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Full text of "A memorial and biographical history of northern California, illustrated. Containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its occupancy...and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today"

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Coqtainiqg a History of this liT[portant Section of the Pacific Coast fron-] tl^e Earliest 

Period of its Occupancy to th|e Preser^t Time, together with GliiTjpses 

of its Prospective Future; Full-Page Steel Portraits of its most 

EiT|iqent IVlen, and Biographical Mentioq of n]aqy of its 

Pioneers and also of Promiqeqt Citizens of To-day, 

'A people that takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything -worthy 
to be remembered -with pride by remote descendants."— jlfaco'fifiy. 

O H IC A O-O: 



§aTlow-§iaclair ^HBting (go.,^ 

Is ^ 

General History — 

Discoverers 9 

Spaniards Nojth of the Bay !) 

Catholic Missions 14 

Spaniards Press upon the Russians 15 

Spanish Colonization 20 

America Invasion 28 

Bear Flag Movement 83 

Mexican War 43 

Sketch of Vallejo 44 

- The Great Scourge of 1832-'33 47 

^ Prominent Early Visitors 48 

The Ill-fated Donner Party 50 

Cb The Indians 53 

fS Indian Troubles 54 

■^ Modoc War 55 

I Early Gold Discoveries 59 

, Gold Discovery of 1848 61 

■«-' Early Mining G4 

^ Drift Mining 67 

^ Quartz Mining and Milling 69 

^ Hydrijulic Mining 71 

(;N/-^ Packing in the Mountains .^ 71 

^*i^ Habits of the Miners 73 

The Great Immigration 47 

Early Navigation .... 75 

Railroads 214 

Governmental 78 

Assessed Val nation 8J 

Geology 84 

Botany 85 

Zoology 85 

California Nomenclature 89 


Alameda 95 

First Settlers 95 

Land Grants 95 

Organization of the County 96 

Oakland 97 

Berkeley 97 

Alameda, the City 98 

San Leandro 98 

Alpine 100 

Amador 100 

Physical Features 100 

Pioneers. 101 

Organization 101 

Political 103 

Ruffians 103 

Mining 104 

Agriculture 105 

Towns 106 

Butte 1'*^ 

John Bid well 107 

Outline of History HO 

State and County Organization Ill 

Material Resources H-^ 

Prices of Land Ho 

Productions H^ 

Cities and Towns H** 

Bank of Chico US 

Oroville H^ 

Society H" 

Politics 119 

Calaveras '~0 

Organization 1"0 

Mining and Agriculture 120 

Legislative Representation 121 

Colusa 1^1 

Topography . . 



Modern Times 

The Towns 

Contra Costa 12^ 

Topographical Features 126 

Mt. Diablo 127 

San Joaquin River 127 

First American Settlers 127 

Early Mexican Families 1-8 

Martinez 12^ 

Mexican Land Grants 128 

Personal 12^ 

Modern Times IpO 

Del Norte 1^1 

El Dorado J-^^ 

Origin of the Name If- 

Indians 112 

First Points of Development 133 

Governmental l^'J 

Newspapers 1^^ 

County Hospital. . 
Present Condition 



Other Towns ^f^ 

Humboldt J^^ 

Discovery of the Bay Igo 

The County in Early Times 139 

Eureka ]f 

Areata l^l 

Other Points j*^ 

Redwoods 3^2 

Stock-raising and Wool-growing 143 


Transportation 143 

No Chinese 143 

Newspapers 148 

Klamath 144 

Lake 144 

First Settlers 145 

The Kelsey Parly 145 

Indians 145 

Other Settlers 145 

Formation of the County 146 

Lakeport and other Towns 14(i 

Mining 147 

Mineral Springs 147 

Mineralogy 147 

Lassen 149 

Nataqua 151 

The Sagebrush War 1 52 

Miscellaneous 153 

Mauin 154 

Early Visitors 155 

American Period 155 

The Present 156 

Mexican Land Grants 157 

Mendocino 157 

The Great Lumber District 158 

Modoc 160 

Napa 163 

Indians 163 

Early Visitors and Settlers 163 

Yount and Olher Eminent Pioneers 163 

The Mexican Land Grants 164 

Government 164 

Resources 165 

Napa City 167 

Insane Asylum 168 

Educational 168 

Other Towns 168 

Napa Soda Springs 170 

Newspapers 172 

Nevada 172 

Early Times 173 

First officers 173 

Indian War 174 

Railroads 175 

Journalism 175 

Court-house 176 

Assemblymen 176 

Resources and Present Conditions : 177 

Mining 177 

Nevada City 178 

Grass Valley 178 

Rough and Ready 179 

Tiuckee 179 

The Press 180 

Placer 180 

In Early Day 180 

In Mndein Times 183 

Auburn 18i 

Villages 184 

LakeTahoe 185 

Mining 185 

Pdumas 186 

Sacramento 189 

Natural Features 189 

Productions 191 

Climate 191 

Mines and Minerals 192 

Land Grants 192 

Captain Suiter and his Fort 193 

Noted Pioneers 197 

Founding of Sacramento City 198 

Municipal 200 

The Prison Brig 201 

Cholera 201 

Squatter Riots 202 

County Government 203 

Court. House 206 

State Capital 206 

Assemblymen 208 

Political 208 

The Press 212 

Railroads 214 

Agricultural Society 221 

Hospitals 222 

Orphan Asylum 223 

Art, Libraries, etc 223 

San Joaquin 223 

Stockt. n 226 

Insane Asylums . . '. 226 

Shasta 326 

Webb and the Duncan Brothers 230 

County Officers 332 

Re ddiug 831 

Sierra.....". .234 

Downieville 236 

Court-House and Jail 237 

County Hospital. . 238 

ScUooIHouse 238 

Mining at the Present Day 238 

SiSKivou 239 

Topograph V 339 

Mt. Shasta' 241 

Olher Mountains 243 

Selllement 243 

County Orginization, etc 244 

Mineralogy 245 

KlamathRiver 246 

Solano 246 

Mexican Times 246 

Benicia 247 

Noted Settlers 247 

Bidwell and Semple 248 

Vallejo 249 

VacaviUe and Valley 250 

Suisun 250 

Fairfield ; 251 

Other Towns 251 

Miscellaneous 252 

Minerals 252 

Sonoma 253 

Location and Topography 253 

Mexican Land Grants 354 

Government 254 

Earliest Pioneers 255 

Immigralion 356 

Railroads and Highways 257 

Minerals 257 

Later History 258 

Santa Rosa 259 

Pelaluma 259 

Sutter 260 

Captain Sutter and Ihe Hock Faiiu 360 

Pioneers. . . 261 

Boundary Lines 263 

Nicolaus 363 

Slephen J. Field and t)ther Men 364 

Sutler County at the present day 365 

Yuba City 266 

Tkhama 266 

Early History 266 

William B. Ide 267 

Pioneer Navigation 267 

Miscellaneous Items 268 

Modern Times 269 

Red Bluff 270 

Hailroads and Industries 2T0 

Tehama 372 

Vina 272 

Olher Points 273 

Grain and Fruit 273 


Tkinity 273 

Mining 374 

Miijor Reading 374 

First Visitors and Settlers 375 

The Towns 376 

Newspapers 276 

Denver 376 

Yolo.... 277 

Favorite Place of Early Settlement 377 

Agriculliire and Horlicnlture 279 

Woodland 381) 

Bank of Woodland 280 

Villages 381 

Newspapers, etc ■. 383 

Yuba 382 

Cordua and Sicard 283 

Interesting Early Events 383 

Assemblymen 285 

Later History 286 

Marysville 387 


Bearaer, R. H 465 

Bell, Aaron 401 

Bidwell, John 107 

Blossom. R. H 417 

Brown, II. W 0.")7 

Bush, C. C 305 

Champlin, George 673 

Chipman, N. P 353 

Cone, J. S 385 

Craia;, Joseph 561 

DeVilbiss, J. A 513 

Ellison, J. F 641 

Freeman, F. S 609 

Hartson, C 337 

Ilerbhey, D.N 433 

Hunt, W. G 577 

Ingtenook, Property of Gustave Niebaum 721 

Ink, Theron II 52U 

James, Bennett 737 

Jarksun, G. II 321 

Kraft, Herbert '.'53 

Logan, ]\I. H 545 

Magee, Wm 785 

Martin, J. T : 593 

McCullough, Wm 36!J 

Merritt, H. P 440 

Mount Shasta ■. Frontispiece 

Napa State Insane Asylum 168 

Nouveau Medoc Vineyard of Brun & Co 407 

Ross, Thomas 635 

Schuman, Adam 760 

Shurlleff, Benjamin 280 

Slate House 306 

Sutter's Mill at Coloma: Site of the First Discovery of 

Gold by Marshall 61 

Stephens, J. D 680 

Thomas, C. F 705 

Wilkins, E. T 4S1 



Abele, Abner 790 

Abshier, John 683 

Adams, O.M 708 

Adams, R. J 4o8 

Adamson, C. P 430 

Aiken, P. J 800 

AitUen, A. B 493 

Akerman, A. E 741 

Albertson, W. A -....524 

Albright, H. M 654 

Alexander, G. E 394 

Allen, E. A 700 

Allison, B. F 6")0 

Allison, Josiah 527 

Allman, John 540 

Allyn, John 361 

Alsip, A. B 423 

Alviso, v.... 368 

Alvord, Samuel 036 

Ames, John 579 

Anderson, Gus 347 

Anderson, Ludwig 700 

Anderson, W. G 608 

Arbios, Jean 451 

Armstrong, John 431 

Armstrong, John 438 

Armsliong, R. O 660 

Arnold, Marshall 665 

Atkins, Q. N 747 

Atkinson, J. B 299 

Atwood, Isaac 501 

Austin, J. D 745 

Aylward, J ^00 

Backus, Gurdou 303 

Bahney, W. H 608 

Bailey, Hiram 703 

Baird, J. E 698 

Baker, V. P 758 

Balis, G. W 584 

Ball J. C 411 

Balzari, C. P 567 

Bank of Livermore 307 

Barber, M. R 405 

Bardot, Jerome 819 

Barham, J. L 558 

Barley, E. S 375 

Barnes, F. J 763 

Barnes, Watson 381 

Barry, Richard 731 

Barllett, W. P 333 

Bassett, W. D 384 

Beach, G. H 377 

Beamer, R. H 465 

Beamer, R. L 467 

Beard, J. N 673 

Becker, C. J 763 

Bee, F. M 710 

Behrens, C. II 620 

Bell, Aaron 401 

Bemmerly, Agnes 503 

Benicia Agricultural Works 516 

Beringer Bros 468 

Bidwell, John 107 

Bidwell, W. J 649 

Bierce, R. II 569 

Bitzer, Urias 415 

Black, J. J 673 

Blossom, R. H 417 

Bond, T. B 437 

Borges, J. S 400 

Borreo, F 558 

Borrette, H. R 698 

Boswell, W. A 788 

Bouin & Wise 834 

Bower, J. G .539 

Bradbury, J 603 

Brammar, George 326 

Bray, William 735 

Brigman, A. C 553 

Brown, A. L 616 

Brown, C. A 3-'0 

Brown, C. Y 387 

Brown, H. W 657 

Brown, Jackson 454 

Brown, J. W 084 

Brown, Smith 446 

Brown, W. A 474 

Browning, W. Y 459 

Brownlie, James 590 

Brun, J. A. & Co 407 

Buchle, J. M 583 

Buck, J. W 330 

Buckles, A.J... 510 

Buckman, O. H 333 

Budworth, W 345 

Buttington, J. M 403 

Buford, H. C 728 

Bullaid, W. G 446 

Burgar, J. F 7.55 


Burger, E. G 659 

Burkman, W 683 

Burland, W. H. .fc B. F 725 

Bush, C. C 305 

Bush, C. W 297 

Bush, E. H 300 

Bush, F. W G87 

Bustelli, G 34« 

Butlei-, A. D 568 

Butzbach, H. H 506 

Cadeuasso, N '05 

Cadwalader, C 591 

Cahill, George 682 

California Lustral Co 817 

Callahan, P 712 

Calluslro 638 

Camden, Charles •.643 

Cameron, J. S 566 

Caminetti, A 688 

Campbell, Basil 323 

Campbell, C. A 618 

Campbell, James 655 

Campbell, William M 361 

Cannedy, W. J ; . . . 544 

Cannon, Charles 591 

Carmer, R. O 776 

Carr, G. B 798 

Carver, D. B 316 

Cassel, W. F 736 

Cassilis, H. M 451 

Casterson, R. H 426 

Castner, W. H 800 

Chadbourn, H. P 729 

Chambers, D. C 362 

Champlin, George 673 

Chapman, G. W 813 

Chapman, W. H 687 

Chard, Stephen 544 

Chase, H. B 582 

Cheethani, J. D 472 

Chipman, N. P 353 

Chisholm, Daniel 380 

Christie, W. A 352 

ClantoQ, E. J 615 

Clanton, D. R 413 

Clark, Ephraim 408 

Clark, Jesse 577 

Clark, Jonas 315 

Clark, W. D 683 

Clauson, II. A 473 

Cleghorn, P. M 662 

Clements, John 655 

Clevenger, J. S 585 

Coates, Leonard 346 

Cochran, Ilolton 732 

Cocking, George 563 

Coleman, Mrs. D. M 624 

CJollins, S. W 808 

Colman. Waterman 513 

Combs, J. H (i86 

Conant. J. W 767 

Cone, J. S 385 

Conn, F. W 471 

Connelly, F 509 

Cook, J. R 04,') 

Cook, Joseph 054 

C'oombs, F. L 741 

Cooper, John G 767 

Cooper, James G 395 

Corletl, William P 747 

Corrigan, M 745 

Courtois, V 4:4 

Cousins, C. S 405 

Crabb, H. W 798 

Craig, Fred 453 

Craig, Joseph 561 

Cramer, L 376 

Craner, Henry 498 

Crawford, C. M 700 

Crew, A. H 116 

Crite.s, E. Q 390 

Cropsey, George 427 

Crouch, R 409 

Crump, R. W 673 

Crumrine, B. V 402 

Cunningham, F 342 

Curry, H. C 473 

Cyrus, John 397 

Dameron, G. M 462 

Dany, Matthias 677 

D wis, Mrs. L. E 807 

Dawson, W. J. G 374 

Day, Russell 714 

Day, William 400 

Dean, Emil M 630 

De Fries, William J 065 

De Keyser, M 447 

Delvecchio, C. H 528 

Dennis, J. L 382 

Dersch, Frederick 500 

DeVilbiss, J. A 513 

Devin, William 750 

Dewell, Benjamin 703 

Dexter, Lorenzo 473 

Diendonni, A 685 

Diestelhorst, J.^G. J 668 

Dielz, Louis. . .". 382 

Diggs, D. P 701 

Dininger, F 498 

Dinsdale, John 471 

Doane, Scott ....634 

Dobbins, 0.'_P 511 

Dolan, Leo 377 

Dopking, T. F 584 

Douglas, J. A 316 

Dow, C. W 078 

Downey, J. A 813 

Downs, J. 8 680 

Dozier, L. F 303 

Dozier, T. B 601 

Drummond, M. H 794 

DuBois, A. S 396 

Duckworth, L 796 

Duhig, James 587 

Duncan, B. F 376 

Duncan, W. G 619 

Duncan, William 571 

Dunphey, D 332 

Durtor, H. W 742 

Durham, J. E 590 

Durst, Barbara 695 

Earl, Thomas 631 

E:iton, A. M 407 

Eaton, G. W 670 

Eaton, J. H 407 

Edmands, William 456 

Edmunds, J. F 656 

Eells, E. P 639 

Elgin, W. A 371 

Elliott, J. L 452 

Ellison, J. F 641 

Ely, Henj 488 

Ely, I.J 699 

Englehart, E. J 550 

Epiey, T. U 554 

Epperson, J. H ,588 

Esterle, A. M 755 

Etter, Allen W 553 

Everett, J. B 669 

Ewer, Seneca 390 

Farhner, J. G 300 

Farmer, J. W 494 

Farnham, Daniel 587 

Fath, Adam 363 

Fee, G. W 426 

Feeny, R. H 786 

Felts, W. W 782 

Fickert, C. W 617 

Filippini, Charles 585 

Fillman, S. P 638 

Finch, H. G 454 

Fish, C. E 753 

Fish, Erskine 633 

Fish, Lafayette 477 

Fisher, Daniel 346 

Fisher, Isaac 35s 

Fisher, J. M 5.54 

Fisher, W. A 366 

Fisher, W. F 678 

Fisher, W. H 681 

Fiske, G. D 350 

Flamant, Adolphe 487 

Flanagan, M ... 094 

Flanagan, P 714 

Fontenrose, L. J 458 

Foree, G. H 679 

Foster, H. C 782 

Foster, J. H 784 

Fountain, G. C 800 

Fowler, W. J 603 

Franck Bros .515 

Franklin, B. B 697 

Frazer, Donald 331 

Freemau, F. S 609 

Frick, John 729 

Friedericks, H 816 

Friedriiksen, N. P 818 

Frisbie, Edward 311 

Fuller, F. N 605 

Fuller, RoUa 053 

Fulton, John 425 

Gable & Bro 325 

Gading, Nicolaus 492 

Gafford, J. W 582 

Gardemeyer, H 373 

Gardiner, Luke, Sr 583 

Gardner, A. M 837 

Garey, G. J 081 

Geary, P. H 749 

George, John 771 

Germeshausen, Joseph 727 

Gibson, F. W. . 430 

Gibson, W. B 730 

Gilbert, S. J. R 407 

Gilmore,«John 701 

Gleaves, J. M 775 

Goeppert, J. G. B 729 

Goodman, G. E 460 

Goodnough, A. M 600 

Gordon, G. W 743 

Gorner, T 711 

Gonld, G. W 607 

Gray, Edward 503 

Gray, S. C 503 

Greene, C. E 439 

Grillin. J. B 500 

Griffin, J. F 560 


Griffin, Joseph 55^ 

GiitiJQ, Mariou ^*50 

Giiffith, A 507 

Griffith, CO 313 

Griggs, S. A 58U 

Grigsby & JoUdsoq 832 

Griiman, C. K 043 

Grossman, A. H 637 

Grolefend, F 643 

Groves, George 349 

Guysi, Jacob 660 

Hadley, James T 763 

Hadsell, Charles 416 

Hagen, Henry 547 

Hall, E. M.,Jr 794 

Hall, W. R 633 

Ham, E. D 437 

Hammans, A. J 573 

Hanna, Jacob 709 

Hannum, W. W 301 

Harlan, J. H 735 

Harley, E 511 

Harling, M. O 370 

Harriman, S. M 490 

Harris, J. C 499 

Hartman, Wm. P 773 

Hartson, Chancellor 337 

Hartsough, J. B i63 

Harvey, J. A 5J3 

Haskey,F. G 677 

Haskiu, A. S 6B6 

Haslie, K. S 813 

Hatcher, Wm 607 

Hawes, Wm 805 

Hays, Wm 079 

Hay ward, O. E 500 

Heinz, Lorenz 337 

Hemenway, 6. W 498 

Hennessey, E. Z 711 

Henrick, F. N 795 

Henry, Jacob 630 

Herron, M. W 777 

Hershey, D. N 433 

Hesse, Charles 470 

Hewitt, J. B 630 

Hext, K. &T 496 

Hider, Frank 681 

Hillcrest, 828 

Hogan, Henry 302 

Holden, B. F 399 

Holden, S. E 489 

Hook, Henry 495 

Hook, M. K 559 

Hoppin, C. K ..525 

Hopping, W. E 765 

Houx, D. F 671 

Howard, H. C 491 

Howard, N. S 530 

Howard. S. A 456 

Hudson, Catharine J 653 

Hughes, CD 804 

Hull, A. J 407 

Hulse, J. C 589 

Humphrey, W. S 352 

Hunt, Charles 477 

Hunt, W. G 577 

Hurlbert, D. B 461 

Ingram, S. D 388 

Ink, T. H, 539 

Inglenook 731 

Inman, JI. F 797 

Ireland, Elias 575 

Isaacs, J. E. 773 

Jacksou, D. A 398 

Jackson, G. H 331 

Jackson, J. P 171 

Jackson, William 543 

James, Bennett 737 

J ames, L. L 740 

Jeans, Jephtha 055 

Jeans, W. F 717 

Jessen, H. P 730 

Johnson, Andrew 580 

Johnson, H. B U96 

Johnson, H. F 534 

Johnston, F. E 416 

Jones, Benton 353 

Jones, J. P 493 

Juarez, Dolores 310 

Judy, D. O 530 

Judy, Henry F 025 

Keithley, John 615 

Keithly, S. T 088 

Kergel, August 507 

Kettlewell, J. U 048 

Keys, E. M 305 

Kidd, L. W 811 

Kimball, G. G 613 

Kinchloe, Z. B 743 

King, William 743 

Kirkham, Samuel 310 

Klemmer, Anton 757 

Knox, G. K 787 

Koopman, A 734 

Koopman, H. W 737 

Kraft, Herbert 753 

Krellenberg, P .754 

Krug, Charles 830 

Kuhn, Herman 676 

Kuhn, William 737 

Lafrenz, D., Jr 330 

Lahe, 6. C 754 

Langan, G. S 748 

Langan, G. W 397 

Lange, L. H. I) ,598 

La Hue, c. L... yn 

La Hue, J. E 496 

Lauener, Peter 45S 

Laughlin, W. H 579 

Lawhead, W 429 

Lawson, J. D. and Joshua 445 

Lechleiter, J. A 345 

Lee, B. B 570 

Lee, W. M 811 

Lemme, 11. W 298 

Liersch, Gustave 757 

Lillard, J. T 734 

Lincoln, H. L 624 

Litsch, Frank 788 

Livermore Echo 413 

Livermore Herald 333 

Livermore Spring Water Co 308 

Loeber, F. W 801 

Logan, J. 1 341 

Logan, M. H - . .515 

Long, S. W 525 

Lowdon, Thos 518 

Luce, Daniel 381 

Luders, Maas . 717 

Lyman, W. W 475 

Lyon, D. B 020 

Mack,G. F 696 

Macfarlane, W. W 478 

Mackinder, VV. A 410 

Madison, G. W 562 

Magee, William 785 

Majers, D. F 710 

Major, Ebenezer 720 

Maloney, T 344 

Manasse, E 398 

March, W. F 812 

Martin, G. C 400 

Martin, J. T 593 

Martin, W. H 301 

Martinelli, A. L 704 

Martinelli, F 684 

Mathewson, Joseph 646 

Matthiesen, H 732 

Maxwell,'!'. J 604 

Maybee, H. N 342 

Mayhew, C. U 709 

McArthur, J. B 388 

McBain, J. W 504 

McBain, Thomas 409 

McCabe,T. J 781 

McClintic, Mrs. S. E 703 

McConnell, J. 1 327 

McCormick, Jame.s 334 

McClory, Andrew 551 

McClurg, J 373 

McCoy, A. M 605 

McCoy, A. S.J 359 

McCullough, Wm 309 

McDonald, R 715 

McEachran, C. T 443 

McElwee, C. K 784 

McGlashan, Robert 710 

Mclnlire, D. F 417 

Mclntire, J. J 804 

Mclntyre, H. W 744 

McKenzie, G. S 746 

McKown, J. O 347 

McVicar, P. H 717 

McVicker, Dennis 336 

McWilliams, M. J 587 

Mecklenburg, J 444 

Meehan, James 697 

Meese, G. W 431 

Mehrmaun, H. B 738 

Mendenhall, W. M 706 

Menzel, William and George. . . .770 

Merrill, N 588 

Merritt, H. P 449 

Meyn, John 336 

Mezger, C 680 

Mezger, Fred 518 

Michaelson, Fred 441 

Miller, Frederick 646 

Miller, Mrs. H 596 

Miller, J. H 719 

Miller, M.R 520 

Millsap, Waller 500 

Minear & Sons 651 

Minis, William 448 

Minor, N 505 

Mitchell, J. M 817 

Mitchell, M. A 775 

Mohr, J. C 383 

Monday, S. L 606 

Mongini, J 707 

Montgomery, T. B 516 

Montgomery, W. S 702 

Mooney, C. D 344 

Mooney, Hugh 564 

Morby, P.J 006 

Morette, C. N 726 

Morgan, M. W 473 

Morin, CD 453 

Mull, John 596 

Murray, John 623 


Murray, T. F 623 

Mushett, Ida E 827 

Musick, Kate F 503 

Napa Collese 671 

Nickel], J. J 375 

Niclas, Emil 730 

Niebaum,G 721 

Nollman, George 555 

Nunamaker, W. D 750 

Nusbaumei-, A 332 

Oberljouse, Wm 460 

Olds, Lewis 336 

Oleudorf, W. D 667 

Oliver, BeDJamin 792 

Oliver, G. W. and W. F 694 

Osborne, J. W 403 

Ossmann, Tobias 664 

Ostrander, J. A 522 

Owens, Richard 723 

Owings, Calvin 770 

Pace, J. L 790 

Paget, J. H 319 

Palisade Mines 822 

Palmer, E. P 414 

Palmer, J. R 298 

Palmer, P 677 

Pardee, G. W 700 

Parish, Barney 792 

Parker, T. R 425 

Parrott, T 404 

Peden, A. 480 

Pellet, H. A 814 

Pennington, A. R 396 

Perkins, B. G 403 

Perrv, Henry 400 

Perry, J. W 489 

Petersen, M. C 737 

Pickett, B. H 793 

Pitcher, H. H 307 

Pleisch, Theodore 455 

Plumb, Mayne 750 

Pockman, Mrs. E 568 

Pond,M. B 328 

Pone, S. P 555 

Poore, G. A 521 

Poston, Dallas 512 

Potlerton. A 795 

Pratt, R. H 829 

Price, W. F 783 

Priest, J. J 519 

Prince, A. L 374 

Proletti, Eugene 749 

Pryor, W. A 712 

Pulsifer, O. F 605 

Ramage, Andrew 735 

Rambo Bros 618 

Rath, J. G 491 

Rayer, Gottlob 752 

Reading, P. B 791 

Reed, E. G G58 

Reid.W. F 794 

Reynolds, J. E 778 

Rhodes, S. R 438 

Richard, II. C 547 

Richie, M. G 802 

Ridley, James 670 

Robbins, T. J 684 

Roberts, P. L 432 

Roberts, T. M 383 

Robinson, Charles 553 

Robinson, Charles. 550 

Robinson, W. II 404 

Rogers, T. G 799 

Rollins, J. S 491 

Roseberry, J 319 

Ross, A. F 695 

Ross, H. F 367 

Ross, Thom as 625 

Ruddock, Calvin 355 

Ruggles, A. C 751 

Rumsey, J. B 468 

Rural Health Retreat 423 

Rusing, E S 623 

Russell, F. E 663 

Russell, S. S 676 

Russell, William 663 

Rust, R. C '457 

Savase, S. L 313 

Schaffers, L 704 

Schlieman, F 512 

Schluer, Otto 726 

Schoenfeld, S. D 550 

Schrader, F. A 730 

Schram, Jacob 392 

Schuerley, J. K 725 

Schuman, Adam 769 

Schween, Ernest 332 

Schweer, W. C 724 

Scott, D. S 661 

Scott, G.W 537 

Scott, J. V 789 

Scott, L. N 524 

Seabold, Elias 680 

Seaman, Henry 662 

Shanahan, D. N 766 

Shryock, S 599 

Shuffleton, H. H 647 

Shurtleflf, Benjamin 289 

Sieber, C 442 

Sievers, Francis 813 

Simons, S. J 734 

Simpson, John 463 

Sims, William 464 

Slade, V 711 

Slavens, H. H ". ... 676 

Smith, D.W 310 

Smith, F.W 552 

Smith, J. K 343 

Smith, J. O 781 

Smith, T. B 318 

Smith, \V. A. C 335 

Smith, W.H 470 

Snavely, E 384 

Snider, Eli 454 

Soule, W. H 564 

Sovereign, J 403 

Spagnoii, D. B 685 

Spelman. John. 774 

Spencer, Dennis 716 

Slairley, W 635 

Stanley, G. C 712 

Starr, A. W 595 

Stephens, G. D 3S9 

Stephens, J. D 689 

Stephens, L. D 485 

Sterling, \i. H 718 

Steven.s, J. B 365 

Stevenson, A. M 517 

Steves, J. H 350 

Stewart, Charles 504 

Slitt, J. W 522 

Still, W. E 414 

Stohl,C 335 

Stoll.Paul 548 

Strickland, F. M 635 

Suaza, Joseph 720 

Swayze, 0. W 456 

Taber, G. W 464 

Tandy, George 387 

Tarter, A. P 480 

Tauzer, A 315 

Taylor, S. M 650 

Teale, P. T 314 

Thomas, B. F . .718 

Thomas, C. F 706 

Thomas, C. S 705 

Thomann, John 818 

Thompson, Wm 703 

Tobin, J. F 661 

Tocker, P. A 728 

Tool, S. M 348 

Topley, James 497 

Townsley, AV. S. B 778 

Tozer, C. H 394 

Trainor, L. H 826 

Trubody, W. A 373 

Tubbs, A. L 828 

Tufts, J. B 572 

'lurner, J. C 576 

Turton, G. J 357 

Tutt, .LA 479 

Tutt, J. S 669 

Tyler, J. C 440 

Tyther, Richard 549 

Vallejo, Platon 597 

Van der Voort, A. C 459 

Van Zee, D 621 

Vestal, G. W 537 

Villa Miravalle 404 

Von Pessl, E 683 

Von Schilling, A 324 

Walker, J. H 632 

Walker, Wm 509 

Wallace, G. P 803 

Walton, Alfred 574 

Ward, E. H 567 

Warrington, T. H 774 

Watkins, W. \V 476 

Weilbye, J. L 429 

Weinberger, J . C 442 

Welch, J. J 566 

Welch, W. H 453 

Wells, Philip 574 

Welsh, Eliza 666 

Wenig, P. V 726 

Wente, C. H 347 

West, J. M 653 

Westlake, G. W 621 

Westwater, Thos 694 

Wexelberger, Jos 663 

Wheeler, J. H 809 

■Whitman, G. W 701 

Wiedeman, C. F. L 590 

Wiley, H. R 535 

Wilkins, E. T 481 

Winter, G. G 529 

WintOD, Crayton 492 

Withers, J. M 573 

Wood. H. B 371 

Wood, Joel 715 

Wriccht, Edmund 557 

Wulff, N. H 731 

Wyckoff, N 304 

York, M. R 669 

Zimmerman, J. A 370 

Zvierkovich, J 390 



fHE name " California" is untranslatable, 
being coined by a Spanish writer of fiction 
-,r in the fifteenth century. 

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navi- 
gator in the Spanish service, was the first white 
man to set foot on California soil, at San Diego, 
September 28, 1542. He died the next year, 
on an island off the coast of Santa Barbara. 
Other visitors followed, but of them little is 
known until Sir Francis Drake puts in ap- 
pearance at Drake's or Bodega bay, in July, 
1579. Juan Vizcaino discovered Monterey Bay 
in 1603. 

The next events of importance did not occur 
until a century and a half afterward, namely, 
the founding of Catholic missions in 1769 and 
afterward at San Diego, Monterey, etc., by 
Fathers Crespi, Gromez and Junipero Serra, 
under the explorer Portoia. The latter visited 
points around San Francisco Bay. In 1792 
Captain George Vancouver touched upon this 

In 1805 the Russians from Sitka, under the 
leadership of Razanof, established themselves 
at Ross and Bodega, in the fur trade, and pros- 
pered there until they sold out to Captain Sut- 
ter in 1841, having by that time a considerable 
amount of live stoek. 


Forty years had come and gone since the 
presidio and mission were founded at Yerba 

Buena, and yet no fruitful attempt had been made 
to establish a settlement on the north side of the 
bay; and the first movement in that direction 
seems to have been impelled by a seeming neces- 
sity. At the mission Dolores were many hun- 
dred neophytes who had been gathered in from 
the many Indian tribes south of the bay. 
Among these existed an increasing and alarm- 
ing mortality from pulmonary disease. The 
padres, as a sanitary measure, determined upon 
the founding of a branch mission in some more 
sheltered and genial clime on the north side of 
the bay. The present site of San Rafael was 
the location determined upon. The establish- 
ment was to be more in the nature of a rancho, 
with chapel, baptistery and cemetery, than a 
regularly ordained mission. Padre Luis Gil y 
Taboada was detailed to take charge of this 
branch establishment of the church. In refer- 
ence to this branch mission Bancroft says: "The 
site was probably selected on the advice of 
Moraga, who had several times passed it on his 
way to and from Bodega, though there may 
have been a special examination by the friars 
not recorded. Father Gil was accompanied by 
Derran, Abella and Sarria, the latter of whom, 
December 14, with the same ceremonies tha^ 
usually attended the dedication of a regular 
mission, founded the assistencia of San Rafael 
Arcangel, on the spot called by the natives 
Nanaguani. Though the establishment was at 
first only a branch of San Francisco, an assist- 


encia and not a mission, with a chapel instead 
of a church, under a supernumerary friar of San 
Francisco, jet there was no real diflerence be- 
tween its management and that of the other 
mieeions. The number of neophytes trans- 
ferred at first is supposed to have been about 
230, but there is but very little evidence on the 
subject, and subsequent tians-feis, if any were 
made in either direction, are not recorded. By 
the end of 1820 the population had increased to 
590. In 1818 an adobe building eighty feet long, 
forty- two feet wide and eighteen feet high had 
been erected; divided by partitions into chapel, 
padre's house and all other apartments lequired, 
and furnished besides with a corridor of tules. 
Padre Gil y Taboada remained in charge of San 
Kafael until the summer of 1819, when he was 
succeeded by Juan Amoros." 

That even the southern end of what is now 
Sonoma County was yet a comparative terra in- 
cognita to the Spaniards, is evidenced by tlie 
fact that as late as May, 1818, on the occasion 
of a visit of President Payeras with Com- 
mandante Argiiello to San Rafael, they made 
quite an exploration of the surrounding country 
and reported having seen from the top of a hill 
" the Canada de los Olompalis and the Llano 
de los Petalumas." Thus, as Moses viewed the 
promised land from the summit of Mount 
Pisgah, did priest and commandante from the 
summit of a Marin County hill look down upon 
Petaluma Valley in the year of grace 1818. 
The commandante referred to in this connection 
was Captain Luis Argiiello. Governor Arril- 
laga having died in 1813, Argiiello filled the 
position of acting governor until Sola was ap 
pointed to that position. Argiiello was a man 
of considerable energy and dash, and it was but 
natural that Governor Sola should select him 
for a hazardous enterprise. Late in the sum- 
mer of 1821 the Governor determined to send 
an exploring expedition up north. As this was 
one of the most consequential explorations ever 
undertaken under Spanish rule, and as it has an 
intimate connection with Sonoma County, we 
give place to Hubert Howe Bancroft's narration 

of the meanderings of the expedition, which is 
as follows: 

"Thirtv-five soldados de cuera and twenty 
infantes, part of the force coming from Mon- 
terey, were afsembled at San Francisco. Horses 
and much of the supplies were sent from Santa 
Clara and San Jose up to the strait of the Car- 
quinez. The oflicers selected were Captain Luis 
Argiiello, Alterez Francisco de Haro, Alferez 
Jose Antonio Sanchez, and Cadet Joaquin Estu- 
dillo, with Padre Bias Ordaz as chaplain and 
chronicler, and John Gilroy, called the ' English 
interpreter Juan Antonio.' Some neophytes 
were also attached to the force, and all was 
ready for the start the 18th of October. The 
company sailed from San Francisco at 11 a. m. 
in the two lanchas of the }iresidio and mission, 
landing at Rnyuta, near what is now Point 
San Pedro, to pass the night. Next day they 
continued the voyage to the Carquinez, being 
joined by two other boats. Saturday and Sun- 
day were spent in ferrying the horses across the 
strait, together with a band of Ululatos and 
Canucaymos Indians, en route to visit their 
gentile homes, and in religious exercises. Mon- 
day morning they started for the north. 

" The journey which followed was popularly 
known to the Spaniards at tlie time, and since 
as " Argiiello's expedition to the Columbia." 
The Columbia was the only northern region of 
which the Spaniards had any definite idea, or 
was rather to them a term nearly synonymous 
with the northern interior. It was from the 
Columbia that the strange people sought were 
supposed to have come; and it is not singular, 
in the absence of any correct idea of distance, 
that the only expedition to the far north was 
greatly exaggerated in respect to the distance 
traveled. The narratives in my possession, 
written by old Californians, some of whom ac- 
companied Argiiello, are unusually inaccurate 
in their versions of this affair, on which they 
would throw but very little light in the absence 
of the original diary of Father Ordaz, a docu- 
ment that is fortunately extant. 

"Starting from the strait on the morning of 
October 22, Argiiello and his company marched 
for nine days, averaging little less than eight 
hours a day, northward up the valley of the 
Sacramento, which they called the Jesus Maria, 
The name of ranclierias ] give in a note. There 
is little else to be said of the march, the obsta- 
cles to be overcome having been few and slight. 


TliB natives were either friendly, timid or 
slightly hostile, having to be scattered once or 
twice by the noise of a cannon. The neophyte 
Rafael from San Francisco had but little ditfi- 
cnlty to make himself understood. Tlie most 
serious calamity was the loss of a mule that fell 
into the river with two thousand cartridges on 
its back. There were no indications of for- 

"On th3 30:h, to use the words of the diary, 
' tlie place where we are is situated at the foot 
of the Sierra Mad re, whence there have been 
seen by the English interpreter, Juan Antonio, 
two mountains called Los Cuates — the twins — • 
on the opposite side of which are the presidio 
and river of the Columbia. The rancherias be- 
fore named are situated on the banks of the Rio 
de Jesus Maria, from which to-morrow a differ- 
ent direction will be taken.' Accordingly the 
31st they ' marched west until they came to 
the foot of a mountain range, about fifteen 
leagues from the Sierra ITevada, which runs 
from north to south, terminating in the region 
of Bodega.' Exactly at wliat point the travel- 
ers left the river and entered the mountain 
range, now bounding Trinity County on the 
east, I do not attempt to determine, though it 
was evidently not below Red Bluff. The dis- 
tance made up the valley, allowing an average 
rate of three miles an hour for sixty-eight hours, 
the length of the return inarch of ninety-six 
hours through the mountains, at a rate of two 
miles an hour, and the possible identity of 
Capa, reached in forty-four hours from Car- 
quinez, vvith the Capaz of modern maps opposite 
Chico, would seem to point to the latitude of 
Shasta or Weaverville as the northern limit of 
this exploration. 

" For nine days, the explorers marched south- 
ward over the mountains. Ko distances are 
given, and I shall not pretend to trace the exact 
route followed, though I give in a note the 
names recorded in the diary. Like those in the 
valley, the savages were not, as a rule, hostile, 
though a few had to be killed in the extreme 
north; but their language could no longer be 
understood, and it was often difficult to obtain 
guides from rancheria to rancheria. The natural 
difficulties of the mountain route were very 
great. Many horses died, and four pack-mules 
once fell down a precipice together. The 3d of 
November, at Bcnenue, some blue cloth was 
found, said to have been obtained trom the 
coast, probably from the Russians. On the 6th 

the ocean was first seen, and several soldiers 
recognized the 'coast of the Russian establish- 
ment at Bodej^a.' Next diy from the Espinazo 
del Diablo was seen what was believed to be 
Cape Mendocino, twenty leagues away on the 
right. Finally, on tlie 10th, the party from the 
top of a mountain, higher than any before 
climbed, but in sight of many worse ones, 
abandoned by their guides at dusk, with only 
three days' rations, managed to struggle down 
and out through the dense undergrowth into a 

'• And down this valley of Libantiliyami, 
which could hardly have been any other than 
that of the Russian River, though at what point 
in the present Sonoma County, or from what 
direction they entered it I am at a loss to say. 
The return'ng wanderers hastened; over a route 
that seem to have presented no obstacles — ■ 
doubtless near the sites of the modern Healds- 
burg and Santa Rosa — md on November 12th, 
at noon, after twenty hours' march in three 
days, arrived at San Rafael. Next day, after a 
thanksgiving mass, the boats arrived and the 
work of ferrying the horses across to Point San 
Pablo was begun. The infantry soldiers, who 
were mounted during the expedition, also took 
this route home, bath to Monterey and San 
Francisco. Thus endel the most extensive 
northern expedition ever made by the Spaniards 
in California." 

By reference to the notes referred to by Mr. 
Bancroft in the above, it is quite certain that 
Argiiello and his companions reached Russian 
River at or near the present site of Cloverdale. 
Be that as it may, it is beyond cavil that they 
were the first Spaniards to traverse the central 
valleys of Sonoma County. "While the expedi- 
tion was not fruitful of far-reaching results, yet 
it furnishes an important leaf to local history. 
Being the first of civilized race to traverse the 
territory of the county its whole length, entitles 
that little band of explorers to kindly remem- 
brance and honorable mention in her annals. 

But the time was close at hand when Sonoma 
County, which had lain fallow all these years, 
except that portion of seaboard under occupancy 
by the Russians, was to come under Spanish 
domination. The establishment of a new mis- 
sion was determined upon. The causes which 


impelled this niovement northward will seem 
strange to the readers of the present generation. 
In the language of Bancroft, "In 1822 at a con- 
ference between Canon Fernandez, Prefect Pay- 
eras, and Governor Argiiello, it had been decided 
to transfer the mission of San Francisco from 
the peninsula to the ' northeastern contra casta 
on the gentile frontier,' a decision based on the 
comparative sterility of the old site, the insalu- 
brity of the peninsula climate, the broadness of 
tile field for conversion in the north, the success 
of the experimental founding of the San Rafael 
branch, and not improbably a desire on the part of 
two of the three dignitaries to throw tlie few fer- 
tile ranchos south of San Francisco into the hands 
of settlers. The matter next came up just before 
the death of Payeras, who seems to have had 
nothing more to say about it. March 23, 1823, 
Padre Jose Altimira, very likely at Argiiello's 
instigation, presented to tiie deputacion a me- 
morial in which he recommended the transfer, he 
being a party naturally interested as one of the 
ministers of San Francisco. On April 9th, the 
deputacion voted in favor of the change. It was 
decreed that the assistencia of San Eafael should 
be joined again to San Francisco, and transferred 
with it, and the suggestion made that the country 
of the Petalumas or of the Canicaimos, should 
be the new site. The suppression of Santa Cruz 
was also recommended. The governor sent these 
resolutions to Mexico next day, and Altimira 
forwarded copies to the new prefect, Senan, on 
April 30th, but received no response. 

•' An exploration was next in order, for the 
country between the Suisunes and Petalnraas 
was as yet only little known, some parts of it 
having never been visited by the Spaniards. 
"With this .object in view, Altimira and the 
deputado, Francisco Castro, with an escort of 
nineteen men under Alferez Jose Sanchez, em- 
barked at San Francisco on the 2oth of June, 
and spent the night at San Rafael. Both San- 
chez and Altimira kept a diary of the trip in 
nearly the same words. * * * The explorers 
went by way of Olompali to the Petaluma, 
Sonoma, Napa, and Suisun valleys in succession, 

making a somewhat close examination of each. 
Sonoma was found to be best adapted for mission 
purposes by reason of its climate, location, 
abundance of wood and stone, including lime- 
stone as was thought, and above all for its 
innumerable and most excellent springs and 
streams. The plain of the Petaluma. bread and 
fertile, la-cked water; that of the Suisunes was 
liable, more or less, to the same objection, and 
w'as also deemed too far from the old San Fran- 
cisco ; but Sonoma, as a mission site, with 
eventually branch establishments, or at least 
cattle ranchos at Petaluma and Napa, seemed to' 
the three representatives of civil, military and 
Francisian power to offer every advantage. 
Accordingly on July 4th, a cross was blessed 
and set up on the site of a former gentile ran- 
cheria, now formally named New San Francisco. 
A volley of musketry was tired, several songs 
were sung, and holy mass was said. July 4th 
might, therefore, with greater propriety than 
any other date be celebrated as the anniversary 
of the tbundation, though the place was for a 
little time abandoned, and on the sixth all were 
back at Old San Francisco." 

We cannot give the reader a more correct idea 
of this tirst exploration of the southern end of 
Sonoma County than is given in the language 
of Padre Altimira's diary, which is epitomized 
as follows in Alley, Bowen & Co.'s History of 
Sonoma County: "The Padre and his party left 
San Rafael, where a mission had been already 
founded, on the 25tli of June, 1823, and during 
the day passed the position now occupied by the 
city of Petaluma, then called by the Spaniards, 
'Punta de los Esteros,' and known to the Indians" 
as ' Chocuale,' that night encamping on tlie 
'Arroyo Lema,' wliere the large adobe on the 
Petaluma Rancho was afterward constructed by 
General Valiejo. 

" Here a day's halt would appear to have been 
called, in order to take a glance at the beautiful 
country and devise means of further progress. 
On the 27th they reached the famous ' Laguna 
de Tolly,' now, alas! nothing but a place, it 
having fallen into the hands of a German o-entle- 


man of marked utilitarian principles, who has 
drained and reclaimed it, and planted it with 
potatoes. Here the expedition took a north- 
easterly route, and entering the Sonoma Valley, 
which Father Altimira states was then so called 
by former Indian residents, the party encamped 
on the arroyo of ' Pulula,' where J. A. Poppe, a 
merchant of Sonoma, lias a large tish-breeding 
establishment, stocked with carp biought from 
Khinefelt, in Germany, in 1871. The holy 
father's narrative of the beauties of Sonoma 
Valley, as seen by the new-comers, are so 
graphically portrayed by himself that we cannot 
refrain from quoting his own words: ' At about 
3 p. M.,' (June 23, 1823) ' leaving our camp and 
our boat on the slough near by, we started to 
explore, directing our course northwestward 
across the plain of Sonoma, until we reached a 
stream (Sonoma Creek) of about live hundred 
plumas of water, crystalline and most pleasing 
to the taste, flowing through a grove of beautiful 
and useful trees. The stream flows from some 
hills which enclose the plain, and terminate it 
on the north. We went on, penetrating abroad 
grove of oaks; the trees were lofty and robust, 
affording an external souice of utility, both for 
firewood and carriage material. This forest was 
about three leagues long from east to west, and 
a league and a balf wide from north to south. 
The plain is watered by another arroyo still 
more copious ard pleasant than the former, 
flowing from west to east, but traveling north- 
ward from the centre of the plain. We explored 
this evening as far as the daylight permitted. 
The permanent springs, according to the state- 
ment of those who have seen them in the extreme 
dry season, are almost innumerable. No one 
can doubt the benignity of the Sonoma climate 
after noting the plants, the lofty and shady trees 
— alders, poplars, ash, laurel, and others — and 
especially the abundance and luxuriance of the 
wild grapes. We observed, also, that the launch 
may come up the creek to where a settlement can 
be founded, truly a most convenient circum- 
stance. We saw from these and other facts that 
Sonoma is a most desirable site for a mission.' 

"Let us here note who are now located on the 
places brought permanently forward by Padre 
Altimira. The hills which inclose the valley 
and out of whose bosom the Sonoma Creek 
springs, is now occupied by the residence and 
vineyard of Mr. Edwards. The forest mentioned 
covered the present site of the Leavenworth 
vineyards, the Hayes' estate, and the farms of 
Wootten, Carriger, Harrison, Craig, Herman, 
Wohler, Hill, Stewart. Wartield, lirous & Wil- 
liams, La Motte, Hood, liohler, Morris, and 
others. The second stream mentioned as flow- 
ing northward from the center of the plains, is 
' Olema,' or flour-mill stream, on which Colonel 
George F. Hooper resides, while the locality in 
which he states are innumerable springs is the 
tract of country where now are located the 
hacienda or Lachryma Montis, the residence of 
General M. G. Vallejo and the dwellings and 
vineyards of Haraszthy, Gillen, Tichner, Dressel, 
Winchell, Gundlach, Rubus, Snyder, Nathan- 
son, and the ground of the Buena Vista Vinicul- 
tural Society. The head of navigation noted is 
the place since called St. Louis, but usually 
known as the Embarcadero." 

Of this first exploration of the country round 
about Petaluma and Sonoma, every incident will 
be of interest to the reader. In Padre Alti- 
mira's diary, note is made of the killing of a bear 
on the Petaluma flat. Mention is also made that 
their first night's camp (probably near where 
the old Vallejo adobe now stands) was with 
eight or ten Petalumas (Indians) hiding there 
from their enemies, the Libautiloquemi, Indians 
of Santa Kosa Valley. As already stated, the 
exploration extended as far east as Suisun Val- 
ley, and Altimira mentions that on the 30th of 
June they killed ten bears. On returning they 
gave the Sonoma Valley a more complete ex- 
amination and crossed the mountain back into 
the upper end of Petaluma Valley and back to 
where they camped the first night. From there 
they seem to have taken a pretty direct route 
back to Sonoma, probably about the route of the 
old road leading from Petaluma to Sonoma. 
This was on the 3d of July, and the next day the 


mission location was formally established at 

The prelate upon whose decision the Alti- 
mira enterprise depended ior a full fruition had 
not yet been heard from. Altimira represented 
to him, and with a great deal of apparent truth, 
that " San Fraucisco was on its last legs, and 
that San Ealael could not subsist alone." But 
the desired sanction from the prelate had not 
yet come. Governor Argiiello seemed impa- 
tient of delay and ordered Altimira to proceed 
with the work of ibunding the new mission, an 
order that Padre Altimira seemed to be only 
too ready to obey, for he seemed to have been a 
fiery, impetuous mortal, with more zeal than 
prudence. On the 12th of August he took 
possession of the effects ot the San Eafael mis- 
sion by inventory, and by the 23d he -was on liis 
way to New San Francisco with an escort of 
twelve men, and an artilleryman to manage a 
cannon of Uvo-pourd caliber. He Mas also 
accompanied by quite a force of neophytes as 
laborers. By the 25th all hands were on the 
ground and the work of planting a mission com- 
menced. At the end of a week the work had 
so far progressed tliat it could be said of a surety 
that Sonoma Valley had passed under the do- 
minion of civilized man. But Altimira was 
destined to have his Christian forbearance 
tested. The prelate refused to sanction the 
wiping out of the San Eafael mission. While 
he did not express a decided opinion on the 
propriety of the removal of the San Francisco 
mission, he expressed amazement at the hasty 
and unauthorized manner in which the deputa- 
cion had acted in the premises. On the 31st of 
August this decision reached the Padre at New 
San Francisco, and for the time put an end to 
his operations. That this interruption did not 
put Altimira in a very prayerful frame of mind 
is evidenced by the vinegar and gall apparent in 
his epistolary record in connection with the 
subject. In a letter to Governor Argiiello in 
reft'ience to the prelate's decision, Altimira 
says: " I wish to know whether the deputacion 
has any authority in this province, and if these 

men can overthrow your honor's wise provis- 
ions. 1 came here to convert gentiles and 
to establish missions, and if I cannot do it here, 
where, as we all agree, is the best spot iti Cali- 
fornia for the purpose, I will leave the country." 
As a plain missionary proposition Padre Alti- 
mira was right; but as an ecclesiastical fact he 
was restive under a harness of his own choos- 
ing, and was wrong. Sarria was then president 
of the California missions. Tlie sequel to tiie 
prelate's decision is thus recited by Bancroft: 

A correspondence followed between Sarria and 
Argiiello, in which the former with many ex- 
pressions of respect for the governor and the 
secular government not unmixed with personal 
flattery of Argiiello, justified in a long argu- 
ment the position he had assumed. The Gov- 
ernor did not reply in detail to Sarria's 
arguments, since it did not in his view matter 
much what this or that prefect had or had not 
approved, but took tiie ground tiiat the deputa- 
cion was empowered to act for the public good 
in all buch urgent matters as that under con- 
sideration, and that its decrees must be carried 
out. During fifty years the friars had made 
no progress in the conversion of northern gen- 
tiles or occupation of northern territory; and 
now the secular authorities proposed to take 
charge of the conquest in the temporal aspect 
at least. The new establishmei.t would be sus- 
tained with its escolta under a major-domo, and 
the prelate's refusal to authorize Altimira to 
care for its spiritual needs would be reported to 
the authorities in Mexico. 

Yet, positive as was the Governor's tone in 
general, he declared that he would not insist on 
the suppression of San Eafael; and, though 
some of the correspondence lias doubtless been 
lost, he seems to have consented readily enough 
to a compioraise suggested by the [irefect, and 
said by him to liave been more or less fully ap- 
proved by Altimira. By the terms of this 
compromise Kew San Francisco was to remain 
as a mission in regular standing, and Padre 
Altimira was appointed its regular minister, 
subject to the decision of the college; but 
neither old San Francisco nor San Eafael was 
to be suppressed, and Altimira was to be still 
associate minister of the former. Neo}>hytes 
might go voluntarily from old San Francisco to 
the new establishment, and also from San Jose 
and San Eafael, provided they came originally 


from the Sonoma region, and provided also that 
in the case of San Rafael tliey iniglit return if 
they wished ai any time within a year. New 
converts might come in from any direction to 
the mission tiiey preferred, but no force was to 
be used. 

Under these conditions and restrictions the 
tiery Altimira entered upon the task of Chris- 
tianizing Sonoma County lieathen. While he 
did not let pass an opportunity to inveigh 
against the perverse and narrow-gauge methods 
of the old missions, he seems to have entered 
with the zeal of a Paul into his missionary 
work. Bancroft, who has all the data to enable 
him to speak with absolute certainty, says: 
" Passion Sunday, April 4, 1824, the mission 
church, a somewhat rude structure 24x105 
feet, built of boards and whitewashed, but well 
furnished aud decorated in the interior, many 
articles having been presented by the Russians, 
was dedicated to San Francisco Solano, which 
from this date became the name of the mission. 
Hitherto it had been properly New San Fran- 
cisco, thongh Altimira had always dated his 
letters San Francisco simply, and referred to 
the peninsula establishment as Old San Fran- 
cisco; but this usage bscame inconvenient, and 
rather than honor St. Francis of Assisi with two 
missions it was agreed to dedicate the new one 
to San Francisco Solano, ' the great apostle of the 
Indies.' It was largely from this early confusion 
of names, and also from the inconvenience of 
adding Asisi and Sjlano to designate there- 
spective Saints Francis and Solano that arose the 
popular usage of calling the two missions Dolores 
and San Solano, the latter name being replaced 
ten years later by the original one of Sonoma.'' 

Elsewhere we have said that right here in 
Sonoma County the Catholic and the Greek 
Cross met, and it but lends luster to the page s 
of history to record that though coming by 
different roads they met in friendship; for, with 
deft hands, the communicants of the Greek 
church at Ross shaped gifts for ornamentation 
and decoration of the Catholic mission of So- 
noma. Altimira remained in charge at Sonoma 

until 1826, when he was superseded by Buena- 
ventura Fortuni. Altimira had displayed con- 
siderable energy in his field of labor, for at 
Sononja he had constructed a padre's house, 
granary and seven houses for the guard, besides 
the chapel, all of wood. Before the year 1824 
closed there had been constructed a large 
adobe 30 x 120 feet, seven feet high, with 
tiled roof and corridor, and a couple of other 
structures of adobe had been constructed ready 
to roof, when the excessive i-ains of that season 
set in and ruined the walls. A loom was set 
np and weaving was in operation. Quite an 
orchard of fruit trees was planted and a vine- 
yard of 8,000 vines was set out. Bancroft says: 
" Between 1824 and 1830 cattle increased from 
1,100 to 2,000; horses from 400 to 725; and 
sheep remained at 4,000, though as few as 1,500 
in 1826. Crops amounted to 1,875 bushels per 
year on an average, the largest yield being 
3,945 in 1826, and the smallest 510 in 1829, 
when wheat and barley failed completely. At 
the end of 1824 the mission had 693 neophytes, 
of whom 322 had come from San Francisco, 
153 from San Jose, 92 from San Rafael and 96 
had been baptized on the spot. By 1830, 650 
had been baptized and 375 buried; but the 
number of neophytes had increased only to 760, 
leaving a margin of over 100 for runaways, 
even on the supposition that all from San 
Rafael retired the first year to their old home. 
Notwithstanding the advantages of the site and 
Altimira's enthusiasm, the mission at Sonoma 
was not prosperous during its short existence." 
Thus far we have followed the fortunes of 
the church in its missionary work north of the 
bay. While it was not as fruitful of results as 
the church probably expected, it at least paved 
the way for secular occupation. As it had been 
in the south, so too in the north an attempt at 
colonization was sure to follow in the paths made 
easy by the pluck and perseverance of the padres. 


By the year 1830 the influx of the Spanish 
had so encroached upon the territory occupied 


by the Russians that the latter began to enter- 
tain serious thoughts of withdrawing from Cal- 
ifornia altogether. There was no motive for the 
Russians to hold an occnpancy limited by Bo- 
dega Bay on the south and the Gualala River on 
the north. At best, there was but a narrow 
bench of seaboard available for either farming 
or grazing purposes. True, there was a wealth 
of forest back of this mesa, but they had already 
learned that this timber was not durable as 
material for shipbuilding. They had pretty well 
exhausted the supply ol timber from which pine 
pitch manufactured. Tan bark for the 
carrying on of their tanneries was their most 
promising continuing supply for the future. 
The agents of the Alaska Fur Company had 
already signified to the California authorities a 
willingness to vacate Fort Ross upon payment 
for improvements. Through the intricate evo- 
lutions of red tape this was transmitted to the 
viceroy of Mexico, and as that functionary took 
it as an evidence that the Russian colony at 
Ross was on its last legs, refusal was made on 
the ground that the Russians, having made im- 
provements on Spanish territory, with material 
acquired from Spanish soil, they ought not to 
expect payment for the same. While this is 
not the language, it is the spirit of the view the 
viceroy took of the subject. As a legal propo- 
sition this was doubtless true, but as a matter 
of fact, at any time after 1825 the superintend- 
ent at Ross had at his command sufBcient of 
the armament and munitions of war to have 
marched from Ross to Sau Diego without let or 
hindrance, so far as the viceroy of Mexico was 
concerned. These Dons and Hidalgo seemed, 
however, to consider their rubrics to be more 
powerful than swords or cannon. As their over- 
tures for sale had been thus summarily disposed 
of, the cold, impassive Muscovites pursued the 
even tenor of their way, and as the lands around 
Fort Ross became exhausted by continuous 
farming they extended their farming operations 
southward between the Russian River and Bo- 
dega Bay, and ultimately inland to the neigh- 
borhood of the present village of Bodega 

Corners. At the latter place there were several 
Russian graves, in the midst of which there 
stood a Greek cross, long alter the Americans 
came into occupancy. The earliest American 
settlers in that neighborhood aver that the 
Russians had a grist-mill some two or three 
miles easterly from Bodega Corners. Certain it 
is that the authorities at San Francisco had noti- 
fication that the Russians contemplated occupa- 
tion for farming purposes as far inland as the 
present site of Santa Rosa. These rumors, 
whether true or not, doubtless accelerated the 
movement of Spanish colonization in that direc- 

Governor Wrangell, now having control in 
Alaska, seems to have taken an intelligent view 
of the whole situation, and realized that unless 
the company, of which he was head representa- 
tive, could obtain undisputed possession of all 
the territory north of the Bay of San Francisco 
and eastward to the Sacramento, it was useless 
to attempt a continuance at Ross. To achieve 
this end the Alaska company was willing to buy 
the establishments already at San Rafael and 
Sonoma. The fact that the California authori- 
ties submitted these propositions to the Mexican 
government, now free from the yoke of Spanish 
rule, would indicate that by them such a propo- 
sition was not considered in the light of a 
heinous ofi'ense. Alvarado was then at the 
head of the California government, and no doubt 
he looked with great distrust, if not alarm, 
upon the -number of Americans who were be- 
ginning to find their way into California. But 
General Vallejo, who was now almost autocrat 
on the north side of the Bay of San Francisco, 
was not, probably, so averse to Americans, as 
he had already three brothers-in-law of Yankee 
blood. Through these kinsmen, who were all 
gentlemen of good intelligence and education, 
Vallejo had become well informed in reference 
to the push and energy of the American people, 
and hence it is quite certain that he did not 
favor any permanent occupancy here by any 
European power. In truth, while the California 
government had confided itself to wordy jien 


remonstrances with the occupants of Ross, in 
1840 Vallejo seems to have made quite a show 
of calling Rotchef, the then superintendent at 
Ross, to accountability for having allowed tlie 
American ship Lausanne to land and discharge 
passengers at Rodcga as though it were a free 
port. Some of these passengers, who went to 
Sonoma, were incarcerated by the irate Vallejo, 
and lie even sent a file of soldiers to Bodega to 
give warning that such infractions would lead 
to serious consequences if persisted in. This 
was the nearest to an open rupture of amicable 
relations that ever occurred between Spaniard 
and Muscovite on this coast that we find any 
record of: and this could not have been of a very 
sanguinary nature, for it seems that Vallejo and 
Rotchef were on social good terms afterward. 

The proposed acquisition of territory by 
Governor Wrangell met with no encouragement 
from the Mexican Government. In reference 
to this matter Bancroft says: "The intention of 
the Russians to abandon Ross and their wish to 
sell their property there, had, as we have seen, 
been announced to Alvarado, and by him to the 
Mexican government, before the end of 1840. 
In January, 1841, Vallejo, in reporting to the 
minister of war his controversy with Rotchef 
and Krupicurof, mentioned the proposed aban- 
donment, taking more credit to himself than the 
facts could justify, as a result of that contro- 
versy. The Russians had consulted him as to 
their power to sell the buildings as well as live- 
stock to a private person, and he had been told 
that ' the nation had the first right,' and would 
have to be consulted. The fear that impelled 
him at that time to answer thus cautiously was 
that some foreigners from the Columbia or else- 
where might outbid any citizen of California, 
and thus raise a question of sovereignty, which 
might prove troublesome in the future to Mexi- 
can interests. Vallejo also urged the govern- 
ment to furnish a garrison, and authorize the 
planting of a colony at the abandoned post. In 
February, however, Kostromitinof, representing 
the company, proposed to sell the property to 
Vallejo himself for $30,000, payable half in 

money or bills of the Hudson Bay Company, 
and half in produce delivered at Yerba Buena. 
The General expressed a willingness to make the 
purchase, but could not promise a definite de- 
cision on the subject before July or August. 
Pending the decision, the Russian agent seems 
to have entered, perhaps secretly, into negotia- 
tions with John A. Sutter, who at that time 
was not disposed to buy anything but mov- 
able property. Meanwhile a reply came from 
Mexico, though by no means a satisfactory one; 
since the government — evidently with so!ne 
kind of an idea that the Russian officials had 
been frightened away, leaving a flourishing set- 
tlement to be taken possession of by tlie Cali- 
fornians — simply sent useless instructions about 
the details of occupation and form of govern- 
ment to be established. In July Kostromitinof 
returned from Sitka, and negotiations were re- 
commended. Alvarado was urged to come to 
Sonoma, but declined, though he advised Val- 
lejo that in the absence of instructions from 
Mexico the Russians had no right to dispose of 
the real estate. An elaborate inventory of the 
property offered for sale at $30,000 was made 
out, but Vallejo's best offer seems to have been 
$9,000 for the live stock alone." 

In a foot note Bancroft gives the inventory 
of property offered for sale which is as follows: 
" Square fort of logs, 1,088 feet in circumfer- 
ence, twelve feet high, with two towers; com- 
mandant's house of logs (old), 36x48 feet, double 
boarded roof, six rooms with corridor and 
kitchen ; ditto (new) of logs, 24x48 feet, six 
rooms and corridor; house for revenue officers, 
22x60 feet, ten rooms; barracks, 24x66 feet, 
eight rooms; three warehouses; new kitchen; 
jail; chapel, 24x36 feet, with a belfry, and 
a well fifteen feet deep. Outside of the 
fort: blacksmith shop, tannery, bath-house, 
cooper's shop, bakery, carpenter's shop, two 
windmills for grinding, one mill moved by 
animals, three threshing floors, a well, a stal)le, 
sheep-cote, hog-pen, dairy house, two cow 
stables, corral, ten sheds, eight baths, ten 
kitchens, and twenty-four houses, nearly every 


one having an orchard. At Kostromitinof 
rancho, house, farm buildings, corral, and boat 
for crossing the river Slavianka. AtKhlebnikof 
rancho, adobe house, farm buildings, bath, mill, 
corral. At Tschernich, or Don Jorge's rancho, 
house, store, fences, etc. At Bodega, warehouse 
30x60 feet, three small houses, bath, ovens, 
corrals. As tBis list of improvements was 
made out by Russian hands it may be accepted 
as a true statement of the conditions at and in 
the neighborhood of lloss in the last year of 
Russian occupation there. The only omission 
of consequence seems to have been the orchard 
some distance back of the fort, on the hillside, 
and a vineyard of 2,000 vines at what is desig- 
nated ' Don Jorge's rancho.' In reference to 
this rancho, Belcher in his notes of travel in 
1837, mentioned a rancho between Ross and 
Bodega claimed by a cl-deoaitt Englishman (D. 
Gorgy), yielding 3,000 bushels of grain in good 

Governor Alvarado as well as Vallejo evidently 
thought that they had Kostromitinof in a corner 
so far as his ability to sell the Ross property 
was concerned, and their only real fear was 
that he would make a bonfire of the buildings 
rather than leave them for Mexican occupation. 
But in this they were mistaken, for a purchaser 
was found in Captain John A. Sutter. In refer- 
ence to the sale thus consummated Bancroft says : 
" Sutter, like Vallejo, had at first wished to pur- 
chase the live-stock only; but he would perhaps 
have bought anything at any price if it could 
be obtained on credit; at any rate, after a brief 
hesitation a bargain was made in September. 
The formal contract was signed by Kostromi- 
tinof and Sutter in the office of the sub-prefect 
at San Francisco, with Vioget and Leese as 
witnesses, December 13. By its terms Sutter 
was put in possession of all the property at 
Ross and Bodega, except the land, as specified 
in the inventory, and he was to pay for it in 
four yearly installments, beginning September 
1, 1842. The first and second payments were 
to be $5,000 each, and the others of $10,000; 
the first three were to be in produce, chiefly 

wheat, delivered at San Francisco free of duties 
and tonnage; and the fourth was to be in money. 
The establishment at New Helvetia and the 
property at Bodega and the two ranchos of 
Khlebnikof and Tschernich, which property was 
to be left intact in possession of the company's 
agents, were pledged as guarantees for the pay- 
ment. It would seem that Alvarado, while 
insisting that the land did not belong to tbe 
company and could not be sold, had yielded his 
point about the buildings, perhaps in the belief 
that no purcliaser could be found; for the Rus- 
sians say that the contract was approved by the 
California government, and it is certain that 
there was no official disapproval of its terms." 

It will be borne in mind that Kostromitinof, 
who executed this contract with Captain Sut- 
ter, was the head officer of the Alaska govern- 
ment while, at the time, Rotchef was manager 
at Ross. When it came to a delivery of the 
property Sutter seems to have induced Mana- 
ger Rotchef to give him a writing ante-dating 
the contract above referred to one day, in which 
Rotchef certified that the lands held by the 
company for twenty-nine years was included in 
the sale to M. Le Capitaine Sutter of the other 
effects of the company for the sum of $30,000. 
It was upon the shadowy title to land thus ac- 
quired by certificate of a subordinate officer 
who had no power to confirm any such sale, that 
Russian title to land along the coast became a 
stalking spectacle among American settlers in 
after years. 

Previous to this sale of the Ross and Bodega 
property to Sutter, a portion of the former oc- 
cupants there had been transferred to Alaska 
stations. Manager Rotchef, together with the 
remaining employes of the company, took 
their departure from Ross in the late days of 
1841 or early in January of 1842, on board the 
Constantine, bound for Alaska. While all of 
them, doubtless, had cherished associations and 
memories of tne land to which they returned, 
we imagine that it was not without sore and 
sad hearts many of them watched the receding 
outlines of Fort Ross and the evergreen forests 


that forms its enchanting back-ground. Thus, 
in a day, where for nearly a third of a century 
had been heard the ringing of hammer and 
anvil, the noisy labor of ship-carpenters and 
calkers and the din of coopers, a sudden silence 
fell, seemingly like that which hovered over 
that quiet spot just south of the fort where a 
Greek cross marked the last resting place of 
those who had ended their life-work there. 
Even the stock that had been reared there were 
gathered together and driven to the Sacramento 
valley ranch of Captain Sutter. And as if the 
liand of fate had turned entirely against Iloss, 
Sutter, by means of a schooner he had acquired 
in the purchase from the liufsians, even carried 
away from Ross several buildings with which 
to adorn the inner court of his fort at New 
Helvetia. This will account for the absence at 
Ross of many buildings enumerated in the cat- 
alogue at the time of sale bj the Russians. 

In reference to the departure of the Rus- 
sians from Fort Ross, Bancroft says : " One 
Russian, and perhaps several, remained on the 
ranches to look out for the company's interests. 
Sutter sent Robert Ridley to assume charge for 
him at first ; but John Bidwell took his place 
early in 1842, and was in turn succeeded by 
William Beunitz late in 1843. Meanwhile 
most of the movable property, including the 
cannon, implements, and most of the cattle, was 
removed to New Helvetia. The few hundred 
cattle left behind soon became" so wild that if 
meat was needed it was easier to catch a deer 
or bear. The Californians made no effort to 
occupy the abandoned fortress ; since having 
virtually consented to the sale of everything 
but the land, the government liad no property 
to be protected there." 

As already stated William Bennitz took pos- 
session of the Ross property as Sutter's agent 
in 1843. He subsequently leased the property, 
in about 1845, and still later purchased the 
buildings and ibrt and became possessor of the 
Muniz or Fort Ross grant, extending along the 
coast from the Russian River northward to a 
point just above the present Timber Cove. 

Mr. Bennitz, with his family, lived at Fort Ross 
until 1867, when he sold the property and re- 
moved to Oakland. In 1874 he went to the 
Argentine Republic, and died there in 1876. 

In 1861 the palisade walls of the enclosure at 
Fort Ross were still in good preservation, as also 
the buildings within, together with the Greek 
chapel and hectagoual block-houses described 
above by Duhant Cilly. Said Mr. Bennitz, in 

At the time I puichased tbe Fort Ross property 
there were around and in the nei,ffhborhood of the 
Fort a large number of Indians Voluntarily they 
have become almost a part of the estate and as obedient 
to my orders as if mind, soul and body. I then 
raised, a large amount of grain, and had thousands of head 
of cattle, which gave me ample opportunity to utilize the 
labor of these untutored aborigines. As my influence ov-er 
them mainly depended on the kindness and consideration 
with which they were treated, I let no opportunity pass to 
give them evidence of my regard for their pleasure and 
welfare. They, like all Indians I know of, were passion- 
ately fond of personal decoration, and for ornamentation 
prized nothing more highly than the plumage of birds. 
One day my Inaians were noticing some vultures, or Cali- 
fornia condors, on the pine trees some distance up the 
mountain side back of the Fort, and I overheard them ex- 
pressing a wish that they had some ol the feathers. 

Saying nothing I quielly took my gun and sallied forth, 
determined if possible to gratify their desire. By tacking 
backward and forward along the mountain side I gradu- 
ally worked my way up to the trees where the vultures 
were. The heavy foliage of the pines prevented my 
getting a ready view of the game I was seeking. With 
my gun cocked and the muzzle pointing up I was moving 
quietly side-wise with eyes peering into the canopy of 
boughs, when I was startled by the breaking of a stick 
close to my right. 

One look was enough to set every hair of my head on 
end ! Not much over the length of my gun from me 
stood, erect on its hind feet, a grizzly bear of monster 
size — at the time he seemed to me ten feet high! By 
impulse I wheeled, brought my gun to a level, and with- 
out any attempt at taking aim tired. The bear pitched 
lorward upon me and we fell together, my gun flying 
out of my hands, and some distance away. I was fright- 
ened beyond he power of language to express. The bear 
and I had fallen together, but I had given myself a roll- 
ing lurch down the mountain which, for the moment, 
took me out of the reach of his dreaded jaws. This 
advantage was not to be lost; and I kept going over and 
over without any regard to elegance of posture, until I 
had got at least two hundred yards from where I fell ; 
and when I stopped rolling it was a problem with me 
which I was most, dead or alive. 

I ventured upon my feet and looked cautiously around, 
but could see no grizzly. To borrow a miner's expres- 
sion, ' I began prospecting around.' I had an earnest 
desire to get hold of my gun, but still retained a dislike 
to the neighborhood in which we had parted company. 
With the utmost caution I worked my way up to a posi- 
tion overlooking the spot where I and the grizzly together 
fell. To my surprise, and gratification as well, there lay 
the bear stretched at lull length, and dead. My random 
shot had proved what seldom occurs to grizzly bears, a 
dead shot. That was the biggest scare of my life. 

As already stated, William Bennitz sold the 


Ross property in 1867, Charles Fairfax and a 
man named Dixon being the purchasers. They 
managed the property for a few years, when 
Fairfax died. In winding up the estate and 
business of the firm it became necessary to sell 
the property. J. W. Call became the purchaser 
of the upper and much the larger proportion of 
the ranch, on which stands the old Fort Ross 
buildings ; and of the southerly end Aaron 
Schroyer bought a large tract. These gentle- 
men are practical in their ideas of business and 
the property is now so handled as to yield a 
profit. At present, through the very center of 
the grounds once enclosed by a heavy stockade, 
now a county road runs. The Bennitz resi- 
dence is converted into a public hotel, and a 
building once used as quarters for Russian ofli- 
cers is now a saloon. In an outside building is 
a store and postoffice. The towers in what was 
the diagonal corners of the fortress are now 
roofless, and, in consequence of the worm-eaten 
condition of the logs are canting over, and it is 
only a question of time when they will topple 
to the ground. The Greek chapel yet stands 
erect with roof and belfry in fair preservation, 
but is no longer used for holy purposes. Even 
the Russian cemetery to the south of the fort, 
that was quite plainly visible twenty-seven 
years ago, is now nearly obliterated. Accom- 
panied by Mr. Call we visited the old Russian 
orchard half a mile back from the fort. The 
fence made of heavy split boards by the Rus- 
sians is still in fair preservation. We entered 
and plucked Spanish bellflower apples from trees 
planted by the Russians back of 1820. The 
twenty or thirty apple, plum and prune trees 
yet standing are moss-covered and their bark 
honey-combed by the busy bills of birds. We 
went back still further and took a walk through 
the redwood forest of new growth that has 
sprung up from stumps of trees first cut by the 
Russians when they settled at Ross. Not over 
half a dozen of the old redwood forest trees are 
standing in the grove, and, but for the fact that 
the stumps are there yet from which the pres- 
ent forest sprang, we should not have recognized 

it as a forest growth of the present century. 
The trees have made marvelous growth. Hav- 
ing a pocket rule with us we measured a tree 
that was four and a half feet in diameter; and 
we were assured by Mr. Call that there were 
trees in the grove full five feet in diameter. 
This grove is, doubtless, of from sixty to se renty- 
five years' growth. We are thus exact and ex- 
plicit in reference to this forest of new growth 
because we know there is a wide-spread fear 
that in consequence of the rapidity with which 
our redwood forests are being converted into 
lumber, that species of timber will ultimately 
become extinct. Right there, overshadowing 
old Fort-Ross, is the refutation of such- fallacy. 


Echeandia had become Governor of California 
by appointment of the Mexican Government. 
He was ordered as early as 1827 to establish a 
fort on the northern frontier, either at San 
Rafael or San Francisco Solano. The presence 
of the Russians at Ross doubtless inspired this 
order, and then such a post would not only be a 
notice to those Muscovites that they must not 
venture further south, but would be a source of 
security and protection to the newly founded 
missions as well. The Governor had no funds 
to put in successful execution the order. The 
next year he seems to have ordered a recon- 
noissance for a suitable place for a military 
station, but nothing further was done at that 

The years had sped; California was rent with 
internal discord; the old missions had been 
looted until they were fast going to ruin, and 
on the i4th of January, 1833, Figueroa arrived 
at Monterey, the newly appointed Governor. 
To evolve order out of chaos seemed to be his 
high resolve. Figueroa had received special 
instructions from the Mexican Government to 
push occupation and settlement of the northern 
frontier with energy. In obedience to these 
instructions Alferez Vallejo was ordered to 
make an exploration, select a site, and offer land 
to settlers. To aid in this work the old missions 


were expected to bear the principal expense. 
Either through inability or llagging zeal in be- 
half of a government that was always impecuni- 
ous, the padres did not respond to this new levy 
upon their resources. Vallejo, in obedience to 
orders, made a tour to Bodega and Koss. That 
fall Vallejo made an attempt to establish settle- 
ments at Petaluraa and Santa Rosa. Bancroft 
says: "Ten heads of families, fifty persons iu 
all, agreed to settle at the former place (Peta- 
luma), hitherto unoccupied; but the padre at 
San Francisco Solano, heariug of the project, 
sent a few men to build a hnt and place a band 
of horses at ihat point in order to establish a 
claim to the land as mission property. Two or 
three of the settlers remained and put in crops 
at Petuluma, Vallejo himself having ten bushels 
ot'wheat sown on his own account. The padre's 
representatives also remained, and the respective 
claims were left to be settled in the future. 
Much the same thing seems to have been done 
at Santa Rosa, where a few settlers went, and to 
which point the padre sent two neophytes with 
some hogs as the nucleus of a mission claim. All 
this before January 8, 1834=. In his speech of 
May 1st to the deputacion, Figueroa mentioned 
the plan for northern settlement, but said noth- 
ing to indicate that any actual progress had been 
made. The 14th of May, however, he sentenced 
a criminal to serve out his term of punishment 
at the new establishment about to be founded 
at Santa Rosa. In June the rancho of Petaluma 
was granted by the Governor to Vallejo, and the 
grant approved by the deputacion, this being 
virtually an end of the mission claim. Respect- 
ing subsequent developments of 1834-'35 in the 
Santa Rosa Valley, the records are not satisfac- 
tory; but Figueroa, hearing of the approach of 
a. colony from Mexico, resolved to make some 
preparations for its reception, and naturally 
thought of the northern establishment, which 
he resolved to visit in person. All that we 
know positively of the trip is that he started 
late in August, extended his tour to Ross, ex- 
amined the country, selected a site, and havinw 
left a small force on the frontier, returned to 

Monterey the 12th of September. To these 
facts there may be added, as probably accurate, 
the statements of several Californians, to the 
effect that the site selected was where Vallejo's 
settlement and Solano neophytes had already 
erected some rude buildings, that the new place 
was named Santa Ana y Farias, in honor of the 
President and Vice-President of Mexico, and 
that the settlement was abandoned the next 
year, because the colonists refused to venture 
into a country of hostile Indians." 

The scheme of founding a frontier post at or 
near Santa Rosa seems to have proved a failure; 
at least the next move with that end in view 
was in the direction of Sonoma, wliere the 
mission San Francisco Solano had already run 
its course under ecclesiastical rule, and was then 
in process of secularization under the manage 
ment of M. G. Vallejo as commissionado. This 
failure of the attempted establishment of a set- 
tlement at Santa Rosa by Governor Figueroa, in 
the face of the fact that eleven years previous 
Altimira, taking his life in his hand, had estab- 
lished a mission at Sonoma, inclines us to take 
off our hat in reverence to that padre, although 
his zeal may, at times, have befogged his better 
judgment. History should be both impartial 
and just, and the records unmistakably show 
that the Catholic missionaries had occupied the 
field embracing the main portion of Sonoma 
County at least ten years before the military 
and civil authorities exercised dominion here. 
Figueroa still adhered to his policy of establish- 
ing a frontier settlement and garrison north of 
San Francisco Bay. 

The following, the letter of instruction to 
Gen. M. G. Vallejo from Governor Jose Fig- 
ueroa in relation to the locating and governing 
of " a village in the valley of Sonoma," was 
transmitted only a few months before tuat gov- 
ernor's death: 


Commandancy-General of Upper Calipornia: 

Monterey, June 24, 183-). 
In conformity with the orders and instructions issued 
by tlie Supreme Government of the Confederation re- 
specting the location of a village in the valley of Sono- 


ma, this commandancy urges upon you that, according to 
the topographical plan of the place, it be divided into 
quarters or squares, seeing that the streets and plazas be 
regulated so as to make a beginning. The inhabitants 
are to be governed entirely by said plan. This govern- 
ment and commandancy approves entirely of the lines 
designated by you for outlets — recognizing, as the prop- 
erty of the village and public lands and privileges, tlie 
boundaries of Petaluma, Agua Caliente, Ranchero de 
Huertica, Lena de Sur, Salvador, Vallejo, and LaVernica, 
on the north of the city of Sonoma, as the limits of prop- 
erty, rights and privileges — requesting that it shall be 
commenced immediately around the hill, where the forti- 
lication is to be erected, to protect the inhabitants from 
incursions of the savages and all others. In order that 
the building lots granted by you, as the person charged 
with colonization, may be fairly portioned, you will 
divide each square (manzana) into four parts, as well for 
the location of each as to interest persons in the planting 
of kitchen gardens, so that every one shall have a hun- 
dred yards, more or less, which the government deems 
sufficient; and further, lots of land may be granted, of 
from one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards, in open- 
ings for outlets, for other descriptions of tillage, subject 
to the laws and regulations on the subject, in such man- 
ner that at all times the municipality shall possess the 
legal title. 

This government and commandancy-general offers you 
thanks for your efforts in erecting this new city, which 
will secure the frontier of the republic, and is confident 
that you will make new efforts for the national entirety. 

God and liberty. 

Jose Figderoa. 

Don M. G. Vallejo, Military Commandante and Di- 
rector of Colonization of the Northern Frontier. 

Under these instructions Vallejo proceeded to 
lay ont and found the pueblo, giving to it the 
Indian name of Sonoma. From this act virtu- 
ally dates the real Mexican occupancy of Sonoitia 
County under military and civil rule. There is 
but little of record during the balance of 1825, 
and for 1826 the most important mention is 
that Vallejo, in conjunction with Chief Solano, 
went on an expedition to punish the rebellious 
Yolos. And right here it is in place to record 
the fact that this Chief Solano seeins to have 
been a ruler among the Indian tribes in every 
direction. General Vallejo's language to us 
was, " Solano was a king among the Indians. 
All the tribes of Solano, Napa and Sonoma were 
under tribute to him." Vallejo made a treaty 
with Solano and seems to have found in him a 
valuable lieutenant in all his future dealings 
with neighboring Indians. Now that a pueblo 
had been established at Sonoma with Vallejo as 
commandante of this northern district, it had 
become an important factor in the Territorial 
government of California. Vallejo was then in 

the fall vigor of young life, fired with the ambi- 
tion of those who believed that to them belonged 
a liberal share of the management and rule in 
Territorial government, and his somewhat iso- 
lated position, which necessitated his e.Kercise, 
at times, of almost autocratic power, placed him 
in a position to be courted by those even in 
higher authority. That he should use his 
power for self-aggrandizement, within certain 
limits, was but natural. His eoinplicity in 
the revolutions and counter-revolutions that 
in rapid succession were making and deposing 
California governors, forms no part of the scope 
of this history, and we shall only follow his acts 
in their bearings upon the future of Northern 
California. With Vallejo there seems to have 
been two dominant ideas, and both had founda- 
tion in good, practical sense. The first was 
that the Indians had to be subjected to a strong 
hand, and when so subjected, they were to be 
the subjects of protection and justice. The 
second was that the greatest danger to continued 
Mexican supremacy in California was from the 
eastward. While there may have been a degree 
of selfishness and jealousy to inspire it, he was 
none the less correct in his judgment that the 
Sutter establishment at New Helvetia was a 
center around which clustered dangers not 
properly appreciated by the California govern- 
ment at Monterey. While he failed to arouse 
the authorities to the magnitude of the danger, 
he at least discharged his duty as an oflicer of 
that government. The truth was that Sutter, 
after he transferred to Helvetia the armament 
of Ross, was becoming a " power behind the 
throne greater than the throne itself,'' and 
Vallejo could not be blind to the fact that it 
was liable to prove a " Trojan horse with belly 
full of armed destruction" to the future rule 
of Mexico in California. In the waning days 
of the rule of Micheltorena, Sutter had been 
clothed with power which almost rendered him 
potentate of the Sacramento Valley, and as his 
establishment was the first to be reached by 
immigration from the East, that year by 3'ear 
was increasing in volume, he did not fail to 



improve bis opportunity to add to the strength 
of his surroundings. 

Although somewhat out of chronological 
order it is in place to follow the mission of San 
Francisco Solano to its end. Bancroft says: 
" Father Fortuni served at San BVanciseo Solano 
until 1833, when his place was taken by the Za- 
cutecan Jose de Jesus Maria Gutierrez, who in 
turn changed places in March, 1834, with Pa- 
dre Lorenzo Quijas of San Francisco. Quijas 
remained in charge of ex-mission and pueblo as 
acting curate throughont the decade, but resided 
for the most part at San liafael. Though the 
neophyte population, as indicated by the reports, 
decreased from 760 to 650 in 1834, and 550 in 
1835, yet there was a gain iti live-st<ick and but 
a slight falling off in crops; and the establish- 
ment must be regarded as having flourished 
down to the date of secularization, being one of 
the few missions in California which reached 
their highest population in the final decade, 
though this was natural enough in a new and 
frontier mission. Mariano G. Vallejo was made 
commissionado in 1834, and in 1835-'36, with 
Antonio Ortega as major-domo, completed the 
secularization. Movable property was distribu- 
ted to the Indians, who were made entirely 
free, many of them retiring to their old ranche- 
rias. A little later, however, in consequence of 
troubles with liostile gentiles, the ex-neophytes 
seem to have restored their live-stock to the 
care of General Yallejo, who used the property 
of the ex-mission for their benefit and protec- 
tion, and for the general development of the 
northern settlement. The General claimed that 
this was a legitimate use of the estate; and he 
would have established a new mission in the 
north if the padres would have aided him. 
Doubtless his policy was a wise one, even if his 
position as guardian of the Indians in charge 
of their private property put by them in his 
care was not recognized by the laws. Moreover, 
there was a gain rather than a loss in live-stock. 
Thus the n)ission community had no real exist- 
ence after 1836, though Pablo Ayula and Sal- 
vador Vallejo were nominally made administra- 

tors. The visitador made no visits in 1839, and 
apparently none were made in 1840. I suppose 
there may have been 100 of the ex-neophytes 
living at Sonoma at the end of the decade, with 
perhaps 500 more in the region not relapsed 
into barbarism." And here ends the career of 
the mission San Francisco Solano. If its san- 
guine founder, Padre Altimira, could revisit it, 
and the old San Francisco mission that he 
thought was " on its last legs," he would learn 
how fallible is human judgment. 

Sonoma was now a pueblo and General M. G. 
Vallejo, ascommandante of the northern district, 
the most conspicuous personage in this latitude 
until the end of Mexican rule. As such it is 
in place to introduce him more tully to the 
reader. According to Bancroft: 

He was the son of the " Sargento distinguicli>" Ignacio 
Vallejo and of Maria Antonia Lugo, being, on the paternal 
side at least, of pure Spanish blood, and being entitled 
by the old rules to prefix the ''Don" to his name. In 
childhood he had been the associate of Alvarado and 
Castro at Monleiey, and his educational advantages, of 
which he made good use, were substantially the same as 
theirs. Unlike his companions, he chose a military ca 
reer, entering the Monterey company in 1823 as a cadet, 
and being promoted to be alferez of the San Francisco 
company in 1827. He served as habilitado and as cora- 
mandante of both companies, and took part in several 
campaigns against Indians, besides acting as fiscal or 
defensor in various military trials. In 1830 he was 
elected to the deputacion, and took a prominent part in 
the i>pposition of that body to Victoria. In 1832 he mar- 
ried Franci.-ca Benicia, daughter of Joaquin Carrillo, and 
in 1834 was elected deputado suplente to Congress. He 
was a favorite of Figueroa, who gave him large tracts of 
land north of the bay, choosing him as commissionado to 
secularize San Francisco Solano, to found the town ot' 
Sonoma, ard to command the frontier del norte. In his 
new position Vallejo was doubtless the most independent 
man in California. His record was a good one, and both 
in ability and experience he was probably better fitted to 
take the position as commandante general than any other 

This latter position was conferred upon Val- 
lejo by Alvarado, who by a turn of the revolu- 
tionary wheel had become governor. General 
Vallejo was unquestionably the right jnan in the 
right place when he was placed in control at 
Sonoma after the secularization of the mission 
San Francisco Solano. As a military man he 


would not brook any insubordination to bis will 
or commands, but in dealing with the Indians 
he seems to have pursued a policy wise and just 
beyond anything ever before attempted in Cali- 
fornia. In the Indian Chief Solano he saw the 
ready means to acquire easy control of all other 
Indians occupying a wide sweep of country, in 
making Solano his friend and coadjutor in keep- 
ing distant tribes in respectful submission, he 
seems not to have compromised himself in any 
manner so as not to hold Solano himself subject 
to control and accountability. Having been 
speaking of the turbulence of southern Indians 
for the years from 1836 to 1840 Mr. Bancroft 

Turning lo the northern frontier we find a diflferent 
state of things. Here there was no semblance of Apache 
raids, no sacking of ranches, no loss of civilized life, and 
little collision between gentile and Christian natives. 
The northern Indians were more numerous than in the 
San Diego region, and many of the tribes were brave, 
warlike, and often hostile; but there was a comparatively 
strong force at Sonoma to keep them in check, and Gen- 
eral Vallejo's Indian policy must be regarded as excel- 
lent and elfective when compared with any other policy 
ever followed in California. True, his wealth, his un- 
trammeled power, and other circumstances contributed 
much to his success; and he could by no means have 
done as well if placed in command at San Diego; yet he 
must be accredited besides with having managed wisely. 
Closely allied with Solano, the Suisun chieftain, having 
always — except when asked to render some distasteful 
military service to his political associates in the south — 
at his command a goodly numbi^r of soldiers and citizens, 
made treaties with the gentile tribes, insisted on their 
being liberally and justly treated when at peace, and 
punished them severely for any manifestation of hostility. 
Doubtless the Indians were wronged often enough in in- 
dividual cases by Vallejo's subordinates; some of whom, 
and notably his brother Salvador, were with difficulty 
controlled; but such reports have been greatly exagger- 
ated, and acts of glaring injustice were comparatively 

The Cainameros, or the Indians of Cainama, in the 
region toward Santa Rosa, had been for some years 
friendly, but for their services in returning stolen horses 
they got themselves into trouble with the Satiyomis, or 
Sotoyomes, generally known as the Guapos, or braves, 
who in the spring of 1836, in a sudden attack, killed 
t venty-two of their number and wounded fifty. Vallejo, 
on appeal of the chiefs, promised to avenge their wrongs, 
and started April 1st with fifty soldiers and one hundred 
Indians besides the Cainamero force. A battle was 
fought on the 4th of April, and the Guapos, who had 

taken a strong position in the hills of the Geyser region, 
were routed and driven back to their ranches, where most 
of them were killed. The expedition was back at So- 
noma on the 7th without having lost a man, killed or 
wounded. On June 7th Vallejo concluded a treaty of 
peace and alliance with the chiefs of seven tribes — the 
Indians of Yoloytoy, Guilitoy, Ansatoy, Liguaytoy, Aclu- 
toy, Chumptoy and the Guapos, who had voluntarily 
come to Sonoma for that purpose. The treaty provided 
that there should be friendship between the tribes and 
the garrison, that the Cainameros and Guapos should live 
at peace and respect each other's territory; that the In- 
dians should give up all fugitive Christians at the request 
of the commandante, and that they should not burn the 
fields. It does not appear that Vallejo in return prom- 
ised anything more definite than friendship. Twenty 
days later the compact was approved by Governor Chico. 
A year later, in June, 1837, Zampay, one of the chieftains 
of the Yoloytoy — town and rancheria of the Yoloy, per- 
haps meaning, "of the tules," and which gave the name 
to Y'olo County — became troublesome, committing many 
outrages and trying to arouse ths Sotoyomes again. The 
head chief of the tribe, however, named Moti, offered to 
aid in his capture, which was effected by the combined 
forces of Solano and Salvador Vallejo. Zampay and 
some of his companions were held at first as captives at 
Sonoma, but after some years the chief, who had been a 
terror of the whole country, became a peaceful citizen 
and industrious farmer. 

In January, 1838, Tobias, chief of the Guilicos, and one 
of his men were brought to Sonoma and tried for the 
murder of two Indian fishermen. In March, some of the 
gentile allied tribes attacked the Moquelumnes, recovered 
a few stolen horses and brought them to Sonoma, where 
a grand feast was held for a week to celebrate their good 
deeds. In August fifty Indian horse-thieves crossed the 
Sacramento and appeared at Suseol with a band of tame 
horses, their aim being to stampede the horses at So- 
noma. Thirty-four were killed in a battle with Vallejo's 
men, and the rest surrendered, the chief being shot at 
Sonoma for his crimes. On October 6, Vallejo issued a 
printed circular, in which he announced that Solano had 
grossly abused his power and the trust placed in him, 
and broken sacred compacts made with the Indian tribes 
by consenting to the seizure and sale of children. Vallejo 
indignantly denied the rumor that these outrages had 
been committed with his consent, declaring that Solano 
had been arrested, and that a force had been sent out to 
restore all the children to their parents. 

Vallejo's statement in regard to this back- 
sliding of Chief Solano is that evil-disposed 
persons have plied him with liquor until he was 
so dazed as not to be master of his actions, and 
that after being sobered up in the guard-house 
he was both ashamed and penitent. 

In this year, 1838, there came a terrible 



pestilence, the small-pos, which made sad havoc 
among the Indians. It is said that a Corporal 
named Ygnacio Miramontes contracted the dis- 
ease at Fort Ross, and returning to Sonoma the 
disease was soon broadcast among the Indians. 
General Vallejo is our authority that the 'In- 
dians died by the thousands. He thinks that 
not less than 75,000 died in the territory north 
of the bay and west of the Sacramento River. 
In some cases it almost blotted tribes out of 
existence. The Indian panacea for all ills was 
resort to the sweat-house, supplemented by a 
plunge in cold water. Such being their remedy, 
it may well be believed that the small-pox left 
desolation in its track. John Walker, of Se- 
bastupol, states that when he reached the Yount 
rancho, jSTapa County, in 1846, Mr. Yount 
pointed out to him an Indian girl, the sole 
survivor of her tribe after the small-pox had 
run its course. Yount stated that he visited 
the rancheria and that dead Indians were lying 
everywhere, and the only living being was the 
girl referred to: she, an infant, was cuddled in 
an Indian basket. At Mr. Walker's ranch is a 
very aged Indian, and through an interpreter 
he recently informed us that during the preva 
lence of the small-pox his people at Sebasto- 
pol for a long time died at the rate of from 
ten to twenty a day. In 1888, while excavating 
earth with which to grade a road near Sebasto- 
pol a perfect charnel of human bones was found, 
doubtless where the small-pox victims of 1838 
were buried. As stated elsewhere, that pesti- 
lence paved the way for peaceable occupation of 
this territory by immigrants. There were not 
enough Indians left to offer any serious resist- 
ance to the free occupancy of their former 
hunting grounds by civilized man. 

In 1839, as an evidence that colonization was 
advancing northward, it is recorded that twenty- 
live families had cast their lot in the northern 
frontier. Some of these families, doubtless, 
came with the Hijar- Padres colony that came 
from Mexico in 1884. Many of those colonists 
visited Sonoma — then San Francisco Solano — 
but owing to political complications Hijar was 

looked upon with suspicion, and his scheme of 
fouuding a colony came to naught. It is said 
that a few of his people remained north of the 
bay, but most of them returned south to the 
older settlements. We find a record of a young 
Irishman named John T. Reed locating in 
Santa Rosa Township, near the present place of 
Robert Crane, in 1837, but who was driven out 
by the Indians. And also the location near 
Santa Rosa, in 18 38, of Senora Maria Ygnacia 
Lopez de Carillo. Of the first attempt to 
found a settlement at, or near Santa Rosa, there 
is evidence that it proved futile, and yet we 
find little of authentic record as to the reasons 
why the enterprise was abandoned, other than 
that settlers did not feel secure in so advanced a 
position among untutored savages. We find, 
also, an accredited rumor that the mission San 
Francisco Solano was destroyed by the Indians a 
few years after it was founded. This story must 
be founded on uncertain tradition, for we have 
found no authentic record of such an occurrence. 
We have thus far, up to 1840, found little 
difficulty in tracing the lines of reliable history. 
But the nearer we get to the epoch which 
culminated in American occupancy the more we 
are befogged and in doubt of the dividing line 
between facts and fiction. What the intelligent 
reader will most want to know will be as to the 
actual settlement and occupancy of Northern 
California by Californians prior to the raising 
of the Bear Flag at Sonoma. If we take as our 
guide the various Spanish grants and the dates 
of their reputed occupancy there was but little 
of the arable land of the county that was not 
already the habitation of civilized man; and yet 
we find but little tangible evidence of such 
advanced conditions of civilization. Vallejo 
had, with great enterprise and labor, reared an 
establishment on the Petaluma grant that even 
yet stands as a monument to his energy and 
enterprise. The Carrillos had made lasting 
improvements at Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. 
Mark West had established himself at the creek 
that bore his name, and had erected substantial 
adobe buildings. Henry D. Fitch had reared 


buildings of perm; nency on Eussian River, 
near the present site of Healdsburg; Captain 
Stephen Smith had established a residence and 
mill at Bodega, and Jasper O'Farrell had made 
a good show of permanent occupancy at his 
place in the red woods. Fort Ross had now 
passed into the hands of William Bennitz, and 
was an establishment of comparative ancient 
date. Outside of tiie evidence of occupancy 
thus enumerated, except those of Sonoma Val- 
ley, there were only a few, and they so transi- 
tory and ephemeral in character as almost to 
have passed from the memory of our pioneer 
American inhabitants. For a time Sonoma 
had been regarded as an important frontier mili- 
tary station by the California government, and 
seems to have received some fostering care and 
assistance, but during later years the govern- 
ment seems to have acted on the principle that, 
as Vallejo had all the glory of defending the 
frontier, he could do it at his own expense. He 
seems to have, in titne, tired of this expensive 
luxury. Bancroft says: >' The presidial com- 
pany in 1841-'43, and probably dow?i to its dis- 
bandment by Vallejo in 1844, had between forty 
and fifty men under the command of Lieut. 
Jose Antonio Pico; and there were besides 
nearly sixty men fit for militia duty, to say 
nothing of an incidental mention by the alcalde 
of 100 citizens in his jurisdiction. Captain 
Salvador Vallejo was commandante of the post 
and no civil authority was recognized down to 
the end of 1843, from which time municipal 
affairs were directed by two alcaldes, Jacob P. 
Leese and Jose de la Rosa, holding successively 
the first alcaldia." Thus it will be seen that 
there was virtually only two years of civil rule 
here previous to the Bear Flag revolution. 
While Vallejo still had an armament embracing 
nine cannon of small caliber, and perhaps two 
hundred muskets, yet the whole military estab- 
lishment seems to have been in a condition of 
" innocuous desuetude." The only notable event 
of local importance in 1845, was a raid, seem 
ingly made by Sonoma rancheros, upon the 
Ross Indians to secure laborers. Several In- 

dians were killed and 150 were captured. 
William Bennitz complained of outrages com- 
mitted on the Indians at his rancho. That 
such matters were made the subject of court 
investigation shows that civil authority was be- 
ginning to assert itself. The leading offenders 
in this last instance of Indian mention under 
Mexican rule, were Antonio Castro and Rafael 
Garcia. We have -now reached the l)eginning 
of the end of Mexican rule, the conclusion of 
which will be found in the next section. 


In historic events like that of the taking of 
Sonoma and the hoisting of the bear flag, we 
naturally expect to find some continuity of 
antecedent causes leading up to tiie occurrence. 
But that great event stands out, in bold relief, 
a conspicuous exception to the rule. Like 
Topsy, who averred '' I was not born'd — I jes 
growed up," the Bear Flag party seemed to be 
laboring under equiil perplexity as to their ori- 
gin and ultimate destiny. The happy outcome 
of their venture can be compressed into the 
single tentence, "All is well that ends well." 
Search and sift history as we may there can be 
found no authentic connection between the 
little band of adventurers and any responsible 
United States authority. There has been a great 
deal said and written upon the subject that in- 
clines the casual reader of history to believe 
that the taking of Sonoma was but the first act 
in a well matured plan which was to ultimate 
in placing California under the stars and stripes 
of the United States; but we find nothing to 
warrant such conclusion. The majority of the 
Bear Flag party were frontiersmen with more 
nerve than education, and to believe them 
capable of carrying out to a successful conclusion 
the secret orders of the United Slates Govern- 
ment authorities, and never after disclosing the 
same, would be too great a tax upon even ex- 
treme credulity. It is true that General Fre- 
mont had been in California for some time, 
ostensibly at the head of a scientific expedition, 
but with a force at his back ample to render 


secure his travels while here, but till now it has 
never been revealed that he was clothed by the 
government that he repi-esented with any pow- 
ers of a revolutionary character. While his at- 
titude had been defiant of California authority 
and his hoisting of the American Hag on Gab- 
ilan Peak, almost in sight of the California 
capital, a bold affront to Castro, California's 
military chieftain, yet there is no evidence, as 
yet, that his acts were other than the efferves- 
cence of an individual disposed to magnify the 
importance of his mission. The effects of Fre- 
mont's acts were two-fold. The Calif ornians 
believing him to be acting under instructions 
from his government, naturally believed that he 
was here for the purpose of fomenting a revo- 
lutionary spirit among foreigners resident here, 
and they were more disposed than ever to en- 
force the laws prohibitory of indiscriminate 
immigration. The American settlers finding 
themselves more and more the objects of sus- 
picion by the California authorities, naturally 
took it for granted that as Fremont had been the 
instrument of inciting the authorities to a more 
rigid enforcement against them of existing im- 
migration laws, he knew what he was about, 
and would stand by them if trouble came. 

Aside from the fact that all knew that war 
was imminent between the United States and 
Mexico, California was rent and torn by in- 
ternal discord. The Territorial government had 
ever been, at best, a weak one, but during the 
past decade it had gone from bad to worse, 
until chaos seemed to brood over the Territory 
from Sonoma to San Diego. The government 
was divided; one part being administered from 
Los Angeles and the other from Monterey, and 
each wing in open revolt against the authority 
of the other. In the very teeth of a threat- 
ened danger from without, Governor Pio Pico 
at Los Angeles and General Castro at Monterey 
were seemingly only intent on each other's over- 
throw. The action of Fremont, already referred 
to, in flaunting the stars and stripes upon Gab- 
ilan Peak seems to have brought General Castro 
to something like a correct appreciation of the 

fact that there was great need of unification 
and effort among California authorities. This 
he tried to impress upon Pico in the south, but 
the suspicious governor saw fit to construe the 
efforts of Castro to get the military upon a de- 
fensive basis, into a menace to himself; and the 
people of the entire South seemed to be in en- 
tire accord with him on the subject. In truth, 
the people of the lower and upper portion of 
tiie Territory seem to have been as completely 
estranged and soured against each other as if 
their origin had been from distinct races. 
Hence, was witnessed the pitiful endeavor of 
Pio Pico to gather together a force sufficient to 
proceed to Monterey for the purpose of subju- 
gating Castro, at the very time the latter was 
equally intent upon gathering a force to meet 
what he conceived to be a great danger on the 
northern frontier. To California, the early 
months of 1846 seems to have been a dark 
period to all fruitful of junto meetings and 
dark-room cabals, when all were suspicious of 
each other, and it seemed politic for no man to 
let his right hand know what his left hand was 

"While this condition of doubt and uncer- 
tainty was unmistakably true as related to the 
Californiaus, it was only less true, in a modified 
degree, as related to the Americans then resi- 
dent here. While they were united in heart 
and sentiment, they were completely out at sea 
without chart or compass, in the face of a 
brewing storm. If Fremont's action in Monterey 
County had encouraged them to believe that he 
had authority to raise the standard of revolution 
in California, that belief must have received a 
chill when he, a few weeks later, with his sixty 
men started northward to Oregon, with the 
avowed purpose of returning East by that route. 
That this was not a strategic movement on his 
part is evidenced by letters he wrote at the 
time both to his wife and his father-in-law, Ron. 
Thomas H. Benton. 

Thomas O. Larkin was the secret and confi- 
dential agent of the United States Government 
in California and he certainly had no com mis- 


sion to do anything in the direction of encour- 
aging the raising of the standard of revolt in 
California. Fremont's conduct seems to have 
been to him a complete enigma. Larkin's in- 
structions were to feel the pulse of Californians 
as well as Americans in reference to peaceable 
annexation to the United States, and any demon- 
stration on the part of the Americans in the 
direction of violence and force could but com- 
plicate and render more difficult his task. He 
had sagacity enough to understand this, and 
seems to have directed all his energies in the 
direction. of a peaceable solution of the problem 
he was to assist in working out. It must be 
borne in mind that Thomas O. Larkin had long 
been a resident merchant in California and that 
his intimate connection and association with the 
leading men of California, both natives and for 
eigners, peculiarly fitted him for this lai)or of 
paving the way for peaceable annexation of 
California to the United States. But that he 
was not taken into all the secret councils of the 
nation is manifest from the instructions of Hon. 
George Bancroft, then the Secretary of War un- 
der President Polk, under date of June 24, 1845, 
nearly a year before war was declared between 
the United States and Mexico. The Secretary's 
instructions to Commodore Sloat were: 

"If you ascertain that Mexico has declared 
war against the United States, you will at once 
possess yourself of the port of San Francisco, 
and occupy such other ports as your force may 
permit. You will be careful to preserve, if 
possible, the most friendly relations with the 
inhabitants, and encourage them to adopt a 
course of neutrality." 

On the 13th of May, 1846, war was declared. 
On that very day Secretary Bancroft again in- 
structed Commodore Sloat to carry out his first 
orders " with energy and promptitude." Only 
two days later we find Secretary Bancroft writ- 
ing the following instructions to Commodore 
Sloat: "A connection between California and 
Mexico is supposed scarcely to exist. You will, 
as opportunity offers, conciliate the confidence 
of the people of California. You will conduct 

yourself in such a manner as will render your 
occupation of the country a benefit," etc. In a 
dispatch dated June 8th, 1846, the American 
Secretary comes out a little plainer. He says: 
" If California separates herself from our enemy, 
the central Government of Mexico, and estab- 
lishes a government of its own under the auspices 
of the American flag, you will take such meas- 
ures as will best promote the attachment of the 
people of California to the United States. You 
will bear in mind that this country desires to 
find in California a friend; to be connected with 
it by near ties; to hold possession of it," etc. 
On July 12 he speaks still plainer: "The ob- 
ject of the United States has reference to ulti- 
mate peace, and if at that peace the basis of the 
^ uti possidetis' shall be adopted, the Govern- 
ment expects to be in possession of California." 

While the instructions to Larkin seem to 
have been of an eniiely pacific and diplomatic 
character, it is quite evident that the authorities 
at Washington did not intend to allow the for- 
malities of red tape to stand in the way of the 
acquisition of California. 

There were two men on the northern frontier, 
both occupying commanding positions, and each 
destined to fill a conspicuous place in the history 
of those stirring times. One was General M. 
G. Vallejo, and the other Captain John A. 
Sutter. At this time, when California was 
nearing her final struggle with manifest destiny, 
it is important to know just how and where 
they stood. Much has been said and written 
on the subject, so much that it has become con- 
fusing and difficult to always determine where 
history ends and fiction begins. Vallejo and 
Sutter both were officers of the California gov- 
ernment and as such owed good faith and 
allegiance to their country. We find nothing 
to warrant the conclusion that either proved 
recreant to their trust. 

Vallejo evidently had a very strong premoni- 
tion that California had reached the beginning of 
the end. So believing, lie evidently had little 
heart or concern about the personal quarrels of 
Pico, Castro and other factious would-be leaders 


ot California. When called into council on the 
alarming condition of the times, he was free to 
express his opinions, and so far as reliable evi- 
dence goes, it was always to the effect that if it 
came to the worst and a change of government 
had to be made, it was to the United States 
that California could look for the strongest arm 
of protection and speedy development of her 
latent resources. While those were his senti- 
ments expressed in council with his country- 
men, he in no wise seems to have abandoned 
hope that California might yet be safely steered 
through her dangers. This is evidenced by two 
circumstances. Governor Pico addressed a let- 
ter to Vallejo, probably in April, in which he 
chided him somewhat sharply for his apparent 
adhesion to Castro, the every act of whom Pico 
seemed to regard as dangerous usurpation of 
military power, the ultimate aim of which was 
the overthrow of the civil government. Vallejo's 
reply to Pico was both temperate and patriotic. 
He did not hesitate to admonish Pico that he 
was allowing his jealousy to befog his better 
judgment — that Castro was making an effort to 
properly face a real danger, and he warned Pico 
that the time had come when unity of action was 
imperative if California would continue to exist 
in her present form. He pointed out to the 
Governor the folly of expecting a general in the 
face of a threatened danger, to wait for the 
transmission of orders such a long distance as 
intervened between Los Angeles and Monterey. 
These wise and temperate counsels of Vallejo 
seem to have been wasted upon Pico, for he 
appears to have gone forward in his endeavor to 
marshal a sufficient force to march to Monterey 
and overthrow Castro. The second circumstance 
which shows that Vallejo had not yet lost all 
hope is the fact that early in June Castro 
visited Sonoma on his mission of gathering war 
supplies, and secured a large number of horses. 
Of these horses more will be said a little further 
on. Of what occurred between Vallejo and 
Castro at that time there seems to be little of 
record. Intelligent reflection draws two con- 
clusions somewhat difficult to harmonize. That 

a matter of 170 horses was furnished by Vallejo 
to Castro would clearly indicate that the former 
was willing to contribute liberally toward the 
common defense, for Castro lacked the power, if 
he had the will, to exact from Vallejo forced 
contributions. The next question to harmonize 
with a cheerful desire of Vallejo to heartily 
second Castro's seeming patriotic efforts is, why 
was it that Sonoma with an armament of nine 
cannons of various caliber, and at least two hun- 
dred muskets, was not brought into requisition 
in a time of such great peril? It was to the 
east and north that Castro was looking for lurk- 
ing danger, and if that General and Vallejo were 
working together in perfect accord, it seems 
little short of amazing that Sonoma was left to 
repose in sleepy security without a cannon 
shotted or a musket in hand or sentinel to signal 
the alarm of an approaching foe. 

Of Captain John A. Sutter little in this con- 
nection need be said. Being a citizen by 
naturalization, his position was different from 
that of Vallejo. It is true he was holding 
position under the California government, but 
his attachment to the country of his adoption 
never seems to have outweighed his own per- 
sonal objects and aims in business. But even he 
is not chargeable with having been guilty of 
gross perfidy to the land that had given him 
wealth and honor. This is evidenced by the 
two-fold fact that he took pains to warn the 
government at Monterey that a man named 
Gillespie, who had been at Monterey and was 
then following Fremont north, was a secret 
emissary of the United States. At the same 
time, and with possibly a less patriotic motive, 
he again called the attention of the California 
government to the importance of strengthening 
itself in the Sacramento Valley, and for that 
purpose offered to sell his establishments at 
New Helvetia. This, on his part, was business, 
simon pure, and should not be allowed to 
counterbalance too much of the good deeds and 
kind offices of that historic pioneer to the weary 
travel-worn American immigrants, so many of 
whom enjoyed his benefactions. Sutter was a 


mail of pretty good common sense and was not 
blind to the fact that California was liable to be 
in an eruptive state at any moment; and, like 
Micawber, was "just waiting for sometliing to 
turn np." 

It was now in early May of 1846, and Gen- 
eral Fremont, with his sixty explorers, was well 
on his way northward, having pitched camp on 
the shores of Klamath Lake. General Castro, 
doubtless elated at having achieved a bloodless 
victory in taking the abandoned fort of Fremont 
on Gabilan Peak, was now seeking new fields 
of glory. Pio Pico was yet in the south in- 
tent upon marshaling a sufficient force to war- 
rant him in visiting the northern end of the 
Territory of which he was governor. Consul 
Larkin was inditing confidential epistles to all 
such as to whom he thouglit could be entrusted 
the secret and work of peaceable annexation of 
California to the United States. General M. G. 
Vallejo was in quiet repose at Sonoma, appar- 
ently having converted his sword into a plow- 
share, his spear into a pruning hook, and his 
martial field-glasses into a medium through 
which to watch his herds and flocks upon a 
thousand hills. Captain John A. Sutter was 
looking after his fields of waving grain at Hawk 
Farm, doubtless anticipating a paying harvest, 
for the incoming immigration expected from 
over the mountains was variously estimated at 
from 1,000 to 5,000 souls. The hills and val- 
leys of this genial clime were doubtless clad in 
verdure and flowers; and yet the very air was 
oppressive with the forecast of revolution and 
sanguinary strife. 

