit of finding San Francisco bay." 


The question which has occupied historians for many years, and which 
has been asserted by them with didactic force, is that the inlet then visited 
by Drake is the Bay of San Francisco. This statement of the earlier his- 
toriographer was first refuted by the Baron Von Humboldt, who maintained 
that the harbor then visited by Drake was called by the Spaniards, "Puerto 
de Bodega," yet how it could have borne this name then is hard to realize, 
seeing that it was not until nearly two centuries thereafter (in 1775) that 
the port was visited by Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, 
who named the place after himself 

But why go searching up and down the coast trying to locate the place 
either in latitude thirty-seven degrees, fifty-nine minutes, or in thirty-eight 
degrees, ten minutes, when there is a bay which answers all the requirements 
of the description given of it, located " within thirty-eight degrees towards 
the line?" In the bay which lies in the curve in the coast under the lee 
of Point Reyes, and which is marked on the modern maps as Drake's bay, 
is to be found that place. The latitude given by the United States Govern- 
ment for the light-house located on the extreme south-western pitch of Point 
Reyes is 37°, 59', 36", which corresponds with the figures taken from the 
log-book of the Golden Hind to within sixteen seconds, which is quite 
close enough for a calculation made by " those early navigators with their 
compaiatively rude instruments." But is it not reasonable to suppose that 
a man who had followed the sea the major portion of his life-time, and was 
at present sailing where no man had ever been before, and wdio, at that 
time had his head full of a project to circumnavigate the world, would be 
able to take an observation and come within a small fraction of seconds of 
his exact latitude? It would seem to be presuming very much upon his 
ignorance to think otherwise. 

Having established the fact that there is a bay in the very identical lati- 
tude named in Drake's chart as the place where he landed, let us look still 
further into the matter and see what facts can be adduced to farther sub- 
stantiate the assertion that this bay fills all the requirements of the one 
described by Rev. Mr. Fletcher. First of all comes an old Indian legend, 
which came down through tlie Nicasios to the effect that Drake did land 
at this place. Although they have been an interior tribe ever since the 
occupation by the Spaniards, and doubtless were at that time, it still stands 
to reason that they would know all aboiit the matter. If the ship remained 
in the bay for thirty-six days, it is reasonable to suppose that a knowledge 
of its presence reached every tribe of Indians within an area of one hundred 
miles, and that the major portion of them paid a visit to the bay to see the 
" envoys of the Great Spirit," as they regarded the white seamen. One of 
these Indians, named Theognis, who is reputed to have been one hundred 
and thirty- five years old when he made the statement, says that Drake 
presented the Indians with a dog, some young pigs, and seeds of several 


species of grain. Some biscuit were also given to them, -which they planted, 
believing, in their simple ignorance, that they would spring to life and bear 
similar bread. The Indians also state that some of Drake's men deserted 
him here, and, making their way into the country, became amalgamated 
with the aboriginals to such an extent that all traces of them were lost, 
except possibly a few names which are to be found among the Indians, 
" Winnemucca," for instance, is a purely Celtic word, and the name " Nicasio," 
" Novato," and others are counterparts, with slight variations, of names of 
places in the island of Cyprus. There is also another tradition, which, if 
true, would put the matter of Drake's entrance into San Francisco bay for- 
ever at rest, which is to the effect that at the time of his visit to this coast, 
the Golden Gate was closed with a wall of adamantine rock, and was only 
opened some years later by a mighty earthquake. It is stated that the 
waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers passed to the ocean 
through the Pajaro valley previous to this eruption. There is a bare possi- 
bility of this being true, and if so the oft asked question, how could Drake 
sail so near to the great Golden Gate entrance and not discover it is readily 
answered. Of course all these traditions must be taken for what they are 
worth, but it does seem that they go to strengthen the idea that Drake 
landed at Point Reyes. 

But there are facts which go to prove the case other than mere Indian 
legends. Titus Fey Cronise, in his admirable work entitled " The Natural 
Wealth of California," says: "It is clearly settled that the place where he 
(Drake) landed is near Point de los Reyes. The locality will probably be 
ever known hereafter as Drake's bay. The most conclusive argument that 
could be advanced to prove that he did not discover the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco is found in the name he gave the country — New Albion. There is 
nothing about the entrance to this bay to call up images of the ' white cliffs 
of old England,' so dear to the hearts of the mariners of that country. Its 
beetling rocks, which must have been additionally dark and dreary at the 
season of the year when the great navigator saw them — neither green with 
the verdure of spring, nor russet by the summer's heat; while near Point de 
los Reyes there is sufficient whiteness about the cliffs which skirt the shore 
to attract attention, and as it is ' out of the fullness of the heart the mouth 
speaketh,' the ' bold Briton,' longing for home, may have pictured to his 
' mind's eye ' some resemblance to Old Albion. Besides, Drake lay thirty- 
six days at anchor, which it would have been impossible for so experienced 
a sailor to have done, had it been in our glorious bay, without being im- 
pressed with its great importance as a harbor, on a coast so destitute of such 
advantages as this; but he makes no allusion to any feature traceable in our 
bay. He never had the honor of seeing it." In this connection it may be 
further stated that the headland forming the point is composed of granite, 
which may have presented, at that time, a white or greyish color, and this 

T^jy, yi^-7^o-7^ixf-t^^^<^^ 


appearance is still perceptible at certain angles of the sun's rays. It is urged 
that the bay at Point Eeyes would afford no shelter from a south-east storm, 
and hence could not be the " good harbor " spoken of by Drake's chronicler ; 
but it must be remembered that he was there in the month of June, and 
that at that time of the year all the winds are from the north-west, and no 
more secure anchorage from winds from that direction can be found along 
the coast than is to be had under the lee of Punta de los Reyes. 

Summed up then the matter stands as follows: Favoring the idea that 
Drake's and San Francisco bay are one is a general sweeping statement, 
based upon no proofs, and only attempted to be sustained by those who dis- 
like to acknowledge that the best harbor along the whole coast line was the 
last one to be discovered, or who wish to give to England's navigator the 
honor of the discovery. On the other hand, pointing to what is now known 
as Drake's bay as the place, stands, firstly, the indisputable evidence of the 
log-book and chart made by Drake himself, which locates the place to withLa 
sixteen seconds, or within one-fourth of a mile; secondly, the traditions 
among the people with whom he met while here, and thirdly, all that can be 
said in favor of the bay of San Francisco can be as juitly and truthfully 
said of Drake's bay. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude from the 
evidence adduced that to the present Drake's bay belongs the honor of being 
the one in which that famous navigator spent his time while ashore in Cali- 

On the 22d of July, after having repaired his ship and doubtless taken on 
board a goodly supply of fresh meat and water, Drake set sail for England, 
going by way of the Cape of Good Hope, and arriving in Plymouth, Novem- 
ber 3, 1580, being gone about two years and ten months. He was the first 
Englishman who circumnavigated the globe, and was the first man who 
ever made the entire voyage in the same vessel. He was graciously received 
by the Queen (Elizabeth) and knighted. She also gave orders for the pres- 
ervation of his ship, the Golden Hind, that it might remain a monument 
to his own and his country's glory. At the end of a century it had to be 
broken up, owing to decay. Of the sound timber a chair was made, which 
was presented by Charles II. to the Oxford University. Sir Francis Drake 
died on board ship, at Nombre de Dios, in the West Indies, January 28, 1595. 

But there is quite an amount of historical interest attached to this bay 
aside from the fact that it was the locale of Drake's sojourn, and we append 
the following more on account of this peculiar interest, than from the 
fact that they refer to, or have any direct relation with Mendocino county. 
In 1595, Sebastian Cermenon, while on a voyage from Manilla to Acapulco, 
was wrecked near Punta de los Reyes. This was doubtless the first ship- 
wreck which ever occurred on the California coast. Nothing is known of 
the fate of the crew, but evidently they, or a portion of them at least, 
reached Acapulco or some other Spanish sea-port and reported the wreck. 


In 1602, General Sebastian Viscaino, under orders from Philip III. of Spain_ 
made an exploration of the coast of Upper California, in the course of which 
he discovered the harbor of San Diego on the 10th of November. After 
remaining a few days he proceeded to the north, and on December 16th dis- 
covered the Bay of Monterey, which he named in honor of Gaspar de Zun- 
niga, Count de Monte Rey, the then Viceroy of Mexico. It was at first 
called the Port of Pines. We now come to a very peculiar entry in his 
diary, or log-book, which is as follows: "In twelve days after leaving 
Monterey, a favorable wind carried the ship past the po?'i of San Francisco, 
but she afterwards put back into the port of Fi-ancisco." At a first glance 
this would seem to point to the present bay of that name, and would seem 
to rob Governor Portala and his band of adventurers of the honor of either 
discovering or naming the bay; and instead of its being named after the 
Jesuitic patron saint in 1769, it was known by that name more than a cen- 
tury and a half previous. But let us peruse this diary still further. Taking 
up the thread where it was dropped above, it states : " She anchored Jan- 
uary 7, 1603, behind a point of land called Punta de los Reyes, where there 
was a ivreolc." This, then, establishes the exact location of the " port of San 
Francisco " mentioned above, which is the same as that of the present 
Drake's bay, and was doubtless one and the same, for the wreck which he 
saw could have been none other than that of the ship lost by Sebastian Cer- 
menon in 1595, " near Punta de los Reyes," Bat there is still other evi- 
dence that Drake's bay and the " port of San Francisco " are the same. A 
map was published in Europe in 1545, three years after the voyage of Rod- 
riguez Cabrillo, in which a San Francisco bay is mentioned, and also the 
Farralones, which islands were named bj' Cabrillo after his pilot, Farralo. 
NoM^ it is well known that this famous navigator did not enter the present 
Bay of San Francisco ; therefore, if the Bay of San Francisco and the Far- 
ralone islands are marked on this map as conterminous, it is more than 
reasonable to conclude that the bay referred to is none other than the pres- 
ent Drake's bay, which opens out dii'ectly towards the Farralones, and it is 
quite probable that Cabrillo himself gave the name of San Francisco to 
it." There is also a work e.xtant, written by Cabrera Bueno, and published 
in Spain in 1734, which contains instructions to navigators for reaching the 
" Punta de los Reyes, and entering the port of San Francisco." This would 
go to show that the two places were contiguous, and it is more than likely 
that these " instructions" were compiled from the map mentioned above and 
similar ones, on all of which the port of San Francisco was marked, " behind 
a point of land called Punta de los Reyes." It may be further stated, that 
the Russian navigators recognized the " port of San Francisco " to be sepa- 
rate and distinct from the present Bay of San Francisco ; for when, in 1812^ 
Baranoff, chief agent of the Russian-American fur company, asked permission 
from the Governor of California to ei-ect a few houses and leave a few men 


at Bodega bay, he designated that place as " a little north of the port of San 
Francisco." San Francisco bay had been visited before that by the Rus- 
sians, and was known to be nearly sixty miles from Bodega bay ; hence, we 
must conclude that they recognized some place quite near to the latter place 
as the " port of San Francisco," which place could be none other than that 
laid down on the charts spoken of above, which has been proven con- 
clusively to be the Drake's bay of to-day. 

There are several accounts as to how the headland came to be christened 
Punta de los Reyes, one of which is to the effect that it being the boldest and 
most prominent point met with from Point Conception to Cape Mendocino, 
was called the King of the Points ; but the construction of the name does 
not bear that version out. Its name, literally translated, is the "Point of 
the King," It is also stated, that in sailing by the headland, just* from the 
proper point of view, a throne may be seen in the granite cliifs, with a kino- 
seated upon it ; hence, the title, Point of the King. This name was con- 
ferred upon the point by General Sebastian Viscaiiio in 1602, who, it will be 
remembered, was driven past the point by a south-eastern wind, and after- 
wards turned about and anchored behind the point of land in Drake's bay. 
Hence, it would seem very probable that as they passed the point they ob- 
served this striking resemblance in the cliffs, and at once christened it 
" Punta de los Reyes." 

On September 17, 1776, the presidio and mission of San Francisco were 
founded on what was then the extreme boundary of California, the former 
in a manner being a frontier command, having a jurisdiction which ex- 
tended to the furthest limit northwards of Spanish discovery. How the 
arts and sciences have bridged time ! What do these comparatively few 
years in a nation's life show? They speak for themselves! San Francisco 
to-day is a marvel ! Shoit though her life has been, she has worked won- 
ders; to-day she is the center of civilization as regards the western portion 
of this vast continent ; she is the heart which sends pulsations through the 
different commercial arteries of the coast ; the throbbings of her veins are 
felt from Behring's straits to those of Magellan ; across the oceans the influ- 
ence of her system is known, while at home she is looked up to as the youth 
is whose care in the future will be the old, the sick and the maimed. 

And thus we find ourselves, in the first days of the Spanish regime, which 
was destined to play such an important part in the history of our fair State. 
After establishing the presidio at San Francisco, they began to advance to 
the northward still, step by step, establishing missions at San Rafael, Sonoma, 
and attempting to locate a colony near where Healdsburg now stands. As 
the entire section of country embraced between the Sacramento river and 
the Pacific ocean and lying north of the bay, was considered and designated 
as one district — Sonoma — by the Spanish and Mexicans, the following history 
of the first house built in the district will not be without interest. 


To go back to the building of the first house in this section would bring 
us down several years into the last century. The old settlers who have 
passed along the road from San Rafael to Petaluma, will remember the old 
adobe house which stood just at the south-east corner of the house now 
occupied by Dr. Burdell on the Olompali ranch. This house and the one in 
which the Doctor resides at the present time, have stood there so long that 
the " memory of man runneth not to the contrary." It is to be presumed 
that the first mentioned of these buildings was erected prior to the second, 
from the fact of its decay. An Indian legend which still clings about the 
place, coming down through the generations of aboriginals, who have long since 
shuffled this mortal coil and passed to the happy hunting grounds of " Gitchie 
Manito," to the early Spanish dwellers in the land, and from them to the 
present generation, relates that in the long, long ago there was a great and 
powerful tribe of Indians who dwelt at this place, known as the Olompali. 
Here a beautiful stream of living water burst as it were from the hill-sides 
and went dashing down the valley, across the level plain skirting the bay, 
and lost itself in the ceaseless ebb and flow of the tide upon the sandy 
beach. This was before the days of salt marshes around the head of San 
Pablo bay; and the sparkling, rippling wavelets of that " Gitchie Gumme" 
danced in merry glee over its smooth surface and were at last stranded on 
the beach of glittering sands which begirt the shore. On the banks of this 
stream there were immense " kjookkenmoddings," or shell deposits, covering 
an area of several acres, and having an unknown depth, which would 
indicate that these people have lived here from time immemorial. In the 
depths of these shell mounds are found stone implements of a character 
unknown to the later generation of aboriginals. Stone calumets have 
been found there, and it has also been noticed that there are three distinct 
styles of arrow heads buried in these shell mounds, varying according 
to the depth at which they are deposited. Hence it may be reasonably 
inferred that this place was the camping ground of a people which far ante- 
dates the California Indian. Who that people was or what they were like 
is not the object of this sketch. The legend above referred to relates still 
further that about the time of the erection of the mission at San Francisco, 
a party of Spaniards crossed the straits at what is now known as Lime 
Point and traveled northward. It was late in the season and they found no 
streams of running water until they arrived at Olompali. Here they were 
kindly received by the natives, and all their wants supplied as far as it lay 
in their hands to do so. The party was so well entertained that the leaders 
decided to remain there for a fortnight and recruit their horses, and get 
thoroughly rested preparatory to proceeding on their arduous journey; and 
in return for the kindness received, they taught the Indians how to make 
adobe brick and construct a house. Let us see now how fully this 
legend is sustained by facts mentioned in history. The party sent out to 


establish the mission at San Francisco arrived at that place June 27, 1776. 
There was a store-ship containing supplies dispatched so as to arrive in the 
bay about the same time, but adverse winds delayed it for a protracted 
period. At length the party decided to construct a presidio pending the 
arrival of the vessel, which seemed essential to the establishment of the 
mission. On the 18th of August the store-ship sailed into the harbor, and 
the mission was dedicated October 9th of that year. Father Gleeson, in his 
" History of the Cathohc Church in California," says : " While waiting for the 
arrival of the vessel with the stores, they occupied themselves in examining 
the bay and visiting the natives at their respective rancherias, by whom they 
were favorably received." After the arrival of the vessel another short delay 
occurred, of which he says : " This interval they employed in surveying 
the harbor, which resulted in the knowledge of there being no outlet, except 
that by which they entered." Father Palou, the chronicler of Father 
Junipera Serra, and the first historian of California, says : " After the 
presidio and before the mission was established (in San Francisco), an 
exploration of the interior was organized, as usual, by sea (the bay) and 
land." It will be seen by the above, which is authority that is perfectly 
reliable, that an expedition was sent out by sea and land from San Fran- 
cisco at the time of the locating of the mission and presidio there, and that 
they visited the rancherias of the natives in the interior, all of which not 
only goes to corroborate the statements made by the Indians, but fixes the 
fact beyond a doubt; hence we may reasonably conclude that, if the truth 
of the legend has been so far established as to prove that a visit was made 
them at this time by the Spaniards, then the remainder of it is true con- 
cerning the instructions given in the art of brick-making and house-building. 
The older of these two adobe houses was sixteen b}' twenty, with walls 
eight feet high and three feet thick, covered with a thatched roof made of 
tules through the center of which there was a hole for the egress of smoke, 
and containing only one room. It was evidently built by the father of 
Camillo Ynitia, the last chief of the tribe. The second house was much larger, 
being twenty -four by fifty-six outside, and containing three rooms; and, 
from the fact of its well-preserved condition, it is quite probable that it was 
constructed at a much more recent date; and, probably, by Camillo Ynitia 
himself. The inner sides of the walls of the small house were completely 
covered with soot, indicating that it had, probably, been used for cooking 
purposes during all the years that followed the completion of the larger one, 
while the latter had been used chiefly as a house to live in. When the old 
house was torn down the brick, from the very heart of the wall, on being 
subjected to a few showers of rain sprang into life, as it were, with a heavy 
and luxuriant growth of filaree grass, wild oats, and burr-clover. This 
would seem to go to disprove the very prevalent belief that wild oats are 
the offspring of tame stock brought here by the mission fathers ; for it 


is evident that the country was well seeded with them, else they would not 
have been so largely incorporated in those brick ; and, moreover, the straw 
used in their manufacture was wild oat straw, therefore, if the wild oat is 
not an indigenous plant we will have to look to some source far antei'ior 
to the missions for its introduction. Might it not have been included in the 
domestic seeds given the natives by Sir Francis Drake some three hundred 
years ago ? It would seem quite probable. 

Between the time of the tour of discovery around the head of the bay 
narrated above and the formation of any settlements by the Spaniards in 
the District of Sonoma, the Russians effected an entrance to the bay now 
known as Bodega, in Sonoma county, and established a settlement there. 
This was in 1811, and by the time that the Spaniards had formed the 
mission at Sonoma, this colony had increased very much in numbers. It 
was an offshoot from the Alaskan fur colony of that nation ; and the prime 
object of locating hei-e was to prosecute that industry in the mountains and 
along the streams of California, hence it is naturally to be inferred that they 
made incursions into all the adjacent country ; and the territory now known as 
Mendocino county was, propably, entirely overrun by them. This is more than 
probably the case after the location of the Russian head-quarters at what is 
now known as Fort Ross, which lies only a few miles south of the Gualala 
river. It is not known now that they ever had a settlement in this territory, 
but that they built huts and spent seasons here, is more then probable; and, 
therefore, to them may be ascribed the honor of being the first people of any 
nationality to come among the aboriginals of Mendocino county. 

The mission of San Francisco Solano was established at Sonoma, August 
25, 1823, and it was made the head-quarters of the Department of Upper 
California in 1835, with General M. G. Vallejo as commandant, but it was at 
least ten years later, and presumably more, before the first Spanish settler 
located in what is now called Mendocino county. To Senor Fernando Feliz 
belongs this distinction, he having received a grant in the Russian river 
valley from the Mexican Government as early as 1844. He built an adobe 
house of goodly proportions, just south of the present site of the town of 
Hopland, and there he lived that easy, almost Utopian sort of a life so common 
in that day. That our readers may have a proper idea of what manner of a 
life these old Spanish rancheros led, we will give a description of an estap- 
lecimiento: In front of the house was a court-yard of considerable extent, 
a part of which was sheltered by a porch; here, when the vaqueros had 
nothing to call them to the field they would pass the day, looking like 
retainers on a rude court; a dozen or more wild, vicious looking horses, with 
wooden saddles on their backs, stood ever ready for work, while, lounging 
about, the vaqueros smoked, played the guitar or twisted a new riata of 
hide or horse-hair. When the sun gets lower they go to sleep in the shade, 
while the little horses that remain in the sunshine do the same, apparently. 


for they shut their eyes and never stir. Presently a vaquero, judging the 
time by the sun, gets up and yawns, staggers lazily towards his hor,se, 
gathers up his riata and twists it about the horn of his saddle — the others, 
awakening, arise and do the same., all yawning with eyes half open, looking 
as lazy a set as ever were seen, as indeed they are when on foot. "Hupa! 
Anda!" and away they go in a cloud of dust, splashing through the river, 
waving their lassoes above their heads with a wild shout, and disappearing 
from sight almost as soon as they are mounted. The vaquero wants at all 
times to ride at a furious gait, and the eyes of the little horses are open wide 
enough before they receive the second prod from the iron rowels of their 
rider's spurs. 

In the olden and balmy days of the SpanLsh-Mexican regime, the summa 
summaritm of the dolce far niente style of life of that age could be found 
at this ranch. Cattle roamed at will over the hills and through the valleys, 
one of which was slaughtered daily to supply the demands of the estahleci- 
miento. Horses in great numbers bore the ranch brand, and extensive flocks 
of sheep and herds of swine formed a part of the princely possessions of the 
Feliz estate. Looms and spinning wheels were brought into requisition, and 
the wool grown upon the sheep was washed, carded, spun and woven into 
cloth, beneath the shelter of the ranch houses. The hides of the cattle were 
tanned, and boots and shoes made of the leather. The seasons came and 
went unheeded, and life was to those old Spaniards a near approach to the Uto- 
pian's dream. A summer's sun, set in a bright ethereal empyrean, across 
whose rays not even a hand breadth's clou:l ever passed to cast its shadow 
on the world, showered down a golden flood of radiant light to bless the 
happy days, while the winter's rains fell in copious showers, causing the 
grass to spring to luxuriant life over all the hills and dales, spreading as it 
were an emerald tapestry on every hand, full dainty enough for tread of 
fairy feet. But the dream ended, and sad indeed the awakening. From the 
Jap of luxuriance they fell into the arms of poverty, dying sad and broken- 
hearted. Gone were their flocks and herds, and the land on which they had 
roamed. Life which had been to them a hey-day of sunshine and gladness 
was robbed of all that went to make it worth the living, and to many of 
them death was a welcome guest, lifting the burdens and cares which had 
gradually settled upon their shoulders. 

Let us here introduce tlie following interesting resume of the experiences 
of the first of America's sons who visited California, which is abridged from 
an article that appeared in the Pioneer: — 

" The first Americans that arrived in California, overland, were under the 
command of Jedediah S. Smith, of New York. Mr. Smith accompanied the trapping and trading expedition, sent from St. Louis to the head 
waters of the Missouri by General Ashley. The ability and enurgj' dis- 
played by him, as a leader of parties engaged in trapping beaver, weio 


considered of so much importance by General Ashley that lie soon proposed 
to admit him as a partner in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. The 
proposal was accepted and the affairs of the concern were subsequently 
conducted bj^ the firm of Ashley & Smith until 1828, when Mr. William L. 
Sublette and Mr. Jackson, who had been engaged- in the same business in 
the mountains, associated themselves with Mr. Smith, and bought out 
General Ashley. They continued the business under the name of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company until the summer of 18.30, when they 
retired from the mountains, disposing of their property and interest in the 
enterprise to Messrs. Fitzpatrick, Bridger, Solomon, Sublette, and Trapp. 
Mr. W. L. Sublette subsequently re-engaged in the business. 

" In the spring of 1826 Mr. Smith, at the head of a party of about twenty- 
five men, left the winter quarters of the company to make a spring and fall 
hunt. Traveling westerly he struck the source of the Green river, which 
he followed down to its junction with Grand river, where the two form the 
Colorado. He there left the river and, traveling westerly, appi'oached the 
Sierra Nevada of California. When traveling in that direction in search of 
a favorable point to continue his exploration towards the ocean, he crossed 
the mountains and descended into the great valley of California near its 
south-eastern extremity ; thus being not only the first American, but the 
first person who, from the east or north, had entered the magnificent valleys 
of the San Joaquin and Sacramento, or who had ever seen or explored 
any of the rivers falling into the Bay of San Francisco. 

" The following winter and spring he prosecuted with success the catching 
of beavei', on the streams flowing into the lakes of the Tulares, on the San 
Joaquin and tributaries, as also on some of the lower branches of the Sac- 
ramento. At the commencement of summer, the spring hunt having closed, 
he essayed to return, by following up the American river; but the height 
of the mountains, and other obstacles which he encountered, induced him 
to leave the party in the valley during the summer. He accordingly re- 
turned; and, having arranged their summer quarters on that river, near the 
present town of Brighton, prepared to make the journey, accompanied by a 
few well-tried and hardy hunters, to the summer rendezvous of the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company, on the eastern slope of the Rocky mountains. 
Selecting favorite and trusty horses and mules, Mr. Smith, with three com- 
panions, left camp to undertake one of the most arduous and" dangerous 
journeys ever attempted. Ascending the Sierra Nevada, he crossed it at a 
point of elevation so great, that on the night of the 27th of June, most of 
his mules died from intense cold. He descended the eastern slope of the 
mountains, and entered upon the thirsty and sterile plains that were spread 
out before him in all their primitive nakedness ; but his horses were unable 
to accomplish the journey. 

" Next to the Bedouin of the great African desert, if not equally with 


him, the trapper of the wilds of the American continent worships the noble 
horse, which not only proudly carries his owner up to the huge bison, when 
hunger presses the hunter, and swiftly flees from the overpowering horde of 
savages who seek his life; but while the solitary, benighted, and fatigued 
hunter snatches a few shreds of repose, stands a trusty sentinel, with ears 
erect and penetrating eye, to catch the first movement of every object 
within its view, or with distended nostril, to inhale the odor of the red man 
with which the passing breeze is impregnated, and arouse his affectionate 
master. What, then, were the feelings of these men, as they saw their 
favorite steeds, which had long been their companions, and had been 
selected for their noble bearing, reeling and faltering on those inhospitable 
plains. Still worse when they were compelled to sever the brittle thread 
of life, and dissolve all those attachments and vivid hopes of future com- 
panionship and usefulness by the use of the rifle, which, at other times, 
with unerring aim, would have sent death to the man who should attempt 
to deprive them of their beloved animals. 

" They hastily cut from the lifeless bodies a few pieces of flesh, as the only 
means of sustaining their own existence ; and in this manner they supported 
life until they passed the desert and arrived on foot at the rendezvous. 

" A party was immediately organized, and, with such supplies as were 
required for the company, left for California, Mr. Smith hastening his 
departure. Traveling south, to avoid in some degree the snow and cold of 
winter, he descended and crossed Grand river, of the Colorado, and, contin- 
uing south-westerly, he approached the Colorado river from the east, near 
the camp of the Mohave Indians. In the attempt to transport his party, 
by means of rafts, over this river, in which he was aided by the Mohaves, 
who professed great friendship and hospitality, he was suddenly surprised 
by the treacherous Indians, who, upon a pre-concerted signal, simultaneously 
attacked the men who were on each bank of the river, and upon a raft then 
crossing, massacred the partj^ with the exception of two men and Mr. 
Smith, who escaped, and after great suflering arrived at the mission of San 
Gabriel, in California. They were immediately arrested by, the military 
officer at that place, because they had no passporti5. This functionary for- 
warded an account of the arrival and detention of the foreigners to the 
commandant of San Diego, who transmitted the same to General Echandia, 
then Goverpor and Commander-in-chief of California. 

" After a harassing delay Mr. Smith was permitted to proceed to Monterey, 
and appear before the governor. Through the influence and pecuniary 
assistance of Captain John Cooper, an American, then resident of Monterey, 
he was liberated, and having procured such supplies as could be obtained in 
that place, partially on account of beaver-fur to be sent from the summer 
quarters on the Sacramento river, and partly on credit, he hired a few men 
and proceeded to the camp of the party which he had previously left in the 


Sacramento valley. After forwarding the fur to Monterey, he traveled up 
the Sacramento, making a most successful hunt up this river and its tiibuta- 
ries within the valley. Ascending the western sources of the Sacramento, he 
passed Shasta mountain, when he turned westei-ly and arrived on the coast, 
which he followed south to the Umpqua river. While Mr. Smith and two men 
were in a canoe, with two or three Indians, engaged in examining the river 
to find a crossing, his camp was unexpectedly surprised by the Indians, who 
had, up to this time, shown the most friendly disposition, and the entire 
party, with the exception of one man, were murdered. Mr. Smith and th& 
men with him in the canoe, after wandering many days in the mountains, 
where they were obliged to secrete themselves by day and' travel by night, 
to avoid the Indians, who were scouring the country in pursuit, succeeded 
in escaping from their vicinity, and arrived at Fort Vancouver, a post of 
the Hudson Bay Company, on the Columbia river. The man who escaped 
from the camp at the massacre of the party was badly wounded, and without 
arms to defend himself or procure food, succeeded in sustaining life and 
making his way through many vicissitudes for a period of thirty-eight days, 
when he reached Fort Vancouver. On his arrival there Mr. Smith con- 
tracted with the superintendent to sell him the large quantity of fur which 
had fallen into the hands of the Indians on the Umpqua, provided he would 
assist in- recovering it, and to furnish a guide to lead a trapping party intO' 
the Sacramento valley. A company was fitted out under the command of 
Lieutenant McLeod, which proceeded to the scene of disaster, and after re- 
covering the fur, with which Mr. Smith returned to the fort, continued 
south, under the guidance of one of Smith's men, to the Sacramento valley, 
where a most valuable hunt was made. A large number of horses from 
California was also obtained, with which the party attempted to return in 
the fall of 1828. In crossing the mountains they were overtaken by a violent 
snow-storm, in which they lost all their horses. From the hasty and un- 
suitable manner in which they attempted to secrete their valuable stock of 
fur from the observation and discovery of the Indians or other body of 
trappers, it was found in a ruined state by a party sent to convey it to the 
fort in the following spring, and McLeod was discharged from the service of 
the comi)any for his impiudence in attempting to cross the mountains sa 
late in the fall. 

" Another band was fitted out from Fort Vancouver, by the Hudson Bay 
Company under Captain Ogden, of New York, who for some time had been 
in the employ of that corporation, with which ^Mr. Smith left the fort on 
his final departure from the Pacific shore, for the rendezvous of the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company. This company traveled up Lewis river, in the 
direction of the South Pass, when Mr. Smith pursued his journey with a few 
men. Captain Ogden turned south, and traveling along the eastern base of 
the Sierra Nevada, entered the valley of the Tularcs, on the trail which 







Smith had made in 1826. He arrived in the valley after McLeod had left 
on his ill-fated journey over the mountains, where he spent the winter of 
1828-9, and the following summer returned to the Columbia river with a 
valuable hunt. 

"One of the survivors of the massacre of Smith's party on the Rio Colorado 
remained in California. He was a blacksmith by trade, and obtained em- 
ployment at the missions of San Gabriel and San Luis Rey. His name was 
Galbraith, and while in the mountains previous to his advent to California, 
was recognized as the most feaidess of that brave class of men with whom 
he was associated. His stature wa,s commanding, and the Indians were 
awed by his athletic and powerful frame, while the display of his Herculean 
strength excited the surprise of all. Many were the incidents that occurred 
in California during his residence, of which he was the principal actor. On 
one occasion, while employed at the mission of San Luis Rey, he became 
riotous while under the exciting influence of aguadiente, and was warned 
that unless he conducted himself with greater propriety it would be necessary 
to confine him in the guard-house. This served to exasperate instead of to 
quiet his unruly passions. A corporal with two men were ordered to arrest 
Galbraith. On theii- arrival at the shop, they found the follower of Vulcan 
absorbed in anathemas, which he was pouring forth in rapid succession 
against the Reverend Father, soldiers, and neophytes. Having delivered 
himself he inquired what they wanted. On the corporal's replying that he 
had been sent to conduct him to the guard-house, Galbraith seized a sledge, 
and swaying it above his head rushed upon the soldiers, who, intimidated at 
the gigantic size of the blacksmith, whose broad and deep chest was swell- 
ing with infuriated passion, horror-stricken fled in dismay. With uplifted 
hammer he pursued them across the court of the mission, and to the guard- 
house in front of the mission, where the affrighted corporal and soldiers 
arrived among their comrades, closely followed by the terrific mountaineer, 
who, alike fearless of Spanish soldiers as he had ever been of Indians, drove 
the trembling forces, a sergeant and twelve men, to their quarters, where 
they were imprisoned. He then hastily loaded with grape-shot a fine piece 
of artillery which stood in front of the quarters, and directing its mouth 
towards the mission, and gathering up the arms which the soldiers in the 
confusion had abandoned, he prepared to act as exigencies might require. 
The priest, seeing the course events were taking, sent a messenger to open 
communications with the victor, who, from the sudden burst of passion and 
violent exercise had dispelled the effects of the brandy, and with its removal 
his choler had subsided. 

" In the early part of 1839 a company was made up in St. Louis, Missouri, 
to cross the plains to California consisting of D. G. Johnson, Charles Klein, 
David D. Button and William Wiggins. Fearing the treachery of the 
Indians this little party determined to await the departure of a party of 


traders in the employ of the American Fur Company, on their annual tour 
to the Rocky Mountains. At Westport they were joined by Messrs. Wright, 
Gegger, a Doctor Wiselzenius and his German companion, and Peter Lassen ; 
two missionaries witli their wives and hired man, bound for Oregon ; a 
lot of what were termed fur trappers, bound for the mountains, the entire 
company consisting of twenty-seven men and two women. 

" The party proceeded on their journey and in due time arrived at the 
Platte river, but here their groceries and breadstuff gave out; happily the 
country was well stocked with food, the bill of fare consisting henceforward 
of buffalo, venison, cat-fish, suckers, trout, salmon, duck, phea.sant, sage-fowl, 
beaver, hare, horse, grizzly bear, badger and dog. The historian of this expedi- 
tion thus describes this latter portion of the menu. ' As much misunderstand- 
ing seems to prevail in regard to the last animal alluded to, a particular 
description of it may not be uninteresting. It is, perhaps, somewhat larger 
than the ground squirrel of California, is subterranean and gi-egarious in its 
habits, living in "villages;" and from a supposed resemblance in the feet, 
as well as in the spinal termination, to that of the canine family, it is in 
popular language known as the prairie dog. But in the imposing technology 
of the mountain graduate it is styled the canus prairie cuss, because its 
cussed holes so often cause the hunter to be unhorsed when engaged in the 

" After enduring a weary journey, accompanied by the necessary anno}^- 
ances from treacherous and pilfering Sioux, hail-storms, sand-storms, rain 
and thunder-storms, our voyag.eurs arrived at Fort Hall, where they were 
disappointed at not being able to procure a guide to take them to California. 
This was almost a death-blow to the hopes of the intrepid travelers; but 
having learned of a settlement on the Willamette river, they concluded to 
proceed thither in the following spring, after passing the winter at this fort. 
Here Klein and Doctor Wiselzenius determined to retrace their steps; thus 
the party was now reduced to five in number — Johnson going ahead and 
leaving for the Sandwich Islands. In September, 1839, the party reached 
Oregon, and sojourned there during the winter of that year; but in May, 
1840, a vessel arrived with missionaries from England, designing to touch 
at California on her return, Mr. William Wiggins, now of Montere}', the 
narrator of this expedition, and his three companions from Missouri, among 
whom was Mr. David D. Dutton, now a resident of Vacaville township, in 
Solano county, got on board ; but Mr. W., not having a dollar, saw no hope 
to get away; as a last resort, he sent to one of the passengers, a compara- 
tive stranger, for the loan of sixty dollars, the passage-money, when, to his 
great joy and surprise, the money was furnished — a true example of the 
spontaneous generosity of those early days. There were three passengers 
from Oregon, and many others who were ' too poor to leave.' In June- 
they took passage in the Lausennc, and were three weeks in reaching 


Baker's bay, a distance of only ninety miles. On July 3d, they left the 
mouth of the Columbia, and after being out thirteen days, arrived at Bo- 
dega, now in Sonoma county, but then a harbor in possession of the Russians. 
Here a dilemma arose of quite a threatening character. The Mexican com- 
mandant sent a squad of soldiers to prevent the party from landing, as they 
wished to do, for the captain of the vessel had refused to take them farther 
on account of want of money. At this crisis the Russian governor arrived, 
and ordered the soldiers to leave, be shot down, or go to prison; they, there- 
fore, beat a retreat. Here were our travelers at a stand-still, with no means 
of proceeding on their joui'ney, or of finding their way out of the inhospit- 
able country ; they, therefore, penned the following communication to the 
American consul, then stationed at Monterey : — 

" Port Bodega, July 25, 1840. 
" To the Amet-ican Consul of California — 

"Dear Sir: We, the undersigned citizens of the United States, being 
desirous to land in the country, and having been refused a passport, and 
been opposed by the Govei-nment, we write to you, sir, for advice, and claim 
your protection. Being short of funds, we are not able to proceed further 
on the ship. We have concluded to land under the protection of the Rus- 
sians; we will remain there fifteen days, or until we receive an answer from 
you, which we hope will be as soon as the circumstances of the will 
permit. We have been refused a passport from General Vallejo. Our ob- 
ject is to get to the settlements, or to obtain a pass to return to our own 
country. Should we receive no relief, we will take up our arms and travel, 
consider ourselves in an "enemy's country, and defend ourselves with our 

" We subscribe ourselves, most respectfully, 

"David Dutton, 
" John Stevens, 
" Peter Lassen, 
" Wm. Wiggins, 
"J. Wright." 

