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Cornell University 

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Cornell University Library 
PN 4897.C23Y73 

Journalism n California 

3 1924 027 484 579 






Pacific Coast and 






"TOUBNALISM in California" was written to cele- 
J brate the fiftieth anniversary of the existence of the 
San Francisco Chronicle. It appeared, with the ex- 
ception of Chapter XXIII, in the Golden Jubilee and Ex- 
position Edition of the Chronicle published on January 
1G, 1915. It was so well received, and the suggestions 
that it should be reproduced in book form were so numer- 
ous, that Mr. M. H. de Young decided upon issuing the 
present edition, copies of which will be sent to all the 
newspapers belonging to the two leading newsgathering as- 
sociations, and the important literary journals and libra- 
ries, and to the various colleges of journalism in the 
United States. ~ / 

The request that the sketch should be given a per- 
manent form came with particular urgency from the 
teachers of journalism in several American Universities, 
who were pleased to say that it would prove a valuable 
auxiliary in their work, and to express the hope that edi- 
tors in other parts of the Union would do for their section 
what the author sought to accomplish when he wrote 
"Journalism in California." 

« John P. Young. 

San Francisco, June 1, 1915. 




A People Who Were Not Disturbed by News — Naming of the Golden Gate — 
Communication Between the Missions — First Printing Press in California — 
The Earliest Discovery of Gold at Los Angeles in 1841 — The First House 
in Yerba Buena — The First Civic Improvement in California — Marine In- 
activity and Industrial Languor Match Each Other — California's First Saw- 
mill — Arrival of the Mormon Colony — A Press and Font of Type Brought 
in 1846 — California's First Paper Published at Monterey in 1846 — Defense 
Against Wild Indians — First Paper "Almost Pays Expenses" — First Type 
Used in Monterey Found in One of the Missions — Two Weeks Between Los 
Angeles and San Francisco — The California Star Issued by the Mormons — 
Hard Times in Yerba Buena — The First "Boost" Article printed in Cali- 
fornia — Desire to Make a Slave State of California — The Rush to the 
Mines — Yerba Buena Is Officially Named San Francisco by Alcalde Bart- 
lett — Commerce and Population of San Francisco in 1848 Page 



Changes in Journalistic Methods — Apparent Innovations Often Only Exaggera- 
tions — A Six-Column Description of California Resources in 1848 — Early 
Papers Had Few News Facilities — Pioneer and Eastern Contemporary 
Period Journalism Compared — First Telegraph Line in 1852 — Completion 
of Line Between San Francisco and Missouri River — News by Pacific Mail 
Steamers — Files of Eastern Papers a Great Source of News — The Pony 
Express and the Newspapers — Reporting During the Fifties — The First 
Vigilance Committee — Avoidance of Mention of Crime Did Not Prevent Its 
Becoming Rampant — Twelve Dailies in San Francisco in 1851 — Denuncia- 
tions of Municipal Corruption — "Affairs of Honor" Common During the 
Fifties — The Newspaper Graveyard of Early Days — The Birth of the Alta — 
San Francisco's First Newspaper Merger — The Founding of the Bulletin — 
No Overset in Early Day Composition Rooms Page 



Grafters Judged With Leniency — The Press and the Land Grabbers — Collectivism 
Not in High Favor — City Lots Sold for a Song — Legislation to Remove 
Clouds on Titles— The Squatter Troubles — Fraudulent Spanish Grants — An 
Attempt to Grab the Whole City — Limantour's Claim Pronounced Fraudu- 


ii Contents 

lent in 1858 — The Condonement of Evils — Subordination of Local Interest 
to National Affairs — The Constitutional Convention of 1850 — The Slavery 
Question and the Disposition to Compromise — Filibusters and Filibustering — 
— National Affairs Freely Discussed by Editors — The Fugitive Slave Act 
Applauded — Contradictory Attitude on the Subject of Slavery — Opposition 
to the Introduction of Slaves — Race Prejudice Prevalent — Absolute Dis- 
regard of the Principles of Neutrality — Advocacy of Cuban Independence 
in 1851— The Manifest Destiny Idea— " Fif ty-f our Forty or Fight" — 
Open Recruiting for Filibustering Expeditions — Editors Who Thought 
"Walker Was a Hero — Editors Who Could Smell Out Intrigues — American 
and French Attempts to Grab Sonora — The Absorbing Editorial Topic — 
— No Sentiment in Favor of Dissociating Local From National Polities — 
A Scolding Press Which Accomplished No Reforms — The Unceasing At- 
tempts to Gain Party Advantage — Warfare Between Editors Page 17 



Events That Led to the Committee's Activities- — Neglect of Civic Duties by San 
Franciscans — Ballot-Box Stuffing and Ballot Boxes With False Bottoms — 
Municipal Extravagance — A Big Reduction in Expenditures — Nothing to 
Show for Money Expended — David Broderick's Career as a Municipal Boss 
— Assaults of James King of William on David C. Broderick — A Specimen 
Bulletin Editorial in 1855 — Sudden Rise in the Popularity of the Bulletin — 
Popular Approbation of Personal Journalism — Exposure of Jury Corrup- 
tion — The Law and Order Party — Casey Murders James King of William — 
The Vigilance Committee Hangs Cora and Casey — The Herald Ruined by 
Withdrawal of Advertising Patronage — Earlier Popularity of the Herald — 
Formation of the People's Party— Conventionality Abhorred by Early 
Editors and Reporters — Honest Harry Meiggs — Reporters Never Suspected 
His Shortcomings — His Unsuccessful Attempt to Divert Business to North 
Beach — Fraudulent Use of City ,Scrip — His Flight from San Francisco and 
His Subsequent Rehabilitation in Peru Page 24 


STORM OF 1856. 

Decent Elements of Society Assume Control of Affairs — The People's Party — 
Drifting in a Political Sargossa Sea — A Nominating Junta — The People 
Saved the Trouble of Selecting Candidates — Reduction of Municipal Ex- 
penditures in 1857 — Bulletin's Advocacy of Pay-as- You-Go Municipal Gov- 
ernment — Newspapers Easily Founded — Many Journals Live a Short Life — 
Limited Circulation of Early Papers — The Contents of a Paper More Im- 
portant Than the Number of Copies Printed — Per capita Consumption of 
Papers Very Small — A Host of Forgotten Once Popular Journals — News- 
papers Make a Limited Appeal to Readers — Small Forces Required to Get 
Out Daily Papers — A Limited Police Force and Scant Information Con- 
cerning Crime and Criminals — The Editor and the Field of Honor — Gentle- 
Minded Men Who Called Each Other Hard Names — The Attention Paid 
to Dramatic Criticism — Early Boosters of California's Climate — California 
Spoken of as God 's Country. Page 33 




Effect of Telegraph Construction on Appetite for 1 News — San Francisco Papers 
Take on a More Newsy Appearance — Backroom Nominations Cheerfully Ac- 
cepted — An Insistent Demand for Retrenchment — Hot Discussions of Burn- 

Contents ill 

ing Questions — No Doubt Regarding Stand Taken by Editors — David C. 
Broderick's Career in San Francisco — Broderick's Championship of Free 
Labor — Loose Views Concerning the Institution of Slavery — Broderick 
Elected United States Senator — Broderick and Terry Members of Law and 
Order Party in 1856 — Terry Kills Broderick in a Duel — A Forerunner of 
Evils to Come — Not Much Interest in State Division — San Francisco Not 
Eager to Become a Capital — All Agreed on Subject of Importance of the 
Harbor — Fremont's Prophetic Instinct — Maritime Proclivities of Early 
Press — The Defeat of the Bulkhead Scheme — A Seawall Project Headed . 
Off — Editors Stimulating Agricultural Development — Advocacy of Big 
Farms — The Mining Industry Regarded as the Premier Page 42 



A Long List of Defunct Newspapers — Papers Conducted to Forward Political 
Aspirations of Owners — Wires Sparingly Used in Early Days — Use of 
Italics in Early Days — The Tyranny of the Composition Room — The Day 
When Many Jobs Were Performed by One Person — When Big Type Was 
Frowned Upon — Effects of the Cheapening of White Paper — The Big In- 
crease of Price During the Civil War — Early Day Reporting Criticised — Not 
Many Trained Reporters — Editors Guess What Reporters Fail to Discover — 
Facts Carefully Concealed by Papers — The Press and the Slavery Question 
on the Outbreak of the War — A Minister Who Would Not Pray for the 
President — Few Editors Called to an Accounting for Their Proclivities — 
A Civil War Fighting Editor — Newspaper Offices Gutted When Lincoln 
Was Assassinated — Adherence of California to Gold Money — The Specific 
Contract Legislation — Influence Exerted by the Press to Promote Honest 
Monetary Dealing Page 53 



Advent of the Examiner — Its Founders — The Youthful Projectors of The 
Chronicle — Acumen Displayed in Selecting a Title— An Amusement Loving 
Public — A Newspaper From the Very Beginning — San Francisco Restaurants 
During the Sixties — The First Home of The Chronicle — Hustling to Get 
Money for a Start — Rapid Growth of Popularity Eases Finances — Mark 
Twain's Contributions to the Dramatic Chronicle — The Budding Author Has 
Desk Room in Dramatic Chronicle Office — Bret Harte Helps Out With In- 
teresting Squibs — The Criticisms of Tremenhere Johns of the Dramatic 
Chronicle — The Efforts of the Beginners Cause Amusement — Prosperity Soon 
Follows Success — Movement to New Quarters on Montgomery Street — A 
Handsome Sign, of Which the Youthful Publishers Were Very Proud— A 
Theater Manager and Actress Who Disliked Criticism — First News of the As- 
sassination of President Abraham Lincoln — Early Efforts to Illustrate a 
Daily Newspaper — Extras Tell of the Gutting of Local Newspaper Offices. Page 63 


M. H. de YOUNG. 

The Chronicle Begins to Make Investigations — Early Contributors to the Sun- 
day Edition — Charles Warren Stoddard, Prentice Mulford and Anna Cora 
Mowatt Ritchie — The Chronicle's First London Correspondent — The Prefix 
Dramatic Dropped — The Daily Morning Chronicle — The Earthquake of 
1868 — An Extra Issued While the Earth Was Trembling — The Enterprise 


of the Bulletin — Career of the Alta California — Policies of the Bulletin 
and Call — The Attitude of the San Francisco Press Toward the Bailroad — 
Fear of Goat Island Becoming a Rival City — When the Southern Pacific was 
' ' The Bailroad ' '—Little Distrust of the Future — The Press Confident That 
the Bailroad Would Promote Prosperity — The Mania for Mining Stock 
Speculation — The Bush to the White Pine Mines — A Hopeful Press on 
the Eve of Hard Times Page 70 



iditions Preceding the Adoption of the Constitution of 1879 — Henry George's 
Connection with the Chronicle — General Protest Against Land Monopoly — 
Disturbing Besults of the Spanish and Mexican Land Grant System — The 
Bevivifying Influence of the Finding of Large Bodies of Ore in Nevada — 
The Big Bonanza Discovery and Its Effects — The Bage for Gambling in 
Mining Stocks — Stock Gambling an Excuse for All Delinquencies — The 
Big Deals Put Over — Men Who Yearned for Misinformation — The Failure of 
the Bank of California and the Death of Balston — Manufacturing Enter- 
prises That Did Not Succeed — Early Aspirations for a "City Beautiful" 
on the Bay of San Francisco — The Industrial Activities of Balston — The 
First Irrigation Project and Its Outcome — Abatement of the Speculative 
Mania — A Milked-Dry Community Page 78 



suit of Agitation Against Land Monopoly — The Product of the Bonanza Mines 
• — An Extremely Capable Chief Clerk of the Mint — The Meteoric Career 
of George M. Pinney — Broker, Millionaire, Enlisted Man and a Political 
Boss All Boiled Into One Personality — Pinney. Meets With Beverses and 
Flees the Country — His Adventurous Voyage to South America — Sends Out 
S. 0. S. Calls, Which Are Not Heeded — Pinney Surrenders Himself as a 
Deserter from the Navy- — Pinney Makes Accusations Which Create a Sen- 
sation — Politicians Invoke the Law of Libel — The Chronicle Assailed for 
Exposing Political Corruption — How an Editor Got Bid of Some Bad Eggs — 
Pinney Has an Attack of Forgetfulness — Pinney 's Financial Operations 
Cause the Wreck of Several Banks — Creation of a Bank Commission the 
Besult of The Chronicle 's Exposures Page 84 



Misrepresented Organic Law — Assaults on the Men Who Framed It — The 
Unreasoning Fears and Unscrupulous Methods of Its Opponents — The 
Chronicle's Vigorous Fight for the Instrument — Big Sums of Money Ex- 
pended to, Beat the New Organic Law — Fruitless Efforts to Muzzle The 
Chronicle— Threats of withdrawal of Patronage Fail to Intimidate — The 
Charge That It Was a Sand-Lot Instrument Refuted — Framed by the Best 
Legal Talent of California — The Chronicle's Defense of the Freedom of 
the Press — Composition of the Constitutional Convention — A Thoroughly 
Discussed Document — Settling a Question of Newspaper Makeup — Meet- 
ings Organized by M. H. de Young — A Big Meeting in the Mechanics' 
Pavilion — Victory Celebrated by Fireworks Page 91 




Journalistic Progress in San Francisco — History in Outline — Appearance, of 
Newspapers During the Seventies — Breaking Away Prom Conventionalised 
Methods — San Francisco's First Eight-Page Paper — An Old-Time Supple- 
ment — Newspaper Offices on Side Streets — Publication Center in Unsavory 
Quarters — The Chronicle's Bold Move to Kearny Street — First San Fran- 
cisco Newspaper to Have a Real Home of Its Own — Newspapers That 
Lacked Confidence in the Future — Changes in Ownership of Papers — The 
Bulletin and Call Under Pickering, Fitch and Simonton — Printing on a 
Hand-Fed Press — Highly-Paid Hand Composition — Newspaper Career of 
Henry George — Robert Louis Stevenson and the Newspapers — Bryce's 
Opinion of The Chronicle — Writers With Imagination — The Pioneer Sun- 
day Magazine of the Daily Press of America — Reporting Sports and Sport 
News — San Francisco's First Sporting Editor — Newspaper Staffs Re- 
cruited from the Pulpit, the Schoolroom and the Bar — The Chronicle a 
Training School — Expounders of "Sound" Democratic Doctrine — Found- 
ing of the Argonaut — The News Letter and Its Writers — Samuel Seabough 
a Forceful Editorial Writer — Boosting a Senatorial Candidate and Its 
Results — The Chronicle Gets a New Managing Editor Page 97 



San Francisco's First Newspaper Building — The Chronicle's Home on the 
Corner of Kearny and Bush Streets — An Exhibition of Confidence in the 
Future — A Thoroughly Up-to-Date Plant — Those Who Inspected It Believed 
It Would Never Be Outgrown — First American Demonstration of Electric 
Lighting in Chronicle Office — An Illustration of the Journalism That Does 
Things — When Kearny and Bush Streets Were the City's Center — The Germ 
of the Index Card System — The Chronicle's Contemporary Library — A Big 
Account of a Big Fire — The Big Inyo Earthquake Pictures by The Chron- 
icle — The Diamond Mine Swindle Exposure — The Battle in the Lava Beds 
With Modoc Indians — An Interview Which Attracted World-Wide Attention 
— When Interviewing Was Much in Vogue — Passangers by Rail From the 
East Win Distinction — Publication of Letter Lists — No Press Club in Early 
Days — Newspaper Men Who Were Bohemians — The Glorification of San 
Francisco and Its Atmosphere — Liberal Use of the Wire Page 107 



Result of Adoption of Constitution of 1879 — There Was No Hegira of Capital — 
The Last Big Mining Stock Deal — A Quietus on Stock Gambling — The Con- 
stitution's Adherents Were the People of the Interior — Greed of Agitators 
for Office an Obstacle to Realization of Benefits — Charles de Young the 
Ablest Newspaper Man Produced by San Francisco — The Reception to Gen- 
eral — It Enabled The Chronicle to Set the Pace in Reporting — A 
World-Beating Journalistic Exploit — A People Proud of Their . Paper — 
Another Great Report of a Big Local Event — The Author's Carnival — The 
First Real Woman Journalist — A Case of Makeshift Illustration — Renewal 
of Prosperity — The Crusade Against Chinese Immigration — Passage of the 
Exclusion Act by Congress — A Great Wheat Producing State — Popularity of 
The Chronicle's Annuals — The Chronicle's Thoroughness Page 116 




' Recognition of the Demand for Regulation of Monopolies — Democratic De- 
fenders of the Railroads — Eastern Attitude Slow to Crystallize — The Frus- 
tration of Attempts to Reform — A Problem That California Migh Have Suc- 
cessfully Worked Out — Failure to Elect Honest Commissions — A Victim of 
Judge-Made Law — Absurd Results of the Board of Equalization Decision — 
The Evils of Non-Partisanism — Political Career of George Hearst — He 
Makes a Handsome Present to His Son — Examiner Passes Into Possession of 
William R. Hearst — The Chronicle's Advocacy of the Protective Policy — A 
History of Education in the United States — Another Instance of the Journal- 
ism That Does Things — The Chronicle Demonstrates the Desirability of 
Weather Warnings to Agriculturists and Fruit Growers — Millions Saved to 
the State by Newspaper Enterprise — The Chronicle Forms a News Associa- 
tion — Numerous Patrons Served — Chronicle Press Association Absorbed by 
Associated Press — M. H. de Young a Director of Associated Press for 
Twenty-seven Years — Illustration Growth — Big Type in Heads — Book 
Reviews — Dramatic Critics — A Training School for Statesmen — Noted 
contributors Page 123 




Tew Building for The Chronicle at Market, Geary and Kearny — An Archi- 
tectural Departure Which Caused Much Headshaking — M. H. de Young's 
Bold Innovation — The Chronicle's Big Strides in the Eleven Years Between 
1879 and 1890 — A Sixty-Page Edition — Some Remarkable Comparisons — 
Hard Times After a Period of Prosperity — A Successful Attempt to Turn 
Aside Adversity — M. H. de Young's Proposition to Hold a Midwinter Fair — 
A Conspicuous Instance of the Journalism That Does Things — The Story of 
a Big Enterprise; — The Manner of Its Suggestion in Chicago at the Colum- 
bian Fair — An Idea Received With Enthusiasm — The Ball Set Rolling in 
Chicago — Local Attempts to Head off the Project — Fears That It Could 
Not be Successfully Carried Through — The First Modest Plans — Organiza- 
tion Effected and M. H. de Young Selected Director-General — Commissioners 
Oppose Location of Fair in Golden Gate Park — Formal Ground Breaking 
August 24, 1893 — Work for the Unemployed — Four Short Months in Which 
to Get Ready — One Hundred and Fifty Buildings Erected — Ready to Open 
on Time — A Succession of Festivals and Other Events — An Exposition 
Which Was Made to Finance Itself— What It Did for Golden Gate Park 
and the City of San Francisco Page 135 



Monopoly in the Field of Journalism — Great Journals the Product of Toil 
and Patient Upbuilding — The Disappearance of the Alta California — A 
Newspaper Killed by Cheapness — Objection to the Introduction of Pennies — 
Diminishing Interest in Stock Speculation Causes Death of Two Papers — 
The Bulletin and Call Change Hands — John D. Spreckels Acquires the Call — 
Strenuous Adherence to the Policy of Pay-as-yon-Go — The New City Hall 
of 1870 a Ruin Before It Was Finished — Property Sold by the City Repur- 
chased to Secure a Building Site — The Dollar Limit of Taxation and the 
Water Supply — The Regulation of Water Rates — Dollar Tax Limit Used 
as a Political Bait by Boss Buckley — Newspaper Hostility to Smooth Pave- 

Contents vii 

ments — Editors "Who -Were Eeserved in the Matter of Expressing Opinion — 
Samuel S. Moffat's Free Trade Articles in the Examiner — The Chronicle's 
Advocacy of the Development of the Kesources of the State — Helping Neigh- 
boring States and Territories — Good Advice Given to Southern Californians — 
The Rush to the Klondike — Big Force Sent to Report the Discoveries — A 
Twelve-Page Edition of the Northern El Dorado — Optimistic Predictions 
Concerning Alaska— A Book Published in a Single Issue — Chronicle Mono- 
graphs Reproduced as Public Documents by Congress Page 144 



Effect of the Cheapening of Printing Paper — Cause of the Popularity of the Sun- 
day Magazine — Contributors of the Highest Rank — The Sunday Magazine 
Has Eliminated ' ' Grub Street ' '• — Development of the Syndicate — Effect of 
Illustration on the Production of Magazine Matter — Improvement in the Pro- 
duction of Pictures — Introduction of Typesetting Machines — General Adop- 
tion of the Linotype by Newspaper Offices — Growing Propensity to Dress 
Papers — Introduction and Use of the Telephone — Care Taken to Verify 
Rumors and State Facts Correctly — The Part Played by the Telephone in 
Getting at the Truth — General Use of Typewriting Machines in Newspaper 
Offices — Copyreaders and Compositors Grateful for Their Introduction — 
Shorthand Reports Not Commonly Made in American Newspaper Offices — 
Effect of Longhand Reporting on the Development of Literary Style — The 
First Sunday Editor of The Chronicle — Writers Who Came From the Case — 
Attaches of The Chronicle Who Have Made Their Mark — Well-known San 
Francisco Newspaper Men Now in Other Fields — Frank Norris' Early Con- 
nections-r-The Chronicle's City Editors Page 153 



Efforts of San Francisco to Obtain a New Charter — Strenous Opposition of Part 
of the Press to Abandoning the Consolidation Act of 1856 — Contests Over 
Details — A Charter Finally Adopted in 1898 — The Changed Attitude of Bulle- 
tin and Call After 1895 — San Francisco Embarks on a Career of Improve- 
ment — Approval of Park Panhandle Boulevard Project — The Chronicle 's Ex- 
posure of Graft, and Its Opposition to Grafters — Creation of the Kuef-Schmitz 
Machine-^Reformers Who Refused to be Stirred Into Action — Ruef and 
Schmitz Claim That Their Administration Brought Prosperity to San Fran- 
cisco — The Bitter Antagonism of The Chronicle to the Grafters — The Burning 
of the Tower of The Chronicle Building— Suit Brought by Members of 
Schmitz Gang Against The Chronicle— It Took an Earthquake to Rouse the 
Eeformers to Action— The Visit of Roosevelt to San Francisco— His Approval 
of The Chronicle's Political Course— Protection Versus Bimetallism— Pro- 
prietor of The Chronicle Elects to Stand by the Former— Schemes for Beauti- 
fying the City— Summer Outing Editions of The Chronicle— Charity Work 
Done by Newspapers — Women's Clubs and the Press— Cartooning, and 
Chronicle Catoonists p ag e 161 



Newspaper Warnings That Went Unheeded — Prosperity Produces a Careless Atti- 
tude Toward Municipal Government — The Chronicle the Only Paper Hated 
by the Grafters— Reformers Inactive on the Eve of the Great Conflagration — 
A Case of Purification by Fire— Part Played by the Press in the Great 

viii Contents 

Disaster — Responding to the Call of a Self-Imposed Obligation — Prepara- 
tions to Get Out an Extra— A Messenger Sent to Oakland Asking Hos- 
pitality — The Joint Paper Published on the Morning of April 19, 1906 — 
It was a Marvel of Calm Statement — A Journal That Lived One Day Only — 
Charles de Young Receives His Baptism of Journalistic Fire — He reorgan- 
izes the Circulation Department — Paper Temporarily Printed in Oakland — 
The Loss of The Chronicle's Reference Library — Charles de Young Made 
Business Manager of The Chronicle — Men Who Retained Their Positions 
During Long Periods — A Great Newspaper Feat Successfully Carried 
Through by Charles de Young — Tetrazzini Sings in the Open Air on Christ- 
mas Eve at the Request of The Chronicle — The Untimely Death of Charles 
de Young . , Page 170 



Purchase of the San Francisco Call by M. H. de Young — 'Retirement from the 
Field of a Survivor from Pioneer Days — Introduction of Wireless Telegraphy 
— Increased Complexity of Newspapering — An Album of Portraits of the 
Working Force of The Chronicle — Remarkable Expansion of the Midwinter 
Exposition Memorial Museum — A Product of the Journal That Does 
Things — The Chronicle's Christmas Ship — Over a Quarter of a Million 
Articles Sent to the Little Ones of Warring Europe— Charles de Young's 
Efforts to Brighten the Lives of Unfortunates — Rescuing the Careless from 
the Clutches of Loan Sharks — The Chronicle's Japanese and Pan-American 
Editions — Imminence of Another Chronicle Skyscraper Page 180 



A Publication That Stimulated Interest in the P. P. I. E. — Ninety-two Pages 
of Reading Matter and Illustrations — Advertising Record Breaker — Aus- 
picious Opening of San Francisco's Great Show— Critics Deelare That It 
Has Surpassed All Previous Expositions — Record Breaking Attendance of 
the First Months — An Ancient Question Up for Decision — The Attempt to 
Unload Spring Valley on the City — A Contest in Which The Chronicle Stood 
Alone and Won Out Page 190 


Frontispiece — Charles and M. H. de 
Young, founders of the San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle, and Charles de 
Young, son of the latter. 

2 — Prospectus of first paper published 
in California. 

3 — Rev. "Walter Colton, editor of first 
paper published in California. 

5 — Samuel Brannan, publisher of Cali- 
fornia Star of San Francisco. 

6 — The "Washington press on which 
San Francisco's first paper was 

7 — Monument to Father Junipero Serra 
in Golden Gate Park. 

14 — Daily Alta California, containing 
account of wreck of the George 

20 — William Walker, the Nicaraguan 

26 — James King of William, murdered 
by James P. Casey in 1856. 

27 — Pictorial Town Talk, with an ac- 
count of the Vigilance Committee's 

30 — William T. Coleman, leader of Vigi- 
lance Committee of 1856. 

34 — Harry Meiggs, one of San Fran- 
cisco's earliest promoters. 

43 — David S. Terry and David C Brod- 
erick, principals in a duel of the 

64 — Title page of the Dramatic Chron- 
icle, showing form in which San 
Francisco Chronicle first appeared. 

65 — The home of the San Francisco 
Chronicle on Montgomery street in 

66 — Mark Twain. 

68 — Bret Harte. 

70 — Charles Warren Stoddard. 

, 79 — Pine-street Mining Stock Exchange 
and Montgomery street during the 

81 — William Sharon and William C. 

82 — Interior Court of Palace Hotel, 
erected by W. C. Ralston in 1875, 
destroyed by fire of 1906. 

93 — Dennis Kearney, the Sand Lot 
agitator of the seventies. 

95 — The fifth Mechanics' Pavilion, on 
the corner of Mission and Eighth 
streets, in which the great meeting 
advocating the adoption of the Con- 
stitution of 1879 was held. 

99 — Title page of first eight-page paper 
printed in San Francisco. 

101 — Evolution of the Printing Press: 
Washington hand, Hoe four-cylin- 
der and modern perfecting press. 

102 — Henry George, author of "Progress 
and Poverty." 

108 — Chronicle building, erected by the 
brothers, Charles and M. H. de 
Young in 1879 on corner of Kearny 
and Bush streets. 

110 — Chronicle's Reference Library, first 
organized in 1879. 

118- 1 — Chronicle building decorated, on the 
occasion of reception of General 
Grant on his return from his world 

128 — Bulletin board of Weather Service 
started by Chronicle in 1885 to 
demonstrate the feasibility of giv- 
ing timely warnings to the agri- 
culturists , of California, subse- 
quently adopted by the Government. 

136 — First steel "skyscraper" in San 
Francisco, erected by M. H. de 
Young in 1890, on the corner of 
Market, Geary and Kearny streets, 
and occupied by The Chronicle until 
June, 1906. 

138 — The Midwinter Exposition buildings 
in 1894. The exposition was sug- 
gested by M. H. de Young, who was 
made its President and Director- 


Chris Buckley, the Blind Boss of 
the Democratic party. 

154 — Robert Louis Stevenson. 

156 — A part of the San Francisco Chron- 
icle's battery of Linotypes. 

158 — Joaquin Miller. 

164 — Destruction of the tower of the 
Chronicle building on the night of 
November 5, 1905. 

174 — Title page of .the joint paper issued 
by San Francisco's three morning 
papers on the day after the disaster 
of 1906. 


176 — Present home of the San Francisco 
Chronicle, constructed by M. H. de 
Young after the disaster of 1906. 
The first building erected in the 
downtown district after the great 

185 (2 cuts on one page) — Thanksgiv- 
ing day at the Relief Home and 
the Children's Hospital. The cus- 
tom of entertaining the children 
was inaugurated by Charles de 
Young and has been kept up since 
his death by his father, M. H. de 

186 — The Midwinter Exposition Memorial 
Museum in Golden Gate Park. 

188 — Trucks loaded with contributions of 
clothing, toys, etc., collected by the 
San Francisco Chronicle for the 
women and children of the warring 
nations of Europe. 

189 — "Willis Polk and Company's Design 
for a New Chronicle Building. 

191 — Panoramic view of Panama-Pacific 
International Exposition and Di- 
rectors. Key to portraits: (1) Leon 
Sloss, vice-president; (2) I, W. 
Hellman Jr., vice-president; (3) R. 

B. Hale, vice-president; (4) Charles 

C. Moore, president; (5) W. H. 
Crocker, vice-president; (6) M. H. 
de Young, vice-president; (7) 
James Rolph Jr., vice-president; (8) 
Captain John Barneson; (9) John 

A. Britton; (10) George T Cam- 
eron- <11) R. A. Crothers; (1^) 
He°nry T.kott; (13) A. W .Foster; 
(14) Curtis H. Lindley (15) James 
McNab; (16) Rudolph J. Taussig, 
secretary; (17) M. J. Brandenstein; 
(18) Frank L. Brown: (19) P. T. 
Clay; (20) Alfred I-Esberg; (21) 
Henry F. Fortmann; (22) Homer S. 
King; (23) A. W. Scott Jr.; (24) 
Charles S. Stanton; (25) C. S. Fee; 
(26) Joseph S. Tobin; (27) Dent H. 
Robert; (28) Thornwell Mullally; 
(29) P. H. McCarthy. 

194 — Title page of Jubilee Edition of 
San Francisco Chronicle, published 
January 16, 1915. 

195 — Scene at the Panama-Pacific Inter- 
national Exposition on the opening 

200 — Sculpture at the Exposition: > 
Autumn, by Furio Piccirilli. 

204 — Palace of Fine Arts, Panama-Pa- 
cific International Exposition. 

208 — Sculpture at the Exposition: The 
Genius of Creation, by Daniel 
Chester French. 

212 — California Building, Panama-Pa- 
cific International Exposition. 

220 — Sculpture at the Exposition: Water, 
by Robert Aitken. 



A People "Who Were Not Disturbed by News — Naming of the Golden Gate — Com- 
munication Between the Missions — First Printing Press in California — The Earli- 
est Discovery, of Gold at Los Angeles in 1841 — The First House in Yerba Buena — 
The First Cdvie Improvement in California — Marine Inactivity and Industrial 
Languor Match Each Other — California's First Sawmill — Arrival of the Mormon 
Colony — A Press and Font of Type Brought in 1846 — California's First Paper 
Published at Monterey in 1846 — Defense Against Wild Indians — First Paper 
"Almost Pays Expenses" — First Type Used in Monterey Found in One of the 
Missions — Two Weeks Between Los Angeles and San Francisco — The California 
Star Issued by the Mormons — Hard Times in Yerba Buena — The First ' 'Boost ' ' 
Article Printed in California — Desire to Make a Slave State of California — The 
Bush to the Mines — Yerba Buena Is Officially Named San Francisco by Alcalde 
Bartlett — Commerce and Population of San Francisco in 1848. 

URING the seventy years intervening between the naming 
of the Mission Dolores by Juan Bautista de Anza on 
March 28, 1776, and the proclamation of Commodore 
Sloat on the 7th of July, 1846, in which he announced 
to the natives of California that they were to enjoy the 
advantages of the beneficent institutions of the United 
States, the vast region now forming the second largest 
state in the American Union had experienced an almost 
undisturbed repose. The few easily quelled uprisings of Indians, and the 
occasional dissensions between the religieuse and the military authorities, 
and the not very serious feuds of the more prominent of the gente de razon 
were all that happened to cause a ripple on the surface of the placid life of 
the sparsely inhabited country. 

The people of California lived a life so entirely apart from that of the 
rest of the world that the successful revolution of Mexico in 1823 scarcely 
afforded a real sensation. The interests of the province were necessarily 
vitally affected by the shaking off of Spanish rule, but the event probably 
excited less general interest than a primary election does today. There 
were sporadic exhibitions of differences of opinion by the more prominent 
landowners, and some show of opposition was made by one or two padres, 
but, on the whole, acquiescence in the change of rulers came so easily the 
inference is permissible that it was the product of indifference. 

It does not require much penetration to understand the cause of this 
attitude. During the three-quarters of a century between the day when 

Journalism in California 

Portola's hunting party discovered the bay of San Francisco in 1769, and 
the entrance of Fremont's first exploring party into the prov- 
Period ^ nce * n 1843 j the natives of California had lived lives as 

of devoid of active curiosity as of . ambition. The padres were 

Repose engrossed in the work of saving the souls of the Indians who 

became inmates of the mission establishments; and the few 
soldiers who garrisoned the widely separated posts, and the beneficiaries 
of land grants and their dependents vegetated. 

The turmoil of the outside world caused them no unrest, and only 
the echoes of revolutions reached their ears. It is related by a French 
traveler named De Mofrat, who' visited California some years after the 
overthrow of the Bourbons, that he heard the Indian neophytes singing mass 
to the tune of "The Marseillaise," which had been taught them by one of 
the padres who had probably never heard of the enthronement of the 
goddess of reason in Notre Dame, or of the bitter warfare in La Vendee. 

At this time, and for many years after, the feeble desire for intelligence 
was ministered to only when a warship or a trading vessel found its way 
into the harbor of San Francisco, through the entrance which later had 

- . conferred upon it by Fremont the Greek name Chrysophylae, 

gence* which was subsequently translated into .Golden Gate by the 

Rarely pioneers. It does not appear from the numerous descriptions 

Received we have of such visits that great eagerness was exhibited for 

news ; but there are some positive statements to the effect that 
the padres were disinclined to give credence to any stories calculated to 
upset their geographical or scientific views. 

While the padres and the rancherps may have felt that indifference 
concerning the outside world which is the natural product of isolation, they 
manifested a lively curiosity regarding their own affairs and found frequent 
means to gratify the very human desire for news. The missions of Upper 
California, which were located at suitable intervals between San Diego 
and San Francisco, extended their hospitality to all travelers, and the latter 
usually requited the attention by imparting such intelligence as they pos- 
sessed concerning the doings of the establishments through which they had 

It was a chance sort of interchange of intelligence and was never re- 
duced to a system. Thus it frequently happened that there were long inter- 
vals of complete repose for the padres, who escaped the 
No Desire harassing doubts which a too lively desire for the very latest 
Latest news, and the disposition to minister to it, brings in its train. 

News This nearly somnolent condition endured in California down 

to the time of the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill, a fact 
which may be inferred from the authenticated statement that the people 
of Monterey did not hear of Marshall's find until several weeks after the 
inhabitants of Yerba Buena had been stirred by the event. 

It is not without the bounds of possibility that the discovery at Sutter's 
mill might have proved as unimportant as an earlier find of the precious 
metal in Los Angeles county, made by Francisco Lopez in 1841, had not 
the men who made their way to California in 1846 and 1847 brought with 
them the means as well as the news disseminating propensity. Lopez' dis- 
covery,- unlike that of Marshall's, was not the result of an accident. He had 
heard that water-worn pebbles of a certain sort were found in the vicinity 




This m the first piper ever published in Cnliforni*. nnrl 
though i-sueil upon a nmnll ihret, is intended 11 nltnll run- 
lain in Biter Hint will be reail with intere<t. Tin- principles 
n tuL-d will guvern us in coaducuiigit, **« be si 
a fnw wordi 

«re thill nsintoia nn entire and oiler severance of ill 
political cnnnviinn with Meilco. we Oifiniinuc m wv« 
nrri forever ill fealty tu tier law», ell obedience (u lier ninii- 

*i alinll advocate en oblivion of ill r«m political oflVn- 
f* ritnl allow every man the (iriulcgi- of ■ merui^ tin- mw 
era of event* unernb«rraa>ed by any purl he ni-iy havo 
taken in u volutin™. 

we (hall maintain frerdnm of apei-ch nml ihe preen, and 
lhi>*e gient principle* nf religion* lolvralmu, which allows 
crcry«inn In workup God according tu the dieUU* of hi* 
o*n c*n*ck-ne«. 

*i *hnll advocate iuch ■ »y*tem of public inatruction ■■ 
will bring tb» m»»»i of • good practical EDUCATION to 
every child in Califumin. 

«r shall urge iV innnediite ealibliihmtnt of a well or- 
ganized government end a universal obedicara In it* law*. 
we ahall encourage imigralinn, and tako ■peeiat paina to 
point nut In agncullural (migrant* thota section- of unoc- 
cupied land>, where ilia fertility nf uVa loil wilt moil am* 
ply repay ih. labaraoflhe hu»bnndman 

wr «hhl| encournge domrslic manufacture* and the me- 
chanic art* a* source* of private wealth, individual comfort 
and independable to iha public proapenty. , 

wr, -bell urge lb* organization of interior defence* mf- 
nYienl tt protect the property of allien* from ilia depreda- 
tion! of the mid imlinni. * 

we shall ndvOcMe n territorial r. ■Intion of California to. 
ihe LTnitad States, nil Ih"; number of inhabitant* j« such 
that ihr can be admitted a member of lh;it glorious con* 

*wa sfiall nuppnrf the pr»«ent menaure* of thccnmmnmler 
fa chief of the American *<piadnrn mi our enn-t, to far a* 
they conduce to the ptihlte irnnquilily, ihe nrsnnizntinn nf 
n True rcprerenlative government and our alliance with the 
Uiiiitr.l Stale*. „. 

uk ill. ill advocate the Loot rnte of duties on-foreign 
imporl*. and favry nn coemption of Ihe neceimriea of life, 
even from these dull'*. 

wr. shall go fur California— for mil litr iattreth, iorinf, 
e-ntand rtliniout — encouraging every thing (hit promotes 
lli*-c, rciinilng every thing thai can do idem harm. > 

Tlii* press nfmll be free nnd independent ; iimm-ed liy 
power and uninuumeled by -parly. Tile use of it* columns . 
tlmll Be denied 'o none, who nnve suggestions Id make , 
promotive of the public weollti. 

«( ahall lay before our' reader* the freshest domestic in-1 
lelbgcni'e and the uarli**"! foreign ncwa. 

Thb CaLtroKMAN hna been pnblnhed upwards nfrit' 
monlht, contrary to our expeclntiuna, it has about paid its 
own expense*. •» 

we are daily eipecling our new matrriaU, nhru tho 
paper will lie eiilarged to about double its present M«-e. It 
it lo bo huped that the incrending pupulntinn, the eatnblij>h- 
mrnt of the government nt Montery will incretufe our atih- 
scription list, so a* lu justify the extra expense of enlarging 
Ihe paper. 

Out thnnka arc tendered to oar patrons nnd friend.i for 
pn«t favour* and we hope'tlint our future ellurts will men 
with n continuance of their confide nee. 





Editor of first paper published in California. 

The Period Before the Awakening 

of gold and while pulling up wild onions at San Francisquito, about thirty- 
five miles north of Los Angeles, he noted some clinging to the roots which 
appeared to answer the description. He at once instituted a search and 
was rewarded by finding about eighteen ounces of the precious metal, which 
was sent to the Mint at Philadelphia, where it was found to be worth $344. 

The discovery, although no attempt was made to keep it secret, pro- 
duced only a ripple of excitement, and was not followed as in the case of 
the find at Sutter's mill by a rush which took on world-wide proportions. 
It is doubtful whether the people in the village of Yerba Buena in 1841 ever 
heard of Lopez' find. At that time the place numbered thirty families, 
clustered in the neighborhood of Jacob Primer Leese's store, which he had 
started in 1836. This establishment occupied a hundred vara lot about 
250 feet from the beach of the cove which then reached what is now Mont- 
gomery street. The location chosen by Leese remained the center of such 
activity as Yerba Buena developed down to the time of the American occu- 
pation and during several years afterward. 

Leese had associated with him in business Nathan Spear and William 
Sturgis Hinckley. The latter arrived in California in 1840 and in 1844 he 
was elected Alcalde of Yerba Buena, the first to bear that title in what was 
to be the future metropolis of the Pacific Coast. During 
^ an . , his incumbency, Hinckley executed what seems to have been 
First the first civic improvement in California, and, perhaps, on 

Improvement the whole Pacific Coast. The locality now bounded by 
Montgomery, Washington, Kearny and Jackson streets at that 
time was covered with a lagoon of salt water which rose and fell with 
the tide of the bay. Over this obstruction Hinckley caused to be con- 
structed a rude but serviceable bridge, which obviated the necessity for those 
coming from North Beach of making a long detour when they desired to 
reach the store. The construction was of the simplest character, but any- 
thing in the nature of a public convenience was so great a curiosity that 
the rancheros of the surrounding country traveled miles to see the marvel. 

It is not surprising that the desire for information should have been 
at a low ebb in such a community. The newspaper was by no means a 
stranger to peoples in other regions where contact with the world was closer. 
It had been a growing factor in the development of civilization in Europe 
from the middle of the fifteenth century, and had attained to considerable 
importance on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States where mental 
expansion and material progress kept pace. But the need for newspapers 
or books was not felt throughout the vast area in which the spiritually 
zealous padres and the sluggish Spaniard and his descendants dominated. 

Taking Yerba Buena as an exemplar of conditions, it is not difficult 
to comprehend why the need of a newspaper or the desire for books was 
never felt. Its commerce, if so sonorous an appellation may be applied to 
trading operations so insignificant, was confined to the occa- 
£ ne sional visits of Yankee skippers who brought miscellaneous 

Iltbtt cargoes, which they exchanged for the hides and tallow de 

Unformed rived from the great herds of cattle which roamed over the 
country surrounding the missions. The padres had no incli- 
nation for the sea and utterly neglected boat building. As a consequence, 
the navigation of the bay was monopolized for many years by a single 
schooner sailed by a Captain Richardson, who, as early as 1822; contracted 

Journalism in California 

with the heads of the missions to gather their products at various places 
and assembled them for reshipment in the cove of Yerba Buena. 

The marine inactivity of the period was fully matched by the general 
industrial languor. Outside of the missions there was no energy at all, 
and within their precincts it seemed to be directed to the solution of the 
preservation of existence in its simplest form. There was no 
Taste flourishing agriculture. An examination of the inventories 

for the °f the most prominent establishments of the padres discloses 

Sea that their products, considering the number of laborers avail- 

able, were insignificant as to quantity and woefully deficient 
in variety. Manufacturing, as we understand it, was absolutely unknown. 
The missions, and the soldiers and natives living near them, were entirely 
dependent upon outsiders for the commonest kind of utensils, and such 
luxuries as were consumed were obtained by exchanging hides and tallow for 
them, the skippers who engaged in the trade usually, if not invariably, 
getting the best of the bargain. 

If it were desirable to heighten the lights in this picture of apathy 
toward material progress, it might be done by stating that until Stephen 
Smith in 1843 started the first sawmill in California, the people around the 
bay of San Francisco had been dependent for lumber upon an Irishman 
named David Hill, who operated a whipsaw as early as 1822, and apparently 
had no trouble in supplying the demand, which was confined to such simple 
things as stoutly-constructed doors and rude window frames for the adobe 
houses, which were guiltless of such luxuries as board floors, and whose 
furniture was in keeping with the general style of construction. 

It is not in such a community that one looks for journalistic develop- 
ment, and the fact that it is never found under the conditions described may 
seem to negative the assumption that newspapers and books were as impor- 
tant a factor in bringing about the great metamorphosis which followed the 
occupation of California by the Americans as some are disposed to claim. 
But there are many facts to support the belief that those who made their 
way into the new territory in the days immediately following the settlement 
of our difficulties with Mexico would not have made the material progress 
since recorded had they not been an inquisitive and a reading people. 

It is not without significance that the awakening of Yerba Buena did 
not occur until the advent of the printing press. From the day when Leese 
built his store on the corner of Clay and Dupont streets in 1836, until the 
arrival of the Mormon colony in the Brooklyn on July 31, 
Awakening of 1846 > the village retained all the peculiarities of a poverty- 
Yerba stricken settlement of the Spanish-American type. If there 

Buena were any other improvements than the bridging of the slough 

by Hinckley the records are silent concerning them. But 
from that time forward changes began to occur indicative of advancement, 
and it is impossible to dissociate them from the fact that a part of the 
Brooklyn's cargo was a press and a font of type, and that the 238 colonists 
aboard that vessel and others who found their way to the little town, brought 
with them books ; more, one careful writer tells us, than could be found at 
the time in all the rest of the territory put together. 

The press brought by the Mormons was not the first brought to Cali- 
fornia, nor did the California Star, issued under the auspices of the colony, 
which was headed by Samuel Brannan, afterward conspicuous in the up- 

Publisher of California Star of San Francisco. 

The Period Before the Awakening 

building of San Francisco, enjoy the distinction of being the pioneer pub- 
lication. That honor is claimed by The Californian, a one-page sheet which 
made its first appearance in Monterey on August 15, 1846, 
Francisco's near ty six months earlier than the issuance of the California 
First Star. Colton and Semple were the publishers and editors of 

Press the Monterey publication, which was a very modest paper, 

indeed, being printed on one side of a single sheet 12y 2 
by 8% inches. This initial issue was in the nature of an announcement, 
the principal feature of which was a ringing editorial on the subject of the 
American annexation of California in which fealty to Mexico and her laws 
was renounced once and forever. It was characteristic of the new-born 
spirit which synchronized with the advent of The Californian, that the editor 
should have advocated public instruction, the establishment- of stable and 
well organized government, and the encouragement of immigration and of 
domestic manufactures. 

There certainly was need for all the changes which the editor demanded. 
Such a thing as public instruction was wholly unknown in California ; im- 
migration had been persistently discouraged and even prohibited by law; 
as already stated, the natives were absolutely dependent on 
i?g d outsiders for such manufactured articles as the conduct of 

f their simple life demanded, and, after the upheaval in Mexico 

Change which resulted in the abrogation of Spanish rule, the province 

was absolutely neglected by the central government of the 
new republic, which left the provincials to shift for themselves, scarcely 
taking the trouble to provide' them with a Governor. The announcement 
contained also a recommendation that a force be organized for the purpose 
of "defense against wild Indians," which appears to have been inspired by a 
groundless fear, as the aborigines gave little or no trouble during many 
years following the occupation. Those in the neighborhood of Monterey 
never were a cause of apprehension to the whites. 

The Californian was issued weekly on Saturdays, and the subscription 
price was $5 a year, payable in advance. Its editor and publisher evidently 
did not contemplate making a fortune through its publication, for in a 
subsequent issue the reader was informed that: "The Cali- 
First 0mia S fornian has been published upward of six months, and, con- 
"News- trary to our expectations, it has about paid its own expenses." 

paper" It is difficult to understand how it was able to perform the 

latter feat, for at best it was nothing but a circular, the prin- 
cipal purpose of which seemed to be the dissemination of the orders of 
Commodore E. F. Stockton, commander of the American forces in Cali- 
fornia. These orders were printed in English and Spanish, and probably 
were the most interesting news California afforded at the time. The type 
used in printing the Californian was found in the cloisters of one of the 
missions, and was deficient in capital Ws, and the font was otherwise 
defective. That the publishers labored under great difficulties in the matter 
of- the presentation' of news may be inferred from the fact that a proclama- 
tion of Stockton, announcing the American occupation, which was dated 
at "Cuidad de los Angeles, August 17, 1846," was printed in an extra 
of September 5th following. On the same date a notice that a general civil 
election would be held on September 15th appeared. It was dated at Los 
Angeles on the 22d of the preceding month, If expedition was used by 

Journalism in California 

Messrs. Colton and Semple in producing their extra two weeks were prob- 
ably occupied in transmitting the copy from Los Angeles to Monterey, 
which indicates that the American courier had not succeeded in greatly 
improving upon the leisurely habits of the natives. 

The Californian, despite the boast that it had made ends meet during 
the first six months of its existence, moved from Monterey to Yerba Buena 
on the 22d of May, 1847, and issued the first number of its second Volume 
from that place, Eobert Semple being the sole publisher. 
Francisco's Meanwhile, however, the Brooklyn with its Mormon contin- 
Fi rst gent had arrived, and the printing plant brought by the 

Paper colonists was utilized to get out a weekly paper which the 

publisher, Samuel Brannan, named the California Star. The 
first number appeared on January 7, 1847. It was a small sheet of four 
pages, the type on each page occupying a space of 12x15 inches. It was 
much better printed than the Californian, and its editor, E. P. Jones, 
exhibited some taste in the arrangement of the matter. An announcement 
that it would carefully eschew sectarian discussion was something in the 
nature of an intimation to the settlers of Yerba Buena that Brannan, who 
had come into collision with the Mormon colonists, intended to withdraw 
from the organization, which he did subsequently. 

The condition of affairs in Yerba Buena during the first year after 
the occupation was the reverse of prosperous. The war had effectually 
suspended the little business enterprise formerly displayed, and immigration 
was almost at a standstill. The outlook was very gloomy, 
Not but the few Americans who had found their way to the port 

Prosperous on the Pacific were not easily discouraged. They believed 
Community that the future would bring prosperity because they had un- 
bounded faith in the resources of California. TJnlike the 
prior occupants of the land, they were not disposed to adopt the Manana 
habit. The fact that they had an instrument at hand which would help 
them to forward their designs probably accounts for their not imitating the 
example of other Europeans and Americans who had penetrated California 
before the occupation. That instrument was the newspaper press. They 
used the California Star to disseminate the information which they believed 
would prove sufficiently alluring to bring plenty of desirable settlers to the 
new territory. A committee was formed and it was resolved to have printed 
a circular which was to set forth in detail the advantages which the soil and 
climate of California offered to the husbandman, grazier and artisan. The 
article was prepared by Dr. Victor J. Fourgead, who entitled it, "The 
Prospects of California." It was printed in an extra number of the Cali- 
fornia Star dated April 1, 1848, and a courier was dispatched on the day 
of its issue with 2000 copies, which he contracted to deliver in Missouri 
in sixty days, and to spread the document among the people of that State. 

This first boost edition of a California newspaper barely mentioned 
the rumored discovery of gold and treated it as a matter of no importance. 
Marshall's find at Sutter's mill had been made in the previous January, but 
it appears to have made no serious impression on the boosters, who were con- 
vinced that the future of California depended upon its grazing and agricul- 
tural possibilities. The authors of the circular were particularly desirous 
of attracting Missourians, and it is not unlikely that they desired that they 
should belong to the class whose sympathies could be depended upon when 



The Period Before the Awakening 



the Territory had acquired a sufficient population to promote its admission 
to the Union as a slave State. Their intentions and calculations, however, 
availed nothing. The circular of April 1st was to have been 
fornia's followed by another .on June 1st, but before the arrival of the 

First ' date set for the appearance of the second extra of the Cali- 

Booster fornia Star, nearly everybody connected with the paper had 

gone to the mines, and in the excitement which attended the 
rush to the new diggings it was lost sight of forever by its projectors, whose 
thoughts were turned into another channel. 

When the California Star extra was published on the 1st of April, 
1848, Yerba Buena had ceased to be the name of the village on the cove 
which had so many years served as a safe harbor for the few craft visiting 
the Coast. On the 30th of January, 1847, Washington A. 
Bartlett, the first American Alcalde, in order to anticipate 
the expected appropriation of the name of St. Francis by 
Mariano G. Vallejo and Thomas 0. Larkin, who- contemplated 
the creation of a port and city in the locality of Benicia, re- 
quired that all documents issued in the village should be dated San Fran- 
cisco, which was the designation applied to the place on the official map. 
The projectors of the rival city reluctantly yielded and gave it one of the 
Christian names borne by the wife of M. G. Vallejo. In the same year 
that Bartlett fixed the name which the erstwhile Yerba Buena now, bears, 
the exports of the premier port of the Pacific were valued at $49,597.53 
and the imports at $53,589.73. Six square-rigged vessels entered the bay 
during the year and the population of San Francisco fell forty-one short 
of 500. The manners of the village had changed somewhat, but the Ameri- 
canization was not complete. Some of the native habits had been easily 
accepted by the newcomers. The taste for the card game known as monte 
was promptly acquired, and more rebosas were seen on the "Street of the 
Foundation," the high-sounding name given to the one thoroughfare of the 
place when Yerba Buena was first laid out, than the garb commonly worn 
by women on the Atlantic seaboard. But the change of name did not 
greatly increase the activity of the place. San Francisco was nearly as dull 
as Yerba Buena had been, and remained so until Marshall's discovery 
stirred up the inhabitants, and caused the rush from all quarters of the 
globe, which soon turned the village into a city and in an incredibly brief 
space of time converted it into the liveliest spot on the footstool. 



Changes in Journalistic Methods — Apparent Innovations Often Only Exaggerations — 
A Six-Column Description of California Eesources in 1848 — Early Papers Had 
Few News Facilities — Pioneer and Eastern Contemporary Period Journalism 
Compared — First Telegraph Line in 1852 — Completion of Line Between San 
Francisco and Missouri Eiver — News by Pacific Mail Steamers — Files of Eastern 
Papers a Great Source of News — The Pony Express and the Newspapers — Ee- 
porting During the Fifties — The First Vigilance Committee — Avoidance of Men- 
tion of Crime Did Not Prevent Its Becoming Eampant — Twelve Dailies in San 
Francisco in 1851 — Denunciations of Municipal Corruption — "Affairs of Honor" 
Common During the Fifties — The Newspaper Graveyard of Early Days — The 
Birth of the Alta — San Francisco's First Newspaper Merger — The Founding 
of the Bulletin — No Overset in Early Day Composition Eooms. 

WEITEE on journalism remarked recently that "the 
newspaper of today is vastly different from that pub- 
lished twenty years ago." No one who has paid atten- 
tion to the subject will challenge the accuracy of the 
observation, but even the student at times is puzzled 
when he makes the effort to describe the nature of the 
change. If he confines his study to externals he will 
- have no difficulty in detecting peculiarities of the 
make-up of the paper of 1915 which distinguish it from the journal of 
1865, but if he digs deeply he will find that many obtrusive features of the 
present-day newspaper are merely exaggerations of earlier methods empha- 
sized by the use of big type. San Francisco journalism furnishes an 
excellent illustration of the correctness of this assumption. During the 
nearly seventy years since the publication of the first newspaper in Cali- 
fornia there have been many changes in style and in the methods of con- 
ducting public journals. If an inhabitant of Mars without any previous 
knowledge of what was occurring on this planet should drop into San Fran- 
cisco on any Sunday and see an edition of one of the morning papers and 
be told that it had been evolved in the course of sixty-nine years from the 
little sheet printed on the press brought to California on the Brooklyn in 
1846, a copy of which may be seen in the Memorial Museum in Golden 
Gate Park, he would certainly be astonished, if Martians are capable of 
surrendering to such an emotion. He might not be surprised at the size 
of a modern Sunday edition, being accustomed to digging canals several 
miles in width and hundreds of miles in length, but it is more than likely 
that he would be a trifle incredulous if told that it was a natural develop- 


Newspaper Press in the Early Fifties 9 

ment from the sober four-page, 12x15, production which appeared weekly 
on Saturdays in the village of Yerba Buena. 

But the plain little sheet, and its immediate successors which rapidly 
sprang into existence after the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill, had many 
of the characteristics possessed by the overgrown modern Sunday paper. A 

careful comparison of an issue of any of the more ambitious of 
in erences the daily papers published in San Francisco in the early fifties 
Degree °f the nineteenth century will disclose to the discriminating 

Only that what appear to be differences are oftener than otherwise 

those of degree or size rather than fundamental changes. In 
short, the News, the Heralds, the Couriers, the Balances, the Times, the 
Wild Wests, the Chronicles, the Bulletins, the Suns and the other dailies 
of pioneer days were edited and published for the same purposes as the 
modern newspaper. Those who made them sought to make their publica- 
tions interesting to their readers, and the methods of doing so were as 
various as the number of directing minds engaged in their production; and 
the same thing may be said of the newspapers of today. In the preceding 
chapter it was shown that the California Star as early as April 1, 1848, 
engaged in a work^hich a consensus of opinion approves and applauds as 
one of the most important functions of a newspaper, namely, the dissemina- 
tion of intelligence respecting the possibilities and capabilities of the 
region in which it is published. It is sometimes assumed that this is a 
feature peculiar to the journalism of a new country, but a slight acquaint- 
ance with the methods of metropolitan dailies of the first class makes one 
familiar with the fact that their editors are alive to the desirability, if not 
the necessity, of expatiating upon the advantages of the locality and the 
country in which they are published. Even the London Times does not 
disdain to write up in detail the industries of Great Britain, and to ex- 
patiate on the greatness of the port of London ; and, in doing so, it is merely 
practicing on an extended scale what the early California paper did meas- 
urably well when it printed its six-column description of "The Prospects of 

That the early papers of San Francisco were weak on the news side 
was due more to absence of facilities for getting news than to lack of appre- 
ciation of the desirability of furnishing the latest intelligence as promptly 

as possible. This deficiency was soon repaired, and by the 
on^the exertion of a greater degree of energy than was displayed by 

Uews the publishers of newspapers on the Eastern seaboard, who 

Side were content to endure conditions militating against the 

speedy publication of news for a much longer period than 
their brethren in the new and ambitious city on the bay of San Francisco. 
There were so-called newspapers in New England and the other colonies 
in the closing years of the seventeenth century, and in the first year of the 
Revolution Philadelphia boasted as many as eight. After the country had 
secured its independence, the number greatly increased, but it was not until 
sometime between the years 1835 and 1840 that the New York papers 
started "pony expresses," and similar expedients for the purpose of procur- 
ing intelligence as speedily as possible from Washington, which was then 
as important a news center as it is at present. The papers in San Francisco 
did not allow a half century and more to elapse before they sought to 
close the gap which put them out of touch with the rest of the Union. As 

10 Journalism in California ' 

early as 1852 an ordinance was passed granting the right of way to the 
California Telegraph Company to construct a line between San Francisco, 
San Jose and other points in the interior, but it was late in the following 
year before it was completed. In September, 1853, a short line was con- 
structed connecting San Francisco with Point Lobos, which was utilized 
for the purpose of giving information about shipping movements, intel- 
ligence of that sort prior to the introduction of the telegraph being signaled 
from the elevation which commemorates the practice by retaining the name 
'■'Telegraph Hill" bestowed by the pioneers. A close inspection does not 
reveal a liberal use of the first California telegraph by the press of the city, 
nor, indeed, was telegraphic news much in evidence before the completion 
of the line between the Missouri and San Francisco, which occurred October 
1, 1861. 

There was great rivalry during the period prior to the advent of the 
Pony Express and the Overland Stage Line in the matter of presenting 
news received by steamer from the Atlantic states. At the close of 1853 
there were twelve daily papers published in San Francisco. 
News There may have been some differences of opinion among their 

^ editors respecting the interest and the importance of other 

eaMM news, but they were perfectly agreed that the happenings in 

the old home held the uppermost place in the estimation of 
their readers and they governed themselves accordingly. All sorts of de- 
vices were resorted to by the more energetic publishers to get out editions at 
the earliest possible moment. Batches of carefully condensed items were 
prepared by Eastern correspondents which were promptly secured on the 
arrival of the steamer by which they were dispatched, and with equal 
promptitude put into type and rushed on the street, where they were eagerly 
' bought by expectant readers. On the following day the more important 
phases were dealt with at greater length, but there was never any conspicu- 
ous indulgence in the propensity to expand, the modest amount of space at 
the command of the editor enforcing a brevity which may have satisfied the 
lovers of concise expression, but did not lend itself to the clearing up of ob- 
scurities which required detail to make them comprehensible. 

The principal news source of the press throughout the fifties were the 
files of Eastern papers brought by the steamers. The Overland Stage Line, 
which connected San Francisco and St. Louis, was started in 1858, but 
the best time made between the two cities was twenty-one 
Overland days, which did not result in the gain of any time, although 

Stage it greatly improved mail facilities, there being eight arrivals 

Line monthly by stage against two by steamer. The most enter- 

prising and spectacular mode of securing expedition in the 
transmission of intelligence was that adopted about the time that the Over- 
land Stage service was perfected. It was known as the Pony Express and 
probably derived its name from the news service instituted by the New York_ 
papers some years earlier. It was regarded as a marvelous bit of enterprise ' 
and deservedly so, for those employed in the carrying of the strictly limited 
number of letters were exposed to great danger and hardships, the region 
through which they rode being infested with savage Indians. 

The Pony Express, the first mail of which reached Sacramento on 
the 13th of April, 1858, employed nearly three hundred persons, eighty 
of them being riders whose average performance was about seventy-five 

Newspaper Press in the Early Fifties 11 

miles; but there is a record of one who rode 384 miles without stopping 
except for meals and to change horses at stations. The express carried two 

mails a week, and the charge for a letter, which was limited 
Famous *° ^ e we i&ht °^ ^ a ^ an ounce, was $5. This resulted in the 

p ony adoption of cipher codes which were prepared on tissue paper. 

Express When translated they provided the editor with an abundance 

, of copy, which he often was enabled to supplement with in- 
formation derived from private letters received by officials and merchants. 
Prior to the starting of the Pony Express the newspapers had succeeded in 
having a wire run from San Francisco to Stockton, and thence through 
the San Joaquin valley and over the Tehachapi mountains to Los Angeles, 
the idea being to anticipate the arrival of the stage in San Francisco, but 
this bit of enterprise was without substantial results when the riders got 
into full operation, and was of little value for news collecting purposes, as 
the southern part of the State was absolutely dormant at that period. The 
files of the San Francisco papers during the years in which the Pony 
Express was in operation contain many stories of hair-breadth escapes 
of the riders and some thai were tragic; but they were all told with that 
succinctness which was a characteristic of newspaper writing at the time. 
This brevity has been much discussed by the mpre diffuse narrators of a 
later period, some of whom were disposed to attribute it to a keener 
appreciation of the merits of conciseness than they possessed, but their 
opinion seems to be contradicted by the fact that a great deal of space was 
consumed day after day in the columns devoted to comment by matter 
whose treatment did not suggest a desire to go straight to the point, or the 
avoidance of unnecessary words. 

If the presentation of the news during the first decade after the dis- 
covery of gold presented any feature calculated to distinguish it from the 
matter printed in the papers of small towns of the present day it is not 

easily discovered by the careful investigator. This suggests 
Features ^ ^ a £ ^ e s ^ v ] e Q f re p 0r ting during the fifties was dictated by 
Early tne limitations of the journals for which the news was pre- 

Papers pared rather than by the desire to save the reader the trouble 

of wading through long accounts of happenings. That de- 
tails would have been acceptable if they had been presented is fairly 
indicated by the fact that the more extended descriptions of events which 
appeared in the Eastern papers were eagerly perused by those who sub- 
scribed for them, and by the tacit approbation of the same shown by the 
editors of San Francisco papers, who frequently copied long stories of 
occurrences on the Atlantic seaboard which would have been disposed of 
with a brief paragraph had they happened nearer home. 

A specimen paper of 1850, if closely examined, reveals some of the 
limitations. The Pacific News of May 15th of that year is a fair example 

of the journalistic enterprise of the period. It consisted of 
Contents j our p a g es , 13x20 inches, with six columns to the page. It 

I85(j n was printed from an English font of type of about the same 

Paper size as that used in the body of The Chronicle, but was 

marked by a decided avoidance of display headings. It was 
intended to be complete, as may be inferred from the statement printed 
in black face, "For the steamer Isthmus — Wednesday, May 15, 1850." 
The first three columns of the title page were devoted to "Mining Intelli- 

12 Journali sm in California 

gence," and the remaining three to "Pacific News." The mining news 
was chiefly composed of selections from other papers duly credited, and the 
matter under the heading "Pacific News" was made up of local and Coast 
items. The principal local event described was one of San Francisco's 
early great fires, which swept away all the buildings on Kearny, Washing- 
ton, Clay, Jackson and Dupont streets, resulting in damage estimated at 
several hundred thousand dollars. The disaster was relatively as great, 
considering the infancy of the city, as that experienced in 1906, but only 
a little more than half a column was used in describing the affair, not more 
than eight hundred words at the utmost. 

The second page was devoted to editorials, news items and letters 
from the public. TtiTee columns were consumed in comment, one of the 
editorials being on the bright outlook for the cause of temperance, and an- 
other a traverse of the news. The third page contained a 
Crime batch of news gleaned from Hawaiian papers, excerpts from 

Dwelt other California papers and commercial news. There were 

Upon also some small advertisements. A curious feature' of this 

page was the use of an index finger sign at the beginning of 
small paragraphs whether news or announcements. The last page was given 
over largely to the message of John W. Geary, the first Mayor under the 
charter granted to San Francisco. It was three columns in length. The 
remainder of the space was taken up with reprints from Australian news- 
papers, tabulated election returns and some more Pacific Coast news. The 
investigator searching through this particular issue for evidence of the tur- 
bulence which was supposed to have been the normal condition of affairs 
about this time in San Francisco would not discover any, and might con- 
clude that the popular impression that affairs were in a bad state was 
erroneous. The editorial on temperance, read between the lines, would 
suggest to the careful reader of later days that the drink habit was very 
common, as, indeed, it was, but he would not imagine that crime was ram- 
pant. But, despite the reticence of the Pacific News and other papers, 
the criminal element was exceedingly bold, and, according to the writer 
of the "Annals of San Francisco" had succeeded in terrorizing the com- 

The disorderly part of the community apparently continued their 
depredations during 1850 and the early part of 1851 without experiencing 
any check from the insufficient and inefficient police force, and the respect- 
able elements were finally compelled to take the matter in 
m 6 d lv their own hands, which they did by organizing a Vigilance 
Element Committee which dealt summarily with some of the con- 

in 1851 spicuous offenders. Although there were many murders be- 

tween 1849 and 1851, the perpetrators escaped hanging, and 
it was not until the people rose in their wrath in the latter year that an 
example was made of an ex-Sydney convict, who had stolen a safe and was 
suspected of having committed other crimes. The body of men who took 
the law in their hands maintained their organization as a Committee of 
Safety and had the reputation of scaring the rogues who were supposed 
to have fled the city in dismay, but subsequent developments indicate that 
the terror they inspired was not as great as represented, for it, is related that 
in the first ten months of 1855 there were 489 murders committed in Cali- 
fornia and only six legal hangings. On the other hand, there were forty-six 

Newspaper Press in the Early Fifties 13 

cases of summary execution by the mob during the interval, but they 
evidently failed to produce the effect which the infliction of capital punish- 
ment in an orderly manner is credited with exerting, for the Vigilance Com- 
mittee created in 1851 was practically compelled in 1856 to usurp the 
functions of the courts, and for a period of several months was obliged to 
assume responsibility for the preservation of the peace of the city, the ordi- 
nary methods practiced in civilized societies having utterly broken down. 

This second exhibition of activity by the Vigilance Committee is so 
directly connected with the journalistic practices of the period it will neces- 
sarily have to be referred to at some length, but before passing to that 

episode, the treatment of which more properly belongs to 
Committee ^ ie cna P^ ers which will deal with policies of the early press 
f of San Francisco, it will be interesting to examine further into 

1856 the methods of reporting in the fifties to ascertain whether 

there is any foundation for an opinion frequently expressed 
during recent years that the propensity to publish details of crime, is an 
incitement to criminality. If this assumption were sound, it might fairly 
be held that avoidance of the mention of crime, or the suppression of details 
of criminal occurrences would result beneficially, but the testimony of the 
early files does not support the view. 

Whether as a result of the limitations imposed by want of space due 
to the smallness of the papers, or, as is assumed by some because the art of 
reporting had not been developed, crime, except of one sort, was not dilated 
upon by the papers of the fifties, although, as we have seen, from the state- 
ment above made concerning the number of' murders in 1855, there was 
enough to occupy attention. 

In the detailed description of the contents of a sample issue of a paper 
in 1850 the reader will note the omission of all reference to crime. Exam- 
ination of other papers reveals a like indifference to the presentation of that 
class of news. So marked is its absence that it might easily be inferred 
that the abstention was prompted by the desire to avoid mention of dis- 
agreeable or shocking occurrences, but the occasional departures forbid this 
conclusion and suggest the true causes, namely, the failure of the early 
papers to develop on the news side, because of limited facilities, and the fact 
that the town was so small that its inhabitants knew all the details of an 
affair before they could be put into print. 

The latter peculiarity will be understood by those living in small towns, 
while it is not so easily comprehended by the denizen of cities large enough 

to permit one to be unknown to his next door neighbor. That 
News f ]j m jt ec l facilities can be made clearer by describing a plant 

Early °f * ne sort which produced such a paper as the Sun, one of 

Days the earliest daily publications of San Francisco. It was a 

four-page paper twenty-two and a half inches long and six- 
teen and a half wide with six columns to the page. That was a favorite 
size of the- dailies of the early fifties, the seven and eight column pages and 
the eight-page paper being a later development. The first page of the Sun 
was given up to advertisements, only a column of the six being devoted to 
reading matter of a not highly illuminating character, as, for instance, the 
statement that it would take over, 9000 years to count a billion. _ The 
second page contained a column of editorial comment, which was inter- 
spersed with numerous brief news items. On the days succeeding the 

14 Journalism in California 

meeting of the Council the second page usually contained an extended ac- 
count of its doings, minute details of no general interest being as carefully 
presented as the more important matter. The third and fourth pages were 
wholly occupied with small classified advertisements, and of the twenty-four 
columns printed there were on some days as many as nineteen and a half 
columns engrossed by the business office leaving only four and a half 
columns for the editor to fill. 

It would be incorrect to state that these two somewhat detailed descrip- 
tions furnish an accurate idea of the dailies of San Francisco during the 
early fifties. That could be done only by reviewing each issue of the 
numerous bidders for public patronage. In 1851 there were 
YP? en as many as twelve daily papers published in the city which 

Editor na( l suddenly sprung into prominence, owing to the widely- 

Counted heralded discovery of gold, and no one of them seemed bent 

on earning favor by printing the news. They were, in fact, 
overgrown pamphlets, the principal object of which seemed to be the 
dissemination of the views of a coterie by a chosen representative. News 
and other reading matter than editorial comment was presented in such' a 
haphazard fashion it was plain that the editor regarded them as of minor 
consequence. And perhaps he was right, for, under the circumstances, it 
was well nigh impossible for a newspaper to print any intelligence of im- 
portance which was not known to every one in the community before the 
account could be put into type, printed and published. 

There was one function, however, which the press of the period as- 
sumed that caused the appearance of the more popular of the journals 
to be looked forward to with eagerness. From the columns of the dailies 
and the pages of the Annals we can gather the fact that 
Corrupt municipal affairs were grossly mismanaged during several 

Management years. The City Council, a body corresponding to the present 
Criticised Board of Supervisors, was constantly putting through meas- 

ures which were denounced as jobs, and the courts were noto- 
riously negligent in the performance of their duties or hopelessly corrupt. 
Such a condition of affairs invited censure, and the editor whose pen was 
dipped in vitriol was in high favor, and his emanations were always looked 
forward to with expectant eagerness. The writer who could tell the truth 
in the plainest fashion possible and who could give the hardest knocks 
shared popularity with the stump orator who voiced the grievances of the 
crowd at the frequently held indignation meetings. This being the situa- 
tion, it would have been astonishing if the publishers of newspapers had not 
aimed to secure an editor whose philippics rivaled those of Demosthenes, 
and pioneers of an observant disposition at a later day told that the reader 
did not look in the News, the Herald, the Alta, or any of the live sheets 
half so much for intelligence as to see who was being "lambasted." 

Those were the days of "personal journalism" of a different sort from 
that applauded or denounced at present. Signed articles were rare, 
but every word in a scathing editorial usually proclaimed its authorship, 
and the writer rarely shrank from mentioning names and left a well 
defined impression on the reader's mind that when he said "spade" he 
meant spade. As a consequence, personal encounters were numerous. 
Gentlemen were accustomed to demanding satisfaction in the early fifties, 
and when one felt particularly aggrieved because he had been indicted in 

Path* $dta (Ealite ttm. 

as riUNrMm, laiDiv Ho«!(t]iu, orravtm *a, i*»». 

, sua m> "i '■'Hilt 




SS sslf 

Hf" ? EgSHBSI 

■^■ ; f"'";L;; -«r 

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Containing account of wreck of the George Law. 

Newspaper Press in the Early Fifties 15 

the columns of a newspaper he was prone to ask the editor to meet him at 
The SOme conveniellt P lace to be sn °t at. and thus bring about an 

Days of amicable adjustment of differences. As the other editor was 

Personal often the fellow at whom the finger of scorn was pointed, 

Journalism there were occasional combats in which the principals were 

newspaper men. The senior editor of the Alta was killed 
in a duel in 1852, and other members of the Fourth Estate were called 
upon to make satisfaction about the same time. 

Affairs of honor during the early fifties were too common to make a 
great impression unless the participants occupied a prominent political 
position, and the newspapers disposed of them, as a rule, in a very offi- 

hand manner. One journal was accustomed to using a degree 
of epor s of brevity in its descriptions which suggested adherence to a 

' 'Affairs of se t f Qrm like that followed in printing death notices. "John 
Honor" Jones and Peter Smith met yesterday, and, after an exchange 

of shots, in which the latter received a ball in the right arm, 
the challenged party declared himself satisfied. Sam Merton and Bill 
Dixon acted as seconds." Evidently the reporter felt that he was perform- 
ing a duty in recording the event, and perhaps he thought that no details 
were required because a sufficiently large number of interested spectators 
had witnessed the affair, no pains being taken by anyone concerned to sur- 
round the performance with secrecy. 

The lot of the editor and publisher throughout the fifties could not 
have been a very happy one, for the newspaper mortality record was too 
high to permit those engaged in the business to feel assured that their ven- 

ture might not also be interred in what was jocularly termed 
News^ *he newspaper graveyard. It will be recalled that the pub- 

paper lisher of the Californian felicitated himself upon the fact that 

Mortality after six months' experience, contrary to expectation, his 

journal had actually paid expenses, i Subsequently it was 
transplanted from Monterey to San Francisco, and, after the gold discovery, 
was merged with the California Star, the paper started under Mormon 
auspices. Later the merged papers were absorbed by a new candidate for 
favor, the Alta California, which, on January 22, 1850, bloomed forth as a 
daily, the first in San Francisco. A glance at the list of publications 
testifies to the hard rows the early publishers had to hoe. The most of 
them have put up their shutters. The California Star, the Pacific News, 
the Alta, the Herald, the Picayune (the first evening paper published in the 
city), the Courier, the Balance and the Times and Transcript are all gone, 
the only survivors of the very early days being the German Demokrat, the 
Journal of Commerce (which dropped out for a period) and the Evening 
Bulletin, whose founder, James King of William, was murdered by a city 
official named Casey, who contributed to a weekly paper known as the 
Sunday Times. 

The Bulletin was started on the 8th of October, 1855, and the editor 
in his salutatory announced that he had been driven into the experiment of 
publishing, and that "no one could- be more fully sensible of the folly of a 
newspaper enterprise" than himself. From such a statement, and the news- 
paper mortality record, it may properly be inferred that the publishing 
business was not very profitable in early days, a fact from which the further 
inference may be drawn that the patronage was not very liberal as the 

16 Journalism in California 

expenses of conducting a daily such as those produced any time before 1860 
were comparatively light: The plant required to produce the small four- 
page sheets was of the simplest. An office equipped with eight 
Monev hundred to a thousand pounds of type and a hand press were 

Making adequate to turn out a metropolitan journal of the period. 

Business Five or six men at the utmost were required to set the matter 

and print the paper. The problems besetting the present-day 
editor were unknown at the time, and it was literally true that there was 
often difficulty in getting together enough type to fill the small space de- 
voted to reading matter. Such a thing as "crowding out" news, or any- 
thing else that had been "set up" was unheard of in the pioneer composing 
rooms. Not infrequently, the condition arose described in the couplet : 

Up jumped the devil, all so solemn, 

And wrote two lines to fill out the column. 

For the devil was a feature of the early printing office, and like as not in 
some cases he may have jumped into the breach and provided the required 
two or three lines to fill up, otherwise the edition would have appeared with 
the blemish of a blank space. 



Grafters Judged With Leniency — The Press and the Land Grabbers — Collectivism 
Not in High Favor — City Lots Sold for a Song — Legislation to Remove Clouds 
on Titles — The Squatter Troubles — Fraudulent Spanish Grants — An, Attempt 
to Grab the Whole City — Limantour's Claim Pronounced Fraudulent in 1858 — 
The Condonement of Evils — Subordination of Local Interest to National Affairs 
— The Constitutional Convention of 1850 — The Slavery Question and the Disposi- 
tion to Compromise — Filibusters and Filibustering — National Affairs Freely 
Discussed by Editors — The Fugitive Slave Act Applauded — Contradictory Atti- 
tude on the Subject of Slavery — Opposition to the Introduction of Slaves — Race 
Prejudice Prevalent — Absolute Disregard of the Principles of Neutrality — 
Advocacy of Cuban Independence in 1851- — The Manifest Destiny Idea — "Fifty- 
four Forty or Fight" — Open Recruiting for Filibustering Expeditions — Editors 
Who Thought Walker Was a Hero — Editors Who Could Smell Out Intrigues — 
American and French Attempts to Grab Sonora — The Absorbing Editorial Topic 
— No Sentiment in Favor of Dissociating Local From National Politics — A 
Scolding Press Which Accomplished No Reforms — The Unceasing Attempts to 
Gain Party Advantage — Warfare Between Editors. 

ADEQUATE impression of the pioneer press of San 
Francisco can be formed without carefully considering 
the causes which produced the turbulent condition 
which culminated in the decisive action of the Vigilance 
Committee of 1856. The investigator cannot help being 
profoundly impressed by the part played by the public 
journals in bringing about a state of affairs which writ- 
ers have vainly sought to excuse, but which, when care- 
fully analyzed, are clearly seen to be faults of omission as well as commis- 
sion. It would be easy, by a judicious selection of excerpts from the press of 
San Francisco, to prove that a part of it was vigorously engaged at all times 
between the date of the gold rush and the Vigilante episode which followed 
the murder of James King of William, editor of the Bulletin, in the ex- 
posure of corruption of all sorts; but the severe critic could easily adduce 
numerous instances of leniency of judgment concerning practices which are ' 
now stigmatized as grafting. That was notably true of the attitude of 
many papers toward the sale of the pueblo lands of the city. The disposi- 
tion in many quarters was to regard them in the same light as the unsettled 
national domain and to assume that those who came first had the right 
to grab them. Theorizing on the subject led to the obscuration of the fact 
that the proceedings surrounding their sale were often in the highest 
degree irregular, and that those who had charge of their disposal never 
gave a thought to the public interest. 


18 Journalism in California 

The uppermost thought, and it was entertained by the most respectable 
of the newspapers of the city, was that the public would be benefited by the 
lands passing into the hands of private owners, who would put them to 

good use and benefit the community. It was argued that the 
Conservatism experiment of collective use had proved a rank failure under 
Early Spanish and Mexican rule, and that the true way to promote 

Press improvements and encourage enterprise would be to put San ( 

Francisco on the same footing as other cities of the United 
States. Observation seemed to justify this view of the case, for there was 
little or no demand for town lots between 1839, when a survey was made 
by Alcalde Haro, and 1847, when the principal part of the village of Yerba 
Buena was laid out in fifty vara lots, four hundred and fifty of which 
were applied for and sold at the absurdly low price of $12 each, to which 
was added a charge of- $4 for deed and recording, making the total cost 
to the purchaser $16. In addition to these fifty vara lots there were also 
sold lots 100 varas square for $25 each, plus the same sum exacted for 
deed and recording of fifty vara lots. 

That the transference of the pueblo lands to private ownership resulted 
in stimulating improvements is undoubtedly true, but subsequent sales were 
made under circumstances suggestive of fraud in which the authorities were 

accused of participating. In one instance, a batch of lots 
Early was sold at $100 apiece, the money being pocketed by the 

Land man makinar the sale, who fled with the proceeds when his 

irregularities were found fault with. These rascalities and 

others equally flagrant were subsequently condoned by legis- 
lative acts, which confirmed the titles without giving much consideration to 
their legal status, the paramount desire being to remove the clouds which 
the taint of fraud threw over all conveyances. As a consequence of this 
looseness of method, there was a period during which squatters asserted that 
they had a right to settle on any unoccupied lands. Many collisions occurred 
and the effect on the public mind, as mirrored in the press, was to create 
a desire for a settlement which would establish titles without going into the 
question closely whether the authority existed for granting them, and 
presently the most respectable elements of the community were arrayed on 
the side of possession. The squatter, who oftener than otherwise was a 
hired person ready to risk his life for someone who had "staked" him, 
generally belonged 'to the turbulent class, the so-called "Sydney coves" 
taking kindly to the business. 

It is not surprising that the major part of the press should have 
earnestly urged the settlement of titles, for, in addition to the troubles grow- 
ing out of the Colton grants and the Peter Smith water front purchases; 

which were made with frightfully depreciated scrip, there wag 
Settlement ihe constant menace of the fraudulent Spanish or Mexican 
Titles l an( l grant. At one time every owner of property in Sart 

Urged Francisco was harassed by the fear that the claim of a man 

named Jose J. Limantour to practically all the land of anyr 
value in the city might be held valid. Limantour set up that in 1843 he 
had loaned the sum of $4000' to the Mexican Governor, for which he 
received a grant in the neighborhood of Yerba Buena of four leagues, and, 
in addition, the islands of Alcatraz, Yerba Buena, the Farallones and a 
square league on the island of Los Angeles (Angel island). It was not 

Policies of the Press During the Fifties 19 

until April 22, 1858, that the Commission appointed by the Federal Govern- 
ment finally decided that Limantour's claim was fraudulent. This decision, 
and an earlier one of the Supreme Court of the State in October, 1853, 
which confirmed the Alcalde grants, relieved the press of the difficult task 
of justifying methods which the community knew would not bear inspec- 
tion, but which the common welfare seemed to demand. Unquestionably, 
the stable elements exerted a great pressure on the press in this particular 
matter, but it was not always successful in repressing criticism which was 
frequently vigorously expressed, although the conclusion almost invariably 
reached was that the interests of society demanded the condonement of the 
evils criticised. 

Unquestionably, the land grabbing of the days immediately following 
the gold discovery at Sutter's mill was largely responsible for the lowering 
of the morale of the community. It was fruitful of much denunciation of 
municipal corruption, which failed to . be effective largely 
T 1 ^ because too many who were looked up to as leaders benefited 

Land through' the abuses charged against public officials. Possibly, 

Grabbing the business of exposure was overdone. Certainly there was 

so much of it that it must have ceased to attract attention, 
or it was, perhaps, subordinated in the public mind by contemplation of 
much larger issues than the turpitude of public officials seemed to involve. 
The period we are writing about was one of national unrest. The shadow 
of slavery was over the land and men were filled with a vague dread of 
the outcome. The country had just emerged from the war with Mexico, 
and while there is no reason to believe that any considerable number of 
persons who had rushed to California in search of the precious metal had 
any doubts about the propriety of annexing the coveted province, the most 
of them were tolerably well convinced that the slaveholding oligarchy was 
not entirely satisfied with the decision reached by the Constitutional Con- 
vention which met at Monterey in 1850, that California should be a free 
State. Events were constantly occurring calculated to disturb the feeling 
of security which had been engendered in the minds of a people pledged 
to the principle of freedom of labor, but who were still under the thralldom 
of the idea that the great question was one to be determined by the states. 
Seward's famous apothegm concerning "the irrepressible conflict" did 
not find expression until 1858, and before that time, in California, as in 
other arts of the TJnion, the enemies of slavery were disposed to com- 
promise, but their opponents never for a moment ceased their 
Overshadowins 3 ^^ 688 ^ 6 tactics. The extension of the institution was con- 
Slavery stantly in their mind, and efforts to gratify their desires were 
Question ceaselessly pushed. California participated in these tactics 
of the slaveholders in a greater degree than any other free 
state of the Union. Its legislature was made the seat of intrigue, and 
filibustering ventures of varied sorts, many of them having for their object 
the acquisition of more territory from Mexico, were projected and financed 
in San Francisco. The editors of San Francisco journals were far better 
acquainted with what was going on than those of other sections, and moves 
and motives were the chief editorial themes. Despite the fact that free 
labor had won an overwhelming victory in the framing of the Monterey 
Constitution, the State was filled with men who sympathized with the aims 
of the South. It is astonishing to note how many San Francisco writers 

20 Journalism in California 

were inclined to applaud the passage by Congress in 1850 of the so-called 
fugitive slave act. The arguments employed seem strange to this generation, 
but not to the men of the day when Chief Justice Taney rendered his 
celebrated decision in the Dred Scott case, in which he virtually declared 
that a slave was a chattel, and that the rights of a human being did not 
attach to him. That decision was rendered on March 6, 1857, but, shock- 
ing as it now seems, it was the mere crystallization of the general attitude 
toward the African slave, and in no other state did it find a more ready 
acceptance than in California, from which slavery was rigorously excluded. 
But while men, by their votes and actions in California, seemed ready 
to extend a helping hand to those seeking to strengthen the institution, a 
section of the press was indefatigable in its opposition to any movement 
having for its object the introducion of servile labor ino the 
Opposition gtat6i In 1852 a memorial was emt to the Legislature by 

Servile a number of citizens of South Carolina and Florida asking 

Labor permission to colonize a part of the State and to bring not 

less than 2000 slaves to assist in the work of redeeming 
assumedly wild lands. It was fiercely assailed by some papers and gingerly 
advocated by one or two under the domination of Southern men, but the 
sentiment was so unmistakably against the request that it hardly received 
the courtesy of being formally tabled. No better index of the state of 
public mind in the early fifties is afforded than the act of the Legislature in 
1850 which disqualified any black or mulatto person or Indian from giving 
testimony in a case in which a white was a party. This statute remained 
on the books until 1863 and gave rise to much argument and furnished the 
theme for many an editorial. Some queer views were expressed and not 
a few of the warmest advocates of the discrimination found their inspiration 
in the Scriptures. Although the modern school of biology had made some 
headway in the first half of the nineteenth century, its teachings were not 
widely accepted by the disputants, who preferred to lean upon the Bible, in 
which they professed to find support for racial distinctions, and an abun- 
dance of authority for maintaining the assumedly inferior in a state of 

When we turn to the early journals to discover the state of the public 
mind toward the filibustering movements of the fifties, we are bewildered 
by what seems a unanimity of approbation of what to us now appear to 
be unmistakable efforts to extend the institution of slavery. 
Filibustering There was no adverse criticism of the slaveholders' plans to 
Openly annex Cuba under the pretense of securing liberty for the 

Advocated oppressed Cubans, and such comment as was evoked by the 
New Orleans riot in August, 1851, growing out of the 
obstacles placed in the way of a filibustering expedition, was unfavorable 
to those who sought to interfere with the enterprise. The Cuban independ- 
ence scheme appealed to many of the San Francisco editors, and when 
Slidell introduced his bill in Congress in 1859 for the appropriation of 
$30,000,000 to be used in the acquisition of the "Ever Faithful Isle," it 
was pronounced a measure well calculated to ease a situation which was 
yearly becoming more tense. 

This was one point of view but the practical indorsement of the policy 
of aggression on neighbors by virtually the whole community, which en- 
couraged such men as Walker, is explainable on the theory that the people 

The Nicaraguari filibuster. 

Policies of the Press During the Fifties 21 

were so obsessed by the manifest destiny idea that they lost sight of the 
other possibilities which the acquisition of territory involved. An editor, 
who has preserved for us the life and spirit of the early days 
Manifest ' n ^' s "A nna l s 0I San Francisco," gives us a glimpse of the 

Destiny extent of this obsession in a passage in which he outlines the 

Idea fancied ease with which the empire of China might be con- 

quered by energetic Americans, who could employ their 
shrewdness as England did in India by playing one set of Orientals against 
the other. With ideas of this sort permeating the editorial mind, it is not 
surprising that writers for the San Francisco press should have looked upon 
unscrupulous adventurers of the stamp of Walker as heroes, and shut their 
eyes to the enormity of encouraging the rape of neighboring territory. 

The obligation of neutrality was not much respected by any power 
at that particular time. The war with China waged by Great Britain to 
force that decrepit nation to open its ports to the traders of the West was 
. still fresh in the minds of the pioneers, and the slaveholders' 

Nations assault on Mexico, which followed the vainglorious boast 

Concerning 0I Polk that England would have to move her Canadian 
Neutrality boundary to 54 degrees 40 minutes or fight the United States, 
was an equally fresh memory. The success in the one case 
and the failure in the other greatly stimulated the manifest destiny idea. 
The cession of Hongkong to the British prompted the desire to emulate, 
and the failure to make good the "fifty-four forty" brag rankled greatly in 
the minds of the manifest destinarians, who convinced themselves that the 
ignominy of the backdown on the north could be wiped but only by stretch- 
ing our empire southward. The star of the nation had traveled as far 
westward as it conveniently could and what more natural than to look with 
approval upon propositions to deflect it from its course and make it travel 
southward until its rays penetrated the remotest part of "Greaserdom." 

Thus talked the editors of the early days of San Francisco, and, while 
they unburdened -themselves, men of the Walker stamp had no difficulty in 
securing all the reeruits they needed to engage in their mad enterprises. 
There was no Presidential warning issued against the unseem- 
Deflance liness of making raids on peoples with whom we were at 

f peace. The public conscience was not very tender on such 

Law subjects as neutrality, and it does not appear that either 

authorities or the warning voice of the press were heard in 
denunciation of the flaunting of the filibusters' flag from buildings in San 
Francisco, or the open financing of expeditions whose plainly expressed 
object was the stealing of territory from countries with which we were at 
peace. In 1852, when William Walker announced his scheme of establish- 
ing a republic in Lower California the proposal was hailed with applause 
and scrip or promises to pay based on the prospective revenues of the new 
government was freely sold. "It is ever the fate of America to go ahead. 
* * * So will America conquer and annex all lands. That is her manifest 
destiny," declared one editor, and the exultation with which the news of 
the occupation of La Paz by Walker was received, and the promptitude 
with which volunteers offered themselves and were publicly enrolled, un- 
checked by the authorities, point conclusively to an approbation not strictly 
local in character. v 

Later President Pierce, under pressure, after Walker had taken posses- 

22 Journalism in California 

sion of Granada, issued a proclamation — possibly because the filibuster had 
allowed himself to be diverted from his earlier project of taking possession 

of Sonora. That was in December, 1855 ; but, when he sailed 
totriguea frorn San Francisco for Lower California on October 15, 

of 1853, nobody interposed an objection. Those were days of 

Foreigners intrigue, and. editors were kept busy trying to divine what 

was going on. They were shrewd guessers and got to the 
bottom of affairs without the aid of armies of reporters. As early as 1850, 
two titled Frenchmen, Count Gaston Eaoul de Baoussett-Boulbon and an- 
other, known as the Marquis de Pindray, found their way to San Francisco. 
Both of these men were suspected of being emissaries of Napoleon III, 
and, when the former, in 1852, sailed for Lower California with a band of 
250 men, recruited in San Francisco, the papers were not backward in 
charging that their purpose was not to colonize, as was intimated, but that 
they were bent on creating a buffer state between Mexico and the United 
States. Eaoussett had some dealings with the Mexican Government, but the 
integrity of his purpose was soon called into question and he came into 
open collision with the troops of Mexico in Lower California and later 
succeeded in capturing Hermosillo. When he returned to San Francisco 
his exploit was made much of by the people, but the Frenchman's plans 
crossed those of the pro-slavery element, and an attempt to raise funds for 
a second expedition was frustrated by the circulation of a report that the 
whole of Sonora had been ceded to the United States. The French Consul 
later became mixed up in the project and was tried for violating the 
neutrality laws. He set up as a defense that the 800 men who were pre- 
vented leaving San Francisco on March 29, 1854, on the British ship 
Challenge were going there with the object of colonizing Mexico so as 
effectually to prevent filibustering. The jury trying the Consul was unable 
to agree, but the press found no difficulty in believing in his guilt, and dis- 
played considerable acumen in the discussion of Napoleon's intentions and 
made predictions which were well substantiated later by the events which 
culminated in the death of Maximilian and the madness of his wife 

But these were minor issues, comparatively speaking, and, while 
affording subjects for exciting comment, they never attained to the distinc- 
tion of being the absorbing topic. That, from the beginning, was, and, 

until the firing on Sumter, remained, the question whether 
J£ e . . the slave oligarchy of the South or the free North was to 

Editorial dominate the country. It was not whether slavery should 

Topic survive as an institution in the United States; the problem 

did not present itself in that way until some years after 
Seward had declared that it was an irrepressible conflict. The Civil War 
had grown a wearisome horror long before the people decided that slavery 
must go, and there were still many who abhorred the institution who 
doubted the wisdom of utterly dispensing with it even after Lincoln issued 
the proclamation which put his name high on the role of fame. A cursory 
glance at the editorial columns of the San Francisco press during the 
years between the passage of the bill for the arrest of fugitive slaves and 
that April day in 1861 when Sumter was fired upon shows that everything 
was subordinated in the public mind to the "burning question." Assaults 
on municipal corruption were merely digressions. There were many such 

Policies of the Press During the Fifties 23 

and the failure of the people to heed reiterated warnings had a tragic out- 
come. But it was impossible to persuade men that attention to local affairs 
need not be wholly subordinated to national considerations, and the ma- 
chinery devised for the conduct of public matters entirely engrossed by those 
fighting the battle which eventually had to be settled with weapons more 
potent than ballots. 

There were few at the time who had the temerity to suggest that 
national and local affairs might be dissociated. The men who built up the 
city, had been accustomed to a system which made the selection of municipal 

officials a minor cogwheel in the national political machine. 
Subordinate ^^ e ecms tant discussion of state's rights and the threats of 
Local secession made as early as 1850 by the Southern Eights 

Affairs Associations of South Carolina, the Kansas-Nebraska bill, 

the settlement of Lawrence, Kansas, by anti-slavery men, 
the Ostend manifesto calling for the purchase of Cuba by the United States, 
the decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court that the fugitive slave law 
was unconstitutional, the free State convention at Lawrence in August, 
1854, and that at Topeka a couple of months later, so fully occupied the 
attention of press and public it would have been strange indeed if any 
serious effort had been made to, divorce local from national politics. There 
was no such attempt. The press scolded and pointed the finger of scorn 
at malefactors in office. Jobs were exposed and the negligence and turpi- 
tude of courts were scathingly denounced, but it did not occur to anybody, 
that the trouble was due to incivicism and misdirection of public virtue. 
There was much of the former, as the sequel showed, but the positive con- 
viction of the forceful few, that national considerations outweighed every- 
thing else, was responsible for the perpetuation of a system which placed a 
premium on neglect and finally produced an intolerable condition. The 
constant struggle to gain a party advantage caused men otherwise well 
meaning enough to wink at rascality. It was of more consequence to them 
that the party which they believed was in the right should control the polit- 
ical machinery from the ground up than that the city should be well gov- 
erned, and the abstention of the respectable element from participation in 
local politics was probably due as much to the feeling that they were power- 
less to effect a reform of any sort while a great crisis was impending as it 
was to indifference begotten by absorption in personal affairs. 

It was the press which brought matters to a climax. Like in the dual 
system of Zoraster, in which the powers of light and darkness are in con- 
stant conflict, the Fourth Estate during the years preceding the outbreak in 

1856, which taught the people of San Francisco that de- 
Personal cency, when it' chooses to assert itself, can always win, was in 
Scraps a perpetual state of warfare. Editors attacked each other 
of Editors personally in the columns of their papers. They were not 

content to make their assaults upon the weaknesses of the 
opinions of their rivals, but sought to emphasize them by riddling their 
characters. It all resulted in much bad blood, and occasionally in en- 
counters, and finally in the murder of James King of William, which pro- 
voked the uprising that had for its outcome the ascertainment of the fact 
that the decent and orderly elements of the city had made a serious blunder 
in tamely assuming that they were not able to keep the criminal classes 
under control with the ordinary machinery of government. 



Events That Led to the Committee's Activities — Neglect of Civic Duties by San 
Franciscans — Ballot-Box Stuffing and Ballot Boxes With False Bottoms — 
Municipal Extravagance — A Big Seduction in Expenditures — Nothing to Show 
for Money Expended — David Broderick's Career as a Municipal Boss — Assaults 
of James King of William on David C. Broderick — A Specimen Bulletin Edi- 
torial in 1855 — Sudden Bise in the Popularity of the Bulletin — Popular Appro- 
bation of Personal Journalism — Exposure of Jury Corruption — The Law and 
Order Party — Casey Murders James King of William — The Vigilance Com- 
mittee Hangs Cora and Casey — The Herald Ruined by Withdrawal of Advertis- 
ing Patronage — Earlier Popularity of the Herald — Formation of the People's 
Party — Conventionality Abhorred by Early Editors and Reporters — Honest Harry 
Meiggs — Reporters Never Suspected His Shortcomings — His Unsuccessful At- 
tempt to Divert Business to North Beach — Fraudulent Use of City Scrip — His 
Flight From San Francisco and His Subsequent Rehabilitation in Peru. 

EEY few occurrences prior to the Civil War attracted 
so much attention or were more discussed than the do- 
ings of the Vigilance Committee of 1856. It is a re- 
markable fact, however, that, although the chief actors 
responsible for the precipitation of the trouble were 
editors, and that the recrimination which led to the 
murder of James King of William was provoked by 
dissensions regarding the distribution of Federal pat- 
ronage, nearly all the critics on the Atlantic seaboard, and in Europe, where 
the affair was made much, of, confined themselves to the question whether 
when the ordinary safeguards of a civilized society are broken down by the 
criminal element a community is not justified in setting aside the machinery 
of the law and resorting to more direct methods of dealing with crime and 
administering justice and punishment. 

It does not appear in the vast quantity of opinion which found its way 
into print that any of those responsible for its expression were disposed to 
place the blame for the departure from the methods of civilized peoples on 
the orderly elements of the community. There were some who in a feeble 
way protested against mob rule and asserted that laxity in the administra- 
tion of justice is always attributable to the loose notions of the society in 
which it occurs, but the majority of the commentators treated the uprising 
as if it were a matter of the people of San Francisco being suddenly put 
on the defensive against a powerful band of criminals who had conspired to 
rob and murder. And so it must have appeared to all who simply regarded 


Vigilance Committee of 1856 25 

the uncontradicted statement that in the first ten months of 1855 there had 
been 489 murders in California, and only six legal executions. 

But this style of criticism completely ignored the conditions which led 
up to the crime which so shocked the better elements of the community 
that they did not hesitate to accomplish in a violent and illegal manner that 
in tt f w hich they could have brought about in a perfectly orderly 

to * en 10n fashion had they displayed a tithe of the energy and de- 
Civic termination to prevent the encroachments of the criminal 

Duty class that they did in breaking up its practices when they 

became unbearable. In short, it disregarded the fact that the 
number of decent citizens was very much larger than that of the gang 
which imposed its rule upon the community, an assertion amply beme out 
by statistics, and the outcome of the uprising which showed that nothing 
more was necessary than that citizens who desired to see good men elected 
should go to the polls and vote, and see to it that their votes were properly 

Instead of such a course being pursued, the good but negligent citizens 
preferred to adopt a shirking attitude which they defended by asking: 
"What is the use?" They assumed that ballot-box stuffing could not be 

prevented, and stayed away from the polls because they 
Is-the- would be counted out in any event. That this was the case is 

Use shown by the fact that it was charged by James King of Wil- 

Attitude liam that Casey, a contributor to the Sunday Times, who 

afterward killed him, had been elected a Supervisor in a dis- 
trict in which he was not even a candidate, the implication being that the 
box was stuffed with ballots for him by designing men, who sought to put 
him in office for corrupt purposes. It is also attested by the spectacular 
exposure of a ballot box with a false bottom made after the Vigilantes 
began to clean the Augean stables. That such infamous devices to defeat 
the will of the people were regularly employed was notorious, but the evil 
was allowed to go unchecked despite the constant demands for reform from 
the section of the press which was making persistent assaults on municipal 
corruption which went unheeded, perhaps because they were too vehement 
and were open to the suspicion that they were inspired by men who desired 
to get possession of the offices. 

That there was extravagance, corruption and gross mismanagement of 
municipal affairs in the years preceding 1856 is undeniable. The expendi- 
tures of the city in 1853 reached $2,646,000. That amount seems small by 

comparison with the present enormous cost of city govern- 
Corruntion merit, but a reform administration in 1857, elected after the 
and Mis- Vigilante uprising, managed to get along on $353,000. It is 

management true that critics of municipal management by the officials 

elected by the People's Party, which was the outcome of the 
affair of 1856, declared that parsimony and neglect marked the adminis- 
tration of the reformers, and that they did nothing for the city, but their 
friends were able to retort that prior to 1856, although large sums were 
annually expended, there was nothing to show for the expenditures. There 
were other abuses than those complained of by that portion of the early 
press which concerned itself about the demands made on the taxpayer, and 
they were unquestionably more demoralizing than those which came in 
for the severest censure, They were, however, condoned by the newspapers 

26 Journalism in California ^^^_ 

and the people because they were generally practiced at the time, but their 
effects were more disastrous than those produced by the grafting propensity, 
for they were chiefly responsible for the selection of the venal and ineffective 
Judges, who did not hesitate to pollute the fountain of justice to pay for 
their appointments. As already pointed out, the tremendous influence on 
the popular mind exerted by the burning questions growing out of the ag- 
gressiveness of the slaveholding oligarchy made men subordinate local to 
national issues ; it also tended to the acceptance of a political theory some- 
what resembling that contained in the assumption that the end justifies the 
means adopted to effect its accomplishment. The pecple were desperately 
in earnest; party feeling ran high and there was no disposition to shrink 
from practices, no matter how questionable, which voters thought would 
insure the success of the cause they advocated. 