A new Richmond, with closed visor, had now 
appeared upon the field. He answered to the 
plain name of Archibald II. Gillespie, and had 
reached Monterey the 17tli of April. Larkin 
had already received a letter from James Bu- 
chanan, the then Secretary of State, informing 
him that, " Lieutenant Archibald H. Gillespie, 
of the marine corps, will immediately proceed to 
Monterey, and will probably reach you before 
this dispatch. He is a gentleman in whom the 
President reposes entire confidence. He has 

seen these instructions, and will co-operate as a 
confidential agent with you in carrying them 
into execution." Gillespie was a month beliind 
time in reaching Monterey in consequence of 
unavoidable delays in Mexico. That his dis- 
patches to Larkin were of a very important 
and secret character is evidenced by the fact- 
that lest they might fall into Mexican hands, 
Gillespie had memorized them and then de- 
stroyed the paper upon which they were written. 
On reaching Monterey he was plain Mr. Gilles- 
pie, an American merchant, traveling for tiie 
benefit of his health. He was also the bearer 
of a letter of introduction from Hon. Thomas 
H. Benton to his son-in-law, General Fremont, 
as well as a package of private letters from the 
same distinguished statesman to the " Path- 
finder." After lingering a little at Monterey, 
doubtless to give color to his assumed ciiaracter. 
Lieutenant Gillespie one night embarked for 
New Helvetia, and arriving there at once began 
to arrange for an escort to accompany him on 
the trail of Fremont. It was then, as already 
stated, that Captain Sutter conveyed to the au- 
thorities at Monterey his suspicion that Gilles- 
pie was a secret emissary of the United States 
Government. Lieutenant Gillespie made all 
haste northward. Historian Bancroft gives the 
following graphic account of this journey and 
the tragic occurrences attending it: 

This officer, of whose arrival I will have more to say 
presently, had reached Sutter's April 3Sth, and Lassen's 
the 1st of May. From that point, with only five compan- 
ions, Lassen, Neal, Sigler, Stepp and a negro servant 
named Ben, he started May 2, on Fremont's trail. On the 
7th two men were sent in advance, and the others en- 
camped at the outlet of Klamath Lake, unable to ford the 
river, and having nnthing to eat for forty hours. On the 
morning of the 9th a party of Indians made their appear- 
ance, who, with great apparent kindness, gave the 
travelers a fresh salmon for food, and ferried them over 
the water in canoes. After a day's journey of some thirty 
miles, Gillespie met Fremont at sunset, at a stream named 
from the events of that night. Ambuscade Creek. The 
sixteen tired travelers retired early after the two parties 
were united on May i)th, and were soon sleeping sound- 
ly — Fremont sitting up later than the rest to read his dis- 
patches and letters from home. The Indians were deemed 
friendly, and no watch was kept. Just before midnight 
the camp was attacked by savages, Basil Lajeunesse and 


a Delaware were killed as they slept, by blows from axes. 
The sound of these blows aroused Carson and Owens, 
who gave the alaVm; when the Indians fled, after killing 
with their arrows a Delaware named Crane, and leaving 
dead a chief of their number, who proved to be the very 
man from whom Gillespie had that morning been fur- 
nished with food and aid further south. Next morning 
they started northward to join the main body, burying the 
bodies of their slain comrades on the way. The whole 
party started on the 11th down the eastern side of the lake, 
wreaking terrible vengeance on the innocent natives 
along the route, if we may credit the statement of Kit 
Carson, who played a leading part in the butcheries. 
They reached Lassen's rancho on their return the 24th, 
and a few days later moved their camp down to the 

This awakens the reflection that the fjreatest 
of human events are subject to the modifying 
influence of currents and cross-currents; lor had 
tlie Indians who made that midnight attack been 
successful in their evident design to massacre 
all in that unguarded camp, it is more than 
probable that the Bear Flag revolution would 
never have formed a chapter of California 
history. Mr. Bancroft expresses the opinion 
that Gillespie's meeting with Fremont had 
nothing to do with the latter's return north- 
ward — that " the Captain had nearly deter- 
mined, on account of the difficulty of crossing 
the mountains into Oregon on account of the 
snow," to retrace his steps. We dissent from 
this view of the subject. If Gillespie was only 
the bearer of instructions to Fremont couched 
in the same language of diplomacy as that used 
bj Secretary Buchanan in imparting to Larkin 
the duties devolved upon him by the President, 
then the continued presence of Fremont could 
have served no good end. In truth, his con- 
tinued presence would be detrimental to the 
very object Larkin was expected to achieve. 
Gillespie must have had full knowledge of what 
Fremont had done at Gabilan Beak, and as he 
was the duly accredited secret agent of the 
United States government it is but reasonable 
to suppose that he would have at least some ad- 
visory influence with Fremont. Then, again, 
Fremont and Larkin were occupying entirely 
different positions, and it is quite probable that 
while the latter was expected only to use the 

weapons of diplomacy, the former may have 
been accorded discretionary power, if circum- 
stances seemed to warrant, to use more weighty 
arguments. But outside of all this it must be 
remembered that Gillespie had placed in Fre- 
mont's hands letters from Hon. Thomas H. 
Benton. The latter was just as near to the 
war-making power as was James Buchanan, and 
he was under no trammel to measure his words 
with red tape. While he was not in a position 
to give Fremont either instructions or orders, it 
is fair to presume that he would intimate to tlie 
husband of his favorite daughter the true con- 
dition of affairs and impress upon him the im- 
portance of holding himself in readiness to 
improve any opportunites, such as were liable 
to suddenly arise, for preferment and position. 
To believe that Fremont had any serious in- 
tention of leaving California just at a time when 
he must have known that right here and then 
he was upon the very eve of the fruition of Ben- 
ton's most ardent expectation, would be to im- 
pute to him a lack of regard for name and fame 
singularly at variance with reputed character of 
either himself or Mr. Benton. 

But we now put behind us matters specula- 
tive and enter upon the domain of thrilling 
facts. During Fremont's absence north there 
were all kinds of wild rumors afloat, and they 
lost nothing as they passed from mouth to 
mouth. Castro's war preparations had been 
magnified into an expressed purpose on his part 
to drive the American settlers out of the coun- 
try. It was rumored and so believed, that the 
Indians of the Sacramento Yalley were being 
incited to an uprising, and that as soon as the 
grain fields were far enough advanced to be 
combustible, the torch would be applied. Cap- 
tain Sutter seems to have given credence to 
these stories, for he was on an active Indian 
campaign against some of the lawless tribes. 
Fremont had moved camp from the Buttes to 
Bear liiver, near where Nicholas now stands. It 
was but natural that his camp should become 
the head centre, around which the hopes and ex- 
pectations of his fellow-countrymen should clus- 


ter. The settjers knew that Gillespie was act- 
ing upon some authority of the United States 
government, and his swift haste northward af- 
ter Fremont, and the latter's equally speedy re- 
turn, had to them a significance that they were 
close to exciting times. There is nothing of re- 
cord to show that General Fremont either coun- 
seled action, or qaiet, on the part of American 
settlers. He seems to have been a passive lis- 
tener to the recital of their plans and grievances, 
but somehow, the most unlettered of those 
frontiersmen, gathered from his very silence, 
assent that he would stand between them and 
harm. The people were ripe for revolution and 
the favored chance to strike the first blow op- 
portunely came. 

As has already been stated. General Castros' 
visit to General Vallejo' in the first week of 
June resulted in his securing 170 horses. 
Having achieved this much toward placing 
himself upon a stable war footing, Castro re- 
turned by boat to Yerba Buena, entrusting the 
horses to the care and management of his pri- 
vate secretary, Francisco Arce, Lieutenant Jose 
Maria Alviso and an escort of eight men, for 
safe conduct to Santa Clara. Leaving Sonoma 
with the band of horses, they reached what is 
now Knight's Landing, on the Sacramento 
River, where a crossing was eifected, and on 
June 8th they reached Sutter's Fort. It is 
alleged that Arce told some one on his route 
that the horses were for Castro, and to be used 
in driving the American settlers out; but this 
was probably idle rumor. But whether true 
or not, it served to intensify the excitement, 
which was now at about white heat. On the 
afternoon of June 9th, eleven or twelve Ameri- 
cans started on the trail of Arce and Alviso 
and their band of horses. These men are said 
to have started from the neighborhood of Fre- 
mont's camp, and a man named Hensley is the 
authority that they were sent by Fremont; but 
this lacks the evidence that should back a his- 
toric fact. In passing New Helvetia, this 
company was increased by two new recruits. 
Ezekiel Merritt commanded the expedition. 

Of its members, Semple, Henry L. Ford and 
Granville P. Swift, afterward for long years a 
resident of Sonoma County, are the only names 
known with certainty. Crossing the American 
River late in the evening, they made their first 
stop at the rancho of Allen Montgomery, who 
not only furnished them a supper, but he, with 
another man, accompanied them to lend a hand 
at striking this first blow of revolution. Arce 
and Alviso had stopped for the night at the 
rancho of Murphy, using his corral for their 
horses. Merritt and his men camped within 
three miles of the place, and at early dawn, on 
the morning of the ever-memorable 10th of 
June, 1846, swooped down upon the unsuspect- 
ing Arce and Alviso, and in a trice had them 
and their men disarmed. That Merritt and his 
men were not heartless desperadoes is apparent 
from the fact that they allowed the vanquished 
to retain each a horse, and recognized Alviso's 
claim to a few more as private property; after 
which their arms were restored to them and 
they were made the bearers of a message to 
Castro, that if he wanted his horses he could 
come after them. Arce also reported to Castro 
that the insurgents had declared their purpose 
to take Sonoma. This declaration of their in- 
tent was a subject of official announcement at 
Monterey two days before Sonoma was cap- 
tured, which proves that Arce and Alviso had 
not falsely reported the utterance of Merritt 
and his followers. The revolutionists, with 
their band of horses, were back to tlie neigh- 
borhood of Fremont's camp within forty-eight 
hours after they set out on their mission. 
While there seems to have been no precon- 
certed action on the part of the American set- 
tlers in this high-handed act, they all seemed 
to have assented to the fact that the bridges 
had been burned behind them, and all they 
had to do now was to "fight it out on that line 
if it took them all summer." 

It was the 11th of June tliat Merritt and his 
followers returned with Castro's horses. They 
seem to have acted on the principle of "making 
hay while the sun shines," for on that afternoon 



the company was increased to twenty men, still 
led by Ezekiel Merritt, who took their depart- 
ure in the direction of Sonoma. That night 
they reached Gordon's, on Cache Creek, where 
they halted for refreshments, and then made a 
night march to Napa Valley, which they reached 
on the forenoon of Jnne 12th. In Napa Val- 
ley they remained two days, evidently for the 
purpose of strengthening their force, which 
they did by the enrollment of twelve or thir- 
teen additional men. The force now numbered 
either thirty-two or thirty-three, who, so far as 
is now ascertainable, responded to the follow- 
ing names: Ezekiel Merritt, William B. Ide, 
John Grigsby, Robert Semple, H. L. Ford, 
William Todd, William Fallon, William Knight, 
William Hargrave, Sam Kelsey, G. P. Swift, 
Sam Gibson, W. W. Scott, Benjamin Dewell, 
Thomas Cowie, William B. Elliott, Thomas 
Knight, Horace Sanders, Henry Booker, Dav. 
Hudson, John Sears, and most of the following: 
J. H. Kelly, C. C. Griffith, Harvey Porterlield, 
John Scott, Ira Stebbins, Marion Wise, Fergu- 
son, Peter Storm, Pat. McChristian, Bartlett 
Vines, Prowler, John Gibbs, Andrew Kelsey 
■ and Benjamin Kelsey. It was about midnight 
of Saturday, the 13th of June, that this motley 
crowd of frontiersmen took to saddle and pro- 
ceeded across the hills intervening between 
Napa "Valley and the Pueblo of Sonoma. Just 
at break of day they reached that fortiiied 
stronghold of Northern California, and neither 
baying of watch-dog nor cackling of goose 
aroused the sleeping Sonomans to a sense of 
impending danger. Every reader will expect 
to hear, in detail, exactly what transpired on 
that memorable occasion. Bancroft has in his 
possession many of the original docnments con- 
nected with that event, or authenticated copies. 
He is certainly in a position to give as near the 
absolute facts in connection tiierewith as will 
ever be attainable, as very many of the partici- 
pants in the capture of Sonoma are now dead. 
We have had from General Vallejo's own lips 
a statament of the individual part he played in 
the event, and it is substantially the same as 

recited by Mr. Bancroft. Believing that his- 
torian Bancroft gives a true and reliable ver- 
sion of the whole occurrence, we incorporate it 
here. It is as follows: 

At daylight Vallejo was aroused by a noise, aod on 
looking out saw that his house was surrounded by armed 
men. This state of things was sufficiently alarming in 
itself, and all the more so by reason of the uncouth and 
even ferocious aspect of the strangers. Says Semple: 
Almost the whole party was dressed in leather hunting- 
shirts, many of them very greasy ; taking the whole party 
together, they were about as rough a looking set of men 
as one could well imagine. It is not to be wondered at 
that any one would feel some dread in falling into their 
hands. And Vallejo himself declares that there was by 
no means such a uniformity of dress as a greasy hunting- 
shirt for each man would imply. Vallejo's wife was even 
more alarmed than her husband, whom she begged to 
escape by a back door, but who, deeming such a course 
undignified as well as impracticable, hastily dressed, 
ordered the front door opened, and met the intruders as 
they entered his sala, demanding who was their chief 
and what their business. Not much progress in explana- 
tion was made at first, though it soon became apparent 
that the Colonel, while he was to consider himself a 
prisoner, was not in danger of any personal violence. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Prudon and Captain Salvador Vallejo 
entered the room a few minutes later, attracted by the 
noise, or possibly were arrested at their houses and 
brought there; at any rate, they were put under arrest 
like the Colonel. Jacob P. Leese was sent for to serve 
as interpreter, after which mutual explanations pro- 
gressed more favorably. 

Early in the ensuing negotiations between prisoners 
and filibusters, it became apparent that the latter had 
neither acknowledged leader nor regular plan of opera- 
tions beyond the seizure of government property and of 
the officers. Some were acting, as in the capture of 
Arce's horses, merely with a view to obtain arms, ani- 
mals, and hostage— to bring about hostilities, and at the 
same time to deprive the foe of his resources; others be- 
lieved themselves to have undertaken a revolution, in 
which the steps to be immediately taken were a formal 
declaration of independence and the election of officers, 
Merritt being regarded rather as a guide than captain. 
All seemed to agree, hovi^ever, that they were acting 
under Fremont's orders, and this to the prisoners was the 
most assuring feature in the case. Vallejo had for some 
time favored the annexation of California to the United 
States. He had expected and often predicted a move- 
ment to that end. There is no foundation for the sus- 
picion that the taking of Sonoma and his own capture 
were planned by himself, in collusion with the filibuster 
chiefs, with a view to evade responsibility; yet it is cer. 
tain that he had little, if any, objection to an enforced 
arrest by officers of the United States as a means of 
escaping from the delicacy of his position as a Mexican 
officer. Accordingly, being assured that the insurgents 



were acting under Fremont, he submitted to arrest, gave 
up keys to public property, and entered upon negotia- 
tions with a view to obtain guarantees of protection for 

The guarantees sought were then drawn up in writing 
and signed by the respective parties. The originals of 
those documents are in my possession, and are given in a 

The following are the docuinents referred to 
bj Mr. Bancroft: 

Sonoma, June 14, 1846. 
Be it known by these presents, that, having been sur- 
prised by a numerous armed force which took me prison- 
er, with the chief and otHcers belonging to the garrison 
of this place that the said force took posBessiou of, having 
found it absolutely defenseless, myself as well as the un- 
dersigned OtHcers pledge our word of honor that, being 
under the guarantees of prisoners of war, we will not 
take up arms for or against the said armed forces, from 
which we have received the present intimation, and a 
signed writing which guarantees our lives, families, and 
property, and those of all the residents of this jurisdic- 
tion, so long as we make no opposition. 

M. G. Vallkjo, 
ViCTOK Prudon, 
Salvador Vallejo. 

AVe, the undersigned, have resolved to establish a gov- 
ernment upon republican principles, in connection with 
others of our fellow-citizens, and having taken up arms 
to support it, we have taken three Mexican officers as 
prisoners. General M. G. Vallejo, Lieutenant-Colonel Vic- 
tor Prudon, and Captain D. Salvador Vallejo, having 
formed and published to the world no regular plan of 
government, feel it our duty to say it is not our intention 
to take or injure any person who is not found in opposi- 
tion to the cause, nor will we take or destroy the proper- 
ty of private individuals further than is necessary for our 
support. EzEKiEL Merritt, 

II. Semple, 
William F.a.llon, 
Samuel Kelsey. 

Mr. Bancroft, continuing, says : 

It was naturally to be expected, under the circum- 
stances, that the arrested officers would be released on 
parole. Such was evidently the view taken on both sides 
at first. Ford says there were some who favored such a 
course. Leese, who had the best opportunities for under- 
standing the matter, and who gives a more detailed 
account than any other writer, tells us that such a decis- 
ion was reached; and finally, the documents which I 
have presented, Nos. 1 and 2, being to all intents and 
purposes regular parole papers, leave no doubt upon the 
subject. But now difficulties arose, respecting some 
phase of which there is contradictory testimony. 

Thus far only a few of the insurgent leaders had en- 
tered, or at least remained in, the house; and the negotia- 
tions had in reality been conducted by Semple and Leese 
very much in their own way. Ide testifies that Merritt, 
Semple and Wm. Knight, the latter accompanying the 
expedition merely as an interpreter, were the first to en- 
ter the house, while the rest waited outside; that presently, 
hearing nothing, they became impatient, determined to 

choose a captain, and elected John Grigsby, who there- 
upon went in ; and after waiting whit appeared an age, 
the men again lost patience and called upon the writer, 
Ide, to go and investigate the causes of delay. Now the 
discrepancies in testimony begin. Ide describes the 
state of things which met his view as follows: "The 
General's generous spirits gave proof of his usual hospi- 
tality, as the richest wines and brandies spirkled in the 
glasses, and those who had .thus uncerem miously met 
soon became merry companions; more especially the 
merry visitors. There sat Dr. S, just modifying along 
string of articles of capitulation. There sat Merritt, his 
head fallen; there sat Knight, no longer able to interpret; 
and there sat the new-made captain, as mute as the seat 
he sat upon. The bottles had well-nigh vanquished the 
captors! " Leese also states that the brandy was a potent 
factor in that morning's ev-iut; but according to his ver- 
sion, it was on the company outside that its iutlaence was 
exerted, rendering them noisy and uumanigeable, though 
an effort had been made by his advice to put the liquor out 
of reach. I do not, however, deem it at all likely that the 
leaders drank more than it was customary to drink in a 
Californiau's parlor, or more than they could carry; but 
that some of the rough characters in the company became 
intoxicated we may well believe. 

At any rate, disagreement ensued ; the men refused en- 
tirely to ratify the capitulation made by the former 
leaders, insisting that the prisoners must be sent to the 
Sacramento; some of them were inclined to be insubordi- 
nate and eager for plunder; while the lawless spirits were 
restrained from committing outrages by the eloquence of 
Semple and the voice of the majority ; yet the leaders 
could not agree. Captain Grigsby declined to retain the ' 
leadership that had been conferred upon him. So William 
B Ide was chosen in his stead, and the revolutionists im- 
mediately took possession of all public property, as well 
as of such horses and other private property as they 
needed, at the same time locking up all citizens that 
could be found. It would seem that the second of the 
documents I have presented was torn, and the third drawn 
up and signed at an early stage of the disagreements, after 
it became apparent that it might be best to send the pris- 
oners to the Sacramento, the signatures showing that it 
could not have been later. Vallejo, though not encour- 
aged at seeing that the leaders were not permitted by 
their followers to keep their promises, was not very much 
displeased at being sent to New Helvetia. He was as. 
sured that the insurgents were acting by Fremont's 
orders; his own views were known to be favorable to the 
schemes of the United States; and he had no reason to 
doubt that on meeting Fremont he and his companions 
would at once be released on parole. 

Before the departure of the prisoners and their escort a 
formal meeting of the revolutionists was held. That 
Semple, secretary, made a speech counselling united 
action and moderation in the treatment of the natives, 
and that William B. Ide was chosen captain, is all that is 
known of this meeting, e.xcept what we may learn from 
Ide's narrative. The leaders difTered in their ideas, not 




only respecting the disposition to be made of the pris- 
oners, but about the chief object of the movement. Evi- 
dently there had been no detinilely arranged plan of 
operations. Fremont had succeeded in bringing about 
a slate of open hostility without committing him- 
self. Some of the men regarded their movement as 
merely intended to provoke Castro to make an attack ou 
Fremont; or at least they dreaded the responsibility of 
engaging in a regular revolution, especially when it was 
learned that no one could produce any definite promise 
from Fremont in black and white to support such a 
movement. Others were in favor of an immediate dec- 
laration of independence. That such diiferences of opin- 
ion did exist as Ide states, is in itself by no means im- 
probable; and it is confirmed to some extent by the fact 
that Grigsby did resign his leadership, and by the some- 
what strange circumstance that three such prominent 
men as Grigsby, Merritt and Semple should have lett 
Sonoma to accompany the prisoners. Ide writes that 
when Grigsby heard that no positive orders from Fre- 
mont could be produced, his fears of doing wrong over- 
came his patriotism, and he interrupted the speaker by 
saying: " Gentlemen, 1 have been deceived ; I cannot go 
with you; I resign and back out of the scrape. lean 
take my'family to the mountains as cheap as any of you;" 
— and Dr. S. at that moment led him into the house. 
Disorder and confusion prevailed. One swore he' would 
not slay and guard the prisoners; another swore we would 
all have our tliroats cut; another called lor fresh horses; 
and all were ou the move, every man for himself, when 
the speaker [Ide] resumed his effons, raising his voice 
louder and more loud, as the men receded from the 
place, saying: " We need no hor»es; saddle no horse for 
me; I can go to the Spaniards and make freemen of 
them. I will lay my bones here before I will take upon 
myself the ignominy of commencing an honorable work 
and then flee like cowards, like thieves, when no enemy 
is iu sight. In vain will you say you had honorable 
motives. Who will believe it? Flee this day and the 
longest life cannot wear out your disgrace! Choose ye 
this day what you will be! We are robbers or we must 
be conquerors!" and the speaker in despair turned his 
back on his receding companions. With new hope they 
rallied around the desponding speaker, made him their 
commander, their chief; and his next words commanded 
the taking of the fort. Subsequently the three leaders of 
the party of the primitive plan of " neutral conquest" left 
Us alone in our glory. 

I find no reason to doubt that this version, though 
somewhat highly colored, is in substance accurate; that 
Merritt, having captured horses and prisoners, was con- 
tent to rest on his laurels; that Grigsby was timid about 
assuming the responsibility of declaring independence 
without a positive assurance of Fremont's co-operation; 
that Semple, while in favor of independence, preferred 
that Sacratueuto should be the centre of operations, unless 
— what Vullejo and Leese also favored — Fremont could 
be induced to estaldish his headquarters at Sonoma; or 
finally, that Ide and his associate influenced the majority 

to complete their revolutionary work and take no back- 
ward steps. I think, however, that Ide and all the rest 
counted confidently on Fremont's support; and that 
Semple and Grigsby were by no means regarded as aban- 
doning the cause when they left Sonoma. 

It was about 11 a. m., on June 14th, when the three 
prisoners, accompanied by Leese as interpreter at their 
request and that ol the captors— not himself a prisoner 
as has been generally stated — and guarded by Grigsby, 
Semple, Merritt, Hargrave, Knight and four or five 
others, started on horses from Vallejo's herds for the 
Sacramento. It will be most convenient to follow them 
before proceeding to narrate later developments at Sono- 
ma. Before starting, and on the way, Vallejo was often 
questioned by Californians as to the situation of aS"airs; 
but could only counsel them to remain quiet, announcing 
that he would probably return within four or five days. 
His idea was that Fremont, after releasing him and his 
companions on parole, might be induced to establish his 
headquarters at Sonoma, an idea shared by Semple, Grigs- 
by and Leese. Relations between captives and capiors 
were altogether friendly, except in the case of some hos- 
tile feeling among a few individuals against Don Sal- 

They encamped that night at Vaca's rancho. No spe- 
cial pains were taken to guard the prisoners, who, with 
Leese, slept on a pile of straw near the camp. Vallejo 
had desired to travel all night; but the men declined lo 
do so, having had no sleep the night before. Before dawn 
on the morning of the 15th, a Califoruian succeeded in 
reaching the captives, and informed Vallejo that a com- 
pany of his countrymen had been organized to effect his 
rescue, and only awaited his orders. The Colonel refused 
to permit such an attempt lo be made, both because he 
had no reason to fear any unpleasant results from his en- 
forced visit to the Sacramento, and because he feared 
retaliation at Sonoma in case an attempt to escape should 
bring harm to any of the guards. On the 15th the parly 
reached Hardy's place on the Sacramento. Here Merritt 
left the others, intending to visit Fremont's cam|) and 
return next morning, but as he did not come back Leese, 
with one companion, started in the forenoon of the 16th, 
also in quest of Fremont. Arriving at AUgeier's place, 
they learned that the Captain had moved his camp to the 
American River; and starting for that point, they re- 
joined their companions before arrival. Here Grigsby 
presented an order from Fremont for Leese's arrest, for 
which, so far as known, no explanation was given. 

Late in the afternoon they reached the camp, and the 
prisoners were brought into the presence of Fremont. 
That officer's reception of them was very diff'erent ^from 
what had been anticipated. His words and manner were 
reserved and mysterious. He denied when Vallejo de- 
manded for what offenses and by what authority he had 
caused their arrest, that he was in any way responsible 
for what had been done; declared that they were prison- 
ers ot the people, who had been driven to revolt for self- 
protection ; refused to accept their paroles, and sent ihem 
that same night, under a guard composed in part if not 


wholly of his own men — Kit Carson and Merritt being 
sent in advance — to be locked up at Sutter's Fort. 


General Vallejo certainly had a right to be 
surprised at the foregoing treatment by Fre- 
mont. That he appreciated the real condition 
of affairs is made very plain by the following 
correspondence, a careful perusal of which will 
show that General Vallejo, when taken prisoner 
at Sonoma, felt warranted in looking to United 
States antiiorities for protection. From John 
B. Montgomery, commanding United States 
ship Portsmouth, he certainly received more of 
consideration and cheer tiian from General 
Fremont, and yet in both instances the action 
of the Bear Flag party seems to have been re- 
pudiated and ignored entirely. Viewed from 
this stand-point it is not a matter of wonder 
that Captain Grigsby and others of the Bear 
Flag party may have felt a tickling sensation 
around the neck when they ascertained that 
their taking of Sonoma was not backed by 
any positive autliority from Fremont or any 
body else clothed with United States autliority. 
The I'ank and lile of the Bear Flag party evi- 
dently acted upon the principle that a '• wink 
was as good as a nod of assent;" and taking tlieir 
lives in their hands they struck the blow, and 
took the chances. Like John Adams who, after 
affixing his name to the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, remarked, " Well, if we hang we all 
hang together," they captured Sonoma, and left 
to tlie future what the outcome of the venture 
should be. The following is the correspondence 
referred to: 


General Vallejo's message to Captain Montgomery/, the 
day of tJie capture of Sonoma — Montgomery's reply — 
Lieutenant Missroon's account of the reoolutionists — 
Highly creditable conduct of the Bears — Ide's pledge 
to Missroon. 

United States Ship Portsmouth. 
San Francisco, August 17, 1846. 
My Dear General: — I am now about lo sail for 
Monterey, and avail myself of this mode of expressing to 
you my regret that I shall thus most probably be deprived 
of seeing you on your contemplated visit to Yerba Buena 
to-morrow, having anticipated much pleasure from this 

event; but you well know how Utile we servan's of the 
public are left to the disposition of our own time. 

I reached the Portsmouth from Sonoma very comforta- 
bly on Friday last about 6 o'clock in the afternoon, great- 
ly pleased with my visit, and gratified by the very kind 
and hospitable attentions of my esteemed friends there, 
the remembrance of which 1 shall long continue to 

In compliance with your expressed wishes while I was 
at Sonoma, I herewith enclose you, my dear General, 
copies of the document forwarded to you by De la Rosa 
in the commencement of the late revolution, and those 
having reference to Lieutenant Missroon's visit to So- 
noma by my orders, with overtures to the insurgent chief 
in behalf of prisoners and the helpless inhabitants of that 
place, which you are at liberty to use as you shall think 

From Montere}' it is most probable I shall make a 
cruise to the southward, and am not without hopes of 
soon returning with the pleasing intelligence of peace 
between the United States and Mexico, which I feel as- 
sured will be most welcome tidings for you and all who 
are interested in the prosperity of Ciliforuia. 

Be pleased to present my most respectful regards to 
Madam Vallejo and all the members of your interesting 
family, and express to them my sense of their kind hos- 
pitality and attention to me and my little son during our 
recent visit; and believe me, my dear General, I am and 
shall ever be, with highest esteem and friendship, sin- 
cerely your obedient servant, 

John B. Montgomery. 

Gen. Guadalupe Vallejo, Sonoma. 

Statement of the interview hetween Senor Don Jos/ de la 
Rosa and Commander John B. Montgomery, commanding 
United States ship Portsmouth, Lieutenant W. A. Bart- 
lett. United States Navy, interpreter. By order of the 
commander, John B. Montgomery. 

Don Jose de la Rosa, on coming on board the ship, de- 
sired to inform Captain Montgomery that he brought in- 
formation from Don Guadalupe Vallejo, military com- 
mandante of Sonoma, which he desired to give the 
moment Captain Montgomery could receive him. 

On being received by Captain Montgomery I was di- 
rected to act as interpreter, when Seiior de la Rosa pro- 
ceeded to deliver his message, which I wrote, as follows: 

Don Guadalupe Vallejo desires to inform Captain 
Montgomery of the proceedings which took place at So- 
noma yesterday morning at 5 o'clock. There arrived at 
Sonoma a party of about eighty men, as they said, from 
the Sacramento. They at once took forcible possession 
of the place, and posted themselves on the " Cuartel." 
They then made prisoners of General Vallejo, Captain 
Don Salvador Vallejo, and Lieutenant-Colonel Don Vic- 
tor Prudhon, all of whom are officers of the Mexican 

Then a Mr. Merritt, who appeared to have command or 
exercise the authority with the party, handed the General 
a convention demanding of him the surrender of all the 
arms and government property in Sonoma, which place 
they should not leave. 

The General replied that he must surrender to the force 
in arms and did so surrender, when the party demanded 
further that all the above named oflicers should go with 
them to their camp on the Sacramento River. 

General Vallejo then requested them to show their 
authority or determination (ahajo que piano); and as they 
said they were Americans, he desired they should exhibit 
their authority from the Government of the United States. 
They replied that they did not come under the authority 
of the United States; but having seen a proclamation of 
General Castro, threatening to drive all foreiiiners out of 
the country, they had taken up arms in self-defense. 

They then made a prisoner of the Alcalde, and told him 


that if any person in the place or neighborhood attempted 
to notify other placesof this act, or raise a force to oppose 
them, they would at once shoot the officers they then held 
prisoners. The Alcalde was then set at liberty, but told 
that if he did not prevent any opposition to them he would 
also be shot. 

General Vallejo desires to inform Captain Montgomery 
of these facts, and to ask him to use his authority or exert 
his influence to prevent the commission of actsof violence 
by this party, inasmuch as they seemed to be without any 
eflfectual head or authorily. To this end he hoped for an 
officer to be sent to the place, or a letter Ibat would have 
the eflect of saving the helpless inhabitants frcm violence 
and anarchy. 

Sefior Don Jos6 de la Rosa was directed by General 
Vallejo (at 11 A. M. yesterday) to come with this message, 
but could not leave until 8 pm. A few moments past 11 
the party left a garrison of twenty-five men at Sonoma 
protected by seven pieces of cannon. The others, with 
the prisoners, left for the Sacramento. 

Reply of Commander Montgomery to the message of General 

Sir : — You will say to General Vallejo, on my part 
that 1 at once and entiiely disavow this movement as 
having proceeded under any authority of the United 
Slates, or myself as the agent of my Government in this 
country, or on this coast. It is a movement entirely local, 
and with which I have nothing to do; nor can I in any 
way be induced to take part in the controversy which 
belongs entirely to the interna: politics of California. 

If they are Americans, as they avow themselves, they 
are beyond the jurisdiction of the laws and officers of the 
United States, and must now take all the responsibilities 
of the position in which they have placed themselves, 
being answerable to the laws of Mexico and California. 

I have now for the first time heard of this movement, 
and in making the most positive disavowal, for myself and 
for my Government, having in any wise instigated or 
aided this. I also disavow the same on the part of 
Captain Fremont, United States topographical engineer, 
now in the country for scientific purposes. 

If my individual eftorts can be at any time exercised to 
allay violence or prevent injury to innocent persons, it 
shall be exerted ; but as an officer of the Government of 
tlie United Slates I cannot have anything to do with 
either party. They must take the responsibilies of their 
own acts. From what has already transpired I think it 
clear that no violence will be committed on any one who 
is not found with arms in their hands. You will assure 
Geneial Don Guadalupe Vallejo of my sympathy in bis 
difficulties; but I cannot positively interfere in the local 
politics of California. 

Sefior de la Rosa then thanked Captain Montgomery 
for his sentiments and sympathy; stated that all was dis- 
tinctly understood and translated, and that he would 
place his statement in the hands of Don Guadalupe 
Vallejo at the earliest moment. 

I hereby certify (hat ihe preceding statement is a fair 
translation of the message and reply read to Captain 
Montgomery and Sefior de la Rosa. 

(Signed) "W. A. Bartlett, 

Lieutenant United States Navy. 

United States Ship Portsmouth, Sausalilo, June 15 

(copy of order to lieutenakt missroon.) 
United States Ship Portsmouth. 

San Francisco, June 15, 1846. 
Sir:— By an especial messenger sent to me by Don 
Guadalupe Vallejo, I am notified of the forcible occupa- 
tion of the town of Sonoma by a parly of insurn-ents 

(foreign residents) of the country, among whom are said 
to be some persons from the United States, and that 
Geneial Don Guadalupe Vallejo, with several other 
Mexican officers, have been sent prisoners to the Sacra- 
mento and threatened to be detained as hostages for the 
quiet submission of the surrounding country, leaving 
their families and other inoffensive persons in and about 
Sonoma in a painful slate of agitation through apprehen- 
sions of violence and cruel treatment from Ihe insurgent 
party in charge of the town. In consequence of this 
state of things, General Vallejo has appealed to me, 
requesting the interposition of any authority or influence 
I may possess over the insurgents to prevent the per- 
petration of acts of violence on their part upon the 
defenseless people. 

I have, in my reply to General Vallejo (by the mes- 
senger), stated my previous ignorance of the popular 
movement in question ; distinctly and emphatically disa- 
vowed all age; cy of the United States Government or 
myself as her representative in producing it, and dis- 
claimed all right or authority to interfere between Ihe 
opposing parties or in any way to identify my movements 
with theirs. But, in compliance with the urgent calls of 
humanity, I deem it my duly to use my Iriendly en- 
deavors with the dominant party to secure (by the power 
of God) for the defenseless people of Sonoma thai security 
of life, property and privilege to which all are entitled. 

In pursuance of these views, sir, you are directed to 
proceed in one of the ship's boats to Sonoma, and, on 
your arrival there, you will wait on the officer or person 
commanding the party having possession of the town; 
and as it is possible he is not fullj' aware of the extent 
and nature of the feelings produced in the minds of the 
population by this recent movement you will inform him 
of the stale of apprehension and terror into which it 
seems to have thrown them, and disclaiming all right or 
purpose on my part of interference between them and 
their actual opposers; and without touching upon the 
merits of their cause further than may not be avoided in 
course of conversation, be pleased (in such terms as your 
own sense of propriety will dictate) respectfully to 
request from me, that he will extend his protecting care 
over the defenseless families of their prisoners and other 
inotlensive persons of Sonoma, and exert his influence 
with others in order to secure to them the uninterrupted 
enjoyment of their domestic and social privileges. 

You will afterward wait on the Alcalde, or presidinir 
civil officer of Sonoma, and inform him of what has been 
done (at the instance of Don Guadalupe Vallejo), com- 
municating any satisfactory assurances which you may 
have received from the insurgent chief calculated to 
allay the general apprehension ; after which, when suf- 
ficiently recruited, you will return to this ship and render 
to me a written report. 

Respectfully, I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) John B. Montgomery, 


To Lieutenant John S. Missroon, Executive Officer 
United Slates Ship Portsmouth. 

appi;ndage to me. misseoon s oedee. 

Dear Sir: — As an appendage to the orders handed 
you last evening, I wish you to endeavor in as forcible a 
manner as possible, to represent to the person or persons 
of the insurgent party with whom you may confer at 
Sonoma and to impress their minds with a sense of the 
advantages which will accrue to their cause (whatever its 
intrin.>ic merits may be) from pursuing a course of kind 
and benevolent treatment of prisoners, as well as toward 
the defenseless inhabitants of the country generally, willi 
whom they may have to do, and endeavor, as far as 
propriety will permit, to oblain a promise of kind and 


bumaue treatment toward General Vallejo and his com- 
panions in their possession as prisoners. 

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant. 

(Signed) - John B. Montgomery, 


To Lieutenant John S.Missroon, United States Ship 

Report of Lieutenant Missroon on Ids return from Sonoma, 
with accompanying documents B. 

United States Ship Portsmouth, 
San Francisco, June 17, 1S46. 

Sir: — In pursuance of your order of the Kith instant, 
to proceed to Sonoma and endeavor by all proper means 
in my power to secure to the female and unoffending por- 
tion of the population of that district some degree of 
security for their persons and property during the occu- 
pancy of the place by certain insurgents, chiefly foreign- 
ers, 1 have the honor to report, in obedience to that order, 
that I left the ship on the day of receiving your instruc- 
tions, and reached the town about sunset, where I found 
about twenty-five men under arms, and having six or 
seven pieces of artillery wilh several hundred stand of 
arms. The whole party is only thirty-five. 

I waited upon the commanding officer, Wm. B. Ide, and 
received from him both verbal and written assurances of 
his intention to maintain order and to respect both the 
persons and property of all persons residing within the 
limits of his command. He also handed me a copy of a 
proclamation which he had issued on the day after his 
occupation of the town, and which I herewith present to 
you, marked " A," in which you will observe that these 
promises of protection are set forth in explicit terms, and 
which I would remark to you, seemed to me to have fully 
assured the inhabitants of their safety, although Sonoma 
is evidently under martial law. 

By this proclamation you will also observe that Califor- 
nia is declared to be an independent republic. The 
insurgent party has hoisted ajlag with a white field, with 
a border or stripe of red on its lower part, and having a 
star and bear upon it. 

I informed the commanding offlcer of thestate of terror 
into which his movement upon Sonoma had thrown the 
inhabitants in and about the Yerba Buena, as directed by 
my instructions. 

I then waited upon the Alcalde of the place, informed 
him through my interpreter that my visit was entirely of 
a peaceful character, and that it had been induced by the 
message which my commander had received from the 
late Mexican commander. General Vallejo, now a pris- 
oner in the hands of the insurgents, asking his (my com- 
mander's) interference for the protection of females and 
unotfpnding inhabitants; that assurances of respect and 
protection were freely given me by the commanding 
ofticer of the party underarms, and that 1 explicity made 
it known to him, for the information of the surrounding 
country, that my commander disclaimed any and all 
interference in the matter other than what was dicta ed 
by motives of humanity. 

After these interviews I then called upon the family of 
General Vallejo and moderated their distress, by the 
assurance of safety for the General, which I had received, 
and informing them that the prisoners were held as 

Having completed the object for which I went to 
Sonoma, I left the place yesterday with the thanks of 
both parties, about meridian, and reached the ship about 
sunset. Before taking my departure I deemed it best to 
reassure the Alcalde, in order to prevent any necessity 
for future explanation, wbich is so apt to grow out of a 
business transacted with Mexicans, especially through 
an interpreter. I therefore addressed the letter marked 
" B," appending to it the written pledge, or a copy of the 
pledge, which I had obtained from the commander of the 

foreigners in possession of the place, and which I here- 
with hand you a copy of. 

It only remains, sir, for me to add that, so far as I could 
judge and observe, the utmost harmony and good order 
prevail in the camp, and that I have every reason to be- 
lieve that the pledges "f kind treatment toward all who 
may fall into tlieir hands will be faithfully observed. 

Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) J. S. Missroon, 

First Lieutenant United States ship Portsmouth. 

To Commander Jno. B. Montgomery, commanding 
United States ship Portsmouth, Bay of San Francisco. 
Document B, accompanying the foregoing report. 

Sonoma, June 17, 1846. 

Sir: — As you were informed yesterday, through my 
interpreter, my visit to this place is of a strictly media- 
torial character, and was induced by the application of 
General Vallejo through his messenger, Senor Rosa, to 
Captain" Montgomery, requesting of him to adopt meas- 
ures for the protection of the females and peaceable 
inhabitants of Sonoma. 

I have the pleasure to assure you of the intention of 
the foreigners now in arms and occupying Sonoma, to 
respect the persons of all individuals and their property, 
who do not take up arms against them', and I leave with 
you a copy of tlie pledge which the commander of the 
party has voluntarily given to me, with a view to the 
pacification of all alarm. 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

(Signed) J. S. Missroon, 

Lieutenant United States Navy. 

TO THE alcalde OF SONOMA. 

I pledge myself that I will use my utmost exertion to 
restrain and prevent ihe men in arras under my command, 
all of whom present acknowledge my authority and 
approve the measure of forbearance and humanity, from 
perpetrating any violence, or in any manner molesting 
the peaceable inhabitants, in person or property, of 
California, while we continue in arms for the liberty of 

(Signed) Wm. B. Ide, 


Witness to the above signature, 

(Signed), J. S Missroon, 

Lieutenant United States Navy, and Executive Offlcer 
of the United States Ship Portsmouth. 

Sonoma, June 17, 1846. 

The revolutionists were now master of the 
situation, liaving control of nine cannons and 
about two hundred muskets. While William 
B. Ide, then the leader of the Bear Flag party, 
may have been a man of some eccentricity of 
character, he seems to have been a man of con- 
siderable culture, and there is little room for 
doubt that lie shaped and controlled, to a large 
degree, the conduct of those under him. It was 
no sinecure position, this of Commander Ide. 
It is true, the prisoners sent to Sacramento were 
taken charge of by General Fremont, under the 
saving clause that he iuid nothing to do with 
their arrest; and it is also true that Commander 


Montgomery of the Portsmouth in an unofficial 
way, and in obedience to the dictates of human- 
ity, sent Lieutenant Missroon to Sonoma, to 
counsel moderation and kindness on tlie part of 
the revolutionists toward the vanquished; but 
in neitlier case was there aught said or done 
that could be construed into leaving the door 
ajar for a safe retreat of the Bear Flag party 
out of their difficulty should their rebellion 
prove abortive. To stand their ground and 
successfully maintain their position under such 
adverse circumstances required not only nerve 
but real heroism. 

That they knew that they were acting outside 
of the pale of any responsible authority is ap- 
parent from the fact that one of the very first 
matters to claim their considerat^ion was the 
adoption of a flag. There is little question that 
the bear flag was made on the day of the taking 
of Sonoma, although it is quite possible it was 
not completed so as to be hoisted until the 
morning of the 15th of June. As there has 
been much controversy as to how and by whom 
that flag was made, we give place to the follow- 
ing, which we believe to be authentic: 

Wra. L. Todd, in a letter to the editor of the 
Los Angeles Ji!xj/)'ess, under date of January 
11, 1878, gives the following version of the 
construction of the bear flag: 

Your leUer of j,lie 9lh inst. came duly to hand, and ia 
answer I have to say in regard to the making of the ori- 
ginal bear flag ol California at Sonoma, in 1846, that 
when ihe Americans, wlio had taken up arms against the 
Spanish regime, had determined what kind of a flag 
slioukl be adopled, the following persons performed tlie 
work: Granville P. Swift, Peter Storm, Henry L. Ford 
and niyselljwe procured in the house where we made 
our headquarters, a piece of new unbleached cotton 
domestic, not quite a yard wide, with stripes of red 
flannel about Hmr 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 gizzly bear pagsant, 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 Republic." The other person engaged with 
me got the materials together, while I acted as artist. 
The forms the l)ear and star and the letters were first 
lined out with pen and inlv by myself, and the two 
forms were filled in with the red paint, but tlie 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 Cali- 

fornia. The flag I painted I saw in the rooms of the Cali- 
fornia Pioneers in San Francisco, in 1870, and the secre- 
tary 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 Ke- 
public." The letters were first lined out with a pen, and 
I left out the letter I, and lined out the letter C in its 
place. But afterward I lined out the letter I over the C 
so that the last syllaljle of " Republic " looks as if the two 
last letters were blended. Yours respectfully, 

"Wm. L. Todd. 

On the occasion of the Centennial exercises, 
held at Santa Rosa on the 4th of July, 1876, 
General M. G. Vallejo made the following 
statement in reference to the capture of Sonoma 
in 1846 by the Americans: 

I have now to say something of the epoch which inau- 
gurated a new era for this country. A little before dawn 
on .June 14, 1846, a parly of hunters and trapper.-, with 
some foreign settlers, under command of Captain Merritt, 
Doctor Semple and William B. Ide, surrounded my resi- 
dence atSonoma,and without firing a shot, made a prisoner 
of myself, then commander of the northern frontier; of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Prudon, Captain Salvador Val- 
lejo, and Jacob P. Leese. I should here state that down 
to October, 1845, I had maintained at my own e.xpense a 
respectable garrison at Sonoma, which often, in union 
witli the settler.'', did good service in campaign against 
the Indians; but at last, tired of spending money which 
the Mexican Government 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 war pieces of artil- 
lery, 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 advantage 
of this fact, and carrying out their plans. Years before I 
had urgently represented to the government of Mexico 
the necessity of stationing a sutHcent force on the frontier, 
else Sonoma would be lost, which would be equivalent to 
eaving the rest of the country an easy prey to the in- 
vader. What think you, my friends, were the in^tructions 
sent me in reply to my repeated demands for means to 
fortify the country? These instructions were that I 
should at once force the immigrants to recross the Sierra 
Nevada, and depart from the territory of the Republic. 
To say nothing of the inhumanity of these orders, their 
execution was physically impossible — first, because the 
immigrants came in autumn when snow covered the 
Sierra so quickly as to make a return impracticable. 
Under the circumstances, not only I, but Coramandante 
General Castro, resolved to provide the immigrants with 
letters ot 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 had no power to 
resist the invasi<m which was coming upon us. With 
the frankness of a soldier lean assure you that the Amer- 
ican immigrants never had cause to complain of the 
treatment they received at the hands of either authorities 
or citizens. They carried us &i prisoners to Sacramento, 
and kept us in a calaboose for sixty days or more, until 
the United States made itself respected, and the honor- 
able and humane Commodore Stockton returned us to our 

On the seizure of their pris<mers the revolutionists at 
once took steps to appoint a captain who was found in the 
person of John Grigsby, for Ezekiel Merritt wished not 
to retain the permanent command; a meeting was then 
called at the barracks, situated at the northeast corner of 


the Plaza, under the presidency of William B. Ide, Dr. 
Robert Semple being secretary. At this conference 
Semple urged the independence of the country, stating 
that having once commenced they must prooeed, for to 
turn bacli was certain death. Before the dissolution of 
the convention, however, rumors were rife that secret 
emissaries were being dispatched to the Mexican ranch- 
eros, to inform them of the recent occurrences, therefore 
to prevent any attempt at a rescue it vfas deemed best to 
transfer their prisoaers to Sutter's Fort, where the danger 
of such would be less. 

In order that the conquest of California 
should be accomplished in a decent and orderly 
way and tlie record thereof be properly handed 
down to future generations, Captain William B. 
Ide formulated the following declaration of pur- 
poses which was duly published to the world 
on the 18th of June: 

Aprodaviation to all persons and citizens of the distnct of 
Sonoma requesting them to remain at peace and follow 
their rightful occupations without fear of molestation. 

The commander-in-chief of the troops assembled at the 
fortress of Sonoma gives his inviolable pledge to all per- 
sons in California, not found under arms, that they shall 
not be disturbed in their persons, their propeity, or social 
relation, 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 in- 
vited to this country by a promise of lands on which to 
settle themselves and families; who were also promised a 
Republican government ; when, having arrived in Cali- 
fornia, they were denied the privilege of buying or rent- 
ing lands of their friends, who instead of being allowed 
to participate in or being protected by a Republican 
government, were oppressed by military despotism ; who 
were even threatened by proclamation 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 de- 
jirived of their means of flight or defense, were to be 
driven through deserts inhabited by h- stile Indians, to 
certain destruction. 

To overthrow a government which has seized upon the 
prosperity of the mission for its individual aggrandize- 
ment; which has ruined and shamefully oppressed the 
laboring people of California by enormous exactions on 
goods imported into the country, is the determined pur- 
pose of the brave men who are associated under my 

I also solemnly declare my object, in the second place, 
to be to invite all peaceable and good citizens of Califor- 
nia 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 estab- 
lishing and perpetuating a Kepublican [r''vernmeut, 
which shall secure to all civil and religious liberty; 
which shall encourage virtue and literature; which shall 
leave unshackled by fetters agriculture, commerce and 

I further declare that I rely upon the rectitude of our 
intentions, the favor of heaven and the bravery ol those 
who are bound and associated with me by principles self- 
)>reservation, by the love of the truth and the haired of 
tjrannj', for my hopes of success. 

I furthermore declare that I believe that a government 
to be prosperous and happy must originate with the peo- 

ple who are friendly to its existence, that the citizens are 
its guardians, the officers its servants, its glory its reward. 
William B. Ide. 

Thus far the revolution had been a bloodless 
one, but it was not destined to continue so to 
the end. There were two occurrences of thrill- 
ing character that came in quick succession — 
the killing of Cowie and Fowler and the battle 
of Olompali. As Robert A. Thompson, who 
has gathered much of the early history of So- 
noma County, got his information about the 
battle referred to from one of the participants 
therein, we here incorporate his graphic account 
of those two events. 

About this time one of the most distressing 
events of the revolution occurred. It was dis- 
covered that tlie garrison had an insufticient 
supply of powder. It was known that Moses 
Carson, at the Fitch ranch, on Russian River, 
had some on hand. Two men named T. Cowie 

and Fowler, who had joined the party in 

JN'apa, volunteered to go and get the powder. 
They imprudently took the main traveled road, 
or returned to it near Santa Rosa, and were 
captured by a scouting party, or, rather, a rov- 
ing band of cut-throats and thieves under the 
lead of Juan Padillo. The two men were kept 
in the Carillo house all night. The ne.xt morn- 
ing they were taken- up the little valley, near 
the present county farm, were first inhumanly 
treated, and then shot. Not satisfied with this, 
their bodies were mutilated in a horrid manner 
and were then thrown into a ditch. An Indian 
named Chanate, who knew the men, told Moses 
Carson of their fate and condition, and he came 
and buried them under a pine tree, piling up a 
few rocks to mark the spot. 

Finding that Cowie and Fowler did not re- 
turn, there was much uneasiness in Sonoma. 
A party was sent up the valley to make inquiry, 
who learned the circumstances of their cruel 
murder and mutilation. Two others of the 
party, who were out in search of horses, had 
been taken, and it was feared that they, too, 
would be killed. 

The Bear Flag men were not of the class to 


suffer any indignity, much less a horrid outrage 
like this. It demanded instant and exemplary 
punislnnent. Volunteers were called for to go 
in search of the murderers. The whole garri- 
son volunteered. All could not go. Twenty- 
three were selected and put under command of 
Lieutenant W. L. Ford. Among the number 
was Frank Bidwell, to whom the writer is in- 
debted for this account of the pursuit. Captain 
Ford and his command came tirst to Santa Kosa. 
Pad i Ho had fled. From Santa liosa he went to 
the Koblar de la Miseria, Padillo's ranch. He 
was there told by some Indians that the maraud- 
ing band had gone, some three hours before, to 
the Laguna de San Antonio. Captain Ford 
pushed on to that point and bivouacked half a 
mile from the supposed headquarters. He 
charged upon the house next morning and 
found only four men there, whom he took 
prisoners. He left some of his men to guard 
the prisoners and horses which he had captured. 
With fourteen men he continued the pursuit. 
After a brief ride of a few miles he came to 
the Olompali ranch, now Dr. Burdell's place, in 
Marin County. He saw a number of horses 
in a corral near the house apparently in charge 
of a vaquero. He dashed up rapidly to pre- 
vent the man in charge from turning them 
loose, as he proposed to confiscate them. Get- 
ting nearer he was astonished to see the Cali- 
fornians pouring out of the house and hastily 
mounting their already saddled horses. He 
had run upon the combined forces of Captain 
Joaquin de la Torre and the Santa Rosa mur- 
derers, numbering all told eighty-three men. 
Both parties bad been surprised. Fortunately 
there was a willow thicket about sixty yards 
from the house. While the enemy were getting 
in motion Captain Ford ordered his men to fall 
back to the brush and to dismount, tie their 
horses, take position in the brush, and by no 
means to fire until " sure of a man." There 
was a mountaineer in the party who went by 
the name of " Old Red." He was a dead sliot, 
and was stationed in the upper end of the wood. 
Frank Bidwell was some distance below him. 

The Californians, made bold by the supposed 
retreat, formed their lines and came up hand- 
somely. Their advance was lead by a gallant 
young sergeant. All was still in the willows. 
The sharp crack of a rifle broke the silence, 
followed by a puff of smoke which burst 
through the brush. It was "Old Red," who 
could not hold his fire. This brought on the 
fio-ht. Other shots came in quick succession. 
In a very few moments eight of the assaulting 
party lay dead upon the plain, two were 
wounded, and a horse with an ugly bullet-hole 
in his neck was struggling in the field. The 
young sergeant was the last to fall, whereupon 
the whole band broke for the cover of the hills, 
receiving as they left a volley at long range as 
a parting salute. Twenty-three shots had been 
tired; eleven took effect. " Old Red's" excuse 
fur firing so soon was, that he was " sure of a 
man " anywhere in range. 

As soon as the fight began a woman in the 
house cut Todd's bonds, and he joined his com- 
rades before it was over. Captain Ford rested 
on his arms for some time thinking that the 
enemy would rally and renew the fight, but 
they made no sign. It was enough. He there- 
upon set out on his return to Sonoma with his 
rescued prisoners and his captives. Tlie captured 
horses he drove before him as the spoil of war. 
The murder of Cowie and Fowler was avenged 
on the field of Olompali. 

On the 20th of June, Castro made his first 
move in the direction of trying to recover lost 
ground north of the bay. On that date Cap- 
tain Joaquin de la Torre crossed the bay with 
about seventy Californians and being joined by 
Padea and Correo, took a position near San 
Rafael. Of these movements Fremont was 
speedily apprised, and now for the first time 
gave open recognition of the claims of the rev- 
olutionists upon him for active aid. On the 
23d of June, Harrison Pierce, a pioneer settler 
of Napa Valley, made a forced ride of eighty 
miles to Fremont's camp announcing the pres- 
ence of Castro's troops on the north side of the 
bay and the consequent peril of those who had 


captured Sonoma. He received a promise from 
Frtmont to come to .their aid jnst as soon as he 
conld put ninety men into the saddle. Pierce, 
with this cheering news^ retraced the eighty 
miles formerly passed over, with but one change 
of horse, and soon carried the news to the little 
garrison at Sonoma, that Fremont was coming. 
On the evening of the day he had received the 
tidings Fremunt and his men were on their 
way toward Sonoma. Of the make-up of Fre- 
mont's i'orce, one of the party wrote as follows: 
•' There were Americans, French, English, 
Switp, Poles, Eufsians, Prussians, Chilians, 
Geimans, Greeks, Austrians, Pawnees, native 
Indians, etc., all riding side by side and talking a 
polyglot lingual hash never exceeded in diversi- 
bility since the confusion of tongues at the 
tower of Babel. Some wore the relics of their 
home-spun garments, some relied upon the an- 
telope and the bear for their wardrobe, some 
lightly habited in buckskin leggings and a coat 
of war-paint, and their weapons were equally 
various. There was the grim old hunter with 
his long heavy rifle, the farmer with his double- 
barreled shot-gun, the Indian with his bows 
and arrows; and others with horse-pistols, re- 
volvers, sabres, ships' cutlasses, bowie-knives, 
and pepper-boxes (Allen's revolvers)." Fre- 
mont, with his incongruous band, made forced 
marches and reached Sonoma on the morning 
of June 25th. After a rest Fremont started 
for San Rafael in quest ot Castro and Torre's 
forces. Castro had not crossed over as supposed, 
and Torre was invisible. A decoy letter of 
Torre fell into Fremont's hands, the purport of 
which was that Torre's force, with some other 
imaginary ally was to proceed against Sonoma. 
Fremont at once called to saddle and his com- 
mand went toward Sonoma as fast as muscle 
and tendon of mustang horses would carry 
them. Arrived there, Fremont became satisfied 
that he had been deceived, and made swift haste 
back toward San liafael; but it was of no 
avail: tiie wily Torre had succeeded in getting 
his troops across the bay and was out of reach 
of the clutches of the " Path Finder." 

It was on this occasion of the return of Fre- 
mont to San Rafael that occurred what has the 
resemblance of wanton sacrifice of human life. 
We allude to the shooting of Ramon and Fran- 
cisco de Ilaro. They were of a respectable 
fatnily living at Yerba Buena. They reached 
the San Rafael Embarcadero in a boat managed 
by Jose R. Berryessa. The Haros are said to 
have been quite young — only sixteen or eighteen 
years of age. One version is that they were 
taken prisoners, as spies, and were regularly 
sentenced and shot. But the statement that 
Bancoft seems to give credence to is, that when 
they were seen to land. Kit Carson asked Fre- 
mont, on starting with a squad of men to meet 
them, whether he should take them prisoners, 
and that Fremont's reply was, " We liave no use 
for prisoners." It is tlien claimed that Carson 
and his men as soon as in shooting distance 
opened fire, killing them on the spot. The late 
Jasper O'Farrell is given as the authority for 
this version, and claimed to have witnessed tlie 
whole transaction. Unless there is more light 
cast on this transaction than we have had as yet, 
the killing of those young men will always seem 
wanton and cruel. 

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

When Fremont passed San Rafael in pursuit of Cap- 
tain de la Torre's party, I had just left them, and he sent 
me word that he would drive them to Hausalilo that 
night, when Ihey could not escape unless they got my 
boats. I hastened hack to the ship and made all safe. 
There was a large launch lying near the beach; this was 
anchored further off, and I put provisions on board to be 
ready for Fremont should he need her. At night there 
was not a boat on shore. Torre's party must shortly arrive 
and show flght or surrender. Toward 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 ly- 
ing 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 ofBcial notice of war existing lie could not act in the 


It was thm 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 camped opposite my vessel, the 
liark Moscow, the following night. They were early astir 
the next morning when I landed to visit Captain Fre- 
mont, and were all variously employed in taking care of 
their horaes, mending saddles, cleaning their arms, etc. 
I had n >t up to this time seen Fremont, but from reports 
to his character and exploits my imagination had painted 
liim as a larg-j-sized, martial-looking man or personage, 
towering above his companions, whiskered and ferocious 

I took a survey of the party, but could not discover any 
one who looked, as I thought, the captain to look. See- 
ing a tall, lank, Kentucky-looking chap (Dr. R. Semple), 
dressed in a greasy deer-skin hunting shirt, with trousers 
to match, and which terminated just below the knees, his 
head surmounted by a coon-skin cap, tail in front, who, I 
supposed, was an officer as he was giving orders to the 
men, I approached and asked if the captain was in camp. 
He looked and pointed out a slender-made, well-propor- 
tioned man sitting in front of a tent. His dress a blue 
woolen shirt of somewhat novel style, open at the neck 
trimmed with white, and with a star on each point of the 
collar (a m in-of-war's shirt), over this a deer-skin hunt- 
ing shirt, trimmed and fringed, which had evidently seen 
hard times or service, his head unincumbered by hat or 
cap, but had a light cotton handkerchief bound around it, 
and deer-skin moccassins completed the suit, which, if 
not fashionable for Broadway, or for a presentation dress 
at court, struck me as being an excellent rig to scud un- 
der or fight in. A few minutes' conversation convinced 
me that I stood in the presence of the King of the Rocky 

Fremont remained in the neighborhood of 
San Rafael until July 2, when he returned to 

On the 4th of July, our national holiday was 
celebrated with due pomp and ceremony, and 
on the 5th the California Battalion of mounted 
riflemen, 250 strong, was organized. Brevet 
Captain John C. Fremont, Second Lieutenant of 
Topographical Engineers, was chosen command- 
ante; First Lieutenant of Marines, Archibald 
H. Gillespie, Adjutant and Inspector, with the 
rank of captain. Both of these gentlemen named 
were officers of the United States Government, 
yet this organization was consummated under the 
fold of the Bear flag that yet kissed the breezes 
of the " Valley of the Moon." The next day, 
the 6th of July, Fremont at the head of his 
mounted riflemen, started to make the circuit 

of the head of the bay, to go south in pursuit 
of Castro. As there were now no California 
soldiers north of the bay it did not require 
a large garrison of the Bear party to hold 

But the end was hastening. On the 7th of 
July Commodore John Drake Sloat, having re- 
ceived tidings that war existed between the 
United States and Mexico, demanded and re- 
ceived the surrender of Monterey. The news 
was immediately sent to San Francisco, where 
was anchored the American war vessel, Ports- 
mouth. At two o'clock on the morning of July 
9th, Lieutenant Warren Revere left that vessel 
in one of her boats, and reaching the Sonoma 
garrison at noon of that day lowered the bear 
flag and hoisted in its place the stars and stripes. 
And thus ended the Bear Flag revolution at 
Sonoma. Lieutenant Revere also sent American 
flags to be hoisted at Sutter's Fort and at the 
establishment of Captain Stephen Smith at 

Lieutenant Revere was sent to Sonoma by 
Montgomery of the Portsmouth, to command 
the garrison, consisting of Company B of the 
battalion, under Captain Grigsby. Lieutenant 
Grigsby tells us that "a few disaffected Cali- 
fornians were still prowling about the district, 
in pursuit of whom on one occasion he made 
an e.xpeditiou with sixteen men to the region of 
Point Reyes. He did not Hnd the party sought, 
but he was able to join in a very enjoyable elk- 
hunt." Li August the Vallejos, Prudon, Leese 
and Carrillo were released from durance vile, 
and restored to their families and friends. That 
very amicable relations existed between the vic- 
tors and vanquished is evidenced by the fact 
that in September, while Lieutenant Revere 
was absent on an expedition, the Vallejos were 
commissioned to protect the Sonoma frontier 
with a force of Christian Indians. Some date 
previous to September 11th, Lieutenant John S. 
Missroon, of the Portsmouth, assumed com- 
mand of the Sonoma garrison. 

On the 25th of September, a meeting of the 
" Old Bears " was held at Sonoma, at which J. 


B. Chiles presided and John H. JSIash acted as 
secretary, and a committee of three was ap- 
pointed to investigate and gather all the infor- 
mation possible in relation to the action of the 
Bear Flag party, and report at a subsequent 
meeting. Semple, Grigsby and Nash were ap- 
pointed the committee. Manuel E. Mcintosh 
was now alcalde of Sonoma. From the Bear 
Flag conquest of Sonoma, down to the dis- 
covery of gold in California in 1848, there is 
little to note in connection with Sonoma. 
Grigsby, Eevere, Missroon and Brackett were 
successive military commandants, and the In- 
dians were easily held in subjection by Vallejo 
as sub-agent of Indian aifairs. In 1848 Sonoma 
had a total population of about 260 souls. 
Jotede los Santos Berryessa under Mexican rule 
had been at the head of municipal affairs. There 
was then an interregnum of military rule, after 
which John H. Nash became alcalde, and was 
superseded in 1847 by Lilburn W. Boggs, who, 
aided by a council of six, administered the 
municipal government of Sonoma until 1848. 


K. A. Thompson published the following 
communication in the Sonoma County Demo- 
crat of September 9, 1885: 

The Independents were very proud of their flag. The 
bear made an apt illustration of their situation. The 
grizzly attended strictly 1o his own business, and would 
go on munching his berries and acorns if you let him and 
his cubs alone. If you undertook to crowd him out, or 
to make him go any other way rr any faster than he 
wanted to go he would show fight, and when once in a 
fight he fought his way out or died in his tracks. 

The Independents were here, had come in good faith, 
and come to stay; were quiet and peaceable if let alone. 
General Castro undertook to crowd them. His grandil- 
oquent proclamations were harmless, but Te.xatious. At 
last the crisis came. The Independents, weary of threats 
and rumors of war, were forced, for the sake of peace, to 
fight, and having " gone in," to use the identical words 
of one of them, Ihey did not intend to " back out." The 
bear was typical of that idea. 

The difference of opinion about the make-up of the 
bear flag arises from (he fact that there was more than 
one made. The first was a very rude afl'air. It is de- 
scribed in Lieutenant Missroon's report to Captain Mont- 
gomery. Lieutenant Missroon arrived in Sonoma Tues- 
day, the ]6lh of June, about forty-eight hours after the 

capture. He reports to Captain Montgomery on the 17th 
that " the insurgent party had hoisted a flag wilh a white 
field, with a border or stripe of red on the lower part, and 
having a bear and star upon it." The words " California 
Republic " were not rn it at this time, or of course so 
important a feature would have teen noted by Lieuten- 
ant Missroon, who was on a special and exceedingly im- 
portant missicn from his commander. That these words 
were afterwards added is undoubtedly true. It is a mat- 
ter of very little importance, but if any one wishfs an 
exact desciiption of ihe flag as first rai.'ed, he can satisfy 
himself by an examination of the above-mentioned report. 
The flag with the bear standing is an after jn eduction, as 
is also the silk guerdon which Lieutenant Levere pre- 
sented to the pioneers. The description of the flag given 
by Lieutenant Missroon accoids wilh the account of sev- 
eral of the paity whcm the writer has personally inter- 
viewed. Of course, as there were several flags made; 
each differed from the other, in the material, tiom whfm 
the material was obtained, by whom the flag was made, 
and just how the figuies were placed upon it. Hence the 
confused and many diverse accounts of it. All are right 
as to what they describe; but what they describe is not 
the flag first raised by the Independents. That was 
rather a rude affair. In fact, the representation of the 
bear uj on it resembled tl e species porcus as much as it 
did the Ursus ferox or horribiHs. 

Theie were thirty-three men in the Bear Flag party, 
more than half of whom came from the Sacramento Val- 
ley. Among the latter was the brave and gallant black- 
smith, Samuel Neal, and Ezekiel Merritt, the captain of 
the company. 

Following is the first list ever published of the names 
of all the party. A number cume into Sonoma the day 
aftei the capture, and they continued to come in for some 
time. It is very difficult to separate these from the actual 
members of the party who rode into Sonoma on the 
morning of June 14lh. the accompanying list has been 
a number of } ears making, and has been re vised mrny 
times and corrected from written records and by personal 
interviews. There are, doubtless, still some errors, 
which may be corrected upon a satisfactory showing: 

Sacramekto Valley. — Ezekiel Merritt, K. Semple, 
"William Fallon, W. B. Ide, H. L. Ford, G. P.Swift, Sam- 
uel Neal, William Potter, Sereeart Gib.'on, W. M, Scoll, 
James Gibbs, H. Sanders, P. Storm. 

Napa. — Samuel Kelsey, Benjamin Eelsey, John Grigs- 
by, David Hudson, Will Hargrave, Hairison Peirce, 
William Porterfield, Patrick McChristian, Elias Barrett, 
C.Griffith, William L. Todd, Nathan C( oml s, Lucien 

Sonoma. — Franklin Bidwell, Thomas Cowie, Fow- 
ler, W. B. Elliott, Benjamin Dewell, John Sears, "Old 


A history of Northern California with Gen- 
eral M. G. Vallejo ignored would be like the 
play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. We vis- 


ited him in 1888, and were saddened by the 
evidences apparent on every hand of decayed 
gentility. That he was the friend of tlie Anier- 
icans is not a question of doubt; that tlie 
Americans profited by his prodigality and are 
now indifferent to his needs is lamentably true. 
But his name will reach farther down the an- 
nals of history than it is in the power of gold 
to purchase name and fame. 

Mariano. G. Vallejo was born in Monterey, 
July 7, 1808. His father, Ignacio Vicente 
Ferrer Vallejo, was a native of Spain, who came 
in his youth to the State of Guadalajara, Mex- 
ico. In 1774, when a young man, being of an 
adventurous nature, he secretly joined an ex- 
pedition under Captain Rivera for the explora- 
tion of Upper California. He was probably 
with Captain Rivera's party on the 4th of 
December, when the large wooden cross was 
erected on the peninsula of San Francisco, 
which his son. General Vallejo, says he saw 
standing in 1829. At all events, he was an 
eye-witness of the founding of the mission of 
San Francisco, which event occurred October 4, 

On his arrival in Monterey, Senor Ignacio 
Vallejo saw for the first time his future wife. 
It was the day of her birth. He then asked 
permission of the parents of the infant to wed 
their daughter when she should become of age. 
Subsequently, this proposition, made half in 
jest, was renewed, the senorita then being a 
blooming young girl, and Senor Vallejo a 
bachelor of forty. The marriage proved a happy 
one, and Mariano G. Vallejo was the eighth of 
thirteen children, the fruit of the union. 

Young Vallejo availed himself of every op 
portunity to improve his mind by reading and 
study during his minority. He got possession 
of a library when quite young, which was of 
great service. From this source he probably 
acquired a fund of information, which made 
him the peer of tlie learned and distinguished 
persons from all parts of the world, with 
whom he was destined in after life to be asso- 

At the age of sixteen years he was a cadet in 
the army, and private secretary of Governor 

In 1829 he was placed in charge of the Pre- 
sidio of San Francisco, which position he held 
until 1834, organizing in the interval the first 
city or town government of San Francisco. 

Governor Figueroa, the most popular of all 
the Mexican Governors, had control of affairs 
in 1834. Having learned that a large number 
of colonists, some four hundred odd, were on 
their way to California from Mexico, ho deter- 
mined to locate them in Sonoma, partly with 
the view of shutting out the Russians, and 
partly because it was one of the most inviting 
spots to colonize over which he had ever cast his 
experienced eyes. He selected Lieutenant Val- 
lejo as the most suitable of his officers to com- 
mand the frontier and execute his plans. 
Together they visited the country, taking in 
their tour of observation the stronghold of the 
Russian squatters at Ross. Returning to the 
Santa Rosa Valley the Governor selected a 
site on Mark West Creek for the future colony, 
giving it the name of " Santa Ana y Ferias," 
uniting these names probably because he could 
not tell which of the rival political chiefs would 
be on top when he next heard from Mexico. He 
left a camp of soldiers there who were under the 
command of General Vallejo. The colonists 
were under the direction of Senor Hijas, who 
was a quarrelsome, ambitious and avaricious 
man. Governor Figueroa had received orders 
to turn over the control of affairs to Hijas. On 
his return from Sonoma he met a courier with 
orders, countermanding the former instruction, 
and continuing the direction of affairs solely in 
his own hands. 

The colonists arrived in March, 1835, and 
were temporarily quartered in Sonoma. Hijas 
and his coadjutors among tbe colonists were 
much disaffected, and threatened rebellion. 
Figueroa ordered their arrest. This order was 
executed by General Vallejo with much skiL 
and judgment, without bloodshed or any per- 
sonal collision. Hijas and hia cosmo])olitan 



company were taken to San Francisco, and were 
soon after sent back to Mexico. 

General Vallejo remained in charge of the 
frontier. He removed his headquarters from 
Santa Ana y Ferias, on Mark West, to Sonoma, 
when, by order of Figueroa, he, in the month 
of June, 1835, established the town of Sonoma. 

General Figueroa died soon after these events. 
His successor, Governor Carrillo, was deposed 
by Alvarado. The new governor appointed 
General Vallejo to the position of Command- 
ante-General of the frontier. 

In this position General Yallejo did alliu his 
power to promote the settlement of the frontier. 
Expeditions were sent out against the Indians, 
agricultural industries were extended, and tlie 
raising of cattle, sheep and horses was in every 
way encouraged. 

Between 1840 and 1845 a large number of 
immigrants came to northern California. They 
were well received by the General, though the 
home government was continually "nagging" 
him because he did not send the foreigners out 
of the country, at the same time giving him 
neither men nor means to carry out their order. 

In the early part of the year 1846, affairs in 
California were rapidly approaching a crisis. 
In April, a junta was called to meet at Monterey 
to consider the condition of affairs. Revere gives 
a summary of some of the speeches made. 
That ol General Vallejo was as follows: 

I caDUot, gentlemen, coincide with the military and 
civil tunciionaries who have advocated the cession of our 
country to France or England. It is most true that to 
rely any longeron Mexico to govern and defend us would 
be idle and absurd. To this extent I fully agree with 
my colleagues. It is also true that we possess a noble 
country, every way calculated, from position and re- 
sources, 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 least inditl'erent to 
our interests and to our wellare. It is not to be denied 
that feeble nations have in former limes thrown them- 
selves upon Ihe protection of their powerful neighbors. 
The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons, 
and fell an easy prey to their protectois, who seized their 
lands and treated Ibem 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 
their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate the by 
idea of dependence, ought we to go to distant Europe 
for a master? What possible s} mpathy could exist be- 
tween us and a nation separated from us by two vast 
oceans? But waiving this insuperable objection, how 
could we endure to come under the dominion of a mon- 
archy ? For, although others speak lightly of a form of 
government, as a freeman, I cannot do so. We are repub- 
licans — badly governed and badly situated as we are — 
still we are all, in sentiment, republicans. So far as we 
are governed at all, we at least profess to be self-gov- 
erned. 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 pioiection of 
France and England, what shall we do? I do not come 
here to support the existing order of things, but 1 come 
prepared to propose instant and efl'eclive action to extri- 
cate our country from her present forloin condition. My 
opinion is made up that we must persevere in throwing 
off the galling yoke of Mexico, and proclaim our inde- 
pendence of her forever. We have endured her official 
cormorants and her villainous soldiery until we can en- 
dure no longer. All will probably agree wilh 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 ihan we are. Our position is 
so remote, either by land or sea, that we are in no danger 
from Mexican invasion. Why, then, should we hesitate 
still to assert our independence? We have indeed taken 
the first step by electing our own Governor, but another 
remains to be taken. 1 will mention it plainly and dis- 
tinctly — it is annexation to the United Slates. In con- 
templating this consummation of our destiny, I feel noth- 
ing but pleasure, and I ask you to share it. Discard old 
prejudices, disregard old customs, and prepare for the 
glorious change which awaits our country. Why should 
we shrink from 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 slronn- 
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 tu share with us a common destiny. 

Lieutenant Revere was in Monterey when 
the junta met; its proceedings were secret, but 


he says it was ii'jtorious that two parties existed 
in tlie country, and tliat General Vallejo was 
the leader of the American party, while Castro 
was at the head of the European party. He 
says he had his report of the meeting from 
documentary evidence, as well as sketches of 
the principal speeches. He also says that so 
soon as General Vallejo retired from the junta 
he addressed a letter to Governor Pio Pico em- 
bodying the views he had expressed in his 
speech and refusing ever again to assist in any 
project having for its end the establishment of 
a protectorate over California by any other 
power than the United States. 

At last the long-threatened storm broke upon 
the town of Sonoma, and its commandante and 
little garrison were captured by the Americans. 
General Vallejo was kept as a prisoner for about 
two months, and released by order of Commodore 

General Vallejo, speaking of the condition 
of affairs in Northern California previous to 
the taking of Sonoma, said: 

Years before I had urgently represpnted to the Govern- 
ment of Mexico the necessity of stationing a sufficient 
force on the frontier, else Sonoma would be lost; which 
would be equivalent to leavin:; the rest of the country an 
easy prey to the invader. What think yon, my friends, 
were the instructions sent me in reply to my repeated de- 
mands for means to fortify the country? These instruc- 
tions were that I should at once force the immigrants to 
recross the Sierra Nevada and depart from the territory 
of the Republic. To say nothing of the inhumanity of 
these orders, their execution was physically impossible; 
first, because I had no military force; and second, be- 
cause the immigrants came in the autumn, when snow 
covered the Sierra so quickly as to render return imprac- 
ticable. Under the circumstances not only I, but Com- 
mandante-General Castro, resolved to provide the immi- 
grants with letters of security, that they might remain 
temporarily in the country. We always made a show of 
authority, but were well convinced all the time that we 
had no power to resist the invasion which was coming in 
upon us. With the frankness of a soldier 1 can assure 
you that the American immigrants never had cause to 
complain of the treatment they received at the hands of 
either authorities or citizens. 

General Vallejo, on his release, at once made 
his great influence as a friend of the United 
States felt throughout the country. He took 
active interest in public affairs, always on the 

side of order and good government. He was 
elected a member of the Constitutional Con- 
vention which met in Monterey, and was a Sen- 
ator from the Sonoma District in the first 
Legislature of California. And from that 
period down to the present he has been an 
enterprising, useful and honored citizen of So- 
noma. In priority of settlement, he is the first 
of the 35,000 inhabitants now living in Sonoma 

On the 6th of March, 1832, he married Sen- 
orita Benicia Francesca Carillo, who still sur- 
vives with her distinguished husband. 

In person. General Vallejo, even at his ad- 
vanced age, is a strikingly handsome man. He 
is tall and erect in carriage, with the military 
air of one disciplined to arms in his early 
youth. He is a brilliant conversationalist, an 
eloquent speaker, even in English, which he 
acquired late in life. To these accomplish- 
ments may be added the grace of gesture and 
manner which he inherits with his blood from 
an ancestry of Spanish cavaliers. 

In the first Legislature of this State, M. G. 
Vallejo told the following story: "At that 
period (late in the last century) few families 
had emigrated to this country, and any one of 
the female sex was an oasis in the desert. My 
father was one of the many who emigrated in 
bachelorship, and while sojourning in San Luis 
Obispo he unexpectedly met with a lady who 
was in travail. As there was no one except her 
husband to assist her, he acted as her holder 
(tenedor). The lady was safely delivered of a 
girl, whereupon the holder solicited the hand of 
the child, and a formal agreement was made be- 
tween the parties that if at mature years the 
girl should willingly consent to the union the 
ceremony should be duly performed. The mar- 
riage took place in the young lady's fourteenth 
year, and the offspring of that marriage has 
now the honor to present this short biographical 
sketch !" 


Colonel J. J. Warner, now of Los Angeles, a 
member of the Ewing trapping expedition. 



whicli passed north through these valleys in 
1832, and back again in 1833, sajs: 

" In the fall of 1832, there were a number of 
Indian villages on King's River, between its 
mouth and the mountains; ako on the San Joa- 
quin River, from the base of the mountains 
down to and some distance below the great 
slough. On the Merced River, from the moun- 
tains to its junction with the San Joaquin, there 
were no Indian villages; but from about this 
point on the San Joaquin, as well as on its 
principal tributaries, the Indian villages were 
numerous, many of them containing some fifty 
to one hundred dwellings, built with poles and 
thatched with rushes. With some few excep- 
tions, the Indians were peaceably disposed. On 
the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Calaveras rivers 
there were no Indian villages above the mouths, 
as also at or near their junction with the San 
Joaquin. The most hostile were on the Cala- 
veras River. The banks of the Sacramento 
River, in its whole course through the valley, 
was studded witli Indian villages, the houses of 
which, in the spring, during the day-time, 
were red with the salmon the aborigines were 

'• At this time there were not, on the San Joa- 
quin or Sacramento river, or any of their tribu- 
taries, nor within the valleys of the two rivers, 
any inhabitants but Indians. On no part of 
the continent over which I had then or have 
since traveled was so numerous an Indian popu- 
lation, subsisting on the natural products of the 
soil and waters, as in the valleys of the San 
Joaquin and Sacramento. There was no culti- 
vation of the soil by them; game, fish, nuts of 
the forest and seeds of the field constituted their 
entire food. They were experts in catching fish 
in many ways, and in snaring game in divers 

" On our return, late in the summer of 1833, 
we found the valleys depopulated. From the 
head of the Sacramento to the great bend and 
slough of the San Joaquin we did not see more 
than six or eight live Indians, while large num- 
bers of their bodies and skulls were to be seen 

under almost every shade-tree near water, where 
the uninhabited and deserted villages had been 
converted into grave-yards; and on the San Joa- 
quin River, in the immediate neighborhood of 
the larger class of villages, which the preceding 
year were the abodes of large numbers of these 
Indians, we found not only many graves, but 
the vestiges of a funeral pyre. At the mouth 
of King's River we encountered the first and 
only village of the stricken race that we had 
seen after entering the great valley; this village 
contained a large number of Indians tempora- 
rily stopping at that place. 

"We were encamped near the village one night 
only, and during that time the death angel, 
passing over the camping-ground of the plague- 
strieken fugitives, waved his wand, summoning 
from a little remnant of a once numerous people 
a score of victims to muster in the land of the 
Manitou; and the cries of the dying, mingling 
with the wails of the bereaved, made the night 
hideous in that veritable valley of death." 


Ewing Young, who had trapped with parties 
on the upper part of the Del Norte, the eastern 
part of the Grand and the Colorado rivers, 
pursuing the route formerly traversed by Capt. 
Jedediah S. Smith, in 1829-'30, entered the San 
Joaquin Valley and hunted on Tulare Lake and 
the adjacent streams. During the last part of 
1832, or early in 1833, Young, having again 
entered the San Joaquin valley and trapped on 
the streams, finally arrived at the Sacramento 
River about ten miles below the mouth of the 
American. He followed up the Sacratnento to 
the Feather River, and from there crossed over 
to the coast. The coast litie was traveled till 
they reached the mouth of the Umpqua, where 
they crossed the mountains to the inland. En- 
tering the upper portion of the Sacramento 
Valley, they proceeded southerly till they 
reached the American River. Then they fol- 
lowed down the San Joaquin Valley and passed 
out through the Tejon Pass, in tlie winter of 


1833-'34. Besides these parties, there were 
several trappers, or " lone traders," in this re- 
gion during the same period. 

The attention of the officers of the wealthy and 
powerful Hudson Bay Company was first spec- 
ially called to the extent and importance of the 
fur trade in California by Captain Smith, in 1827 
or '8. The first expedition sent out by them 
was that under the command of McLeod. A 
short time after the departure of this company 
a second one was sent out under the leadership 
of Mr. Ogden, which followed up the Columbia 
and Lewis rivers, thence southerly over western 
Utah, Nevada, and into the San Joaquin Valley. 
On their return thej trapped on the streams in 
Sacramento Valley, and went out at the northern 
limit in 1830. Thereafter the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany continued to send trappers into all this re- 
gion, for a time employing about ninety or one 
hundred men in thif State. 

During the months of January and February, 
1844, John C. Fremont, then brevet captain of 
topographical engineers, on his return from his 
first exploring expedition to Oregon, passed down 
the west side of the Sierras, and crossed the 
snow-covered summit to Helvetia (Sacramento), 
suffering many privations and hardships. To 
reach this point they followed down the south 
fork of the American River. Fremont has 
published a Journal of his trip, describing the 
experiences of himself and of his men with the 
Indians and with the usual vicissitudes of 
western travel, and also of the beauty of the 
hill and valley scenery and the primeval streams 
of pure water. 

The next winter another party, of hardy 
pioneers, worked their laborious way through 
the drifting snow of the mountains and entered 
the beautiful valley, one of them remaining in 
his snow-bound camp at Donner Lake until re- 
turning spring made his rescue possible. The 
party consisted of twenty-three men, viz.: John 
Flomboy; Captain Stevens, recently a resident 
of Kern County, California; Joseph E. Foster; 
Dr. JohnTownsend; Allen Montgomery; Moses 
Schallenberger, now a resident of San Jose, 

California; C. Greenwood and his two sons, 
John and Brit; James Miller, of San flafael, 
California; Mr. Calvin; "William Martin; Pat- 
rick Martin; Dennis Martin; Martin Murphy 
and his five sons; Mr. Hitchcock and son, 
and others. 

William Sublette came overland in 1845 with 
a party of fifteen men, probably by way of the 
famous "cut-oflF" named after him. He went 
East with Clyman and Hastings. 

James Alexander Forbes, a native of Scot- 
land, lived some years in South America, and 
came thence to San Francisco about 1830. In 
1832 he was acting as a kind of clerk or major- 
domo for a Mexican at Santa Clara. A year or 
two afterward he was naturalized. In July, 
1834, he married Ana Maria, daughter of Juan 
C. Galindo, being then twenty-seven years old. 
In 1836 he was agent for the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany; elector in 1838; sindico in 1839; and in 
1842 he was appointed British vice-consul at 
Monterey, which office he filled for a few years, 
but without moving to Monterey, as there was 
little to do. In 1844 he was the grantee of the 
Potrero de Santa Clara; in 1845-'46 he was at 
San Francisco in charge of the Hudson Bay 
Company's property, after Rae's death, having 
apparently used his influence against Sutter 
and Micheltorena, being involved in a contro- 
versy with Leidesdorff, and obtaining for him- 
self and wife some beach lots in that place. He 
disclaimed taking any part in procuring a 
British protectorate over California, and in the 
troubles of 1846-'47 he took but slight part. 
Governor Mason declined to permit him as 
British vice-consul to import goods free of 
duties. Mr. Forbes died in Oakland, in 1881, 
at the age of seventy-seven, retaining to the 
last much bitterness of feeling against many 
American peculiarities. His children have been 
Carlos H., residing at Los Angeles, in 1885, 
with ten children: Martha (deceased), James 
Alexander, Jr., Michael, Frederick, James 
Alonzo, Luis Felipe (deceased), Maria Clara, 
Juan Telesforo, Margaret, Francis 11. and 
Alfred O. 




Three miles from Truckee, and resting in the 
green lap of the Sierras, lies one of the loveliest 
sheets of water on the Pacific coast. Tall 
monntain peaks are reflected in the clear water, 
revealing a picture of extreme loveliness and 
quiet peace. Yet this peaceful sc;ene was the 
amphitheater of the most tragic event in the 
annals of early California. " The Donner Party" 
was organized in Sangamon County, Illinois, by 
George and Jacob Donner and James F. Reed, 
in the spring of 1846. In April, 1846, the 
party set out from Springfield, Illinois, and by 
the first week in May had reached Indepen- 
dence, Missouri, where the party was increased 
until the train numbered about two or three 
hundred wagons, the Donner family numbering 
sixteen; the Reed family, seven ; the Graves 
family, twelve; the Murphy family, thirteen: 
these were the principal families of the Donner 
party proper. At Independence provisions were 
laid in for the trip, and the line of journey 
taken up. In the occasional glimpses we have 
of the party, features of but little interest 
present themselves, beyond the ordinary ex- 
periences of pioneer life. A letter from Mrs. 
George Donner, written near the junction of the 
North and South Platte, dated June 16, 1846, 
reports a favorable journey of 450 miles from 
Independence, Missouri, and with no forebod- 
ings of the terrible disasters so soon to burst 
upon them. At Fort Laramie a portion of the 
party celebrated the Fourth of July There- 
after the train passed unmolested, upon its jour- 
ney. George Donner was elected captain of the 
train at the Little Sandy River, on the 20th of 
July, 1846, from which act it took the name of 
the " Donner Party." 

At Fort Pridger, then a mere trading post, 
the fatal choice was made of the route that led 
to siich fearful disasters and tragic death. A 
new route, via Salt Lake, known as Hastings' 
Cut-off, was recommended to the party as short- 
ening the distance by 300 miles. After due 
deliberation, the Donner party of eighty-seven 
souls (three having died) were induced to separ- 

ate from the larger portion of the train (which 
afterward arrived in California safely), and com- 
menced their journey by way of Hastings' Cut- 
off. They reached Weber, near the bend of the 
canon, in safety. From this point in their 
journey, to Salt Lake, almost insurmountable 
difficulties were encountered, and instead of 
reaching Salt Lake in one week, as anticipated, 
over thirty days of perilous journey were con- 
sumed in making the trip — most precious time 
in view of the dangers imminent in the rapidly 
approaching storms of winter. The story of 
their trials and sufferings, in their journey to 
the fatal camp at Donner Lake, is terrible; 
nature, and stern necessity seemed arrayed 
against them. On the 19th of October, near the 
present site of Wadsworth, Nevada, the desti- 
tute company were happily reprovisioiied by C. 
T. Stanton; furnished with food and mules, 
together with two Indian vaqueros, by Captain 
Sutter without recompensation. 

At the present site of Reno it was decided to 
rest. Three or four days' time was lost. This 
was the fatal act. The storm-clouds were already 
brewing upon the mountains, only a few miles 
distant. The ascent was ominous. Thick and 
thicker grew the clouds, outstripping in threaten- 
ing battalions the now eager feet of the alarmed 
emigrants, until, at Prosser Creek, three miles 
below Truckee, October 28, 1846, a month 
earlier than usual, the storm set in, and they 
found themselves in six inches of newly-fallen 
snow. On the summit it was already from two 
to five feet deep. The party, in much con- 
fusion, finally 'reached Donner Lake, in dis- 
ordered fragments. Frequent and desperate 
attempts were made to cross the monntain tops, 
but at last, baffled and despairing, they returned 
to camp at the lake. The storm now descended 
in all its pitiless fury upon the ill-fated emi- 
grants. Its dreadful import was well under- 
stood, as laden with omens of sufl'ering and 
death. With slight interruptions the storm 
continued for several days. The animals were 
literally buried alive and frozen in the drifts. 
Meat was hastily prepared from their frozen 


carcasses, and cabins rudely built. One, the 
Schallenberger cabin, erected November, 1844, 
was already standing, about a quarter of a mile 
below the lake. This the Breen family appro- 
priated. The Murphys erected one 300 yards 
from the lake, marked by a large stone twelve 
feet high. The Graves family built theirs near 
Donner Creek, three-quarters of a mile further 
down the stream, the three forming the apexes 
of a triangle; the Breen and Murphy cabins 
were distant from each other about 150 yards. 
The Donner brothers, with their families, 
hastily constructed a brush shed in Alder 
Creek valley, six or seven miles from the lake. 
Their provisions were speedily consumed, and 
starvation, with all its grim attendant horrors, 
stared the poor emigrants in the face. Day by 
day, with aching hearts and paralyzed energies, 
they awaited, amid the beating storms of the 
Sierras, the dreadful revelations of the morrow, 
" hoping against hope " for some welcome sign. 
On the 16th of December, 1846, a party of 
seventeen were enrolled to attempt the hazard- 
ous journey across the mountains, to press into 
the valley beyond for relief. Two returned and 
the remaining fifteen pressed on, including 
Mary Graves and her sister; Mrs. Sarah Fos- 
dick, and several other women, the heroic C. T. 
Stanton and the noble F. W. Graves (whc left 
his wife and seven children at the lakes to wait 
in vain for his return) being the leaders. This 
was the " Forlorn Hope Party," over whose 
dreadful sufferings and disasters we must throw 
a veil. A. detailed account of this party is given 
from the pen of C. F. McGlashan, and lately 
published in book form from the press of 
Crowley & McGlashan, proprietors of the 
Truckee Republican, to which we take pleasure 
in referring the reader. Death in its most 
awful form reduced the suffering company to 
seven — two men and five women — when sud- 
denly tracks were discovered imprinted on the 
snow. "Can any one imagine," says Mary 
Graves in her recital, " the joy these footsteps 
gave us? We ran as fast as our strength would 
carry us." Turning a sharp point they sud- 

denly came upon an Indian rancheria. The 
acorn-bread otfered them by the kind and awe- 
stricken savages was eagerly devoured. But on 
they pressed with their Indian guides, only to 
repeat their dreadful sufferings, until at last, 
one evening about the last of January, Mr. 
Eddy, with his Indian guide, preceding the 
party fifteen miles, reached Johnson's ranch on 
Bear Itiver, the first settlement on the western 
slope of the Sierras, when relief was sent back as 
soon as possible, and the remaining six sur- 
vivors were brought in the next day. It had 
been thirty-two days since they left Doimer 
Lake. No tongue can tell, no pen portray, the 
awful sufferings, the terrible and appalling 
straits, as well as the noble deeds of heroism 
that characterized this march of death. The 
eternal mountains, whose granite face bore wit- 
ness to their sufferings, are tit monuments to 
make the last resting place of Charles T. Stan- 
ton, that cultured, heroic soul, who groped his 
way through the blinding snows of the Sierras to 
immortality. The divine encomium: " He gave 
His life as a ranson for many, " is his epitaph, 
foreshadawed in his own noble words, " 1 will 
bring aid to these famishing people or lay down 
my life." 

Nothing could be done, in the meantime, for 
the relief of the sufferers at Donner Lake, with- 
out securing help from Fort Sutter, which was 
speedily accomplished by John Rhodes. In a 
week, six men, fully provisioned, with Captain 
Keasin P. Tucker at their head, reached John- 
son's ranch, and in ten or twelve days' time, 
with provisions, mules, etc., the tirst relief party 
started for the scene at Donner Lake. It was a 
fearful undertaking, but on the morning of the 
19th of February, 1847, the above party began 
the descent of the gorge leading to Donner Lake. 

We have purposely thrown a veil over the 
dreadful sufferings of the stricken band left 
in their wretched hovels at Donner Lake. 
Reduced to the verge of starvation, many died 
(including nuraerous children, seven of whom 
were nursing babes) who, in this dreadful state 
of necessity, were summarily disposed of. Raw- 


hides, moccasins, strings, etc., were eaten. Bnt 
relief was now close at hand for the poor, stricken 
sufferers. On the evening of the 19th of Feb- 
ruary, 1847, the stillness of death that had 
settled upon the scene was broken by prolonged 
shouts. In an instant the painfully sensitive 
ears of the despairing watchers caught the wel- 
come sound. Captain Tucker, with his relief 
party, had at last arrived upon the scene. 
Every face was bathed in tears, and the strongest 
men of the relief party melted at the appalling 
eight, sat down and wept with the rest. 

Bnt time was precious, as storms were immi- 
nent. The return party was quickly gathered. 
Twenty- three members started, among them 
several women and children. Of this number 
two were compelled to return and three per- 
ished on the journey. Many hardships and 
privations were experienced, and their provis- 
ions were soon entirely" exhausted. Death once 
more stared them in the face, and despair set- 
tled upon them. But assistance was near at 
hand. James F. Reed, who had preceded the 
Donner party by some months, suddenly ap- 
peared with the second relief party, on the 25th. 
The joy of the meeting was indescribable, espe- 
cially between the family and the long absent 
father. Re-provisioned, the party pressed on 
and gained their destination after severe suffer- 
ing, with eighteen members, only three having, 
perished. Reed continued his journey to the 
cabins at Donner Lake. There the scene was 
simjjly indescribable; starvation and disease 
were fast claiming their victims. March 1, 
Reed and his party arrived at the camp. Pro- 
ceeding directly to his cabin, he was espied by 
his little daughter (who, with her sister, was 
carried back by the previous party) and imme- 
diately recognized with a cry of joy! Provis- 
ions were carefully dealt out to the famishi no- 
people and immediate steps were taken for their 
return. Seventeen comprised this party. Half 
starved and completely exhausted they were 
compelled to camp in the midst of the furious 
storm, in which Mr. Reed barely escaped with 
his life. Tliis was "Starved Camp," and from 

this point Mr. Reed, with his two little chil- 
dren and another person, struggled ahead to 
obtain hasty relief if possible. 

On the second day after leaving Starved Camp 
Mr. Reed and the three companies were over- 
taken by Cady and Stone, and on tlie night of 
the third day reached Woodworth's camp at 
Bear Valley, in safety. The horrors of Starved 
Camp beggar all description, — indeed require 
none. The third relief party, composed of 
John Stark, Howard Oakley and Charles Stone, 
were nearing the rescue, while W. H. Foster 
and W. H. Eddy (rescued by a former party) 
were bent on the same mission. These, with 
Hiram Miller, set out from Woodworth's camp 
on the following morning after Reed's arrival. 
The eleven were duly reached, but were in a 
starving condition, and nine of the eleven were 
unable to walk. By the noble resolution and 
herculean efforts of Mr. Stark, a part of the 
number were borne and urged onward "to their 
destination, while the other portion were com- 
pelled to remain and await another relief party. 
When the third relief party, under Foster and 
Eddy, arrived at Donner Lake, the sole surviv- 
ors of Alder Creek were George Donner, the 
captain of the company and his heroic and 
faithful wife, whose devotion to her dying hus- 
band caused her own death during the last and 
fearful days of waiting for the fourth relief. 
George Donner knew he was dying, and urged 
his wife to save her life and go with her little 
ones with the third relief party, but she refused. 
Nothing was more heart-rending than her sad 
parting with her beloved little ones, who wound 
their childish arms lovingly around her neck 
and besought her with mingled tears and kisses 
to join them. But duty prevailed over affection 
and she retraced the weary distance to die with 
him whom she had promised to love and honor 
to the end. Such scenes of anguish are seldom 
witnessed on this sorrowing earth, and such acts 
of triumphant devotion are among her most 
golden deeds. The snowy cerements of Donner 
Lake enshrouded in its stilly whiteness no purer 
life, no nobler heart than Mrs. George Donner's. 


The terrible recitals that closed this awful trag- 
edy we willingly omit. 

The third relief party rescued ibur of the last 
five survivors; the fourth and last relief party 
rescued the last survivor, Lewis Keseberg, on 
the 7th of April, 1847. Ninety names are given 
as members of the Donner party. Of these, 
forty-two perished, six did not live to reach the 
mountains, and forty-eight survived, some of 
whom are still living. 

Thus ends this narrative of horrors, without 
a parallel in the annals of American history of 
appalling disasters, fearful sufferings, heroic 
fortitudes, self denial and heroism. 


Bancroft, in his " Native Races of the Pacific 
States," divides the Indians of the coast into 
seven distinct groups. The Californians com- 
prise one of the important branches occupying 
the territory between latitudes 32^° and 43° 
north, extending east to the Eocky Mountains. 
This group is subdivided into geographical sec- 
tions, namely, the Northern Californian, the 
Central Californian and the Southern Califor- 
nian. The early inhabitants of California be- 
longed to the Central division, which occupied 
all of California and extended from about 35° 
to 40^° north. The races in this region were 
separated into numerous small tribes whose 
system of nomenclature was exceedingly prim- 
itive. The segregation of these Indians was 
not properly into tribes, but into villages, each 
having its own name and head. 

The men generally wore their hair long, 
taken up all around and tied up in a bunch. 
The ends, being loose, floated out, much re 
sembling a feather-duster. To bind the hair 
they used a net made from the milk-weed. 
In this they frequently placed grasses or flow- 
ers, forming a wreath. The women " banged" 
their hair in front, as do now their civilized 
white sisters; and for a sort of comb they 
used a sharpened mussel-shell pressed against 
a stick. The longer hair was brushed back 
and allowed to float in its confusion. The 

men generally wore their beard in the form 
of a goatee, plucking the hairs on the side of 
the face. The growth was not luxuriant, but 
the hair was fine in texture. The women had 
their heads and i.ecks ornamented, but did not 
trouble themselves about other covering. A 
string of beads made from spiral fossil shells 
was worn around the neck. Through the holes 
in the ears were placed the leg-bones of vult- 
ures, or small ornamented elders from six 
inches to a foot in length, their nets hanging 
down to the shoulders. Sometimes they in- 
serted a quill or small bone through the nose 
for ornament. In their huts their coverings 
were made from the feathers of ducks and geese, 
thoroughly bound together and these strips 
woven into a blanket. They also had coverings 
made from the skins of the wild hare and deer. 
The women also wore necklaces, made of small 
white beads. These strings were drawn around 
the neck several times. They wore no head- 
dresses. All wore a double apron in front and 
behind, attached to a belt, which was in the 
form of a strap, from the milkweed. At times 
the women donned these feathers or string cov- 
erings, although their general use was for the 
bed. Their ears were pierced, although the 
holes were not as large as the men had in their 
ears. Both the men and women tattooed, the 
latter carrying it to a greater extent. Small 
lines of a dirty blue or black, a quarter of an 
inch in width, were drawn down from the cor- 
ners of the mouth and from the center of the 
lower lip. The women never painted their 

Their food, which consisted chiefly of grass- 
seeds, acorns and fish, was gathered by the 
women, in large, conical baskets placed upon 
their backs, the apex being the bottom and rest- 
ing on the belts. In order to hold them to the 
back and support their weight, a circular band 
was placed around the basket across the fore- 
head. All the men, women and children could 
swim the river even when high, taking with 
them a basket of acorns fastened to their hea^is. 
Raits made from tnles was the only boat used. 



The acorns of the scrub white-oak growing 
on the hills could be eaten either raw or roasted - 
and either fresh or dried; while the lotig sour- 
oak acorns found along the streams were cooked 
with other articles for their more substantia] 
food. The acorns were gathered in the fall and 
placed in bins kept in dry places during the 
rainy season. These bins were made from tough 
weeds growing in the river bottoms. In pre- 
paring these acorns for food, they ground them 
into meal in crudely made stone mortars. To 
rid this meal of the tannin, they poured it into a 
hollow place in the dry, white sand to the depth 
of half or three-fourths of an inch. Tufts of 
grass or small willow branches were laid on one 
side of this sand-pan and water was then care- 
fully poured through this, so that it would 
s])read gently over the meal and soak through 
it without mixing it with the sand. The flour 
was kept covered with water for several hours, 
iud thus most of the tannin would be soaked 
out and carried off, the sand being discolored 
with the astringent principle. Although some 
sand would in this manner be mixed with the 
iough, it did not seem to interfere with diges- 
tion. In modern times they have improved 
upon this method by using cloth instead of 

A hole was then dug in the ground and 
heated, and at the same time several rocks 
would be heated also. The ashes were then 
brushed out, a layer of sycamore leaves put in 
for the " bread-pan," and on this was placed the 
dough, with a hot rock in its center. More 
eaves were placed over it, and the tire renewed 
and replenished. The next day, when cold, the 
oaked acorn bread was taken out ready for use. 
In this state it resembled somewhat a bladder 
of putty, and perhaps was not more digestible. 
Grasshoppers, a favorite article of food, were 
more palatable and far more digestible. Clover 
was eaten raw in the spring time, and had a 
beneficial effect. 

The wild pea-vines were gathered in immenae 
quantities when young and tender. By laying 
elder sticks against the side of the basket, and 

extending beyond the opening, the squaW was 
enabled to carry nearly a cart load of the light 
growth. To prepare these for eating they 
steamed them for a day in the heated hole, and 
with rocks beat them up into a plastic shape 
upon an inclined plain, made this mass into 
cakes with holes in the center, and placed them 
out to dry. 

For meat they would of course eat the flesh 
of any animal they could catch, using the bow 
and arrow for the larger animals and snares for 
the smaller. Large fish they would spear and 
the small they would scoop up with dip-nets, a 
man at each of the four corners of the net. 

Beads of ocean-shells were the standard of all 
values. Most tribes were never guitly of 

"When an Indian died he was wrapped up 
with twine into a round ball, his head thrust 
down between his legs, and was thus rolled into 
a hole at the ranciieria, and buried with a quan- 
tity of acorns to last him on his journey to the 
other world. If a woman died who had a child 
not large enough to gather its own acorns, it 
was always buried alive with its mother! The 
Indians were strong believers in ghosts and 
were much afraid of them. 


While on the subject of Indians we may as 
well give here on account of some of the prin- 
cipal Indian troubles. 

The Shasta tribe occupied Shasta and Scott 
valleys and Klamath River. They were closely 
related to the Rogue River tribe, and until a 
few years before the settlement of this region 
were a portion of the same tribe, but had be- 
come separated into factions by the death of the 
head chief. The Scott Valley factions was 
headed by Tj'ee John, son of the old head chief; 
at Yreka, old Tolo, always a firm friend of the 
whites; and each of the other factious also had 
its chief. The true names of these chiefs were 
seldom known to tlie whites, who called them 
Sam, John or Bill, or named them in accordance 
with some physical peculiarity or some occur- 


rence, as old Smootliy, Scar-face, Rising Sun, 
Greasy Boots, etc. 

As early as 1835, the Rogue River Indians 
had had trouble with the trappers; but the tirst 
blood that marked the intercourse of the two 
races in Shasta county was wantonly shed by 
Turner and Gay, two Americans, who shot a 
Shasta Indian near Klamath River, September 
14, 1837. 

In 1846, when Fremont and his party of about 
fifty men were encamped in the Modoc country 
near Klamath, the savages committed the tirst 
of the long series of murders that have marked 
their treatitient of the whites. They attacked 
Fremont during the night, but were suddenly 
repulsed with the loss of their chief, whom Lieu- 
tenant Gillespie recognized as the Indian that 
had the preceding morning presented him with 
a tine tish, the tirst food he had eaten for forty 
hours. A detachment of about fifteen men was 
then left in ambush there to punish the perpe- 
trators if they should return. They soon over- 
took the main body, bringing two Modoc scalps 
to show that they had been partially successful. 
Just before night the advance guard of ten men 
under Kit Carson came suddenly upon an In- 
dian village on the east bank of Klamath Lake, 
assaulted it and killed many braves. The same 
day another skirmish was had, and Kit Carson's 
life was saved by Fremont, who rode down an 
Indian that was aiming an arrow at him. 

Late in the fall of 1849, a party of nineteen 
deserters from the United States forces stationed 
in Oregon passed through the Shasta region. 
In this party was Fred Deng, well remembered 
a in Yreka as the founder of the Yreka Bakery, 
name that spells the same forward and back- 
ward. They were led off from the regular route 
by an Indian trail that led up Willow Creek 
back of Edison's, and came suddenly upon a 
rancheria of Shastas at a place now called Carr's 
Corral. Before they recovered from their sur- 
prise, the Indians, naturally thinking themselves 
attacked, fell upon them fiercely and succeeded 
in killing three men. 

In July, 1850, a party of forty men left the 

forks of the Salmon and started on the tirst ex- 
ploring expedition up the Klamath. One of 
these men, Peter Gerwick, going out hunting 
deer one day, was killed by the Shastas. Dur- 
ing the few succeeding days there were several 
skirmishes, resulting in driving oif the Indians 
and probably killing several, with no loss to the 
whites except a severe wound to one man and 
much anxiety and watchfulness for a long time. 

In the early part of February, 1851, a party 
of six men was passing from Oregon to Califor- 
nia and camped one night on the Tule Lake. A 
swarm of Modocs surrounded their camp, poured 
in upon them a cloud of arrows and made the 
air shudder with their demoniacal yells; but the 
loud-speaking rifles of the whites frightened 
them away before any serious damage was done. 

From this time until 1856 there were many 
skirmishes, depredations, several murders, etc., 
including a massacre at Blackburn's Ferry; and 
thence until 1873 but few hostilities were suf- 
fered from the Indians. During this year oc- 


In July, 1872, several settlers petitioned the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington 
to have the Indians removed to the reservation. 
In due time Superintendent O. D. Neal received 
authority to effect the removal, peaceably if he 
could, forcibly if he must. November 25, he 
sent two men to the camp on Tul-e Lake to re- 
quest the head men of the Indians to meet him 
at Linkville on the 28th. They declined the 
invitation. He at once went to Fort Klamath 
and placed the matter in the hands ot the mili- 
tary. Captain Jackson immediately started for 
the Indian camp with Company B, a company 
of thirty-five soldiers. Marching all night, they 
reached the camp at daylight on the morning 
of the 29th. Jack's can)p was on the west side 
of the river near Tule Lake, at what is called 
the natural bridge. On the east side of the 
river was another small camp, in which were 
Hooka Jim, Curly-Headed Doctor, Long Jim 
and nine other braves, tiie three here named be- 
iny; the head men. 


When the troops arrived at Jack's place the 
only Indian seen stirring was Bogus Charley, a 
visitor there. They called for Captain Jack, veho 
was in his tent; but before he appeared one or 
two other Indians came upon the scene and a 
fight began. One of Jack's men was killed 
and four wounded, some of them fatally. While 
this battle was raging a terrible tragedy was 
being enacted on the other side of the river. 
The settlers who had gone to the camp of 
Hooka Jim and Curley-Headed Doctor, met 
first an Indian called Miller's Charley. He was 
told that they had come to take him a-^d the 
others to the reservation, and that they would 
not be harmed. Upon this assurance he sur- 
rendered his gun, but had hardly done so when 
the sound of shooting and the yells of Indians 
were borne across the river from the other 
camp. The Indians rushed out, and in the eon- 
fusion both parties commenced shootiug, Mil- 
ler's Charley being wounded and another Indian 
killed. One of the squaws rushed out with 
her baby in her arms, which latter was acci. 
dently killed by a stray bullet. Not knowing 
her baby was dead, and still clasping it in her 
arms, she mounted a horse, exclaiming, " Don't 
shoot; me squaw, me squaw." They did shoot, 
and she was wounded in the ankle and fell from 
her horse. 

Maddened by this apparently wanton attack 
and slaughter. Hooka Jim, wiio had the most 
cruel and blood-thirsty disposition of them all, 
pursuaded the others to go with him and take 
revenge on the settlers. One of the attacking 
parties was killed while walking about tlie camp 
after he supposed the fight was over. Hooka 
.Jim's band hastened to the settlements along 
the river, bent upon murdering all they saw; 
and now commenced a scene of carnage and 
massacre. The settlers, who had been promised 
notice of trouble, but in vain, were exposed to 
this raid, and many therefore fell victims. 
Fourteen settlers, comprising men, women and 
children, were killed before armed parties could 
protect them. Jim and his party reached the 
lava beds, at the south end of Tule Lake, 

whither Captain Jack and his band had already 
retreated. This peculiar spot consists of a mass 
of rocks some ten miles square, cut up with 
fissures, deep gulches and high, abrupt cliffs, 
abounding in caves, and almost impassable. 
The whites were ignorant of this labyrinthian 
section, while the Indians were familiar with it. 

Some communications were had with Captain 
Jack in this rocky fastness, vs^ho claimed that he 
did not know any i-eason why he and his men 
should be attacked. In the mean time great 
preparations were made to expel him from his 
stronghold. A company of twenty-six whites, 
with John A. Fairchilds as Captain, prepared 
for the attack, and while the Indians were un- 
expectedly appearing here and there in the 
vicinity, white troops were gradually brought 
in, preparing for a general battle. The first act 
of this series was the attack of the Indians upon 
six soldiers who were escorting a wagon of sup- 
plies near Barnard's Camp. One soldier was 
killed and scalped and three wounded, one of 
whom-died. One Indian was killed. 

But the grand assault was ordered for Friday, 
January 17, 1873. The morning was foggy, 
and Colonel Wheaton would have postponed the 
assault had he been able to communicate with 
Captain Barnard. He advanced, and was op- 
posed at every point by a hidden and unseen foe. 
The troops charged over several almost inac- 
cessible places, meeting a shower of bullets but 
finding no enemy. So rapidly did the Indians 
change their positions and so incessant a fire 
did they maintain, that although there were but 
about twenty good warriors there seemed to be 
many times that number. The troops lost 
many, while the enemy lost none. Soon the air 
in all the country was filled with wild rumors 
of hundreds of disaffected Indians of other 
tribes, flocking to Jack's standard. Captain 
Jack was shrewd enough to place upon the 
upper edges of rocks great numbers of blocks of 
volcanic scoria resembling human heads, so as 
to make it appear that he had many more men 
than were really with him. 

Of course the Government could not retreat 

nisi our OF northern California. 


Tlie Indians must go. Therefore more troops, 
with more guns and amimmition and military 
supplies must be brought in. In tlie meantime 
the Indians frequently sallied out in their 
characteristic manner, attacking wauons, ranches 
and any passing straggler who might happen 
within sight. They had the additional advan- 
tage of understanding the English language, 
while the white soldiers did not understand the 
Modoc tongue. The Indians could hear and 
understand all the orders given by the white 
officers and thus be ready to oppose any move- 
ment. They shouted their orders from one to 
another in their own language, which were as 
Greek to our men. The Government saw that 
it had to get down to a tedious war. It ap- 
pointed a peace commission to investigate the 
condition and complaints of the Indians, and 
General Caiiby was ordered to go to the front 
with the commissioners and take full command 
of the military, Colonel Gillem commanding 
under him. Two women were sent to Captain 
Jack X.O arrange for a compromise. Pie said he 
did not want to talk to women, but wanted the 
commissioners to pay him a visit, and they 
would not be harmed. They reported that the 
Indians were nearly out of provisions and cloth- 
ing, and that there was dissension in their 
midst. An agreement was made to hold a con- 
ference on tiie 25th, a mile and a half from the 
lava beds, where there could be no ambuscade; 
but Captain Jack, not being satisfied with the 
men on the commission, requested three of his 
friends to be added to it; and conference by 
messengers caused a delay of the time for the 
meeting. He designated the Government of- 
ficers who should meet him at the appointed 
place, including among them General Canby. 
Details of the conference could not be agreed 
upon, and delay followed. April 3d, Captain 
Jack stated that his terms were to have the 
soldiers removed and a reservation on Lost 
River giveti to him; but this was refused him. 
Communications were again had with our 
Government and messages exchanged until 
finally it was agreed to meet on the 11th. 