In the first five years of the decade commencing with 1840, there began 
to settle in the vast California valleys that intrepid band of pioneers who 
having scaled the Sierra Nevadas with their wagons, trains and cattle, be- 
gan the civilizing influences of progress on the Pacific coast. Many of them 
had left their homes in the Atlantic and Southern States with the avowed 
intention of proceeding direct to Oregon. On arrival at Fort Hall, however, 
they heard glowing accounts of the salubrity of the California climate and 
the fertility of its soil ; they, therefore, turned their heads southward and 
steered for the wished-for haven. At length, after weary days of toil and 
anxiety, fatigued and foot-sore, the promise<l land was gained. And what 


was it like ? The country, in what valley soever we wot, was an inter- 
minable grain-field ; mile upon mile, and acre after acre, wild oats grew in 
marvelous profus-ion, in many places to a prodigious height — one great, glo- 
rious green of wild waving corn — high over head of the wayfai-er on foot, 
and shoulder high with the equestrian; wild flowers of every piismatic 
shade charmed the eye, while they vied with each other in the gorgeousness 
of their colors, and blended into dazzling splendor. One breath of wind, 
and the wide emerald expanse rippled itself into space, while with a heavier 
.breeze came a swell whose rolling waves beat against the mountain sides, 
and, being hurled back, wei-e lost in the far-away horizon ; shadow pursued 
shadow in a long, merry chase. The air was filled with the hum of bees, the 
chirrup of birds, and an overpowering fragrance from the various plants 
weighted the air. The hill-sides, overrun as they were with a dense mass of 
tangled jungle, were hard to penetiate, while in some portions the deep, 
dark gloom of the forest ti-ees lent relief to the eye. The almost boundless 
range was intersected throughout with divergent trails, whereby the traveler 
moved from point to point, progress being as it were in darkness on account 
of the height of the oats on either side, and rendered dangerous in the valleys 
by the bands of untamed cattle, sprung from the stock introduced by the 
mission fathers. These found food and shelter on the plains during the 
night; at dawn they repaired to the higher grounds to chew the cud and 
bask in the sunshine. At every yard coyotes sprang from beneath the feet 
of the voyageur. The hissing of snakes, the frightened rush of lizards, all 
tended to heighten the sense of danger, while the fiight of quail and other 
birds, the nimble run of the rabbit, and the stampede of elk and antelope, 
which abounded in thousands, added to the charm, causing him, be he who- 
soever he may, pedestrian or equestrian, to feel the utter insignificance of 
man, the " noblest work of God." 

We now come to the .settlement proper of Mendocino county by other than 
Spanish citizens. John Parker was unquestionably the first man after Fer- 
nando Feliz to have a habitation within the present limits of the county. 
He came into the Russian River valley with a band of cattle owned by James 
Black, of Marin county, in either 1850 or 1851, and built a block-house on 
the banks of what is now known as Wilson creek, south of Ukiah a few 
miles. We will now give the settlement of the county by year and town- 
ship up to 1860, as far as we have been able to glean it from the sources at 
our command : 

1852. — John Knight came into Sanel township and located on a portion 
of the Feliz grant. On the coast, in Big River township. Hairy Meigs 
established the fii'st saw-mill in the county, and there came with him J. E. 
Carlson, W. H. Kelley, J. B. Ford, and Captain D. F. Lansing, who became 
actual settlors. A man by the name of Kasten was living there at the time, 
and it is reported that he came in 1850, and it is possible that he ante- 


dates John Parker, although there is no certainty about it. The following 
named gentlemen came into Big River township and located during this 

year also. William H. Kent, George Hagenraeyer, Scharf, G, Hagen- 

meyer, J. C. Byrnes, Robert White, and J. C. Simpson ; Anderson, Walter 
Anderson, and J. D. Balls. 

18.53. — Big River township, A. F. Mahlman ; in Little Lake, Alfred E- 
Sherwood ; Calpella, William Potter, and Moses C. Briggs. 

1854. — Big River, G. Canning Smith, L. L. Gray, James Nolan. The 
following settlers are known to have been located in the respective town- 
ships at this time, but the date of their location is unknown: Big River, 
Frank Fai-nier (known as Portuguese Frank), Britton B., William, Boggs, and 
James Greenwood, Charles Fletcher, Manuel Lawrence, Lloyd Bell, Sr.) 
Samuel Bell, Captain Peter Thompson, Captain R. Rundle, and Samuel 
Watts ; Little Lake, William Frazier. 

1855. — Anderson, John Gschwind and William Prather; Arena, J. A- 
Hamilton ; Big River, James Townsend ; Little Lake, Leonard Dodge, Sam- 
uel, Harry S., and Martin Baechtel ; Ukiah, Samuel Lowry. 

1856. — Anderson, James S. Smalley ; Ai-ena, H. O. Irish and William 
Shoeniake ; Big River, Silas Coombs and Ruel Stickney ; Little Lake, W. 
Fulwider, J. G. Rawlison, J. W. Morris, and Benjamin Dougherty ; Round 
Valley, Sanders Horabrooke and D. Lacock ; Sanel, J. P. Higgins, Wdliam 
Higgins, John Higgins, H. Wiliard, and James Kenney; Ukiah, A. T. Per- 
kins, John R. Short, Daniel Gobbi, and Pierce Asbill. 

1857.— Anderson, Joseph Rawles ; Arena, G. W. Wright, R. W. O'Niel 
and T. J. O'Niel ; Big River, Thomas Walsh, William Heeser, and E. W. 
Blair; Calpella, James T. Nuckles, William P. English, C. H. English, B. F. 
Forsythe, H. P. McGee, Pierce Asbill ; Little Lake, H. WiUets, James L. 
Burger, and Jackson Farley ; Round Valley, Martin Corbett, C. H. Eberle, 
and Charles H. Diggin ; Sanel, A. Snuffin, J. A. Knox, J. McGlashen, and 
J. W. Daw; Ukiah, A. Burke, D. C, Crockett, John P. Smith, Edward Cox, 
John Remstedt, G. B. Mathers, Berry Wright, Thomas F. Beattie, L. M. Rud- 
dick, and William J. Cleveland. 

1858. — Anderson, J. H. Rawles, J. A. Jamison, J. 0. McSpadden, and J, 
McGimpsey; Arena, Cal. Stewart, W. S. Brown, Lewis Morse, O. W. Scott, 
C. D. Robinson, and Dr. Morse ; Big River, H. Severance, R. Kaisen, A. 
Heeser, T. P. Furlong, J. D. Murray, and Osro Cliff; Calpella, A. C. Perry, 
Thomas M. O'Conner, James L. Hughes, and Samuel Mewhinney; Little Lake, 
Philip Upp, William J. Hildreth, A. Redemeyer, James O. Toney, Seth 
Toney, J. G. Wilson, and Alfred Requa ; Sanel, William E. Parsons, L. F. 
Long, B. B. Fox, E. H. Duncan, Ashtley Duncan, and Eli Day; Ukiah, N. 
Bartlett, W. C. Ellege, Samuel Orr, J. M. Standley, G. W. Gibson, Thomas 
J. Gibson, Robert J. Gibson, A. J. Gibson, M. W. Howard, and J. G. Busch. 

1859. — Anderson, Alex. McDonald, Stephen W. Knowles, John W. Mc- 


Abee, and J. H. Donohoe; Arena, S. S. Hoyt, C. B. Pease, T. J. Stewart, 
L. G. Morse, and Samuel McMullen ; Big River, N. E. Hoak ; Calpella, 
Ranch Angle, S. Wortemberger, D. Quinliven, I. Y. Griffiths, T. W. Dashiel ; 
Little Lake, William E. Willis, William H. White, Benjamin Burns, and 
James D. Ward; Sanel, J. R. Henry, Dr. H. G. Pike, and William M. Cole; 
Ukiah, Thomas Harrison, Harrison Standley, and I. C. Reed. 

For a more complete and extensive sketch of the settlement of the county, 
the reader is referred to the township histories found further on in this vol- 
ume. It is impossible to make this subject complete in all its details, as so 
many come and go that a record of them cannot be compiled. 

We will now pass on to such matters of interest concerning the genei'al 
history of the county as we have been able to gather. This subject will be 
considered in such a manner as to locate the years in which the events 

1859. — The first event of importance during this year was the organiza- 
tion of the county and the establishment of a county government. The 
first election occurred in May of this year, and the location of a county .seat 
was also voted upon, resulting in the selection of Ukiah, in preference to 
Calpella, which was its only competitor for the honor, A reference to tlie 
table incorporated in the political history will discover who were elected to 
fill the respective offices. The opposing candidates were as follows: for 
county judge, " Kedge " Wilson and E. J. Mann; for county clerk, Wil- 
liam A. Kendall and C. H. Veeder ; for .sherift" McClintock ; and for 

treasuier, J, P. Smith. The first Court-house was also erected during this 
year. The rate of taxation for this year was $1.65. 

1860-61. — Nothing of great importance seems to have occurred during 
two years. The fi'rst paper published in the county was issued in 1860, 
by Hon. E. R. Budd. 

1862. — During this year Federal licenses were issued to the following 
named persons, which will serve well to show what business enterprises 
were conducted at that time, and who was engaged in them : Retail 
dealers, F. Bassett-Sturenberg, Derby & Adams, Fletcher & Kenedy, G. W. 
Gibson & Co., I. Isaac & Co., J. R. Moore, Perkins & Warden, T. P. Smythe, 
Townsend & Brown, L. E. White & Co., W. E. Connor, R. K. Dodge, S. W. 
Hills, James A. Hamilton, J. B. Hargrave, Kelley & Rundle, John W. Mor- 
ris, L C. Reed, Snider & Asbill, L. Woodward, Wintzer & Welle, and H. W. 
Wichelhausen ; retail liquor dealers, F. Bassett-Sturenberg, Briggs & Moore, 
Derby & Adams, Fletcher & Kenedy, McMullen & Hunter, Osborn &d Heldt, 
L. Woodward, L, E. White & Co., W. E. Connor, J. E. Carison, J. B. Har- 
grave, I. Isaac & Co., P. Padden, F. E. Warren, and H. Wichel- 
hausen; billiard saloons, J. H. Briggs and J. E. Carlson; livery stables, 
J. V. Caldwell, Fox & Williams,'and Osborn & Heldt; hotels, R. M. Barham, 
A. Higgins, Harrison Standley, Simpson & White, J. C. Davis, William 


Henry, A. McDonald, J. H. Siddons, and Osborn & Heldt ; physicians, A. 
C. Folsom, E. M. Pierson, James T. Hall, and G. W. Sargent ; lawyers, Wil- 
liam Neeley Johnson, R. McGarvey, C. H. Veeder, William Holden, J. B, 
Lamar, and M. D. Wilson ; apothecary, George B. Mathers ; brewer, Harry 
Kier ; cattle brokers, William Shoemake and W. R. Lane. 

1863. — Daring this year there was some excitement about a railroad 
from Ukiah to the tide-water of San Francisco bay. A correspondent of 
the Herald, under date of February 27th, says: " The interests of our 
section seem to demand a more regular and speedy communication with the 
great commercial metropolis of our State, and, as I have been informed that 
there is now a proposition to this and Sonoma counties, by which with a 
shght effort, we can procure a railroad, we feel it to be the duty of all 
citizens to use their means and energy for the furtherance of the noble enter- 
prise. If it is only carried into execution it is destined to be the making of 
our county, for although the richness and fertility of our soil is at present 
unappreciated and unknown, yet it is this great internal improvement 
which will give us a local habitation and a name in the commercial world. 
We have as fine pastures as the world can afford, but we are too far from 
market, we are compelled to drive our stock either through clouds of dust, 
or fabulous depths of mud, making the job neither profitable nor agreeable, 
and after we arrive at market we find that our expenses have not only been 
very great, but our stock is greatly depreciated in weight, and consequently 
in value. And again, the immense wealth that is now housed up in the 
rugged canons of the Coast Range in the way of timber is destined some 
day, and that too in the not very far future, to attract the attention and 
admiration of the State. Timber is even now getting to be an important 
item, and as its consumption is continually increasing, both for fuel and 
building purposes, the timber skirting the San Francisco bay and the rivers 
will soon be consumed, and the demand become so excessively great that 
this one commodity, will be sufficient to warrant the construction of a rail- 
road into some of the timbered sections." 

In 1863 quite an interest was manifested among the farmers of Ukiah 
valley in the industry of tobacco culture. Over seven hundred acres were 
planted with that crop alone in that section. 

During this year there was a great deal of excitement about the discovery 
of gold in several localities, both in placer diggings and in quartz ledges. 

In May of this year there was a company of volunteers organized under 
the leadership of Captain John P. Simpson, for the United States service. 
It was as fine a body of men as could be found in any county in the State. 
They were forty strong, rank and file, and were mustered in June 12th, and 
ordered to the Humboldt District to fight Indians. They were designated 
as Company E, Second Regular California Volunteers. 

Oats were grown in Potter valley this year which were eight feet in 


height, and tvheat grew six feet high, on the place owned by Mr. George 

Tlie copper mining excitement got to a white heat during this year, owing 
to the finding of rich specimens of copper bearing ore both at Sanel and 
Point Arena. 

The entire county was thrown into a state of excitement and grief by 
the announcement that Sheriff William H. Tainter had been drowned at 
Elk creek, near its mouth, October 23, 1863. This is a small stream open- 
ing into the ocean about eight miles south of Nevarra, and as it was in the 
days before there were any bridges, Mr. Tainter evidently lost his life 
in attempting to ford the stream. At the usual place of crossing it was 
about sixty feet wide, and ten feet deep. Mr. Tainter was an excellent 
swimmer, and mounted on a horse in which he had the utmost coafidence, 
which facts led some to suspect foul play, but as there were no marks of 
violence perceptible, and he was possessed of all his valuables when found, it 
is evident that his death was accidental. His body was brought to Ukiah 
via Mendocino City for interment. 

1864. — In April of this year the Mendocino and Humboldt Indian districts 
were combined, and Honorable A. Wiley appointed superintendent. 

The tobacco crop mentioned above proved to be a great success, as the 
following from a local print under date of April 26th, will testify: " Within 
a radius of three miles of Ukiah there were forty thousand pounds of 
tobacco i-aised last year (1863). In passing through the country one is 
reminded of old Virginia by the number of tobacco barns that are already 
built, for the drying and curing of the weed. The quality of the Mendocino 
county tobacco is said by the best of j udges, to be second to none that is 
grown in the Eastern States, the leaf being of exceedingly fine texture and 
very thin, and very broad and long. We look forwai'd to no great distant 
day when tobacco will be extensively grown in Mendocino." 

Corn was grown in large quantities in the Russian River valley dui-ing 
this year, the yield being large, and the quality excellent. 

The people of Mendocino county, especially the southern portion of it 
were very much exercised over the publication on October 4th, of the fol- 
lowing rumor concerning the division of the county: "It has several times 
been intimated that certaui parties in the northern portion of the county 
were operating in bringing about a division of the county, by drawing a 
line from east to west, passing through somewhere near Calpella, making 
some point in Long valley the county seat. The proposed new county wiU 
contain the townships of Calpella, Little Lake, Round Valley, and a portion 
of Big River." 

In November of this year, auxiliary societies of the Sanitary Commission, 
were organized in several places in the county, notably in Ukiah, Calpella 
Potter Valley, Little Lake, and Albion. The last named society sent in $320 
for the month of December. 


1865.- — The principal event that occurred in the United States doing this 
year and the one that shook the nation from center to circumference, was 
the cold-blooded muider of the President, Abraham Lincoln, by J. Wilkes 
Booth. It was a matter so fraught with interest to the United States as a 
whole, to every State in it, to every county in every State, and every citizen 
of the nation that we devote a portion of our space to the consideration of 
the subject. 

" Mantle your hearts with gloom, 
Mantle your hearts with deepest gloom! 

Listen! a nation is weeping; 
Valor and worth have sunk in the tomb 

While for your liberty seeking. 
Weep, weep, with a holy tear 

Over the hero now sleeping; 
Cherish his name with endless prayer. 

Angels are bitterly weeping.' 

Finish the work he labored to do, 
Striving to save you from sorrow; 

Leave not the post he's trusted to you, 
Leave not a deed for the morrow. 

Mourn! the Saviour of Liberty's gone- 
Gone to the tliroue of the mighty. 

Pleading for you as ever he's done — 
Fervently, boldly, and rightly." 

How well we all remember the sad, sad days of the long and dreary hour 
of our nation's peril, when brother met brother on the wild field of carnage, 
and the blood of our noblest men was poured out like water, on the shrine 
of the nation's altar. How our pulses throbbed with exultant joy when 
victory perched on our banners, and how our hearts sank within us when 
our flag was trailed in the dust. Oh, the bitter hatred, the malice that 
existed then between the once happy members of our great family ! And 
why? Because men who, in their brazen effrontery had set themselves up 
as leaders, had said that it must be so. The heart of the mass of the people 
is always right, and it is only the ambitious, fi'enzied leader that goes astray, 
and sometimes the people follow not knowing or caring why or whither. 
Those were years of struggling, of slaying and being slain, years of mortal 
agony, of tears, of woes, of veritable sackcloth and ashes. The flower of 
manhood was being .sacrificed; yea, immolated to the god of war, and our 
fair country was rent and torn, and devastation had hovered over all sec- 
tions, until all the glory of her former self was obliterated, and only the 
gaunt figure of despair was to be seen anywhere. But the dreary night 
had ended, and already the bright, effulgent rays of the dawning day of 
peace Aveie bursting forth and flooding and bathing the land with its gra- 
cious and limpid light, and the Angel of Harmony was passing over the dis- 
traught land with healings on his wings. On the 9th day of April, 1865, 


the two greatest armies then engaged in the conflict had met face to face, and 
clasped glad hands across the bloody chasm, and had sealed the articles of 
capitulation with many a shout and song. When the word went down the 
lines to cease firing, and the truce flag was seen flying at the head-quarters 
of the Southern army, what a shout of joy rent the air ' Arms that were no 
more to carry death and destruction to the brother's heart were cast aside 
as needless burdens, and hands that had sought to imbrue themselves in 
other's blood were clasped in a close and warm grasp, knowing and feeling 
that the fearful struggle was at an end. The bands played, and every man 
in those long lines, who not an hour before had fought as only men of valor 
fight, now joined in one triumphal song of thanksgiving and praise, and 

" Praise God from whom all blessings flow. 
Praise him all creatures here below, 
Praise him above ye heavenly host. 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." 

Had gone up to the throne of the Almighty in such a volume, and with such 
a heart-felt gratitude, as it never went before, and probably never will 
again. And the glorious news had spread abroad that there was to be 
peace again, and that all our great and noble country was to be one and 
inseparable hereafter; 

" For many days we've waited 
To hail the day of peace 
When our land should be united. 
And wars and strife should cease." 

The light of that memorable morning was rosy and soft with a radiance 
of peace. Every patriot's heart swelled with emotion too deep for utterance. 
It was not so much the thrill of victory that caused this deep and wide- 
spread rejoicing; it was the consciousness that we were about to reap the 
fruits of victory. It was something more than a promise — something more 
than a hope — it was a full and perfect realization. And it had all come 
now, and the happy dreams of all those years were just being consummated 
— but hark ! what sound is this that breaks suddenly on the ear of the 
joyous multitudes, sharp, distinct at first, but deepening into the ominous 
roar of the mighty car of Jupiter, until it reverberates from every mountain 
side and along every valley in the land ! It is the crack of the assassin's 
pistol, as it sends a fatal bullet crashing through the brain of the chief mag- 
istrate of the newly blood-bought Union. April 14, 1865, only five short days 
since first the opposing armies sang their song of mutual thanksgiving and 
praise for a day of peace, and they, with all the nation, are called upon to 
bow their heads with a grief inexpressibly great^ and to shed tears for the 
mighty friend of both, who now lies cold in the chill embrace of death ; who 
had passed from us 

J^ -^^^^-^" /f 


I "Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, 

A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave." 

Yes, Abraham Lincoln, he who had proved himself to be the very chosen 
of God to pilot the nation over the great and perilous ocean of an inter- 
necine war, and had so gallantly and grandly brought the good old .ship of 
state .safely to anchor in the haven of peace, was dead. And what Avas 
gained by this infamous crime? Did John Wilkes Booth win the heartfelt 
thanks of the great body of our Southern brothers with whom we had so 
lately been at war? No ' is answered back in thunder tones from every 
true noble-minded man who ever donned the "Gray" and smelled the 
powder, and heard the hum of the bullet sent on its mission of destruction 
by the "Blue." Then how much more righteously and intensely must the 
" Blue " loathe and despise, beyond expression, the deed ! Well indeed has it 
been said by some one, that " the deep damnation of his murder is a crime 
second only to that before which the sun did hide his face and the vail of 
the temple was rent in twain." 

To show and perpetuate to future generations what was thought of the 
assassination in Mendocino county, we have appended the following extracts 
from the papers of that day. The Mendocino Weekly Democrat of April 
22, 18(55, which was appropriately dressed in mourning, says, editorially: 
"Had an infernal machine been dropped in the town of Ukiah on Monday 
last it could not have caused more surprise and horror than did a small 
package of Sonoma Democrat extras, containing the startling tidings of the 
assassination of the President. This feeling was .shown by all; we noticed 
that the faces of Democrats and Republicans alike wore a look of gloom. 
Everybody endeavored to reason themselves into a belief that the story was 
false, but could urge no satisfactory reason for the conclusion. Arriving, 
too, at a time when all expected tidings of peace, it was a sad transition 
from joyous expectancy to receive instead tidings of murder — and the victim 
the chief magistrate of the nation. At this time it is impossible to arrive 
at any conclusion as to the cause of the assassination. The event is so ter- 
rible in its character that even the feeling for vengeance upon the murderer 
is partly sunk in the general gloom. Abraham Lincoln was not our choice, 
but he was our president, as much so as if we had formed one of the millions 
that cast their ballots for him, and we feel as deeply and keenly the national 
loss. We are the more pained because at the time he was struck down by 
the bullet of the assassin, he had inaugurated a patriotic policy which all 
citizens united in commending. In whatever manner we view his death, it 
is most calamitous at this time. We have no fears that the authorities will 
fail in their dutj' of sifting this tragic affair to the bottom, and if it proves 
to be the result of a conspiracy, as we believe it to be, we trust that sure 
and swift retribution will reach, not only the assassin, but the conspirators.'' 

The Herald of that date had also inverted column rules, thus showing 


respect for the martyrel President. It said, editorally : " There is much in 
this matter to strike deep terror to the hearts of American citizens too 
horrible to contemplate. We are at a loss to know the object of the des- 
peradoes who committed this unparalleled crime. Certainly it was not 
committed without an object. Had it been done six months ago, or even 
six weeks ago, it might have made such confusion in the Government as to 
give the rebellion strength. But since the recent victories, it can hardly be 
expected that such results will follow, unless by arousing the passions of 
partizans in the North to bring about neighboring collisions all over the 
country. In the name of humanity, are there men base enough, just at 
the time when peace was about once more to settle upon our already war- 
liddin country, thus to carry another firebrand broadcast over the land ? 
This enormous crime has deprived the world of the best, the kindest, as 
well as one of the ablest, if not the ablest chief magistrate that ever ruled 
over a. great people, while in the very act of extending mercy and pardon to 
the country's enemies. A sublimer instance of wisdom, mei-cy and forgive- 
ness for injuries past and wrongs threatened, never but once was witnessed 
— never will be again — and that was when ' He who spake as never man 
spake,' looked from the cross on which he was then to -perish, and said ; 
' Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' Verily, ' they 
know not what they do,' for were a thousand rulers chosen in his place, 
there is no probability that one of them would deal as gently and as charit- 
ably with disloyal subjects as the great and good man whom they have 

The Herald contained the following, copied from the Call, which is so 
worthy a tribute to the memory of the great Lincoln that we reproduce it 
here : " While the individual and national heart, benumbed by the terrible 
blow which has fallen, almost ceases to beat, and men stand amazed at the 
hideuusness of the great crime, it is difficult to speak the right words, fitting 
and equal to the occasion. The nation stands aghast at the fearful tragedy 
From the very height of joy the people are cast down under the pressure of 
a gj-eat agony. At the very moment when all began to rejoice at the 
prospect and pi'omise of returning peace — happy in the thought that the 
sctines of bloodshed and fraternal strife were about ended ; while all the 
angel in man's nature began to grow and expand, and charity and forgive- 
ness was blossoming for a harvest of better things, comes this most fiendish 
act, its wickedness equalled only by its folly; for Mr. Lincoln was, as has 
truly be.-n said, the only man on the continent who stood between the 
lealers of the Rebellion and the halter. In him dwelt the most kindly 
heart that ever beat in human bosom. During all the dreadful scenes of the 
past four years he has never been reported as sa3'ing an angry word, not a 
syllable that intimated a revengeful feeling or gave indication of a desire for 
vengeance, passed his lips or his pen. Reviled by the rebel leaders and the 


rebel masses, as perhaps never man was before; denounced and belied by the 
Northern sympathizers of the Rebellion, if possible, with greater malignity 
and falsehood than even the open rebels used, he bore it all calmly and 
heroically like a philosopher, statesman, Christian, and steadily exhibited 
through all his acts and conversation that to simply perform the duties 
he owed to his country in the most effective manner, and with the least 
suffering to all, was his great and only motive. 

" Himself and Mr. Seward were the most conservative men of the Admin- 
istration ; the two of all from whom the defeated rebels had most reason, as 
they had most need, to hope for leniency. If it be possible for men to 
po.ssess goodness in excess, Mr. Lincoln had, of all men, that fault. He 
desired to save, not desti-oy. He never deceived a friend ; he never betrayed 
a trust. He deserted no principle, violated no obligation, shirked no re- 
sponsibility. He was a true man in its best sense, who, although he hated 
the Rebellion, did not hate the rebels. Among his latest words were 
expressions of kindness towards Lee and others; and from him alone could 
they expect leniency. Such was his hold upon the popular heart of the 
North, such their confidence in his integrit}', such their reliance upon the 
soundness of his judgment and patriotic motives, that had he issued a procla- 
mation of amnesty to all, even Jefferson Davis, the millions of the North 
would have said, amen; and yet they killed him ! as.sassinated him as the 
principal figure of the group decided upon as victims by the hellish brood, 
a portion only of whose plan is seen in the deed, for the tragedy is no 
isolated act of sudden frenzy. It was preconcerted, and only too successful. 
His death was compxssei in tha very morning of victory, while he was 
happy in the thought that his country was saved, sacrificing his own wish 
that the public may be gratified, beloved by his countrymen, having forced 
from unwilling foreign enemies the eulogium of administration with single- 
ness of pui-pose and freedom from passion, he passed suddenly away in the 
midst of his usefulness, having fought the good fight and left in the hearts 
of all true men an undying and a grateful memory." 

But the agony, turmoil, animosity, hatred, and strife of that day are all 
gone, and truly the sweet pinioned dove of love has cemented more firmly 
than ever, the two sections of our nation, and the two great armies which 
were wont to meet on bloody fields of carnage are now brothers, indeed, 
and the silver of the " Gray " is commingled with the " Blue " like stai-s set 
upon the dome of Heaven, and one thoughtand purpose animates us all, and one 
flag floats over us all, and the stain of slavery has been washed from our fair 
escutcheon. And now, looking back on the career of the noble Lincoln, be 
we "Blue" or "Gray," what do we see? We see simply all that was wisest 
and most faithful in his most perilous magistracy. A halo rests upon his 
character, and we find no longer anything to blame, scarcely anything not 
to admire in the measures and counsel of his gloriously upright, impartid, 


passionless, indiscourageable rule. The tragic close of his life added a new 
element, and set him in a character only the more sublime, because it was 
original and quite unmatched in history. The great name now of Abraham 
Limoln emerges complete a power of blessing on mankind, and a bond of 
homage in the feeling of his country forever. S jcond to none in glory or 
greatness, worthy to bs set forth in letters of Jiving light beside that other 
name we all love, honor and cherish. Let it so be then — v 


"Lincoln! when man would nams a mau, 

Just, unperturbed and magnanimous, 
Tried in tha lowest seat of all, 

Tried in the chief seat of the house — 

Lincoln! wheu men would name a mm 

Who wrought the great work of the age, 
Who fought, and foujht the noblest fight, 

And marshalled it from stage to stage. 

Victorious, out of dusk and dark. 

And into dawn, and on till day, 
il jst humble when the peans rang, 

Least rigid when the enem3' lay 

Pi-ostrated for the feet to tread— 

The name of Lincoln will we name, 
A name revered, a name of scorn, 

No, not of scorn, but of fame. 

Lincoln! the name that freed the slave, 

Lincr)ln! whom never self-enticed; 
Slain Linoln, worthy found to die 

A soldier of the Captain, Christ." 

On the night of June lith of this year, th^ books of the County Treas- 
urer were stolen, and the next morning, their burned and charred remains 
were found within four hundred yards of the Court-house. No reason 
could be assigned at the time for this peculiar freak of burglary, except that 
the books were being overhauled by a committee appointed by the Board of 

In June, 1865, Company E Second Regular California Volunteers was 
mustered out of service. 

In this 3-ear the sum of $3,569.72 was paid into the State Treasury by the 
'J'reasurer of Mendocino count}-. 

In these early <lays, the rulings and doings of some of the Justices of the 
Peace were certainly quaint and unique. For instance, in November, 1865, 
while a case was being tried before a Justice in Catpella township in a bar-room_ 
the Court and spectators were amused and astonished by the abrupt and noisy 


entrance of an honast and unsuspecting Dutchman, who inquh'ed of "Jim" 
(his Honor on the bench) if he had any vegetables to sell. On receiving a 
negative answer, the Teuton turned away as abruptly as he had entered, 
thereupon the officer in attendance approached the court and asked whether 
"that fellow hadn't ought to be brought up for contempt?" The Court 
thought he had, whereupon the offender was followed, and brought back a 
prisoner. One of the counsel present advocated his conviction, while two 
others argued for his acquittal. He was adjudged guilty, but the Magistrate 
moved by a kindly spirit, only sentenced him to treat the crowd, and then 
took a recess that he might himself attend the bar, and the offender paid 
his fine. 

Among other queer doings which are rejjorted to have transpired in those 
primitive courts, the following are the brightest. A Justice of the Peace 
once sentenced a man to a term in the State's prison, and the constable 
f)f the towjiship had proceeded as far as Cloverdale with his prisoner, before 
he became aware that he had no authority to keep the man in his charge or 
commit him to prison. Among the very first Justices appointed for Mendo- 
cino county, before it was disassociated from Sonoma, was a man named 
Taj'lor. He once fined a man for getting drunk, and the penalty was 
that the offender should split a thousand rails. It is said that the man did 
liis work well, and that the rails served a good purpose in constructing cor- 
rals about Taylor's place. That same Taylor refused a letter at the office 
once because it was addressed Mr. Taylor, his excuse for the refusal being 
that Mr. spelled Mur, and that was not his name. His daughter happened 
to stand by, and j^roceeded to enlighten the old man, stating that the Mr. 
stood for Mister. When he realized that some one had conferred the dignity 
upon him of placing a " handle" before his name, he was more than delighted. 
But from that day on, he was called " Mur " Taylor, and will now go down 
to histor\- by that name, as we know no other to give him. 

Later — By referring to the official records of Sonoma county, we find that 
in 1856, one Simon Taylor was a Justice for one of the Mendocino townships, 
and it is quite probable that this is the man. 

It is said that there was a Justice once in Anderson valley, who, upon a law- 
3^er insinuating that the court was possessed of asinine properties to a great 
ilegree, arose in the midst of his deliberations of the case under considera- 
tion, and proceeded to chastise the offending attorney, and the matter was 
only quieted down and peace regained by a pleasant parry on the part of 
the lawyer and a call for drinks all around. 

On the coast, there was a Justice who also had a bar, which by the way, 
.seemed to be the rule in those days, and the sessions of the court were held 
in the bar-room. When a case was to be tried, he would draw a chalk line 
through the middle of the room parallel with the bar, and on one side of 
that line was the court-room, and on the other the bar, and during the ses- 


sions of the court, -when a recess was had to take a httle strenghtening soda 
water, he would allow no man to stand over the line of the court-room and 
drink. It is said that he was a man of sense and dignity, and maintained 
order and decorum during the sessions of his court. 

But these curious proceedings were not at all confined to the pioneer days 
nor to primitive Justices. During the present year a case was called before^ 
a Justice in which there were two plaintiffs and one defendant. During the 
trial a was taken, and the parties to the suit got into a general scrim- 
mage right in the court-room. The attention of the Justice and the coQstable 
was called to the fact that a fight was going on, and they rushed back to 
the scene of the encounter, but upon discovering that the defendant was 
getting the best of the matter single-handed against both of the plaintiffs 
they refused to interfere. 

1S66. February 15th, the safe of the County Treasurer, J. W. Morris, 
was broken into and the sum of $4,226.20 abstracted therefrom under 
the following circumstances : The County Treasurer, Mr. John W. Morris 
was sitting in his office I'eading, about 8 P. M., when the footsteps of two 
men were heard approaching along the hall. The parties stopped at his 
door and knocked, and he invited them in, thinking that they were some of 
his friends calling for a chat, as was frequently the case, as he spent most 
of his evenings in the office. The door opened and two masked men entered, 
lacked the door behind them, seized, bound and gagged him, and then pro- 
ceeded to possess themselves of the keys to the safe, opening which they 
abstracted the money. They were not in the office more than five minutes^ 
and as they went out they put the key on the outside and locked the door. 
Mr. Morris managed to rid himself of the gag, and called for help, which, 
being heard bj^ passers-by, they came to his assistance, and he was 
released from his fastenings. Immediate search was made for the robbers, 
but no trace could be found of them. Mr. Morris at once surrendered to 
his bondsmen property enough to more than cover the amount that was 
stolen if he or they should be called upon to repay the loss. The entire 
affair remains shrouded in a deep mystery to this day, and no trace whatever 
was ever found of the robbers. 

In June of this year a petition was sent to the Indian Agent to have all 
the Indians in Potter valley moved to the reservation at Round valley. 
At that time the tribe numbered about two hundred, and the petitioners 
were prompted chiefly by the fact becoming apparent that the presence of 
the Indians produced a demoralizing effect upon the health and morals of 
the rising generation in that section. 

In October of^ this year those parcels of land situated within the limits of 
the Yokayo grant, which had been located upon by parties who were unable 
to pay the grant owners for them, were sold at public auction. 

The following statistics have been collated for the year 1866, and by 


comparing them with those for 1880, which will be found fui-ther on, the 
material growth and progress of the county can be appreciated :— 

Acres enclosed 84,000 

" cultivated 15,000 

" wheat : . . 6,500 

Bushels " 120,000 

Acres barley 2,000 

Bushels " 50,000 

Acres oats 3,000 

Bushels " 100,000 

Aei-es corn 500 

Bushels " 10,000 

Acres peas 100 

Bushels " 2,200 

Acres potatoes 300 

Bushels " 30,000 

Acres hay 30,000 

Tons " 3,500 

Pounds butter . 5,000 

Dozen eggs 4,500 

Pounds wool 200,000 

Apple trees 28,000 

Peach '• 4,000 

Pear " 321 

Plum '• 415 

Cherry • 229 

Almond " 45 

Walnut '• 75 

Gooseberry bushes 1,517 

Raspberry " 365 

Strawberry plants 15,114 

Newspapers (weekly) 2 

American horses 823 

Spanish farm horses 3,132 

wild " 4,823 

Mules 347 

Asses 34 

Cows 12,074 

Calves 6,580 

Stock cattle 35,408 

Beef " 13,015 

Oxen 823 


Sheep ^ 42,lir 

Hogs 38,991) 

Chickens 10,432 

Turkeys 895 

Ducks 1,178^ 

Geese.. 532 

Bee-hives 375 

Cattle slaughtered 2,460 

Hogs " 2,164 

Sheep " 1,517 

Grist-millp 8; 

„ ( steam power 1 

\ run of stone -f 

„ C water power 6 

{ run of stone 8- 

Number of bushels ground 40,1 42 

Saw-mills 14 

„ I steam power 8 

( water '• G 

Lumber sawed (feet) 40,114,()0(> 

Shingles 1,105,400 

Toll bridges : 2 

Ferries 3 

Assessed value of real estate $276,031 

improvements $225,100 

personal property $1,227,654 

1867. May 10th, J. W. Morris, County Treasurer, paid into the treasury 
the sum of $4,796, this being the amount with certain other expenses added, 
that was stolen from the safe in the Treasurer's office. 

1872. Nothing of special interest occurred until this year when the new 
Court-house was erected, which is a building that should be the pride of 
every citizen of Mendocino county; and too much cannot be said in com- 
mendation of the energy and enterprise displayed by those having it in 

1876. The Board of Supervisors established the following as the legal 
distances from Ukiah : — 

Booneville 20 miles. 

Christine 32 " 

Hopland 14 " 

Whitehall 25 " 

McDonalds 22 " 

Comptche ... ' 35 " 


Usal 90 miles. 

Pomo 18 " 

Centerville .■ . . 20 " 

Glenmark 35 " 

Covello 65 " 

Calpella 6 " 

Willits (Little Lake) 22 " 

Sherwood 34 " 

Cahto 45 " 

Blue Rock . . . ' 65 " 

Big River (Mendocino City) 50 " 

Caspar 55 " 

Noyo 60 '■ 

Kibesillali 70 " 

Little River 50 " 

Albion 57 " 

Nevarra 55 " 

Cuffey's Cove 60 " 

Bridgeport 60 " 

Manchester 50 " 

Point Arena 50 " 

Gualalla 65 " 

1877. In the first issue of the Ukiah City Press we find the following 
concerning Mendocino county in its editorial columns. After speaking of 
the cry of "hard times" that was going up on all sides at that time it says : 
" In our county we hear but little of this despondent cry only as it comes 
to us from other sections. There is no necessity for it as we are blessed 
with an abundance to supply our needs. Grain and vegetables enough have 
been raised to meet all our wants, with a portion to spare other sections. 
Our cornfields are waving in luxuriant green; the hop crop will be excellent, 
judging from present indications; the stock-raiser looks for a handsome 
remuneration for his hogs and cattle; the wool yield has been most gi'atifying 
to the sheep-raiser, and every vocation promises to make plethoric pockets. 
Besides being blest with everything to fill our granaries and our barns, and 
give us household comforts, we have a climate that will bear comparison 
with any part of the State. When the thermometer registers from 90° to 
100° it is not burdensome to pursue the usual vocations. We are almost 
strangers to sickness. From our mountain sides springs of purest water 
burst. There is nothing that we want that is Nature's office to supply. 
Our mountains, though not under cultivation, are as valuable as the best 
alluvial bottom-lands, being an excellent range for sheep; and, apart from 
their value as a ranc^e, millions of dollars await the woodsman's ax. We 


have forests of the finest redwood in the world, which are, ah'eady, at 
difierent points, being worked up into lumber. The buzz and whir of the 
saw and the pealing ring of the ax, are becoming the language of the forest- 
Here there is no necessity for idleness. The field of industry is open, and 
every man who is willing to work can make a living. The man who has a 
few thousand dollai-s, can nowhere find a more suitable place for investment, 
or where his little fortune will bring him a quicker return. Farmers, stock- 
raisers, or lumbermen cannot go amiss." 

