Tinkham Chapter VI

Chapter VI.

ON TO CALIFORNIA

The news of gold in California was carried along the coast as far south as Peru, then to Australia, Manila, China and Japan. The first foreign port to learn of the discovery was Manila. The captain of the ship Rohne succeeded (a) in sailing from San Francisco for the Philippines early in the spring of 1848. The schooner Louise carried the news to Honolulu June 17, 1848. She also carried a few specimens of gold. The Polynesian published the news June 24 and immediately freight and passenger rates rapidly advanced. In less than five months over 300 natives, "Kanakas," as the pioneers called them, sailed for San Francisco. Australia also heard the news in June. the streets of the principal cities were billed with posters announcing in big headlines "Gold in California." In a short time it was difficult to obtain passage on the many ships that were bound for San Francisco. Many of the emigrants were "Sydney Ducks" and "Botany Bay" convicts. They caused an endless amount of trouble. Canton, China, learned of the discovery in October, 1849. In February of that year fifty-four Chinamen arrived. Before the close of 1850, 4,000 Chinese had landed, all bound for the mines.

Oregon in July, 1848, first heard the news. They did not believe it. Later a second vessel arrived. They not only confirmed the first report, but they had a copy of the California Star containing a full account of the discovery. An overland party just from "the diggin's," they said, rode into Oregon. They had specimens of gold and they declared that "the rivers were full of gold." The news thrilled the inhabitants. The people went wild, abandoned farms, houses, stock and everything and rushed away to the gold fields (b), over 6,000 of Oregon's population emigrating inside of a year (c).

The gold excitement was not confined to the western coast. Upon the Atlantic shore the agitation was equally great, as in a short time the people believed the exaggerated reports that California's "streams were rivers of gold" and that it "sparkled in her coronet of cliffs." The papers were filled with the news of gold (d) and everywhere the conversation was upon that subject. The pulpits discoursed upon the evils of gold, and as soon as possible the preachers started for California. A song composed upon this subject when sung in concert or theater was loudly applauded (e), long after the author, Jonathan Nichols, had started for California.

In November, 1848, the movement of vessels first began. In December, says Bancroft, "it had attained the dimension of a rush." All of the eastern ports sent out their quota of ships, and in December, 1848, and January, 1849, sixty-one vessels left for California, each vessel averaging fifty passengers. In February, 1849, sixty ships sailed from New York and seventy from Boston and Philadelphia. Before the spring of 1850 vessels to the number of 250 had cleared from eastern ports bound for San Francisco. In one day forty-five vessels entered the Golden Gate. Many of these vessels were notable, among them the Edward Everett (f), which sailed from Boston in December, 1848, with 152 passengers. Others were notable because of their smallness (g), scarcely larger than the caraval in which Columbus discovered America. Some of these ships were chartered by companies, and they were fitted out with provisions sufficient to last two or more years. Others were loaded with gold-digging machines, fire arms and ammunition (to kill the wild Indians), house frames, brick, in fact, hundreds of articles the emigrants believed would be necessary in a new, uncivilized country.

On arrival at San Francisco hundreds of pioneers abandoned their vessels and hurried to the mines, leaving in charge the captain (h). Others sailed to Sacramento or Stockton, and leaving their ships there, hurried on, fearing that all of the gold would be dug before their arrival. Some of these vessels in San Francisco were purchased and used as store ships or stores, among them the ship Apollo and the famous Niantic, over which the Niantic hotel was built. At Sacramento a few were used for lighters, and one was a prison brig. In Stockton over one hundred of these ships were destroyed by fire, as they obstructed navigation.

There was, as I have stated, a positive belief that the gold product was limited. This belief caused a feverish desire on the part of the immigrants to get to the gold mines in the quickest time possible. Hence many of them on reaching Panama left their ships and tried to purchase tickets for San Francisco on the northbound steamers. This was almost impossible, unless some passenger died on the voyage (i) as every steamer from New York to Aspinwall was overcrowded. Immigrants were continually pouring into Panama from New Orleans, Jamaica and other points, and finding a steamer delayed, would charter sailing vessels and start for San Francisco. Without any knowledge of the distance, the adverse winds and tides, or experience in sailing a ship, these crazed voyagers suffered terribly from thirst and hunger, and hundreds perished miserably before the ship reached San Francisco (j).