This fatal day arrived fair and calm. The 
commissioners and officers went forward to the 
place of meeting with many fearful misgivings, 
some of their number warning the others that 
treachery would be exhibited and they would 
be probably killed. Canby and Thomas con- 
sidered it their duty to attend, and that duty 
was more sacred than life. Arriving at the 
council tent, Canby and Thomas were cordially 
welcomed with hand-shaking and words of 
friendship. Canby distributed cigars, and they 
all sat about the tire and smoked in silence. 
Soon the remainder of the party arrived and 
met with the same hearty welcome, even before 
they could dismount. Eight Indians were 
present, instead of five, and they all had revolv- 
ers under their coats. The officers saw signs 
of treachery, but their pride of the soldier char- 
acter prevented them from exhibiting any fear. 
The council was formally opened. The Indians 
at first pretended that they desired no blood- 
shed but simply a certain tract of land. An 
argumentation followed, during which the 
speaker in behalf of the Indians declared that 
there was no more use in talking. Captain 
Jack gave the signal and the Modoc war-whoop 
rent the air. At the same time he drew a 
revolver from under his coat and presented it at 
Cauby's head, exclaiming Ha-tuk (all ready)! 
It missed fire. Quickly revolving the chamber, 
he again pulled the trigger and buried a bullet 
in his victim's head. Canby soon fell, shatter- 
ing his jaw upon the rocks, and he was then 
stabbed in the neck by a knife as a butcher kills 
a hog; and furthermore another Indian sent a 
bullet through his brain. He was then stripped 
of his clothing and left naked on the rocks. 

Simultaneously with .lack's attack upon 
Canby, Boston Charley shot Dr. Thomas in the 
breast. As he partially fell to the ground, he 
begged them to shoot no more, as he had a 
death wound; but soon they buried a bullet also 
in his brain. The other officers escaped, except 
that Meacham, who was almost fatally wounded 
by several shots, got away with his life by the 
i-arest contingency. 


Wliile these events were happening at the 
council tent, still another tragedy was being 
enacted at Colonel Mason's camp at Hospital 
Rock. Colonel Mason was suspicious of treach- 
ery, but Major Boyle ventured to go out and 
investigate, accompanied by Lieutenant Sher- 
wood. Making their way to a point where a 
white flag was elevated, they noticed a gun 
peeping over the top of the rocks and started on 
a run for camp, one exclaiming to the other, 
" Run for your life! " Two volleys were fired 
in quick succession by the concealed savages, 
Sherwood falling at the second one with a bullet 
in his thigh. The troops from the camp in- 
stantly charged, and the treacherous devils fled 
to their stronghold. 

As soon as the news of the tragedy at the 
council tent reached the camp of the United 
States troops, the latter rushed out to the ill- 
fated spot, but found no enemy. In their stead 
there lay the inanimate forms of the brave 
soldier and the white-haired peacemaker, covered 
with blood, the one entirely stripped of his 
clothing, and the other nearly so. Tears sprang 
to the eyes of that rude soldiery, while the 
friends of the murdered men wept with the 
depth of their emotions. Cautiously they ad- 
vanced, momentarily expecting to receive a vol- 
ley from their unseen foe. The caution was 
needless, however, for the Modocs, content with 
what they had accomplished, had retired to 
their retreat in the rocks, to rejoice over their 
hellish work. 

All thought of everything but a vigorous 
prosecution of the war was now abandoned. 
The troops, under Colonels Mason and Miller, 
surrounded the Indians' retreat, and closed in, 
the artillery meanwhile dropping shells into 
the recesses of the hostiles. These "double- 
shooting" guns were a mystery to the uninitiated 
savages. They did not like them, although 
little damage was done by them except to knock 
the rocks about and make the strongholds an 
exceedingly uncomfortable place to stay in. 
They had the effect of keeping the Indians on 
the move and of taking away the confidence 

and sense of security they had previously en- 
joyed. One of these shells was picked up by 
two Indian boys, and it exploded in their hands, 
blowing the boys to atoms. 

The three lines advanced slowly on all sides, 
the most severe fighting being the capture of a 
blufl" on the lake shore. The men crept along^ 
until at the base of the hill, and then charged 
up with a yell, the hostiles beating a precipi- 
tate retreat. Here the troops rested for the 
night, during which time the Indians built a 
huge fire at their camp; but Major Thomas 
trained a gun on it, and scattered them and 
their fire in all directions. All the next day 
the shells were freely dropped into the lava 
beds, keeping the enemy on the "anxious seat," 
while the soldiers cautiously advanced. Early 
on the morning of the third day they suddenly 
charged into the strongliold of the savages, 
only to find that they had escaped through a 
gap in the lines to the south. The loss in the 
three days' fight was six killed and twelve 
wounded, but not a Modoc was slain! 

The whereabouts of the savages was now a 
question of great interest, not only to the 
soldiers, but also to the settlers for miles 
around. They were soon found, still in the 
lava beds, occupying a position nearly as strong 
as the old one, and about six miles south of it. 
They did not remain inactive, but emerged 
from their retreat in small parties, firing upon 
scouts and couriers, attacking provision trains, 
and even firing into headquarters. Their bold- 
ness and the rapidity with which they moved 
from point to point completely puzzled and 
nonplused the military. They maintained that 
2,000 men would not be suflicient to surround 
the lava beds and capture the hostiles in a place 
where 1,000 men could lie concealed in a small 
area, and where the besieged could fly to new 
strongholds as fast as driven from ihe old ones. 
Accordiiicrly more troops were sent for, and 
those present had to wait. 

Major Thomas, to whom idleness was a source 
of uneasiness, obtained permission to recon- 
noiter. Starting on the morning of iVpril 26, 


tliey halted at noon in a narrow sage-brush 
plain for dinner, without having seen any one 
of the enemy, and while there the savages 
rushed upon them and scattered them. Some 
of the troops reached camp, while others gath- 
ered in small parties in hollows among the 
rocks and fought desperately all the way. Otily 
one Modoc lost his life in this affair, while 
twenty five of the whites were killed! Major 
Green, at the camp, hearing the tiring, at oiice 
dispatched with a force to the scene of trouble, 
but owing to ignorance of the ground did not 
arrive until daylight the next morning, before 
which time the Indians had safely retreated. 

On the 3d of May, General Jefferson C. 
Davis, who had been assigned to succeed Gen- 
eral Canby, arrived and took charge of opera- 
tions One morning, very soon afterward, a 
party of tiiirty-four Modocs crept up to the 
camp and fired into it, killing one and wound- 
ing eight. This attack was intended to stam- 
pede the troops, but it failed, and a quarrel 
arose among the hostiles which resulted in a 
division. The entire cavalry force was then 
sent out to scour the country and find Captain 
Jack, who had so strongly developed the quali- 
ties of the Irishman's flea: three times had 
they put their hand on him, and he wasn't 
there. Some days afterward the troops found 
the savages on the bluffs at the head of Langell 
Valley, to the eastward, when the latter came 
out of their retreat and said they wanted to 
surrender. Captain Jack, however, and some 
others had departed for other scenes; but his 
lease of liberty was short, as he had fled directly 
toward a detachment under Captain Perry, and 
to whom he was obliged to surrender. A few 
others were still at liberty, and these, with a 
number of scattered ones who had not partici- 
pated in the hostilities, were soon taken and 
conveyed to Boyle's camp on Tule Lake. On 
the 4th of June, more than six months after 
the flrst fight, the Oregon volunteers captured 
a few braves with their families, ten miles east 
of Lost River Springs, turned them over to 
General Davis, and thus ended this peculiar war. 

According to the report of the Indians, they 
had but forty-six men capable of bearing arms 
when the war commenced. Five braves, two 
boys and three squaws lost their lives. Oppo- 
site these figures can be placed the statement 
that more than 150 white soldiers were killed 
and wounded, three times of all the enemy, and 
the Secretary of War reported that the Modoc 
war had cost $338,009.78, exclusive of hay and 
equipment of troops; and after all this, many 
claims were put in for damages, and many 

The prisoners of war were tried by court- 
martial, and Captain Jack, Schonchin John, 
Boston Charley, Black Jim, Watch-in-tate and 
Slolox were found guilty and sentenced to 
death; while Hooka Jim, Bogus Charley and 
Shacknasty Jim were entitled to their lives for 
services rendered in capturing their compan- 
ions; and Ellen's Man had already met his 
death in battle. On the day before the execu- 
tion, the sentence of Watch-in-tate and Slolox 
was commuted to imprisonment for life in Al- 
catraz; they both died in confinement. The 
others were executed. There was some clash 
of authority between the local civil and the 
military oflicers concerning the Lost River mur- 
derers, ending with nothing being done. The 
remainder of the Modocs, 155 in number, were 
then peaceably removed to the Indian Territory, 
where Scar-face Charley was invested with the 

It appears from Joaquin Miller's account that 
the Pit River Indians were massacred during 
the Modoc war. 


The first mention of gold in California was 
made in Hakluyt's account of the voyage of 
Sir Francis Drake, who spent five or six weeks, 
in June and July, 1579, in a bay on the coast 
of California. It has always been a question 
and will remain a question, whether this bay 
was that of San Francisco or one further to the 
north. In the narrative of Ilakluyt it is writ- 
ten : " There is no part of the earth here to 


be taken up wherein there is not a reasonable 
quantity of gold or silver." At this day we 
know that this statement must have been un- 
true, and was doubtless written for the purpose 
of attracting attention to the importance of the 
expedition of Sir Francis Drake. California 
was then a comparatively unknown country. It 
had been visited only by early explorers, and its 
characteristics were merely conjectured. When 
Hakluyt wrote there could hardly be a " hand- 
ful of soil taken up wherein there is not a rea- 
sonable quai'.tity of gold or silver;" in the light 
of the present the statement was absurd, for 
neither gold nor silver has ever been found in 
the vicinity of the point where Drake must 
have landed. 

Other earlj' explorers stated that gold had 
been found long before the discovery by Mar- 
shall; and there is no doubt that a well-founded 
surmise prevailed that gold existed in California. 
The country had been explored at times since 
the sixteenth century, by Spanish, Russian and 
American parties. It was visited by Commo- 
dore Wilkes, who was in the service of the Uni- 
ted States on an extensive exploring expedition; 
and members of his party ascended the Sacra- 
mento River and visited Sutter at the fort, while 
others made explorations by land. 

James D. Dana, a celebrated author of several 
works on mineralogy, was the mineralogist of 
this expedition and passed by land through the 
upper portion of California. In one of his 
works he says that gold rock and veins of quartz 
were observed by him in 1842 near the Umpqua 
River, in Southern Oregon; and again, that he 
found gold near the Sierra Nevada and on the 
Sacramento River; also, on the San Joaquin 
River and between those rivers. There is, in 
the reports of the Fremont exploring expedition, 
an intimation of the existence of gold. 

It has been said that in October and Novem- 
ber, 1845, a Mexican was shot at Yerba Buena 
(San Francisco) on account of having a bag of 
gold dust, and when dying pointed northward 
and said, " Legos! Legos!" (yonder), indicating 
where he had found the gold dust. 

It has been claimed, and with a considerable 
degree of probability, that the Mormons who 
arrived in San Francisco on the ship Brooklyn 
found gold before the famous discovery of Co- 
loma. The circumstances in connection with 
this discovery are somewhat romantic. The 
Mormon people had established themselves at 
Nauvoo, Illinois, a point where they believed 
themselves to be beyond the reach of perse- 
cution. However, the country there became 
populated by those not of their faith, and the 
antagonism against the Mormons resulted finally 
in bloodshed, and the founder of the church. 
Joseph Smith, was shot by a mob and killed. 
The Mormons then determined to remove farther 
west, and into a section of country beyond the 
reach of the Government of the United States. 
They selected California as their future home. 
Their land expedition started across the plains, 
and a siiip named the Brooklyn carried from the 
eastern side of the continent a number of tlie 
believers. Samuel Brannan, who was prominent 
in the early history of Sacramento, San Fran- 
cisco and the State, was one of their leading 
men who came with the sea voyagers. When 
the Brooklyn emigrants landed at Yerba Buena 
(San Francisco) they found that the United 
State? forces had taken possession of California, 
and that they had landed upon soil possessed by 
the nation from which they were endeavoring 
to flee. Couriers were sent overland to inter- 
cept the land party, and it is said that they 
found them at the place where Salt Lake City 
is now located. The overland jtarty determined 
to locate at that place, although it was then 
sterile and unpromising. Those who came on 
the Brooklyn dispersed in California, and some 
of them located at Mormon Island, in Sacra- 
mento County; and it is claimed that they found 
gold long before the discovery at Coloma, but 
that they kept their discovery a seci-et. How- 
ever that may be, ft is a fact that mining was 
prosecuted by them about the time of Marshall's 

At a banquet of the Associated Pioneers of 
the Territorial days of California, held in the 


city of New York, on January 18, 1878, Colonel 
T. B. Thorpe, a veteran of the Mexican War, 
who had been on the staff of General Zacliary 
Taylor, stated that while he had been employed 
as a journalist in New Orleans, several years 
before the discovery of gold at Coloma, a Swede, 
evidently far gone into consumption, called upon 
him and represented that he was what in his 
country was called a " king's orphan;" that he 
had been educated at a governmental institution, 
on condition that after he had received his edu- 
cation he should travel in foreign lands, observe 
and record what he had seen, and deposit his 
records with the government. He stated that 
he had visited California, remained several days 
at Sutter's Fort, enjoying the hospitality of 
Sutter; that while there he closely examined the 
surrounding country and became convinced that 
it abounded richly in gold. Colonel Thorpe 
stated that the Swede gave him this opinion in 
writing. At that banquet General Sutter was 
present, and Colonel Thorpe called upon him to 
say whether he had any recollection concerning 
the Swedish visitor. Sutter replied that he 
did recollect the visit, which had occnri'ed about 
thirty-four years before; and he also remem- 
bered that the Swede expressed himself re- 
garding the presence of mineral wealth in the 
neighboring hills; " but," added the General, " I 
was too much occupied at the time with other 
concerns to devote any time or attention to it. 
My crops were ripe, and it was imperative that 
they should be gathered as quickly as possible; 
but I do recollect the scientitic Swedish gen- 

The report of the remarks delivered at that 
banquet were published, and in it is contained 
a copy of the manuscript to which Colonel 
Thorpe referred, in which the " king's orphan " 
wrote: " The Californias are rich in minerals. 
Gold, silver, lead, oxide of iron, manganese and 
copper ore are all met with throughout the 
country, the precious metals being the most 

There is another account of an early gold dis- 
covery, which was published in the JVew Age, 

in San Francisco, the official organ of the Odd 
Fellows, in September, 1865. It purports to 
have been an extract written by the Paris cor- 
respondent of the London Star, who wrote that 
in the city of Paris he visited a private museum, 
and that its owner exhibited to him a nugget of 
gold, and stated that twenty-eight years before 
a poor invalid had presented himself and took 
out of his tattered coat a block of quartz, and 
asked the proprietor of the museum if he would 
purchase it, assuring him that it was full of 
gold. The stranger said: " I have come to you 
to apply to the Government to give me a vessel 
and a crew of 100 men, and I will promise to 
return with a cargo of gold." The proprietor 
of the museum presumed that the man was mad, 
and gave him a napoleon as a matter of charity, 
but retained a piece of the quartz. Afterward 
the quartz was analyzed, and it was proved to 
contain pure gold. Fifteen years elapsed, and 
a parcel and a letter were left at his door. The 
parcel was wrapped in a handkerchief, and was 
heavy. The letter was worn and almost illegi- 
ble. On deciphering it, it proved to be tlie 
dying statement of the poor traveler, which, 
through the neglect of the lodging-house keeper 
where he had died after the interview referred 
to, had never been delivered. The package 
contained a block of quartz, and the letter was 
thus worded: 

"You alone listened to me; you alone 
stretched out a helping hand to me. Alas! it 
was too late! I am dying. I bequeath my 
secret to you. The country from whence I 
brought this gold is called California." 


The credit, however, for the practical discov- 
ery of gold in California is due to James W. 
Marshall. It is true that a gold mine had been 
worked in 1841 in the lower part of the State, 
and that gold from that mine had been sent to 
the Philadelphia mint for coinage as early as 
July, 1843. The mine, however, proved un- 
profitable and was abandoned. The story of 
the discovery by Marshall, at Coloma, in Janu- 


ary, 1848, is confused, and the precise date upon 
which it was made can perhaps never be settled. 
Marshall was employed by Captain Sutter, and 
was in charge of a party of men erecting a 
saw-mill at the present site of Coloma, in El 
Dorado County. A race-way was dug and the 
water turned in. In examining the race after- 
ward, Marshall's attention was attracted by a 
shining object. He picked it up. It was gold. 
Other particles of the metal were collected, and 
Marshall came with them to Sutter's Fort and 
exhibited them to his employer, Sutter. They 
were tested in a crude way, and Sutter became 
convinced that the metal was gold. Afterward 
specimens were sent to Monterey, then the cap- 
ital of the Territory, and exliibited to General 
R. B. Mason, the military governor, and to W. 
T. Sherman, at that time an obscure officer of 
the United States array, but who has since 
risen to national notoriety. The integrity of the 
metal was established, the news of the discovery 
sent forth, the world was electriiied, and immi- 
gration poured in from every civilized country. 

James W. Marshall was born in Hope Town- 
ship, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, October 
8, 1810. On arriving at man's estate he re- 
moved to Indiana, afterward to Hlinois and 
Missouri, and arrived in California in 1844. In 
1845 he came to Sutter's Fort, and was em- 
ployed by Captain Sutter. He took an active 
part in the California'revolution of 1846. After 
his discovery of gold the Legislature of the 
State pensioned him for a time. Subsequently 
he settled on a small piece of land at Coloma, 
near where he had discovered the gold, and 
made his living by farming. About 5 o'clock 
on the morning of August 10, 1885, he was 
found dead in his cabin, and was buried near 
the spot where gold was tirst found by him. 
He was never married. 

A tine statue of Marshall has recently been 
erected by the State at the point where he made 
his famous discovery. 

We add Sutter's account here, as it gives so 
many interesting details in connection with the 
discovery of gold: 

II was on the first of January, 1848, wLen the gold was 
discovered at Coloma, ■where I was building a saw-mill. 
The contractor and builder of this mill was James W. 
Marshall, from New Jersey. In the fall of 1847, after the 
mill seat had been located, I sent up to (his place Mr. P. 
L. Wimraer [Weimer], with his family, and a number of 
laborers trnm the disbanded Mormou battalion ; and a lit- 
tle later I engaged Mr. Bennett, from Oregon, to assist 
Mr. Marshall in the mechanical labors of the mill. Mr. 
Wimmer had the team in charge, assisted by his young 
sons, to do the teaming, and Mrs. Wimmer did the cook- 
ing for all hands. I was very much in need of a saw- 
mill to get lumber to finish my flouring-mill, of four run 
of stones, at Brighton, which was commenced at tbe same 
time and was rapidly progressing ; likewise, for other 
buildings, lences, etc., for the small village ol Yerba 
Buena, now San Francisco. In the City Hotel (the only 
one) this enterprise was unkindly called "another folly 
of Sutter's," as my first settlement at the old Fort near 
Sacramento city was called by a good many " a folly of 
his;" and they were about right in that, because I had 
the best chances to get some of the finest locations near 
the settlements; and even well stocked ranches had been 
offered me, on the most reasonable conditions. But I re- 
fused all these good oflfers and prefeired to explore the 
wilderness and select a territory on the banks of the Sac- 

It was a rainy afternoon when Mr. Marshall arrived at 
my oifice in the fort, very wet. I was somewhat surprised 
to see him, as he was down a few days previous, when I 
sent up to Coloma a number of teams with provisions, 
mill irons, etc. He told me then that he had some im- 
portant and interesting news which he wished to com- 
municate secretly to me, and wished me to go with him 
to a place where we should not be disturbed, and where 
no listeners could come and hear what we had to say. I 
went with him to my private rooms. He requested me 
to lock tbe room; I complied, bnt told him at the same 
time that nobody was in the house except the cleik, who 
was in his office in a different part of tbe house. 

After requesting something of me which he wanted, 
which my servants brought and then left the room, I f(,r- 
got to lock the door, and it happened that the door was 
opened by the clerk just at the moment when Marshal] 
took a rag from his pocket, showing me the yellow metal. 
He had about two ounces of it; but how quick Mr. Mar- 
shall put the yellow metal in his pocket again can hardly 
be described. The clerk came to see lue on business, and 
excused himself for interrupting me; and as soon as he 
left I was told, " Now lock the door. . Did'nt 1 tell you 
that we might have listeners?" I told him he need fear 
nothing about that, as it was not the habit of this gentle- 
man; but I could hardly convince him that he need not 
be suspicious. 

Then Mr. Marshall began to show me this metal, which 
consisted of small pieces and specimens, some of them 
worth a few doll.ars. He told me that he had expressed 
his opinion to the laborers at the mill that this might 
be gold; but some of them were laughing at him and 



called him a crazy niaa, and could not believe such a 

After having proved the metal with aqua fortis,whicli I 
found in my apothecary shop, likewise with other experi- 
ments, and read the long article " Gold " in the Encyclo- 
pedia Americana, I declared this to be gold of the finest 
quality — of at least twenty-three carats. After this Mr. 
Marshall had no more rest or patience, and wanted me to 
start with him to Coloma; but I told him I could not 
leave, as it was late in the evening and nearly supper 
time, and that it would be better for him to remain with 
me till the next morning, and 1 would then travel with 
him. But this would not do; he asked me only, " Will 
you come'to morrow V" I told him Yes, and otf he started 
for Coloma, in the heaviest rain, although already very 
wet, taking nothing to eat. I took this news very easy, 
like all other occurrences, good or bad, but thought a 
great deal during the night about the consequences which 
might follow such a discovery. 1 gave all the necessary 
orders to my numerous laborers, and left the next morn- 
ing at seven o'clock, accompanied by an Indian soldier 
and a vaquero, in a heavy rain for Coloma. About half 
way on the road I saw at a distance a human being crawl- 
ing out from the brushwood. I asked the Indian who it 
was. He told me, " The same man who was with you last 
evening." When I came nearer I found it was Marshall- 
very wet. I told him he would have done better to re, 
main with me at the Fort than to pass such an ugly 
night here; but he told me that he went to Coloma, fifty- 
four miles, took his other horse and came half way to 
meet him. Then we rode up to the new El Dorado. 

In the aflernoon the weather was clearing up, and we 
made a prospecting promenade. The next morning we 
went to the tail-race of the mill, through which the water 
was running during the night, to clear out the gravel 
which had been made loose, for the purpose of widening 
the race; after the water was out of the race, we went 
In to search for gold. This was done every morning. 
Small pieces of gold could be seen remaining on the sur- 
face of the clean-washed bed-rock. I went into the race 
and picked up several pieces of this gold. Several of the 
laborers gave me some which they had picked up, and 
from Marshall I received a part. I told them I would 
get a ring made of this gold as soon as it could be done 
in California; and I have had a heavy ring made, with 
my family's coat of arms engraved on the outside; and on 
the inside of the ring is engraved " The first gold, dis- 
covered in .January, 1848." Now, if Mrs. Wimmer pos- 
sesses a piece which had been found earlier than mine, 
Mr. Marshall can tell, as it was probably received from 
him. I think Mr. Marshall could have hardly have 
known himself which was exactly the first little piece 
among the whole. 

The next day I went with Mr. Marshall on a prospect- 
ing tour in the vicinity of Coloma, and the following 
morning I left for Sacramento. Before my departure, I 
had a conversation with all hands. I told them I would 
consider it a great favor if they would keep this discovery 
secret only for six weeks, so that I could finish my large 

flour-mill at Brighton, which had cost me already about 
$34,000 or $35,000. The people up there promised to keep 
it secret so long. On my way home, instead of feeling 
happy and contented, I was very unhappy, and could not 
see that it would benefit me much; and I was perfectly 
right in thinking so, as it came just precisely as I ex- 
pected. I thought, at the same time, that it could hardly 
be kept .secret for six weeks; and in that too I was not 
mistaken; for, about two weeks later after my return, I 
sent up several teams, in charge of a white man, as the 
teamsters were Indian boys. This man was acquainted 
with all hands up there, and Mrs. Wimmer told him the 
whole secret; likewise the young sons of Mrs. Wimmer 
told him that they had gold, and that they would let him 
have some too; and so he obtained a few dollars' worth 
of it, as a present. As soon as this man arrived at the Fort 
he went to a small store in one of my outside buildings 
kept by Mr. Smith, a partner of Samuel Brannan; he 
asked for a bottle of brandy, for which he would pay the 
cash. After having the bottle he paid _ with the small 
pieces of gold. Smith was astonished, and asked if he 
meant to insult him. Tae teamster told him to go and 
ask me about it. He reported it to Mr. Brannan, who 
came up immediately to get all possible information, 
when he returned and sent up large supplies of goods, 
leased a larger house from me, and commenced a very 
large and profitable business. Soon he opened a branch 
house at Mormon Island. 

So soon as the secret was out my laborers began to leave 
me, in small parties at first, but then all left, from the 
clerk to the cook; and I was in great distress. Only a 
few mechanics remained to finish some necessary work 
which they had commenced, and about eight invalids who 
continued slowly to work a few teams, to scrape out the 
mill-race at Brighton. The Mormons did not like to leave 
my mill unfinished; but they got the gold fever, like 
everybody else. After they had made their piles they 
left for the great Salt Lake. So long as these people had 
been employed by me they have behaved very well and 
were industrious and faithful laborers; and when settling 
their accounts there was not one of them who was not 
contented and satisfied. 

Then the people commenced rushing up from San 
Francisco and other parts of California, in May, 1818. In 
the former village (Sm Francisco) only five men were 
left to take care of the women and children. The single 
men locked their doors and left for " Sutter's Fort," and 
thence to the El Dorado. For some time the people in 
Monterey and further south would not believe the news 
of the gold discovery, and said it was only a ruse de 
guerre of Sutter's, because he wanted to have neighbors 
in his wilderness. From this time on I got only too many 
neighbors, and some very bad ones among them. 

What a great misfortune was this sudden gold discov- 
ery to me! It has just broken up and ruined my hard, 
industrious and restless laborers, connected with many 
dangers of life, as I had many narrow escapes before I 
became properly established. From my mill buildings 
I reaped no benefit whatever; the mill-stones, even, have 



beeu stolen from me. My taDnery, which was then in a 
flourishing condition and was carried on very profitably, 
was deserted. A large quantity of leather was left unfin- 
ished in the vats, and a great quantity of raw hides be- 
came valueless, as they could not be sold. Nobody 
wanted to be bothered with such "trash," as it was called. 
So it was in all the other mechanical trades which I had 
carried on; all was abandoned, and work commenced, or 
nearly finished, was left, at an immense loss to me. Even 
the Indians had no more patience to work alone, in har- 
vesting and threshing my large wheat crop; as the whites 
had all left, and other Indians had been engaged by 
some white men to work for them, and they commenced 
to have some gold, for which they weie buying all kinds 
of articles at enormous prices at the stores. When my 
Indians saw this they withed very much to go to the 
mountains and dig gold. At last I consented, got a num- 
ber of wagons ready, loaded them with provisions and 
goods of all kinds, employed a clerk and lett with about 
100 Indians and about fifty Sandwich Islanders, which 
had joined those which I brought from the Islands. The 
first camp was about ten miles irom Mormon Island, on 
the south fork of the American river. In a few weeks 
we became crowded, and it would no more pay, as my 
people made too many acquaintances. I broke up the 
camp and started on the march further south, and located 
my next camp on Sutter Creek, now in Amador County, 
and thought that I should there be alone. The work was 
going on well lor a while, until three or four traveling 
grog shops surrounded me, at from one-half to ten miles 
distance Irom the camp. Then, of course, the gold was 
taken to these places, lor drinking, gambling, etc., and 
then the lollowing day they were sick and unable to work, 
and became deeper and more indebled tome, particularly 
the Kanakas (Sandwich Islanders). I found it was high 
time to quit this kind of business and lose no more time 
and money. I therefore broke up my camp and returned 
to the Fort, where I disbanded nearly all the people who 
had worked for me in the mountains digging gold. This 
whole expedition proved to be a heavy loss to me. 

At the same time I was engaged in a mercantile firm 
at Coloma, which I left in January, 1849, likewise with 
many sacrifices. After this, I would have nothing more 
to do with the gold affairs. At this time the fort was the 
great trading place, where nearly all the business was 
transacted. I had no pleasure to remain there and moved 
up to Hock farm, with all my Indians who had been with 
me from the time they were children. The place was 
then in charge of a major-domo. 

It was very singular that the Indians never found a 
piece of gold and brought it to me, as they very often did 
other specimens found in the mountains. I requested 
them continually to bring me some curiosities fiom the 
mountains, for which I always recompensed them. I 
have received animals, birds, plants, young trees, wild 
fruits, pipe-clay, red ochre, etc., but never a piece of gold. 
Mr. Dana, of the Wilkes Explfjring Expedition, told me 
that he had the strongest proof and signs of gold in the 
vicinity of Shasta Mountain and further south. A short 

time afterward. Dr. Sanderson, a very scientific traveler, 
visited me and explored a part of the country in a gieat 
hurry, as time would not permit him to make a longer 
stay. He told me likewise that he lound some signs ot 
gold, and was very sorry that he could not explore the 
Sierra Nevada. He did not encourage me to attempt to 
work and open mines, as it was uncertain how it would 
pay and would probably be only profitable for a govern- 
ment. So I thought it more prudent to stick to ihe plow, 
notwithstanding I did know the country wps rich in gold 
and other minerals. An old attached Mexican servant, 
who had followed me from the United States, as soon as 
he knew that I was there, and who understood a great 
deal iiLout wcrking in placers, told me he found sure 
signs of gold in the mountains on Bear Cieek, and that 
we would go right to work after returning from our cam- 
paign in 1845; but he became a victim to his patrioti>m 
and fell into the hands of the enemy near my encamp 
ment, with dispatches for me from General Micheltor- 
ena, and he was hung as a spy, for which I was very sorry. 


As would naturally be expected, the first 
devices adopted for washing and collecting gold 
would, in a great measure, be imperfect and 
unsatisfactory, and improvements would be con- 
stantly made. The tirst eager rush for the shin- 
ing treasure hurried the seeker on in so great 
haste that he could hardly take time to invent 
ajiparatus or machinery. Therefore numbers 
of e.xperiments were introduced by thoughtful 
immigrants, but nearly all devised without 
practical knowledge. Many excellent ideas 
were, however, obtained from men conversant 
with the methods of other countries, and these 
suggestions assisted in unfolding one method 
after another. 

In 1850 the "long tom" began to supplant 
the cradle, of which it formed practically an ex- 
tension, with a capacity iive-fold and upward 
greater. This apparatus was an inclined, 
stationary, wooden trough or box from ten to 
thirty feet in length, a foot and a half wide at 
the upper end and widening at the lower end, 
where perforated sheets of iron were let into 
the bottom, under which was placed a shallow, 
tiat riffle-box four or five feet lung, with cross- 
bars to catch the running gold. Such bars were 
sometimes nailed also across the bottom of the 
upper box to assist in catching the gold. Upon 
the mass of dirt shoveled into this trouo-h a 


continuous stream of water was permitted to 
flow from a pond above. Other men below as- 
sisted in dissolving the dirt by stirring it with 
shovels or forks and in removing gravel. The 
puddling-box obtained favor where water was 
scanty and the clay tough. This was a box 
about six feet square wherein the dirt could be 
stirred in the same water for some time, with a 
rake and frequently with animal power. By 
removing a plug a few inches from the bottom 
the muddy water could be run oif and fresh 
water introduced. 

As an aid to the foregoing processes the 
quicksilver machine for saving tine gold which 
the simple cross- l)ar failed to catch, was found 
of great utility. It was a long rocker with 
perforated iron top throughout, above the riffle- 
box, above each of whose bars some quicksilver 
was placed to absorb the gold, which was re- 
gained by squeezing the mercury through buck- 
skin and retorting its amalgam. 

But both of the above were replaced within 
two or three years by the more eflfective perma- 
nent sluice, an extension of the torn, and either 
constructed of boards, or as a simple inclined 
ditch, with rocks instead of wooden riffles for 
retaining the gold. To the sluice and its auxil- 
iary apparatus is due the immense increase in 
the production of gold during the early mining 

Operations on river bars soon led to explora- 
tions of the bed itself, to which end the stream 
was turned into artificial channels to lay bare 
the bottom. The water was turned by wing- 
dams into flumes, which are usually cheaper 
than ditches, owing to the rocky character of 
the banks. The flume current supplied water 
for sluicing and power to pump the bed. Boul- 
ders were lifted by derricks. At times the 
stream was contined to one-half of the bed 
while the other was worked, and this operation 
was permitted in the dry season. The cost and 
risk of deviating the river course caused the in- 
troduction of dredges with fair success, the 
buckets of which discharged the dirt into huge 
rocker- riffles. Along the northern coast of Cal- 

ifornia the auriferous bluffs, worn away by the 
surf, deposit very fine gold in the deep sand, 
which is carried away on mule-backs and washed 
at the nearest stream. 

The saving effected by the rocker was four 
times that of the pan, and the tom was about 
four times greater still, while the sluice was 
found to be three times cheaper than the tom, 
reducing the cost to about thirty-five cents per 
cubic yard. But even this price was too heavy 
to permit the mining of the largest gold-bear- 
ing deposits with profit in the gravelly banks 
and hills, which had moreover to be removed 
before richer underlying strata could be profit- 
ably worked. 

Thecelebrated hydraulic process was invented 
in 1858, to undermine and wash down banks by 
directing against them a stream of water 
through a pipe, under great pressure. The 
same stream did the work of a host of pick-men 
and shovelers, and supplied the washing sluices 
so that in course of time, with cheaper labor 
and machinery, the cost of extracting gold from 
a cubic yard of gravel was reduced as low as 
half a cent, while the cost under the old rocker 
system of 1848-'49 was estimated to cost several 
dollars. The year previous, however, a French- 
man named Chabot used a hose without a noz- 
zle upon his claim at Buckeye Hill, Nevada 
County, to sluice away the gravel which 
had been loosed by the pick; and a similar 
method is said to have been used at Yankee 
Jim's, the same season. The water, of course, 
was obtained by damming the caiion. After 
many checks from lack of experience, the 
hydraulic system acquired in Calitornia a 
greater expansion than in any other country, 
owing to the vast area of the gravel-beds and 
the natural drainage provided by the Sierra 
Nevada slopes; but an immense preliminary 
outlay was generally required in bringing water 
through flumes, ditches and tunnels, sometimes 
for many miles. The official report ibr 1855 
gave a total of 5,000 miles of canal in Califor- 
nia for hydraulic mining, costing $6 342,000. 
But on account of this process throwing down 


upon the fertile valleys so great an amount of 
debris, called " slickens," thus rendering value- 
less the most profitable horticultural and agri- 
cultural land in the State, the Legislature of 
1882 was prevailed upon to prohibit that 
method totally, and accordingly since that time 
no hydraulic raining has been done. This leg- 
islation of course depreciated the value of the 
mining districts, causing the towns and camps 
to run down, the remaining residents to con- 
tinue poor, while the people of the valleys re- 
joice; and it is still a question witii many 
whether tlie prohibition will finally result in 
a net gain for the State. The main considera- 
tion is that minerals are limited, while fanning 
and gardening are supposed to be as lasting as 
the human race itself. 

Deep, timbered shafts were not common in 
placer mining, for the pay dirt was seldom 
profitable enough to cover the expense; but for 
prospecting hills they proved of value in de- 
termining the advisability and direction of a 
tunnel, which, permitting easy drifting and 
offering a slight incline for drainage and use of 
tramways, greatly reduced the cost of extracting 
the dirt. This method had its beginning in 
California in the "coyote" burrowing of the 
Mexicans, and in folio sving gravel deposits 
under river banks. It did not assume the rank 
of a distinct branch until 1852, when ancient 
river channels began to attract attention. Fully 
half the early attempts resulted in failure, 
owing to miscalculations and insufficient ad- 
juncts. The first extensive drift mining was 
begun in 1852, at Forest Kill. Nevada, but the 
year previous J. McGillivray drifted a claim at 
Brown Bar, on the middle fork of the Amer- 

Shaft and drift mining became more identi- 
fied with quartz operations, which already — in 
1849 — began to be regarded as a future main 
branch for mining. The first quartz vein was 
discovered in Mariposa, on Fremont's grant, in 
1849, the reddish samples yielding two ounces 
to every twenty-five pounds. This discovery 
was quickly followed by other developments 

along the gold belt, and in 1850 the first mill 
was planted at Grass Valley. This was a 
" periphery " from the Eastern States, brought 
here by Wittenbach, who. aftei- working vainly 
on mica on the American River in 1849, set it 
up at Grass Valley in the following year for 
Mr. Wright. The second was an eight-stamp 
"Stockton" mill, with an engine of sixteen- 
horse power, brought across the isthmus, and 
also erected by Wittenbach for Mr. Wright. 
The development of quartz mining was so 
promising that the very air became filled with 
wild rumors as to future operations and suc- 
cesses. Assay upon assay demonstrated that 
California ore was ten to one hundred-fold 
richer than well-paying lodes abroad, and ex- 
plorations revealed that auriferous rock existed 
throughout the State. But the extraction of 
gold from quartz at first, on account of igno- 
rance as to the best method of saving the small 
particles, failed to yield more than two or three 
cents to the pound where assaying gave twenty 
or thirty cents, and the reduction cost from $40 
to $150 per ton, when it should have been 
efli'ected for $6 to $15. Also expensive works 
were often erected in the vicinity of rich pock- 
ets, which were about cleaned out by other 
methods. Hundreds were financially ruined, 
and quartz-mining fell into disrepute. A few, 
however, persevered patiently until they at- 
tained success 

Those who found valuable nuggets were few 
as compared with the number who, alighting on 
remunerative claims, took out fortunes from 
coarse and fine pay-dirt. These especially formed 
the theme of anecdote and newspaper record, 
all with the usual exaggeration. While Aus- 
tralia holds the palm for the largest nugget 
found in modern times, California ranks second 
with a large number of huge nuggets. The 
largest ever found in this State was from Cala- 
veras, in November, 1854, which weighed 161 
pounds, less some twenty pounds for quartz, 
which represented a sum of $30,000. Other 
remarkable finds are related elsewhere in this 
volume. The best steady average of gold-dust 


was yielded perhaps by the middle fork of the 
American River; and it was generally admitted 
that the steady worker could show a far higher 
balai.'ce at the end of the year than the pros- 
pectors and itinerant ininers. In 1852 the aver- 
age yield for each of the 100,000 men engaged 
in mining was only $600, while wages for com- 
mon labor ruled twice and three times higher. 

" Placer " mining consisted in collecting what 
gold could be conveniently reached at or near 
the surface of the ground. The word is Spanish 
and is pronounced plath-air in the mother 
tongue, but plass-er among English-speaking 

The gold placers of the Sierra Nevada render 
possible the sudden acquisition of wealth, as 
they also allnre people into many successive 
years of expense and toil without yielding a 
reward. Fortune is called the fickle goddess, 
and gold is the most fickle of her representa- 
tives. Where gold may possibly be found is 
easily told; but the quantity in the possible 
localities is exceedingly variable. The drift of 
the glacial age directs where to find the placer, 
and the vein of quartz contains it in place; but 
the drift may contain an infinitesimal quantity 
only, and the quartz may be barren, but in 
either there are deposits of wealth. Many, led 
on by strong desire and abounding hope, have 
sought for one of these deposits ever since the 
discovery of gold in 1848, and it has contin 
ually avoided their grasp; but others, favored 
by fortune, have struck upon them unawares, 
gaining a large amount of wealth in a moment. 
These are called "rich strikes," and they are 
widely published so that to a distant observer 
the histo)-y of gold mining is made of brilliant 
successes, with all the industrious miners riot- 
ing in wealth. But the greater number wiio 
toil year after year and make no rich strike 
cannot be enumerated; their deeds are not of 
the exciting character, and therefore they are 
not reported in the newspapers and do not swell 
the pages of history. Bright points on a dark 
surface seen at a great distance obscure the dark 
portion and make the whole appear bright. 


This article is from the pen of Eussell L. 
Dunn, in the State Mineral ogical lleport: 

Drift mining is peculiarly a California development of 
the gold placer-mining industry, originating from the ex- 
ceptional conditions of location of the larger area of 
these auriferous deposits. The placers by geological age 
and local condition are generally divisible into two classes. 
First, the so called blue-lead or ancient river channel 
placers, the result of river wash and erosion of the plio- 
cene or quai'ternary age, or of both, geological authorities 
dilfering. Second, the recent deposits of existing streams. 
The latter, though covering a wider range of country 
than the older placers, are comparatively limited in aggre- 
gate area, being for the most part the river and stream 
beds and their banks and bars. Being accessible and 
workable by primitive methods without the need usually 
of any capital, except that of labor itself, they were read- 
ily discovered and rapidly worked out. The gold they 
contained came very largely from the blue-lead ancient 
river channels that were cut through and eroded away 
by the present river system. A small portion only seems 
to have come from the direct disintegration by these 
streams of the auriferous slates, talcose rocks, and quartz 
lodes. Though some of the deep bars and portions of 
their channels that have been covered by slides are 
worked by the methods and appliances ot drift mining, it 
is with the remains of the ancient river channels that the 
industry is most closely connected. 

Geographically, the ancient river system, whose buried 
channels are so auriferous, extended from what is now 
Butte and Plumas counties on the north to Tuolumne on 
the south, and Irom the eastern edge of the Sacramento 
Valley almost to the summit of the Sierras. Within these 
limits are included portions of the counties of Butte, 
Sierra, Plumas, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Ama- 
dor, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Stanislaus, in all (roughly 
approximated) an area of 7,000 square miles, only a small 
portion of it, however, being actually covered by the re- 
mains of the ancient channels. The topography of this 
section has been formed by tributaries of the Sacramento 
rising at the summit of the Sierras and flowing in the 
precipitous conons of their erosion, till the Sacramento 
Valley is reached. Starting at the valley, the beds of 
these canons rise from ten to forty feet to the mile for 
the first forty or titty miles, thence with much steeper 
grades to the headwaters, only a thousand or so feet be- 
low the summit of the Sierras. The narrow ridges be- 
tween the caiions rise from the plains with mean grades of 
from 100 to 150 feet to the mile, to summit elevations of 
from (i,000 to 8,000 feet. The topography of the country 
during the existence of the pliocene and quarternary rivers 
cannot now be restored witb more than probable certainty. 
Itseems likely that the river system then was very similar 
to the present one in relative location and direction of 
flow of the main streams, at least particularly through 
the northern portion of the district. At Oroville, in 
Butte County, is the debouchure of a great river coming 


from the north and corresponding to the present Feather 
River, and apparently draining much the same territory. 
At Smartsville, in Yuba County, is the evidence of an an- 
cient river the couoterpart of the present Yuba. The 
main stream can be traced up the "Ridge," as it is lo- 
cally known, lying between the Middle and South Forks 
of the Yuba to about Moore's Flat, thence northward into 
Sierra County. Remains of what must have been its trib- 
utaries are observable all over northern Nevada County 
and central and northern Sierra into Plumas County. In 
Placer County, from Auburn southwesterly, there are the 
remains of an old river channel, the predecessor of the 
present American. Higher up in the mountains there is 
a tangled network of old channel fragments that were 
once part of its system. Further south at F^a Grande, in 
Stanislaus County, is the outlet for the pliocene rivers of 
Tuolumne and probably Calaveras and Amador counties. 
A careful study and comparison of the location, direction, 
elevation, and grade ol the remains of the channels is con- 
vincing that there is not one main great blue-lead chan- 
nel coming from north to south, as supposed for many 
years after the mines in them were discovered and 
worked, with tributary channels coming in from the east 
and the west, a system analagous to the main Sacramento, 
but in the mountains fifty miles east of it, but that, as 
already stated, the systsm was much the same as at the 
present time. In the northern portion of the district the 
channels can be traced for long distances, have indeed 
been somewhat restored by mining operations in them 
and their continuity and identity established with con- 
siderable certainty. In the southern portion the remains 
of the old channels are very fragmentary, either as a re- 
sult of more complete subsequent erosion, or because the 
system originally was not as extensive or permanent. A 
complication of tbe problem of identity of the more or 
less isolated fragments of these channels comes from in 
disputable evidence that there were two, and in some lo- 
calities more, systems formed necessarily in different 
periods of time. 

The ancient streams, as indicated from the immense 
masses of drift gravels and detritus they have left in their 
channels, probably carried much larger volumes of water 
than the present stream.-. The mean gradient of their 
beds was considerably more than that of the existing 
streams at corresponding points, for, although in the 
enormous lapse of time great local changes in elevation 
are possible, it is almost certain that the elevation of the 
Sierra Nevada mountain chain to substantially its present 
condition and altitude was in the later cretaceous or early 
tertiary periods. The changes in it have been the re- 
sult of glacial and stream erosion and of lava flows, not, 
so far as the section under consideration is concerned, of 
local genesis. The periods of erosive energy of the an- 
cient streams were not as long as that of the present, as 
they evidently did not cut as canon-like depressions. The 
general surlace of the country was not, therefore, as 
rugged as now, being hilly rather than mountainous, the 
difference in altitude of the general plane of the surface 
of the country and the stream channel depressions at cor- 

responding points being much less than at the present 

The gold in the channels is the product of the primary 
disintegration of the auriferous slates, talcose rocks, and 
quartz veins. Whether or not these disintegrated rocks 
were richer in gold, and the eroded portion of the veins 
more massive, is uncertain, but the erosive agencies of 
water and cold were undoubtedly much more powerful 
then. The theory of direct glacial erosion is hardly tent 
able, as no trace of it appears in the channels, and re. 
mains of flora and fauna are found that indicate, if not a 
temperate, certainly a subarctic climate. Le Conte says 
that the glacial erosion was prior to the formation of the 
channels, and was the greater disintegrating force. 

The great changes in the location of the stream chan- 
nels have been made by eruptive agencies. A secondary 
cause was their filling up with accumulations of gravels, 
sands, and clays. Enormous flows of trachytic lava 
(trachyte after Ashburner, Geoh)gipal Surveyor, Calilbr- 
nia — andesite after Becker, United States Geological Sur- 
veyor), volcanic ashes, tufa, and mud coming from the 
north filled up the channels at some points to several 
hundred feet in depth, turning the streams and com- 
pletely altering the surface of the country. This cover- 
ing up and obliteration of the surface was not the result 
of one season of eruptive activity, but of several, sepa- 
rated by enormous intervals of time only less than that 
which has elapsed since the final dying out of the plu- 
tonic forces. Discussion of this volcanic action is some- 
what speculative, and deductions from the indeterminate 
phenomena are uncertain. As an opinion, merely based 
on examination and comparison, it is true the first of the 
flows in point of time seem to have consisted of trachytic 
lava, and to have covered the greater territory ; that there 
then followed a long period of inactivity of the interior 
forces, during which the streams adjusted their channels 
to the changed topography. The first flows probably did 
not completely divert the streams, except at a few points, 
but merely raised their beds and changed the character 
of the channel deposits, the latter becoming largely lava. 
The period of inactivity was in time followed by another 
display of the plutonic forces, and in its turn by a period 
of quiescence. This sequence, repeated several times, 
but with a diminishing power and range of the eruptive 
energy confining it more and more to the northward, and 
with lengthening intervals of repose, finally ended in the 
complete cessation of the eruptive energy. These latter 
flows, in addition to the trachytic lava, consisted largely 
of volcanic ashes and tufa, and volcanic mud. The chan- 
nels and surface depressions generally, and some of the 
lower hill elevations, became more and more filled up 
and obliterated, until at the end of the last period of erup- 
tion a completely new topography was forming, the be- 
ginning of the present. 

The lessening area to the south covered by the success- 
ive flows accounts both for the greater erosion of the 
eruptive deposits of the southern portion of the district, 
and for the greater aggregate depth and more numerous 
strata of the northern portion. It is probable that many 


of the existing river channels are the original ones cut 
deeper into the coun'.ry rock, the volcanic flows not ob- 
literating them at all, or only temporarily. This is par- 
ticularly the case in the lower courses of the larger 
streams. The geological time of the end of the eruptive 
period was probably in the earlier quarternary, prior to 
the glacial epoch or age of ice. During it and since then 
has been the erosion of the existing river system. This, 
as belore staled, is a system of tremendous gorges and 
canons cut down through the surface volcanic deposits, 
the drift-filled old river channels, and from a lew hun- 
dred to three thousand feet into the country rock. An 
erosion so stupendous could hardly have been made by 
the narrow, small, flowing streams now in the bottom of 
the&e caiions, conceding almost any geological lapse of 
time. Only glacial action followed by great torrential 
streams can account for it. 

The old river channels now are — as the result of the 
eruptive flows first filling, then denudation by glacial and 
stream erosion, depress ons in the surface of the country 
rock filled with river sands, gravels, and clays, and 
capped with lava, volcanic ashes, and tufa, with possibly 
wash gravels lying between the volcanic flows — the re- 
mains of stream erosion in the interval between the 
flows. The depth of the gravels on the bed-rock will vary 
between limits of nothing to thiee hundred feet; the 
depth of the volcanic flows and other gravel deposits 
from nothing to fifteen hundred feet; though at no two 
points would exactly the same deposits, either in quality 
or relation, be found. The following data from the shaft 
of the Gray Eagle Drilt Mine, Sec. 6, T. 13 N., R. 10 E., 
M. D. M., near Forest Hill, Placer County, is typical, and 
well illustrates the phenomena of several of the eruptive 
periods and the stream flows of the intervals between. 
Beginning at the surface, in sinking, the shaft passed 
through — 

Red soil and loam 10 feet. 

tSoft gray volcanic ash ai feet. 

Hard gray lava, containing angular fragments of 

slate 80 feet. 

River wash, sand and gravel in alternate strata, 

principally sand 34 feet. 

River wash, gravel and sand in alternate strata, 

principally gravel 30 feet. 

Yellow water sediment, pipe clay 25 feet. 

Loam, fine black sediment, containing leaves, 

logs, etc 10 feet. 

Large bowlders, water-worn 10 feet. 

Hard, chocolate-colored lava 60 feet. 

Kiver wash, gravel and sand 10 feet. 

Hard, chocolalecolored lava, containing logs, 

some petrified 20 feet. 

River wash gravel 7 feet. 

Hard, chocolate-colored lava 25 feet. 

At this point the country rock is struck sloping down, 
showing that the bottom of the channel has not been 
reached. On ind in this rock gold was found. 

In this particular case there are four distinct lava flows 

determinable and four river flows in substantially the 
same channel. Not till the channel became full by the 
last volcanic flow did the old stream take an entirely dif- 
ferent location. Comparatively few shafts have been 
sunk through these lava flows, the mining of the aurifer- 
ous gravels underneath being most practicable through 
tunnels, and in the sinking of the shafts but little atten- 
tion has been paid to keeping a record of the character of 
the ground passed through. However, in the working of 
some of the drift mines through tunnels, several of these 
lava flows have been located lar underground, not super- 
imposed one on the other, but filling channels that have 
cut through and crossed older channels filled wiih older 
lava flows. In the Bald Mounlain Mine, at Forest City, 
Sierra County, the channel being mined was crossed and 
cut through by another channel about five hundred feet 
wide. The latter was filled at the bottom with a kind of 
volcanic mud and contained no gold. In the Mountain 
Gate Mine, at Damascus, Placer County, a wide white 
quartz channel was found to be cut through and ciossed 
by another channel over five hundred feet wide and sixty 
feet lower at the crossing. This last channel, unlike 
that in the Bald Mountain Mine, contained auriferous 
blue gravel (almost exclusively slate) from six to fifteen 
feet in depth, directly overlaid with a hard, compact lava. 
In the Paragon Mine, at Bath, Placer County, there are 
three distinct determinable channels. First, the lowest 
and original, a blue gravel channel lying directly on the 
country rock. Second, an upper channel one hundred 
and fifty feet above the first in au elevation and having 
the same general line of flow. Between the two are 
alternate layers of wash gravel, sand, and pipe clay. 
Third, a channel crossing and cutting througb the second, 
but not down to the first. This last is filled with a lava 

Some of these old river channels are filled to depths of 
several hundred feet with gravel, sand, and pipe clay, all 
river deposits, which extend to great widths and far be- 
yond the limits of the lowest channel depression. 


The following, from Ilittell's Eesources of 
California, is a concise description of quartz 
mining and methods: 

No doubt, geological knowledge is valuable to a 
miner, and it should assist him in prospecting; but it 
(that which the professional geologist has above the prac- 
tical miner) has never yet enabled anybody to find a val- 
uable claim. [Similar observations are made with regard 
to oil and gas discoveries in the East.] Chemists, geolo- 
gists, mineralogists and old miners have not done better 
than ignorant men and new-comers. Most of the best 
veins have been discovered by poor and ignorant men. 

Auriferous quartz lodes are often found by accident. 
Some good leads have been found by men employed in 
making roads and cutting ditches. The quartz might be 
covered with soil, but the pick and shovel revealed its 



position and wealth. In Tuolumne County, in 1858, a 
hunter shot a grizzly bear on the side of a steep canon, 
and this animal tumbling down was caught by a project- 
ing point of rock. The hunter followed his game, and 
while skinning the animal discovered that the point of 
rock was auriferous quartz. In Mariposa County, in 
1855, a miner was attacked by a robber, and the former 
saw a sparkle behind his assailant at a spot where a bul- 
let struck a wall of rock. He killed the robber and 
found that the rock was gold-bearing quartz! In Nevada 
County, a number of years ago, a couple of unfortunate 
miners who had prepared to leave California and were 
out on a drunken frolic, started a large bowlder down a 
steep hill. On its way down it struck a brown rock and 
broke a portion of it off, exposing a vein of while quartz 
which proved to be auriferous. This induced the miners 
to remain some months longer in the State, and paid them 
well for remaining. 

After all, the author proceeds to compile a 
few scienlific rules for gold-hunting, as follows: 

It is useless to prospect for auriferous quartz in a coun- 
try where no placer gold has been found. If the metal 
e.xists in the rock, some of it will also be found in the al- 
luvium, and it can be discovered tliere more readily than 
in the vein. After the placers have been found, search 
should be made for the quartz. The following rules are 

1. If a ravine is rich in gold to a certain point and 
barren above, look for a quartz vein in the hill-sides just 
above the place where the richness ceases. 

3. A line of pieces of quartz rock observed in a hill- 
side probably indicates the course of a quartz vein. 

3. If a ravine crosses a quartz vein, fragments of the 
rock will be found in its bed below. 

4. A large quartz vein will often show its presence in 
the topography of the country by forming hills in those 
spots where the rock happens to be very hard. 

5. Quartz can be found and the veins traced with com- 
paratively little labor in the steep banks of canons where 
the rock is bare or is covered with but little soil. 

6. If a quartz vein contains gold, some of the metal 
may be perceptible to the naked eye. 

The extraction of auriferous quartz does not differ 
materially from that of other ores in narrow veins. The 
rules for running tunnels and drifts for sloping, draining, 
ventilating and timbering are precisely the same. Ex- 
traction, however, requires much experience and judg- 
ment for proper management. The dip, the thickness 
and material of the vein, the horizontal length and the 
dip of the pay chute, the character of the walls, the sup- 
ply of water and the situation of the mill must be taken 
into consideration. Access must be had to the lower 
works by a horizontal tunnel or vertical shaft, or an in- 
cline running down on the dip of the lode. There are, 
however, very few auriferous quartz mines in which the 
lower woiks can be reached profitably by a tunnel. Or- 
dinarily an incline is preferred, which goes down in the 

vein-stone, and sometimes, but rarely, pays for the work 
of taking it out. After the shaft or incline is down, 
levels or drifts are run off horizoi tally as far as the pay 
rock extends, at intervals usually of a hundred feet, and 
the levels are numbered from the surface; so when we 
read that they have found good rock in a certain mine at 
the eighth level, we presume that it is about 800 feet be- 
low the surface. The rock between two levels is broken 
down or sloped out, and it falls to the drift or level below, 
where it is loaded in a car and hauled to the shaft, in 
which it is carried up. 

Nearly all the quartz of California is crushed by 
stamps or iron hammers ten inches in diameter and 
weighing 500 pounds. The stamp is fastened to a verti- 
cal iron stem about six feet long, and near the top is a 
projection by which a cam or revolving shaft lifts the 
stamp a foot high and then lets it fall. Five stamps are 
placed side by side in a battery, and they fall successively, 
each making about forty blows in a minute. The quartz 
is shoveled in on the upper side, and when pulverized 
sufficiently it is carried away through a wire screen on 
the lower side of a stream of water, which pours into the 
battery steadily. 

The arrastra is the simplest instrument for grinding 
auriferous quartz. It is a circular bed of stone from eight 
to twenty feet in diameter, on which the quartz is ground 
by a large stone dragged round and round by horse or mule 
power. There are two kinds of arrastras, the rude and 
the improved. Tne rude arrastra is made with a pave- 
ment of unhewn flat stones, which are usually laid down 
in clay. The pavement of the improved arrastra is made 
of hewn stone cut very accurately and laid down in 
cement. In the center of the bed is an upright post 
which turns on a pivot; and running through the post is 
a horizontal bar, projecting on each side to the outer 
edge of the pavement. On each arm of this bar is at- 
tached by a chain a large flat stone or muller, weighing 
from 300 to .500 pounds. It is so hung that the forward 
end is about an inch above the bed, and the hind end 
drags on the bed and crushes the quartz 

The pulverized auriferous quartz, as it comes from the 
stamps, consists of fine particles of rock and gold mixed 
together, and the aim of the miner is to separate them, 
save the metal and let the other material escape. Here 
again a small sluice, similar in principle to that used in 
raining, is employed; but instead of riffle bars the bot- 
tom of the sluice is copper covered with quicksilver, or 
is a rough blanket, in which the gold and heaviest sands 
are caught. In many mills quicksilver is placed in the 
battery, two ounces of quicksilver for one of gold; and 
about two-thirds of the gold is thus caught. Next to the 
battery is the apron, a copper plate covered with quick- 
silver, on which a good share of the gold is caught. 

Below the aprons, different devices fur catching the 
gold are used in different mills. The blanket is the most 
common. This is a coarse article, laid at the bottom of 
the sluice, through which the pulp from the battery runs, 
and the gold, black sand and sulphurets are caught in the 
wool, while the lighter material runs off. The blanket is 



washed out in a tub at intervals ot balf an hour to an 

In some mines nearly half the gold is mixed with 
pyrites and refuses to be caught with quicksilver. In 
such a case a sluice may be used to separate the sulphu- 
rets, which may form three per cent, of the pulverized 
rock. This separation is called concentration, and the 
material obtained is concentrated tailings. The sulphu- 
rets are five limes as heavy as water and twice as heavy 
as quartz; so the separating is not difficult when the sup- 
ply of water is abundant. 

In roasting for chlorination we have, first, to oxydize 
the iron and next, by the introduction of salt, to chloridize 
certain other sul stances which vary with the locality 
Irom which the ore is obtained. When this is rightly 
done, we have usually formed either oxydes or oxychlo- 
rids of all the base metals in the ore treated, leaving gold 
as the only free m* tal to absorb the chlorine gas. In or- 
der to be successlul in roasting the ore, attention must 
be given to the construction of the furnace. If the arch 
over the hearth is too high, the ore will not be oxydized ; 
so also if the flues are too large or the damper is opened 
too wide, as the excess of cold air or dralt cools the ore. 
The cost of ihe entire procets does not exceed $20 per 

Many fine fortunes have been lost in gold-quartz min- 
ing; and it is proper to give warning to the ignorant 
against Ihe dangers that beset the business. 

1. Gold-quartz mining is one of the most uncertain of 
all occupations. 

2. No amount of experience, scientific knowledge and 
prudence will secure the investor against loss. 

3. Many of the men engaged in it are very bold, and 
their statements must not be accepted without great cau- 
tion, even when there is proof of their sincerity. 

4. No one should risk more in gold quartz than he can 
afford to lose without serious inconvenience. 

5. The presence of large lumps of gold in a vein is no 
evidence of a profitable mine. Most of the best mines 
have had little rich rock; and the finest specimens have 
come Irom mines that are not now worked. It is the large 
supply of paying quartz, and not the extraordinary rich- 
ness of small pieces, that makes the great mine. 

6. There is no occupation in which it is eas er to waste 
money by inexperience, carelessness or folly. 

7. No business has greater need of the presence and 
constant attention of an economical, attentive and capable 
manager, directly interested in the business. 

8. For jieis'ns of small means, the only safe way to 
work a small mine is to make it (lay as it goes along, and 
to abandon it when the outgo exceeds the income. 

9. Many of the best quartz mines in the Stale were rich 
at the surface, ami have yielded more than enough from 
the beginning to pay for all Ihe work expended upon 

10. Not one in five ot the mines which did not pay at 
the surface, and has been woiked to a depth of 100 feet, 
has ever paid. 

11. The richness of a vein at one point is no evidence 
of its richness at another. 

12 Not one quartz miner in a thousand has made a 
mi derate fortune. 

13. Nearly all the owners of the rich quartz mines of 
California are capitalists, who made money in other busi- 
ness, and then could afford to risk considerable sums in 
ventures which they considered uncertain. 

14. Do not build your mill until you have opened your 
mine and got enough pay rock in sight to pay for it. 

An old mining engineer says; "In 1858 there were 
upward of 280 quartz mills in California, each one of 
which was supplied with qnartz from one or more veins. 
The number of stamps in these mills was 2,610, and the 
total cost of the whole mill property of this nature in the 
Slate exceeded $3,000,000. In the summer of 1861, only 
three years afterward, there were only some forty or fifty 
mills in successlul operation, several of which were at 
that time leading a very precarious existence." 


was invented in April, 1853, at American Hill, 
by E. A. Matteson,who was still living in 1885, 
in the upper part of Nevada County. This pruc- 
ess came into general practice, but, on account 
of its filling up the streams of valleys below 
with debris and thus threatening to throw the 
water out upon the rich horticultural lands and 
ruining them, the Legislature of 1882 prohib- 
ited the practice; and it still remains a question 
with those living among the foot-hills whether 
the gain in horticultural area will ever equal 
the loss they suffer in mining interests. 


The following account is the substance of an 
article written in 1857 upon the above and col- 
lateral topics, and published in llutchings' Cal- 
ifornia Magazine: 

In some of the more isolated mining localities the arri- 
val of a pack train is an event of some importance, and 
men gathered around it with as much apparent interest 
as though they had expected to see some dear old friend 
stowed away somewhere among the packs. This neces- 
sity has created an extensive packing business with the 
cities of Stockton, Marysville, Shasta and Crescent City, 
but very little with Sacramento at the present time. 
There are geuerally forty to fifty mules in a train, mostly 
Mexicans each of which will carry from 300 to 500 
pounds, and with this they will travel twenty-five to 
thirty miles a day without being weary. If there is 
plenty of grass they seldom get anything else to eat. 
When fed on barley— which is generally about three 



months out of a year, November, December and January 
— it is given only once a day, and in the proportion of 
seven to eight pounds per mule. They seldom drink 
more than once a day, even in the warmest weather. 

The average life of a mule is about sixteen years. The 
Mexican mules are tougher and stronger than the Ameri- 
can; for while the latter can seldom carry more than 200 
to 250 pounds, the former can carry 300 to 1,000. This 
superiority may arise from the fact that the Mexicans are 
more accustomed to packing and traveling over a moun- 
tainous country, while the American are used only for 
draft. The Mexican mule, too, can carry a person forty 
miles a day for ten or twelve days, over a mountainous 
trail; while it is very difficult for an American mule to 
accomplish over twenty-five or thirty miles a day. The 
Mexican mule can travel farther and endure more with- 
out food than any other quadruped, and with him it 
makes but little difference apparently whether he is fed 
regularly or not. The Mexican mules are also easier 
under the saddle and are not so fatiguing to ride. 

The packing trade of Marysville gives employment to 
about 2,.500 mules and between 300 and 400 men. From 
the town of Shasta, during the winter of 1854r-'55, 1,876 
mules were employed, not including the animals used by 
individual miners. The Shasta Courier claims there were 
2,000. From the above data it was estimated the amount 
of trade at the respective points. The packing trade from 
Marysville is most extensive with Downieville, Eureka 
of the North, Morrison's Diggings, St. Louis, Pine Grove, 
Poker Fiat, Gibsonville, Nelson's Point, American Valley, 
Indian Valley and all the intermediate and surrounding 
places in the counties of Sierra and Plumas; and the 
trade of Shasta is with Weaver (Weaverville), Yreka and 
the settlements around them. One is astonished to see 
the singular goods that are often packed across the Trin- 
ity and Scott mountains to those places, such as buggies, 
windows, boxes, barrels, bars of iron, chairs, tables, 
plows, etc. In the fall of 1853 an iron safe nearly three 
feet square, and weighing 352 pounds, was transported 
on a very large mule from Shasta to Weaverville, a dis- 
tance of twenty-eight miles, over a rough and mountain- 
ous trail, without an accident (!), but after the load was 
taken off the mule lay down and died within a few 
hours. A man in Yreka once sent among other tilings a 
rocking-chair and a looking-glass, "and when I reached 
there," said he, " I found that the chair back was broken, 
the rockers off and one arm in two pieces; and the look- 
ing-glass was as much like a crate of broken crockery as 
anything I ever saw." 

A gentleman had also informed us that in the summer 
of 1H55 two sets of millstones were packed from Shasta 
to Weaverville, the largest weighing 600 pounds. Being 
looked upon as an impossibility for one mule to carry, it 
was first tried to be "slung" between two mules; but 
that being impracticable, the plan was abandoned and 
the stone packed upon one. 

When the Yreka Herald was about to be published, a 
press was purchased in San Francisco, at a cost of about 
$C00, upon which the freight alone amounted to $900. 

The bed-piece, weighing 397 pounds, was placed upon 
one mule, with ropes and other equipage, so tha' the 
whole load was 430 pounds. On descending Scott moun- 
tain this splendid animal slipped a little, when the load 
careened over and threw the patient mule down a steep 
bank and killed him. Many of the older Californians 
have breathed their last in a ravine where accident had 
tossed them, to become the food of wolves and coyotes. 
One train was passing the steep side of a mountain in 
Trinity County, when a large rock came rolling from 
above and struck one of the mules in the side, frighten- 
ing others off the track and killing one man and tiiree 
mules. During the severe winter of 1852-'53, a pack 
train was snowed in between Grass Valley and Onion 
Valley, and out of forty-five animals only three were 
taken out alive. The amount of danger and privation to 
which men following this business are sometimes ex- 
posed, is almost incredible. 

It is truly astonishing to see with what ease and care 
these useful animals pack their heavy loads over the 
deep snow, and to notice how very cautiously they cross 
holes where the melting snow reveals some ditch or 
stream beneath, and where some less careful aaimal has 
"put his foot in it" and sank into "deep trouble." We 
have often watched them descending a snow-bank when 
heavily packed, and have seen that as they could not 
step safely they would fix their feet and brace their 
limbs and unhesitatingly slide down with perfect security 
over the worst places. 

There is something very pleasing and picturesque in 
the sight of a large pack train of mules quietly descend- 
ing a hill, as each one intelligently examines the trail, 
and moves carefully step by step on the steep and dan- 
gerous declivity as though he suspected danger to him- 
self or injury to the pack committed to his care. 

In the deep and otherwise unbroken stillness of the 
dark pine or redwood forests the loud hippah and mulah 
of the Mexican muleteers sound strangely to the ear. 
During these trips the Mexican sings no song and bums 
no tune. 

Muleteers were also exposed to highway robbers and 
Indians. Sometimes they were plundered of their whole 
train and cargoes, and they themselves murdered. The 
trail from Sacramento to Yreka was so infested that it 
was entirely abandoned for two years or more. 

Before attempting to pack a mule, the Mexicans in- 
variably blindfold him; he then stands quietly until the 
bandage is removed. A man generally rides in front of 
every train, for the purpose of stopping it should any- 
thing go wrong, and acting as guide to the others. In 
every train there is also a leader called the hell-mule. 
Most of these animals prefer a white mule for a leader. 
They seldom start before nine o'clock in the morning- 
after which they travel until sunset before stopping, un, 
less something goes wrong. 

When about to camp, the almost invariable custom of 
packers, after removing the goods (near which they 
always sleep in all kinds of weather), is for the mules to 
stand side by side in a line or in a hollow square with 


their heads in one direction, before taking olf the apara- 
jos (a kind of pack-saddle, a leathern sack stuffed with 
hair, and generally weighing from twenty-five to forty 
pounds), and then in the morning, when the train of 
loose mules is driven up to camp to receive their packs, 
each one walks carefully up to his own aparajo and 
blanket, which he evidently knows as well as does the 
packer. When the toils of the day are over and the 
mules are peacefully feeding, begins the time of relaxa- 
tion to the men, who, while they are enjoying the aroma 
of their fine-flavored cigaritas, spend the evening hours 
telling tales of some far-off but fair senorita, or make 
their beds by the packs, and as soon as they have finished 
their supper lie down to sleep. 


Wlien the Incky prospector had found a pay 
iiig claim, the next thing was to set up his 
household. From two to four was the usual 
number of the mess, and though their humble 
collection of goods was somewhat exposed they 
were tolerably secure from depredation. A 
stray horse or ox would sometimes get into the 
flour sack or bread sack, upset the sugar or 
make a mess of the table ware; wandering In- 
dians would pilfer small things or take away 
clothing, but these were the principal depreda- 
tions. The houses, often the initial points of 
towns, were generally located near some spring, 
if practicable. Bottle Spring (Jackson), Double 
Springs, Mud Springs, Diamond Spring and 
Cold Springs at once suggest their origin. 
Logs were generally a*; hand, with which to 
build. The ground served for a floor. The 
sleeping places were as various as the minds of 
men; but generally bunks were made by putting 
a second log in the cabin at a proper elevation 
and distance from the sides and nailing potato 
or gunny sacks across. A second bunk over 
this was sometimes made in a like manner. 
Some ferm leaves or coarse hay on the sacks, 
with blaiikets, made a comfortable bed. A good 
tire place was also provided ; and a vigorous fire 
was often required, as most of the mining had 
to be done in water, which wet the clothes. 
Some of these fireplaces would be six feet 
across, and built of granite or slate rocks, as each 
abounded. Very little hewing was done to 
make them fit. Four or five feet up an oak log 

was laid across for a mantel-piece and as the 
base for one side of the chimney. A couple of 
rocks served as andirons. 

A shelf or two of shakes, or sometimes an 
open box in which something had been shipped 
around the Horn, would serve for a cupboard, and 
in this the stock of table ware would be kept, 
consisting of a few tin plates and cups and two 
or three cans containing salt, pepper and soda. 
A table of moderate size was also made of 
shakes, sometimes movable but oftener nailed 
fast to the side of the house. Sometimes the 
tail gate of a wagon was used for a table. A 
frying-pan, coftee-pot, Dutch oven and water 
bucket completed the list of kitchen utensils. 

Cooking was sometimes done " turn about" 
for a week, and sometimes it seemed to fall to 
the lot of the best-natured one in the crowd, 
the others bringing wood and water by way of 
offset. Dish-washing was generally omitted al- 
together. The cooking of course was of the 
simplest kind, and very often of the poorest, 
especially in respect to bread; and therefore for 
the latter the famous flap-jack was generally 
relied upon. Two frying-pans would often be 
used to make these, for convenience of turning 
the cake, which as done by turning one over 
the other. 

Game sometimes entered into the miner's bill 
of tare. Quails, rabbits, coons, squirrels and 
hawks were all converted into food, as well as 
deer and hare. Some Frenchmen in 1852, dur- 
ing a time of scarcity, killed and ate a coyote, 
but their account of his good qualities was not 
such as to induce others to try the experiment. 
In 1851. some miners, getting out of both 
money and meat, shot a young and fine-lookino- 
hawk, cooked hiui and ate him, declaring that 
" he was better nor a chicken ! '" Some neigh- 
bors tried the saine experiment, but unfortu- 
nately killed the old fellow that was preserved 
from drowning a great many years ago through 
the kindness of one of our forefathers. His 
flesh was about the color and consistency of 
sole-leather; and after boiling him for three 
days in the vain attempt to reduce his body to 


an eatable condition be was cast away. Even 
tbe rice with whicb be was boiled acquired no 
hawk flavor, which induced one of the miners 
to remark, " They's much difFerence'n hawks 
as'n women." A second trial resulted in a 
splendid dish, and after that hawks learned to 
avoid that settlement. But, with all the 
simplicity and supposed monotony of tbe 
miner's bill of fare, it was almost a constant 
series of comicalities as well as nuisances. 

Tbe washing of clothes was scarcely ever 
attended to, with such results as may better be 
imagined than described. The vermin which 
were consequently so abundant were after some 
years vanquished; but whether by the neater 
habits of miners or the sanguinary flea is still 
an open question. The fleas were sometimes 
caught in large numbers in dishes of soap suds 
set around lighted candles at night. I-ater the 
bed-bug drove out to some extent tlie flea. 
Rats also became numerous. 

Rattlesnakes sometimes crawled in between 
tbe logs, and first made their presence known 
by tbe sharp rattle of their chain or the deadly 
thrust of their poisonous fangs into the sleeper's 
limbs. As the miners got to building their 
cabins of sawed lumber and elevating them 
above the ground, snakes, rats, mice and skunks 
became less frequent visitors; when dogs and cats 
were called in as friends and protectors tlie 
people could sleep without fear or disturbance. 


The greater part of the overland immigration 
took the route by way of the valley of the Platte 
River, the south pass of the Rocky Mountains 
aud the valley of the Humboldt, entering Cali- 
fornia by the Pit River route, or Lassen's Gut- 
off', or the valley of the Truckee and the Bear 
River Ridge; and a stream poured through the 
Carson Pass into the Central Mining Region. 
Many thousande took the old Santa Fe trail 
through the valley of the Arkansas to the Rio 
Grande, thence by tbe road followed by the 
Colonel Cooke aud the Mormon Battalion, 
through northern Sonora to the Gila River, 

crossing the Colorado into California and reach- 
ing the southern mining region of the Mari- 
posa and Tuolumne rivers several months later 
than those who followed the northern route. 

There were many estimates of the number of 
people crossing the plains in 1849, some placing 
the number as high as 100,000; but later in- 
vestigations greatly reduced the estimate. 
Many returned to the East by steamer before 
the close of the year, some with small fortunes 
acquired in the mines or by speculation, others 
disheartened and homesick, and death claimed 
also his portion. At the commencement of the 
year the nationalities were estimated as follows: 
Native Californians, 13,000; Americans, 8,000; 
foreigners, 5,000; total, 26,000. At the close 
of the year it was: Natives, 13,000; Americans, 
76,000: foreigners, 18,000; showing an increase 
of 68,000 Americans aud 13,000 foreigners, a 
total of 81,000 increase and a total population 
of 107,000. This large increase, of which so 
large a majority were Americans, redeemed 
California from a wilderness and made it a State 
of the Union. 

On the first rush for gold, of course nothing 
was thought of the location and development of 
towns, every miner pitching his tent with refer- 
ence only to the temporary residence he ex- 
pected to maintain during a short period of 
mining. Naturally, however, as some of these 
mining camps became more permanent, towns 
were made from them, and also at landing 
places along the streams; and within two or 
three years interested parties would have 
counties formed, seats of government desig- 
nated and trading centers developed. According 
to the rough and ready nature of the period, 
these towns mostly received rough and ready 
names, far beyond the "record" of tlie past: a 
list need not be given here, as every one is famil- 
iar with a large stock of them. 

The larger proportion of the camps, however, 
disappeared with the decline of mining; some 
fell as rapidly as they had risen, when the rich 
but scanty surface gold which gave them life 
was worked out. Everything partook of the 


precarious and unstable characteristics marking 
this era of wild speculation ana gambling. 
" Never was there a place or people," says Ban- 
croft, " where the changes of life, its vicissitudes 
and its successes, were brought in such bold 
relief as here. The rich and the poor, the proud 
and the humble, the vile and the virtuous 
changed places in a day. Wild speculation 
and slovenly business habits, together with the 
gambling character of all occupations, and the 
visitations or benign influences of the elements, 
and a thousand incalculable incidents usually 
classed in the category of ' luck,' were constantly 
lifting up one and putting down another, re- 
placing this town or district and shriveling 
that." Even the central El Dorado and Placer 
districts are becoming known as vinicnltural 
rather than gold-mining sections of the State. 
Alpine County relies upon her pastures, and 
most of the gold belt depends upon tillage. 


Doubtless the first navigation on the Sacra- 
mento River was conducted by the Russians 
from Sitka Island, who were located at Ross 
and Bodega on the coast, and engaged in trade 
in furs, hides, tallow, etc. They were in this 
region prior to 1840, carrying on trade with the 
interior up to the time of their selling out to 
Captain Sutter; but the hostility of the Spanish 
Government and the expense of maintaining 
their position finally caused them to abandon 
the held. At that time also there was in this 
part of the country an agency for the Hudson 
Bay Company. In 1841 Sutter purchased the 
property of the Russians, including a small 
schooner of forty tons' burden, with which ihey 
had made short voyages along the coast. The 
first record we have of its appearance up the 
Sacramento River was in August of that year, 
though probably it had been upon its waters 
previously. This may be considered the date of 
the commencement of American commerce upon 
this stream. According to the terms of Sutter's 
bargain with the Rucsians, he was to furnish a 
given quantity of grain each year for their set- 

tlement on the Northwest coast, and the trans- 
portation of this product every fall to the bay 
was a part of the regular trade upon which this 
vessel entered. She was manned and subse- 
quently commanded by Indians selected from 
Sutter's domesticated tribes, and for a long time 
was the only "regular packet" on the river. 
After performing a number of important offices 
during the war, she was taken down to San 
Francisco in the spring of 1848, to carry thither 
the tidings of the discovery of gold. She con- 
tinued to be the largest schooner on the river 
up to the period when the commerce with the 
mines began. 

The Brooklyn Mormons also owned a launch 
called the Comet, which made three trips to the 
settlement on the Stanislaus, and was the pio- 
neer on the San Joaquin. 

The voyage from San Francisco to New Hel- 
vetia, or Sutter's Fort, as Sacramento was then 
called, and back to the city, occupied from two 
to four weeks. 

In the spring of 1848, when the rush for gold 
set in, the San Francisco Star (of May 20) thus 
ironically alludes to the first embarkations: 
" Fleet of launches left this place on Sunday and 
Monday last, bound ' up the Sacramento River,' 
closely stowed with human beings led by the 
love of filthy lucre to the perennial-yielding 
gold mines of the north, where ' a man can find 
upwardof two ounces a day,' and 'two thousand 
men can find their hands fall '—of hard work." 
May 27 the same editor said: " Launches have 
plied without cessation between this place and 
New Helvetia during this time (since the dis- 
covery of gold). The Sacramento, a first-class 
craft, left here on Thursday last, thronged with 
passengers for the gold mines — a motley assem- 
blage, composed of lawyers, merchants, grocers, 
carpenters, cartmen and cooks, all possessed with 
the desire of suddenly becoming rich." He also 
stated that at that time over 300 men were 
engaged in washing gold, and parties were con- 
tinually arriving from every part of the country. 
San Francisco was soon made to present a deso- 
late appearance on account of the sudden de- 



parture of her principal citizens for the gold 
tield. During the first eight weeks a quarter 
of a inillic)n dollars' worth of gold was taken to 
that city, and during the second eight weeks 
$600,000 worth. By this time (September) the 
number of persons in tlie diggings was esti- 
mated at 6,000. "An export at last! " was the 
exclamation of the San Franciscan editor; " and 
it is gold." 

The first vessel whose tonnage exceeded that 
of the " launches" was the schooner Providence, 
Hinckley, Master, which ascended the Sacra- 
mento in April, 1849. For several years pre- 
vious she had been engaged between Tahiti and 
the Sandwich Islands. Her burden was less 
than 100 tons. In March that year Samuel 
Rrannan purchased the Eiiodora, a Chilian ves- 
sel, filled it with goods and started up the river 
in April. The Joven Gnipuzcoana, a Peruvian 
vessel, and other large sailing vessels of first- 
class dimensions, soon followed. At the date of 
their arrival about twelve stores and tenements 
graced the locality of Sacramento. Meanwhile 
several vessels of considerable size also ascended 
the San Joaquin to Stockton. 

On the success of the Joven Guipuzcoana 
were founded the plans of the first steam navi- 
gation companies. Her trip to Sacramento 
demonstrated the practicability of navigation by 
such large vessels as the McKim and the Sena- 
tor, which soon followed. In the month of May 
the crowning exploit in the history of sailing 
vessels was performed. This was the trip of the 
Bark Whiton, Gelston the master, to Sacramento 
in seventy-two hours from San Francisco, and 
140 days from New York. She went up with 
her royal yards crossed, without meeting with a 
single detention, though she was a vessel of 241 
tons' burden and drew nine and a half feet of 

The first steamboat that ever plowed the 
waters of either the bay or the rivers of this 
State arrived at the port of San Francisco, Octo- 
ber 14, 1847, owned by Captain Leidesdorff, a 
man of remarkable enterprise, who was the chief 
instrumentality in laying tlie corner-stone of 

San Francisco's prosperity. She was packed on 
board a Russian bark from Sitka. LeidesdorfF 
had carried on a trade with the Russians at their 
American settlement for seven years previous; 
and, hearing that a small steamboat was in use 
upon their waters, he sent up and purchased it 
foi' his hide and tallow commerce on the small 
streams leading from the inland embarcaderos 
to the bay. The vessel, not exceedirg forty tons' 
burden, was put together under the lee of Yerba 
Buena Island, was named " Little Sitka," and 
on the 15th of November, 1847, steamed out 
under the management of a Russian engineer 
who had superintended her construction. From 
a swivel gun mounted upon her bow was occa- 
sionally tired a salutation. She successfully 
rounded the island and arrived in port, hailed 
by the cheers of a multitude. This boat was 
long, low, and what the sailors termed very 
" crank." The weight of a single person on 
her guards would throw one (>f her wheels out 
of water. 

Her first trip for business was made down to 
Santa Clara, with indiflferent success. Her next 
trip was up to Sacramento, in the latter part of 
November, 1847, and safely arrived at the em- 
barcadero of Sutter's Fort. Nearly a month 
elapsed, however, before her return; and in the 
meantime various were the jokes and jibes 
" launch "-ed at her and on the proprietor, who 
nevertheless persisted that he would yet "make 
the smoke fly on the bay," and hand the name 
of his first steamboat " down to dexterity," as he 
pronounced the word. 

On the 12th of February following (1848) 
this little steamer was swamped by a norther 
while lying at anchor at San Francisco Bay. It 
was raised, the engine taken out, and the hull 
converted into a sailing vessel which served well 
for years. The engine, after having rusted on 
the sandy beach for a long time, was finally 
made to do duty in a small domestic manufac- 
tory in San Francisco. The little steamboat 
enterprise just described was, however, more a 
freak of will than the demand of business. 

But to whom belongs the having first pro 


jected the runnincrot' good steamboats for traffic 
after the great tide of gold emigration had set 
in, it is difficult to say. The first vessel pro- 
pelled by steam entering the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco was the California, February 28, 1849. 
The excursion of the steamship Oregon from 
San Francisco to Beiiicia and back, April 21 of 
the same year, was the first trip of a steam 
vessel of any magnitude into any of the interior 
waters adjacent to the main bay. It was indeed 
a successful and magnificent excursion. Prior 
to this, however, announcements had been made 
that steamboats were on their way from the East 
to California, to ply on the rivers here. The 
first of these announcements was issued from 
the office of the old Placer Times, when that 
journal was first started at Sutterville, in April, 
1849. It was printed in the form of a handbill, 
at the order of some of the proprietors of that 
place. May 19, the following advertisement 
appeared in the Times: "Ten thousand cords 
of wood. We wish to employ any number of 
men that may call, to cut wood at Sutterville 
for the use of the steamers. George McDougal 
& Co.; Sutterville, May 15, 1859." Of course 
the wood was never cut. 

During the summer of 1849 a number of 
steamboat enterprises were on foot, and the 
keels of several small vessels, brought by some 
of the ships chartered by the gold hunters, were 
laid at difierent points on the river and bay. 
The first of this series of which we have any 
record was one of about fifty tons burden, put 
together at Benicia, the material having been 
brought from the East by way of the Horn on 
board the Edward Everett. She made her first 
trip to Sacramento, August 17, 1849. 

About this period also were established the 
first regular express lines in the State, two com- 
mencing business between here and San Fran- 
cisco, to take the business of the regular mail, 
which was at that time the subject of bitter 
complaint and unsparing ridicule. August 25, 
another small steamboat from Philadelphia began 
to ply the river, accommodating some thirty pas- 
sengers and ''running about seven knots an hour." 

About the first boat advertised for regular 
trips between this city and San Francisco ap- 
pears to have been the Sacramento, in Septem- 
ber, 1849, commanded by Captain John Van 
Pelt. She had two engines of sixteen horse- 
power, could carry about 100 passengers, besides 
freight. She was built about where Washington 
now stands, opposite the northern portion of 
Sacramento City, and the captain, who became 
a sort of Pacific Vanderbilt, made successful 
and regular trips with the vessel as far down as 
" New York of the Pacific, " where passengers 
and freight had to be transferred. 

About the same time a little steam dredge, 
brought out by the Yuba Company, was set up 
in a scow and started on a trip up the Feather 
River, carrying a quantity of bricks, at $1.00 
each for freight' (!). and lumber at $150 per 
1,000 feet. Two months after her arrival she 
was sold at auction for $40,000. 

The next boat was the Mint, also a small one, 
put up at San Francisco, which was really the 
first steamboat to make successful trips with 
passengers and freight all the way between that 
city and Sacramento, beginning in the middle 
of October^ 1849. 

The propeller McKim was the first large ves- 
sel that ever navigated the Sacramento River by 
steam. She had doubled Cape Horn and arrived 
at San Francisco, October 3, and was immediately 
put in order by her San Francisco agents, Sim- 
mons, Hutchinson & Co., for the Sacramento 
trade. She drew eight feet of water, and many 
doubted whether she could ascend the river to 
that point; but she arrived there on the 27th of 
that month, amid the cheers of an immense 
crowd lining the shore. The fine old steamer 
Senator became her rival November 6, 1849. 

During these times the fare from Sacramento 
to San Francisco was $30. 

The little steamer called the Washington was 
the first that ascended as far as Vernon, at the 
mouth of Feather River, to which point she 
made regular trips. In April, 1850, the ^Etna, 
a very small steamer, ascended the American as 
far as " Norristowii," the first and probably' the 


last time that point had ever been reached 
by a steamboat. May 8, 1850, the Jack Hayes 
reached the town of Redding at the head-wateis 
of the Sacramento River, within forty- five miles 
of the Trinity Diggings. Among those who 
first took their place on the route between this 
point and Yuba City, at the mouth of the Yuba 
River, the early rival of Marysville, was the 
little steamboat Linda, in the fall of 1849. 

The steamer New World was built at New 
York city, purposely for a trip to California, 
in the fall of 1849 and spring of 1850. It was 
820 feet long, and of 530 tons' burden. The 
proprietor, William H. Brown, becoming finan- 
cially embarrassed, had to take the sheriti' in as 
partner. The latter employed deputies to go 
and remain on board during the launching, and 
to make assurance doubly sure he went upon 
board himself, but was unknown to the captain, 
Ed. Wakeman. The vessel was held to the port 
of New York by law, and the launching was 
ostensibly for the only purpose of getting the 
boat into the water. Steam, however, was raised 
previous to the launching, and the sherifl", 
incognito, inquired what it meant. The reply 
was, "To wear the rust off the bearings and see 
that the engine worked well." But the cap- 
tain, after steaming around the harbor awhile, 
put out to sea, against the protests of the sherifl". 
The captain and his crew, being more numer- 
ous than the sheriff and his posse, put them 
ashore in row boats, and came their way around 
Cape Horn to California! They made a fine 
voyage, and arrived at San Francisco July 11, 

For a long time thereafter the New World 
and the Senator made alternate trips between 
Sacramento and Benicia. Afterward she was 
employed in the coasting and oceanic trade, and 
some years ago was overhauled at San Francisco 
and transformed into a magnificent ferry-boat, 
and as such is now employed on the bay. 

Captain Wakeman was, at last accounts, a 
resident of San Francisco, which he has made 
his home ever since coming to the coast. 

In pioneer times steamboat explosions were 

common, several occurring almost every week 
in 1850, and some of them were fearfully de- 
structive of life and property. That was before 
the era of modern safety engines, but many of 
those explosions were due either to defective 
boilers or careless engineers, or both. Oc- 
casionally a terrible explosion occurred as late 
as 1856 or later. 


From the nature of the case, governmental 
affairs in California have generally been at least 
interesting, and often complicated and exciting. 
The transition from the old Mexican system to 
that of the United States, complicated mean- 
while by the local substitutes improvised by the 
miners, during their abnormal rush to this State 
in the absence of a well organized system under 
general law, was peculiarly perplexing even to 
the astutest statesmen. It was during this 
State of affairs, June 3, 1849, that General 
Bennett Riley, by virtue of his ofiice as military 
commander of California under the autliority of 
the United States, issued a proclamation for the 
election of delegates to a convention to form a 
State constitution. 

For the purpose of a fair representation in 
this convention, he divided the State into ten 
districts, the northern portion of the State being 
covered by the two districts of Sonoma and 

The Sonoma district included all that terri- 
tory which was bounded by the sea, the bays of 
San Francisco and Suisun, the Sacramento 
River and Oregon; and the delegates elected 
from this district were M. G. Vallejo and J. P. 
Walker of Sonoma, and Robert Semple of 

The Sacramento district embraced all the 
territory north of the Cosumnes River, and 
bounded on ^the west by the Sacramento River 
and east by the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Four 
delegates were allotted to this district, but the 
immigration was so rapid that according to the 
principle of apportionment it was entitled to 
many more. Under this call Jacob R. Snyder, 


"W. E. Sliannon, Winiield S. Sherwood aud John 
A. Sutter were elected. When the convention 
met at Monterey, Saturday, September 1, 1849, 
there was not a quorum present, and an adjourn- 
ment was made until the next Monday, at 
which it was organized. Discussion was at once 
commenced on the subject of representation, 
other districts also claiming seats for additional 
delegates, and the matter was difficult to settle 
satisfactorily. In the afternoon a report was 
made by the committee on privileges and elec- 
tions recommending the admission of eight 
delegates from the Sacramento district, and 
naming for the additional four L. W. Hastings, 
J. S. Fowler, John Bidwell and M. M. Mc- 
Carver. The report called forth considerable 
debate, ending the next day in the adoption of 
a report bj a special committee allowing this 
district fifteen delegates, and for the remaining 
seven nominating John McDougal, Elisha O. 
Crosby, W. Blackburn, James Queen, R. M. 
Jones, W. Lacy and Charles E. Pickett. 

Of the fifteen but eight are recorded as hav- 
ing participated in the deliberations of the con- 
vention, namely; — 

, Jacob R. Snyder, thirty-four years of age, 
born in Philadelphia, came here from Pennsyl- 
vania four years previously, surveyor by pro- 
fession and postoffice Sacramento. 

Winfield S. Sherwood, thirty-two years old, a 
native of Sandy Hill, New York, resided at Mor- 
mon Island, in this State four months, a lawyer. 

L. W. Hastings, lawyer from Knox County, 
Ohio, thirty years of age, in this State six years, 
postoffice Sutter. 

John A. Sutter, farmer, a native of Switzer- 
land, came to California in 1838 from Missouri, 
and forty-seven years old at the time of this 

John McDougal, merchant at Sutter, thirty- 
two years old, a native of Ohio, came to this 
State from Indiana seven months previously. 

Elisha 0. Crosby, lawyer, thirty-four years 
of age, from Tompkins County, New York, 
postoffice Vernon, and resident of this State 
seven months. 

M. M. McCarver, farmer, forty-two years old, 
born in Madison County, Kentucky, came from 
Oregon to this State one year previously, and a 
resident of Sacramento. 

W. E. Shannon, a lawyer, resident at Colo ma 
three years, twenty-seven years of age, a native 
of County Mayo, Ireland, and came to this State 
from New York. 

The constitution framed, it was submitted to 
the people and voted upon .November 13, 1849. 
The total vote in the State was for the consti- 
tution 12,064 and against the constitution 811. 
The population at that time in the different 
districts are computed as follows: San Diego, 
346; Los Angeles, 643; Santa Barbara, 226; 
San Luis Obispo, 44; Monterey, 365; San 
Jose, 544; Sa'i Francisco, 6,159; Sanoma, 
623; Sacramento, 18,390; San Joaquin, 10,582. 

At the time the constitution was ratified and 
State officers elected, the members of the 
Legislature were also elected. The Senators 
were Elisha O. Crosby, John Bidwell and H. C. 
Robinson; and the Representatives to the As- 
sembly were Thomas J. Henly, Elisha "W. Mc- 
Kinstry and George B. Tingly. 

The members of the second constitutional 
convention in 1879, from Northern California, 
were as follows: 

Andrews, A. R Shasta City. 

Barry, Edmund Nevada City. 

Barton, James N Ferndale. 

Belcher, Isaac S Marysville. 

Berry, J Yreka. 

Biggs, Marion Biggs Station. 

Boggs, H. C Lakeport. 

Boucher, Josiah Dayton. 

Burt, Samuel B Bath. 

Caples, James Folsom. 

Chapman, Augustus H Chico. 

Charles, J. M Vallejo Tp. 

Cowden, D. H Marysville. 

Cross, C. W Nevada City. 

Crouch, Robert Napa. 

Davis, Hamlet Truckee. 

Dean, J. E Placerville. 

Dudley, J. M Dixon. 

Dunlap, Presley Sacramento. 

Eagon, John A Jackson. 

Edgerton, Henry Sacramento. 

Estey, Thomas H San Antonio. 

Filcher, J. A Auburn. 



Freeman, Abraham C Sacramento. 

Glascock, B. B Spring Valley. 

Hale, James E Auburn. 

Harvey, Joel A Vallejo. 

Hilborn, S. G Vallejo. 

Huestis, W. F Eureka. 

Hunter, 6. TV Greenwood. 

Johnson, G. A Santa Rosa. 

Kelley, John M Woodland. 

Keyes, James H Kempton's Crossing. 

Larkin, Henry Diamond Spring. 

La Rue, Hugh M Sacramento. 

McConnell, Thomas Elk Grove. 

McCoy, John Grass Valley. 

McFarland, T. B Sacramento. 

McNutt, John F Rose Bar. 

Mills, Hiram Martinez. 

Moreland, W. W Healdsburg. 

Murphy, J ames E Crescent City. 

Noel, Alonzo B Lakeport. 

Ohleyer, George Yuba City. 

Overton, A. P Santa Rosa. 

Porter, J. M. • Jackson. 

Prouty, William H lone Valley. 

Pulliam, M. R. C Ciierokee. 

Reed, Charles F Knight's Landing. 

Rhodes, John M Woodland. 

Shoemaker, Rufus Grass Valley. 

Shurtleflf, Benj Napa. 

Soule, Ezra P Susanville. 

Stevenson, D. C Millville. 

Stuart, C.V Glen Ellen. 

Sweasey, W. J Eureka. 

Tinnin, W. J Weaverville. 

Townsend, F. O TJkiah. 

Turner, Henry, K Sierra Valley. 

Walker, Hugh Olema. 

Wickes, John T Grass Valley. 

Wilson, H. C Tehama City. 

At the time of the American conqnest the 
courts existed, in the Mexican laws of 1837, as 
follows: The highest court, having an appellate 
jurisdiction and corresponding in character to 
our present Supreme Court, was the Superior 
Court, consisting of four Judges and an attorney 
general. If was divided into the first and second 
benches, the three senior Judges composing the 
first and the Junior the second. The first bench 
was called the " Court of the Third Instance," 
and its decisions were final. Appeals lay to this 
court from the second bench, or " Court of the 
Second Instance." The latter court had Juris- 
diction of appeals from the " Court of the First 
Instance," the highest local tribunal then exist- 

ing, and corresponding very closely with our 
present Superior Court. The inferior magis- 
trates were the " first " and " second alcaldes," 
having authority similar to that of Justices of 
the peace. In some districts the duties of the 
judge of a court of the first instance were dis- 
charged by the first alcalde. The Mexican laws 
remained in force and justice was administered 
through the tribunals established by them until 
the courts were organized under the State 
constitution in 1850. 

After the conquest, and especially after the 
discovery of gold had led to the wild rush of 
men from all over the world and people a 
country before almost unknown save to the 
naked and barbarous natives, the courts became 
seriously disorganized, or rather failed to be 
organized at all. 


Names. From. To. 

Under Santsh Rule. 

Gaspar de Portala 1707 1771 

Felipe de Barri 1771 1774 

Felipe de Neve 1774 1783 

Pedro Fajes - 1783 1790 

Jos(! Antonio Romea 1790 1793 

Jos^ J. Arrillaga 1792 1794 

Diego de Borica 1794 18U0 

Jos(; J. de Arrillaga . 1800 1814 

Josi; Arguello 1814 1815 

Pablo Vicente de Sola 181.3 1823 

Under Mexican Rule. 

Pablo Vicente de Sola 1823 1823 

Louis Argiiello 1823 1825 

JosC' Maria de Echeandia 182.5 1831 

Manuel Victoria 1831 1833 

Pio Pico 1833 1833 

Jos<; Figueroa 1833 1835 

Jos6 Castro 1835 1836 

Nicolas Gutierrez 1836 1836 

Mariano Chico 1836 1S36 

Nicolas Gutierrez 1836 1836 

Juan B. Alvarado 1836 1843 

Manuel Micheltorena 1843 1845 

Pio Pico 1845 1846 


Peier U. Burnett, elected November 13, 1849; inaugu- 
rated December 30, 1849; resigned January 8, 1851. 

.lohn McDougal (Lieutenant-Governor), inaugurated 
January 9, 1851. Died at San Francisco, March 30, 1806- 

John Bigler, elected September 3, 1851 ; inaugurated 



January 8, 1853; re-elected September 7, 1853; inaugu- 
rated January 7, 1854. Died at Sacramento, November 

J. Neely Johnson, elected September 5, 1855 ; inaugu- 
rated January 9, 1856. Died at Salt Lake August 31, 1872. 

John B. Weller, elected September 3, 1857 ; inaugurated 
January 8, 1858. Died at New Orleans, August 17, 1875. 

Milton S. Latham, elected September 7, 1859; inaugu- 
rated January 9, 1860; resigned January 11, 1860. Died at 
New York, March 4, 1882. 

John G. Downey (Lieutenant-Governor), inaugurated 
January 14, 1860. 

Leland Stanford, elected September 4, 1861; inaugu- 
rated January 10, 1863. 

Frederick F. Low, elected September 3, 1863; inaugu- 
rated December lO, 1863. 

Henry H. Haight, elected September 4, 1867; inaugu- 
rated December 5, 1867. Died at San Francisco, Septem- 
ber 2, 1878. 

Newton Booth, elected September 6, 1871 ; inaugurated 
December 8, 1871; resigned February 37, 1875. 

Romualdo Pacheco (Lieutenant-Governor), inaugurated 
February 37, 1875. 

William Irwin, elected September 1,1875; inaugurated 
December 9, 1875. Died at Sau Francisco, March 15' 

George C. Perkins, elected September 3, 1879; inaugu- 
rated January 8, 1880. 

George Stoneman, elected November 7, 1883; inaugu- 
rated January 10, 1883. 

Washington Bartlett, elected November?, 1886; inaugu" 
rated January 8, 1887. Died in office at Oakland, Sep- 
tember 13, 1887. 

R. W. Waterman (Lieutenant-Governor), inaugurated 
September 13, 1887. 


John C. Fremont, elected December 30, 1849; term 
commenced December 20, 1849. 

William M. Gwin, elected December 20, 1849; term 
commenced December 20, 1849. 

John B. Weller, elected January 30, 1853, to succeed 
Fremont; term commenced March 4, 1851, The former 
Legislature had failed to elect, and hence the unfilled 
vacancy. Weller was afterward Governor. 

David C. Broderick, elected January 10, 1857, to suc- 
ceed Weller; term commenced March 4, 1857. He had 
been Lieutenant-Governor. 

William M. Gwin, elected January 13, 1857, to succeed 
himself; term commenced March 4, 1855. Former Leg- 
islature had failed to elect, and hence the unlilled va- 
cancy. He died at New York September 3, 1885. 

Henry P. Haun, appointed by Governor Weller to suc- 
ceed Broderick, deceased, October 26, 1859. He died at 
Marysville June 6, 1860. 

Milton S. Latham, elected to serve out the balance of 
Broderick's term, January 11, 1860. He had been Gov- 

James A. McDougall, elected April 3, 1861, to succeed 

Gwin; term commenced March 4, 1861. He had been 

John Conness, elected February 10, 1863, to succeed 
Latham; term commenced March 4, 1863. 

Cornelius Cole, elected December 16, 1865, to succeed 
McDougall; term commenced March 4, 1867. 

Eugene Casserly, elected December 20, 1867, to suc- 
ceed Conness; term commenced March 4, 1869; resigned 
November 28, 1873. He had been State Printer. 

Aaron A. Sargent, elected December 20, 1871, to suc- 
ceed Cole; term commenced March 4, 1873. He died at 
San Francisco August 14, 1887. 

John S. Hager, elected for short term to till Casserly's 
vacancy, December 23, 1873. 

Newton Booth, elected December 30, 1873, to succeed 
the Casserly term; term commenced March 4, 1875. 

James T. Farley, elected December 19, 1877, to succeed 
Sargent; term commenced March 4, 1879. He died at 
Jackson, January 22, 1886. 

John F. Miller, elected January 13, 1881, to succeed 
Booth ; term commenced March 4, 1881. He died in office 
at Washington March 8, 188(1. 

Leland Stanford, elected January 38, 1885, to succeed 
Farley; term commenced March 4, 1885. 

George Hearst, appointed by Governor Stoneman, 
March 23, 1886, to serve on term of Miller, deceased. 

A. P. Williams, elected August 4, 1886, to serve out 
Miller's unexpired term. 

George Hearst, elected January 19, 1887, to succeed 
Williams; term commenced March 4, 1887. 


J. P. Abbott, Marin and Contra Costa, 1887. 

Alonzo W. Adams, Butte, Shasta, etc., 1851. 

Isaac Allen, Yuba, 1858-'59. 

Francis Anderson, Sierra, 1863. 

James Anderson, Placer, 1858-'60. 

W. L. Anderson, Napa, Lake and Sonoma, 1880-81. 

James H. Baker, Placer, 18o8-'59. 

F. T. Baldwin, San Joaquin, 1883-'85. 

S. A. Ballon, Plumas and Butte, 1859-'60. 

E. M. Banvard, Placer, 1869-'73. 

Horace Beach, Yuba and Sutter, 1867-'70. 

James Beazell, Alameda, 1875-'78. 

Samuel B. Bell, Alameda and Santa Clara, 1857-'58. 

David Belden, Nevada, 1865-'68. 

J. E. Benton, Sacramento, 1863-'66. 

J. Berry, Klamath, Siskiyou, etc., 1858-'59. 

John Bidwell, Sacramento, 1849-'50. 

J. C. Birdseye, Nevada, 1863. 

John Boggs, Colusa, etc., 1871-'74, 1887. 

J. W. Bones, Alameda, 1877-'78. 

Newton Booth, Sacramento, 1863. 

David Boucher, Plumas, 1871-'73. 

B. T. Bradley, Amador and Calaveras, 1S59-'C0. 

E. L. Bradley, Placer, 188H. 

J. M. Briceland, Trinity, Siskiyou, etc , 1849-'53. 

F. M. Brown, San Joaquin, 1877-'78. 

Wm. II. Brown, El Dorado and Alpine, 1877-'81. 


Charles H. Bryan, Yuba and Sutter, 1854. 

L. W. Buck, Solano and Yolo, 1883. 

John C. Burch, Humboldt and Trinity, 1858-'59. 

R. Burnell, Amador, 1862-'64. 

Wm. Burnett, Sonoma, 18t)9-'70. 

W. C. Burnett, Yuba and Sutter, 18o0-'57. 

S. B. Burt, Placer, 1880-'81. 

E. F. Burton, Nevada, 1855-'56, 1858-'59. 

Marshall Bynum, Napa, Solano and Yolo, 1880-81, '87. 

A. Caminetti, Amador and Calaveras, 1887. 

A. B. Carlock, Modoc, Shasta and Trinity, 1880-'81. 

G. J. Carpenter, El Dorado, 18o7-'58. 

A. P. Catlin, Sacramento, 1853-'54. 

C. H. Chamberlain, San Joaquin, 1863-'63. 

A. L. Chandler, Yuba and Sutter, 188o-'87. 

J. N. Chappel), Shasta and Trinity, 18t)7-'70. 

S. H. Chase, Nevada, lSo7-'53, 1860-'6l. 

W. A. Cheney, Butte, Plum-is and Lassen, 1880-'81. 

Robert C. Clark, Sacramento, 1860-'f)l. 

G. W. Colby, Sacramento, 18o4-'55. 

John C. Colman, Nevada, 1877-'78. 

A. Comte, Jr., 1869-'72. 

John Conley, Butte, Plumas, etc., 1867-70. 

Martin E. Cooke. Sonoma, etc., 18.51-'52. 

John D. Cosby, Trinity and Kiaaiath, 1856-'57. 

John Coulter, Butte and Plumas, 1858. 

Fred Cox, Sacramento, 1883-'85. 

D wight Crandall, Amador and Calaveras, 1856-'57. 

A. M. Crane, Alameda, 1863-63. 

L. D. Crane, Yuba and Sutter, 1871-'74. 

W. H. Crane, Butte, etc., 1877-'78. 

W. W. Crane, Jr., Alameda, 1863-'64. 

John T. Crenshaw, Nevada, 1854-'55. 

R. D. Crittenden, El Dorado, 1860-'61. 

E. O. Crosby, Sacramento, 1849-'50. 

E. O. Crosby, Yuba and Sutter, 1851. 

C. W. Cross, Nevada and Sierra, 18S3-'85. 

Lewis Cunningham, Yuba, 1863-'66. 

N. Green Curtis, Sacramento, 1867-'70, 1877-'78. 

E. A. Davis, Yuba and Sutter, 1880-'81. 
Sherman Day, Alameda and Santa Clara, 1855-'56. 
J. J. De Haven, Del Norte, Klamath, etc., 1871-'74. 

C. E. De Long, Marin, 1885. 

George W. Dent, Contra Costa and San Joaquin, 1&.)9, 
A. St. C. Denver, El Dorado, 18.59-'63. 
James W. Denver, Trinity and Klamath, 1852- '53. 
William B. Dickin.son, 185'i-'61. 
M. W. Dixon, Alameda, 1887. 
J. G. Doll, Colusa and Tehama, 1862-'63. 
Samuel H. Dosh, Colusa and Shasta, 1856-'57. 

D. F. Douglass, San Joaquin, 1849-'50; Calaveras, 1851- 

F. R. Dray, Sacramento, 1887. 
James A. Duffy, Sacramento, 1885. 
Barlow Dyer, Calaveras, 1872-'74. 
John A. Eagou, Amador, 186U-'61. 

Henry Edgerton, Napa, Yolo and Solano, 1860-'61. 

Henry Edgerton, Sacramento, 1873-'76. 

W. B. English, Contra Costa and Marin, 1883. 

James M. Estell, Napa and Solano, 1852-'53. 

Geo. S. Evans, San Joaquin, 18S3-'6«, 1872-'78. 

S. Ewer, Butte, Plumas, etc., 1865-'68. 

James T. Farley, Amador and Alpine, 18G9-'70. 

W. L Ferguson, Sacramento, 1856-'58. 

W. T. Ferguson, Sierra, 1857-'58. 

J. A. Filcher, Placer, 1883-'85. 

Henry M. Fiske, El Dorado, 1856-'57, 

C. F. Foster, Colusa and Tehama, 1883-'85. 

L. M. Foulke, Siskiyou, 1863-'64. 

Thomas Eraser, El Dorado, 1873-'7B, 1883. 

A. French, El Dorado, 185.5-'56. 
Jacob Frye, Placer, 1852. 

P. A. Gallagher, Calaveras, lS61-'62. 

James H. Gardner, Sierra, 1854. 

E. Carter, Shasta, etc., l858-'59. 

R. C. Gaskill, Butte, etc., I862-'64. 

William George, Nevada and Sierra, 1880-'81. 

H. C. Gestbrd, Yolo and Napa, 1887. 

Edward Gibbons, Alameda, 1873-'76. 

B. B. Glasscock, Colusa and Tehama, 1880-'81. 
David Goodale, Contra Costa and Marin, 1871-'74. 
Jesse O. Goodwin, Yuba aad Sutter, 1857-'58, 1877-'78. 
A. S. Gove, Sacramento, 1855-'56. 

G. G. Goucher, Alpine, Mariposa, etc., 1887. 

J. J. Green, Contra Costa and Marin, 1867-'70. 

Thomas J. Green, Sacramento. 1849-'51. 

Humphrey Griffith, Solano, Yolo and Napa, 1858-'59. 

Jacob Gruwe:l, Contra Costa and Santa Clara, 185S-'54. 

W. M. Gwin, Jr., Calaveras, etc, 1870-'73, 1877-'78. 

James E. Hale, Placer, 1863-'66. 

A. P. Hall, Placer and El Dorado, 1887. 

J. T. Hall, Solano and Yolo, 1863-'64. 

S. F. Hamm, El Dorado, 1858-'59. 

Thos. Hardy, Calaveras, 1865-'68. 

J. H. Harlan, Solano and Yolo, 1880-'81. 

W. D. Harriman, Placer, 1862-'63. 

A. S. Hart, Butte and Plumas, 1858-'59. 

C. Hartson, Napa, Lake, etc., 18ii3-'66. 
O. Harvey, El Dorado, 1861-'63. 

C. S. Haskell, Yuba and Sutter, 1863-'64. 
J. C. Hawthorne, Placer, 1855-'56. 
Creed Haymond, Sacramento, 1875-'78. 
John P. Haynes, Humboldt, etc., 1860-'61, 1887. 

E. H. Heacock, Sacramento, 1861-'62, 1863-'68. 
H. P. Heintzelman, Sonoma and Marin, 1855-'56. 
W. C. Hendricks, Butte, Plumas, etc., 1873-'76. 
A. C. Henry, El Dorado, 1863-'64. 

William Higby, Calaveras, 1863. 

F. B. Higgins, Placer, 1863. 

S. G. Hilborn, Solano and Yolo, 1875-'78. 

John H. Hill, Sonoma, Marin, etc., 1861-'62. 

William McP. Hill, Sonoma, Napa and Lake, 1875-'78. 

E. C. Hinshaw, Sonoma, 1887. 

William Holden, Lake, Napa, etc., 1862-'63. 

G. W. Hook, El Dorado, 1854-'5G. 
Rienzi Hopkins, Calaveras, 1873-'76. 

A. T. Hudson, Amador and San Joaquin, 1880-'S1. 
J. M. Hudspeth, Sonoma, Marin, etc., 1853-'54. 


G. W. Hunter, El Dorado, 1867-'70. 

B. G. Hurlburt, Humboldt, 1885. 

S. C. Hutchings, Sutter and Tuba, 1869-'73. 

Richard Irwin, Butte and Plumas, 1861-'62. 

William Irwin, Siskiyou, 1869-'74. 

George A. Johnson, Sonoma, 1883-'85. 

Grove L. Johnson, Sacramento, 1880-'81. 

James Johnson, El Dorado, 1865-'68. 

Josiah Johnson, Sacramento, 1880-'S1. 

William Johnston, Sacramento, 18S0-'81. 

Albert F. Jones, Butte, 1887. 

John P. Jones, Shasta and Trinity, 1863-'6G. 

K. E. Kelly, Solano and Yolo, 1883. 

W. W. Kellogg, Butte, Plumas, etc., 1883-'8.'5. 

B. F. Keene, El Dorado, 18.53-'55. 

Charles Kent, Nevada, 1871-'74. 

L. M. Ketcham, Amador and Calaveras, 1858-'59. 

Philip W. Keyser, Sutter, 18.53. 

William Kimball, Sierra, 1863. 

Joseph Kutz, Nevada, 1863-'66. 

John Lambert, Yolo and Solano, 1877-'78. 