Following is the valuation of the property of Mendocino county for the 
year 1877, given by townships: — 

Anderson .' $345,620 

Arena 769,208 

Big River 1,516,943 

Calpella • 509,201 

Little Lake 706,874 

Round Valley 493,391 

Sanel 454,695 

Ten-mile River 213,196 

Ukiah 905,442 

Unknown owners 99,422 

Total $6,006,792 

Hop culture is one of the staple industries of Mendocino county, and a 
few observations concerning it will not be amiss in this place. Hop-vines 
are grown from roots which are set in rows seven feet apart, and as there is 
gender in them in its full sense, care must be taken to have a proper propor- 
tion of the roots of the masculine persuasion. Their proportion is about one 
of the male roots to six of the female each way ; that is, in a square of seven 
there will be a male on each corner. Strange as it may seem, the practiced 
eye of the hop-grower can determine the male from the female roots. The 
vines do not produce much until the second year, and continue vigorous 
for a period of about ten years. The usual yield is from one thousand to 
two thousand pounds per year, averaging about fifteen hundred. When 
they are growing poles about ten feet high are placed in the ground beside 
each root, and these are often connected by small ropes, so that when the 
vines are full grown they often form a complete shade for the ground. 
When the time for picking the hops arrives, which is usuully in the month 
of August, the vines are clipped near the ground, and the hops stripped from 
them and carefully placed in large baskets. They are then taken to the 
drying-house, where they are placed in shallow trays and subjected to the 
heat of a furnace for about twelve hours. They are then pressed into bales 
which weigh about two hundred pounds each, and are then ready for mar- 

(2JL..^ ^^t^ 


keting. The hops grown in the Russian River valley are considered of an 
extra quality, and the prices realized by the producer ranges from twenty- 
five to fifty cents per pound, and it will thus be seen that an average yield 
at the lowest price mentioned will realize to the grower $375.00 an acre, and 
if he should happen to get the greatest yield and the highest price at the 
same time, he would realize the handsome sum of $1,000.00 per acre. Mr. 
L. F. Long, of Sanel township, was the first man to grow hops in Mendocino 
county, and he brought his first roots from Sacramento. 

A recent number of the Scientific American gives a new process for cur- 
ing hops, and local growers will be interested. The method consists in 
sprinkling the hops with alcohol prior to packing, and then pressing them 
tightly into air-tight vessels. In time the alcohol combines with some of the 
constituents of the hops, and certain volatile ethers are thus formed. These 
possess a strong and peculiar fruity smell, but being very volatile, they are 
all dissipated during the boiling. Dr. Litner has experimented on these pre- 
served hops at Weihenstephan, and speaks well of them. He says that fine 
color is retained, and there is a full development of aroma. The fermenta- 
tion of worts made with these hops worked well, and the resulting beer had 
a fine bitter flavor. If the method of sprinkling with alcohol will stop the 
development of valerianic acid, which takes place in hops when stored in 
the usual manner, it ought to come into general use. 

1878. — The good people of Ukiah appreciate a joke as well as anybod}', 
and during the election for delegates to the constitutional convention during 
this year, a very pi-actical one was perpetrated, having, however, a slightly 
funeral tinge. During the day of election one of the tickets was placed upon 
a coftin-shaped board and fastened down with coffin screws and coflin 
handles were placed at the head and foot of the ticket. On the margin 
of the ticket, at the bottom, the following was written: "Procession will 
move at sundown, by order of the people ;" and on the body of the ticket 
was a large index hand made with a blue pencil, pointing to the name of one 
of the prominent local candidates. 



Being in a manner so thoroughly isolated fi-om the outside world, the 
people of Mendocino county have long felt the need and importance of an 
agricultural society of their own, but it was not until the fall of 1878 that 
the enterprise was fairly gotten under way. December 19th of that year 
the society was organized and incorporated. In the Articles of Incorporation 
the following ai'e set forth as the objects of the society: — 

1st. To hold an annual fair and cattle show. 

2d. To encourage^ the cultivation of the soil and the general development 
of all the resources of the county of Mendocino. 

3d. To foster every branch of raechariical and household arts calculated 
to increase the happiness of home life. 

4th. To extend and facilitate the various branches of mining and milling. 

The society was incorporated for forty years, with a nominal cajjital stock 
of $10,000.00, of which amount $2,000 has been paid up. The face value of 
the stock was $5.00 per share. The society owns twenty acres of land lying 
in the heart of the beautiful valley of Little Lake, about one-half mile north 
of the town of Willitsville. This is enclosed with a close board fence, 
and has trees planted in the proper places over it, and is seeded down so that 
weeds find no encouragement to grow within its limits. There is an excel- 
lent track, an oblong circular course of one-half mile, and as the ground is as 
level as a Hoor a better track cannot be found in the State. There is an 
amphitheatre which is one hundred by thirty feet, and a pavilion which is 
one hundred by forty feet. Besides these buildings there are stock sheds 
which will accommodate one hundred head of stock, and stabling for Miy 
horses. The property consisting of the land and buildings have cost between 
$5,000 and $6,000, which leaves the society in debt somewhat, but the enter- 
prising citizens of Mendocino county will not allow that state of affairs to 
exist long. The society is the property of the whole county in a great 
measure, and every person should feel that he or she has a personal interest 
in its .success and welfare. That all do take this deep interest in its pros- 
perity is best demonstrated by the fact that the first fair held was so well 
patronized by the citizens of the county, that there remained $150 in the 
hands of the treasurer aftei- all expenses were paid. Such a hearty support 
from the people assurred the success of the enterprise, and evinced the fact 
that the action of the corporation met with their entiie approval. 

The officers of the society for 1878 were: President, B. G. Mast; Secretary, 


Joseph Kraker; Treasurer, H. WiUits; Trustees, E. F. DeCamp, W. L. 
Brown, J. M. Standley, A. Rucker, O. C. Simonson, J. C. Thompson, D. 
Lambei-t, W. H. Young, and John A. Morgan. 

The officers of the society for 1870 were: President, B. F. Coates; Secre- 
tary W. H Young; Treasurer, H. Willits; Trustees, E. F. DeCamp, J. M. 
Standley, P. T. Muir, A. Nelson Jr., R. Cave, W. L. Brown, B. B. Capell, B. 
G. Mast, H. Willits, W. H. Young, and B. F. Coates. 

The officers for 1880 are as follows: President, 0. C. Simonson; Secretary, 
W. H. Young; Treasurer, H .Willits; Trustees, E. F. DeCamp, J. M. Stand- 
ley, P. T. Muir, A. Nelson Jr., B. B. Capell, O. C. Simonson, A. 0. Carpenter, 
E. C. Buell, W. L. Brown and P. Upp. 

At the inauguration of the exercises of the first fair given by the Mendo- 
cino County Agricultural As.sociation, September 17, 1879, the following 
address was delivered by Honoi-able Thomas L. Corothers, which is so replete 
with information and true worth that we reproduce it in full: — 

" Mr. President, and Ladies and Gentlemen: It is with pleasure that I 
appear here to-day to assist you in the inauguration of the Mendocino 
County Agricultural Association. As a citizen of Mendocino county, 
identified with its varied interest.s, and its welfare and that of its people 
being my welfare, I should and do feel it an honor and a privilege to assist 
in my feeble manner in inaugurating a society that we all know will add so 
materially to the prosperity of our beautiful and famed count3% and its peo- 
ple of all classes, callings, trades and professions. 

" The experience of all people, and particularly those of California, has 
shown that nothing is so conductive to the prospei-ity of the masses as the 
holding of fairs at stated periods, when and where the products of the hus- 
bandman, the works of the artisan and the high perfection of stock breeding 
can be exhibited to an admirmg public, their respective exhibits placed in 
competition with one another, their merits and demerits canvassed by 
^killed judges, and thus those engaged in these various pursuits reap the 
advantages attending the occasion, and profit by the knowledge gained and 
competition with one another. 

" I rejoice that Mendocino has waked out of its state of lethargy, and 
following in the wake of its sister counties, has determined that the people 
shall know that it has resources second to none, and that its products will 
compare with those of the remainder of the State, and that in stock-raising 
and in the quality of its live-stock, it will not permit any superiors. 

" We all know that the commencement of such enterprises is attended with 
a great deal of labor and some considerable expense. An agricultural 
society has been mooted and talked about in this county for years. But it 
has been left to the zeal and untiring efforts of the people of Little Lake 
valley and vicinity to start the ball that is now rolling so beautifully, and 
to make annual fairs in our midst a realit3^ and to be the instrumentality 


through which our good people can gather together, bringing with them the 
products of their genius, industry and toil, that they may be exhibited for 
the criticism of the skilled and for the mutual benefit of all. All honor to 
the people of Little Lake, and the people of the remainder of the county owe 
them a debt of gratitude for their zeal and enterprise which they can never 

" Mendocino county, with its area of three thousand eight hundred and six- 
teen square miles, and its population of twelve thousand souls, assumes an 
importance in our young and growing State that is by no means insignif- 
icant. It stands about eighth in wealth among the counties of the State. 
When we consider the fact that there are fifty-two counties in California, and 
that about forty-four contain less taxable property than Mendocino, we may 
at least ask ourselves why cannot we afford a county fair once a year ? We 
can afford it, and I opine that the people of these beautiful hills and valleys, 
and of our one hundred miles of sea-coast, will not be slow in realizing the 
vast benefits to accrue to them from the Mendocino County Agricultural 
Association, but will lend it that helping hand and bestow upon it that 
countenance, encouragement and favor which their good intelligence will 
teach them it deserves. 

" There are few people, whether in California or elsewhere, who ai'e more 
blessed than those of our own county. It is a well-known fact that we 
suffer but little from droughts, and taking into consideration the inai-kets 
that we have, and the amount of produce consequently raised, we may say 
that, financially, the droughts so frequent in other portions of the State do 
not affect us to any considerable extent. Our pursuits are so varied, and so 
adaptable to the seasons of California, that, if the season is inimical to one 
pursuit, we can follow another for the time being ; and so well is this under- 
stood by the farmers and producers of Mendocino county, that they rarely 
lose by dry seasons, while the plains of the great San Joaquin, and in fact 
when the whole of southern California is parched and dried for want of 
rain, and when stock is dying there by hundreds for want of grass, and 
the whole population is despondent and in despair, by reason of the fact 
that the Almighty has failed to send them copious showers from heaven, we 
of Mendocino county are enjoying a plentiful supply of rain, our hills and 
valleys, glittering in their coat of green and rivaling the splendor of the 
garden of Eden, are covered with a plenteous supply of feed for our countless 
herds. Our farmers go to their labor in their broad fields with an elastic 
tread and with unfeigned delight, and wonder to themselves why, above 
their brother farmers in other portions of the golden State, they should be 
thus favored and blessed. 

"Our resources are varied and valuable. Our forests of redwood and fir 
have alread}' become famous in history. The ships of the world anchor in 
our harbors and load with railroad ties and other commodities peculiar to 


our loved county, and transport them to South America and other foreign 
countries where they are in demand. For twenty-five years the woodman's 
ax has been heard in our lumbering forests, and yet its inroads are scarcely 
perceptible. The steam whistles of fifteen lumber mills awake the echoes 
of the early morning, and at eventide sing the sweet lullaby of rest and con- 
tentment. Our countless herds of sheep and cattle roam upon a thousand 
hills, basking in the sunlight of God's favor, bringing wealth and prosperity 
to their provident owners. Our wool commands the highest market price 
of any in the State ; is, as a rule, of the finest quality, and is readily sought 
for by the numerous agents of the Eastern markets. In such demand is it 
that, when the wool season opens, agents for the great wool houses of San 
Francisco call at your doors, anxiously desiring to purchase your clip, and, if 
the bargain is consummated, willingly pay you for it on the spot. Your 
sheep ranches are in great demand, and almost daily we see men from other 
sections of the State passing through our county in search of grazing land. 
They come from the silver mines of Nevada, from the business thoroughfares 
of cities, from the frozen regions of the Eastern States, from the sterile 
regions of Europe, and lastly from the bleaching plains of southern California, 
to purchase grazing lands in Mendocino. They behold our grass-covered 
hiUs and enjoy our genial climate with satisfaction, and being satisfied of 
the advantages of our county, purchase land and settle among us. 

" Our farming land is of the richest; the cereals are all grown in profusion, 
and, in short, there is nothing known to agriculture that our soil does not 
produce. Every variety of fruit is grown, and of a quality that defies the 
criticism of the daintiest epicure. Our hops are the best in the world; Eng- 
land and Germany do not excel them. Our hop crop never fails, and even 
now, owing to some natural cause, the hop crop of Europe being a failure^ 
the extensive European markets are dependent upon Ru.ssian River valley 
for their necessary supply of this useful commodity. I say Russian River 
valley for the reason that four-fifths of the hops grown in California are 
grown in that valley, at least one-half of which is in Mendocino county. 
Our hops command a higher price than any others grown in the State, 
excepting only those grown in Sonoma count}^ Their passport through the 
market is their brand, ' Russian Rivei- Hop.s,' it being a rule among hop 
dealers to thus designate the product of Mendocino and Sonoma counties. 

"There are many other industries peculiar to our people which compare 
favorably with other portions of the State. Upon this branch suffice it to 
say that, as a people, we are and have been singularly blessed ; and as we 
contemplate and view the advantages we have, and daily experience over 
other poi-tions of the State, we can but be satisfied. We should be thankful 
that we, as a people, have been so favored, and it is fitting that we should 
assemble together, and bring with us the consummation of our skill — the 
products of our soil, our handiwork and our fine bred stock — and hold sweet 


coinmunion with one another upon this occasion, the first meeting of the 
Mendocino County Agricultural Association, as was the wont of olden times, 
and as has been the custom from time out of mind. 

"It is an honored custom for the people to thus meet on stated occasions — 
one that even goes so far back as to be almost traditionary. In the palmy 
days of the Roman empire, in the middle ages, and at other remote periods 
fairs were not held for the same purposes as now. They were first great' 
gatherings of the people for the purchase and sale of goods or the hiring of 
servants, and were occasionally associated with religious festivals and pop- 
ular entertainments. They yet partake greatly of that nature in European 
countries, while throughout the United States they are more for competitive 
exhibition than for general trafiic. The ancient Greeks held fairs in con- 
junction with popular assemblies for political purposes. The Roman fora, 
though properly permanent market places, attracted great multitudes at 
times of festivity and important judicial and political gatherings, and on 
such occasions the special facilities for selling goods, as well as the special 
provisions for popular entertainment, gave them somewhat the character of 
fairs, as they were then considered. As far back as the fifth century fairs 
were established in France and Italy. Alfred the Great introduced them in 
England in 886, and they were established in Flanders in 960. In EurOjie 
they were of great value during the middle ages, and they were especially 
serviceable in rude, inland countries. They had numerous privileges 
annexed to them, and afforded special facilities for the disposal of merchiu- 
dise. While commerce was burdened with all kinds of taxes and tolls, and 
travel was not only difficult but frequently unsafe, the fairs had generally 
the advantage of being free from imposts, and the merchants who wished to 
be present at them enjoyed the special protection of the Government for 
their goods and persons. It seemed that then, as now, the Government 
recognized the necessity of fairs, and the advantage and benefit they were to 
the people. 

•• In many of the States appropriations are annually made by the legisla- 
tures for the promotion, encouragement and assistance of agricultural socie- 
ties. Our own legislature has recognized the propriety of such a course, 
and has repeatedly made munificent appropriations to the State and other 
agricultural societies in California. They ver}^ wisely consider that a 
portion of the public money can be used in no better way for the couimon 
good of the whole people than by using it in this manner ; and we have yet 
to hear of any asserting that in this respect the}' acted unwisely. Fairs for 
the sale of live stock, agricultural products and staple manufactures have 
been found entirely unnecessary in countries enjoying a free and flourishing- 
trade like ours: and when attempted here they dwindle accordingly into 
insignificance. Cn the other hand, as is the case with us, fairs offer special 
opportunities for comparing different qualities of home manufacture and 


])Voduce, and thus are valuable as a means of instruction, just as we see 
to-day. There is not an exhibitor here at this time who has not a laudable 
desire that his or her exhibit, whether of products of the soil, live stock or 
specimen of mechanical skill, shall be better than his neighbors', and that he 
shall receive the prize offered by the society for the particular class he may 
have on exhibition. Thus we are instructed, as it is well known that by 
ambition, pride, and a laudable desire to excel we always profit, and are 
accordingly educated. Another advantage attached to them is that they 
bring communities which otherwise are slowly reached by the progress of 
civilization into direct contact witli it. The most celebrated fairs of large 
cities in former times accordingly exhibit the greatest degree of attendance, 
while the country fairs still retain much of their importance. 

" Among the many pursuits of man, none is more ennobling, more honor- 
able, more beneficial to mankind en masse, and which should be more respected 
and fostered, than agriculture. All nations have paid due respect to this, 
the greatest of arts, recognizing that within it lay prosperity and safet}^. 
They have fostered it in every conceivable manner, and have encouraged it 
by all the means at their command. Our own nation has followed in the 
wake of its elders. Among the retinue of its officers at Washington is the 
prominent one of Commissioner of Agriculture. The office was establi-shed 
by an act of Congress, and all the incidental expenses of the office are paid 
from the national treasur3\ Its attache's are sent to the agricultural local- 
ities of Europe to gain information, which is reported to the home office 
and then, with the observations and learned essays on the various branches 
of agriculture written by those who have made the various subjects treated 
a study, it is printed and sent broadcast through the land at the expense of 
the Government, for the edification and instruction of the people. The 
reports of the Commissioner of Agriculture are common in the libraries of all 
our farmers ; and many of you, doubtless, who are present here this evening 
have read and profited by them. Experience has shown that the country 
lias profited by so doing, for it is admitted that nothing so conduces to the 
welfare and prosperity of a people as the fostering and encouragement of the 
chiefest of industries and greatest of arts. It is useless for me to detail the 
many reasons why this is so. They are perfectly familiar to all thinking 
minds, and therefoi-e do not require repetition. 

"It is pleasing to reflect and consider agiiculture in itsprimitiveness, watch 
its progression through the long ages of time that have elapsed, and view the 
high state of perfection in which we find it to-day. The change from a 
state of nature, in which the human race must have first lived, to the pas- 
toral, or to any higher mode of living, must have been gradual, and perhaps 
tlie work of ages. The race was doomed to toil, and necessity soon became 
the motlier and sharpened the power of invention. Even in our own gener- 
ation, we have noted the great improvements that have b^en made in farming 


utensils, and how the skill of the inventor has triumphed over manual labor. 
AVe notice this to a greater extent in our own country than in others, for the 
reason, probably, that we only have ' Yankees ' in the United States. In 
many parts of Europe they yet cut their wheat with the .sickle, use the 
wooden plow, harnessing men and women to it, and thrash their grain 
with the flail. But, thanks to American genius and Yankee ingenuity, we 
can do the labor of the farm almost wholly by machinery, and while tilling 
the soil do not have to labor as menials, as do the great masses of the far- 
mers on the continent. 

"In the course of time, during which man multiplied and wandered from 
place to place, those countries were found most productive which were 
watered by the Euphrates, Tigris and the Nile, and the dwellers in their val- 
leys actively engaged in tilling the soil, while the dwellers in the hilly 
regions surrounding, which were better ailapted to grazing, became the 
owners of flocks of live stock. It is well known that the agriculture of a 
people must be influenced by the climate and the natural features of the 
country. What can be easily grown in southern California may not be adapted 
to the soil and climate of the northern portion of this State. For instance, 
the orange is successfully raised in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, while 
with us the climate is too cold and severe. And many common articles of 
produce can be grown here that would be a total failure in the warmer cli- 
mate of .southern California. Its progress also depends to a great degree on 
the density of the population. In our neighboring count}^ of Sonoma, which 
is much more thickly populated than this, farming has arrived at greater 
perfection than in this county. 

" Consulting the pages of history, we find that Egypt, Chaldea and China 
were among the first nations that followed agricultural pursuits to any con- 
siderable extent. In these countries, probably, animal power was first applied 
to agriculture; where men and women were unyoked from the plow and 
oxen were first hitched to it. From Egypt a knowledge of the art extended 
to Greece, and there we find it in a tolerably flourishing state about one 
thousand years before Christ, and where the art gradually advanced, until 
in the days of her glory, it may hz said to have attained, in some provinces, 
a very high degree of perfection. The Greeks had fine breeds of cattle, 
horses, sheep and swine. Many of the implements for farming used by 
them in those days were not very unlike those of the present time in our 
own country. Exten.sive importations were made from foreign countries of 
sheep, swine and poultry for the purpose of improving their stock. The 
importance of a thorough tillage of the ground seems to have been well 
understood by them, as they plowed three times during the same season with 
mules and oxen, and sometimes subsoiled, and often mixed different .soils, as 
sand and clay. They cultivated to perfection, the apple, peach, pear, cherry, 
plum, quince, nectarine, and other varieties, together with figs and lemons 


and many other fruits suited to the climate. The names of several of their 
agricultural writers have come down to us, and from these we gain what 
little knowledge of them as agriculturists we possess. 

"Agriculture was not a source of pride with the Greeks as it afterward 
became with the Romans. The chief cause of this was the fact that the 
land was tilled mainly by a subdued and menial race, as we all know that 
the dominant Greeks were given more to other arts than farming, and cared 
more for building up their cities than for cultivating the soil. On the con- 
trary, it seems to have been one of the fundamental ideas of the early 
Romans to practice the art of agriculture. With them, by custom and law, 
a lot of land was allotted by the Government to every citizen; and 
here I may remark that the question as to whether land should be held in 
large or small quantities by individuals, and which has assumed, and is yet 
assuming, such importance in our State, was considered by them, and by 
them decided that the welfare of the people required that it be held in small 
bodies. Each citizen was carefully restricted to the quantity granted to 
him. It was said by one of her many orators, for which she was so famous, 
that ' he was not to be counted a good citizen, but rather a dangerous man 
to the State, who could not content hini-self with seven acres of land.' The 
Roman acre being about one-third less than ours, the law actually limited 
each man's possession to about five acres. This, however, was only in the 
early days of Rome; for afterwards, as the nation advanced and became 
more powerful, and extended its limits, the citizen was allowed to hold fifty 
acres, and still latter he could be the holder of five hundred. That was, how- 
ever, the extreme limit that they were ever allowed to hold, showing that 
with their boasted wisdom, the Romans saw the impi^opriety of allowing 
land to be held in large bodies. One result of this custom among them was 
that it lead to a careful and exact mode of working ground and growing 
crops; and hence we learn from history that the old Romans always had 
abundant crops. And thereby the propriety of holding land in small tracts 
is illustrated. 

" It is also a well-known fact that in England, Spain, France, Germany 
and Italy, as a rule, more is produced to the acre at the present time than 
in America. This for the reason that in those countries, owing to the density 
of the population and the large class of agriculturists in comparison with 
the inhabitants, thej' are from the force of circumstances compelled to occupy 
and use small tracts of land ; and for the same reason, and for the additional 
one that land is in great demand, they reduce to a high state of cultivation 
land of an inferior quality, and what would appear to us barien hills and 
mountains are made to blossom as the rose. As proof that agi-iculture waa 
greatly respected and fostered by the Romans, the greatest and most intel- 
ligent of nations of olden times, I may mention that no greater praise could 
be bestowed on an ancient Rpman than to give him the name of a good hus- 


bandiiian. The great Cincinnatus was called from his plow to fight the 
battles of his country, and Cato, distinguished as an orator, a general and a 
statesman, is most loudly commended by the Roman historian for having 
written a book on farming. 

"And I may here remark that in America some of our greatest statesmen 
leave the field to enter the halls of Congress. A striking example is General 
Garfield, member of Congress from Ohio, who was informed of his last 
nomination while following the plow, and who is acknowledged by all to be 
learned, wise, and one of the greatest debaters in either House of our national 

" Says Cato: ' Our ancestors regarded it as a grand point of husbandry not 
to have too much land in one farm, for they considered that more profit 
came by holding little and tilling it well.' And Virgil says: 'The farmer 
may praise large estates, but let him cultivate a small one.' Pliny says that 
four hundred stalks of wheat, all grown from one seed, were sent to the Em- 
peror Augustus, and at another time three hundred and forty from one seed 
were sent to the Emperor Nero, accompanied by the statement that the soil, 
when dry, was so stiif that the strongest oxen could not plow it, but after 
a rain the soil was opened by plow drawn by a wretched mule and an old 
woman, harnessed together. 

" Fanning in the United States has certainly arrived at great perfection; 
and I think I can safely .say that we would have excelled the world — pos- 
sessing the richest land that the sun ever shone on — if we had not held 
too much land. If we had been confined to small tracts for farms, as they 
are in Europe, and thus been foi'ced to utilize all our land, to till it and care 
for it as they do, theji, with the natural industry of the American farmer, 
assisted by the improved farming utensils and machinery that the inventive 
genius of our people has placed at our command, no one can question that 
the art of agriculture would ere this have been one of our greatest attributes, 
and that we would have led the van of civilized production and prosperity. 

"In this i-espect California is not behind her .sister States. Land within 
her borders has been plenty — more than sufficient for the necessities of hcjr 
people; so plentiful and so easily cultivated that her farmers have not been 
stimulated to care for it and educate themselves in agriculture to the extent 
which it is necessary to make it produce to its full capacity. Yet our State 
ranks well; and considering its youth and the many pursuits that lure its 
citizens, can readily be classed as one of the best farming and stock-raising 
States of the Union. 

" And we of Mendocino are not behind our sister counties. Our farmers 
willingly produce all that our markets demand ; and when the valleys of 
our county are connected by railroad with deep water and the great com- 
mercial city of San Francisco, so that the products of our soil can be profit- 
ably transported to a larger and better market, then we will take our rank 



as one of the first producing counties of the State- We should all strive to 
have this much desired and needed ultimatum reached — that is, communi- 
cation by rail with deep water. 

" In conclusion, I will say that every citizen of the county should lend his 
aid to the Mendocino County Agricultural Association — representing agri- 
culture, and art so beneficial to us all — for it cannot help be the means of 
benefiting us as a county and people. That it may succeed in all its anticipa- 
tions is my earnest wish, and I hope that of all present." 



Below •will be found Bummarized statements of the statistics of the several 
matters of interest in Mendocino county at the present time. 

The following data have been gleaned from the Assessor's books for the 
year 1880:— 

The loll foots up a million and a half more than last year, it then being 
$5,582,750. This is a large increase, especially when we take into consider- 
ation the deduction of mortgages I'rom land assessed, which often wiped the 
valuation of the latter entirely out. 


Number. Value. 

Land, inclosed, acres 224,004 ) , _^ , ^.,, 

w i J CI o^Q -^,084,901 

Land, cultivated, acres 54,z48 ) 

Improvements 410,876' 

Railways, miles^ 24| 104,500 

Telegraph lines, miles 124 3,000 

Tull-roads, miles 30 7,200' 

Town lots . 117,440 

Improvements on same 300,726 

Improvements on other than owner 10,150 

Mortgage and trust deeds 1,072,858 

Total assessed acreage 728,263 

Average per acre $3 88 


Number. Value. 

Money '. . . . $76,532 

Calves 1,983 7,457 

Beef cattle ' 352 5,401 

Stock cattle 6,110 58,358 

Colts 615 10,404 

Cows 3.499 64,843 

Farm utensils 16,823 

Saloon fixtures Sjl^a 




American horses 1,559 

Half-breed horses. 2,843 

Oxen 369 

Graded sheep. . .3 2,132 

Common sheep 244,516 

Lambs 32,699 

Solvent credits, net 

Mules 395 

Jacks and Jennets 10 

Hogs 9,064 

Ooats, cashmere 1,830 

JTire-arms 856 

Wagons 1,430 

Watches 701 



Raili-oad ties 218,565 

Posts : 

Tanbark, cords 663 


Wheat 15,196 

Barley 8,714 

Oats 9,200 

Rye 200 

Corn 580 

Potatoes 2,450 

Hay 14,600 

Hojps 450 


Tons.. . 
























Apple 56,000 

Pear 11,000 

Fig 150 

Plum 15,000 

Peach 46,200 

Quince 200 

Grape-vines, acres 300 

Value of fruit crop $12,500 

In addition to the above there are five grist-mills, the production of which 
not given ; twenty-one saw and shingle-mills, which produced a total of 


foi-ty million feet of lumber and one million four hundred and fifty thousand 
shingles ; and four breweries, which manufactured twenty-five thousand gal- 
lons of beer. The dairyman did not return the number of pounds of butter 
and cheese manufactured during the year, hence we have no data as to this 
important industry. 

Mendocino's Rich Men. — The assessment roll shows the following per- 
sons to be asse.ssed upon a valuation of $10,000 and over. The figures were 
taken from the assessment roll before the board equalized it; Uklah — J. H. 
Burke, $12,442; Bank of Ukiah, $191,422; William Doolan, $10,410; Joseph 
Ellege, $15,764; C. Hofman, $10,125; A. Marks & Co., $47,293; R, Mc- 
Garvey, $16,781 ; Sam. Orr, $30,046 ; E. T. Farmer, $17,736; A. J. Gibson, 
$13,210 ; J. P. HoflFman, $11,710 ; W. J. Hildreth, $10,076 ; M. W. 
Howard, $10,926; P. Howell, $12,363 ; G. W. Heald, $10,554; Thomas 
Hopper, $36,982; A. F. Redemeyer. $90,529; J. S. Reed, $62,820; Estate 
of T. U. Smyth, $13,442; J. F. Todd, $16,518; Walker & Menzies, 
$10,000; J. Waithman, $12,000. Sanel—0. Howell, $50,156; Estate of 
Mrs. A. McDonald, $12,379; J. McGlashan, $11,657; A. McNab, $19,- 
274; Mrs. J. M, Peck, $21,322; J. Salinger, $10,936; W.W. Thatcher, 
$19,733; H. Willard, $10,647. Round Valley— G. C. Berry, $13,200; 
Garsey & Ames, $11,565; G. W. Henley, $23,700; Henley & Gibson, 
$15,680; Nevada Bank, $30,450; Townsend & Carey, $37,475; J. Up- 
degrafi", $19,982; G.E.White, $49,641. Caljxlla—E. Angle,- $21,185; J. 
G. Busch, $19,934; J. D. Brower, $30,497; W. Lierly ; $11,130; J. H. 
Laughlin, Sr., $18,040. Anderson— U. H. & A. N. Rawles, $15,303 : E. M. 
Hiatt, $24,053. Arena— J. E. Chalfant, $33,635 ; Gualala Mill Co., $92,095 ; 
N. Iverson, $17,698; Nickerson & Co., $23,426; C. D. Robinson, $10,320, 
Big Elver— E. Brown, $21,899 ; Bank of Mendocino, $198,192; Osro Clifl", 
$11,038; Coombs & Perkins, $12,387 ; S. Coombs, $16,603; C, W. Denslow. 
$15,375 ; William Hey.ser, $13,810 ; J. G. Jackson, $90,745; J. Kenny, $20,184 ; 
J. S. Kimball, $22,227: W. H. Kent, 10,482; W. H. Kelly, $13,186; Men- 
docino Lumber Company, $166,533 ; Mendocino Discount Bank, $28,719; 
Redwood Lumber Company, $44,500; H. B. Tichenor & Co., $129,561; Thomas 
Welsh, $15,329. Ten-mile River— Alexemder Gordon, $12, 4'69 ; L. Sloss & 
Co., $20,897; F. Heldt, $16,200; Hunter & Stewart, $15,475 ; W. R. Mil- 
ler, $11,065. Little ia/ce— Baechtel Brothers. $43,595 ; C. W. Clarke, $13,- 
457; DeCamp Brothers, $13,194; J. A. Hardin, $17,27.5 ; J. Lahm, $14,- 
553; J. E. Moore, $20,200; E. R. Shimmins, $11,185; Traver & Norton, 
$27,426 ; "Upp & Whitehorn, $15,142; Willits & Johnson, $27,806. Miscel- 
laneous — Hibernia Savings and Loan Society, $17,262 ; H. Wetherbee, 

Report of County Treasurer. — The following is a synopsis of County 
Treasurer Fowzer's report for the quarter ending July 31, 1880 : — 


Receipts. — From school lands, princii^al, $953.04; school lands, interest, 
$1,887.54; swamp lands, interest, S9.60; taxes of 1880-81, $4,780.32; 
redemption of lands sold for taxes, $143.28; licenses, $2,295 ; fines, $26.20; 
fees of county officers — sheriff, $693.30; clerk, $401.99 ; recorder, $215.30; 
county superintendent of schools, $20; net proceeds of sale of remains 
of Eel river bridge, $1.80; cash found on body of Peter Kline, deceased, 
$2.60; poll tax, 1880-81, $3,785.90; total, $15,215,87. 

Disbursements. — State fund, $7,102.87 ; county general fund, $3,762,96 ; 
general road fund, $83.53 ; indigent fund, $28 ; road district fund, $363.23 ; 
interest fund, $118.04; public building fund, $1,777.50; State school fund, 
$7,963.40; county school fund, $2,022.89; school library fund, $602.18; 
school district building fund, $37.33 ; unappropriated county school fund, 
$49.81; redenjption tax fund, $123.18; special bridge tax fund, $2,325; 
total, $26,359.92. 

Stimmarz/.— Balance on hand May 1st, $44,736.98; receipts, $15,215.87; 
total, $59,952.85; disbursed, $26,359.92; balance on hand August 1st, $33,- 

Mendocino's Schools. — A writer in a local paper under date of Febru- 
ary 24, 1865, has this to say about the of that day : " In 
traveling over Mendocino county one is impressed with the peculiar style of 
architecture exhibited in the public school-houses which he sees upon the 
road. The purpose for which these buildings were erected is apparent from 
their position, form and general appearance. They are generally too small 
for barns, too deficient in just proportions for dwellings, and too nondescript 
and i-epulsive for anything but school-houses." 

It is more than probable that the author of the above was altogether too 
severe in his ci-iticism. The traveler through the county now does not meet 
with any of those nondescript buildings spoken of above, with possibly an 
exception or two. As a rule the school-buildings are neat, tidy and com- 

From County Superintendent Thomas' report for the school year commenc- 
ing July 1, 1879, and ending June 30, 1880, we glean the following inter- 
esting facts in regard to schools: Number of first grade schools in the 
countj-, twenty-three; second grade, thirty; third grade, eleven. Number 
of male teacher, thirty-two ; female teachers, thirty-two. Average monthly- 
salary paid to male teachers, $74.90; female teachers, $63.90. Number of 
schools maintained for six months and less than eight months, forty-eight ; 
maintained for eight months and over, nine. Number of census children in 
the county, three thousand five hundred and four; number that attended 
public schools, two thousand six hundred and forty; number that attended 
private schools, fifty-two; number of visitors to the schools, nine hundred 
and four. Average length of time schools were maintained during the 


year, seven and nine one-hundredths months. Average length of time the 
same teachers taught, five and sixty-six one-hundredths months. Number 
of children now entitled to participate in the apportionment of the school 
funds: whites, three thousand two hundi'ed and seventy-four; negroes, live ; 
Indians, two hundred and twenty-five ; total, threa thousand five hundred 
and four. 

Under the heading of " Miscellaneous Remarks," the Superintendent adds: 
"I am happy to say that the public school system, as it is realized in this 
county, is doing a very good work. Daring my official visitations for the 
last school year I saw much that was pleasing to us in the general conduct 
and condition of the schools of this county. The school buildings, without 
being elegant, with few exceptions [are commodious and' comfortable, and 
the outfit quite adequate to the wants of schools of primary and grammar 
grades. A large majority of the teachers intend to make teaching a life- 
long profession, and are trying to fit themselves more and more for the noble 
work they have taken in hand. Their spirit and their methods are generally 
good, of course, with some variation. While I was in the schools I saw very 
little to offend against propriety. Decorum seemed to be the rule, and 
exceptions very rare. I think we are making progress in the good work of 
public school education. It is our conviction that the capacity and faithful- 
ness of our ex-Superintendent, John C. Ruddock, have contributed largely 
to the improvement and efficiency of the piiblic schools in Mendocino 

Apportionments were made to the several districts of the county on 
August 21st, as follows : Ukiah — teachers, five; State, $306; library, $34. 
Round Valley— teachers, three; State, $183.60; library, $20.40. Big River, 
Buchanan, Caspar, Cuffey's Cove, and Manchester — teachers, two in each; 
State, in each, $122.40; library, in each, $13.60. Each of the remaining 
districts has one teacher, and received for its State fund $91.20, and for 
library $6.80. Walker Valley is discontinued from the apportionment, not 
having enough census children to constitute a school. Mountain View 
i-eceives its first apportionment, having been set apart by the Board of 
Supervisors in May last. The whole amount apportioned by the State 
Superintendent, $285,296.59. The amount apportioned to Mendocino county 
S4,624; amount per child, $1.32. Mendocino county is twelfth in the 
number of children, being outianked by San Francisco, Alameda, Sacramento, 
Los Angeles, Sonoma, San Joaquin, Nevada, Solano, Humboldt, Butte, and 
Santa Cruz, in the order named. Number of teachers in the county, sixty- 
oiglit; amount paid per teacher, $68.00. 

The following table shows the number of white children in this county, 
by school districts, between the ages of five and seventeen years, on the 1st 
day of July, 1880, as returned by the school census marshals : — 


Name of District. 




Name of District. 


Girls. Total. 






















Little River 








J 00 


Mill Creek 

60 U4. 

Big Rook 










Caircill ... 




Potter Valley 





Con Creelt 

Round Valley 


Cotta Neva. . 







Cuffev's Cove 



Elk deck 


Fish Hock 







41 i Bl 

Hopland Spriijft..; 





Little Lake 





In addition to the above, there were five negro children between five and 
seventeen years of age; two hundred and twenty -five Indian children 
between five and seventeen years of age living under the guardianship of 
white persons; one thousand five hundred and thirty-nine children under 
five years of age ; two thousand three hundred and thirty-five between five 
and seventeen years of age who have attended public school during the year; 
sixty-two who have attended private schools; seven hundred and eighty-two 
who have not attended any school ; four Mongolian children under f 
years of age, and one blind child. 

Census. — The following is a complete census return of the population of 
Mendocino county by townships : — 

Anderson and Sanel 1,547 

Arena 1,691 

Big River 3,100 

Calpella 1,253 

Little Lake 1,513 

Eound Valley 742 

Ukiah 2,068 

Ten-mile River 865 

Total 12,779 

Wool Interests.— The wool .shipments from Cloverdale for the half-year 
ending June 30, 1880, foot up in round figures six hundred and ninety-two 


thousand two hundred and fifteuu pounds. This wool at thirty cents per 
pound brings just $20'(,664.50. To give the reader an adequate idea of the 
extent and importance of this industry to Mendocino county we append the 
following figures to show the yield of one clipping on some of the principal 
ranches: George White, forty tons ; Asbill Bros., twenty; Crawford & Faulds, 
eight ; Henly Bros., tweutj^ ; J. Updegrafi", thirteen; Mr. Anthony, ten; Mr. 
Foster, two and a half ; Johnson & Brown, ten ; L. D. Montague, six ; and 
Townsend & Carey, ten. These figures only embrace a small portion of 
territory of this county. 

The Future. — The future outlook for Mendocino county is ceitainly 
bright and flattering. Her great resources are just really beginning to be 
known and appreciated by the outside world. A railroad is her greatest 
immediately pressing need, and while we cannot say that the prospect is 
very bright for having one soon, the time cannot be far distant when that 
want will be supplied. 

