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Full text of "Pioneer days in California:"

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BY 



JOHN CARR. 



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HiSTORICHL AND PERSONAL SKETCHES. 



Eureka, California: 
TIMES PUBLISHING COMPANY, BOOK AND JOB PRINTERS. 

1891. 



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THE NEW YOi.K 

HR5S77 

^' .AND 

TiLUi^i^ i- j.;,.dations 

R 1919 



Copyrighted, 1891, 
By JOHN CARR. 



RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED 

TO THE 

PIONEERS, 
I^ATITE SONS AND DAUGHTEHS 

OF CALIFORNIA. 



CONTENTS, 



CHAPTER I. 

From Peoria to Fort Leavenworth. 

At Peoria, 111., making preparations for the trip. — The good-bye. — My 
companions. — Arrival at St. Louis. — On the river steamer. — At Fort 
Leavenworth fitting out for the plains. — The whisky and the " veni- 
son." — Buying a team ; breaking mules. 



CHAPTER IL 

To Fort Laramie. 

Starting across the plains. — A blacksmith's shop on wheels. — In the 
home of the buffalo. — At Fort Kearney.^A tempting offer by Gen. 
Sterling Price. — Along the Platte. — Chimney Rock. — At Fort 
Laramie. — In the Black Hills country. 



CHAPTER III. 

To Salt Lake City. 

Fort Bridger. — Col. Bridger, the typical Indian fighter. — In the Salt 
Lake valley; a difficult descent. — In Brigham Young's city. — An 
interview with Brigham. — Proselyting. — A stratagem. — Mormon 
achievement. 



12 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

To Hangtown, California. 

Leaving Salt Lake Cit)-. — Through the Mormon settlement. — Celebrat- 
ing the Fourth. — Humboldt River. — Beginning of hardest trials. — 
Sand and alkali. — Foraging. — Mosquitoes. — Road flanked with dead 
animals. — The Fifty-mile desert.— Sick companion. — Fagged team. 
— Hunting water. — The relief wagon. — Carson river. — Plenty of 
grass and water. — Crossing the Sierra Nevadas. — Through Emi- 
grant Canyon — Reflections. — Arrival at Hangtown, Cal. 



CHAPTER V. . 

Description of Hangtown. 

" Shake " houses. — Gambling. — Sports, male and female. — A Babel of 
languages. — The currency. — Judge Lynch's court. — "Bloody Dick." — 
Threatened hostilities between "squatters " and the civil authorities. 



CHAPTER VL 

Mining Experiences. 

First experience in mining. — The frightened Chinaman. — Foreigners' 
mining license. — A foreigner from Pike. — Helping the "under-dog" 
in a fight. — Fighting Sheriffs. — Hunting for new diggings. — The ants 
and the " graybacks." — Georgetown. — Missouri gulch. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Departure for Sacramento. 

Return to Hangtown. — Departure for Sacramento. — The miners' hard 
life. — Sleeping on a feather bed. — Sights and experiences in Sacra- 
mento. — Thieves, " Sydney Ducks" and gamblers. — Stolen potatoes. 
— On trial for larceny. 



CONTENTS. 1 3 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Drifting About. 

Cholera. — Departure for Calaveras. — Life in a cabin. — A remedy worse 
than the disease. — Excitement over the Gold Bluif mines. — Off 
for 'Frisco. — Frightened by a woman. — San Francisco in '50. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Off for Trinidad and Gold Bluff. 

Sailing on the " Minerva " for Trinidad Bay.— Rough weather.— A row 
with the negro cook. — The bill of fare. — Arrival at Trinidad. — Off 
for Salmon River. 



CHAPTER X. 

Wanderings Between Trinidad and Weaverville. 

Crossing the Big Lagoon. — A mule's tumble down the mountain. — A 
herd of elk. — Ferrying the Klamath. — Disgusted with SalmonRiver. 
— Departure for Trinity River and Weaverville.— Snowed under. — 
Finding a trading post and supplies. — Prospecting on Oregon Gulch. 



CHAPTER XI. 

First Experience at Weaverville. 

Separated from companions. — Generosity of the early miners. — Arrival 
at Weaverville. — Starting a blacksmith's shop.— A public whipping. — 
A quarrel between two miners. — Trial before a judicial officer. — The 
plea. — Thomas McGinnis Brown and the ox team. 



14 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XII. 

High Prices Lynching, and Other Incidents. 

Ten dollars a day for cutting wood. — The blacksmith's shop. — A list 
of prices. — Arrival of women. — Lynchmg. — Extorting confessions. 
— Trinity county organized. — A batch of candidates for office. — 
Rivalry for the county seat. — Humboldt county organized. — C. S. 
Ricks and the belligerent Capt. Tracy. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Officers Elected. 

A sensational lynchmg affair and the rescue. — The accused innocent. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
Changing the Course of Trinity River. 

The "Arkansaw dam." — Meeting an old friend. — A first cousin of the 
Earl of Stanmore the keeper of a trading-post. — A fire. — Lost his 
last pair of pantaloons. — A peculiar costume. — Dear lumber. — 
Gardening. — A fighting parson. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Mail Matters. 

A dollar for a letter. — First postoffice at Weaverville. — Carrying mail 
in a hat.^ — The express business. — Rival bakers. — A Fourth of July 
celebration. — Roast beef and plum-pudding. 



CONTENTS. 15 

CHAPTER XVI. 

A Political Contest. 

A miner knifed and a graveyard begun. — Providing for the winter. — 
A visit to Sacramenio. — A political contest. — An enthusiast's report 
concerning Humboldt. — Weaverville laid out regularly. — Squaring 
an account. — Bringing water from Weaver Creek. — Accessions of 
settlers from Humboldt. — A town jackass. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Getting Homesick and Visiting the Old Home. 

A visit to the old Eastern home. — Growth of San Francisco. — The pas- 
sage to Panama. — A typical Mexican town. — Crossing the Isthmus 
on mules. — High prices. — The railway to Aspinwall. — On board the 
" Illinois." — In dinner costume. — Sight-seeing in Havana. — Fili- 
busters. — Death of young Crittenden. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Experiences in Cuba and the East. 

Passing for a British subject. — A Bishop's palace. — Spanish soldiers. — 
Nude statuary. — Music and moonlight. — Arrival at New York. — 
Sailing down the St. Lawrence. — A glad reunion. — Changes in the 
people. — Off again for California.— Marriage. — Arrival at Aspinwall. 
Boating on the Chagres River. — Nude natives. — On mule back. — 
An anxious mother. — "All legs up." — In Panama. 



1(3 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Return to San Francisco and Weaverville. 

The passage to San Francisco. — Distinguished fellow-passengers. — By 
river steamer to Colusa; thence by stage to Shasta. — On mule-back 
to Weaverville. — The mountain hotel. — Rapid growth of Weaver- 
ville. — The killing of Anderson by the Indians. — Vengeance; pursuit 
of the Indians. — The annihilation of the tribe. 



CHAPTER XX. 

Prominent Humboldters. — A Bloody Tragedy. 

A natural bridge and a large cave. — The Hay Fork Valley. — Prominent 
Humboldters who lived there. — A bloody tragedy; the killing of 
Horton and Eliza Hardenburg by a Sheriffs posse. — Fate of the par- 
ticipants. — A letter from an old pioneer, General Denver. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

The Last Victim of Judge Lynch. 

A murder. — Mike Grant's trial before Judge Lynch, and subsequent ex- 
ecution. — Lack of faith in the machinery of the law. — Judge Lynch's 
last victim in Trinity county. — Civilizing effect of women and 
children. — The first children in Weaverville. — An unsuccessful 
Water Company. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Housekeeping Experiences. 

General Denver. — Housekeeping in Weaverville. — The noble pioneer 
women. 



CONTENTS. 17, 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Almost a Famine. 

The first ball in Weaverville; ten dollars per ticket.— Houses crushed 
by snow; Senator John P. Jones buried under one of them; 
his clever trick. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
Politics, Murder and Fire. 

The Presidential election of '52. — J. P. Albee and family. — The house of 
Carr, Cummings S-' George. — Fire. — Noble generosity. — Rebuilding. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Politics and War. 

Comstock and Martin. — The old pine stump. — A street battle. — Pierce, 
Church &-= Company. — The Home Guards. — Encampment at Red 
Bluff; hungry soldiers. — A Masonic lodge organized; its officers. — 
The Odd Fellows. — First school in Weaverville. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

A Trip to Humboldt. 

Indian war rumors. — Judge Peters and the Jokers. — Volunteers in pursuit 
of Indians. — Uniontown. — Return to Weaverville with General 
Denver. 



18 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXVII, 

A Desperado Killed, — Water Troubles. 

A gambler and desperado killed. — Gamblers and desperados contributed 
to California by the disbanded American army of the Mexican war. — 
Joseph McGee shoots McElroy. — A full jail. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

A Miniature Ireland. 

Conspiracy to hang Doctor William Ware. — First water-melons. 
Serving on a Grand Jury. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

A Chinese War. 

Another conflagration. — A battle between two bands of Chinamen. — 
Furnishing the implements of war. — Many killed. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

A Severe Winter.— Making Homes. 

Plenty of provisions. — A prosperous year. — Advancement in civiliza- 
tion. — Hovey's green peas and silver forks. — Slicing a man's coat-tail. 
— Additions to Weaverville society. — The benign influence of 
women and children. 



CONTENTS. 19 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

The Building of Highways. 

Taking up agricultural lands. — Building highways. — William S. Lowden 
and his public-spirited enterprises. — The Weaverville and Shasta 
wagon-road, stages and buggies. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 
An Exodus of Miners. — Torrents and Floods. 

Improvements in the methods of mining in California. — Characteristics 
of the early miners. — The winter of i86i-2.—"Jefif Davis " and 
the flood. — Immense losses. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

A Sham Marriage and Duel. 

A newspaper established at Douglas City. — Gowey and Hough and their 
packer, Dusky. — Entrapping Dusky into a sham marriage. — The 
sham duel that followed. — How a Jew got his finger bitten. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

An Attack on a Deserted Indian Rancherie. 

Hostile Indians.— Calling out the troops. — John P. Jones goes to war in 



20 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

Disadvantages of the Mail Service. 

How the mail was carried from Hoopa to Weaverville in 1863. — A peri- 
lous Business. — Killing of Walter Van Armon, the carrier, by 
Indians. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Pioneer Politics. 

The Know-nothing party in California. — Its whole State ticket elected. 
— The Democratic convention at Weaverville in '54 captured by 
the Know-nothings. — An Irishman killed. — The lodge-room of the 
Know-nothings collapses. — Ludicrous incidents. 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Formation of the Republican Partv. 

The city of Sacramento the first in California to go Republican. — The 
rule of the Southern element in the State. — Organizing a Fremont 
and Dayton club in Weaverville. — A Republican speaker " egged." 
— Doctor O. J. Gates "fighting mad." — The " border ruffians." — 
Frank M. Pixley's speech. — Threats of intimidation. — Marching to 
the polls. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

First Republican State Ticket. — Effort to Divide the State. 

The candidates for Governor. — Pistol politics. — John B. Weller's speech. 
— The two wings of the Democratic party. — Duels. — Slaves in 
California. — " Virginia poorhouse." — Broderick and Gwin. 



CONTENTS. 21 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

The Democracy of the State Divided. — Killing of Broderick. 

The Democracy divided on the Kansas question. — Fights, murders, 
ballot-box stuffing. — Stanford and Latham the nominees for Gover- 
nor. — Broderick killed by Terry. 



CHAPTER XL. 

The Political Campaign of 1859. 

A triangular fight. — California's representatives in Congress voting with 
the South. — Latham elected to succeed Broderick. — Mourning 
Broderick's death. — John G. Downey, Governor. 



CHAPTER XLL 

The Presidential Campaign of i860.— The State Carried for 

Lincoln. 

The bitter feeling towards " Black Republicans." — Andy Lyons. — Abra- 
ham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. — The Charleston convention. 
— The various candidates for the Presidency. 



CHAPTER XLIL 

The Nashville Convention. 

The seeds of secession. — The political parties in California. — Rancorous 
denunciation. — The attack upon Charles Sumner. — Amusing scenes 
and incidents. — Awaiting the returns. 



22 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XLIII. 

The Firing Upon Sumpter.— A Blaze of Patriotism. 

Efforts to end the rule of the Bourbons.— The seceding States.— The 
Confederate Government. — The inauguration of Lincoln. — Indigna- 
tion meetings. — The movement to form a Pacific Republic. — The 
call for volunteers.— The Knights of the Gold Circle.— Its objects.— 
The Douglas City Rifles held in readiness. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 
The Political Campaign of i86i. 

The three parties. — The State convention. — The candidates. — Union or 
secession. — The State carried by the Republicans.— Governor Stan- 
ford. — The Legislature adjourns to San Francisco on account of the 
flood.—" Old Secesh " and the " abolishiners." 



CHAPTER XLV. 
The Union of the Douglas Democrats and the Republicans. 

The rejoicings of loyal men. — " Union for the sake of union." — The 
political history of John P. Jones. — The defeat of George C. Gorham. 
— John Conness elected U. S. Senator. — William M. Gwin, " the 
Duke of Sonora." 



CONTENTS. 23 

CHAPTER XLVI. 

A Family's Move to Humboldt. 

Packing babies in boxes by pack-train. — Eureka as it was in 1866 com- 
pared with Eureka in 1890. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 
BIOGRAPHY. 



PREFACE. 



Now, after a residence of over forty years on the 
Pacific Coast, the whole of that time being spent 
in California with the exception of four years spent 
in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, and knowing that 
many of the doings and works of the early pioneers 
were fast sinking into oblivion, to be in a few years 
entirely forgotten, it is my purpose, in writing and 
publishing " Pioneer Days," to rescue and preserve 
some of the doings of the common people that 
founded and built up this great State of California. 
Other writers dwell on great events and great men. 
Most of the books that have been written on Cali- 
fornia, and that have come under my observation, 
pay but very little attention to the trials aiid suifer- 
ings of the early Californians, their customs and 
mode of living, their shortcomings and their virtues. 
It is my intention, in this work, so far as lies in my 
power, to hand down to the sons and daughters of 
the pioneers some of the doings of their ancestors 
while civilizing and subduing this their native 
State. 

The most of my time was spent in the mines and 



PREFACE. 25 

amongst tlie miners. My opx^ortunities were good 
for learning their manners and customs and their 
mode of living. This is a portion of the State's 
history which all Californians wish to see preserved, 
for at the present time, when tAvo or three old pio- 
neers get together and talk of their early experi- 
ences, yon frequently see a crowd around listening 
to those tales of early days, and becoming much 
interested in hearing of the adventures of Cali- 
fornia's first American settlers. How much more 
will children yet unborn love to read and see in 
books the aames of their forefathers that Avrote 
their names on the first pages of California's 
history. 

To the early ]3ioneers I would say that tlie 
3'oungest of us has but a short time to stay ; the 
great debt of nature Avill soon have to be paid, and 
our last remains will find a resting-place in the 
land we love so well. Therefore, j)ioneers, let us do 
all we can to leave to our successors a history of 
our day and the men of our time. It will be sought 
after when the places that know us will know us no 
more. To our native sons and daughters I would 
say : We have left you a goodly heritage; guard it 
well. Your fathers founded and built a mighty 
State, which we hand down to you, founded on 
freedom, justice, and equality. See that it receives 
no detriment at vonr liands, but hand it down to 
your children as von received it from the hands of 
3 our pioneer fathers. 



26 PREFACE. 

If I have succeeded and i)reserved in history 
some of the doings of the men of the early days in 
Northern California, then I have accomx^lished my 
mission. I hope that more gifted pens than mine 
will, in other localities of the State, take up the 
work and give to the State and the world a true 
history of California and its founders. 



INTRODUCTION 



When I first began the writing and publication 
of "Pioneer Days " in the Humboldt WeeJclt/ Mail, 
I had not the remotest idea of ever publishing it in 
book form; but, during its publication by install- 
ments in the journal mentioned, I receiyed letters 
from different portions of the State and from many 
old friends, requesting me to have it published in 
book form, and upon my consulting my friends in 
Eureka I was advised by them to do so. As the 
" Pioneer Days " contained many facts that had 
never before been given to the public, I have tried 
in writing those articles to give a truthful history 
of events as they happened to come under my ob- 
servation in crossing the plains in 1850, and upon 
my first arrival in California. 

As to the manner of Avorking the mines of that 
early day, it is frequently amusing to me to read 
some late writers' stories about the early days of 
California. Their wood-cuts of the " rockers " and 
" long-toms " and of tlie miners themselves, are such 
that I sometimes think that, if it were alloted to 
the spirit of man to come back to this world, some 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

outraged miner who sleeps liis last sleep on the 
mountain sides or the flats of California, would 
rise from his grave and haunt the would-be artist 
who drew such caricatures of the early California 
miners. The most of the miners that I see in the 
wood-cuts appear to be old, haggard-looking men, 
with bent backs, slouched hats and wrinkled faces, 
more like the picture of the tramp of 1890 than the 
honest miner of 1850. As a rule the first emigrants 
to California were young men — tlie very flower, 
physically speaking, of the United States; and the 
pictures in the modern wood-cuts no more repre- 
sent them than tliey do Chinamen. It has been my 
aim in this work to give a correct history of the 
times and doings of the men and women of the 
State who were the pioneers of our civilization, and 
who planted American manners, customs and laws 
in this great State of California. 

But few of us old Californians ever intended at 
first to make California our place of residence. Tlie 
nnbounded resources of tlie State were but little 
known to the early emigrants. Gold was Avhat 
they wanted, and, as soon as they had accumulated 
enough of that to give them a " start " in their old 
homes, they intended to return east of the Kocky 
Mountains. California Avas looked upon as a good 
place in which to dig gold, but not to make a home. 
Her climate was not yet appreciated. As to the 
fertility of her soil, few gave it a thought. 

Before the discovery of gold California's expor- 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

tations consisted only of liides and tallow, and of 
but few of those. Her great and fertile valleys 
Avere unsettled. There were but few inhabitants in 
the whole State. The few inhabitants there were, 
each claimed sufficient land to make a respectable 
principality in Europe. 

The great valleys of the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin were unsettled except by a very few cattle 
kings. The whole country was in a state of primi- 
tive nature. Ide\s Kanch, Gen. BidwelFs on Chico 
Creek, Thom's Kanch near Tehama, and Major 
Kedding's, near the head of the Sacramento Yalley, 
with a few others, were the only settled places be- 
tween Sacramento City and the head of Sacra- 
mento Yallev, a distance of over two hundred miles. 
The early miners had a very poor opinion of the 
agricultural resources of the Sacramento Yalley. 
They had not been in the country sufficiently long 
to know anything of it from their own experience. 
Sacramento Yalley — that is, the upper valley above 
Sacramento City — was generally looked upon with 
dread. In the winter it was usually overfloAved, 
and left stagnant water-i)()nds, lagoons and sloughs, 
which, in the summer, became very unhealthy. 
Fever in the summer was general; fever and ague, 
and what was called the " valley fever," Avere j)reva- 
lent all over the valley. 

From 1850 to 1853 the most of the goods for the 
northern mines Avent through the Aalley on x^ack- 
trains, and, if a train made the trij) Avithout liaA'ing 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

fully one-lialf of the packers down with the 
" valley fever," they considered themselves in 
luck. 

The most of the Sacramento Valley was covered 
with Mexican grants, some of them bona Jicle^ but 
the most of them fraudulent. These grants deterred 
many settlers from taking up lands. Law at that 
time was an expensive luxury for the poor emi- 
grant to indulge in, and justice in the courts was 
often blind. Nevertheless, many emigrants crossed 
the plains from 1850 to 1855 from Missouri and 
Arkansas, bringing their families with them and all 
their worldly goods. This class of emigrants gener- 
ally " squatted " in the Sacramento Valley, and built 
for themselves little " shake " houses out of the oak 
timber on their claims. There was an abundance 
of grass and wild oats on the plains for their stock. 
The weather in the w inter season was so mild that 
the settler needed nothing but a shelter from the 
rain for himself and family. As a general thing 
these settlers had not been accustomed to many of 
the luxuries of life in the country fi'om which they 
came, and they needed but little in their new abode. 

I frequently made trips from Weaverville to the 
Sacramento Valley, to buy old wagon-tires out of 
which to make picks. Generalh", when the settler 
found a claim that suited liis fancy, he continued to 
live in his covered wagon until he had built his 
house, and then moved his household goods into his 
house and left his wagon standing. In a few months 



INTRODUCTION. 31 

the wauon would dvA' out so that tlie tires fell off. 
The tires were worth more to him than the rest of 
the wagon. To get tires set was a costly matter, the 
charge being from twelve to twenty dollars per set. 
The tires Avhicli I bought I cut into short i)ieces, 
and had them packed on mules to Weaverville, 
where they were soon made into miners' picks and 
sold to the miners. 

Yery few of these settlers ever thought of culti- 
rating the soil to any great extent. They had come 
from a climate east of the Rocky Mountains, where 
nature furnished them rain all through the growing 
season for crops. There being no rain in California 
during the summer season, it seemed to these 
settlers to be a waste of time and seed to put seed 
in the ground in the Sacramento Yalley. The early 
emigrants had no knowledge of irrigation or any 
artificial manner of supj^lying the land with moist- 
ure to take the place of summer rains. They had 
heard or read of a few valleys on the coast, such as 
the Petaluma Yalley, the Sonoma Yalley and the 
Santa Clara Yalley, where the fogs from the ocean 
supplied sufficient moisture to perfect crops. These 
valleys and some farther south were settled by the 
Spanish missions, long before the country came 
under American rule. They were supposed by he 
great majority of the Americans to be the only 
places in the State capable of successful cultivation. 
Could these settlers have looked ahead to the year 
of 1890 and seen California as she is to-day, they 



o2 INTRODUCTION. 

would have seen the land of which they would not 
at that time have accepted a thousand acres as a 
present, now covered with vineyards and orchards 
producing the finest and best fruit in the world. 
Who would have thouglit, forty years ago, tliat 
California would now be supplying the great Atlan- 
tic cities with fruit and vegetables carried from the 
Pacific to the Atlantic in six days, and supplying 
Eurox^e with millions of bushels of wheat yearly, 
much of these the products of the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin Valleys, that the early miner thouglit 
fit only for the Mexican herder and his longhorned 
steers to live in '] 

I well remember to have frequently been in con- 
versation with " the boys," and to have heard them 
talk of the prosj^ects of California in the future. 
One would hear the remark : "I would not give one 
township in Illinois for this whole d — n State." 
Another person would remark : " I would like to 
bring my family out for a few years, but I think 
too well of them to bring them to such a country as 
this is — no schools, no churches, no society. It 
would be a h — 1 of a place to bring a woman to." 
Many would say : " When the gold is all dug out. 
Uncle Sam had better give California back to the 
Greasers." Such was the opinion of many miners 
of California. 



^?^IONEER DmS in CiLIFORNIS. 



CHAPTER I. 

From Peoria to Fort Leavenworth. 

At Peoria, 111., making preparations for the trip. — The good-bye. — My 
companions. — Arrival at St. Louis. — On the river steamer. — At Fort 
Leavenworth fitting out for the plains. — The whisky and the " veni- 
son." — Buying a team ; breaking mules. 

It was in the winter of '49 and '50 that the writer 
found himself in the city of Peoria, Illinois, work- 
ing at his trade, ironing off California wagons, or 
wagons intended to cross the plains the following 
summer. At that time the whole West was in a 
blaze — everybody had the California fever, and 
every man that could raise sufficient money to buy 
an outfit was making prei)aration for a trip across 
the plains. On the 21st day of March, 1850, 1 bade 
good-bv to inv friends of the good citv of Peoria 
and embarked on a steamer for St. Louis witli three 
others, who were to be companions or messmates, 
namely: D. C. Young, J. G. Boyden and T>. C. 



34 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Gunii. D C. Young was a mercliant of Oliillicotlie, 
Illinois, who was taking the trip for his lioalth. 
He was a consumptive, and his physicians told him 
there was no chance for his life if a trip across the 
plains w^ould not help iiim. Before he had spent 
thirty days on the plains he commenced mending, 
and before we got to Sacramento he was, to all ap- 
pearances, a well man. J. G. Boyden was a musi- 
cian. Wlien we got to California he was paid $16 
per day for j)laying in gambling-houses. In the 
summer of 1854 he lost his life on tlie steamer Gem 
when she blew up on the Sacramento river. D. 0. 
Gunn was an aged man. He claimed to be a direct 
descendant of the celebrated Jonathan Carver, the 
great traveler of the Eighteenth Century. 

Well, in due time we arrived in St. Louis and took 
a steamer for Fort Leavenworth, with our California 
wagons on board. The steamer was crowded with 
argonauts, like ourselves, seeking the golden fleece 
— bound for the land of gold. In due time we ar- 
rived at Eort Leavenworth, where we were anxious 
to fit out, as the Government had advertised a lot 
of condemned Santa Ee mules for sale there and 
they were considered good animals to cross the 
plains. We went into camp on a large timber flat 
just above the fort on the banks of the Missouri. 
The next day the other members of the party 
crossed the river to the town of Weston, in Mis- 
souri, to prospect for supplies for a trip. They left 
me in camp to take care of things, as I was the 



FROM PEORIA TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. 35 

"kitr' of tlie caiiip. It suited iiie very well, as I 
bad bought in St. Louis a "pepper-box," or Allen's 
revolver, with which I wanted to practice, as the 
Comanches were liable to make a raid on us while 
passing- through their hunting-grounds. I made 
bullets and used up considerable powder, but never 
became an expert with my pepper-box gun. 

One day, while in camp alone, I had my first ex- 
perience with Uncle Sam's boys. Two of them 
came into camp and wanted to know if I had any 
Avhiskv. I told them that Colonel Ogden had for- 
bidden us to let the soldiers have liquor, and I 
could not do so. They coaxed a long time, and 
finally wanted to know if I didn't want a good fat 
deer. I thought some venison would go very well 
about that time. "Would I give them a pint of 
whisky if they would get me a fine young buckV 
I thought that would be breaking our bargain with 
Colonel Ogden, but then, we did not agree not to 
trade whisky for a young buck, so I finally agreed. 
They started for the deer, and fifteen minutes later 
I heard a shot. In another fifteen minutes they 
were back in camp with a carcass minus the head, 
feet and skin. Throwing it down, they said : 

"There is your deer; now give us the whisky." 

I examined the carcass, and told them it was not 
a deer, but a hog. They looked at me with all the 
appearance of the essence of virtue itself, and said : 

"You must be a d — n fool; don't you know a deer 



36 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

from a hog ? You ain't i^ot enoiioii sense to go to 
California!" 

Bat they got the whisky^, and I got the "deer," 
without hearing from Colonel Ogden. The sale of 
tlie Government mules and wagons came off. We 
purchased three of the Spanish mules, but they 
didn't exactly suit Mr. Young — he was afraid their 
feet were too small; there was no underpinning; 
in case the mules got into a mudhole tlieir feet 
were so small they would go out of sight altogether ; 
and he came to the conclusion that we must haye 
one animal with big feet, so as to keep the balance 
of the team above the mud. So he bought in 
Weston a big horse with big feet, and felt satisfied 
that we would go through all right. Our team was 
composed of three small Spanish mules and one big 
black horse, about fourteen hundred pounds in 
weight — as heavy as the balance of the team. We 
had a good deal of fun with "Dave,'' as we called 
him, about his matched wheelers. However, it made 
a good team, and they landed us in Sacramento all 
right. We had a jolly time in breaking the mules. 
They were pack animals, and decidedly objected to 
being put in harness. There was some tall " buck- 
ing" about that time, but with the help of our 
fourteen-hundred-pound horse, and lots of patience 
on the part of our teamster, we got them into s(mie 
sort of order in about a week's time. Our supplies 
were all in, and time hung heavy on our hands, 
for we were waiting for the grass to get up before 



FROM PEORIA TO FORT LEAVENWORTH. 8( 

starting on our long and weary trip across the 
plains. The grass was late that spring, and, with 
a few sacks of corn for feed, we started on about 
the 20th of April, for the land of promise. 



38 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER II. 

To Fort Laramie. 

Starting across the plains. — A blacksmith's shop on wheels. — In the 
home of the buffalo. — At Fort Kearney. — A tempting ofifer by Gen. 
Sterling Price. — Along the Platte.— Chimney Rock. — At Fort 
Laramie. — In the Black HiUs country. 

In my last chapter I had got started on the 
plains ; but I will explain here that I hired my 
passage in the outfit, paying one hundred dollars 
for the trip, the regular price being two hundred 
dollars. In consideration of my agreeing to do D. 
0. Young's ])ortion of the work and ni}^ own, he 
agreed to take me for half-price, and allow me fifty 
pounds of baggage. J sold all my good clothes be- 
fore leaving Peoria, and bought me two pairs of 
stout shoes, fonr hickory shirts, two pairs of stout 
pants and one h tt, which constituted my outfit. 
The balance of the fifty pounds allowed I made up 
with liorse nails, shoeing hammer, pinchers and 
rasp — that is, a kit of shoeing tools. Before leav- 
ing camp I got a piece of white cotton cloth. AVith 
a bottle of ink I painted and put on our wagon 
these words : " Horseshoeing done here ! " Be- 



TO FORT LARAMIE. 39 

fore leaving the States we purchased several guide- 
books. Aiuoug the lot was what was called "the 
Mormon Guide-book," which was found the best of 
the lot. After striking the Council Bluff road, we 
found it correct in every particular — distance from 
water to water, and the same regarding wood and 
grass. Our route lay through a line rolling prairie 
country — what is now part of the State of Kansas. 
The first stream we crossed was called the Little 
Blue, and some distance further west we struck the 
Big Blue. Before starting we decided that we 
would travel alone and on our own account, camp 
where we pleased, and start when we pleased. One 
great trouble with the early emigrants was that, 
before starting, they formed themselves into com- 
panies and elected a captain, and bound themselves 
to obey his orders. But very soon they became 
dissatisfied, and the company broke into fragments. 

We were now in the home of the buffalo — every 
day we were in sight of vast herds of them, oc- 
casionlly shooting one for fresh meat; generally a 
yearling calf. The meat of the buffalo is of coarser 
grain than beef, but very tender and juicy. Timber 
we found vevy scarce ; but in its place w^ere " buffalo- 
chips," as they were called on the plains. Por 
nearl}- three hundred miles they were the onl}' fuel 
we had. Some of our tender-feet brethren might 
turn up their noses at a good buffalo steak broiled 
on "buffalo-chip" coals, or a loaf of bread baked in 



40 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

buffalo aslies, but it made a feast fit for a prince — 
anyway good enough for us. 

The first sign of settlement we met was Fort 
Kearney, then occupied by Uncle Sam, with a 
small garrison. At the fort I made the acquaint- 
ance of the afterwards celebrated Major-General 
Sterling Price, of the Southern army. He had 
started across the plains with a large train. When 
near Fort Kearney one of his wagons broke down 
— a box in the hub was broken. There was no 
blacksmith at the fort at that time, and he had 
none in his company. One of his men rode up to 
our wagon to inquire if there was a blacksmith in 
the crowd. I was pointed out to him as a son of 
Vulcan. He wanted me to go to the fort and re- 
pair his wagon, but I did not wish to go, as it was 
early in the day and our train would be far ahead 
before I could get the job done. But as the Colonel 
insisted on getting the job done, as he could not 
travel, and he had a large train losing time. 
Finally he offered me fifty dollars to do the job for 
him, and a horse to ride to overtake our wagon. I 
did the job in about two hours. He was as good 
as his word, and offered me the fifty dollars. But 
my skin was not thick enough for that. I took 
ten dollars and called the account "square." He 
then wanted me to leave the party I was with, and 
offered me one hundred dollars per month to do his 
work, I to have a horse to ride until we reached 
California. On consultation with mv friends I re- 



TO FORT LARAMIE. 41 

fused the offer, and that was the last I saw of 
General Price. 

Our road lay up the South Fork of the Platte 
river for many days, until we came to the" crossing 
which we had to ford. The Platte, or at least the 
South Pork of it, is one wide moving river of sand, 
running rapidly. If one's team stopped one minute 
it was buried in sand. Then our big-footed horse 
did good service. Our little Spanish mules humped 
up tlieir backs, sometliiug like a cat going to war, 
and were afraid to move. We had to jump out of 
the wagons and persuade them, with good stout 
whips and clubs, to go. In traveling up the south 
side of the Platte river we found one of the best 
natural roads, for the distance of four hundred 
miles, that is to be found, I believe, on the face of 
the earth. The scenery is most magnificent. Mount- 
ains to the west are piled up against each other 
as far as the eye can reach. It is surprising the 
distance that can be seen on these plains. Three 
of us went from the emigrant road to examine the 
celebrated " Chimney Rock." The distance did 
not seem more than two or three miles. We 
started early in the morning, expecting to visit the 
rock and get back to the wagon at noon. We got 
to the rock about one o'clock, and it was dark when 
we got into camp, tired and hungry. But it was 
well worth the labor and tramp. " Chimney 
Rock," at a distance, looks like some huge steeple 
I)laced atop of some mighty ruins that for thous- 



42 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

aiids of years bad witlistood the storms and tem- 
pests of the Rocky Mountains. The pillar itself is 
composed of soft rock easily cut with a knife. As 
far up the shaft as could be reached were names of 
hundreds of adventurers. This is the region of 
thunder and lightning and hail storms. Frequently, 
in the afternoon, storms would arise out of what 
appeared to be a clear sky. When a small black 
cloud appeared in the south or west, it was time to 
look out, for the chances were that within an hour 
we would have the whole artillery of heaven 
turned loose upon us, with hail-stones in abund- 
ance. At such times we camped, unhitched our 
mules and tied them to the wheels of the wagon, 
while we drove picket pins over the wheels, and 
lashed the wagons down, 1o keep them from blow- 
ing over. About the 24th of May we arrived at 
Eort Laramie, where were stationed two or three 
companies of soldiers. All emigrants were re- 
quested to register their names at the fort, that 
the Government might be informed as to the num- 
ber of persons crossing the plains that summer. 
The names were numbered, and I think mv num- 
ber was 53,232 — that number of peox>le having al- 
ready crossed before we got there; so you can have 
an idea of the number of people on the plains in 
the summer of '50. Erom the time we left Fort 
Laramie we were never out of sight of trains, 
before and behind us, until we reached Sacramento 
City. 



TO FORT LARAMIE. 4o 

On leaving Fort Liiraniie we soon entered the 
Black Hills country, where we found rough roads. 
We bade good-bye to "buifalo-chips" and adopted 
greasewood in their place. In due time we arrived 
at the South Pass, or w hat is called the backbone 
of the American continent. A person looking 
round him here WM)uld hardly think that he was 
standing on the backbone of a continent. The 
summit was marked with a stake. On one hand 
the rain that fell would run into the Atlantic Ocean, 
and on the other into the Pacific. It appeared like a 
great level plateau — mountains to the north, moun- 
tains to the south, mountains to the west ! Those 
to the west were the mountains of most interest to 
us, as we had to take our wav over them — from 
the summit to old Port Bridger, a trading post 
situated west of Green Kiver, in w^hat is called the 
Wind River Mountains. 



44 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER III. 

To Salt Lake City. 

Fort Bridger. — Col. Bridger, the typical Indianfighter. — In the Salt 
Lake valley; a difficult descent. — In Brigham Young's city. — An 
interview with Brigham. — Proselyting: — A stratagem. — Mormon 
achievement. 

After many days of toil and travel we reached 
Fort Bridger, situated in the Wind Kiver Mount- 
ains. It was a stockade fort, and in the inclosure 
were store-houses, filled with the goods then m de- 
mand by the Indians of the plains, and dwelling- 
houses, stables and everything composing a small 
town or settlement, with a slight sprinkle of half- 
breeds and a few squaws. But the most interesting 
to me was the old man himself. Colonel Bridger, 
the owner of the i)ost. In him you saw the old 
Indian fighter, trai)x>ei*? f^^'tl pioneer of the early 
days of the plains; a true type of the race of men 
that is about passed away. The old man was then 
about fifty years of age, tall, broad-shouldered, and 
powerfully built, with long black bair, wearing a 
soldier's overcoat, with buckskin pants and mocca- 
sins. The old man was quite communicative, talk- 
ing freely on different subjects. Taking him as he 



TO SALT LAKE CITY. 45 

stood, he looked to me to be a perfect specimen of 
the AmericMii liunter. 

Prom Fort Bridger our objective point was Salt 
Lake City. We found tlie road very mountainous 
and rough, and it was with much pleasure that we 
finally found ourselves at the top of the mountain 
ridge overlooking the great Salt Lake Valley. The 
road from the summit down to the valley was very 
steep. Locks on the wheels were of very little ac- 
count, and we cut a small bushy tree and tied it to 
the liind axle of the wagon, which acted as a 
capital brake, and we got down all right. 

We were now safe in Brigham's dominions, and 
had to put on our good behavior. We found the 
city to be one of magnificent distances. The town 
lots were very large — two or three acres in extent ; 
broad streets, with ditches of water running 
through them, and rows of trees set out on each 
side, wliicli gave the city a very neat and home-like 
appearance. There was but little mercantile or 
other business done in the city at that time, though 
Kincade & Co. had quite a stock of goods on? hand. 
The houses were principally one-story, and built of 
adobe. Brigham's house was the largest in the 
citT, two stories in higlit, and it was not much of 
a house at thai. The temple was a large, round 
house, capable of seating a large number of people. 
Here the elders and bishops every Sunday preached 
to the faithful, and abused Uncle Sam and his Gov- 
ernment. We drove through the city and camped 



'^ 



46 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

about a mile out of towu on the eniigrant road, 
intending to veniain about one week to rest and 
recruit our team for the remainder of the trip. 

Being the "kid" of the camp, I was sent on^a 
foraging expedition for fresh "grub," such as 
butter, milk, eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables. I 
had no trouble in buying such things at reasonable 
prices. We lived on tlie fat of the land wliile we 
sojourned with the followers of Joseph. When 
laying in our stores before we started from Eort 
Leavenwortli, we bought only sufficient flour to 
last until we should arrive at Salt Lake, expecting 
to replenish our stock there for the remainder of 
the trip. When we got to Salt Lake, however, we 
found that we could not buy anything in the shape 
of bread-stuff on account of an order Brigham 
Young had made that no bread-stuff should be sold 
until the new crop came in. This left us in a bad 
fix, for we would have to lie over six or seven 
weeks, much against our will, and the faithful 
would not, or dare not, disobey the orders of their 
prophet, priest and king. 

On one of my foraging expeditions I met Brig- 
ham himself. I had become acquainted with an 
old Yermont lady who made excellent butter, and 
who was a splendid talker on her side of the ques- 
tion. She tried hard to convert me, and told me I 
would make a splendid Mormon. During one of 
mv visits to her house I met a gentleman of about 



TO SALT LAKE CITY. 47 

fortv years of aij^e, very ])leasinc; in bis address. 
About tbe first question lie put to me was : 

"Young man, are you as anxious for tbe salvation 
of your soul as you are to go to California and get 
gold ?" 

My answer was tbat tbe salvation of my soul did 
not botber me niucb about tbat time. He wanted 
to know my name, wbere I was from, wbat relisrion 
I professed, my occupation, and if I bad any prej- 
udice against tbe Mormons. All of tbe questions 
were properly answered. As regards prejudice 
against tbe Mormons I bad none, as I bad never 
seen a Mormon to my knowledge until I arrived 
at Salt Lake. He tben proposed to me to stay at 
Salt Lake and be would give me employment until 
fall at five dollars per day, and if we liked eacli 
otber, be would tben start me in business ; and as 
furtber inducement, if T would join the Oburcb I 
would no doubt rise to eminence as a servant of tbe 
Lord and a pillar of tbe Cburcb. All of wbicb I 
respectfully declined. Tbe next da}' I called on 
my Vermont lady friend. Sbe wanted to know 
bow I liked tbe Governor. 

" Governor wbo ?" I asked. 

"Wby, Governor Young — tbe gentleman you 
were talking to yesterday !" 

"Great Scott! Was tbat Governor Young'?" 

"Yes, indeed it was, and be bas taken a liking to 
you. You bad better stay bere and take bis offer." 

I bave often tbougbt wbat a fine old Mormon 



4(S PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

elder I would have made, or maybe a hishop, with 
half a dozen wives, and no end of young Mormons. 
But Brighain and the saints lost an elder or a 
bishop, and California gained a blacksmith. 

The bqys in camp were by this time getting very 
uneasy and wanted to be moving. They had 
searched all over the settlement to buy one liun- 
dred pounds of bread-stuff, but could iiot get an 
ounce. 

One evening Dave came- into camp cursing 
Brigham and the Mormons generally, wishing 
them all in hades. Next morning he gave me one 
hundred dollars, ajid told me to give it for one 
hundred pounds of flour or corn meal if I could 
get it. I first tried my Yermont lady friend, but 
it was in vain — she was too good a Mormon to dis- 
obey orders. The next place I tried was a farm 
house, where an old gentleman was sitting on the 
fence in front of tli,e house. 

"Good morning, neighbor. Have you any flour 
or corn meal to sell?" 

"Nay, lad, I ha' not.'' 

I knew at once he w^^s an Englishman, and I 
decided to use a little strategy, so I said : 

"Sir, by your language I would take you to be a 
countrynjan of mine." 

" Be thee English, lad'? Where be thee from?'' 

" I am from Yorkshire, sir." 

"What toon, lad?" 

"The town of Hadden, sir.'' 



TO SALT LAKE CITY. 49 

"Be thoe fro' the toon of Hacldeu ^ What be 
thy name Lid V 
"IvSaiah GilLird." 
" AYhat thy father's name ?" 
"ErankGillard, sir." 

"And be thy mother's name Hannah Fox?" 
And the old Briton surveyed me from head to 
foot, and finally said, "I believe thee, lad. I knew 
they father and mother well." And he surveyed 
me again. " So thee be the son of Frank Gillard 
and Hannah Fox? Come to the house, lad, and 
the gude wife will mak' thee welcome." 

We went into the house, and the old gentleman 
introduced me to his wife as the son of their old 
friends Frank Gillard and Hannah Fox of Had- 
den. The old lady wiped her specks with her 
apron, phiced them on her nose, and coming close 
up to me and looking straight into my eyes for 
some time, slie exclaimed: 

" Truly, thee be tlie son of Hannah Fox, for tlvee 
have thv mother's eves and hair. A bonny lass 
she was when she stood up in Hadden church to 
be married to thy father.'' 

And with that the old lady gave me a good 
heart v kiss for my mother's sake. The old 
Briton would not think of my leaving until I 
had dinner with them, and had given him a his- 
tory of my father and all the family. The old lady 
had a good cry when I told her of my mother's 



50 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

death some years previous. Before I left the old 
man said : 

"Betty, cannot we help tlie son of our old friend 
with some corn nieaP" 

"Yes, Davey, we can ^i' him the last in the 
house, wi' God's blessing on the lad," The old 
man said, "I cannot sell thee any meal, but if thee 
and thy comrades will hoe that patch of potatoes 
for me I will give thee one hundred pounds of 
meal," pointing to a small patch of potatoes in 
front of the house. I said we would do the hoeing 
to-morrow. 

I will explain how I became a Yorkshire man, 
though never having seen either England or York- 
shire, much less the town of Hadden. When serv- 
ing my apprenticeship in Canada, I had a fellow- 
apx^rentice by the name of Isaiah Gillard. We were 
very warm friends, for boys, and I frequently went 
to his father's and spent Sunday with his people ; 
and hearing them talk of things and x3eoi)le in 
Yorkshire, I became quite familiar with names and 
places. I gave this Mormon family a Iiistory o 
their friends, the Gillards, using a little deception 
which did them no harm and us a great deal of 
good. I went to camp and reported progress. We 
were a happy set that night and started next morn- 
ing for the old man's potato patch and made short 
work of it. I told the boys to call me Isaiah instead 
of Jack when addressing me in the presence of my 
English friends. We got our corn meal, with a 



TO SALT LAKE CITY. 51 

good dinner thrown in, and went our way rejoicing. 
So much for a little strategy. I must say a good 
word for the Mormons, but will leave it for the 
next chapter. 



52 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER IV. 

To Hangtown, California. 

Leaving Salt Lake City. — Through the Mormon settlement. — Celebrat- 
ing the Fourth. — Humboldt river. — Beginning of hardest trials. — 
Sand and alkali. — Foraging. — Mosquitoes. — Road flanked with dead 
animals. — The Fifty-mile desert. — Sick companion. — Fagged team. 
— Huntmg water. — The relief wagon. — Carson river. — Plenty of 
grass and water. — Crossing the Sierra Nevadas. — Through Emi- 
grant Canyon — -Reflections, — Arrival at Hangtown, Cal. 

It was in 1850 th;it I was in Morinondoni. In 
1847 the Mormons were driven from the border 
States, and much of their property destroyed. 
With the little they had left, they started with 
their wives and little ones on a journey of over 
one thousand miles, across what was at that time 
known as the Great American Desert. Encounter- 
ing hardship and privation, climbing mountains, 
dragging their wagons over mountains with ropes, 
when their worn-out teams got too weak from want 
of feed and otlier causes to be of much benefit to 
them, surrounded with hostile Indians on every 
side, they still pressed on to their land of promise. 
It was less tlian three years from their first arrival 
in tlie valley when I was there. It would almost 



TO HANGTOWN, CALIFORNIA. 53 

seem loo incredible for belief that so much could 
be done in the short space of three years. Here 
was the city laid out and partly built, water ditches 
dug from tlie mountain stream, houses and barns 
built, farms laid out and fenced, mills built and 
running, school-houses built and occupied, churches 
erected and dedicated. There were no drones in 
the hive there. When we take into consideration 
that these people were poor in this world's goods, 
poor in everything but faith, with no capital but 
willing hands and stout arms, no matter how much 
we may denounce their religious practices, we must 
give them credit for perseverance and industry. 

Leaving Salt Lake City, our road led up the 
valley through the Mormon settlement ; on every 
hand thrift and industry were apparent. On the 
4th day of July, we arrived at the crossing of Bear 
River, a stream emptying into the Great Salt 
Lake. At the crossing we were stopped by a lot of 
the emigrant boys, who had concluded to celebrate 
the "Glorious Pourth." We concluded to lie over 
and have a time. Before niiirht there were at least 
seventy-five or eighty wagons stopped the same as 
we were. We had a general good time — an oration, 
and a stag dance at night. Boyden, our fiddler, 
came into use, and furnished the music for the oc- 
casion. Next morning we started again, and in 
time reached the Humboldt Biver; then our trials 
began. 

Our trip so far was to me but a pleasure excur- 



54 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

sioii. Wo found the Humboldt Eiiver very high — 
swollen by the melting snows of the mountains, 
with the roads in poor condition, and scarcely any 
feed, as the teams ahead of us had devoured every 
green thing in sight. Back from the bottoms of 
the river nothing but sand and alkali deserts were 
to be seen ; but plenty of grass just across the river, 
if we could but reach it. Frequently, after a hard 
day's travel, we would have to tie our animals up 
and cut bunches of willows for them to gnaw on 
during the night. They commenced getting poor 
and weak, and I knew something must be done or 
we would be left without a team. On the other 
side of the river was x^lenty of feed, and I made up 
my mind that I was going to get some of it. When 
we camped about the middle of the afternoon, I 
told the boys I would have some of that grass. They 
said: "How are you going to get it?" "I will 
show you." T got a large butclier knife and a 
picket-rope, and divesting myself of my clothes 
and tying a rope around my body, with the knife 
in my teeth, I bolted into the river and struck out for 
grass on the other side. I reached the other shore 
and went into the grass with my knife, but there 
was one enemy I had not calculated on, and that 
was the mosquitoes; they had a good chance to get 
at me. I would make one stroke at the grass and 
two at my tormentors. When I got back over the 
river I looked like a bad case of the measles. They 
were the largest and hungriest lot of mosquitoes 



TO HANGTOWN, CALIFORNIA. 55 

that ever attaclved a Iminan being. Well, I got two 
good bundles of grass cut and tied up, and now 
came the tug of war, to get them across. The 
river was quite rapid. I looked out for a good 
landing on the other side, and went far up the 
stream to be sure I couUl make it. Throwing tlie 
bundles into the stream, and taking a bight of the 
rope round my body, I struck out for camp. I 
made my calculation all right, and landed my 
cargo of hay, a good night's feed for our team, but 
was myself minus about one quart of blood. In 
this way we procured feed and kej)t our team alive. 
For three or four weeks we were never out of sight 
of dead animals, and the stench was horrible. 
After many days of toil and hardship we arrived 
at the sink of the Humboldt. The sink appeared 
quite a lake at that time, as the melting snow in 
the mountains kept the Humboldt River full. 
Erom the sink of Humboldt to Carson River was 
called fifty miles. This fifty miles was a desert 
without one drop of water in it, the largest portion 
being drifting sand; a hard journey for worn-out 
teams and men to make, but it had to be made. 
Resting for one da} , we started about 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon, first filling our canteens with water 
to drink on the way. Eor the first twelve or 
fourteen miles the road was good, traversing what 
seemed to be a bed of scoriae. H^ot a living thing 
in sight, everywhere a dreary waste, we traveled 
all that night. Next morning found us traveling 



56 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

tlivougli sand sncli that the wheels of the wagon 
sank in eight or ten inches, which made onr pro- 
gress very slow. As the sun rose higher in the 
heavens the heat became verj^ oppressive, and onr 
team required considerable urging to be kept mov- 
ing. We worried along all that day, nothing but 
sand all around us, and, to make matters worse, 
two of our men were taken down with the mount- 
ain fever and had to be hauled in the wagon. This 
left but Dave Young and myself to work the team 
through. About sundown we could urge the team 
no further. Here we were, with our team given 
out, two sick comrades, and not knowing how far 
we were from water. I proposed to Young that, if 
he would stay by the team and our sick comrades, 
I would take our four canteens and go to the river 
for water. He consented, and I started for Oarson 
River a little after dark. When I had traveled 
about two hours, I preceived a fire burning on the 
side of the road. It was a welcome sight to me- 
When I came to it I found three men sitting 
around the fire, and two wagons with their tongues 
pointing to the road. I came up to the fire and 
spoke to them, and they wanted to know if I would 
not take a cup of coffee. They had a large camp 
kettle on the fire filled with coffee and gave me a 
tin cup full and all I wanted. I wished to pay, but 
they would not take a cent. They good-naturedly 
told me if I lived in California I some day would 
have to ]3ay for it. They were sent out by the 



TO HANGTOWN, CALIFORNIA. 



Government as a relief train to meet the emigra- 
tion and help them as well as they could. The}' 
did good work. I found from them that it was 
only two miles to Oarson River. After resting a 
short time and taking another cup of coffee, I 
shouldered my canteens and started for Carson 
river, a new man. I got there in a short time. Fill- 
ing my canteens, I started hack, and reached my 
friends of the relief train, and found they had gone 
to bed, but left the coffee on the fire, to which I 
helped mj^self liberally. I reached our wagon just 
as the day was breaking, with my four canteens 
full of water, bringing life and courage to our sick 
men. Dave struck up a fire and we soon had 
breakfast. We gave three of the canteens of water 
to the team, and some of thecornmeal, which, after 
their night's rest, gave them new life. We started 
as soon as possible tso as to reach Oarson River be- 
fore the heat of the day, and got there all right. 
There our troubles ended. We found plenty of 
grass and water from there to California. For the 
last twenty miles of the desert a man could walk 
on dead animals all the way, and as for other prop- 
erty you could find anything you wanted, from a 
pair of socks to a four-horse wagon. The sides of 
the road were just littered with all sorts of things 
thrown away and abandoned. 

We laid over for a few days to recruit and rest. 
The balance of the trip through Carson Valley with 
its fine mountain brooks and meadows, looked to 



58 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

me like a paradise, after traveling throu£jh so much 
desert. There we found several trading posts — 
people who had come from Sacramento to buy 
poor stock and trade with the emigrants. We had 
but the Sierra Nevada Mountains to cross and our 
trip would be at an end. Our team picked up well 
while in the Carson Valley, and our sick men got 
all right. We started through what was then 
called Emigrant Canyon, for the summit of the 
Sierras. This canyon wa.s piled full of rocks, 
thrown together bv nature without anv resrard for 
the comfort or the convenience of those poor 
mortals who had to travel over them. Frequently 
we had to lift our wagon, first the forward wheels, 
then the hind wheels, over them. We arrived at 
the summit in due time, where we could look down 
on our land of Canaan — our promised land. Now, 
after a lapse of nearly thirty-eight years, when my 
mind wanders back to the time when I first stood 
on the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains 
and looked over the great plains of California, soon 
to be reached, the thought comes, how many of 
that grand army, one hundred thousand strong, of 
the youthful manhood of the land, who, like my- 
self, stood on the summit of the lofty Sierras and 
took their first view of the then to-be great State of 
California, how manv of them are now in the land 
of the living'? Alas, but few of us are living ! 
Many fell early in the fight. How many of them 
accomplished their desires? I am afraid but ver}- 



TO HANGTOWN, CALIFORNIA. 59 

few. Many of tbeiu have filled unknown graves, 
far from home and kindred, with no kind friends 
to drop a tear or j^lant a sprig over their unmarked 
graves in tlie mountains and gulches of California. 
But their deeds live after them. They planted on 
the shores of the broad Pacific a mighty empire, 
whose foundation is laid in liberty, truth, civiliza- 
tion and justice, and which will remain a monument 
to their memories forever. 

Erom the summit of the Sierras to Hangtown was 
soon made without any trouble, the only thing of 
note being "grizzlies,"' which were quite plentiful on 
the western slope of the mountains. We arrived 
at Hangtown, now Placerville, on the 9th day of 
August, 1850, all right, not a bit the worse for wear, 
and ready for anything which might turn up. 



60 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER V. 
Description of Hangtown. 

" Shake " houses. ^ — Gambling. — Sports, male and female. — A Babel of 
languages. — The currency. — Judge Lynch's court. — "Bloody Dick." — 
Threatened hostilities between "squatters " and the civil authorities. 

Here we were in California. At last our loni^ 
and tedious journey was over. As a whole I en- 
joyed it. Sometimes we fared well, at other times 
not very well ; but, all in all, our trip was a good 
one. 

We found Hangtown, or what is now called 
Placerville, to be two rows of houses with a street 
between them. The houses were built principally 
of shakes, with posts driven into the ground on 
which to nail the shakes. There were about fifty 
or sixty of these houses in the place when we ar- 
rived there, the largest four of which were run as 
gambling-houses, and were in full operation at that 
time. All sorts of games were in full blast, such 
as monte, faro, lansquenet and Erench monte, 
sometimes called three-card monte. Each 
gambling-house had from four to eight tables, 
which werQ loaded with gold and silver, great 



DESCRIPTION OF HANGTOWN- 61 

stacks of which were there to tempt the unwary 
miner to try his luck, whicli he often did to his 
sorrow. The tables were presided over by '^sports," 
as they then were called, who were considered the 
aristocracy of the country. They generally wore 
white shirts and dressed in what the bovs called 
"store clothes.'' If a man came into camp with a 
boiled shirt on, he was set down as a sport, and 
generally correctly so. Erequently they would 
have a female ''sport'' at the table. She was gen- 
erally well jiainted and dressed in the richest 
attire, and, as a rule, was a daughter of la belle 
France. The tables they presided over were gen- 
erally well patronized, and many a well-lilled 
purse of gold dust of some soft-pated miner was 
drawn in by these gilded damsels of France and 
Germany. 

Hangtown at that time was a perfect Babel ; men 
from all the principal nations of the world seemed 
to have gathered there. You could hear the lan- 
guage of nearly every civilized nation spoken in 
the streets of that little burg, and the coin of every 
realm passed current; but the most of the money 
was Mexican. Mexican gold onzas, worth 
sixteen dollars, and Mexican silver dollars 
were the most used, but the principal circulat- 
ing medium was gold dust. Everybody had 
gold dust, and nearly everything bought and 
sold was paid for in gold dust, at the rate of six- 
teen dollars per ounce. Hangtown, when I arrived 



62 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

on the 9tli of August, was but a small place ; but 
before T left, two niontlis later, it bad grown 
twenty times as large, buudreds of emigrants ar- 
riving daily, taking up lots and building bouses, 
and starting different lines of business. All was 
bustle and excitement. No land monopolist al- 
lowed, or town lot speculators. Henry George's 
land tbeorv wasfullvin force. No man was allowed 
more lots than bis business required, and if be 
dared claim any more be generall}^ got tbe worst 
of it. Henry George's tbeory was fully in practice 
in California before Henry George ever thougbt of 
it, and maybe it was from tbe early Californians 
tliat Henry George caugbt bis inspiration on 
land matters. 

Tlie early fatbers of California bad a very simple 
and easy metbod of governing tbe country and ad- 
ministering tbe laws, and a very effective uietbod 
it was at tbe same time. I will give you an in- 
stance of my first experience, and wbat I saw be- 
fore tbe bar of Judge Ly neb's court. This was 
my first attendance at His Honor's court, but by 
no means tbe last. I was standing looking on at 
tbe games tbat were being dealt at the El Dorado 
saloon. In tbe game I was looking at there were 
three or four miners betting. It w as the game of 
monte. One of tbe miners accused tbe dealer of 
drawing waxed cards on him; or, in other words, 
cbeating bim out of bis dust. Tbe gambler told 
him if be said so again be would cut tlie beart out 



DESCRIPTION OF HANGTOAVN. 63 

of liiiii. The miner repeated the words, when the 
gambler raised out of his seat, drew a Lirge bowie 
knife out of his belt and plunged it twice into the 
man's heart ; at the last plunge he turned the 
knife around in the man's body- Pullini>- the knife 
out of the body and wiping tlie blood off' with his 
liandkerchief, he coollv remarked: "You will 
never tell me I lied again." The gambler was 
known as "Bloody Dick," or "New Orleans Dick." 
He was a New Orleans Irishman, and a bard case. 
Rumor said that this was the third man he had 
killed. I was within three or four feet of the man 
when he fell oflf his seat and expired. Word went 
immediately throughout the town that " Bloody 
Dick '' had killed a man. In the meantime two 
men had seized him and taken his arms away, and 
in less than one minute be was surrounded by forty 
or fifty excited men, well armed, with a full determi- 
nation that he would not liave a chance to kill any 
more. It had been the custom among the gamblers, 
when one of the fraternity got into a scrape, to see 
him out. Ten or twelve drew their revolvers, but, 
seeing the angry crowd, they came to the con- 
clusion that they would let Dick take his chances. 
In less than ten minutes there was a crowd of at 
least five hundred men gathered in and around the 
saloon where the cutting took i)lace. A motion 
was made by some of the crowd that he be hanged 
right away, but the crowd voted him a fair trial and 
a chance for his life. Tiie crowd elected a middle- 



64 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ti^ed man to act as judge and another as marshal. 
The marshal summoned twelve men to serve as 
jurors, who were immediately sworn. The judge 
sat on a big pine log in the street. The witnesses 
were called and sworn. They were the men who 
were playing at the game when the man was killed. 
Other witnesses also testified to the facts in the 
case. The case was then given to tlic jury, who 
returned a verdict of "guilty of murder in the first 
degree." The question was then put to the crowd: 
"What shall be done with the prisoner?" Some 
one moved that he be hanged. The motion was 
seconded, and the man who acted as judge put the 
motion to the crowd, and a unanimous shout went 
up from at least one thousand men, "Hang him!" 
The prisoner in the meantime was present, using 
the most blasphemous language to the men en- 
gaged in his trial that ever polluted the ears of a 
civilized man. The prisoner was then j)laced in a 
wagon drawn by two mules, and escorted by at 
least one thousand men to the fatal tree, a little 
back of the town, where five of his sort had already 
paid the penalty of their crimes by hanging from 
one of its limbs. It was a large oak tree. The 
wagon was driven under it, the rope tied around 
his neck and thrown over the limb, and hauled 
tight and made fast. He was in tlie meantime 
cursing the crowd, his God, and everything else, 
and spat in the faces of the men that were adjust- 
ing the rope. When everything was ready, the 



DESCRIPTION OF HANGTOWN. 65 

mules were started forward, leaving the body 
swinging between the earth and the limb to which 
he was hanging. Some of the guard stayed at the 
tree for nearly an liour, so as to be sure he was 
dead. The body was cut down, and buried a short 
distance from the tree on which he was executed. 

That was a trial where justice was meted out 
with dispatch. No lawyers were present, no testi- 
mony objected to as incompetent, irrelevant and 
immaterial. When witnesses were sworn to tell 
the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the 
truth, they seldom if ever perjured themselves. It 
was not over one hour from the time the murder 
was committed at the saloon before the doer of it 
was tried and execuied. N^o appeal was taken fr(mi 
Judge Lynch's Court to the Supreme Court. His 
decision was final. 

A few days after the hanging of "Bloody Dick," 
the old historic oak was cut down by some indi- 
vidual who tliought that six men were sufiicient to 
die on one tree. .In an hour after tlie hanging 
everything was as quiet as usual. It caused ex^ 
citement only for the time during the trial and ex- 
ecution. So much for my first experience at Judge 
Lynch's Court. 

In a few days after the hanging of "Blood}' 
Dick,'' Hangtown came near having a far more 
serious tragedy enacted in her streets. Some time 
previous there had been trouble in Sacramento be- 
tween what were called the "squatters," and the 



6'6 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

civil autliorities. The "squatters" settled on lands 
that they supposed to be Government lands, but 
the speculators claimed the land from titles ob- 
tained from General Sutter. The speculators 
obtained writs of ejectment from the courts, and 
the Sheriff of Sacramento county, trying to enforce 
them, brought on a conflict, in which the Sheriff 
was killed with six of his deputies and several of 
the "squatters." Some of the wounded squatters 
were brought to Hangtown, as they were con- 
sidered safer up there than in Sacramento. The 
miners generally sympathized with them. One 
Sunday, in the forenoon, word came to Hangtown 
that the Sheriff and a posse of thirty men were on 
their way from Sacramento to arrest and take to 
Sacramento the wounded "squatters" for trial for 
murder and riot. It being. Sunday, the miners 
were all in town, together with the newly-arrived 
emigrants ; there were at least two thousand men 
on hand. A public meeting was called, which 
was addressed by some of the leading "squatters." 
Resolutions were passed that no "squatter" should 
be taken from Hangtown by the Sheriff and his 
posse. Between 12 and 1 o'clock the Sheriff and 
his men made their apj)earance, coming over the 
brow of the hill looking down on Hangtown, each 
man armed with a rifle and revolvers. In the 
streets of Hangtown and on the outskirts were five 
or six hundred men armed in like manner, as fully 
determined that the officers should make no 



DESCRIPTION OF HANGTOWN. 67 

arrests of any of the "squatters" who had sought 
their protection. Tlie Sheriff and his posse were 
met just before entering the town by a connnittee, 
who informed them of the state of affairs and of 
the resolution passed a couple of hours previous. 
The Sheriff being a man of cool head, and having 
his j)redecessor's fate before him, wisely concluded 
not to attempt to make any arrests, but was 
allowed to come quietly into town, take all the 
refreshments themselves and horses wanted, which 
they did, and, on leaving, was informed never 
again to visit Hangtown on such an errand, which 
advice I firmly believe he took and adhered to. 
During nearly thirty-eight years of life on the 
Pacific Coast I never have seen a day that bade 
fairer for a day of blood than that Sunday morning 
in the summer of 1850. But, thanks to an over- 
ruling Providence and the cool heads and good 
judgment of the Sheriff and the leaders on the 
other side, the calamity was avoided, and the 
history of the State had not to record one more 
bloody affair. 



PTOIirEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER VL 

Mining Experiences. 

First experience in mining.— The frightened Chinaman.— Foreigners^ 
mining license. — A foreigner from Pike.— Helping the "under dog" 
in a fight. — Fighting Sheriffs. — Hunting for new diggings. — The ants 
and the " graybacks."— Georgetown. — Missouri gulch. 

Every emigrant had to try his hand at mining* 
and expected to be one of the lucky ones ; and I 
was no exception to the rule. I was offered ten 
dollars per day to work at my trade, but T wouldn't 
look at that amount — it was too small. So myself 
and another man, Godfrey HofFmaster, formed a 
partnership and went to mining. We put our 
capital together and purchased a mining outfit, 
which consisted of one rocker, one dipper, two 
buckets to carry the dirt in, two shovels, one pick 
and one pan. Our kitchen was composed of one 
fry pan, one coffee pot, two tin cups and two tin 
plates. The whole outfit cost us fifty-one dollars 
and fifty cents, and " broke" both of us. But what 
did we care for that? Getting a week's provisions 
on credit, we started down Hangtown Creek 
looking for a claim. 



MINING EXPERIENCES. 69 

About a mile below town we found two fellows 
washing. During conversation tliey pointed to a 
claim or vacant piece of ground a short distance 
from them, which they thought would pay. They 
were right good fellows. They instructed us in 
the way of setting our rockers, so as to save the 
fine gold, and other mysteries of getting the 
precious metal extracted from the gravel. Hang- 
town Creek was considered to be among the 
richest of the diggings then discovered, but it had 
been vacated by the miners for the river diggings 
and the lower bars of the American River, which 
left a good show for the newly-arrived emigrants. 
We staked out our claim — it was then law that 
no miner should hold more than thirty feet square — 
and commenced business. Our first work was 
stripping off the top dirt about four feet deep, 
when we came to gravel or pay dirt. This gravel 
was about one foot or fifteen inches from the bed- 
rock, and we had to carry it in buckets to the 
cradle, which was set on the edge of a water-hole in 
the main creek, about twenty yards from our 
claim. The bed of the creek was dry, except that 
a few water-holes were yet standing in low places. 
The first day we washed up about twenty- five 
dollars out of one hundred buckets of gravel. We 
worked here for a couple of weeks, averaging 
about fifteen dollars per day, until the water gave 
out, and we were forced to hunt other diggings. 

We moved to what was known as Webber Creek, 



70 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

where I got my first look at a Chinaman. The 
fellow was c(miing clown the creek with a big broad 
hat on, dressed in what seemed to me to be 
women's clothes, with a bamboo pole on his 
shoulders with two great bundles at each end. I 
told my partner I was going to see that Chinaman, 
and getting out of the claim I halted "John," to 
give him a thorough examination. He commenced 
begging, saying he had no money. 

"Me velly poo' Chinaman — no muchee dust.'' 

At the same time he pulled out a bag of dust, 
which he offered to give me if I would let him go. 
I told him that I did not want to rob him, but to 
look at him. After a while he began to comj)re- 
liend what I wanted, and pulled down his queue, 
showed me his bundle, and gave me some China 
tea, and I gave him his dinner, after which we 
parted "velly good fiends." While I worked there 
"John" would make us a call whenever he passed 
that wav. 

At that time all foreigners had to pay a license 
of twenty dollars 'peA' month for working in the 
mines. One day the Sheriff hove in sight. I was 
not a fuU-fiedged American citizen at tliat time. 
He came up to us and asked if there were any 
foreigners in that crowd. I told him, "Yes, I am 
a foreigner.'' He said he wanted twenty dollars 
for mv miners' license. I told him he would have 
a great time in getting it. He told me if I did not 



MINING EXPERIENCES. 71 

pay it "damn quick" he would take ine to 
Hana^towM. 

" Where are you from '?" he asked. 

" Prom Pike county, Missouri," said I. 

"You're a damn fool — that's in the United 
States." 

I looked at him with all the appearance of 
innocence I could command and asked him if it 
ivas in the United States. He turned from me in 
disgust. Then I said to him: 

"Your name is Bill Kogers, is it nof?" 

"Yes." 

" Don't you remember one night in the winter of 
'49, when two fellows had you cornered in the 
Planters' House in Peoria, and a fellow helped you 
outr' 

"Yes; I remember very well." 

"Yes; well, I was that fellow." 

" The d — 1 you were !" 

About that time he got hold of my hands and 
gave them a warm embrace. I had to sit down 
and tell him all the news from Peoria and the East 
in general. When I was leaving he asked how I 
was off for money. He put his hand in his 
pocket and drew out four or five Mexican ounces 
and wanted me to take them, but I told him I was 
in no need of money at that time, but if I got 
"broke" I would call on him. I never was called 
on to pay mining license after that while I was in 
El Dorado county. 



72 • PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

I will explain how I came to help old Bill out. 
One night, after work was over in the shop, I was 
knocking about the city, when I went into the bar- 
room of the Planters' House to take a drink with 
the man that was with me. There were three 
fellows quarreling in one corner of the room — two 
of them after the third. 1 alwa} s had a weakness 
for helping the "under-dog." I looked on for a 
minute or so, and saw they were likely to get the 
best of the fellow, and without thinking what the 
consequences might be, made for the corner, 
"whaled away" at one fellow, and laid him out. 
About that time I thought my room would be 
better than my company, and so made a retreat in 
good order for the shop. The fellow whom they 
had in the corner was Bill Rogers, who, the next 
year, became Sheriff of El Dorado county, Cali- 
fornia. Rogers told me that until that day on 
Webber Creek he never knew who it was that 
helped him out of that scrape. 

This sketch would not be complete without 
saying a few words more about Rogers. Along 
in what were called the "flush times" (eai'ly in 
the forties), the Southwest, and the Mississijipi 
River in particular, was infested with a lot of 
gamblers and desperadoes who terrorized the 
country. They were aboard of every steamer, 
plying their calling, and would often gather in the 
towns along the river and run them to suit them- 
selves. The people of Natchez formed themselves 



MINING EXPERIENCES. 73 

into a vigilance committee to drive them out and 
protect themselves. The day was set and they 
stood fight. Several on both sides were killed, and 
the rest of the gamblers were driven into the 
Mississippi River. Bill Rogers was one of them. 
He swam the Mississippi River at Natchez and got 
away. He rambled around the Mississijipi River 
and the South generally, until gold was discovered 
in California, when he caine to this country, where 
hundreds of the same sort of men came. From 
tliis class were made many of the early sheriffs of 
California. They and what were known as Texas 
Rangers furnished nine-tenths of the sheriff's of 
California of early days, and most of them made 
good ofiicers. It was generally supposed that the 
main qualification for a sherijBf was to be a fighting 
man. There was plenty of material to choose 
from. Rogers served his time out as Sherifif of El 
Dorado, and a year or two afterwards, when the}^ 
had an Indian war in that portion of the State, he 
was appointed to command the troops raised for 
the purpose of j)utting down the Indians. After- 
wards several bills were introduced in the Legis- 
lature to indemnify him for his services, but 
whether he got any of them through or not I have 
forgotten. I saw a notice of his death several 
years afterwards, the old man dying in poverty. 
Few men of his day saw niore startling events or 
had more narrow escapes than old Rogers. Peace 
to his ashes. 



74 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Bat let us return to the diggings. 

Webber didn't pay us very well, and we picked 
up our "traps" and started to hunt better diggings. 
We made Georgetown our objective point, and 
started with our mining tools and camp furniture 
on our backs, we having not yet risen to the dignity 
of having a mule or a jack upon which to pack our 
worldly goods. Ooloma lay on our road. We took 
in the sights in that burg, and tlien proceeded across 
the American River and up a pretty tall mountain 
— with the load we had to pack it seemed to me a 
very tall one before we reached the top. Travel- 
ing along on the mountain we came to a level 
place, where we saw two men sitting under a big- 
oak tree. They had no shirts on, and seemed to be 
busily engaged. We wanted a rest, and went to 
them. In those days men needed no introduction 
— all was free and easy. We did not stand on 
ceremony, but went to see what they were doing, 
and found them engaged in a very interesting 
game. Their shirts were spread out near a large 
ant-hill, and each man had several Mexican dollars 
in front of him and was betting on the ants. 
Their shirts were pretty well covered with vermin, 
and each ant running over the shirts would seize 
a "grayback'' and make for the ant-hill with it. 
The betting was as to which ant would get to the 
ant-hill first with his "gray back." They wanted 
us to join the game, but we respectfully declined, 
not being expert in the racing qualities of Cali- 



MINING EXPERIENCES. 75 

lornia ants. But the experience we gained proved 
very useful to us in after days. The ant-liill was 
often resorted to when "gray backs" became too 
plentiful in camp. 