K. M. Lampson, Calaveras and Tuolumne, 1880-'81. 

B. F. Langford, Amador and San Joaquin, 1880-'89. 

C. J. Lansing, Nevada, 1859-'60. 
Henry Larkin, El Dorado, 1869-'72. 
C. A. Leake, Calaveras, 1854-'55. 

S. T. Leet, Placer, 1860-'61. 

W. H. Leonard, Calaveras, 1803-'66. 

E. J. Lewis, Colusa and Tehama, 1867-'70, 1875-'78. 
J. E. N. Lewis, Butte and Shasta, 1853. 

William T. Lewis, Amador and Calaveras, 1858, 1862, 
John Y. Lind, Amador and Calaveras, 1853-'53. 

B. S. Lippincott, San Joaquin, 1849-'50. 

C. E. Lippincott, Yuba, 1855-'56. 
H. G. Livermoie, El Dorado, 1854. 

J. Logan, Colusa, Shasta, etc., 1860-'61. 
Charles F. Lott, Butte, 1852-'53. 
William H. Lyons, Nevada, 1853-'54. 

F. L. Maddox, El Dorado, 1868-'G6. 
Henry Mahler, El Dorado, 1885. 
Noble Martin, Placer, 1873-'76 

W. B. May, Trinity, Klamath, etc., 1854-'55. 
J. G. McCallum, El Dorado, 1850-'.57. 
W. H. McCoun, Contra Costra and San Joaquin, 18.J5, 
James McCudden, Solano, 1887. 
H. E. McCune, Solano and Yolo, 1873-'76. 
H. J. McCussick, El Dorado 1871-'74. 
Edward McGarry, Napa, Solano and Yolo, 1854-'55. 
R. McGarvey, Mendocino, etc., 1875-'78. 
John B. McGee, Butte and Plumas, 185G-'57. 
J. C. McKibben, Yuba, 1852-'53. 
John McMurray, Shasta and Trinity, 1871-'74. 
James H. McNabb, Sonoma, 1863. 

A. R. Meloney, Contra Costa and San Joaquin, 1857-'58. 
R. S. Mesick, Yuba, 1857-'58. 
William Minis, Yolo and Solano, 18C9-'72. 
L. B. Misner, Yolo and Solano, 1865-'68. 

F. J. Moffitt, Alameda, 1887. 

W. W. Moreland, Sonoma, 1880-'81. 

D. L. Morrill, Calaveras, 1867-'70. 
J. W. Moyle, Sierra, 1863-'64. 

L. H. Murch, Del Norte, Klamath, etc., 1867-'70. 

S. Myers, San Joaquin, 1863-'66. 

Jacob H. Neff, Placer, 1871-'74. 

A. B. Nixon, Sacramento, 1863-'63. 

W. B. Norman, Amador and Calaveras, 1855-'57. 

William C. Norton, Placer, 1877-'78. 

Stephen G. Nye, Alameda, 1880-'81. 

M. P. O'Connor, Nevada, 1869-'76. 

Jasper O'Farrell, Sonoma, 1859-'60. 

N. M. Orr, San Joaquin, 1869-'70. 

George Oulton, Siskiyou, 1863-'63. 

W. B. Parker, Solano, 1885. 

W. H. Parks, Sutter and Yuba, ]859-'60. 

W. H. Patterson, Modoc, Lassen, etc., 1887. 

George Pearce, Sonoma, 1863-'68. 

E. T. Peck, Butte, 1854-'55. 

William W. Pendegast, Napa, Lake, etc., 18G7-'74. 

George C. Perkins, Butte, Lassen, etc., 1869-'74. 

J. E. Perley, San Joaquin, 1867-'68. 

C. B. Porter, Contra Costa and Marin, 1863-'66. 

Nathan Porter, Alameda, 1877-'78. 

O. B. Powers, Solano and Yolo, 1863-'63. 

L. E. Pratt, Sierra, 1865-'68. 

Johnson Price, Sacramento, 1859. 

James H. Ralston, Sacramento, 1853-'53. 

Daniel Ream, Siskiyou, etc., 1877-'78. 

C. D. Reynolds, Calaveras and Tuolumne, 1883-'84. 

R. A. Redman, Alameda and Santa Clara, 185y-'60. 

A. L. Rhodes, Alameda and Santa Clara, 1869-'70. 

E. W. Roberts, Nevada, 1863-'70. 

H. E. Robinson, Sacramento, 1849-'53. 

Henry Robinson, Alameda, 1865-'68. 

A. H. Rose, Amador and Alpine, 1865-'68. 

Joseph Routier, Sacramento, 1883-'85. 

J. A. Rush, Colusa and Tehama, 1863-'66. 

P. C. Rust, Yuba and Sutter, 185.5-'56. 

James T. Ryan, Trinity and Humboldt, 1860-'61. 

P. H. Ryan, Humboldt, etc., 1880-'83. 

E. D. Sawyer, Calaveras, 1854. 

A. H. Saxton, El Dorado, 1863. 

Johu D. Scellen, Sierra, 1855-'56. 

Niles Searls, Nevada and Sierra, 1877-'78. 

W. H. Sears, Contra Costa and Marin, 1880-81. 

Thomas B. Shannon, Plumas, 1863. 

J. Shepard, Calaveras, 1863-'64. 

Paul Shirley, Contra Costa and Marin, 1875-78. 

Benjamin ShurtleflF, Shasta and Trinity, 1863-'63. 

Samuel B. Smith, Sutter, 1833-'54. 

Jonas Spect, Sonoma, 1849-'o0. 

Dennis Spencer, Napa, Sonoma, etc., I883-'85. 

S. Spencer, Yuba and Sutter, lS73-'76. 

Royal T. Sprague, Shasta, etc., 1853-'55. 

James G. Stebbins, Yuba and Sutter, 1854-'55. 

A. W. Taliaferro, Mai'in and Sonoma, 1857-'58. 

Clay W. Taylor, Shasta, Modoc, etc., 1883-'85. 



E. Teegarden, Sutter and Yuba, 1865-'68. 

Philip W. Thomas, Placer, 1861-'62. 

Harry I. Thornton, Sierra, 18tjl. 

W. J. Tinnin, Shasta, Trinity, etc., 1875-'76. 

Isaac S. Titus, El Dorado, 1859-'60. 

Edward Tompkins, Alameda, 1869-'73. 

H. K. Turner, Nevada and Sierra, 1869-'76. 

B. F. Tuttle, Sonoma, 1871-'76. 

Charles A. Tuttle, Placer, 1854-'55. 

Charles A. Tweed, Placer, 1867-'70. 

M. G. Vallejo, Sonoma, 1849-'50. 

T. B. Van Buren, San Joaquin, 1 :51-'53. 

J. M. Vance, Butte and Plumas, 1860-'G1. 

Walter Van Dyke, Humboldt, etc., 1862-'63. 

T. L. Vermeule, San Joaquin, 1849-'a0. 

Henry Vrooman, Alameda, 1883-'87. 

E. Wadsworth, Siskiyou, 1865-'6:<. 

E. G. Waite, Nevada, 1856-'57. 
Joseph Walkup, Placer, 1853-'54, 1857. 

H. W. Wallis, Nevada and Sierra, 1883-'85. 
Austin Walrath, Nevada, 1887. 
James Walsh, Nevada, 1853. 
John Walton, El Dorado, 1853-'53. 

F. M. Warmcastle, San Joaquin, etc., 1861-'62. 
H. P. Watkins, Yuba, 1860-'01. 

B. J. Watson, Nevada and Sierra, 1880-'81. 

William Watt, Nevada, 1861-'62. 

J. T. Wendell, Solano and Yolo, 1880-'81. 

Charles Westmoreland, Placer, 1856-'57. 

E. D. Wheeler, Yuba, etc., 1859-'60. 

A. P. Whitney, Sonoma, 1877-'78. 

George E. Whitney, Alameda, 1883-'85. 

L. S. Williams, Trinity and Klamath, 1853. 

M. M. Wombough, Yolo and Colusa, lS52-'53. 

M. J. Wright, Solano, 1885. 

S. P. Wright, Del Norte, Klamath, etc., 1863-'(i4. 

A. Yell, Lake and Mendocino, 1887. 

John Yule, Placer, 1863-'64. 

Tlie political complexion of each county is 
probably best shown by the vote at the last 
presidential election, which was as follows: 

Rep. Dem. Amer. Pro. 

Alameda 8,838 5,688 201 357 

Alpine 53 07 

Amador .1,373 1,409 jj 79 

Butte 3,191 2,215 4 127 

Calaveras 1,441 1,302 2 Vi 

Colusa 1,116 2,010 9 41 

Contra Costa 1,518 1,177 10 53 

Del Norte 244 294 24 14 

El Dorado 1,350 1,454 1 61 

Humboldt 3,773 2,015 53 75 

I^iike 731 807 3 27 

Lassen 4S,'j 535 2 16 

Marin 936 802 17 16 

Mendocino 1,7U ^',012 14 91 

Modoc 5,52. 679 1 46 

Napa 1,763 1,496 13 42 

Nevada 2,167 1,923 7 95 

Placer 1,761 1,547 6 50 

Plumas 648 570 3 9 

Sacramento 4,769 3,447 76 108 

San Joaquin 2,829 2,83.J 43 286 

Shasta 1,490 1,395 2 51 

Sierra 1,004 689 3 

Siskiyou 1,361 1,459 5 20 

Solano 2,-34 2,163 9 94 

Sonoma 3,293 3,394 93 154 

Sutter 735 698 1 53 

Tehama 1,181 1,290 3 34 

Trinity 490 490 4 3' 

Yolo 1,350 1,580 2 91 

Yuba 1,130 1,170 48 41 

The geological character of Northern Cali- 
fornia is too vast for even any outline in our 
brief history. Some mention of the most re- 
markable features is made under the heads of 
the respective counties where they are found. 
Geological reports scientilically compiled are 
published, in fragments, but no thorough and 
systematic survey has yet been made by the 
State. It however has published mineralogical 
reports, the substance of which we have already 
given under head of mining. 

Most geological literature, by the way, is of 
interest only to the professional geologist. The 
public generally are not interested in such 

statements as, "Along the ravine were 

found specimens of diorite interspersed among 
vitrelied masses of metamorphic schist." We 
may be pardoned, however, for making the 
three following general observations: 

The valleys, once under the sea, have been 
tilled up to their present level by detritus from 
the mountains, in some places to the depth of a 
thousand feet or more. Hence the mountains 
were once much higher and larger than they 
now are. 

From the appearance of old river beds it 
seems probable that the rivers of Northern 
California once took their rise much farther to 
the east than now, draining Nevada and Utah 
to some extent. A variety of porphyry is 
found scattered along these old channels, evi- 


deiitly from a bed east of the present summit 
of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. During the 
cretaceous period, a great volcanic eruption oc- 
curred burying the country from Central Cali- 
fornia to British Columbia 200 to 3 000 feet 
under accumulations of lava. The glacial 
period followed this. 

The collection of diamonds and pearls is be- 
coming quite an industry of late years along 
the Sierra Nevada. 

The gold-mining interest is noticed at great 
length elsevifhere, and the principal mines, gold, 
coal, etc., are mentioned in the county sketches 
on subsequent pages. 

Northern California produces as many inter- 
esting plants as any other section of its size in 
the world. Sand and clay, rock and peat, hill 
and swamp, light and shade, mountain and val- 
ley, cold and heat, — all are so varied as to favor 
the highest development of a larger number of 
species than almost any other part of the world 
of the same area. A descriptive catalogue is 
not called for here. In 1882 Dr. KelloiTO''s in- 
teresting and unique report was published by 
the State, and in 1888 the State Board of For- 
estry, also through the State department, pub- 
lished a magnificent report, prepared by those 
eminent botanists of (.)akland, Mr. and Mrs. J. 
G. Lemmon. Asa Gray and Sereno Watson, 
two of the most eminent botanists of America, 
have publisiied elaborate and expensive floras of 


Following are brief notices of nearly all the 
quadrupeds of California: 

The grizzly bear ( Ursiis horrihilis) is the 
largest and most formidable of the quadrupeds. 
He grows to be four feet high and seven feet 
long, with a weight, when very large and fat, of 
a thousand pounds, being the largest of the 
carnivoruns animals, and much heavier than the 
lion or tiger ever get to be. The grizzly bear, 
however, as ordinarily seen, does not exceed 800 
or 900 pounds in weight. In color the body is 

a light grayish brown, dark brown about the 
ears and aloDg the ridge of the back, and nearly 
black on the legs. The hair is long, coarse and 
wiry, and stiff on the top of the neck and be- 
tween the shoulders. The " grizzly," as he is 
usually called, was at one time exceedingly 
numerous for so large an animal; but lie offered 
so much meat for the hunters, and did so much 
damage to the farmers, that he has been indus- 
triously hunted, and his numbers have been 
gi-eatly reduced. The grizzly is very tenacious 
of life, and he is seldom immediately killed by 
a single bullet. His thick, wiry hair, touo-h 
skin, heavy coats of fat when in good condi- 
tion, and large bones, go far to protect his vital 
organs; but he often seems to preserve all his 
strength and activity for an hour or more after 
having been shot through the lungs and liver 
with large rifle balls. He is one of the most 
dangerous animals to attack. There is much 
probability that when shot he will not be killed 
outright. When merely wounded he is fero- 
cious; his weight and strength are so great that 
he '• bears " down all opposition before him; and 
he is very quick, his speed in running being 
nearly equal to that of the horse. In attack- 
ing a man, he usually rises on his hind-legs, 
strikes his enemy with one of his powerful 
fore-paws, and then commences to bite him. 

The black bear {^Ursus Americanus) is found 
in the timbered sections. Dr. Newberry, speak- 
ing of the food of the black bear, says: "The 
subsistence of the black bears in the northern 
portion of California is evidently, for the most 
part, vegetable.' The manzanita, wild plum, 
and wild cherry, which fruit profusely, and are 
very low, assist in making up his bill of fare. 
The brown, or cinnamon bear, is also com- 
mon, and is not a diflerent species from the 
the black bear. 

The panther, supposed by Dr. Newberry 
to be the Fells concolor — the same with the 
panther found on the Atlantic slope of the con- 
tinent — has a body larger than that of the com- 
mon sheep, and a tail 'more than half the length 
of the body. Its color is dirty white on the 


belly, and elsewhere a brownish-yellow, mottled 
with dark tips on all the hairs. The panther is 
a cowardly animal, and, except when driven by 
some exti-aordinary motive, never attacks man. 
The panther is nocturnal in his habits, and al- 
ways prefers the night as a time for attacking 
colts, which are a favorite prey with him. 

The California, mountain or silver lion is 
still occasionally met with in the wildest moun- 
tain fastnesses. 

The American wild-cat {^Lynx rufus) is ccm- 
mon here. 

The gi'ay wolf {Canis occidentalis) is found 
here, but is not abundant. 

The coyote used to be very common, and 
occupied the same place here witli that occupied 
in the Mississippi Valley by the prairie-wolf. 
Dr. Newberry thinks the two belong to the 
same species (^Canis latrans). The color of the 
coyote has a reddish tinge. His food consists 
chiefly of rabbits, grouse, small birds, mice, 
lizzards and frogs; and in time of scarcity he 
will eat carrion, grasshoppers, and bugs. He 
is very fond of poultry, pigs, and Iambs, and 
will destroy almost as many of them as would 
a fox. He is one of the worst enemies and 
most troublesome pests of the farmer. 

The gray fox ( Vulpes Yirginianus) is the 
only animal of that species we know to exist in 
Northern California, although many years ago, 
we heard that tliere were some black foxes. 
"Silver" and "cross" foxes have been found. 

The American badger [Taxidea America^ia) 
used to be common here, but they are now 
nearly extinct. 

The black-footed raccoon {Procyon hernan. 
dezii) is very .common in the forests and along 
the water courses. 

Of the yellow-haired porcupine {Erethizon 
epixanthus). a few have been found in some 
sections, but they are very rare. 

The mountain-cat, or striped bassaris [Bas- 
saris astuta). is occasionally found here, but 
are not numerous. The body is about the size 
of that of the domestic cat, but the nose is 
very long and sharp, and the tail very long and 

large. The color of the animal is dark gray, 
with rings of black on the tail. The miners 
call it the " mountain cat," and frequently tame 
it. It is a favorite pet with them, becomes 
very playful and familiar, and is far more 
affectionate than the common cat, which it 
might replace, for it is very good at catching 

The fisher [Mustela Pennant!) is found in 
some localities; also the chipmunk, woodchuck, 
otter, raccoon, porcupine, etc. 

The yellow-cheeked weasel [Putorius xantko- 
genys) is found here, but are not numerous. 

The common mink {^Putorius vison) has a 
skin as valualile as that of the beaver; the fur 
is of a dark, brownish chestnut color, with a 
white spot on the end of the chin. They exist 
here, but are very rare. 

California has two skunks (Mephitis occi- 
dentalis and Mephitis bicolor), very common 
animals. The Mephitis bicolor, or little striped 
skunk, is chiefly found south of latitude 39°; 
the other in the northern and central parts of the 
State. The colors of both are black and white. 

The Squirrel Family. — The California gray 
squirrel [Sciurus foseor), the most beautiful 
Hiid one of the largest of the squirrel genus, 
inhabits all the pine forests of the State. Its 
color on the back is a tinely-grizzled bluish 
gray, and white, beneath. At the base of the 
ear is a little woolly tuft, of a chestnut color. 
The sides of the feet are covered with hair in 
the winter, but are bare in the summer; the 
body is more slender and delicate in shape than 
that of the Atlantic gray squirrel. It some- 
times grows to be twelve inches long in the 
head and body, and fifteen inches in the tail, 
making the entire length twenty-seven inches. 
Dr. Newberry says: "The California gray 
squirrel is eminently a tree-squirrel, scarcely 
descending to the ground but for food and 
water, and it subsists almost exclusively on the 
seeds of the largest and loftiest pine known 
(Pijius lamhertiana), the ' sugar-pine ' of the 
Western coast. These squirrels inhabit the 



The Missouri striped ground-squirrel has five 
dark-brown stripes on the back, separated by 
four gray stripes; the sides are reddish-brown, 
the belly grayish-white, and the tail rusty-black 
above and rusty-brown beneatli. The animal is 
four or five inches long. It is found in the 
northern part of the State. It eats acorns and 
the seeds of the pine, manzanita, and ceanothns, 
in the thickets of which last-named bush it pre- 
fers to hide its stores. This species of squirrel 
is exceedingly rare. 

The Spermophile has two species in Califor- 
nia, which resemble each other so closely that 
they are usually supposed to be the same; they 
are popularly known as the California ground- 
squirrels, the little pests which are so destruc- 
tive to the grain crops. Their bodies are ten or 
eleven inches long in the largest specimens; the 
tail is eight inches long and busliy, the ears 
large, the cheeks pouched, and herein consists 
the chief difference between them and squiri-els; 
the color above black, yellowish-brown, and 
brown, in indistinct mottlings, hoary-yellowish 
on the sides of the head and neck, and pale yel- 
lowish-brown on the under side of the body and 
legs. They dwell in burrows, and usually live 
in communities in the open, fertile valleys, pre- 
ferring to make their burrows under the shade 
of an oak ti-ee. Sometimes, however, single 
spermophiles will be found living in a solitary 
manner, remote from their fellows. Their bur- 
rows, like those of the prairie-dog, are often used 
by the rattlesnake and the little owl. Dr. New- 
berry says: '* They are very timid, starting at 
every noise, and on every intrusion into their 
privacy dropping from their trees, or hurrying 
in from their wanderings, and scudding to their 
holes with all possible celerity; arriving at the 
entrance, however, they stop to reconnoitre, 
standing erect, as squirrels rarely and spermo- 
philes habitually do, and looking about to satisfy 
themselves of the nature and designs of the in- 
truder. Should this second view justify their 
flight, or a motion or step forward still further 
alarm them, with a peculiar movement, like that 
of a diving duck, they plunge into their bur- 

rows, not to venture out till all cause of fear is 
past. The squirrels of this species were exceed- 
ingly rare until within the past decade. They 
seem to have effected an entrance from the val- 
leys to the east, and are now multiplying. The 
farmers, as yet, seem not to realize the magni- 
tude of the damage these squirrels will ulti- 
mately accomplish. 

The Q?i\iiovn\2i qp'^hev {Thomomyshulhivorus) 
is the most abundant and most troublesome 
rodent of this section. When full grown, it has 
a body six or eight inches long, with a tail of 
two inches. The back and sides are of a chest- 
nut-brown color, paler on the under parts of the 
body and legs; the tail and feet are of grayish- 
white; the ears are very short. In the cheeks 
are large pouches, covered with fur inside, white 
to their margin, which is dark-brown. 

Of rats and mice there are many species. 
There is very common in the forests a wood-rat 
that builds conical-shaped burrows by means of 
piling up sticks and bramble. We have seen 
these rat houses as much as ten feet in diameter 
at the base and five or six feet high. Of mice 
there are many species of both field and house 
pests. We have seen here two or three speci- 
mens of the Jerboa family, called by some kan- 
garoo mice, on account of their great length of 
hind legs, from which they spring, as does the 

The American elk [Cervus canadensis) used 
to be plentiful, but is now extinct. This ani- 
mal was nearly as large as a horse. It frequently 
reached the weight of from 600 to 1,000 pounds. 
The color was a chestnut-brown, dark on the 
head, neck, and legs, lighter and yellowish 
on the back and side.-'. The horns were very 
large, sometimes more than ibur feet long, three 
feet across from tip to tip, measuring three 
inches in diameter above the burr, and weigh- 
ing, with the skull, exclusive of the lower jaw, 
forty pounds. The horns of the old bucks had 
from seven to nine, perhaps more, prongs, all 
growing forward, the main stem miming up- 
ward and backward. 

The white-tailed deer have ever been scarce. 


The black-tailed deer (^Oervus columbianus), 
which is a little larger and has brighter colors, 
but does not furnish as good venison, the meat 
lacking the juiciness and savory taste of the 
venison in the Mississippi Valley, has been more 
common. The average weight of the buck is 
about 120 pounds, and of the doe 100 pounds, 
but bucks have been found to weigh 275 pounds. 
The summer coat of the black-tailed deer is 
composed of rather long and coarse hair of a 
tawny brown, approaching chestnut on the back. 
In September this hair begins to come off, ex- 
posing what the hunters call the " blue coat," 
which is at first fine and silky, and of a blueish- 
gray color, afterward becoming chestnut- brown, 
inclining to gray on the sides, and to black along 
the back. Occasionally deer pui-ely white are 
found. The horn, when long, is about two feet 
long, and forks near mid-length, and each prong 
forks again, making four points, to which a little 
spur, issuing from near the base of the horn, 
may be added, making five in all. This is the 
general form of the horn; sometimes, however, 
old bucks are found with but two points. 

The prong-horned antelope (^Antilocapra 
americajia) used to range the valleys like bands 
of sheep. They are now extinct. In size the 
antelope was not quite so large as the Califor- 
nia deer, which it resembled closely in form 
and general appearance. They weie distin 
guished at a distance by their motion; the an- 
telope canters, while the deer runs; the ante- 
lope went in herds, and moved in a line following 
the lead of an old buck, like sheep, to which 
they are related, while deer more frequently 
are alone, and if in a iierd they are more inde- 
pendent, and move each in the way that suits 
him best. In color, the back, upper part of the 
sides and outside of the thighs and forelegs 
were yellowish-brown; the under parts, lower 
part of the sides, and the buttocks as seen from 
behind, were white. The hair was very coarse, 
thick, spongy, tubular, slightly crimped or waved, 
and like short lengths of coarse thread cut off 
bluntly. The horns were very irregular in size 
and form, but usually they were about eight 

inches long, rose almost perpendicularly, liad a 
short, blunt prong in front, several inches from 
the base, and made a short backward crook at 
the top. The female had horns as well as the 
male. The hoof was heart-shaped, and its print 
upon the ground could be readily distinguished 
from the long, harrow track of the deer. The 
antelope was about two feet and a half higli, 
and four feet long from the nose to the end of 
the tail. 

Audubon's hare (Lepus audubotiii) is the 
most common species in Northern California. 
Its tail is about three inches long, and its color 
is mixed with yellowish-brown and black above, 
white beneath, thighs and rump grayish. This 
is usually called "jack rabbit," the epithet ab- 
breviated from jackass. There are two varieties 
known to science, Lepus texanus and Lepus 

The sage rabbit [Lepus arteiaisia) is also 
found here. 

Birds. — Condor or king vulture, bald eagle, 
golden eagle, turkey buzzard, raven, crow, sev- 
eral kinds of hawk, road-runner, several species 
of woodpecker, grouse, mountain and valley 
qnail, picreon, meadow lark, magpie, blackbird, 
flicker, robin, snipe, plover, curlew, redwinged 
blackbird, bluebird, oriole, gray and small 
sparrow, cherry-bird, crossbill, linnet, chewink, 
California canary, niartin, swallow, blue crane 
or heron, sand-hill crane, wild goose, Canada 
goose or brant, wood, mallard, teal and dipper 
duck, mud-hen, pelican, two species of hum- 
ming-bird, and a few other species not named. 

Fish. — Salmon, salmon trout, brook trout, 
lake trout, perch, white-fish, sucker, chub, two 
species of eels, etc. Several of these and a few 
other favorite varieties from the East have been 

Reptiles. — Two species of rattlesnake, long 
striped, brown, pilot, green, purple, milk and 
water snakes, four kinds of lizard, horned toad, 
common toad and frog. 

Insect life is also greatly favored by the " cli- 
mate and resources of California." 



COUNTIES. 1887. 1888. 

Alameda $60,589,770 $66,918,510 

Alpine 288,435 275,8K9 

Amador 4,320,066 4,412,720 

Butte 17,193,275 20,297,937 

Calaveras 4,198,139 4,224,070 

Colusa 22,893,269 24,716,718 

Contra Costa 15,134,277 15,934,050 

Del Norte 1,471,315 1,871,-560 

El Dorado 3,424,907 3,707,924 

Humboldt 12,731,962 17,756,801 

Lake 2,992,858 3,682,931 

Lassen 2,384,541 2,553,155 

Marin 10,416,674 10,981,946 

Mendocino 10,404,962 11,288,355 

Modoc 2,863,178 3,078,598 

Napa 13,350,807 14,437,355 

Nevada 6,329,519 6,367,333 

Placer 9,380,373 10,098,294 

Plumas 2,255,044 2,320,578 

Sacramento 28,303,295 33,897,435 

San Joaquin 33,497,636 38,689,149 

Shasta 5,709,291 6,512,481 

Sierra 1,830,348 ],744,.569 

Siskiyou 5,747,423 6,776,354 

Solano 19,026,009 19,905,188 

Sonoma 27,500,264 30,121,898 

Sutter 7,850,523 10,083,866 

Tehama 10,552,455 11,908,345 

Trinity 1,092,832 1,149,664 

Yolo 17,927,167 20,462,264 

Yuba 6,617,070 7,017,753 


This section is from Themis, an enterprising 
weekly published by Hon. Win. J. Davis and 
A. J. Johnston, of Sacramento. 

The American river was named from the fact 
that a company of Western American trappers 
lived on its banks for several years between 1822 
and 1830. 

Angel's Camp and Angel's Creek were named 
after a Mr. Angel, who was at Sutter's Fort in 
February, 1848, and afterward, in July, was one 
of Captain Weber's prospectors. 

When the town of Areata was located on 
April 21, 1850, it was called Union. In 1860 
the name was changed to Areata — an Indian 

The name Arizona was first applied to a 
mountain near the southern boundary of the 
territory. The territory was first called Pime- 

ria. Authorities differ as to the origin of the 
present name. Some say it is a corruption of 
" Arizuma," first given to the country by the 
early Spanish explorers. Some claim that it is 
a Mohave Indian word signifying, " Blessed 
Sun," from " Ara," meaning " blessed," and 
" Zuna," " sun ;" others, that it is of Pima origin 
and means "Little Creek;" while there is au- 
thority that its derivation is from two Pima 
words, " Ari," a maiden and " Zon," a valley. 
Other authorities hold that it is a compound of 
the two Latin words " Aridus " and " Zona." 
Aridus, dry, from " areo," to be dry: zona sim- 
ply means a girdle or belt. This derivation 
would produce a word meaning " a dry or 
parched belt of country." 

Auburn was originally called " Wood's Dry 
Diggings." Late in 1849 a public meeting was 
held for the purpose of selecting a more suitable 
name for the town. The name Auburn was 
adopted at the suggestion of H. M. House, who 
had come from the New York Auburn. 

Bakersfield was named in honor of Senator 
Thomas Baker, who died in that town on No- 
vember 24, 1872; Bantas from Henry Bantas, 
an early settler. Belmont signifies " beautiful 
mountain," and was named from the grand emi- 
nences near the town; Bernal Heights, from 
Augustin Bernal; and Black's Station from J. 
J. Black, who located the town in 1865. Bodie 
was named in honor of Wm. S. Bodey, a pio- 
neer who lost his life in November, 1859, near 
his cabin four miles from the site of the town, 
having become exhausted in a heavy snow storm. 
Brooklyn, Alameda County, was christened by 
Thomas Eagar, after the ship Brooklyn, in 
which he came in 1846 as a passenger to Cali- 

Calistoga is a word that was formed by the 
late Samuel Brannan from the words " Califor- 
nia" and " Saratoga." Camptonville was named 
after J. Campton. Capay is from the Indian 
word " capi," meaning " creek." Carquinez is 
an Indian word meaning " serpent." Accord- 
ing to a legend of the aborigines, from a hill 
that now exists in the city of Vallejo (Capitol 



Hill), there would come forth a huge serpent, 
with eyes of fire; it would straighten itself upon 
its tail almost perpendicularly, and look toward 
the Straits, then cautiously upon Mare Island 
(Taspeyar was its Indian name), and lastly in 
the direction of Yulupa, or the Sunset hills 
towards Sonoma, looking for the Blazing Tur- 
key, which was wont to arise from the air of 
the mountains, and if the gaze of these two 
monsters ever met it was a sign or omen of 
some terrible disaster or calamity— such as war 
or pestilence. Cherokee, Nevada County, was 
so called from the fact that the first prospecting 
there was done by some Cherokee Indians in 
1850. Clayton was named after its founder, 
Joel Clayton; and Colfax in honor of Vice-Pres- 
ident Schuyler Colfax. Coloma is an Indian 
word, meaning " Beautiful Valley." Crockett 
was named in honor of Judge J. B. Crockett, 
who died January 15, 1884; Davisville was 
called after Jerome C. Davis, who settled there 
in 1846, and who died in Sacramento, October 
5, 1881, while holding the ofiice of Second 
Trustee of the city; Decoto was named after 
Ezra Decoto, the owner of the land upon which 
it is located; Dixon after Thomas Dixon, who 
died in that town in June, 1S85; and Donahue 
after Colonel James M. Donahue. Donner 
Lake gets its name from the leader of the Don- 
ner party of 1846, the members of which suf- 
fered privation and death on its shores. Downie- 
ville was named after William Downie, who 
located there in the early mining days; Dunni- 
gan gets its name from A. W. Dunnigan, who 
settled there in 1853; Dutch Flat was so named 
from the fact that its pioneer settler was a Ger- 
man named Joseph Dohrenbeck. 

Elk Grove was so called from the circum- 
stance that elk horns were found in a grove of 
timber near which in 1850 James Hall estab- 
lished a hotel, on the sign of which was painted 
an elk. 

The name Florin was given to that locality 
about 1864 by the late Judge E. B. Crocker, 
owing to the great number of wild flowers which 
grew there, and when the town was started in 

1875 it received that name. Folsom was called 
after J. L. Folsom, who died July 19, 1855. 
There is some romance about the naming of 
Forest City, Sierra County. The first store at 
the Forks of Oregon Creek was built by Samuel 
Hammond and was called the Yomana store, 
from the bluff above the town being called by 
that name — meaning " Sacred Hill." In 1853 
a meeting of the citizens was held to select a 
name for the town and there was a tie vote for 
" Forks of Oregon," and " Yomana." Tiie mat- 
ter was compromised by agreeing to call the 
place after the first woman who should reside 
there. The first lady inhabitant was Mary Da- 
vis, the wife of a baker, and after her advent the 
town was indiscriminately called " Forks of 
(Oregon " and " Marietta." Davis soon sold out 
to Captain Mooney, whose wife's name was 
Forest. She was a lady of education and wrote 
several ai tides which were sent to the Marys- 
ville papers. They were dated at Forest City, 
and as the editor did not know where that might 
be, they were so published. Mrs. Mooney 
afterwards called together some of the leading 
citizens and succeeded in having the place 
formally named after her. 

During the summer of 1848 travelers stopped 
at a spring at the site of Jackson, Amador 
County, and the number of bottles left about 
gave it the name of Bottilleas. It was changed 
to Jackson in honor of Colonel Jackson who 
afterwards settled there. 

Fort Ross is the site of a Russian settlement 
which was made in 1811, and a fort was erected 
there. What the Russians called it is not known, 
but it was called by the Spaniards, '■ Fuerte de los 
Rusos " (Fort of the Russians). The Americans 
shortened it to Fuerte Rusos, and that was after- 
ward curtailed to its present name. French Corral 
was named from the circumstance that in 1849 
a Frenchman built a corral for the enclosure of 
his mules on the site of the present village. At 
one time the inhabitants adopted the name of 
Carrolton, but for no great length of time. 
Fnlton was laid out in 1871 by Thomas and 
James Fulton: hence its name. The name 



Gait was suggested for that town when it was 
laid out, by John McFarlaiid, to the late Judge 
E. B. Crocker. McFarland, when quite a young 
man, located in the town of Gait, in Upper 
Canada, and there served his apprenticeship as 
a joiner. The Canadian Gait was named after 
a man of that name. Gilroy was named in 
honor of John Gilroy, one of the earliest Amer- 
ican settlers, who died in that town on J uly 29, 
1869. Goat Island was called by the Spaniards 
Yerba Buena and was originally occupied as a 
fishing station by a very numerous tribe or" In 
dians called Tuchayunes. On the founding of 
the city of San Francisco in 1835, the name of 
the Island (Yerba Buena) was given to the mu- 
nicipality. In 1835 Nathaniel Spear brought 
some goats from the Sandwich Islands, and 
presented a pair of them to John Fuller, who 
was located in the town. They became so de- 
structive to his flowers and garden truck that 
he* removed them to the Island, where they 
were turned loose and rapidly increased ih 
numbers. Hence the name of Goat Island. It 
is stated that in 1849 there were nearly a 
thousand goats on the island, but they were 
soon destroyed by the immigrants. The name 
Golden Gate first appears in the '• Geographical 
Memoir of California," and relative map, pub- 
lished by Colonel John C. Fremont in the 
spring of 1848. The name was probably sug- 
gested by the Golden Horn of Constantinople. 
Grayson was located in 1849 by J. Grayson & 
Co.; and Guerneville was named after A. L. 

Martinez was named after Ignacio Martinez, 
who settled in the country in 1823. 

Half Moon Bay is so named on account of 
its configuration. Halo Cliemuc was formerly 
quite an Indian town on the west bank of the 
Sacramento River, a few miles above its mouth. 
The name in Indian meant " nothing to eat." 
Havilah was named from the place mentioned 
in the Old Testament where the first allusion 
is made to a land of gold, — Genesis 11: 11, 12: 
" The name of the first is Pison ; that is it which 
compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where 

there is gold; and the gold in that land is good; 
there is bdellium and the onyx stone." Hay- 
wards was named after "William Hayward, who 
settled there in 1851; Healdsburg, after Har- 
mon G. Heald; Hicksville, after William Hicks; 
Hollister, after an early Scotch settler of that 

The valley of lone was named before the 
town was started, by Thomas Brown, a great 
reader, after " lone," one of the heroines of 
Bulwer's " Last Days of Pompeii." The town 
was first called Bedbug, then Freeze-out, and 
finally the people christened it lone. 

Knight's Landing was called after William 
Knight, who settled therein 1843; and Knight's 
Ferry after the same gentleman from the fact 
that he established a trading post there in 1848. 

Langville was named after J. A. Lang. The 
locality of Little York was settled in early days 
largely by miners from New York and other 
Middle States. Afterward numbers came from 
Missouri and the West. An election was held 
to determine the name of the district and the 
Eastern men outvoted those from the West, 
and adopted the name of Little York over St. 
Louis, the choice of the minority. Livermorewas 
named after Robert Livermore, who settled in 
the valley before the American conquest and 
who died on February 14, 1858. Lockeford 
was named after its founder. Dr. D. J. Locke. 

In 1841 Theodore Cord ua settled in the forks 
of the Yuba and Feather rivers, where the city 
of Marysville now stands, under a lease from 
Captain Sutter. Cordua afterward sold out his 
interest under the lease, and it became the 
property of Charles CoviUaud, John Sampson, 
J. M. Ramirez and Theodore Sicard. In Jan- 
uary, 1850, the town was laid out by these four 
parties under the name of C. Covillaud & Co. 
There were a variety of opinions as to what 
should be the name of the place. Some wanted 
it called Yubaville, and some deeds were made 
out in that name. Others desired to call it 
Y uba City, some Norwich, and some Sicardora 

that being the favorite of Colonel Perry. 

While the discussion of the name was pending, 


a public meetiDg was called to take into con- 
sideration tbe general interests of the new city. 
At that meeting Captain Edward Power, from 
St. Lonis, proposed to name it after Mrs. Covil- 
laud, who was then the only white woman living 
on the town plat; her name being Mary, it was 
then and there determined that the city should 
be named Marysville. Mrs. Covillaud died in 
that city on September 17, 1867. "While Cor- 
dna was in possession the place was called New 

The McLeod or McCloud Hiver received its 
name from an old Scotch trapper, who in 1827 
or 1828, led the first party of Hudson Bay Com- 
pany trappers that penetrated California. His 
name was Alexander Roderick McLeod. Years 
later a well-known citizen named Ross McCloud, 
a surveyor, lived on the stream and the similar- 
ity of the pronunciation of the names led to the 
common error of supposing that his name was 
the one that the river bore. Meridian was so 
called because the postoffice is only a quarter of 
a mile west of the Mount Diablo meridian, 
United States survey. Michigan Bar was so 
called from the fact that the first settlers were 
two men from Michigan, who discovered gold 
there in 1849. The Mokelumne River derives 
its name from a powerful tribe of Indians, the 
Mo-kel-kos, who inhabited its lower banks and 
the adjacent country. The Spaniards spelled 
the word differently. 

Moore's Flat was named from H. M. Moore, 
who settled there and bnilt a store in 1851. 
Mormon Island was so named from the fact 
that gold washing was commenced there soon 
after the discovery by Marshall, by a party of 
Mormons. Natoma is of Indian derivation, 
and signifies " clear water." Needles is so called 
on account of the spire or needle-like shape of 
certain rocks which were called " the Needles " 
in that vicinity. Newark was named by its 
founders after the New Jersey city, of which 
they were natives. New York of the Pacific 
was a wonderful city — on paper — in 1849. At 
one time it aspired to become the capital of the 
State. It was located by Colonel J. D. Steven- 

son, and was named in honor of his regiment, 
which was called the New York regiment. Nic- 
olaus was named after Nicolaus Allgeier, who 
arrived in this country in 1840, and who settled 
there in 1843. 

North San Juan acquired its name from this 
circumstance: In 1853, a miner, named KeBtz, 
who had accompanied General Scott when his 
expedition landed at Yera Cruz, was engaged 
in raining near the present site of the town. 
One evening he was impressed with the fancied 
resemblance of a bluft' hill near by to the castle 
of San J nan de Ulloa, which guards the entrance 
to the port of Vera Cruz. He expressed his 
opinion, and the blufi" was dubbed San Juan. 
Afterward that name was applied to the town. 
In 1857, when an application was made for a 
postofiice to be established there, the authorities 
at Washington required a new name for the 
place, as an oflice had already been established 
at another town of that title in Monterey County. 
The citizens thereupon added the prefix " North" 
to the name. Norton ville was named atter 
Noah Norton, the locator of the Black Diamond 
Coal Mine. Oakland was so called from the 
fact that immense live oaks formerly grew on 
its site. 

The legion of Owen's Lake was visited in 
1845 by a detachment of Fremont's expedition 
under the noted mountaineer. Captain Joe 
Walker. This party was accompanied by Prof. 
Richard Owens, who was the first white man to 
see the lake, and after him the lake, river and 
valley were named. Pacheco was named after 
Don Salvio Pacheco, who settled there in 1834, 
and who died in 1876. Petaluma is an Indian 
word, said by some to mean " Duck Ponds," and 
by others, " Little Hills." Piedmont is the 
French for " foothills." Pigeon Point was so 
named from the fact that on May 6, 1853, the 
clipper ship "Carrier Pigeon " from Boston was 
totally wrecked there, and a large number of 
passengers drowned. Pit River received its 
name from a custom of the Indians along its 
banks of digging pits in which to capture bear, 
deer, and even intruding warriors of strange 


tribes. The pits were covered with brush and 
dirt to conceal tliem. 

Placerville was originally called Hangtowu, 
and was so named from this circumstance: In 
January, 1849, three men were in a saloon tent 
engaged in a game of poker. When the game 
broke up the proprietor was asleep, and the men 
robbed him at the point of the pistol. The next 
day they were arrested, tried, and sentenced to 
be flogged. After the punishment had been 
inflicted they were ordered to leave the camp. 
In a few days two of the men, when drunk 
around the camp, intimated that the parties who 
had been engaged in the trial were spotted, and 
would not live to flog another man. A meeting 
was called and the two men were arrested, tried, 
and hung to a tree. Pleasanton was at first 
called Alisal (cottonwood), but was afterward 
named by John W. Kotlinger in honor of Gen- 
eral Pleasanton, a cavalry officer in the Union 

Red Bluft' was established by M. L. Covert, 
and was at first called Covertsburg. Redding 
was originally jjalled Reading, after Major P. B. 
Reading, the pioneer of Shasta County. The 
change to the present spelling was done in com- 
pliment to the late B. B. Redding. Red Dog 
Hill was so named because of its supposed resem- 
blance to a hill of that name in the lead district 
of Illinois. Redwood City was so called from 
its proximity to the vast forests of redwood tim- 
ber that formerly covered the slopes of the 
mountains. Rough and Ready was established 
in the fall of 1849, by the " Rough and lieady " 
company of immigrants, who had just arrived 
from Wisconsin under the command of Captain 
Townsend. Routier was named after Hon. 
Joseph Routier. Scott River and Mountain 
were named from John W. Scott, who mined 
on Scott Bar in July, 1850. Sebastopol, So- 
noma County, was at first called Pine Grove. 
During the Crimean war, and at the time 
when Sebastopol was besieged, two men engaged 
in a fight in the town, and one retreated into 
the store and the proprietor refused to admit the 
victorious party. From this circumstance the 

store was called Sebastopol, and the town was 
subsequent!)' so named. 

Shingle Springs was named from the fact that 
at the upp3r end of the town are several springs 
of water. At an early day, near the springs, a 
machine was erected and operated for the manu- 
facture of shingles. Hence the name. 

Somerville was named from Francis Somers, 
an early resident. The mountain of St. Helena 
was named in honor of the Empress of Rus- 
sia, by the Russian naturalist, Wosnessemsky, 
who ascended it in 1841. 

When the settlement of Stockton was started 
it was called and known everywhere as Weber's 
Settlement, or as French Camp — the latter name 
being the better known. Captain C. M. Weber 
and his partner were undecided as to the name 
of the new town. New Albany was the choice 
of the partner, because of his birth in Albany, 
New York. Weber preferred either Tuleburg 
or Castoria. Tuleburg was regarded as appro- 
priate because the tules grew thick and high in 
the vicinity. Castoria is a Spanish name, meSn- 
ing beaver settlement. At that time beaver 
abounded in large numbers. Afterward Weber 
was taken prisoner by the Mexicans, and after 
his liberation met Commodore Robert F. Stock- 
ton, who promised to send out a government 
steamer for the use of the pioneers. At Weber's 
suggestion the name of the town was changed 
to Stockton, and it was first legally known by 
that name in a petition to the Court of Sessions, 
dated July 23, 1850. Suisun is an Indian word 
meaning " big expanse." Suiiol was named 
after Antonio M. Sunol, an early resident who 
died March 18, 1865. Suscol was the name of 
an Indian chief. Sweetland was named after 
H. P. Sweetland, who settled there in 1850. 
Sutter Creek was named from the fact that in 
1848 Captain Sutter came through that country 
with a retinue of Indians on an excursion to the 
mountains and catuped on the spot where Sutter 
Creek now stands, which event gave the town 
its name. 

The derivation of the word " Tahoe " has, per- 
haps, been more elaborately discussed than that 


of any other word of geographical designation 
in the State. The beautifnl lake, lying on the 
boundary line between this State and Nevada, 
has borne that name since aboriginal days. 
On February 10, 1870, an act of the Legislature 
was approved declaring the name of the lake to 
be " Eigler," in honor of the ex-Governor. In 
the debates in the Legislature the matter of the 
name of the lake became almost a partizan issue. 
The Democrats favored the name Bigler, and the 
Eepublicams Tahoe. The Democrats claimed 
that the name Tahoe had been borne by a dis- 
reputable and vicious Indian chief who had mur- 
dered an American family named Rothrock on 
the Truckee Kiver in early days. The Eepub- 
licans contended that it was an Indian word, 
meaning " big water." A correspondent in the 
Sacramento Union of February 3, 1880, claimed 
that the word was a corruption of " Tejon " or 
badger, and that the lake had been so called by 
the half converted Indians who had fled to the 
mountains to escape servitude to the Spaniards, 
the region about the lake being prolific with 
badgers. The correspondent was no doubt in 
error. Tehachapi is an Indian word of unknown 
signification. Temescal is an Indian word, 
meaning " sweat-house." Toniales Bay was 
named after a tribe of Indians of that name 
who lived in that vicinity. 

William Baldridge, a very early pioneer, 
writes the following account of the derivation 
of the word " Truckee:" 

In 1845, James M. Harbin and a few others 
were on their way to California, via overland 
route, and on arriving at the sink of the Hum- 
boldt, they met with an Indian and employed 
him to pilot them across the desert. While en 
route Harbin noticed a resemblance in him to a 
Frenchman he had formerly known, and there- 
fore bestowed the name of the Frenchman 
(Truckee) on the Indian, and on arriving at the 
river (Truckee) they were greatly elated at their 
good fortune, and named it Trnckee's River. 
"Truckee" and two of his brothers came to 
California with tiie emigrants in 1846, and 
served in Fremont's battalion until the end of the 

The Reno Gazette, in 1880, published the 
following account of the same incident: 

In 1844 a party of men left Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, to go to Oregon. They came across the 
plains, and when they reached the hunting 
grounds of the Shoshonnes they procured an 
Indian guide named Truckee. This Indian ac- 
companied them as far as Sutter's fort. In 
traversing this region the Indian told them of a 
rapid river that flowed from one great lake to 
another. The party did not reach this river as 
soon as they expected, and they began to look 
upon Truckee's river as a river of the mind, a 
flowing Action. Truckee's river was, for a 
time, a frequent jest upon their lips, and when 
at last they reached the stream he described 
they had already named it. 

Dkiah derives its name from the Eukio or 
Tukio tribe of Indians, who dwelt in the valley 
when it was first visited by the whites. Vallejo 
was founded by General M. G. Vallejo, from 
whom it received its name. It was for a short 
time the capital of the State. Visalia was 
named after Nat Vise, a bear hunter, who lived 
there in early days. Walloupa was named after 
an Indian chief. It is a corrujition of Guada- 
lupe, tlie name which he had received from the 
missionaries. Washoe is the Indian name for 
the valley lying along the eastern base of the 
Sierra Nevadas. The word signifies " beauti- 
ful." Watsonville was named after J. H. 
Watson, who founded it in 1853; Weaverville 
was named after a miner named Weaver, who at 
an early period obtained a large quantity of 
gold from Weaver Creek. Winters was laid 
out in 1875, and was named in honor of 
Theodore Winters, who owned an interest in 
the town site; and Woodbridge was named after 
its founder, J. H. Woods. Yeomet is an Indian 
name, signifying rocky falls, and was given to 
the forks of the Cosumnes River, in Amador 
County. Yosemite is a corruption of " Oo- 
soom-ite," an Indian word meaning, in the 
language of the tribe that inhabited the valley, 
"large grizzly bear." Yountville was named 
after George C. Yount, who died October 5, 
1865. The town of Yreka wasoriginaliy called 
Shasta Butte City, but as this was too much 


like Shasta City, the Indian nam« for Mount 
Shasta, I-e-ka, (meaning white) was substituted, 
and the orthography was changed to Wyreka. 
In the course of time the " W " was dropped, 
and the present spelling adopted. 

Appended are a few of those names bestowed 
on localities by the miners in early days. It is 
not necessary to trace their derivation, as they 
are sufficiently suggestive: 

American Hollow, Barefoot Diggings, Bloom- 
er Hill, Blue Belly Ravine, Bob Kidley Flat, 
Bogus Thunder, Brandy Gulch, Coyote Hill, 
Centipede Hollow, Chicken Thief Flat, Chris- 
tian Flat, Chucklehead Diggings, Coon Hollow, 
Dead Man's Bar, Dead Mule Canon, Deadwood, 
Devil's Basin, Devil's Elbow, Gas Hill, Git up 
and Git, Gopher Flat, Gospel Gulch, Gouge 
Eye, Graveyard Canon, Greaser's Camp, Green- 
horn Canon, Gridiron Bar, Wild Goose Flat, 
Whisky Bar, Grizzly Flat, Ground Hog Glory, 
Happy Valley, Hell's Delight, Hempback Slide, 
Hen Roost Camp, Hog's Diggings, Horsetown, 
Humbug Caiion, Hungry Camp, Jackass Gulch, 
Jim Crow Canon, Last Chance, Lazy Man's 
Canon, Liberty Hill, Loafer Hill, Loafers' 
Retreat, Long Town, Lousy Ravine, Love Let- 
ter Camp, Mad Cailon, Miller's Defeat, Mount 
Zion, Murderer's Bar, Nary Red, Nigger Hill, 
Nutcake Camp, One Eye, Paint-Pot Hill, Pan- 
cake Ravine, Paradise, Pepperbox Flat, Piety 
Hill, Pike Hill, Plughead Gulch, Poker Fiat, 
Poodletown, Poor Man's Creek, Port Wine, 
Poverty Hill, Puppytown, Push Coach Hill, 
Quack Hill, Ragtown, Rat-Trap Slide, Rattle- 
snake Bar, Seven-by-Nine Valley, Seven-up 
Ravine, Seventy-six, Siianghai Hill, Shinbone 
Peak, Shirt-tail Caiion, Skinflint, Skunk Gulch, 
Slap-jack Bar, Sluice Fork, Snow Point, Sugar- 
Loaf Hill, Swell-Head Diggings, Wild-Cat Bar, 
Yankee Doodle. 


Alameda derives its name from the Spanish 
term " alameda," signifying a " grove of pop- 
lars," many trees of that kind having by the 

original settlers been found growing along the 

Although doubtless visited at occasional 
intervals previously by emissaries of the mis- 
sions or the military posts in California, there 
seems to have been no settlement witliiu the 
limits of what afterward became Alameda 
County until on Sunday, June 11, 1797, was 
founded the mission San Jose, with Fathers 
Barcevilla and Merino at its head. In the early 
gold-mining days this mission was an import- 
ant point. The tirst man to receive a grant of 
land within the county was Don Luis Maria 
Peralta, to whom was granted the Rancho San 
Antonio, of live leagues, being the whole of the 
country west of the Contra Costa Hills between 
San Leandro Creek and the northern county 
line. On this are situated now the cities of 
Oakland, with its suburbs, Alameda and Berke- 
ley. Don Luis never resided here, his home be- 
ing at San Jose, but divided his princely domain 
up among his four sons. Jose Domingo re- 
ceived the northerly portion where Berkeley 
now is. To Vicente was given Encinal de 
Temescal, now the city of Oakland. To Antonio 
Maria, he gave the portion next southerly, now 
East Oakland and Alameda; while Ygnacio took 
the most southerly part. This division was 
made in 1842, the brothers having previously 
held the rancho in common. From this time 
on at intervals grants were made to the heads 
of the following families, some few of which 
have representatives still residing in the county, 
— Higuera, Suuol, Vallejo, Alviso, Amador, 
Pacheco, Pico, Estudillo, • Castro, Bernal, and 

The complete list of Mexican land grants for 
Alameda County is: Mission San Jose, twenty- 
nine acres, patented to Bishop J. S. Alemany 
in 1858; Las Positas, 8,880 acres, patented to 
Livermore and Noriega in 1872; Potrero de 
los Cerritos, 10,610 acres, patented to Pacheco 
and Alviso in 1866; San Antonio, 9,416 acres 
to Ygnacio Peralta in 1858; 15,206 acres to A. 
N. M. Peralta in 1874, and 18,849 acres to V. 
and D. Peralta in 1877; Santa Rita, 8,894 


acres to Yoiintz, administiator, in 1865; San 
Leandro, 6,829 acres to J. J. Estiidillo in 1863; 
San Lorenzo, 6,686 acres to Barbara Soto and 
others, in 1877; and 26,722 acres to Guillermo 
Castro in 1865; Yalle de San Jose, 48,436 acres 
to Sunol and Eernal in 1865. In Alameda and 
Contra Costa counties together: CaEada de los 
Baqueros, 17,760 acres, to Livermore and 
Noriega. In Alameda and San Joaquin 
counties: El Pescadeio, 35,546 acres, to Pico 
and Nagle in 1865. 

The Urst settler of English-speaking parentage 
was Eobert Livermore, who in partnership with 
Jofe Koriega, puichased the Kancho Las Posi- 
tas irom Don S. Pacheco and settled there in 
1835. After him the town and valley of Liver- 
more receive their name. Livermore was prob- 
ably the first, after the mission fathers, to engage 
in grape, iruit and grain culture. In 1844 he set 
out a vineyard and planted orchards of pear and 
olive trees, also beginning to grow wheat. 
Livermore was a native of London, England, 
born 1799. He died on his home ranch in 

From this time on till 1846, nothing of im- 
portance occurred within our limits. In that 
year, however, came the ship Brooklyn to San 
Francisco. One of her passengers, John M. 
Borner, pitched his tent on the fertile land 
where "Washington Corners now is, there being 
at that time no other American within the 
county. In 1847 Perry Morrison and Earl 
Marshall, also Brooklyn passengers, came across 
the bay and both went to the Mission San Jose 
and engaged in dairying. In this same year, 
also, the redwood forests on the hillsides back of 
Oakland began to attract attention, and some 
enterprising Yankees, among them Elani Brown, 
of Contra Costa County, were there whipsawing 
out lumber for the San Francisco market. In 
1848 came the discovery of gold, with its rush 
of people atid excitements. For the first year 
or so, the road to the miues was via the Mission 
San Jose and thence over the mountains. At 
this time old mission was an important place, 
and had many lively business houses. The dis- 

covery of the advantages of the Sacramento 
Kiver loute fccn put fn <id to this jit^jnity, 
and ibr a little time nothing stems to have oc- 
curred n^oie ixciling llsn di tk-i-h( otiig ex- 
peditions to the njarshes to supjly the San Fran- 
cisco market. It was thus that, in 1849, 
Thomas W. Mulford and other now well-known 
residents visited the county j.nd ditcovertd its 
richness. In 1850 the three Patten 1 rotheis, 
in partnership with Moses Chase, leased 160 
acres of land from A. M. Peralta where East 
Oakland is now and went to farming, increasing 
their holding by 300 acres the following year, 
when they planted all in grain. In 1850, 
Henry C. Smith, who was afteiward prominent 
in the formation of the county, went to Mission 
San Jose, where there were already E. L. Beard, 
Jeremiah Fallon, Michael Murray, William 
Morris, William Tyson and many others. 

The first actual settler in the city of Oakland 
was Moses Chase, already referred to, who 
pitched his tent at what is now the foot of 
Broadway, in the winter of 1849-'50, and com- 
menced hunting. Next came Colonel Henry 
S. Fitch and Colonel Whitney, and attempted, 
unsuccessfully, to purchase the tract of land. 
In the summer of 1850 appeared Edson Adams, 
H. W. Carpenter and A. J. Moon, a trio well 
known and much abused in the history of Oak- 
land. They squatted on the land. An attempt 
was made to oust them legally, but the upshot 
of the matter was that they were given a lease 
of a certain number of acres, laid out a city, 
sold lots and erected the first buildings, and are 
thus the actual founders of Oakland. In 1852 
the " Town of Oakland " was formally incor- 
porated, and it has enjoyed almost constant 
growth and prosperity since that date. 

The first ferry across the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco was established in 1851, by Adams and 
Carpenter, the fare for single trip being one 

Alameda County was orgauized in 1853, 
underact of March 25, that year, by being set 
oif from Contra Costa, of which it had previ- 
ously formed a part. Alvarado became the first 


seat of government, as it was the most central 
among the available settlements, and with a 
good shipping place, to which Mission San 
Jose and other points were tributary. But 
political influence gained the privilege soon 
afterward for San Leandro, a town with similar 
advantages but more attractive in site and ap- 
pearance, wliich had to surrender it twenty 
years later to its more powerful neighbor, Oak- 
land. The change to San Leandro was made 
by popular vote in the latter part of 1854, and 
the erection of county buildings immediately 
begun. These were completed in 1855 at a 
cost of about $2,200. Alvarado did not submit 
quietly to being deprived of its honors, and 
litigation was the result, and for a little while 
the county seat was ambulatory between the 
two points, being fixed in San Leandro only in 
1856. In this and the following year new 
county buildings were erected, at a cost of 
$30,000. The erection of a county hospital 
at San Leandro was begun in 1869 and com- 
pleted in 1870, but, proving unsatisfactory, 
aufither building was erected later which, with 
additions, will accommodate about 200 patients. 
In 1873 the county-seat was removed to Oak- 
land, by popular vote, and the construction of 
a court house and jail, and building for hall of 
records, county clerk and treasurer's offices, on 
opposite sides of Broadway, was undertaken, at a 
cost of about $200,000. 


a mention of whose earlier history has already 
been made, was incorporated as a town in 1852. 
In 1854 Oakland was made a city. Her prog- 
ress, notwithstanding long and serious litiga- 
tion over water front and other rights, has been 
one of uniform and rapid advancement. A 
description of the city as it is to-day would fill 
a volume. 

In many respects she occupiesla position with 
reference to the city of San P^rancisco analo- 
gous to that between Brooklyn and New York, 
only hers is superior, in that she is the 
terminus of an important transcontinental rail- 

road, which has expended vast sums of money 
in the construction of repair and other works, 
in the construction of a mole and terminal 
facilities of a very complete order, and have 
afforded her a system of ferriage that has no 
counterpart in America. This ferry system, 
one of Oakland's most valuable possessions, was 
founded in 1869. The city is also an important 
manufacturing center, many of the largest 
establishments of the coast being located here. 
Among these we may mention, iron works, nail 
mills, cotton, woolen and flouring mills, bridge 
works, soap works, potteries, canneries, jute 
factories, tanneries, and many score of others, 
some of them of large dimensions. Her pub- 
lic buildings are many and handsome, among 
which may be noted a fine new Young Men's 
Christian Association building just completed 
at a cost of $150,000. She is called, some- 
times, the " City of Churches," at others, the 
"Athens" of the Pacific coast on account of 
her many and fine public and private schools 
and colleges. She has hospitals, parks, recrea- 
tion grounds, etc., — in fact, everything that a 
city of metropolitan importance may be ex- 
pected to possess, her system of cable roads 
and street cars being unexcelled. 

A work of vast importance to Oakland now 
in course of progress, is the improvement of 
its harbor by the United States Government. 
This work, was begun in 1874, has already cost 
many millions, and before completion must cost 
many milions more. No city in California has 
before it a brighter future than Oakland. 

At Berkeley, a charming town that lies ad- 
joining Oakland, and really a portion of it, is 
the University of California, a State institution 
that has attained a high reputation for scholar- 
ship. The buildings are handsome and appro- 
priate, some five in number and erected at a 
large expense. Its teaching staff, professors, 
assistants, tutors, etc., number about 200, 
although it should be stated that this total in- 
cludes the faculties of the Medical, Legal, 
Dental and Pharmaceutical departments which 
are located in San Francisco. The University 


was founded in 1868, when Berkeley may be 
said to have taken its rise. The first class to 
graduate was in 1873. 


was incorporated in 1872. It is situated on 
a long peninsula, soon to become an island, 
with the completion of the canal now in course 
of construction between Oakland Earbor and 
San Leandro Bay. Its first settlers were two 
Frenchmen, Depachier and Lc Maitre, who 
went there in 1850 to cut fire-wood, others go- 
ing thither soon afterward. The city is, 
especially of late years, much favored as a place 
of residence by business men of San Francisco. 
It has equal rail and ferry privileges with Oak- 
land. Alameda has excellent swimming baths, 
and several important manufacturing establish- 


saw its beginning in the homestead of Don 
Jose Joaquin Estudillo, wlio received the region 
as a grant in 1842, and some of whose dsscend- 
ants reside there still. It made but little prog- 
ress till chosen the county-seat, when its 
advance was rapid, containing in 1850 only 
Estudillo's residence and a school. Agricult- 
ural and river traiSc, however, gave it impulse, 
and it is to-day a thriving and beautiful town, 
with large and valuable orchards and gardens 
rirouiid about it. It assumed incorporation 
honors in 1872, partly to strengthen itself 
against Oakland's struggle for the county-seat. 
This dignity was lost, yet the town continues to 
prosper. It contains several very extensive 
agricultural implement manufactories, plow 
works, etc. In 1852-'53 a number of squatters 
gathered on Estudillo's rancho at a point called 
San Lorenzo, forming the so-called " Squatter- 
ville" of the Census report of 1852. The 
manufacture of farn^ing implements was started 
with a few adjuncts in the shape of hotels and 
shops, but the town has not prospered. 


In 1851 W. Ilaywards settled at the place 
of that name and soon engaged in store and 

hotel-keeping. G. Castro, owner of the San 
Lorenzo grant, laid out the town in 1854, ap- 
plying the name of his tract, which did not 
long prevail. The railroad gave it new life, 
and in 1876 it received a charter. It has two 
breweries, and is surrounded by a rich horticult- 
ural district. Many tine country houses are 
situated here. 

Alvarado was laid out in 1851, as New 
Haven, by Hon. H. C. Smith, who, as Assem- 
blyman, maneuvered the creation of the county 
and the seat, allowing the Lieutenant Governor 
to rename the place in honor of the Mexican 
ex-Governor. It grew, embraced Union City, 
and became the chief town of the southern 
section, with several factories. Here is located 
an extensive beet-sugar factory, but the town has 
not kept pace with the balance of the county. 

Newark is the creation of the South Pacific 
Coast Railroad, the shops of the line being 
situated there. 

Niles, which is but a few miles distant, is 
the point of junction of the San Jose bratich of 
the Central Pacific Railroad with that from 
Livermore and Stockton. Large seed farms 
and nurseries are situated here. It was famous 
in the early days for the great flouring mills 
constructed by Don J. J. Vallejo in 1853. Be- 
tween the towns of Newark and Niles lies the 
town of Centreville, a good agricultural and 
fruit country, which has felt the opposition of 
its rivals injuriously. Washington Corners, 
the supply place of 'Mission San Jose, Sunol, 
Pleasanton (first called Alisal), Dublin, Alta- 
mont, etc., are growing points on the line of 
railway. Pleasanton will be the point of. junc- 
tion of tiie branch road to Martinez, now being 
built. It lies at the head of San Ramon Val- 
ley, Contra Costa County, and is a good fruit 

In the eastern end of the county Livermore 
owns the advantage. Alphonso Ladd settled 
there in 1865 and built a liotel which became 
the nucleus of Laddville; but the approach of 
the railroad caused W. Mendenhall to lay out 
Livermore at a half mile to the west. Liver- 


more gained the ascendency, being incorporated 
in 1876. liobert Livermore's old adobe stood 
a mile and a half north of it. Livermore is a 
most prosperous town, being surrounded by 
vineyards and orchards. Not far away are 
valuable deposits of coal and other minerals. 


Alameda County has made a marvelous 
growth, being helped in that by the fertility of 
her soil not less than by her proximity to San 
Francisco and her position on the bay. She 
ranks as one of the most productive agricultural 
counties on the coast, more of lier surface, pro- 
portionately to area, being cultivated than that 
of any other. The produce of her grain and hay 
fields is very large, but larger yet are the re- 
turns from the gardens, orchards and vineyards 
with which she is covered. Certain parts are 
noted for their cherries, apricots peaches, etc., 
as about San Fernando and Haywards and the 
bay side ot the county generally. About the 
Mission San Jose are immense vineyards and 
wineries, and the vegetable and small fruit gar- 
dens of the same parts, and especially of the 
lower lands, are noted far and wide. At the 
Mission San Jose is the winery of Juan Golle- 
gos, one of the largest in the State. Of late 
the Livermore Yalley has become noted also for 
its wines, being reckoned hardly second to the 
Sonoma Valley or to Napa County. Its orchards 
of almost every variety of fruit are also now 
become very prominent. On the margin of 
the bay are extensive salt works, the salt being 
obtained entirely by evaporation. This is one 
of the leading industries of the county. In and 
about the city of Oakland manufacturing is 
largely engaged in, as has been already noticed. 

Alameda County is well served by railroads. 
Oakland City is the terminus of all main 
branches of the Southern Pacific Railroad, one 
of the largest and wealthiest corporations of the 
contitient. She is also the terminus of the 
California & Nevada Railroad, a narrow gauge 
now building eastward, which owns valuable 
water privifeges. From Fruitvale, a suburb of 

Oakland, extends another narrow gauge, also 
slowly building east, the chief benefit of which 
at present is to connect the city with Mills 
College, one of the largest schools for ladies on 
the Coast, and the stone quarries of that neigh- 
borhood, but that may some day connect with a 
transcontinental line. A considerable traffic is 
also carried on by schooners and scows on the bay, 
chiefly carrying salt, hay and other bulky arti- 

Alameda County has had a somewhat lively 
and interesting criminal history. During the 
'60s, especially, she was haunted by a crew of 
desperate and fearless law-breakers, who found a 
comparatively safe refuge among the rugged 
hills of the east and central parts. Most of 
these were of Mexican or Spanish descent. They 
became noted, many of them, and for many 
years formed a great source of annoyance and 
trouble by their depredations. The celebrated 
Vasquez, Soto, Bernal and others, were among 
their number. 

The press of Oakland is thoroughly metro- 
politan and representative. There are thr 
dailies, the Times, morning, and the Tribune 
and Enquirer, evening. There are also a goodly 
number of society and other weeklies, class and 
trade papers, etc. In Alameda are two weeklies, 
the Encinal and Argus. In Berkeley are two 
weeklies, the AdvocMe and Herald, besides two 
college papers, the Occident and the Berkeleyan, 
one a weekly and the other a monthly. In Ir- 
vington is the Reporter (weekly), founded in 
1875, and the O Amigo dos Catholicos (1877), 
a Spanish paper. In Haywards is the Journal 
(1877), weekly; in Livermore the Echoand Her- 
ald, both founded in 1887, and both weeklies. 

The Assemblymen from Alameda County 
have been: C. C. Alexander, 1887; Valentin 
Alviso, 1881; I. A. Amerinan, 1878-'74; T. F. 
Bagge. 1875-'76; Iliram Bailey, 1887; Samuel 
B. Bell, 1862; Joseph F. Black, 1885; R. L. H. 
Brown, 1883; W. W. Camron, 1880-'81; L. II. 
Carey, 1883; A. M. Church, 1867-'68; W. B. 
Clement, 1883; F. M. Cooley, 1887; Thomas 
M. Coombs, 1856; E. T. Crane, 1871-'72; M. 


W. Dixon, 1875-'78; John W. Dwiuelle, 1867- 
'68; Thomas Ea^er, 1862, 1865-'66; L. B. 
Edward?, 1881; John Ellsworth, 1887; Frank 
F. Fargo, 1861; John E. Farntim, 1877-'78; 
Charles N. Fox, 1880; D. W. Gelwicks, 1875- 
'76; J. W. Giirnett, 1873-'74; Walter M. Hey- 
wood, 1885; J. A. Hobart, 1858; M. D. Hyde, 
1887; Daniel Inman, 1869-'70; William H. 
Jordan, 1885-'87; James B. Larue, 1857; E. 

D. Lewelling, 1869-'70; R. A. McClnre, 1877- 
'78; Frank J. Moffitt, 1885; J. M. Moore, 1862; 

E. H. Pardee, 1871-'72; Henry Eobinson, 
1863; William P. Rodgers, 1859; Thomas Scott, 
1863-'64; F. K. Shattuck, 1860; George W. 
Tyler, 1880; Asa Walker, 1863-'64; Joseph S. 
Watkins, 1854-'55; George W. Watson, 1885; 
J. L. Wilson, 1865-66. 

For the State Senators, see pages 81-84. 


The name of this county denotes its origin, 
the topography and scenery of the region it 
covers being of the most pronounced Alpine 
type. The word literally is derived froni Alps, 
and this again from the Celtic root alb, signify- 
ing white, referring to the snowy summits. 

For boundaries this county has the State of 
Nevada on north and east, Mono County on the 
east, Mono and Tuolumne counties on the 
south, and Calaveras, Ain«dor, and El Dorado 
on the west. The county was organized by act 
of the Legislature March 16, 1864. 

Alpine is a mass of mountains, cleft by a few 
deep valleys, its altitude ranging from four 
thousand five hundred to eleven thousand feet 
above the level of the sea. Half the county 
lies along the easterly slope of the Sierra 
Nevadas, its westerly boundary being the crest 
of these mountains. Standing to the east is the 
lofty outlying peak known as Silver Mountain, 
connected with the main Sierra by a notched 
and jagged cross chain, which, seen from the 
north, presents a contour diversified along its 
whole extent by precipitous cliffs, turreted 
rocks, and far upshooting spires, resembling at 
f^ome ])oints a vast cathedral, and at others a 

castellated ruin. There is not in the State a 
more picturesque, wild, and broken district than 

Few counties in California are better watered 
and timbered than Alpine. The two main forks 
of the Carson River, having many confluents, 
some of them large streams, traverse the county 
centrally from north to south. These streams 
serve the double purpose of furnishing conduits 
for floating down timber and fuel to the country 
below, and an immense water power, which can 
be made easily available for the propulsion of 
machinery. Although most -of the timber in 
the valley and along the foothills has been cut 
away, the Corastock mines having obtained 
much of their timber and fuel here, the moun- 
tains further back are still covered with heavy 
forests, the inroads made upon them by the 
woodman being inconsiderable. 

Alpine County was represented in the Legis- 
lature of 1885 by R. J. Van Voorhies; in 1887 
by A. J. Gould; and for the other years see 
under head of Ainador and other adjoining 


This county is seventy miles long by twenty 
broad, though narrowing in the eastern portion 
to four or five miles. 

The eastern half of Amador, extending into 
the high Sierras, is elevated and rugged, the 
surface being cut by many deep ravines. In 
this elevated region are several small but deep 
and beautiful lakes, the water cold and of sur- 
passing purity. This part of the county is 
covered with magnificent forests of pine, spruce, 
and cedar. The western half of Amador occupies 
the foothill country, more sparsely timbered, 
but almost as rugged as the mountain section, 
these foothills being the site of the gold mines. 
The upper part of Amador is one mass of 
granite, the geological formation, lower down, 
consisting mostly of slate, belts of limestone, 
and diorite (greenstone). 

Amador, while admirably adapted for fruit 
and vine growing, possessing also some other 


agricultural resources, is notably one of our 
foremost mining counties, its annual bullion 
product being now the largest, probably, of all 
counties in the State. There are in this county 
not less than twenty-five quartz mills, nearly all 
of them in active operation. These mills carry 
a total of over six hundred and fifty stamps. 
Along the broad gold-bearing belt, known as 
the " mother iode " of California, which holds 
its course across the county, the principal mines 
and mills are situated, there being here within 
a distance of fifteen miles, as many as twenty 
large companies engaged in vein mining, the 
properties of nearly ail being equipped with 
first-class plants. 

Besides her quartz mines and auriferous 
deposits, Amador produces some copper and 
coal (brown lignite), and is rich in marble, 
limestone, freestone, etc. At a number of 
localities in the county, notably near the towns 
of Volcano and Oleta, diamonds have been found 
by the miners engaged in gravel washing. Some 
of these diamonds have been of fair size and 
good quality, and occurred in sufiicient quantity 
to have made search remunerative, had the 
gravel accompanying them been more easily 
disintegrated. Some of the stones found here 
sold in the local market for $50 or $60, their 
intrinsic value having been much greater. 

In the famous trip across the mountains, 
Fremont and Carson traveled northward from 
Walker's River, crossing the river bearing 
Carson's name in their course, and making the 
crossing of the summit by way of Truckee and 
Lake Tahoe. The river was then named in 
honor of Carson, the pass and valley being named 
from the river, so that it is quite probable that 
Carson never crossed the mountains at that 
point until 1853, when he came through with a 
division, of United States troops under Colonel 

Tl>e first authentic report of the presence of 
white men in the county was in 1846, when 
Sutter, with a party of Indians and a few white 
men, sawed lumber for a ferry-boat in a cluster 
of sugar pines on the ridge between Sutter and 

Amador creeks, about four miles above the 
town of Amador and Sutter. 

At this time (1846) the country was one 
unbroken forest from the plains to the Sierra 
Nevada, broken only by grassy glades like lone 
valley. Volcano fiats and other places. Tlie 
tall pine waved from every hill, the white and 
black oak alternating and prevailing in tlie 
lower valleys. The timber in the lower foot- 
hills and valleys, though continuous, was so 
scattering that grasses, ferns and otlier plants 
grew between, giving the country tlie appear- 
ance of a well cared-for park. The quiet and 
repose of tliese ancient forests seemed like the 
results of thousands of years of peaceful occupa- 
tion; and at every turn in the trails which the 
emigrants followed, they half expected to see the 
familiar old homestead, orchard, cider-press and 
grain-fields, the glories of the older settlements 
in the eastern States. These things, after years 
of residence, are beginning to appear. How 
much the ancient sylvan gods were astonished 
and shocked at the irruption of the races that 
tore up the ground and cut the trees, the poets 
of some other generation will relate. 

In the latter part of March, 1848, Captain 
Charles M. Weber, of Tuleburg (now Stockton), 
fitted out a prospecting party to search for gold 
in the mountains east of the San Joaquin 
Valley; but haste and want of experience pre- 
vented them from finding any of tiie shining 
metal until theyreached the Mokelumne River in 
this county, when they found gold in ewery gulch 
to the American River. They commenced mining 
at Placerville, on Weber's Creek. Afterward 
they found fine specimens of gold south of the 
Mokelumne, and a mining company was formed 
which afterward gave name to Wood's creek. 
Murphy's Creek, Angel's Camp and other places. 
Then commenced the general working of the 
" Southern Mines," and the rush of miners and 
the general immigration which finally filled the 

In 1850, the two places contesting for the 
county seat were Jackson and Mokelumne Hill. 
After the election, when the first count or 


estimate was made out, Mokelumne Hill was 
said to have been the successful town, and a 
team was sent to Double Springs to remove the 
archives; but a subsequent count by Judge 
Smith made Jackson the county-seat. Smith 
was openly charged with fraud in the second 
counting. The whole affair was probably as 
near a farce as elections ever get to be. The 
seat of justice remained at Jackson until 1852, 
when it was transferred by election to Moke- 
lumne Hill. 

El Dorado County was first organized with 
Dry Creek as its southern boundary: Calaveras 
County, with the same stream as its northern 
limits. From these two territories, Amador 
was afterward carved, first on June 14, 1854, by 
setting off the territory north of the Mokelumne 
from Calaveras, and in 1856-'57, by the addi- 
tion of the strip from El Dorado lying south of 
the Cosumiies, the boundaries further east being 
rather indefinite. 

The first oflicers were William Fowler Smith, 
County Judge; John Hanson, Sheriff; Colonel 
Collier, County Clerk; A. B. Mudge, Treasurer; 
H. C. Carter, Prosecuting Attorney. Pleasant 
Valley, better known as the Double Springs, 
was designated as the county-seat. The courts 
were held in a long tent, eight or ten feet wide, 
imported from China. The first grand jury 
held its session under a big tree. According 
to all accounts, justice was anything but a 
blind goddess. 

In 1853-'54 the Legislature passed an act 
calling for a vote of the people in regard to 
division, fixing the 17th of June following as 
the day and appointing W. L. McKimm, E. W. 
Gemmill, -A. G. Sneath, Alex. Poileau and 
Alonzo Piatt as commissioners to organize the 
new county in case the people voted for a divis. 
ion. The bill was drawn by E. D. Sawyer, 
one of the senators from Calaveras, Charles 
Leake being the other senator. The name 
originally given in the bill for the new county 
wa? Washington; but the name Amador was 
substituted in the Assembly and concurred in 
by the senate. The bill was read three times 

and passed in one day, the motive for such 
haste being expected opposition. A delegation 
from Mokelumne Hill had arrived to oppose 
the measure, but they had been wined until all 
ideas of county seats were obliterated; so a bill 
was hurried through before the drunk was off, 
lest convincing arguments should be urged 
against it when they returned to their senses, 
lone, Sutter Creek, Volcano and Mokelumne 
Hill were the rival aspirants for a county seat. 
The election resulted in giving a small majority 
for a division of the county; but a thorough 
examination revealed the fact that the returns 
from several precincts had been tampered with; 
still it was resolved to proceed and organize a 
new county. The votes for county-seat were, 
for Jackson 1,002; for Volcano, 937; for Sutter 
Creek, 539; and for lone, 496. The two first 
mentioned were therefore declared to be the 
seats of government for the respective counties, 
and real-estate in those towns and in their 
vicinity went up with a boom. 

Amador County was named in honor of Jose 
Maria Amador, who mined in that county in 
1848 with a number of Indians. There was 
nothing remarkable in this man's character or 
position, but his father. Sergeant Pedro Amador, 
was a faithful servant of the Government for 
many years. He died in 1824, at the age of 
eighty- two years. As a common word, amador 
is Spanish for lover. 

The general vote in 1851 was, Democratic, 
1,780; Whig, 1,207. The county ofiicers 
elected in 1852 were: Sam. Booker, District 
Attorney; A. Laforge, Treasurer; Joe Douglass, 
Clerk; Ben. Marshall, Sherift"; C. Creamer, Dis- 
trict Judge. For President of the United 
States,— Pierce, 2,848; Scott, 2,200. In 1853 
the ofiicers of Calaveras County were: A. La- 
forge, Treasurer; Joe Douglass, Clerk; Ben. 
Marshall, Sheriff; Wm. Higby, Prosecuting 
Attorney; and Henry Eno, County Judge. 
Members of the Legislature; Senators — E. D. 
Sawyer and Charles Leake; Assemblymen — 
A. J. Houghtaling, Martin Eowen, W. C. 
Pratt, C. Daniels vice Carson, deceased. The 


vote for Governor was: John Bigler (Demo- 
crat), 2,545; Win. Waldo (Whig), 2,212. 

In 1856 the vote of the county for President 
of the United States was. Democratic, 1,784; 
Know-Nothing, 1,557; and Republican, 657. 
In 1860, Douglas (Northern Democratic), 1,866; 
Breckenridge (Southern Democratic), 945; Bell 
("Constitutional Union"), 178; and Lincoln 
(Republican), 995: total vote for that year, 
3,984. In 1864, Democratic, 1,200; Repub- 
lican, 1,392. In 1868. Democratic, 1,223; Re- 
publican, 1,098. In 1872, Grant, 964; Greeley, 
772. In 1880, Garfield, 1,345 ; Hancock, 1,411. 

The Representatives to the State Assembly 
from Amador County have been : A. B. Andrews, 
1863; John H. Bowman, 1860; R. M. Briggs, 
1858; A. C. Brown, 1863-'66, 1869-'70; 
J. C. Brusie, 1887; L. Brusie, 1873-'74; R. Bur- 
nell, 1861; A. Caminetti, 1883; H. A. Carter, 
1875-'76; Cyrus Coleman, 1871-'72, 1880-81; 
W. W. Cope, 1859; R. C. Downs, 1880; 
Thomas Dunlap, 1875-'78: John A. Eagon, 
1859, 1871-'72; James T. Farley, 1855-'56; 
Miner Frink, Jr., 1865-'66; J. B. Gregory, 
1867-'68; U. S. Gregory, 1885; T. M. Horrell, 
1861; J. M. Johnson, 1869-'70; B. C.Johnson, 
1860; Homer King, 1858; Harvey Lee, 1865- 
'66; J. Livermore, 1857; Robert Ludgate, 1877- 
'78; W. B. Lndlow, 1863-'64; S. A. Nott, 
1875-'78; L. Miller, 1873-'74; J. W. D. Pal 
mer, 1855; George M. Payne, 1867-'68; G. W 
Seaton, 1862; W. M. Seawell, 1857; E. M 
Simpson, 1863; Robert Stewart, 1883; W. H 
Stowers, 1873-'74; C. B. Swift, 1881; Wm. A 
Waddell, 1862; George W. Wagner, 1856; 
Chapman Warkins, 1881. 

In 1855 a band of twelve robbers and mur- 
derers was formed, consisting mainly of Mexicans 
who undertook to execute vengeance upon the 
white settlers disregarding that clause in the 
treaty that required them to respect the rights 
of the Mexicans to their lauds. These brigands 
committed many depredations in this region, 
creating consternation among the people gen- 
erally; for a time business was suspended; ex- 
travagant rumors of the intention of the Mexican 

population to rise and take the country got into 
circulation, and the result was that the Amer- 
icans arose and disarmed and even expelled the 
Mexican people from the town of Rancheria. 
The most criminal class of the Mexicans were 
the horsemen who rode about the country help- 
ing themselves to whatever they wanted, and 
thus obtaining a livelihood without honest 
work. Many outrages were committed. 

The famous bandit Joaquin commenced his 
career in El Dorado County, when it included 
Amador. His first operations were to mount 
himself and party with the best horses in the 
country. Judge Carter, in 1852, had a valuable 
and favorite horse which for safety and frequent 
use was usually kept staked a short distance 
from the house. One morning the horse was 
missing. Cochran, a partner in the farming 
business, started in pursuit of the horse and 
thief. The horse was easily tracked, as in ex- 
pectation of something of this kind the toe corks 
on the shoes had been put on a line with the 
road instead of across it. 

The track led Cochran across Dry Creek, 
across the plains and thence toward the mines 
several miles, where the rider seemed accom- 
panied by several horsemen. Coming to a pub- 
lic house kept by a Mr. Clark, he saw the horse 
with several others hitched at the door. Going 
in, he inquired for the party who rode his horse, 
saying that it had been stolen. He was told 
that it was a Mexican, and was then at dinner 
with several others. Clark, who was a power- 
ful and daring man, offered to arrest him, and, 
suiting the action to the word, entered the 
dining room in company with Cochran, placed 
his hand on Joaquin's shoulder (for it was he) 
and said " You are my prisoner." " I think 
not," said Joaquin, at the same time shooting 
Clark through the head, who fell dead. A 
general fusilade ensued, in which one of the 
Mexicans was shot by the cook, who took part 
in the affair, Cociiran receiving a slight wound. 
The Mexicans mounted their horses and escaped, 
leaving Carter's horse hitched to the fence. 

Charles Boynton was the father of the news- 


3r in Amador County. Tliough many re- 
collect him, few can give an idea of his charac- 
ter, which seemed to be as changeable as a 
kaleidoscope, now foaming over with fun and 
good nature, now seriously discussing political 
economy, now poring over some old volume of 
forgotten history and now going for the gold 
in the bed of the Mokelumne with all has might, 
mind and strength, with a woman's emotion 
and a man's power. He was in some way con- 
nected with the Mokelumne Hill Chronicle; 
at any rate he had sufficient access to the types 
and press to work off several numbers of the 
Owl, 1853-'54, which set the whole country 
crazy with its fun. This, however, being of a 
local nature is now understood only by those 
who remember the incidents referred to. It is 
said that Boynton used to swim the river with 
the edition tied to the top of his head; and that 
he never went over to the Hill without having 
a fight or two on account of the little paper. 

Soon after the organization of the county he 
started the Sentinel, an independent paper 
devoted to no party or clique. O. D. Adaline, 
from Fort Wayne, Indiana, became the proprie- 
tor of it about 1857 or '58, and continued its 
publication until the great fire of 1862, when 
he abandoned it and went to the war. 

The Amador Ledger was started by Thomas 
H. Springer in Volcano in 1855, during the 
boom in that town. It was at first independent, 
then Republican, then Democratic and finally 
Republican again. 

Up to 1860 the placers yielded undiminished 
returns; the quartz mines were beginning to 
show their inexhaustible treasures; agriculture 
had assumed a permanent and profitable char- 
acter; schools were established and in a work- 
ing condition; churches and other beneficial 
institutions were prosperous, proving that soci- 
ety was being built on a healthy basis; and, 
last though not least, the county finances had 
been generally economically managed, so that, 
notwithstanding the unavoidable expenses of 
organization and inaugurating a government, 
moderate taxes were suflicient to liquidate all 

expenses. According to the assessor's report 
there were fifteen saw-mills, cutting 11,500,000 
feet of lumber per year. Thirty- two quartz 
mills crushing yearly 61,000 tons of quartz; 600 
miles of main canal, besided distributors; 10,000 
acres of cultivated land, yielding 6,000 tons of 
hay, 34,800 bu. of wheat, 46,000 of barley and 
28,000 of corn, besides other produce. There 
were nearly 10,000 head of cattle, 1,700 head of 
horses, 6,000 swine, 60,000 fruit trees and 
300,000 grape vines. 

The following notices of mining claims were 
once found posted up: 

"tack Notes thee unter singd clant twoHun- 
tent foot Sought on thes Loat from thee mans 
Neten bushes 

February 12 1863 

Clamte sought ter Pint three 

" Nota Bean Is here By given notes ter unter 
signed clame too cooben clames of too Hunter 
feet square sought Nort too 200 hunter feet 


No 5 
AmTore contry feb 12 63 

Takes Notes the untersiGent chlames North 
400 foot to a mains nee ten Bush for Preubens 
of Mining Coper 

Febuary 12 one thousand 800 63 

Lest people should think this style was owing 
to the absence of the schoolmaster, the follow- 
ing notice for the sale of property in Berkeley 
in the shadow of the university is appended: 
Ferr Sail Tur Mes Ezi. 

Amador claims to be the leading mining 
county in the State. This claim rests upon the 
amount of its output of gold — $2,145,997.63 in 
1885, which sum was larger in 1886, but the 
official figures are not at hand; the small size of 
its mining district, and the almost certain pos- 
sibilities for largel3' increasing the yield of bull- 
ion through the coming into being of new 
mines now being prospected. The mining dis- 
trict is much smaller than any in the State and 
the yield of bullion is exceeded only slightly by 
two counties, both many times larger. 

While gold-bearing quartz is found in almost 


every portion of the county, tlie section tl)at has 
attracted the most attention is comparatively 
small in area. The historical " Mother Lode " 
belts the county entirely across, extending north 
into El Dorado and south into Calaveras, and in 
Amador are found the most important and most 
numerous leads upon it. From Plymouth south 
to the Mokelumne River, there is a succession 
of paying quartz mines, the equal of which is 
found in no other mining district in the world. 
Along this line are most of the leading towns 
and the bulk of the population of the county. 

More than one-sixth of the gold put into cir- 
culation in the State from its mines conies from 
" Little Amador," and the leading mines which 
produce this vast sum yeai'ly are not on the 
market, and never have been, which should 
serve as an indication that legitimate mining is 
here carried on, and the mine owners have the 
utmost confidence in their property. In good 
truth, mining in Amador County is carried on 
for legitimate profit and not for speculation, and 
the results fully justify the confidence of those 
who invest their capital. 

The prevailing idea of the uninitiated as to a 
mining region is that it is a barren, rocky soil, 
where vegetation does not exist and where 
civilization is at a low ebb. No greater fallacy 
could exist than such a view regarding the min- 
ing region of Amador. Green fields and trees 
stretch in every direction; the soil is most fertile, 
and it is by no means an unusual sight that of a 
bearing orchard on top of ground where under- 
neath thousands of dollars in gold are taken out 
monthly. In 18S7 there were 1,132 men em- 
ployed in the mines, operating 582 stamps. 
Besides, there were probably 250 more men en- 
gaged in prospecting and operating smaller 

The Q ranch was taken up in 1850, by James 
Alvord, Dick Tarrier and others. Henry Gib- 
bons, who was a member of Company Q of 
the Ohio volunteers, gave the ranch its name. 
A D ranch was named after a brand used on 
the cattle there. The 2 L was similarly named. 

Perhaps the largest orchard is that of the 


in lone Yalley, containing 120 acres of orchard 
and vineyard, and famous from the early days 
of this county for its great fertility, and as being 
the home station of the Forest line of stages, 
that were such an important factor to the travel- 
ing public in the ante railroad period. Many 
an old resident of the county remembers when 
on a summer's day, after a hot, dusty ride over 
tlie plains from Sacramento, with what delight 
the long, shady road of this beautiful ranch 
would break on the vision. Then it was devoted 
to raising corn; now the greater portion is in 
bearing fruit trees, and the beauty of former 
years is enhanced by the long avenues of differ- 
ent varieties of trees, all pruned in beautiful 
symmetry over a ground clean as a garden. 

There is much more rain in Amador County, 
than in the valley, and during the winter the 
temperature sometimes falls ten to fifteen de- 
grees below freezing point. The desiccating 
and destructive north wind is not so bad as in 
the plains below. While much irrigation is 
not needed for fruit culture in the foot-hills, 
there is very little land in this county which 
cannot be irrigated. The water problem, which 
is a cause of so much trouble and expense in 
the southern part of the State, is no bugbear 
here, as thousands of inches of water that 
could be utilized are running to waste. On the 
south the county is bounded by the Mokelumne 
River, and on the north by the Cosumnes River. 
Jackson, Sutter, Rancheria, Amador and Dry 
Creeks flow through it, having numerous 
branches. Numerous canals and ditches take 
out the water, which primarily is used for min- 
ing purposes, but whicii can again be taken up 
and used for agriculture. The McLaughlin 
ditch property of Volcano in its various 
branches carries 3,000 inches of water, nearly 
all of which could be applied to irrigating the 
twelve miles width of country between Volcano 
and Jackson. The Amador Canal carries 4,000 
inches from the Mokelumne River to the mines, 
and could all be utilized below the mineral 
belt, after it has done service in running the 


mills, for purposes of irrigation. So could the 
Empire Mine Ditch, of Plymouth, which takes 
water from the Cosumnes River. Other ditches 
take water from the different creeks, and in all 
the present water supply of the county will 
not fall short of 13,000 to 15,000 inches. This 
supply could be largely increased by conserving 
the supply in the higher Sierras by means of 
reservoirs. The water supply is innnense and 
capable of supplying the wants of many times 
the present population, and its purity is not 
excelled, as the major portion of it is fed from 
the snow-clad mountains to the east. In the 
towns of Jackson, Sutter, Amador and Plym- 
outh, the water supply for domestic purposes 
is lurnished by the Amador Canal. 

The grains and deciduous fruits do well in 
Amador County; and line timber is inexhaust- 
ible. Commencing four miles above Volcano 
the forests run up thirty miles into the high 
Sierras. They are of spruce, fir, yellow and 
the beautiful and rare sugar pine, towering 
from 200 to 300 feet skyward, many feet in 
diameter, and which provide a quality of lum- 
ber whose superior is not to be found. These 
forests are ample for the requirements of the 
county forever, and it would require very heavy 
export drafts to cause any perceptible diminu- 
tion of the supply. Four saw-mills supply the 
local market. 

In 1887 $5 to $8 per ucre would buy good 
uncleared fruit land, and $10 to $30 improved 
property near the towns; but the land is of 
course rising permanently in value. 

The taxable property in 1887 was over four 
million dollars, and the debt of the county was 
but $11,000. Population, about 4,000. 

The Amador branch of the Central Pacific 
Railroad runs from Gait to lone, within twelve 
miles of the principal towns of the county. 
The San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Narrow 
Gauge Railroad runs through the northern 
part of San Joaquin County to a point within 
twelve miles of Jackson. Both these roads 
are now operated by the Southern Pacific Com- 

The location of the county-seat at Jackson, 
in 1854, gave that place great prosperity; but 
the town lost heavily by a flood in 1861, which 
carried away some twenty houses and destroyed 
property to the amount of about $50,000; and 
August 28, the very next year, the place was 
almost totally destroyed by fire. In 1878 an- 
other flood occurred, causing as great a loss as 
that of 1861. For several years past Jackson 
has been improving substantially. Besides the 
court-house, it has also the county hospital, 
erected in 1887 at a cost of $8,000 to $10,000. 
Three newspapers were then published there, — 
the Sentinel, Ledger and Dispatch. The Gin- 
occhio Brothers have a large Alden fruit-drier. 

lone Valley, one of the most beautiful in 
California, is situated about twelve miles west 
of the county-seat, and is formed by the junc- 
tion of Dry Creek, Sutter Creek and Jackson 
Creek, soon after they leave the mountains. 
The tirst white men to settle in this valley were 
William Hicks and Moses Childers, in 1848, 
who had crossed the plains five years previously 
in company with J. P. Martin. Hicks built 
the first house, an adobe covered with poles and 
hides, on the knoll where Judge Carter's house 
now stands. He and Martin bought cattle in 
Southern California and fattened them here for 
the market. The grass was " as high as a man's 
head." In the spring of 1849 Hicks converted 
his house into a store, the first in the valley, 
with Childers as manager. 

This valley was named before the town was 
started, by Thomas Brown, who had read a his- 
torical romance of Bulwer entitled Hercu- 
laneum, or The Last Days of Pompeii, one of 
whose heroines was a beautiful girl named 
lone. The town, however, was first named 
Bed-Bug, and then Freeze-Out. It is 270 feet 
above tide water. 

The first flour-mill in lono Valley was built 
in 1855, l)y Reed, Wooster & Lane. There are 
now two well-equipped flouring-mills. This 
town has the fair-grounds of the district agri- 
cultural association. 

Sutter Creek, four miles north of Jackson, is 



one of the prettiest towns in the foot-hills. 
Quartz-mining lias recently been revived there. 
Two foundries are in operation, also an ice- 
factory, etc. 

Amador City, a mile and a half north of 
Sutter Creek, is also a thriving town. 

Drytown, three miles north of Amador, is in 
the " warm belt," and most favorably situated 
for fruit-raising. Sulphuret works exist here, 
and also at Sutter Creek. 

Plymouth, three miles farther on, is also pros- 
perous, is the seat of a consolidated mining com- 
pany which employs 225 men, mostly men of 
families. Their mine has paid nearly 82,000,- 
000 in dividends. There are also other mines 
in that vicinity. 

At Oleta. six miles east of Plymouth, the 
curious-minded can see two genuine cork trees 
[Quercus suhei'), twenty-eight years old. 

Clinton, six miles east of Jackson, is in the 
midst of a fine vineyard section. 

Volcano is a mining town twelve miles from 

Pine Grove, Aqueduct City, Buena Vista and 
Lancha Plana are other towns in Amador 



In the person of General John Bidwell is 
exemplified, perhaps more fully than ever be- 
fore, the adage that truth is stranger than 
fiction. It does not seem possible to one who 
meets him for the first time and marks his up- 
right form, elastic step and military bearing, 
that he has been a witness of and actor in the 
chief parts of all the scenes that go to make up 
the history of California, from the quiet pastoral 
days of Mexican rule and the mission domina- 
tion, through the tremendously exciting times 
of the gold discovery and the invasion of the 
Argonauts, down to the present with its wealth 
of orchard and grain field. Yet such is a fact, 
and indeed amid all the people of the State, no 
one has been a more effective worker for prog- 
ress, or deserves so highly the thanks and ap- 

preciation of the people than General Bidwell. 
His life has been a romance; yet through it all 
there runs such a thread of reality that one rec- 
ognizes from the first the presence of a master- 
mind and listens intently to the " strange, true 
tale." We present here, as a leading figure in 
our sketches of pioneer California biography, a 
short outline of the General's life, but from in- 
formation obtained from him is made up a 
great part of our jiicture of early days and early 
doings; and we take this opportunity to record 
our obligation. 

General Bidwell was born August 5, 1819, 
in Chautauqua County, New York, of the sturdy 
New England stock that has made itself felt 
throughout the history of this continent, and 
has always been in the van of progress. His 
father, Abraham Bidwell, was a native of Con- 
necticut, and a farmer of no great means, but 
of thoroughgoing and energetic, traits that 
have been still further developed in his son. 
His mother, whose maiden name was Clarissa 
Griggs, was a native of Massachusetts, a mem- 
ber of the old family of that name. His youth- 
ful life was full of change, very few opportu- 
nities being presented for education or advance- 
ment. The principal and last schooling he 
received was obtained at Kingsville Academy, in 
Ashtabula County, Ohio, walking 300 miles to 
reach it, and working a whole summer to get 
means to go through, at wages of $7 a month. 
This lack, however, has been no real disadvan- 
tage to the General, for he has learned so well 
from the school of experience and of wide and 
general reading, that there are few men better 
informed or with better applied knowledge 
than he. 

In 1839, at the age of nineteen years, he left 
his home to seek his fortune in the West, 
single-handed and without means other than a 
brave heart, backed by right resolves. He went 
first to Iowa and to the rich new lands just 
thrown open to settlement on the western 
frontiers of the State of Missouri. Here in this 
lovely spot he intended to make his home, and 
took up some lands. This was in Platte County, 


at a point about nine miles t'roin Fort Leaven- 
worth, but on the Missouri side of the river. 
The General secured a claim to 160 acres, and 
then went down to St. Louis for supplies. The 
trip was a long one, oecnpyiiig about four weeks. 
Meantime another jumped his land, and having 
built a cabin his claim was upheld at law, when 
an attempt was made in the winter to prove it. 
While in the state of indecision caused by this 
fact, he met a man who had been to the then 
^ unknown lands of California. He described it 

(_ as a paradise, and great enthusiasm was aroused 
among the people, some 500 signing an agree- 
ment to arm and set out for the western shore. 
Just at this time Farnham's celebrated letter 
detracting from California was published, and 
as a result the people all except himself backed 
out, and for a time General Bidwell found him- 
self unable to reach the place of rendezvous. 
He had a wagon but no horses. As luck would 
have it a certain George Henshaw happened 
along on horseback, traveling westward in 
search for health. He had a horse and a little 
money (twelve or fourteen dollars), which he 
placed at the disposal of our adventurous young 
hei'o. He traded the horse for a yoke of oxen 
for his wagon, and a one-eyed mule for the 
invalid, and finally reached the rendezvous, to 
find only a few gathered. 

Eventually a party of sixty-nine men, women 
and children, set out to attempt the unknown 
wilderness. They fortunately obtained the 
guidance of a missionary party then on its way 
to the West, and with them started on the long 
journey. This was in the spring of 1841, when 
young Bidwell was in his twenty-second year 
only. It must be rememl)ered that this was 
the first train to venture upon the dreary trip 
across the plains. The whole country was prac- 
tically unknown, even the maps being far 
astray. On them Salt Lake was represented to 
be 300 or 400 miles long and with two immense 
outlets to the Pacific. Indeed, a friend of Gen- 
eral Bidwell seriously advised him to take along 
tools to make canoes, in which to descend one 
of those rivers to the ocean. The route taken 

was first up the Platte River, thence a day's 
journey up the South Fork, then across to the 
North Fork and up it to the Sweetwater and its 
head. Thence over to Green River and across 
to one of its forks, and up to the divide separat- 
ing the waters that find their way to the Pacific 
Ocean, down the Colorado River from those 
flowing into Salt Lake, by the Bear River, the 
principal stream from the north; thence along 
the Bear River to Salt Lake. The missionary 
party left them at Soda Fountain at the most 
northern bend of Bear River, and from that 
point they explored the way for themselves. 

Meantime the party had divided, all but 
thirty-two of them striking oil" for Oregon. 
The remainder, nothing daunted, pushed their 
way into the unknown. It must be remembered 
that Fremont's survey was not made until two 
years later, and at that time all the well-known 
rivers and other land-marks of the country 
were unnamed. They were finally forced to 
abandon their wagons at a short distance beyond 
Salt Lake, and after manufacturing as best they 
could pack saddles for mules, horses and even 
some of their oxen, they pushed on, — one of the 
most adventurous journeys that history has ever 
known. It was the fall of the year and the air 
was full of smoke, so that they could get no 
clear view ahead, and consequently were unable 
to pick out the road with ease. They pushed on, 
nevertheless, crossed the Sierras, being the first 
party that ever did so, to the head waters of the 
Stanislaus River, and made their way down to the 
San Joaquin Valley. At that time, General Bid- 
well thinks there were not over 100 foreigners 
(Americans, British, Germans and other 
nationalities) from San Diego to Sonoma. 

It was in camp at Mount Diablo that General 
Bidwell first heard of General Sutter, who at 
that time had begun a settlement (and afterward 
erected a fort) near the Sacramento River, 
wifhin the present capital city of the State, to 
which the General made his way. Since that 
time General BidwelTs life has been a series of 
notable, stirring events. He engaged and re- 
mained in the employ of Sutter; enlisted in 


•defense of California against insurrectioii of the 
native chiefs Castro and Alvarado, in the revolt 
of 1844 and 1845, and acted as aid-de-camp to 
General Sutter till the war ended by the ex- 
pulsion of the Mexican Governor Micheltorena- 
Near what was supposed to be the closing scenes 
■of the Mexican war in California, in the latter 
part of 1846, young Bidwell, then but twenty- 
seven years of age, was appointed by General 
Fremont as Magistrate of San Luis Key district. 
In 1849, at the age of thirty, he was chosen a 
member of the iirst Constitutional Convention 
of California, but owing to his absence in the 
mountains he did not receive notice in time 
■and failed to attend. In the same year he was 
-elected to the Senate of the first California 
Legislature. In 1850 Governor Burnett ap- 
pointed General Bidwell and Judge Schoolcraft 
to convey a block of native gold-bearing quartz 
to "Washington, as California's tribute to the 
Washington monument. In 1860 he was a 
delegate to the National Democratic Convention 
at Charleston. Three years later he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Stanford to command the 
Fifth Brigade, California militia, serving till 
the close of the civil war. In 1864 he was a de- 
legate to National Republican Convention at 
Baltimore, which renominated Aliraham Lin- 
coln, and on the committee to notify the Presi- 
dent of his renomination. In 1864 also he was 
nominated and elected to the Thirty-ninth 
Congress. Two years later he might have had 
the renomination, but he had decided not to be 
a candidate. In 1875 he was nominated for 
Governor of California on the anti-monopoly or 
non-partisan State ticket. He was a delegate 
to the anti-Chinese convention held in Sacra- 
mento in March, 1886. Besides these he was 
the recipient of many other honors equally 

The following are General Bidwell's political 
sentiments as expressed by himself: " My 
politics are intensely Republican, in the sense 
of that term as used to bring that party into 
existence in its mission to preserve the Union, 
but I am more than a Republican; I am a Pro- 

hibitionist, a native American and anti-Chinese, 
in the sense of wholesome restriction of all \in- 
desirable foreign immigration, and anti-monop- 
olist in the truest sense of the term." 

Personally, General Bidwell is tender, kind 
and benevolent to a fault, and a strict Presby- 
terian. By his benefactions he has acquired the 
sobriquet of the " Father of Chico." Among 
his most noteworthy donations are a $10,000 
site for the North California Forestry Station, 
a $15,000 site for the Northern State Branch 
Normal School, and also valuable building sites 
for the different churches, the Presbyterian of 
Chico, the Roman Catholic, the Methodist Epis- 
copal, the Methodist Episcopal South and the 
African Methodist Episcopal, each of them re- 
ceiving as much land as they asked for, often 
supplemented by liberal money donations. 

The Chico Flouring Mill, erected and carried 
on by General Bidwell, and one of the famous 
mills of the State, were the first water mills in 
the Sacramento Valley, being preceded only by 
Peter Lassen's horse-mill. The General began 
also at an early day to set out his magnificent 
orchards. These now cover 1,500 acres of land, 
and are being yearly increased. They are among 
the oldest, the most extensive and the most 
valuable in the State, some of the older trees 
being of gigantic size. His estate, the Rancho 
del Arroyo Chico, is one of the finest stretches 
of land on the continent. It is largely devoted 
to grain-raising, but the portion near Chico is 
magnificently improved, the walks, drives and 
grounds surrounding his handsome residence 
being a worthy home domain. It is a pleasing 
combination of park, garden and orchard, the 
idea being to preserve as far as possible the 
wilderness and the native growths. The wonder- 
ful old fig-tree before the house should be espe- 
cially noted. Banyan-like it has sent its branches 
downward to the earth, where they have again 
struck root. A space of nearly 8,000 square 
feet is shaded now, — a curious and interesting 
freak of nature. 

We conclude this sketch with a little incident 
that shows most clearly the high standard of 


morality and the conscientioiis determination 
for the right which marks General Bidwell at 
once as one of California's bravest and most 
worthy citizens. Some years ago he set out to 
make pure wine for communion use and similar 
purposes, being advised to do so by clergymen 
and others. To that end he employed a first- 
class wine-maker. After an absence of two 
years he returned home to find that sure enough 
he had as pure wine as is made, having in 
storage about 1,000 gallons of the best quality 
besides considerable material for interior grades. 
He was not long in discovering, however, that 
his wine-maker had numerous friends whose 
number seemed constantly increasing. In fact 
their business with him was so urgent that they 
had to come while he was engaged in the wine 
cellar! He observed too that their business 
kept them a good while, and with his own eyes 
lie saw that men began to go away with unsteady 
steps. It then dawned upon him that he was 
actually engaged in the business of manufactur- 
ing drunkards. His tirst impulse was to knock 
the casks in the head and spill the wine on the 
ground. From this he was dissuaded, however, 
on the plea the wine would be useful in a hos- 
pital at San Francisco. As soon as he learned 
that this was the case, he sent all the good wine 
as a present to that institution, while the poorer 
stuff he had manufactured into vinegar. He 
then dug up and burnt all the wine grapes and 
washed his hands of the whole business. 


By Jesse Wood, ex-Superintendent of Schools and 
editor of the Chico Chronicle-Record. 

Note. — Items have been interspersed by the editor of 
this volume from other sources. 

In company with Peter Lassen and James 
Benheim, General Bidwell made a trip up 
the Sacramento Valley as far as Red Bluff, 
in pursuit of a party bound for Oregon, to 
recover some stolen animals. After his re- 
turn from this trip Mr. Bidwell made a map 
from memory of the coimtry passed over, show- 

ing its extent and the streams flowii^g into the- 
Sacramento Kiver. 

From this map various locations of land were- 
made and grants obtained from the Mexican 
Government. Peter Lassen selected his grant 
on Deer Creek, in what is now Tehama County. 

In 184-1 Edward A. Farwell and Thomas 
Fallon settled on the Farwell grant, on which a- 
part of the city of Chico now stands. Samuel 
Neal and David Dntton settled on Butte Creek,, 
seven miles south of the present site of Chico. 
William Dickey settled on the north side of 
Chico Creek, on the "Rancho del Arroyo Chico,'- 
the present property of the above named John 
Bidwell. A number of other locations were 
soon made in all parts of the great Sacramento 
Valley. These were simply great cattle ranges, 
whose boundaries were defined by creeks,, 
rivers and mountains, and their extent esti- 
mated in leagues. 

The war with Mexico came on, and many, if 
not all of the above named settlers were engaged 
in it. Then came the discovery of gold, which 
occurred in January, 1848, at Sutter's saw- 
mill, away up in the Sierras, east of Sutter's- 
Fort or Sacramento. It did not take long for 
the news to spread. In March, John Bidwell 
went down from his Chico ranch to Sacramento, 
learned of the discovery and took some specimens- 
to San Francisco. They were pronounced genu- 
ine by Isaac Humplirey, an experienced miner 
from Georgia, who at once went up to the place 
of discovery, constructed rockers and went to 
work, as did numerous others. . 

Returning from San Francisco, Mr. Bidwell.. 
whose title of Major, General and Honorable 
have subsequently been wou, visited the mill 
and satisfied himself that all the gold of Califor- 
. nia was not at that one place. On his way home 
he camped on Feather River, where the town of 
Hamilton afterward stood, three miles east of 
the present town of Biggs, and there washed a 
few pans of sand obtained from the margin of 
the stream. A few '• colors " or scales of gold 
was the result, harbinger of the va«t fortunes of 
gold stibsequently found in that stream. 


General Bidwell went home and immediately 
fitted out an expedition, composed cliiefly of 
Indians, and returned to the Feather River, 
twenty-live miles distant. After prospecting 
at various places, finding gold everywhere, he 
located at the place known as Bidwell 's Bar, an 
extensive sand-bar named after him. The 
bend of the stream was found to be fabulously 
rich in gold. The quantities of the precious 
metal which he and his Indians took away 
tradition estimates only by the donkey-load. 

The news of Bidwell's rich find soon spread 
to the various ranches in the valley, and there 
was a general rash to the Feather River. 
Miners also came from the lower counties. 
Thus, in 1848, mining camps were located at 
Bidwell's Bar, Long's Bar, Thompson's Flat, 
Potter's Bar, Adamstown and other places. In 
1849 the great tide of the Argonauts came on, 
and Feather River, with its numerous branches, 
became the scene of great mining activity. 
Towns of from 1,000 to 3,000 population sprung 
up at Bidwell's Bar, Thompson's Flat, Long's 
Bar and Oroville, while lesser towns were 
sprinkled along the various branches and creeks. 
These mining towns have all since disappeared, 
only Oroville remaining, as the present county- 
seat of Butte County and the center of a fruit- 
growing district. 


Such was the state of things — large cattle- 
ranges in the valley and mining camps along 
the streams in the mountains — when the organ- 
ization of the State took place. September 1, 
1849, the Constitutional Convention assembled 
in Monterey. This entire section of the State 
was allotted to have eight delegates, of which 
John Bidwell was one, though he did not 
attend. When the Constitution was adopted 
and members of the Legislature chosen, Gen- 
eral Bidwell was elected to the Senate. During 
the session of the tirst Legislature, February 
18, 1850, the State was divided into counties. 
Butte County was laid off by boundary lines 
extending from the mouth of Honcut Creek 

west to the Sacramento River, up the river to 
Red Bluff, east to the State line, along the 
State line north to the line of Yuba County, 
and westward to the point of beginning, em- 
bracing the present counties of Butte and 
Plumas, and a portion of Tehama and Lassen. 

March 2, 1850, an act was passed providing 
that county elections should be held on the 
first Monday in April, 1850. No formal notice 
of this came to the miners along Feather River, 
but some of them at Long's Bar heard of it, 
held an election, and elected a full set of county 
officers out of their own camp. Then it was 
discovered that the first Monday happened to 
be April 1, and a witty miner (" Old Dick 
Stuart") proclaimed it a "fool." It was ac- 
cordingly so accepted by the candidates, and no 
report of the election was forwarded to head- 

Other counties made similar failures, and 
therefore another election was ordered to be 
held on the 10th of June, 1850, at which 
officers for Butte County were elected as fol- 
lows: Sheriff, J. Q. Wilbur; County Attorney, 
J. M. Burt; Recorder, T. J. Jenkins; Treasurer, 
J. M. Kerr; Assessor, J. C. Flint; County 
Clerk, W. T. Sexton; District Attorney, J. W. 
McCorch; Coronor, E. Wallingford; County 
Judge, Moses Bean. Total vote cast, 900. 

At this election Bidwell's Bar was chosen 
as the county-seat, and so -remained until the 
following 28th of September, when another 
election was held and Hamilton chosen as the 

[Judge Bean filed a report which gave Ham- 
ilton the county-seat " by a large majority." 
At that time the town had two taverns, one 
store and one blacksmith shop. October 4, 
1850, the Court of Sessions held its first term 
there, in an old shake-house belonging to 
" Mother Nichols," a widow who lived in one 
corner of it.] 

In 1853 Hamilton declined as a town, and 
Bidwell Bar was populous. By good or bad 
management a bill was obtained from the Leg- 
islature removing the county-seat of Butte 


again to Bidwell's Bar, and the final decree so 
removing it was made August 3, 1853, by the 
Court of Sessions. 

In the winter of 1855-'56 an act was again 
passed in the Legislature providing for an 
election in Butte County to permanently fix the 
county seat. The election was held April 19, 
1856, and Ophir, since called Oroville, was 
chosen. Since then, in 1875, an attempt has 
been made to remove the county seat to Chico, 
but without success. 

In the first organization of the counties, the 
territory was so little known that many queer 
boundary lines were decreed. From the Sacra- 
mento Eiver to the eastern line of the State 
was a frequent and most absurd boundary, thus 
cutting up the valley into little patches and 
tacking each patch to the tail of a long strip of 
mountainous country, and, curiously enough, 
making the tail wag the dug by locating the 
county-seat in the valley portion and generally 
at the extreme end. A little stream that 
scarcely floated a feather during the summer, as 
the Iloncut, between the Yuba and Butte, would 
separate the contiguous and easily accessible 
sections of valley land, while within the limits 
of the county to which each belonged were to 
be found high mountains whose deep snows 
almost severed the one part from the other for 
months at a time. 