The voyage around Cape Horn was long and tedious -- seldom less than six months and sometimes a year. After the first excitement had quieted the immigration came by steamer, the Panama Steamship Line putting on a line of steamers from New York to San Francisco by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. those, however, who came by the isthmus found the sufferings, dangers and hardships as bad or even worse than by the Cape Horn route. The steamers were frequently overcrowded, their accommodations very poor and their connections with the Pacific line very uncertain. Panama was a very unhealthy town because of the miasma and the raging of the cholera (k).

Until 1856 the passengers were compelled to cross the isthmus riding on a mule and by small boats propelled up the Chagres river by natives using long poles. In that year the forty-three miles of railroad was finished. It is said to have cost over $7,000,000. The money was paid out principally for labor, as thousands of laborers died of diseases contracted while working in malarial swamps. Today Panama is one of the most healthful places, made so by the government under scientific and sanitary enforced laws.

Although previous to 1869 the majority of California's population arrived by water, thousands braved the dangers of an overland journey. They were the pioneers who had settled up "the Far West." Ever restless, ever on the move, the cry of gold in California reaching their ears, they again packed their families and their household goods into their wagons and "on to California."

The frontier towns of Independence, St. Joseph and St. Louis would be their winter camping places. In those towns they would purchase their supplies for their long six months' journey. In the early spring they began their march, hoping to reach the western valley before the winter snows of the Sierras blocked their way.

The emigrants, seldom knowing anything of the route, followed the trail by the general directions given them, trusting to luck and Providence until they arrived at Salt Lake. Beyond that point those who were wise engaged guides. These guides were always necessary, for so many were the horses and oxen on the trail, feed and water were very scarce. Then there was great danger from the Indians, for they would attack trains, especially small trains, and steal the stock and murder the travelers.

Another source of danger, ever present beyond Fort Laramie, were the hot desert winds. They shrunk the wagon wheels until they frequently fell to pieces. They dried the emigrants' bodies, causing them great suffering from thirst; and so weakened the animals that they could travel but slowly. Because of these manifold evils, destruction followed in the track of every emigrant train. In their weakened condition they could not stop for rest nor linger to even bury the loved ones stricken with disease (l). Time to them meant life, and they were compelled to hurry on, leaving the dead upon the desert to be devoured by wolves and coyotes. The entire trail, it has been stated, 2,000 miles, was at one time marked with broken wagons, dead horses and cattle, household goods and human bones.

Every immigrant rejoiced as he drew near to Sutter's fort, for it was "the Mecca" of his long weary journey. General Sutter always gave the newcomers a hearty welcome (m) and if destitute and starving he often provided food and clothing free of cost. To none was he a greater benefactor than to the Donner party. Without his generosity all would have perished.

In the summer of 1848-49 California saw a greater change in its population and trade than history has ever before seen in any period. the population in 1847, excluding Indians, was 7,000. The centers of trade were the pueblos of Monterey, San Jose and Yerba Buena. San Diego, Los Angeles, Sonoma and New Helvetia contained a small population.

Than came the cry of "gold," and in a few months the population had increased to nearly 100,000 persons, people from every land and every clime. Over 32,000 sailed through the Golden Gate; 42,000 crossed the Sierras, and thousands came by the Santa Fe and other trails.

Day after day steamers and sailing vessels landed their passengers at San Francisco and they hurried on to the mines, up the San Joaquin river to Stockton, then by stage or on foot to the Southern mines, or up the Sacramento river to Sacramento, then by stage t the Northern mines. What was the result? Sacramento and Stockton, from small, unimportant settlements, became hives of business and industry. Mining camps came to life in a day. Jamestown, Sonora, Columbia, Murphy's Camp, Chinese Camp, Big Oak Flat, Mariposa, Snellings, Placerville, Marysville and a hundred other camps became busy marts of life and trade.