We reached Georgetown, and were directed to a 
place where we would find good diggings — Oregon 
gulch, or Missouri gulch — by the storekeeper. 
Storekeepers generally were supposed to know 
where the good diggings were, and, if they didn't 
know, they would try to make you believe they did. 
We went to Missouri gulch and pitched our camp. 
We got a good prospect and built a brush tent 
and commenced operations, but were not very suc- 
cessful. A beavy rain coming on our brush tent 
would not turn the water very well, which made 
tilings very uncomfortable. The winter was now 
close at band — or rather, we thought so. We made 
up our minds to go back to Hangtown, build a 
cabin and winter there. We started back with the 
same load of "traps" on our backs, none the better 
oJEf financially. 



76 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Departure for Sacramento. 

Return to Hangtown. — Departure for Sacramento. — The miners' hard 
hfe. — Sleeping on a feather bed. — Sights and experiences in Sacra- 
mento. — Thieves, "Sydney Ducks," and gamblers. — Stolen potatoes. 
— On trial for larceny. 

Arriving at Hangtown I found Dave Young 
there looking for nie. He had been at Sacramento 
and sold the wagon for three hundred dollars ; that 
was two hundred more than it cost in Peoria. It 
was a spring wagon, and was afterwards used as a 
stage between Sacramento and Marysville. He 
sold our big-footed horse with one of the mules for 
a good figure, and kept two of the mules for family 
use. He wanted me to go with him to the southern 
mines to winter, and I agreed to do so. I sold my 
interest in the mining outfit to my partner, and 
bade good-bye to Hangtown, and I have not seen it 
since. 

I had "fooled around" for nearly two months, 
worked hard and made nothing at mining. It was 
not tlie fault of the mines — the fault lay with my- 
self. I did not know how to take advantage of 
things. Everything was new to me, and I ex- 



DEPARTURE FOR SACRAMENTO. 



pected too iniicb. My case was that of thousands 
of others. Mining in those days was yet in its 
infancy, and the lot of a miner was a hard one. 
With no settled abode, he packed his traps on his 
back from one gulch to another, some times a long 
distance, taking days to make the trip. Then his 
mode of living was hard. The country afforded 
few of the necessaries of life and none of the lux- 
uries. The "everlasting slap-jack'' and rancid 
bacon, with black coffee, and sugar imported from 
China in mats, with a few beans thrown in, was 
generally the miner's bill of fare, and that, too, 
cooked by themselves in no very stylish manner. 
Sunday was generally occupied in washing shirts, 
socks, etc., and cooking for the remainder of the 
week. Some of the boys would go to town or the 
trading post and lay in whatever stores were want- 
ing for camp. There were no vegetables of any 
description to be had in the mines. This was be- 
fore the era of canned goods. The only fruit we 
could get was dried apples and peaches, and these 
were generally composed of fruit and worms in 
equal proportions. 

I started for Sacramento City, with my blankets 
on my back. At Greenwood Valley the polls were 
open, it being election day. I cast my first vote 
there, no registry laws being in force at that time, 
and everybody voted. I picked up a Whig ticket 
and voted it. One of the judges arose from his 
seat and took me bv the hand and asked where I 



PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



was from. He said he was afraid his ticket would 
be alone in the box, as I was the second Whig who 
had voted that day. After voting I shouldered 
niv bed and started. A teamster overtook me on 
the road, and I gave him five dollars to let me ride 
in his wagon to the Fourteen-Mile House, where 
I wanted to stay over night, as the Fourteen -Mile 
House was kept by an old man and his wife from 
Peoria, with whom I was some acquainted when in 
that city. We arrived in due time, and I gave the 
old folks a short history of their friends in Peoria. 
They were glad to see me, and, when night came 
on, they would not think of letting me sleep in my 
blankets, but gave me the spare room, with a 
feather bed in it. I thought I had struck a " soft 
thing," but it was too soft altogether for me. I lay 
and rolled all over the feathers, but not a bit of 
sleep could I get until about daylight, when I 
turned out, unrolled my blankets and lay down on 
the floor, and in a jiffy I was fast asleej), and did 
not wake until the landlord came, about 9 o'clock, 
to see what was the matter with me. I told the old 
lady that when I called again, I hoped she would 
not put me in her feather bed. 

On my way from the Fourteen -Mile House I 
overtook a fellow who, like myself, was on his way 
to Sacramento. We traveled together until we got 
to the city, where we found a lodging-house. 
When shown to our room, to leave our blankets, 
we found it was "some" of a room. There were 



DEPARTURE FOR SACRAMENTO. 79 

about seventy-five or eighty bunks in it, built in 
the shape of berths in the hold of an emigrant 
ship, three tiers deep, with a straw mattress on 
each bunk; the guest had to furnish the balance of 
the outfit or go without. Eor this we had to pay 
one doHar per night, with "gray backs'' thrown in. 
After leaving our blankets on our bunks, we 
thought we would take in the city and see the 
sights, and soon were on J street, then the principal 
business street of Sacramento City. In front of 
one of the gambling-houses was a young fellow 
dealing three-card monte. We halted for a few 
minutes to see the game. The fellow who was 
dealing gave the cards a shufile, and invited us to 
make a bet. My traveling companion marked one 
of the cards, and whisi)ered to me that he had the 
"deadwood " on it. I advised him not to do it, but 
he would try his luck, consequently he pulled his 
dust. The gambler weighed it and found three 
ounces in it, and placing three Mexican onzas on 
top of the bag of dust, told the "sucker" to turn 
up the card. The latter turned up his marked 
card, but instead of the queen he had marked there 
was a jack in her place. The fellow made a grab 
for the coin and dust, and getting them, he broke 
like a quarter-horse up J street, the gambler after 
him. The gambler grabbed his pistol and fired 
one shot without effect, but he dared not shoot any 
more at him for fear of shooting somebody else. I 
stayed by the table until he got back. In his hurry 



80 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

to ^et a shot at "greeny" he liadleft his bag of onzas 
on the table with the cards. When he came back 
he said to me: " — you, you are his partner; I will 
blow the top of your head off; that it was a put-uj) 
job." I said, " If it was a put-up job, look to your 
purse. If it was a j)ut-up job I would have taken 
your purse while you were gone and have run 
away, which you see I did not do, but guarded it 
faithfully, and you would blow the top of my head 
off for that, would you^' The fellow thought a 
moment and said, '' You are right.'' He then told 
me that if I would find the fellow he would give 
me the six onzas. I told him I was not in the 
detective business at that time, and left. 

Sacramento at that time was not a very large 
I)lace, the principal business being done on tw^o 
streets, J and K, out to Eighth street. The gamb- 
ling-houses were the best buildings in the city, and 
were crowded day and night. The most of them 
employed bands of music and other devices, where- 
by they might attract attention. Thousands of 
dollars changed hands every day and night at these 
gilded palaces. The mercantile houses were gener- 
ally one-story frame or iron houses, imported from 
the East. The amount of business done in Sacra- 
mento at that time was immense, the streets from 
early morning until night being full of great 
wagons and pack trains loading goods for themines. 
Everything was bustle and excitement. All sorts 
of labor was high and in demand, more especially 



DEPARTURE FOR SACRAMENTO. 81 

builders. Any man that could saw a board off 
would get ten or twelve dollars a day. The old horse- 
market on Sixth and K streets at that time was a 
place of much attraction, everything in the shape 
of wagons, horses, mules and oxen being sold. The 
newly-arrived emigrant generally went there to dis- 
pose of his outfit. It was a perfect Babel, and the 
resort of thieves and pickpockets generally. If a 
man bought an animal at their sales he was in 
luck if he got him one block from where he pur- 
chased him before a gang of scoundrels would 
prove it away from him. They were organized in 
gangs, and one of them would seize the halter by 
which you were leading your animal, commence 
cursing you for a thief, stating you had stolen that 
animal from him, and he would have it or blow the 
top of your head off. You were generally taken 
before an alcalde, as the magistrates were then called, 
and you were in luck if your animal was not 
proven away from you by the gang. Sometimes 
they caught a Tartar. Dave Young and myself 
one day were leading two of the mules through the 
horse-market when one of the gang stepped up to 
Dave and asked him where he got those mules ? 
Dave told him it was none of his business where he 
got them. The fellow claimed them as his, and 
said they were stolen from him about a week ago, 
and he was going to have them. Seizing the halter, 
Dave in a moment covered him with his revolver, 
and told him to let go that rope immediately, or 



82 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFOENIA. 

there would be one less thief in Sacramento. The 
fellow let go very quickly. A constable brought 
us before the alcalde, and Dave showed his bill of 
sale from Major Ogden of the mules purchased at 
Port Leavenworth that spring. They were two of 
the mules we brought across the j)lains. 

Dave Young, myself and two others agreed to go 
to the middle mines to winter. We bought a tent 
and pitched it about where L street is now, in 
order to have time to fit out and lay in our sup- 
plies for the winter. The rainy season or winter 
was generallv dreaded bv the miners. The winter 
of '49 was a very severe one, and many miners suf- 
fered in consequence of not having made proper 
arrangements, such as building cabins and laying 
in supplies before tlie rain commenced. We re- 
mained in the city some two weeks. During that 
time two of us generally stayed in camp, and the 
other two attended to business and took in the 
sights. It was necessary to guard the camp, as the 
city was full of thieves. Australia had sent us 
hundreds of her light-fingered gentry, and San 
Erancisco had driven them out to prey upon the 
balance of the State. They were called " Sidney 
Ducks." With them and some of our own dead 
beats you had to keej) a sharp lookout. At night 
the gambling-houses were crowded, with bands of 
music playing, tables loaded with gold and silver, 
bars fitted up in most elegant style with liquor of 
the choicest brands and everything that ingenuity 



DEPARTURE FOR SACRAMENTO. 83 

could invent to make the gilded parlors attractive. 
Xo money was spared; each one tried to outdo the 
other in the splendor of his establishment. Erom 
dark until the early hours of the morning these 
houses were crowded. Men who afterwards be- 
came the rulers of the State, both executive and 
judicial, were either dealers or patrons of their 
tables. Men seemed to live only for the present — 
all was excitement. Many a miner with a purse 
well-filled with his hard earnings in the mines, was 
sunk in those gilded hells, and not only the miners, 
but merchants, mechanics, and all classes of man- 
kind, seemed to be carried away with the mania 
for gambling. 

Many an amusing incident took place in and 
around the city in those earl}" days. We had a 
young fellow in our tent by the name of A. H. 
Wills, or Doc Wills, as we were in the habit of 
calling him. Doc was as honest and good-natured 
a fellow as ever lived, but not very sharj). One 
night, after paying our respects to the gambling- 
houses, we were attracted to an auction-house, on 
J street, and we went in to see what was going on. 
The auctioneer was busy in selling goods. We 
leaned against an open barrel of potatoes standing 
in the room, and I picked up a big "spud" and 
slipped it into Doc's big Missouri-coat pocket. I 
thought he would notice it, but he did not. I then 
stepped on the other side of him and put in two 
more potatoes, got back to the first pocket and 



84 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

put in another, expecting he would discover them 
and jjive me the usual cursing. Presently we 
started for camp and went to bed, Next morning 
it was Doc's turn to get up and cook breakfast. I 
woke him and told him to get up and cook the 
potatoes he had. 

" Potatoes,'' he exclaiuied, " where would I get 
potatoes ? " 

" O, the potatoes you stole from Starr's auction - 
rooms last night." 

''I didn't steal any potatoes," said he. 

"Yes you did," said I, j)alling the coat from 
under his head and taking the potatoes out of his 
pockets, " do you see these f 

" Yes ! This is one of your d — d tricks," said he, 
and then he gave me one of the warmest " blessings" 
T ever received. He would not cook the potatoes, 
but while we were snarling over it, Dave Young 
had the potatoes cooking, and we made a jolly good 
breakfast. They were the first i)otatoes we had 
had since leaving Salt Lake. They say stolen fruit 
tastes the sweetest, but I can vouch for the stolen 
potatoes tasting good. 

Several years after I |3aid dearly for those four 
potatoes. I was on my way from Weaverville to 
San Francisco. When on board of the steamer be- 
tween Colusa and the city I met a friend of mine 
by the name of John Smith. He was a large ditch 
owner in Shasta county. He introduced me to 
friends of his — W. E. Ealston and J. B. Starr. I 



DEPARTURE FOR SACRAMENTO. 85 

asked Mr. Starr if lie was the f^entleman that was 
in the auction business on J street in 1850. He 
said he was the same individual. I then told him 
of my joke on Doc Wills, and Mr. Starr thought I 
was indebted to him for four potatoes and tlie 
interest thereon up to date. Ralston, looking at 
Starr and giving him a wink, said : 

"Mr. Starr, you have no right to settle with him 
in that way — that would be compounding a felony. 
He must have a trial." 

They then organized a court in the saloon of the 
steamer, appointed the captain marshal and Ral- 
ston judge, and proceeded with the trial. They 
examined the witness who heard me make the con- 
fession. When it came to my turn I i^leaded au- 
thority — want of potatoes — a joke, and ever}^ other 
plea I could think of. But it was in vain, they 
were bound to iind me guilty. When asked what 
I had to say why the sentence of the court should 
not be passed on me, I told the Judge to crack his 
whip and go ahead — I had my share of those po- 
tatoes and he could not get them away from me. 
The sentence of the court was that should be 
fined one dozen bottles of the best wine on board, 
and if not paid I was to be confined to my room 
and receive nothing to eat but potatoes during the 
remainder of the trip. I paid the fine, and all 
hands made a night of it. So ended my potato 
scrape. 



86 PIONEEE DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER VIIL 

Drifting About. 

Cholera. — Departure for Calaveras. — Life in a cabin. — A remedy worse 
than the disease. — Excitement over the Gold Bluff mines. — Off 
for 'Frisco. — Frightened by a woman. — San Francisco in '50. 

We were anxious to get away from Sacramento, 
as the cholera had visited the city, and people were 
dying at the rate of from ten to twenty a day. We 
purchased a light wagon, and left for what was 
called "the middle diggings," our objective point 
being Jackson, then in Calaveras county. Goods 
" cost money " in those days. I paid thirty dollars 
for a pair of cowhide boots to mine in — rubber 
boots were not yet introduced in Calif (u-nia. All 
other clothing was proportionately dear. We 
packed our wagon and started for Jackson, and on 
the third day arrived at the little town of Amador, 
where there were said to be good diggings. When 
the rains set in we prospected for a day or two, 
and, finding nothing that suited us, we struck out 
for Sutter creek, about four miles south of Amador. 
Sutter creek we found a beautiful clear stream, and 
but very little mining being done on it. The cele- 
brated Volcano diggings were on the head of the 



DRIFTING ABOUT. 87 

creek, and a mining camp called Grass Valley. 
We prospected Sutter creek and found sufficient 
prospects to induce us to give the place a trial. Our 
first operation was to build a cabin for the winter, 
which we began to do immediately, as it was 
threatening rain, and there was no time to lose. 
Our cabin was built of logs and had a shake roof — 
one log high on the upper side and two logs high on 
the lower side. When leveled off inside it was 
high enough. This was the first house I ever saw 
built without the use of nails or of anything in the 
shape of iron. The chimney was built of mud and 
sticks, the holes chinked with wood and plastered 
with mud, and, when it was completed, we were 
very proud of our work and had a comfortable and 
stylish residence. Our bed-room set was composed 
of sticks, or posts, driven into the floor, and shakes 
nailed on them. Our mattresses were pine leaves 
spread on top of the shakes, and our blankets on 
top of them; our dining table was made similarly 
to our bedstead ; our chairs were made out of slabs, 
with three legs in them, and were commonly called 
three-legged stools. I believe this inventory com- 
prises all our household furniture. We completed 
our structure on Saturday, and, before moving, we 
thought we would clean up. The next day being 
Sunday, was devoted to a general boiling of our 
clothes to get clear of our "graybacks," so as not 
to take them into our cabin. I had read, or was 
told, that boiling your underclothing in tobacco 



PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



water was certain death to all sorts of vermin, and 
"graybaoks" in particular. We had plenty of 
tobacco in camp, and I thought I would try the 
experiment on mine. After breakfast I started 
into the laundry business by making a fire close 
to a small brook that ran near our cabin, 
getting the camp-kettle on the fire and put- 
ting my shirt into it with the requisite amount 
of water and a good-sized plug of tobacco. Soon I 
had my "gray backs" in a warm place. I looked 
on it with a good deal of satisfaction, thinking, " I 
am getting even with you fellows now for the 
amount of scratching you made me do during your 
sojourn with me as my closest companions." I 
cooked them for an hour, thinking by that time 
they would not annoy me any more, and then 
washed the clothes out in the brook, and spread 
them out to dry. As soon as my shirts were sufii- 
ciently dry, I took a bath in the brook, and put on 
the clean ones. In less than fifteen minutes I com- 
menced getting sick — cramps all over, sick at the 
stomach, and vomiting. I thought my time had 
come ; that I had the cholera sure. I was lying 
beside the fire in all the agony of what I thought 
was a first-class case of the cholera. Coming 
recently from Sacramento, where this dread disease 
was doing its work so eft'ectually, the first thing 
to come to my mind was that I liad caught it while 
in the city. Dave Young being in the cabin and 
hearing me, came to see what was the matter. See- 



DRIFTING ABOUT. 89 

ing lue lying down he said to me, "What ailsyouT' 
I told him as well as I could tliat I had the cliolera 
and was going to die sure, requesting him to see me 
decently buried and send what money I had to my 
mother, and give her an account of ni}^ death. He 
asked what I liad been doing, at the same time 
looking into the camp-kettle he saw the tobacco in 
it, w inch had swelled in boiling until the kettle was 
lialf full of tobacco leaves. He said, "Have you 
been boiling that shirt that you have on in that 
kettlel" I told him I had. "Cholera be d— d ! 
Take that shirt off as soon as you can get it off." 
But I was in no condition to take the shirt off — I 
was too far gone for that ; but he soon had it off, and 
in a few minutes after I felt better, and by night I 
was all right, but ver}^ weak. I firmly believe that 
it would have killed me inside of one hour if I had 
not taken the shirt off. The tobacco that remained 
in the cloth acted on the heart, stomach and bowels 
in a fearful manner, and came very near making an 
angel of me. I got rid of the "graybacks," but 
the remedy was worse than the disease ; I never 
tried it again. 

We worked on the creek some time before the 
rains commenced. The fall of '50 was a very dry 
season, and but little was done — everybody waiting 
for rain, of which very little came until late in the 
spring of '51. 

Along in the summer of '50 the Gold Bluff 
mines were discovered, and the newspapers were 



90 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

full of the wonderful richness of those beach dig- 
gings, where shiploads of black sand could be 
gathered up on the beach, of which at least half 
was said to be gold. Those beach diggings were 
said to be situated between Trinidad Bay and the 
mouth of the Klamath River. Vessels were adver- 
tised to sail for tliis new El Dorado every day, and, 
according to the newpaper accounts, nothing like it 
was ever known since the days of King Solomon's 
Ophir. Besides the Gold Bluffs, there were on the 
north the Trinitv Biver, the Salmon Biver, and 
the Klamath Biver, all represented to be overflow- 
ing with the precious njetal. There were two old 
gentlemen from Arkansas who wintered in the next 
cabin to us, who told us that on all the bars of the 
Salmon and Klamath sixteen dollars per day was 
considered but small pay, and that the Trinity Biver 
was very rich, but very unhealthy, owing to the im- 
mense run of salmon up that stream of which so 
many died the water became bad and unhealthy. 
We thought we would give the Trinity a wide berth. 
While on Sutter Greek I had my first view of' a 
California Digger Indian. He appeared on the 
claim one day dressed in a full suit of Adamite 
clothes, with the excei)tion of a fine beaver hat, 
shining as bright, to all appearances, as the day it 
came out of its first case. That Digger felt big, you 
mav be sure. The claim which we worked that 
winter and abandoned, if we had had the sense to 
work it properly, was worth tens of thousands of 



DRIFTING ABOUT. 91 

dollars. There were acres of ground that would 
pay ten cents to the bucket. We packed the gravel 
in buckets some twenty-five or thirty yards to the 
water, and averaged ten dollars per day, but had 
not sense enough to bring the water to the dirt. 
By going up the creek a mile or so we could have 
dug a ditch that would have covered ten years' 
diggings. But we never thought of that. The 
winter so far was dry, and we became dissatisfied, 
and, catching the northern fever, wanted to try our 
luck in the northern mines, or Gold Bluffs; so one 
fine day we loaded our wagon with what plunder 
we had and started for Sacramento, leaving our 
cabin and improvements all behind. Halting at 
the town of Amador, Dave Young told me to get 
the bottle out of the back end of the wagon, go into 
the store and get it full of whisky. I started, got 
the bottle and went to the store, and bolted in as 
brave as a sheep. Behind the counter stood a 
woman. I looked at her a moment, and was so 
completely taken by surprise that I could not say 
a word, but turned around and bolted from the 
store as if she had been a grizzly. Dave seeing 
me come out of the store in a hurry, wanted to 
know if I got the whisky. I told him no. He 
wanted to know why, and I told him there was a 
woman in there, and, if he wanted the whisky, he 
would have to get it himself. Dave was an old 
"bach." He said, "I hope you will always be as 
afraid of the women as vou are now." I had not 



92 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

seen a woman for six inoiitlis, and not expecting to 
see one in there, I was taken completely by sur- 
prise. In due time we arrived in Sacramento, sold 
our wagon and surplus "traps," sliij)ped ourselves 
and males on board a steamer for San Francisco, 
intending to go up the coast to the northern mines, 
as it was not considered safe to go by land so early 
in the season. Arriving in San Francisco, we found 
everything was on the drive, the city over-crowded 
with peoj^le, and hundreds arriving daily from all 
quarters of the globe. San Francisco in 1850 was 
but a small place, yet a large city for only two 
years' growth. Where the principal wholesale 
business is now done vessels and steamers sailed 
in 1850. 



OFF FOR TRINIDAD AND GOLD BLUFF. 93 



CHAPTER IX. 

Off FOR Trinidad and Gold Bluff. 

Sailing on the " Minerva " for Trinidad Bay. — Rough weather. — A row 
with the negro cook. — The bill of fare. — Arrival at Trinidad. — Off 
for Salmon River. 

San Erancisco in '50, like Sacramento, was com- 
posed principally of one-story buildings, many of 
them shipped around Oape Horn, some of wood 
and others of corrugated iron. Rents were fabu- 
lously liigTi. A good store room would rent for 
from three to six hundred dollars j)er month, and 
some even higher. Very little lumber or building 
material was to be had in the country. Merchan- 
dise, such as was in demand in the mines, was sold 
at enormous profit, while thousands of dollars' 
worth of goods which were shipped from different 
points of the world to San Francisco on specula- 
tion, but were not in demand, were sacrificed for 
almost nothing, and storage was so higli it would 
not pay to store them. I might say millions of 
property went to destruction in that way in the 
early davs of San Francisco. 

San Francisco in 1850 presented a miniature 



94 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

view of the world. There you could see men from 
all parts of the world in their national costumes, and 
ships of different nations of the earth in port. The 
plaza and surroundings were the most conspicuous 
part of the city. It was surrounded with cfambling- 
houses which out-shone those of Sacramento in the 
splendor of their equipments and attractions to 
draw patronage to their tables. 

The postoffice was somewhat of an institution at 
that time. We had but two mails a month from 
the Atlantic States, and on the arrival of each 
steamer it would take six or seven hours of stand- 
ing in line before you could get to the office win- 
dow. Many men made good wages by taking 
their places in the line, and then selling out their 
chances for from five to ten dollars. When they 
got close to the office window they would sell to 
men who had not tinie to spare from their business, 
and then take their places at the back of the line, 
and work up to the window, and sell again. 

In the early part of January, '51, the Gold Bluff 
excitement had somewhat subsided, yet along the 
docks there were several vessels advertised to sail 
for the northern mines. They generally had a 
sign painted and hung in the rigging: "This vessel 
will sail for Trinidad, Gold Bluff, Klamath, Sal- 
mon Biver and Trinity mines to-morrow afternoon," 
and to-morrow afternoon would generally be ten or 
fifteen days ahead. We purchased two more mules 
in San Francisco, making four in all, and j^ur- 



OFF FOR TRINIDAD AND GOLD BLUFF. 95 

cluised sufficient mining stores and tools to load 
them, ciilcuLiting about two linndred and tifty 
pounds to the mule. We chose the old bark 
Minerva as likely to be the first that would sail, 
paying fifty dollars for each passenger and forty 
dollars for each mule to Trinidad Bay. Aft(n- eight 
or ten days we got started, or at least the old ship 
did, with about forty passengers and twenty mules. 
The passengers like ourselves were bound for the 
northern diggings. We cut close from the docks 
about 11 o'clock in the forenoon and headed for 
the Golden Gate. Doc was a westerner and had 
never been to sea, and everything about the ship 
was new to him. Just before dinner he came to 
me with a smile on his face and said: "Jack, we 
are going to have a splendid time of it; dinner will 
be ready pretty soon, and we are going to have 
fresh beef and potatoes for dinner, and they won't 
be stolen either." About the time dinner was 
ready the old ship was getting down near tlie 
"heads,'' and was rolling a little. The dinner was 
set on deck, each mess furnishing their own dishes 
to hold it in. I took notice of Doc ; he was be- 
ginning to get a little white about "the gills," and 
I thought then, "My lad, you will not enjoy your 
potatoes and fresh beef much today.'' He got half 
through with his dinner, with a big potato in his 
hand, when he jumped up and broke for the side 
of the ship, damning the potatoes, the ship, the 
ocean, and things in general. He crawled into his 



96 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

blankets and staid there until we ^ot to Trindad. 
Por three or four days we had pleasant weather, 
and things went on pretty smoothly. We were 
congratulating each other on having a good passage, 
but we were badly deceived in that. About the 
fourth night out there came up a regular south- 
easter, accompanied by rain, which made the old 
ship some times quiver froui stem to stern. The 
mules were on deck during the storm ; part of, the 
time they were on Iheir feet, but most of the time 
it would be liard to tell how the}" were. How 
any of them came out alive I never could 
imagine, and yet when we got to port none of them 
were seriously hurt. Nearly all the jiassengers 
were sick during the storm. It was a hard looking 
sight in the hold of the old Minerva during that 
storm. The most of the passengers were western 
men and never had any experience at sea, I being 
the only one in our crowd who was able to be 
about. To make the matter worse, the old ship's 
decks leaked during the rain, and our berths were 
right under where the mules stood, and we had the 
benefit of the manure that leaked through. One 
morning some of the boys thought they could eat a 
little breakfast if I would get it for them. The 
gold pan that we used for our hash dish was half 
full of water and manure that had leaked through 
the previous night, but I managed to get it on 
deck and empty it overboard, and carried it to the 
galley, to get our scouse. In there was a big negro 



OFF FOR TRINIDAD AND GOLD BLUFF- 97 

cook. I i)oiiited out the filth on the side of the 
dish, and requested him to wash it. Instead of 
doing so he doused the scouse into it, remarking 
that it was clean enough for me. That raised my 
Irish fighting qualities. Without thinking a 
moment, I hurled the scouse, dish and all, into the 
negro's face, then grabbed a billet of his wood in 
one hand, my pistol in the other, and awaited de- 
velopments. As soon as the negro got the scouse 
out of his eyes, he grabbed his butcher-knife. 
There we stood. He did not like the looks of my 
Colt's revolver and club any better than I liked his 
big butcher-knife. About that time the mate, 
hearing the fuss on deck, poked his head out of 
the cabin door, and seeing the war-like attitude of 
the cook and myself, jumped between us in a 
moment. I do not know how the darkey felt about 
his interference, but I was very glad of it. The 
mate inquired what the row was about, and I 
pointed to the scouse dish, and told him about the 
negro throwing the scouse into the filthy dish, and 
what he said to me when I requested him to wash 
it out. The mate turned to the darkey and asked 
him if that was true. The darkey did not answer 
him. The evidence was all in my favor. The 
mate then said he would attend to him when he 
got time, making him wash out our pan and give 
me our scouse in a decent manner. Our food was 
not quite so fine on the old Minerva as you can get 
on the Humboldt or Corona of the present day. It 



98 PIONEER DAYS IX CALIFORNIA. 

was composed of bard bread and "salt horse," witli 
coffee, sweetened with black straj) molasses. T 
had a talk with the mate about my row with the 
cook, and he promised me he would let the matter 
drop where it was. The mate was a Virginian, 
and would stand no foolishness from a darkey. 
Daring the storm we got well out to sea, and it 
took us some time to get back. From studying 
geography when a boy at school, I learned that 
Cape Mendocino was the westernmost point of land 
in the United States. I was very anxious to see it 
and be west of it. I requested the mate when it 
came in sight to point it out to me, and I looked 
on it with a great deal of x^ride, for, when I got 
home, what wonders I would have to tell "the 
boys.'' I had crossed the Rocky and Sierra Nevada 
Mountains and had sailed west of Cape Mendocino 
on the Pacific Ocean. My happiness would have 
been complete if I could have stood on the cape — 
at least I thought so. In after years I did stand 
on the cape, and did not think much about if. 
Such is the romance of youth. 

Well, after tossing about on the old bark Mi- 
nerva for twelve or fourteen days, we at last dropped 
anchor under the lea of Trinidad Head, or at Trini- 
dad Bay, as it was then called. For a day or two 
before getting into port it was fine weather, and 
the boys were getting so as to come on deck one 
after another. At Trinidad there were two other 
vessels at anchor. Trinidad was then composed of 



OFF FOR TRINIDAD AND GOLD BLUFF. 99 

one large blue tent witli walls to it. The owner 
had a stock of goods which he was selling at pretty 
round figures. Our goods and stores were landed 
on the beach by the vessel's boats. The uiules 
were brought in front of the gangway, and shoved 
overboard, to swim ashore. It was amusing to see 
them, after taking their dive and getting to the 
surface, look around and break for land, which 
they lost no time in doing. We pitched our tents, 
expecting to remain for a few days, to give our 
seasick men and mules a chance to get on their 
land-legs again, and to recuperate. The mules had 
a hard time of it while on the vessel, with very 
little feed or water. Then we had our pack saddles 
to rig out and our packs to make up. It took four 
or five days to get started. Gold Bluflfs was but a 
short distance, but the reports from there were 
rather discouraging, so we concluded to try our luck 
on the Salmon River or the Klamath. Reports 
from the Salmon River mines were good, but pro- 
visions were very scarce and high, and packing was 
high. You could not get a pound packed for less 
than one dollar and twenty-five cents per j)ound. 
Mules were scarce — in fact, there were very few in 
the country except those brought by the miners, 
like ourselves, for their own use. We had four mules 
for which we were offered three hundred dollars 
each, but would not think of selling at any price. 
After getting things in proper condition for a start, 
we packed our mules with about two hundred and 



R85577 



100 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

fifty pounds each, and ourselves with all we could 
well carry. Our first day out of Trinidad was 
along the beach and sometimes on the blufi's. My 
load consisted of fifty pounds of flour, a rocker 
screen and my blankets. I had one consolation — 
we were to eat out of my sack of flour, so it would 
be lighter after every meal. Before leaving Trini- 
dad we were cautioned about crossing the beach in 
front of the big lagoon, as there were between four 
and five miles of sand that was knee deep, and very 
hard traveling for both man and beast. We came 
to the conclusion that we would go the first day to 
where we would commence crossing it, and there 
camp until morning, and then take an early start 
on the sand. 



WANDERING BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND WEAVERVILLE. 101 



CHAPTER X. 

Wanderings Between Trinidad and Weaverville. 

Crossing the Big Lagoon. — A mule's tumble down the mountain. — A 
herd of elk. — Ferrying the Klamath. — Disgusted with SalmonRiver. 
— Departure for Trinity River and Weaverville. — Snowed under. — 
Finding a trading post and supplies. — Prospecting on Oregon Gulch. 

Next morning we started on the beach, or across 
the lagoon, and a hard time we had of it. To make 
matters worse, one of the mules we bought in San 
Francisco gave out ; it was weak across the loins, 
and the heavy load and deep sand were too much 
for it, so we had to divide its load between the 
other mules and ourselves. We got across towards 
evening, as tired and worn out a set of men and 
mules as you could find in the State. Camping 
for the night, I was congratulating myself on what 
a good night's sleep and soft bed we would have in 
the loose sand. When I first lay down it was ex- 
cellent, and all went well, until a fellow turned 
over, and then it was like lying on a bed of boulders. 
I could not endure my sand bed, and had to 
take a pick and shovel and excavate a place large 
enough in the side of the mountain to lay on. Next 
morning we packed up and started up the moun- 



102 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

tain, putting the kitchen and blankets on tbe dis- 
abled mule, as they were light, and we thought he 
might worry through with them. 

We got on very well for a day or two, but in 
traveling through the redwoods we came to a place 
on the trail that was very sidling — steep banks 
above and below the trail. Xow, if there is any 
place a mule will stop to i)ick grass and act badly 
it is one like this, where the others cannot go by 
him. One of them stopped in the worst place he 
could find, and one of the boys picked up a rock 
and heaved it at him ; but instead of hitting the one 
that was obstructing the trail, he hit one of the 
others. The one that was hit started up, and, run- 
ning between the bank and the broken-backed 
mule, sent the latter over the side of the mountain, 
kitchen, bedding and all. He did some lofty rolling 
and tumbling down that mountain. Sometimes 
his legs would be up, and sometimes the part of the 
pack that was on him would have the upper side. 
Such a scattering of plunder I never saw before. 
We all sat down on the bank, and there were some 
"tall curse words" used. Dave Young commenced 
cursing the old mule, the old Grreaser that sold him 
to us, California, and everything else he could 
think of. The thing looked so ridiculous to me 
that I commenced laughing, and that made Dave 
still madder. He commenced on me, giving me 
what wrath he had left in him, saying to me : 
"You d — n fool, you would make fun of the thing 



WANDERINGS BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND WEAVERVILLE. 103 

if evervtliing went to hell. Doe and I started 
down the mountain, to look after the wreck, and 
l^ick up what we could find of the debris. We 
found a coffee pot in one place, blankets in another, 
fry-pan in anotlier, and so on until we ^ot to a 
little flat, where we found tlu^ old mule up and eat- 
ing grass as if nothing had happened, and with the 
pack-saddle under his belly with part of the things 
still tied to it. Well, it was a surprise to Doc and 
me to find the old mule alive after his grand and 
lofty tumbling down the side of the mountain. We 
gathered the ''plunder'' up, and packed the old 
fellow for a new start. Upon surveying the 
damages, we found the fry-j)an had its handle 
knocked out of shape?, the coffee pot was minus a 
spout and handle, and our tinware was somewhat 
deuiolished ; but, taking the damage in full, it was 
but little. The question was, how to get the mule 
up to the trail ; the mountain was too steep for that, 
and the old fellow was weak in the hind parts. We 
tied a rojDe to his tail and one about his neck, to 
lead him by. When his hind j)arts took a sheer 
we would steady him by the rope on his tail, and, 
by taking tacks on the hill side, after a good deal 
of work, we got him on the trail again all right. 
After that one of us had to lead him. The trail ran 
through a good deal of redwood forests. I ii:ot mv 
first view of the immense size of the redwood trees 
on that trip. 

One day, on coming out on a prairie, we beheld a 



104 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

great sight. The prairie seemed a large one ; scat- 
tered all over it were big oak trees, giving it the 
appearance of an old orchard in the Eastern States, 
and, grazing quietly, were hundreds of elk, that 
seemed to take no more notice oi us than so many 
tame cattle grazing in their pasture at home. We 
did not disturb them. We finallymade the Klam- 
ath River at the mouth of the Trinity. I believe 
the place is now called Weitchj)eck. Here we had 
to ferry. The Klamath Indians were the ferry- 
men, and, with their canoes, the}^ put us across 
with our goods; the mules swam across the stream. 
The Indians would not take gold for their pay, 
silver was their currency. One dollar in silver 
was worth more to them than ten dollars in gold ; 
in fact, gold was of no account with them. As 
luck would have it, we did not have to use either ; 
we traded off the old mule to them for ferrying us 
across, and got some money to boot. We got across 
the Klamath all right, and started for Red Cap Bar, 
intending to prospect it for a day or two ; but, when 
we got there, two miners were just packing up to 
go to Orleans Bar, who had been at work for a 
week and made nothing, so we did not stop there, 
but went to Orleans Bar, intending to go to the 
South Eork of the Salmon. In due time we arrived 
at Orleans Bar, but the river was high, and we 
could not prospect the lower bars, where it was 
said was the best pay. We again crossed the 
Klamath River in canoes and swam our animals; 



WANDERINGS BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND WEAVERVILLE. 105 

this time white men kept the canoes or ferry boats, 
and would take gold money for our ferriai^e. We 
had then a high mountain to cross between the 
Klamath and the South Fork of Salmon. If I re- 
member rightly, it was twenty miles over the 
mountain. The day was very warm, and with the 
load we had to pack, it seemed to me we would 
never reach the summit. Finally, just at dark, we 
reached the Salmon Kiver bottom and pitched our 
tent. We thought we were then in the land of 
promise. We were "well fixed,'' with plenty of 
*'grub" and tools with which to commence opera- 
tions. Flour was then worth one dollar and fifty 
cents per pound, and everything else was in pro- 
portion. Next morning we commenced prospect- 
ing. The South Salmon we found rather a poor 
stream, and we could find nothing to encourage us. 
The creek had a good deal of water in it, and very 
little pay on the high bars. Men who had wintered 
there told us there was good pay when the stream 
got low. We prospected for four or five days, and 
got perfectly disgusted with the Salmon River 
mines, and wished ourselves back in the middle 
mines again. Up to this time the season, or 
weather, had been all that could be wished for — 
very little storm, and beautiful, sunny days. One 
night we held a council in our tent, to take in the 
situation and consider what was best to be done. 
We had heard of the Weaver Flats and the good re- 
ports from the Trinity River diggings. We dis- 



106 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

cussed the question wlietlier wc would go to the 
North Fork of Salmon, or to the Weaver diggings. 
Einally, we came to tlie conclusion to take the 
back track and go to the Trinity River and Weaver- 
ville. Xext day we sold all the surplus provisions 
we liad, getting one dollar and fifty cents a pound 
for our tlour, and other things in projiortion, and 
struck out for the Trinity River. 

It was well we did. About one day from Salmon 
it commenced raining, and it rained and snowed 
until we got to the top of the dividing ridge be- 
tween the Trinity and Salmon. On the Trinity 
side of the mountain the trail followed a spur for 
several miles, the divide between the East Fork 
of the North Fork and the North Fork. It cleared 
up as we were coming down the spur of the mount- 
ain, and, coming to a little flat where there was 
good grass and a good place to camp, about one 
hour before sunset, we camped. When dark came 
on we tied, up our mules and turned into our tent, 
very tired. We ate the last we had for supper, 
with the exception of a few scraps which we had 
left in the bottom of the "grub box," expecting to 
get down to the North Fork early next morning, 
where there was a trading-post. We slept soundly 
that night. When we turned in it was a beauti- 
ful starlight night, and to all api^earances the 
storm was completely over. We were feeling good 
at having the most of our journey over, but, when 
we awoke next morning, things did not lookquile 



WANDERINGS BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND WEAVERVILLE. 107 

SO pleasant for us. The tent was completely buried 
in snow, and was weighed down to witliin a few 
inches of our heads bv the load of snow on it. I 
said to the boys : " We are in a d — 1 of a fix now," 
and thev were soon out of their blankets. The 
snow was fully four feet deep, and still coming 
down witli a vengeance. Every flake was as big as 
a silver dollar. The mules were nearly covered up 
with snow, standing with their backs humped up, 
and shivering as if thev had the affue. We built a 
fire, got sonjc coffee, and, eating what little we had 
left, packed our shivering mules and made a start. 
It was hard work to get them to move at all. For 
some time one of us had to go ahead and throw 
himself on his back on the trail in order for the 
mules to get through. As luck would have it the 
trail was blazed, and we were able to keep it. Eor 
three or four hours we labored in this manner, but 
as we got down the mountain the snow became 
lighter, and at nearly night we got out of it al- 
together. It was nearly dark when we reached the 
junction of the East Fork with the North Fork, and 
our mules were about given out and ourselves not 
much better. I told the boys that if they would 
camp there I would go and hunt the trading-post. 
From the directions we had it could not be far off. 
I started down the North Fork, and just as it was 
getting dark ahead of me I saw a light across the 
stream. Following the trail, I came to a log on 
which I crossed, and soon came to the light. It 



108 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

was in a large tent stretched on four logs. As I 
entered the tent or store there were four men in it 
playing cards, with a few goods in one corner and 
a keg of whisky set on a log beside the goods. 
They sang out to me : " Stranger, where are you 
from'?" I said, "Salmon River.'' One remarked, 
"I thought so." I said, "Have you any whisky ?" 
pointing to the keg. He told me to lielp myself. 
There was a pint cup standing under the faucet, 
and I filled it half full of whisky and drank it. In 
less than two minutes I felt like a new man. At 
other times that amount of liquor would have 
made me drunk. Our temperance friends may 
preach what they j)lease, but there are times 
when a drink of liquor helps to give a worn-out 
man life and vitality. I know it was so in my 
case. I purchased a few pounds of flour and bacon 
and other things for supper and breakfast and 
started back for camp, making me a California 
lantern before starting. I had a good light where- 
by I might follow the trail. 

I will tell you what a California lantern is and 
how it is made. I took a bottle and put a little 
water in it, placed the bottom on the fire and kept 
turning it around slowly ; when the water heated 
the bottom burst out ; I then lighted a candle and 
dropped it down in the neck of the bottle, and then 
had a very good lantern. 

I reached camp all right. The boys had started 
a fire and pitched the tent. The first question 



WA>JDERINGS BETWEEN TRINIDAD AND WEAVERVILLE. 109 

Dave Young asked me was: "Did you bring any 
whisky ^ '' I told him, " Yes." " Where is it V' I 
tokl him, "In my stomach." There were a few 
curse words used about that time. After tantaliz- 
ing him for a short time I drew out a bottle of 
whisky and shook it at him. They went for it 
with a will. Supper was soon cooked and eaten, and 
we were all happy. Our tent was pitched on a sid- 
ling place, and it came on to rain in the night. Tlie 
boys had not thought of digging a ditch around the 
tent when they put it up, and the water coming 
down from the mountain ran through the tent. 
When we turned over in the blankets we could 
hear the water slosh under us, but we slept the 
sleep of the righteous, and the water did not bother 
us much. 

Xext morning we packed our " traps '' and went 
down to the North Eork. The day was clear and 
the sun was out in his full glory. We soon had 
everything dry and as good as new. We had a 
narrow escape ; had we been one day later in start- 
ing from Salmon the State would have lost four 
good citizens. The Pence brothers, as I afterwards 
found out, were camped about three miles above us 
on the mountain, with a train of forty mules when 
the snow came on. Every one of them perislifed, 
chilled to death, and one of the brothers caught 
such a cold that in less than a month he died also. 
Provisions on Salmon gave out, flour could not be 
purchased at any price, and men told me that they 



^ 



110 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

lived on venison for at least one month. The salt 
gave out also, and one ounce of gold for a ponnd of 
salt was offered. Such were the straits miners were 
reduced to in the spring of '51 on the Salmon 
River. Thanks to our good fortune we were now in a 
country where there were plenty of provisions. The 
storm had set the streams up very high, and no 
mining could be done on the rivers. After resting 
for a few days we started for Weaver, distance 
about twenty miles up the valley of the Trinity. 
We camped on Oregon Gulch, where we did some 
prospecting. There had been a little work done on 
the gulch the previous summer. We found very 
good prospects — the best we had yet found since 
leaving the middle mines, and we concluded to go 
to Weaver and lay in some provisions and return 
to Oregon Gulch, if nothing better turned up. 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE- 111 



CHAPTER XI. 

First Experience at Weaverville. 

Separated from companions.— Generosity of the early miners. — Arrival 
at Weaverville. — Starting a blacksmith's shop. — A public whipping. — 
A quarrel between two miners. — Trial before a judicial officer. — The 
plea. — Thomas McGinnis Brown and the ox team. 

We packed up for Weaver. We had a small 
mountain to cross before getting there, and I started 
on ahead, got over the mountain, struck West 
Weaver Creek and followed it down, instead of 
crossing it and going over another spur, which 
would have brought me to the town. I sat down 
and waited for the boys to come, but they did not 
arrive. It was getting nearly dark and had com- 
menced raining and snowing. Here I was in a 
X^retty fix, and the prosx^ect that I should have to 
make a night of it without food or shelter was 
hardly pleasant. I crossed the creeks at the forks, 
and turned up stream. After traveling up stream 
for about half a mile, it commenced to get pretty 
dark. I was on the lookout for a i)lace where I 
could make a fire and camp for the night, when I 
preceived a light ahead of me. I started for the 
spot with a much lighter heart than I had five 



112 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

minutes before, and soon reached it to find that it 
was a large round tent. I went in, and found the 
tent was a large saloon and gambling-house. There 
were a couple of monte tables running, a bar in one 
side, and a large tin stove in the center, to keep it 
warm. I thought this would be an improvement 
on lying out of doors. I sat down by the stove, 
hungry as a wolf. I did not have a cent in my 
pocket. Dave carried the purse, our mone}^ being 
in gold dust. I wanted a drink, but was ashamed 
to ask for it without money to pay. A man came 
and sat down beside me. He said : " You are a 
stranger in camp '^ " I told him I was. He asked 
where I was from, and I told him from Salmon 
River. " You are broke," he said. I said I did not 
have a cent. " I thought so from your looks," he 
replied. " Let us take a drink." That suited me 
just at that time, and we had a drink apiece. He 
paid a dollar for the two drinks — fifty cents each. 
I then told him my situation, my getting astray 
from my partners, and that I expected to find them 
in the morning. He took me to his cabin, gave me 
a good supper, and shared his bed with me that 
night. Let me here remark that the early miners of 
California were seldom known to turn their backs 
on a fellow-man in distress ; they would divide the 
last dollar, and give you the last slapjack they liad 
in their tent or cabin, if tliey thought you stood in 
need of it. Many a poor fellow who got sick or 
disabled in the mines have they sent home by their 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE. 113 

liberality. A if vent iiuinv of tliem were Avild and 
reckless young fellows, but selfisliness, as a general 
rule, found no abiding place with tliem. 

Xext morning the storm had abated, and I got 
my first yiew by daA lialit of the town of Weayer- 
yille, where I spent the best part of my life. Tlie 
toAyn Ayas composed of the aforesaid round tent and 
four log cabins. One of the cabins was used as a 
store and a sort of a hotel, kej)t by Stanmore &; 
Horton, and another was a store kept by Mathew 
Stuart and son Bob. The other two Avere miners' 
cabins. This Ayas tlie Weayeryille of February, '51, 
as 1 first saAy it. I found my j)artners all right. We 
all liked the looks of the place, and made up our 
minds that Ave had wandered ovev California suffi- 
ciently for the present. DaA e Young made up his 
mind to go back to Illinois. He had accomplished 
AA'hat he came for, haying regained his health. 
When Aye left Peoria, one year before, he had to be 
assisted on board the steamer ; now, after one year 
of crossing the plains and roughing it in California, 
he Ayas returning a Avell man. It seemed to me 
like parting Ayith the only friend I had in the Ayorld 
Avhen Daye left. He had been to me a good 
counselor, and more like an elder brother than 
any man I ever knew. 

After looking around Weayeryille and infoi-ming 
niA'self as Ay ell as I could of its resources and mines, 
I came to the conclusion I Ayould start a black- 
smith shop. The nearest one to WeaA eryille at that 



114 PIO>fEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

time was Shasta, some forty miles distant. The 
(litiicnlty Avas to get tools ; they could not be had 
nearer than Sacramento City, about two hundred 
miles distant. One of my camp partners, by the 
name of J. B. Damon, agreed to go in partnership 
witli me, take the mules and go after the tools and 
take Dave Young down with him to Sacramento. 
We bade good-bye to Dave with many regrets. 

Three or four days before we arrived at Weaver- 
ville there was a public whipping. About the only 
punishments for crime in those days were whipping 
or hanging. In this case the former was the pen- 
alty. A fellow by the name of Bates stole a mule 
from Dick Dangey, the butclier. He tried to get 
away with it, but was caught and brought back. A 
jury of miners was summoned; the evidence was 
very plain against the accused, and the jury found 
liim ffuiltv, and sentenced him to receive forty 
lashes, and to leave camp forever. Old man Ander- 
son was aj)pointed to apply the lash, or rope. Tlie 
old man had been warden of the Missouri State 
Prison at Jetferson City, and well understood his 
business. Bates was stripped and tied to a big 
pine log, when the old man got about eight feet of 
rope, three-fourths of an inch in diameter, and, 
after giving him some very fatlierly advice, pro- 
ceeded to execute the sentence of the court. When 
he got through Bates had a very sore back, but the 
hiAV was vindicated and the honest miners satistied. 
Bates left. In a couple of years afterwards we 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE- 115 

licard of his beinc' hunted in Sliasta connty. He 
was a bad one. AVord came to town a few days 
after that two miners on West Weaver had got 
into a quarrel, and tliat one of them had struck the 
other in the head with a pick. He was arrested 
and brought to toAvn, likewise the wounded man. 
This time the case was to be tried before the 
alcalde, or magistrate, whom tlie boys had elected 
to try all minor cases. This case proved to be not 
so bad as was first reported. The gentleman whom 
the boys had elected alcalde was an old man by 
the name of Sevier from Tennessee. He was very 
fond of whisky and poker. He weighed about 
three hundred pounds, and he and work did not 
agree ; consequently they never came in contact. 
Tlie trial was set for 9 o'clock in the morning. The 
Constable had his prisoner on hand in due time, 
but the court was not yet out of his morning slum- 
bers. He had been engaged nearly all night in a 
poker game, and got pretty full before retiring, and 
Avas somewhat drowsy in the morning. The con- 
stable rapped on the old man's cabin door for some 
time before he could wake him, but at last he got 
the court up. He came to the door and wanted to 
know, " What the h — 1 is the matter % " The con- 
stable told him it was the time set for trial. " Trial 
be — ," replied the court, "I try no one until I get 
my breakfast ! " The Judge's room-mal e, by the 
name of Johnson, was another chij) off the same 
block as the court. The court and Johnson pitched 



116 ^PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

in to getting breakfast, wliile the constable^ 
the prisoner, the jnvv and okt Cunningham, 
the hiwyer, remained ontside. In due time 
the court got his breakfast and came out 
of his cabin witli his sliirt sleeves rolled up, his 
hands covered with flour and dough, no hat on, liis 
hair standing on end and full of flour. He had to 
scratch his head Avliile mixing his morning biscuits, 
or "pone," as he called it, and got liis head pretty 
well covered Avitli flour. He remarked, as he came 
out of his den, " Bring on your prisoner, and 1 will 
give him h - 1 ! '' The jury was impaneled. Tliey 
sat on a log, and old Cunningham opened tlie case. 
The plaintifi^ was a Dutchman, and the defendant 
was a son of the Emerald Isle. Cunningham was 
for the defendant. He told his client not to open 
his mouth, and while the trial lasted he obeved 
the order to the letter. Cunningham's i)lea before 
the jury was that the defendant Avas a native Ameri- 
can, and had been badly abused by a Dutchman, 
and tliat an American had a perfect right to hit a 
Dutchman over the head with a pick or anything 
else when abused bv him. The iurv found the de- 
fendant not guilty, and he Avas acquitted. As soon 
as the defendant found he was discharged, he said 
to Cunningham: " Jazes, you done that nicely, me 
boy ; and sure you made a great natiAc American 
out of me entirely. Me, that Avas born and bred in 
the county of Tipperary; sure and me OAvn mother 
Avould not liaA'e knoAvn the difl"erence the way you 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE- 117 

laid it down to them inrymen. May the Holy 
Virgin bless tlieni ; for its honest lads they are ; let 
ns all drink." The jndge, the jnry, the witnesses, 
and all hands stej^ped to the bar. So ended my 
first experience as a juror. Unless I am mistaken, 
my old friend McConnaha of Areata was on that 
jury. 

About this time I got acquainted w itli the princi- 
pal architect and builder of Weayeryille, who bore 
the name of Brown — Tliomas McGinnis Brown. 
He was a big, good-natured Missourian, and still 
holds liis OAyn in tliat line. ''Mac" had a contract 
to build a liouse for a man and wife by the name of 
AValton. The liouse was to be eighteen feet square, 
and without any floor in it ; but it was to be 
coyered and a hole cut in one end for a chimney. It 
was to be chinked and daubed. Mac had tohaye a 
team to haul the logs together. An old fellow by 
the name of Jim Howe owned the only team in 
the county, and Mac went to get them. Jim's 
j)rice per day for the team and cart was three 
ounces, or forty-eight dollars. Mac thought that 
was pretty steep, but finally concluded to j)ay it, 
proyided the OAvner Ayould let him do the driying. 
]VIac hitched up the cattle, and Jim brought out his 
goad stick and handed it to Mac, who looked at it 
a while and said : " What do you want me to 
do with that dog-on pegging awl of yours'?" 
Jim said it was to driye with. Mac replied, 
" Those are Missouri cattle, and don't know 



^1^ PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

anything about 3 our liusli, and your haws, or your 
pegging awLs. I Avill talk Missouri to them, the 
language they understand, and they will be all 
right. Mac brought out what was then known as 
a Pike county revolver ; that is, a wliip-lash about 
fourteen feet long, and a stick about ten feet long, 
and commenced talking Missouri to the oxen. The 
boys went to see the fun. Mac hitched them to one 
of the biggest logs. Drawing his revolver, and let- 
ting them hear the music of it, he sung out in very 
forcible language, "Get, you dog-on Buck and 
Berry," and they got Mac " hustled in " all the 
logs and timber he wanted for his building before 
night, much to Jim's chagrin, as he expected two 
days' work for his team. 

Some miners were building a cabin in Garden 
Gulch, and wanted some shakes hauled to cover it 
with. Jim wanted Mac to take the oxen and cart 
and haul them. Mac came over to where I Avas 
and said, " Dog-on it, Vulcan, what do they mean 
by shakes^ " (Yulcan was the name I was knoAvn 
by for the first year in Weaverville). I said, "Mac, 
they mean claxiboards." Mac said, "Dog-on it, 
why don't those Yankees call things by their right 
names'?" Mac got liis clapboards hauled. After 
that, when Jim Howe Avanted any hauling done for 
himself, he got Mac to do the driving Avith his Pike 
county revolver, but Avhen he hauled for somebody 
else he got his yank and goad stick. 

Mac got his house built all right, but I have 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE. 119 

never been able to tell of what style of arcliitectnre 
it was, A\iietlier Grecian, Doric, Ionic or Composite. 
For furtlier information about tliis question I 
would refer my readers to Mac at the Humb(ddt 
County Hotel, which is now kept by him. 

In the nunith of March of 1851 one of those 
cases occurred which bring disgrace to our civili- 
zation and dishonor to our manhood. In the early 
days of California nearly every miner owned a 
mule or some otlier sort of animal to pack his tools, 
blankets and provisions on when moving from one 
gulch or diggings to another. Those animals caused 
the miners a great deal of trouble to hunt them up 
when wanted for use, and generally when new dig- 
gings were found and sufficient animals were in the 
neighborhood, some enterprising individual would 
start a herd ; that is, he would gather up all the 
animals in the neighborhood and herd them during 
the day. Feed was abundant. At night he would 
have a corral that was considered Indian-proof to 
keep the herd in. The charge was four dollars per 
month for each animal. The Indians on the 
Trinity and its tributaries were very fond of "mule- 
beef," and* never failed to obtain a supply of it, 
when they had au opportunity to do so, from the 
honest miner, and the miner never failed to fill 
Mr. Indian's skin with lead when he was caught 
helping himself to any of the miners' property, 
esj)ecially to the mules. 

Uncle Joe Strudivant and his partner, John W. 



120 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Carter, and Jerry Wliitiiiore, were then running a 
pack-train between Shasta and Trinity Kiver. 
They had a hirge pack-train to look after. They 
built a corral and herded the stock on a flat, where 
Strudivant's ranch is now^ located. One night the 
animals were all properly corralled, but the next 
morning they had all disappeared — forty or forty- 
live head, all told. Foiw men immediately started 
on their track, and followed tliem for several days. 
At last they overtook them at the liead of the 
Sacramento Yalley — three white men and tlie stolen 
mules in their possession. Before the tliieves were 
aware, the pursuers opened tire on them and killed 
all three of them. The pursuing party was led by 
a fellow called " Texas," a man that held human 
life very lightly. After killing the thieves tliey 
scalped tliem, and brought the scalps and the 
animals back with them. "-Texas" showed me one 
of the scalps be had in his belt when in Weaver- 
ville on his Avay back to the ranch on Trinity. 
Tliey not only took tlie tliieves' scalps, but skinned 
their whiskers oft' and brought them back, and 
nailed both scalps and wliiskers on tlie gateposts of 
the corral as a warning to others. That herd w as 
not troubled by white thieves any more that season. 
In those days horse-stealing was the crime of 
crimes. If two men got into trouble and one killed 
the other in a fight, there was very little said about 
it ; but if a man was caught stealing a horse or a 
mule, his days were short, or else he got wliii)i)ed 



FIRST EXPERIENCE AT WEAVERVILLE. 121 

and banislied from the diggings, sometimes branded. 
Native sons and dangliters, sncli was tlie way in 
wliicli your pioneer fathers administered justice to 
thieves in the early days of California. 

The Indians in the counties of Trinity and 
Sluista, in '50, '51 and '52, were very troublesome, 
makmg raids on the miners' tents and cabins, and 
stealing their mules, provisions and bhmkets. The 
miners would go to their claims from their tents or 
camps with their rifles loaded and their revolvers 
in their belts, ready for an attack at any time by 
the Indians. 

A short time since, in conversation with William 
Carson of Eureka, he told me that he, with Dan 
Morrison, Jerry Whitmore and Oliver Gilmore, in 
1850, were mining on a bar on the Trinity River, 
about one mile above where the Arkansaw dam 
was built in 1851. They left their tent all right in 
the morning when they went to their claims to 
work. At noon they returned to their tent for 
dinner and found that everything in their tent had 
been stolen by the Indians ; provisions, clothing, 
blankets, and everything that they could carry 
away. Their tent was in sight of where they were 
working, and they were on the lookout for the 
Indians all the time they Avere at work. The 
Indians got in at the rear of the tent and carried 
away the articles mentioned without being dis- 
covered. 

Messrs. Carson, Whitmore, Gilmore and Mor- 



122 PIOJiEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

rison started in pursuit of the Indians, resolved to 
get their pro]>erty back, and to teach them a lesson 
for the future. They got on to the trail of the 
Indians, and followed them to the East Eork of 
Canyon Creek, a distance of some twenty-five 
miles, where they found a large rancher ia of 
Indians on one of the flats of that stream. 
When they came in sight of the Indians their plan 
of attack was to crawl up within a short distance 
of the rancJicria, where they could make every shot 
tell, and then open fire. But they were dis- 
appointed in their calculations. The Indian dogs 
gave the alarm, and the first thing the Indian 
warriors knew there was a shower of arrows around 
them which made that a rather unhealthy place at 
which to tarry. They made good their retreat, but 
Jerry AVhitmore got an arrow or two in the back 
part of his pants. The boys did not get back their 
blankets and " grub." In this way small bands of 
Indians would harrass and plunder the miners and 
settlers, never committing depredations near their 
home, but always going fifteen or twenty miles 
from their homes to do their mischief, or hiding on 
the trails traveled by the whites, and then from 
their liiding-place filling the white passer-by full 
of arrows. 



HIGH PRICES, LYNCHING, AND OTHER INCIDENTS. 123 



CHAPTER XII. 

High Prices, Lynching, and Other Incidents. 

Ten dollars a day for cutting wood. — The blacksmith's shop. — A list 
of prices. — Arrival of women. — Lynchmg. — Extorting confessions. 
— Trinity comity organized. — A batch of candidates for office. — 
Rivalry for the county seat. — Humboldt county organized. — C. S. 
Ricks and the belligerent Capt. Tracy. 

I now commenced to prepare for business. Get- 
ting some wood hauled, I put up a coal-j^it. I got 
tlie Avood chopped by paying a fellow ten dollars 
per day for his w ork. Doc and I in the meantime 
found a claim on the Ten-Cent Gulch, which j)aid 
us sixteen dollars ])er day Avith a rocker. When 
the wood was chopped I j^ftid Jim Howe three 
ounces for a day's Avork hauling it together Avith 
his Missouri cattle, and then put my coal-pit up, 
using pine leaves instead of straAA^ for the inside 
covering, and in time I got it burned. On close 
calculation I found it cost me tAvo dollars per 
bushel. I not being an expert at coal burning, part 
of the coal burned up in the pit. My partner, 
Damon, got back after a three Aveeks' journey to 
Sacramento City for tools, bringing a belloAvs, auAdl 
and A ice, some steel, borax and iron for picks. I 



124 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

commenced by erecting a log forge, and, thinking 
I should need no covering, my shop was as large as 
■" all out-of-dctors ;" but I soon found an out-door 
shop would not do, as the sun shone so bright on 
the fire tliat I could not tell when I had a heat on, 
and I burnt up some of my steel in consequence. I 
had to build a shoj^ or quit the business, so I con- 
cluded to build. We got pine poles and set them 
in the ground, Avitli liglitcr ones for rafters ; shakes 
were Avorth six dollars per hundred. The busi- 
ness was yet but a venture, and Ave did not know 
whether it would pay or not, so we came to the 
conclusion of not putting much into it. Dick 
Dungey kept a butcher-shop in town, and the 
thouiiiit struck me tliat I would cover mv house 
with rawhides. I saw Dunge}, and he gave me 
all the hides I wanted, and was glad to get rid 
of them. So I shingled ihy shop with rawhides, 
and used them for sidin" also. Thev did verv well 
until they began to dry and slirink ; then there 
were several large cracks in the roof and sides. I 
made one mistake in putting them on the roof, 
that was in putting the hairy side out. The butchers 
were not very particular about skinning in those 
days, and generally left some of the meat on the hide, 
which after a while got " alive," and occasionally 
one of the big worms would let go, and sometimes 
take me on the head or on the back of the neck. 
When I had a heat on, lliough the worm did not 
feel pleasant, I had to stand it ratlier than lose my 



HIGH PRICES, LYNCHING, AND OTHER INCIDENTS. 125 

lieat. Miners cjiine in very fast, and business be- 
came good. Our investment turned out a profit- 
able -'one. As many of our readers, wbo came in 
later years, know but little of the prices in those 
days, for their information I will give you a list of 
some of them. In my line : Eor shoeing a horse, 
twelve dollars ; sharpening picks, one dollar ; steel- 
ing picks, four dollars ; punching rocker irons, two 
dollars ; tom-iron, from three to five dollars ; heavy 
iron, when forged, one dollar and fifty cents i^er 
pound ; new picks, seven to eight dollars each ; 
long handle shovels, sixteen dollars each ; tom or 
rocker iron, one dollar per pound, and other things 
in x>i"oportion. Packing was very high, 1 having 
to pay twenty-five cents per pound from Shasta to 
Weaverville, a distance of forty miles ; board six- 
teen dollars per week; (nearly every one "bached" 
it); single meals, one dollar each. 

In the summer of '51 women began to make their 
appearance in camp. Joseph Ewing and Avife 
were the first arrivals in the place, with tlie excep- 
tion of Mr. and Mrs. A¥alton, who only staid a short 
time. To Mrs. Ewing, now of Eureka, belongs the 
honor of l)eing the first pioneer lady of Trinity 
county. She and her husband started the United 
States Hotel. The next family was Kichard John- 
son and wife, now of Bear River, in this county ; 
they started a boarding-house on what was after- 
wards called Sidney Mill, about half a mile from 
town. John Lenwood and wife came about the 



126 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

same time as Ricliard Jolmson's family, but they 
got dissatisfied with the countvy and went back to 
Aiistralia, when gokl was discovered in that cokmy. 
We occassionally had a lynching affair, jnst to 
keep the boys' hands in. They strung up a fellow 
by the name of Coulter, who was accused of steal- 
ing some gold dust ; but there was no j)roof against 
him. They put a rope around his neck and hauled 
him up to the limb of a tree, to make him confess, 
and then let him doAvn, asking him to confess to 
the robbery and make his x^eace with his Maker ; 
but they could get no confession out of him. The 
boys had a queer way of doing things in those days 
on Sidney Gulch. If a man was accused of any 
crime, tliey summoned a miners' meeting and gave 
him a trial. In some cases, where there was not 
sufiicient evidence to convict, they would hanj*^ him 
up and then let him down for confession, as in 
the case of Coulter. He was strung up three times, 
and then warned to leave the diggings under penalty 
of death. The next day Coulter came to town and 
showed his neck. It was in a horrible condition, 
the skin being raw where the rope had chafed and 
cut it, and he Avas a sight to look at. The men or 
residents of Weaver talked the matter over, and 
came to the conclusion that such doings must be 
stopped. Coulter was told not to leave until he 
saw fit, and that he would be protected, but he left 
in a few days from fear. In a short time after the 
Coulter trouble, a man by the name of Charley 



HIGH PRICES, LYNCHIRG, AND OTHER INCIDENTS. 127 

Williams, now a prominent lawyer of Weaverville, 
and wlio has since been county judge of Trinity, 
lost some dust, said to liaye been stolen out of his 
tent. He was mining at that time, and his purse 
was left in his tent. Suspicion fell on a man by 
the name of Allen, who was arrested and kept in 
custody. A¥ord was sent down to Weayeryille that 
Charley Williams was robbed, and they liad caught 
the thief and were going to try him that eyening at 
tlie mouth of Sidney Gulch. Some of the miners 
who disax^proyed of the way Coulter had been dealt 
with, came down to town and talked the matter 
oyer with the boys in town, and finally about 
twenty-fiye of us went to the trial. They had the 
prisoner under guard. They then elected a fellow 
by the name of A. K. Young as judge, and a jury of 
twelye men was impaneled and sworn to try the 
case. I was one of the twelye jurors. The eyidence 
Ayas giyen in. Kone of the witnesses knew of his 
stealing the money; only he had behayed in a yery 
susj)icious manner, and his looks ought to conyict 
him. Some of the jury commenced questioning the 
witnesses, and it finally turned out tliat they had 
not one particle of proof against him. The jury ac- 
quitted him unanimously. This A. K. Young, who 
acted as judge, said he was guilty anyway, and 
would haye to leaye camp. The foreman of the 
jury sj)oke in rej)ly to Young, stating that Allen 
had a fair and impartial trial by a jury of his coun- 
trymen and was honorably acquitted, and it was 



128 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

not just to make liiiii leave. The balance of the 
jury sided in with the foreman while the rest of the 
miners present were of the same opinion. We took 
Allen to town Avitli us for his better protection. 
This fellow, A. K. Young, turned out to be a scoun- 
drel of the first water, and deserved hanging more 
than the man he was trying. Allen stayed about 
town for a ie^v weeks and left. Ten years later I 
called on him at his ranch in the Sacramento 
Valley. He was then a well-to-do farmer, and a 
man who was well rCvSpected by his neighbors. 

Up to tlie summer of '51 no person paid any at- 
tention to politics or civil law. The miners made 
their OAvn laws, both civil and criminal. The Legis- 
lature of '50 and '51 passed an act creating Trinity 
county. Shasta county was then the most north- 
erly county of the State, and very little attention 
was paid to the State hiAvs there. Under the act 
creating Trinity county, the whole of the territory 
embracing Trinity, Humboldt, old Klamath and 
Del Xorte, was embraced within the limits of 
Trinity. Nobody seemed to care about or pay any 
attention to the acts of the Legislature until about 
June, I think it was, when a crowd of men were 
seen coming, riding into Weaverville. They did 
not look like miners, and looked too honest to be 
gamblers. The query was, who Avere they 1 We 
were not long in suspense, for they announced 
themselves as candidates for the various offices of 
the newly made county of Trinity. They were 



HIGH PRICES, LYNCHING, AND OTHER INCIDENTS. 120 

residents of Humboldt Bay. Blancliard for County 
Judge, C S. Kicks for County Clerk, John A. 
Whaley for County Assessor, Tom Bell for County 
Treasurer, Dixon for Sheriff, John A. Lyle and 
John H. Harper for Senators, McMillen for the 
Legislature. The ticket was nearly completed. C. 
S. Bicks' principal fight was for the county seat ; 
he was anxious to get the vote for Eureka, and 
Whaley for Areata, or Uniontown, as it was then 
called. Poor Bucksport had its friends, but did 
not cut much of a figure in the contest. Our em- 
bryo politicians of AYeaYerville did not like the di- 
Tision of the spoils. They tliought Humboldt was 
taking the lion's share and not giving AVeaver a fair 
show. We held a meeting, and nominated a full 
ticket, or nearly so, and called it the " Weaver 
ticket," with Weaverville for county seat, Johnson 
Price for County Judge, John C. Burch for County 
Clerk, Hutchinson for Sheriff, McGee for Assessor, 
old man Cunningham for District Attorney, for 
Senator, J. W. Denver, and for the Legislature 
Weaverville endorsed McMillan and nominated P. 
S. McKenzie. The county was entitled to two As- 
semblymen. The fight Avent on until election day. 
Everybody voted, and no questions were asked as 
to citizenship, no registry law being in force. Tiie 
result was that Weaverville was chosen county seat, 
and the whole of her ticket elected. There was a 
contest over the countv seat, the Weaverites accus- 
ing the Humboldters of crooked work in bringing 



130 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

in precincts that were never heard of since, which 
gave Eureka the majority. The consequence was 
that the County Judge, Johnson Price, recognized 
Weaverville as the county seat, and the District 
Judge held court at Eureka. But we in Weaver- 
ville had the advantage of Eureka. Weaverville 
had all the officers, and Humboldters had to 
come to Weaverville when they had any business 
with them. Tlie next Legislature divided the 
county, and ended the matter of county seat, so far 
as Weaverville was concerned. 

Then commenced the contest for county seat of 
Humboldt county, which lasted for several years. 
Some amusing incidents occurred during the cam- 
paign. One day the Humboldt delegation was 
holding a public meeting in the " round tent," and 
Ricks was si^eaking. There was in the crowd a 
fellow by the name of Captain Tracy, who was 
" some " on the fight. He was a Mississipj)ian, and 
had been in the Mexican war. C. S. Kicks was 
going on, extolling Eureka and Humboldt Bay in 
general, Avlien Tracy "chij)i)ed in" and called 
Kicks a jackass. Kicks coolly remarked that "jack- 
asses when the}' kick, generally kicked pretty 
hard." That raised the Captain's Southern blood, 
and, drawing a large bowie-knife, he started for 
Kicks, stating that he would cut the heart out of 
him. Kicks was standing on a table while speak- 
ing, and Tracy advanced to the table with blood in 
his eye. Tracy's friends tried to stop him, but 



HIGH PRICES, LYNCHING, AND OTHER INCIDENTS. loi 

Ricks coolly remarked, " Let him come ; do not 
stand in his way ; I am prepared for him." When 
Tracy saw Ricks taking it so cool it did not require 
so many men to hold him, and, after a little more 
bluster, the Oaj)tain cooled oif. Ricks went on 
with his speech, and was not interrupted again. 
The boys called Whaley the "walking arsenal of 
Humboldt." When he first made his appearance 
he had on a belt, with a knife and a couple of 
pistols in it, a pair of leggings, with a bowie-knife 
in each legging, and was fully armed and 
equii)ped. 

