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Title: History of California
Author: Bandini, Helen Elliott
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of California" ***

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HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA


By Helen Elliot Bandini



Illustrated By Roy J. Warren

B. Cal. W. P. 16



Preface



This book is an attempt to present the history of California in so
simple and interesting a way that children may read it with pleasure.
It does not confine itself to the history of one section or period, but
tells the story of all the principal events from the Indian occupancy
through the Spanish and Mission days, the excitement of the gold
discovery, the birth of the state, down to the latest events of
yesterday and to-day. Several chapters, also, are devoted to the
development of California’s great industries. The work is designed not
only for children, but also for older people interested in the story of
California, including the tourists who visit the state by the thousand
every year.

For her information the writer has depended almost entirely upon source
material, seldom making use of a secondary work. Her connection with the
old Spanish families has opened to her unusual advantages for the study
of old manuscripts and for the gathering of recollections of historical
events which she has taken from the lips of aged Spanish residents,
always verifying a statement before using it. She has, also, from long
familiarity with the Spanish-speaking people, been able to interpret
truly the life of the Spanish and Mission period.

The illustrator of the history, Mr. Roy J. Warren, has made a careful
study of the manuscript, chapter by chapter. He has also been a faithful
student of California and her conditions; his illustrations are,
therefore, in perfect touch with the text and are as true to facts as
the history itself.

The thanks of the author are due not only to a host of writers from whom
she has gained valuable assistance, and some of whose names are among
those in the references at the end of the book, but to others to whom
further acknowledgment is due. First of these is Professor H. Morse
Stephens, whose suggestions from the inception of the work until its
completion have been of incalculable advantage, and whose generous
offer to read the proof sheets crowns long months of friendly
interest. Secondly, the author is indebted to the faithful and constant
supervision of her sister, Miss Agnes Elliott of the Los Angeles State
Normal School, without whose wide experience as a teacher of history
and economics the work could never have reached its present plane. The
author also offers her thanks to Mr. Charles F. Lummis, to whom not only
she but all students of California history must ever be indebted; to
Mrs. Mary M. Coman, Miss Isabel Frazee, to the officers of the various
state departments, especially Mr. Lewis E. Aubrey, State Mineralogist,
and Mr. Thomas J. Kirk and his assistant Mr. Job Wood of the educational
department; to Miss Nellie Rust, Librarian of the Pasadena City Library,
and her corps of accommodating and intelligent assistants, and to the
librarians of the Los Angeles City Library and State Normal School.

The passages from the Century Magazine quoted in Chapters V-IX are
inserted by express permission of the publishers, the Century Company.
Acknowledgment is due, also, to the publishers of the Overland Monthly
for courtesy in permitting the use of copyright material; and to D.
Appleton & Co. for permission to insert selections from Sherman’s
Memoirs.



Contents



Chapter

    I. The Land and the Name
   II. The Story of the Indians
  III. “The Secret of the Strait”
    IV. The Cross of Santa Fe
    V. Pastoral Days
   VI. The Footsteps of the Stranger
  VII. At the Touch of King Midas
 VIII. The Great Stampede
   IX. The Birth of the Golden Baby
    X. The Signal Gun and the Steel Trail
   XI. That Which Followed After
  XII. “The Groves Were God’s First Temples”
  XIII. To All that Sow the Time of Harvest Should be Given
  XIV. The Golden Apples of the Hesperides
   XV. California’s Other Contributions to the World’s Bill of Fare
  XVI. The Hidden Treasures of Mother Earth
 XVII. From La Escuela of Spanish California to the Schools of the
       Twentieth Century
XVIII. Statistics

Bibliography Index



History of California



Chapter I.

The Land and the Name



Once upon a time, about four hundred years ago, there was published in
old Spain a novel which soon became unusually popular. The successful
story of those days was one which caught the fancy of the men, was read
by them, discussed at their gatherings, and often carried with them when
they went to the wars or in search of adventures. This particular story
would not interest readers of to-day save for this passage: “Know that
on the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California,
very near the Terrestrial Paradise, and it is peopled by black women who
live after the fashion of Amazons. This island is the strongest in the
world, with its steep rocks and great cliffs, and there is no metal in
the island but gold.”

There is no doubt that some bold explorer, crossing over from Spain to
Mexico and enlisting under the leadership of the gallant Cortez, sailed
the unknown South Sea (the Pacific) and gave to the new land discovered
by one of Cortez’s pilots the name of the golden island in this favorite
story.

This land, thought to be an island, is now known to us as the peninsula
of Lower California. The name first appeared in 1542 on the map of
Domingo Castillo, and was soon applied to all the land claimed by Spain
from Cape San Lucas up the coast as far north as 44¼, which was probably
a little higher than any Spanish explorer had ever sailed.

“Sir Francis Drake,” says the old chronicle, “was the first Englishman
to sail on the back side of America,” and from that time until now
California has been considered the back door of the country. This was
natural because the first settlements in the United States were along
the Atlantic seacoast. The people who came from England kept their faces
turned eastward, looking to the Mother Country for help, and watching
Europe, and later England herself, as a quarter from which danger might
come, as indeed it did in the war of the Revolution and that of 1812.

During the last few years, however, various events have happened to
change this attitude. Through its success in the late Spanish war the
United States gained confidence in its own powers, while the people of
the old world began to realize that the young republic of the western
hemisphere, since it did not hesitate to make war in the interests of
humanity, would not be apt to allow its own rights to be imposed upon.
The coming of the Philippine and Hawaiian Islands under the protection
of the United States, the Russo-Japanese war, which opened the eyes of
the world to the strength of Japan and the wisdom of securing its trade,
and the action of the United States in undertaking the building of
the Panama Canal, are indications that the Pacific will in the future
support a commerce the greatness of which we of to-day cannot estimate.
With danger from European interference no longer pressing closely
upon the nation, President Roosevelt in 1907 took a decided step in
recognizing the importance of the Pacific when he sent to that coast
so large a number of the most modern vessels of the navy. In fact, the
nation may now be said to have faced about, California becoming the
front door of our country.

It is well, then, to ask ourselves what we know about the state which is
to form part of the reception room of one of the leading nations of the
world.

It is a long strip of territory, bounded on one side by the ocean
so well named Pacific, which gives freshness and moisture to the
ever-blowing westerly winds.

On the other side is a mountain range, one thousand miles long, with
many of its peaks covered with perpetual snow, holding in its lofty arms
hundreds of ice-cold lakes, its sides timbered with the most wonderful
forests of the world.

Few regions of the same size have so great a range of altitude as
California, some portions of its desert lands being below sea level,
while several of its mountains are over ten thousand feet in height. In
its climate, too, there are wide differences as regards heat and
cold, although its coast lands, whether north or south, are much more
temperate than the corresponding latitudes on the Atlantic coast. The
difference in the climate of the northern and southern portions of the
state is more marked in the matter of moisture. Most of the storms of
California have their beginning out in the North Pacific Ocean. They
travel in a southeasterly direction, striking the coast far to the north
in summer, but in winter extending hundreds of miles farther south.
During November, December, January, and February they often reach as
far south as the Mexican line. Then, only, does southern California
have rain. The water necessary for use in the summer time is gained by
irrigation from the mountain streams, which are supplied largely from
the melting snows on the Sierras.

The home lands of the state may be divided into two portions: the
beautiful border country rising from the Pacific in alternate valleys
and low rolling foothills to the edge of the Coast Range; and the great
central valley or basin, which lies like a vast pocket almost entirely
encircled by mountains the high Sierras on the east, on the west the low
Coast Range. Two large rivers with their tributaries drain this valley:
the San Joaquin, flowing from the south; and the Sacramento, flowing
from the north. Joining near the center of the state, they cut their way
through the narrow passage, the Strait of Carquinez, and casting their
waters into the beautiful Bay of San Francisco, finally reach the ocean
through the Golden Gate.

Down from the Sierras, mighty glaciers carried the soil for this central
valley, grinding and pulverizing it as it was rolled slowly along. Many
years this process continued. The rain, washing the mountain sides,
brought its tribute in the rich soil and decayed vegetation of the
higher region, until a natural seed bed was formed, where there can
be raised in abundance a wonderful variety of plants and trees. In the
coast valleys the soil is alluvial, the fine washing of mountain rocks;
this is mixed in some places with a warmer, firmer loam and in others
with a gravelly soil, which is the best known for orange raising.

The state owes much to her mountains, for not only have they contributed
to her fertile soil, but they hold in their rocky slopes the gold and
silver mines which have transformed the whole region from an unknown
wilderness to a land renowned for its riches and beauty. They lift their
lofty peaks high in the air like mighty strongholds, and, shutting
out the desert winds, catch the clouds as they sail in from the ocean,
making them pay heavy tribute in fertilizing rain to the favored land
below.

The climate, which of all the precious possessions of California is the
most valuable, is best described by Bret Harte in the lines, “Half a
year of clouds and flowers; half a year of dust and sky.” Either half is
enjoyable, for in the summer, or dry season, fogs or delightful westerly
winds soon moderate a heated spell, and in nearly all parts of the state
the nights are cool; while the rainy, or winter season, changes to balmy
springtime as soon as the storm is over.

In a large portion of the state the climate is such that the inhabitants
may spend much of their time out of doors. As a rule few duties are
attended to in the house which can possibly be performed in the open
air. It is growing to be more and more the custom to have, in connection
with a Californian home, a tent bedroom where the year round one or more
of the members of the family sleep, with only a wall of canvas between
them and nature.

The vacation time is spent largely in summer camps, at either mountain
or seashore, or, quite often, a pleasant party of one or two families
live together, very simply, under the greenwood tree beside some spring
or stream, spending a few weeks in gypsy fashion. While the young folk
grow sturdy and beautiful, the older members of the party become filled
with strength and a joy of living which helps them through the cares
and struggles of the rest of the year. This joy in outdoor life is not,
however, a discovery of to-day. The old Spanish families spent as much
time as possible in the courtyard, the house being deserted save at
night. When upon journeys, men, women, and children slept in the
open air. Even the clothes-washing period was turned into a kind
of merrymaking. Whole families joined together to spend days in the
vicinity of some stream, where they picnicked while the linen was being
cleansed in the running water and dried on the bushes near by.

Once before, when the world was younger, there was a land similar to
this,--sea-kissed, mountain-guarded, with such gentle climate and
soft skies. Its people, who also lived much out of doors at peace
with nature, became almost perfect in health and figure, with mental
qualities which enabled them to give to the world the best it has known
in literature and art. What the ancient Greeks were, the people
of California may become; but with an advancement in knowledge and
loving-kindness of man toward man which heathen Athens never knew.

What will be the result of this outdoor life cannot yet be told; climate
has always had an active influence in shaping the character and type of
a people. With a climate mild and healthful, yet bracing; with a soil so
rich that the touch of irrigation makes even the sandiest places bloom
with the highest beauty of plant, tree, and vine; with an ocean warm and
gentle, and skies the kindliest in the world,--there is, if we judge by
the lesson history teaches, a promise of a future for California greater
and more noble than the world has yet known.



Chapter II.

The Story of the Indians



“Run, Cleeta, run, the waves will catch you.” Cleeta scudded away, her
naked little body shining like polished mahogany. She was fleet of foot,
but the incoming breakers from the bosom of the great Pacific ran faster
still; and the little Indian girl was caught in its foaming water,
rolled over and over, and cast upon the sandy beach, half choked, yet
laughing with the fun of it.

“Foolish Cleeta, you might have been drowned; that was a big wave. What
made you go out so far?” said Gesnip, the elder sister.

“I found such a lot of mussels, great big ones, I wish I could go back
and get them,” said the little one, looking anxiously at the water.

“The waves are coming in higher and higher and it is growing late,” said
Gesnip; “besides, I have more mussels already than you and I can well
carry. The boys have gone toward the river mouth for clams. They will be
sure to go home the other way.”

Cleeta ran to the basket and looked in.

“I should think there were too many for us to carry,” she said, as she
tried with all her strength to lift it by the carry straps. “What will
you do with them; throw some back into the water?”

“No, I don’t like to do that,” answered her sister, frowning, “for it
has been so long since we have had any. The wind and the waves have been
too high for us to gather any. Look, Cleeta, look; what are those out on
the water? I do believe they are boats.”

“No,” said the little girl; “I see what you mean, but boats never go out
so far as that.”

“Not tule boats,” said Gesnip, “but big thick one made out of trees;
that is the kind they have at Santa Catalina, the island where uncle
lives. It has been a long time since he came to see us, not since you
were four years old, but mother is always looking for him.”

The children gazed earnestly seaward at a fleet of canoes which were
making for the shore. “Do you think it is uncle?” asked Cleeta.

“Yes,” replied her sister, uncertainly, “I think it may be.” Then, as
the sunlight struck full on the boats “Yes, yes, I am sure of it, for
one is red, and no on else has a boat of that color; all others are
brown.”

“Mother said he would bring abalone when he came,” cried Cleeta, dancing
from one foot to the other; “and she said they are better than mussels
or anything else for soup.”

“He will bring fish,” said Gesnip, “big shining fish with yellow tails.”

“Mother said he would bring big blue ones with hard little seams down
their sides,” said Cleeta.

Meantime the boats drew nearer. They were of logs hollowed out until
they were fairly light, but still seeming too clumsy for safe seagoing
craft. In each were several men. One sat in the stern and steered, the
others knelt in pairs, each man helping propel the boat by means of
a stick some four feet long, more like a pole than a paddle, which he
worked with great energy over the gunwale.

“I am afraid of them,” said Cleeta, drawing close to her sister. “They
do not look like the people I have seen. Their faces are the color of
the kah-hoom mother weaves in her baskets. There are only three like us,
and they all have such strange clothes.”

“Do not be afraid,” said Gesnip. “I see uncle; he is one of the dark
ones like ourselves. The island people have yellow skins.”

The time was the year 1540, and the people, the Californians of that
day. The men in the boat were mostly from the island of Santa Catalina,
and were fairer, with more regular features, than the inhabitants of the
mainland, who in southern California were a short, thick-set race,
with thick lips, dark brown skin, coarse black hair, and eyes small and
shining like jet-black beads. They were poorly clothed in winter; in
summer a loin cloth was often all that the men wore, while the children
went naked a large part of the year.

With wonderful skill the badly shaped boats were guided safely over the
breakers until their bows touched the sand. Then the men leaped out and,
half wading, half swimming, pulled them from the water and ran them up
on the beach.

The little girls drew near and stood quietly by, waiting to be spoken
to. Presently the leading man, who was short, dark, and handsomely
dressed in a suit of sealskin ornamented with abalone shell, turned to
them.

“Who are these little people?” he asked, in a kind voice.

“We are the children of Cuchuma and Macana,” replied Gesnip, working her
toes in and out of the soft sand, too shy to look her uncle in the face.

“Children of my sister, Sholoc is glad to see you,” said the chief,
laying his hand gently on Cleeta’s head. “Your mother, is she well?”

“She is well and looking for you these many moons,” said Gesnip.