Stockton was founded in 1849 by Captain Charles M. Weber. When first he saw the land he believed in some future time it would become a city of great commercial importance because of its deep water outlet to the sea. Weber as early as 1844 obtained this land, some 10,489 acres, from his San Jose partner, Wm. Gulnack. The land was designated by the Mexicans as Campo de los Franceses, the camp of the Frenchmen. Gulnack, being a naturalized Mexican citizen, obtained the grant free of cost. Weber obtained it for a mere song.

In trying to populate the grant in 1847, Captain Weber offered any settlers a lot in the town and 160 acres of land. They laughed at the offer, and one immigrant, Thomas Doak, declared he would not give 10 cents an acre for all the land between Weberville and Sutter's fort.

In 1847 the owner succeeded in getting some twenty settlers, trappers and sailors, to settle upon the grant. Then came the discovery of gold, January, 1848. In the fall of that year he built the first house in the San Joaquin valley. In the spring of 1849 he saw the realization of his dream and resurveyed the town. In this resurvey he laid off a city one mile square, divided into blocks 300 feet square. Each street was open to the channel, and streets ran along the water front. Two years later speculators offered him thousands of dollars a front foot for lots on the water front. He refused all offers, saying the water front must be kept open for the use of the general public. Today the citizens appreciate the wisdom of the founder.

In the spring of 1849 the incoming immigrants began arriving, and as James H. Carson declared, "a rush and whirl of human beings was constantly before the eye and a city had arisen at the bidding of the full-fledged Minerva." A tent city of 1,000 people had arisen as if by magic. Christmas morn, 1849, the city was in ashes, swept by a half-million dollar fire. Again was the town rebuilt. Ship after ship entered the harbor. The navigation of the channel was obstructed by the income vessels, and in February, 1850, merchants, 107 in number, petitioned Captain Weber to remove the obstructions.

In the spring of that year there were over 2,000 people living in Stockton, more than sufficient to incorporate a city. The citizens began discussing city incorporation, and in less than two months, August, 1850, the city was incorporated and city officers elected. Captain Weber then deeded all of the streets, alley and public squares to the new city of Stockton. Six months later Stockton had her local government and laws and ordinances governing commerce and society, a well equipped fire department, private schools, religious and secret societies and two daily newspapers. Steamers ran daily to San Francisco and stages to the mines. She had her banking and express offices, post office, hotels, stores and shops, commission houses and traders, all doing a thriving business with the merchants of the Southern mines.

Stockton and Sacramento are the only two cities in California founded by individuals. The former, as we have seen, was founded by Captain Weber, and the latter by Captain John M. Sutter. The enterprising Swiss on his arrival in the territory became a naturalized Mexican citizen. He then obtained a grant of land on the Rio del Sacramento, which he called New Helvetia. Building his fort some three miles from the west river bank, it was previous to 1844 the only trading post in northern California. Sutter then established a ferry across the Sacramento river. It was much traveled, as the distance to Yerba Buena by the way of Semple's ferry, Benicia, was much shorter than by the way of Tuleburg. Sutter also became a town builder. He founded a town on the river bank, three miles below Sacramento. He named it Sutterville. The little burg flourished until the gold discovery, then faded away. In the spring of 1848 Sacramento consisted of two houses, a whisky shop and a small cabin, both upon the river bank. In the latter part of the year it contained sixty houses and a population of three thousand persons. Lieutenant Warner, an army engineer, obtained a leave of absence from Governor Mason and, employed by Sutter, he laid off Sacramento. Most of the surveying was done near the fort, Sutter contended that no permanent town could be founded upon the river banks because of the high waters. When the sale of lots took place in the spring of 1849 the greatest demand was for land along the river front. These were sold and a transfer of business then took place from the fort to First, Second, Third and K streets.

The citizens elected their first alcalde in the fall of 1848. In January, 1849, they held their first regular election, choosing men to fill the offices of magistrate, recorder, alcalde and sheriff. They also appointed a board of commissioners to frame a code of laws for the government of the district. They met the citizens assembled under an oak tree, then at the foot of J street, and made their report. Their code was accepted and by these laws Sacramento was governed until after California's admission as a state.

During the floods of 1849 and 1852 they learned to their sorrow that Sutter was right. Then began the expenditure of millions of dollars in filling up the land. They spent on J street along, one year, 1855, over a half million.