Captain Tracy left WeaYeryille shortly after the 
election, and the next time I saw him Avas on the 
Isthmus of Panama, in the fall of '52. He had 
joined the Elores expedition, filibustering in one of 
the Central American States. The jiarty got 
" cleaned out," and he and some more of his j)arty 
were taken to Panama by a British man-of-war, 
and there landed. Senator Grwin and Congress- 
man McCorkle were on their way from Washing- 
ton to California, and they procured them a pas- 
sage on the old steamer " California " to San Pran- 
cisco. That was the last I saw of him. He died 
shortly after. He was a type of a good many men 
that came to California after the disbanding of the 
army at the close of the Mexican war. They could 
be truly called " soldiers of fortune." Of such ma- 
terial were the filibustering' expeditions composed 
at that time. 



132 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Officers Elected. 
A sensational lynching affair and the rescue. — The accused innocent. 

To come back to Trinity county : Weayeryille 
did pretty well by Humboldt's politicians. There 
were elected from Humboldt : Dixon for Sheriff, 
Tom Bell for County Treasurer, E. H. Howard, 
Public Administrator, and McMillen for the Legis- 
lature. We in Weayeryille thought Aye were 
generous with the Humboldters, considering that 
they started in to "hog it" all. Trinity had the 
yotes, but Humboldt had the politicians, so we "got 
away " with them. Our officers started in to get 
the county goyernment organized. It was uj)-hill 
work, without any grease to oil the ncAV macliinery 
with, but Judge Price was a man of considerable 
ability and of oyer ayerage honesty, and, in due 
time, things began to assume their proj^er shape. 

Men were getting tired of lynch law, yet there 
Ayere seyeral cases tried before Judge Lynch after 
organizing the county. The county had no public 
buildings of any description, eyen no place in Ayhich 
to keep criminals, Ayhere they would be secure until 



^ OFFICERS ELECTED. 133 

the day of trial. Judge Price did not serve out liis 
time, but resigned and went to Sacramento to prac- 
tice liis profession, that of physician. Governor 
JohnBigler appointed him Secretary of State during 
one of Bigler's terms as Governor. Johnson Price 
was an honest and lionorable man, and, as County 
Judge of Trinity county and Secretary of State, he 
acted with honor to himself and profit to the State. 
He died a few years after his term expired. Dixon, 
the Sheriff, served his term out, and came down to 
Humboldt, where he was shot, whether by accident 
or suicide no person ever knew. He went out 
hunting near Bucksport, and was found dead. His 
remains now lie buried, I have been informed, on a 
little knoll this side of Pine's dairy-house, near the 
Bucksport road. Tom Bell, tlie Treasurer, served 
out his time, and went to l^ew York Citj . McGee, 
the Assessor, collected all the money he could, and 
" raised Ked " generally, and had three or four 
judgments found against him. He left the county 
for the county's good, and was afterward killed in 
a row at Virginia City. Jolm 0. Burch served out 
his term, and was afterward elected to Congress. 
Old man Cunningham went generally "to the 
dogs," and died of too much alcohol. J. M. Peters 
was elected Justice of the Peace ; he afterwards be- 
came District Judge of the district, and quite a 
noted character in his dav. 

Shortlv after election we had a lynchino affair in 
Weaverville. In was in this wise : There was a 



134 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

suspicions character by the name of Seynionr abont 
town who came from Australia, and went by the 
name of "Sydney Duck." He had a coat which, 
when worn on one side, woukl be red with blue 
facings, and by turning it would be a blue coat 
Avith red facings. The boys came to the conclusion 
that an honest man would not Avear such a coat. A 
miner by the name of George Hardgraves, an 
Englislmian from Illinois, worked on Garden 
Gulch, and Se\nnour being an Englishman they 
were sometimes together. One evening Hard- 
graves came to town and got on a drunk. He had 
his dust in a yeast powder can — some eight or nine 
hundred dollars. He usually carried it in his 
breast, between his shirts. Sepnour, as usual, was 
with him, and they "spreed" it until 11 or 12 o'clock. 
Xext morning Hardgraves' dust " came up miss- 
ing." He came to town from his cabin and re- 
j)orted his loss. Susx^icion at once fell upon Sey- 
mour as being the thief. He was arrested by Sheriff 
Dixon. A miners' meeting was called, and Sheriff 
Dixon requested to bring his prisoner before it, 
which he refused to do. He had Seymour confined in 
a little cabin in the upper part of the town. The 
committee reported to the meeting that the Sheriff 
would not give the prisoner up, whereupon a num- 
ber of men were selected to go and bring him be- 
fore the meeting at all hazards. Tlie second dele- 
gation went to the Sheriff and demanded the 
prisoner. There was no one but the Sheriff guard- 



OFFICERS ELECTED. 135 

ing liim, and the committee informed the Sheriff 
that they had come to take the prisoner, Sepnour, 
and Avere going to have him whether the Sheriff 
liked it or not. The Sheriff replied, " Well, boys, 
I cannot figiit you all, and I Avould sooner see yon 
hang one dozen " Sidney Ducks " than have to hurt 
one of you ; if you will have him, take him." The 
committee brought him before the meeting, and the 
regular course was taken, that of apj)ointing a judge 
and jury to try the case. The case was conducted 
in a very proper manner. Several witnesses were 
sworn, Hardgraves being the j)rincipal one, who 
testified to being Avith the prisoner the night before, 
and losin^f his nnmev. Several others testified to 
seeing them together the night the money Avas 
stolen. With the testimony against him, and his 
former suspicious character, besides his tAvo-sided 
coat, things looked rather blue for poor Sepnour. 
When asked Avhat he had to say in his defence, he 
l)leaded innocence ; that he knew nothing of Hard- 
graves' money ; that he had it betAveen his shirts 
when he left him the night of the robbery. The 
jury retired, and, after about half an hour's deliber- 
ation, brought in a verdict of " guilty." This, to 
all appearances, settled the fate of Seymour. He 
was to be hanged that night at sundoAvn, on an oak 
tree, just across the gulch beloAV the toAvn. When 
the time for execution drcAV near there were some 
doubts in the minds of some of the jury, if, after 
all, Seymour might not be innocent of the crime for 



136 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

wliicli lie was about to suffer. In talking the mat- 
ter over, the leaders, or the principal men engaged 
in the affair, came to the conclusion to try and 
force a confession out of liiin of the theft. The 
time appointed for the execution arrived. He was 
led to the tree, and there told to make his j)eace 
Avith his Maker, for in fifteen minutes he Avould be 
in His presence. Seymour knelt down and offered 
up his devotions in one of the most touching ap- 
X3eals to God for pardon for his own sins and those 
of us who stood round him ; praying God to forgive 
us for the great crime we were about to commit 
against him ; calling on his Maker to witness liis 
innocence of the crime for which he was about to 
suffer. I firmly believe that x^rayer touched the 
hearts of many who stood around him that night. 
When his time was uj) the rope was placed around 
his neck, and he was asked if he had anything more 
to say. He said he was innocent, and hoped God 
would forgive them. He was then hauled from 
the ground and hanged for some time, when he was 
let down and asked again to confess to his stealing 
the money. His answer was, "I am innocent." 
This thev did three times, with tlie same answer 
eacli time. After the third hanging a consultation 
was held out of his hearing, and it was decided not 
to hang him, but give him a chance to escape, and 
the j)lace would then be clear of him. On return- 
ing to the tree he was informed that the execution 
would be postponed until the following day at 9 



OFFICERS ELECTED. 137 

oVlock. When he was let down each time he was 
praying for more time to make his peace with his 
Maker, and they informed him they wonld give 
liim until that time to do so. He was then i)ljiced 
in my charge, with priyate instructions to me to let 
liim escaj)e that night. I liyed in a small cabin. 
The crowd brought him to the cabin and put him 
inside, giying me feigned orders if he attempted to 
escape to shoot him down. The crowd then dis- 
X^ersed. He ^yas no sooner alone than he again 
commenced his in-ayers. I stood outside of the 
door listening to him. In about an hour 1 opened 
the cabin door — he was still on his knees ; I said to 
him, " Seymour, I do not like to see you die like a 
dog; you may be innocent." "I am innocent," he 
replied, "as innocent as yourself of the crime that 
I am about to die for." I said, "I haye a good 
notion to let you escape. I haye many friends 
among the miners, and I do not think they would 
dare to injure me for doing so." He looked w^ to 
me with such a look of sup^dication and pleading 
in his countenance that even if it was not a preyi- 
ously understood arrangement, I belieye 1 sliould 
haye let him go and taken my chances with the 
crowd. I said to him, "Sepnour, I will let you go. 
If you haye been a bad man, reform ; you haye had 
a narrow escape ; get out of the county as fast as 
you can." I then asked him if he had any money 
and he said, " Xo, not a cent." I gaye him ten 
dollars, and oj)ened his prison door, telling him to 



138 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

put as long a distance as possible between him and 
Weaver before morning. He was not long in mak- 
ing his prejyarations. Giving liim some bread and 
cold meat, he left, showering blessings on me, his 
preserver. That was the last I saw of j)oor Sey- 
mour. 

I have often read of men being condemned 
to death, and, at the last moment, being reprieved, 
or their sentence commuted. This Avas the first 
case within my experience. The mind can hardly 
contemplate the change that the few words spoken 
will give to the feelings of the condemned criminal. 
When I first hinted to Seymour that I Avould let 
him go, hope sprang to his breast ; his whole being 
seemed to change ; a new life seemed to spring up 
in him, and in less time than it takes me to write 
this, from a grovelling, heart-broken, dejected x^iece 
of clay, he became a new man, endowed with new 
life. We heard from him the next day. About 9 
o'clock two miners on their way from Shasta to 
Weaverville saw a man on the trail just ahead of 
them. They saw him first ; when he saw them he 
dodged into the bush. They did not like the looks 
of things, so they drew their guns and went after 
him, and found him hiding behind a bunch of 
brush, apparently in great terror. They asked what 
was the matter. He begged them not to kill him 
or take him back to Weaverville, and told them 
that he had just escaped with his life, and advised 
them not to go Weaverville, as it was the wick- 



OFFICERS ELECTED. 189 

edest pLice in California. They told liini they were 
miners, and if they attended to their own bnsiness 
they thonght there would be no trouble. They 
came on until they got pretty near town, when they 
met old Sam Ourrav. Every pioneer will remember 
old Sam Curray. He was always drunk and on the 
fiffht. He made his home with McKenzie & 
Winston, who were running a butcher-shop and 
store at that time, and Sam did chores for the firm. 
The old fellow Avas on his way to the slaughter- 
house to help kill a beef. He was about half drunk, 
as usual, and had with him a basket, in which Ayere 
two reyolyers and three or four butcher-kniyes, 
used in killing beef. Meeting those two miners 
just below town, his first salutation was, " Who the 
h — 1 are you T' They said they were miners, on 
their way to Weayeryille. His next salutation 

was : " Can you fight, you, can you fight f 

Throwing down the basket with the pistols and 
kniyes, he said : " Take your choice of weapons ; 
fight you must. If you are not fighting men you 

haye no business in Weayeryille, you." The 

miners then thought that the fellow they met on 
the mountain was about right, and gaye Weayer- 
yille a wide berth. They met a miner at Oregon 
Gulch mountain, and in conversation with him 
learned the true situation of aifairs and who old 
Sam Curray was. They finally came back to 
Weayeryille, and did not find it half so desperate a 
place as old Sam represented it to be. 



140 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

To come back to the stolen money or dust : Dr. 
Winston had business out back of his store one day, 
a short time after Sejanour left, and he found the 
yeast-powder can out among the chaparral, with 
the gold dust in it all right, just where Hard- 
graves had dropped it the night he was drunk. He 
afterward remembered being out there while drunk, 
but was too drunk to discover his loss Avlien he 
dropi^ed the can. Hardgraves got his money back, 
and poor Seymour was exonerated from the tlieft ; 
but it was too late. Seymour was made to suffer 
for a crime of Avhich he was innocent, and banished 
from the place. Circumstances were against him, 
yet he was inaocent. After that case men were 
more cautious. Lynching was not resorted to 
excej)t when the proof was plain and the crime 
very great. It taught me the lesson to nei^er again 
have an}i;hing to do with Judge Lynch or his court. 
Had Seymour been hanged it would have haunted 
me to the last day of my life; but, thank God, we 
were all spared that crime. 



CHANGING THE COURSE OF TRINITY RIVER. 141 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Changing the Course of Trinity River. 

The "Arkansaw dam." — Meeting an old friend. — A first cousin ot the 
Earl of Stanmore the keeper of a trading-post. — A fire. — Lost his 
last pair of pantaloons. — A peculiar costume. — Dear lumber. — 
Gardening. — A fighting parson. 

In the smiinier of '50 a company was formed on 
Trinity Riyer to turn the bed of the stream into an 
okl channel by buikling a dam at the head of the 
okl stream. Tliey expected to throw all the water 
of the Trinity Riyer into its old course, and lay 
bare, or nearly dry, the whole bed for three- 
quarters of a mile, which was said to be yery rich 
in the precious metal. The company' was com- 
j)osed of men principally from Arkansas, and they 
called the works the " Arkansaw dam." Uncle 
Joe Strudiyant, John Carter, Jonathan Logan and 
Jerry Whitmore, afterwards of tliis county, were 
the principal stockholders in the enterj)rise. They 
let the contract for building the dam to a crowd of 
New Bruns wickers, the most of whom haye since 
become leading men of Humboldt county. There 
were Sandy Buchanan, William Carson, George 
McEarlan, Oliyer Cilmore, Dan Morrison, and 



142 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

others tluit I do not reniember, who helped to 
build that dam. It was celebrated all over the 
county as a big undertaking for the time. Xews 
used to come up to Weaverville of the big pros- 
pects they had. I have heard it re]3orted that they 
got as high as one ounce of gold dust to a pan of 
dirt scraped from the bottom of the river, and never 
less than one dollar to the shovelful. Every tiling 
seemed lovely ; the "Bluenoses" were getting on 
with their dam in good shape, and in a week or 
two Avould turn the water into the old bed. I 
heard of an interest that was for sale at one 
thousand dollars, and thought, "Xow is your time, 
old boy, to make a 'home stake.'" Paying ten 
dollars for a mule to ride, and taking one thousand 
dollars in dust, I started for the " Arkansaw dam," 
expecting to buy myself rich. When I arrived at 
the dam, about ten miles from Weaverville, every- 
thing was going with a rush. The "Bluenoses" 
were astonishing those Arkansas chaps by the 
way they were tilling the logs into the dam. I 
examined the works closely, and likewise the old 
bed. The thought struck me that the old bed 
was not large or deej) enough to carry all the 
water then in Trinity Kiver, and I began to 
weaken on my "home stake." 

In looking around the banks of the river I saw 
two fellows at work with a rocker. I went to 
where they were Avorking, and in conversation I 
found one of their names was Cummins. I told 



CHANGING THE COURSE OF TRINITY RIVER. 143 

liiin I liiid a school-mate of that name Avhen a boy. 
He asked me where 1 I said in Kingston, Canada. 
AYhat was the name of yonr teacher^ I tokl him, 
and he said he was that school-mate. We were 
very glad to see each other. The last I had seen of 
him before meeting him on the Trinity River he 
was captain of a steamer rnnning between Kingston 
and Ottawa, and was qnite a dude in his dress and 
appearance. I looked at him for a moment, and 
said : " Surely, this is not Oapt. John G. Cummins 
of tlie Prince Albert" (that was the name of the 
steamer lie commanded.) He said he was the 
fellow. I said : " Captain, you do not look much 
like the captain of the Prince Albert now." He 
said : " Nevertheless, 1 am the fellow." 

I will here remark that in those early days you 
Avere likely to come upon a captain, or a doctor, or 
a lawyer, or a merchant, or a professor, or other 
titled individual, delving witli his pick and shovel 
and bucket. They all had to try their luck in the 
mines, but, as a general thing, they soon tired of 
it, and returned to more congenial employment, 
and mining was left to the hard-fisted sons of toil. 

Cummins and I repaired to the shade of a tree, 
and for a time lived over our boyhood days again. 
I told him that I came down expressly to buy into 
the dam. I wanted to know his opinion of the 
investment. He advised me to have notliing to do 
with it, for the same reason that I myself thought 
of. I made up my mind to take his advice, as it 



144 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

coincided with my opinion. He would not think 
of my going home that night, but I must stay with 
liim. He was not doing much at mining, and I 
advised him to come with me to Weave rville, as 1 
thought he could do better there. 

At the Arkansaw dam at that time there was a 
trading-post ; that is, a large walled tent which was 
kept for that j)urpose, where you could find such 
goods as the miners required. It was kej)t by an 
Englishman by the name of James Stanmore, who 
claimed to be very high-toned — to be no less a per- 
son than the first cousin of the Earl of Stanmore in 
England. He was a jolly old fellow ; weighed over 
two hundred and fifty pounds. He became a favor- 
ite with the boys, and when the day's work Avas over, 
his store was generally well patronized — three or 
four tables running every night ; the boys playing 
cards for whisky, cigars, sardines and crackers, etc., 
and having a good time generally. The 11 o'clock 
oi'dinance was not in force at the Arkansaw dam at 
that time. The night I was there, they were run- 
ning in full blast. There was working at the dam a 
comical old fellow called Smiley, upon whom the 
boys were always playing some trick. They fre- 
quently used to euchre him when he held both 
bowers and the ace. It was fun for the boAS to 
hear old Smiley SAvear in such cases. About 12 
o'clock old Smiley got up and Avent out, and, on 
coming in and picking up his hand, he remarked, 
" Tom MotherAvell's tent is afire." Cummins 



CHANGING THE COURSE OF TRINITY RIVER. 145 

jiiuiped lip from the table and ran to the door, and 
the rest of us did tlie same. The tent was in flames, 
and Tom lying asleej) in it. It was but tlie Avork 
of a minute to j)i^ll ^lie burning tent down from 
over him. Tom got partly awake, and said : " What 
the d — 1 are you fellows doing 1 '' Tom Avas jn-etty 
well "set-up" before retiring, and he lighted the 
candle and forgot to blow it out before he fell 
asleep. The candle set the tent on fire, and came 
very near cremating him. It burnt up what few 
clothes and j)i'Ovisions they had. Cummins had 
but one j^air of pants, and those were wet, so he 
took them off, after his day's work, and hung them 
to dry, putting on a pair of red-flannel drawers, to 
sit in during the evening while his pants dried. 
The evenings Avere generally warm, and a man was 
comfortable with ygvy feAV clothes on. The fire 
closed out the fun for the night. The next morn- 
ing, Avhen Ave came to oa erhaul the ruins of the 
fire, Cummins found his pants, but the legs were 
burnt off up to tlie thighs, and Stanmore had no 
pants or overalls in the store. He Avas in a pretty 
fix, for he Avanted to go to AVeaA erille Avith me and 
had no x^ants to wear, and none Avere to be had 
nearer than WeaverA'ille, ten miles aAvay. Finally, 
Ave persuaded him to put Avhat was left of his pants 
OA er his drawers, and go so. He did so, Avitli the 
understanding that I Avas to ride ahead, and, if we 
met ail} body on the trail, I w as to Avhistle, and he 
Avould liide in the brush until tliey Avould get by. 



146 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

He Avas when at lionie very particuhir as to his 
clothes, and always looked the very pink of neat- 
ness. Wlien we got rigged up and ready for a 
start, his costume consisted of an old Ayhite hat, 
with part of tlie crown out, a gray shirt, corduroy 
pants, minus the legs, a pair of red drawers and a 
pair of mining boots, with the legs of the red draw- 
ers stuffed in them. He was comical to look at. 
We got started, and, as luck would have it, a\ e did 
not meet anything on the road except one pack 
train, until we got near Weaveryille. There were 
some willow flats just before Ave got to toAvn, and 
the agreement Avas that he should 2:0 into a bunch 
of AvilloAV's and I Avould ride into toAAii and get him 
a pair of pants and a hat, and bring them to him. 
I rode into toA\n, got the pants and hat, and 
brought them to liim, AAiiich made him quite pre- 
sentable. He took up his quarters Avith me. The 
first night he Avanted to spread liis blankets on the 
floor, but I Avould not stand that ; I had a bunk 
large enough for both of us, and insisted on his 
using part of it. He demurred for a long time, but 
finally turned in Avith me. In four or flAe days 
after he came to me and said, " HaA^e a ou discoA - 
ered any "graybacks" in your bed since I liaAC 
been sleeping Avith you V I said, " HaA^e you had 
an increase in yours since you came % " He looked 
at me and said, " Well, if you had them before I 
came it is all riglit ; I suppose a mixture Avill do 
no harm ; but that is the reason I did not Avant to 



CHANGING THE COURSE OF TRINITY RIVER. 147 

sleep in your bed." •' Tliat is all riglit, my boy ; 
after you turned in the same tliouglit struck me re- 
garding yourself; if I had thought of mine I would 
not have insisted on your sharing my bunk with 
me, but, as we Avere both in the same fix, of course 
no harm is done." 

There was a man by the name of Becket running 
a saw-mill near town — that is, a handsaw-mill ; he 
had a whipsaw. The lumber for sluice-boxes and 
long-toms was cut by hand, and was worth at the 
saw-pit twenty-five cents per foot, or two hundred 
and fifty dollars per thousand ; a pretty good price 
for lumber, Humboldters would say. I got 
Cummins a job with Becket sawing at ten dollars 
per day. After a while he bought a half of the 
concern, which consisted of one whipsaw, two files 
and a fixture to file the saw with, which he j)aid 
Becket one hundred dollars for. They averaged 
their twenty-five dollars per day eacli, for some 
time. Subsequently a man by the name of Lathrop 
started a small mill at the mouth of Weaver Creek, 
six miles below toAvn, and made a road n^ to town 
at his own expense, and sold lumber at twelve and 
a half cents per foot, which put a stop to wliip- 
sawing. This man Lathrop was a go-ahead fellow. 
Before starting the mill there was quite a flat just 
above the mouth of Weaver Creek, covered with 
willows and other brush, and he started in clearing 
it up for a farm. The people used to make fun of 
him. The idea of raising anything in those mount- 



I4S PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ains seemed prei)osterons; but the MIoav kei)t on 

with his Avork, and got a few acres cleaved and a 

ditcli dug to irrigate it, and phmted his seed. The 

garden proved to be splendid property ; everything 

grew to j)erfection, and the price he charged was 

huge. For a small bunch of radishes, twenty-five 

cents ; onions, twenty-five cents ; melons, from one 

to two dollars each ; potatoes, fifty cents per pound, 

and other things in proi)ortion, and then could not 

begin to furnish half that was required. He told me 

that frequently one mule load Avould bring him 

from seventy-five to one hundred dollars. He built 

a fish-trap at the mouth of the creek, and caught 

anv amount of salmon, which were a luxury in 

those days, and these he sold at fifty cents i)er 

pound. In a couple of years the old fellow sold his 

place for fifteen thousand dollars, and Avent to San 

Jose, and, I heard, paid forty thousand dollars for 

a ranch there. The old man was a sort of a 

preacher. He would work all the week and preach 

to the boys on Sunday. He was more successful in 

making money and raising vegetables than he was 

in saving souls, the boys used to say. Others, seeing 

the success of Lathrop, took up every piece of land 

that woukl raise anything in the county, and were 

generally successful. Vegetables always brought a 

good price. The fish operation was soon a 

failure, for when the mines came to be ox^ened, the 

debris running into Trinity stopped the salmon from 

running up stream. Erom a clear mountain stream 



CHANGING THE COURSE OF TRINITY RIVER. 149 

it became a red, muddy river to its moutL, wliicli 
was death to the salmon. 

Speaking of preaching, we had very little of it. 
For the tirst two years there was a Methodist 
minister stationed at Shasta, forty miles from 
Weayeryille, and once in a while he would paj^ the 
sinners at Weayeryille a yisit. Sometimes he 
would come on foot, and sometimes he would make 
the raise of a mule to ride on. Tliey had their 
services generally in the street, with not much of 
an audience. Some fellow at the end of the service 
would j)ass the hat around and make a collection 
for him to ]3ay his expenses. To the Meth- 
odists belong the lionor of being the i)ioneers of the 
church in Northern California. Many of them were 
good, earnest Christians, and some of them had to 
stand on their muscle. I remember in '51 there 
was a minister by the name of Hill stationed at 
Shasta. When he announced his first meeting 
there, he was to sx^eak from the balcony of a hotel. 
There were some gamblers who said no IMethodist 
minister should preach in that town while they 
were there. Mr. Hill heard the threat, but paid no 
attention to it. When the time arrived Mr. Hill 
commenced his services by singing a hymn. There 
was a crowd gathered to see the fun. One of the 
gamblers went upstairs where Mr. Hill was singing, 
and told him to desist or he would throw him over 
the banister. Mr. Hill tried to reason with him ; 
but he came there to clean out the preacher, and he 



150 ^ PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

was bound to do it. He attempted to lay hold of 
the preacher, not thinking there was any fight in a 
Christian, when Mr. Hill gave him a blow between 
the eyes and laid him out, and in an instant, before 
he knew what hurt him, the preacher had him over 
the banisters and coolly remarked, "If there are 
any more of you, come on before I commence my 
sermon. I do not like to be interrupted in my dis- 
course." The boys gave the j)reacher a big cheer. 
He met no more interruption, and became quite a 
favorite with the miners. 



MAIL MATTERS- 151 



CHAPTER XV. 

Mail Matters. 

Mail matters. — A dollar for a letter. — First postoffice at Weaverville. 
— Carrying mail m a hat. — The express business. — Rival bakers. — 
A Fourth of July celebration. — Roast beef and plum pudding. 

I will give my readers a slight description of how 
mail matters were oj)erated in early days. When 
new mines were discovered, or a camp located, 
some enterprising genius would go around and take 
the names of all the miners in camp and start an 
express, each man generall}^ taking a paper. The 
paper taken, if lie was a Western man, would be the 
Missouri Bepuhlican or Louisville Journal \ if an 
Eastern man, the New York Herald', if a Whig, the 
Xew York Tribune, which they paid fifty cents for. 
Each letter you paid one dollar for, and happy was 
he who got a letter. Men did not begrudge the 
dollar. Seldom would you go into a miner's tent 
or cabin without finding one or more of the papers 
I have mentioned. The emigrant, not knowing 
where his residence was going to be, instructed his 
friends to direct his letters to San Francisco or 
Sacramento; hence, the local expressman sometimes 



152 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

made a good thing in liis business. Mail matter 
all came by way of tlie Isthmus, and much of it 
never reached California. I was in the country 
one year before I received a letter from home. I 
wrote regularly once a month, but could get no 
answer. Finally, I hit upon a plan that made things 
better. I wrote and directed my parents to put the 
letter "Y" for a middle name when addressing me. 
They did so, and after that my letters came gener- 
ally correct. 

In the fall of '51 Uncle Sam gave us a postoffice 
at Weaverville. I well remember the first United 
States mail that arrived. The carrier Avas a fellow 
by the name of Weed. There was one letter in the 
mail, and the mail -bag was his hat. Tliat letter was 
directed to Dr. Winston, the newly-appointed j^ost- 
master of Weaverville. There was some rejoicing 
when we found that we could have our mail di- 
rected to AVeaverville, instead of Sacramento City. 

Yet the express business grew and multiplied. 
Prom carrying letters and papers, they commenced 
doing a banking business, and buying gold-dust. 
At one time in Weaverville there were three of 
those express companies established; and to those 
early express riders the peoj)le of California owe a 
debt of gratitude. Through flood and storm they 
rode, often swimming their animals over mountain 
torrents and wading through snow for miles. The 
express riders were always on time, safely guarding 
the express and treasure placed in their charge. 



MAIL MATTERS. 153 

These men carried nine-tentlis of the gold-dust 
mined in the State to Sacramento and San Fran- 
cisco, and I do not remember one of them j)roving 
untrue to his trust. IMany times they were at- 
tacked by liighwaymen and robbers, but they gen- 
erally came out best ; or, if Avorsted, they were first 
on the trail of the thieves. They generally were 
a jovial set of felloAVS. There was one fellow who 
rode out of Weaverville bv the name of BarstoAv. I 
believe he is noAV one of the princij)al men in 
Wells, Eargo & Oo\s office at San Erancisco. In 
one of his rides up through the Sacramento Valley, 
Barstow came to a liouse completely surrounded 
with Avater — the riAcr had OAcrrun its banks and 
Avas sj)reading oAcr the valley. He saAV a woman 
Avith a long pole prodding around the yard. She 
had on a pair of rubber boots. He stoj^ped and 
asked Avhat the matter Avas, or if one of the children 
was droAvned. She said : 

"Xo; but the children is "dogoned" dry, and I'm 
tryin' to find the Avell to get 'em a drink of good 
Avater." 

BarstoAV did not say Avhether she found the Avell 
or not, but he felt certain that thej did not die for 
want of Avater. 

Occasionally one of these fearless riders would 
j)ay the penalty of his rashness. Charles Shaffer 
Avas one of them. He alwaAS made his boast that 
no riA er Avould stop him, and no snow in the mount- 
ains Avas too deep for him to cross. But the poor 



154 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

t'elloAV got caught at last. For several days it had 
been raining and snowing in the Trinity mountains, 
the rivers were all high, and every gulch and 
canyon was full of water. Charley made the trip 
up in safety, until he reached Brown's Creek, three 
miles from Weaverville, the last he had to cross. 
Coming to it he undertook, it is supposed, to swim 
his mule across, but the bank had washed away on 
the other side of the stream, and his mule could not 
make a landing, consequently both mule and rider 
went down with the torrent, and Charley was lost. 
The people of Weaverville, supi)osing that he would 
not make the attempt to come through in such a 
storm, paid no attention to it until the next day, 
when one of the other riders came in and inquired 
for Charley, having been told that he left Shasta 
two days previously. A band of men started on 
the trail. On Brown's Creek they found the mule ; 
he had got out of the stream Avith the saddle on, 
and the treasure and the express matter all right. 
But the body of Charley they could not find, nor 
has it been found to this dav. A reward was of- 

ft/ 

fered for the recovery of tlie body, but without 
avail. Manv of tliose brave men lost their lives in 
the faithful discharge of tlieir duty, and they de- 
serve a monument to their memory. 

When a town or camj) was started and new dig- 
gings discovered, the trading-post soon made its 
appearance ; then the saloon, the bakery and the 
butcher-market. We had three bakeries in WeaA^- 



MAIL MATTERS. 155 

erville before we bad inucb of a toAvn. Tbere was 
more rivalry in tbat line of business tlian any otber. 
One of tbe bakeries was kept by a man named 
Horton, tbe second one by Dutcb Cbarlie, and tbe 
otber by a man wbose name I baye forgotten. Tbey 
used to accuse Horton of selling ligbt-weigbt bread. 
It came to Horton's ears ; be didn't like tbe accu- 
sation. He baked some fine large loayes and got 
one loaf eacb from tbe otber bakeries. Placing bis 
wares on a dry-goods box in tbe street in front of 
his bouse, be labeled tbe loayes from eacb bakery : 
" Tbis is Dutcli Cbarley's bread," and " tbis is from 
tbe otber bakery." His own big loaf was labeled, 
"Tbis is Horton's bread," witb a bottle of brandy 
and a glass beside it, labeled, " Tbis is Horton's 
brandy — belp yourself." Dutcb Cbarley soon beard 
of tbe layout. Tbere was one mad Dutcbman. Start- 
ing for tbe scene witb a double-barrelled sbot gun, 
he placed himself in front of Horton's door with 
the shot gun at bis shoulder, singing out: " Come 
fon de house out ! Come fon de bouse out, you 
dam hound dog scamp you ! I shoot you too hell 
pitty dam quick anyhow ! You scheat mit de bredt 
de pbeobles, gotdamyou !" 

Einally, he made a raid on the dry-goods box, 
breaking the brandy bottle and stamping the bread 
into the earth, and retreated to his OAvn cabin in 
good order. 

On the Eourth of July, '51, the miners had a 
grand old time in Weayeryille, gathering from all 



156' PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the surrounding diggings, and Horton gave a big- 
dinner, cliarging two dollars for each plate. After 
dinner there was speech-niaking, singing, and a 
general good time. Black Dan with his fiddle was 
brought out, and the boys danced in the street dur- 
ing the afternoon and along into the night. Tliey 
Avanted Mrs. Horton to join in the dance, but she 
declined. Einally, some felloAV offered her five dol- 
lars for one of her old hats, if she would not come 
herself. She let him have it, and in every set the 
hat was placed in the center and the set prome- 
naded around it with as much dignity as though 
Mrs. Horton was under it. At the end of every set 
the order was given : " All promenade to the bar," 
where the gents had to treat the make-believe 
ladies. Everything passed off in good sliape, Avith- 
out a roAV or casualty. 

The boys in our tent Avanted me to get them up 
a ffood dinner for the Fourth of JuIa'. I asked 
Avhat they wanted. Tliej^ in fun told me, " roast 
beef and plum-pudding." I told them they should 
haA e it. 

"Yes," said one of them, "it Avill be a h — 1 of a 
plum-pudding youll make." 

I had no notion of doing it Avhen I prcmiised 
them, but tliey kept teasing me about it, until I 
made uj) my mind to do it or " bust." So, on tlie 
morning of tlie Fourth, I commenced operating on 
my pudding and roast beef. I Avent to the store 
and got raisins, currants, cinnamon, etc., four or 



MAIL MATTERS- 157 

iive jionncls of tallow, and a roast of beef. One of 
the boys helped pick the raisins and mince the suet. 
Einall} , I got all iny ingredients ready, and got it 
made uj), when one of the fellows looked into the 
dish and suggested that I make more of it, at the 
same time emptying part of the contents of the 
tlour-sack into the disli on top of my pudding. 
Then I had to get more raisins, more currants, 
more suet. I added nearly a box of yeast powder 
to it to giye it a start. I got a lift} -pound flour- 
sack to cook it in. AVhen the dough was put in, it 
half filled the sack. I tied it u^p and put it into 
the camp-kettle that was boiling on the fire, with 
some doubts as to its eating qualities when cooked. 
My roast beef I managed in this way: I droye 
down two stakes on each side of the fire, bored 
holes in tlieni and run a piece of round iron through 
the beef and tlirougli the holes. The iron would 
turn in the holes and the meat Avas roasted before 
the fire. In this way the roast of beef was cooked, 
and it is no exaggeration to say that it was good, 
and well done. 

To come back to the plum pudding : As soon as 
the yeast powder began to do its duty, my j)udding 
began to swell, burst the tying strings, and filled 
the flour-sack full to its mouth, and some of it ran 
oyer into the camp-kettle. Einall} , after four or 
fiye hours cooking, we got the huge fellow out of 
the kettle, but we had no dish big enough to hold 
it, so one of the boys got the coyer of a dry-goods 



158 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

box, and we laid it out on tliat. The tug of war was 
to get it out of tlie sack. Finally, we had to skin 
the sack off of it as you would peel a banana. It 
was a beauty when skinned. I had some misgiv- 
ings as to its being cooked through before it was 
cut; but it was all right, except a little in the 
center. We had a glorious dinner — roast beef, 
plum pudding with brandy sauce, etc. We invited 
everybody we saw to dinner, and had plum-pudding 
and roast beef for the rest of the week. I believe 
that was the first plum-pudding ever made in the 
county, and I know it was the largest one that ever 
graced the festive board in good old Trinity. The 
boys did not "josh" me any more about roast beef 
and plum-pudding. 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. 159 



CHAPTER XVI. 

A Political Contest. 

A miner knifed and a graveyard begun. — Providing for the winter. — 
A visit to Sacramento. — A political contest.— An enthusiast's report 
concerning Humboldt. — Weaverville laid out regularly. — Squaring 
an account. — Bringing water from Weaver Creek. — Accessions of 
settlers from Humboldt. — A town jackass. 

Tilings went on tolerably smooth after the Fourth 
excejit that ^VG had a row now and then to j)'^ss 
away time. Two miners were pla} ing poker in a 
cabin and got into a row over the game, when one 
of them cut the other in the bowels with a knife, 
and then went and informed some other men of what 
he had done, and immediately left. The fellow who 
was cut died before morning, but the fellow who 
did the cutting got away, and was never heard of 
afterwards. AVe buried the victim on a point just 
back of the town. I believe he was the first occu- 
pant of the graveyard. Afterwards there were 
several more buried alongside of him, but the place 
where they were buried proved to be good diggings 
and the miners worked uj) to the coffins, and the 
dead were transferred by order of the County Judge 



T(JU PrOXEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

over to tlie neAv (cemetery on the south side of the 
town. 

Fall came on, and everybody laid in for the 
winter a large stock of flour, bacon, and such other 
things as were needed, but the w inter proved a very 
open one — that is, the forepart of it. My stock of 
iron and steel ran Ioav, and 1 made up ray mind to 
go below and la}^ in a new supply for the spring. 
Previous to this I bought my iron in the Sacra- 
mento Valley — old tires that I made picks out of ; 
they becoming scarce I went to Sacramento City 
for a stock. After purchasing the stock and getting 
the packs ready for a start, I Avas introduced to two 
men who afterwards became well known in Hum- 
boldt county. They were Hi Hogoboom and Si 
Birdsel. They had just arrived from the East, and 
were looking for employment in Sacramento. I 
got them a passage to Weaverville with the train 
that packed up my stock, and made up my mind to 
see the sights at the capital for a few days, and en- 
joy cIa ilization for a short time. 

The Legislature was in session at the time, and 
I called on our representatives, McKenzie and Mc- 
Mullan. The seat in the Senate from our district 
was contested, the contestants being John A. Lyle, 
the Whig candidate, and John H. Harper and J. W. 
Denver, both Democrats. The Senate could not 
agree as to which of the contestants was entitled to 
the seat, so they sent it back to the people of the 
district to decide. Both McKenzie and McMullan 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. IGl 

were AVliigs, and tbc} invited me to a Whig cancns 
tliey held one evening, and wanted my views as to 
the strongest Whig in the district to run against J. 
W. Denver. John H. Harper had withdrawn from 
the contest and left the Democratic tield clear for 
J. W. Denver. When my advice was asked, I 
recommended Robert Gr. Stuart as the most avail- 
able Whig we had in the county, and McKenzie 
sided with me. H. G. Stuart was a young man, but 
a short time from Ohio, a graduate of one of the 
Ohio collei>es. His father, Matthew Stuart, was a 
merchant in Weaverville, and was conducting large 
money operations for that day. Bob, as the boys 
used to call him, Avas a general favorite Avith the 
boys, and likely to make a good run. Then came 
the rub. The election was but fifteen days off, 
and the caucus did not know whether Stuart would 
consent to make the run or not. They proi^osed 
that I should start for home next day and induce 
Stuart to accei^t the nomination for the Senate 
against J. W.Denver. I demurred to the arrange- 
ment, as I had not had my time that I j)romised 
myself at the city, but I finally consented, and 
started for Weaverville. There came on a terrible 
snowstorm before I reached Weaverville. I was 
delayed two or three days on account of high water, 
but arrived safe. After consulting Stuart and call- 
ing a meeting of the principal AYhigs, we induced 
Stuart to make the run, which he did. I was sent 
to Big Flat on election day, the home of General 



162 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Denver, to help Stuart, and see tliat all went on the 
square. AVhen the x^olls Avere opened, everything 
was for Denver. Tliere were ten or twelve Erench- 
nien on the bar who had passes signed by Patrick 
Dillon, the French consul in San Erancisco, and 
they voted them on the Frencli j)asses. That was 
sufficient — in went the vote for the General. At 
Weaverville- it was diiferent, Stuart receiving 
seventy majority, which, if it had been a fair ballot, 
would have elected him; but, when Denver's friends 
found out that Stuart Avas elected, some of them 
sent to Indian Creek and brought in sufficient re- 
turns to elect Denver. There were at the time but 
three or four men on Indian Creek, but Wm. M. 
Lowe carried in the returns which gave Denver, I 
think, thirty-six majority, and elected him. Stuart 
did not care enough about the position to contest 
the election, so the Greneral took his seat as Senator, 
and made a good one. Denver afterwards became 
Secretary of State, and Avas elected to Congress. He 
was a man of good ability and sterling honesty of 
character. Whether engaged in dealing out goods 
on Big Flat to the miners, or legislating in the 
halls of Congress, he Avas the same honest Demo- 
crat. FcAV names in public life in the early days of 
California history stand higher than that of General 
DenA er. R. G. Stuart afterAvards studied laAV Avith 
Judge Pitzer, and practiced in WeaA erA^lle. The 
last I heard from him he Avas Collector of Customs 
at Olympia, Washington. 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. 163 

Old Mattliew Stiiiirt got the Humboldt fever, and 
came down to this comity to pros])ect. It was told 
of him that he and his party were prospecting 
about Eel River for a town-site, and, finding a lo- 
cation that suited them, commenced to lay otf the 
town, and had it partly surveyed. One day, while 
waiting for dinner, one of the party looked up into 
a tree and saw a lot of driftwood in its branches. 
Turning to Colonel Stuart, he asked : " Colonel, 
what is that uj) in that tree 1" The Colonel jumped 
up, and, on examination, pronounced it driftAvood, 
remarking, "Our town is gone toh — 1, sure ! " The 
old gentleman was not very particular in his lan- 
guage, and used a great many "cuss words." He 
and his party came back after prospecting Hum- 
boldt county, and gave a gloAving account of Hum- 
boldt as to its resources, soil, lumber, etc. I in- 
quired of him as to its climate and health. As to 
climate it "was the d — t best on the face of the 
earth ; and as far as health was concerned a man 
would live until his hair dragged the ground if he 
did not dry up and blow away." Such was the ac- 
count the old Colonel gave of Humboldt county 
when he got back to Weaverville. He wanted to 
get up a company right away and come down and 
settle, and tried very hard to get me to join him, 
but I could not see it in as favorable a light as he 
represented it. The old gentleman had to return 
to Ohio before he got his company organized, and 
his colony fell through. 



t()-i PIONEEE DAYS IN CALIFORmA. 

About this tiuie we found the diggings about 
AYeaverville were going to prove good and perma- 
nent, and people commenced buikling. Tliere was 
no system, everybody building where he j)leased ; 
no title or ownership lo the land, and no system of 
streets. A few of us got together and laid out the 
main street and devoted it to the public use ; then 
staking oif our lots each man took his sixty feet 
front and one hundred and sixty feet back, and got 
his claim recorded with the County Clerk. J. C. 
Burch was County Clerk at the time, and he 
charged sixteen dollars for recording my claim. It 
was the first piece of land j)ut on record north of 
Shasta. Others followed, and soon the toAvn was 
all taken up and recorded. There was no strife, or 
lot grabbing; Avhat a man did not want to use was 
left for his neighbor. Bally Long and McConnaha, 
now of Areata, built a new saloon and ball-alley. 
Bally Long was a genius in liis way, and a good 
sort of fellow, but would bear watching. When 
Bally started to build his alley, I made him one 
hundred sj)ikes to spike it with, there being no large 
nails or sx>ikes kej)t in town at the time. At the 
opening of the alley, the bo} s thought they would 
give Bally and Mac a benefit, or a "send-oif ;" so 
they started in to paint the town red, which the}^ 
did in good style, I with the rest. A few days 
afterwards I went to Bally and wanted to know 
what my bill was. He looked at his book and said, 
"It is just one hundred and ten dollars, but give 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. " 165 

me one hundred and we will call it square." "All 
right," 1 said, " I believe 1 have a bill against you." 
"Yes," he replied, "bring it in and we will settle." 
I started for the shop and made out his bill, charg- 
ing him oiie dollar each for the sj)ikes and some 
other little things which brought the bill up to one 
hundred and ten dollars. Presenting the bill to 
Bally he looked at it, remarking " That is tlie d — dest 
best price for spikes I ever paid." " Yes, Bally, I 
admit il is a good price for spikes, but one hundred 
and ten dollars for two rounds for twenty or twenty- 
five men is the d — dest best price I ever paid ; but I 
will not allow you to be any more liberal than I, I 
will throw off the ten dollars and call the thing 
square." " All right," replied Bally, " I never dis- 
pute a gentleman's bill, what will you take*? Say 
notliing about it and we will call it square." 

In the summer of '51, when the gulches began to 
dry up, and water to work with became scarce, men 
began to consider hoAV water could be brought into 
the diggings from the two branches of Weaver 
Creek. Jim Howe surveyed a ditch from East 
Weaver into liis claim, and set men to work on it, 
claiming eight "tom-heads" of water. The claim 
was made by posting notices at the head of the 
creek, and that, by the law of the miners, was per- 
fectly legal. As soon as Howe commenced work 
on his ditch another company organized and laid 
claim to all the waters of the creek but the eight 
"tom-heads" that Jim Howe had claimed, and com- 



166 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

menced operations above Howe's ditcli. I was a 
member of the company, and was to pay my share in 
cash, while the others worked their interest. The 
ditch was called the Shimmons ditcli, as a man by 
the name of Billy Shimmons was the organizer of the 
company. In dne time the water was brought 
into the diggings. My interest in it cost me one 
hundred dollars, and, as I Avanted to give my friend 
Cummings a start, I sold it to him for one hundred 
dollars, the same as it cost me. In four jears from 
that time the same interest was worth four thous- 
and dollars, and sold for it. Such is luck ! At the 
time the ditch was brought in it was not considered 
to be of any value, but it became the most valuable 
property in Trinity county, and is to this day. 

Along in the fall of '51 Ave began to get some 
accessions to our population from Humboldt. J. 
T. Young and his brother Erank first made their 
appearance, Wm. H. Lowe, afterwards Sheriff of 
the county, and H. J. Seaman, a brother of Mrs. J. 
A. Watson, avIio was afterAvards County Clerk of 
the county. Fordice Bates Avas of the Humboldt 
delegation. Bates yet remains in old Trinity. The 
Hon. George Williams about this time made his 
appearance in toAvn. He bought out a bakery and 
ran that business for scA^eral years. Wm. T. Olm- 
stead, one of our present councilmen of Eureka, 
made his apperance in toAvn as an honest miner. Si 
Morrison, of Bear Biver, was running a carpenter- 
shop, making rockers and toms for the miners. He 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. 167 

only chars'ed tliein twenty dollars each for the 
rockers, and from fifty to sixty each for the long- 
toms; bnt then you know Inniber Avas worth twenty- 
tiye cents per foot, and torn and rocker iron one 
dollar per pound. Well, dust Ayas plentiful and 
only worth sixteen dollars i)er ounce. It was the 
only circulating medium. Sometimes the fifty- 
dollar slug would make its appearance, but it Ayas 
not generally liked. I haye weighed hundreds of 
dollars of gold-dust Ayith horse-nails. Some of our 
late arriyals may think it a " story," but it is a fact, 
ncA^ertheless. I had a pair of scales with but a one- 
ounce weight. When a miner Ayould come to the 
slioj) on Sunday to pay his Ayeek's bill — all bills 
AA'ere then settled on Sunday — if his bill Ayas OA^er 
sixteen dollars, I would Ayeigh an ounce of horse- 
nails, and then another ounce, until I got the 
amount correct Ayith the bill, making change Ayith 
the cup-Ayeights. Then, liaAdng the horse-nails in 
one side of the scale and the dust in the other, I 
could weigh any amount of dust that the scale 
Ayould hold; in that way I got onyery Ayell Ayith the 
little scales. 

I will giA^e you the history of one noted character 
in the shape of a "toAAm jack" that Aye had at WeaA^er- 
yille in the summer of 1851. This Jack Ayas a noted 
character in his way, and belonged to a jolly old 
Irishman by the name of Hugh Peoj)les. At first 
Ayhen the boys Ayanted to use him they Ayould ask 
old Hugh for the loan of him, to moA e camp from 



168 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

one giilcli to the otlier, and were never refused. 
Finally he became x^ublic x>roj>erty. The l)0}'s when 
they wanted Jack generally took him without say- 
ing "by yonr leare." The boys generally lived in 
tents, this being before the era of log-cabins, and 
cooked their slap-jacks and bacon in front of the 
tents; their table was mother earth. Jack generally 
came in for part of the "grub;" the boys, when 
they got done wit]i using Jack, would generally 
pay him for his services with a handful of sugar, 
or some cold slap-jacks, which his jackship seemed 
to relish very well. Jack got to have a very sweet 
tooth, and would not always wait for an invitation, 
but would go foraging for sugar and flour on his 
o^v n hook among the tents. One night I lay in my 
tent thinking of the old folks at home, when I 
heard something moving outside. I lay still for a 
minute or two, when I perceived Jack's nose under 
the tent, prospecting for forage. Having nothing 
else handy, I siezed my revolver and hit Jack over 
the nose with it, and Jack beat a hasty retreat, 
minus the sugar-sack. He retreated in good order 
for a short distance, when, turning and faidng the 
tent, he commenced serenading us with all the 
infernal noise that ever came out of the throat of a 
Jack. For the space of five minutes he kej^t up the 
music. I suppose he thought if he could not have 
our sugar-sack we could at least take some of his 
music. About this time some strangers or Philis- 
tines came into the diggings, who knew not the 



A POLITICAL CONTEST. 169 

virtues of Jack. One iiiglii Jack made a raid on 
tlicir tent, and they, not being aware of Jack's 
nocturnal liabits, supposed it was a bear come to 
pay them a visit. Tliey put in Jack's hide a couple 
of bullets wliicli made honest Jack sick. He wan- 
dered oif a sliort distance into a gulch, and there 
gave i\]) the ghost, and his mortal si)irit passed into 
the happy hunting-ground of good jackasses. Some 
of his friends found Jack's remains, and the word 
went round that poor old Jack was dead. The boys 
tliought it would be the x^roper thing to give Jack's 
remains a decent burial, and assembled on the next 
Sunday for that purpose. We had in camp a genius 
by the name of Tom Moore, Avho was "some " of an 
orator and poet. Tom was selected to deliver a few 
remarks over the grave of our departed friend, and 
wrote a short poem appropriate to the sad occasion. 
Tom Avas on hand with his oration, and for the 
space of half an hour x^oured forth some of the best 
and most touching remarks that 1 ever had the 
good fortune to listen to. The i)oem was a master- 
j)iece, something after the style of ihe burial of Sir 
John Moore. Tenderly the boys laid Jack's re- 
mains in the grave which they had dug for him, 
and tenderly they covered him up, placing a stake 
at the head of his grave with the following epitaph: 
" Here lies the body of Sir William Jackass, who 
lost his life while making a raid on the camp of the 
Philistines, who knew him not. Peace to his 
ashes." After the funeral the boys all marched to 



170 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Bally Lang's, and there partook of some of Bally's 
liquid refresliments, and after x>assing approj)riate 
resolutions adjourned sioie die. So ended the 
funeral of j)oor Jack. 



GETTING HOMESICK AND VISITING THE OLD HOME. 171 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Grtting Homesick and Visiting the Old Home. 

A visit to the old Eastern home. — Growth of San Francisco. — The pas- 
sage to Panama. — A typical Mexican town. — Crossing the Isthmus 
on mules. — High prices. — The railway to Aspinwall. — On board the 
" Illinois." — In dinner costume. — Sight seeing in Havana. — Fili- 
busters.— Death of young Crittenden. 

After returning from Sacramento, and the elec- 
tion was over, I began to get homesick. I had 
received but one letter from home in nearly two 
years, and I made up my mind to go back on a 
visit, as soon as I got my shoj) built. I let a con- 
tract to build a shop 20x30 feet, with the posts in 
the ground and covered with shakes four feet long. 
It was to be sided up with shakes. The price agreed 
on was three hundred dollars when completed, 
without windows, doors or floor. When the shop 
was finished, I sold one-half interest in it for six 
hundred dollars, and rented the other half for one 
hundred dollars per month for six months, or until 
I got back from my visit East. On the 7th day of 
April, 1852, I and six others started for home, as 
merry and happy a set of men as ever left those dig- 
gins. We were all well, young and hearty; had done 



172 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

moderately well, and none of us over twenty-six 
years of age. Each man had his gold-dust in sacks 
on the mule he was riding. My chum, Doc. Wills, 
was one of the i)arty, and a young fellow by the 
name of George OXTloughlin; the other names I 
have forgotten. George O'Gloughlin was going to 
Ireland. His father was Queen's Counselor of one 
of the counties in Ireland, and had written for him 
to come home, as he had a Government position for 
him as soon as he arrived. We reached Shasta all 
right the next morning, but we could not get seats 
in the regular stage for Colusa, as it was already 
full, so we hired a fellow who had a sort of stage 
wliicli he ran sometimes in opposition to the regu- 
lar line, paying him twenty-five dollars each to 
take us to Colusa, where the river boats landed. 
At that time Colusa was the head of navigation on 
the Sacramento River. In a few vears, after the 
river was cleared of some snags, the boats com- 
menced running up to Ked Bluif, aud then tlie 
town of Red Bluff was built. Some parties tried to 
have the head of navigation at Major Reading's 
place, about forty miles further up the Sacramento, 
and one or two boats got up to that point, but the 
scheme proved a failure, and Red Bluff remains 
the head of navigation. 

Trom Shasta to Colusa in the month of April, 
'52, through the upper Sacramento Yalley, it would 
take a more gifted pen than mine to describe the 
beauties of the country. Eor about one hundred 



GETTING HOMESICK AND VISITING THE OLD HOME. 173 

find fifty miles the Sacrjiiucnto Vallev presented to 
the eye one vast phiin of beauty. At that season of 
the year eyerytliin"- Avas at its best. The yalley was 
studded oyer with great oaks, which at a distance 
looked like a yast old orchard. The earth was coy- 
ered Ayitli grass and flowers, and, as we went lower 
down the yalley, wild oats inade their appearance, 
and Spanish cattle were here and there scattered 
oyer the plains ; no fences to mar the beauty of the 
plains. It was indeed a grand sight. 1 made up 
my mind fliat this should be my future home. 

Arriying at Sail Francisco, we found the city 
much improyed since we left it some fifteen months 
j)reyious. Things were beginning to look more j)er- 
manent; good buildings were being erected all oyer 
the city, and men were beginning to think of mak- 
ing tlieir homes in California. 

We had no ditticiilty in getting a passage to 
Panama, as there were but few going back at that 
early day. There were two steamers in port adyer- 
tised for Panama, the "Northerner" and the old 
" Independence." We took passage on the " North- 
erner" — that is, steerage passage. She was an old 
steamer that was built to run between New York 
and Charleston, South Carolina, as a passenger boat. 
Her main saloon was below Avhile in that trade, but 
when sent round the Horn she was remodeled and 
her saloon placed on the hurricane deck, and what 
was formerly her saloon Avas the place for the steer- 
age passengers. There were left two state-rooms in 



174 



PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



the steerage, which our crowd hired by paying 
twenty-five dollars more for them than in the com- 
mon herd. Steerage passage was one hundred dol- 
lars to Panama, and we paid twenty-five dollars 
extra for our state-rooms. Our reason for hiring 
the state-rooms was that we had all our gold-dust 
Avith us, and, by j)lacing it in the state-room, and 
one of us on guard all the time, it would be pretty 
safe. Before leaving San Erancisco we purchased 
such eatables and wines as we thought we would 
require for our trip, in case we did not like the 
ship's grub, and to have a change when we saw fit. 
It worked to a charm, and we had a pleasant trip 
down the coast, putting in at Acapulco, in Mexico, 
and remaining there for one day. 

We went ashore to see the sights, and I got my 
first idea of how the Mexicans lived. Acapulco 
was a small Mexican town with a fine harbor, 
comx^letely land-locked. The town was then built 
of adobes, one-story high, and the roofs covered 
with tiles. The population seemed to be scattering, 
and very little business of any sort going on. Cock- 
fighting must have been the principal industry of 
the place. In front of nearly every house you 
could see a game-cock tethered out and ready for 
the fray. There was a fort and a garrison on the 
other side of the bay, and there being some sort of 
a revolution going on at the tmie, they were 
expecting a fight every day. They would not 
allow any person to approach near their military 



GETTING HOMESICK AND VISITING THE OLD HOME. 175 

works, so we liad to keej) our distance. As soon as 
the ship anchored in the bay, the vessel was sur- 
rounded A\ ith the boats and due-outs of the mer- 
cantile population of Acaj)ulco, offering for sale all 
sorts of tropical fruits and j)roductions of the coun- 
tr}'. They generall}^ drove a brisk trade. Another 
swarm of Mexican boys, from eight to fourteen 
years of age, would come around the vessel and 
dive for money. The passengers would frequentl}^ 
throw into the water a small piece of silver from 
the deck of the steamer, and, as soon as the coin 
struck the water, the youngsters would go after it, 
half a dozen at a time, and generally one of them 
got it before it reached the bottom. The bay was 
full of sharks, but the boys paid no attention to 
them, nor did the sharks seem to pay any attention 
to the boys. I asked the Captain about it, and he 
told me, " The d — d Mexicans are so full of garlic 
and red pepper that the shark's stomach could not 
digest one of them." I had to be content with the 
explanation. 

We left Acaj)ulco and steamed awa}- for Panama, 
where we arrived on the eighteenth day from San 
Erancisco. We were landed in small boats, as there 
were no wharves or piers. The steamer lay off the 
city about half a mile, and was loaded and unloaded 
by Avhale-boats and lighters. AVhen we reached the 
shore, about 10 o'clock in the afternoon, a lot of 
runners met us at the boats for the purpose of engag- 
ing mules to take us across the Isthmus, or to a 



176 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

toAvn called Gorgoua on tlie Chagres River, where 
we had to take boats down the river to tlie end of 
the railroad. The Americans were then building 
tlie railroad across the Isthmus. We engaged the 
mules for our party, and struck out for Gorgona 
on the same old trail that tlie Spaniards had made 
three hundred and fifty years before. It was a 
rough old trail. Part of it on the mountain lay 
over a rocky bed where the mules' feet had worn 
holes in the rock ten or twelve inches deep, and 
each time the mules would step in the same old 
ludes; in other places the whole trail would be 
worn two or three feet deep in the solid rock, and 
not over twelve or fifteen inches Avide. There 
would be nothing of your mule in sight but his 
body and ears. When coming to such x^laces the 
rider had to look sharj) and get his legs out of the 
way by hauling his feet out of the stirrups and 
running them forward towards the mule's ears. If 
a man had long legs they generally reached past 
the mule's ears, and the first thing that emerged 
from the cut was the fellow's feet, then followed the 
ears and mule, and the balance of the man. 

The first night out we stopped at the Half-way 
House, on the mountain. The house was a blue 
tent, well stocked with liquors, and the bunks were 
canvas cots, for which they charged us one dollar 
each. It was a rough looking place. We folloAved our 
usual custom and left one of our number on guard 
while the others slej)t. Nothing occurred during 



GETTING HOMESICK AND VISITING THE OLD HOME. 177 

the niglit out of the way, and next morning, after 
eating breakfast, our muleteer had the mules up 
and saddled, and we started down the mountain on 
the Atlantic side of the "backhone." We arrived 
at Gorgona and staid all night, with much the same 
accommodations as the night previous. Our mules 
cost us sixteen dollars each. 

Our voyage was now by water. Tlie river was 
high and easy to navigate, so we hired a boat and 
two men to take us down. The men were Negroes, 
two big fellows, who each wore short swords, or 
knives about sixteen inches long. The boys kejit 
their hands on their revolvers, as they did not like 
the looks of our boatmen; but they were all right, and 
landed us at the railroad station about 2 o'clock in 
the afternoon. ATe had to walk a short distance to 
where the cars were stationed, and in that short dis- 
tance I saw more horrible looking things in the 
shape of crawling insects, than I thought could ever 
get into so small a sj)ace of ground. We were pass- 
ing tlirough where the graders were at work. 
There were snakes, lizards of huge size, tarantulas, 
scorpions, and horrible looking things too numer- 
ous to mention. Some of the graders were white 
men and some of them Negroes. How a white man 
could x^ossibly live in such a place I could not com- 
prehend. It is said a man died for every sleej)er 
laid in building the railroad across the Isthmus of 
Panama, and I full}^ believe it. The ground on the 
Atlantic side from Gorgona down to Aspinwall is 



178 PIONEER DAYS IX CALIFORNIA. 

low and iiuirshy, and, with the extreme heat on the 
Isthmus, it seems like a miraele that a man would 
survive even one week of the elimate. We were 
soon sitting comfortably in the ears and on our Avay 
to Aspinwall. 

There were but few houses in Aspinwall, and 
those of American build, shipped out from the 
States, and put together on the ground. Aspinwall 
was not a very inviting place in which to sto}). The 
steamsliix> Illinois Avas in the oiling Availing for the 
California passengers, and Ave lost no time in get- 
ting on board. The steamer Avas a tine, large ship 
and fast, Avith good acconunodations. George 
O'Gloughlin and myself took cabin passage, paying 
forty dollars each ; the rest of the boys Avent 
in the steerage at thirty dollars eacli. Putting 
our dust in the steamer's safe Ave Avere all 
right so far as that Avas concerned. The first day 
out, Avhen the dinner-gong sounded, George and I 
Avere in a bad fix, for Ave had no coats to aa ear to 
dinner, neither of us having oAvned a coat Avliile Ave 
AA^ere in California, and it Avas against the rules of 
good bi'ceding and those of the ship to go to dinner 
in our flannel shirts. Finalh , as Ave Avere discuss- 
ing the situation at the cabin-door, the i)urser 
heard our discussion, and said to us, "Gentlemen, I 
can helx) you out of our dilemma; avc liaA'e many 
such passengers every trip, and I keep a stock of 
cheap coats in my office especially for California 
gentlemen like yourselves. If you Avill step to my 



GETTING HOMESICK AND VISITING THE OLD HOME. l/'.t 

office T will fit you out all riglit." We thanked 
liiin and went to his office, where he sold us a linen 
coat apiece for one dollar and a quarter each, which 
gave us admittance to our "grub" without any 
further ceremony. 

We had a pleasant voyage to the Island of Cuba, 
where we ran into the harbor of Havana and stayed 
two days coaling-. While in that beautiful citv we 
made good use of our time, seeing the sights and 
takino- in all there was to be seen. A few months 
previous to the time I was there — that was in the 
sj)ring of '52 — the "manifest destiny " doctrine was 
all the craze in the United States. Eilibustering 
was at fever-heat, and the slave-i)ower of the United 
States wanted Cuba to extend that institution to 
the ever-faithful island. Filibustering was en- 
couraged in high places. Young Crittenden, a 
nephew of John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, led one 
of those filibustering expeditions, with about three 
hundred men, to the Island of Cuba, and, after 
fighting several battles, nearly the whole band, or 
what Avas left of them, were taken prisoners, 
brought to Havana, tried by court-martial, and con- 
demned to be shot. They were executed just out- 
side of the city walls — all that were taken except 
two, who claimed British protection, and were 
saved by the manliness and pluck of the British 
Consul. Young Crittenden met the same fate as 
the rest. At that time Americans were looked on 
with a good deal of sus^^icion by the authorities of 
Cuba, and got very few favors from them. 



18U PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XVIIL 
Experiences ix Cuba and the East. 

Passing for a British subject. — A Bishop's palace. — Spanish soldiers. — 
Nude statuary. — -Music and moonhght. — Arrival at New York. — 
Sailing down the St. Lawrence. — A glad reunion.— Changes in the 
people. — Off again for California. — Marriage. — Arrival at Aspinwall. 
Boating on the Chagres River. — Nude natives. — On mule back. — 
An anxious mother. — "All legs up."' — In Panama. 

We wanted to stay ashore while there, but the 
authorities woukl not let us. George O'Gloughlin 
said to me, "I can manage it; we will go ashore 
and have a good time in spite of them, and see the 
city. I am a British subject, and will get a j)ass 
from the Britisli Consul." We went ashore, 
and, seeing the English flag over an office, went in 
as bold as any two Britons. Behind a desk sat a 
gentleman with a regular English mutton-choj> 
whiskers wlio looked up at us, bidding us good- 
morning. He Avanted to know our business, and 
George told him we were British subjects who 
w anted to see the city, and wanted a pass. He said, 
" Who are 3 ou, young man ^ " George said, " I am 
George O'Gloughlin, son of the Queen's Counselor 
of the county Monaghan, Ireland, and my friend is 



EXPERIENCES IN CUBA AND THE EAST. 181 

also a British subject." We told him we had four 
otlier friends who wished to see Havana while there, 
and if lie would pass them he would confer a favor 
on them and us. He said, " Young men, if I do so 
jou will behave well while in the city 1 " George 
spoke up and said," On the honor of an Irish gentle- 
man, sir, Ave will cause no trouble." We got our 
ticket of good behavior. 

There Avas in the office a young man Avho was 
formerly in tlie emj)loy of the Consul. He Avas 
running a hack in Havana, and Ave employed him 
to shoAV us the city. 1 Avas anxious to see the j)lace 
Avhere the Americans Avere executed, so he drove 
ns to the gronnd on the south side of the city, and 
showed us Avhere and how the poor fellows met 
their death. They were placed with their backs 
against the Avails of the city, each man being blind- 
folded, and then shot to death by the Spanish sol- 
diers. Young Crittenden and others requested not 
to be blind-folded, but their request was not granted. 
On examining the Avail Avhere they stood, there 
Avere seA'eral blood-stains to be seen. It was told 
us that they met their death like heroes. They no 
doubt thought the}' Avere doing right in trying to 
free Cuba from the Sjianish yoke, but the poor fel- 
loAvs paid the penalty with their liA^es, and Cuba 
Avas not freed. At that time Havana Avas full of 
Spanish soldiers; on every corner you Avould meet 
them. Our guide took us to nearly every place 
of interest in the city, including the Bishop's palace 



182 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

and otlier points of note. Tlie Bisliop's x^alace wai?? 
by far the finest building that I ever liad seen up 
to that time. It was built of marble, the style of 
architecture was grand and im}K)sing, and the 
grounds surrounding the palace were in keeping 
witli the building. In tlie inclosure were birds of 
the most beautiful plumage, two young alligators 
sj)orting in a i)ond in the center of the grounds, 
with fountains of water throwing their spray and 
forming miniature rainbows. It was indeed a para- 
dise to look upon, and repaid us well for our visit. 
It would not have done for Anthony Comstock to 
have visited that beautiful phice, or to liave taken a 
look at the statuary that ornamented the grounds. 
At night there were military bands that played 
every evening on the grand plaza in front of the 
Go vernor-Generars j)alace. The night we sj)ent there 
was a beautiful moonlight one, such a night as is 
seldom seen outside of the tropics. The beauty of 
niglit and the music of the bands, the gaily-dressed 
ladies and gentlemen on the promenade, all went to 
make up a grand and beautiful picture. The whole 
people of Havana ^seemed to be out enjoying the 
scene. 

The next day we started for New York, passing 
the celebrated Moro Castle with its frowning bat- 
teries, ready at any moment to pour death and de- 
struction on the enemies of Sj)ain. In a few days 
we arrived at ]S^ew York, after a pleasant trip of 
thirty days. The most of us sold our dust in New 



EXPEKIEXOES IN CUBA AND THE EAST. 183 

York. Some of the passengers went to PliilMclel- 
pliia to the mint Avith tlieirs, and got it coined on 
tlieir OA\n account. In New York the boys all dis- 
carded their California rig, and fitted out in the 
latest style of " store clothes." Our party there 
broke up, some going east, some west and some to 
Europe. I hare not seen one of them since. 

From ]^ew York it was but a short distance to 
my home. Once more I was on board of a steamer 
running down the St. LaAvrence River, through the 
Thousand Islands and amidst the scenes of my boy- 
hood. Grand and beautiful St. Lawrence ! None 
can compare with you. I had crossed every river 
on tlie American continent that lay in my route, 
from the St. Lawrence to the Sacramento, but none 
can equal you. AYell are you called " the Mother 
of Waters ; " for beauty of scenery and pure and 
sj)arkling waters you excel them all. 

Mv vovaee was soon ended. At the foot of 
the Tliousand Islands lay Brockville, the home 
of my aged parents, whom I longed to see. I was 
soon folded in the arms of my aged mother and 
loving sisters, who looked on me as one risen from 
the dead. They knew not of my coming. I took 
them by surj)rise. I yet can see my loving mother 
taking off her " s^iecks " and cleaning them, in 
order to get a better look at her long-lost son; the 
wanderer of the family, and her baby. My aged 
father's cup was full. That indeed was a haj)py re- 
union. When I left home four years previous, I 



184 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

was but a boy twenty years of age, and weighed 
about one hundred and twenty pounds; after an 
absence of four years, I returned a full-grown man, 
weighing one hundred and eighty pounds, with 
considerable knowledge of the world and mankind 
in general. My fond mother would examine me 
all round, remarking, "How big he has grown; 
California must be a good country, my son ? " 
"Yes, mother, California is a big country ; every- 
thing in it is big; her mountains, her trees, her 
valleys, and why not her adopted sons '? We have 
lots of room to grow as large as we please out there, 
mother." I had ten thousand questions to answer, 
and for a time I was the lion of the hour, being the 
first one back from the land of gold who had gone 
from that section of the country. I had some gold- 
dust and a fifty-dollar slug, Avhich I had to exhibit 
very often, to satisfy the curiosity of my friends. I 
was not long in parting with what little dust I 
brought home, and it did not bring me much profit. 
1 enjoyed my visit for a short time. I had been 
gone from home for four years, and many of my 
old associates were gone, and scattered all over the 
United States. The youngsters, or next crop, had 
grown uj) and were like strangers to me. Out of 
one hundred and twenty or thirty apprentices who 
served their apprenticeshij) during the time I was 
one, but four were left in the town when I got 
back. Such is the way in which Uncle Sam ab- 
sorbs the bone, sinew and youth of British America. 



EXPERIENCES IN CUBA AND THE EAST. 185 

I soon tired of tlie ways of the country and the 
people, and longed for my free California life. I 
found myself almost like a stranger in my old 
home. The old town seemed to have lost its attrac- 
tions for me. Outside of my family everybody 
seemed to me to have changed; but, I suppose, the 
greatest change was in myself. 

After making my visit out, I once more turned 
my face toward the West, intending to make my 
permanent home on the shores of the Pacific. I 
took a trip to Wisconsin, where my brother resided, 
who, with his family, was to accompany me back to 
California. There was a gentleman residing on 
Oregon Gulch by the name of Levi RejTiolds, who 
wanted me to bring out his wife and son with me 
whcQ I came back, so I Avent to Madison, AViscon- 
sin, and got her and the boy and started for Isew 
York. After arriving in ^^ew York I visited friends 
residing in New Jersey; made quite a number of 
visits, and got caught by one of New Jersey's fair 
daughters, who agreed to share with me the perils 
of life in California. AYe were married, and for 
thirty-six years she has shared the ups and downs 
of California life, with me like a true woman. Mv 
brother and his wife had now come on to New York, 
and on the 5th of September we started for Aspin- 
wall on the steamship " United States." Our voy- 
age was a pleasant one, and quite a number of 
ladies were on board. Several returning Califor- 
nians with their families were wending their way 



186 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

back to the Golden State, iiiteiiding to make their 
home there. 