We will now close this part of our work, referring the reader to other 
chapters for further information on special subjects. We have preferred to 
make the township histoi-ies as complete as possible, leaving this chapter 
rather meager, than to fill up here and rob the town.ships of their just 

In closing this chapter, which in its historical matter embraces tlio entire 
county, we would ask the reader to go in imagination with us to the t(jp of 
some of the highest peaks of the coast range of Mendocino, and let us take one 
farewell look at the beautiful panorama of the whole county which .spreads 
itself out before us. From our lofty height what a grand prospect opens to 
our view! Farms, herds, golden fields of grain, neat, tasty residences, abodes 
of wealth — comfort, contentment and happiness sit enthroned wherever the 
eye reaches. The beauty and grandeur of this scene cannot truthfully be 
touched by a poet's pen or a limner's pencil ; but as best we can let us paint 
it in words. Far away to the eastward the mountains around Round valley 
lift their snow-capped summits as if to meet the clouds and catch the drippings 
of heaven's dew ere it has been tainted b}' contact with lower and viler 
stratas of the atmosphere, or to kiss the rosy-mantled cheek of the golden- 
charioted Aurora as she unbars the gate of light to let in the glorious mid- 
summer's day. In whatever dii-ection the eye is turned, the vista reaches 
far out and takes in range upon range of mountains, and hills, and valleys, 
and timber, and .streams, which, mantled with the mellow halo of an autumn 
day, presents a scene that would have coquetted with the fancies of the old 
masters, whose paintings have enlisted the enthusiastic admiration of art 
connoisseurs everywhere. Beneath us the valleys teem with life, with 
homes of happiness, culture and refinement, handsome houses and well-kept 
gardens blooming with flowers that fill the air with perfume and richast 


incense ; golden fields of ripening grain, the wealth and support of the peo- 
ple; busy husbandmen ; smiling, contented matrons ; gleeful, hopeful maid 
ens, and laughing, joyous children tripping along their way to school — Amer- 
ica's sentinel-posts that dot the valley and hill-sides all over the county. 
Rivulets, creeks and livers shimmer in the sunshine like ribbons of silver, 
and chassa along through the gorges of the mountain -pass, or the wider and 
peaceful valley, one ripple chasing another over the smoothly-worn gravel 
of their beds, or leaping time-worn rocks, rushing on to kiss the hem of 
Mother Ocean. Anon, a church steeple points to the sky, the home of God 
and the city of golden paved streets. Here and there nestles a village with 
its stoies and shops and mills, and its busy sons and daughters of toil, 
whose strong arms and deft fingers fashion the useful and beautiful, and add 
to the wealth of the nation in which they live. 

In the center of all this grand prospect stands the city of Ukiah, with a 
population of busy people whose intelligence and wealth will bear favorable 
comparison with any city of its size in the .State, and far outstrip many of 
greater pretensions. Her public and private schools, with their accom- 
plished and experienced teachers, her numerous and elegant church edifices, 
large congregations and learned and devout ministers, bespeak a refined and 
desirable condition of society. 

Turning to the westward, the panorama is just as beautiful. Mount- 
ain range and beautiful valley follow each other in succession down to the 
very ocean. Streams innumerable have their sources in the mountains, and 
thread their silvery way down their course to the sea. Great redwood forests 
line their banks and spread out in one solid array of ever-vernal beauty, 
mantling all the hill and mountain sides in a robe of living green. Along 
the coast towns are built which are truly busy marts of trade, and the 
schooners plying to the ports are the arteries through which flows the won- 
drous wealth of that .section. And far beyond it all, extending to the hori- 
zon's limit, is the grand blue of the old Pacific, on whose bosom is borne the 
argosies of the world. Skirting the horizon, vessels are passing to and from 
all the ports of eai-th, beaiing in their holds the freight of nations. As they 
pass out of the Golden Gate, and " trim their sails " and " shape their 
courses," what a varied destiny and destination is theirs ! Some seek the 
far-away north-west whaling grounds where the snows and ice of cen- 
turies are to be encountered; others sail away to the tropics, where the 
spice-laden breezes of the Indus and Cathay will waft them over seas of sil- 
ver; while others bear the great burdens of California's cereals to European 
ports, where they supply the wants of the moiling millions on the other side 
of the Atlantic. 

What a grand picture! And yet the subject is scai'cely touched. The 
pen is and words are vain. It was the hand of the divine Archi- 
tect that unfoldeil this garden of beauty, that spivad out these picturesque 


valleys, that fashioned the courses of the brooklets and streams and rivers, 
that hollowed the basin of the mighty Pacific, and supplies the never-failing 
fountains from which its depths of water are replenished. All this is the fruit 
of his superlative greatness and incomprehensible wisdom. "Oh, that men 
would praise the Lord for his, and for his wonderful works to the 
children of men ! " 

We cannot close this chapter more appropriately than to reproduce the 
whole of one- and a portion of another of the sweet songs that have been 
sung of Mendocino county by her own eminently gifted postess, Mrs. Anna 
M. Reed:— 

A willing, fair, and perfect child, 
In joyous eagerness to-day she stands 
To meet her mother's smile, and boar 
The fruitful training of her gentle hands. 

Her redwood groves, they sing a living song; 

Her rivers to the sea rich greeting bear; 

Her farms are nestled in the vales; 

Her hills a smiling prospect wear. 

Within her bounds dwell sons of noble toil, 

Whose lives, in usefulness, seem half divine, 

Within their hearts the echoed truth 

Of words thus offered at their country's shrine. 

There is no place for apes of fashion here. 

No paiuted dolls or votaries of pride; 

An honest name and undefiled — 

This do they prize more than the world beside. 

God bless the earnest, peaceful hearts that know 

The quiet joys that fill the farmer's life; 

And bless the ones who share their lot 

The careful mother and faithful wife. 

Here in the valley of our favored choice. 
Well may we all with laugh and song rejoice, 
Far from tearful want and the blighting drouth. 
Over our sisters fainting in the South. 
Fields where but late the fruitful seed was sown, 
Promise us soon a plenteous harvest-home; 
Our redwood forests wave their noble crests 
O'er rivers flowing on toward the- West; 
Lambs are straying over Mount Sanhedrim's slope, 
And blessed scenes for us, each future hope. 
Looking to the east, in her pride appears 
Lake, with her blue eyes filled with happy tears. 
Yellow-haired Sonoma, lying in the South 
With the kiss of summer waiting on her mouth; 
Humboldt on the north, in her youth divine, 
To the west the ocean, with its song sublime. 
Fair Mendocino, of them all the queen. 
Smiles upon us sweetly in her robe of green. 




The Organization of the County. — The first oi-ganization of counties 
in the United States originated in Virginia, her early settlers becoming pro- 
prietors of vast amounts of land, living apart in patrician splendor, imperious 
in demeanor, aristocratic in feeling, and being in a measure dictators to the 
laboring portion of the population. It will thus be remarked that the mate- 
rials for the creation of towns were not at hand, voters being but sparsely 
distributed over a great area. The county organization was, moreover, in 
perfect accord with the traditions and memories of the judicial and social 
dignities of Great Britain, in descent from whom they felt so much glory. 
In 1634 eight counties were established in Virginia, a lead which was fol- 
lowed by the Southern and several of the Northern States, save in those of 
South Carolina and Louisiana, where districts were outlined in the former, 
and parishes, after the manner of the French, in the latter. 

In New England, towns were formed before counties, while counties were 
organized before States. Originally, the towns, or townships, exercised all 
the powers of government swayed by a State. The powers afterward 
assumed by the State governments were from surrender or delegation on the 
part of towns. Counties were created to define the jurisdiction of courts of 
justice. The formation of States was a union oF towns, wherein arose the 
representative system, each town being represented in the State legislature, 
or general court, by delegates chosen by the freemen of the towns at their 
stated meetings. The first town meeting of which we can find any direct 
evidence, was held by the congregation of the Plymouth Colony, on March 
23, 1()21, for the purpose of perfecting military arrangements. At that 
meeting a (Jovernor was elected for the ensuing year, and it is noticed as a 
coincidence, whether from that source or otherwise, that the annual town 
meetings in New England, and nearly all the other States, have ever since 
been held in the spring of the year. It was not, however, until 1635, that 
the township system was adopted as a quasi corporation in Massachusetts. 

The first legal enactment concerning this system provided that whereas: 
" Particular towns have many things which concein only themselves, and 
the ordering of their own affairs, and dispo.sing of business in their own 
towns; therefore the freemen of every town, or the major part of them, shall 


only have power to dispose of their own lands and woods, with all the appur- 
tenances of said towns; to grant lots and to make such orders as may con- 
cern the well ordering of their own towns, not repugnant to the laws and 
orders established by the General Court. They might also impose fines of 
not more than twenty shillings, and choose their own particular officers, as 
Constables, Surveyors for the highways, and the like." Evidently this enact- 
ment relieved the General Court of a mass of municipal details, without any 
dano-er to the powers of that body in controlling general measures of public 
policy. Probably, also, a demand from the freemen of the towns was felt, 
for the control of their own home concerns. 

The New England colonies were first governed by a " General Court," or 
Legislature, composed of a Governor and small council, which court con- 
sisted of the most influential inhabitants, and possessed and exercised both 
legislative and judicial powers, which were limited only by the wisdom of 
the holders. They made laws, ordered their execution, elected their own 
officers, tried and decided civil and criminal causes, enacted all manner of 
municipal regulations, and, in fact, transacted all the business of the colony. 
This system, which was found to be eminently successful, became general, 
as territory was added to the Republic, and States formed. Smaller divisions 
were in turn inaugurated and placed under the jurisdiction of special officers^ 
whose numbers were increased as time developed a demand, until the system 
of township organization in the United States is a matter of just pride to 
her people. 

Let us now consider this topic in regard to the especial subject under 
review : — ■ 

On the acquisition of California by the Government of the United States^ 
under a treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and .settlement with the Mexican 
Republic, dated Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848, the boundaries of the 
State were defined. This treaty was ratified by the President of the United 
States, on March 16, 1848; exchanged at Queretaro May 30th, and finally 
promulgated July 4th, of the same year, by President Polk, and attested by 
Secretary of State, James Buchanan. In 1849 a Constitutional Convention 
was assembled in Monterey, and at the close of the session, on October 12th, 
a proclamation calling upon the people to form a government was issued 
" to designate such officers as they de.sire to make and execute the laws; 
that their choice may be wisely made, and that the government so organized 
may secure the permanent welfare and happiness of the people of the new 
State, is the sincere and earnest wish of the present executive, who, if the 
Constitution be ratified, will with pleasure surrender his powers to whom- 
soever the people may designate as his successor." This historical document 
bore the signatures of " B. Riley, Bvt. Brig. General U. S. A., and Governor 
of California; and official H. W. Halleck, Bvt. Capt. and Secretary of 


In accordance with Section foui-teen of Article twelve of the Constitution, 
it was provided that the State be divided into counties, and Senatorial and 
Assembly districts, while the first session of the Legislature, which began at 
San Josi^, on December 15, 1849, passed, on February 18, 1850, "An Act 
subdividing the State into counties and establishing seats of justice therein;" 
which directed the boundaries of Mendocino county to be as follows: — 

Beginning on the parallel of forty degrees of north latitude, at a point in 
the ocean three English miles from land, and running due east on said 
parallel to the summit of the Coast Range; thence in a southerly direction, 
following the summit of the Coast Range, and past Cache creek to Putah 
creek; thence following up said creek to its source in the mountain called 
Mayacmas; thence along the summit of said mountain to the head of Rus- 
sian river ; thence down the middle of said river to its mouth, and three 
English miles into the ocean; thence in a northerly direction parallel with 
the coast to the point of beginning. The county was attached to Sonoma 
for judicial purposes. 

Prior to the first partition of the State into counties, the section now known 
as Mendocino had been included in the district of Sonoma, a division which 
had originated with the Mexican authorities during their power, and that 
included all the counties now lying west of the Sacramento river, betAveen 
the Bay of San Francisco and the Oregon line; it had not been interferred 
with on the accession of American rule, but retained the official designation 
given to it by the Spaniards. 

On April 11, 1850, An Act of the Legislature was passed organizino- a 
Court of Sessions, which defined its composition as follow^s: — 

The Court consisted of the County Judge, who should preside at its ses- 
sions, assisted by two Justices of the Peace of the county as Associate Jus- 
tices, they being chosen by their brother Justices from out of the whole 
number elected for the county. The duties imposed upon this organization 
were multifarious. They made such orders respecting the property of the 
county as they deemed expedient, in conformity with any law of the State, 
and in them were vested the care and preservation of said property. They 
examined, settled, and allowed all accounts chargeable against the county; 
directed the raising of such sums for the defraying of all expenses and 
charges against the county, by means of taxation on property, i-eal and per- 
sonal, such not to exceed, however, the one-half of the tax levied by the 
State on such property; to examine and audit the accounts of all officers 
having the care, management, collection and disbursement of any money 
belonging to the coimty, or appropriated by law, or otherwise, for its use 
and benefit. In them was the power of control and management of public 
roads, turnpikes, fences, canals, roads and bridges within the county, wdiere 
the law did not jjrohibit such jurisdiction, and make such orders as should be 
requisite and necessary to carry such control ami management into effect- 


to divide the county into townships, and to create new townships, and change 
the division of the same as the convenience of the county should require. 
They establislied and changed election precincts; controlled and managed 
the property, real and personal, belonging to the county, and purchased and 
received donations of property for the use of the county, with this proviso, 
that they should not have the power to purchase any real or personal prop- 
erty, except such as should be absolutely necessary for the use of the county. 
To sell and cause to be conveyed, any real estate, goods, or chattels belonging 
to the county, appropriating the funds of such sale to the use of the same. 
To cause to be erected and furnished, a Court-house, jail, and other buildings, 
and to see that the same are kept in repair, and otherwise to perform all 
such other duties as should be necessary to the full dischaige of the powers 
conferred on such court. Terms were ordered to be hold on the second Mon- 
day of February, April, June, August, October and December, with quar- 
terly sessions on the third Monday of February, May, August and Novem- 
bei- of each year. 

Mendocino county was, by an- Act of the Legislature, dated April 25, 
1851, attached to Sonoma county for revenue as well as judicial purposes, 
and so remained until 1859, when an Act of the Legislature was approved 
March 11th, which provided for its becoming an independent county. While 
it was a part of Sonoma county, there were two townships in the county, 
viz.: Ukiah and Big River, the boundaries or limits of which are at the 
present time unknown. The southern boundary line of Mendocino county 
has always been the same as the northern line of Sonoma county, hence we 
give below the description of that line. April 25, 1851, an Act of the Leg- 
islatuie defined the northern boundary line of Sonoma county as follows: — 
Beginning on the sea-coast, at the mouth of Russian river, and following up 
the middle of said river to its source in the range of mountains called May- 
acmas; thence in a direct line to the north-western corner of Napa county. 
It will be seen by the above, that Mendocino county at that time contained 
much more territoi-y than at present. By the act of March 11, 1859, the 
boundary line between the two counties was established along the Gualala 
river, and has remained so ever since. 

We now come to the consideration of Mendocino county proper. March 
11, 1859, and Act to define the boundaries and provide for the organization 
of Mendocino count}' was approved, and be.came a law. This Act reads as : — 

The people of the State of California, represented in Senate and Assem- 
bly, do enact as follows : 

Section 1. Mendocino county is bounded as follows : Beginning at a 
point in the Pacific ocean three miles due west of the mouth of Gualala 
river ; thence east to the middle of the mouth of said stream and up the 


middle of the channel of said sti'eam two miles; thence in a direct line to 
the most northern and highest peak or summit of the Redwood mountain, 
immediately north of Cloverdale and Oat valley; thence due east to the 
western boundary of Napa county, on the summit of the Mayacmas Ridge ; 
thence northerly and easterly along the west and north boundary of Napa 
county to the western boundary of Colusa county ; thence northerly along 
the western boundaries of the counties of Colusa and Tehama to a point on 
the line of the fifth standard north of the Mount Diablo meridian ; thence 
along the said standard parallel, due west, to a point in the Pacific ocean 
three miles west of the shore ; thence southerly, parallel with the coast to 
the point of beginning. 

Sec. 2. There shall be an election held for county officers and the location 
of the seat of justice of Mendocino county on the first Monday in May, 
eighteen hundi-ed and fifty-nine, at which election the qualified voters of 
said county shall choose one County Judge, one District Attorney, one 
County Clerk (who shall be ex-ojjficio County Recorder and Auditor), one 
Sheriff, one County Surveyor, one County Assessor, one Coroner, one County 
Treasurer, and three Supervisors. (April 8, 1859, an amendment to this 
section was approved providing for the electum of a County Superintendent 
of common schools). 

Sec. 3. Joseph Knox, Flave Nally, Harry Baechtel, George Brown, and 
Jacob Heiser are hereby appointed Commissioners to designate, provided 
they shall deem it necessary, additional precincts to those already established 
within the county of Mendocino, for said election, and to apjjoint the 
inspectors and judges of elections for the various precincts of the county, to 
receive the returns and to issue certificates of election to the persons receiv- 
ing the highest number of legal votes for the different offices, and to declare 
which place is the legally elected county seat. In all other respects said 
election shall be conducted according to the laws now in force regulating 
elections in and for the State of California. 

Sec. 4. Said Commissioners shall meet at Hall's house, in Cold Spring 
valley, Ukiah township, on the second Monday in April, eighteen hundred 
and fifty-nine, and, after having been duly sworn by an officer competent to 
administer oaths, to well and truly perform their duties, shall designate pre- 
cincts if, in their opinion, others than those alrjeadj'^ established are necessary, 
and appoint an Inspector and two Judges of election for each precinct in 
the county. The Commissioners shall appoint one of their number as 
president, and one as clerk, who shall keep a record of their proceedings, 
which record shall be deposited in the County Clerk's office so soon as the 
clerk shall have entei-ed upon the discharge of his duties. A majority of 
said Commissioners shall at all times constitute a quorum for the transaction 
of business. 

Skc. 5. The said Board of Commissioner.- shall, after designating the pre- 


cincts of the county, and appointing the judges and inspectors thereof, give 
notice of such precincts, and officers of election by notices posted at each 
of the precincts, ten days previous to the day of election. 

Sec. 6. Sealed returns from the officers of election of the several precincts, 
may be delivered to any qualified member of the Board of Commissioners. 
Said Board shall meet at Cold Spring on the Monday subsequent to the day 
of election; and the returns shall then be opened and read, and under their 
direction and in their presence, a tabular statement shall be made out, show- 
ing the vote given at each precinct of the county for each person, and for 
each of the offices to be filled at the election, and also the entire vote given 
for each person, and the office which each one is voted to fill. The statement 
then to be made out bj^ such Board, shall be signed by the President and 
Clerk. They shall also count the vote for the county seat and declare the 

Sec 7. As soon as the statements and certificates are made out by the 
Board, the President shall declare the result, and immediately make out and 
send or deliver to each person chosen a certificate of election, signed by him 
as President of the Board of Commissioners of Election and attested by the 

Sec. 8. Each person elected shall qualify and enter upon the duties of 
his office within ten days after the receipt of his certificate of election. The 
person elected as County Judge shall qualify before the President of the 
Board of Commissioners of Election. Persons elected to other offices of the 
county may qualify before the said President, or before the County Judge. 

Sec. 9. The President of the Board shall transmit without delay, an 
abstract of said election returns to the Secretary of State, and retain the 
original returns until the Clerk shall qualify, when he shall file the same in 
the Clerk's office. 

Sec. 10. The County Judge chosen under this Act, shall hold office for four 
years from the first day of December, eighteen hundred and fifty nine, and 
until his successor is elected and qualified. The other officers elected under 
this Act shall hold their i-espective offices for two years from the first day 
of December eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, and until their successors are 
elected and qualified. 

Sec. 11. The courts authorized to be held by the County Judge of Mendo- 
cino county shall be held all at the same time, viz.: Commencing on the first 
Monday of each of the following months, viz.: Febiuary, May, August and 
November, provided that the County Judge may call and hold special terms 
of the Probate Court, and Court of Sessions, whenever the public interest 
may require it. 

Sec. 12. The County Judge of Mendocino shall receive as a compensation 
for his services, fifteen hundred dollars per annum, to be paid quarterly; the 


District Attorney shall receive six hundred dollars per annum, to be paid 

Sec. 13. The Supervisors chosen under this Act shall hold regular meet- 
ings for the transaction of county business at the county seat, on the third 
Monday of each of the following months, viz.: February, May, August, and 
November; two special terms and no more, may be held within the same 
year, at the call of the President of the Board. I'he Supervisors shall be 
chosen in three different townships in the county. Their conpensation shall 
be twenty cents for every necessary mile traveled in going from their 
residences to the county seat to attend any regular meeting of the Board, 
and returning; also each member of the Board shall be allowed five dollars 
per diem during the session of the Board. 

Sec. 14. Mendocino county shall be and remain a portion of the Seventh 
Judicial District. The District Judge shall hold one term of his court in 
Mendocino county on the third Monday in November, eighteen hundred and 
fifty-nine, and in every year thereafter two terms, viz.: on the third Mon- 
day in July and November. 

Sec. 15. Hereafter, one of the two members of the Assembly allowed by 
law to Sonoma and Mendocino jointly, shall be elected from Mendocino 
county, and one of said members shall be elected from Sonoma county. 

Sec. 16. Beverly Mundy of Sonoma county, Jesse Whilton of Napa county, 
and Upton Gordon of Marin county, are hereby appointed Commissioners to 
go into Mendocino county and select two sites which they shall deem the 
most suitable sites in said county for county seat; after having made their 
selection as directed they shall report the same in writing over their proper 
signatures, to one of the Commissioners of Election for Mendocino county, 
on or before the second Monday in April eighteen hundred and fifty-nine. 

Sec. 17. Said Commissioners of Election shall cause to be posted at each 
precinct in the county, a notice of the selections made by the Commissioners 
for the location of the county seat at least ten days before the election ; 
said notice shall plainly designate by name and description each site so 
selected ; of the two sites so selected, the one receiving the highest number 
of votes shall be the legal county seat of Mendocino county. 

Sec. 18. The Commissioners for the location of the county seat, shall 
before entering upon the discharge of their duties take an oath, before some 
otticer authorized to administer oaths, that they are not personally interested 
in the location of the county seat ; that they will faithfully and impartially 
perform the duties required of them by this Act. 

Sec. 19. The compensation of said Commissioners shall be six dollars a 
day, for the time necessarily required to make such selections, and traveling 
from and back to their residences, not to exceed twenty days, which shall 
be paid out of the first moneys received into the treasury of Mendocino 


Sec. 20. If the Commissioners appointed for the location of the county 
seat, under this Act, or a majority of them fail to act as authorized, then the 
place which shall receive the highest number of votes for county seat, at the 
election to be held under this Act shall be the county seat of Mendocino 

Sec. 21. For the purpose of adjusting the affairs of the two counties 
upon just and equitable principles, John Short is hereby appointed a 
Commissioner on the part of Mendocino county, and John Hendley on 
the part of Sonoma county; said Commissioners shall meet at Santa Rosa on 
the fourth Monday in May, eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, and then and 
there make a thorough examination of the financial condition of Sonoma 
county, viz. : Her property, funds, dues and indebtedness, and make a fair, 
just and equitable apportionment of the same between the counties of 
Sonoma and Mendocino ; and for the purpose of carrying into effect any 
settlement that said Commissioners shall make for and between the said 
two counties by virtue of tiiis Act, the County Auditors of said counties are 
hereby authorized and required to draw their warrants on their respective 
County Treasurers in accordance with any order received by them from the 
hands of said Commissioners. All orders from said Commissioners to the 
County Auditors of said counties shall be in writing, attested by an officer 
authorized to administer oaths. 

Sec. 22. If the said Commissioners shall disagree upon any matter 
touching the adjustment of the affairs of the said counties, they may refer 
such differences to the Judge of the Seventh Judicial District, or to any one 
upon whom they may mutually agree, and the decision of such referee shall 
bind them. Should the said Commissioners of Adjustment fail or refuse to 
act as authorized by this Act, then the Board of Supervisors of the respective 
counties shall each appoint a Commissioner to fill such vacancy. 

Sec. 23. If it shall appear to said Commissioners that Mendocino county 
is justly entitled to any part of the revenue collected under the assessment 
roll and poll-tax list of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-eight, they shall 
so award, declaring what amount, and the time and manner of its payment 
by Sonoma county to Mendocino county. 

Sec. 24. Said Commissioners shall be allowed reasonable compensation 
by the respective county authorities for their services. 

Sec. 25. All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this Act are hereby 
repealed, so far as the same are in conflict with the provisions of this Act. 

In accordance with the provisions of the last sections of the above Act the 
Commissioners named therein, John Short and John Hendley, met, and on the 
14th day of August, 1859, John Short, Commissioner for Mendocino county,, 
filed the following report with the Board of Supervisors of said county : — 


Ukia City, August 14, 1859. 
To the Honorable tJie Board of Supervisors of Mendocino County — 

Gentlemen: Having been appointed by an Act of the Legislature of the 
State of California, entitled " An Act to Define the Boundaries and provide 
for the Organization of Mendocino County," to act as Commissioner on the 
part of Mendocino county, to adjust the affairs and settle the indebted- 
ness existing between Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and having, in ac- 
cordance with said Act, dulj'^ performed and discharged said duty, I beg 
leave most respectfully to present to your Honorable body the accompanying 
duplicate copy, giving forth in form and matter the settlement made by me 
for, and on account of Mendocino county. It will be seen by reference to 
said document that the Auditor of Mendocino county has been authorized to 
draw his warrant on the Treasurer of said county in favor of Sonoma county 
for the sura of one thousand one hundred and fifty-seven and sixty one- 
hundredths dollars ; and that the county of Sonoma transfers to Mendocino 
the entire delinquent tax list for the year 1858, amounting to the sum of 
$4,647.09, three-fourths of which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, may 
be collected before the expiration of the current year. 
Very respectfully, 

J. R. Short, 
Commissioner on the part of Mendocino county. 

The joint report of the Commissioners, which was filed with the Board of 
Supervisors as a part of the above, was as follows : — 

State of California, | 
County of Sonoma. J '^^^ 

In the matter of the adjustment of the accounts and settlement of the 
affairs of the counties of Sonoma and Mendocino, under an Act of the Legis- 
lature of the said State, pi-oviding for the same, approved March 11, 1859, 
wherein John Hendley was appointed Commissioner on the part of Sonoma 
county, and John Short on the part of Mendocino county, in pursuance of 
the provisions of said Act we, John Hendley and John Short, met at Santa 
Rosa, in Sonoma county, on the fourth Monday in May, 1859, and then and 
there agreed upon the following basis of settlement of aifairs of said 
counties : 

1st. It is agreed that the assessment roll for the year eighteen hundred 
fifty-eight be, and is hereby assumed as a basis upon which said counties 
shall settle, in proportion to said roll for the respective counties, each county 
to share in all public property on hand, and be charged with the outstand- 
ing debt, including such accounts as were audited by the Supervisors of said 
counties at their meeting, held May 2, 1859. 

It, therefore, appearing from " an examination into the financial condi- 
tion of Sonoma county " : 


1st. That the public debt of said county amounted, on the .second day of 
May, A.D. 1859, to the sum of $18,260.81. 

2d. That the public property amounted in value to the sum of $11,000. 

3d. Budd & Pinkham vs. Sonoma county, yet pending, $2,450. 

4th. The amount in the county treasury to meet said suit was $411.97. 

5th. That there were owing and due said county on account of delinquent 
taxes for the year 1858, the sum of $17,893.57. 

It was therefore agreed by and between said Commissioners: 

1st. That the county of Mendocino shall pay one-eighth part of such 
judgment as may be obtained against the county of Sonoma in said suit 
less the amount of $411.97. 

2d. That the county of Sonoma shall be entitled to the amount due for 
delinquent taxes in Sonoma county for the year 1858, amounting to the sum 
of $13,245.42, and that Mendocino county shall be entitled to the amount 
due Mendocino county for delinquent taxes for Mendocino county for the 
year 1858, amounting to the sum of $4,647.09, each county taking upon 
itself the responsibility of collecting the same. 


Total debt of Sonoma county $18,260 81 

Value of public property 11,000 00 


To one-eighth of debt $2,532 60 


By one-eighth of public property $1,375 00 

Balance due Sonoma county $1,157 60 

Signed this 26th day of May, A. d. 1859. 

John Short, 
Commissioner on the part of Mendocino county. 
John Hendley, 
Commissioner on the part of Sonoma county. 

Note. — It is the intention of said Commissioners that the delinquent taxes 
due on all property in Mendocino county in 1858, shall be and are hereby 
given to said county, and that all taxes due on property situated in Sonoma 
county shall be, and are hereby given to Sonoma county, and that the 
transfer of the delinquent tax roll for Mendocino county for the year 1858, 
shall be made by Sononia county in such manner as may be deemed just 
and proper by the District Attorneys of the two counties. 

John Short. 

John Hendley. 
This report of the Commissioneis was accepted, and the settlement between 



the two counties undertaken on this basis. From time to time extension of 
time for the collection of the delinquent tax was obtained from the Legis- 
lature, until under date of February 21, 1862, we find the following spread 
upon the minutes of the Board of Supervisors : — 

" Ordered, that the District Attorney of Mendocino county be empowered 
to make a settlement with said Sonoma county regarding the amount to bo 
paid by said Mendocino county to said Sonoma county as per settlement 
between the Commissioners of the said counties, authorized by the Act of 
1859, organizing Mendocino county. That said settlement shall be made in 
such a manner that the amount to be paid to said Sonoma county shall not 
exceed the sum of S272.60, reference being had to the delinquent tax list of 
Sonoma county transferred together with the settlement of the said Com- 
misioners, and that the Auditor of this county be authorized to draw a 
warrant on the County Expense Fund, not to exceed the amount of $272.60, 
as amount in full of such settlement between the said counties, on the appli- 
cation of the District Attorney of Mendocino county." 

It would seem that this order did not have the desired effect, as under 
date of November 22, 1862, the following is spread upon the minutes of the 
Board of Supervisors : — 

"Now comes J. B. Lamar as Attorney for Sonoma county, and William 
Neely Johnson, appearing in behalf of Mendocino county, by consent 
this matter to be laid over till the 13th of December to enable the said 
Mendocino county to produce a certain tax receipt showing the payment of 
the taxes for the year ending March 1, 1859, on a certain property as 
assessed, on the delinquent list transferred to this county in the settlement 
made under the Act of 1859, organizing Mendocino county, to Captain J. B. 
Ford, agent Mendocino saw-mills, the same having been the matter at issue 
between the said counties on the settlement, and that a special meeting of 
the Board be called for the transaction of said business, and that the Clerk 
of the Board be authorized to correspond with the proper persons regarding 
the same." 

On December 15, 1862, the matter again came up before the Board of 
Supervisors for consideration, and evidently their action in the premises at 
this time was final, from the fact that no more m.ention is made of the 
subject in the entire minutes of the Board. The following is the record of 
that date : — 

"The communication and original tax receipt for taxes paid on the Mendo- 
cino saw-mills for the year ending March 1, 1859, having been received 
from J. B. Ford as agent for said mill, whereby it appears that the sum of 
twelve hundred dollars was paid as amount of taxes on said property for 
the said year; the said tax receipt was, therefore, presented in settlement of 
the demand of said Sonoma county against said Mendocino county, the tax 
on said property for said year having been transferred to the county (of 


Mendocino) as being due and unpaid by the said Sonoma county, in 
the settlement made between said counties as appears by the papers on file 
therein ; and by said tax receipt found to have been paid, and the said tax 
receipt having been duly presented to J. B. Lamar, Esq., as Attorney for 
said Sonoma county, and by him duly refused ; — • wherefore the said settle- 
ment was then and there dismissed on the part of Mendocino county on the 
grounds that by the production of said receipt, the demand held by Sonoma 
county against Mendocino county was duly cancelled, and it is hereby 
ordered that the Auditor be notified not to draw any warrant for any 
amount on any fund in favor of C. L. Green as tax collector of Sonoma 
county or in favor of Sonoma county." 

It would seem that out of the commission composed of Joseph Knox, 
Flave Nally, Harry Baechtel, George Brown, and Jacob Heiser, appointed 
and provided lor in the Act of March 11, 1859, for the purposes set forth in 
the Act, only Joseph Knox and George Brown performed any of the duties 
so imposed upon them. It is not known now what causes led the other 
members of the commission to decline to serve, but that they did not serve 
would appear from the following Act of the Legislature approved April 15, 

Section 1. The acts and orders of Joseph Knox and George Brown, per- 
formed, and made by virtue of their commissions as Commissioners of Elec- 
tion (for Mendocino county) on the second Monday of this present month of 
April, eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, are hereby ratified and confirmed, 
and declared to be of the same force and effect in law as if a majority of the 
Commissioners of Election had been personally present, and participated in 
performing said acts and making said orders. 

Sec. 2. The said Joseph Knox and George Brown, or any two or more 
of the Commissioners of Election, appointed under the Act to define the 
boundaries and provide for the organization of Mendocino county, approved 
March eleventh, eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, are hereby declared to 
be a quorum for the transction of business relating to their commission, and 
all acts performed and orders made by said quorum (as Commissioners of 
Election aforesaid), are and shall be of the same force and effect as those per- 
formed and made by three or more of said Commissioners. 

The boundary lines of Mendocino county remained the same as provided 
for in the Act of March 11, 1859, until April 28, 1860, when the following 
change was made: Instead of the line extending "northerly along the 
western boundaries of the counties of Colusa and Tehama, to a point on the 
line of the fifth standard north of the Mount Diablo meridian," it was made to 
read "northerly along the western boundaries of the counties of Colusa 
and Tehama to a point on the line of the fortieth parellel of north latitude," 
which would give to the county a considerable additional territory. The 
boundaries of the county have remained the same ever since. 


From time to time trouble has grown out of the fact that the line between 
Mendocino county and Humboldt was not located definitely enough. In other 
words, the people living in the vicinity of the line were subjected to annoy- 
ance by being assessed in both counties, or attempts being made to assess them 
in that manner. At one time, Mendocino county was supposed to extend much 
farther north than what it really does, and the assessment roll included a 
great deal of property that has since been found to lie in Humboldt county. 
Several efforts were made to get the line surveyed out so that there could be 
no further mistake in the matter, but as the most of the route lay over 
cheraissal mountains, and an undiscovered country, it was not an easy under- 
taking. The first mention made of it in the minutes of the Board of Super- 
visors, is under date of February 24, 18G.5, at which time it was ordered 
that J. H. Murray, County Surveyor of Humboldt county should be 
employed to establish the dividing line bj- setting up prominent landmarks 
on the high peaks along the route. The expense of the survey was to be 
borne jointly by the two counties. 

Evidently nothing came of this, for if there had there would have been no 
need of the following order passed by the Board, February 28, 1872: " It is 
ordered that the Clerk of Mendocino county be requested to confer with the 
Board of Supervisors of Humboldt county, with a view to the appointing of 
two or more persons to act in conj unction with two persons appointed by the 
Board of Supervisors of Mendocino county, to establish and mark out by 
natural landmarks, and others, an imaginary line between the two counties, 
commencing at a point on the fortieth parallel, as marked by a recent sur- 
vey, for the purpose of facilitating the work of assessing the two counties." 

This resulted in attaining the desired end, for on the 19th day of November 
of that year the report of W. H. Fountleny for the survey of the northern 
boundary line was filed with the Board of Supervisors of Mendocino county, 
and as no farther mention is made of any action in regard to the matter, it 
is evident that this survey was satisfactory to all parties. This line comes 
to the coast at Shelter Cove. 

We now pass to a consideration of the Board of Supervisors as a body 
and to the legislative enactments which have any reference to them, and 
also certain acts of the Board which may properly be placed under this 
head. For this purpose we must go back to the days when Sonoma and 
Mendocino were, virtually, one county so as to be able to follow the matter 
up from incipiency. 

From the period of the organization of the county until the year 185.5, 
its affairs were controlled by the Court of Sessions, above mentioned, and a 
Board of Supervisors, the latter having certain functions not granted to the 
former. In the last named year a change had come o'er the governmental 
dream; the Court of Sessions was abolished, and an Act passed March 20th, 
entitled "An Azt to create a Biar.l of S ipervisors in the counties iu this 


State, and to define their duties and powers." For better reference tiie ninth 
section of the above Act is quoted in full : " The Board of Supervi.sors shall 
have power and jurisdiction in their respective counties. Fii'st, To make 
orders respecting the property of the county, in conformity with any law of 
this State, and to take care of and preserve such property. Second, To 
examine, settle, and allow all accounts legally chargeable against the county, 
and to levy for the purposes prescribed bj' law, such amount of taxes on 
the assessed value of real and personal property in the county, as may be 
authorized by law; provided, the salary of the County Judge need not be 
audited by the Board ; but the County Auditor shall, on the first judicial 
day of each month, draw his warrant on the County Treasurer in favor of 
the County Judge for the amount due such Judge as salary, for the month 
preceding. Third, To examine and audit the accounts of all officers having 
the care, management, collection or disbursement of any money belonging 
to the county, or appropriated by law, or otherwise, for its use and benefit. 
Fourth, To lay out, control and manage public roads, turnpikes, ferries, and 
bridges within the county, in all cases where the law does not prohibit such 
jurisdiction, and to make such orders as may be requisite and necessary to 
carry its control and management into effect. Fifth, To take care of and 
provide for the indigent sick of the county. Sixth, To divide the county 
into townships, and to change the divisions of the same, and to create new 
townships, as the convenience of the county may require. Seventh, To 
establish and change election precincts, and to appoint inspectors and judges 
of elections. Eighth, To control and manage the property, real and per- 
sonal, belonging to the county, and to i-eceive by donation any property for 
the use and benefit of the county. Ninth, To lease or to purchase any real 
or personal property necessary for the use of the county ; provided, no pur- 
chase of real property shall be made unless the value of the same be pre- 
viously estimated by three disinterested persojis, to b3 appointed for that 
purpose by the County Judge. Tenth, To sell at public auction, at the of the county, after at least thirty days' previous public notice, 
and cause to be conveyed, any property belonging to the county, appropri- 
ating the proceeds of such sale to the use of the same. Eleventh, To cause 
to be erected and furnished, a Court-house, jail, and .such other public build- 
ings as may b^ necessary, and to keep the same in repair; provided, that the 
contract for building the Court-house, jail, and such other public buildings^ 
be let out at least after thirty days' previous public notice, in each ease, of a 
readiness to receive proposals therefor, to the lowest bidder, who will give 
good and sufficient security for the completion of any contract which he 
may make respecting the same; but no bid shall be accepted which the 
Board may deem too high. Twelfth, To control the prosecution and defense 
of all suits to which the county is a party. Thirteenth, To do any and per- 


form all such other acts and things as may be strictly necessary to the full 
discharge of the powers and jurisdiction conferred on the Board. 