The population of Sacramento in July, 1849, numbered some 1,500 which had increased in the summer of 1850 to 10,000.

The main streets were constantly crowded and immigrants by the hundreds were in camp upon the outside of town. In September nine lines of steamers ran up the Sacramento river; stages left the town every morning for the mines, and the banking and express offices together with the merchants were carrying on an immense business. Before this time they had adopted a city charter, elected a town council and were holding political meetings. The Placer Times claimed a circulation of 400 at $12 a year subscription rates, and their job and advertising work was over $2,000 a week. Real estate had advanced in price far beyond its real worth, and choice lots sold at $3,000 each. Rents were very high and Sutters' sawmill at Coloma was removed in sections to Sacramento and finished as the City Hotel, rented for $30,000 a year. the proprietor charged $5 a day or $20 a week for the plainest meals. The completion of the hotel was marked by a ball July 4, 1849. The tickets were $35. All of the women of the town were present, eighteen in number. Each lady had ten dancing partners and a few more.

Business was very brisk. Merchants were taking in over $3,000 a day across their pine board counters; clerks were receiving from $300 to $500 a month, and gambling and whisky saloons were doing such a profitable business than they were paying $1,000 a month rent.

San Francisco until 1847 was known as Yerba Buena (good herb). That year, however, the alcalde, Washington A. Bartlett, by official proclamation changed the name to San Francisco. At this time the population was bout 900. Four years later the census marshal reported a population of 56,871.

When the first survey was made, in 1835, a Mexican surveyor believed one street sufficient for all purposes. He laid off a single street, calling it "La Callade la Fundacion." In 1839 a new survey was made by the Frenchman, Jean Vioget. He gave the town a frontage upon Yerba Buena cove. He laid off as the boundary of the new town what is now Post, Leavenworth and Francisco street. He included the water lots then just east of Montgomery street, between the two land marks, Rincon point on the south and Black point on the north. The land at the time was one or two feet under the water; nevertheless it was divided into 16-1/2 by 50 vara lots. a vara is 33-1/3 inches.

When General Kearny arrived in San Francisco the speculators, looking to the future, requested him to place on sale these water lots. He had them put up on sale. In three days over 200 lots were bought up, ranging in price from $50 to $600 each. In August a second sale of lots was made. These were sandhill lots, and they sold from $12 to $25 a lot. The gold discovery sent those dry lots a-booming. Before the close of 1849 they arose in value and $10,000 was paid for corner single lots. Then the wise ones made their fortunes by the same methods in which, in later years, speculators grabbed all the best California lands. One of these speculators was Captain Joseph Folsom, at that time quartermaster of the custom house. The limit of purchase was three lots. Folsom bought the limit. Then he bribed his clerks to buy more lots for him. In this way he obtained many lots and cleared, by selling lots, a million dollars.

Folsom advised Lieutenant Wm. T. Sherman to buy lots. He thought it a waste of good money. Some years later Sherman in relating the incident said: "I felt insulted that he should think me such a fool. They were not worth $16 before the gold discovery, and are higher now than they ever will be in the future. The mines will be exhausted and the country will become a desert again."

The rapid growth of San Francisco was astonishing not only in its sudden increase in population but in its increase in improvements and in wealth. Within the four years the streets impassable in winter because of mud were planked and nearly two miles of wharves built. They had already begun to cut away the hills and business had extended into Happy valley, now a part of Market street. Upon every side the sound of machinery was heard and steam engines were busy. The streets at night were lighted with whale oil until 1854; then gas was the lighting material until electricity took its place. Omnibuses began running to North beach in 1854 and they were the public conveyance throughout the city until 1860; then the first horse car line ran up Market street to the "Willows." The cable cars were first started on Clay street.

Oakland. -- All of the country around about Oakland was owned by the Spaniard, Don Luis Peralta. Governor Sola gave him the grant in 1820. Peralta lived in the foothills with his family and raised horses and cattle. When the state was organized in 1850 he divided his land among his four sons. Vincente Peralta obtained that part where now lies Oakland.