We arrived at Aspiiiwall on the eighth day from 
xS^ew York, and as Boon as hinded took the cars as 
far as the road was finished. The fun commenced 
when we took the small boats np the Chagres 
Eiver. The boats would carry from fifteen to 
twenty passengers, and were propelled by natives 
with long poles. There were in the boat that we 
were in several ladies. I had informed my folks as 
to what they were to expect from the crew who 
manned our boat. We finally got started with our 
dusky crew, who were all dressed up nicely. After 
a short time on our voyage, the darkies began to 
warm to th^ir work, and off came tlie red bandana 
hankerchiefs they had around their heads; a while 
longer and off came their shoes; they stood at that 
awhile, and then off came their shirts. Some of 
the ladies began to feel a little delicate, and were 
whispering inquiries to each other as to what 
would be the next move, and if they would take off' 
their cotton pants, the only vestige of clothing they 
had on. We had on board a gentleman with his 
wife from Massachusetts, and he wanted to know of 
me if they were going any further with their nude 
scenery. I told him I did not knoAv; but it was 
altogether likely that they would, as it was their 
custom. He said, " I will not stand it to have mA' 
wife insulted in that way." They went on for 
awhile, when one of them started to take off liis 



EXPERIENCES IN CUBA AND THE EAST. 187 

pants, and that raised tlie Yankee's ire. His wife 
begged of liim to raise no disturbance, but he drew 
his "pepper-box," and gave them to understand that 
he woukl not stand any such foolishness. The 
natives were beginning to look quite hostile. There 
were four or five of them, each armed with a short 
sword, while our crowd was but jjoorly armed, and 
there were five or six women with us. I was the 
only one that had an effective weapon, a Colt's re- 
volver. One of the boatmen understood a little 
English, and I talked with him. The women talked 
with our Yankee friend, and we got a peace patched 
up. The darkies kepi on their breeches, and our 
Boston friend was satisfied. That evening we ar- 
rived at Gorgona, where we stayed all night. 
Gorgona was a little town or collection of huts, a 
sort of embarcadero, where we changed our boat 
conveyance for that of mule-back over the mount- 
ain, or " back-bone," of the American Continent, to 
the old city of Panama. There were any number 
of mule merchants offering the services of their 
animals to the weary traveler, all extolling the 
beauties and excellence of their respective donkeys. 
As for side-saddles they were unknown at tJiat time, 
or at least were not in general use on that route. 
It was amusing to see the crowd of argonauts get- 
ting started. Many of the ladies at first refused to 
ride cavalier fashion, but they had to come to it. 
Some had young children, and they frequently hired 
natives or Negroes to pack them over on their backs. 



188 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

One lady with a small child hired a fellow to pack 
it over on his back; the fellow started on ahead 
with the baby, and that set the mother almost wild. 
She had not seen it all day, and imagined she 
never would see it again; but, on arriving at the 
stopping-place, she found it all right, sitting on the 
darkey's lap, with a strip of pork in its mouth, suck- 
ing away at it, apx^arently as happy as " Young Ame- 
rica " generally gets. There was one happy mother 
when she found her darling all right. The crowd 
strung along the trail for five or six miles. Women 
declared they could never stand it to gel there; some 
wishing they were back home again, and California 
might go to the dogs for all they cared; others en- 
joying the fun and having a good time of it. I, 
having had some experience of the route, managed 
to get started ahead of the crowd, and, when we 
would come to one of those narrow cuts or wear- 
outs in the trail, I would sing out, "All legs up!" 
then you would see some tall rustling with the 
ladies of our crowd to get their feet out of the stir- 
rups and shoot them ahead in order to clear the 
sides of the trail and not jam their feet. About the 
middle of the afternoon it came on to rain, and we 
got soaking wet, but the rain was w arm and it did 
but little harm. We arrived at our stoj)ping-place 
early in the evening, and got our j)ick of berths or 
cots. The last of the crowd did not get in until 
two or three hours later. Kext morning I had my 
party about the first on the road, my object being 



EXPERIENCES IN CUBA AND THE EAST. 189 

to get into Panama before the crowd, in order to 
get good rooms, which I accomplished. We arrived 
in Panama about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and put 
up at the AVestern Hotel, kept by a man by the 
name of Booth. There were two hotels ke^^t by 
Americans — the Western and the American. We 
had to lay over at Panama eight days. The Cali- 
fornia steamer having not yet arrived, it gave us a 
good chance to see the place and take in the sights 
of that equatorial city. 



190 PIOI<JEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Return to San Francisco and Weaver vtlle. 

The passage to San f>ancisco. — Distinguished fellow-passengers. — By 
river steamer to Colusa; thence by stage to Shasta. — On mule-back 
to Weaverville. — The mountain hotel. — Rapid growth of Weaver- 
ville. — The killing of Anderson by the Indians. — Vengeance; pursuit 
of the Indians. — The annihilation of the tribe. 

Panama looked old and dilapidated, and was 
built similar to all other Spanish- American cities 
that I had seen. The seawall when built must 
have cost a great amount of labor and money. 
Some of the old guns w ere yet mounted on the wall — 
huge monsters not less than fifteen or sixteen feet 
long, and about two feet in diameter at the breech. 
The bores were small; they did not seem over three 
inches in diameter. There was said to be a large 
amount of silver in them. AVe visited some of the 
principal churches; they, like everything else, were 
once magnificent structures, but much of their glory 
had dep'uted. We also visited the old cemetery; 
it was truly a golgotha, or place of skulls. Lying 
about promiscuously were skulls, legs, arms and all 
parts of the human form, with huge lizards and 
other reijtiles crawling over them. We did not 



RETL-RN TO SAN FRANCISCO AND WEAVERVILLE- IDI 

tiirrv long there ; one visit to the place was sntfi- 
cient. The weather was very warm, and tlie stench 
from the place was rather unpleasant. When we 
shuffle otf this mortal coil we do not want to be 
buried at Panama. In a few days after we got there 
the old steamsliip "California" arrived from San 
Francisco with lier passengers, and she had to wait 
for some passengers who were coming to Aspin- 
^vall ,\ week later than when we came; among 
tliem was Senator Gwin, afterwards called the 
"Duke of Sonora," and the Hon. Josej^h McCorkle, 
Congressmen from California. We took passage on 
the "California," and steamed for San Francisco; the 
old Duke was quite social until he found I was a 
AYhig, then he cut me entirely. Not so with Mc- 
Corkle; he was a jolly good fellow. I found him a 
splendid hand to make morning cocktails, and he 
kept a good supply on hand. During the voyage 
we stopped at Acapulco and San Diego, and on the 
sixteenth dav from Panama we arrived in San Fran- 
cisco in good condition. 

1 was anxious to get home, and left Sacramento 
the evening before the big tire at that city, taking- 
passage to Colusa on the steamer, and then by stage 
to Shasta. 

I liad been describing the beaul j- of the Sacra- 
mento Yalley to my wife during the trip out; its 
beautiful floAvers, etc.; but when we got into the 
valley everything was dried up, the roads knee-deep 
in dust, and not a drink of good water to be had 



1*,)2 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

during our trip from Colusa to Shasta. The 
hidies commenced to poke fun at me, wanting me 
to show them some of those beautiful flowers that I 
described to them; another one would sj)eak out 
and say, " Please, John, won't you pick me a bou- 
quet at the next station;" In that way they amused 
themselves at my expense. We rode in the stage 
all night, and next morning arrived at Shasta about 
11 o'clock, tired, and well worn out. After a good 
night's rest we started for Weaverville on mule- 
back, a distance of about forty-live miles. There 
was but one lady's saddle in Shasta at that time, 
and there were three ladies in tlie crowd; the con- 
sequence Avas that two of them had to ride cavalier 
style; but they had got somewhat used to that style 
of riding in crossing the Isthmus. 

Our first day out we stopped at McLouglin's, or 
the jMountain House, which was built while I was 
liome. Old " Mc " had got his wife out, and was keep- 
ing a hotel near the summit of the Trinity mount- 
tain. Old McLouglin and Mrs. " Mc " were the best 
of landlords. They gave us a hearty welcome. The 
old man, after various ups and downs, commenced 
to drink too much liquor, and, things not going to 
suit him, he came to the conclusion that he had 
seen suflicient of this wicked a\ orld, and one day 
hanged himself out in his woodshed. Eor atleastten 
vears old " Mc " and Mrs. " Mc " and their Mountain 
House were as well known as any stopping-place in 
Northern California; to get there was a sure guar- 



RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO AND WEAVERVILLE. 193 

antee of kind welcome, a good supper, bed and 
breakfast. My friend Barstow can vouch for the 
truth of this, as he has often partaken of tlieir 
refreshments, both solid and liquid, during his 
express rides between Shasta and Weaverville. 

Crossing the Trinity mountain, we arrived in 
Weaverville that evening all right, but the Weaver- 
ville that I found Avas not the one that I had left 
six months x^ieviously. From seven or eight houses 
that were in the place when I left for home in the 
spring, it had grown to a full-sized mining town, 
with numerous stores, gambling-houses, hotels, 
livery stables, and everything composing a Cali- 
fornia mining town of the first magnitude. On my 
way from San Erancisco iip I heard of the grow th of 
the i^lace, but could not realize it until I got there. 
When I left in April there was no value to town 
lots. If a man wanted to sell out he got the value 
of his imx)rovements. But all this was changed. 
Lots now became valuable, and a twenty-foot front 
was w^orth from six to eight hundred dollars. 
Several two-story buildings were erected; the 
United States Hotel, kej)t by Josej)h Ewing and 
his wife, Mrs. Henrietta Ewing, now of Eureka; 
the American Hotel, kept by a man named Gra- 
ham. The Independence Hotel was not yet finished. 
Two saw-mills were kept running day and night. 
Such was the rush, if a man wanted a bill of lum- 
ber, he had to send his bill in a month ahead. The 



194 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

early settlers went at things Avitli a will peculiar to 
Californiaiis of that day. 

I will have to go back some four or five months 
earlier, and relate some things that took place dur- 
ring my absence from Weaverville, that may be in- 
teresting to my readers. It was about the last of 
April or the first of May, '52. The firm of Ander- 
son, McKenzie & AVinston were doing the prin- 
cipal butchering business of the county. They 
bought large bands of cattle, and kept them on what 
was called Stuart's Fork, about sixteen miles from 
Weaverrille, where the range was good. Old man 
Anderson was in the habit of driving six or eight 
head at a time, as they wanted to use them, to 
Weave rville; so, one morning he, with his dog, 
started for the range after his herd. The Indians 
were getting somewhat troublesome, and his friends, 
among the number W. T. Olmstead, now of Eureka, 
advised him not to go alone, but take more help 
with him. The old man said that he was not afraid; 
that he and his dog could whip all the Digger 
Indians in the country. He started for Stuart's 
Eork, and got there all right; took his cattle from 
the herders and started back. When about five or 
six miles from the range he was attacked and killed 
by the Indians, his dog meeting the same fate. Not 
making his appearance, some uneasiness was felt 
as to his safety, and next morning, when his mule 
came into town, it was felt that he was dead, and a 
company of men started out to hunt for him. They 



RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO AND WEAVERVILLE- 195 

searched carefully, but returned without find in i>' 
him. Another crowd started out next day, and 
found the body about half a mile from the trail, 
down the side of the mountain, xnerced with seyeral 
arrows, and lying behind a log. The spot where 
the body was found had the aj^pearance that a 
fierce struggle had been enacted. The old man 
was as braye and fearless a man as eyer crossed the 
Sierras, and no doubt sold his life as dearly as pos- 
sible. The company which found the body sent it 
back to Weayeryille for interment, and took the 
Indian and cattle-trail and started in pursuit. As 
soon as the body reached Weayeryille, the cry went 
forth for yengeance. Eyery man in the j^lace who 
could get away to ayenge the old man did so. He 
was a general fayorite with the people. The crowd 
organized under the command of Dixon, Sheriff of 
the county. Merchants and others furnished sup- 
plies; eyerything was free for the yolunteers on 
that expedition. In the meantime the party which 
had found the Indians' trail followed it. They took 
a circuit from where they committed the murder 
around Weayeryille, near the foot of old Bally, 
eight or nine miles from the town, and crossed the 
Trinity Riyer near the mouth of Canyon Creek, 
where the re-enforcements under Sheriff Dixon 
oyertook them with proyisions. The comx^any now 
numbered about seyenty men. They crossed the 
Trinity on the Indian trail, which led np the 
mountain on the diyide between the Trinity Riyer 



196 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

and the Hiiy Eork Yalley. That beautiful a alley 
had not yet been discovered by the whites. The 
progress of the volunteers was naturally slow, and 
besides they Avanted to give the Indians a show to 
get to their home, so as to make a clean sweep of 
them. They trailed them to what is since known 
as the summit of the Hay Fork Mountain ; then 
they turned northeast, and followed the summit of 
the mountain for some eighteen or twentv miles: 
then, turning down tlie mountain into the Hay 
Fork Valley, they crossed the Hay Eork — a tribu- 
tary of the Trinity — with the avengers of old man 
Anderson close on their track. Ko bloodhound 
ever followed his human prey with keener scent 
than those boys. They trailed tlicm into tlie Hay 
Eork Valley, the signs getting fresh. They found 
where the Indians had killed one of the cattle but 
a short time before, and scouts were sent out and 
the utmost caution Avas used. They Avere discov- 
ered in Avhat is noAV known as Bridge Ciulch, about 
one mile east of the Hay Fork, encamped on a flat 
aboA^e the natural bridge. The Aolunteers kept 
themselACS under cover until after dark, in the 
meantime the scouts examining the approaches to 
the Indians' camp. The Indians Avere making- 
merry over their caj)ture, and gorging themselves 
with the stolen meat. In the middle of the night 
the volunteers diA ided into four parties, and stole to 
their respectiA^e stations. There were many of the 
late soldiers of the Mexican Avar, and Avestern 



RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO AND WEAVERVILLE. 197 

h-oiiticrsmeii from Texas and Missouri amongst 
them, who thorouglily understood their business as 
Indian hunters. AT hen each j)arty got their sta- 
tions, they were to lie on their arms until daylight, 
when, at a given signal, they were to attack the 
camp simultaneously. The attack was well j)lanned 
and well executed. When the volunteers reached 
the stations assigned to them, everything in the 
Indian camp was quiet and peaceful; all nature 
seemed at rest. When dayliglit began to make its 
apj)earance in the east, history was about to repeat 
itself. A second Glencoe was about to be enacted 
— this time in the highlands of California instead 
of tlie highlands of Scotland. A tribe of people 
was about to be blotted from the face of the earth 
for revenge. As soon as it was sufficiently light to 
see that none could escape, the signal was given. 
The parties adAanced on the camp where the foe 
Avere yet sleeping, and then commenced an indis- 
criminate slaughter of men, women and children. 
Rifles and revolvers did the bloodv Avork, Avith the 
he]p of the bowie-knife. After the carnage Avas 
OA'er, one hundred and fifty-three dead bodies lay 
on the battle-field. Xone escaped but three infants. 
One of these was crawling on its dead mother's 
breast to find its morning meal, when one of the 
volunteers raised his rifle to dash its brains out; but 
another, more merciful, intercej)ted the bloAV and 
saved the child. He rolled it in his blankets, and 
carried it to WeaverA'ille, and gave it to Mrs. 



198 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA . 

Harj)er, tlie wife of J H. Harper; one of the others, 
saved in a similar manner, was brought to town and 
given to the wife of Captain Dyer, and afterwards 
brought to Hnmbohlt county. Captain Dyer 
was the brother of David Dyer, now j)ostmaster at 
Bayside, in HumboUlt county. Only one of the 
attacking party was liurt, and lie but slightly 
wounded with an arrow. Old man Anderson was 
terribly avenged. The Trinity Indians were com- 
pletely annihilated, and there was no more trouble 
with Indians for several years. The volunteers got 
part of the cattle back, and W. T. Olmstead was 
owner of part of the stolen cattle, and furnished a 
man by the name of Meredith for the fight. Twelve 
years after, I hunted cattle over the battle-ground. 
Part of the bones still lay bleaching on the plains; 
skulls and arm and leg bones were scattered over 
the ground in all directions. 



PROMINENT HUMBOLDTERS — A BLOODY TRAGEDY. 199 



CHAPTER XX. 

Prominent Humboldters. — A Bloody Tragedy. 

A natural bridge and a large cave. — The Hay Fork Valley. — Prominent 
Humboldters who lived there. — A bloody tragedy; the killing of 
Horton and Eliza Hardenburg b)' a Sheriffs posse. — Fate of the par- 
ticipants. — A letter from an old pioneer, General Denver. 

In my last I mentioned a natural bridge tliat 
was discoTered on the Indian raid. It is indeed a 
curiosity, as it sj)ans a gulcli of about one hundred 
feet wide. It is about one mile from Hay Eork. 
The top of the bridge is perhaps two hundred feet 
over, and joins the two mountains as completely as 
if done by an engineer on tlie most scientific prin- 
ciples. From the top of the bridge to the beginning 
of the arch is about fifty feet : then commences a 
perfect arch in circular form down to the water — a 
little over half a circle — the distance between the 
walls being about fifty feet; rising up and down the 
stream about sixty or seventy feet, and about fifty 
feet between the walls at the bottom. Tlie forma- 
tion of the rock is of a blue limestone, apparently 
intersected with streaks of quartz. The rock is very 
hard, and almost impossible to drill. Sca eral large 
boulders seem to have fallen from the arch above, 



200 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

and lie on tlie bottom. In the summer the stream 
is nearly dry, but under the arch are three or four 
wells, or holes, where the water stands all summer, 
and such water is hard to be found elsewhere — ice- 
cold, sweet and sparkling. The bridge is used in 
summer by the inhabitants of Hay Fork Valley as 
their picnic grounds, and many a happy day is sj)ent 
there by those good people Avhen the water dries 
ujj. Under the bridge is a most delightful place to 
spend three or four hours during the heat of the 
day. No matter how warm it is outside, when you 
get under its shade it is cool and refreshing. And 
there let the mind contemplate the a ast works of 
nature, and the countless ages it has taken that 
small stream to make its way through the mountain 
and form such a vast arch through solid rock. Man 
in his littleness gets lost in contemplating the great 
works of the Creator. About fifty feet below the 
bridge on the side of the mountain is a large cave, 
the mouth of which is small and diificult to enter. 
I tried once to make an entrance and explore it, 
but I had too much avoirdupois for that. Others 
who have exj)lored it inform me they found a room 
about ten feet square and seven feet high, but up to 
the time of my leaving the valley it never had been 
thoroughly exj)lored. Other caves may lie beyond 
it for aught we know. 

The Indian raid led to the discovery of the Hay 
Eork Yalley, which has since become the granery 
of the county, and likewise furnished the hay for 



PROMINENT HUMBOLDTERS— A BLOODY TRAGEDY. 201 

tlie people of Weaverville. It lieacls near the Yolla 
Bolla Mountain, running in a southwest course for 
about twenty miles, and emptying its waters into 
the South Eork of Trinity at Hyampom. In this 
valley are some of the best farms or ranches in 
Trinity county. Its mountains are covered with 
pine and sjjruce timber, and the surface is covered 
Avith a ricli growtli of mountain bunch-grass, the 
most nutritious of grasses. There have been worked 
some very good placer diggings on its tributaries 
and down in what is called the canyon. There are 
some ricli quartz ledges in the valley, which are 
being worked with success and profit. Quite a 
number of Humboldt citizens were at one time 
farmers and ranchmen of HayEork; amongst them 
now residents of Humboldt county are Hon. George 
Williams, E. D. Kellogg, W. B. Dobbyn (one of 
our recent supervisors), John Carr, Abraham 
Rogers, Ben. Blockburger, Thomas Middleton, 
Alonzo Sweet, Mrs. Joseph Ewing, Jolm Dodge, 
our present vegetable mercliant, Henry Peenaty, 
and J. Francis of Hydesville. 

After the fight on Hay Eork the boys returned to 
Weaverville, and things went on comparatively 
smooth until the Fourth of July, '52, when one of the 
bloodiest tragedies that ever took place in Nortliern 
California was enacted in tliat town — the killing' of 
Horton and Eliza Hardenburg, a woman who was 
living with hiui. They kept ;i hotel, store and 
bakery, the first in the placje. Horton v^as not 



202 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

l)rompt in paying his bills below, where he bonght 
his goods, and some of his creditors sued him and 
attached liis house and contents. Dixon was Sheriff 
of Trinity county at tlie time, and he placed a keeper 
in charge and closed the place uj). It was coming 
on close to the Fourth of July, and Horton wanted 
to oj)en his house for that day, telling the Sheriff 
he could make sufficient money on the Fourth to 
pay the bill if allowed to do so. The Sheriff would 
not allow him to do it, and Horton made up his 
mind lie would open the house any waj . They 
were still in the house with the keeper, and on the 
morning of the Fourth, Horton and Eliza Harden- 
burg opened the place and commenced business. 
The keeper remonstrated with them, but to no 
avail, and he then rej^orted to the Sheriff what 
Horton was doing. In the meantime Horton and 
the woman had armed themselves, with a full deter- 
mination of resisting the officers. The Sheriff 
summoned a jwsse of five men, and went to the store 
of Horton. They found Horton behind the counter 
with a revolver cocked in his hand, pointed at the 
Sheriff', saying he would kill the first man of the 
'posse who entered his house. The woman stepped 
to the door of her room, which brought her in the 
store, she likewise having in her hand a pointed 
revolver, threatening vengeance on the Sheriff and 
his men if tbey dared enter the premises. Both 
parties stood at bay for a few moments and then one 
shot was fired. I never could find out which party 



PROMINENT HUMBOLDTERS — A BLOODY TRAGEDY. 203 

turned loose first; tlic Sheriff's party claimed that 
the woman shot first, and then they turned loose 
with a Aenceance. Horton's body was shot full of 
bullets, and he fell dead over the counter. Eliza 
Hardenburg received two loads of buckslu^t in the 
breast and she fell forward on her face and expired. 
Men who were j^resent in a few minutes after the 
tragedy say that the sight was a horrible one to 
look on. Horton's body lay bleeding from a num- 
ber of wounds, alread}^ cold in death; the woman's 
long, black hair all loose and saturated with her OAvn 
blood, her breast torn open with two charges of 
buckshot fired at close range, and her features dis- 
torted Avith rage. None of the Sheriff's party got a 
scratch in the fight. When later in the day the 
miners began to come into town to spend their 
Eourth, the tragedy put an end to all jollification. 
They would gather into small parties and discuss 
the doings of the morning with frowning brows, 
and it looked at one time as if there Avould be more 
trouble, but it appeared as if no jierson was willing 
to take the lead. The Sheriff had given the order 
to fire, and he had the color of law on his side. A 
coroner's jury was summoned, who rendered a ver- 
dict of justifiable homicide. The corpses were 
buried side by side on a point of land not three 
hundred feet from Avhere they fell. Thus ended 
one of the most bloody and uncalled for homicides 
that ever took j)lace in a civilized community. I 
kept track of the participants for ten years. Every 



204 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

one of them met an untimely deatli. Dixon, the 
Sheriff, either committed suicide or shot himself 
accidentally, and lies buried near Pine's dairy 
house, on the Bucksport road; Ned Meredith, the 
last one of the fiye deputies, was killed while fight- 
ing as a rebel during the war in Missouri. What a 
contrast between July 4th, '51, and July 4tli, '52. 
The Fourth in '51 was spent in jollification and 
pleasure; eyerybody seemed to be happy, and he 
that lav dead in '52 was one of the merry-makers. 
I well remember at the dinner- table, when the wine 
flowed freely, it Avas yoted that each man had to 
giye a toast, sing a song, make a speech, or furnish 
a bottle of wine. When poor Horton's time came 
he arose and sung the "Star Spangled Banner" with 
more feeling and patriotism than I eA^er have since 
listened to. Twice had he to repeat it. Little did 
the crowd that sat round the festiye board that day 
think or imagine that on the next anniyersary one 
of their number would lie bleeding in death under 
the same roof where they sat enjoying themselyes, 
cut down in the prime of his manhood, unnecessarily. 
Such is life. The Fourth of July, 1852, closed with 
sorrow oyer the little town of A¥eayeryille. Ear 
different from its predecessor one year previous; 
then it was all fun and good-nature. Eyery person 
seemed to be hapx^y, and bent on enjoyment; but, 
alas ! all was changed. Death in its most hideous 
form in our midst; two of our citizens, a man and 
woman, killed — unneccessarily, it was thought by 



PROMINENT HUMBOLDTERS — A BLOODY TRAGEDY. 205 

many. Deep and l)ilter feelings were expressed by 
a large portion of tlie connnunity, but that love for 
biAv and order wliieli ever prevails in the bosom of 
Americans, outweighed the feeling of revenge, and 
the foul deed passed otf in quietness. In two or 
tliree years their graves were sluiced away by some 
miners, and their coffins, with a few others, were 
removed, by order of the County Judge, to the new 
cemeterv west of the town, where thev now lie for- 
gotten. All the principal actors in the tragedy 
have long since passed to a higher tribunal than 
that of the miners of Weaverville. Eor vears after 
the tragedy the old settlers would often talk over 
the bloodv deed, and look back Avith horror on the 
act. Manv of the old settlers of Weaverville, if thev 
read this chapter, will well remember the Fourth 
of July, 1852, as being the bloodiest day in the 
annals of tlie count v. 



The following letter is from an old-timer. General 
J. W. Denver, whom all pioneers, and particularly 
"Trinitarians," will bear in kindlv rememberance. 
The letter was written to The Humlwldt Mail^ 
in which these chapters were published in 
serial form, and gives General Denver's version 
of tlie election of a Senator in Trinitv countv 
in '51, in which lie took a prominent ^lart, and to 



206 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

which the author makes reference in Ohax3ter XYI. 
It reads as follows: 

Editor Mail: For sometime past I have been receiving your very 
interesting paper, The Humboldt Mail. It is very interesting to me 
as coming from a part of the country to which I have always been greatly 
attached, particularly because of the many warm personal friends I had 
there, whose kindness and friendship I have never forgotten. I have 
been especially interested in reading the articles entitled " Pioneer Days." 
In the last number received, of date February i8, 1888, I find one espe- 
cially relating to myself, which is in the main correct, except in so far as 
the writer relates that there was a doubt about my election to the Senate 
in March, '52, a thing I never heard of before. Had I supposed at the 
time there was any doubt whatever about my election, I certainly would 
not have taken the seat. At the general election I had undoubtedly re- 
ceived a plurality of the votes cast, but a fraudulent return, purporting to 
be from Johnson's Bar on the Klamath, was made just large enough to 
give Harper two votes more than I appeared to have. When the votes 
were first announced by the Clerk of Klamath county, I was really glad 
that I was beaten, for I had no desire to engage in political life; but when 
I became satisfied of the fraud committed, I believed it was my duty as 
a good citizen to expose it, which I did. In the course of the contest before 
the Senate, Harper succeeded in raising a doubt in the minds of some of 
the Senators as to my eligibility, alleging that I had not been long enough 
in the county or in the district. Lyle united with Harper to dispose of my 
case first, so as to get me out of the way, and then they proposed to set- 
tle the question as between themselves. On ascertaining this state of 
affairs, I advised my friends to settle the matter beyond all dispute by 
declaring the seat vacant, and that I would return and make the race 
over again. This was done, and 1 was re-elected. 

The friends of Harper and Lyle, as I was informed at the time, united 
and brought out Mr. Stuart as their candidate. I knew Mr. Stuart very 
well, and had and still have a very high regard for him. He was an ex- 
cellent young man, and so far as I have heard he has borne himself well 
through life. 

The writer of " Pioneer Days " does not give his name, but I think I 
recognize him. If I am not mistaken, he is the same man who with my- 
self made a very foolhardy trip from Uniontown (now Areata) to Weaver- 
ville during the time of an Indian outbreak in the fall of '53. He was 



PROMINENT HUMBOLDTERS — A BLOODY TRAGEDY. 207 

a good, clever, honest and upright blacksmith, but a strong and decided 
political pai'tisan. Personally, we were always good friends; but politi- 
cally, of course, I always expected him to be found on the other side. He 
is the one I heard had gone to Big Flat on the day of that special elec- 
tion, with the result that is related in " Pioneer Days." If he is the same 
man, please give him my compliments, and say to him that I feel greatly 
complimented for the opinion he entertains of me, and that I yet hope 
some day to be able to talk over pioneer times with him. It would 
afford me very great pleasure to revisit the scenes of my early manhood m 
Trinity and Humboldt, for I had so many warm friends there, from whom 
I am always pleased to hear. 

Inform any old friends of mine you may meet with that I have not for- 
gotten them, and that everything coming from that part of the country is 
of interest to me. With best wishes for the success of the people of 
Humboldt and Trinity counties, I am. Yours Respectfully, 

J. W. Denver. 

Washington, D. C, March i, 1888. 



208 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

The Last Victi^i of Judge Lynch. 

A murder.— Mike Grant's trial before Judge Lynch, and subsequent ex- 
ecution.— Lack of faith in the machinery of the law.— Judge Lynch's 
last victim in Trinity county. — Civilizing effect of women and 
children.— The first children in Weaverville.— An unsuccessful 
Water Company. 

In the fall of '52 a Spanish i^ack train was cross- 
ing Brown's Mountain Avith a load of goods for 
WeaTerville, and when near the summit, on the 
AVeaverville side of the mountain, one of the packers 
discovered the dead body of a man sitting against a 
big pine tree, and on examining it he found a bullet- 
hole though the body. Coming to WeaverYille he 
reported the facts, and a conipan}' of men started 
out after the body, and found it as described by the 
Spaniard. They recognized it as that of a man 
named Holt, who had left town the day before. He 
had considerable money on his person when leav- 
ing Weaverville, but on examination it was found 
that the bodv had been robbed of what valuables he 
may have possessed at the time of the murder. There 
was considerable excitement over the murder, and 
suspicion pointed to a man named Mike Grant, who 



THE LAST VICTIM OF JUDGE LYNCH. 209 

was considered a suspicions character. He worked 
sometimes in what was called "OUT Chap Ilestanrant." 
(A man came to Weave rville by the name of Chap- 
man, and started a restaurant. He was a middle-aged 
man — at that time a man over thirty years of age 
was called an old man — so the boys dubbed his res- 
taurant, "Old Chap Kestaurant," and it kept that 
name). Gi-ant sometimes worked for "Old Chap.*" 
He was very f(md of limiting and practicing at a 
mark with his rifle. Suspicion fell on him, for he 
was seen leaving town with Holt, or shortly after. 
He, of course, pleaded innocent, and could explain 
where he was on that day. He admitted being on 
the trail with Holt, but had parted from him at the 
foot of Brown's Mountain, and had been hunting all 
day on the mountain. He w as arrested by order of 
Judge Lynch, and taken to the place Avhere he said 
he parted with Holt on the day the murder was 
committed. When they arrived at the place, he re- 
fused to show them his tracks, or make any expla- 
nation that was satisfactory to them. T. M. Brown, 
our present Sherifi", was herding mules on Brown's 
Mountain near the j)lace where the murder was 
committed, and T. M. Brown saw nor heard nothing 
of him. 

Things began to look rather dark for Mike Grant, 
and he Avas taken back to town and closely confined. 
At a meeting of the miners and others, it was re- 
solved to give him a trial before Judge Lynch's 
court for murder. The killing of a man in an affray 



-10 PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

in those days was not looked upon as a very serious 
affair; the killing of a man for the purpose of 
robbery was something the early Californians 
would not tolerate or forgive, but would hunt the 
perpetrator to the uttermost, and, when found guilty, 
no mercy was sliOAvn him. In the case of Grant, a 
jury of twelve was summoned. Captain J. G. Mes- 
sic, afterward Slieriff of Trinity county, and known 
to many of the old settlers of Humboldt county, was 
chosen Marshal for the occasion. The jury was 
summoned by the Marshal with fairness. The 
Judge appointed to try the case I have forgotten. 
Counsel was allowed the jjrisoner, and everything 
was conducted in an orderly manner. The whole 
evidence was circumstantial, but everything pointed 
to his guilt. The bullet taken out of the body fitted 
the rifle wiiich Grant had with him that day; Grant 
was seen with Holt shortlv before the body was 
found by the Spaniard; Holt's clothes were burnt 
by the x>OAvder, etc. It was supposed that they both 
traveled up Brown's Mountain together, and, when 
near the top, sat down to rest, as the day was warm, 
and that Grant drew his gun and shot him for the 
purpose of robbing him, and did so, as no money or 
valuables were found on the body. 

Grant had his trial, and thejur}' found him guilty 
of murder. He was sentenced to be hanged, and if 
I remember correctly he was given two days be- 
tween the sentence and his execution. When the 
time came there was s.ome talk of a rescue, but the 



THE LAST VICTIM OF JUDGE LYNCH. 211 

Marshal had a ^wsse of some thirty men picked and 
Avell armed, who guarded the prisoner to the fatal 
tree. I believe our present Sheriff was one of them. 
He was strung up to the same tree that Seymour 
was partly hung on, but did not get oflt' as well as 
Seymour did. Sheriff Dixon, the lawful Sheriff of 
the county, was in AVeaverville at the time, but such 
was the force of public opinion that he was power- 
less to act. Peoj)le placed very little reliance in the 
civil law. The countv government Avas vet in its 
infancy, ^o jails to safely keep prisoners in, no 
court-house to trv them in, and the civil law itself 
held in contempt by many. Such was the state of 
affairs when Grant was hanged. I believe he was 
the last victim of Judge Lvnch in Trinitv countv. 
There were other executions, but they were done by 
the laws of the land. There were some doubts in 
the minds of a few Avhether Grant was guilty of the 
crime for which he x^aid the penalty with his life. 
The better class of society were beginning to wish 
for a different state of society. Lynch law, in their 
opinion, ought to be done away with. It had ac- 
complished its mission, as far as Trinity county 
was concerned, and men as a general thing Avanted 
no more of it. 

The great civilizing influence of women and 
children was beginning to be felt. When I left for 
home in the spring of '52 there Avas but one family 
of children in or about Weaverville; that was old 
Mr. Lindsay and his Avife, for many years residents 



212 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

of Areata. There wen^ three ehildren of them: 
William, Joshua and Sarah Jane, now tlie wife of 
Miller Preston of Areata, and Avidow of John Pres- 
ton of the same place. They were the only ehildren 
we had in the burg at that time. I believe they 
moved to Uniontown, now Areata, in '52. 

In the summer of '52 a company was formed to 
bring water, on a large scale, into Weaver basin. 
The principal incorporators were Humboldt men, 
and, as far as I can remember, their names were W. 
C. Young, Garland, John E. Wyman, Henry Wy- 
man, Ben AVyman and Xixon. They located 
Stuart's Fork, intending to bring it a distance of 
forty miles. It was a big undertaking. The capi- 
tal stock, if I remember correctly, was one hun- 
dred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The survey 
was made, and the stock put on the market. Young 
seemed to be the princij)al manager, and Garland 
next. Men were set at work, and large contracts 
let for provisions and tools. My partner, James 
Hyde, furnished them with three hundred j)icks, 
or had the contract for that number. Everything 
was to be on a grand scale. A large number of 
men were set at work at one hundred dollars per 
month and found. Many of the business men of 
Weaverville took stock ni the enterprise, and others 
let the concern have money and goods to large 
amounts. 

Things went on well for a while, until at last 
money became scarce with the managers, and Young 



THE I:aST victim OF JUDGE LYNCH- 218 

Avcni below to raise a large amount, but failed to do 
j^o. Tlie Avinter came on very severe; the price of 
provisions went uj) enormously. The snow on the 
mountain where the men were at work was from 
live to ten feet deep, and the men had to quit work 
and come to town. All operations ceased, and the 
work came to a standstill until the next sx)ring-. In 
tlie meantime Young and Garland were below trying 
to "ct funds. Thev would send word to Weaverville 
that everything was going on well Avith them, nnd 
that in a short time they would be back with plenty 
of money, pay their debts and resume Avork on the 
ditcli. The spring came, and the summer, but no 
funds. In the meantime everybodv that had anv- 
thing to do Avith it became disgusted. The Wy- 
mans left for Uniontown, losing cAerything they 
put into the enterprise, besides their time. Young 
and Garland bA' common consent were voted 
'^ bilks." The thing fell through, and the ditch was 
ncAcr completed. Had they obtained sufficient 
funds to have completed the ditch, it Avould haAC been 
splendid property. Judge Wyman years afterAvards 
informed me that if Young and Garland had acted 
honestlv and fairh' tlie Avork could haAc been 
finished, and it Avould have made them all AvealtliA^ 
They were both Avild speculators. In '57 another 
company Avas organized, and the route re-surAcyed, 
and an effort made to raise funds to bring in the 
Avater and finish the ditch, but it proved a failure. 
Those AA^io got bit in the Young ditch Avere not 



214 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

willing to take hold again; consequently, after three 
thousand dollars had been expended by eight of us, 
who were elected directors, the scheme failed, and 
the directors had to go down in their own pockets 
to foot the bills. That ended the big ditch. No 
more large mining operations were undertaken for 
some time. Two had proven failures — the Arkan- 
saw dam and the canal or ditch of Young. Both 
would have proven successes had they been in the 
hands of competent men, and managed by those who 
understood their business. 



HOUSEKEEPING EXPERIENCES. 215 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Housekeeping Experiences. 

(leneral Denver. — Housekeeping in Weaverville. — The noble pioneer 
women. 

I see a, letter from General J. W. Denver in reply 
to some of my assertions in "Pioneer Days." I am 
glad I made them, as it has been the means of 
l^ringing him out of his shell. I would sooner take 
a little seolding- than not to hear from him at all, as 
for twenty years he has kept himself hidden from 
many of his old friends in Northern California. Old 
friend, you are not forgotten, I can assure you. 
There are man}' of us old gray-headed pioneers 
yet left who look back with pleasure to being 
acquainted with you, and of having your friendship 
and esteem. Four or five old gray-beards were 
standing on the corner of one of our streets dis- 
cussing old times the morning after your letter was 
published, when one of them laughingly remarked, 
"I wonder if the General remembers his trip in 
'53 from Eureka to Uniontown in a small boat, 
with several ladies on boardr' He would not 
explain himself, so we were in the dark about that 



216 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

trip. The General in liis letter says he knows noth- 
ing of the Indian Creek returns, it being the first 
time he ever heard of it. I believe he speaks cor- 
rectly. If there was anything wrong about them, 
I am sure he knew nothing of it, nor did I ever 
hear that lie had anything to do with the transac- 
tion whatever. So far as niv inemorv serves me, 
he was not in the countv the dav of election; but 
I think the (xeneral was misinformed concerning 
the bringing out of R. CI. Stuart as a candidate for 
the Senate. IN^either John A. Lyle or John H. 
Harper had anything to do with it. As I remarked 
before, his name was suggested by myself at a 
jneeting of a few Whigs, held in a room in the Mis- 
souri Hotel, on J Street, Sacramento City. There 
Avere present at the time ¥. S. McKenzie and Mr. 
McMillan, the two Kepresentatives to the Legisla- 
ture from Trinitv, both Wliias. Neither John A. 
Lyle or John H. Harper were present at that meet- 
ing. Old friend, you Avere about right in your 
surmises. You and I did take a very foolhardy trip 
in the Indian outbreak in the fall of '53 from Union- 
town to Weaverville. I had more curiosity then 
than now. In a short time I will give my recollec- 
tions of that trip in ^'Pioneer Days," so far as I 
can remember the circumstances. 

Well, to come back to Weaverville, after my 
digression: When we arrived in town we brought 
the largest delegation of ladies that had yet arrived 
at one time to become permanent settlers. They 



HOUSEKEEPING EXPERIENCES 217 

were Mrs. Levi Keynolds, ]\Irs. Thomas Carr and 
Mrs. Joliii Oair. The streets were full of j)eople, 
all men, anxious to get a look at the new arrivals. 
Mrs. Reynolds was to go to Oregon Gulch, six 
miles from AVeaverville, and the two Mi's. Carr 
were to become residents of Weaverville for manv 
vears. The ladies Avho rode cavalier stvle were 
somewhat backward about riding into town in that 
stvle, but tliev were in for it. The accommodations 
at the hotels were limited, tlie United States Hotel 
had but one private room and the American Hotel 
but one room. Tlie sleeping apartments of the 
hotels were generally large rooms, or corrals as they 
were sometimes called, where there were rows of 
cots placed for beds, and sometimes there would be 
from twenty to fifty men occupying the same room. 
As for private rooms, they Avere a luxury tliat Avas 
seldom aspired to by the common individual. 

We got housed pretty well. Before I started 
home in the spring 1 gave orders to my friend Cap- 
tain Cuinmings to have a house built for me dur- 
ing the summer, and showed him where to build it; 
but he neglected it until some fellow jumped the 
ground, and left me minus a lot and minus a house. 
^Vt that time boarding at a hotel was very expen- 
sive — sixteen dollars a week — and as we had six in 
the family it was drawing quite heavily on my 
funds, so we thought we had better get to house- 
keeping as soon as possible. No such things {?s 
dwelling-houses were to rent; there were none in 



218 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ilie place; but Oomstock & Martin had a sort of 
lionse where they sometimes stored their barley, 
and they told me we could use that until I could 
build a house. I, like a good husband, took my 
wife to view the premises. We found it a house 
about twelve by sixteen feet, Avith neither doors, 
windows or floor; nothing but posts x^ut into the 
ground and shakes nailed on to them, ^ot a very 
imposing liouse, some of our native daughters will 
say, to bring a bride to. We came to the conclusion 
that we would move in and go to liouskeej)ing. 
Our furniture was on a par w^ith the house; our 
dining-table was made by driving stakes down in 
the floor and nailing poles on them to receive the 
top, which was composed of shakes nailed from pole 
to pole. I do not mean the North or South Pole, I 
mean the poles we used for that table. Our bed- 
room sets were similar to our table, and made of the 
same material; and our dining-room chairs were 
nail-kegs or dry-goods boxes; our china and crock- 
ery-ware was made in a tinsmith slioj); our cooking- 
stove a mud firej)lace. We took four or five shakes 
ofl" the side of our castle and nailed some white 
domestic cotton over it for a window, and we hung 
a blanket over our door. 

Such was our first beginning at housekeej)ing in 
California, and it was tlie experience of thousands 
of others. There is a great deal said and written 
about the early pioneer fathers of California — and 
they deserve all that is said about them — but verv 



HOUSEKEEPING EXPERIENCES. 219 

little is said about the pioneer mothers of California; 
they deserve to share somewhat of the glory of 
being pioneers of this great State. Many of the 
women of the early days were women who had 
been brought up in luxury, refinement and com- 
fort, in their homes back in the older States. They 
voluntarily left their homes Avith the men of their 
choice, leaving fathers and mothers, brothers and 
sisters, and everything held dear to the feminine 
heart, braving the dangers of the plains and the 
ocean, and the discomforts of California life. Such 
were the early mothers of California. Native sons 
and daughters, to those brave and fearless early 
pioneer women do you owe everything you now 
possess that- is worthy to be called civilization. 
Your churches, your school-houses where you re- 
ceived your moral training, your observance of 
God's holy day, the Sunday-school, and everj^thing 
that goes to elevate our race, were gifts of your 
pioneer mothers, who brought them from their early 
homes, and sj)read and established them here in 
this our God-favored land. Therefore, when the 
anniA ersary of your State's natal-day rolls round 
from A ear to a ear, and a ou, native sons and dauo'h- 
ters, meet together in joy, thanksgiA'ing and merry- 
making, forget not your pioneer mothers; but look 
back with pride and say, " I, too, am the child of a 
pioneer mother as Avell as of a pioneer father." And 
when time shall have accomplished its Avork, and 
they be laid in the silent graA e, cherish their mem- 



220 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA . 

ory. They in tlicir day accomplished a good work, 
and yon are receivino- the benefits of their toil. 
Would that some gifted pen could do them justice. 
Well, after getting to housekeej)ing, the next 
thing was to get a house built, with some of the 
comforts of life attached to it. I started in to build, 
intending to build a two-story house, with a dwell- 
ing upstairs and a shop below. My lot was in the 
center of the town, and in a good locality for busi- 
ness. All sorts of building material was very high; 
lumber was wortli ten cents per foot, and scarce at 
that; the winter was fast coming on; shakes were 
worth fifty dollars per thousand and nails fifty cents 
per pound; flour, after the big fire in Sacramento, 
look a rise and went up to sixty cents per pound; 
the principal flour in the State was stored in Sacra- 
mento City, that being the principal point for 
furnishing the miners with their supplies. A very 
large amount was destroyed by tlie fire, and the 
speculators of San Francisco made a " corner," and 
ran prices up to fabulous figures. There was no 
flour then produced in the State, our supplies com- 
ing around Cape Horn and from Chile. Xew stock 
could not be had for four or five months, so they 
had a good time of it, and made much money out of 
their sj)eculation. I hurried up the building as fast 
as possible, as it was getting late in the season and 
frequently raining. In the meantime I made a con- 
tract with John E. Chellis, afterwards Lieutenant- 
Governor of the State, to burn me eight hundred 



HOUSEKEEPING EXPERIENCES. 221 

barrels of charcoal at one dollar per barrel. He 
commenced chopping the wood for the coal, but, 
the rain coming on, he had to quit work; that left 
me minus the coal, and I got none burnt by Gover- 
nor Chellis before the winter set in. We got moved 
into our house, and it was well we did, for when 
the storm set in it came on with a vengeance. For 
forty-two days in succession it either rained or 
snowed. At one time the snow in the streets of 
Weaverville was four or five feet deep. 



222 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 



CHAPTER XXIIL 

Almost a Famine. 

The first ball in Weaverville; ten dollars per ticket.— Houses crushed 
by snow; Senator John P. Jones buried under one of them; 
his clever trick. 

Here we were in a fix; snowed in the Weaverville 
basin with no xn'o visions to amount to anything on 
hand, and all communication cut off with the out- 
side world. The snow on the Trinity Mountain 
was said to be twenty feet deep. The last sack of 
flour for sale in Weaverville I purchased from 
Oody & Harrington, paying them sixty-two dollars 
and fifty cents for a fifty-pound sack. I could not 
have got it at all except on account of having two 
women in the family. McKenzie & Winston, the 
butchers, had a few very lean beef cattle on hand 
and these they retailed out at sixty cents per pound, 
and, being friends of mine, they let me have a 
whole quarter of beef. It was the blackest beef 
that ever came under my observation. Jim Howe 
had raised some small potatoes the summer previ- 
ous. He tried to raise them without irrigation, so 
they were very small. I purchased fifty-pounds of 



ALMOST A FAMINE. 223 

til em for twenty-five dollars. As luck would have 
it, Comstock & Martin, the livery-stable keepers, 
had laid in their winter supply of barley, conse- 
quently there was plenty of barley in town, and 
that beat nothing by a long way. I bought three 
sacks of that commodity from them, paying them 
forty cents a pound for it, and I bought three coffee- 
mills to grind it in. My family was large — five men 
and two women. We set to work on the coffee- 
mills, grinding fiour out of tlie barley. We punched 
lioles in the bottom of a gold-pan for a sieve. We 
had barley bread, barley mush, and barley pan- 
cakes, night, noon and morning, for about six 
weeks. No butter, no sugar, a little molasses, no 
coffee; hoAvever, we made "coffee" out of burnt 
barley; very little tea, no beans, and very little of 
anything else in the shape of provisions. I^early 
ever}^ X^^i'^^^i lived on barley straight. The first 
salutation when two fellows met would be, " Hello, 
Tom," or " Jack," " how is the barley holding outi" 
" I have some, how is vours'?" "O, bullv!" One 
of the hotels held out during the time. They 
charged two dollars for each meal. A man stood 
at the dining-room door, and you had to pay your 
two dollars before entering that dining-room, and 
then you had to take chances on what you got to 
eat. The 7ncnu was not very choice, but you had 
to come down with your cash before vou entered. 
Grub was grub that winter in Weaverville, yet 
ever}^ person seemed happy and joA ial. Wood, too, 



224 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

became scarce, the depth of the snow keeping peo- 
ple from getting around to get it. The only thing 
with which we were well stocked Avere whisky and 
cards. During the winter reports came into town 
that tliere was a pack-train loaded with flour and 
provisions at Lewiston, eight or ten miles distant 
from Weaverville, on the Trinity River. A crowd 
turned out and broke the trail with shovels to gel 
into town, but after all their work, when tliey got 
the trail open over the mountain, they found the 
train was loaded with toin-iron and wliisky; a few 
sacks of beans were all the eatables that were found 
on the train. The boys got the beans to town, and 
they were retailed at one dollar j)er pound, and no 
man could get over ten pounds for love or money. 
The previous winter was so open that no person 
made any preparation for a hard one, and it came 
and caught us naj)ping; yet everybody seemed to be 
hapj)y. No mining was done while the snow lay so 
deep on the ground, but when the spring opened 
and the snow commenced to go off, there was 
plenty of water everywhere, and the miners reaped 
a rich harvest. 

I well remember the first ball given in Weaver- 
ville. It was on the night of December 24, 1852, and 
was given at the Independent Hotel. Tickets were 
ten dollars each. There was a sufficient number of 
ladies in town to make up two sets. It was con- 
sidered a grand affair — something new for that burg. 
Everybody enjoyed himself hugely, and more boiled 



ALMOST A FAMINE. 225 

sliirts were worn that night than ever before on 
one occasion at Weaveryille. One felloAv would 
buy a " rig;" he woukl dance a while in it and then 
lend it to some other fellow for a while, who would 
use it for an hour or so and then pass it around, 
and in that way tlie " store clothes " were kept well 
occupied. Boots were used in the same way. Tlie 
ball passed oif in fine style, and everybody Avas well 
j)leased. The only trouble Avas that the boys did 
not get dancing enough. On New Year's night, 
nothing would do but that we must have a ball at 
m V house. We got " Black Dave " for a musician, 
and a fellow by the name of John Oody to call the 
sets. The room was not large; they could dance 
two sets with a little crowding. When the time 
for refreslmients came on, all we could oiler to our 
guests was barley bread and barlev coifee. I be- 
lieve Mrs. Oarr had a couple of apple ^ies made out 
of dried apples to offer to the ladies. Such was the 
first private dance held in Weaverville. There 
were j)resent at that private party four ladies, now 
residents of Eureka, namely: Mrs. Henrietta 
Ewing, Mrs. Thomas Oarr, Mrs. A. Monroe (then 
Miss Albee) and Mrs. John Carr. 

Some of ilie gentlemen who asseml^led that New 
Year's night, '53, to enjoy themselves under "Black 
DaA^e's fiddling, have since become leading men of 
the nation. Amongst them were John P. Jones, 
Senator from the State of Nevada, then a young, 
ru.ddy-faced boy; J. 0. Burch, afterwards a member 



226 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

of Congress; E. S. McKenzie, one of tlie State Prison 
Directors of California, and afterwards an olRcer of 
the rebel army, killed wliile figliting Siegel in Mis- 
souri in '62; Ed. Rowe, Dei)iity State Treasurer 
when J. Keely Johnson wasCTOvernor of California; 
Will Lowe, afterwards Sheriff of the county and 
another rebel officer during our late unpleasantness. 
These were a few of the boys who partook of our 
hospitality and barley cakes at the first private j)iirty 
given in Trinity county. 

The houses of that day were built in a hurry and 
not very strongly put together, and, when the heavy 
snow came on, the roofs had to be shoveled or 
scrajied oif. Frequently, if not cleaned otf, the 
weight of snow would break them down. Kearly 
everybody would be at work cleaning the snoAV as 
soon as tlie rafters showed any signs of weakening, 
Avhich they would do by bending in the center. A 
merchant by the name of Earewell had a stock of 
goods on the opposite side of the street from my 
place of business. He went below before the storm 
commenced for his winter stock of goods and left 
John P. Jones in charge as clerk and bookkeej)er. 
John P. never liked manual labor very well, and he 
failed to keep tlie snow off the roof of the store. 
There was getting to be a big load on it, and the 
rafters showed all signs of " caving," and the neigh- 
bors advised him to use a little elbow-grease and 
clean the building; but he declined, saying he did 
not hire to Earewell to shovel snow, and he would 



ALMOST A FAMINE. 227 



be d — d if he would do it. Saturday iiio'lit Jolin P. 
and some of his chums sat up j)vetty late playing 
cards in tlie store, and the snow was coming down 
with a vengeance, l^ext morning being Sunday 
John P. was late about getting up. About 9 I was 
standing in my door, when I heard a cracking across 
the street, and, on looking over where the noise 
came from, I saw tliat the Farewell store had at last 
succumbed to the snow, and John P. was under the 
ruins. In a few momemts there was a crowd 
gathered. Some thought Jones was surely crushed 
to death, and tlie}' kept constantl}' calling him, but 
got no response. Shovels Avere brought and used 
freely, in shoveling the snow off the ruins and clear- 
ing off the debris to get at Jones' bod}'; yet no signs 
of Jones until the boys had the debris cleared up to 
where the counter stood, and had cleared away the 
snow and shakes around it; there under the counter 
lay the embryo U. S. Senator, rolled up in his 
blankets, and taking it as easy as a clam at high 
tide. The boys commenced cursing him for not 
answering when called, and thus i)utting them out 
of suspense as to whether he was hurt or not. Jones 
rej)lied, "I am too smart for that; look at all that 
snow vou luive shoveled oif tliose iioods, and the 
stuff you have cleared up forme; if I had answered 
you and let you know that I was not hurt, you 
would not have dug me outof the snow, and then I 
would have had all the work to do myself." Jones 
got some "tall cursing." Farewell was minus his 



228 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

storehouse, beside the loss of and damage to his 
goods. If I remember rightly, when Earewell came 
back he was so disgusted tliat he sold out what 
goods he had left, and bade good-bye to Weaver- 
ville forever. Not so Avith John P.; he remained 
in town and went to clerking for Dick Clifford. 

In the course of time the snow began to disap- 
j)ear, the trains began to come into town over the 
mountains, provisions got plentiful, the miners had 
plenty of water, and everything was again flourish- 
ing. The winter of '52 and '53 was a hard one, and 
had it not been for Oomstock & Martin's barley, I 
do not know what would have become of the peo- 
ple. Many would have suffered and starved. There 
were not less than eight hundred souls in Weaver- 
ville basin when the storm set in. Oomstock & 
Martin were selling barley at forty cents per pound 
before the scarcity, and be it said to their credit, 
they never raised one cent on the price, nor did 
they ever refuse a man credit for barley because he 
had no money. They could have had a very high 
price for it if they had demanded it. There was 
very little suffering, and everybody felt well and 
happy. All knew that the state of affairs could not 
last long, and the j)rospect ahead was good. 



POLITICS, MURDER AND FIRE. 229 



CHAPTe'r XXIV. 



Politics, Murder and Fire. 



The Presidential election of '52. — J. P. Albee and family. — The house of 
Carr, Cummings 6^ George. — Fire.— Noble generosity. — Rebuilding. 

In November, '52, the Presidential election took 
j)lace, Scott and Graham being the Whig candi- 
dates — the last nominations *the Whigs ever made. 
Pierce and King were the Democratic nominees. 
The Whigs of AVeaverville bought a large flag, and 
inscribed thereon, "Scott and Graham," in large 
letters, and raised a fine pole. The Democrats 
bought a large flag, with a large golden star in the 
center of the field. There was a big pine tree at 
the upper end of the town. The Democrats trim- 
med their tree of its limbs, rove halyards in the top, 
and threw their banner to the breeze. Church & 
Mix were keejiing store then in a log-house in 
WeaYerville, and the Democratic tree or flag-j^ole 
was in front of their store. Church was a Whig 
and Mix was a Democrat. They had a sign out 
which read: "Church & Mix, Provisions and 
Liquors." The word " provisions " was under 
Church's name and " liquors " under Mix's. When 



230 PIONEER DAYS IX CALIFORNIA- 

tliey were trimming tlie tree a limb fell on the sign 
cutting it squarely in two, leaving the name of 
Ohurcli standing, witli " x^rovisions " under it, and 
taking oif Mix and "liquors." The Whigs used to 
poke fun at Mix, saying the Democratic portion of 
the firm liad fallen. " Church and provisions " 
politics ran high in Weaverville. The election 
came on, and everybody voted. There were no 
registry laws then in California, and the Democrats 
" got away Avith " the Whigs in Weaverville as well 
as the balance of the United States. Everything 
passed ofi* quietly — not one fight on election day. 
The largest vote ever polled in Weaverville was 
polled at that election — if I remember correctly, 
nearly nine hundred votes. The San Erancisco 
papers, in commenting on the election, remarked on 
the good morals of the American electors, saying 
that the election passed off at Weaverville, Trinity 
county, without one single fight, although Weaver- 
ville was the wickedest place in California. We 
Weaverites did not believe the insinuation against 
our morals and good standing, and considered it a 
slander on our peaceful burg. 

I would not be doing justice if I did not lionor- 
ablv mention tlie name of one of AVeaverville's 
pioneer mothers who is now a resident of Eureka 
— Mrs. Albee, wife of J. P. Albee, who was cruelly 
murdered by the Indians in November, '62, on Red- 
wood Creek, in this county. In the early pari of 
the summer of '52, J. P. Albee and an old gentle- 



POLITICS, MURDER AND FIRE. 231 

man by the name of Hovey brought some milch 
cows to Weaverville to furnish the town with milk. 
They started a restaurant in connection with their 
milk business, which was afterwards turned into 
the St. Charles Hotel, one of the leading hotels of 
WeaYerville. Albee's family came to Weaverville 
about October, '52. His was the largest family of 
children that had yet made their appearance in 
town. His oldest child, now Mrs. Monroe of this 
city, was then a girl of twelve or thirteen years of 
age. She was considered quite a young lady for 
those days. They stayed in town during the hard 
winter, and in the summer of '53 removed to Hum- 
boldt countv, another old resident of Humboldt ac- 
companying them over the mountains — Peter 
Houck of Eel River Yalley. They settled on 
Salmon Creek, and in ]May, '56, removed to Red- 
wood. In '62, during the Indian war, Mr. Albee 
moved his family to Areata for protection against 
the savages who were then on the war-path. But 
he continued to go back and forth to his ranch, 
notwithstanding the remonstrances of his family 
and friends. J. P. Albee was a man who was kind 
and just in his dealings, always taking the part of 
the weak against the strong, and was the friend of 
the Indians when the white men abused them. He 
put confidence in them and unwisely trusted them 
too far, and they cruelly repaid him by taking his 
life. His remains were discovered near his house 
on his ranch, and buried by the soldiers who were 



232 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

then in tlie field. By his death Mrs. Albee was left 
with five small children to j^rovide for, with very 
little means, the Indians having destroyed his prop- 
erty and run off much of his stock. Here commenced 
a heroic struggle for the brave mother to support, 
maintain and educate her family, which she nobly 
accomplished. The old lady has now eight children, 
twenty-six grand-children and six great-grand- 
children, all living, making forty of her direct de- 
scendants now living in California, the most of 
them in Humboldt county. Our tardy Govern- 
ment some years since passed an indemnity bill 
reimbursing those persons who were losers by the 
Indian wars and dej)redations in Northern Cali- 
fornia, and I believe she was voted sixteen thous- 
and dollars for her losses, but she has not yet 
received one cent. I suppose red-tapeism will keep 
the old lady out of it while slie lives, and it may 
come when it is too late to do her any good. 

But let us get back to Weaverville. We were 
beginning to get everything in running order — 
after the hard winter everything was flourishing. 
I found that the blacksmith shop under the dwell- 
ing-house would not answer very well, as the fine 
dust from the shop would go all over, and made our 
rooms upstairs very uncomfortable to live in. I 
made up my mind to turn the lower part into a 
store, and build a shoj) on a vacant lot next the 
store. Myself, with two others, went into the 
mercantile business under the firm name of Carr, 



POLITICE, MURDER AND FIRE. 23o 

Cuininings & George. John George had a pack- 
train of twenty-four iniile.s wliicL lie put into the 
concern. A few days after tlie j^artnership was 
formed, I had an offer for my house and lot of three 
thousand fiye hundred dollars by Madam Bachelor, 
to fit it up for a gambling-house. I refused it; got a 
train-load of goods in, and opened out business with 
good prospects, and in less than one week, while at 
dinner one day, an alarm of fire was giyen. Weayer- 
yille was about to receiye its first baptism of the 
fiery element. On running downstairs I found the 
American Hotel all in flames. It was the next 
building to mine, and caught on the side next to our 
store and dwelling-house. To try to put it out was 
all in yain. The only thing to be done was to saye 
what few goods we could before the fire droye us 
out. I had, before leaying San Erancisco in the 
fall j)reyious, bought some furniture and a stoye — 
I belieye the first in Weayeryille. It was all up- 
stairs, together with my wife's gold watch and 
clothing. We sayed yery little of it. We got some 
of the goods out of the store before the fire droye us 
out. The fire swept up the main street on the east 
side, clearing eyerything before it. The houses 
were built of pine shakes and lined Ayitli cotton. 
When the immense blaze would strike the next 
house in its course up the street it would seem to 
melt out of existence in a moment. It ran up Main 
street to Court street, and up Court street as far as 
there was anything to burn. Crossing Court street 



234 PIOXEER DAYS IX CALIFORNIA- 

it burned up and down tlie street, until stox^ping at 
the United States Hotel, kept by Jose])li EAving and 
wife, where by superhuman exertions of the people 
it was checked. Very fcAv goods were saved. The 
time from the first alarm until tlie tire was arrested 
was but twenty-eight minutes. It being noon wlien 
the fire commenced, there were very few persons in 
town — the miners were all at work, the most of 
them sDme distance from the town; but they got 
there as soon as possible and did good work. There 
was no water or anything to work with. P. 
M. Eder hid the day before arrived in town 
with a large stock of goods — ninety mule loads. 
They were put in the American Hotel for storage 
until he could find or build a store. That was the 
building where the fire started. He never saved 
one dollar's worth of tlie goods. Nearly every 
merchant of the town lost heavily. To me it was 
the first set back, and I lost it all in a few mo- 
ment's time. Six thousand dollars would not cover 
my personal loss. When the first fire started Mrs. 
Graham, the landladv of the American Hotel, was 
sick. Her husband went to her room and carried 
her out the back door and left her but a short dis- 
tance from the building. As the fire progressed the 
heat became so great where she lay that it was set- 

'V, 

ting her clothing on fire. Mrs. Carr, seeing the 
danger she was in, at great risk to herself ran in 
and carried the sick woman in her arms to a safe 
place. Before she could reach a place of safet}" our 



POLITICS^ MURDER AND FIRE. 235 

own house was in flaines. She saved nothing of 
her own clothing, watch and av hat je^v elry she had 
— all went, and all that Avas left to her was the 
clothing on lier back. The fire left us naked. Be- 
fore the fire was yet out one of my partners — 
Cmnniings — started for tlie mill, two miles below 
town, and ordered a bill of lumber to rebuild. He 
was first on liand and got liis lumber. Tlie same 
evening a load arrived on the ground, and we had 
to put the fire out on the burnt sills in order to lay 
the new ones. 

In the meantime an express messenger was dis- 
patched to Shasta with the new^s of the fire. Sliasta 
was then a business place. It was the head of 
wagon navigation. There were several large whole- 
sale houses that furnished the principal goods for 
all the northern mines. From one of these houses 
we purchased our goods — the firm of Todd & Jones. 
They were doing a large business in Shasta. As 
soon as they heard of the fire they immediately 
sent one of their clerks — Grant I. Taggart — oygy to 
Weaverville to see if we wanted any helj) to re- 
build, and if so to draw on them for the amount 
needed. Grant I. Taggart has since been elected 
Clerk of the Suj)reme Court, and is now in the real 
estate business in Oakland. 

The next day after the fire, when Taggart arrived 
in Weaverville, we had the floor laid for our store, 
and in six days after the fire the store w^as com- 
plete — counter, shelves and everything ready for 



236 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFOENIA. 

business The next day after the fire I was at work 
sharpening picks, and doing business in that line as 
if nothing had happened. In a few days our train 
arrived Avith a load of goods. Todd & Jones hired 
anotlier train, loaded it with goods, and sent it on. 
We knew nothing of it until it arrived in AYeaver- 
ville, consigned to Carr, Cunimings & George, with 
the freight all paid. Freight in those days was no 
small item in the cost of the goods. Ten cents per 
pound was the going rate tliat spring from Shasta 
to Weaverville. Inside of ten days we were in full 
blast, as if nothing had happened. 



POLITICS AND WAR. 237 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Politics and War. 

Comstock and Martin. — The old pine stump. — A street battle. — Pierce, 
Church dr^ Company. — The Home Guards. — Encampment at Red 
Bhiff; hungry soldiers. — A Masonic lodge organized; its officers. — 
The Odd Fellows. — First school in Weaverville. 

After the fire we were again left houseless. Coin- 
stock & Martin again came to our rescue, their place 
of business having escaped the fire. They had a 
story-and-a-half house, the lower floor of which was 
used as an oflice and storeroom for grain, and the 
upper part was partly used as an office for the big 
ditch company, occupied by Messrs. Young, Gar- 
land & Wjinan. They kindly offered us the front 
room upstairs until we could get a house built to 
live in, which we occupied. 

A history of the early days of Weaverville would 
not be complete without sometliing said about the 
firm of Comstock & Martin. Israel Comstock and 
John Martin were amongst the first settlers of 
Weaverville. I believe they were there in '50; at 
least, I found them mining there when I arrived in 
Eebruary, '51. Israel Comstock was a genuine 
specimen of the tall Yankee Democrat. Kearly 



238 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

seven feet in liiglit, and as good-natured as he Avas 
big. The only way you couhl get him angry was to 
ask him how tall he was, or to say anything about 
his hight to him. He was a dyed-in-the-wool 
Democrat, and close to their corral gate was a big 
pine stumi), which the boys used to call "the 
Democratic stump." For six months before the 
election the stump would be occupied by Israel and 
the candidates discussing their chances for a nomi- 
nation. The Whigs used to say if that old pine 
stump could talk and tell all the rascality and jobs 
put up around it, there would be some very hard 
yarns given to the political history of Trinity 
county. Oomstock remained a genuine Democrat. 
There was an establishment in the upper end of 
town called the Spanish corral. It was not strictly 
a very moral place; a sort of a dance-house where, 
when each set was over, they all promenaded to the 
bar for refreshments. The inmates, or female por- 
tion, were generally Ohilanos, Kanackas and Mexi- 
cans. Some of the women got dissatisfied and 
wanted to leave the town, but the proprietors did 
not want them to leave. The women made a pri- 
vate arrangement with Tom Dawson and John 
Maloy, two packers, to take them to Shasta, and 
they tried to get them away without the keeper's 
knowledge, but he discovered the plot. The 
women and packers started off, but, when they got 
about the middle of the main street, there com- 
menced a perfect fusilade, or miniature battle, be- 



POLITICS AND WAR. 239 

tween the parties. There must have been fifty or 
sixty shots fired in the street, with a perfect Babel 
of voices, and no choice language used. On that 
occasion we were sleeping upstairs, and, when 
they had fought doAvn the street to near the livery- 
stable building where we were sleeping, the bullets 
commenced cracking against the house pretty 
lively. My wife was somewhat alarmed, as the 
liouse was made of shakes and not bullet-proof by 
any means. We lay down on the floor until the 
fight got past the liouse, and then the danger was 
over. 1 expected to see at least a half-dozen funer- 
als next day, but, to my surprise, there were no j)er- 
sons hurt on either side. It was a beautiful moon- 
light night, and Iioav so much shooting could be 
done without somebody getting hurt was surprising 
to me. 

Until the firing on Eort Sumter, the firm of 
Comstock & Martin united in business with them 
John E. Church and Jesse Pierce, and foriued one 
of the largest business houses in Northern California, 
under the name of Pierce, Church & Co., doing a 
large forwarding and mercantile business. Pierce 
went to San Francisco, Comstock to Red Bluff, aud 
Church & Martin remained in Weaverville to at- 
tend to the business there. Old Israel was at Red 
Bluff attending to the forwarding, as that place was 
the head of water navigation, and all goods going 
north had to be re-shipped either on wagons or by 
pack mules to their destination. 



240 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

I well reineuiber, in the summer of '63, during 
the civil war, there were two companies of home 
guards organized in Trinity county, the Douglass 
City Rifles and Halleck Rifles. I belonged to the 
Douglass City Rifles — both companies belonged to 
the 5th Brigade. We were ordered to Red Bluif 
for encampment and drill, a distance of about 
ninety miles, for ten days' service. The camp was 
located on a creek about two and one half miles 
below Red Bluff, where we played soldier. The 
last day of the encampment we were ordered to 
strike tents and march for Red Bluff, and, Avhen 
the brigade arrived at the town, we were marched 
and counter-marched and drilled for the space of 
three or four hours, for the gratification of the 
people of that town and General John Bid well, the 
commanding ofiicer, in particular. When the 
parade was dismissed there were no prej)arations 
made to feed or shelter the troops. The boys felt 
pretty hungry and mad about that time, and made 
application to General Bidwell, but he told them he 
could do nothing for them. Old Israel Comstock 
was at the Bluff at the time, and such treatment of 
the Trinity county boys raised his Yankee ire, and 
he went after General Bidwell in good style. He 
told the boys of Trinity to go to the hotel and get 
what they wanted, and he would foot the bills. 
Such was Israel Comstock, one of God's noblemen, 
and a true specimen of the early pioneers of Cali- 



i 



• POLITICS AND WAR. 241 

fornia. He died a few years since at Red Bluff. 
Peace to liis aslies. 

Jolin Martin, Oomstock's partner, is still in the 
land of the living, one of the best-known men in 
Northern California. He is the last of the firm that 
commenced business in Weaverville thirty-six }^ars 
since, and is running the old livery stable yet. John 
Martin was like his old partner Comstock, a State 
of Main man, a Whig in politics in early days; but 
afterwards became a leading Republican, and a 
live one too. When Comstock went to Red Bluff 
to live, John Martin took advantage of his absence, 
and turned the old Democratic headquarters into 
Rej)ublicnn headquarters, and, I believe, it remains 
so to this day. Many a Republican job was put nj) 
in and around that old Democratic stump. Jolm 
was a good, jovial fellow, and for thirty years there 
was not a marriage, ball, dinner, christening, or 
social party given in or about Weaverville but that 
if John Martin was not at the head of it, it was con- 
sidered that there was something wrong. Remain- 
ing an old bachelor all this time, yet he got caught 
at last. A few months since I saw the account of 
his marriage in the San Erancisco papers. His 
bride must indeed be a paragon of j)erfection to 
catch the old boy at last. John, all your old Trinity 
friends now residing in Humboldt county wish you 
much joy and happiness, hoping the old nest of 
Martins will be well stocked with 3^oung Martins, 
and the old birds be spared to them until they are 



242 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

full-feathered and ready to fly. John, old boy, 
success to you and your bride. 

To come back to '52. In the summer of that 
3 ear the first Masonic lodge Avas started in Weaver- 
yille, known as Trinity Lodge, Ko. 27, with a man 
by the name of Chamberlin as Master, Dr. Winston 
as Senior AVarden and 0. L. N. Vaughn as Junior 
Warden. The lodge-room was in a building at the 
lower end of the town, owned by a man by the 
name of James Cameron, in the upper story of 
which I received my first lesson in the mystic tie 
in the fall of '52, I being the second Mason raised 
to the third degree in the old lodge, which has 
since turned out many a bright Mason. Cameron 
sold the building to Madam Bush, and she started 
the Polka Saloon, and the Masons moved into the 
upper story of the court-house, and remained there 
until the county built a court-house. 