The singlar anomaly of a man with professedly high ideals resorting 
to the basest political methods can be explained only by assuming that he 
felt certain that voters desirous of achieving the object aimed at by him 
would view his actions with tolerance. David C. Broderick, 
Aaainst S whose career as a boss and a legislator, and his tragic death 

David C. on "the field of honor," fill a large space in the annals of the 

Broderick city, was conspicuous as an advocate of free labor. He was 
untiring in his opposition to the efforts to commit California 
to the cause of slavery and earned the enmity of the class devoted to the 
extension of the institution, the members of which, curiously enough, were 
by no means all Southerners, or directly interested in that which they 
advocated. There were plenty of what in the parlance of the period were 
called "dough faces" in San Francisco who were apparently unconscious of 
the fact that they were looked upon as "mudsills," although they were told 
so frequently enough by the anti-slavery editors to become acquainted with 
the Southern point of view, had they only taken the trouble to read what 
was said about them. But they did not. It was the custom in those days, 
as it is at present, for men to read that with which they sympathized and 
approved, and to turn from that which is distasteful. Consequently, the 
diatribes against Broderick were ignored and disregarded by many who did 
not wish to believe the accusations brought against him. They by no means 
came from one source. He had many enemies in both camps, almost from 
the beginning of his political career ; but toward its close they were chiefly 
composed of the active adherents of the pro-slavery cause or the members of 
the "Federal Brigade," the name bestowed upon the office-holders appointed 
in Washington, who were almost wholly Southerners, and many of them of 
the sort designated as "carpet baggers" by the people of the South during 
the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Before Broderick began 
to be esteemed as a champion, he was the object of denunciation more 
severe than any to which modern readers are accustomed, and candor 
compels the admission that the charges brought against him could have 
been substantiated in a court of law had he made the mistake of seeking 
redress through such an agency. 

Foremost among Broderick's assailants was James King of William 
of the Bulletin, who began his assaults very shortly after commencing the 
publication of that paper. No better illustration of journalistic methods'on 
the eve of the Vigilante uprising in 1856 can be furnished than that which 
a few quotations from King's announcement to the public and his attacks 


Murdered by James P. Casey in 1856. 



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Vigilance Committee of 1856 27 

on Broderick afford. In his salutatory, the editor of the Bulletin told his 
readers that necessity, not choice, had driven him into the experiment of 

publishing a paper, and that he was "fully sensible of the 
James King of ^ °^ a newspaper enterprise as an investment of money." 
William The public scarcely needed to be informed that King's news- 

on Broderick paper venture was in no sense a business enterprise, for it was 

well informed concerning his grievances, which were con- 
nected with what he deemed the unjust treatment of his brother by the 
politicians in the matter of a Federal appointment, and his further an- 
nouncement that he intended to use his paper for the purpose of meeting 
his enemies with weapons of their own kind was joyously accepted by that 
part of the community which delighted in recrimination of the sort de- 
scribed by the term "making the fur fly," while those who believed in his 
integrity and honesty of purpose, about which there appears to have been no 
question, despite the fact that the motives for some of his attacks suggested 
personal animus, looked forward with eagerness to the effecting of reforms 
through the instrumentality of an untrammeled press. 

"It has been whispered to us," wrote King, in his salutatory, "that 
some parties are about pitching into us. We hope they will think better 
of it. We make it a rule to keep out of a scrape as long as possible; but, 

if forced into one, we 'ar' thar', entiende ?' " This warning 

Edftorial 1611 or " defi " was issued on 0ctober 8 > 1855 > and promptly drew 
of Early fire, an d a week later the battle was on. One of the very first 

Days objects of King's attacks was Broderick, who, in accordance 

with the habit of the time, he nicknamed David Catline 
Broderick. His arraignment of the politician was a piece of coarse invec- 
tive, every line of which was calculated to incite violence. He charged that 
he was endeavoring to have himself elected for the purpose of accomplish- 
ing unworthy ends, and accused him of complicity in the job by which the 
Jenny Lind Theater was unloaded on the municipality to be converted 
into a City Hall, although unfit for the purpose. Other swindles and 
robberies were laid at his door, and he was plumply accused of ballot-box 
stuffing and other corrupt electioneering practices. On the following day 
King continued his tirade, specifically indicating cases of men having paid 
considerable sums of money to Broderick for nominations, which were 
equivalent to an election, and paying for them nearly as much as the salary 
attached to the office. Another attack he concluded with the remark: 
"We have every confidence that the people will stand by us in this contest ; 
and, if we can only escape David C. Broderick's hired bullies a little longer, 
we will turn this city inside out, but what we will expose the corruption 
and malfeasance of her officiary." 

The allusion to "hired bullies" was not a figure of speech in this case. 
James King of William knew what he might expect. He had no apprehension 
of a libel suit, for the object of his assault did not dare to tempt the proof 
which he knew would be forthcoming in a court, even one in 
^ he . which justice miscarried as often as it did in San Francisco 

Hired about this time. But the bullies did not meddle with the 

Bullies bold editor, probably because they saw in the rapidly increas- 

ing popularity of the new journalistic venture a danger flag 
the sight of which gave then a premonition of what followed a few months 
later. The sudden rise in popularity of the Bulletin gives an insight into 

28 Journalism in California 

the kind of journalism -which met approval in 1855, and at the same time 
enlightens us concerning the reading habits of the public, for we are in- 
formed that in less than a month the circulation of King's paper was 2500, 
and that before the end of December it reached nearly 3500 copies daily, a 
larger number than was circulated by any other newspaper in the city. 
There are no accurate statistics of population for the year mentioned, but it 
is probable that San Francisco in the closing months of 1855 contained 
55,000 inhabitants. There had been an attempt at enumeration two years 
earlier, which indicated that the State had about 100,000 population, and 
it was estimated that during the winter of 1853-54 at least 50,000 lived in 
the city, a fair proportion of this number being miners who early developed 
the habit of making their way to the bay when the weather prevented mining. 
The degree of popularity attained by the Bulletin testifies to the ap- 
probation of a style of journalism scarcely tolerated nowadays. The rivals 
of James King of William were no less vituperative, but his personalities 
are drawn upon for illustration, because, at the time, and 
Approbation for & long while afte ^ he wag exto u e ^ as a mo del editor. His 

Personal contemporaries might have been persuaded that he was capa- 

Journalism ble of making mistakes, but they were profoundly convinced 

that 'his, methods were sound and productive of good results. 
They found nothing shocking in his comments upon court procedure, and 
when Cora was on trial for killing Eichardson and the jury was being 
impaneled he was applauded for saying in the Bulletin : "Look well to the 
jury. And, again, what we propose is this : If the jury is packed, either 
hang the Sheriff or drive him out of town and make him resign. If Billy 
Mulligan lets his friend Cora escape, hang Billy Mulligan or drive him 
into banishment." Cora was a professional gambler who had a quarrel with 
a man named Eichardson in a saloon and shot him on the 18th of Novem- 
ber, 1855. The murder was not particularly notable of itself, but, as an 
addition to the long list of the preceding months in city and State, it made 
an impression which was greatly strengthened by the comments of the 
Bulletin, but which would have weakened and died away if the editor had 
not boldly drawn attention to the attempts made by the friends of the 
murderer to secure immunity for him by corrupt methods. 

It was openly hinted that a large sum of money had been subscribed, 
the amount mentioned being $40,000, which was to be employed to fix the 
court or buy a jury, and color was lent to the rumors by the repeated delays 

in the trial of the case. The murder, like the remaining 488 
Corruption recorded in the "Annals of San Francisco," might have 
of . passed unnoticed, and gone unpunished, had not James King 

Juries £ William let loose his stream of invective which washed 

away the indifference of an apathetic and nearly cowed pub- 
lic, and called forth in its stead one of the most remarkable exhibitions of 
virile dealing on primitive lines ever witnessed in this or any other country. 
If the outcome had not been so tragic, the investigator might almost be 
tempted to say that it was the result of editorial "scrapping," but it requires 
no extraordinary penetration- to discover that while James King of William 
was the rod that attracted the lightning it was the suddenly awakened con- 
sciousness of a long indifferent community that provided the tinder which 
started a conflagration that burned with such fierceness it extinguished 
civic enterprise while sweeping away criminality. 

Vigilance Committee of 1856 29 

It is not conceivable that all of those who lifted up their voices in dis- 
approval of the Bulletin's harsh strictures sympathized with the criminal 
class. There were plenty who in arraying themselves on the side of what 
Th L they called "law and order" believed sincerely that they 

and aW were fighting behind the bulwark of modern civilization. 

Order They may have deprecated the tendency of the courts to 

Party encourage criminals by postponements and other lax prac- 

tices, but they felt certain that if the ordinary processes were 
dispensed with society would be a rudderless ship and surely go on the 
rocks. But those who sympathized with Casey were not among this num- 
ber. Many articles in rival papers dealing with the subject of delay were 
more a defense of evil practices than of orderly procedure, and some editors 
were quick to align themselves on the side of those accused of shortcomings. 
It is not surprising, considering the disposition to indulge in personalities 
which had been the fashion for years that when King assailed the Federal 
brigade Casey should have hastened to its aid, and that he should have 
employed the favorite weapon of the period in the weekly paper to which 
he contributed so frequently that he was regarded as its editor. Unfortu- 
nately, the champion of the turbulent element had a history like many an- 
other man who had found his way to California when the fame of the new 
El Dorado was spreading about the globe. 

His story was not unknown to San Franciscans. The fact that he had 
made a slip in his old home in New York State had been brought out in the 
course of a trial, and King, when the fight waxed hot, was not slow to use 
the advantage it gave him. Cora had shot Kichardson in 
wmiain S November, 1855 and nearly six months later he still remained 
Assails James untried and there was every reason to believe that he never 
P. Casey would be convicted, and King said so in plain terms. Casey 

was extremely virulent in criticising the attitude of King, 
indulging in many personalities, and the Bulletin came back at him in this 
wise : "The fact that Casey has been an inmate of Sing Sing prison in 
New York is not an offense against the laws of the State; nor is the fact 
of his having stuffed himself through the ballot box as elected to the 
Board of Supervisors from a district where it is said he was not even a 
candidate, any justification why Mr. Bagley should shoot Casey, however 
richly the latter may deserve having his neck stretched for such fraud upon 
the people." This assault appeared on May 14, 1856, and King had no 
particular reason for believing that it would cause serious trouble, for in 
the preceding November he had reproduced from the California Chronicle 
a strong denunciatory article in which the methods by which Casey was 
elected Supervisor were referred to, and in which his Sing Sing record was 
paraded without any harm ensuing. But the friends of Cora, the gambler, 
saw an opportunity to create a diversion and they took the perilous course 
of instigating the . assailed politician to avenge himself, which he did by 
shooting King as he left his office. 

The town flamed up at once. The committee called upon to deal with 
the troublesome characters in 1851 had maintained some sort of an organi- 
zation during the intervening five years and was swiftly brought into shape 
for action. Officers were chosen, and they formed companies of well armed 
men who made it perfectly clear by their attitude that they were going to 
take the law into their own hands and dispense with the formalities of the 

30 Journalism in California 

courts. King, although the wound inflicted by Casey proved' fatal, lingered 
six days after being shot. Meanwhile, the Vigilantes had taken Cora and 

Casey from the custody of the Sheriff. The latter made some 

j Murder resistance, but was persuaded by the determined attitude of 

James King the members of the committee to deliver the prisoners into 

of William their keeping. For a while there were signs of a conflict 

between the persons who called themselves the Law and Order 
party, in which the State authorities showed a disposition to participate, but 
the determined front presented by the aroused citizens and the vacillation of 
the Governor prevented a serious collision. 

The committee, which awaited the result of the wound inflicted by 
Casey, as soon as the death of James King of William was announced by 
the tolling of the bell of the Monumental Engine Company, at once strung 

up the two murderers side by side on gibbets, where they 
Oasev^aneed were allowed to swing for several days to serve as a warning to 
by the the wretched crew who had so long terrorized San Francisco. 

Vigilantes According to the accounts of the journals which survived 

the storm, the lesson was a salutary one and was taken to 
heart by the disorderly element. Nugent's paper, the Herald, which 
strenuously championed the Law and Order party and unsparingly de- 
nounced the committee, was ruined by the concerted withdrawal of the 
advertising patronage of the business community, and soon ceased publica- 
tion. This action did not meet the unanimous approval of the Vigilance 
Committee. It was deprecated by William T. Coleman, a prominent mer- 
chant, who was chosen to head the banded protestants against official cor- 
ruption and laxity, and who argued that no good results could be expected 
from direct or indirect attempts to curb the liberty of the press. He did 
not prevail, however, and the Herald was sacrificed. 

The striking fact that Coleman should have opposed the extirpation 
of the Herald suggests that its general course, apart from its unfortunate 
attempt to defend or apologize for the shortcomings of the courts, was not 

reprehensible, and an examination of its columns confirms 
Beforethe ^ s view. It had attained to considerable popularity before 
Murder of the Bulletin came on the scene and was regarded as the 
King leading paper. It was undoubtedly the best edited daily up 

to the time of its collapse, and the probabilities favor the 
belief that Coleman's opposition to killing it were based on the belief that 
the motives of those who advocated that course were inspired more by 
hostility to its political course than to any other cause. Perhaps no ether 
phase of the 1856 Vigilante uprising has presented greater difficulties to 
the critic than the forcible extinction of the Herald, but it does not appear 
that any of its contemporaries mourned its loss. Nor is there any evidence 
in their columns of a consciousness that the problem which the Vigilantes 
were called upon to deal with was due to incivicism. Through them all 
there runs the singular assumption that by some extraordinary process, 
which is not clearly described, the criminal element gained control, and 
that the only possible way to shake off the incubus was the one adopted. 

Occasionally, there was found in the columns of the papers warring 
on municipal extravagance and corruption a recognition of the true cause 
of the insolence of the law-defying class. The charge was made that men 
who styled themselves good citizens were too busy attending to their own 

Leader of Vigilance Committee of 1856. 

Vigilance Committee of 1856 31 

affairs to bother themselves about those of the community. Although there 
are no quotable expressions of the belief that the respectable element was 

numerous enough to beat the disorderly at the polls it must 
Element Not flave ex i s ted, for it was no infrequent thing for an editor 
Preponderant before 1856 to draw upon the affairs with the Hounds in 1851 
in 1856 to support the assumption that all that would be necessary 

to bring about a change would be to imitate the example of 
the Vigilance Committee formed in the earlier year. Obviously, a con- 
viction of this sort could not have obtained unless those entertaining it were 
convinced that the people desirous of law and order were in the majority. 
And such was the case, as was shown in the sequel. After the lynching 
of Cora and Casey, a party which concerned itself exclusively with muni- 
cipal affairs was formed, and its adherents had no trouble in maintaining 
order at the polls and reducing election irregularities to a minimum. 

Perhaps another cause may have operated more potently to prevent 
good government than is generally suspected by the p'resent generation. 
There was unquestionably in the early-fifties a bonhomie with which we of 

the present day have little familiarity. The columns of the 
Good^N^ture newspaper press of the fifties teem with evidence of its 
in Early existence. Throughout their pages there was an astonishing 

Days " absence of conventionality. Men were spoken of by their 

first names, and their popularity could be gauged by the 
friendly touch given by the writers for the press. The prefix "Mr." was 
often used to suggest that the bearer was just a little too good for San 
Francisco, while the hearty "Jack" or "Bill," and the caressing "Harry" 
and "Charlie" conveyed to the reader the idea that there was something 
genial about those who bore those and similar appellations. One of the 
most remarkable figures in the early history of San Francisco, it is asserted, 
was enabled to pull the wool over the eyes of the people for a long" time 
because no one could possibly suspect a man known to every one by his 
first name, to which the community had prefixed "honest," of being any- 
thing else than he was popularly supposed to be. 

When Harry Meiggs, on the 6th of October, 1854, fled from San 
Francisco owing about $800,000 the community was astounded. The 
press shared in the general amazement, for the popularity of the man was 

so great that no one, least of all the reporters, thought of 
ir" ht f regarding as singular the fact that he was in such trouble that 

Harry ne was borrowing money at a frightfully high rate of interest ; 

Meiggs nor does it appear that the commercial and financial editors 

of the time concerned themselves very greatly respecting the 
character of the securities offered by him, for, notwithstanding the strong 
inclination of the newspapers to mix in personal affairs, the fact that he 
was hawking scrip whose fraudulent character should have been easily 
detected, he succeeded in imposing a large amount of it upon easy-going 
lenders of money. Meiggs was a great promoter, and started his meteoric 
career by an attempt to divert the business of San Francisco from the 
neighborhood in which it first established itself to North Beach. He was 
energetic beyond comparison, and from the day when he landed in San 
Francisco in 1850 he was constantly pushing some enterprise or other. 
When he conceived the idea of booming North Beach he built a road 
about the base of Telegraph hill to Clarke's point, where he had invested 

32 Journalism in California 

a considerable sum of money, and constructed a wharf 2000 feet in length 
from the foot of Powell street, which extended in the direction of Alcatraz 
island. To forward his project of putting North Beach on the business 
map he promoted the grading and improvement of many streets in the 
section he was trying to boom. In pushing through these various under- 
takings he incurred the heavy obligations which caused his ruin. 

At the time he was operating, street work was paid for by warrants 
drawn on the city treasury, which were signed by the Mayor and Con- 
troller. In order to facilitate matters and save trouble, the latter official 
was in the habit of signing entire books of the blank war- 
Loose rants, and he found no difficulty in persuading the city's 
Municipal chief executive to lend his signature in the same loose fashion. 
Methods Q ne £ th ege DO oks was obtained by Meiggs from the clerk of 
the Controller, who was a particular friend of the energetic 
boomer. As there was no money in the street fund at the time, Meiggs 
experienced no particular difficulty in negotiating the fraudulent warrants, 
the unsuspicious money lenders not taking the trouble to inquire whether 
those in whose favor they were drawn had performed the work or whether 
there was anything due them. It may seem extraordinary to a more 
cautious race of bankers that the value of the securities was not challenged 
until the crash came, but the accounts agree that Meiggs' interest account 
had climbed up to about $30,000 a month before an investigation was made 
which caused the exposure which he anticipated by his flight. With the 
aid of his brother, he made his escape on a vessel which landed him in 
Valparaiso, Chile. It was supposed at the time that he had carried away 
a large sum of money, but there is no good reason for questioning the state- 
ment made by him later that when he reached the South American city 
he had only $8000, and that before he got a fresh start in life he was 
reduced to .the necessity of pawning his watch. 

When Meiggs did get a start he soon accumulated a great fortune. 
The amount of his accumulations was said to be nearly a hundred millions, 
but that is probably an exaggeration. Whatever the sum, however, he used 
a part of it to satisfy every creditor in full. Peru, the country 
Melees ' n wn ^ cn ne operated as a railroad contractor, was not con- 

Tries to genial to Meiggs and he experienced a great desire to return 

Come Back to California, and to that end he sought while the Legislature 
of 1873-74 was in session to have that body pass an act 
ordering all indictments against him to be dismissed, and forbidding future 
Grand Juries reopening the cases against him. The proposal met with no 
adverse criticism and the act passed the Legislature by a practically unani- 
mous vote, but Governor Newton Booth interposed his veto, rebuking the 
legislators for their complaisance, and pointing out that the act of im- 
munity, if adopted, would be regarded as a scandalous exhibition of defer- 
ence to wealth as well as an unconstitutional usurpation of power. While 
the State was saved the disgrace of condoning felony by legislation, the 
comment of the press shows that the people at large saw nothing extraor- 
dinary in the proceeding. It would, however, be a mistake to assume that 
the community was governed by any other motive than the belief that Harry 
meant to do no wrong, and that he was the victim of a perfectly laudable- 
ambition to boom a part of the town in whose future he had great faith. 



STOEM OF 1856. 

Decent Elements of Society Assume Control of Affairs — The People's Party— Drift- 
ing in a Political Sargossa Sea — A Nominating Junta — The People Saved the 
Trouble of Selecting Candidates — Seduction of Municipal Expenditures in 1857 — 
Bulletin's Advocacy of Pay-as- You-Go Municipal Government — Newspapers 
Easily Founded — Many Journals Live a Short Life — Limited Circulation of 
Early Papers — The Contents of a Paper More Important Than the Number 
of Copies Printed — Per Capita Consumption of Papers Very Small — A Host of 
Forgotten Once Popular Journals — Newspapers Make a Limited Appeal to 
Readers — Small Forces Eequired to Get Out Daily Papers — A Limited Police 
Force and Scant Information Concerning Crime and Criminals — The Editor and 
the Field of Honor — Gentle-Minded Men Who Called Each Other Hard Names — 
The Attention Paid to Dramatic Criticism — Early Boosters of California's Cli- 
mate — California Spoken of as God's Country. 




HE storm is always followed by a calm. When the fury 
of the Vigilante gale had subsided there was quiet sail- 
ing for a long time. It was speedily discovered that 
the decent elements of the city were greatly in the ma- 
jority, and that it was only necessary for them to go to 
the polls on election day and exercise a moderate degree 
of watchfulness to prevent the abuses which had enabled 
the disorderly classes to put venal and incompetent men 
in office. Out of the Vigilante episode there came a municipal party which 
retained power for many years, and to recur to the nautical metaphor, 
when it obtained control, it trimmed its sails in such a way that in order 
to catch the breeze of popularity it steered the "municipality into a Sargossa 
sea of its own creation, in which it drifted about for many years without 
getting anywhere in particular. This new organization was named the 
People's party, and there was not the slightest doubt in the minds of its 
creators that the appellation fitted it perfectly, despite .the fact that the 
people had. no other duty imposed on them than that of going to the polls 
and voting for the candidates put forward by a junta which derived its 
original authority from the Vigilance Committee and finally converted it- 
self into a self-perpetuating organization. 

If the object of government is to achieve the results aimed at by the 
stable elements of a community, the People's party, called into existence by 
the desire to do away with corruption and extravagance in the conduct of 
municipal affairs which had marked the years prior to 1856, must be 
credited with accomplishing that result. Perhaps a combination of circum- 

r 33 

34 Journalism in California 

stances assisted in furthering, the aims of the promoters of the party, chief 
among which were the reduction of expenditures and the elimination of 
the disorderly classes. Eighteen fifty-seven was a year of 
Expenditures & reat nnanc i a ^ stress throughout the Union, and, despite the 
Cut ? ac t that California was still producing gold on a great 

Down scale, San Francisco did not escape the effects of the general 

prostration. Business became very dull and it grew increas- 
ingly difficult for the parasites of society who had flocked to the city to 
maintain themselves. And, as is usually the case, with decreasing pros- 
perity there was decreased, insolence on the part of the "swell mob," the 
designation applied by the press to those who if the police were disposed 
to ask pertinent questions could not always give a satisfactory account of 
themselves. The depression would naturally have called for retrenchment, 
but the inclination harmonized so perfectly with the necessity no effort 
whatever was required to effect the extraordinary reduction already noted. 
Had the condition of affairs produced by this resort to the policy of 
retrenchment endured for a short period only, it would possess no special 
interest for the student of civics, but it extended over many years. It there- 
fore becomes an object of inquiry to determine whether the 
Parsimonious s ^ c ^ pursuit of economy was due to the lessons administered 
Policy to the extravagant and corruptly inclined by the Vigilance 

Adopted Committee or to the adoption of narrow views concerning the 

functions of municipal government. A very little research 
makes it perfectly clear that the latter played by far the biggest part in 
the course adopted after 1857, and continued during many years. There 
is no question about the influence .exerted by the uprising. It was most 
salutary, as may be inferred from the tremendous reduction of expenditures 
for local purposes already quoted. It is inconceivable . that the depression 
of 1857, no matter how severe, could have prompted so great a degree 
of retrenchment, but the fact that after the recovery from the panic a course 
bordering on parsirnony in dealing with municipal affairs was adopted, sug- 
gests what was actually the case that some of the more powerful editorial 
writers of the period were coming under the domination of the individualis- 
tic idea, which was very assertive at the time. The Bulletin exhibited this 
influence in a marked degree, and its editorial columns teemed with articles 
in favor of a let-alone policy, so far as collective effort to provide municipal 
conveniences was concerned, and it was insistent in its advocacy of a pay-as- 
you-go plan for the city. 

San Francisco at the time was sadly in need of many public improve- 
ments. It had few small parks, and the idea of an extensive people's 
pleasure ground had not yet been mooted. Its City Hall was a make- 
shift affair and its streets were ill-paved and the sidewalks 
Feaj^oi were wre t e hed. A few years earlier the desirability of caus- 

Municipal i n g the roadways of the city to be constructed with some 
Corruption regard to its topography was advocated, but, after 1856, 
considerations of that sort were wholly lost sight of, and the 
example of rectangularity furnished by one or two cities of the East was 
blindly imitated. The impression derived from a perusal of many editorials 
written between the occurrence of the Vigilante uprising and the close of 
the sixties is that the fear of official corruption had become so ingrained that 
no one had the courage seriously to propose anything which might reopen 

One of San Francisco's earliest promoters. 

The Calm that Followed the Storm of 1856 35 

the doors of opportunity to extravagance. It is not impossible that this 
abstention from discussion might have been produced by absorption in the 
overshadowing question of the day. It might be assumed that such was 
the case if the prodigious space devoted to articles on the extension of slavery 
and cognate'subjects were alone considered, but the fact that during the 
period referred to, side by side with profoundly earnest attempts to solve 
the greatest of American problems, could be found efforts suggestive of a 
livelier interest in purely esthetic matters than we find in many 'modern 

At the time we speak of the newspaper was not developed to any 
extent outside of the purely practical. It dealt chiefly with everyday affairs 
and relegated art and literature to odd corners. Very often the apologetic 

head "Miscellaneous" was placed over a bit of poetry, or 

Newspapers a short story, as if the editor was not quite sure that they 

S5 s ii y rt deserved admission to the columns under his control. Per- 

a e haps the explanation of this attitude may be found in the 

fact that very few persons concerned in the publication of 
newspapers regarded journalism as a profession. It could hardly be con- 
sidered such at the time for various reasons, chief among which was the 
ease with which a newspaper could be called into existence. It has already 
been told how James King of William started the Bulletin, convinced that 
such money as he might invest in the enterprise would be lost. Undoubtedly, 
there were others like him who entertained no hope of profit, but sought to 
accomplish a purpose in entering the journalistic field. Still others saw an 
opportunity to make a living, even if the business of publishing held out no 
promise of great rewards; the latter may be properly inferred from the 
number of papers called into existence, most of them, however, destined to 
live only a short life. 

The significant feature of the mushroom growth of newspapers in the 
early days was the facility with which any one possessed by the desire to 
enter the journalistic arena could achieve his wishes. It required very little 

capital to create a plant capable of turning out such sheets 
Papers ag were produced during the fifty decade of the nineteenth 

Limited century. Although the Adams steam power press had been 

Circulation invented as early as 1835, it did not speedily supplant the 

old-fashioned hand press, and, indeed, there did not seem 
to be much demand for a machine which would produce a great number of 
copies, a statement attested by the fact that the paper of greatest circulation 
in 1856 only boasted the issuance of 3600 copies daily. But the word 
"boast" is misapplied in this connection. It does not appear that publishers 
or editors concerned themselves half as much, about that phase of the busi- 
ness as they did about what appeared in the columns of the papers printed 
by them, and they oftener asked themselves what effect this or that article 
had produced on the community than they did the number of copies issued. 
Obviously, under such conditions, the relations of the business office and 
the editorial rooms of newspapers were not the same as at present. Indeed, 
not infrequently they were so closely associated as to be inseparable, and 
in not a few cases the owner performed the functions of editor, publisher 
and reporter, and made them fit in with each other admirably. 

It was several years after Hoe built his first rotary press for the Parisian 
paper La Patrie, in 1848, that machines of that, sort were introduced into 

36 Journalism in California 

this country, and it was not until 1861 that the first practical perfecting 
press was put up in Cincinnati. It did not achieve a marked success, al- 
though 8000 to 10,000 copies of a small sheet, printed on 
Capital k°* n sides, could be turned Out by it in an hour. As late as 

Invested in 1870, American newspaper proprietors were convinced that 
Newspapers they would have to resort to England for a rapid printing 
machine, the ' success achieved by the Walter press of the 
London Times having turned attention in that direction. Prior to the 
adoption of these rapid printing machines, with their accessories of stereo- 
typing plants, engines to provide the power for running them and the 
later development of the linotype, the starting of a newspaper enterprise 
did not call for the investment of a very great amount of capital. A hand 
press, which would turn out five or six hundred papers printed on both 
sides, a few hundred pounds of type and the cases to contain them, and a 
number of other essential but not very expensive articles constituted an 
ample equipment for publishing a journal whose appearance on the street' 
with an article written under high pressure created as big a sensation, 
relatively, as a modern publication with press facilities capable of produc- 
ing as many papers in a single hour as could be turned out in a year with 
the more modest facilities of the papers of the fifties. 

The comparative ease with which any one so inclined could embark 
on a newspaper enterprise, owing to the cause indicated, accounts for the 
large number of dailies and weeklies in San Francisco in the earlier fifties. 
It is not to be attributed to any extraordinary development 
j.weive of the appetite for news or such literature as was provided 

in San a ^ the time. That may readily be inferred from the fact 

Francisco that the combined issues of the twelve dailies that flourished 

after a fashion in the years preceding 1856 did not exceed 
15,000, a per capita consumption ridiculously small when compared with 
that of the present day, when the demand for newspapers seems insatiable. 
And this ratio of circulation was not greatly increased in San Francisco 
until some years after the close of the Civil War, although in the meantime 
the ability to produce a larger number of copies was facilitated by the 
introduction of the cylinder presses, operated by steam power, which were 
capable of printing over 10,000 single sheets an hour. As the city was 
reasonably prosperous during most of the fifties, and very flourishing 
throughout the Civil War, the limited circulations of the period must have 
been due to some other cause than lack of mechanical facilities, and the 
only one that suggests itself is the failure of the publishers to make their 
papers generally attractive. 

In this connection, a list of the papers published in San Francisco 
with the dates of their birth, and, in most instances of their demise, from 
1846 to 1859, inclusive, may prove both illuminating and interesting. The 
first on the list was the Californian, started in Monterey in 
p an J ,_ 1846 and transferred to San Francisco in 1847, to be merged 
Earliest W1 * n the California Star, the plant for the production of 

Newspaper which was brought to Yerba Buefia by Mormon colonists. 
The merger took place in 1848. In 1849 the Alta Cali- 
fornia, the Pacific and Prices Current were founded. The Pacific survived 
two years and Prices Current was able to keep alive a little less than a 
year. The Alta California, after occupying a leading position during a 

The Calm that Followed the Storm of 1856 37 

couple of decades, lost prestige during the seventies, and disappeared in the 
eighties. In 1850 the Herald was started by John Nugent. It was nearly 
ruined' by its attitude of hostility to the Vigilantes, but managed to survive 
until 1862. The Public Balance was another of the ephemeral publications 
of 1850, dying after a sickly existence of about six months. The Evening 
Picayune, established in the same year, lasted for a brief period only. The 
California Daily Courier endured for about two years. The birth of the 
Journal of Commerce dates back to 1850. It is still published, although 
it suffered an interregnum of two years, but has flourished since its revival, 
it and the German Demokrat being the only surviving dailies of pioneer 
days, the latter being first published in 1853. A French paper, Le Cali- 
fornian, was started in 1850. In 1851 the Christian Advocate, still exist- 
ing, and. the Christian Observer made their appearance. The Golden Era, 
started in 1852, manifested literary tendencies from the start, and in 1854 
was converted into a magazine. 

In 1852 three other papers also saw the light. The Whig, the 
Bugle and the Catholic Standard Weekly. The latter ceased publication 
in 1855, the Bugle was merely a campaign paper. In 1853 there were 
more new candidates for public favor. The Demokrat, 
5f or | d already spoken of, the California Chronicle, the San Fran- 

f an i a es c ^ o g^ ^^ ^ g c ommerc i a i Advertiser. The Sun shone 

Public Favor until 1857, and then went into obscurity. The Commercial 
Advertiser ran its career in four years, being absorbed by 
the Daily Whig in 1857. In 1854 there were several new publications. 
The Town Talk, afterward named the Times, started in that year, and in 
1869 was taken over by the Alta California. The Town Talk, when pub- 
lished as a weekly, essayed illustrations, portraits produced from wood cuts 
being specially favored, although it occasionally pictured scenes. The 
California Farmer, established in 1854, was discontinued in 1865. La 
Chronica, a Spanish paper, started in 1854, dropped out in 1863. The 
California Mail, started in 1854, had a checkered existence, and finally 
dropped out of sight in 1878. The Benton Critic was a short-lived journal 
started in 1854. The Abend Zeitung had its birth in 1854 and was still 
running after the great conflagration in 1906. In 1855 the Fireman's 
Journal, afterward the Spirit of the Times, was issued. In the same year the 
American Daily and the Evening Bulletin began publication. In the fol- 
lowing year the True Vigilante was issued. It' had a short life, making 
its exit, when the committee conceived that it had finished its work. 

Sunday Varieties commenced to bid for popular patronage in 1856 
and lasted until 1865. A paper called the Daily Globe' was started in 
1856. In 1858 it changed its title to the National, and lived until the 
opening year of the Civil War. The Pathfinder, published 
Pictorial to a( Jv 0Ca te Fremont's candidacy for President, was started 

Weeklies . q the game year _ In lg57 {he California Eegister was 

Fifties published. The Athenaeum and California Critic began 

publication in 1858, and, in the closing year of. the decade, 
llie growing popularity of the Police Gazette of New York tempted San 
Francisco to imitate that publication, and it had a more or less successful 
career until 1865. This long list of journals has led to some comment 
hardly justified by the facts. At least one historian has drawn the inference 
from it that San Franciscans were exceptionally eager for news in the early 

38 Journalism in California 

days, but their appetite, measured by modern standards of consumption, 
was very small and was easily satisfied by the purveyors, whose facilities 
would not have permitted them to provide a much greater quantity than they 
did had the desire for it existed. 

That the patrons of the newspapers of the fifties were dissatisfied with 
the publications prepared for them might be inferred from the large mor- 
tality record, but it is not probable that the many interments in the jour- 
nalisic graveyards were due to that cause. It is more likely 
Made J apers that the development of the reading habit did not keep pace 
Limited with the increased aspirations for patronage; or, perhaps, it 

Appeal would more exactly represent the fact to state that the public 

had not acquired the habit of looking to newspapers for their 
mental pabulum, not at all a surprising circumstance, when the motives for 
producing them are considered. An epitome of the contents of a leading 
journal of the early fifties has already been given. Anyone who will take 
the trouble to examine it closely will speedily discover' that it appealed to 
a very limited number of tastes. It almost wholly disregarded all classes 
excepting those in search of solid information in the shape of news and 
comment on politics and current happenings. 

It is not intended to convey the impression that the papers whose names 
are above quoted confined themselves to the publication of news and edi- 
torial comment. ; They occasionally stepped aside from the straight and 
narrow path. Not infrequently verse was admitted to the 
Att StU t i6d columns of the soberest of the dailies, and sometimes fiction 
to Attract an ^ jokes were permitted to obtrude themselves on the atten- 
All Classes tioii of serious readers; but there is no evidence of any 
studied attempt to attract all classes of the community by 
presenting matter calculated to interest even those showing a disinclination 
to be interested. The editor did not have for his motto, "We study to 
please." He printed such facts as he could conveniently gather without 
putting forth much effort, and if an unappreciative public refused to buy 
his paper he ceased to publish it and allowed it to be included in the list of 
"has beens." It is not to be inferred from this statement that papers pub- 
lished under such conditions did not contain matter that was interesting; 
the idea sought to be conveyed is that the editor of the fifties did not realize 
that it is possible to stimulate the disposition to read, and, failing to appre- 
hend' that possibility, he only catered for those in whom the desire for news 
and comment, chiefly political, already existed. 

At the close of 1853, when twelve dailies were published in San 
Francisco, nine of which were morning and three evening, the entire news 
gathering, force of the dozen, according to an estimate made by a printer 
whose memory went back to that period, did not exceed 
o'lfo^ 01068 n i ne teen persons. At the same time, there were two tri- 
Daily weeklies and three weeklies, one Sunday paper and two 

Papers monthly publications, one of which was devoted to literature 

and the other appealed to the agricultural element. The 
same authority who estimated the newsgathering force in 1853 ventured the 
opinion, which was based on a tolerably intimate acquaintance with the 
publication business of the years preceding 1856, that less than a hundred 
and twenty-eight persons were employed in the newspaper offices of San 
Francisco at any time before the introduction of power presses, and of this 

The Calm that Followed the Storm of 1856 39 

number not a few were engaged in job printing, many of the early dailies 
supplementing the arduous work of getting out a news journal by doing 
commercial work. As already explained, large, forces were not required. 
The news field in the city was circumscribed. The district to be covered 
by the reporters was confined to a few blocks. The police and the criminal 
courts were close together, but the police were so greatly in the minority 
that they did not interfere seriously with those who were supposed to be 
under their supervision. 

In 1849 there were only six constables in San Francisco, and no 
particular anxiety was manifested because of the smallness of the force 
when the population of the town was increased by the rush of gold hunters 
to the State, many of whom, after a brief sojourn in the 
Information mines, found their way to the bay. This indifference con- 
Concerning tinued during several years and was partly responsible for 
Crime the necessity of the citizens' organization taking the adminis- 

tration of justice out of the hands of the constituted author- 
ities, as they did in 1851 and again in 1856. It was not until the latter 
year, when the Consolidation Act, framed by Horace Hawes, was adopted 
that any considerable increase of the force was made, a fact which explains 
the paucity of detail concerning crimes recorded in the early dailies. It not 
infrequently happened that mention of a murder would be made, in which 
no attempt to ascertain the name of the victim was apparent, and absolutely 
no suggestion which would help the reader to determine the cause of the 
crime or to guess who was its perpetrator. But while crimes of this sort 
were passed over without much comment, barroom brawls, which had no 
other outcome than a few blows or a bloody nose, were described with some 
minuteness, especially if the participants happened to be well known. 

The publication of divorce news was often accompanied by displays 
of facetiousness. -One or two papers made a feature of recording matri- 
monial separations without comment, in a department immediately follow- 
ing that devoted to marriages. There was also a marked 
Vicious tendency to deal in innuendo of a sort which would not be 

Personal tolerated, for a moment in a modern daily, and it was more 

Journalism or legg fruitful of crimes of reve nge. The author of the 

"Annals of San Francisco" asserted that the work of ca- 
lumnious writers was responsible for a part of the "sad daily record of 
murders," and an examination of some of the ambiguous items which none 
but a person perfectly familiar with the actors whose names and actions 
were hinted at could understand, furnishes convincing evidence that he did 
not err in laying the blame for some of the crimes of daily occurrence on the 
sort of journalism he condemned. 

But the journalism of the early fifties had its virtues as well as its short- 
comings. Its editors took themselves seriously, and the public was inclined 
in many cases to accept them at their own valuation. While they devoted 

themselves to the elucidation of difficult political problems, 
Wh t0 T k many of which offered themselves for solution in those days, 
Themselves they on occasion, like Silas Wegg, dropped into poetry, 
Seriously and some of them were quite as ready to "Decline and Fall," 

as Dickens' quaint character. Gibbon had a remarkable 
vogue among the more erudite editors of the fifties^ a fact betrayed by 
frequent quotations, and a marked disposition to find analogies for existing 

40 Journalism in California 

conditions in the pages cf his great history. The readers of newspapers 
at any time during the years between 1849 and 1856 showed no impatience 
when an editor drew upon the past for comparisons, and there was no 
resentment aroused by the tendency to give a graceful turn to an idea by 
rounding out a paragraph with a line or two of verse. Frank Soule, who 
began his newspaper career as proprietor cf the Xcw Orleans Mercury, 
was as much admired for his poetical work when editor of the California 
Chronicle as he was for the vigor with which he expressed himself when 
discussing political subjects. 

There were other editors cast in the same mold as Soule, who also 
occasionally broke away from the self-imposed limitation of gravity which 
was thought becoming to the editorial column. It is impossible to escape 
observation of the fact that the love of literature was con- 
ColleKe-° f stantly seeking an outlet for itself in the daily press, and it 
Trained ^ s surprising that it never became assertive enough to induce 

Men the publishers of the days before the Civil War to anticipate 

the later development of many-sidedness which has become 
so conspicuous a feature of modern journalism. There certainly was talent 
enough, for San Francisco in "the days of gold" was overflowing with 
college trained men, not a few of whom when they were "down on their 
luck" showed an inclination for journalism rather than dishwashing or 
waiting on the table, occupations which men of education when their 
resources were low found much easier than manual labor, which was much 
better remunerated than writing for the press, if tradition is at all 

A glance through the files of the daily press of the fifties shows that 
the rivalry of newspaper editors was intense, and v gives point to the asser- 
tion of the author of the "Annals of San Francisco" "that they were partic- 
ularly exposed, not merely to the literary raking fire of an- 
d th S tagonists, but to their literal fire as well." Occasionally fail- 

Field i n S to derive sufficient satisfaction from the opportunity to 

of Honor relieve their feelings by expressing themselves without reserve 

in the columns of their papers, they would demand the sort of 
reparation which it was supposed could be obtained only on "the field of 
honor." There were several such editorial meetings, and some of them 
had a serious outcome, but as it was incumbent on the craft to maintain 
its honor no one seriously deprecated the temporary abandonment of the 
pen for weapons calculated to do more bodily harm if less capable of 
inflicting mental torture. The practice of dueling*fell into desuetude before 
the close of the Civil War, but long after its termination editors of rival 
papers in San Francisco continued the impossible effort to settle differences 
of opinion by calling each other hard names. And, curiously enough, if 
the stories of those well acquainted with the old-time editors are reliable, 
it often was the case that the most virulent of these newspaper swash- 
bucklers were mild-mannered gentlemen outside of their sanctums. In the 
language of James O'Meara, who knew the most of them well, they "would 
not hurt a cat." 

How much of the ferociousness displayed by editors in discussing each 
other's assumedly weak points was due to the belief that the public liked 
rewspaper scrapping it would be difficult to tell at this late day. When 
the practice of hurling journalistic stink pots was most in vogue there were 

The Calm that F ollowed the Storm of 1856 41 

few college professors ready to explain the inner workings of a newspaper 
office, and the editorial mind, so we are forced to rely upon the evidence of 
_. p ... the actors in the wordy combats. One of these, in an article 

Liked" 1C published in The Chronicle in 1886, describing the Broderick 
Journalistic an( l Terry duel, declared that the first thing the reader of a 
Scrapping newspaper in the early fifties would turn to was the editorial 
columns to see what mean things were being said about the 
other editor. If there was an article graphically described as "tearing the 
hide off the hated rival," or unmasking his "unspeakable villainies," it was 
pronounced "a hummer," and voted absorbingly interesting. The same 
authority, however, was inclined to think that on the whole the sober ex- 
pressions in which governmental policies were analyzed at great length 
were more admired than "frothy nothings," which hardly concerned those 
who delivered them with such emphasis. 

As may well be imagined at a time when much attention was paid 

to the drama by a public as fond of amusements as the people of San 

Francisco, criticism occupied a prominent place in the newspapers. It was 

the boast of the early press that the great artists who visited 

Appreciation ^ c y.y were xmanimoug j n the expression of the opinion that 

Dramatic f ne critics of the San Francisco papers showed a rare dis- 

Criticism crimination. Perhaps the tribute was deserved, but there is 

a suspicion that there was an extraordinary development of 
the appreciative tendency. It may be true that few had actors visited San 
Francisco during the fifties, but it is more than likely that the sentiment of 
hospitality operated to keep the critics from speaking harshly about the 
' performances of artists who had made such a long journey to entertain 
them. Many of these dramatic criticisms were more noteworthy for their 
analysis of the play than their estimates of the actors interpreting them, and 
not a few of them gave evidence that the writers were Shakespearean stu- 
dents. Perhaps the most remarkable peculiarity of this early criticism was 
the tendency of the critics to indulge in comparison. There is more than 
one instance of Only a passing allusion to the performance of the actor 
criticised, while the bulk of the article is given up to enthusiastic descrip- 
tion of the work of some other artist. 

In the first chapter the fact is mentioned that the boosting habit was 
inaugurated by a pioneer paper before the rush of the gold hunters began. 
It was not dropped after their arrival in force. Editors occasionally became 

tired of discussing such abstruse questions as the origin of 
The the negro, and whether slavery was justified, and touched 

Boosting Q p 0n subjects concerning which they could speak with more 

Habit assurance that the reader would believe that they knew what 

they were talking about. A favorite topic for leaders was 
the climate of California. Articles of this sort seemed to breathe a con- 
sciousness on the part of the editor that he was addressing himself to people 
in the old home, a belief which was justified by the well developed practice 
of mailing papers to friends in the East and in other parts of the world. 
It was this custom, begun while the gold-hunting fever was at its height, 
that laid the foundation on which the boosters of Los Angeles later raised 
their climate superstructure. The pioneer editor was so accustomed to 
speaking of California as "God's country," and urged the claim so per- 
sistently that the world accepted it without dispute. 



Effect of Telegraph Construction on Appetite for News — San Francisco • Papers 
Take ,on a More Newsy Appearance — Backroom Nominations Cheerfully Ac- 
cepted — An Insistent Demand for ^Retrenchment — Hot Discussions of Burning 
Questions — No Doubt Eegarding Stand Taken by Editors — David C. Broderiek's 
Career in San Francisco — Broderiek's Championship of Free Labor— Loose 
Views Concerning the Institution of Slavery — Broderick Elected United States 
Senator — Broderick and Terry Members of Law and Order Party in 1856 — 
Terry Kills Broderick in'a Duel — A Forerunner of Evils to Come — Not Much 
Interest in State Division — San Francisco Not Eager to Become a Capital — All 
Agreed on Subject of Importance of the Harbor — Fremont 's Prophetic Instinct — 
Maritime Proclivities' of Early Press — The Defeat of the Bulkhead Scheme — A 
Seawall Project Headed Off — Editors Stimulating Agricultural Development — 
Advocacy of Big Farms — The Mining Industry Eegarded as the Premier. 

N" HIS "A Senator of the Fifties," Jeremiah Lynch 
quotes from the diary of an American Navy chaplain 
the statement that although the discovery of gold was 
made in January, 1848, the news of the event was not 
carried to Monterey until the following May. There 
was a continuous improvement in the matter of the 
dissemination of news after this period, but the rate of 
progress was comparatively slow until after the com- 
pletion of the telegraph line between the Missouri river and San Fran- 
cisco in October, 1861. The stimulating influence of the desire for war 
news after that date had the effect of inducing editors to display more 
activity in gathering intelligence from the interior of the State, and there 
was a distinct improvement in the appearance of the news columns of the 
daily papers. The tendency to eliminate all details and get at the nub of 
the story was beginning to give way to something remotely resembling 
amplification, and occasionally a disposition was shown to present more 
than the bare facts. But the journalists of the Civil War time were 
still dominated by the idea that people cared much more for opinions than 

After the subsidence of the passions aroused by the arbitrary action of 
the Vigilance Committee, there was for a time an eager interest in munic- 
ipal affairs, which manifested itself in the form of strict attention to the 
performance of civic duties. Good citizens went to the polls and' voted for 
the ticket framed for them in the secrecy of a back room, and it never 
occurred to them that they were being deprived of an important preroga- 


Troubles on Eve of Civil War 43 

tive because they had taken no part in making the nominations. Their 
chief concern seemed to be to get good men to run for office, and they did 
Assault no ^ as ^' or a ^ ^ eas ^ "^ no ^ Mother themselves about the man- 

People's ner °f their selection. When candidates were put up by the 

Party People's party they voted for and elected them, and when the 

Junta result they aimed to accomplish, namely, the reduction of 

excessive expenditures, was achieved, they were satisfied. The 
satisfaction of the majority with the outcome did not, however, have the 
effect of silencing criticism, and many tart editorials directed against the 
undemocratic practice of surrendering the right of selection were 

It was several years, however, before any impression was made on 
the community, which had adopted "let well enough alone" as its motto. 
Cut taxes to the bone, was the demand, and when men were elected who 
acceded to it, there was no disposition shown by the majority 
the ! Liberty °^ Vo ^ ers *° question the method by which officials so satis- 
of the factory in that particular were secured. But much ink and 

People good white paper were consumed in the preparation of scorch- 

ing articles the purpose of which was to convince the people 
that they were being deprived of their liberties. The agitation was per- 
sistently kept up, and, ultimately, the Legislature, in the session of 1865-66, 
passed a primary law which for some time was "regarded as democratic 
enough to satisfy the most exacting. The resort to it finally had the effect 
of procuring for the people a chance to substitute for the men carefully 
selected by interested taxpayers, determined upon keeping down the rates, 
candidates who were not always economical, but were ready to promise to 
pay attention to the rising demand for improvements of various kinds, many 
of which were mooted but few of which were given a serious thought until 
some years after the surrender at Appomattox. 

If there was one thing that distinguished the journalism of San Fran- 
cisco during the three or four years preceding the firing on Sumter, it was 
the earnestness of the discussion precipitated by the various events which 
indicated to the thoughtful that a collision between the North 
Discussions an ^ South was inevitable. The attack by pro-slavery men on 
of Great Lawrence, Kas., in 1856, and the assault in Congress on 

Questions Charles Sumner by Brooks in the same year ; the Dred Scott 

decision in October, 1857; the Lecompton convention, held 
a month later, which adopted a pro-slavery constitution, and the second 
Lecompton convention in 1858 were all discussed at great length in all their 
bearings, and sometimes with a virulence which foreshadowed the bitter- 
ness of the impending conflict, which some of them seemed inclined to 
regard as desirable. There was no trimming. The editorials, although 
often verbose to a degree rarely met with in a modern newspaper, left the 
reader in no doubt as to where the editor stood and it may be said in passing 
that the man who subscribed for a paper in those troubled times was 
governed entirely by the desire to secure a journal with the views of which 
he was in accord. 

While the editors of the San Francisco papers at all times between 1857 
and the firing on Sumter in 1861 had much to say about national politics, 
they, not unnaturally, gave especial prominence to those events which 
touched them most closely!. The actions of the Vigilance Committee for 

44 Journalism in' California 

a long time after the quietus put on the criminal classes by its energetic 
methods were frequently dwelt upon, and an astonishing amount of space 
was devoted to determining just at what particular moment an event oc- 
curred, or the precise words uttered by some actor in the con- 

of e Eoom * es ^ wn i cn Ba( l ^ or ^ s a ' m * ne restoration of order. It is not 

f 0r surprising that these verbal disputes should have arisen, for 

Dispute the prominent persons opposed to the course of the Vigilance 

Committee claimed to be the champions of "law and order," 
and doubtless there were many who were firmly convinced that the Vigi- 
lantes were a destructive mob. When such a difference of opinion exists 
there is obviously much room for contention, and it was availed of to the 
full extent that space permitted. 

A scarcely less fruitful subject of dispute was the causes that led up 
to the duel between David C. Broderick and David S. Terry, which proved 
fatal to the former. The "affair of honor" took place in this city on 

Monday morning, September 12, 1859, and the circum- 
Career stances point conclusively to the encounter being the outcome 

David 0. °f political rather than personal differences. Broderick was 

Broderick among the first in the rush for gold, but he chose to seek for 

it in other places than the placers. Although born in Wash- 
ington, he was a New Yorker and perfectly familiar with the methods of 
the worst school of politicians of the metropolis, and was not long about 
putting them in practice in San Francisco. He made money in real estate 
deals, and his name was mixed up with the unsavory job by which Peter 
Smith secured a large slice of the water front through the connivance of 
corrupt municipal officials. It was not charged that he was in the alleged 
conspiracy, - but there is no doubt that he profited by the sales which were 
contrived with the object of permitting Smith to profit by his cunning 
manipulation of city warrants. It was also freely asserted- that Broderick 
in his capacity of boss collected large sums of money from candidates for 
offices, which were supposed to be devoted to promoting the interests of 
the party, and that he was not backward about taking a commission for 
his trouble. He also made considerable money in the business of private 
coinage during the period when the Federal Government was so remiss in 
its duty that in the midst of an abundance of gold there was no lawful 
circulating medium, all the gold coin in use in California being struck by 
individuals without a shadow of authority. 

There is no reason to doubt that Broderick was sound in sentiment, 
despite the blemishes upon his character, which were as much the fault of 
the methods of the time in which he played his part as they were of the 

defects in his general make up. From the beginning he had. 
Vitws rminate identified himself with the cause of free labor, and in the 
of " Legislature and out of it, he boldly stuck to his colors. It 

Slavery was one of the anomalies of the politics of the period that men 

with widely divergent views respecting slavery should be able 
to work together as members of the same party, a condition of affairs wholly 
due 'to the fact that no consciousness of the immorality of the institution had 
been developed in the rank and file of the American people. The career 
of Broderick and the arguments of the San Francisco press all through the 
fifties indicate clearly that such hostility as existed was engendered by self- 
interest, and that opposition to the extension of slavery, except that dis- 

Troubles on Eve of Civil War 45 

played by a few extremists, was wholly regarded from the standpoint ol 
expediency. A man might be a "free soiler" and resent with indignation 
the imputation that he shared the ideas of the small band of abolitionists 
who were giving Southern statesmen so much concern. 

Thus it happened that Broderick, although constantly interfering with 
the plans of the Southern contingent in California, who never lost sight of 
the desirability of attaching the Golden State to their cause, was able to 

have himself elected United States. Senator at a period when 
Elected** tne ^nation was becoming extremely acute, and when the 

United States slaveholding oligarchy was leaving no stone unturned in its 
Senator efforts to secure absolute control of the legislative as well as 

the administrative branches of the Federal Government. ' It 
was said of Broderick after his election that his success, notwithstanding 
the tension, was a personal success, and that legislators voted for him be- 
cause he was Broderick and not particularly because they shared his views 
concerning the burning question of the day. Whether this correctly de- 
scribes the situation or not, it is a fact that when he began to make his at- 
tacks on Buchanan he quickly became the idol of that element in the 
community which viewed with disgust and suspicion the encroachments of 
the Federal. brigade, composed as it was of office seekers from the region 
south of the so-called Mason and Dixon's line, at the same time that 
he incurred the emity of the Southerners, who realized that he would 
prove a formidable obstacle to the carrying out of plans mediated by 

It was assumed by some that David S. Terry was chosen as the instru- 
ment to remove Broderick, but it is more than likely that he required no 
other inspiration than that of an intolerant dislike of opposition to the 

extension of slavery. Terry came from Texas to California 
David S. j n jg^g as a m01ln t e d ranger. He engaged in the practice 

and 7 °f the law and was elected Associate Justice of the Supreme 

Broderick Court on the Native American ticket in 1855. Before that 

event, he had come in conflict with Broderick, opposing him 
in the convention of 1854. During the trying Vigilante times Terry arrayed 
himself on the side of the Law and Order party, and was perilously near 
sharing the fate of Cora and Casey, being arrested 'at the instance of the 
committee and tried for resisting its officials, one of whom he cut with a 
bowie knife while in the act of serving a summons whose validity Terry 
would not recognize. Broderick was also in sympathy with the Law and 
Order party, and afterward remarked bitterly that he had paid a newspaper 
$200 a week to defend Terry's cause when he was being tried by the 
Vigilante Committee, which deemed it expedient to refrain from carrying 
out the desire of the section of the organization favoring what it called 
"a clean sweep." The fact that the two were on the same side in the 
Vigilante uprising cannot be taken as evidence that they were in political 
accord ; nor is it to be regarded as pointing to either of them sympathizing 
with the criminal element. 

The fact seems to be that Terry hated Broderick with all the vehemence 
of an intensely intolerant man. Terry was a Southerner of the sort who 
made a fetich of their section. He looked upon any one planting himself 
in the path of Southern desires as an enemy. Among his friends he was 
reputed to be kind-hearted, but he had acquired the habit of speaking cyn- 

46 Journalism in California 

ically of those whom he antagonized. In the course of a speech made by 
him he referred to Broderick as a follower of "the black Douglass, whose 
name is Frederick and not Stephen." Broderick resented the 
Kills' coarse sarcasm, and remarked in the hearing of some one who 

Broderick carried the tale to Terry, that he once considered the latter as 
in a Duel the only honest man on the Supreme bench, "but now I take 

it all back." It was two months after the remark was made 
before Terry demanded satisfaction. The meeting took place and Broderick 
fell at the first shot. Stories were told and believed that the pistol used by 
the Senator was "quick on the trigger," and that he had no chance for his 
life, but it is not likely that they were true. Terry was not a coward nor a 
murderer ; he, as well as his victim, were the product of unsettled times in 
which passion rather than reason swayed, and they must be judged by the 
standards of that period and not those of our own day. Terry was placed 
under arrest in San Francisco and charged with the crime, but the case was 
transferred to another county and he was acquitted. 

Broderick was not the only victim of the political tension of the late 
fifties, but the conspicuousness of his position caused his encounter to be 
more discussed than any other occurrence in San Francisco, with the ex- 
ception, perhaps, of the Vigilante episode. It was remarked 
ofWlat" 11161 ' JV Editor James O'Meara, who sometime in the eighties 
Was to wrote a series of articles about pioneer days, that the quantity 

Come of matter written about the Broderick and Terry duel would 

have filled a big library if it had all been gathered. That 
the affair should have been productive of so much comment is not at all 
singular, for the men who wrote about it realized that the tragedy was a 
forerunner of what 'was to come, and almost unconsciously they invested it 
with its real importance, many of them treating it as if it were a national 
event, as, indeed, it was in more senses than the narrow one that it attracted 
and startled the whole Nation. The historian seeking to gain an insight 
into the minds of men in the closing year of the fifty decade of the nine- 
teenth century can find plenty of material in the diverse opinions of the San 
Francisco editors which found expression in the endless stream of articles, 
written not so much to prove that Terry was right or wrong, as they were to 
establish the justice of the cause they advocated. 

■ It might be inferred from this comment that the San Francisco editors 
were prone to make much of an event because they wrote with, facility, but 
an examination of their editorial columns would not justify such a con- 
clusion. There were some subjects to which an unlimited 
Quesfon quantity of space was accorded, but others to which a later 

of State generation, under changed circumstances, has attached a good 

Division deal of importance were dismissed very cavalierly. Among 

these was the question of State division. On the 19th of 
April, 1859, the Legislature passed a State division measure which would 
have permitted the six southern counties of the State to separate themselves 
from the north. It would be difficult to divine from the limited degree of 
attention accorded to the proposal whether any concern was felt by the 
people of San Francisco over the prospects of separation. On the whole, 
the calmness of treatment suggests that San Franciscans would not have 
bothered themselves if the secession had taken place, and, perhaps, the 
indifference shown by the metropolitan press was responsible for the 

Troubles on Eve of Civil War 47 

failure of the proposition to advance further than to the permissory 

This attitude of indifference was not confined to the matter of State 
division. In 1860, owing to the flooding of Sacramento, the Legislature, 
then in session, adjourned to San Francisco. The necessity imposed on the 
. solons of leaving the capital city started a removal move- 
No* Ea a ger lSC ° meni U reach ed the stage of an offer of $150,000 to be 
to Become use d for the construction of a new capital, and of any one 
a Capital of the city's public squares but the Plaza for a building plot. 

The suggestion, while not ignored, was so quietly treated by 
the press as to create the impression that the editors were convinced that 
neither city nor the State at large would be benefited by the location of the 
capital in a great seaport. Such discussion as there was of the subject 
was on a tolerably -high plane, and only a few articles permeated with the 
booster spirit appeared. Whether the press affected an indifference it did 
not feel could not be told from the tone of the few articles published. It is 
unlikely, however, that there was any affectation. The position assumed 
was very like that taken when the question of capital location first came up 
in 1850. No effort to secure the honor so eagerly sought by other places 
was made by San Francisco, which planted itself on the proposition that 
the future greatness of the city would depend on the commerce of the bay, 
which it was thought would accomplish wonders without adventitious aid. 
There was one subject on which the press of San Francisco was in 
complete accord at all times, and that was the importance of the harbor. 
There was much written about the development of commerce through the 

instrumentality of convenient ports for the handling of the 
on Which products of the country, and the reception of the exchangeable 
There Was productions of foreign countries. Although the talk -of a 
Agreement railroad which would connect the Atlantic and the Pacific 

began very shortly after the gold discovery, the minds of 
men naturally reverted to things with which they were familiar. In 1849 
railroads were not numerous in tolerably well peopled regions, and there 
was then no conception of their possibilities as a transportation factor which 
can now be regarded without amusement. The ideas concerning them were 
as hazy as those which might have been excited by the quotation of Puck's 
promise to put a girdle about the earth in forty minutes. The first legisla- 
tion purporting to regulate freight and passenger rates shows this plainly, 
as it permitted charges which would have been absolutely prohibitory. But 
there was no such uncertainty concerning ocean transportation. Men knew 
what had been accomplished through its agency. It was not at all strange 
that Fremont should have christened the entrance to the bay Chrysopolae. 
When he surveyed the broad waters of a harbor whose extent rivals that of 
an inland sea his mind reverted to the glories of ancient Byzantium, and he 
pictured a stream of commerce flowing through the "Golden Gate" which 
would enrich those who handled it, and the gold hunters who translated 
his Greek appellation into plain English shared his views, and their 
descendants have never wavered in their adherence to them. 

It is sometimes assumed that this belief has been entertained at the 
expense of a more speedy rate of progress which might have been attained 
had San Francisco not been so wedded 'to her harbor. But it would have 
been difficult to convince those who as early as 1856 pinned their faith to 

48 Journalism in California 

the desirability of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific by means of a canal 

that they were in error. This project might have been achieved long before 

the completion of the first overland railroad, an event which 

Union ^ not occur UIlt ^ 1869 > had not ttle ^rig 1163 °^ a ri Y a ^ °* 

of Two Commodore Vanderbilt, carried through with the aid of 

Oceans Filibuster Walker, frustrated the plans of the Accessory 

Transit Company, which had obtained a concession to cut 
a canal through Nicaragua. But the failure of the plan in those early days 
was powerless to destroy the belief that the destinies of great cities are de- 
termined by their proximity to vast bodies of navigable waters, which, 
though apparently separating them from other countries, actually make 
them neighbors to the whole world. Although the thought of uniting the 
two oceans had its birth when Balboa first saw the Pacific, it was the abiding 
faith of the people of San Francisco who had the first really practical con- 
ception of a scheme of canalizing Nicaragua, which kept alive the idea 
which has been achieved after sixty years of patient waiting. 

It is not strange that a people bold enough to conceive the possibility 
of cutting a canal from ocean to ocean should have set much store by the 
commerce borne on their waters. If one were seeking for distinguishing 

peculiarities in the early press of San Francisco he would 
Maritime g n( j mucn evidence of its permeation by the maritime spirit, 

of Early ^ glorified the exploits of its first wharf builders. Not a 

Press little of the popularity of Harry Meiggs was due to the 

admiration excited by his enterprise in constructing the long 
pier extending into the bay which bore his name for many years, and it was 
not difficult for the poetically inclined editor to find a resemblance to the 
canals of Venice and a presage of the future greatness of the port in the 
vigor with which the cove of Yerba Buena was converted into dry land, 
thus bringing ship and merchant closer together. The breeziness of the 
salty deep is discovered in the commercial columns of San Francisco's first 
newspapers, and not a little of the best information we have of the life of 
the people is found in that department of the daily journals. It is to that 
part of the paper one turns with interest because in the very succinct but 
often glowing descriptions of the performances of the clipper ships we get 
a glimpse of that love of the sea which seems to have taken possession of so 
many who found their way to California in pioneer days. 

Those were the days of long distance races in which the contestants 
performed their feats of swiftness without the stimulus which the knowledge 
of a rival's position imparts. In 1852 seventy-two clipper ships entered the 

harbor of San Francisco, their average passage from New 
of e c°lljfper York to San Francisco being 125 days. The Flying Cloud 
g nip held the record, covering the distance between the Atlantic 

Exploits and Pacific ports in eighty-nine days. The departure of 

these vessels which usually sailed between the ports of New 
York or Boston and San Francisco was known to the citizens of the latter 
city, who did not, in the case of favorites, need to be told when they were 
sighted by the Telegraph Hill lookout how many days they had been out. 
Nor did readers need to be told, as they were in the succinct accounts of 
the nautical reporter, who sailed the gallant craft, for they knew their 
names as well as the modern baseball fan does those of the favorites of the 
diamond. That one realizes at once who notices the intimate touch of the 

Troubles on Eve of Civil W ar 49 

water front writer, who employed his nautical terms in the full assurance 
that those who read what he wrote would not be bewildered by his technical- 
ities, nor surprised that he should become poetical in describing the majes- 
tic appearance of a clipper as she came through the Golden Gate with all 
her canvas drawing. 

If the attempt were made to judge the interest of San Franciscans in 
public and private affairs in the fifty decade by the amount of space devoted 
to their discussion in the press, it would undoubtedly be found that the 

average citizen regarded questions concerning the future of 

A Raid the harbor as next in importance to the engrossing topic of 

on the the aggressions of the advocates of the extension of slavery. 

a er ront rp^ e< Jitorial columns of the earlier years teemed with articles 

touching the disposition of the lands on the water front. It is 
true that many of them were woefully indicative of an earnest effort to lock 
the stable door after the horse had been stolen, but they bore evidence that 
the stable was still regarded as valuable even if the steed had been 
feloniously appropriated. The great hubbub raised over the unscrupulous 
disposal of water front lands was fully equaled by the commotion produced 
by the attempt to change the bulkhead line. An act of the Legislature, 
passed in 1851, was supposed to have permanently established the line 
beyond which wharves might not be extended, but in 1853, undoubtedly 
instigated by San Francisco political jobbers, an interior member introduced 
a bill having for its object the extension of the line beyond the survey 
originally made under the earlier act. The bait offered to the country 
member by the schemers was the promise of part of the money which would 
be derived from selling the 600-foot extension into the bay, but the real 
purpose was to give the holders of Peter Smith scrip lands a valid claim on 
their purchases^ to which the city could give no title because it possessed no 
proprietary interests beyond the red line laid down on an earlier map. 

The denunciation of the project was so fierce that members elected to 
the lower house from San Francisco resigned because they had lost the 
confidence of the community represented by them. Charges of corruption 
, were freely made, and the alleged lobbyists retorted on the 
F lselv newspaper editors with personalities. In a speech made in 

Accused Sacramento while the excitement ran high a lawyer denounced 

Editor a writer, who afterward attained prominence as a reformer, 

as "a liar who lied by day, and lied by night and lied for 
the lust of lying." This onslaught proved ineffective; the antagonists 
of the bulkhead scheme were victorious. At one stage in the legislative 
game it promised to go through with a hurrah, the then Governor, Bigler, 
being committed to the project, and defending his attitude by asserting the 
need of the State for the revenues that would be derived from the sale of the 
600-foot strip along the entire water front. Although the Assembly passed 
the bill by a large majority, it was defeated in the Senate by the casting 
vote of the Lieutenant-Governor, who earned fame by breaking the tie and 
recording himself as against the measure of spoliation. It is one of the 
anomalies of public accusation that the rhetorical effort directed against 
the editor by the lawyer was frequently revived in after years and appar- 
ently accepted as truthful by people who refused to take the trouble to learn, 
as they might easily have done, that the editor had spoken the truth and 
that his accuser was the liar. 

£0 Journalism in California 

The defeat of the bulkhead scheme was conceded by all critical 
pioneers to be due to the vigorous opposition of the press, and, after the 
excitement had subsided sufficiently to permit a calm review of the affair, 
iti t it was agreed on all hands that a great disgrace had been 
Securing " ° avert ed, an opinion in which the modern investigator will 
a concur. It is not so certain, however, that another project 

Seawall opposed with nearly as much vigor as the bulkhead extension 

job deserved the bad name which the press bestowed upon 
the enterprise. In 1860 the San Francisco Dock and Wharf Company 
offered to build a stone bulkhead along the entire water front, conditional 
upon the corporation being permitted to charge shipping for the use of the 
facilities which were to be provided. A great outcry was raised, and strong 
arguments appeared in the daily press pointing out the danger of monopoly. 
It was admitted that the State would have the right to regulate charges, 
and thus protect those who through necessity were obliged to use the 
wharves from extortion, but abundant reasons were advanced against trust- 
ing to such doubtful protection. They proved cogent enough to defeat the 

Fifty-four years have elapsed since the offer was made, and it may 
be interesting to consider what would have been the result had the San 
Francisco Dock Company been permitted to construct the stone bulkhead. 
Under the terms of the grant asked for, at the expiration of 
A fifty years the bulkhead would have become the property of 

Neglected the State. There is every reason for believing that the enter- 
Opportumty p r j se would have been vigorously prosecuted had the con- 
cession been granted. The corporation showed its constructive 
ability in digging a graving dock out of the solid rock at Hunter's point, 
a business enterprise which has been conducted with ability, and apparently 
to the satisfaction of the interests served. We may, therefore, assume that 
the bulkhead would have been built, and that in 1910 it would have become 
the property of the State. In the meantime what has happened? Instead 
of securing a stone bulkhead, we are still making feeble efforts to provide 
a seawall, an undertaking begun on paper in 1863, but not actually com- 
menced until 1867, and still a long way from completion. Meanwhile, 
shipping entering the harbor and using the facilities provided by the State 
has annually contributed an amount of revenue which would have satisfied 
the demand of the most avaricious corporation, as it would have provided 
sufficient income to pay a handsome profit on any sum likely to have been 
invested in the construction of the stone bulkhead. 

It cannot be said that the press manifested the same lively interest in 
other matters as vitally affecting the growth of the city as they did in the 
safeguarding of the port. After the passage of the Consolidation Act in 
1856, the people seemed to have settled down to the con- 
Demand viction that it completely answered the requirements of a 
for Public growing community. The measure bristled with prohibitions, 
Improvements but, as the fetters were self-imposed, those who wore them 
did not chafe under the restraint. They were kept from 
doing so by the constant insistence of the guiding element that the really 
essential thing in a city is to keep down the tax rate. The acceptance of 
this view proved an obstacle to public improvements. Years before the 
upheaval in 1856 fault had been found with the tendency of the people of 

Troubles on Eve of Civil War 51 

San Francisco to ignore the desirability of public breathing places. There 
was no improvement in this regard until some years after the close of the 
Civil War. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, there was an easy acceptance 
of existing conditions. If there was any disappointment felt over the fact 
that the census of 1860 showed a population of only 56,802, it was con- 
cealed under an affectation of the belief that it was really marvelous that a 
place which only a dozen years earlier was a sleepy village of less than 500 
souls had become in so short a space of time a bustling city with all the 
modern conveniences; by which the writers meant to convey the fact that 
the inhabitants were provided with gas and water and a make-shift sewerage 
system while studiedly refraining from dwelling on such drawbacks as bad 
streets, inadequate public buildings and pleasure grounds and other con- 
trivances contributing to the comfort of urban life. 

It could hardly be said that the city vegetated during the years between 
1857 and 1861, even though public improvements were neglected. Its 
trade flourished after the depression of the first named year had passed 

away, and there were great hopes built on the promise of the 
The City development of the agricultural resources of the State. These 

and the were n °t greatly diversified at the time, but editors surveying 

Farmer the advances made between 1850 and 1860 found a subject 

for felicitation in the increase of farms from 872 in the first 
named year to 18,726 in the latter, and in the enlargement of the area of 
improved land from 4,333,614 acres to 6,385,724 acres. The fact that 
farm products of the census year were valued at $48,726,804 was dwelt 
upon with pride and predictions of a great future expansion were freely 
made. There does not appear to have been any perception of the horticul- 
tural possibilities of California, although the editors were alive to the fact 
that California could produce excellent fruit. Indeed, the papers were in 
the habit of claiming that California fruits were unrivaled, but few ven- 
tured to go further than to suggest that envious Easterners would do well 
to come to the Coast if they really wished to enjoy the delights of life. _ They 
had no idea of the mountain going to the consuming Mohammed, as it does 
at present ; when they thought of exports they had in mind wheat and flour, 
of which the equivalent of 558,546 centals were shipped from San Fran- 
cisco in 1860, giving rise to dreams of a great future for that cereal, which 
were realized a couple of decades later by exports aggregating nearly 
25,000,000 centals. 

The satisfaction experienced through contemplation of the agricultural 
possibilities of the State was somewhat weakened by the apprehension felt 
by some that the disposition to hold intact the large Spanish and Mexican 

land grants would interfere with the settlement of the most 
Advocacy fertile tracts by an industrious population; but singularly 
of Big enough the same papers which dwelt with emphasis on the 

Farms desirability of dividing the land into small tracts, could find 

space to discuss with approbation views inimical to minute 
subdivision which found expression in the writings of the foremost sociolog- 
ical writers of the period, and a few editorials may be found in which 
the idea is advanced that a happy and prosperous farming community can 
only be created by affording men a chance to work a large piece of land, 
160 acres being pronounced the minimum requirement of a farmer who 
wished to be truly comfortable, Discussions of this character were not 


Journalism in California 

The Press 
and the 

uncommon in the city press of the fifties, and the interest manifested in 
agricultural development was only second to that with which the mining 
outlook was considered. 

Mining throughout the fifties was regarded as the mainstay of San 
Francisco. Although the enormous output of 1852 of over $81,000,000 
had fallen to a little more than half that sum in the closing year of the 
decade, the attitude toward the industry remained nearly the 
same as during the days of the gold rush. Occasionally, the 
writers who regularly reviewed the conditions in the mining 
region ventured to suggest that the industry must lose in 
importance, but various circumstances contributed to the 
deep-seated impression that there would always be enough of the precious 
metals mined in California to enable mineral production to keep its premier 
position. This opinion was seemingly justified by the discovery and open- 
ing of quartz mines in this and the neighboring State of Nevada. The 
celebrated Comstock lode had been discovered, and its argentiferous quality 
ascertained as early as 1853, but it was not until 1859 that the richness 
of the discovery became generally known, when a rush to the new mines 
took place which rivaled those to the Frazer river and the Klamath black 
sand beach diggings. The discoveries in Nevada outranked in importance 
any made outside of the boundaries of the State, and strengthened the con- 
viction that mining would always be California's dependable industry, an 
opinion which did not yield until the break up of the great landed estates 
caused a diversified agriculture to usurp first place. 



A Long List of Defunct Newspapers — Papers Conducted to Forward Political 
Aspirations of Owners — Wires Sparingly Used in Early Days — Use of Italics 
in Early Days — The Tyranny of the Composition Room — The Day When Many 
Jobs Were Performed by One Person — When Big Type Was Frowned Upon — 
Effects of the Cheapening of White Paper — The Big Increase of Price During 
the^ Civil War — Early Day Reporting Criticised — Not Many Trained Beporters — 
Editors Guess What Beporters Pail to Discover — Facts Carefully Concealed by 
Papers — The Press and the Slavery Question on the Outbreak of the War — A 
Minister Who Would Not Pray for the President — Few Editors Called to an 
Accounting for Their Proclivities — A Civil War Fighting Editor — Newspaper 
Offices Gutted When Lincoln Was Assassinated — Adherence of California to Gold 
Money — The Specific Contract Legislation — Influence Exerted by the Press to 
Promote Honest Monetary Dealing. 

HE most of the daily and weekly publications of San 
Francisco started during the fifties had passed out of 
existence before Sumter was fired upon in April, 1861, 
but there was a formidable list of survivors of ail shades 
of opinion still bidding for public favor. The fortunes 
of some of the latter had suffered greatly through a 
tendency to run counter to the desire for better munici- 
pal conditions, notably the Herald, which lost the bulk 
of its advertising patronage after the shooting of James King of William 
by Casey. It was nearly ruined, but managed to keep alive until 1862, 
when it finally collapsed because its Southern supporters had taken them- 
selves to regions where secession was more popular than in San Francisco. 
Included in the number of the departed journals were several whose 
editors had enjoyed a transitory popularity, and others which the records 
and the evidence of the papers themselves suggest had no excuse for con- 
tinued existence. The long mortality report embraces the 
California Star, San- Francisco's first paper ; the Pacific, which 
ran its course in a couple of years ; Prices Current, still more 
ephemeral, lasting only a year ; the Public Balance, with a 
life of six months to its credit; the Evening Picayune, the 
California Daily Courier, La Californian, which catered in a literary way 
for the very considerable French colony of early days; the Benton Critic, 
the American Daily, the True Californian, which supported all the policies 
of the Vigilance Committee and had the reputation of being edited under its 
auspices; the Daily Globe; the Pathfinder, started in 1856 to boom Fre- 


A Long 
List of 

54 Journalism in California 

mont's candidacy for the Presidency; the Golden Era, the first literary 
paper ; the Whig and the Catholic Standard Weekly ; the Bugle, a campaign 
paper; the California Chronicle, the Commercial Advertiser and the Cali- 
fornia Eegister. 

This extended death record might convey the impression that San 
Francisco was a bad place for newspapers in the early days, if it were not 
for the fact that the survivals were numerous enough to give assurance that 

newspaper readers were by no means deprived of the oppor- 
All Their tunity to exercise a choice of policies, for they reflected all 

Onf shades of opinion. Nor does the fact that several other papers 

Basket entered the contest for favor while the Civil War was in 

progress dispute the accuracy of this assertion. That merely 
emphasizes an opinion, expressed elsewhere, that the affections of San Fran- 
ciscans in the early stages of the growth of the city were not long fixed on 
any particular object, and that publishers, as a consequence, were compelled 
to keep in accord with their following or pay the penalty. This disposition, 
and the fact that the disappearing journals put all their eggs in one basket, 
not having acquired the modern method of holding readers by various de- 
vices, explains the excessive mortality above noted, and the further fact that 
most of the papers which weathered the storms of the fifties and lived well 
into the two later decades have since gone on the scrap heap. 

The resident of San Francisco in this exposition year, familiar with 
the public journals of the city, who will take the trouble to scan the list of. 
papers surviving the fifties, will note that few of them have attained to the 

dignity of a jubilee. The Alta California, founded in 1849, 
On the wag run w ^ n YaT yi n g success until the nineties, when it was 

the 6 ° compelled to succumb to a steady loss of patronage which 

Civil War followed the acceptance of the opinion that its owner, a man 

of wealth, had acquired it to advance his personal fortunes. 
As is usual in such eases, the news side of the paper was neglected, every- 
thing being subordinated to the object for which the paper was published. 
Perhaps the fact that it was forced to turn a political somersault contributed 
to the result. The Herald, driven out of existence by the Bulletin, scarcely 
heard the first guns of the Bebellion. -The Fireman's Journal, afterward 
the Spirit of the Times, had the distinction for a while of being San Fran- 
' cisco's only sporting paper. It ceased publication some time after the death 
of its founder, Marcus D. Boruck, who, like many of the early editors, was 
as much politician as journalist. The Call, established by a group of 
printers in 1856, was purchased by M. H. de Young in 1913 and ceased 
publication as a morning daily. The Sunday Varieties endured until 
1865. It and the Police Gazette, which died in the same year, furnished 
publications which met a want that seemed tolerably persistent in the days 
before a better class of weekly papers made their appearance. Of the long 
list, only the Bulletin, the German Demokrat and the Abend Zeitung of 
the daily publications have endured to the present day. The Daily Times, 
which began as the Town Talk, was merged with the Alta in 1869, and 
the California Mail, started in 1876, received its quietus at the hands of 
an Englishman named Dalzell, who married -the actress Dickey Lingard. 
Dalzell sought to make the Mail brilliantly sensational and was -meeting 
with measurable success until he made the error of converting his journal 
into an advocate of the candidacy of a Democratic aspirant for the United 

Methods of Late Fifties and Early Sixties 55 

States Senatorship, who withdrew his helping hand when scandalously 
beaten in the race. 

It cannot truthfully be said that there was a great improvement in 
journalistic methods after the opening of the overland telegraph in 1861. 
Although theoretically, the metropolis of the Pacific Coast was put in close 
touch with the East, the wires were used so sparingly for the transmission 
of intelligence the city remained as provincial as in the days when the 
steamers and the pony express supplied editors with the bulk 
Wires f their copy. But there was a distinct improvement in the 

U^ed™ 2 y appearance of the newspaper, which became more formidable 

in size, the number of columns of the more prosperous jour- 
nals being increased, but the four-page paper remained the 
favorite form. In the advertising columns, and in those parts of the paper 
devoted to news and miscellaneous reading large type was eschewed. The 
editorial columns were helped out by the use of a larger faced type, but 
that was more for the purpose of enhancing the dignity of the utterances of 
the man on the tripod than to a desire to spare the eyes of readers or to 
emphasize the subject matter. The latter result was secured by a liberal 
use of italics, the employment of which in great quantity was supposed to 
stamp an editorial as a forcible expression of opinion. 

Those were the days in which the composition room had more to do 
with the make up of a daily paper than it has at present. The printer had 
his ideals and he succeeded in imposing them upon the editor. During the 
fifties, sixties and seventies there was little difference of 
Tvrannv opinion inside or outside newspaper offices respecting 

f ae typography. The advertiser was apt to accept without chal- 

Printer lenge the judgment of the foreman, who was convinced that 

big display type was a blemish. There was a saying cur- 
rent in newspaper offices that it was impossible to make a nonpareil paper 
with long primer type, and when the printer employed the term nonpareil 
in this connection he had in mind the definition of the word and attached to 
it its full meaning. A knowledge of this fact will help the reader to under- 
stand what the author of "The Story of the Files" means when she said 
that the community was startled by the appearance of an editorial paragraph 
in the American Flag "set up entirely in caps." We have no detailed 
information respecting the trouble brought upon himself by the innovating 
editor, Calvin B. McDonald, who was nicknamed "the thunderer," but 
it is safe to assume that the most savage of the arraignments of Copperheads 
for which he was famous in his day provoked less startled surprise than this 
departure from journalistic precedent. 

A comparison of the typography of the years now under discussion 
with that of the present day discloses a change which was so gradually 
effected that few editors could tell when and how it came about. The 
variation is all the more remarkable because it synchronizes 
Printer, Pub- w j^ ^e g row th f the power and influence of the typo- 
Editor graphical unions and the expansion of the use of machinery 
Combined in the production of newspapers. It really amounted to a 
complete abdication of the privilege' which the printer once 
exercised of dictating how the paper should be made up. As a matter of 
fact, it did not constitute a usurpation on the part of the printer, it was 
rather a crystallization of a practice which had its beginning when news- 

56 Journalism in C alifornia 

papers first came into existence, because, as often as otherwise, the printer, 
the publisher and the editor were combined in one person. It is not neces- 
sary to go back to the infancy of journalism to find instances of such a com- 
bination. San Francisco furnishes several. Not a few of its early papers 
were established by men whose knowledge of the "art preservative of all 
arts" was gained before the ambition to fill the editorial chair took posses- 
sion of them, and there are many cases of printers uniting for the purpose 
of starting papers which achieved success. The Morning Call owed its 
start to the action of several printers who united , their fortunes for that 
purpose. It is true that they lost control after the paper had gained im- 
portance, but they left their traditions, which were closely adhered to for 
many years.' 

If the editors of the fifties and the sixties could have foreseen the 
changes which a half a century would bring about they would have wondered 
why they should occur. It would have been difficult to convince them that 

a statement made in type three or four inches in length could 
Dav of carry more weight than one printed in nonpareil or agate. 

Small Their own experience taught them that violent sensations 

Type could be produced by language expressed in the minutest of 

characters. They could not have been persuaded that a gen- 
eration would follow them which would become so accustomed to loud type 
that it would lose the ability to comprehend anything modestly stated. 
Advertisers who had preserved some idea of relativity would have been 
equally surprised if they could have peered into the future and seen the 
devices resorted to by their successors to attract attention, but they would 
probably have divined much more quickly than the editor why it is necessary 
to shout very loud if one desires to be heard above a bedlam of voices. 
Being gifted with discernment, the advertisers of the days we are speaking 
of were content to proclaim their wares in moderate terms and type, and 
they doubtless carried as much conviction as the bigger type and greater 
space employed in 1915. 

In the early sixties, there was much less talk about journalism by news- 
paper men than there is at present. It is true that there were fewer in the 
business, which at that time was not conceded to be a profession. It is 

probable, however, that a consensus of editorial opinion in 
r d's idea ^ an Francisco a t an y time in the sixties would have been in 
of the Paper accord with that later expressed by Whitelaw Eeid in an 
of the Future address delivered at Xenia, Ohio, in which he pictured the 

newspaper of the future as a sheet in which the advertiser 
would be a negligible quantity, and, therefore, small and convenient to 
handle. It would be written by Macaulays, with the faculty of observation 
highly trained, and well enough equipped in a literary way to tell a story 
as interestingly as the gifted English historian. When the editor of the 
New York Tribune indulged in this surmise he had no vision of the linotype, 
and the wonderful effect it would have upon the production of newspapers, 
and he must have been influenced by the high price of paper which obtained 
during the war and down to the time when the process of manufacturing 
from wood pulp was perfected. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century 
the paper employed in bookmaking and for printing newspapers was made 
of rags, and, while machinery had been employed as early as 1803, no 
very marked results in the way of cheapening were effected until after 1853, 

Methods of Late Fifties and Early Sixties 57 

when a machine was invented by a Frenchman which paved the way to 
supplanting the hand-made product. 

On the eve of the Civil War, the effects of the improvement in the 
manufacture of paper were beginning to be felt in reduced prices. It does 
not appear, however, that the reduction operated as a stimulus to the 
production of larger papers during the ante bellum period. 
Adherence The rivalry between publishers took another form than that 
Policies °^ trying to outdo each other in the size of their issues. As a 

matter of fact, it was largely confined to bidding for favor 
by adherence to a policy. The competing journals were 
apparently satisfied to operate in the fields which they had created for them- 
selves by the expression of political or other opinions. As already stated, 
the Bulletin, after the adoption of the Consolidation Act, became the ex- 
ponent of extreme ideas of individualism and, economy. The Alta's free 
soil proclivities were maintained under the management of Fred Mac- 
Crellish. The Call, which came into the possession of Pickering, Fitch and 
Simonton after its foundation by a number of printers in 1856, endeavored 
to occupy a neutral position, seeking the favor of all classes and succeeded 
to such an extent that before the end of the sixty decade it undoubtedly had 
a greater circulation than any of its competitors. 

If any disposition had existed to break away from the stereotyped four- 
page issues of the fifties it would have been checked by the sudden rise 
of the price of paper which followed the outbreak of hostilities between the 
. North and South. The advance was not confined to San 
Paper During Franeisco - In a11 P arts of the East publishers found it nec- 
the Civil essary to advance their subscription rates, but such a course 

War was not imposed on San Francisco papers because their 

charges to subscribers were high enough to bear the increase. 
But. there was no temptation between 1861 and 1865 to increase the cost 
of newspaper production by the process of enlargement or by engaging in 
enterprises which involved the expenditure of extraordinary sums of money. 
It is not surprising that this should have been the case. With the best 
intentions, publishers compelled to pay 13y 2 cents a pound for printing 
paper would not be encouraged to put forth blanket sheets such as those 
issued by all the' great metropolitan dailies of the twentieth-century. This 
high cost was not maintained at all times between the years named, but it 
remained at a very high average during the entire period, and for many 
years afterward it was sold at a figure calculated to deter even the enter- 
prising publisher from thoughts of giving his patrons more for their money. 
It has been said that the art of reporting was not highly developed 
during the fifties, and that statement could be applied with equal truthful- 
ness to the decade following, and especially to the reporting for the jour- 
nals which appeared to have established themselves in the 
Reporting public favor. In 1887, George E. Barnes, who was then writ- 
Early ing for the Morning Call, indulged in some retrospective de- 
Days scriptive suggested by the sight of a copy of that publication 
produced thirty years earlier. He said : "Speaking of the 
reportorial work as it appears in this minute specimen of journalism, it must 
be conqeded that it is beneath contempt. Reporters and the material worthy 
of reporting were scarce in those days. There were Father Taylor, Ned 
Knight, Huffner, George Dawson, Urmy, Cremony, Manny Noah, Living- 

58 Journalism in California 

stone, Hittell and one or two others on the larger papers, and a good deal 
of the reporting when the people began to weary of bald fact was much 
in the style of the reporter described by Butler. * * True or 
false, it is all one to him. * * He is little concerned whether 
it is good or bad, for that does not make it more or less news, and if there 
is any difference he loves the bad best, because it is said to come soonest." 
Barnes thought this condition of affairs was happily past when he wrote 
in 1887. Time and population had cured all the defects and journalism 
was on a high plane, and "from a mere parasite, gambler or censurer, the 
editor has come to be as Napoleon the First said, 'a giver of advice, a 
regent of sovereigns, a tutor of nations.' " 

It does not appear that this lofty plane was reached during the years 
while the Civil War was in progress. The reporting throughout the sixties 
was not sufficiently bettered to make improvement visible. The reporters 

were built on the same lines as those described by Barnes, 
Povertv an< ^ man y of them were survivals from the earlier day. Un- 

f der some circumstances, it might be supposed that apparent 

News dullness was due to enforced brevity, but such an idea would 

be promptly dismissed by the investigator who can find evi- 
dence in abundance that there was plenty of space to spare for inanities 
grouped under the heading of "Miscellaneous," or for articles marked 
"contributed," which discussed political and philosophical subjects at great 
length. The modern editor will find no difficulty in determining the true 
cause of the poverty of local and State intelligence in the papers of the 
sixties. It was due chiefly to lack of training along the lines of observation, 
with the result that most of the time the reporter was unable to furnish 
details, not because they were not desired for the thirst for intelligence was 
as keen in the sixties as it is now, but because he did not see enough 
to be able to write a story. As for Barnes' queer assumption "that material 
worthy of reporting was scarce in those days," it is utterly negatived by the 
undoubted fact that the most of them crowded more excitement into 
twenty-four hours than is now experienced in a week. 

Certainly, there was plenty to report during the days following the 
election of Lincoln, but the reporters did not avail themselves of the oppor- 
tunity afforded them. San Francisco was a hotbed of intriguers, whose 

schemes were freely conjectured by editors, but never exposed 
Facts until the schemers showed their hands. Months before the 

Covered 7 ^ rs ^ & un was ^ re ^' there was a hegira of Southerners from 

California. The purpose of their flight was well understood 

and darkly hinted at by editors, but there is no description 
of the movement in the local columns of the papers of the time. When the 
Confederated States adopted the act of secession there was an extraordinary- 
interest in the actions of the few Federal troops garrisoning the apologies 
for forts which defended the harbor, but no venturesome reporter tried to 
furnish a picture of possibilities. There was no censorship, but real infor- 
mation as to what was going on was as meager as it was during the progress 
of the European war of 1914-1915. In 1863, a group of Confederate sympa- 
thizers planned to capture a Pacific Mail steamship with the object of con- 
verting her into a privateer. This accomplished, the conspirators intended 
to sail in their prize to the scene of the wreck of the Golden Gate, where 
another steamer of the Mail Company, the San Francisco, was endeavoring 

Methods of Late Fifties and Early Sixties 59 

to recover the sunken treasure. The Confederates hired a schooner and 
crew, but the affair was so bunglingly conducted that the Custom-house 
authorities nipped the project in the bud. The newspapers knew what was 
going on, but were unwilling to take anyone into their confidence, and, 
until the would-be privateers were haled into court, the public had no de- 
tailed story of an event to which California's historian, Hittell, accorded 
several pages. 

The criticism of reporters quoted' above indicated the attitude of the 
press toward news throughout the decade. San Francisco was far removed 
from the scene of conflict, but there were plenty to respond to the call for 
volunteers. There were the same scenes of excitement at- 
£ it tending the recruiting as those witnessed in the East, but 

Mightily the soberness of treatment of the quick response in the news 

Stirred columns, and the meager space allotted to recording the dis- 

plays of patriotism would have left a stranger in ignorance 
of their occurrence, if the vehemence displayed in the editorial columns had 
not made it clear that San Francisco was mightily stirred. Perhaps it was 
more fitting that the exuberance of feeling should find expression in the 
columns devoted to opinion, but, judged by modern standards, the city 
editors were delinquents, who have left much to imagine which might have 
been cleared up had their reporters been trained to treat as interesting events 
occurrences which may have seemed commonplace to them at the time. 
Fortunately, the reportorial delinquency is fully repaired by the effusive- 
ness of the writing editors, whose invective leaves nothing to the imagina- 
tion. Their rhetoric was of the sledge-hammer kind, and the reader never 
had any difficulty in determining who was smashed by the blows delivered. 
At the beginning of the war, sentiment seemed to be -very nearly evenly 
balanced in California. In the election of 1860 Lincoln had carried the 
State by 1000 plurality, the Democratic candidate receiving 38,000 and 
the Eepublican Electors 39,000, but there was a rapid change 
and the 83 °^ opi* 1 * 011 when the people grasped the idea that secession 
Slavery meant the disruption of the Union. In an astonishingly 

Question brief period the Southern sympathizer began to lose caste. 

The despised "mudsill' asserted himself, and presently con- 
cluded to cut loose from the party whose leaders affected to despise him 
and his kind. After the first flurry, the fear that the secessionists might 
succeed in gaining possession of the forts in the harbor disappeared and 
Union men settled down to the conviction that it would be their task to 
prevent Confederate operations in Arizona and in the northern states of 
Mexico. The quota of troops required of the State was easily filled by 
volunteers and recruiting was brisk in the city. The burst of Union 
enthusiasm did not, however, wholly extinguish Southern sympathy, nor did 
it take on an intolerant shape. The journals devoted to the Northern 
cause kept pace with those of the East, and some of them were a trifle ahead 
of the latter in recognizing that the institution of slavery was doomed. A 
few years before the outbreak of hostilities the Legislature of the State, 
under Southern inspiration had by resolution denounced Broderick because 
of his stand in opposition to the extension of slavery; in 1863 the same 
body, by a nearly unanimous vote, eulogized him as a patriot and appro- 
priated a sum of money to erect a monument to his memory in Lone Moun- 
tain Cemetery; and a year later, on the 4th of March, it adjourned out of 

60 Journalism in California 

respect to the memory of Thomas Starr King, whose voice was heard in the 
pulpit, on the platform and in the lecture-room in appeals to California to 
stand by the flag. 

There were ministers, perhaps, who sympathized with the South, but 
only one ventured to brave public opinion, and he was quickly impressed 
with the sense of his error by a significant warning in the shape of a stuffed 

dummy hanging at the entrance of the door of his church. 
Not Prav ^ s °^ ense consisted in omitting from his service the prayer 

for the f° r the President of the United States. He took the hint, 

President and, as he was disinclined to offer supplications for one whom 

he looked upon as an enemy to his section, he extricated him- 
self from an embarrassing situation by abandoning the city and returning 
to his home in the sunny South. Events of this sort occupied a great deal 
of space in the editorial columns of the papers, and it is to the credit of the 
citizens that they were not possessed of the intolerant disposition with which 
they were charged by those with Democratic leanings, for had they 
been the action precipitated by the assassination of Lincoln would certainly 
have been anticipated years before it finally occurred. It is astonishing 
that the violent expressions which were freely indulged in by Democratic 
journals should have passed without official rebuke or action of the sort 
taken in the case of Vallandigham in Ohio, but it was the policy of the Gov- 
ernment to close its eyes to all but overt acts, and the bastile only received 
one or two offenders during the long conflict, and they were not taken from 
the ranks of newspaper men. 

Perhaps the authorities were convinced that the defenders of the Union 
were able to attend to the matter without assistance, but expressions of 
sympathy for the Confederate cause were not allowed to pass unnoticed 

by the Union editors. Particular attention was paid to them 
CvilW r ^ Calvin B. McDonald, who filled the columns of the 
Fighting American Flag, published by D. 0. McCarthy, with denun- 

Editor ciations of the "Copperheads" and their doings. McDonald 

was a forceful writer. He had been in journalism since 1854 
in the city, but did not have the nickname of "the fighting editor" bestowed 
on him until the flag was fired upon. Before that time, he was more 
disposed to drop into poetry than to indulge in invective. He did not 
part with the poetical tendency when he donned the armor of the fighting 
editor, but his verse was of a different sort and fitted in with the spirit 
of the times. He had the faculty of arousing bitter resentment in those 
against whom he directed his editorial shafts, and succeeded in provoking 
retorts of a sort which were remembered by the community when the day 
of reckoning came. One of the journals to which he paid especial attention 
was published by the men who afterward founded the Examiner. He had 
succeeded in making their paper so odious that when the horrified com- 
munity heard the news of Booth's treasonable assault on the President the 
office of the publication was gutted. Similar treatment was accorded to the 
News Letter, whose proprietor and cynical assistants never lost an oppor- 
tunity to show their sympathy with the secession movement. No personal 
violence was offered to the publishers, but that was due to their good for- 
tune in being out of the way of the mob when it descended in its wrath upon 
their offices. 

While the attention of editors during the Civil War period was not 

Methods of Late Fifties and Early Sixties 61 

wholly engrossed by the conflict, there was more written about it, and its 
effects on the State, than any other subject. The attitude of California 
as voiced by the press of the State in those days was not always clearly 
understood at the East; but that is not surprising when it is borne in 
mind that there was considerable difference of opinion concerning the proper 
course to pursue in the vital matter of the practical refusal to accept the 
paper emitted by the Federal Government. There was no concerted action. 
It was simply a case of a people having the ability to keep in 
Press circulation a money which less fortunate sections of the Union 

and Gold were unable to obtain in sufficient quantities to supply their 

Payments needs, deciding to adhere to that which they were accustomed 

and refusing to substitute for it a variable currency. There 
was a marked division of opinion respecting the propriety of that course, 
but the cleavage was not along well defined political lines. The aversion 
to paper money was not due to lack of sympathy with the Union cause, 
although there were many who feared that it might be so construed, among 
the number Governor Leland Stanford, who, in a message to the Legisla- 
ture, adversely criticised the action of the State Treasurer, who took ad- 
vantage of the depreciation of greenbacks and paid California's proportion 
of the direct war tax in legal tender notes. Stanford proceeded upon the 
.theory that the State should disregard the depreciation and pay in gold, 
but the Washington authorities answered that the legal tender money had 
been advisedly received and that if gold had been paid California would 
have contributed more than its quota. 

The mercantile element of San Francisco displayed less sensibility and 
adopted a course which resulted in greatly stimulating business. They 
adhered steadfastly to gold currency, and used the metal to great advan- 
tage making purchases of greenbacks with which they met 
' R ^ sult their Eastern obligations. As the range of prices of most 

Adherence commodities sold in the California markets was nearly as high 
to Gold as in sections where legal tender money was used, the prac- 

tice resulted in great profit to the merchants, and their pros- 
perity had a stimulating effect on industry generally. The necessity of 
buying greenbacks created a lively dealing in them, and, while in Few York 
gold was quoted at a premium, on the exchange in San Francisco the process 
was reversed, and greenbacks were bought at a discount. The uncertainty 
regarding the propriety of the course was mirrored in the editorial columns 
of the newspapers, but the discussion reflected the current prejudice in 
favor of gold money, which dated back to the time of the formation of the 
State Constitution at Monterey, when an article was- inserted which abso- 
lutely prohibited the emission of paper money. It was impossible, to remove 
this prejudice, which found concrete expression in specific agreements to 
pay in gold. These agreements were authorized by statute, and the Su- 
preme Court of the United States affirmed the validity of such contracts. 

The active dealing in legal tender currency was a source of scandal 
and the charge was made that the Legislature was improperly influenced, 
but there was no evidence forthcoming to substantiate the loose statements 
concerning the matter which were made by the editor of the American Flag, 
who, when cited to the bar, refused to answer the questions put to him. 
The probabilities favor the belief that the Legislature in refusing to 
repeal the legislation authorizing specific contracts was in accord with public 


Journalism in California 




opinion. Although the discussions of the subject were voluminous, it does 
not appear that the editdrs were apprehensive that the use of paper money 
would result in driving gold out of California. At the 
time, the annual production from the placers and other 
_ sources was still great enough to give assurance that there 
' would be enough gold to supply the people of the State with an 
abundance of non-fluctuating money. There was some percep- 
tion of the fact that so long as the State could maintain a favorable balance 
in its dealings with the rest of the world its gold coin could not be drawn 
away from it, provided steps were taken to prevent its being sold in order to 
obtain a cheaper money, and it was assumed that the specific contract act 
guarded against such a contingency, an assumption borne out by the fact 
that Californians have retained the metals to this day as their principal 
circulating medium. 

There is one circumstance connected with the retention of or adherence 
to gold money that deserves especial mention, for it exhibits in a marked 
degree the power of -the press to influence public opinion. There is no 
question but that when greenbacks began to afford an oppor- 
tunity to the unscrupulous to scale their debts by paying in 
depreciated legal tender money, a disposition to take advan- 
tage of the situation existed, which might easily have become 
general had not the most reputable part of the press constantly 
denounced the immorality of the proceeding. So severe was the denun- 
ciation of those who sought to escape their obligations that a genuine fear 
of ostracism was created, which was not entirely groundless, for there are 
same instances of individuals seeking to pay their gold debts in depreciated 
currency being held up to public scorn. That there were not many in- 
stances and perhaps a general departure from the straight path of fair 
dealing was chiefly due to the insistent advice of the newspapers that it pays ' 
to be honest. They may have been wrong in advocating a policy which put 
them out of touch with the monetary system of the major part of the Union, 
but they were unquestionably right when they advised in strenuous terms 
that depreciated greenbacks should - not be used to pay debts incurred while 
the State' was on a gold basis. 


of the 




Advent of the Examiner — Its Founders — The Youthful Projectors of The Chronicle 
— Acumen Displayed in Selecting a Title — An Amusement Loving Public — A 
Newspaper 'From the Very Beginning — San Francisco Restaurants During the 
Sixties — The First Home of The Chronicle — Hustling to Get Money for a 
, Start — Eapid Growth of Popularity Eases Finances — Mark Twain's Contribu- 
tions to the Dramatic Chronicle— The Budding Author Has Desk Boom in Dra- 
matic Chronicle Office — Bret Harte Helps Out With Interesting Squibs — The 
Criticisms of Tremenhere Johns of the Dramatic Chronicle — The Efforts of the 
Beginners Cause Amusement — Prosperity Soon Follows Success — Movement to 
New Quarters on Montgomery Street — A Handsome Sign, of Which the Youth- 
ful Publishers Were Very Proud — A Theater Manager and Actress Who Dis- 
like Criticism — First News of the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln — 
Early Efforts to Illustrate a Daily Newspaper — Extras Tell of the Gutting of 
Local Newspaper Offices. 

g=^gps==j]HE most notable journalistic occurrence of the last year 
of the Civil War was the birth of the only two English 
morning papers that have survived the vicissitudes of 
the intervening fifty years. It was in 1865 that the 
San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner made their 
advent in the field of journalism in this city, but the 
circumstances attending their entrance were widely 
divergent. The Examiner was practically founded on 
the ruins of the Democratic Press, which was swept out of existence in an 
ebullition of popular rage provoked by the assassination of President Abra- 
ham Lincoln. Its nominal proprietors were William S. Moss, B. F. Wash- 
ington, Charles L. Weller, Philip A. Eoach and George Penn Johnson. 
,They may not have deserved all the opprobrium heaped upon them by the 
fighting editor of the American Flag, but the columns of the new candidate 
for public favor indicate that the arrangement entered into by Grant and 
Lee at Appomattox was no more to their liking under the changed name 
and conditions than when the summary gutting of their office was resorted 
to by an infuriated populace. The Examiner also differed from the other 
new competitor for patronage in being conducted by men with journalistic 
training, who had the backing of a political party by no means disheartened 
by its loss of power during the war, and which, before its echoes had died 
away, regained control of the State offices. 