The first settlement was by the Patton brothers in 1850. They located at what was then known as Brooklyn, now a part of Oakland, and began raising wheat. They had good water communication with Yerba Buena by the way of San Antonio creek, and they built an embarcadero at that point. Since 1847 the mission fathers had been using that creek, and in small boats they had been shipping hides, tallow and a few vegetables from San Jose mission to the deep water vessels anchored in the bay. A trading store was opened near the mission after the gold discovery, and at once a line of travel was established to Yerba Buena over the Brooklyn line.

The point at this time was known as the Contra Costa landing. Edison Adams, A. J. Moon and H. J. Carpentier, observing that the embarcadero was a good shipping point, in 1850 squatted upon the land. That is, they took possession, claiming that Peralta had no right to his father's estate. Upon the spot now known as Braodway they located 160 acres and, erecting a small dwelling, they named the future town Oak-land. The ground was thick with live oak and sycamore trees. The town prospered and in 1852 Carpentier succeeded in inducing the legislature to pass a law incorporating a city. The three men then became the town trustees. These honest fellows then deeded to Carpentier the whole of the Oakland water front. In consideration of this gift, Carpentier built a wharf for public use, and a public school. Amusing as this transaction appears, it has cost Oakland millions of dollars, and was finally settled less than four years ago, after ten years of litigation.

The city was laid off in blocks 200x300 feet with streets 80 feet wide. Broadway, however, is 110 feet wide. The bounds of the town were Fourteenth street on the north, West street on the west, including 300 feet into the bay; Oakland creek on the south, and Lake Merritt on the east.

Communication was made between Oakland and San Francisco in early days by a small steamer which made two-hour trips. Opposition in 1857 reduced the fare and increased the number of trips. The San Antonio creek route was abandoned in 1863 and a long wharf was built over the mud flats to deep water. Then two large steamers, the Contra Costa and Oakland, began making two-hour trips. The fare was 50 cents each way. In 1869 the Central Pacific railroad obtained control of the ferry, and running their trains through Seventh street, made the steamer ferry trips conform to the running time of their trains. The Oakland climate, less foggy and chilly than that of the peninsula, appealed to the wealthier class of people, and building houses in Oakland, they began making it their home. Thus Oakland grew until it became known as the sleeping room of San Francisco. The destruction of that city by fire in April, 1906, was Oakland's opportunity. Its population, now over 300,000, nearly equals that of the bay city.

New York of the Pacific -- It was the height of the ambition of many peioneers to found a town, and among them was Colonel J. D. Stevenson. He founded New York of the Pacific on San Pablo bay, south side. Stevenson had an idea that his town would become a miniature New York, his native state. As ocean ships could sail to that point, he believed Tuleburg (Stockton) and Sacramento would become deserted villages. Stevenson engaged William T. Sherman and Richard p. Hammond to lay off the town. He promised them for their work $500 cash and ten town lots. They surveyed and sounded San Pablo bay and found a depth of thirty feet of water. Quite a number of lots were sold. When it was learned, however, that 400-ton steamers could easily ascend the rivers to Stockton and Sacramento throughout the year, New York of the Pacific and Benicia found their Waterloo.

Vallejo and Mare Island -- The island was so named because the early settlers there found a number of wild mares. In 1849 six government officers from the army and navy selected Mare island as the site for the establishment of government works. The state legislature in 1854deeded the island to the government. Then commenced the construction of the works.

No government employees were permitted to reside on the island. The enforcement of this rule gave birth to Vallejo, on the opposite side of the strait. The land belonged to John Frisbie. Laying off a town, he named it Vallejo, his wife's maiden name. The town is principally populated with government employes, their wives and children.

Jamestown -- Jamestown was named after the first discoverer of gold in that vicinity, William James. Its growth was rapid. Carson, visiting the spot in May, 1849, after a year's absence, said: " * * * On the large flat we found a canvas city under the name of Jamestown, which, similar to a crop of mushrooms, had sprung up in a night. A hundred flags were flying from restaurants, taverns, rum mills and gambling houses."