The men at once began unloading the boats. The children watched the
process with great interest, Abalone in their shells, a dainty prized
then as well as now, fish, yellowtail and bonito, filled to the brim the
large baskets which the men slung to their backs, carrying them by means
of a strap over the forehead. On their heads they placed ollas, or water
jars, of serpentine from quarries which may be seen in Santa Catalina
to-day, the marks of the tools of workmen of, that time still in the
rocks.

There were also strings of bits of abalone shell which had been
punctured and then polished, and these Sholoc hung around his neck.

“Uncle,” exclaimed Gesnip, touching one of these strings, “how much
money! You have grown rich at Santa Catalina. What will you buy?”

“Buy me a wife, perhaps,” was the reply. “I will give two strings for a
good wife. Do you know any worth so much?”

“No,” said the girl, stoutly. “I don’t know any worth two whole strings
of abalone. You can get a good wife for much less.”

The men, who had succeeded in loading the contents of the boats on their
heads and backs, now marched away, in single file, crossing the heavy
sand dunes slowly, then mounting the range of foothills beyond. The
children followed. Gesnip had her basket bound to her head by a strap
round her forehead; but, though her uncle had taken out part of the
contents, it was a heavy load for the child.

As they neared the top of the hill, Sholoc, who was ahead, lifted his
hand and motioned them to stop.

“Hush,” he said softly, “elk.” Swiftly the men slipped off their loads
and with bows in hand each one crept flat on his belly over the hill
crest. Gesnip and Cleeta peeped through the high grass. Below them was
a wide plain, dotted with clumps of bushes, and scattered over it they
could see a great herd of elk, whose broad, shining antlers waved above
the grass and bushes upon which they were feeding.

“Are those elk too?” asked Cleeta, presently, pointing toward the
foothills at their left.

“No,” replied her sister, “I think those are antelope. I like to see
them run. How funny their tails shake. But watch the men; they are going
to shoot.”

As she spoke, four of the hunters, who had crept well up toward
the game, rose to their feet, holding their bows horizontally, not
perpendicularly. These weapons, which were made of cedar wood, were
about four feet in length, painted at the ends black or dark blue, the
middle, which was almost two inches broad, being wrapped with elk sinew.
The strings also were of sinew. The quiver which each man carried at his
side was made from the skin of a wild cat or of a coyote. A great hunter
like Sholoc might make his quiver from the tails of lions he had killed.
Projecting from the quiver were the bright-feathered ends of the arrows,
which were of reed and were two or three feet long, with points of bone,
flint, or obsidian.

The hunters, knowing how hard it was to kill large game, had chosen
their arrows carefully, taking those that had obsidian points. Almost
at the same moment they let fly their shafts. Three elk leaped into the
air. One tumbled over in a somersault which broke one of its antlers,
and then lay dead, shot through the heart by Sholoc. Another took a few
leaps, but a second arrow brought it to its knees. Then it sank slowly
over upon its side; but it struck so fiercely at the hunter who ran up
to kill it with his horn knife that he drew back and shot it again.

“Where is the third elk?” asked Cleeta, looking around.

“Over there,” said Gesnip, pointing across the plain.

“Then they have lost it,” said the child, with disappointment.

“No, I think not. It is wounded. I saw the blood on its side,” said
the sister. “See, one of the men is following it, and it is half a mile
behind the herd. I am sure he will get it.”

“This has been a lucky day,” said Gesnip. “So much food. Our stomachs
will not ache with hunger for a long time.”

“That is because mother wove a game basket to Chinigchinich so he would
send food,” said Cleeta.

By the time the party had traveled two miles, Gesnip, with her load, and
Cleeta, whose bare brown legs were growing very tired, lagged behind.

“O dear,” said the elder sister, “we shall surely be too late to go into
camp with uncle.” Just then a whoop sounded behind them, and a boy of
thirteen, dressed in a rabbit-skin shirt, carrying a bow in his hand,
came panting up to them.

“Payuchi,” said Gesnip, eagerly, “carry my basket for me and I will tell
you some good news.”

“No,” replied Payuchi, shaking his head, “it is a girl’s place to carry
the basket.”

“Just this little way, and it is such good news” urged Gesnip. “It will,
make your heart glad.”

“Very well, then, tell it quickly,” said the boy, changing the basket of
mussels to his own broad back.

“Sholoc has come from Santa Catalina with baskets of abalone and fish,
and with ollas all speckled, and strings of money. He is near the top of
the grade now. Upon hearing the good news the lad darted away at a great
pace, his sisters following as fast as they could. Sholoc and his party
had stopped to rearrange their loads, so the children overtook them at
the head of the trail leading to their home.

“Below them was a valley dotted with live oaks, and along the banks of
the stream that ran through it was a thick growth of alders, sycamores,
and willows. At the foot of the trail, near the water, was a cluster
of what looked like low, round straw stacks. No straw stacks were they,
however, but houses, the only kind of homes known in southern California
at that time.

“It was the Indian settlement where Gesnip, Cleeta, and Payuchi lived,
and of which their father, Cuchuma, was chief. The jacals, or wigwams,
were made of long willow boughs, driven into the ground closely in a
circle, the ends bent over and tied together with deer sinews. They were
covered with a thatching of grass that, when dry, made them look like
straw stacks.

“Sholoc stepped to the-edge of the bluff and gave a long, quavering cry
which could be heard far in the still evening air. Instantly out of the
group of jacals came a crowd of men and boys, who gave answering cries.”

“I am glad they have a fire,” said Cleeta, as she saw the big blaze in
the middle of the settlement, “I am so cold.”

“Take my hand and let’s run,” said Gesnip, and partly running and partly
sliding, they followed the men of the party, who, notwithstanding their
heavy loads, were trotting down the steep trail.

They were met at the foot of the grade by a crowd which surrounded them,
all chattering at once. Sholoc told of the elk, and a number of men
started off on the run to bring in the big game. As the visitors entered
camp, Macana, a kind-faced woman, better dressed than most of her
tribe, came forward. She placed her hand on Sholoc’s shoulder, her face
lighting up with love and happiness.

“You are welcome, brother,” she said.

“The sight of you is good to my eyes, sister,” an answered Sholoc. That
was all the greeting, although the two loved each other well. Macana
took the basket from Payuchi’s back.

“Come,” she called to Gesnip, “and help me wash the mussels.” Then,
as she saw the younger girl shivering as she crouched over the fire,
“Cleeta, you need not be cold any longer; your rabbit skin dress is
done. Go into the jacal and put it on.” Cleeta obeyed with dancing eyes.

Gesnip followed her mother to the stream.

“Take this,” said Macana, handing her an openwork net or bag, “and hold
it while I empty in some of the mussels. Now lift them up and down in
the water to wash out the sand. That will do; put them into this basket,
and I will give you some more.”

Meantime some of the women had taken a dozen or more fish from Sholoc’s
baskets, and removing their entrails with bone knives, wrapped them in
many thicknesses of damp grass and laid them in the hot ashes and coals
to bake.

When the mussels were all cleaned, Macana emptied them into a large
basket half filled with water, and threw in a little acorn meal and a
handful of herbs. Then, using two green sticks for tongs, she drew out
from among the coals some smooth gray stones which had become very hot.
Brushing these off with a bunch of tules, she lifted them by means of
a green stick having a loop in the end which fitted round the stones,
flinging them one by one into the basket in which were the mussels and
water. Immediately the water, heated by the stones, began to boil, and
when the soup was ready, she set the basket down beside her own jacal
and called her children to her. Payuchi, Gesnip, Cleeta, and their
little four-year-old brother, Nakin, gathered about the basket, helping
themselves with abalone shells, the small holes of which their mother
had plugged with wood.

“Isn’t father going to have some first?” asked Payuchi, before they
began the meal.

“Not this time; he will eat with Sholoc and the men when the fish are
ready,” replied his mother.

“This is good soup,” said Gesnip. “I am glad I worked hard before the
water came up. But, Payuchi, didn’t you and Nopal get any clams?”

“Yes,” said her brother, making a face; he had dipped down where the
stones were hottest and the soup thickest, and had taken a mouthful that
burned him. “Yes, we got some clams, more than I could carry; but Nopal
was running races with the other boys and would not come, so I left him
to bring them. He will lose his fish dinner if he doesn’t hurry.”

“Mother,” said Cleeta, “may we stay up to the fish bake?”

“No,” answered her mother. “You and Nakin must go to bed, but I will
save some for your breakfast. You are tired, Cleeta.”

“Yes, I am tired,” said the little girl, leaning her head against her
mother’s shoulder, “but I am warm in my rabbit-skin dress. We all have
warm dresses now. Please tell me a good-night story,” she begged. “We
have been good and brought in much food.”

“Yes, tell us how the hawk and coyote made the sun,” said Gesnip.

“Very well,” said the mother, “only you must be quite still.”

“It was in the beginning of all things, and a bowl of darkness, blacker
than the pitch lining of our water basket, covered the earth. Man,
when he would go abroad, fell against man, against trees, against wild
animals, even against Lollah, the bear, who would, in turn, hug the
unhappy one to death. Birds flying in the air came together and fell
struggling to the earth. All was confusion.”

“Once the hawk, by chance, flew in the face of the coyote. Instead of
fighting about it as naughty children might, they, like people of good
manners, apologized many times. Then they talked over the unhappy state
of things and determined to remedy the evil. The coyote first gathered
a great heap of dried tules, rolled them together into a ball, and gave
them to the hawk, with some pieces of flint. The hawk, taking them in
his talons, flew straight up into the sky, where he struck fire with his
flints, lit the ball of reeds, and left it there whirling along with a
bright yellow light, as it continues to whirl to-day; for it, children,
is our sun, ruler of the day.”

“The hawk next flew back for another ball to rule the night, but the
coyote had no tule gathered, and the hawk hurried him so that some damp
stems were mixed in. The hawk flew with this ball into the sky and set
it afire but because of the green tules it burned with only a dim light;
and this, children, is our moon, ruler of the night.”

“That is a fine story,” said Payuchi. “I am glad I did not live when
there was no light.”

“Tell us how the coyote danced with the star,” said Gesnip.

“No,” replied the mother, “another time we shall see. Now I shall sing
to coax sleep to tired eyes, and the little ones will go to bed.” And
this was what she sang: “Pah-high-nui-veve, veve, veve, shumeh, veve,
veve, veve, shumeh, Pah-high-nui-veve,” and so on, repeating these words
over and over until Cleeta and Nakin were sound asleep. Then she laid
them on their tule mats, which were spread on the floor of the jacal,
where baby Nahal, close wrapped in his cocoon-shaped cradle, had been a
long time sleeping.

“Mother,” said Gesnip, coming into the jacal, “they have brought in the
elk. Don’t you want something from them?”

“Yes,” replied Macana, “I will go and see about it. I want one of the
skins to make your father a warm hunting dress.”

The Indians who had gone after the elk had skinned and cut them up where
they lay, as they were so large that the burden had to be distributed
among a number of carriers. Macana found Sholoc busy portioning out
parts of the elk. As he had a fine seal-skin suit himself, he gladly
gave her the skin of the deer which he had shot.

“Isn’t that a big one?” said Payuchi. “It will make father a fine
hunting suit, it is so thick.” Gesnip was loaded down with some of the
best cuts of the meat to take to her father’s jacal. Cuchuma himself
began removing the tendons from the legs, to cure for bowstrings, and to
wrap a new bow he was going to make.

“Here, Nopal,” said Sholoc to his oldest nephew, a lad of fifteen, “I
will give you a piece of the antler and you can grind it down and make
yourself a hunting knife. It is time you ceased to play and became a
hunter. I had killed much game when I was your age.”

“Will you give me some of the brains that I may finish tanning a
deerskin? I have been waiting to finish it until I could get some
brains, but it has been a long time since any one has brought in big
game,” said Macana.

“Yes,” answered Sholoc, “you shall have them. Payuchi, hand me my
elk-horn ax so that I can split open the head, and you can take the
brains to the jacal.” Soon not a piece of meat, a bit of skin, tendon,
or bone, was left. All was put to use by these people of the forest. And
now the feast was ready. The women had roasted many pieces of elk’s meat
over the coals. The fish had been taken from under the hot ashes, the
half burned grass removed from around them, and the fish broken into
pieces and put in flat baskets shaped like platters. There were also
pieces of elk meat and cakes of acorn meal baked on hot stones.

As was the custom with the Indians, the men were served first. Payuchi
watched anxiously as his father and the other men took large helpings
from the baskets.

“Do you think there will be enough for us to have any?” he asked Gesnip.
“I am so hungry and they are eating so much. If I were a man, I should
remember about the women and children.”

“No; you wouldn’t if you were a man; men never do,” answered Gesnip.
“But you need not worry, there is plenty. Mother said there would be
some left for breakfast.”

“Wait for that till I get through,” said Payuchi, laughing. After all
had eaten a hearty meal, more than for many weeks they had been able
to have at any one time, the tired women each gathered her children
together and took them to her own jacal, leaving the men sitting around
the camp fire. Payuchi, who tumbled to sleep as soon as his head touched
his sleeping mat, was wakened by some one pulling his rabbit-skin coat,
which he wore nights as well as days.

“Payuchi,” said a voice, “wake up.”

“I have not been asleep,” answered the boy, stoutly, as he rubbed his
eyes to get them open. “What do you want, Nopal?” for he saw his brother
speaking to him.

“Hush, do not waken mother,” said Nopal, speaking very softly. “I know
that the men will make an offering to Chinigchinich. I am going to watch
them. We are old enough, at least I am. Do you want to come?”

A star shone in at the top of the jacal, and Payuchi gazed up at it,
blinking, while he pulled his thoughts together.

“They will punish us if they find us out,” said he at length.

“But we won’t let them find us out, stupid one,” replied his brother,
impatiently.

“What if Chinigchinich should be angry with us? He does not like to have
children in the ceremony of the offering,” said Payuchi.

“I will give him my humming-bird skin, and you shall give him your
mountain quail head; then he will be pleased with us,” answered Nopal.

“All right,” said the boy; “I do not like very well to part with that
quail head, but perhaps it is a good thing to do.”

Creeping softly from the jacal, the boys crouched in the shade of a
willow bush and watched the men by the camp fire.

“They are standing up. They are just going,” said Payuchi, “and every
one has something in his hand. Father has two bows; I wonder why.”

“I think he is going to make an offering of the new bow to
Chinigchinich,” answered Nopal. “I thought he was going to keep it and
give me his old one,” he added, with some disappointment.

“What are they offering for?” asked the young brother.

“For rain,” said Nopal. “See, they are going now.” In single file the
men walked swiftly away, stepping so softly that not a twig cracked.

After a little the boys followed, slipping from bush to bush that they
might not be discovered. They had walked about a mile, when they came
to thicker woods with bigger trees and saw a light ahead of them. Nopal
laid his hand on his brother to stop him. Peeping through a scrub-oak
bush, they looked down into a little glade arched over with great live
oaks. In the middle of the opening they saw, by the light of a low fire,
a small cone-shaped hut. Beside it stood a gigantic figure painted and
adorned with shells, feathers, rattlesnake skins, and necklaces of bone.