It is almost impossible to. describe the beginnings of The Chronicle in 
the sober terms of historical narration. The attendant circumstances and 


64 Journalism in California 

the subsequent career of the paper give a tinge of romance to a statement 
of what would otherwise be prosaic and very commonplace facts. Other 
boys with large ambitions have started papers, and some have achieved a 
measure of success, but none that we know of has realized as 
Pounders "^ u ^ v w ^at was sou ght to be accomplished by the youthful 

of The founders of the San Francisco Chronicle. The story of the 

Chronicle starting and growth of the paper shows that its success was 

not due to adventitious circumstances. It was founded at a 
time when the ventures of others were meeting with failure, and its continu- 
ous growth was attended by a constant battle for public approval, but not by 
truckling to the holders of every vagrant sentiment, or by the adoption of 
a neutral attitude. The Chronicle had opinions from the first day that it 
saw the light,' and did not shrink from maintaining them with persistence 
and courage at all times. 

Perhaps no journal attaining to prominence was founded under circum- 
stances so singular. Although Charles and M. H., who were soon to be 
familiarly known as the de Young boys, aimed from the very beginning to 
create a newspaper, they modestly started their enterprise as a 
Numhw the ater house bill, under the title of "The Dramatic Chron- 

of The icle." An examination of the initial number, which appeared 

Chronicle on January 16, 1865, at once discloses the fact that the title 

was a misnomer. Throughout its sixteen columns there is 
plenty of evidence that its publishers were dominated by the idea of making 
it particularly interesting to theatergoers, but its sub title, "A Daily Eecord 
of Affairs Local, Critical and Theatrical," revealed what was in the mind of 
its founders, and proclaimed a purpose which was well foreshadowed in the 
four pages of the little 10 by 13V2 inch sheet. 

As interesting, perhaps, as the fact that the Dramatic Chronicle was 
a newspaper from the first day of its publication is the acumen displayed 
by Charles and M. H. de Young in selecting the drama as the vehicle by 
which recognition and popularity could be secured for their 
Title to venture. Never was there a community more completely 

Conjure devoted to the pleasures of the theater than San Francisco. 

With From the day of the first, performance in the city by a semi- 

professional troupe in 1848, down to the time when the 
Dramatic Chronicle saw the light, the drama had been a passion in the city 
by the Golden Gate. Its citizens prided themselves on the fact that the 
greatest artists visited them, and the writer of "The Annals" takes partic- 
ular pains to mention that they knew what was good and would not tolerate 
that which was bad. Doubtless, he could furnish evidence to substantiate 
his assertion that visiting actors, whose fame was national, admitted that 
the critics of the numerous papers of the early fifties were discerning men. 
That they did not hesitate to say in plain terms about a play, and those 
who interpreted its characters, just what they thought, is. attested by many 
surviving, scathing criticisms. 

The spirit of the fifties still survived in 1865, when the Dramatic 
Chronicle began to bid for favor, and no better method of getting public 
attention could have been adopted than that of the "de Young boys," 
aged 19 and 17, respectively, Charles de Young being the senior. Had 
they simply got out a play bill, their enterprise must have ended as it 
began, but they did nothing of the sort. The only resemblance to a pro- 

^33 I>AI l5 , 


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Up-to-Date Methods of The Chronicle 65 

gramme is that which the formal mode of printing the names of characters 
and players- presents. In all other particulars it differed, and in the 
material one of hour of issue. The publishers of the Dramatic Chronicle did 

not wait until the theaters opened. It was well distributed 
Newspaper in the mi< ldle 0I the day, when the restaurants were crowded, 
From the an d they were numerous and large at the time. Indeed, in 

Beginning 1865, and for many years afterward, San Francisco Was noted 

as a city of eating places and lodging-houses rather than of 
homes. There were establishments in the middle of the sixties that boasted 
serving as many as four thousand dinners a day, and their proprietors were 
pleased to assist in the promotion of the digestion of their patrons by placing 
on their tables the freely distributed paper with its bits of news and its 
bright paragraphs. This circulation was supplemented by distribution in 
the theaters and other public places, and it soon became of sufficient im- 
portance to cause advertisers to "sit up and take notice." 

Before attempting to give an idea of the make-up of the Dramatic 
Chronicle it will be interesting to describe the place and means of its 
production, and the financial resources of its founders. The plant was not 

large, nor was a great sum of money used in launching the 
Chronicle's enterprise. The paper could scarcely boast a home of its 
First own, for it was produced in the corner of a room occupied 

Home by the job printing establishment of Harrison & Co., on Clay 

street, east of Sansome. That was then the heart of the 
city, and the neighborhood, for a dozen years afterward, remained the 
publication center, the Chronicle, Bulletin and Call maintaining their plants 
there until 1879, when the erstwhile Dramatic Chronicle moved into a build- 
ing on the corner of Kearny and Bush streets, constructed for its especial 
use. In the office of Harrison & Co., the quarters of the new aspirant for 
public favor were very limited. Room was provided for two type frames, 
and alongside of them there was a makeshift desk, upon which the printer 
edited his copy; for editor and printer were combined in the person of». 
Charles de Young, his brother Henry assuming the responsibilities of the 
business management. 

Despite these modest beginnings, the duties of the business manager 
were by no means light. Harrison & Co. were hard-hearted landlords, 
rnd took no account of the ambitions of their tenants. The rent of the 

quarters of the Dramatic Chronicle and the use of the Adams 
1° rt nt press on which the paper was printed was $75 per week, 
Financial P al "t of which had to be paid in advance. This involved the 

Transaction necessity of hustling on the part of the business end of the 

concern. A loan of $20 was secured from a friend upon 
the distinct assurance that it would be repaid at the end of the week. As 
the circulation brought in no cash, the revenue of the paper had to be ob- 
tained from advertisers. Perhaps the first patrons may have felt a little 
dubious about receiving returns upon their investment, but such a feeling, 
if it existed at any time, must have speedily disappeared when they dis- 
covered the avidity with which the little sheet was read in restaurants and 
theaters, and the disappointment betrayed when, the supply of. Dramatic 
Chronicles ran short. 

As already noted, the Dramatic Chronicle, in addition to the pro- 
grammes of the different theaters in which it circulated, contained a varied 

66 Journalism in California 

assortment of original and selected matter, and some news, both telegraphic 
and local. There were nine and a quarter columns of advertisements in the 
first issue, the remaining six and three-quarter columns, the equivalent of 
about two columns of solid matter of the present daily, being 
of "the S devoted to reading matter. The most conspicuous feature of 

Earliest the latter was the dramatic criticisms and the squibs directed 

Chronicles against' the writers on the contemporary press. At that time 
the local writers were well known to the public generally, and 
their peculiarities were so well understood that none of the pungency of the 
items touching on the foibles of the staffs of the American Flag, the Call, 
the Alta and the Times was lost. The more satirical the allusions the better 
the readers liked them. 

Eestricted as were their quarters, the youthful publishers of the Dra- 
matic Chronicle were able to spare desk room for Mark Twain, for which 
he paid in contributions. In those days Mark had not acquired the fastidi- 
. ( ousness concerning his surroundings for which he became 
Contributions 8 n0 ^ e( ^ wnen fortune smiled upon him. He was then acting 
to The as correspondent of the Carson Appeal. San Francisco was 

Chronicle the mecca of all Nevadans in the sixties, and the representative 

of a prosperous Nevada paper ranked as high as the editor 
of the publication. So far as the desirability of the position was concerned, 
there were few newspaper men in what afterward became the Silver State 
who would not cheerfully have exchanged with the fellow fortunate enough 
to be able to live in "Frisco." At any rate, Mark never developed a great 
fondness for his sage-brush surroundings, and found life more congenial 
"at the bay," even though he had to put up with a rude redwood desk in a 
stuffy printing office. 

Although Mark was the correspondent of an outside paper, he was 
well known in the city at the time. His letters to the Carson Appeal were 
widely read in San Francisco and throughout the Coast and were greatly 
appreciated for their wit and quaint cynicism. He was far 
an^ the from being celebrated in those days, and that probably accounts 

Carson f° r the fact that the Dramatic Chronicle made no special brag 

Appeal about his contributions. Many of the satirical bits about 

San Francisco editors which appeared in the columns of the 
little sheet were written by Twain to relieve his feelings. Whether because 
he resented lack of appreciation, which he received in such full measure 
afterward, or for some other reason, Twain delighted in prodding his fellow 
workers on the press. The late William S. Wood, who at one time worked 
with Clemens on the Virginia Enterprise, declared that his most biting 
satires were devoid of malice, and that their production was uninfluenced 
by any other motive than an irresistible desire to "stir up the monkeys." 

Bret Harte's contributions were due as much to the desire to get 
something out of his system as to any other cause. He, too, like Twain, 
found the inclination to take a pot shot at public characters 
Resort hard to resist, and many a bright squib whose anonymity pre- 

for vents its identification, could be verified as his if the first edi- 

Bohemians tor of The Chronicle were alive to bear testimony. Harte, like 
Twain, frequently visited the young journalists at their 
establishment, which became somewhat of a resort for early bohemians. In 
subsequent years, numerous poems and stories written by Harte appeared 


Up-to-Date Methods of The Ch ronicle 67 

in The Chronicle. Some of them bear no indication of having been copy- 
righted, and it is not impossible that there may be fugitive bits of verse 
from the. pen of the author of "The Heathen Chinee" concealed in the 
columns of the struggling little daily which do not appear in any of his 
collected works. And it is not unlikely that some of the facetious criticisms 
of Twain's lectures delivered in San Francisco, which appeared in The 
Chronicle, were written by himself. Anything he wrote would have been 
welcomed, for he was persona grata in the office and understood the value of 

At this distance of time, and since Harte and Clemens have achieved 
fame, a writer in reviewing the beginnings of The Chronicle may attach 
undue importance to the fact that they helped to give its founders a start 
on the path of popularity ; but no one who studies the methods 
Up nS °^ * ne y° u thful publishers will fail to recognize that the really 

a important factors in the early upbuilding of the paper were 

Circulation the business acumen displayed in securing the attention of the 
reading public, and the recognition of the marked preposses- 
sion of San Franciscans for the drama. Ingenious managers have devised 
many modes of extending the circulation of their journals, but it is doubtful 
whether any one before or since hit on the expedient of making a paper do 
double duty. In England it was once the custom to hire out copies of the 
London Times, but, in that and similar cases, the middle man profited. The 
double circulation of The Chronicle was secured in a different manner. 
Every night, after the performances in the theaters, the de Young boys 
gathered up the crumpled Dramatic Chronicles, smoothed them out as nicely 
as possible and mailed them to interior hotels, thus obtaining for their sheet 
a country circulation and considerable reputation. 

Of course, reputation could not have been achieved had there not been 
a reason for its formation other than the persistent circulation of sheets of 
printed paper. That reason was very patent to the average reader of the 
period, who had no difficulty in recognizing that the Dramatic 
Critic™ 3 '* 10 Chronicle was meeting a real want in satisfying the desire for 
Who Hit news concerning the drama. It was promptly perceived that 

Hard the little sheet was no mere play bill. It contained a quantity 

of interesting intelligence concerning persons in whom the 
community tobk a great interest. That was real news to a people as fond 
of the theater as San Franciscans were at that time and for a long while 
afterward, and it was only obtainable in the paper which devoted close 
attention to the fortunes of the artists who had visited the city or who con- 
templated a visit. But this feature was overshadowed in importance by the 
frank and discerning criticisms of Tremenhere Johns, who could be 
facetious, scathingly denunciatory or enthusiastically approbative when the 
circumstances seemed to call for such a display. 

There was a tendency at first to regard with amusement the presumption 
of the editor of the Dramatic Chronicle jn permitting his little journal to 
take on the airs of the bigger and longer established papers, 
f_? ign but their managers were soon obliged to recognize that ex- 

Bulletin pressions of opinion when well found make an impression 

Board which has to be reckoned with. They saw that the freely 

distributed Dramatic Chronicle was being widely read and 
that advertisers were appreciative of the fact and were beginning to seek 

68 Journalism in California 

its columns. The result of this increasing prosperity enabled the paper to 
move into more pretentious quarters on Montgomery street, near Clay. 
Here it was housed in one large room, a portion of which was devoted to 
the typesetting, the front part being provided with a counter for the trans- 
action of business. The young journalists now owned their type and furni- 
ture and were especially proud of an imposing bulletin board' on which the 
name of the paper appeared on a gilded background, challenging the atten- 
tion of all passers-by and arousing interest in the fortunes of the aspiring 

This interest was being added to in other ways. The disposition of 
Critic Johns to tell the truth brought the Dramatic Chronicle into collision 
with Manager Maguire, who was then conducting the theater which bore 

his name. Matilda Heron, a famous star of the early sixties, 
With'a 11 whose prosperity had the effect of greatly increasing the 

Theater avoirdupois of the tragedienne, essayed the role of Camille. 

Manager Johns ventured the opinion that 200 pounds of adipose were 

not calculated to create the impression that she was suffering 
from consumption. The actress became very angry and demanded that the 
Dramatic Chronicle should not be circulated in the theater. The exclusion 
was resented, and a bitter fight ensued in the course of which the manage- 
ment was severely criticised, The Chronicle being provoked to take such a 
course by articles which Maguire printed in a little paper called the Daily 
Critic, started by the irate manager to defend himself 'against criticism. 
Among the assertions made by The Chronicle was one to the effect that the 
manager freely admitted to the theater improper and notorious characters, 
and that his negligence in this regard was resented by the public. The 
charge caused Maguire to commence an action for criminal libel, which was 
never prosecuted because the paper was fully prepared to substantiate its 

When the news of the assassination of Lincoln was received on the 
morning of April 15, 1865, the Dramatic Chronicle was just three months 
old and did not boast a telegraphic news service. But its editor was 

resourceful. The morning papers had all been issued without 
N" lrS ^ of a wor< ^ concerning the tragedy. At 8 o'clock the Western 

Lincoln's Union Telegraph Company posted a bulletin with some de- 

Assassination tails. The Dramatic Chronicle a few minutes afterward was 

on the street with an extra, which was eagerly bought. The 
company received more news and posted it, and the enterprising little 
Chronicle spread it broadcast by means of a second extra. The people were 
soon in a frenzy of excitement and began raiding the offices of the news- 
papers of known secession proclivities. The Democratic Press, published 
by Moss & Co., and edited by Phil Eoach, had all its type and material 
thrown into' the street. The office of the Occident, a Methodist religious 
weekly, edited by Eev. Dr. Fitzgerald, was treated in like manner, as was 
also Marriott's paper, the News Letter. The police were called out, but 
displayed no particular desire to interfere with the mob, the successive 
spasms of which were duly recorded in Chronicle extras, the energetic little 
aspirant for public favor having the whole field to itself, its bigger rivals 
not having realized that something had happened. M. H. de Young acted 
as reporter. He followed the mob, and as quickly as he could secure details 
he wrote them up and ran to the office, where his brother Charles set up the 


Up-to-Date Methods of The Chronicle 


Efforts . 


type. Extras were put on the street after each occurrence, all of which were 
snapped up by an intensely excited people eager for the latest news. 

An interesting fact connected ■with the publication of the news of the 
assassination of Lincoln is the recognition by its young editor of the de- 
sirability of illustration. On the 16th of April a portrait of the assassin 
Booth was printed. It was from a wood cut, which the reader 
was informed had been produced in two hours. It was a good 
likeness of the actor, . and was significantly adorned with a 
noose. The Chronicle was so well satisfied with its perform- 
ance it repeated it on the day after. A few days afterward 
the scene of the assassination was illustrated in The Chronicle. Like the 
portrait, it was from a wood engraving, the drawing for which was by 
Tojetti, a well-known San Francisco artist. These pictures were not the 
first to appear in The Chronicle. On February 2, 1865, a portrait of 
Edward Everett was printed. It has been claimed for these publications 
and some which appeared a short time afterward that they are the earliest 
indications in an American paper of the disposition to make illustrations a 
feature of daily journalism. ' 


M. H. de YOUNG. 

The Chronicle Begins to Make Investigations— Early Contributors to the Sunday 
Edition — Charles Warren Stoddard, Prentice Mulford and Anna Cora Mowatt 
Ritchie — The Chronicle's First London Correspondent — The Prefix Dramatic 
Dropped — The Daily Morning Chronicle — The Earthquake of 1868 — An Extra 
Issued While the Earth Was Trembling — The Enterprise of the Bulletin— 
Career of the Alta California — Policies of the Bulletin and Call — The Attitude 
of the San Francisco Press Toward the Railroad — Fear of Goat Island Becom- 
ing a Rival City — When the Southern Pacific Was "The Railroad "—Little 
Distrust of the Future — The Press Confident That the Railroad Would Promote 
Prosperity — The Mania for Mining Stock Speculation — The Rush to the White 
Pine Mines — A Hopeful Press on the Eve of Hard Times. 

HE Dramatic Chronicle, though bright and breezy, did 
not accomplish an immediate revolution in journalistic 
methods in San Francisco. It is just possible that its. 
repeated increases in length and width may have at- 
tracted the attention of the established papers, but they 
showed no signs of welcoming or discouraging the 
stranger. They may have been annoyed at its proper 
sity to do unexpected things, as in the case of the extras 
announcing the news of the assassination of President Lincoln, but they 
still looked upon it as a play bill and entitled to no special consideration 
as such. It was not until the ambitious journalists began to engage in the 
work of investigating the affairs of institutions that had thitherto enjoyed 
immunity from criticism, that its mature rivals began to notice its existence 
by intimating that it was a sensational sheet and therefore unworthy atten- 
tion. Somehow or other, although the Call and the Bulletin vehemently 
asserted that no one believed what appeared in the columns of The Chronicle, 
its assertions usually created a stir, because they were backed up by details 
which stamped them as something different from the not infrequent assaults 
on municipal shortcomings in the past, which, as a rule, were unaccompanied 
by specifications. 

Perhaps the fact that the Dramatic Chronicle's advertising patronage 
was increasing rapidly gave the older papers more concern than its innova- 
tions. During the first three months of its existence advertisements in- 
creased from nine and a quarter to fifteen and a half columns. As the 
paper only contained twenty columns of matter, the proportion of reading 



Innovations and Investigations 71 

was very small, but the brightness of the squibs, and the fact that a fair 
share of the advertising was news of a sort looked for by the community, 
caused the popularity of the Dramatic Chronicle to continue to grow. 
There is evidence that the proprietors were well satisfied with 
Patronage 6 ^ e success they were achieving, for on the first anniversary 
of The °f the publication, January 16, 1866, there was a poem of 

Chronicle felicitation headed "Our Birthday," and a cartoon, "The 

Infant Hercules," which depicted The Chronicle in the act 
of destroying its envious competitors, who were pictured as snakes. A few 
days later, the first signed contribution of Charles Warren Stoddard ap- 
peared. It was a poem entitled "To an Uncrowned Poet," and marked the J 
beginning of a connection which endured for many years. 

At frequent intervals during 1868 the Dramatic Chronicle contained 
accounts of incidents in which Bret Harte figured ; there was also a manifest 
disposition to boost Mark Twain, and the manner of the boosting is so sug- 
gestive of the humorist's peculiar style that one might readily 
Contributors pardoned for suspecting that he knew something of the 

of The authorship. An editorial printed on July 3, 1868, in which 

Chronicle remarks made in a lecture delivered by him on the previous 

evening were liberally quoted and highly complimented, must 
have been appreciated at a time when Mark was not so much of a stage 
lion as he later became. A few days later, on the 11th of July, 1868, the 
Dramatic Chronicle introduced to its readers Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt 
Bitchie, in a London letter, and proudly announced that she would there- 
after act as its exclusive correspondent at the British metropolis. The letter 
was noteworthy as foreshadowing the paper's intention to add to its literary 
attractions, and because it was a month in transit. A couple of weeks later 
a sketch entitled "The Eagle Bird," by Prentice Mulford, marked that 
writer's advent in San Francisco journalism. He continued to write for 
The Chronicle almost to the day of his tragic death, caused by the capsizing 
of a sloop yacht which he was sailing on the Hudson river. 

On the 1st of September, 1868, the Dramatic Chronicle appeared, as 
"The Daily Morning Chronicle." In dropping the prefix "Dramatic," 
which it had borne for over three years and a half, the paper lost none of its 
brightness. It was now a four-page sheet with seven columns 
™ e to the page. It had literally grown by inches, its original 

"Dramatic" length of column having increased from 13y 2 to 22y 2 inches, 
Dropped and it contained about three times as much of all varieties of 

matter as it did when it first made its bow to the public. On 
its first page it presented an article, "An Evening With the Bruisers," 
the sub-title of which, "A School for Crime and Some of the Scholars," 
indicated the attitude of the paper toward the then popular exhibitions of 
"boxing." The first number of the morning edition was particularly strong 
in editorial, two and three-quarter columns being devoted to comment. All , 
the features of a full-fledged daily were introduced, including -commercial 
and marine news. The contents of the twenty-eight columns _ embraced : 
Advertisements, 15 columns; local news, 8^4 columns; telegraphic and mail 
news, 2 columns, and editorial, 2% columns. 

On the following day a poem by Bret Haite, entitled "The Hero of 
Sugar Pine," was published. As already stated, there is no indication that 
it was specially written for The Chronicle, and the same may be said of 

72 Journalism in California 

"The Stage Driver's Story," "The Executive Committee of the Colored 
Population," "The Babes in the Woods" and "For the King," which ap- 
peared at intervals between 1868 and 1874. The fact that they were not 

copyrighted, and that no special claim was made for them is 
and not slir P r ising, for the author had not yet found himself. The 

Joaquin same comment applies to some short poems by Joaquin Miller, 

Miller who, when they appeared, was glad to break into print on 

terms which did not involve the recognition of the counting- 
room. Later, Joaquin became a regular contributor of The Chronicle to 
the great grief of the editors, who were called upon to decipher his wretched 
chirography, which was also the despair of the printers, and was received 
by them only under protest. Occasionally, the poet's copy was so bad it 
had to be relegated to the waste basket. That was the case with at least 
two letters of a series written from Europe, one of them, as nearly as could 
be ascertained, dealing with the origin of the search of Jason for the Golden 
Fleece, which he argued was not a myth, but a real occurrence. 

On the 21st of October, 1868, the Daily Morning Chronicle was 
afforded an opportunity to exhibit its enterprise under trying conditions. 
The bay region on that date was visited by a severe earthquake shock, which 

did considerable damage to buildings constructed in an un- 
issued tra substantial manner. The first shock occurred at 7 :54 A. M., 
Under an d was followed at 10 :35 and 11 :20 by less severe shocks. 
Difficulties At 1 :30 P. M., The Chronicle issued an extra containing 

nearly six columns of fine print, consisting of brief paragraphs 
devoted to describing the extent of the damage, and noting the few casual- 
ties which accompanied the seismic disturbance. It was a fine piece of re- 
porting, and a source of special wonderment to later editors, who were at 
loss to understand how the feat was accomplished with the comparatively 
small force at the disposal of the de Young boys. The explanation was 
simple. It was a case of rapid organization. Everyone connected with the 
establishment was drafted into the service. Carriers, printers, clerks and 
pressmen each contributed his mite of observation in the district especially 
assigned to him. 

But the journalistic enterprise displayed in getting the facts before the 
public so promptly is no more noteworthy than the sensible comment in the 
editorial columns on the succeeding day, which was designed to be reassuring 

and certainly had that effect. The editor remarked : "The 
Shake severest shock San Francisco has ever experienced, or is likely 

After to experience, has come and gone, resulting in less damage 

All to life and property than attended the great earthquake in 

London in John Wesley's time." This sounds like making 
the best of a situation, as does also the assertion, made a day or two later, 
that "the crowds that filled our streets on Tuesday did not wear an aspect 
of sadness or depression. In fact, a stranger ignorant of the cause of the 
excitement, would think they were enjoying some great holiday." But 
there was no possibility of mistaking the significance of the statement made 
in the real estate records on the following Sunday morning in which the 
writer said : "The recent severe earthquake shock has caused a temporary 
dullness, but no depression of values ;" nor would it be possible to interpret 
the action of The Chronicle in getting out an illustrated earthquake edition 
as an exhibition of lack of confidence, for it was filled with matter calculated 

Innovations and Investigations 73 

to convince the reader that while earthquakes may be put in the category of 
undesirable manifestations, on the whole they do not remotely approach the 
destructiveness of cyclones, floods and other phenomena unknown to San 

With eight years and more of a start, the Bulletin, which was still 
the paper printing the greatest quantity and variety of matter in 1866, was 
in a fair way of being ousted from its premier position when The Chronicle 
dropped the prefix "Dramatic." It retained its early four- 
Enterprise P a S e f° rm ' an d the eight columns to the page inaugurated 
of the some years earlier. The average of a period extending over 

Bulletin several years after the above date shows about nineteen 

columns of advertisements daily, to thirteen of varied matter, 
in which telegraphic news was not conspicuous. Several issues of 1866-67, 
and 1868 exhibit these proportions. Telegraphic news, 1 column ; mail 
correspondence, 2 columns; reprint, 3 columns; editorials, 2 columns; 
markets, financial and commercial news, 1% columns; marine news, % 
of a column ; local or city news, 2y 2 columns, a large proportion of the latter 
being bald accounts of the doings of municipal officials and very brief 
court notes. In 1870 telegraphic news had increased to about three columns 
daily, but some of it lacked up-to-datedness, being a day old. A little 
earlier than this date the Bulletin departed from a long maintained practice 
of grouping its news under a general heading in paragraphs without heads, 
and ventured on the bold experiment of making it easier for the reader to 
find what he was interested in by putting heads on some of its news items, 
and, in the same year, it printed a map of the Franco-Prussian war zone, 
one of its few ventures in the field of illustration. 

The Alta, established in 1849, still retained its prestige at the close 
of the sixty decade. In 1869 it absorbed the Times and was regarded by 
the community as the representative of the substantial elements. Its course 
was conservative, even in the matter of gathering and pre- 
of ^he senting the news. Its subscription price was higher than 

Aita fhd; of any other city paper, and it had a monopoly of the 

California shipping and auction advertising, and of the general adver- 
tisements of the jobbing trade. It was conceded to be the 
special representative of the commercial element, and scarcely considered 
as a rival the Call, which a few years earlier had been launched as a 
co-operative enterprise by a few printers. The Call started out with the 
purpose of obtaining subscriptions by offering its paper at the temptingly 
low rate for the period of \2V 2 -cents a week, excluding Sundays, on which 
day it was not issued. Its success was only moderate and its circulation 
probably did not exceed ten or twelve thousand daily at any time during 
the sixties. Its policy was in marked contrast to that of the Bulletin, which 
for many years was extremely aggressive in its opposition to expenditures 
for municipal purposes. 

The joint ownership of the Bulletin and Call by the same proprietors 
was the source of much ill-natured comment directed chiefly against the 
latter. The Bulletin was managed by George K. Fitch, and the Call by 
Loring Pickering and James A. Simonton, the latter, up to the time of 
his death, being the representative of the New York Associated Press before 
the formation of the present association, which was accomplished by a mer- 
ger process. It was generally understood that the distinctly different policies 

74 Journalism in California 

pursued by the two journals was the result of an understanding which had 
for its object the pleasing of all sorts of readers. Fitch, who was very 
familiar with the conduct of municipal affairs and took an 
and^all active interest in local politics, was to continue the course 

Under One which James King of William and the march of events seemed 
Ownership to have marked out for the Bulletin, while Pickering elected 
to secure the patronage of a cosmopolitan community in 
which the disposition to find lines of cleavage early manifested itself. The 
mode adopted to accomplish this object was adherence to innocuousness, 
and the editor of the Call developed a facility of avoidance which was 
masterly, his journal on most subjects carefully avoiding the expression of a 
positive opinion. 

The Bulletin was the very antithesis of the Call. It expressed itself 
with boldness and vigor upon most topics and its editorials were well 
written. There is no doubt that between 1856 and 1870 it was the most 
important factor in promoting the fortunes of the People's 
M° thn" P aT ty> an< i it was well understood in political circles and by 

of the the informed in the community that it had a voice in the 

People's Party selection of candidates for municipal offices, a duty assumed 
by a junta after the frightful miscarriage of the more demo- 
cratic primary system in the years prior to the Vigilante uprising. This 
usurpation came in for a great deal of criticism from rival journals as the 
years wore on, and the memory of the saturnalia of extravagance and 
corruption preceding 1856 faded from the public mind, but it was power- 
less to shake the popular conviction resulting from Fitch's teachings, that 
the only safe plan of dealing with municipal officials is strictly to limit 
taxation. He had succeeded in persuading citizens that the consolidation 
act framed by Horace Hawes, with its numberless restrictions, was an ideal 
fundamental law, and that the best municipal government was that sort 
which reduced public expenditures to a minimum. 

There were few who openly dissented from this opinion until the close 
of the sixties, when dissatisfaction began to be expressed over the failure 
of the city to provide public buildings commensurate with its growing im- 
portance. There was also a growing demand for a park 
j elf " . which would provide a desirable resort for the people who 

Restrictions were obliged to patronize a private pleasure ground when 
they wished to take an outing. The Chronicle was one of 
the earliest advocates of a more liberal course and insisted 
that some means would have to be adopted to break through the self-imposed 
restrictions if San Francisco was to be put in readiness for the influx of 
immigrants which it was expected would follow the opening of the transcon- 
tinental railroad. This event had long been a subject of comment in the 
editorial columns of the city press, and, while there was much divergent 
opinion respecting the methods adopted by the beneficiaries of the liberality 
of municipalities, counties, states and the Nation, there was none respecting 
the enormous advantages that were to accrue to San Francisco on the com- 
pletion of the overland highway. The railroad was to effect a complete 
metamorphosis. The earlier argument so diligently urged, that it was a 
military necessity, ceased to be employed when it was seen that the civil 
conflict must inevitably terminate long before the road could be completed, 
and critics could be outspoken in their condemnation of methods which 
smacked of monopoly without having disloyalty imputed to them. 

Innovations and Investigations 75 

Perhaps the earliest cause for general distrust was that excited by the 
unconcealed desire of the constructors of the Central Pacific to head off all 
rivalry. The city and county of San Francisco had joined with San Mateo 
~ and Santa Clara counties in extending aid to a road connecting 
^ears ^e city and San Jose, which was begun in 1860 and com- 

Railroad pleted in 1864. The city had also extended aid to the 

Monopoly Western Pacific to the amount of $400,000. The two sub- 

sidies aggregated $600,000, which the railroad managers re- 
ceived in the form of bonds, giving an equal amount of stock in exchange. 
The city authorities were persuaded to surrender the stock, the consideration 
being the return of $200,000 of the bonds, reducing the city's railroad in- 
debtedness to $400,000. This action was criticised by a part of the 
press and defended by another section. In 1865 the Southern Pacific was 
incorporated, and it soon became apparent that the chief object of the 
formation of the new corporation was to prevent the entrance of the Atlantic 
and Pacific, a company which proposed to construct a railroad. as nearly 
as practicable along the line of the thirty-fifth parallel of latitude, which 
was to be aided by a liberal land subsidy. 

It would be hard to determine the real sentiment of the community 
toward the Southern Pacific at this time. The incorporators were the same 
men as those who projected and were in the way of successfully carrying 
out the Central Pacific scheme. They were Sacramentans, 
Desir^for ^ut ^ a ^ ^ ac * seeme( ^ to excite no jealousy, perhaps because 
Railroad it was plainly seen that while the overland railroad nominally 

Connection had its beginning at that city its true terminus on the Pacific 
would be San Francisco. Undoubtedly, the boldness, which 
characterized the operations of Huntington, Stanford, Crocker and Hopkins 
inspired. confidence in the success of their undertakings, and there was a 
strong desire prevalent for railroad connection with the southern part of the 
State, with which communication was slow and infrequent at the time. It 
is not improbable that in addition to these motives the inertia produced by 
the hostility to taxation for improvements played its part and made the com- 
munity indifferent to the warnings of those who saw a menace to the future 
prosperity of the State in the attempt to shut off rivalry. Whatever the 
cause, the attitude of the State toward the project was sufficiently acquiescent 
to permit Congress to adopt a course which excluded the Atlantic and 
Pacific from entrance to the State for many years, 

Somewhat different was the course adopted when in 1869 an attempt 
was made to persuade San Francisco that it would be to its interest to permit 
the Central Pacific to acquire Goat island for terminal purposes. Papers 
which had not displayed any anxiety regarding the possible 
^ ar evil effects of shutting out a rival transcontinental railroad 

Goat Island became bitterly antagonistic to the proposal, and assailed it 
Rivalry on various grounds. The Bulletin seemed to be particularly 

apprehensive that the granting of the 300 acres, which was 
about the area of the island, would result in the creation of a rival city in 
the bay, which would seriously injure the business of the port of San Fran- 
cisco. California's representatives in Congress would cheerfully have 
•assisted in carrying through the project, but the uproar created deterred 
them from acting, and Goat island still remains an asset of the Federal 
Government, which may at some future day be put to a more beneficial 
use than the limited one it now serves. 

76 Journalism in California 

Looking backward, and reviewing some of the circumstances attending 
the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, it does not seem sur- 
prising that its projectors met with a great deal of hostility. In the early 

stages of the enterprise the utmost liberality was displayed 
Practices of ty the people, and when the enthusiasm flagged it was 
Railroad stimulated by devices that transcended ordinary criminality. 

Managers Bribery was freely employed to accomplish purposes conceived 

in the fertile brains of the builders. They were unwearied 
in their pursuit of favorable legislation, and shrunk from no measure which 
they deemed necessary to protect their interests. Although beneficiaries 
on a huge scale, they repaid those who conferred the benefits by charging 
excessive rates for the services performed by them and by practicing all 
sorts of discrimination to advance their own personal fortunes and those of 
chosen friends. It would have been extraordinary, indeed, if this condition 
of affairs had not influenced the journalism of the time. And it did to a 
degree hardly conceivable by the newspaper reader of today, who still hears 
the echoes of the conflict which began while the Civil War was raging, and 
which some politicians would like to see continued indefinitely, although the 
cause for hostility has long since disappeared. 

It is one of the anomalies of this long continued discussion that the 
State, when there were the best of reasons for hostility to the railroad which 
practically had a monopoly of transportation, and sought to perpetuate it, 

refused to use the power it had to compel fair treatment; 
Francisco while now, that the machinery for effective regulation exists, 

Press and an< l is persistently exercised, there should be an affectation 
the Railroad of fear of the machinations of the corporation. The railroad 

has been rendered powerless for harm and it is amazing that 
it should still be regarded with fear. It shows a lack of intelligent appre- 
ciation of the situation. It is not difficult to follow the curious variations 
in the attitude of the San Francisco press toward what for a long time 
was called "the railroad,", an expression singularly inappropriate at the 
present day, when three rival transcontinental roads are bidding for favor, 
but which fittingly indicated the Southern Pacific corporation when it 
absolutely controlled the transportation facilities of California, and made 
freight and fare rates tell in an unmistakable fashion the story of a grinding 
monopoly. As this narration progresses, it will be seen which papers fought 
the railroad when the people needed a defender, and those who rushed to 
the aid of the corporation will be pointed out. 

The last spike of the first transcontinental road, built assumedly as a 
war measure, was driven May 10, 1869. As heretofore remarked, the com- 
pletion of the road was looked forward to hopefully by the community, and 

this hopefulness found frequent expression in the press, some- 
Forward times in a very exuberant fashion. There apparently was 
With little distrust of the future, although there were rumblings of 
Hope the trouble which culminated in the sand-lot disturbances 

a few years later. The people of San Francisco had received 
a foretaste of the evils of mining stock speculation, but, as is often the case, 
they were more inclined to blame something else than the true cause for the 
slackness of business, which it was expected would be ended with the advent 
of the railroad. The town still believed that mining was the backbone of 
San Francisco's prosperity, and could not be persuaded that there was a vast 

Innovations and Investigations 





difference between the legitimate practice of that industry and dabbling in 
stocks which had become very general toward the close of the sixty decade, 
owing to the discovery of rich ores on the Comstock. The lode was first 
found in 1853, but the extent of its richness was not disclosed until 1859, 
when the argentiferous character of its ores was made known. 

Although reports intimated that the ores were fabulously rich, the 
Comstocks did not possess the attractiveness of the placers, but they drew to 
Nevada a comparatively large number of prospectors, who found a country 
abounding in minerals. Up to 1859 brokers were not very 
prominent in San Francisco. The few who called them- 
selves by that name dealt chiefly in local securities, and 
when the legal tender money of the United States began to 
depreciate they included the sale of currency in their opera- 
tions. The San Francisco Stock and Exchange Board was formed in 1862, 
with forty members, and the number suggested a nickname which was freely 
applied, indicating the degree of esteem in which the profession was held. 
On April 15, 1863, a second board, known as the San Francisco Board of 
Brokers, was formed, and three months later still another organization, 
named the Pacific, had come into existence. Altogether, in the short space 
of a year, the professional dealers in mining stocks had increased to 160, 
the first-formed board, yclept "The Forty Thieves," having doubled its 
membership. It is hardly necessary to accompany this recital of the rapid 
expansion of the cult with the statement that the community was infected 
with the fever of speculation. 

Perhaps the press was responsible for the attitude of aloofness which 
the community assumed toward mining stock speculation in its early stages. 
The Bulletin refused to recognize the operations of the first-formed board 
as legitimate objects of newspaper notice, and declined to 
publish the quotations of stocks for quite six months after the 
opening of the exchange, and then did so seemingly under 
protest, furnishing no further information than that contained 
in the printed lists of bids and sales. The Call, likewise, 
saw no reason for getting excited about a matter which was engaging the 
attention of the whole community, and was nearly as cautious as its 
evening contemporary. The Alta was more liberal, but none of the dailies, 
until some years afterward, countenanced the belief that found almost 
general acceptance that a lively stock market was a good thing for business. 
It is interesting, nearly a half century after they were written, to read 
articles in which the writers solemnly argued that a community cannot get 
rich by gambling, and that marking up the price of stocks did not increase 
their value any more than "changing the price tag on a coat would make it 
a better or more valuable garment." 




Conditions Preceding the Adoption of the Constitution of 1879 — Henry George's 
Connection With The Chronicle — General Protest Against Land Monopoly — 
Disturbing Eesults of the Spanish and Mexican Land Grant System — The 
Eevivifying Influence of the Finding of Large Bodies of Ore in Nevada — The 
Big Bonanza Discovery and Its Effects — The Bage for Gambling in Mining 
Stocks — Stock Gambling an Excuse for All Delinquencies— The Big Deals Put 
Over — Mem Who Yearned for Misinformation — The Failure of the Bank of 
California and the Death of Balston — Manufacturing Enterprises That Did Not 
Succeed — Early Aspirations for a "City Beautiful" on the Bay of San Fran 
cisco — The Industrial Activities of Balston- — The First Irrigation Project and 
Its Outcome — Abatement of- the Speculative Mania — A Milked-Dry Community. 

HE failure of superficial observers of the course of events 
in California to go back far enough in their effort to as- 
certain the cause of the so-called sand-lot troubles has 
led to many misconceptions. If the inquiry is to be 
thorough it must begin in the opening years of the 
seventies, and it will be found in the editorial com- 
ment and in the news columns of the San Francisco 
press; and perhaps it is not taking an extreme view of 
the matter to say that an editor who subsequently attained an inter- 
national reputation as an economic writer started a movement, the progress 
of which could not be arrested until a complete reform was effected. It 
does not matter that it was not brought about in the mode he conceived to 
be proper ; the really important thing is the fact that the monopolization of 
the land which he dwelt upon was broken, and the abuse which he con- 
demned was effectually and permanently done away with in California, 
which, to his alarmed vision in 1870, presented the spectacle of' a great 
State in the hands of a few landlords, who would ultimately control all the 
land within its borders. 

The writer referred to was Henry George, author of "Progress and 
Poverty," who began his literary career, as many others have done, as a 
typesetter, graduating from the compositor's case to the editor's desk. 
George was a very earnest and an intensely sympathetic man, 
George's Con- an< ^ ^ n ^ e P 013 ^ 011 °f editor he was disposed to inaugurate 
nection With crusades against oppressors. In 1873, while acting as editor 
The Chronicle of the Evening Post, he took up the case of some sailors 
who had been brutally treated by the captain of the ship 
Sunrise and his officers. His earnestness and the vigor of the prosecution, 


Stock Speculation and Land Reform 79 

which was conducted with the assistance of W. H. L. Barnes, one of the 
city's foremost attorneys, resulted in the conviction and punishment of the 
offenders. The case attracted international attention and won a decoration 
for the attorney, and the editor of the Post received as his reward the 
applause of the community. Prior to George's connection with the Post 
he had done some editorial work for The Chronicle, which had, as early as 
1869, begun to express its disapprobation of the policy of encouraging land 
monopoly. The files of The Chronicle between 1870 and 1873 contain 
several editorials on the land question which were probably written by him, 
none of which, however, suggest the physiocrat idea of making the entire 
burden of taxation fall on land. There is one in particular in which the 
writer expressed views very similar to those which had earlier appeared in 
an article published in the Overland Monthly over George's signature, in 
which he predicted that the overland railway, approaching completion, 
would prove a detriment rather than a benefit to the State of California. 

George and The Chronicle were by no means alone in their antagonism 
to land monopoly. All the papers recognized the big holdings resulting 
from the liberal grants made by the Spanish and later by the Mexican 
government as a great evil, but some of them did not permit 
Opposition the criticism to extend to the gifts made to the overland 
Land railroad by Congress. There is nothing surprising about 

Monopoly this abstention, for it was supposed that the provision in the 
subsidy acts which required the corporation to sell the granted 
lands at a price not exceeding double the minimum charged for Govern- 
ment lands would result in the alternate sections being promptly sold to 
settlers. It was not foreseen that the device of contract and finance com- 
panies, which had enabled the builders of the transcontinental railway to 
acquire immense fortunes by contracting with themselves, would be em- 
ployed to successfully lock up the most desirable land so that it might be 
sold at prices in excess of those fixed by the subsidy act. And, besides, 
the notions concerning the disposition of Government lands at the time 
were exceedingly liberal, as the records will show, the opinion generally 
prevailing that the sooner they passed into the possession of settlers, or into 
private ownership, without restriction, the better it would be for the 
country at large. 

But the most potent influence in diverting attention from reform move- 
ments was the sudden change in business conditions produced by a brisk 
speculative movemet in the mining stock market in 1872, which was 
accentuated by the discovery of the fabulously rich mines 
The Big which afterward became known as "The Big Bonanza." This 

Discovery lucky find in 1875 was immediately followed by a fever of 
in 1875 speculation which made that of the previous decade seem in- 

significant by comparison. The Big Bonanza consisted of 
several mining properties on the Comstock lode in Nevada, known as the 
Consolidated Virginia. These valuable mines were owned by four men, 
John W. Mackay, James G. Fair, James C. Flood and William O'Brien. 
From first to last they produced nearly two hundred million dollars to 
which must be added about $138,000,000 more taken out of other mines 
of the Comstock in previous years. It would have been impossible to 
have injected into the channels of trade so vast a sum without giving a 
great impetus to business and creating an atmosphere of prosperity fatal 

80 Journalism in California 

to the practice of economy. Easy come, easy go, produced a condition o 
artificial briskness which did not reckon with the future. Everyone wa: 
anxious to get rich, and everyone speculated in the hope that fortuni 
would smile upon him. It was a great gamble in which the dealers usee 
marked cards; the public was not unaware of the nature of the game 
nor of the character of the men who shuffled, cut and dealt, but that mad< 
no difference. They "sat in," and submitted to being fleeced with a meek 
ness which deservedly earned for them the name lambs, which was con 
temptuously applied by those who sheared them. 

The press for a while was influenced by the glamour produced by th< 
enormous output of the precious metals, and saw little that called for se 
rious deprecation. The objection of the earlier period when a mereham 
who dabbled in stocks was regarded with suspicion had disappeared, anc 
few escaped the contagion. Everybody bought- shares. The minister anc 
his deacons, the master and his servant, the doctor, the lawyer, the me 
chanic and the day laborer were all eager investors, and 
KTn'ne watched the reports of the fluctuations of stocks with fe- 

Stock verish interest. The established press no longer satisfied the 

Gamble unlimited demand for news and gossip about the mines, and 

special class papers were called into existence. The little 
sheet with quotations known as the Stock Eeport expanded into a good- 
sized paper, chiefly if not wholly devoted to mining intelligence, and a new 
candidate for favor, named the Stock Exchange, came into existence. The} 
have both passed away, but during the period when the excitement rai 
high they were in great demand and were read with much interest, nol 
alone for their mining news, but as well for their bright and breezy com- 
ment on current events and the foibles of the actors in the big speculative 
game. They by no means occupied the center of the stage, for the dailies 
generally were quick to perceive the eager interest of the community in al] 
things pertaining to the mining game and ministered to it in various ways 
The methods of the mine operators were essentially secretive and investiga- 
tions started for the purpose of learning facts or to expose misrepresenta- 
tions were common, and it may be added that exposure and truthful infor- 
mation produced little effect on the public, the gambling mania having foi 
the time destroyed its capacity for rational thought and action. 

The occurrences of the three or four years while the excitement rai 
highest would have provided subjects for many a novel, for they realized te 
the fullest the saying that fact is stranger than fiction, and were suggestive 
of plots which were hardly imaginable. Fortunes were made 
Stocks an( j j og ^. ovenjight- the saloon-keeper of yesterday was the 

the millionaire of tomorrow, and the man in comfortable circum- 

Mischief stances who risked the hazard of the game emerged from i1 

stripped. There were tragedies innumerable, and San Eran 
Cisco's suicide list was abnormally swollen. Did a man go wrong in i 
business way, the blame was placed on stocks. A trusted treasurer wai 
shy in his accounts some $300,000, and the public did not wonder, for th< 
explanation came promptly that stocks did the mischief. If a corrupt offi 
cial seemed to be accumulating wealth too rapidly suspicion as to iti 
source was diverted by the information that he had made a winning. Thi 
community was easily satisfied and manifested a disposition to regard thi 
basest forms of deception as a joke. A minister was given a tip in con 

Stock Speculation and Land Reform 81 

fidence by a wealthy operator. The pointer proved to be a false one, and 
the generous manipulator with professions of regret made good the divine's 
loss, but the deacons and the other members of his congregation who shared 
the information confidentially imparted to him paid the piper. 

The twentieth century speculator in grain probably gets as much excite- 
ment out of a market in which a fraction of a cent represents points, but 
movements of that sort cannot possibly appeal to the imagination as the tre- 
w u . . mendous fluctuations in the value of shares expressed in dol- 
Pine ^ ^ ars ^ in the 7 ears following the uncovering of the Big Bon- 

Streets anza. The stock of Ophir, quoted at $65 on October 6, 1875, 

Compared was down to $39 on November 4th. California was depressed 

from $54 to $21 in an equally brief period. These rapid al- 
ternations were not confined to the stocks of the mines known to be produc- 
tive. Shares of companies concerning which the public had no information 
other than that which interested parties chose to impart were as eagerly 
dealt in as if they were dividend-paying concerns. If a strike was made 
in a productive mine -the shares of all the companies located in the neigh- 
borhood rose in sympathy. Men seemed to yearn for misinformation and 
misrepresentation, and regarded with disfavor those who sought to open 
their eyes to the facts. The manipulators were ready with calumny to 
assail those who exposed their deception. If a newspaper persistently 
warned its readers that they were being made the victims of adroit rascals 
no attempt was made to disprove its accusations; a rejoinder from .the 
accused that the accusing editor had been "stung" sufficed. It did not 
occur to a community obsessed with the desire for gain to reflect that ex- 
perience is excellently adapted to qualify a person to give advice. 

Perhaps the most tragic occurrence of this saturnalia of speculation 
was the death of W. C. Ealston, the president of the Bank of California, 
which closely followed the temporary closing of the doors of that institution 

on the 26th of August, 18.75. Ealston's business career was 
o/the 6 one °^ exce ptional brilliancy. He was untiring in his efforts 

Bank of to promote industry of all kinds, and his desire to stimulate 

California the development of the resources of the State was unbounded. 

His failures have sometime* been treated as avoidable 
blunders, but some of them were based on economic ideas usually reckoned 
as sound. He used his personal funds and those of the bank liberally to 
stimulate manufacturing. The production of wool was a leading indus- 
try of the State, but the raw material was shipped to remote countries to be 
fashioned into cloth, which was sent back in the form of goods ready for 
consumption. Ealston sought to correct this economic absurdity by found- 
ing the Mission Woolen Mills. The factory succeeded in producing ex- 
cellent flannel, cloth and blankets, but did not pay as an investment. It 
was preposterous to bring carriages and wagons thousands of miles when 
they could be made at home, but the Kimball Carriage Factory, although 
■ it turned out fine vehicles, was a financial failure. The West Coast Furni- 
ture Company started by him was equally unfortunate. We now know 
why these ventures failed, and realize that manufacturing cannot be forced 
in a region with a limited consuming population and a high labor cost, 
but our knowledge is largely founded on his painful experiences. 

That he failed in some enterprises does not detract from the fact that 
he was the foremost man of his day in San Francisco, standing head and 

82 Journalism in California 

shoulders above his rivals and detractors. In addition to the concerns above 
enumerated, he was instrumental in promoting many others. 
of an ° He was es P ecial ly interested in irrigation and long before 
Irrigation Californians had broke away from the belief that the future 
Project of agriculture was bound up with the cereals he began to 

stimulate experiments in intensive culture. He was among 
the most energetic in promoting the project of redeeming the west side of 
the San Joaquin valley by the construction of a canal which was to lead 
the waters from Tulare to tidewater. He had unbounded faith in San 
Francisco and was the first to give practical effect to the claim that it was 
capable of being made "the Paris of America." He conceived the magnifi- 
cent project of building the biggest and handsomest hotel in the world, and 
the conception was nearly realized when he was drowned at Black point on 
the bay, succeeding the closing of the doors' of the bank whose affairs he 
had controlled for so many years. 

The failure of the bank was precipitated by a struggle for the control 
of one of the great mining properties, the contestants being the men who 
originally had possession of the Bonanza mines. Although the public 
had unbounded faith in the solidity of the Bank of California, 
Fattureof there were occasional doubts expressed respecting the pro- 
Bank of priety of a man in the position of Ealston engaging in such a 
California contest, but the common assumption that all those heavily in- 
terested in the institution were standing together hardly left 
room for the suspicion that he was acting on his own responsibility. Al- 
though Ealston was regarded as a man of immense wealth, capable of 
taking care of himself, he was generally associated in the popular mind 
with the group with whom he operated and which was commonly spoken of 
as the bank crowd. It is not necessary to go into details of the contest in 
which Ralston was worsted, further than to say that it made a heavy draft 
on the institution's reserves. So unexpected was the outcome that on the 
morning of August 26th large deposits were made by well informed opera- 
tors. But this confidence was disturbed with startling rapidity. At 2 p. m., 
a small crowd had gathered at the teller's window; at 2:15, a run had 
developed ; at 2 :40, Ealston stepped from his private office and ordered 
the teller to cease paying. The next day the banker, while bathing at Black 
point, as was his daily practice, was seized with a cramp and was 

' The effect on the community was amazing. The failure and the rapidly 
following tragedy divided the city into two camps. Concern for the effect 
of the suspension of payments was subordinated in the minds of the majority 
by genuine sympathy for the victim of what a later and 
Dv'ded calmer judgment decided was loose banking practices. A 

Into Two P ar t °f the P ress was sweeping in its denunciations, endeavor- 

Camps ing to throw all the blame upon Ralston, disregarding the 

fact that those interested with him would have cheerfully 
shared the benefits if he had won out. At first, it was proposed to declare 
the bank insolvent, but the liability of stockholders act proved an obstacle to 
such a course and rehabilitation was agreed upon, William Sharon shoulder- 
ing the chief responsibility. As soon as the affairs of the bank could be 
thoroughly investigated payments were resumed, and the institution 
promptly resumed its old-time leading position. On the 4th of November 

Erected by W. C. Ralston in 1875, destroyed by fire of 1906. 

Stock Speculation and Land Reform 83 

following the Nevada Bank was started by Flood, O'Brien and Mackay, 
but it never attained to the financial importance of its rival. 

The failure of the Bank of California did not put an end to the 
speculative game, but there was a visible abatement of the fever and a 
growing disposition on the part of the people to take an account of stock. 

Before the death of Ralston The Ghronicle had frequently ■ 
of the pointed out the pitfalls prepared for the feet of the unwary, 

Speculative ou t after that event it was unceasing in its exposure of the 
Mania false pretenses of manipulators, its -most effective work in 

this regard being statistically accomplished. Day after day 
articles were published showing how purchasers of stock were duped by 
the issuance of false statements, and the large amounts paid in the form of 
assessments, which were consumed in the maintenance of high-priced offi- 
cials and handsomely appointed offices, were paraded. But, while the 
statements made were undeniably truthful, it is doubtful whether they 
would have made much impression if the meretricious appearance of pros- 
perity could have been maintained. That was impossible, however, because 
the community had been milked dry; and, unfortunately, the lack of diver- 
sification of industries had prepared the way for something like a complete 
breakdown. When the State was visited by a disastrous dry season in 
1876-77, it so curtailed production that prosperity fled, and, in its place, 
there was unemployment, discontent and those uneasy manifestations which 
are taken for a desire for reform, but, as the sequel in this case shows, are 
sometimes a realization of the couplet: 

The devil was sick, the devil a monk would he; 
The devil was well, the devil a monk was he. 



Result of Agitation Against Land Monopoly — The Product of the Bonanza Mines — 
An Extremely Capable Chief Clerk of the Mint — The Meteoric Career of George 
M. Pinney — Broker, Millionaire, Enlisted Man and a Political Boss All Boiled 
Into One Personality — Pinney Meets With Reverses and Flees the Country — 
His Adventurous Voyage to South America — Sends Out S. 0. S. Calls, Which 
Are Not Heeded — Pinney Surrenders Himself as a Deserter From the Navy — 
Pinney Makes Accusations Which Create a Sensation — Politicians Invoke the 
Law of Libel — The Chronicle Assailed for Exposing Political Corruption — How 
an Editor Got Rid of Some Bad Eggs — Pinney Has an Attack of Forgetful- 
ness — Pinney 's Financial Operations Cause the Wreck of Several Banks — Crea- 
tion of a Bank Commission the Result of The Chronicle's Exposures. 

HE facts cited establish beyond dispute that the so-called 
sand-lot troubles did not come from a clear sky. There 
were evidences of discontent long before the eruption 
took place, and they were by no means the product of 
riffraff talk. They were genuine manifestations of dis- 
satisfaction with a condition of affairs which meant mis- 
chief and were a source of apprehension to the thought- 
ful. Henry George's diatribes against land monopolists 
and the vigorous editorials of The Chronicle may be chargeable with stir- 
ring the public mind, but it cannot be urged that they gave an untrue pic- 
ture of the situation or that their prophecies might not have been fully 
realized had not the agitation stirred up by them effected a genuine and 
enduring reform. It is a fact that the bettering of affairs was not accom- 
plished by the adoption of George's panacea, and it is equally certain that 
The Chronicle did not foresee the method by which land monopoly was 
eventually rendered impossible in California, but, on the other hand, it is 
true that the agitation of the seventies paved the way for the adoption of a 
system of land taxation which made it impossible for the owners of great 
tracts to preserve them intact. 

It has been related how the agitation which seemed to have opened so 
formidably in 1872 was interrupted by the spasm of prosperity produced 
by the discovery of the Bonanza mines and the successful workings of other 
properties on the Comstock, which, according to a computation made by a 
careful stockbroker, added at least $340,000,000 of the precious metals 
to the world's stock in the course of a few years, but the conciseness with 
which the salient facts of the great speculation was presented pre- 
vented the mention of some details of a highly interesting character to 


The Chronicle Assails Corruption 85 

the student of economics, and still others the relation of which would corrob- 
orate the assertion that the city was half crazed by the passion for gambling. 
It is not essential that the reader should be informed that the 
Circumstances caller of one of the stock boards advertised his prosperity by 
Linked wearing a fresh pair of pantaloons every day in the year, or 

Together that it was considered a joke for a nourishing broker to be 

seen with his wife on the Cliff House road rather 
than with some other "lady," but, in order to understand clearly the 
origins of a trouble which caused the closing of several banks, the temporary 
obscuration of a national party in the State, one of the most bitterly wagett 
wars against a newspaper and which finally played a leading part in causing 
the adoption of the Constitution of 1879, it will be necessary to relate with 
some circumstantiality a number of occurrences which, when properly 
linked together, tell a story abounding in more exciting experiences than 
can be found between the covers of the most sensational novel. 

During the early part of his incumbency of the position of superin- 
tendent of the United States Branch Mint in this city, Oscar H. La 
Grange had for his chief clerk a man named George M. Pinney. Pinney 
was a person of exceptional attainments, as the sequel will 
Extremely show. There was no doubt about his competency. All the 
Capable civil service examiners, aided by a perfect merit system, could 

Clerk not have found a more capable chief clerk. Had Pinney ap- 

plied his talents exclusively to the performance of his duties 
he would have been a model functionary, but he had other fish to fry. 
Whether all of his qualifications were known to those who placed him 
in his position, or whether he developed them after he became chief 
clerk, is a matter of doubt, but it is certain that very shortly after he entered 
the Mint he began to take a hand in local politics, so far as they connected 
up with 'the selection of Congressmen and Senators. La Grange, who 
owed his appointment to President Grant, who knew him as a soldier, was 
an easy-going sort of individual, who readily fell in with the idea that the 
chief duty of a Federal official was to help along the men who put him 
into position. Consequently, he rarely interfered with his principal sub- 
ordinate, who, in spite of his devotion to politics, seemed to experience no 
difficulty in running the office. 

But, despite* his proficiency, Pinney was only a man after all, and 
could not perform the impossible feat of being in several places at one time. 
He would have experienced little trouble in holding down his chief clerk- 
ship job and manipulating local politics concurrently, but 
A Too when he attempted to combine with those activities that of 

Sided" stockbroker on the floor of an exchange in a period of great 

Functionary excitement, he found that he had his hands more than full 
and had to be relieved. He was too useful a man to be 
.permitted to get out of politics, so another position was found for him, and 
this time it was in an office in which there were no strings of duty on him. 
He was made chief clerk of the naval pay inspector, but under conditions 
which might have been regarded as a degradation by those who did not 
know all the circumstances. In order to fill the position, he had to be 
enlisted in the Navy. The enlistment was merely a formality, for, as the 
records show, Pinney from the beginning was the boss and Eufus C. 
Spalding, his nominal superior, was as putty in his hands. 

S6 Journalism in California 

Pinney, for a while, was very fortunate in mining ventures entered 
nto after his purchase of a seat on the exchange. In 1872 he was sup- 
losed to be a millionaire, and it was known that he had an interest in 

properties ' in Idaho which were regarded as valuable. But 
'fnney's he was not a cautious operator. While not a plunger, he 

Meteoric was bold and quite ready to take big risks, and when the 

iareer Bonanza craze was at its highest he was speculating with 

great freedom. No one thought of asking where the large 
urns of money staked by him came from. In the midst of a crowd of 
renzied people all bent on getting rich, a bank burglar might have invested 
lis loot if it consisted of marked greenbacks without exciting suspicion, 
.nd, for a man who had the reputation of being on "Easy street," and who 
ras supposed to own rich mines in Idaho, it was not thought strange that 
le should be putting up large sums on margin. Nor was it considered a 
natter worthy attention or comment that he should be operating with the 
hief local boss of the Bepublican party, the man who had the reputation 
if arranging delicate affairs with the Legislature for the railroad managers, 
ind who enjoyed the intimate friendship of a United States Senator and 

Like many others, who for a while seemed to be riding on the crest 
if the wave of prosperity, Pinney suffered reverses. His mining adventures 
n Idaho went to the bad, and the sources of his former supplies of "mud" 

were dried up, and one fine morning he was numbered among 
^ n, i® y the missing. His sudden disappearance excited little atten- 

mth tion on change ; there were too many who were dropping out 

jeverses without explanation to create a commotion, and, . as no one 

seemed to be hurt, no fuss was made. Something like a 
ensation was created in social circles as it was understood that George had 
leserted his wife, a very estimable woman, and had fled with a disreputable 
! emale. The memory of the affair was revived by the steps taken by Mrs. 
Pinney to secure a divorce, and occasionally San Franciscans were reminded 
hat Pinney was still alive by floating rumors from South America that 
le was flourishing like a green bay tree, especially in the neighborhood 
if the high-class gambling houses of the cities of the Latin-American 
•epublics, the most persistent of the stories locating him in Valparaiso, 

Eumor told the truth, but not the whole truth. Pinney did reach 
Chile, but he was not satisfied with life as he found it in the seaport of 
Valparaiso. Perhaps he might have been had his former pals continued 
t to pay attention to his demands for money, but they refused 

Bargain 8 to ^° so ' doubtless thinking that a man so faT away as Chile 

With the could not harm them. They had furnished him with $12,000 

Skipper when he fled on the British ship Baron Ballantyne on the 

1st of September, 1875. This amount, if frugally used, 
hould last a resourceful man like Pinney a long time, they thought, and 
et it go at that. But Pinney was not frugal, but he was resourceful. That 
le was not frugal is attested by the fact that when he got tired of the 
roman who had accompanied him he paid the Captain of the Ballantyne 
^2000 to put him ashore at Pernambuco. It is said that the bargain was 
'acilitated by the fact that the skipper had become infatuated with the frail 
me. Be that as it may, Pinney was put ashore in the Brazilian port and 

The Chronicle Assails Corruption 87 

thence made his way to Chile, where he enjoyed himself getting rid of the 
remainder of the amount with which he was staked by his wicked but 
careless partners. 

When Pinney's S. 0. S. calls went unheeded, he resolved on the course 
which resulted in making a great deal of exciting and important San 
Francisco history. He pulled up stakes in Chile and sailed for the 
Pin 's United States, and one fine May -day in 1877 he made his 

S. O. S. appearance in the city of Washington. Notwithstanding the 

Calls fact that he had formerly enjoyed the intimacy of Senators 

Unanswered and Eepresentatives, not to speak of numerous Federal offi- 
cials, he neglected to call upon them, but, instead, marched 
straight to the Navy Department and there surrendered himself as a 
deserter. It appears, however, that they were not looking for deserters 
of his kind, and treated his surrender as a useless formality. But Pinney 
was, for the moment, disposed to treat it seriously, and sought the cor- 
respondent of the San Francisco Chronicle at the national capital. To 
him Pinney told a story of fear of being arrested that had haunted him 
for a couple of years or more, and which he had sought to assuage by sail- 
ing several thousand miles for. the purpose of delivering himself to the 
authorities. He also told a tale which was telegraphed to The Chronicle, 
the appearance of which on the morning of May 7, 1877, shook San Fran- 
cisco from center to circumference, and which caused nearly as great a 
commotion at the national capital, pointing as it directly did at corrupt 
practices of naval contractors. 

Pinney's relation can be condensed into the statement that he charged 
certain contractors named Montaigne, Hanscom and Jordan with improp- 
erly obtaining large sums of money for repair work alleged to have been 
done at the Mare Island Navy Yard, and that Senator Aaron 
Made** 10118 A ' Sar g ent and Congressman Horace F. Page knew of the 
by irregularities. He also stated that Page had paid $3 apiece 

Pinney for a number of votes cast for him, and indicated in a 

general way the existence of a ring which had succeeded in 
gobbling a vast quantity of arable land under the loose provisions of the 
desert land act. The accusations fitted in with charges iterated and reiter- 
ated by the New York Sun, and which were being investigated by Congress, 
that large sums of money were being spent under the guise of repairing to 
build new ships which at that time was accounted a high crime by Demo- 
crats, it being the policy of the party, which had a big majority in the 
House, to discourage the creation of a Navy, at least until they could con- 
trol its construction. The reason assigned for this attitude was the belief 
that the Navy Department's affairs were being corruptly administered by 
the Eepublican Secretary, Secor Eobeson. 

The appearance of the dispatch in The Chronicle on the morning of 
May 7th was th» signal for an attempt to have its proprietors criminally 
indicted in every county in the State, but the effort proved successful in 
one county only, that of El Dorado, which contained the home town of 
Page, who had followed the honest occupation of stage driver before he 
engaged in politics. This forced The Chronicle to incur heavy expenses, 
its witnesses being compelled to. travel great distances in order to testify. 
The trial was a protracted one and was bitterly contested. The accused men 
had a number of prominent attorneys and The Chronicle was well repre- 

88 Journalism in California 

sented on its side by Alexander Campbell and 'David S. Terry. Pinney 
. . was the principal witness, being on the stand several days. 

Invoke^ 118 During the course of the trial he made many revelations con- 
the cerning the methods of the men in control of the destinies of 

Libel Law the Eepublican party in California, and of the means 

adopted by them to improperly secure large tracts of Govern- 
ment' land. In his testimony on the first trial he touched upon the methods 
of the Navy pay inspector's office, and disclosed what was known to only 
a few at the time, that at least two San Francisco banks held large quan- 
tities of worthless paper which had been accepted as security for loans 
made to him. 

The first trial resulted in a failure to convict; the proprietors of The 
Chronicle were not acquitted by the jury, but the people of the State showed 
their confidence in the paper by greatly adding to its circulation and by 

converting a big Eepublican majority in California into a 
Chronicle's rousing lead for the Democrats. The Chronicle had always 
Exposure of been stanchly Eepublican, but never hesitated to assail what 
Abuses it, considered abuses. Very early in its career it had come 

into collision with the petty municipal bosses, who resented 
interference with their slatemaking. Following the example of the People's 
party junta, they sought to put a ticket forward which was filled with 
objectionable names. Charles de Young protested to the manipulators, who 
asked him what he was going to do about it, facetiously reminding him that 
The Chronicle was a Eepublican paper and would have to stand by the 
party. It was a late hour at night when he received the refusal to be 
decent, but not too late to convince the bosses that they had made a mis- 
take. He hurried to the office, called in the Managing Editor and asked 
him what editorial he had. He was given the titles of several stirring 
Eepublican articles, whooping up the national candidates. "I don't want 
any of them," was the abrupt comment. "Have you nothing else?" 
"Absolutely nothing," was the reply. As no explanation was made, the 
Managing Editor ventured to lighten the gloom occasioned by the prospect 
of being called upon to produce a couple of columns of editorial at mid- 
night by a joke. The Chronicle at the time had a special' writer on 
agricultural subjects who lived in the country, and a batch of his matter 
had just been received by mail. It was usually redolent of the soil and 
ponderously technical, for he was a real farmer, so the M. E. supplemented 
his statement that there was nothing with the information that he had "Stock- 
ton's manure," the name by which the ribald compositor designated Mr. 
Stockton's contribution. "Just the thing," said Mr. de Young, slapping 
his thigh. And the next morning The Chronicle appeared with a learned 
discussion of different brands of fertilizers, an eloquent appeal to plow 
deeply, and other abstruse comment, but not a word of politics. The 
hint was taken, and the objectionable impossibles were taken off the 

Perhaps the political fortunes of the men who dragged The Chronicle 
to Placerville would have been better served if its proprietors had been 
acquitted. But they were insistent upon a second trial, and that forced the 
paper to exert itself to the utmost to fortify the charges made by Pinney, 
for there were signs that he had accomplished his purpose and that some 
sort of an understanding had been reached with those with whom he had 

The Chronicle Assails Corruption 89 

been at variance. When first on the stand Pinney told a straightforward 
story and showed a marvelous memory for dates and minute occurrences; 
p when testifying at the second trial he developed as great a 

Loses y capacity for forgetting as he had had earlier for remember- 

His ingj and The Chronicle was nearly put in the awkward posi- 

Memory tion of discrediting its chief witness. Nevertheless, the prose- 

cution failed, the jury disagreeing, as in the first case. It is 
impossible to tell just what influences were used to "pull down" Pinney, 
but a guess may be ventured that it was in some way connected with the 
fact that civil suits were instituted by the banks that had accommodated 
him when he was dealing in stocks. It was a forlorn hope, but their man- 
agers evidently believed that Pinney, if pressed, would present evidence 
which would connect solvent persons with his transactions. The attempt 
failed, however, but it succeeded in depriving The Chronicle of its chief 
witness. He went back on his word, and struck hands with the men on 
whom he had "peached." 

The banks never recovered a cent from Pinney or his partners. The 
paper on which they had loaned so freely was worthless, but it was so 
cunningly devised that it might have deceived men more cautious than San 
Francisco bankers were durinsr .the seventies. It had the 
B^k^ 1 sanction of the Secretary of the Navy and was known as 

j^g Navy pay certificates. This designation sounded well, for 

Wrecked the certificates plainly recited that the amounts they repre- 

sented would be paid when funds should be available. They 
purported to be issued to the contractors Montaigne, Hanscom and Jordan, 
but whether the latter were always cognizant of the use of their names has 
not been divulged. The mess was too nasty to be stirred up much, and 
the civil suits were not pushed and were finally sidetracked. The banks 
most seriously, involved were the Saving and Loan Society and the Masonic 
Bank, the two holding Pinney's notes secured by the "fake" certificates to 
the amount of half a million dollars. Pinney's exposure and the vigorous 
demands of The Chronicle for a better system of bank examination resulted 
in the creation of a commission by the Legislature of 1877-78, which did 
some effective work. Its inquiries divulged the extreme weakness of several 
banks, whose doors were closed by the Commissioners. 

Prior to the creation of this Bank Commission, there was absolutely 
no public supervision of the affairs of California financial institutions. The 
law required that reports should be made at regular intervals, but there 
was no one to challenge their accuracy, and depositors were 
p° hl . in the dark respecting the real status of the institutions to 

Supervision which they entrusted their money. They were called upon to 
of Banks exhibit a degree of confidence which would be regarded as 

amazing nowadays. The Bank Commission act of 1877-78, 
however, was only a half-way reform, because of the parsimony of the 
Legislature, which refused to make adequate provision for clerical services, 
and, as this narrative progresses, it will be seen that the same fault was 
responsible for the failure of a provision of the Constitution of 1879 to 
anticipate the regulative activities of the Interstate Commerce Commission. 1 
The people saw clearly the necessity for the application of restraining 
measures to curb the rapacity of the transportation corporations, and 
created a body and gave it ample powers to carry out the popular will; 


Journalism in California 

but, as soon as they had accomplished that much, they ceased their efforts, 
elected men to the Legislature who were obedient servants of the railroad 
and accepted as Eailroad Commissioners and members of the Board of 
Equalization men practically nominated by organizations who were to be 
subjected to their surveillance. 



A Misrepresented Organic Law — Assaults on the Men Who Framed It — The Un- 
reasoning Fears and Unscrupulous Methods of Its Opponents — The Chronicle's 
Vigorous Fight for the Instrument — Big Sums of Money Expended to Beat 
the New Organic Law — Fruitless Efforts to Muzzle The Chronicle — Threats of 
Withdrawal of Patronage Fail to Intimidate — The Charge That It Was a Sand- 
Lot Instrument Refuted — Framed by the Best Legal Talent of California — 
The Chronicle's Defense of the Freedom of the Press — Composition of the 
Constitutional Convention — A Thoroughly Discussed Document — Settling a Ques- 
tion of Newspaper Makeup — Meetings Organized by M. H. de Young — A Big 
Meeting in the Mechanics' Pavilion — Victory Celebrated by Fireworks., 

HEEE probably never was a more misrepresented and 
misunderstood political instrument than the Consti- 
tution adopted by the people of California on the 7th of 
May, 1879. Embracing, as it did, nearly every reform 
the American people are now seeking to bring about, it 
was denounced throughout the length and breadth of 
the land as a mob-inspired monstrosity, and for many 
years was held up as an awful example of what can be 
accomplished by agitators when the electorate cuts loose from "born" 
leaders and tries to make laws ior itself. It would seem impossible that 
men and their work could be as wantonly libeled as were the framers of 
the Constitution of 1879, and the product of their long and arduous 
labors, in these days when printer's ink makes it possible easily to ascertain 
the facts concerning any event of enough consequence to be fully reported, 
but it was chiefly because so much attention was devoted to the instrument 
by the newspapers that the truth about it was obscured. There was so 
much evidence that men shrunk from studying it. Even a historian of 
the standing of Bryce, confessed, in acknowledging a blunder committed by 
him in discussing the subject, that he had neglected to examine the only 
evidence available — that contained in the files of contemporary newspapers 
— because to have done so would have consumed too much of his valuable 

It is now indisputable that the allegations made when the uproar 
against the sand lot was loudest were false, and that the men who opposed 
the adoption of the instrument did so because in most cases they were the 
victims of an unreasoning fear that an attempt to curb the aggressions of 
corporations would prove destructive to business. This was the view taken 


92 Journalism in California 

by the representatives of all the "interests," whose members organized 
themselves for the purpose of fighting the instrument and raised a large 
sum of money, which, in a spirit of braggadocio, they declared was big 
. enough utterly to wipe out the agrarian and socialistic spirit 

of lc *^ ms which they said was halting the progress of California and 

Unreasoning driving capital from the State. The sum commonly named 
Fear as being at the command of those conducting the campaign 

against the "new" Constitution was $750,000, and the proba- 
bilities favor the belief that the amount was not greatly exaggerated. It 
was used to hire halls and speakers and to buy space in newspapers. Every 
journal in San Francisco but one was secured for the work of assault, ana 
while the opinions of the editors may have been honestly expressed, it is 
nevertheless true that they temporarily profited by turning over a large 
part of their papers to the bureau for a consideration. 

The one paper which advocated the adoption of the instrument was the 
San Francisco Chronicle. Undeterred by menaces, and unmoved by 
promises, it took on its shoulders the herculean task of answering all the 
arguments and misrepresentations directed against the instru- 
Job S Under° US ment h ? a11 the s °- called "leading" journals of the State. It 
taken by was a stupendous job and at the outset it practically had no 

The Chronicle support, but, as the campaign advanced and the people be- 
came aroused, the paper succeeded in securing assistance, 
for it also found it necessary to effect an organization, hire halls and induce 
speakers to lay before voters the arguments in favor of the adoption of 
the new organic law. The financing of the movement for adoption was 
wholly assumed by Charles and M. H. de Young and backed by the re- 
sources of their paper, the San Francisco Chronicle. Its efforts were some- 
times referred to derisively, but it was impossible to charge that it was 
helped by the "interests," for they were all on the other side. The only 
support received was that which the people gave, but in the end it proved 
more profitable than that accepted by the other papers from the railroad, 
the insurance companies, the banks, the gas companies, the water company 
and practically every capitalist, merchant and business man of consequence 
in the city, who were all lined up against the instrument. 

It was a trying decision for the two brothers de Young to make, and 
there was more than one conference before it was reached. Virtually to 
assume an attitude of opposition toward the elements of a community from 
. which a newspaper derives the main part of its direct support 

Muzzle ° required nerve. Under ordinary circumstances, the business 

The P ai "t °f a community does not seek to interfere even remotely 

Chronicle with the policy of a newspaper. Only two such blunders 

have been made in California. The first was when the Vigi- 
lantes attempted to drive the Herald out of business in 1856, an act 
which the sagacious leader, William T. Coleman, condemned, and that 
of 1879, when pressure was exerted on advertisers to induce them to with- 
draw their patronage from The Chronicle. The first effort was practically 
successful, for the Herald died a lingering death. That directed against 
The Chronicle had a different outcome. When intelligence was brought 
to its proprietors by patrons who objected to underhand methods, that a 
committee of women, headed by the wife of a prominent railroad official, 
was threatening withdrawal of patronage from merchants advertising in 

The Sand Lot agitator of the seventies. 

Successful Political Fight 93 

The Chronicle, the bold announcement was made that The Chronicle pro- 
posed to discuss the Constitution on its merits, and that if any attempt was 
made to interfere with it doing so, it would resent it, or, to put it plainly, 
if it was struck it would strike back with all the vigor at its command. • 

The intimation sufficed; the intimidating committee was called off 
and during the remainder of the campaign the bureau trusted to defama- 
tion and such arguments as it could advance to encompass the defeat of the 
instrument. The silly lie most persistently iterated was that 
Not a S which misled the East and caused • it to condemn the pro- 

Sand-Lot posed organic law without giving it so much as cursory atten- 

Instrument tion. That any Eastern editor who denounced it as a sand- 
lot document ever read it through is inconceivable. The com- 
ment in the most prominent journals was silly twaddle, and could all be 
boiled down into a declaration of belief that the mob had taken possession 
of California. The Eastern press simply accepted the accusations of the 
bureau formed by the interests as facts. That they should have done so 
is, perhaps, not surprising, for the weight of so-called respectability was in 
the scales against aspirations for reform ; but it is cause for wonder that an 
investigator of the standing of the author of the American Commonwealth 
should have accepted statements so easily disproved. 

The Constitution of 1879 was not the product of the sand lot; it was 
framed by the best legal talent of the State, and it voiced the demand of 
the people for a system of taxation which would destroy the tendency to 
hold immense tracts of land in the ownership of single in- 
bsMtoe dividuals, and responded to the urgent need for the regula- 

Best Legal tion of transportation and other corporations. The move- 
Talent ment in favor ■oi holding a convention was started years be- 
fore the name of Denis Kearney became known and before the 
sand lot was used as a meeting place. On the night of September 7, 1877, 
Kearney made a speech in Dashaway Hall and announced that a meeting 
would be held on the lot in front of the City Hall, then in process of con- 
struction, on the following Sunday. But two years earlier resolutions had 
been adopted by the Senate and Assembly of the Legislature of 1875-76 
denouncing land monopoly, and, on the 3d of April, 1876, an act was 
passed authorizing the submission to the people of a proposal to hold a 
Constitutional Convention. The election was held on the 5th of September, 
1877, and the proposal was carried by a vote of 7-3,460 in favor, 44,200 
voting against. In conformity with the provision of the existing Constitu- 
tion, the Legislature of 1877-78 passed an act calling the convention and 
ordering an election of delegates, which was held on June 19, 1878. 

Bryce's indictment of California Legislatures, that they were composed 
of mediocre men and were hopelessly inefficient and often extremely cor- 
rupt, while in the main correct, did not accurately describe the body which 
assembled in December, 1877. The session was productive of 
Reforming several reform measures, and members seemed animated by a 
Legislature desire to remedy land abuses. It is true that many were 
under, the domination of the railroad, but there was a vigorous 
opposition to the attempt of Stanford, who personally super- 
vised the operations of a lobby which sought, to put through legislation de- 
sired by the railroad. It was at this session that Grove L. Johnson, the 
father of Hiram, introduced an act in the Assembly which had for its 


94 Journalism in California ' 

object the muzzling of the press. It was known as the retraction law, and 
was justly suspected of being inspired by the desire to gag The Chronicle, 
whose course had made it obnoxious to the interests and especially to the 
Central Pacific managers. The Chronicle defended the freedom of the 
press with its characteristic vigor, and succeeded in beating the measure in 
the House, in which it originated. It followed up its victory by an assault 
on the privilege which rascals had thitherto enjoyed of persuading Grand 
Juries m several counties to bring indictments simultaneously against pub- 
lishers of newspapers, and had placed on the statute books a law which 
limited the place of action to one county only. This principle was sub- 
sequently embodied in the Constitution of 1879, which recites that "indict- 
ments found, or information laid, for publication in newspapers, shall be 
tried in the county where such newspapers have their publication office, or 
in the county where the party alleged io be libeled resided at the time of 
the alleged publication, unless the place of trial shall be changed for good 

The convention finished its work on the 3d of March, 1879, and the 
Constitution was submitted as a whole to the electorate of the State on 
May 7, 1879. It was printed in its entirety in the newpapers, and 

during the sixty-five days between its submission and the 
Thoroughly election it received a more thorough discussion than any 
Discussed document ever submitted to the voters of this country. There 

Document were some of its provisions that received more attention than 

others, but none was ignored. When The Chronicle went 
into the contest, it did so with the intention of winning. The de Youngs 
were satisfied that it embodied the principal reforms for which they had 
contended when they decided upon advocating its adoption. If they had 
had any doubts on the subject they would have been speedily resolved by the 
action of the combined interests in forming a bureau equipped with 
$750,000 to beat the new Constitution. They had an uphill job before 
them, but they never faltered. Day after day their paper discussed every 
phase of the rather voluminous instrument. Column upon column was de- 
voted to argument and the editorial rooms were converted into a bureau of 
information. It was no unusual thing during the noon hour for men to 
abridge their lunch for the purpose of having some moot point resolved by 
the editor in order that they might successfully controvert an argument 
advanced by an antagonist. 

Never was a paper so . completely engrossed by one subject as The 
Chronicle was during the sixty-five days between March 3d and May 7th, 
1879. An article written by one of the editors, captioned, "One Hundred 

and One Eeasons Why the New Constitution Should Be 
c l iv Adopted," was submitted to Charles de Young, who directed 
Engrossed that it be used the next morning. The pressure of other 
Paper matter was so great the editor concluded that it could be held 

over until the following day. About midnight Mr. de Young 
appeared in the office and asked what position had been given the 101 article. 
He was told that it had been crowded out. "It must go," he repeated. 
"Come and show me where to put it," demanded the editor who added 
that there were already some thirteen columns of new Constitution matter 
in the paper and little else but advertisements. They adjourned to the 
composition room and inspected the forms. It was a hard problem he was 

Successful Politic al Fight 95 

called upon to solve, but the solution- came promptly. "Take out this, 
and this, and this," he said, rapidly indicating a number of features on 
the last page ; and the next morning The Chronicle appeared minus the 
bulk of its commercial matter. "They won't miss it," he remarked, "they 
(the public) are thinking too much about beating us to pay much attention 
to markets and stocks." His brother, M. H. de Young, was called upon to 
display equal energy in another field. On him devolved the work of or- 
ganizing meetings and securing meeting places, in the city and elsewhere. 
The task was not a light one. The bureau of the interests early in the 
discussion deliberately hired every obtainable hall for the purpose of shut- 
ing out the advocates of the new Constitution. They forgot the Mechanics' 
Pavilion, Mr. de Young secured it, and the biggest indoor meeting ever 
convened in California was held under its roof. The floor area was so 
large that there were practically three meetings in full blast at once, there 
being enough speakers to go around. 

When the morning of May 7th arrived, M. H. de Young was so con- 
fident of success he laid in a stock of fireworks for the purpose of celebrat- 
ing the victory. There being but one proposition, the vote was easily and 
quickly counted, and the night was still young when bombs, 
in'Seadiness skyrockets, roman candles and red fire announced to the 

for people of San Francisco that the new Constitution had been 

Victory adopted by a decisive majority. The vote was an unusually 

full one, 145,093 out of a total of 161,000 qualified electors 
casting their ballots. When the vote was finally canvassed, it was learned 
that the instrument had been adopted by a majority of 10,825. Words 
cannot describe the disappointment and chagrin of the men operating the 
bureau. They had derided the influence of The Chronicle and laughed at 
its predictions of success. They did not realize that, for the time at least, 
the people of California were bent on securing the reforms which the new 
Constitution promised them. Their astonishment was so great that they 
forgot that in denouncing The Chronicle for bringing about the result 
they were paying the paper an unequivocal compliment, which it deserved, 
and that at the same time they were advertising the fact that its rivals were 
destitute of real influence. 

The Constitution of 1879 deserved the support which the people gave 
it, for it provided the means to effect every reform demanded by them. It 
created a Eailroad Commission with powers as plenary as those conferred 
upon the Interstate Commerce Commission by Congress, or 
Deserved ^y * ne D0( ty which now effectively restrains the transportation 

Support companies of the State. It created a State Board of Equali- 

It Received zation which, had not a corrupt court deliberately misinter- 
preted the provisions of the article creating it, must have 
completely eradicated the practice of favoring large landowners at the 
expense of the general taxpayer, and which, even after its emasculation, 
sufficed to remove the chief abuses which raised the cry of unequal taxation 
and made the growth of land monopoly impossible. The adoption of the 
Constitution of 1879 was followed by the cry that it was driving capital 
out of the State. It is true that some owners of money left California, but 
they were chiefly of the sort the State was well rid of, and, besides, they 
had milked the kind of people upon whom they preyed dry. Their de- 
parture was so speedily followed by an era of prosperity that a careless 


Journalism in California 

writer might easily fall into the blunder of assuming that their exit had 
something to do with the change for the better, if he were not warned that 
the true cause was the sudden awakening to the fact that it pays a people 
better to devote their energies to the development of resources than it does 
to speculate or sit in a game with men who hold marked cards. 



Journalistic Progress in San Francisco — History iir Outline — Appearance of News- 
papers During the Seventies — Breaking Away From Conventionalized Methods — 
San Francisco's First Eight-Page Paper — An- Old-Time Supplement— News- 
paper Offices on Side Streets — Publication Center in Unsavory Quarters — 
The Chronicle's Bold Move to Kearny Street — First San Francisco Newspaper 
to Have a Real Home of Its Own — Newspapers That Lacked Confidence in the 
Future — Changes in Ownership of Papers — The Bulletin and Call Under Picker- 
ing, Fitch and Simonton — Printing on a Hand-Fed Press— Highly-Paid Hand 
Composition — Newspaper Career of Henry George — Robert Louis Stevenson and 
the Newspapers — Bryce's Opinion of The Chronicle — Writers With Imagina- 
tion — The Pioneer Sunday Magazine of the Daily Press.of America — Reporting 
Sports and Sport News — San Francisco's First Sporting Editor — Newspaper 
Staffs Recruited From the Pulpit, the Schoolroom and the Bar — The Chronicle 
a Training School — Expounders of "Sound" Democratic Doctrine — Founding 
of the Argonaut — The News Letter and Its Writers — Samuel Seabough a 
Forceful Editorial Writer — Boosting a Senatorial Candidate and Its Results — ■ 
The Chronicle Gets a New Managing Editor. 

' NE swallow does not make a summer, nor does the recital 
of a single episode in the career of a great journal con- 
vey to the reader an accurate impression of the steps by 
which it reached the position and influence that en- 
abled it to make an almost single-handed fight against 
the combined interests of California. Neither is it 
possible by reviewing the growth of a single paper to 
tell a story complete in all of its details of the progress 
of journalism in San Francisco. That could be done only by following the 
course of each journal from the date of its first issue down to the present 
time, an almost impossible feat, even if its performance were desirable. It 
is feasible, however, to give the reader a tolerably comprehensive idea of 
the expansion of the modern newspaper by using. the career of a typical 
journal as an illustration of the processes by which distinction is achieved 
and a place won among the great publications of the world. The Chronicle 
may fairly be placed in this class, and the description of its exploits and 
growth, even when the connection between them and the development of 
the city in which it is published is not always perfectly clear, will convey 
to the acute reader a distinct impression of the causes that contributed to 
the alternations of prosperity and adversity of the community. 

But there is much in the story of the growth of a newspaper such as 
The Chronicle that is so closely linked up with the history of the city that 


98 Journalism in California 

its narration must bear some resemblance to historical writing. In the 

nature of things, however, the picture must be a mere outline, for events 

will be referred to which when they occurred occupied col- 

History umng and pageg in the recital of their details, but which must 

Outline be dismissed with a few lines, even when the more important 

happenings have been culled from the vast number recorded 
during the fifty years since the birth of the paper. There will 
also be descriptions in such a narration of innovations in journalism made 
from time to time during the past fifty years which will be recognized by 
, those in the profession as part of the experience of every growing news- 
paper, and some for which the claim will be made that The Chronicle was 
the first to institute them. Whenever such a claim is made, it will be ac- 
companied by corroborative dates, and the reason for assuming priority 
will be given. . 

In an earlier chapter, the appearance of the daily San Francisco papers 
was described as very conventional. Those in the business saw peculiarities 
in their publications, but to the average reader, excepting so far as size 
differentiated them, the various sheets must have looked very 
Looked much alike. They used type of the same sort, and the 

Much distaste for display was shared by all. They were not as 

Alike fearful of telling in head lines the contents of articles as the 

Philadelphia Ledger, which during the Civil War occasionally 
headed a bit of startling intelligence, "Important, If True," and let it go 
at that; but they were very chary of repetition, and assumed that people 
who bought papers did so to read what was printed in them, and that it 
was entirely superfluous to tell the story twice. Perhaps the fact that it 
was a less busy age than the present accounted for the absence of detail 
in heads, but it is more than likely that the poverty of uncultivated imagina- 
tion was responsible for such uninformative heads as "Miscellaneous," 
"General News," "Coast Intelligence," "Eastern Telegrams," and, occa- 
sionally, the very interesting announcement "By Wire," which was evi- 
dently supposed to be a sufficient voucher that what followed would be 
worth reading and, therefore, "like good wine, required no bush." 

The Chronicle, even in the days when it maintained the prefix "Drama- 
tic," showed a disposition to break away from the very serious set head and 
tried to convey an idea of the contents of an item in its caption. The 
conundrum habit had a great vogue in the late sixties, and 
Breaking during the seventies, and was responsible for numerous queer 

From Old heads. whose meanings are difficult to guess because we have 
Methods lost the key to the riddles. There was also a pronounced 

tendency to add piquancy to the heading of an item by using 
nicknames, or referring to eminent citizens as Tom This or Bill That, and 
the modern investigator is confronted with numerous obscurities, due to 
the use of slang which has long since lost its familiarity. But these were 
mere verbal departures. The form of the head was regulated and as 
rigorously adhered to as the laws of the Medes and the Persians. The 
composition room may have had something to do with this adherence to 
the stereotyped head, but, whatever the cause, it was not departed from 
for many years, and when a departure was made it was not in the direction 
of varying the type as is now the practice in most papers, but by increasing 
the number of lines of heading, all of which were set in modest type, 

m ftptttcbco CbiEimicU. 

VOL X-NO 135 



The Pioneer Sunday Magazine 99 

On December 19, 1869, The Chronicle printed an eight-page edition 
for which the claim was made that it was the largest paper ever issued in 
San Francisco up to that date. It was a Sunday issue and represented a 
s brave attempt to anticipate the modern Sunday magazine. 

Francisco's ^^ c ^ original articles as it contained were from local con- 
First Eight- tributors. The editor of those days was working in a re- 
Page Paper stricted field. The number of trained writers was relatively 
small and the propensity to break into print had not yet 
developed. There were no syndicates, and the Eastern press was not very 
far in advance of that of the West, so far as matter of a real or near 
literary character was concerned. The New York Ledger, Street and 
Smith's Weekly, Gleason's Literary Companion and "Dime Novels" were 
still the favorite literary pabulum on the other side of the Eockies, and the 
California editor who sought to make an interesting paper with a pair of 
scissors, a paste pot and a pile of Eastern exchanges had a hard time of it, 
and his paper exhibited the fact plainly. Some time in the late sixties the 
Evening Bulletin began to issue a two-page supplement, almost wholly 
devoted to the reproduction of matter derived from other papers. It usually 
started a page with a short story, the remainder of the two pages being 
made up of excerpts from magazines and reviews. The selections were 
well made and the supplement was held in great esteem by the serious- 
minded, who found plenty of good information, but the major part of it 
was from European publications. 

This feature of the Bulletin was maintained until the sale of the paper 
by its owner, George K. Eitch, and a copy of it produced in 1870 presented 
the same appearance, typographically and otherwise as it did twenty-five 
years later. This conservatism exhibited itself as well in the 
Offices* 1 " 6 ' daily Call, edited by his partner, Loring Pickering, and in 
on Side the methods of the two editors in securing the results at which 

Streets they aimed. The Call and the Bulletin had their business 

offices on Montgomery street, and their mechanical and 
editorial rooms were on Clay street, between Montgomery and Sansome, 
a neighborhood much affected by the San Erancisco press until 1879, when 
The Chronicle occupied its new building on the corner of Kearny and 
Bush streets. There was nothing pretentious about the quarters of the 
two publications of Messrs. Pickering and Fitch. Clay street, in that por- 
tion in which the newspapers had established their mechanical and editorial 
departments had long been favored by vegetable and poultry dealers, and 
there was a particularly unsavory market in the block between Montgomery 
and Sansome. Only the careful observer passing along the narrow thor- 
oughfare would note the modest sign in a dingy hallway bearing the simple 
legend "Editorial Eooms." This brief announcement sufficed to discover 
to the seeker where three of the leading morning papers were made. The 
Alta, which still flourished throughout the seventies, did not divorce its 
publication office from its printing department and editorial rooms, but 
so far as advertising itself was concerned, it did not make a much braver 
showing in its California-street quarters than its rivals, and, like them, 
it enjoyed the odors of a near-by general market. 

This retiring disposition is explained by the fact that until Mr. de 
Young made his bold move of constructing a building especially adapted 
to the needs of a newspaper, publishers seemed to be possessed of the idea 

100 Journalism in California 

that any makeshift place would serve the purpose of getting out a daily- 
paper, and, considering all the circumstances, they were justified in the 

assumption, for the making of a newspaper during the years 
Afniid aPerS P rior to the opening of the decade 1880-90 was a compara- 
of the tively simple affair, and publishers catered for a not very ex- 

Future acting public, or at least one which had not acquired the idea 

that innovation stood for improvement. The printers who 
started the Morning Call in 1856 were very modest in their aspirations. 
One of the number, who subsequently dropped out and established himself 
in Victoria, B. C, later remarked that they were "men who put on no 
frills." Their object was to print a newspaper on lines familiar to them, 
and it is probable that the thought that there might be a great change in 
methods never occurred to them. It would have been surprising if a co- 
operative body, made up of men with scarcely any capital, had entertained 
a more ambitious aim than to make a living out of their venture. 

That, indeed, was their purpose, a fact attested by the ease with which 
they were induced to surrender their shares when they received what they 
considered good offers for them. In 1867 Pickering began to acquire an 

interest in the Morning Call, and in the course of a couple of 
of U San° nS years the men who started the paper had disposed of their 
Francisco entire holdings in the concern. Pickering had been associated 

Journalism with Pitch as early as 1852 in the publication of a paper in 

Sacramento, known as the Times-Transcript, which was later 
removed to San Francisco, when the glories of the city nearest the placer 
diggings began to pale before the rising commercial importance of the port 
on the bay. They sold the Times shortly after its removal to San Francisco 
and bought the Alta California, which, in turn, they disposed of to Fred- 
erick W. McCrellish. The Alta during its career underwent many changes 
and had numerous owners. It was once the property of David C. Broder- 
ick, who, however, only maintained his interest in it long enough to carry 
through some of his political undertakings. Its era of greatest prosperity 
was that enjoyed when the business interests of the city withdrew their 
patronage from the Herald in 1856 at the instance of the Vigilance Commit- 
tee. After the sale of the Alta to McCrellish, the partnership of Pickering 
and Fitch was severed and the former went to Europe, where he spent 
several years. 

When Pickering acquired control of the Morning Call the old-time 
partnership with Fitch was resumed. J. W. Simonton, who was previously 
associated with them, also engaged in the venture. Most of the time of 

the latter, however, was spent in the East or devoted to the 
ofttie 68 ^ ew York , Associated Press, one of the numerous news 

Bulletin gathering concerns subsequently amalgamated into a national 

and Call . association. The conduct of the Bulletin, which ceased to 

issue a morning edition, devolved on Fitch, and the Call was 
looked after specially by Pickering. The two editors, who managed to 
maintain policies which may have appeared divergent to the uncritical as it 
was disclosed in their respective papers, were really very harmonious and 
understood each other perfectly. They worked in the same room, sitting at 
desks almost side by side. They were not very fastidious concerning their 
surroundings. Ella Sterling Cummings, in her "Story of the Files," has 
given us a description of the sanctum. It was an inside room, lighted by a 

The Pioneer Sunday Magazine 101 

skylight, which, on the occasion of her visit, was in such a leaky condition 
that a puddle of water stood on the floor. Their quarters, however, were 
no better than those assigned to the remainder of the editorial force ; those 
occupied by the compositors were far superior, for they boasted light and 
ventilation from the noisome street. 

The Chronicle's editorial and composition rooms were situated on the 
same side of Clay street and resembled in a general way those of its two 
competitors, for the rivalry between the papers at that time was not confined 

to the morning editions. Like the Call's editorial rooms, 
Street a those of The Chronicle were situated in the rear part of the 

Publication second floor, light and air being reserved for the compositors. 
Center The pressrooms of the paper were on the ground floor of the 

premises in the rear of the Clay-street building, and opened 
out on Sacramento street. During the seventies, The Chronicle was using 
a four-cylinder press, the printing for a considerable period being from 
the type on flat sheets of paper, which were folded with a special machine. 
Before growing circulation had suggested to The Chronicle proprietors the 
desirability of the perfecting press the Call had installed a French machine 
which was the first and last of the sort brought to the Coast, and was one 
of the few modern presses imported into the United States from Europe. 
The possession by the Call of this fast French press failed to have the effect 
which the installation of two Hoe perfecting presses by The Chronicle 
produced a few years later. There was no disposition manifested by its 
owners to increase the size of their issues, and the Call and Bulletin con- 
tinued to be put forth as four-page papers. This lack of enterprise prac- 
tically put The Chronicle's four-cylinder press in the running and per- 
mitted its owners to turn out a larger edition than its rivals. But while 
there was no trouble on this score there was much in the matter of time 
which had to be remedied by the introduction of faster machines and the 
stereotyping process. Before that was resorted to columns of type were at- 
tached to the surface of a rapidly revolving cylinder, against which the 
sheets of paper were carried on impression cylinders to the surface of the 
revolving cylinder, the feeding being done by hand. The process, com- 
pared with that of the perfecting press, which permits the use of an indef- 
inite number of plates produced by stereotyping from one or more forms, 
seems slow, but the multiplication of cylinders and the practices of printing 
four-page papers permitted the issuance of editions which seemed numeri- 
cally formidable in those days. 

The type was all set by hand, and the price of composition, like that 
of white paper, was high. In the closing years of the seventy decade San 
Francisco printers were better compensated than in any other city of the 

Union, excepting Washington, where an artificially high rate 
Pafd^" was ma i n tained through the instrumentality of the Govern- 

Hand ment Printing Office. The price per thousand ems was 60 

Composition cents, and this fact casts doubt on the assertion made in one 

of the encyclopedias that Henry George, "although of un- 
usual intelligence and energy," found great difficulty in supporting himself 
while in San Francisco, "and was often reduced to extreme want." The 
statement is followed by the explanation that "this was in part due to his 
uncompromising hostility to the all powerful railway interests and to other 
monopolies." As George was reputed to have been a good printer, this is 

102 Journalism in California 

obviously a mistake, for it is inconceivable that any compositor should have 
been reduced to want in San Francisco at the time. As a matter of fact, 
George was never an object of persecution, as has been represented, nor was 
his hostility to the railroad of a character calculated to provoke reprisals. 
Had there been any such feeling, George would not have been permitted 
to enjoy the sinecure of the gas inspectorship of San Francisco, to which he 
was appointed by a Governor by no means unfriendly to the railroad. When 
the fight over the adoption of the Constitution of 1879 was in progress, 
George arrayed himself against the instrument and his career at that period 
was not marked by any particular devotion to the objects which early re- 
formers sought to achieve. He certainly was completely at variance with 
the people of California on the question of excluding the Chinese, and he 
appeared to believe that no other reform was desirable excepting the de- 
struction of land monopoly. His proposed remedy to abate that evil did 
not disturb the railroad because of the existing arrangement which freed 
its lands from taxation until they were patented. 

It is idle to speak of a competent reporter or compositor suffering want 
in San Francisco during the seventies, and the tales that Henry George met 
with such an experience in this city must be regarded as pure inventions. 
His abilities were well enough known to enable him to reach 
Newspaper the position of managing editor of an evening paper and in 
Henro ^ a * ea P ac ity ne ma( ie his mark as a news gatherer and the 

George promoter of reforms. He had been recognized as a capable 

writer before he took the managing editorship of the Evening 
Post, and, doubtless, could have obtained a remunerative position at any 
time after leaving that paper had he not become absorbed in his project of 
Writing a book which had for its purpose the destruction of land monopoly. 
Instead of making it appear that the literary lines of George were made 
hard in San Francisco, the fact should be recognized that it was a munici- 
pal salary which enabled him to prosecute his great work in comparative 
comfort. The George story is matched by another linked up with the his- 
tory of San Francisco journalism of this period, which represented Eobert 
Louis Stevenson as being employed in the city department of the San 
Francisco Chronicle in the spring of 1880, and that he performed his 
work "in such an unsatisfactory manner that the item he was assigned to 
write had to be given to another reporter to put into English suitable to 
the readers of the paper and the latitude of California," and that lateT "he 
continued to write articles for the Sunday edition of The Chronicle, but 
that there is no indication that he thought affectionately of them, for he 
never rescued them from the files." If The Chronicle could have added the 
name of Eobert Louis Stevenson to the long list of distinguished authors 
who contributed to its columns in early days it would have done so 
cheerfully, but the records of the paper were carefully examined several 
years before the fire, and his name was not found on any pay roll during 
the period of his sojourn in California. The only boast the paper can 
make in connection with Stevenson's work, is that it was one of the first 
journals in America to recognize the merits of his writing, as Mr. McClure, 
who placed one of the author's first stories with The Chronicle,, can 

The slur contained in the article of one H. W. Bell in the Pall Majl 
Gazette which sought to convey the impression that the city editor of The 


Author of "Progress and Poverty." 


The Pioneer Sunday Magazine 103 

Chronicle in 1879 was unable to recognize good English, or having it 
offered to him rejected it, is amusing in view of the testimony of another 
English writer, James Bryce, who stated in his "American Commonwealth" 
, that at this particular time "the activity of The Chronicle 

Opinion counted for much, for it was ably written and went every- 

of The where," and that, indeed, was the case. If The Chronicle 

Chronicle had a distinguishing characteristic it was its propensity to 

get away from the dry-as-dust methods of its contemporaries, 
and with that object in view it was quick to engage good men when they 
presented themselves. It is true that the comparatively limited space neces- 
sitated brevity of treatment in dealing with ordinary occurrences, but it is 
astonishing to note in running through the files how often room was made 
for a bit of imaginative writing at the expense of crowded-out local. A 
case of this kind was presented when some reporter was permitted to de- 
scribe the exploits of a flying ship which made regular trips between San 
Francisco and China, consuming only three or four days in the passage. 
The writer located the station for arrivals and departures on the corner of 
Montgomery and Clay streets, and, in his mind's eye, he saw a big business 
doing. The article was unsigned, but it was probably the product of the 
pen of Thomas J. Vivian, who had a fondness for the fanciful and could 
make the seemingly impossible appear very probable. 