Cornelius Sullivan and his companions at this time were on their way from Monterey to Coloma. In camp one night a Spaniard came along and said: "Oh, my friends, there is lots of gold, chunks as big as my fist, on the Stanislaus." The party then turned from Coloma to Jamestown. "Never will I forget the imprssions of the scene before us," said Sullivan to the writer. "Under a brushwood tent supported by upright poles sat James D. Savage, measuring and pouring gold dust into the candle boxes by his side. Five hundred or more naked Indians with belts of cloth bound around their waists or suspended from their heads brought the dust to Savage, and in return for it received a bright piece of cloth or some beads."

Sonora -- Sonora was located in 1848 by the Woods party. It took its name, however, from a number of expert miners, natives of Sonora, Mexico, who, finding gold, located there in large numbers. They were quickly driven away by the Americans. The place grew rapidly. In November, 1848, they elected a town council. In the following year, 1852, Sonora had 100 business houses. They carried a stock of a half million dollars. In 1856 with its population of 5,000 it had its secret organizations of Masons, Odd Fellows and temperance societies, public and private schools and four religious denominations of Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal and South Methodist, each holding weekly Sundau services. Upon a Saturday night the street was crowded with miners from the hills and gulches, seeking their mail, the news and their weekly supply of provisions; and music, heard from all sides attracted the curious to the gambling tables, where was seen the miner with his hard-earned gold "bucking the tiger."

Columbia, three miles from Sonora, was created through the accidental discovery of gold. A party of prospectors bound for other diggings in March, 1850, camped there for the night. While drying their blankets the next morning after a heavy rain they began prospecting and found gold. The news flew upon the wings of lightning. In four days there were forty tents upon the ground. Eight months later 8,000 miners were at work. Prostitution and gambling ruled the camp. One hundred and forty monte bnks, with capital of $500,000, carried on their favorite game.

Late in the spring of 1851 water for mining was very scarce. The entire population save ten left the camp. That winter they returned. In 1852 Columbia had 152 places of business, this including 30 gambling saloons, 40 grocery and dry goods stores, 4 banks and 3 express companies and a brewery. That year the Tuolumne Water Company brought a stream of water three feet wide and two feet deep into the town. This was incorporated and George Sullivan elected mayor. The town cast 9,858 votes. In July, 1854, the place was destroyed by fire, loss $600,000. The gold output began to decrease, and in 1858 the inhabitants began leaving "the gem of the mountains." Real estate fell in value rapidly. Ten years later the camp was almost deserted.

Murphy's Camp, on the road to the famous Calaveras big trees, was founded in 1849 by a prospecting party. At one period over 3,000 miners lived in that locality. It was a remarkably rich spot. Ground sixty feet square yielded over a half million in two years, and from that vicinity over $2,000,000 was taken. The place was named after Murphy, one of the prospectors. He later opened a hotel. In 1858 James Sperry erected a stone building and opened a hotel for tourists. In the destructive fire of 1860 it was burned out, but was again refurnished.

Placerville -- The place was first known as Kelsey's Diggins. A party of friendly Indians guided Kelsey to the place. About Christmas, 1848, the miners hung Irish Disk and two other murderers from an oak tree. The place was then known as Hangtown. Later it was incorporated under its present name, Placerville.

In 1852 the wealth, population and the political power of the state centered in the gold mines. The census marshall that year reported a population of 224,435, and of this number the seven counties of Calavera, El Dorado, Nevada, Tuolumne, Placer, Sierra and Yuba contained 126,853 inhabitants.

Early in the 60's because of the gradual decrease of the gold output the gold diggers believed "the mines were played out," and they began leaving by the hundreds and locating in the valleys and coast towns. Soon the small camps and then the largest diggins were deserted. Stores were closed, families left their pretty little cottages and gardens and thousands of dollars' worth of property was left to ruin and decay. In one camp a brick building erected at a cost of $4,000 rented for $100 a month. Later it found no tenant at $5.00 a month. In one town in 1853, 5,000 miners crowded its streets every Saturday night. Ten years later not 500 people could be found there. Now the camps that contained the population, highest intellects and wealth of the state are but the skeletons of their early life. They await the prosperity that will again come, through the electric railroad and horticulture. For fruit raising no soil in the state equals that of the mountain lands.