“Come back,” whispered Payuchi, his teeth chattering with fear. “It is
Chinigchinich himself; he will see us, and we shall die.”

“No,” answered Nopal, “it is only Nihie, the medicine man. He looks so
tall because of his headdress. It is made of framework of dried tules
covered with feathers and fish bladders. I saw it one day in his
jacal, and it is as tall as I am. That jacal beside him is the vanquech
[temple], and I think there is something awful there. You see if there
isn’t. Hush, now! Squat down. Here they come.”

In a procession the men came into the opening, and, stalking solemnly
by, each cast down at the door of the temple an offering of some object
which he prized. Cuchuma gave a bone knife which he greatly valued, and
a handsome new bow. Sholoc gave a speckled green stone olla from Santa
Catalina and a small string of money; but these were chiefs’ offerings.
The other gifts were simpler--shells, acorn meal, baskets, birds’ skins,
but always something for which the owner cared.

At last the medicine man, satisfied with the things offered which became
his own when the ceremony was over, stooped and drew forth the sacred
emblem from the temple. It was not even an idol, only a fetich composed
of a sack made from the skin of a coyote, the head carefully preserved
and stuffed, while the body was dressed smooth of hair and adorned
with hanging shells and tufts of birds’ feathers. A bundle of arrows
protruded from the open mouth, giving it a fierce appearance. While
Nihie held it up, the men circled round once again, this time more
rapidly, and as they passed the medicine man, each gave a spring into
the air, shooting an arrow upward with all his force. When the last man
had disappeared under the trees, Nihie replaced the skin in the temple,
put out the fire, and, singing a kind of chant, he led the men back
to their jacals. The boys stood up. Payuchi shivered and drew a long
breath.

“We must get away now; Nihie will be back soon to get the offerings,”
 said Nopal.

“But first we must offer our gifts, or Chinigchinich will be angry,”
 said Payuchi.

“Come on, then,” said the brother; so, stealing softly down the
hillside, the boys cast their offerings on the pile in front of the hut
and ran away, taking a roundabout path home, that they might not meet
the medicine man returning.

“We must hurry to get in the jacal before father,” said Nopal, suddenly.
“I didn’t think of that. Run, Payuchi, run faster.” But they were in
time after all, and were stretched out on their mats some minutes before
their father and Sholoc came in.

Macana’s first duty in the morning was to attend to the baby, whose
wide-open black eyes gave the only sign that it was awake. She
unfastened it from the basket and unwrapped it, rubbing the little body
over with its morning bath of grease until the firm skin shone as if
varnished. When it had nursed and was comfortable, she put the little
one back in its cradle basket, which she leaned up against the side of
the hut, where the little prisoner might see all that was going on.

Instead of the usual breakfast of acorn meal mush, the children had a
plentiful meal of fish which their mother had saved from the feast of
the night before.

“I didn’t think any one could catch so many fish as uncle brought last
night,” said Cleeta, as she helped herself to a piece of yellowtail.

“Yes, they do, though,” said Payuchi. “Last night, after supper, uncle
told the men some fine stories. I think he has been in places which none
of our people have ever seen.

“He told us that once he journeyed many moons toward the land of snow
and ice until he came to the country of the Klamath tribe, where he
stayed a long time. He said that when they fish they drive posts made of
young trees into the bottom of the river and then weave willow boughs
in and out until there is a wall of posts and boughs clear across the
stream. Then the big red fish come up from the great water into the
river. They come, uncle said, so many no one can count them, and the
ones behind push against those in front until they are all crowded
against the wall, and then the Klamath men catch them with spears and
nets until there is food enough for all, and many fish to dry.”

“I should like to see that. What else did he tell you?” asked Gesnip.

“He said he visited one place where the great salt water comes into
the land and is so big it takes many days to journey round it. Here the
people eat fish, clams, and mussels instead of acorns and roots. On the
shore they have their feasting ground where they go to eat and dance and
tell big stories, and; sometimes to make an offering. So many people go
there, uncle said, that the shells they have left make a hill, a hill
just of shells that is many steps high. From the top of it one may look
over the water, which is so long no eye can see the end of it.”

“What else did you hear?” asked Gesnip.

“Nothing more, for mother called me,” replied her brother. “I should
like to hear more of those stories, though.”

“Mother,” asked Gesnip, as she finished her breakfast, “when am I to
begin to braid mats for the new jacal?”

“Soon,” replied Macana. “This morning you and Payuchi must gather
the tule. Have a large pile when I come home.” So saying, the mother
strapped the baby on her back and, accompanied by the younger children,
went out with other women of the tribe to gather the white acorns from
the oaks on the highlands pear the mountains.

The December wind, from the snow-capped peaks, chilled and cut with
its icy breath their scantily clothed bodies, but for hours they worked
picking up the scattered nuts. The labors of an Indian mother ceased
only while she slept.

“Come, Payuchi,” said Gesnip, “let us go down to the river and get
tules.”

“All right,” replied the boy, readily. “Sholoc is going down too. He
is going to show the men how to make log canoes like his instead of the
tule canoes our people use. But I like the tule canoes, because I can
use my feet for paddles.” When they reached the river, which was really
a lagoon or arm of the sea, the children stopped to watch the men at
work. A large log, washed down from the mountains by some flood, lay
on the bank. It was good hard wood, and the children saw that it was
smoking in three places.

“This is going to make two canoes, but neither one will be so big, as
uncle’s,” said Payuchi.

“How can it make two canoes if they burn it up?” asked his sister.

“You are stupid, Gesnip,” said her brother. “Don’t you see they are
burning it to separate it into two parts? Then they will burn each log
into the shape of a boat, finishing it up with axes of bone or horn.
Uncle told me how they did it.”

“Why have they put the green bark on the top of the log?”

“I think it is to keep it from burning along the edge; don’t you see?
And then there are wider pieces to protect it at the ends. See how they
watch the fire and beat it out in one place and then in another.”

“Why does it burn so fast?” asked Gesnip.

“Because they have daubed it with pitch. Can’t you smell it?” said the
boy, sniffing.

“Yes, I can smell it,” replied his sister. “But come now and help me
gather tules. Father is going to burn down our house and build a new one
for winter, and I must make a tule rug for each one of you for beds in
the new home. It will take a great many tule stems.”

“It is cold to wade,” said Payuchi, stepping into the water at the edge
of the river.

“Yes,” answered Gesnip, “I don’t like to gather tules in winter.”

The children pulled up the long rough stems one by one until they had a
large pile.

“I think we have enough,” said Payuchi, after they had been working
about two hours.

“Yes, I think so too,” said his sister. “My back aches, my hands are
sore, and my feet are so cold.” Payuchi brought some wild grapevine with
which he tied the tule into two bundles, fastening the larger upon his
sister’s back; for with his people the women and girls were the burden
bearers, and a grown Indian would not do any work that his wife could
possibly do for him.

After they had traveled a little way on the homeward path, Gesnip
stopped.

“Don’t go so fast, Payuchi,” she begged. “This bundle is so large it
nearly tumbles me over.”

“Just hurry a little until we get to the foot of the hill yonder where
Nopal and the other big boys are playing, and you can rest while I watch
the game,” answered her brother. Gesnip struggled on, bending under the
weight and size of her awkward burden until, with a sigh of relief, she
seated herself on a stone to rest while Payuchi, throwing his bundle on
the ground, stood up to watch the boys.

“See, Nopal is It,” he said. Nopal, coming forward, stooped low and
rolled a hoop along the ground, which the boys had pounded smooth and
hard for the game.

As the hoop rolled another boy stepped forward and tried to throw a
stick through it, but failed. Then all the players pointed their fingers
at him and grunted in scorn. Again Nopal rolled the hoop, and this time
the boy threw through the ring, and all the boys, and Payuchi too, gave
whoops of delight.

The children watched the game until Gesnip said that they must go on,
for their mother would be home and want them. When they returned, Macana
was warming herself by the fire where the men were sitting.

“See our tule; is it not a great deal?” asked the children, showing
their bundles.

“Yes, but not enough,” replied their mother. “You will have to go out
another day.”

The women, who had been working all the morning gathering acorns, now
squatted near the fire and began grinding up the nuts which had been
already dried.

“Gesnip,” called her mother, “bring me the grinding stones.” The girl
went to the jacal and brought two stones, one a heavy bowlder with a
hollow in its top, which had been made partly by stone axes, but more by
use; the other stone fitted into this hollow.

“Now bring me the basket of roasted grasshoppers,” said the mother.
Taking a handful of grasshoppers, Macana put them into the hollow in the
larger stone, and with the smaller stone rubbed them to a coarse powder.
This powder she put into a small basket which Gesnip brought her.

“I am glad we caught the grasshoppers. They taste better than acorn meal
mush,” said Payuchi.

“How many grasshoppers there are in the fall,” said Gesnip, “and so many
rabbits, too.”

“We had such a good time at the rabbit drive,” said Payuchi.

“And such a big feast afterwards, nearly as good as last night,” said
Gesnip.

“Tell me about the rabbit drive,” said Cleeta, squatting down beside the
children in front of the fire.

“It was in the big wash up the river toward the mountains,” began
Payuchi. “You have seen the rabbits running to hide in a bunch of grass
and cactus when you go with mother to the mountains for acorns, haven’t
you?”

Cleeta nodded. “Not this winter, though. We saw only two to-day,” she
said.

“That is because of the drive,” said her brother. “It was in the
afternoon, with the wind blowing from the ocean, and all the men who
could shoot best with bow and arrow, or throw the spear well, stood on
the other side of the wash.”

“Father was there,” said Cleeta.

“Yes, and many others,” said Payuchi. “Then some of the men and all of
us boys got green branches of trees and came down on this side of the
wash. Nopal started the fire. It burned along in the grass slowly at
first, and when it came too near the jacals on one side or the woods
on the other, we would beat it out with the branches, but soon it
ran before the wind into the cactus and bunch grass. The rabbits were
frightened out and ran from the fire as fast as they could, and in a
few minutes they were right at the feet of father and the other hunters.
They killed forty before the smoke made them run too.”

“My dress was made of their skin,” said the little girl, smoothing her
gown lovingly. “It keeps me so warm.”

“Did the fire burn long?” asked Gesnip.

“No, we beat it out, or it would have gone up the wash into the live
oaks; then we boys should have been well punished for our carelessness.”

Here their mother called to them.

“Payuchi,” she said, “put away this basket of grasshopper meal. And,
Gesnip, go to the jacal and find me the coils for basket weaving.”

“What shall I bring?” asked Gesnip.

“The large bundle of chippa that is soaking in a basket, and the big
coil of yellow kah-hoom and the little one of black tsuwish which are
hanging up, and bring me my needle and bone awl.”

“Do you want the coil of millay?”

“No, I shall need no red to-day.”

Squatted on the ground, where she could feel the warmth of the fire on
her back, but where the heat could not dry her basket materials, Macana
began her work. Taking a dripping chippa, or willow bough, from the
basket where it had been soaking, she dried it on leaves and wound
it tightly in a close coil the size of her thumbnail, then spatted it
together until it seemed no longer a cord, but a solid piece of wood.
Thus she made the base of her basket; then, threading her needle,
which was but a horny cactus stem set in a head of hardened pitch, she
stitched in and out over the upper and under the lower layer, drawing
her thread firmly each time. The thread was the creamy, satin-like
kah-hoom. Round and round she coiled the chippa, the butt of one piece
overlapping the tip of another, while with her needle she covered all
with the smoothly drawn kah-hoom. After a time she laid the kah-hoom
aside for a stitch or two of the black root of the tule, called tsuwish.

The children had watched the starting of the basket, then had begun
a game of match, with white and black pebbles. After a time Gesnip,
looking up from her play, exclaimed, as she saw the black diamond
pattern the weaver was making:--

“Mother, why are you weaving a rattlesnake basket?”

“I am making it to please Chinigchinich that he may smile upon me and
guard you, children, and Cuchuma from the bite of the rattlesnake. There
are so many of them here this year, and I fear for you.”

“Thank you, mother,” said Gesnip. “If Titas’s mother had made a black
diamond basket, maybe the snake would not have bitten her.”

“I think Chinigchinich does smile upon you,” said Payuchi, “for when we
were so hungry in the month of roots [October] you wove him the hunting
basket with the pattern of deer’s antlers, trimmed with quail feathers,
and see how much food we have had: first the rabbits, then the
grasshoppers, and now the fish and elk.”

“While you work tell us how the first baby basket was made,” begged
Cleeta. The mother nodded; and as she wound and pressed closely the
moist chippa, and the cactus needle flew in and out with the creamy
kah-hoom or the black tsuwish, she told the story.

“When the mother of all made the basket for the first man child, she
used a rainbow for the wood of the back of the basket, with stars woven
in each side, and straight lightning down the middle in front. Sunbeams
shining on a far-away rain storm formed the fringe in front, where we
use strips of buckskin, and the carry straps were brightest sunbeams.”

“Mother, you left out that the baby was wrapped in a soft purple cloud
from the mountains,” said Cleeta.

“Yes, in a purple cloud of evening, wrapped so he could not move leg or
arm, but would grow straight and beautiful,” said the mother.

For a long while the children watched in silence the patient fingers at
their work; then Gesnip asked, “Is it true, mother, that when you were
a little child your father and mother and many of your tribe died of
hunger?”

“It is true,” replied Macana, sadly, “but who told you?”

“Old Cotopacnic, but I thought it was one of his dreams. Why were you
all so hungry?” asked the girl.

“Because the rain failed for three seasons. After a time there was
no grass, no acorns, the rabbits and deer died or wandered away, the
streams dried up so there were no fish, the ground became so dry that
there were no more grubs or worms of any kind, no grasshoppers. There
was nothing to eat but roots. Nearly all our tribe died, and many other
people, too.”

“How did you live?” asked Payuchi.

“My aunt had married a chief whose home was in a rich valley in the
mountains where it is always green. She came down to see my mother, and
when she found how hard it was to get food for us all, she took me by
the hand and tumbled Sholoc who was smaller than little Nakin, into her
great seed basket and took us off to the mountains until times should
grow better; but the rains did not come until it was too late. I stayed
with her until I married your father. Sholoc became a great hunter, then
chief of the people of Santa Catalina, where he became a great fisherman
also.”

The children looked grave.

“Do you think such bad seasons can ever come again?” asked Gesnip.

“Who can tell?” replied the mother, with a sigh. “Last year was very
bad and there is little rain yet this year. That is why the men offered
gifts to Chinigchinich last night.”

“Nobody must take me away from you to keep me from being hungry,” said
gentle Cleeta, hiding her face in her mother’s lap.

“If I were Chinigchinich,” said Payuchi, “I would not let so many people
die, just because they needed a little more rain. I would not be that
kind of a god.”

“Hush, my child,” said the mother, sternly. “He will hear and punish
you. If it is our fate, we must bend to it.”