Butte County was among those that were 
awkwardly carved out by the Legislature in 
the first act organizing the counties. It was at 
first a parallelogram about the size of the States 
of Vermont and Delaware combined, and 
Colusa County was attached to it for judicial 

By what was claimed as a mistake the three 
Buttes were placed within the limits of Butte 
County in 1852, and tl.'ey were restored to Sut- 
ter County in 1854. In the latter year also 
Plumas County was carved out of Butte, 
taking fully two-thirds of their territory; and 
Plumas then included the southern portion of 
Lassen. The northern portion of Lassen and 
all of Modoc and Siskiyou were originally a 

portion of Shasta County. Butte is a French 
word, signifying hill or mound. The Marys- 
ville Buttes were named by a party of Hudson 
Bay trapjiers under Michael La Frambeau, who 
visited the country in 1829. The county was 
named after the peaks, which it was then sup- 
posed to contain, but which are really in Sutter 

The first court-house was erected at a cost of 
$14,000, and in June, 1876, an addition was 
made at an expense of nearly $14,000 more. 

The first county hospital was the Western 
Hotel at Lynchburg, bought for the purpose in 
1857, and Dr. T. J. Jenkins was the first resi- 
dent physician. In 1877-'78 the old institu- 
tion was abandoned and a fine new two-story 
brick structure was erected at Oroville for the 
"County Infirmary," as the legal term became. 
The cost of this was $16,000. 

Bean, the first county judge, opened the first 
court at Chico, the disputed county-seat, July 
17, 1850, but only to adjourn to Bidwell's Bar. 
Bean had an overweaning consciousness of 
power and dignity. At a session of his court 
a question came up similar to one which had 
been decided by the superior court adversely 
to his decision, on appeal. An attorney re- 
minding him of the fact, he ran his fingers 
through his hair and exclaimed, "Well, I know 
it; but if the superior courts of this State see 
proper want to make fools of themselves that is 
no reason that this court should. Mr. Clerk, 
enter up judgment." 

In 1860 Butte County issued $200,000 in 
bonds in aid of the California Northern Rail- 

Judge W. S. Sherwood died at Alleghany, 
Sierra County, June 26, 1870. He was a resi- 
dent of Butte County until 1854, when he 
removed to San Francisco, where he practiced 
law for a time, and in 1868 removed to Sierra 

Judge Warren T. Sexton, an early-day county 
clerk and district attorney, was a native of New 
Jersey, educated at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 
the State University. He died April 11, 1878. 


The Butte Record, the first newspaper in the 
county, was started at Bid well's Bar, November 
12, 1853, by C. W. Stiles & Co. In 1856 it 
was moved to Orovilie, and in 1874 to Chico, 
and this year it started a daily edition. 

In 1866 C. G. Lincoln started the North 
Californian in Orovilie. He added a daily 
the next year, naming it the Butte Democrat; 
but after the ensuing election it was absorbed 
by the Record. In July, 1859, the Butte 
Democrat appeared in Orovilie, with A. M. 
Wyman as editor and proprietor. In 1860 the 
material was purchased by Mr. Wentworth, who 
changed the name to Orovilie Weekly Union. 
Mr. Langmore bought the material in 1863, 
moved it to Susanville and published the Soge 

Edward Augustus Farwell, a Boston printer 
and sailor, came in 1842 from Honolulu. In 
1843 he was naturalized, and the next year ob- 
tained the grant of Arroyo Chico rancho, Butte 
County. In 1845 he went East overland, seek- 
ing relief for his weak eyes, returning in 1848, 
and next for a time was in charge of Sutter's 
launch, running on the Sacramento. He died 
in San Francisco, in January, 1849. 

The Mexican land grants for Butte County, 
which have been confirmed by the United States, 
have been; Esquon, 22,194 acres, to Samuel 
Neal in I860; Farwell rancho, 22,194 acres, to 
James Williams and others in 1868; Fer- 
nandez, 17,806 acres, to D. Z. Fernandez and 
others in 1867; Llano Seco, 17,767 acres, to C. 
J. Brenham and others in 1860. In Butte and 
Sutter counties: Boga, 22,185 acres, to T. O. 
Larkin in 1865. In Butte and Tehama coun- 
ties: Bosquejo, 22,206 acres, to Peter Lassen in 

The Rancho del Arroyo Chico, of 22,000 
acres, is the finest in the county. The first 
house erected here was built in 1849 by John 
Bidwell, the present owner of the place. It 
was burned in 1852, at which time the old 
adobe was built which stood for many years. 
For a long time the land was used exclusivel3' 
for stock-raising on a large scale. In time the 

land became too valuable for pasture, and then 
several thousand acres were sown to wheat and 
barley. An average of forty bushels to the 
acre was not uncommon. Ordinary farm crops 
being diminished, Bidwell began farming it on 
the Eastern plan, with satisfactory results, 
having the most productive ranch in the State. 
In 1852 he set out the first fruit-trees. The 
present elegant mansion wa» built in 1865-'68, 
at a cost of $60,000. There are more than 
fifty -five buildings on the ranch, including 
many barns and residences. The observatory 
and water-tower is 100 feet high. A large 
fruit-drying escablishment is on the estate. 
Most of the ground is now in orchard and vine- 
yard, and great attention is paid to the cultiva- 
tion of flowers. 

August 14, 1859, Chauncey Wright, work- 
ing at Dogtown for the hydraulic company, 
consisting of Phineas Willard, Ira Wetherbee 
and Wyatt M. Smith, piped out a chunk of 
gold weighing fifty-four pounds and worth $10,- 
690. The same day $3,000 in smaller lumps 
were taken out by the same company. Placer 
raining of gold has been the most useful per- 
haps of all in this part of California, much 
more important than quartz mining. In May, 
1864, a miner found three Cherokee diamonds, 
named after Cherokee Flat, where they were 
found. Soon two more were found. Value of 
the five diamonds, $375. About sixty have 
been found since, many of them worth $50 to 

Manoah Pence, on New Year's eve, 1851, 
hospitably entertained six or seven Indians at 
his house, but with suspicions. Next morning 
he found the Indians slipping away with all 
his cattle. Pursuing them, he sncceeded in 
wounding the chief, but not so as to disable 
him. Some time afterwarcf the chief was 
caught and hanged without process of law, in 
urder to save Pence's life, which had been 
threatened by that villainous savage. 

In 1853 the Tiger Indians stole cattle from 
Clark's ranch. The chief, " Express Bill," was 
caught by a company of seven men, under 


Pence acting as Captain, and hung. The com- 
pany went on until they found a camp of about 
thirty warriors, and heroically attacked thetn. 
The Indians had nothing but bows and arrows, 
and could do but little damage. Fighting, be- 
hind trees, was continued during the forenoon, 
and in the afternoon reinforcements arrived, 
and the whole band of Indians captured. 
Twenty-live of the redskins were killed in this 
fight. During the fall ot the same year the 
Indians killed ten Chinamen on the west branch 
of Feather River. Pence was again summoned 
and chosen as Captain of a company of thirty 
whites and thirty Chinese. Tiie Indians were 
found and from forty to sixty sent to the 
"happy liunting-grounds." At various times 
since then many depredations and even murders 
have been committed by tlie red savages. 

In 1863 an organization of white men was 
efiected, under N. H. Wells, of Yankee Hill, 
who proceeded to remove the Indians from 
Butte County to a reservation; but in 1865 
some of them returned and committed further 
depredations. The principal raids by the In- 
dians were headed by a brave named Bigfoot. 


Since 1850 to this date (May, 1890) a gradual 
change has been wrought in all parts of the 
county. Tehama, Lassen and Plumas counties 
have been organized, leaving Butte with an area 
of 1,764 square miles, about equally divided 
between valley and mountain lands. Mining 
was the all-absorbing interest in 1850, but now 
it is of third or fourth importance. The great 
stock ranges have been transformed into grain 
fields and orchards. Along the foothills where 
the mines were in 1850-'60, are small farms, 
orchards and vineyards. Higher up in the 
mountains are large lumber mills. Mining 
yet continues in favored localities, of placer, 
quartz and river-channel mining, ranging ' in 
importance from the lone mirier with his pick, 
shovel and rocker, to the immense company 
whose operations run up to millions. Fruit- 
growing has within the last ten years become a 

leading industry and is rapidly on the increase. 
On the Rancho Chico there are about 1,600 
acres of orchard and vineyard of raisin grapes. 
Within a radius of five miles around Chico 
there are perhaps 4,000 acres of orchard. 
Around Oroville and along the Feather River, 
adjacent to Biggs and Gridley, extensive orch- 
ards are being planted. 

Stock-raising has also made a great growth. 
From extensive cattle ranges and sheep pastures 
the tendency is to the rearing of more select 
varieties. The finest stocks of horses and cattle 
have been introduced. Alfalfa fields have been 
planted, and stock-raising been elevated from a 
mere matter of herding to the most thorough 
and scientific breeding. 


Butte County has been most abundantly 
blessed by nature with material resources of 
every kind. The western half of the county is 
a vast agricultural plain of rich alluvial soil, 
skirted by the Sacramento River, into which 
flow the Feather River and numerous large 
creeks and smaller streams. The eastern half 
is a gradual mountain slope, rising from tho 
valley in gentle slopes and spreading out a vast 
region of valuable forests, small farms and 
mines. Water power is abundant, and facili- 
ties for irrigation are sufiicient to accommodate 
ten times the area. While nearly all the in- 
dustries common to the Pacific coast are already 
established here, there is unlimited opportunity 
for their increase and further development. 
Estimating the present population at 25,000, 
there is every reason to expect that the near 
future will bring a doubling and quadrupling 
of that number, and yet have ample opportunity 
for growth and increase. When people settle 
down to use nature's resources for the legiti- 
mate purpose of "making a living," there will 
be universal prosperity; but so long as all are 
striving to "get rich" there will be overreach- 
ing and oppression and want. Nearly all the 
large "rancho" grants spoken of on a previous 
page renjain to this day unbroken, covering 


more thnn one-half of the richest agricultural 
region of the county. Several of them have 
been somewhat subdivided by being leased out 
to tenants; but generally this is done in 500- 
acre and 1,000-acre tracts. As population in- 
creases and the demand for small farms is 
made, there will be subdivision. It is now de- 
sired, but cannot come until population de- 
mands it. Land is plenty and resources of all 
kinds are plentiful; but it takes a share of capi- 
tal, with a degree of industry and intelligence, 
to use the resources. Government lands are no 
more to be had. Cheap lands are not to be 
found easily. Good lands are abundant. 

[The State Mineralogist says that Butte is 
the only county in the State showing an almost 
equal importance in an agricultural and a min- 
ing point of view, as nearly every branch of 
agriculture is here represented; so is every kind 
of gold-mining successfully pursued, — quartz, 
hydraulic, drift, and river bed operations being 
all successfully prosecuted, the latter on a large 

The Big Bend Tunnel, constructed for drain- 
ing the bed of the Feather River, is not only 
the largest enterprise of the kind in California, 
but the largest probably ever undertaken for a 
similar purpose. The operations of the Spring 
Valley Hydraulic Company, at Cherokee, in 
this county, are also among the largest now 
carried on in the State. In this locality, too, 
was picked up a majority of the more valuable 
diamonds found in California. In Butte, the 
pliocene river system, the principal sites of the 
drift mines, meets with its greatest development. 
This County has in the past been a large pro- 
ducer of the royal metal, and, to use a scriptural 
expression, " the gold of that land is good," 
much of that obtained from the placer mines 
having ranged from 945 to 980 in fineness. 

Several of the useful minerals also occur in 
this county; some of them under conditions 
that promise to render them of much economic 
value. Coal, claimed to be of the Cannel 
variety, was discovered some years ago near 
Feather River. Having l)een but little opened. 

neither the extent of this deposit nor its value 
as a fuel has been ascertained. Near the same 
river has been found a bed of marble of close 
texture and variegated hue, but it also remains 
unopened, with not much known in regard to 
its value. Clays, suitable for making bricks, 
and perhaps those of a finer kind, are plentiful 
in Butte.J 


These vary according to the quality of the 
land, distance from railroad and character of 
improvements from $10 to $250 per acre. In 
the immediate vicinity of Chico, where the land 
is sold in five-acre lots, almost the same as town 
lots, and all of it very rich, the latter figure is 
obtained. No good land, however, can be had 
for less than $25 an acre anywhere within 
twelve miles of the railroad. But when it is 
considered what these lands will produce, and 
how many advantages of climate and social con- 
ditions are attached, the lands in Butte County 
are cheap at the above prices. 


All the grains and all the fruits common to 
the Temperate zone grow in Butte County in 
most luxuriant abundance. On Rancho Chico 
there is scarcely a fruit, shrub or flower known 
amongst men which has not been propagated 
successfully. The citrus fruits also are pro- 
duced in great abundance, bearing heavy crops 
every year. This industry, however, is yet in 
its infancy. The apricot, that princess of early 
fruits, is one of our leading varieties, growing 
luxuriantly and bearing abundantly. Cherries 
are grown in quantities and shipped to Port- 
land, Oregon, and eastward as far as New York. 
We have fresh fruits continuously from the first 
of May, or sometimes earlier, until the last of 
January, all of home production. It is a most 
remarkable fact that the apple, which belongs in 
the north and the orange which belongs in the 
tropics, here grow side by side. 

Butte County deserves special credit for 
having originated the citrus fair, which has 
since been imitated in other parts of the State 


and even in Chicago. The first citrus fair ever 
held in modern times was December 20, 1887, 
in an orange grove near Oroville, which proved 
so great a success that intense enthusiasm was 
aroused. Butte County proved herself a formi- 
dable rival of Southern California in the produc- 
tion of fine oranges and lemons. One exhibit 
was a beautiful palace so completely aud sym- 
metrically covered with oranges and lemons as 
to appear to be built of them. 


Persons in the East must not think of Butte 
County, California, as a " new country." The 
California & Oregon Railroad run? diagonally 
through her borders. Her towns are already 
located and well established with all that makes 
towns and embryo cities. They have telegraph 
and telephone lines everywhere. All lines of 
business are fully represented. Should a wall be 
built around it, shutting it oat from the world, 
it would go on and prosper, scarcely realizing 
that anything had happened. Forty years 
ago this was a new country; twenty years ago 
it was a new country; but in the sense in which 
the term is commonly used, this is a "new 
country " no longer. Those who are there find 
themselves in the midst of lively competition. 
Yet there is abundant room for the develop- 
ment of new resources. 


Chico, the metropolis of the county, is a young 
city of about 6,000 population, situated on the 
line of the California & Oregon Railroad, 
ninety-six miles north of Sacramento, in the 
midst of a very rich agricultural and fruit- 
growing region. The Sacramento River is six 
miles distant, and Chico Creek, a bright stream, 
flows through. Here we have business houses 
of all kinds, two well-established banks, six 
hotels, gas works, water works, electric light 
work;;, a flouring mill, a foundry, extensive 
lumber yards, planing mills, a brewery, a can- 
nery, two daily and weekly newspapers, two 
large public school buildings running fourteen 

departments, two private academies, a State 
Normal School and seven churches, represent- 
ing as many difiierent denominations. No 
interior city in the State is more flourishing, or 
has a brighter future. 

The history of Chico begins as far back as 
1843, when Edward A. Farwell and William 
Dickey obtained a grant here. The town site 
was laid out in 1860, by J. S. Henning, County 
Surveyor, for John Bidwell. Richard Breeves 
built the first house and E. B. Pond the first 
brick store. The first municipal election was 
held February 5, 1872. 

2'Ae Bank of Chico. — This bank is one of 
the most important financial institutions of the 
Sacramento Valley, being ably managed and 
possessed of ample capital for all its purposes. 
It was established in 1872, being incorporated 
under the banking laws of California. Mr. John 
Conly, since deceased, was its first president, 
and Mr. Alexander H. Crew the secretary and 
cashier, the latter gentleman being in fact the 
head and active man. LTpon the death of Mr. 
Conly, in 1883, Mr. W. D. Heath became 
president. After holding the ofiice for less 
than a year he died, when Mr. Orrin Gowell 
was chosen president, and still holds that office. 

Mr. H. W. Heath, brother of the kte W . 
D. Heath, is the vice-president. The capital 
authorized in $500,000, of which $300,000 is 
paid up. They have a fine substantial bank 
building, erected at a cost of $25,000, an orna- 
ment to the town. We append an outline of 
the busy and useful life of the cashier, Mr. 
Alexander H. Crew, which will be found of 

Mr. Crew is a native of London, England, 
where he was born June 28, 1835. He received 
a good English education in the celebrated 
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Bermond- 
sey, near London Bridge, of which his father, 
William Crew, was a trustee. In February, 
1849, the family set out for Australia, but 
while on the voyage they heard of the discovery 
of gold in California, and came here instead, 
after being a tedious seven months on the water. 



In April, 1850, young Crew landed Irom ship, 
board at a point wiiere now is the corner of 
Washington and Montgomery streets, San Fran- 
cisco. Mr. Williaiu Crew entered mercantile 
business there, which he continued until 1853, 
when he returned to London, dying in 1858. 
His son, Alexander, found employment lirst in 
the oiBce of the Daily Balance newspaper, of 
which the celebrated Eugene Casserley was 
editor and proprietor. Later on he entered the 
office of the Evening Journal., the late Governor 
Washington Bartlett's paper, the beginning of 
the friendship recognized in later days. In 
1853 he went to Marysville, and in Adams & 
Co.'s express and banking olfice was engaged in 
blowing gold dust for some time. In 1855 lie 
went to La Porte and opened the banking 
house of Everetts, Wilson & Co., he being the 
company. A short time afterward he went into 
business for himself, in partnership with George 
Eve, the firm name being Eve & Crew. Later 
on Mr. Eve retired, whereupon the well-known 
John Conly and Mr. Crew established the bank 
ing house of John Conly & Co., Mr. Crew being 
the company. Later Mr. Orrin Goweil (now 
president of the Bank of Chico) came in and 
the Bank of La Porte, which is still in exist- 
ence, was incorporated. In 1872 was founded 
the Bank of Chico, since which time Mr. Crew 
has resided in this place, and has been intimate- 
ly identiiied with its best interests, his object 
being to advance in all proper ways the pros- 
perity of the town and county. In»matters of 
education he has been an active worker, aiding 
more than a little the establishing of normal 
schools in Chico, of which he is a trustee and a 
member of the executive committee. He is 
also the president of the Chico Board of Trade, 
a body which has eiiected much in the way of 
building up and beautifying the town and of 
publishing to the world its great advantages as 
a home and business center. 

He is a trustee of the Chico Presbyterian 
church, an active worker for the cause of Chris- 
tianity and morality, an honored member of 
the Knights Templar, having passed through 

all stages of the Masonic order, and also a 
member of the I. O. O. F. He is one of 
Chico's foremost and enterprising citizens, iden- 
tified in all matters that tend to the public 
wealth, and has won a high place in the esteem 
of his fellow-citizens. Mr. Crew has made his 
way almost unaided from the day he landed, a 
lad of sixteen years, in San Francisco, until 
now when he is at the head of one of the most 
important financial institutions in the northern 
part of the State. Mr. W. D. Heath, a bright 
and talented young man, came to assist in tlie 
bank in 1873; he was born in California in 
1851. His keen business ability and geniality 
soon caused his friends to prophesy for him 
marked success among the business men of the 
day. Many important positions were intrusted 
to him; but, in the midst of unusual success 
for one so young, death claimed hiin for his 
own. His death was greatly deplored not only 
by the people of the town but also of many 
other parts of the State. 

The accountant of the bank of Chico is Mr. 
Thoujas N. Crew, a nephew of Mr. A. H. Crew. 
He is a native of London, born in 1856, and 
educated in the public schools of London. He 
was for some time engaged in the largest dry- 
goods house in Cheltenham, in the west of En- 
gland, but in 1875 he came to California. He 
is a gentleman whose ability as an accountant 
is proven by the best of tests, that namely of 
experience. He worthily assists his uncle in 
the bank. 


the county-seat, and next to Chico the largest 
town in the county, is situated on the Feather 
Kiver, three miles below the junction of all its 
branches, just where it ceases to be a rushing 
mountain torrent and calms into a deep steady 
stream. Oroville well deserves the name 
which for many years has been applied to it, the 
" Gem of the Foot-hills." 

Some time in October, 1849, the Long Broth- 
ers opened a store at the bar two miles above 
the present site of Oroville, and from the place 
took its name. Long Bar was for some time 


the most important mining camp in that region, 
as the diggings were unusually rich. In No- 
vember, J. M. Burt arrived with several loads 
of provisions and opened another store. This 
town was originally called Ophir City, until 
1855, when the name had to be changed on ac- 
count of there being another Ophir in Placer 
County. In 1858 there were two or three dis- 
astrous fires, one specially which nearly con- 
sumed the entire place. 

The town is now well built, its hotels and 
business houses being of brick. Its residences 
are commodious and handsome. It has a bank, 
and water and gas works. Three churches, the 
large public school building and the county 
buildings are prominent features. Not only a 
large retail trade, but an extensive wholesale 
business is done, and a more energetic and in- 
telligent company of merchants than those of 
Oroville are nowhere to be found. 

Its situation is on the dividing line between 
the agricultural valley and the mining and fruit- 
growing foot-hills. It is the terminal point of 
the California Northern Railroad, running to it 
from Marysville, a distance of twenty-eight 
miles. Stage lines, wagon roads, telegraph and 
telephone lines connect it with all parts of 
Butte, Plumas and Sierra counties. 

Oroville, as its name implies, was in the 
early days a great mining center, and until very 
recently numerous great mining enterprises 
were in active progress in its immediate vi- 
cinity. A rich stratum of gold-bearing gravel 
is known to underlie the entire site of the town, 
which has not been worked. 

The country surrounding Oroville is greatly 
varied. To the east, foot-hills rapidly rising to 
the mountain slopes; to the south, foot-hills 
a;id gravel plains sloping into rich agricultural 
valley lands; to the west, gravel plains reach- 
ing many miles; and to the north, foot-hills 
and agricultural lands, rich and varied. All 
these lands are now used for agriculture and 
grazing, but their value for viticulture and hor- 
ticulture has of late been very highly appre- 

As a location for the establishment of 
manufactures and mills of all kinds, Oroville 
possesses great natural advantages. If it were 
desired to run machinery by water power, there 
is sufBcient to run mills and factories to any 
extent. There is a large flour mill already in 
operation, and but recently capitalists in Oak- 
land have determined to erect a sash and door 

The subdivision of lands and the planting of 
orchards of citrus and deciduous fruits on all 
the lands around Oroville has been verj active 
the last year. Since it has been fully estab- 
lished that the country is fully adapted for 
olives and oranges, great excitement has pre- 
vailed. About 1,200 acres of real estate has 
changed hands within one year and a cor- 
responding rise in value has been the result. 
We hear of orange groves and olive orchards 
being planted in every direction, and there is 
no telling to what extent the country may be 
developed in that direction. 

Two large water ditches originally con- 
structed for raining purposes terminate at 
Oroville, and are now used to irrigate the 
orange groves, orchards and vineyards. These 
supply ten times as much water as is now de- 
manded, yet several other large ditches are be- 
ing constructed. Water is abundant and will 
always be cheap. A person may take land any- 
where around Oroville for orchard or garden 
purposes with the assurance that water can be 
had, and art low rates. 

Besides the county buildings, which are large 
and commodious, Oroville is also the seat of the 
county infirmary, a large establishment, situ- 
ated in the midst of an orange grove, and a 
great credit to our civilization. 


Biggs and Gridlcy are towns of 1,000 inhabi- 
tants each, situated on the railroad, in the 
midst of rich agricultural lauds, with schools, 
churches, a newspaper each, and an intelligent, 
thriving people. 

Numerous smaller towns and villages dot the 


county over, whose general features are sul- 
ticiently described in tlie t'ore^oing pages. Along 
the railroad are Moore's Station, Nelson, Dur- 
ham, Nord and Cana. In the interior are 
Cherokee, Pentz, Magaliaand Grainland. Ma- 
galia has also been known by the name of Dog- 


The people of Butte County believe in schools 
and churches. There is not a neighborhood in 
the county which has not its school. The pub- 
lic schools, supported by State and County mon- 
eys, run eight months in the year, and iiave 
excellent teachers, who are paid from $50 to 
$125 per month salary. The buildings are all 
first-class and furnished with the best patent 

The churches represent nearly all denomina- 
tions and are elegant and commodious. Minis- 
ters are paid from $1,000 to $1,800 salary. 

The State Normal School at Chico is one of 
the finest institutions in the land. The build- 
ing and furniture cost $90,000. The school is 
the pride of Northern California. 


The state of society in Butte County may be 
determined by the foregoing statements con- 
cerning scliools and churches. As everywhere 
in California, they have a mixed population. 
People are there from all the continents; but 
tliey are none of them savages. The population 
is principally American, all of it civilized and 
nearly all highly enlightened. Probably no 
community in any Eastern State is more law- 
abiding, peaceful, industrious or civil, though 
some are decidedly more religious. A new 
comer soon finds his own class and associates 
with it, whether it be low or l>igh. If he fre- 
quents saloons they are numerous. If he at- 
tends church he will find a full congregation 
with him. The one class respect the rights of 
the others. There is an Indian village, or 
rancheria, on the Rancho Chico, under the 
care of General and Mrs. Bidwell, which has its 
school, church and Sunday-school. 

The two great parties hold equal sway in 
Butte County, and have done so for years. To 
illustrate this the county gave thirty-three ma- 
jority for Hayes in 1876, twenty-nine majority 
for Hancock in 1880, upward of 100 majority 
for Blaine in 1884, and upwards of 100 ma- 
jority for Cleveland in 1888. The county ofii- 
ces are always held by members of the two 
parties, about half-and-half At present the 
superior judge, sheriff, recorder, assessor, col- 
lector and school superintendent are Demo- 
crats; the county clerk and treasurer are Re- 
publicans. The parties being thus evenly bal- 
anced, it is the rule that the best man for the 
place wins the race. The county is greatly 
favored by having honest and efiicient public 
officials. The peace of the community is never 
disturbed by political strife. 

The Representatives of Butte County in the 
State Assembly have been: 

Marion Biggs, 1869-70; Max Brooks, 
1877-'80; A. C. Bufium, 1863-'64; Philip 
P. Caine, 1859; F. E. Cannon, 1859; J. B. 
Clark, 1873-'74; R. M. Cochran, 1867-'68; 
J. M. Cunnard, 1862; W. N. DeHaven, 1871- 
'72; John Dick, 1856; W. W. Durham, 1880; 
S. Ewer, 1854; J. R. Fleming, 1883; C. B. 
Fowler, 1852; Leon D. Freer, 1881; L. C. Gran- 
ger, 1883-'87; J. C. Gray, 1873-'74; P. H. 
Harris, 1861; Henry Allen, lS85-'87; James 
Hitchens, 1858; Richard Irwin, 1853-'54; J. T. 
Jenkins, 1875-'76; John Lambert, 1860; James 
L. Law, 1852; Charles G. Lincoln, 1855; J. S. 
Long, 1857; James C. Martin, 1869-'70; J. B. 
McGee, 1854; J. G. Moore, 1863; H. J. Morri- 
son, 1857; Nelson D. Morse, 1852; Gilbert 
H. Neally, 1877-'78; W. M. Ord, 1867-'68; 
George W. Printy, 1862; E. S. Ruggles, 1875- 
'76; R. F. Saunders, 1851; F. M. Smith, 1863; 
George E. Smith, 1865-'66; George S. Sumner, 
1863-'64; C. C. Thomas, 1853; William P. 
Tilden, 1861, 1865-'66; J. N. Turner, 1871-'72; 
J. M. Ward, 1885; Thomas Wells, 1853, 1855; 
Joseph C. Wertsbaugher, 1881. 



The name "calaveras" is a corrupt form of 
the Spanish word for skulls. Some incline to 
the belief that some devout friar, desirous of 
commemorating the crucifixion, slightly changed 
the name Calvary. 

The stream was named by Captain Moraga, 
who headed the first expeditions made on the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. He en- 
camped on the stream, and was surprised in the 
morning to find that he had stopped among 
numerous bones and skulls of men. He had 
chanced upon an ancient battle-ground, where 
had taken place a sanguinary conflict between 
two tribes of Indians. It is said that 3,000 
dead remained on the field. Some think, how- 
ever, that these dead were the remains of those 
taken by the fearful scourge of 1833, referred to 
elsewhere in this volume 

When Calaveras County was organized, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1850, Double Springs became the 
county-seat,- — for a short time only, however, 
for it was captured by a stratagem and trans- 
ferred to Jackson, where it remained for nearly 
two years. From that place it was transferred 
to Mokelumne Hill, as the result of a choice 
by the people. But the politicians asserted that 
men on the south side of the Mokelumne River 
got the offices, and they went to work to con- 
vince the people that their interests would be 
better served by having a new county organ- 
ized. By this time (1853) there were several 
ambitious towns willing to take charge of the 
county seat and furnish " grub " and whisky, 
particularly the latter, and all were rich enough 
to indulge in the luxury of going to law. It 
was also urged, with too much reason to be 
disputed, that the public funds were being 
wasted at Mokelumne Hill, where the officers 
were behaving themselves very loosely. 

June 14, 1854, according to actof the Legis- 
lature, the people by vote set ofi" Amador County, 
containing Jackson, from Calaveras. 

Calaveras County had Mokelumne Hill for 
the seat of government, its gilded mountain 

having acquired for it the preponderating influ- 
ence, until in 1866 the more central San Andreas 
gained the supremacy. (By the way, it is 
claimed that this name should have been spelled 
San Andres.) Mokelumne Hill became promi- 
nent in 1850; suffered severely by fire in 1854, 
and began to decline in the '60s. San Andreas 
was laid in ashes in 1856, but is now a flourish- 
ing town. 

Southward, Carson and Angel hold positions 
corresponding to the Volcano quartz group. 
Copperopolis sprang into prominence for awhile 
as a productive copper mine about the same 
time that the silver lodes called attention to the 
higher ranges eastward, and prompted the or- 
ganization of Alpine County in 1864, with the 
seat at Silver Mountain, named for the highest 
peak of the county, and subsequently at Mark- 
leeville. Its hopes in these deposits met with 
meager realizatio'% and its lumber and dairj' 
resources languished under the decadence of 
Nevada as its chief market. 

Although most of the mining camps of Cala- 
veras and Amador declined after a brilliant 
career, agricultuie flourished in many sections, 
particularly in the fertile western parts, around 
towns like lone City and Milton. Among 
prominent ancient mining towns were Yeomet, 
which had a promising position at the junction 
of the Cosumnes north and south forks; Mule 
town, which was kept up awhile by hydraulic 
mining; Drytown, which received its final blow 
from a conflagration in 1857; Fiddletown, which 
grew until 1863; Plymouth, which began to 
gain in 1873; Lancha Plana, which was sup- 
■ported by bluff mining, boasted a journal and 
claimed nearly 1,000 inhabitants in 1860; and 
Murphy, which was flourishing in 1855. Car- 
son's Flat was the great camp in 1851; and 
Copperopolis arose in 1861, and in 1868-'64 
shipped over $1,600,000 worth of copper net 
via Stockton. 

In 1850 Calaveras stands credited with farms 
worth $76,800, containing $172,800 worth of 
live-stock and $14,700 in implements. Tlie 
census of 1880 gives it 467 farms, valueil at 


$756,000, with live-stock at $262,000, and 
produce at $308,000, — the total assessments 
standing at $1,871,000; jet the population fell 
from 16,299 in mining days to 9,090 in 1880. 

For the Stockton & Copperopolis Railroad — 
— the only thoroughfare of the kind running 
into the county — see under head of San Joa- 
quin County. 

The members of the State Assembly from 
Calaveras County have been: Isaac Ayer, 1865 
-'68; James Barclay, 1863; E. T. Eeatty, 1855 
-'57; Tunis S. Bever, 1867-'68; C. L. F. Brown, 
1871-'72; James Burdick, 1859; Thomas Camp- 
bell, 1862; William Childs, 1861; M. M. Col- 
lier, 1865-'66; F. F. Davis, 1863; B. Dyer, 
1864; Edward Fahey, 1873-'74; P. A. Galla- 
gher, 1860; John L. Gibson, 1871-'72; George 
W. Gilmore, 1873-'74; Martin W. Gordon, 1854: 
E. L. Green, 1869-70; J. W. Griswold, 1862; 
A. J. Hough taling, 1854; W. P. Jones, 1852; 
L. Langdon, 1864; C. A. Leake, 1853; C. W. 
Lightner, 1859; John Y. Lind, 1851; B. L. 
Lippincott, 1861; B. F. Marshall, 1858; F. W. 
McClenahan, 1887; C. A. McDaniel, 1854; F. 
G. McDonald, 1863; W. S. ZvIcKim, 1852; Otto 
Menzel, 1867-'68; H. A. Messenger, 1880; 
Charles E. Mount, 1859; D. W. Murphy, 1851; 
Thomas O'Brien, 1858, 1861-'62; W. A. Oliver. 
1853; Eustace Parker, 1858; S. N. Parker, 
1864; James Pearson, 1855-'56; W. P. Peek, 
1873-'74; William C. Pratt, 1854; J. B. Red- 
dick, 1875-'76, 1881; W. M. Rogers, 1853 
Martin Rowan, 1854; N. G. Sawyer, 1865-'66 
L. M. Schrack, 1871-'72; H. A. Shelton, 1860 
George L. Shuler, 1857; S. B. Stephens, 1855 
T. W. Taliaferro, 1855-'56; Mark S. Torrey 
1885; Joseph S. Watkins, 1857; A. R. Wheat, 
1877-'78, 1888; W. S. Williams, 1869-'70 
Samuel Wilson, 1860; A. R. Young, 1869-'70 
George E. Young, 1852. 


Is sixty miles north and south and averages 
about forty-five miles east and west, and conse- 
quently contains about 2,800 square miles. Of 
this about 1,500 square miles lie in the Sacra- 

mento Valley. As the summit of the Coast 
Range forms the western boundary, the remain- 
der of the area is composed of mountains, low 
hills and smaller valleys. There are probably 
about 200 square miles of this valley portion, 
700 square miles of low hills and 400 of moun- 
tains. The Sacramento River, running almost 
due south, forms the eastern boundary. The 
river makes twelve miles of easting and sixty 
miles of southing. This part of the Sacramento 
River has not been filled up by hydraulic min- 
ing, and its water is clear except after rains. 
To the towii of Colusa, twenty-two miles above 
the southern line of the county, steamers tow 
barges carrying as much as 700 tons. Above 
that point 300 tons is considered a fair load. 
The fall of the rive*- from the upper end of the 
county to the town of Colusa is eighteen inches 
to the mile and from that place down it is only 
six inches. Compared with the lower portion, 
the upper river has more rapids and bars, and 
it also washes its banks and changes its position 
more. The average width of the river is some- 
thing more than 300 feet, and the height of the 
banks at low water is twenty-three feet. The 
other principal streams of the county, besides 
the Sacramento, are Butte Slough, eighteen 
miles north of the southern boundary of the 
county; Sycamore Slough, four miles below 
Butte Slough; and Stony Creek, rising on the 
Coast Mountains about forty miles north of the 
south line of the county and running north and 
then east. Although this carries off a great 
deal of water during the rainy season, in the dry 
portion of the year it loses itself in the gravel 
before reaching the river. It is from an eighth 
to a quarter of a mile wide, and its banks twelve 
to fifteen feet high. The current is so rapid 
that its deposits have been principally boulders 
and sand. 

The river is skirted on either side with oak, 
sycamore, cottonwood and ash. Much of this, 
however, has been cut oflF. Along the coast 
range is much valuable pine timber. Away 
from the river, where the people have to depend 
upon wells for water, the average distance to 


good water is about twenty feet. In many por- 
tions of the plains it is only ten feet. At one 
place in the southwestern portion, water is not 
reached short of seventy-five to 100 feet. At 
this depth bones and timber are often found, 
which have been covered by some cataclysm. 
One man took up most of the skeleton of a deer. 
In the alkali districts very good water is ob- 
tained by boring down sixty to seventy-five feet 
and tubing out the surface water. 

The valley land is very high. The original 
alkali spots, never exceeding fifty square miles, 
} erhape, is fast disappearing. 

The average summer heat, taking the hottest 
part of the day, is about ninety degrees; aver- 
age in winter, sixty degiees; extreme heat, 
115°, and extreme cold 29° above zero. Very 
seldom is ice formed, and never over half an inch 
in thickness, and the heat is never oppressive. 
The average rainfall is about twenty inches per 
annum, which is the same as the Sacramento 
Valley generally. 

Colusa is one of the original counties named 
February 18, 1850; but at first it was attached 
to Butte County for its otKcial purposes. In 
the early part of 1851, Colusa was an aspiring 
city of one house and half a dozen inhabitants; 
and Monroeville, a rival, was equally aspiring 
and'containedjexactly the same number of build- 
ings and perhaps the same number of inhabi- 
tants. Each was airaid that the other would 
get ahead in the organization of the county. 
The influence of the founders of Colusa had the 
county created and named, which then was spelled 
Colusi. To be ahead with the matter, the Mon- 
roeville people petitioned Moses Bean, Judge 
of Butte County, to have the county organized. 
Although he had no authority in the matter, he 
issued a proclamation ordering an election of 
officers for the proposed new county of Colusa, 
January 10, 1851. The election was held, but 
all the men chosen failed to qualify except J. S. 
Holland, county judge, and Uriah P. Monroe, 
county clerk. Plolland died April 12, and 
some one, not now known, called an election to 
fill the vacancy. At this election thirty-eight 

votes were polled in the county and John T. 
Hughes was elected. He held one court and 
left the county. There was no county judge 
then until September 3, when William B. Ide, 
of Bear-Flag Rebellion notoriety, was elected 
and at once entered upon the duties of the of- 
fice without waiting for the term to expire. At 
this election forty-seven votes elected an Assem- 
blyman, namely, H. L. Ford; E. D. Wheatly, 
clerk; J. F. Willis, sherifi-; W. H. Shepard, 
assessor; Ben Knight, treasurer; Uriah F. Mon- 
roe, public administrator; and John T. Hughes, 
district attorney. The last two probably did 
not accept their ofiices. Five elections were 
held in 1851. 

The organizers had not thought a word about 
the location of a county-seat, but the ofiicers 
first elected, being of the Monroe faction, com- 
menced business at Monroeville, without any 
forms of law. At the session of the Legisla- 
ture of 1851 Colonel C. D. Semple managed to 
get a bill through defining the boundaries of 
the county of Colusi, and fixing the seat at Co- 
lusa. The acting ofiicers paid no attention 
whatever to this law: they went right on at 
Monroeville. In 1853 a vote was taken result- 
ing in establishing the seat at Colusa by 310 
votes against sixty, and accordingly a court- 
house and jail were ordered built there, at a 
cost of $3,000, the contract being dated Janu- 
ary 6, 1854. 

William B. Ide, an intelligent but singular 
man, died of small-pox at Monroeville, Decem- 
ber 20, 1852, when he was county judge. 

Colusa is an Indian word, and was the origi- 
nal name of a numerous tribe of Indians who 
lived on the western side of the Sacramento 
River. Its meaning is not known. 

The town was laid out at the rancheria of the 
Colus Indians, and the termination a given to 
the name. In the legislature General M. G. 
Vallejo insisted that i was the proper termina- 
tion, and so it went into statutes. While the 
county-seat was held at Monroeville the partisans 
of the place were very particular in marking the 
distance, while the partisans of the town of 


Colusa insisted that the town and the county 
ought to be spelled alike. After 1854 the stat- 
utes concerning the county had the termination 
a and the officials seals were changed accordingly. 

In 1846 or '47 Dr. Robert Scmple went up 
to the head of the Sacramento Valley to see 
some old pioneers who had settled in what is 
now Tehama County. Returning by way of 
the river, he tied two cottonwood logs together 
for a boat. He found great difficulty in naviga- 
tion until he came to the rancheria of the Coins 
Indians: from there down it was easy. Looking 
over the vast territory of fertile lands around 
this spot, he made a memorandum of it as the 
future city of the upper Sacramento Valley, and 
found that it was owned by John Bidwell under 
a Mexican grant. When in 1849 his brother, 
Colonel Charles D. Semple, came out to Cali- 
fornia, he favorably received his notions, hunted 
up Bidwell and purchased his grant. In the 
spring of 1850 he set out with a little steamboat 
for the future city. The Colus rancheria, to 
which the Doctor had directed him, was entirely 
hidden from the river, and the first rancheria in 
sight from the river was a temporary encamp- 
ment of a portion of the Colus Indians seven 
miles above the present site of the town. The 
Indians being asked about the name of the tribe, 
very promptly answered Colus; and, thinking 
he was on the right spot, and the water being 
so high as to render navigation alike every- 
where, the boat's cargo of merchandise and men 
were landed and a town laid out and christened 

In the spring of 1850 Dr. Semple commenced 
to build a steamboat at Benicia to run up to 
the new town, and on the first of July that year 
she made her first trip, and she too was named 
Colusa. She was a side-wheel boat, had a very 
trim hull and cabin, and was of fair size. But 
no engine could be found large enough to run 
her, and no two small engines could be found 
that were alike so as to constitute a pair; so the 
novel experiment was tried of running one 
wheel with an engine made for the style of the 
Mississippi steamboats, and the other with a 

smaller engine, with an entirely different stroke 
and power. They ran the boat, and on the 
morning of the third of July the proprietor 
started out from Benicia for Colusa. On the 
sixth they arrived at the present site of Colusa, 
then called Salmon Point, and then troubles 
commenced; for it required nearly a week to 
get up to where the town was laid out. About 
three miles up the river the little engine broke 
down, and the boat had to be warped from there 
up. An Indian guide was employed to point 
out the exact site of the place, leading the boat- 
men through a tiiicket of wild rose-bushes to a 
point opposite the place; for this was on the 
east bank of the river. The Indian took the 
men's clothes across tied in a boat upon the top 
of his head, and then they could wade or swim 
across. In a day or two the boat reached the 
landing, was discharged, and started back with 
one wheel. Although it cost over $60,000, this 
was the last trip she ever made. 

Colonel Semple found that he had made a 
mistake in the location of the city, and that the 
Coins rancheria was really some seven miles 
lower down the river. About a month after- 
ward the goods were hauled down there, and 
thus the city was founded. In this locality it 
was favorably situated for the trade between 
Shasta and the northern mines. Colonel Semple 
bought a little steamer called the Martha Jane 
and ran her regularly a few trips, but it was 
too early in the development of the country to 
obtain remunerative patronage, and he had to 
sell her. In the autumn of 1851 Captain 
George V. Hight undertook the navigation of 
this portion of Sacramento with an iron-hulled 
boat, but it struck a snag on the first trip and 
sank, just above Knight's Landing. Next 
Captain Bartlett, with the Orient, a fast little 
stern-wheel boat of about 100 tons' burden, suc- 
ceeded in making several profitable trips. The 
town was then growing rapidly. 

One of the greatest drawbacks to the town 
has been the imperfect title to the land, made 
so by conflicting boundaries of grants and im- 
perfect description given in deeds. This mat- 


ter, however, was nearly all settled about fifteen 
years ago. 

Colusa is unusually well favored as being in 
one of the best af;ricultural districts in the 
United States. 

In 1850 there were perhaps a thousand In- 
dians in Colusa County of the Coins tribe, 200 
or 300 of the Willies, who inhabited Grand 
Island, 200 of the Cortinas, who bad their 
headquarters near the head of Cortinas Creek, 
about twenty miles southwest of Colusa. There 
was also a large tribe in the vicinity of New- 
ville and some scattering villages near the upper 
end of the county. Those about l^ewville were 
considered the most dangerous. The Grand Is- 
land Indians survived the white civilization the 
longest and for many years made good harvest 
hands. The Colus tribe were under the im- 
mediate control of Sioc, a chief of more than 
ordinary intelligence, who held a sort of provin- 
cial control over all the other tribes of the 
valley. His word was law, and he had the 
power of life or death over his tubjects. They 
never had any clothing, except that the squaws, 
for the sake of ornainentatiou, wore a fringe of 
small cords extending from their waist to near 
the knees. When the first settler visited these 
Indians, all the clothes which the male portion 
of the tribe had was one stove-pipe hat and one 
vest. The latter was turned up-side down, the 
legs thrust through the armholes and buttoned 
up behind. A person who has never tried it 
has no idea how a vest worn in that way will fit. 

The Mexican land grants for Colusa County 
have been: Colus, 8,876 acres, to C. D. Semple 
in 1869; Jacinto, 35,487 acres, to William 
M. McKee in 1859; Larkin's childien's ranch, 
44,364: acres, to F. Larkin and others in 1857. 
In Colusa and Tehama counties: Capay, 44,388 
acres, to J. Soto in 1859. In Colusa and Yolo 
counties, Jimeno 48,854 acres, to Larkin and 
Missroon in 1862. 


Colusa County enjoyed the reputation of being 
the banner wheat county of the State, half of 

its area of some 3,000 square miles being the 
rich, dark, deep alluvium of the Sacramento 
River basin, of an almost incredible fertility. 
The balance of its acreage seems almost as rich, 
being made up of the low rolling hills and 
rounded valleys of the Coast Range, 

The history of the county has proceeded in 
three leaps or bounds, so to speak. It was first 
a great cattle and sheep countiy, this stage of 
afi'airs holding until about 1870, although there 
was some grain-raising along the river as early 
as 1852. As late as 1868 some of the best 
lands in the county were subject to private en- 
try at $1.25 an acre. About that time they 
learned to plow deep aijd raise the small grains, 
and then laud began to rise rapidly in value. 
The t-econd stage was as a grain-raiser, and this 
is only now beginning to give way to manifest 
destiny in the way of fruit, grape and similar 

It is as a great grain country that we must 
first consider Colusa County. Statistics places 
this wonderful county thirteenth in the entire 
United States, and first in California, in the 
value of agricultural products. It is the coun- 
ty of immense grain farms and wheat fields. 
The fame of the great Glenn farm has gone 
over the world, and has only been surpassed in 
the new northwestern States of late years. This 
farm is only one of many such. On these 
farms the fields cover square miles; plowmen, 
sowers and reapers move by battalions. Every 
thing proceeds on a gigantic scale, and here at 
harvest time are seen a score of horses shoving 
before them the great machines that reap, tliresh 
and sack the wheat all at one process. The 
third stage is slowly coming in. The building 
of the Northern California Railroad in the 
seventies from Woodland straight as a line 
across these level plains to Red \j>\\\S in the 
north, gave too high a value to these lands for 
any but the very rich to continue on at wheat- 
growing, and now, under the energetic prompt- 
ings of Will S. Green, the pioneer editor of 
Colusa and almost the father of the county, the 
owner of the Colusa Sun, a great ditch has 


been surveyed from the Sacramento to irrigate 
the bulk of the level lands. This is now being 
dug, and when water runs through it, as it will 
ere 1891, the days of grain-gruwing as a chief 
industry will be numbered, and the still richer 
future of fruit-raising will be begun. 

Before leaving this matter of grain-growing, 
however, let us see what it has done for Colusa. 
The county has produced as high as 10,000,000 
bushels of wheat in a yeir, the plump, jpale 
hard California berry that commands the high- 
est prices in the markets of tiie world. It has 
made enormous fortunes for many men, who 
usually drift off to the centres of population, 
there to employ their capital; but it has also 
made every one in the county wealthy. The as- 
sessment roll shows an assessed valuation of 
over $1,400 apiece, for man, woman and child 
of population. This is almost wholly an as- 
sessment, too, of farming lands, for Colusa 
County has no cities yet, although she probably 
will have soon. 

The subdivision of lands is proceeding slowly 
yet surely along the Sacramento River, es- 
pecially near the town of Colusa, and along the 
line of the railway, where smart towns are 
springing up. The planting of fruit trees fol- 
lows hard on the subdivision and the fame of 
Colusa County peaches and pears and prunes, 
as well as other fruits, such as tigs, citrus 
growths, vines, etc., is already being heard, and 
the fruit cannery lately established in Colusa 
has a rushing business. 

In the matter of transportation this county 
enjoys unusual facilities, being most fortunately 
situated as regirds both rail and and water 
communication. The Sacramento River passes 
through the entire length of the county and 
furnishes the means of low freights to San 
Francisco, a constant check upon overcharges 
by rail. She is traversed from end to end also 
by the Northern Railroad, about midway be- 
tween*the river and foot-hills, connecting with 
the Oregon lines, and thus throwing the whole 
of the northern travel through the county. The 
Colusa & Lake Railroad, chartered in 1882 

and built in 1885, E. A. Rnrrington being the 
moneyed man, is projected from Colusa westward 
toward Lake County, through the Coast Range. 
It is now in operation a distance of twenty-five 
miles well into the foot-hills in the western 
part of the county. When fully completed it 
will open up a vast and virgin field. The West 
Coast & Mendocino road is projected from 
Willows northwestward through the Coast 
Range toward Mendocino and Humboldt coun- 
ties. It is now built to Fruto, twenty-two 
miles, to a rich fruit and grain region. 

Some attention has been paid to mining in 
the western part of the county, and one or two 
wild huzzas for a little time, over copper and 
quicksilver, but nothing to speak of is now 
being done. 

Colusa, the county-seat, has known many 
fluctuations. It is at the head of deep-water 
navigation on the Sacramento River and pos- 
sesses a large shipping trade. The town has 
known periods of depression and want of confi- 
dence that seriously hindered the march of prog- 
ress. As a consequence it is ten miles from, 
when by a reasonable bonus it might have been 
upon, the trunk line of railroad, and until the 
past few years was united to it only by stage. 
The dawn of better things has risen now, how- 
ever, and the town is fighting for her own with 
pronounced success. In the way of manufact- 
ures she has a flour mill of large capacity, a 
large and busy fruit cannery, a foundry, is well 
lighted and drained, and has a good system of 
water-works. The school system is excellent, 
the buildings new and handsome, and a three- 
story college, St. Aloysius, under Catholic aus- 
pices, that promises great efficiency. The 
court-house and hall of records are handsome 
buildings standing in spacious and well-kept 
grounds. The Colusa Bank is one of the strong 
financial institutions of the county, with a paid 
up capital of $500,000. Churches are strong 
and numerous, and the town supports a Normal 
and Commercial Institute that has good reputa- 

Willows ranks next to Colusa in size, and is 


growinc^, being the product of the railroad. It 
has large grain warehouses and is an important 
sliipping point. It has good schools and 
churches, a well-established bank, a foundry and 
live business men. During the last couple of 
years it has enjoyed quite a " boom." 

Orland, the most northerly town in the 
county, also a product of the railroad, has an 
energetic and thriving population. It has a 
bank, good public schools, churches, and possesses 
a Xormal College that is a successful enterprise. 

Germantown is in the northern portion of the 
county, also on the line of the Northern Rail- 
way, in a fine farming district; has excellent 
warehouse and shipping facilities, good business 
houses, and a new public school building. 

Maxwell is a thriving railroad town and an 
important shipping point for grain, having fine 
storage capacity. It has a $10,000 brick school- 
house and good churches. The town is cen- 
trally located, and in the midst of a rich 
farming territory. 

Williams is also a flourishing young railroad 
town, with a tine, large, brick public school 
building, churches, substantial and well con- 
ducted stores, good hotels, and large warehouse 

Arbuckle is an important railroad point in 
the southern part of the county, with rich tribu- 
tary farming land. It has a good school-house 
and church. 

College City lies three miles east of Arbuckle, 
and is a flourishing little town. It is the seat 
of Pierce Christian College, founded in 1874 and 
handsomely endowed by the will of Andrew 
Pierce, a prominent educational institution of the 
State. The inhabitants constitute a strictly tem- 
perance community, the selling of intoxicating 
drinks being prohibited within a radius of one 

Butte City and Princeton are important river 
villages, prominent shipping points, and in a 
very rich section of the county. 

St. John, Jacinto, Syracuse, Grand Island, 
and Grimes' Landing are also river villages and 
shipping points. 

Leesville, in Bear Valley; Smith ville, Elk 
Creek, and Newville, in Stony Creek Valley; 
Sites, in Antelope Valley; Sulphur Creek, in 
the mining district, in the southwestern part 
of the county; and Fruto, in the foot-hill region 
northwest of Willows, are trading points of 

The newspapers of the county are live and 
fearless exponents of their section, comparing 
well with the journals of other parts. The list 
is as follows: In Colusa, the Svn. daily and 
weekly, founded in 1862, and oldest paper in 
county; Gazette, daily and weekly, established 
in 1889; and Herald, in 1886. At Willows are 
published the Journal, issued first in 1877, 
daily and weekly, the ItepuUican and Review, 
weeklies, established in 1889 and 1890. At 
Orland is the Wews, date, 1885; at Arbuckle, 
the Autocrat, date, 1890; at Maxwell, the Mer- 
cury, date, 1888, and at Williams the Farmer, 
founded in 1887. 

In the earliest day the county was Whig in 
politics, but after the formation of the Repub- 
lican partj it became Democratic; and during 
the war was almost what some people denom - 
nated " secession." 

The Assemblymen from Colusa County have 
been: Robert Barnett, 1885; G. W. Bowie, 
1854; T. J. Butler, 1863; George Carhart, 
1853; Reuben Clark, 1883; H. W. Dunlap, 
1859; D. P. Durst, 1861; Henry L. Ford, 
1852; W. S. Green, 1867-'68; Thomas J. Hart, 
1875-'78, 1887; S. Jennison, 1863-'64; E. J. 
Lewis, 1856, 1858; William S. Long, 1865-'66; 
W. P. Mathews, 1880-'81, 1887; J. L. Mc- 
Cutcheon, 1855; L. Searce, 1869-'70; John 
Simpson, 1873-'74; D. M, Steele, 1857; F. A. 
Stephenson, 1860; Joseph W. Thompson, 
1862; Loomis Ward, 1871-'72. 


embraces 490 square miles of hill and moun- 
tain and 150 square miles of valley land, and 
110 of tule and marsh lands, making a total of 
750 square miles. The land is well adapted to 
the raising of grain, fruits, vegetables and live 



Stock. The name "Contra Costa" signifies 
opposite coast, meaning the coast opposite to 
San Francisco. It was at first proposed to 
name it Mount Diablo County, but the present 
name was adopted after a warm debate in the 
Legislature. Mount Diablo is about in the 
center of the county. 

Many stories are connected with the moun- 
tain, and several are told as the origin of its 
diabolical name. Its height is 3,400 feet. 
Very seldom is snow seen upon its summit. 

" Diablo " is Spanish for devil, and the 
mount was so named in Jesuitic times on ac- 
count of some Spaniards, among whom were 
Catholic priests, employing a cannon and other 
fire-arms there to keep off hostiles. 

The highest summit of this mountain is 
made the initial point of land survey toward 
all directions by the United States Government 
for Northern California. The geologist, Whit- 
ney, has declared that from its summit a 
grander and more extended view is probably 
obtained than from any other peak in the 
world, covering an area that can hardly be less 
than 40,000 square miles and commanding an 
uninterrupted view for over 300 miles. 

In 1863 a great excitement was occasioned 
by the report of tiie discovery of copper in the 
canons of Mount Diablo. Clayton was the 
center of the mining operations, and town lots 
sold at high prices. All at once the bubble 
burst, the specimens supposed to be copper be- 
ing found to be only a worthlesss rock. Simi- 
lar excitement, but less intense, has been occa- 
sioned by the alleged discovery of silver, petro- 
leum, salt, etc., about that mountain. As to its 
coal, see under head of " Modern Times " a few 
pages further on. 

In April, 1874, a stage route was established 
to the summit of Mount Diablo, but some time 
afterward it was discontinued. 

The heaviest earthquake in the county occur- 
rek October 21, 1868, when several houses 
were damaged. The Indians have an interest- 
ing legend concerning the opening of the Gold- 
en Gate, by earthquake action. 

The San Joaquin River, gently flowing 
through a level plain on the northern border- 
line of this county, is remarkable for its 
" crookedness." It is regularly reliable for 
steamboat navigation from its mouth, near the 
middle of the northern boundary of the county 
up for a hundred miles or more, namely, to 
Stockton. In early days rafts of lumber were 
"tided" np to that point, that is, they were 
perini^^ted to be carried up a distance by the in- 
flowing tide, and then held fast until the next 
influx, and so on; and only a week or two was 
required to make the trip. 

A very low-grade of Indians used to inhabit 
this region. Dr. Marsh described them as be- 
ing very hairy and full-bearded, with short, 
broad faces, wide noses and mouths, thick lips, 
extremely low foreheads, the hair of the head 
nearly meeting the eyebrows, and a few having 
a strikingly Mongolian eye. They wore no 
clothing and lived like the Diggers. Epidemic 
diseases decimated therB, and civilization com- 
pleted their destruction. Their music was de- 
scribed by a graphic writer thus: "A thousand 
cross-cut saws filed by steam power, a multitude 
of tom-cats lashed together and flung over a 
clothes-line, innumerable pigs under a gate, all 
combined, would produce a heavenly music 
compared to it!" Of their fllth he says: 
" Talk of the thousand stinks of the city of 
Cologne! here are at least 40,000 combined in 
one grand overwhelming stench, and yet every 
particular odor definable;" and oh, such convul- 
sions as they would have in their dances, with 
the sweat streaming from every pore! 

The first white American settler of Contra 
Costa County was Dr. John Marsh, a native of 
Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard, who 
resided for a time in Wisconsin and Missouri, 
and in 1837 arrived in California, settling soon 
after upon his ranch, Los Medanos, at the east- 
ern base of Mount Diablo, near the modern 
Antioch. Here he built a rude hut and spent 
the rest of his life, somewhat hermit-like, grad- 
ually accumulating wealth in live-stock. In 
1841 he received the first immigration party, — 



Bartleson's. of which the celebrated Captain 
Weber was a member, but his parsimonious- 
ness with them did not redound to his honor. He 
took but slight part in the troubles of 1846-'47, 
but much interest in politics, desiring to see 
California become a part of the United States. 
In 1848 his house was robbed, and he tried bis 
fortune in the mines. He was finally murdered 
for his money, by a party of young Califnrnians, 
on the road between his ranch and Martinez, 
about September 24, 1856, at the age of lifty- 
two years. One of the murderers was ten 
years later sent to prison for life. Although a 
man of honesty and more than ordinary ability, 
his persistent parsimony kept him constantly 
in trouble. His ranch is still known by his 
name. He was the first to raise grain in the 
county, but Elam Brown was the first to raise 
it on a large scale for the market. 

Enormous yields of wlieat are reported for 
those early days, — 50 to 105 bushels per acre! 
About two-thirds of the cultivated land in the 
county is now devoted to wheat. 

Before the advent of Dr. Marsh, in 1823, 
Francisco Castro and Ignacio Martinez obtained 
grants of land and the next year settled upon 
them, — the former upon the San Pablo Rancho 
and the latter upon the Pinole. These were 
the actual pioneer settlers of this county. Their 
nearest neighbors were the Peralta family at 
San Antonio and the Castros at San Lorenzo. 
In 1826 Jose Maria Amador settled upon 
the San Ramon Rancho. In 1828 Yalencio 
occupied the Acalanes rancho (Lafayette), 
Felipe Briones, the rancho that bears his 
name, and Moraga the redwood rancho, 
or Lagunas Palos Colorados. Briones was 
afterward killed by the Indians. In 1828 came 
also Salvio Pacheco. 


takes its name from Ignacio Martinez or his 
family. Ignacio was born in the city of Mex- 
ico in 1774, became a military man and as such 
came to California in 1800. In 1829 lie ob- 
tained tlie rancho Pinole, Contra Costa, and in 

1836 settled thereon. In 1837 he was alcalde 
at San Francisco. He died some time before 
1852, leaving several children. The town is a 
pleasant place, favored as a lefidence of well- 
to-do San Franciscans. It possesses a fruit- 
canning establishnjcnt, and near by is a good 
fruit and vineyard country, much wine being 
made in the vicinity. It has good schools and 
churches. The county buildings are old and 
no way noteworthy. Martinez was incorporated 
in 1885, and has gas and water. At Antioch 
is a distillery. Pacheco, Concord, Clayton, 
Walnut Creek are lively agricultural towns, with 
much fruit and grape growing. From Byron 
and Point of Timber, four miles away, are 
shipped more chickens and eggs than from any 
other point in the State. Near Byron are the 
Byron Hot Springs, a popular sanitarium. At 
Martinez are published the Morning Item, 
established in 1884, and the Contra Costa 
Gazette, a weekly, 1858. 

At Antioch is the Ledger (1859), weekly. 
At Concord the Sun (1882), a weekly. All 
these are lively and thriving journals. 


in Contra Costa County have been: Boca de la 
Canada del Pinole, 13,316 acres, to M. M. 
Valencha in 1878; Canada del ilambre y las 
Bolsas, 13,354 acres, to Theodora Soto in 1866; 
Los Medanos, 8,859 acres, to J. D. Stevenson in 
1872, and Los Meganos, 13,316 acres to Alice 
Marsh in 1867; Las Juntas, 13,293 acres, to the 
heirs of William Welch in 1870; Laguna de los 
Palos Colorados, 13,816 acres, to J. Morgaga 
and others in 1878; Monte Del Diablo, 17,921 
acres, to S. Pacheco in 1859; El Pinole 17,761 
acres, to M. A. M. de Richardson in 1868; San 
Pablo, 17,939 acres to J. Y. Castro in 1873; 
San Ramon, 4,451 acres to Leo JVorris, in 1882; 
El Sobrante, 20,565 acres, to J. J. and V. 
Castro, in 1883. In Contra Costa and Alameda 
counties: San Ramon, 16,517 acres, to J. M. 
Amador in 1865. At the close of the Mexican 
war the Californians had possession of 320 
square miles of land within the present limit'i of 


Contra Costa County; and at the organization 
of the State government in 1850 the following 
Mexican families were the most conspicuous: 
Francisco Galindo, Salvio Pacheco, Silverio 
Soto, Ignacio Silverian, Jnan B. Alvarado, V. 
Castro and V. Martinez. 


Juan Bautista Alvarado, for several years the 
central iigure in Califcirnia's history, was born 
in 1809, in Monterey; 1827-'34: he was secretary 
of the deputacion, being named in 1831 as 
commisionado for San Lnis Obispo, and mean- 
while employed as clerk by diiferent Monterey 
merchants; 1834:-'36 he was an appraiser in the 
custom-house there; in 1834 he was elected a 
member of the deputacion for a two-years term, 
and during 1836 he was president of that body. 
Leading a revolution against Governor Gutierez, 
he was revolutionary governor of California 
from December 7, 1886, to July 9, 1837; from 
that date, submitting to Mexico, he became 
governor ad interirn as president of the deputa- 
cion till November 8, 1839, when he became 
constitutional governor by Mexican appoint- 
ment, and continued in the otiice until Decem- 
ber 31, 1842. From 1843 he held a colonelcy 
in the Mexican army, with pay; and from 1847 
the position of colonel of the defensores de la 
patria. He was a leading spirit in the revolu- 
tion of 1844-'45 that made Pico governor, and 
by the latter was made administrator of the 
Monterey custom-house; was elected to Congress 
in 1845, but did not attend; being also the 
grantee of several ranclios, including the famous 
Mariposas. Though serving as colonel under 
Castro, he took but slight part in the affairs of 
1846, being arrested and paroled in September, 
and residing as a citizen in 1847-'48 upon his 
ranclio near Monterey, although he was ap 
pointed assistant inspector of the California 
presidial companies. 

In the tlush times and period of land litiga- 
tion Alvarado saved little or no money, but in 
1849 moved to the San Pablo estate, north of 
Oakland, inherited by his wife — Martina, 

daughter of Francisco Castro, whom he married 
in 1839 — where, though the property was 
always in litigation, he was enabled to live com- 
fortably until his death, July 13, 1882, from a 
bronchial affection. At this time he had three 
sons and two daughters. His wife had died in 
1875, but he left several children. 

Personally, Alvarado was of medium stature, 
stout build, fair complexion and light hair; of 
genial temperament, courteous manners and rare 
powers of winning friends. Bancroft specities 
much in his character to commend and much to 

Jonathan D. Stevenson, a native of New 
York state, and a Democratic politician there, 
came to California in 1847, in command of a 
regiment of New York volunteers. After 1848 
he settled in San Francisco as a real-estate agent 
and made special efforts to build up New York 
of the Pacitic, near the mouth of the Sacramento 
Kiver, being also a claimant of the rancho of 
Los Medanos, Contra Costra. He is still living, 
in San Francisco. 

James T. Walker, a native of Tennessee and 
a nephew of Captain Joe Walker, came to Cali- 
fornia in 1848; followed mining, teaming and 
trading in cattle for a year or so, returned East, 
and in 1850 came again to California overland, 
but went East again; and in 1853 he settled in 
Contra Costa, where he was still living in 1882, 
at the age of fifty-seven, with wife and three 

Elam Brown was a delegate from the district 
of San Jose (including this county) to the con- 
vention which was organized in Monterey, Sep- 
tember 1, 1849, and lived to become the oldest 
pioneer resident of the county. In 1846 came 
also Nathaniel Jones, the first sheriff of the 
county, J. D. Taber, James M. Allen, Leo 
Norris, John M. Jones and S. J. Johnson. 
Most of these continued to reside in the county, 
and some are yet living. 

At first this county included what is now Al- 
ameda County, according to the act of February 
18, 1850. March 25, 1853, the present bound- 
aries were fixed. The seat of government has 


always been at Martinez. The first oflScers 
of the county, in 1850-'51 were: W. R. Bascom, 
Senator; Elam Brown, Member of the As- 
sembly; John H. Watson, District Judge; F. 
M. Warmcastle, County Judge; J. F. Williams, 
District Attorney; Thomas A. Brown, Clerk, 
Recorder and Auditor; Nathaniel Jones, Sher- 
iff; Daniel Hunsaker, Collector and Treasurer; 
N. B. Smith, Assessor; R. R Holliday, Cor- 
oner; and Warren Brown, Surveyor. 

The representatives to the State Assembly 
from Contra Costa County have been: Elam 
Brown, 1851; Thomas A. Brown, 1865-'68 
Warren Brown, 1855; J. H. Carothers 
1869-'70; H. W. Carpentier, 1853; G. W. T, 
Carter, 1883-'85; Jos. W. Galloway 1871-'72: 
A. W. Hammitt, 1873-74; Benjamin S. Hines 
1859; A. In man, 1857; Joseph P. Jones, 1881 
A. R. Melone, 1856; Chas. B. Porter, 1861-'62 
D. N. Sherburne, 1880-'87; Napoleon B. Smith, 
1852; F. M. Warmcastle, 1854, 1858; Charles 
Wood, 1875-76; T. J. Wright, 1863-'64; Cor- 
nelius Yager, 1860; Albert J. Young, 1877-'78. 

Among the prominent citizens of Contra 
Costa County of the present day may be 
mentioned: Professors John Swett and Jolin 
Muir, A. T. Hatch, H. H. Bancroft, A. L. Ban- 
croft, A. Hemme, Webster Treat, Paul de 
Martinez, etc. 


Even did it not possess a tithe of the great 
natural resources that it does, Contra Costa 
County could not fail of being a busy and im- 
portant factor in the industrial progress of Cali- 
fornia Lying at the head of deep water navi- 
gation on the Sacramento River and having 
such close proximity to San Francisco, it is but 
natural to expect in it many manufacturing and 
other enterprises of an important nature. At 
the same time, the county has always grown 
and shipped large quantities of hay and grain, 
and of later years an increasing amount of fruit, 
grapes, wine and other of the higher products. 
The county is exceptionally well supplied with 
railroads. It is traversed throughout its entire 
length by the San Pablo division of the South- 

ern Pacific, over which runs the trains for 
Stockton and southern points, while the main 
line of the road, now double-tracked the whole 
distance, runs from the county line to Port 
Costa, from which point trains are transhipped 
by ferry to Benicia. In addition the Southern 
Pacific has agreed to build a branch road across 
the county from Martinez to Pleasanton in 
Alameda County through the Pacheco, Ygnacio 
and San Ramon valleys, for which surveys were 
recently completed. The California & Nevada 
Railroad, a narrow-gauge line, now has a line 
running from Oakland via San Pablo to Walnut 
Creek, with the probable intention of complet- 
ing the line through the county to connect with 
some road, yet unbuilt, in the San Joaquin 
Valley. Along the whole length of the north- 
ern and western front of the county also extends 
the San .loaquin River, Suisun, San Pablo and 
San Francisco bays, giving it water communi- 
cation from a score or more landings and ship- 
ping points. 

One of the most important of the natural re- 
sources of the county is the coal fields on the 
slopes of Mount Diablo. They were discovered 
in the later fifties, and in 1860 production be- 
gan. The annual output is increasing, that for 
1889 having been 71,718 tons from two mines, 
the Empire and the Pittsburgh Mining Com- 
pany, which are all that are working at pres- 
ent. A number of men are employed, the coal 
being carried by a railroad six miles long to 
Pittsburgh landing on the river, where it is 
shipped. Another leading coal 7nine is the 
Black Diamond, not now lieing worked. Coal 
is brought to the Bay cities from foreign coun- 
tries as ballast in sea vessels, and sold cheaply 
here. Other minerals occur in the Mount 
Diablo region, but nothing is being done with 

About two miles west of Martinez begin the 
great Nevada Warehouse and Dock Company's 
warehouses, the largest on the Pacific Coast. 
Beside them during the cereal season there are 
always lying a number of deep-water ships 
loading for Europe. The annual shipment of 


wheat sometimes runs as high as 400,000 tons. 
These warehouses are 2,300 feet in length along 
the shores of the Straits of Carquinez, by 150 
to 300 feet wide. Below them, at Port Costa, 
are the great warehouses belonging to D. G. W. 
McNear, completed in 1881, and the pioneer in 
the business at this point. They are only sec- 
ond in size to those already described, having 
the same water frontage of 2,300 feet. Next 
below these come the warehouses of the 
Granger Association, with a water frontage of 
1,000 feet. Balfour Guthrie & Go's warehouse 
adjoins the Grangers', and is also large. From 
these warehouses the great bulk of the wheat 
crop of California is put on board ship. 

At a bend on the road, at a station called 
Crockett, looms up the mammoth flouring-mill 
of the " Starr Company," six stories high and 
very large, having also large wharves and ware- 
houses. The capacity of this mill is 9,000 bar- 
rels of flour per day, when run at full power. 
Adjoining the Starr mill is the machine works 
of J. L. Heald, one of the most extensive man- 
ufacturers of wine-making machinery, irrigating 
pumps and steam threshing-engines in the 
State. One mile further west are the large 
wharfs of the Port Costa Lumber Company, 
comprising 8,000 feet of water front. Another 
large lumber company is now engaged in build- 
ing wharves adjoining. Below this again, at 
Vallejo Junction are the Selby Smelting Works, 
the most extensive gold and silver refining 
works on the coast, having an annual output of 
the precious metals of about $25,000,000. At 
Powning, a short distance further along, are the 
works of the Safety Nitro Powder Company, 
engaged cliiefly in the manufacture of dynamite. 
At Pinole Point, near by, are the California 
Powder Works, which makes the Hercules 
powder, also a dynamite, and is a large establish- 
ment. Near Sobrante are the works of the 
Vulcan Powder Company. At Stege station 
the California Cap Company make blasting 
caps, bombs, rockets, etc. At Pinole are also 
now being constructed buildings to be utilized 
8 meat packing and canning works, toward 

which Eastern capitalists have subscribed a cap- 
ital of $2,500,000. They have purchased 1,400 
acres of land at the point and are apparently 
determined to command an extensive business. 


This is a small section in the extreme north- 
western corner of the State, which was set off 
from Klamath County (now extinct) March 2, 
1858. The name literally signifies " to the 
north." Etforts were made in the Legislature 
to give it the names of Buchanan, Alta, Altis- 
sima and Kincon. James Buchanan was then 
President of the United States, but it was 
claimed that the plan was to give all the coun- 
ties names of local significance. " Alta " 
means upper, and " altissima " uppermost. 

The first settlement in this county was made 
in 1851, when a party of prospectors, consist- 
ing of Captain S. R. Tompkins, Robert S. 
Williams, Captain McDermott, Charles Moore, 
Thomas J. Roach, Charles Wilson, Charles 
Southard, two brothers named Swain, Mr. Tag- 
gart, George Wood, W. T. Stevens, B. Ray, 
William Rumley, W. A. J. Moore, Jerry Lane, 
John Cox, J. W. Burke, James Buck and a Mr. 
Penny, and several others, located in this part 
of the State. The Indians treacherously un- 
dertook to persuade them to move further up 
the river than where they first located. Three 
of the young men went up, and two of them 
were murdered outright and one mortally 
wounded. The rest of the party then went up 
the river, found the village of the Indians and 
put a majority of them to death. Two or three 
weeks after this the pioneers moved from Win- 
gate's Bar to a camp higher up the stream, to 
which place they gave the name of Happy 

The next settlements were made at Trinidad 
and at the mouth of the Klamath, and the town 
of Crescent City on the south side of Point St. 
George was located. The year 1852 was the 
date of the earliest permanent settlement, 
although several vessels, including the Para- 


gon, Cameo, and the Lanra Virginia had an- 
chored in the roadstead in 1850. 

Crescent City had a peculiar and romantic 
origin. An old story had been set afloat in 
1849-'50 that a solitary prospector crossed the 
Coast Range and "struck it rich;" that he ac- 
cumulated a fabulous sum, hid' it, and that the 
Indians assaulted him and left him for dead; 
that he recovered his consciousness, but not his 
reason, and he wandered out of the forest into 
the confines of civilization, and finally found his 
friends in the East. This story of course ex- 
cited the cupidity of some miners, who in the 
sprino' of 1851, under Captain McDermott, be- 
gan a search and first found a magnificent har- 
bor. Another party then started in search of 
that harbor and they found and named Paragon 
Bay. They dispatched a messenger to San 
Francisco, who organized another expedition to 
this bay, with the schooner Pomona, some time 
in the fall of 1852. The next spring the town 
site was selected. During the winter of 1852- 
'53 A. M. Rosborongh purchased a land war- 
rant in J. F. Wendell's name for 320 acres, on 
which Crescent City now stands. The place 
was so named on account of the crescent shape 
of the roadstead. Smith's River Valley, the 
only other settlement of importance in that 
district, was settled in 1853. 

In 1858-'59 there was a war with the Min- 
loon Indians on the Upper Mad River, result- 
ing in a surrender of the savages, under General 
Kihbe. In February, 1860, there occurred a 
great massacre of the redskins on Indian Island. 

The Assemblymen from Del Norte County 
have been: R. H. Campbell, 1887; L. F. 
Cooper, 1880; W. B. Hamilton, 1883; R. P. 
Hirst, 1858, 1863-'64; W. B. Mason, 1881; 
James E. Murphy, 1869-'70, 1873-'78, and 
others from adjoinitig counties, which see. 


In this county is the spot now called Coloma, 
where Marshall made the discovery that imme- 
diately excited the whole world. For a full 

account of this, the great gold discovery, see a 
previous chapter. 

The word " El Dorado " is Spanish for golden , 
or the gilt. 

In 1541, so tradition goes, Gonzalo Pizarro, 
brother of the conqueror of Peru, marched 
from Quito to seek the fnbled kingdom of gold, 
which, according to the traditions of the abo- 
rigines, existed some place east of the Andes. 
The monarch of this fabulous kingdom was 
said, in order to wear a more magnificent attire 
than any other king in the world, to be adorned 
with a daily coating of gold. His body was 
anointed every morning witli rare and fra- 
grant gums, and gold dust blown over him 
through a tube. 

Thus attired, the Spaniards called him El 
Dorado. He was said to reside generally in 
the superb city of Manos, in one street of which 
there were said to be not less than 3,000 silver- 
smiths or silver- workers. The columns of his 
palace were aflirraed to be porphyry and alabas- 
ter, his throne ivory, and its steps gold; the 
body of the palace was of white stone, orna- 
mented with gold suns and silver moons; and 
living lions fastened with chains of gold 
guarded its entrance. The county was so 
named from the fact that gold was first discov- 
ered Avithin its limits. 

About the middle of the summer of 1850 
some Indians were killed in the neighborhood 
of Johnson's ranch, about six miles above 
Placerville, on the immigrant road. It was 
rumored at the time that no provocation for 
this had been given by the Indians, and that it 
was done to stir up a war of extermination. If 
this was the scheme it worked well, for the In- 
dians killed some of the miners and then the 
citizens aroused and organized companies, 
placed Sheriif William Rogers at the head and 
marched to the county line without finding any 
Indians. After they disbanded Indians came 
from their hiding places and again began com- 
mitting outrages. A subsequent attempt was 
made by the whites to exterminate the savages, 
with doubtful results, and this was the last. 



Into this county entered the old immigrant 
road by way of Carsonville. This side of the 
State line was an old Mormon station or trading 
post; next, the road crossed the summits of the 
mountains, then turned around the southern 
end of Silver Lake, passed down the head 
waters of the American and Cosumnes rivers, 
followed the divide between these rivers through 
Sly Park, Pleasant Valley, Diamond Spring, 
Mud Springs, Shingle Springs and White Rock 
Springs into Sacramento County. A branch 
struck off at Grizzly Flat to Brownsville, Indian 
Diggings and Fiddletown; and from Diamond 
Spring by way of Placerville to Coloina, Kel- 
sey's, Spanish Flat, Georgetown, Grenada, 
Centerville, Salmon Falls, — all points in the 
northern part of El Dorado County; from Mud 
Springs was a branch to Logtown, Saratoga and 
Drytown; and from Clarksville to Folsoni. 
This route was first " hunted " out by a Mormon 
named Hunt, in the spring of 1849, as advance 
agent for the Mormons. He made the journey 
with wagons and a party of fifteen or sixteen 
men. He afterward settled in San Bernardino 
County, where he was elected to the Legislature 
in 1853, but later returned to Salt Lake, when 
Brigham Young called all the Mormons home. 
But, older than this road, was one of nearly 
equal importance, namely, the road from Sacra- 
mento to Coloma, by way of Folsom, Mormon 
Island, Green Valley, Rose Springs and Union- 

Several local organizations were effected, and 
some, with aid from the Legislature, made sur- 
veys for various wagon roads across the Sierra 
Nevada mountains. Notably in 1855 a wagon 
road convention was held at Placerville and at 
Sacramento, to devise plans for the construction 
of the road during the next two years; and, 
after a great deal of trouble, contracts were let 
and work commenced, and nearly half the worst 
portion of the I'oute was done, when the con- 
tractors failed. 

The American South Fork, as nearest the 
point of distribution, at Sacramento, and carry- 
ing with it the prestige uf the gold discovery, 

long attracted the widest current of immigra- 
tion. A just tribute to fame was awarded to 
the sawmill site at Coloina, the first spot 
occupied in the county, in 1847, by making it 
a main station for travel and the county-seat for 
El Dorado, and so remaining until 1857, after 
which, the mines failing, it declined into a 
small yet neat horticultural town. The sawmill, 
transferred to other hands by Marshall and 
Sutter, supplied in 1849 the demand for lumber. 
The first ferry on the fork was conducted here 
by J. T. Little, a fiourishing trader; and E. P. 
Rann constructed there the first bridge in the 
county early in 1850, for $20,000, yielding a 
return of $250 a day. In October, 1850, the 
population was estimated at 2,000. 

The early miners drifted mainly along 
Weber Creek toward Placerville, which became 
the most promising of El Dorado's towns, its 
final county-seat and center of attraction. South- 
ward rose Diamond Spring, which strove for 
the county-seat in 1854. It was almost 
destroyed by fire in August, 1856. Mud 
Springs, later named El Dorado, was incorpo- 
rated in 1855, with great flourish, but disincor- 
porated in 1857. Several small towns arose on 
the divide. Above the South Fork sprang up 
notably Pilot Hill, or Centerville, which claimed 
the first grange in the State. Greenwood and 
Georgetown also aspired at one time to become 
the county-seat. 

To Colonel J. B. Crandall is due the honor 
of having first made a stage line across the 
mountains, in the summer of 1857, with six- 
horse Concord stages. In May, 1858, a semi- 
weekly line was established upon this route. 
Passenger fare from Placerville to Salt Lake 
City was $125. The first overland through 
mail coach from the East successfully arrived at 
Placerville July '19, 1858, and was continued 
regularly for ten years, when the Central Pacific 
Railroad was completed to Cisco and the stages 
were then run from that point. The oldest 
exj)ress line in the county was established by 
Alexander Hunter, the agent of the California 
State line. It was run in connection with 


Stevens, Placerville and Sacramento stages, and 
connected with Wells and Fargo's express at 
Sacramento; and this was kept up for years. 

El Dorado is one of the original counties of 
February 18, 1850; and Coloma, the only town 
in the county, was designated as the seat of 
government; but the population was change 
able and evanescent, and no substantial public 
buildings could be erected there. In 1854 a 
fight for the county-seat began, which lasted 
three years and ended in a victory for Placer- 
ville. This place, the most historic town in the 
gold region, was first known as Old Dry Dig- 
gings. In 1849 a Frenchman and a Spainard 
were hung there to a tree by a mob for high- 
way robbery on the Georgetown road, and this 
gave the name of " Rangtown " to the place, by 
which it was known throughout the early rain- 
ing days, when it was the most thronged point 
in California, the headquarters of the gold 
excitement. In 1854 the place was incorporated 
under the name of Placerville, the municipal 
election being held June 5 that year. Alexan- 
der Hunter, previously mentioned, was elected 
the first mayor. 

Tiie altitude of Placerville is 1,895 feet; and 
the summit at Johnson's Pass, 7,266 feet; and 
the height of Genoa above sea level is 4,794 

In 1857 an eflbrt was made in vain to form 
Eureka County from the northern half of El 
Dorado. Nearly every surviving town in the 
county owes its beginning to mining, although 
so large a proportion now depends solely on 
agriculture and trade; but with the decline of 
mining the vitality of the larger places also de- 
clined, so that by 1880 less than 11,000 re- 
mained of the population which during the '50s 
exceeded 20,000. Farming, however, and nota- 
bly horticulture, stepped in to turn the current 
into a channel of slow though steady revival. 
The census of 1880 assigned to the county 542 
farms, with an improved acreage of only 69,000. 
Inarming had its beginning in this region in 
1849-'50, when potatoes were first planted by 
the Hodges Bros., on Greenwood Creek, near 

Coloma. By the year 1855 forty saw-mills and 
one flour-mill had been erected; also five tan- 
neries and three breweries, fifteen toll-bridges, 

There are a number of splendid caves in this 
county, the principal being near the Cosumnes 
copper mine, and the alabaster cave, or Coral 
cave, on the road from Pilot Hill to Rattle- 
snake Bridge. This has unusually fine stalact- 
ites. A large quantity of copper exists in El 
Dorado County, some silver, cinnabar, iron, as- 
bestos, and large quantities of lime-stone, mar- 
ble, roofing slate, etc. 

No similar area of country in the world can 
boast of a finer water supply than El Dorado 

Thomas A. Springier introduced the first 
newspaper into this county, namely, the El 
Dorado Republican, at Placerville, in the sum- 
mer of 1851, and it was the first paper in the 
interior of California outside of Sacramento. 
It was continued regularly until February 18, 
1854, when he sold out to D. W. Gelwicks & 
Co., who replaced the Repuilican with the 
Mountain. Democrat, which paper was well 
managed. The Miners' Advocate was first 
issued also in the summer of 1851, at Coloma. 
James K. Pile & Co. were the proprietors, D. 
W. Gelwicks editor, and D. G. Waldron busi- 
ness agent. This was the second paper in the 
whole mining district of the State. It was 
Whig in politics. In 1853 the material was 
sold to a party who changed its name to the 
Empire County Argus. The Miners'' Advocate 
was transferred to Diamond Spring, and after- 
ward had a varied history. 

Up to 1855 the people were taxed heavily for 
the care of the indigent sick, who had to be re- 
moved to the Marine hospital at San Francisco. 
This institution was abolished by the Legisla- 
ture in 1855, and county infirmaries provided 
for. The county then awarded the contract to 
Drs. Asa Clark and Obed Harvey for taking 
care of those who were dependent upon the 
public. They erected a building, to which the 
county made an appropriation of $3,500, and 


entered upon their duties. Both these gentle- 
tnen are still living and are holding responsible 

Tiie members of the State Assembly from 
El Dorado County have been: S. A. Ballon 
1854, 1858; Wm. Barklage, 1871-'72; A. J 
Bayley, 1871-'72, 1883; John C. Bell, 1860 
A. B. Bird, 1867-'68; Edgar Bogardus, 1855 
John L. Boles, 1855; John Borland, 1856 
James E. Bowe, 1856; Alfred Briggs, 1854 
1859; D. E. Buel, 1858; James Burr, 1863 
J. S. Campbell, 1863-'66; G. J. Carpenter, 1875 
-'76; J. Carpenter, 1857; Samuel H. Center, 
1871-'72; Robert Chalmers, 1871-'72; J. R. 
Clark, 1863; William Coleman, 1859, 1861; 
C. W. Coltrin, 1861; George M. Condee, 1859; 
John Conness, 1853-'54, 1860-'61; W. F. Cun- 
ningham, 1855; John Cutler, 1852; Seneca 
Dean, 1862; John H. Dennis, 1862; G. A. 
Douglass, 1859; G. N. Dnuglass, 1859; Y. A. 
Dow, 1863-'64; Elon Dunlap, 1860; David 
Fairchild, 1860; Thomas Fitch, 1863; Theron 
Foster. 1855, 1861; Thomas Eraser, 1863- 
'64, 1880-'81; John Frasier, 1862; Stephen 
T. Gage, 1856; J. D. Galbraith, 1859; S. Gar- 
field, 1853; Charles Gildea, 1867-'70; N". Gil- 
more, 1873-'74; A. J. Graham, 1858; James 
J. Green, 1861; Gaven D. Hall, 1851, 1857; 
S. F. Ham, 1857; Asa H. Hawley, 1860; T. D. 
Heiskell, 1856; Robert Henderson, 1861; Sam- 
uel Hill, 1861; H. Hollister, 1854; William R. 
Hopkins, 1852; John Hume, 1857; Alexander 
Hunter,1861; G.H. Ingham, 1873-'74; Charles 

F. Irwin, 1883; J. C. Johnson, 1855; J. J. 
Kendrick, 1851; J. F. Kidder, 1865-'66; Har- 
vey Lee, 1858; D. T. Loof borrow, 1858; Henry 
Mahler, 1887; II. McConnell, 1855; George 
McDonald, 1854, 1857; S. A. McMeans, 1852- 
'5b; J. D. McMurray, 1869-'70; James H. Mil- 
ler, 1869-'70, 1877-'78; M. N. Mitchell, 1857; 
H. A. Moses, 1858; H. B. Newell, 1867-70; 
J. W. Oliver, 1856; Charles Orvis, 1857; H. 

G. Parker, 1862; D. C. Patton, 1860; C. W. 
Pearis, 1858; Thomas B. Rowland, 1883; S. 
W. Sanderson, 1863; G. W. Simpers, 1873-'74; 
H. C. Sloss, 1859; E. L. Smith, 1865-'66; N. 

T. Smith, 1855; E. C. Springer, 1854; Ogden 
Squires, 1859; E. A. Stephenson, 1854-'55; 
W. H. Stone, 1860; D. P. Tallmadge, 1854; 
Edward F. Taylor, 1865-'66; W. H. Taylor, 
1856; P. Teare, 1863-64; J. S. Tipton, 1858- 
-'59; J. Turner, 1857; E. H. Watson, 1885; 
J. H. Watson, 1860; L. S. Welsh, 1856; James 
D. White, 1856; Stephen Willets, 1867-'68; 
George E. Williams, 1873-'74; Austin Wing, 


This county has kept up pretty fully its im- 
portance as a producer of the precious metal, 
while at the same time making a genuine ad- 
vance towards the position of a great fruit re- 
gion. As is the case elsewhere along the foot- 
hills, it has been discovered that the county 
possesses a citrus belt, and numbers of orange 
and lemon trees have been set out. Fruits of 
other kinds, deciduous, nut-bearing trees, etc., 
and also grapes, both for table use and for wine- 
making, have been grown extensively in differ- 
ent parts, El Dorado indeed being one of the 
first counties to undertake on a large scale the 
growth of grapes and fruits. Some of the vine- 
yards and orchards about Coloma, for instance, 
date far back near to the beginning of things 
in California; in other words, to the early '50s, 
and even '49. No county distances El Dorado 
in the extent and richness of her natural re- 
sources, which include mining for more than 
gold alone, quarries of slate and stone, lime- 
burning, lumbering, stock and sheep raisiug, 
and especially her fruit and grapes. 

El Dorado has had a varied, not to t^ay un- 
fortunate history, of late years. The elusive 
hope of becoming a link on the transconti- 
nental system of railways was long a source of 
great trouble to the people, liberal bonuses be- 
ing voted more than once, which somehow 
always reached the hands of the companies and 
yet the promised roads were never built. A 
mill-stone of debt was thus hung about the neck 
of the county, which only of late years has been 
removed, and the county permitted to step fur- 
ward into the prominence nature intended for 



her. Until lately there was no railroad in this 
county, and the agricultural and dairying ele- 
ment of the population had to depend upon the 
miners here for their market. 

The railroad reached Shingle Springs, twelve 
miles from Placerville, as long ago as 1865, but 
it only reached the latter point in 1888, bicker- 
ings, lawsuits and misunderstandings being the 
cause of the hitch, and the county seeming to 
lose every time. Indeed, in 1881 the road sus- 
pended operations altogether, and it was not 
resumed till the following year. With the com- 
pletion of the railroad, however, to Placerville, 
things have taken on a new aspect, and lost 
uTound will probably be recovered. 

The county roads are unusually good, the 
oradients as a general thing being light and the 
road-bed smooth. This ie probably due to the 
fact that until the completion of the Central 
Pacitic, the main turnpike thoroughfare over the 
Sierra Nevada passed through the county. Even 
yet the idea is occasionally put forth that the 
main line of the Central Pacilic is to run up the 
Placerville cafion and by a long tunnel under 
the crest of the Sierras. 


the old-time " Hangtown," the name being 
chano-ed by the Legislature in 1850, — is one of 
the most picturesque towns in the State, the 
Tnain street following for over a mile the mean- 
derings of a ravine, once exceedingly rich in gold . 
On the hillside and tops are the finer residences 
and some large buildings that present a line 
appearance. Tlie town, too, has the reputation 
of being the wealthiest of its size in California. 
It has at any rate an old and " settled " appear- 
ance, with its rows of large brick stores and 
public buildings that impresses strongly the 
visitor. The county court-house, hall of records 
and jail is a massive pile of red brick standing 
flush with the main street, erected in the early 

Near Placerville are the hospital and county 
farm, second to none in the interior of the State 
and well kept. There are two large public 

school buildings, and the Placerville Academy, 
long one of the most prosperous private schools 
of the interior. There are four churches, well 
supported, a good fire department and an ample 
water supply, the town being lighted by gas. 
A few miles east of the town are the three large 
lumber mills of Messrs. J. & J. Blair, one of 
the most enterprising firms of the place. They 
have also a mill in the mountains over thirty 
miles above town. Placerville has also flouring 
mills, a planing mill and box factory, and a 
foundry and machine shop. One of the char- 
acteristic sights is that of the Pacific quartz 
mine on the top of one of the hills in town, the 
sound of the stamps being plainly heard on the 
main street. Placerville has a fine opera-house. 
District fairs are also held here annually, there 
being here a fine race track. 


Georgetown, always one of the prettiest towns 
in the mountains, is 2,700 feet above sea-level, 
and is still pre-eminently a mining town,- but 
surrounded on every side by gax-dens, vines and 
fruit trees. It is a prosperous business point, 
with churches, schools and lively merchants. 
Thi-ee saw-mills are running within a few miles 
of the place. Georgetown is connected by stage 
with Placerville and Auburn. 

Coloma holds the honor of having been tlie 
scene of the first discovery of gold. A hand- 
some bronze monument to Marshall, the discov- 
erer, was erected by the State Legislature in 
1888 on the fortieth anniversary of the event, 
on the summit of an elevation overlooking the 
spot. Some notoriety attaches to one of its first 
citizens and his wife, namely Mr. and Mrs. Peter 
L. Wimmer, as they were so intimately con- 
nected with Marshall in the gold discovery. 

Mr. Wimmer, a native of Ohio, came over- 
land with his wife in 1846; worked for Sutter 
as a millwright in 1847-'48, and was one of the 
men employed at the Coloma mill when gold 
was discovered, being perhaps with Marshall on 
the eventful morning when "they" picked up 
the first nugget. It was Mrs. Wimmer who at 


the request of Marshall tested the nugget by 
boiling it in a kettle of lye, with whicli she was 
making soap. In 1885 she still had thenngget 
in her possession. After the gold discovery the 
family kept a boarding-house, having also a 
clioice assortment of pigs, ard finally they re- 
moved to Southern California. 

The first business places in Coloma were those 
of Captain Shannon and Cady's, the New York 
Store, S. S. Brooks' store and John Little's Em- 
porium on the north side of the river. Warner, 
Sherman and Bestor, of the United States army, 
kept a store here during the winter of 1848- 
'49, Bestor being the business man of the com- 
pany. The first hotel was the Winters Plotel, 
Messrs. Winters & Cromwell proprietors. Sut- 
ter's saw-mill was finished and did good work, 
under the management of Winters, Marshall 
and Bayley. Captain Shannon was also alcalde 
of the township and John T. Little the first 
postmaster. In 1852 a large two-story build- 
ing was erected for a theater. One of Sutter's 
iron howitzers is still — or was recently — deco- 
rating the Meyers Hotel. 

Nearly all the first experiments in agricult- 
ure were naturally made at Coloma, at first the 
most populous center. The place is now noted 
for her excellent peaches, as well as other fruits, 
Bartlett pears and grapes being also favorites. 
Fruit is shipped out both by way of Placer- 
ville and Auburn. At Coloma is an extensive 
winery and a popular summer hotel. The place 
is burrounded by orchards. 

Shingle Springs was an important point while 
the terminus of the railroad, but now is quiet. 
There is considerable quartz minining near 


Diamond Spring, on the railroad, has a 
saw-mill. Near by is El Dorado, a growing 
town. There is much quartz-mining in this 
vicinity. Latrobe, a point lower do«n on the 
railroad, has attained considerable reputation as 
a resort for consumptives. 

Grizzly Flat is an important mining town, 
with two saw-mills and many flourishing 
orchards. Greenwood is another mining camp. 

with large fruit orchards in the vicinity. It 
makes some boast as a health resort, and, in 
case of a division of the county, hopes to be- 
come a county-seat. 

El Dorado County possesses a most abundant 
water supply, and many large ditches have been 
taken out for mining and irrigating supplies. 
Originally these ditches were probably taken 
out with no thought other than a supply of 
water for mining purposes, but they have 
proved of immense value to the county in fer- 
tilizing its lands. Among the larger is the El 
Dorado Water and Deep Gravel Mining 
Company's ditch, drawn from stores of water 
collected in Silver and EcIkj Lakes. To utilize 
this water a tunnel is run through the Sierras, 
as they lie east of its summit. The California 
Water Company's ditch is also of inexhaustible 

A wealthy company, called the American 
Lumber Company, has recently been formed 
and is now constructing two very large saw- 
mills in the great body of pine timber situated 
in the mountains. The product will be flumed 
to the railways. 

In Lake Tahoe, which fronts a portion of the 
eastern border of the county. El Dorado, in 
common with Placer County, possesses an at- 
traction of great value. Here are situated 
Tallac, with its beautiful summer hotels, the 
property of E. J. ("Lucky") Baldwin, the 
millionaire. Near by are also the great Row- 
land saw-mills, with large annual cut. 

The slate quarries at Chili Bar are the most 
extensive in the West, the slate of good quality, 
and an increasing amount being taken out. A 
good quality of lime is burned at a point on 
the Auburn and Placerville Stage Ivoad, there 
existing a strong ledge of limestone. 

In Placerville is published the Mountain 
Democrat, a leading paper of the mountains, 
established in 1852. The Observer, formerly 
published there, has lately been absorbed by it. 
The Gazette, a lively weekly, begun in 1880, is 
issued in Georgetown, while at Shingle Springs 
appears the Independent, dating from 1885. 



The El Dorado County Repuhlican was 
founded at Placerville in 1869 by B. F. Davis. 
As its name indicates, this paper has been Re- 
publican in politics since its inception. It led 
a prosperous caj-eer from the beginning and in 
July, 1883, the paper was sold to C. E. Richard- 
son and Gr. A. Richardson, who conducted it in 
partnership for three years, when G. A. Rich- 
ardson purchased his brother's interests and has 
since conducted tlie paper, as editor and sole 
proprietor. Mr. Richardson is thirty-four years 
of age, is a native son, born in £1 Dorano County, 
and was a teacher in the public schools of the 
State before taking up the editorial pen. His 
parents were intelligent people, but quite poor 
in this world's goods, and M-hatever success 
their son has achieved has been due to his own 




This is on the ocean shore in the northwest- 
ern part of the State; only the small county of 
Del Norte lying north of it; and in Humboldt 
County is the westernmost point of the United 
States, — Cape Mendocino. The earliests visits 
to this region by Spanish and English explorers 
have already been mentioned on pages 9, etc. 
In 1825-'26, the old trapper, Jedediah S. Smith, 
who visited almost every part of California, 
passed through here on his way to Oregon. 
Although he " followed the coast," in some 
manner he failed to discover the splendid bay. 
Michael Laframbois, a Hudson Bay trapper, 
followed Smith's track in 1832. 

Major Reading, in 1845, on a trapping expe- 
dition, discovered the south fork of the Klamath, 
which he believed to be the river flowing into 
the harbor of Trinidad. In 1849 he moved 
over to the river to mine, "struck it rich," and 
began employing Indians on a large scale; but 
lie did not long have things to himself. A 
party of Oregonians, who had heard of his dis 
covery and followed his trail, broke in upon his 
quiet iiionopoiy. They objected to his Indian 
ciieap labor, and the Indians were " cleaned 

out" of Trinity very much as the Chinese were 
recently made to leave Eureka. Reading was 
disgusted, but he took his revenge by turning 
farmer and trader and getting all the miners' 
dust from them in exchange for the necessaries 
of life. 

During the year 1848, in San Francisco, a 
public meeting was called to take steps to re- 
discover and utilize the lost port of Trinidad, 
but the gold flurry of the time prevented 

The story of the discovery of Humboldt 
Bay, and with it the real beginning of the his- 
tory of the region, is one of adventure, peril 
and hardship. As it was thought that the har- 
bor of Trinidad might prove to be a more 
important port than even that of San Francisco, 
a diligent search was made for it in 1849-'50, 
both by land and sea. In October, 1849, Josiah 
Oregg, who was elected leader of the party, 
and Thomas Sebring, David A. Buck, J. B. 
Truesdell, Mr. Van Duzen, Charles C. South- 
ard, Isaac Wilson and L. K. Wood, who had 
been mining all summer on tiie Trinity, deter- 
mined to make their way down to San Fran- 
cisco for the winter along the coast instead of 
the route by the Sacramento. On reaching 
Bald Hills the river was running on, and they 
decided to make a short cut over the ridge 
south, and in this way they failed to discover 
that the Trinity was but a tributary to the 
Klamath. Tiiis brought them to the mouth of 
a river which of course they must take to be 
the Trinity. 

Meantime the rains came on, their provisions 
gave out, and, according to L. K. Wood's ac- 
count, — who was the historian of the party, — 
grizzly bears seem to have formed the most 
material part of their supplies At a later 
stage of their journey Wood met three bears 
and they almost "chewed him up." His com- 
panions had to carry him on their backs along 
their desperate course. He was rendered a 
cripple for life. Josiah Gregg, the head of the 
party, was told by the Indians tiiat there was a 
harbor four miles north; but Gregg's compan- 


ions, feeling certain that tliey were right in 
their river and tlie Spaniards wrong in their 
harbor, wanted to turn back. Josiah waxed 
wroth and determined to go ahead. From this 
circumstance " Mad " River received its natne. 

They reached the ocean near the mouth of 
Mad River, and after contriving to get across 
that river and into the brush beyond, they went 
into camp and began a search for fresh water. 
Presently Wood returned witii some brackish 
water in his hat. They all visited the water 
and named it Trinity Bay; this was really the 
upper end of Humboldt Bay. They remained 
there until January 1, 1850, when they began 
a most weary journey to Sonoma, which they 
reached at last terribly exhausted. 

The story created great excitement in San 
Francisco, and several parties were made up to 
go to the new-found bay, establish a city and 
open up a new and shorter route to the mines. 
Great rivalry ensued, each ship-load anxious to 
be the iirst in locating the town site. Among 
other schooners that started were the Cameo 
and the Laura Virginia. The Cameo arrived 
first at the mouth of the harbor, but the bar 
was too rough to permit her passing. A boat's 
crew, however, made their way inside, while 
the Cameo went on np the coast. Meanwhile 
the Laura Virginia came up, crossed the bar, 
and to her belongs the honor of being the iirst 
vessel to enter Humboldt Bay. The California 
was the second schooner to visit the harbor. 

Samuel Brannan fitted out a schooner, the 
Jane Morgan, which fell in with the Laura 
Virginia returning from Trinidad. He made 
his way up to Trinidad and was proceeding to 
lay out the town when' the other settlers 
thought he was "hogging it." A quarrel 
ensued, and Brannan, who was the only capi- 
talist of the party, returned to Humboldt Bay, 
where he and his friends decided to cut a canal 
to Eel River and thus get to the mines on the 
Trinity, forgetting that they knew even less 
about the Eel River than they did about the 
Trinity. Eel River was named by Mr. Bran- 
nan after himself, but his name failed to remain 

permanent. The schooner J. M. Ryerson was 
the first vessel to enter the mouth of Eel River. 

Of the land party, Dr. Gregg finally died 
from hardship and starvation before the party 
reached the settlements. Wood was afterward 
for two or three terms county clerk of that 
county, and possibly he is yet living. Buck 
was a borderer from Missouri. He returned to 
the bay in the spring of 1850, took up the 
tract called Bucksport, and was afterward 
drowned off Columbia Bar in the old Jane 

Douglas Ottinger, a member of one of the 
parties who went by sea, gave to the bay the 
name of Humboldt, after the great German 
scientist and traveler; but it is also claimed that. 
Major E. H. Howard, now of Eureka, gave this 
name to the bay. The latter propably first 
suggested the name. 

Lnmediately after the discovery of Humboldt 
Bay by the land and sea parties as above 
described, rival towns were of course started, 
the chief of these being Union (now called 
Areata), Eureka and Bucksport. R.V.Warner 
founded " Warnersville " at Trinidad; but that 
place now has only the Government light-house, 
postotiice and prospects; while Eureka, situated 
on the best bay next to San Francisco on the 
coast, has grown to be a fine city of 6,000 souls. 


The county of Humboldt, named after the 
bay, was organized in 1853, under act of May 
12, that year, and the town of Union, now 
Areata, was designated as the countj'-seat. 
Bucksport and Eureka were bitter rivals for this 
bonanza. In 1854, to determine the relative 
claims of the two places, Union was selected by 
vote of the people, by a decisive majority. The 
usual charge of fraud in the election returns 
was made. In the meantime the supervisors 
postponed the erection of a court-house, while 
matters seemed unsettled. The controversy 
continued until the Legislature of 1855 -'56 
determined to remove the seat of government 
to Eureka. The Union business men, nothing 


daunted, went on im})rovin^ their town and 
increasing their trade with the mines. In 1860 
the name of the town was changed to its present 
Indian name of Areata, while the township re- 
tains the name Union. 

It would require many columns to give a full 
account of the early history of Areata; — how 
the mining excitements, wliich doubled and 
trebled its population several times and as often 
left it smaller than before, of the wars and 
bloody fights and massacres; of the day-dreams 
of its founders which were destined to end in 
smoke; of the thousand and one incidents and 
reminiscences of pioneer days. Areata is still 
an ambituous village of 1,200 inhabitants. In 
the southern part of the town is the depot of 
the Areata & Mad River Railroad, and from 
this depot the railroad extends south over a vast 
mud flat or tide land, to a wharf two miles in 
length, which reaches to deep water in the bay. 
Here the steamer makes connection for Eureka, 
making three trips a day. Business establish- 
ments, churches, schools and societies worship 
here as in any other highly civilized town. 

Humboldt County is 108 miles north and 
south, but there are 175 miles of ocean frontage; 
and the greatest width is forty-eight miles. 
Rivers and forests abound throughout the 
county. Eighty miles of the Klamath River 
are in Humboldt or on its boundary line; Trinity 
River is for fifty miles of its course in the same. 

In April, 1850, the town of Reading was laid 
out on the Sacramento River by Major Reading 
as a supply point for the Trinity mines. Mean- 
while the mines were fast filling up by men 
from the Sacramento Valley. When com- 
munication was opened between the new towns 
on the coast and the mines, which was not 
effected until Maj, there were about 2,000 
miners on tlie river. It did not then take lonu- 
to get the topography of the country straight- 
ened out. It was found that Eel River was by 
no means a highway to the mines, and that 
both Trinidad and Humboldt bays were of 
little use to the miners on Trinity River, who 
could communicate more easily and cheaply 

with the Sacramento Valley than with the sea. 
It was also found that the Trinity River, whose 
eccentric course had so deceived the early pros- 
pectors, did not enter the ocean at all, but was 
simply a tributary to the Klamath. Klamath 
City, laid out in 1850 at the mouth of the 
river, had but a brief and inglorious career, on 
account of the shifting sand-bars below. 

In December, 1850, great excitement was 
created by the discovery of the Gold Bluff 
mines, on the shore near Trinidad, but they 
were never made to pay. In this year also, 
upon the division of the State into counties, the 
whole northwestern portion of the State, being 
almost wholly unknown at the time, was set-off 
as Trinity County, with Eureka as county-seat. 
In 1852, Klamath County was organized to 
include all territory north of Mad River, Trinity 
being south of that, and with this change 
Weaverville obtained the county government, 
Orleans Bar being county-seat of Klamath. In 
1853, Humboldt County was formed, containing 
all its present territory excepting the portion 
north of Mad River, which belonged to Klamath. 

Klamath County seems never to have pros 
pered. In the early days Orleans Bar was a 
very rich camp and contained a large popula- 
tion. As the placers were worked out, how- 
ever, population decreased, and, the county be- 
ing heavily in debt, things were in a bad way. 
Finally in 1874, after a struggling existence, 
the county was blotted out and its territory 
divided between Humboldt and Del Norte, the 
latter county having been formed in 1856. 

In January, 1853, the Government founded 
Fort Humboldt on the Bay, selecting the high 
bluflf immediately fronting the entrance to the 
harbor, on which Bucksport was situated. There 
was nothing in the way of fortifications at- 
tempted except a slight earth-work, now almost 
indistinguishable. The barracks, officers' houses, 
etc., are rapidly tumbling down, but are yet 
standing. The chief distinction that Fort 
Humboldt possesses is from the fact that Lieu- 
tenant Ulysses S. Grant, afterward the great 
General, was stationed there for a time. 


Rapid progress was made in the redwood 
lumber industry, which from the tirst has been 
the leading one of the county. The first saw- 
log was cut in 1850, and in 1854 a logging 
railway, several miles in length, was built, a 
good substantial iron-laid, well-ballasted road^ 
near Eureka, the first railroad to be built in 
California, or on the Pacific coast. To show to 
how great a magnitude lumbering had already 
risen, it may be mentioned tiiat in 1854, no less 
than 20,567,000 feet of lumber was sawed. Ship- 
building also began early, the steamer " Glide " 
having been constructed on the bay in 1854. 

Humboldt has had a good deal of Indian 
troubles. From 1852 to 1856 especially there 
was constant warfare, many settlers and their 
families being murdered. Nothing that the 
Indians did, however, equals in atrocity the 
massacre performed among them in 1860, which 
seems efieetually to have quenched their spirit, 
for there has been no trouble since. A large 
rancheria existed on Indian Island, opposite 
Eureka. During the night of February 20, 
some white wretches went across and without 
warning slaughtered over 150 Indians, bucks, 
squaws and cliildreu, just as they came in the 
way, few escaping. The Hoopa Indian Reser- 
vation was set otf by the Government in 1864, 
and by 1868 the last of the Indians were re- 
moved to it. At the present time, however, 
they are by no means strictly kept to their 
reservation. Numbers of them employed as 
laborers, etc., and seemingly steady and intelli- 
gent employes, are to be found about the towns 
and logging camps. They seem less degraded 
than the Indians further south. The Hoopa 
Valley is one of the most beautiful of the 
county, containing about 38,000 acres of splen- 
did land. This is farmed by the Indians, who 
have stock, raise some .grain, have a flour-mill 
and seem prospering. It was formerly called 
Eden Valley. 


the chief town of the county, is a well built and 
handsome city. It possesses a very large trade, 
both local and foreign, many hundred vessels 

being dispatched every year to foreign ports 
laden with lumber and lumber manufactures. 
The cause of its pre-eminence in the tirst in- 
stance was due to its fine shipping facilities, 
having deep water close to its front. In Eu- 
reka, and on the islands opposite, are several 
very large sawmills, which, during lively times, 
run day and night sawing the gigantic redwood 
logs. The operation is very interesting, many 
new devices being adopted for handling the 
enormous sticks, often over twenty feet in 
diameter. Eureka possesses also many other 
manufactures, shingle-raills, sash and door, and 
furniture factories, foundries, boiler and engine 
works, etc., such as would be naturally called 
for in a lumbering region. She has large tan- 
neries also, and near by a cheese factory. A 
new court-house, completed in 1889, cost $175,- 
000, and is a very fine structure. The Eureka 
Academy and Business College, founded 1887, 
possesses handsome buildings in the heart of 
the town, and is a very prosperous institution. 
Eureka has also twenty-one public school build- 
ings, many fine churches, and a host of mag- 
nificent residences, in which are housed her 
lumber millionaires, who are many. Eureka is 
an important ship-building point, several busy 
yards being located in town and near by. She 
has gas and electric lighting, has good water- 
works and is well sewered. Eureka became an 
incorporated city April 18, 1856. A United 
States Land Office is located there, and it is a 
port of entry, possessing a very large trade. 

The Government has now in course of pro- 
gress the improvement of the harbor of Hum- 
boldt Bay, agitation for this having begun 
in 1877. In 1878-'79 Captain James B. Eads, 
the great engineer, gave it a thorough survey 
and since then work has been progressing stead- 
ily. When completed it will have cost several 
millions, and will make the harbor perfect and 
safe at all times and equal to any on the coast. 


is a favorite residence town, being more free 
from fogs thai, its larger neighbor. It is a 


growing town, with a considerable inland trade, 
being the natural outlet for the northern country. 
It has good churches, schools, etc. Until 1860, 
it bore tlie name of Union, the word Areata 
meaning the same in the Indian tongue. Several 
large saw-mills, shingle-mills, etc., are near by 
and it has also a tannery and clieese factory. 
Other points on the bay are Field's Landing, 
where are the wharves of the Pacific Lumber 
Company, the Eel River and Eureka Valley 
Lumber Company and others. It has a grow- 
ing sliipping trade. Eureka being its port of 


Hookton was formerly an important place 
for the shipment of dairy produce, but it has 
now decayed owing to the construction of the 
railroad. Bucksport is no more. 

In the Eel River Valley, which contains the 
largest body of agricultural land in the county, 
are several important towns. Ferndale, the 
center of the dairy interests of the county, is a 
town of great wealth and a good business point. 
It is thrifty and improving, being founded in 
1860. Fort Kenyon, on Salt Creek, a couple 
of miles distant is its shipping point. This 
place is the product of the Roberts Bros., who 
have greatly advanced the interests of this por- 
tion of the county, running a weekly steamer 
to San Francisco. Port Kenyon has saw and 
shingle mills. Fortuna, formerly Springville, 
is an important manufacturing town, possessing 
saw, shingle, excelsior, planing and other mills. 
It is a most lively and progressive town. 
Rohnerville had its beginning in 1859, and is 
the center of a rich farming country. The 
Humboldt County Fair is held here annually 
and is well attended. Hydesville, founded in 
1858, is a good business point, the present 
tenminiis of the Eel River & Eureka Railroad. 
At Hydesville begins the great slieep and stock 
ranges of the county, the eastern and southern 
portions being given over to that. Scotia is a 
lively town, the product of the operation of the 
Pacific Lumber Company, whose mills arc the 
largest in the county. Rio Dell is a town in 

the Eel River Valley surrounded by a good 
farming region. Petrolia is so named from the 
existence of petroleum in its vicinity. About it 
is a good dairy and farming country. Camp 
Grant is noted for its line peaclies. Bridgeville, 
Blocksburg and Garberville are supply points 
in the. sheep and cattle regions. Shelter Cove 
has a favorite summer hotel and some shipping 

In the northern part of the county are Trin- 
idad, which possesses a good harbor and was 
once a lively town. Nothing is doing tliere 
now, the saw-mills being closed down. Orleans 
Bar, the center of the gold-mining regions of 
the county, was an important point in the '50s; 
now of little importance, although possessing 
hopes for the future, possessing many unde- 
veloped quartz ledges, and having a good fruit 
country about It. Blue Lake is a growing town 
on the Mad River, in a good farming country. 
North Fork possesses a large saw. and sliingle 
mill, and is the terminus of the Areata & 
Mad River Railroad. 