  1. When the sailors on board the merchantmen in San Francisco harbor heard of the gold discovery they immediately deserted and started for the mines. It was very difficult to get sailors. The captain of the ship Rohne, however, bound for Minila, succeeded in getting a crew, he agreeing to pay them $200 per month.

  2. Peter Burnett, later California's first governor, standing on the streets of Oregon City, proposed the immediate organization of a company to emigrate to California. It met with a quick response and eight days later, September 1st, 150 men in wagons drawn by oxen and horses started for Coloma. In November they reached Long's bar and there, camping, began mining.

  3. "I think," said Burnett, "that fully two-thirds of the population of Oregon capable to bearing arms left for California in the summer and fall of 1848." The Oregon Spectator affirming the same report, said "almost the entire male and a part of the female population of Oregon has gone gold digging in California."

  4. The first paper to publish the news was the Baltimore Sun, they receiving a letter September 20, 1848, from their California correspondent, B. P. Kooser. About the same time Bennett of the New York Herald received a vial of gold, 10-2/4 grains, from Thomas O. Larkin. On receiving it Bennett exclaimed, "Let us see if this be gold." An assayer tested it and declared it was almost pure gold, 21-1/2 carats fine.

  5. This was one of the favorite songs among a certain class of pioneers, and one verse read as follows:
    	"I'll soon be in 'Frisco
    	And then I'll look around,
    	And when I see the gold lumps there
    	I'll pick 'em off the ground.
    	I'll scrape the mountains clean, my boys,
    	I'll drain the rivers dry,
    	A pocket full of rocks bring home,
    	Susannah, don't you cry."
    

  6. The ship, which was chartered by 152 well educated young men, was named after the famous statesman, Edward Everett. At that time he was president of Harvard college, and he presented the company with 300 volumes of standard authors. The vessel left Boston January 10, 1849, and arrived at San Francisco July 7th.

    The company brought with it a knock-down steamer hull, cabin, boilers and engine. She was put together at Benicia and launched August 12th. Five days later, August 17th, says William B. Farwell, the little Pioneer sailed up the Sacramento river, reaching that point early in the morning, August 19th. The miners cheered the first steamer until they were hoarse. The day was given up to jollification and whisky.

  7. In December, 1849, a party of seven persons left Nantucket in a vessel of 44 tons measurement. She was called the Mary and Emma and she arrived safely at San Francisco after a voyage of 149 days. The San Francisco Call, June, 1901, says the schooner Polly that sailed around Cape Horn in 1849 was only 61 feet long and 13 feet wide.

  8. One illustration as to results: My father came around Cape Horn in 1849 with a company of fifty Bostonians. They chartered the bark Lenark for a two years' voyage, and placed on board sufficient supplies to last them during their short visit to California. Leaving the bark at San Francisco in charge of the captain, the entire party hurried to the mines. The captain immediately after their departure sold the provisions for a large sum of money and sailed for China.

  9. On one occasion there were over 3,000 passengers in the dirty, unhealthy town of Panama, awaiting passage to San Francisco. Offers were made of $600 for a steamer ticket, but the offer was not accepted. Finally one of the passengers died. A Mr. Adams, hearing of the death, immediately sprang from his chair, exclaiming: "Had he a through ticket?"

  10. an eye witness at San Francisco of one of these arrivals said: "A sailing vessel reached here yesterday from Panama, having on board 130 persons. They were 114 days from that port, and 30 persons had died of hunger. I saw several of the poor fellows and they looked horribly emaciated and famished."

    One party of foolhardy men left Panama in the log canoes of the natives. They had no idea of the distance to California, and they believed that they could reach San Francisco in those frail boats. Nearly all of them perished of hunger and exhaustion.

    Another party chartered the small schooner Dolphin and without captain or pilot put out to sea. Because of head winds their progress was very slow, and at Cape St. Lucas they left the Dolphin, expecting to make San Francisco on foot overland. They nearly starved to death and after living on cacti, herbs and rattlesnakes, naked and nearly famished, the party succeeded in reach San Diego. Some of California's best citizens were in that company, among them A. W. Schmidt, later one of San Francisco's famous civil engineers, and James W. McClatchy, sheriff of Sacramento county and founder of the Sacramento Bee.