Chapter III

“The Secret of the Strait”



Cabrillo

One afternoon in September, in the year 1542, two broad, clumsy ships,
each with the flag of Spain flying above her many sails, were beating
their way up the coast of southern California. All day the vessels had
been wallowing in the choppy seas, driven about by contrary winds. At
last the prow of the leading ship was turned toward shore, where there
seemed to be an opening that might lead to a good harbor. At the bow
of the ship stood the master of the expedition, the tanned, keen-faced
captain, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. He was earnestly watching the land
before him, which was still some distance away.

“Come hither, Juan,” he called to a sturdy lad, about sixteen, who,
with an Indian boy, brought from Mexico as interpreter, was also eagerly
looking landward. “Your eyes should be better than mine. Think you there
is a harbor beyond that point?”

“It surely seems so to me, sir,” answered the boy; “and Pepe, whose
eyes, you know, are keener than ours, says that he can plainly see the
entrance.”

“I trust he is right; for this thickening weather promises a storm, and
a safe harbor would be a gift of God to us weary ones this night,” said
the captain, with a sigh.

Since the fair June day when they had sailed out of the harbor on the
west shore of Mexico, they had been following first up the coast line of
the Peninsula, then of Upper California. No maps or charts of the region
showing where lay good harbors or dangerous rocks, could be found in
Cabrillo’s cabin. Instead, there were maps of this South Sea which
pictured terrible dangers for mariners--great whirlpools which could
suck down whole fleets of vessels, and immense waterfalls, where it was
thought the whole ocean poured off the end of the land into space. A
brave man was Captain Cabrillo, for, half believing these stories, he
yet sailed steadily on, determined, no matter what happened to himself,
to do his duty to the king under whose flag he sailed, and to the
viceroy of Mexico, whose funds had furnished the expedition.

California has ever been noted for its brave men, but none have been
more courageous than this explorer, who was probably the first white
man to set his foot upon its soil. As the ship approached land the crew
became silent, every eye being turned anxiously to the opening of the
passage which appeared before them. The vessel, driven by the stiff
breeze, rushed on, almost touching the rock at one point. Then, caught
by a favorable current, it swept into mid-channel, where it moved
rapidly forward, until at length it rode safely in the harbor now known
as San Diego Bay.

“It is a good port and well inclosed,” said Juan Cabrillo, with great
satisfaction, gazing out upon the broad sheet of quiet water. “We
will name it for our good San Miguel, to whom our prayers for a safe
anchorage were offered this morning.” Then, when the two ships were
riding at anchor, the commander ordered out the boats.

“We will see what kind of people these are, dodging behind the bushes
yonder,” said he. As the Spaniards drew near shore they could see many
fleeing figures.

“What a pity they are so afraid,” said Cabrillo. “If we are to learn
anything of the country, we must teach them that we mean them no harm.”

“Master,” said Pepe, “there are three of them hiding behind those
bushes.”

“Is it so, lad? Then go you up to them. They will not fear you.” So the
Indian boy walked slowly forward, holding out his hands with his palms
upward, which not only let the natives see that he was unarmed, but in
the sign language meant peace and friendship. As he drew near to them an
old man and two younger ones, dressed in scanty shirts of rabbit-skins,
came from their hiding places and began to talk to Pepe, but, though
they also were Indians, they did not speak his language. Some of their
words were evidently similar to his, and by these and the help of signs
he partly understood what they said. Presently he returned to the group
on shore.

“They say there are Spaniards back in the country a few days’ journey
from here.”

“Spaniards? That is impossible,” returned Cabrillo.

“They say that they are bearded, wear clothes like yours, and have white
faces,” answered the boy, simply.

“They must be mistaken, or perhaps you did not understand them fully,”
 said the master. “At another time we will question them further. Now,
give them this present of beads and hurry back, for it is late.”

That night some of the men from the ships went on shore to fish. While
they were drawing their nets, the Indians stole up softly and discharged
their arrows, wounding three. The boy Juan had the most serious injury,
an arrow being so deeply embedded in his shoulder that it could not be
removed until they reached the ship. There the padre, who, like most
priests of that day, knew something of surgery, drew it out, and bound
up the shoulder in soothing balsams.

On the second day of their stay in port the wind began to blow from the
southwest; the waves grew rough, and Cabrillo ordered the ships to be
made ready for the tempest, which soon became violent. Meantime, Juan
lay suffering in his hammock, which swung backward and forward with the
motion of the ship. Suddenly he heard a step beside him and felt a cool
hand on his forehead.

“How goes it, lad?” said Cabrillo, for it was the master himself. “You
are suffering in a good cause. Have courage; you will soon be well.
Remember, you have helped to discover a harbor, the like of which is
seldom found. This storm is a severe one. I can hear the surf booming
on the farther shore, yet our ship shows no strain on the anchor. Good
harbor though it is, I am sorely disappointed, as I had hoped it was the
entrance to the strait, the strait that seems a phantom flying before
us as we go, drawing us onward to we know not what.” The sadness of the
captain’s voice troubled Juan.

“Master,” he asked earnestly, “what is the strait? I hear of it often,
yet no one can tell me what it is, or where it lies.”

“Because no one knows,” answered the captain, rising. “I am needed on
deck, but I will send old Tomas to tell you its strange story.”

“The secret of the strait,” said old Tomas, as he seated himself beside
Juan, “has led many men to gallant deeds and also many a man to a
gallant death. Always, since as a lad I first went to sea, the merchants
of many lands have been seeking a safe and speedy way of reaching the
Indies, where are found such foods, spices, and jewels as one sees
nowhere else in the world.

“My father and grandfather used to travel with caravans overland to and
from India. There are several routes, each controlled by some one of the
great Italian cities, but all have somewhere to cross the desert, where
the trains are often robbed by wild tribes. Sometimes, as they come
nearer home, they are held by the Turks for heavy tribute, with such
loss that the merchants have been forced to turn to the sea in hopes
that a better way might be found. It was while searching for this route
that Columbus discovered the new world, and when the news of his success
was brought back to Europe there was great rejoicing, because it was
thought that he had reached some part of India. Magellan’s voyage,
however, destroyed these hopes. He sailed for months down the eastern
shore of the new land, and discovered, far away to the south, a strait
through which he reached the great South Sea, but then he still sailed
on for nearly a year before he came to the Spice Islands and Asia.

“Now every one believes that somewhere through this land to the north
of us there is a wide, deep sea passage from the North Sea [Atlantic] to
the South Sea [Pacific], by which ships may speedily reach India. This
passage is called the Strait of Anian.

“The great captain, Hernando Cortez, the conqueror of New Spain [Mexico]
spent many years and a large fortune seeking for this water way. Four
different expeditions he sent out to explore this coast: most of them
at his own cost. In the second one his pilot, Jiminez, led a mutiny,
murdered his captain, and afterward discovered, accidentally, the
southern point of this land we are now exploring. But it was not the
good fortune of the noble Cortez to discover the strait. Our captain is
the next to take up the search, and may God send him success.”

After a stay of nearly a week in the bay of San Diego, Cabrillo
continued his voyage up the coast, sailing by day, anchoring at night.
He touched at an island which he named San Salvador, but which we know
as Santa Catalina. Here, by his kind and generous treatment, he won
the friendship of the natives. From this beautiful spot, he sailed, one
Sunday morning, to the mainland. Entering the Bay of San Pedro, he found
it enveloped in smoke.

“It seems a fair port,” said the commander, “but go no farther inland.
Drop anchor while we can see our way. We may well call this the Bay of
Smokes.” The fires, they found, had been started by the Indians to drive
the rabbits from shelter, so they could be the more easily killed.

Sailing on, the ships anchored off a thickly settled valley, where the
town of Ventura now lies. Here, on October 12, 1542, Cabrillo and his
company went on shore and took solemn possession of the land in the
name of the king of Spain and the viceroy of Mexico. Here, and along
the channel, the people were better-looking, more comfortably lodged and
clothed, than those farther south. They also had good canoes, which the
natives of the lower coast did not possess. Pushing on, the explorer saw
and noted the channel islands and rounded Point Conception. From here he
was driven back by contrary winds, and toward nightfall of a stormy day
found himself near the little island now named San Miguel.

“We will call it La Posesion and take it for our own,” said Cabrillo,
“for, if we can but make it, there seems to be a good harbor here.” The
storm, however, grew more severe. The sea rose until occasionally
the waves swept over the smaller ship, which was without a deck. Here
occurred a most unhappy accident. Something about the ship, a spar
probably, loosened by the storm, fell and struck the brave commander,
breaking his arm. Although severely injured, he would not have the
wounds dressed until, after a long period of anxiety, the two ships
entered in safety the little harbor of San Miguel.

Here, stormbound, they remained for a week. When they ventured forth,
they again met with high winds and bad weather. Cabrillo, who in spite
of discouragements never forgot his search for the strait, pushed close
inshore and kept much of the time on deck looking for some signs of a
river or passage. One morning at daybreak, after a rough night, they
found themselves drifting in an open bay.

“It is a fine roadstead,” said Cabrillo, coming on deck, as the sun rose
over the pine-covered hills. “Were it smaller, it would be a welcome
harbor. We will name it from those majestic trees La Bahia de Pinos, and
yonder long projection we will call the Cabo de Pinos.” That bay is
now called Monterey, but the cape still bears the name given it by this
first explorer.

Anchoring in forty-five fathoms of water, they tried to go on shore, in
order to take possession of the land, but the sea was so rough that they
could not launch their boats. The next day they discovered and named
some mountains which they called Sierra Nevada, and, sailing on, went
as far north as about 40¼. But this winter voyage was made at a great
sacrifice. The exposure and hardships, following the wound he had
received, were too much for even the hardy sailor Juan Rodriguez
Cabrillo. After weeks of struggle with storms, the ships were forced
back to their old shelter at San Miguel. Here Christmas week was spent,
but a sad holiday it was to the explorers, for their brave leader lay
dying. Nobly had he done his duty up to the last.

“Juan,” he said, to his young attendant, on Christmas Eve, “how gladly
the bells will be ringing in Lisbon to-night. I seem to hear them now.
They drive out all other sounds. Call Ferrelo and let no one else come
but the padre.” Very soon Juan returned with Cabrillo’s first assistant,
the pilot, Ferrelo, a brave navigator and a just man.

“Ferrelo,” said Cabrillo, faintly, “Death calls me, and the duty I lay
down you must take up. I command you to push the expedition northward
at all hazards, and to keep such records as are necessary in order that
fitting account of our voyage shall be given to the world. Will you
promise me to do this?”

“I will, my master,” said Ferrelo, simply. “To the best of my ability
will I take up your work.”

“Always looking for the strait, Ferrelo?”

“Always, senor.”

On the 3d of January, 1543, the brave man died and was buried in the
sands of Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel Island. His men called the island
Juan Rodriguez. This name was afterwards dropped, but California should
see to it that the island is rechristened in honor of the great sailor
who sleeps there.

Ferrelo later succeeded in sailing as far north as Cape Mendocino and
perhaps as far as 42¡, but, though he kept as close to the shore as
possible, he failed to discover the great bay whose waters, spreading
like a sheet of silver over sixty miles of country, lay hidden just
behind the Golden Gate. Near the Oregon line he was driven back by
storms, and returned to Mexico, where he published a full account of the
voyage.



Drake

In the town of Offenburg, Germany, there is a statue of a man standing
on the deck of a ship, leaning against an anchor, his right hand
grasping a map of America, his left, a cluster of bulbous roots. On
the pedestal is the inscription, “Sir Francis Drake, the introducer of
potatoes into Europe in the year of our Lord 1586.”

While it is doubtful whether this honor really belongs to Drake, an
Englishman, seeing the statue, would be inclined to say, “Is this all
that Germany has to tell of the great captain who led our navy against
the Spanish Armada; the first Englishman to sail around the world;
the most daring explorer, clever naval commander, expert seaman, brave
soldier, loyal friend, and gallant enemy of his time?” A Spaniard, on
the contrary, might well exclaim, “Why did Germany erect a statue to
this terrible man whom our poets call Dragontea [Dragon], this greatest
of all pirates, this terror of the sea?” All this, and more, might be
said of one man, who began life as a ship’s boy.

At the time Drake first went to sea, England and Spain were by no means
friendly. Henry the Eighth of England had ill-treated his wife, who was
a Spanish princess. In addition he had drawn the English people away
from the Church of Rome. These things were most displeasing to Spain,
but there was still another reason for disagreement. The interests
of the two countries were opposed commercially, and this was the most
important cause of contention.

Spain claimed by right of discovery, and gift of the Pope of Rome, all
the land in the new world except Brazil (which belonged to Portugal),
and held that no explorers or tradesmen, other than her own, had any
rights on her waters or in her ports. English seamen denied much of this
claim, and so frequent were the disputes arising upon the subject that
the English sailors adopted as a maxim, “No peace beyond the line,”
 meaning the line which was, by the Pope’s decree, the eastern boundary
of the Spanish claim.

The favorite prey of the British mariners was the treasure ships
carrying to Spain the precious cargoes of gold and silver from the rich
mines of the new world. With the far richer ships of the Philippine and
Indian trade, sailing on unknown waters, they had not, up to Drake’s
time, been able to interfere.

Drake, when a very young man, had joined a trading expedition to Mexico.
While there the English were attacked by the Spanish in what the former
considered a most treacherous manner. Drake’s brother and many of
his comrades were killed, and their goods taken. After the battle he
solemnly vowed to be revenged, and so thoroughly did he carry out his
resolution that he was for years the terror of the Spanish seamen,
and, by many of the superstitious common sailors, believed to be Satan
himself come to earth in human form.

Shortly after this unfortunate expedition Drake engaged in a marauding
voyage to Panama, where he captured rich stores of gold and silver and
precious stones. He gained such renown for his bravery and seamanship
that upon coming home he found himself famous.

Queen Elizabeth knew that Spain was opposed to her and her religion, and
was not in her heart displeased when her brave seamen got the better of
their Spanish rivals. She received Drake privately, and help was offered
him secretly from people who stood high in the government. With this
encouragement he resolved to embark on a most hazardous and daring
adventure. While in Panama he had seen, from a “high and goodlie tree”
 on a mountain side, the great Pacific, and was immediately filled with
a desire to sail on its waters and explore its shores. He therefore
determined to cross the Atlantic, pass through the Strait of Magellan,
up the Pacific, and to plunder the Spanish towns along the coast of
South and Central America, until he should reach the region traversed by
the richly laden Spanish ships coming from India and the Philippines. It
is said that the queen herself put a thousand crowns into this venture.
One thing is certain, that he received sufficient help to fit out five
small vessels, with one hundred and sixty-four men. With these he sailed
from Falmouth, England, in December of 1577. With the exception of
perhaps one or two of the rich men who had helped him, no one, not even
his men, knew of his plans.

After a long and interesting voyage in which one vessel was lost and the
others, though he did not know it, had deserted him, he found himself
with but one ship beating his way up the coast of Lower California. This
was his flagship Pelican, which he had rechristened the Golden Hind.
It was then so laden with rich booty, that it was like a hawk which
had stolen too heavy a chicken, driven this way and that by the winds,
scarcely able to reach its nest.