During the session of 1861-2 the Legislature pas.sed a law for the organi- 
zation of townships, regulating the powers and duties thereof, and desiring 
that the same should be submitted to the vote of the people. This law 
made each township a corporate body, the powers of which were vested in 
three Trustees, with the same or similai- powers as those had by the Board 
of Supervisors. A similar set of officers were to be elected for each town- 
ship, to perform the duties thereof, under this law, a-s were elected for the 
whole county, with the exception of a County Judge, District Attorney, and 
Sheriff. Each township became in all important affairs a county, with 
county powers, county officers, and county expenses. In the place of one 
tax collector and one assessor, by this arrangement the county would have 
these officers for each of the townships, and the expenses of the county be 
increased eight-fold. 

Upon the organization of Mendocino county it naturally fell into the 
channels of government which were prevalent at the time in other counties; 
hence at the first election, held on the first Monday in May, 1859, there 
were three supervisors elected, as provided for in the Act of March 11, 1859. 
The paities elected were : Daniel Miller, J. F. Hills, and 0. H. P. Brown. 
Their first session was opened May 16, 1859, and Mr. Miller was called to 
the chair. Their first work was to divide the county into townships, and 
define and describe their boundaries, and designate them by name as 
follows : — 

Big River Township. — Bounded on the north by the county line, on the 
south by the Mai Paso, east by the Coast Range, west by the Pacific ocean ; 
containing Noyo, Big River, and Albion precincts. 

Arena Township. — Bounded on the north by the Mai Paso; south by the 
south county line; east by the Coast Range; west by the Pacific ocean, con- 
taining Arena precinct. 

Anderson Township. — Bounded on the north by the range of mountains 
dividing Anderson valley and Ukiah vallej', to the Redwood mountains by 
the county line; south and west by the Coast Range; containing Anderson 
Valley and Nevada precincts. 

Ukiah Township. — Bounded on the north by the third standard line; on 
the south by the line of Anderson township; on the west by the Coast 
Range; and on the east by the county line; containing Feliz and Ukiah 

Calpella Township. — Bounded on the north by the line of mountains 
dividing Walker's valley from Little Lake valley; east by the county line; 


west by the Coast Range ; south by the third standard line ; containing 
Calpella and Potter precincts. 

Little Lake Township. — Bounded on the north by the county Hne; on 
the east by South Fork of Eel river ; west by the Coast Range ; south by 
Calpella township line ; containing Little Lake and Long Valley precincts. 

Round Valley Township. — Bounded on the north by the county line; 
east by the county line ; south and west by the south fork and main branch 
of Eel river ; containing Round Valley precinct. 

From the above, it will be seen that there were originally in the county, 
seven townships and thirteen voting precincts. Since then, the lines of the 
townships have been so changed as to admit of two more townships, as 
follows: — 

Sanel Township. — May 24, 1860, the following entry was made on the 
minutes of the Board of Supervisors :-It is ordered that a new township, known 
as Big Rock be established, bounded as follows: Commencing at the south- 
east corner of Mendocino county; thence north with the Napa county line, 
two miles north of A. P. Riley's ranch ; thence south-west to the south end of 
Lake; thence south so as to leave Willaixl's and Knox's ranch in said town- 
ship ; thence to Alfred Higgins' ranch, so as to leave him in Ukiah town- 
ship ; thence, south-west to Sawtell's, so as to leave him in said township ; 
thence south to the Mendocino county line; thence east to the place of 

The name of Big Rock was given to this township on account of the spur of 
mountain on the course of the Russian river, now usually called "The Lover's 
Leap." It is a bold, jutting head of solid rock, and is a prominent land- 
mark for that township. Shortly afterwards — before the election in Novem- 
ber — the name was wisely changed to Sanel. 

Ten-mile River Township. — This township was not established until 
May 7, 1873. The following is a transcript of the order of the Board of 
Supervisors which established it: — It is ordered that a new township be 
formed from a part of Big River township; commencing on the coast at a 
point on the north bank of Pudding creek, at the mouth of said creek ; 
thence east, up the creek to where the same intersects the Little Lake town- 
ship line ; thence north, following the line of Little Lake township to the 
Humboldt county line ; thence west, and along said county line to the Pacific 
ocean; thence down and south following the bank of the Pacific ocean to 
the place of beginning. 

There is nothing on the records to show j ust how the county was divided 
into Supervisorial districts until 1860. February 21st of that year, the fol- 
lowing division into districts was made: — 

First District — Ukiah, Sanel, Anderson Valley and Nevarra precincts. 


Second District — Calpella, Potter Valley, Little Lake, Long Valley, 
Round Valley and Sherwood precincts. 

Third District — Noyo, Big River, Albion and Garcia precincts. 

By an Act of the Legislature passed May 3, 1861, the regular meetings of 
he Board of Supervisors for Mendocino county were set for the third Mon- 
days of February, May, August and November, but they could hold two 
special sessions during the year. Their compensation was fixed at five dol- 
lars per day and twenty cents mileage each way. 

Previous to April 4, 1864, the Supervisors had been voted for only bj^ the 
electors of the district which they represented, but on that date an Act of 
the Legislature was passed which provided that Supervisors should be voted 
for by all the electors of the county. This would seem to be a very strange 
proceeding, at least unusual, for in most counties in the State the former 
method obtains at the present time. It was claimed that this arrangement 
was put into operation for political purposes, but at this great removal from 
the time of the order it is impossible to get at the true impelling motives. 
The candidate for the office had to be a resident of the district from which he 
wished to be elected. This Act provided for the election of one Supervisor 
each year and that they should hold the office for a term of three years. 
This was an excellent plan, and one that has ever worked to advantage 
wherever tried. 

No further changes occurred in the manner of electing the Supervisors 
their times of meeting, terms of service, etc., until April 1, 1878, when a Bill 
passed by the Legislature provided for several new features. Following is a 
transcript of the Act of that date: — 

Section 1. The county of Mendocino shall consist of five Supervisor dis- 
ti-icts, composed as follows : The townships of Anderson and Sanel, shall 
constitute the first Supervisor district; Ukiah and Calpella, the second ; Lit- 
tle Lake and Round Valley, the third ; Ten-mile River and Big River the 
fourth, and Arena the fifth. 

Sec. 2. The Board of Supervisors shall consist of five member.s, one of 
whom shall be chosen from each of tlie Supervisor districts of the county, 
and shall be a resident of the distiict I'rom which he is elected. They shall 
be voted for by the voters of the entire county. They shall hold office for 
the term of two years, or till theii- .successors are elected. Each member 
shall receive a salary of three hundred dollars per annum, paid quar- 
terly, in the months of February, May, August and November, and the 
same mileage as is now allowed. Within twenty days from the passao-e of 
this Act the County Judge shall appoint one Supervisor for the first district 
and one for the fifth. 

In accordance with the provisions of the above Act of the Legislature, pro- 
viding for two more members of the Board of Supervisors, the County Judo-e 


appointed C. P. McGiinsey for the first district and Neils Iversonfor the fifth. 
Since that time there has been no changes in the Board or its affairs. 

We will now consider the courts of the county. As will be remembered, 
we stated above that originally the entire supervisorial as well as judicial 
labor of the counties fell upon the shoulders of the Court of Sessions until 
1855, when the Board of Supervisors was established for each separate 
county to perform the labors that naturally came into their department of 
the county economics, but that Act did not do away with the Courts of Ses- 
sions, nor their judicial duties. From time to time their duties were pre- 
scribed and we may say also proscribed, until the Court of Sessions performed 
duties very similar to that of the District Judge under the late regime. An 
Act of the Legislature, approved April ] 2, 1859, set forth the rules that 
should regulate all the courts in Mendocino county. It was as follows : 
The Court of Sessions, County, and Probate Courts, in and for the counties 
of Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino, shall be held at the same term, viz.: com- 
mencing on the first Monday in the months of February, May, August and 
November of each year, provided, that the County Judge may call and hold 
a special term of said court whenever the public interest may require it; and 
at all terms of said court, the business pertaining to the Court of Sessions 
shall first be disposed of and after that the business of the County Court and 
Probate Court, in the order in which they are named. This order shall be 
observed as a rule of procedure only, and after the business of one court is 
disposed of, the business of the other may be taken up on the same day in 
such order as the Judge may determine. 

April 25, 1860, an Act of the Legislature was passed, establishing the 
terms of all the courts held in Mendocino county. The context of the Bill 
was as follows : — 

Section 1. The District Judge shall hold three terms of his court annu- 
ally in the county of Mendocino, to- wit : on the third Monday of each of the 
following months, viz.: March, July and November of each year. 

Sec. 2. The County Court and Court of Sessions for the county of Men- 
docino shall be held, commencing on the first Monday of each of the following 
months: March, May, September and December of each year. 

Sec. 3. The regular terms of Probate Court for Mendocino county shall 
convene on the third Monday of each of the following months : March, June, 
December and September. 

The terms of the different courts of the county remained in accordance 
with the above schedule for the following four years, when, on April 4, 1864, 
a change was ordered by an Act of the Legislature, which was as follows: 
"The regular terms of the County and Probate Courts in and for the county of 
Mendocino, shall commence on the first Monday in March, June, September, 
and December of each year." In 1866 another change occurred, and on 


January 11th of that year a Bill was approved as follows: "The time for 
holding the District Court in the county of Mendocino is hereby changed, so 
that the same shall he holden on the second Monday of April, third Monday 
of July, and the first Monday of November of each year." 

As soon as the county government was organized, and business for the 
county had to be transacted, it became necessary to have some suitable 
building as a place to perform such necessary business, also a proper place 
for the detention of criminals; hence we find in the recoi'ds of the Board of 
Supervisors at their first meeting the following order : " The second story of 
the building known as the ' Musical Hall ' in Ukiah City, ordered rented 
at twenty-five dollars per month for county officers and county purposes 
until further ordered by this Board." All old settlei's will well remember 
this building, as it was one of the prominent landmarks of Ukiah when 
the business part of the town was down on Main street. It stood just 
north of the present site of Mr. John S. Reed's dwelling, and very nearly 
on the site of the new hall erected by that gentleman in 1880. It was a 
wooden structure with rough boards placed in an upright position for siding. 
The upper story was a rough arrangement, but answered the purpose of 
offices for awhile, as that was the best quarters obtainable in the town. 

Under date of August 18, 1859, we find that the Board of Supervisors 
ordered that sealed proposals for a new Court-house and jail be solicited. 
These bids were opened September 19, 1859, and in pursuance to this we 
find that the contract for the construction of these buildings was awarded to 
E. Rathburn for the sum of $6,000. It was ordered by the Board that the 
Court-house and jail be erected in the middle of the plaza, and that the Court- 
house be thirty-five feet wide. The plans and specifications of these build- 
ings were not engrossed upon the minutes of the Board of Supervisors, 
hence we are unable to give a particular description of them, suffice it to say 
that the Court-house was of brick, arranged somewhat as the present one is. 
The buildings were completed so as to be accepted by the Board on the 24th 
of January, 1860, and immediate possession was taken of them. 

It would seem that the quarters of the jail became inadequate to the 
demand made upon them quite soon, for on the third day of September 
1864, the Board "ordered that the sum of five hundred dollai-s be expended 
for a new jail, to be built in the rear of the Court-house and jail then stand- 
ing. This addition to the room of the jail seems to have proved sufficient 
for all purposes until the erection of the new Court-house and jail, but it 
would seem that the building was not really a secure place of confinement 
in the original condition, for under date of November 24, 1866, the Board 
appropriated five hundred dollars for the purpose of putting iron cells in 
the jail. Indeed the Grand Jury's report of September 23, 1864, called the 
attention of the Court to the fact of its unsafe condition in the following lan- 
guage: " We have examined the jail and find that it is no jail at all. We are 


satisfied that it is useless to lodge criminals in it, as several escapes have re- 
cently been made." The order for iron cells was afterwards modified, so that 
all the money was put into one large cell, which is now the cell in the upper 
story of the present jail. The old citizens of Ukiah will remember what a 
time was had in getting that cell up from Petaluma, as it was before the 
days of railroads, and all freight was bi-ought through from the above-men- 
tioned place on large wagons. The cell arrived there in mid-winter, and it 
was a long time befoi-e the condition of the roads would permit the |;eamsters 
to make the trip through to Ukiah. 

There came a time at last when the county buildings became altogether 
too small for the purposes required, and had to be supplanted by more capa- 
cious structures. The offices, not any too large at first, had had their limits 
encroached upon from year to year by accumulating records and documents, 
until it became an absolute necessity to have more room. Another great 
and proper motive that incited action in that direction was the pressing need 
of a fire-proof receptacle for all the records and documentary matter of the 
county. Eealizing all this the Board of Supervisors on the 5th day of De- 
cember,1871, passed the following order: "It is hereby ordered that the plans^ 
specifications: and detailed plans for the building of a Court-house and jail in 
Ukiah City, Mendocino county, be received at the Clerk's office of Mendocino 
county, up to the third Monday in January, 1872, at 12 o'clock, M., of that 
day, for which plans so adopted the Board will pay two hundred dollars ; 
reserving the right to reject any or all of the plans. The cost of erecting 
the same by any of the said plans is not to exceed forty thousand dollars.'' 
The vote in the Board, on the adoption of the above oi-der stood as follow.s : 
T. W. Dashiel and W. J. Hildreth, yes, and W. A. McFarland, no. The fol- 
lowing order was then passed by the Board : " It is ordered that the Clerk of 
this Board make and transmit to our Representative in the Assembly, a 
copy of the draft of the Bill this day adopted by the Board providing for the 
erection of county buildings, and be it — 

Resolved, That our Representative in the Assembly, and our Senator from 
this district be, and they are hereby respectfully requested to use their 
endeavors to have said Bill passed by the present Legislature." 

In compliance with the above resolution the pa.ssage of the Bill was 
secured, and was approved and received the governor's signature, January 
18, 1872. This Bill provided for the issuance by Mendocino county, of bonds 
to the amount of forty thousand dollars, which bonds were to be of the de- 
nomination of five hundred dollars each, and should bear the rate of nine 
per cent per annum ; principal and interest payable only in gold coin of the 
United States, principal payable at any time within twenty years at the 
election of the county ; bonds to be signed by the Auditor, and counter- 
signed by the Treasurer to be valid. 

Under date of January 15, 1872, it is recorded in the minutes of tlie 

^rtiu^-i>/^ /h^^^^^^ 


Board of Supervisors, that the Board proceeded with the examination of the 
several plans submitted for the erection of county buildings, and after duly 
examining and considering the same, those proposed by C. A. Pettit, Esq., 
were awarded the preference, and were ordered to be filed for adoption, pro- 
vided the action of the Legislature should be such as to justify the Board in 
so doing. 

By January 24, 1872, the Board had been informed of the action of the 
Legislature as mentioned above, and in accordance with the provisions of 
that Act ordered: "That the Auditor procure the necessary blanks for bonds, 
and interest coupons for the issuance of the bonds of the county to the 
amount of forty thousand dollars, under the Act of the Legislature for the 
erection of county buildings, and issue the same under date of February 20, 
1872. Ordered further, that the District Attorney draw a contract for the 
erection of said buildings in accordance with the plans and specifications 
adopted by the Board." 

It would seem that a change came suddenly over the Supervisorial mind 
in regard to the matter, for on March 19, 1872, it is entered in their minutes 
that — -"all bids heretofore received are rejected, and the plans and specifica- 
tions also rejected." Three days later, however, their mood was changed 
again and the sunlight of approval shed a radiant effiilgence upon them, for on 
the 23d of March the minutes of the Boai-d bear the following testimony: 
The Board adopted revised specifications made by A. P. Petitt. The follow- 
ing facts and figures relating to the dimensions of the Court-house, aj-e taken 
from the specifications mentioned above. The extreme length of the build- 
ing is one hundred and eleven feet; the extreme width through the center is 
seventy feet. The front end is forty-nine feet, and the rear end forty-five 
feet and six inches in width; the height of the building is thirty-seven feet 
fiom the ground-line to the top of the cornice, and from thence to the top of 
the dome thirty-four feet, making the total height seventy-one feet. The first 
floor is four feet above the ground-line, and to the second floor thirteen feet 
from the first, and to the ceiling of the second-story, from the second floor, 
sixteen feet. The foundation walls are all made of concrete, and are laid 
two feet below the ground-line; are four feet six inches for the outside walls, 
and for all partition walls the concrete foundation wall is one foot below the 
ground-line, and two feet wide. The brick for the walls are of the best 
quality, the outside course being pressed. The outside walls are twenty-two 
inches in thickness, while all the partition walls are one foot. All the 
offices and the hall of the first floor of the Court-house are wainscoted to a 
height of four feet. The cornice is what is known as the " bracket," and is 
very elegant. Gas-pipes <are laid in all the rooms, and sewers and wastage- 
pipes lead to all sinks and closets in the building. All the materials u.sed in 
the construction of the building were of the best quality. The framing 
timbers were of Mendocino fir and pine. The jr;il is situated just in the rear 


of the Court-house, in fact is a part of the same building. The floor of the 
court of the jail is made of concrete; the size of this court is sixteen by eight- 
een feet; there are four iron tank cells on the lower floor, each four feet 
wide by eight feet long and eight feet high ; up stairs there is one large iron 
tank cell, the one which was used in the old jail. 

On the 24th da}' of April, 1872, the contract for the new count}' buildings 
was awarded to A. P. Pettit, they to be completed by January 1, 1873, for 
the fulfillment of which contract he was required to give bonds in the sum 
of thirty-five thousand dollars. He was to receive the sum of thirty-eight 
thousand four hundred and ninety-nine dollai'S in county bonds for the work, 
payable as follows : Eight thousand dollars when one-fourth of the work 
was done ; eight thousand dollars when one-half of the work was done ; 
eight thousand dollars when three-fourths of the work was done, and the 
remainder when the buildings were completed and accepted by the Board of 
Supervisors. W. E. Willis was appointed as superintendent of construction. 
The Bill as it was passed by the Legislature required that an iron fence be 
constructed around the building, but from some cause or other that provision 
was never complied with and the city of Ukiah, in later years put up the 
present very tasteful fence and has also done all that been done so far towards 
ornamenting the grounds. The order of the Board was that the front of the 
new Court-house should be towards the east, and fifty feet back from State 
street, and that the building should be located in the center of the plaza, 
north and south. The contents of the corner-.stone of the old Court-house 
were ordered to be placed in the corner-stone of the new. While the build- 
ings were being erected the county offices were removed to the upper story 
of Hoft'inan's store on the corner of Perkins and State streets. The old build- 
ing was disposed of and torn down. The old jail was purchased by I. 
Isaacs for the sum of $115.00, on the 13th day of March, 1873. It was 
continued in use until the new one was completed. 

The new building affords ample room for all the required needs at present 
and will for many years to come. The lower floor has a main hall extending 
westward from the front entrance to a transverse hall which extends north 
and south through the rear of the center of the building. On the north side 
and opening out of the main hall are the Board of Supervisors' room, and the 
Clerk's office, and to the south are the Treasurer's and the Recorder's offices. 
On the east side of the transverse hall, and on the north side of the main 
hall is the District Attorney's office and on the south side of the main hall 
is the office of the Superintendent of Schools. On the west side of the trans- 
verse hall is the Sheriff"s office and the jail, the entrance to the latter being 
only through the former. Two wide flights of stairs lead up from either 
.side of the main hall to the upper story. Here, at the east end of the build- 
ing, is a very capacious and neatly -arranged court-room, with jury -rooms, and 
witness retaining-rooms utf from either side of it. On the north side of the 


building are the Assessor's otBces and the Judge's chambers, while on the 
south side is the Grand Jury room, with doors leading to the upper story of 
the jail so that prisoners can be brought from the jail to the Grand Jury 
room unobserved, and thus the utmost secresy can be maintained concerning 
the action of the jury. Taken altogether this is one of the handsomest and 
best-arranged county buildings to be found in the State of California, and 
certainly doesgi-eat credit to the people of Mendocino county. 

From time to time the Legislature has given the Board of Supervisors 
authority to levy special taxes for county and other purposes. The first Act 
of that character was approved April 13, 1859, which gave them the right 
to levy a special tax of thirty-five cents on the one hundred dollars for county 
purposes. The first rate of taxation ever fixed by the Board was one dollar 
and sixty-five cents on the one hundred dollars. Since then, the rates have 
varied according to the demand for means, ranging from one dollar and seventy- 
five cents upwards. 

October 23, 1863, as W. H. Tamter, Sheriff of Mendocino county, was 
crossing Elk creek, a small stream about eight miles south of Nevarra, he 
was accidentally drowned, and on January 15, 1864, an Act of the Legis- 
lature was approved granting the authority to the county to hold a special 
election to fill the vacancy caused by his death. 

By an Act of the Legislature, appi-oved April 1, 1864, Mendocino county 
was placed in the Third Congressional district, and has since remained in it, 
although a new district has been created since then. 

Marcli 28, 1868, an Act was approved granting to Mendocino county five 
more Notaries Public. 

An Act approved March 30, 1868, established the legal distances from 
Ukiah as follows : To Sacramento City, two hundred and]twenty-five miles; 
to Stockton, two hundred and twenty-one miles, and to San Quentin, one 
hundred and ten miles. 

The Governor signed a Bill on the 8th day of January, 1872, making the 
offices of County Clerk and Recorder separate in Mendocino county. From 
the organization of the county the Clerk had been ex-officio Recorder, but the 
duties of the office had increased so much that it was impossible for one man 
to attend to all of them. The first Recorder elected took possession of his 
office on the first Monday in March, 1874. 

By a Statute of February 29, 1864, the Treasurer was made ex-o^cio Tax- 
Collector, and provision was made for the addition of one-half of one per 
cent on the one hundred dollars to his former salary, to compensate him for 
the extra duties this additional service would entail upon him. 



Owing to the fact that Mendocino county was, to all intents and purposes 
a part of Sonoma county up till 1859, we will include in this sketch that 
part of the early political history of Sonoma county, extending up till the 
date of the separation of the two counties. 

Prior to the acquisition of California by the Government of the United 
States, the large District of Sonoma, which included all the territory between 
the Sacramento river and the ocean on the one hand, and Oregon ami the 
Bay of San Francisco on the other, was under the rule of the Mexican Gov- 
ernment, and divided into Prefectures, amenable to a Grand Council at 
Sonoma, the holders of office being designated by the Spanish name of 
Alcalde. It will be seen that the present territory of Mendocino county 
was comprised in these boundaries. Between the years 1846 and 1849 the 
country remained under the control of the military. Let us see what was 
the state of the political horizon during that time. According to Tuthill — as. 
to civil law, the country was utterly at sea. It had a Governor in the per- 
son of the commandant of the military district it belonged to, but no gov- 
ernment. While the war lasted, California, as a conquered province^ 
expected to be governed by military officers, who, by virtue of their com- 
mand of the department, bore sway over all the territory that their 
department embraced. But after peace had come and the succession of 
military Governors was not abated, a people who had been in the habit of 
governing themselves, under the same flag and the same constitution, chafed 
that a simple change of longitude should deprive them of their inalienable 

The first civil officer in Sonoma, was John Nash, who was commissioned 
by General Kearny as Alcalde of the district. This man, so legendary 
report states, had a most wonderfully exalted idea of the dignity of his office, 
and assumed ministerial as well as judicial powers. He had a very curious 
way of signing himself " Chief Justice of Ca'lifprnia." At length he was 
removed by the military Governor, but he refused to acknowledge the 
authority of that arm of our Government over the judicial branch, especially 
the exalted position held by him, hence he sought to retain the office. Lieuten- 
ant — now General William T. Sherman — was sent in quest of him, and 
finally succeeded in capturing and briuging him before Governor Mason 
at Monterey, who reprimanded and released him. This first civil officer of 
the District of Sonoma — "Chief Justice Nash" as he called himself, and 


■" Squire Nash" as he was generally called — was a good-natured man, illiter- 
ate, but honest. When the rumors of gold reached Sonoma, Squire Nash 
was employed by a number of persons to go to the gold mines and spy out 
the land, and if there were the " millions in it," which rumor said there 
was, to return and report to them. This was in 1848, and he returned 
with gold-dust to the value of eight hundred and thirty-seven dollars. 
He then went to Mormon Island with a party of Sonoma miners, and 
died there that wintei'. He was succeeded in office by Lilburn W. Boggs, 
ex-Governor of Missouri, a man eminently capable of performing the 
functions of the position, as the records of his oflSce still extant in the 
County Clerk's office in Santa Rosa will fully establish. 

General Persifer F. Smith, who assumed command on arriving by the 
California, the fii-st steamship that reached San Francisco (February 28, 
1849), and General Riley, who succeeded him (April 18, 1849), would have 
been acceptable Governors enough, if the people could have discovered any- 
where in the Constitution that the President had power to govern a territory 
by a simple order to the commandant of a military department. The power 
was obvious in time of war, but in peace it was unprecedented. Left 
entirely to themselves, the people could have organized a " squatter sover- 
eignty," as Oregon had done, and the way into the sisterhood of States was 

They felt that they had cause for complaint, but in truth they were too 
busy to nurse their grievance and make much of it. To some extent they 
formed local governments, and had unimportant collisions with the military. 
But, busy as they were, and expecting to return home soon, they humored 
their contempt for politics, and left public matters to be shaped at Wa.shing- 
ton. Nor was this so unwise a course under the circumstances, for the thing 
that had hindered Congress from giving them a legitimate and constitutional 
government was the ever-present snag in the current of American political 
history, tlie author of most of our woes, the great mother of mischief on 
the western continent — slavery. 

When it was found that Congress had adjourned without doing anything 
for California, Brigadier-General Riley, by the advice, he said, of the Presi- 
dent and Secretaries of State and of Wai", issued a proclamation, which was 
at once a call for a Convention, and an official exposition of the Administra- 
tion's theory of the anomalous relations of Califoi'nia and the Union. He 
strove to rectify the impression that California was governed by the military 
arm of the service ; that had ceased with the termination of hostilities. 
What remained was the civil government, recognized by the existing laws 
of California. These were vested in a Governor, who received his appoint- 
ment from the Supreme Government, or, in default of such appointment, the 
office was vested in the commanding militarj' officer of the department, a 
Secretary, a Departmental or Territorial Legislature, a Superior Court with 


four Judges, a Prefect and sub-Prefect and a Judge of the First Instance for 
each district. Alcaldes, local Justices of the Peace, ayuntamientos, or Town 
Councils. He moreover recouniiended the election, at the same time, of 
delegates to a Convention to adopt either a State or Territorial Constitution, 
which, if acquiesced in by the people, would be submitted to Congress for 

In June, 1849, a proclamation was issued announcing an election to be 
held on the 1st of August, to appoint delegates to a general Convention to 
form a State Constitution, and for filling the offices of Judge of the Superior 
Court, Prefects, sub-Prefects, and First Alcalde or Judge of the First 
Instance; such appointments to be made by General Riley after being voted 
for. The delegates elected to the Convention from the District of Sonoma 
were General Vallejo, Joel Walker, R. Semple. L. W. Boggs was elected 
but did not attend. 

The manifesto calling the Constitutional Convention divided the electoral 
divisions of the State into ten districts; each male inhabitant of the county, 
of twenty-one years of age, could vote in the district of his residence, and 
the delegates so elected were called upon to meet at Monterey, on September 
1, 1849. The number of delegates was fixed at thirty-seven, five of whom 
were appointed to San Francisco. 

As was resolved, the Convention met at Monterey on the date above 
named, Robert Semple, of Benicia, one of the delegates from the District of 
Sonoma, being chosen President. The session lasted six weeks; and, not- 
withstanding an awkward scarcity of books of reference and other necessary 
aids, much labor was performed, while the debates exhibited a marked 
dcgiee of ability. In framing the original Constitution of California, 
slavery was forever prohibited within the jurisdiction of the State; the 
boundary question between Mexico and the United States was set at rest ; 
provision for the moials and education of the people was made; a Seal of 
State was adopted with the motto Eureka, and many other matters dis- 

In August General Riley isssued commissions to Stephen Cooper, appoint- 
ing him Judge of the First District, and G. P. Wilkins Prefect of the District of 
Sonoma, Avhile one of General Riley's last appointments before the adoption 
of the Constitution was that of Richard A. Maupin, well remembered 
among the district's old residents, to be Judge of the Superior Tribunal, in 
place of Lewis Dent, resigned. Another well-known pioneer who was at 
the Convention from Sacramento county, was Major Jacob R. Snyder, a 
resident of Sonoma till his death. 

We find that the " Superior Tribunal of California" existed at Monterey 
in 1849; for, in September of that year a " Tarifi" of fees for Judicial 
Officers" was published, with the following order of the Court : " That the 
several officers mentioned in this order shall be entitled to receive for their 


services, in addition to their regular salaries, if any, the following fees, and 
none others, until the further order of this Court." Here is added a list of 
the fees to be appropriated by Judges of the First Instance, Alcaldes, and 
Justices of the Peace, Clerks of the several courts, Sheriff or Comisario, 
District Attorney, and Notaries Public. 

We have already said that Stephen Cooper was app:>inted Judge of First 
Instance for the District of Sonoma. He commenced his labors in that 
office in October, 1849, as appears in the early record of the proceedings of 
that Court extant in the office of the County Clerk of Solano county. The 
record of one of the cases tried before Judge Cooper is reproduced as an 
instance of the quick justice that obtained in 184'9 : — 

The people of California Territory vs. George Palmer. And now comes 
the said people by right of their attorney, and the said defendant by Semple 
and O'Melveny, and the prisoner having been arraigned on the indictment 
in this cause, plead not guilty. Thereupon a jury was chosen, selected and 
sworn, when, after hearing the evidence and arguments of counsel, returned 
into Court the following verdict, to wit : 

" The jury, in the ease of Palmer, defendant, and the State of California, 
plaintiff, have found a verdict of guilty on both counts of the indictment, 
and sentenced him to i-eceive the following punishment, to wit : — 

" On Saturday, the 24th day of November, to be conducted by the Sheriff" 
to some public place, and there receive on his bare back seventy -five lashes, 
with such a weapon as the Sheriff may deem fit, on each count respectively, 
and to be banished from the District of Sonoma within twelve hours after 
whipping, under the penalty of receiving the same number of lashes for 
each and every day he remains in the district after the first whipping. 

" (Signed) Alexander Kiddell, Foreman. 

" It is therefore ordei-ed by the Court, in accordance with the above ver- 
dict, that the foregoing sentence be carried into effect." 

The Constitution was duly framed, submitted to the people, and at 
the election held on the thirteenth of November, ratified by them, and 
adopted by a vote of twelve thousand and sixty-four for it, and eleven 
against it; there being, besides, over twelve hundred ballots that were 
treated as blanks, because of an informality in the printing. 

We here reproduce two of the tickets which were voted at the time, and 
were distributed in and around Sacramento and the upper portion of the 
State :— 


people's TICICET. 


John A. Sutter. 


John MeDougal. 


William E. Shannon, 
Pet. Halsted. 


John Bidwell, Upper Sacramento, 
Murray Morrison, Sacramento City, 
Harding Bigelow, Sacramento City, 
<5ilbert A. Grant, Vernon. 


H. C. Cardwell, Sacramento City, 
P. B. Cornwall, Sacramento City, 
John S. Fowler, Sacramento City, 
J. Sherwood, 
Elisha W. McKinstry, 
Madison Waltham, Coloraa, 
W. B. Dickenson, Yuba, 
James Queen, South Fork, 
W. L. Jenkin, Weaverville. 




Peter H. Burnett. 


John McDougal. 


Edward Gilbert, 
George W. Wright. 


John Bidwell, Upper Sacramento, 
Murray Morrison, Sacramento City, 
Harding Bigelow, Sacramento City, 
Gilbert A. Grant, Vernon. 


H. C. Cai'dwell, Sacramento City, 
P. B. Cornwall, Sacramento City, 
John S. Fowler, Sacramento City, 
H. S. Lord, Upper Sacramento, 
Madison Waltham, Coloma, 
W. B. Dickenson, Yuba, 
James Queen, South Fork, 
Arba K. Berry, Weaverville. 

The result of the election was : Peter H. Burnett, Governor; John 
McDougal, Lieutenant-Governor; and Edward Gilbert and George W. 
Wright sent to Congress. The District of Sonoma polled at this election but 
five hundred and fifty-two votes, four hundred and twenty-four of which 
were for Burnett. Of the representatives sent from Sonoma, General Vallejo 
went to the Senate, and J. S. Bradford and J.. E. Brackett to the Assembly. 
Some difficulty would appear to have risen at this election, for Mr. R. A. 
Thompson says : " Genei-al Vallejo's seat was first given to James Spect, but 
on the twenty-second of December, the committee reported that the official 
return from Larkin's Ranch gave Spect but two votes instead of twenty- 
eight, a total of but one hundred and eighty - one votes against General 
Vallejo's one hundred and ninety-nine." Mr. Spect then gave up his seat 
to General Vallejo. 

We now produce the following interesting record of some of those who 


formed the first California Legislature, not because it bears specially on our 
subject, but as a matter of curiosity, interest and reference : — 

The following is from the Colusa Sun of April 2Cth : 

" Hon. John S. Bradford, of Springfield, Illinois, who was a member of the 
first California Legislature, procured from some of his colleagues a short 
biographical sketch. Thinking it might be a matter of interest to the 
people of California at the present time, he sends it to us. We have the 
original document, with the sketches in the handwriting of each member. 
Most of these gentlemen have figured conspicuously in the history of the 
State since, but we believe there are but few now living. Three of the 
sketches — Jose M. Covarrubias, M. G. Valleio. and Pablo de la Guerra, are 
written in Spanish, but we have had them translated. 

"Senators. — David F. Douglass — Born in Sumner county, Tennessee, the 
eighth of January, 1821. Went to Arkansas with Fulton in 1836. On 
the seventeenth of March, 1839, had a fight with Dr. Wm. Howell, in which 
H. was killed; imprisoned fourteen months; returned home in 1842; immi- 
grated to Mississippi ; engaged in the Choctaw speculation ; moved with the 
Choctaws West as a clerk ; left there for Texas in the winter of 1845-6. War 
broke out; joined Hay's regiment; from Mexico immigi-ated to California, 

and arrived here as wagoner in December, 1848. M. G. Vallejo — Born 

in Monterey, Upper California, July 7, 1807. On the first of January 
1825, he commenced his military career in the capacity of cadet. He 
served successively in the capacity of Lieutenant, Captain of cavaliy, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, and General Commandant of Upper California. In 1835 
he went to Sonoma county and founded the town of Sonoma, giving land 
for the same. He was a member of the Convention in 1849, and Senator in 
1850. Elean Heydenfeldt — Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Sep- 
tember 15, 1821 ; immigrated to Alabama in 1841 ; from thence to Louisiana 

in 1844; to California in 1849. Lawyer by pi-ofession. Pablo de la 

Guerra — Born in Santa Barbara, Upper California, November 29,1819. At 
the age of nineteen he entered the public service. He was appointed Ad- 
ministrator-General " de la o-entas," which position he held when California 
was taken by the American forces. From that time he lived a private life 
until he was named a member of the Convention which framed the Consti- 
tution of the State. Represents the district of Santa Barbara and San Luis 

Obispo in the Senate S. E. Woodworth — Born in the city of New 

York, November 15, 1815 ; commenced career as a sailor, A. D. 1832. Sailed 
from New York xVIarch 9, 1834. Entered the navy of the United States June 
14, 1838. Immigrated to California, vi.a Rocky Mountains and Oregon, April 
1, 1846. Resignation accepted by Navy Department, October 29, 1849. 
Elected to repi-esent the district of Monterey in the first Senate of the first 

Legislature of California for the term of two years. Thos. L. Vermeule — 

Born in New Jersey on the II th of June, 1814; immigrated to California 


November 12, 1846. Did represent San Joaquin district in the Senate. Re- 
signed. W. D. Fair — Senator from the San Joaquin district, Califor- 
nia ; native of Vij-ginia ; immigrated to Califm-nia from Missis.sippi in Feb- 
ruary, 1849, as " President of the Mississippi Rangers;" settled in Stockton, 
San Joaquin district, as an attorney-at-law. EJisha O. Crosby — Sen- 
ator from Sacramento District ; native of New York State; immigrated from 
New York December 25, 1848; aged thirty-four. D. C. Broderick— Sen- 
ator from San Francisco ; born in Washington City, D. C, February 4, 1818 ; 
immigrated from Washington to New York City, March, 1824; left New- 
York for California, April 17, 1849. E. Kirby Chamberlin, M. D.^ 

President ■protein, of the Senate, from the district of San Diego; born in 
Litchfield county, Connecticut, April 24, 1805 ; immigrated from Connecticut 
to Onondago county. New York, in 1815 ; thence to Beaver, Pennsylvania, in 
1829; thence to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1842 ; served as Surgeon in the United 
States Army during the war with Mexico ; appointed Surgeon to the Bound- 
ary Line Commission, February 10, 1840; embarked from Cincinnati, Ohio, 
February, 15 ; arrived in San Diego, June 1, 1849, and in San Jos^, December 

12, 1849. J. Bidwell — Born in Chautauqua county. New Yoik, 5th of 

August, 1819; immigrated to Pennsylvania; thence to Ohio; thence to Mis- 
souri; thence in 1841 to California; term in Senate one year. H. C. 

Robinson, Senator from Sacramento; elected November 15, 1849; born in 
tile State of Connecticut; immigrated at an early age to Louisiana; educated 
as a lawyer, but engaged in commercial pursuits; arrived at San Francisco, 
February, 1849, per steamer California, the first that ever entered said port. 

Benjamin S. Lippincott — Senator from San Joaquin ; born in New 

Yoik; immigrated February, 1846, from New Jersey; b}^ pursuit a mer- 
chant; elected for two years. 

Assemblymen. — Elam Brown — Born in the State of New York in 1797 ; 
emigrated from Massachusetts in 1805 ; to Illinois in 1818 ; to Missouri, 1837; 

and from Platte county, in Missouri, 1846, to California. J. S- K. 

Ogier — Born in Charleston, South Carolina; immigrated to New Orleans, 

1845, and from there to California, December 18, 1848. E. B. Bateman, 

M. D. — Emigrated from Missouri, April, 1847 ; residence, Stockton, Alta 
California. Edmund Randoli^h — Born in Richmond, Virginia; immi- 
grated to New Orleans, 1843; thence to California, 1849; residence, San 

Francisco. E. P. Baldwin — Born in Alabama; emigrated from thence 

in January, 1849; arrived in California, May 1, 1850; represents San Joa- 
quin district; i-esides in Sonora, Tuolumne cdtinty. A. P. Crittenden — 

Born in Lexington, Kentucky ; educated in Ohio, Alabama, New York and 
Pennsylvania; settled in Texas in 1839; came to California in 1849; repre- 
sents the county of Los Angeles. Alfred Wheeler — Born in the city 

of New York, the 30th day of April, 1820 ; resided in New York City 
until the 21st of May, 1849, when he left for California. Citizen and 

/^f ^^^^ 


resident of San Francisco, which district he represents. James A. 