The journalism of the seventies was breaking away from the traditions 
of the first two decades of the city's growth. On December 19, 1869, The 
Chronicle printed the first eight-page daily paper produced in San Fran- 
cisco, and the announcement appeared in its columns that it 
TbePioneer was the largest paper printed in the city up to that time. 
Sunday That might be recognized as an important event, if it had 

Magazine not been so greatly overshadowed by subsequent perform; 

ances, but its size was not as significant as the intimations it 
gave forth of entering a field hitherto occupied by a couple of weekly papers, 
which were issued on Sundays, and whose demise, seems in some way linked 
up with the new departure of The Chronicle. It would scarcely be true 
to say that this issue was a distinct forerunner of the modern Sunday 
magazine, nevertheless there is abundant evidence in its makeup that there 
was a struggle to get original matter, and to present readable selections. 
There are many features common to the modern Sunday magazine con- 
spicuous by their absence. One seeks in vain for the voluminous accounts 
of sporting events with which readers are now regaled. Sports were not 
wholly ignored, but they were not reckoned as of enough consequence to 
be reviewed in a Sunday paper. Occasionally, however, a column was de- 
voted to the subject, which was modestly headed "Sporting Notes." Thomas 
E. Flynn, until recently proprietor of the Wasp, was probably the first 
sporting editor in San Francisco to conceive the idea that sports would 
occupy a big share of attention in this country, and before the seventy dec- 
ade was well advanced he was recognized as the sporting editor of The 

To be the sporting editor of a newspaper in the seventies did not imply 
that the writer filling the position devoted himself to that particular sort of 
work. A good reporter in that period was qualified to deal with any matter 
that came up; he could report a sermon with the same facility that he de- 
scribed a horse race, and was equally at ease at a "slugging" contest as at 

104 Journalism in Ca lifornia 

a college commencement. Since that time there has been a great deal of 
specialization in journalism, but there were many reporters in the seventies 
who would easily fit in to many of the positions created under the change 

of method. The jokesmith in dealing with this phase of 
Editor S journalism has managed to convey the impression that when 
of the the sporting editor combined with his duties the work of 

Seventies reporting a religious occurrence that he brought to his task 

the cultivation of the stables, but, oftener than otherwise, the 
reverse was the case, for in the days when there were no colleges of journal- 
ism the local room was frequently recruited from the pulpit and the school- 
room, the training of which was not at all calculated to impair the efficiency 
of those who entered the field which presented an opportunity for a better 
all around acquaintance with mankind than they were able to obtain in 
the callings they abandoned. The local rooms of San Francisco journals in 
the seventies also drew upon the legal profession, and not a few who found 
the job of reaching eminence in the law an uphill one resorted to newspaper 
• work as affording a surer income than practice in the courts. The ranks 
of the editorial writers were filled up in the same fashion and embraced a 
number who found writing a more congenial occupation than teaching the 
young idea how to shoot or hunting for clients. Occasionally, a doctor 
strayed into journalism, but medicos rarely achieved success. 

It would be impossible to name all those who contributed to bringing 
about the manifest change in San Francisco journalism which occurred dur- 
ing the seventies. Long before the close of the decade the work of reporters 

had ceased to be what it was when George E. Barnes de- 
Time scribed it as "beneath contempt." This deservedly harsh 
Reporters criticism came from a man well qualified to pass judgment, 

for he was an excellent observer and had a distinctive style. 

The paper on which he worked had other good writers on 
its local staff, notably Hugh J. Burke and Barbour Lathrop, but the limita- 
tions of the Call were an obstacle to effectiveness. Its director was as firmly 
convinced as Whitelaw Eeid that the newspaper of the future would be a 
sort of epitome of daily events written by Macaulays, a view which ignored 
the fact that the historian of the English revolution, while not a diffuse 
writer, required a great deal of space in which to express his views and 
paint his word pictures. Perhaps the most significant fact in the history of 
San Francisco journalism during the seventies was the value attached to a 
training on The Chronicle, and the ease with which an attache of that paper 
could obtain a position on a rival journal. Among the number who worked 
on The Chronicle during the seventies who transferred their services to 
other fields may be mentioned A. B. Henderson, who filled the city editor's 
desk under Charles de Young for several years and subsequently became 
managing editor of the Call and later of the Examiner. Albert Sutliffe, 
one of the best all around men in San Francisco journalism in the closing 
years of the seventies, did the dramatic criticism of The Chronicle and the 
book reviews. On the outbreak of the Tong King rebellion in 1884, which 
resulted in the establishment of a French protectorate over that part of 
China, Sutliffe was sent to the seat of war and had the distinction of pene- 
trating the lines of the rebels known as the "Black Flags" and securing an 
interview with the chiefs, which, after its publication in The Chronicle, was 
translated and printed in the leading journals of France. After the quelling 

The Pioneer Sunday Magazine 105 

of the rebels, Sutliffe made his way to Europe, his object being to visit the 
principal countries with a view of studying their horticultural and iflori- 
cultural methods for the purpose of writing a series of articles for 
The Chronicle. Subsequently he acted as Paris correspondent of the 

Among the contemporaries of Sutliffe were Daniel ,0'Connell, Arthur 

McEwen, Joseph Goodman, Chester Hull, Will N. Hart, W. S. Dewey. 

Thomas E. Flynn, James V. Coffey, Frank Gassaway, John Timmins, 

Ernest C. Stock, who was police reporter for half a century; 

of S°o U und Frank Ballin g er > who went from th e city room of The 

Democratic Chronicle to the city desk of the Call ; G. B. Densmore, who 
Doctrine wrote editorials for the Call and dramatic criticisms for the 

Bulletin; William Bausman, Sam Davis, Frank Pixley, 
Fred Somers and Samuel Seabough. It is so long since Judge Coffey wrote 
for the press only old-timers will remember that he was the principal edi- 
torial writer for the Examiner during the period preceding its purchase by 
George Hearst, the father of William E. Hearst, who secured it to forward 
his Senatorial aspirations. The Examiner was a faithful expounder of 
Democratic doctrine, and, while Mr. Coffey was contributing to its columns, 
it indulged in no heretical outbreaks. As was the fashion at the time, 
Democrats were apt to select journalists as political representatives, and 
the Judge was thus rewarded. He was sent to the Legislature in 1877 and 
his ability was there recognized by his election to the chairmanship of the 
San Francisco delegation of the Assembly, which at that time numbered 
twenty and wielded a much greater influence than at present. During his 
legislative career, the Judge was foremost in the reform movements of the 
session, and subsequently he was placed on the bench by his fellow citizens, 
who manifest an inclination to make his term perpetual. 

Frank Pixley, the founder of the Argonaut, did editorial work for 
The Chronicle before he began his career of antagonism to a couple of 
elements in the community, the Jews and the Catholics. The fact that he 

was able to maintain apparently friendly personal relations 
Founders w ^ ^ e P e0 P^ e he was constantly assailing gave rise to an 

f the impression that his animosities were not as deep-seated as 

Argonaut would be inferred from a perusal of some of his leaders, in 

which he was in the habit of introducing nicknames so 
picturesque that they may have seemed more amusing than hateful to those 
whom he abused. Associated with him in the publication of the Argonaut 
was Fred Somers, who for a time was a reporter on The Chronicle and ' 
represented it in the Legislature of 1875-76. He was addicted to telling 
the truth without regard to the feelings of the person upon whom he re- 
flected and one fine day a member from Mariposa county, whom he ac- 
cused of being in the service of the railroad, hit him over the head with a 
cane and nearly killed him. He recovered, however, and had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing his assailant driven out of politics. Somers severed his con- 
nection with the Argonaut to start Current Opinion, which, under his 
management, became a financial success. The News Letter, founded by 
Frederick Marriott, the father of the present proprietor, was a widely read 
journal during the seventies, and was known all over the Coast for its 
caustic comment on current affairs. It was on this paper that Ambrose' 
Bierce's work first attracted attention, and San Francisco rendered a verdict 
upon its merits which has since been ratified by the literary world. 

106 Journ alism in California ^^^^^ 

Samuel Seabough, for many years one of the principal writing editors 
of The Chronicle, commenced his journalistic career on the Sacramento 
Union and remained with it during the time of its bitterest antagonism of 

the railroad. He arrived in California about the time the 
Forceful earliest gold seekers made their appearance and engaged in 

Editorial the search for the precious metal, but, failing of success, he 

Writer became a school teacher. He was a reader of few books, 

but they were of the best, and he read them thoroughly. He 
almost knew his Gibbon by heart, and was prone to draw illustrations from 
and find analogies in the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," and, 
like many English writers, he laid great stress upon the value of the King 
James version of the Bible. His strength as a writer, however, was much 
more dependent on his familiarity with current legislation, State and 
national, than upon his literary attainments. He was an assiduous reader 
of the Congressional Eecord, and a close student of statistics, which he de- 
lighted in analyzing and drawing inferences from. He produced remarka- 
bly clean copy, an erasure or a correction rarely appearing in what he 
wrote. He had a habit of leaning back and rocking in his chair before be- 
ginning an article, and when he started he usually wrote to a finish without 
a pause. What he wrote required no correction, if the subject and tone 
were acceptable. His forte was stinging criticism of railroad abuses, but, 
like Silas Wegg, he occasionally dropped into poetry. When the sap began 
to rise an editorial redolent of the perfume of the woods and the fields was 
forthcoming, and when the leaves began to fall there would be an article 
breathing the melancholy of autumn. When he died the editor of The 
Chronicle had a score or more of his editorials on hand which were subse- 
quently published, a fact which may suggest that they were not of an 
ephemeral character. 

Among the spectacular entrances into the journalistic field during the 
seventies was the Daily Mail. It was started early in 1876 by D. D. 
Dalziel, a young Englishman, the husband of Dickey Lingard, a popular 

soubrette. Just what prompted Dalziel to embark on this 
and the venture is not quite clear, but it very soon developed that 

Evening the new aspirant for public favor was to boost the candidacy 

Mail of Mark McDonald for the United States Senatorship. Mark 

was a Democrat, but did not appear to be a favorite in rail- 
road circles and, therefore, failed of his ambition, the choice of the Legis- 
lature of 1877-78, guided by the railroad, falling upon a man named 
Farley, promptly nicknamed Champagne Farley, because of the copious 
libations of "fizz" which followed his triumph. When McDonald suffered 
defeat, he ceased supplying the sinews of war. While the money lasted, 
Dalziel made a good paper, employing such men as Pixley of the Argo- 
naut and David Nesfield to write editorials. During its brief career, the 
Mail had three city editors, S. F. Sutherland, Arthur McEwen and John 
Paul Cosgrove. Among the reporters were numbered Dan O'Connell, a 
bohemian of bohemians, whose memory is still annually honored with a 
dinner by the members of the Bohemian Club ; Will L. Yisscher, John H. 
Delahanty, George B. Mackrett, Thomas E. Flynn, Charles J. McCarthy, 
Henry Goddard, Charles B. Flannagan, Harry McCausland and John 
St. Muir. On the demise of the Mail Dalziel disappeared from the scene, 
and his force was absorbed by the surviving city papers. 

The Pioneer Sunday Magazine 107 

It was about this time that Charles de Young decided to relieve him- 
self of part of the heavy burden he had taken on his shoulders. Up to 
1878, Charles practically looked after the details of the editorial depart- 
ment, while his brother, M. II., gave his attention to the 
2? e , rapidly expanding business of the paper. One or two at- 
NewManaglnK^ !m P^ s ^° ^ n< ^ a HU 'table managing editor had been made by 
Editor importing Eastern journalists of experience, but they did 

not fit into their new environment. In 1877 the writer of 
this sketch, who had commenced his newspaper career on the San Diego 
Union when it began the publication of a daily in 1870, and afterward 
had filled the city desk of the Washington Chronicle, and served on the 
Washington staff of the Chicflgo Times as correspondent on the Senate side 
of the Capitol, returned to California. He found no difficulty in securing 
a position on The Chronicle and during the summer of 1877 was chiefly 
employed doing special work. During the winter of 1877-78 he reported, 
the doings of the Legislature in its last session under the old Constitution. 
After its adjournment, on his return to San Francisco, Charles de Young 
offered him the managing editorship of the paper, coupling the offer with 
the announcement that he was about to depart for Europe. The offer came 
as a surprise, but was promptly accepted. At the time, John Timmins, who 
had grown up with The Chronicle, wan nominally managing editor. He 
was a valuable man, but Mr. de Young had never devolved the duties of 
manager upon him. It is characteristic of Charles de Young that when he 
bade good-by to his new managing editor he earnestly requested him to 
endeavor to reconcile Mr. Timmins to the change. The effort to do so was 
attended with success, and he remained on the staff of the paper until the 
middle of the eighties. 



San Francisco's First Newspaper Building — The Chronicle's Home on the Corner 
of Kearny and Bush Streets — An Exhibition of Confidence in the Future — A 
Thoroughly Up-to-Date Plant — Those Who Inspected It Believed It Would 
Never Be Outgrown — First American Demonstration of Electric Lighting in 
Chronicle Office — An Illustration of the Journalism That Does Things — When 
Kearny and Bush Streets Was the City's Center — The Germ of the Index Card 
System — The Chronicle 's Contemporary Library — A Big Account of a Big Fire — 
The Big Inyo Earthquake Pictured by The Chronicle — The Diamond Mine 
Swindle Exposure — The Battle in the Lava Beds With Modoc Indians — An In- 
terview Which Attracted World-Wide Attention — When Interviewing Was Much 
in Vogue — Passengers by Eail From the East Win Distinction — Publication 
of Letter Lists — No Press Club in Early Days — Newspaper Men Who Were 
Bohemians — The Glorification of San Francisco and Its Atmosphere — Liberal 
Use of the Wire. 

N THE 29th of September, 1879, The Chronicle, then in 
the fifteenth year of its existence, moved into a build- 
ing, especially constructed for its use on the northeast 
corner of Kearny and Bush streets. ■ It was a journalistic 
event of importance because it marked the beginning in 
San Francisco of a new newspaper point of view. 
Hitherto the publishers of daily papers in San Fran- 
cisco had acted as if their business was a makeshift 
affair, devoid of elements of permanency. Even in cases in which capital 
was not lacking, proprietors of daily papers had pursued hand-to-mouth 
methods which suggested instability. Their publication offices were dis- 
sociated from the premises in which their papers were produced, and their 
quarters were invariably rented. The propensity of those pursuing the 
same avocation to get close together caused them to plant themselves in 
the narrow and somewhat unsavory streets in the neighborhood of the City 
Hall, which was then situated on the spot where the Hall of Justice now 
stands, and there they showed a disposition to remain until the brothers 
de Young made the bold move which carried them several blocks away from 
what was then regarded as the business center of the city, and they thus 
advertised their confidence in the future of San Francisco, and their 
pride in their paper, by establishing themselves in a building which for a 
period was as well known as the lofty structure erected in 1890 by M. H. 
de Young on the corner of Market, Geary and Kearny is today. 

It was not merely the new building that gave importance to the move 



Erected by the brothers, Charles and'M. H. de Young in 1879 on 

corner of Kearny and Bush streets. 

First Real Newspaper Building 109 

i!- C ^ ^ U * ^^ e Chronicle f0 prominently in the public eye; its equipment, 
which, the proprietors took good care to exhibit to the most prominent 
citizens of San Francisco at a reception tendered to them, announced that 
A journalism was no longer to be a haphazard affair in San 

Thoroughly Francisco, but an institution which would thenceforth devote 
Up-to-Date itself with increased energy to the promotion of the interests 
Plan * of the city, and the commonwealth. It had already given am- 

ple evidence of intelligent virility with the restricted means 
at its command, but in its new quarters, and with a thoroughly up-to-date 
plant, and all the means necessary to produce a great paper, it announced 
its intention to surpass its previous exploits, a promise which it faithfully 
kept. To those who viewed the first real newspaper building of San 
Francisco on that September day in 1879 nothing seemed lacking, and 
more than one expert who inspected the spick and span new machinery and 
appliances from the two Hoe perfecting presses in the basement and the en- 
gine which provided the power to revolve their cylinders, to the conven- 
iences for mailing in the fifth story, was ready to admit that there was 
little opportunity to improve on the plant of The Chronicle, and joined in 
the prediction that it would be a long time before the marvelous facilities 
exhibited to their wondering gaze would be worked to their limit. Among 
the visitors were many journalists from interior cities, and they united in 
the expression of the opinion that the two wonderful web presses, each 
capable of printing 33,000 copies of The Chronicle in an hour, would al- 
ways meet circulation requirements, no matter how great the expansion. 

Those were days when men expressed themselves in big terms when 
speaking of the future, but a review of their actions suggests that their 
faith was cast in a mold which was inimical to expansion. They spoke 
with unbounded confidence of a city that would be inhabited 
and 6aS '^ millions, and planned for one of thousands. The narrow- 

Inadequate ness which, had impelled Horace Hawes, when he framed 
Plans the consolidation act in 1856, to throw out what is now San 

Mateo county, and confined the city to its present restricted 
area, had worn away to some extent, and men had begun to -think that 
population might flow beyonk Polk street, which was then the most dis- 
tant thoroughfare penetrated by the Clay-street cable road, but they had 
no more conception of the needs of a million inhabitants than we have of 
the numbers billion or trillion. Impressions concerning the future of 
newspapering were equally vague. Every one who gave the matter a 
thought felt assured that it would have a great expansion, but the most 
penetrating were not able to guess the phenomenal changes which were to 
take place before The Chronicle should round out the first half century of 
its existence. Yet the germs of most of these would have been perceptible 
to the discerning had the belief in the possibility of boundless accomplish- 
ment which now obtains been existent at the time. 

But it was not. It was easy to quote the trite observation that great 
oaks grow from little acorns, but imagination was not sufficiently developed 
to create mental forests of mighty trees from the imperfectly recognized 
seeds which were about to germinate. A short time before the opening of 
The Chronicle's new building, on the return of Charles de Young from the 
Paris Exposition of 1878, he brought with him a Gramme electrical 
machine, and three or four Jablochkoff candles, which were used to illumi- 

110 Journalism in C alifornia 

nate the local room of the paper, while it was still in its clingy quarters on 
Clay street, and to make a display in front of the publication office, which 
was then situated on Montgomery street near Commercial. Father Neri, 
one of the professors in the Jesuit College, then occupying 
Demonstration ^ e P resen t s ite of the Emporium department store on Mar- 
of Electric ket street, had given an exhibition on the night of July 4, 
Lighting 1876, of an arc light which he had fashioned, the electricity 

for which was produced by a French machine; but The 
Chronicle's efforts were directed toward demonstrating that a new illu- 
minant had arrived, Mr. de Young having unbounded faith that it would 
soon displace gas. It was the first attempt in the United States to utilize 
electricity for lighting purposes. It was not a great success, the candles 
sputtering, the current created being defectively supplied, but it was a 
newspaper triumph of the first magnitude, and caused more talk in San 
Francisco than any of the previous feats of The Chronicle, affording one of 
the earliest illustrations of "the journalism that does things." It likewise 
provided innumerable texts for editorial comment on "the light of the 
future," in which the prediction was freely and repeatedly made that it 
would displace all other illuminants. 

When the new Chronicle building was erected, part of its prediction 
concerning the use of electricity was already in a fair way toward realization. 
A little more than a year had elapsed since the first sputtering Jablochkofi 
lamp was exhibited in front of the Montgomery-street office 
San riUlant of The chr o ni de, but in that brief interval the Brush machine 
Francisco had been perfected to such a degree that it was determined to 

Corner make the new quarters of the paper the most attractive part 

of town after nightfall, and this was accomplished by erecting 
ornamental iron posts surmounted by arc lamps, the wires for which were 
led through the hollow cores of the posts from the basement of the building. 
There were six of these lamps on Kearny and Bush streets and the blaze 
of light was considered one of the sights of the city. The corner was then 
in the midst of the amusement center, three of the principal theaters being 
on Bush street, the California, the Bush and the Standard. The new 
Baldwin on the corner of Market and Powell streets was still voted a little 
far out, although promenaders — the practice of taking a walk after nightfall 
was still in vogue — made it the western boundary of their "constitutional." 
But no one saw in this extension of the use of electricity the fore- 
runner of its general application to the processes of producing a daily paper, 
nor did any observer on that opening day see in the three hundred tin boxes 
in pigeon holes ranged along the blank wall of a narrow room 
of the™ what was doubtless the germ of the index card system, and 
Index Card of the vertical file now in such general use. A few papers 
System of the East had inaugurated the practice of preserving in- 

formation concerning individuals, the outcome of which is 
known in newspaper offices as "the morgue," and some had thought it 
worth their while to index the contents of their papers. Both of these con- 
veniences had been adopted by The Chronicle while quartered in the Clay- 
street editorial rooms, and a respectable array of scrap books had ac- 
cumulated. Much of the scrapped matter being ephemeral in character, 
the number of useless books increased. The resort to the tin boxes was 
for the purpose of thinning out matter which appeared to be oj no further 

First Real Newspaper Building 111 

use. Naturally, it occurred to the librarian, and such a functionary was 
promptly appointed when the new building was occupied, to put the clip- 
pings where he could easily find them. This he accomplished by arranging 
his boxes in the same fashion as the index of a ledger, and from this begin- 
ning The Chronicle's filing boxes came to be numbered by the thousand. 
The late Whitelaw Eeid, who was much interested in the details of news- 
paper methods, on the occasion of his frequent visits to San Francisco was 
in the habit of dropping into The Chronicle office, and invariably took a 
look through the library, which he complimented as the best arranged of 
any paper in the country, and it is on his authority that the statement is 
made that The Chronicle was the first to apply the principle of the index 
card system in a newspaper office. 

Toward the close of the seventies there was a marked change in the 
morale of the forces of newspapers on the Coast and in Eastern cities, 
which sometimes was made the subject of comment. But, as is often the 

case, when the facts are only half understood, the criticism 
Journalism * s * 00 severe > being based on the erroneous assumption that 
That Does intemperance was the rule, whereas it was merely the excep- 
Things tion, even in the most indulgent offices. Had this not been 

the case, The Chronicle, in the history written in 1879, in 
which it described its achievements, could not have presented so long a list 
of successes, especially in the field which some recent ill-informed writers 
imagine was not discovered before that date. Long before the now famous 
editor of the New York World was credited with inaugurating the journal- 
ism that does things, The Chronicle had been working along those lines. 
It had scarcely emerged from its dramatic form before it began investigat- 
ing abuses and exposing them, the result being a long list of reforms ac- 
complished. But it was fully as busy in the work of construction, as the 
account in the chapter describing the part it played in securing a much- 
needed Constitution for the State abundantly testified. 

But the paper distinguished itself in the work which the conservative 
thinker has always contended is the true function of a newspaper, namely, 
the printing of the news. It has been related how during the excitement 

of the earthquake of 1868 it took the pains to gather details 
Account an< ^ i ssue i n extras accounts of the extent of the damage, 

f a which had the effect of removing the fears ptodueed by 

Big Fire uncertainty. Considering the youth of the journal, this was 

a notable exploit, but not more significant than its treatment 
of the Chicago fire of October 10, 1871. The disaster was the greatest 
of its kind .experienced in any American city up to that date and a tele- 
graphic account of it, which required four columns space for its presenta- 
tion, was printed. But the length of the dispatch, and the fact that a head 
twenty and a half inches deep and one column wide preceded the account 
of the fire is less notable than the accompanying sketch of great conflagra- 
tions in ancient and modern times which was written with such a knowl- 
edge of the subject treated as to preclude the idea that the writer's source 
of information was the encyclopedia. It was an interesting study and a 
precursor of much more of that sort of work to be done in the future. 

In 1872, on April 14th of, that year, Inyo county was visited by a 
severe earthquake, which was accompanied by loss of life and many mar- 
velous physical changes. All the papers contained accounts of the event, 

112 Journalism in California 

but The Chronicle dispatched a man to the scene of the disturbance, who 
was able to sketch as well as describe the event and the changes it wrought. 
On the following Sunday The Chronicle appeared with an extended de- 
scription, accompanied by a full page of pictures, consisting 
Illustration f f our i arge cuts d rawll on WO od. Unlike the finished draw- 
g I a ing of the artist Tojetti, executed for the paper some years 

Disaster earlier, these cuts were sketchy and somewhat amateurish. 

But crude as they were, they satisfactorily illustrated the 
event, and made clear the allusions in the description. In the same year, 
on November 26, 1872, another illustration was furnished of the fact that 
Charles de Young was convinced that pictures and maps were to be a 
feature of daily journalism. An entire page was devoted to a map which 
showed the region in which diamonds were said to have been found. The 
alleged discovery was a cunningly devised scheme of a group of rogues and 
succeeded in separating several wealthy San Franciscans from some of their 
hard cash. The deception was accomplished by "salting" a considerable 
area with African diamonds, purchased in London. Preceding the salting 
a couple of apparently rough miners made their appearance in the ciiy 
with a lot of stones about the value of which they professed to be uncertain, 
but they suspected them to be diamonds. The story soon spread, and the 
rich "suckers" referred to became interested. The character of the stones 
was determined by sending them to New York, where the Tiffanys, after 
examining them, said they were worth about $150,000. An "expert" 
was sent to the alleged diamond fields, the location of which was kept 
secret. He found more diamonds. A company was formed to operate the 
mines, but before it got to work Clarence King of the United States Geo- 
logical Survey exploded the mine. He had been over the whole country and 
was certain that there was no diamond formation. Convinced of this fact, 
he caused inquiries to be made in London and learned of the purchase of a 
lot of African diamonds in the rough by an American, who turned out to 
be one of the pair who engineered the swindle which cost the dupes over 

In the following year The Chronicle had an opportunity to distinguish 
itself by furnishing its readers with earlier and fuller accounts of the last 
Indian uprising in California, an event which attracted national attention 
and brought two or three Eastern correspondents to the Coast. 
Accounts It was the so-called Modoc war, which was brought on by the 

?* J ne murder of General Canby and Dr. Thomas by Captain Jack, 

Indian War John Sconehin, Black Jim and Boston Charley. The Gen- 
eral and the doctor went to the Klamath country to inquire 
into the grievances of the Indians, who had been threatening trouble for 
some time. There were conferences and in the course of one of them the 
General and Dr. Thomas were treacherously murdered. After the com- 
mission of the deed, the Indians fled to the lava beds of Modoc county. 
Troops were sent to dislodge them from their fastness, but they managed to 
evade rounding up for over a year. The murders were committed in April, 
1872, but the murderers were not captured until the tribe was subdued. 
The four Indians mentioned above were tried and executed on the 3rd of 
October, 1874. The progress of the war had been followed for The 
Chronicle by a special correspondent, and when the culminating event 
occurred its representative succeeded in getting his report into San Fran- 
cisco ahead of all competitors. 

First Real Newspaper Building 113 

Another triumph was scored by The Chronicle in May, 1874, by the 
discovery in San Francisco of Henri Eochefort, who had managed to elude 
the vigilance of reporters after his escape from New Caledonia. The 

notorious Frenchman not only consented to be interviewed, 
Interview ^ e was a ^ so persuaded to tell the story of how he contrived 

With Henri to get away from the island in which he had spent some years 
Rochefort of exile in a signed article in which he made some interesting 

comments on political conditions in France. These were 
made on the eve of his departure from the city and caused quite a ferment 
in the French colony, which apparently failed to share the sentiments ex- 
pressed, and if a resolution passed by a local club correctly represented the 
opinion of its members, they believed that The Chronicle had committed a 
breach of international courtesy in permitting the ex-communist to discuss 
the affairs of France in an American journal. At this particular time 
interviewing had great vogue in San Francisco, and few persons of con- 
sequence escaped the enterprising reporter, who was almost invariably 
received with a show of courtesy easily construed into a welcome by the 
interviewer, who had less trouble in securing an expression of opinion than 
supposed by the outsider who too readily believed the animadversions upon 
the practice which sometimes found their way into the papers. 

During the seventies it was . the custom of the newspapers of San 
Francisco to have the names of passengers en route to the city telegraphed 
from Ogden. The practice was continued until the lists trespassed on space 

to such an extent that it was deemed expedient to omit their 
Passengers publication. When that was done, there was a wave of 
the'East protest which had to be met by an explanation that persons 

by Rail coming to San Francisco by rail from the East were of no 

more consequence than those who made their way into the 
city from other points and by other transportation routes. The readers of 
newspapers were exceedingly opposed to innovation and resented being de- 
prived of any feature to which they had become accustomed. It would be 
difficult to imagine any considerable number of patrons at the present 
day uniting in a round robin to a publisher concerning such a matter as the 
publication of a passenger list, but such communications were not uncom- 
mon at the time. In the early part of its career The Chronicle had under- 
taken the publication of the list of letters remaining unclaimed at the 
General Postoffice. The remuneration was insignificant, but it was sup- 
posed that the publication of the names created a demand for the paper. 
When the pressure for space began to be felt, an investigation was made 
which disclosed that it was not the subscribers or regular readers of the 
paper whose letters were uncalled for, but those of strangers whose acquaint- 
ance with the fact that the list was published was derived from a copy 
posted conveniently near the delivery window. Nevertheless, when the list 
was missed from its accustomed place on Monday morning, grave doubts 
were expressed by patrons as to the wisdom of the discontinuance. 

It will be inferred from the preceding statement that the community 
was' still very provincial in action and thought despite the fact that the local 
press was fond of dwelling on its metropolitan position. The inference 
would be perfectly justifiable. Eailroad communication with the East, 
which had been established for several years, did not accomplish all that 
was expected of it by a people who had been taught to believe that once in 


114 Journalism in California ^^^^ 

touch with the communities on the other side of the Eockies, habits would 
be revolutionized and we would at once fall into the mode of life of those 
„ on the Atlantic littoral. Never was an expectation subjected 

With r ° POllS to S reater disappointment. The first transcontinental rail- 
Provincial roa d was completed, and in the course of time it had several 
Ideas rivals; but California remained as if isolated, and the pecul- 

iarities inherited from the pioneers continued to endure in 
a form not always recognized, because they were disguised by words which 
obscured the fact. In some measure the press was responsible for this 
obscuration. It did not occur to the early workers on newspapers to form 
a club of their own, but they constituted a considerable and important ele- 
ment in- the Bohemian Club, which began its existence in the seventies. 
From its inception its membership, composed as it was of artists, literary 
and professional men, adopted the belief that there was something dis- 
tinctive about California worth maintaining, and they managed to convey 
it to the stranger who easily became convinced that San Francisco had an 
"atmosphere" of its own. An inspection of the newspaper files of the 
seventies and eighties exhibits the deep-seatedness of the conviction, for thev 
are filled with articles breathing the sentiment so assiduously cultivated 
in Bohemia. When their authorship is traced, they are found to be from the 
pens of such well-known men as John F. Bowman, editorial writer of The 
Chronicle, and a colleague of Samuel Seabough ; Charles Warren Stoddard, 
whose connection with The Chronicle extended over many years; Hugh 
Burke' of the Call and Bulletin; Peter Eobertson, for many years dramatic 
critic of The Chronicle; Fred M. Somers; Dan O'Connell and others. 

All of these writers in one way and another contributed to the glorifica- 
tion of San Francisco as a place apart, and they were aided and abetted by 
the community generally, which loved to be spoken of as the metropolis of 
the Pacific Coast, while insisting on the retention of habits of 
Use ^ e an< ^ mo< l es °^ thought which contradicted the assumption 

of the that the city was thoroughly cosmopolitan. As a matter of 

Wire fact, it was nothing of the sort during the seventies and for 

several decades after. That is as abundantly testified to as 
the other statement that there was an undue quantity of community adula- 
tion. But, while the people of San Francisco were thus disposed to speak 
well of themselves, they never lost interest in outsiders. As the city papers 
grew prosperous they became patrons on a large scale of the telegraph 
company, bringing extended reports of all happenings of importance in the 
East or in Europe. The publishers of The Chronicle thought that the 
rejoinder of Henry Ward Beecher to the charges made against him by 
Theodore Tilton was interesting enough to warrant having the whole of it 
telegraphed, and, when General Custer was killed by Indians, it devoted 
three columns of special to the tragedy. It has already been told that when 
George M. Pinney made his charges involving Secretary of the Navy Bobe- 
son and a Senator and Congressman that it deemed the matter of enough 
importance to have several thousand words wired from Washington. The 
same lively interest was manifested in European doings, the San Francisco 
Chronicle reporting the occurrences of the Franco-Prussian war as fully 
as its Eastern contemporaries. It can hardly be said that the interest was 
reciprocal. When The Chronicle was being assailed by the Federal ring by 
means of criminal libel trials, although the testimony pointed to official 

First Real Newspaper Building 


turpitude in high circles at the national capital, a scant fifty or sixty words 
daily was deemed a sufficient number to keep the Eastern public apprised of 
the progress of an investigation of national importance. That has always 
been the course pursued by the Eastern press in dealing with California 
affairs; publishers on the other side of the Bockies have permitted the cost 
of long haul to interfere with their judgment of the importance of an 
event. The San Francisco press very early learned to be cosmopolitan in 
its treatment of news. 



Besult of Adoption of Constitution of 1879 — There Was No Hegira of Capital — The 
Last Big Mining Stock Deal — A Quietus on Stock Gambling — The Constitution's 
Adherents "Were the People of the Interior — Greed of Agitators for Office an 
Obstacle to Eealization of Benefits — Charles de Young' the Ablest Newspaper Man 
Produced by San Francisco — The Beception to General Grant — It Enabled The 
Chronicle to Set the Pace in Beporting — A World-Beating Journalistic Exploit — 
A People Proud of Their Paper — Another Great Beport of a Big Local Event — 
The Author's Carnival — The First Seal Woman Journalist — A Case of Make- 
shift Illustration — Benewal of Prosperity — The Crusade Against Chinese Immi- 
gration—Passage of the Exclusion Act by Congress— A Great Wheat Produc- 
ing State — Popularity of The Chronicle's Annuals— The Chronicle's Thorough- 

HE adoption of the Constitution of 1879 produced none of 
the dreadful consequences predicted by its opponents. 
There was no hegira of capital. It is true that a few 
men who had made some money in the mining stock 
gamble deserted San Francisco, but their departure was 
due, not to the operation of the new fundamental law, 
but to the fact that the speculative craze had spent its 
force, the depletion of the resources of the people, and 
the continued exposure of the tricks and devices of the manipulators to 
coax money from the pockets of the dupes having effected something like 
a lasting reform. There was something like a revival of the old-time excite- 
ment produced by a cleverly worked up interest in the Sierra Nevada mine, 
which caused its stock to advance from a figure below $10 to upward of 
$200 in 1879, but the community generally did not become much interested 
in the deal, and when it finally collapsed and the stock of the company 
dropped to less than the point from which it had started on its upward 
flight few outside the coterie of inveterate gamblers were seriously injured. 
There were no longer lists of suicides whose deaths were attributed to the 
roguery of the men who engineered the jobs, and the evidences of returning 
sanity multiplied as the months rolled on, and the activity on the stock 
boards decreased to such an extent, that the newspapers only followed the 
transactions in a perfunctory manner. 

Perhaps the hard times and the legislation designed to prevent what 
were called "wash sales" would have eventually made mining stock gambling 
unprofitable, but that end was hastened by the persistent exposure by The 
Chronicle of the falsity of reports issued with the object of keeping up the 
hopes of holders of shares of non-dividend paying mines and inducing them 


Big Feat of Reporting 117 

to pay their assessments which were levied with clock-like regularity. The 
most effective method adopted by The Chronicle in the pursuit of this 
purpose was that of showing just how the money derived from 
on 6 US assessments was expended. It was able to show statistically 
Stock an d otherwise 'that month after month, and year after year, 

Gambling large sums of money were paid to high-salaried officials, who 

maintained luxuriously-appointed offices, and that only an 
infinitesimal proportion of the money collected was expended in what was 
called development work. Constant iteration of stories of the same general 
character had the effect of completely destroying confidence in the cooked-up 
reports, and finally the fleecing business became so unprofitable that it had 
to be abandoned. The exchanges, of which the city had more than its 
share during the height of the bonanza excitement, and for some years 
after those mines ceased to pay, were closed up and brokers were obliged to 
find their lambs in other pastures. 

But the collapse of the Pine-street mining industry by no means put 
an end to the real business of extracting minerals from the soil. When 
The Chronicle was making its most energetic assaults on the speculative 
mania attempts were made to' discredit its efforts by charging 
Mining 6 ^ a ^ ** was pl ac i n g obstacles in the way of the development 

Industry °f the resources of California, but these accusations were met 

Uninjured in a characteristic manner. The Chronicle showed by argu- 
ment and actual demonstration that the future prosperity of 
the State depended upon the development of its varied resources, and that 
it could not hope to accomplish that object by the process of betting. It 
also showed that the real work of development in the mines was not being 
forwarded by companies listed on the boards, the shares of which were made 
a football of by brokers, but that it was being done by private individuals 
who would continue to extract gold after the exchanges had closed their 
doors. And, taking a look backward, there seems to have been good 
ground for this sound criticism. At least, it is a matter of record that as 
early as 1876 persistent efforts were made to interest San Francisco opera- 
tors in the development of the oil industry in Ventura county, but they 
were unsuccessful because of the indifference begotten by absorption in 
stock jobbing. It was not even possible to induce an investigation of the 

The death of Charles de Young in 1880 removed from San Francisco 
journalism the ablest newspaper man the city had produced. Under the ' 
joint management of the two brothers the paper had become influential and 
prosperous. During his lifetime Charles devoted himself 
p an . , more particularly to the news and editorial conduct of the 
Ablest News- paper. In the earlier part of its career. his brother, M. H., 
paper Man had lent a hand in every news enterprise of consequence, but 
when the business of the paper grew in importance there was a 
sharper division of labors, and M. H. was compelled to give the most of 
his attention to the finances and the multiplying duties of manager. On 
the death of his brother he assumed entire control, giving close attention to 
the details of every department. The two brothers had worked in such unison 
that there was no perceptible change in the policy of the paper. Its career 
of vigorous enterprise was continued, and tendencies which had begun to 
manifest themselves a few years earlier were accentuated, and The Chron- 

118 Journalism in Cal ifornia 

icle soon became known throughout the country as an exponent of "the 
journalism that does things." 

An illustration of this propensity was furnished by the successful fight 
made for the adoption of the Constitution of 1879, when the two brothers 
were still working together, and this was closely followed by an example of 

enterprise of another kind which set a pace in reporting that 
gj proved a surprise to the press of older communities, and 

Feat of extorted the admission that it surpassed in its thoroughness 

Reporting any feat of reporting ever attempted by an American or 

European paper. The occasion which gave rise to this 
exhibition was the return of ex-President Grant to the United States after 
the completion of his world's tour. The attention paid to him by foreign 
potentates and peoples had proved a source of intense gratification to 
Americans, and from the moment the ship which bore him from the Orient 
to San Francisco was sighted outside the heads until he reached his home 
in the East his journey was a continuous ovation. No emperor or king had 
ever before been accorded such a triumph. The enthusiasm of San Fran- 
cisco was so exuberant it drew from the phlegmatic commander of great 
armies the simple but heartfelt remark that it made him feel at home. The 
reception occurred on the 21st of September, 1879, and on the following 
morning The Chronicle devoted thirty-eight columns to picturesque descrip- 
tions of every detail of the stirring event. The wonderful water pageant 
which embraced every vessel big and little that dared venture outside the 
heads was viewed from every vantage point ; on the decks of ships, on the 
headlands which form the Golden Gate, and even on the vessel which bore 
the voyager reporters were stationed who told about the first greetings and 
pictured the scene of the white sails and the fluttering flags, the shrieking 
whistles and the clanging bells of the hundreds of welcoming craft. The 
procession through the streets of the city, and the shouts of the multitude ; 
the lavish decorations of public buildings, stores and private residences 
were treated with equal thoroughness, and Charles Warren Stoddard wrote 
a poem of welcome worthy the occasion. 

Never was such appreciation of journalistic enterprise shown before. 
Edition after edition was printed to supply the demand for copies, which 
were mailed to all parts of the earth, avowedly, in most instances, because 

the senders were convincd that never before had there been so 
Proud 1 * 16 thorough and interesting account of a contemporary event, 

of Their 1* made San Franciscans proud of their city and it put The 

Paper Chronicle on the crest of the wave of popularity. The other 

papers were not unmindful of the importance of the occasion. 
They printed accounts which would not have been criticised . had The 
Chronicle's comprehensive treatment not completely overshadowed them. 
The Chronicle was so well satisfied with the impression produced by its 
Grant's reception edition, it ventured another stroke which more particu- 
larly interested San Francisco. A little over a month later, to be precise, 
on Octbber 24, 1879, an Authors' Carnival was inaugurated in the Mechan- 
ics' Pavilion, which was then situated on the corner of Mission and Eighth 
streets. The entertainment was projected to aid the charity organizations 
of the city, and the flower of the youth of San Francisco and of its society 
was concerned in making it a success. Perhaps there were fully two 
thousand who personated the characters from the pages of well-known 


Decorated on the occasion of reception of General Grant 

on his return from his world tour. 

Big Feat of Reporting 119 

authors, and they all participated in the procession which was viewed by 
thousands of spectators. On the following morning The Chronicle appeared 
with a five-page account of the opening of the carnival, describing the pro- 
cession and the costumes of those who took part in it. As in the case of 
the comprehensive report of the Grant reception, The Chronicle had the 
field to itself.' Its rivals were not ungenerous in their allotment of space, 
according it, in one instance, nearly two columns, and in the other not quite 
a column and a half, but those who were interested in making the enter- 
tainment a success felt assured that the more than sixty thousand dollars 
"netted for charity was largely owing to The Chronicle's liberal treatment. 
The report of the Authors' Carnival deserves a place in a sketch of 
journalism for other reasons than its length and comprehensiveness. It 
probably signalized the advent of women in the field of journalism. The 

major part of the advance descriptive work of the carnival 
p! 1 ® was done by Mrs. Florence Apponyi Loughead, and the 

Woman claim is made for her that she was the first woman regularly 

Journalist employed on a newspaper to do all around work. She was on 

the staff of The Chronicle several years after 1879, and 
accepted daily assignments, but did much special work on her own initiative. 
She was a graceful writer and was the winner of a handsome money prize 
in a best-novel contest started by the McClures. The occasion thus made 
memorable in journalistic annals also deserves recalling because of a 
partially successful effort to illustrate the account. At that time there 
were exactly one and a half available engravers on wood in San Francisco. 
One was efficient and sober, the other was an excellent artist, but unrelia- 
ble. As a result of the latter shortcoming the ambitious design of decorating 
the opening of each chapter devoted to the description of a booth was not 
fully realized, despite the search made to eke out the deficiency with what 
were known as stock cuts. 

Mr. de Young having established a reputation for thoroughness, his 
paper continued to seek occasions for its exhibition. It never afterward 
neglected an opportunity to display its enterprise along these lines. During 

the decade 1880-1890 many such presented themselves. De- 
^ he spite the predictions made by the antagonists of the Consti- 

ot tution that capital would abandon the State and retard its 

Prosperity advancement, in the event of its adoption, the decade was 

not many years old before there were signs of a return of 
prosperity. Just how much the fact that the organic law contained provi- 
sions which, if executed, would compel the equitable assessment and taxa- 
tion of property, it would be difficult to say, but the boom of the early 
eighties synchronizes with a marked disposition of the holders of large 
tracts of land to subdivide and offer them for sale. It is not impossible that 
this phenomenon might have occurred in any event, but there was a firm 
conviction in California, which was voiced in Henry George's "Progress and 
Poverty," that landowners would seek to add to their acres rather than 
diminish' them. It was based on the assumption that the desire for the con- 
sequence and honors attached to the possession of great estates would prove 
as irresistible in California as in countries where the ownership of land is 
linked up with political privilege, and it was to some extent influenced by 
the belief that coolie labor could be obtained in abundance to profitably 
work large areas. 

120 Journalism i n California ^^^^^ 

This latter illusion was effectually disposed of by the energetic crusade 
against Chinese immigration, which resulted in the passage of the exclusion 
act by Congress in 1882. But this legislation had been preceded by an 
expression of opinion secured by a secret ballot taken at the 
Sntt election of September 3, 1879, when, out of a total of 

Chinese 162,000 votes cast, only 638 declared themselves in favor 

Immigration of the introduction of Chinese laborers. It must have been 
obvious to the very few who entertained the belief that the 
use of cheap Oriental labor would make the farming of large tracts of land 
profitable, that the people of the State would not consent to its introduction, 
but, nevertheless, a persistent agitation was kept up in favor of the admis- 
sion of Chinese immigrants which did not cease until the great national 
parties were compelled to consider the question in the campaign of 1882. 
The leaders then saw that no party could withstand the sentiment which 
would be created by a general discussion of the subject in the Eastern states, 
and the act of exclusion followed- The San Francisco Chronicle led the 
fight for exclusion. It had been advocating legislation of that character 
long before the sand-lot uprising, and had succeeded in bringing about a 
Congressional inquiry in 1868, which resulted in a report unfavorable to the 
introduction of Chinese, but no positive action was taken by Congress 
until 1882. " J_ 

Probably a greater factor than any other in bringing about a better 
state of affairs in the early eighties was the growing recognition of the fact 
that the future development of California would be along horticultural 
lines. The year 1882 was a record year in the production 
California Was an< ^ ex P or tation of breadstuffs. At that time Californians 
a Great " were pointing with pride to their enormous wheat fields and 
Wheat State still clung to the idea that they would always prove the 
State's greatest source of wealth. This view had been adopted 
instead of the one formerly held that mining would remain the chief indus- 
try. It is not surprising that such should have been the case, for in 1882 
breadstuffs to the value of $40,138,557 had been exported from the port of 
San Francisco. There had been some success achieved in fruit growing, 
and the railroads were beginning to realize the possibility of building up a 
great trade in orchard products. The Chronicle was assisting in the work. 
On the 1st of January, 1884, it published what it called a "Prosperity 
Issue." It was composed of eight pages, several of which were devoted to 
describing the advances made in each of the fifty-three counties of the State 
during the preceding five years. Two pages were devoted to the material 
development of the port and city of San Francisco. The presentation of 
statistical matter at the beginning of the year was not an entirely new 
feature, but with the 1884 edition was inaugurated the plan of compre- 
hensively surveying the growth of the State, which has been continued down 
to the present time. 

The principal characteristic of these annual editions was the introduction 
of a new mode of treatment each succeeding year, and a constant enlarge- 
ment of the volume of matter presented. Thus on the 1st of January, 1888, 
the space accorded to describing the development of the State was sixteen 
pages, or double that of two years earlier. In the annual of 1888, twenty-two 
full pages were given up to statistics and accounts of the prosperity of all 
sections of the State, and in the following year the number of pages was 

Big Feat of Reporting 121 

increased fc> twenty-three. Many of the statistical features of earlier issues 
were retained, but there was a successful effort in each succeeding year to 
Tn introduce novelties and before the' close of the decade there 

Chronicle's was a liberal use of illustrations. ' In 1890 the annual con- 
Annuals sisted of forty pages, eight of which were devoted to describ- 
ing the changes wrought in California in forty years. Great 
numbers of these papers were mailed to all parts of the world, 
it being the practice of persons interested in the development of the State 
to prepare lists of people to whom they were to be sent. The esteem in 
which these annual editions have always been held is evidenced by the fact 
that their appearance is always followed by numerous letters to the pub- 
lisher urging that the matter in them be given permanent form, and for a 
long time they have been the acknowledged source from which many 
statistical bureaus derive much information concerning California and its 

Annual publications cannot be regarded as an innovation of Mr. de 

Young, for other papers had preceded it in the presentation of statistics at 

the beginning of the year, but the development editions of The Chronicle 

took on a form which distinguished them from mere statis- 

^Eesou'rces tical reeords - Thev were > in fact > the first vel1 thought out 
of plan of advertising the resources of California, the object 

California being to present in an attractive manner information calcu- 
lated to arouse interest in the State, and they accomplished 
their purpose admirably. To their dissemination can be traced much of 
the growth of the desirable immigration from the East, which has since 
resulted in developing the great industries of the State. In the columns of 
these annual surveys of the growth of the State will be found appreciations 
of its climatic advantages which long antedate the discovery by the boosters 
of Los Angeles that the climate of California is one of its greatest assets. 
It is no vain boast on the part of The Chronicle when it asserts that it 
induced the inhabitants of the once sleepy city of Los Angeles to make the 
best use of that with which they were so iiberally endowed by nature. 

There is another innovation in journalism introduced by The Chronicle 
during the eighties deserving of more than passing mention. One of the 
charges brought against the American press by British critics was a lack of 
thoroughness, by which was meant the disposition of the 
Chronicle's average writing editor to recognize that busy people wish to 
Thoroughness g e t a t the nub of a proposition quickly, the result of which 
was the production of articles lacking in detail and otherwise 
defective. In its thirty-eight column report of the reception 
to Grant, The Chronicle showed that it was possible for an American paper 
to be thorough. On numerous occasions afterward this exploit was matched. 
On August 19, 1883, the Knights Templar of the United States held their 
triennial conclave in San Francisco and The Chronicle signalized the meet- 
ing by publishing a history of the order, which occupied seven pages. Ap- 
preciative Templars declared nothing of the sort had ever been done before 
by a newspaper. On May 14th of the succeeding year, the occasion being 
the laying of the cornerstone of the Odd Fellows' building on the corner 
of Seventh and Market streets, the paper presented a history of Odd 
Fellowship in America. On August 2, 1886, the Grand Army of the 
Republic held its annual encampment in San Francisco. The event sug- 


Journalism in California 



gested the writing of a "History of the Civil War," which occupied 102 
columns of The Chronicle, an amount of matter which would fill a good- 
sized volume. The centenary of the death of Junipero Serra, August 28, 
1884, was the text for a four-page sketch of the missions of California and 
the work of the padres. 

These and other serious efforts contributed greatly to the reputation 
of The Chronicle and caused it to be recognized as one of the foremost 
journals of America. From its inception, The Chronicle had been pro- 
nouncedly Eepublican. In its infancy, when it still retained 
the prefix "Dramatic," it was a strenuous supporter of the 
Union cause, and, when peace was established, it remained 
devoted to the party which had preserved the integrity of the 
Union. But, while there was no mistaking its Eepublican 
proclivities, it did not hesitate when occasion seemed to demand to criticise 
and oppose the men who controlled the party. It gave a significant example 
of this tendency when it unhesitatingly exposed the machinations of the 
Federal ring in 1877, and it was unceasing in opposition to the domination 
of the party by the railroad. Its constant antagonism to the practice of 
corporation interference with politics procured for it the enmity of the 
managers of the railroad and the friendship of the people. It was, however, 
a stanch believer in the integrity of the Eepublican national organization 
and constantly advocated the theory that abuses could be best dealt with by 
effecting reforms within the party, and, because of its devotion to that 
principle, it achieved a degree of influence approached by no paper outside 
of the great Eastern cities. 




Slow Recognition of the Demand for Regulation of Monopolies — Democratic De- 
fenders of the Railroads — Eastern Attitude Slow to Crystallize — The Frustra- 
tion of Attempts to Reform — A Problem That California Might Have Success- 
fully Worked Out — Failure to Elect Honest Commissions — A Victim of Judge- 
Made Law — Absurd Results of the Board of Equalization Decision — The Evila 
of Non-Partisanism — Political Career of George Hearst — He Makes a Hand- 
some Present to His Son — Examiner Passes Into Possession of William R. 
Hearst — The Chronicle's Advocacy of the Protective Policy — A History of 
Education in the United States — Another Instance of the Journalism That Does 
Things — The Chronicle Demonstrates the Desirability of Weather Warnings to 
Agriculturists and Fruit Growers— Millions Saved to the State by News- 
paper Enterprise — The Chronicle Forms a News Association — Numerous Patrons 
Served — Chronicle Press Association Absorbed by Associated Press — M. H. de 
Young a Director of Associated Press for Twenty-seven Years — Illustration 
Growth — Big Type in Heads — Book Reviews — Dramatic Critics — A Training 
School for Statesmen — Noted Contributors. 

T MAY not be amiss to explain to the reader who might 
gain the impression that the spotlight has been kept too 
steadily on The Chronicle that it practically kept the 
center of the stage during, the eighty decade, and that 
its rivals made little effort to dispute the position it had 
attained. The Alta had long since ceased to be regarded 
as a leading journal and had become the target of the 
jokesmith. Not that it lacked good writers, but the 
vehicle for conveying what they wrote to the reading public had become 
so impaired by the failure to keep up to date that it had almost ceased to 
run. In the later years of its- existence it had become a Democratic organ, 
and preached sound Democratic doctrine, some of which placed in parallel 
columns with the utterances of present-day papers would seem very strange. 
That was the period when Democratic editors wrote vigorously in opposi- 
tion to the alleged Eepublican tendency toward centralization. The closing 
years of the eighty decade were made memorable by the confusion created 
in the minds of "Bourbon" editors by the radical attitude of Senator 
Eeagan of Texas, the introduction of whose interstate commerce bill was 
coldly viewed by many of them as an invasion of the rights of the states, 
but the necessity, for supervision of transportation corporations had become 
so apparent that there was little serious opposition to what is now recog- 
nized as the Federal entering wedge of governmental regulation. The Alta, 


124 Journalism in California 


and the other Democratic papers of California, were slow to recognize this 
feature of the new legislation, although some of them, considering their 
ownership, should have been quick to perceive the outcome of a movement 
which made a national question of what had been a purely local one up to 
1887, when the first interstate commerce act was passed by Congress. 

Before 1887, there had been plenty of discussion in the East of the 
possibilities of railroad monopoly, but it never assumed the acute form it 
took on in California as early as 1871, when, as already related, a conven- 

tion of electors in San Francisco openly denounced railroad 
of e ers abuses and demanded that they should be abated. These 
Railroad resolutions almost passed unnoticed in California. When 

Monopoly editors deigned to speak of them they were more apt than 

otherwise to treat them disrespectfully because of their source. 
The Democratic press, in particular; adhering to the idea of laissez f aire, 
spoke of them as agrarian vaporings or treated them with silent indifference 
if not contempt. Between that date and the adoption of the California 
Constitution of 1879, the discussion in the Eastern press was academic or 
flippant. The growing tendency of the Pennsylvania Bailroad to gain 
favors by controlling Legislatures did not excite much indignation, and the 
degree of alarm felt may be measured by the fact that it was regarded as a 
stroke of facetiae to speak of New Jersey as "the State of Camden and 
Amboy," thus delicately implying that the corporation which directed the 
destinies of that railroad, which was one of the nucleii of what has since 
become the great Pennsylvania system, did pretty much as it pleased in the 
commonwealth separated from Philadelphia by the river Delaware. In 
Massachusetts some apprehension concerning the growth of monopoly found 
expression, and the legislators of the Bay State thought they had discovered a 
solution of the problem when they provided for a Commissioner who was 
endowed with no powers, but was permitted to have his learned reports 
printed at the expense of the State, which were promptly forgotten as soon 
as issued. 

The agitation in California had a different outcome. After eight or 
nine years of denunciation and demand for the enactment of regulative 
legislation^ the Constitution of 1879 was adopted. It created a Commission 

consisting of three members and endowed it with plenary 
Frustration powers, but it proved no more efficacious in curbing the evils 
of Attempts complained of than the body which it supplanted, which could 
to Reform only report and make recommendations to the Legislature. 

This result is directly chargeable to the hostility or indiffer- 
ence of the press which had antagonized the Constitution of 1879, when it 
was up for adoption. Varying motives accounted for this unfortunate 
attitude, and the least creditable of them all was that of jealousy of The 
Chronicle. Had not that spirit manifested itself the country would have 
been saved much later turmoil, for California could have worked out the 
problem in such a way that it would not have occurred to anyone in 
Congress to suggest the revolutionary step of breaking down the safeguards 
against Federal encroachment, which the wisdom of the fathers had pro- 
vided. It was decreed otherwise, however, for as soon as the victory had 
been gained by the people, the railroad at once set to work to prevent its 
fruits being gathered. ' By clever manipulation it succeeded in having venal 
Commissioners elected, and also Legislatures which were quite ready to tie 

Trainings School for Statesmen 125 

the hands of the solons, if they showed any disposition to break through 
the restraints imposed by the corporation. 

The provisions of the Constitution -which would have enabled an honest 
Commission to carry out every reform contemplated, and which would have 
anticipated later legislation in this State and made Federal interference 
practically unnecessary, were permitted to fall into desuetude, 
toChoose as were a ^ so those relating to the State Board of Equalization, 

Honest which were designed to prevent the unequal assessment of 

Commissions land. So indifferent were the people to what they had gained 
that they allowed their courts to read a meaning into the 
Constitution for which there was no warrant in the words or spirit of that 
instrument. The express object of the creation of the State Board of 
Equalization was to correct the abuse of assessing the land of a person or 
corporation at a figure lower than that at which land of equal value and 
similarly situated had been assessed to others. This was provided for in 
unmistakable language, but the courts deliberately held that the organic 
law did not mean what it said, and set up the absurd rule that the State 
Board could not raise or lower individual assessments, but would have to 
correct inequalities by raising or lowering the entire roll of a county or 
counties. This produced the absurd anomaly of raising the value of gold 
coin and mortgages, and it became necessary to remedy the inconsistency 
by amendment. The amendment did not abate the evil, but it converted 
the State Board of Equalization into a machine which could be and was 
used to punish the taxpayers of one part of the State to relieve those of 
another part. In the end, relief was found by practically converting the 
State Board into a body whose most important duty now is to compute the 
gross earnings of corporations in order to determine how much they must 
pay into the treasury. 

The attempt to arouse the people from the indifference into which they 
had fallen occupied a great deal of space in the editorial columns of The 
Chronicle, but naturally it proved unavailing. It is difficult to place the 
blame for this miscarriage. Partisan politics is sometimes 
£ h ?. . held responsible, but in view of the fact that 'those who 

Non* ° benefited by the laxity of the courts, the venality of com- 

Partisanism missions and the turpitude of Legislatures were strictly non- 
partisan in their manipulations, the charge is manifestly 
absurd. It was not partisanism, but popular indifference that did the mis- 
chief. Had the same active interest been manifested when times became 
better that was shown during the period when depression operated to pro- 
duce sand-lot troubles and widespread discontent among farmers, the out- 
come would have been vastly different. It is impossible to keep interest at 
concert pitch when times are good, for then common sense and warnings 
of all kinds are treated as were those of Cassandra of old. Perhaps that 
explains why The Chronicle enjoyed a monopoly of the dubious privilege 
of finding fault. Whether it does or not, the fact remains that it alone of 
the daily papers of San Francisco unceasingly denounced the failure to 
enforce the provisions of the new Constitution. Not that much would have 
been gained had the attitude of the remainder of the press been different. 
As already stated, the Alta had declined in prestige so greatly it was said 
of- its editorial columns that they were a safe repository for secrets. The 
Call and Bulletin had committed themselves so absolutely to the assump- 

126 Journalism in California ^^_ 

tion that the Constitution was utterly bad it would have been ludicrous for 
them to champion anything in it, no matter how thoroughly its wisdom 
might have been approved. The Evening Post had already entered on its 
career of alternation of ownership, which implied a power behind the 
throne, and the Examiner was too entirely devoted to the higher politics 
to interest itself greatly in such matters as the regulation of corporations. 

The Examiner did not appear as a morning paper until October, 1880, 
when it passed out of the ownership of Philip Eoach and his associates 
and nominally passed into the possession of W. T. Baggett. It was soon 
transferred by him to the Examiner Publishing Company, of 
Examiner which George Hearst was the head. There was no secret 

Property of concerning the object of its acquisition. Mr. Hearst had 
W. K. Hearst political ambitions, and believed that they could be attained 
most easily with the assistance of a personal organ. He was 
a member of the California Assembly in 1865 and in 1882 he was an 
unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor. In 
1885 he obtained the complimentary vote of the Democratic minority in 
the Legislature, and on March 23d of that year he was appointed to fill the 
vacancy created by the death of Senator John F. Miller, but the Eepublican 
Legislature did not permit, him to fill out the unexpired term, electing 
A. P. Williams in his stead. But in January, 1887, he had his innings, the 
Democratic majority sending him to Washington to represent California in 
the upper house of Congress. On March 4, 1887, Senator Hearst signalized 
the occasion of taking his seat in the United States Senate by turning over 
the Examiner to his son, William Eandolph Hearst. During the period 
preceding the accession of William E., the Examiner was run on substan- 
tially the same lines as those followed in its previous career. Its managing 
editor was Clarence Greathouse, better known as a genial gentleman and a 
clever politician than as a newspaper man. Perhaps he recognized this fact, 
for he subsequently abandoned the profession and became the confidential 
adviser of the Emperor of Corea, graduating from the United States Con- 
sul Generalship into that position. While Mr. Greathouse was in charge of 
the Examiner it was always stanchly Democratic and was never guilty of 
straying from the straight path. 

The Chronicle on national issues after 1880 was always Eepublican. 
It had before that time exhibited its devotion to the principles of protection, 
but as the years wore on, and California began to build up its great horti- 
cultural industry, it began to urge more strongly than ever 
Advocate 1 of the desirability of tne State, arraying itself on the side of the 
the Protective P ar ty that could be depended upon to secure for the citrus 
Policy fruit growers and the producers of prunes the same advan- 

tages which the Eastern commonwealths had derived from 
the protection of manufactured articles. The Chronicle was not very 
sanguine that the policy would have any appreciable effect upon the devel- 
opment of manufactures on the Pacific Coast, for it recognized that a large 
near-by market was essential to the profitable pursuit of the industry, but 
it was convinced that the State would profit by creating a great home 
market for its products, and, therefore, urged with vigor and all the argu- 
ments at its command that prosperous ironworkers in Pennsylvania and 
other Eastern states would result in the creation of big armies of consumers 
of prunes, oranges and other fruits. It did not content itself with repeating 

__^ Training School for Statesmen 127 

the stock arguments of the protectionists, but displayed the same thorough- 
ness in its investigation of this great problem as it had shown in other 
fields. As early as the campaign which resulted in the election of Garfield, 
the subject was treated in all its aspects, and in the succeeding years it 
became recognized as one of the foremost exponents of the protective policy 
and its articles on the subject were widely quoted. In the campaign of 
1888, it devoted eight pages of a special protection edition to a history of 
the operations of the protective tariff in the United States, which was spoken 
of in Congress as the most thorough presentation of the subject ever made 
in the columns of a newspaper. 

The fact that The Chronicle devoted much space to the elucidation of 
the tariff problem, and that its proprietor, M. H. de Young, began very 
early to be recognized as a factor in national politics, being frequently 

chosen as a National Committeeman and as a delegate to the 
Independence na ti° na l conventions of the Republican party, did not have 
of The the effect of making an organ of the paper. It steadily and 

Chronicle consistently advocated the vital principles of Republicanism, 

but unhesitatingly criticised what it regarded as abuses within 
the party. It was zealous and untiring in a campaign, but never took orders 
or looked for any reward other than the satisfaction derived from being on 
what it conceived to be the right side. It believed in a paper clearly 
enunciating its principles, and unhesitatingly characterized as a mischievous 
tendency the disposition to get rid of party responsibility by the device of 
non-partisanism, which it urged was usually a cloak for carrying out designs 
which could not receive a formal indorsement from any body of men desir- 
ous of upholding a principle. But these convictions were urged in the same 
manner and with the same object that it' published its "History of Educa- 
tion" on July 17, 1888, on the occasion of the meeting of the National 
Educational Association in this city. It believed it was performing a public 
service in devoting eight pages to that subject, and felt that its publication 
would reflect credit on the community, whose support made possible so 
voluminous' a treatment in a daily paper of so vital a subject. 

In the preceding chapters many instances of "the journalism that does 
things" have been presented, but none transcends in importance and perma- 
nent value the part played by The Chronicle in broadening the operations 

of what is now known as the Weather Bureau, but which in 
J he l'sm "^^ was a cor P s bf the United States Army, known as the 
That Does Signal Service. Meteorology was then an undeveloped sci- 
Things ence. It would not be accurate to say that it was in its 

infancy, for it had occupied the attention of many students 
for a long time, but the practical results of their studies at this time 
extended no further thaff the issuance of maritime warnings which kept 
sailors from putting to sea when a storm was brewing, and predictions con- 
sulted by the credulous who wished to know whether it was prudent to go 
abroad without an umbrella, or prospective picnickers who were anxious 
concerning the state of the weather. But there were men in the Signal 
Service who had great faith that meteorology with proper encouragement 
would some day be developed into an exact science, whose workings would 
prove of incalculable benefit to mankind. Among these believers was Lieu- 
tenant, now Colonel, W. A. Glassford of the United States Army, who was 
then in charge of the branch of the Signal Service having its headquarters 


!- 8 Journalism in California 

in San Francisco. Lieutenant Glassford's duties brought him into contact 
with The Chronicle, and he succeeded in imparting some of his enthusiasm 
to the paper, which undertook the costly experiment of demonstrating that 
the weather warnings could be made as useful to the agriculturist on land 
as to the mariner who goes down to the sea in ships. 

The Chronicle had long been engaged in the work of stimulating the 
orchard and vineyard industries of California and had made a study of the 
drawbacks attendant upon the culture of citrus fruits and grapes. In com- 
mon with everyone who gave the matter attention, it recog- 
Chronicle's n i ze( l that if the science of meteorology could be developed 
Weather to the stage that would permit forecasts to be made a sufficient 

Warnings time in advance to allow warnings to be sent to producers 

much might be done to minimize the hazards of the horti- 
cultural and viticultural industries. Lieutenant Glassford was confident 
that storms and low temperatures could be foretold sufficiently long in 
advance of their coming to admit of proper precautions against injury. But 
the question was : How can the warnings be got to those interested ? It was 
at this stage of the meteorological game that The Chronicle stepped into 
the breach. The Federal Government had not been unduly liberal in 
making appropriations for the weather branch of the Signal Service, and it 
was obliged to hew close to the line in its operations. A sum was provided 
for a fixed number of observers, for the rental of quarters and for the pur- 
chase of instruments, but there was no provision made for sending out 
warnings by telegraph or otherwise. There was no order, however, inter- , 
fering with the making of experiments, provided that they involved no draft 
on the Treasury, and when the suggestion was made to Lieutenant Glassford 
that a demonstration be made of the feasibility and value of land warnings, 
he was quick to embrace the opportunity which The Chronicle offered him 
to prove that the service could be made highly beneficial to the horticultural 
interests of the State. 

A scheme was mapped out which required the active co-operation of the 
communities to be benefited. In addition to the stations where volunteer 
and regular observers had already been provided with the necessary instru- 
ments, a large additional number of stations were created, 
How *^ e the volunteer observers of which were expected to make the 

Warned hy readings and perform the simple duties connected with the 
The Chronicle carrying out of the plan, the principal feature of which was 
the posting of warnings which were to be sent from San 
Francisco by telegraph. For the purpose of displaying these warnings The 
Chronicle had constructed neat frames of tin properly glassed to protect 
the bulletins from the weather. In all, there were nearly one hundred of 
these bulletin boards provided, on which were daily displayed the weather 
predictions of the chief signal officer in San Francisco. Local interest in 
their dissemination was so great that steps were taken promptly to utilize 
the information, and by various devices, such as the raising of flags, blowing 
of whistles, etc., the countryside was quickly acquainted with impending 
changes. The demonstration was a thorough success, and was made at great 
cost to Mr. de Young. It was continued during three months, and before 
its conclusion Congress was being bombarded by the horticultural and 
other interests of California to maintain it permanently. The response was 
not as swift as it might have been, perhaps because the predecessor of Gen- 

WfeATHER Indications 





(lit i in it H | i in v » i i i 



it >tt >•> i it ttuit 


I t I 111, ,, , ( , | || lilt Mill I," 
il \ I >\ i, % , || t I » » fill «l . 





ii_ ..:_"■ __~._d-j 

Started by Chronicle in 18S5 to demonstrate the feasibility ol 
giving timely warnings to the agriculturists of California, 
subsequently adopted by the Government. 

Training School for Statesmen 129 

eral Greely did not take a lively interest in the matter. When that officer 
came to the head of the service he framed a report which was considered by 
Congress and acted on in a half-hearted way. General Greely dwelt with 
emphasis on what had been accomplished by The Chronicle and urged an 
appropriation which would permit the continuance of the service along the 
same lines. He obtained some recognition, out of which has grown the 
system of warnings which annually save large sums to California growers, 
but, to quote the opinion of G. H. Wilson, the local forecaster, the service is 
still a long way from conferring all the benefits which we might be deriving 
if The Chronicle's scheme had been carried out in its entirety. 

Turning from the contemplation of a bit of newspaper enterprise of 
the kind yclept "the journalism that does things," it will be instructive to 
recount the development of the telegraphic news service of the San Fran- 
. . Cisco press. Incidentally, the recital may clear up some 

Newf ing purposely created obscurities concerning the organization 

From the familiarly known as the Associated Press. When Mr. de 

East Young entered the journalistic field his finances did not 

permit him to entertain the notion of carrying a regular 
telegraphic service, but with the growth of his paper and attendant pros- 
perity he began to study methods of keeping its readers in touch with the 
rest of the world. It was open to The Chronicle, of course, to bring a 
special report from the East, but that precluded anything like an extrava- 
gant display of news by wire. There are traces in its columns of that 
curious idea that there is something about the gathering of news which 
makes combinations to that end a public matter in which any one desirous 
of doing so should be permitted to enjoy the specially created facilities. 
But that attitude did not endure long. The Call, the Bulletin and the 
Sacramento Union had associated themselves together for the purpose of 
bringing to the Coast the news gathered by the New York Associated Press, 
one of the several associations formed for the purpose of bringing news to 
the papers of the sections in which they operated. There was no possibility 
of breaking into this combination, so The Chronicle secured a report from 
an organization called the American Press Association, which was brought 
over the wires of the Union and Central Pacific Eailroad. This company 
was known as the Pacific Telegraph Company, and was energetically seek- 
ing business, and the result was a fairly good service, but not comparable 
with that furnished by the Associated Press of New York. 

After a long struggle, The Chronicle secured a franchise from the New 
York Associated Press. This involved the bringing of a report from the 
East, the entire expense of which had to be borne by the paper until it 

organized a news service of its own, under the title of the 
Director of Ung Chronicle Press Association. Very early in its career The 
Associated Chronicle had begun effectively to cover the news of the 
Press Pacific Coast. It was thus placed in a position to serve a 

report to its clients, covering the whole field of news when 
it obtained its franchise from the New York Associated Press in 1875. It 
soon had numerous customers, among them the San Erancisco Examiner, 
the Evening Post, the San Jose Mercury, the Oakland Tribune, the Sacra- 
mento Bee and the Portland, Oregon, News. About 1881, the Western 
Associated Press, which up to that time had maintained, relations with the 
New York Associated Press, resolved to act as an independent organization 

130 Journalism in California 

and sought to effect alliances which, would strengthen it sufficiently to make 
it a national organization of great strength. Overtures were made to The 
Chronicle to take over its association, the business of which was not very 
profitable and was attended with some inconveniences and annoyance'. 
M. H. de Young went to Chicago and was at once made a member of the 
Western Associated Press. Before the Chronicle Press Association ceased 
to exist, Mr. de Young stipulated that his clients should receive the reports 
of the Eastern organization. Subsequently, he was elected a director and 
continued to serve in that capacity for twenty-seven years, during the period 
in which it was developing into the greatest news-gathering association in 
the world. 

The most notable change in journalistic methods during the eighties 

of the nineteenth century was the growing disposition to use pictures. Kef- 

erence has been made to early efforts in that direction, but they never 

developed into a steady feature. The facetious were still jn- 

of h th? r ° Wth clined as late as 1885 to char S e that the portrait of Lydia 
Illustration Pinkham, which appeared in the advertising columns of most 
Habit dailies of the period, was made to do duty as a representation 

of all sorts of celebrities "without regard to sex, color or 
previous condition of servitude." There is a tradition in the artroom of 
The Chronicle that a timid effort to illustrate reading matter begun in 
1880 was abandoned because of the ribald jokes and the insistent prediction 
that all efforts to produce passably decent pictures in papers printed on 
rapid perfecting presses must fail. Whatever the cause, it is a fact that 
Sunday illustrations were dropped for several years. In June, 1885, there 
was a sudden outburst of artistic energy and, after that date, pictures were 
regularly printed in the Sunday magazine section and sometimes appeared 
in the daily. On January 1, 1887, The Chronicle annual appeared with a 
full-page map of California and some fifty illustrations of business houses 
and manufacturing plants of San Francisco. By this time the use of illus- 
trations in the daily had become common, and they were growing in size, a 
fact which testifies that the editor was becoming hardened to criticism, or 
that the art had really advanced sufficiently to destroy the point of the 
Lydia Pinkham joke. 

The ability to turn out cuts quickly enough to make them available for 
use in a daily paper was due to the adoption of what came to be known as 
the chalk process, an invention attributed to Mark Twain. Although the 

author had taken out a patent, it later developed that the 
Progress process had been successfully used in England many years 

Newspaper earlier. It had no advantage over the wood cut, except in the 
Illustration matter of rapidity of production. In the preparation of a 

wood cut the artist made a pencil drawing upon box wood, 
which was cut in relief by an engraver, and from this it was necessary to 
secure an electrotype, which had to be properly mounted to make it avail- 
able for use on a rapid press. In the chalk process, the artist drew his 
picture with a bent steel needle on a steel plate covered with a thin layer 
of precipitated chalk and white clay. The drawing once finished the plate 
was ready for stereotyping without further preparation. It was a great 
time-saving method, a block being easily made ready for the chase in less 
than twenty minutes. But it had its disadvantages. The artists found the work 
of scratching the chalk-covered plates very disagreeable, and its use placed 

Training School for Statesmen 131 

all sorts of limitations upon them. There was no opportunity to use pen or 
brush and freedom of execution was entirely out of the question. The 
process, however, was speedily superseded by the resort to zinc etching, 
which permitted more liberties to the artist. At first only pen drawings on 
Bristol board were used when this method was employed. These drawings 
were photographed and printed on sensitized sheets of zinc and etched with 
nitric acid; the part to receive the impression was a high relief, and 
specially devised machines were used to cut away the superfluous metal. 
This method, introduced in 1890, was in vogue until 1898, when photo 
engraving took its place. By this method, photographs, wash drawings, 
paintings and water colors are reproduced directly. The copying by camera 
was done by interposing a finely-ruled glass screen. After transferring the 
image thus obtained to zinc and etching it a block was produced ready for 
the printer. In the earlier stages of the photo engraving process screens 
ruled too finely were employed, and the subsequent stereotyping process 
resulted in the filling up of the lines. This difficulty was overcome in a 
measure by inserting the zinc plates directly into the stereotype plate. This 
took more time than could be spared in regular daily editions, so the plan 
of printing direct from the etched zinc was confined to the pictures for 
Sunday editions and a coarser screen was used for quick work. 

Although the use of pictures grew rapidly toward the close of the 
eighties, the tendency to employ large display type in -the construction of 
heads was not very marked. There were some departures from the uniform 

style prevalent, but they were not pronounced enough to 
Advertiser attract general attention. While the uniform method of 
an) i heading articles was maintained, it was possible for the 

Big Type editor who "made up" the paper to arrange his matter so 

that the reader could easily find the sort of news in which 
he was specially interested. The later resort to what is called "freaking" 
has made this impossible. The insistence of the advertiser upon having his 
announcements printed alongside of reading matter has helped to con- 
tribute to this result, and the most ingenious "maker up" no longer 
attempts to mass matter of the same sort, and feels happy if his skill is 
adequate to the task of presenting a story in unbroken sequence. It is 
urged in favor of the new method that a busy generation refuses to take 
the trouble to read a description of any length and that, therefore, it is 
desirable, if not absolutely essential, to give as much information as possible 
in heads, the type of which should be large enough to arrest the attention of 
the indifferent as well as the real seeker after news. 

During the eighties there was a marked accession of capable writers and 
newspaper men in San Francisco, many of whom were graduated from 
The Chronicle on to other papers. There were no colleges of journalism in 

those days, but The Chronicle had achieved a reputation as 
qj? 16 an excellent training school, and a long list of men who were 

■j^ once on its staff and later achieved success in running papers 

Writers of their own could be quoted. The destruction of the records 

of The Chronicle and other newspaper offices renders it 
difficult to present anything iike an accurate "Who Was Who" in journalism 
at this .particular time, but the names of several of the best-known come 
readily to the mind of old-timers. Frank M. Pixley was still firing at his 
chosen targets on the Argonaut; D. F. Verdenal was writing snappy para- 

132 Journal ism in California ^^^ 

graphs for the Stock Exchange; J. F. Bowman, for many years an editorial 
writer for The Chronicle, continued with the paper until his death in 1884; 
E. J. Andersen, for many years private secretary for Charles de Young, 
found time to write on naval subjects, and to organize the library of The 
Chronicle on a basis which made it one of the best-known sources of con- 
temporary information in the country. Mr. Andersen is still in harness, 
and enjoys the distinction of having been connected with the editorial end 
of a newspaper longer than any other man in San Francisco. George 
Hamlin Fitch came to The Chronicle from the New York Tribune in 1880, 
and his work still delights the readers of the paper. He has been its book 
reviewer for nearly thirty years, and he is acknowledged to be one of the 
best and fairest of American critics. His duties though onerous have not 
prevented his entering the literary field in the capacity of author, and it 
takes a good-sized shelf to hold the books which bear his name on their 
title pages. 

Before Mr. Fitch took charge of the book reviews of the paper that 
department was under the charge of Albert Sutliffe,who combined the 
duties of dramatic and literary critic. Mr. Sutlifie was a versatile writer 

and frequently contributed editorials and special articles. He 
Critics^Book snare< ^ the ambition of the newspaper man of the period and 
Reviewers of when the French made war on China he went to Tonquin 
Ihe Chronicle for The Chronicle as its special correspondent. Mr. SutlirTe 

was succeeded by Piercy Wilson, an English writer, with a 
taste for dramatic criticism, which he combined with a love of sport. He 
was assisted by Thomas J. Vivian, now with the Hearst papers in. New 
York. Vivian was gifted with a vivid imagination, which enabled him to 
conceive the impossible and describe it as an actuality in a convincing 
manner. He wrote many special articles for the Sunday Chronicle, and 
struck a novel note as often as any writer for the American press. He was 
an especially forceful dramatic critic, and had an astonishing familiarity 
with the literature of the stage. In the early eighties, Peter Eobertson 
became the dramatic critic of The Chronicle, a position filled by him for 
nearly a quarter of a century. Mr. Eobertson had the faculty of telling 
the truth without irritating, and was greatly esteemed by members of the 
dramatic profession whose fur he sometimes stroked the wrong way. Mr. 
Eobertson, like many other writers on the staff of The Chronicle, must be 
ranked as an author. His collected sketches, appearing under the title of 
"The Seedy Gentleman," had a considerable vogue. He was a great favorite 
among the members of the Bohemian Club, who honored him by making 
him their president. 

It may require more evidence than two or three instances afford to 
establish the claim that The Chronicle newsroom was a training school for 
statesmen, but that department of the paper has to its credit two United 

States Senators and one Secretary of the Interior. Henry 
£ C. Hansbrough presided at the. telegraphic desk of The 

Schoolfor Chronicle for two or three years. He was a rapid copy 
Statesmen reader and could construct a head which attracted attention. 

He took a keen interest in politics and when the Dakotas 
were coming into prominence he left California to strike out a new career 
for himself in that country. He achieved success in his chosen field and 
was elected to the United States Senate, serving his State two terms. 

_ Training School for Statesmen 133 

Shortly after The Chronicle entered its new home on the corner of Bush 
and Kearny streets, a young man named Frank J. Cannon introduced him- 
self to the editor, stating that he would like a desk position which would 
give him the requisite training to fit him to run a paper which he con- 
templated starting in Ogden. There was a vacancy at the time and he was 
installed as reader of Coast exchanges and Coast telegraph editor. He was 
industrious and quick to learn, but did not exercise undue haste in finish- 
ing his education. He carried out his purpose of starting a paper, and 
later was elected United States Senator from the State of Utah. He is 
now the editorial writer for the Denver Eocky Mountain News. The third 
on the list was Franklin K. Lane, the present Secretary of the Interior. 
Mr. Lane acted as The Chronicle's telegraph correspondent in New York. 
He was a young man at the time, but possessed a fund of discretion, and the 
news editor paid him the compliment of permitting him to do his work 
without telling him how to do it. "Ned" Townsend, as he was familiarly 
called at the time, might be referred to as a fourth on the list, for he is 
now a member of Congress from New Jersey. Mr. Townsend began his 
San Francisco career on The Chronicle, but later joined the Hearst papers. 
His "Chimmie Fadden" papers won for him national newspaper fame. 

An attache of The Chronicle whose work attracted attention in the 
eighties was Harry Dam. He had a brilliant style and an aptitude for 
dramatic work. After some years' service on the paper, Mr. Dam was 

made the executive secretary of Governor Stoneman. When 
Kn~vn his labors in Sacramento were concluded he emigrated to 

Chronicle London, where he succeeded in .having two or three of his 

Contributors plays staged and achieved a distinct success. Charles Warren 

Stoddard, Joaquin Miller, Prentice Mulford, George Alfred 
Townsend and Alexander Del Mar were regular contributors of The 
Chronicle during the eighties. Stoddard was sent to the Hawaiian islands 
and to the Near East and his letters were a regular Sunday feature of 
The Chronicle for nearly eleven years. Joaquin Miller's contributions 
were as frequent, but did not extend over so long a period. Prentice 
Mulford wrote articles which were characterized by one critic as common 
sense philosophy. He was far moTe familiar with life in the mining camps 
of the early days than Bret Harte, and came nearer giving a true picture 
of the gold hunters than that author. Alexander Del Mar was a mining 
engineer whose occupation carried him all over the globe, and, in addition, 
was an author of distinction and became a recognized authority on the 
subject of money. Some of his earliest work was done for The Chronicle, 
and one notable article, written in 1881, on the growth of corporations, 
foreshadowed in a remarkable manner what has since come to pass. 

It was sometime in the eighties that W. W. Naughton, afterward the 
sporting editor of the Examiner, attached himself to The Chronicle staff. 

He recalled with considerable amusement a short time before 
S^d ^ s death, i n a conversation with the writer, the fact that 

Writers when he first began to make a specialty of reporting sports 

for The Chronicle the question was seriously raised 

whether there was enough news of that particular kind to 
furnish a couple of columns regularly on Sundays, in addition to that pre- 
sented in the daily. Thomas E. Flynn, who was the first to undertake the 
task of providing a regular column of that sort, can testify that the job 


Journalism in California 

was not an easy one. The reference to Flynn's connection with The 
Chronicle recalls the fact that he, with Arthur McEwen and Joseph Good- 
man, during the eighties started a weekly paper, the professed object of 
which was to hold up a journalistic mirror in which defective San Fran- 
ciscans might see themselves as others saw them. The venture earned 
what the French call "an esteemed success," hut it was not profitable, and 
met an early fate. The trio were exceptionally fine newspaper men and 
excellent writers, but their journal, even with the help of Sam Davis, who 
was one of the organizers of the Sazerac lying club, proved an unprofitable 




A New Building for The Chronicle at Market, Geary and Kearny — An Architectural 
Departure Which Caused Much Headshaking — M. H. de Young's Bold Innova- 
tion — The Chronicle 's Big Strides in the Eleven Years Between 1879 and 1890 — 
A Sixty-Page Edition — Some Bemarkable Comparisons — Hard Times After a 
Period of Prosperity — A Successful Attempt to Turn Aside Adversity — M. H. 
de Young's Proposition to Hold a Midwinter Pair — A Conspicuous Instance of 
the Journalism That Does Things — The Story of a Big Enterprise— The Manner 
of Its Suggestion in Chicago at the Columbian Pair — An Idea Eeceived With 
Enthusiasm — The Ball Set Rolling in Chicago — Local Attempts to Head off the 
Project — Pears That It Could Not Be Successfully Carried Through— The First 
Modest Plans — Organization Effected and M. H. de Young Selected Director- 
General— Commissioners Oppose Location of Pair in Golden Gate Park — Formal 
Ground Breaking August 24, 1893 — Work for the~ Unemployed — Pour Short 
Months in Which to Get Ready — One Hundred and Pifty Buildings Erected — 
Ready to Open on Time — A . Succession of Festivals and Other Events — An 
Exposition Which Was Made to Finance Itself — What It Did for Golden 
Gate Park and the City of San Francisco. 

N THE 10th of June, 1890, the proprietor of The 
Chronicle held a reception in the new building on the 
corner of Market, Geary and Kearny streets, especially 
constructed to house the new plant of the paper. The 
event was one of more than ordinary importance because 
it marked a departure in architecture which was char- 
acterized by many as venturesome, but the wisdom of 
which was approved by the event. The era of tall build- 
ings had begun at the East several years earlier and the term "skyscraper" 
had already become familiar to San Franciscans, but no one in the city 
imagined that anyone would be bold enough to introduce the new style 
of construction to Californians. When M. II. de Young, in 1888, announced 
the consummation of his plans for building a ten-story steel structure on 
the site which was made the center and heart of the city by the carrying 
out of his determination there was a general shaking of heads. San Fran- 
cisco had undergone an experience twenty years earlier which was still 
fresh in the minds of many, and predictions were made that in the event 
of another visitation the innovator would have cause to regret his temerity.. 
But the apprehensions and criticisms of those who had not investigated the 
subject had no effect on Mr. de Young, who had gone into the matter 
thoroughly with the leading architects of Chicago, Burnham & Root, the 


136 Journalism in California 

pioneers in the construction of lofty office buildings in that city, and was 
convinced that a building erected on the most approved modern lines would 
stand any shock to which it might be subjected. 

The erection by M. II. de Young of The Chronicle's ten-story building 
in its central location may, therefore, be characterized as an exhibition of 
"the journalism which does things," as it encouraged the timid to abandon 
g . a fear the retention of which would have caused San Francisco 

Being a *° s * an< l out as an exception to American cities. In an era of 

Squatty lofty structures it would have remained a city of low build- 

City ings, which would have seemed squatty by comparison with 

those of the other great marts of the country, and would have 
perpetually advertised to the rest of the world an apprehension which had 
no real existence;, for it was not true at the time that San Franciscans 
were afraid of earthquakes or gave their possibilities mueh consideration. 
The prognosticators of evil were simply indulging in speculations suggested 
by an innovation, a fact attested by the comparative promptness with which 
the "daring" example of Mr. de Young of The Chronicle was followed. 
Nevertheless, it is reasonably certain that the almost dormant feeling would 
have proved a sufficient obstacle to a departure from the old order of con- 
struction had not someone been brave enough to break away from a limita- 
tion which was fetteringthe progress of the city. 

The erection of The Chronicle building and its occupation on June 10, 
1890, was noteworthy, also, for another reason. It marked in a most sig- 
nificant manner the strides made by the journal in the short space of 

eleven years. In 1879, when the paper moved into the home 
Madein * S ttullt for it on the corner of Kearny and Bush streets, the 
Eleven newspaper men invited to inspect the equipment of the new 

Years building concurred in the opinion that it would be adequate 

to, the needs of a growing journal for a century to come. The 
most imaginative on that September day in 1879 were unable to foresee a 
tithe of the great changes eleven years would bring about; they could talk 
fluently about the expansion of the city, and make estimates of future 
population, but their prophecies were attended by that vagueness of detail 
which tells the story of the shadow of an idea too faint to be dignified as a 
concept. In 1890, when the throngs invited to inspect The Chronicle's 
new home invaded every part of the building, from the pressroom in the 
basement to the outlook from the tower, there was a more respectful atti- 
tude toward possible change. There was a feeling that the new location 
would become the heart of ihe city, but, in the minds of some at least, 
there lurked the idea that more room might be needed on that particular 
corner at some future day, and that the spick and span new equipment from 
top to bottom might have the same fate as that left behind at Kearny and 
Bush streets, when The Chronicle moved into its new quarters. 

Although the reception occurred on the 10th of June, the event was 
not celebrated in the columns of the paper until June 22d, when a sixty- 
page edition was issued. This was by all odds the largest paper ever 
printed on the Pacific Coast. Its principal features were an illustrated 
description of the new building, and a detailed history of the progress of 
the paper during the twenty-five years of its existence. This afforded a 
fine opportunity to make pome instructive comparisons, and they were made 
in a way which conveyed to the reader the impression that the jump in size 


Erected by M. H. de Young- in 1890, on the corner of Market, Geary and Kearny 

streets, and occupied by the Chronicle until April, 1906. 

Story of a Big Enterprise 137 

from the little sheet of four pages of four columns each, to a sixty-page 
paper of 420 columns was a big one, and well worth dwelling upon. There was 
„. , no disputing. the fact that the 9345 inches of reading matter 

Largest * n * ne sixty-page issue made a formidable showing when corn- 

Paper pared with the 216 inches of the premier issue, of which 

to Date nearly three-fourths was advertising, but the writer, had he 

been able to put aside the veil of the future, would have been 
less sure than he seemed to be that high water mark had been reached, for 
since that time special editions of twice sixty pages have been printed, and 
the regular Sunday issue equals that upon which so much stress was de- 
servedly laid in 1890. Another feature of the sixty-page edition was a 
section devoted to describing the growth of Pacific Coast towns, and the 
resources which promoted their advancement. On the literary side there 
was a distinct advance, and the first installment of chapters of a serial by 
Bret Harte, written especially for The Chronicle, and entitled' "Through the 
Santa Clara Wheat," gave promise that the Sunday magazine was to con- 
tinue distinctive as well as interesting. 

The prosperity which falsified the predictions of the antagonists of the 
new Constitution of 1879 continued during the eighties and showed no 
signs of abating until 1893, the year of the Columbian Exposition. Nearly 
a quarter of a century of the closer relations with the East, 
Times produced by the opening of the transcontinental railroads, 

Follow had created conditions on the Coast which made its trade and 

Prosperity finances respond more quickly than formerly to the aberra- 
tions of Eastern markets. It was no longer possible as it had 
been twenty years earlier to. escape a panic or depression having its origin 
on the other side of the Rocky mountains. When the collapse which fol- 
lowed the election of Grover Cleveland in 1892 occurred San Francisco 
began to show signs of suffering in common with the rest of the Union. 
That it escaped without serious injury and went through a financial storm 
which resulted in broken banks, receiverships and bankruptcies throughout 
the rest of the Union is wholly attributable to the fact that M. II. de 
Young, realizing the impending danger and being a firm believer in the 
theory that it is wise in times of great stress to divert the mind from 
brooding, suggested and promoted a project which accomplished that object 
and tided the community safely over the shoals of impending disaster. The 
j.project and the mode of carrying out were frankly recognized at the time as 
the most conspicuous instance in the history of American newspapering of 
"the journalism that does things." 

From the moment of the inception of the idea of holding an interna- 
tional exposition at Chicago, The Chronicle had taken a lively interest in 
the success of the enterprise and contributed largely to the enthusiasm 
which resulted in California making one of the best and most 
M. H. de attractive exhibits. In recognition of the personal part taken 

Work 8 at bv Mr - de Youn g in promoting the idea of making Cali- 

Chicago fornia's showing in its peculiar industries unrivaled, he was 

appointed National Commissioner at Large, by President 
Harrison, to represent the United States Government at the Chicago 
Columbian Exposition, and was subsequently elected vice-president of the 
National Commission. Having accepted the important positions, he gave 
the duties devolving upon him earnest attention, and before and after the 

138 Journalism in California 

opening of the exposition he was in constant attendance in Chicago. His 
work as National Commissioner brought him into close relation with many 
foreign exhibitors, and that fact played its part in the formation of the 
idea which bore such excellent fruit. He found that many of them were 
greatly interested in California and their inquiries suggested that their 
curiosity might be made to take a form that would prove beneficial to the 
State. Having satisfied himself on this latter point, he broached what he 
had in mind to several prominent Californians who were in Chicago at 
the time, and was gratified to find that the suggestion made by him, that 
it would be possible to hold a fair in San Francisco at the conclusion of 
the Columbian Exposition, was received with enthusiasm. 

The idea, as first outlined by Mr. de Young on May 31st, was much 
more modest than the subsequent realization. He thought that a suitable 
location could be secured in Golden Gate Park on which to erect a building 
the size of the Mechanics' Pavilion, in which exhibits could 
J^ a be housed, and that their exhibition could be made attractive 

That Grew by inducing some of the best concessions to visit San Fran- 
Rapidly cisco. Twenty acres was tentatively mentioned by him as 

about the quantity of space that would be required. The 
exchange of views by the Californians in Chicago was immediately followed 
by the transmission of dispatches to the Governor of California and the 
Mayor of the city, and prompt replies were received from them indicating 
their willingness to assist in forwarding the project. The latter called a 
meeting of prominent San Franciscans. They all agreed that such a fair 
as Mr. de Young proposed would be beneficial in many ways, but the 
most of them thought that the depression in business which had already 
made itself felt in San Francisco would prove an insuperable obstacle to 
raising the necessary funds to carry out the enterprise. 

A little inquiry by the minority of the conference developed the fact 
that Mr. de Young's suggestion, which was given publicity by the press, 
appealed to the people. When he was informed concerning the apprehen- 
sion that the enterprise could not be financed in a time of 
the'* 1115 depression, Mr. de Young, on June 5th, telegraphed: "Per- 

Ball mit me to put down my name as a subscriber to^the amount 

Rolling of $5000." On June 11th, Mr. de Young, at a meeting called 

by the California Columbian Club in Chicago, at which there 
were over a hundred persons present, went more fully into details. There 
were several commissioners from foreign countries present, who expressed 
favorable views and gave assurances that their respective nations would be 
represented creditably, if not in an official way, at least satisfactorily so 
far as exhibits were concerned. Speeches were made. by prominent Cali- 
fornians in which the belief was expressed that the fair could be made a 
great success and that it would result in a magnificent advertisement of 
the climate and resources of the Golden State. A subscription list was 
passed around at this meeting and $41,500 was subscribed. A full account 
of the meeting in the California Building was telegraphed to San Fran- 
cisco, which had the effect of increasing the popular desire for the suggested 
fair, but did not entirely allay the fears of those who had expressed doubts 
concerning the ability to raise the fund that required to finance 
the undertaking, and at a meeting held on June 13th in the Mayor's office 
a resolution was offered which would have sidetracked the proposition had 


Story of a Big Enterprise 139 

it carried. But the advocates of the fair protested against this summary 
disposition, and asked the appointment of a committee of fifty to investigate 
the matter further. 

The fifty citizens were named by the Mayor and effected an organiza- 
tion. A committee of eleven of their number was created to formulate a 
plan of progress, which was submitted at a meeting held in the City Hall 

on June 29th. At this gathering the apprehensive were out 
Designation * n ^ u ^ ^ orce an( ^ several of them expressed the opinion that 
Midwinter it would be impossible to carry out Mr. de Young's idea of 
Fair getting up an exhibition whose name would advertise to the 

world California's climatic advantages in the brief period 
allotted. When the idea was first broached by Mr. de Young in Chicago 
he spoke of the potency of the phrase "Midwinter Exposition," and that 
title was accepted, as was also the suggestion that it should be opened on 
the 1st of the succeeding January. The majority of the committee did 
not share the timidity of those who urged that the time was too short to 
get ready and that the money to do so could not be raised in a hurry. 
Speeches were made in favor of going ahead, and there were numerous 
allusions to the suggestion made in a telegram from Mr. de Young that 
the effect of holding a fair in a time of depression would serve to convince 
the rest of the country that the affairs of San Francisco and California 
were on a solid foundation. The discussion ended in the adoption of a 
plan of permanent organization, which had for its main feature the provi- 
sion that four buildings should be erected, the cost of which in the 
aggregate was not to exceed $500,000. 

On the ensuing day, M. H. de Young was elected President and 
Director-General by the citizens' committee, and an advisory board, con- 
sisting of P. N. Lilienthal, Irwin C. Stump, R. B. Mitchell and A. 

Andrews of San Francisco, Eugene Gregory of Sacramento, 
Young Elected Jacob H - Neff of Colfax > Fulton G. Berry of Fresno and 
Director- Joseph S. Slauson of Los Angeles, was also formed. As soon 

General as Mr. de Young was apprised of his election he returned to 

San Francisco from Chicago, and immediately on his arrival 
set to work formulating the details. His experience gained as a National 
Commissioner to the Columbian Exposition was drawn upon and he soon 
had affairs moving in such a fashion that the skeptical abandoned their 
doubts. The work of securing the necessary funds was energetically pushed, 
and it speedily developed the soundness of the view that the right thing 
to do when a financial stress is threatened is to create a condition which 
will divert thought from impending trouble. It is noteworthy that when 
the subscription list was passed around all sorts of persons were ready to 
contribute, the workingman handing in his offering as freely as the mer- 
chant who had faith that the enterprise would benefit business, or the 
railroad, whose managers could foresee increased transportation receipts. 
The total amount subscribed, including the value of contributions other 
than money, was .$344,319.59. The sum may seem small compared with 
the amounts expended on other expositions before and since, but the results 
achieved will bear comparison with the best. 

When the idea of the Midwinter Exposition was first mooted by Mr. de 
Young, he spoke of twenty acres as a tract sufficiently large for the pur- 
pose in view, and he also mentioned Golden Gate Park as the proper place 

140 Journalism in California 

in which to locate the exhibition. It did not occur to him, or to anyone 
else for that matter, that there would be any objection to temporarily 
devoting a portion of the people's pleasure ground to a use which would 
benefit the community. By far the greater part of the more 
Location 11 *° than a thousand acres composing the Park was a waste of 
in ' sand hills and scrub brush, and he proposed redeeming as 

Park much of this unfrequented wilderness as would be required. 

But he had revised his opinion concerning the area which he 
at first had thought would suffice for all requirements. The multiplying 
evidences of popularity, and requests for space from neighboring states and 
counties, and from concessionaires, made it clear to him that ten times as 
much land as was at first suggested would be needed, and he astonished the 
Park Commissioners by preferring a request to set aside two hundred acres. 
Intimations had been thrown out before formal application was made that 
it would be denied on the ground that the Park could not properly be put 
to the use proposed, but Mr. de Young, by an energetic presentation of 
what he expected to accomplish, persuaded the Commissioners that good 
public policy demanded that "Concert Valley," then a wild waste, should be 
temporarily surrendered, the promise, afterward made good, being given 
that it would be restored in such shape that the original plans for its 
permanent improvement would be greatly facilitated. 

The Park Commissioners' consent to the use of Concert Valley being 
obtained, Director-General de Young lost no time in preparing the site for 
the occupation of the buildings decided upon. On the 24th of August, in 
the presence of about sixty thousand people, ground was 
Ground formally broken. The ceremony was preceded by a military 

Broken an ^ c i v i c procession, one of the divisions of which was a big 

band of workingmen, a part of the army of unemployed who 
were to be benefited by the enterprise about to be inaugurated. 
Mr. de Young made a speech before turning the first shovelful of earth, 
which was largely devoted to describing the benefits which he predicted 
would follow the successful carrying out of the enterprise, in the course of 
which he dwelt upon the relief that would be afforded to a large number of 
unemployed artisans and toilers of all kinds, not forgetting to remind his 
hearers that the best possible remedy for a business depression was to do 
something calculated to turn the mind from its contemplation. This he 
declared would surely happen when the community woke to the full realiza- 
tion of what it was purposed to accomplish. Speeches of similar import 
were made by W. H. L. Barnes and Irving M. Scott, and the first earth was 
turned with the silver shovel especially made for the occasion. 

From that moment, Concert Valley was a scene of activity. With an 
eye to dramatic effect, the Director-General had in readiness a band of 
workers with teams, and the crowd of sixty thousand witnessed the begin- 
ning of the task of converting an unsightly waste of two hun- 
^" our sl J ort dred acres into a suitable site for the big buildings, the plans 
WWcl^t^Get f° r which would be in readiness before the contractor, work 
Ready he ever so swiftly, could prepare the ground. There was no 

waiting for anything after the ground breaking ceremony, for 
it had been decided that the fair should be opened on the 1st of January, 
1894. That left but four short months in which to complete some 150 
buildings, great and small, put the grounds in orderand to install the ex- 

Story of a Big Enterprise 141 

hibits. It will be recalled that when the project was first suggested a single 
building of the size of the Mechanics' Pavilion, and provision for the attrac- 
tions Of concessionaires, were spoken of, but long before the ceremony of 
ground breaking the Director-General had foreseen that every foot of the 
two hundred acres asked for would be needed to meet the demands of 
intending participants. 

The main buildings decided upon, which were to surround the Grand 
Court of Honor, were under construction before the contractor who was 
putting the grounds into shape had completely finished his task. They were 
. five in number, and the largest, dedicated to Manufactures 

hidings an< ^ Li Dera l Arts, was 462 feet long and 225 feet wide, 

and the with an annex 370 feet by 60 feet. The style of archi- 

Grand Court tecture was an adaptation from the California mission. The 
next largest was the Horticultural and Agricultural Building, 
400 by 200 feet, surmounted by a dome 100 feet in diameter and ninety 
feet high. The architect in the main followed Spanish and Eomanesque in 
his treatment, which had also a suggestion of the old missions. The 
Mechanical Arts had an East Indian motive. It was 330 feet long by 160 
deep. The Fine Arts was suggestive of Egypt, and with its decorations of 
sphinxs and hieroglyphs it presented a unique and not unpleasing appear- 
ance. Its dimensions were 120x60 feet, but, before the fair opened, an 
annex had to be provided to accommodate the exhibits. The Administra- 
tion building, with its gilded dome 135 feet high, was one of the most 
striking structures on the Grand Court. The architect went to Byzantium 
for his model, but in the ornamentation used Gothic and Moresque motives 
impartially, producing a satisfactory effect. It is worth noting that in 
scheming the general effect the color idea was adopted. The historian of 
the Midwinter Fair, commenting on this feature, said : "The buildings 
were so beautifully colored that the Grand Court, around which they stood, 
was said by visiting journalists to entitle the exposition to the name of 
'The Opal City.' " 

In addition to the five main buildings on the Grand Court the Com- 
mission constructed a Festival Hall, 180x160 feet, in which concerts were 
given and which provided a place for the meeting of conventions, several 
of which were held while the fair was in progress. The 
° n ® *J?i" dred aggregate cost of these six principal structures was $353,731. 
Buildings No account appears to have been kept of the amount expended 

Erected in the construction of most of the other buildings erected by 

states, counties, foreign, countries and concessionaires, some 
of which nearly rivaled in size the principal structures. Several of the 
counties maintained separate exhibits, notably Alameda, while, in other 
cases, sections united for a common display. The Northern and Central 
counties resorted to this latter course, and Southern California had a hand- 
some building, in which its special products were displayed. The State 
of Nevada made an effective display, and Oregon showed what could be 
done with the lumber from its great forests. The Chinese had one of the 
most striking exhibits, housed in a structure of a style not seen outside of 
China before, and the Japanese gave visitors an idea of their landscape 
gardening by fashioning the "Tea Garden," which still exists in the Park 
as a memorial of the Midwinter Fair, it being presented to the Commis- 
sioners after the closing of the exposition. 