In addition to a good store of Chile wines and foods of various kinds,
there were packed away in the hold of the Golden Hind, twenty-five
thousand pesos of gold, eight thousand pounds of English money, and a
great cross of gold with “emeralds near as large as a man’s finger.”
 From one vessel Drake had taken one hundred-weight of silver; from a
messenger of the mines, who was sleeping beside a spring on the Peruvian
coast, thirteen bars of solid silver; off the backs of a train of little
gray llamas, the camels of the Andes, eight hundred pounds of silver;
and besides all these were large quantities of gold and silver that
were not recorded in the ship’s list, and stores of pearls, diamonds,
emeralds, silks, and porcelain.

The last prize taken was the Spanish treasure ship Cacafuegos. Drake had
transferred its cargo and crew to his own vessel and, for a time, manned
it with some of his men. Its noble commander, St. John de Anton, who
had been wounded in the attack, received every possible attention on
the English vessel, and in the report which he afterwards made to
the viceroy of Mexico, he told of the perfect order and discipline
maintained on the Golden Hind, and of the luxury which surrounded its
commander, who was treated with great reverence by his men.

Before sailing on to the northward, Drake restored St. John and his crew
to their vessel. Then, because he feared that they might fall into the
hands of his fleet (having no suspicion that the other captains had
returned home), he gave the Spaniards the following letter, which shows
the great Englishman to have been more honorable than he is oftentimes
represented:--

“To Master Weinter and the Masters of the Other Ships of my Fleet:

“If it pleaseth God that you should chance to meet with this ship of
St. John de Anton, I pray you use him well according to my promise given
him. If you want to use anything that is in the ship, I pray you pay him
double value for it, which I will satisfy again. And command your men
not to do any harm and what agreement we have made, at my return unto
England, I will, by God’s help, perform, although I am in doubt that
this letter will ever come to your hand, notwithstanding I am the man I
have promised to be.

“Beseeching God, the Saviour of the world, to have us all in his
keeping, to whom I give all honor, praise, and glory,

“Your sorrowful captain, whose heart is heavy for you,

“Francis Drake.”


How to get home was the problem which this daring man had now to solve.
There was no possibility of returning by the way he had come. He well
knew that the news of his departure had reached Spain, and that her war
ships would be waiting for him, not only at the eastern entrance of the
Strait of Magellan, but at the Isthmus and in the Caribbean Sea.

If by sailing northward he could find the Strait of Anian, then his
homeward journey would be safe and short; but if he could not find that
illusive body of water, then there was left to him but the Pacific for
a highway. However, this did not daunt him, as he felt that what the
Portuguese Magellan had done, Drake the Englishman could do.

Keeping well out from shore, the Golden Hind now sailed northward for
nearly two months. Drake passed just west of the Farallon Islands, never
dreaming of the great harbor which lay so short a distance on the other
side. He traveled as far north as latitude 42¡ or possibly 43¡, and
perhaps he even landed at one point, but he failed to find the strait.
According to Fletcher, the priest of the Church of England who kept a
journal of the expedition, they were finally forced by the extreme cold
to turn southward. “Here,” says Fletcher, “it pleased God on this
17th day of June, 1579, to send us, in latitude 38¡, a convenient fit
harbor.” This is now supposed to be Drakes Bay, which lies thirty miles
northwest of San Francisco, in Marin county.

“In this bay we anchored, and the people of the country having their
houses close to the waterside showed themselves unto us and sent
presents to our general. He, in return, courteously treated them and
liberally bestowed upon them things necessary to cover their nakedness.

“Their houses are digged around about with earth and have for the brim
of that circle, clefts of wood set upon the ground and joined closely
together at the top like the spire of a steeple, which by reason of this
closeness are very warm. The men go naked, but the women make themselves
loose garments knit about the middle, while over their shoulders they
wear the skin of a deer.”

These people brought presents and seemed to want to offer sacrifices to
the strangers as gods, but Drake, hastily calling his men together,
held divine services, “To which, especially the prayers and music,” says
Fletcher, “they were most attentive and seemed to be greatly affected.”
 The Bible used by Drake in this service is still to be seen in Nut Hall
House, Devonshire, England.

Presently a messenger came, saying that the king wished to visit them
if they would assure him of their peaceful intentions. Drake sent him
presents, then marched his force into a kind of fort he had had made in
which to place such parts of the cargo as it was necessary to remove in
order to careen the ship for repairing. The coming of the chief is thus
described:--

“He came in princely majesty. In the fore-front was a man of goodly
personage who bore the scepter whereon was hung two crowns with chains
of marvelous length. The crowns were made of knit-work wrought with
feathers of divers colors, the chains being made of bony substances.

“Next came the king with his guard, all well clothed in connie skins,
then the naked common people with faces painted, each bearing some
presents. After ceremonies consisting of speeches and dances, they
offered one of the crowns to Drake, who, accepting in the name of
Elizabeth, allowed it to be placed on his head.”

While the men were busy cleaning and repairing the ship, the commander
and his officers made excursions into the interior, visiting many Indian
towns and passing through wide plains where vast herds of deer, often
one thousand or more, all large and fat, were feeding on the rich
grasses. They also saw great numbers of what they called connies, which,
from their description, must have been ground squirrels, or else some
variety of animal now extinct. The country Drake named New Albion,
partly from its white cliffs, which resembled those of his native land,
and partly in belief that it would be easier to lay claim to the country
if it bore one of the names applied to England.

“When the time came for our departure,” continued Fletcher in his
journal, “our general set up a monument of our being here, so also, of
her majesty’s right and title to the land: namely a plate nailed upon
a fair great post, whereon was engraved her majesty’s name, the day and
year of our arrival, with the giving up of the province and people into
her majesty’s hands, together with her highness’ picture and arms in a
sixpence under the plate, whereunder was also written the name of our
general.”

Fletcher seemed not to know of Cabrillo’s voyage, for he claimed that no
one had ever discovered land in this region, or for many degrees to the
south; while in fact Ferrelo with Cabrillo’s ships had sailed as far
north as latitude 42¡, although we have no reason to think that he
landed in a higher latitude than that of Point Conception and San Miguel
Island.

Once again solemn religious services were held by the Englishmen on the
hospitable soil that had been their home for over a month. Then they
went on board the ship, accompanied to the shore by the grieving
Indians, who would not be comforted when they saw their new friends
forsaking them. It was near the last of July in 1579 that Captain Drake
with his brave men began his wonderful homeward voyage.

It was a triumphant return they made in September, a year later. Crowds
flocked to see the famous ship and its gallant commander.

Some of the queen’s statesmen strongly disapproved of Drake’s attack
upon Spanish towns and vessels, and felt he should be arrested and tried
for piracy; but the common people cheered him wherever he went, and as a
crowning honor, in the luxurious cabin of his good ship Golden Hind, he
was visited by the great Elizabeth herself. When the banquet was over,
at the queen’s command, he bent his knee before her, and this sovereign,
who, though a woman, dearly loved such courage and daring as he had
displayed, tapped him on the shoulder and bade him arise “Sir Francis
Drake.”


Galli and Carmenon

In 1584 Francisco Galli, commanding a Philippine ship, returning to
Mexico by way of Japan, sighted the coast of California in latitude 37¡
30’. He saw, as he reported, “a high and fair land with no snow and many
trees, and in the sea, drifts of roots, reeds, and leaves.” Some of the
latter he gathered and cooked with meat for his men, who were no doubt
suffering from scurvy.

Galli wrote of the point where he first saw the coast as Cape Mendocino,
which would seem to imply that the point had been discovered and named
at some previous time, of which, however, there is no record.

In 1595 Sebastian Carmenon, commanding the ship San Agustin, coming from
the Philippines, was given royal orders to make some explorations on
the coast of California, probably to find a suitable harbor for Manila
vessels. In doing so he was so unfortunate as to run his vessel ashore
behind Point Reyes, and to lighten her was obliged to leave behind a
portion of his cargo, consisting of wax and silks in boxes. There
is only the briefest record of this voyage, and no report of any
discoveries.


Vizcaino

Almost sixty years after the voyage of Cabrillo, came a royal order from
the king of Spain to the viceroy of Mexico which, translated from the
Spanish, ran something like this:--

“Go, search the northern coast of the Californias, until you find a good
and sufficient harbor wherein my Manila galleons may anchor safe and
protected, and where may be founded a town that my scurvy-stricken
sailors may find the fresh food necessary for their relief. Furthermore,
spare no expense.”

The destruction of Spanish shipping by Drake and other English seamen
who followed his example, had caused great anxiety to the Spaniards and
was partly the reason for this order.

“Send for Don Sebastian,” said the viceroy. “He is a brave gentleman and
good sailor. He shall carry out the order of the king.” But it took time
to fit out such an expedition, and it was not until an afternoon in
May, 1602, that Don Sebastian Vizcaino, on his flagship, the San Diego,
sailed out of the harbor of Acapulco into the broad Pacific. Closely
following him were his other ships, the San Thomas and Tres Reyes.

There had been solemn services at the cathedral that afternoon. Officers
and men had taken of the holy communion; and now their wives and
children stood on the island at the entrance of the harbor, watching the
white sails as they grew fainter and fainter and at last disappeared in
the haze of the coming night.

Then the watchers returned to their lonely homes with heavy hearts,
for in those days few came back who sailed out on the great South Sea.
Storms, battles with the natives, and scurvy made sad havoc among the
sailors.

Early in November Vizcaino entered “a famous port,” which he named San
Diego, finding it, as Padre Ascension’s journal says, “beautiful and
very grand, and all parts of it very convenient shelter from the winds.”
 After leaving San Diego, the next anchoring place was the island named
by Vizcaino for Santa Catalina, on whose feast day his ships entered the
pretty little harbor of Avalon.

The Spaniards were greatly pleased with the island and also with the
people, whom they described as being a large-figured, light-complexioned
race; all, men, women, and children, being well clothed in sealskins.
They had large dwellings, many towns, and fine canoes. What struck Padre
Ascension most strongly was their temple, of which he says: “There was
in the temple a large level court, and about this a circle surrounded
by feather work of different colors taken from various birds which I
understand had been sacrificed to their idols. Within this circle was
the figure of a demon painted in color after the manner of the Indians
of New Spain. On its sides were figures of the sun and moon.

“It so fell out that when our soldiers came up from the ships to view
the temple, there were in the circle two immense ravens, far larger than
ordinary. When the men arrived, they flew away to some rocks that were
near by, and the soldiers seeing how large they were, raised their
arquebuses and killed them both. Then did the Indians begin to weep and
make great lamentation. I understand that the devil was accustomed
to speak to them, through these birds, for which they showed great
respect.”

There were in the island quantities of edible roots of a variety of the
yucca called gicamas, and many little bulbs which the Spanish called
“papas pequenos” (little potatoes). These, the padre said, the Indians
took in their canoes over to the mainland, thus making their living by
barter. This certainly must have been the beginning of commerce on the
coast.

Vizcaino entered and named the Bay of San Pedro. To the channel islands
he also gave the names which they now bear. Sailing on, he discovered
a river which he named “Carmelo,” in honor of the Carmelite friars who
accompanied him. The same day the fleet rounded the long cape called
“Point Pinos” and came to anchor in the bay formed by its projection.
From here the San Tomas was sent to Mexico to carry the sick, of whom
there were many, and to bring back fresh supplies. The men who remained
were at once set to work. Some supplied the two ships with wood and
water; others built a chapel of brush near the beach, under a large oak
at the roots of which flowed a spring of delicious water. In this chapel
mass was said and the Te Deum chanted. For over one hundred and fifty
years this oak was known, both in New Spain and at the court of the
king, as the “Oak of Vizcaino, in the Bay of Monterey.” From here
Vizcaino wrote to the king of Spain as follows:--

“Among the ports of greater consideration which I have discovered is
one in 30¡ north latitude which I called Monterey, as I wrote to your
majesty in December. It is all that can be desired for commodiousness
and as a station for ships making the voyage from the Philippines,
sailing whence they make a landfall on this coast. It is sheltered from
all winds and in the immediate vicinity are pines from which masts of
any desired size could be obtained, as well as live oak, white oak, and
other woods. There is a variety of game, great and small. The land has
a genial climate and the waters are good. It is thickly settled by a
people whom I find to be of gentle disposition, and whom I believe can
be brought within the fold of the Holy Gospel and subjugation to your
majesty.”

This enthusiastic praise of the harbor of Monterey by a man who was
familiar with the port of San Diego, caused much trouble later, as will
be seen in the study of the founding of the missions.

Not waiting for the return of the San Tomas, Vizcaino with his two ships
soon sailed northward, and reached a point in about latitude 42¡, which
was probably the northern limit reached by Cabrillo’s ships and only a
little lower than the farthest explorations of Drake. Although Vizcaino
was looking for harbors, he yet passed twice outside the Bay of San
Francisco, the finest on the coast, without discovering it. After his
return to Mexico, Vizcaino endeavored to raise an expedition to found
a settlement at Monterey, even going to Spain to press the matter; but
other schemes were demanding the king’s attention, and he would
give neither thought nor money to affairs in the new world; and so,
thoroughly disheartened Vizcaino returned to Mexico.

From this time for over one hundred and fifty years there is no record
of explorations along this coast, either by vessels from Mexico or by
those coming from the Philippines. California seemed again forgotten.

This is the story of the few voyages made to the coast of California
previous to its settlement. The first, under Cabrillo, was sent out by
the viceroy Mendoza, who hoped to gain fame and riches by the discovery
of the Strait of Anian, and by finding wealthy countries and cities
which were supposed to exist in the great northwest, about which much
was imagined but nothing known.

Drake planned his voyage largely in pursuit of his revenge upon Spain,
partly for the plunder which he hoped to obtain from the Spanish towns
and vessels along the Pacific coast of America, and partly because of
his desire to explore the Pacific Ocean.

Vizcaino also was expected to search for the strait, but he was
especially sent out to find a good harbor and place for settlement
on the California coast. This was intended in a great measure for the
benefit of the Philippine trade, but also to aid in holding the country
for Spain.



Chapter IV

The Cross of Santa Fe



The kings highway which led up from Vera Cruz, the chief port of the
eastern coast of Mexico, to the capital city of New Spain had in the
eighteenth century more history connected with it than any other road in
the new world. Over it had passed Montezuma with all the splendor of
his pagan court. On it, too, had marched and counter marched his grim
conqueror, the great Cortez. Through its white dust had traveled an
almost endless procession of mules and slaves, carrying the treasures of
the mines of Mexico and the rich imports of Manila and India on toward
Spain.

Over this road there was journeying, one winter day in the year 1749,
a traveler of more importance to the history of the state of California
than any one who had gone before. He was no great soldier or king, only
a priest in the brownish gray cloak of the order of St. Francis. He was
slight in figure, and limped painfully from a sore on his leg, caused,
it is supposed, by the bite of some poisonous reptile. The chance
companions who traveled with him begged him to stop and rest beside a
stream, but he would not. Then, as he grew more weary, they entreated
him to seek shelter in a ranch house near by and give up his journey.