The chief glory of Humboldt County is its 


It has about 450,000 acres of this glorious tim- 
ber, which cuts on an average 100,000 feet to 
the acre. Within the county are twenty-four 
saw-mills of large capacity, and several smaller 
ones. Each of the large mills has a fully 
equipped shingle mill attached, as also lath 
mills, etc., besides which there are thirteen in- 
dependent mills ruiming on shingles exclusively. 
These saw-mills cut on an everage about 125,- 
000,000 feet of lumber per year, while the shin - 
gles number about 250,000,000. Besides these 
there are shakes, poets, pickets, lath, railroad 
ties, etc., to a vast extent. Ship-building has 
also become an important industry in the county. 
There are two regular shipyards and a marine 
railway. Over 100 vessels have been built on 
Humboldt Bay, which have won the repu ation 
of being superior vessels. Before dismissing 
this portion of our subject we should mention 
some of the leading and pioneer lumbermen. 


William Carson, of the firm of Dolbeer & Car- 
son, cut the first saw-log in the county in Octo- 
ber, 1850. Hon. John Yance, for three terms 
the mayor of Eureka and one of her most prom- 
inent as well as most wealthy citizens, began 
operations in 1850. In the same connection 
should be mentioned David Evans at the head 
of the Excelsior Mills, and the late Allen Mc- 
Kay, who founded the Occidental Mills. In 
connection with sliipping we must mentiom 
Captain H. H. Buline, a pioneer of 1847, who 
was one of the Laura Virginia company that 
first entered Humboldt Bay. He is an exten- 
sive tug and ship owner. These men all started 
poor and by enterprise and energy made their 
way upwards to wealth and honor. 

.Next to lumber and kindred industries ranks 


The annual wool clip of the county is about 
2,000,000 pounds. The stock interests are also 
very large. The late Hon. John Russ was one 
of the first, in 1852, to drive cattle into Hum- 
boldt. He acquired a vast fortune, leaving a 
widow and family who reside in the comfortable 
family mansion near Ferndale. Butter and 
cheese making is another important item in the 
business of the county. Gold-mining is also 
still a large interest, although not so important 
as formerly. Fishing is conducted quite exten- 
sively on the bay and off the coast. 

In matters of 


Humboldt County is singularly favored by 
water and almost entirely shut ofl^ by land. 
Two regular lines of steamers are on tlie route 
between Eureka and San Francisco, one runs 
regularly to San Francisco from Eel River, 
calling at Shelter Cove on the way, while a 
fourth runs i^gularly between Areata and San 
Francisco. In 1888, the total numbers of arri- 
vals and departures of vessels was 736 and 702, 
respectively, showing the magnitude of the 
shipping trade. The destination of many of 
these vessels was to foreign ports, as Australia, 

South America, Europe, etc. There are ten or 
a dozen railways in the county, all but two of 
them being simply logging roads. The two are 
the Eel River & Eureka Railroad, which runs 
twenty four miles up Eel River, and Areata & 
Mad River which runs twelve miles up the 
Mad River. From the terminus of the former 
a stage line connects, through Mendocino 
County, with Ukiah and the San Francisco & 
North Pacific Railway. A railroad to extend 
from Eureka to Red Blufl" across the mountains 
is being now much talked of, and if built would 
add greatly to the importance of Eureka, and 
probably make it the terminus of a trans-con- 
tinental road. Humboldt County people take 
great pride in the fact that there are 


In 1885, following a series of outrages by the 
Chinese, which culminated in the death of a 
prominent citizen, the people of Eureka notified 
them to leave, which they did with all their 
goods and chattels. Other towns throughout 
the county took similar action, and in some 
instances bought their property. 


The newspapers of Eureka are metropolitan 
in tone and represent ably, as do the other 
journals of the county, the interests of their 
section. The Times (morning) and Standard 
(evening), the one founded in 1854 and the 
other in 1875, have both daily and weekly 
editions. The Mail (1887) and the Western 
Watchman (1884) are both weeklies. In 
Ferndale is published the Enterprise (1879). 
In Areata is the Union (1886). In Areata is 
also printed the Enoinal, (1887), which is pub- 
lished at Gleudale, near by. Rohnerville sup- 
ports the Herald (1881); Blue Lake, the 
Advocate (1888), and Hyderville the Home 
Journal (1889). All of these are weeklies. 


Humboldt County has been represented in 
the State Assembly by the following: L. M. 
Burson, 1860; Jonathan Clark, 1875-'76; John 


Daggett, 1859-60; E. L. Davis, 1859; J. J. 
De Haven, 1869-'70; W. B. Hagans, 1861; H. 
VV. Havens, 1858; A. J. Hnestis, 1865-66; B. 
G. Hurlbnrt, 1873-'74; J. F. McGowan, 1887; 
G. C. Mklgett, 1881; A. H.Mnrdock, 1855; C. 
S. Ricks, 1856-'57; Joseph Russ, 1871-72, 
1877-"78, 1885; M. Spencer, 1854; C. L. Stod- 
dard, 1880; J. H. G. Weaver, 1883-85; G. W. 
Werk, 1862; Charles Westmoreland, 1867-'68; 
S. G. Whipple, 1863; A. Wiley, 1863-64, 
George Williams, 1887. 


comprising what is now Del Norte and a part 
of Humboldt and Siskiyou, was in existence 
from April 25, 1851, to 1874. The name 
Klamath is of Indian origin, and was first 
applied to the stream near its source by the 
early trappers, who asked the natives there 
what they called it, and were answered Klamat 
or Tlamat (it was spelled by Fremont Tlamath). 
The tribes that lived along the banks each had 
their own name for the river, bnt the name 
adopted by the whites soon became known from 
its mouth to its source, and was also applied to 
the lakes from which the river springs. The 
name is said to signify " swiftness." The 
county was named after the river. 

Most of the principal points of interest con- 
cerning Klamath County were necessarily men- 
tioned in our sketch of Humboldt County, next 
preceding this. While it maintained a separate 
organic existence, it was represented in the 
State Assembly by the following gentlemen: 

Assemblymen: J.J. Arrington, 1855; W. 
M.Buell, 1861; T. H. Coats, 1852; Walter Mc- 
Donald, 1856; James McMahon, 1853; L. H. 
Murch, 1865-'66; T. H. Rector, 1867-'68, 
1871-'72; Walter Van Dyke, 1853; S. G. 
Whipple, 1854, 1857; S. P. Wright, 1862-'63. 
See also Del Norte, Siskiyou, Trinity and Hum- 
boldt counties. 

March 28, 1874, the county was disorganized 
and annexed to IIiiiiLlinMt ;uid Siskiyou coun- 


Before the coming upon the scene of the 
white man. Lake County was one of the most 
populous parts of California, fhe Indians 
swarming in great numbers about Clear Lake 
and in the neighboring valleys. The reason 
for this is not far to seek, as the county presents 
a genial climate and has an abundance of every 
material necessary for their rude life. Along 
the shallow borders of the lakes were great 
marshes of the tule, so prized by them on ac- 
count of its succulent root. In and upon the 
waters were iish and fowl in plenty, while ber- 
ries, nuts and acorns were in great supply in 
the adjacent thickets and groves. Naturally, 
the county abounded also in game of all sorts, 
and hence we are prepared to learn that the first 
visits of white men to the section were paid by 
hunters in pursuit of their occupation. The 
iirst authentic account is of a party of hunters, 
names now unknown, who spent a winter in the 
valley near Lower Lake. They were on their 
way from Oregon, and took this route instead 
of that usually traveled down the Sacramento, 
intending to visit the Russians at Fort Ross 
and there dispose of their furs. They bnilt a 
cabin in the valley, and hence to these forgotten 
men must be credited the first habitation in the 
borders of what is now Lake County, This was 
in the very early days, a score or more of years 
before American occupation. It is probable 
also that trappers and hunters in the employ- 
ment of the Russians and the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany penetrated to this country, although no 
record of this has come down. The occasional 
appearance in the early days of an Indian whose 
skin was much fairer than that of his fellows, 
would seem to corroborate this fact, as these 
individuals were more than likely Russian or 
other half-breeds. 

In 1836, however, comes the first recorded 
event in the history of what afterward became 
Lake County. In that year Captain Salvador 
Vallejo and Ramon Carillo were sent at the 
head of a company of Mexican soldiers from 


the mission^ at Sonoma to make an expedition 
into tlie Clear Lake country. Just what was 
accomplished by this expedition does not appear, 
except that a few years later, the Vallejos drove 
in cattle and took informal possession of the 
valley as a stock ranch, conducted for them by 
major-domos, or overseers. Later on a claim 
was made by Salvador and Antonio Yallejo, for 
a grant of sixteen leagues of land, but for want 
of adequate proof, this was thrown out by the 
United States courts. The cattle multiplied 
fast, becoming wild as deer, and soon filled the 
valley to overflowing. In 1847, the Vallejos 
drove out all they could of the cattle, and sold 
the balance to four parties by name Stone, Shir- 
land and Atidrew and Benjamin Kelsey. Of 
these Stone and Andrew Kelsey came in and 
took possession, the others not coming in to re- 
side at all, and seenjingly never having much 
to do with the undertaking. They, or rather 
the Indians for them, erected an adobe house 
of considerable dimensions, being forty feet long 
and fifteen feet wide, on the banks of what is 
now known as Kelsey Creek, immediately oppo- 
site the present town of Kelsey ville. They 
treated the Indians very badly, compelling them 
to work continuously, never paying them any- 
thing for their labor, and often supplying them 
but scantily with food. Parties of them, too, 
were more than once sent out to other points as 
laborers, and after the discovery of gold, to dig 
gold for the whites, most of them perishing on 
these trips. As a result the Indians became 
restive and occasionally even threatening. Once 
they surrounded the adobe and but for the 
timely arrival of help from Sonoma, would 
probably have killed the two white men. This 
was in the spring of 1848. Stone and Kelsey 
paid no heed to these warnings, but if anything 
treated the Indians the worse, as a consequence. 
Finally, in the fall of 1849, the catastrophe oc- 
curred. The Indians beset the adobe again and 
put both the whites to death, burying them 
near by. As nothing was done to avenge the 
matter until the following spring, the Indians, 
fancying they had disposed of their oppressors 

forever, returned to their old haunts and habits. 
In the spring of 1850, however. Lieutenant 
Lyons, who later feU as General Lyons at the 
head of the Union forces at Wilson's Creek, 
Missouri, during the Civil war, was sent up 
with a detachment of soldiers. "When they 
reached the lower end of the lake, they found 
that the Indians had betaken themselves to an 
island in the upper part and they could not get 
at them. Consequently they sent back to San 
Francisco for two boats and two small brass 
cannon, which were sent up by wagon. It may 
be remarked here that these were the first wag. 
ons as well as the first built boats ever seen in 
Lake County. While a part of the soldiers, and 
volunteers who had flocked in to assist, went 
across the lake in the boats, the balance went 
round by land, this latter contingent being un- 
der command of Lieutenant (afterward General) 
George Stoneman. The result was catastroplie, 
short, sharp and sudden for the defenseless In- 
dians, but a small number escaping from the 
rifles and small arms of the whites. Later on 
in the year, B. F. Teschemaker and others came 
up to Clear Lake, held a grand pow-wow and 
made a treaty with the frightened Indians which 
they kept religiously ever after. 

During these years, beginning in 1846, Jacob 
F. Leese of San Francisco, had also cattle in 
Coyote and Loconoma valleys in the southern 
part of the county, but the genuine settlement 
of the county can hardly be said to have becrnn 
till 1848, when Walter Anderson and his wife, 
the first white woman in the county, by the 
way, settled in the lower part for a short time. 
In 1851, he went on to Mendocino County, an 
important valley in that county being named 
after him. In the same year, 1848, William 
Scott settled in the valley that bears his namd'. 

In 1853, C. N. Copsey and L. W. Purkerson 
built a house, the first in the county, near the 
head of Cache Creek, now the town of Lower 
Lake. The same year Jeflerson Worden settled 
on Scott Creek, in what is now called Scott's 
Valley. In 1854 immigrants arrived in l!ig 
Valley and settled along the lake shore. In 



this party were Martiu Hammack and family, 
Brice Hamiuack and wife, Woods Crawford and 
others. People then began to come in more 
thickly, but until about 1854 no real farming 
was done, cattle and stock-raising being the only 
employment. From 1854 on, however, the 
country was quickly settled up, presenting by 
1860 much the same appearance it does to-day, 
so far as the farming community is concerned. 

The Mexican land grant in Lake County was 
that of Collayomi, of 8,242 acres, patented to 
Ritchie and Forbes in 1863. 

Lake County was set off from Napa County, 
of which it had till then formed a part, May 2, 
1861, the first election for county officers being 
held in June of that year. Lakeport was cho- 
sen as the county-seat, and a two-story wooden 
court-house erected. This burned down Febru- 
ary 15, 1867, with the loss of almost all the 
county records, probably the work of an incen- 
diary. Then began a great fight for county- 
seat between Lower Lake and Lakeport, the 
question of its removal from Lakeport having 
already been voted upon several times pre- 
viously. After the tire the county-seat was 
fixed virtually at Lower Lake until 1870, when 
the contest definitely ended by a popular vote 
in favor of Lakeport, where it has since re- 
mained. As soon as the question was finally 
settled the erection of the present brick court- 
house and jail at a cost of about $20,000 was 
l)Ugun, and in the same year carried to com- 

But probably the most disturbing matter that 
has ever arisen in Lake County has been that 
of controlling and altering the level of the 
waters of Clear Lake. In 1865-'66 a company 
called the Clear Lake Water Company, a wealthy 
San Francisco corporation that had probably in 
view the carrying of the waters to that city, 
secured the passage of a legislative act which 
autnorized them to build a dam across Cache 
Creek (the outlet), put up mills, etc. They 
built the dam and mills, and as a result the lake 
was raised several feet above the highest point 
ever known before. Sickness prevailed as a 

consequence and great indignation followed. 
Finally in November, 1868, an armed mob as- 
sembled, and after securing everyone who was 
considered friendly to the company, set fire to 
the flour, planing and saw mills, and destroyed 
the dam. A heavy suit for damages was the 
result, but this was finally compromised in 1871. 
The company, now the Spring Valley Water 
Company of San Francisco, still owns large 
tracts of land in the county, upon which it has 
large vineyards and a complete winery. 

Lakeport was founded in 1858, the first house 
being built on the site in the year preceding, it 
being a store for the business of Mr. A. Levy. 
It is now a prosperous and beautiful town, a 
good business point, and possessing several 
large and handsome hotels, which are well pat- 
ronized by visitors during the summer season. 
It has a steam flour-mill, sash and door facto- 
ries, and the various industries that usually 
spring up in towns of its size. It possesses also 
an academy of high merit, excellent schools and 
churches of the leading denominations, two 
banks with ample capital, finding a good busi- 

Lower Lake was founded at about the same 
time, and is following well in the wake of its 
larger sister on the pathway of progress. Its 
first house was built by E. Mitchell, in 1858. 
In the country surrounding Lower Lake are 
several large vineyards and tine fruit farms, and 
it seems probable that fruit-raising and wine- 
making will be the ultimate resource of this 
part of the county, if not of the whole. 

Middletown, in the lower end of the county, 
is a town of much newer growth, being settled 
first in 1868, and making comparatively slow, 
yet a steady progi-ess since. It is an important 
staging and business tovra, and possesses a flour- 
ing mill and brewery. 

Upper Lake began its history in 1865, when 
a store was opened and several families moved 
to it. A blacksmith shop had been built here 
as early, however, as 1856. It is a quiet little 
place, with a good dairy and farming country 
about it. 



Kelseyville, the home of Stone & Kelsey in 
early cLays, is the oldest town in the county. It 
possessed a store and blacksmith shop in 1857, 
and is to-day a place of considerable importance, 
having an academy and several manufacturing 

Two newspapers are published in Lakeport, 
the Democrat and Avalanche., established in 
1872 and 1886 respectively. In Lower Lake 
are the Bulletin and Clear Lake Press, the date 
of their first numbers being 1877 and 1886. 

In Middletown is the Independent, founded 
in 1888, while in Kelseyville is the Weto Era, 
established in 1889. All of these are weeklies, 
of merit and push. 

Considerable mining is being done in Lake 
County, chiefly for quicksilver. The principal 
mines are the Great "Western and Sulphur Banks, 
both of which are being profitably worked and 
are employing many men. Several other prop- 
erties are being worked spasmodically also. 
Borax has also been extensively exported fi'om 
the county, the product chiefly of Borax Lake, 
near Lower Lake. Petroleum and natural gas 
occur generously near Kelseyville, but have 
never been utilized. 

Lake County is best known probably for its 
mineral springs, which are of all sorts, hot and 
cold. The more famous of them are Bartlett, 
Highland, Harbin, Anderson, Siegler, Adams, 
Howard, Soda Bay, Saratoga, Allen, Witter, 
Glenbrook and Blue Lakes, at all of which are 
found hotels and improvements of extensive 
character. They are much visited by the sick, 
and are favorite summer resorts for the wealthy 
and fashionable. 

A deal of attention is also being paid to the 
raising of tine horses. Near Middletown is the 
home of the Gueiioc Stud, owned by Freddy 
Gebhardt and Mrs. Langtry. Above Lakeport 
is Captain Collier's band of thoroughbred Per- 
cherons, and below him the Rodman Brothers' 
tine trotting stock. 

Lake County is often called the Switzerland 
of California, and it seems likely that before 
very long the shores of its beautiful lake will be 

studded with the villas of the rich, as is already 
the case to some extent. Its greatest drawback 
is its isolation. It has no railroad, although 
three or four lines are pointing towards its 
mountains. The staging service is good, how- 
ever, and upon the lake are several fine steamers, 
making local communication easy and pleasant. 
Lake County has been represented in the 
State Assembly by R. V. S. Quigley in 1875-'76; 
A. P. McCarty in 1880; H. J. Crumpton in 
1881-'83; E. W. Britt in 1885; L. H. Grti- 
well, 1887-'89, and others mentioned under 
the head of Napa County. 


Lake County lies between the two branches of 
the Coast Range, the western known as Maya- 
camas, and the eastern as Bear Mountain. 
Standing in these mountains are a number of 
peaks having an elevation ranging from two 
thousand to nearly four thousand feet. The 
center of the valley so formed is occupied by 
Clear Lake, a deep body of pure water, twenty- 
five miles long with an average width of seven 
miles. It is divided into two parts. Upper and 
Lower Lake, the two being connected by a strait 
known as The Narrows. Six miles from the 
Upper Lake is a group of deep ponds called the 
Blue Lakes, and which, taken collectively, have 
a length of three miles by a breadth of half a 
mile. The only considerable stream in this 
county is Cache Creek, the outlet of Clear Lake, 
and which, flowing southeasterly, empties into 
the Sacramento. While more than half of the 
county is covered with rugged mountains and 
water, the balance, consisting of foothill and 
valley lands, is exceedingly fertile. The moun- 
tains here are well timbered with pine and 
spruce, there being also oak, madrona and 
willow along the foothills and water-courses. 

The county contains a great variety of metals 
and minerals; gold, silver, copper, borax, sul- 
phur, asbestos, and cinnabar counting among 
her mineral resourses. 

The Sulphur Banks quicksilver mine is 
located on the border of Clear Lake, ten miles 


north from the town of Lower Lake. It has 
been worked for a good many years, the former 
production having been much larger than at 
present. The ore now beng extracted comes 
from what seems to be an eruptive dike break- 
ing through a sandstone formation. The crev- 
ices of this dike are filled with a clayey matter, 
some of which carries a considerable percentage 
of cinnabar. In breaking out the ore here 
much barren rock has to be removed. 

Owing to the presence of snlpliurous fumes, 
ore extraction is not carried to any great depth. 
The work of exploitation consists of open cuts 
and short tunnels. About two hundred pounds 
of Hercules powder, No. 2, are consumed 
monthly. The ore is carted to the reduction 
works, which consists of ten sublimating fur- 
naces, six of the Knox & Osborn style, and tour 
of the Hutton & Scott. At present only two 
furnaces are being operated. A total of eighty- 
six men is employed here — twelve in the reduc- 
tion works, the remainder in the mine and on 
the outside. Wages paid range from $1.15 per 
day and $70 per month. Five cords of wood 
are consumed daily. Fuel and lumber, the 
latter at the rate of $20 per thousand feet, are 
obtained from the vicinity of Lower Lake. 

The Bradford mine, located in 1882, is situ- 
ated lour and one-half miles south from the 
village of Middletown, on the stage road leading 
from that place to Calistoga. The vein here, 
which has a north and south trend, and inclines 
to the east at an angle of forty-five degrees, lies 
Itetween sandstones on the hanging, and serpen- 
tine on the foot-wall. The mine has been 
opened by a shaft sunk to a depth of two 
hundred and fifty feet, and which, at a depth of 
sixty feet, leaves the vein and passes into toot- 
wall. This shaft, which is timbered throughout, 
is fitted with a single reel six by eight-inch spur- 
geared reversing engine. A No. 4 Dow steam 
pump, run four hours per day, snftices to handle 
the water. At present work is confined to the 
one hundred and sixty-foot level, above which 
the vein is being stoped, no definite limit having 
yet been found to the ore shoot. The ore 

being extracted consists of sulphuret of mercury, 
mixed with jasper and country rock. 

The coarse ore is treated in a Knox & Osborn 
furnace, of twenty tons daily capacity, the fine 
in a thirty-ton Liverraore furnace. Iron con- 
densers are used, the draft being aided by an 
exhaust fan. The reduction works are connected 
with the shaft by a tramway eight hundred fee \, 
long. A total of thirty-five men are employed 
here; white men are paid $2.50 per day, and 
Chinese $1.25. Two cords of wood are con- 
sumed daily. 

The Great Western mine, which has been 
worked since 1856, is located four miles south 
of Middletown. The claim covers six thousand 
linear feet on the vein, which strikes east and 
west, and dips to the soutli at an angle of sixty- 
five degrees. The hanging- wall is clay-slate, 
quite soft near the vein; the foot- wall is serpen- 
tine. In the first instance the mine was opened 
by and worked through a tunnel two thousand 
two hundred feet long, intersecting the vein at 
a depth of two lumdred and nineteen feet. 
AVork is now carried on through a shaft three 
hnndred and fifty feet deep. Both shaft and 
tunnel are thoronghly timbered. 

For ore hoisting a ten by eighteen-inch double 
spur-geared reversible hoist is used. For han- 
dling the water a No. 6 Dean steam pnmp, with 
two one and one half-inch columns, is employed. 

The ore is cinnabar, the fine Ijeing worked in 
a twelve-ton Knox & Osborn furnace; the coarse 
in a thirty-ton Green furnace. For creating 
draft in the condensers, blowers driven by a six 
by eight-inch horizontal engine are employed. 
Water is bronght on the premises through two 
miles of flume and three-fourths of a mile of 
piping. Six cords of wood are consumed daily 
— three for steam purposes and three in the 
furnaces. About two hundred pounds of Safety 
Nitro powder are used every ninety days. The 
company employs thirty men in the mine, and 
fifteen in the reduction works, the wiiite men 
receiving $3 per day and the Chinese $1.15. 

Gold and silver-bearing ores of low grade have 
been found at several localities in the county; 


deposits of copper, borax, sulphur, and chromic 
iron being also met with. In Paradise Valley, 
about five miles from the Sulphur Banks, a shaft 
has been sunk to a depth of sixty feet on a ledge 
of quartzite. The ore, which is much copper- 
stained, carries considerable pyrites, and assays 
from $3 to $9 in gold per ton, with a small 
percentage of silver. Gold-bearing qiiartz has 
been observed in the vicinity of Mount St. 
Helena, also near the Bradford quicksilver 
mine, and at a point between Anderson Springs 
and the Geysers. The croppings of these quartz 
veins contain a small amount of silver. 

One mile east of Bradford much copper float 
is to be seen, and near Harbin Springs a shaft 
has been sunk to a depth of sixty feet in a cup- 
riferous vein, but the ore is of too low a grade 
to warrant further sinking. 

Sitiiated about a half mile east of the lower 
end of Clear Lake is a pond, the water of which 
is highly charged with the biborate of soda. 
During the dry season this water mostly dis- 
appears, through evaporation, and the borax 
crystallizing out is found in the mud on the 
margin of the pond. Twenty five years ago 
large quantities of this salt were manufactured 
here, the first made in the United States said to 
have been produced at this place. There has, 
however, no work been done here for a long 
time, the business having been given up on the 
discovery of more extensive and productive 
salines in the southern part of the State and 

In Jerusalem Valley, eight miles east of 
Middletowii, occur several large veins carrying 
chromic iron. Owing to the cost of transporta- 
tion to market, nothing except a little prospect- 
ing work has been done on these deposits. The 
presence of this mineral has been observed, also, 
ill the serpentine near the Bradford mine. 

Some twenty years ago a good, merchantable 
article of sulphur was produced in considerable 
quantities from deposits of this mineral, several 
of which occur on and near the eastern shore of 
Clear Lake, and at some of which solfataric 
action is still going on. Works for the dis- 

tillation of the crude material were put up at 
one of these deposits, and run for several years, 
but, the cheapness of the imported commodity 
rendering operations here unprofitable, they 
were finally suspended, and have not since been 

The water obtained by artesian boring, on the 
outskirts of Kelseyville, proves so highly 
charged with natural gas that the latter burns 
readily. The well put down here is one hundred 
and fifty seven feet deep, and being lined to 
within a few feet of the bottom, this gas evidently 
comes from a lower stratum. Five other wells 
sunk in this vicinity to a depth of sixteen feet 
each, though they yield no water, emit gas, 
which under a slight pressure burns fi-eely, with 
a colorless flame, giving off the odor of sulphu- 
retted hydrogen. These wells are in an adobe 
soil, about two hundred feet above the level of 
Clear Lake. This gas is to be collected and 
utilized in a fruit drier. A well put down near 
Upper Lake also gives off natural gas. 


This is one of California's trans-Sierra coun- 
ties, being situated wholly to the east of the 
Sierra Nevada Mountains. The western third 
of Lassen, reaching at some points the summit 
of the Sierra, is elevated and rugged, the re- 
mainder consisting of valleys, alkali flats, and 
sage plains, over which are scattered numerous 
short mountain chains, straggling hills, and 
isolated buttes. Although much of the soil is 
sandy and barren, or rendered unproductive 
through the presence of alkaline deposits, the 
most of it is naturally rich, and can be made to 
produce good crops of grain and the hardier 
fruits, by the aid of irrigation. "Without this, 
however, these products cannot be matured, 
owing to the shortness of the warm season, the 
elevation of this region ranging from four to 
eight thousand feet. While fruit, vegetables, 
and the cereals are grown here to some extent, 
stock-raising forms the principal business of 
the inhabitants. There are heavy forests of 
pine and spruce on the mountains to the west. 


but the rest of the county contains only a very 
sparse growth of pine and juniper, fit only for 
fuel. Lassen, as a whole, is but poorly watered. 
Pit River, making a violent detour from its 
regular course, dips into the northwestern angle 
of the county. Tliis river is said to have been 
named after the numerons pits dug along its 
borders by Indians. Aside from this, Clear 
Creek, a southerly branch of Pit River, Pine 
Creek, running south into Eagle Lake, and 
Susan River, rising in the Sierra and flowing 
soutlieast into Honey Lake, constitute the 
principal streams in this county. Many small 
creeks, issuing from the mountains, affording 
on their way means for much irrigation, are 
swallowed up after making their way a short 
distance out into the arid plains. Although 
there are a number of small lakes in the high 
Sierra, the only bodies of water of any size in 
the county are Eagle and Honey lakes, each, 
when full, covering an area of about fifty 
square miles. The former is very deep, but the 
latter is shallow, and sometimes nearly dries up. 
The most prominent peak in California is 
Lassen's, on which are found many curious and 
interesting features. There are four distinct 
summits, the highest of which is 10.577 feet 
above sea level. Between these apical points 
is an extinct crater. The mountain is easy of 

The principal valley in this county is that of 
Honey Lake, 20 x 40 miles in extent. This, 
with Elysian and Long valleys, were the most 
important section of the county until within a 
few years. At first they were in Plumas, the 
parent county. Honey Lake and Honey Lake 
Valley were named from the honey-dew found 
on the grass and shrubbery, of which the In- 
diana are very fond, and from which they made 
a sort of molasses for their food. This honey- 
dew is a deposit of two species of plant lice. 

James P. Beckwourth was probably the first 
white man to visit Honey Lake Vallej', so far 
as we have any definite account. 

Eagle Lake is a beautiful sheet of cold water 
having an area of al)out sixty square miles, in 

the extreme north end of Honey Lake Valley. 
Peter Lassen, after whom the county and 
other objects in this region are named, was 
born in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 7, 
1800; learned the blacksmith's trade in 1829, 
and emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, and 
then to Missouri. In 1839 he came to Oregon 
and within a year or so came down into Cali- 
fornia, first to Sutter's Fort and then to San 
Jose, etc. In 1841 he built a saw-mill near 
Santa Cruz, and early in 1843 sold it to Gra- 
ham. It was in 1843, while in the service of 
Captain Sutter, that he, in company with John 
BidweU and John Bruheira, pursued a party of 
immigrants on their way to Oregon, overtaking 
them at Red BluiF and recovering some stolen 
animals. Lassen, admiring the northern end 
of the Sacramento Valley, resolved to revisit it 
with a view of making it his permanent home. 
Accordingly he obtained a grant of land from 
Governor Micheltorena. He left Sutter's in 
December, 1843, for his new home; but high 
water stopped him in the neighborhood of the 
MarysviUe Buttes, where lie wintered until 
February, when he completed his journey, and 
built the first civilized habitation north of 
MarysviUe; was naturalized in 1844 and ob- 
tained his land grant of Bosquejo on Deer 
Creek in Tehama County. In 1850 he sold 
half his rancho and stock and engaged in an 
unfortunate steamboat speculation at Sacra- 
mento, which ruined him financially. In 1851 
he settled in Indian Valley, Plumas County, 
and in 1855 in Honey Lake Valley, Lassen 
County, where he was a miner and farmer. 
April 29, 1859, while on a prospecting tour 
north of Pyramid Lake, he was killed by the 
Piute Indians or by white men disguised as 
such; he was then fifty-nine years old. Tlie 
grant referred to lies now in Tehama County, 
on Deer Creek. Thenceforward for a long time 
Lassen's ranch was the most important point in 
northeastern California. It was from this place 
that Fremont started on his journey from the 
valley to Oregon, in the spring of 1846, and it 
was Peter himself who guided Lieutenant Gil- 


lespie, a few days later, in search of the Path- 
finder, and overtook him one memorable night 
on the banks ot Klamath Lake. 

"Lassen's Cnt-oiF" is a route through the 
deserts and mountains discovered by Lassen and 
Paul Picheson in 1848. 

Early in the spring of 1851 a prospecting 
party of eighty men, headed by a man named 
Noble and now known as Noble's party, after 
crossing the Indian Valley, passed through the 
mountains to Honey Lake Valley. They soon 
returned and disbanded, but Noble, who was 
impressed with the value of the pass, went on 
to Shasta, then the chief town in the extreme 
northern portion of the State, and made known 
his discovery to the enterprising business men 
there. Tlie pass was subsequently known as 
Noble's Pass. The business men there hired 
Noble to go to the Humboldt Valley in order 
to persuade immigrants to come by way of the 
new route and so on to Shasta. Noble went but 
found much opposition and even a menace of 
violence if he persisted in persuading immi- 
grants to leave the old and well known trail. 
But a few consented to try the new route, and, 
following the Lassen or Oregon trail as far as 
Black Rock, struck across the desert twenty- 
five miles to Granite Creek, thence sixteen 
miles to Buffalo Springs, thence nine miles to 
Mud Springs, then seventeen miles to Honey 
Lake Valley, which they crossed at the present 
site of Susanville, and crossed the summit of 
the Sierra by Noble's Pass, following the course 
of Deer Creek to its mouth. As soon as it be- 
came demonstrated that this route possessed 
.superior advantages in the matter of food and 
water, as well as having a shorter distance than 
any other, agents were kept stationed at the in- 
tersection with the overland trail for the pur- 
pose of turning the immigration over this route 
to the northern mines. That year and for a 
number of years thereafter this route was trav- 
eled a great deal. In 1853 it was shortened and 
still further improved. 

After cutting twenty tons of wild hay for 
his stock, for fear the snows inight be too deep 

for forage, Lassen built a long, low log cabin, 
fifty feet long, sixteen feet wide and only six 
logs high, and covered it with a shake roof. At 
each end was a room 16 x 20, one of which was 
used as a store-room. The openings to the 
outside world were a door and a window three- 
feet square, over which barley sacks were nailed 
to keep out the cold. A small room in the 
center was his sleeping department, and here 
he was said also to have kept an extra bed for a 
traveler or a friend. In this rude hut the pio- 
neers of Lassen County found their temporary 
dwelling place for a quarter of a century. 

In 1853 Isaac Roop took up a mile square at 
the head of Honey Lake Val!ey; in 1855 Moses 
Mason took 400 acres adjoining him, but did 
not i-emain long. 


This word, Indian for woman, was the name 
of the " Territory of Honey Lake Valley." It 
lay east of the summit of the Sierra and with- 
in the great Nevada Basin. The people of this 
region in 1855-'56 began to feel the need of a 
systematic civil government. They seemed to 
be beyond the limits of California. Accord- 
ingly, April 26, 1856, they met at the Roop 
House (the " Old Fort "), elected Lassen to the 
chair and Isaac Roop secretary. They proceeded 
in regular order to organize an independent 
territory, by drawing up such regulations as 
they felt the most need of. They were sub- 
stantially the laws which the miners generally 
adopted. The territory supposed to be covered 
by this government was about 50,000 square 
miles, — almost as large as the State of Illinois. 
It reached eastward half way across the State 
of Nevada and comprised several counties with- 
in the State of California. 

It is amusing now to think of these twenty 
men meeting together and forming a territory 
of such vast dimensions, especially when we 
caU to mind the fact that in Washoe, Eagle and 
Carson valleys and Gold Canon there were peo- 
ple enough to outnumber them ten to one, who 
were not consulted in this disposition of them- 
selves; and furtiier, not one of this corps of 


law-makers lived within the boundaries they 
themselves set for the new territory. 

Under this regime a large number of loca- 
tions of land claims were recorded tliat season. 
By the close of the year 86,840 acres had been 
taken up and recorded, being about 14,000 
more than is now actually cultivated. In 1857 
tlie board of supervisors of Plumas County or- 
ganized Honey Lake Township, including the 
central portion of this territory, and the citizens 
there met and demonstrated in a stately docu- 
ment, protesting that they had doubts of being 
within the limits of the State of California, 
etc.; and this year they appointed Judge James 
M. Crane as a delegate to Congress and urge 
the organization of a territory in Western 

Crane went to Washington, and February 18, 
1858 wrote to bis constituents that a bill to 
organize a new territory would assuredly pass 
botii Houses of Congi-ess. Congress failing to 
recognize the importance of this movement, the 
people again met and adopted a code of laws to 
serve until they were organized into a territory 
by the national Congress. In 1859 they adopted 
a constitution, elected Crane as a delegate for 
Congress, and Isaac M. Roop as Governor. For 
the election of delegates a total of 817 vote." 
were cast. The president of the convention, 
in his certificate of the election of Governor 
Koop, said that he was elected Governor of 
said territory " by a large majority.'''' Crane 
died, and J. J. Musser, the president of the 
convention, was elected to fill the vacancy. 

In 1860 a Government census was taken, 
when 476 persons were found to be resident 
within the valley, and the next year the people 
began local government under the auspices of 
Plumas County and State of California. His- 
torians have had considerable sport in quoting 
literatim et punctuatim, their ungrammatical 
documents, which exhibited considerable igno- 
rance mixed up with some knowledge. 

March 2, 1861, Congress established the Ter- 
ritory of Nevada, including tlie Honey Lake 
region. The Nevada Government undertook, 

in 1862, to rule this section, and organized the 
County of Roop. In a little over a year Cali- 
fornia, which had been rather slow, finally took 
possession of this tract, and accordingly Judge 
Mott came to Susanville and administered the 
oath of office to the county oSicials January 
20, 1863. 


The action of the Nevada authorities soon 
precipitated a conflict between the officials of 
Roop and Plumas counties to maintain their 
jurisdiction over the disputed territory. The 
first gun was fired by Hon. John S. Ward, Pro- 
bate Judge of Roop County, who issued an in- 
junction restraining William J. Young, a 
justice of the peace elected for Plumas County, 
from performing his official functions. The 
justice failed to respect the mandate of Judge 
Ward, ai.'d was fined $100 for contempt of 
court. The next step was an order from the 
County Court of Plumas restraining Ward and 
W. H. Naileigh (sheriff") from exercising juris- 
diction in any way in Honey Lake Valley. 
These officials refused to obey the order, and 
Judge Hogan issued warrants for their arrest. 
The Plumas County sheriff, E. H. Pierce, and 
his deputy, James Byers, went to Susanville 
and arrested the refractory judge and sheriff 
and started to convey them to Quincy. Travel 
was difficult, and before they could complete 
their duty an armed mob of seventy-five or one 
hundred men collected at the old Roop cabin, 
now called " Fort Defiance," prepared for war. 
The sheriff' with forty men took possession of a 
barn 200 yards distant. He sent out five men 
to bring in a stick of hewn timber for the pur- 
pose of better fortifying his place. The fort 
fired on the men, seriously wounding one. The 
barn returned fire, and this fire was kept up for 
about four hours. A consultation was had late 
in the afternoon, under a flag of truce, with no 

As acquisitions were constantly made to the 
"mob" at the fort, a deputation of citizens 
l)ersua(led Sheriff" Pierce to suspend operations 
until both the Governors of Nevada and Caii- 


fornia could be consulted. Governor Stanford 
appointed Robert Robinson to visit Governor 
Clemens of Nevada and consult with hiiu what 
to do. It was tinnlly agreed that each State 
appoint a representative to run the boundary 
line; and until that was completed Flumas 
County should have jurisdiction as far east as 
the eastern end of Hone}' Lake; and several 
minor conditions were stipulated. The Sur- 
veyor General, by request of the California 
Legislature April 27, 1863, directed a survey of 
the east line of the State of California. John 
F. Kidder was appointed by a surveyor general 
to do the work, and Governor Clemens ap- 
pointed Butler Ives on the part of Nevada Ter- 
ritory to accompany him in the work. The 
work was accordingly done, throwing Aurora, 
which was also in the disputed district, seven 
miles into Nevada. The remainder of the line 
was completed in 1865. The survey made by 
Von Schmidt, in 1876 threw the eastern line of 
California from Lake Tahoe north a few miles 
further east. 

Of coufire it was a hardship for the people of 
the Honey Lake Valley to be subject to a county- 
seat BO far west as Quincy and over the summit 
of the mountains; and for their relief the new 
county of Lassen was formed, from the north- 
eastern portion of Plumas and eastern portion 
of Shasta County, April 1, 1864. Officers were 
elected and local government began to run 
smoothly. When the County of Modoc was 
organized, with great diflSculty and after a hard 
struggle by its citizens, Lassen County main- 
tained the integrity of its territory. About 
the time Lassen County was formed settlers be- 
gan to enter the extreme eastern end of Siski- 
you County. Stock-raising was the first and is 
still the leading industry. 


Lassen County was created by act of the 
Legislature, April 1, 1864, from the eastern 
parts of Shasta and Plumas counties, there hav- 
ing been included within its boundaries a strip 
of territory that prior to 1862 had been claimed 

by the Territory of Nevada, constituting the 
western half of Roop County, in that Territory. 
From a portion of it and the counties south, an 
effort was made in the Legislature of 1872 to 
create the county of " Donner," but in vain. 

In the fall of 1871 the people of Surprise 
Valley petitioned the Legislature to create a 
new county from the north end of Plumas and 
eastern portion of Siskiyou. A counter peti- 
tion was presented by those residing in Big 
Valley and the settlements along Pit River, as 
the proposed county-seat was as far away as the 
one they had. The measure failed in the Leg- 
islature. In 1874 a bill was introduced in that 
body for the creation of that territory under 
the name of Can by, in honor of the brave and 
faithful general who was killed by the Modoc 
Indians under a flag of truce. The measure 
was again defeated, and another bill was imme- 
diately introduced for the formation of the 
county of Summit, out of the eastern end of 
Siskiyoii alone. This bill passed and became a 
law February 14, 1874, and the name of the 
county changed to Modoc. 

The northeastern portion of California has 
been the scene of innumerable depredations 
by the Indians. They have been made by three 
tribes, —the Washoe or Wasso, the Pah-Ute 
(variously spelled) and the Pit River, — the 
latter being the worst. The first principal out- 
break was in 1857. The troubles of this 
season are generally referred to as the Potato 
war, owing to the cause of the difficulties. 
The troublesome savages were of the Pit River 
tribe, and a company of settlers, under Captain 
William Weatherbow, and accompanied by 
Winnemucca and a band of his Pah-Ute braves 
went out against the savages and punished them 
severely. They, however, continued to annoy 
the settlers for the next three years, when they 
were chastised by General Crook. 

January 13, 1860, Dexter E. Demming was 
killed by the Smoky Creek band of the Pah- 
Utes, and the citizens petitioned Governor 
Roop to follow up and chastise the Indians on 
the border. Roop asked the Department of the 


Pacific for aid, but in vain. In the meantime 
a number of white men were killed by the 
savages. Aid was sent from California, and 
the Washoe Regiment, composed of volunteers 
from California and Nevada, was organized at 
Virginia City and marched out 544 strong, 
under Colonel Jack Hays. They were joined by 
207 United States troops, under Captain J. M. 
Stewart. June 2 they had a stubborn battle with 
the Pah-Utes near Pyramid Lake, routing them. 
Soon afterward another Indian panic occurred 
and Captain Weatherbow again drove them away. 

The Pioneer Society for Lassen County was 
organized in 1882, residence prior to July 1, 
1860, being the condition of membership. 

The Sage Brush is the title of the first news- 
paper in Lassen County, started July 1, 1865, 
by A. C. Longmore, an Englisliman who had 
traveled extensively in tropical countries. Au- 
gust 10, 1867, he was succeeded by A. T. 
Bruce. September 5, 1868, John C. Partridge 
bought it and changed the name to Lassen Sage 
Brush; afterward it was changed to the Lassen 
Advocate. D. C. Slater started the Modoc 
Independent, the first newspaper in tliat county. 

Lying on the north and west of Honey Lake 
is a tract of 20,000 acres of tule swamp land. 
Until 1861 this was known as the Schaefer 
ranch, but at the outbreak of the Rebellion the 
majority of the settlers were sympathizers with 
the Southern cause, and the name " Tule Con- 
federacy " was conferred upon it by the neigh- 
bors. The present settlers are a well-educated 
and prosperous class of farmers. 

Susan ville, the county-seat of Lassen County, 
was named in honor of Susan, the daughter of 
its first settler, Isaac N. Roop. She married 
A. T. Arnold. The town is very beautifully 
situated. In the spring of 1856 L. N. Breed 
brouglit a stock of goods from Elizabethtown, 
Plumas County, which he sold in a log house 
built by him about twenty rods from Peter 
Lassen's. In September he moved to the city 
of Susanville and opened his store in a brush 
shanty near Fort Defiance. As winter set in 
he returned to Butte County. 

Lassen (^ounty has been represented in the 
State Assembly by Thomas A. Roseberry in 
1885, and W. D. Morris in 1887, and by others 
from adjoining counties. 

Although Lassen County looks desert-like 
upon our maps, much of the land when irrigated 
is as good as any in the State, and some of it 
indeed is very fertile even without irrigation. 
Bunch grass grows in great profusion, and thou- 
sands of cattle graze upon it. Beef, butter and 
cheese are produced for the market. Hay and 
the small grains also do well, and agriculture 
and dairy industries are increasing in import- 
ance. The large fruits here are of as tine a 
quality as in the East, which is far better than 
in the Sacramento Valley. Mineral and hot 
springs abound, and plenty of pure, good water 
is also to be had. 


Marin was the name of a famous chief of the 
Lacatuit Indians, who originally occupied this 
part of the country. After having vanquished 
the Spaniards in several skirmishes that took 
place between the years 1815 and 1824, he was 
finally captured by his enemies. Making his 
escape, Marin took shelter on a small island in 
the bay of San Francisco, and which, being 
afterward called after him, communicated its 
name to the main land adjacent. This chief 
having fallen into the hands of liis foes a second 
time, barely escaped being put to death, through 
the interference of the priests at tlie mission of 
San Rafael, who subsequently enjoyed the satis- 
faction of seeing him converted to the true faith. 
He died at the mission in 1834. 

The name Marin should be accented on the 
first syllable, and not on the last as is practiced 
by most people, under the supposition that it 
has a nautical meaning. 

Marin County covers the peninsula lying be- 
tween San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, its 
southern extremity forming Point Bonita, the 
outer north headland to the Golden Gate. 
The county is bounded on the north and north- 
west by Sonoma, on the east by San Pablo Baj', 


on the south by the Golden Gate and tlie Pacific 
Ocean, and on the southwest and west by the 
Pacific Ocean . 

The surface of this county is rugged, consist- 
ing of hills and mountains, through which are 
scattered many small, fertile valleys. Mount 
Tamalpais, the o«ter ridge of the Coast Range, 
culminates in the western part of the county at 
an altitude of 2,600 feet. The only timber 
growth here, except a few redwoods on the 
mountains, consists of white oak, scrub pine, 
and madrona, of which there is a good deal 
scattered over the hills and valleys. 


Although visited in 1879 by Sir Francis 
Drake, and probably by Spanish and other ad- 
venturers both before and after his time, it was 
not until 1817 that any permanent settlement 
was made in Marin County. In that year Padres 
Amaroso and Cijos were sent to establish the 
mission of San Rafael. For a time the mission 
throve amazingly, but on the secularization of 
the missions in 1834, it dwindled almost to 
nothing, and to-day not a vestige of the place 
remains save only a few gigantic seventy -year- 
old pear trees. On the extinction of the mission 
Rafael Garcia, who had come with the fathers in 
1817 as military commander, took up his resi- 
dence near Olema. John J. Reed, so far as is 
known, was the first settler not of Spanish or 
Mexican descent. He came to San Rafael as 
major-domo of the mission in 1827. Later he 
settled near SansaHto, where the Mexican Gov- 
ernment gave him a grant ot land. Here he 
built a grist-mill and at one time ran a small 
boat as a ferry between Sansalito and Yerba 
Buena. W. A. Richardson was barely a year 
behind this pioneer. He, too, settled near San- 
salito, where he also received a gi-ant. Timothy 
Murphy arrived in Marin County in 1828 or 
1829. He alse secured a grant, including some 
of the best land in the county, a part of the site 
of San Rafael being comprised in it. James 
Black came in 1832, having levanted from a 
man-of war anchored off Yerba Buena. All 

these arrived in early mission days and were 
men of marked ability and force. Others fol- 
lowed, slowly but steadily. The Shorts and 
Miller families were added during the forties. 
The Sais family, the Pachecos, the Bojorques, 
the Briones, the Mesas, and otliers of Spanish 
descent, were also among the very early settlers. 
See pages 9 to 25 for many additional par- 
ticulars concerning Spanish and Mexican times 
in this vicinity. 


With the great boom in Northern Californian 
of the years 1848 and 1849, Marin County 
took a decided turn upward. In the early part 
of 1849 two associations from the Southern 
States, both composed of young men of good 
family and education, settled in Marin. They 
were the Baltimore and Virginia companies. 
The former settled at Corte Madera, where they 
erected a huge saw-mill, but did not continue 
long in business. The Virginiano rented land 
near San Rafael from Don Timoteo Murphy, 
and began gardening on an extensive scale, but 
with even more disastrous results than their 
friends. Many members of these companies re- 
mained in the county, forming some of its most 
enterprising citizens. 

At the inauguration of the American period 
the best known Mexican families within the 
present domain of Marin County were Manuel 
Torres, Ramon Valentin, Enrique Recheson, R. 
Pacheco and P. Sais. 

Marin County was organized according to 
act of the Legislature approved February 18, 
1850, but for some time afterward public affairs 
moved very slowly. Up to 1854 there had been 
only two postoffices established, and almost no 
roads. Between 1855 and 1863 the county, 
outside of its towns, received its greatest acces- 
sions of population, its great possibilities as a 
dairyincr country being then discovered and 
brought to fruition. In 1855, Mr. S. P. Taylor 
put into operation a paper-mill on Lagunitas 
Creek, the first attempt at manufacturing in the 
county, now (in 1890) grown to be an extensive 



affair. About this time also many ambitions 
land schemes -n-ere put on foot, looking chiefly 
to the building up of a rival city to San Fran- 
cisco. One of them was Marion City, occupy- 
ing ■ — on paper ■ — the entire surface of Point 
San Quentin. Tlie only tangible I'esult of this 
was the location there of the California State 
Prison. Sansalito was another gigantic city; 
California City and Corte Madera City were 
likewise. However, several quite extensive 
settlements in the timber-cutting days, as 
Lagunitas and Corte Madera, have disappeared 
altogether. In 1863, San Eafael began to come 
into notice as a place for suburban residence for 
business men of San Francisco, although com- 
munication was made at first by stage line to 
San Quentin and thence by ferry. With that 
year really began the gi'owth of San Kafael. 
In 1870 began the coming to the county of ex- 
perienced Swiss dairymen, in whose hands that 
business is now largely conducted. To show 
the progress made, it may be mentioned that 
according to the census returns of 1880, Marin 
leads all other counties in the Union in the 
amount of butter manufactured. The scene of 
these dairying operations is chiefly alono- the 
coast, Point Reyes butter being the standard of 
excellence in California. 


Marin County is now admirably served with 
railroads. The North Pacific Coast Eoad, a 
narrow gauge, which runs from Sansalito 
through the redwood region into Sonoma 
County, was the first to be built. It was beo-nn 
in 1872 and completed in 1875. The San 
Francisco & North Pacific, or " Donahue" line, 
was extended from Petaluma to Tiburon in 
1884. Both from Sansalito and Tiburon a 
splendid system of ferryboats make frequent 
trips to San Francisco. The system of wa^on 
roads of Marin County is unexcelled. 

Dairying is par excellence the industry of 
Marin, although it is rapidly developing into a 
great fruit county, and some fine stock is 
raised in the county. The apple orchard be- 

longing to Hon. F. C. De Long, of over 300 
acres, is said to be the largest in the State. It 
yields a princely revenue of about $75,000 a 
year to its owner, the product being entirely 
shipped to Australia. Several fine vineyards 
have been planted, a good quality of claret 
wine being manufactured. The fisheries ofl" the 
coast are of great value. Off Point San Pedro, 
ou the eastern shore, about 400 Chinese are en- 
gaged in shrimp taking and in sturgeon and 
small fish capture. On Tomales Bay, on the 
west shore, also, are valuable fisheries. In 
manufactures there are, besides Taylor's paper 
mill, already mentioned, several large brick 
concerns. The California Patent Brick Com- 
pany, located near Las Gallinas, has the largest 
establishment on the coast. Pninty and the 
Reinillard Bros, are also large brick-makers. 
Shaver's planing-mill, some hop yards, etc., 
about exhaust the list. 

At San Quentin is the State Penitentiary, 
with about 1,200 inmates, who are largely em- 
ployed in making jute bags, bricks, etc., but 
they ought hardly to count. The prison was 
begun in 1853, prior to which the State's con- 
victs had been kept on board an old hulk anch- 
ored at Angel Island. Since 1853 the prison, 
which stands in the front rank of like institu- 
tions in the country, has cost the Government 
over $2,500,000 in buildings, etc. At Novate 
some fine basalt quarries are being worked. 

San Rafael was incorporated first in 1874, 
and in 1889 was re- incorporated as a city of 
the sixth class. It is a beautiful city, favored 
of wealthy San Franciscans, and both it and vi- 
cinity possess many magnificent residences. Its 
drives are unsurpassed. The Hotel Rafael, 
completed in 1888, at a coat of $200,000, is 
one of the most fashionable and elegant of the 
State, being headquarters for tennis players, 
etc. In 1872 the handsome court-house was 
erected, at a cost of $55,000. The sch<iol sys- 
tem is good, the churches active and prosper- 
ous. It has splendid water-works, and is well 
sewered. In 1889 was opened a new $100,000 
college for young ladies, the San Rafael College, 


by the Sisters of St. Dominic. Tiiis noble in- 
stitution was founded in 1850 by the generosity 
of Don Timoteo Murphy. Near by is the St. 
Vincent Orphan Asylum, with about 500 in- 

At Sansalito, which is a favorite summer 
residence for San Franciscans, are the quarters 
of the Pacific and San Francisco Yacht Clubs, 
while at Tiburon is the like of the Corinthian 
Yacht Club. Both these points are great iish- 
ing resorts for those that love piscatorial sport. 
The repair shops, etc., of the two railroads are 
at these two places. 

At present a work of great value is being 
accomplished in the reclamation of the salt 
marshes near Novato, now progressing. 

Mount Tamalpais, 3,000 feet higli and stand- 
ing alone, is the county's greatest pride and 
boast. On a clear day a view of unusual mag- 
nificence is obtained, embracing the Pacific 
Ocean, the city of San Francisco and the great 
bay of the same name. 

The newspapers of Marin are the Journal, 
founded 1861, the Tocsin, founded 1879, both 
of San Rafael, and the News, of Sansalito, 
founded 1884, all able and influential weeklies. 


in Marin County were: Las Paulinas, 8,911 
acres, patented to G. Briones in 1866: Canada 
de Herera, 6,658 acres, to the heirs of D. Sais 
in 1876; Corte Madera de Novato, 8,879 acres, 
to Juan Martin in 1863, and Corte Madera del 
Presidio, 7,845 acres, to the heirs of John Pead 
iu 1885; Mission San Rafael, six and a half 
acres, to Bishop Alemany in 1859; San Ger- 
onimo, 8,701 acres, to J. W. Revere in 1860. 
San Jose, 6,659 acres, to Ygnacio Paclieco in 
1861; Sancelito, 19,571 acres, to W. A. Richard; 
son in 1879; Saulajule, 919 acres to G. JS- 
Cornwall, 1,447 acres to L. D. Watkins, 2,266 
acres to M. F. Gormley, 8,774 acres to P. J. 
Vasquez and 2,492 acres to J. S. Brackett, — all 
in 1879; San Pedro, Santa Margarita y las 
Gallinas, 21,679 acres, to Timothy Murphy in 
1866; Punta de las Reyes, 57,067 acres to 

Andrew Randall in 1860; Punta de Quentin, 
8,877 acres to V. R. Buckelew in 1866; Novato, 
8,871 acres to the assignees of Simons in 1866; 
Nicasio, 7,598 acres to Frink & Reynolds, and 
30,849 acres to H. W. Halleck in 1861; Olom- 
pali, 8,878 acres to Camilo Ynitia in 1862; 
Tomales y Bolines, 9,468 acres to Rafael 
Garcia in . 1883, and 13,645 acres to Bethuel 
Fhelps in 1868. In Marin and Sonoma coun- 
ties: Blucher, 29,759 acres to the heirs of S. 
Smith in 1858; Laguna de San Antonio, 24,903 
acres to B. Bojarquez in 1871. 

About half of Marin County's 350,000 acres 
is now owned by less than a dozen men. 


T. J. Abies, 1867-'68, 1878-'74; Charles 
D. Allen, 1877-'78; Joseph Almy, 1885; J. 
W. Atherton. 1887; S. C. Bowers, 1883; G. 
R. Brush, 1856; George W. Burbank, 1875 
-'76; D. Cliugan, 1854; C. L. Estey, 1881; 
James M. Estell, 1857; Alexander Gordon, 
1862; Upton M. Gordon, 1861; Sanborn John- 
son, 1863-'64; Samuel Lewis, 1860; A. C. Mc- 
Allister, 1862; Wm. J. Miller, 1869-'70; D. 
Olds, 1865-'66; J. B. Rice, 1871-'72; H. P. A. 
Smith, 1855; J. T. Stocker, 1858; A. W. 
Taliaferro, 1852; R. B. Torrence, 1863; Manuel 
Torres, 1859; Thomas R. Walker, 1853. 


This county was legally one of the original 
counties of February 18, 1850, but was not 
organized until by act of the Legislature ap- 
proved March 11, 1859, having been up to that 
time attached to Sonoma County for civil and 
political purposes. Joseph Knox, F. Nally, H. 
Baechtel, J. W. Brown and William Heeser 
were appointed the commissioners to locate 
places for the first election. On the first Mon- 
day of May of that year the following county 
officers were elected and entered upon the dis- 
charge of their several duties: J. D. Price, 
Sheriff; G. Carminy Smith, Clerk; J. J. Cloud, 
Surveyor; John W. Morris, Treasurer; A. L. 
Brayton, School Superintendent; William Neely 



Johnson, District Attorney; William Henry, 
County Judge; John Burton, Assessor; J. B. 
Lamar, Assemblyman; O. H. F. Brown, J, F. 
Hills and Daliel Miller, Supervisors. 

Cape Mendocino was named in honor of 
Antonio de Mendoza, the tirst Viceroy of New 
Spain. He was appointed by the emperor, and, 
arriving in the city of Mexico in 1535, ordered 
a survey of the coast of California, wherein the 
cape was discovered. The county was named 
after the cape. 

The Mexican land grants made within the 
present domain of Mendocino County were as 
follows: Sanel, 17,755 acres to Fernando Feiz 
in 1860; and Yokaya, 35,541 acres to C. Juarez 
in 1867. 

The first white settlements in the county 
were made on the coast in 1852. In the first 
week in April that year, Captain Peter Thomp- 
son, one of Carson's old trappers, George Raney, 
afterward mate of a Panama steamer; and 

" Steve " clerk for the American Consul 

at Callao, passed down tlirough Anderson 
Valley and on to the coast, reaching it worn 
out with fatigue and hunger. Thompson settled 
at Pine Grove, four miles above Big River, this 
being the first known permanent white settler 
in the county. He was a native of Ayrshire, 
Scotland, went through the Apache country 
with Walker in 1836, and was with Carson in 
several expeditions in South America in 1848. 

In the faU of 1852 the saw-mill at Big River 
in Mendocino was commenced by Henry 
Meiggs, J. B. Ford and others. Soon the Noyo 
Albion, NevaiTa and Caspar mills were built. 
In 1852 William and Thomas Potter, M. C. 
Briggs, Al. Strong, J. L. Anderson and Cestos 
Feliz went up the Russian River to the place 
afterward called Potter. In August, 1853, tlie 
Potter Bros, moved their stock up there. In 
1856 Thomas Henley, as Indian agent of Nome 
Lackee, established a farmi n Round Valley. 
He was accompanied by Denman Bros., Martin 
Corbett, C. II. J>ourne, J. E. White and others. 
In 1859 John Parker and John Turk settled in 
the lower end of Ukiah Valley with cattle 

belonging to Jerry Black of Marin County. In 
1851 L. B. Arnold and three others came up 
through Ukiali Valley across to Anderson and 
back to Cloverdale, killing twelve or fifteen 
grizzly bears on the route. 

Ukiah has been the county-seat ever since the 
organization of the county. It was incorporated 
in September, 1872. The original court-house 
was built by E. Rathburn, for $7,000, in the 
taU of 1859, and in the fall of 1872 a new 
court-house was completed by A. P. Petit, for 
$40,000. County Court was convened in the 
new building for tiie first time on the tirst 
Monday in March, 1873. 

Grazing and stock-raising constitute the 
second great interest in Mendocino County. 
Some valuable minerals have also been found 
within the limits of the county. A vein of 
coal eight feet thick exists four miles above the 
forks of Eel River between Round Valley and 
Eden Valley. This coal was first discovered 
and brought out by H. L. Hall. B. S. Cofi"man 
was the first to interest capitalists in it. I. 
Friedlander entered 30,000 acres of land around 
the place. Many medicinal springs exist in 
this county. 

The following have represented this county 
in the State Assembly: T. M. Ames, 1862-'63; 
Martin Baechtel, 1861; J. M. Covington, 
1875-'76; W. H. Cureton, 1867-'68; Philo 
Handy, 1887; G. W. Henley, 1869-70; Whit 
Henley, 1885; Wm. Holden, 1857, 1865-'66, 
1881 ; L. F. Long, 1877-'78 ; George B. Mathers, 
1871-'72; D. W. McCallum, 1873-74; L. G. 
Morse, 1880; Levi Wilsey, 1863-'64; Archibald 
Yell, 1883. See adjoining counties for other 

This county is chiefly famous for the im- 
mense forests of redwood timber that clothe the 
mountains and valleys throughout the wliole 
extent of the county on the side next to the 
Pacific Ocean. To one who has not seen a red- 
wood forest, description is futile, and the same 
may be said of the great mills with their pecu- 
liar and powerful machinery for hauling, split- 
ting and cutting up the great logs. The redwood 


lumber business and its shipping may be said 
to be the only industry of the Pacific coast side 
of the county, and a very lai-ge capital is em- 
ployed therein, although some produce and 
dairy products are also shipped. A list of ship- 
ping points is here given, running from north 
to south, and most of these having saw-mills, 
generally of large dimensions, and several hav- 
ing regular lines of steamers and schooners. 
Bear Harbor, liockport, Usal, Westport, where 
there are two mills, Kibesillah, Inglewood, Fort 
Bragg, Noyo, Caspar, Mendocino City, Little 
River, Albion, Whitesboro, Navarro, Coffey's 
Cove, Port Vallejo, Greenwood, Manchester, 
Punta Arenas, Fish Rock, Gualala. It must 
not be thought that these are harbors. They 
are simply more or less sheltered coves or land- 
ings, possessing shoots suspended from the cliffs 
by which the lumber or other material is slid 
down into the vessel which lies at anchor under 
the cliff. Some of these points are tolerably 
good-sized tovras, with considerable trade, 
churches and schools, etc., .although almost en- 
tirely dependent on lumbering for their exist- 
ence. Caspar, Mendocino City, Little River, 
Fort Bragg, Punta Arenas, are such places. 
From some of them dairy produce is an item 
of valuable shipping note. 

The interior, and larger part, of Mendocino 
County has suffered greatly from lack of com- 
munication with the outside world. Until 
May, 1889, when the San Francisco & Northern 
Pacific Railroad was extended from Cloverdale 
to Ukiah, the county-seat, the only communi- 
cation was by stage over a rough and dusty 
(or miry) mountain road. With the advent of 
the iron horse has come a new era, ushering in 
prosperity and a genuine advance in every de- 
partment. The chief industry of this interior 
portion has been wool, cattle, and hop growing 
and agriculture, butah-eady,now that the railroad 
is at their door a considerable acreage of fruit 
has been set out about Ukiah and the southern 
valleys, with more to follow. Hop-growing, 
which has attained considera .le magnitude, is 
chiefly engaged in throughout the Sanel Valley, 

where the growing town of Hopland received 
its name in consequence, and in the vicmity of 
Ukiah, where almost every farmer has his hop- 
dryer. Throughout the whole northern and 
eastern portions of the county, stock-raisino- 
and wool-growing. are the staples, although in 
certain parts, as especially about the town of 
Willits, agriculture and fruit-growing is ex- 
tensively and successfully engaged in. 

Mendocino County has never cut a figure as 
a mining country. There is, however, a large 
and valuable seam of coal at a point a short 
distance south of Round Yalley. At different 
times and in various places gold has been 
washed out in small qiiantities. Copper and 
cinnabar are also known to exist, but apparently 
not in paying quantities. 

The industries of Mendocino may, accord- 
ingly, be set down as, first of all lumbering, 
there being thirty steam saw-mills that give 
employment to 2,500 men, with an annual cut 
of about 70,000,000 feet. Next comes wool- 
growing, stock-raising, hops, potatoes and other 
produce, dairying, agriculture, fruit and grape 
growing, etc. 

Round Valley was first settled in 1856 as an 
Indian farm and station by Government em- 
ployes fi-om the Nome-Lackee Indian Reserva- 
tion. It was not, however, finally set off as a 
reservation until 1864, after many settlers' 
claims had been made witliin its confines. As 
a consequence of this fact great trouble and 
some hardship to all parties has resulted. It 
is a beautiful vaUey, almost circular, and with 
a diameter of about seven miles. 

Ukiah, the chief town and county-seat, has 
seen great activity during the past two years, 
since the completion to it of the Santa Fe & 
Northern Pacific Railway. It is a handsome 
and busy town with signs of prosperity on 
every hand. The court-house was built in 
1872, at a cost of $40,000. It is a fine struct- 
ure. About three miles south of it is the site 
of the Northern California State Hospital for 
the Insane, selected by a commission appointed 
by the State government to choose a location. 


for which purpose an appropriation had been 
made of $175,000. Provision is made for the 
erection of a very handsome structure at a 
heavy cost. Preparations for building are now 
in progress. Ukiah possesses a lai-ge tannery, 
a foundry and other similar establishments. 
The school system is good and buildings mod- 
ern, a large new school-house having just been 
completed at a cost of $15,000. There are six 
churches, all prosperous. Daily stages run 
fi-om Ukiah to Eureka in Humboldt County, 
Lakeport in Lake County and to Mendocino 
City on the coast. There is some talk of build- 
ing a railroad from Ukiah to Lakeport, and it 
is probable that some day the Santa Fe & Union 
Paciiic will be extended to Eureka. Amono- 
the energetic and representative citizens of 
Ukiah who have aided in advancing the county 
interests are Judge McGarvey, Dr. E. W. 
King, Mrs. Annie M. Eeed, the poetess 
and writer, and others. At Ukiah are held 
alternately with Lakeport the fairs, races, etc., 
of the Lake and Mendocino Agricultural So- 

Hopland has become a distributing point of 
importance since the railroad has reached it, 
and is gi-owing fast. Stages run thence to Lake- 
port, and to Boonville and coast points. Boon- 
ville and Comptche are surrounded by a good 
agricultural and stock country. Willits, Cahto, 
LaytonviUe, Covelo, Calpella, are all enterpris 
ing towns of the northern country with impor- 
tant businesss interests. 

There are several valuable and highly popular 
mineral springs or spas in the county. Prom- 
inent among tbese is the Vichy Springs, three 
miles east of Ukiah, where there is a commodi- 
ous hotel, bath-houses, etc. 

The newspapers of Mendocino County are as 
follows, all being weeklies, and comparing fa- 
vorably with their contemporaries elsewhere. 
In Ukiah are the Dispatch Democrat, founded 
1867, the Independent (1886), and the Press 
(1877). At Mendocino City is the Beacon. 
(1877). At Fort Bragg, the Advocate and at 
Point Arena the Record. 


This county is named after an Indian tribe 
that formerly ranged in the northeastern part 
of Calilornia. Their true name is Moadoc — a 
name which originated with the Shasta Indians 
and means all distant, sti anger or hostile In- 
dians. The name was applied by the whites to 
this tribe in early days from hearing the Shas- 
tas ppcak of them. The county is bounded on 
the north by Oregon, on the east by Nevada, on 
the south by Lassen and Shasta countits, and 
on the west by Siskiyou County. 

Modoc may be considered a high sage plateau, 
the plains broken by low ranges of mountains, 
the general elevation being over ibur thoufand 
feet above sea level. The more elevated moun- 
tain range, tiie Warner, strikes north and south 
across the eastern border. 

There are numerous lakes, which, though 
covering a large area, are, for the most part, 
shallow. Pit River is the only large stream 
within the county limits. It has its origin in 
Goose Lake, on the northern border. A portion 
of this lake lies in the State of Oregon. Issuing 
from its source, the Pit flows in a southwesterly 
direction centrally across the county. 

Excepting on the slopes of the Warner Range, 
before mentioned, where grow heavy forests of 
pine and cedar, there is but little timber in Mo- 
doc. The plateau is covered with a variety of 
wild grasses, which aiford good pasturage, and 
the stock subsisting thereon are generally in 
fine condition. In the valleys good farming 
land is found. Surpi-ise Valley is the largest 
in extent, and is noted for the richness of its 

Mineral springs abound everywhere, fur the 
waters of which medicinal virtues are claimed. 

The principal towns in the county are: Aitu- 
ras, the county-seat; Fort Bid well, a military 
post; Cedarville and Adin, the principal miuino- 
center; and Eagleville. 

While Modoc may and, no doubt, does con- 
tain mineral deposits of many kinds and of 
much importance, none of ascertained value has 


yet been discovered. Many years ago a nnmber 
of silver-bearing lodes were located in the moun- 
tains, near Surprise Yalley, and some prospect- 
ing work done. On one of the locations a 
quartz mill was erected, but owing to the re- 
moteness of the place, and, in some measure, to 
Indian hostilities, the work of development was 
tardy, and, when the mill was destroyed by fire, 
finally abandoned. The amount of bullion ob- 
tained from the working was inconsiderable, so 
the extent and value of existing deposits are left, 
as yet, undetermined. The settlers in the county 
have turned their attention chiefly to farming 
and stock-raising; mining is nearly altogether 
neglected. In Lassen County, just over the 
southern boundary of Modoc, quartz mines are 
being worked. (For further description see 
Lassen County.) Modoc's mineral wealth is 
yet lying dormant, awaiting the awakening hour 
of enterprise. 

For an account of the Modoc war see page 55. 
For State senators representing this county see 
page 81, and for Assemblymen see adjoining 



Napa was the name of a tribe of Indians that 
occupied the valley. They were brave and 
greatly harassed the frontier posts. They wei"e 
very numerous up to 1838, when they were 
mostly carried off by the small-pox. Those who 
occupied the Napa Valley were called Diggers. 
Their food consisted of wild i-oots, among which 
was the soap-root. They often dug small ani- 
mals out of their holes and frequently they ate 
earth-worms. Grasshoppers made a favorite 
dish. They made a kind of bread from the 
crushed kernel of the buckeye. It has been said 
that they gathered a species of fat worms to use 
as shortening for their bread. Their food was 
of the lowest grade, as well as all their habits 
of life. 

Of homes or buildings they had no knowl- 
edge. They constructed, in the rainy season, a 
sort of hut from the branches of trees. In the 
summer they encamped along the streams. They 

were of small stature, but possessed great 
strength. Foragi-eat portion of the year they 
wore no clothing, and in winter were only half 
clad in skins of wild animals. 

When George C. Yount, the first white set- 
tler of Napa Valley, arrived in 1831, he esti- 
mated there were 3,000 to 5,000 of these In- 
dians in this valley. At that time there were 
six tribes, speaking different dialects and often 
at war with each other, and dwelt about as fol- 
lows: the Mayacomos tribe near the Calistoga 
hot springs; the Callajomans on the Bale ran- 
cho, near St. Helena; the Kymus tribe dwelt 
on the Yount grant; the Napa tribe occupied the 
lands between Napa Kiver and the creek near 
Napa City; the Ulcus occupied the east side of 
Napa River near Napa City; while the Soscol 
tribe occupied the Soscol grant. Of all these 
Indians there are scarcely any in the valley at 
the present time. Formerly quarrels were fi-e- 
quent with the settlers, who claimed to have 
had cattle stolen, and the Indians was sure on 
general principles to receive severe punishment. 
At one time a party of settlers having met with 
such losses surrounded several hundred of these 
Indians on the Bale ranch near Oakville, who 
were unarmed and in the " sweat-honse;" and 
the whole number were slaughtered as they 
passed out, man by man, killing nearly the entire 
tribe. In 1850 a party from Sonoma County 
killed eleven innocent Indians, young and old, as 
they came out of the " sweat-house." These 
murderers were never brought to atrial although 
some efforts were made in that direction. 

The idea of a future state was universal with 
them, and a vague notion of rewards and pun- 
ishments seemed to pervade their " untutored 
minds." Certain rocks and mountains were re- 
garded as sacred, as also was considered the 
grizzly bear; and nothing would induce them 
to eat its flesh. Their cure-all was the " sweat- 
bath," which was constructed in the shape of an 
inverted bowl, about forty feet in aiameter at 
the bottoTU and built of strong poles and 
branches of trees covered with earth, with a 
smaU hole at the bottom permitting one at a 


time to crawl inside. Wlien a dance was to oc- 
cur a large fire was kindled inside and the open- 
ings closed. Around this fire the naked In- 
dians would dance for hours, jumping and 
screaming, with the perspiration streaming 
from every pore. After working theraselres 
up to the highest pitch of excitement and exer- 
cise, they suddenly rushed out and plunged into 
the cold waters of a neighboring stream, and 
then crawl out and lay on the banks exhausted. 
This sweat-hoxise was also used as a council room, 
and in it the bodies of the dead were sometimes 
buried, amid the bowlings of the survivors. 


After Ills visit to Mount St. Helena, Rotscheft' 
sent cattle and sheep from Ross and established 
wliat lias since been knoUTi as the Matintosk 
rancho, but was called by the Russians Muny. 

In 1776 a fort was erected by the Spanish 
Governor, Felipe de Neve, a short distance 
northwest of Napa, on an elevated plateau. 
The walls were of adobe, and three feet thick. 
The upper portion of the valley was unoccupied 
except by the natives. In 1847 tliere were only 
a few adobe buildings. Horseback riding was 
the universal mode of traveling, and when a 
horse became tired he was turned loose and a 
fresh one lassoed out of the nearest lierd. 

Padre Jose Altimira and Don Francisco (Cas- 
tro went in June and July, 1823, witli an armed 
escort under Ensign Jose Sanchez, to select a 
y)roper site for a new mission. Altimira went 
on with his survey to Huichica (since then the 
property of Winter & Borel), and on the fifth 
day after exploring tlie Napa Valley, — "like to 
Sonoma in every respect," — the party climbed 
the ridge of Suysunes, recently the property of 
Cayetano Juarez, where the State Insane Asy- 
lum stands, and there "found stone of excellent 
quality and so abundant that of it a new Rome 
miglit be built." 

In 1831 Guy F. Fling, a young man, piloted 
George C. Yount to Napa County. He died in 
Napa in 1872. Mr. Yount, after lie readied 
the valley, followed his occupation of hunting 

and trapping all kinds of game, which included 
the gigantic elk. In 1836 he built the first 
log house ever erected in California by an 
American, on his Taymus. it was eighteen 
feet square below, and the second story was 
twenty-two feet square, with port- holes through 
wliich he often defended himself fi-om the 
savages. He is also said to have erected the 
first flour and saw mill in California. The first 
permanent settlers after Mr. Yount were Salva- 
dor M. Vallejo, C. Juarez and Jose Higuera, 
each of whom obtained grants of land near 
Napa City. In 1839 Dr. E. T. Bale, an Eng- 
lishman, obtained and settled upon the grant 
called Carne Humana, north of Yount's gi-ant. 
Colonel Clyman, a Virginian, settled in this 
county in 1816; E. Barnett was a resident here 
with Mr. Yount in 1840-'43; WiUiam Pope 
came in 1841; in 1843 William Baldridge set- 
tled in Napa Valley and built the grist-mill in 
Chiles Valley; William Fowler, with his sons 
Henry and William, and William Hargrave and 
Harrison Pierce, came in 1843; John S. Stark, 
sheriff in 1856, came in 1846; and many others 
came prior to the discovery of gold. 

Between 1840 and 1845 a considerable num- 
ber of emigrant wagons arrived across the 
Sierra, bringing American families, and some- 
times families of other nationalities, most of 
whom settled here. The Russians for more 
than thirty years remained in quiet possession 
of Ross and Bodega, under the rule of Koskofl', 
KlebinkoflT, Kostroinitinkoffand Rotscheti" The 
latter Governor advanced with a party of Rus- 
sians to Mount Mayacamas, on the summit of 
which he fixed a brass plate bearing an inscrip- 
scription in his own language. He named the 
mountain St. Helena, for his wife, the Princess 
de Gagarin. The beauty of this lady excited 
so ardent a passion in the breast of Prince So- 
lano, chief of all the Indians about Sonoma, 
that he formed a plan to capture by force or 
stratagem tlie object of his love; and he migiit 
very likely liave succeeded had not M. G. Val- 
lejo heard of liis intention in time to prevent 
its execution. 




George C. Youiit, a native of North Carolina, 
came to California in 1831, as a trapper in the 
Wolfskin party, from JMew Mexico. For several 
years he hunted otter, chieily on San Francisco 
Bay and its tributaries, and at intervals made 
shingles. In 1835 he was baptized at San Ka- 
fael as Jorge Concepcion, and worked for Val- 
lejo at Sonoma. In 1836 he obtained a grant 
of the Cayinus ranch in Napa Valley, wliere he 
built a cabin or block-house, and for years was 
the only representative of the "Americans" in 
the valley. He still spent much of his time in 
hunting, and had many experiences with the 
Indians, being very successful in keeping them 
under control. In 1843 he was grantee of the 
La Jota ranch, an extension of Caymus, where 
he soon built a saw-miU, having also a ilour- 
mill on his place; and the same year he was 
joined by two daughters who came overland 
with Chiles. In several of the old trapper's 
experiences, as related by liim and embellished 
by others, a trace of i'aith in dreams and omens 
is shown; but the old story that a dream led 
him to organize the first relief expedition for 
the Donner party is unfounded. In later years 
the old pioneer found the squatters and land 
lawyers more formidable foes than had been 
the Indians and grizzlies of earlier times; 
but he saved a portion of his land, and died 
at his Napa home — called Yountville in his 
honor — in 1865, at the age of seventy-one years. 

Joseph B. Chiles, born in Kentucky in 1810, 
came first to California with the Bartleson 
party in 1841, obtained from Vallejo the prom- 
ise of a mill-site, and the next year returned 
East for the mill; in 1843 he came back with 
the party that bears his name, being obliged to 
leave his mill on the way. In 1844 he was 
grantee of Catacula rancho in Napa Valley. 
He went East again in 1847, probably as guide 
and hunter in Stockton's party. In 1848 he 
made his third overland trip to California, at 
the head of a party, including his own family of 
a .son and three daughters. For his second 
wife he married M. G. Garnett in 1858, and 

has since then resided in Napa and Lake cotin- 
ties, an exemplary citizen. 

Edward Turner Bale, an English surgeon, 
landed at Monterey in 1837, and practiced med- 
icine there for five or six years; in 1840-'3 he 
was surgeon of the California forces by General 
Vallejo's appointment: was a man of good edu- 
cation, but always more or less in trouble on 
account of his debts and quarrels. In 1840 he 
opened a liquor shop in a room hired of Larkin 
for a drug store, and was arrested in the result- 
ing complications with the authorities. In 
1841 he obtained a grant of the Carne Humana 
rancho in Napa Valley, where lie went in 1843. 
In 1844, having been whipped by Salvador 
Vallejo, he attempted to shoot the latter, was 
put in jail and narrowly saved his life. The 
rumored intention of the Kelseys and other 
foreigners to rescue the doctor caused much ex- 
citement. In 1846 he built a saw-mill, and in 
1847-'48 did a large business in lumber, the 
increased value of his land making him a rich 
man. He died in 1849 or 1850, leaving a 
widow, two sons and four daughters. 

Harrison M. Pieras settled in Napa probably 
about 1843, coming in a whaling vessel from 
Oregon the preceding year; in 1845-'48 he 
was in the employ of Dr. Bale; in 1848 he 
built the first structure at Napa City, used as a 
saloon, and this building was still standing in 
1881. Pieras died in 1870. 

William Hargrave, an immigrant from Ore- 
gon in the Kelsey party in 1844, settled in 
Napa as a hunter. He was prominent in the 
Bear revolt, and later served in the south as a 
Lieutenant in the California Battalion. A few 
years ago he was still living in Napa. 

William Fowler, a native of New York, emi- 
grated from Illinois to <.)regon in 1843, and the 
next year, with two or more sons, in the Kelsey 
party, to this State, bringing with him a letter 
of recommendation as a good Catholic and car- 
penter; worked for a time at Sonoma; spent 
some time in Pope Valley; was at New Hel- 
vetia in 1847; and finally, with his son Henry, 
bought a farm of Dr. Bale near Calistoga, 


wliere at the age of seventy-two lie married a 
second wife, and died in 1865, at tlie age of 
eightj-six years. His son, also named William, 
came in the same party from Oregon, and 
worked as a carpenter at Sonoma, New Hel- 
vetia and San Rafael. In Oregon he had mar- 
ried Rebecca Kelsey, who left him on his arrival 
in California. Application wap made to Larkin 
for a divorce, and despite -his lack of authority 
to grant it she was married by Sutter to another 
man. This, the junior Fowler, was probably 
killed in 1846, in the Bear- Flag rebellion. 

William E. Elliott, a native of North Caro- 
lina, came overland from Missouri in 1845, with 
the Grigsby and Ide party, with his wife, Eliza- 
beth, whom h.e had married in 1821, and seven 
children. Was summoned before Castro as the 
representative of the immigration; became a 
famous hunter, and on one of his early expedi- 
tions is ci-edited with having discovered the 
geysers. He built a cabin on Mark West Creek; 
worked for Smith at Bodega, but left his family 
in Napa Valley. He joined the "Bear" in 
1846, and Mrs. Elliott is said to have furnished 
cloth and needles for the famous flag. The 
old hunter raised grain and cattle in Napa and 
Sonoma; kept a hotel in 1849, and in 1854 
moved to a farm in Lake County, near Upper 
Lake, where he died in 1876, at the age of 


that were made within the present limits of 
Napa County were the following: Humana 
Carne, 17,962 acres, patented to the heirs of 
Edward A. Bale in 1879; Catacula, 8,546 
acres, to J. B. Chiles in 1865; Caymus, 11,887 
acres, to George C. Yount in 1863; Chimiles, 
17,762 acres, to Gordon and Coombs in 1860; 
Entre Napa, 400 acres, to P. D. Baily, 81 acres 
to N. Coombs in 1866, 2,051 acres to J. Green 
in 1881, 877 acres to M. F. de Niguara in 
1879, 403 acres to Kalph L. Kilburn, 40 acres 
to Joseph Mount and others, 1,104 acres to 
Mount & Cotrell, 70 acres to John Batchett, 
307 acres to J. P. Thompson, 62 acres to J. P. 

Walker, 335 acres to Edward Wilson, 360 acres 
to Charles E. Hart, and 2,558 acres to Julius 
Martin; Le Jota, 4,454 acres to George C. Yount 
in 1857; Locoallomi, 8,873 cares to the heirs of 
Julian Pope in 1862; Napa, in parts to S. Val- 
lejo, Lyman Bartlett, A. L. Boggs, L. W. Boggs, 
J. E. Brown, L. D. Brown, Nathan Coombs, 
G. M. Cornwall, A. Farley, O. H. Frank, J. M. 
Harbin, Hart & McGarry, Johnson Horrell, H. 
Ingraham, William Keely, Eben Knight, H. G. 
Langley, John Love, B. McCoombs, Hannah 
McCoombs, J. R. McCoombs, Ann McDonald 
and others, James McNeil, W. H. Osborne, A. 
A. Ritchie, J. K. Rose, J. P. Thompson, John 
Truebody and Ogden & Wise; Tulucay, 8,865 
acres to C. Juarez in 1861; Yajome, 6,652 
acres to Salvador Vallejo in 1864. In Napa 
and Sonoma counties: Huichia, 18,704 acres 
to J. E. Leese in 1859; Mallacomes, 17,742 
acres to J. S. Berreyesa in 1873. 


At the time of the conquest Napa County 
formed part of the northern military depart- 
ment, under the Mexican Government, of which 
the headquarters were at Sonoma. It was or- 
ganized and its boundaries fixed by the Legis- 
lature April 25, 1851. The boundaries were 
afterward changed, April 4, 1855. A consider- 
able portion of its area was afterward cut off 
and became a portion of Lake County. At the 
1872 session of the Legislature a further 
change was made, altering its northern line and 
giving a portion of Lake County to Napa. 

The first deed on record at the court-house 
was dated April 3, 1850, from Nicolas 
Higuera to John C. Brown, and acknoM'ledged 
before H. M. Kendig, recorder. Some records 
are in the Spanish language. The second is 
dated February 15, 1850, from Nathan Coombs 
and Isabella, his wife, to Joseph Brackett and 
J. W. Brackett "of Napa Valley, District of 
Sonoma, in the northern department of Cali- 
fornia," and acknowledged before R. L. Kil- 
burn, alcalde. 

The present court-house plajza was occupied 


by Lawley & Lefferts, as a Imnher-yard, in 
1855. It was originally a low field, but after 
tbe biiilding was constructed, in 1857, the 
grounds were graded and filled and shrubbery 
planted, the cost being defrayed partly by the 
supervisors and partly by citizens. The orig- 
inal fence around the ground was built in 1857. 
The plaza is now a very faithful tract, worthy 
of the reputation of the Golden State. The 
corner-stone of the present court-house was 
laid in 1856, and, as originally built, the upper 
story was largely used as a jail; but it was 
afterward rebuilt and a new jail erected in 
the rear. 

Napa County has had three court-houses: the 
first, 20x30 feet, two stories high and without 
plastering, was located on the northwest corner 
of Coombs and Second streets. Persons sen- 
tenced for long terms were confined in the 
adobe jail at Sonoma, while petty offenders 
were placed in the upper rooms of this coiirt- 
house. This building was burned August 25, 
1875. It served for a court-house from 1850 
to 1856, when the second building was erected, 
at a cost of $19,990; but afterward improve- 
ments were made to the extent of $11,000 fi-om 
time to time, and required frequent repairs, so 
that in course of time it cost the county over 
$50,000. The present court-house, a modern 
structure, was built in 1878-'79, the contract 
price being $50,990. 

The Assemblymen from Napa County have 
been: T. II. Anderson, 1857-'58; John M. 
Coghlan, 1865-'66; F. L. Coombs, 1887; Na- 
than Coombs, 1855, 1860; George N. Corn- 
wall, 1854, 1875-'76; J. C. Crigler, 1867-'70; 
W. B. H. Dodson, 1863-'64; Edward Evey, 
1862; R. C. Haile, 1856, 1869-'70, 1877-'78; 
Chancellor Hartson, 1863, 1880-'81; F. C. 
Johnston, 1883; William R. Matthews, 1859; 
J. M. Mayfield, 1877-'78; Edward McGarry, 
1853; J. McKamy, 1853; H. A. Pellet, 1885; 
John B. Scott, 1861; John S. Stark, 1852; W. 
W. Stillwagon, 1871-'72; S. K. Welch, 1873- 
'74, 1877-78. 


Napa County consists mainly of two large 
valleys. The Napa Valley extends the entire 
length of the county, and throughout its length 
is a railroad. The Berryessa VaUey is on the 
east side of the county. The main dividing 
ranges consist of mountains 500 to 2,500 feet 
high. The mountain range which bounds Napa 
on the east contains several peaks of consider- 
able elevation, the highest being Mount St. 
Helena, supposed to be an extinct volcano, 
4,343 feet high. The summit is accessible even 
by vehicle. The Mayacamus Ridge forms the 
western line of the county and is one of the 
most beautiful in the State. It was included 
in the ranch of 35,000 acres granted to Jose de 
Jesus Berryessa and Sisto Berryessa in 1843, 
by Manuel Micheltorena, Governor of the Cali- 

The main valley is about thirty-five miles 
long, about five miles wide at the southern end 
and tapering to a sharp point at the north. Its 
river gives name to the county. It is tortuous, 
especially in the southern portion, where it 
passes through a large tract of level tule land. 
It runs generally close to the foot-hills on the 
east side of the valley. 

There are no heavily timbered tracts in the 
county; in the western part there were some 
redwoods of considerable size. On Howell 
Mountain were mountain sugar-pines six feet 
in diameter. Away from the water courses is 
a great deal of oak of dififerent kinds, but it is 
all brittle and almost worthless. About the 
geysers and across the northern part of the 
county is found the California nutmeg. This 
is a beautiful tree, with a fruit resembling the 
nutmeg of commerce. 

Napa has some of the most valuable building 
stone in California, a light volcanic rock found 
in the mountains east of Napa VaUey. This 
material was largely used in constructing the 
asylum. It is light yellow in color, coarse and 
soft in texture, but hardens by protracted ex- 


While Napa is distinguished as a fruit, grain 
and vine-gi'owing county, it possesses also a 
variety of mineral products, of which gold, 
silver, mercury, iron, petroleum, chromium and 
manganese are the principal; but about the 
only mining is of cinnabar. Deposits of this 
quicksilver ore occur in the northern part of the 
county, where several companies are engaged in 
this branch of mining. The first discovery of 
this mineral was made in September, 1861, by 
John Newman; and the first miners of this 
metal were James Hamilton, at the Phoenix 
mines, and George N. Corn well, R. G. Mont- 
gomery and George E. Goodman, at the Red- 
ington or Knox-^-ille mines, in Pope Yalley, and 
Knox & Osborne afterward at the same mine. 

Ciirome is mined in Capelle Valley. Indi- 
cations of coal have more than once caused 
considerable expenditure, but no returns. The 
manganese exists near St. Helena. 

Mining has at various times occupied a good 
deal of attention in JSfapa County. At present 
gold and silver are being successfully extracted 
at the Palisade mine above Calistoga, and a 
force of men is now opening up the old Silver- 
ado mine on the eastern side of Mount St. 
Helena, which gave lai'ge returns in silver in 
the sixties, the ore-chute being then considered 
worked out. 

It has been said of Napa County that, pro- 
portionately to size, it is the wealthiest county 
in California. Certain it is that it leads all 
other counties in its production of wine and 
wine grapes, and during the continuance of 
high' prices for wines, a vast deal of money 
flowed into the county, of which a goodly part 
was laid out in extending the vineyards and in 
making other improvements. As a result, the 
whole valley, and especially the upper end 
where the process of subdivision has been most 
rapid, has an old and settled look most pleasing 
to the eye. When to this is added the unusual 
and picturesque beauty of the valley, it is no 
wonder that Napa County has called forth the 
most glowing eulogiums and has been called 
the " most lovely, the most fertile and the most 

favored land of the West." A feature that ap- 
peals to most is the fact that the county is 
entirely out of debt, saving only railroad and 
court-house bonds to the amount of $175,000, 
funded at six per cent, and falling in within the 
next fifteen years. 

The date at which the prosperity of the county 
begins is the advent of the railroad, in January, 
1865. The first movement made for the build- 
ing of the Napa Valley Railroad, was made in 
in January, 1864, when subscription books to 
start in the enterprise were opened at the bank 
and store of A. Y. Easterby & Co. March 26, 
of that year, Hon. Chancellor Hartson intro- 
duced a bill before the Legislature providing for 
the issuing of county bonds to the amount of 
§225,000 to aid the project. It was provided 
that bonds should be issued at the rate of SIO,- 
000 per mile for the first five miles constructed 
and $5,000 for the remaining thirty-five miles 
on to Calistoga. This proposition was submit- 
ted to a vote of the people, who answered with 
486 yeas to 168 nays. Soon afterward the com- 
pany was organized with C. Hartson as Presi- 
dent, Samuel Brannan, Treasurer, A. A. Cohen, 
Secretary, and A. Y. Easterby as Vice-Presi- 
dent. By the following January the road was 
completed, as to gj-ading and track laying, from 
Soscol to Napa City, by Patterson & Gray, for 
the sum of $32,000. A small engine and two 
cars were placed on duty. Subsequently, fur- 
ther measures were taken with some opposition 
until 1868, when the road was completed to 
Calistoga, its present terminus. 

'I'his work, which has been of the greatest 
ultimate benefit to the valley, was characterized 
at the time as a gigantic " steal," engineered by 
that prince of scheme and adventure, the famous 
Sam Brannan. This line, which the county 
paid for but does not own, is now a portion of 
the Southern Pacific system, and is conducted 
generally in the interests of the valley. In 1888 
a company was organized to build a road from 
Napa City to Lake County, via Conn Canon 
and Pope Valley, and thence to Humboldt 
County. Considerable grading was done in 


,parts of the county, when the grade and right 
of way was sold to the Southern Pacific. Since 
then all work has stopped, and it is doubtful if 
it wiU ever be resumed. 

Until the advent of the railroad as stated, 
Napa County had been almost entirely devoted 
to grain and stock-raising, with dairying as the 
leading industry of the lower tide lands of the 
southern part of the county. Since then gi-ape- 
erowincr and wine-making has become the chief 
industry, with firuit-gi-owing and the like, a 
promising record. From Napa City to Calis- 
toga there is a constant succession of vineyards 
and wine-cellars, showing plainly the great im- 
portance of the industry to the county. From 
Yountville, nine miles above Napa City to a 
point about midway between St. Helena and 
Calistoga, the whole country is given over to the 
vineyards, St. Helena being the center of pro- 
duction. The many massive stone wine cellars, 
many of them architecturally very fine, is a great 
surprise to the stranger. 

In other places will be found descriptions of 
some of the leading cellars, so that we need not 
enter into detail here. The success of the in- 
dustry is due, however, to such men as C. Krug, 
J. C. Weinberger (now deceased), H. A. Pellet, 
Dr. Crane, H. W. Crabb, J. Schram and others, 
pioneers in wine-making, who have expended 
time and money in experimenting and attaining 
good results, and later to such as W. W. Lyman 
(the Napa Wine Company), the Berniger Bros., 
W. B. Brown, C. Lemme (now deceased), and 
his son R. V\ . Lemme, the Edgehill Wine Com- 
pany, C. P. Adanison, Captain Niebaum, Ewer 
& Atkinson, J. A. Brun & Co., Carpy & Co., 
and many others, who with those first men- 
tioned are carrying to the highest perfection the 
processes of wine manufacture. Noteworthy in 
this connection, is tlie fact that experienced wine 
men are gi-adually drawing out of the valley 
bottom lands and are seeking the products of 
the hillside and mountain vineyards. While 
the yield of gi-apes fi-om these is less, the quality 
is vastly superior. It is from these mountain 
vineyards that the choicer brands of wines have 

come which have made Napa County famous 
the world over, and enabled her to sell her wines 
even in the markets of Germany and France. 

Tlae raising of fine-blooded horses, trotters, 
etc., is also becoming a feature of Napa County. 
There are already the begiiming of several 
valuable studs. The organization of the Napa 
Agi-icultural Society has been a moving cause in 
this. It had its beginning in a small way as 
far back as 1854. It is now merged in the 
Napa and Solano Agi-icultural Association, 
which holds fairs alternately at Napa and Val- 
lejo, at both of which places it has grounds and 
courses. The race-course at Napa is said to be 
one of the best in the country, and is noted for 
the fast time made on it. 

Napa, formerly styled Napa City, is the county 
town and leading city of Napa County, a place 
of great prosperity and extensive trade, and a 
favorite residence for retired wealth. 

The original tovn\ plat of Napa City was 
planted in beans in 1847, which was the first 
evidence of civilization in that locality. There 
was then not a house in the county except a few 
adobes, occupied by Mexicans and a few hardy 
American pioneers. The first mention of the 
place in a newspaper was a statement in 1848 
that the ship Amalek Adhel had passed up the 
Napa river and found plenty of water to a cer- 
tain point, and that beyond that was the em- 
barcadero de Napa. Early in May, 1848, the 
first building was erected, which formed the 
nucleus around which the present city has 
grown. It was one and half stories high, 18 x 24 
feet in size, and was built by Harrison Pierce 
for a saloon. This building was still standing 
a very few years ago. 

The town site was surveyed and laid out by 
of the late Hon. Nathan Coombs in the spring 
1848, the limits including only the land lying 
between Brown street and tlie river, and extend- 
ing 600 yards fi-om Napa street to the steamboat 
landing. During that year John Trubody 
mowed almost the entire plat, which was cov- 


ered with a rank growth of wild oats, and sold 
the hay to the Government. The gold discovery 
temporarily checked settlement here; but after 
the first reverberation improvements began and 
were continued until a beautiful city was the 

A mile and a half southeast of the city is the 


"With the view of providing further accom- 
modations for the care of the insane of this 
State, the Legislature of 1869-'70 authorized 
the appointment of a commissioner to visit the 
principal asylums of the United States and 
Europe for the purpose of obtaining all prac- 
ticable information. Governor Haight ap- 
pointed Dr. E. T. Wilkins, who visited 149 
asylums. From the numerous plans which he 
collected, the one for the asylum at Napa was 
selected, with the aid of Wright & Saunders of 
San Francisco, architects. In March, 1872, the 
Legislature authorized the appointment of a 
commission to select a site and made an appro- 
priation of $237,500 toward the erection of the 
building. Governor Booth appointed Judge C. 
H. Swift of Sacramento, Dr. G. A. Shurtleff of 
Stockton, and Dr. E. T. Wilkins of MarjsviUe, 
and in August of that year Napa City was 
selected for the site. 

The Legislature of 1873-'74 further appropri- 
ated $600,000 for the completion of the asylum, 
and the next Legislature made a still further ap- 
propriation of $494,000. That structure does 
not accommodate more than 500 patients at any 
one time. May 31, 1878, there were 501 pa- 
tients at the asylum, and at the time of the next 
meeting of the Legislature, 1880, there were 
808 patients, rendering further accommodations 
necessary. Twenty thousand dollars was ap- 
propriated for fitting up the attics in the rear 
of the amusement hall. Since then further im- 
provements have been made. The total cost of 
the buildings has been $1,300,000. Under its 
roof are now sheltered over 1,400 inmates, and 
upon its pay-roll are some 200 employes, in- 
cluding physicians, etc. It bears the reputa- 

tion of being one of the best conducted 
institutions of its class in the world. 

Further particulars are given in the bio- 
graphical sketches of Drs. Benjamin Shurtleff 
and E. T. Wilkins elsewhere in this volume. 


Tlie first school -house in Napa County was 
built by William H. Nash, near Tucker Creek, 
above St. Helena, in 1849. In it a private 
school was taught by Mrs. Forbes, whose hus- 
band had perished with the Donner party in 
1846. Down to 1854 there was not a public 
school in the county, but there had been tn^o or 
three private schools. In 1855 a public school- 
house was erected by subscription in Napa City. 

The Napa Collegiate Institute was erected in 
1858-'60, and opened in August of the latter 
year, by the citizens of the vicinity, and after- 
ward it fell into the hands of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. It has since been remod- 
eled and enlarged. 

The Napa Ladies' Seminary, an eflicient 
school for young ladies, and the Oak Mound 
School, are also good schools to fit for colleges. 

It will thus be seen that Napa has unusual 
school facilities; and it also has well appointed 
churches of all the principal denominations. 

The county infirmary, near Napa, is a com- 
modious and well arranged structure, erected 
in 1869, at a cost exceeding $80,000. 

In Napa there are two tanneries, one of them 
the largest wool-pulling and tanning establish- 
ment on the Pacific Coast. It has drain-tile 
and brick-works, a glue factory, a busy fruit- 
packing establishment and wineries that rank 
in size and reputation with the best in the 
Slate. The Napa woolen-mill has a wide repu- 
tation for making tine fabrics. A company has 
also lately gone largely into the business of 
grape drying and shipping. It has also a large 
sash and door factory, etc., etc., has splendid 
water-works and no debt. 


Yountville, the home of the old pioneer, 
George C. Yount, is a quiet little town sup- 


ported by wine-making and general fanning. 
Near it is the Veterans' Home, three fine build- 
ings erected at intervals since 1882 by the 
Veterans' Home Association, now receiving 
State and Government aid. About $100,000 
has so far been expended and about 300 old 
soldiers receive shelter. Additions to cost 
$150,000 will shortly be made, which will more 
than double the capacity — a noble work. 

Oakville, the next station going up the val- 
ley, is supported wholly by the wine and farm 
interests. J. A. Brun & Co., and H. W. Crabb 
are the leading wine men of the place. 

Rutherford is a shipping point of some im- 
portance. Here are the great cellars of Ewer & 
Atkinson, Captain Niebaum, C. P. Adamson 
and others. 

The ground on which St. Helena stands was 
first owned and occupied b}' Edward Bale, an 
English doctor, who procured it by grant from 
the Mexican Government. Messrs. Still & 
Walters afterward bought from tlie grant 
the part now comprising St. Helena. A. 
Tainter and John Greer bought of the latter 
parties the ground now southwest of Main 
street, and other parties bought that portion 
lying northeast of that line. Still & Walters 
built the first house in St. Helena, abont 1851, 
being a store building on the site subsequently 
occupied by G. F. Brown. The original build- 
ing was burned many years ago. The next set- 
tlers were Dr. Strattou, John Kister, Mr. Fulton, 
A. Tainter, John Greer and others. 

St. Helena is now a busy town, second only 
in population and wealth to Napa. It is the 
center par excellence of the wine industry of 
the county, its cellarage capacity being some- 
thing like 3,000,000 gallons out of a total for 
the county of about 4,000,000 gallons. It has 
considerable manufacturing importance, coop- 
erage, foundry, etc., has excellent schools, good 
churches and many handsome residences, nota- 
bly those of T. Parrott, Fred. Beringer, Seneca 
Ewer, Mrs. Pope, Mrs. Fuller, and others. 
Another noteworthy feature is the extraordinary 
number of spry, active old men it possesses, 

seventy, eighty, and in one instance a man over 
ninety in active business. 

Calistoga, at the base of Mt. St. Helena and 
the third in size in the county, is the staging 
point for Lake County, the Geysers, etc., and a 
beautiful and lively little town, having mines, 
large fruit orchards, especially prunes, and some 
of the handsomest estates of wealthy men in the 
county. We may mention the summer homes of 
A. L. Tubbs, Mr. Dexter, Dr. R. Beverley Cole 
and others as types. It is a busy shipping point, 
being at the head of the railway. John York was 
thefirst wliitesettlerin this locality, erectinga log 
cabin in the fall of 1845, thefirst in that part of the 
county; and he also put in the first crop of wheat. 

Calistoga has had a varied history. Sam 
Brannan, the "great and only," purchased its 
famous hot sulphur springs in 1859, immedi- 
ately began to improve the property and to con- 
struct a railroad. During its palmy days 
Calistoga was the favored resort of wealth and 
fashion and drew great numbers of pleasure- 
seekers from San Francisco and elsewhere. 
Brannan probably spent half a million dollars in 
the effort to make Calistoga what he boasted he 
would do, the Saratoga of the Pacific Coast. In 
1868, however, an altercation with some em- 
ployes occurred, Brannan receiving pistol 
wounds in it which were at first thought to be 
mortal. Family and financial troubles assailed 
him at about the same time and shortly after- 
ward the hotel was burned, the property passed 
from his liands and the glory of the place de- 
parted. The springs are now the property of 
the Southern Pacific and are lying idle. Not 
far from Calistoga is the Petrified Forest, across 
the line in Sonoma County. Mount St. Helena 
rears its huge proportions immediatelj' at the 
head of the valley — a noble scene. Calistoga 
has good public schools and churches of the 
leading denominations. 

Monticello is a little town in Berryessa Val- 
ley, the center of its trade and a point of grow- 
ing importance. Knoxville is a small village in 
Pope Valley, grown up from the activity of the 
quicksilver mines. 


About six miles from Napa are the celebrated 


These springs, wliose waters have been faiuoiis 
for more than thirty years past, are situated on 
the mountain side of the valley rendered almost 
classic by the pen of the tourist and the brush of 
the painter. Forty-five miles north of San Fran- 
cisco, they stand at the head of a canon in the 
mountains which form the eastern boundary of 
NapaY alley, and six miles from NapaCity. From 
this point the artists Keith and Virgil Williajns 
have so often transferred to canvas the natural 
beauties of the landscape that their pictures form 
the most attractive gems in some of our best 
art collections. The valley for twenty- five miles 
below, the bay reflecting the white-winged sails 
of its proportion of the world's commerce, 
mounts Tamalpais and Diablo, form a panorama 
bf surpassing beauty and impressiveness. 
Among the attractions of the place we find 
groves of patriarchal trees, — the live oak, the 
black oak, festooned with gray Spanish moss or 
mistletoe, the eucalyptus, the mountain pine, 
while the Italian cypress adds an exotic charm 
to the natural scenery. The almond, the olive, 
and the orange give variety to the view, and 
testify to the semi-tropical mildness of the cli- 
mate and the generous fertility of the soil. 
Numerous living springs of fresh water burst 
from the mountain side at such an elevation as 
to send the natural flow over the entire proper- 
ty, and throughout the year this water is as cold 
as ice. Along one side of the ground a moun- 
tain brook gathers the waters of adjacent 
springs, filhng a natural swimming pond cut 
out of^the solid rock, some 50 x 200 feet in size, 
and from six to nine feet deep, and also an arti- 
ficial swimming bath, 50x150, which is under 
cover and heated by steam. On the other bound- 
ary a rocky gorge forms the background of a 
miniature Niagara, witli ninety feet of perpen- 
dicular fall. Stone quarried on the spot has 
supplied the material for building; an orchard 
in full bearing furnishes abundant fruit, and 

the choice vineyard has received numerous en- 
dorsements of the quality of its wine. 

But the feature which most distinguishes this 
favored spot, and makes it especially attractive, 
is its mineral springs, which are famous for 
their curative properties, the same elements 
being held in solution that give to the Carlsba<i 
springs in Bohemia their rank among the first 
in the world. From more than twenty of these 
springs is produced the article kno\vn as Is'apa 
Soda. This water is bottled and sold just as it 
flows fi-om Nature's laboratory, and its long and 
continuous use attests its merit. A beautiful 
pagoda is built over one of tlie springs, the 
solid stone pillars and floor forming a most ap- 
propriate setting for the natural stone basin 
whence flow the waters which refresh, purify 
and regulate the system and. restore its strength 
and energy. 

The Belleviie is a conspicuously situated 
stone house of ten rooms, with turrets, the main 
feature of which is the columns that grace tiie 
entrance, standing upon a broad and open pi- 
azza, from which is a perfect view of the entire 
lower half of Napa Valley, extending to the bay 
in the distance. These columns are copied fi'om 
those in the Capitol in Washington, beneath tlie 
United States Marshal's office, which were de- 
signed by the engineer Latrobe, the favorite 
architect of President Jefferson. They are what 
were knowTi in that day as the " corn-cob capi- 
tals," and consist of an imitation of corn stalks 
in the columns, with the maize or ears half ex- 
posed in the capital. The adoption of this de- 
sign by Jefferson was in pursuance of his desire 
to establish a distinctively American order of 
architecture. He thought it unworthy of Amer- 
ica that she should depend upon foreign nations 
for her artistic adornments, and sought to in- 
troduce this new feature into the ornamentation 
of the public buildings. His patriotic attempt 
to revolutionize the artistic taste of the public 
appears to have been a failure, and the two 
cases mentioned are, perhaps, the only instances 
where the idea has been adopted. 


One of the most notable buildings is the ele- 
gant new Rotunda. Circular in form and sev- 
enty-live feet in height, it is surmounted by a 
glass cupola which reflects for many miles both 
the rising and setting sun. On the right as one 
enters the building, is the postofiice with a tele- 
phone communication with Napa and thence by 
telegraph with any part of the world. On the 
opposite side is a reception room for the con- 
venience of the lady guests. The court in the 
center is nearly 100 feet in diameter, fitted up 
as a grand parlor and ball-room, handsomely 
carpeted and furnished, and lighted by a huge 
fras chandelier of thirty-two lights. Extending 
around this entire circle is a wide promenade, 
outside of which are arranged the rooms for 
guests; all hard-tinished, with gas and water, and 
with windows looking out upon the land-scape. 

The club-house is another building of white 
stone, in which are the bar and billiard-rooms, 
bagatelle table, bowling-alley, etc. The new 
dining-hall is isolated from the remaining build- 
ings, and is flanked by a commodious kitchen 
and the rooms for the servants. Gas mains are 
laid throughout the grounds, and the premises 
are lighted at night. Among the many pleasure 
resorts of California, and within the reach of the 
the metropolis of the Paciflc coast, none surpasses 
in beauty and comfort this charming retreat. Its 
magniticent scenery, fine drives and perfect ac- 
commodations render it the most delightful of 
watering places; the last breath of the Seabreeze 
reaches it, and the pure air and the soothing 
hush of night always insure sound and refresh- 
ing slumbers. 


lawyer, journalist, politician and man of affairs, 
first saw the light in Cleveland, Ohio, the State 
which has furnished during the last quarter of 
a century a large proportion of the men who 
have been prominent in publii life. Here he 
lived until he was fourteen years of age, when 
he removed to Cincinnati, where, after the usual 
course of preparatiojj for professional life, he 
practiced law for fifteen years. In 1857 he was 

married to Miss Anna Hooper, a native of the 
State of Kentucky. They have had nine chil- 
dren, seven sons and two daughters, five of 
whom were born in Kentucky and four in Cali- 
fornia. He took an active part in the war of 
the rebellion, serving in the army of the Cum- 
berland, under Rosecrans and Buell, and from 
Pittsburg Landing to Corinth on detached serv- 
ice under Grant. Fortunate in his early associa- 
tion with an unusual number of men who have 
made their mark in life, he had occasion to 
measure swords with many whose names have 
been historic in the daily forensic contests of 
the bar and the platform. Always prominent 
as a public speaker he easily carried off' the 
honors and success which are peculiarly the 
rewards of his profession, and has played a 
leading part in many important enterprises. 

In 1867 he went to Europe to negotiate the 
bonds of the California Pacific Railroad, and 
his service resulted in his coming to the Coast, 
where he assisted in building the road and re- 
mained its President until it was bought by 
the Central Pacific Company. After building 
two other roads, both of which were in like 
manner sold out to the Central, he retired from 
the railroad business and turned his attention to 
other enterprises. Deeply interested in poli- 
tics, he has stumped the States of Kentucky, 
Ohio, Indiana and California as an enthusiastic 
and successful champion of the Republican 
cause, but has until now succeeded remarkably 
in escaping the toils and trials of ofiice-holdino- 
as far as he himself is concerned. In 1864 he 
received the unanimous nomination for the 
Governorship of Kentucky, and afterward 
decHned a nomination to Congress from the 
Sixth District of that State, when such nomina- 
tion was equivalent to an election. He refused 
an appointment to the commissionership of 
Internal Revenue under Andrew Johnson, and 
also the position of First Assistant Secretary of 
the Treasury under Grant. He has hitherto 
preferred the sterling activities of an extensive 
business to the dignified retirement of ofiicial 


His first enterprise in journalism was the 
management of the San Francisco Etening 
Font, which he twice enlarged, changed it in 
politics frcm Democrat to Eepublican, and 
made it a recognized power in the journalistic 
field. He is the proprietor of the celebrated 
pleasuie and health resort tnown all over the 
world under the name of the IS'apa Soda Springs, 
described in the preceding section, and has made 
a conspicuous success of the development and 
management of the large business interests con- 
nected with that } roperty. For some years past 
he has most ably conducted that spicy and 
satirical journal, The Wasj), of San Francisco. 
The sting of tiiis lively and ubiquitous insect, 
though not fatally poisonous, is credited with 
an eifect the reverse of soothing, and that jour 
nal is certainly a terror to evil-doers, even if it 
has no space to waste in the praise of them that 
do well. It is an open secret that Colonel 
Jackson's objections to the cares and responsi- 
bilities of official life have at last been overcome, 
and that President Harrison, his early personal 
friend, has appointed him sub-treasurer at San 
Francisco. His thorough business trainirigand 
experience have admirably fitted him for his 
position of trust, and Uncle Sam's millions will 
liave no more able or faithful custodian than he. 

Two and one-half miles south of St. Helena 
there are nine springs whose waters are sul- 
phuretted, and whose temperature is from 69 
degrees to 89.6 degi'ees Fahrenheit. These 
springs are used as a resort. In Pope Valley 
are the ^tna Springs and Walters Springs, both 
favorite resorts. On the mountain side above 
St. Helena are the Crystal Springs, or Rural 
Health Ketreat, a deservedly prosperous institu- 
tion under the auspices of the Adventists. 


The first newsjjaper in the county was the 
Napa Reporter, the first number of which was 
issued July 4, 1856, by Alexander J. Cox. 
Although very small it was in advance of the 

population, and cculd fcnuely le tuslhirtd. 
The Kaja Btghtf) was established by Hoiel & 
Strong, August 10, 1863, and Las leen legularly 
issued ever since. 

The } letent i ewsjapeisof the county are as fol- 
low: InKapa n\e\heB(y'(iitiraT\AIit^oit(r,\o\h 
daily and weekly, founded loth in 18S6, loth 
ably conducted papers, the Jcuinal founded in 
1884, a weekly, and the ^f<?, first issued in 1890. 
In St. Helena are the Star, a weekly, conducted 
with nnusual ability, established in 1874, and 
the Reflector, a smart daily, lately come into 
existence. At Calistoga is the Independent 
Calhtogian, a weekly of influence and strength, 
first issued in 1877. 