142 Journalism i n Cal ifornia ^^^^ 

The Plaisance of the Midwinter Fair was one of its greatest attrac- 
tions. The popularity of the name given to the section devoted to conces- 
sions in Chicago caught the fancy of San Franciscans and by common con- 

sent the thoroughfare along and near which the concessions 
Plaisance and were arran g e( i was called "The Midway." Among the most 
the Many alluring of these side shows were : The Forty-Nine Camp, 

Festivals a Dahomey Village, the Streets of Cairo, the Crater of 

Kilauea of Hawaii, Arizona Indian Village, Vienna Prater, 
Heidelberg Castle and German Village, Japanese Theater, Firth Wheel, 
Oriental Theater, Scenic Eailway, Esquimau Village, North American 
Indians and Boone's Arena and Menagerie. The buildings and the 
inclosures for all these concessions, the state and county buildings, the prin- 
cipal structures on the Grand Court, grandstands and innumerable, booths 
were all in readiness on the day announced for the opening, but untoward 
weather delayed the arrival of some of the principal exhibits and prevented 
their installation before the 1st of January, but the fair was informally 
opened on that date, the Director-General having resolved to redeem the 
promise made when the project was first launched. 

The ceremonial opening, which was marked by a grand parade, did not 
occur until January 29th. The day was beautiful and a vast throng was 
in attendance, 72,248 passing through the turnstiles. All the foreign 

exhibits were in place and the concession attractions were 
Ceremonial running in full blast. The states and counties were all in 
Opening readiness, and their displays were a source of gratification 

to the Pacific Coasters who had the pleasure of seeing them. 

The exhibits in the foreign sections were very attractively dis- 
played in booths, many of which were constructed at great expense and 
handsomely decorated. From that day until the closing of the gates on 
the Fourth of July, there was a continuous succession of fetes and events. 
There were parades by day and fireworks and electric displays by night. 
The first real acquaintance with the possibilities of electricity in the way 
of illumination was made by San Franciscans when the lofty tower in the 
center of the Grand Court was picked out with colored incandescent lights, 
and the fountain at the north end was playing, showing, with the aid of 
colored prisms operated from beneath, sheaves of wheat, golden and silver 
cascades of water and other beautiful objects. There was no lack of music, 
the best military bands of the East and one specially organized for the fair 
playing by day, and a splendid string orchestra discoursing symphonic and 
other high class music in Festival Hall at night. There were almond blos- 
som days and rose and other floral festivals and tournaments at arms. 
There was something doing all the time, either gay or serious, among 
events in the latter category being congresses discussing Economies and 
Politics, Eeligion, Literature, Education, Chemistry and Woman's Affairs. 
Nearly 200,000 persons passed through the turnstiles during the first 
two weeks after the formal opening. The total number of admissions 
between January 27th and July 4th was 1,315,022. In addition, there 
was a pre-exposition record of 78,192 and of 40,867 between July 5th and 
31st, making a grand total of 1,434,081. Among the days of largest attend- 
ance were the following: Washington's Birthday, 35,000; Examiner's 
Children's day, 55,000 ; St. Patrick's day, 75,000 ; Chronicle Children's day, 
90,097, and the closing day, July 4th, 79,082. It was confidently expected 

_^ Stor y of a Big Enterprise 143 

that the attendance on the closing day would top the 100,000 mark, but the 
distraction produced by a railroad strike in progress, which had resulted in 
_,. interrupting communication with the city, destroyed this hope. 

Attendance When it is kept in mind that the population of the region 
and the which finds San Francisco easily accessible was not more than 

Big Days one-third as great in 1893 as it is at present, the above 

showing must be regarded as marvelous and thoroughly 
indicative of the pleasure loving propensities of the citizens of the Pacific 
Coast metropolis. In order properly to understand what was accomplished, 
it is necessary to recall the fact that the Midwinter Exposition did not 
receive one cent from the municipality, state or nation. It was a purely 
voluntary affair, and an exhibition of public-spiritedness and enterprise 
the like of which had never been witnessed in this or any other country. 
When compared with some of the expositions which were the recipients 
of public aid on a liberal scale, San Francisco's Exposition does not suffer 
by the comparison. The Centennial at Philadelphia only boasted five 

main buildings and less than 200 structures of all sorts. The 
WasMade to New 0r,eans Fair of 1884-85 received a national loan of a 
Finance million, which was never repaid, and in addition sold a half 

Itself million of stock, and obtained $100,000 each from the city of 

New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. The Jamestown 
Exposition was also liberally endowed by the Nation, but failed to justify 
itself. San Francisco's undertaking stands almost alone as an instance 
of an enterprise which practically financed itself after the original volun- 
tary subscription was provided, and on that account the figures of its 
final accounting are interesting. The receipts aggregated $1,260,112, being 
made up of the following items : Subscriptions, $370,775 ; sales of space, 
$77,855; gate receipts, $531,722; grandstand, $9997; concessions, $125,086; 
privileges, $89,471, and salvage, $10,445. The principal items of expendi- 
ture were: Salaries, $240,539; amusements, $113,740, and construction 
and purchases for museum, $731,377. When the affairs of the enterprise 
were all wound up, improvements and donations aggregating in value 
$194,051.49 were turned over to the Park Commissioners. On the oc- 
casion of the formal presentation of the Museum to the Park the chairman 
acknowledged the gift in these words: "For years to come the building 
will remind our people that in the years 1893-94, in the midst of almost 
unprecedented financial depression, an industrial exposition was here pro- 
jected and carried to a successful termination. * * * It is no secret that 
the Park Commissioners did not receive the exposition project in its incep- 
tion with any degree of hospitality, and that, when they consented to allot 
space in the Park they did it with misgivings and really in obedience to an 
overwhelming public opinion. * * * The differences between the exposi- 
tion directory and the Commissioners are of the past. The exposition has 
been a success." And that was the verdict of the whole community, and, 
because it proved so, the writer makes bold to claim for it the distinction 
of being the most conspicuous example of the journalism that does things 
which the. country has witnessed. It was the conception of a newspaper 
man who depended chiefly upon the energetic efforts of his paper to promote 
the enterprise. Through the instrumentality of The Chronicle enthusiasm 
was aroused and interest kept alive, and what at first was characterized by 
the timid as a doubtful undertaking was converted into a glorious success. 



No Monopoly in the Field of Journalism — Great Journals the Product of Toil and 
Patient Upbuilding — The Disappearance of the Alta California — A Newspaper 
Killed by Cheapness — Objection to the Introduction of Pennies — Diminishing 
Interest in Stock Speculation Causes Death of Two Papers — The Bulletin and 
Call Change Hands — John D. Spreckels Acquires the Call — Strenuous Adherence 
to the Policy of Pay-as- You-Go— The New City Hall of 1870 a Euin Before 
It Was Finished — Property Sold by the City Bepurchased to Secure a Building 
Site — The Dollar Limit of Taxation and the Water Supply — The Eegulation of 
Water Bates — Dollar Tax Limit Used as a Political Bait by Boss Buckley — 
Newspaper Hostility to Smooth Pavements — Editors Who Were Beserved in the 
Matter of Expressing Opinion — Samuel S. Moffat's Pree Trade Articles in the 
Examiner — The Chronicle's Advocacy of the Development of the Besources of 
the State— Helping Neighboring States and Territories — Good Advice Given to 
Southern Californians — The Bush to the Klondike — Big. Force Sent to Beport 
the Discoveries — A Twelve-Page Edition of the Northern El Dorado — Optimistic 
Predictions Concerning Alaska — A Book Published in a Single Issue — Chronicle 
Monographs Beproduced as Public Documents by Congress. 

HE most important factor in the development and exten- 
sion of journalism in the United States was the growth 
of the prosperity of the country. The increasing 
wealth of its inhabitants made possible the exploitation 
of the numerous inventions, both European and Ameri- 
can, which had for their object the improvement of the 
processes of newspaper production, all of which tended 
toward the multiplication of journals and periodicals of 
all kinds and the enlargement of the circulations of those already estab- 
lished. This latter phenomenon concurred with the extinction of once 
popular favorites. The disappearance of the latter, however, is in no wise 
attributable to the crowding-out process, for simultaneously with the 
valedictories of the unfortunate publishers there were constantly appearing 
salutatory announcements from, fresh aspirants for approval who were 
undeterred by the bad luck or the ill results of the mismanagement of the 
unsuccessful. There is nothing in the history of newspapering in San 
Francisco more striking than this latter fact, and it disposes of the fallacy 
entertained in some quarters that the great journals of this and other 
American cities enjoy a monopoly in newsgathering or any other journal- 
istic field. The fact that it would be hopeless for the possessor of great 
wealth to enter into successful competition with established journals by the 
lavish expenditure of money does not prove that those already occupying 


The Opposition to Pennies 145 

the afield enjoy a monopoly; it merely emphasizes what many have learned 
to their cost, namely, that a great newspaper can be created only by the 
slow process of upbuilding. 

On the other hand, a newspapeT assumedly well established, and in 
the enjoyment of all the facilities which experience and public favor can 
confer, may t despite apparently inexhaustible resources, meet the fate of the 
struggling aspirant who attributes his failure to succeed to 
California exclusive privileges possessed by his competitors. That was 
Ceases the case of the Alta California, which passed out of existence 

Publication in 1891. The Alta was a pioneer paper, the lineal suc- 
cessor of the Star and Californian of 1849. It began pub- 
lication as a tri-weekly in 1849 and about a month after its issuance in that 
form it blossomed out into San Francisco's first daily. It soon had rivals 
which surpassed it in circulation and business, but, as a result of the Vigi- 
lante uprising, it forged to the front, the business men of the city by 
concerted action transferring their patronage from the Herald to the Alta. 
In May, 1858, its owners, Pickering and Fitch, sold it to Frederick Mc- 
Crellish & Co. Under their management, it was fairly prosperous, suffi- 
ciently so to absorb the Times and to maintain its leading position, al- 
though it made no particular effort to do so, pursuing the even tenor of its 
way, sticking to eld methods and disregarding would-be rivals. After the 
death of McCrellish and Woodward, it fell into the hands of James G. 
Fair, who acquired it for the purpose of promoting his large personal in- 
terests and supporting his political aspirations. Queerly enough, although 
the Alta was able to draw on a practically exhaustless treasury, it drooped 
and finally died. 

The extinguishment of the Alta was the most notable item in the 
journalistic mortuary record of the nineties, unless that of the Evening Ee- 
port, because of the circumstances of its death, is entitled to that distinc- 
tion. The Eeport was started as early as 1863, but for a con- 
oTthe 3 ' 661 siderable period hardly took rank as a newspaper, its atten- 
Daily tion being wholly confined to mining news and quotations of 

Eeport the stock market. When the Big Bonanza excitement took 

possession of the city it began to print general news, and, 
under the management of its proprietor, William M. Bunker, who bought 
an interest in 1875, it began seriously to dispute the field with the Post 
and Bulletin. After the subsidence of interest in mining stocks, the Ee- 
port began to lose attractiveness, but was still a good enough paper to 
tempt the Scripps League to take it over, paying Bunker a handsome price 
for the property. The new management made the blunder of imagining 
that. San Francisco was ripe for the introduction of a penny paper. Up to 
that time no paper in San Francisco was sold for less than five cents. In- 
deed, the public had hardly emerged from the "bit" habit. The nickel 
was still regarded with distrust, an uneconomic people arguing that the 
use of small coins would prove destructive to a high standard of living. 
This attitude of the community, combined with the open hostility of the 
newsboys, proved fatal to the Scripps' venture and very soon the Eeport 
was numbered among the "has beens" of San Francisco journalism. An- 
other evening paper, similar in its origins, known as the Stock Exchange, 
also departed its life in the early nineties. It was well edited, and during 
the period when the sale of mining stocks and the collection of assessments 

146 , Journalism in Cal ifornia 

on non-paying dividend shares flourished it enjoyed a fair patronage. D. 
F. Verdenal, who subsequently became the New York correspondent of 
The Chronicle, was the editor in the heyday of its prosperity. 

The Call passed from the ownership of Pickering and Fitch, who had 
built it up, and into the possession of John D. Spreckels in 1897. Up to 
the time of the transfer this jpurnal had maintained the extreme conserva- 
tism which had marked its course from the date of its founda- 
P^ u tion. Rivalry proved powerless to influence the style of the 

Changes presentation of news adopted a score of years earlier. Flam- 

Hands boyaney in headings or typography were abhorred by the 

editors of both the Call and Bulletin and they were equally 
averse to departures in reporting or innovations of any sort. They did 
not lack good writers and competent reporters, but they worked under a 
restraint which made it impossible for them to show what was in them. 
Mr. Fitch, who devoted his attention to the Bulletin, was a forceful edito- 
rial writer, and he had able assistants in Matthew G. Upton and William 
Bartlett, the latter being especially proficient in the discussion of eco- 
nomic subjects. Mr. Fitch had early assumed an attitude of intense hos- 
tility to public expenditure and became the champion of the dollar limit 
in taxation. The exposure of the corruption of the city government pre- 
ceding the Vigilante outbreak had prepared the public mind to accept as 
the last word in municipal management opposition to everything remotely 
resembling unnecessary expenditure. This was the position taken by the 
People's' party, which came into existence about the time of the" adoption 
of the Consolidation Act in 1856, and which retained power for nearly 
fourteen years, chiefly because of the dread of debt fostered by the teach- 
ings of the Bulletin. 

There is a perfect agreement among old-timers that the Bulletin per- 
formed a valuable public service for a period, but that the benefits con- 
ferred were later offset by the failure of the extreme advocates of municipal 
economy to recognize the necessity of a city keeping abreast 
£f n H^nd° Cate of the world in the matterof -improvements. The Bulletin 
to Mouth na( i pinned its faith to Hawes' system of checks and balances, 

Finance which was so skillfully framed that it permitted scarcely 

anything else than the collection and expenditure of money 
on the hand-to-mouth plan. The instrument was absolutely inflexible, but 
there is reason for doubting that it accomplished any real economies after 
it had been in force for sometime. It was the stumbling block in the way 
of procuring a charter adapted to the needs of the city, and, while it was in 
operation, it compelled lobbying at Sacramento to secure authorization to 
do anything out of the usual. Its hide-bound provisions were responsible 
for the fact that San Francisco had no people's pleasure ground, maintained 
by the public, until 1870, and that finally, when in that year it was re- 
solved to build a new City Hall in place of the makeshift affair on Kearny 
street fronting Portsmouth square, it was some twenty-eight or thirty 
years in course of construction, and when finished was a hybrid structure 
totally lacking in symmetry owing to the changes in the original plans. It 
cost over six million dollars, an absurdly extravagant expenditure, con- 
sidering the result. 

This exhibition of incompetence was unquestionably caused by adher- 
ence to the fatuous "pay-as-you-go" plan, which actually put the city in 

The Opposition to Pennies 147 

the same financial position as the housewife who buys a piece of furniture 
and pays for it in installments. The city was not alone obliged to pay 
„. excessive prices for this piecemeal construction, but had to 

New City submit to the humiliation of being gibed by strangers and the 
Hall edifice, costly though it had proved to be, was jokingly 

Ruin alluded to as "the New City Hall Buin." There was a colos- 

sal blunder in the inception of the project clearly traceable 
to the mental attitude produced by incessantly dwelling upon the necessity 
of adhering rigidly to a maximum taxation system. To secure support for 
the scheme of building a new City Hall the bait was offered that a large 
portion of the money that would be required for its construction could be 
obtained by selling a part of what had been the Yerba Buena Cemetery. 
And thus it happened that the six million dollar City Hall was built on a 
side street, the frontage on Market being sold by the municipality to obtain 
funds. The unwisdom of this proceeding has been shown since by the pur- 
chase for several million dollars of a site which will give the City Hall now 
in course of construction an outlook on a specially created center, but which 
does not permit its imposing proportions to be fairly viewed from the 
city's most important thoroughfare. 

In like manner, the undue caution begotten by the dollar limit in taxa- 
tion idea must be held responsible for the existing water supply situation; 
that and the fear that the owners of the existing system would profit too 
. greatly if its creators should derive any profit from their en- 

Dollar Limit terprise. There can be no doubt respecting the honesty of 
and the the opposition of the Bulletin and Call to the acquisition of 

Water Supply the Spring Valley property in the early seventies for a sum 
which was not greatly in excess of its value. The fear that ' 
the issuance of bonds would break through the dollar limit of taxation, 
however, was much more potent in producing antagonism than any appre- 
hension which may have existed at the time that the system was not worth 
the sum demanded. It was charged that Ealston had devised a scheme to 
buy for $7,000,000 a property which he proposed selling for $15,000,000. 
Whatever may have been his intention, the Spring Valley system, such as 
it was, was subsequently offered to the city for $13,500,000, a proposition 
which was countered by an offer from the city of $11,000,000, which was 
refused. That was in 1877. A couple of years later, the Constitution, 
which was derisively called a sand-lot instrument, provided in express terms 
for the regulation of water rates by Boards of Supervisors, and its adop- 
tion was strenuously advocated by The Chronicle, which had at an earlier 
date favored the purchase of the Spring Valley system, and with equal 
strenuousness was opposed by the Bulletin and Call, which had attributed to 
the advocates of public ownership of water supplies a desire to forward the 
desires of the Spring Valley corporation to unload its property on the city. 

The keynote of municipal politics throughout the entire period between 
1856 and the adoption of a charter which took the place of the antiquated 
consolidation act, was the taxation limit. Extreme devotion to this one 
idea is justly chargeable with the long and infamous rule of the blind 
Democratic boss, Chris Buckley, who used the slogan of the dollar limit 
to retain his hold on the organization and dictate policies to the highest 
and least members of the party. Buckley came to the surface in the early 
eighties and was driven out of town by a pamphlet launched against him 

148 Journalism in California 

by former State Senator Jeremiah Lynch, which mercilessly exposed his 
methods. The blind boss was gifted with cunning and was quite willing to 
permit the municipal tickets put forward under his auspices 
Blind Boss ° ^ e nea ded with good men. He did not even shrink from 
Chris the acceptance of such a man as E. B. Pond, who, as a Super- 

Buckley visor, had earned the honorable distinction of being called 

"the watch dog of the treasury," as Mayor, and, wittingly or 
unwittingly, newspapers, beguiled by the non-partisan idea, because the 
head of the ticket was sound on the question of taxation, assisted the boss 
in his nefarious rule, which, if half the stories related and believed and 
never resented by him were true, was more brazenly corrupt than the 
infamous Schmitz-Euef regime. It did not seem to matter that municipal 
expenditures rose from $4,452,940 in 1876 to over $7,000,000 in 1890, 
without anything of consequence in the way of public improvement, pro- 
vided the dollar tax limit was not exceeded. 

Throughout the nineties columns of the Call, Bulletin and Chronicle 
were filled with discussions concerning the desirability of promoting the 
welfare of the city by increasing its attractiveness. Considerable virulence 
. . was introduced into arguments which the reader of today 

Hostility would find interesting and even amusing. The Bulletin was 

Smooth uncompromisingly opposed to any departure from the method 

Pavements of street making in vogue in the fifties. It was willing to 
admit that cobble stones were not quite the thing for paving 
the thoroughfares of an ambitious metropolis, but its editor was quite sure 
that nothing could surpass in durability what he persisted in misnaming 
Belgian blocks. What he designated as such were merely pieces of basaltic 
rock roughly shaped, which were laid loosely in a bed of sand. To suggest 
a resort to pavements of wooden blocks invited opprobrious comment. De- 
spite the fact that London, Paris and other cities had successfully resorted 
to this style of thoroughfare, the Bulletin unhesitatingly denounced it as 
an absolute failure. As for asphaltum composition and bituminous rock, 
they were contemptuously referred to as poultices. The Chronicle, which 
saw merit in smooth pavements, insisted that there was something else to be 
considered in laying a roadway than durability, and became so impatient 
with the extreme conservatism of its antagonist it charged him with being 
a "silurian," a term which stuck. 

These wordy wars concerning municipal improvement and politics were 
mainly confined to the columns of the Bulletin and Chronicle. Mr. Pick- 
ering was never very vehement in the expression of his views, but the care- 
ful reader could guess to which side he was inclined, despite 
^ . the caution exercised in framing opinions and statements in 

Editorial suc ' 1 a fashion that they would not give offense to the most 

Policy sensitive subscriber. The Examiner was even less pronounced 

after William E. Hearst assumed charge, and there was an 
intimation thrown out very soon after his assumption of authority that 
the editorial columns of a newspaper were becoming a negligible factor in 
journalism. Whether that opinion was genuinely entertained or not, it is 
true that there was a complete revolution of method. The elaborate dis- 
cussions which once characterized the Examiner gave way to disquisitions 
whose flippant disregard of orthodox Democratic doctrine alarmed the 
faithful, and the belief soon became current that Mr. ' Hearst could not be 

The Blind Boss of the Democratic party. 

The Opposition to Pennies 149 

depended upon to support party policies. It was apparent to the most 
superficial observer that the changed Examiner was more intent on at- 
tracting attention to itself by doing thiiigs out of the usual than it was con- 
cerned about the formation or interpretation of public opinion. This idea 
was not tenaciously adhered to, for, after the first flurry, the Examiner 
settled down to solid work and one of its writing editors, Samuel S. Moffat, 
produced a series of articles on free trade which were afterward put into 
book form and were regarded by the Democrats of that period as the last 
word on the subject. Mr. Moffat was a student of economics and was 
familiar with all the arguments of the Manchester school. His views would 
hardly harmonize with those of the present-day Examiner, which would 
be coldly regarded by any one grounded in the theories of the Cobdenites. 

The change in the conduct of the Call after its purchase by John I). 
Spreckels extended to every department of the paper. Under successive 
managers, it developed differences which distinguished it from the Call of 
earlier days. The first to take charge, was Charles M. Short- 
Develomnent r ^S e ' wh° se experience in journalism was largely gained in 
of State's San Jose. Mr. Shortridge made the surprising announce- 
Resources ment that he was going to make the Call a real California 
paper, the implication being that its rivals were not sufficiently 
interested in the development of the commonwealth. His advent in metro- 
politan journalism was hailed with satisfaction by a large section of the 
interior press, but it did not endure long, for it soon developed that the 
new editor's opinions were illusory, and that there really was no possibility 
of greatly improving on the methods of The Chronicle, which for many 
years had made a specialty of exploiting the resources and industries of the 
Golden State and had left no possible chance to promote its prosperity un- 
tried. Some of the earlier efforts of The Chronicle in this direction have 
been referred to, but they were immeasurably surpassed by later exploits in 
the same field. Its annual reviews of the progress of the State continued 
to grow in comprehensiveness year after year, and whenever the occasion 
presented itself to promote a desirable industry it was promptly seized. 

On the 23d of August, 1889, a special edition was issued, eight pages 
of which were devoted to irrigation in California. The subject was then 
absorbing a great deal of public attention, and, under the title, "How to 
Make the Desert Bloom," the progress in reclamation and 
Chronicle's ^e f u t ure f irrigation were fully dealt with. It returned 
Editions *° the subject a couple of years later, and, on June 7, 1891, 

Development printed thirteen pages on the subject of irrigation, the 
Wright law being particularly considered. On May 24th of 
the following year, mining was dealt with in the same thorough fashion, 
ten pages being devoted to the history of the industry on the Pacific Coast. 
Eighteen ninety-three was prolific in special numbers. On January 1st of 
that year twelve pages were given to the story of the development of the 
State under Spanish and American rule; on April 23d, a Columbian 
World's Fair edition was issued, consisting of sixty-four pages. It was a 
complete survey of the growth and resources of California, and a very large 
edition was distributed at Chicago, it soon being found by the State's repre- 
sentatives that the easiest way of thoroughly acquainting the inquirer con- 
cerning what the State had to offer was to present him with a copy of that 
issue of The Chronicle. On the 31st of December, to signalize the opening 

150 Journalism in California 

of the Midwinter Fair, a special of sixty-four pages was issued, in which 
the State's best foot was shoved well forward. This edition was profusely 
illustrated and introduced something new in the way of newspaper illus- 
tration in the shape of marginal illustrations, every page of the edition 
devoted to the exploitation of California's resources being thus treated. 

In the early part of its career and until the region north of California 
became sufficiently populous to support metropolitan papers of its own, The 
Chronicle devoted much of its space in its annuals and special numbers to 
. describing the progress and resources of Oregon and the Ter- 

Neignboring ritory which afterward became the State of Washington. It 
States and a ls° performed a like service for Nevada, Idaho and Mon- 
Territories tana, taking pleasure in championing their interests and being 
foremost in advocating their admission to statehood. It had 
no doubts concerning the value to a people of the right to regulate their own 
affairs, being convinced that however well intentioned Congress and the 
executive departments in Washington might be they could not do as well 
for communities situated thousands of miles from the seat of government as 
they could themselves. On this theory it urged the admission of Arizona 
many years before the bqon of statehood was conferred. Its tendencies in 
this direction earned for it the distinction of being regarded as a Pacific 
Coast journal. Its local contemporaries shared this interest, but they were 
less convinced of the value of consistent and persistent presentation of the 
resources and progress of the region west of the Rockies than The Chroni- 
cle; at least, they did not lay as much stress on the desirability of pro- 
moting its settlement as The Chronicle, which constantly acted on the 
conviction that the development of what was familiarly termed "the Coast" 
would redound to the advantage of its metropolis. 

It was upon this theory that The Chronicle boasted of the climate of 
California and its attractiveness long before the people of Los Angeles 
awoke to the fact that climate-was one of the most valuable assets of South- 
ern California. In an editorial written shortly after the 
Southern completion of the railroad which linked Los Angeles with 

jj est San Francisco, The Chronicle predicted that in the near 

Adviser future people from the East would find their way to that city 

in as large numbers as those of Europe did to the Riviera. At 
a later period, when Los Angeles boasted only two very mediocre hotels, 
the Pico House and the Westminster, it pointed out that hostelries which 
would rival the best found in Eastern resorts would prove paying invest- 
ments. It saw in its growth, and that of the entire region south of the 
Tehachapi a promise of the future greatness of San Francisco, which could 
only occur through the filling up of the State and the development of its 
great resources. In one of its annual issues, that of January 1, 1885, com- 
menting on the growth of traffic by rail and steamer between San Francisco 
and Los Angeles, it said : "We may look forward to the day when at least 
two large cities will grow up in Southern California, and when that time 
arrives the commerce between them and this port will attain proportions we 
scarcely dream of now." The prediction has been fully realized and has 
justified the policy which prompted the journalistic course which so greatly 
contributed to that result. 

The so-called "non-contiguous territory" of Hawaii and Alaska has 
been the recipient of much attention from San Francisco journals. Ever 

The Opposition to Pennies 151 

S + n ^ j 16 annexation of tne Hawaiian group of islands The Chronicle has 
studied the interests of its inhabitants and has sought to promote them. 
Special Jt was not sin g u l ar in that regard, every San Francisco paper 

Hawaiian recognizing the intimate commercial relations of the islanders 

Editions of with San Franciscans, but the attitude of The Chronicle on 
The Chronicle the subject of protection caused it to take a more active part 

in presenting Hawaiian claims than any of its contemporaries, 
and this put it in closer touch with the people of the remote Territory than 
it might otherwise have been. The result of this intimacy was the is- 
suance of special Hawaiian numbers at times when their appearance was 
particularly opportune. On January 31, 1898, a twenty-page edition, con- 
taining "The Story of Annexation," written by Walter Gifford Smith, was 
published. Mr. Smith, who had been on the staff of The Chronicle for 
many years, having acted as its special correspondent during the war 
between Japan and China, was sent to the islands, and his contribution was 
one of the best articles on the subject written by the small army of scribes 
who gave the subject attention. On September 23d following, another 
special Hawaiian edition was published which was more particularly de- 
voted to describing the resources of the islands. Seven pages of this issue, 
which was entitled "Hawaii, the Cross Eoads of the Pacific," dwelt upon 
the future commercial and military importance of the then recent acquisi- 

In 1897 the news of the gold discoveries in the Klondike reached San 
Francisco. The reports of the richness of the finds were so alluring that 
there was a big rush to the new diggings. There was no such effect pro- 

duced as was witnessed in pioneer days, when the Frazer 
^^ river and the Klamath beach sand stories drew so many away 

to the from the city that business was seriously affected. The con- 

Klondike ditions had changed to such an extent that departures, even 

when on a large scale, were not referred to as an exodus or 
regarded with dissatisfaction. There was a prompt recognition of the 
probability that all the gold was not in British territory, and that it might 
be the country's good fortune in buying Alaska to have made a good bar- 
gain. This latter consideration was a large factor in promoting the very 
lively interest displayed by the people of California in the discovery and 
induced the newspapers of San Francisco to make extraordinary efforts to 
get the facts and tell the story of the hardships encountered by those who 
participated in the rush to the gold fields. On July 29, 1897, The Chronicle 
sent eight men, who were to penetrate the frigid and unknown country, 
and the accounts they sent out from time to time proved absorbingly inter- 
esting and fully corroborative of the stories which caused their dispatch. 
On December 30th, The Chronicle published a special edition, "San Fran- 
cisco, the Gateway to Alaska." Twelve pages were filled with matter relat- 
ing to the Territory, its commercial relations with San Francisco and its 
known resources. It was remarkable for the optimistic predictions of the 
writers, whose information enabled them to picture probabilities which 
would have been in a fair way of realization before this if the fatuous 
course of the authorities at Washington had not interposed obstacles which 
are only now in a fair way of being removed. 

During the nineties, The Chronicle made another innovation in jour- 
nalism. On the 30th of June, it published John P.. Young's "Bimetallism 


152 Journ alism in California 

or Monometallism/' of which the Bimetallist of London, England, re- 
marked: "It consists of twenty-five chapters, and occupies sixty-three 

columns, an amount of space probably unprecedented in news- 
on Finance P a per literature." It was stated by Arthur McEwen in his 
Printed in a comments on its appearance that it was the first attempt of 
Single Issue a daily paper in America, or anywhere else, to furnish its 

readers with an exhaustive treatise on a subject uppermost 
in the people's mind. Although copyrighted, it had the peculiar distinc- 
tion of being pirated by Congress, a member of the House reading the 
major part of it into the Record. Another treatise on the "Development of 
the Manufacturing Industries of Japan," by the same author, was printed 
as a United States Senate document. It appeared on February 2, 1896, 
and consisted of four pages, and anticipated much that has happened in 
an industrial way in Japan since that date. The economic bias of The 
Chronicle was displayed during the nineties in numerous other extended 
treatises. On September 13, 1896, it devoted seven pages to a description 
of the "Industrial and Commercial Growth of the United States," the article 
being designed to show the advances made by the country under the pro- 
tective system. 

No paper in the country has a more consistent record as an exponent 
of the benefits of the protective system than the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Almost from its birth it advocated the policy, and in later years it became 

a recognized authority on the subject, its articles being quoted 
of the* 07 ' n an< ^ ou * °^ Congress, and by the leading protective organ- 

Protective izations of the United States. Mr. de Young elevated it above 
Policy all other policies of the paper. As a protective journal, The 

Chronicle's chief distinction consisted in its thoroughness, and 
it did more to expose the vulnerability of the arguments of the Manchester 
school of economists than the most of its protective contemporaries. It was 
a pronounced advocate of the policy of building up a home market^ and 
unceasingly assailed the fallacy of overrating the importance of foreign 
trade. As early as 1882, it predicted that steadfast adherence to the policy 
of promoting a domestic manufacturing industry would result in bringing 
consumer and producer so closely together that the farmer would not need 
to worry about a foreign market, and that the result would be the elimina- 
tion of the great waste involved, in transporting agricultural products to 
distant countries. The prediction has long since been realized. The vast 
home market already absorbs the products of the farm, and it will soon be 
able to consume all the cotton produced by planters if the United States 
returns to sanity and adheres to the idea which made it prosperous in the 
past — that of promoting all industries on our soil by extending adequate 
protection to producers whether they be manufacturers, farmers or cotton 



Effect of the Cheapening of Printing Paper — Cause of the Popularity of the Sunday 
Magazine — Contributors of the Highest Rank — The Sunday Magazine Has 
Eliminated "Grub Street" — Development of the Syndicate — Effect of Illustra- 
tion on the Production of Magazine Matter — Improvement, in the Production of 
Pictures — Introduction of Typesetting Machines — General Adoption of the 
Linotype by Newspaper Offices — Growing Propensity to Dress Papers — Introduc- 
tion and Use of the Telephone— Care Taken to Verify Kumors and State Pacts 
Correctly — The Part Played by the Telephone in Getting at the Truth — General 
Use of Typewriting Machines in Newspaper Offices — Copyreaders and Composi- 
tors Grateful for Their Introduction — Shorthand Reports Not Commonly Made in 
American Newspaper Offices — Effect of Longhand Reporting on the Develop- 
ment of Literary Style — The First Sunday Editor of The Chronicle — Writers 
Who Came Prom the Case — Attaches of The Chronicle Who Have Made Their 
Mark — Well-known San Francisco Newspaper Men Now in Other Fields — Frank 
Norris' Early Connections — The Chronicle's City Editors. 

HE invention of the perfecting press has claimed most of 
the credit of promoting the growth of the newspaper 
reading habit in the United States. It undoubtedly 
contributed more than any factor to the possibility of 
production on a scale which easily permitted the plac- 
ing of any number of papers desired in the hands of 
readers, but the cheapening of white paper by the resort 
to wood pulp as the principal stock for its manufacture 
and the improvement of the machinery used in making it played its full 
share. Had the processes of paper manufacturing not been revolutionized 
the perfecting press would have shared the experience of a sixty-horse power 
automobile compelled by ordinance to not exceed a six-mile speed limit. It 
could have performed any service demanded of it, but, if white paper had 
remained high priced, its output would have been curtailed by the inability 
of purchasers to profitably print many-paged editions. As it is, despite its 
relative cheapness, the cost of the white paper in the big Sunday editions, 
and the huge special issues, often exceeds the amount at which the paper 
is sold. It is a fact not often considered by the reader, who takes his 
paper as a matter of course, that the modern newspaper, relatively to 
cost of production, is the cheapest of all manufactured products; a result 
entirely due to a degree of voluntary co-operation not attained in any 
other business. 

The perfecting press and cheap paper, however, must share with several 
concurrent improvements the distinction the newspaper has achieved in the 


154 Journalism in California 

United States,— that of becoming the people's library. This is a country in 
which libraries, large and small, abound, and there are probably more col- 
_ lections of books in private ownership, not 'dignified by the 

Sunday ^ e of library, but which, numerically considered, might be 

Magazine's so regarded, than the whole of Europe contains. Neverthe- 
Popularity less, and notwithstanding the fact that the output of "best 

sellers" is enormous, and that the sale of standard works 
is on a scale which makes the demand for such publications by other 
peoples seem small, it is true that the chief mental pabulum of the Ameri- 
can people is the contents of their newspapers. And it may be urged in 
response to the adverse criticism this sometimes calls forth that the best 
products of modern literature sooner or later, in some form or other, find 
their way into the Sunday magazine, which is at once an anthology, a 
repository of knowledge, a compendium of history and often history itself. 
It is the fashion to speak lightly of the Sunday magazine because it is not 
wholly made up of contributions which a fastidious literary taste could ap- 
prove, and it is said that a cultivated person can find in its columns only a 
small proportion of matter really worth while, but if that is a defect it is 
one it shares in common with the greatest libraries whose shelves harbor a 
hundred books that are never read to one that is. 

The popular judgment concerning the value of the Sunday magazine 
has long since received the indorsement of the most gifted in the ranks of 
authorship. There is no writer of consequence today unappreciative of the 

opportunity it affords to get his work before the people, or 
Authors w ^° disdains the rewards it offers. It has lifted the man of 

Glad to letters out of the slough of despond and given him a chance 

Contribute in the struggle for existence. It has eliminated Grub street, 

and has enabled genius to market its literary wares at a figure 
somewhat commensurate with their value. The author of merit no longer 
burns the midnight oil in a garret; oftener than otherwise he revels in the 
blaze of electricity and lives in marble halls, because he is able to reach a 
world of readers through the Sunday magazine. That he can do so is due 
in large part to the development of the "syndicate," which had its origin in 
the early nineties. It is possible that the plan of sharing the cost of a story 
or other product of the pen among several simultaneous users of the same 
may have been practiced at an earlier period, but it was not until about that 
time that S. S. McCIure began to develop the system of thus marketing 
literary wares which has since attained to such large proportions. On 
March 1, 1891, The Chronicle began the publication of a series of letters 
written by Eobert Louis Stevenson, entitled "In Southern Seas." It ap- 
pears as special correspondence of the paper, and was shared with four or 
five Eastern journals. When McCIure first inaugurated the service, the 
patrons of his syndicate published the article or story in advance of its 
appearance in book form, protecting the author by copyright. Later, he 
developed the practice of selling the privilege of printing after the book 
had been placed on the market. 

In the earlier nineties, the opportunity to secure matter from a syndi- 
cate was welcomed by the Sunday editor of The Chronicle. Aspirants for 
literary fame were less common then than they became later, and it was 
often difficult to secure enough contributions to make a satisfactory pres- 
entation. But this condition of affairs did not endure long. Very soon 



Linotype and Color Press 155 

after the zinc etching process had reached such a stage of development that 
the Lydia Pinkham joke ceased to be funny there was a fine crop of authors, 
Editors an< ^ ^ was no ^ on S er necessary to prepare special articles to 

Welcome " fi ^ ^P" w ^> although illustrated papers continued to be 

the written by the office force. The offerings from outsiders were 

Syndicate largely made up of fiction and descriptions of Pacific Coast 

life. Letters of foreign travel were received in greater num- 
ber, but they were no longer a leading feature, as they had been during the 
eighties, when the ability to parade five on the first page, each from a differ- 
ent continent, was considered somewhat of an achievement. About this 
time, great industry was displayed in the preparation of special descriptive 
articles which were helped out by illustration, and pictures were used to add 
to the attractiveness of foreign letters. This practice. was not long in vogue 
before the Sunday >editor began to exact photographs from contributors, 
or at least it came to be understood that a letter or an article accompanied 
by drawings or pictures had a better chance of acceptance than if it de- 
pended solely on its literary qualities to win favor. 

The use of color in newspaper illustration had been resorted to in 
1886, but the work was done on a slow press. It was not until 1901 that 
color was regularly employed on the first and last pages of the Sunday 

magazine. This was made practicable by inventions which. 
Colors made it possible to produce several tints simultaneously on a 

in perfecting press operated at a high rate of speed. At first, 

Illustrations only plates made from line drawings were used, but it was not 

long before half tones were essayed. These, when printed 
directly from the stereotype plates, were often unsatisfactory, and various 
devices were resorted to in order to overcome the tendency of the illustra- 
tion to fill up and become a mere blotch. For a while, it was the practice 
to insert the zinc etching in the stereotype plate and print directly from it, 
but the time consumed made this method objectionable. A way out of the 
difficulty was found by the use of a coarse screen in photographing the 
picture to be etched for insertion in a set of color plates. By the employ- 
ment of a patented process by which the crudeness of the colors was greatly 
modified by the intervention of stippling, cross hatching, etc., and improve- 
ments in etching methods and the touching up of photographs, the illumi- 
nated pages of the Sunday magazine are now made attractive, even if not 
sufficiently artistic to be hung on the line in a gallery. It is only fair to 
add that the limitations imposed by a rapid press and ordinary uncalendered 
newspaper prevent justice being done 1 to the workers on daily journals, many 
of whom are capable artists and are recognized as such by the profession. 
About the time of the introduction of the color press, a machine known 
as the linotype was beginning to attract attention. Typesetting machines 
had been invented as early as 1869 and were in use in the composition room 

of the London Times. At the same' time, French inventors 
Introduction were eX p er i men ting and extraordinary claims were made for 
Typesetting a machine an abbe was said to be perfecting, the use of which 
Machines would enable an operator to play on a keyboard with both 

hands, and it was claimed that, like a performer on the piano, 
who strikes several keys simultaneously, thus producing desired sounds, he 
could by similar manipulation release with great rapidity the matrices from 
which type would be cast and set up in the form of words. The talk about 

156 Journalism in California 

this and other typesetting machines made publishers cautions, inclining 
them to a waiting policy which would permit them to choose the best. 
Meanwhile, a man living in Baltimore, named Otto Mergenthaler, invented 
a machine which worked on an entirely different principle. Instead of cast- 
ing single types, Mergenthaler's linotype, as the name implies, casts a 
whole line. It is operated from a keyboard resembling that of a typewrit- 
ing machine. When the operator touches a letter on the board a matrix 
descends from a magazine to a position close to a pot of molten metal; when 
a line of these matrices, by successively touching the proper letters, is in 
place they form a mold into which the molten metal is injected by a pump, 
and a line of type is cast. If an error is made by the operator it neces- 
sitates the resetting of the entire line, but the process does not occupy as 
much time as the correction of a line set by hand. An ingenious contrivance 
restores the matrices to their proper places in the magazine, to be used over 
and over until worn out. 

Before the nineties were well advanced, publishers had made up their 
minds that the Mergenthaler machine had no rival, and, in the course of a 
few years, many thousands of them were in operation in the composing 
rooms of the United States and Europe. The use of the 
Growth of linotype would have effected decided economies for publishers 
Dressing 11 ° na ^ tne niode of making up a paper in vogue before its intro- 
Papers duction not been changed. It was not long after it came into 

general use that the disposition to dress matter so as to give 
the page a more attractive appearance began to manifest itself. Heads 
grew larger and larger, borders were freely employed, and instead of a uni- 
form body type of nonpareil or agate being used, large quantities of space 
were sacrificed in displaying reading matter by setting it in type larger than 
was formerly devoted to captions, and by leading it liberally. The use of 
Illustrations also made demands on the compositors, and soon the number 
of the latter began to increase. The facility with which large quantities of 
matter could be rapidly prepared for the forms, the cheapening of paper 
and active rivalry soon had their effect, and the saving made by the lino- 
type was no longer perceptible in the footings of the composing room pay 

In tracing the changes made by modern inventions and improved ma- 
chinery in the methods of producing a newspaper, the telephone must not 
be overlooked. It was not forgotten when The Chronicle entered its new 
home on the corner of Kearny and Bush streets in 1879, in 
Inteoduction which one of the first switch boards in the city was installed. 
of the At nrs ^j owing to the small number of patrons of the new 

Telephone system, the great value of the new convenience was scarcely 
realized. Indeed, for a time, the instrument was oftener used 
to acquaint visitors with its marvelous power of transmitting the human 
voice than to serve a useful purpose. It is doubtful if the then city editor 
had the remotest conception of the part it would one day play in the ad- 
ministration of his department of the paper. He may have thought that 
it would prove handy occasionally to send a message, but he hardly dreamed 
that it would almost completely displace the messenger boy, who could 
easily be summoned by means of the district call system, and that some day 
he would have his staff constantly within the hearing of his directing voice. 
When the usefulness of the "phone" became recognized by an increasing 

^^^^^ Linotype and Color Press 157 

number of people, and when finally practically every public office, business 
house and nearly every private residence in the city patronized the system 
its value became incalculable. 

There still lingers in the popular mind an idea which must be a survival 
from the period when news gathering was less systematized than at present, 
that daily papers experience some difficulty in filling their columns, and that 
c e T k ^ e P erson bringing "a piece to put in tomorrow" is a bene- 
to Verify factor. Occasionally, the volunteer reporter does recognize a 

All piece of news when he meets it face to face, but oftener than 

Statements otherwise he is apt to mistake something in which he is par- 
ticularly interested for real intelligence. But it is from the 
steady stream of visitors to his office and the "tips" he receives over the 
phone that the city editor gets the clews which enable him to work up what 
in the parlance of the local room is known as "a story." Not only does he 
get tips through the telephone, but that valuable instrument enables him 
quickly to ascertain whether the pointers he obtains are worth following up. 
Eumors spread rapidly in a great city, and if all those floating into a news- 
paper office from the outside had to be verified by the expenditure of leg 
energy, reportorial work would be much more arduous than it is at present, 
for, notwithstanding a too common assumption, no piece of news appears 
in a daily paper without an attempt at verification. If errors occur, they 
are due to the fallibility of human nature and the general propensity of the 
irresponsible to see things on the bias, or to misrepresent what they have 
seen. The reporter tries to get things straight, but anyone familiar with 
the fact that honest witnesses testifying under oath in the same case often 
tell divergent tales, can appreciate the difficulty the reporter experiences in 
his efforts to get at the truth. 

The telephone plays an important part in this work of verification and 
is used freely to secure as near an approach to accuracy as possible. The 
reporter on a detail is told something which has a bearing on the subject of 
his inquiry, the truth of which can only be ascertained by a 
Part'piaved y * s ^ ^° a P erson > perhaps miles distant from the place where 
fcy the ne is pursuing his investigation. He promptly telephones his 

Telephone chief and he at once secures the necessary co-operation. It 
not infrequently happens tbat a number of inquiries are set 
in motion at once to procure the facts compressed into a brief item, and, 
on the other hand, it very often happens that the result of many calls is 
effectually to dispose of a rumor which no one can tell who started, or what 
object there was in giving it currency. But the most important use of the 
telephone is that which enables the city editor to keep in touch with his 
staff, who apprise him of the progress they are making in their work, thus 
enabling him to apportion the space he has at his command. The ability 
to do this is of the utmost importance, as the daily problem of the modern 
newspaper is to crowd a quart into a pint cup. The local and suburban 
force, acting under the direction of the city editor of a San Francisco 
morning daily, if permitted to do so, would supply copy enough to fill three 
papers. If stern orders to keep a story to the limit assigned were not 
backed up by blue pencils wielded by the city editor's assistants it would 
be impossible to print the matter provided, for the zealous reporter .usually 
is firmly convinced that the importance of his contribution is underrated, 
and that what he has written will not stand cutting. 

158 Journalism in California 

The typewriting machine was perfected about the year 1876, but it 
did not find its way into general newspaper use until the nineties. There 
were reporters and contributors who submitted typewritten manuscripts, but 

they were few in number. Telegraphic operators were pro- 
U«Mrf viding typewritten copy a long time before^ reporters learned 

Typewriting the use of the machine. That result was brought about by 
Machines publishers installing typewriters, with the understanding that 

those provided with them should learn their use. It did not 
take long after this step was taken to convert the average reporter into a 
good typewriter. There were some recalcitrants who refused to learn the 
art, but they were exceptions to the rule and usually had some special 
qualification which caused their bad chirography to be condoned. The 
general use of the typewriter has greatly decreased the arduousness of the 
work of copyreaders and has enabled them to devote attention to the sub- 
ject matter, which was formerly wasted in attempts to decipher bad hand- 
writing. The printers and proofreaders also have reason for being grateful, 
for it not infrequently happened when handwritten copy was the rule, that 
the editor would shirk a riddle and pass it up to them to solve. That was 
usually the case with Joaquin Miller's articles and letters. A series of the 
latter, written to The Chronicle from Europe in the nineties, usually went 
to the composition room in a half-guessed state, and two of them, after 
defying the effort of all the experts in the office, were consigned to the waste 

The services of stenographers were not frequently requisitioned by 
the editorial departments of San Francisco. This is contrary to the 
popular impression that reporters are familiar with shorthand. As a matter 

of fact, very few learn any system, although many become pro- 
it norts ficient users of signs of their own invention. On those rare 
Not in occasions when a great daily concludes to report a speech or 
Demand proceedings of any kind in full, the services of professionals 

are secured. With the aid of "teams," they accomplish in a 
very brief space of time feats of reporting which could only be achieved by 
stenographers in constant practice. As the generality of meetings are re- 
ported in a summary fashion, reporters would find too voluminous notes 
an embarrassment rather than a convenience, and, for that reason, few of 
them take the trouble to acquire an art which would prove of little use to 
them. Speakers are sometimes severely critical of the condensation to 
which they are subjected in the daily press, but often what they charac- 
terize as misrepresentation is really the failure to print all the good things 
they say, and which they think should be glorified in printer's ink. 

It is largely owing to the disregard of shorthand reporting that the 
American newspaper press has developed so many facile writers, who have 
a style of their own and who have made their mark in literature. The 

encouragement of the descriptive tendency by the editors of 
Reporters' the dail y P ress of tne United States has called into existence 
Become Facile a small army of contributors to magazines, reviews and other 
Writers periodical publications. During the nineties there were many 

such attached to the San Francisco press whose names when 
printed are promptly recognized. The list is so long that it would be im- 
possible to tell in detail their accomplishments, and, besides, the verdict of 
the public has already been passed on their achievements. Some of the 


.Linotype and Color Press 159 

number are still on deck, as, for instance, Edward Hamilton, whose bril- 
liant work has been a feature of the Examiner for nearly thirty years. The 
work of this school compares more than favorably with that of James 
O'Meara, an editor of pioneer days, who continued his career down to the 
close of the nineteenth century, who did not aim at brilliancy but enjoyed 
the reputation of carefulness and accuracy. Eollin M. Daggett, member 
of Congress from Nevada and afterward Minister to Hawaii, and John 
Bonner, for many years in charge of the commercial columns of. a leading 
New York paper, were in another class. They were thoroughly informed 
and graceful writers. They did editorial work on The Chronicle during 
several years and were succeeded by Marcus P. Wiggin, Walter Gifford 
Smith and Taliesin Evans. 

The first Sunday editor of The Chronicle was the managing editor of 
the paper, who combined with his other duties the selection of the special 
matter. It was an arduous task, owing to the scarcity of contributions, 
which had to be helped out by specially prepared articles. 
Sunday Editor Thomas J. Vivian, an exceedingly versatile writer, provided 
of The many of these and assisted in dressing up some which 

Chronicle drifted in from the outside. The first person to be dignified 

by the title of Sunday editor of a San Francisco paper was 
George F. Weeks, who began his career as a typesetter in The Chronicle 
office, and was known as its swiftest compositor. He was an indefatigable 
worker and when transferred from the case to the proofroom he amused 
himself in his spare moments by writing special articles, which suggested 
placing him in charge of the Sunday magazine. Frank Bailey Millard, a 
name well known in literature, also had his literary beginnings in The 
Chronicle composing room, from which he was graduated into the corps of 
special writers. Ernest S. Simpson, for many years city editor of The 
Chronicle and afterward managing editor of the Call, was one of the early 
Sunday editors of The Chronicle, as were also Will Irwin and Bufus Steele 
and Miss Mabel Craft. Under their direction the magazine section of the 
Sunday Chronicle attained a wide distinction for originality of matter and 
mode of presentation. Ampng other names well known outside the city 
are those of Ira E. Bennett, for a while a star reporter on The Chronicle 
and subsequently its Washington representative and now editor of the 
Washington Post, and J. O'Hara Cosgrave, who started the Weekly Wave 
and later became editor of a New York magazine. Chester Bailey Fernald, 
now a prosperous playwright in London, during the nineties was trying his 
hand at writing sketches for the Sunday Chronicle. J. C. Klein, Wallace 
Irwin and the brothers Andrew and Frederick Lawrence, who have since 
betaken themselves to Eastern fields, were workers on the staffs of both 
Examiner and Chronicle. Andrew Lawrence is now the publisher of 
Hearst's Chicago American. Bobert Mackaye, editor of Success, com- 
menced his career in The Chronicle local room, and Arthur Street, who 
made a name for himself as a magazine editor, also had had his training 
under a city editor of that paper. 

Harry McDowell and Harry Bigelow, who started the Ingleside Maga- 
zine, were star reporters on the Examiner, and they contributed a great 
deal of the vivacity which that journal took on after William Bandolph 
Hearst assumed its direction. Josiah M. Ward, who was city editor 
of the Examiner during most of the period when A. B. Hender- 

160 Journalism in California 

son was managing editor, after severing his connection with that journal, 
went to Denver, where he took charge of the Times of that city. He found 
time to write an interesting historical novel, which enjoyed considerable 

popularity. Charles Frederick Holder, whose natural his- 
SanFnin^sco ioT ^ w became very well known to readers throughout 
Newspaper the country, was attached to the staff of Mr. Hearst's paper 
Writers about this time. Ashton Stevens, who did the dramatic 

column for the Examiner, shared with Ambrose Bierce the 
reputation of being bitingly satirical, and their writings were immensely 
enjoyed by that large class which has a predilection for vitriolic criticism. 
Mr. Bierce directed his shafts at the whole of mankind, while Stevens 
reserved his mainly for members of the theatrical profession. Hugh Hume 
and J. O'Hara Cosgrave, who started the Wave, graduated from the local 
room of The Chronicle into the publication business. They were the first 
to recognize the value of Frank Norris' work, and his earliest short stories 
appeared in their weekly paper. Mr. Norris for a time was strongly inclined 
to take up journalism as a career, but soon abandoned the idea and devoted 
himself to fiction, with a degree of success which earned for him a world- 
wide reputation. He was fond of the atmosphere of a newspaper office and 
spent a great deal of his time in the library of The Chronicle gathering data 
for his trilogy. Another California author of distinction, Mrs. Gertrude 
Atherton, in the beginning of her literary career was strongly attracted to 
journalism, but, after surveying the field, concluded that she would require 
a bigger stage on which to develop her talents. 

These are but a few of the more conspicuous workers of the nineties 
who helped earn for San Francisco journalism the reputation of being 
thoroughly abreast of that of the leading cities of the Union; a judgment 

whose correctness was attested by the success which attended 
T f l th W ° rk *^ e m ig ra ti° n of many who had their training in local offices. 
City Not all of those who won distinction on the staffs of San 

Editor Francisco newspapers were native sons, but the most of them- 

became sufficiently acclimated to regard themselves as genuine 
Californians ; and, when the wanderlust moved some of them to reverse the 
current of emigration by turning their footsteps toward the rising sun, they 
usually proclaimed that they were from the Golden State. But there were 
also plenty of recruits from the older centers of population who made their 
impress on the journalism of San Francisco, and the list is not wholly or 
even chiefly confined to those who have attained to publicity. There were 
plenty of journalists during the nineties who did far more effective work 
for the papers on which they served than some of those who had the good 
fortune to get their names before the public. The city editors, for instance, 
who knew everybody and were known to all, were precluded by the arduous- 
ness of their administrative duties from shining before men, but the fact 
that it was their duty to see that the stars did shine testified to their 
capacity. The Chronicle had in S. F. Sutherland, A. B. Henderson, Horace 
E. Hudson, Thomas Garrett and Ernest S. Simpson, who successively acted 
as chiefs of the city department between 1870 and 1906, as capable a set of 
newspaper men as the country has produced. They were all men of excep- 
tional ability, thorough organizers and excellent executives, and had the 
rare talent of recognizing merit and getting the very best out of the men 
working under their direction. 




Efforts of San Francisco to Obtain a New Charter — Strenuous Opposition of Part 
of the Press to Abandoning the Consolidation Act of 1856— Contests Over 
Details — A Charter Finally Adopted in 18^8 — The Changed Attitude of Bulletin 
and Call After 1895 — San Francisco Embarks on a Career of Improvement — 
Approval of Park Panhandle Boulevard Project — The Chronicle's Exposure of 
Graft, and Its Opposition to Grafters — Creation of the Euef-Sehmitz Machine — 
Eeformers Who Refused to Be Stirred Into Action — Euef and Schmitz Claim 
That Their Administration Brought Prosperity to San Francisco — The Bitter 
Antagonism of The Chronicle to the Grafters — The Burning of the Tower of 
The Chronicle Building — Suit Brought by Members of Schmitz Gang Against 
The Chronicle — It Took an Earthquake to Eouse the Eeformers to Action— The 
Visit of Roosevelt to San Francisco — His Approval of The Chronicle's Political 
Course — Protection Versus Bimetallism — Proprietor of The Chronicle Elects to 
Stand by the Former- — Schemes for Beautifying the City — Summer Outing 
Editions of The Chronicle — Charity Work Done by Newspapers — Women's 
Clubs and the Press — Cartooning, and Chronicle Cartoonists. 

EFORE the opening of the twentieth century, San Fran- 
cisco had obtained a much-needed charter. After the 
adoption of the Constitution of 1879, four unsuccessful 
attempts were made to secure a new organic law for the 
city. The advocates of the abandonment of the consol- 
idation act, which had done duty since 1856, were 
emphatic in the expression of the opinion that the city 
would benefit by getting rid of the restrictions of the 
act, which were imposed while the fear created by the extravagance of the 
gang suppressed by the Vigilantes was still dominant, but the Bulletin and 
Call tenaciously adhered to the belief that the community could not be 
trusted and that by far the safest plan of conducting a city government 
was that of the prudent man who refuses to incur indebtedness for any 
purpose whatever. The attitude of the opposing camps can best be de- 
scribed by saying that the demand for a charter came from those who 
favored improvement, while those who resisted adoption were firmly of the 
opinion that if the city cut loose from the consolidation act San Francisco 
would go to the dogs. But the fight over the several charters voted upon 
was not made on lines thus distinctly drawn. As is usual when an instru- 
ment is presented for the consideration of electors as a whole, the contest 
was over details. The first charter, rejected in 1880, was beaten at the 
polls because intramural burial was interdicted, but the fact that the Mayor 
was given some authority by the instrument played a large part, the awe- 


162 Journalism in California 

some question being asked, what would the community do if it should be 
indiscreet enough to elect another man like Kalloch. 

Looking backward, and reviewing the statistics of the five charter elec- 
tions, the impression is derived that the community was not very much 
in earnest about the matter, and that those who urged the desirability of 
public improvements did not represent public sentiment. But 
Neglect the vigorous wars waged in the newspapers at each recurring 

Civic attempt and the accounts of speeches delivered at meetings 

Duty indicate that the editors believed that their readers were inter- 

ested in the discussions. Nevertheless, when election day 
came around qualified electors stayed away from the polls and the votes 
cast were ridiculously small. The second effort, made in 1883, was defeated 
by only thirty-two votes in a total of 18,764 cast. In 1887, when the third 
essay was made, the vote was not much larger, and again, in 1896, there 
was a small vote, and finally, when the repeated effort to get a charter suc- 
ceeded in 1898, there were only 26,969 who voted, although at the general 
election, two years earlier, 64,820 had cast their ballots. Thus, after 
nineteen years and numerous contests, San Francisco secured the doubtful 
privilege of running into debt, whicb, however, she was slow to exercise, 
for when the disaster of 1906 came the city was still practically free from 
indebtedness — a fortunate circumstance. Had the editor of the Bulletin 
still been presiding over the destinies of that paper he would unquestion- 
ably have reminded his readers that they owed to his vigorous opposition 
to bond issues the existence of a condition which made the outlook for the 
future less gloomy than it might otherwise have been; or, perhaps, had not 
the fearsome pay-as-you-go policy prevailed, the city might long before 1906 
have acquired a water system, a duty which has been criminally neglected 
with disastrous effects. 

It would be difficult to follow the policies of the press of San Francisco 
after the opening of the twentieth century. The purchase of the Call by 
John D. Spreckels, which occurred in 1897, was followed by a more vigorous 
discussion .of current matters and a modernization of methods, 
Chan* . and there was a like change in the conduct of the Bulletin. 
Journalistic R- A. Crothers, who acquired an interest in the paper, was 
Policies the brother-in-law of Loring G. Pickering, and managed at 

for the widow and minor son of the latter, who were jointly 
concerned with him in its purchase. Fremont Older was made managing 
editor, and most of the radical departures of the Bulletin from its former 
course are attributed to him. The extreme conservatism which was a pro- 
nounced feature during the earlier management was abandoned, and, in 
"make-up" and in other particulars, the methods of the most sensational 
evening papers of the Eastern metropolis were adopted. Large type, 
abundant illustration and other journalistic practices abhorred of old were 
freely resorted to by Older, and the determination to attract attention was 
constantly in evidence. But the most conspicuous departure was that in- 
volved in the complete change of attitude toward municipal improvement, 
and with it virtually expired the long-continued opposition to the creation 
of public indebtedness, which had for years divided the press and the 
people of the city into two camps. 

The adoption of the charter of 1898 was soon followed by an agitation 
for improvements, the carrying- out of which would involve the expenditure 

Ruef and Schmitz 163 

of great sums of money. One of these provided for the creation of a. 
parked boulevard which would give a direct driveway from Van Ness 
avenue, at the point where it enters Market street, to the Panhandle of 
Golden Gate Park. The fear which had caused the defeat 
Goes °^ a ^ ^ eas * ^ w0 carters, that untrustworthy public servants 

in for would be elected and squander the money raised by borrow- 

Improvements ing, had vanished sufficiently when this project was put for- 
ward to permit its acceptance by a decided majority. There 
was no longer an apprehension that another Kalloch might arise to disturb 
the city's repose. A few years had sufficed to obliterate the memory of the 
sand-lot Mayor, and, queerly enough, those most apprehensive in 1879 had 
become so optimistic that they were unable to perceive that their fears were 
on the point of realization. Again The Chronicle had to assume the role of 
Cassandra, and, like the warnings of the prophetess of old, its admonitions 
went unheeded. In the contest of 1901, which resulted in the first election 
of Schmitz, it opposed him vigorously, but unfortunate divisions made it 
impossible to defeat him. Fortunately it was found that informalities 
attended the authorization of the Panhandle bonds, and they were declared 
invalid by the courts ; but the Euef-Schmitz combination, like the adminis- 
trations created by the cunning of" Chris Buckley, discovered abundant 
pickings, enough, indeed, to enable the creation of a machine which made 
the re-election of the candidate of the Workingmen's party easily possible. 

It is one of the anomalies of municipal politics in San Francisco that 
many of the men who have figured as reformers since the earthquake of 1906 
did not seem greatly disturbed by the success of Euef. They were not 
distrustful enough of the administration which he was 
Who'could offensively bossing to refrain from attempting to procure 
Not Be Stirred favors, and not one of them made any conspicuous move to 
Into Action prevent the re-election of Schmitz in 1905, despite the fact 
that The Chronicle aggressively, and its contemporaries in a 
more or less perfunctory manner, were almost daily exposing irregularities 
and gross turpitude. The first half of the 1900-1910 decade was a period 
of great prosperity in San Francisco. Following the declaration of war 
against Spain in 1898, there was a great uplift, which some attributed to 
the growing recognition of the future importance of the Oriental trade, but 
which, as the records will show, was due to the general prosperity of the 
country consequent upon the temporary quietus of the free trade agitation. 
This condition of affairs was seized upon by Euef and Schmitz, who tri- 
umphantly proclaimed that the Labor Union party had put San Francisco 
on its feet, and many were foolish enough to believe it, and more were 
acquiescent or impolitic enough to assist in the promotion of dissensions 
which resulted in the triumph of Schmitz, who was a third time elected, 
and in the return of a Board of Supervisors picturesquely described by 
Euef as a band capable of "eating the paint off a house." 

In this campaign the followers of Schmitz recognized The Chronicle 
as their only opponent. It had unceasingly pointed out the infamies of 
the Schmitz administration and had exposed the character of the men Euef 
had caused to be nominated for Supervisoral positions. Its exposures and 
efforts were entirely unavailing; they certainly made no impression on the 
men with political ambitions and with personal axes to grind ; at least, they 
gave no positive sign of disapprobation, and some of them appeared rather 

164 Journalism in Cal ifornia _^____— 

pleased than, otherwise at the outcome of the election. The victors were not 
in doubt respecting the attitude of the different papers of the city. The 
news of the triumph of Euef and Schmitz was known quite early and it 
was celebrated by an impromptu parade in which many thou- 
Bo^uery 1 ^ sancls participated. While the long procession was passing 
Promotes the building on the corner of Kearny, Geary and Market 

Prosperity streets it kept up a constant yell in which cheers for Schmitz 
and Euef and curses and hooting at The Chronicle shared 
equally. Skyrockets and bombs were used by the paraders, and it is sup- 
posed that the tower of the building was set on fire by them, although there 
is no certainty as to its origin. Not long after the mob had passed smoke 
was detected coming from the lower story of the lofty structure which 
crowned the building, and which contained a clock that made it the princi- 
pal landmark of the city. It was a blind fire and water was liberally used 
to drown it out, and, after about half an hour of fighting, it was thought 
that result was accomplished. The forces of the paper at work on the 
ninth and -tenth floors were busily engaged getting the next morning's 
edition ready for the press when the tower suddenly burst into flames and 
drove them to the street. 

The spectacle attracted half the city to the neighborhood, and the rumor 
spread among the crowd that the building had been fired by the adherents 
of Schmitz and Euef to avenge themselves. There was absolutely no 
foundation for the charge; its only significance consists in 
The Burning ^ e j? a( ^. y^ y. corre ctly represented the current impression 
Chronicle that Euef and Schmitz were bitterly hostile to The Chronicle. 

Tower They had a right to infer from that that such was the case, 

for day after day and night after night they were denouncing 
the paper, a custom to which The Chronicle had become accustomed, its 
practice of exposing rascality usually inviting the billingsgate and abuse of 
the rascals subjected to its exposing searchlight. Although the result of 
the fire was to disable the plant for a couple of days, there was no interrup- 
tion of publication. The courtesy of the Examiner rendered it possible to 
do this. Dent Eobert, then at the editorial helm of The Chronicle's con- 
temporary, promptly placed all the facilities of his journal at the command 
of the burned-out newspaper. He went further and gave The Chronicle 
precedence and insisted that it should have the privilege of being first on 
the street. Although the fire made a big blaze and completely destroyed the 
tower, the remainder of the building suffered little injury. The steel frame 
and cement roof proved sufficiently resistant to prevent the fire spreading 
downward, and in two or three days the plant was again in condition 
for use. 

It was during the campaign which resulted in the third election of 
Schmitz to the Mayoralty that Fairfax Wheelan attempted to bring about 
a reform in primary methods. His efforts would have been attended with 
success had the community harkened to the advice given by The Chronicle. 
Mr. Wheelan's efforts were directed to the exposure of registry and ballot- 
box stuffing, and, in the course of the vigorous campaign inaugurated by 
him, many irregularities were exposed by The Chronicle, which so enraged 
Euef that suits for libel were brought against The Chronicle. They were 
never pressed, for the very excellent reason that the paper was provided with 
the evidence which would have proved that the conditions were infinitely 


Ruef and Schmitz 165 

worse than it had represented, and that the affairs of the city were being as 
corruptly administered as they had been during Vigilante days or when the 
Democratic boss ruled. Again, as a matter of history, and one not uncon- 
. nected with the conduct of the press, it is well to concentrate 

Exposes * attention on the fact that men who subsequently made a great 

Election display of activity were silently acquiescent, and showed no 

Abuses signs of interest, if they felt any, in what was being done by 

Euef and his paint eaters. It took a bigger shaking up than 
a newspaper could give them to set in motion the forces that carefully 
locked the door after the steed was stolen. 

It was during the second administration of Schmitz that Colonel Roose- 
velt, then President of the United States, visited San Francisco. At that 
time he had not discovered that the Eepublican party was a back number, 
nor had he developed any of that apprehension concerning the encroach- 
ments of so-called "trusts," which later took possession of him so 
entirely that he found it necessary to attempt the creation of a new party. 

On September 30, 1902, The Chronicle published a mono- 
Sobsevelf s S ra ph on "The Growth of the Modern Trust System." It 
Visit to San occupied more than four pages of the paper and was 
Francisco promptly reproduced by the American Protective Tariff 

League, and was quoted from largely by the Eepublican 
press. A copy of it was sent to the Colonel,- who caused his secretary to 
write : "The President was greatly pleased and interested in reading the 
article, and feels that you have done a real service in publishing it." It 
is only to point out the mutability of human opinion that I quote from 
the Record Union of Sacramento of October 2, 1902, the following com- 
ment on the article which pleased President Roosevelt. The writer said: 
"One rises from reading the four-page brief published in The Chronicle 
of September 30th with a very clear light as to the political intentions of 
the trust combinations in the United States. * * * There is a growing 
belief among the men who hand down the law of opinion to the rank and 
file of the Republican party that President Roosevelt is educating this 
Nation in the belief that the tariff schedules are responsible for the exist- 
ence of the trusts." The letter from the President's secretary, dated 
October 6th, stated that his superior was pleased with the article. As it 
was mainly devoted to showing that the tariff could not be held responsible 
for combination in restraint of trade, and that the only feasible mode of 
dealing with abuses, if they existed, would be by internal regulation, it 
must be assumed that President Roosevelt at that time had not made up 
his mind that protection was responsible for the creation of trusts. 

It is of record that a small but influential number of Republicans were 
beginning to manifest the tendency which invariably has asserted itself in 

this country in times of prosperity to assail the tariff, but 
A President's p res ident Roosevelt could not have felt that way in 1902, 
o/chronicle nor did he show any sign in 1903 and 1904 that he was not 
Articles in accord with the stanchest advocates of protectionism in 

the United States. The Chronicle had that reputation. 
M. H. de Young had taken a prominent part in the national councils of 
the party ; had been a National Committeeman, and had served as delegate 
in several Republican conventions. In the convention of 1904, when 
called upon to make a choice between devotion to the protective policy and 

166 Journalism in California 

bimetallism, which his paper had championed with William McKinley and 
almost every prominent member of the national Eepublican party, he 
unhesitatingly elected to stand by protection, which his paper had at all 
times advocated. In the campaign which followed, The Chronicle printed 
a twelve-page presentation of the protective policy, and, as was the case 
when the monograph on modern trusts appeared, the President expressed 
his satisfaction. He had not yet seen "a great white light," and no one 
in the ranks of the Eepublican party had come to believe that it was a 
crime to stand by a principle. 

Although The Chronicle, in common with the other papers of the city, 
devoted much space to politics during 1904, it did not do so to the exclu- 
sion of other subjects touching it more closely. It is worth recalling that 
it was in January of this year that the Association for the 
Beautifvine Improvement and Adornment of San Francisco was formed, 
the The object of its members, as the name of the organization 

City implied, was to study out a general scheme of beautification, 

but the immediate object aimed at was the creation of a civic 
center. There apparently was no fear in the minds of those most energetic 
in promoting the movement that it might miscarry because of the practical 
control of the Board of Works by Schmitz and Euef. There may have 
been distrust, but it was not freely expressed. The spirit of optimism 
was general, and the city was booming, although, curiously enough, critics 
had not long before reproached its press with failure to imitate the example 
of Los Angeles, and charged that there was a disposition to hide the light 
of the city under a bushel. It was urged that San Franciscans were too 
easily satisfied, but no one could remain under that impression long after 
becoming acquainted with the ambitious projects of its leading citizens to 
make San Francisco the most attractive city in America. There were 
various ideas respecting the mode by which this was to be accomplished 
and some of them not altogether creditable. Of course, that of the gentle- 
men who organized the "city beautiful" movement was to put up attractive 
buildings, construct boulevards and, by other methods, achieve the distinc- 
tion attained by the French capital of making it worth a visit. There was 
another class which took up the cry of "the Paris of America," whose ideals 
were somewhat different, and, for a while, the expression fell i.ito disrepute. 
There was, however, no difference of opinion concerning the desirability of 
beautifying the city. The press was a unit on that point, but when the 
outline of the plans framed by David A. Burnham, the well-known architect 
of Chicago, and his corps of assistants was given, critics at once arose who 
assailed them as too ambitious. Even the warning to the public that there 
was no thought of carrying out the expansive scheme in its entirety for 
many years to come failed to disarm criticism, and it is more than probable 
that the magnitude of the projected improvements would have proved an 
obstacle to the perfection of any plan for beginning them even if the dis- 
aster of 1906 had not come to drive all thought of them out of the public 

Eunning through the files of San Francisco papers in the five years 
preceding 1906, one notes the introduction of a few new features and the 
accentuation of some that had been introduced at an earlier date. If the 
advertising columns of the dailies correctly index the situation, there was 
a marked increase of the disposition of San Franciscans to indulge in 

Ruef and Schmitz 167 

summer outings. There was a time in the city when the vacation habit 
was not well formed, and it was not unusual for editors at the proper sea- 
son of the year to point out that man, like a machine, would 
Outing' wear out if he failed to take a proper rest at intervals. When 

Editions of this good advice was dispensed the temptation to 'abandon 
The Chronicle the comforts of home was not great. Country resorts were 
few in number, but before the end of the nineteenth century 
they began to multiply. It was not until 1898 that enough of them sought 
to press their claims for patronage in the advertising columns of The 
Chronicle to accord them a special grouping. In that year they first made 
their appearance in a conspicuous fashion, and before the disaster of 1906 
the list was so long and the space occupied in setting fortli their attractions 
was so great that the impression might easily be derived that everyone in 
San Francisco deserted it during the summer. Special outing editions were 
printed containing pages of alluring descriptions of the joys of life on the 
seashore, in the country and in the noble forests within easy reaeli of the 
city on the bay. These advertisements told a story of their own which was 
emphasized by the time tables of the railroads and steamboats which indi- 
cated the existence of hundreds of places and camps that had sprung up 
like mushrooms responsive to the outing demand. 

Another conspicuous growth after the opening of the century was the 
enlarged attention given to charitable undertakings. The disposition to 
give freely has existed in San Francisco since "the days of '49." It is said of 
some places in California that they are so healthy they had 
Forward* frf ^° ^° some k^ing to start their cemeteries. The story smacks 
Promoting °f climatic exaggeration, and it is also asserted that the 
Charities project of starting an orphan asylum in San Francisco was 

conceived at so early a date that a few orphans had to be 
imported to give it a successful start. This may also be apocryphal, but. 
there is no doubt whatever that the institution once started it never lacked 
support, and the same may be said of the numerous other eleemosynary 
establishments called into existence by the activities of the charitable. The 
newspapers of the city were invariably foremost in the /promotion of move- 
ments of this kind, and their activity in this regard stands out in marked 
contrast to the comparative indifference of older communities. Whatever 
the cause, it is a fact that charitable projects of all kinds receive more 
attention in the columns of San Francisco papers than elsewhere, and 
Mr. Hearst's paper, the Examiner, has to its credit the creation of a chil- 
dren's hospital, which has harbored many unfortunates since its erection. 
It has proved a monument to the enterprise of the founder. Of less perma- 
nent value, but fully as effective in relieving distress during one of the 
souphouse eras produced by vacillating tariff legislation, was the relief 
bureau established by The Chronicle, which, throughout an entire winter of 
unexampled distress in San Francisco, provided food and clothing for all 
necessitous applicants. In long settled places these are duties usually 
assumed by the authorities, but in San Francisco, and throughout Cali- 
fornia generally, charity is largely a matter of voluntary co-operation in 
which the press plays the important part of energetically backing up the 
appeals of the charitable and helping them to carry out their schemes of 
benevolence by liberal publicity. 

Women's clubs were established as early as 1888 in San Francisco, but 

168 Journalism in California ^^ 

their activities at first excited little attention outside of their own member- 
ship. It was not until the close of the last decade of the nineteenth century 
> that the press began to recognize them as an important factor 

ClubsT" S ' n ^ e development of the city. That was due largely to the 

and the f ac t that in the early stages of the club formation movement 

Press publicity was discouraged rather than sought. There was a 

division of opinion respecting its desirability which finally 
disappeared and it became the custom, which has since been maintained, of 
treating club doings as news important to a large section of the community. 
There is no doubt that this change of attitude contributed greatly to the 
advancement of the cause of woman suffrage in the city, for the subject, 
until the object aimed at was achieved, occupied a large part of the atten- 
tion of the membership, a fact made familiar to the male part of the 
community who had forced upon them by frequent publicity arguments 
which they might otherwise have successfully evaded, but which once 
acquainted with they were unable to resist when the question was presented 
to them for decision. This does not imply that the women's clubs of San 
Francisco were consciously formed with any such object. The fact is other- 
wise. They were in the main organized for social and cultural purposes, 
but when members developed differences they discussed them and publicity 
did the rest. 

Frequent reference has been made to the growth of the practice of 
illustration by daily papers, and it has been shown that The Chronicle made 
intermittent attempts to make a feature of pictures, which were frustrated 

by the scarcity of artists and other limitations. During the 
and* 00 " 1118 bonanza period and throughout the late seventies, The 
Chronicle Chronicle was in the habit of publishing on Sundays a 

Cartoonists cartoon depicting some phase of the mining stock craze. It 

was the only daily that made essays in that direction, the 
picture-making field having been surrendered to the weeklies. During the 
fifties there were pictorial papers produced, but they were modeled on the 
lines of the Police Gazette and nevei- enjoyed a considerable popularity. 
The Wasp, founded in 1870, claims the distinction of having been the first 
paper in America to print cartoons in colors. It also presented its readers 
weekly with flashes of wit helped out by the artist's pencil, and caricatures 
in black and white. After the introduction of the chalk process, The 
Chronicle manifested a strong disposition to use the cartoon as a political 
weapon, and, in the campaign of 1888, day after day, the deficiencies of 
the free trader and the drawbacks of free trade were held up to the public 
gaze. In this series of cartoons the name of the artist does not appear. 
Perhaps he was not proud of the work produced under the limitations of 
the chalk process, but he made some hits good enough to be worked over 
and over, as, for instance, his "You Dirty Boy," which was suggested by a 
famous soap advertisement. In 1901 the first colored comic section was 
printed by The Chronicle. Before its appearance a couple of pages were 
devoted on Sundays to pictures more or less humorous, which were not 
designed to appeal to children. They had to depend on their own merit 
and were not helped out by color. About the time of the appearance of 
the comic section Davenport, the caricaturist, joined the art staff of The 
Chronicle. He was fond of drawing large pictures of courtroom scenes and 
was encouraged by Thomas Garrett, then city editor, to produce sketches 

Ruef and Schmitz 


which took the better part of a page. George E. Lyon, who had the 
reputation of drawing a portrait more rapidly and better than any other 
artist in the country, was also a member of the art staff of The Chronicle 
and was indulged in the matter of size as freely as Davenport, and between 
them they absorbed a large share of space of the paper. The innovation, 
however, was 'accepted by the public and to some extent was imitated in 
other cities. Both Davenport and Lyon confined themselves to line draw- 
ings, which were reproduced by the zinc etching process. 




Newspaper Warnings That Went Unheeded — Prosperity Produces a Careless Atti- 
tude Toward Municipal Government — The Chronicle the Only Paper Hated by 
the Grafters — Eeformers Inactive on the Eve of the Great Conflagration — A 
Case of Purification by Fire — Part Played by the Press in the Great Disaster 
— Responding to the Call of a Self-imposed Obligation — Preparations to Get 
Out an Extra — A Messenger Sent to Oakland Asking Hospitality — The Joint 
Paper Published on the Morning of April 19, 1906 — It was a Marvel of Calm 
Statement — A Journal That Lived One Day Only — Charles de Young Receives 
His Baptism of Journalistic Fire — He Reorganizes the Circulation Department 
— Paper Temporarily Printed in Oakland — The Loss of The Chronicle's Ref- 
erence Library — Charles de Young Made Business Manager of the Chronicle — 
Men Who Retained Their Positions During Long Periods — A Great News- 
paper Feat Successfully Carried Through by Charles de Young — Tetrazzini 
Sings in the Open Air on Christmas Eve at the Request of The Chronicle — ■ 
The Untimely Death of' Charles de Young. 

HE third election of Schmitz, which occurred in Novem- 
ber, 1905, was not followed by any of the disastrous 
consequences expected by those who were sure that the 
unblushing declaration of Ruef that he> had on his 
hands a Board of Supervisors who were so hungry for 
spoils that they would eat the paint off a house, would 
retard the advancement of the city. It was an ill- 
advised argument frequently employed, but which did 
not appeal very strongly, that lax regulations would be sure to recoil on 
the community by deterring respectable people from wishing to make their 
homes in a city which aspired to become the Paris of America. Ill advised 
because when the city forged ahead under the impulse which made the 
whole country prosperous, Ruef and his adherents boldly proclaimed that 
it was to their method of conducting affairs that San Francisco owed its 
prosperity. And thus it happened that vice was buttressed instead of 
being dislodged, and the worst practices of an administration which was 
in the business of governing for all there was in it were resumed without 
being challenged by the community. They did not pass unnoticed, how- 
ever, for the press, or that part of it at least which was not too timid to 
antagonize the representatives of the Labor Union party for fear of losing 
patronage, kept on pointing out evasions of ordinances, and exposing ras- 
cality, but without accomplishing much good, for, as is the manner of 
prosperous people, who do not desire to be bothered, the stories were dis- 
missed by them as newspaper lies. 


_^^^^^ Purification by Fire 171 

The newspapers were sharing in the general prosperity. Keal estate 
was booming and building operations were extending rapidly. The pro- 
prietor of The Chronicle was making an addition to his building on the 
TheChr n" 1 • corne:r °^ Market, Geary and Kearny streets, which was well 
Seventeen- Advanced toward completion when the fire in the tower 
Story occurred. It was seventeen stories high, and Mr. de Young 

Building had contemplated bringing the original structure to the same 

height, a design which was frustrated by the passage of an 
ordinance by Euef's facile Board of Supervisors fixing a maximum of 
twelve stories. The object of the limitation, it was openly boasted, was to 
prevent the carrying out of the design in its entirety. It was merely 
another mode of advertising the fact to the world that The Chronicle was 
the only paper obnoxious to the paint eaters. Other owners of property 
were not interfered with ; they made improvements, and, if . subsequent 
developments are to be relied upon, they paid handsomely for the privilege. 
Euef and Schmitz were reaping a harvest from the indifference of the 
public. If anyone contemplated an enterprise requiring public interven- 
tion, he went to Euef, and, if satisfactory arrangements were made with 
him, he caused his "paint eaters" to pass the necessary ordinances, or, if it 
was a simple case of assurance against the menace of interference, that was 
also fixed. Everything and everybody who wanted anything done paid toll 
and the competition to secure the favor of the attorney of the Mayor, v/hose 
word was law for the paint eaters, was most keen. 

This was the condition of affairs on the eve of the eventful April 18, 
1906. If any of those who later took so conspicuous a share in the work 
of cleansing the Augean stables of the municipality contemplated interfer- 
ence with the practices notoriously and offensively conspicu- 
A Case oug ^ e j ^ e ^j. their intentions to themselves. As a matter of 

Purification £&<&, the disposition to interfere did not exist. The over- 
by Fire whelming victory of Schmitz in the preceding November 

was apparently accepted as an intimation that the community 
was well satisfied with Messrs. Euef and Schmitz, and those who wished to 
embark in enterprises decided that the easiest course was to work along the 
line of least resistance. It required a convulsion of nature to bring about 
a change and it came on the morning of April 18, 1906, and was emphasized 
by the disastrous conflagration which wiped out two-thirds of the city. It 
was a case of purification by fire. When the smoke cleared away, the com- 
munity, or those of that part of it which remained to bear the brunt of 
resurrection, clearly saw things which they had formerly refused to look at, 
or, at least, had refrained from taking cognizance of, if they saw them. 

In the trying hours of the conflagration which followed the disaster the 
newspapers of San Francisco played a conspicuous part, one which has not 
been fittingly recognized, because the American people have become habitu- 
ated to expecting the press to do its duty under all circum- 
b ai th' P p yed Btanees , n0 matter how trying. The organizing ability dis- 
ta the 6 Great played by the men who took the helm when the city govern- 
Disaster ment broke down was admirable. Their courage was sublime, 

but their efforts would have been hampered and retarded had 
not the morning papers obeyed the unwritten law of the higher journalism 
to continue publication without interruption. It was the first duty of the 
press to give the news of the tremendous disaster, and the next obligation 

172 Journal ism in California 

imposed on it was that of imparting courage and hope to the scattered 
members of the community, who, without this inspiration, would have given 
up in despair. Had there been no press to record the heroic utterances of 
the members of the Committee of Fifty and to applaud and assist in the 
dissemination of their plans their efforts must have been in vain, or at best 
no quicker in their fruition than those which attended the attempts at 
rehabilitation which followed the Messinian disaster. 

What the press does is so easily accepted as a matter of course that 
the public scarcely interests itself in its doings, but it deserves to know 
something of the efficiency of an organization whose usefulness even an 
earthquake was unable to interrupt, and which, when every 
Performs a industry was paralyzed, had to put forth more than its cus- 
Self-Imposed tomary energy to maintain the standard set for itself. Few 
Obligation outside of the profession realize the importance attached by 
its members to performing the self-imposed obligation of fur- 
nishing the news, and there are many who may regard as an empty boast 
the assertion that the force of a newspaper is more ready to respond to the 
call of duty than the soldier, whose response is often exacted by discipline. 
Those who observed the unwearied efforts made by newspaper men during 
several hours on that eventful 18th of April to prevent a break in the con- 
tinuity of the publication of the journals to which they belonged will agree 
that the devotion exhibited by them was marvelous. Neglecting everything 
else, they confined their endeavors to the accomplishment of one purpose, 
which was not abandoned until all the means of effecting it were utterly 

The disaster occurred at 5 :18 o'clock. The editions of all the morning 
papers had been printed and were in the hands of the carriers for distribu- 
tion. What was done with the issues of that morning has never been clearly 
ascertained. Copies of any of the San Francisco papers of 
Keadv S to April 18, 1906, are far more rare than those of the succeed- 

Print an ^ n S day, giving an account of the disaster. The carriers, in 

Extra their panic, must have thrown them away, for it has been 

found nearly impossible to procure specimens. The delivery 
had not begun in the outlying districts, which escaped the fire, or more 
would have been preserved. When the first members of the editorial staff 
of The Chronicle reached the office it was not yet 6 o'clock. The force in 
the pressroom apparently had no idea of the extent of the trouble and was 
busily engaged cleaning up the machines after the morning run. A hasty 
survey of the condition of the building was made by the managing editor, 
and the inspection satisfied him that there would be no obstacle in the way 
of getting out an extra. The foreman of the pressroom was notified that 
the attempt would be made as soon as material for an edition could be 
prepared. In the meantime, the city editor, Ernest S. Simpson, who lived 
in a remote part of the city, had arrived and was soon joined by a number 
of reporters and telegraph editors. The force was promptly set to work 
gathering information respecting the extent of the damage, and the man- 
aging editor composed himself sufficiently to write an editorial which 
breathed the spirit of optimism in every line. Soon the news gatherers 
began streaming in with their reports and started preparing their copy. 
L. C. Simpson, now conducting the Sacramento Union, undertook the 
task of "making up." It was an arduous one, for it involved the necessity 

Purification by Fire 173 

of pleading with the printers to stick to their job when fresh tremors dis- 
turbed them, and the heat of the conflagration which was raging across 
Market street became nearly unbearable. 

The effort to get out an extra was not abandoned until the engineer 
discovered that the supply of water had been cut off and that it would be 
impossible to turn over the presses. The gas used in heating the linotype 

metal had also given out and the machinery of the office was 
Disappointed a ^ a standstill. The Examiner and the Call were not in a 
Hope position even to think of making an effort to publish an extra. 

The buildings in which their machinery was installed were 

among the earliest to be attacked by the flames. While The 
Chronicle staff was still struggling with the extra that was never printed 
word was sent by M. H. de Young to the Examiner and Call that The 
Chronicle would be glad to share its facilities witli them. There was no 
fear at the time that the flames would leap across Market street. The 
reporters had brought accounts of the failure of the engines to obtain 
, water, but it was not realized until a little later that the supply was prac- 
tically cut off and that there was small hope of preventing the entire de- 
struction of the business section of the city. When this conclusion was 
reached the managing editors of the three morning papers dispatched a 
messenger to W. S. Dargie, proprietor of the Oakland Tribune, informing 
him that they would in all probability have to ask his assistance in getting 
out a paper. It never occurred to them for a moment that there could 
be any suspension of publication so long as the mechanical facilities for 
getting out an edition could be obtained, and Mr. Dargie's office was well 
provided in that regard. 

The preferring of the request to Mr> Dargie was merely a formality. 
He placed his office at the disposal of the fire-evicted journals, and, on the 
morning of the 19th of April, the "Examiner-Call-Chronicle" appeared 

with four pages devoted wholly to describing ,the disaster. 

J/?1ij « *■ Considering the condition of the public mind and the pre- 
Multiphcation , ° . , ,. K, ,,. ,. , r . 

f posterous rumors in circulation, the publication must be 

Rumors regarded as an extraordinary model of sobriety of statement. 

It must be remembered that during the first day of the con- 
flagration nothing seemed incredible to the wrought-up populace. It was 
generally believed that something in the nature of a universal cataclysm 
had occurred. One story told of the submergence of New York and another 
gave some details of the entire destruction of Chicago. Humors of awful 
happenings and horrible atrocities were current, but none of them was 
given currency in the joint paper. It was a presentation without exaggera- 
tion of one of the greatest calamities of modern times; even in the matter 
of estimating losses, a moderation was displayed which is not always at- 
tained under less exciting circumstances. When this emergency sheet was 
distributed on the morning of the 19th it was received with an eagerness 
which testified the appreciation in which the newspaper is held even by 
those who, when not seeking the comfort and assurance it gives, think 
lightly of the part it plays in the scheme of modern life. This journal of 
a day was distinguished by other peculiarities than that of being the joint 
production of three rival papers. It contained no advertisements whatever, 
and was distributed gratuitously to the unexpectant people of San Fran- 
cisco, who did not dream of the possibility of such a publication appearing, 

174 Journalism in Calif ornia 

and, finally, it had the distinction of achieving an extraordinary circulation 
in facsimile through the presses of the Tribune printing successive editions, 
which were eagerly bought up by souvenir hunters. 

The lamented Charles de Young, son of M. H. de Young, the proprietor 
of The Chronicle, received his journalistic baptism of fire on the morning 
of the 19th. In accordance with the plans of his father, who proposed 

having him acquaint himself with the workings of every de- 
Young's Bap- P artment °f the paper, Charles had been doing duty in the 
tism of Jour- publication office, where he was installed as a clerk immedi- 
nalistic Fire ately after being graduated from Harvard. On the morning 

of the 17th, he was "Charlie" to the young men who were 
his associates in the office; on the 19th he suddenly took command, and 
thenceforth he was the leading spirit in the business office, whose head he 
was destined to become. It was to his energetic efforts that the prompt 
restoration of order in the publication department was due. It was he who, 
on the morning of the 19th, was the first to appear in the part of the town 
not reached by the flames, in an automobile containing bundles of the joint 
paper, which were thrown out by him to the boys, who reaped a harvest of 
small coins from eager buyers; and it was he who effectively organized the 
distributing system maintained during the period while the mechanical 
work of The Chronicle was performed on the other side of the bay. On the 
day of the issuance of the "Examiner-Call-Chronicle" an arrangement was 
made with the Oakland Herald, an evening paper with an excellent plant, 
and on the morning of April 20th The Chronicle appeared with its familiar 
heading. The proximity of the Herald to the track of the Key Eoute made 
it practicable to deliver the paper in the city at' a very early hour, and 
during the entire period that the printing was done on the other side of 
the bay, Charles de Young gave his personal attention to the important 
work of securing early and effective distribution by the carriers. 

The Examiner promptly concluded an arrangement with" the Oakland 
Tribune, but it was some days before the Call made its appearance. The 
evening papers practically suspended publication until they w_ere provided 

with machinery from near-by points and the East. The three 
Papers morning papers established publication offices on Fillmore 

Printed in street, The Chronicle pioneering the movement by securing 
Oakland the lease of a store on the Saturday succeeding the fire. The 

selection was due to the desire to be close to the hall in which 
the Committee of Fifty held its meetings, and to the perception of the fact 
that Fillmore street was destined for a time to be the most important thor- 
oughfare in the city. The editorial rooms of the paper were located in a 
building opposite the publication office, and here the editorial and local 
copy was prepared and sent to Oakland. George H. Fitch, the night editor 
of The Chronicle, took his force with him to Oakland and had at his com- 
mand two or three artists with whose assistance he soon managed to get 
out as many pictures as the restricted plant of the Herald would permit. 
It was some days before San Franciscans took enough interest in the out- 
side world to demand much telegraphic news, but the appetite was soon 
restored. During the first few weeks after the disaster the morning papers 
printed an extraordinary number of advertisements, whose object was the 
bringing together of scattered friends, relatives and people whose business 
relations were interrupted by the conflagration. 

The CallH3ironiclc=Examiner 



death and DEmucnoH hayi been thi mti of i*t> feancirco ihaeik iv 




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Purification by Fire 175 

The plants of all the newspapers were totally destroyed by the fire 
and had to be replaced but before that could be accomplished places had 
to be prepared for them. The Chronicle was in better case than the other 
. morning papers as it was enabled to install presses in the base- 

o/the ° n men t °f the seventeen-story annex, which was approaching 
Chronicle completion when the disaster occurred. The western part 

Building of the building on the corner of Market, Geary and Kearny 

had suffered from the precipitation of the battery of lino- 
types on the top floor to the basement. This was caused by the burning of 
the false roof which was constructed after the tower fire in November, 1905, 
and maintained while two stories were being added. The fire from the roof 
was communicated to a large quantity of drawings stored in a gallery, which 
also contained about- five or six tons of zinc etchings. The floor of this 
gallery was of wood, and; when it caught fire, the zinc was dumped on the 
top of the linotypes and the shock and the added weight caused the entire 
mass to break through the terra cotta and cement floors of story after story 
until it reached the basement, burying the three perfecting presses under 
the debris and carrying with it in its descent the valuable library of the 
paper which represented more than a quarter of a century's accumulation 
of reference matter. It was the one irreparable loss. The machinery, which 
represented an investment of several hundred thousand dollars, could be 
replaced, but the records and scrapbooks were irreplacable. Although the 
western end of the building had to be restored, that part facing Market 
street was easily put in condition for use. A press, procured from the Los 
Angeles Times, was set up in the basement, a battery of linotypes was 
installed on the second floor of the annex and a large room On the mez- 
zanine floor of the old building, accessible from Market street, was devoted 
to the use of the editorial staff, and The Chronicle was able to announce to 
the public that it was back in its old home. 

There were some who were disposed to regard the early removal of The 
Chronicle to the ash heap as premature, and not a few, strange as it may 
now seem, had reached the hasty conclusion that the business center had 

permanently shifted itself to Van Ness avenue, which speedily 
^ . . took on the air of a watering place thoroughfare in which 

Which Had much bunting and plate glass take the place of substantial 
Consequences structures. But M. H. de Young was convinced that the 

causes which made Kearny, Geary and Market streets the 
heart of the city before the fire still existed, and that his example would 
soon be followed by others. The movement downtown, however, was not 
precipitate and it is recalled by an employe of the business department of 
the paper that the appearance of a woman on Market street two or three 
days after the force took possession of one of the small stores on the Market 
street side of the building created quite a commotion, the clerks wondering 
what she was doing down in the ash heap. This was in the closing days 
of July, 1906, and it was several months before the workers of The 
Chronicle got rid of the feeling of isolation which familiarity with the 
neighborbood of Lotta's fountain after nightfall created. The spot, now 
the busiest in the city, was practically deserted when the forces engaged in 
wrecking buildings had finished their labors for the day, and the street car 
lines, although they maintained a service, might have abandoned it without 
greatly impairing their profits. 

176 Jou rnalism in California 

While what was nominally the main office of The Chronicle was estab- 
lished in the present building before the opening days of the June following 
the earthquake, the branch, opened on the 21st of April at 1804 Fillmore 

street, was for a long time the busiest. Advertisers found the 
t0 e lrs latter the most convenient, and it was not until the banks, 

Start Up insurance companies and the principal commercial establish- 

Downtown ments, one by one, found their way back to the localities in 

which they had done business before the conflagration that 
the publication office of The Chronicle assumed its old-time bustling appear- 
ance. Apart from that, however, the readers and other patrons of the 
paper, in less than six months after the disastrous April 18th, could see 
little in it to remind them of the experience through which it had passed. 
It was a strenuous time for the proprietor, who was compelled to devote 
himself untiringly to the work of rehabilitating the mechanical end of his 
journal and simultaneously drive the reconstruction of the seventeen-story 
annex and that of preparing to restore the Market street structure. Accord- 
ing to the records, M. H. de Young's order to rebuild was the first given 
after the fire. Before the end of July daily editions of fourteen pages were 
sent out and forty-eight pages were printed on Sundays. In November the 
daily issues were of sixteen pages, and the Sunday edition was increased 
to sixty-two pages. On December 22, 1907, an annual containing eighty 
pages was issued, the largest paper ever printed in San Francisco up to 
that date. The Examiner and Call displayed less alacrity in getting back 
into their old quarters. The former of the two continued to be printed in 
a temporary construction near the water front until the new Hearst build- 
ing on the corner of Third and Market streets was completed, a wooden 
shack on the corner of those thoroughfares serving as a downtown business 
office until the erection of its present home. The Examiner and Call, like 
The Chronicle, had established offices on Fillmore street, and they remained 
for a long time their principal places of business. 

Charles de Young was promoted to the position of business manager 
in the busy days of rehabilitation. His father had not contemplated so 
rapid an advancement, but during the trying period of 1906 he revised 

an earlier view and concluded to lessen his own labors by 
Managers making his son assume some responsibilities. A vacancy oc- 

of The curred in the management of the business department, and 

Chronicle Charles was placed in charge. He was the fourth to fill that 

responsible position. From the time of the launching of The 
Chronicle until the death of his brother in 1880, M. H. de Young had given 
his personal attention to the management of the details of the business and 
had not appointed a manager. The first to fill the position after that date 
was Joseph B. Eliot, who had many years' experience in the office. He 
remained in charge of the publication department for many years and was 
succeeded by W. P. Leech and the latter by C. H. Hornick. Charles de 
Young filled the position of business manager up to within a few weeks of 
his untimely death, which occurred on September 17, 1913. The growing 
business of the paper suggested the necessity of a general supervision, and 
Charles was designated as publisher, a title which had scarcely become 
familiar to the public before he passed away. When Charles de Young 
became publisher, W. H. B. Fowler, the present business manager, was 
appointed. Mr. Fowler began his career in the Chronicle office as a boy 


Constructed by M. H. de Young after the disaster of 1906. The first building 

erected in the downtown district after the gVeat fire. 

Purification by Fire 177 

and filled several roles before assuming his responsible position. His con- 
nection with the paper was interrupted only long enough to take a Stanford 
collegiate course. After graduation from that institution he served a while 
as telegraph news editor, but his aptitude for business attracted Mr. de 
Young's attention, and he was put in charge of the automobile advertise- 
ments, which rapidly assumed large proportions under his management. 
He remained manager of this department until he assumed the business 
managership. It is worth mentioning as a characteristic of the proprietor 
of The Chronicle that he has the faculty of retaining employes during long 
periods. In the fifty years of its career, The Chronicle has had only three 
cashiers : B. A. Wardell, James G. Chesley and -W. D. Burlingame, who 
now fills that responsible position. 

Mention has been made in a preceding chapter of the increased atten- 
tion paid to sports. A column or so of varied paragraphs published once a 
week and furnished by a reporter familiar with all sorts of diversions met 
all requirements until near the close of the nineteenth cen- 
Growth tury. After that time the amount of space devoted to the 

of Interest subject began to be reckoned by pages, requiring several re- 
in Sports porters to produce it, all of whom had to be specialists in their 
particular line. This necessitated the organization of a de- 
partment presided over by a sporting editor who directed and supervised. 
Benny Benjamin was the first sporting editor of The Chronicle in charge 
of a force of men. He had an international reputation as a turf reporter, 
and his accounts of prize fights were considered unsurpassed by the critics, 
and their number was legion. Harry B. Smith, at present in charge of the 
department, also enjoys the reputation of being an authority, his specialties 
being baseball and the ring. There are some who profess to regard with 
amazement the extraordinary attention paid to sports by American news- 
papers, but their surprise would suffer diminution if they had any concep- 
tion of the demand for such intelligence. It is possible that lectures or ser- 
mons would have a greater educational value than an account of a prize 
fight, if the patrons of daily papers could be induced to read them, but, un- 
fortunately, they cannot be persuaded to do so, and insist on neglecting 
the papers which refuse to print what they desire. Hence the great pre- 
ponderance of sporting over matter of a more solid character; and, by the 
way, there would be much less of the latter printed than there is at present 
if the people who interest themselves in sports threw upon the serious the 
entire burden of supporting newspapers. 

The preceding remarks are by way of explanation of a newspaper feat 
of The Chronicle successfully carried through by Charles de Young, whose 
activities when he was business manager, as was befitting in one who ex- 
pected, to succeed his father as head of The Chronicle, were 
^ not confined to any department of the paper. In 1910, when 

Newspaper the approaching Johnson-Jeffries fight, which was to take 
Feat place at Beno, attracted almost as much attention as a Euro- 

pean war, Mr. de Young organized and personally took charge 
of a corps of sixteen reporters, correspondents and photographers sent to 
Eeno to report the "great" event for The Chronicle. The force consisted of 
Ben Benjamin, Harry Smith, Waldemar Young, C. A. Home, Charles Bem- 
ington, B. D. Johnson, Helen Dare, Jack Densham, Leroy Eipley, George 
Stanson, Harold Fitch and I\ A. Purner of the Chronicle staff and Jack 

178 Journalism in California 

London, Eex Beach and Thomas E. Flynn, who acted as special correspond- 
ents. A special was engaged to bring the photographs taken at the ring- 
side, which were developed while the train was thundering on its way to the 
city. The fight terminated at 3 P. M. in the defeat of Jeffries, and at 10 
P. M. the photographer, accompanied by Charles Kemington, who was de- 
tailed to describe the flight of the special, arrived in the office. Meanwhile, 
the Western Union Telegraph Company was transmitting over its wires 
over 40,000 words of description, which appeared in The Chronicle on the 
succeeding morning, accompanied by sixteen half-tones of the rounds, in- 
cluding the final knockout. Mr. de Young had so thoroughly systematized 
the work at the Eeno, end that the vast number of words, representing 
scores of different filings, reached the office in perfect order, Mr. Fitch, the 
night editor, reporting to the managing editor that in his long experience 
he had never received a story by telegraph more easily handled. To round 
out the account of this newspaper exploit, it should be added that the paper 
was out on sharp time on the morning of the 5th of July, and that at 11 
o'clock on the night of the 4th a special edition was dispatched to Eeno, 
which was the first to reach the crowds who had witnessed the fight. 

Charles de Young had to his credit another newspaper exploit which 
attracted as much attention to San Francisco as it did to the paper. The 
suggestion being made that the prima donna Tetrazzini might be induced 
to sing in public, he succeeded in persuading her to do so on 
Conc a ert in in S Christmas eve of 1910. The concert occurred in front of the 
Front of The niain entrance of the Chronicle building, the diva using the 
Chronicle proprietor's office as her retiring room for the occasion. 