“Speak not to me thus. I am determined to continue. I seem to hear
voices of unconverted thousands calling me,” was all the answer he
gave. So on foot, with no luggage but his prayer book, he limped out of
sight--the humble Spanish priest, Junipero Serra.

While only a schoolboy, young Serra had been more interested in the
Indian inhabitants of the new world than in boyish pleasure. As he grew
older it became his greatest desire to go to them as a missionary. At
eighteen he became a priest; but it was not until his thirty-sixth year
that he gained the opportunity of which he had so long dreamed, when,
in company with a body of missionaries, among whom were his boyhood
friends, Francisco Palou and Juan Crespi, he landed at Vera Cruz.

He was too impatient to begin his new work, to wait for the government
escort which was coming to meet them. So he started out on foot, with
only such companions as he might pick up by the way, to make the long
journey to the city of Mexico.

Sixteen years later, attended by a gay company of gentlemen and ladies,
there traveled over this road one of Spain’s wisest statesmen, Jose
de Galvez, whom the king had sent out to look after affairs in the new
world. Flourishing settlements were by this time scattered over a large
portion of Mexico, and even in the peninsula of Lower California there
were a number of missions. It was almost a hundred years before this
time that two Catholic priests of the Society of Jesus had asked
permission to found mission settlements among the Indians of this
peninsula.

“You may found the missions if you like, but do not look to us for money
to help you,” was the answer returned by the officers of the government.
So the two Jesuit priests set about collecting funds for the work.

They were eloquent men, and the people who heard them preach became so
interested in the Indians that they were glad to give. And so, little by
little, this fund grew. As the good work went on, greater gifts poured
in. Whole fortunes were left them, and finally they had a very large
sum carefully invested in the city of Mexico. This was known as the Pius
Fund. From it was taken all the money needed for the founding of the
missions of Lower California; and, many years later, the expenses of
founding the twenty-one missions of Upper California came from the same
source. This fund became the subject of a long dispute between Mexico
and the United States, of which an account is given in Chapter XI.

In 1767 all the Jesuit priests in New Spain were called back to Europe,
and a large portion of their wealth and missions on the peninsula were
given over to the order of St. Francis, with Junipero Serra at their
head. It was Galvez’s duty to superintend this change, and while he
was on his way to the peninsula for that purpose he was overtaken by
an order from the king of Spain to occupy and fortify the ports of San
Diego and Monterey. The Spanish government had the description of these
ports furnished by Vizcaino in his account of his explorations in Upper
and Lower California over one hundred and sixty years before.

The articles of the king’s order were: first, to establish the Catholic
faith; second, to extend Spanish dominion; third, to check the ambitious
schemes of a foreign power; and lastly, to carry out a plan formed by
Philip the Third, as long ago as 1603, for the establishment of a town
on the California coast where there was a harbor suitable for ships of
the Manila trade.

Galvez at once proceeded to organize four expeditions for the settlement
of Upper California, two by land, two by sea. Captain Portola, governor
of the peninsula, was put in command, with good leaders under him.
Still, Galvez was not satisfied.

“This is all very well,” he said; “these men will obey my orders,
but they do not care much whether this land is settled or not, and if
discouragements arise, back they will come, and I shall have the whole
thing to do over again. I must find some one who is interested in the
work, some one who will not find anything impossible. I think I shall
send for that lame, pale-faced priest, with the beautiful eyes, who has
taken up the work of these missions so eagerly.”

“So you think we can make the venture a success?” asked Galvez, after he
had talked over his plans with Junipero.

“Surely,” said Padre Serra, his eyes shining, his whole face glowing
with enthusiasm. “It is God’s work to carry the cross of the holy faith
[Santa Fe] into the wilderness, and He will go with us; can you not hear
the heathen calling us to bring them the blessed Gospel? I can see that
I have lived all my life for this glorious day.”

Then they went to work, the priest and the king’s counselor--down on the
wharf, even working with their own hands, packing away the cargo.

“Hurry! Hurry!” said Galvez. The word was passed along, and in a short
time the four expeditions were ready.

Many were the trials and discouragements of the various parties. Scurvy
was so severe among the sailors that one ship lost all its crew save two
men, and there were a number of deaths on another ship; while a third
vessel which started later was never heard from. Padre Junipero, who
accompanied the second land party, under the charge of Governor Portola,
became so ill from the wound on his leg that the commander urged him
to return; but he would not. Calling a muleteer who was busy after the
day’s march, doctoring the sores on his animals, he said:--

“Come, my son, and cure my sores also.”

“Padre,” exclaimed the man, shocked at the idea, “I am no surgeon; I
doctor only my beasts.”

“Think then that I am a beast, my child,” said the padre, “and treat me
accordingly.”

The man obeyed. Gathering some leaves of the malva, or cheese plant, he
bruised them a little, heated them on the stones of the camp fire, and
spreading them with warm tallow, applied them to the wound. The next
morning the leg was so much better that the cure was thought to be a
miracle. Still the padre was very weak; and there was great rejoicing in
the party when at last they looked down from a height on San Diego
Bay, with the two ships--the San Carlos and the San Antonio--riding at
anchor, white tents on the beach, and soldiers grouped about. Salutes
were fired by the newcomers and returned by the soldiers and ships, and
very soon the four expeditions were reunited.

On the next day, Sunday, solemn thanksgiving services were held. Then
for fourteen days all were busy attending to the sick, making ready for
the departure of the ship San Antonio, which was to be sent back for
supplies, and packing up food and other necessities for the journey to
Monterey. The San Antonio sailed on the 9th of July, 1769, and five days
later Governor Portola and two thirds of the well portion of the company
started overland to Monterey.

Meantime Padre Junipero had been impatiently awaiting an opportunity to
begin his great work--the conversion of the heathen. He had written
back in his own peculiar way to his friend Padre Palou, whom he left in
charge of the missions of Lower California.

“Long Live Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, This to Fray Francisco Palou.

“My dear friend and Sir:--

“I, thanks be to God, arrived day before yesterday at this, in truth,
beautiful, and with reason famous, port of San Diego. We find Gentiles
[the name given to the wild Indians] here in great numbers. They seem to
lead temperate lives on various seeds and on fish which they catch from
their rafts of tule which are formed like a canoe.”

The second day after the departure of Portola and his party, Sunday,
July 16, Padre Serra felt that the glorious moment for which he had so
long prayed had at length arrived. The mission bells were unpacked and
hung on a tree, and a neophyte, or converted Indian, whom he had brought
with him from the peninsula, was appointed to ring them. As the sweet
tones sounded on the clear air, all the party who were able gathered
about the padre, who stood lifting the cross of Christ on high. All
joined in solemnly chanting a hymn, and a sermon was preached. Then with
more chanting, the tolling of, the bells, and the firing of muskets, was
concluded the ceremony of the founding of the first of the California
missions, that of San Diego.

Portola and his men, in spite of many discouragements, traveled steadily
northward for nearly two months until at last, one October morning, they
saw what they thought to be Point Pinos, the name given by Cabrillo to
the pine-covered cape to the south of Monterey Bay. They were right in
thinking this Point Pinos, but the sad part is that when they climbed
a hill and looked down on the bay they had come so far to find, they
failed to recognize it.

They tramped wearily over the sun-dried hills that bordered it,
and walked on its sandy beach, but could not believe the wide, open
roadstead, encircled by bare brown heights, could be the well-inclosed
port lying at the foot of hills richly green, so warmly described by
Vizcaino in his winter voyage. It was a great disappointment, for this
was the latitude in which they had expected to find Monterey. After
talking it over, they decided they must be still too far south, so they
tramped on for many days.

On the last day of October, those of the party who were well enough,
climbed a high hill--(Point San Pedro on the west coast of the
peninsula)--and were rewarded by a glorious view. On their left the
great ocean stretched away to the horizon line, its waves breaking in
high-tossed foam on the rocky shore beneath them. Before them they saw
an open bay, or roadstead, lying between the point on which they stood,
and one extending into the sea far to the northwest. Upon looking at
their map of Vizcaino’s voyage, they rightly decided that this farther
projection was Point Reyes; the little bay sheltered by the curve of its
arm was the one named on the map St. Francis, and now known as Drakes
Bay. Well out to sea they discovered a group of rocky islands which they
called Farallones; but not a man who stood on the height dreamed that
only a short distance to the right up the rocky coast there lay a bay
so immense and so perfectly inclosed that it would ever be one of the
wonders of the land they were exploring.

On account of the sick of the party, among whom were the commander and
his lieutenant, it was decided to travel no further, but to camp here
while Sergeant Ortega was dispatched to follow the coast line to Point
Reyes and explore the little bay it inclosed.

With a few men and three days’ provisions consisting of small cakes made
of bran and water, which was the only food they had left, this brave
Spanish officer marched away, little imagining the honor which was
soon to be his. Leading this expedition, he was the first white man to
explore the peninsula where now stands the guardian city of the western
coast, and we must wonder what were his thoughts when, pushing his way
up some brush-covered heights, he came out suddenly upon the great bay
we call San Francisco.

What a mighty surprise was that sixty miles of peaceful water that had
so long remained hidden from European explorers, baffling the anxious
gaze of Cabrillo, the faithful explorations of Ferrelo, the eagle eyes
of Drake, and the earnest search of Vizcaino!

Pushing steadily on toward Point Reyes, Ortega encountered a second
surprise, when from the Presidio hills he looked down on beautiful
Golden Gate, whose rumpled waters seemed to say:--

“No farther can you come. We keep guard here.”

Seeing that it was quite impossible for him to reach Point Reyes, Ortega
decided to return to Portola. He found the commander and his party so
weakened by sickness and the lack of food that it had been decided to
explore no farther, but to return at once to the southern mission. After
a painful march of sixty days the party reached San Diego.

Bitter was the disappointment of Padre Junipero Serra at the failure to
found the mission of Monterey. He did not believe, as many of the party
reported, that the bay was filled up with sand. Keener still was his
grief when Portola, after looking over the supply of food, announced
that unless the ship San Antonio or the sloop San Jose arrived by
a certain date with provisions, they would have to abandon Upper
California and return to the peninsula.

The padre at once called the people together for a nine days’ session of
prayer and other church services at which to pray for the coming of the
relief boat. Portola, though he attended the services, went steadily on
with his preparations for departure. On the morning of the day before
the one set for the beginning of the march toward Lower California,
the padres went to the heights overlooking the bay, where they remained
watching and praying. At sea a heavy fog hung over the water. Hour after
hour passed as they gazed out on the lovely bay. Noon came, but they
would not return to the mission to rest or eat. The afternoon wore away,
the sun sank in the clouds above the horizon, then, as all hope seemed
gone, the fog was lifted by a sunset breeze, and there, far out at sea,
they saw a white sail. The good men fell on their knees in thanksgiving,
while their Indian servants ran to carry the news to camp.

This vessel, the San Antonio, brought not only abundant provisions but
fresh orders from Galvez to hurry the work at Monterey. The settlement
of Upper California was now made certain.

An expedition by land and the San Antonio by sea immediately started
northward. A few weeks later Padre Junipero wrote to Padre Palou: “By
the favor of God, after a month and a half of painful navigation,
the San Antonio found anchor in this port of Monterey, which we find
unvarying in circumstances and substance as described by Don Sebastian
Vizcaino.”

They even found Vizcaino’s oak. Indeed, it is said on good authority,
that the oak remained standing until 1838, when the high tides washed
the earth from its roots so that it fell.

Soon the land expedition arrived, and one June morning in 1770 the
members of the two parties, all in their best attire, were gathered on
the beach for the purpose of founding the second mission. It must have
been a pretty scene,--the stanch little vessel San Antonio, gay with
bunting, swinging at anchor a short distance out, while on shore were
grouped the sailors in the bright dress of seamen of those times, the
soldiers in leather uniform, the governor and his staff in the handsome
costumes of Spanish officials, and the padres in their gray robes. Close
beside the oak a brush house had been built, bells hung, and an altar
erected. While the bells tolled, the solemn service of dedication was
held by Padre Junipero, and so was founded the Mission San Carlos de
Borromeo at Monterey.

Near each of the earlier coast missions there was also founded a
military station called a presidio, a name borrowed from the Roman
presidium. The word meant a fort or fortified town. These presidios were
intended to guard the safety of the missions from the wild Indians, and
to defend the coast from ships of other countries.

After the religious services Governor Portola proceeded to found the
presidio and take formal possession in the name of the king of Spain by
hoisting and saluting the royal banner, pulling up bunches of grass, and
casting stones, which was an ancient manner of taking possession of a
piece of land or country. The presidio of Monterey was for a long time
the site of the capital of Upper California and therefore most important
in the history of the state.

For the sake of better land and water the mission site was soon removed
about six miles, to the Carmelo River. Although not so wealthy as some
of the missions, it was the home of Padre Junipero Serra, president of
all the missions, and so its history is especially interesting.

The news of the settlement of San Diego and Monterey was received in
Mexico with great joy, and it was resolved to found five more missions
above San Diego. Four of these were San Gabriel, near the present site
of Los Angeles; San Luis Obispo, farther north; San Antonio; and San
Francisco. Before leaving the peninsula, Padre Serra had asked Galvez,
“And for Father Francisco, head of our order, is there to be no mission
for him?” To which Galvez had replied, “If Saint Francis wants a
mission, let him cause his port to be found and it will be placed
there.” When the beautiful bay was discovered by Sergeant Ortega, it
was thought that this might be the harbor Saint Francis intended for
himself, but before naming it for the head of the order it was necessary
that it should be explored. Although two land expeditions were sent up
for this purpose, they were unsuccessful; and it was not until August,
1775, about four months after the eventful battle of Lexington had taken
place on the Atlantic coast, that white men first entered the Bay of San
Francisco in a ship.

Lieutenant Ayala of the Spanish navy, with the San Carlos, had the honor
of conducting this expedition.

He reached the entrance to the bay just as night was coming on. Not
liking to trust his vessel in a strange harbor, he sent forward a boat
to make explorations, and then, as it was a little slow in returning,
he daringly pushed on in the darkness into the unknown water. His small
craft bobbed and plunged in the rough water of the bar, darted through
Golden Gate, and came safely to anchor near North Beach. Soon after
this exploration it was settled that here Saint Francis should have his
mission.

Padre Junipero Serra appointed his friend Francisco Palou, who had now
joined him in his work in Upper California, to make this settlement, and
on the 9th of October, 1776, there was founded in that portion of San
Francisco known as the Mission District, at the corner of Sixteenth
and Dolores streets, the mission of San Francisco. This is often called
Mission Dolores from the name of a small lake and stream beside which
it was built. To-day the name San Francisco rests not only on the old
mission building, with its white pillars, but on the beautiful city
which is the metropolis of our western coast.

As fast as possible Padre Junipero hastened the establishment of
missions, choosing those places where there were the largest native
settlements. In the vicinity of Monterey Bay there were, besides the San
Carlos mission, Santa Cruz on the northern curve of the bay, and in the
fertile valley back of the Santa Cruz Mountains the missions of Santa
Clara, San Jose, and San Juan Bautista. Farther south on a lonely height
stood Soledad, and much farther south, San Miguel.