Comme'ncing at the Ynba County line, Ne- 
vada is hemmed in between the Middle Yuba 
and Bear rivers until the sources of those 
streams are reached, when the boundary line 
nms directly east until it reaches the western 
line of the State of Nevada. It is bounded on 
the north by Yuba and Sierra counties, on the 
east by the State of Nevada and Placer County, 
on the south by Placer County and on the west 
by Yuba County. Nevada is abundantly supplied 
by streams of water, sufiicieut for all purposes, 
even for hydraulic mining in its day. Ever 
rolling and ever ascending in tiers one above 
another until they reach the summit, Nevada 
County is a vast succession of hills, the snow- 
capped summits seeming but just high enough 
to peep over the verdant-covered crests of their 
lower brothers; and hundreds of fertile valleys 
greet the eye on every side, few of them con- 
taining as many as a hundred acres. 

The range of the thermometer is very gi-eat, 
the highest recorded being 142|J° above zero in 
the sun at the office of the South Yuba Canal 
Company, and the lowest being 40° below zero 
on Prosser Creek in the Truckee basin. At tlie 
point where the highest mark was reached, the 
thermometer has never fallen below zero. 



These figures are seldom reached within 20°, 
except in unusual seasons. 

The rainfall is also very heavy, and when it 
coEoes in the form of snow it often lies on the 
ground in places to a depth of twenty- five feet. 
These deep snows isolate the mining camps and 
other neighborhoods from each other, some- 
times for many weeks, and the blinding storms 
often cause the traveler to lose his way or locks 
him up for a time ; and many lose their lives, or 
are saved as by miracle. A little communica- 
tion is maintained by means of snow-shoes. 
The amount of rainfall (including melted snow) 
on the mountain sides in this county is about 
three times that which occurs at Sacramento, or 
about fifty-five inches per annum, the variation 
being from 14 to 109 inches. 


The first settlement in Nevada County was 
made by John Rose, whose name was given to 
the celebrated Rose Bar near Smartsville, Yuba 
County. Rose and Reynolds were engaged in 
trading with the miners and Indians, their store 
being at liose Bar. They made a specialty of 
raising cattle and producing beef for the miners. 
Afterward Rose built a corral at Pleasant Valley 
and established a trading post there. Following 
him, a man named Findlay, from Oregon, 
opened a trading post on Bear River near the 
mouth of Greenhorn Creek. David Bowyer also 
opened a store at White-oak Springs, in Rough 
and Ready Township. The Rough and Ready 
company settled at the town of that name. All 
these and a few others were in 1849. 

The winter of 1852-'53 being veiy severe, the 
miners in the mountain fastnesses of this 
county ran short of proWsions and met in con- 
vention in order to devise what to do; and on 
account of their resolving " to go to San Fran- 
cisco and obtain the necessary supplies, peace- 
ably if we can, but forcibly if we must," a great 
deal of laiTghter was indulged in at their 

When the State was originally divided into 
twenty-seven coiinties in 1850, this region was 

unknown, except partially to a few prospectors. 
Soon real-estate owners in the valleys among 
the foothills laid out " cities," obtained the ear 
of legislators and had county seats established 
for counties which, on account of their great 
number, had to be narrow strips of territory 
running far up into thd mountains. Besides, 
many " cities " did not get the county-seat, or 
even become tovi^ns. The career of these rival 
points reminds on6 of a striking feature of 
almost or quite every department of life, well 
illustrated by a patch of weeds as they spring up 
all evenly at the start, but soon a few, having at 
the early stage but a very slight advantage, gen- 
erally invisible, get ahead of the rest, shade the 
ground, kill down their neighbors, absorb all the 
nutriment of the surrounding earth and easily 
thrive ever afterward. 

In Yuba County there were seven of these 
" cities," — Kearney on Bear River, Plumas 
City, El Dorado City, Eliza, Marysville and 
Featherton on Feather River, and Linda on the 
Yuba River. The one that blew the loudest 
blasts upon its horn, and- really had the most 
to blow for, was Marysville; and this place, 
though at one extremity of the county and over 
a hundred miles distant from the other extreme, 
was made the county-seat. The county of Yuba 
was made to embrace all of Yuba, Sierra, 
Nevada and a portion of Placer counties, thus 
constituting a most unwieldy territory. The 
shifting of population in those days was as in- 
cessant and rapid as drifting clouds of the sky; 
and thus was it that a few months after the 
creation of Yuba County, this region, to which 
scarce a thought had been given, became the 
scene of life and activity. The disadvantao-es 
of belonging to Yuba County were early felt; 
Marysvdlle was too distant, and a county govern- 
ernment located at that place was to the citizens 
here almost as useless as one in Oregon. 

The first ofiicers in 1850 were: Wm. R. Tur- 
ner, District Judge, succeeded by Gordon N. 
Mott; Henry P. llaun, County Judge; S. B. Mul- 
ford. District Attorney, succeeded by H. P. Wat- 
kins and J. O. Goodwin; E. D. Wheeler, Clerk; 


Alfred Lawton, Recorder; R. B. Bnclianan, 
Sliei-iff; L. W. Taylor, Treasurer; James B. 
Cnshing, Surveyor; S. C. Tompkins, Assessor; 
and S. T. Brewster, Coroner. Very few changes 
have heen made in the judiciary, and the usual 
number in the other offices. 

By the time the next Legtslature met, Nevada 
City had become a town of considerable im- 
portance, and both Grass Valley and Rough and 
Ready were coming into prominence; the latter 
was also an aspirant for the seat of government. 
A re-division of the State into counties was 
therefore made by a Legislative act April 25, 
1851, by which, among others, the new county 
of Nevada was created. The county derived 
its name fi-om Nevada City, at which point the 
seat of justice was located. The word " Nevada '' 
is Spanish for snowy. At the first election, 
thereafter, in May, about 2,900 votes were 
cast, resulting in the choice of the following 
officers: Thomas H. Caswell, Judge; John K. 
McConnell, District Attorney; Theodore Miller, 
Clerk; John Gallagher, SherifP; Charles Marsh, 
Surveyor; H. C. Dodge, Treasurer; and T. G. 
"Williams, Assessor. 

The boundaries given to the county by the 
above act were as follows; Beginning at a point 
in the Yuba River opposite the mouth of Deer 
Creek, and running thence up the middle of 
Yuba River to a point opposite the mouth of 
the middle branch of the Yuba; thence up the 
middle of said middle branch ten miles from its 
mouth; thence easterly in a straight line to the 
boundary of the State; thence south along the 
boundary line of the State to the northeast 
corner of Placer County; thence westerly on 
the northerly line of Placer County to the 
source of Bear Creek; thence down Bear Creek 
to a point due south of the junction of Deer 
Creek and Yuba River; thence north to the 
place of beginning. But April 19, 1856, the 
line on the Sierra County side was chano-ed 
thus: Commencing at a j)oint in the Main Yuba 
opposite the mouth of Deer Creek, and running 
thence up Main Yuba to the mouth of Middle 
Yuba; thence up Middle Yuba to the south fork 

of the same; thence up said fork to its source; 
thence east to the State line; then south on the 
State line to the northeast corner of Placer 
County ; thence west on the north line of Placer 
County to the source of Bear River; thence 
down Bear River to a point due south of the 
place of beginning; thence north to the place of 

February 2, 1857, the boundary lines were 
again described by a detailed delineation of the 
respective townships. 

By the burning of the court-house July 19, 
1856, some of the county records were destroyed, 
thus cutting off some of the sources of early 


in the Washoe country in 1860 is of special 
interest to Nevada County on accoimt of the 
prominent part taken in it by her citizens. On 
the evening of May 7, that year, intelligence of 
the massacre of seven white men by Indians was 
broiight to Nevada City. Two companies, one 
commanded by Major Ormsby and the other by 
Captain McDonald, in all over 100 men, pro- 
ceeded toward the scene of the massacre, below 
the great bend of the Truckee River. They fol- 
lowed the trail until on the 12th, near Pyramid 
Lake, when they were ambuslied by a band of 
Piutesinapass. Themeii fought desperately un- 
til their ammunition became exhausted and then 
sought to escape by flight. Many were killed 
in the action, while many more were shot in 
their attempt to escape. Henry Meretlith, a 
gentleman well and favorably knowoi in this 
vicinity and Sacramento, was killed while fight- 
ing after many had fled. 

The news reached Nevada City on Sunday. 
The alarm bells were rung, and the people as- 
sembled in the tlieatre and made arrangements 
to send aid to the terrified settlers. All that 
night men were busy making cartridges and pre- 
paring ammunition. Early in the inorning a 
volunteer company of thirty men, under Captain 
Van Hagan of the Nevada City Rifles, started 
for the scene of action, having a great amount 
of ammunition and about sixty muskets. At 


Virginia City the company was increased to 
seventy-seven men and served through the cam- 
paign of six weeks, doing good service. On 
returning they brought bacls the body of Mere- 

A few days after the departure of the com- 
pany for the seat of war, an effort was made to 
raise another. It is related that, at the meeting 
called for the purpose, an enthnsiastic gentle- 
man was moved by the scarcity of volunteers to 
say: "Let us make np a company consistent 
with the pride of the county and the danger to 
be encountered. Yes, gentlemen; let us raise 
enough to make a respectable corpse.''^ The 
effect of this ghastly remark was the opposite 
of that intended, as many of the volunteers 
wilted on the spot. 


In 1859 the Sacramento, Placer & Nevada 
Railroad was projected, and a survey was com- 
menced fi'om Folsom to Auburn, by Sherman 
Day. Tlie intention was eventually to extend 
the line to Nevada City, and the merchants of 
this county subscribed a sum sufficient for a 
survey of a route from Auburn to Nevada City 
by the way of Grass Valley. A preliminary 
survey was made, and was embodied in Day's 
report, showing that a line could be constructed 
thirty-six miles in length and with a grade of 
eighty feet to the mile. From this time the 
railroad question was never entirely laid aside; 
every year it was brought out, rubbed over and 
polished, and laid carefully away within easy 

A road to Lincoln was at one time under 

As soon as it became evident that the great 
transcontinental road would be built, great 
efforts were made to have the Henness pass 
route adopted, but in vain. After several 
tedious efforts, work was commenced on the 
narrow-gauge road in February, 1875, and 
was completed from Colfax to Grass Valley in 
April, 1876, and regular trains began to run 
between those points. The total length of the 
road is twenty-two and a half jniles. 


As an exception in the field of journalism, 
Nevada County has not been the fatal ground 
of many newspaper enterprises, a majority of 
them having been paying investments for a 
number of years, and some for many years. 
The Nevada Journal first appeared in April, 
1851, started by Warren B. Ewer. This was 
the second paper started in the mines of Cali- 
fornia. R. A. Davidge issued the first number 
of the Young America September 14, 1853. 
This was afterward changed to the Democrat, 
under Niles Searls, and died in 1863. Tlie 
Nevada Daily Transcript first appeared Sep- 
tember 6, 1860, under the management of N , 
P. Brown & Co., with the name of Morning 
Transcript. The Grass Valley Telegraph was 
started in September, 1853, by Oliver & 
Moore. After several changes of proprietor 
ship, it was changed in July, 1858, to the 
Grass Valley National. In 1872 the material 
of the paper was sold to the Nevada Gazette 
and taken to Nevada City. 

In 1854-'56 the noted Lola Montez made 
Grass Valley her residence and the scene of 
many of her eccentricities. She attempted to 
cowhide Henry Shipley, editor of the Grass 
Valley Telegraph, but was disarmed after she 
struck one blow. Both Lola and Shipley pub- 
lished their versions of the affair, each severely 
reflecting upon the character of the other. The 
true, f uU name of this woman was Maria Dolores 
Porris Montez. She was born in Ireland, in 
1824; was married early, and soon separated 
from her husband; appeared as a danseuse at 
Paris in 1840, and soon afterward at Munich, 
where she became mistress of King Louis and 
received the title of Countess of Landsfeld, in 
1846; took an active part in politics, but was 
compelled to leave the country by the popular 
outbreaks of 1848; came to the United States 
in 1851; appeared for some years as an actress 
and lecturer, and published her autobiography, 
besides various other writings. She died at New 
York in 1861. 




The handsome and substantial structure that 
now serves the double purpose of court-house 
and jail in Nevada City, is the third costly 
building that has been erected on the present 
site. Twice have the destroying fingers of flame 
seized upon the building and in a few moments 
demolished the work of months. 

Court was first held in the " Red Store " on 
the corner of Main and Church streets, near the 
present location. The county soon purchased 
an old shake building on Broad street. This 
" shaky " old building, formerly a hotel, in time 
became dilapidated, and court was held in the 
Methodist and Congregational churches, Fris- 
bie's theater and Abbott's hall. In 1855-'56 a 
new building was erected, at a cost of nearly 
$50,000. This fine structure was destroyed in 
the gi-eat tire of July 19, 1856, but a few weeks 
after the county oflices had been moved into it. 

A rare incident oc«iirred in connection with 
this tire. The sherifi', W. W. Wright, when he 
saw that the court-house must b\irn, and the 
jail with it, and after he had exhausted all his 
strength in endeavoring to subdue the flames, 
opened the door of the jail to free the prisoners, 
falling at the same instant to the floor utterly 
exhausted. A prisoner named Lewis, indicted 
for murder, on emerging from the jail could 
easily enough liave made his escape; but instead 
of doing so he lifted up Slierifl" Wright, carried 
him down to Deer Creek, and bathed his temples 
and nursed him until he revived. He then 
asked him where he should go. Wright told 
him to go where he pleased, but to appear in 
court the following Monday morning. Lewis 
accordingly appeared, was admitted to bail in a 
nominal sum, with plenty of men to become his 
bondsmen, and on a sliort trial he was readily 
acquitted, the jury assuming " that he had fully 
compensated for the taking of a worthless life 
by preserving a worthy one." 

A new court-house was completed Januaiy 
26, 1857, at a cost of over $19,000, and on Sun- 
day, November 8, 1863, this also was consumed 
by fire. The third and ])7-esent court-house 

biiilding was completed in March, 1865, at 
an expense of over $46,000. In this build- 
ing, July 27, 1867, R. II. Farquhar, the 
county clerk, was killed by tlie explosion of 
coal gas which had leaked out into the room the 
previous night. The jet had been left burning 
in the vaidt, and when the oxygen had become 
exhausted the flame went out, and the gas con- 
tinued to flow until the air was saturated. On 
lighting a match there in the morning the fatal 
explosion took place. 


from this county have been: Wm. R. Arm- 
strong, 1859; John M. Avery, 1861-62; S. 
Barker, 1871-'72; Robert Bell, 1871-72; Vin- 
cent G. Bell, 1856; S. L. Blackwell, 1875-'78; 
Thomas P. Blue, 1875-'76; S. W. Boring, 1856; 
John H. Bostwick, 1853-'54; H. M. C. Brown, 
1855; E. F. Burton, 1854; C. W. Calahan, 
1859; John Caldwell, 1858-'59; George Cassin, 
1857; James Collins, 1862-'63; E. W.Council- 
raan, 1861; J. T. Crenshaw, 1853; Samuel T. 
Curtis, 1860; E. M. Davidson, 1857; I. N. 
Dawley, 1854; J. M. Days, 1867-'68, 1871-'72; 
George D. Dornin, 1865-'68; Daniel Dnstin, 
1856; J. C. Eastman, 1861; E. E. W. Ellis, 
1852; Henry Everett, 1871-72; Michael Gar- 
ver, 1877-'78; E. H. Gaylord, 1855; George W. 
Giffeu, 1873-'78; H. L. Hatch, 1865-'66; B. F. 
Hawley, 1869-'70; Henry Hayes, 1S60; Wm. 
Hill, 1873-'74; W. A. King, 1869-'70; Wm. J. 
Knox, 1855; Reuben Leach, 1862, 1865-'66; J. 
Levee, 1880; J. L. Lewison, 1883; Wm. H. 
Lindsej, 1854; W. D. Long, 1881; Wm. H. 
Lyons, 1852; Seth Martin, 1863-'64; T. B. Mc- 
Farland, 1856; Charles F. McGlashan, 1885; 
Thomas Mein, 1881; N. C. Miller, 1861; Philip 
Moore, 1853, 1857. 1859-'60; B. C. Northup, 
1873-'74; S. T. Gates, 1869-'70; M. P. O'Con- 
ner, 1860; J. B. Patterson, 1881; John Patti- 
son, 1805-'66; A. J. Plielan, 1873-'74; J. 
Phelps, 1855; Parker II. Pierce, 1857; G. A. 
F. Reynolds, 1856; H. G. Rollins, 1867-'68; J. 
W. Rule, 1863-'64; Wm. H. Sears, 1862-'64; 
Josiah Sims, 1887; T. A. Slicer, 1869-'70; A. 


A. Smith, 1863-'64; C. F. Smith, I860; James 
K. Smith, 1858.; E. F. Spence, 1861; H. P. 
Sweetland, 1854; J. O. Sweetland, 1880, 1883; 
J. I. Sykes, 1887; J. N. Turner, 1852; E. G. 
Waite, 1855; A. M. Walker, 1.863-'64, 1871- 
'72; Austin Walrath, 1883-'85; J. E. Wariield, 
1858; James D. White, 1867-'68; W. C.Wood, 
1857; George A. Young, 1858-'59. 


It has been the fashion these many years 
for the Mriter about Nevada County, news- 
paper or other kind, to proceed to what at first 
sight seem extravagant terms. Witness this, 
culled from the Recorder Union of Sacramento, 
on the occasion of a late State Fair. The arti- 
cle is headed " Grand Old Nevada." 

" Nevada, the mother of the mineral counties, 
the foremost of all the gold sections of the 
world, the historic, inexhaustible Nevada, not 
making a great display of minerals as yet be- 
cause she has done that before in a manner to 
defy rivalry, comes to the front this year with 
the largest fruit, grain, vine and vegetable ex- 
hibit in the pavilion, or that has been made by 
any county heretofore." 

The peculiarity is, that the further one ex- 
amines the better she seems entitled to all that 
can be said for her. Nevada is a mountain 
county, possessing, among others, the richest 
qiiartz mine in America, if not the world, the 
Idaho mine at Grass Valley, and until the step- 
page of hydraulic mining by judicial edict, pro- 
ducing the gi-eatest output of gold of all counties 
in California. That decision has had a very de- 
pressing effect upon the county, but yet only 
temporarily, for so large and varied are the nat- 
ural resources of Nevada and so energetically 
are they being developed that no sign remains 
of the depression save the gigantic cuts or 
banks washed down by the " monitors " with 
their head of water. The Idaho mine has paid 
its owners $11,000,000 since it began operations. 
Other considerable mines are the North Star, 
the Omaha, Yuba, Waehington and Diamond 

Creek. The last three are in the Washington 
mining district. 

Nevada is one of the imperial mining coun- 
ties of California, contesting with Amador the 
honor of being the largest bullion producing 
county in the State. The annual output of 
gold, amounting now to nearly $3,000,000 for 
each county, would have been much larger but 
for the suppression of hydraulic mining. The 
bullion product of Nevada has suffered the 
largest curtailment from this cause. Every 
form of gold mining elsewhere pursued is rep- 
resented in this county, gravel washing by the 
hydraulic process alone excepted; this, after 
reaching here its greatest expansion, having 
been prohibited by the courts. In Nevada 
County, California, gold quartz mining had its 
origin ; the business having begun at Grass Valley 
as early as 1850, in M'hich year the first quartz 
mill in the State was erected. In Nevada, also, 
auriferous gravel washing by the hydraulic 
method was invented and first practiced, the 
process having afterward in this county seen its 
most extensive application. Here are found 
the longest and most extensive water ditches 
and the most capacious reservoirs, constructed 
in this or, perhaps, in any other country. The 
record made by some of the quartz mines of 
this county is remarkable, both as regards large, 
long continued and steady production. The 
ores here are for the most part of good grade 
and free milling, carrying usually not over two 
per cent, of sulphurets. The concentrates yield 
on an average about $100 per ton. The ore is 
chiefly gold-bearing quartz, while the veins are 
not apt to be large, ranging generally from two 
to three feet in thickness. 

The surface of this county is uneven through- 
out, the great snowy range covering its eastern, 
and the foot-hills its western part. With the 
exception of the Truckee River which flows 
across its southeastern corner, and the South 
Fork of the Yuba, flowing centrally through it, 
there are no large streams wholly in Nevada, 
the Middle Yuba separating this from Sierra 
County on tlie north, and Bear River separating 


it from Placer County on the south. There are 
several small lakes in the upper part of the 
county. Of these, Donner, some two miles 
long, and situated east of the main summit of 
the Sierra, is the principal. Except a narrow 
strip along its western border, the county is 
well timbered. 

Nevada County is known almost the world 
over for the excellency of her Bartlett pears. 
The vicinity of Grass Valley, Nevada City, 
and Rough and Ready, once the most typical of 
mining camps, seems the natural home of that 
fruit. Every year a large quantity of the fresh 
fruit is shipped from the two first named places, 
the shipping points of the western end of the 
county, say a million pounds from Grass Val- 
ley, and half that quantity from its neighbor. 
Every year is seeing the increase in the number 
of trees, while the planting of other fruits, 
gi-apes, and garden stuff is also going forward 
rapidly. " Chicago Park " is a Bartlett pear 
colony fi-om Chicago, a strong and prosperous 
company who publish semi-monthly the Chi- 
cago Park Horticulturist, having their oflice 
temporarily in the Chicago Opera House build- 
incr, with C. H. Briot as editor. Their colony 
or park is of course an the midst of the pear belt. 

Until the completion of the Nevada County 
Narrow-gauge Road, May 20, 1876, the county 
had practically no outside market, the haul by 
wagon or stage being too rough and far for the 
favorable handling of fruit. The completion of 
that road, however, from Colfax, on the line of 
the Central Pacific to Nevada City, a distance 
of twenty-two miles, has developed the agricul-- 
tural and horticultural intei-ests of the county, and 
has opened to tourists a series of views of mag- 
nificence and grandeur. Invalids visit the county, 
also, in great numbers, seeking relief from the 
malarial or pulmonary trouliles of other parts. 
John F. Kidder, of Grass Valley, president of 
the road, was prime mover in its building. 


is the county-seat, and one of tlie handsomest 
cities in the State. Its buildings are scattered 

about in a most picturesque way upon a num- 
ber of adjoining hills, while in the city and its 
outskirts are about twenty quartz mines and 
mills. It is a place of great trade, being the 
supply point for much of the mining country 
above. Stages leave for all the adjacent camps, 
there being no less than five lines centering in 
the city. It is a thriving and wide-awake place, 
possessing a large number of active business 
houses, two foundries, excellent hotels, a fine 
theater, an efficient fire department, and is 
lighted by gas and electricity. 

The surrounding country is a strange min- 
gling of quartz mines, abandoned gravel mines, 
beautiful gardens and orchards, vineyards and 
grain farms, the sujiport of the city being drawn 
from all tliese sources. It is said that one of 
the best quartz mines in the county was discov- 
ered by a man named Schmidt, who had pur- 
chased a piece of land to start a vineyard. He 
bought the land for $300, and while digging a 
post hole struck a rich quartz vein, which he 
immediately sold for $15,000. The court-house 
is a handsome building occupying a splendid 
site. The county hospital, a little way from 
town, is a commodious and well managed insti- 
tution. The town has a fine school system and 
live churches. 

Three miles or less from Nevada City is the 
city of 


the twin towns being connected by two lines of 
busses, in addition to the railroad. 

This beautiful mining city, for a long time 
the second but now the ■^^rst in size and impor- 
tance in Nevada County, lies in a lovely little 
valley, surrounded by gracefully sloping hills 
whose sides are dotted with the hundreds of 
quartz mines that have made the city so famous 
and prosperous. The first visitors here were 
David Stump, Mr. Berry and another man, 
from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, during 
the fall of 1848. Starting northward on a 
prospecting tour from PlacerviUe, they discov- 
ered on Bear River evidences of crevicing, and 
continued their journey still further north in 



search of a country entirely new. Tliey found 
a stream running through a fertile valley whose 
luxuriant growth of gi-ass and wild pea- vines 
refreshed their weary eyes. Here they stopped 
three weeks and creviced for gold near where 
the Eureka and Idaho mines have wrested mil- 
lions from the stubborn rock. They found 
gold in large quantities and heavy pieces; but 
when the first indications of approaching win- 
ter crossed the sky tliey departed for the valley, 
fearing to spend the winter season in the moun- 
tains. Except these gentlemen, no one is 
known to have visited this valley until 1849, 
when immigrants came here in search of cattle 
strayed from their camps on Bear Eiver or 
Greenhorn Creek. Here the cattle were found 
contentedly feeding and fattening upon the tall 
and juicy gi-ass that billowed before the breeze 
and waved in the noonday sun. 

The earliest actual settlers within the limits 
of the city appear to have been a party of five 
immigi-ants who crossed the plains in 1849 and 
built a cabin on Badger Hill, near the east line 
of the corporation, some time in the montli of 
August. The party consisted of Benjamin 
Taylor, Dr. Saunders, Captain Broughton and 
his two sons, Greenbury and Alexander. Zenas 
H. Denman arrived August 12, and remained 
nearly twenty years. John Little, John Barry 
and the Fowler brothers also built a cabin in 
the same vicinity. The " Rhode Island Com- 
pany " built the Providence store on the summit 
of Main street. Boston Ravine, the point that 
early became of importance and was the chief 
settlement in this vicinity for two years, was 
settled by a Boston company September 23, 
1849. Rev. H. Cummings was the president 
of the company. 

At the present day the place is a town of sub- 
stantial, steady-growing advance. Its future is 
bright, the qiiartz ledges, horticultural and agri- 
cultural resources giving assurance of perma- 
nent prosperity. The town is situated in and 
on the hills bounding what in early days was a 
small gi-ass-covered valley, whence was derived 
the name. On the uncultivated hills about is a 

thick growth of fine trees, chiefly pine, giving 
a peculiar and pleasing aspect to the vicinity. 
Orchards, vineyards and gardens abound, and 
the place is the market town of a large and 
thickly- settled region. At Grass Valley are the 
shops of the railroad. The town has gas works, 
electric lights and a most excellent water sys- 
tem. There are seven churches, the Roman 
Catholic having formerly been a cathedral, 
Grass Valley being the see of the bishop, now 
removed to Sacramento. The school system is 
perfect, and in addition there is a Roman Cath- 
olic convent. Here are situated some of the 
largest and richest mines in the country, tlie 
celebrated Idaho mine being the most note- 
worthy. The business center is well built up 
and presents a scene of activity. 


is a raining camp in the lower part of the 
coiinty, once famous, now devoted largely to 
agriculture as well as mining. 


Tlie name Truckee was given to the home of 
the leaping trout, the beautiful river tliat re- 
ceives its waters from Lake Tahoe and carries 
them swiftly through this enchanting valley, by 
an immigi-ant party who slaked their thirst in 
the cool stream and replenished their nearly ex- 
hausted larder from the abundance of its fish. 
That party passed up the river in -the fall of 
1844, guided by an Indian named Truckee. In 
1863, when the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake 
wagon road was being constructed across the 
mountains, Joseph Gray moved here with his 
family and built a log house. The next year 
J. McConnell settled on the site now occupied 
by the Truckee Lumber Company's store, the 
ground being soon after claimed by a man 
named Owens. The dispute between the two 
men resulted in the shooting of McConnell by 
Owens. The wounded man recovered, and 
Owens was sentenced to two years in the peni- 

The town rapidly improved and was made 



the end of divdsions on the railroad. Thus it 
became the principal point between Sacramento 
and Ogden. During the year 1871 three de- 
structive conflagrations visited Truckee, the last 
of which resulted in nearly a total destruction 
of the place. Serious tires also occurred in 
1873 and 1875. 

The business of Truckee has been confined 
to three articles, — lumber, wood and ice. Tlie 
town is the third of the large towns of Nevada 
County, is located east of the Sierra JMevadas, 
on the line of the Central Pacific. In the 
vicinity are six saw-mills, manufacturing about 
24,000,000 feet of lumber annually, mostly 
yellow pine. Truckee is a favorite stopping 
place for tourists, being in the " heart of the 
Sierras " and connected by stage with all the 
more interesting points, such as lakes Tahoe, 
Webber and Donner. 


The Transcript^ daily and weekly, established 
in 1860, and the Herald, a daily, founded in 
1868, are the newspapers of Nevada City. At 
Grass Valley there are three papers, the Tid- 
ings, the Union and the Evening Telegraph, 
all dailies with weekly editions. They were 
founded respectively in 1877, 1880 and 1889. 
The Truckee Republican is published semi- 
weekly, the first issiie being in 1871. The 
press of this county is live, earnest and ener- 
getic, truly representative of their great 



The word " placer " is Spanish, signifying a 
place where gold is found mixed with alluvial 

This county has no history prior to 1848. 
From Johnson's ranch on Bear River, a road 
led to Sinclair's on the American, and thence 
to Sutter's Fort, but no settlements were made, 
nor discoveries nor developments that could give 
a name to a locality. South of .fohnson's ranch 
were some ponds which several writers have 

mentioned as lagoons, which is the nearest to a 
Spanish name of all that wo can find in that 
period. Gold had been discovered on the south 
fork of the American, in January, 1848, and in 
two or three mouths thereafter the fact was 
made known throughout California and the rush 
to the placers began. As the miners spread 
rapidly over the country it is presumed that 
some reached to the north fork of the American 
early in the season. 

During the summer of 1850, the first duel 
was fought in Placer County. Colonel Potter, 
who was subsequently a clerk in the California 
Legislature during several sessions, and an Eng- 
lish sailor named George Millville, a well-bred 
and companionable man, fell into a dispute 
relative to mining operations, and a challenge 
passed. Early the next morning (Sunday) the 
combatants, with seconds and perhaps twenty 
friends of each party, crossed the river and took 
position at twenty paces apart on the mining 
gi-ound just back of Buckner's Bar. The 
M'eapons were pistols. One shot was fired by 
each, and neither was hit. Potter, seeing that 
his opponent was unhurt, threw down his 
weapon and cried out, " load again ;" but seconds 
and friends intervened, explanations were given 
and apologies made, when the two men shook 
hands, recrossed the stream and passed the re- 
mainder of the day in conviviality. 

When Sutter County included Placer, the 
Legislature named the first Monday in April, 
1850, for the election of county ofiicers. The 
oflicers first elected were: Gordon N. Mott, 
County Judge; W. Fisher, Attorney; T. B. Rear- 
don, Clerk; John Pole, Sheriff ; George Pierson, 
Recorder; Willard Post, Treasurer; William H, 
Monroe, Assessor. 

The first meeting of the Court of Sessions 
was held June 10, this year, at Oro, the county 
seat, with Judge Gordon N. Mott presiding, and 
P. W. Thomas and T. H. Rolfi-, associate jus- 

Oro enjoyed its position as the capital of the 
county but a short time. There was not a house 
nor a building in the town for any purpose, 


much less for holding court, the transaction of 
county business and the preservation of public 
records. Some preparations, however, liad to 
be made by the owners of the town to enable 
the first term, at least, of court to be held there; 
and for this end they erected, or rather placed 
upon the ground, a zinc building about twenty 
feet square, with a floor of rough boards, a roof 
of zinc, and holes cut for the persons to enter, 
but tliey were scarcely doors; and the windows 
had neither glass nor shutters. Not a tree or 
bush, or shrub grew near enough to give any 
shade to the building. A June sun poured its rays 
doMTi upon that zinc building, until, outside and 
inside, it became almost as hot as the furnace of 
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Law and 
equity, lawyers and litigants, jurors and wit- 
nesses, with a spontaneity of action that would 
astonish nothing but a salamander, rushed out 
of that building and fled, never to return. Such 
was the first court-house of Placer County. 

The first act of the Legislature organizing the 
State into counties, placed within Sutter County 
a portion of tiie territory afterward included in 
Placer County. That section was southwest of 
a line running from a point on Bear River six 
miles from its mouth direct to the junction of 
the north and middle forks of the American 
River. All the regions east of that line be- 
longed to Yuba County. The Sutter County 
portion, the county seat in 1850 being at Au- 
burn, had political recognition in the appoint- 
ment of election precincts at Auburn, Spanish 
Corral, Miners' Hotel, Mormon Bar, Horseshoe 
Bar, Halfway House and Beal's Bar. April 
25, 1851, anotlier act was passed by the Legis- 
lature, redividing the State into counties, and 
the boundaries of Placer were next described as 
follows: " Beginning on the Sacramento River 
at the northwest point of Sacramento County, 
and riinning thence up the middle of said river 
to a point ten miles below the junction of Sa- 
cramento and Feather Rivers; thence in a north- 
erly direction in a straight line to a point in 
the middle of Bear Creek opposite Camp Far 
West; thence up the middle of said creek to 

its source; thence due east of State line; thence 
southerly of the State to the northeasterly cor- 
ner of El Dorado County; thence westerly on 
the northerly line of El Dorado County to the 
junction of the north and south forks of the 
American River; thence Mesterly of the north- 
erly line of Sacramento County to the place of 
beginning." The county-seat was fixed by the 
same act at Auburn. 

The dividing line between Placer and Sutter 
counties was for a number of years a subject of 
controversy and uncertainty. The western line 
" from Sacramento County, and running thence 
up the middle of Sacramento River to a point 
ten miles below the junction of Feather and 
Sacramento rivers," was reported by a county 
surveyor as impossible, as the northwest corner 
ot Sacramento County was already nearer than 
ten miles of the junction of those rivers; so the 
county had no starting point. When the coun- 
try became settled, this indefinite line gave 
great trouble to the county ofilcers, and several 
acts were passed to remedy the difficulty. But 
it was not until after the lines of the United 
States Land Survey was adopted March 13, 
1866, that the question was satisfactorily settled. 
This act was adopted by the Codes, taking eflfect 
January 1, 1873, making the boundaries as fol- 
lows : 

" Beginning on the southwest corner at a 
point where the west line of 5 east. Mount Dia- 
blo meridian, intersects the northern line of 
Sacramento County, as established in section 
3,928; thence north to the northwest corner of 
township 12 north, range 5 east; thence east to 
the southwest coiner of section 34, township 13 
north, range 5 east, thence north to Bear River, 
thence on the southerly line of Nevada County 
up said river to its source; thence east in a di- 
rect line to the eastern line of the State of Cali- 
fornia, forming the northeast corner; thence 
southerly along said line to the northeast corner 
of El Dorado County, as established in section 
3,027 (said northeast corner t)f El Dorado being 
a point on the State line, directly east of Sugar 
Pine Point on Lake Tahoe); thence westerly on 


the northern lines of El Dorado and Sacramento, 
as established in sections 3,927 and 3,928, to 
place of beijinning." 

The topography of the county is as irregular 
as its outline. From the valley of the Sacra- 
mento, thirty feet above the sea, where peren- 
nial verdure and semi-tropic fruits gladden the 
eye, it rises in oue grand swell to the summit of 
the Sierra Nevada, embracing Twin, Granite 
Chief, Tinker, Lincoln and Donner Peaks, which 
stud the crest of the lofty range, glistening in 
their white mantle of snow 9,000 feet in the 
sky. In the valley of the Sacramento the 
county has about 216 square miles; in the foot- 
hills and mountain valleys adapted to tillage 
about 200 more; in Lake Tahoe, 90; and the 
remainder, 880 square miles, include the moun- 
tain ridges and snowy peaks, with the inter- 
vening lakes and deep canons. The forests are 

The act of the Legislature approved April 
28, 1851, providing for the organization of the 
county, ordered an election to be held in Placer 
and Nevada counties, for county and township 
othcers, on the fourth Monday of May. The 
election accordingly occurred May 26, two days 
before the approval of the bill by the Govern- 
ment, resulting in choosing Hugh Fitzsimmons 
as Judge; Samuel C. Austin, Siieriif; R. D. Hop- 
kins, District Attorney ; James T. Stewart, Clerk; 
Alfred Lewis, Assessor; Douglas Bingham, Treas- 
urer; Abrara Bronk, Public Administrator; and 
John C. Montgomery, Coroner. But the loose 
manner in which the election was conducted in 
tlie mining camps left no definite means of as- 
certaining the true vote. No party lines were 
drawn nor conventions held. Friends of aspir- 
ants and the aspirants themselves presented 
names in which the two parties were represented 
and voted for indiscriminately. 

Tiie first military organization in Placer 
County was at Hlinoistown, in December, 1849, 
of a company called the California Blades, for a 
campaign against the Indians, who had com- 
mitted many daring robberies and were sus- 
pected of some motives. This company was not 

recruited under the form of law, and its roster 
will not be found in the arcliives of the State; 
nor was it armed and equipped in the manner 
of armies of a great Government. Even the 
natnes of its officers are lost to history by their 
title and rank, and, what is a singular exception, 
their bills for salaries, arms, ammunition, forage, 
transportation and damages, swell no list of 
" war claiins " for annual presentment and sub- 
ject of demogogic appeals on the floors of Con- 
gress. Nevertheless, the California Blades was 
a stalwart company, armed witli long rifles, 
yagers and shot-guns, dragoon and pepper-box 
pistols, butcher and bowie knives, and with 
powder-horns and bullet pouches, blankets, and 
hard-tack and bacon, made several marches 
against the Indians, killed and laid waste, and, 
after the manner of larger armies, struck terror 
to the foe that lasting peace followed their vic- 
tory. No outrages w.ere committed against the 
savages not justified by the occasion; and as 
soon as the Indians ceased their depredations 
hostilities ended, and from that day they were 
kindly treated. 

In 1853 society was in a somewhat cliaotic 
condition, as the chief organizing element — 
woman — was not sufficiently numerous to exer- 
cise a commanding influence. Accordingly the 
" Miners' Guards" were organized as a kind of 
social body and also to preserve order and repel 
Indian depredations. William L. Carpenter 
was captain. Since, the other military organi- 
zations have been effected in this county, and 
several companies were sent to the last war. 

The county had a section of purely agricult- 
ural land, which was occupied shortly before 
the conquest by settlers who raised wheat and 
planted fruit before the gold excitement came 
to interrupt them. It is said that a crop of 
wheat was put in on Bear River by Johnson & 
Sicard in 1845, and that Clianon helped Sicard 
to plant fruit trees the following season. 
Peaches, almonds and vines from San Jose fol- 
lowed in 1848, and later oranges. The peaches 
brought high prices in the gold fields. Men- 
denhall planted Oregon fruit at IlUnoistown in 


1850. In 1852, 679 acres were under cultiva- 
tion, chiefly in barley; and there were 3,500 
head of stock, one-third consisting of hogs. Of 
the population, 6,602 were white men, 343 fe- 
males, 3,019 Chinese, 730 Indians and the rest 
foreigners. By 1855 there were 143 improved 
ranches, after which a rapid increase set in. 

The above improvements centered their inter- 
est mainly at Auburn, making it the leading 
town and the county-seat. It also occupies a 
l)eautiful spot, and from the earliest time it has 
been considered a health resort. Dutch Hat 
was the trading center in 1849, and as late as 
1860 it polled the largest vote in the county, 
namely, over 500. Forest HiU and Iowa Hill 
long held the lead in the eastern section, over- 
shadowitig Elizabethtown and Wisconsin Hill, as 
did Forest Hill excel Sarahsville or Bath, as- 
sisted by its cement deposits. Illinoistown, first 
called Alder Grove or Upper Corral, and Yankee 
Jim's were prominent in early days, owing to 
the rich diggings. The latter, according to one 
authority, was named after Jim Goodland, but 
according to another, Jim Eobinson, who was 
hanged for horse stealing in 1852. Ophir, sus- 
tained by horticulture and qiiartz-minino-, was 
the largest place in the county in 1852, the vote 
being 500. Michigan Bluffs and Todd Valley 
were long prominent. Tlie railroad built up a 
number of stations between Cisco and Rocklin, 
notalily Lincoln and Colfax, the latter being a 
junction. Placer's larger area of tillable soil 
saved this county from sharing in the decadence 
of El Dorado. 


from Placer County have been : Moses Andrews, 
1855; Wm. P. Barclay, 1859; D. S. Beach, 
1860: N. W. Blanchard, 1863; John Bosquit, 
1865-'66; S. B. Burt, 1873-'74; M. H. Cald- 
erwood, 1869-'70; Patrick Cannay, 1852-'53; 
W. W. Caperton, 1857; T. L. Chamberlain, 
1880; George H. Colby, 1885; Wm. Corey, 
1855; W. M. Crutcher, 1875-'76; D. B. Curtis, 
1858; John Davis, 1887; Charles C. Dudley, 
1862-'63; B. L. Fairfield, 1854; Joseph H. 
Gibson, 1852; R. F. Gragg, 1855; J. E. Hale, 

1881; W. D. Harriman, 1861; W. J. Harrison, 
1861; John W. Harvilie, 1860; E. W. Hillyer, 
1862; Nicholas Kabler, 1858; O. H. Lee, 1871 
-'72; Henry Long, 1871-'72; S. W. Lowell, 
1860; Philip Lynch, 1859; J. M. Makins, 1860; 
P. McHale, 1883; Thomas Moreland, 1855; P. 
Munday, 1861; B. F. Myers, 1853-'54; Wm. 
C. Norton, 1873-'74; James O'NeiU, 1854, 
1857; M. H. Power, 1869-'70; J. D. Pratt, 
1863-'64; T. H. Reed, 1856; Wm. Rousch, 
1873-'74; A. P. K. Safford, 1857-'58; Silas 
Sellick, 1856; William Sexton, 1865-'66; L. 
G. Smith, 1861; E. H. Snyder, 1863-'64; C. 
G.Spencer, 1867-68; Lansing Stout, 1856; 
W. C. Stratton, 1858-'59; Charles A. Tuttle, 
1867-'68; G. H. Van Cleft, 1854; Mahlon 
Waldron, 1867-'70; Jacob Welty, 1871-'72; 
R. L. Williams, 1856; M. W. Wilson, 1877- 
'78; M.C.Winchester, 1863-'64; W. P. Wing, 
1859; S. B. Wyman, 1857; John Yule, 1862- 
'63, 1865-'66. 


The most noteworthy feature of the later his- 
tory of Placer County has been the great exten- 
sion and development of horticulture and the 
growth of grapes for table use and raisin-making. 
In this direction she has outstripped most of the 
other mountain counties, and has consequently 
suffered less than they from the stoppage of hy- 
draulic mining. Until that event gold-mining 
was her leading industry, and still occupies a 
considerable share of the energy of the county, 
but since then fruit-raising has been much the 
more important. Her people discovered that 
they possessed a '-citrus or warm belt" and were 
quick to take advantage of it. Here in Placer 
County is seen perhaps as well as anywhere the 
unusual — almost paradoxical — fact of flourish- 
ing orchards, oranges at that, side by side wtih 
paying mines, or i-ather above and below one 
another, for such is literally often the case. 

The people of Placer County, too, are enter- 
prising. They are willing to spend money for 
advertising, and hence Placer has been better 
advertised, is better known, and has attracted 
population faster than some of her neighbors. 



She has one great advantage over them, however, 
in the fact that she is traversed from end to end 
by the Central Paciiic Railroad, and her lower 
or western end is crossed by the California and 
Oregon Road. It is along the line of the rail- 
way that her chief, bnt not by any means only, 
development has been made. The newer towns 
of Rocklin, Loomis, Newcastle, Penryn, Lin- 
cohi, with their fame as fruit producers, were 
first made possible by the railroad, while the 
lustre of the older towns, such as Auburn and 
Colfax, has been greatly added to by the same 
means, with the possibilities it opened in a hor- 
ticultural way. 

Placer has still another advantage from the 
railroad in that invalids and pleasure-seekers 
gain thereby an easy access to the invigorating 
mountain altitude, and to]the cool, sparkling at- 
traction of those unique mountain lakes, — 
Tahoe, Webber and Donner, with their summer 
hotels. It will be seen, therefore, that the activ- 
ity and prominence of the county in everything 
but in mining, has sprung up since the railroad 
was built along in the years from 1863 to '67, 
and has been progi-essive since. 

One hopeful feature of the favorable outlook 
for this county, is the taking advantage of the 
exhaustless water supplies of the high mountains 
in the eastern part. The Bear River Canal has 
already been mentioned. Other irrigating and 
general water supply ditches are the North 
Fork ditch, the Hickey ditches and the South 
Yuba Water and Mining Company's ditches, 
already a large supply. The Sierra Water 
Company, a strong San Francisco company, 
proposes to make a ditch with water sufficient to 
irrigate 40,000 acres, when the supply will be 
ample for the whole county. 

tlie county seat and a pretty mountain town, 
has attained considerable reputation as a health 
resort. It is growing steadily, but not rapidly, 
and has a number of fine business and residence 
structures. The conrt-house and county offices 
are old buildings that have done duty for many 

years, sufficient for their purpose, perhaps, but 
likely to give way shortly to more modern and 
sightly structures. They occupy a splendid site 
on an elevation in the center of the lower part 
of town. Within the town, in a large tract de- 
voted to its uses, is a well-appointed county 
hospital. On one of the hills overlooking the 
town is the Sierra Normal College, established 
in 1882 by Professor M. W. Ward, giving nor- 
mal, collegiate and commercial courses, and 
possessing a high merit. In addition, the pub- 
lic and high school system is complete and 
thorough. A fine stone and brick opera house 
is now being erected (1890), at a cost of some- 
thing like $40,000, which will eclipse anything 
of the kind outside the large cities. The water 
supply of Auburn, which is ample, is drawn 
from the Bear River ditch, the pressure of 
water being sufficient to generate the electricity 
with which the town is lighted; but there are 
no mHnut'actories to take advantage of this con- 
venient water power. Auburn is a shipping 
point of great importance, drawing largely from 
the sister county of El Dorado. There are two 
frnit-packing establishments at the depot. The 
town was originally incorporated in 1861. This 
was repealed in 1868, and not until 1888 was it 
re-incorporated. Three miles below Auburn, 
along what is called Auburn Ravine, is the 
famous old mining camp of Ophir, now given 
over largely to fruit, although possessing rich 
quartz ledges upon which a few mills are suc- 
cessfully working. This Auburn Ravine was 
fabulously rich in gold in early days, and even 
yet sometimes after a rain a nugget will be 
picked up in the very streets of Auburn. 


Newcastle is the centre of a section rich in 
orchards and vineyards, and a lively business 
point. About five-sixths of the total shipmeuts 
of frnit from the county is placed on board the 
cars here, there being four extensive fruit-pack, 
ing establishments in the town. From 6,000 
to 8,000 tuns of fresh fruit is now being shipped 
annually, besides dried fruit. All or nearly all 


of this goes East. It should be remembered, 
however, that some portion of this vast amount 
is drawn from El Dorado County. In the vicin- 
ity are many large orcliards of the various fruits. 
Penryii and Loomis are important points in tlie 
fruit region, each shipping largely. Near the 
latter is the noted ranch of E. W. Maslin, with 
its fine fig orchard and large vineyards. Large 
stone quarries exist in the neighborhood, both 
the Loomis and the Penryn granite being con- 
sidered very superior. 

Rocklin, the next station, going down, lias 
gained a reputation for its valuable granite 
quarries and for its orange groves. It is the 
scene of the great enterprises of J. Parker 
Whitney, the owner of the Spring Valley ranch 
of 20,000 acres, so well known as a leading Cali- 
fornian orchardist and line-stock breeder. There 
are extensive orchards and vineyards of all 
kinds here, there being one raisin vineyard of 
200 acres. Rocklin has a round-house and rail- 
road shops. It lies at the beginning of the 
heavy grade over the mountains, and here are 
attached the second engines that help pull every 
train to the summit. It has a fruit caimery. 

Roseville is the point of junction of the Cen- 
tral Pacific and the Oregon line. It has a 
brick-kiln and a good foundry. Some grain is 

At Lincoln, on the California & Oregon Rail- 
way, are the pottery and terra-cotta works of 
Gladding McBean & Co., of San Francisco, the 
leading manufacturing establishment of Placer 
County. About 100 men are employed, and an 
immense business done. Near Lincoln there 
has recently been discovered a valuable deposit 
of glass sand, and also lignite coal; and a com- 
pany is now proceeding to establish large glass 
works in town. Considerable grain is shipped 
here, and there is a fruit-packing establishment. 

Sheridan, a minor station near the line, be- 
tween Yuba and Placer, possesses a flouring- 
mill, while grain-shipping and sheep-grazing 
are prominent industries. 

Beturning to the line of the Central Pacific, 
and proceeding eastward up the Sierras from 

Anburn, the first place of importance is Colfax, 
where the Nevada County narrow-gauge joins 
the Central Pacific. Much fruit, grapes, etc., 
is grown here. Pears and table grapes are the 
specialty. Formerly a great deal of mining 
was done here. Dutch Flat the next town 
going east, has felt most severely the stoppage 
of hydraulic mining, and has dwindled in size. 
Fruit-growing is being actively engaged in, and 
the town promises to recover its flagging ener- 
gies. The great pine timber belt of the county 
begins just above here. At Towles are the 
large mills of Towles Bros. & Co., while at 
Emigrant Gap, Bear River, etc., are other large 
mills, cutting in all something like 16,000,000 
feet per annum. At Alta is a box factory and 
a pulp mill. At Hotaling is the California 
Iron Company's mines and a blast furnace not 
now in operation. 


On the Forest Hill Divide, which lies south 
of the railroad, between the north and middle 
forks of the American River, is the chief mining 
district of the county, gravel mining being the 
chief, or following the hidden beds of old rivers 
to work the gravel for the gold contained. 

Among the leading mines may be mentioned 
the Hidden Treasure, the Mayflower, the Church, 
Golden River, Mammoth Bar, and many others 
which are paying their fortunate owners large 
sums monthly. Chili Bar slate is discovered 
in workable quantities. There is also some 
mining for chrome ore on the divide, which is 
teamed to Auburn. Some timber is also cut 
and sawed into lumber for local use. Forest 
Hill is the chief town, and its glory is largely 
of the past. It is yet, however, a thriving 
business point. Iowa Hill is quite a lively 
mining camp, but Yankee Jim's and other such 
places are now hardly more than a memory of 
the past. 


a remarkably deep and clear body of water, 
lying partly in Placer and partly in El Dorado 
County, and on the State line, was first named 
Bigler, in honor of Governor John Bigler, who 


afterward had during the war strong secession 
proclivities. Afterward Rev. Starr King and a 
party visiting the place named it Tahoe, which 
is the Indian word for big water; and the peo- 
ple generally have adopted this name. It was 
called Lake Bonpland on Fremont's map, after 
a companion of Humboldt, the great scientific 
traveler. Of late years it has become one of 
California's most favored summer resorts. Tahoe 
City has fine hotels, steamboats and every ap- 
purtenance to summer enjoyment, including 
fishing, hunting and grand scenery. Lumber- 
ing is also extensively carried on, the timber 
being taken to Truckee, just across the liue, in 
Nevada County. 


of Flacer County rank high. In Auburn are 
the Herald, Argots and Republican, founded 
respectively in 1852, 1872 and 1884, able and 
representative weeklies. At Newcastle is the 
iVeMJS, founded 1887, and at Lincoln the Report, 
1890, both weeklies, and comparing favorably 
with their contemporaries anywhere. 


The word ' plumas" is Spanish for feathers. 
In 1824 a Mexican exploring expedition pene- 
trated to the north and named the stream " Rio 
de las Plumas," on account of the feathers of a 
water-fowl which were found floating upon its 
bosom. The river is now called the Feather, 
but theSpanish name was applied to the county. 
At the same time the Yuba River was christened 
Rio de los Uva (pronounced by them cova), and 
Bear River Rio de los Osos. 

The county is bounded on the north by 
Shasta and Lassen; on the east by Lassen, on 
the south by Sierra and Butte, and on the west 
by Butte and Tehama counties. 

Plumas is one elevated and mountainous re- 
gion, very little of it having an altitude of less 
than 4,500 feet. Pilot Peak, on its southern 
border, reaches an elevation of more than 6,000 
feet, there being a number of other peaks in the 
Sierra further north nearly as high. These 

mountain ridges being eroded by many deep 
and precipitous canons, impresses upon the 
whole country a wild and rugged aspect. Scat- 
tered throughout these mountains are many 
small but fertile and well watered valleys, in 
which some grain is raised and many cows are 
kept, dairying being here the principal indus- 
try. The county, with the exception of these 
open valleys, is everywhere heavily timbered 
with pine, spruce, cedar and fir. Plumas is 
abundantly watered by the several forks of the 
Feather and the Yuba rivers, and their numer- 
ous tributaries. The winter climate here is 
rigorous and the snowfall deep at that season. 
The summers, however, are long and pleasant — 
warm without being excessively hot. 

Nearly all the water (including snow as 
melted) finds its way into the Feather River. 
The water-shed between the Nevada and Sacra- 
mento basins forms the dividing line between 
Pluinas and Lassen, while the dividing ridge 
between the Feather and the Yuba rivers form 
the Sierra County line. On the northwest the 
dividing ridge between the waters of the Feather 
and the Buttes and Dry creeks form the bound- 
ary line, so that Plumas County lies wholly 
within the domain of Feather River. 

Altitudes: Plumas House at Quincy, 3,400 
feet; Geysers, 5,864 feet; Mount Ingalls, be- 
tween Red Clover and Grizzly valleys, 8,470 
feet; Mount Harkness, above Warner Valley, 

Lying partly in Plumas and partly in Sierra 
county, is the Sierra Valley, the largest in the 
whole Sierra chain. With an altitude of 5,000 
feet, its atmosphere is cool, clear and healthful. 
It is a very prosperous section, containing six 
villages. One of these is Beckwourth; and 
this, as well as the valley and the pass at the 
northeastern end of the valley, was named 
after James P. Beckwourth, an old mountain- 
eer whose autobiography has been published by 
the Harper Brothers of New York. The book 
contains many interesting stories, fraught with 
the usual exaggerations which no one has the 
opportunity of disproving. 


Next, Peter Lassen settled at the head of tlie 
celebrated Lassen's Ranch, on Deer Creek, in 
Tehama Conniy. It was in December, 1843, 
that this old pioneer started from Sutter's Fort 
and reached the place which he chose for his 
settlement in February following, having en- 
camped several weeks at the Marysville -Buttes. 
This was the first settlement north of Marys- 
ville, where Theodore Cordua was then living. 
Associated with Lassen was a Rnssian Pole 
named Isadore Meyerwitz. It is probable that 
these two men were the first to set foot within 
the present limits of Plumas Connty. They 
were here at least as early as 1848, and proba- 
bly earlier. 

From 1850 to 1854 all the Feather River re- 
gion was attached to Butte County; meanwhile 
no law existed here but that of the miners. 
March 18, 1854, the act organizing the county 
of Plumas was passed, and the first oiiicers 
elected were: William T. Ward, Judge; Thomas 
Cox, District Attorney; John Harbison, Clerk; 
George W. Sharpe, Sheriff; Daniel R. Cate, 
Treasurer; John R. Buckbee, Assessor; and 
Jacob T. Taylor, Surveyor. William V. Kings- 
bury was the opponent of Sharpe, and it is 
thought would have been elected in a fair con- 
test. Buckbee's opponent was Christopher 
Porter, and for them the vote was a tie. They 
were persuaded to decide the matter by a game 
of seven-up, in which Porter was badly beaten! 
A merry drinking crowd of course attended the 
play. After considerable lively discussion the 
town of La Porte and vicinity was taken from 
Sierra County and annexed to Plumas, by the 
Legislature, March 31, 1866. 

The first District Court for Plumas County 
was held June 19, 1854, by Judge Joseph W. 
McCorkle, at American Valley, the temporary 
county-seat named in the organizing act. The 
only business of the court was to discharge the 
venire of jurors whom the sheriff had summoned, 
and admit attorneys to practice. McCorkle 
came to California from Ohio in 1849, and in 
1850 was elected the first district attorney for 
Butte and Shasta counties. In 1851 he served 

in the Legislature, and that fall went to Wash- 
ington to represent liit= district in the lower 
house of Congress. Upon his return in 1853 
the Governor appointed him Judge of the 
Ninth Judicial District, which then included 
Butte County, to fill the vacancy caused by the 
decease of George Adams Smith. He was oc- 
cupying this office when Plumas County was 
created and attached to this district. In 1863 
he moved to Virginia City, in 1868 to San 
Francisco, and later to Washington, District of 
Columbia, chiefly to prosecute claims before the 
Mexican claims commis.3ion. 

William T. Ward, the first County Judge of 
Plumas County, was born in Massachusetts in 
1802, and came fi-om Wisconsin to California in 
1853; from 1857 to 1861 he was a farmer; 
fi'om 1861 to 1865 he was the proprietor of the 
Genesee mine; then he was a resident of Susan- 
viUe until 1875, during a part of which time he 
was postmaster, and then he moved to Quincy, 
where he resided until his death, April 21, 

In 1864 the county of Lassen was cut off, 
taking territory that contained, in 1860, a popu- 
lation of 476. 

Financially, although there have been several 
defalcations in the treasury, Plumas County has 
kept up its good credit, so that its six per cent, 
bonds bear a premium in the market. 

Both Plumas and Sierra counties have a 
"gold lake " in tradition; but the exact "gold 
lake " concerning which a curious man named 
Stoddard raised a great excitement in 1849-'50, 
can not now be identified, even if it ever was 
ascertained. There are several interpretations 
of Stoddard's story, which was to the eflfect that 
he found a large number of lumps of pure gold 
ou the edge of the pond where he got down upon 
his hands and knees to drink. When he started 
out with a company to rediscover the place, 
nearly a thousand others followed closely, and 
he either went off the trail purposely to keep 
the place a secret, or he lost his way. It is a 
secret to this day. 

The result of the Stoddard gold-lake excite- 


ment was the discovery, by some small parties 
following it up, of diggings on Nelson, Poor- 
man and Hopkins' creeks, early in June, 1850, 
and those on Rich Bar and Middle Fork a few 
days later. Then there was a rush to those 
points, and more than could be provided with 
claims, but they all had to leave on the ap- 
proach of winter. 

The pioneer wagon road ran from Meadow 
Valley to Buckeye; was constructed in 1856- 
'57; and the first turnpike company was formed 
March 28, 18G0, who built the turnpike road 
from Plumas Mills to Indian Valley. 

The tirst stage line operated in Plumas 
County was run by a joint stock company, 
namely, McElhany, Thomas & Co., organized 
in 1851 to run a stage from that point to 
Marysville twice a week. It ran and did well 
until winter set in, but did not resume the 
next spring. Tlie next passenger enterprise was 
inaugurated in 1854, by Thomas U. Morrow, 
who ran a saddle-train of mules between Bid- 
well and American Valley. The next year he 
was succeeded by W. S. Dean, who ran the mules 
for a year and then put on stages. In 1858 he 
sold to the celebrated California Stage Company. 

The principal towns in Plumas are Qunicy, 
the county-seat. La Porte, Gibsonville, Jamison 
City, Indian Bar, Greenville, Taylorsville, and 
Big Meadows, the last three being in tiie agri- 
cultural districts. There are besides these a 
number of mining camps and hamlets contain- 
ing from fifty to 200 inhabitants each. 

Quincy was laid out and named by H. J. 
Bradley, of Quincy, Illinois, and proprietor of 
the American ranch on which the village is 
situated. As an inducement to the people to 
locate the county-seat there in 1854 he built 
and tendered to the use of the county free of 
charge a rude shake building in the rear of his 
hotel. This was used as the court-room, while 
the other county officials found offices elsewhere 
in town. John Harbison, the county clerk, 
located his office in the upper story of the Bul- 
lard building, corner of Harbison avenue and 
Main street. 

At the fall election there were three candi- 
dates for the honor of being the county-seat, — 
Quincy, Elizabethtown and O'Neill's Flat. 
Tliomas B. Shannon, a merchant of Elizabeth- 
town, worked for that place, — " Betsyburg," as 
it was called, — but the people concluded that 
that village was locked ud in a ravine too nar- 
now, and decided in favor of Quincy; and upon 
representation to the postoffice department at 
Washington that Qnincy was a larger place than 
Betsyburg, the postoffice was the next year 
moved from the latter place to Quincy, greatly 
to the disgust of the abandoned ambitious little 
town. On each letter to that place the postage 
at that day was 25 cents, until 1858, when the 
California Stage Company took the contract for 
carrying the mail from Oroville to Quincy. 
Whiting & Co.'s dog express was chiefly de- 
pended upon in the winter for the transporta- 
tion of mail. 

A new and substantial court-house was com- 
pleted in 1859. The first jail was a log struct- 
ure, built in the spring of 1855, by John S. 
Thompson, at a cost of $500. In it convicts 
condemned for the gallows were safely kept. 
The present brick jail was built in 1863, by 
Mowbry & Clark, for S7,035. 

Quincy is now a thriving mountain town, 
surrounded by good farms and a mineral region 
that is in a good way of development. 

La Porte, at first called Rabbit Creek Dig- 
gings, is the most important settlement in the 
extreme southern portion of the county. It is 
pleasantly situated on the banks of Rabbit 
Creek, 4,600 feet above sea level, sixty-one 
miles from Marysville, twenty miles from 
DownieviUe and thirty-five from Quincy. The 
first house here was built in the fall of 1852, by 
Eli S. Lester, and was called the Rabbit Creek 

The first newspaper in Plumas County was 
established at Quincy in August, 1855, edited 
and published by John K. Lovejoy and Edward 
McElwain. It was named the Old Mountain- 
eer, was independent in politics and successful 
in finances. In 1857 they sold to John C. 


Lewis and Jamea* McNabb, who changed the 
name to Plumas Argus and ran it until 1860, 
when it fell into the hands of the sheriff. Dur- 
ing the three-sided campaign of 1856 three 
papers were puljlished at the office of the Old 
Mountaineer, namely, the At'gus, the Plumas 
Democrat and tlie Fillmore Banner. The Old 
Mountaineer was Republican in politics. 

At present Plumas County ships a great deal 
of the products of the dairy to San Francisco. 

The representatives of Plumas County in the 
State Assembly have been: B. W. Barnes, 1871- 
'72; J. R. Buckbee, 1867-'68; J. D. Byers, 1873 
-'74; J. W.S. Chapman, 1875-'76; R. A. Clark, 
1863-'64; J. D. Goodwin, 1865-'66; M. D. 
Howell, 1863; P. O. Hundley, 1860; Richard 
Irwin, 1857; W. W. Kellogg, 1881; R. C. 
Kelly, 1856; Asa Kinney, 1855; John Lam- 
bert, 1869-'70; Calvin MeClaskey, 1883; 
Charles Mulholland, 1880; Thomas B. Shannon, 
1859-'60, 1862; J. L. C. Sherwln, 1858; R. H. 
F. Variel, 1887; J. H. Whitlock, 1877-'78; 
Joseph Winston, 1856; A. Wood, 1861; George 
Wood, 1881, 1885. 


Sacramento County is named after the river 
upon which it is situated, and the latter was 
named by the Spanish Mexicans, Catholics, in 
honor of a Christian institution. The word dif- 
fers from its English correspondent only in the 
addition of one letter. It would have been a 
graceful compliment to General Sutter if his 
own name, or the name New Helvetia, wbicii 
he had bestowed upon tliis locality, had been 
given to the city. Helvetia is the classic name 
of Switzerland, Sutter's native country. 

Sacramento City is 38° 35' north latitude and 
121° 30' west longitude from Greenwich. 

The depot at Sacramento is thirty-one feet 
above sea level. From the city the most promi- 
nent mountains and mountain ranges visible are: 

1. The Sierra Nevada, snow-capped during 
half the year or a little more. The most visi- 
ble portion of this range, to whose snow-line 
jhe distance is about seveuty-iive miles east- 

ward, is the head of the American River. The 
most conspicuous peaks there are: Pyramiu, 
10,052 feet high; Alpine, 10,426; Round Top, 
9,624; Tell, 9,042; Ralston, 9,140; Robb's, 

2. To tlie southwest fifty-three miles, rises 
Mt. Diablo, 3,450 feet high. 

3. Toward the west thirty or forty miles 
arises an eastern spur of the Coast Range, while 
toward the northwest about ninety miles, in the 
same ranges, are Mt. John's, 8,000 feet high, 
Mt. Snow and Sheet Iron Mount, on the west- 
ern border of Colusa County. 

4. The Marysville Buttes, forty to fifty miles 
north, are about 2,000 feet high and cover an 
area of fifty-five square miles. 

The surface of the Sacramento Valley presents 
three distinct features. As the mountains 
descended into tiie valley, they are fringed by a 
range of low foot-hills, which gradually dis- 
appear in a broad, level plain, which must have 
been at some time long past the bottom of a 
large body of water. Through the center of this 
plain runs the Sacramento River, fringed by the 
low bottom lands always found with such geo- 
logical formations. Thus the foot-hills, the 
plain, and the bottoms present three distinct 
tracts of laudj each with peculiarities fitting it 
for special use. It may be said in a general 
way, that on the foot-hills and the plain lands 
near them are the great fruit-raising districts, 
while the plain proper is most suitable for grains 
and grasses, and on the rich alluvial bottom 
lands any fruit or vegetable suitable for a tem- 
perate or semi-tropical climate will grow to full 

At the southern end of Sacramento Valley, in 
the very richest portion of the State, and very 
near its geographical center, lies Sacramento 
County, with an area of 640,000 acres, 200,000 
of which are under the highest cultivation, 
while about 320,000 more are in use for stock- 
raising, pasturage, etc. It is watered its entire 
length from north to south by the Sacramento 
River, and by the American, Cosumnes and 
Mokelumiie from east to west. 



The surface of the connty is generally level, 
a section along the eastern side rising into low 
hills and rolling prairies. Along the east side 
of the Sacramento River extends a belt of tule 
land, which toward the southern boundary of 
the connty expands to a width of fifteen miles. 
Parallel with the Cosnmnes is Dry Creek, 
forming part of the county boundary. Syca- 
more and Cottonwood abound along the water- 

Near the center of Sacramento County, and 
on the east bank of the Sacramento Hiver, at 
the point of its confluence with the American, 
is the city of Sacramento, the capital of the 
State, a thriving, wealthy and beautiful city. 
Here is the railroad center of the State. To 
the east, the Central Pacific stretches its iron 
arm across the continent. To the north, the 
California and Oregon reaches out to connect 
with the Northern Pacific, and so furnish 
another route to Eastern markets; to the west 
the California Pacific makes possible almost 
hourly communication with San Francisco and 
the commerce of the Pacific Ocean, while the 
Western Pacific connecting at Oakland with the 
Southern Pacific system opens up another route 
to seaports east and west. In addition numer- 
ous branch roads and feeders make this city the 
best connecting and distributing point in the 

The average rain-fall has been 19.4 inches. 
This, with the moisture incident to the prox- 
imity of so many rivers and running streams, 
and the almost annual overflow of the bottom 
lands, renders the county so well watered that 
but little irrigation is necessary. Still there are 
some small sections lying comparatively high, 
and away from the streams, where the natural 
water supply is insufficient. They are, however, 
small, and in nearly all cases abundant water is 
obtained by sinking wells and raising the water 
by windmills or other power. A total failure 
of crops for want of water has never been known. 
Still, as an abundant supply of water renders 
many things possible which are not so without 
it, a company has been formed to oflier an abun- 

dant supply of water to all who desire to irri- 
gate any of the plain lands, in raising crops 
that need more water than the usual rain-fall 
affords, or where the availability of water may 
insure against the danger of injury to valuable 
plants, which might be seriously affected by 
even an occasional year of unusual drought. An 
application has been made for 2,000 inches of 
water from the American River. 

All fruits do well without the aid of artificial 
watering, but in some of thehigh-lying sections 
irrigation is said to increase the lusciousness of 
the fruit. Vegetables require irrigation, espe 
ciallyfor the second and third crops. 

As stated, the soil of the county offers every 
variety requisite for a large and varied produc- 
tion. The foot-hills and their washings form a 
fringe, from five to eight miles wide, entirely 
around the Sacramento Valley. The soil here 
varies from a red, sandy loam to a cool, grarv'elly 
soil, all especially adapted to fruits. For many 
years the foot-hill lands were regarded as almost 
valueless, but experience has shown that their 
soil is perhaps better adapted to a full develop- 
ment of the best qualities of strength and flavor 
in fruit, especially in gi-apes, than the lower-ly- 
ing lands, which are of more clay or alluvial 
character, and so warmer soils. And it is now 
claimed that the question of securing fine flavor 
for California grapes and wines, as well as abun- 
dant qiiantity, will find its best solution among 
the cool, gravelly soils of the foot-hills. The 
soil of the plain lands varies from red loam and 
a rich clay to a rich alluvium mixed with sand. 
This varies in localities, but aflbrds such a vari- 
ety that the productions of this portion of the 
county covers a range from those of the cereals 
of the middle temperate climate to the fruits of 
the semi-tropical. They afford, however, mostly 
soil for grains and gi'asses. Wheat, oats, hay, 
alfalfa, barley, corn, hop, besides grapes and 
fruits, flouiish when jilauted in suitable loca- 
tions. But the richest lands are the bottom 
lands, which fringe the rivers and larger streams 
for a distance of from one to three miles. These 
are covered with a deep, rich alluvium, upon 



which may be raised any kind of vegetables, and 
tempei'ate and semi-tropical fruits are reaching 
full perfection in size, quantity and quality. 
These lands are almost annually overflowed, and 
the deposit left by the receding waters is said 
almost to equal guano in its fertilizing effects. 
Many of these lands are now protected, so that 
the rising waters may be controlled and utilized 
with judgment. Upon such lands, so watered, 
and in such a climate, almost anything will 

Owing to the fact that the country is traversed 
by so many rivers, it contains an unusual amount 
of this exceedingly rich land, which is nearly 
all under the liishest cultivation. 


The productions of Sacramento County com- 
prise all the grains, vegetables, fruits, trees and 
flowers grown in the temperate and semi-tropi- 
cal climates. Everything in the way of grain, 
bread-stuffs, vegetables, and fi'uits needed for 
man's comfort and support may be successfully 
cultivated here The soil is rich and varied, 
water is abundant, and the climate is propitious. 
Here is no winter, in the common acceptation 
of the word, nor any rainy season as it is under- 
stood in the tropics. The winter months are 
called the " rainy season," not that it then rains 
incessantly or severely, but because the rainfall 
comes almost exclusively in those months. In 
the summer it rarely rains. The grain is sel- 
dom housed when harvested, but is left in the 
fields until ready for the market, the husband- 
man feeling little fear of trouble from the ele- 


Perhaps no feature of California has been 
more powerful in inducing immigration than its 
mild and equable climate. The north Atlantic 
States have their cold, damp east winds, which 
blow fi-om the ocean at times for days in succes- 
sion, and whose power of penetration is such 
that neither woolen underwear nor rubber top- 
coats seem able to keep them from " searching 
the marrow of one's bones." The borders of 

the Grreat Lakes are visited with winds so cold 
and so charged with moisture that they clothe 
all nature in coats of ice, and often jeopardize 
the lives of the domestic animals. On the 
northern siiores of the lakes, tlie jingling sleigh- 
bells for fully five months in the year strive by 
their merry music to direct attention from the 
chill of death that lies over the land, and from 
these section thousands longingly turn their 
faces fi'om the cold and ice to the sunny land 
where each may sit in the shade of " his own 
vine and fig tree. 

In this regard Sacramento County offers 
temptations that are not exceeded in attractive- 
ness by those of any portion of the State. The 
following data, culled from the published re- 
ports of the United States Government observ- 
ers will give a fair idea of the charming climate, 
which has enabled the city of Sacramento to win 
for itself the delightfully suggestive sobriquet 
of the " City of Roses." 

During the ten years 1878-'88, the highest 
temperature recorded is 105°, which was reached 
once, and the lowest is 21°, also reached but 
once. A better idea of the range of tempera- 
ture may be had from the fact that during the 
same period the average number of days in each 
year upon which the thermometer reached 90° 
was but .thirty-six, while the average number 
upon which it sank below 32° was but eleven. 
With no severity in winter, the warmth of sum- 
mer is rendered enjoyable by the winds from the 
sea, which reach this region of the country 
modified and tempered, so that with scarcely an 
exception the warmth of a light blanket is de- 
sirable at night. Here the heat has never the 
oppressive and enervating effect which renders 
summer so depressing in some sections. The 
atmosphere is never over-charged with moisture, 
and never entirely dry; so the open air is always 
invigorating and the breezes refreshing. The 
long, mild, summer day renders the cultivation 
of the lands easy and profitable, while the cool 
nights so refresh the workman that he is not 
enervated, but all mental and physical force is 
strengthened, and life is vigorous and enjoy- 


able. It is usual to compare such climates with 
that of Italy, so famous as the resort during 
past centuries for those seeking the relief and 
pleasure found beneath her skies. So it may 
not be out of place to simply state a comparison 
between Rome, the capital and center of Italy, 
and Sacramento, the capital and center of Cali- 
fornia. The statistics from official sources on 
either hand are stated below. Averages for 
past ten years: 

Spring. Sum'r. Aiitumn. Winter. Yenr 

Sacramento 59.5 71.7 61.5 48.3 59.5 

Rome 57.6 73.3 64.0 48.9 60.7 

In the face of these facts, the claim must not 
longer be made for fair Italy alone, that it is a 
land where " perpetual summer exists, skies are 
blue, and the sun ever shines." 

As to the healthfulness of Sacramento, Judge 
J. W. Armstrong has ascertained that but one 
other city in the world shows a cleaner bill of 
health, and that is the capital of the Basque 
Province, in the northern part of Sjiain. 


In the early days of mining a great deal of 
gold dust was taken from the placers in this 
county — -Mormon Island, Michigan Bar and 
several other localities having afforded good 
diggings of this kind. In the low hills on the 
east a considerable extent of shalloV placers 
have also been worked, some of these until 
quite recently. 

The most of the gold now produced in Sacra- 
mento is taken out in the vicinity of Folsom, 
chiefly along Alder Gulch, by the Portuguese 
and Chinamen. The deep deposits are worked 
by shafts and drifting, the shallow by hand 
sluicing in the dry season and ground sluicing 
in the wet, when there is free water. There are 
gold-bearing quartz veins in the east-lying hills, 
but they are mostly small, and have been but 
little worked. In these hills occurs a belt of 
serpentine containing chromic iron in small 
bunches and pockets. 

In the neighborhood of Folsom occurs an ex- 
tensive bed of excellent granite, which for many 
years has been largely worked. 

At the quan-y of David Blower, two miles 
east of Folsom, opened ten years ago, there is 
exposed a thirty-toot face, twenty feet above and 
ten below the surface. About fifteen tons of 
roughly dressed stone are shipped from this 
quarry weekly, the most of it being used for 
cemetery work and street curbs. Thirteen men 
are employed here at wages ranging from $2.50 
to 84 per day. 

In the quarry on the State Prison gi-ounds at 
Folsom, a large force of convicts are employed 
getting out stone for the dam being built by the 
State on the American River. 

Most of the cobblestones used for paving the 
streets of San Francisco were taken from the 
l)anks of the American River, in the vicinity of 

At Michigan Bar, on the Cosuinnes River, 
occurs an extensive bed of potter's clay. Being 
a good article, and easily obtained, large quan- 
tities of this clay are taken out and shipped to 
the potteries at Sacramento, San Francisco, and 
elsewhere in the State. Great quantitie.-* of 
brick are made fi"om the more common clays 
found abundantly in this county. 


within the present limits of Sacramento County 
were: Cosumnes, 26,605 acres, patented to the 
heirs of W. E. P. Hartnell in 1869; Omocb- 
nmnes, 18,662 acres to Catherine Sheldon and 
others in 1870; Rio de los Americanos, 25,521 
acres to J. L. Folsom in 1864; San Juan, 
19,983 acres, to Hiram Grimes in 1860. In 
Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, Jabjon 
de los Moquelumnes, 35,508 acres, to the heirs 
of A.Chavolla in 1865. 

In February, 1858, Edwin Stanton was sent 
to San Francisco as special counsel for the Gov- 
ernment in pending law cases. Captain Sutter 
claimed thirty-three leagues of land in the 
Sacramento Valley, under two grants; one for 
eleven leagues made by Governor Alvarado iu 
1841, which was adjudged legitimate; but the 
other, which he had obtained from Micheltorena, 
for twenty-two leagues, covering the sites of 



Sacramento and Marysville, was not allowed, 
the commissioners deciding that the act was 
done after Micheltorena had been expelled by a 
revolution, and not being governor he continued 
to exercise the powers and functions of that 
office. This decision also affected the titles of 
several other gT-antees in this region. Nye's 
claim to four leagues on Sacramento was one of 
these. Great uneasiness prevailed among the 
settlers regarding the titles until 1865, when 
Sutter's original grant of eleven leagues was 


The first permanent settler within the limits 
of what is now Sacramento County, who is 
known to history, and who initiated European 
civilization, was Captain John A. Sutter. The 
following sketch of his life we condense from a 
lecture delivered in New York, April 6, 1866, 
by General Dunbar in Sutter's presence, and 
published in the Sacramento Union of May 10 

Sutter was born of Swiss parents, in the 
Grand Duchy of Baden, February 28, 1803. 
Reared and educated in Baden, young Sutter 
entered the military service of France as Cap- 
tain under Charles X., and remained there until 
he was thirty years of age. At this period, 
yielding to his pioneer impulses, he embarked 
for New York, and arrived there in July, 1834. 
His object in coming to tiie New World was to 
select a place and prepare the way for a colony of 
his countrymen in the West. He first located at 
St. Charles, Missouri ; hut the vessel containing 
his effects was sunk, his property lost, and he 
abandoned the place of his first choice. 

After sojourning in St. Louis for a time, he 
made a journey of exploration to New Mexico, 
where he met hunters and trappers, who had 
traversed Upper California, and they described 
to him the beautiful sun-lit valleys, the verdure- 
covered hills and the magnificent mountains of 
that remarkable land. These accounts resolved 
him to make California the field of his future 

The only way of reaching the Pacific Coast at 
that time was to accompany trapping expe- 
ditions of the English and American fur com- 
panies. On the 1st of April, 1836, Sutter 
joined Captain Tripp of the American Fur 
Company, and traveled with his party to their 
rendezvous in the Rocky Mountain region. 
Thence, with six horsemen, he crossed the 
mountains and after encoimtering many dangers, 
arrived at Fort Vancouver. Not finding it 
practicable to go south from "Vancouver by land, 
he embarked on a vessel bound for the Sand- 
wich Islands, hoping to find an opportunity of 
sailing thence to the California coast. He sailed 
from the Islands in a vessel bound for Sitka, 
and from there down the coast. The vessel 
was driven by gales into the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco on July 2, 1839. (The point at which 
San Francisco now stands was then called Yerba 
Buena.) The vessel was boarded by a govern- 
ment officer, with an armed force, who ordered 
Sutter to leave, saying that Monterey, ninety 
miles southward, was the port of entry. Per- 
mission, however, was obtained to remain forty- 
eight hours for supplies. 

On reaching Monterey, Sutter told the Gov- 
ernor, General Alvarado, that he desired to 
occupy and colonize a section of country in 
Upper California, on the Sacramento River. 
The governor warmly approved his plan, as he 
was desirous that the upper country should be 
subdued and settled. He informed Sutter that 
the Indians in that country were hostile, that 
they would not permit the whites to settle there, 
and that they had robbed the inhabitants of San 
Jose and the lower settlements of their cattle, 
etc; but he readily gave Sutter a passport with 
authority to explore and occupy any territory 
which he should consider profitable for his 
colony, and requested him to return in one year, 
when he should have his citizenship acknow- 
ledged and receive a grant of such lands as he 
might desire. 

Sutter returned to Yerba Buena, then con- 
taining scarcely fifty inhabitants, engaged a 
schooner and several small boats and with a 


company of ten whites started to ascend the 
river with no guide, as no one could be found in 
Yerba Buena, who had ever ascended the Sacra- 
mento River. After eight days' search he found 
the mouth of the Sacramento. Reaching a point 
about ten miles below the present site of Sacra- 
meutoCitj', he encountered a party of 200 Indian 
warriors, who exhibited every indication of hos- 
tility. Fortunately, two or three of the Indians 
understood Spanish and Sutter soon soothed 
them by an assurance that there were no Span- 
iards in his party, — against whom the Indians 
were particularly hostile, — and explained to 
them that he came only to be a peaceable citizen. 

Guided by two Indians, who could speak 
Spanish, Sutter made his way up the Sacra- 
mento to the Feather River, and ascended the 
latter stream some distance; but, on account of 
the alarm of some of his men, returned down 
the Sacramento River to the mouth of the 
American, and on August 16, 1839, landed his 
effects upon the south bank of that stream, a 
little above the mouth and near where the city 
of Sacramento is now located. Here he informed 
the disappointed whites that they might leave 
him if they wished, but that the Kanakas were 
willing to remain. Three of the whites left, 
with the schooner, for Yerba Buena. 

Three weeks later Sutter removed to where he 
built the fort which has since become famous. 
But little did he think then that he was to be 
the most important instrumentality in the found- 
ing of a magnificent empire. His companions 
were six wandering whites of various nativities 
and eight Kanakas, who were ever faithful to 
him, and who constituted bis "colony" and his 
army. By their aid he was to hold his ground, 
subdue and colonize a district of country en- 
tirely unknown, and inhabited only by wild and 
roving tribes of hostile Indians. This portion 
of Upper California, though fair to look upon, 
was peculiarly solitary and uninviting. It was 
isolated and reinote from civilization. The 
nearest white settlement was a small one at 
Martinez. The Indians were of tiiat class known 
as "Diggers." 

Born and reared in the atmosphere of royalty 
and the refined society of Europe, witb a liberal 
military education, gentle and polished in man- 
ners, and of unbounded generosity of heart, we 
find Sutter successfully planting his little colony 
in the midst of the wild Digger Indians of tbe 
Sacramento country. At length a few pioneers 
came stealing over the border, then the solid 
tramp of masses was heard, and then came a 
human deluge, that overwelmed our bold Swiss 

The first tide of immigration was entirely 
from Oregon. In the fall of 1839 there was 
an accession of eight white men, and in August, 
1840, five of those who had crossed the Rocky 
Mountains with Sutter, and whom he had left 
in Oregon, joined him. During the fall of that 
year the Mokelumme Indians, with other tribes, 
became so troublesome that open war was made 
against them; and after a severe but short cam- 
paign they were subdued, and an enduring peace 
established. Other bands of Indians organized 
secret expeditions to destroy the colony, but by 
force and strict vigilance their machinations 
were defeated, and Sutter conquered the entire 
Sacramento Valley, bringing into willing sub- 
jection many of those who had been his fiercest 
enemies. In time he made them cultivate the 
soil, build his fort, care for the stock, and make 
themselves generally useful. In the subsequent 
military history of California, Sutter and his 
Indians were a power. Traffic increased apace. 
He sent hides to San Francisco, furnished the 
trappers with supplies, and received in exchange 
or by purchase their furs. The mechanics and 
laborers who came he employed, or procured 
them work. 

In June, 1841, Sutter visited Monterej', then 
the capital of the country, was declared a Mex- 
ican citizen, and received from Governor Alva- 
rado a grant of the land upon which he had 
located — eleven "leagues" — under the title of 
"New Helvetia." The Governor also gave him 
a commission. Returning to his colony, he was 
shortly afterward visited by Captain Ringgold, 
of the United States Exploring Expedition 



underCommodore Wilkes, with ofEcera and men. 
About the same time Alexander Kotchkoff, 
Governor of the Russian Possessions in Cali- 
fornia, visited Sutter and offered to sell him all 
the possessions of his government known as 
Ross and Bodega. Accepting the bargain, Sut- 
ter came into possession of a vast extent of real 
estate, besides 2,000 cattle, 1,000 horses, fifty 
mules and 2,500 sheep, most of which were 
transferred to New Helvetia. 

In 1844 Sutter's improvements were exten- 
sive, and the amount of his stock was large. 
During that year he petioned Governor Michel- 
torena for the grant or purchase of the surplus 
over the first eleven leagues of land within the 
bounds of the survey accompanying the Alva- 
rado grant, and this petition was granted Feb- 
ruary 5, 1845, in consideration of Sutter's valu- 
able services and his ex])enditure ot $8,000 in 
the suppression of the Castro rebellion. 

About 1844 small bodies of emigrants began 
to find their way to California direct from the 
States, striking Sutter's Fort, the first settlement 
after crossing the mountains. Year by year 
these parties of immigrants increased in size, 
until after the gold discovery, when they could 
be counted by thousands and tens of thousands. 
It was then that the value of Sutter's settle 
ment and the generous qualities of the man be- 
came strikingly apparent. No weary, destitute 
immigrant reached his fort who was not sup- 
plied with all that he needed and sent on his 
way rejoicing. Frequently he even sent sup- 
plies in advance to those coming through the 
Sierras. Year alter year he did this, without 
thinking of any return. On one occasion a 
solitary immigrant was just able to reach the 
fort and reported that his companions were at 
so-me distance back dying of starvation. Sntter 
immediately caused seven mules to be packed 
with supplies, and, attended by two Indian 
boys, started with the immigrant for the scene 
of distress. On arriving, everything was seized 
by the crazed wretches and devoured. 

Other starving immigrants arriving, they 
killed Mr. Sutter's seven mules and ate them. 

Then they killed the two Indian boys and ate 
them! Said Sutter, referring to the circum- 
stance afterward, with much feeling: " They 
ate my Indian boys all up!" 

During the war between the United States 
and Mexico, Sutter was a Mexican citizen, and 
the representative of the Mexican government 
on the frontier; but his sympathies were natu- 
rally with the United States. Whenever any 
party of American citizens, civil or military, 
visited him, his unbounded hospitalities were 
uniformly and cordially extended to them. 
When the country surrendered to the United 
States forces, with joy he raised the American 
flag, July 10, 1846, and fired a salute from the 
guns of his fort. In 1849 he was a member of 
the Constitutional Convention; at the first State 
election was a candidate for Governor, and was 
afterward a Brigadier-General in the State 

But the day on which gold was discovered 
was an evil one for him. His mechanics and 
laborers deserted him, even the Kanakas and 
Indians. He could not hire laborers to plant 
or harvest his crops. Neither could he run his 
mills. For a time after the iiumense flood of 
immigration poured in, his rights were re- 
spected; but it was not for long. When men 
found that money could be made in other ways 
than by mining, many forcibly entered upon 
his lands and cut his wood, under the plea that 
they were vacant and unappropriated lands of 
the United States. By the 1st of January, 
1852, the settlers had occupied his lands capable 
of settlement or appropriation, and others had 
stolen all his horses, mules, cattle, sheep and 
hogs, save a small portion used and sold by him- 
self. One party of five, diiringthe high waters 
of 1849-'50, when his cattle were partly sur- 
rounded by water near the Sacramento River, 
killed and sold enough to amount to $60,000. 

Sutter, broken in purse, disheartened, robbed 
and powerless to help himself, removed to Sut- 
ter County and took up his residence at Hock 
Farm, then a beautiful piece of property, but 
now a waste of sand and debris, never having 


recovered from the devastation of the floods of 
1862. For some years he led the quiet life of a 
farmer there, but afterward was a continual 
haunter of Congress at Washington, where he 
sought to obtain redress from the General Gov- 
ernment for the barefaced robberies that had 
been practiced upon him. In 1878 he removed 
to Litiz, Pennsylvania, and on the 18th day of 
June, 1880, died at Washington, District of 

Sutter was a gerierous man. His manners 
were polished, and the impression he made on 
every one was favorable. In iigure he was of 
medium height, rather stout but well made. 
His head was round, features regular, with 
smiling and agreeable expression, while his 
complexion was healthy and roseate. He wore 
his hair cut close, and his moustache trimmed 
short a la militaire. He dressed very neatly 
in frock coat, pantaloons and cape of blue. 

Such was the man to whom California owes 
so much, and upon whom she bestowed so 

Captain John C. Fremont, the " Pathfinder," 
arrived in this country in March, 1844, and in 
his narrative thus describes the situation of 
Sutter and his fort: 

" Captain Sutter immigrated to this country 
from the western part of Missouri, in 1838-'39, 
and formed the first settlement in the valley, on 
a large grant of land which he obtained from 
the Mexican Government. He had at first some 
trouble with the Indians; but by the occasional 
exercise of well-timed authority, he has suc- 
ceeded in converting them into a peaceful and 
industrious people. The ditches around his ex- 
tensive wheat fields; the making of the sun- 
dried bricks of which his fort is constructed; 
the plowing, harrowing and other agricultural 
operations, are entirely the work of these In- 
dians, for which they receive a very moderate 
compensation — principally in shirts, blankets 
and other articles of clothing. In the same 
manner, on application to the chief of the vil- 
lage, he readily obtains as many boys and girls 
as he has any use for. There were at this time 

a number of girls at the fort, in training for a 
future woolen factory; but they were now all 
busily engaged in constantly watering the gar- 
dens. Mr. Sutter was about making arrange- 
ments to irrigate his lands by means of the 
American River. He had this year sown, and 
altogether by Indian labor, 300 bushels of 

"A few years since, the neighboring Russian 
establishment of Ross, being about to withdraw 
from the country, sold to him a large number 
of stock, with agricultural and other stores, 
with a number of pieces of artillery and other 
munitions of war; for these, a regular yearly 
payment is made in grain. 

" The fort is a quadrangular adobe structure, 
mounting twelve pieces of artillery (two of them 
brass), and capable of admitting a garrison of 
1,000 men; this at present consists of forty 
Indians, in uniform: one of whom is always 
found on duty at the gate. As might be ex- 
pected, the pieces are not in very good order. 
The whites in the employ of Captain Sutter, 
American, French and German, number thirty 
men. The inner wall is formed into buildings 
comprising the common quarters, with black- 
smith and other work-shops, the dwelling- 
houses with a large distillery house, and other 
buildings occupying more the center of the 

" It is built upon a pond-like stream, at times 
a running creek, communicating with the 
American River, which enters the Sacramento 
about two miles below. The latter is here a 
noble river, about 300 yards broad, deep and 
tranquil, with several fathoms of water in the 
channel, and its banks continuously timbered. 
There were two vessels belonging to Captain 
Sutter at anchor near the landing — one a large 
two masted lighter, and the other a schooner, 
which was shortly to proceed on a voyage to 
Fort Vancouver for a cargo of goods." 

Nothing now remains of tlie fort excepting 
the main two-story building, which is still un- 
protected against the ravages of the elements 
and the vandalism of reckless boys. The south- 


ern end was many years ago replaced with fire 
burned brick, and a new roof of shingles has 
supplanted the primitive Mexican tiling. The 
property is owned by a gentleman in the East. 


Samuel Brannan, Mormon elder and chief 
of the colony sent from New York on the ship 
Brooklyn, arrived in California in 1846. He 
was born in Saco, Maine, in 1819; learned the 
printers' trade in Ohio from 1833; from 1842 
published the New York Messenger and later 
the Prophet, as organs of the Mormon church; 
and on coming to California it was evidently 
his intention to bnild up his own fortune with 
those of his church. Being displeased with 
Brigham Young's change of plans respecting 
California, his religions fervor gradually cooled 
down until he became an apostate; meanwhile 
he published the /?<«/' at San Francisco, preached 
eloquently on Sundays, bought town lots, 
participated in political controversies, worked 
zealously for the town's educational and other 
interests, always aggressive but liberal in his 
views, showing no signs of sectarianism. 

In 1847 he established the firm of C. C. Smith 
& Co. at Sacramento, later Brannan & Co., in 
which Melius & Eloward and Wm. Stout were 
partners. The immense profits of his store 
after the discovery of gold, in connection with 
his mining operations at Mormon Island, and 
the rise of San Francisco real estate, made him 
a little later the richest man in California. As a 
capitalist and speculator his operations were 
very extensive, and he did more for San Fran- 
cisco than scores of other capitalists who have 
lived here. In 1859 he purchased the Calistoga 
estate, which he vastly improved, establishing 
thereon also an immense distillery; and here, 
in 1868, he received eight bullets, and nearly 
lost his life in a quarrel for the possession of a 
mill. Meanwhile he had given himself up to 
strong drink; for twenty years or more he was 
rarely sober after noon, and he became as well- 
known for his dissolute habits and drunken 

freaks as he had been for his wealth and ability. 
Domestic troubles led to divorce from his wife, 
whom he had married in 1844. Division of the 
estate was followed by unlucky speculations, and 
Brannan's vast wealth gradually melted away. 
He afterward supported the cause of Mexico 
against Maximilian, obtained a grant of lands 
in Sonora, and was at last accounts living at 
Guaymas in that country. 

Samuel J. Hensley, a native of Kentucky, 
came overland in the Chiles- Walker party in 
1843, having been for some years a trapper in 
New Mexico. The next year he was naturalized 
and obtained a grant of the Agua de Nieves 
rancho, and entered Sutter's service as super- 
cargo of his launch; while there he also 
signed the order for Weber's arrest, and during 
the Micheltorena campaign he served as com- 
raifisary in Sutter's army. Returning to the 
north, he took charge of Hock farm and attended 
to Sutter's general business. In 1846 he was 
prominent in fomenting the Bear revolt; was 
captain, and later major, of the California Bat- 
talion in the south; went East with Stockton in 
1847 and testified in the Fremont court-martial; 
returning to California he mined a =hort time 
and then opened a store in Sacramento, in 
partnership with Reading. From 1850 he 
engaged in the navigation of the Sacramento 
River, and a little later was one of the founders 
of the California Steam Navigation Company, 
of which he became president. His residence 
for many years was at San Jose, and he died at 
Warm Springs, Alameda County, in 1866, at 
the age of forty- nine years. 

Win. A. LeidesdorfF, a native of the Danish 
West Indies, came to the United States when a 
boy and to California in 1841; entered business 
on a large scale in San Francisco, and after 
naturalization obtained a grant of the American 
River ranch, in what is now Sacramento County, 
lu 1847 he launched the first steamer on San 
Francisco Bay. Also held local political offices 
in San Francisco. He was an intelligent man 
of fair education, speaking several languages, 
enterprising and public-spirited, but quick- 


tempered. He died in May, 1848, at the age 
of thirty-eight years. 

William Daylor, an English sailor, is said to 
have left his vessel in 1835. He entered Sutter's 
service in 1840-'41, and about 1844 settled on 
the Cosumnes River with Sheldon, his brother- 
in-law, in Sacramento County. General Kearny 
camped upon his rancho in 1847. He died in 
1850 of cholera. He had in 1847 married 
Sarah Rhoads, who after his death married, in 
1851, Wm. K. Grimshaw. 

Joseph Libbey Folsom, a native of New 
Hampshire, graduated at West Foint in 1840, 
and later was instructor in that institution; 
came to California as captain in the United 
States army, and assistant quartermaster in tlie 
New York Volunteer Regiment, and was chief 
of the quartermaster department station at San 
Francisco, being also collector of the port 1847- 
'49. He invested all the money he could raise 
in town lote, which in a few years made him a 
rich man. During a trip to the East in 1849 
he was smart and lucky enough to find the heirs 
of Wm. A. Leidesdorff, and buy of them for a 
trifle their immense Leidesdorff estate in. San 
Francisco. He thus became one of the wealthiest 
men in California. Among his possessions was 
the American River rancho, on which the town 
of Folsom now stands; and there is also a street 
in San Francisco named after him. His reputa- 
tion is that of a most enterprising man of busi- 
ness, an honorable gentleman of superior educa- 
tion and refinement, but somewhat haughty and 
formal in manner. He died at Mission San Jose, 
in 1855, at the age of only thirty-eight years. 

Louis Keseburg, who was forced to subsist 
upon human flesh longer than any other member 
of the Donner party, was supercargo for Sutter 
in 1847 and later for Vallejo at Sonoma; was 
in the mines in 1848-'49, kept boarding house 
and hotel at Sacramento, and was later a brewer 
at Calistoga and Sacramento. He made and 
lost several fortunes, the losses being Tuostly by 
fire and flood. He was an intelligent man, able 
in business, and in 1880 was living at Brighton, 
aged sixty-six, in extreme poverty. 

Sebastian Keyser, a native of the Austrian 
Tyrol was a trapper who came overland with 
Sutter to Oregon in 183S, and afterward joined 
him at New Helvetia. He was naturalized in 
1844 and obtained a grant of the Llano Seco 
rancho. Married Elizabeth Rhoads, who soon 
left him, but afterward returned to him. In 
1849 he sold his interest in the rancho, and 
subsequently resided on the Daylor place, run- 
ning a ferry across the Cosumnes for Daylor & 
Grimshaw, by the sinking of which craft he was 
drowned in 1850. 

James King of William assumed the affix 
" of William " at the age of sixteen, from his 
father's given name, to distinguish him from 
others named James King. He was a native 
of Georgetown, District of Columbia, and came 
to California in 1848, made some money in the 
mines, clerked for Reading & Co. at Sacramento, 
and in 1849 opened a bank in San Francisco; 
1854-'55 he was employed by Adams & Co.; in 
October, 1855, he founded the San Francisco 
Bulletin^ through which he attacked local corrup- 
tion in violent terms, but was apparently honest 
in his sentiments. He was shot in May, 1856, by 
James P. Casey, and his murder led to the 
organization of the famous Vigilance Commitee. 
He left a widow and six children. 


The city of Sacramento is located on the east 
bank of the Sacramento River, immediately 
below the mouth of the American River. The 
first settlement was made by John A. Sutter, 
in 1839, and long before there was any thought 
of establishing a city. The news of the gold 
discovery attracted to Sutter's Fort a large 
immigration from all portions of the civilized 
world, and this point, being practically the head 
of inland navigation, became the first nucleus 
of a settlement. At first a town of canvas tents 
was established, and afterward the city was 
regularly laid out, the survey being made in 
December, 1848, by Captain William H. 
Warner, of the United States army, assisted by 
W. T. Sherman, now General. 


In 1844, however, an effort was made, under 
the patronage of Sutter and others, to lay out 
and build a town at a point three miles below 
the site of Sacramento City. A survey was 
made and a village commenced. The first house 
was erected by Sutter, the second by one Hadel, 
and the third by George Zins. The last men- 
tioned was a brick building, and the first of the 
kind erected in California. Zins afterward 
manufactured the bricks, in Sacramento, which 
were used in the first brick buildings erected 
in this city. He stamped each brick with his 
initials, and one of them is now preserved in 
the Crocker Art Gallery Museum of the city, 
and one in the Museum of the Pioneer Associa- 
tion. For a time, " Sutterville," as it was called, 
in honor of its projector, flourished; but after 
the gold discovery the population centered at 
Sacramento, or the " Embarcadero," the Spanish 

At the time of, or shortly after, the discovery 
of gold, quite a number of stores were estab- 
lished at the fort; and indeed that was the 
practical business center in this portion of the 
territory. The first store, an adobe bi;ilding, 
was that of C. C. Smith & Co., Samuel Brannan 
being the " Co." This was started two months 
prior to the opening of the mines, and across 
its counters were made the first exchanges of 
American goods for California gold. Brannan 
subsequently became the sole proprietor. Hens- 
ley & Reading had a store afterward in the fort, 
and one of the clerks was James King of Wil- 
liam, just mentioned. 

When the city of Sacramento was established 
Sutter owned its site. After the discovery of 
gold and the laying out of the city, Sutter con- 
veyed his entire interest in the plat to his son; 
and on December 30, 1849, Sutter, Jr., em- 
ployed Peter H. Burnett — afterward governor — 
as his lawyer to manage his newly acquired 
interests. Conveyances were made by Sutter 
and his son, which resulted in a confusion of 
titles that were not adjusted until after many 
years of litigation. 

After the establishment of Sacrmento there 

was a steady improvement of the town. From 
a village of canvas tents it grew to be one of 
wood and brick structures, and the town of Sut- 
terville soon had an existence only on paper. 
After the flood of 1861-'62, an effort was made 
to revive the town of Sutterville, but it again 

During the time that Sacramento was flooded, 
in January, 1853, all communication with the 
mining counties was cut off, and some of the 
enterprising merchants sought higher ground 
for the city site, where freight could be landed 
from vessels without danger from floods. The 
site they selected was on the south bank of the 
American River, nearly due north from the point 
now called Brighton, and they named the new 
town " Hoboken." At that day the American 
River was navigable to that point. A large 
town was laid out there, with wide streets and a 
steamboat landing. Within ten days a place 
sprang up which promised to be a rival to Sa- 
cramento. Three steamers made daily trips 
between the two places. An express oflice was 
established at Hoboken, besides many other fa- 
cilities for commercial business. Trade there 
flourished. Many of the business firms of Sac- 
ramento removed to the new town, and the 
newspapers of the city devoted a page to the 
interests of Hoboken. But Hoboken declined 
as rapidly as it had sprung up, and to-day its 
site constitutes a portion of a farm. 

The city of " Boston " was laid out at the con- 
fluence of the American and Sacramento rivers, 
north of Sacramento. It, however, never '-ma- 
terialized," and existed only on maps. 

The population of Sacramento, prior to Janu- 
ary, 1848, was comparatively insignificant; but 
with the influx which followed the discovery of 
gold its augmentation had been perhaps unpre- 
cedented in the history of the world. The first 
censiis taken in the State — in 1851 — during the 
administration of President Fillmore, was under 
the superintendency of J. Neely Johnson, as 
census agent of this district. He was after- 
ward Governor of the State. In that enumera- 
tion Sacramento was credited with 11,000 in- 


habitants. The population of the State as then 
returned was about 120,000. The Federal cen- 
sus of 1860 credits the city with 12,800; of 
1870 with 16,283; of 1880, 21,420, and the 
present year, 1889, it has probably between 
30,000 and 40,000. 

Geora;e McDougal, brother of " I John," the 
second Governor, was a prominent character in 
the founding of Sacramento City. He came 
here from Indiana in 1848, joined Fremont's 
battalion, and was with it in the memorable 
campaign in Southern California. Returning 
to San Francisco, he became distinguished there; 
and when the mines were discovered joined the 
gold-seekers and had some exciting experiences 
in the mines. Shortly after the survey of Sac- 
ramento City was made, he procured a lease of 
a ferry privilege from Captain Sutter at a point 
below the entrance of Sutter Lake, and opened 
the first store in the place, bringing up a store 
ship and locating it near the foot of I street. 
His partner was Judge Blackburn, of Santa 
Cruz. The arrival of the son of Captain Sutter 
effected an important change in the destiny of 
the new city. He received the interest of his 
father in the city, and immediately a question 
arose between him and McDougal in respect to 
the prerogatives of his lease. The question be- 
ing decided in favor of Sutter, McDougal became 
so disaffected with the place that he determined 
to "e.xtinguish the prospects " of the new city, 
and move to Sutterville. Transporting all his 
goods to that point, and leaving his brother 
John in charge of them, he went East. John 
then issued immense placards, declaring that 
the firm over which he presided had determined 
to take the lead in competition, and accordingly 
would sell goods at " cost and freight," with a 
verbal assurance that if they could not obtain 
patronage at that rate they would sell at the 
primary cost of their merchandise. But the 
merchants at the fort combined and McDougal 
& Co. soon had to break np. 

George wandered into Utah, New Mexico, 
and adjacent Territories, and meanwhile reports 
of his death were received on the coast. An 

Eastern brother administered on his estate. 
Trace of him was lost for years. Finally Cap- 
tain Brown, of the ram Stonewall, was going to 
Japan through the Straits of Magellan, when 
some Fatagonian chiefs came aboard, among 
whom was a " hirsute, squalid, weather-tanned 
and very tattooed man," none other than "Col- 
onel George McDougal!" He had journeyed 
through Central America and various South 
American countries, and was then prospecting 
at Sandy Point, a savage and solitary station in 
the straits. He was the chief of an Indian tribe! 
He was a giant in size, and so princely and 
handsome that he had been called "Lord George 
McDougal." Captain Brown says that after he 
had had him shaved, cleaned up and dressed in 
good clothes, he was the handsomest and most 
distinguished looking man he had ever seen. 
McDougal sobbed and cried when told of his 
family; but all entreaty to keep him on board 
and get him back home was unavailing, as he 
had a valuable mine which he was developing 
by aid of these Indians. However, he promised 
that as soon as possible he would proceed farther 
north and then make for home. Some time 
afterward Brown chanced to meet McDougal in 
Valparaiso, and succeeded in sending him home. 

The schooner John Dunlap, owned jointly by 
Simmons, Hutchins & Co. and E. S. Marsh, left 
San Francisco on her first trip to Sacramento, 
May 18, 1849. The first mail was brought on 
her second trip, when she sailed June 25 and 
arrived here in forty-eight hours. 

The first directory of the city of Sacramento 
was published in 1851, by J. Horace Culver, 
and was printed by the Transcript prets, then 
on K street, between Second and Third. It lias 
ninety-six pages, with a vast amount of inter- 
esting information, the names of the citizens 
occupying not quite half the space. A copy of 
it is preserved in the State Library. 


The first election for councilmeii was held 
in the latter part of July, 1849, resulting in 
the choice of John P. Rogers, H. E. Robinson, 


P. B. Cornwall, Wm. Stout, E. F. Gillespie, 
Thomas F. Chapman, M. T. McClelland, A. M. 
Winn and B. M. Jennings. Stont was elected 
the first president, but soon afterward Winn was 
substituted. The first charter submitted to a 
popular vote was defeated. 

The council then appealed to the people by 
proclamation, asking what they should do, — go 
ahead under Mexican laws, or draft a new char- 
ter. Tills appeal stirred up the people, who 
held a mass meeting and appointed a committee 
to draw up amendments. The charter thus 
amended was substantially adopted by the suc- 
ceeding Legislature, February 27, 1850. 

Following is a list of the officers of the city 
of Sacramento, from 1849 to 1851, inclusive: 

1849.— A. M. Winn, Mayor; the Alcalde, Re- 
corder; N. C. Cunningham, Marshal; William 
Glaskin, City Clerk and Auditor; J. A. Tutt, 
Assessor; S. C. Hastings, Treasurer; B. Brown, 
Collector; Murray Morrison, City Attorney; 
R. J. Watson, Harbormaster. 

1850. — Hardin Bigelo v. Mayor; Horace 
Smith, Mayor; B. F. Washington, Recorder; 
N. C. Cunninghun, Marshal; J. B. Mitchell, 
City Clerk and Auditor; J. W. Woodland, As- 
sessor; Barton Lee, Treasurer; E. B. Pratt, 
Collector; J. Neely Johnson, City Attorney; 
George W. Hammersley, Harbormaster. 

1851. — James R. Harden bergh. Mayor; W. 
H. McGrew, Recorder; W. S. White, Marshal; 
L. Curtis, Clerk and Auditor; Samuel McKee, 
Assessor; W. R. McCrackea, Treasurer; W. S. 
Wliito, Collector; J. Neely Johnson, City Attor- 
ney; John Requa, Harbormaster. 


The first ship ever used in the State of Cali- 
fornia as a "prison brig" was the bark Straf- 
ford, which was moored in the Sacramento 
River opposite the foot of I street. It was 
brought here from New York in 1849. While 
lying at the foot of O street it was sold at auc- 
tion bv J. B. Starr, and, though it had cost 
$50,000, it was knocked down to C. C. Hayden 
for $3,750! Ln mediately the latter sold three- 

quarters of his interest to Charles Morrill, Cap- 
tain Isaac Derby and Mr. Whiting. In March, 
1850, they rented the vessel to the county for a 
" prison brig." May 25, 1850, the others sold 
out their interests to Charles Morrill, who in- 
tended the bark for a trader between San Fran- 
cisco and Panama. It was loaded at the levee, 
but in so poor a manner that she nearly capsized 
on reaching the Bay of San Francisco. It was 
readjusted and taken on to the sea, but was 
never brought back. 

The county soon afterward purcha-ed the La 
Grange, which had arrived in California from 
Salem, Massachusetts. It was moored aboiitop- 
posite H street. When the first freshet of the 
high water of 1861-'62 came on, the vessel 
pulled heavily at its moorings, and the water 
came in through the open seams so rapidly that 
it was only by great exertions the prisoners 
were safely removed to the city jail. The bark 
filled and senk right there at the anchors. Sand 
and sediment filled the hold and cabin and col- 
lected in great quantities all about it. Being 
sold at auction, it was purchased by T. Talbert, 
who, at considerable profit, disposed of it to a 
company of Chinese. The Celestials went ac- 
tively to work pegging away at the carcass of 
the old bark, which had so many times braved 
storm and tempest; and if any of its remains 
were not carried ofl" by them, they are in the 
deep bosom of the sand-bank buried. 

Since then the Sacramento County jail has 
never been afloat. 


The cholera made its first appearance in Sacra- 
mento on the 20th of October, 1850, when an 
immigrant by sea was found on the levee, in 
the collapsing stage of the disease. The infec- 
tion was brought to San Francisco on the same 
steamer which conveyed the intelligence of Cal- 
ifornia's admission to the Union, and reached 
Sacramento before the city had recovered from 
the demoralizing effects of the Squatter Riots. 
As usual in such cases, the local papers en- 
deavored to conceal the extent of mortality, and 


their tiles of that date give no adequate idea of 
the fearfnl scourge. On the 21st of October 
the city physician reported seven cases of cholera 
to the council, five of which were fatal. Some 
of the doctors attempted to quiet public appre- 
hension by the opinion that the malady was 
only a violent form of the cholera morbus, and 
the Times "felt confident that there was very 
little danger, and had not heard of a single case 
where the patient had not been previously re- 
duced by diarrhoea." On the 27th six cases 
were reported, and the Times " hoped that some 
precautionary measures would be taken," etc. 
On the 29th twelve cases appeared; on the 30th, 
nineteen, and it was no longer possible to con- 
ceal the presence of the ghastly destroyer. A 
Sacramento correspondent of the Alta, Novem- 
ber 4, says: "This city presents an aspect 
truly terrible. Three of the large gambling re- 
sorts have been closed. The streets are deserted, 
and frequented only by the hearse. Nearly all 
business is at a stand-still. There seems to be 
a deep sense of expectancy, mingled with fear, 
pervading all classes. There is an expression 
of anxiety in every eye, and all sense of pecu- 
niary loss is merged in a greater apprehension 
of i)ersonal danger. The daily mortality is 
about sixty. Many deaths are concealed, and 
many others are not reported. Deaths during 
the past week, so far as known, 188." 

On the 14th of November the daily mortality 
had decreased to twelve, and on the 17th the 
plague was reported as having entirely disap- 


During the early gold-mining period, 1848- 
'49, unprincipled immigrants stole great quan- 
tities of property from Captain Sutter. In the 
latter year others, more honorable in their in- 
tentions, questioned Sutter's title to certain 
tracts, including the site of the city of Sacra- 
mento. Their settling upon lands claimed by 
Sutter soon led to litigation, and ultimately to 
riot and bloodshed. May 5, this year, Sutter 
published a notice warning persons not to settle 

upon these tracts without his permission. De- 
cember 2, following, H. A. Schoolcraft peti- 
tioned the city council of Sacramento to re- 
move a house built by Charles Robinson upon 
property which he represented, and the petition 
was granted. Next day a suit was entered 
against the city for replevin, and this was de- 
nied. Then the party lines were closely drawn 
between those who had recognized Sutter's title 
and purchased lots of him, and those who de- 
nied his title and claimed that said lands were 
public and subject to pre-emption. The latter 
were eventually strengthened by the fresh arri- 
vals of poor and worn-out immigrants who were 
willing to listen to the story that such good land 
was public and open to their settlement. 

A "squatters' association" was organized, 
arguments and lawsuits commenced, and feel- 
ing grew more and more intense. Immigrants 
meanwhile continued to squat upon the con- 
tested lands with increasing boldness. On the 
lOtli of May, 1850, the particular suit was 
commenced which resulted in the famous riots 
of August following. John P. Rodgers and 
De Witt J. Burnett commenced action against 
John F. Madden, in the recorder's court, B. F. 
Washington presiding, under the statutes con- 
cerning " unlawful entry and detainer." The 
case was sustained by E. J. C. Kewen and R. F. 
Morrison for the plaintifl"s, and F. W. Thayer 
for the defendant. The latter set forth the plea 
of no jurisdiction, and the plea was overruled. 
He then instituted the plea that the property 
was public land, the freehold of the Govern- 
ment, and therefore subject to a title by settle- 
ment and improvement. A demurrer was in 
terposed by plaintiffs upon the ground that the 
plea set forth by the defendant was insuflicient 
in law; and this was overruled. The defendant 
then made affidavit, asking a change of venue 
on the ground that the recorder was biased and 
that he could not have a fair trial in this city, 
the citizens also being prejudiced against him. 
This application was also refused, and the case 
went to trial. After argument, the recorder re- 
turned a judgment against defendant, fining 


him $300 and costs, and ordered the issuance 
of a writ of restitution. 

The defendant appealed from this decision to 
the county court, and August 8 the case came 
up for a rehearing, before Judge E. J. Willis. 
At this trial the defendant was assisted by Judge 
McKune, C. A. Tweed and Lewis Aldrich. Af. 
ter argument the decision of the lower court was 
affirmed. The defendant then asked to appeal 
to the Supreme Court of the State, but there 
being no law to provide for such an appeal, the 
motion was overruled. 