Gra}^ Philadelphia — Monterey, California; immigrated in 1846 in the first 

New York Regiment of Volunteers. -Joseph Aram — Native of State 

of New York; immigrated to California, 1846 ; present re.sidence, San Jose, 
Santa Clara county. Joseph C. Morehead — Born in Kentucky ; immi- 
grated to California in 1846; resides at present in the county of Calaveras, 

San Joaquin district. Benjamin Cory, M. D. — Born November 12, 

1822, immigrated to the Golden State in 1847; residence in the valley of 

San Jos^. Thomas J. Henley — Born in Indiana; family now reside in 

Charlestown, in that State; immigrated to California in 1849, through the 

South Pass; residence at Sacramento. Jose M. Covarrubias — Native 

of France ; came to California in 1834 ; residence in Santa Barbara, and 

Representative for that district. Elisha W. McKinstry — Born in 

Detroit, Michigan; immigrated to California in March, 1849; residence in 

Sacramento district, city of Sutter. George B. Tingley — Born August 

15, 1815, Clermont county, Ohio; immigrated to Rushville, Indiana, No- 
vember 4, 1834; started to California April 4, 1849; reached there Octo- 
ber 16th ; was elected to the Assembly November 13th, from Sacramento 

district, and is now in Pueblo de San Josd. Mr. Brarlford, hiuxself, 

represents our (Sonoma) district in the Assembly. 

On Saturday, December 15, 1849, the first State Legislature met at San 
Josd, E. Kirby Chamberlin being elected President pro temi. of the Senate, 
and Thomas J. White, Speaker of the Assembly. 

In the year 1850, Senator M. G. Vallejo became convinced that the capital 
of California should be established at a place which he desired to name 
Eureka, but which his colleagues, out of compliment to himself, suggested 
should be named Vallejo. To this end the General addressed a memorial to 
the Senate, dated Api-il 3, 1850, wherein he graphically pointed out the 
advantages possessed by the proposed site over other places which claimed 
the honor. In this remarkable document, remarkable alike for its generosity 
of purpose as for its marvelous foresight, he proposed to grant twenty acres 
to the State, free of cost, for a State Capitol and grounds, and one hundred 
and thirty-six acres more for other State buildings, to be apportioned in the 
following manner: Ten acres for the Governor's house and grounds; five 
acres for the offices of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, Surveyor- 
General, and Attorney-General, should the Commissioners determine that 
their offices should not be in the Capitol building; one acre to State Library 
and Translator's office, should it be determined to separate them from the 
State House building ; twenty acres for an Orphan Asylum ; ten acres for a 
Male Charity Hospital ; ten acres for a Female Charity Hospital; four acres 
for an Asylum for the Blind; four acres for a Deaf and Dumb Asylum; 
twenty acres lor a Lunatic Asyluui ; eight acres for four Common Schools; 


twenty acres for a State University ; four acres for a State Botanical Garden ; 
and twenty acres for a State Penitentiary. 

But with a munificence casting this ah-eady long list of grants into the 
shade, he further proposed to donate and pay over to the State, within two 
years after the acceptance of these propositions, the gigantic sum of three 
hundred and seventy thousand dollars, to be apportioned in the following 
manner: For the building of a State Capitol, one hundred and twenty -five 
thousand dollars; for furnishing the same, ten thousand dollars; for building 
of the Governor's house, ten thousand dollars; for furnishing the same, five 
thousand dollars ; for the building of State Library and Translator's office, 
five thousand dollars; for a State Libraiy, five thousand dollars; for the 
building of the offices of the Secretary of State, Comptroller, Attorney- 
General, Surveyor-General and Treasurer, should the Commissioners deem it 
proper to separate them from the State House, twenty thousand dollars; for 
the building of an Orphan Asylum, twenty thousand dollars; for the 
building of a Female Charity Hospital, twenty thousand dollars; for the 
building of a Male Charity Hospital, twenty thousand dollars; for the 
building of an Asylum for the Blind, twenty thousand dollars; for the 
building of a Deaf and Dumb Asylum, twenty thousand dollars; for the 
building of a State University, twenty thousand dollars ; for University 
liihrary, five thousand dollars ; for scientific apparatus therefor, five thousand 
dollars; for chemical labratory therefor, three thousand dollars; for a min- 
eral cabinet therefor, three thousand dollars ; for the building of four com- 
mon school edifices, ten thousand dollars; for purchasing books for same, 
one thousand dollars; for the building of a Lunatic Asylum, twenty thou- 
sand dollars; for a State Penitentiary, twenty thousand dollars; for a State 
botanical collection, three thousand dollars. 

In his memorial, the General states with much lucidity his reasons for 
claiming the proud position for the place suggested as the proper site for the 
State Capital. Mark the singleness of purpose with which he bases these 
claims : — 

"Your memorialist, with this simple proposition (namely, that in the 
event of the Government declining to accept his terms it should be put to 
the popular vote at the general election held in November of that year — 
18.50), might stop here, did he not believe that his duty as a citizen of Cali- 
foi-nia required him to say thus much in addition — that he believes the 
location indicated is the most suitable for a perniament seat of government 
for the great State of California, for the following reasons: That it is the 
true center of the State, the true center of commerce, the true center of pop- 
ulation, and the true center of travel; that, while the Bay of San Francisco 
is acknowledged to be the first on the earth, in point of extent and naviga- 
ble capacities, already, throughout the length and breadth of the wide world, 
it is acknowledged to be the very center between Asiatic and European 


commerce. The largest ship that sails upon the broad sea can, within three 
hours anchor at the wharves of the place which your memorialist proposes 
as your permanent seat of government. From this point, by steam naviga- 
tion, there is a greater aggregate of mineral wealth within eight hours' steam- 
ing, than exists in the Union besides; from this point the great north and 
south rivei's — San Joaquin and Sacramento — cut the State longitudinally 
through the center, fringing the immense gold deposits on the one hand, and 
untold mercury and other mineral resources on the other; from this point 
steam navigation extends along the Pacific coast south to San Diego and 
north to the Oregon line, affording the quickest possible facilities for our sea- 
coast population to reach the State Capital in the fewest number of hours. 
This age, as it has been truly remarked, has merged distance into time. In 
the operations of commerce and the intercourse of mankind, to measure miles 
by the rod is a piece of vandalism of a by-gone age; and that point which 
can be approached from all parts of the State in the fewest number of hours, 
an<l at the cheapest cost, is the truest center. 

" The location which your memorialist proposes as the permanent seat of 
government is certainly that point. 

" Your memorialist most respectfully submits to your honorable body, 
whether there is not a ground of even still higher nationality; it is this: 
that at present, throughout the wide extent of our sister Atlantic States, but 
one sentiment seems to possess the entire people, and that is, to build in the 
shortest possible time, a railroad from the Mississippi to the Bay of San 
Francisco, where its western terminus may meet a three weeks' steamer 
from China. Indeed, such is the overwhelming sentiment of the American 
people upon this subject, that there is but little doubt to apprehend its early 
completion. Shall it be said then, while the world is coveting our po.ssession of 
what all acknowledge to be the half-way house of the earth's commerce — 
the great Bay of San Francisco — that the people of the rich possessions are 
so unmindful of its value as not to ornament her magnilicent shores with a 
capital worthy of a great State ? '" 

Upon receipt of General Vallejo's memorial by the Senate, a committee 
composed of members who possessed a thorough knowledge of the country 
comprised in the above-quoted document, both geographical and topographi- 
cal, were directed to report for the information of the President, upon the 
advantages claimed for the location of the capital at the spot suggested in 
preference to others. The report in which the following words occur, was 
presented to the Senate on April 2, 1850: — "Your committee cannot dwell 
with too much warmth upon the magnificent propositions contained in the 
raetiiorial of General Vallejo. They breathe throughout the spirit of an 
enlarged mind and a sincere public benefactor, for which he deserves the 
thanks of his countrymen aud the admiration of the world. Such a propo- 
sition looks more like the Icgac}' of a mighty Emperor to his people than the 


free donation of a private planter to a great State, yet poor in public finance, 
but soon to be among the first of the earth." 

The report, which was presented by Senator D. C. Broderick of San Fran- 
cisco, goes on to point out the necessities which should govern the choice of 
a site for California's capital, recapitulates the advantages pointed out in the 
memorial, and finally recommends the acceptance of General Vallejo's offer. 
This acceptance did not pass the Senate without some opposition and con- 
siderable delay; however, on Tuesday, February 4, 1851, a message was 
received from Governor Burnett, by his Private Secretary, Mr. Ohr, inform- 
ing the Senate that he did this day sign an Act originating in the Senate 
entitled " An Act to provide for the permanent location of the seat of gov- 
ernment." In the meantime General Vallejo's bond had been accepted; his 
solvency was approved by a committee appointed by the Senate to inquire 
into that circumstance ; the report of the commissioners sent to mark and 
lay out the tracts of land proposed to be donated was adopted, and on May 
1, 1851, the last session of the Legislature at San Josd was completed; but 
the archives were not moved to the new seat of government at Vallejo then, 
the want of which was the cause of much dissatisfaction among the members. 

The Legislature first sat at Vallejo on January 5, 1852, but there was 
wanting the attraction of society which would appear to be necessary to the 
seat of every central government. With these Sacramento abounded, from 
her proximity to the mines. The Assembly therefore, with a unanimity 
bordering on the marvelous, passed a bill to remove the session to that city, 
ball tickets and theater tickets being tendered to the members in reckless 
profusion. The bill was transferred to the Senate and bitterly fought by the 
Hons. Paul K. Hubbs and Phil. A. Roach. The removal was rejected by one 
vote. This was on a Saturday, but never was the proverb of we " know not 
what the morrow may bring forth " more fully brought to bear upon any 
consideration. Senator Anderson, it is said, passed a sleepless night through 
the presence of unpleasant insects in his couch ; on the Monday morning he 
moved a reconsideration of the bill ; the alarm was sounded on every hand, 
and at 2 p. M. on January 12, 1852, the Government and Legislature were 
finding its way to Sacramento by way of the Carquinez Straits. On March 
7, 1852, a devastating flood overwhelmed Sacramento, and where they had 
before feared contamination, they now feared drowning. The Legislaturf 
adjourned at Sacramento May 4, 1852, the next session to be held at Vallejo. 
On January 3, 1853, the peripatetic government met again at Vallejo, 
whither had been moved in May the archives and State oflices. Once 
more the spirit of jealousy was rampant; Sacramento could not with any 
grace ask for its removal thither again ; but she, working with Benicia, the 
capital was once more on wheels and literally carted off to the latter town 
for the remaining portion of the session, when a bill was passed to fix the 
capital of the State at Sacramento, and thereafter clinched by large appro- 


priations for building the present magnificent capitol there. The last sitting 
of the Legislature was held on February 4, 1853, when it was resolved to 
meet at Benicia on the 11th of the month, the vote then taken being as 
follows: Ayes — Messrs. Baird, Denver, Estill, Hager, Hubbs, Hudspeth, 
Keene, Lind, Lott, Lyons, McKibben, Roach, Smith, Snyder, Sprague, Wade, 
Wombough — 17. Nays — Crabb, Cofforth, Foster, Gruwell, Ralston, 
Walkup— 6. 

But to return to our particular subject. During the first session at San 
Jose but little was done beyond dividing the State into counties, and organ- 
izing their governments. At this time, Robert Hopkins was elected District 
Judge and Assemblyman, J. E. Brackett Major-General of the second division 
of militia. Mr. Hopkins, who with the Hon. George Pearce had been 
appointed a committee to visit the capital in order to prevent, if possible, 
the establishment of a boundary line which would include the Sonoma vaUey 
in Napa county, was a resident lawyer of Sonoma. On arrival at San Jos^, 
the question of appointing a Judge for the Sonoma district was attracting 
attention, and the only candidate was W. R. Turner, who, though a gentle- 
man of capabilities, did not reside there, and probably had never visited the 
spot. Pearce proposed to Hopkins to run for the office; he allowed himself 
to be put in nomination, and beat Turner, who knew not of opposition, 
j ust as he was putting forth his hand to seize the prize. The vote was 
unanimous for Hopkins, and Tui-ner received some other district. Pearce 
went to San Josd for one purpose and accomplished another, while Hopkins 
came back a full-fledged Judge of a most important district. 

The State of California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 
1850, and on January 6, 1851, the second Legislature met at San Jose. 
Martin E. Cook, at this session, represented the Eleventh Senatorial District, 
which was composed of the counties of Sonoma, Solano, Napa, Marin, 
Colusa, Yolo, and Trinity — in short, all that territory west of the Sacra- 
mento rif er, while in the lower house Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Solano was 
lepresented by John A. Bradford and A. Stearns. 

On September 3, 1851, the first gubernatorial election was held under the 
new order of things. In this contest, John Bigler, who i-eceived twenty- 
three thousand seven hundred and seventy-four votes in the State, against 
twenty-two thousand seven hundred and thirty-three got by P. B. Redding, 
his Whig opponent, had the assistance of that new power which had com- 
menced to creep into the State in the shape of the squatting element. He 
was democratic in his manners, being " hale-fellow " with all. Not so his 
opponent, who was a gentleman of more genteel bearing than the kind- 
hearted, unambitious, landless Governor, who was always mindful of his 
friends. Bigler, in all his messages, urged economy, but found it difficult to 
prevent an office being made for a friend. Tuthill remarks: " It was his 
[xt project to unite the Southern and Western men of his party, and let the 


free-soilers shift for themselves ; but it is not iu that direction that party 
cleavage runs. The Southerner.^ scorned the alliance. They were 'high- 
toned,' and looked down upon a Mis.sourian as little better than a man from 
Massachusetts. The Governor's project would not work. He carried water 
on both shoulders and spilt very little on either side." 

By an Act of the Legislature, passed February 18, 18.50, Mendocino county 
was directed to be attached to Sonoma for judicial purposes. By the Act 
of March 11, 1851, she was, with Sonoma, Solano, Napa and Maiin, organ- 
ized into the Seventh Judicial District; on May 1st, of the same year, with 
the counties of Marin and Sonoma, Mendocino was established as the Nine- 
teenth Senatorial District to elect one Senator jointly, Marin and Mendocino 
sending one member to the Assembly, while by the Act of May, 1853, these 
counties were reorganized into the Eleventh Senatorial District. The last- 
mentioned arrangement would appear to have remained in force until May 
18, 1861, when the Tenth Senatorial District was formed out of Marin and 
Contra Costa counties, these having the power to elect one Senator and each 
of them one Member of Assembly, the former of whom was allotted a** being 
of the first class in accordance with the Act of the Legislature dated April 
27, 1863. Once more, March 16, 1874, the district was re-numbered to the 
Fifteenth, while on March 29, 1876, the " Act to create the Twenty -second 
Judicial District " was passed, it being composed of Marin, Sonoma and 
Mendocino counties. The appointee, until the next general election, being 
Jackson Temple, a gentleman whose reputation as a jurist is second to hone. 
Under this appointment Judge Temple served two years, and succeeded 
himself, having been elected at the regular judicial election, without opposi- 
tion, for a full term of six years. He had served only two years of this term 
when the New Constitution was adopted. Under its provision the Courts 
were reorganized, the County and District Courts were abolished and 
Superior Courts created, and now the last Judge of the Disti-ict Court, 
wherein was included this county, is Superior Judge of the adjoining one of 
Sonoma, an office to which he was elected without regard to party, by the 
largest majority of any candidate on the county ticket; thus we have traced 
the District Court from its incipience and the election of Robert Hopkins as 
Judge, to its abolition with Judge Jackson Temple on the Bench. 

We have elsewhere mentioned the establi.shment of the Court of Sessions. 
The court for the District of Sonoma held its first meeting in 1850, the judi- 
cial body being composed as follows: A. A. Green, County Judge, and 
Charles Hudspeth and Peter Campbell Associates. In 1851, Judge Green 
died, when Martin E. Cook was appointed, but he declined to serve, and W. 
O. King was chosen then to fill the office, and he held one term of court. 

In November, 1851, the Hon. C. P. Wilkins succeeded Judge Green as 
County Judge; Israel Brochman was Sherifl", and Dr. John Hendley, County 
Clerk and Recorder. In 1852, on Julv 8th, wc find the; first record of pro- 


ceedings of the Court of Sessions extant among the archives at Santa Rosa, 
when Judge C. P.Wilkins was pi-esent with Peter Campbell and J. M. Miller a 
hfe Associates. J. Hendlej' was Clerk, and J. A. Reynolds was Under- 
Sherift*. The following names comprise the Grand Jury at that session of 
the court: — W. D. Kent, J. D. George, Alexander Spect, Samuel Havens, H. 
N. Ryder, Josiah Wilkins, James Crenshaw, J. P. Thrasher, A. C. Hollishead, 
J. W. Davis, George Smith, Arnold Hutten, Edward Beasley, George Edger- 
ton, John Smith, Benjamin Mitchell, H. L. Karap, J. M. Gilliland, Robert 
Anderson, George B. Farrar, Hosea Norris, and Leonard Dodge. We have 
reproduced this list of names, not because there was any political significance 
in them, but because we desire to preserve to the public as far as possible, 
the names of all the pioneers of that long ago time away back in the early 
fifties. October 3d of that year, Phillip R. Thompson and A. C. Goodwin 
were appointed Associate Justices in place of the two gentlemen mentioned 
above whose terms had expired. 

The first Board of Supervisors for the county, met at Sonoma, July 5, 
18.52, and took charge of those affairs not coming within the immediate 
duties of the Court of Sessions. The members were D. 0. Shattuck, 
William A. Hereford of the Santa Rosa district, Leonard P. Hanson and 
James Singley, the first named being elected chairman of the Board. At the 
Presidential election in the fall of this year, E. W. McKinstry was elected 
District Judge; J. M. Hudspeth, State Senator, and H. S. Ewing and James 
McKamy, Assemblymen. 

In the fall of 1853 the Democratic convention met at Santa Rosa, and 
nominated Joe Hooker — then a resident of Sonoma township, known during 
the war of the rebellion as " Fighting Joe," since deceased — and Lindsay 
Carson for the Assembly, and a full county ticket. The settler's convention 
met August 6th and nominated a full ticket, headed by James N. Bennett 
and Judge Robert Hopkins for the Assembly. When the vote had been 
counted up after the election, which occurred September 7th, it was found 
that Carson was elected while Bennett and Hooker were a tie. The removal 
of the county seat from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, did not enter very greatly into 
the contest during the first election though such a proposition was openly dis- 
cussed. Another election was held October 29th, and the county seat matter 
entered into the fight as an all controlling factor. Bennett lived in Bennett's 
valley, and was sponsor for the same, and was supposed to represent the Santa 
Rosa side of the county seat question, while Hooker who lived in Sonoma, was 
the exponent of that side of the question. The result of the election was, that 
Hooker was beaten by thirteen votes, and that was the starting-point of the 
agitation which led to the removal of the seat of county government to Santa 
Rosa. Lindsay Carson resigned before the meeting of the Legislature, and 
another special election was held on the 23d of December, at which W. B. 
Hagans was elected, over the opposition of James Singley and Joseph W. 


Belden. Mr. Hagans is still living in Ukiah, and is one of Mendocino's 
most honorable and honored citizens. 

Inasmuch as the officers of Sonoma county were in reality also the officers 
of Mendocino county up till 1859, for the sake of reference and to preserve 
the record to the people of Mendocino we append a full list of the officers 
up to that date: State Senators— 1849, M. G. Vallejo; 1850-51, M. E. 
Cook ; 1852-3, J. M. Hudspeth; 1854-5, H. P. Heintzleman; 1856-7, A. W. 
Taliaferro; 1858-9, Jasper O'Farrell. Assemblymen— 1849, J. E. Brackett 
and J. S. Bradford; 1850, A. Stearns and J. S. Bradford; 1851, J. M. Huds- 
peth and L. W. Boggs; 1852, H. P. Ewing and James W. McKaaiey; 1853, 
J. N. Bennett and W. B. Hagans; 1854, James Stewart and James Singley; 
1855, H. G. Heald and J. S. Rathburn; 1856, Uriah Edwards and Richard 
Harrison ; 1857, Uriah Edwards and J. S. Ormsby ; 1858, J. B. Lamar and 
J. S. Robertson. 

The following named persons held the offices of Justice of the Peace in 
and for the townships which comprised Mendocino county up to the date of 
separation: 1856, Simon Taylor and Martin Baechtel for Ukiah township, 
and John E. Chalfant and J. F. Hills for Big River township ; 1857, James 
E. Pettus for Ukiah Township, and G. Canning Smith and C. A. Munn, for 
Big River township; 1858, J. E. Pettus and I. G. Snell for Ukiah township, 
J. A. Hamilton and Wm. Herser for Big River township, and J. McGimpsey 
for township. 

The constables elected during that time were as follows: 1856, James 
Stumph and Alfred Harrick; 1857, J. Byrnes, D. Morgan and R. L. Thomp- 
son; 1858, J. F. Hills, J. P^wkins, and Charles Leonard. 

We now pass to the first election in Mendocino county after it had attained 
to the dignity of an independent county. In accordance with the provisions 
of the Act of the Legislature which set Mendocino off to itself, the first elec- 
tion was held on the first Monday in May, 1859, having in view the two-fold 
object of electing the necessary count}' officers and the location of the seat of 
government. At this election the following list of officers were declared to 
have received a majority of all the votes cast: County Judge, William 
Henry; District Attorney, Wm. Neeley Johnson; County Clerk, G. Canning 
Smith; Sheriff, J. B. Price; County Surveyor, J. J. Cloud; Asses.sor, John 
Burton; Coroner, D. W. Smith; County Treasurer, John W. Morris; Super- 
intendent of Public Instruction, A. L. Brayton. 

W^e are indebted to G. Canning Smith, Esq., for the following names of 
opposing candidates for the several offices set opposite their names: For 
County Judge, " Kedge" Wilson and E. J. Munn; for County Clerk, Wil- 
liams, A. Kendall, and C. H. Veeder ; for Sherifi', McClintock, and for 

Treasurer, Isaac P. Smith. The canvass for this election was very exciting, 
and the several candidates in the field made most strenuous efforts to be suc- 
cessf ulfor they all considered not only the " loaves and fishes" of the office, 


but the honor attached to the fact of being the tirst man to fill the office in the 
county. As is well known there were no roads in the county at that time, 
and only trails led from place to place, hence the campaign was rendered 
•doubly tedious, and in many cases they were called upon to undergo priva- 
tion and fatigue. Whiskey ! Yes, they all drank whiskey in those olden 
days. Temperance organizations were a thing unheard of in the wilds of 
Mendocino county at that time. Apropos to this fact a good story is still 
tioating around in the social atmosphere of the county which has been handed 
down from the days of this first campaign. All old settlers will remember a 
gentleman by the name of Michael Dougherty, who at one time had charge, 
as agent, of what was known as the " Bald Hill Reservation." Now Dough- 
erty's name belied him, for a stranger would take him to be an Irishman by 
his name, but he was no such a thing, but was a native-born Kentuekian, 
and a good sound Democrat, first, last and all the time. Furthermore, he 
was the soul of wit and good-natured jollity, which with him was always 
interspersed with a goodly share of old Bourbon. In the course of the 
canvass the candidates, who all went in a body, irrespective of party predi- 
lections or previous condition of circumstances, brought up at Mike's 
head-quarters one night. He was over.rejoiced to see them and offered them 
the hospitality of his home. After supper the boys got to telling yarns, and 
smoking and drinking a little whiskey occasionally. Mike .soon discovered that 
there was one candidate who did not deign to touch the "crathur," and he told 
him that he must not offend his dignity by refusing to drink his whiskey if 
he expected his or his friends' votes. Now votes were votes j ust at that time, 
so the candidate thought he could stand a drink or two, but they began to 
<' turn the corner" oftener and more frequently, until our f liend began to feel 
like he had all that was well for him to imbibe, and began to plead for mercy. 
But Mike would not hear to any excuses, but compelled him to drink again 
and again until he fell asleep and could not be aroused to drink again. The 
others had also gotten pretty mellow, and lay stretched around the room very 
promiscuousl}'. Mike then took the temperance candidate into his garden 
and placing him on his back, tied a rope to each wrist and fastened it to a peg- 
in the ground, stretching out the arms at full length. He then placed a cord 
on each ankle and served them likewise,and when he had the man thus stretched 
out and pegged down he pulled a lot of growing vegetables and covered him 
up with them, and thus the man spent the night, and when he was relieved 
from that pitiable plight the sun had been shining down upon him for sev- 
eral houi-s. Another candidate awoke from his bacchanalian .slumbers to find 
himself in humiliating proximity to a squaw, whom it seems Mike had called 
from the rancheria and forced to share the bunk with the man. The others 
were scattered about the floor in glorious unconscious confusion, and Mike 
was happy, for he had gotten them all drunk. 

The next morning he took one of the candidates to one side and ex- 


plained to him very confidentially how the settlers along the coast were 
harassed by depredations made on their potato crops by the abalones and 
sea-lions coming up and destroying them, and promised to see that the man 
got every vote on the coast pi-ovided he would promise, if elected, to use his 
influence to stop further depredations on the part of the offending animals. 
This the man promised to do in good faith, and it is said that after his 
election he remembered this promise made to Mike, and consulted his 
friends as to the best method of affecting the desired end, and it was only 
after he had been forced to treat the crowd a few times on the strength of 
the joke that he began to comprehend it. 

The contest for county seat was quite close, but unfortunately the exact 
vote cannot be given. Calpella and TJkiah were the competing points for the 
distinction, and the success of one meant the entire downfall of the other, as 
they were situated within six miles of each other, in the same valley. Ukiah 
was victorious by whatever majority there was, and from that time on it 
has prospered. 

The county was divided into three Supervisorial districts, and the first 
Board was composed as follows: First district, 0. H. P.Brown; second 
district, Daniel Miller; third district, J. F. Hills, with Mr. Miller as chair- 
man. The first meeting was held May 16, 1859. 

Everything seemed to follow the even tenor of its way politically in the 
county until sometime in 1864, when E. R Budd began a quo 'warranto 
proceeding against William Holden for the purpose of deciding the question of 
the legality of Holden's election. We will now proceed to give our readers 
as nearly as possible a correct statement of the case and the events that 
transpired in connection with it. 

At the judicial election of 1863, Wilham Holden was declared to be elected 
Judge by a majority of four votes, as appeared by the returns from the 
county. E. R. Budd was the opposing candidate, who, instead of contesting 
Holden's election under the laws providing for such cases, let the time pass- 
in which the law required him to contest, and commenced by quo tuarranto. 
In all about seventy -five soldiers, non-residents of the county, under a decision 
of the Supreme Court, voted for Budd, which votes, if the evidence of their 
voting for relator could have been obtained, would have been taken off from 
his aggregate vote; but this could not, from the nature of the case, be proven 
by none but the soldiers that cast the votes. At the March term of the 
District Court, by consent of parties and with the express understanding 
that the person appointed should go to Round Valley to take the evidence of 
about fifty soldiers that voted there, the case was referred to J. L. Broaddus 
to take and report the evidence, each party having forty days to take testi- 
mony, and ten days to take rebutting testimony. The referee promised to 
go to Round Valley to take this evidence, but when the time came when he 
could have gone, he flatly refused to go, though he faithfully promised the 




defendant to do so. The defendant then procured a subpena to be issued 
and served on about five of the soldiers. Captain Douglass refused to let 
them attend. The case went to trial at the July term, and the court found 
relator elected by a majority of two votes. 

The defendant immediately moved for a new trial ; prepared a statement 
which was, after much difficulty, settled by parties and certified to by the 
Judge. The motion was argued and submitted on the 7th of October, 1863. 
The statement was placed in the hands of William N. Johnson, attorney for 
relator, who held the same when the Judge held court at this place on the 
third Monday in November, who met the Judge at Cloverdale on his return 
from here, at which place he, the Judge, on the 2d of December, made and 
delivered to Johnson his decision, changing his former decision, so as to give 
relator Budd one instead of two majority. On Saturday, December 3d, 
about three o'clock, a notice of filing the findings of the Judge was served on 
the defendant, who immediately commenced drawing up a notice of appeal; 
but before it was finished, and about ten minutes after the service of the 
notice, a writ of quo luan^anto was served by the Sheriff, requiring defendant 
to turn over to Budd the office. After this, about four o'clock of the same 
day, Saturday, defendant served on Johnson a notice of appeal, both from the 
order denying a new trial and the judgment of July, 1864; and in about 
thirty minutes after filed in the Clerk's office an undertaking in the sum of 
three hundred dollai-s for costs and damages on appeal. 

By the decision of the Judge under the law, the relator was entitled to the 
office, the filing of the notice and undertaking stopping the eff'ect of the 
decision and leaving both parties in precisely the position they were in before 
any decision was made. 

Inferring from the simultaneous filing of the decision of the Judge and the 
service of the writ, that something was on the tapis (the next Monday being 
the term of the County Court), and to fortify himself at all points, the defend- 
ant, on Monday morning, December .5 th, at eight o'clock, filed a further under- 
taking in the sum of three hundred dollars, and also in the sum of four hun- 
dred dollars, being more than double the amount of the judgment for costs, 
of which relator was notified. 

Thus proceedings were stayed, both on the order denying a new trial, and 
also the judgment made July 21, 1864. The relator claimed that because 
the writ was served before the appeal was perfected, the perfecting of the 
appeal stayed proceedings with him in the office, and that he could hence 
hold the office until the appeal was decided; in other words, he proceeded 
under the decision, notwithstanding everything had been done by the defend- 
ant required by law to stay proceedings. Such a construction of the law 
would place it in the power of the prevailing party in all similar cases, by 
tiling the decision and having the writ or mandate served simultaneously, of 
depriving the other party from the benefits derived by the law of staying 


proceedings until a decision can be had in the Supreme Court. By the pre- 
vailing party's own acts he deprives the other party of his rights under the 
law. Under this state of facts, defendant Holden, on the Monday morning 
following, took the bench and held the court until the business was finished, 
and adjourned on Tuesday until the next regular term of the court. 

The following account of the proceedings of that session of the County 
Court is copied from the Constitutional Democrat of December 8, 1864: — 

" The County Court met on Monday December 5th, at 9 o'clock, William 
Holden, Judge. The Court was proceeding to form the Grand Jury when 
the District Attorney suggested that there was some doubt whether William 
Holden had the right to hold the court, and on first protesting that he had 
no intention of committing contempt, with permission of the Court pro- 
ceeded to give his reasons for entertaining this doubt, which was, that there 
was no provision for staying proceedings on appeal in cases of quo warranto 
by sections 349, 350, 351 and 352 of the Piactice Act. The Court then 
referred him to the law authorizing an appeal in all cases from an order 
granting or denying a motion for a new trial ; also, to section 356 of the 
Practice Act, which provides that in all cases not provided for in the above- 
named sections an appeal to stay proceedings might be made by filing a 
three hundred dollar bond, as provided for by section 348 of the Practice 
Act ; and in turn demanded of the District Attorney if that was not the 
law. He replied that it appeared so ; but that there might be some doubt. 

The regular panel having been exhausted before the Grand Jury was 
complete, a special venire was ordered retui-nable at 1 o'clock P. M., and 
court adjourned to that hour. After adjournment, the District Attorney 
and Judge had a conversation in connection with T. B. Bond, Esq., at which 
the District Attorney did not insist upon the grounds urged in court ; first 
stating that the perfecting of the appeal stopped both parties from acting, and 
after that, that because the writ of quo warranto was served, although 
simultaneously with the filing of the order denying the new trial, before the 
appeal was perfected, it let Budd into the office, and then the proceedings 
were stayed, yet he, Budd, could go on and hold court. On the calling (if 
the court at 1 o'clock, when proceeding to form the Grand Jury, the District 
Attorney stated that he would have nothing to do with its formation, as he 
believed all acts done by it would be illegal. ' There being no member of the 
bar present except those retained by parties held to appear before the Grand 
Jury; and W. Neeley Johnson, who had heretofore appeared in court in the 
capacitj- of deputy District Attorney under R. McGarvey, the court made 
an order of which the following is the substance: The District Attorney 
having refused to assist in the formation of the Grand Jury and intimated 
his unwillingness to act in the capacity of District Attorney after it was 
formed, the Grand Jury is hereby discharged. The court, after transacting- 
some other business adjourned until the next morning at 9 o'clock. 


Shortly after Budd served a notice on Sheriff Warden to attend at 4; 
o'clock and call court. This the Sheriff refused to do. Whereupon E. R. 
Budd, R. McGarvey, and F. W. Watrous went up into the court-room, 
Budd took the bench and ordered court called by some person. A fine of 
five hundred dollars was imposed on Lew M. Warden for contempt in not 
attending court. B. F. Forsyth was appointed elisor, when R. McGarvey 
arose and moved, in consequence of the doubt as to whether Budd was 
really the Court or not, and for the purpose of saving the count}' unneces- 
sary expense, that the court adjourn. Budd concurred and Forsyth pro- 
claimed the adjournment. 

The above proceedings of Build's court were spi'ead upon the minutes. 
On Tuesday, court met pursuant to adjournment with Holden on the bench. 
After reading and signing the minutes of the day before, Holden ordered 
the Clerk to cut the page containing the minutes made by order of Budd 
from the record, which was done as directed. After disposing of the cases 
remaining on the calendar, the court adjourned until the next regular term. 

The matter was taken before the Supreme Court, and finally, June 5, 
1865, a decision was given in favor of E. R. Budd, and the quo warranto 
was sustained, and the remittitur ordered to issue forthwith. Thus was 
settled a very vexatious question, and one which involved several nice legal 
technicalities. We have no remarks to make upon the merits of the decision, 
as both parties had earnest supporters, and at this remote date it is impossi- 
ble to get statements which are free for all bias. 

In 1874, a matter of some importance came up for the suffrage of the 
people, this was the vote on the " Local Option " law, and the ballots cast 
that day, show that the majority of the people of Mendocino county are in 
favor of right and good government. The election was held June 10th of 
that year, and the vote stood as follows: — 





Little Lake 

Round Valley 



Ten-mile River 
































Totals 427 758 11 342 

We will close this chapter by giving a short account of the greatest 
political event which has occurred for many years in California — the 


adoption of the New Constitution. The Constitution which was framed 
at Monterey, when the State was yet in its swaddUng clothes, answered 
every purpose for a number of years, but the entire body politic 
had changed, and the popular voice became clamorous for a change 
in the organic law of the State. The question had often been before 
mooted, and votes taken upon calling a convention for the purpose of 
framing a new Constitution, but public sentiment did not reach the requisite 
condition until the general election of 1877, at which time "Constitutional 
Convention, Yes," carried with an overwhelming majority. During the 
session of the Legislature, which followed this election, a bill was framed and 
passed, which provided for the election of delegates to the convention, and 
which was approved March 30, 1878. Thirty-two of the delegates were to 
be elected from the State at large, not more than eight of whom should 
reside in any one Congressional district. In accordance with a proclamation 
issued by the Governor, an election for the purpose of choosing delegates to 
the convention was held June 19, 1878. The body comprising the Consti- 
tutional Convention, met at Sacramento City, September 28th of that vear^ 
and continued in session one hundred and seventy-five days. The daj^ 
set for the people of the State to adopt or reject the result of the labors of 
the convention was May 7, 1879, and there was a very strong, and in some 
instances, a bitter light made over it; those opposing it, citing wherein the 
old Constitution had proved satisfactory, and wherein the new organic law 
would pi-ove disastrous ; while those who desired its adoption were as ready 
to show up the weak points of the old, and its inadequacy to the demands 
of the present advanced state of affairs, and wherein the new would almost 
prove a panacea for all our ills, both social, moral, and political. Thus the 
matter continued to be agitated until the day had come on which the die 
should be cast, and greatly to the surprise of everybody, the decision of the 
people of the State was in favor of the new law. The vote in Mendocino 
county was one thousand two hundred and thirty -four for the new Con- 
stitution, and six hundred and twenty-eight against it, making the majority 
for it almost equal to the opposition. Under its provisions, the offices of 
both the County and District Judges were abolished, and a Superior Judge 
elected to perform the duties of both offices. 



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T.W. Harrison 

B. B.F0.V. 











R. McGarvey 

J. R.Moore 

.LL. Wilson 

J. S. Haile 

J. Fowzer 

W. W. Cuningham 

J. C. Ruddock 

B. Dozicr 

R.B. Markle 

tC. P. McGimsey 


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State Senator 


County Judge 


County Clerk 

District Attorney 

County Treasurer 

Cmmty Assessor 

Superintendent of Schools 


County Surveyor 


1st District 










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" And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is thy brother? And he said, I 
know not; Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou donei* 
the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from tlie ground. And 
now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive 
thy brother's blood from thy hand, when thou tillest the ground, it shall 
not henceforth yield to thee her strength ; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt 
thou be in the earth." Thus is graphically given us on the page of divine 
history the record of the first murder that eve-r the sun shone upon or the 
eye of God looked upon ; and the woful curse pronounced upon the author of 
that foulest of all crimes by the Supreme Judge of the universe. And how 
tenaciously has that curise followed the generations of life-takers down from 
Cain to the present day. " A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the 
earth ! " How natural when a man has taken that from a fellow-man which 
no power of his can restore, no amends make any adequate reparation, has 
taken his life and shed his blood, to become a fugitive ' The first impulse is 
to flee. A power he knows not of until the horrid deed is done impels him 
on, and ere he is aware he has become a fugitive. And he becomes a vaga- 
bond, too! No matter if the lax operations of the courts allow him to 
retui-n to society, the deed has been committed, the blood is on his hands 
just the same, and all who know him can see it. He can see it, too, far 
more plainly than others, for it is burned into his consciousness by the 
flaming tongue of conscience. A chasm is riven between him and human 
society, and wherever he goes if it is known that he has blood upon his 
hands, the finger of humanity is pointed at him, and he hears the voice of 
outraged and, oftentimes, cheated justice exclaiming in loudest tones : " He 
is a murderer." The vengeance of the Author of mankind justly follows 
him up who presumes to take the life of a human being — a being created 
in the image of the Divine Creator. After the waters of the flood had sub- 
sided, and the generations of men were again starting out to run the course 
of destiny, God spake to Noah and his sons, saying : " And surely your 

blood of your lives will I require at the hand of every man's brother 

will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall 
his blood be shed ; for in the image of God made he man." And when the 
people of his choice were on the road to enter upon the rich inheritance 
which had been given to their fathers hundreds of years before, he caused 
them to halt, and amid the thunderings of Sinai he declared to them in 


language explicit, simple and grand, " Thou shalt not kill." And when the 
great master, Jesus, came he embraced all law, all gospel, and all ethical 
codes into one grand, glorious sentence which stands emblazoned upon the 
sacred page in letters of living light, and which shall shed forth rays of 
brightest effulgence all down the ages of the great eternity of God, when 
time shall have ceased, and only immortality exists. " Whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." 

On the leaves of a leather-bound memorandum book, found in the heart 
of an Arizona desert, the following self-reproaches and self-accusations were 
written in pencil. Near by it lay the half decomposed remains of a human 
being — a murderer — whose curse had truly been more than he could bear. 
How he suffered let his own simple story relate as placed on record by the 
same hand that had sent a human soul unprepared into the presence of its 

" Blood on my hands ! A blur of crimson before ray eyes ! The skies are 
brazen above me. The sun is sick with gore. The winds from the desert 
shriek at me — shriek and howl ; and this one word only do they wail in my 
ears — this dreadful word, ' Murder ! ' I stop my ears with my hands ; I cr}' 
aloud to drown their wailing voices. I cannot drown it. I cannot keep it 
out. It pierces me — pierces me through and through. 