The Indians along the Santa Barbara Channel, of whom there were a great
many, were more intelligent and industrious than in other portions of
the country settled by the missionaries, and here were the missions of
Santa Barbara, San Buenaventura, La Purisima, and Santa Inez.

In the south, in the fertile valley where are now the great grain fields
of Los Angeles county, San Fernando was founded. Between San Gabriel and
San Diego were placed San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Rey, and the chapel
of Pala. San Rafael and Solano, to the north of San Francisco Bay,
complete the list of twenty-one missions of Upper California.

It is impossible to give more than the names of most of these missions,
although about each many true and beautiful stories might be told. It
would be well if those who live near one of these noble ruins would seek
out its particular history and the stories connected with it. This would
be interesting and helpful work for the students in the schools of the
state.

The story of the missions seems like a fairy tale, wonderful and
unreal. Into a wilderness inhabited only by savage men and wild animals,
hundreds of miles from any civilized settlement, there came these men
trained as simple priests.

Two by two they came, bringing with them, for the starting of each
mission, a few soldiers, seven to ten, a few converted Indians from
the missions of Lower California, a little live stock, some church
furniture, and always the bells; yet in a little over forty years they
had succeeded in founding a chain of missions whose sweet-toned bells
chimed the hours and called to prayer from San Diego to the Bay of San
Francisco.

Churches were built larger and often of a purer type of architecture
than those in the civilized well-settled portions of the
land,--buildings that have lasted for a hundred years and may last many
years longer if care is taken to preserve them. Canals of stone and
cement and dams of masonry were constructed that would do credit to our
best workmen of to-day.

The little packages of wheat and other grains, seeds from Spanish
oranges and olives, little dried bundles of grapevines from Mexico,
developed, under their care, into the great fields of grain, groves
of oranges and olives, and the wide-spreading vineyards of the mission
ranches. All these wonders were performed with Indian workmen trained by
the padres.

But what the missionaries cared for more than their success in building
and planting were the thousands of baptized Indians at each mission.
These they instructed daily for the good of their souls in the truths of
the Christian religion, while for their bodily needs they were taught to
plow the earth, to plant seed, to raise and care for domestic animals.
They learned also many useful trades; and music, frescoing, and art were
taught those who seemed to have an especial taste for such things.

At the head of this great work was gentle Padre Junipero Serra, the most
interesting character in the history of the missions. He was frail and
slender and much worn by constant labor of head and hands, but his every
thought and action seemed to be for others. Back and forth from Monterey
to San Diego, from mission to mission, he traveled almost constantly,
teaching, baptizing, confirming thousands of his dusky charges. He was
president of all the missions, and besides this was bishop, doctor,
judge, and architect, as well as steward of the mission products and
money.

Associated with him in his work were a group of noble men whose lives
were spent in caring for the native people with whom they worked and
among whom they finally died. The inhabitants of California may well
honor the mission padres for their earnest, unselfish lives, and in no
way can this be done so fully as in the preservation of the grand old
buildings they left behind, which are indeed fitting monuments to their
devotion, energy, and skill.

Beginning with San Diego, let us, in fancy, visit the missions in the
early part of the nineteenth century.

It is a winter day in the year 1813 when we ride up the broad,
wind-swept road which leads to the newly dedicated mission building of
San Diego. The wide plain that surrounds it is green with native grass
and the blades of young wheat. Of the two hundred cattle, one hundred
sheep, one hundred horses, and twenty asses brought up by Padre Junipero
in 1769 to be divided among the earlier missions, San Diego had only its
due share; yet under the wise management of the padres, they have now at
this mission, feeding on the green plains, thousands of cattle, horses,
and sheep, which are tended by comfortably clothed Indian herders. Near
the mission are the green and gold of orange orchards, the gray of the
olive, and the bare branches of extensive vineyards. At one side we
see a large kitchen garden where young Indians are at work planting and
hoeing.

As we draw up in front of the church, Indian servants come out to take
our horses. We dismount, and a padre who is superintending work in
the orchard comes and welcomes us with gentle courtesy. He sends us a
servant to show us to our room, a small square apartment with a hard
earthen floor and bare, whitewashed walls with no ornament but a cross.
The beds are of rawhide stretched over a frame. The covering consists
of sheets of coarse cotton grown and woven at the southern missions,
and blankets, coarse but warm, made by the Indians from the wool of the
mission sheep.

Dinner at the padre’s table we find most enjoyable. There is beef
and chicken, the frijole, or red bean of Spain, and other vegetables
prepared in a tasty manner peculiar to Spanish cooking, so we do not
doubt that the cook has been taught his trade by the padre himself. The
Indian boys who wait on the table also show careful training, performing
their duties quickly and quietly. Here we can find for bread the
tortilla,--still the food of the Indian and Mexican people of
California. It is a thin cake made of meal or flour and water, and baked
without grease on a hot stone or griddle. Wines made at the mission,
the favorite chocolate, thick and sweet, and some fruit from the padre’s
garden complete the meal.

Dinner over, we visit the church and admire the striking contrast
between the red tiles of the roof and the creamy white of the walls.
All the buildings are made of bricks molded from a clay called adobe
and dried slowly in the sun. Each brick is twelve inches square by four
inches thick, and the walls are laid two or three bricks deep, those of
the church itself being nearly four feet in thickness. It seems almost
impossible that so large and well made a building could have been
constructed by untrained workmen. Next to the church are the rooms of
the padres, then the dining room and the quarters of the mission
guard, which consists apparently of but two men, the rest being at the
presidio, several miles away. Adjoining these are the storehouses and
shops of the Indian workmen, all of which open on the great courtyard.

In the courtyard is a busy scene. Blacksmiths with hammer and anvil make
sounding blows as they work up old iron into needed farm utensils. The
soap maker’s caldron sends up a cloud of ill-smelling steam. At one side
carpenters are at work trimming and cutting square holes in logs for the
beams of new buildings which the padres wish to put up. Saddle makers,
squatted on the ground, are busy fashioning saddletrees, carving, and
sewing leather. The shoemaker is hard at work with needle and awl. These
and many other trades are all going on at once. These courts, which are
called patios, were generally several acres in extent and at the most
flourishing period of the missions each settlement often gave shelter to
over a thousand people.

Behind the central court is the home of the unmarried women. This, and
the rooms for their work, open on a separate square where there is shade
from orange and fig trees and a bathing pond supplied by the zanja, or
water ditch. Here square-figured, heavy-featured Indian girls are busy
spinning and weaving thread into cloth. Others are cutting out and
sewing garments. Some, squatted on the ground, are grinding corn into a
coarse meal for the atole, or mush. At the zanja several are engaged in
washing clothes. Here these girls live under the care of an old Indian
woman, and unless she accompanies them they may not, until they are
married, go outside these walls. Near the mission we visit a long row
of small adobe buildings, the homes of the families of the Christian
Indians; a neat, busy settlement where the little ones, comfortably
clothed, play about attended by the older children, while the mothers
work for the padres four or five hours daily.

Leaving San Diego and traveling northward along “El Camino Real,” the
highway which leads from mission to mission, we reach San Luis Rey,
“King of the Missions,” as it is sometimes called. Its church is the
largest of all those erected by the padres, being one hundred and sixty
feet long, fifty-eight feet wide, and sixty feet high. Its one square,
two-story tower has a chime of bells, the sweet clear tones of which
reached our ears while we were yet miles from the mission. Counting
the arches of the long corridor, we find there are two hundred and
fifty-six. This mission became very wealthy. At one time it had a
baptized Indian population of several thousand, owned twenty-four
thousand cattle, ten thousand horses, and one hundred thousand sheep,
and harvested fourteen thousand bushels of grain a year.

Its prosperity was due in a great measure to good Padre Peyri, who had
charge of it from its beginning. Many years afterwards, as we shall
see, the padres were ordered by the Mexican government to leave their
missions, the wealth they had gathered, and the Indians they had taught
and cared for. Father Peyri, knowing how hard it would be for him to get
away from his Indian children, as he called them, slipped off by night
to San Diego. In the morning the Indians missed him. Learning what had
happened, five hundred of them mounted their ponies in hot haste and
galloped all the way to San Diego, forty-five miles, to bring him back
by force. They arrived just as the ship, with Padre Peyri on board,
was weighing anchor. Standing on deck with outstretched arms, the padre
blessed them amid their tears and loud cries. Some flung themselves into
the water and swam after the ship. Four reached it, and, climbing up
its sides, so implored to be taken on board that the padre consented and
carried them with him to Rome, where one afterwards became a priest.

The next link in our chain, the most beautiful of all the missions, is
that of San Juan Capistrano. It was founded in 1776, the year of
our Declaration of Independence, but in 1812 it was destroyed by an
earthquake, the massive towers and noble arch falling in on the Indians,
who were assembled in the church for morning prayers. Many of them were
killed. The church has never been rebuilt.

It is Christmas Day when we reach San Gabriel, the next station on El
Camino Real. Inside the great cactus fence which incloses the square
about the mission we see a strangely mixed company,--Indians in their
best clothes, their faces shining from a liberal use of mission soap and
water; soldiers in their leather suits freshened up for the holiday;
a few ranchmen in the gay dress of the times, riding beautiful horses;
women and girls each brilliant in a bright-colored skirt with shawl or
scarf gracefully draped over head and shoulders.

The Christmas Day morning service, held at four o’clock and known by the
common people as the Rooster Mass, is long since over. The crowd is now
gathered for the Pastorel, which, like the miracle plays of the Middle
Ages, is a drama with characters taken from the Bible.

First to appear on the scene is an orchestra composed of young Indians
playing violins, bass viols, reeds, flutes, and guitars. Closely
following come the actors, representing San Gabriel and attendant
angels, Satan, Blind Bartimeus, and a company of shepherds. The
entertainment is very simple. There is the announcement of the birth of
the Savior, the adoration of the babe, and the offering of gifts. The
play concludes with a protracted struggle between San Gabriel and Satan
for the possession of Blind Bartimeus, in which the saint finally comes
off victor while the orchestra plays lively music. After the Pastorel
there are games, dancing, and feasting. Every one seems happy, and it is
with regret that we leave the gay scene.

Through the hills to the north, across the Arroyo Seco, not dry now, but
a swift stream turbulent from the winter rains, we journey on. We pass
Eagle Rock, a great bowlder high upon the green hillside, one of the
landmarks of the region, and enter the valley of the Los Angeles River.
After traveling for several hours, we come to a large plantation of
trees, vines, and grainfields, in the midst of which lies the mission
of San Fernando. Its land extends for miles on every side and is
exceedingly fertile. In front of the beautiful cloisters, under tall
and stately palm trees, a fountain sends high its sparkling water, which
falls back with pleasant tinkle into a basin of carved stone.

When we reach San Buenaventura, the next mission on our route, we find
priests and Indians exceedingly busy, for word has come from Monterey
that a Yankee trading vessel will soon sail for the south, and cattle
must be killed and the fat rendered into tallow for the market. As hides
and tallow are about the only commodities the padres have for sale, this
is an important event. Indians tend the caldrons of bubbling grease, and
keep up the fires under the kettles. When the tallow is slightly cooled,
they pour it into sacks made from the skins of animals. These, when
filled with the hardened tallow, look as though each again held a plump
beast.

Traveling up the coast we come one afternoon to

A golden bay ‘neath soft blue skies Where on a hillside creamy rise The
mission towers whose patron saint Is Barbara--with legend quaint.

Here spring is merging into summer, and we are in time to see the
ceremony which closes the wheat harvest. The workmen gather the last
four sheaves from the field, and, fastening them in the form of a cross,
carry them, followed by a long procession of dusky reapers, up the
ascent to the church. As they approach, the bells burst out in a joyous
peal, and from the mission doors the padres come forth, one bearing a
cross, another the banner of the Virgin. A choir of Indian boys follows,
chanting a hymn. All advance slowly down the avenue to meet the sheaf
bearers, then counter march to the church, where the harvest festival is
celebrated.

Passing by other missions, we must close our journey with a visit to San
Carlos, the Monterey mission, most prominent of all in the history of
the church and state. It was from the first the special charge of Padre
Junipero Serra, and, at the time we see it, his monument as well; for in
it at last his weary body was laid to rest beside his friend Padre Juan
Crespi, to whose writings, next to those of Padre Francisco Palou, we
are most indebted for our knowledge of Junipero Serra and his great
work. In 1813, with its graceful arched front and two towers, San Carlos
was a noble-looking building, but since that time one tower has fallen.

We are reminded, as we look, of the scene when Junipero lay dying. Ever
since morning the grief-stricken people had been waiting, listening for
the news from the sick room. When the tolling of the bell announced that
the beautiful life was ended, crowds came weeping and lamenting, anxious
to see again the beloved face.

It was with great difficulty that the Indians could be kept from tearing
the padre’s robe from his body, so earnestly did they desire to possess
some relic of the father they had loved so long.

Here we notice the daily life of the Indian, which (in 1813) is the same
at all the missions. At sunrise comes the sound of the bells calling
to the morning prayers, and we see the natives hurrying to the church.
After service they gather for breakfast of mush and tortillas. As the
flocks and herds have increased, meat forms part of the daily food,
sometimes from the freshly killed beeves, but generally in a dried state
called carne seco. After breakfast the workers go in groups to their
various employments. Dinner is served at eleven, and they have a resting
period until two. Then work is again taken up and continued until
an hour before sunset, when the bells call to evening prayer. Supper
follows the evening service, after which the Indians can do as they like
until bedtime. We see some engaged in a game of ball. Many are squatted
on the ground playing other games,--gambling, we suspect. In one group
there is dancing to the music of violin and guitar. There is laughter
and chattering on all sides, and to us they seem happy, at least for the
time.

The life led by the Indians at the missions was not generally a
hard one. No doubt when they first came, or were brought, into the
settlements, from their free wild life, they found it harder to keep the
regular hours of the missions than to perform the work, which was seldom
very heavy. When disobedient or lazy, they were punished severely,
judging by the standards of to-day, but really no harder than was at
that time the custom in schools and in navies the world over. When the
soldiers came in contact with the natives, there was generally cruel
treatment for the latter. But as far as possible the padres stood
between their charges and the soldiers, always placing the mission as
far from the presidio as the safety of the former would allow.

At San Diego, about five years after its settlement, wild Indians
surprised the mission guard, and killed the padre and several of the
converted Indians in a most cruel manner. The Spanish government gave
orders that the murderers should be taken and executed and this mission
abandoned; but Padre Junipero begged so hard for the culprits, who, he
said, knew no better, having no knowledge of God, that he was finally
allowed to have his way. Gentleness and patience won the day; not only
the Indians who made the attack were converted, but many more of their
tribe, and the mission became a flourishing settlement. There was once
a rebellion among the Santa Clara and San Jose Indians, led by a young
convert from Santa Clara, which required soldiers from Monterey to put
down. Generally, however, the mission life was peaceful, the Indians
being fond of their padres.