J. E. Chellis had the contract for building the 
court-house, and tlie Masons got permission from 
the County Court to build a third story on the build- 
ing and make a lodge-room of it, paying J. F. 
Chellis twenty-seven hundred and fifty dollars for 
adding the third story, or lodge-room, to the build- 
ing. When completed it made a safe and com- 
fortable lodge. The Odd Fellows did not organize, 
I believe, until along in the summer of '53, when 
they started North Star Lodge, which became a 
flourishing one. 

The first school was started in '53 as a private 



POLITICS AND WAR. 243 

enterprise, tjinght by a lady by the name of Mrs. 
Edwards, now Mrs. Belclier of San Francisco. Slie 
had but six or seven pupils, three out of one family — 
the Upton's — two boys and one girl. Mr. Uj)ton 
was a lawyer of Weaverville, at one time a mem]3er 
of the Legislature of California, afterwards Chief 
Justice of Oregon, and the last time I heard of him 
he Avas Third Auditor of the Treasury at Washington. 
I believe there were some two or three pupils from 
the family of Mr. Conway, who was then work- 
ing at mining on West WeaA er. Such Avas the 
beginning of civilization in WeaA erville. 



24-1 PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFORKIA. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

A Trip to Humboldt. 

A trip to Humboldt. — Indian war rumors. — Judge Peters and the jokers. 
— Volunteers in pursuit of Indians. — Uniontown. — Return to 
Weaverville with General Denver. 

Daring the summer of '58, hearing of the bean- 
ties and richness of Humboldt county, I made up 
my mind to visit that section. Buying a mule, I 
started from Weayerville, to take a more extended 
view of the resources of this county. On my arriv- 
ing at Big Flat, on the lower Trinity, there Avere 
rumors of the Indians having broken out, and being 
on the war path. I found waiting for company 
Judge Peters and two others, and we were joined 
there by General Denver, all bound for TJ niontoAyn, 
now Areata. We laid by for a couple of days be- 
fore starting, and, in the meantime, word came to 
Big Flat that Johnson, the packer, was killed by 
the Indians while encamped on a prairie in the red- 
Avoods. The five of us held a consultation whether 
to venture over the trail or not. We came to the 
conclusion to take the chances and go through, and 
did so. 



A TRIP TO HUMBOLDT. 245 

Before starting the boys liad some fun witli 
Judge Peters. Every morning, while staying there, 
the Judge would dress himself for the road, with a 
couple of pistols in his belt, and leggings on; lie also 
had on one spur. There were one saloon and a 
store on Big Elat at that time. The saloon was 
kept by old Daddy McGann, and the store b}^ Stuart 
& A¥iiliams~R. G. Stuart and R. M. Williams. 
When Peters would make his appearance in the 
store. Bob Stuart would tell him he had the s^^ur on 
the wrong foot, as the brush on the trail all grew on 
that side, and the Judge Avould change it to the 
other foot; after a while he would visit old Daddy 
McGaiin, and then the boys would reason with him 
and tell him that the brush all grew on the other 
side of the trail, and otf Avould come the spur; the 
Judge complaining all the time that people could 
not tell him the truth. The Judge was somewhat 
of a militarv man, and he would insist on the five 
of us forming ourselves into a compan}^ for drill, 
and, in case the Indians attacked us, we could fight 
them systematically; and then he Avould drill us, 
he having had some experience in Virginia as a 
military officer. The Judge was a high-toned 
Virginian, and claimed to belong to the first 
families of Yirginia. Well, after a time we got 
started, the Judge complaining that we were the most 
careless d — d set that he ever traveled with. All went 
well the first day out, or until we had crossed the 
South Fork and were getting into the Indian conn- 



246 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

try; then the Judge began scolding ns for our care- 
lessness, comx^laining of our loud talk, and said if 
there was a hostile Indian within ten miles of us he 
could hear us and would surely attack us, and that 
we must not speak at all; but, if attacked, not to 
lire until he would give the signal. General Denver, 
although a brother Democrat, was not on good 
terms with the Judge, and the General got a big 
disgust on with the Judge. The rest of us 
were amused at his foolishness. Einallv, as we 
were drawing close to where Johnson Avas killed, 
the Judge drew his pistol from his belt and ordered 
the rest of us to do the same. This got the General's 
ire up, and, calling to me, he said, " That damn 
fool will kill some of us; we are in more danger 
from him than we are from the Indians; make him 
put up that revolver." The Judge had shot one man 
some time before, in mistake for an Indian, on the 
same trail. I rode up to the Judge and requested 
him to j)ut up his gun until he should have more 
need of it. He became indignant, and wanted to 
know if I knew who he was. I told him, "I sup- 
pose you are Judge Peters." He said, " Sir, I am a 
Virginia gentleman." " Then, sir," I replied, " put 
up your gun, and act like a gentleman." He would 
not do it until finally the other four of us told him 
distinctly, if he did not do so, he would have to 
travel alone, for we were going to take no chances 
of being shot by him. 

The Judge put his pistol up under protest, and 



A TRIP TO HUMBOLDT. 247 

Ave i:>roceeded on our journey, coming in due time 
to Avliere Johnson, the packer, was killed and 
buried. Our trail led through redwoods and prairie 
country. In the afternoon we came to where the 
boys were camped who were hunting the Indians. 
They were under the command of " Kease " Wiley, 
now of Eureka, then of Uniontown. They were a 
welcome sight to us, as we were completely in the 
dark as far as knowing anything about the hostiles 
or the men in pursuit of them until we struck this 
camp. Some distance from Angels Ranch we found 
about thirty men who liad yolunteered to go after 
the hostiles in about an hour's time after the news 
came of the death of Johnson. Johnson was killed, 
and his partner was shot and wounded badly, but 
he got oyer it. The report was that it was their 
own fault, for, when they camped for the night, 
some Indians and squaws came into camp, and the 
two white men seized a squaw each, and made them 
stay with them all night. In the middle of the 
night the Indians made an attack on them, killing 
Johnson and badh^ wounding his partner, the squaws 
helj)ing the Indians. We made Angels Ilanch 
that night. It was kej)t by a man by the name of 
Bill Eyans. There were a number of trayelers like 
ourselyes stopj)ing at Angels Ranch and waiting for 
more company. 

We started next morning, quite a band of us, for 
Uniontown, and arriyed all right about the middle 
of the afternoon, and found the place a good deal 



248 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

excited over the Indian troubles. We found Union- 
town quite a town for those days; everything had a 
sort of permanent look about it. We put up at the 
American Hotel, then kept by "Kease" Wiley, a good 
place to stop at, with lots of fresh vegetables and 
fresh milk and butter, something we were not ac- 
customed to getting in the mines. The hotel was 
on the northeast corner of the plaza. Nearly op- 
posite on the other side of the street, was Murdock's 
store, and oj)posite that was Boles & Ooddington's 
store. Boles & Coddington did quite a large busi- 
ness. They had a branch store on Big Bar, on the 
Trinity River, where they sold a large amount of 
gold-dust. Near the southwest corner of the plaza 
W. C. Martin and H. J. Dart kept store. Old man 
Jacoby kept a restaurant on the south side of the 
plaza, and a bar and billiard room, which was con- 
sidered the " tony " place of the town. Old Mr. Nixon 
had a dwelling-house on the northwest corner of the 
plaza, which was the best private dwelling I had 
yet seen in the State. General Denver made a 
political sj)eech for the Democratic side of the 
house Avhile we were at Uniontown. In about 
eight or ten days the volunteers returned from the 
war, with not a scalp to adorn their shields. It 
was a bloodless war, so far as they were concerned. 
Here the General and myself were in a pretty fix, 
wanting to get home, and no one but us two willing 
to take the chances. AVe had about eighty miles of 
Indian country to travel througli, and not even 



A TRIP TO HUMBOLDT. 249 

Judge Peters to acconix3any ns or give us the bene- 
fit of his experience. We left Uniontown in the 
afternoon, and staid at Bates' all night. We had 
exi3ected that there might be more comj)any at that 
point wanting to go through; but we were disap- 
pointed, as no person wanted to take the chances of 
the trij). Next morning Denver and myself started 
on our foolhardy trip, with our eyes and ears open, 
ready for a fight at any moment, and expecting it; 
but, as good fortune favored us, we made the South 
Fork the first night, after a hard day's ride, and 
stopped all night with Pole Hill, who kept a sort of 
a hotel or stoj)ping-place for travelers at the cross- 
ing of tlie South Eork. We considered the worst 
part of the journey over, as there had been no dep- 
redations done above the South Pork as yet. Next 
morning we were again on the road, and made Big 
Flat that night, if I remember correctly, well tired 
out and very glad to be in a land of safety. It was, 
as Denver remarked, a A-ery foolhardy trip for two 
of us to make; but we made it all right. I had 
more courage then than I have noAV. The next 
day's ride was an easy one, from Big Flat to 
Weaverville, where we arrived all right. I took 
the trip to see the country, and considered I was 
well repaid for my trouble. My first sight of 
Areata was a j)leasing one. I thought it one of the 
most beautiful j)laces for a town I had seen in the 
State, lying in and surrounded by a beautiful and 
X3roductive country, with a forest of majestic red- 



250 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

woods for a background, and Humboldt Bay lying 
in front of it. All vegetation round the town looked 
green and fresh — so diiferent from what I had been 
accustomed to. To me it seemed like an earthly 
paradise. We did not visit Eureka or any other 
portion of the county. I made up my mind then 
that at some future day Humboldt county should 
be my permanent home. 



A DESPERADO KILLED — WATER TROUBLES. 251 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

A Desperado Killed. — Water Troubles. 

A gambler and desperado killed. — Gamblers and desperados contributed 
to California by the disbanded American army of the Mexican war. — 
Joseph McGee shoots McElroy. — A full jail. 

During my absence from Weaverville there took 
place one of those unfortunate circumstances 
whereby a man lost his life. There was a " sjiort " 
in town — I have forgotten his name. He had com- 
mitted some offense, and there was a warrant out 
for his arrest. The warrant was given to Harry J. 
Seaman, who was Deputy Sheriff under William M. 
Lowe. Harry undertook to serve the warrant, but 
the fellow would not be arrested. He drew his 
pistol, and told the deputy that neither he nor any 
other man could arrest him. The deputy then 
drew his pistol, and the two men stood facing each 
other for some little time. William M. Lowe, the 
Sheriff, was close by, in Ike Dixon's barber shop, 
getting shaved. Hearing the noise and loud talk, 
he jumped out of the chair, and, on going to the 
door, took in the situation at a glance. He ran to 
his dejiuty, and, taking the j)istol out of his hand. 



252 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

lie told the fellow to throw up his hands and sur- 
render, or he Avould kill him. The fellow refused 
to surrender, and Lowe blazed away, the bullet 
striking him in the breast and going clear through 
him and lodging in the door-frame of our store. 
The Avhole fracas took place under onr awning and 
immediately in front of our store. The bullet re- 
mained in the door-frame until the next winter, 
when the building burned down. The fellow ex- 
pired in a few minutes after being hit. The coro- 
ner's jur}^ returned a verdict of "justifiable 
homicide — killed while resisting an oificer in the 
discharge of his duty." He was buried, and that 
was the last said about him. He lived the life of a 
gambler and desperado, and died by the hand of 
violence, like hundreds of others in the early days 
of California. 

Every few days one wouhl hear or read of some 
such tragedy, when the American army that con 
quered Mexico was disbanded. Gold was shortly 
afterwards discovered, and many of the gamblers 
and desjieradoes that accompanied the army to 
Mexico turned their attention to California, and 
frequently tried to run the country in their own 
way; but they generally got snubbed. Sometimes 
their brawls and cutting and shooting scrapes would 
be amongst themselves, and then there was very 
little attention paid to them. I remember very 
distinctly about a shooting scrape that took place 
between McGee and another sport by the name of 



A DESPERADO KILLED — WATER TROUBLES- 253 

McElroy. McGee was knoAvn as the worst man 
in Weaverville, and generally known as Hell-roaring 
McGee. His proper name was Josej)li McGee, 
and he came from the State of Tennessee. He was 
elected the first Assessor of Trinity county, which 
then embraced Humboldt within its borders. 
McGee, while assessing, collected all the money 
he could, and made but very small returns to the 
County Treasury. The Grand Jury got after him 
and found several indictments against him, and he 
left the county for the county's good. The fracas 
between the two men grew out of a dispute over a 
game of cards one night, when both men drew their 
pistols and fired. There was a scattering out of 
that house for a few numients. McGee got in liis 
work first, and shot McElroy, and with his usual 
luck came out of the fracas unhurt. McElroy was 
taken to his room, supposed to be mortally wounded, 
and there hovered between life and death for some 
days. 

At times he was out of his head. His room was 
in the American Hotel, upstairs, the stairs being 
on the outside of the building. One day, while in 
one of his delirious fits, he sprang out of bed, and, 
seizing a large boAvie-knife, made for the door and 
out on the platform at the head of the stairs. There 
he stood, with no clothing on but his undershirt 
and drawers, cursing and swearing in a fearful 
manner that he would cut the heart out of every 
son of man in Weaverville. The carpenters were 



254 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

at work on my building, next to the American. As 
soon as tliey saw the plight he was in — crazy, with 
a bowie-knife in his hand — they made tracks for 
some more sheltered nook. Some men came 
through the building and took his knife from him 
and got him back into his room before any damage 
was done. He finally got well, and I learned after- 
wards that he became quite a good man. 

In the summer of 1853 the water troubles 
commenced on West Weaver. I gave a short 
sketch of the first ditches that were brought into 
AVeaverville in the sunmier of '51. About the 
same time there was a ditch taken out of West 
Weaver, aud brought into Sidney Hill and other 
diggings in that vicinity. Dr. William Ware got 
control of the West Weaver ditch and enlarged 
it so that, for the most part of the dry season, 
he turned all the water of West Weaver into 
it, and left the miners below the dam with no 
water to work their claims. The old law of riparian 
rights — that is, that the water of a stream cannot 
be turned out of its natural channel when required 
there — was the law the miners claimed under, and 
they contended for their rights under that law. 
They remonstrated with Dr. Ware, but to no pur- 
pose. The Doctor wouUl not listen to them. 
Finally, after having several miners' meetings over 
the matter, and sending committees to try and com- 
j)romise with him, they came to the conclusion that 
patience had ceased to be a virtue, and that they 



A DESPERADO KILLED — WATER TROUBLES. 255 

would try to get their rights in some more effective 
manner. It was resolved at one of their meetings to 
cut the dam out by force, and tight if necessary. 
Accordingly the meeting resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole, and started for Dr. Ware's 
dam, armed and equipped with rifles, x^istols, axes, 
picks and shovels, bent on having Avater to work 
their claims. There were about one hundred and 
twenty of them. When they got to the dam they 
found three or foirr men working on the dam. Dr. 
Ware's men could offer no resistance to such a 
croAvd, who commenced on the dam and made short 
work of it. In a few minutes there was plenty of 
water running down the bed of the stream. They 
then posted a notice tliat if the dam was again j^ut 
in they would cut it out again, and returned to 
their claims and their work. Dr. Ware started for 
Weaverville, three or four miles distance, and 
entered complaint against nine of the principal 
leaders of the West Weaver miners, and had 
them arrested for maliciously destroying proj)erty. 
They were arrested and brought to Weaverville by 
Sheriff Lowe, and confined in the county jail. 
Several of the business men of the town offered to 
bail them out, but thev refused all bail. In the 
meantime the balance of the miners who were en- 
gaged in cutting out the dam came to Weaverville 
in a body — over one hundred of them — telling the 
Sheriff that they were as guilty as those who were 
in prison, and Avanted him to serve them all alike. 



256 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

The Sheriff remonstrated, but to no iivail. He 
eitlier had to let the others out or put them in. The 
Slieriff rej)lied: 

" If 3 on are so damned anxions to go to jail, in 
yon go! " 

Kow the jail was a very small building, made of 
hewn logs, not over eighteen or twenty feet sqnare, 
and Lowe had to i)ut about one hundred and 
twenty-five men into it. He got them all in, but 
they were packed as close as sardines in a box. The 
jail was poorly ventilated. After the door was 
closed for a few minutes and the air cnt oif, it be- 
came almost intolerable. In the meantime the 
miners from other parts came into town to the nnm- 
ber of several hundred and went to Sheriff" Lowe, 
demanding the immediate release of the whole of 
the prisoners, or that they be confined in some 
more fit place. If he did not grant their request, 
they told him they would i)ull the jail down in 
short order. Sheriff Lowe said the most of them 
were in jail at their own request, but he woukl do 
the best he could for them. On consultation with 
the County Judge, they decided to take the boys 
ont and confine them in tlie court-room, which was 
large and well ventilated. The culprits were quite 
comfortable in their new prison, and all went well 
nntil supper time came. The boys began to get 
hungry, and demanded the Sheriff to get them their 
supper. This set Sheriff Lowe to thinking. He 
went to the restanrants to order supper for his 



A DESPERADO KILLED— WATER TROUBLES. 257 

prisoners, but tlie restaurants of that time in 
Weaverville were not very extensive, and not well 
sui)plied witli conveniences for so large a crowd of 
county boarders. Besides, meals at that lime were 
one dollar each, in cash, and the county had no 
cash to pay, and the county scrij) was worth fifty 
cents on the dollar. The restaurant men were not 
anxious to accommodate the Sheriff in the " grub " 
line for fiftv cents on the dollar. Finallv the 
Sheritf got mad and went to the court-house. Eling- 
ing the doors open, he exclaimed : 

" Get out of here, every mother's son of you, and 
get your own supj)ers, or go without, and be damned 
to you!" 

The boys left hurrahing for Sheriff Lowe. 



258' PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

A Mi NATURE Ireland, 

Conspiracy to han.L^ Doctor Williani, Ware. — First Water-melons.— 
Serving on a grand jury. 

After tlie miners were released from custody 
there were some tall threats against Dr. Ware, as 
he was the means of sending so many persons to 
jail. I was one day at work in my shoi?, when a 
friend named Seely came in. We talked for awhile 
about the water troubles, and the miners being 
imprisoned, when he remarked: 

" Do you know that Dr. Ware is a Mason'? " 

" Ko, I was not aware of it," said I. 

He assured me that he was. In a short time 
after Seely left the shop a friend of mine came in — 
a miner from West Weaver — and one of the men 
who had been in jail. I said to him: 

" Billy, do you know that Dr. AYare is a Mason'? " 
He seemed to be thunderstruck with the in- 
formation. 

" Do you know him to be such'? " he asked. 

I told him my informant. His reply was: 

" O God; can that be so'?" He again asked, "Is 
it sor' 



A MINIATURE IRELAND. 259 

I told liim I tlionght it was the truth. He stood 
for some ininutes in conteiiii^hition, and then asked 
to see me j)riYately. We then went to a private 
phice, Avhen he informed me that he and eight 
others had entered into a conspiracy to hang Dr. 
Ware on a certain night, and that I must stop it or 
prerent it. They had, he informed me, bound 
tliemselves under the most solemn oath to take his 
life and be avenged on* him for indignities that he 
had caused them. Being cast into jail like common 
felons was more than they could stand. Smarting 
under their wrongs they entered into that dreadful 
conspiracy which, had it been carried into effect, v 
each would have regretted to the last da^s of his 
life. I consulted witli Dr. Harris, a friend that 
could be relied on. We came to the conclusion to 
go that night and warn Dr. Ware of his danger. 
In the afternoon it came on to rain. That night 
we (Dr. Harris aud myself) agreed to meet at 9 
o'clock and go to the Doctor's cabin and warn him 
of the impending danger. It was a fearfully wet 
night. We dared not take a lantern with us, and 
the trail led up through the mines, and was very 
difficult to follow, and dangerous at that. We 
finally, after many mishaj)s, got to his cabin. The 
old gentleman and two others were quietly sitting 
by the fire when we entered. The Doctor was sur- 
prised to see us at such an hour and on such a night. 
I had had some little difficulty with the Doctor, 
and we had not spoken to each other for the past 



260 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

A'ear. AVe informed the Doctor that we had a little 
business with him, and wished to converse 
with him a fcAV minutes in private. The 
Doctor consented, and we went out of the cabin and 
under tlie woodshed. We found him what he was 
rej)resented to be. We then informed him of the 
conspiracy to take his life, or do him some great 
bodily injury. The Doctor was very much alarmed, 
and did not know what course to pursue. We ad- 
vised him not to sleep in his cabin until he had 
notice from us that it was safe to do so, but to sleep 
with some of his neighbor miners until the thing 
^ was settled, and not to j)nsh the suits against the 
miners that were then pending before the courts. The 
Doctor agreed to follow our advice in every 
particular, and did so. 

In the meantime my West Weaver friend went 
home, and, as he infornied me afterwards, he called 
on the other cons^^irators and told them that he 
would have nothing more to do with the matter, 
and advised the others to drop the thing, and not 
commit a crime that they would forever rej)ent. 
Einally one after another came to his views, and 
agreed not to molest the Doctor in any private 
manner whatever. They kept their words. In the 
meantime the Doctor kept out of his cabin at night 
for some time, and withdrew the suits against the 
miners for malicious mischief. In a short time 
afterwards the matter was settled by compromise, 
and things again Avore a peaceful aspect in Weaver- 



A MINIATURE IRELAND- 2B1 

ville. After our mission to Dr. Ware's was com- 
pleted, and the Doctor was warned of his danger, 
Harris and myself returned to town. And a good 
time we had getting there. How Ave ever escaped 
falling into some of the mining holes or ditches that 
beset our trail, was a mystery to both of us ; but, 
aside from a few tumbles over piles of tailings and 
a few bruises, we got back all right. 

Looking back over a lapse of thirty-six years, and 
thinking over the tragedy that was likely to have 
occurred, I cannot but feel thankful that Provi- 
dence interfered and made me instrumental through 
the agency of that noble order which has been the 
pride of the good and great men of all nations and 
all ages of the world, in saving the life of a fellow- 
mortal. Through its agencv I was informed of a 
great crime that was about being committed; 
through its agency I was able to counteract and 
stoj) the committal of that great crime, which 
would have brought shame and disgrace upon every 
good citizen of the county, besides taking the life 
of a good man and a worthy citizen. The men who 
entered into the conspiracy I never knew except 
the one referred to, and he was a good man. He 
stood well in the community, but was young and 
high-spirited. It galled them terribly to think that 
they should be committed to jjrison for contending 
for what they thought to be their rights as Ameri- 
cans, hence their banding together to do that rash 
act, which, thank Heaven, they were prevented 



262 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

from carrying out. I would not have written this, 
but the principal actors have long since left the 
county or died, and Dr. William Ware, a short 
time since, paid the great debt of nature, leaving 
behind him the name of a good man, and one of 
Trinity's early and enterprising citizens. The con- 
spiracy was never known except to Dr. Harris and 
myself and those engaged in it. 

Some time in '52, two enterj)rising citizens, A. 
J. Eelter and Dan Sullivan, took up and located 
some large flats near the mouth of Oregon Gulch 
for the purpose of gardening and raising fruit. It 
proved a paying venture. The land was good, and 
everything they put in tlie ground did remarkably 
well. I remember the first watermelons they 
brought to town for sale. If my meuKuy serves 
me right, they sent over two j^t^ck mules loaded 
with them. Their place was about seven miles 
from town. Melons were things we old inhabitants 
never expected to regale ourselves with; but, in the 
course of time, they came with other luxuries the 
oldest inhabitant never dreamed of. AVell, we had 
to have some of the melons. Asking the price, 
and being informed they were so much per pound, 
I picked out one and weighed it. It came to the 
modest sum of two dollars and fifty cents, and 
cheap at that. They went off like hot cakes, and 
could not begin to supply the demand. In a short 
time these gentlemen had a fine strawberry patch 
in full operation, and sucli strawberries as they 



A MINIATURE IRELAND. 263 

raised were hard to beat. In due course of time 
Mrs. Eelter — Jack Eelter's wife, a very estimable 
lady — made her appearance from the State of Ohio. 
Eelter bought out Sullivan, and he returned to 
Boston where he belonged. At this time they were 
running a pack-train to Shasta, keeping store, run- 
ning the garden and hotel, and doing quite a busi- 
ness. Every summer, for several years, they had a 
grand ball or strawberry party, when the beauty 
and chivalry of Trinity county would assemble 
there to eat strawberries, and at night to trip the 
light fantastic toe. Many a pleasant party assem- 
bled on Oregon Gulch at the home of Jack Eelter 
in the early days of California. Jack and his good 
wife are now residents of San Bernardino City. 

A few words concerning Oregon Gulch. Gold 
was found in it in the summer of '50 by some 
Oregonians, but there was very little work done 
there that season. When I passed uj) it in Eebru- 
ar}', '51, there were no j)ersons working on it. We 
prosj)ected on the gulch, and found very good pros- 
pects, aiul intended to come back, if we found no 
better in Weaverville. That summer, or the sum- 
mer of '51, there was quite a rush to the northern 
mines, and Oregon Gulch got its share. Quite a 
number of the sons of the Emerald Isle located on the 
gulch, and it became a miniature Ireland. There 
were two parties of them (they were always at war), 
the Daceys and tlie Eoy crowd. Nearly every 
Grand Jurv that met had more or less cases from 



264 PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFOKNIA. 

Oregon Grulch. If the Dacey crowd had no griev- 
ance to redress, then the Eoy crowd had. In their 
way they made work for the Grand Juries every 
session. 

I remember in the spring of '55 being drawn on 
the Grand Jury. Judge R. T. Miller was County 
Judge at that time, and he appointed Major Cox 
foreman of the jury. The usual batch of com- 
plaints came up from Oregon Gulch. This time it 
was the Daceys who were the aggressors, and Tom 
Poy laid his complaint before the Grand Jury. 
When the business came up in its usual form, Tom 
apj)eared before the Grand Jury, to give his version 
of the affair. He was sworn to tell what he knew 
about it. 

" May it plase your honors," was Tom's reply, 
"just look at me face! That's ividence anufffor 
you gintlemin — that ought to be ividence to con- 
vict the murdering villians of murder, and so it 
ought." 

Tom's face presented rather a dilapidated ap- 
pearance. His beauty was certainly spoiled for a 
while. It was the worst looking face that I had 
seen in many a day. But Tom couldn't give a ver}^ 
intelligent account of the aifair. He was well " set 
up," at the time the fight occurred, with Oregon- 
Gulch " tanglefoot." After Tom got through with 
his evidence and had left the jury-room, some one 
of the Grand Jury made a motion that it be left to 
Archy Mitchell and myself. As the plaintiff or 



A MINIATURE IRELAND- 265 

eomplaining witness was an Irisliman, and the de- 
fendants were Iiislinien, and we two — Arcliy and 
myself — were Irishmen, it was nothing bnt right and 
j)roj)er that we Irishmen shoukl settle the matter 
in onr own way. We objected to the arrangement, 
but it was " no go." We finally recommended that, 
as it was a drmiken row, and no one knew who was 
to blame, it would be better to drop the matter, 
as no person was seriousl}' hurt. Tom was very 
much disappointed, gave the Grand Jury a piece of 
his mind, and the matter ended at that. 



266 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXIX.. 

A Chinese War. 

Another conflagration.— A battle between two bands of Chinamen. — 
Furnishing the implements of war. — Many killed. 

Again in tlic winter of '53 the fire fiend gave us 
a loud call. This time it broke out at the St. 
Charles Hotel, kept b}^ old man Hovey, and burned 
up a large portion of the town. Weaverville has 
sutfered more from fires, I believe, than any mining 
town in the State. Eive times it had been laid in 
in ashes, and each time by the push and energy of 
her citizens the town was again rebuilt. Einally 
her citizens commenced building fire-j)roof brick in 
several parts of the town, which put a stop to the 
frequent fires to which we had been subject. 

In the summer of '54 the burg was thrown out 
of its usually quiet and peaceful ways by two bands 
of hostile Chinamen, the Hongkongs and Cantons. 
It appeared that, for several months j^revious, there 
had been trouble between the factions. One or the 
other of the parties would occasionally get some of 
their men hurt by the opposite faction, and then 
there would be war on a miniature scale. ^Finally 



A CHINESE WAR. ^67 

they killed one of the Cantons' leading men, and 
patience ceased to be a virtne with them. They 
challenged the Hongkongs for a regnlar pitched 
battle, to come off abont a month ahead. The 
Hongkongs accepted the challenge tlins thrown at 
them, and commenced preparing for action. The 
first I knew of the impending war came from one 
of the China bosses, who came into the shop with a 
pattern similar to the iron of a pike-pole, and 
wanted to know how mnch I would charge to make 
one hundred like the pattern, oiit of steel. I told 
him one dollar and fifty cents each. He told me to 
go ahead. About an hour later the boss of the 
Hongkongs came into the shop and asked : 

" How muche one hundledl " 

I told him one dollar and fifty cents. He told 
me if I would quit making them for the Cantons 
he would give me two hundred for his company. I 
said : 

" All right, John." 

In a short time afterwards the boss of the Can- 
tons made his apj)earance, and told me, if I would 
quit the Hongkongs' work, he would give me two 
dollars and a half, and I could make him three 
hundred more. I said: 

" All right, John." 

They were a little different from the first lot, but 
just as easily made. This was crowding things in 
my line pretty heavily, besides my regular work, 
which Avas driving me considerable. For three 



268 PIONEEK DAYS IN CALIFOKNTA. 

weeks I ran the slioj) day and night, making China 
instruments of war. Some of the queerest things I 
made for them that I hare ever seen or read of^ 
great sjyears with three prongs, heavy enough for 
old Goliah to have wielded in his day; others were 
made something like brush scythes. And they 
would take them awa}' from the shop before they 
were cold, and pay up for them. They had nearly 
ever}^ blacksmith shop in the county engaged in 
like manner. In* the meantime other Oliinamen 
were in the woods cutting poles fourteen or fifteen 
feet long, bringing them to town, and dressing them 
up for handles for the instruments we were makingc 
Things were going on finely. After they got one 
or two hundred armed men on each side they would 
frequently drill in the streets. One party had the 
upper end of town, on Court street, and the other 
party had the lower end. So there was very little 
danger of them coming together in town, and the 
whites gave them to understand that if they got to 
fighting in the streets and injured a white man, 
the whites would kill every mother's son of them on 
both sides. Einally both armies got armed and 
drilled, and the day was set for the fight. 

In the meantime William M. Lowe, the Sheriff 
of the county, came to me and forbade my making 
any more war instruments for the belligerents, or 
delivering any that I had on hand, knowing that 
they were going to disturb the peace with them. 
I tried to reason with him, but it was " no go." 



A CHINESE WAR. 269 

Einally I inquired of liim what the penalty was. 

" A fine of five hundred doUars!" 

" Is that ain " I said, " and when will you enforce 
it]" 

" When the Grand Jury meets," said he, " I will 
have you indicted sure." 

" All right, Mr. Lowe," I replied, " I can afford 
to pay five hundred dollars, and then come out 
winner in the game." I went on making war in- 
struments. That was the last I heard of it. I was 
not indicted. 

The day before the fight the Cantons made a 
grand demonstration through Main street. They 
turned out about two liundred and fifty or three 
hundred strong, with all tlie grand panoply of war. 
Their arms consisted of the spikes, dart-shaped im- 
X^lements and spears, all fastened on to ]3oles four- 
teen or sixteen feet long. At the head of the pole 
where the steel entered was tied red-silk ribbons. 
AYith their swallow-tailed dragon banner floating 
to the breeze, they made a warlike appearance, 
the marcliing and counter-marching up and doAvn 
the streets striking terror into the breasts of their 
enemies. 

The day appointed for the battle arrived, and the 
town was full of hostile Chinamen — a complete 
gathering of the clans. The military spirit ran 
high amongst the followers of Confucius. Miners 
from all j)arts of the county came to see the fun. 
Two o'clock in the afternoon was the time set for 



270 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the grand affair to come off. The place chosen was 
some large flats east of the town and near East 
Weaver. At the appointed time the hostile armies 
were facing each other in battle array — the Hong- 
kongs being divided into two grand divisions per- 
haps one hundred yards apart, while the Cantons, 
or small party, were in a compact body, waiting for 
the onslaught. 

The battle-ground was full of people. Sheriff 
Lowe Avas on the ground trying to summon a posse, 
or an army of his own, to stop the fight. He would 
go uj) to a man, take his name, and summon liim to 
his aid. The reply would be: 

"Go to li — 1, Lowe — we came here to see the 
tight, and we are going to see it." 

The understanding between the whites and 
Chinamen was that there should be no firearms 
used in the fight — that the fighting was to be done 
with their own implements of war. Einally, when 
the Sheriff found he could not stop the fight, he left 
the ground in perfect disgust, cursing the boys for 
being such d — d poor American citizens, and 
swearing he would have every mother's son of them 
indicted by the Grand Jury at its next session. 
Tlie boys came to see the fight, and they were going 
to see it. The Grand Jury had no terrors for them. 

It was long after 2 o'clock, and no fight yet. The 
hostile armies stood facing each other, hallooing 
all sorts of slang at each other in tlieir own lan- 
guage. Pinally it began to be rumored that there 



A CHINESE WAR. 271 

Avas not going to be a fight — that they were fooling 
the boys who had come so far to see it. That 
was more than the honest miners could stand, and 
they were not going to stand it either. Einally, 
after waiting until patience was exhausted, they 
started to drive the two armies together and make 
them fight, whether they wanted to or not. The 
ground where the battle was to take place was full 
of washed gravel — rocks of all sizes were abundant. 
Eorty or fifty of the boys got behind each army and 
commenced rocking and driving them together. In 
the meantime another party of whites got between 
the two divisions of the Hongkongs and would not 
let one division take any part in the fight. This left 
the big party really the smallest. When the Cantons 
saw the turn things had taken in their favor, they 
charged across the gulch, or flats, up the bank and 
into the ranks of the Hongkongs. The Hongkongs 
stood to their work like men. As soon as they 
crossed pikes with each other, then commenced the 
popping of j)istols. I was standing with a number 
of others on a large log, on the brow of the gulch, 
a short distance from the scene of the fight. When 
the pistols commenced popping I turned round to 
jump off the log so as to get behind it. A Swede 
was standing on the same log with a six-shooter in 
his hand, shooting into the combatants indiscrimi- 
nately, just for the fun of it. Before I left the log 
he fell over with a bullet through his brain. He 
never knew what hurt him. As soon as he fell. 



272 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

there was a scampering — behind the log was con- 
sidered a much safer phice than on top of it. The 
fellow died immediately. He no doubt was shot 
by a white man close by. In after years I was told 
the fellow's name who fired the fatal shot. But the 
general verdict was that it served him right. 

The charge across the gulch was made in fine 
style. The Hongkongs Avithstood the onslaught 
until they saw their supports cut off by the whites. 
They then broke and ran. Of course there were 
several of them wounded and lying on the field. 
As the enemy passed them by each warrior of the 
Cantons would stop and plunge his pike or dart 
into liis unfortunate foeman who liad fallen. No 
mercy there. Some of the dead had at least twenty 
wounds in them. There were several killed on 
each side, but the Hongkongs were the heaviest 
losers. The whites acted unfairly in the matter — 
they took the side of a small crowd, and j)revented 
one-half of the Hongkongs taking part in the fight, 
which discouraged the rest of them. The Cantons 
had pistols concealed, and, when in close quarters, 
commenced using them with deadly effect. The 
Hongkongs made a masterly retreat, showing some 
tall running. When the pistols came into play the 
whites commenced to move for trees and logs that 
had " behinds " to them, but there was no person 
hurt but the Swede, who was killed close to where 
I was standing. 

After the fight tlie victorious Cantons marched 



A CHINESE WAR. 273 

into town with all the pride and glory of Napo- 
leon's old guard Avhen making their last charge at 
Waterloo. At their headquarters on Court street 
they had one grand jubilee, and all were invited to 
partake of their hospitality \ Brandy and liquors 
of all kinds flowed free — the town was painted red, 
and it was a grand day for the free-whisky "bum." 
The Avounded were taken to headquarters and 
properly cared for, the dead to be buried on the 
morrow with all the pomp that a victorious army 
could bestoAV on their fallen heroes. 

The army of the Hongkongs Avas broken and dis- 
persed. They returned to their headquarters after 
dark, Avith their banners trailing in the dust, leaA- 
ing many of their fallen braA es on the field of 
battle, cold in death. Quite a number of the Hong- 
kongs were buried about a mile and a half beloAv 
the toAvn. 

Thus ended the China Avar for a time in Trinity 
county. 



274 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

A Severe Winter.— Making Homes. 

Plenty of provisions. — A prosperous year. — Advancement in civili?a- 
tion. — Hovey's green peas and silver forks. — Slicing a man's coat-taiL 
— Additions to Weaverville society. — The benign influence of 
women and children. 

After the Chinese fight and the boys had had 
their fun and returned to their claims, tilings about 
town settled down to e very-day quiet. The winter 
had come, and a a ery hard one it was. Snow lay 
between three and four feet deep all over Weaver- 
ville basin, and there was very little Avork done in 
the mines. Unlike the winter of 1852-3, we had 
plenty of provisions in the valley to last during the 
snow blockade. The peoj)le had not yet forgotten 
their experience of 1852-3, when barley and coffee 
mills were in demand. Every miner and company- 
laid in a good stock of flour, beans, sugar and bacon, 
so as not again to be j)laced on barley rations. The 
only commodity of which there was a scarcity was 
firewood. The town had now become quite large, 
and wood had to be hauled a considerable distance; 
and hauling through three or four feet of snow was 



A SEVERE WINTER— MAKING HOMES- 275 

ii difficult task. Wood went up to twenty dollars 
per cord. 

As soon as the spring came and the snow began 
to melt, the miners were in their glory. The sum- 
mer of 1855 was a pros^^erous one for old Trinity. 
IS^otliing startling took place during the jear. The 
county was dropping its fast, de^ il-may-care man- 
ner of early days, and assuming a more civilized 
state. Many of the miners had changed their opin- 
ions of California, and began to think it a pretty 
good place in wliich to make a home, and many of 
them went back East for their wives and families or 
sweethearts, Avith the intention of making tlieir 
homes here. Thus tlie State was gaining a perma- 
nent population. The manner of living was fast 
changing. In early days the everlasting "slap- 
jack " and rancid bacon, or saleratus biscuit and 
coffee sweetened with Chinese sugar, formed the 
daily food of the miner. His dining outtit con- 
isisted of a tin plate, a sheath-knife, a fork whittled 
out of a stick, and the everlasting tin cup for his 
coffee. 

Things at this time had taken a decided turn for 
the better. ]Men had learned that California could 
produce something besides hides and tallow and 
gold. The fcAV experiments made at raising vege- 
tables proved a decided success. I well remember 
the first green peas that came to market; they were 
raised on Oregon Gulch, and were Avorth fifty cents 
per j)ound. Old man Hovey was then keeping the 



276 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

St. Charles Hotel. The old iiitin was a Massachusetts 
Yankee, and x>i'ided himself on keepmg the best 
house in town, and on having everything the 
market afforded. Hovey bought all the green peas 
that Eelter had to sell that day, and then put up 
posters announcing that on Sunday the St. Charles 
Hotel would have green peas for dinner, with silver 
forks to eat them with. Previous to this the best 
hotels in Weaverville had but two-pronged forks, 
and iron at that. The old man Hovey was a little 
cranky, or at least Avas so considered by many of 
the boys. They often played some trick upon him. 
The miners generally came to town on Sunday to 
get what they called a "square" dinner. A large 
crowd came from West Weaver Creek on that 
Sunday to partake of Hovey's green peas with silver 
forks. Now, the West Weaver miners at that time 
were made up of the hardest class of " scalawags " 
in the State. As a joke on Hovey they formed a 
plan to steal his green peas, and they accomplished 
it. 

The old landlord had his peas all shelled in the 
kitchen on Saturday niglit and made ready for the 
pot for Sunday's dinner. A considerable number 
of the West Weaver jokers were in town Saturday 
night, and next morning Hovey's green peas had 
taken wings and disappeared. It Avas a disappoint- 
ment to HoA ey, but the old man in Yankeeland 
had been a deacon of the Baptist Church, and now 
he did not swear; but he must haA e thought bad 



A SEVERE WINTER — MAKING HOMES. 277 

words. Well, the boys tliought they Avonld give 
old man Hovey and the St. Charles Hotel a "bene- 
fit " anj^vay, notwithstanding the j)eas were stolen. 
Bnt, alas ! the silver forks followed the green peas. 
Every fellow had j)ocketed one of Hovey's silver 
forks, and got away with it. This was the last 
stroke for Hovey; he got disgusted with California 
and left the State. He sold ont to David Hinds, a 
crusty old fellow from Kew Jersey, who could hold 
his own with the boys. 

He improved the St. Charles Hotel so far as to 
get a dozen arm-chairs for the bar-room. One day 
a miner came in and placed himself in one of these 
chairs, pulled out his knife, and commenced whit- 
tling one of the arms. Dave espied what he was 
doing. He hauled uj) a chair alongside of the fel- 
low, pulled out his knife, and commenced making 
ribbons of the fellow's coat-tail. There were several 
men in the bar-room at the time, and, preceiving 
what was going on, they began to laugh. The fel- 
low cutting the chair turned his head to see what 
the men were laughing at, and then, perceiving 
Dave cutting his coat-tail, jumped up and asked: 
" What the d — 1 are you cutting my coat for ^ " 
Dave coolly remarked: " What the d — 1 are you 
cutting my chair fori Have I not as good a right 
to cut your coat as you have to cut my chair *? " The 
fellow studied a moment, and replied: "You have." 
He then said: " Gentlemen, it is my treat." Dave 
made a further addition to the St. Charles by bring- 



t 
278 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ing his family. One member of tlie family, a clangli- 
ter of sixteen or seventeen, was quite an addition 
not only to tlie St. Charles Hotel, but also to 
Weayeryille society. 

We were getting on famously. The toAvn could 
now boast of three marriageable young ladies, viz.: 
IMiss Hinds, ^Miss Connor, and Miss Morgan, a 
step-daughter of Diek Clifford. Miss Hinds died 
unmarried. Miss Connor married Charles Sloan, 
was for a long time a resident of Hydesville in this 
county, and now lives in the hills not far from 
Blocksburg. Miss Morgan married Henry Hacker, 
one of Weaverville's early merchants. She died 
several years since, leaving quite a family of chil- 
dren, now men and women grown. The school 
children had become quite numerous, and the pub- 
lic schools of the State had become well established. 
Kobert Desty, now of San Prancisco, tlie compiler 
of our Criminal Code, was one of the first teachers 
in the public schools of Weaverville. 

How great and beneficent is the influence of 
women and cliildren upon men! Without the in- 
fluence of virtuous women, men would soon relapse 
into barbarism, and become as wild as the savages 
that roam over the plains. We have seen this illus- 
trated in the early days of California. When virtu- 
ous women were very few in the State, men who had 
been taught better things at their mothers' knees, 
became reckless and indulged in all manner of vice 
and wickedness. Many of the men who avoided 



A SEVERE WINTER — MAKING HOMES. 279 

the gambling-table and tlie wine-cnx?, allowed 
tliemselves to become nnsliaven and unkempt until 
their own mothers would not have known them. 
But, as soon as true women began to arrive 
in the mines and settlements of California, what a 
change! Men forsook the gambling-table and the 
wine-cuj); the razor and the bathtub came into 
frequent use; white shirts, and what the boys called 
" store clothes," were more in demand; and an 
evening spent in the company of ladies was much 
prized. Yet, with all their seeming roughness, in 
the presence of women and children, nine-tenths of 
them were perfect gentlemen. Many of them 
were men of education and refinement. For three 
or four years the great majority of the women of 
California, if you could call them women, were of 
the basest kind. They were imj)ortations of the 
very worst elements of French, Spanish, Mexican, 
Chileans, Australian and American women, whose 
society- was more demoralizing than that of the 
fallen angels or the imps of "Dante's Inferno." But, 
when the true Avomen from every land made their 
aj)pearance, bringing with them children, the 
school, the church and their own refined and virtu- 
ous society, then soon society became changed for 
the better. Civil law took the place of lynch law, 
and the free use of the knife and j)istol became less 
frequent. 

But, to come back to my subject: David Hinds 
kei)t the St. Charles Hotel until it burned down; 



280 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

and lie did not rebuild the hotel a^ain. He was 
elected Foreign Miners' License Collector, beating 
Henry Jones, a brother of John P. Jones, before 
the Republican Convention of '63. After serving 
out his term he moved to Santa Cruz, Avhere he be- 
came one of Santa Cruz's leading citizens, and Avas 
twice elected Mayor of that city. One of his sous, 
Eirm Hinds, Avas Auditor, I belicA e, of Oakland, 
for a number of years. The old man died at Santa 
Cruz but a short time since. 



THE BUILDING OF HIGHWAYS. 281 



CHAPTER XXXL 

The Building of Highways, 

Taking up agricultural lands. — Building highways. — William S. Lowdeft 
and his public-spirited enterprises. — The Weaverville and Shasta 
wagon road, stages and buggies. 

The year of 1856 tlie peoples' attention was prin- 
cipally taken up with politics. As I have given a 
short sketch of the Presidential election in " Pioneer 
Politics," I Avill omit it here. 

Trinity county has some very good agricultural 
lands situated on her streams and in her valleys. 
The early settlers, when they found that the soil 
re]3aid the husbandman bountifully for his labor, 
took up nearly every acre tit for agricultural pur- 
j)Oses, and more especially where water could be 
had for irrigation. All along the valley of the 
Trinity there were very valuable ranches located, and 
in Hay Fork Valley, and in the valley of Stewart's 
Fork. Those ranches haA^e supplied the residents 
of Trinity county with flour, vegetables, hay, and 
the productions of the dairy since 1854, and likewise 
with fruit of the very best quality. I do not think 
that the fruit of Trinity county can be equalled in 



282 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the State, and there are thousands of acres of fruit- 
producing land within her borders. When the 
mines are worked out her fruit will make the 
county as prosperous as it was in the flush days of 
her mines. 

Up to 1857 there was no communication with the 
outside world but by pack-train. All the products 
of the ranches had to be packed to Weaverville on 
mules at a large expense, inasmuch as no wagon- 
roads of any considerable length led from the town. 
One of those early pi(meers by the name of William 
S. Lowden is the man to whom Trinity county and 
Kortliern California is more indebted than to any 

I. 

other for his x^ublic s]3irit and enterprise. To him 
belongs the credit of agitating and carrying out the 
system of the j^ublic roads in Northern California. 
Tlie Lowden boys, as the}^ were called, were among 
the early packers of Korthern California. They ran 
a large pack-train from Shasta and Red Bluifs to 
all parts of the northern mines. They located one of 
the best ranches on Trinity River, I believe as early 
as 1851, and called it the Grass Valley Ranch. The 
place afterward became better known as the 
" Lowden Ranch." It was situated about nine 
miles from Weaverville, and became one of the 
best paying properties in the county. There were 
three brothers of them, William, Matt and Frank, 
all of them men of sterling worth. After a time 
their father, mother and sister came from Illinois 
to make their home in California, and at the Low- 



THE BUILDING OF HIOmVAYS. 283 



den Kanch. Miss Lowden mtirried tlie Hon. James 
W. Tinnin, then a merchant doing bnsiness at 
Weaverville, and lately Snrveyor of the Port of 
San Erancisco, during President Cleveland's ad- 
ministration. William bought Matt's and Frank's 
interests in the ranch, and they went oif to the 
northern mines. 

William S. Lowden built one of the first bridges 
on Trinity Eiver at his place. The i^rodncts of 
the place, except what was used on the ranch, had 
to be packed on mules to Weaverville to find a 
market. Lowden's Ranch became one of the popu- 
lar places between Weaverville and Shasta. He 
had for several years been talking about the build- 
ing of a wagon-road from Weaverville to Shasta. 
Many of us ridiculed the idea of building a wagon- 
road over Trinity and Brown's Mountain, that could 
be of any use for the transportation of heavy goods. 
In 1857 he formed what was called the Weaverville 
and Shasta Wagon-road Company. I believe the 
stock was forty or fifty thousand dollars. The 
most of the stock Avas taken, and Lowden began 
work on the road in a systematic manner. The 
grade was nowhere to be over five degrees. Many 
were afraid to take sliares in the enterprise for fear 
of heavy assessments, but contributed what they 
thought proper. It was like many other new enter- 
prises; there were many doubting Thomases, and 
often one would hear the remark that it would take 
two or three hundred thousand dollars to build a 



284 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

WMgoii-road over the mountains to Sliasta. Lowden 
paid no attention to an}i;liing but liis road. In due 
time the road was finished, and a good one it was. 
Lowden became the lion of the hour. In a short 
time after the completion of the road, we had our 
daily four-horse coaches running between Weayer- 
ville and Shasta. This was something that old 
settlers never imagined would come to pass in their 
day. What a change in seven years! The first 
time I went from Weaverville to Shasta I paid 
sixteen dollars to ride a pack-mule on an aparejot 
with rojies for stirruj>s, and it required two days to 
make the trip. Freight wagons soon came rolling 
into town laden with goods. Here was a gTeat con- 
venience for the merchant. His merchandise now 
came in original or unbroken j)ackages. By the 
old system of j)acking no j^ackage of over three 
hundred pounds could be laden on mules, and sel- 
dom a package of over one hundred and fifty 
pounds was taken by the packers. 

^Furniture for dwelling-houses now became quite 
common, and people now began to provide their 
homes with not only the comforts of life but many 
of the luxuries. 

As soon as the Lowden road became a success 
the outlying towns began building roads to AYeaver- 
ville, and in a short time there was a number of 
small stages running into Weaverville. It became 
quite a common thing to hear the sound of the stage 
drivers' voices singing out: " All aboard for Oregon 



THE BUILDING OF HIGHWAYS. 285 

Gnlch, Junction City, Mc Gil very 's Ranch, lied Hill 
and ^ortli Eork." Then again it would be: " All 
aboard for Douglas City, Trinity Eiver and Stein- 
er's Elat."" Then it would be: "All aboard for 
Douglas City, Redding Creek, Brown's Creek and 
Hay Eork Valley." Our enterprising liverynien, 
Messrs. Comstock & Martin, never were behind in 
public spirit. They furnished tlieir stable with 
buggies, carriage horses and harnesses. Thus with 
the advent of tlie wagon-road came all the luxuries 
of civilized living. The Lowden road Avas a toll 
road, and the tolls, when the road was first opened, 
were quite high. Lowden got control of the most 
of the stock, and made some money out of it; but 
whether the stockholders made anything out of the 
road or not, it was a grand improvement for 
Northern California. 

Bates and Van Meter as early as 1852 took up a 
ranch near Minersville. They, like the other ranch- 
men, had to pack their products to Weaverville on 
mules, and, like other ranchmen, felt the need of 
roads. At the election of 1858, Eordvce Bates was 
elected to the Legislature from Trinity, and he, 
with the assistance of the members from Humboldt, 
Mendocino, and two others of the northern counties, 
got an act through the Legislature, and it became a 
law, appropriating the State's portion of the poll- 
taxes collected in the five northern counties for two 
years, for the purpose of laying out and building 
roads in those counties. The Board of Supervisors 



28(j PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

in each county liad the appointment of commis- 
sioners to lay out the money to the best advantage. 
The Hon. George Williams, now of Ferndale, was 
at that time one of the Supervisors of Trinity 
count} , and owned a ranch in Hay Eork Valley. 
He was anxious for the road to be (completed from 
Hav Eork to A¥eavervillc. I had at the same time a 
ranch also in Hay Eork Valley, and needed tlie road. 
Tlie Board of Supervisors appointed Fordyce Bates 
and myself as commissioners to lay out the money 
so appropriated. The money, about twenty-eight 
hundred dollars, was divided equally between Bates 
and myself, each having about the same distance of 
road to build. There were some sixteen miles of 
mountain to grade over. I started a subscription 
list and got nearly a thousand dollars subscribed 
towards paying for tlie road. I had it properly 
graded b}^ Henry Hart, the County Surveyor, and 
then commenced work, and in about three months' 
time I finished the road, leaving seven hundred 
dollars in debt for the road. 

The question then was, where was tlie money 
coming from to pay this seven hundred dollars 1 
Somebody proposed a grand ball to be given at 
Douglas City, and the i^roceeds to be apjilied to 
the payment of the debt. The plan was adopted, 
and proved to be a complete success. I sold the 
ball tickets at seven dollars and fifty cents each, 
and after paying expenses I had a few dollars less 
than seven hundred dollars with which to jiay the 
debt. 



THE BUILDING OF HIGHWAYS. 287 

Bates got his end of the road built. Tliis gave a 
road til rough the center of the county of about 
sixty miles north and south. The other counties 
received but very little value for their portion of 
the appropriation. In Humboldt county I have 
heard there were but six hundred dollars in the 
fund, and that was spent by sending out commis- 
sioners to view the road and report. Trinity was 
the most populous of the five counties named in 
the bill, hence her portion of the appropriation was 
the largest. In early days we had no county funds 
to draw on for roads or trails. Generally when a 
trail or road was needed men went down in their 
own pockets, or raised subscriptions, to build the 
same. The early settlers had very crude ideas of 
road-building in the mountains. The major 
portion of the pioneers was from the AYestern 
States, where they had no mountains to contend 
with. They usually selected some creek-bottom or 
gulch running in the direction in Avhich they 
wanted to go, cut out the dead wood, and there 
made trails or roads. When they got the trail or 
road to the head of the creek they generally ran 
into a mountain so steep that a squirrel would 
have to " double teams" to carry a hickory-nut up 
it ; then the next winter would fill the creek or 
gulch up with dead timber, and wash the trails out 
of sight. Thousands of dollars s^ient by early 
settlers in this manner were just as good as thrown 
away. 



288 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

An Exodus of Miners. — Torrents and Floods. 

Improvements in the methods of mining in California. — Characteristics 
of the early miners. — The winter of 1861-2. — "Jeff Davis" and 
the flood. — Immense losses. 

In the year of 1858 Xortliern California got its 
first back-set. In 1857 the mines on Erazer Kiver 
were discovered, and reports of very rich and ex- 
tensive diggings were circuhited all over California. 
The shallow diggings and gulches in this State 
were getting pretty well worked over; likewise the 
river bars. Men had to work their claims more 
systematically. The day had gone by Avhen a man 
could go into almost any gulcli or bar, and set his 
rocker, and make from five to twenty dollars per 
day. It began to require more capital, and a dif- 
ferent manner of working. Several high benches 
or bars on the river were found to be rich, but 
there was no Avater with which to work them. On 
nearly every rifile on the Trinity River, for sixty or 
eighty miles up and down the river, there were 
large bucket- wheels built to raise the water. They 



AN EXODUS OF MINERS — TORRENTS AND FLOODS. 289 

were generally built on riffles, as tlie swift current 
kept the wheels in good motion all the time. These 
wheels were from twenty to forty feet in diameter, 
and would raise quite a sluice-head of water, which 
was conveyed to the claim in sluice-boxes or ditches. 
The rocker and "long-torn" of the early miner were 
now discarded. The ground-sluice and flume took 
their place. It took considerable capital to work 
such claims. Generally from two to ten thousand 
dollars were spent before one dollar was realized, 
and few of the miners j)ossessed that amount. 

Many of the early miners saved but little. Too 
many of them liked the monte-table and the bar too 
well for their own good, and spent their dust as fast 
as they took it out. With the news of the discov- 
ery of rich diggings on Erazer River there com- 
menced a " stampede " for the new diggings. 
Every fellow that could sell his claim and tools, 
and many that could not sell, but had sufficient 
money to take them there, left expecting to find a 
new California. It has always been one of the 
drawbacks of the California miner that he was 
always looking for something better. I have fre- 
quently known miners that were making twelve or 
sixteen dollars j)er day to pick up their tools and 
blankets and start for some new gulch or flat that 
had been recently discovered and was said to be 
rich, but most of them did not better themselves. 
The Erazer River excitement took from the coun- 
ties of Shasta, Trinity and Klamath not less than 



290 PIONITEE DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

one thousand miners who never returned. Shortly 
thereafter the John Day River and the noi'thern 
mines were discovered. Another rush then began 
for these localities. Such was the miner's life. He 
was alwa} s on the go, and was never contented. 
He lived on excitement, and wandered from one 
excitement to another. Yet to this class of men 
the Pacific States owe a deep debt of gratitude. 
To them the country owes its first explorations, ^o 
section of the country was too distant for them 
to penetrate. In their prospecting tours, no mount- ^ 
ains were too high for them to cross; no Indians so I 
hostile that tliey would not venture amongst them. 
If they found diggings, there they would stay until 
some other of their kind penetrated into some yet 
farther wilderness in search of the precious metals. 
They seldom bettered their condition, but opened 
the way for American civilization, and laid the 
foundations of future States. Many of those brave 
pioneers found their graves beside their lone cab- 
ins in the northern mountains. Man}^ of them be- 
came inmates of the county hospitals, and went to a 
pauper's grave without even a slab to mark their 
last resting-place. Such has been the fate of many 
of the early pioneers of the Pacific Coast. They 
sowed the seed for others to harvest, but seldom 
reaped any benefit themselves, and grew old and 
decrepit, poor in purse, and without a home or a 
place to lay their gray heads in peace, and without 
a wife or a child to droj) a tear or plant a flower on 



AN EXODUS OF MINERS— TORRENTS AND FLOODS. 291 

tlieir lonely graves. They deserve well of the nation. 
Eroni Arizona's sun-bnrned mountains and plains 
to Alaska's frozen streams and snowy mountains, 
in every mining-camp over this vast domain, you 
will find an old and gray Californian still in pur- 
suit of better diggings, with his roll of blankets on 
his back and sheath-knife by his side, his ever 
faithful rifle on his shoulder, and still on the tramp 
and hunting his " home-stake." 

Well, to come back to Northern California. The 
winter of 1861-2 was a hard one. Erom November 
until the latter part of March there was a succes- 
sion of storms and floods. I remember my being 
in Weaverville, I think it was in the month of De- 
cember, 1861. I had been summoned as a witness 
at that term. Getting through with the court busi- 
ness, I met J. A. Strudivant. He invited me to go 
home with him to his place on Trinity Kiver, say- 
ing that I would have so much less to travel the 
next day. I accepted his offer, and at about 2 
o'clock p. M. we started. It had been raining all 
the day previous. The ground was covered with 
snow one foot deep, and on the mountains nauch 
deeper. We arrived at the ranch just before dark, 
and I wanted to cross his bridge and stay at John 
Carter's that night, but " Uncle " Strudivant would 
not listen to any such thing. Stay with him I 
must. He told me that tlie bridge was named Jeff 
Davis, and that old Trinity could not carry enough 
water to wash "Jeff" out, and that, besides, he 



292 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

wanted to sliow me tliat night tlie error of my ways 
in being a black Republican. AVell, against my 
better judgment, I consented to stay with him. 
Uncle Joe was from Arkansas, and a dyed-in-the- 
wool secessionist. He had a private cottage a short 
distance from the ranch and toll-house. It was 
close to the foot of the mountain, the divide between 
Weaverville and the Trinity River. After supper 
Uncle Joe and I repaired to the cottage. After 
building a fire and making things comfortable, 
Uncle Joe commenced his proselyting. He and I 
advocated our respective sides of the political issues 
until 11 o'clock, when we " turned in." It rained 
all afternoon and night. The weather had turned 
warm, and the rain came down in torrents. Several 
times I went to the door during our political dis- 
cussion, and every time it seemed to be raining 
harder, and I wished myself on the otherside of 
Trinity Kiver. I frequently said, " Uncle Joe, I am 
afraid the bridge will go." His reply was, " Jeff will 
stand it." Once he said, " Kow, John, we Avill take 
the bridge as an omen. If the bridge stands the flood 
and comes out all right, we will take it for granted 
that Jeff Davis and the Southern Confederacy will 
come out all right. If it goes down the Trinity 
River, then we look on the Southern Confederacy 
as going to h — 1 a fluking." " All right. Uncle Joe,' 
I rei)lied, " I will sympathize with you in the loss 
of your bridge, but be rejoiced if it should prove a 
true omen and " Jeff " should take a voyage down 



AN EXODUS OF MINERS — TORRENTS AND FLOODS. 293 

the river a fluking." We slej^t until about 4 
o'clock in the morning, when Jeriy Whitmore, one 
of Uncle Joe's partners, came to where we Avere, and 
knocked on the door to wake ns up. Uncle Joe 
called out, " AVhat is wanted!" Jerry replied, "The 
bridge is gone — not a stick left, and the water will 
soon be up to the house." Uncle Joe thought a 
moment, and then, looking at me, said, " John, Jetf 
Davis and the Southern Confederacy have gone to 
h — 1 sure, and I know it." I felt sorry for the loss 
of my friend's bridge, but if it was going to be a 
forecast of the Southern Confederacy's fate, then I 
could rejoice. 

The water in the river had been rising all night, 
and men were stationed on the bridge with poles to 
keep logs from striking the i)iers. At about 4 
o'clock in the morning a large sj^ruce tree came 
down the river with roots, branches and all. The 
men seeing it come, and knowing the bridge was 
doomed, escaped from the bridge before the roots of 
the tree struck it. It was well thev did, for one of 
the men who were on the bridge told me next 
morning that as soon as the tree struck the bridge 
it went through it as if nothing had been in its way, 
cutting it completely in two, and the whole struc- 
ture fell into the river and was soon out of sight. 
As soon as daylight came Uncle Joe and I went to 
the ruins, ^ot a plank of the bridge was left. The 
rain was yet j)Ouring down. The snow was nearly 
all gone. Everything around the place looked des- 



294 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

olate. On the flat where the house was built they 
had the finest bearing orchard in Northern Cali- 
fornia. If the river rose but a little more, the trees 
Avould be swept away, and the house with them. 
All the forenoon the river continued to rise, and at 
last it be^an to spread over the orchard and wash 
the black loam away. Einally, as the current be- 
came stronger amongst the trees, one after another 
began to fall, some floating off with the water, and 
others hanging by the roots. Trinity that morning 
was playing havoc with the settlers on its banks. 
It was dreadful to look upon. Standing on high 
ground, one could see j)roperty of all kinds on its 
way to the ocean. T]ie river itself seemed like 
some mighty uncontrollable monster of destruction 
broken away from its bonds, rushing uncontrollably 
on, and everywhere carrying ruin and destruction 
in its course. When rising, the river seemed high- 
est in the middle. When falling, it became lowest 
in the middle, and all the drift worked toward the 
center of the stream. When the river was at or 
near its highest, one could see floating down parts 
of mills, sluice-boxes, miners' cabins, water-wheels, 
hen-coops, parts of bridges, bales of hay, household 
furniture, sawed lumber, old logs, huge spruce and 
pine trees that had withstood former storms for hun- 
dreds of years — all rushing down that mad stream 
on their way to the boundless ocean. Erom the head 
settlement to the mouth of tlie Trinity River, for a 
distance of one hundred and fifty miles, everything 



AN EXODUS OF MINERS— TORRENTS AND FLOODS- 295 

was swept to destruction. Kot a bridge was left, or 
a minino-wheel or a sliice-box. Parts of ranches 
and miners' cabins met the same fate. The hibor 
of hundreds of men, and their savings of jears, in- 
vested in bridges, mines and ranches, were all 
swej)t away. In forty-eight liours the valley of the 
Trinity was left desolate. The county never recov- 
ered from that disastrous flood. Many of tlie 
mining-wheels and bridges were never rebuilt. 

I had to lie over for four days; I then swam my 
horse across Trinitv Kiver about a mile above the 
ranch, while I was taken across in a canoe by Cush 
Given. The trail thence to Hay Eork was almost 
completely washed away wherever Avashing was 
possible. A few years previous Michael Kush and 
others started a wagon-road nj) what was called 
Stanmore's Gulch. They made it about four miles 
up the gulch, and, running into a big mountain, left 
oft" there. On my way to Hay Fork my way lay 
through the Stanmore Gulch. When 1 arrived at 
the gulch, expecting to find a passable road, there 
was not a vestige of the road in sight. The gulch 
was so filled with logs and drift-wood that it was 
almost impassable. When I arrived home I found 
that I had not escaj)ed a portion of the general 
calamity. Part of my fence and about four acres 
of my best bottom-land were gone. A number of 
my cattle had succumbed to the storm. Taking it 
in all, the winter of 1861-2 was the most disastrous 
that Northern California has ever experienced 
since its settlement by the Americans. 



29G PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 
A Sham Marriage and Duel. 

A newspaper established at Douglas City. — Govvey and Hough and their 
packer, Dusky. — Entrapping Dusky into a sham marriage. — The 
sham duel that followed. — How a Jew got his finger bitten. 

I think it was along in the winter 1859 when 
Douglas City was quite pretentious. ISonie of its 
citizens were in hopes that their burg would out- 
rival Weayerville, and, to help build up the j)lace, 
two enterprising citizens started a newspaper called 
the Douglas City Oasette^ and edited and owned 
by two respectable members of the large and in- 
fluential Jones family. The Gazette became a great 
favorite while it lasted. 

If there is any one thing which the live Yankee 
must have for his comfort and happiness it is his 
newspaper. Deprive him of that, and you deprive 
him of a large amount of his comfort in this world. 
Well, this embryo city had its newspaper. A news- 
I)aper without an editor is, like a church without a 
preacher, of but very little account. The Douglas 
City Gazette had an editor, and a lively one he was. 
Douglas City had its stores and other business 



A SHAM MARRIAGE AND DUEL. 297 

lionses. At that time the largest firm in the city 
was Gowey & Hough. They sold merchandise for 
several miles np and down the river, and did a large 
business. They kept a small pack-train running 
for tlie delivery of goods to their customers, in place 
of the delivery wagon of the present day. In their 
store the miners would generally congregate in the 
evenings, "swap lies" and "put up jobs" on some- 
one, and the proprietors of the store were the worst 
of the lot. The firm kept a packer named Dusky 
to run their deliverv train. In some thinsrs Duskv 
was not as sharj) as he might have been. He was 
somewhat given to "blowing," and was a little soft 
on the ladies. About this time there was living in 
the city a grass-widow, a big, healthy Dutch woman. 
Dasky became smitten with her, and was strongly 
inclined toward matrimony. Hough learned of this 
from the widow, and fixed up a scheme for Dusk} . 
She agreed with Hough to have a mock marriage and 
a general good time at Dusky's expense. Dusky, in 
due time, ^Droposed to the grass-widow, and, of 
course, was accepted. The Avedding was set. Dusky 
invited his friends to the wedding feast, and the}^ 
were many. The happy day arrived, and all things 
were ready, except that there was no one to j)er- 
form the ceremony. Hough had promised Dusky 
that he would secure some one for that purpose, but 
forgot to do so. Some one spoke up and said that 
John Estus, being a married man, had a right to 
perform the marriage rite in the absence of a min- 



298 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ister and justice of the peace. John said this was 
true, and he then married the couple in due form. 

After the ceremony, Dusky and his "bride" re- 
ceived the congratulations of the guests. Hough 
and Estus acted as master of ceremonies. If the 
State had been searched from San Diego to Del 
Norte, no two men could have been found more 
worthy or better able to do honor to the occasion. 
Wine flowed freely, and the health of the bride was 
often toasted in flowing glasses. Everything passed 
oif finely; but all things must come to an end. Mid- 
night was near, and the marriage guests were tak- 
ing their departure, most of them feeling the effects 
of the wedding feast. Among the honored guests 
was tlie editor of the Douglas City Gazette. 

After the house was clear of the guests, the bride- 
groom was congratulating himself and the bride on 
the good time they had had. The wedding was 
held at the house of the bride. After a time the 
bride coolly remarked, " Mr. Dusky, I want to go 
to bed, and it is time you were going home." 
"HomeV rex^lied Dusky, in amazement; "this is 
my home. Were we not married to-night 1 " 

"No, we were not married," she replied. "The 
boys and myself were having a good time at your 
exj)ense; and don't you think we had itl The 
whole affair was only a big joke on you." Dusky 
had to travel back to his lonely bed at the store. 

The next day Dusky was decidedly on the war- 
path, threatening to kill Estus, Hough and a dozen 



A SHAM MARRIAGE AND DUEL. 299 

others. He had calmed down somewhat when the 
Douglas City Gazette made its appearance on publi- 
cation day, with a full and complete account of the 
marriage and of Avhat a glorious time Avas had at 
the wedding. This was the last straw that broke 
poor Dusky's back, and blood he would have. His 
friends advised him not to kill the editor like a dog, 
but to give him a chance for his life ; like a true 
Southern gentleman to challenge the editor to mor- 
tal combat. Dusky was from Missouri, and the 
j)roposal seemed to strike his fancy. He sent the 
editor a challenge, and it was duly accepted. Hough 
was Dusky's second, and I believe Estus was the 
editor's. The day Avas set for the duel. They were 
to fight with rifles at ten paces' distance. The fatal 
day arrived. Both parties were punctual to the 
minute. Dr. White was on the ground, ready to 
render medical aid to both of the combatants if 
necessary. It was winter, and the ground was 
covered with snow. The combatants took their 
stations ten paces apart, with their backs to each 
other. At the signal, " One, two, three ! " they were 
to turn and fire. When the signal was given, both 
turned and fired. Dr. White stood near the editor. 
The latter staggered and fell into the arms of his 
second. Dr. White ran up to him and threw a lot 
of red ink all over his shirt-bosom, to give the ap- 
pearance of blood-stain. Hough said to Dusky, 
"You had better be getting away as fast as 3 on can; 
you have killed him, and they will hang you sure." 



800 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Dusky made for the stable, and, saddling Hough's 
saddle-horse, fled down tlie river as fast as the horse 
could carry him. In the meantime the editor was 
carried a short distance to his sanctum. His print- 
ing office was in a big log-cabin, in one end of 
which was his sanctum. He was carried and laid 
on the bed, apparently in a dying condition. It 
was now night, and watchers were needed. Many 
of the boys did not know that the duel was a sham 
one, and that the editor was "playing 'possum " all 
the time. There was a little Polish Jew by the 
name of Dowbroski who kept a watchmaker's shoj) 
at Douglas City at that time. He Avas one of the 
best and good-natured fellows that ever lived. He 
and another man volunteered to watch by the 
bedside of the wounded man and give the medicine 
as directed. Dr. AVliite prescribed a teaspoonf ul of 
brandy (under its Latin name) to be given every 
ten minutes. About 10 o'clock the editor began to 
get sleep}', and wanted to get rid of his watchers. 
He got the lockjaw ; it was a bad case. He 
moaned piteously. Dowbroski went to give 
him his medicine, and found he could not 
open his mouth, and remarked: "Poor fellow, 
he is almost gone;" and then took a spoon-handle 
and tried to pry the editor's teeth apart, so as to get 
his fingers between the editor's teeth to keej) his 
mouth open while taking his medicine. As soon as 
Dowbroski got his fingers in the editor closed his 
teeth upon them. Dowbroski yelled, "Mein Gott! 



301 A SHAM MARRIAGE AXD DUEL. 

Mein Grott ! Come here quick ! He bites mein 
fingers off." Tliey got Dowbroski's fingers out of 
the editor's mouth, and "Dob " went off to have his 
finders dressed. The other watchers and the editor 
took a drink of brandy all round. 

Kext morning our editor appeared in his sanctum 
as good as new. 