Never was there a greater or more enthusiastic throng as- 
sembled to hear a singer. The number of listeners was estimated to exceed 
a hundred thousand. Market street for two blocks was densely packed, and 
Third, Geary and Kearny streets contained thousands who, although they 
could not see the singer's face, were content to hear her voice. The evening- 
was delightfully pleasant, and the male part of the audience complimented 
the prima donna, who insisted on adopting San Francisco as her home, by 
removing their head coverings. Flashlight pictures of the immense crowd 
were taken and sent to the leading pictorial publications of the United 
States and Europe, many of which reproduced the same. An amusing com- 
mentary on municipal pettiness is contained in the inscription on Lotta's 
fountain, which falsely states that the diva sang at that spot, but the fact 
remains that she sang in front of the Chronicle office at the request of The 
Chronicle. The tablet on the fountain was expressly prepared to suppress 
the truth, but it has only served to elevate the occurrence to the dignity of 
an. historical event and to call the attention of future generations to the 
varied forms assumed by newspaper rivalry in the first decade of the 
twentieth century. 

The young man whose imagination and activity were responsible for 
this and other Chronicle performances, took the same lively interest in 
public affairs as his father, and was foremost in the promotion of celebra- 
tions and pageants. In the Portola Fiesta in 1909 and in similar demon- 
strations he was full of suggestions and his assistance and advice were 
always sought. He was a director of the Panama-Pacific International 
Exposition, as was also his father, who was one of the subscribers of $25,000 
at the big meeting in the Merchants' Exchange when the project was 

Purification by Fire 


Death of 

de Young 

launched. Charles was a tireless worker in and out of the office, and en- 
joyed an extraordinary popularity among his fellow workers on the paper. 
When his untimely death, which occurred on September 17, 1913, was 
announced, the community was profoundly shocked. He was 
carried off by typhoid fever, contracted, it is supposed, by 
drinking water which had been standing in a neglected pipe. 
The press of the entire country united in paying a tribute 
to his marked journalistic ability, and in extending sympathy 
to his father, whose dream of a lifetime had been that his only son would 
take up the work when he laid it down. The death of Charles de Young 
followed very closely on the consummation of a transaction in which he hiad 
taken the liveliest interest, and which he expected would achieve great 
results for the paper. His satisfaction over this accomplishment of his 
father was the subject of his last conversation with the writer, who had 
followed his career with the liveliest interest from the day of his birth to 
the hour of his untimely passing away. 



Purchase of the San Francisco Call by M. H. <le Young — Eetirement From the 
Field of a Survivor From Pioneer Days — Introduction of Wireless Telegraphy 
— Increased Complexity of Newspapering — An Album of Portraits of the 
Working Force of The Chronicle — Remarkable Expansion of the Midwinter 
Exposition Memorial Museum — A Product of the Journal That Does Things — 
The Chronicle's Christmas Ship — Over a Quarter of a Million Articles Sent 
to the Little Ones of Warring Europe — Charles de Young's Efforts to Brighten 
the Lives of Unfortunates — Keseuing the Careless From the Clutches of Loan 
Sharks — The Chronicle's Japanese and Pan-American Editions — Imminence of 
Another Chronicle Skyscraper. 

HEN the latest census of newspaper publications and 
periodicals of all kinds in California was taken in 1912 
the total of the enumeration was 818. This embraced 
161 dailies, 4 triweeklies, 31 semiweeklies, SOU weeklies, 
2 fortnightlies, 9 semimonthlies, 101 monthlies, 5 bi- 
monthlies and 1 quarterly. Of this number, 166 were 
published in San Francisco, there being nineteen dailies, 
fifty weeklies, one semiweekly, fifty monthlies, four 
semimonthlies, one bimonthly and one fortnightly. Of the dailies, nine 
were published in the English language, four in Chinese, three in Japanese, 
one in German and two in Italian. Only three of the entire list of dailies, 
the Bulletin, the German Demokrat and the Journal of Commerce, are 
survivals from the fifties. Of the weeklies, the News Letter and the Chris- 
tian Advocate date their birth back to pioneer days. Only one paper, that 
which today celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, enjoys the distinction of 
having remained uninterruptedly in one ownership from the date of its 
foundation! All the other journals established a half- century or more 
ago have undergone many changes of proprietorship, and some of them 
have been subjected to such transformations, that little more than the name 
originally bestowed upon them links .their history with the past. The Ex- 
aminer, for instance, started its career as an evening paper about the same 
time that The Chronicle made its first appearance, and was changed into a 
morning paper several years later.' 

The Call, whose advent in the journalistic field preceded that of The 
Chronicle by several years, maintained its existence for more than half a 
century. It was founded, as related in an earlier chapter, by a small coterie 
of printers, who operated it for a sljort period only. The paper was subse- 
quently purchased by Claus Spreckels and passed into his possession on 


The Call Suspends 181 

the 1st of January, 1895. During the first two years after its acquisition 
by him it was under the management of Charles M. Shortridge. On the 
13th of August, 1897, the Call passed into the possession of 
Young 6 John D. Spreckels, in whose ownership it remained until 

Purchases the September 1, 1913, when it was purchased by M. H. de 
Call Young, and its publication permanently suspended. The ex- 

tinction of the Call created a national journalistic sensation, 
and was hailed with expressions of satisfaction by advertisers, who re- 
garded the conversion of San Francisco into a two-morning-daily city as 
tending greatly to simplify their relations with the newspapers and the 
public generally. At the time of the acquisition of the Call by Mr. de 
Young it possessed a splendid equipment, the major part of which was 
absorbed into The Chronicle's plant. 

The purchase of the Call was the subject of extended comment by the 
editors of Pacific Coast papers familiar with the early rivalries of the 
extinguished journal and The Chronicle. Many of them recalled the 
energetic efforts of the de Young boys to break into the San 
Up 1 a™ 8 Francisco newspaper field, and one claimed to have predicted 

Great ■ th e outcome in 1879. The prophecy, however, made no 

Newspaper deep impression, and when the purchase was made the sur- 
prise was general. During the period while the Call was in 
the possession of John D. Spreckels it was conducted as a thoroughly up-to- 
date newspaper and was a vigorous competitor for public favor. Had the 
fact been otherwise, the passing of a journal that had rounded out an ex- 
istence of nearly sixty years would have attracted less attention. The 
mortality list of San Francisco newspapers was a long one, but in most 
instances the community was not disturbed when a publication dropped 
out of line. The circumstances attending the disappearance of the Call, 
however, were of such a character that few newspapers throughout the 
length and breadth of the land refrained. from comment, most of it taking 
the form of approval of what was considered an important tendency in 
modern journalism, namely, to build up and make a few great newspapers 
rather than multiply their number at the expense of efficiency. . 

Much space has been devoted by the press of San Francisco and by 
observing visitors, to the marvelous energy displayed by the community in 
the work of rehabilitation since the disaster of 1906. The rebuilding of a 
city is something that forces itself on the attention of the least 
Introduction observant. When skyscrapers and less lofty structures are 
Wireless rising in every direction they are recognized by all as im- 

Telegraphy provements, but the changes made by newspapers, which are 
usually in the direction of greater efficiency in the presenta- 
tion of news and increased attractiveness, are less likely to be noticed, be- 
cause the reading public has become accustomed to accepting journalistic 
innovations as a matter of course. Some of these latter, however, are 
worthy recording in a sketch of journalism. Perhaps the most important 
of these is the extended use of wireless telegraphy, which became of such 
practical importance in the work of news gathering about 1910 that it is 
now regarded as an indispensable part of the machinery for collecting in- 
telligence. It has begun to share with the ocean cables and land wires the 
duty of swiftly conveying to the editor accounts of occurrences on land 
and sea, and sometimes it has the mournful monopoly of the recital of 

182 Journalism in California 

disasters on the deep which would never be heard of if Marconi's wonder- 
ful discovery had not been made. 

The results of the employment of wireless communication may pass 
unnoticed by the average reader, who is not so much interested in the source 
of the news, or how it was obtained, as he is in the news itself, but the 

investigator who takes the trouble to compare an issue of a 
Marvelous morning paper of some five or six years ago with one of the 
Made present day will discover that there are features whose daily 

Commonplace presentation makes them seem commonplace which really 

indicate an advancement more marvelous than any recorded 
during the nineteenth century. In the most prosaic fashion the leading 
journals of the country daily print items whose publication would have 
been deemed impossible by a past generation. The owner of a vessel at 
sea learns from this unostentatious column as he peruses his morning 
paper that the craft in which he has invested a fortune is safe in some 
exactly indicated part of a vast ocean ; a busy father, whose wife and daugh- 
ter are traveling, gathers from the brief wireless message that the ship 
on which they are sailing homeward will reach port on time ; the merchant 
awaiting the arrival of a cargo is informed that he is not likely to be dis- 
appointed. Sometimes the news brought is tragic, and then it finds a place 
among the more startling intelligence ; but whether the information brought 
by wireless is that of a disaster, or merely a record of the location of a 
vessel at sea, the method of bringing it will always seem more wonderful 
than that employed when transmitted through a cable or a land wire. 

Another innovation more particularly confined to the two San Fran- 
cisco morning papers is that of issuing successive editions to meet the wants 
of different localities in the vast area served by them. Before the disaster of 

1906 it rarely happened that more than one edition was issued 
Makine ^ v a morning paper; at present as many as five are sent out 

of Many every morning. The earliest of these appears on the streets at 

Editions 11 p. m., and meets the requirements of San Francisco's 

large night population. It is followed at intervals by other 
editions, which are dispatched by special train or other conveyances to vari- 
ous localities, all of whose particular needs are recognized and provided for 
by the publication of items of local interest. The innovation of successive 
editions was compelled by the rapid growth of population since 1906 in 
the area contributory to San Francisco. Before that date the night editor, 
unless some accident causing an interruption to communication occurred, 
awaited the signal "good night" from the Associated Press and telegraphic 
correspondents. The welcome good night never comes now. The various 
editions are sent to press at a prescribed minute, and if there is a failure in 
that regard the circulation department, through the business manager, is 
sure to ask for an explanation. 

As a result of the issuance of many editions, the work of the night 
editor is made much more arduous than in former times, when the paper 
nearly made itself up. It is no longer possible, as it once was, closely to 
estimate the quantity of matter to be set by the printers, and it frequently 
happens that the editors upon whom devolve the duty of selecting what 
shall appear in the paper are obliged to discard much that has been pre- 
pared for publication. On occasion enough is thrown aside to fill a good- 
sized sheet. As pointed out in an earlier chapter, the scarcity of news, or 

The Call Suspends 183 

rather the facilities for assembling it, necessitated efforts to fill up. The 
problem in the modern newspaper office is entirely different. It is to find a 
Th w k pl ace for the "stuff" which comes to it from hundreds of 
of t]ie sources and that which is diligently gathered by the large staffs 

Night of reporters and special writers employed on all the leading 

Editor city papers. Instead of being concerned about obtaining 

matter to print, the heads of the various departments are 
called upon to observe the closest watch over the copy prepared by or sub- 
mitted to them in order to keep within the space allotted them, otherwise 
the paper would be flooded with relatively inconsequential matter. This 
requires the exercise of discrimination on the part of every editor en- 
trusted with the preparation of copy for the printer, but even that fails of 
its purpose, for when the matter is all up in type there are usually many 
columns more than can be accommodated in the various editions and the 
editor is called upon to make a swift decision as to what shall go and what 
shall be left out. 

The making of successive editions greatly increases the work in all the 
mechanical departments of the great city dailies. In the infancy and grow- 
ing period of American city journalism, the making of a daily paper was a 

simple affair. No special training was required for those 
Machinery engaged in its preparation. Given a few competent printers 
of a an< i a press which would print a few thousand copies of a 

Great Daily four-page sheet in four or five hours and any man capable of 

writing a swinging editorial and putting together such scraps 
of information as came to hand could easily turn the trick. The production 
of a modern daily is something entirely different. There is nothing more 
complex than the highly organized machinery of a great daily journal. 
Every part must work in perfect harmony to produce results. The pos- 
sibility of accident is never considered. Every day takes care of itself. 
Prevision of the highest order cannot prepare for the morrow. In every 
other occupation those in charge can foresee what they will be called upon 
to perform during the ensuing twenty-four hours, but the editor cannot 
tell what the day may bring forth. It may promise no more than a hum- 
drum experience requiring the exercise of nothing else than ordinary dili- 
gence, and may end in the application of high-pressure energy helped out 
by ingenuity and the eager co-operation of everyone in the establishment. 
But whether the day is dull or crowded with excitement, everything must 
go like clockwork, otherwise the paper would not be out on time for. the 
toiler to read on the way to his daily occupation, or the people of leisure to 
peruse at their breakfast tables. 

Pew people outside the profession have any comprehension of the 
enormous toil and the great number of persons required to produce the 
paper which they read with such comfort and satisfaction in the morning. 

The comparatively insignificant price at which it is sold has a 
Forceof a tendency to cause those who enjoy the benefits of the mar- 
Big ' velous cheapness of newspaper intelligence to underrate the 
Daily efforts that must be put forth. to enable publishers to make a 

daily presentation of the news of the world. Many will be 
surprised when told that thousands of active minds and willing hands co- 
operate to produce that which the reader of the daily paper accepts as a 
matter of course. Not long since the attaches of The Chronicle signalized 

184 Journalism in California 

an occasion by presenting M. H. de Young with a handsomely gotten up 
album containing the photograph of every employe of the paper whose duties 
were performed within the precincts of the Chronicle building. The por- 
traits numbered exactly 258, made up as follows: Editorial staff, ninety- 
four ; business office and circulation and advertising departments, fifty-four ; 
compositors and linotype operators, sixty-three; photo engraving, depart- 
ment, six; stereotypers and pressmen, twenty-nine; engineers, electricians, 
etc., twelve. In addition to this force, the paper maintains telegraphic 
correspondents in every place of importance on the Pacific Coast and rep- 
resentatives in all the news gathering centers of the East and the 

How this large number is employed it would take a sizable volume to 
tell. There are some in the editorial department whose productions occupy 
much space, and others who work just as energetically whose efforts hardly 

show up at all. There is an impressiom outside of newspaper 
Effort to offices that modern journalism exhibits recklessness of state- 

Get ment, but if the average man or woman would display a tithe 

the Facts of the energy exerted by newspapers to get at the exact facts 

this would be "a more truthful world than it is. A large 
part of the work of the local staff of a great city journal is the ascertainment 
of the truth or falsity of stories circulated by individuals. If the men whose 
business it is to write had nothing to do but to fill space the force of such a 
paper as The Chronicle could easily provide matter for thrice as many 
pages as are daily printed. But, odd as it may seem to the outsider, re- 
porters are not selected because they can express themselves with facility. 
That is a qualification eminently desirable, but it is not rated near so highly 
as the ability to get at the bottom of things. The two qualities are combined 
in the most successful reporter, but the city editor who understands what 
the public desires considers the man who after carefully investigating a 
rumor reports that it has no foundation more favorably than he does the 
one who thinks he can perform the feat which was once thought impossible 
of making bricks without straw. 

In the preceding chapters attempts were made to determine the status 
of reporting, and some evidence was presented which pointed to a con- 
tinued improvement in every branch of the art. The esteem' in which the 

work of certain reporters of earlier days is held by oldtimers is 
g? 16 . no trustworthy basis for comparison. Not infrequently the 

f claim is put forward that the haste of turning out a modern 

Reporting paper militates against the production of good reportorial 

work, but the files do not bear out the assumption, and the 
fact that the local rooms of the big city dailies have proved the halfway 
house or the preparatory school for many who have found their way into 
the higher walks of literature abundantly supports the assertion that the 
modern newspaper, taken as a whole, is very well written. Eecognition of 
the good work of the present does not constitute a disparagement of the 
past; it merely tends to discourage a sort of criticism destitute of value 
because it ignores the conditions responsible for slips, and shuts its eyes to 
the merit of performances which would be impossible to most of the fault 
finders who pick the flaws and pass over the good things. 

If there was a greater disposition to hunt for the latter the critics would 
find abundant opportunity to frame their criticism in appreciative terms. 



The custom of entertaining the children was inaugurated by Charles de Young 

and has been kept up since his death by his father, M. H. de Young. 

The Call Suspends 185 

There is still plenty of "the journalism that does things," and the kind 
that perpetuates things that were well done. The story of the Midwinter 
Exposition has already been told, but the success of that 
Memorial achievement of M. H. de Young by no means ended with the 

Museum accomplishment of the immediate object aimed at by its pro- 

ponent. After the closing of the Exposition, Mr. de Young, 
who always had a fad for collecting curiosities and antiquities, 
succeeded in getting the consent of the Park Commissioners to leave the 
Art Building in the Park and permit him to create a museum. This museum 
was named the Golden Gate Park Memorial Museum to recall the Mid- 
winter Exposition. During the past twenty years, M. H. de Young has 
devoted all his spare time during his travels throughout Europe and the 
Orient in purchasing curiosities, armor and other valuable exhibits, in the 
beginning using the fund left after the closing of the Exposition and sub- 
sequently using his own money. At least eight-tenths of the articles at 
present in the museum, of which there are over 250,000, have been 
acquired through the efforts of Mr. de Young. Mr. de Young has main- 
tained a lively interest in the Museum since 1894, and has ceaselessly worked 
to promote its growth. It has since become the most popular public institu- 
tion in San Francisco and has outgrown its original home. An enumera- 
tion of the treasures in the various departments discloses that it has long 
since passed the nucleus stage, and is now a full-fledged museum, inviting 
contributions and recognition. 

At this writing the pioneer room has a collection of 50,000 articles 
connected with and illustrating the early history of the State. In the mis- 
sion room there are over a hundred articles, all relics of the California mis- 
sions. In the department devoted to ceramics there are 8000 
Growth pieces, including royal Meissen Dresden, Majolica, etc. The 

Valuable chief feature of this room is a cloisonne- vase valued at 

Collection $8000, presented by M. H. de Young. In the room devoted 

to numismatics there are 2000 coins, many of them ancient 
and rare. There are 2000 pieces of jewelry, including jades, watches, 
miniatures, etc., some of them very valuable because of their rarity. In 
the Napoleonic room there are more than one hundred articles, among 
them a throne chair and the field glasses of the Emperor. There is a Dutch 
room containing fifty or more articles of typical Dutch furnishings of vari- 
ous periods. One of the most interesting departments is that illustrating 
the Colonial period of the United States, and there is an Egyptian room, 
containing over 500 reminders of that ancient civilization. The North 
American room contains 4000 articles; there are fully 600 ecclesiastical 
exhibits, such as Bibles, vestments, etc. ; a tapestry collection embracing 
more than a thousand pieces of Erench, Spanish, Italian and German work- 
manship, and, in the Oriental department, there are 3000 objects. There 
is a natural history department, containing fully 40,000 articles pertaining 
to every branch of this science. The value of these collections is attested 
by the great interest exhibited by visitors and by the fact that the library 
pertaining to California history, which already numbers 7000 volumes, and 
the exhibits are closely studied by an' increasing number of students. The 
increasing popularity of the Museum is a tribute to the sagacity of its prac- 
tical founder, M. H. de Young, and is as much a memorial of "the jour- 
nalism that does things" as the success of the Midwinter Exposition, which 
it commemorates. 


186 Journalism in Califo rnia _ 

The journalism that does things was given -a practical illustration by 
Charles de Young, the son of M. H., after his assumption of the duties of 
business manager. It consisted in a sympathetic recognition of the fact that 
^ u ty of society does not end with providing, homes for 
fteUves unfortunates. Several weeks prior to Thanksgiving day in 

of the November, 1911, Mr. de Young conceived the idea of 

Unfortunate brightening the cheerless lives of the sick and crippled little 
ones confined in the Children's Hospital, and that of the aged 
inmates of the Belief Home. With his accustomed earnestness and energy, 
he organized an entertainment which appealed greatly to those for whom it 
was contrived. A troop of soldiers, the Nationals, the oldest military organ- 
ization in the State, in their bright zouave uniforms, and performers from 
the various vaudeville establishments, of the city, were taken early in the 
morning, in sightseeing automobiles, to the hospital and the home. The 
soldiers were put through their evolutions and the performers did their best 
stunts and there was plenty of music to enliven the affair. The unwonted 
treat was so greatly appreciated by those for whom it was designed that it 
was repeated in the ensuing year, and since the death of Charles de Young 
the custom has been perpetuated by The Chronicle to honor his 

The most recent of the activities of The Chronicle was that which 
resulted in the collection of fully a quarter of a million of toys, articles of 
wearing apparel, etc., in San Francisco and the surrounding country, for 
the little ones in the warring countries of Europe. The con- 
Chrstmas ception of the happy idea of sending a shipload of Christmas 

Ship of The gifts to' the region in which the conflict was raging met with 
Chronicle an instant sympathetic and zealous response. The announce- 

ment was made by The Chronicle on the morning of Septem- 
ber 26, 1914, that a ship laden with things that would give joy to the sor- 
rowing youngsters whose fathers were at the front or who had already suf- 
fered the soldier's cruel fate, would be dispatched to Europe. The promp- 
titude with which the readers of The Chronicle responded to the call sur- 
prised even those familiar with the readiness of San Franciscans to put 
their hands in their pockets when an appeal is. made for children. Before 
the ink was dry on the paper in which the announcement was made gifts 
began to pour into the office. Little children brought toys and the grown 
ups contributed money with which to buy articles of wearing apparel, and 
many brought things in their own hands. i 

The contributions poured in so freely that a depot for their reception 
and storage had to be provided, and M. H. de Young placed at the disposal 
of the committee which he caused to be organized, a large store in the 
Chronicle building. Here a corps of volunteers consisting of 
f^'tn well-known society ladies, assisted by employes of The Chron- 

Ctiildren of icle, received and arranged the gifts for shipment by the 
Belligerents United States collier Jason, which was tendered by the Secre- 
tary of the Navy, to transport the contributions to Europe. 
During the month devoted to the collection of gifts it is estimated that 
over a quarter of a million articles were brought or sent to the depot, 
and, when the Christmas Ship campaign came to a close on October 25th, 
there were 450 big packing cases, filled to the bursting point, ready for 
shipment. The Southern Pacific Eailroad undertook the transportation of 

The Call Suspends 187 

the gifts to the East. The procession of the eleven big trucks from the 
Chronicle office to the freight station on Bqrry street was viewed by thou- 
sands of people. But the generosity of contributors did not cease with this 
consignment. Gifts continued to come to the office, and a day later fifty- 
four more cases were sent after the original lot. The Jason carried them 
safely over the water to Europe, and their distribution in the countries to 
which they were consigned drew forth expressions of gratitude and appre- 
ciation from highest to lowest. 

The press sometimes succeeds in remedying evils of long standing, and 
which have occupied a large share of public attention, with a rapidity which 
surprises those who have labored to mitigate them. In all cities there is a 
class of improvidents and unfortunates whose carelessness or 
Sharks ind necessities drive them into the toils of what are familiarly 
Heir called "loan sharks." San Francisco had its share of the 

Victims latter, and, if the records of the courts can be depended upon, 

they are a particularly voracious breed. In the early part 
of the year 1913 The Chronicle inaugurated a crusade against these 
creatures, which had for its outcome the establishment in San Francisco of 
a "Bemedial Loan Association." On February 20, 1912, the Welfare Com- 
mittee of the Board of Supervisors was waited upon by a number of prom- 
inent citizens, who proposed a plan for the abatement of the evil, which 
was subsequently adopted. On the 24th of March articles of incorporation 
and a constitution for the San Francisco Bemedial Loan Association were 
drawn up and favorably acted upon by a committee which met in the 
Chamber of Commerce. It provided for the creation of a board of fifteen 
directors, and authorized the making of small loans on chattel mortgages. 
On December 6th of the same year the new institution opened its doors, and 
in the course of the first month's business the association loaned $43,601 
to 1295. Thus there was accomplished in less than a year, through the 
agency of The Chronicle, an object which earnest men and women had been 
aiming to achieve for more than a decade. The Bemedial Loan Association 
is now a fixture, and the community is satisfied that it is doing excellent 
work and making it more and more difficult for rapacious money lenders 
to extort money from needy persons who may be frightened into paying 
extortionate rates for small accommodations. i 

The "journalism that does things," while commanding popular applause, 
and often entailing the expenditure of a great deal of thought and energy, 
is after all only the spectacular side of newspapering. The greatest accom- 
plishment of journalism is the ability displayed by those 
G- he th directing the affairs of great journals to constantly enlarge 

of The their spheres of usefulness, and to increase the interest of their 

Chronicle patrons. The hallmark of successful journalism is innovation 

and improvement. In the retrospect each year must present 
an improvement over that of the preceding year. That has conspicuously 
been the case with The Chronicle since its foundation fifty years ago by 
the brothers, Charles and M. H. de Young. The survivor of the two is 
able to look back half a century and see in the files of The Chronicle the 
result of his care and arduous labors. The fact that there was no slip back 
during the interval is eloquently testified by the evidences of constant 
growth. The product of his paper was good fifty years ago; it was better 
ten years later. Every decade has added to its attractiveness and value. 

188 Journalism in California 

Improvement has been made when improvement no longer seemed possible, 
and that is likely to be the future record of the paper. 

In no way can the vast strides of journalism in California, or, for that 
matter, the whole United States, be more accurately measured than by a 
comparison of the special papers issued by a great publication. Special 
. publications may be regarded as the milestones in the develop- 
ed ncan ment of journalism. They clearly mark its progress. During 
Japanese recent years there have not been many noteworthy changes 

Editions in the regular daily issues; the number of pages printed is 

about the same as when the introduction of the perfecting 
press caused a reduction in size and an increase in the number, but enter- 
prise has been exhibited in the field which The Chronicle entered when the 
brothers de Young were still working together. Their example has been 
followed by many papers and exhaustive accounts of noteworthy occurrences 
are no longer uncommon. Big annuals are printed by the leading journals 
of the great American cities, and none now neglects to signalize great hap- 
penings by exhaustive accounts which deal with the subject treated from 
every possible angle calculated to interest or inform the reader. But it 
remained for The Chronicle to introduce still another innovation, namely 
the issuance of editions dealing with the commercial development of nations 
having intimate relations with the United States. On October 22, 1911, 
The Chronicle published an edition of 104 pages, fifty-two of which were 
devoted to describing the industrial advancement of the Japanese people. 
A representative of the paper was sent to that country and as a result of 
his visit every conceivable phase of the commercial development of Japan 
was fully dealt with. In like manner, on October 28, 1913, a Pan-American 
edition was published, seventy pages of which dealt with the countries of 
Central and South America. It was the most exhaustive presentation of 
trade conditions in Latin American, and the possibility of developing more 
intimate relations, ever printed in an American paper. 

These great editions tell the story of newspaper development with almost 
scientific precision. The daily presentation of the news is a matter of ef- 
fective organization which permits the prompt recording of happenings. 

If the latter are important they are interesting to the reader, 
Editions ^ut ^ le mos ^ absorbing details of an occurrence of an unpre- 

Milestones of meditated sort, unless possessed of extraordinary features, 
Progress part with their interest very rapidly and prevent comparison, 

excepting on a basis of length or mode of arrangement. But 
the special edition never loses its interest. It has the qualities which have 
caused' such writings as Froissart's Chronicles, or Motley's description of 
a Dutch pageant to retain their freshness for successive generations of 
readers. That is due to the fact that they are conscious efforts to realize 
what is called the most important function of a newspaper; to faithfully 
mirror the times in which it is printed. The elaborate account of the re- 
ception to Grant in 1879, on his return from his world tour, and the ex- 
tended description of the Portola festivities in October, 1909, have a his- 
torical value, as do also the Eehabilitation issue of May 3, 1908, printed 
to show the degree of recovery since 1 the disaster of two years earlier, and 
the big edition of May 7th, eleven pages of which were devoted to the re- 
ception of San Francisco to the United States squadron of battleships 
on the occasion of its voyage around the world. 


The Call Suspends 





There are still other indices of journalistic progress. In earlier chap- 
ters mention has been made of the fact that the de Young brothers con- 
structed the first building in San Francisco wholly devoted to newspaper 
purposes in 1879, and that M. H. de Young made the bold 
move of erecting the first skyscraper in this city in 1890, and 
now it remains to round out the narrative by a reference to 
the ambitious design of the gifted architect, Willis Polk, who 
has drawn plans for a Chronicle building to be erected on 
the site of the present structure on the corner of Market, Geary and Kearny 
streets, which will exceed in loftiness the tallest building in the city. It is 
proposed to erect in the place of the existing Chronicle edifice, whose height 
on the Market-street side is eleven stories, a structure which will contain 
thirty-seven habitable stories. This is to be accomplished without interfer- 
ing with the service of the present building by a well thought-out sectional 
mode of construction, which would permit the removal of occupants from 
one part to another as rapidly as each section was completed. The plans of 
Polk provide for a concrete, fire-proofed, class A building of structural 
steel, with exterior walls of stone and brick and floors of reinforced con- 
crete and steel. The corridor walls are to be of marble wainscot and the 
floors of encaustic tiling and the interior woodwork of oak, the cost of the 
structure to exceed eleven hundred thousand dollars. The construction of 
this monumental edifice will not be the "last word in California journal- 
ism," but it will fittingly indicate to the world that it is marching onward, 
and that M. H. de Young is determined to keep in the van by being to 
the fore in civic improvement and placing his great journal in the lead. 



Publication That Stimulated Interest in the P. P. I. E. — Ninety-two Pages of 
Reading Matter and Illustrations — Advertising Record Breaker — Auspicious 
Opening of San Francisco's Great Show — Critics Declare That It Has Surpassed 
All Previous Expositions — Record Breaking Attendance of the First Months — 
An Ancient Question Up for Decision — The Attempt to Unload Spring Valley 
on the City — A Contest in Which The Chronicle Stood Alone and Won Out. 

HE preceding chapters appeared in a special edition of 
the San Francisco Chronicle published on the 16th of 
January, 1915. Certain references have probably in- 
dicated to the reader that the publication of the 
sketch of journalism had for its object the celebration 
of an event which was regarded with great interest by 
the newspaper fraternity of the United States; but it 
remained to be related in this concluding chapter how 
it was received, and to describe at some length the features of the San 
Francisco Chronicle's Exposition and Golden Jubilee Edition. 

That it merits attention in a sketch of California journalism will be 
conceded when it is stated that the appearance of the jubilee edition was 
greeted with eulogistic comments by contemporaries throughout the entire 
Union. The tone of these told the story of a clear recognition by editors 
that a great journalistic feat had been accomplished, and that The Chron- 
icle had added another to its long list of striking achievements of the sort 
characterized by the phrase : "The journalism that does things." 

The tributes to the publication were exceeded in warmth only by the 
congratulations extended to M. H. de Young, whose fiftieth year of con- 
tinuous ownership and conduct of The Chronicle the Jubilee Edition cele- 
brated. The foremost publishers and editors of the land 
literally showered good wishes and compliments upon him, 
and commented on the unique position he occupies in Ameri- 
can journalism. In successive editions of The Chronicle 
after January 16th pages of these congratulatory letters were 
printed to testify the recipient's appreciation and to substantiate the as- 
sumption of the writer of this sketch that the leading journalists of 
America recognized in the San Francisco Chronicle an exponent of "the 
journalism that does things." 

The Jubilee Edition consisted of ninety-two pages. Its principal feature 




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Golden Jubilee Edition 191 

was the sketch of "Journalism in. California," here reproduced. It oc- 
cupied twenty-two pages, or 176 columns, making it, perhaps, the longest 
article ever printed in a single issue of a daily paper. In addition to this 
there were presented twelve pages devoted to describing the scope of the 
Panama-Pacific International Exposition, which was on the eve of being 
opened to the public. It was by all odds the most comprehensive account 
of the preparations for the great event published up to that time and was 
accompanied by numerous half-tones, among them a double-page birdseye 
view of the palaces and other completed buildings. It shared with the 
history of journalism the lavish praise bestowed upon the edition. 

The editors who reviewed the contents of the Jubilee Edition of The 
Chronicle were not slow to remark that the issue in itself constituted a 
milestone on San Francisco's road of progress. One writer called attention 
to the significance of the fact that there were 335 columns 
Formidable °^ advertisements. "It would have been marvelous," he said, 
Show of "even if the onward march had been uninterrupted, that a 

Advertisementscity whose years numbered scarcely sixty-five should be able 
to furnish the support so great a quantity of advertising in 
a single issue implies, but when it is borne in mind tbat less than nine 
years ago The Chronicle was compelled to reorganize and grow over again, 
words fail adequately to describe the astounding accomplishment." 

This sized up the situation exactly, and it is not surprising that the 
thousand or more editors who critically examined the Jubilee Edition 
were able to form a juster estimate of the thoroughness of San Francisco's 
rehabilitation than they could have done from the perusal of pages of 
statistics, albeit there was plenty of such information in its columns. 
"Boosters" 'do not lack the ability to frame alluring stories, but ninety- 
two page editions containing 335 columns of advertising tell a tale that 
the most critical examination by an advocate of blue sky legislation could 
not discredit. 

There can hardly be two opinions concerning the judgment passed on 
that part of the Jubilee Edition devoted to showing the state of com- 
pleteness of the exposition. There had been much misinformation dis- 
seminated by Eastern newspapers calculated to convey the 
D he bt IiStS ° f i m P ress i° n that circumstances created by the war would make 
Cleared ^ necessary to defer the opening of the fair, perhaps compel 

Away its indefinite postponement. Contradictions seemed power- 

less to correct the error, perhaps because the few words in 
which they were couched failed to attract public attention. But when The 
Chronicle hurled its broadside of facts, which it took pains to get into the 
hands of every influential' editor on the other side of the Bocky mountains, 
doubts on the subject vanished like mist before a summer morning's sun. 

The Jubilee Edition was published on the 16th of January, and long 
before the opening day of the exposition, which occurred on the 20th of 
February, there were few places throughout the length and breadth of the 
land that had not been made aware of the stage of readiness attained. 
Birdseye views, pictures of State buildings and those of foreign countries 
furnished evidence from which there was no escape. There was no more 
incredulity. It was exchanged for wondering expressions that San Fran- 
cisco, in spite of all that had happened, was courageously moving ahead, 

192 Journalism in California 

and was to afford to the world the spectacle of showing the progress made 
in the arts of peace while the greatest conflict of all times was raging in 

The opening took place on the day planned, and the promise of those 
who projected the great enterprise and devoted years of strenuous labor to 
perfecting the design of making the Panama-Pacific International Exposi- 
tion surpass all preceding affairs of the kind was realized. 
2£ e . . The palaces devoted to exhibits were completed and the 

Opened ^n installation was so far advanced that the gaps made by 
Time the failure of several foreign nations to get their displays 

into place were scarcely noticed. The ceremonies attending 
the opening were less formal in their character than those witnessed at 
previous international expositions in this country. Instead of a military 
parade it was suggested that an invasion of the grounds by citizens en 
masse would be more impressive. No serious attempt was made to organize 
the throngs that passed through -the many gates into the grounds, but the 
multitude marching along Van Ness avenue comported itself with as much 
orderliness as if drilled by captains, and presented a spectacle as amazing 
as it was unique. 

Nearly a quarter of a million people passed through the turnstiles on 
that eventful 20th day of February, the exact number recorded being 
245,143. This vast multitude must have shared the view later expressed 
by the eminent art critic, Eoyal Cortissoz of New York, in 
q the Tribune of that city, that "the most interesting work of 

Million ar t a ^ ^he ^ T * s the ^ a ^ r itself." It is a fact worth putting 

Attendance down in black and white that comparatively few on that open- 
ing day penetrated to the interior of the exhibit palaces. 
They were content to feast their eyes on what Mr. Cortissoz characterized 
"the realization of the poet's vision," "a dream come true." They felt what 
he so well expressed that it was "exquisite, the quintessence of all things 

Admiration equally enthusiastic was felt and expressed by other dis- 
tinguished visitors, perhaps in a more prosaic but none the less convincing 
fashion. The Secretary of Interior, Eranklrn K. Lane, deputed by the 
President to represent the Nation at the opening function, the chief ex- 
ecutive feeling that he could not desert his post at Washington, owing 
to the constant demands upon his attention created by the European war, 
voiced his amazement in a brief but eloquent speech which was telegraphed 
all over the world, and was accepted as a deserved tribute to the greatest 
achievement of modern times. 

There were many who had feared that the great conflict raging on the 
other side of the Atlantic would compel the postponement of the exposition, 
but when the President touched the button in his cabinet which sent the 
radio flash that started up the machinery of the fair, they 
With a revised their ear|ier opinion, and freely gave utterance to 

Radio ^ ne belief that the perseverance in the project would cause 

Flash it to be distinguished from all similar undertakings. It 

would focus the attention of mankind upon the fact that, 
while the nations of the old world were engaged in the bloody work of 
trying to extinguish each other, Americans were occupied in an admirable 
effort ,to show the progress achieved by mankind in the arts of peace. 

__^____ Golden Jubilee Edition 193 

During the first three days of the exposition 440,644 persons passed 
through the turnstiles. It had been supposed that the remoteness of San 
Francisco from the great centers of population would militate against a large 
patronage. It was said, when San Francisco urged upon Congress the 
propriety of according to the city which had been foremost in promoting 
interest in the construction of the Panama canal the honor of celebrating, 
the completion of the greatest enterprise of modern times, that the Pacific 
Coast was too far away from the heart of the country to make the affair a 

Doubtless those who urged this objection were convinced of the sound- 
ness of the assumption, but they underrated the spirit of the community 
which had in the short space of nine years completely recovered from the 
terrible disaster which had wiped out the efforts of more than 
|| an . a half century of energetic city building. Long before the 

Not off the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition the 
Map ~ rehabilitation had been the subject of wondering comment 
throughout the world, but it needed the accomplishment 
which has extorted universal tributes to crystallize the freely expressed 
opinion that the twentieth century had witnessed no greater achievement 
than that of the metropolis of the Pacific Coast, which had succeeded in 
surpassing all previous attempts to illustrate the progress of mankind. 

Whether the expectations created by the astonishing record of the 
first two months of the exposition are realized or not does not much matter. 
There is every reason for believing that the figures of attendance at the 
Columbian and the Louisiana Purchase Expositions will not greatly exceed 
those of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, if at all. At the 
date of this writing, May 9th, 4,370,89.7 admissions had been recorded, and 
the tide of travel toward San Francisco was just beginning to rise. There 
is, therefore, some warrant for the assurance felt that the exposition of 
1915 will not suffer by comparison on this score, and that it will have 
proved more than what the French speak of as a success d'estime, which it 
is already conceded to be by competent and unbiased critics. who un- 
hesitatingly declare that in comprehensiveness and attractiveness it has 
never been surpassed. 

That the newspapers of San Francisco may justly claim that a large 
part of this success was due to their untiring efforts to stimulate interest 
in the great enterprise is recognized on every hand. The people, however, 
have become so accustomed to witnessing the performance of 
Work this duty they have almost ceased to recognize the service per- 

° he formed and accept it as a matter of course, only pausing to 

Newspapers express surprise when the boost note is occasionally inter- 
rupted by a deserved bit of criticism. It is too early to tell 
the story of the exposition. That will be done later by many writers, some 
of whom may see the propriety of according to the press full credit for the 
share taken by it in the promotion of the great undertaking. 

To round ,out this sketch of journalism in California another verification 
of the saying that history repeats itself may be cited. In an earlier chapter 
the story of the winning of the fight for the adoption of the Constitution 
of 1879 by The Chronicle was told at some length. Its most pronounced 
journalistic feature was the prominence it gave to the fact that the. only 
newspaper advocating its adoption was The Chronicle. This feat of 

194 Journalism in Califo rnia 

winning out against the combination of many interests was nearly paralleled 
in the eontest over the proposal of the Spring Valley Water Company to 
sell a part of its property to San Francisco for the sum of $34,500,000. 

The question of the acquisition of a water supply by the municipality 
had been under discussion for many years, and the public mind had become 
greatly confused over the subject. Upon one point there was something 
approaching unanimity of sentiment. At an election held to 
Another secure. the necessary authority to issue bonds for the purpose 

Supply of introducing water from the Hetch-Hetchy valley to the 

Campaign city, the people voted nearly twenty to one in favor of the 
project. At this election there was little evidence that 
the voters had in mind acquiring any supply other than that which could 
be derived from the Sierra. Had there been a suggestion that the 
$45,000,000 asked for was to be supplemented by a demand for an addi- 
tional $35,000,000, it would have been flouted. 

There was no mistaking the attitude of the community at that time. 
It found plain expression in denunciation of the course of the corporation 
and in the emphatic demand for pure mountain water. Subsequently 
Spring Valley by clever manipulation succeeded in placing obstacles in the 
way of the speedy introduction of Sierra water, and actually managed to 
create the impression that the only mode of settling the water question was 
to buy the reservoirs and other property of the peninsula system. There 
were some who believed that it would be desirable to acquire the Spring 
Valley system, but the most of those who lent support to the proposition 
submitted in 1910 to buy it at a cost of $35,000,000 frankly admitted that 
they did so because they were convinced that the Spring Valley corporation 
was a sort of "old man of the sea," and that if permitted to continue in ex- 
istence the growth of the city would be retarded. 

At the election when the $35,000,000 proposition was submitted, all the 
property of the Spring Valley was included. The proposal came near 
receiving the requisite two-thirds vote, and would probably have done so 
had not the then Mayor, McCarthy, opposed the purchase on 
^ e . the ground that the price was excessive. He undoubtedly 

Wins a influenced enough voters to defeat the proposal. It does not 

Big Victory appear that there was any effort made to secure a reduction 
of the price demanded by Spring Valley. After some agita- 
tion condemnation proceedings were begun by the city, but they were not 
pushed, and the community toward the close of 1914 was treated to a gen- 
uine surprise by the administration in power, which announced that it 
looked with favor on an offer of Spring Valley to sell part of its property 
for $34,500,000 and half of a large sum of impounded excess rates which 
the courts had decided should be restored to consumers from whom they 
had been illegally exacted. 

The Chronicle vigorously opposed the proposal, pointing out that the 
offer of Spring Valley was a virtual increase of from ten to fifteen million 
dollars over the amount rejected at the preceding election. It demonstrated 
statistically and otherwise that the withdrawn lands were worth several 
million dollars and that the company proposed to hold out much land which 
would be needed if its stored waters were to be saved from pollution. Every 
paper in San Francisco but The Chronicle advocated the purchase, but it 
failed of acceptance by nearly 8000 votes. 

Fifiyll&rs*cf > Cali£miaQk)uma)isit(> IL. ]jp| 




Golden Jubilee Edition 


It is probable that the question will be definitely settled before this 
sketch of journalism in California ceases to interest San Franciscans, but 
it may be confidently predicted that better arguments will have to be sup- 
plied than were offered on May 20, 1915, before the people of San Fran- 
cisco will be induced to abandon the idea of bringing water from the Sierra 
to the city. 



George Hamlin Fitch 

George Hamlin Fitch 

His Memoirs of Thirty-five Years on The Chronicle 

HIKTY-FIVE years of continuous service on one news- 
paper is a rather remarkable record in this country, 
where change is the rule, not the exception. Yet my 
long service on The Chronicle is exceeded by that of 
several men, still in harness, among whom may be 
named John P. Young, the managing editor; Edward 
J. Andersen, the librarian; Henry F. Blote, collector, 
and W. F. Cameron, traveling advertising solicitor. All 

these men were on The Chronicle when I joined it in the winter of 1879-80. 
It is a distinction of The Chronicle, shared by very few newspapers in 

this country, that it has kept men as heads of departments for long terms 

of service. 


The Chronicle office has been, in the main, free from what is known 
as politics — that is, if a man was competent and attended to his work, he 
felt assured that his situation was safe. In too many American news- 
paper offices the caprice of the proprietor makes employment very uncer- 
tain. No one can tell what a day may bring forth. On one New York 
newspaper the proprietor, who is largely an absentee, has been known to 
jump an obscure reporter to the important post of managing editor and to 
install a correspondent in a small suburban town as city editor. Of course, 
in such an office, there is no loyalty to the paper, and no feeling of safety. 

In other offices the proprietor has favorites who are permitted a free 
hand, and no one who does not kowtow to these favorites is permitted to 
remain on the staff. In such offices rivals for the favor of the chief always 
have a, knife ready for each other. They spend much of the energy which 
should be devoted to their work in protecting themselves from attack and 
in planning means of removing dangerous rivals. 


It was not my fortune to see the founding of The Chronicle by 
Charles and M. H. de Young in 1865. My boyhood was spent in San 
Francisco, but in the same year that The Chronicle was started my parents 
removed to the East. For fourteen years my life was spent in New York 
State and South Carolina, in preparatory schools, on a Southern plantation 


200 Journalism in California 

and in Cornell University. During all these years friends in this city 
frequently sent me copies of The Chronicle, so that I was familiar with its 
remarkable success. Finally in June, 1879, I came back to San Francisco, 
intending to spend a few months with my parents and then return to the 
New York Tribune, where I had been three years. 


The fact that a substitute at the telegraph news desk proved incom- 
petent gave me a chance to work several weeks on The Chronicle. Then 
when the regular editor returned I tried to do work in the local department, 
but the city editor, evidently fearing that I might prove to be a rival, refused 
to print any of my contributions. He was exceedingly polite and was 
always desolated, as the French say, that there was no space for my articles, 
but I soon saw that it was hopeless to attempt to do any work under him. 

When fall came and I was preparing to return to New York, my 
parents urged me to stay in San Francisco, and suggested that I try to get 
a place on The Chronicle. As the telegraph editor, Horace E. Hudson, 
was about to go to Sacramento to serve as Legislative correspondent, I was 
offered his place, and in addition was given the work of book reviewer, 
which then was not strenuous, as The Chronicle printed only about two 
columns of reviews every Sunday. 


Thus it came about that I was brought into daily contact with the two 
proprietors of The Chronicle and witnessed some of the stirring history 
of those early years. Looking then at the youthful face of Charles de 
Young, it seemed scarcely credible that he had been engaged for fourteen 
years in the work of issuing a daily newspaper, with no help save that of 
his brother, M. H. de Young, who managed the business department. 

, The history of American journalism has no parallel for the founding 
and the growth of the San Francisco Chronicle. Most of the large news- 
papers of this country were founded by men who had conspicuous financial 
or political backing; but here was a paper started by two boys, 17 and 19 
years of age, practically self-educated, and carried on from week to week 
with no assurance that it would live beyond any week. 


No assistance was ever given The Chronicle by any big corporation or 
political body. The two brothers fought their way up against the fiercest 
competition. The old, well-established newspapers seemed to feel it as a 
personal grievance that this young, aggressive journal should have the 
hardihood to rush into the field and to beat them at their own game. 
Started as the Dramatic Chronicle for free distribution in the various 
theaters, the paper in three years won such success that it became a regular 
daily newspaper, independent in politics and in all other things. 

The success of The Chronicle was largely due to the fact that both 
proprietors were practical printers, knew all about the newspaper game, and 
had the instinctive news sense without which no great success in journalism 
was ever won. They also possessed the equally valuable faculty of selecting 


Founding of the Chronicle 201 

the right men to carry on the various departments of the paper. Hence it 
was that with a comparatively small but . brilliant editorial force, The 
Chronicle won its way to the leadership of the San Francisco newspaper 

Its first big news beat was in giving all the details of the great earth- 
' quake of 1868 hours before the other papers appeared on the street. In 
the years that followed The Chronicle was always first in the field with the 
news and first also to champion the cause of the common people. Its history 
is mainly a record of fights against old established rights by which monopo- 
lies and capitalists cheated the people who work with their hands. 


Among the brilliant men who helped to make The Chronicle famous in 
those early days were William II. Laffan, who afterward became a power 
on the New York Sun and organized a great news bureau ; Tom Xewcombe ; 
Howard F. Sutherland, one of the best city editors San Francisco ever saw, 
who is now known as a poet and writer of unusual charm; Xed Townsend 
whose "Chimmie Fadden" sketches gave him a national reputation; Sam 
Davis, a genuine humorist, who made the Carson Appeal known all over the 
country for its racy humor and its laughable "fakes;" Dan O'Connell, a 
writer of melodious verse and a man of singular charm of manner; Charles 
Warren Stoddard, the poet of the South Seas, and one of the finest writers 
California has produced; Frank Pixley, who afterward founded the Argo- 
naut and made people watch for its appearance to see what he had to say 
of the week's events ; Fred Somers, a literary genius, whose early death was 
a great loss to American periodical literature ; Sam Scabough, the ablest of 
the old-time editorial writers, who abandoned the Sacramento. Union when 
it was bought by the railroad and who continued to write sledge-hammer 
editorials for The Chronicle literally to the day of his death ; Charles Wet- 
more; D. F. Verdenal, a brilliant, witty writer, who for years wrote a 
regular weekly letter from New York; Harry Dam, most versatile of 
writers, who afterward made a great hit in London journalism, and Frank 
Bailey Millard, who as a literary free lance has contributed for years to 
leading American magazines. 


All these men were writers and most of them had the newspaper faculty 
highly developed ; but abler than any of them was Charles de Young, who 
had picked up his newspaper training. In fact, he was a newspaper genius, 
with no limit to his capacity for grasping news opportunities and turning 
them to brilliant account. A tireless worker, he seemed to have the power 
of infecting others with his own enthusiasm, so that when he set about the 
working up of any big newspaper "story" he electrified the whole office. 
Every man was on his mettle, and the result was a remarkable amount of 
work done in record time at the highest pressure. 

When I came on The Chronicle my curiosity was very strong in regard 
to the personal traits of Charles de Young, whose fame as a newspaper 
genius had reached New York. He usually came into the office late in the 
evening, and generally he was "loaded" with some story, unknown to the 

202 Journalism in California 

other newspapers. He was the terror of the old night editor, because he 
began at once to rip up all the arrangements for the morning paper. He 
sent out half a dozen men to get further facts, and then when they came 
rushing in with their stories he rapidly ran through their "copy" and indi- 
cated features which should be further developed. The pages that had been 
carefully "made up" he cleared for his sensation, and he remained to see 
that the heads were well written and that everything was in shape. Only 
when the presses began to clang would he go home with a copy of The 
Chronicle damp from the press. 


A few days after I joined The Chronicle Charles de Young gave a 
conspicuous exhibition of his genius for newspaper work. The City Archi- 
tect had been harshly criticised because of some errors in" his plans for 
what was then known as the new City Hall at McAllister and Larkin streets. 
Charles de Young sent to his correspondent in Chicago and had the archi- 
tect's Chicago record dug up. It was found he had been dismissed because 
steps that he had designed for a schoolhouse did not reach to the front door. 
All these facts, with a diagram showing the faulty plans, were printed by 
The Chronicle in a broadside which filled more than a page. The architect 
read The Chronicle at his breakfast, came down to his office and handed in 
his resignation. 

That was a specimen of the effective work done by Charles de Young 
when he once decided on a course of action. 


When swift and unexpected death removed Charles de Young in 1880, 
the control of The Chronicle was taken up by his brother, M. H. de Young, 
who ever since has continued to manage the newspaper. It is not often that 
a man combines the qualities of .a great editor and an able business man- 
ager, yet M. H. de Young is one of the few men who have made a con- 
spicuous success in both branches of journalism. Whitelaw Eeid was the only 
other American editor who was able to manage both branches of a news- 
paper with rare ability. The elder Bennett, Greeley, Eaymond, Bryant, 
Dana, Watterson, Murat Halstead and Samuel Bowles — all were great 
editors, but not one could have managed the business department of the 
journals that they made famous. It was this rare business ability, with a 
conservatism which never interfered with the development of the news, 
which gave The Chronicle such a great impetus in the early '80s. The 
State in those years made rapid progress, and The Chronicle kept pace with 
the growth and development of California. 

My relations with M. H. de Young have always been pleasant and so 
great became my attachment to the paper that one time when offered a very 
large increase of salary to join the staff of another San Francisco paper, I 
found when I attempted to go that it was impossible. And this loyalty is 
shared by nearly every one who has worked years on the paper. 

Founding of the Chronicle 203 


Much of my work in the last thirty-five years has been that of the night 
editor, the man who actually arranges the news in the paper and has the last 
word in its development. He it is who meets sudden emergencies late at 
night and often recasts the paper to display sensational news. The work 
demands prompt decision, iron nerve and great capacity to resist nervous 
strain. The successful, night editor always has one eye on the clock, and lie 
must have the faculty of getting the best work out of the make-up men in 
his charge. He must be able to "cut" a column story to a third of a column 
and yet not drop out any material facts, and all this must be done at top 


In my career on The Chronicle the greatest news beat scored was on 
the occasion of the death of General Grant at Mt. McGregor on the Hudson. 
Grant had been kept alive for days by his doctors so that he could finish his 
biography, the proceeds of which he desired to leave for the support of his 
wife. He died at 8 o'clock in the morning, which was 5 o'clock in San 
Francisco. On that night I had had a feeling that the news of his death 
would come. So I had the three-page obituary stereotyped and ready and 
after finishing work at the office I strolled down to the Western Union office 
to have a talk with the night manager. He happened to be alone in the 
large operating room which, usually noisy with the click of many telegraph 
instruments, was now as still as death. Suddenly while we were talking 
there was a sharp call on the New York wire. The manager said, "That's 
it!"*and jumped to the key. In a moment he called out, "General Grant 
is dead !" I seized the sheet and rushed at high speed to The Chronicle 
office. Instantly the news was set up, the headlines changed, and in 15 
minutes The Chronicle, announcing the death, was flying from the presses. 
Although 25,000 papers had been "run off," these were "killed" and The 
Chronicle reached all its country and local subscribers with the news of 
Grant's death. The other papers got out extras three hours later. 

/ The Chronicle was the only American newspaper which reached every 
subscriber with this important news. 


Another branch of newspaper work in which I have taken the keenest 
interest is book reviews. It is not often that one man unites executive work 
and the writing of literary criticism. But with me books have been my 
hobby, and writing which would have worn out another man has been my 
chief relaxation from strenuous executive work. In carrying on the literary 
page, which has become so marked a feature of the Sunday edition of The 
Chronicle, M. H. de Young gave me an absolutely free hand from the out- 
set, so that the page has been conducted with perfect freedom from all 
advertising taint. Never in all these years has Mr. de Young ever asked 
me to give a poor book a good notice because it was advertised liberally. 
With consistent purpose I have managed this page in the interest of the 
reader of good books, and although many readers may have differed with 
me in my judgments of books, no one ever brought the charge of dishonesty 

204 Journalism in California 

or incompetence against any of the reviews. In these years hundreds ot 
letters have. come to me from men and women saying they had been helped 
by my suggestions in this book page. Scores of young authors, especially 
California writers, have told me that my reviews were the first to call l at- 
tention to their work and to predict for them the success and f ame. which 
the years brought. 

This literary page has come to have a distinct value in the eyes of local 
and Eastern publishers, and much of this success is due to the fact that 
M. H. de Young trusted my judgment and never interfered with my work. 


All those who worked on The Chronicle during the last nine years 
could not fail to be influenced by young Charles de Young, who seemed to 
have inherited much of the newspaper genius of his dead uncle, whose name 
he bore. The great fire first tested the qualities of Charles de Yoiing. 
Every night for over two months that The Chronicle was printed in Oak- 
land he came down to the ferry in his auto after midnight and personally 
saw to the work of starting the launch across the bay. Usually he accom- 
panied it to the foot of the pier across the bay, where the Chronicles were 
waiting. He saw that the bundles were all ready, and on this side he car- 
ried them up-town in his auto and personally supervised the sending out of 
the carriers. Many times in those weeks he sent me messages over the tele- 
phone, warmly praising the good newspaper which we had got out with so 
much labor and nervous strain. 

Later, when The Chronicle building was rehabilitated, he became the 
life of the place and continued to show his keen interest in every depart- 
ment of the paper until stricken with the illness which cut short his active 
and useful life. 

Singularly democratic in all his tastes, Charles de Young had the 
faculty of inspiring those around him with his own abounding energy and 
enthusiasm and had he lived he would have impressed his personality on 
California journalism. The saddest feature of his death was that it came 
just when he was reaching the fullness of his powers. 

These reminiscences I have written very frankly because it seems to me 
that such work as this is only effective when it comes straight from the 
heart. Much of my life has been given to the service of The Chronicle, and 
although it may have lacked variety or any conspicuous success, yet in this 
retrospect there is the satisfaction of work done honestly and well, and of 
having had a share in the building up of a great American newspaper. 

Early Day Men 

Early-Day Men 

A Record of Some of the Achievements of The Chronicle 


ONDERIXG on the fact that The Chronicle has reached 
its fiftieth anniversary overwhelms me with a flood of 
recollections, and out of the glooming shadows of the 
past appear many once familiar faces that are seen no 
more in the crowded haunts of men. The thoughts of 
the journalistic world, concentrated chiefly on things of 
today and tomorrow, seldom turn to those of the long 
ago. Only when some extraordinary occurrence stirs the 
memory, does the mind of a busy newspaper man concern itself deeply with 
the what-has-been. Longfellow's lines, "Let the dead past bury its dead, 
act, act in the living present," would be an appropriate motto for the 
editorial rooms of every live newspaper. 

On the fiftieth anniversary of The Chronicle, however, the motto would 
fail to check a retrospective turn of the thoughts of any journalist who was 
connected with the paper in its earlier struggles for recognition and success. 


Fifty years is a long time in the life of anything human, and nothing 
devoid of flesh and blood is more intensely human in its interest and pur- 
poses than a great morning newspaper. Every day it must be created anew, 
and it dies with the sunset. The creators must forever toil like Sisyphus 
doomed to roll his huge rock to the summit of a hill only to see it return 
to the base and perpetuate his agony. For human endeavor at ceaseless 
high pressure is a form of agony. Call it, if you please, a labor of love, 
as, indeed, journalism ever continues to be to the born journalist, but the 
euphemism does not alter the fact that the morning newspaper which greets 
us with unfailing regularity, is born daily of an unremitting travail of mind 
and body unknown in any other form of human enterprise. 

The merchant, the farmer, the manufacturer — aye, even the warring 
soldier — has his periods of relaxation; and when the harvest is done, or 
the busy commercial season is ended, or peace restored, the agriculturist 
and the trader and the man of battles make up in grateful relaxation the 
waste of nervous energy. 

But the newspaper man must never sleep at the switch, lest the train 
of opportunity go thundering by and leave him in the lurch. In his eternal 
vigilance for news he must emulate the many-headed Cerberus, watchdog 


208 Journalism in California 

of the gates of Pluto,, who took even his noonday naps with at least one 
eye wide open and fixed on business. 

In the newspaper profession a man may toil for ten years to establish 
a good reputation, and lose it all in one night by some accidental slip, for 
which the rigid rules of discipline hold him responsible. Nothing is ac- 
counted so worthy of commendation on a live newspaper, and succeeds so 
well, as infallible success in beating the hated rival, so that the proprietor 
thereof may tear his hair when he compares both newspapers over his 
morning coffee, and, if of unchristian tendencies, load the atmosphere 
with language not set forth in his family Bible. Occasional success does 
not succeed in journalism. It must be continuous. 


When you multiply by 365 the sum of the mental and physical effort 
embodied in one issue of a great daily newspaper, you obtain an idea of 
what a single year's production requires in expenditure of intellectual 
energy as well as physical labor and hard cash. Multiply that again by the 
fifty years of The Chronicle's existence and the stupendousness of the 
figures becomes staggering to anyone conversant with the complicated and 
costly processes of modern newspaper publication. 

Not one man in a thousand who founds a daily newspaper of even the 
least importance lives to see the fruition of his hopes and plans at the end 
of half a century. For that reason Mr. M. H. de Young, seated at his 
desk, directing all the departments of his great journal, and seemingly as 
alert, ambitious, resourceful and progressive as when I first saw him in 
the earlier stages of The Chronicle's existence, is to me an amazing example 
of inexhaustible mental and physical force — in a word, a remarkable 
phenomenon of perpetual motion. 

This may seem extravagant language, but, looking at the proprietor 
of The Chronicle, I cannot disassociate him in my mind from the hundreds 
of his contemporaries who long since reached their ultimate milestone. 
Some of them dropped by the wayside before they approached their desti- 
nation, and few journeyed to the end with anything suggestive of the 
elasticity and unshaken courage of their vigorous manhood. 


Where are all those old-time publishers whose names were as household 
words ? Where be the host of clever writers of those bygone days, the merry 
wits of Bohemia whose quips and cranks so often set the table in a roar? 
Where be the grave and serious-minded editors, whose incisive pens dis- 
dained the tittle-tattle of the hour and dealt with the deeds of men who were 
making history ? Where are the snows of yesteryear ? 

Of many more I might ask the same 

That are but dust that the breezes blow, 
But I desist, for none may claim 

To stand against death, that lays all low. 

So wrote Francois Villon, who, besides being a fine poet, was a great 
scapegrace. What an epic could have flowed from the pen of that talented 
rascal had he been part of the early life of San Francisco in which The 
Chronicle was born and attained its virility ! What a field for the exercise 

•-■■:.•'■■ . ;::;-;• - ■ 


Some of Its Achievements 209 

of the genius of a Dickens, observant of the rapid evolution of a gold-seeker's 
rendezvous into a great entrepot, full of picturesque adventures from the 
fouT quarters of the globe! Seldom has there been such a heterogeneous 
collection of contending forces. 

There was to be seen in sharp contradistinction the culture and aristo- 
cratic class, pride of the old Southern planter life, arrayed against an ag- 
gressive and plebeian democracy recruited from the farms and manufactur- 
ing centers of the Atlantic states and the peasantry of Europe. New Eng- 
land puritanism and thrift struggled uncompromisingly with the forces of 
riotous pleasure and the rampant spirit of reckless speculation and outright 


In the early days when The Chronicle began to be recognized as a 
journalistic influence to be reckoned with, the memory of the vigilante days 
was comparatively fresh in the public mind, and law and order were in 
control of the community. Nevertheless, the public still demanded strenuous 
journalism carried to the full limit, and if a little in excess it did not hurt 
the publisher's circulation. The personal note was very strong in jour- 
nalism, though it was not altogether a safe or wise proceeding to express 
one's full detestation of a hated rival. 

The code of honor had but lately been in full force and effect among 
gentlemen in California, and if duelling pistols had been relegated to the 
junk shops, or disposed of to the pawn offices, revolvers and derringers that 
carried ounce bullets were plentiful. To ascribe to a journalist the domi- 
nant characteristics of Ananias, or impugn his previous record for honesty 
was not unlikely to call forth a spirited physical protest, more effective 
than a double-leaded editorial reply in a newspaper. Occasional clashes 
between impetuous knights of the quill were a source of great perplexity 
to Police Judges, who then, as now, preferred to hold the scales of justice 
so evenly that nobody of influence went to jail, and all hands helped the 
eminent jurist at the next election. 

Evidently the enterprising management of the Chronicle was eminently 
satisfactory to the community, for the paper grew in circulation and adver- 
tising prosperity. ' Youth loves to be iconoclastic, and the pet amusement 
of the young Chronicle was to smash popular idols and show that their feet 
were made of common clay. To expose cheats of any kind was an enter- 
prise in which proprietors and staff joined whole-heartedly. 

Among the characteristic exploits of the young Chronicle was. the 
unmasking of a spiritualistic fraud, who had mystified and deceived the 
greater part of the English-speaking world which was then intensely 
interested in occultism. 

One of The Chronicle's reporters was William Laffan, who afterward 
became a metropolitan publisher. Laffan conceived the idea of suddenly 
illuminating the hall where the materializing seances were given, and 
M. H. de Young entered heartily into the plot. All the paraphernalia of 
exposure having been prepared, the journalistic conspirators took their 
places in various parts of Piatt's Hall. As usual, the spirits were energetic, 
and ghostly manifestations set the hair of the credulous on end. Musical 
instruments floated above them and the air seemed overladen with spooks. 

210 Journalism in California 


At the psychological moment, the signal to light up was given, and 
every Chronicle man in the hall touched off his magnesium light, illuminat- 
ing the place with a merciless glare that put the medium out of business. 
The charlatan was caught with the goods on him, for the lights exposed 
the fellow as he stood on the edge of the stage personating his stock ghosts 
by the simplest devices, . and relying on the superstitious credulity of his 
audience to bamboozle them. 

Next day The Chronicle, of course, made the most of the expose, and 
thus deepened the growing conviction of the early-day subscribers that they 
should buy the new paper, and keep buying it if they wished to get 
the news. 

I could write many pages of The Chronicle descriptive of reportorial 
exploits that kept the circulation rising like the thermometer on a mid- 
summer day. 

Let nobody suppose that the standards of literature in journalism then 
were such as any noodle could hope to exceed. Mark Twain had not long 
ceased writing for The Chronicle, and aspiring humorists were expected by 
such ruthless city editors as Dennis McCarthy, S. F. Sutherland and 
Tommie Newcomb to endeavor at least to be Twains. What a task! 
McCarthy had been editor of the Virginia City Enterprise, where Twain 
made his reputation, and had slaughtered reams of the great humorist's 
manuscripts with his merciless blue pencil. McCarthy afterward became 
managing editor of The Chronicle prior to John P. Young's appearance 
on the staff, and having made a considerable fortune in Comstock mining 
shares, bought the Virginia City Chronicle, which was then a valuable 


Another famous old-time managing editor of The Chronicle whose 
familiar face I recall, was John Timmins. Shaven like an Episcopal 
minister and suggestive in appearance and manner of the pulpit rather than 
the editorial chair, John Timmins was for decades the Fidus Achates of 
Charles and M. H. de Young, until he was induced to enter the service 
of W. E. Hearst as managing editor of the Examiner. 

How many have been the changes in the personnel of The Chronicle 
since I first saw John Timmins bending over his editorial desk in the old 
office on Clay street, like an austere clergyman conning his notes for the 
next sermon ! 

Men have come and men have gone, changes almost cataclysmic have 
occurred in San Francisco, but throughout all the mutations of time and 
fortune The Chronicle has steadily advanced from the position of a 
journalistic experiment to a recognized place in the front rank of the great 
newspapers of America. 

In those days the standard of literature had been set by Bret Harte 
and his contemporaries. They composed a galaxy which so far has not 
been outshone. Many of the recognized literary men of the early days, 
including Harte, were contributors to The Chronicle. 

Some of Its Achievements 211 


San Francisco then supported a purely literary weekly, "The Golden 
Era," which was edited by Eollin M. Daggett, who afterward was con- 
nected with the American diplomatic service. Some of his work can 
be found in the old files of The Chronicle, as can that of Joaquin Miller, 
Charles Warren Stoddard, and other literary people whose reputations 
became far more than local. It would take a page of The Chronicle to 
tell of the literary set alone — of Ina Coolbrith, Minnie Myrtle Miller, 
Anna M. Fitch, Stephen Massett, Orpheus C. Kerr, Prentice Mulford, 
James McDonough Ford, Gilbert B. Densmore, Harry McDowell. The 
Chronicle, ever alert for valuable contributors, was in close touch with all 
the celebrities of the day. 

At that period San Francisco prided itself on supporting the finest 
stock company in America — the old California Theater aggregation, headed 
by John McCul lough, the famous tragedian. In the history of the 
American stage the story of the old California Theater stock company 
has become a classic. The great actors of the world appeared in the 
California Theater and every gallery god in San Francisco knew what 
Booth's Hamlet looked like. 


There were painters, too, in those days, whom time proved to- be 
giants — Tom Hill, William^ Keith, Julian Bix, Jules Tavernier and others 
whose pictures live. 

In such an environment, with an art atmosphere distinctly developed, 
no new journal could hope to succeed on the plane of frontier or provincial 
journalism." Cleverness was an essential in the quality of the matter pre- 
sented to the reading public, and The Chronicle bid for the best writers 
obtainable in New York as well as in San Francisco. Many bright men 
from the New York Sun and the Herald have rendered valuable service on 
The Chronicle staff, and helped to establish a metropolitan standard. One 
of the best known of the Sun men who worked for The Chronicle for sev- 
eral years was R. D. Bogart who, in several lines, had no superior on any 
paper in the country. 

As early as 1880 a man who went to New York with a record of 
having done good work on the San Francisco Chronicle could get an en- 
gagement on the leading metropolitan newspapers. Even at that time the 
California contingent had made a name for San Francisco journalists, 
dramatists and actors. The Chronicle's intimate connection with New 
York journalism through its policy of employing the best men obtainable 
had a great deal to do with making the California invasion so successful. 


In recent years the owner of the New. York Sun was W. M. Laffan, 
the same Laffan who in the early days of The Chronicle assisted as a 
reporter in the exposure of the spiritistic fraud in old Piatt's Hall. He 
went to Baltimore early in the 'seventies and became proprietor of the 
Baltimore Daily Sun. When the younger Dana disposed of the Sun 
Laffan was able to purchase that fine property. 

212 Journalism in California 

On the Sun's staff in recent years, as foreign correspondent, was 
S. F. Sutherland, who was second city editor of The Chronicle. Tornmie 
Newcomb, who conceived the idea of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, 
and, in conjunction with Dan O'Connell, founded the organization, was 
the first city editor the struggling young Chronicle could boast. The real 
birthplace of the Bohemian Club was the first Chronicle office in the loft 
on Clay street, which some ingenious carpenter had managed to partition 
into the semblance of up-to-date editorial rooms. The club obtained a • 
habitation and a name when Tommie Newcomb, Dan O'Connell and other 
kindred spirits of The Chronicle's small staff, rented quarters upstairs, at 
the corner of Sacramento and Webb streets, where the vista included a 
full view of a well-known undertaker's shop, with the coffins in the win- 
dows. When the leading lights of printers' row on Clay street could not 
be found anywhere else, it was safe to bet that an X-ray leveled at the 
corner of Sacramento and Webb streets would have revealed their where- 
abouts. James F. Bowman, a literary celebrity of ihe early days, a poet 
of considerable talent as well, was one of the few older men who visited 
the club. Bowman did splendid work as an editorial writer on The 
Chronicle, and preceded Samuel Seabough, who had made a reputation 
upon the Sacramento Union as the greatest of California editors. 


A noteworthy example of the difficulty of establishing a daily news- 
paper in the early days was the failure of the Mail, which was started 
to assist in the Senatorial ambitions of Mark McDonald, an affluent 
celebrity of the mining stock market, and a contemporary of Jim Keene of 
San Francisco, afterward such a spectacular figure on Wall street. 

Mark McDonald evidently had money to burn, for he not only 
started a big daily newspaper, but helped Dr. Wade to build the Grand 
Opera-house on Mission street, where Patti and other famous queens of 
.song furnished many opportunities to the wealth and fashion of San 
Francisco to wear their best clothes. 

The Chronicle had become a recognized fixture in San Francisco 
journalism by that time, but nevertheless M. H. de Young and his serious- 
minded and intensely resolute brother Charles, as shrewd publishers, must 
have looked anxiously at the new Richmond in the journalistic field. The 
staff of the Mail included men who had done good work on The Chronicle, 
but the enterprise was foredoomed to failure, and one fine day the Sheriff 
slapped so many attachments upon the paper that the financial props col- 
lapsed. That was the last ambitious effort to start a large daily newspaper 
in San Francisco. 


The Chronicle tacitly announced to the people of San Francisco that 
it had distanced all its rivals when it abandoned the primitive quarters 
down on Clay street, where a flickering gaslight struggled to illumine the 
dingy stairs up which Mark Twain, Bret Harte and many literary celeb- 
rities of the pioneer cycle had many times climbed. 

The new home of The Chronicle in its substantial four-story building 

Some of Its Achievements 213 

seemed the acme of journalistic ambition, but almost as soon as the building 
was constructed the ever-busy mind of M. H. de Young was planning to 
obtain the coveted corner on which The Chronicle's present skyscraper is 
situated, at Market and Kearny streets. 

In the Kearny and Bush street office I met many clever Chronicle 
men who distinguished themselves in journalism — Ned Townsend, the 
creator of "Chimmie Fadden," and now a New Jersey Congressman; 
Harry Dam, afterward private secretary for Governor George Stoneman 
and still later a magazine writer and London correspondent for New York 
papers; Peter Eobertson, famous as a dramatic critic; Thomas Vivian, 
who almost became a really great short-story writer ; Charles Warren Stod- 
dard, the poet, who did brilliant special work; George Hazelton, Wash- 
ington correspondent, who developed talent as a financier and became a 
street railroad magnate; A. B. Henderson, formerly of the New York 
Herald, and correspondent of The Chronicle on the expedition headed by 
the late Sheriff Harry Morse, which ended the pernicious activities of 
Tiburcio Vasquez, the last of a band of desperate Mexican bandits and 
murderers; John Hamilton Gilmour, Prank Bailey Millard, Hugh Hume, 
afterward proprietor of the Post and now publisher of the Spectator in 
Portland, Oregon; J. Boss Jackson, afterward city editor of the Examiner 
and famous as a raconteur; Horace Hudson, who was city editor of The 
Chronicle for years and is now manager of the estate of George Hazel- 
ton; "Bill" Naughton, who became a famous sporting editor; Arthur H. 
Barendt, afterward president of the Board of Health and shining light in 
the legal profession; B. M. Wood, now owner of several thriving class 
publications; John Bonner, a vigorous editorial writer and father of Ger- 
aldine Bonner, who contributed serial novels to prominent Eastern pub- 

While I was connected with The Chronicle in its Kearny and Bush 
street office a remarkable experiment in journalism was tried by Fred 
Somers, who had been a reporter on The Chronicle in its Clay street days 
before Somers, in conjunction with Frank Pixley, who was editorial writer 
for The Chronicle, started the Argonaut. Not content with that feat, 
Somers launched a daily called the Epigram, which depended entirely upon 
feuilletons and disdained to publish the news of the day. The staff of 
writers included Frank Pixley, Harry Dam, Ned Townsend, Dan O'Con- 
nell, Jerome A. Hart and myself. The experiment was a distinct failure 
and the financial loss caused Somers to dispose of his interest in the Argo- 
naut and go to New York, where he performed the remarkable feat of 
establishing Current Literature and Short Stories. He subsequently pub- 
lished the California Magazine, which proved an unprofitable venture. 

Altogether the list of Chronicle writers who have distinguished them- 
selves in journalism and literature compares favorably with that of any 
daily paper in America. 

I have a clear recollection of the building of The Chronicle's new 
home at Kearny, and Bush streets. I was editing the Daily Exchange, 
a financial journal which was published around the corner, and owned by 
the late Colonel John P. Jackson and* D. F. Verdenal. The latter had 
been a prominent member of the first editorial staff of The Chronicle, and 
in comparatively recent years was New York correspondent. 

214 Journalism in California 


Dan O'Connell and S. F. Sutherland assisted me on the Daily 
Exchange, and, being all former Chronicle men, we were much interested 
in watching the new edifice rise from the deep excavation that had been 
dug for the presses. Eapid presses were still novelties in those days. 

One morning when passing the new building with O'Connell, I saw 
Charles and M. II. de Young engaged in earnest conversation, while 
standing on the joists of the ground floor that had just been laid. 

"I'll bet they're discussing the business office plans. Let's go over 
and talk with them," said O'Connell, and we went. 

The poet's conjecture was right. Not only did we leam how the 
.business office was to be laid out, but we got a comprehensive idea of the 
whole structure, floor by floor. Charles de Young, though quite cordial 
and frank with people he knew and liked, was never as communicative or 
lively in disposition as his brother, and the latter did most of the talking 
that morning. He had the complete plans of the building fixed in his 
mind, and the new features that he thought would give the new edifice 
distinction — the expensive onyx counter, suggestive of money to spare; 
the massive safe behind the counter, emblematic of solidity and satisfactory 
daily profits; the proprietors' luxurious private office, the elaborate edi- 
torial department upstairs, with rooms for special writers, managing editor, 
city editor and news editor; the big local room, the composing room, 
stereotyping room, and the library. 


Whoever had heard of a library and a librarian before in pioneer 
journalism, and an onyx counter? If O'Connell had written on the spur 
of the moment one of his celebrated "City Lyrics," descriptive of the prob- 
able effects of The Chronicle's new magnificence on the rival publishers 
who still adhered to pine and redwood counters and primitive environ- 
ments, it would have been a gem worth preserving. 

M. H. de Young was a young man himself in those days, and I think 
he must have laughed in his sleeve, in young man fashion, at the thought 
of his contemporaries' feelings on seeing the new departure in journalistic 
extravagance in San Francisco. 

In listening that morning to the description of the building, and ob- 
serving the complete acquiescence of the two brothers in the business plans, 
one could see how closely the men were drawn together by the ties of 
business ambition and consanguinity. First of all they were brothers, and 
secondly were business partners, working enthusiastically and in full accord. 


Charles, the editor, was reserved and contemplative, a man of the 
quiet sanctum, more disposed to earnest thought and consultation than to 
untiring business activity.. M. H. de Young was the restless, energetic, 
bustling man of affairs, full of novel projects and happiest in exploiting 
new fields of enterprise and overcoming serious and sometimes seemingly 
insurmountable difficulties. How he managed to overcome some of them 
has always been a marvel to me, who have known the inside workings of 

Some of Its Achievements 215 

The Ghronicle so well, for at some critical turns in the earlier history of 
the journal — not to mention the great fire of 11)06 — there was required 
for the directing mind of the newspaper a combination of forethought and 
executive talent rarely found in a newspaper or any other office. 

Partnership in business is not always conducive to the greatest success, 
but undoubtedly the partnership of, Charles and M. II. de Young in the 
early days was most beneficial to the struggling newspaper. While Charles 
was engrossed in editorial duties within doors, his younger brother was 
here, there and everywhere, at public meetings, social gatherings, theaters, 
concerts, constantly studying, planning and executing schemes to increase 
the circulation and advertising patronage of his newspaper. The untiring 
energy of the two brothers made the combination perfect, and to that fact 
I have always ascribed the extraordinary rapidity with which The Chronicle, 
so small in its infancy, obtained a footing among its strong and prosperous 
contemporaries. Either of the De Young brothers, alone, could not have 
laid the foundations of their enterprise so quickly and well. 


With the experience of many years of writing and publishing, I have 
come to regard business talent as the first requisite not only for the estab- 
lishment of a newspaper but for all stages of its existence. It is also the 
most difficult to obtain. 

Young writers regard the business office, except on payday, as a rather 
prosaic superfluity, and think that the space given to advertisements might 
be more profitably utilized by their brilliant productions. The experienced 
publisher, however, has no illusions about the relative value of gems of 
literature and business-getting talent as essentials to newspaper success. 
Both are invaluable for a really first-class journal, but a badly written 
publication under a clever business manager will live and perhaps prosper 
where a brilliantly written journal, with an inefficient business manager, 
would die. 

The ideal condition is where the editorial and the business depart- 
ments vie in excellence, and that is most likely to be found under one 
strong executive head, notwithstanding the tenets of a triumphant democ- 
racy in these days that all kinds of autocracies are pernicious. 

The Chronicle has been an autocracy during all the years since M. H. 
de Young was called upon to assume the responsibility of sole proprietor- 
ship. The extent of The Chronicle's success, during the thirty years of its 
highest prosperity, is the measure of his great executive ability. When 
he lost the invaluable assistance of his wonderfully talented brother, it 
became his task to rebuild The Chronicle on new lines as well as broad 
ones, to meet the requirements of an ever-expanding field. The Chronicle 
for a full generation has been solely M. H. de Young's Chronicle. I am 
sure that when the history of California journalism shall have been written 
by some competent and impartial critic, and at the proper perspective of 
years for a comprehensive review untinctured by personal or partisan bias, 
it will be recorded that The Chronicle has been a powerful influence for 
the promotion of the best interests, the good repute and the prosperity of 
the great city where it is published. 


San Francisco Chronicle's 


The San Francisco Chronicle's Jubilee 

M. H. de Young Felicitated by Prominent Editors upon the Com- 
pletion of Fifty Years' Continuous Conduct of His Paper 


George Thompson of Noted Dispatch 

and Pioneer Press Congratulates 

M. H. de Young and Community. 

1AM in some doubt whether congrat- 
ulations should properly go to you 
and The San Francisco Chronicle or 
to the California community in whose 
progress to prosperity, populousness 
and wealth you and The Chronicle have 
been such potential factors. So I give 
myself the benefit of the doubt and 
divide my felicitations among the man, 
the institution and the city. For a great 
newspaper is first of all institutional. 

Give me to read the leading news- 
paper of a community and in its char- 
acter I will find engraved the character 
of the cummunity. In my judgment, 
your half-century of endeavor has con- 
structed no more of a monument in The 
Chronicle than in the many other insti- 
tutions, the civic spirit and the habit 
of newspaper thought of San Francisco. 
I wish every community had a real- 
izing sense of its obligations to the 
right-minded newspaper, which holds 
its character as the virtue of a woman 
and faces its duty with the courage of 
conviction. Fifty years of association 
between editor and community — some- 
thing not given often, even to the most 
fortunate in life — should enable each to 
And the other out. A half-century of 
unintermitted contact outlives the last 
shadow of doubt of responsibility. It 
is both significant and romantic to turn 
toward the setting sun to find the only 
figure in American journalism which 
can be crowned with this royal dis- 

"Out of the Bast comes light," says 
the proverb. "Out of the West comes 
service," I would add. From a long 
life broidered by the lights and mel- 
lowed by the shades of newspaper ac- 
tivities, I am able to draw the powers 
of appreciation which qualify me to 
congratulate you, The Chronicle and 
San Francisco upon the event cele- 
brated by your Jubilee anniversary. 


Charles W. Knapp of Great Missouri 

Newspaper, Himself in Harness 

Forty-eight Years. 

THE fiftieth anniversary of The San 
Francisco Chronicle is an event of 
much interest to me because my 
personal acquaintance with the De 
Young brothers, who founded the 
paper, began within seven "years after 
the first issue of the Dramatic Chron- 
. icle. I have not only been able to 
follow by direct observation the won- 
derful development from that small 
beginning to the great public journal 
that now constitutes one of the most 
potent forces in the newspaper field, 
but in this forty-three-year period I 
have been situated to know how com- 
pletely Charles de Young, up to his un- 
timely death, and M. H. de Young, 
during the whole half-century of The 
Chronicle's existence, were its inspira- 
tion and moving force. 

Fifty years is a long time to be con- 
nected with a single newspaper. I am 
conscious of that fact, as I began my 
own newspaper work forty-eight years 
ago and have never worked for any 
newspaper except the one I began with. 
My uncle, who died in 1883, had a record 
of fifty-six years on the same news- 
paper, and forty-nine of those years he 
was an owner and manager, while my 
father, who came into the business at 
a later date, rounded out a full third 
of a century. This personal experience 
enables me to appreciate in an unusual 
degree the remarkable record of M. H. 
de Young. 

Let me tender congratulations to 
both The Chronicle and to Mr. de Young, 
since they are due to both. For The 
Chronicle they are offered because it 
has become the great paper it is, not 
merely by growing as the city in which 
it is published has grown, but on ac- 
count of the individuality and the force 
that are peculiarly the De Young char- 
acteristic, which have contributed so 
much to make the city as well as the 
newspaper. For M. H. de Young my 
congratulations are offered because it 



Journalism in California 

has seldom happened that a founder of 
a newspaper has been preserved in 
health and vigor to attend as sole 
owner its golden jubilee. 

The Chronicle has had hard knocks 
in the long years of its aggressive 
existence and. it took much strenuous, 
courageous work to make it the power 
in the community it became long ago, 
but that is the only way a newspaper 
can progress to public influence and 
financial success. Because the De 
Young nature was especially fitted for 
just such battling as The Chronicle had 
throughout the early tempestuous years 
of its career it has remained a De 
Young property and stands today an 
enduring De Young monument. Yours 
very truly, CHAS. W. KNAPP, 

President the St. Louis Republic. 




Editors of "The World's Greatest News- 
paper" Send Interesting Letter 
to M. H. de Young, 

THE editors of The Chicago Tribune 
extend their congratulations to 
you and The Chronicle upon the 
occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of 
your editorship. 

Few newspapers in this country of 
perpetual movement can boast a half 
century of successful management 
under one directing mind. It has been 
a wonderful and inspiring period which 
The Chronicle has been privileged to 
reflect and be a part of, and no com- 
munity on the continent has been better 
worth expressing, as a vital newspaper 
is able to express the city from which 
it springs, than San Francisco. 

From the city of Bret Harte to the 
great metropolis of the Panama-Pacific 
International Exposition your com- 
munity has contributed an intensely 
vivid page to American history, a page 
full of light and shadow and inspiring 
to all the American sisterhood of cities 
because of the indomitablespirit which 
has carried San Francisco always for- 
ward through the most terrible of 
ordeals and through many lesser trials 
to new achievement on the road of 
progress. Very truly yours, 





Publisher of Bis Los Angeles News- 
paper Says Record of Chronicle 
Is Notable Achievement. 

I AM struck by the showing The San 
Francisco Chronicle has made under 
the De Young brothers. The truth 
is I did not before quite appreciate 
the striking, significant and exceptional 
fact that The Chronicle and Mr. M. H. 
de Young, its present sole owner, are 

qualified to jointly celebrate the fiftieth 
anniversary of this conspicuous jour- 
nal's foundation. 

Fifty years of journalism in Califor- 
nia, a State not yet old, convey to the 
mind a meaning far above and beyond 
the ordinary, when it comes to the con- 
sideration of journalism, journalists 
and a commonwealth whose lives cover 
that pregnant span in the life of the 

So far as I am aware, none of the 
great men who have figured in the 
history of journalism in this country, 
other than Mr. de Young, have rounded 
out fifty years in the active manage- 
ment of a newspaper in the United 
States. During that long and sometimes 
turbulent period the man at the helm 
had neither time nor opportunity to 
recline "on downy beds of ease" for 
any considerable number of hours in 
each twenty-four. 

I congratulate The Chronicle and Mr. 
de Young on the coming of the fiftieth 
anniversary of the journal itself and 
upon the fact that Mr. de Young him- 
self is still on deck. Yours truly, 



Head of Family of Editors Compares 

M. H. de Young's Achievements 

With Those of Other Editors. 

ON January 16, 1915, a most remark- 
able occurrence will take place in 
the journalistic field of the Pacific 
Coast and one to be remembered by the 
newspaper fraternity throughout the 

On that day Hon. M. H. de Young will 
celebrate his fiftieth anniversary as a 
journalist, and The San Francisco 
Chronicle at the same time will cele- 
brate its fiftieth anniversary. 

The coincidence occurs by reason of 
the fact that Mr. de Young was one of 
the founders of The Chronicle, and yet 
Mr. de Young had had no newspaper 
experience when he and his brother 
Charles established The Chronicle. 

To be sure, it began in a very humble 
way as a small publication, both in size 
and circulation, and took ample time to 

While several leading journalists of 
the United States during its one hun- 
dred and thirty-six years of history 
have served on newspapers now more 
than fifty years old, there is no other 
living editor who has served on the 
same paper for half a century, except 
M. H. de Young of San Francisco. 

James Gordon Bennett founded The 
New York Herald in 1835, and, although 
The Herald is in its sixty-third year, 
James Gordon Bennett, Sr., died in 1872, 
having relinquished the immediate 
management of The Herald to his son 
several years before. ' 

Mr. James Gordon Bennett, Jr., now 
in his seventy-fourth year, has been in 
exclusive charge of The New York 
Herald but forty-two years,- or eight 

The Chronicle's Jubilee 


years less than Mr. de Young has been 
in charge of The Chronicle. 

Horace Greeley founded The New 
York Tribune in 1841, and while The 
Tribune today is over seventy-three 
years of age, Horace Greeley severed 
his connection therewith in 1872, serv- 
ing but thirty-one years with the news- 
paper he established. 

Henry Watterson has been the editor 
of The Louisville Courier-Journal for 
more than forty-six years, and as The 
Courier-Journal has been in charge of 
it all that time. Still The Courier- 
Journal is a consolidation of two former 
papers that were published many years 
before Henry Watterson became the 
editor of the combine. 

As a journalist, Henry Watterson, 
now seventy-four years of age, has been 
in the journalistic field considerably 
more than fifty years, but lacks that 
distinction of being with the same 
newspaper for half a century. 

Mr. Samuel Bowles founded The 
Springfield (Mass.) Republican in 1844, 
and was its editor until his death in 
1878, but while The Springfield Repub- 
lican is more than seventy years of 
age, Samuel Bowles, Jr., has had con- 
trol for many years, taking charge 
thereof at his father's death. 

The late Col. Harvey Scott, who died 
at seventy-two, was the editor of The 
Oregonian for a period of almost half 
a century, although The Oregonian was 
taken over by Mr. H. L. Pittock in 1860 
and Mr. Pittock has been the manager 
thereof since that date. 

General Otis of The Los Angeles 
Times was in the Civil War fifty years 
ago today and had not thought of enter- 
ing the journalistic field. In spite of 
that fact, however, he has been in 
charge of The Los Angeles Times for 
nearly forty years and the identity of 
The Times and General Otis and Gen- 
eral Otis and The Times is so complete 
that the name of the one means the 

But we might refer to the biographi- 
cal histories of a dozen other men in the 
United States who have passed the 
main portion of their lives in the 
journalistic field and yet never reached 
the point that has been reached by Mr. 
de Young. 

Mr. de Young and The San Francisco 
Chronicle stand out today absolutely 
unclouded in the bright sunshine of 
success and prosperity as the only 
living editor who founded a newspaper 
fifty years ago, which newspaper to- 
day is stronger than it ever was before. 

It is unnecessary to speak of the 
splendid financial success which has 
for many years characterized The San 
Francisco Chronicle, for the world 
knows all about it. 

It is unnecessary to speak of the 
splendid enterprises which have taken 
up the great portion of Mr. de Young's 
time of a state, national and even inter- 
national character, for the world 
knows all about his work therein. 

It is only necessary at this time to 
call attention to the uniqueness of the 
situation and to remember that Mr. de 

Young is in possession of his full 
strength and powers, as competent 
today to carry on The Chronicle as he 
ever was, and that The Chronicle itself 
is a greater newspaper today than it 
ever was before, and one of the very 
few great newspapers of the world. 




Charles Hopkins Clark, Editor of Con- 
necticut's Foremost Dally, Is 
Cordial in Greetings. 

THE Hartford Courant, which has 
recently celebrated its one hun- 
dred and fiftieth birthday anni- 
versary sends cordial greetings and 
hearty congratulations to The San 
Francisco Chronicle. 

It's a great thing for a newspaper to 
be fifty years old. We've tried it three 
times, and ought to know. But, while 
the Courant's experience in this is 
unique, that of The Chronicle is unique, 
too, and perhaps more remarkable, in 
that the same man who established The 
Chronicle, Hon. M. H. de Young, is still 
at its head, and, from a small begin- 
ning, has built up and still controls a 
newspaper known all over the country, 
one of the potent factors in Pacific 
Coast life. 

The oldest newspaper makes its bow 
and wishes many happy new years to 
the oldest founder, editor and pub- 
lisher. May he long stay on his job. 
By Charles Hopkins Clark, Editor. 


John R. Rathom, Editor of Strong? 

Rhode Island Publication, Tells 

of His Satisfaction, 

THE fiftieth anniversary of the 
founding of The San Francisco 
Chronicle and of Mr. M. H. de 
Young's entry into journalism is an 
event that will be recognized with 
genuine pleasure not only in California, 
but throughout the United States. 

This anniversary will also be greeted 
with much more than ordinary satis- 
faction by the hundreds of newspaper 
men in the East and West, who, like 
myself, have graduated from The 

The life of The Chronicle has been 
no parlor game. Nobody but Mr. de 
Young himself, who for fifty years has 
been 'The Chronicle, can fully realize 
the strenuous character of its career 
or recall with such completeness of 
detail its thousand and one struggles 
for or against the innumerable ques- 
tions that have been fought out in 
California in the past half-century. It 
gives one genuine happiness, however, 
to ldok back upon his own periodof a 
few years of intimate connection with 
The Chronicle and to realize that 


Journalism in California 

during the whole of that time his ef- 
forts, under the direction of Mr. de 
Young and Mr. Young, both of them 
happily on deck today, were devoted 
constantly to fighting graft, exposing 
corruption in high places and low 
places and helping every worthy object 
in the city of San Francisco and the 
State of California. 

I have no doubt that the same spirit 
that led the young men of those happy 
days is the spirit that survives at this 
time. And I am sure that though The 
Chronicle in its long and vigorous 
career has torn down many shams, 
wrecked many a political ambition and 
seriously disconcerted the plans of 
many public men, there will be a uni- 
versal feeling of satisfaction over this 
anniversary, extending even to its past 
or present enemies. 





yictor Rosewater Tells How His Father 

Worked in Years Gone by "With. 

M. H. de Young. 

TO me it is a rare privilege to be 
able to extend greetings and felici- 
tations to The Chronicle and to 
Mr. M. H. de Young on their joint 
completion of fifty years in active 
newspaper work. I couple with my 
congratulations best wishes for long 
continued usefulness, although it goes 
without saying that The Chronicle, as 
a successful and progressive news- 
paper, must outlive its founder who 
has given it a permanence no indi- 
vidual can possess. 

The Chronicle dates back a little 
over seven years longer than the Bee. 
The founder of the Bee, my father, the 
late Edward Rosewater, who was inti- 
mately associated with Mr. de Young 
in many public movements, was per- 
mitted to guide its destinies contin- 
uously for thirty-five years, which we 
felt was making a notable record in 
journalism; and yet to have held the 
reins for an even half century, as has 
Mr. de Young with The Chronicle, is 
much more exceptional. Everyone who 
knows anything about journalism 
knows that such an achievement would 
be impossible without brains, brawn, 
bravery and business ability. 



Jason Rogers, Publisher of Paper 

Founded in 1793, Appreciates 

Chronicle's Influence. 

PERMIT me to heartily congratu- 
late you and The San Francisco 
Chronicle on reaching your fiftieth 
anniversary together. There must be 
a strong feeling of personal satisfac- 
tion in having been so long identi- 

fied with so influential a paper as The 
San Francisco Chronicle, which has so 
successfully promoted and supported 
the best interests of San Francisco, 
the gateway of the Orient from the 
United States. 

The wonderful growth and influence 
of the San Francisco Chronicle are ac- 
knowledged and appreciated by news- 
paper men throughout the country. Its 
commanding position as one of the 
great newspapers of the United States, 
developed from a very small beginning 
by you and your brother since 1865, 
should be abundant satisfaction for the 
lifetime efforts of any individual. 

As publisher of the New York Globe, 
which is the oldest daily newspaper in 
the United States, founded in 1793 by 
Noah Webster, I extend to you my 
heartiest congratulations and best 
wishes for future success and pros- 
perity. JASON ROGERS. 




Norman E. Hack, Owner of Famous 

Publication, Says Chronicle Is 

a Familiar Visitor. 

PERMIT me to extend congratula- 
tions as The Chronicle passes in 
triumph its half-century mark. 
Most people are happy in the thought 
of one's own life and health at fifty, 
so it must, indeed, be a pleasure to 
view the creation of your own intel- 
lect, courage and labor as it rounds 
fifty years of continued progress in a 
splendid burst of brilliant achievement. 

The best years of your life have been 
given over, through the columns of 
The Chronicle, to the service of the 
people of your city, your State and the 
Nation. Yours has been a rare period 
of service. But out of your life, and 
that of your distinguished brother, you 
have reared an institution which will 
go on and on in the great work you 
started as generation follows gener- 

It is a pleasure to have this oppor- 
tunity to look back upon the success 
and the achievements of The San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle. Here we are, you and 
I, at the extreme ends of the continent, 
yet The Chronicle is as familiar a 
visitor in my office as my nearest 
neighbor in Buffalo. For years your 
great newspaper has been a source of 
enlightenment, entertainment and in- 
spiration. No one can read The Chron- 
icle without being impressed with its' 
fairness, its force, its intelligent direc- 
tion, its typographical excellence, its 
devotion to the public welfare, its 
courage and its completeness. 

To you, Editor de Young, permit me 
to convey assurances of my congratu- 
lations on the golden anniversary of 
your newspaper service, to extend my 
cordial wishes for the future, and to 
join with the multitude of your friends 

The Chronicle's Jubilee 


in celebrating this fifty-year triumph 
of The Chronicle. 

I expect in the very near future to 
visit with other members of the New 
York State Commission, your great In- 
ternational Exposition and will then 
look your splendid city and State over 
and I have no doubt we shall all leave 
for our homes at the conclusion of that 
visit with the greatest admiration for 
the Golden Gate and its people. 
Very cordially yours, 




Lafayette Young of Leading Iowa 

Newspaper Hardly Realizes The 

Chronicle Is Fifty Years Old. 

IT HARDLY seems possible that the 
San Francisco Chronicle is fifty 
years of age! I have met M. H. de 
Young several times, and he never 
looked old to me. But such men do not 
grow old. 

How lonesome it must have been in 
1865, when the De Young brothers 
sprung The Chronicle on the new city 
on the golden shore! Mr. de Young 
ought to write a book giving a chron- 
icle of his experience in assisting the 
new West in doing things, for he has 
always been a leader. He is one of the 
great editors of America, where great 
editors abound. It is a pleasure to 
congratulate him. He has stood the 
storm; has never succumbed to hurried 
partnerships nor stock companies. He 
has evidently been a single-purposed 
man. Yet, when I read his history, I 
find he has been an all-around man in 
directing many things. Such a life is 
worth living, and the establishment of 
The Chronicle is achievement enough. 

I extend my congratulations. 



W. H. Cowles, Publisher of Big Wash- 
ington Newspaper, Lauds M. H. 
de Young's Efforts. 

1WANT to congratulate Mr. de Young 
very heartily on the celebration of 
the fiftieth anniversary of the foun- 
dation of The Chronicle. 

The Chronicle has preserved for a 
very long life a strong hold on the 
most substantial people in San Fran- 
cisco. It has been conducted with a 
remarkable mixture of wise conserva- 
tism and aggressive constructive work. 
There are only a few publishers in 
the United States whose names are as 
well known from one end of the 
country to ithe other as M. H. de 
Young's. His great success has been 
due not only to his large ability, but 
also to an astounding energy and cour- 
age. Sincerely yours, 


Edward H. Butler of Northern New 
York's Big Newspaper Says San Fran- 
cisco and Chronicle Are Synonyms. 

ALLOW me to congratulate you 
upon your fiftieth anniversary as 
head and founder of The San 
Francisco Chronicle. I know of no 
one who is more of a success in the 
newspaper world than yourself; always 
having before you the interest of your 
own city, and it is well known through- 
out the newspaper world that Mr. M. 
H. de Young has done more for San 
Francisco by his untiring efforts in its 
behalf than almost any other man in 
that city. 

I wish I might be there to personally 
congratulate you, but as that is im- 
possible I am sending this letter, which 
will be only one among many from 
your friends, who are legion. 

The San Francisco Chronicle is 
synonymous with the word San Fran- 
cisco, and one never thinks of that 
city without connecting with it The 
Chronicle, the same as Atlanta and the 
Constitution, and Springfield, Mass., 
and the Republican, and I trust that 
The Chronicle may continue in its suc- 
cess, and that I shall be able to con- 
gratulate you on its seventy-fifth an- 
niversary. Sincerely your friend, 



"Congratulations," Says H. L. Pittock 

of Portland, Himself Old in 

"The Game." 

I HAVE known The San Francisco 
Chronicle well during the entire 
fifty years of its publication as a 
daily newspaper. I recall clearly its 
early days, when it began to make a 
real impression upon the California 
public, and I have watched its develop- 
ment into a great metropolitan news- 
paper, with real interest and real sym- 

I think that Mr. de Young is the only 
American publisher, except myself, 
who has been at the head of an im- 
portant newspaper continuously for 
more than a half-century. In that re- 
spect, therefore, there is a striking 
parallel in the history of The Chronicle 
and of my own newspaper. It is proper 
for me to say that after eight years of 
service as printer and publisher on the 
Weekly Oregonian I founded the Daily 
Oregonian on February 4th, 1861, and 
have been its publisher continuously 
from the beginning. 

I congratulate Mr. de Young upon his 
great accomplishment in building up 
so influential and well-organized a 
newspaper as The Chronicle. The 
Chronicle in a peculiar way typifies 
San Francisco. Its news methods are 
a reflection of the bright spirit of the 
city, while its editorial methods, con- 


Journalism in California 

servative and thorough as they are, are 
an index of the real stability of the 
Coast metropolis. The Chronicle has 
had its vicissitudes, undoubtedly, but it 
has survived them splendidly. It is an 
institution in San Francisco and Cali- 

For myself, I cannot conceive of San 
Francisco without The Chronicle, and 
I thoroughly believe that the time will 
not come when there will be such a 
San Francisco. 

Publisher The Oregonian. 


Don C. Seltz, Head of Great Eastern 

Newspaper, Tells Secret of 

Chronicle Progress. 

THE Chronicle will live in history 
as one of the great enterprises of 
American journalism. The the- 
atrical leaflet became a newspaper 
because of the unquenchable instinct 
of Charles and M. H. de Young, who 
had in them the quality which makes 
papers, the ability to endure persecu- 
tion, to withstand unpopularity, to 
print the news without fear or favor, 
no matter what danger might ensue. 
The Chronicle had to fight its way. It 
broke the road for Pacific Coast jour- 

Let us hope its next fifty years will 
be smooth and prosperous, and that it 
will remain what it has now become, 
an institution, as all newspapers ought 
to be. 





Owner of the Perkins Press, Operating 

Six North-western Newspapers, 

Comments on Achievement. 

I AM extending congratulations to 
The San Francisco Chronicle on its 
being fifty years old, but more ap- 
propriately, I am happy to say that 
The Chronicle is fifty years young, and 
so is the publisher. 

Fifty years under the same owner- 
ship and management is a proud dis- 
tinction rarely, if ever, achieved in 
American journalism. 

The San Francisco Chronicle has been 

a "live issue" and M. H. de Young has 
been a live wire throughout a half- 
century of marvelous development of 
California and the Pacific Coast, and 
The Chronicle and its publisher have 
had a large part in that development. 
A newspaper like The Chronicle, 
which has paid its way and has been 
built from the ground up on its earn- 
ings, is an institution in the best sense 
of the word. 





Editor of Chicago's Latest Combination 

Newspaper Says He Feels 

Like a Tyro. 

HALF a century of success is a 
record of which you and The San 
Francisco Chronicle should feel 
proud and I extend my felicitations. 
Somehow with that record before me 
I feel like a tyro, for the paper is older 
than I am and yet I overheard some 
one in the office call me "the old man" 
the other day. 

I hope the career of The Chronicle 
is only starting and that I shall have 
the pleasure of further congratulating 
you and The Chronicle on your diamond 





John C. Eastman of Great Illinois Daily 

Says Achievement Unlikely to 

Be Dnplicated. 