  11. The passengers from the Atlantic side were at one time compelled to wait three weeks at Panama for the long delayed steamer California. The crew had deserted the vessel and gone to the gold mines, and it was difficult to get sailors. At this time the cholera was raging and from twelve to fifteen deaths were daily reported.

  12. This disease wa the cholera. It raged fearfully in the border states the first year of the overland emigration, 1849, and later in California. As the emigrants entered the wilderness they carried the germs of the disease. Persons were suddenly seized with the most violent symptoms of the disease. There was no possible cure, and they were left behind to die. The emigrants hastened on to reach, as soon as possible, the high altitude beyond Fort Laramie, as the pestilence disappeared in the high mountain air. From cholera alone the first 400 miles west of the frontier was marked with dead bodies and newly dug graves. Over 4,000 persons of all ages died of disease.

    The disease reached California in the spring of 1850. Because of the unhealthy conditions, such as poor food, bad water, a lack of comfortable houses, clothing, medicines and attendance, the disease raged fearfully. This was particularly true of Sacramento. Although 90 per cent of her population were young and strong men, in November of that year "the deaths ranged from thirty to fifty a day for nearly twenty days," said Dr. John Morse. "The daily mortality became so great as to keep men constantly carrying away the dead." The plague raged to some extent in San Jose, about 10 per cent of the population dying. Stockton also suffered about 5 per cent. In San Francisco 5 per cent of the population were stricken and died. John C. Pelton, the first public school teacher, said in his report in January, 1851, that one-fifth of his pupils, 39, were orphans, "many of them made so by the recent ravages of cholera." The mountain towns were not affected, as the disease dies out above the 1,000 foot level.

  13. General Sutter, one of the most active, enterprising and benevolent of California's early pioneers, was born in the grand duchy of Baden, March 1, 1803. He was born of religious parents and received a common school education only. Engaging in the wine business, the wine growers in 1834 sent him to the United States to buy land. He located at St. Charles, Missouri, and became an American citizen.

    Then came the reports of fertile land in the far west, and in April, 1834, Sutter with six others joined a trapping party bound for the Rocky Mountains. From this point horseback they rode to Vancouver, reaching that point in December, 1838. Sutter's destination was California; the only way of getting there was by some trading ship. In the brig Clementine he sailed to the Sandwich Islands, then to Monterey, arriving there in August, 1839.

    Learning that land grants were given free to naturalized citizens, Sutter became a Mexican subject. He then selected and was given a grant of land, 33 miles square, on the Rio del Sacramento. He called it the New Helvetia, after his own native province. Why he selected that locality is a problem. It was 100 miles from San Jose, the nearest settlement, and his neighbors were wild Indians and wild animals.

    Sutter reached his grant in a small schooner seven days from Yerba Buena. He had a happy faculty in making friends with the Indians. He made with them a treaty and then employing them with the assistance of a few white men he built Sutter's fort. The walls, built of adobe, were two feet thick and fifteen feet high. It was mounted with cannon, purchased from the Russians. A sentinel constantly stood guard at the only gate. Within the fort he built dwellings, storehouses, workshops and manufactures. Sutter had in his employ about thirty white men, mechanics of various kinds, together with several hundred Indians. They were engaged in the manufacture of leather blankets, soap and various other articles, also in raising vegetables, wheat and stock.

    When gold was discovered he had as a part of his property 8,000 head of cattle, 2,000 horses and mules, nearly 1,000 sheep and 1,000 hogs. Then came the gold rush, and Sutter lost everything. The lawless class stole his stock, cut down his timber, trampled over his wheat fields and "squatted" upon his land. The man who had assisted hundreds of suffering immigrants was to die a pauper. Finally losing all of his property through bad debts and swindlers, he applied to the state legislature for a monthly pension. The legislature voted him a pension for several years, and then subsequent legislatures refused further assistance. The grafters were then taking everything in sight. The old man then returned to Pennsylvania and petitioned Congress for assistance. While they were debating the momentous question of granting the old pioneer $100 a month, June 17, 1880, he passed away. Not even a decent monument today heads his grave.


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