What became of Dusky"? Hough, fearing that he 
would lose his saddle-horse, after some days suc- 
ceeded in finding where Dusky was, and sent him 
Avord that the editor was all right and not much 
hurt, and for him to come back and nothing would 
be said about it. AVhen Dusky came back and 
learned that the duel was a hoax, like the wedding, 
he got completely disgusted and left the place. 

He afterwards turned as an Indian fighter. 
In one of the battles he got shot full of arrows. 
Somebody asked him why he did not get behind a 
tree. Dusky replied, " The trees had no behind to 
them;" meaning that the Indians were all around 
him. 



302 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 
Attack on a Deserted Indian Rancheria. 

Hostile Indians. — Calling out the troops. — John P. Jones goes to war in 
a carriage. 

In tlie summer of 1863 the counties of Hum- 
boldt, Klamath, Del Norte and lower Trinity, were 
overrun with hostile Indians. Eive or six com- 
j)anies of volunteers were called out by Governor 
Stanford to supj)ress them. Trinity county sent to 
the field Oomx^any C, commanded by Captain Abra- 
ham Miller, who joined the other trooj)s in the field 
under the command of Colonel S. G. Whipple, op- 
erating princij)ally in Humboldt and Klamath 
counties, and on the lower Trinity. Word fre- 
quently came to Hay Fork and Douglas City that 
roving bands of liostile Indians had been seen near 
the back settlements. The settlers were kept in 
constant alarm. Just previous to this time tAvo 
men had been killed, the mail-carrier and a soldier 
by the name of Terry. A soldier by the name of 
Orin Washington, belonging to the same company, 
was badly wounded, but managed to escape and 
reached the settlements. Uj)j)er Trinity had not 



ATTACK ON A DESERTED INDIAN RANCHERIA. 303 

been mncli troubled by tlie Indians since the 
murder of John Anderson in 1852. In that year 
they were defeated, and their strongest tribe was 
annihihited at Bridge Gulch in Hay Fork Valley 
by the avengers of Anderson. It was only roving 
bands from distant parts of the country that 
troubled the settlers. In 1863 the war sjiirit was 
abroad in the land. Nearly ever}^ town had its 
military company organized and ready for the field. 
Douglas City was not behind in her military spirit. 
The Douglas City B/ifles were ready for duty when- 
ever called upon. They were commanded by Cap- 
tain John Hough. 

One day word came to Douglas City that one of 
those roving bands of hostiles had been seen near 
Clemmins' ranch, about four miles east of Douglas 
City. It was rej^orted that they were to attack the 
ranch that night. It was reported through the 
town that Clemmins' ranch was about to be burned 
by the Indians. The " long roll " of the company 
was beaten, and soon the gallant sons of Mars were 
gathered at their armory, ready for the fray. Word 
in the meantime was sent to Weaverville, the 
county seat, for John P. Jones, the Sheriff of the 
county. He had the only authority to order out 
the troops. The boys lay on their arms, waiting for 
orders. About sunset the Sheriff made his appear- 
ance in a two-seated carriage drawn by a pair of 
white horses, accompanied by Egbert Allen, then 
District Attorney for the county, and David E. 



o04 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

Gordon, editor of the Trinity Journal. The com- 
pany lost no time in getting ready to march to the 
front. They were soon under way. At dark we 
crossed Smith's bridge over the Trinity River and 
the Portuguese claims. There was a large amount 
of mining done on the east side of the river, and at 
night it was difficult to get through the j^iles of 
"tailings" and ground ditches that obstructed our 
road. Yet we continued on our way like old veter- 
ans, and overcame all obstacles, until we reached 
Redding's Creek, where the road was good. 

In the meantime our Sheriff in command was 
riding as best he could in his buggy. The buggy 
had side-lamps, which the Sheriff lighted that he 
might better see the road. Here we were, on a 
secret expedition, expecting to take the Indians by 
surprise. The whole thing looked so ridiculous 
that many of the boys had their little jokes over 
that night's march. 

About 11 o'clock we reached the ranch where 
we expected to find the foe. Upon our arrival in 
sight of the buildings, all was dark and still. The 
occupants of the ranch had all retired, seemingly in 
perfect security. The company halted, and an officer 
was dispatched to the house to investigate and 
wake up Mr. Olemmins, the owner of the ranch. 
Cleinmins at last, after much knocking, made his 
appearance, and inquired what the matter was, and 
why he was disturbed in his j)eaceful slumbers. On 
being informed of our errand, he replied that he 



ATTACK ON A DESERTED INDIAN RANCHERIA. 305 

liad seen no hostile Indians in or about tlie place. 
The company was ordered into the corral for the 
night. Guards were placed in true military style. 
I happened to be Sergeant of the guards that night. 
In the meantime the Sheriif had his white team 
unhitched, and prepared to spend the night in the 
midst of his soldiers. Nevada's future Senator 
never did things by halves. In the buggy was a 
demijohn full of Henry Hocker's best whisky. Be- 
fore retiring the Sheriif called the boys round him 
to j)artake of the contents of the demijohn, to which 
call they sjieedily responded. Most of the bo} s 
were very thirsty after their long march. After a 
time the camp got quiet, and most of the soldiers 
were in the land of dreams. I heard a voice crying, 
"Sergeant of the guard! Sergeant of the guard!" I 
being; that officer went immediatelv to see what the 
trouble was. I found Sheriff Jones, Editor Gordon, 
and District Attorney Allen lying alongside of 
each other, stretched at full length in the middle of 
the corral. I asked them what they wanted. 
Sheriff Jones replied, " Sergeant, take a drink tirst, 
and then we will give our orders." My reply was, 
" Gentlemen, . good soldiers never drink when on 
duty. Gentlemen, what are your wants '^ " Sheriff 
Jones replied, "Sergeant, we want you to furnish 
us a pillow each. This corral has no soft side to it." 
" All right, gentlemen," I replied. " I suppose you 
are not particular about what the pilloAVS are made 
of 1 " " No," they replied. I then searched as Avell 



306 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

as I could in tlie dark until I fouud three whole 
"buffalo-chips." They were well dried. Taking 
them in my arms, I went to my three heroes. 
Telling each of them to raise his head, I j^laced one 
of the " chips" under it, remarking, " It is the best 
I can do for you, gentlemen." One of them re- 
plied, "It beats h — 1 out of nothing." The order 
was for the guard to wake the command at day- 
dawn. About half a mile from the corral there was 
an old Indian rancheria that sometimes was used 
by Indians as a stopping- ]3lace. The rejjort in 
some way originated that a number of Indians were 
in the rancheria^ and we were to attack them at day- 
break. As soon as light appeared in the east, I 
awoke our sleeping braves. The order was given 
to " fall in " and load with ball cartridge, and away 
we went for the old rancheria. This was situated 
on a large flat gulch east of Clemmins' house. It 
was composed of ten or twelve bark lodges, conical 
in shape. When we came in sight of it the com- 
pany divided into three divisions. One division was 
to cross the flat below the rancheria and get into 
position on the other side. Another division went 
to intercept the Indians if they ran up the gulch. 
The remaining division was to attack from the 
front. Tliis was the plan of battle made by our 
officers. 

As soon as each division arrived at its station, the 
signal was given to begin the fight. The company 
was armed with Mississipj)i " yagers " and sword 



ATTACK ON A DESERTED INDIAN RANCHERIA. 307 

bayonets. The order Avas to fire one volley, and 
then to fix bayonets and charge. This order was 
promptly obeyed. A deadly fire was poured into 
the old bark lodges, and then the boys charged. 
The three divisions met in the middle of tlie old 
rancheria, with not a living or dead Indian in sight, 
nor had there been an Indian there for three 
months previous. 

Well, we were a disappointed lot of fellows. I 
have often thought since that time that the Doug- 
las City Kifles were under the special care of a 
kind, directing Providence. If it were not so, half 
of us would have got badly hurt, for, owing to the 
location of the ground and the position of the firing 
parties, we were apparently firing into each other. 
But none of us got hurt. 

After this capture of the old rancJieria, we were 
marched back to Olemmins' corral, where we found 
that Sheriff Jones, Editor Gordon and Attorney Al- 
len had retreated in good order to Weaverville before 
hostilities commenced, taking with them all the 
commissary stores, if any were left from the previ- 
ous night. The order was given, "Break ranks, 
and go as you please to headquarters at Douglas 
City." I believe I was the last to arrive there, 
making my appearance about 11 or 12 o'clock that 
day, on a load of hay belonging to Mr. Clemmins. 

Such Avas the battle of Clemmins' Hanch. Eor 
years afterwards, if you wanted to get one of the 



308 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Douglas City Kifles angry, all you had to do was to 
say " Clemmins' Ranch " to him. 

In Sej)tember, 1864, there occurred an unfortu- 
nate Indian raid into Hay Eork Valley, throAying 
a gloom oyer the yallc}', and causing the death of 
John Hessig, a young man not oyer sixteen years 
of age, the son of Mrs. John Francis, now of Hydes- 
yille. John Erancis and young Hessig, with two 
other men, Avere engaged in digging a water-ditch, 
to bring water on their mining-claims situated in 
Hay Eork Valley. They coming upon a large 
boulder that had to be blasted, John Hessig went 
to the camp for powder and a fuse. When near the 
camp, he was shot by the Indians, who lay in am- 
bush behind a log-cabin. John Francis was about 
one hundred and twenty-fiye yards from Hessig 
when he receiyed the fatal shot. The Indians see- 
ing Francis, also took a shot at him. Their bullets 
struck the ground about six inches from where 
Francis was standing. John Hessig was a young 
man of promise. He came to Weayerville with his 
parents when a child, and was among the first chil- 
dren of that town. He got his education at Weayer- 
yille, and being well thought of by a large circle of 
acquaintances, his death at the hands of the merci- 
less savages threw a gloom oa er the whole county. 
A small company of men started after the Indi- 
ans, and trailed them for Hxe or six miles, when 
they came to Ayhere the Indians had had a fight over 
the plunder, and there they found a dead Indian. 



ATTACK ON A DESERTED INDIAN RANCHERIA. 309 

They tlien turned back, and the death of John 
Hessig went unavenged. 

The next raid made by the savages into the valley 
was on October 13, 1868, when Thomas Burke was 
killed by them, leaving a Avidow and tliree children. 
Mrs. Burke is a sister of John Erancis, of Hvdes- 
ville, and was formerly of Illinois. Her escape 
Avith her two children seems almost miraculous. 
Their place was situated on the wagon-road to 
Weaverville, about one and a half miles above the 
Oarr Ranch. Burke was working in the field 
across the gulch from the house. The dogs all that 
morning had been making a fuss, but Burke could 
discover nothing wrong. He went to his work. 
Mrs. Burke was dressing her two youngest children. 
The oldest was then in Weaverville at school. Tlie 
Indians made their appearance in the door and 
ordered her off. She immediately took the two 
children and ran out, hallooing to her husband for 
help. She ran for the bridge that was across the 
creek on the road, and there she met Mr. Burke on 
the bridge. The Indians followed her down to the 
bridge. Burke, upon meeting her on the bridge, 
reached for one of the children, when he was shot 
and fell dead over the end of the bridge. She then 
fled Avitli her two children doAvn the road towards 
Carr's Banch, the dogs keeping betAveen her and 
the Indians. The Indians, it appears, did not Avish 
to kill her. They told her to go on. She made 
her Ava}' for nearly tAvo miles to the crossing of 



310 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Carr's Creek, where she sank down exhausted. 
There two teamsters, who were on their way to 
Weaver\ ille with loads of grain, found her. They 
immediately unhitched their teams and took her to 
the town of Hay Eork. 

A party started for the scene of the murder. 
They found the body of Burke in the creek where 
he fell, and his house robbed and burned. A com- 
pany was organized, and started on the Indians' 
trail; Steve Eleming as Oaj)tain, J. S. Hoit, N. B. 
Earlin, William H. Rush, John Large, Orin Treat, 
Josiah Drinkwater, Levi Good, John C. Post, M. 
B. Myers, James S. Wilburn and John Kelly are 
the names of the men Avho composed the company. 

Oaj)tain Fleming followed the Indian trail to Big 
Laribee Creek, where a fight occurred with the 
Indians. The Indians retreated, and the volunteers 
followed their trail by the blood. On the south 
slope of Chalk Mountain, and near the X3lace where 
the house of J. W. Maxwell now stands, Josiah 
Drinkwater received a shot from a wounded Indian 
lying behind a log, on the 26th of November. 
Drinkwater was mortally wounded. The company 
carried him to the house of Silas Hoglan on the 
Yan Duzen, where he died on the 28th of No- 
vember, 1868. 

This was the last raid made, and the last of the 
Indian troubles in Humboldt and Trinity counties. 

The author is indebted to John Francis and 



ATTACK ON A DESERTED INDIAN RANCHEUI A 311 

I 

Henry Feeiiaty, both of Hydesville, for tlie names 
of the men who comi^osed Captain Eleming's com- 
pany and the date of the occurrence. 



312 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Disadvantages of the Mail Service. 

How the mail was carried from Hoopa to Weaverville in 1863. — A peri- 
lous business. — Killing of Walter Van Arman, the carrier, by 
Indians. 

Any man can carry tlie mails over tlie mountain 
trails now-a-days (if he is lucky enough to get a 
contract), but it was not every man who wanted a 
contract twenty-live years ago. But the mail bags 
had to go and come, and some one had to " face the 
music." Many a life was lost in this service in the 
early days of California, the particulars of which 
have never been told. 

In 1863 there was a mail route from Eort Gaston, 
Hoopa Yalley, to Weaverville. The Indians were 
on the warj)ath; they had devastated the valley of 
the Trinity ioy miles, had killed a good many whites 
and Chinamen, and had determined to clear the 
country of all intruders. Between Hoopa and 
Weaverville they were especially bold and trouble- 
some, and the mail-carrier had no picnic, as the 
reader may easily imagine. 

Walter Van Arman was the mail-carrier at that 



DISADVANTAGES OF THE MAIL SERVICE. 313 

time. On the 12tli of September, at 6 o'clock in 
the evening, lie was to leave Eort Gaston, but, 
owing to disturbances up the river, it was tliought 
best to send an escort with him. Accordingly two 
soldiers of Company 0, Eirst Battalion Mount- 
aineers, were detailed. One of them tells the party's 
experience as follows: 

We left Eort Oaston at 6 o'clock that evening — 
September 12th — and crossed the South Eork of the 
Trinity about 11 o'clock. We passed Indian camps, 
but the Indians Avere all asleep, and we didn't dis- 
turb them. We reached Burnt Ranch at daylight. 
Crossing the main river at Cedar Elat, we went up 
the north side as far as Sandy Bar. As we came in 
sight of the rocks at that point I told Yan Arman 
the Indians were in there, sure. I knew it just as 
well then as I did afterwards; I saw them. But 
Yan said tliey Avere Chinamen, and we rode on. 

Just as we got onto the bar, we got a volley from 
the rocks, and Terry fell from his mule. He called 
to me not to leave him, and Yan and I jumped off 
from our mules and ran to him. Another volley 
and we both got it — Yan Arman in the pit of the 
stomach and I in the right side. Yan had held to 
his bridle rein, so he mounted and rode up the trail, 
bidding me good-bye as he threw the mail sacks to 
the ground. Terry was dead. There was nothing for 
me but to " hoof it," as my mule had fled with 
Terry's. The Indians kept up their fire as I hob- 
bled away, another shot taking effect in my right 



314 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

thigh. After going a hundred yards or more I sat 
down and tied up my wounds the best I coukl, for 
I was bleeding a good deal. About four hundred 
yards further up the trail I found Van Arman's 
mule, but not Van Arman. Supposing he had gone 
on, I climbed onto the mule and x^nshed on to Tay- 
lor's Elat. Here I found only some Chinamen the 
Indians had killed in the morning, and I didn't 
stoj). I crossed the river here, headed for Little 
Prairie, thus eluding two Indians who had followed 
me, and who were soon after killed by McWhorter 
at Oregon Grulch. The store and some houses at 
Little Prairie had been burned the day before, and 
I had to ride on to Cox's Bar before I could attend 
to my Abounds, which ke])t me off duty for a year. 
The people at Cox's Bar and all along the river 
were in arms, and a company was organized at 
Weaverville, headed by Bichard Clifford. 

The next day a party of men going down the 
trail, found a scrap of paper sticking in a stump 
near where I found Van's mule. On it was written: 



i WALTER VAN ARMAN, j 
I Shot by the Indians, i 

j Sept. i6, 1863. i 

It seems he had gone up the hill, fully conscious 
of his mortal wound, and had laid down and died 
within sight of the trail, though his body was not 
found until some time afterward. James Denny 



DISADVANTAGES OF THE MAIL SERVICE. 315 

found and buried the body at Big Flat. Terry's 
body was found pinned to tlie ground with knives 
taken from the Chinamen killed at Taylor's Flat. 
After these Chinamen had been killed, the Indians 
Avent to Drake's house and got breakfast. The 
Indian, Big Jim, told me afterwards at Hoopa, that 
they set the table for all hands — there were twenty- 
one of them — and they rang the bell for breakfast. 
xVfter that they fired the buildings, Drake's house 
being the only one that didn't burn. It stands there 
yet, a relic of early days. 



16 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Pioneer Politics. 

The Know-nothing party in California. — Its whole State ticket elected. 
— The Democratic convention at Weaverville in '54 captured by 
the Know-nothings. — An Irishman killed. — The lodge-room of the 
Know-nothings collapses. — Ludicrous incidents. 

After the election of Pierce and King, in 1852, 
as President and Vice-President, politics in Cali- 
fornia were very quiet. The overwlielming defeat 
of tlie Whig candidates — Scott and Graham — 
proved to be the death-knell of the Whig party, 
which had out-lived its usefulness. But tliere 
arose on its ruins tlie short-lived American or 
Know-nothing party, which in 1854 SAvei^t the 
State from Del Norte to San Diego, electing J. N. 
Johnston Governor, with the whole State ticket 
and a large majority of both houses of the 
Legislature. 

Trinity county had always been Democratic up 
to this time. A nomination on that ticket was 
equivalent to an election, and of course there was a 
good deal of wire-pulling, trading and swaj)ping in 
their contentions to obtain the nominations. I re- 
member when the Democratic Convention was 



PIONEER POLITICS. 817 

called to meet in AYeaverville in 1854, at llie time 
the Know-nothing party was organized in Trinity 
connty. The organization was secret, no outsider 
knowing anything of its working, or any of its 
members. The question arose among the simon- 
pure Democracy hoAV to keep the Know-nothings 
out of the party. Fears were entertained that the 
Know-nothings would capture the conyention and 
haye things their own way, which fears were cor- 
rect. Out of between fort}' or fifty members of the 
conyention fully two-thirds were Know-nothings. 
There were two candidates for the Legislature in 
the field. W. W. Upton, who had acted with the 
Democratic party up to that time and still professed 
to be acting with it, and A. J. Felter, a resident of 
Oregon Gulch, and a simon-pure Democrat — were 
the two aspirants for Legislatiye honors before the 
conyention. I had been informed by sood 
autliority that AV. W. Upton was the Ivnow-noth- 
ing candidate, and had receiyed their nomination 
from ditferent lodges in the county. Tlie morning 
the conyention was to meet I informed Felter of 
what 1 had been told, and that I belieyed a majority 
of the conyention were Know-nothings. He could 
hardly realize it, as he knew all the members per- 
sonally and knew them to be aood and sound Demo- 
crats. I told him he would see for himself before 
night. Well, the couA'cntion organized and Felter's 
officers got left Avhen the nominations Ayere made. 
Upton and Felter were placed in nomination, the 



318 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

result of the ballot being that Felter got about one- 
third of the votes and Upton got the other two- 
thirds. There was one mad Democrat about that 
time, and his name was Andrew Jackson Pelter. 
His friends withdrew from the convention and held 
one of their owu, and nominated him for the Legis- 
lature. Eelter was badly beaten at the polls, 
Oregon Gulch being the only precinct in the county 
going Democratic. The Democrats were cleaned 
out throughout the State as well as in Trinity 
county. 

About this time prejudice ran high against the 
foreign-born citizen, and especially did the Irish 
element come in for a good share of abuse. I re- 
member a tragedy that took place one Sunday night 
about this time. A large number of people were 
in town, and a row was kicked up in a saloon kept 
by a frenchman named Amanda. It appeared 
that a free fight was going on, and in the melee an 
Irishman (I have forgotten his name) had a bowie- 
knife run into him twice, and he died almost im- 
mediately. Next morning there was an inquest held 
on the remains by 'Squire Connor, who summoned 
a coroner's jury and examined some forty or fifty 
witnesses, but none of them knew anything of the 
killing. The jury remained in session for two days, 
and at the end of that time they were no wiser than 
when they commenced. No person seemed to know 
who did the killing, yet there were seventy or 
eighty persons in the saloon at the time, and the 



PIONEER POLITICS. 319 

saloon was a small building. During a residence 
of nearly forty years in California and Arizona, 
there never caine under my notice a jjarallel case 
to this murder committed at Weaveryille in the 
summer of 1855. The secret was well preserA'ed. 
The victim was buried after the inquest, and in a 
few days the affair was quite forgotten. A few years 
after the occurrence, when politics had taken a dif- 
ferent turn, it was several times hinted to me that 
the murderer could be identified, but not sutficient 
evidence could be had even then. Some of the 
l^arties Avho testified before the coroner's jmy and 
swore they knew nothing of the affair, hinted that 
thev knew more than thev testified to when before 
the coroner's jury. Such evidence would be of 
little account, however, and the case was dropped. 
During the years of 1854-5-6 the foreign-born citi- 
zen w as a good deal below par, more especialh' the 
Irish Catholic, or Pope's Irish, as they were then 
called. 

In the summer of 1855 there occurred an acci- 
dent which came near creating serious conse- 
quences. At that time there were very few two- 
story buildings in Weaver ville, or second-story 
apartments to let. There was a firm by the name 
of Harris & Mitchell, carpenters and builders, 
doing business in the tow n. Frank Harris was a 
New Hampshire Yankee, and Archie Mitchell was 
a good-natured Irishman. Harris was a member of 
the Know-nothing j)arty, and he agreed to build an 



320 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

npi^er story on their slio}) for a lodge-room. The 
hoys agreed to pay big rent, and Archie submitted. 
In the course of time the lodge-room was finished 
and the boys moved into tlieir quarters all right. 
The floor of the lodge-room Avas well covered with 
sawdust in order to deaden the sound. They met 
there several evenings, and all went smoothly until 
one Saturday night. Saturday night and Sundays 
nearly all of the miners Avould come to town to 
hear the news, get their papers and mail matters, 
and such other things as they might need during 
the coming week. My dwelling-house was but a 
short distance from Harris & MitchelVs shop, where 
the boys were having their meeting. On the afore- 
said Saturday night — a beautiful moonlight even- 
ing — about half-past 8 o'clock, iny wife and myself 
were sitting on the porch enjoying the cool of the 
evening, when suddenly we were startled by a 
great noise which appeared to come from the Know- 
nothing lodge. Looking in that direction I saAv 
that the lodge-room had caved in and was envel- 
oped in a cloud of sawdust. I started immediately 
for the wreck — it took but a short time to get there. 
Just as I got to the end of the building the first 
man came out — it Avas Jesse S. Pitzer, making for 
his home, minus a hat, with his hair all full of saw- 
dust. I Said to him : 

" Jesse, are you hurt"? " He made no answer, but 
broke for his house, which was but a short distance. 

The next fellow I saw was Judge Turner. 



■^ 



PIONEER POLITICS. 321 

" Is that yon, Judge Turner — are you liurt^ " 

'' Ko, it is not me. Eor heaven's sake give me a 
hat and never say you saAV me here." 

He took my hat and then broke like a quarter 
horse for the lower end of the town, through piles 
of gravel and tailings. By this time I made my 
way into the ruins. The building had spread apart 
and let down the second floor, sawdust, KnoAv- 
nothings and all. Such a scrambling to get out 
and get away from everybody, I never saw before. 
By this time the crowd began to gather, clearing 
up the ruins and taking account of the killed and 
wounded. We found three men hurt — two of them 
not seriously, but one, George Sherburne, had his 
arm broken and was made a cripple for life. 

After helping at the ruins I went down town — 
the defunct lodge Avas situated on Court street, while 
"down-town" was along on Main street. I visited 
some of the saloons to hear the news and see what 
was up. There was some tall swearing, and some 
heavy threats, if they could find the d — d Irishman 
that weakened the building and let the floor down. 
Many of the boys thought Archie Mitchell had a 
hand in the business, but Erank Harris, his part- 
ner, belonging to the Know-nothings, and Mitchell 
having many friends and known to be a good hon- 
est man, the accusation was dropped and the boys 
came to the conclusion that it Avas the fault of the 
building. 

Jesse S. Pitzer got the nomination for District 



X 



322 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Judge and my friend Turner was left out in the cold, 
and I was niinns a hat. Pitzer, up to this time, 
had been one of the leaders of the Democratic 
l^arty, but when it was found that he had deserted 
the Democratic party they commenced to look for 
a candidate to defeat Pitzer. Their choice fell upon 
James Hanna of Humboldt county. Although a 
life-long Whig, Mr. Hanna was known to be op- 
posed to the Know-nothing movement. He receiA'ed 
tlie nomination of the Democratic party and can- 
vassed tlie district, but was beaten by Pitzer the 
same as all other candidates on the Democratic 
ticket. Judge Pitzer served but a short time, when 
he resigned. 

I did not meet Judge Turner for several jears 
after the fall of the Know-nothing lodge-room. I 
had moved to Eureka in 1806. Standing in ni}' 
shoj) door one day talking to my partner, he re- 
marked: 

" Here comes Judge Turner ! I will introduce 
you to him." 

" I had the honor of the Judge's acquaintance 
many years ago," said I as we shook hands. 

" I do not remember you," he said, after looking 
me over; "at what place were we acquainted*?" 

" Sir, you owe me a new hat that I lent you 
many years ago, and this is the first time I have 
seen you since." 

" I do not understand — please explain," said the 
Judge. 



PIONEER POLITICS. 323 

".Judge, yon were in Weaverville in the ^ear 
1855." 

" Yes sir, I was." 

" Do yon remember the night the KnoAV-nothing 
lodge coUapsed^ — do yon remember meeting a fel- 
low as yon were getting out of the rnins the back 
way, minus a hat, and your coat and hair all filled 
with sawdust, and yon begged the fellow's hat from 
himV' 

" T belieye I do." 

" And yon neyer returned that hat." 

The Judge looked at me for a moment and said: 

" Look here, my friend, if you neyer say any- 
thing about that hat I will furnish you all the hats 
you want for the next ten years." 

During Know-nothing times many amusing 
things and incidents took place. There was a fel- 
low by the name of Xed Xugent mining on Sidney 
Hill. Ked was a Yankee Irishman, born in Maine, 
but as Irish as Paddy's brogue ; small of stature but 
large of combatiyeness. When he came to town 
Ked generally got drunk, and either got licked him- 
self or licked some one else — generally the former. 
IS^ed became a Know-nothing, and as zealous in the 
cause as any son of the Puritans. I was passing 
by Sam Krider's saloon one eyening, and hearing a 
row I stepped in to see see what the fuss was about. 
There was Ised standing in the middle of the floor 
and a lot of fellows standing around him. Ned was 
cursing the Know-nothings good and strong for not 



324 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

coming to his assistance when he gave the sign of 
distress. He had got whipped, and none of his 
Know-nothing brothers would take it up for him. 
There was an Irishman in the crowd who was about 
three sheets in the wind, and when he heard Ked 
cursing his brothers, Mike staggered out in front of 
him and said : 

"Ned, be gub, that's a lie of yours. As soon as I 
saw the sign of distress didn't I rush to your assist- 
ance like a man, and so I did ! " The thing looked 
so ridiculous that it set the boys all in a good 
humor. Somebody j>roj)osed the drinks, and there 
the matter ended. 






FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 325 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Formation of the Republican Party. 

The City of Sacramento the first in California to go Republican. — The 
rule of the Southern element in the State. — Organizing a Fremont 
and Dayton club in Weaverville. — A Republican speaker " egged." 
— Doctor O. J. Gates "fighting mad." — The " border ruffians." — 
Frank M. Pixley's speech. — Threats of intimidation. — Marching to 
the polls. 

The Kansas and IS^ebraska act knocked the life 
out of the Know-nothing party in California. As 
soon as the passage of that act was known, men be- 
gan to take sides on the slavery question — Northern 
men with the ISTorth, Southern men with the South. 
I well remember, just after that memorable fight 
for the organization of the House of Rej)resentatives 
in 1855, which resulted in the election of X. P. 
Banks as Speaker, that 0. P. Rice, John Cole and 
myself were on our way from Weaverville to Shasta 
on business. We stopped at a wayside tavern for a 
drink — nearly everyone drank more or less at that 
time — and on entering the bar-room some of the 
party asked: 

" What's the newsV 

" Bad ! very bad news froiii Washington," said 



V 



326 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the landlord. " Tbatd — d black Republican, Banks, 
is elected Speaker of tlie House, and the country is 
going to b — 1 a fluking! " 

We looked at eacb other, and filling and touching 
our glasses in the old familiar way, Kice said: 

" Here's to the black Republican, N. P. Banks, 
and the men that elected him!" 

The landlord gave us an angry look, and said he 
didn't think there were any black Republicans in 
California. The re^ily was, that when the proj)er 
time came he would find plenty of them. 

About this time the City of Sacramento held 
her municipal election, and, with the assistance of 
sore Democrats, the Republicans elected tlieir 
ticket. If my memory serves me right, to the City 
of Sacramento belongs the honor of being the first 
city of the State to give the first Rejjublican victory. 
My business called me to Auburn, in Placer county, 
and all the talk a person could hear was, " N. P. 
Banks!" and "the black Republican ! " or "the d — d 
black abolitionist! " 

After my return from Auburn I stopped for a 
short time at Sacramento, putting up at the West- 
ern House. One of my children became sick, and 
not caring to travel with a sick child, I concluded 
to lay over at Sacramento for a few days. I called 
in Dr. Harkness, then a practicing physician in the 
city, to attend to the child. In conversation with 
the doctor I found him like m 3 self, an ardent Re- 
publican, and we were mutually glad to know each 



FORMATION OF THE R'^ZPUBLICAN PARTY. 327 

other. He requested me to go ATith him and he 
woukl make iue acquainted with some of the Re- 
publicans of Sacramento. I went with him to the 
office of Cornelius Cole —then a j^oung lawyer of 
the city, and afterwards a United States Senator — 
Avhere I was introduced to many of the Republi- 
cans of Sacramento. It was there agreed that when 
I went home I would do all I could to organize the 
Republicans in Trinity county. After seyeral meet- 
ings and lots of good Republican advice and coun- 
sel, 1 accepted the mission, ^o young ordained 
missionary to the heathen eyer accej)ted his calling 
with more zeal to convert the lieathen, than I did 
mine to spread the doctrine of free soil and free 
men. I had taken my political lessons from Seward, 
Greele}' and Wendell Phillips, and men of their 
stripe — lessons that I never had reason to go back 
on to this day. Well, after a short stay at Sacra- 
mento my child got better and we started for home 
in Trinity. After arriving home I declared myself 
a black Republican, and commenced proselyting. 
Then commenced my political troubles. Several 
of my warmest friends were men of Southern birth, 
and very much oi)posed to anything that interfered 
with the sacred institution of slavery. One of them 
— J. C. Burch, afterwards a member of Congress — 
told me he hoped there would be one county in the 
State that would not disgrace herself by casting a 
Republican vote, and he hoped Trinity would be 
that county. I told him that, if I lived until elec- 



328 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

tion diiy, Eremont and Dayton would get one vote 
at least, and that vote would be mine. They then 
commenced different tactics, and tried boycotting. 
Some of them went to men who were patronizing 
me, and informed them, if they did not take their 
work from me, they would not patronize tliem — 
one iirm in particular, Ooinstock & Martin, that 
was running a livery stable. John Martin told me 
his answer to them was: "You can go to h — 1 
with your patronage. I will patronize whom I 
please, and if you don't like it you need not patron- 
ize this 'shebang!'" John then informed me that 
black Kepublicanism came too near home to him, 
as his father and brothers were all Republicans at 
home in Maine. Up to this time the Southern 
element had ruled in California. 

Xo man could get a nomination on either ticket 
unless he was known to be "sound on tlie goose;" 
or, in other words, if he was known to have any 
free-soil sentiments he was spotted at the ballot- 
box, and likewise socially. 

I remember one old gentleman by the name of 
Lathrop, that started a garden at the moutli of 
Weaver Creek. The old man was an abolitionist, 
and was the talk of the whole camp for his assur- 
ance in expressing himself as such. When speak- 
ing of the Republicans the rough element would 
generally call them thieving, black Republican s. o. 
b.'s; but the more refined would often say: 



FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY 829 

"John, I like you as ii iniiu, but d — ii your 
politics!" 

Such were the trials and scoffs borne by the early 
Republicans of California. We had to take more 
scoffs and ieers tlian the Salvation Army of the 
present day. 

But to come back to proselyting. I was like the 
most of missionaries; I made but little lieadAvay at 
first. Sometimes a fellow Avould come into the shox^ 
and call me aside to ask, in a low tone of voice, how 
tlie Republican j)arty Avas getting on. My answer 
would be: 

" Eirst-rate — don't you want to join a Fremont 
and Dayton club] " 

" AVell, I don't know as I want to just now — I 
may after awhile. That is my way of thinking, 
you bet! " 

I had bought me some blank club headings from 
Sacramento, and when I got a fellow like the above, 
I would draw my club-roll on him, and in most 
cases he would sign it. When, by hard work and a 
good deal of talk, I procured fifteen names to my 
club-roll, I thought it about time to organize, and 
notified each member to meet at my shop on a cer- 
tain night after 9 o'clock for the j)urpose of organ- 
izing and electing the club officers. 

The boys responded, every one being present. 
The shop doors were locked, and the club proceeded 
to elect its officers and get to work, each member 
agreeing to do all he could honorably for the elec- 



330 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

tion of John C. Eremont and W. L. Dayton as Pres- 
ident and Vice-President of the United States. The 
Avriter of this article was elected tirst president of 
the club. In the meantime onr Republican friends 
at Sacramento had requested me to forward to them 
the names of men that were likely to become Re- 
publicans, that they might furnish them Republi- 
can literature. To this work the club devoted itself 
vigorously, besides extending the membershix? of 
the club. 

About this time the organization at Sacramento 
sent a young man by the name of AVheelock to our 
section of the country to helj) organize. He brought 
letters of introduction to me, directing me to give 
him all the assistance in my poAver to forward the 
work. 

I called the club together, and we discussed the 
matter as to whether it was best to hold a public 
meeting or not. The club voted to hold the meet- 
ing, and we procured Clifford's hall for the i)urj)ose. 
The meeting was organized about 8 o'clock in the 
evening, and quite a crowd had assembled. I was 
informed that there was likely to be trouble, and 
my friends advised me not to go there. I called 
the meeting to order, and was elected to preside. I 
introduced the speaker, stating the object of the 
meeting. When Mr. Wheelock commenced speak- 
ing, some of the crowd began yelling and stamping, 
with cries of " put the d — d black Republican out!" 
" Tar and feather him!" and such like talk. About 



FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 331 

this time some one in the crowd commenced throw- 
ing eggs at the speaker. Wheelock kept his temper, 
and rej)lied, " I like eggs, but I prefer them in a 
little diiferent style." Dr. O. J. Gates, now of 
Eureka, stood it as long as he could, and then com- 
menced on the disturbers of the j)eace. He told 
them they were cowardly ruffians, and he could 
whip any four of them any way they had a mind 
to fight him. He talked to them of their high- 
toned chivalry and boasted courage in attacking 
one single man, and he a stranger in their midst. 
The doctor talked fight, and he meant it, too. I 
have known him for thirty-six years, and that was 
the only time I remember to have seen him fighting 
mad. 

As soon as the trouble quieted down a little, I 
told the disturbers of the meeting that those eggs 
would soon hatch, and that each one would bring- 
forth a Republican chicken. The words were pro- 
phetic. Wheelock finished his speech without 
further interruption that night. The Trinity 
Journal (edited and published by David E. Gordon 
and E. J. Curtis) was not backward in publishing 
this outrage as a disgrace to Weaverville and a blot 
on the name of free speech in America. 

Such were some of the tactics that the opponents 
of the Rej)ublican party used to suj)press it in its 
infancy in California. Weaverville was not the 
only town or city where eggs were used to break up 
Republican meetings. At the capital of the State, 



832 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

if my memory serves ine riglit, .Judge Tracy — one 
of the first men of tlie State — was served in like 
manner. Even the immortal and eloquent Baker, 
who, a few years later, laid down his life at Ball's 
Bluff that the Republic might live, could not ad- 
dress a meetins; of his fellow-citizens and Ameri- 
cans without being insulted and his meeting dis- 
turbed. The same element was using the same 
tactics that they used two years previous in Kansas, 
and with no better results. They did not frighten 
or bulldoze the people of Kansas, nor yet the people 
of California. 

After the meeting we began occasionally to re- 
ceive letters from some of the outside precincts, en- 
couraging us in Weaverville to go on with the good 
work, and not allow a few eggs in the hands of 
the "border ruffians," as they were then called, to 
deter us. We received letters from such men as 
John F. Chillis, of Minersville — afterwards Lieu- 
tenant-Governor on the ticket with Governor 
Stanford, and my life-long friend, Ered Leech of 
Junction City and now of Bohnerville, in this 
county. ]\Iajor Price of Canyon City, although a 
Southern man by birth and education, was one of 
the pioneer Kepublicans of Trinity county, and did 
good service in the early days of the Rej>ublican 
party. 

Things went on fairly well for a time, but nearly 
every day a Bej)ublican would hear insulting re- 
marks and jeers thrown at liim continually. About 



FORMATION OF THE KEPUBLICAN PARTY. 080 

this time the State Central Committee Avas getting 
down to its work in good shape, sending out speak- 
ers to stump the State — some of tlie ablest speakers 
of the State taking the stump for Fremont and 
Da^'ton. Amongst the number was Erank M. 
Pixley of San Francisco, now editor of the Argo- 
naut. At that time Pixley was in the full vigor of 
manhood, and one of the best stump speakers I ever 
had the pleasure of listening to. Pixley was billed 
for the IS^orthern part of the State, and took in 
Trinity county as part of his territory. Word was 
sent to the Republicans of Weaverville that the 
Hon. Frank M. Pixie v would address the citizens 
of Weaverville on a certain day, and we advertised 
the meeting throughout the county as well as pos- 
sible, for at that time the facilities for advertising 
were not so good as they are at present. Pixley 
arrived in due time, but his rej)utation got there 
ahead of him, which was to the effect that he would 
not stand any nonsense, and that roughs interfering 
with him generally got the worst of it. He was 
j)rox)erly received by the Fremont and Dayton club, 
Avhich then had increased to twentv-tive or 
thirty members. Charley Thomas' theater was 
procured to hold the meeting in. It would seat 
six or seven hundred people, and was well filled on 
the occasion. In due time the meeting was organ- 
ized and the sj^eaker introduced, but the applause 
was very faint. Pixley then commenced his speech 
of nearlv two hours' duration — one of the most 



334 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

logical and convincing arguments in favor of free 
soil and free men that it was ever my good fortune 
to listen to. Only twice was he interrupted during 
the whole time he was speaking — his sallies of wit 
and good humor soon put a stop to the interrup- 
tions. One of the interruptions ap]3eared to come 
from some fellow in the middle of the house, who, 
from his manner of speech, appeared to be an Irish- 
man. Pixley stopped a moment and straightened 
himself up; then, sticking his thumbs into the arm- 
lets of his vest and pointing his finger in the 
direction of the disturber, said : 

" That fellow that interrupted me appears to be 
an Irishman! Now, sir, if it were not for that 
ship-load of potatoes my father helj)ed to send over 
to old Ireland in 1846, during the famine, you 
would not be here to-night disturbing an American 
addressing his countrymen! You would have 
starved to death, as you deserved!" 

No more interruptions from that part of the 
house. The evening was quite warm and the win- 
dows were raised in order to give the audience fresh 
air. Some fellow outside came up to one of the 
windows, and, without showing himself, commenced 
braying like a jackass. Pixley heard him through, 
and then said, in his sarcastic way: 

" Balaam's ass has spoken. No, it was not 
Balaam's ass that sjioke; we will not insult Ba- 
laam's ass by comparing that ass at the window to 
him. Balaam's ass was a brave one; he spoke out 



FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 335 

what lie meant, and was not afraid to show himself, 
but that ass at the window is too big a coward to 
show himself." 

That was the last interruption that night. Pix- 
ley's speech set men to thinking, and did a good 
deal of good. We had no other speakers during 
the campaign, but the club worked hard. The 
other parties — the American and Democratic — 
seemed to have forgotten their animosities. In 
order to humiliate the black Eepublicans they 
seemed to pull together. Two years previous the 
American and KnoAv-nothing party had swept the 
State, electing their Goyernor— J. Neely Johnson — 
and all the State officers, with both branches of the 
Legislature, which made the supporters of Eillmore 
and Donelson quite jubilant and sure of carrying 
the State for the American ticket that fall. They 
coiinted without their host, as we Republicans 
frequently told them. We said to them, " A great 
majority of the men of Southern procliyities who 
acted and yoted with your party two years ago, will 
yote for Buchanan and Breckenridge, and leave you 
Northern Know-nothings to vote for Eillmore and 
Donnelson, and then laugh at your gullibility." It 
turned out about as was i)i'edicted. Buchanan 
carried the State, and Eillmore came out only sec- 
ond best. Many of the men who voted for Eill- 
more declared themselves Republicans after elec- 
tion. But I am getting ahead of my time — let us 
come back to the election. 



336 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Word was brought to the Republican club that 
no black Kepublicans would be alloAved to cast a 
vote for Ereniont and Dayton in Weaverville on 
the day of the election; if they did, or attempted to 
vote, a few of them would get badly hurt. I called 
the club together, and we discussed the reports 
that were in circulation. The club voted unani- 
mously tliat it was " vote, and liglit if necessary," 

recommending that each member arm himself, and 
be on hand at 2 p. m., and march to the polls in a 
body. The polls were held in the old court-house, 
at the liead of Court street. The club then num- 
bered between fifteen and twentv members, and 
was composed of men who knew their rights, and 
had the courage to maintain them. 

Election day arrived and the polls were duly 
opened, but no Kej)ublican was appointed on the 
election board — not even a clerk up to 12 o'clock ; 
no Republican at the polls, and the chivalry began 
to think their threats were having the desired 
effect. Several men came to me and wanted to 
know if the Republicans were scared off, or if they 
were going to allow the border ruffians to succeed 
with their threats. After 1 o'clock the Rex3ublicans 
began to gather at the place designated. At 2 
o'clock every member was on the ground, well 
armed, and with a full determination not to inter- 
fere with any man's rights or allow any man to 
interfere with ours. The club fell in line and 
marched to the polls. On arriving at the polling 



FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 337 

place we found fully t^YO linndred men gathered 
around. There were about a dozen men standing 
apparently in front of the window where the judges 
received the tickets. Those at the head of the club 
marched up as near to the window as possible, 
waiting for their turn to cast their votes. Mr. Tur- 
ner was judge of the election. He politely requested 
the ijersons who were obstructing the passage to 
the window to step back and allow the voters to 
come uj) and vote. Three or four of them stex)j)ed 
aside. Being president of the club, I said: 

" Gentlemen, we came here to vote, and we are 
going to vote — peaceably if we can, or fight if we 
must! But we want you all distinctly to under- 
stand that we are going to vote ! " 

They all stej)j)ed out of the way, except one fel- 
low by the name of Lyman Pruit. He said he was 
there to challenge the votes, as he had a right to do. 
I replied that we would not dispute his right. I 
then stepped to the window and offered my vote. 
My friend Pruit said: 

" I challenge that vote! " 

This was before the law was passed compelling 
voters to fold their ballots before going to the polls. 
Before handing my ballot to the judge I unfolded 
it and told my friend Pruit to read it if he could 
read. 

" If you can't read it I will do it for you," said I. 
" You see the names of John 0. Eremont and W, 
L. Dayton on it don't you^ I believe you are one 



338 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

of tlie men wlio made the boast that no bLack Re- 
publican should vote here this day; but black Re- 
publicans vote this day for Fremont and Dayton!" 

Mr. Turner, the Judge, asked Fruit on what 
grounds the vote was challenged. Pruit replied: 

"On the ground that it is unconstitutional for a 
black Republican to vote in California!" 

"Is that all the grounds you have for your chal- 
lenge, Mr. Pruit?" asked Mr. Turner. 

" Yes, and that is plenty." 

" Then," Mr. Turner replied, " if that is all, 1 
guess black Republicans have the right to vote in 
California," and in went the ticket — the first Re- 
publican vote cast in Weaverville. 

By a previous arrangement made before going to 
the polls, when one of our number voted he stepped 
to one side of the ranks until another voted, and he 
stepped on the other side, and so on until all had 
voted; then the club quietly marched down town 
and were not further molested. Many told me if it 
had not been for the manner the club chose of vot- 
ing, and the bold front that was put on, there would 
have been serious trouble at the polls; but the 
border-ruffian crowd saw very plainly that they 
would have to take some lead as well as give it, 
and they concluded to let the" nigger- worshij)pers " 
vote in peace. And it was well they did. 

After the polls were closed a friend named Chap- 
man called and congratulated the club on its man- 
ner of conducting its business, and informed me 



FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. 339 

that he was at the head of forty or fifty good and 
true Americans, and said, if the Republicans had 
been molested in their rights as American citizens, 
they would have taken a hand in the aifray, closing 
with the remark: "We won't stand any border- 
ruffians in California." But, thanks to a kind 
Providence, the election passed off quietly — and I 
do not remember even one fist-fight taking place 
that day. 

Well, the result of the election was, as all read- 
ers knoAV, that Buchanan carried the State, with 
Eillmore second, and our candidate — Fremont — last 
in the race. California polled something over 
twenty-two thousand votes, and Trinity county 
about one hundred and seventy votes. Seventy- 
four Republican votes were j)olled in Weaverville. 
So much for a beginning. Many more votes would 
have been polled, but men were afraid to vote their 
sentiments, threats of all kinds being made against 
those who would dare vote the black Republican 
ticket. 

When we look back, after a lapse of nearly thirty- 
four years, and take into consideration that band of 
twenty-two thousand fearless and freedom-loving 
American citizens Avho voted for Eremont and 
Dayton in 1856, amidst jeers and threats and boy- 
cotts and rotten eggs, and in danger of mobs which 
often occurred, without any hope of future reward, 
we can see that duty and a keen sense of justice 
induced them to follow the new light; that no re- 



340 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

wards or promises of fat offices, either civil or mili- 
tary, were needed to prompt such men to duty. 
Kobly did they perform it. They planted well, and 
the crop has been harvested sooner than many of 
us expected. I often wonder how many of the old 
pioneer Republicans of California are now in the 
land of the living, and how many of them are now 
residents of this State. Many of them laid down 
their lives on the battle-fields of the Re])ublic, that 
their country might live. Among them was the 
gallant and eloquent Baker, who, while leading his 
Calif ornians against their country's foes, was cruelly 
sacrificed at Ball's Bluff in 1861, with many other 
brave boys from our Golden State. 



FIRST REPUBLICAN STATE TICKET- 341 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

First Republican State Ticket. — Effort to Divide the State. 

The candidates for Governor. — Pistol politics. — John B. Weller's speech. 
—The two wings of the Democratic party. — Duels. — Slaves in 
California. — " Virginia poorhouse." — Broderick and Gwin. 

After the Presidential election in 1856, things in 
the political line went on smoothly for a time, the 
Republican party gaining strength slowly but 
surely. The next contest was to be for Governor 
and State officers, in 1857. The Republicans of the 
State had but little hope of winning anything; but 
they put on a bold front, called a convention and 
nominated Edward Stanley for Governor, with a 
full State ticket. Mr. Stanley was a Southern man 
by birth, a ^"orth Carolinian, and had, I believe, 
been Governor of his native State and a mem- 
ber of Congress. He was a lawyer, and stood at 
the head of his profession; a man of pure and spot- 
less life, and an ardent and enthusiastic Republi- 
can. The Democrats nominated John B. Weller, 
one of the leading Democrats in the State, and a 
native of Ohio. Bowie was the American party's 
nominee for Governor, but he cut a small figure, 



342 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

although polling more votes than Edward Stanley, 
the Republican nominee. The Democratic fight 
was to down the black Kej)ublicans, or " nigger- 
worshippers " as they were frequently called, and 
often they were termed the " sectional party." 

Here A\ere two men leading their respective 
parties — John B. AVeller at the head of the pro- 
slavery Democratic part} , born and reared in free- 
soil Ohio, and Edward Stanley, born and reared in 
pro-slavery ^orth Carolina, leading the Kepublican 
free-soil party in California. This was an anomaly 
that I do not believe had a parallel in any other 
State in the Union. 

In 1857 I had removed to Sonoma county, and 
was residing in the city of Petaluma. John B. 
Weller was stumping the State, and delivered one 
of his pro-slavery sj)eeches in that city. Sonoma 
county at that time was the banner Democratic 
county of the State, most of its early settlers having 
come from the border Southern States and being in- 
tensely j)ro-slavery in their politics. The name of 
" black Rej)ublicans " stunk in their nostrils worse 
than that of a horse-thief. Petaluma at that time 
was the principal city or town of tlie county. There 
was quite a number of Republicans in the place, 
and a small organization was kept up. A number 
of tlie business men were Rei)ublicans, but would 
not join the organization for fear of their business 
being injured. 

But let us come back to John B. Weller's speech. 



FIRST REPUBLICAN STATE TICKET. 348 

From the time lie mounted the rostrum for nearly 
two hours he poured into the Kepublican ranks 
such a tirade of abuse as I think has never been ex- 
celled in the State. To the American party he had 
very little to say, but advised every man that was 
formerly a member of tliat party, if they were true 
Americans, to come over to the Democratic party 
and save their countrv: which advice I believe 
nearly every one of Southern birth acted on, leav- 
ing the Northern men who were not Rex)ublicans 
to vote alone for Bowie — the same old trick they 
j)layed on them two years previous in the Presi- 
dential election. Weller made at the close of his 
speech a powerful appeal for all Democrats to stick 
to their ticket and not to scratch a single name. He 
remarked that "no good Democrat ever scratched 
his ticket," and some one in the crowd asked him if 
he was going to vote for himself. 

"Yes sir, I am; I always vote for the best man, 
and when I vote the whole of the Democratic 
ticket I know I am voting for the best men." 

If I remember correctly, neither the Republican 
nor the American party sent any man into Sonoma 
county — it was hopelessly Democratic. They sent 
their vSj)eakers into counties where they thought 
they could do some good. During the war Sonoma 
county Av ould, at every election, roll up her usual 
Democratic majority — from ten to sixteen hundred. 

Well, in due time the election came oif, the 
Democrats, us usual, making a clean sweep, elec- 



344 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFOENIA. 

ting John B. Weller Governor, and Joseph 
Walkiq), of Placer county, Lieutenant-Governor, 
and both the Congressmen. Both branches of the 
Legislature were largely Democratic. If my 
memory is not at fault, San Erancisco elected a 
few Republican members, and some of the mining 
counties elected a few Americans or Know-noth- 
ings. Such was the state of politics in California 
in 1857. 

On the assembling of the Legislature tlie chivalry 
wing of the Democratic party had control of both 
branches, with the Governor and Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor. The two Congressmen elected were Scott 
and McKibbin. Scott was a "chiv." of the first 
water, while Joe McKibbin was rather on the free- 
soil order— a friend of D. C. Broderick. At this 
time, and for several years previous, there were in 
the Democratic party two factions that hated each 
other with as deadly a hatred as ever existed be- 
tween Guelph and Ghibelline, and ready to spring 
at each other's throats on the slightest provocation. 
I have made reference to the chivalry wing of the 
Democrats — led and controlled by such men as 
Gwin, Weller, Terry, Latham, Burch, Scott and 
men of their political opinions— who set up the 
divine institution of slavery as the summit of all 
earthly blessings, and when in power their votes 
and influence were used to propagate and help it. 
California was only secondary in their minds and 
affections. The other faction were known as Brode- 



FIRST REPUBLICAN STATE TICKET. 345 

rick Democrats, men avIio did not fall down and 
worship Baal. They were generally men from the 
free States, and led and controlled by such men as 
D. C. Broderick, Joseph McKibbin, John Bigler, 
John CurrA' and Democrats of that stripe. There 
was a tierce war carried on between these factions, 
from the formation of the Constitutional Convention 
which gave California her free Constitution, down to 
tlie day that the fatal dueling pistol in the hands of 
Judge Terry took the life of that Democratic cham- 
pion of the people's rights, David C. Broderick. For 
ten years this fierce war of Democratic factions was 
waged within its organization, each party trying for 
supremacy. The lamented Broderick was not the 
only one that fell by their factional fights. State 
Senator William I. Furguson fell by the duelist 
bullet of George Pen Johnson, in the 3 ear of 1858. 
Furguson was one of the rising young men of the 
State, and, as in the case of his friend Broderick, a 
quarrel was sought with him. While in San Fran- 
cisco he was challenged by Johnson, a well-known 
duelist. F^urguson had to be got out of the way — 
he knew too much about their bargains and sales; 
it would never do to let his evidence come before 
the people of California at the j)olls. It was said at 
the time that Furguson was personally knowing to 
some very dirty jobs between the factions. Yet, 
with all their family quarrelings and deadly hatred, 
just before election they would patch up a truce and 
generally come forth a united Democracy at the 



346 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

polls on election day. I once said to a prominent 
Democrat, a friend of mine who was running for 
Congress: 

" Colonel, liow is it that you Democrats are al- 
ways fighting and quarreling and ready to cut each 
other's throats before election, and vet when you 
come to the polls you all vote the straight Demo- 
cratic ticket?" He replied, laughing: 

" Wh}^, John, we are like cats — the more Ave fight 
and quarrel, the more we propagate our species." 

Prom 1849 to 1861 the State of California was as 
much under the control of the Southern wing of the 
Democratic party as South Carolina, and voted in 
Congress for Southern interests to all intents and 
purposes; as intensely Southern as Mississix^pi or 
any other of the fire-eating States. From the adop- 
tion of the State constitution in 1849 to 1861, the 
Southern Aving of that party did ever} thing in their 
XJower to divide the State, their purpose being to 
make a slave State out of the Southern portion of it. 
One of the members from San Joaquin county, if I 
remember correctly, introduced a resolution in the 
Assembly at the session if 1852, inviting and allow- 
ing fifty families from the Southern States, with 
their negro slaves, to settle in the Southern coun- 
ties. It is said that some families actually came, but 
they found they could not hold their slaves, so gave 
uj) the job and sent some of them back, while others 
became free. Such was the fight that Southern 
Democrats made to establish the "divine institu- 



FIRST REPUBLICAN STATE TICKET. 347 

tion " in California. Eor twelve years that fight 
was kej)t up —until the first rebel gun was fired at 
Fort Sumter, which was the death-knell to their 
pretentions. Looking back over that twelve years 
between 1849 and 1861, it is surprising how the 
Southern Aving of the Democratic party managed 
to perpetuate its power. Being not over one-third 
of the voters of the State, its politicians managed 
to rule the State and fill nine-tenths of the ofiices, 
from XTnited States Senators down to constables. 
I have often asked some of them why it was so. 
Their reply generally was: 

" We of the South are better politicians than you 
Northern men, and we were born to rule anyway. 
You Northern men are good workers and business 
men, and Ave are perfectly Avilling you should do it." 

Eor a long time the custom-house and mint at 
San Erancisco Avere knoAvn as the Virginia j)oor- 
houses, from the number of scions of the first fami- 
lies of Virginia that Avere stoAved away there on fat 
salaries. 

In the Legislature of 1857 occurred that memor- 
able election Avhich sent Broderick to the United 
States Senate, with William M. Gwin as his 
colleague. Eor years Broderick had been planning 
to reach that high x^osition, while the chiAalry 
Aving, Avith equal persistence, was plotting to keep 
him from the coveted prize. When the Legislature 
met in January, 1857, it Avas found in caucus that 
Broderick was master of the situation, and that not 



348 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

only could he be elected himself, but he could dic- 
tate the election of the other Senator as well. Gwin 
and Latham both aspired to that honor. It was 
then that Grwin came out in a public card, acknowl- 
edging his obligation to the stone-cutter's son for 
his election, and resigning all his j)olitical patron- 
age to Broderick and his friends. Humiliating in- 
deed it must have been to this proud son of chivalry 
to make those humble confessions to the man, above 
all others, his faction hated and despised. But he 
never intended to keep the promise he made to 
Broderick, in order to secure his election. When 
Gwin arrived at Washington he had the President 
— Buchanan — and the whole Democratic party of 
the South at his back. Broderick and his friends 
were completely ignored, and Grwin and the 
chivalry were again in the ascendant in California. 



THE DEMOCRACY OF THE STATE DIVIDED. 349 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

The Democracy of THE State Divided. — Killing of Broderick. 

The Democracy divided on the Kansas question. — Fights, murders, 
ballot-box stuffing. — Stanford and Latham the nominees for 
Governor. — Broderick killed by Terry. 

Again in 1859 the State election came on, and 
we had a somewhat different opponent to battle 
with. The Kansas troubles were agitating the 
country. Civil war had commenced in that terri- 
tory on a small scale. The Kansas-Nebraska Act 
had left the slavery question to the decision of the 
people of the territory directly interested. Free- 
State men from the North had emigrated to Kansas 
under the ausj)ices of the anti-slaver}^ societies in 
quite large numbers, while the Southern States had 
sent their j)ro-slavery men to plant the " divine in- 
stitution " in that free land. The anti-slavery party, 
it is said, had armed its disciples with Sharp's rifles, 
free-soil tracts and bibles; while the pro-slavery em- 
igrants (known as border ruffians) were armed 
with the revolver and deadly bowie-knife. On the 
prairies of Kansas those hostile factions met, each 
side representing the fiery element of its section. 



350 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

They could not long dwell together in peace — it 
needed but a spark to ignite the whole mass. The 
spark was not long in coming. 

For a number of years the newspapers of the 
land were filled with accounts of fights, murders, 
ballot-box stuifings, and various other crimes that 
would disgrace the annals of the Apache or Co- 
manche Indians. Both parties in Kansas called 
conventions in order to frame constitutions for the 
embryo State. The j)i'o-slavery party held tlieir 
convention at Lecompton, framed a constitution, 
and submitted it to the people. Bands of armed 
men crossed over from Missouri, took possession of 
the polls, and would allow no one to vote unless he 
voted for the Lecompton constitution, Aviiich recog- 
nized the " divine institution " of slavery. When the 
free-state men saw that they had the whole State 
of Missouri to fight against and to vote against, they 
refused to recognize the election or have anything 
to do with it, and it of course received a large ma- 
jority of all the votes cast. In due time the bantam 
hatched at Lecompton, was, with a great flourish of 
trumpets, sent on to Washington, styled the Le- 
compton constitution, and purporting to be the 
work of the people of Kansas at the polls; when, in 
fact, not one-third of the people of Kansas voted on 
the day of election. The whole machinery of the 
election was in the hands of the pro-slavery party, 
and as long as pen, ink and paper held out, they 
were not wanting for votes to give the Lecompton 



THE DEMOCRACY OF THE STATE DIVIDED. 351 

constitution all the majority it needed. On its ar- 
rival at Washington it became the adopted child of 
President Buchanan and the Democratic party. 
Eealty to it became the shibboleth of the Demo- 
cratic party, and woe to the Democrat who had 
the manliness and courage to oppose that fraud — 
the most damnable that ever was sought to be im- 
posed on a free people b}^ a corrupt administration. 
When the bill to admit Kansas under the Lecomp- 
ton constitution was introduced in the Senate of 
the United States, then commenced the battle of 
the giants. The Senate at that time contained 
some of the greatest minds of the age. Such men 
as ScAvard of x^ew York, Sumner of Massachusetts, 
Douglas of Illinois, Hamlin of Maine, Broderick of 
California, and many others of national reputation, 
led that historic fight for freedom. Xor were there 
lacking talent and statesmanship to advocate the 
admission of Kansas under the Lecomj)ton consti- 
tution, for such men as Jefferson Davis, Hammond, 
Judah P. Benjamin, Toombs, Slidell, William M. 
Gwin of California, Mason of Virginia, and the 
whole South stood as its sponsors. Pierce were the 
debates that took place in the Senate. So powerful 
was the party lash of the Democratic party that but 
three of the Democratic Senators then in the Sen- 
ate had sufficient indej)endence to disobey its man- 
dates and vote for the extension of freedom. These 
men were immediately read out of the i)arty, and 
ostracized both socially and politically by the Pres- 



352 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

ident and the Democratic party at Wasliington. 
Their names Avill stand in the history of tlieir 
country as men that loved freedom more than 
party, and the good of their country above the 
smiles and plaudits of the slave power. Such were 
Stej)hen A. Douglas of Illinois, T>. C. Broderick of 
California, and Stuart of Michigan. 

The Lecompton constitution was defeated. The 
people of Kansas then called another convention, 
framed a free constitution and submitted it to the bona 
^(/6 people of Kansas for ratification in the summer of 
1858, and it Avas ratified by tlie lawful voters of 
Kansas by over five to one — yet the State was not 
admitted to the Union until January 29th, 1861. 
The slave j)0wer kept her out as long as possible. 
But to come back to events in California. 

I had to dwell somewhat on events taking place 
in other sections of the land, that my readers 
miglit have a better understanding of what took 
place in California. Our State election for Gover- 
nor, State officers and members of Congress occur- 
red in 1859, and the parties in the field contending 
for tlie mastery were tlie Republican party, that 
portion of tlie Democratic party sometimes called 
the Lecompton Democrats, and the anti-Lecompton 
or Broderick Democrats — men opposed to the ad- 
ministration because of the attitude Buchanan had 
taken on the Kansas question, and opposed to the 
President of the United States sending United 
States troops to Kansas for the suppression of free 



THE DEMOCRACY OF THE STATE DIVIDED. 353 

speech and free votes. The American or KnoAv- 
nothing party had gone out of existence — the 
nation had more on its hands than to wrangle over 
a few tlionsand foreign-born citizens and the Pope 
of Rome. In 1859, then, we had three xiarties in 
the tiehl. The Kepuhlican x^arty held its convention 
at Sacramento Citv, and nominated Leland Stan- 
ford — then a merchant of Sacramento — for Gover- 
nor, James E. Kennedy for Lieutenant-Governor, 
and Joseph McKibbin and E. D. Baker for Con- 
gress, with a full State ticket. 

The Lecompton or pro-slavery wing of the Demo- 
cratic party nominated Milton S. Latliam for Gov- 
ernor, and J. G. Downey of Los Angeles for Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. Latham I believe was a native 
of Ohio, but when a young man went to Alabama 
as a school teacher, and there learned to out Herod 
Herod in his devotion to the slave j)ower. J. G. 
Downey was, I believe, an Irishman by birth. J. 
0. Burch and O. L. Scott were nominated for Con- 
gress, Burch being a Missourian and Scott, I believe, 
a Virginian. 

The anti-Lecompton Democrats nominated Judge 
John Curry for Governor. Mr. Curry was said to be 
a Bepublican, had been a warm supporter of David 
C. Broderick, and a man of clean hands, politically 
speaking. John Conness was nominated for Lieu- 
tenant-Governor. Eor Congressmen Joseph Mc- 
Kibbin — one of the Bei^ublican nominees — re- 
ceived the nomination, and S. A. Booker, of San 



3r)4 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Joaquin county for second Congressman, Avith a 
full State ticket. 

Senator Erode rick came from Washington to 
organize liis anti-Lecompton party, and jmake a 
tight for his political life. In the Senate of the 
United States he was ostracized by the President 
and the Democratic party. He had expected to re- 
ward his friends with office, but Buchanan had 
treated his recommendations with contempt and 
himself with freezing coldness. Gwin, his col- 
league — the man who had but a short time previ- 
ous made such liumiliating concessions to him in 
order to be elected — was now tlie dispenser of tlie 
public patronage in California. After his humili- 
ating bargain with Broderick, Grwin returned to 
Washington, and President Buchanan treated him 
as a martyr to the cause. They both returned to 
California to take part in the State election. Both 
Broderick and Gwin stumped the State, each one 
accusing the other of political trickery and jobbery. 
Gwin's sj^eeches throughout the canvass were 
coupled with sneers, insults and personal abuse of 
Broderick. The pro-slavery or Democi-atic Legis- 
lature tliat was elected in 1858 was largely Lecomp- 
ton and friendly to Gwin. A previous Legislature 
had passed resolutions instructing Senator Brode- 
rick to vote Avith the Administration on the Le- 
compton issue. Senator Broderick was too much of 
an honest man and a lover of his country to do so. 
The Legislature in the spring of 1859 passed reso- 



THE DEMOCRACY OF THE STATE DIVIDED- 35o 

lutions condemning liini for the language used by 
liim in the Senate regarding the President's atti- 
tude on the Lecoinpton constitution. The whole 
tribe of Leconipton politicians j)oured out their 
vials of wrath on the head of Broderick as the 
author of all their woes. Broderick spoke in Weaver- 
ville during the campaign, and in his remarks 
said, when he started out to canvass the State, his 
intentions had been to discuss the political ques- 
tions of the day in a gentlemanly manner, but his 
oj)ponents would not allow him to do so. He re- 
marked that if Senator Gwin had any personal 
grievances to settle with him thev should be settled 
in some other way than on the stump. 

"If I have insulted Senator Gwin," said he, 
" sufficiently to induce him to go about the State 
and make a blackguard of himself, he should seek 
the remedy that is oj)en to all gentlemen who feel 
oifended." 

He liad to be got out of their way. There were 
plenty of duelists in their ranks who stood read}' to 
do the bidding of their party on the slightest provo- 
cation, or without any provocation at all. Senator 
Broderick, like Senator Eurguson, was a doomed 
man, and sooner or later they were bound to kill 
him. The whole host of the Southern politicians 
were on his track, and did everything they could 
to j)rovoke a fight, taunting him with cowardice, 
pusillanimity, and belittling him in every way that 
was in their power. They finally accomplished 



356 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

their end. Broderick fell by the bullet of David S. 
Terry, the man wliose life he had been instrumen- 
tal in saving when the vigilantes, in 1856, at San 
Erancisco, had him a prisoner at Eort Gunny Bags 
for the stabbing of Hopkins, the vigilance com- 
mittee policeman. How did David S. Terry re- 
ward Bi'oderick for his services and friendship on 
that memorable occasion^ Broderick was like 
unto the man, who, finding a serpent frozen and 
lifeless, warmed it to life in his bosom, and then 
for his recompense, it stung him to death. 

David 0. Broderick, the j>ec>j)le's friend, lies 
sleeping in Lone Mountain cemetery, beloved and 
respected, his memory enshrined in the hearts of 
his countrymen from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
A nation mourned his loss — lie died a martyr to 
his convictions. How was it with his slayer, David 
S. Terry '] Despised and shunned by a large y)oy- 
tion of his countrymen— a man of blood. His life 
in this State was one of turmoil and contention; at 
war with himself and everjijhing that stood in his 
way. In the evening of his life he met a violent 
death at the hands of David Xagle, a United States 
officer in the discharge of his duties. He died as he 
had lived, and went to his grave unhonored and un- 
wept. Those who knew him best say he had many 
good qualities to ofl'set his bad ones. Let the good 
ones live, the bad ones be buried in the grave of 
oblivion. 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1859- 357 



CHAPTER XL. 

The Political Campaign of 1859. 

A triangular fight. — California's representatives in Congress voting with 
the South. — Latham elected to succeed Broderick. — Mourning 
Broderick's death. — John G. Downey, Governor. 

During tlie canvass of 1859 the three j)arties put 
forth their utmost strength. The Republicans had 
able speakers in the field. E. D. Baker, then nomi- 
nee for Congress, was said to be the brightest orator 
that ever stumped the State; and that was saying a 
good deal, for whatever else California needed, she 
was not short of good speakers and politicians. 
Eor ten years California was the dumping-ground 
of disappointed politicians east of the Rocky Mount- 
ains. They came to California to recuperate their 
fortunes and enlighten the poor benighted Cali- 
fornia miners. Josejih McKibbin, the other nomi- 
nee on the Rei)ublican ticket, was a fair speaker 
and a member of Congress. Leland Stanford, the 
nominee for Governor, was a fair, average speaker, 
and stumped the lower counties for the ticket. The 
other State ofiicers had their fields of labor parceled 
out to them. 

Milton S. Latham, the Lecompton nominee for 



358 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Governor, was then considered the ablest Demo- 
cratic speaker of the State. John G. Downey, the 
nominee for Lieutenant-Governor, Avas from Los 
Ans^eles, and did liis work in the southern portion 
of the State. John 0. Burch, tlie Lecompton 
nominee for Congress, was a good speaker, and a 
lawyer by profession. He resided at Weaverville 
and practiced his jirofession, having tried his luck 
in the mines with but little success. Like the 
balance of the Southern politicians, he was a strong 
pro-slavery man. Being born in Missouri, where 
he lived until he came to California in 1850, he had 
naturally inherited his pro-slavery opinions — a man 
of good impulses, warm-hearted, and generous to a 
fault. Such a man was John C. Burch, a strong 
Democrat, a man who believed that the Demo- 
cratic party could do no wrong. I remember, in 
discussing j^olitics one day, I said to him : 

" Burch, if the Democratic party would go in for 
dissolving the Union, and call it a Democratic 
measure, you would go for it if you were elected." 
He replied, " I would not." He was elected, and 
when the nation's life, in 1861, seemed to hang by 
a slender thread — when State after State was with- 
drawing her Senators and Bej)resentatives from 
both houses of Congress and passing secession ordi- 
nances, Representative Burch, knowing full well 
that California could never be carried into the 
Southern confederacy, did all he could while at 
Washington to form a Pacific Bepublic. His at- 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1859. 359 

teinpt came to ntiught — California was true to her- 
self and loyal to the nation that gave her birlli. 
Scott, liis colleague, was also a man of Southern 
birth — I believe a A^irginian — and of fair abilities. 
He belonged to the Lecompton or chivalry wing of 
the party, and while in Congress voted with the 
secessionists and for Southern measures just as 
much as if he represented South Carolina or Miss- 
issippi in Congress, instead of the free and loyal 
State of California. John Conness, the anti-Le- 
compton candidate for Lieutenant-Governor, was an 
Irishman b}^ birth, and was from El Dorado county. 
He was a fair speaker, and canvassed the central 
and southern portions of the State. Samuel A. 
Booker of San Joaquin, the second Congressman, 
canvassed the southern counties. I know but little 
of him, as I never heard him address an audience, 
but he stood well in public esteem. 