PLEASE accept my heartiest con- 
gratulations on your Chronicle 
jubilee. The amount of energy 
and endurance implied in managing a 
great newspaper for half a century 
is enormous. It is pretty clear that 
you and The Chronicle do not get on 
each other's nerves. 

You have had many remarkable men 
in The Chronicle office; probably have 
some there now whom the future will 
recognize as remarkable; but no 
achievement of your staff, past, present 
or to come, is less likely to be dupli- 
cated than your own. Very truly yours, 

Pacific Coast 




Great Men and Great Men's Achievements 

Form the Background for 

California's Progress 

VEEY man living in a civilized community is one of 
two things — he is a good citizen or he is not a good 
citizen. Not all the good citizens, in the true sense of 
the term, are those who do not break the laws; nor, in- 
versely, are all the bad citizens those whose names are 
written on the rolls of our jails and penitentiaries, 

A man, to be a really good citizen, must put back into 
the commonwealth something for that which he takes 
out of it. In return for the right -to live and prosper he must give his 
active or moral support toward building up that commonwealth and making 
it better. 

The one who allows "the other fellow" to do more than his share of 
work for the general good is shirking his bounden duties. The result: 
He is not taking advantage of the opportunity to make himself a good 
citizen. And the mere fact that he has succeeded in keeping out of jail does 
not make him necessarily "good." His city, his State and his country de- 
mand more. 

Looking over the history of San Francisco and California there is one 
thing that impresses the reader above everything else. This is the spirit 
oi a comparatively small number of men who, ever, since "the days of old, 
the days of gold, the days of forty-nine," have stood in the forefront in 
public achievement. 

California has needed such men as few other States in the Union have 
needed them. Separated from the "effete East" by two mountain ranges 
as California is, its development was late in beginning. When the tide 
of civilization did turn westward it brought, naturally enough, some of 
the rougher element with it. But it brought also those who had the making 
of stanch, fearless citizens. 

It is the old rule of the survival of the fittest that has been worked 
out since those days of clipper ships and the Cape Horn passage. Today 
California stands in the front rank of progressive and enlightened com- 
munities, fairly teeming with culture and happiness and blessed with a 
prosperity famed the world over. 

It is a Great Western Empire in itself ! 

Not in one business or profession alone will one find those builders 
of the commonwealth. They are to be met in every walk of life — more 
in some, perhaps, than in others, yet in all of them. It is the scheme of 
things worldly that one pursuit should fit into and supplement another. 


228 Introduction to Biographies 

No one man can accomplish everything necessary to promote civilization — 
and no one man has done so. 

In the pages that follow in this work are set forth in detail the careers 

of some of the most representative men of the West, engaged in all lines 

. of endeavor. To the aspiring young man each sketch holds out a distinct 

lesson. In each it is endeavored to show by what processes the subject 

has reached that glittering goal — Success. 

Simmered down, the secret is found in the five words — Intelligence, 
Ambition, Pluck, Application and Perseverance. 

With those five qualifications a man is bound to succeed in nearly any- 
thing to which he bends his efforts. Obstacles he brushes aside or sur- 
mounts; apparent failure means nothing to him but a renewal of effort; 
he leaves complaining and lamenting to the less hardy and makes action 

Among the very first Americans to land on the shores of San Francisco 
Bay were the miners. They came by way of Cape Horn. The community 
was then decidedly Spanish and the footsteps of the padres were still com- 
paratively fresh. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall made his 
momentous discovery of gold in the tailrace of Sutter's mill, on the north 
fork of the American river where Coloma now stands. After several months 
the news filtered East in a roundabout way and the famous '49 rush began. 

Most of the inqoming Argonauts did not tarry long in San Francisco. 
This was merely an outfitting point, and they continued on up the Sac- 
ramento river by boat, and then by horse or wagon or afoot to the fields 
of wealth. This city being an outfitting point, it of course needed out- 
fitters. These came with the miners, saw what fortunes might be garnered 
without digging with pick and shovel, and forthwith took advantage of 
the opportunity to establish themselves in a mercantile business. 

Where gold is in abundance, there is the lodestone to attract settlers. 
And San Francisco and California were no exception to the rule. Soon 
shiploads of people began literally pouring in through the Golden Gate. 
They represented all classes, all minds. Some remained in the city, which 
was springing up on the sand dunes by the water's edge with a mushroom- 
like growth; some went on. And soon the raw gold was coming back to 
the mart of trade in ever-increasing shipments. 

Soon there were, in addition to the traders, lawyers and doctors, bankers 
and school teachers, to say nothing of agriculturists, lumbermen, cattlemen 
and engineers. The city of San Francisco, clustered as it was at first 
around the waterfront, began to broaden out. One sand dune after 
another was surmounted and the tide of civilization swept on to the next. 
With the opening of the route across the Isthmus of Panama vessels began 
making regular trips into port, and the problem of transporting goods 
diminished in importance. Then, as the decades rolled on, there followed 
the stage lines and the pony express, and at length the first transcontinental 
railroad. And each added stability to the empire that was springing up 
west of the Sierra mountains. 

The medical men helped along the scheme of things by guarding the 
health of the settlers. Early physicians rode about from mining camp to 
mining camp with their kits of drugs slung across their backs or thrust into 
their saddle-bags, ready for anything from a capital operation to the birth 
of another soul. Quiet, unassuming and brave, the doctors did their work 

Introduction to Biographies 229 

arid went their way, and mankind was the better for them. The doctor 
of today is not just like the doctor of yesterday. He is more of a special- 
ist, if not entirely so. And he knows more than physicians even dreamed 
of in the days of '49. 

In its mining activities California has had three sets of pioneers. First 
came the crude form of placer mining, wherein the "cream" of the- gold 
deposits was washed from the beds of the mountain streams and from the 
gravel of the valleys, where search was made for natural "pockets" from 
which a fortune could be taken in a few hours or a few days. Then a 
period of rest from the feverish excitement and the gradual decay of those 
historic old settlements, painted in enduring words with such a sure hand 
by Bret Harte,' followed by the quartz miners and their less picturesque 
and more businesslike work among the vast mineral deposits of the State. 
Finally, not so many years ago, there came to the public notice the per- 
fection of a new system of gold dredging, highly profitable. San Francisco 
and California have many mining operators and engineers today whose repu- 
tation is country-wide, and whose operations involve millions. The careers 
of most of them read like a book of romance. 

Agriculturally, California, with its 40,000,000 acres of arable lands, 
can be surpassed by no other State in the Union. Its early-day grazing 
pastures and a great many of its forests have given way to blossoming 
fields, and its rangers and vaqueros have largely been replaced by the man 
with the hoe. The old Spanish land grants of thousands of varas have been 
cut up into smaller tracts, and men are getting rich on from five to ten 
acres. Here might be mentioned Captain Sutter, one of the first to discover 
and put to advantage the agricultural and horticultural possibilities of the 
Sacramento Valley, and who was involuntarily responsible, by reason of 
the existence of his mill, for the discovery of gold by Marshall. 

The cattle business has by no means been throttled, nor is the State 
behind hand in dairying and poultry and produce raising. Here enter in 
the exporters of the State's commodities, men whose ships carry California 
goods to remote corners of the world. Sailing vessels have in most cases 
given way to steam, and no longer does the mariner lie hove-to waiting for 
a favorable breeze. Today fleets of oil steamers also are constantly leaving 
California's seaports, carrying the product, crude and refined, to foreign 
markets. In the State's fields well after well is being sunk to increase 
the output and millions untold are invested in this industry alone; com- 
petition is keen and the result has been that vast sums are kept in circula- 
tion, to add to the wealth of the community and of its industrial leaders. 

Into the forest primeval came the woodsman with his ax. He had 
worked his way westward clear across the continent, had crossed the Eockies 
and the Sierra, and now he descended upon the pines and redwoods of 
California. Soon log rafts began floating down the rivers or were towed 
down the coast, and mills, springing up overnight, turned out finished lum- 
ber at an ever-increasing rate. An industry was thus started which since 
has grown into huge proportions and has extended itself all over the Pacific 
Coast. And, as in the case of other lines of endeavor, the burden of this 
development has fallen upon the shoulders of a few big men, who. have 
devoted money and energy toward blazing the trail. 

California would not have all its great power plants, its network of 
railroads, its steel and concrete bridges, its tunnels and its aqueducts, were 

230 Introductipn to Biographies 

it not for its engineers and promoters — and financiers. A host of these 
pathfinders have placed their marks upon the industries and their develop- 
ment, men whose names are watchwords for scientific progress. 

Without capital one may accomplish but little. All the big enterprises 
that aid in a community's upbuilding needs must have financial backing. 
It is therefore no small part that the bankers of California have played 
in molding its history and furthering its commercial and industrial growth. 
The early-day bankers started in just like all their fellow-immigrants, with 
dingy offices and small capital. Gold dust flowed into their coffers, how- 
ever, as the miners returned with their earnings, and gradually, as more 
trade routes were opened up with the East, business began to boom. 
William H. Crocker, Frank B. Anderson and I. W. Hellman are typical 
of the strong, resourceful bankers and capitalists of today. 

Manufacturers, contractors, brokers, architects, accountants — all these 
have helped make many things possible, as have the oil and gas interests 
and the men behind them; the insurance interests, which protect against 
poverty after death for the family left behind and against loss from fire 
or storm or shipwreck at sea, and whose business on the Pacific Coast alone 
runs away up into the millions annually; and the educators, who have 
waged unceasing warfare against ignorance. 

California's public school system cannot be excelled. Back through 
the byways in every direction the educators have gone to establish their 
centers of learning. With three big universities, dozens of colleges, and 
other institutions where one may specialize in any subject, the State has 
worked its way up into the forefront in cutting down the percentage of 
illiteracy. No one - with strength and determination need today remain 
untutored and untrained. 

As the years pass by the auto manufacturers and dealers come to be 
a bigger and bigger factor in every business community. It was not so 
many years ago that the public scoffed at those who promised to make a 
"no pushee, no pullee" vehicle that could be adapted to general or individual 
needs. We scoffed at aeroplanes and dirigibles, too, but they all have taken 
1 their places in our daily life. The automobile business is now one of the 
biggest in the world; .yet it is still in its infancy. The electric or gasoline- 
propelled car has ceased to be a plaything, a toy; it is a public utility. 

Look in what direction one will, one sees sturdy men on whose broad 
backs, as it were, the world is resting. In every branch of human endeavor 
they are to be found. Their success has been due to personal effort, backed 
by the laudable ambition to leave mediocrity behind and become of the 
forceful few. How diversified are the careers of, for instance, inventors, 
builders of the telephone and telegraph, officers of the Army and Navy, 
sales agents and managers, public executives and legislators! Then we 
find the artists, the musicians and the writers appealing to our aesthetic 
side, furnishing us with the finer things of life. 

The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, San Francisco's 
great world-show, which this volume helps to commemorate, was not the 
work of an Aladdin and his Lamp, even though its gorgeousness might have 
appeared so. 

The history of the exposition, like the history of San Francisco and 
California or of any other State or community, large or small, embodies 
a succession of personal achievements. It is as if the exposition, in all its 

_^^^ Introduction to Biographies 231 

splendor of varied beauty, a beauty unsurpassed, were built up as a piece 
of coral is built up — one particle upon another particle and the whole 
cemented together, with each human insect adding his mite for the good 
of all. 

.Let men band together and they can accomplish anything. 

Finally, the story swings around to the legal fraternity and the part 
it has played in this drama of a State's advancement. And the part has 
been an important one. In many ways it is the most interesting record of 
all, for it reflects every other phase of endeavor, bringing out into bold 
relief the high-lights of California's absorbing history. 

No_ civilization can exist without laws to govern it. This fact was early 
recognized, here and elsewhere. The ancients inscribed certain "rules for 
conduct" on stones, setting them up along the principal highways that the 
public might memorize them. These "rules" were the forerunners of the 
law. Written later on parchment, they came down through the ages, and 
aside from certain radical changes consistent with the needs of the times, 
some of the world-old principles are still in force as the basis for the codes 
and statutes of later years. 

Man's almost every passion involves in some way the prescribed "rules 
for conduct." His liberty, property rights and bequests, his aims and his 
controversies, run along in keeping with the law or afoul of it at every 
stage. He must do certain things, and he must not do certain other things, 
lest he cause society in some way to suffer. This society, the coalition of 
mankind, is built up along certain lines of the greatest known perfection. 
To go outside these lines were to undermine everything; so he who would 
go outside them is, in one way or another, restricted or punished. 

No profession has developed and brought forth more, great and influen- 
tial men than has the law. In every walk of life the attorney wields his 
power — through the courts. He makes the statutes, he interprets them, 
and he oftentimes directs the men who apply them. He is an entire library 
of sociology, civics and economics personified. The tools of his trade, as 
it is pointed out in Bishop's First Book of the Law, constitute the power 
that pervades and controls the universe. 

California's brilliant lawyers are legion. Their names are still as fa- 
miliar as are those of Patrick Henry, Robert Ingersoll and Daniel Webster. 
They range from the brilliant Justice Stephen J. Field and Elisha 0. 
Crosby, the latter of whom helped introduce into California the English 
common law to replace the civil law of Boman origin, down through the 
line of Hall McAllister and Samuel M. Wilson, two of the greatest prac- 
titioners of their day; Thomas B. Bishop, one of the original directors 
of the Hastings College of Law; Beuben H. Lloyd, noted for his general 
cleverness; General William H. L. Barnes, he of the astounding eloquence, 
and Creed Haymond, "Father of the California Codes," down to the strong 
lawyers of the present day, such as Charles S. Wheeler, Alex. F. Morrison, 
Peter F. Dunne, Garrett McBnerney, Gavin McNab, Victor H. Metcalf, 
Judge Harmon Bell, E. M. Fitzgerald, Curtis Lindley, E. S. Pillsbury, 
E. J. McCutchen, Nathan H. Frank, John S. Partridge, M. C. Chapman 
and William C. Crittenden, besides those whose careers are treated at 
greater length hereafter. 

To relate at all chronologically the legal history of California, or that 
part of it made up of the so-called "high-lights," one is obliged to harken 


232 Introduction to Biographies 

back to the establishment of the missions here in the eighteenth century — 
for a beginning. The padres set themselves up in the then little known 
Northern California at about the time Independence Bell was pealing forth 
its defiance to King George. Mission Dolores was consecrated June 29, 
1776; a few months later, January 12, 1777, Santa Clara mission was 
founded, and in the same year the town of San Jose, near by, came into 
being. These dates are of interest, particularly that of the founding of 
San Jose, for this was the first authorized settlement in the State, receiving 
its authorization from Governor Felipe de Neve, and the first town in 
California to be ruled by a civil government. 

Prior to this, California was a part of New Spain, having the Viceroy 
of Mexico for its governing power. In 1776 it was attached to the Coman- 
dancia-General of the internal provinces, but a few years later reverted 
again to the Viceroy. The laws were made by the King of Spain and his 
council at Madrid, transmitted to the Viceroy and finally to the Governor. 
All over California presidios had been established, and couriers carried the 
orders from the Governor to the officers in command of these posts. 

That, period in which California was under Spanish rule was one of 
the most picturesque in its history. When Mexico, after a fierce struggle 
with the mother country, won her independence in 1822, Alta California, 
as it was then known, was for a time apparently forgotten. Without courts, 
the district's legal controversies were adjudicated by an ecclesiastical body 
ruled over by Padre Jose Sanchez, then president of the missions. In the 
latter part of 1836 Mexico made a new set of laws whereby the alcaldes 
were given jurisdiction in certain civil cases. Subsequently these officials 
held direct rule under a Governor, the last of which, appointed for Cali- 
fornia by Mexico, was Pio Pico, a highly respected executive. 

Meanwhile, Americans had begun to drift into the territory and take 
up their residence, and when the United States went to war with Mexico 
a military governor for California was named. The first of these was 
Colonel Richard B. Mason, whose term of office extended from May 31, 
1847, through the following year when California was ceded to the United 
States, until April 13, 1849. 

It remained for General Bennett Eiley, who succeeded Colonel Mason 
as Governor, to establish what was the nucleus of our present judicial 
system. By proclamation on June 3, 1849, Governor Eiley called for the 
election of a Superior Court of four judges and a fiscal or Attorney-General, 
a Judge of the first instance for each district, Alcaldes and Justices of the 
Peace. In August of the same year John W. Geary was chosen first Alcalde 
of San Francisco. Peter H. Burnett, Pacificus Ord, Lewis Dent and Jose M. 
Covarrubias were made Superior Judges, and Frederick Billings was ap- 
pointed fiscal. 

One of the minor Judges, with civil jurisdiction only, was the eccentric 
William B. Almond, who held sway in San Francisco. Judge Almond had 
no regular courtroom at first and he often was obliged to hold his sessions 
outdoors, sometimes in the rain. It is told of him that he allowed only 
thirty minutes for a trial, and once he had set his mind on a decision, 
attorneys might as well hold their peace, for no amount of argument would 
swerve him in the slightest. 

Governor Eiley's judicial system was the outcome of a series of events 
that took place in San Francisco about the beginning of 1849. This was 

Introduction to Biographies 233 

the formation by the citizens of what they chose to term the "Legislative 
Assembly/' for the purpose of establishing a new form of civil government 
for this district. The motives of the fifteen men who constituted the as- 
sembly were conceded to be conspicuously upright, although their authority 
was not recognized. Magistrates and other officials were named and plans 
were made for the calling of a constitutional convention. But at this junc- 
ture Governor Eiley came forward with his project for creating a judiciary 
and, after some hesitation, the citizen body fell into line, then gradually 
declined in power until it disbanded. 

The really epochal change in the legal system of California came with 
the gold rush of '49. The Argonauts found upon their arrival here a 
peculiar combination of old customs and new. Americanized as the State 
was just beginning to appear, there still remained in places the Spanish 
atmosphere. Legislative enactment was needed, and before long it was 
secured. But for the time being the courts were "drumhead" affairs of 
the rough-and-ready sort. San Francisco was the Mecca for the immigrants, 
and here- all the complexities of the early-day life were reflected. Hides 
were in general circulation as a medium of exchange. 

When civilization opens up new pathways there go lawyers, and the 
stampede toward California was no exception to the rule. Lawyers came 
aplenty — stern, hardy individuals who were destined to go down through 
the years as molders of a new empire's government. Their lives were little 
different from those of the miners, for they were inured to hardships, against 
which they were forced to struggle unceasingly. 

These were the days in which some of California's most noted lawyers 
got their start. For instance, Stephen J. Field, who was largely responsible 
for the establishment of old mining customs as the laws of the State, the 
founding of community property and the development of the Code of Civil 
Procedure later on. He stands out conspicuously for his position on the 
Supreme Court bench of the United States as well as for his historic quarrel 
with Justice David S. Terry, who later was assassinated. 

The first session of the State Legislature, which convened December 21, 
1849, started in to develop the legal system and make it adequate for the 
public needs. Peter H. Burnett, who came here from Tennessee and shortly 
afterward became Governor, pointed out the workings of the civil law in 
the South and suggested that California adopt a similar code, made up of 
a combination of the common law of England, the English laws of evidence 
and commerce, the civil law of Louisiana and the Louisiana Code of Practice. 

There was strenuous objection to such a suggestion. The majority of 
the San Francisco bar, then numbering about a hundred members, favored 
the common law. Finally the English law was modified and transformed 
into the "American Common Law," and on April 12, 1850, it went into 
effect as the "fundamental unwritten law of California." 

But meanwhile the State had been provided with a constitution, ratified 
in, November, 1849, and one that has since called forth much praise for 
the sturdy citizens that drafted it. The judicial system was defined and 
a supreme court, district, county and probate and justice courts were 
established. Jurisdiction in each case also was defined, as was the length of 
the terms of office. 

The constitution was formed with the idea that California soon was 
to become a member of the Union, and in this the framers were not dis- 

234 Introduction to Biographies 

appointed. On August 7, 1848, the treaty of peace between the United 
States and Mexico, by which Upper or Alta California was formally ceded, 
to this country, had been ratified by proclamation of Governor Mason. 
Immediately after the State had provided itself with a constitution and 
the Legislature had established itself, General Eiley, the Military Governor, 
resigned from office. Then California began governing itself, although its 
admission to the Union did not come until September 9, 1850. 

The first radical change in the provisions of the original constitution 
was made in September, 1862. For one thing, the Supreme Court was 
given two additional members and, as reorganized, its judges were Silas W. 
Sanderson, Lorenzo Sawyer, John Currey, Augustus L. Ehodes and Oscar 
L. Shafter, all learned jurists commanding the highest respect. Their 
terms of office were increased from six to ten years and they were given 
added jurisdiction, as were also District and County Judges. 

For the next seventeen years matters judicial ran along in this way in 
California; but in 1879, when another constitutional convention met, radi- 
cal changes were deemed necessary, to keep pace with the times and to 
weed out certain objectionable features. The Supreme Court was enlarged 
again, this time to seven members, whose terms of office were twelve years, 
and five commissioners were appointed with power to adjudicate causes 
referred to them by the supreme tribunal ; the Court also was divided into 
two departments. 

This convention brought into force the important provision that, in 
order to expedite the meting out of justice, no judge of a Superior or 
Supreme Court could draw his monthly salary unless he made affidavit that 
no cause submitted to him more than ninety days before remained undecided. 

The constitutional amendments known as those of 1879 went into opera- 
tion in 1880. Under California's Constitution, as Variously revised, the 
citizens of the State have secured substantial justice, without being hemmed 
in by many of the "freak" provisions that hampered the advancement of 
other States of the Union. 

California is today governed by four well-formulated codes — the Political 
Code, the Penal Code, the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure. 
Creed Haymond, as chairman of .the Code Commission, with J. C. Burch 
and Charles Lindley as his associates, wrote the Codes in three years' time. 
After they had been submitted to an advisory board they were adopted and 
went into effect January 1, 1873. They were the first complete Codes ever 
adopted by any State and afterward were widely copied, notably in the 
revision of the laws of Japan. 

The legal development of California has passed through many stirring 
periods; it has brought forth many famous cases at bar and many famous 
lawyers. No State's judiciary, perhaps, can point to a more picturesque 
career. Still vivid in the minds of the older San Franciscans are the days 
of the criminal band of "Hounds" and the famous Vigilance Committees 
of 1851 and 1856, vigorously fought by courts and bar as being a brake 
on the approved forms of delivering justice. Those stirring times will ever 
remain green in memory. 

Back over the years stretches the history of California's great men — 
men in every walk of life, men destined to make for progress and advance- 
ment and who lived out their destinies. To them California owes the ful- 
' fillment of its birthright. 


ON first thought there seems to be 
slight connection between the 
profession of electrical engineer- 
ing and the commercial grow- 
ing of rice. But in the case of Charles F. 
Adams there is a close connection, for 
the first led him to engage in the sec- 
ond. Today he is do- 
ing electrical contract- 
ing under the firm 
name of the Power 
Equipment Company, 
and he also is secre- 
tary and treasurer, and 
one of the principal 
owners of the Rice 
Land and Products 
Company, whose rice- 
growing project in Co- 
lusa County bids fair 
to become the largest 
on the Pacific Coast. 

Mr. Adams, let it be 
said at the outset, is 
perhaps the eldest elec- 
trical engineer on the 
coast in point of actual, 
continuous experience. 
When he entered the 
profession, electricity 
was doing its first 
work 'and its control 
was largely a matter 
of guesswork. Since 
1883 he has been doing 
his part in harnessing 
it and compelling it to do man's service. 

Born November 10, 1865, at North 
Behoboth, Massachusetts, Mr. Adams is 
the son of J. S. Adams and Fannie B. 
(Smith) Adams. His father was a 
noted inventor. He served through the 
Civil War in Harper's Ferry arsenal 
and designed the first hand-grenades 
that had a definite time-limit for ex- 
ploding — grenades that were used later 
in the Franco-Prussian war and even 
in the present great war in Europe — 
and one of the first models of breech- 
loading carbine for cavalry use 

After the close of the war, the elder 
Mr. Adams became one of the pioneer 
inventors of the Elgin National Watch 
Company, and for about 16 years de- 
veloped all the special machines for 
the manufacture of small screws and 
steel parts of the Elgin watch. The 
first commercial electric lights in the 
Middle West, at Aurora, Illinois, were 
placed on steel towers designed and 
constructed by J. S. Adams, and the 
present high-power electrical transmis- 
sion tower is but a development of this 
original type. Even the present tower 
used for wireless- telegraphy is the 
same type — carried about twice as high 
— as that invented and constructed 
by Adams for the lighting system 
of Detroit, Michigan, in the year 

Charles F Adams received his educa- 
tion at Elgin, Illinois, and in 1883 com- 
menced work with his father on the 
development and building of electric- 
lighting towers. Later he built the 
systems of towers in Detroit, Indianapo- 
lis and Alameda, California. The latter, 

costing $40,000, was completed just a 
month before he became of age. 

In 1885 Mr. Adams went with the 
Jenney Electric Company of Indianapo- 
lis, where for two years he secured 
valuable practical experience. Later he 
was in charge of work for the Edison 
General Electric Com- 
pany of Chicago, in-' 
stalling many light- 
ing systems in the 
Middle West. For seven 
years, beginning with 
1898, he was in charge 
of the outside con- 
struction and expert 
repair work of the 
Stanley Electric & 
Manufacturing Com- 
pany of Pittsfield, Mass. 
The Pacific Gas & 
Electric Company em- 
ployed Mr. Adams in 
1906 to take charge of 
the construction o f 
new stations and sub- 
stations following the 
San Francisco fire. He 
designed and con- 
structed stations in 
San Francisco, Oakland 
and Berkeley and re- 
built stations and ap- 
paratus at Electra, 
Colgate, De Sabla and 
Centerville. By his 
work he assisted 
largely in bringing about the present 
high standard of station detail and per- 

He is widely known on the Pacific 
Coast as an expert in the investigation 
and correction of engineering "trouble." 
When a series of disastrous water- 
wheel wrecks almost crippled the 
hydro-electric service of one big com- 
pany, the work of investigation and 
repair was placed in his charge. Out 
of a hopeless mass of scrap copper and 
steel, new dynamos were constructed 
and new water wheels were designed 
and built that are still standard. By a 
system of graphic analysis, never pub- 
lished, -errors of the original design 
were corrected and no failures have 
occurred on these big units in the last 
five years of operation. 

Leaving the Pacific Gas & Electric 
Company in 1911, Mr. Adams has since 
engaged in electrical engineering and 
contracting. One of his recent proj- 
ects was the building, in 1915, of the 
municipal sewage-pumping plant, No. 
2, for the City of Sacramento. He has 
one of the most complete electrical 
libraries on the Pacific Coast. 

The Rice -Land and Products Com- 
pany, in which Mr. Adams is deeply 
interested, has 3,000 acres of rice cov- 
ered land, seven miles north of Colusa. 
The pumping plants for this enter- 
prise were installed by his firm, and 
a careful study of this project resulted 
in his acquiring a permanent interest 
in rice culture. A rice mill and a 
large extension of the rice fields will 
result from his plans. 



THE success of Hubbard F. Alex- 
ander — president of the Pacific 
Alaska Navigation Company (The 
Admiral Line) — like that of 
many other transportation men, is the 
culmination of a life in which hus- 
tling methods, keen foresight and the 
power to execute have 
been the contributory 
forces. But, unlike 
most of those in the 
same line, or in other 
fields, he has arrived 
at the zenith of pros- 
perity in much shorter 
time despite the fact 
that he was seemingly 
handicapped by a most 
humble beginning. 

He started his battle 
with the world as a 
longshoreman when 
only fifteen years of 
age; but this labor, 
instead of acting as a 
deterrent, gave him an 
experience that was 
to be useful in after 
years and developed 
him physically for 
a strenuous business 

Mr. Alexander was 
born in Colorado 
Springs, Colorado, August 14, 1879, the 
son, of Edward S. and Emma (Foster) 
Alexander. His parents were of old New 
England stock, his father's birthplace 
being Stamford, Connecticut, while his 
mother was born at Lowell, Massa- 
chusetts. After marriage his parents 
moved to Colorado, where his father's 
business interests called them. Eleven 
years later they moved to Tacoma, 

Mr. Alexander was educated in the 
public and private schools in Colorado 
Springs and Tacoma, Washington, but 
on account of severe financial reverses 
of his family, left before graduation 
to work on the docks at Tacoma. 
After two years at this work he en- 
tered the employ of Dodwell, Carlill 
& Company, who were operating the 
Northern Pacific Steamship Company 
to the Orient, and the Washington and 
Alaska Steamship Company to Alaska. 
His position with this firm was check- 
clerk and wharf agent, which he credit- 
ably filled until twenty years of age, 
when he reorganized the Commercial 
Dock Company, which conducted a 
general wharfage and shipping business, 
and of which he became president and 
manager. He continued in this posi- 
tion for seven years, at the same time 

acting as agent for many coastwise 
steamship lines. 

The thorough knowledge gained in 
these various connections led to his 
election in 1906 as president of the 
Alaska Pacific Steamship Company, 
which operates a line between Puget 
Sound and California 
ports. He was then 
twenty-seven years of 
age and was probably 
the youngest man in 
a similar capacity in 
the country. In 1907 
he became general 
manager of the Alaska 
Coast Company, which 
operates a line a dis- 
tance of 2,000 miles 
along the Alaska 
coast, and was elected 
its president in 1912. 
In 1912 the Pacific 
Alaska Navigation 
Company was organ- 
ized, this company 
taking over both the 
Alaska Pacific Steam- 
ship Company and the 
Alaska Coast Com- 
pany and becoming 
the operating com- 
pany as well as the 
holding company, with 
Mr. Alexander as president. The opera- 
tion of the Pacific Alaska Navigation 
Company under this combination covers 
3,000 miles of the Pacific coast, from 
California to Alaska, being the longest 
all-the-year-around American coast- 
wise service. 

The Pacific Alaska Navigation Com- 
pany is known as "The Admiral Line," 
all of its vessels being named after 
admirals of the American Navy. 

In addition to these interests Mr. 
Alexander retains the position of presi- 
dent of the Commercial Dock Company 
of Tacoma, which was his first busi- 
ness venture and the stepping-stone 
to his success. 

Mr. Alexander is one of the most 
prominent men in the Northwestern 
country and is favorably known all 
over the Pacific slope. He is a mem- 
ber of the Union, Country and Golf 
and Commercial Clubs of Tacoma, the 
Rainier and Transportation Clubs of 
Seattle, the Transportation and Pacific 
Union Clubs of San Francisco, the 
California Club of Los Angeles, and 
of the Military Order of the Loyal 
Legion of the United States. 

He married, in 1902, Miss Ruth Cald- 
well of Portland, Oregon, and they 
have one daughter. 



THE primary factor that makes for 
man's success in life is his home 
training. Let that be as it should 
be and he cannot go far wrong 
in carving out his independent career. 
In the life story of many a man his ad- 
vancement is explained by this one 
thing — proper p r e p - 
aration at home for 
the world's battles. 

This applies in every 
particular to William 
Ambrose Bissell, as- 
sistant traffic manager 
for the Santa Pe Rail- 
way system at San 
Francisco, and officer 
or director of a num- 
ber of California cor- 
porations. His was a 
scholarly environment. 
Born in 1848 at Lyons, 
Wayne County, New 
York, he was the son 
of Right Reverend 
W. H. A. Bissell and 
Martha Cotton (Moul- 
ton) Bissell, the for- 
mer Episcopal Bishop 
of Vermont from 1868 
until his death in 1893. 
Good books were his 
and ideals were early 
imparted to him by his 

Following his common school edu- 
cation Mr. Bissell took a course at the 
Geneva Academy, Geneva, New York. 
The professions beckoned to him, but 
the broad field of business held out 
the stronger appeal and when 16 years 
old he accepted a minor position with 
the Michigan Central Railroad at 
Detroit. After three years there he 
came to California by way of Panama 
in March, 1868. At that time Cali- 
fornia's railway system was not on 
a very high plane. The Central Pacific 
was then operating over but ninety 
miles in the State and it was with this 
corporation, at Sacramento, that Mr. 
Bissell associated himself. 

In 1870, with the purchase of the San 
Jose Railroad, he was placed in charge 
of the traffic department at San Fran- 
cisco. For thirteen years Mr. Bissell 
remained with the Central Pacific. In 
1883, however, there came a flattering 
offer from the Texas Pacific Railway 
and he became that road's Coast agent, 
with offices in San Francisco. He ac- 
cepted an even better place in Decem- 
ber, 1884, as Coast agent for the Atlan- 
tic & Pacific Railroad. This later on 
became a part of the Atchison Railroad 
system and Mr. Bissell was made its 
general freight and passenger agent. 
By this time he was a recognized leader 
in railroad circles. In 1894 the Atchi- 
son system was reorganized as the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. Mr. Bis- 
sell thereupon was transferred to Chi- 
cago, but following the purchase in 1900 

of the San Francisco and San Joaquin 
Valley railroads he was brought back 
to San Francisco as assistant traffic 
manager; and here he has since re- 
mained, in one of the railway's most 
important executive positions. 

When the affairs of the San Fran- 
cisco-Oakland Termi- 
nal Railways came 
to a crisis in 1913 the 
United Properties trus- 
tees chose Mr. Bissell 
as president of the 
railways, to put them 
back on a firm founda- 
tion. In this capacity 
he served with credit 
until September, 1914, 
when he resigned. 

During his years of 
railway service Mr. 
Bissell has been quiet- 
ly making judicious 
investments until to- 
day he has large hold- 
ings in corporations of 
various kinds. He is 
president of the Liver- 
more Water & Power 
Company, and a direc- 
tor of the Holland 
Sandstone Company, 
Lake Tahoe Railway 
& Transportation 
Company, Northwest- 
ern Pacific Railway Company, Rich- 
mond Land Company, Oakland & East 
Side Railway Company, Santa Fe Ter- 
minal Company of California arid the 
Union Savings Bank of Oakland. 

Mr. Bissell is in active sympathy with 
movements that tend to the betterment 
of the city, the State and the Nation, 
and does much work as a member of 
the San Francisco Chamber of Com- 
merce. Of California he believes its 
future is more brilliant than that of 
any other State in the Union. 

Socially Mr. Bissell is one of the 
founders of the Transportation Club of 
San Francisco and is past vice-president 
of the Pacific Union, as well as a mem- 
ber of the California Club of Los An- 
geles and of the Athenian Club and 
Claremont and Sequoia Country Clubs 
of Oakland. He was married January 
7, 1870, to Miss Cora A. Messick and 
is the father of two grown children, 
William H. and Daniel R. Bissell. The 
family home is in Alameda and a part 
of each summer is spent at a cottage 
overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe. Mr. 
Bissell also owns a ranch near Liver- 
more, where he occasionally spends a 
few days as a relaxation from his con- 
fining duties in the city. 

The shaping of Mr. Bissell's career 
has vitally affected California. For as 
a railroader he has helped build up 
districts which, once practically unin- 
habited by man, have been transformed 
into prosperous countrysides, linked by 
the railways with the world's markets. 



THAT man's works live after him is 
a truth that is plainly apparent. 
Especially does it apply to those 
works which have to do with the 
alteration and improvement of the 
earth's surface to meet the needs of 
civilization. Digging here ,and there 
to remove certain land- , 

marks, and employing 
wood, stone or concrete 
with steel and iron to 
rear certain other 
landmarks, man has 
changed things to suit 
himself, and he has 
done it well. 

The construction 
man, perhaps more 
than anyone else, has 
builded for himself 
permanent monuments. 
Generations that come 
after him may gaze 
for decades or cen- 
turies upon his handi- 
work, and may make 
use of the things that 
have cost him brains 
and money to make 
possible — without giv- 
ing more than a pass- 
ing thought to what it 
means to them. 

Anson S. Blake, 
president of the Blake 
Brothers Company and officer in a num- 
ber of other concerns of a similar na- 
ture, is a man who has spent all his 
adult' life in the upbuilding of the 
communities in which he has moved 
about. He has to his credit a number of 
projects important to the San Fran- 
cisco bay district, and is one of those 
stanch business men en whose shoul- 
ders much public responsibility rests. 

A native of San Francisco, born Au- 
gust 6, 1870, Mr. Blake ,1s the son of 
Charles T. Blake, himself a prominent 
contractor in his time, and Harriet 
(Stiles) Blake. He went through the 
public grammar schools of this city, 
was graduated from the Boys' High 
School in 1887, and subsequently in 1891 
finished at the University of California 
with the degree of A. B. 

Almost immediately after leaving 
school Mr. Blake entered upon his busi- 
ness career. He became secretary of 
the Bay Rock Company, in which his 
father was interested, and after two 
years there accepted a clerkship with 
the Oakland Paving Company. In 1897 
he became the latter concern's secre- 
tary and in 1899 its president. In 1904 
Mr. Blake organized with Frank W. 
Bilger the Blake & Bilger Company, 
which dealt in building materials and 
conducted a quarry. Two years ago 
Mr. Blake sold his interests in the Oak- 
land Paving Company to Mr. Bilger, 
who retired from the Blake & Bilger 
Company, and the quarrying concern 
was given its present designation of 

Blake Brothers Company. Mr. Anson S. 
Blake is still head of the business, 
which is of a general contracting and 
quarrying nature. 

One of Mr. Blake's important con- 
struction projects was carried out as 
receiver of the Scofield Construction 
Company, when he 
completed the $1,500,- 
000 Government dry 
dock at Mare Island 
Navy Yard in 1910. 
Two contracting con- 
cerns failed in the en- 
deavor to carry 
through the work, 
which lasted over a 
period of seven years. 
An idea of the huge 
task that confronted 
the engineers can be 
gleaned from the fact 
that the bottom of the 
dry dock consists of 
concrete nine and a 
half feet thick and 
that it rests on 12,000 
piles. Excavation on 
the big receptacle was 
started by a company 
which, after heroic but 
unsuccessful attempts 
to stop the seepage 
that continually dam- 
aged the labor as fast 
as it was performed, threw up the 
contract in despair. The Scofield com- 
pany then took hold of it, and finally 
Mr. Blake completed it. 

In building the dock .it was neces- 
sary to use 15,000 piles, 90,000 yards 
of concrete, 1,500 cubic yards of stone 
and 3,000,000 feet of lumber. The length 
of the dock is 791 feet. Its width at 
the bottom is 76 feet and at the top 120 
feet. It will hold a vessel drawing 34 
feet. The United States Government 
formally accepted it May 17, 1910, 
and on the same day the U. S. S. 
California entered the dock for repairs. 
This project has since played a big 
part in making the Mare Island 
yard the important naval base it is 

Mr. Blake is also president of the 
Venice Island Land Company, which has 
a 3,400 acre reclamation project on the 
San Joaquin river between Stockton and 
Antioch. The land has proved valuable 
for the growing of vegetables and grain. 
Again, Mr. Blake is vice-president of the 
Union Dredging Company, which en- 
gages in important operations in San 
Francisco bay and about the deltas 
of the Sacramento and San Joaquin 

Mr. Blake was married in San Fran- 
cisco May 17, 1894, to Anita Day Symmes, 
daughter of Frank J. Symmes. He is 
a member of the University Club of 
San Francisco, the Athenian Club and 
Claremont Country Club of Oakland and 
the Faculty Club of Berkeley. 



«* A MAN advanced in years," wrote 
Richard Steele, the famous es- 
sayist, "that thinks fit to look 
back upon his former life and 
calls A hat only life which was passed 
with satisfaction and enjoyment, will 
find himself very young, if not in his 

Bearing in mind this 
truth of "The Spec- 
tat o r," Theodore Z. 
Blakeman, pioneer San 
Francisco attorney at 
law, has indeed had a 
well-rounded career. 
Roses were not strewn 
in his pathway. In- 
deed, he has gone 
through a great deal of 
unpleasantness. But it 
has all been life, real 
life, and his spirit of 
optimism has ever pre- 

Born September 29, 
1842, in Green County, 
Kentucky, Mr. Blake- 
man is the son of Moses 
Blakeman, at one time 
a prominent slave- 
owner, and of Narcissa 
(Rhea) Blakeman. He 
is a descendant o f 
Adam Blakeman, who 
landed in America in 
the 17th century and established the 
first English Episcopal Church, at 
Stamford, Connecticut. Following his 
early education in private schools in 
Greensburg, near his birthplace, Mr. 
Blakeman entered Georgetown College, 
and was in his Junior year there when 
the Civil War broke out. , 

One day in 1863, when Bragg had 
forced back the Federals and had swept 
Close to Cincinnati, Mr. Blakeman 
mounted his horse, rode into the Con- 
federate lines and enlisted as a private 
in the regiment of Colonel Gano. Sub- 
sequently he was with Morgan in the 
famous raid through Ohio. The Con- 
federates found themselves hemmed in 
and surrender was decided upon. Be- 
fore this took place, however, Mr. Blake- 
man and a comrade slipped away in the 
darkness, procured civilian clothes, and 
walking boldly into Dayton bought 
tickets for Detroit. Mr. Blakeman made 
his way clear to Windsor, Canada, with- 
out being once challenged. 

At Windsor Mr. Blakeman stopped 
with the family of John Rodman, a Ken- 
tucky lawyer whom the war had forced 
into temporary exile. The youth took 
up the study of law under Rodman, and 
when the latter returned home Mr. 
Blakeman apprenticed himself to Mat- 
thew R. Vankoughnet, a brother of the 
Chancellor of the Province of Ontario. 
A few months later, when General Lee 
surrendered, Mr. Blakeman went to New 
York and read Jaw in the office of John 

W. Ashmead, U. S. Attorney General in 
President Taylor's administration. He 
was admitted to practice in New York 
in 1866. In 1867 he went to St. Louis 
and began practicing after admittance 
to the State and Federal courts. In 1875 
he was admitted to the U. S. Supreme 
Court and 1880 he came 
to San Francisco. 

Since that time Mr. 
Blakeman has enjoyed 
a wide and success- 
ful law practice. From 
1890 until 1896 he ap- 
peared in a notable 
suit against the Bank 
of California of San 
Francisco and the 
Rideout-Smith Bank of 
Oroville, in which he 
represented bondhold- 
ers of the Spring Val- 
1 e y Gold Company, 
owners of the big 
Cherokee mines. The 
action was very com- 
plicated and had for 
its basis the recovery 
of the mining property. 
After taking the case 
to the Supreme Court 
Mr. Blakeman won for 
his clients and the 
mines were sold some 
years later for $160,000. 
Mr. Blakeman is perhaps best known 
to the present generation of attorneys 
by his really remarkable work on be- 
half of the widow of the late Thomas 
Bell. When he died in 1892 Bell left an 
estate valued at $1,200,000. By 1898, for 
one reason and another, it had dwindled 
to almost nothing and had $250,000 
outstanding debts. At this juncture 
Mr. Blakeman was retained by the 

To begin with, Mr. Blakeman had the 
executors turned out and in 1902 had 
Mrs. Bell appointed general adminis- 
tratrix. By suits in equity he then re- 
covered for the estate 14,000 acres of 
land, on part of which oil had been dis- 
covered. By selling part of this the es- 
tate has realized $1,780,000, and it still 
has left 8,000 acres for which it has been 
offered $2,500,000. 

Mr. Blakeman has built up this mag- 
nificent estate from next to nothing. In 
fact his efforts drew from Judge Hen- 
shaw of the Supreme Court the state- 
ment in open session that: 

"I and the members of this court ap- 
preciate and have some knowledge of 
the great volume of evidence that has 
been required and the vast labor cast 
upon you, and can bear testimony to the 
great value of your services to that 
(Bell) estate." 

Such a eulogy as that is so unusual 
as to be almost unique. It leaves noth- 
ing to be added. 



AFTER all, there Is nothing like 
being prepared when one sets out 

to accomplish some certain thing. 

If a. man establish a grocery 
business, he succeeds if he has trained 
himself in this field and knows its pit- 
falls beforehand; tie probably fails if 
he does not know 
them. It is much the 
same in any line o f 
work. The professions 
— the doctor, the law- 
yer — are particularly 
required to prepare 
themselves well if they 
are to attain anything 
other than a mediocre 

Louis P. Boardman 
owes his achievements 
as a lawyer largely to 
the fact that when he . 
had the opportunity to 
study and learn the 
rudiments of law he 
took advantage of it. 
The result was that 
Mr. Boardman began 
doing things immediately after he was 
admitted to the bar. And he has been 
doing things — big, important things — 
ever since. 

Born in 1874 at Reno, Nevada, Mr. 
Boardman is the son of Judge W. M. 
Boardman and Mariah (Harris) Board- 
man. His father was prominent in 
legal circles, both at the bar and on 
the bench, and three of his four sons, 
Louis P., Philip C. and Joseph Board- 
man, have followed in his footsteps by 
entering the profession also. The elder 
Boardman was at one time district at- 
torney for Washoe and Story counties, 
Nevada, and later on was elected judge 
for the same district. 

When it came time for Louis P. Board- 
man to seek an education he was placed 
in the hands of private tutors in Reno. 
Later on he went for a time to the State 
University of Nevada at Reno, and 
when about 16 years old came to Cali- 
fornia with his parents. Soon after- 
ward he entered the University of the 

Pacific at Santa Clara, but when Stan- 
ford University was opened at Palo 
Alto he enrolled at the new institution 
of learning as a member of its first 
class. He was graduated from Stanford 
with the degree of A. B. 

Judge Boardman was at this time 
practicing law in San 
Francisco and the son 
took up his legal stud- 
ies in his father's of- 
fices. Judge Boardman 
was called away of- 
tentimes to various 
points in Northern Cal- 
ifornia in the course 
of his practice, and his 
son on such occasions 
carried on the routine 
work here. This gave 
him valuable experi- 
ence along practical 
lines, experience which 
he soon was to turn to 

Louis P. Boardman 
was admitted to the 
bar in California and 
almost immediately afterward repre- 
sented Theodore Durrant, convicted of 
murder, in Durrant's appeal to the 
United States Supreme Court on a ques- 
tion of constitutional law. The lower 
court's ruling was affirmed by the 
higher tribunal, but Mr. Boardman 
was nevertheless complimented on the 
able manner in which he had prepared 
the plea. 

Mr. Boardman's law practice is of a 
general nature, though largely confined 
to civil law. He has appeared a great 
deal in probate matters and at present 
represents the widow in the million- 
dollar estate of the late George K. Por- 
ter. This takes him to Los Angeles a. 
great part of the time, although he 
maintains his permanent offices in the 
Crocker building, San Francisco. 

In politics Mr. Boardman is a Re- 
publican. He has not sought political 
preferment, however, contenting him- 
self merely with working on behalf of 
his friends. 


THERE is such a thing as failing in 
a business or professional career 
because one does not realize that, 
to attain anything worth while, 
one must "stick close to the job." Pleas- 
ures allure and the enticement is too 
strong; or, perhaps, the mind and heart 
are not in the work 
and what seems pleas- 
ure in itself to one man 
appears as dull, grind- 
ing labor to another. 
Once a man lets his in- 
terest wander he is al- 
most foredoomed to 
failure. He might as 
well quit it all right 

All of which is but a 
prelude to the state- 
ment that one of the 
main reasons Philip C. 
Boardman has s u c - 
ceeded in the practice 
of law is that he real- 
ized all this at the out- 
set. When he entered 
upon the study of his 
profession he knew 
that it would require 
work — and plenty of it. 
He was cognizant of the fact that years 
of close application were before him, 
and that if he were to make a name for 
himself among his co-practitioners he 
must "stick close to the job." 

He has done so, and the results have 
been most gratifying. 

Mr. Boardman is a, native of Nevada. 
He was born at Reno, January 14, 1883. 
His father was Judge W. M. Boardman, 
at one time district attorney for Washoe 
and Story Counties, Nevada, and after- 
ward district judge for the same judi- 
cial division. He was eminently suc- 
cessful in the law, both as a practi- 
tioner and on the bench, and his sons 
came naturally by their inclination for 
a similar career. Mr. Boardman's mother 
was Mariah (Harris) Boardman. 

When it came time for Mr. Boardman 
to seek an education he was sent to the 
public schools of his home city. When 
he was but 7 years old his parents 
moved to California, living for a time 
at Monterey and Pa^flc Grove. 

In 1900 Philip C. Boardman was grad- 
uated from the Monterey County High 
School. He had long planned to follow 
In his father's footsteps as a lawyer, as 
well as In those of his elder brother, 
Louis P. Boardman, who was at that 

time associated in practice with Samuel 
M. Shortridge. He began his law studies 
in this office, where he remained for a 
little more than two years. In the early 
part of 1909, having taken the necessary 
examinations and passed them, he was 
admitted to practice in the State courts 
of California by mo- 
tion before the District 
Court of Appeal, First 
Appellate District. In 
1911 he was admitted 
also to the United 
States District Court. 

Immediately follow- 
ing his admittance Mr. 
Boardman began prac- 
ticing alone, and he 
has continued so until 
now. His business is 
of a general nature, 
although the bulk of 
his work is in civil 
law. He has practiced 
in every court in San 
Francisco and has ap- 
peared in a profes- 
sional capacity also in 
nearly every county of 

One of Mr. Board- 
man's coups was his rejuvenation of 
the Combined Oil Company, for which 
he is general counsel. The concern's 
property in the North Midway field 
was, three years or so ago, in debt to 
the extent of $100,000. Mr. Boardman 
was retained to take charge of the situ- 
ation, and he not only put the corpora- 
tion entirely out of debt but he accumu- 
lated for it assets which today are in 
excess of a quarter of a million dollars. 
This was another result of close appli- 
cation, coupled with the ability to see 
through and unravel a. complex prob- 
lem, keeping in touch with all the 
details as the matter worked itself out. 
Although his political leanings are 
toward the Republican party, Mr. 
Boardman is a \ politician in no sense 
other than that he is naturally inter- 
ested in anything that affects the city 
or the nation in which he lives and 
works. He has never sought office, nor 
has he been active politically except on 
behalf of a friend whom he felt worthy 
of the preferment sought. 

His flourishing practice has also kept 
Mr. Boardman too busy to take part in 
matters of a social or fraternal nature 
and he has done little along either line. 
He Is unmarried. 



consulting engineer to- Colonel 
Daniel C. Jackling, has designed 
and constructed mining and met- 
allurgical plants of a greater combined 
tonnage capacity than has any other one 
engineer in the world. And for Colonel 
Jackling alone he has 
built plants that will 
exceed in capacity 
those of any other Ave 
metalliferous mining 
interests in the world 
put together. 

Pew persons, per- 
haps, aside from those 
personally acquainted 
with Mr. Bradley, or 
those whose interests 
lie in the mining or en- 
gineering field, know 
this, important fact. 
And the reason they do 
not know it is simply 
that Mr. Bradley has 
not told them. Work- 
ing quietly and with- 
out ostentation, stick- 
ing close to his duties 
and making them his 
paramount interest, he 
has shunned publicity 
rather than sought it. 

Arid these are the 
very reasons why he 
has been able to accomplish so much in 
so comparatively few years. 

Mr. Bradley is a native of Colorado. 
He was born at Arvada January 17, 
1867, the son of William C. Bradley, a 
pioneer in the Western transportation 
field, and Emily P. (Graves) Bradley. 
After receiving his education in the 
public schools of Golden, Colorado, Mr. 
Bradley, while still a youth, served a 
four years' apprenticeship in machinery 
and mechanical engineering at Denver. 

Immediately following this period of 
training Mr. Bradley accepted a posi- 
tion as draughtsman for the Moffat 
mining properties at Leadville. Ever 
since then he has been associated con- 
stantly with the development and ad- 
vancement of the mining industry in 
the various districts of the country. 

For eighteen years now Mr. Bradley 
has been associated with Colonel Jack- 
ling. Something like a , dozen years ago 
began those famous experiments with 
low-grade copper ores that marked a 
new epoch in the growth of the coun- 
try's copper production. Mr. Bradley 
worked throughout that campaign 
which , has placed Bingham, Utah, on 
the map and made of the Utah Copper 
Company one of the controlling factors 
in the copper industry of the United 

At Bingham was discovered a verita- 
ble mountain of low-grade porphyry. 

The ore was comparatively easy to 
mine, but a deterrent was found in the 
inability of the miners to make the 
working of the porphyry commercially 
profitable. Some of the foremost min- 
ing engineers of the nation declared 
that the ores could not be made to pay. 
At Copperton Mr. 
Bradley designed and 
built for the Utah Cop- 
per Co. a 500-ton ex- 
perimental reduction 
plant. Here was taken 
ore from Bingham, 
nearby, and here, the 
experiments were car- 
ried on. Data collected 
by means of these ex- 
periments not only 
made possible the 
project for working 
the Bingham ores, but 
it was used in the con- 
struction of a plant at 
Garfield, Utah, with 
12,000-ton daily capac- 
ity. This plant is now 
handling. 26,000 tons a 

The mine at Bing- 
ham is today world- 
famous. In character 
it is unique. By reason 
of the process which 
makes it possible to 
work with profit the low-grade ores, it 
is also possible to mine with steam 
shovels. Round and round the moun- 
tain of ore the shovels have eaten their 
way, lessening slowly but none the less 
surely the vast mineral deposit. 

Previous to all this, Mr. Bradley built 
the plant of the Anaconda Copper Com- 
pany in Montana. From there he went 
to Bisbee, Arizona, and ere.cted the cop- 
per converting plant of the Copper 
Queen Consolidated Mining Company. 
After the completion of this work there 
followed the designing and building by 
Mr. Bradley of the reduction works of 
the Ray Consolidated Copper Company 
in Arizona and of the Chino Copper 
Company in New Mexico. 

Following his construction of the 
plant of the Butte & Superior Copper 
Company, Ltd., at- Butte, Montana, Mr. 
Bradley in 1912 went to Alaska and built 
the works of the Alaska Gold Mines 
Company. At the present time Mr. 
Bradley is designing another gold re- 
duction plant, one of 10,000 tons daily 
capacity for the Alaska-Juneau Gold 
Mining Company, a concern controlled 
by San Francisco and New York in- 

Through all these years Mr. Bradley 
has worked early and late, without even 
so much as a, vacation. Considering 
this, his record is easily accounted 



IP diversified experience has anything 
to do with a man's success — and al- 
most anyone will aver that it does 
have a lot to do with it — then Her- 
bert F. Briggs should accomplish as 
much in the practice of law as he accom- 
plished in the ministry or in the world 
of business. For he 
has really seen life 
from a great many an- 
gles — seen it at its best 
and at its worst, with 
plenty of the mediocre 
in between. 

Ever since he was a 
youth Mr. Briggs had 
been attracted to the 
law as a profession. 
But his desire to be- 
come a lawyer was 
outweighed by another 
desire, that to help men 
who needed help. He 
would have gone into 
social service had such 
a thing been as well 
defined then as it is to- 
day. But at that time 
the church seemed ,to 
him to be the only 
medium through which 
he could "work — so he 
entered the church. 

Mr. Briggs was born 
March 16, 1866, at Sac- 
ramento, California, 
and his father, Martin Clock Briggs, 
was a clergyman of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. His mother was Ellen 
(Green) Briggs, a native of New York 
State. The elder Briggs came to San 
Francisco on the vessel that brought 
the news of California's admittance into 
the Union. 

The present Mr. Briggs was educated 
in the Lincoln School of San Francisco, 
having moved to this city with his par- 
ents when he was- about 12 years old. 
He was graduated from the Alameda 
High School in 1884, and after attend- 
ing for a time Evanston Academy -at 
Evanston, 111., entered Northwestern 
University of Evanston. He received 
the degree of A. B. from this institu- 
tion in 1889, and after three years in 
the Boston University School of The- 
ology was given the degree of S. T. B. 
in 1892. The same year, by virtue of 
independent study, he gained the degree 
of A. M. from Northwestern. 

By this time Mr. Briggs' plans for 
entering the ministry had crystallized. 
In 1890 he had entered the California 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and in 1892 he formally en- 
tered the ministry, although his final 
ordination did not come until 1894. His 
first pastorate was at Dos Gatos, Cali- 
fornia. Three years he remained there, 
but in 1895 was transferred to Santa 
Cruz, where he served two years more. 

At this juncture Mr. Briggs, desiring 

to further his erudition the better to 
equip himself for the work that was 
to follow, spent a year and a half at 
the University of Berlin, specializing in 
New Testament Greek and theology. 
Then he spent an unusually productive 
period of six months reading theology 
in the library of the 
British Museum i n 
London. He returned 
home in 1899 to accept 
the chair of New Test- 
ament Greek in the 
Iliff School of Theology 
in Denver, but the next 
year returned to the 
California Conference. 
Placed in charge of 
the work of the City 
Missionary Society of 
San Francisco in 1900, 
Mr. Briggs occupied the 
position for one year, 
or until 1901, when he 
and his brother, A. H. 
Briggs, were made 
joint pastors of Cen- 
tral M. E. Church,- San 
Francisco. In 1903, 
however, under .the 
firm and honest convic- 
tion that he could not 
accomplish in the min- 
istry what he desired 
to accomplish he — and 
his brother also — re- 
signed in good standing and with- 

For the succeeding five years Mr. 
Briggs gained exceedingly valuable ex- 
perience in the business world, along 
various lines. During this period he 
made a business trip around the world, 
his journey taking him to Africa, Eng- 
land, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, 
China and Hawaii. By this time the 
way was open for him to study law, 
and he took advantage of it, pursuing 
his work privately for three years. 
He passed the examinations before the 
District Court of Appeal and was ad- 
mitted to the bar May 4, 1911. 

Ever since then Mr. Briggs has been 
practicing law independently. He con- 
fines himself largely to civil law, with 
very little criminal work, and most of 
his practice is along probate and cor- 
poration law lines. 

Mr. Briggs is a Republican but not 
active in politics, although he served as 
a member of the Board of Library Trus- 
tees of Berkeley and also as a member 
of the Berkeley Board of Education. 
He belongs to the Masonic order, San 
Francisco Commandery No. 42, Knights 
Templar, to the Elks and to the Beta 
Theta Pi fraternity. He was married 
August 6, 1892, in Evanston, 111., to Miss 
Sara M. Foster. The couple have had 
two sons, Arthur Foster Briggs, now 
dead, and Herbert Mitchem Briggs, 
aged 13. 



THE dealer in financial securities 
occupies an important Place in the 
business community. If he is ca- 
pable, if he builds up his clientele 
and gains the confidence of investors, 
he may become one of the foremost 
figures in industrial progress. 

Land does not de- 
velop itself; money is 
needed to start colon- 
ization going. Indus- 
tries do not spring into 
popular favor without 
much preliminary la- 
bor and exploitation 
and the erection of 
factories, and for all 
this there is needed 
capital. Everywhere 
one turns one sees in- 
dustries of a hundred 
different natures 
which, were it not for 
proper financing, would 
not, could not, exist. 

William H. Bying- 
ton, Jr., dealer in first 
mortgage bonds and 
consistent booster for 
his native State, has 
for the past decade de- 
voted his time to the 
financing of California 
industrial projects. 
When called upon to provide money for 
a. meritorious business cause, he has 
gone forth and secured it, no matter how 
great a sum might be required. His 
deals have run into the millions, and 
not only from other sections of the 
United States but from Europe has the 
needed capital been brought. 

Born August 29, 1S82, at Downieville, 
Sierra County, Mr. Byington is the son 
of William H. Byington and Nellie 
Frances (McDonald) Byington. The 
family removed to San Francisco in 
1889 and Mr. Byington attended the 
public schools of this city, being grad- 
uated from Lowell High School in 1901. 

In 1902 Mr. Byington entered the law 
department of the United Railroads of 
San Francisco as an adjuster of damage 
claims. He remained with this corpo- 
ration until 1907 when he became inter- 
ested in the sale of bonds and entered 
this new field, where he has since 
mapped out his career. 

At the outset Mr. Byington sold Cali- 
fornia securities in New York, Boston 
and Washington, D. C, as well as in 
other Eastern financial centers. • This 
necessitated his traveling a, good 

In 1909 he was retained by a group 
of developers to inspect a large tract of 
delta land in San Joaquin County. He 
did so, and on his advice a corporation 
was organized and began the develop- 
ment, following out Mr. Byington's 









ideas as to the financial procedure. 
This project represented something like 

The next big deal came in 1911, when 
Mr. Byington, on behalf of certain Cali- 
fornia investors, went to Washington, 
D. C, and offered Truxtun Beale 
$3,000,000 for his fa- 
mous 275,000-acre Te- 
jon ranch in Kern and 
Los Angeles Counties. 
Mr. Byington had raised 
the money and was 
ready to close the deal 
at once; but Mr. Beale 
refused the offer and 
the plan was stifled. 

The same year Mr. 
Byington branched out 
and became interested 
in oil securities. In the 
same Eastern field in 
which he had started 
out he sold first mort- 
gage bonds of produc- 
ing California oil com- 
panies, at the same 
time handling other 
strong industrial secu- 
rities as he had done 
from the first. His oil 
operations lasted until 
1913. Since then he has 
handled other high- 
class bonds in various sections of the 
country, while maintaining offices in 
San Francisco. 

The great European war, which has 
been so universally disastrous to the 
financing of American business schemes, 
also had its effect upon the operations 
of Mr. Byington. He was forced to halt 
two big deals, although they will un- 
doubtedly be carried through to a suc- 
cessful conclusion when the situation 
gets back to normal again. 

Mr. Byington, in one of these deals, 
brought French capital here for the 
purpose of a large development project 
in the San Joaquin Valley. There is 
involved $2,500,000. French representa- 
tives were here from Paris to bring the 
matter to a close, but were forced by 
the war to return home. 

Mr. Byington has invested heavily in 
California lands and securities on his 
own account, being a firm believer in 
the stability and future of the State. 
Professionally, he has confined his ef- 
forts in the past few years to placing 
high-grade first mortgage bonds on the 
Pacific Coast and through the Eastern 

In 1907 Mr. Byington was married in 
San Francisco to Celia Breitstein and 
has one daughter, Virginia, aged 5 
years. He confines his social activities 
largely to membership in the Olympic 



WHEN the fire of April, 1906, 
swept over San Francisco, all 
but razing the city to the 
ground, it destroyed, along 
with hundreds of others, the business of 
Russell W. Cantrell, who at that time 
conducted the Sterling Jewelry Com- 
pany. It also marked 
a turning point in Mr. 
Cantrell's life and ca- 

For some time be- 
fore the conflagration 
Mr. Cantrell had been 
planning to take up 
the study of law. The 
fire decided him. From 
then on he was deter- 
mined he would carry 
his stock in trade "un- 
der his hat," where It 
would be at. least com- 
paratively safe. Ac- 
cordingly he studied, 
was admitted to the 
bar, began practic- 
ing — and more and 
more each year since 
has he had cause to 
congratulate himself 
on the change. 

Mr. Cantrell is a. na- 
tive of San Francisco. He was born 
August 28, 1881, the son of Joseph B. 
Cantrell, who was in the mercantile 
business here, and Catherine T. (Shea) 
Cantrell. He attended the public 
schools and in 1898 was graduated from 
the San Francisco Polytechnic High 

By this time Mr. Cantrell was look- 
ing forward to one day becoming an 
attorney at law. He was restrained 
from entering the profession at once, 
however, by the advice of his father, 
who believed that no man can under- 
stand the law thoroughly unless he be 
at least 25 years old. This view was 
the same as that of a. chief justice of 
the Supreme Court, who had himself 
abided and whose own career he 
offered as proof of his argument. 

At the time he left school Mr. Can- 
trell was still a youth. In casting 
about for something to occupy his time 
until the right moment for a law ca- 
reer should be at hand he saw an op- 
portunity as traveling salesman for a, 
firm of diamond importers. He em- 
braced the chance and for the next 
seven or eight years traveled about on 
the Pacific Coast, from Alaska as far 
south as Mexico. This gave him a 

broad experience in business, which has 
since proved extremely useful to him. 

In 1905 Mr. Cantrell launched the 
Sterling Jewelry Company, dealing in 
imported diamonds, fine watches and 
jewelry, and continuing so until the 
wiping out of stock and store by the 
fire. Before the end of 
the same year he en- 
tered Stanford Univer- 
sity, where he special- 
ized in law. Two years 
later, after accom- 
plishing a three-year 
course — by dint of 
close application and 
by attending the sum- 
mer sessions at the 
University of Califor- 
nia — in two, he re- 
turned to San Fran- 
cisco, took the bar ex- 
amination and was ad- 
mitted to practice. 

During his second 
year at college Mr. 
Cantrell paid his own 
"way by working as an 
expert accountant for 
a number of mercantile 
firms. He had taken 
up accountancy imme- 
diately after leaving high school and 
had perfected himself in it. 

Mr. Cantrell has had practically no 
practice in the criminal courts. He 
has confined himself to civil law, spe- 
cializing in corporation and like work. 
He also has appeared in numerous cases 
in the probate courts. At present he 
represents a son of "William A. Nivells, a 
pioneer miner of Amador and Trinity 
Counties who died in 1912 leaving an 
estate supposed to be worth something 
in the neighborhood of a million 
dollars. A contest of Nivells' will 
is shortly to be brought to trial. 
Mr. Cantrell is general counsel for a 
number of real estate and other cor- 

What with the stress of his legal 
practice, Mr. Cantrell has not found 
time to be active in politics, although 
he is a stanch supporter of the Demo- 
cratic cause, and belongs to the Iroquois 
Club. He also holds membership in the 
San Francisco Bar Association, the San 
Francisco Commercial Club and the Na- 
tional Union. 

Mr. Cantrell was married February 22, 
1908, in San Francisco to Miss Louise 
Bacigalupi. His home is at 2201 Lar- 
kin street. 



ON December 28, 1912, when the first 
street car was operated on the 
Geary street line of the Municipal 
Railways, the new traction enter- 
prise boasted of but 10.90 miles of single 
track roadway, 9 cars and 56 employes 
of all kinds. During the four remain- 
ing days of the first 
month the receipts to- 
taled $3,300.60. 

On July 1, 1915, a lit- 
tle more than two 
years and a half later, 
the Municipal Rail- 
ways "was operating 
over about 44 miles of 
single track, and had 
168 large type and 29 
small type cars and 
850 employes of all 
classes. The first four 
days of the month 
brought into the cor- 
poration's coffers $26,- 

"When one considers 
that the Municipal 
Railway system was 
placed almost at once 
on a paying basis un- 
der the management of 
Superintendent Thom- 
as A. Cashin, there is 
reflected on Mr. Cashin 
not a little honor and 
credit. In fact the suc- 
cess of the municipal enterprise, which 
has attracted world-wide attention, is 
attributed in a large degree to Superin- 
tendent Cashin's practical experience 
and his unremitting efforts toward en- 
largement and betterment of the city of 
San Francisco's project. 

Thomas A. Cashin is a native of San 
Francisco. He was born here June 19, 
1879, the son of D'Arcy M.. Cashin, min- 
ing promoter and at one time engaged 
in the ice and cold storage business, and 
of Kate E. (Taylor) Cashin. Mr. Cashin 
attended the grammar schools, the Boys' 
High School and the Polytechnic High 
School, afterward studying law in the 
office of A. P. Van Duzer. This was in 

A year and a half later a combination 
of circumstances made it imperative 
that Mr. Cashin give up his studies and 
look for a lucrative position. He be- 
came a clerk in the office of the sec- 
retary of the Los Angeles Street Rail- 
way Company, located in San Francisco, 
and in the next three years stored up his 
first experience in street railway work. 
A better opportunity then presenting 
itself, Mr. Cashin went with the old 
Market Street Railway Company in the 
capacity of stenographer and time- 
keeper in the maintenance of way and 
construction department. From this he 
went into the accounting department, 
later becoming material clerk in charge 
of all materials, and finally became as- 
sistant engineer of way and construc- 

In 1909 another opportunity for ad- 

vancement was placed before him. This 
was the superintendency of the Fresno 
Traction Company at Fresno, Califor- 
nia, and Mr. Cashin accepted. Here his 
capability and progressiveness mani- 
fested itself and he soon had gained an 
enviable reputation as a practical di- 
rector of street rail- 
way affairs. The re- 
sult was that when the 
Municipal Railways of 
San Francisco became 
a reality, railway ex- 
perts recommended Mr. 
Cashin as superintend- 
ent and he was ap- 
pointed such October 7, 

And let it be said 
here that the appoint- 
ment was not involved 
wi,th politics in any 
way. Mr. Cashin is a 
Republican but he is 
not a politician. He 
stood on his record, as 
he stands today, was 
chosen for the place 
from among six aspi- 
rants and at the time 
of his appointment 
knew none of the Su- 
pervisors nor was he 
acquainted even with 
Mayor Rolph. 

Starting in with 
practically nothing, Superintendent 
Cashin has built up the Municipal Rail- 
ways in a remarkable manner. In the 
first year of its operation the Geary 
street road paid into the city treasury 
the total profit above all expenditures 
of $85,345.80. 

The Geary street line, which orig- 
inally ran from Geary and Market 
streets to 33rd avenue and Geary and 
to 10th avenue and Fulton, was ex- 
tended to the Ferry and to the beach. 
Then was added the Van Ness avenue 
line to the exposition, then the Stockton 
street line, the Columbus avenue, the ' 
Presidio and Ferries, the California 
street and the Chestnut street, the latter 
skirting the exposition. 

San Francisco's Municipal Railways 
probably hold the record in the United 
States for rapid and substantial growth. 
Today the road is in a healthy financial 
condition, and in fact it has never known 
a deficit. Its accounts are kept abso- 
lutely according to the system pre- 
scribed by the Interstate Commerce 
Commission and approved by the State 
Railway Commission, and it is run on a 
strictly civil service basis. After indi- 
cating what the road would pay in taxes 
and other expenses if privately owned, 
it is still shown that it is making money. 
Already it has redeemed $101,000 worth 
of its outstanding bonds. 

Mr. Cashin, the superintendent, be- 
longs to the Elks, the Fresno Sequoia 
Club and the Indoor Yacht, Transporta- 
tion and Olympic Clubs of San Fran- 
cisco. He is unmarried. 



FORTY strenuous years has Judge 
John Bertrand Clayberg spent as a 
member of the legal fraternity — 
forty years that have brought to 
him manifold honors and a varied ex- 
perience. One-time chief of the Su- 
preme Court Commission of Montana, he 
is also considered an 
expert on mining and 
irrigation laws and for 
years has lectured on 
those subjects in some 
of the leading univer- 
sities of the country. 

Judge Clayberg was 
born October 8, 1853, 
at Cuba, Illinois. His 
father was George 
Clayberg, a farmer, 
and his mother Eliza- 
beth (Baughman) 
Clayberg. He was 
educated in the public 
schools of his birth- 
place and in 1875 was 
awarded the degree of 
LiLi. B. by the Univer- 
sity of Michigan. From 
1874 until 1876 he was 
in the office of Thomas 
M. Cooley of Ann Ar- 
bor, the eminent judge 
and author and at 
that time dean of the 
law department of the 
University of Michi- 
gan, employed in writ- 
ing notes and preparing memoranda for 
Judge Cooley's works on Taxation and 
Torts, which have been considered au- 
thority on those subjects for many 
years. He was admitted to the bar at 
Ann Arbor March 20, 1875. 

Upon leaving Judge Cooley's office, 
Judge Clayberg opened law offices in 
Lansing-, Michigan, in partnership with 
S. L. Kilbourne. A year later he re- 
moved to Alpena, Michigan, and formed 
a partnership with Robert J. Kelley. 
This continued five years, when it was 
dissolved and Judge Clayberg went into 
association with George H. Sleator. 

In the fall of 1884 Judge Clayberg 
came west to Helena, Montana, and 
became a law partner of Thomas H. 
Carter. When Carter went to Congress, 
in 1889, Judge Clayberg formed a new 
association with N. W. McConnell, Chief 
Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. 
The same year, 1889, Judge Clayberg 
was honored by the appointment, com- 
ing from Governor Preston B. Leslie, 
to the office of Attorney General of 
the Territory of Montana. 

After admitting to the partnership 
M. S. Gunn, Judge Clayberg's firm in 
1894 opened a branch office in Butte. 
Then followed various changes until 
September, 1912, when Judge Clayberg 
removed to San Francisco, where he 
continues to practice in partnership 
with Welles Whitmore. 

Judge Clayberg has appeared in vari- 
ous cases of great importance, particu- 
larly in Montana. He was in the famous 
Drum-Lummoh mining litigation, which 
was litigated most vigorously by many 
prominent mining lawyers of the United 

States for twenty-seven years, and dif- 
ferent phases of which went to the 
United States Supreme Court six or 
seven times. In this litigation the Su- 
preme Court finally established many 
important points in mining law. He 
also was in the A. J. Davis will case 
at Butte, wherein was 
involved an estate val- 
ued at about $10,000,- 
000. Bob Ingersoll was 
associated with him as 
one of the attorneys. 
This litigation extend- 
ed over 22 years and in 
its various phases was 
before the Supreme 
Court of Montana some 
ten or twelve times. 
Several millions of dol- 
lars also was involved 
in the long drawn-out 
litigation between F. 
Augustus Helnze and 
the Amalgamated Cop- 
per Company, covering 
a period of ten years. 
During this entire 
litigation Judge Clay- 
berg was counsel for 

In 1903 Judge Clay- 
berg was appointed 
chief of the Supreme 
Court Commission of 
Montana, which was 
organized for the pur- 
pose of assisting the Supreme Court in 
deciding a great accumulation of cases 
and in clearing its calendar. During the 
two-year existence of this commission 
Judge Clayberg wrote some 87 of the 
opinions of this court, which may be 
found in volumes 28 to 32 of the Mon- 
tana reports. 

In 1891 Judge Clayberg was called 
to lecture on mining law in the law 
department of his alma mater, Univer- 
sity of Michigan, and for 24 years con- 
tinued as non-resident lecturer there. 
About 1903 he added to his course lec- 
tures on irrigation law. He also lec- 
tured on mining law at Columbia 
University, and from 1903 to 1905 at 
the Montana School of Mines at < Butte". 
He gave Stanford University a course 
of lectures on extra-lateral rights in 
1913, and in 1914 lectured on the Drum- 
Lummon mining litigation before the 
law department of the University of 
California. By invitation, he read pa- 
pers on the law of "Percolating Water" 
before the San Francisco Bar Associa- 
tion. He is the author of the article on 
"Mines and Minerals" published in the 
Cyclopaedia of Law and Procedure 
(commonly known as "Cyc"), which is 
considered as authority on the subjects. 
He has contributed liberally to legal 
publications for the past quarter of a 

Judge Clayberg organized a law de- 
partment at the University of Montana 
in 1911 and was made honorary dean, 
filling the chair of mining law and 
code pleadings until 1912. He is still 
consulting dean and lecturer on mining 
law for the institution. 




THE province of an attorney at 
law is Just as he himself defines 
it. He may restrict himself to 
the preparation and trial of le- 
gal issues after the controversy has 
reached the point where only a court 
can settle it; he may act, rather, in 
an advisory capacity, 
with the idea of fore- 
stalling lawsuits or of 
compromising without 
going into court at all 
— or he may make of 
himself a combination 
of lawyer and business 
promoter, thereby as- 
suming a double role. 

Alfred Austen Cohen 
has extended his oper- 
ations as an attorney 
so as to include all of 
these. When he was 
but 21 years old he or- 
ganized and financed 
the Jamaica Storage 
Warehouse Company 
in New York City, 
with $100,000 capital 
stock, fully paid up. 
Within the past year 
he has promoted suc- 
cessfully the $1,000,000 
Independent Ice & Cold 
Storage Company of San Francisco, 
which bids fair to become one of the 
largest corporations of its kind on the 
Pacific Coast. 

Born November 4, 1S86, in New York 
City, Mr. Cohen is the son of Koppel 
Cohen, a builder, and Anne (Rosenthal) 
Cohen. He attended the public schools 
and the Jamaica High School of New 
York City, and from there went to the 
law school of the University of Denver. 
After about a year at this institution he 
continued his studies at the Brooklyn 
Law School of St. Lawrence University, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., and finished the course 
in 1907. 

It was just after he finished school 
that Mr. Cohen, seeing the opportunity 
to launch a warehouse enterprise, or- 
ganized the Jamaica Storage Ware- 
house Company, of which he became 
president and general manager. In the 
succeeding four years he became prom- 
inent in this field of business, being a 
member of the executive committee of 
the New York Furniture Warehouse- 
men's Association. He still represents, 
in a legal way, a number of warehouse 
concerns, and occasionally writes legal 
opinions on such matters for storage 
warehouses all over the country. 

In 1911 Mr. Cohen came to Nevada and 
was admitted to the bar in October of 
that year before the Supreme Court at 
Carson City. A few days later he gained 

admittance also before the Supreme 
Court of California at Sacramento. He 
practiced at Reno, however, until June 
1, 1913, when he came to San Francisco 
and opened offices here. While in Ne- 
vada he was attorney for a number of 
corporations, among them the Union Oil 
Company and the Pa- 
cine Telephone & Tele- 
graph Company. He is 
at present general 
counsel for several 
corporations in this 
city, and also is the le- 
gal representative of 
the San Francisco 
Property Owners' As- 

After a year of pre- 
liminary work and ne- 
gotiations, Mr. Cohen 
caused to be incorpo- 
rated June 4, 1915, the 
Independent Ice & Cold 
Storage Company, by 
the aid of Eastern cap- 
ital. The capitalization 
of $1,000,000 is fully 
paid up and the con- 
cern will begin actual 
operations as soon as 
its factory is com- 
pleted. At the outset 
the company will confine itself largely 
to a. development of the local mar- 
ket, but later on it will extend its 
business throughout the State. It ex- 
pects to offer strong competition in 
the manufacturing and sale of ice and 
in the maintenance and operation of 
cold storage warehouses. Mr. Cohen is 
a director of the new corporation and 
its general attorney. 

Mr. Cohen is a member of the San 
Francisco Bar Association, the San 
Francisco Commercial Club, the New 
York Society of California and of the 
Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. He 
was married in San Francisco April 21, 
1915, to Edna B. Sonnenfeld, daughter 
of Abraham and Ida Meyer Brown, and 
resides at the Richelieu Hotel. His of- 
fices are in the Insurance Exchange 

Although he may be classed among 
the younger generation of San Fran- 
cisco attorneys, Mr. Cohen has already 
carved out for himself a career that 
many older members of his profession 
might well envy. He has found a happy 
combination of abilities. He was long 
enough in business to learn its tenets 
as thoroughly as he has learned those 
of the profession of the law. And with 
such a "stock in trade," many more big 
things — things that ultimately will 
prove a great benefit to the communi- 
ty — may well be expected of him. 



ALL the world admires a self-made 
man. The one who fights his way 
alone against adversity in hew- 
ing out a career has certain at- 
tributes not found in the individual 
who gets assistance over the rough 
places. And they are attributes which 
have much to do with 
our civilization. 

Had Francis Marion 
Colvin, San Francisco 
attorney, been over- 
chary in his youth of 
soiling his hands with 
work or of burning the 
midnight oil over some 
volume of learning — 
this story probably 
would not be told. But 
he was not, so long 
as he gained the end 
he sought. 

Francis M. Colvin 
was born March 21, 
1870, on a farm in Os- 
wego County, New 
York, son of John C. 
Colvin and Susan B. 
(Wallace) Colvin. The 
winter months found 
him at school and the 
summer months he 
spent helping his 
father till the farm. 
Time that might have 
been passed in play he 
employed in clearing land and plowing, 
and hauling tan-bark and railroad ties 
with an ox team. Thus he learned, when 
still a mere boy, what it meant to 
work for what he received. At times 
he "hired out" as farm hand to neigh- 
bors. The job always was tough, the 
pay always slight; but ■what pennies 
he could spare went for books, which 
he read with avidity. 

How hard earned was Mr. Colvin's 
money may be illustrated by a story. 
One winter there was an unusually 
heavy snowfall and the snow banked 
up five or six feet deep on the school- 
house and outbuildings. Fearing it 
would cause damage the school trustees 
employed young Colvin to shovel it off. 
The work was difficult, the climbing 
dangerous; but the boy accomplished 
it satisfactorily, whereupon he received 
— twenty-five cents. And to collect the 
money he had to walk twelve miles 
through the snow for an order from 
the school clerk, return it to the trus- 
tees for their signatures, take it back 
to the clerk to be signed by him, then 
present it to the school treasurer for 

When thirteen years old Mr. Colvin 
left home to make his own way. He 
continued attending school and work- 
ing at odd jobs, by which he managed 
to support himself. At fifteen he began 
a course at Leonardsville Academy, 
Leonardsville, New York, working his 
way through in three years. He spe- 
cialized in pedagogy, and after passing 

the examinations was, at the age of 
eighteen, a licensed school teacher. His 
first school was at Fast Winfleld, New 
York, where he taught a year, then re- 
moved to Nebraska and taught there 
another year. The Far West attracted 
him and he went to Western Washing- 
ton, where he taught 
eight years more. 

Mr. Colvin was es- 
sentially of that 
sturdy type of school- 
master who sets an 
example of thrift as 
well as of conduct be- 
fore his pupils. Dur- 
ing the vacation 
period he worked the 
harder. One year he 
donned overalls and 
secured a place as la- 
borer on the grading 
of the C. B. & Q. Rail- 
road in Nebraska. An- 
other he labored in a 
brickyard; again he 
lived the rough life of 
the logging camp; and 
still again he pushed a 
wheelbarrow on the 
grade of the Seattle, 
Lake Shore & Eastern 
Railroad. In Wash- 
ington he successfully 
handled real estate and 
insurance as a side 
line and one year, between school sea- 
sons, pursued the same work in San 

Where there is a determination to 
succeed, there usually is a way. Mr. 
Colvin found it by taking up two 
Government claims of 320 acres, one 
a homestead. The latter was in the 
midst of a dense forest four miles 
from the nearest neighbor and in order 
to perfect his title Mr. Colvin was 
obliged to build a cabin and live there. 
He broke a trail through virtually 
primeval woods and spent upward of 
six years in this sylvan retreat. There 
was where the plucky schoolmaster 
really learned the value of good books 
as companions. Carrying his books 
into the woods on his back he delved 
into them, gaining a thorough knowl- 
edge of general literature. At the same 
time he became an expert woodsman 
and horseman. 

Abandoning teaching in 1898, Mr. Col- 
vin traveled for a year selling furni- 
ture. His spare moments he had spent 
studying law. In 1899 he became a 
student in the office of John W. James 
of Anaconda, Montana, working in the 
copper mills to pay his way. Subse- 
quently he attended Northern Indiana 
University, graduated and entered the 
law department of Yale, which awarded 
him his LL.B. in June, 1905. After 
several months of special study he was 
admitted to the bar in California in 
1906 and has since practiced law in San 
Francisco with ever-increasing success. 



IP a man is to accomplish anything 
in his struggle with the world, he 
must have the hacking of capital, 
which may be either money or a 
certain amount of "mother wit." Just 
how much capital, and what sort, is 
required to attain success depends 
largely upon the man 
himself. Some men 
have been enabled to 
get a start with as lit- 
tle as a dollar; in the 
case of some others, 
ten thousand dollars 
would not be half 

When Henry Lysan- 
der Corson, now a San 
Francisco attorney at 
law, started out to se- 
cure a practical educa- 
tion in the D i r i g o 
Business College at 
Augusta, Maine, his 
father gave him $100. 
Thereafter he made his 
own way, teaching 
school that he might 
attend school, and 
otherwise bestirring 
himself for a liveli- 

Mr. Corson was born 
on a farm in Canaan, 
Maine, July 26, 1870. 
His parents were Ly- 
sander Hartwell Cor- 
son and Susan C. (Mor- 
rison) Corson and was the youngest of 
a family of seven, nearly all of whom 
came to California in the early days 
and still reside here. 

Following his early education in the 
public schools of Canaan, Mr. Corson 
went to Augusta to attend business col- 
lege. When he was graduated from 
this institution, in 1889, he was plan- 
ning on a business career, but six 
months as a baker's employe caused 
him to change his mind and to de- 
cide that his education was incom- 

Mr. Corson was naturally precocious 
in his books. He had not been enabled 
to attend school between the age of 13 
and 17, but when he did get the op- 
portunity he took full advantage of it. 
He attended East Corinth Academy at 
Bast Corinth, Maine, for a time, then 
taught for about a year in country 
schools, two terms at Skowegan and 
one term at Clinton. Wishing to pre- 
pare himself for college he entered Hig- 
gins' Classical Institution at Charles- 
ton, largely because a school teacher of 
his youth was then principal there. He 
was graduated from Higgins' in 1892 
with the college preparatory degree, 
being one of the Institution's first 

Finances — or, rather, the lack of 
them — still stood between Mr. Corson 
and the coveted college , course. To 
overcome this he went back to teach- 
ing. For a year he was principal of 
the high school at New Vineyard, 

Maine, thereafter accepting a better 
position as principal of the Standish, 
Maine, high school, and after another 
year going to a still better post as prin- 
cipal of the high school at York Har- 
bor, Maine. Then, being in a position 
to carry out his plans, he matriculated 
at Colby College of 
Waterville, Maine, 
which graduated him 
in 1898 with the degree 
of A. B. While in col- 
lege Mr. Corson be- 
came a member of the 
Chi Chapter of the 
Zeta Psi fraternity, 
and was particular- 
ly active in student 
affairs. His class was 
the largest that had 
ever entered Colby up 
to that time, and it 
carried away with it 
more championships of 
various kinds than any 
preceding class. Al- 
though not an athlete 
himself, Mr. Corson 
was elected general 
manager of the college 
athletics for a year. 
He managed the foot- 
ball team of '97, which, 
for the first time in 
Colby's history, over- 
came every eleven in 
sight, losing not a sin- 
gle game. 
Leaving Colby, Mr. Corson began his 
study of the law in the offices of Ed- 
mund F. Webb of Waterville, then one 
of the best-known lawyers in Maine. 
Soon afterward Mr. Webb died, and 
Senator Charles F. Johnson took over 
his offices. With him Mr. Corson con- 
tinued his studies until he was ad- 
mitted to the bar before the Supreme 
Court of Maine at Bath on August 28, 

1900, after which he practiced his pro- 
fession in Waterville for about a year. 

In 1901 Mr. Corson came west to Cal- 
ifornia and was married February 21, 

1901, to Miss Eva Carolyn Shorey of 
Oakland, who was, and still is, well 
known as a singer. He was admitted to 
the practice of law in California May 
4, 1901, and a month or so later opened 
offices in San Francisco, where he has 
continued in general law practice ever 
since, with considerable corporation and 
probate work. Today he is president 
and general counsel of the Gold Star 
Mining Co., general counsel for the 
King Placer Mining Co., and has been 
counsel for the Knights of the Mac- 
cabees. He is past-president of the 
State of Maine Society of California 
and a member of the Iroquois Club, has 
held various offices in the fraternal or- 
ders of the Masons, Druids and Macca- 
bees, and is a Knights Templar. 

Mr. Corson is a nephew of the late 
Dighton Corson, a renowned lawyer, 
once Attorney General of Nevada and 
later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
of South Dakota. 



FOR more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury Joseph Belleau Coryell has 
been a part of the business life of 
San Francisco and California. 
Starting' in in a small way, he has ad- 
vanced step by step until today his in- 
terests are among- the most important 
in the State. And he 
has acquired them all 
by keen foresight, 
close application and 
the ability to grasp an 
opportunity when it 
appeared to him. 

When the late E. H. 
Harriman, some years 
ago, was just begin- 
ning to extend his 
holdings in the West, 
and at a time when he 
.needed a representa- 
tive of proved ability 
on this coast, he chose 
Mr. Coryell as the man 
for the place. Subse- 
quently Mr. Coryell did 
much valuable work 
for the railroad mag- 
nate. One of the direct 
results was that' he 
was offered the pres- 
idency of a railroad, 
but this he declined, 
preferring to devote 
himself to his private 
projects. He is still in- 
terested in Harriman 

A native of San Francisco, Mr. Coryell 
was born June 4, 1871. His father was 
Dr. John R. Coryell, at one time a wide- 
ly-known physician, and his mother 
was Zoe Christine (Belleau) Coryell. 

Following his education Mr. Coryell, 
after casting about for a bit, looking 
over the field with an eye to the future, 
decided that the real estate business of- 
fered unusual advantages. Accordingly 
he opened a real estate office in San 
Francisco in 1888. Real estate has been 
his forte ever since, although he had 
branched out in a number of other di- 
rections as an investor. 

In the course of his activities Mr. 
Coryell began pondering over the prob- 
able growth of the city and the direc- 
tions in which it was most likely to ex- 
pand. Land that he believed to be well 
situated he acquired, and it was not 
long before his prognostications began 
coming true. Today he owns more spur- 
track property than any other man in 
San Francisco. 

It is largely by reason of his opera- 
tions on Islais Creek, however, that 
Mr. Coryell has become locally famous 
for his keen business foresight. "Nerve" 
is the only word that expresses the 
opinion of San Francisco financiers and 
realty dealers when first they saw Mr. 
Coryell begin the acquirement of the 
blocks of mud flats on the south side of 
Islais Creek. No man, they reasoned, 
could possibly risk his money on those 
unsightly swamps unless he were pos- 
sessed of colossal nerve. 

This Mr. Coryell had, without doubt. 
And the very ones who declared at the; 
time that the future was too uncertain 
to risk such an investment, have long 
since expressed their complete respect 
for the wisdom of the man; for the 
new San Francisco harbor project on 
Islais Creek has be- 
come a reality, for 
which condemnations 
have been carried on 
under what is known 
as the India Basin Act 
by the State of Cali- 

With his wonderful 
foresight Mr. Coryell 
saw, what everyone 
else seemed blind to, 
that nowhere else on 
the San Francisco wa- 
terfront were there 
lands available in the 
future for manufac- 
turing purposes. He 
saw, too, that the ter- 
minal building opera- 
tions of the three 
great transcontinental 
railroads entering Cal- 
ifornia must, of neces- 
sity, group themselves 
about Islais Creek 
especially since the 
franchise for the 
Southern Pacific and 
the Santa Fe's joint 
line on Kentucky 
street bound the two railroads to build 
a steel drawbridge over the Islais chan- 
nel on demand. 

He could not overlook this assembling 
of railroad terminal facilities in the 
heart of the only waterfront land left 
in San Francisco available for factory 
purposes; nor that the interests around 
Islais Creek, railroad, lumber and the 
like, already established, were going to 
demand the clearing and deepening of 
that waterway. Here was in sight a 
combination of land and water shipping 
facilities unequaled anywhere. To a 
far-seeing man like Mr. Coryell the pos- 
sibilities were obvious. 

He had the nerve to back his judg- 
ment and the initiative to put it into ef- 
fect. He was alone in both. He is the 
only man who has spent his money to 
improve lands on San Francisco's wa- 
terfront in anticipation of the coming 
large influx of manufacturers. And as 
a result of his purchases on Islais Creek 
he is now the largest individual owner 
of waterfront sites in San Francisco, 
and the owner of the only waterfront 
property now available for factories. 
No one else owns any free waterfront 
property in this city. All the rest is 
held either by the State, the city or by 
private corporations which are making 
use of it. 

To men of stanch hearts and un- 
swerving loyalty and hope — men like 
Joseph B. Coryell — San Francisco owes 
her bigger and better existence as the 
metropolis of the West. 



NOWHERE, perhaps, can one 
crowd so much varied experience 
into so short a period as in the 
newspaper "game." Becoming 
familiar, as one does, with every walk 
of life, seeing men with all their foibles 
and hidden characteristics bared to the 
gaze — no wonder such 
a profession makes for 
worldly wisdom. And 
by virtue of this wis- 
dom does it generally 
make for success in 
another sphere later 

John Hammond 
Crabbe, attorney at 
law, rounded out his 
education by a turn in 
the newspaper busi- 
ness. For 14 months 
he was city editor of 
the Chico Daily Enter- 
prise and for 8 months 
more a reporter on the 
Woodland Mail; he still 
is a newspaper man in 
a way, for since 1905 
he has held credentials 
of the Northern Press 

Born October 14, 
1880, at Charlottetown, 
Prince Edward Island, 
Mr. Crabbe is the son 
of William and Lavinia 
Emily (Prowse) 
Crabbe. In 1884 he 
came with his parents to California 
and later attended school at Nimshew, 
Butte County. Subsequently the family 
removed to a place on Butte Creek and 
Mr. Crabbe was obliged to ride horse- 
back about seven miles over two 
mountain ranges to West Branch school 
in Big Chico Canyon. Moving again in 
1896 to Chico, Mr. Crabbe was graduated 
from the grammar schools in 1900 and 
entered the Chico State Normal, fin- 
ishing in January, 1905. To pay his 
own way, he worked in the saw mills 
during vacation. He was very active 
during his Normal course. He was 
captain of the football, baseball and 
basketball teams; member of the track 
team; president of the associated stu- 
dent body and of the Ilakawinn De- 
bating Society; delegate to the Sacra- 
mento Valley Interscholastic Athletic 
League; editor of the Normal Record 
and for a year Normal reporter on the 
Chico Enterprise. 

Also, during four years, Mr. Crabbe 
was a member of Company A, Second 
Regiment Infantry, National Guard of 
California, and as such served a month 
in Oakland and San Francisco follow- 
ing the 1906 Are. He served seven 
years with the Chico Volunteer Fire 
Department and for a year was its 
foreman, as "well as member of the 
hose team that held the State record 
for racing. He received a certificate 
of exemption from engine company 
No. 2. 

In March, 1907, after two years as a 
newspaper man, Mr. Crabbe came to 
San Francisco and took a course in 
stenography from the San Francisco 

Business College. After several months 
in mercantile establishments he was 
employed, in February, 1908, as ste- 
nographer and law clerk for John 
O'Gara, then assistant district attorney. 
He studied law at odd moments and in 
the evenings and was admitted to the 
bar May 13, 1910, in the 
District Court of Ap- 
peal in San Fran- 
cisco. He was ad- 
mitted to the U. . S. 
District and Circuit 
Courts May 14, 1910. 
Until January, 1912, he 
practiced and at the 
same time acted as 
clerk for leading law- 
yers of the city. He 
then opened offices for 
himself at 947 Pacific 

Mr. Crabbe confines 
himself largely to civil 
practice, particularly 
probate and contract 
law. He has been re- 
tained in several cases 
of note; within five 
years after beginning 
practice he was re- 
tained by one side or 
the other in personal 
injury damage suits 
aggregating more than 
$100,000. He was one 
of the two attorneys 
who represented La- 
vinia Crabbe, as administratrix of the 
estate of William R. Crabbe, in a dam- 
age suit against the Mammoth Channel 
Gold Mining Company, in which a Butte 
County jury awarded a unanimous 
verdict of $20,000, the largest personal 
injury damages ever given in the 
County. The case was the first prose- 
cuted under the Workman's Compensa- 
tion law. 

Another hard-fought case in which 
Mr. Crabbe was employed was that in- 
volving the competency of Mrs. Louella 
Noonan Stapleton. Mr. Crabbe and his 
associates, after an eight-day jury trial 
in San Francisco, succeeded in restoring 
to competency their client, "who owned 
property worth about $100,000. He is 
also one of the attorneys in an impor- 
tant will contest pending in Buchanan 
County, Missouri, and in a similar ac- 
tion pending before the Superior Court 
of San Diego County, California. 

Mr. Crabbe has traveled extensively, 
professionally and for pleasure. He is 
prominent in the Masons, belonging to 
King Solomon's Lodge No. 260, F. & A. 
M.; King Solomon's Chapter No. 95, R. 
A. M.; California Commandery No. 1, K. 
T. ; and Islam Temple of Shriners; he 
holds membership also in the San Fran- 
cisco Bar Association, California State 
Automobile Association, American 
Automobile Association, Mentor Asso- 
ciation and the Betsy Ross Memorial 
Association of Philadelphia. He is a 
lover of the best in literature, art and 
music and enjoys motoring as a relaxa- 
tion. He was married in San Francisco 
in 1908 to Mary Freeman Armstrong. 



THE correct way thoroughly to 
learn a business or profession is 
to start in at the bottom and 
work one's way upward until the 
highest pinnacle is attained. The man 
who does this is reasonably certain that 
when he at length reaches the goal he 
will be able to main- 
tain himself there; the 
man who gets there by 
the money or influence 
route is, on the other 
hand, as the insurance 
agent would say, a de- 
cidedly bad risk. 

When H. S. Crocker, 
founder of the flourish- 
ing publishing and sta- 
tionery house of H. S. 
Crocker Company, in- 
troduced into the busi- 
ness his son, Charles 
Henry Crocker, he en- 
couraged the young 
man to begin right at 
the beginning and work 
his way up. Charles 
H. Crocker heeded the 
advice and followed it. 
Today he is at the head 
of the business. 

Mr. Crocker was born 
August 29, 1865, at 
Sacramento, in whose 
public schools he re- 
ceived his early train- 
ing. When nine years old he came to 
San Francisco with his parents and at- 
tended the public schools of this city, 
matriculating in 1883 at the University 
of California. He was graduated in 1887 
with the degree of A. B. His business 
training began at once. 

The house of Crocker was established 
in 1856 at Sacramento. In 1872 the 
San Francisco branch was opened and 
gradually the branch outgrew the 
parent establishment, although the lat- 
ter is still maintained. In 1890 the 
business was incorporated under the 
name of H. S. Crocker Company. In 
1912 the stationery and publishing con- 
cern of Cunningham, Curtiss & Welch 
of San Francisco and Los Angeles was 
purchased. This gives the Crocker 
company three houses, those at San 
Francisco and Sacramento under its 
own name and that at Los Angeles re- 
taining the name of Cunningham, Cur- 
tiss & Welsh Company. 

At the outset the present Mr. Crocker 
became an apprentice in his father's 
lithographing department. There was 
no favoritism shown him, no lessening 
of his work because he was the pro- 
prietor's son. Successively, he passed 
through the printing, binding, en- 
graving and stationery branches, then 
gained experience as a clerk and at 
length, proving his general capability, 
was elected one of the company di- 
rectors. Subsequently he became treas- 
urer, then vice-president, and upon the 
death in 1904 of his father, assumed the 

A great deal of the satisfying growth 
of the combined concern has been due 
to the unremitting work of Mr. Crocker. 
Today the H. S. Crocker Company is 
the largest of its kind west of Chicago. 
Its stationery, manufacturing and 
selling department is one of the largest 
in the United States 
and it owns the biggest 
and most up-to-date 
printing plant this side 
of St. Louis. Its book 
stock runs into the mil- 
lions and it also does 
a large business in of- 
fice furniture and fix- 

What with the ex- 
ceptional service the 
company has given in 
the past, together with 
an even better service 
at present made pos- 
sible by an extension 
of its plant, "Crocker 
Quality" has come to 
have a great deal of 
significance. Every 
contract accepted by 
the H. S. Crocker Com- 
pany in printing, bind- 
ing and lithographing 
is manufactured com- 
plete in its own fac- 
tory 1 , by skilled me- 
chanics; and every 
bit of work passes through hands of ex- 
acting inspectors to insure its faultless- 
ness and worth. This firm is the pioneer 
railroad ticket printer of the west. 
Crocker lithographs and blank books, 
like Crocker stationery, are recognized 
as standard. Its plant, housed in two 
immense Class A buildings, contains 
more than 140,000 square feet of floor 
space, well lighted, airy and scrupu- 
lously clean. 

Mr. Crocker is president of the H. S. 
Crocker Realty Company in addition to 
being president of the H. S. Crocker 
Company of San Francisco and Sacra- 
mento and of Cunningham, Curtiss & 
Welch Company of Los Angeles; he is 
vice-president of the American National 
Bank and the Italian-American Bank of 
San Francisco and of the Giant Powder 
Company, Consolidated; and a director 
of the Union Sugar Company, the 
Alameda Sugar Company and the Agri- 
cultural Credit Corporation. 

He is affiliated with no fraternities, 
but is a life member of the Olympic 
Club, commodore of the Pacific Motor 
Boat Club and holds active membership 
in the Bohemian Club, San Francisco 
Press Club, San Francisco Commercial 
Club and Belvedere Golf and Country 
Club. He is chairman of the convention 
committee of the National Association 
of Stationers, which met in San Fran- 
cisco in October, 1915. 

Mr. Crocker was married in 1905 at 
Del Monte to Carlotta I#. Steiner. His 
home is at Belvedere. 



SO replete has been the career of 
George Edward Crothers, Judge of 
the Superior Court of San Fran- 
cisco, with those matters considered 
as really worth while, that to do justice 
to a narration of them would require a 
volume. And even then the half would 
not be told. 

Born May 27, 1870, at 
Wapello, Iowa, he came 
with his parents to San 
Jose, California, when 
he was 13 years old and 
attended the public 
schools of the latter 
place. He entered Le- 
land Stanford Junior 
University upon its 
original opening day 
and received the de- 
gree of A. B. in 1895 in 
the departments of 
history and political 
science with its "pion- 
eer" class and the A. M. 
degree in 1896 in its 
law department. 

In 1896 he was ad- 
mitted to practice law 
in the State and Fed- 
eral courts. He en- 
joyed a flourishing 
practice in partnership 
with his brother, T. G. 
Crothers, until his ap- 
pointment without so- 
licitation to the Superior bench August 
12, 1913. 

Judge Crothers, before this, was one 
of the three attorneys of record for 
the executors and trustees in the cele- 
brated litigation over the trust and 
properties of the estate of the late 
Senator James G. Fair from 1899 to 
1902 and had personal charge of the 
forgery branch of the litigation. 

Under commission from Mrs. Leland 
Stanford, Judge Crothers and his broth- 
er drafted the new section of the State 
Constitution relative to Stanford Uni- 
versity, besides several legislative acts 
and amendments to the University char- 
ter, and prepared re-cpnveyances of the 
entire endowment of the institution 
under the new terms and pursuant to 
the constitutional amendment. These 
and other steps were to remedy defects 
in the form of the endowment grants 
and in the terms of the trusts constitut- 
ing the charter of the University, some 
of which, according to a subsequent Su- 
preme' Court decision, would have 
been fatally defective to the title of 
the University and its great endow- 

To forestall litigation after Mrs. 
Stanford's death, Judge, Crothers and 
his brother in 1903 drafted and secured 
the passage of an act similar to the 
McBnerney Act, pursuant to which his 
brother brought suit on behalf of the 
University trustees against Mrs. Stan- 
ford and all the world to establish the 
validity of the University titles and 
the terms, validity and legal effect of 

the University trust conditions. The 
judgment in this special proceeding is 
now the final authority governing the 
actions of the University trustees and 
its management. 