During this trial both parties became excited 
to the utmost degree, and the squatters as a 
body declared against the restoration of tlie 
property. Squatters and anti-squatters held 
meetings almost every night. Almost immedi- 
ately after the decision of Judge Willis was 
pronounced the squatters issued a poster setting 
forth their arguments and their history of the 
case, concluding with the resolution to "appeal 
to arms, if necessary, to protect their sacred 
rights with their lives." 

This was regarded as a declaration of civil 
war, and bloodshed was then sure to come 
in a short time. On the evening of the 11th 
the squatters held a meeting, where much wit 
and sarcasm was indulged in, and a resolution 
adopted to resist the execution of the court's 
decree. Speakers from both sides were invited 
to take the stand, but those from the Sutter side 
were drowned out by yells from the crowd. 
They indeed became so excited with their own 
noise that they sometimes voted viva-voee- 
iferously against themselves! 

Madden, whose house became a sort of garri- 
son for the squatters, refused to evacuate for 
several days. He was then forced out, but on 
the 14th succeeded in forcing himself back 
again, with the aid of his fellows. At two 
o'clock on the afternoon of this day the crisis 
arrived. The two parties came into actual and 
bloody contact. The mayor, Hardin Biglow, 
was called into service, to quell the riot. The 
squatters formed themselves in martial order on 
J street, and iired several shots at the mayor, 

four of which took effect, but not causino- in- 
stant death. J. W. Woodland, who stood un- 
armed by his side, was accidentally killed by 
one of these shots. Several others were killed, 
on both sides. 

Actual hostilities then informally ceased, but 
both parties, in the most feverish excitement, 
held meetings deliberating what to do. Briga- 
dier-General A. M. Winn, of the milita, declared 
the city under martial law, and ordered all law- 
abiding citizens to form themselves into volun- 
teer companies and report their organization at 
his headquarters as soon as possible. At even- 
ing quiet was fully restored throughout the 

Recorder B. F. Washington was appointed 
marshal by the council, and State troops were 
ordered from Benicia. They arrived, and quiet 
was maintained, but in a day or two afterward 
the young sheriff, Joseph McKinney, was shot 
and killed while he was bravely doing his duty 
in endeavoring to capture one of the rioters out 
in the country, where there was a sort of 
rendezvous of the more violent squatters. 

Thus ended the riot, but not the excitement; 
for it was feared that some of the vanquished 
squatters would incite a party of miners in the 
foot-hills and another attempt would be made 
to do violence in the city; but at length these 
fears were allayed, and excitement began grad- 
ually to cool down. The Sutter party were 
eventually victorious. 


In the fall of 1848 an election was held at 
the fort (Sutter's) for first and second alcaldes, 
and resulted in the election of Frank Bates and 
John S. Fowler. Fowler resigned in the spring 
following, and H. A. Schoolcraft was elected to 
fill the vacancy. In the spring of 1849, Bran- 
nan, Snyder, Slater, Hensley, King, Cheever, 
McCarver, McDougal, Barton Lee, Dr. Carpen- 
ter, Southard and Fowler were elected a Board 
of Commissioners to frame a code of laws for 
the district. Pursuant to the wish of this 
legislating committee, the people convened to- 



gether nnder a broad-spreading oak at the foot 
of I street. The report, wbicb was tber offi- 
cially submitted and ■wbicb was duly accepted by 
the tovereignr assembled, provided the following 
officers of a juribdiction extending from the 
Coast Range to the Sierra Nevada, and througb- 
out the length of the Sacranjento Valley, to-wit: 
One alcalde and a sheriff. H. A. Schoolcraft 
was then elected alcalde and A. M. Turner, 
sheriff. This constituted the judiciary of North- 
ern California up to the time that those changes 
took place in very rapid succession after the 
immigration of 1849 began to concentrate at 

The tirst attempt to establish a civil govern- 
ment under American ideas of government was 
made on April 30, 1849, when a mass meeting 
of the then residents of Sacrameiito City and 
other portions of Sacramento District was held 
at the Embarcadero to devise means for the 
government of the city and district. At this 
meeting Henry A. Schoolcraft presided, Peter 
Slater was vice-president and James King of 
William and E. J. Brooke, secretaries. Samuel 
Brannan explained the object of the meeting, 
and it was resolved that a Legislature of eleven 
members should be elected, " with full powers to 
enact laws for the government of the city and 
district." It was also determined to hold the 
election forthwith, and Henry Bates, M. D., 
M. T. McClellan, Mark Stewart, Ed. H. Von 
Pfister and Eugene F. Gillespie were appointed 
judges. The vote resulted in the election of 
John McDougal, Peter Slater, Barton Lee, John 
S. Fowler, J. S. Robb, Wm. Pettit, Wm. M. 
Carpenter, M. D., Chas. G. Southard, M. M. 
McCarver, James King of William and Samuel 
Brannan, but upon the announcenncnt of the re- 
sult Robb declined to accept, and Henry Cheever 
was chosen to fill the vacancy. [Whether the 
list given by Morse or this one is correct we 
cannot decide.] The eleven were immediately 
sworn in, and some time afterward adopted a 
code that no laws were wanted and that ail the 
officers necessary for "the District of Sacra- 
mento, bounded on the north and west by the 

Sacramento River, on the east by the Sierra 
Nevadas, and on the south by the Cosumnes 
River, were one alcalde and one sheriff." They 
then submitted the code to the people for adop- 
tion or rejection, and asked them at the same 
time to vote lorofficeis. The code was adopted. 

Nothirg further towaid foiming a local gov- 
ernment was attempted until after the proclama- 
tion of General Riley (the military Governor) 
was issued at Monterey on June 3. In fact 
nothing seemed necessary, if theft was, by com- 
mon consent, punished, as the Times says, " by 
giving the offender thirty or forty rawhide lashes, 
and then oidering him off, not to return under 
penalty of death." 

General B. Riley, the military Governor of 
Califcrnia, issued a proclamation for an election 
to be held Augutt 1, 1849, to elect delegates to 
a general convention and for filling several 
necessary offices. On July 5, a meeting was 
held and a committee was appointed to organize 
the district into precincts, apportion the rejire- 
sentation, and nominate the candidates to be 
voted for. The committee consisted of P. B. 
Cornwall, C. E. Pickett, William M. Carpenter, 
Samuel Brannan, John McDougal, W. Black- 
burn, J. S. Robb, Samuel J. Hensley, Mark 
Stewart, M. M. McCarver, John S. Fowler and 
A. M. Winn. On the 14th the committee re- 
ported, recommending the places for polls, etc. 
The delegates elected to the Constitutional Con- 
vention were: Jacob R. Snyder. John A. Sutter, 
John Bidwell, W. E. Shannon, L. W. Hastings, 
W. S. Sherwood, M. M. McCarver, John S. 
Fowler, John McDougal, Charles E. Pickett, 
W. Blackburn, E. O. Crosby, R. M. Jones, W. 
Lacey, James Queen. For local offices — Will- 
iam Stout, Henry E. Robinson, P. B. Cornwall, 
Eugene F. Gillespie, T. L. Chapman, Berryman 
Jennings, John P. Rodgers, A. M. Winn and 
M. T. McClellan were elected a City Council 
without opposition, and by an average vote of 
424. James S. Thomas was elected First Mag- 
istrate by 393 votes, against twenty-two for S. 
S. White, and five for J. S. Fowler. J. C. 
Zabriskie was elected Second Msigistrate; H. 


A. Schoolcraft, Recorder; and D. B. Banner, 


Under t\vi cill for the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, the district was entitled to but four dele- 
gates, and J. R. Snyder, W. E. Shannon, W. S. 
Sherwood and J. A. Sutter were the representa- 
tives, but afterward the representation was in- 
creased to fifteen, and in addition to the original 
four the following were appointed: L. W. Hast- 
ings, John Bidwell, John S. Fowler, M. M. 
MeCarver, John McDougal, E. O. Crosby, W. 
Blackburn, James Queen, R. M Jones, W. La- 
cey and C. E. Pickett. 

In October the convention adjourned, and an 
election was called for Tuesday, November 13, 
1849, to vote on the constitution, for State offi- 
cers, and for representatives in the Legislature. 
At that election the vote of Sacramento District 
stood as follows: For the Constitution, 4,317: 
against it, 643. For Governor — P. H. Burnett, 
2,409; J. A. Sutter, 856; Thomas McDowell, 
87; W. S. Sherwood, 1,929; William M. Stew- 
art, 448. For State Senators — John Bidwell, 
3,474; Thomas J. Green, 2,516; Elislia O. 
Crosby, 2,610; Henry E. Robinson, 2,328; 
Murray Morrison, 2,171; Hardin Biglow, 1,407; 
Gilbert A. Grant, 1,687; Charles E. F^ickett, 
905. The first four were elected. 

The county was formally organized when the 
Legislature passed "an act subdividing the State 
into counties and establishing the seats of jus- 
tice therein," February 18, 1850, and section 
17 of it defined the boundaries of Sacramento 
County as follows: " Beginning at a point ten 
miles due north of the mouth of the American 
River, and running thence in an easterly direc- 
tion to the junction of the north and south forks 
of said river; thence up the middle of the prin- 
cipal channel of the south fork to a point one 
mile above the head of Mormon Island, so as to 
include said island in Sacramento County; thence 
in a southerly direction to a point on the Co- 
snmnes River eight miles above the house of 
William Daylor; thence due south to Dry Creek; 
thence down the middle of said creek to its 
entrance into the Moquelumne River, or into a 

large slough in the tule marsh; thence down 
the middle of said slough to its junction with 
the San Joaquin River; thence down the mid- 
dle of said river to the mouth of the Sacra- 
mento River, at the head of Suisun Bay; thence 
up the middle of the Sacraineuto to the mouth 
of Merritt's Slough; thence up the middle of 
said slojgh to its head; thence up the middle 
of the Sacramento River to a point due west of 
the place of beginning, and thence east to the 
place of beginning. The seat of justice shall 
be at Sacramento City." 

The first election law appointed the first 
Monday in October the day for holding the 
election for State officers, and denominated that 
the general election. The first Monday in April 
was designated as the day for the election of 
county ofScers and was called the county elec- 
tion. The Legislature of 1851 repealed the 
clause relating to the county election and pro- 
vided that it should be held the same time with 
the State election, and the time for holding 
the general election was changed from the first 
Monday in October to the first Wednesday in 
September, and it has since remained that way. 
The terms of the county officers commenced 
originally on the first Monday in May, 1850, but 
the Legislature of 1851 changed it so that the 
term commenced on the first Monday in Oc- 
tober following the election. In 1863 the 
Legislature changed the law again so that the 
official terms commenced on the first Monday 
in March following the election, and it remains 
so now. 

These were the first county officers, and they 
were elected April 1, 1850, to serve from April, 
1850, to April, 1852; County Judge, E. J. 
Willis; Sheriff, Joseph McKinney; Clerk, Pres- 
ley Dunlap; Recorder, L. A. Birdsall; District 
Attorney, William C. Wallace; County Attor- 
ney, John H. McKune; Treasurer, Win. Glas- 
kin; Assessor, David W. Thorpe; Surveyor, J. 
G. Cleal; Coroner, P. F. Ewer. J. S. Thomas 
was elected District Judge by the Legislature 
of 1849-'50, and he resigned January 1, 1851. 
Tod Robinson, lately deceased, was appointed 



January 2, 1851, and served till the first part 
of Angnst, when Ferris Foreman, who was Sec- 
retary of State during the administration of 
John B. Weller, succeeded him on the 14th of 
August, 1851, and presided one month. On 
the 15th of September, 1851, Lewis Aldrich 
became District Judge. The sheriff, Joseph 
McKinney, was killed near Brighton on the 
evening of August 15, 1850, the day after the 
squatter riot, and at a special election held the 
first Monday in September, Ben McCullough 
was elected to fill the vacancy. The Legislature 
of 1851 abolished the oflice of county attorney, 
and assigned the duties of the oftice to the 
district attorney. In the meantime Wallace 
resigned, and Milton S. Latham, afterward Gov- 
ernor, succeeded to the office of district attor- 
ney, October 18, 1850. Wra. Glaskin resigned 
the office of treasurer August 22, 1850, and 
John W. Peyton was appointed to fill the va- 
cancy. Peyton resigned November 29, 1850, 
and Charles H. Swift was appointed treasurer 
and collector by the Court of Sessions, of which 
he \ras a member, to fill the vacancy. 


The first court house that was erected at Sev- 
enth and I streets in Sacramento City, and in 
which the sessions of 1852 and 1854 were held, 
was commenced in June, 1850, and completed 
on December 24, 1851. It was destroyed in 
the great fire of July 13, 1854, which con- 
sumed a large portion of the business part of 
the city. 

Immediately after the fire a contract was 
entered into between Joseph Nougus and the 
county officers for the erection of the present 
court-house. As originally arranged the build- 
ing answered the following description: Ex- 
treme height, sixty-one feet; dimensions, 
80 X 120 feet; with a portico supported by ten 
pillars, three feet six inches in diameter by 
thirty-one feet six inches in height. The ground 
floor was devoted to a county prison. On the 
same floor were two separate offices containing 
tire-proof vaults and occupied by the State Con- 

troller and State Treasurer. The second floor 
was devoted to a Senate chamber, 37 x 30 feet, 
and an Assembly room, 72x41 feet, to- 
gether with nine rooms for clerks and officers 
of the Legislature. The style of architecture 
is Ionic. The original contract price was 
$100,600, and the subsequent contracts made 
the total cost of the building to the county 
$240,000. The corner-stone was laid Septem- 
ber 27, 1854, with Masonic honors, and the 
brick work was completed November 9, follow- 
ing. The entire building was finished January 
1, 1855. It was rented to the State for Capitol 
purposes at an annual rent of $12,000, and was 
used for that purpose from 1855 until the com- 
pletion of the present Capitol. In April, 1870, 
the building was raised to the high grade. The 
original corner-stone was opened on the 22d 
and its contents transferred by the Board of 
Supervisors into a new box. On that day the 
stone was relaid without public ceremony. 


The first State Constitutional Convention 
met at Monterey, September 1, 1849, and dur- 
ing the session fixed the seat of the State Gov- 
ernment at San Jose. December 15 following 
the first Legislature accordingly met at that 
place, but, finding the accommodations too 
limited, resolved to accept a proposition from 
General M. G. Vallejo, removing the capital to 
his place. Meeting there January 5, 1852, 
they fared even worse than they had at San 
Jose as the General had undertaken to do more 
than he could, and was far behind with his con- 
tract. The Sacramentans then stirred them- 
selves, and endorsed the Court of Sessions in 
offering the use of the new court house to the 
Legislature, which body accepted the ofler Jan- 
nary 12, 1852, and the very next day arrived 
here, on the steamer Empire. The citizens 
welcomed the members by a grand ball, tickets 
to which were sold at $20. During this session 
the contest between the rival points contending 
for the location of the capital naturally grew 
hotter, and fill sorts of legal technicalities were 

< > 



brought fo bear in favor and against the com- 
peting places. During all this time the State 
records were at San J"os(5, and doubts were enter- 
tained as to the legality of removing them to 
Vallejo, where there was no safe place for keep- 
ing them, or to Sacramento, which was not yet 
made the seat of government. 

April 80, 1852, the Legislature passed a bill 
declaring Vallejo to be the seat of government, 
and ordering the Governor to remove tlie State 
records to that place. Next, General Vallejo 
procured a cancellation of his contract; then 
the following Legislature, meeting in January, 
1853, in Vallejo, soon adjourned to meet at 
Benicia, declaring it to be the capital. January 
2, 1854, the Legislature again met there. Gov- 
ernor Bigler submitted to them a communica- 
tion from the mayor and council of Sacramento 
tendering tiie free use of the court-house, with 
safes, vaults, etc., to the State, together with a 
deed to the block of land between I and J and 
Ninth and Tenth streets. On the 9th of Feb- 
ruary, A. P. Catlin, now of Sacramento, intro- 
duced a bill in the Senate, fixing the permanent 
seat of government at Sacramento and accept- 
ing the block of land. The Legislature then 
adjourned to this city. The members and State 
officers were received with a great demonstra- 

March 1, 1854, the Legislature met in the 
' new court-house. On the 24th of this month 
they passed a law compelling the Supreme Court 
to hold its sessions here; but that body an- 
nounced their opinion that San Jose was the 
constitutional and legal capital. Subsequently, 
however, by a change of judges of the Supreme 
Court, Sacramento was decided to be the legal 
capital. Accordingly, with the exception of the 
flood year, 1862, all sessions of the Legislature 
since 1854 have been held in Sacramento. 

April 18, 1856, the Legislature provided for 
the issue of bonds to the amount of $300,000 
for the erection of a State House where is now 
the beautiful Plaza. The board of commis- 
sioners, appointed to superintend the buildinu, 
approved the plans of Reuben Clark for the 

structure, let the contract to Joseph Nougues, 
for $200,000, and broke ground for building 
December 4. But on the 15th of that month 
the commissioners refused to issue the bonds, 
because the Supreme Court had decided that 
the State had no authority to contract a debt so 
large. The contractor brought suit to compel 
the issuance of the bonds, but was beaten, and 
work was stopped and never resumed on that 
building. The land was deeded back to the 
city and has been made a beautiful park. 

The building of a Capitol did not again re- 
ceive much attention until 1860, when the 
supervisors deeded to the State the tract of 
land bounded by L and N and Tenth and 
Twelfth streets, and the Legislature appropri- 
ated $500,000 for the building. The plans of 
M. F. Butler were adopted, and Michael Fen- 
nell, of San Francisco, obtained the contract for 
furnishing the material and building the base- 
ment for $80,000. The corner-stone was laid 
May 15, 1861. Fennell, however, had dropped 
the contract April 1, and it was afterward let to 
G. W. Blake and P. E. Connor, who in turn 
dropped the task, having suflered severe losses 
in the great flood. The work was then placed 
in the hands of the commissioners, who had to 
" plod their weary way " along for several years, 
while the various Legislatures cjuld not agree 
upon the amount of appropriations to be made. 
Indeed, the question of tlie location of the Cap- 
itol was mooted until 1867, when it was decided 
to discontinue the use of granite and hurry the 
building on to completion with brick. Thus 
the basement story only is built of granite. 
The brick, however, is of good quality, and the 
Capitol building, which is modeled somewhat 
after the pattern of the National Capitol at 
Washington, is substantially constructed, and 
is modestly beautiful in its exterior. Cost, 
about $1,447,000; with grounds (ten blocks), 
$2,590,460.19. Height, froui first floor to the 
lantern, 240 feet. From this point can be seen 
a magnificent city and rural landscape, bounded 
by mountains fifty to one hundred miles distant. 
See topographical chapter I'or a description of 



the objects visible. At the center of the first 
floor is a large piece ol statuary, cut irom Ital- 
ian marble by Larkin G. Meade, and represent- 
ing Columbus before Isabella. It was purchased 
by D. O. Mills, at an expense of $30,000, and 
by him presented to the State. 

The completion of the Capitol in the fall of 
1869 was celebrated by a grand ball given by 
the citizens of Sacramento, and the rooms, as 
they vrere finished, were occupied during the 
months of November and December. The 
present constitution provides that the seat of 
the State Government shall not be removed 
without a popular vote. 


Amos Adams, 1861, 1863; Alexander Bad- 
lam, Jr., 1863-'64; John £. Baker, 1881; J. 
N. Barton, 1873-'74; W. H. Barton, 1862-'63; 
John E. Benton, 3862; Marion Biggs, 1867- 
'68; Marion Biggs, Jr., 1875-'76; John Big- 
ler, 1849-'51: J. G. Brewton, 1855; El wood 
Bruner, 1880; W. E. Bryan, 1873-'74; H. C. 
Cardwell, 1849-'50; Seymour Carr, 1880,1887 
H. W. Carroll, 1887; George H. Cartter, 1856 
A. P. Catlin, 1857; Robert C. Clark, 1857 
Thomas J. Clunie, 1875-'76; Paschal Coggins 
1867-'68, 1873-'74; Gilbert W. Colby, 1852 

A. Comte, Jr , 1867-'68; George Cone, 1856 
P. B. Cornwall, 1849-'50; Charles Crocker, 
1861; N. Greene Curtis, 1861; T. E. David- 
son, 1854; Winfield J. Davis, 1885; W. Grove 
Deal, 1849-'50; W. B. Dickenson, 1849-'50; 
Gillis Doty, 1883; James A. Duffy, 1869-'70; 
Charles Duncombe, 1859, 1863; P. L. Edwards, 
1855; R. B. Ellis, 1859-'60; M. M. Estee, 
1863; J. H. Estep, 1853; R. D. Fergnson, 
1858, 1862; L. W. Ferris, 1857; 1. F.^Free 
man, 1869-'70: C. G. W. Frencli, 1871-72; 
L. C. Goodman, 1860; Thomas Ilaiisbrow, 
1865-66; J. W. Harrison, 1853; Obed Har- 
vey, 1871-'72; Thomas J. Henley, 1849-'50; 
Dwiglit Hollister, 1865-'66, 1885; Peter J. 
Hopper, lS65-'66, 1871-'72; M. S. Horan, 
1869-'70; Charles S. Howell, 1858; William 

B. Hunt, 1863-'66; A. R. Jackson, 1859; 

Grove L. Johnson, 1877-'78; J. Neely John- 
son, 1853; William Johnston, 1871-72; Charles 
T. Jones, 1885; Reuben Kercheval, 1873-'74, 
1877-'78; Alpheus Kip, 1852; Hugh M. La 
Rue, 1883; Bruce B. Lee, 1867-'68; George 
W. Leihy, 1856; D. J. Lisle, 1851; J. B. Ma- 
holmb, 1865-'66; J. M. McBrayer, 1854; G. 
N. McConaha, 1852; E. W. McKinstry, 1849- 
'50; John H. McKune, 1857; H. B. Meredith, 
1855; E. B. Mott, Jr., 1871-'72; John A. 
Odell, 1869-'70; F. A. and J. W. Park, 1854; 
A. D. Patterson, 1875-'76; Joseph PowelK 
1861; J. W. Pugh, 1856; John P. Rhoads, 
1863-'64; Charles Robinson, 1851; Robert 
Robinson, 1853; Joseph Rontier, 1877-'78; 
P. H. Russell, 1873-'74; Frank D. Ryan, 
1883; James B. Saul, 1862; James E. Sheri- 
dan, 1858-'59; Henry Starr, 1860; R. D. 
Stephens, 1869-'70; Moses Stout, 1858; L. S. 
Taylor, 1887; George B. Tingley, 1849-'50; 
Joseph C. Tucker, 1852; Francis Tukey, 1863- 
'64; W. C. Van Fleet, 1881; J. R. Vineyard, 
1855; Madison Walthall, 1849-'50; J. H. War- 
wick, 1862-'63; J. R. Watson, 1863-64; Dan- 
iel W. Welty, 1860; Thomas J. White, 1849- 
'50; John F. Williams, lS49-'50; Charles 
Wolleb, 1867-'68; John N. Young, 1880-'81. 


In 1854, during the rapid decay of the old 
Whig party and the uprising of the anti-slavery 
party into prominence, and when the struggles 
in "bleeding Kansas" constituted the most ex- 
citing topics of political discussion, a Demo- 
cratic convention was held at the Fourth Street 
Baptist Church in Sacramento, at 3 o'clock p. 
M., Tuesday, July 18. Some time before the 
hour for the meeting, the doors of the church 
were surrounded by a large assemblage of per- 
sons, many of whom were not delegates; and as 
soon as the doors were opened, the churcii, 
which was estimated to aftbrd accommodation 
for al).)ut 400 persons, was filled to its utmost 

D. C. liroderick, the chairman of the State 
Committee, ascended the platform, and was re- 



ceived with loud and continued cheering. On 
his calling the convention*to order, several dele- 
gates instantly sprang to the floor for the pur- 
pose of nominating candidates for temporary 
chairman. Broderick recognized T. L. Ver- 
meule as having the floor; but before the an- 
nouncement was made, John O'Meara proposed 
ex-Governor John McDougal for chairman pro 
tern. Vermeule nominated Edward McGowan 
for the position. Broderick stated that he 
could not recognize O'Meara's motion, and put 
the question on McGowan's election, and de- 
clared that it had carried. McGowan instantly 
mounted the stand, closely followed by Mc- 
Dougal, whose friends insisted that he had 
been selected although his name had not been 
submitted to the convention in regular form. 
The two chairmen took seats side by side, and 
a scene of indescribable confusion and tumult 
ensued. When something like order was re- 
stored, McDougal read the names of Major G. 
W. Hook and John Bidwell as vice-presidents; 
and McGowan announced J. T. Hall and A. T. 
Laird as his appointees for those ofiices. Again 
a scene of extreme confusion occurred; but the 
gentlemen named seated themselves with their 
respective leaders. Two sets of secretaries and 
committees were then appointed, and reports 
were made to each side recommending that the 
temporary officers be declared permanently 
elected. Motions were made to adopt the re- 
ports, and amid the greatest excitement they 
were declared carried. 

This double-headed convention sat until 
about 9 o'clock in the night. No further busi- 
ness was transacted, but each side tried to "sit" 
the other out. Two sickly candles, one in front 
of each president, lighted up the scene. The 
trustees of the church finally relieved both sides 
by stating that they could uot tolerate the riot- 
ous crowd longer in the building, and the dele- 
gates left without a formal adjournment. 

The session throughout was like pandemo- 
nium let loose. Soon after the organization, a 
rush was made by the crowd to tht stage. One 
of the officers was seized, and at that instant a 

pistol exploded in the densely crowded room. 
A mad rush was made for the doors, and a por- 
tion of the delegates made a precipitate retreat 
through the windows to the ground, a distance 
of some fifteen feet. Toward night Governor 
Bigler was called to the stand and he made a 
conciliatory speech, but without efl'ect. 

On the 19th, the wing presided over by Mc- 
Dougal, and which represented the "chivalry," 
or Southern element of the party, met at Musi- 
cal Hall; and the McGowan or Tammany branch, 
representing the Northern element, met in Car- 
penter's building. The officers of the chivalry 
wing resigned, and Major Hook was elected 
president, and H. P. Barber, William A. Man- 
nerly, A. W. Taliaferro and J. G. Downey, 
vice-presidents. A communication was received 
from the other convention asking that a commit- 
tee of conference be appointed, with a view of 
settling the disagreement; but the language of 
the communication was regarded as offensive, 
and it was withdrawn for the purpose of chang- 
ing the phraseology. Afterward a second note, 
almost similar to the first, was sent in; but it 
was flatly rejected. 

After nominating candidates for Congress 
and for Clerk of the Supreme Court, and pass- 
ing resolutions favoring the construction of the 
Atlantic & Pacific Railroad under the auspices 
of Congress, and endorsing the Nebraska bill, 
etc., they levied an asssessment of $5 per dele- 
gate to repair the damages to the church build- 
ing. The convention also apj^ointed a State 
Central Committee. 

The McGowan wing met at 9:30 a. m. on the 
19th, that gentleman continuing to act as the 
presiding officer. A committee of seven was 
appointed to invite the McDougal convention 
to attend, and the committee were empowered 
to arrange the difficulties. A recess was taken 
until 1 o'clock, to give the committee time to 
act. On the reassembling of the convention 
the committee reported that they had sent the 
following communication to the McDougal 
convention, and that the proposition therein 
contained had been rejected: 



" John MoDougal, Esq., Chairman of Dem- 
ocratic Delegates convened at Musical Hall: 
Sir — The undersigned have been this morning 
constituted a committee, with full powers, by 
and on behalf of the Democratic State Conven- 
tion at Carpenter's Hall, for a conference with 
our fellow Democrats at Musical Hall, for the 
purpose of harmonizing and uniting the De- 
mocracy of California. You will be pleased to 
announce this to your body; and any communi- 
cation may be addressed to the chairman of this 
committee, at Jones' Hotel." 

The committee was discharged, and the con- 
vention proceeded to nominate a ticket, different 
throughout from the one nominated by the other 
convention. They also adopted a series of reso- 
lutions alluding to the heterogeneous character 
of the Democratic party in this State and the 
subsequent differences of the convention in this 
city, and urged the people to adopt their ticket 
as the one most conciliatory. They also ap- 
pointed a State Central Committee. A collec- 
tion of $400 was taken up to repair the damages 
that bad been done to the Baptist church on the 
previous day, a committee having reported that 
the building had been injured to that extent. 

Directly after the adjournment of theconven- 
tioiif, several of the nominees witlidrew from 
the ticket, and after the election the Tammany 
party ascribed their defeat to the witlidrawal 
of Milton S. Latham from the Congressional 

Tiie first mass meeting of " Republicans " in 
California was held in Sacramento, April 19, 
1856. E. B. Crocker was the leader of tlie new 
party in tliis county, and opened the meeting 
with a speech which was listened to attentively. 
George C. Bates was then introduced, but the 
general disturbance raised by the " Americans " 
and Democrats present prevented his voice from 
being heard. Henry S. Foote, previously Gov- 
ernor of Mississippi, then took the stand and 
begged the disturbers to desist and allow the 
meeting to proceed; but he was not heeded. 
The Republican speakers again attempted to 
talk, when suddenly a rush was made for the 

stand by the crowd, and it was overturned and 
the meeting broken n^. 

On the 30th of that month the first State 
convention of the Republicans met in the Con- 
gregational church in Sacramento. E. B. Crocker 
was temporary cliairman. Only thirteen counties 
were represented, and of the 125 delegates pres- 
ent sixty-six were from San Francisco and Sac- 
ramento. Resolutions were adopted opposing 
the further extension of slave territory and of 
slave power, welcoming honest and industrious 
immigrants, deprecating all attempts to preju- 
dice immigrants against our free institutions, 
favoring the speedy construction of a trans-con- 
tinental railroad by aid from Congress, favoring 
the speedy settlement of land titles in this State 
and the election only of bona-tide permanent 
settlers to oflice. 

Early in May that year a public discussion 
was announced to take place at Sacramento be- 
tween George C. Bates, Republican, and J. C. 
Zabriskie, Democrat; but when the appointed 
time arrived no location could be procured on 
account of the anticipated disturbance, and the 
meeting was postponed until tlie evening of the 
10th of that month. Wlien the time arrived 
the discussion was commenced. Rotten eggs 
were thrown and fire-crackers burned to create 
a disturbance, but the police made several ar- 
rests and order was restored. After the meet- 
ing closed, outsiders took possession of the 
stand, and a resolution was adopted declaring 
" that the people of this city have been out- 
raged by the discussion of treasonable doctrines 
by a public felon; and that we will not submit 
to such an outrage in the future." 

A few days later the Sacramento Tribune 
(American), referring ti) tlie meeting, said: 
" The fact that a public discussion was per- 
mitted to take place in a public street in the 
heart of our city, in the presence of a large con- 
course of citizens, almost all of whom disap- 
prove the doctrine advocated by the speakers, 
and this too when it is the firm conviction of a 
large majority of the persons assembled tiiat 
the agitation of the slavery question as the basis of 


political party organization is against the true in- 
terest of the State and the Nation, speaks volumes 
in favor of the public morals of Sacramento." 

In 1865 a dissension occurred in the Union 
party. On the 25th of July that year it cul- 
minated at a county convention held at Sacra- 
mento. The Low and the anti-Low delegates 
were about equally divided in numbers. Gov- 
ernor Frederick F. Low was a candidate for the 
United States Senate, and was supported by one 
wing of the party. There was, however, a strong 
opposition to him. The convention met in the 
Assembly chamber in the then State capitol, 
now the court-house. The desks which had 
ordinarily occupied the floor had been removed, 
and a snfficient number of chairs had been 
placed in their stead to accommodate the 106 
delegates who were expected to participate in 
the proceedings. As the room filled it was a 
noticeable fact that almost without exception 
the Low, or short-hair, delegates occupied the 
seats on the right of the speaker's chair, and the 
anti-Low, or long-hairs, those on the left. Im- 
mediately after the convention was called to 
order, two persons were placed in nomination 
for temporary secretary, and voted for. The 
chairman of the county committee announced 
W. H. Barton, the long-hair candidate, elected 
to the positioti by a viva voce vote. The con- 
vention was at once thrown into confusion, and 
the Low delegates insisted on a count of the 
votes. Barton advanced from the left toward 
the secretary's table, when the delegates from 
the right made a general rush to the left side of 
the house. 

Then ensued an indescribable and a terrible 
scene, such as was never before witnessed in 
Sacramento at any political convention. Barton 
was intercepted before reaching the secretary's 
table, and told that he should not take his seat_ 
The delegates on the left crowded up for the 
purpose of supporting him, as those from the 
right formed a solid phalanx on the front to pre- 
vent him from advancing. In a moment the 
two parties were engaged in a hand to-hand 
light. Solid hickory canes, which appeared to 

be abundant on both sides, were plied with 
vigor. Spittoons flew from side to side like 
bomb-shells on a battle-field. Ink-stands took 
the place of solid shot. Pistols were drawn 
and used as substitutes for clubs. The principal 
weapons, however, which were used by both 
sides, were the cane-bottomed arm-chairs, which 
were of course within the reach of every one. 
These implements, though not very well adapted 
to purposes of warfaj-e, were swung in the air 
by the dozen and broken over the heads of the 
contending parties. In some instances chairs 
were broken up for the purpose of procuring 
the legs to use as clubs. No fire-arms were 
discharged and no knives were used. The fight 
lasted probably five minutes. At the close the 
anti-Low men, or long-hairs, who had rallied to 
the support of Barton, were driven from the 
field. Several jumped out through the win- 
dows; others who were badly hurt were assisted 
out of the building, while the greater portion 
passed into the ante-room and the main hall to 
find neutral ground. 

After the fight the long-hairs retired in a 
body and organized in another hall, while the 
short-hairs proceeded with business in the capi- 
tol. Each convention nominated a full local 
ticket, and elected a set of delegates to the State 
Convention. Newton Booth was nominated for 
State Senator by the long-hairs, and E. H. Hea- 
cock by the shorts. The shorts attributed the 
trouble to an alleged partial ruling by the chair- 
man of the committee in favor of Barton, and 
to the determination on the part of the longs to 
run the convention without regard to the rights 
or wishes of the opposition. The short-hair 
convention instructed its nominees for the Leg- 
islature to vote for Low for United States Sen- 
ator, but he afterward declined. His withdrawal, 
however, did not heal the breach in the Union 
party. The division continued until some time 
in August, when the short-hairs generally trans- 
ferred their support to John B. Felton for United 
States Senator. 

The result of the election was that Cornelius 
Cole was elected to the United States Senate, 


December 16 following, as the agreed candidate 
of both parties. 

Ex-Governor H. S. Foote, referred to in this 
chapter, was born in Virginia in 1800; graduated 
at Washington College in 1819; commenced the 
practice of law in 1822; edited a Democratic 
paper in Alabama in 1824-"32. and then resided 
many years in Mississippi, by which State he 
was elected United States Senator. In 1852 he 
was elected G-overnor of that State, having re- 
signed his Senatorship. He came to California 
in 1854, joined the Native American party, and 
was their candidate for United States Senator 
in 1856, being defeated by David C. Broderick. 
In 1858 he returned to Mississippi and took an 
active part in politics; represented Tennessee in 
the Confederate C<mgress. One of his daugh- 
ters became the wife of William M. Stewart, 
United States Senator; the other two daughters 
married and reside in this State, and two of the 
sons are practicing lawyers on the Pacific Coast. 
During his life Foote became engaged in three 
duels, in two of which he was wounded. 

He possessed considerable literary ability. 
In 1866 he published " The War of the Rebel- 
lion " and " Scylla and Carybdis," and in 1871 
a volume of reminiscences. He was also the 
author of " Texas and the Texans," published in 

He died near Nashville, Tennessee, at his 
residence, May 20, 1880. 


On tlie 28tii of April. 1849, at Sutter's Fort, 
tlie first Sacramento newspaper, the Placer 
Times, was started by E. G. Keinble & Co., as 
an off-shoot of the Alta Californvi, of San 
Francisco. The merchants in the vicinity rallied 
about the pioneer publisher and subscribed lib- 
erally to secure him from losss. A lot of old 
type was picked up out of the Alta office, an 
old Ramage press was repaired, a lot of Spanish 
foolscap secured in S^n Francisco, and the whole 
siiipped to Sacramento on a vessel known as the 
Dice me Nana (says my mamma), the first craft 
to carry type and press to the interior of Cali- 

fornia, which trip she made in eight days. An 
office was built for the paper about 600 feet " 
from the northeast corner of the bastion and 
near what is now the corner of Twenty-eighth 
and K streets. It was a strange mixture of 
adobe, wood and cotton cloth, but answered the 
purpose. The paper was 13 x 18 inches in size, 
with a title cut from wood with a pocket knife. 
All sorts of expedients were resorted to in cut- 
ting off and piecing out letters to make up a 
complement of " sorts " in the cases. The press 
had a wooden platen, which needed constant 
planing off to keep it level, and the rollers were 
anything but successes. 

The Times appeared on Saturdays until June, 
when chills and fever drove Mr. Kemble to 
"The Bay," and T. P. Per Lee & Co. took 
charge. Per Lee ran the paper two weeks, but 
being a tyro in the business gave it up, and J. 
H. Giles took charge as agent for E. Gilbert & 
Co., owners of the Alta. In July the Times 
removed to Front street, where it flourished 
well for a time. The subscription was $10 per 
annum. In November, 1849, after a brief 
period of reduction in size, it resumed its old 
shape and was removed to Second street, be- 
tween K and L. April 22, 1850, it began to 
appear as a tri-weekly, and J. E. Lawrence 
made his editorial bow. June 5 following, it 
appeared as a daily, and thus won the dis- 
tinction of being the first daily paper of Sacra- 
mento. In July it was enlarged one-third. 
October 8, same year, it was purchased by Lo- 
ring Pickering, J. E. Lawrence and L. Aldrich, 
the price paid being $16,000, which included 
the cost of the building and two lots. Aldrich 
soon sold out to the others. The paper had 
been neutral, but in 1850 inclined toward De- 
mocracy. When the Squatter Riot excitement 
came on, it had been valiant in defense of the 
real-estate owners, but under its new manage- 
ment was less partisan. Its last issue was 
dated June 15, 1851, during which month it 
was consolidated with its rival, the Sacramento 

The latter had been started April 1, 1850, as 


a tri-weekly, and the size of the Times. It was 
the lirst paper printed in interior California to 
be issued oftener than once a week. The pro- 
prietors were (r. K. Fitch, S. C. Uphain, J. M. 
Julian, H. S. Warner, Theodore Russell and F. 
C. Ewer. Mr. Ewer had been a prominent min- 
ister of the Congregational Church eleswhere. 
After he left here he went to New York, where 
he again maintained his pre-eminence as a 

The Transcript was a good paper and aimed 
at literary excellence. Fifth interests in the 
paper sold during the lirst summer as high as 
$5,000. G. C. Weld bought the interest of 
Dpham foj- $10,000 very shortly alter the paper 
started. In July, that season, the paper was 
enlarged, and the rivalry between it and the 
Times became very warm. The Transcript y! as 
started as an independent sheet, but in Decem- 
ber, 1850, came out for the Democratic party 
and was thus the first interior Democratic paper. 

As before stated, the Times and Transcnpt 
were united June 16, 1851, and thus was the 
first double-headed paper printed in California. 
It was enlarged to a size slightly greater than 
the present Record- Union single sheet. G. K. 
Fitch had become State printer, and L. Picker- 
ing had the city printing. These formed the 
basis of the fusion. Fitch retaining a half in- 
terest in the printing, and Pickering & Ijaw- 
rence holding the other half. The editors were 
Pickering, Fitch and Lawrence. The new paper 
found a rival in the State Journal., and in June, 
1852, the Times and Transcript left the field 
and went to San Francisco, where it was pub- 
lished by the old firm, and subsequently by 
George Kerr & Co., composed of George Kerr, 
B. F. Washington, J. E. Lawrence and J. C. 
Haswell. It passed from them to Edwin Bell, 
and next to Vincent E. Geiger &, Co. Picker- 
ing, Fitch &, Co. meanwhile had acquired the 
Alta California, and December 17, 1854, they 
bought back their old Times and Transcript, 
and the Alta at once absorbed it. 

October 30, 1850, the Squatter Association 
started an organ, styling it the Settlers' and 

Miners'' Trihune.. Dr. Charles Robinson, the 
editor, was noted for the active part he took in 
the Squatter Riots. He subsequently became 
the Free State Governor of Kansas; James Mc- 
Clatchy and L. M. Booth were associate editors. 
Sirus Rowe brought the type from Maine. The 
paper was daily, except Sundays, for a month, 
when it declined to a weekly, and after another 
month quietly gave up the ghost and was laid 
to rest in the journalistic boneyard. 

December 23, 1850, the first weekly paper, 
the Sacramento htdex, was started by Lynch, 
Davidson & Rolfe, practical " typos," with J. 
W. Winans, since a prominent lawyer of San 
Francisco, as editor. H. B. Livingstone was 
associate. It was nearly the size of the Record- 
Union, typographically neat, and was issued 
from the Times office, and was the first evening 
paper in Sacramento. Taking ground against 
the act of a vigilance committee in hanging a 
gambler, it lost ground, and died March 17; 
1851, after a life of three months. It was a 
paper of rare literary ability. 

The competition between the Times and the 
Transcript before their union became so M'arni 
that prices of advertising declined until they 
fell below the cost of composition. The print- 
ers in both offices rebelled, and the greater 
number quit. They held a meeting in a build- 
ing next to the Transcript office, which thereby 
acquired the name of "Sedition Half." They 
resolved to start a new paper and secured Dr. 
J. F. Morse as editor. They bought stock in 
San Francisco, and March 19, 1851, launched 
the Sacramento Dally Union, at 21 J street, in 
rented rooms in Langley's brick building The 
proprietors were Alexander Clark, who subse- 
quently went to the Society Islands and has 
nevf'r been heard of since; W. J. Keating, who 
died a few years afterward in the insane asylum ; 
Alexander C. Cook; Joe Court, who was burned 
to death at the Western Hotel lire in this city, 
in tiie fall of 1874; E. G. Jeffries, Charles L. 
Hansicker, F. H. Harmon, W. A. Davison and 
Samuel H. Dosh. The last named subsequently 
was editorof the Shasta Courier, and is uowdead. 


Nearly a year elapsed, however, before type 
conld be had. A lot had been ordered, but 
failed to arrive; and J. W. Simonton, having 
made an appearance with a full printing office, 
intending to start a Whig paper, his stock was 
purchased by the Union men. Dr. John F. 
Morse, the editor, was later known throughout 
California as one of the chief leaders in Odd- 
fellowship; and his death in 1874, in San Fran- 
cisco, was the occasion of profound testimonials 
of esteem being made at many places through- 
out the State. 

The size of the Union was 23 x 34 inches, 
with twenty-four columns, thirteen of which 
were filled with advertisements. The daily edi- 
tion started with 500 copies, and rapidly in- 
creased. The paper was independent, outspoken 
and ably edited. The issue for March 29, 1851, 
was entitled the Steamer Union, and was de- 
signed for reading in the Eastern States. April 
29, 1851, the Union hoisted the Whig iiag, but 
declined to be ranked as a subservient partisan. 
S. H. Dosh sold out at this time for $600, and 
in June Harmon sold for a like sum. April 23 
the paper was enlarged about to the size it has 
since averaged, and appeared with the new type 
at first ordered. January, 1852, H. B. Living- 
stone became associate editor, and Hausicker 
sold out for $2,000, the firm now being E. G. 
Jeffries & Co. They next sold out to W. W. 
Kurtz for $2,100. January 10, 1852, the first 
Weehly Union was issued. February 13 Cook 
sold out to H. W. Larkin, and April 3 David- 
son to Paul Morrill. In May Dr. Morse retired 
as editor, being succeeded by A. C. Russell, who 
remained until August, when Lauren Upson 
became editor, retiring for a time in 1853; then 
John A. Collins filled the place. 

November 2, 1852, the Union was burned 
out in the great fire. A small press and a little 
type were saved, and the paper came out the 
second morning after the fire, foolscap size, and 
Soon resumed its former dimensions. A brick 
building was erected for it on J street near 
Second, the same now occupied by W. M. Lyon 


As the railroads here described were the first 
in the State and still the most important, we 
feel justified in giving an account of them at 
length. The following account, with some cor- 
rections, is mostly taken from Thompson «fe 
West's History of Sacramento County, of 1880. 
The project of building a railroad across the 
plains and mountains was agitated by Asa 
Whitney, in 1846, in Congress and out of it, 
till 1850, and he was supported in his move- 
ment by such men as Senator Breese, of Illi- 
nois, and Benton, of Missouri, the latter of 
whom introduced a bill into the Senate of the 
United States, for a Pacific Railroad, February 
7, 1849. This bill was really the first tangible 
effort made in this direction. The first effort 
made in California toward the building of an 
overland road was the formation of a company 
by citizens of Nevada, Placer and Sacramento 
counties. There were filed in the office of the 
Secretary of State, August 17, 1852, articles of 
incorporation of the Sacramento, Auburn & 
Nevada Railroad Company, containing the 
names of twenty-six subscribers of twenty- 
eight shares each, at a value of $100 per share, 
and the names of the following directors: S. W. 
Lovell, Placer County; T. O. Dunn, John R. 
Coryell, Charles Marsh, Isaac Williamson and 
William H. Lyons, of Nevada County; John 
A. Read, J. B. Haggin and Lloyd Tevis. of 
Sacramento County. A line was surveyed from 
Sacramento City, through Folsom, Auburn and 
Grass Valley, to Nevada City. The line was 
sixty-eight miles long, and the estimated cost 
of construction was $2,000,000. From Nevada 
City the survey was continued through the 
Henness Pass. The enterprise was too gigantic 
for the means at the command of the incorpora- 
tors, and they were compelled to abandon the 

During the month of March, 1853, Congress 
passed an act providing for a survey, by the 
topographical engineers of the army, of three 
routes for a transcontinental railway, the north- 
ern, southern and middle routes. These sur- 


veys were made, and reports submitted to Con- 
gress, and published, witli elaborate engravings 
of the scenery along the routes, topographical 
maps, representations of the animals and plants 
discovered. These reports were, no doubt, im- 
mensely valuable, but they did not show that a 
route for a railway was practicable over the 
Kocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas. 
The demonstration of the fact that such a route 
did exist was left to be made by Theodore 13. 
Judah, the chief engineer of the first railroad 
ever built in California — the Sacramento Valley 
Railroad. It was while engaged in building 
this road, from 1854 to 1856, that Mr. Judah 
became convinced of the practicability of a rail- 
road over the Sierra Nevadas, which was the 
only mountain range that had before been 
deemed impracticable. He made trial surveys, 
or, more properly, reconnoissances over several 
of the supposed passes over the Sierras, at his 
own expense. These were simply barometrical 
surveys, but were sufficiently accurate to con- 
vince Mr. Judah that a railroad could be built, 
and, armed with the data thus obtained, he lost 
no opportunity in presenting his views and 
aims whenever and wherever it seemed to him 
that it would advance the project of a Pacific 
railroad. He succeeded, through a concurrent 
resolution of the California Legislature of 1858, 
in having a railroad convention called, to meet 
in San Francisco, S^tember 20, 1859. This 
convention was composed of many of the prom- 
inent men of California at that time; among 
them we note Hon. J. A. McDougall, Hon. J. 
B. Crockett, Major John Bidwell, Hon. S. B. 
Axtell, Hon. James T. Farley, Sherman Day 
and others, of California, together with dele- 
gates from Oregon and adjoining Territories. 

They sent Mr. Judah to Washington, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, to endeavor to procure legis- 
lation on the subject of the railroad. He pro- 
ceeded thither in time to be at the opening of 
the Thirty-sixth Congress. Arrived at Wash- 
ington, he lost no time in visiting the different 
departments, and collecting from each all the 
information they had that could in any way aid 

him in presenting plainly to Congress the im- 
portance and practicability of the enterprise. 
Unfortunately, this Congress was so entirely 
occupied with political matters that little could 
be done in the way of procuring legislation, 
but great good was effected by the personal in- 
terviews that Mr. Judah had with the different 
members and other prominent men. His knowl- 
edge of the subject was so thorough that he 
rarely failed to convince any one with whom he 
talked of the entire feasibility of the project. 
A bill was drawn up by himself and Hon. John 
C. Burch, then a member of Congress from 
California. It contained nearly all the provis- 
ions of the bill as finally passed in 1862. It 
was printed at private expense, and a copy sent 
to each Senator and member of Congress. 

Mr. Judah returned to California in 1860, 
and set about making a more thorough survey 
of the Sierras for a pass and approach thereto. 
He was accompanied on this survey by Dr. D. 
W. Strong, of Dutch Flat, who contributed 
largely from his private means to pay the ex- 
penses of the trip, in addition to assisting very 
materially the progress of the work by his inti- 
mate knowledge of the mountains. Dr. Strong 
was one of the first directors of the Central 
Pacific Railroad Company when formed. 

After completing these surveys, which were 
made with a barometer, Mr. Judah went to San 
Francisco to lay his plan before the capitalists 
of that place, and induce them, if possible, to 
form a company to take hold of the work and 
push it forward. His ideas were received very 
coldly, and he failed to get any financial sup- 
port in San Francisco. Returning to his hotel 
one evening, convinced of the futility of any 
further trials in San Francisco, Mr. Judah re- 
marked: "The capitalists of San Francisco have 
refused this night to make an investment, for 
which, in less than three years, they shall have 
ample cause to blame their want of foresight. 
I shall return to Sacramento to-morrow, to in- 
terest merchants and others of that place in this 
great work, and this shall be my only other 
effort on this side of the continent." 


Previously Mr. Judah bad placed his plans 
and estimates before a friend, James Bailey, of 
Sacramento, who, struck by the force of these 
calculations, introduced Mr. Judah to Gov- 
ernor Stanford, Mark Hopkins and E. B. and 
CharlesCrocker; C. B. Huntington he knew 

A meeting of the business men of Sacra- 
mento was called, and the preliminary steps 
were taken to organize a company. This or- 
ganization was perfected and articles of incor- 
poration tiled with the Secretary of State, June 
28, 1861. The company was named the Cen- 
tral Pacific Railroad Company of California, 
and the following officers were elected: Leland 
Stanford, President; C. P. Huntington, Vice- 
President; Mark Hopkins, Treasurer; Theo- 
dore D. Judaii, Chief Engineer; Leland Stan- 
ford, Charles Crocker, James Bailey, Theodore 
D. Judah, L. A. Booth, C. P. Huntington, 
Mark Hopkins, D. W. Strong, of Dutch Flat, 
and Charles Marsh, of Nevada, Directors. 

All but the two last named were residents of 
Sacramento, showing conclusively that to Sacra- 
mento and her citizens belongs the honor of 
inaugurating and carrying to a successful com- 
pletion the Pacific railroads; for had not Judah 
spent his time and talents in proving that such 
an undertaking were possible, it is an open 
question if to-day the Pacific railroads would 
be in existence. His coadjutors, named in the 
foregoing list of officers, and some of whom 
are still the owners and officers of the i-oad, de- 
serve full credit for their faith in the enterprise 
and the masterly manner in which they man- 
aged the financial difficulties encoimtered in 
the years that elapsed between the organization 
of the company and the completion of the road ; 
but we cannot forget that ior three or four 
years previous to the organization of the com- 
pany Mr. Judah had spent all his time, money 
and energy in collecting data, without which 
no prudent man would be inclined to invest a 
dollar in the project which was so generally be- 
lieved to be chimerical. Alter the organization 
of the company, Mr. Judab was instructed to 

make a thorough instrumental survey of the 
route across the Sierras, which he did. 

The previous surveys or reconnoissances had 
included three routes, one through El Dorado 
County, via Georgetown, another via Illinois- 
town and Dutch Flat, and the third via Nevada 
and Henness Pass. The observations had proved 
the existence of a route across the Sierras by 
which the summit could be reached with max- 
injum grades of 105 feet per mile. The instru- 
mental survey developed a line ■with lighter 
grades, less distance and fewer obstacles than 
the pi-evious observations had shown. The first 
report of the chief engineer to the officers of 
the company gave the following as the topo- 
graphical features of the Sierra Nevadas, which 
renderd them so fornidable for railroad opera- 

1. '' The great elevation to be overcome in 
crossing its summit, and the want of uniformity 
in its western slope." The average length of 
the western slope of the Sierras is about seventy 
miles, and in this distance the altitude increases 
7,000 feet, making it necessary to maintain an 
even grade on the ascent to avoid creating some 
sections with e.xcessive grades. 

2. " From the impracticability of the river 
crossings." These rivers run through gorges 
in many places over 1,000 feet deep, with the 
banks of varying slopes from perpendicular to 
45°. A railroad line, therefore, must avoid 
crossing these canons. The line, as established 
by the surveys of 1861, jiursued its course along 
an unbroken ridge from the base to the summit 
of the Sierras, the only river crossing in the 
mountains being that of Little Bear River, 
about three miles above Dutch Flat. Another 
]jrominent feature of the location is the fact 
that it entirely avoids the second summit of the 
Sierras. The estimated cost of the road from 
Sacramento to the State Line was $88,000 per 

October 9, 1861, the Board of Directors of 
the Central Pacific Railroad Company passed 
a resolution directing Mr. Judah, the chief en- 
gineer of the company, to immediately proceed 


to Wasliingtoii on a steamer as their accredited 
agent, for the purpose of procuring appropria- 
tions of laud and United States bonds from the 
Government, to aid in the construction of the 
road. Mr. Judah went East and this time ac- 
complished his purpose, asj was evidenced by 
the bill which passed Congress in July, 1862. 
This bill granted to the roads a free right-of- 
way of 400 feet wide over all Government lands 
on their route. The Government also agreed 
to extinguish the Indian titles to all the lands 
donated to the company, eitiier for right-of-way 
or to the granted lands. The lands on either side 
of the route were to be withdrawn from settle- 
ment, by pre-emption or otherwise, for a dis- 
tance of fifteen miles, until the final location of 
the road should be made and the United States 
surveys had determined the location of the 
section lines. This map of the route was made 
by Mr. Judah, filed in the office of the Secretary 
of the Interior, and the lands withdrawn in ac- 
cordance with the terms of the bill. 

This bill also provided for the issue to the 
company of United States thirty-year six per 
cent, bonds, to be issued to the company as each 
forty-mile section of the road was completed, at 
the rate of $16,000 per mile for tlieliiie west of 
the western base of the Sierra Nevadas, and at 
the rate of $48,000 per mile from the western 
Ibase east to the eastern base of the Sierras, the 
atter subsidy to be paid on the completion of 
each twenty-mile section. To secure the Gov- 
ernment from loss, and insure the repayment of 
these bonds, they were made a first lien on the 
road. This was subsequently modified, by an 
act passed July, 1864, allowing the company to 
issue first-mortgage bonds, the United States 
assuming the jwsition of second mortgagee. 
The land grant in the first bill was every alter- 
nate section for ten miles, each side of the track. 
This allowance was subsequently doubled, mak- 
ing twenty sections per mile. The State of 
California also donated $10,000 per mile to the 
road, by an act approved April 25, 1863. 

The engineering difficulties were great, and 
had been considered insurmountable, but the 

financial difficulties were also great, and un- 
doubtedly required more labor and thought than 
the engineering, though of a diflferent kind. 
That these difficulties were surmounted, and the 
originators of the effort still retain the owner- 
ship and control of the road, and, in addition to 
the original line, have built thousands of miles 
of road in California and Arizona, proves the 
ability ot the leaders in this movement. These 
men were merchants in what cannot be classed 
among the large cities, and consequently not 
largely known to the financial world; they had 
never been engaged in the railroad business, 
and were supposably ignorant of the immense 
undertaking in which they had embarked. Aside 
from the natural difficulty of the situation, they 
encountered opposition from the moneyed men 
of San Francisco and other places, who gave 
their enterprise the not very pleasant name of 
the " Dutch Flat Swindle." 

Mr. Huntington, Vice-President of the com- 
pany, was sent East, with full power of attorney 
to do any acts he might think best for the in- 
terest of the company. One of the main objects 
of this visit was to see that the bill which was 
then before Congress should not oblige the com- 
pany to pay interest on the bonds received of 
the Government for ten years, at least, from the 
date of their issue. After the passage of the 
bill, the books were opened for stock subscrip- 
tions, to the amount of $8,500,000, and for a 
long time the stock was disposed of very slowly. 
Huntington, on endeavoring to dispose of the 
bonds of the company in New York, was in- 
formed that they had no marketable value until 
some part of the road was built. Before he 
could dispose of them, he was obliged to give 
the personal guarantees of himself and four 
partners, Hopkins, Stanford, and the Crockers, 
for the money, until such time as they could be 
exchanged for United States bonds. The bonds 
so obtained, $1,500,000, built thirty-one miles 
of the road. 

In 1862 the company was granted the right 
of way into the city of Sacramento, and also 
granted the Slough, or Sutter Lake. The first 



hhovelfu] of dirt thrown in the construction of 
the Central Pacific Eailroad was in Sacramento, 
January 8, 1863, by Governor Stanford, at the 
foot of K street, on the ievee. 

The contract for building the road from this 
point to Grider's, on the California Central 
Railroad, was let to C. Crocker & Co., December 
22, 1862. C. Crocker & Co. sub-let the con- 
tract to different parties. Twenty miles of road 
each year were completed in 1863, 1864 and 
1865, thirty miles in 1866, forty-six miles 
in 1867, 364 miles in 1868, 190^ miles in 
1869; making 690j^ milesfrom Sacramento to 
Promontory, where the roads met. May 10, 

All of the materials, except the cross-ties, for 
constructing this road, including a large portion 
of the men employed, had to be brought from 
the East, via Cape Horn. Toward the latter 
end of the work several thousand Chinamen 
were employed. In addition to this, it was war 
times, and marine insurance was very high; 
iron and railroad materials of all kinds were 
held at enormous ligiires, and the price of the 
subsidy bonds was very low. All of these facts 
tended to make the cost of the road large. 

The State of California agreed to pay the in- 
terest on $1,500,000 of bonds for twenty years, 
in exchange for which the railroad campany 
gave a valuable stone quarry. Several of the 
counties along the line of the road granted bonds 
of the county in exchange for stock. Sacra- 
mento County gave her bonds to the amount of 
$300,000. These bonds were exchanged for 
money, and the work pushed forward. There 
was delay in obtaining the Government subsidy, 
and the money ran short. When Mr. Hunting- 
ton returned from New York he found the 
treasury almost depleted of coin, and the neces- 
sity of raising more means or stopping the work 
was evident. " Huntington and Hopkins can, 
out of their own means, pay 500 men during a 
year; how much can each of you keep on the 
line?" was the characteristic way in which this 
man met the emergency. P>efore the meeting 
adjourned these five men had resolved that they 

would maintain 800 men on the road during 
the year out of their own private fortunes. 

About this time (1863) Mr. Judah had sold 
out his interest in the company and gone East. 
On the way he was stricken with the Panama 
fever, of which he died shortly after his arrival 
in New Yerk, in 1863, at the age of only thirty- 
seven years. Dr. Strong, of Dutch Flat, though 
a sincere believer in the enterprise, was unable 
to furnish what was considered his share of the 
expenses necessary to be advanced, and retired 
from the Board of Directors. Bailey, Mr. Marsh 
and Mr. Booth we hear nothing of after the 
enterprise was fairly under way, though we 
know they were all three earnest workers at the 

S. S. Montague succeeded Mr. Judab as chief 
engineer of the road, which position he still 
holds. The location surveys were made under 
Mr. Montague's suggestions. The road from 
Sacramento to Colfax, or Lower Illinoistown 
Gap, was located on the line run by Mr. Judah 
in 1861; from Colfax to Long Ravine the line 
was changed materially; from Long Ravine to 
Alta the line ran on Judah's survey, and from 
Alta to the Summit on an entirely new line, 
located by Mr. L. M. Clement, engineer, in 
charge of second division from Colfax to the 
Summit. This final location gave a better grade 
line, and one more free from snow in the winter, 
two very desirable objects. The value of these 
changes is plainly shown by the report of George 
E. Gray, formerly chief engineer of the New 
York Central Railroad. Mr. Gray was requested 
by Leland Stanford, in a letter dated July 10, 
1865, to inspect the line of road and surveys 
then made, and report to the Board of Directors 
of the company his opinion as to the quality of 
the work, and the economical location of that 
portion not then built. Mr. Gray's report gave 
as his opinion that the road already constructed 
would compare favorably witij any road in the 
United States. Of that portion not constructed 
he reported that Mr. Judah's line had been 
materially altered, causing a saving iu distance 
of nearly 5,000 feet, and also reducing the 



aggregate length of the tunnels about 5,000 
feet, a saving in cost of construction of over 
$400,000 at least. The road progressed, as we 
have stated above, slowly at first, but more 
rapidly toward the close, until, on the 10th day 
of May. 1869, the last spike was driven which 
completed the railroad connection between the 
Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A large party 
were gathered on Promontory Point to see this 
ceremony. Telegraph wires had been connected 
with the different large cities of the Union, so 
that the exact moment of driving the last spike 
could be known in all at the same time. The 
hour designated having arrived, Leland Stan- 
ford, President of the Central Pacific, and other 
officers of the company, came forward. T. C. 
Durant, Vice-President of the Union Pacific, 
accompanied by General Dodge and others of 
the same company, met them at the end of the 
rail, where they paused, while Rev. Dr. Todd, 
of Massachusetts, gave a short prayer. The 
last tie, made of California laurel, with silver 
plates bearing suitable inscriptions, was put in 
place, and the last connecting rails were laid by 
parties from each company. The last spikes 
were made, one of gold from California, one of 
silver from Nevada, and one of gold and silver 
from Arizona. President Stanford then took 
the hammer of solid silver, to the handle of 
which were attached the telegraph wires, by 
which, at the first tap on the head of the gold 
spike, at 12 m., the news of the event was flashed 
over the American continent. 

A locomotive of the Central Pacific Railroad 
Company and another of the FJnion Pacific Rail- 
road Company approached from each way, and 
rubbed their pilots together, while bottles of 
champagne were passed from one to the other. 

During the building of this road the track- 
laying force of the Central Pacific laid ten miles 
and 200 feet of track in one day. This herculean 
feat was performed on the 20th of April, 1869, 
when only fourteen miles of track remained to 
be laid to connect with the Uniou Pacific Rail- 
road, and was entirely finished by 7 p. m. 

By mutual agreement between the two roads 

Ogden was made the terminus of each. By this 
arrangement the Union Pacific sold fitty-three 
miles of road to the Central, making the length 
of road owned by the Central Pacific proper 
743^ miles, from Sacramento to Ogden. 

August 20, 1870, the Western Pacific, San 
Joaquin Yalley, California & Oregon, and San 
Francisco, Oakland & Alameda railroads were 
all consolidated under the name of the Central 
Pacific Railroad. 

The "Western Pacific Railroad Campany" 
was incorporated December 13, 1862, for the 
purpose of constructing a railway from San 
Jose, through the counties of Alameda and San 
Joaquin, to the city of Sicramento. Its capital 
stock was §5,400,000. The road was 137| 
miles in length, and made the whole length of 
the Central Pacific 881 miles. This road was 
not completed until 1870. The franchise had, 
we believe, passed into the hands of the Central 
Pacific Railroad Company a year before the 
above date of consolidation. The San Joaquin 
Valley Railioad is now the property of the 
Southern Pacific. The California & Oregon 
Railroad leaves the Central Pacific at Roseville, 
and runs from thence to Redding, California. 

The "California Pacific Railroad Companj'" 
was for some time an active competitor for the 
carrying trade of the State, and at one time it 
was thought that the intention of its owners was 
to construct a line of railroad to connect with 
the Union Pacific. This company bought the 
boats and franchises of tht California Steam 
Navigation Company, and for some time really 
controlled the rates of freight between Sacra- 
mento and San Francisco. 

It was incorporated January 10, 1865, with a 
capital stock of $3,500,000. Work was begun 
in Vallejo in 1867, and the road was finished to 
Washington, Yolo County, November 11, 1868, 
and to Marysville in November, 1869. In June, 
1869, this company purchased the Napa Valley 
Railroad; the two railroads were consolidated in 
December, 1869, with a capital of $12,000,000. 

In 1869 and 1870 the Central Pacific and 
California Pacific railroads were at war with 


each other. The track of the Central Pacific 
being laid on the levee, it was impossible for 
the California Pacific road to cross the river, 
and secure depot and switch accommodations, 
without crossing this track. Various attempts 
were made to lay the track and form the cross- 
ing of the two tracks, but these attempts were 
resisted ; and at one time it appeared as if 
bloodshed would result. The crossing, however, 
was made, and passengers landed by the Cali- 
fornia Pacific in Sacramento, January 29, 1870. 
The train was received with a regular ovation; 
guns were fired, the fire department turned out, 
and intense enthusiasm was manifested on all 
sides. The war continued until August, 1871, 
during which time the rates of freight and travel 
were very low, and neither road could have made 
much profit. 

Since March, 1885, the Central Pacific lines 
have been controlled by the great Southern 
Pacific Company. 

The California Pacific gave the " Vallejo 
route " to San Francisco. The trip was made 
to Vallejo by rail, and from thence to San Fran- 
cisco by boat. This was a very popular route, 
and monopolized the majority of the travel be- 
tween Sacramento and San Francisco. Decem- 
ber 28, 1879, the new road via Beiiicia was 
opened, and the trains have since been run 
through to Oakland, and the Vallejo route as a 
line of travel to San Francisco was abandoned. 
The large ferry at Benicia will be superseded by 
a bridge in a few years. 

The " Sacramento Valley Railroad " was the 
first constructed in California. The company 
was organized August 4, 1852, when ten per 
cent, of the stock subscribed was paid in, amount- 
ing to $5,000. The company re-organized No- 
vember 9, 1854, and made immediate prepara- 
tions for building the road. The first shovelful 
of dirt was thrown in February, 1855, the first 
tie came in May, and the first vessel load of ma- 
terial and rolling stock arrived from Boston in 
June. The first work done on a railroad car in 
California was on this road, July 4, 1855. The 
first rail was laid August 9, 1855, and the first 

train wat- placed on the track August 14. The 
road had some little trouble with its finances, 
but was not impeded materially in its progress. 

November 13, 1855, an excursion train was 
run to Patterson's, ten miles from Sacramento, 
the round trip costing $1.00. By January 1, 
1856, the road was completed to Alder Creek, 
and on February 22 was finished to Folsom. 
The length of the road was twenty-two and one- 
half miles, and cost $1,568,000. The capital 
stock was $800.000— $792,000 of which were 
issued. The road was a very profitable one 
from the date of its completion. Its effect was 
to move the terminus of the'stage and freight 
Hues running to the northern mines to Folsom, 
building up quite a town at that point. At one 
time twenty-one diflerent stage lines were cen- 
tered at Folsom, all leaving shortly after the 
arrival of the trains from Sacramento. 

In August, 1865, the Central Pacific Com- 
pany purchased the Sacramento Valley road. 
The purchase was made by George F. Bragg, on 
behalf of himself and others, of the entire stock 
held by L. L. Robinson and Pioche and Bayer- 
que. The price paid for this stock was $800,- 
000. Bragg, soon after coming into possession, 
transferred the stock to the owners of the Cen- 
tral Pacific. The latter company was forced to 
do this in order to secure the whole of the Wa- 
shoe trade, which at this time was immense, 
amounting to several million dollars per annum. 
The short line of the Sacramento Valley road 
alone declared an annual profit of nearly half a 
million dollars the year previous to its pur- 
chase, most of which came from the freights 
going to the Washoe and other mining districts. 

California Central Railroad. — In the spring 
of 1857 a com}iany was formed in Marysville, 
to build a railroad from that city to the termi- 
nus of the Sacramento Valley Railroad, at Fol- 
som. This company was entirely independent 
of the Sacramento Valley Company. Colonel 
C. L. Wilson, who was one of the contractors 
on the Sacramento Valley road, was sent East 
to procure funds for building the road. This 
object he effected, and the construction com- 


meaced forthwith. The road, however, never 
was finished to Marysville by the original com- 
pany. By 1861 the track was laid to Lincoln. 
The name was subsequently changed to the Cal- 
ifornia & Oregon Railroad, and is now known 
as the Oregon Division of the Central Pacilic 
Railroad. Shortly after the completion of the 
Central Pacific Railroad to Roseviile, the com- 
pany purchased the California Central Rail- 
road; that portion of the road between 
Roseviile and Folsom was abandoned; the 
bridge over the American River was condemned 
and sold in 1868. 

The railroad shops at Sacramento comprise 
about twenty large biiildings and scores of 
small ones, covering about fifteen acres of 
ground, and an average of 2,600 hands are em- 


The first agricultural society in the State 
met in Sacramento, October 8, 1852, in the 
American Theater. C. I. Hutchinson was presi- 
dent, and Dr. J. F. Morse delivered the address. 
A fair was held a week or two on that occasion, 
under the supervision of Warren & Co. The 
"State Agricultural Society'* was organized 
early in 1854, and on May 13, that year, was 
incorporated by a special act of the Legislature. 
The first oflicers were named in the charter and 
were as follows: F. W. Macondray, of San 
Francisco, President; Vice Presidents, E. L. 
Beard of Alameda, J. K. Rose of San Francisco, 
D. "W. C. Thompson of Sonoma, H. C. Malone 
of Santa Clara, W. H. Thompson of San Fran- 
cisco, and C. L Hutchinson of Sacramento; 
Corresponding Secretary, J. L. L. Warren, of 
San Francisco; Recording Secretary, C. V. 
Gillespie, of San Francisco; Treasurer, David 
Chambers, of San Francisco. The same act ap- 
propriated $5,000 per annum for the first four 
years for premiums. 

Under the new charter, tlie first fair was held 
in San Francisco, in October following; the 
second in Sacramento, September, 1855, when 
the general exhibition was held in the State 
House and the cattle show at the Louisiana 

race-track; the third in San Jose, in October, 
1856; the fourth in Stockton, in 1857; the 
fifth in Marysville, in 1858, since which time 
all the fairs have been held at Sacramento. 
When the society, in 1860, voted to hold the 
next fair at Sacramento, — being the third time 
in succession at the same place, — ^it angered the 
competing points in the State, opposition agri- 
cultural societies were formed, and the receipts 
fell from $28,639 in 1860, to $18,584 in 1861. 

Li 1863 the Legislature provided for the 
election of a " Board of Agriculture," to be en- 
trusted with the affairs of the State Agricultural 
Society. Under this arrangement the fairs were 
held until the State Constitution of 1879 was 
adopted, which cut off all State assistance unless 
the board of directors were appointed by State 
authority. The subsequent Legislature em- 
powered the Governor to appoint the members 
of this board, and also divided the State into 
" agricultural districts " of several counties each, 
placing in the Third District the counties of 
Sacramanto, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Te- 
hama and Yolo; but at present, probably on 
account of the direct presence of the State in- 
stitution, Sacramento is not taking an active 
part in the district organization. 

In 1884 the present magnificent pavilion, 
east of the Capitol, was erected. It is, in gen- 
eral, about 400 feet square, and cost, with fur- 
nishings, in the neighborhood of $115,000. It 
is the largest public building in the State. 

For some years the fairs have occupied about 
two weeks' time. At the exhibition of Sep- 
tember 3 to 15, 1888, over $20,000 was awarded 
in premiums. 


In the year 1884 A. A. Krull, about two and 
a half miles northeast of Florin, executed a novel 
but brilliantly successful experiment in horti- 
culture. Having several acres of "hard-pan" 
upon his place, he devised the plan of breaking 
it up with blasts of powder. Employing an 
expert, he bored holes in the ground, one for 
each tree, put down in each a pound of Huck- 


ley's No. 2 giant powder, and exploded it, with 
the result of giving to each tree a mass of rich, 
loose, moist earth, not needing irrigation. It 
is now as good as the best land for raising fruit. 
The cost was $27 per 100 charges. Occasion- 
ally a spot required a second charge. Other 
horticulturists are taking lessons. It seems 
that in time all the hard-pan in the country, 
now considered nearly worthless, may be made 
the best of land. 


In April, 1850, the Freemasons and Odd 
Fellows together established a hospital, the 
Board of Trustees being elected by both orders. 
A series of concerts was given for the benefit 
of the hospital, which were liberally patronized. 
The managers of the Tehama Theatre and 
Rowe's Olympic Circus also gave benefits for 
the same object. 

Dr. Dow had a " Thompsonian Hospital and 
Botanic Medicine Store " on K street, between 
Second and Third. The price of admission per 
day, $5 to $25, " according to trouble and ex- 

Drs. T. J. White and C. D. Cleveland had an 
extensive hospital that would accommodate 100 
patients, on the corner of Ninth and L streets. 

Drs. James S. Martin and B. E. Carman con- 
ducted the " Sutter's Fort Hospital," inside the 
fol-t. Drs. Morse and Stillman also had a hos- 
pital at the corner of Third and K streets. 


Several physicians, first at Sutter's Fort and 
afterward in the city, received boarding pa- 
tients; but very few of the sick had the means 
to pay the prices asked. Very early, therefore, 
were the people led to establish a public hos- 
pital. The first was established about 1851-'52, 
in the business part of the city, and among the 
early physicians to the institution were Drs. J. 

F. Montgomery, Johnson Price, Procter 

and George W". Williams. In the (Mty Direc- 
tory of 1853 is the following entry: "Drs. 
Johnson, Price and George W. Williams, Phy- 

sicians to the County Hospital, corner of I and 
Seventh streets." About the same time or 
shortly afterward, Price & Procter established 
a hospital on Second street, between I and J, 
with seventy-five or eighty beds. They entered 
into contract with the county for keeping the 
poor, of whom they had about fifty, charging 
very high fees. Within three or four years the 
county endeavored to break the contract, in the 
meantime establishing a hospital on the corner 
of Tenth and L streets. Price & Procter sued 
the county and obtained judgment. This county 
building was on the northwest corner of the 
present Capitol Park, and was torn down and 
removed soon after it was vacated, some time 
after the war. 

In 1857 Dr. Montgomery was again the 
county physician; 1858-'59, Dr. G. L.Simmons; 
1859-'60, Dr. Montgomery; 1861, from Novem- 
ber, Dr. J. G. Phelan; 1869, from September, 
Dr. Montgomery; 1870, Dr. A. C. Donaldson, 
with Dr. G. A. White as assistant. 

About this time the county purchased from 
James Lansing sixty acres of land on the upper 
Stockton road, about three miles southeast of 
the business center of the city, at a cost of about 
$11,000, and erected upon it a very fine build- 
ing, and moved into it the seventy-five patients 
that were in the old building. (October 5, 1878, 
this new building was accidentally burned, and 
the patients were temporarily cared for in the 
" old Pavilion," at the corner of Sixth and M 
streets, until the present structures were com- 
pleted, in the summer of 1879. These build- 
ings, erected according to designs drawn up by 
N. D. Goodell, of Sacramento, cost between 
$60,000 and $65,000, and are modern in all re- 
spects. There is now an average of 150 to 160 
inmates, each costing the county about $14.50 
a month. 

The Central Pacific Railroad Hospital was 
built by the company at Sacramento in 1869, 
at a cost of $64,000. It consists of a main 
building 60 x 35 feet, four stories and basement, 
with a wide verandah at each story, two wings 
35x52 feet, and a kitciien twenty-four feet 


square, removed a few feet from the main 
building. The hospital has six wards, besides 
eight private rooms for patients, a library of 
some 1,500 volumes, well appointed executive 
and medical rooms, and will accommodate 125 


An association for the care of orphans was 
organized as early as 1858, but it proved short- 
lived. In 1867 Mrs. Elvira Baldwin interested 
a number of citizens, including the Governor, 
in the care of a family of seven children left 
orphans by the death of theii- mother, a poor 
woman; and this movement directly resulted in 
the organization of a society for the care of or- 
phans and destitute children throughout the 
county, and even the State. Mrs. I. E. Dwinell 
was the first president. The society immedi- 
ately rented and furnisned a building on the 
corner of Seventh and D streets, where they 
placed fourteen or fifteen children in the care of 
Mrs. Cole, the first matron. The next year the 
association erected a building on the site of the 
present establishment on K street, between 
Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets. It was 
considerably damaged by fire December 7, 1878, 
but it was soon repaired, and another and a 
superior building added. Also, 1877, a neat 
school-house was built on the premises, where 
the school is made one of the " public schools " 
of the city, in the care of the City Board of 
Education. No child, however, but the proper 
inmates of the asylum, is admitted into this 

The " Marguerite Home " in Sacramento is a 
fine institution for the care of aged dependent 
women, where from twelve to fifteen are now 
well cared for. The property is the munificent 
gift of Mrs. E. B. Crocker. 

The "water-cure" of Dr. Clayton, in this 
ity, is an old institution. 


One of the two best art galleries in the 
United States is located in Sacramento. This 
also is a gift to the public by the celebrated 

Mrs. E. B. Crocker, and a magnificent one it is, 
as its value is estimated at about $400,000. It 
is open to the public free on certain days of the 
week. It is controlled by the California Mu- 
seum Association, who have had it in charge 
since the gift was made, in 1885. In returning 
thanks to the benefactress a magnificent flower 
festival was held at the great agricultural pavil 
ion, — probably the greatest demonstration ot 
the kind ever made in this country. 

In the art gallery building are also the State 
mineral cabinet (in the basement) and the school 
of design (on tlie main floor), — a flourishing 

Besides the magnificent State library, the 
citizens of Sacramento are also blest with one 
of the best city libraries in the State, and an 
Odd Fellows' library, a large one for the kind. 

The principal ciiurch building in Sacramento 
is the stately new cathedral of the Catholic 
Church, costing about $250,000, and built 
under the supervision of Bishop Patrick 


Captain Charles M. Weber, the father of 
Stockton, the county-seat, and practically of San 
Joaquin County, was born in the Netherlands in 
1814, came to America in 1836, and in 1841 to 
California, with the Bartleson party, stopping 
first at Dr. Marsh's, neaa the east base of Mt. 
Diablo. During the ensuing winter he was an 
assistant of Captain Sutter at the fort, where he, 
with an eye to the future, cultivated friendly 
relations with Jose Jesus (pronounced hozay 
hasoos), the celebrated chief of the Siyakumna 
tribe, in this region. Seeing also that Califor- 
nia would probably soon fall into the possession 
of the United States, he began in his calcula- 
tions to cast his anchor in that direction. 

In the spring he settled at San Jose, in mer- 
cantile business, in partnership with Guiliermo 
(William) Gulnac, a Mexican citizen. Not yet 
being naturalized himself, and desiring a tract 
of land, he persuaded Gulnac to obtain for liim 
a grant, in his, Gulnac's, name. This grant was 



of about 44,000 acres of land, in the heart of 
what is now San Joaquin County, called Rancho 
del Campo de Los Franceses, whereon the city 
of Stockton now stands. Weber, however, did 
not move his residence upon this land until after 
the close of the Mexican war, in which he took 
a conspicuous part, for the United States. 
Movinw upon the grant he proceeded to lay out 
a town, which he at first named Tuleburg, on 
account of the great quantity of rank tules in 
the vicinity. Soon afterward he named it 
Stockton, because Commodore Robei-t F. Stock- 
ton, while meeting him at Los Angeles during 
the war, made great promises as to what he 
would do in Congress for him by way of im- 
proving the navigation of the San Joaquin 
River, etc., but which were never fulfilled, and 
Weber was sorry afterward that he had named 
his pet village in his honor. Another name he 
had reserved for it was Castoria. 

Weber was an exceedingly generous man, 
making many large donations to all the churches 
and schools, etc., although, especially toward 
the latter part of his life, his idiosyncrasies be- 
canie rather conspicuous. Had he been as 
penurious as the average man he would have 
been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars 
more than he was at the time of his death, 
which occurred May 4, 1881. In 1850 he mar- 
ried Miss Helen Murphy, a member of the 
celebrated Murphy party of 1844, and they had 
three children, namely: Hon. C. M. Weber, who 
resides in the Santa Clara Yalley, and is manag- 
ing their vast estate there; Julia H. and T. J., 
residing at Stockton. 


is probably the best part of the great San Joa- 
quin Valley, and is characteristic of that level 
section of the country, being but. twenty to 100 
feet above the sea level. The lower portions 
are of adobe soil, which prevails mostly in the 
western part of the county, while the rest is 
more sandy. It has always been a great grain- 
raising section, but, like most other parts of 
California, it has of late years been driftin"' 

more into fruit-culture. All the fruits raised in 
California do well here, in streaks and spots, 
especially where irrigation can be had, for the 
county is greatly dependent uj)on this. Many 
artesian wells are in operation, and schemes are 
contemplated for the more thorough supply of 
water by canals from the mountains. 

The digging of artesian wells has developed 
the fact that there is at least a thousand feet of 
" mountain wash" here, and that therefore the 
valley has, geologically speaking, been but 
recently elevated above the sea. But, to the 
surprise of the world, natural gas is found in 
the county, and already Stockton and other 
points are abundantly supplied with this most 
useful product. 

San Joaquin County, where now live about 
30,000 inhabitants, is the next south of Sacra- 
mento; is bounded on the east by Amador, 
Calaveras and Stanislaus, on the south by Stanis- 
laus, and on the west by Contra Costa, Alameda 
and Santa Clara. The lines of latitude 38° 
north and longitude 121° 20' west cross near 
the center of the county. 

Politically, this is one of the original counties 
of February 18, 1850. In 1860 a slice was taken 
off its southeastern corner and attached to Stanis- 
laus County. 

For the purpose of forming a State govern- 
ment, (reneral Bennett Riley, by virtue of his 
office as military governor, issued a proclama- 
tion in 1849, calling for a convention to fi-aine 
a constitution, and dividing the Territory into 
districts in order that there be a fair geographi- 
cal representation. Tlie San Joaquin district 
comprised all the territory south of the Cosum- 
nes River lying between the Coast Range and 
the Sierra Nevada mountains. The delegates 
elected were J. McH. Hollingsworth, O. M. Wo- 
zencroft, Thomas L. Vermeule, B. S. Lippincott, 
B. F. Moore, J. M. Jones, C. L. Peck, S. Halley, 
M. Fallon, B. Ogden, G. A. Pendleton, J. Ford, 
B. L. Morgan, Colonel Jackson and Walter 
Chapman, — only the first six named serving. 

March 2, 1850, the county organized by the 
election of the following officers: Benjamin 


Williams, Judge; S. A. Booker, District Attor- 
ney; R. P. Ashe, Sheriff; A. C. Bradford, Clerk; 
A. A. Mix, Recorder; B. F. Whittier, Assessor; 
H. W. Aldin, Treasurer; Walter Herron, Sur- 
veyor; E. L. B. Brooks, Administrator; and J. B. 
Clements, Coroner. Some amusing anecdotes 
are related with reference to the looseness with 
which the election was conducted. At one 
place a game of "seven-up" was played to 
decide a question in regard to counting of cer- 
tain votes! 

The court of sessions was organized Juno 3, 
1850, consisting of Judge Benjamin Williams, 
ex-officio, and the associate justices Harrison 
Amyx and O. C. Emory. This court proceeded 
to levy H tax on all merchants, brokers, owners 
of hotels, etc., for the purpose of creating a 
county fund. These business men were thus 
aroused into opposition by such an unusual poll 
tax, and excitement grew so strong that blood- 
shed seemed imminent; but, taking the second 
thought that they could easily indemnify them- 
selves by raising the prices of their goods they 
calmed down. 

The first court-house was completed in the 
spring of 1854, at a cost of $83,920, built of 
brick manufactured in the vicinity, and served 
until it was torn away in 1888 to make room 
for the erection of the present magnificent 
structure, at a cost of about $229,000, in 1890. 
The new jail when completed will cost about 

The county hospital is a fine institution just 
outside the city limits east. The main building, 
erected about 1879, cost nearly $11,000. Two 
wings have since been added, at a cost of $5,000 
or $6,000 each. Present number of inmates, 
about 175, who are kept at an average cost to 
the county of 42^ cents per day. 

The first railroads in the county were the 
" Stockton & Copperopolis " and the Western 
Pacific, both built in 1869, the same year that 
the great transcontinental line was completed 
to Sacramento. The Western Pacific, afterward 
the Central Pacific, was the line from Sacra 
mento through Stockton to San Jose. As usual 

there was a deal of underhanded work, delay 
and waste of funds, and even the citizens of 
Stockton themselves overreached when they im- 
posed so great burdens upon the Central Pacific 
Company in 1869 that they lost the junction 
now at Lathrop. The " San Joaquin & Sierra 
Nevada" narrow-gauge road, running from the 
northwestern corner of the county to Burson in 
Calaveras County, was completed to the latter 
point in 1885. All these roads are now oper- 
ated by the great Southern Pacific Company. 


1849— B. F. Moore, D. P. Baldwin, E. B. 
Bateman, I. S. K. Ogier, J. Stewart, C. M. 
Creanor, R. W. Heath, W. M. Shepherd, J. C. 
Morehead, J. T. Stephens, J. W. Van Benscho- 
ten and John Cave. 

1851— F. Yeiser and W. C. McDougall. 

1852— R. P. Hammond, F. Yeiser and H. A. 

1853— M. P. Halley, F. Yeiser and Samuel 

1854— T. J. Keyes, A. C. Bradford and J. 

1855 — T. J. Keyes, and D. F. Douglass. 

1856— B. G. Weir and G. W. Hunter. 

1857— Thomas Jenkins and T. J. M. Aull. 

1858— A. G. Stakes and G. C. Holman. 

1859 — G. C. Holman and Thomas Laspeyre. 

I860 — Thomas Laspeyre and W.L. Campbell. 

1861 — Thomas Laspeyre and L. R. Bradley. 

1862 — John Thompson and S. Myers. 

1863— T. J. Keyes and S. Myers. 

1863-'64— E. H. Allen and J. E. Perley. 

1865 — C. H. Chamberlain and W.E.Greene. 

1867 — L. J. Morrow and Warner Oliver. 

1869— J. S. Thurston and C. G. Hubner. 

1871— R. C. Sargent and F. J.Woodward. 

1873— Samuel Myers and A. C. Paulsell. 

1875 — R. C. Sargent, John Patterson and 
Martin Lammers. 

1877— R. C. Sargent, R. B. Thompson and 
Samuel Myers. 

1879 — VV. R. Leadbetter, E. Mcintosh and 
H. J. Corcoran. 


1881 — John Patterson, R. C. Sargent and 
C. C. Paulk. 

1883— C. S. Stephens, J. W. Kerrick and 
Samuel L. Terry. 

1885 — H. J. Corcoran and F. J. Woodward. 

1887— J. R. Henry and J. D. Young. 

1888— R. S. Johnson and John McMnllen. 


While the city of Stockton is the offspring 
of the bold and enterprising Weber, its first 
feed for rapid growth during babyhood was 
traiSc with the " Southern " mines, along the 
foot-hills east. During the first year or two 
after the discovery of gold it was a city of 
white canvas tents, doing an immense amount 
of business as an entrepot. The times were 
fully as exciting as those at Sacramento during 
the same period, — a whirl of business, every 
fellow for himself, drinking, gambling and 
sliooting. Before the close of 1849 it was esti- 
mated there were at least 1,000 people there, 
all men, doing business or gambling. Scarcely 
any good manners, scarcely any law, and still 
less execution of law. 

The place was and is still favored as being at 
the head of good navigation of the San Joaquin 
River, it being really at the head of a deep and 
wide " slough," or channel, three miles from 
tlie river proper. According to the universal 
law of social development, society immediately 
Ijegan to crystallize, refine and coagulate. A 
city government was formed under State law in 
1850, and law and order gradually' assumed the 


is the outgrowth of a small beginning made as 
early as 1853. We have not space here to give 
a sketch of all the i mpro vemen ts and enlargements 
from time to time; but suffice it to say that at 
present the institution consists of several clus- 
ters of tine buildings, costing in the aggrecrate 
several hundred thousands of dollars, and situ- 
ated upon a tract of 107 acres, beautifully kept, 
in tiie northeastern part of the city. The 

grounds indeed are a delicious retreat for those 
mentally afflicted, of whom over 1,500 are 
here. The well-known Dr. G. A. Shurtleff was 
for a long time the medical superintendent of 
this asylum, and was more than any other man 
the father of the same. Dr. Hiram N. Rucker 
has been in charge since November 1, 1888. 


Dr. Asa Clark also has long been keeping a 
private institution for the treatment of the in- 
sane in the southwestern part of town. 

The Masonic Temple at Stockton, just com- 
pleted, is a beautiful model of architecture. 

The Agricultural Pavilion, also new, is the 
most beautiful in the State, and tiie second in 
size. The Agricultural Society is an equ il 
rival of that at Sacramento. 


The records and papers of the Alcalde of 
Shasta County were destroyed by fire June 14, 
1853, and tiuis many important points of his- 
tory are lost. 

The word " shasta " is derived from the Rus- 
sian language. Many years ago, and among the 
first travelers who visited that portion of the 
coast, were a party of Russians, who passed 
through California, going from the north to the 
south. They gave a name to many of the more 
proininemt landmarks which they encountered 
on their journey. To the peak now called 
Sha-ita Butte, a mountain clothed with eternal 
snow, they gave the name of Tchexte, signify- 
ing white, pure, chaste, clear. Subsequent 
travelers and geographers changed the name to 
" Tchasta." The early Americans adopted the 
name, and spelled and pronounced it " Chasta," 
but time has changed the spelling as at present. 
The name was also applied to the valley that 
lies at the northern base of the mountain, to 
the river that pours its cold snow-waters into 
the Klamath, and to the tribe of Indians in 
that vicinity. When the counties of the State 
were first organized, Mount Shasta was in 
Shasta County. Afterward a new county was 



created (Siskiyou), which embraces this lofty 
mountain withiu its borders. 

Shasta, despite such curtaihnent of its orig- 
inal proportions, remains a very large county, 
its area comprising 3,765 square miles. As at 
present organized, this county is bounded on 
the north by Siskiyou County, on the east by 
Lassen, on tlie south by Tehama, and on the 
west by Trinity. 

The wliole of this county is more or less 
mountainous, tlie Sierra Nevada striking across 
its eastern border, and a branch of the Coast 
Range striking the western side, the crest of 
the latter forming the boundary line between 
this and Trinity County. Aside from these 
more prominent ranges, the face of the country 
here is diversified by many sliort straggling 
chains of mountains and irregular masses of 
iiills. Standing in the Sierra Nevada, within 
the limits of this county, are several high peaks. 
The principal one of these, Lassen, has four 
distinct summits, the highest being 10,577 feet 
above the sea level. These summits are the 
fragments of what was once a great crater rim, 
formed when this was an active volcano. 

Through this county flows the Sacramento 
River, and the McCloud and Pit rivers, tribu- 
taries from the northeast. Many smaller 
streams are also in the county. This region 
also abounds in mineral springs, many of them 
" thermals," and some of these boil fiercely, 
with a loud noise. 

The western part of the county, and also the 
greater portion of the Sierra Nevada lying to 
the east, are covered with forests of pine, 
spruce and fir. The remainder of the county 
is but poorly timbered, much of the nortii- 
eastern part being nearly treeless. In the 
southern portion of Shasta there is found along 
the Sacramento River a considerai)le extent of 
good farming land. Most of the tillable land 
elsewhere in the county is confined to the creek 
bottoms and small mountain valleys. 

Besides gold and silver, Shasta contains the 
useful metals and minerals in great variety. 
Her deposits of gold, iron and copper, though 

not much developed, are no doubt valuable. 
From the earliest day the county has been a 
prominent mining region, and we regret that 
we have not space to enumerate the many noto- 
rious mines of the past, as well as the success- 
ful ones of the present day. We depend upon 
the biographical sketches in a subsequent por- 
tion of this volume for most of the important 

The northern regions of Shasta County were 
entered by miners in 1850 by way of Trinity 
and Klamath rivers, and rich diggings were 
found, notably in Scott's Valley, named after 
J. W. Scott, who located himself on Scott's 
Bar in July or August, 1850. Governor 
Joseph Lane, of Oregon, was probably the first 
regular prospector near Yreka, while Rufus 
Johnson's party, which penetrated from Trinity 
to Yreka Creek in August, 1850, following in 
his tracks, had been prospecting the eastern 
districts during July. So large an immigra- 
tion set in that winter, from the south as well 
as from Oregon, that the section was in March, 
1852, formed into a separate county by the 
name of Siskiyou. The seat of government 
was assigned to Yreka, whose exceedingly re- 
munerative flat deposits, opened in March, 
1851, within a few weeks transformed the firtt 
tents into an important town, first known as 
Thompson's Dry Diggings, then with a slight 
change in location as Shasta Butte; and this, 
clashing with the Lower Shasta, Yreka was 
adopted, together with tlie county-seat, the 
name being a corruption of Wyeka, whiteness, 
the Indian term for the adjacent snow-crowned 
Shasta. Lockhart was prominent in formally 
laying out the town in August, 1851. Some 
ascribed the first house to Boles and Dane. The 
town was incorporated in 1854, illegally, but 
legally in 1857. Although the place somewhat 
declined wi^h the mines, it still held a leading 
place in the county. 

The decline of the diggings is compensated 
for by the fertility of Shasta Valley. In the 
adjoining Scott Valley, Fort Jones acquired 
tlie supremacy. This place was founded in 


1851 as Wheelock's Trading Station, and later 
called Scottsburg, and incorporated in 1872. 
In the npper part of the county Etna rose 
around the flour and saw mills erected in 1853- 
'54 and absorbed Rough and Ready. 

The southern part of Shasta was in 1856 
segregated for the formation of Tehama 
County. Although occupied by several settlers 
before 1848, the district received for some time 
little addition to its occupants, owing to the 
strange lack of gold, although bordering on 
three sides by productive mining districts. It 
became evident, liowever, that traffic must pass 
this way for the mines east and north of it, and 
in 1849 three towns were founded, two on Deer 
Creek, which survived only on paper, Danville 
and Benton. Thus Tehama received a decided 
impulse as the proclaimed head of navigation. 
It became a lively stage town, and a fine farm- 
ing district sustained it until the railroad came. 
Its prosperity was for a time checked by the 
ascent of a steamboat (the Jack Hays) to Red 
Bluff, wliicli began to rise in 1850. 

In October, 1849, Shasta, then known as 
Reading's Springs, because of the fine springs 
at that point, was a busy village of tents and 
nearly as many people lived on the hill as in the 
town under the same, where most of the build- 
ings now are. Among those who spent the 
memorable winter of 1848-'49 there were R. J. 
Walsh and John S. Follansbee. Dick Chadraan, 
a native of Tennessee, camped on the hill in 
January. Several Oregonians settled on the 
hill as soon as the trails were passable in the 
spring of 1849, and engaged in mining on Rock, 
Middle and Salt creeks. In October several 
log cabins were started up but none completed, 
and several hundred people arriving that fall 
were obliged to live in tents that winter and 
even sleep in the open air in blankets. The 
rainy season set in November 2, and from that 
time it rained quite steady, and sometimes very 
hard, through November, December and the 
greater part of January. As might be expected 
it produced great discnmfort and a panic. Some 
sold their provisions at rninous prices and hur- 

ried off to Sacramento and San Francisco. 
Though freights had been forty and fifty cents 
per pound between Sacramento and Shasta, they 
sold their flour as low as twenty cents per pound, 
and other things equally as low. R. J. Walsh 
was the only man having money who dared to 
invest. He bought largely, and when travel 
wa=i cut off by the impassabilitv of the Sycamore 
slough, he made a corner on every article of 
merchandise in his store, and, within thirty 
days after he had purchased flour at twenty 
centy cents per pound, was selling it at $2.00, 
$2.25 and as high as $2.50 per pound. He was 
known to sell many a sack of flour, cash down 
in glittering gold dust for $225, or at the rate 
of $450 per barrel! In those flnsh days the 
price of a sack of flour was no more thought of 
than now. Dr. Benj. Shurtlefl", his cousin 
Harrison J. Shurtleff, Dr. Hall, from Vermont, 
and Mr. Belcher, from Massachusetts, were liv- 
ing and messing together, and occasionally in- 
dulged in the luxury of a peach pie, which cost 
$1.50 each. The pioneer pie fictory was run 
by Benj. F. Washington, Vincent E. Geiger 
and William S. Lacy. Geiger cut the wood, 
Washington made the pies, and Lacy was the 

Early in 1851 the first white child was born, 
a girl, to Mrs. and Mr. John Carthy, but she 
lived only a few weeks. The first white male 
child born in the county was at French Gulch, 
April 24, 1851, namely, C. F. Montgomery, 
afterward a resident of Arizona and business 
manager of the Daily and Weekly Nugget., pub- 
lished at Tombstone. 

Pierson B. Reading, a native of New Jersey, 
came to California overland as a member of the 
Chiles-Walker party. Becoming clerk and chief 
of trappers for Sutter, he made wide explora- 
tions in 1844-'45; commanded the Fort during 
Sutter's absence in the Micheltorena campaign; 
obtained in 1844 a grant of the San Buenaven- 
tura ranclio; in 1846 he was active from the 
first in promoting the settlers' revolt, and served 
in 1846-'47 in the California Battalion as pay- 
master, witli rank of major. Afterward he 


settled on his Shasta County rancho, but in 
1848-'49 engaged extensively in mining on the 
Trinity River, where fleadingBar bore his name. 
In 1849 he had a store at Sacramento, in com- 
pany with Hensley & Snyder, besides taking 
a part in political affairs. In 1851 he was can- 
didate for State Governor, barely missing elec- 
tion. Subsequently he devoted himself to 
agricultnre in Northern California. He died 
in 1868, at the age of fifty-two years, leaving a 
widow and five children. Major Reading was 
a man of a well-balanced mind, honorable, ener- 
getic and courteous. 

The late Chief Justice, Royal T. Sprague, came 
to Shasta in September, 1849. He with others 
came overland from Ohio, lorded the Sacramento 
River at Moore's rancho and built a log house 
just north of the Potter place, where they spent 
the winter, and in the spring and summer of 
1850 he moved on Clear Creek at Grizzly 

The late General Joseph Lane was also a 
Shasta County miner. He mined in the vicinity 
of Olney Creek and Oregon Gnlch. He was an 
agreeable and intelligent man, with strong, 
practical common sense. He returned to Oregon 
in the fall of 1850. 

The Mexican land grant in Shasta County 
was that ol San Buenaventura, 26,632 acres, 
patented to E. D. Reading in 1857. 


In 1852 Colonel A. H. Webb was living in 
Harristowii, in Shasta County, where he kept a 
store. He shrewdly preserved the good people 
from Indian depredations. During that period 
three brothers named Duncan, apparently of the 
Caucasian race but really one-quarter Indian 
blood and identified with the Cherokee nation, 
were causing much trouble in the community. 
They were large and stout, and very rough in 
manners and morals. One day two of these 
brothers, mounted upon half-broken mustangs, 
rode into and out of every house in the villacre, 
apparently on a wager, but making an exception 

of Mr. Webb's store, as the proprietor said he 
could not afford to have his goods damaged. 
They respected him. But the next day, having 
been taunted by a boon companion with the 
failure to fully complete the stipulations of the 
bet, the two men determined to do so, come 
what would. Mr. Webb gave no more thought 
to the matter and was upon the second day busy 
about the store, when with a clatter and crash 
the younger of the two Duncans forced his 
foaming and struggling mustang directly into 
the store. Mr. Webb turned toward the in- 
truder in astonishment and anger, and Duncan, 
noticing his indignation and immediately giv- 
ing rein to his natural insolence, exclaimed witli 
an oath, " Perhaps you do not like my riding 
in here?" Irritated beyond endurance, Webb 
stepped rapidly behind the desk, snatched a 
loaded revolver and covered the desperado in an 
instant, while he answered with stern emphasis, 
" No, I don't like it; and you have just twenty 
seconds to ride out of here before you get this 
bullet in your brain. Go!" Duncan saw the 
merchant's deadly purpose, and, wheeling his 
horse, dashed out of the store in an instant. 

The news that Mr. Webb had driven one of 
the Duncans out of the store at the muzzle of a 
pistol soon spread about, and while it increased 
his popularity with a majority of the inhabi- 
tants it changed the feeling of careless friend- 
liness with which the desperado brothers had 
hitherto regarded him to one of bitter hatred, 
which every one predicted would speedily cul- 
minate in a tragedy. But more than a year 
elapsed without anything of that nature happen- 
ing, and Webb moved to Bald Hill, in the same 
county, where he continued in the same busi- 
ness. The Duncans were as frequently seen 
there as at Harristown. At a local election soon 
held at that place the three Duncans were, as 
usual, making themselves the most conspicuous 
figures in the large assemblage, drinking and 
carousing. The polls were across the street 
from Webb's store, and Webb, being one of the 
judges of the election, left the store in charge of 
his partner. He saw young Duncan in the 


store, but paid no special attention to it, as it 
bad been so long since the trouble they had had. 

Suddenly Webb felt his long hair seized from 
behind and saw a bowie knife coming in the 
other hand of the villain toward him, when a 
young man named Kit seized the would-be 
murderer's arm and arrested the blow at the 
very instant when the point of the weapon was 
against Webb's breast. Foiled in his immediate 
purpose, but still retaining his hold both upon 
the knife and his intended victim, Duncan 
turned to the latter, saying tauntingly, while he 
savagely struggled to fi-ee his right arm for a 
second blow, " Why don't you beg for your 
life?" " No, I will not," was the answer: " the 
sooner you let me go the better it will be for 
yourself." " Let you go? "shrieked the desperado 
as he struggled in vain to free his arm, " let you 
go! 1 will kill you tirst." 

The crowd separated the men. Webb re- 
mained in his room, his enemy being forced out 
into the street, and, being unarmed, looked 
around for a weapon. Several rifles were lying 
about, but as he picked up one after another, 
the owners told him that they were not loaded. 
It struck him finally that the statements were 
not true, being made through the fear which 
most of the people had of Duncan and his gang, 
and examination of one of the rifles confirmed 
his suspicions. At this moment some one 
called out, " Duncan is in your store; he has at- 
tacked your partner." Webb sprang across the 
street and into the store, found the report true 
and raised the rifle; but Duncan let go, sprang 
into the back door, and as he put his hand into 
bis hip-pocket to get a revolver Webb fired upon 
him and shattered the hand while in the pocket, 
and the bullet also entered the body. Duncan 
did not fall, but fired the weapon with his left 
hand, missing his mark: Webb rushed back 
to the polling place, got another gun, and as he 
merged into the street again Duncan came out 
of the store and fell on his face. The crowd 
urged Webb to finish killing him and rid the 
community of a desperado. A stalwart miner 
named Ridge, who was an educated Indian, also | 

urged Webb to finish killing Duncan. Webb 
would not be persuaded to attack a fallen foe, 
and the latter was carried away by his friends. 
Webb was then warned that he did the most 
injudicious thing for the safety both of himself 
and of the community. Sure enough, he was 
soon informed that threats of vengeance by the 
savages had been made. Seeing one of the 
Duncans passing one day, he said, '' I have noth- 
ing to say to you personally, sir, but you will 
take this message to the young Duncan and his 
brother, tell them that if 1 hear of another word 
of threat being uttered against me, I will shoot 
young Duncan in his bed. Will you carry that 
message?" The man promised compliance and 
probably fulfilled his promise, for no other 
threats wei'e heard from them afterward. 

Webb, shortly afterward visiting the county- 
seat, was surrounded by the citizens, who asked 
him whether he wanted a trial or not. He said 
he did not care — only the time attending one 
interfered with his business. The crowd im- 
mediately voted not to try him and gave him a 
banquet in the evening. 

During the following year, 185-1, Webb 
passed through the Cherokee Nation on a trip 
to the East. He stopped over-night on a fine 
plantation kept Ijy a middle-aged Cherokee of 
mixed blood, though to all appearance a pol- 
ished Southern gentleman. During the eve- 
ning the following conversation ensued: 

Host — " By the way, Mr. Webb, were you 
ever in a county in California which I think 
they call Shasta?" 

Webb — " Certainly. I have lived there for 
several years past, and am very well acquainted 

"Indeed! then j'oii must know my nephews, 
young Duncan and his brothers?" 

" Oh, yes; I know them quite well. Are 
they your nephews, indeed?" 

'' Yes; my sister's children; but tell me, 
since you knew them so well, is it true that 
young Duncan was shot last year in a quarrel 
with some desperado or other?" 

Webb repressed a strange mixture of feelings 



and answered calmly, " It is said that he was 
shot; though why the man wlio did it can be 
justly termed a cut-throat or desperado, I must 
say is by no means certain." 

" Oh, well," said the Cherokee, " it is quite 
possible 1 may have heard it incorrectly; it was 
only a very indifferent account that reached me. 
Please tell me all the particulars." 

Webb told them all, skillfully suppressing 
the name of the store-keeper in the affair, 
wiiich his host did not notice. 

" Wliat became of the villain?" he finally 
asked; " is he still there?" 

" I believe not. In fact, I know that he 
went away some months since, and I have rea- 
son to think he left the State." 

" Well, it doesn't matter; I dare say it was 
young Duncan's fault, as you have suggested; 
he was always a wild youth, and when he drinks 
there is no holding him in." 

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, 
host and guest parted in a friendly manner. 
8ome time after Webb returned to the coast 
some one asked him, " Colonel, suppose the 
planter had asked you the name of the man 
who shot his nephew, what would you have 
said?" "1 would have told him that his name 
was Webb, but don't know that I should have 
taken any particular pains to impress him with 
the thought that I was that particular Webb." 
"Suppose he discovered the truth: what would 
you have done?" " I can't say with any cer- 
tainty, of course; but I think he would have 
entertained me just as hospitably, and the next 
morning he would have mounted his horse and 
ridden out on the prairie with me until we were 
out of sight of the house, drawn a pistol and 
told me to defend myself" " What became of 
.young Duncan?" " Oh, he flourished for sev- 
eral years afterward, but finally had a quarrel 
with some one else and got a bullet between the 


The name Shasta was given the town by a 
meeting of its citizens held June 8, 1850, in the 

front of the store of R. J. Walsh, where Array 
Hall was afterward built. 

The St. Charles Hotel, built by James 
Macly & Co., and the Trinity House, built by 
W. S. Bonfield and David Casanant, were the 
first frame buildings in the town. The lumber 
from which they were built was whipsawed by 
Jonathan Otis and his partner, and cost $1 per 
foot, or at the rate of $1,000 per 1,000 feet. 
These buildings were erected in the summer of 
1850. Macly was a man of great energy and 
enterprise. He subsequently went East and 
while on his second trip across the plains to 
California, was killed by Indians in Honey Lake 
Valley. His remains wei-e brought to Shasta 
and buried in the old cemetery. 

The law authorizing the organization of 
Shasta fixed the county-seat at Reading's ranch, 
but power was vested in the Court of Sessions 
to remove the county-seat to such point in the 
county as public convenience might require. 
February 10, 1851, Judge Harrison and County 
Clerk Uobinson, with justices of the peace 
enough to form a quorum, went to the residence 
of Major Reading and organized the Court of 
Sessions by electing two of the justices of the 
peace associate justices. The court then re- 
moved the county-seat to Shastaj taking it home 
witii them that night. 

The first court-bouse was a log building. 
Later a double brick store was purchased and 
fitted up for a court-house, which served the 
purpose until the county-seat was removed. 

When the railroad was projected through the 
State the citizens of Shasta took hold with com- 
mendable zeal to have it built to Shasta, and 
spent both money and time freely, but failed in 
securing it. The r ad was built in 1872, and 
the town of Reading started. Many of the en- 
terprising citizens of Shasta sold out at heavy 
losses and went to the new town, and since then 
Shasta has made no advancement; and the 
place that was once the most rushing business 
tuwn in the county is now very quiet. It is 
very pleasantly located. 

The following are some of the leading bnsi- 


ness men of the place: Colonel William Magee, 
John V. Scott, Frank Litsch, general merchan- 
dise; A. W. Pryor, druggist; Judge G. R. 
Knox, C. H. Beherns, dealers in grain and hay 
and proprietors of the Empire Hotel, and Joseph 
E. Bell. The town has excellent schools. Mrs. 
D. M. Coleman is principal. The town has the 
honor of having the oldest Masonic Lodge in 
the State, — Western Star, No. 2. The lodge at 
San Francisco was organized the same month, 
and the brethren at Shasta waived their claim to 
No. 1 and took 2. There is also in the town a 
lodge of the I. O. O. F., Encampment No. 14, 
and Shasta Lodge, No. 57; and there is Shasta 
Lodge A. O. U. W., No. 71. 



Sheriff W. A. Nunnally 

County Clerk T. W. Dawson 

District Attorney Joseph Ward 

Treasurer J. R. Gilbert 

Coroner E.G. Goodwin 

Public Auditor D. D. Harrill 

Assessor S. E. Jack 

Surveyor E. C. Gilleite 

Superintendent of Schools Paul K. Hubs 

Assemblyman John A. Ring 

State Senator R. T. Sprague 

County Judge J. C. Hinkley 

Another election was held September 5, 1854, 
when the following officers were elected: 

Surveyor William Magee 

Assessor William S. Hughes 

District Judge William P. Daingerlield 

Assemblyman Henry Eaten 


Sheriff. John A. Dubelbis 

County Clerk William S. Jenkins 

Deputy Clerk H. L. Van Horn 

Under Sheriff William Magee 

Deputy Sheriff John Hale 

Treasurer G. C. Farquhar 

Assessor James Hayburn 

District Attorney E. Garter 

Public Administrator B. Swasey 

County Surveyor A. H. Stout 

Couiity Physician J. E. Pelham 

District Judge William P. Daingerfield 

County Judge J. C- Hinkley 

Associate Judge j J.' W. Grlvey 

School Commissioner J. W. Chappel 

„ . ( L. H Tower 

S"P""«°» ] William H. Dennison 

At the November 4 election in 1856 the fol- 
lowing were elected to till short terms: 

Superintendent of Schools H. A. Curtis 

Surveyor William Magee 

Assessor . R. B. Snee 

Assemblyman . . Isaac Hare 


Sheriff Clay Stockton 

County Clerk H. I. Van Horn 

Public Administrator B. Swasey 

Treasurer James Hayburn 

Assessor William H. Angel 

Coroner Doctor Gutman 

Surveyor E. Linn 

Superintendent of Schools Peter Sherman 

County Judge Joel T. Landrum 

Assemblyman Charles R. Street 

District Judge William P. Daingerfield 

Stale Senator E. Garter 


District Judge William P. Daingerfield 

County Judge Joel T. Landrum 

• . T ,• ( C C. Bush 

Associate Justices j ^j ^ g^^^^^ 

County Treasurer James Hayburn 

Recorder J. R. Durick 

County Clerk John Anderson 

Sheriff John S. Follansbee 

Under Sheriff William H. Angel 

Tax Collector A. S. Killman 

Deputy Ta.K Collector Ben D. Andeison 

Assessor B Gartland 

Public Administrator Dennis H. Dunn 

Surveyor A. J. Quait 

District Attorney James D. Mix 

Superintendent of Public Instructiou G. K. Godfrey 

( John V. Scott 
Supervisors . . •< J. W. Romer 

A. J. Reid 


Senator Benjamin Shurtleff 

Sheriff J- S. Follansbee 

County Clerk John Anderson 

County Treasurer Felix Tracy 

County Recorder J. S. Durick 

District Attorney W. S. Knox 

Assessor Caleb Watkins 

Public Administrator D. H. Dunn 

Superintendent of Schools Grose K. Godfrey 

Surveyor E. Linn 

Coroner Joseph Simpson 

Tax Collector A. S. Killman 

County Judge C. C. Bush 

Assemblyman George Woodman 

District Judge E. Garter 

At an election held September 15, 1862, J. 
N. Chappell was elected Assemblyman. 



Sheriff William E. Mopping 

Tax Collector J. W. Garden 

Under Sheriff Joseph Burrows 

County Clerk Charles McUonald 

District Attorney Homer A. Curtiss 

County Recorder George D. Forbes 

Treasurer Felix Tracy 

Assessor A. I '. Ladd 

Superintendent of Schools John J. Couray 

Coroner and Adiniuistralor D. H. Dunn 

Surveyor J. F. Winsell 

County Judge lour years C. C. Bush 

District Judge six years E. Garter 

Assemblyman J. N. Chappell 

1866— 1S6S. 

Sheriff William E. Hopping 

Tax Collector J. W. Garden 

County Clerk Charles McDonald 

Treasurer Fred B. Chandler 

District Attorney John S. Follansbee 

Recorder and Auditor George D. Forbes 

Coroner and Administrator D. Lynch 

Superintendent of Schools W. L. Carter 

Surveyor S. P. Hicks 

Assemblyman J. N. Chappell 

Assessor A. P. Ladd 

In 1867 George D. Forbes, Recorder and Au- 
dit. ir. died, atid Samuel Cuoper was appointed 

to fill the vac