The three parties warmed well to their work. 
Before the canvass had advanced far the Bepubli- 
cans were pouring hot shot into the Lecompton 
ranks, and into James Buchanan in particular, for 
his doings in the Kansas troubles, and for his un- 
just manner of treating the bona fide settlers of that 
territory by sending United States troojJS to dra- 
goon them into submission. The Bepublicans in 
the campaign were treated with a little more 
courtesy than had ever been shown them before in 
the State. Thej had carried ten States in the last 
Presidential election, and were increasing in Call- 



360 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

fornia. Their candidates and speakers were men of 
good standing, and well known in the State. The 
border-ruffian element * was learning the lesson 
that Amerians, when aroused, could giye as well as 
take hard knocks. In some precincts the Republi- 
can speakers were interrupted and insulted by the 
border ruffians as usual, but not to as great an ex- 
tent as in previous elections. Their attention was 
more taken up with the fight between the two 
wings of their own party. I verily believe that the 
pro-slavery wing, or the Gwin faction, would have 
much preferred Leland Stanford for Governor to 
John Curry. Anything to down David C. Brod- 
erick and his friends, was tlieir motto, and there 
was little love lost. The anti-Lecomptonites were 
as anxious to beat Gwin and his faction as the Le- 
comtonites were to beat the former. It was very 
amusing for Republicans to hear their old enemies 
abusing each other and calling each other pet names. 
Broderick's discourses on the stump were princi- 
pally relating to Gwin's humiliation and trickery, 
his broken promises and his treachery to Cali- 
fornia, the State that had honored him with a seat 
in the United States Senate. He scored Gwin on the 
Homestead bill, as being opposed to it, and accused 
him of being the paid agent of the Pacific Mail 
Steamshij) Company, that Avas then monoj)olizing tlie 
carrying trade and mail between New York and 
San Erancisco. Gwin would be introducing railroad 
bills in the Senate, but they were generally pigeon- 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1859. 361 

holed until he got ready to come back to his con- 
stituents in California. Then he would stick them 
in his coat-tail pockets to exhibit to his constituents, 
and try to make them believe that he was working 
for a railroad across the plains. A good many 
newspapers were uncharitable enough to say that 
the honorable Senator was all the time in the pay 
of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to kill all 
such railroad bills, and they made a great many 
people in California believe it was the truth. On 
the other hand Senator Gwin stigmatized Senator 
Broderick for not obeying the resolutions of the 
Legislature of California on the Lecompton con- 
stitution question, and Avith being a renegade from 
the Democratic party — that he had been read out 
of the party. 

It ap]3eared from the discussion during the can- 
vass that Milton S. Latham was somewhat mixed 
up in the previous Senatorial contest. It was as- 
serted at the time that he was willing to relinquish 
to Broderick all the apj)ointments, with the excep- 
tion of three or four that he had promised to some 
of his j)articular friends at San Erancisco, for 
Broderick's assistance in electing Latham to the 
Senate of the United States. It was said that 
Senator Furguson was the negotiator between 
Broderick and Latham, and that Furguson had the 
correspondence in the transaction. It was certainly 
believed at the time that this was the j)rincipal 
reason for the duel between Ceorge Pen Johnson 



o62 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

and Ferguson — that those letters might be had 
possession of by Latham and his friends, and which 
went to prove it. It was said that, after Eerguson 
was killed in the duel with Johnson, his private 
desk was broken oj)en and those letters aj^pertain- 
ing to the Senatorial bargain and sale were stolen 
therefrom. Latham denied the accusation on the 
stump. Eerguson was in his grave, and the papers 
relating to it were stolen from the desk of the dead 
Senator. And so stands the matter up to the 
present day. 

Sucli was the standing of political parties at the 
State election of 1859. The election occurred on 
the 7th day of September, and the cliivalry wing of 
the Democratic party came out triumphant as 
usual, electing their Avhole State ticket, Avith the 
two Congressmen — Burch and Scott. A few days 
after the election. Judge David S. Terry, one of the 
Supreme Judges of the State, resigned his seat on 
the bench, and challenged Senator Broderick for 
some words spoken at a breakfast-table, if I re- 
member correctlv. Broderick had made the remark 
that if Judge Terry had made such and such re- 
marks about him, he Avould now have to alter his 
opinion of Judge Terry. He had believed him to 
be the only honest man on the Supreme Bench, but 
he had now to alter his opinion. These words, or 
words to the same effect, were spoken three or 
four months before the challenge was sent to 
Broderick by Terry. Senator Broderick accepted 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OP 1S59. 363 

Terry's cliallenge, and fell mortally wounded, sur- 
viAdng but two or three days after the duel. His 
last and dying words were: 

" They have killed me because I opposed the ex- 
tension of slavery and a corrupt adminis ration!" 

Thus died Senator Broderick — one of earth's 
noblemen. California never realized the worth 
of the man until he lay dead in his cothn. Then 
a burst of indignation went forth from tlie press and 
people, from San Diego to Del ^orte, against his 
slayers. Three-fourths of the people of the State 
mourned him as a martyr to the people's cause. 
The eloquent Baker jn-onounced his funeral ora- 
tion, filled with eulogy. Eew in that vast assembly 
but looked on tlie dead Senator's cause as their 
own. His funeral was the largest and most impos- 
ing that had been seen uj) to that time in San 
Francisco. Not only in California did the X3eople 
do honor to his memory; but in the city of New 
York, when the news reached there of his untimely 
death, the funeral solemnities were repeated, and 
an immense throng of peojjle attended. The hearse 
was drawn by eight gray horses, and the oration was 
pronounced by John W. Dwindle. Seldom had 
Kew York City witnessed the like. The i)eople 
of California erected an imposing monument to his 
memory. But David C. Broderick needed no other 
monument than that he had erected in the hearts 
of his countrymen and in the history of California. 

By the death of Senator Broderick, his seat in 



364 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the United States Senate became vacant, and the 
question was in every loyal man's mind, who will 
be apx^ointed to fill it '^ The question was often 
asked: Will they aj)point one of the clique that was 
instrumental in his death 1 Many thought- they 
would; others thought they dare not face public 
oj)inion by so doing. H. P. Haun of Marysville 
was appointed to the vacancy. Judge Haun was a 
pro-slavery Democrat, but a man above reproach. 
He was appointed until the meeting of the Legis- 
lature, whose duty it was to fill the vacancy. If I 
remember correctly, Milton S. Latham, the Gover- 
nor-elect, was chosen by the Legislature. Latham 
had made a x^romise that if he was elected Gover- 
nor he would serve out his term, and not aspire to 
the Senate; but the love of the Senatorial toga was 
too great in him to keep his promise to the people. 
The Legislature elected him, and he resigned 
the Governorship for the more glittering prize, and 
John G. Downey became Governor of California. 



THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1860- 365 



CHAPTER XLI. 

The Presidential Campaign of i860. — The State Carried for 

Lincoln. 

The bitter feeling towards " Black Republicans." — Andy Lyons. — Abra- 
ham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. — The Charleston convention. 
— The various candidates for the Presidency. 

After the State election that took place in Sep- 
tember, 1859, and the death of Senator Broderick, 
the pro-slavery wing of the Democratic party 
seemed to be firmly seated in power. Broderick — 
the man of all others whom they feared and hated 
in California — was dead. The State Government 
was largely Democratic, also both branches of the 
Legislature. Senators Gwin and Haun, and Bep- 
resentatives Bnrch and Scott were pro-slavery 
Democrats, and as subservient to the slave power 
as if they represented Mississippi in Congress, in- 
stead of California. It looked as if our fair State of 
California was to be for a long time to come 
chained to the black car of slavery, instead of array- 
ing herself where she belonged — where God and 
nature intended her to be — beside her free sister 
States of the ]!!^orth and AYest. But it was not for 



366 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

mortals to penetrate the future. There are old 
sayings that it is always darkest just before day, and 
every dark cloud has its silver lining. Little we Re- 
publicans thought, in 1859, that the Democrats had 
gained their last victory for nearly a decade. Yet 
so it was. Politically, the horizon looked dark for 
them in California. The next year— that is, in 1860 
— the Presidential campaign was to be fought. 

The Republicans had as yet scarcely carried a 
county in the State, though San Erancisco and 
Sacramento counties had been making large Re- 
publican gains, and the balance of the State was 
gaining slowly. But the Republicans were plucky, 
and were not discouraged by repeated defeats. 
Many men at that time were genuine Republicans 
at heart, but did not have the moral courage to 
avow themselves as such. Por six years the chivalry 
party had tried to cast such odium and ridicule on 
the name "Republican," that many weak-kneed 
Republicans were kept from avowing themselves as 
such. They could not stand the ridicule, or the 
idea of being called a black Republican; and many 
others who had been Democrats all their lives, 
but were anti-slavery men, clung to the Democratic 
name, with the hope that something might turn up 
that would relieve them from the necessity of 
changing their party and their party affiliations. 

The Democratic party was the most thoroughly 
organized institution that ever existed in America. 
It punished its delinquents without mercy, and re- 



THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF I860. 367 

warded its friends with no unsparing hand. To its 
thorough organization it owes its many victories. 

Woe to tlie Democrat who kicked in the traces 
or scratched a ticket on election dav, even for a 
constable! So thorough was its organization that a 
Democrat was disgraced if he had the manliness to 
scratch a ticket and vote for a friend on the oppo- 
site ticket. An instance came under niv observa- 
tion in 1852, when J. W. Denver and R. G. Stuart 
were running for the State Senate — Denver on the 
Democratic and Stuart on the Whig ticket. Bob 
Stuart Avas a general favorite with the boys in 
Weaverville. There was an old man named Andy 
Lyons mining in one of the gulches at that time. 
He was a dved-in-the-wool Democrat, but friendlv 
to Stuart and very friendly to me. When election 
came on I got Uncle Andy, by a good deal of per- 
suasion, to vote for Stuart. After casting his vote, 
he turned to me and said: 

" This is the first Whig vote I ever cast, and it 
will be the last one while I live! " 

Eor ten years after that election Uncle Andy, 
Avhen he got "tight," would come around and give 
me a tongue-lashing for making him disgrace him- 
self by voting the Whig ticket. A naturalized 
citizen who voted anything but a Democratic ticket 
was considered an outlaw entirely. 

Erom the gubernatorial election in the fall of 
1859 until the Presidential election 1860, each 
party was laying its plans for the great struggle. 



868 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Early in June the Republicans called a convention 
to elect delegates to the National Convention thai 
was to nominate candidates for President and Vice- 
President of the United States. The convention 
met at Sacramento City and chose delegates to at- 
tend the Chicago Convention. The delegates were 
unpledged as to candidates, but it was generally 
understood that William H. Seward of New York 
was the first choice of the convention for President. 
A year or two previous Abraham Lincoln had 
made that memorable canvass of the State of Illi- 
nois against Stephen A. Douglas for the Senate of 
the United States. The State of Illinois had been 
Democratic nearly ever since its admission in 
the year 1818, and Stephen A. Douglas had been 
its senior Senator for a number of years and its 
political idol. Douglas was the principal mover 
and advocate of the repeal of the Missouri compro- 
mise, which act reopened the slavery question, and 
gave the agitators on both sides a good chance to 
get in their work on that much-vexed question of 
slavery. The anti-slavery men of Illinois pitted 
Abraham Lincoln against Stej)hen A. Douglas to 
canvass the State on the slavery question. Then 
commenced a war of giants, Douglas and Lincoln, 
for the Senatorship. Their speeches were nearly 
all published. 

Abraham Lincoln by that canvass became the 
property of the whole nation — his reputation be- 
came too great for the State of Illinois to monopo- 



THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF I860. 369 

lize him. Although he was beaten for the Senate, 
yet on taking the Avhole vote cast by the partizans 
of both Lincoln and Douglas, it was found that the 
popular vote was over five thousand greater for 
Lincoln's friends than for Douglas'; yet Douglas 
had a small majority on joint ballot, which elected 
him to the Senate. • 

A great many Kepublicans began to look on Abra- 
ham Lincoln as the coming man for the Republican 
standard-bearer in 1860. When the convention 
met at Chicago, Lincoln and Seward of Kew York 
Avere the two principal candidates before the con- 
vention. AVilliam A. Seward of New York had 
been all his life a free-soil Whig, and was then a 
Senator from Kew York. He was a man of a high 
order of talent, and was classed as a statesman with 
Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Douglas and other great 
men of the nation. But, like other great men, he 
had been a long time in public life, and had made 
many enemies, both in his own party and among 
his opponents in the Democratic party. Mr. 
Seward received a very respectable vote in the 
convention, but Abraham Lincoln received the 
nomination, with Hannibal Hamlin of Maine as 
Vice-President. Hamlin was at that time senior 
Senator from Maine. 

Tlie prosjiect for a Ilej)ublican victory in Novem- 
ber looked bright indeed. Premont, four years 
previous, had carried ten States for the Rej)ublican 
ticket, when the Rej)ublican party was less than 



370 PIONEEH DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

two years in existence, and had very little organi- 
zation as a i>^i'ty. It was now, in 1860, well 
organized and ready for tlie tight. Ontside of one 
or two of the Southern border States, the Rexmbli- 
can party had no existence in any of the Southern 
States — its whole strength lay in the free States. 
An abolitionist or ii liepublican was not allowed to 
live in a slave State up to that time; they were 
generall}' tarred and feathered and mobbed, and 
driven out of the State— treated worse than pirates. 
Woe to the man or woman who had the temerity 
to go into a slave State and say one word against the 
" divine institution " of slavery! They made short 
Avork of him or her. Such were the feelings of the 
Southern States towards the anti-slavery men of the 
North when Abraham Lincoln received the Ke- 
publican nomination at Chicago. 

The Democrats held their convention at Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, and there was a full delegation 
from every State in the Union. Erom the first day 
of the convention it was j)lain to be seen that 
there was going to be warm work before the con- 
vention ended. The Southern delegates would not 
be content with anything less than a complete 
recognition of slavery as a national institution, and 
would suifer no platform to be ado^^ted without it 
pledged the Democratic party, body and soul, to 
further tlie institution of slavery. In vain the 
Northern delegates pleaded with their Southern 
brethren that they could never go before the North- 



THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF I860. 371 

era people, with siicli a platform as tlie Southern 
delegates wished and insisted on adopting, with 
any possible chance of success. Finally the South- 
ern delegates had it pretty much their own way as 
to the xdatform. When the nomination Avas made, 
then came the fun. They adopted the two-thirds 
rule, and the fight commenced in earnest. Stephen 
A. Douglas of Illinois was the candidate of the 
Northern Democracy, or a large j)ortion of them, 
while Jefferson Davis of Mississij)j)i, and John 0. 
Breckenridge of Kentucky, were the two principal 
candidates of the Southern delegation. They voted 
for several days without result — it was said as many 
as sixty-four votes were taken, and that Benjamin 
E. Butler of Massachusetts voted in the conven- 
tion sixtv-four times for Jefferson Davis for Presi- 
dent. Finally the conve-ntion adjourned for, I be- 
lieve, four weeks, to meet again and see if they 
could do better. At their second meeting there was 
no more harmony than at the first. The Southern 
Democrats would have nothing short of a complete 
surrender of the North to the slave iJower. Eor 
forty years the slave power had ruled the nation — 
the North, for the sake of peace submitting until 
patience had ceased to be a virtue. By the Fugitive 
Slave Law they made every man in the North a 
slave catcher, and compelled the use of the North- 
ern prisons to confine men and women in for no 
other crime than that of wishing to be free. Several 
of the Northern States passed what were called 



372 PIONEKR DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

personal liberty bills, to offset the Eugitive Slave 
Act. When the Charleston Convention met after 
their adjournment, it was very plain to be seen that 
the convention would never agree on either a plat- 
form or a candidate. The Northern delegates dare 
not submit to the demands of the South — thev well 
knew that any further concession to the slave pow er 
would bring annihilation and defeat to their party 
in the N^orthern States. They had already lost ten 
States, with several others readj^ to folloAV. Many 
of the Southern delegates wanted, and insisted on 
the right to take their slaA^es into the free States, 
and keej) them there as slaves as long as they 
pleased. The Charleston Convention, after many 
vain attempts at reconciliation, finally s]Ait in 
twain, the Southern delegates Avithdrawing from 
the convention, and leaving the friends of Stephen 
A. Douglas and " Squatter Sovereignty " in pos- 
session. The convention then proceeded to the 
business of making a platform and nominating the 
candidates. Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois was 
nominated for President, with Herschell V. John- 
son of Georgia for Vice-President. Stex^hen A. 
Douglas was then Senator from tlie great State of 
Illinois — tlie man who had contested the Senator- 
ship with Abraham Lincoln two years previous — 
and was classed among the great statesmen of the 
nation — a peer of any man in the United States 
Senate. Johnson, outside of his State, was but little 
known. The seceders or Southern delegates met in 



THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1860- 378 

convention, framed and adopted a platform with 
slavery as its chief corner-stone, and nominated for 
President John 0. Breckenridge of Kentucky, then 
Vice-President under Buchanan. Joe Lane, Sena- 
tor from Oregon, was nominated Vice-President — 
the man who, during the canvass, was accused of 
spelling God with a little g. Lane was a man of 
very small calibre, and totally unfit for either the 
United States Senate or Vice-President of the 
nation. 



374 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

The Nashville Convention. 

The seeds of secession. — The poHtical parties in Cahfornia.— Rancorous 
denunciation. — The attack upon Charles Sumner. — Amusing scenes 
and incidents. — Awaiting the returns. 

There were, at the time of which I am writing, 
quite a body of men, both North and South, that 
deprecated and denounced the agitation of slavery 
both in Congress and out of it. Those in the 
Southern States had formerly been Whigs, and 
were attached to tlie Union. Of course there were 
many such in the Northern States. They called a 
convention of all conservative citizens, irrespective 
of their former party affiliations, to meet at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, if I remember correctly, and there 
to nominate candidates and make a platform that 
would be acceptable to all x^arts of the nation. The 
convention met in due time, and nominated John 
Bell of Tennessee for President, and Edward 
Everett of Massachusetts for Yice-President. 

John Bell had been Senator from Tennessee — 
elected as a Whig in Whig days, and was looked 
upon as a great and good man by all parties. The 



THE NASHVILLE CONVENTION. 375 

Union would have been safe in hisliands. Edward 
Everett was also a Whig, and was as highly re- 
spected as any man in the United States for his 
learning, statesmanship and legal ability. 

Such Avere the men that the conservatives of Loth 
sections of the nation put forth for the suffrages of 
the American people. In point of real ability and 
statesmanship and love of country, a better choice 
could not have been made tlian Bell and Everett. 
There were noAV in the field four sets of candidates 
for President — Lincoln and Hamlin, Republicans; 
Douglas and Johnson, popular sovereignty; Breck- 
enridge and Lane, pro-slavery or secessionist; Bell 
and Everett, Union or American party — the last, 
but not the least, so far as statesmanship and love of 
country was concerned. The Republican party was 
taunted with being a sectional x>arty, as it had no 
following except in the N^orth and a very few of the 
slave border States. The Douglas Democrats were 
in the same boat, so far as getting much of a vote in 
the slave-holding States was concerned. Brecken- 
ridge and Lane were tlie Southern candidates, and 
the South stood by them. 

Erom the davs of nullification, as advocated h\ J. 
C Calhoun and nipped in the bud by that old 
patriot, Andrew Jackson, there had been a class of 
Southern politicians that worked witli a zeal worthy 
of a better cause, to stir up a sectional strife and 
fire the Southern heart against the Xortli — and too 
well they succeeded. Eor OA'er thirtv vears tlic 



376 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

seeds of secession and rebellion were being sown, 
and in 1861 they harvested a full crop. During tlie 
canvass in llie Southern States llieir speakers and 
politicians advocated that, if Lincoln was elected, 
it was a just and good cause for secession, and ad- 
vised the people of the States to make themselves 
readv for that event. Too well did thev succeed in 
their treasonable designs. In the free States the 
principal fight was between Lincoln and Douglas 
— one the champion of free States and free men, the 
other the champion of " squatter sovereignty." 
The Bell and Everett party did not cut much of a 
figure, either North or South, although composed of 
some of the most conservative and best men in the 
nation. If I remember correctly, they did not 
elect one elector. Such was the standing of parties 
in the Presidential campaign of 1860. But to come 
back to parties in California. When the news of 
the nomination of Abraham Lincoln at Chicago 
Avas received, a good many Kej)ublicans were dis- 
appointed— tliey were looking for W. H. Seward 
of Kew York to be their standard-bearer. But 
they had made up their minds that, no matter wlio 
received tlie Chicago nomination, if he was a man 
capable and of good repute, they would give him a 
hearty support, and this they did. A Bej)ublican 
convention was duly called and electors appointed 
for the State, and some of the ablest men canvassed 
the State for the ticket. There was a more thorough 
canvass made by the Republicans than ever before 



THE NASHVILLE CONVENTION. 377 

in tbe State. Tlie other parties — that is, both wings 
of the Democratic party — had their tickets in the 
tiekl, each chiiniing they were the Simon-pure 
article, and each accusing the others of being bolters 
and renegades from the regular organization. 
The .Douglas wing had lost its head, D. C. Broderick, 
by the bullet of D. S. Terry. Others arose in his 
j)lace, but there were none to wear his mantle. They 
battled manfully for their principles, however, and 
made a glorious fight, coming out second best. 
The Lecompton wing had the old set at their back : 
the two United States Senators, two Congressmen — 
Burch and Scott — all the federal office-holders, be- 
sides the Governor and State officers, which were a 
small army within themselves. The Bell and 
Everett party cut but little figure. Twice before 
the chivalry had deceived the N^orthern men who 
belonged to the American party, but they could 
play that game no longer. Senators Gwin and 
Latham stumped the State, and every man that 
could talk on the stump, was taken from the Vir- 
ginia poor-house (as the San Prancisco custom-house 
was then called) and pressed into service. Their 
whole fight was made against the Bepublicans, as 
being negro worshippers, secessionists, abolitionists, 
negro stealers, and guilty of every crime known to 
our hiAvs, human or divine, and their candidate, 
Abraham Lincoln, was a monkey, a baboon and an 
illiterate flat-boatman. If Lincoln was elected, 
they argued, it would be sufficient cause for the 



378 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

South to secede. This was the tone of the oratory 
that was dealt out to us in 1860 by the Brecken- 
ridge wing of the innnaculate Bourbons. In this 
campaign they contined themsehes j)i'incipally to 
tongue abuse; the egg-and-niob tactics had proyen 
a complete failure, and they did not resort to them. 
The Douglas wing made their tight principally on 
the right of the inhabitants of a territory, when 
they come to yote on their Constitution, to yote 
slayery up or down as they saw j)roper. The lie- 
publicans made their cany ass on no further exten- 
sion of slayery, the corruption of the Democratic 
party, the suppression of free speech, and tlie 
tyranny of slaye power. It had been but a short 
time preyious that Charles Sumner had been 
stricken down in his seat, for some words spoken in. 
debate with the Senator from South Carolina 
on the floor of the Senate, by Preston Brooks, a 
Congressman from South Carolina, and a nephew 
of the Senator from that State. Sumner was quietly 
sitting in his seat writing, unaware of any danger, 
when he was approached from behind and stricken 
down, witlioiit a moment's notice, with a cane in 
the hands of Brooks, then a young man in the 
prime of life. Senator Sumner had to be carried 
from the Senate chamber, and it was seyeral months 
before he recoyered sutliciently to take his seat in 
the Senate, and it was said that he neyer fully re- 
covered from the assault. When the news of this 
assault was spread throughout the country, uniyer- 



THE NASHVILLE CONVENTION. 379 

sal condeimiation of the cowardly act was in every 
man's mouth, and it did more to consolidate the 
Korth than anything that had yet taken place. 
Anson P. Biirlingame, one of the Massachusetts 
Congressmen, challenged Brooks. At first Brooks 
accepted the challenge, and they were to fight in 
Canada, but Brooks backed out, giving his excuse 
that if he traveled to Canada through the free 
States, he was in danger of being mobbed. But 
Burliucfame and his friends sent Brooks word that 
they would guarantee him a safe passage through 
the free States and back from Canada, but Brooks 
failed to respond, and the duel did not come off. 
Well, to come back to the election in California. 

Each party put forth its full strength in the can- 
vass. The Bepublicans and the Douglas Demo- 
crats had the full power and the patronage of Bu- 
chanan's administration to work against. It looked 
as though the chivalry wing would come out ahead, 
as usual, in California; but this time they were 
doomed to disappointment. 

The election took place in November, and Abra- 
ham Lincoln carried the State by a small plurality, 
with Stephen A. Douglas second, and Brecken- 
ridge third in the fight. If I remember correctly, 
Lincoln led Douglas between two and three hun- 
dred votes, and Douglas led Breckenridge a few 
votes less than three hundred. Bell and Everett 
got some votes, but they were scattering. Eor 
several days — the vote was so close — it was im- 



S80 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

possible to tell wliicli party had carried the State. 
At one time Lincoln would be a few votes in the 
lead; then the next county heard from would give 
Douglas the lead; then Breckenridge stock would 
be looking up. 

It was amusinc; to witness some of the scenes and 
incidents that took ]>lace while the people were in 
doubt as to the result in tlie State. Our post- 
master — James O'Connor — was an old man and a 
very large one, a genuine son of tlie Emerald Isle, 
and " Breckenridge " to the backbone. The County 
Treasurer — Krutchnett — was a Dutchman and a 
Douglas Democrat, and worked hard among his 
friends for Douglas. I was standing in the door of 
the postoffice talking Avith O'Connor, when Krutch- 
nett hove in sight. News had just arrived in 
Weaverville that Douglas had carried the State. 
Krutchnett had been " beering up " j^retty freely, 
and coming across the street to where O'Connor and 
I were standing, commenced swinging his hat close 
to the old man's face, and shouting: 

" Hurrah for Meester Touglas! IMeester Touglas 
ees de fellow! Meester Touglas carries de Stadt of 
California! Meester Touglas shall pee de bresident!" 

The old man gave him one look, and then made 
his sj)eech, as he grabbed the little fellow: 

" Get out of here, you d — d beer-drinking Dutcli 
half-breed! Get out of here, or I'll break ivery 
bone in your Dutch carcass! " 

Suiting the action to tlie words, old Jimmy 



THE NASHVILLE CONVENTION. 381 

heaved the little Dutcliinan halfway across the 
street. 

" Lay there, yon little sx^alpeen of a Dutclnnan, 
until you larn to be a gintleman!" 

Krutclmett picked himself up, aud swearing 
vengeance against the Irish, and the old man in 
particular, started for his gim; but he didn't get 
back before I left. The old man remarked: 

" John, I don't mind you llepublicans, but them 
spalpeens of half-breeds — shure they're enuif to set 
a Dimocrat craz} !" 

In a few days reliable news came that Lincoln 
had carried the State by a small plurality. Then 
the old Republicans had somewhat of a jubilee — we 
got out the anvils and made them ring for a time. 
California was j^artly redeemed. We had one more 
battle to tight before the victory was complete. In 
a short time the news came from the East that Lin- 
coln Avas elected, and the reign of the slave j)Ower 
was forever ended. 



382 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XLIir. 

The Firing Upon Fort Sumter. — A Blaze of Patriotism. 

Efforts to end the rule of the Bourbons.— The seceding States. — The 
Confederate Government. — The inauguration of Lincohi. — Indigna- 
tion meetings. — The movement to form a Pacific Republic. — The 
call for volunteers. — The Knights of the Golden Circle. — Its objects. 
— The Douglas City Rifles held in readiness. 

After the election of Lincoln, the Kepublicans 
of California began to make preparations to free the 
State from the rule of tlie Bourbons. It became a 
national necessity to do so, for, as soon as the 
South was defeated at the ballot-box, she began to 
make preparations to appeal to the cartridge-box. 
South Carolina led off by passing an ordinance of 
secession, and withdrawing her Senators and Rep- 
resentatives from Congress. Others of the South- 
ern States followed, and James Buchanan — the 
President of the United States at that time —could 
find no law to prevent the dismemberment of this 
glorious Union, which he had sworn to defend and 
protect. But it was said that he did all he could 
covertly to forward the treasonable designs of the 
leaders of the secession movement. 

In December, 1860, when State after State 



THE FIRING UPON FORT SUMTER. 383 

« 

was witlidvawing' from the Union, and men 
whom the Government had educated— both in 
the army and nav}' — to fight its battles and de- 
fend it from its enemies, both foreign and 
domestic, were resigning their commissions and 
joining the enemies of the country which they 
had sworn to protect and defend, with an (dd im- 
becile (if no worse) in the Presidential chair, sur- 
rounded by traitors as his chief advisors, the 
country at the beginniug of 1861 was in a dei)lora- 
ble condition — dark indeed was the country's x^ros- 
l^ect. At that time every loyal American prayed 
for the 4tli of March to come and Abraham Lincoln 
in the Presidential chair. Rumors were circulated 
that Lincoln would never be allowed to take his 
seat; that he would be assassinated on his trip from 
his home to AVasliington. 

In tlie meantime the States that had seceded 
were arming and drilling troops at a rapid rate, and 
getting ready for an appeal to arms. The Govern- 
ment had but few soldiers, and they w^ere spread 
over tlie whole country. Seventy of tliem were 
stationed at Charleston, South Carolina, in charge 
of the United States forts and x^roperty tliere. The 
Star of the West, an unarmed steamer in tlie Gov- 
ernment emx)loy, while entering the harbor with 
provisions for the garrison of Port Sumter, was 
fired on by the rebel batteries, and turned back 
without accomx)lishing its mission. 

In the month of February, 1861, tlie delegates 



384 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

from the rebel States met at Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, and formed a government, calling it the Con- 
federate States of America, witJi Jefferson Davis, 
of Mississippi as President. With a flourish of 
trumpets the new-born nation was ushered into the 
world. The Confederacy then adopted the army 
of South Carolina that was encamped before the 
walls of Eort Sumter, with its bombastic com- 
mander. General P. G. T. Beauregard — a fiery 
Prench Creole from Louisiana. 

The 4th of March at last arrived, and with it 
came the nation's saviour, Abraliam Lincoln. As 
already stated, there were rumors of plans to as- 
sassinate the President-elect, and his friends thought 
it best for him to go to Washington in disguise. 
So, on the Ith day of March, 1861, Lincoln Avas in- 
augurated — the first President Avhom it had become 
necessary on inauguration to surround with the 
army of the United States, in order to j)rotect his 
person from the bullet or the dagger of the assassin. 
That grand old patriot and soldier, General Scott, 
had command at Washington that day, and 
well did he perform his duty. The inauguration 
l)assed off quietly. The loyal men and women 
of the nation could rejoice and congratulate 
each other on the happy event — they liad now 
a patriot and statesman at the liead of the nation, 
surrounded by a loyal cabinet. Men began to breath 
more easily, but nearly every department of the 
Government had its spies and traitors that had to 



THE FIRING UPON FORT SUMTER. 385 

be weeded out and dismissed from the public serv- 
ice. In the meantime, the so-called Sonthern 
Confederacy was arming and preparing for the 
conflict that soon was to drench the land in blood. 
In the month of April there were abont seven 
thousand rebel soldiers, under General Beauregard, 
besieging Eort Sumter, in Charleston harbor. The 
garrison of Tort Sumter numbered but seventy sol- 
diers, under the command of Major Anderson, a 
Kentuckian who remained true to his Government. 
On the 11th day of April General Beauregard sum- 
moned Eort Sumter to surrender, but Major Ander- 
son refused his modest request. General Beaure- 
gard then made a grandiloquent address to his 
rebels, something similar to the one which the 
great Napoleon made to his soldiers before the 
Battle of the Pyramids. He did not say that forty 
centuries looked down on them, but that the whole 
world was looking on them with surj)rise and ad- 
miration, and said the man who doubted the result 
must be far behind the times and bereft of reason. 
Poor, vainglorious Beauregard! It would have 
been better for him and the Southern people if he 
and they had taken Avarning from an old prophecy 
that is said to have been uttered many j^ears before 
Beauregard issued his grandiloquent address, and 
ran thus: 

Let. the Southern Palmetto 

Beware of the day, 
When the Northern Pine 

Comes in battle array ! 



386 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

The first sliot fired on Eort Siiinter, April 12, 
1861, gave birth to a new nation — not such a nation 
as the j)lotters at Montgomery had in contempla- 
tion, a nation founded on ]inman slavery; but a 
nation of free men! That shot Avasthe death-knell 
of slavery, and caused the proclamation of freedom 
throughout the land and to all the inhabitants 
thereof. It is a truism, that " man proposes, but 
God disposes." 

After a bombardment of thirty or forty hours, 
Eort Sumter fell, brave Anderson marching out 
his seventy men to the tune of " Yankee Doodle," 
and saluting their colors. AVhen the news spread 
that a United States fort had been captured by the 
rebels in arms, indignation meetings were held in 
nearly every town and city througliout the loyal 
States, recommending and demanding the Presi- 
dent to i)ut down rebellion and secession, and not 
to count the cost, and that the Union must be jjre- 
served. The country was one blaze of patriotism 
from Maine to California, and the sound of martial 
music was heard throughout the land. 

To come back to California. After the election 
of the President, the State was yet in the hands 
and keeping of the pro-slavery Democracy. With 
the South seceding and arming, and our State 
CTOvernment under control of Southern sympathiz- 
ers, the loyal men of California had to keep a sharp 
lookout lest the sympathizers should carry Califor- 
nia into the Southern Confederacy. 



THE FIRING ON FORT SUMTER. 887 

There was a small party in Wasliington, headed 
by our Democratic Senators and Eepresentatives, 
favorable to the establishment of a Pacific Eepub- 
lic. If I remember correctly, John 0. Bnrch — one 
of the members of Congress from California — pro- 
posed it, and prei^arations were being made in this 
State to carry it into effect. The leader of that 
movement little understood the sentiment of a large 
majorit}' of the people of California. As soon as 
the news arrived in California of the fall of 
Eort Sumter, one burst of indignation went forth 
from the loyal people of the State, from Del Korte 
to San Diego, sx^eaking in no uncertain tones, that 
the Union must and should be preserved. Through- 
out the length and breadth of the State the loyal 
people showed their colors — on flumes, miners' 
cabins, stores, dwellings and barns, and in men's 
and women's hats. And at every public place in 
the State was the starrv banner thrown to the 
breeze, and woe to him who dared insult it. After 
President Lincoln issued liis first proclamation for 
seventy-five thousand men to put down f he rebel- 
lion, many feared that John G. Downey, then 
Governor of the State, Avould fail to respond and 
furnish California's quota of troops, which I believe 
was some four regiments. But Governor Downey 
issued a call for volunteers, and in a short time had 
more men than were needed. Many. of the boys 
paid their own passage back to the States in order 
to take a hand in the affray. Everywhere the 



388 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

loyal sentiment was in the ascendant — on board 
steamers, on the stages, in the hotels, and the whole 
spirit of the country was changed as if by magic. 
Business men who had never taken any part in 
politics outside of voting, were now leading the 
masses, giving of their time and money, and their 
lives, if necessary, for the preservation of their 
countrv. As the Union sentiment arose, the rebel 
sentiment (that six months previous appeared to 
be in the ascendant in the State) became quite do- 
cile, and seemed to have taken a back-seat. Manv 
men thought it was but a lull in the storm. 

There was organized in Oalifoinia, about this 
time, a branch of the secret rebel organization 
known as the Knights of the Golden Circle, Avhich 
was said to have been tirst organized in Soutliern 
Indiana, and extended through the southern part 
of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. It was organized by 
Southern sympathizers in the border States, and 
had for its aims and objects the prevention of en- 
listment of soldiers for the Union armies, ihe deser- 
tion of Union soldiers, giving aid and assistance to 
Southern rebels in every form that they possibly 
could. This treasonable orgaAization had its 
branches in California, and, it was said, numbered 
thousands in its ranks. Many Union men thought 
— and it gave them a good deal of uneasiness — that 
in their secret meetings they Avere getting ready 
for trouble in the State, which in after years I 
learned was the truth. 



THE FIRING UPON FORT SUMTER. 389 

While living in Tombstone I became acquainted 
with a gentleman named Waterman, who was a 
Californian and a man of considerable influence in 
the central portion of the State at the time. He in- 
formed me that there was a certain Democratic State 
Senator then (in 1861) in the Senate who had al- 
ways worked and voted with tlie Breckenridge 
wing of the Democratic party, but had not yet 
committed himself to secession. He was a man of 
considerable influence, and the Knights of the 
Golden Circle were very anxious to get him to join 
their ranks, and a proposition was made to him that 
he should have a liigh command in their armv if 
he would lend his aid to tlieir cause, and told him 
how far their treason had gone. They informed 
him that on a certain day ten tliousand Knights of 
the Golden Circle were to assemble in and around 
San Francisco, and beseige the United States forts 
and arsenals. Albert Sidney Johnson Avas in com- 
in and at the time. It was told him that General 
Johnson was to deliver Fort Alcatraz up to them, 
and they were to declare the State out of the Union,' 
and join tlie Southern Confederacy. The Senator 
put them oft' for some time, but went immediately 
to one of the officers whom he knew he could trust, 
and laid their treason before him. Immediatelv 
there was sent to Washington their whole plan by 
a trusty messenger. When the dispatches arrived 
at Washington the President called a council and 
sent for General Sumner, who was at the head of 



390 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

liis division in the field, and dispatched him to Cal- 
ifornia to replace General Johnston. The whole 
thing Avas done secretly — no person knew, outside 
of the council of war, that General Sumner had 
been sent to California. On the steamer he was 
known to no person but the captain. Arriving in 
the harbor of San Erancisco, tlie steamer was stop- 
ped in front of Fort Alcatraz, a small boat put off 
from the steamer and landed the General at the 
fort, with orders from the President and Secretary 
of War to General Johnston, to turn over his com- 
mand to General Sumner. 

At that time I belonged to the State troops— the 
Douglas City Rifles, a company organized at 
Douglas City, Trinity county. The same express 
that brought the news of the arrival in California 
of General Sumner, also brougiit to the Douglas 
City Rifles orders to hold themselves in readiness 
to march at one hour's notice, with forty rounds of 
ball cartridges to the man, and, if we had any 
spare arms, not to leave them in the armories, and 
to take our arms home with us. Tlie first order 
there was no occasion for, as there was i)lenty of 
Union boys ready and willing to use them. The 
second part of the order was strictly enforced. 
Every regiment and company throughout the State 
received the same orders. General Johnston, on 
being relieved of his command, started overland by 
the southern route, and, arriving in the Confeder- 
acy, was given command of the rebel armies of the 



THE FIRING UPON FORT SUMTER- 391 

Southwest, and was killed in the second day's fight 
at the battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing. 

Thus was our State saved from bloodshed and 
the horrors of civil war by the prompt and decisive 
action of the President and his advisors. General 
Sumner remained in command until the danger 
was passed and a loyal man was put in command. 
The Democratic Senator a short time after was ap- 
pointed to a foreign mission by President Lincoln. 
It was said that the third day after General 
Johnston was relieved was the day aj)pointed for 
the plotters to carry out their treason. 



o92 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

The Political Campaign of i86i. 

The three parties.- — The State Convention.- — The candidates. — Union or 
secession. — The State carried by the Republicans. — Governor Stan- 
ford. — The Legislature adjourns to San Francisco on account of the 
flood.—" Old Secesh " and the " Abolishiners." 

I stated in my last letter that the State Govern- 
ment was in the hands of the rebel wing of the 
Democratic party. It was the wish of every true 
American, whether native-born or naturalized, to 
see California in the hands of men of undisputed 
loyalty. As the time drew near for that election in 
September, 1861, the Republicans did all in their 
power to concentrate the loyal element into one 
party, and have but one convention; but the Douglas 
or loyal wing of the Democratic party came so near 
carrying the State at the Presidential election one 
year previous, that their leaders imagined their 
chances were equally as good as the chances of the 
Republicans to win tlie State. So there were again 
three parties in the field. 

The Republicans called a convention to nominate 
a State ticket and two Congressmen. The State 
was not yet divided into Congressional districts. 



THE POTITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1S61. 398 

The Rejiublican Convention met at Sacramento 
in June, 1861, assembling at Rev. Mr. Benton's 
church on N^inth street. I believe every county in 
the State was represented, and the Republicans 
were full}' determined to have the State Govern- 
ment in the hands of loyal men. Leland Stanford, 
a merchant of Sacramento, had been their standard- 
bearer for two years before, and had made a good 
canvass and a good run, although defeated. He was 
a man of excellent reputation, and the convention 
nominated him on the first ballot. Eor Lieutenant- 
Governor, John E. Chillis of Trinity county, re- 
ceived the nomination. For Congress, A. A. Sar- 
gent of Nevada county, and T. G. Phelps of San 
Mateo county, were nominated, and the Avhole 
State ticket was composed of good and true men. 
The convention had done its duty faithfully and 
well; it now remained for the people at the polls to 
ratify the work of the convention. 

The Douglas Democrats called a convention, and 
put a full State and Congressional ticket in the 
field, headed by John Conness of El Dorado 
county, for Governor. John Conness was an Irish- 
man by birth, and raised in the State of New York 
from early boyhood. He was a merchant, doing 
business at Georgetown, El Dorado county. He 
had been a warm supporter of the late lamented 
Broderick, and, in fact, migiit be considered the 
leader of that party in the State. He Avas sound to 
the core on the Union question, and so were nine- 



394 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

tenths of his followers. The balance of the ticket 
was made up of good and loyal men. 

The secession or Breckenridge wing of the Demo- 
cratic party held its convention, and nominated for 
Governor John R. McConnell, of Nevada county, 
with a fall State ticket and the two Congressmen. 
If I remember correctly, every man nominated on 
that ticket was said to be a secessionist. 

The issue of Union or secession was plainlj-^ be- 
fore the voters of California — the lines were drawn, 
and the fight Avas now at the ballot-box, and we did 
not know how soon it Avould be appealed to the 
cartridge-box. As soon as tlie three tickets were 
completed and before the peoj^le for their support, 
each party put its best speakers in the field. The 
Republicans now had the advantage over their op- 
ponents — the patronage of the Federal officers was 
with them, while the McConnell or secessionist 
wing had the State officers to their aid, and most of 
the postoffices throughout the State. President 
Lincoln had as yet removed but few of the post- 
masters, as he had more important business on 
hand about this time, and the Republicans had no 
Senators or members of Congress at Washington to 
look after such matters. Lincoln was decidedlv 
opposed to removing, and made it one of the j)rin- 
cipal points of his administration not to remove any 
loyal man from office on account of his former 
political affiliations. 

The Douglas Democrats had to make their fight 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1861. 395 

without the «assistance of any " public pap," either 
State or National. They canvassed the State well, 
and deserved better success for their pluck and 
energy. Their speakers from the stump denounced 
secession and treason, while they gave the Repub- 
licans a dressing down for their interference with 
slavery in the Territories, and for electing what they 
called a " sectional President." The canvass waxed 
warm before its close; yet it was conducted on very 
fair tactics — all the former slang and vilification 
that was hurled at the Republican party had now 
ceased. The fact of the case was that men would 
not stand any more such foolishness, and the State 
stood, as it were, on a volcano which the slightest 
spark might ignite. Public speakers were very 
cautions in their utterances from the stump. The 
secession wing did not make much of a canvass in 
the northern portion of tlie State, outside of Sonoma 
and Mendocino, but in the central and southern 
portions of the State they got in their work. The 
other two parties made a thorough canvass of the 
whole State. San Prancisco and Sacramento were 
Republican — the old Sacramento Union, then under 
the editorial management of Anthony & Co., was 
the leading Union paper in the State, and wielded 
a powerful influence with the people — you could 
not go into a miner's cabin or scarcely a farmhouse 
in the State but what you found the Union. As 
soon as the first shot was fired at Port Sumter, old 
man Anthony ran up the stars and stripes, and 



f396 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

kept them flying at the mast-head, and his paper 
did noble work for the Union during the war. 

The election came oif in September. The Repub- 
licans carried the State, electing Leland Stanford 
Governor, John F. Chillis, Lieutenant-Governor, 
with both Sargent and Phelps to Congress, and a 
full State ticket. Neither of the three parties had 
anything like a majority in either house of the 
Legislature, but the Republicans had more mem- 
bers than either of the others, and one thing the 
loyal people had to congratulate themselves on was 
the fact that a majority of the members-elect of 
both Houses were sound on the Union, No matter 
how much the Kepublicans and Douglas Democrats 
diiiered on minor questions, they were together 
when the Union and their country was at stake. 
Leland Stanford and the Republican ticket was 
elected by rather a larger plurality than had been 
given Lincoln one year previous. John Conness, 
the Douglas Democrat, was second best, and John 
R. Mc Council, secessionist and rebel, in the rear. 
It was a day of rejoicing to the loyal men of the 
State. All before was uncertainty and doubt; but 
election showed clearly where the people of Cali- 
fornia stood. They proclaimed in no uncertain 
tones at the ballot-box, that the Union must and 
should be preserved. 

The Legislature that was elected in 1861 met at 
Sacramento, but had to adjourn to San Francisco 
on account of high water. 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1861. 397 

The winter of 1861-2 was the most severe 
winter that California had experienced since its 
settlement by Americans. Everywhere it rained 
or snowed; flood after flood folloAved each other in 
qnick succession; the Sacramento Kiver was one 
vast sheet of water fr(mi mountain to mountain. 
During one of its highest stages I was a passenger 
on the old steamer " Gem," from Sacramento to 
Red Bhitf. The only way the i)il<>t could tell 
where the channel of the river was, was by the 
Cottonwood trees on each side of the river. The 
boat had to stop several times and take men out of 
the tops of trees and off the roofs of houses. In our 
trij) up the river we met j)rox)erty of ever}^ descrip- 
tion floating down — dead horses and cattle, sheep, 
hogs, houses, haystacks, household furniture, and 
everything imaginable was on its way for the 
ocean. Arriving at Ked Bluff, there Avas water 
everywhere as far as the eye could reach, and Avhat 
few bridges there had been in the country were all 
swex^t away. I managed to get to Cottonwood, and 
had to lav over for a week before anv of the streams 
between there and Hav Fork Yallev were fordable. 

During that trip I was the cause of making my 
old and esteemed friend, Ben Blockburg — now of 
Blocksburg — take a cold and unpleasant ride one 
night. It happened in this way: 

There was an old fellow living between Kelly's 
and Grave's, on Dry Creek and the Cole Fork of 
Cottonwood — I have forgotten his name, but he 



898 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

was known in that region as " Old Secesli." Tlie 
old fellow frequently kept lodgers, as nearly every 
person had to do that lived on any of the public 
roads or trails of the day. On my trip to Sacra- 
mento, about a month previous, I stopped over 
night at the Cole Eork of Cottonwood — a man 
named Cole kept the house. There I met " Old 
Secesh" for the first time. He was an old Mis- 
sourian, would weigh two hundred and seventy-five 
or three hundred pounds, and chock-full of seces- 
sionism. Cole informed me about the old fellow, 
and then introduced me to him. The Avar was then 
the theme of all conversation, and it was soon in- 
troduced. " Old Secesh " and myself went at it 
pretty strong. I got the old fellow fighting mad 
several times, and finall}' he said: 

'' You must be one of them dog-goned abolish- 
iners that was always running off our niggers in 
Missouri! Dog-gon yer skin! I kin whip ycr in a 
minnit!" 

Then I would let up on the old fellow until I 
would get him in a good humor, but in a little 
while would have him on his muscle again. So we 
put in the evening, much to the amusement of the 
crowd, and when it was bed-time I asked the old 
fellow, with the remainder of the crowd, up to take 
a drink. Keaching him my hand, I said: 

" Let Abe and Jeff fight it out there — it will not 
do you and me any good to fight over it here." 

" Old Secesh " looked fight, and then said: 



THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 18()1. 399 

" I'll be dog-goned if I'll drink with a Lincoln 
abolishener, if it saved my dog-goned life." 

I told him in about a month from that time I 
would be back that way, and, with his permission, 
I would stop at his house over night, and we would 
have the argument out. The old fellow did not say 
yes or no. I was delayed below longer than I had 
expected, and did not get back for six weeks. In 
the meantime, my friend " Block " was on his way 
from Red Blutf to Hay Eork, where he was then in 
the mercantile business. ''Block" was then a 
bachelor, and some thirty years younger than he is 
now. " Old Secesh " had a young lady for a 
daughter, and "Block" wanted to make the family's 
acquaintance, more especially that of the young- 
lady. " Block " left Cole's, on the Cottonwood, and 
timed himself so as to reach " Old Secesh's " about 
sundown or dark. When he got there he found a 
boy chojjping wood at the door. (I will here re- 
mark, and I hope my friend " Block " will not be 
offended at it, that at that time we looked somewhat 
alike — about the same hight and weight and com- 
plexion, so that a description of one of us would 
answer for both). Well, " Block " rode up to the 
boy and said: 

"Good evening! Is your father at honied " The 
boy eyed him from head to foot, and after a minute 
said: 

" No, he ain't." 

" Block " said he wanted to stay all night — could 



400 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

he do so'? The" boy took another look at him and 
said : 

" I know you." 

" Well," " Block" said, " who am IV 

" You live at Hay Eork Yalley; your name's 
John Oarr, 'nd you told pap you was a abolishener, 
'nd you can't stay hyer, dog-gon yer." 

" Block " told the boy his name, and added that 
he was not an abolishener, but a good Democrat; 
and wanted to see his mother. The boy called: 

"Marmlcome hyar!" The old lady made her 
appearance at the door, smoking a corn-cob pipe. 
"Mam, this is that abolishener, Oarr, from Hay 
Fork, and wants to stay all night." 

" Stranger," said the old lady, " this is a mighty 
unhealthy place for an abolishener to stay at. I 
reckon you better move on." She would listen to 
no explanations, and there was nothing left for 
" Block " but to ride on in the dark and cold to 
Kelly and Graves', four miles further on, with no 
prospect of making the acquaintance of the young 
lady from Pike. " Block " twits me very often up 
to this day about being the cause of his not getting 
a night's lodging, and losing the chance of making 
the acquaintance of the " gal from Pike." 



UNION OF DOUGLAS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. 401 



CHAPTER XLV. 
The Union of the Douglas Democrats and the Republicans. 

The rejoicings of loyal men. — '' Union for the sake of union." — The 
political history of John P. Jones. — The defeat of George C. Gorham. 
— John Conness elected U. S. Senator. — William M. Gwin, "the 
Duke of SonoBa." 

In September, 1861, Leland Stanford and the 
whole Rej)ubl]*can State ticket, with the two Con- 
gressmen, A. A. Sargent and Timothy Guy Phelps, 
was elected. The vote of the State Avas nearly 
equally diyided, the Ilej)ublicans haying a few 
hundred plurality oyer Conness, the Douglas Demo- 
crat, and Conness a few hundred plurality oyer 
John R. McConnell, the " secesh " candidate. 
Neither of the three parties had a majority in the 
Legislature, but Kex^ublicans and Douglas Demo- 
crats, by uniting their forces, had a fair working 
majority. The Legislature met at Sacramento and 
adjourned to San Prancisco, on account of Sacra- 
mento being oyerflowed. The loyal men of the 
State now felt as if their country was safe — Abra- 
ham Lincoln in the Presidential chair, and Leland 
Stanford, an able and loyal man, Goyernor of the 



402 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

State. What a change one year had made ! One 
year previous, all was doubt and fear. Ko man 
could tell what the next turn in the political wheel 
might briiig fortli; but now all Union men, whether 
Republicans or Democrats, could see their country 
and State Avas in the hands and keeping of patriots 
and statesmen. The Union men in the Legislature 
wisely came to the conclusion, with all other Union 
men of the State, that there were but two parties in 
the State — one for the Union, with an undivided 
country, and the stars and stripes for its flag, and 
freedom for its motto; the other party advocated 
treason, disunion, slavery and secession. Thus 
stood the parties Avhen that memorable Legislature 
of 1862 met at San Erancisco. 

It now became necessarv to unite all Union men 
in the State in one great National party. " Union 
for the sake of Union," Avas the motto. Before the 
Legislature adjourned the Rej^ublicans and Union 
Democrats met in caucus, each party agreeing to 
drop the names they had so long done battle under, 
and be known as the Union party of California. 
The loyal people of the State heartily endorsed the 
doings of their rej)resentatives, and for several years 
there were but the two parties — Union and seces- 
sion. It was after the war that the Kej)ublican 
party resumed its original name, and our Demo- 
cratic brethren got over thinking it a disgrace to 
be called a black Republican. 

It was in the election of 1861 that J. P. Jones, 



UNION OF DOUGLAS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. 403 

now Senator from Nevjida, came to the surface. 
Jones had been knocking about Weaverville since 
1851 or 1852 — somewhat like Andy Johnson, 
swinging around the circle — and had been twice 
elected Justice of the Peace for Weaver town- 
ship by the Democrats ; had been a clerk and 
a deputy sheriif, and private secretary to I. G. 
Messic, a caj)tain of the troops sent to put down 
the Indians in the Indian war of 1858. This was 
waged by the settlers of Trinity and Humboldt 
counties, against tlie hostile Indians then laying 
waste witli fire and murder the outside settlements 
of both counties. Jones received the nomination on 
the Democratic ticket in 1861 for Sheriif of Trinity. 
The Democrats were united on the county ticket. 
John A. Watson, so well known in Humboldt 
county, and for many years County Clerk of this 
county, was the Republican nominee against 
Jones. Jones was elected by a small majority, and 
served out his term. The sheriff's, previous to 
1862, was the leading office in the mining counties. 
He had the collecting of the foreign mining license. 
The law was very deficient, and it was an easy 
matter to swindle the State — it seemed to have 
been enacted for that purj)ose. Whether any of 
our sheriffs ever took advantage of it I am unable 
to say, but it was an office much sought after. 
Cliinamen's testimony was not taken for much, and 
they were the only ones who had to pay the license. 
The Legislature of 1862 divided the office, and made 



404 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the collector of foreign miners' license a separate 
office. Then the collector's office was the one 
sought after. Men frequently swapped their votes 
for President of the United States for that of the 
Sheriff's office for their friends. 

The next election occurred in 1863. As before 
stated, the Legislature of 1862, or the Union mem- 
bers thereof, before adjournment, held several 
Union meetings, dropping their old names and 
adopting that of the Union party of California. 
Under the name of the Union party the conven- 
tions of 1863 Avere called. John P. Jones up to 
that time had been a Democrat, but a Union 
Democrat, and was nominated for State Senator for 
the counties of Trinity and Shasta. He was little 
known outside of Trinity county, and the people 
of Trinity knew little of his ability. He stum]3ed 
both counties, and proved himself to be among the 
best orators of the State. He was elected to the 
Senate by a large majority in both counties, and 
served with distinction in that body. In 1867 he 
received the nomination for Lieutenant-Governor 
on the Republican ticket, with Greorge 0. Gorham 
for Governor, and they both met a disastrous de- 
feat, H. H. Haight carrying the State. Jones being 
soon after appointed superintendent of one of the 
large mines in Kevada, went to that State to re- 
side, and in a few years was elected United States 
Senator, which position he still holds. 

A few words about the defeat of George 0. Gorham 



UNION OF DOUGLAS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. 405 

for Governor. During the war, and for some time 
after, a nomination on the Union ticket was equiv- 
alent to an election — the State was overwhelm- 
ingly Union. Then the spoilsmen and political 
sharks began their manipulation. Eor some time 
previous to the State Convention of 1867, tliere 
were two factions in the party, commonly known 
as "the long-hairs " and "the short-hairs." The 
" long-hairs " were mostly composed of the old-line 
Re]3ublicans, and their favorite candidate for Gov- 
ernor was John Bidwell of Butte county. He was 
then a member of Congress, and considered a good 
man. The " short-hairs " were generally Douglas 
Democrats, or the free-and-easy portion of them, 
with the same class of Rejmblicans, and their 
strength lay in San Francisco and Sacramento. 
Their champion was George C. Gorham. Gorham 
had been private secretary to Governor Low, and 
was considered one of the best politicians and wire- 
pullers in the State. He and J. P. Jones made a 
full team when pulling together for the same end, 
which they were now doing. John Bidwell was a 
different man from Gorham. He was above wire- 
pulling and political trickery, and a firm believer 
in the American principle that the office ought to 
seek the man, instead of the man seeking the office. 
George C. Gorham was a j)olitician in every sense 
of the word, and believed that everything was fair in 
politics. I fully believe that three-fourths of the 
Union party of the State were Bidwell men, and 



406 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the delegates went to the coiiAention as such, but 
some of them were captured by Gorham — a suffici- 
ent number to give Gorham and Jones the nomina- 
tions for Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. This 
was the first split that had taken place in the 
Union party since its organization. The dissat- 
isfied called a convention at San Francisco, and 
nominated Caleb T. Eay for Governor. He did 
not make much of a run, but ,got a few thousand 
votes -enough to elect the Democratic GoAcrnor. 
H. H. Haight, the Democratic nominee, had been 
one of the early Ilepublicans of the State, and, if I 
remember correctly, the first Secretary of the Re- 
publican State Central Committee, and was an 
active member of tlie party up to the time that 
President Lincoln issued his emancipation j)i"ocla- 
mation. It was said tliat Mr. Haight \s mother-in- 
law owned several slaves in Missouri at the time 
the President issued the proclamation, and Haight 
did not endorse it, but turned Democrat. Gover- 
nor Haight proved himself to be an honest man and 
a man of a good deal of ability, and made a good 
Governor for California. G. C. Gorham was, after 
his defeat, elected Secretary of the United States 
Senate at Washington. John P. Jones went to 
Nevada, and was elected to the United States Sen- 
ate. Keither of them figured in California politics 
after their defeat in 1867 — they got a big political 
" disgust on, " and left the State. 

But, to come back to 1862. The Legislature that 



UNION OF DOUGLAS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. 407 

Avas elected that year had a vacancy to fill in the 
United States Senate, Gwin's term having expired 
or would expire before another Legislature would 
assemble. There were several aspirants for the 
office, but John Conness of El Dorado county 
seemed to have the inside track. He had made a 
gallant tight for his party and the Union in 1861, 
when Leland Stanford was elected Governor, and 
had used his influence in bringing all Union men 
together and uniting them under one political ban- 
ner, and the loyal peojile of the State had every 
confidence in his patriotism and his honesty. He 
was nominated in caucus, and elected to succeed 
William M. Gwin. G^vin, after his term exx^ired, 
went South, but the rebels had no use for him, and 
he shortly after migrated to Mexico, to help Maxi- 
milian establish an empire in our sister Kexniblic. 
It was said that Maximilian created him ''Duke 
of Sonora," but he did not wear his honors long. 
His master, the Emperor, was shot by the Mexicans, 
and Gwin left the country in disgust and came back 
to California minus the dukedom. The old gentle- 
man died a few years ago. Few men in the State 
had the j)olitical experience of Mr. Gwin. Coming 
here before California was a State, he took a promi- 
nent part in the convention that formed the State 
Constitution, and was one of the leading members of 
the convention. He had been in Congress from 
the State of Mississippi, and, like a large number 
of Southern politicians, he came to California for 



408 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the purpose of receiving office. The United States 
Senate was his ambition, and he succeeded in ob- 
taining the prize, he and Jolm C. Ereniont being 
elected California's first Senators, in the fall of 1849, 
the first session of the Legislature being held at 
San Jose. Eor over ten years he was the most con- 
spicuous figure in California politics, and generally 
at the top of the ladder. The part he took in the 
killing of Senator Broderick, in the Terry and 
Broderick duel, killed him politically in California. 



A family's move to HUMBOLDT. 409 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

A Family's Move to Humboldt, 

Packing babies in boxes by pack-train. — Eureka as it was in 1866 com- 
pared with Eureka in 1890. 

In the year 1866 I made up my mind to 
change my place of residence. Eor years I haci 
been thinking of making Humboklt county my 
j)ennanent home. In the fall of that year I partly 
sold out ni}^ property, and got ready for atrip across 
the mountains to Humboldt. It was no small 
undertaking at that time, as everything had to be 
packed on mules, and we had six children, only 
two of whom were old enough to be able to ride. 
The other four had to be carried in arms, or 
packed in boxes on mules. I employed Henry 
Allen of Hyampom, who owned a pack-train, to 
take my family and goods from Hay Pork Valley 
to H} desville, in Humboldt county. After making 
all necessary arrangements, such as making boxes 
in which to carry the babies, and putting up packs 
and lunches for use on the road, we got started. 
We intended to reach Allen's ranch at Hyampom 
the first day out, and there remain over night, but 



410 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

we were late in getting started, and did not reach 
that point until long after dark. 

^N^ext day we got an earlier start, and crossed the 
South Fork Mountain and down to Pilot Creek, 
and camped on the mountain between Pilot Creek 
and Mad River. The Indian war had just closed, 
and the troops were disbanded, and there were said 
to be some hostile bands of Indians at large in the 
mountains. Just before dark we heard several 
shots tired down on Mad River that somewhat 
alarmed us, not knowing but they were fired by 
Indians. I afterwards learned that these shots 
were fired by a j)arty of hunters. The next day we 
made the head of Yager Creek, the first settlement 
we reached in Humboldt county. Kext day we 
reached Hydesville all right. The children stood 
the trip in their boxes very well. My destination 
was Eureka. 

After resting at Hydesville for one day we started 
for Eureka, hiring a man with an old spring wagon 
to take us there. It was evening when y^e arrived 
at that place. 

The afternoon before we got to Eureka, this side 
of Table Bluif, one of those cold fogs came up that 
go right through one and chill him through, no 
matter how much clothing he may have on. Com- 
ing from Hay Pork Valley, where we had clear 
skies and warm, beautiful weather, we were as 
homesick a crowd as ever made their appearance 
in Eureka. 



EUREKA AS IT WAS IN 1866. 411 

Eureka as I found it in the year 1866, twenty- 
four years ago, was but a small place, situated on 
the south side of Humboldt Bay, and principally 
built on the water front. First street was the prin- 
cipal street of the town. Eureka for several } ears 
after did not arrive at the dignity of a city. 

The town was governed by a Board of Town 
Trustees, five in number. The j) residing officer was 
called the President »of the Board, and was 
selected out of the Board at their first meet^ 
ing after their election. The Clerk of the Board 
was also one of the Board, elected by the Board 
at the same time as the President. The fol- 
lowing named gentlemen composed the town gover- 
ment in 1866: R. W. Brett, President of the Board, 
and James M. Cox, John Keleher, James M. 
Short and Allan McKav as Town Trustees. Allan 
McKav was Town Clerk. The Citv Marshal was 
David Fairfield; Assessor, N. Bullock; Treasurer, 
T. H. Eoss; City Attorney, James Hanna. Only 
one of that Board is now living — James M. Short. 
The other members of the Board of 1866 have paid 
the debt of nature. The town's taxable j^ropert}^ 
amounted to about five hundred thousand dollars. 
There were about two miles of graded streets in the 
city limits. The j)rincipal mercantile houses were 
on Eirst street, viz: Janssen &> Co., P. H. Byan, 
Thomas Walsh, L. C. Smith & Co., Rohner & 
EUery, W. J. Sweasey and Heney Bros. M. H. 
Baldwin was in the harness and saddlery business. 



412 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Jolin Pollard kept a slioe-sliox); AYeck & Short a 
drug-store. Waller also kej)t a drug-store. The 
postoffice Avas also on Eirst street, with Charles 
Heney as postmaster. 0. E. Bigelow ran a black- 
smitli's shop. There were two hotels, both on 
Eirst street — the old Liek House, recently pulled 
down, then kej)t by Tom Kelly, and the Kuss 
House, kept by E. Bulkeley. 

Eureka supported at that time two doctors — Dr. 
Barber and Dr. Clark ; and six lawyers — James 
Hanna, J. J. DeHaven, Judge Havens, Walter S. 
Brock, Charles Westmoreland and A. C. Lawrence. 
S. M. Buck came back from Washoe in 1869. Dr. 
O. J. Gates, dentist, used to pay Eureka a flying 
visit occasionally. 

Eureka had at that time four saw-mills running. 
John Vance's, where it now stands ; D. B. Jones 
& Co's small mill and a large one on the Island, 
and Dolbeer & Carson's mill. Dolbeer & Carson's 
old mill was burned in 1880, and a larger and 
much improved mill was built in its place. 

Second street was but little built upon. On 
the corner of E and Second streets the previ- 
ous summer the Masons and Odd Eellows had 
built a two-story building, the largest building 
then in town. Both these orders occupied the 
ui)per story for lodge-rooms. Ben Eeigenbaum oc- 
cupied the lower story with a general merchandise 
store. There were two small buildings between 
the corner of E and G streets. That corner Avas 



EUREKA AS IT WAS IN 1866. 413 

occupied hy an old building wliich was used as a 
boarding-bouse for Jobn Yance's mill hands. It 
was pulled down by Mr. Vance when he built the 
Vance House. From the corner of Second and G, 
on both sides of the street, were principally dwell- 
ing-houses as far as the old court-house. The 
Humboldt Times occupied the southwest corner of 
E and Second streets. It was owned and edited by 
J. E. W} man. On the corner of E and Second 
streets 0. W. Long and A. H. Gilbert were keej)- 
ing a livery-stable. John T. Young had a sa- 
loon on the opi3osite corner. H. M. Williams was 
running a liver} -stable on the corner of Second and 
D streets. What was known as the Duff boarding- 
house was on the corner of Second and streets, 
and was recently pulled down to make room for 
the Grand Hotel. 

Second street was then the main entrance to the 
town. Third and Fourth street below E were not 
yet open, but the ground they pass over was a 
quagmire. E street between Third and nearly to 
Fifth was in the same condition. The Rev. W. L. 
Jones and Major Long were the first to build south 
of Sixth street on E. They had to build a plank 
path-way over the marsh, to get to their homes. 
AH below Fourth on D and C was partly brush 
and timber down to Second street. Third street 
was not yet graded. Huge stumps and logs filled 
the streets as far as Ninth street, and there scatter- 
ing trees and logs were seen until you reached the 



414 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

woods. In the upper part of the town, all south of 
Tourth street was forest. Clark's Addition was not 
yet laid out, and that part of the town was a forest, 
the Avoods coining down to Sixth street on J). 

Eureka had one steamer making two trips j)er 
month to San Francisco, and several sailing vessels 
engaged in the lumber trade, and sometimes carry- 
ing freight and passengers between Eureka and San 
Erancisco. R. W. Brett's saloon, or "Brett's 
Court," as it was generally called, was tlie general 
headquarters for all the wags in town. Every niglit 
one could there hear all the scandals of the town 
retailed, the news of the day discussed, the cases in 
court tried, and all manner of jobs concocted. It 
was headquarters for all the sea captains, and a 
jolly set they were, spinning their yarns, and having 
a good time generally. There were four other 
saloons in the town at that time. 

George Yance was running a blacksmith shop 
on F street below First. 

Eureka had one lodge of Masons, with C. W. 
Long as W. M., and J. S. Murray Sen. Secretary, 
and one lodge of Odd Fellows. 

Eureka had in 1866 about one hundred and 
twenty school children. Three schools were taught. 
The Grammar School was taught by Solomon Cooper 
in the old land-office building, upstairs, on the 
corner of Fourth and G streets. The Intermediate 
School was taught by Miss Maggie Murray, on the 
corner of G and Third streets, in the old building 



EUREKA AS IT WAS IN ISfifi. 415 

still standing there, as a memorial of pioneer days. 
The Primary School was taught by Mrs. Parker, on 
tlie corner of I and Third streets, in an old shantr 
devoid of lining or paper. The school property of 
the city was valued at about six hundred dollars. 
The Methodists had partly built a school building, 
now owned by the Catholics and known as the 
Catholic Convent, but failed in the undertaking, 
and it was sold to its j)resent owners. The Rev. W. 
L. Jones was County Superintendent of Schools at 
that time. 

In 1866 Eureka was supplied with three churches, 
the Congregational, the Catholic and the Methodist. 
All the church buildings of that time have since 
been replaced by new, better and larger ones. The 
First Congregational Church building then in use 
is now a livery-stable, and occupied as such by 
Lafayette Ayres. The o d Methodist building was 
sold to P. H. Ryan, and moved to the corner of 
Pirst and E streets, and is now run and known as 
McNally's saloon. The old Catholic building was 
moA ed back to I street, and is yet used for religious 
purposes. The Eire Department was composed of 
one hand engine (the present " Old Torrent ") with 
one fire company, of which P. H. Ryan was fore- 
man. There was one line of stages running between 
Hydesville and Eureka, owned by Bullard & 
Sweasey, and making daily trips. One line was 
running between Eureka and Areata. 

Eureka at that time was a lively place for a 



416 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

small town, full of business and with plenty of 
money. 

I have endeavored to give my readers a correct 
idea of what Eureka was twenty-four ^^ears ago. 



EUREKA AS IT IS IN 1890. 

When we look back over the space of twenty- 
four years, we see the growth and prosperity of 
Eureka, and see it rise from a little hamlet into a 
full-fledged city with over five thousand inhabitants, 
without the aid of any " boom " or wild speculation. 
Her growth has been sure and permanent ; each 
year her property and population are increasing, 
and new lines of business starting out to give em- 
ployment to her people. Her business men as a 
general thing are doing well. Her credit stands 
number one abroad, there being fewer failures 
here than in any other toAvn in the State doing the 
same amount of business. Her school svstem is 
good. The Public Schools now employ tAventy- 
seven teachers, with two thousand and sixty-seven 
children within school age, and over one thousand 
in daily attendance. Her school j)roperty is of the 
value of one hundred and seventeen thousand six 
hundred and forty dollars. Eureka has one private 
academy controlled by Prof. N. S. Phelps, and 
another under the control of the Catholics. 



EUREKA AS IT IS IN 1890. 417 

Eureka has now eleven church buildings erected, 
or in the course of erection, by the diiferent denom- 
inations of Christians, and one congregation of 
" Salvationists." Eureka has five large saw-mills 
with shingle-mills attached, three molding-mills, 
four shingle-mills not connected with saw-mills, 
two shipyards where seven ocean vessels were built 
and on the stocks this year, one boiler-shop, one 
machine-shop, one brass foundry, two foundries, 
seven blacksmith and wagon-shops, one saw-works, 
one soap factory, two gunsmith shops, seven shoe- 
maker shoj)S, two candy factories, five silversmith 
and watchmaker shops, four merchant tailors, 
three brick-yards, two breweries, two dyeing 
establishments, four cigar factories, four harness 
and saddlery shoj)S, five butcher-shops, two soda 
factories, and two marble -cutters. 

Her mercantile business comprises five banks, 
twelve grocery and provision stores, seven clothing 
stores for men, twelve stores of ladies' goods, some 
of them carrying men and boys' clothing, seven 
hardware and tin stores, seven fruit and candy 
stores, three fruit and vegetable stores, three whole- 
sale liquor stores, forty saloons, two feed-stores, 
three stationary and variety stores, four merchant 
shoe-stores, one tea and coifee store, two paint and 
oil-stores, two wagon and carriage houses, seven 
drug-stores, seven furniture stores, eleven cigar 
and tobacco stores, three steam laundries, five livery- 
stables, one yankee notion store, one fish market. 



418 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

one ship-chandler's store, six hotels, five restau- 
rants, two daily papers, four weekly papers, seven 
real estate ofiices, seven dentists, ten doctors and 
twenty-four lawyers. 

The G. A. R. is represented by Post, Corps 
and Camp, each of which contains a large member- 
ship. 

There are running between Eureka and San 
Erancisco two steamers making weekly trips, which 
gives Eureka eight steamers per month, besides 
steam schooners that carry freight and passengers, 
and a large fleet of sailing vessels engaged in the 
lumber trade, and a number of small steamers 
running on the bay. 

Eureka's City Government is composed of the 
following named gentlemen : The Hon. John 
Vance, Mayor ; Councilmen, Eirst Ward, Alex- 
ander Oonnick; Second Ward, Henry Sevier ; 
Third Ward, W. L. Heney ; Eourth Ward, Solo- 
mon Cooper; Eifth Ward, W. S. Clark; City 
Clerk, James Keleher ; City Attorney, James N. 
Gillett; City Marshal, ]t^. G. Lindsay ; Assessor, 
Daniel J. Eoley ; Treasurer, James G.D. Crichton; 
Police Judge, John Carr; Health Officer, Dr. S. B. 
Eoster; Da}^ Police, John Mclsaacs; Night Police, 
George B. Hall and Joseph L. Bulkeley. Council 
meetings first Monday of each month. 