" What is it? I am bewildered. Why am I flying as one who seeks the 
ends of the earth ? Yesterday earth had no horror for me. The winds were 
only winds — not demon voices. Ah, novj I recollect. God pity me! Pity? 
I forgot ! He only can curse me. Annihilate me, God ! Blot me out 
from the universe. would be pity. 

" It all comes back to me now. It is seared in my brain. The long- 
search for the mine; the days in the desert, in the mountains ; and then, 
behind that hill that overlooks the ' Valley of Death ' the vein of white, 
shining silver — wealth for a king. Then it swept over me — ray years of 
poverty and toil, the cold sneer of the rich as they saw my penury — and 
here was wealth. I would have it all — all. Not even my partner should 
share the treasure. I was mad. He stooped to pick up the precious metal, 
and I struck him — him, the friend of my toils, and one who had never 
failed me — him, who had shared his food with me, who had slept upon the 
desert, in the mountains, under the same blanket; who had nursed me in 
sickness — I struck him to the earth. God, I was mad! Then I was alone 
with my wealth ; with my wealth — ah ! and the dead. I had not thought 
of the cold still face that would lie there after the blow ; of the sightless eyes 
staring to heaven. Then the madness left me. I threw myself beside him; 
prayed him to awake ; felt for the heart beat. Dead — dead ! O my God ! 
Dead ! — the friend of my toils. And I was a murderer — a murderer ! " 

Here some leaves were missing, and the next enti-ies legibly represent him 
as a veritable vagabond : — 


" Chill with guilt and fear, 

White from curse and scorn, 
Out to the wilderness drear 

He stumbles through brier and thorn, 
With a smitten face to haunt him. 

Beckoning toward the west, 
Touching him here and there 

With a bruise of a ghastly stain ; 
Stinging his numb despair 

To the jagged quicks of pain." 

" Wandering, still wandering. Earth has no rest for my feet; and I am 
so weary ! When I stop the earth spurns me, and the pitiless skies cry : 
' On ! on ! ' Starving ! Penniless ! and there, back there, is wealth untold. 
Yet I dare not seek it, dare not tell of it ; for there, too, is that cold, still 
face with the sightless eyes gazing at the heavens, and the re"d blood crying, 
ever crying to God. I wander on, and I ever feel upon my brow a brand 
like Cain. It is a brand of blood — hot, burning blood. I walk among men 
and I feel that they must see it — it is there. I pull my hat over my brow — 
closely; 0, so closely — down to my eyes, but they must see it. The brand 
of Cain ! The brand of Cain ! God, it is upon me ! For days I have 
wandered in the mountains, thirsting, hungering, trembling at the stir of a 
leaf. Yet death comes not to me. The wild beasts avoid me. The savages 
pass me by, and harm me not. I suffer, faint — but do not die." 

How vividly has Thomas Hood been inspired to portray the feelings of a 
man whose hands have been imbued with a fellow-man's blood, and whose 
heart throb has been stilled by one fell blow. Aye, indeed : — 

' ' And how the sprites of injured men 
Shriek upward from the sod, — 
Ay, how the ghostly hand will point 
To show the burial clod; 

And tell how murderers walk the earth 

Beneath the curse of Cain, — 
With crimson clouds before their eyes. 

And flames about their brain; 
For blood has left upon their souls 
' Its everlasting stain ! 

One that had never done me wrong — 

A feeble man, and old; 
I led him to a lonely field, — 

The moon shone clear and cold: 
Now here, said I, this man shall die. 

And I will have his gold! 

Two sudden blows with a ragged stick, 
■ _ And one with a heavy stone. 

Due hurried gash with a hasty knife, — 


And then the deed was done! 
There was nothing lying at my foot 
But lifeless flesh and bone! 

But lo, the universal air 

Seemed lit with ghastly flame, — 
Ten thousand tliousaud dreadful eyes 

Were looking down in blame; 
I took the dead man by his hand 

And called upon his name. 

My head was like an ardent coal, 

My heart as solid ice; 
My wretched, wretched soul, I knew. 

Was at the Devil's price ; 
A dozen times I groaned — the dead 

Had never groaned but twice I 

Then down I cast me on my face. 

And first began to weep. 
For I knew my secret then was one 

That earth refused to keep ; 
Or land or sea, though he should be 

Ten thousand fathoms deep. 

So wills the fierce avenging Sprite 
Till blood atones for blood ! 

In working up the homicides that have occurred in Mendocino county, 
for this work, it has been our purpose as far as possible to use only the testi- 
mony of witnesses, and with that object in view thorough search was made 
through all the papers on iile in the Clerk's office. Some few cases are taken 
from the accounts published in the newspapers at the time, hence may be 
considered tolerably accurate, though not so much so as the facts brought out 
in testimony would be. We regret vei-y much indeed that our history must 
be so incomplete as it is in regard to the homicides, but this is owing to 
several reasons, chief of which is that in the most of the cases but little of 
the testimony is filed with the papers. The citizens of this State pay s^teno- 
graphic reporters for services rendered in writing all the testimony of every 
murder trial in the State, and these reports should be filed with the County 
Clerk for a matter of future reference. Some men were never brought to 
trial at all, while others were admitted to bail and fled the country, We 
have omitted none for any other reason than that we were unable to obtain 
the testimony in regard to it. We have given no case undue prominence 
only as the facts warranted it, and were more fully obtainable. It is worthy 
of remark that out of the more than half hundred men who have committed 
murder in Mendocino county since 1S59, only one man has been hung at the 
present writing -(August, .1880}. This may in .some degree, account for 
21 ' 


the fact that there have been so many murders in the county-. Bonds are 
so easily obtainable, and the security from conviction so great that there is 
little to apprehend from murdering a man. In fact it is a matter of record 
that a man, at the spring term of the Superior Court for 1880, received a 
senten-^e to the State's prison for a term of one year longer duration for larceny 
than did another man at the same term for manslaughter. So long as that is 
the prevailing sentiment so long must it be expected that the columns of the 
local papers will be headed almost weekly with " Still Blood Flows," and 
similar announcements stating that another murder has been added to the 
already overburdened list which is to be recorded on the pages of the history 
of Mendocino county. 

People vs. George Button. — On the 15th day of November, 1858, in Long 
valley, Mendocino county, George Button shot William Poe through the 
abdomen under the following circumstances, as testified to by J. Lambert, an 
eye-witness : "William Poe went to work on a place in Long valley on the 
]5th of November, 1858; Geoi-ge and Edward Button came to where he was 
at work. George asked Poe what he was doing there; he said he was going 
to fence in a piece of ground. Button claimed the ground — said it was on 
his land. Poe had been at work on the place about three weeks. Poe said 
to George Button, that if that was not his (Poe's) place, he (Button) had 
moved the lines. Button said he did not care a d — n if he (Button) had 
moved the lines, and jammed his fist into Mr. Poe's face, and told him he was 
a mind to mash him ; then Poe stepped back about two steps. George But- 
ton drew a revolver and fired at him ; then Poe struck him with a hoe ; 
the blow knocked him down; Button raised and fired again. Edward 
Button now came running up where they were fighting with a knife 
in his left hand, and struck Poe with his fist under the ear. Five shots 
were fired, one of which took effect." Poe lived till the 20th of No- 
vember, when he died. Both George and Edward were ai-rested, and the 
above facts were established and the jury found that "Edward Button was 
an accessory to the murder, and that he did aid, abet, incite, counsel and 
command the said George Button to do the murder." A true bill was found 
against both of the men by the grand jury, with bail fixed at $5,000.00 
Oa the 23d of November, 1859, Edward Button was admitted to bail in the 
sum of $2,500.00, by virtue of a habeas corpus. The records are silent in 
regard to any further action in the matter. 

People vs. John B. Hargrave. — On the 13th of Becember, 1861, John B. 
Hargrave shot and killed William Atkinson (alias Three-fingered Jack), at 
Nevarra, Big River township, under the following circumstances, as testified 
to by Louis Breckenridge, who was present at the time : " Last Friday (Be- 
cember 13, 1861), I think the sun was perhaps an hour high, I was standing 
on Hargrave's bar-room porch. He came to the door with a spy-glass in his 


liaad and looked up the road towards the Albion. I looked that way and 
saw three men coming ; I asked him who they were, and he said one was 
]>estinel, one was Jim Greenwood, and one was 'Three-fingered Jack,' He 
went back into the store, and in a moment he came out, and I saw that he 
liad a pistol in his hand behind him. When they had got within fifty yards 
of the gate I then heard the click of a pistol lock, and by the sound thought it 
was cocked ; I then .started to go out of the gate and met Atkinson at the 
gate. All three of the men then went towards the house, and when near 
the porch Hargrave stepped forth from the side of the door. He said to 
Atkinson — ' You are the d — n s — o — a b — that's been talking around (that) 
you will make me mind you and keep my place.' Atkinson said — ' I never 
have said it.' ' You did, you d — s — o — a b — it was brought to me di- 
rect to-day.' Atkinson denied it again ; I think he stepped partly behind 
Greenwood so as to keep Greenwood between him and Hargrave. Atkin- 
son, I think, then fired a pistol ; I heard the report and saw the smoke, but 
I was not where I could .see the pistol. Almost immediately I heard 
another report of a pistol, but I thought it was fired by Hargrave; they then 
got together and began scuflling, both having hold of the pistol. Heard 
another shot, and heard Atkinson say — ' dear, Jim, O dear, Jim!' Heard 
two more shots — five in all — and in a few moments Atkinson was dead on 
the ground. There were two wounds on him, one in the breast, nearly in 
the center ; the ball had passed through, ranging to the right and lodged 
near the skin in the back to the right of the backbone; the other ball-hole 
was just below and a little back of the point of the shoulder, on the right 
shoulder, ranging downwards through the stomach." 

Hargi-ave gave himself up to the Justice of the Peace, William Heesei', 
who held him to answer before the Grand Jury, which body found a true 
bill of murder against him. He was admitted to bail, which he forfeited by 
going away and not appearing at the trial. He came back, however, in 
1870, and stood his trial, and was acquitted for lack of evidence. 

This difficulty grew out of land troubles, as, in fact, have many of the 
murders of Mendocino county. On the Sth of January, 18G1, the records of 
the court show that Hargrave began a suit of ejectment against William 
Atkinson and John Rector, who had taken forcible possession of a certain 
tract of land. This suit was decided by the County Court in favor of the de- 
fendants, and Hargrave had to pay the costs of the Court, which amounted 
to the sum of $1,800.15. On the 14th of December, the next day after the 
shooting, Moses Sanborn made an affidavit in which he sets forth that At- 
kinson laid claim to a certain parcel of land, and that Atkinson had said that 
Hargrave also claimed it, and that he (Atkinson) intended to hold it, and if 
Hargrave meddled with him he would get a pistol, and gave him (Sanborn) 
to understand that he would kill Hargrave. 

Feople vs. James Thornton. — Indicted for murder by the Grand Jury of 


Mendocino county in September, 1870. Nothing further appears among the 
papers on file. 

People vs. Fidello Wallace. — A true bill was found against him for murder 
by the Grand Jury at the September session in 1870, but nothing further 

People vs. T. J. Faught. — The indictment against the defendant was dis- 
missed at the September term of the Court. 

People vs. Charles Bradually. — The jury in this case rendered a verdict 
of "not guilty," April 12, 1871. No further facts concerning this case 
appear on the records. 

People vs. Eli D. Hooper. — The dead body of Mrs. Nancy Elizabetli 
Aldrich, wife of Charles Aldrich, living in Russian River canon, a few miles 
north of Cloverdale, was found near the residence of her husband May 7, 
18G0. Her husband had left home early in the morning of that day for 
Cloverdale, and did not return till night. Upon going into the house and 
finding his wife absent, he instituted a vigilant search for her, and finally 
discovered the body about one hundred and fifty yards from the house with 
such marks of violence upon it as plainly to indicate the cause of her death. 
The face and head were bruised and disfigured, while a piece of cotton 
duck cloth was tightly wrapped around the neck, leaving no doubt that she 
was straggled. Her child, an infant, six months old, was found unhurt 
lying near the body, though stripped of its clothing. 

For the commission of this crime, Eli D. Hooper was arrested and lodged 
in jail. At the June term of 1860, the Grand Jury found a true bill against 
him as follows: "The said Eli D. Hooper did on or about the 6th of May. 
1S60, murder Nanc}' Elizabeth Aldrich by putting a strip of strong thick cotton 
cloth, which was about twenty-eight inches long and three inches wide, 
around her neck, dragging, choking and strangling her to death." What 
further action was taken in the matter is unknown. 

People vs. George W. Strong. — June 13, 1865, Francis Holmes, a rancher 
residing a short distance north of Cloverdale, in Mendocino count}', was 
missed from home, and his sudden disappearance aroused suspicion that he 
had met with foul play, and a search was instituted which lasted until 
July 4th, when John Hawks, assisted by some Indians found the body of 
Holmes, slightly covered with earth and brush, lying near where he had 
been at woi'k building a brush-fence, and, as it was generally understood that 
Strong, who had been working on the ranch by the month all the spring,, 
was engaged with Holmes in this work the day that he disappeared, it was- 
generally surmised that Strong knew all about the murder. The Coroner's 
jury returned a verdict that he " came to his death by a shot in the head 
which shot was aimed by Strong." Strong had fled the country on some 
petty excuse of going to meet Holmes in San Francisco on business, who,. 


he reported, was on his way to Canada, but he was arrested in Petal uma by 
J. H. Knowles, City Marshal, on a warrant issued June 21st, and brought to 
Ukiah, where he waived an examination and was sent to jail to await the 
action of the Grand Jury. 

The following extract from the Herald of Ukiah, of November 24, 1865, 
sets forth the facts very concisely as brought out at the trial, hence we 
append it: "In the records of criminal jurisprudence, we doubt if thei-e can 
be found a case, in all its details, more singular than that which has been 
just concluded in our courts. On Monday, the 13th day of June, a quiet, 
industrious, and middle-aged man, named Francis Holmes, was murdered 
upon his ranch near Cloverdale, but in this county. Appearances showed 
that he was shot through the head from behind, and that afterwards his 
head was mashed with some blunt and heavy weapon. The dead body was 
then carried a considerable distance to a gulch, and there covered up with 
stones and brush. 

"Upon the ranch of Holmes was employed one person, and only one, named 
Oeorge W. Strong, a young man aged twenty-four years, of honest look and 
smiling face. He had been hired by Holmes to shear a flock of sheep, and 
this labor performed he remained on the ranch in a subordinate capacity, 
and finally negotiated for the purchase of the same. About this time Holmes 
disappeai-ed, and all inquiry failed to get any tidings of his whereabouts. 
A surmise that he had been murdered obtaining, active steps were taken by 
the residents of the neighborhood, and the man Strong was arrested at Peta- 
luma, while on his way, as he said, to seek for the missing Holmes. He 
averred that he purchased Holmes' ranch, and exhibited a bill of sale of the 
same, and made other statements not deemed plausible, in view especially of 
facts and remarks inconsistent with each other. He was conveyed to 'the 
county prison at Ukiah ; the usual preliminaries were had, an inquest, a 
preliminary examination, and an indictment by the Grand Jury. During 
all this interval the prisoner deported himself with smiling indifference, 
occupying much of his time in singing and writing wretched rhymes. To 
everybody he averred that he was innocent, and expi-essed his firm faith in 
his acquittal even by the Grand Jury. 

"Holmes, of whose murder there can be no doubt, was possessed of many 
sheep, horses and cattle, and no small amount of money. Strong, who was 
known to have no money previously, became ' flush ' after Holmes' death. 
Holmes, so far as was known, had no enemies, nor could any one in the 
region round about. Strong alone excepted, have had a motive in producing 
his death. 

" The case was called on Monday, November 13th, before his honor J. B. 
Southard, Judge of the Seventh Judicial District. The whole of Tuesday was 
occupied in forming a jury, which was finally made up of D. Clayton, R. 
Anderson, J. E. Carlson, Abner Coates, Wm. Cole, Benjamin Mast, L. W. 


Branstetter, R. M. Marsh, E. M. Mallory, Thos. Potter, Wm. Irwin and E. 
Ward. District Attorney T. B. Bond and Judge R. McGarvey conducted 
the prosecution, and Wm. Neeley Johnson and L. D. Latimer appeared for 
the defense. The trial elicited great interest, and the court-room was 
densely packed all the time, many ladies appearing on the last day. The 
testimony throughout was entirely circumstantial. Twenty witne'sses were 
examined for the prosecution, consuming Wednesday and Thursday and till 
Friday noon, when the prosecution rested. 

"At two o'clock p. M. the case was opened by T. B. Bond, Disti-ict Attorney, 
in a clear, able, and concise address to the jury. The speeches of Messrs. 
Johnson and Latimer for the defense were lengthy and able. The evidence, 
as adduced and fully corroborated by each witness examined, formed one of 
the most complete chains of circumstantial evidence on record, and the 
manner in which the case was conducted throughout evinced thorough 
knowledge and careful preparation on the part of the prosecution. The 
examination of the witnesses, conducted by Judge McGarvey, was of marked 
ability. All was done by the Attorneys for the defense that ability in th& 
legal profession could accomplish in behalf of the prisoner at the bar. 

" Strong, the prisoner, up to the time of the finding of the true bill against 
him, showed an exuberance of spirits remarkable, amounting at times to 
positive frivolity. He appeared to be the most inditferent and happiest man 
in town. He sang almost continuously, and wrote and read much. Since 
the Grand Jury sat he has acted less carelessly, and complained, for a time, 
of ill health ; in court, however, he looked robust. His hair on head and 
face has grown long, and seems to become him. He was in constant con- 
versation with his lawyers, prompting them to points, and otherwise betoken- 
ing an interest and information that spoke well for his intellectual capacity, 
but he was ail the time cool and self-possessed to a remarkable degi-ee. But 
one witness was called for the defense propel', and, so far as we could judge, 
he rendered no material aid to the accused." 

The following is a concise resume of the plea made by Mr. Latimer on 
behalf of the prisoner at the bar, and will show the able manner in which 
he was defended., 

"I have been in the practice of the law a goodly number of years, and 
during that time it has been my duty to try a number of cases of murder, 
and I have often wished that I could go before a jury and court in a trial 
of a case of murder with a little less of that feeling of deep responsibility 
I always feel in such cases. I had hoped that I might overcome it, but 
now, in this case, standing before them in the tiial of a young man for his 
life — his all — the same feeling I have always felt pervades me more 
strongly than ever, if po.ssible. I am but an instrument, an humble officer 
of the court, the representative before them of the defendant, and stand 
here to do whatever I can in my humble capacity, and with my feeble 


ability for the protection of his interests. Gentlemen of the jury, sitting 
here, as you do, the sole and exclusive arbiters of his fate — standing, as it 
were, between this young man and eternity — when you recollect that by 
this, your verdict, should it be 'guilty,' you adjudge a fellow-mortal to death, 
how much greater than mine must be your responsibility. This is an extra- 
ordinary case ; extraordinary in the enormity of the offense charged ; extra- 
ordinary in the seeming mystery that surrounds it ; extraordinary in the 
great popular excitement it has produced ; and extraordinary in the seeming 
extreme desire and determination of some of the witnesses in the case to 
convict the prisoner. 

" The testimony is entirely circumstantial, and consists of many isolated 
facts that are attempted to be fastened together as a chain of evidence, but 
many of the links of the chain were wanting; and, therefore, it could not 
be conclusive. They spoke of the murder of Cain in that vicinity a year 
ago, and now the murderer of Cain still lives there, and if Holmes 
has been murdered, show me the murderer of Cain, and I will show you 
the murderer of Holmes. Cain was killed in his cabin, shot with a revolver 
or pistol, and if that be the skull of Holmes (Holmes' skull was lying on the 
Judge's desk, it having been used as testimony), he was shot; the means of 
death was the same in both cases. This is a case where the evidence is 
entirely circumstantial, and the Court will tell the jury that it is to be 
taken with the utmost caution. The man, whose skull sat there before you 
on the desk, a little while ago, was found secreted in a canon with those 
marks of violence upon it; but none but He who reigns omniscient above, 
knows how those marks of violence came. I do not know — you do not 
know — for the evidence fell far short of convincing the mind of any rea- 
sonable man that they came through the agency of Strong. 

"In civil cases the jurj- can weigh the evidence and decide in accordance 
with the preponderance of the testimony, but in criminal cases the jury 
cannot decide from mere weight of proof. In civil cases a possibility may 
be adopted as a good ground of Judgment, but in criminal cases a mei-e 
balance of possibility is not enough. Circumstantial evidence should be 
such as to produce the same degree of moral certainty as direct evidence, 
or the jury must acquit. A. great many cases have been tried on circum- 
stantial evidence and innocent persons convicted and executed. (The counsel 
here read to the jury and referred to and commented upon a number of 
such cases). There is a great danger in this class of cases, and this kind of 
evidence should be taken with the utmost caution, especially when, as in 
this case, great popular feeling existed against the accused. This can be 
observed by the appearance and demeanor of the witnesses, and in other 
various ways has this feeling been exhibited. In cases of circuinstantial 
evidence, the fact of an accusation pats everybody on the watch, and a 


thousand minor facts and circumstances are noted, and even fancied, which 
would not have been but for the mere fact of the accusation. 

" The identity of the body has not been established by the proof. Why 
were not the clothes found on the deceased brought into court? There is 
usually too much precipitation in these cases when a great crime has been 
committed, and there is such an intense and universal desire to find and 
bring to judgment the guilty party. (The counsel here reviewed and 
critically analyzed the entire testimony at length). It is possible that the 
body found was not the body of Holmes. Strong told a great many that 
he was going to buy Holmes out, and then that he had bought him out, 
made it public, and Holmes stated to several that he had sold out, therefore 
Strong could not have murdered him to obtain property he already owned 
and possessed. He could not have murdered him for money, for all the 
money found on the defendant was accounted for. A guilty man would 
have secreted the watch and carpet-sack, and not left them hanging up in the 
house in plain sight. There was nothing to warrant them in saying he was 
poor and had no money, for the money belt was evidence to the contrary. 
He may have tried to conceal the fact of his having money because he was 
living in a remote and dangerous locality, and in the vicinity where Cain 
was murdered for money a year or so before. 

" Ordinarily a guilty man, after knowing that he was suspected, would try 
to escape, and not go as Strong did, knowingly into the hands of the officers 
who held the warrant for his arrest. Strong had not staited to San Fran- 
cisco with the intention of escaping, because he loaned one hundred dollars 
to Mr. McDonald two days before, and his leaving a balance also, of eighty 
dollars due from Prince & Goldfish, showed his intention to return. It is 
easy for the witnesses to be mistaken in a word or so when testifying to 
Strong's declaration, for instance ; instead of saying, ' they will never find 
Holmes' he may have said, 'they will never find Holmes' body,' or 'they 
will never find the body there.' This Strong believed for Holmes had 
started to San Francisco on his way to Canada. (The counsel here reca- 
pitulated a chain of circumstances in the evidence which he claimed showed 
as strong a case against others as it did against the defendant). I hope the 
jury will carefully consider the evidence and take into consideration the 
feeling manifested by the witnesses, their apparent desire for a conviction ; 
the contradictions and inconsistencies in their testimony, and return a 
verdict that will satisfy your consciences, so that in after life, when thinking 
calmly over the circumstances of 'the case, you may have no occasion to 
regret your actions." 

The case was given to the jury between 1 and 2 o'clock Saturday 
morning, and at 6 o'clock in the morning they returned with a verdict of 
" Guilty of murder in the first degree." Eleven of them were prepared to 
render such a verdict without leaving their seats, but one, while believing 


the prisoner guilty, yet thought that somebody else might have done the 
deed. His doubts, however, were overcome. At 4 o'clock P. M. Saturday 
the 18th, Judge Southard passed the following sentence on him: — 

" You have been indicted by the Grand Jury of this county for the mur- 
der of Frank Holmes in the county of Mendocino, on the ISth day of June 
■last. You have had a fair and impartial trial, in which you have been 
aided by faithful and intelligent counsel. After a patient and careful 
investigation of your case by a jury of your own selection, they have been 
constrained and obliged by their consciences and their oaths to pronounce 
you guilty of a most foul and aggravated murder. Have you any cause to 
.show why the sentence of the law should not be pronounced against you'^ 
The emotions with which I enter upon the discharge of the solemn duty 
which devolves upon the Court, and which I am about to perform, are too 
painful to be discussed. To pronounce the awful sentence which is to cut a 
fellow mortal off from society, to deprive him of life and send him to the 
bar of his Creator, where his destiny must be fixed for eternity, can but be 
<iisagreeable, and painful to the Court. But to sentence to the gallows 
a young man, just arrived at manhood, with all the anticipations and hopes 
of life, presses with the greatest weight upon my sympathies and feelings. 
If, in the discharge of this most painful duty that can devolve upon any 
Court, I shall, in describing the horrid circumstances of this case, use harsh 
language to portray the deep depravity it indicates, it is not for the purpose 
of adding one pang to your heart, which you have been steeling against the 
affections the righteous hand of the offended God is pressing so kindly upon 
you ; but it will be for the purpose, if possible, of awakening you to a proper 
sense of your awful situation, and to prepare you to meet that certain and 
ignominious death which shortly awaits you. It is in order to soften your 
heart and produce a reformation in your feelings, that by contrition and 
repentance you may be enabled to shun a punishment infinitely more dread- 
ful than any that can be inflicted by human laws — the eternal ruin of your 
guilty soul. 

" According to the testimony given on the trial there is no room to doubt 
the certainty of your guilt or the aggravated circumstances attending the 
perpetration of the bloody deed. The man you murdered was youi- com- 
panion, under whose roof you had been received and sheltered; you had 
wormed yourself into his confidence; he believed your stories of your position 
in society ; your father's wealth; and he, ignorant and unsuspecting, sup- 
posed, from your youth and apparent sincerity, that you were seeking a 
home in the rugged mountains for the benefit of your health, and that you, 
assisted by your father's generosity, would pay him a large compensation 
for his home and property. You caused it, on every occasion, to be made 
known that you had or were about to purchase the place, such was the con- 
fidence of deceased in you, that he let you into the apparent possession of his 


property, and allowed you to commence making improvements upon what he 
thought you were to possess from him as your abiding place. 

" In an unsuspecting hour you decoyed him to a remote part of his ranch, 
secluded from the presence of man by almost impassable mountains and 
gulches, and in one of these, went on with your system of improvements by 
repairing a brush fence; and while thus engaged, you stole upon him and 
aimed the deadly pistol, in the use of which you are shown to be so expert, at 
his head ; you shot and murdered your victim ; you then, or shortly after, took 
the body and secreted it some distance from the scene of the assassination ; 
you covered up and hid from sight the blood, and took and destroyed or 
buried his shoes; and also his hat, through which the fatal bullet had pen- 
etrated before entering your victim's brain. But your guilt and depravity 
did not stop here, scarce had you commended his lifeless corpse to its shallow 
grave before you began to collect and riot upon the spoils of his property. 
To the crime of murder you added those of theft, fraud and forgery. The 
punishment of death has been pronounced against the crime of murder, not 
only by the laws of all civilized nations, but also by that law which was 
written by the pen of inspiration, under the direction of the unerring wis- 
dom of the great Jehovah, and as God himself has prescribed the lighteous 
penalty for the offence, there is strong reason to believe that there are com- 
paratively few murders conmiitted, which are not ultimately discovered, and 
the wretched perpetrators brought to pay the penalty. 

"Wretched and deluded man ! In vain was the foul deed committed in 
the most impenetrable recesses of the mountains, away from mortal vision ; 
in vain was the mangled body of your murdered companion committed to 
the earth, and the lonely grave covered with rubbish; you forgot that the. 
eye of your God was fixed upon you — the eye of that God who suffers not 
even a sparrow to fall without his notice ; you forgot that you were in the 
presence of Him to whom the light of day and the darkness of night are the 
same. He witnessed all your movements. You forgot that He would send 
the vulture and the raven to scratch away the rubbish with which you had 
buried the body and leave it exposed to view, thus exposing you to detec- 
tion and condemnation. 

" His vengeance has at last overtaken you. You are abjut ti) take your 
final leave of this world, and to enter upon the untried retributions of a 
never-ending eternity. And I tell you not to delude yourself with the vain 
hope of pardon or escape, which never can be realized. There is but One 
who can pardon your offenses. There is a Saviour whose blood is suffi- 
cient to wash from your soul the guilty stain even of this diabolical murder. 
Fly to him, then, for that mercy which you must not expect from mortals I 

" Listen now to the dreadful sentence of the law, and then farewell until 
we shall meet again on the great day : — 

" You, George W.. Strong, are to be taken from hence to the prison from 


■which you came, and from thence to the place of execution, and there, on 
Friday, the 29th day of December, 1865, between the hours of 10 o'clock, 
A. M. and 3 o'clock, p. M., of that day, you are to be hanged by the neck 
until dead, and may God, whose creature you are, and whose laws you have 
broken, have mercy on your soul." 

The prisoner heard his doom pronounced with apparent indifference, and 
when he was removed to his cell, he remarked: " Now, I can sleep, as they 
cannot worry me much more; but they have not hun^ me yet, and never 
will." At a later hour a motion was made for a new trial on exceptions to 
the rulings of the Court, but it was denied. An appeal was taken to the 
Supi-eme Court. 

Among the spectators present during the trial was a brother of the mur- 
dered man, recently arrived fi-om Canada. He identified the skull exhibited 
in court, as that of his brother, from certain peculiarities of the teeth. 

The result of the appeal to the Supreme Court was the granting of a new 
trial, which took place in July, 18C6. A venire of two hundred jurois was 
required before the panel could be filled. At length the following named 
gent'emen were decided upon : Wash. Higgins, George R. Lowell, E. M. . 
Howard, James Hines, J. B. Short, R. D. Handy, D. Flanagan, John Reed, 
J. W. Williford, Jeff Johnson, C. Endicott and John Felton. Thomas L. 
Carothers appeared for and ably defended the prisoner, while the people were 
represented by District Attorney T. B. Bond, and R. McGarvey. No new 
facts were elicited at this trial, but the points of the testimony brought out 
at the former one were fully sustained, and in accordance with those facts the 
jury brought in the following verdict on the 21st of July: — 

" We, the jury, find the prisoner, George W. Strong, guilty of murder 
in the first degree. E. M. Howard, Foreman." 

Tuesday, July 24ith, was set as the day for delivering the sentence and on 
that day the prisoner was brought for the second and last time before the 
bar of justice to listen to the sentence of the law, which was that he should 
be executed by hanging till dead, on Friday, August 31, 1866, between 10 
A. M. and 3 P. M. The doomed man began now in earnest to make prepara- 
tions to die. First of all he wrote a full biographical sketch of his life, in 
which he made a full confession of his commission of the crime for which the 
death penalty awaited him. On the day set, and at about 2 P. M., he was 
led from the window of the jail to the scaffold, and after a brief speech to 
those present signified' his readiness to meet his.fate, and the trap was sprung 
and he was hurled from time to eternity and for once in Mendocino county 
the law had taken its course. 

People vs. Silas E. Gaskill. — The defendant in this cise was arrested for 
the murder of Israel M. Millay, .sometime in January, 1865. The following 
extract from the Herald of January 20, 1865, will give a correct idea of the 


first scene in the tragedy : " A man named I. M. Millay, residing about 
three miles from Ukiah, on the opposite side of Russian river, was waylaid 
and shot one day last week. He and another man were riding together 
on the road near Mr. William's farm when the report of a gun was heard 
from a thicket of bushes, and immediately Millay felt the ball pierce his arm. 
Millay is at enmity with several of his neighbors and it is evident that some 
one of them shot him with the intention of killing him. S. E. Gaskill, who 
has always been considered one of our best citizens, was arrested on suspicion 
and brought before Justice Hagans last Wednesday, January 11th, but no 
evidence could be adduced to implicate him with the transaction and he was 
discharged." ■ 

Millay was taken home and cared for by friends, and there was every 
indication that he would recover from his wounds, when about two weeks 
later he was killed outright. The following description of the second scene 
in the tragedy is from the Herald of January 27, 1865 : — " Last week we 
made mention of the shooting of I. M. Millay while riding along the road 
opposite Ukiah, a few days before. Last Saturday night, while lying in his 
' bed on the floor in his cabin, before the fire, some person fired a double- 
barreled shot-gun, which appears to have been loaded with buck shot, 
through a crevice in the wooden chimney, some four or six of the shot 
taking eflfect in Millay's breast below the nipple, passing through his heart 
and lungs. This was about nine o'clock at night. He never spoke after 
being shot," On the following Monday W. P. Bovay, and on Tuesday Silas 
E. Gaskill, were arrested for the shooting, both of whom have been in that 
neighborhood most of the time for the past few years. Thursday evening 
J. J. Bell was arrested on the same charge. Gaskill was allowed to go on 
his own recognizance in the sum of $1,000, but he forfeited his bail and fled 
the country. His wife settled up his matters and went to him doubtless. 
No farther action was taken in the matter with the others who were 

People vs. Harrison Standley. — On the 2oth of March, 1868, Harrison 
Standley shot and killed John Ketchapaw, near Sanel. Following is the 
sworn statement of G. W. Higgins, an eye witness : — " On the day of the 
shooting Standley met J. Ketchapaw and me on the road coming towards 
Sanel, and when he had come within about six ieet of us he drew his pistol 
and presented it at .the head, or in the direction of the. head, of John Ketcha- 
paw, and said to him, 'Johnny, just a word,' and repeated it once or twice, 
and then fired his pistol. Then Ketchapaw dodged down on his horse and 
ran by me on the gallop with the defendant following him. They ran a 
short distance, and two shots were fired, one by each, but I do not know 
who fired the second shot. In all five shots were fired, two of which were 
fired by Ketchapaw. Ketchapaw fell from his horse and died very soon." 


Following is Standley's own sworn statement: — " When I went up to John 
Ketehapaw, and got within four feet of him (I had my hand on the horn of 
the saddle at the time), I said to him 'John, stop; I want to see you a 
minute.' When I said that he caught his coat with his left hand and caught 
his revolver with his right hand, and got it part way out, the cylinder being 
outside tlie scabbard. I then drew my revolver and cocked it as I drew it. 
Then John started in the lead, and I started after him and came to where 
Wash. Higgins was. When I saw Mr. Higgins I took my eyes from Keteh- 
apaw. I said to Wash., 'Excuse me Wash., I am not shooting at you.' I 
then looked and saw John with his revolver presented at me, and he fired at 
me. I then started my horse from where I had stopped and went towards 
where John Ketehapaw was, and then we both went around the barn 

It was proved to be a case of self-defense, and the defendant was found 
not guilty. 

People vs. Henry Fairbanks. — On Friday, December 13, 1867, Henry 
Fairbanks shot and killed George W. Knight, in Arena township. The 
statement made by Fairbanks is, in substance, as follows: — On the morn- 
ing of the 13th he and his boy found some cattle in his pasture, which 
they thought were Knight'.s, and they drove them out into Knight's pasture. 
The two men met, and some harsh words passed between them. Fairbanks 
and the boy then went to work at getting out some rails from a fence over 
which there was a dispute between the two men. Knight came down to 
where they were at work, and, with oaths, told them to stop taking up the 
fence, and attacked the boy. Fairbanks, who had a rifle in his hand, fired, 
the shot taking effect in Knight's leg. Knight had a pi-stol or revolver in 
his hand when he was coming down towards them, but he did not fire it. 

Knight died in an hour or so. Fairbanks gave himself up to the Justice 
of the Peace of Anna township, who committed him to await the action of 
the Grand Jury. On the 4th of March, 1868, that body found a true bill 
against him, but on the trial he was acquitted. Some time afterwards 
Fairbanks was assassinated while sitting in his own house, but by whom 
it is not known. No arrests wei-e ever made. 

People vs. Calvin Stewart. — About 10 o'clock on the night of July 18, 
1868, Calvin Stewart killed Irving R. Wright, in Big River township, under 
the following circumstances : — J. Dodson, Constable, had a warrant for the 
arrest of Wright, and, failing to find him, had got some of the neighbors to 
help hunt for him, and among them was C. Stewart. They hunted all 
day for him, and after dark they went to a barn in which some of them 
thought he might be, and after hunting around for awhile they found him in 
the straw. When discovered he was coming towards Stewart, who told 
him to stop several times, but he kept on coining towards him, and said, 


"G d you, what are you doing here?" Stewart said, "Stand 

back!" to which Wright replied, " I'll blow your G d brains out!" 

Wright still came towards Stewart, repeating the above, when Stewart fired, 
the shot going through Wright's body, killing him instantly. 

The Grand Jury found a true bill against him at the September term, 
1868. He was tried for manslaughter in November of that year, and on 
the 8th the jury returned a verdict of guilty. The next day a motion was 
made for a new trial by R. McGarve^' and Thomas L. Carofchers, attorneys 
for the defendant, which was granted by the Court. District Attorney, T. 
B. Bond, appealed from the order of the Court to December 1st. Remitti- 
tur from the Supreme Court sustaining the lower Court in the granting of a 
new trial was issued April 6, 1869. The second trial was had in April, 1870, 
at which the following verdict was rendered : — • 

"We, the jury, empaneled in the case of Calvin Stewart for the crime 
of manslaughter do find the prisoner not guilty. 

Henry D. Ley Foreman." 

People vs. James Thornton. — September 5, 1870, the Grand Jury found 
a true bill against James Thornton for the killing of Jacob Boiling. The 
murder was committed June 20, 1870, by a pistol shot in the breast; and 
the shooting was done in Big River township. The murdered man was a 
native of Ireland, and about twenty-three years of age. The testimony of 
P. Rutledge was as follows: "At a few minutes before 10 o'clock on the 
20th day of June, 1870, Boiling came to work on the road, and had been at 
work but a few minutes when James Thornton came up to him and spoke, 
but I do not remember what was said. Did not hear Boiling speak. Do 
not think he spoke until after he was shot. Thornton had a small revolver. 
When spoken to about doing the shooting he said he did not care. Boiling 
died the next day at 6 o'clock, p. m." 

People vs. Elisha Cain. — -On the evening of November 21, 1869, he 
killed Owen Cuningham. A warrant for his arx-est was issued November 
25, 1869. The testimony of William Jackson, who was present at the time, 
was as follows : " On the night of November 21, 1869, I was at the house 
of Benjamin Doyle, and saw Cain and Cuningham there at the .same time. 
They got into a quarrel, and Cain ordered Cuningham to leave the house. 
Cuningham, who was at the time cooking his supper, refused to go. Cain 
then made an attempt to put him out of the Cuningham then 
turned on him and thej'^ clinched, and Cuningham threw him to the floor. 
Cuningham then desisted and returned to cooking his supper. I then saw 
Cain get up from the floor and seize a beetle or maul that was lying under 
the bed in the house, and strike Cuningham with the same on the head 
from the effects of which he died. Cuningham was a native of Ireland, 
and forty-five years of age." 