During the closing years of Mrs. 
Stanford's life Judge Crothers admin- 
istered, as sole trustee, 
a trust involving about 
$6,000,000, and con- 
veyed it to the Uni- 
versity at her death 
without there having 
been one word of pub- 
lic comment to excite 
litigation. This saved 
to the University be- 
tween $2,000,000 and 
$3,000,000, owing to the 
law preventing the 
giving of more than a 
third of an estate for 
charitable or educa- 
tional purposes by will. 
It likewise made a le- 
gal contest futile. And 
although he had acted 
as attorney for the 
University Trustees in 
the settlement of the 
estate, he asked only 
the same consideration 
for his work and re- 
sponsibility in both the 
special trust and the 
estate as was shown 
each of the other two attorneys in the 
matter of the estate alone, ignoring the 
large fees allowed him by the legal 
Code, which were the same as those al- 
lowed executors. 

One of the important amendments to 
the University charter, validated by Mr. 
Crothers' work, "was one limiting the 
term of office of trustees thereafter ap- 
pointed or elected to ten years. He 
and WhitelawReid were appointed trus- 
tees by Mrs. Stanford October 3, 1902, 
and were the first to serve ten-year 
terms under this provision. Judge 
Crothers was the first graduate to be 
selected as a trustee. He also inaugu- 
rated a plan whereby the Alumni Ad- 
visory Board will hereafter nominate a 
succession of graduates of the Univer- 
sity as trustees. Judge Crothers is the 
only graduate of Stanford to be selected 
twice as president of the alumni asso- 

Judge Crothers' educational activities 
have covered an unusually wide field. 
He has been vice-president of the As- 
sociation of American Universities, is 
chairman of the Board of Trustees of 
the San Francisco State Normal School, 
and trustee of the Stanford Kindergar- 
ten Trust, which maintains five kinder- 
gartens in San Francisco, and of the 
Stanford Union. He is a member of 
various societies and organizations of 
national .scope. 

His endorsement for re-election in 
1914 to the Superior bench by the San 
Francisco Bar Association was by the 
highest vote given any candidate, 



BOYS and girls of today little re- 
alize, when they trudge from 
their homes a block or two to a 
convenient schoolhouse, what it 
meant to their fathers and grandfathers 
half a century and more ago to acquire 
an education. Not then, as now, was 
the schoolhouse just 
around the corner. 
Oftentimes it was 
many weary miles 
away; and the farmer 
lad who sought book 
learning in the forties 
and fifties of the last 
century must needs 
have within him a 
steadfast determina- 
tion to better his lot. 
The character of Al- 
len Allsopp Curtis 
needs no better intro- 
duction than the state- 
ment that while he was 
obtaining his early 
education he walked to 
school three miles, 
then walked home 
again and for one year 
walked five miles each 
way. This statement 
explains the whole of 
Mr. Curtis' subsequent 

Allen A. Curtis was 
not only a mining 
pioneer in Nevada but 
a redwood lumber 
pioneer in California. He was born 
November 1, 1838, near Belleville, Essex 
County, New Jersey. His father was 
Melville Curtis, a native of Newton, 
Lower Palls, Massachusetts, and one 
of nine brothers, all qf them paper 
manufacturers. Mr. Curtis' mother was 
born of English parents at Quebec, 
Canada, her father being Commissary 
General and a prominent landowner. 
She was a direct descendant of the 
Morris brothers of Revolutionary war 
fame, one of them, Gouverneur Morris, 
casting his lot with the Colonies while 
the other remained loyal to King 

In September, 1859, Mr. Curtis came 
to California by way of the Isthmus. 
Making his way to Sacramento he was 
clerk in a hardware store there until 
March, 1865, when he went to Austin, 
Nevada, to take up silver mining. 
Nevada in those days was far different 
than the Nevada of today and it was 
only the hardiest of pioneers that went 

Mr. Curtis first was secretary of a 
mining company at Austin. It was not 
long before his ability, perseverance 
and integrity were recognized and in 
1868 he was made superintendent and 
manager of the concern. He continued 
to forge ahead until in 1871 he owned 
a controlling interest in the property — 
six years after he started in the busi- 
ness. For several years he was suc- 
cessful in mining. Then came the 
demonetization of silver, and this so 
reduced the value of the mining prop- 
erty that Mr. Curtis closed out his 

Nevada interests in 1885. During the 
seventeen years that Mr. Curtis man- 
aged the property, however, it pro- 
duced silver to the value of $16,000,000. 
While he was the projector in the 
erection of a quartz mill at Mineral 
Hills, Elko County, Nevada, and its 
manager for several 
years, Mr. Curtis did 
not devote all his time 
to wresting silver 
from the earth — but 
branched out. He be- 
came half owner in the 
firm of Paxton & Cur- 
tis, which owned banks 
at Austin, Eureka, Bel- 
mont and Reno, Ne- 
vada. These banks 
met all claims against 
them during the panic 
caused by the tem- 
porary closing of the 
Bank of California of 
San Francisco. Mr. 
Curtis also was part- 
ner in the firm of 
Gage, Curtis & Com- 
pany, which operated 
a large merchandise 
store at Austin. 

"When, in 1885, Mr. 
Curtis disposed of his 
Nevada holdings, he 
returned to California 
and opened a large 
redwood lumber plant 
in the then virgin 
forests of Eel River, Humboldt County. 
The plant in which he was interested 
and which he managed was the nucleus 
for the town of Scotia. To connect 
Scotia with the outside world a rail- 
road was constructed by the company 
to Alton along the Eel River bluffs. 
This redwood plant then was the larg- 
est in California. Mr. Curtis closed 
out his interests there in 1902 and since 
has become interested in two redwood 
plants in Mendocino County. 

His Humboldt County railway ven- 
ture was preceded by his construction 
and operation of a narrow gauge rail- 
road from the terminus of the Nevada 
Central Railroad at Reese River Valley 
to the mines of Lander Hill in the 
Loyabe range through Austin, Nevada. 
Mr. Curtis also was at one time county 
treasurer for Lander County, Nevada, 
and at another time its county com- 
missioner and built the Episcopal 
Church at Austin. He was instrumen- 
tal in the founding of the Bank of 
Eureka and the Savings Bank of Hum- 
boldt County at Eureka, California, and 
was a director in each several years, as 
he was also of the Santa Rosa Bank 
at Santa Rosa, California. 

Wide recognition of his ability has 
come to Mr. Curtis. At the dedication 
of the Nevada State pavilion at the 
Panama-Pacific Exposition he was re- 
ferred to as "a Nevada pioneer of 
Whom we are justly proud." At present 
his interests lie in several California 
corporations, among them the Glen 
Blair Redwood Company and the Pa- 
cific Coast Redwood Company. 



THERE is enough of romance in 
the life of Dr. M. C. M. Soares 
d'Albergaria to furnish material 
for a set of gripping volumes, 
for though a son of wealthy parents, 
people of leisure, he has from the he- 
ginning made his own way; and there 
is enough of versatil- 
ity in Dr. d'Alberga- 
ria's character to com- 
mand the deepest in- 
terest. Mine operator 
and dealer, author, 
editor, manufacturer, 
doctor of medicine and 
of philosophy, and art 
connoisseur and col- 
lector of rare works of 
the masters — he has 
been the central figure 
in a decidedly unusual 
career, and today is a 
successful business 
man in San Francisco. 

Born in 1868 in Hor- 
ta, Portugal, Dr. d'Al- 
bergaria comes of a 
house widely known in 
Europe and one which 
gives him entry to the 
most exclusive circles. 
His father was the Earl 
T. Cardozo M. Soares 
d'Albergaria of Portu- 
gal, and his mother 
Lady Louiza de la Cer- 
da (Bettencourt) d'Al- 
bergaria. Dr. d'Alber- 
garia is a cousin of the Marquis Fur- 
nelles and the v Baron de Roches of 
Portugal, as well as of the Viscount 
de Borges da Silva of the Azores, and 
the late General Roque, major-general 
of the Portuguese army, and also of the 
Ariagos, late of the presidency of Port- 
ugal, and of the Lady Cardozo of Horta. 
Tet he is purely and simply an Ameri- 
can — and strictly without the hyphen. 

Following a period of instruction un- 
der the direction of private tutors, 
Dr. d'Albergaria ran away from home 
when twelve years old and came to the 
United States. He had read numerous 
alluring books, in which the "Western 
United States was described as fairly 
teeming with Indians, and as a land 
where gold lay around just waiting to be 
picked up. The young, imaginative boy 
determined to shoot a few Indians and 
gather up a stock of gold for himself. 

His first stop was New Bedford, Mas- 
sachusetts. From there he went to New 
York, then came on to California. For 
three years he made his way here, do- 
ing anything he could And to do, and 
attending school at San Ramon in or- 
der to learn the English language. Then 
he went to Australia whence, after a 
short time, he went back to Portugal — 
still a boy, but with many of his illu- 
sions shattered. There followed trips 
through Germany and other parts of 
Europe, to New York, to San Francisco, 
to Japan and China and on around the 
world again: Dr. d'Albergaria has cir- 
cled the globe three times. 

About fifteen years ago he returned 
to San Francisco. He began dealing in 
mines, buying, operating and selling 
them again, in California, Nevada and 
Idaho. Three or four years before the 
1906 Are he started, as a side issue, a 
perfumery business in San Francisco. 
Before long he had 
486 stations in the 
United States supply- 
ing agents eve r y - 
where. The Are all but 
wiped out this busi- 
ness and for two years 
Dr. d'Albergaria was 
abroad. But in 1909 he 
came back once more 
and resumed his min- 
ing operations, at the 
same time entering the 
manufacturing field. 

Today he is presi- 
dent of the Fayalense 
Mining & Milling Co., 
London Mining & De- 
velopment Co., Puama 
Mining Co., Saw Pal- 
metto Mining Co., and 
others, and sole owner 
of the d'Albergaria 
Manufacturing Co. of 
San Francisco, New 
York, Chicago and St. 
Louis, manufacturers 
of fire department sup- 
plies and several other 
commodities, and also 
the North Star and 
Black Warrior mines on the Mother 

Dr. d'Albergaria's fame as an art con- 
noisseur is the result of uany years of 
collecting. He owns Catelo's "Mid- 
night Scene on the Ocean," which art- 
ists such as Tojetti, Emilian Schoole of 
Vienna, and the late Benjamin Constant 
have pronounced the most realistic 
marine painting in the world. It was 
presented to his grand-uncle by Queen 
Maria Pia, late Queen of Portugal. It is 
valued at $40,000. Other gems in his col- 
lection, which probably is worth in the 
aggregate $250,000, are masterpieces by 
Benjamin Constant, A. Schreyer, Jose 
Madroso, Jacques, Artz and Fortuni. 
Art lovers from all over visit him to 
gaze upon these treasures. 

In 1898 Dr. d'Albergaria wrote and 
published in English the romance of 
"Sanche de Bazan," a work that en- 
joyed a large sale and which was trans- 
lated into Spanish, French and German. 
He has also written prolifically for 
magazines and newspapers and is at 
present president and editor-in-chief of 
Western Life and the Optimist, two 
weekly publications of editorial com- 
ment issued in San Francisco. 

Although he is an accredited doctor 
of medicine, Dr. dAlbergaria has prac- 
ticed in the profession only for a short 
period, and that in the late nineties. 
What with his business and editorial 
duties, and his relaxation in the field of 
art, he today finds his time fully oc- 



THERE will ever be romance in the 
story of a mining camp. The 
very nature of the thing makes 
for it., Men flock there with the 
single determination to wrest from the 
earth that which will make them im- 
mune thereafter from the petty strug- 
gles of existence. Some 
make their stake and 
go on their way rejoic- 
ing. Some fail, and the 
failures, no doubt, are 
in most cases largely 
in the majority. 

Of all the big gold 
"strikes" that have 
had this country 
agog at one time or 
another, that at Gold- 
field, Nevada, at the 
beginning of the pres- 
ent century, stands 
among those of the 
deepest popular inter- 
est. For one thing, it 
was close to home. 
For another thing, 
many of the details of 
its history were un- 

James R. Davis, 
president of the Round 
Mountain Mining Com- 
pany, is classified 
among "the big men of 
Goldfield." Fortune smiled upon him. 
Tears of prospecting over a vast extent 
of likely looking territory were crowned 
at last by the most surprising success. 
And by brains and backbone he has 
made of his success something to be 
proud of. 

To begin at the beginning, James R. 
Davis is a native of Indiana, born at 
Columbus, December 16, 1870. His 
father was Thomas C. Davis, a farmer, 
and his mother Martha L. (Ferguson) 
Davis. When he was young his parents 
moved to the little town of Minneapolis, 
Kansas, and in its public school Mr. 
Davis secured an education. He was 
but 15 years old, however, when he left 
school and home and started out to do 
for himself. 

Making his way to Denver, Mr. Davis 
studied pharmacy for two years. Min- 
ing appealed to him more than the 
drug business, however, and he started 
out with a prospector's outfit to hunt 
gold in the Sangre de Cristo range in 
Colorado. When he had money he 
prospected; when he didn't have money 
he mined for others. 

Until 1895 Mr. Davis mined in Colo- 
rado, with varying success. He then 
worked his way westward to Arizona 
and California. The winter of 1895-6 
he spent at Randsburg, Kern County, 
California, and from there he mined 
and prospected on up through the Pana- 
mint range, since made famous by 
numerous magazine stories, and into 
the Death Valley country. This con- 
sumed the years up to 1900, when Mr. 

Davis went to Nom«, Alaska, for a. six- 
months' sojourn. 

The long hoped-for "strike" did not 
come. Mr. Davis worked his way back 
to Oregon, thence to California, and the 
year 1902 found him in Tonopah, Ne- 
vada. This heralded the turn of the 
tide. After prospect- 
ing in and about Tono- 
pah and the bordering 
desert until 1904, Mr. 
Davis went to Gold- 
field, which was just 
beginning to come into 
notice. He was one of 
the pioneers in the new 
field, the big rush not 
coming until 1905. 

With J. P. Loftus, 
now of Hollywood, 
Cal., Mr. Davis took 
what was known as 
the Loftus-Davis lease 
on the Sandstorm mine. 
In November, 1904, 
they made their first 
strike, one of the rich- 
est surface finds ever 
known in Goldfield. 
Ore taken from the 
first round of holes 
blasted after the big 
strike ran on an aver- 
age $5,000 to the ton. 
In four months Sand- 
storm netted Loftus and Davis $140,000 

All this sounds like the wildest fiction. 
As a matter of fact, it is Goldfield history. 
Then Mr. Davis and his partner took 
a lease on the Combination Fraction 
mine, the richest lease in the group. 
In four months it produced $350,000. 
In 1906, with C. H. Botsford, Loftus 
and Davis took an option on the Com- 
bination mines for $4,000,000. They sold 
it two weeks later to the Goldfield Con- 
solidated, realizing a profit of 100,000 
shares of Consolidated worth then $9 
a share — $900,000! 

Immediately after this Mr. Davis 
bought the controlling interest in the 
Round Mountain Gold Mine, 60 miles 
north of Tonopah, with Loftus. It was 
then simply a little prospect hole, not 
producing. The price was $87,500, with 
five months in which to pay. In these 
five months the mine paid for itself; 
it has since produced about $2,750,000 
and Mr. Davis remains president of the 
company. By taking over the Nevada 
Hills mine at Fairview, Nevada, about 
the time he acquired the Round Moun- 
tain, Mr. Davis made another handsome 
profit. This mine, in which he sold 
his interests in 1910, has produced 
$2,500,000. The Round Mountain is still 
a big producer, giving up about $400,000 
a year. It is the richest property in 
the To-qui-ma range. 

Mr. Davis, in addition to his other 
interests, is today a director of the 
Pioneer Mines Company at Towle, 
Placer County, Cal., and of the Traffic 
Oil Company. 




k O unto others as you would like 
to have them do unto you; do 
a good act whenever the op- 
portunity offers the chance, 
and never do an injustice or avoidable 
injury or unklndness to another; be 
square in all your actions and always 
speak the truth, and, 
finally, practice charity 
— not merely by giving 
alms, but in judging 
the acts and motives 
of others. This is my 
conception of true reli- 
gion, and I think a man 
who adheres strictly to 
it will not go to a very 
bad place in the future 

This, in a nutshell, 
is the creed of S. C. 
Denson, , formed after 
more than half a cen- 
tury in the practice of 
law in the capacities 
of judge, prosecutor 
and simple attorney. 
It stands today as the 
retrospect of an inter- 
esting and fulsome ca- 
reer, bearing directly 
on a subject upper- 
most in Judge Den- 
son's mind — the proper 
punishment of those 
who break our laws. 

In odd hours Judge Denson has writ- 
ten a book, published in 1914 under 
the title "Our Criminal Criminal Law," 
in which he sets forth the problem of 
the so-called "criminal" as he has 
flound it. His belief — and it is no 
hurried conclusion — is that we go about 
the punishment of lawbreakers in a 
way that degrades them rather than 
works toward their cure or reforma- 
tion. By shutting them up and forc- 
ing them to live in the very idleness 
that doubtless helped make for their 
undoing in the first place, Judge Denson 
contends, we take away from convicts 
their chance of rejuvenation. 

If a man is wholly and irrevocably 
bad, says Judge Denson, he should be 
done away with entirely. But if he is 
not — and most of them are not — he 
should be given a chance to feel that 
he can work his way back to his for- 
mer position. And this can be attained 
by letting him work for a stipulated 
salary, his sentence being that he must 
earn so much money to regain his free- 
dom. This would make it possible for 
those dependent upon him to live in the 

Judge Denson was born September, 
1839, on a farm near Quincy, Illinois, 
the son of John Denson and Emily 
(Crawford) Denson. He went from the 
log schoolhouse to the brick school- 
house near his home, then in 1857 en- 
tered Abingdon College in Knox Coun- 
ty, Illinois. He left in 1860, just be- 

fore graduation, and came behind an ox 
team across the broad plains to Cali- 

Stopping at Oroville, then a flourish- 
ing mining town, Judge Denson mined, 
did odd Jobs, and finally entered the 
law offices of Joseph Lewis and Thomas 
Wells as a clerk. For 
three years he studied 
law, was admitted to 
the bar in 1864 and im- 
mediately opened an 
office in Carson City, 
Nevada. He was a 
member of the first 
Nevada legislature and 
was elected District 
Attorney. In December, 
1868, he returned to 

Locating this time 
in Sacramento, Judge 
Denson became a law 
partner of Judge H. O. 
Beatty, father of the 
late Chief Justice of 
the Supreme Court of 
California. In 1876 he 
was elected District 
Judge of the Sixth Dis- 
trict; four years later, 
when the new consti- 
tution established a 
Superior Court, he be- 
came Judge of the lat- 
ter body, continuing so 
for three years, when he resigned. 

Until 1888 Judge Denson was a part- 
ner of William H. Beatty, in that year 
elected Chief Justice. In 1889 Judge 
Denson came to San Francisco. He 
has since been a member of various 
partnerships, including one with Judge 
John J. De Haven, and at present, with 
his son, H. B. Denson, and A. E. Cooley 
is senior partner in the firm of Den- 
son, Cooley & Denson. 

Judge Denson has specialized in cor- 
poration and land law and has ap- 
peared in numerous court cases of note. 
One of these was a suit in equity, to 
recover the 50,000 acre Norris ranch at 
Sacramento. There was involved about 
$2,500,000 and Judge Denson won after 
taking the. case to the United States 
Supreme Court. Another notable case 
was the partition of the 43,000 acre 
Chabolla grant in Sacramento and San 
Joaquin Counties, which was divided 
between 150 claimants. Today the land 
is worth about $8,600,000. Judge Den^ 
son is general counsel for the Pacific 
Coast Steel Company, Pacific Surety 
Company, Charles Nelson Lumber & 
Shipping Co., and several others. 

For eight years Judge Denson was 
chairman of the board of trustees of the 
San Francisco Normal School. He is a 
past grand master of the Masons and 
prominent in the order. He is the 
father of three children, Mrs. D. A. 
Lindley of Sacramento, Mrs. George M. 
Mott, Jr., of Oakland and H. B. Denson. 



BEFORE entering into the mining 
Held, John T. Donaldson, president 
of the Phoenix Gold Mining Com- 
pany, had already attained success 
In two other pursuits — ranching and 
real estate. He has practically given up 
all his other interests, however, and to- 
day devotes most of his 
time to the develop- 
ment of his mines, he 
being also controlling- 
stockholder in the Gold 
Star, of the Alleghany 
district, Sierra County, 
which has already pro- 
duced $1,000,000. 

The Phoenix gold 
mine, which is being 
operated right along 
with profit, is on the 
famous California 
Mother Lode in the 
Nevada City district. 
It is situated in the 
center of what is con- 
sidered the best mining 
section in the world. 
The Harmony channel, 
which runs through it 
for a distance of about 
a mile, should produce 
from $1,000,000 to 
$5,000,000, and on one 
corner of the property 
is the famous Selby 
flat, from which so 
many millions of dollars were taken a 
few decades ago in surface digging. The 
Manzanita mine, with a record of pro- 
duction of $10,000,000, has been worked 
clear up to the Phcenix boundary line, 
and a mile and a half away, also on 
the Mother Lode, is the well-known 
North Star mine, which has produced 
more than $25,000,000 in its time. 

John T. Donaldson, head of operations 
at the Phoenix, is a native of Illinois. 
He was born in 1865 near Chicago on 
the farm of his father, George W. Don- 
aldson. His mother was Fannie (Mc- 
Donough) Donaldson, who, with her 
husband, came to America from near 
Belfast, Ireland. Two of Mr. Donald- 
son's maternal ancestors held high rank 
in the British Army. 

Mr. Donaldson attended the public 
schools near his home and when about 
7 years old moved west with his par- 
ents and settled at Livermore. Subse- 
quently he attended Professor Smith's 
College at Livermore for about three 
years. It had been his intention to be- 
come a lawyer and he delved deep into 
Blackstone during his spare moments. 
He gave up these plans, however, and 
did not take the necessary examinations 
for admittance to practice. 

About 1880, after leaving scliool, Mr. 
Donaldson moved with his parents to a 
ranch in the southern part of Monterey 
County, where he and his father began 
raising stock. For a quarter of a cen- 
tury he remained a rancher, continuing 
alone after the death of his father. 

Throughout this period Mr. Donaldson 
was a leader in Monterey County devel- 
opment, giving of both time and money 
toward the general upbuilding of the 
community and in inducing settlers to 
locate Government land. About 1890 he 
began raising the first wheat ever 
grown commercially in 
Monterey County and a 
few years later intro- 
duced the first com- 
bined harvester ever 
operated there. For a 
time it was necessary 
to haul the wheat crop 
60 miles by team and 
wagon to Soledad, then 
the nearest railway 

Abandoning the 
ranching business in 
1905 Mr. Donaldson es- 
tablished himself i n 
Oakland in order to 
give his children the 
advantages of an edu- 
cation. Meanwhile he 
operated extensively In 
city and country real 

In 1907 Mr. Donald- 
son evolved an idea 
which since has found 
great favor among the 
bankers — a plan for 
educational insurance. 
The project was that his company, the 
National Educational Society, should put 
out small savings banks in which par- 
ents could save money for the future 
education of their children. At inter- 
vals the smaller depositories were to be 
taken to a designated savings bank and 
the contents added to a fund which was 
to be allowed to accumulate. The fund 
could not be withdrawn until the child 
was 16 years old, and then only for the 
purpose of furthering its education, un- 
less, of course, the child died before 
that age, when the money became a 
sort of life insurance. If not withdrawn 
beforehand, the fund was to be allowed 
to remain in the bank drawing interest 
until the child became 21 years old, 
when It was to be paid over if desired. 
The project failed because of the fact 
that it was overtaken by the 1907 
money panic, when the general desire 
was to retrench. The idea has not died, 
however, for some of the banks are still 
perpetuating it and find it of great 
mutual benefit. 

Mr. Donaldson was married in 1890 in 
San Francisco to Cora E. Bresette and 
is the father of five children: George T. 
John E., Raymond L., Genevieve and 
Albert Donaldson. George T. Donald- 
son, the eldest, now aged 24, is manager 
of the Ogden store of the F. W. Wool- 
worth Co., and bears the distinction of 
having been that concern's youngest 
manager. John B. Donaldson is con- 
nected with the Oakland Tribune, and 
the other three are still attending school. 



ASIDE from his professional work, 
which has given him a high stat- 
*• us among the lawyers of San 
Francisco and California, "Walter 
E. Dorn has, by his activities in another 
direction, made himself known from 
one end of the country to another to 
literally hundreds of 
thousands of persons. 
This is in connection 
with his upbuilding of 
the Loyal Order of 
Moose, which has 
awarded him the high- 
est honors in its power. 

Born in Watsonville, 
Santa Cruz County, 
California, October 30, 
1870, Mr. Dorn is the 
son of N. A. J. Dorn 
and Rebecca Ellen 
("Walters) Dorn. He 
attended the public 
schools of his home 
city, later the Watson- 
ville High School, and 
in 1895 was graduated 
from Hastings College 
of the Law. He was 
admitted to the bar on 
May 25th of the same 

Starting out to prac- 
t i c e his profession 
alone, Mr. Dorn has 
done so ever since. 
His practice has been of a general civil 
nature though he has specialized, in a 
way, in commercial law. Today he is 
general counsel for a number of cor- 
porations of more than ordinary size 
and importance. 

For five years, beginning with 1897, 
he was assistant city attorney of San 
Francisco under Franklin K. Lane, the 
present Secretary of the Interior. He 
is a stanch Republican, although he 
confines himself to working for the 
general good of the party or on behalf 
of a friend, seeking no reward in the 
shape of a public office for himself. 

A little more than five years ago — ■ 
on August 9, 1910, to be exact — Mr. 
Dorn organized San Francisco Lodge 
No. 26, Loyal Order of Moose, a lodge 
that was to enjoy a growth no less than 
phenomenal. Less than a year after its 
formation the lodge had a membership 
of 4,400 and was the largest of any kind 
in the world. Mr. Dorn was chosen its 
first dictator, the title of the ruling 

The San Francisco lodge had made 
the Loyal Order of Moose "sit up and 
take notice." The Supreme Convention 
was impatient to see the dictator of the 
largest lodge and said so. Mr. Dorn 
accordingly took a big delegation in 
July, 1911, to Detroit, Michigan, where 
the Supreme Convention was in session, 
with the result that he was elected su- 
preme prelate, the third highest office 
in the order. 

At Kansas City, Missouri, the follow- 
ing year Mr. Dorn went up another step 
when the convention chose him as su- 
preme vice-dictator. And in . 1913 at 
Cincinnati, Ohio, he was elected su- 
preme dictator, after having been a 
member of the Moose only three years. 
This, in itself, was a 
record, but Mr. Dorn 
later was to set a still 
higher one. 

Meanwhile Mr. Dorn 
had served a year and 
a half as dictator of 
the San Francisco 
lodge, being for a time 
both dictator and su- 
preme prelate until he 
resigned from the 
lesser office. "When his 
term as supreme dic- 
tator expired in Au- 
gust, 1914, he was 
made a member of the 
supreme council, the 
governing body of the 
order, which is com- 
posed of the supreme 
officers and eight 
other elected mem- 
bers. This Is the first 
time, by the way, 
that a supreme dic- 
tator of the Moose has 
been retained in the 
supreme council. 
"While Mr. Dorn was supreme dictator 
he organized the military branch of the 
Moose along the lines of the United 
States Army. In the one year he or- 
ganized 611 companies in as many 
lodges of the order, and formed them 
into regiments of twelve companies 
each. There are four Moose regiments 
in California alone and the 1,600 lodges 
of Moose, with their combined mem- 
bership of 610,000, have in their drill 
teams more men than the country's 
standing army. 

Mr. Dora's crowning coup came with 
his preparations for Moose Day at 
the Panama-Pacific International Expo- 
sition on July 25, 1915. He succeeded 
in getting out for the parade detach- 
ments of the Army and the Navy on 
a Sunday, thereby breaking a rule that 
had been in force for the past sixty 
years. Considering the rule one of 
convenience rather than of necessity, 
Mr. Dorn left no stone unturned to 
have his requests granted. He went 
to the Secretary of the Navy, to the 
Secretary of "War and even to the Vice- 
President — who is himself a Moose — 
and Congressmen and Senators sent 
wire after wire to "Washington on his 
behalf. The result was one of the finest 
parades of the exposition year. 

Mr. Dorn belongs to a number of 
fraternal orders besides the Moose. He 
was married August 17, 1895, in San 
Francisco to Ellen J. O'Reilly and is 
the father of five children. 



EVERT business or professional man 
who is kept close to his duties is 
in need of some form of physical 
relaxation. He leaves his office or 
establishment, forgets it for a time and 
comes back refreshed not only in body 
but in mind as well. 

John Webster Dor- 
sey, for many years a 
practicing, attorney of 
San Francisco, takes 
his relaxation in fish- 
ing and hunting. And, 
as is his habit in other 
lines, he excels in both. 
When he goes after 
game he usually seeks 
big game — and gets it. 
When he fishes, he 
casts his line into the 
deep sea and hauls out 
something a little 
smaller than a whale. 

Most of Mr. Dorsey's 
fishing is done off San- 
ta ^atalina and Cle- 
mente islands. He is a 
member of the Tuna 
Club and catches, be- 
sides tuna, sword-fish, 
yellow-tail, black sea 
bass and jew-fish. In 
1912, with William B. 
Sharp, he effected the 
biggest catch of 
sword-fish ever made 
in a similar manner. In five days the two 
caught twelve giant sword-fish, rang- 
ing in weight from 155 to 260 pounds 
apiece. When one takes into consid- 
eration the real danger that lies in 
this sport, the feat may be appreci- 

In trap-shooting and hunting Mr. 
Dorsey has captured numerous medals 
and trophies. He belongs to the Em- 
pire Gun Club for duck shooting, and 
in fact holds membership in nearly 
every organization of this nature in 
California. Hunting trips to Alaska 
have brought him many trophies in the 
way of moose, caribou, deer, antelope 
and other big game. 

Mr. Dorsey was born June 4, 1852, on 
a farm in Harford County, Maryland. 
His father, Algernon Sidney Dorsey, was 
in the cattle and ranching business in 
California in the early fifties, later re- 
turning East. His mother was Mary 
Alice (Webster) Dorsey. His maternal 
grandfather was John A. Webster, a 
cousin to Daniel Webster. John A. Web- 
ster distinguished himself in the war 
of 1812 by defending the City of Balti- 
more from the British. He was a cap- 
tain in the Navy, as was his son, John 
A. Webster, Jr., subsequently. 

Following his attendance at the pub- 
lic schools of his birthplace, and of Bal- 
timore, Mr. Dorsey entered Delaware 
College at Newark and was graduated 
in 1875. The same year he came West and 
settled in Elko, Nevada, taking up the 

study of law in the office of Rand & 
Van Fleet, the latter now Federal Judge 
at San Francisco. He was admitted to 
the bar in 1877 and practiced law in 
Elko until 1891, the latter part of the 
time with George Baker and J. L. Wines. 
In 1891 the firm opened offices in San 
Francisco also and Mr. 
Dorsey came here, con- 
tinuing until 1893, then 
until 1895 was in part- 
nership with George 
Maxwell and R. M. F. 
Soto. From 1897 until 
1906 he was with the 
late R. R. Bigelow, for- 
mer justice of the Su- 
preme Court of Neva- 
da, and since 1911 has 
been a member of the 
firm of Dorsey and 

Mr. Dorsey's practice 
has largely been in 
mining and water liti- 
gation, with considera- 
ble corporation work 
also. He has been gen- 
eral counsel for a num- 
W? wk ber of concerns, among 

jJBBk them the Pacific Hard- 

JSt ware & Steel Co., John- 

JB KK; son-Locke Mercantile 
.jf^ Co. and Atlas Paving 

Brick Co. One of his 
recent important liti- 
gations was a suit he brought in 1904 
against the Silver Peak Mining Co. to 
enforce specific performance of a con- 
tract for the purchase of mining prop- 
erty estimated to be worth $10,000,000. 
The case has been appealed several 
times and is still pending in both State 
and Federal courts. Perhaps Mr. Dor- 
sey's most notable work in criminal 
law was his long defense of "Diamond 
Field Jack" Davis. Davis was convicted 
and three times sentenced to hang for 
the killing of two sheep herders in Cas- 
sia County, Idaho, in 1892. As a matter 
of fact, though he thought he might 
have been responsible for the herders' 
deaths, having had a gun-fight with un- 
known assailants, he was 15 miles from 
the real killing. Mr. Dorsey hinged his 
case on the fact that a 44-caliher car- 
tridge cannot be fired in a 45 revolver 
without it being indicated by the swell- 
ing of the shell. After seven years of 
effort Mr. Dorsey got Davis free through 
the Idaho State Board of Pardons. 

Although he has not been active polit- 
ically in California, Mr. Dorsey was 
prominent in Democratic politics in Ne- 
vada. He served two terms as district 
attorney of Elko County, Nevada, 1883- 
5 and 1887-9. And he was chairman in 
1888 of the Nevada delegation to the 
St. Louis convention which nominated 
Grover Cleveland for the presidency. 

Mr. Dorsey belongs to a number of 
social organizations, among them the 
Family and Hplluschickie clubs. 



< i -r BELIEVE that to accord humane 
I treatment to a man who has vio- 
-1- lated the law and is being pun- 
ished for it will bring him, more 
quickly by far than cruelty, to see his 
mistake and seek to rectify it by future 
good conduct. Prisoners appreciate 
on their b e h a 1 f — it 
eases their bitterness 
against organized so- 

This, briefly, is the 
creed of Frederick 
Eggers, Sheriff of San 
Francisco County, by 
which he has accom- 
plished veritable won- 
ders in transforming' 
the County Jail into a 
place where offenders 
are "given a chance." 
Frederick Eggers 
formed a set of prin- 
ciples, then put those 
principles into opera- 
tion. He was elected 
on a platform in which 
he promised to give 
the people a business- 
1 i k e administration 
with e fn c i e n t and 
courteous treatment of 
those who had deal- 
ings with his office, to 
direct his personal attention to the jail 
at Ingleside, to make it sanitary and 
to give its prisoners humane" treat- 
ment, all possible outdoor exercise and 
plenty of clean, wholesome food. 

This platform the Sheriff has carried 
out to the letter, and more. He has 
gained the public's esteem, saved it 
money while giving it better service — 
and many a man has he rescued from 
the very brink of destruction. 

On April 10, 1860, Mr. Eggers was 
born at Hanover, Germany. When a 
small boy he went to New York City 
and from there, in 1876, to San Fran- 
cisco. After three years in the grocery 
business he became a salesman in the 
wholesale tea and coffee business, re- 
maining with this until his election as 

It is a great truth that those who 
know most of the work of Sheriff 
Eggers are those who have been most 
affected by it — his prisoners. Not long 
after his assumption of office the Sheriff 
discovered an old Dutch oven which 
had been used in the former Industrial 
School a quarter of a century before. 
He put the oven into shape and the 
baking of the jail's bread in it began. 
Daily the oven turns out 350 to 400 
three-pound loaves, saving the tax- 
payers $300 monthly. 

By the development of the jail's truck 
gardens the Sheriff gives outdoor em- 
ployment to thirty or forty men each 
day. Its products net the city $160 and 

more a month; besides, vegetables are 
furnished free to the Relief Home, City 
Prison, Emergency and Tuberculosis 
hospitals and other charitable institu- 
tions — and it gives the prisoners exer- 
cise and fresh air, besides fresh, green 
food. Sheriff Eggers also has been 
working about forty 
men in the improve- 
ment of unaccepted 
streets in the poorer 
sections of the city. 
This is of direct and 
lasting benefit. 

On a Sunday even- 
ing at the jail more 
than six hundred pris- 
oners are guests of 
the Sheriff at a picture 
show and vaudeville 
entertainment put on 
by other prisoners in 
a chapel fitted up at a 
cost of $3,000, borne by 
Sheriff Eggers. 

"You will notice the 
absence of revolvers 
or rifles in the hands 
of the guards," says 
the Sheriff in describ- 
ing his shows. "There 
is a reason — I want to 
put .everyone on his 
honor. They know 
that if there is any 
disorder the entertainments will cease. 
The result is they respect me. Should 
one become fractious I feel certain a 
dozen others would quell him immedi- 

In stimulating the interest of his pris- 
oners 1 , Sheriff 'Eggers has not stopped 
with the moving pictures and vaude- 
ville. Realizing that those men and 
"women held on felony charges — whom 
he is not allowed by law to give em- 
ployment outside the jail walls — find 
close confinement extremely irksome, 
he has established a circulating library 
for their benefit. It already contains 
considerably more than a thousand 
volumes of good, uplifting literature 
and it is steadily growing by the con- 
tributions of those of the public who 
believe in assisting the less fortunate. 
As for the prisoners themselves, they 
are eager to make use of the library, 
and it is not difficult to discover that 
their reading is doing them good. 

Under his system of penal control, 
Sheriff Eggers finds so few real diffi- 
culties in the administration of the 
jail that he is able to devote the more 
time to his office duties. He has re- 
duced these to a system, wherein effi- 
ciency and courtesy are the watch- 
words. The Sheriff, his deputies and 
his bailiffs in the civil and criminal 
courts have been praised repeatedly by 
jurists, lawyers and the general pub- 
lic for their attention to duty and their 



IN watching the upbuilding of a com- 
munity it is easy for one to pick 
out from among the men with 
whom he comes in contact the 
workers for the common good, and dis- 
tinguish them from those who might 
be classified as drones. The one sort of 
man is ever active, 
willing at all times to 
do his share and more, 
and considering him- 
self a part of that 
which he is striving 
to forward. The other 
sort is content to sit 
back, as inactive as if 
he had no interest at 
all at stake, and leave 
the solving of problems 
to his neighbors and 

Looking over the 
career of Henry Eick- 
hoff as he has moulded 
it since his advent to 
San Francisco, one ,Aoes 
not hesitate in naming 
him as one of the 
workers. For more 
than a quarter of a 
century he has taken 
prominent part in the 
affairs of his adopted 
city and State, and 
ever as a, champion of enlightened 

Mr. Eickhoff is a native of New York 
City. He was born in the Eastern 
metropolis January 17, 1856, the son of 
Anthony Eickhoff and Elisa (Neuen- 
schwander) Eickhoff. His father was of 
German birth and a philologist and 
Journalist of note, writing five lan- 
guages. He came from a German uni- 
versity to New Orleans and in the early 
'days, before 1850, taught school in St. 
Louis. He was sent to Congress and 
during the administration of President 
Cleveland was made an auditor of the 
United States Treasury Department in 
special charge of the Consular service. 
The present Mr. Eickhoff's mother was 
born in Switzerland. 

Following his preliminary education 
in the public and private schools of 
New York City the younger Mr. Eick- 
hoff took a business and classical 
course at St. Francis Xavier Academy. 
By this time he had fully made up his 
mind to enter the legal profession and 
to prepare himself for it attended the 
Columbia Law College, which graduated 
him with the degree of LL. B. in 1875. 
In June of the same year Mr. Eick- 
hoff came to San Francisco and entered 
the law offices of Paul Neumann as a 
clerk. Two years later, in 1877, he was 
admitted to the bar before the Supreme 
Court of California at Sacramento, and 
later was admitted to practice also in 
the United States Supreme Court. About 
this time he became Mr. Neumann's 

law partner and continued as such 
until 1883, when Mr. Neumann was 
appointed Attorney -General of Hawaii. 
For some years after this Mr. Eickhoff 
practiced alone, with consistent success. 
The present firm of Lindley & Eickhoff 
was formed with Judge Curtis H. 
Lindley in 1886. 

Through all these 
years since he first 
became an exponent of 
Blackstone, Mr. Eick- 
hoff has aligned him- 
self with those who 
desire to see the city, 
the State and the 
nation forge ahead. He 
took part in a reform 
movement of histori- 
cal significance when, 
with J. J. Dwyer, Judge 
Jeremiah F. Sullivan, 
Samuel H. Daniels and 
A. A. Watkins, he was 
a member of the re- 
organization commit- 
tee that ended the 
political rule of Boss 
Chris Buckley in San 
Francisco in 1890. He 
was associated with 
TVtatt I. Sullivan in the 
Heney-Fickert recount 
and was one of the 
committee that conducted the campaign 
of Heney for District Attorney. He 
has also been a trustee of San Rafael, 
where he made his home for some 

When, in February of 1915, Dennis 
M. Duffy resigned from the State Board 
of Prison Directors, Governor Hiram 
Johnson immediately named Mr. Eick- 
hoff to fill the vacancy, recognizing in 
him a man who would do his duty with 
a clear conscience and without truck- 
ling to any other controlling factor 
than' right and justice. Politically Mr. 
Eickhoff is a Democrat, but he has al- 
ways been a stanch supporter of Gover- 
nor Johnson and during the last cam- 
paign took an active interest in John- 
son's political fortunes. 

Mr. Eickhoff has taken a keen interest 
in club activities. He was formerly 
president of the Columbia College 
Alumni Association of California and of 
the Cosmos Club, is a member of "The 
Family," the San Francisco Commercial 
Club, Merchants' Exchange, Common- 
wealth Club, Union League Club, the 
German Benevolent Association, Ameri- 
can Bar Association, California Bar 
Association, San Francisco Bar Asso- 
ciation and a number of other organ- 
izations. He is also prominent in the 
Masonic order. 

Mr. Eickhoff was married September 
13, 1882, in San Francisco to Jessie M. 
Lowe and is the father of four children, 
Gregory H., Victor, Tekla and Henry 
Eickhoff, Jr. 




SOME four decades ago Henry En- 
gels, then a young man, was asso- 
ciated with his father and brothers, 
the former the late Henry Engels, 
in the foundry and metal business in 
San Francisco. In those days the firm 
paid from 35 to 40 cents a pound for 
pig copper and the 
chief source of supply 
was the Lake Superior 
copper region. The de- 
mand for copper was 
increasing, thanks to 
the great improve- 
ments then being made 
in electrical a p p 1 i- 
ances and machinery, 
and attention began to 
be directed more and 
more to the value of 
the red metal. 

These conditions 
form the impetus for 
the years of effort that 
followed on the part of 
the Engels family — 
years that have re- 
sulted in the organi- 
zation of the Engels 
Copper Mining Com- 
pany and the operation 
by it of one of the most 
valuable holdings of 
its kind on the Pacific 
Coast. Thus does sup- 
ply follow demand and 
development projects materialize when 
once a field has been opened for 

To go back a bit, the younger Henry 
Engels, now president of the Engels 
Copper Mining Company, is a native of 
San Francisco, born February 1, 1854. 
He attended the private and public 
schools of this city, and to round out 
his education attended and was grad- 
uated from Heald's Business College, 
which at that time was in the old Piatt's 
Hall where the Mills building now 
stands and where the mining company's 
offices are located. From business col- 
lege Mr. Engels went into his father's 

The rapid approach of a crisfs in the 
copper situation, studied long and ear- 
nestly by the elder Engels and his 
sons, finally determined them to pros- 
pect and, if possible, to develop a cop- 
per mine. They had had valuable ex- 
periences in mining and metallurgy, 
and were well equipped for that which 
they set out to do. 

After several years of prospecting 
the Engels located, in the late '70s, in 
Lights Canyon, Plumas County, where 
the present mines are situated. Realiz- 
ing that to develop a district they must 
live in it and give their entire time to 
it, and that if there is to be any prog- 
ress it must follow as the result of 
hard work, they proceeded to do both. 
This hard work and close study of geo- 
logic conditions later made it possible 

for them to promote their enterprise 
with success. 

Before this time, in the sixties in fact 
and even as early as the fifties, prospec- 
tors had made their way into the Plu- 
mas County district. Both alluvial and 
lode mining for gold was done and 
in 1865 rich copper 
ore being discovered, 
a small smelter was 
built and run intermit- 
tently for four years. 
The amount of copper 
that alloyed the gold 
was not attractive to 
the pioneer prospec- 
tors, however, and they 
soon joined the rush to 
Virginia City, where 
the gold and silver ex- 
citement was intense. 
For years hardly any 
further attention was 
given to the Lights 
Canyon district until 
the Engels family lo- 
cated there. 

To quote from the 
Mining and Scientific 
Press, of a recent is- 

"At that time there 
was no railroad nearer 
than Reno, 150 miles 
away, and mining in 
such a remote locality 
was difficult, though a fair tonnage of 
rich ore was mined and shipped to Swan- 
sea. The discoverer and his sons, Henry 
and William Engels, who have been 
largely responsible for the later devel- 
opment of the mine, were courageous 
and persistent, however, and the assess- 
ment work necessary to hold the prop- 
erty was so directed as to block out 
constantly increasing amounts of ore." 
The Engels were determined to prove 
a good mine before seeking outside cap- 
ital. At first there "was no boom in cop- 
per, and few seemed to realize the great 
future for the metal, so it was difficult 
to interest investors. The railroad that 
Kennedy surveyed and planned to build 
through Plumas County failed, and it 
was only after twenty years that the 
Western Pacific began to build the line. 
But during this time actual work by 
the Engels proved the existence of rich 
ore in great quantities, and in 1906 
their company was organized. Then 
followed more persistence in opening 
up the mine with small capital; but the 
stockholders were kept together by 
their faith in the promoters, and in the 
manager, Mr. E. E. Paxton, and by pro- 
viding more funds placed the property 
on a profitable basis. Today the mine 
is paying well and is being enlarged so 
as to double the present capacity. 

The mill of the Engels mine is unique 
in that it is the only one yet built 
in which no other process than flotation 
is used for the recovery of copper. 



THE length and breadth of the 
Pacific Coast have made up the 
field of James Edward Fenton 
in the practice of his profession 
— the law. He has appeared before the 
bar in Alaska, Oregon, Washington and 
California, and finally has chosen San 
Francisco as the scene 
of his further endeav- 

James Edward Fen- 
ton was born in Clark 
County, Missouri, on 
the farm of his father, 
James Davis Penton. 
His mother was Mar- 
garet (Pinkerton) 
Fenton. In 1865, when 
he was but an eight- 
year-old boy, he ac- 
companied his parents 
on a grilling trip 
across the plains be- 
hind a plodding team 
of oxen. Six months 
after the family left 
Missouri they reached 
Oregon, where they 

Following his early 
education in the com- 
mon schools of Ore- 
gon, Mr. Fenton en- 
tered Christian Col- 
1 e g e of Monmouth, 
from which he was graduated in 1877 
with the degree of Master of Arts. The 
following year he entered the educa- 
tional field himself when he was elected 
professor of mathematics at Christian 
College. He was for two years in this 
position, and then for two years more 
taught in various academies in Oregon, 
being principal of those at Bethel and 

Under the tutorship of William M. 
Ramsey, now Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Oregon, Mr. Fenton entered 
upon the study of law in Ramsey's of- 
fices at Salem. In 1882 he was ad- 
mitted to practice by the Supreme 
Court of the State, and in 1884 began 
the active pursuit of his profession at 

Six years later, in 1890, Mr. Fenton 
gave up his practice at Eugene and re- 
moved to Spokane, Washington, where 
he formed a law partnership with his 
brother, Charles R. Fenton, under the 
firm style of Fenton & Fenton. Pos- 
sessed of a strong taste for politics, Mr. 
Fenton was early led to take an active 
part in public affairs, aligning himself 
with the Democratic party. He was a 
candidate in 1880 on the Democratic 
ticket of Polk County, Oregon, for the 
State Legislature, but his party being in 
the minority he failed of election. In 
1888 he announced his candidacy for 
county judge of Lane County, Oregon, 
and was defeated by only two votes. 
At the fall election of 1892, however, he 

was nominated and elected prosecuting 
attorney of Spokane County, Washing- 
ton, and held that office for two years. 
He was a delegate in 1896 from the 
State of Washington to the National 
Democratic convention at Chicago 
which nominated William Jennings 
Bryan for the presi- 
dency. In 1898 he was 
tendered the nomina- 
tion for Congress in 
the State of Washing- 
ton but declined to ac- 
cept the honor. 

Mr. Fenton continued 
the practice of his pro- 
fession in the State of 
Washington until the 
fall of 1898, when he 
removed to Nome, 
Alaska. This was the 
year of the world-wide 
rush to the Alaskan 
gold fields, when, hun- 
dreds and thousands of 
fortune-seekers from 
all quarters of the 
globe penetrated into 
the North. In Alaska 
Mr. Fenton divided his 
time for the ensuing 
six years between min- 
ing and the practice of 
law. His legal work 
was largely in mining 
and criminal law and while he was in 
the northern territory he took an ac- 
tive part in the most important min- 
ing litigation before the courts. One 
of the suits was to establish title to 
the placer property known as No. 1 
on Daniels Creek in the Topkok mining 
district, in which was involved some 
$1,000,000. In another, the Glacier Bench 
mining litigation, was involved $500,- 

In 1903, leaving Alaska behind him, 
Mr. Fenton came southward as far as 
California and gained admittance to 
the bar in this State. In 1904 he lo- 
cated in San Francisco, practicing here 
until June, 1906, just after the big fire, 
when he returned to Seattle. In 1908 
he went to Portland and became assist- 
ant counsel for the Southern Pacific 
Company in association with his broth- 
er, W. D. Fenton, chief counsel for 
the corporation. In this capacity Mr. 
Fenton took an active part in the liti- 
gation between the United States and 
the Oregon & California Railroad Com- 
pany, wherein the Government sought 
to forfeit the Oregon Land Grant. In 
1911 he resigned from this position and 
returned to San Francisco, where he 
continues alone in the practice of his 

Fraternally, Mr. Fenton is a member 
of the Spokane' lodge of the Scottish 
Rite and of El Katif Temple of the 
Mystic Shrine, of Spokane. He also 
belongs to the B. P. O. Elks. 



MANY things make up those attri- 
butes that aid a man toward suc- 
cess. Not the least of these is 
inherent ambition, coupled with 
strict honesty of purpose and perform- 
ance. All these are recognized char- 
acteristics of Herbert Pleishhacker, 
president of the Anglo 
& London Paris Na- 
tional Bank, financier, 
capitalist and officer 
or director of a num- 
ber of sound corpora- 

The career of Her- 
bert Fleishhacker has 
been a succession of 
hard-won achieve- 
ments. He did not ac- 
quire, at the outset, 
the "higher education." 
But the lack of it at 
no time seemed a 
handicap; he did things 
just the same. 

A native of San 
Francisco, born here 
November 2, 1872, Mr. 
Fleishhacker was sent 
to school for eight 
years by his parents, 
Aaron and Delia 
(Stern) Fleishhacker, 
and attended Heald's 
Business College one 
year more. When fif- 
teen years old he became a bookkeeper 
in his father's paper business, but after 
about a. year and a half entered the 
manufacturing end. Here was his start 
and he made the most of it. 

After four years as a paper manu- 
facturer he went into the sales depart- 
ment and became a traveling salesman 
for the concern. As he traveled he 
kept his eyes open for opportunities. 
In Oregon he saw the need of paper 
mills. This led to his establishment of 
the first mills of the kind in the State, 
at Oregon City. The project was a 
success and later he organized a large 
lumber company near Eugene, Oregon. 
Again success attended him. 

Returning to California, Mr. Fleish- 
hacker organized and promoted the 
Electric Power Company at Floriston. 
Gradually he acquired or built other 
properties in various parts of the State, 
among them the Truckee River Elec- 
tric Company, which was sold in 1909 
for nearly $2,000,000, and the Sacra- 
mento Valley Power Company, which 
brought something like $1,000,000 in 
1912. At one time he had more than a 
dozen power plants and factories in 
operation and still retains his interest 
in a number of them. 

From a promoter Mr. Fleishhacker 
easily became a banker. In 1907 he 
accepted the managership of the Lon- 
don, Paris & American Bank of San 
Francisco. When, on March 1, 1909, 
this institution absorbed the Anglo- 
California Bank, Ltd., and became the 

Anglo & London Paris National Bank 
of today, he went up a step higher 
and became vice-president and man- 
ager. He was chosen president of the 
bank in March, 1911, upon the resigna- 
tion from that position of S. Green- 
baum. When Mr. Fleishhacker became 
a part of the London, 
Paris & American 
Bank in 1907 the de^ 
posits were $4,500,000; 
today the bank that he 
heads has deposits in 
excess of $30,000,000 
and is the largest in- 
stitution of its kind 
west of the Rocky 
Mountains. It is pro- 
gressive, conservative, 
and makes a specialty 
of exchange business. 
In addition to his 
presidency of the 
Anglo & London Paris 
Bank, Mr. Fleish- 
hacker is president 
of the Northwestern 
Electric Company, the 
Floriston Land & 
Power Company and 
the Reno (Nevada) 
Traction Company; is 
vice-president of the 
Anglo-California Trust 
Company, the Central 
California T r a c ti o n 
Company, the City Electric Company 
and the Great Western Power Com- 
pany, and a director of the Crown- 
Columbia Paper Pulp Company, the 
Swiss-American Bank, the Floriston 
Pulp & Paper Company and a number 
of others. 

Not the least interesting of Mr. 
Fleishhacker's characteristics is his 
love of home, and within the family 
circle he is usually to be found in his 
leisure moments. He was married 
August 9, 1905, to Miss May Belle 
Greenbaum and the couple have three 
children, Marjorie, Herbert Jr. and Alan 

Not to mention Mr. Fleishhacker's 
connection with the Panama-Pacific 
International Exposition would be to 
omit an important work he has done 
on behalf of San Francisco and Cali- 
fornia. He has given' of his co-opera- 
tion to the great world show from its 
very start; he has backed it with money 
and with brains. It is significant that 
the financial side of the Exposition is 
handled through the Anglo & London 
Paris National Bank, that the vast daily 
receipts are hauled to the bank's doors 
in a steel vault on wheels every even- 

Herbert Fleishhacker is a type of 
man whom it would be well to pattern 
after. To men such as he San Fran- 
cisco owes much — how much one can 
readily conceive in a comparison of the 
city as it exists today, with its sky- 
scrapers and modern business concerns, 
and as it existed nine years ago in its 
ashes, with business almost annihilated 
by the great conflagration. 



WHEN the Republic of Honduras 
accepted the formal Invitation 
from the President of the 
United States to participate of- 
ficially in the Panama-Pacific Exposi- 
tion — it was one of the first nations, by 
the way, to announce its acceptance — 
it placed in charge of 
its exhibit a man 
whose wide experience 
and. ability in such 
matters had long been 

This man is Dr. 
Antonio A. Ramirez P. 
Pontecha, who, as 
Commissioner - General 
for Honduras to the 
Exposition, has adver- 
tised his country in 
more favorable a light 
than, perhaps, it has 
ever been exploited in 
the United States. In 
a magnificent building, 
tastefully fitted up, he 
arranged a series of 
exhibits that were 
doubtless as surprising 
to the thousands of 
visitors who viewed 
them as they were 

Dr. Pontecha has 
been given many 
honors ,by the govern- 
ment he represents. 
Pour times has he 
been commissioner-general for Hon- 
duras to expositions, two of them at 
Paris and one at Madrid, as well as 
that at San Francisco. He also has been 
Minister for Honduras at Paris and 
Madrid, and represented his country in 
the conference at Madrid in 1905-7 re- 
garding the controversy over the 
boundary between Honduras and Nic- 
aragua. He is a physician and surgeon, 
has been rector of the Central Uni- 
versity of Honduras at Tegucigalpa, 
and at present is president of the Hon- 
duras Academy. He holds membership, 
besides, in the Royal Academy of the 
Spanish Language, the Royal Academy 
of History and the Royal Society of 
Geography, all of Spain. 

In order to "diffuse and popularize 
knowledge of Honduras, and to dissi- 
pate the legends that ignorance and 
passion have spread of the nation 
abroad," Dr. Pontecha has written an 
interesting volume commemorative of 
the Panama-Pacific Exposition. It is 
probably the most accurate and com- 
plete work ever written on Honduras 
and is of unusual interest. 

Honduras was discovered by Chris- 
topher Columbus in 1502, during the 
fourth voyage of that famous naviga- 
tor. It is in the exact center of Central 
America, with Guatemala, Salvador and 
Nicaragua for neighbors; and, in the 
words of Dr. Pontecha, offers "for any 
enterprising man, as well as for the 
assiduous workman and laborer, the 
most favorable opportunities and con- 
ditions for the development of his 

Its topography is made up of high 

is exported, 

mountains, elevated plateaus and deep 
valleys of wondrous fertility and there 
is found within its borders practically 
all the animal and vegetable life com- 
mon to either the torrid or temperate 
zones. In many places it is covered 
with heavy forest growths of rich and 
valuable timber, in- 
eluding mahogany, 
rosewood, logwood, 
brazilwood and others, 
with pine at the higher 

Agriculturally, Hon- 
duras, with the proper 
development, will one 
day yield enormously. 
The culture of bananas 
leads in importance, 
but there is also grown 
Indian corn, French 
beans, rice, wheat, 
coffee, cocoa, tobacco, 
potatoes, cocoanuts, 
sugar, rubber, indigo 
and sarsaparilla. As 
for the manner in 
which cereals thrive, 
Honduras could easily 
be made the granary 
for all Central Amer- 

The raising of cattle 
is one of Honduras' 
principal industries, 
made possible by the 
great extent of natural 
pasturage. Much stock 
along with bananas and 
other commodities, not only to the 
United States and other countries on 
this side of the Atlantic but also to 

One of the things that most distin- 
guishes this really wonderful country 
is its vast mineral wealth. Treasure 
hunters were attracted to it by the 
thousands during the time of the 
Spanish domination; then for a long 
time the mining development was neg- 
lected, and it is only since about 1881 
that the exploitation of mines has been 
on the ascendancy. Gold, silver, plati- 
num, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, iron, 
quicksilver and antimony occur, as do 
sulphur, tin, alum, saltpetre, mica and 
others. Precious gems also are to be 
found, as well as coal, and oil is 
believed to exist in quantities. Rich 
mineral waters await only exploitation 
to become profitable. 

Honduras, the third in size of the 
Central American states, has an area 
of ahout 45,000 square miles, and a 
population, in 1912, of 578,482. The 
birth rate is high and the death rate 
surprisingly low. It can boast of a 
well-organized judiciary; railways, 
telegraph and telephones; a system of 
good roads built on the tracks made by 
the Spanish conquerors, and an up-to- 
date postofflce system. Primary public 
instruction is free and compulsory; in 
1913 there were 37,897 children being 
educated in 916 schools. 

These schools, with several modern 
colleges and universities, are bringing 
about an enlightenment that makes the 
future of Honduras assured. 



President Central California Gas Company. 


v : : ^^ 

IN the past two decades few names 
have been connected with noted 
court cases in Alameda County so 
often as the name of Abraham Lin- 
coln Frick, whether as prosecutor, 
Judge or defender. Big cases mean 
prominence in the legal profession. 
Judge Frick is prom- 

Some of his cases 
have been of nation- 
wide interest and in 
their handling he has 
gained wide repute as 
an interpreter of civil 
and criminal law. This 
has been especially 
true of his criminal 
work, although' he has 
handled many civil 
cases of broad ccope 
and general interest. 

One at least of his 
cases has had a pro- 
found influence on the 
legal profession of Cal- 
ifornia, and perhaps of 
the whole country. 
This was his recent 
representation of At- 
torney George J. Mo- 

McDonough, repre- 
senting a client ac- 
cused of participation 
in election frauds, was 
asked by the Alameda 
County Grand Jury to 
tell who retained him and furnished 
bail for such client. On advice of Judge 
Frick, he declined to. tell. He was or- 
dered to do so by Superior Judge Ogden 
and refused, whereupon he was ad- 
judged guilty of contempt and sen- 
tenced to the county jail. 

Judge Frick took out a writ of habeas 
corpus, returnable before the District 
Court of Appeals, which sustained 
Judge Ogden. He then brought the 
habeas corpus action before the Su- 
preme Court of California which, sitting 
en banc, rendered an almost unanimous 
decision reversing Judge Ogden and 
forming an epochal precedent govern- 
ing confidential relations between at- 
torney and client. From a profes- 
sional standpoint, Judge Frick con- 
siders this one of his most gratifying 

Judge Frick comes of American pre- 
Eevolutionary stock. He is the son of 
George Washington Frick, a native of 
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 
who wedded Miss Mary Elizabeth Bry- 
ant in Illinois in 1852 and came to Cal- 
ifornia with his bride in that year. He 
taught in the first public school in San- 
ta Cruz, then moved to Centerville and, 
in 1857, to Sonoma County. During the 
Civil War he was president of the 
Sonoma County Bethel Union League. 

Abraham Lincoln Frick was born 
near Petaluma February 21, 1866, and 
is a brother to George William Frick, 
now Alameda County Superintendent of 
Schools. But Abraham Lincoln Frick 
chose the law. He was educated in the 

public schools and then went to the 
Hastings Law College, being graduated 
in 1888. He was admitted to practice 
by the Supreme Court on June 28, 1888. 
Despite the usual early struggles. 
Judge Frick was soon successful in his 
chosen work. He served as deputy dis- 
trict attorney in Ala- 
meda County under 
George W. Reed and 
later as chief deputy 
under Charles E. 

On December 10, 
1894, he was appointed 
a superior judge to fill 
the unexpired term of 
Judge F. W. Henshaw, 
who became a Su- 
preme Court justice. 

On May 21, 1896, the 
young jurist took a 
wife. Miss Matilda M. 
Bader of Oakland. 

His real career as an 
eloquent pleader at the 
bar began after leav- 
ing the superior bench. 
The first important 
case was the defense 
of Clara Falmer, a sev- 
enteen-year-old girl 
charged with murder. 
This case helped vastly 
to build Judge Frick's 
reputation. The trial 
consumed several 
weeks. Finally the 
jury went out for twenty minutes and 
acquitted the defendant, who since 
has justified all the work in her be- 

This case also established the repu- 
tation of Dr. O. D. Hamlin as an alien- 
ist, thus bringing a young lawyer and 
a young doctor into the prominence 
they have held ever since in Alameda 

Since that case, Judge Frick has 
fought many big court battles with less 
than the usual percentage of defeats. 
One of his most important struggles 
was the successful defense of Mrs. 
Brown for the killing of her husband, 
a case of nation-wide prominence, 
whose details were flashed broadcast 
over the tele graph wires. Another val- 
iant defense was that of Tom Power, 
accused of murder. In twenty-two mur- 
der cases which Judge Frick has de- 
fended, none of his clients has paid the 
extreme penalty. 

In civil cases success has likewise at- 
tended him. An important recent one 
was the defense of Dr. John Robertson 
of the Divermore Sanitarium, sued for 
$80,000 damages by a patient. This 
physician, by the way, had been an op- 
ponent of Dr. Hamlin as alienist in the 
Falmer case. 

Judge Frick is medium tall, and slim, 
of the incisive type of attorney, with a 
vibrant, resonant voice. Whether pros- 
ecutor, or defender, he has held the re- 
spect of his opponents and has chal- 
lenged the best of their talents to com- 
bat his marshaling of the law. 



THE broad and vigorous adminis- 
tration of a public utility, so 
closely identified with our every- 
day affairs as the telegraph, 
creates a business and social asset of 
high value; and the exceptional organ- 
ization and operation of the forces of 
the "Western Union 
Telegraph Company 
on the Pacific Coast 
indicate the skill and 
capacity of Charles H. 
Gaunt, the General 
Manager, to meet every 
condition that arises 
in the conduct of that 
company's relations 
with the public. 

Mr. Gaunt, pursuing 
a course similar to 
most executives o f 
public service corpo- 
rations, has spent all 
of his active business 
life in the study and 
handling of tele- 
graphic problems o n 
their technical side, 
and in the manage- 
ment of the forces 
dealing with the users 
of the telegraph on the 
popular side. He has 
reached out and 
drawn to his service men of both dom- 
inant personality and unusual ability to 
carry out his ideas of corporate man- 
agement in its relation to the compli- 
cated demands of the public; and there 
has been no department of the work in 
which he has not succeeded, nor any 
portion of the duties imposed upon him 
that have not received progressive and 
up-to-date performance. 

Mr. Gaunt is a native of New York, 
born in Steuben County, August 29, 
1869. "With the prevailing enthusiasm 
of the young men of that period he 
directed his attention to the electrical 
field, and entered the fascinating occu- 
pation of telegrapher, first at the small 
office in his home town in New Jersey, 
to which he moved while young, then 
in New York City, where he developed 
his skill and formed impressions of the 
possibilities of telegraphic expansion 
and operation that have been of great 
value to him in applying his expertness 
to the wider fields of the "West. 

In 1889 Mr. Gaunt went to Helena, 
Montana, then a thriving mining city, 
and as manager of the Northern Pacific 
Railway's telegraph department passed 
that period of development and hard 
work through which all forceful men 
go in preparation for a successful career 
in the Western territory, where fresh 
expansion and breadth of operation call 
for the best type of mental capacity 
and physical endurance. 

accepted, the position of Superintendent 
of Telegraph of the Santa Fe Railway 
System, and with this opportunity he 
applied the principles of telegraphic 
development and control which he had 
long studied and prepared for, with the 
result that the telegraph organization 
and efficiency brought 
o u t o n that railroad 
system exceeded in 
economic value and 
substantial usefulness 
any that had been built 
up upon large railroad 
properties. His admin- 
istrative success was 
so marked that an ad- 
vancement in 1905 to 
the position of Assist- 
ant General Manager 
of the parent lines of 
the Santa Fe Railway, 
i n ad dition to his 
duties as head of the 
telegraph department 
of the entire system, 
carried him into the 
direct management of 
the railroad property 
with consequent en- 
largement of experi- 
ence and capacity for 

Mr. Gaunt was ap- 
pointed General Superintendent of the 
Western Union Telegraph Company at 
San Francisco in July, 1910, and his title 
was changed to that of General Man- 
ager in December, 1912; his jurisdic- 
tional territory being composed of the 
States of California, Oregon, "Washing- 
ton, Arizona and Nevada, together with 
British Columbia in Canada. With the 
same energy and resourcefulness exer- 
cised in his railroad work he has built 
up the "Western Union service on the 
Pacific Coast so that it is an organized 
telegraphic facility which embraces in 
commercial usefulness and adequate 
equipment every modern and progress- 
ive, idea that highly trained men can 
apply to the needs of business develop- 
ment and the daily activities of the 
people. As the scope of the "Western 
Union's operations brings the company 
in close touch with every community, 
the vigorous and thorough policy insti- 
tuted and maintained by Mr. Gaunt is 
felt in all parts of the territory as- 
signed to his management. 

Mr. Gaunt married Miss Mary Flesher 
of Helena, Montana, in 1890, and their 
family consists of one son, now grown. 
Throughout his business career Mr. 
Gaunt has been keenly active in 
securing a wide commercial acquaint- 
ance, both in the territory administered 
by him and throughout the United 
States. He is a member of the Bohemian, 
Press and Country Clubs of San Fran- 

In 1902 Mr. Gaunt was tendered, and Cisco, and a lover of automobile touring. 



CONFIDENCE in a public official fol- 
lows only after it is proved that 
the office is efficiently and hon- 
estly conducted. This is particu- 
larly true of the Assessor's office, which 
is the real financial agency of the city. 

In San Francisco 84 per cent of the 
entire expense of the 
city is raised by taxa- 
tion. San Francisco has 
been fortunate in the 
selection of its Asses- 
sors during the past 
sixteen years; not a 
suspicion has been 
voiced against their 
ability or integrity. 
Doctor Washington 
Dodge served four con- 
secutive terms, and 
John Ginty, present 
Assessor, was ap- 
pointed on Doctor 
Dodge's recommenda- 
tion. In a letter to the 
mayor, Doctor Dodge 

"I know of no one in 
the city that could be- 
gin to discharge the 
duties of the office as 
efficiently as John 
Ginty. He is thorough- 
ly informed on the 
laws governing tax- 
ation and had always 
taken a deep interest 
in matters relating to 
this subject previous to his connection 
with the office. I engaged him as my 
Chief Deputy on account of his expert 

Mr. Ginty has carried out all the good 
features of Doctor Dodge's adminis- 
tration and has added further improve- 
ments which will save the City and 
County thousands of dollars annually. 
To aid in the work of appraising prop- 
erty he keeps a ledger account of each 
block in the city, and posts to the ac- 
count the sale of property as reported 
each day, also all building permits or 
contracts affecting building operations 
in each block. 

Notwithstanding that 80 per cent of 
the' deeds recorded state only a nominal 
consideration, Mr. Ginty always ferrets 
out and finds the true consideration 
paid. On completion of a building it is 
inspected, measured and appraised by a 
set of tables covering different classes 
of buildings showing an average cost 
per cubic or square foot to build. These 
are compiled from architect ^tables and 
from actual cost prices of thousands of 
houses erected since the great Are of 

The assessed values of land are based 
on a unit front foot value in each block, 
with table calculations for varying 
depth of the lot and corner influences, 
similar to the Somers system but based 
on compilations made from sales in this 
city for a number of years and reflecting 
the community idea of values as ex- 
pressed in sales since 1906. 

Mr. Ginty also is the inventor of an 
ingenious map and street guide by which 
a stranger in the city could, inside of 
one minute, locate on the map any block 
of land, public building or given ad- 
dress, and the street car line that would 
carry him there. Travelers familiar 
with the Baedeker 
guide, used in most 
European cities and 
with the street guides 
of the principal cities 
of the United States, 
declare that Mr. Ginty's 
map and street guide 
is superior to any 
guide book they have 
had occasion to use. 

Quiet and unassum- 
ing, Mr. Ginty is al- 
ways ready to listen to 
complaints of tax 
payers and to investi- 
gate alleged errors and 
grant reductions in as- 
sessments that the law 
or the circumstances 
will permit. 

Socially, he prefers 
the quiet of his own 
home and the company 
of his family. At the 
early age of fourteen 
he left school to enter 
a printing office, with 
the intention of mak- 
ing journalism his life 
work. Not liking it, 
however, he drifted into railroading and 
after learning telegraphy rapidly ad- 
vanced until he was a station agent, 
superintendent clerk and acting train 
dispatcher. The wanderlust born in 
him led him to come in 1868 to Cali- 
fornia. Here he has been for the past 
forty years actively engaged in busi- 
ness, most of the time in banking. He 
has filled with credit important execu- 
tive positions in National banks, sav- 
ings banks and loan and mortgage com- 
panies in various parts of the State, 
giving him an experience in land ap- 
, praising, as a credit man and as an 
expert accountant that has been valu- 
able in his present work. 

This is the first political office held 
by Mr. Ginty, although he has always 
taken an interest in public matters and 
is a member of several charitable 
societies, fraternal organizations and 
clubs organized for the study of civic 
conditions. His father and, three 
brothers served in the Civil War, two 
of the brothers being killed in battle. 
An Assessor is, in many respects, the 
most important official the people elect. 
His discretion, judgment and honesty 
vitally affect every tax payer. It is of 
vast consequence to the progress and 
welfare of the people that they choose 
a competent and upright Assessor, 
since one either incapable or wanting 
in integrity may do incalculable harm. 
Measured by this standard, Mr. Ginty 
has no rival in the hearts of the people. 



A DISTINCTIVELY new method of 
dealing in securities is that 
worked out and put into force by 
T. Seymour Hall, secretary-treas- 
urei* and managing director of the Oak- 
land Street Improvement Bond Com- 
pany. He has simplified this form of 
financial transaction, 
has educated the in- 
vesting public up to 
the change and has 
placed the entire plan 
on a solid foundation 
that insures complete 
confidence on the part 
of his patrons. 

Street improvement 
bonds, issued in odd 
denominations with 
partial payment on the 
principal due each 
year, are not sold out- 
right by Mr. Hall's 
concern. Instead, the 
bonds, chosen with 
great care as to their 
soundness and worth, 
are deposited in trust, 
and trust receipts in 
even denominations 
and for definite matur- 
ities are issued and 
sold. These receipts 
entitle the holder to 
the amount of his in- 
vestment in original- 
form bonds held by the 
trustee, and he can se- 
cure these bonds, if he so desires, at 
any time upon presentation of his trust 

The security is exactly the same as 
where the bonds are sold outright. Only 
the form of the transaction is different, 
and the new form is superior to the old 
because of its great convenience. The 
security holder, too, is absolutely safe. 
He simply cannot lose. Not only have 
the bonds been standardized and found 
to be of sterling worth before they are 
handled by Mr. Hall at all, but the in- 
vestor is absolutely independent of the 
bond house, for his securities are in 
the hands of a third party, the disin- 
terested trustee, where they can be had 
at any time. 

By the very merit of its plan and by 
means also of national advertising — ■ 
this is the first time, by the way, a 
California security, as such, has been 
nationally advertised — the Oakland 
Street Improvement Bond Company is 
receiving a very satisfactory response. 
It is especially conservative in the 
choice of its bonds, and from its ever 
growing clientele has never come any- 
thing but confidence and appreciation. 

Mr. Hall, who has been more instru- 
mental than any other man in working 
out the details of the new investment 
plan, was born February 16, 1880, at 
Honolulu, H. I. His father, W. W. Hall, 
was proprietor of E. O. Hall & Son, Ltd., 
the largest American hardware firm in 
the islands. His mother was Elizabeth 
(Van Cleve) Hall. After taking a pre- 

paratory course at Oahu College, Mr. 
Hall came in 1897 to Berkeley, where he 
attended high school. In 1900 he entered 
the University of California with the 
class of 1904, but after a year entered 
Harvard with the class of '05, taking a 
general social science course. 

Force of c i r c u in- 
stances made it nec- 
essary for Mr. Hall to 
leave Harvard in the 
spring of 1902, before 
graduation. He en- 
rolled at the school of 
the Simmonds Hard- 
ware Company at St. 
Louis, maintained for 
the convenience o f 
prospective hardware 
dealers, and took a 
general business 
course. Then for a 
year and a half he was 
on the road for the 
Simmonds Company, 
but in 1907 resigned 
and returned to Berke- 
ley, where he associ- 
ated himself with the 
real estate firm of Ma- 
son-McDuffie Company. 
After a year with the 
Mason-McDuffie Com- 
pany Mr. Hall launched 
out independently in 
the mortgage loan 
business in Berkeley. 
In November, 1909, he 
was married to Miss Ruth Houghton of 
Oakland and immediately thereafter 
was called back to Honolulu by the 
ill health of his father. For a year he 
was in charge of the automobile depart- 
ment of E. O. Hall & Son, the business 
founded by his grandfather. Then fol- 
lowing his father's death in May, 1911, 
he sold the hardware business and in 
1912 returned, this time to Oakland, 
where he again engaged in mortgage 

During Mr. Hall's experience in the 
mortgage business he had devoted con- 
siderable time to the collection of data 
and to the study of mortgage institu- 
tions of this country and Europe, with 
particular attention to the methods of 
the great Credit Foncier of France. 
The application of this knowledge, 
which proved invaluable, was made pos- 
sible when he turned to the study of 
the California street improvement bond. 
He helped organize the Oakland Street 
Improvement Bond Company, through 
which his ideas have been worked out 
with great success. As the firm's clien- 
tele and operations grow, it is proba- 
ble that it will handle municipal bonds 
in addition to. the securities it now 

Mr. Hall's social activities are con- 
fined to the Athenian-Nile Club of Oak- 
land and the Phi Delta Theta fra- 
ternity. He has two sons, Seymour 
Houghton Hall, aged five, and Win- 
slow William Hall, aged three and a 



THE name of Wendell P. Hammon 
is as naturally associated with 
the idea of the development of 
Northern California as the name 
California itself is associated with the 
idea of a domain of gold and prosperity, 
of fruit and flowers, of sunshine and 
health. Oroville knows 
him as a man who did 
much to bring the 
town out of the leth- 
argy that followed 
the mining boom, and 
make it a solid, pro- 
gressive community; 
San Francisco and the 
rest of the State know 
him as a business man 
of high enterprise and 
unimpeachable integ- 

It is, perhaps, as a 
pioneer in the field of 
gold dredging that 
Mr. Hammon is the 
bestknown. Not 
that he has confined 
himself to this, how- 
ever. He has been, 
and is yet, deeply 
interested in the grow- 
ing of fruit, particu- 
larly of oranges, and 
is connected in one 
way or another with a 
number of corporations of varied scope. 

Born May 23, 1854, at Conneautville, 
Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Mr. 
Hammon is the son of Marshall M. Ham- 
mon and Harriet S. (Cooper) Hammon. 
His paternal ancestors settled at Provi- 
dence, R. I., about the year 1726. Pol- 
lowing a course in the primary and 
grammar schools of his birthplace Mr. 
Hammon attended the State Normal 
School at Bdinboro, Brie County. He 
left the institution in 1875, before grad- 
uation, however, to come to California. 

Arriving here, looking for an open- 
ing, Mr. Hammon secured a position 
as salesman for the fruit importing 
concern of L. Green & Sons of Perry, 
Ohio. He took a keen interest in the 
fruit industry and two years later, see- 
ing the opportunity of launching out 
for himself, engaged in the nursery 
business. Meanwhile he studied the 
subject deeply and in a few years he 
was being spoken of as an authority 
on horticulture. His removal to Butte 
County, which was to be the scene of 
most of his future operations, came in 
1890, when he planted a large orchard 
about ten miles below Oroville near the 
Feather River. He devoted most of 
the next ten years to fruit growing, 
although he had begun to investigate 
mining and operated in a rather small 
way in Eastern Oregon, Idaho and Ari- 

Ever since the days of the Argonauts 
it had been generally known that there 
was gold in Butte County. Oroville was 

at one time an important mining cen- 
ter; but then came the slump and the 
field was practically abandoned. The 
Chinese had worked the flats along the 
Feather River by their crude methods, 
but even they had given it up as not 
commercially profitable. 

Mr. Hammon was 
astonished, when a 
well was being sunk 
on his property, to dis- 
cover excellent pay 
gravel. He looked fur- 
ther, then secured an 
option on about a 
thousand acres and 
prospected it thor- 
oughly. The result was 
gratifying, but there 
remained the question 
of how mining could 
be carried on, on a 
large scale. Gold 
dredging had never 
been successful on the 
Pacific Coast up to that 
time, and this method 
appeared impractical 
until Mr. Hammon ran 
across a new type of 
dredger then in use on 
the Chicago drainage 
canal. He had a sim- 
ilar dredger built, or- 
ganized the Feather 
River Exploration Company, and began 
operations March 1, 1898. 

As in the case of nearly every new 
enterprise, progress in the gold dredg- 
ing was difficult. There were those who 
scoffed, who declared the project was 
certain to fail. For a time it was all 
expenditure, with no returns. But the 
dredger was gradually improved until 
success was assured. The rest of the 
story is so well known as not to need 
the telling. Let it suffice to say that 
today W. P. Hammon directs the 
largest gold-dredging operations in the 
world, and that his companies have con- 
trol of more than 10,000 acres of land 
in California and Oregon — with more 
than thirty dredgers at work. Among 
his corporations engaged in this indus- 
try are the Tuba Consolidated Gold 
Fields, Calaveras Dredging Co., and 
Powder River Gold Dredging Co. 

He continues to be a big factor in 
the fruit growing industry, as president 
of the Oroville Orange and Olive 
Groves, and operates his own packing 
plants. Besides this he is interested as 
officer or director in the Finnell Land 
Co., Hammon Engineering Co., Plumas 
Investment Co., Santuario Co., the Yuba 
Construction Co. and Sierra Pacific Elec- 
tric Co. 

One of Mr. Hammon's latest achieve,- 
ments was the organization of the Ven- 
tura Consolidated Oil Fields, whose 
stock is listed on the Boston Stock Ex- 
change. Subsidiaries of this are the 
Montebello N Oil Co. and the Ventura Re- 
fining Co. 



NEARLY every business man has 
some sort of relaxation — some 
sport or hobby which brings him 
rest and change from the daily 
routine of work. For some it is athlet- 
ics, for others reading, for others the 
making of collections of one kind or 
another. For John R. 
Hanify, founder and 
head of J. R. Hanify 
Co., lumber manufac- 
turers and dealers, it 
is yachting. 

"When, just a few 
weeks ago, Mr. Hanify 
won with his racing 
sloop Westward the 
magnificent gold cup 
offered by King George 
V of Great Britain he 
but demonstrated 
again his prowess as a 
sailor of yachts. He 
did not gain for him- 
self by this latest coup 
a reputation as a. 
yachtsman. The rep- 
utation was already 

Throughout, the ca- 
reer of John R. Hanify 
has been a succession 
of personal efforts 
rightly directed. Born 
in New York City Sep- 
tember 15, 1862, his father was Francis 
Hanify, at one time in charge of the 
damage claims department of the Inman 
line of steamships, and his mother was 
Bridget (Ryder) Hanify. He attended St. 
FrancisXavier College in New York, but 
in 1876, following his mother's death, 
accompanied his father to California. 
The intention was to return to New 
York, but the elder Hanify passed away 
a few months after his arrival on the 
Coast and the boy was left to shift for 
himself. He was not quite 14 years old. 

Mr. Hanify succeeded in landing a 
position as office boy with the Moore & 
Smith Lumber Company. Thus began a 
successful 17 years' connection with this 
firm. He rose from office boy to book- 
keeper, to cashier, to office manager 
and finally became general manager of 
the concern, and gained valuable prac- 
tical experience in the manufacturing 
end of the industry. 

In 1893 Mr. Hanify went into business 
for himself under the firm name "J. R. 
Hanify," accepting the selling agency 
for various sawmills. After three or four 
years he took in as a partner Albert C. 
Hooper, son of John A. Hooper, and 
changed the firm name to J. R. Hanify & 
Co. At the same time he became inter- 
ested in the manufacture as well as the 
sale of lumber, and began building 
sailing vessels and steamers for the 
transportation of their products. The 
firm also became owners of a substan- 
tial tract of timber land in Humboldt 
County, and of 50 per cent of the stock 

of the Bucksport & Elk River Railroad 
Co., connecting the Elk River lumber 
mill with the shipping point on Hum- 
boldt bay. 

Mr. Hanify purchased the assets of the 
copartnership in 1905 and Mr. Hooper 
retired from the firm. For a little more 
than a year Mr. Hanify 
operated alone, but in 
April, 1907, incorpo- 
rated under the name 
of the J. R. Hanify Co., 
allowing each of his 
older employes to ac- 
quire a substantial in- 
terest in the business. 
He has built six steam- 
ers, although he now 
operates but three, 
having disposed of the 
smaller ones. One of 
his largest vessels is 
the Francis Hanify, a 
combination tanker 
and lumber carrier de- 
signed for coast-to- 
coast trade through 
the Panama Canal. He 
also has built eight 
sailing vessels, three of 
which he now operates. 
In civic affairs Mr. 
Hanify has been ac- 
tively interested. For 
a number of years he 
was a member of the appeals committee 
of the San Francisco Chamber of Com- 
merce. He also was a member of the 
Commerce Chamber party that about 
three years ago visited Japan to fur- 
ther the commercial relations between 
San Francisco and the Orient. 

Ever since he was 15 or 16 years old 
Mr. Hanify has been deeply interested 
in amateur yachting. The first sloop 
he owned was the Myrtle, a 32-foot 
boat. Since that time he has built three 
schooner yachts, although the only one 
he owns at present is the Martha. He 
has built two motorboats and still 
operates one of them, the Scout. 

The sloop "Westward is Mr. Hanify's 
pride. It was built especially for the 
Panama-Pacific Exposition races and 
was designed by "William Gardner of 
New York, designer also of the Vanitie, 
■which has been competing with the 
Resolute as a candidate for the defense 
of the American cup. The "Westward 
has won every time she has started. 
She has won one race for the Sir Thomas 
Lipton cup, which must be won three 
times, and also brought to her owner 
the beautiful King George cup last 

Mr. Hanify was for two years com- 
modore of the San Francisco Yacht 
Club, in 1909-10, and is a member also 
of the Corinthian Yacht Club of New 
York. He is a director of the Olympic 
Club of San Francisco, and a member 
of the Pacific Union, Bohemian and 



IN an adage of such long standing that 
its inception goes far back into the 
mists of antiquity, young men are 
solemnly advised that in order to at- 
tain eminence in this world of competi- 
tion they must begin at the very bottom 
in some line of work and struggle up- 
ward by degrees. Then, 
once up, they will re- 
main up. 

Glancing over the 
careers of men who 
have gained eminence 
in their respective 
lines in San Francisco 
and California, it is 
wonderful to note to 
how many of them this 
ancient rule applies. 
The number that 
started in as office boys 
is staggering. There 
seems to be another 
rule — less thought of 
as such but neverthe- 
less true — that a youth, 
if he has it in him to 
be a first-class office 
boy, has it in him also 
to develop into a first- 
class business man. 
And most of them do 
develop thus. 

Carl A. -Henry, one of 
the most widely known business men on 
the Pacific Coast today, started his ca- 
reer as an office boy. That is, he really 
started out as a newsboy. Before and 
after school he delivered newspapers in 
San Francisco's financial section. This 
lasted some time, until he was about 
14 years old in fact, when he secured 
a position as office boy with one of his 

Just about thirty years have passed 
since Mr. Henry left the Boys' High 
School and began shifting for himself. 
Today he is one of the joint agents in 
the Pacific department of several of the 
world's leading fire insurance com- 
panies; and, besides this, he is vice- 
president of the Owl Drug Company, 
one of the foremost concerns of its kind 
in the United States. 

Mr. Henry was born May 21, 1872, at 
San Jose, California. When Mr. Henry 
was still a small boy his parents moved 
to San Francisco and it was in the pub- 
lic schools of this city that he gained 
his education. 

From office boy in an insurance firm 
Mr. Henry rose steadily until he was 
placed in charge of the office work. 
About 1893 he saw an opportunity to 
engage in the insurance business for 
himself, and embraced it. He became 
local agent for a number of important 
fire insurance companies, and built 
up the business until he had the 

largest agency of its sort in the 

Until 1899 Mr. Henry retained these 
agencies, but in the latter year he 
dropped them and took over instead the 
general agencies of the Sun Insurance 
Office of London founded in 1710 and 
the oldest insurance 
company in the world, 
Sun Underwriters 
Agency of London, and 
the Michigan Fire and 
Marine of Detroit. 

A few years ago Mr. 
Henry merged h i s 
business with that of 
Willard O. Wayman, 
representing as gen- 
eral agent the National 
of Hartford, Colonial 
Fire Underwriters 
Agency and the Me- 
chanics & Traders of 
New Orleans. The con- 
cern does the largest 
fire insurance business 
west of Chicago. The 
combined resources of 
its six companies is 
$52,000,000. Its terri- 
tory extends as far 
east as, and including, 
Colorado, and e m- 
braces California, Ne- 
vada, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Ore- 
gon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska 
and British Columbia. Branch offices 
are maintained in Los Angeles, Port- 
land, Seattle, Spokane and Denver. 

For the past seven years Mr. Henry 
has been vice-president of the Owl 
Drug Company, and with R. B. Miller, 
the president, controls the concern. 
He has injected his personality into the 
"Owl" as he has injected it into the 
insurance field, and the results have 
been equally as apparent. He is a vital 
force in the conducting of the com- 
pany's business affairs, acting chiefly in 
an advisory capacity. His enthusiasm 
for doing things well, for accepting 
nothing short of the very best, is 
almost proverbial. 

Mr. Henry belongs to a number of 
social organizations, among them the 
Claremont Country Club and Athenian 
Club of Oakland, and the Olympic and 
Bohemian Clubs of San Francisco, as 
well as to Yerba Buena Parlor of the 
Native Sons. Fraternally he is a Ma- 
son, holding membership in Golden Gate 
Commandery, K. T., and in Islam Tem- 
ple of the Shrine. 

As a relaxation from business Mr. 
Henry indulges in deep-sea fishing, 
principally at Monterey and Santa Cruz. 
He also owns a number of fine Airedale 
terriers, some of which have won blue 



IT was a distinct compliment to Cal- 
ifornia and the West when Alfred 
Hertz consented to come here to di- 
rect the San Francisco Symphony 
Orchestra. He has been called "the 
big- man of the Metropolitan Grand 
Opera," and as a big man he was wel- 
comed to San Fran- 
cisco last July. 

Perhaps it is well to 
introduce Hertz with 
the same words used in 
The San Francisco 
Chronicle, upon the oc- 
casion of his initial ap- 
pearance in San Fran- 
cisco August 6th last, 
directing the Exposi- 
tion Orchestra, aug- 
mented to more than 
100 musicians, in the 
great Beethoven con- 
cert at the Civic Audi- 
torium. Said The 

"A giant of energy, 
Hertz employs his 
forces in quantities to 
be estimated only in 
terms of superlative 
power. It seemed as 
though by sheer appli- 
cation of his own vigor 
he himself played ev- 
erything from tympani 
to contrabasso. He 
epitomized the ener- 
gies of one hundred 
men and in the climaxes exposed a 
Dionysiac joy in their tumultuous 
shoutings; he summed up in his person 
the efficiency of all and added thereto 
a surplus of force which directed them 
all and controlled them; or, once or 
twice, condemned them all when in the 
failure to ride as fast and as far and 
as high as he willed, the members of 
the great orchestra faltered. At such 
moments Hertz was not to be regarded 
as a being of sartorial propriety, nor 
even as one amenable to the conven- 
tions which politely ignore sweat. He 
wrestled with a god on the mountain, 
and he did not let him go until he had 
the victory." 

A native of Germany, Alfred Hertz 
was born July 15, 1872, at Frankfort-on- 
the-Main, the son of Leo Hertz and 
Sara (Koenigswerther) Hertz. Follow- 
ing his preliminary education at Frank- 
fort Gymnasium, he began his so fruit- 
ful study of music at Raff Conserva- 
torium, Frankfort. How rapidly he ad- 
vanced in this great conservatory 
founded by Joachim Raff and Hans von 
Buelow as president, may be gathered 
from the fact that upon his graduation 
from his courses in piano, theory, in- 
strumentation and musical history he 
■was appointed, when not yet twenty 
years old, to the directorship of the 
Hoftheater at Altenburg in Saxony. 
Here, at the age of twenty, he was 
decorated with the Order of Art and 
Science of Saxony. Here, also, he pro- 
duced for the first time anywhere Hum- 
perdinck's "Hansel and Gretel." 

Until 1895 Mr. Hertz filled this posi- 
tion at Altenburg with ever increasing 
success. Then he was called to Barmen- 
Elberfeld, where for four years he was 
conductor of opera and concerts at the 
Stadttheater. In the spring of 1899 the 
works of Fritz Delius, then somewhat 
obscure, were to con- 
stitute a program at 
St. James' Hall, Lon- 
don. Delius had heard 
Hertz in Blberfeld, and 
prevailed upon him to 
conduct the rendition 
of Delius' works. 

By this time Hertz' 
fame as a conductor 
had spread all over 
Europe. During his 
London engagement 
Maurice Grau offered 
the young man the 
baton that Anton Seidl 
had laid down. It was 
a distinct honor, but 
one which Hertz was 
unable to accept just 
at that time, as he had 
a three -year contract 
to fulfill at the Stadt- 
theater, Breslau. This 
contract he carried 

In 1902 the way was 
clear to bring Hertz to 
America. Grau re- 
newed his offers and 
the brilliant young 
conductor accepted, assuming at once 
the musical direction of the Metropoli- 
tan Grand Opera forces in New York. 
On December 24, 1903, Hertz directed 
the first performance of "Parsifal" ever 
heard outside of Bayreuth, and on Jan- 
uary 22, 1907, the first and only per- 
formance at the Metropolitan Opera 
House of Richard Strauss' "Salome." 
He directed the first performance of 
"Konigskinder" December 28, 1910, at 
the Metropolitan, and he was responsible 
for first production of important Amer- 
ican novelties, such as "Pipe of Desire" 
by Converse, "Mona" by Horatio Parker, 
and "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Walter 
Damrosch. One of his chief triumphs 
was the first production of Richard 
Strauss' "Der Rosencavalier." 

For thirteen successive and success- 
ful years Hertz remained at the Metro- 
politan as conductor, and then resigned. 
His departure was the occasion for one 
of the greatest demonstrations ever ac- 
corded a musician. But he left, he said, 
in order to devote himself to "the higher 
things in music." . 

His next move was to convert the 
loosely organized Los Angeles Sym- 
phony Orchestra into a compact band 
capable of the greatest and nicest ef- 
fects, in order to produce Parker's new 
$10,000 prize opera, "Fairyland." Then 
he was brought to San Francisco 
and given the musical directorship 
of our Symphony Orchestra with prac- 
tically unlimited powers. And the 
fruits of his endeavors are soon to be 



IN this day and age we have come 
to take nearly everything for 
granted. A big engineering proj- 
ect makes life easier for us — we 
consider it only for a moment, then 
accept it without further ado. Only 
a few of us go behind the achieve- 
ment and consider the 
ingenuity it typifies, 
or the man who made 
it possible. 

One of the first 
things noticed by a 
visitor to San Fran- 
cisco is the city's fa- 
mous ferry terminal. 
This was built under 
the direction of How- 
ard Carlton Holmes, 
civil and consulting 
engineer, who has con- 
ceived and put into 
execution so many 
projects as to make 
himself an exception 
to the general rule 
that the men behind 
achievements of this 
sort are little known. 
Rather, he is recog- 
nized up and down the 
Pacific Coast as one of 
the foremost engineers 
west of the Rocky 

Since the age of 
seventeen Mr. Holmes has been iden- 
tified with engineering. He was born 
June 10, 1854, at Nantucket, Massa- 
chusetts, and when five years old came 
with his parents to San Francisco. His 
father, C. Holmes, "was prominent in 
the early history of San Francisco as a 
miner, then as a building contractor. 

After receiving his education in the 
public schools of this city, the younger 
Mr. Holmes started out as a surveyor 
and became identified with a number 
of leading engineers. He was only 
nineteen years old when he made all 
the contour surveys necessary for the 
development of Lake Chabot, Oak- 
land's principal source of water supply. 
At twenty-one Mr. Holmes passed an 
examination for appointment as United 
States deputy surveyor. Soon after- 
ward he became assistant engineer of 
the State Board of Harbor Commis- 
sioners, leaving this position to design 
and build the Alameda mole and depot 
for the South Pacific Coast Railway 

It might be well to say at this point 
that the millions who visited the 
Panama-Pacific Exposition gazed upon 
Mr. Holmes' work when they viewed 
the yacht harbor, its passenger and 
freight slips and all the other exposi- 
tion water terminals. As consulting 
engineer on docks and wharves for the 
exposition he designed all these fea- 

Mr. Holmes directed his attention 
to street railway construction -when, 
in 1887-8, he built the Powell Street 

Railroad, known as the Ferries and 
Cliff House Railroad. During the next 
few years he built the cable railroad 
at Portland, that at Spokane and the 
Madison Street Railroad at Seattle: 
Returning to San Francisco he con- 
structed the Sacramento street branch 
of the Powell street 
road, the lower end of 
the California Street 
Cable Railroad and 
extended the Union 
Street Cable Rail- 
road from Fillmore to 
the Presidio. Later 
he secured the con- 
tract for the electric 
street railway at 

Becoming chief en- 
gineer of the Harbor 
Board in 1892, Mr. 
Holmes built the 
water terminals for 
all the railroads run- 
ning into San Fran- 
cisco with the excep- 
tion of the Southern 
Pacific, and even in 
the latter's slips were 
installed the freight 
and passenger hoists 
invented by him. One 
of his innovations was 
a teredo-proof pile for 
wharves, concrete over 
a core of wooden piles. This type of 
pile has been used a number of years 
with great success. 

As chief engineer of the San Fran- 
cisco, Oakland & San Jose Railroad 
Company, the Key Route, Mr. Holmes 
designed and constructed the terminal 
mole which extends 16,000 feet into San 
Francisco bay. He also built the Sacra- 
mento electric road and the greater part 
of the Oakland, Alameda & Piedmont 
Railroad, now incorporated with the 
Oakland Transit Company. 

Resigning in 1901 from his position 
with the Harbor Board, Mr. Holmes 
became chief engineer for the San Fran- 
cisco Dry Dock Company. He built 
Hunter's Point Dry Dock No. 2, at that 
time the largest graving dock on the , 
Pacific Coast. Later he prepared plans 
for dry dock No. 3 at Hunter's Point, 
one of the world's biggest and one that 
will care for the greatest ocean liners 
and battle-ships. 

Today, in the East as well as the 
West, Mr. Holmes is considered an au- 
thority in his line. In 1904 he was 
commissioned by the Boston Harbor 
and Land Board to report on the re- 
spective merits of graving and float- 
ing docks. He also planned the Cana- 
dian Government's dry dock at Victoria. 
He has a goodly private practice, be- 
sides being consulting engineer for the 
Western Pacific Railway Company for 
docks and wharves. 

Mr. Holmes is a member of the Ameri- 
can Society of Civil Engineers and of 
various other prominent professional, 
fraternal and social organizations. 



ONE of the first things that impress 
the visitor to California is the 
intense loyalty of its citizens. 
Whatever is indigenous to — what- 
ever pertains to — the State is dear to 
the heart of every Californian. Of all 
things loved the best is the "native 
son," the one who from 
his earliest days has 
lived in the environ- 
ment of its mountains 
a-nd sunshine and boun- 
teous harvests; and it 
is worthy of note that 
a large percentage of 
t he men who now 
direct the destinies of 
the State, in politics 
and business, belong 
to this class. 

In this regard, the 
story of Charles Fred- 
erick Horner, assessor 
of Alameda County, is 
worth the telling. - Mr. 
Horner is a native of 
the Golden State. His 
father came West with 
the rush of '49, and 
subsequently was a 
flour miller for many 
years. The elder Hor- 
ner was a native of 
New Jersey, where he 
spent the early part of 
his life. His brother, J. M. Horner, 
had preceded him here by some years, 
and it was in conjunction with this 
brother that he entered the flour mill- 
ing business. In fact, the honor of 
founding the first flour mill in the 
State belongs to J. M. Horner. It was 
located at Union City and continued 
to be the largest producing mill in 
California for a long while. The two 
brothers prospered and among other 
things received a Spanish land grant 
now known as Horner's Addition, San 

Charles Frederick Horner was born 
at Irvington, Cal., November 11, 1S58, 
the son of W. T. and Anna Bmley 
Horner. He attended the primary 
schools of that city and then became a 
scholar at Washington College, Irving- 
ton. Some time after leaving college he 
became interested in the culture of 
sugar and determined to try his fortune 
in the Hawaiian Islands, where he went 
in 1879. The islands, then as now, de- 
pended on sugar as their main crop and 
the field of opportunity open to Mr. 
Horner was one of exceptional advan- 
tages. He was not slow to make use of 
every favorable circumstance and soon 
won a competence from the trade. With 
the advancing years his holdings in- 
creased and he became a man of the 
largest influence, doing an annual busi- 
ness of big proportions. He also in- 
terested himself in public questions and 

served two terms (1887-8) as a member ■ 
of the Hawaiian Legislature. His bus- 
iness continued to prosper and he was 
looked upon as one of the leading fig- 
ures in the sugar industry of what is 
now among our richest insular posses- 
sions. Owing to a thorough study of 
the subject, Mr. Hor- 
ner was able to in- 
troduce many improve- 
ments in the planting 
of the cane and its 
handling, which result- 
ed in important eco- 
nomic advance. In 
short, he entered into 
all departments of the 
industry and helped 
materially in its ex- 

Returning to the 
United States in 1896, 
Mr. Horner established 
himself at Centerville, 
Cal., and lent his sup- 
port to its growth, as- 
sisting every under- 
taking with the public 
welfare as its aim. He 
is well known in a 
political way, and was 
elected Supervisor of 
the County for three 
terms on the Republi- 
can ticket, discharging 
the duties of that office in a way that 
has received general approval. Under 
his administration a rule of economy 
and efficiency was obtained, resulting 
in a substantial saving to the com- 
munity. This county is one of sin- 
gular wealth, being located in a district 
blessed with every advantage of Nature 
and having excellent transit facilities 
in all directions, and its industrial im- 
portance has also enhanced in recent 
years until there are few counties in the 
State which can point to a finer record 
of growth in all departments. In July, 
1911, Mr. Horner was appointed by the 
Board of Supervisors of Alameda County 
assessor to fill a vacancy, and upon as- 
suming the duties of assessor moved to 
Oakland, where he has since resided. 
Coming to the office at this critical stage 
of the county's development, Mr. Horner 
has met with a complete measure of 
success and is certainly one of the most 
popular men in the county. 

Mr. Horner is an active member of 
the Native Sons of the Golden West and 
a supporter of all the ideals for which 
that organization stands. He is also 
affiliated with the Masonic Order, the 
Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the 
World, Druids, Odd Fellows, Moose and 
B. P. O. Elks. Although a busy man he 
finds times to take an active part in the 
affairs of all and stands high among 
fraternalists of the State. 



TO do one-tenth of what James 
Horsburgh, Jr., has accomplished 
in the interests of California, 
were to merit everlasting honor 
as the builder of an empire. And to 
write it, doing justice to a myriad of 
details, were to begin the task of com- 
piling a veritable li- 
brary of history. 

For it is history that 
James Horsburgh, Jr., 
has made. It is the 
history of California — 
its growth from a lit- 
tle-known section to 
one of the strongest 
and most wonderful 
States in the Union. 
And it is written in 
millions of printed 
pages, a product of un- 
remitting effort and a 
fertile brain. 

When, just a few 
months ago, Mr. Hors- 
burgh resigned as gen- 
eral passenger agent 
of the Southern Pacific 
Company to handle 
Willys-Overland auto- 
mobiles in the San 
Francisco district, the 
San Francisco Chroni- 
cle paid him this trib- 

"The friends of James Horsburgh, Jr., 
predict that his peculiar genius, his 
never-failing, hearty good nature and 
his immense energy will find a wider 
and better expression than ever before 
as one of the officials of the Willys- 
Overland organization." 

James Horsburgh, Jr., is father of the 
famous "Raisin Day"; Sunset Magazine 
was conceived and started by him; due 
to his preliminary efforts Imperial Val- 
ley was transformed from desert into a 
fertile, spot; tons of literature advertis- 
ing California and the West have been 
written by him and distributed to the 
four corners of the world; he first 
brought Luther Burbank into public 
notice; farmers' institutes, State farms 
and agricultural demonstration trains 
by the dozen owe their being to him; 
convention after convention has he 
brought to San Francisco, entertained 
the delegates and sent them back home 
rejoicing; he has fostered as many col- 
onization projects as perhaps any man 
in California. 

Born in Edinburgh, . Scotland, Mr. 
Horsburgh 'removed with his parents 
to Hamilton, Canada, when he was but 
two years old. He began railroading 
when he was still a mere youth, first as 
office boy in the office of the general 
manager and treasurer of the Great 
Western Railway in Canada, later be- 
coming a clerk in the same department. 
In 1873, still a boy, Mr. Horsburgh 
came to California and became a rate 
clerk in the general passenger depart- 
ment of the Southern Pacific. Head- 

quarters were then in Sacramento, but 
soon they were moved to San Francisco 
and Mr. Horsburgh came here with 
them. From clerk he became chief 
clerk and, in October, 1884, was ap- 
pointed assistant