The city is completely out of debt and on a cash 
basis. The assessed value of her property is 
three million five hundred thousand dollars. There 



EUREKA AS IT IS IN 1890. 419 

are forty miles of graded streets, liaving twelve-foot 
sidewalks within the city limits. 

Tlie City Fire Department is composed of four 
volunteer companies well organized, and as effi- 
cient as those of anv citv on tlie Coast. She lias 
two Silsbnry's steam lire engines, one hand engine, 
five thousand six hundred feet of first-class hose, 
five hose-carts, one hook and ladder apparatus. 
Cephas Acheson is the Chief Engineer of the 
dej)artment, and Robert Holmes is the Assistant 
Engineer. 



420 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 
BIOGRAPHY. 

This work would not be complete without a short 
biography of some of the pioneers. The limits of 
this book forbid a notice of all the pioneers who are 
worthy of such notice. Nevertheless, the list 
which follows will be found to be quite extensive 
in respect to Humboldt and Trinity counties, and 
cannot fail to be of great interest to the surviving 
pioneers of those counties, and to the friends and 
descendants of all the j)ioneers. 

ALBEE, J. P. — A native of Ohio. Came from Illinois to California 
in 1850, across the plains. Occupation, stockraiser. Was killed by the 
Indians in 1862 at Redwood Ranch, Humboldt county. 

ALBEE, CALTHA— Wife of J. P. Albee ; came to California by way 
of Nicaragua in 1852. Residence, Eureka. 

ARBOGAST, MINERVA and HENRY— Were niece and nephew of 
H. F. Janes. Minerva is now the widow of E. Prigmore, and a resident 
of Janes Creek. Henry is n business in San Jose. 

AXTON, HENRY — A native of Kentucky; came to California in 
1850, and engaged in farming. Residence", Eureka. 

ANDERSON, COLIN — Is a native of Scotland ; came to California 
in 1853 ; is a minister of the gospel — a Methodist. 

BUHNE, HANS HENRY— Was born in Denmark, and came to 
California in 1847. He was a sea-faring man, and his vessel was from 



BIOGRAPHY. 421 

the Behring Sea, where he had been whaling. He sailed with his vessel, 
the "Clementine," to San Francisco for provisions. The ship returned 
from McLena Bay in Mexico north to the whaling-ground, and from there 
to the Navigator Islands, where the ship's crew heard of the discovery of 
gold in California about November, 1848. From there the ship went to 
Chile and took in freight and passengers for San Francisco, where she 
arrived about the ist of June, 1849. After discharging the vessel he 
went to Auburn and worked in the placer diggings for a couple of months. 
Here he fell sick, and lay in his tent waiting for death to come. An old 
townsman of his came into Auburn with an ox-team, and, finding Mr. 
Buhne, took him in his wagon to Sacramento, and thence saw him safe 
to San Francisco. Here Mr. Buhne went to board with a couple of 
shipmates, Mr. Johnsen and William Brodersen, and -lay sick for five 
months. Mr. Brodersen afterwards was a partner with Mr. Buhne in 
business on Humboldt Bay. Mr. Buhne recovered from his sickness, 
and was persuaded to ship as second mate on the schooner " Laura 
Virginia," bound for the mouth of Trinity River. He accepted the offer, 
feeling that it would be sure death if he stayed in San Francisco, inas- 
much as dropsy had set in, with swelling in his feet, hands and face, and 
that by going to sea he could not make his condition worse. 

"The first night out from San Francisco a southeast storm of rain set 
in, and I got wet. For one week I did not have a dry rag on my back. 

" On our way north we discovered the mouth of Eel River. We tried 
to enter this river. Captain Ottenger of the " Laura Virginia" took two 
of our boats and tried to get into the river. On the bar one of the boats 
upset, and one of the men was drowned. When Captain Ottenger w-as 
steering the other boat and saw the boat upset in the breakers, he pulled 
back to the vessel and got me to go with his boat to pick up the man, 
who had succeeded in reaching the bottom of the capsized boat. I suc- 
ceeded in saving the man and the boat. 

" Continuing on our way north we discovered the mouth of Humboldt 
Bay, Trinidad, Klamath River and Crescent City, an open harbor. Then 
the 'Laura Virginia' returned south to Humboldt Bar, or what has 
since been narried Humboldt Bar, on the morning of the 13th day of 
April, 1850. I took the Captain's gig and crossed the bar and entered 
the bay about 1 1 o'clock A. M., the first American seaman to enter Hum- 
boldt Bay, and landed on the red bluff, which is now called Buhne's 
Point. I went on the bluff and had a fine view of the bar, entrance and 
the bay. The bay was literally covered with geese and ducks. While 



422 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

waiting for high water on the bar, we started out and sounded the channel, 
crossed the bar and went to the vessel and reported to Captain Ottenger. 
We had found a fine channel, with a depth of three and a half fathoms 
of water on the bar. In the afternoon about 4 o'clock we left the vessel 
with two boats full of passengers with their outfit, and started to cross 
Humboldt bar about 6:30 o'clock, but on coming to the bar some of the 
passengers refused to cross it. We called the other boat up to us, ap- 
pointed a chairman, and took a vote as to whether we should go in or not. 
The majority voted to go in. We started, and passed the south spit about 
8 o'clock p. M., and landed about where the light-house now stands, and 
here camped the first night. We took soundings of the bay over to 
what is now Buhne's Point, and located Humboldt City. Four days after- 
wards we went out and brought in the vessel. This was the first vessel 
to cross the bar after the American occupation."' 

He then piloted the vessel over the bar, and sailed in her to San Fran- 
cisco, and returned to the bay as a passenger, arriving in the bay May 
6, 1850. He made his business piloting on Humboldt bar and keeping a 
boarding-house on Buhne's Point. Growing tired of the business, he left for 
Trinity River mines. Not meeting with much success in these mines, he 
returned to Humboldt Bay on foot. He started to piloting again, and made 
some money. He then went to San Francisco, intending to go into the 
mercantile business at Humboldt Point. He got shipwrecked at Bodega 
and lost all his goods, and he again went to San Francisco " broke " and 
sick. He returned to Humboldt, disgusted with himself and the rest of 
mankind. 

He then went to hunting elk and deer for a living. His first butcheV- 
shop was a board laid on two bo.xes at the corner of the plaza at Union- 
town, where the old Kirby stable now stands. This was in 1851. He 
kept at the hunting business until he shipped as Captain on the brig 
" Colorado." After he had made a couple of trips in this vessel, Ryan &^ 
Duff, Captain James Hasty and Martin White, hired him as a pilot at six 
hundred dollars per month, to take their sailing vessels in and out over 
Humboldt bar. November 8, 1852, the steam tug " Mary Ann" arrived 
off Humboldt bar. He then went on board and took charge of her, and 
has had charge of her for almost thirty-eight years. 

In 1865 he entered into partnership in the mill business with D. R. 
Jones and others, forming the company known as D. R. Jones dr' Co. In 
1 884 he sold his mill business to the California Redwood Company. 

He is still in business with H. H. Buhne, Ji., in the ship-chandler and 



BIOGRAPHY. 423 

hardware business, and also in farming and dairying. Their hardware 
and ship-chandler business is one of the most extensive on the northern 
Pacific Coast. They have to-day part cargoes on ten different vessels be- 
tween New York and San Francisco. The house and business stands 
"A I." 

BOHALL, WILLIAM— A native of New York ; came from Wiscon- 
sin across the plains to California m 1852. Occupation, a farmer. Died 
in 1883. 

BOHALL, WALTER— A native of the State of New York ; came 
from Wisconsin to California in 1852. A printer. Was Inspector of 
Customs from 1862 to 1865 at Eureka. 

BOHALL, WILLIAM M.— A native of New York ; came from Wis- 
consin across the plains to California in 1852. A farmer. 

BOHALL, CAROLINE C. CATHEY— A native of Missouri ; came 
across the plains to California in 1849. Is the wife of Walter Bohall. 

BROWN^ ELISHA — Came from Missouri across the plains with the 
Lassen part}' in 1848. Deceased. 

BROWN, HANNAH— Wife of Elisha Brown ; came from Missouri 
in 1848. 

BROWN, JAMES E. — Came across the plains in 1848 with the Lassen 
party from Missouri. 

BALL, JOTHAM T. — Came from Ohio across the plains to California 
in 1853. Occupation, stockraiser. Residence, Salmon Creek. 

BUCK, S. M. — A native of Maine ; came to California in 1856. Was 
elected to the Legislature from San Joaquin county ; is one of the leading 
members of the bar of Humboldt county. Residence, Eureka. 

BARBER, J. P. — Was a native of Rhode Island; came to California 
in June, 1851 ; is a carpenter by trade ; came to Humboldt county in 
1858 ; died in 1875. 

BARBER, GAliDNER C— Came to California in 1852 and to Hum- 
boldt county in i'858 ; was a native of Rhode Island ; is a farmer ; 
has served three terms as County Supervisor. 

BARBER, CHARLES J.— Came to Cahfornia in 1851 and to Hum- 
boldt county in 1858 ; is a carpenter. 

BRUMFIELD, W. H. — A lawyer; native of Pennsylvania. Came 
to California in 1853, and died at Eureka in 1886. 



424 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

BRUMFIELD, ALICE DUNBAR— Wife of W. H. Brumfield ; is a 
native of Michigan, and came to California in 1852. 

BEACH, CHARLES E.— A native of New York ; came to California 
in 1851 by way of the Isthmus. He arrived in San Francesco June 21, 
185 1, and came to Humboldt in 1852. Occupation, miner and farmer. 

BURNETT, THOMAS— A native of New York; came to California in 
1849 ; is a gunsmith in Eureka. 

BALLENTINE, SAM— A native of Ohio ; came to California in 1850, 
and to Humboldt county in 1856. A lumberman and book-keeper. 
Residence, Hydesville. 

BRETT, R. W. — A native of England ; came from New Zealand to 
California in 1849. L)ied December 22, 1877. A butcher. Was a member 
of the City Council of Eureka. 

BROWN, THOMAS M.— A native of Tennessee ; came across the 
plains with an ox-team to California in 1849. ^^ ^''st a miner; Sheriff 
of Klamath county thirteen years and of Humboldt county fifteen years. 

BULKELEY, ELI PHALET— Came to California in 1852 from Wis- 
consin. Was Sheriff of Humboldt four years. Died in August, 1890, 
aged 78. 

BULKELEY, J. L. — A native of Pennsylvania; came from Wisconsin 
to California in 1854 ; is a policeman in the city of Eureka. 

BURNS, ALBERT — A native of New York; came to California in 
1849. Was a soldier in the Mexican war. Residence, Eureka. 

BROWNELL, G. W. — Came from Illinois across the plains to Cali- 
fornia in 1849. 

BROWN, THEODORE H.— Came from Missouri in 1848 with the 
Lassen party. 

BRYANT, ROLLA— Came from Vermont across the Isthmus in 1852. 
A farmer. Residence, Rohnerville. 

BRYANT, LIZZIE — Came from Illinois across the plains in 1853. 

BUGBEE, R. J. — Came from Michigan across the plains to California 
in 1853. A farmer. Residence, Ferndale. 

BUGBEE, MARY A.— Crossed the plains in 1852. Died, 1889. Wife 
of R. J. Bugbe 



BIOGRAPHY. 425 

BUGBEE, MARK— Crossed the plains in 1853. Blacksmith. Resi- 
dence, Ferndale. 

BERDING, A. — Came from Rio Janeiro to California around Cape 
Horn in 1847. Merchant. Residence, Ferndale. 

CARSON, WILLIAM— Is a native of New Brunswick, and left his 
home in that Province in 1849 to seek his fortune in California. Arrivino: 
in San Francisco in the early part of 1850, he, like others, went to the 
mines. The author's first acquaintance with Mr. Carson was in the 
summer of 185 1. He was then building what was known as the " Arkan- 
saw Dam " on Trinity River, with a number of others that have since be- 
come pioneers of Humboldt county — among them Oliver Gilmore, Daniel 
Morrison, Sandy Buchanan and Jerry Whitmore. William Carson and 
Jerry Whitmore were two men that were appointed to watch where the 
Indians crossed Trinity River after the murder of John Anderson in 
1852, when the volunteers from Weaverville were on their track. Mr. 
Carson, like many others, not being satisfied with the mines, came to 
Humboldt in the fall of 1850, and went into the lumbering business. 
William Carson and Jerry Whitmore in November of that year cut the 
first tree for a sawlog that was ever cut on Humboldt Bay. 

He with John Dolbeer formed the firm of Dolbeer Or' Carson in 1862, 
and this has since been one of the most successful business firms on the 
Pacific Coast, running mills and ships and owning large amounts of red- 
wood timber lands, and conducting other industries which gave employ- 
ment to hundreds of men each year, thereby building up and develop- 
ing the county. Mr. Carson is a man of liberal ideas, always with a 
liberal hand helping our public institutions that are for the advancement 
of the people and the benefit of mankind. He is now President of the 
Bank of Eureka, and stands in the community as a man above reproach. 

CLARK, Dr. JONATHAN— Was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on 
the 26th day of February, 1826. He was a lineal descendant of 
Abraham Clark, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

He received his education and graduated as a practitioner in medicine 
and surgery in Iowa. 

He crossed the plains and arrived in California in 1849; spent four 
months in the mines on the American River; came to Humboldt county 
in the brig " Reindeer" in June, 1850, and at once commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession, which he continued for twenty years. 

In November, 1853, he was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S- 



426 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

A., and assigned to duty at Fort Humboldt, Colonel R. C. Buchanan 
being in command. He was afterward commissioned as Surgeon of the 
First Battalion of Mountaineers, Lieutenant-Colonel S. G. Whipple 
commanding, and served in that capacity three years. At the close of 
the Indian campaign he resumed the practice of medicine in Eureka, and 
so continued until 1870, when press of private business compelled him to 
retire from practice. 

Dr. Clark was the first postmaster on Humboldt Bay and received his 
appointment in 185 1 ; he was also the first Notary Public in Humboldt 
county; he was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors in 1855, 
and served two terms. In 1857 he was appointed County Treasurer. In 
1876 he was elected to the California Assembly, and was a very active 
member of that body; he served two terms as a member ot the City 
Council of Eureka, and in 1878 was elected Mayor of the city. At the 
time of his death he was a member of the City Council; he was endeared 
to many by acts of kindness and charity, which his chosen profession 
gave him opportunity to bestow. He was identified with the Society 
of Humboldt County Pioneers, and no one took greater interest in its 
welfare and prosperity than Dr. Clark. 

His death occurred in San Francisco March 29th, 1884. 

CUNNINGHAM, J. P.— Came to California from Ilhnois in 1852. 
Hctel-keeper. Residence, Ferndale. 

CATHEY, JOHN — Came across the plains from Missouri to Cali- 
fornia in 1852. A stockraiser. Died in 1871 at Mattole, Humboldt 
county. A member of California Battalion Mountaineers. 

CHAMBERLIN, J. D. H.— Is an attorney-at-law by profession. He 
came to California in 1859 by way of Cape Horn. In 1850 he went to 
the mines in El Dorado county on Webber Creek, and afterwards to 
Murderers' Bar on the American River. He spent several years in the 
mines with varied success. He is a graduate of Hamilton College in the 
State of New York. 

CLAPP, STEPHEN— A native of Maine ; came to California in 1852. 
A blacksmith. Residence, Eureka. 

CUTLER, THOMAS — A native of Connecticut ; came to California 
in 1849 via. Cape Horn. Is a merchant in Eureka, and Collector of 
the Port. 

CARR, THOMAS— A native of Ireland ; came to the United States 



BIOGRAPHY. 427 

when a child with his parents. Came from Wisconsin to California 
across the Isthmus in 1852 ; settled in Weaverville, Trinity county, then 
moved to Humboldt county. Died at Eureka, February 6, 1884 ; occupa- 
tion, carriage-maker. 

CARR, ANN — Wife of Thomas Carr ; native of Ireland; came to 
California across the Isthmus in 1852 from Wisconsin. 

CARR, JOHN — A native of Ireland ; came to the United States when 
a child with his parents ; came to Calitornia in 1850 across the plains 
from Peoria, 111. Occupation, a blacksmith. Was one of the first settlers 
of Trinity county. Came to Humboldt county in 1866. Served two 
terms as a member of the City Council, one term as President of the 
Board. In 1880 he went to Tombstone, Arizona, and was twice elected 
Mayor of that city ; he is the author of the " Pioneer Days in California."' 
Is now the Police Judge of the City of Eureka. 

CARR, DELILAH — Wife of John Carr, daughter of George Turner, 
of Morris county, New Jersey ; came to California across the Isthmus in 
1852. 

CAMPTON, MRS. M.— A native of Wisconsin ; crossed the plains to 
California in 185 1. Residence, Rohnerville. 

CAMPTON, WILLIAM— A native of Wisconsin ; crossed the plains 
to California in 1851. Residence, Rohnerville. 

CAMPTON, MORGAN— A native of Wisconsin ; crossed the plains 
to California in 1850 ; residence, Rohnerville. 

DeHAVEN, JACOB — Born in Jackson county, Ohio, in 1812 ; moved 
to Missouri and from Missouri to California in 1849 across the plains, 
and arrived at Sacramento, August 9th, of that year. Came to Humboldt 
in May, 1853. Was elected Assesssor of the county in 1855, and re- 
elected to that office in 1857, serving four years. Went to Idaho in 1862, 
and died there in 1863. 

DeHAVEN, ELIZABETH— Wife of Jacob DeHaven; came to Cali- 
fornia from Missouri in 1849; died at Eureka in 1856. 

DeHAVEN, SARAH— Daughter of Jacob DeHaven; now Mrs. John 
W. Connick, of Eureka; born in Missouri ; crossed the plains when an 
infant with her parents. 

DeHAVEN, JOHN J. — A native of Missouri ; crossed the plains 



428 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

from Missouri when a child in 1849 ; son of Jacob DeHaven. Came with 
his parents to Humboldt in 1853. Learned the trade of printer in the 
office of the Humboldt Times. Afterwards studied law and was admitted 
to the bar ; elected District Attorney of Humboldt county. Served one 
term as Assemblyman and one term as State Senator. Elected Superior 
Judge of Humboldt county. Elected member of Congress in 1888 ; re- 
signed his seat in Congress, and was elected to the Supreme Court of 
the State in 1890, and still holds that position. 

DYER, CAPTAIN JOHN M.— A native of Maine ; came in the ship 
" Edward Everett " to California in 1849. Died in Humboldt county in 
November, 1867. 

DYER, DAVID F. — A native of Maine ; came to California in 1854. 
Residence, Bayside. 

DODGE, JOHN C. — A native of New Hampshire; crossed the 
Isthmus in August, 1852. He is a resident of Eureka. Occupation, a 
gardener. 

DANIELS, H. S. — Came to California in 1853 from New Hampshire; 
his wife, Ann Daniels, a native of England, came to California in 1853. 

DEMING, BYRON — A native ofVermoHt ; arrived in San Francisco 
in July, 1850. 

DEMING, MRS. J.— Arrived in California in 1854. Residence, 
Areata. 

DOBBYN, WILLIAM B.— A native of Washington, D. C; came to 
California around Cape Horn in 1849. Residence, Rohnerville. Served 
two terms as Supervisor of Humboldt county. 

DAVIS, HARRISON — Came from Ohio across the plains in 1852. A 
farmer. Residence, Rohnerville. 

DAVIS, JOHN B. — Crossed the plains in 1850. A farmer. Residence, 
Rohnerville. 

DEER, MARY A. — Came from Ohio across the plains in 1852. 

DEER, PETER — Came from Indiana across the plains in 1849. Died, 
1889. 

DUNGAN, G. A. — Came from Iowa across the plains in 1850. A 
farmer. Residence, Ferndale. 

DUNGAN, THOMAS— Came from Iowa across the plains in 1850. 
A miner. Residence, on Trinity River. 



BIOGRAPHY. 429 

DUNGAN, JOHN — Came from Iowa across the plains in 1850. A 
fanner. Residence, Ferndale. 

DUNGAN, JESSE A. — Came from Iowa across the Isthmus in 1851. 
Filled the offices of Supervisor of Humboldt county and Justice of the 
Peace and Police Judge of Eureka; died at Eureka in 1889. 

DUFF, F. S. — A native of St. Johns, N. B.; came to California around 
Cape Horn in 1849. Was a member of the firm of Ryan, Duff (S~» Co. 
Occupation, Justice of the Peace. Residence, Eureka. 

DOLBEER, JOHN— John Dolbeer, of the firm of Dolbeer (S^ Carson, 
is an eminently successful business man. For twenty-eight years the 
firm has been doing business in Eureka and San Francisco, John Dol- 
beer attending to the business in San Francisco, and William Carson at 
Eureka. John Dolbeer is a native of New Hampshire, and came to 
California in 1850 and to Humboldt county in 1851, engaging here in the 
lumber business. He left Eureka in 1851 and went to the mines on 
Salmon River and remained there one year, and then returned to Eureka 
in 1852, and went into the lumber business with Charles McLane, who 
was drowned on the "Merrimac" on the bar in 1862. Mr. Dolbeer and 
Mr. Carson entered into partnership in 1862, soon after the death of Mr. 
McLane. Mr. Dolbeer amongst the business men of the Pacific Coast 
stands second to none for integrity. 

EWING, JOSEPH— A native of Scotland ; came from Montreal, 
Canada, to California in 1850. Died at Hay Fork Valley in 1877. 

EWING, HENRIETTA— Wife of Joseph Ewing; a native of Canada; 
came to California in 1850. 

ELLERY, FRANKLIN— A native of Massachusetts ; left Boston in 
1849 in the schooner " Mary M. Woods," and arrived in California in 
1850. A merchant in Eureka. 

EATON, GEORGE— A native of Ohio ; crossed the plains to Cali- 
fornia in 1850. Miner and sheep-raiser. Residence, near Bridgeville. 

FERNALD, R. M.— Native of Baltimore, Md.; came to California in 
1850, and to Humboldt county in 1852. Was a miner and proprietor of 
Gold Bluff mines. Was Supervisor of Humboldt county for six years. 
Was the builder of Eureka's first street railway. 

FREESE, JONATHAN— Native of Maine ; came to California by 



430 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

way of the Isthmus, in 1850. Died in Eureka in 1875. Served one term 
as County Treasurer; one term as County Supervisor; and one term as 
member of the City Council. Occupation, lumberman. 

FINCH, WILLIAM R.— Native of New York ; came from Iowa 
across the plains to California m 1850. Occupation, gunsmith. 

FIELDS, WATERMAN— Native of Michigan ; came to California in 
1853, by way of the Isthmus, and to Humboldt county in 1861. Residence, 
Fields' Landing. 

FLAHERTY, JOHN— Arrived in California 1852 from Boston, Mass. 
in ship " Dauntless." Residence, Trinidad. 

FAY, GEORGE M. — Native of Connecticut ; came to California in 
1852 by way of the Isthmus. Occupation, shingle manufacturer. Resi- 
dence, Fair Haven, Humboldt county. 

FAY, NAH M — Native of Connecticut ; Arrived in California via 
the Isthmus in 1852. Occupation, shingle manufacturer. Residence 
Fair Haven, Humboldt county. 

FELT, DR. T. D.^Native of Massachusetts ; crossed the plains in 

1849 from Tennessee. 

FELT, MRS. KATE— Wife of Dr. Felt ; native of Pennsylvania ; 
crossed the plains to California in 1847. Residence, Eureka. 

GALLAGHER, MICHAEL F.— Came from New York City to CaH- 
fornia in 185 1. Died at Eureka September 4, 1888. 

GARDNER, C. J.— Native of Massachusetts ; arrived in California m 

1850 ; carpenter and builder. 

GIBSON, JOHN W. — Native of Pennsylvania; arrived in California 
in 185 1 ; is a general agent. Residence, Eureka. 

GIBSON, DAVID— Native of Canada ; came to California in 1850. 
Died at Hydesville in 1885. 

GILL, JAMES — Native of County of Leeds, Ontario; came to Cali- 
fornia in 1852 across the plains, arriving at Weaverville in 1852. Mined 
at that place two years; came to Humboldt in 1854, engaged in logging 
until 1857, then went back to Ontario and moved to Rock county, Wis- 
consin; in i860 crossed the plains with ox-teams, coming direct to Hum- 
boldt county with his family ; engaged in farming. Died at Eureka, 
January 9, 1891. 



BIOGRAPHY. 431 

GRAHAM, GEORGE — Native of Virginia; came across the plains to 
California in 1852 ; a miner and lumberman. Residence, Eureka. 

GUTHRIE, CATHERINE— Native of Pennsylvania ; came to Cali- 
fornia across the plains in 1849. Residence, Humboldt county. 

GOOD, ABRAHAM— Native of Ohio ; crossed the plains to California 
in 1853 ; liveryman. Residence, Hydesville. 

GUSHAW, G. F. — Native of New York; came from Illinois across 
the plains in 1849. 

GUSHAW, MRS. G. F. — Nativeof Massachusetts; came to California 
around Cape Horn in 1853. 

GREENLOW, JESSE C— Native of New Bunswick; came to Cali- 
fornia by way of the Isthmus of Nicaragua in 1852; came up the coast on 
a sailing vessel; fifty-eight days from San Juan to San Francisco. Lost 
twenty-two passengers out of one hundred and twenty with fever and 
diarrhoea; mined until 1858; afterwards lumberman and farmer. 
Residence, Eureka. 

GOFF, MRS. JAMES— Daughter of N. Patrick; crossed the plains in 
1852. Residence, Ferndale. 

GRAHAM, THOMAS R.— Native of Mississippi; came to California 
in 1853, when a boy, with his parents. Occupation, carpenter and builder. 
Residence, Eureka. 

HAYNES, HON. JOHN P.— Was born in Breckenridge county, 
Kentucky, on the 3d day of December, 1826. In his childhood his 
mother, then a widow, removed to Elizabethtown, Hardin county, Ken- 
tucky, where he was raised and educated. In his seventeenth year he 
entered a store as clerk and salesman, in which business he continued for 
about three years. About this time the Mexican war broke out, and the 
young men of the county at once proceeded to organize a company of 
volunteers for the service. The subject of this notice took an active 
part in organizing the company, and was elected Lieutenant. The quota 
of the State was filled so quickly after the issuance of the Governor's call 
for volunteers, that this company, with scores of others, was rejected. 
Young Haynes, with ten or twelve others of his company, then joined 
Company C, Captain Rowan Hardin, which was attached to the 4th 
Kentucky Volunteers, under command of Colonel John S. Williams, 
popularly known as " Cerro Gordo " Williams, from his gallantry in the 



432 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

battle fought at that place. He remained in the service until the close of 
the war. On his return home he commenced the study of law, and in due 
time entered the Law Department of the University of Louisville, and 
graduated in 1851. 

A few months afterwards he started for California via the Isthmus, and 
arrived in this State early in 1852. He remained in San Francisco a 
short time, and then started for the northern part of the State, arriving in 
Klamath county in the spring of that year. During the summer and fall 
he was engaged in prospecting and mining on the Klamath. 

At the election of November in that year he was elected District 
Attorney of the county. In 1853 he removed to Crescent City, which 
about that time became the County Seat. Here he commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession, and was re-elected District Attorney. Upon the 
removal of the County Seat to Orleans Bar he resigned the office. Upon 
the organization of Del Norte county soon afterwards, was elected Dis- 
trict Attorney of the new county. He continued in the practice of his 
profession in Del Norte and Klamath until 1858, when he became a can- 
didate for District Judge, and was defeated by the Hon. William R. Tur- 
ner, by a majority of two votes. The following year he was elected 
Senator, by a large majority, from the 12th Senatorial District, composed 
of the counties of Del Norte, Klamath and Siskiyou. At the expiration 
of his term he resumed the practice of his profession in Del Norte and 
neighboring counties, meantime making some ventures in mining without 
much success. 

On the i8th day of February, 1868, he was appointed by Governor 
Haight District Judge of the Eighth Judicial District, composed 
of the counties of Klamath, Humboldt and Del Norte, to fill a 
vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge Turner. He was elected 
by the people to the same office at the judicial election in 1869, and re- 
elected in 1875, si^d held the office until it was abolished by the new 
Constitution, and at the first election under the new instrument was 
elected Superior Judge of Humboldt county. In 1884 he was defeated 
for the same office by Hon. J. J. DeHaven, at present Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court. In 1866, at the earnest solicitation of his Demo- 
cratic friends, he accepted the nomination for the Senate, and was elected, 
notwithstanding the district was largely Republican. In 1888 he was 
again nominated and defeated by the Hon. Frank McGowan, present 
Senator. In politics the Judge is a very firm, unswerving Democrat, and 
has never faltered in his fidelity to the party, and is always ready and 



BIOGRAPHY. 433 

willing to give the reason of his political faith. He is at present a resident 
of Eureka, in Humboldt connty. 

HENDERSON, JAMES W.— Native of St. Lawrence county, New 
York ; came to California February 14, 1850, crossing the Isthmus. 
Mined two and one-half years on the American River. Made three trips 
across the plains driving stock in 1853, 1854 and 1856. Lived in Sonoma 
county nine years, engaged in ranching and staging. He came to Hum- 
boldt during the coal oil excitement, and operated two years; he was ap- 
pointed Register of the U. S. Land Office, which position he held three 
years, and then engaged in the real estate business: was a promoter of 
the first railroad in Humboldt county; was one of the incorporators of 
the Eureka and Eel River Railroad. At present is engaged in the real 
estate and banking business. He has been President of the Humboldt 
County Bank for twelve years. 

HULLING, SAMUEL, and wife, Phebe, came from Wisconsin to 
California in 1852, and to Humboldt county in 1854. Residence, near 
Springville. 

HERRICK, R. F. — Native of Ohio; crossed the plains in 1850. 
First Lieutenant of Company D, California Battalion of Mountaineers. 
Elected for several terms County Surveyor of Humboldt county. 
Residence, Eel River Valley. 

HILL, NEIL — Native of Ireland; arrived at San Francisco by way of 
the Isthmus in 1852, and Nancy Hill, his wife, a native of Ireland, 
arrived in 1854. 

HILDRETH, CHARLES— Native of England; arrived in California 
in 1852 from Australia; is a cabinet-maker. 

HUESTIS, REV. A. J. — Native of New Hampshire; crossed the plains 
to California in 1849; came overland to Humboldt county in the spring 
of i860 from Sonoma; was the first preacher of the gospel in Eureka; 
was the first County Superintendent of Schools for Humboldt county; 
was the County Judge of Humboldt County for two terms; he represented 
Humboldt county in the Legislature in 1866-7; was also the first Inspec- 
tor of Customs for the Harbor of Humboldt; was the first President of 
the Society of Humboldt County Pioneers. Died, March, 1883, at 
Eureka, aged l"] years. 

HUESTIS, MINERVA ANNIS— Wife of A. J. Huestis; native of 



434 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Monson, Massachusetts; came to California with her husband in 1849; 
arrived in Eureka February, 22, 185 1. Residence, Eureka. 

HUESTIS, SARAH MINERVA— Wife of N. Bullock, and daughter 
of A. J. Huestis; crossed the plains with her parents in 1849. Residence, 
Eureka. 

HUESTIS, JOHN EMORY— Born in Iowa; crossed the plains in 
1849 with his parents. Came to Eureka in 1851. Residence, Eureka. 

HUESTIS, MAJOR W. F. — Native of Virginia; crossed the plains at 
the age of thirteen years with his parents, and in the spring of 1850 arrived 
in Humboldt county. In 1858 was a teacher in the Public Schools, and 
for several years thereafter was a clerk in the State Senate. In 1865-6 
was Deputy Clerk of the United States Circuit Court of California, and 
U. S. Commissioner at San Francisco. In 1868 he received from Gover- 
nor Haight the appointment of Assistant Adjutant-General of the Na- 
tional Guard of California, with the rank of Major, which position he 
held for two years. In 1878 he was elected delegate at large to the Con- 
stitutional Convention, which framed the present Constitution of the 
State. He has been President of the Society of Humboldt County Pio- 
neers, and is the present Secretary of that Society; he is also a Notary 
Public and agent of the Ricks estate in Eureka. 

HOWARD, E. H.— Native of New York; arrived in Cahfornia in 
September, 1849; he came overland by the Santa Fe and Gila route, and 
was eight months on the way; he navigated the Gila River for two hun- 
dred and fifty miles in his wagon-box, which had been constructed in the 
form of a boat. On arriving at San Francisco he entered upon the prac- 
tice of his profession, that of the law. In March, 1850, he formed a 
co-partnership ivith Lieutenant Ottenger, of the U. S. Revenue Service, 
under the auspices of the "Laura Virginia Association." The schooner 
" Laura Virginia"' was dispatched on a voyage of discovery with Captain 
Ottenger as master, and it was due to this enterprise that Humboldt Bay 
was discovered by water. At a meeting held at the town of Humboldt 
on the 17th day of April, 1850, of which meeting Mr. Howard was Secre- 
tary, the present name of Humboldt Bay was proposed and adopted. At 
the same meeting the subject of this meeting was elected Alcalde of the 
town of Humboldt. In 1851 he was elected Public Administrator for 
the county of Trinity, which then embraced the present territory of 
Humboldt. In 1856 he was elected District Attorney for Humboldt 
county. In 1858 was elected County Superintendent of Schools; was ap- 



BIOGRAPHY. 435 

pointed District Attorney in 1864; for several years was Chairman of the 
Republican County Committee, and President of the Farmers' Union; 
served as Police Judge of the City of Eureka from 1876 to 1880 and from 
1882 to 1884; was President of the Humboldt County Pioneers. Resi- 
dence, Eureka. By profession, a lawyer, and has been a frequent con- 
tributor to the periodical press. 

HOWARD, ALVIRA ANN— Wife of E. H. Howard; crossed the 
plains with her husband in 1849. Residence, Eureka. 

INGERSOLL, C. S.— Native of New York; came to California across 
the plains in 1850. A physician. 

JANES, H. F. — Was the founder of Janesville,Wis.; he was a native of 
Virginia, and came across the plains from Missouri to California in 1849; 
was a farmer and the first Justice of the Peace elected in the county of 
Humboldt. Died in 1883, aged 80 years. 

JANES, KEZIAH— Wife of H. F. Janes; native of New Jersey; 
crossed the plains in 1849. Died in 1883, aged 75 years. 

JANES, ELIZABETH— Daughtei of H. F. Janes, and now Mrs. 
Ward, of Sonoma county. 

JANES, JOHN W. — Son of H. F. Janes; native of Wisconsin; crossed 
the plains with his parents; served in First Battalion Mountaineers. 

JANES, JASPER N.— Son of H. F. Janes; native of Wisconsin; 
crossed the plains with his parents; served on the non-commissioned 
staff in Quartermaster's Department First Battalion Mountaineers. 

JANES, JOSEPH T.— Son of H. F. Janes; now a resident of Oregon; 
native of Missouri; crossed the plains with his parents. 

JANES, THOMAS J.— Son of H. F.Janes; came to California in 1850 
and to Humboldt Bay in 1851; he is now residing, with his family, near 
Areata on Janes' Creek; returned to Missouri in 1853, and there remained 
until 1870, when he came back to California; he enlisted in the Union 
Army from Missouri during the rebellion. 

JOHNSON, CHARLES— Native of Ohio; came to California in 1852 
from Wisconsin; was a soldier of the Black Hawk War. Died in Hum- 
boldt county in 1855. 



436 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

JACKSON, E. B. — Arrived in California ini85i;he is a native of 
Maine. Residence, Areata. 

KINSEY, CHARLES— A native of Pennsylvania; came to California 
across the plains in 1850. Residence, Eureka. 

KIMBALL, JOHN H. — A native of Massachusetts; came across the 
Isthmus to California in 1850; was murdered at his residence in Eureka 
on the 28th day of May, 1866, by John Rogers, a burglar, who was exe- 
cuted after conviction of his crime. Mr. Kimball held the offices of 
Pubhc Administrator and Coroner, and Justice of the Peace of Eureka 
Township. 

KIMBALL, SOPHIA— Wife of John H. Kimball ; came across the 
Isthmus to California in 1851. 

KINMAN, SETH— A native of Pennsylvania; crossed the plains and 
arrived in California in 1850, and came to Humboldt county in 1852; 
was celebrated as a hunter, and for presenting buckhom chairs to the 
Presidents of the United States. 

KELLEN, JOSEPH— He came from Maine to California in 1850. 
Occupation, a painter. 

KELLEN, MARY — Wife of Joseph Kellen; came from Massachusetts 
in 1850. 

KNACKE, CAPT. GEORGE F.— Came from New York to California 
in 1853. Died March 14, 1877, onboard his ship at Wellington Harbor. 

KELLY, T. B. — A native of Ohio; came from Illinois to California in 
1849 across the plains. Merchant and farmer of Rohnerville. 

KNOWLES, C. M. — A native of Illinois; came to California across the 
plains in 1850. 

KNOWLES, ALVIRA— A native of Missouri; crossed the plains to 
California in 1848. 

KAUSSEN, CHARLES — Came from Missouri to California across 
the plains in 1853. Residence, Alton, Humboldt county. 

KELEHER, JOHN — A native of New Brunswick; came to California 
in 1852, and to Humboldt in 1853; was Register of the U.S. Land Office 
under appointment by President Lincoln from 1864 to 1867; was elected 
County Treasurer in 1867, and held that office three terms. Was ap- 



BIOGRAPHY. 437 

pointed Clerk of the Board of Town Trustees, and made a member of 
the bar in July, 1864; was elected Town Trustee in 1866, and again in 
1870. Died in 1878. 

LEACH, SYLVANUS— Crossed the plains from Ohio in 1853. Resi- 
dence, Rohnerville. Occupation, farmer. 

LINE, JOHN — Came from New York to California around Cape 
Horn in the ship "Hindoo "in 1850. Came to Humboldt in 1852. 

LAUGH LIN, J. N. — A native of Kentucky; came from Missouri to 
California across the plains in 1850. Residence, Humboldt county. 

LONG, C. W. — A pioneer business man of Eureka ; is a native of 
New Brunswick, and emigrated to California, leaving his home in 1849, 
and arriving in California in 1850. He came to Humboldt Bay in the 
employ of Ryan dr' Duff, and was employed in building the first sawmill 
on the bay built by that firm. He remained in the lumber business for 
some time, and then went into the mercantile business with Daniel Pick- 
ard under the firm name of Pickard 6~» Long. In 1863, during and after 
the outbreak of the Indian war, C. W. Long was appointed Captain of 
Company A, California Mountaineers, by Governor Stanford — a battal- 
ion raised for the purpose of subduing hostile Indians, then at war with 
the settlers of Northern California. He served three years in the field. 
For his good conduct as a soldier and officer, he was promoted to the 
rank of Major. After the war with the Indians was brought to a success- 
ful close, Major Long went into the livery business with A. H. Gilbert, on 
the corner of E and Second streets. Eureka. He was appointed one of 
the commissioners to lay out and accept the overland wagon-road. He 
remained in the livery business for several years. Residence, Eureka. 
Occupation, real estate dealer. 

LUTHER, CHRISTOPHER— A native of Illinois; crossed the plains 
in 1851. Miner and butcher. Residence, Eureka. 

LOWELL, CAPT. DAVID— A native of Maine; came to California in 
1851, and to Humboldt in 1852; was wrecked on the bar in the steamer 
"Sea Gull "in 1852. 

LANGDON, CHAUNCY— A native of Vermont; came to California 
by way of Cape Horn in 1849. Residence, Rohnerville. 

LANGDON, MARY— A native of New York ; came to California 
across the plains in 1852. 



438 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA- 

LEIHY, LUCY — Crossed the plains from Wisconsin to California in 
185 1. Residence, Chicago. 

LEACH, ALBERT — Came from Ohio to California in 1853. Farmer. 
Residence, Rohnerville. 

LEACH, SHERMAN H.— Crossed the plains from Ohio to California 
in 1853. Residence, San Jose, Cal. 

LEACH, FRED — Came to California from Ohio in 1853. A black- 
smith. Residence, Fortuna. 

LEWIS, N. T. — Came from Iowa to California in 1853. Farmer. 
Residence, Fortuna. 

LONG, ANDREW — Crossed the plains in 1849 from Tennessee. 
Residence, Rohnerville. 

LAPIER, BERTHA — Came from Missouri across the plains in 1848 
with the Lassen party. Died in Santa Clara county in 1889. 

MURRAY, JOHN SUTHERLAND, Sr.— A native of Scotland; 
came to California from New Zealand in 1849. Died in Eureka in 1882. 
A surveyor. 

MURRAY, JANE F.— Wife of John S. Murray; came from New Zea- 
land with her husband in 1849. Died in Eureka in 1871. 

MURRAY, JOHN S., Jr.— Came with his parents from New Zealand 
in 1849. Occupation, bank clerk. 

MURRAY, MAGGIE S.— Came with her parents from New Zealand 
in 1849. Occupation, teacher. 

MARSHALL, J. C. — Came to California in 1849 by way of Cape 
Horn; was shipwrecked March 23, 1850, at Crescent City on the schooner 
" Paragon." 

MARBLE, A. P. — A native of New York; arrived in California in 
1852; was a member of the Fourth Regiment of U. S. Infantry. Came 
to Bucksport in February, 1853, and helped to build the fort at that place. 
Present residence, Cape Mendocino; lighthouse-keeper. 

MUNSON, DANIEL— A native of Maine; came to California in 1852. 
Lumberman. Residence, Eureka. 

MINOR, JACOB A.— A native of Ohio; came to California in 1850. 
Stockraiser. Died in April, 1884, in Humboldt county. 



BIOGRAPHY. 439 

MORRISON, JAMES M.— A native of Richland county, Ohio; came 
to California from Iowa in 1853. Miner and builder. Residence, Eureka. 

MURPHY, WILLIAM— A native of Ireland; came to California in 
1852. A stockraiser. Residence, Areata. 

MIDDLETON, THOMAS— A native of Illinois; crossed the plains to 
California in 1845. Merchant. Residence, Rohnerville. 

MORRISON, SILAS W. — A native of Virginia; crossed the plains 
from Ohio to California in 1850. Elected Supervisor of Humboldt county. 
Occupation, stockraising and dairying. Residence, Bear River. 

MYER, M. B. — Came from Iowa to California across the plains in 
1850. Residence, Garberville. 

MONROE, ALONZO — A native of Connecticut; arrived in California 
in February, 1850; came to Humboldt in 1852. Occupation, stockraiser 
and merchant. Died at Eureka, March 20, 1882. 

MONROE, MRS. ALONZO— Native of Michigan; cameto California 
with her mother, Mrs. Caltha Albee, in 1852. 

McGOWAN, FRANK — Was born in Washington Territory in 1859 
and brought to California in i860; was educated in the Public Schools 
of San Francisco and of Humboldt county. He was admitted to the Bar 
of the Supreme Court of California in 1883; was elected Assemblyman in 
1886 and State Senator in 1888. 

McCAFFERTY, FRANK— A native of Missouri; came to California 
in 1849 at the age of seventeen years, and drove an ox-team across the 
plains for H. F. Janes ; was one of the Overland-road Commissioners in 
1847, and a member of Captain Messicks' company of Indian fighters. 
Arrived in Humboldt county in 1850. 

McNALLY, LAWRENCE— A native of Ireland; came to California 
from Missouri in 1852, crossing the Isthmus. A resident of Eureka. 

McCONAGHY, JOHN— Came to California from Philadelphia, Pa., 
by the way of the Isthmus, arriving in San Francisco May 4, 1850. 
Occupation, a farmer. Residence, Areata. 

McCLELLAN, R. S. — A native of Massachusetts, and came across 
the plains in 1852 to California. He died in 1887. 

McKINNA, MARY — A native of Wisconsin; crossed the plains to 
California in 1851. Residence, Bay View, Washington. 



440 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

McCHARLES, H. R. — A native of Indiana; came to California by 
way of Cape Horn in 1850. Residence, Nevada, Cal. 

NEWTON, DAVID H. — A native of Ireland; came to California in 
1849 across the plains. Died in this State in 1869. A printer. 

NORCROSS, L. M. — A native of Maine; came to California in 1850 
by way of the Isthmus. Residence, Eureka. 

NEWMAN, J. H. — Came from Missouri across the plains to California 
in 1850. 

NEWMAN, LAURA— Came from Iowa to California in 1849. Resi- 
dence, Hydesville. 

ORMAN, HENRY— A native of Ohio; came to California May 5, 
1852. Residence, Areata. Occupation, carpenter. 

OLM STEAD, C. H. — A native of Maine; came to California in 185 1. 
A blacksmith. Residence, Eureka. 

OLMSTEAD, WILLIAM T.— A native of New York; came from 
Michigan to California across the plains in 1850. Stockraiser. Made 
one trip across the plains in 1853 with a band of cattle. Was one of the 
first settlers of Humboldt county. Was shot twice by the Indians on the 
1 2th of July, 1852, while driving cattle to Trinity county, and crippled 
for life, and carries Indian lead up to the present time. Was compelled 
to use crutches for three years. Hiram Lyons, one of his party, was 
killed on that occasion. Two others of the party made their escape 
without injury, and left Mr. Olmstead to fight his own battle. He got 
under cover and killed one of the Indians with a Colt's revolver, which 
intimidated the Indians so much that they left him, thus saving his life. 
He lay there wounded until the next day about 4 o'clock, when a party 
from Yager Creek came to his assistance, and shortly thereafter a detach- 
ment of soldiers came and carried him into the settlements. They 
reached Yager Creek on the third day after the shooting. He lay ten 
days, and was then carried to his home at Hydesville, on a litter, taking 
two days to make the trip. Dr. Felt met him at Yager Creek and dressed 
his wounds. Mr. Olmstead is now a resident of Eureka. 

OLMSTEAD, LUCINDA— («^^ Garrison)— Wife of William T. Olm- 
stead; came to California across the plains in 1853. 



BIOGRAPHY. 441 

OUSLEY, CAPTAIN GEORGE W. — Came to California from 
Illinois across the plains in 1849 ; served two years as Captain of 
Company B, California Mountaineers, Residence, San Jose. Came to 
Humboldt in 1850, 



PORTER, ROBERT— A native of Vir^jinia ; came to California in 

1852, and engaged for a time in mining ; came to Humboldt county in 

1859, and worked in the mills, and afterwards went into the office of 

John Vance ; next engaged m stock-raising and merchandising. 

Residence, Hydesville. 

PARDEE, A. L, — A native of New York; arrived in California in 
1852. 

PARDEE, A. F. — A native of New York ; arrived in California in 
1852. 

•PALMER, JAMES— A native of Missouri; crossed the plains to 
California in 1853. A farmer. Residence, Hydesville. 

PALMER, SAMUEL — A native of Missouri; crossed the plains to 
California in 1853. A farmer. Residence, Hydesville. 

PALMER, JOHN — Born on the plains in 1S53. Residence, 
Hydesville. 

PATRICK, N. — Came from Illinois across the plains in 1852. Resi- 
dence, Ferndale. 

PATRICK, JANE— Came from lUinois in 1852. Died, 1883. 

PATRICK, GILES— Came from Illinois in 1852. A farmer. Resi- 
dence, Ferndale. 

PATRICK, Z. B.— Crossed the plains in i852from Illinois. A butcher. 
Residence, Ferndale. 

PATRICK, MARSHALL— Crossed the plains in 1852 from Illinois. 
A farmer. Residence, Ferndale. 

PRATT, WILLIAM H.— Was born at East Haddam, Conn., and 
was early left an orphan. He sailed from New York December 20, 1848, 
and arrived at San Francisco by way of the Isthmus Feb. 28, 1849. He 
was successfully engaged for a few months in mining. In the fall of 1849 
he went to New York City and purchased a large stock of general mer- 
chandise, with which he returned to San Francisco and there opened a 



442 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Store, but within two weeks lost thirty thousand dollars by fire. He then 
opened a trading-post at Big Bar, and was signally successful; was at 
various times engaged in merchandising, mining operations, hotel-keep- 
ing, brick-making and banking; he was the Republican nominee for the 
State Senate in 1856 and i860. In 1861 he was appointed Receiver of 
Public Moneys at the Humboldt Land Office. During the Indian troubles 
he was First Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the First Battalion of 
Mountaineers, California Volunteers. In 1867 he was appointed Indian 
Agent at Hoopa Valley. In 1869 he engaged in the mercantile business 
in Eureka. From 1883 to 1888 he was Collector of Customs for the Dis- 
trict of Humboldt; was a delegate in the National Convention at Chicago 
which nominated General Harrison for the Presidency, who appointed 
him U. S. Surveyor-General for California. 



RICKS, C. S. — Was one of the first pioneers of Eureka; came to Cali- 
fornia in 1849, and arrived at Eureka in 1850; was one of the townsite 
company, and helped to lay out the city; was largely interested in real 
estate, and was the largest real estate owner in the city at the time of his 
death, which occurred June 21, 1888; he represented Humboldt county 
in the State Legislature, and was one of the most efficient members of 
that body; he always took a great deal of interest in the prosperity of 
Eureka and her institutions, and helped schools and churches with a 
liberal hand, and everything else that was for the benefit or the pleasure 
of the city; he built more houses than any other man in the city; he inau- 
gurated the City Water Works by sinking artesian wells and raising the 
water by steam to tanks, and thence conducting the water in pipes 
throughout the city; he died leaving a large estate to his wife and three 
sons. C. S. Ricks was a man of liberal mind, friendly in his intercourse 
with his fellow-men, and of a generous and kind disposition; was well 
liked by his neighbors and all who knew him. His presence was always 
welcome wherever he went. 

RYAN, JAMES T., DUFF, JAMES R., TORRY, A. W., DUFF, 
FRANK S., composed the firm of Ryan, Duff &-» Co. — These gentle- 
men built the first merchantable sawmill, with a capacity of 100,000 
feet each twenty-four hours. The company bought the steamer " Santa 
Clara," brought the vessel to Humboldt, planted her in the bank, and 
built the mill alongside her, and used her power to run the mill. She 
left San Francisco the 22d day of Februrary, 1852, andarrived at Eureka 



BIOGRAPHY. 443 

on the second day, with about forty men on board, brought to help build 
the mill. James T. Ryan was Captain, F. S. Duff was First Officer and 
John Vance was Quartermaster, The steamer struck on the bar while 
crossing, and came near being a total wreck. She lost her deck-load, and 
was in the breakers one and a half hours. The mill ran with variable 
success until 1859, when it burned down. 

James T. Ryan, a native of Ireland; came from Boston to California in 
1849 by way of the Isthmus; he shipped at Panama for San Francisco on 
an old vessel called " The Three Friends." On her way up she put into 
a Mexican port. The vessel was so slow that Ryan got disgusted and 
left her and started on foot for San Francisco, and arrived at that city 
without either coat or boots on, and nearly starved. He " struck " Frank 
Duff, and got his first square meal since leaving the vessel; he went to 
bed and slept forty-eight hours before waking. 

Eureka was originally and actually surveyed by Mr. Ryan, with an in- 
strument improvised of two vials and a bit of wood. In 1861 Senator 
McDougal thus introduced him to Abraham Lincoln: 

" Mr. President, this is General Ryan, a loyal neighbor of mine, who 
can build a cathedral and preach in it, a ship and sail in it, and an 
engine and run it." 

James T. Ryan was one of the most energetic of Humboldt's first 
settlers. He was elected to the State Senate in 1859, and died in Vallejo 
in 1875. 

James R. Duff was a native of St. Johns, New Brunswick; he sailed 
from Boston the 20th day of January, 1849, in the ship " Pharsalia," and 
arrived in San Francisco the 23d of July, 1849; he worked in San Fran- 
cisco at his trade of carpenter at sixteen dollars per day; after working a 
week the carpenters called a meeting and struck for twenty dollars a day. 
All those that were mechanics got it, and the " scabs " were left outside. 
In the spring of 1850 he went on a voyage of discovery up the coast, in 
the schooner " Francis Helen," with Captain Ottenger, and arrived in 
Humboldt the ist of June, 1850; he found it to be a fine country for lum- 
bering purposes, and concluded to locate at Eureka; he was one of the 
partners of Ryan, Duff S-' Co.; he is now a resident of San Francisco. 

A. W. Torry died in early days in San Francisco; he came in 1849 
from Boston. 

ROBERTS, WILLIAM AND SUSAN— WiUiam Roberts was a 
native of Vermont, and Susan, his wife, a native of Missouri; came across 



444 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

the plains in 1849. I" conversation with the old lady, Mrs. Roberts, a 
short time since about the early pioneers of California, she gave me a 
short account of their trip across the plains in the year 1849, which is 
well worth recording in the pages of the " Pioneer Days in California." I 
will relate it as she told it to me, as nearly as I can in her own words. 
She is now in her eighty-fifth year; her memory is remarkable for a 
person of her age. She said: 

" We started with quite a large train of emigrants to California on the 
22d day of February, 1849. My husband was chosen Captain of the 
train; all went well with us the greater part of the way across the plains. 
We came the northern or Fort Hall route, and took what was called 
the Lassen cut-ofif; all went smoothly for a while. The company elected 
another Captain, who knew very little of the plains or the Indians. One 
night while camped on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, from our camp we 
could see fires and smoke starting up from different points of the mount- 
ains surrounding us. My husband advised the new Captain to guard the 
stock until the catlle were filled, and then to corral them for the night. 
* For,' said he, 'those are signal fires, and we are in danger from the 
Indians.' The Captain laughed at his fears, and said, ' We are past all 
danger.' We were then on the California side of the Sierras. My hus- 
band got up his cattle and corralled them, saying he would take no 
chances. Next morning the most of the cattle were gone, having been 
stolen by the Indians; not a whole team left, except ours, in the train. 
Here we were in the mountains and late in the season, short of teams to 
take us through. There was but one thing to be done, and that was to 
lighten up the wagons, and proceed as best we might. All surplus goods 
and provisions were thrown from the wagons, in order to lighten them 
for the reduced teams. We then got on very slowly. As we all feared, 
the storms commenced, and caught us in the mountains in November, 
very poorly prepared for a hard winter. We kept traveling as well as we 
could, though it kept snowing all the time. On the 17th day of November 
the United States relief train met us. The train was under the command 
of Captain Peeples of the United States army, and had been sent out by 
the Government to help the late emigrants through. It was snowing 
hard at the time we met the train of about forty mules. The Captain 
told us the only thing for us to do was for us to leave our teams and 
everything we had, and he would take us through with his mules as he 
was short of provisions, and they must make the settlement as soon as 
possible. My husband refused to leave his team, and I refused to leave 



BIOGRAPHY. 445 

my husband, preferring to take my chances with him. R. R. Roberts, 
our son, and his wife left with the Government train, as his wife was very 
near her confinement, and they hoped to reach the settlements before 
her sickness would take place. They started, leaving us in the mount- 
ains, the snow still falling. They traveled for two days with the relief 
■train, and the third night after being with the train the party camped for 
the night. The ne.xt morning the snow was between two and three feet 
deep, and all the mules but three had perished of cold and hunger. Cap- 
tain Peeples then found himself in desperate straits. Here he was with 
a company whom he was sent to assist, with a number of women and 
children, snowed in in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, without provisions or 
transportation for them. All he had left of his forty mules was but three, 
and they hardly able to travel. The nearest settlement was forty miles 
distant. They made sacks, into which they put the children, and slung 
them on each side of the mules. They had one old ox, which they killed 
before starting, but left part of the ox with the party staying behind. 
There were ten women in the party; they wivh the rest had to go on 
foot through the snow, over two feet deep, and with very little to eat. 
They reached the settlement in two days, without loss of life, which set- 
tlement was then known as Lassen's Ranch, and was about one hundred 
and twenty-five miles above Sacramento City. In the meantime William 
Roberts and wife had overtaken the Government train in camp where the 
mules had perished. Young Mrs. Roberts being unable to travel, the 
Roberts family had to remain there with two sick men who had the 
scurvy. One of the men died the second night in camp, and the other 
got well. The names of the party that remained in camp were William 
Roberts, Susan Roberts, his wife, R. R. Roberts and his wife, who was 
about to be confined, J. J. Roberts and Mr. Cliff, the teamster, with the 
two sick men. In a day or two Mrs. Roberts was confined in the wagon, 
and a boy was born — the first white child born in a snowstorm in the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains, of whom we have any account. The child grew to 
manhood in Humboldt county, and was known as John V. C. Roberts. 
In the meantime, after the baby was born, they moved down the mount- 
ains about four miles and built a cabin, intending to have shelter until 
the storm was over. 

The first night they moved into their cabin they turned out their 
famished oxen, sixteen in number, to browse. The next morning it was 
discovered that they hi^d all been stolen by the Indians, and nothing was 
left but one Indian pony. After completing the cabin, Mr. William 



446 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

Roberts started for the settlement in search of provisions for the family. 
When he left the cabin they had one very poor deer which they had 
killed, and very poor venison it made. Mr. Roberts was gone four days 
when he returned, bringing a few provisions. During these four days 
the infant subsisted on kennaknick berries they found under thesnow, and 
picked and then pressed; the juice was given to the infant, which thrived 
well on such nourishment. The pulp of these berries was made into 
bread and eaten by the adults. After Mr. Roberts returned to camp, R. 
R. Roberts, John J. Roberts and Mr. Cliff went to Sacramento Valley 
for provisions. The party remained in camp until the 20th of February, 
when they left for the Sacramento Valley, and arrived at Lassen's Ranch 
t)n foot, on the 22d day of February, 1850. The family came to Humboldt 
and arrived at Eureka on the 22d day of February, 1851. William 
Roberts died at Bucksport, Humboldt county, January 7, 1872, aged 72 
years. Susan Roberts, the mother of pioneers, my informant, is a hale 
and hearty old lady, now in her eighty-fifth year, and loves to talk of her 
pioneer days. 

RANDALL, ALPHEUS W.— A native of Rhode Island; came to 
California in 1849 in the ship " Learnor." He was a soldier in the Mexi- 
can war; Sergeant of Company A, Ninth Infantry. First Lieutenant of 
Company F, Battalion of California Mountaineers. Residence, Eureka. 
Profession, banker. 

RANDALL, T. M. — Came from Illinois across the plains to California 
in 1853. Residence, Areata. 

RICHARDSON, CHARLES— A native of Maine; came to Cali- 
fornia in 1853. Lumberman and millwright. 

RAY, J. G. — A native of Missouri; crossed the plains to California with 
the Donner party in 1846. Died in Humboldt county in 1890. 

ROHNER, HENRY— Came from Kentucky to California in 1849. 
Capitalist. Residence, Fortuna. 

RUSS, MRS. JOSEPH— Daughter of N. Patrick; crossed the plains 
from Illinois in 1852. 

ROBINSON, LAVINA E.— A native of Michigan; daughter of J. P. 
Albee; came to California in 1852. Residence, Bridgeville. 

RUSS, JOSEPH — A native of Maine; came to California in 1850 via 
Cape Horn; came to Humboldt in 1852; was elected to the Legislature in 
1873 and again in 1884; elected delegate to the Republican National 



BIOGRAPHY. 447 

Convention at Chicago in 1884. Mr. Russ was one of Humboldt's most 
enterprising citizens, and was the largest land owner in the county at the 
time of his death, which occurred in October, 1886. 



SEVIER, ABNER DILL — A native of Indiana; crossed the plains in 
1850, and came to Humboldt county in 1851; was a member of the Court 
of Sessions, and for four years Sheriff of Humboldt county. Justice of 
the Peace and Police Judge of Eureka. Was an officer in Company A, 
Battalion of California Mountaineers. Died at Rohnerville in li 



SEVIER, SARAH A.— Wife of A. D. Sevier; was born in Tennessee, 
and came to California in 1850 and to Humboldt county in 1850, as Miss 
Stringfield. 

STRINGFIELD, SEVIER — Was born in Tennessee in 1800; came 
across the plains in 1850, and to Humboldt county in 1851. A farmer 
and Methodist minister. Died in Santa Barbara in 1890. 

STRINGFIELD, M. W. — A native of Illinois; came across the plains 
to California in 1850. Was a member of California Mountaineers, Com- 
pany A. Also served in the Modock war in 1872. Occupation, librarian. 

STRINGFIELD, ELIZABETH— Wife of Sevier Stringfield; came to 
California in 1850. 

SHUFFLETON, HUGH HALL— Crossed the plains from Iowa in 
1849. Residence, Shasta county. 

SHUFFLETON, CHARLES W.— Crossed the plains from Iowa in 
1853. Residence, Eureka. 

SNEDDEN, JOSEPH— A native of Scotland; came from the State of 
New York to California in 1852. Belonged to Fourth U. S. Infantry, 
Company B, Corporal. 

SPEARS, A. C. — A native of New York; came from Michigan to Cali- 
fornia across the Isthmus in 185 1. Occupation, lumbering and farming. 

SCOTT, HENRY P. — A native of Hamburg, Germany; arrived in 
California June, 1849, from Valparaiso, Chile. A seaman by occupation. 

SHELDON, MARY L.— Came from Vermont; arrived in California by 
way of Cape Horn in 1852. Residence, San Francisco. 

SUTTON, MRS. L. — Came from Iowa to California across the plains 
in 1853. Residence, Oroville, Butte county, California. 



448 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

SHIVELY, WILLIAM B.— Came from Ohio to California across the 
plains in 1852. Residence, Rio Dell. 

SHIVELY, CAROLINE — Came from Illinois across the plains in 
1852. 

SWEASEY, MRS. SARAH— Came across the plains from Ohio in 
1852. 

STANISLAUSKI, GUSTAVE, and Mary Madgeline Stanislauski, 
his wife, came to California in 1S51, and to Humboldt in 1852. Resi- 
dence, Humboldt county. 

SWEASEY, RICHARD — A native of Indiana; came to California in 
• 1850 and to Humboldt in 1855. Occupation, merchant, and ship-owner. 
Residence, Eureka. 



TILLEY, G. H. — Is a native of Rhode Island; came to California 
September ist, 1849, and to Humboldt in 1850; has been Supervisor 
of Humboldt county two terms. 

TYDD, PETER — A native of Ireland; came from New York to Cali- 
fornia in 1852; was a member of Company F, Fourth U. S. Infantry, 
Captain U. S. Grant. 

THOMAS, W. — A native of Massachusetts; came to California in 
1849 through Mexico; was a soldier of the Mexican war. 

TOMLINSON, CAPTAIN EDWIN— Born in England in 1809; 
came to the United States in 181 1; came to California by way of the 
Cape of Good Hope and Australia in 1852 in the ship "Envelop;" came 
to Humboldt in 1852; was shipwrecked on Humboldt Bar December 
10, 1852. Retired shipmaster. Residence, Eureka. 

TOMLINSON, REBECCA— Wife of Captain Tomlinson ; a native of 
Nova Scotia; came to California with her husband in 1852. 

TERRY, MARY— Daughter of J. P. Albee; a native of Michigan; 
came to California in 1852. 

VANSANT, JOSHUA— A native of Maryland; came to California 
in 1850; has been Marshal of the city of Eureka for ten years. 

VALLIER, A. C. — A native of New York; came to California in 1852. 
A miner. Residence, Eureka. 



BIOGRAPHY. 449 

VANN, MATTHEW — A soldier of the Mexican war; arrived in Cali- 
fornia in 1852. A native of Kentucky. 

VANN, ELIZABETH— Wife of Matthew Vann. A native of Ten- 
nessee. Residence, Napa. 

VAN DYKE, WALTER— Native of New York; studied law in Cleve- 
land, Ohio, and admitted to practice in the courts of that State; arrived 
in California, via Tehuantepec, in 1850, and was among the first explorers 
of the lower Klamath River; belonged to the Whig party, but was elected 
District Attorney of Klamath county upon its organization in 1851; re- 
moved to Areata in 1852 and engaged in practice of his profession; mar- 
ried Miss Rowena Cooper in 1854; partowner and editor of the Humboldt 
Times several years, and served the county as District Attorney; became 
a resident of Eureka in 1858 ; elected to State Senate in 1861, and was 
prominent in the formation of the Union party; he now resides in Los 
Angeles, and is one of the Superior Judges of that county. 

VAN SICKLE, THOMAS— A native of New York; came to Cali- 
fornia in 1850. Residence, Rohnerville. Merchant. 

WOOD, GABRIEL — Is a native of Prussia; came from Pennsylvania 
across the Isthmus to California in 185 1. Residence, Eureka. Occupa- 
tion, a teamster. 

WHITE, SAMUEL S.— A native of Massachusetts; came to Cali- 
fornia in 1852, and to Humboldt county in 1871. Occupation, a mason. 

WILT, J. A. — A native of New Brunswick; came to California via 
Cape Horn in 1850. He is a general agent. 

WHEELER, E. D. — A native of Connecticut; came to California 
across the plains from Wisconsin in 1849. Profession, lawyer. Was the 
first County Clerk of Yuba county, in 1850; was Mayor of Marysville; 
was elected to the State Senate in i860; moved to San Francisco in 1862; 
in 1872 he was appointed District Judge of the Ninteenth Judicial Dis- 
trict by Governor Booth; in 1874 was elected Judge by the people of the 
District just mentioned; he served in this capacity until 1880, when the 
District Courts were abolished by the new Constitution. From that 
time to the present he has practiced his profession in San Francisco. 

WEBER, MARTIN— Came to California from Illinois in 1852. Mer- 
chant. Residence, Rohnerville. 



450 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

WEBER, NICHOLAS— Came to California from Illinois in 1852. 
Merchant. Residence, Rohnerville. 

WENNER, B. — Crossed the Isthmus to California in 1849. Resi- 
dence, Fortuna. A farmer. 

WAITE, B. L. — Came to California from Wisconsin across the plains 
in 1850. Residence, Grizzly Bluff. Farmer. 

WOOLDRIDGE, MRS. JOSEPHINE— Daughter of N. Patrick; 
crossed the plains from Illinois in 1852. 

WALL, WILLIAM H.— A native of New York; came to California in 
1846; arrived at Humboldt Bay in June, 1850. Was the first white man 
married in Humboldt county; married the daughter of James Light. 

WILLIAMS, GEORGE— A native of Ohio; crossed the plains to 
California in 1850; served two terms as Supervisor of Trinity county; was 
Provost Marshal for Trinity county in 1863; served one term as Super- 
visor of Humboldt county; was elected to the Legislature from Humboldt 
county in 1887. Residence, Ferndale. Occupation, stockman and 
general business. 

WINZLER, JOHN — Crossed the plains from Ohio to California in 
1850. Residence, Oregon. Occupation, blacksmith. 

WATSON, JOHN A. — A native of New Hampshire; came from 
Maine to California in 1851; was elected County Clerk of Trinity county 
in 1856; ran on the Republican ticket in that county for Sheriff against 
John P. Jones, now U. S. Senator from Nevada. The Republican party 
being largely in the minority, he failed to be elected. In 1863 he enlisted 
in the California Battalion Mountaineers, and was commissioned First 
Lieutenant of Company C, under Captain Miller; served until the close 
of the war, and was mustered out in 1865. He then took up his residence 
at Eureka. In 1868 he was elected County Clerk of Humboldt county, 
and held that office for six years; in 1874 he was appointed Deputy Col- 
lector of Customs, and President Arthur appointed him Collector of the 
Port when Eureka was made a Customs district. He held the position 
of agent for Wells, Fargo Qr' Co. from April, 1879, until his death; he 
served six years as a member of the City Council, and was one of the 
most efBcient members of that body. Died at Eureka November 8, 1883. 

WALSH, THOMAS— A native of Ireland; came to California in 1851, 
and to Humboldt in 1853; was elected the first Mayor of Eureka in 1874, 
and served two terms; was again elected Mayor of Eureka m 1880, and 



BIOGRAPHY. 451 

served three terms, or until 1886. Occupation, merchant. Died at 
Chicago in 1886. 

WHIPPLE, S. G. — Born in Vermont ; arrived in Cahfornia across 
the plains from Ohio July, 1849, and in what is now Humboldt county 
in February, 1851; established the Northern Califoniian at Areata in 
1858, and conducted same two years, when it was united with the 
Humboldt Times, to the proprietorship of which he succeeded, disposing 
of the establishment in 1862. Served three terms in the State Legislature. 
Entered U. S. volunteer military service spring of 1863, and the regular 
army in 1866, retiring in 1884. Resides at Eureka; manager of the 
Humboldt Times. 

■ WYMAN, J. E. — A native of Massachusetts; arrived in California in 
1850, and in Humboldt in 185 1; served as County Judge of Humboldt 
county for fourteen years; was the owner and publisher of the Htimboldt 
Times; he started the first daily paper in Humboldt county. Died in 
1880, at Eureka. 

WOOD, L. K. — A native of Kentucky; came to California in 1849; he 
was one of the first discoverers of Humboldt Bay; he with seven others, 
known as Dr. Gregg's party, left Trinity River on the 5th day of Novem- 
ber, 1849, to explore the then unknown country between Upper Trinity 
River and the Pacific Ocean. After incredible hardships and almost 
starvation they reached the coast at the mouth of what is known as Little 
River. For over six weeks this little band of pioneers tramped over snowy 
mountains, and swam swollen streams, on their expedition of discovery. 
On December 20, 1849, David A. Buck, one of the party, discovered 
the bay, and named it Trinity Bay. Four months later the bay was dis- 
covered by the Laura Virginia Company, and given the name of Humboldt 
Bay, which name it still retains. 

The Gregg party then undertook to return to the settlements by the 
way of Eel River, in the midst of one of the hardest winters known to 
California. Their provisions gave out in the midst of a heavy snowstorm, 
and for days they were without food. They were now reduced almost to 
starvation. Three of the band went hunting, and found a band of eight 
grizzly bears, and necessity compelled them to attack the bears. After 
they wounded some of the bears, the brutes turned on them, and getting 
hold of L. K. Wood, they mangled his body in a fearful manner. They 
broke one of his legs and tore one of his arms, and thus rendered him a 
cripple for life. Finally the bears left him, and bis comrades got him 
into camp. 



452 PIONEER DAYS IN CALIFORNIA. 

The question now arose, what was to be done with the wounded man? 
If they stayed in camp they would all perish of starvation, and his wounds 
were so swollen and sore that he could not be removed. On consultation 
with Mr. Wood himself, he requested his companions to shoot him, and 
not leave him to die of the pangs of hunger in that wilderness. They dis- 
cussed the matter, and finally came to the conclusion that they would 
make a litter and pack him as far as possible. This they did. After un- 
told miseries, the party arrived at the ranch of Mrs. Mark West on the 
17th day of February, 1850, and remained there until sufficiently recov- 
ered to proceed to San Francisco. Mr. Wood received the utmost kind- 
ness from every member of the family. 

Mr. Wood returned to Humboldt, and, in 1852, ran as an independent 
candidate for the office of Clerk of Trinity county, of which county the 
present county of Humboldt then formed a part. The Democratic can- 
didate was successful. Shortly afterwards Humboldt county was created 
by act of the Legislature, and L. K. Wood became County Clerk of the 
new county. He afterwards became a farmer on Areata bottom, and 
married the daughter of James Hanna, Esq., and raised a large family. 
Most of the children still reside in Humboldt county. He died at Areata 
on the 1 2th day of July, 1874. 

Through the courtesy of his sons, the author was permitted to take this 
sketch from a narrative written by L. K. Wood several years ago, and 
published at the time in the Humboldt Times. 




1S53