The Grand Jury found a true bill a,G;ainst Cain December 8, 1869. April 
15, 1870, he was tried and the following verdict rendered: — 

"We, the jury, find the defendant, E. Cain, guilty of manslaughter. 

James H Say, Foreman." 

Motion for a new trial filed the next day, which took place in July, 1870, 
and on the 26th of that month the following verdict was rendered : — 
" We the jury, find the defendant not guilty. 

J. C. TiNDALL, Foreman." 

Peojyle vs. John Armstrong. — The Grand Jury found a true bill against 
Armstrong for the murder of A. Washington, in Arena township, by shoot- 
ing him with a gun, on the 5th day of June, 1871. A change of venue was 
secured, which removed the case from the courts of Mendocino county. 

People vs. George W. Cleveland. — The Grand Jury for the March term, 
1873, found a true bill against George W. Cleveland, which sets forth that 
he killed James V. Crowey, December 15, 1872, in Anderson valley. He 
had his trial August, 1874, at which time the jury brought in a verdict of 
manslaughter. On the 4th of that month sentence of imprisonment for the 
term of fifteen years was passed upon him. 

People vs. John Coates. — At the March term, 1872, the Grand Jury found 
a true bill against John Coates, setting forth that he killed Samuel Besse, on 
the 1st day of February, 1872. In July of that year he had his trial, and 
the jury brought in the following verdict: — 

"We, the jury, find the defendant, John Coates, guilty of manslaughter, 
and recommend him to the mercy of the court. 

S. G. Neece, Foreman." 

Motion for new trial filed July 22, 1870. 

People vs. Robert M. Darr. — The Grand Jury at the March term, 1875, 
found a true bill against him, which sets forth that on the 23d day of Feb- 
ruary, 1875, he killed Avhla McNeill. In July of that year he had his trial, 
and on the 22d a verdict of guilty of manslaughter was brought in by the 
jury, and on the next day a sentence of imprisonment for fifteen years was 
passed upon him. 

People vs. Daniel and W. Lynch. — At the March term, 1875, the Grand 
Jury found a true bill against the defendants for the murder of Ah Foo, 
in Ukiah, February 15, 1875. 

People vs. E. Marks. — Th6 city of Ukiah was thrown into an intense state 
of excitement on the morning of April 3, 1879, by the announcement that 
Mr. L. Landecker had been stabbed to death by E. Marks. The two had 
sustained the relation of merchant and clerk, and some differences having 
sprung up between them, Marks was discharged from service the day before 
the homicide. On going to the store on the morning of the murder, and 


finding Marks in his accustomed place, an altercation occurred, which resulted 
fatally to Landecker, At the June term the Grand Jury found a true bill 
against Marks, charging him with murder. His trial came up in August of 
that year, and on the 13th of that month the following verdict was rendered: 

" We the jury, find the defendant, E. Marks, guilty of murder in the 
second degree. Thomas Allport, Foreman." 

Two days later he was sentenced to hard labor in the State prison for the 
term of twelve years. 

Murder of Jerry Cain.^Ahont the 20th of October, 1863, Jerry Cain 
was murdered in Sanel township, the particulars of which, as follows, are 
gleaned from the Herald: — " Jerry Cain, living three miles from McDonald's 
place in Sanel township, was found dead in his cabin by an acquaintance of 
his who had made arrangements to go with him on a hunting expedition on 
Thursday the 2 2d, and who had gone to the cabin on Wednesday evening to 
stay all night with Cain. Not finding him in, and the door being locked 
with a padlock, he waited till dark, and then broke the door in and cooked 
his supper. After awhile he went into the bed-room to go to bed, when he 
found the bed-clothes on the floor. In taking them up, he was surprised to 
find the body of Cain under them. He found that he was shot in the back 
and near ths heart. Some bruises are also said to have been found on his 
head. The following circumstances seem to point to a clue to the murderer: 
Some two or three weeks before the murder, he had sold a sheep ranch on 
Sanel creek, after which he had moved to this place near McDonald's, and he 
was known to have some $300 or S400 in money. Sunday or Monday 
before the murder, he hired a stranger to work for him. On Tuesday morn- 
in;;, early, this man passed through Cloverdaie riding Cain's horse." 

Killing of John Rector. — In April, 1867, a man by the name of Somer.s, 
killed John Rector, by striking him with the king-bolt of a wagon. It 
seems that they met at some place where Somers was fixing his wagon, and 
had the king-bolt in his hand, when Rector came up. Somers at once 
accused Rector of insulting his wife, to which accusation Rector deigned no 
reply, except to laugh at the charge, whereupon Somers struck and killed 

The Little Lake Vendetta. — On the 11th of October, 186-5, one of the blood- 
iest and most fatal affrays occurred at Little Lake that ever has occurred in 
the annals of the State of California. Two families, named Coates and 
Frost, resided in that vicmity, between whom a feud gradually grew into 
existence until it reached a culmination under the following circumstances, as 
recorded in the newspapers of that date : " On the day of the fight, Wesley 
Coates bantered one Mr. Duncan, a brother-in-law of the Frosts, to fight. 
They went out into the road and began fighting, when the following parties 
came rushing up and took part in the fi-ay: — on one side were Mr. Dun- 


can and Martin Frost.. Isham Frost and Elisha Frost — all brothers ; on the 
other side were Wesley Coates, Albert Coates, Henry Coates, Thomas Coates, 
James Coates, Abraham (Joates, and Abner C. Coates. Wesley, Henry and 
James Coates were brotherri ; Abner C. was the father of Albert and uncle 
to the three brothers ; Abraham was a cousin of all except Thomas, who 
was his uncle. All the Frosts and Duncan had Colt's navy revolversj Dun- 
can, however, broke his in the fight with Wesley Coates, and he did no 
shooting. Wesley and Abraham Coates had pistols, and Abner C. Coates 
a double-barreled gun, one barrel of which was rifled, and one smooth for 
shot ; Wesley Coates also had a knife ; Martin Frost was seen to shoot Wes- 
ley, Abraham, and Henry Coates ; Isham Frost was seen to shoot Tliomas 
Coates; and Elisha Frost was seen to shoot Albert Coates. Abner C. Coates 
killed Elisha Frost with his shot-gun, both barrels of which were discharged 
at him and took effect. Abner Coates was shot through the shoulder, but 
by whom it is not known. James Coates received a pistol-shot in the abdo- 
men, and it is not known who fired it. Duncan was dangerously stabbed, 
and it is presumed that Wesley Coates did it, from the fact that a knife was 
found very near him, the blade of which was very bloody. Five of them 
were killed instantly and never spoke, except Albert Coates exclaimed — 
'My God!' Abraham Coates lived until noon the next day, when he ex- 
pired. The .shooting could not have lasteil more than a quarter of a minute; 
but in that extremely short space of time twenty shots were fired. Elisha 
Frost received four or five mortal wounds, and about forty others. Thomas 
Coates leaves a widow and two children ; Elisha Frost leaves a widow and 
five or six small children ; Abner C. Coates had a family, but all the others 
were single men. The dead were taken into the hall and laid out side by side, 
where they remained until they were placed in their coffins. As the coffins 
lay in front of the hall, just before the funeral procession moved away, 
there was a scene rarely witnessed in this day and age of the world. The 
parents, children, wives, brotheis, and sisters of the slain and their slayers 
mingled their tears together over those who but a few short hours be- 
fore were grappling in fierce combat, but who now were cold and still, and 
lay peacefully side by side. The killed were as follows : Thomas J. Coates, 
native of Pennsylvania, aged sixt\'-three ; William Wesley Coates, native of 
Wisconsin, aged twenty-five ; Henry H. Coates, native of Wisconsin, aged 
twenty-five ; P. Albert Coates, native of Wisconsin, aged twenty-one ; Abra- 
ham T. Coates, native of Wisconsin, aged twenty-one ; Elisha Frost, native 
of Missouri, aged forty-two." 

Murder of Mrs. G. W. Strovg.—Mva. Strong and her husband lived on a 

farm of one hundred and .sixty acres, situated north of Sherwood valley a 

few miles, and distant about thirty-seven miles from Ukiah. Adjoinino- 

them were two men, partners, uauied Gieger and Alexander. Some time 



previous to the murder of Mrs. Strong, her husband had been arrested for 
killing a steer, and through the exertions of these men and the testimony they 
gave, he was sent to the State Pj-ison. Their intention seemed to be to drive 
the Strongs away from their ranch, but Mrs. Strong was not to be driven in 
that way, and after her husband was sent to San Quentin she remained on 
the place and looked after her interests as best she could. Gieger and Alexan- 
der did all in their power to aggravate and annoy her, even to openly driving 
their stock upon her place. She would mount a horse, and with the assist- 
ance of a dog, drive the stock off, when they would meet her and all 
manner of language towai'ds her. So matters continued till about the first 
of February, 1874. The last time she was seen alive, Ed. Saunders, a stage- 
driver, was given an order for a bag of flour by her, about the last day of 
January. The next day on liis return trip he brought the flour, but found 
her not at home. At the end of four or five days, not seeing her about as 
usual, he oave the alarm and the neighbors began to search for her. About 
a week after her disappearance Gieger swore out a warrant for her arrest for 
killing sheep, and sent a constable to the neighborhood to search for her in his 
official capacity. When he had done this, knowing that she was missing from 
home, suspicion began to rest upon Gieger and Alexander of murdering her. 
On the 16th of February, J. M. Standley, Deputy Sheriff, was sent there to 
investigate and work up the matter. The entire community was now thor- 
oughly aroused, and a band of Indians were brought down from Cahto to 
help in the search. At length her horse was found in a deep ravine, shot 
through the head, and that fixed the fact almost to a certainty that she had 
been foully dealt with as well. The search began now with renewed vigor, 
and every gorge and caiion were thoroughly explored. At last her hair- 
comb was found in a most dark and grewsome spot in the very darkest recesses 
of the almost midnight forest, close at hand a babbling brook sang its merry 
melody to the eternal stillness of the mountain glade, but in times of freshets 
from the winter's rains or the melting snow, it is a mountain torrent rush- 
ing down the steep descent with a tumultuous roar that well dissembles a 
stream of mightier proportions, and just here a shelving rock caused it to 
leap far out and strike the earth below with redoubled fury, until a large 
basin was burrowed out to a depth of several feet. After the horrid deed 
was done: 

" I took the dreary body up, 
And cast it in a stream — 
A sluggish water, black as ink 
The depth was so extreme: — 

Down went the corse with a hollow plunge. 

And vanished in the pool; 
Anon I cleansed my bloody hands. 

And washed my forehead cool. 

--M ^v 


JC .c^ . ^i^^i^^/^e^ 


Heavily I rose up, as soon 

As light was in the sky. 
And sought the black accursed pool 

With a wild misgiving eye. 
And I saw the dead in the river bed. 

For the faithless stream was dry." 

And so it was in this case, or so nearly so, that the dress was seen floating 
on the top of the water. It was found that the body liad been pat into this 
hole, and sunk with a pile of heavy rocks on top of it, but the rush of the 
waters had removed the stones, and the water had then passed away leav- 
ing the dead body revealed. 

The body was found February 22d, Standley at once arrested Gieger and 
Alexander, and rushed them off to jail in Ukiah, followed by a score of men 
who would doubtless have given the murderers their just deserts and saved 
the county all expense. But they were lodged safely in jail, and there 
remained till their trial. This was had on a change of venue in Sonoma 
county. They were tried separately, Gieger coming first. The jury i-eturned 
a verdict of guilty, and he was sentenced to State prison for life, but he 
had friends who assisted him, and he escaped from the jail in Santa Rosa, 
and has never since been heard from. A technical point was raised then to 
the effect that there was no evidence to prove that Alexander was in collu- 
sion with Gieger in the murder, and the same testimony could not be used 
for his conviction, which point was sustained by the Court, and Alexander 
was released from custody. To the credit of the good people of Mendocino 
county, be it here recorded, that as soon as it was known that Mrs. Strong 
had been murdered, a petition for the release of her husband was signed by 
every man in the county who had an opportunity to do so. 

Murder and Suicide. — One of the most horrible affairs, which it falls to 
the lot of the historian of Mendocino county to record, is the murder of 
Mrs. Reynolds by Joseph Caneza, and the subsequent suicide of the perpe- 
trator of the infamous deed. Mrs. Reynolds was a widow lady, and resided 
in Ukiah, having two children, both quite young. Caneza was a native of 
Chili, and made Ukiah his head-quarters. He took a fancy to the widow 
lady, and would call at her house at times and bring presents of shoes, etc., 
to the children. Not daring to offend the man, she could not refuse to 
accept these gifts. At length" he became so persistent in his attentions to 
her, that she determined to leave the place and him behind her, antl be rid 
of him. With that purpose in view, she took passage on the Lakeport stage, 
July 17, 1877, intending to go to friends in Lake county. About five miles 
east of Ukiah, they came upon Caneza lying on the side of the road under 
a tree covered with dust, and groaning, and apparently suffering from excru- 
ciating pain. The driver stopped and asked him what had happened, when 
he stated that his horse had thrown him, and had run down the road. He 


then requested the driver to let him ride to the next house, and at the same- 
time, requested the only other passenger besides Mrs. Reynolds, to get out 
and run ahead and look for his horse, which he did. The driver then started 
along, but before he had proceeded far, he heard Caneza say: " this is what 
I got in here for," and immediately he discharged two balls into Mrs. Rey- 
nolds' head. He then jumped from the stage, and running about ten stijps, 
placed the pistol to his head and fired, falling dead instantly. It seems that 
he laid all his plans most adroitly, even to going to the stable and hiring a well- 
known fractious hoi'se, and taking good care that the driver of the stage 
should see him lideout of town on that horse, .so that his tale of being thrown, 
would not be questioned by him. The horee was found .securely tied to a 
tree not far from where the tragedy occurred. 

Killing, of James Glotv. — This was a difficulty between two boy.s at 
school, which, unfortunately, resulted fatally. The affair happened at tlie 
.school-house in Anderson valley, August 19, 1877. It seems that A. E. 
Irish and John Clow became engaged in a quarrel ; and Clow struck Irish, 
whei-eupon the latter drew a knife and cut his antagonist. James Clow, a 
lirother of John, then ran up to take his brother's part, exclaiming: " Boys^ 
he has got a kniCe!" Irish retreated a few steps, but, when hotly pressed 
by Clow, turned on him and cut him above the hip, from the effects of which 
he died, 

Murder of J. B. Owens.— J. W. Burke killed J. B. Owens in 1874, and 
was sent to the State prison for life for the deed. 

Murder of A. J. Shrum. — A. J. Shrum was a peaceable, quiet, inoffen- 
sive man who lived with his wife on the east side of Round Valley. On the 
night of July 11, 1878, he was called out of his house by one or moi'e 
parties, and shot dead. Jesse and James Anthony, and the wife of the 
murdered man, were arrested for the commission of the deed or complicity 
therein. Jesse Anthony was first tried, in which instance the jury failed 
to agree, and he was let out on bail. James was next tried, found guilty, 
and sentenced to imprisonment for life. This was in May, 1879. The- 
attorneys for James took an appeal to the Supreme Court. Jesse peti- 
tioned for a charge of venue, which Judge R. McGarvey granted, but the 
District Attorney, A. Yell, entered his protest; and carried it to the Supreme 
Court. Mrs. Shrum was put on trial m July, 1880, and on the loth of that 
month the pi-osecution announced that they would consent to a verdict of 
" not guilty," on the ground that there was not sufficient legal evidence to- 
convict the defendant; the admissions of Jesse and James Anthony, after 
the commission of the homicide not being admissible under the rules of evi- 
dence. The Court so instructed the jury, the verdict was rendered and the 
defendant discharged. 

Killing of William Mclntmf. — This occurred in Point Arena township. 


March 20, 1879. Robert Lindsay was the son-in-law of Mclnturf, and it 
seems that they had a joint intei-est in some stock, over which there was a 
disagreement. On the day of the killing Lindsay rode up to the house of 
Mclnturf, and, after some conversation concerning the object of Lindsay's 
visit, he (Lindsay) states that Mclnturf stepped into the in such a 
way that he thought that he would use the door as a shield, and fire at hirn 
(Lindsay.) Being impressed with this idea, Lindsay fired and killed the old 

Lynchhig of Indian Charley. — One of the most dastardly deeds in the 
annals of crime occurred in Walker Valley, May 6, 1878. On this day a 
lady went to a neighbor's on a visit, and while eating dinner, an Indian was 
observed sitting in the yard whetting a very large knife. As he was well- 
known to all present nothing was thought of it a^ the time. Later in the 
day as the lady was on her way home, she was suddenly accosted by this 
same Indian, and forcibly dragged from her horse and into the brush which 
grew by the roadside. The lady screamed for help and struggled with 
might and main to prevent the Indian from accomplishing his design. 
In the struggle the woman received several severe cuts from the fiend's knife. 
Suddenly her presence of mind came to her rescue, and .she was able to 
accomplish by strategy what her feeble strength had failed to do. She sud- 
denly exclaimed : " Stop, or that man will kill yon ! " little dreaming that 
anyone was in sight; but, fortunately, a man was passing along the road, 
and when the Indian saw him he fled, leaving his victim almost exhausted 
from her struggles and the loss of blood. She managed to creep back to 
the roadside and, finally, a wagon came along and she was taken back to 
where she had spent the day. A party at once started out to search for the 
Indian, whom they apprehended about 8 o'clock that night, and hung and 
shot till he was dead. 

Lynching at Little Lake. — For many years the citizens of Little Lake had 
been hai-assed by a crowd of men who had been engaged in robbing smoke- 
houses and other petty larcenies, and at times getting drunk and rendering 
night hideous and not a little dangerous by their shouts, 3'ells, and promis- 
cuous use of fire-arms. No one dared to complain of these men and thus 
bring them before the law lest his life should pay the foi-feit; but all things 
come to an end, and the patience of an outraged community sometimes has 
its bounds. It so happened that the boundaiy line of endurance in this com- 
munity had just been reached on the night of September 4, 187f , at which 
time a sort of a local " 601" was organized, and did their work very effectively. 
On this day Abijah Gibson, Elijah Frost and Thomas McCracken were 
arrested and placed in charge of an officer for safe keeping till the next day. 
Some time in the night the " Regulators" arrived duly armed and masked, 
and relieved the guard of his charge very premptorily, and with but little 


ceremony. The victims were taken to the bridge just north of Willitsville, 
and suspended froui the side guards. When found in the morning they had 
all been dead several hours. It is said that since then the place has been 
remarkably quiet and free from barbarousness. 

People vs. Harvey Mortier. — The defendant was a half-breed Indian, and 
was charged with the murder of Richard McPherson, near Noyo in Big 
River township, March 25, 1880. It was a cold-blooded assassination, and 
various theories have been advanced as to the impelling motive, ' none of 
which, however, have assumed a definite shape. On the day of the homi- 
cide McPherson was at work out in the field back of his house, when Mortier 
came to the house with his gun in his hand and inquired for him. On being 
told where he could be found, Mortier went out, and, with no ado about the 
matter at all, shot McPherson dead in his tracks. He was arrested and 
brought to jail, and the Grand Jury found an indictment against him for 
murder in the first degree. In July his trial came on in the Superior Court 
and after the testimony was all given, the case was submitted without argu- 
ment. The jury were in consultation four hours over the matter, at the end 
of which time they returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. On 
Monday, July 19th, after a motion for a new trial had been denied by the 
Court, he was sentenced to suffer the extreme penalty of the law. 

People vs. Nells Hammerland. — April 3, 1880, the defendant killed his 
wife and a man named Frank Olson at Nevarra, Big River township, under 
the following circumstances: Hammerland and his wife and two small chil- 
dren lived in a very small shanty at Nevarra, in which there was but one 
room and a shed kitchen. They were poor people, and their household 
furniture was as limited as the outwaid appearance of the house would seem 
to imply. The entire family occupied one bed. About a year before the 
homicide, the man Olson put in an appearance, and was taken into the 
family, and the already overcrowded family bed was shared with him. On the 
uight of the killing they had all been imbibing somewhat freely of beer, and 
about ten o'clock p. M. Hammerland went over to the hotel bar for a fresh 
bucket of the beverage. He remained away from home for some time, and 
upon bis return found that Olson and Jiis wife had retired, and were sound 
asleep. Either the fact that they had gone to bed and to sleep while he was 
absent for the beer, or that they had retired together in his absence, infuri- 
ated his maudlin brain, and rushing out he grasped an ax, and returning- 
absolutely chopped them to pieces. He was arrested and indicted by the 
Grand Jury, and his trial came on July 8th. The following persons were 
impaneled as a jury in the case: T. S. Chambers, John Sansbury, W. V. 
Powell, D. N. Le Ballister, J. H. Tomlinson, Berry Wright, W. M. Henry, 
James Hooten, John A. Maddox, C. W. Tindall, Seth Williams, and John 
Tatham. At five o'clock p. M. of the next day the case was submitted to the 


jury, and at 9:25 of the same evening a verdict of murder in tlie 
degree vras returned. Monday, July 12th, he was sentenced to imprisonment 
for the term of eleven years. 

Killing of Frank Southard and Wilbur McCoy. — The following particu- 
lars of the affair are gleaned from the Mendocino Beacon: "The homicide 
took place about twelve miles east of XJsal, and about three miles from the 
Humboldt county line. The difficulty which led to the bloody consumma- 
tion grew out of a land dispute. It seems that Marshall Howard had pur- 
chased and stocked a sheep ranch, and that part of his claim had been 
jumped by Southard. To escape trouble Howai'd bought Southard out, 
who, it is said, promised to withdraw entirely from the place, but instead of 
doing so had scarcely gotten the money in his pocket when he again located 
on the land and began the erection of a building. In the meantime How- 
ard's house was burned, and he was subjected to threats and annoyances by 
parties who evidently intended by means to drive him out of the 
county. On the day of the shooting, Friday, July 1, 1880, Howard went 
to the place where Southard and McCoy were building a house on the dis- 
puted land, and when he arriwd there, Southard was discovered by 
him to be on the top of the house nailing on shingles; Howard shot him 
dead. McCoy was carrying lumber toward the house, and when Southard 
was shot he started to run, but Howard shot at him twice, fatally wounding 
him. He lived long enough, however, to make a statement. Immediately 
after the shooting Howard rode off and procured men to come to the spot, 
and also sent a telegram to Kibesillah for an officer to come up and take 
charge of him. Deputy Sheriff Banker responded to the call, and on Tues- 
day, the 6th, returned with Howard in custody. He at once went before 
Justice G. W. Claxton of Ten-mile River township, and the examination 
was set for Thursday, the 8th, at ten o'clock A. M. At the time appointed, 
G. Camiing Smith appeared for the defendant. He was held to appear 
before the Grand Jury on a charge of manslaughter with bail at $3,000, 
which was furnished with Messrs. Stewart, Banker, Frazier, and Bonee on 
the bond." 

Killing of Marion W. Gardner and Jacob H. Fitch. — The inhabitants 
of Little Lake valley were startled on Saturday evening, July 10, 1880, by 
the circulation of the report that two boys, Marion W. Gardner and Jacob 
H. Fitch, son and step-son of John Gardner, aged respectively twelve and 
eleven years, had been found dead at a place known as Manzanita Flat, 
lying on the road from Willitsville to Potter Valley, and about seven miles 
east of the first-named place. It seems that Mr. Gardner had a claim at 
this place, had some stock there, and kept the boys there most of the' time 
to hold his claim. On the day that they were killed he went over to see 
them, as he usually did every few days, and not seeing the boys about the 


house he called to them. They did not answer, so he started out to search 
for them, and about three hundred yards from the house he came upon their 
dead bodies, lying very close together, one, Marion, being shot through the 
head, and Jacob, through the right side with bullets. The first impression 
that obtained was that either the boys had quarrelled and one had killed the 
other, and then suicided from grief or fright, or that one had accidentally 
killed the other, and then taken his own life from the same motives. The 
fact that there was a revolver found near by them with all the loads dis- 
charged, which, when last seen, had three charges still in it, so confirmed 
this theoj-y that the Coroner's jury returned a verdict to that effect. Later 
discoveries lead to the supposition that the boys were murdered, and the 
mother is thoroughl}' impressed with that idea. It is now thought that 
some one wished to get possession of the land, and that they were heartless 
enough to kill the boys because they were kept on the place to hold and 
maintain possession. A pool of blood was discovered quite near the house, 
and traces of blood leading from the house to where the bodies were found. 

The Mendocino Outlaws. — It is most befitting that in collating and record- 
ing the murders of Mendocino county, we should put aside the chrono- 
logical sequence, and close the chapter with a record of the " Mendocino Out- 
law.s." From the Mendocino Beacon we take the following : " Our commu- 
nity has been thrown into a state of excitement hitherto unparalleled by the 
occurrence of a shocking calamity. On October 1.5, 1879, two of our most 
esteemed citizens were atrociously murdered and a third wounded within 
four miles of our town, their comrades narrowly escaping death. Particulars 
of the sad affair are as follows : — 

" Last Monday Constable William Host, while coming through Big river 
woods, accidentally discovered the entrails of a beef which had been recently 
buried with the evident design of concealing the killing of the animal. He 
returned to town and reported the suspicious circumstances to the Mendo- 
cino Lumber Company, to whom the creature was .supposed to belong. 
Next day he and Thomas Dollard and William Wright went to the place to 
investigate the matter, and following some tracks about a quarter of a mile, 
found four men encamped in the thick woods about four miles east of here, 
near a spring, eating their breakfast. The stolen beef was hung up, under- 
going the process of jerking, or curing, and their rifles were stacked up by a 
.tree. Their white hands and high-heeled boots indicated that they did not 
make their living by hard work. The two parties entered into conversation, 
but Host did not then attempt the arrest of the thieves, having as yet no 
warrant, and not considering his party of sufficient force, giving as an ex- 
cuse for their visit, that they were looking for a place to locate a tie camp. 
The investigating party then returned to town, swore out a warrant, and with 


further assistance, started in the afternoon to arrest the men, but on their 
arrival found the caiup deserted of every vestige of the outlaws. 

" On Wednesday morning, Host went out again with a posse comitatus, 
consisting of J. J. Morrow, A. Yell, E. W. Potter, James Nichols, C. Gal- 
braith, Thomas Dollard, and William Wright. After following the ridge 
from the camp previously found for about a mile, they saw below them, in a 
rcJugh ravine, the remains of a camp-tire. Descending the hill, Wright and 
Yell, who were in advance, the others following closely, stooped to feel the 
ashes, to ascertain if they were still warm; Wright exclaimed, ' They must 
have stopped here last night,' when suddenly, without a moment's warning, 
a volley was fired upon the party by the outlaws lying in ambush on the 
opposite hill a few yards above them. Wright immediately fell backward, 
having received a shot in the back of the neck, ranging downward ; Dollard 
was struck in the upper part of the thigh, but fired a shot in return. Nich- 
ols was shot in the left shoulder, and another ball perforated Galbraith's 
coat. The outlaws kept up a rapid fire, and hit Dollard twice more, which 
prostrated him, and he gradually rolled to the bottom of the ravine, when he 
pulled off his coat and crawled under a log in the creek, where he lay groan- 
ing. Yell, Potter and Galbraith shot several times, but the murderers kept 
themselves almost entirely concealed, only some portion of the bodies of one 
or two appearing, and it is not yet known whether any shots took eftect on 
them or not. Host, Potter, Yell and Morrow finally gained a cover, where 
they remained till succor came. They ai-e convinced that their assailants 
numbered eight or nine, as the shots came very rapidly and from several 
directions in front. In the meantime Galbraith and Nichols gained their 
hoi-ses and returned full-speed to town with the frightful news. Constable 
Nelson immediately organized another 2}0sse, and also engaged teams with 
bedding to bring in the wounded. Upon their arrival at the scene of con- 
flict, they found Dollard already a, and Wright helpless and .speech- 
less, and evidently near his dissolution. With considerable difficulty they 
carried them up the steep acclivity to the wagons, and returned with thera 
to town, giving up further pursuit of the desperadoes for the time being. 
Wright was taken to Carlson's hotel and cared for. As the two men were 
"brought in, and the body of Dollard was laid out in a room over the post- 
office, a mute expi-ession of sorrow was visible on every countenance. An in- 
quest was inmiediately held, Justice Smith acting as Coroner, on the deceased, 
at which the jury returned the following verdict: 'We, the jury impaneled 
to inquire into the cause of the death of Thomas Dollard, do find as follows ; 
That the name of the deceased was Thomas Dollard, a native of Ellsworth, 
Maine ; that he died on the 15th day of October, 1879, about four miles east 
of Mendocino, in Mendocino county, California; that he came to his death 
by means of hemorrhage from three gun-shot wounds, caused by rifles fired 
by several parties unknown to us.' 


"A public meeting was held and a committee of safety numbering twenty- 
one was appointed to act in the emergency and organize a determined pur- 
suit of the outlaws. 

"William Wright died on Wednesday evening about seven o'clock, having 
remained unconscious nearly all the time since his fatal wounding in the 
morning. Subsequent examination showed that he had received a second 
shot through the side near the heart. 

"The inquest on his body, held on Thursday morning was substantially the 
same as in the case of DoUard. This town and vicinity is thoroughly 
aroused, and two separate parties well armed and equipped, left here 
Wednesday evening in search of the guilty parties. Caspar mill and woods 
ceased work Thursday, and a large party from there joined in the hunt. On 
Thursday evening word was brought that three of the outlaws had been 
seen on the prairie back of Little River, and that two had obtained breakfast 
and supper at the house of a settler on that day. The same day, a man 
named Carmichael, reported that while riding toward Mendocino on the 
Ukiah road, about three miles out, he saw a man by the roadside, who 
threatened him with a rifle, but seeing him unarmed, slunk off into the 

"One man was arrested in Little River that night on suspicion, but after 
examination was released. 

"Nearly the whole of the circumstances go to show that there are but four 
men who have perpetrated these crimes, and they are undoubtedly the same 
who were found by Host and the deceased on Tuesday. The description, as 
given by Host, is ; one about five feet ten inches in height, dark complexion, 
short dark hair and moustache, face unshaven for a week or two, weight 
about one hundred and fifty-five pounds, age about twenty-six years; one 
about five feet eight inches high, heavy set, complexion dark, short hair, 
black moustache, othei'wised clean shaved, dark eyes, about thirty-two 
years; the third, five feet eight inches high, light complexion, big moustache 
and goatee, blue eyes, weight one hundred and sixty, age thirty-five; 
and the fourth, five feet eleven inches, sandy complexion, blue eyes, big mous- 
tache and goatee, heavy .set, about one hundred and seventy-five pounds, 
age about forty-five years. An armed force is now scouring the prairie 
near where they were last seen. The funeral of the murdered men was 
held on Friday, at 1 P. M. Mr. Bollard was an oflicer and member in high 
standing of Mendocino Lodge, No. 179, F. and A. M., and was buried accord- 
ing to the rites and ceremonies of that order. Mr. Wright, though not a 
member of any secret society, was attended to his grave by the Odd Fellows 
as a mark of respect. As we go to press, nothing of importance has been 
heard from the parties in pursuit of the outlaws." 

A reward of $300 for the first and $200 for each subsequent murderer 
was offered by the Governor. Early the next week Dr. J. F. Wheeler, a 


resident oi Mendocino City, wras an-ested for complicity in the afiair. 
The clue that led to his arrest was the finding of a tin cup and a frying-pan 
in the camp said to have been purchased by Wheeler recently. Wheeler had 
gone to Mendocino City some time before and started into business as a 
dentist, but finally developed into a regular practicing physician. He was 
a married man, of pleasing address and suave manners,, and soon managed 
to have quite a number of friends in the place, and was doing quite a thriv- 
ing business. Nothing was known of his past life, and, California like, 
nothing was asked. He was, apparently, a gentleman now, and that was 
all that was asked or required. The truth was, however, that he was an 
ex-convict, having served his time in San Quentin for his connection with a 
stige robbery some years ago. It was developed shortly after Wheeler's 
arrest that he was the grand moving spirit in the enterprise. In August 
previous John Billings received a letter from Wheeler, as follows: — ■" I have 
here, in Mendocino county, a rich claim, worth about $1.5,000; it can be 
worked in about two weeks if I have good men. The claim is the Sheriff 
of Mendocino county. I have one good man with me. Come yourself and 
bring any one you know and can depend on." The good man he referred to 
was H. E. Brown. About the 10th of September Billings arrived at Mendo- 
cino City, bringing with him Samuel Carr, an old ex-convict, who had bei^n 
sentenced to the State Prison for life from San Francisco for killing a man 
in the " Thunderbolt " saloon, but who had been pardoned on the condition 
that he leave the State and never return. There was also with them a 
young man named George Gaunce, heretofore to criminal fame unknown. 
As the plan was to rob the Sheriff when he was making his annual round 
collecting the taxes, and as it would yet be some time before he would come 
on his trip, the gang concluded to rendezvous in that vicinity, but, of course, 
not at the hotels or elsewhere where they would be seen much by the people. 
For some time their rendezvous was at a cabin owned by A. B. Courtwright, 
in the mountains east of Westport. While here Wheeler supplied the 
necessaries of life, and also purchased a lot of ammunition and fire-arms for 
their use. 

About two weeks before the murders the gang moved their quarters down 
to within a few miles of Mendocino City, and were vigorously engaged in 
jerking beef and in other ways preparing for the journey they soon expected 
to take. While here they were in daily communication with Wheeler, who 
advised them never to surrender if an attempt was made to arrest them, 
but to shoot, and how well they followed his advice the story of their 
attempted arrest sets forth. One of the gang, Samuel Carr, was overtaken 
and arrested at a cabin in Long valley on the morning of the 22d, while 
cooking his breakfast. He was tired, sick and footsore, and without arms, 
as he had thrown his rifle away. He turned State's evidence, and hence was 


used as a witness for the people, and narrated all the details of plans, etc., 
with evident truthfulness. 

On the 29th the 2MSse who were scouring the mountains divided into two 
parties, one, under the direction of Sherifi' Moore, started towards Piercy's 
ranch on Rattlesnake creek, in which direction the outlaws were heading, 
and the other, under J. M. Standley, remained on their track, closely pur- 
suing them. During the day Standley's party suddenly came upon them 
near the mouth of Rattlesnake creek. Each party discovered the other 
about the same time, and after ordering the outlaws to surrender their 
pursuers began tiring, but with no particular result, except that they fled 
and left their camp equipage behind, escaping with only their arms and 
a few rounds of ammunition. The gang then changed their course from 
north to east, and ate breakfast on the morning of the 30th at William 
Rea's, near Blue Rock. They were then heading for Trinity county, 
north of Round valley. They were next heard from in the Mad river 
country in that county, where a posse from Round Valley came upon them in 
camp in a deep gulch. This was in the night, and the posse decided to 
divide, and one part remain above and the other go below, and thus be 
ready to trap them in the morning, but daylight found the birds flown, 
and they had evidently passed very near to their pursuers. They were 
next heard of at Petit Johns', in Tehama county. It was known ahead 
that they were coming that way, and Petit Johns expected to arrest 
them, and for that purpose had asked a neighbor to come to his house that 
day, as he expected them to pass about noon. They came, however, in the 
morning before they were expected, and they found Johns by himself. They 
called for breakfast, and were provided with the meal. Johns' wife placed 
the plates all on one side of the table, so that all were in a row, and when 
they came in anrl sat down they left their guns setting just outside the door. 
The woman then went off to the barn, expecting her husband to open up a 
fusilade upon them and probably kill one or more of them. The old man 
seemed anxious enough to do something of the kind but he felt that he was 
taking too great chances. He went into an adjoining room twice and came 
out again after a time, his courage evidently failing him. He went into the 
room a third time, when Billings' suspicions were aroused, and drawing his 
revolver and placing it on the table said that .if he came in the room again 
from that room he would shoot him in hi.s tracks. Johns, fortunately for 
him, passed out through another door. 

At one place they had stopped in a roofless and deserted cabin to spend 
the night. Presently they were aware that their pursuers were on their 
track, and close at hand; so they rushed out into the bushes and hid. 
Standley, it is said by Gaunce, came near losing his life here. He rode up 
to the house and looked over into it, and then started on up the canon, but 
a mule he had for packing refused to follow him, and he was obliged to turn 


back for it twice, and he then changed his course. Had he come right on he 
would have come upon them in their ambush; and as he was recognized as 
the leader of the posse by the gang, it was well known to them that if he 
were killed the posse would break up, or at least be so demoralized that 
they could get a good start. Billings seemed determined to .shoot anyway, 
but was persuaded to desist as his man was too far off ; but that mule, 
fortunately, did not let him get close enough for Billings to carry his purpose 
into execution. 

On the 8th of November they were at Last Chance Hollow, west of Red 
BlufT. On the 10th they crossed the Sacramento river above Red Bluff. 
Here all traces of them were lost by the pursuing party, and the chase for the 
time abandoned. The pursuers traveled over one thousand miles in this 
most wonderful man chase, and the most of the time on foot, and some of 
the time through soft, wet snow. The following description of their journey- 
ings will convey an adequate idea of the great amount of traveling they did. 
From Big river north to Blue Rock; thence east to Bell Springs; crossed 
Eel river; thence north to Red Mountain; thence north to Mad river; 
thence west to Kittenchaw valley ; thence east, up Mad i-iver to the three 
forks of the river; thence up the north fork of the main divide between Mad 
river and the south fork of Trinity river; thence south to the Yolo Bolles; 
thence across the Yolo Bolles ; thence east to the foot-hills on Cold creek ; 
(Petit Johns lives here) ; thence south to the Re I Banks. Here the 2^osse 
divided, Donohoe and Shepherd going south to Paskenta, thence south to 
Newville; thence south to Stony creek, thence north to Elk Grove; thence 
north to Paskenta, thence east to Red Bluff; thence south to Tehama; 
thence north to Cold creek ; thence south to Mount St. John ; thence east to 
Willows ; thence home, having lost aU traces and given up the chase. After 
the separation Moore and Standley went from Red Bank to Vale's Gulch ; 
thence to Red Bluff ; thence down the Sacramento river to Tehama; crossed 
the Sacramento river and went to Vina; (at this time the outlaws were on the 
railroad between the two pursuing parties); thence to Tehama ; thence up the 
Sacramento river to Blossom's ranch; thence east to the foot-hills of the 
Sierra Nevada mountains; thence south along the foot-hills a distance of 
fifteen miles; thence back to Tehama; thence to Thomas' creek; thence 
south-east to Newville, near Stony creek ; thence up Stony creek to Bear 
valley; thence east to Willows; thence east to Colusa ; thence to Williams', 
and thence to Ukiah. This was the end of the first chase, and all parties 
were now in Ukiah; and it was thought that the gang had eluded the vigi- 
lance of the officers. 

But Standley had his ears always open to catch stray reports that wou