When Mexico became free from Spain, no more money was sent up to pay the
soldiers or run the government in Upper California, and for a long time
the missions advanced the money for the expenses of the government.

After a time the new priests who came up from Mexico were not generally
men of such education and noble character as the early mission padres.
They cared less for missionary work, and were not so energetic. Their
influence was not always good for the Indians, who quickly saw the
difference between them and their old padres. They had little confidence
in the newcomers, so at the few missions where such as these were in
charge the Indians were disobedient, and received harsh punishments from
the padres; and trouble followed.

In 1833 the Mexican government decided to confirm the mandate issued by
Spain several years before in regard to the breaking up of the mission
settlements. By this law each Indian was to have his own piece of land
to own and care for. He was to be no longer under the control of the
church, but to be his own master like any other citizen. As for the
padres, they were to give up their wealth and lands, and leave for other
missionary fields. That this would create a great change in California
all realized; still it was no new idea, but the plan Spain had in mind
when the missions were first founded. The mistake was in supposing that
it was possible for a people to rise in so short a time from the
wild life of the California Indian to the position of self-supporting
citizens in a civilized country.

When the Indians understood this order, some were pleased and,
like children when freed from restraint, ceased to work and became
troublesome. Many, however, when they found that the padres were to
leave them, became very unhappy; some, it is said, even died from
homesickness for the mission and the padre. One committed suicide.

It was soon seen that they were not fitted to look after themselves.
Only a few years had passed since they were savages, knowing nothing of
civilized life, and they still needed some one to guide them. They not
only began to drink and gamble, but were cheated and ill-treated on all
sides, until many of them became afraid of living in towns and went back
to wild life. For this they were no longer fitted, and they suffered so
much from hunger and cold that great numbers of them died.

Because the Indians were not capable of caring for themselves at
the time of the secularization of the missions, the padres are often
severely blamed. It is said that they tried to keep the natives without
knowledge, in fact something like slaves. But the truth is that the
padres taught them by thousands, not only to cultivate the soil, to
irrigate wisely, to raise domestic cattle, but to work at every trade
that could be of use in a new country. They were encouraged to choose
from among themselves alcaldes, or under officers of the mission.
In this way every inducement was given to the Indian showing himself
capable of self-control, to rise to a prominent position in his little
world, where he generally ruled his fellow-workmen wisely and kindly.

Added to this, the Indians acquired, through the teaching and example of
the padres, a religion that has lasted through generations. The breaking
up of the mission settlements scattered the Indians through the country,
many of them going back to the wild life in the forest and mountains,
where they no longer had any religious instructions. Yet to-day, after
all the years that have passed, there are few Indians from San Diego to
San Francisco who do not speak the language of the padres and follow,
though it may be but feebly, the teaching of the Catholic faith, the
“Santa Fe” of the padres.

Some of the mission buildings, many of the flocks, and much of the land
fell into the hands of men who had no possible right to them. Orchards
and vineyards were cut down, cattle killed and stolen, and there was
only ruin where a short time before there had been thousands of busy
people leading comfortable lives. Soon the churches were neglected
and began to crumble away, bats flew in and out of the broken arches,
squirrels chattered fearlessly in the padre’s dining room, and the only
human visitor was some sad-hearted Indian worshiper, slipping timidly
into the desolate building to kneel alone before the altar where once

     Sweet strains from dusky neophytes
     Rose up to God in praise,
     When life centered ‘round the missions
     In the happy golden days.



Chapter V

Pastoral Days



For hundreds of years poets have written and singers have sung of the
loveliness of a country life, where there is no gathering together of
the inhabitants in great cities, no struggle to make money, where the
people live much out of doors, are simple in their tastes, healthy and
happy.

These dreams of an ideal life the Spanish-speaking settlers of early
California made real. In this land of balmy airs, soft skies, and gentle
seas there lived, in the old days, a people who were indifferent
to money, who carried their religion into their daily pleasures and
sorrows, were brotherly toward one another, contented, beautiful,
joyous.

About the time that the mission of San Francisco was founded, the
Spanish government decided to lay out two towns, or pueblos, where it
was thought the fertile character of the soil would lead the settlers
to raise grain and other supplies, not only for themselves but for the
people of the presidios. Up to this time a large part of the food had
been brought, at a considerable cost, from Mexico.

We know that the governor, Felipe de Neve, chose the town sites with
care, for in the whole state there are nowhere more beautiful and
fertile spots than San Jose, near the southern end of San Francisco Bay,
and Los Angeles, near the famous valley of the San Gabriel River. In
founding these two pueblos, and a third which was located where Santa
Cruz now stands, the plan pursued was interesting and somewhat different
from the methods of settlement on the eastern coast of our country.

First there was chosen a spot for the plaza, or central square, care
being taken that it was not far from good grazing land suitable for
the settlers’ stock. Around the plaza, lots were set apart for the
courthouse, town hall, church, granaries, and jail. Next were the lots
for the settlers, who each had, besides his home spot, several acres of
farming land with water, and the right to use the pasture lands of the
town. To each family was given, also, two horses, two cows, two oxen,
a mule, several goats, sheep, chickens, farming implements, and a small
sum in money.

Instead of asking tax money of the town people, some of the land was
reserved as public property to be rented out, the proceeds to be used
for the expenses of the government. Many people believe that this is the
wisest plan man has yet discovered for managing the expenses of a city,
town, or country.

Los Angeles had for many years a large amount of this land near the
center of the town, belonging to the city government. Gradually it was
taken up by settlers or appropriated by officials until, when the place
grew large and thriving, it was found that the land had become private
property; and finally the city had to pay large sums for parks and land
for public buildings.

Each pueblo was ruled by an alcalde, or mayor, and council, chosen by
the people. To advise with these officers, there was a commissioner who
represented the governor of the country. During the first few years the
pueblo was governed largely by the commissioner. Presidios, which were,
at first, forts with homes for the commander, officers, soldiers, and
their families, and were ruled by the commanding officer or comandante,
gradually became towns; and then they, too, had their alcalde and
council. There were four presidios--Monterey, San Francisco, San Diego,
and Santa Barbara.

In spite of all the gifts of free land, stock, and money, it was hard
to secure a suitable class of settlers. Many of those who came up from
Mexico to live in the pueblos were idle or dissipated, and nearly all
uneducated. When, after several years, a Spanish officer was sent down
from Monterey to convey to the Los Angeles settlers full title to their
lands, he found that not one of the twenty-four heads of families
could sign his name. Later a much better class of people came into
the country--men of education, brave, hardy members of good Spanish
families, who obtained grants of land from the government, bought cattle
from the mission herds, and began the business of stock raising.

This was the beginning of the pastoral or shepherd life. Each rancho was
miles in extent, its cattle and horses numbered by thousands. The homes
were generally built around a court into which all the rooms opened, and
were constructed of adobe bricks such as were used at the missions. In
the better class of homes several feet of the space in the courtyard
next the wall were covered with tile roofing, forming a shaded veranda,
where the family were accustomed to spend the leisure hours. Here they
received visitors, the men smoked their cigaritos, and the children made
merry. In the long summer evenings sweet strains of Spanish music from
violin and guitar filled the air, and the hard earthen floor of the
courtyard resounded to the tap-tap of high-heeled slippers, the swish of
silken skirts, and the jingle of silver spurs, as the young people took
part in the graceful Spanish dances.

It was no small matter to rule one of these great households. La Patrona
(the mistress) was generally the first one up. “Before the sun had
risen,” said a member of one of the old families, “while the linnets and
mocking birds were sounding their first notes, my mother would appear
at our bedside. ‘Up, muchachos, up, muchachas, and kneel for your Alba!’
The Alba was a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving for care during the
night, with a plea for help through the dangers and temptations of the
day. No excuse for lying abed was accepted; up, and on the floor we
knelt, then she passed on to where the mayordomo, or foreman, and his
men were gathering in the courtyard. Here, too, was the cook with the
Indian maids, busy making tortillas for the morning meal. ‘Your Albas,
my children,’ my mother would say in her clear, firm voice. Down would
drop mayordomo, vaqueros, cook, and Indian girls, all devoutly reciting
the morning prayer.

“After their prayer the children might, if they chose, return to their
beds, but before sleep could again overtake them there would probably
come from a distant room the voice of their aged grandfather asking them
questions from the Spanish catechism.

“‘Children, who made you?’ he would call in a quavering voice.

“A chorus of small voices would sing-song in response, ‘El Dios’ [God].

“Again he would question, ‘Children, who died for you?’

“Again the reply, ‘El Dios.’

“By the time the questions were all answered there was no chance for
more sleep.”

Nothing was taken with the morning coffee but the tortilla. This was a
thin cake made of meal from corn ground by Indian women who used for the
grinding either a stone mortar and pestle, or a metate. The metate was a
three-legged stone about two feet in length and one in breadth, slightly
hollowed out in the center; grain was ground in this by rubbing with a
smaller stone. It took a great number of tortillas to serve the large
household. One Indian maid, kneeling beside a large white stone which
served as table, mixed the meal, salt, and water into balls of dough.
These she handed to another girl, who spatted them flat and thin by
tossing them from one of her smooth bare arms to the other until they
were but a little thicker than a knife blade. The cook then baked them
on a hot dry stone or griddle, turning them over and over to keep them
from burning.

El Patron (the master) usually rose early, and after his coffee, put on
his high, wide-brimmed sombrero, and, attended by his sons, if they were
old enough, and his mayordomo, rode over his estate, looking after the
Indian vaqueros and workmen. One gentleman, a member of a fine Spanish
family which lived in the southern part of the state, used to ride
out with his sixteen sons, all of whom were over six feet in height.
Generally the families were large, often comprising twelve children or
more. These made merry households for the little people.

After breakfast it was the duty of the mistress to set the host of
Indian girls to their tasks. The padres were always glad to let the
young Indian girls from the mission go into white families where there
was a wise mistress, that they might be trained in both religious and
domestic duties. Going to the gate of the courtyard, the Patrona would
call, “To the brooms, to the brooms, muchachas,” adding, if it were
foggy, “A very fine morning for the brooms, little ones;” and out would
come running a cluster of Indian girls carrying each a broom. At the
work they would go, sweeping as clean as a floor the courtyard and
ground for a large space about the house.

Next they flocked to the sewing room, often sixteen or eighteen of these
girls, to take up their day’s work under the mistress’s eye. Some made
garments for the ranch hands, those who were better work women attended
to the making of clothing for the family, while the girls who were the
most skillful with the needle fashioned delicate, fine lace work and
embroidery.

The children were seldom indoors unless it rained. There were no
schools; there were few ranches where there were teachers, and the
fathers and mothers generally had their hands too full to devote
themselves to their children’s education, so in the early days it was
all playtime. Later, schools were started for boys, and dreadful places
they were.

As General Vallejo describes them, they were generally held in a narrow,
badly lighted room, with no adornment but a large green cross or some
picture of a saint hanging beside the master’s table. The master was
often an old soldier in fantastic dress, with ill-tempered visage. The
scholar entered, walked the length of the room, knelt before the cross
or picture, recited a prayer, then tremblingly approached the master,
saying, “Your hand, Senor Maestro,” when with a grunt the hand would be
extended to him to be kissed. Little was taught besides the reading of
the primer and the catechism.

Ranch boys early learned to ride, each having his own horse and saddle.
Every year there was a rodeo, or “round-up,” held in each neighborhood,
where cattle from all the surrounding ranches were driven to one point
for the purpose of counting the animals and branding the young. Each
stock owner had to be there with all the men from his ranch who could
ride, nor must he forget his branding irons. These brands were recorded
in the government book of the department, and any one changing the form
of his iron in any manner without the permission of the judge was guilty
of a crime.

To the boys the rodeo was the most interesting time of the whole year.
The coming of the strange herds and vaqueros, the counting and the
separating of the animals, and the branding of the young stock made a
period of excitement and fun. Here was offered a chance for the display
of good horsemanship. Sometimes as the cattle were being gradually
herded into a circular mass, an unruly cow or bull would suddenly dart
from the drove and run away at full speed. A vaquero on horseback would
immediately dash after the animal, and, coming up with it, lean from the
saddle and seizing the runaway by the tail, spur his horse forward. Then
by a quick movement he would give a jerk and suddenly let go his hold,
when the animal would fall rolling over and over on the ground. By the
time it was up again it was tamed. Many a boy earned his first praise
for good riding at a rodeo.

Nowhere in the world were there better and more graceful riders. Horses
used for pleasure were fine, spirited animals. The saddle and the bridle
were generally handsomely inlaid with silver or gold. A California
gentleman in fiesta costume, mounted on his favorite horse, was a
delight to the eyes. His hat, wide in the brim, high and pointed in the
crown, was made of soft gray wool and ornamented with gold or silver
lace and cord, sometimes embroidered with rubies and emeralds until it
was very heavy and exceedingly valuable. His white shirt was of thin,
embroidered muslin, and the white stock, too, was of thin stuff wrapped
several times around the neck, then tied gracefully in front. The jacket
was of cloth or velvet, in dark colors, blue, green, or black, with
buttons and lace trimmings of silver or gold, often of a very elaborate
design. About the waist was tied a wide sash of soft material and gay
color, the ends hanging down at the side. The breeches were of velvet
or heavy cloth, dark in color, save when the rider was gay in his taste,
then they might be of bright tints. They either ended at the knee, below
which were leggings of deerskin, or fitted the figure closely down to
just above the ankle, where they widened out and were slashed at the
outer seam, showing thin white drawers, which puffed prettily between
the slashes. A gentleman in Los Angeles still has the trimmings for such
suit, consisting of three hundred and fifty pieces of silver filigree
work.

Every one seemed to live out of doors, and though the ranchos were
widely scattered, there was much visiting and social gayety. All who
could, traveled on horseback; while the mother of the family, the
children, and old people used the clumsy carreta with its squeaking
wheels.

One of the prettiest sights was a wedding procession as it escorted
the bride from her home to the mission church. Horses were gayly
caparisoned, and the riders richly dressed. The nearest relative of the
bride carried her before him on the saddle, across which hung a loop
of gold or silver braid for her stirrup, in which rested her little
satin-shod foot. Her escort sat behind her on the bearskin saddle
blanket. Accompanying the party were musicians playing guitar and
violin, each managing horse and instrument with equal skill.

The California woman generally wore a full skirt of silk, satin, wool,
or cotton, a loose waist of thin white goods, and, in cold weather,
a short bolero jacket of as rich material as could be obtained. A
bright-colored ribbon served for a sash, and a lace handkerchief or a
muslin scarf was folded over the shoulders and neck. In place of bonnet
and wrap a lace or silk shawl, or a narrow scarf called a rebosa, was
gracefully draped over the head and shoulders.

Children were dressed like the older people, and very pretty were the
girls in their low-necked, short-sleeved camisas or waists, and full gay
skirts, their hair in straight braids hanging down over the shoulders.
The short breeches, pretty round jackets, and gay sashes were very
becoming to the boys.

At night the daughters of the house, big and little, were locked into
their rooms by their mother, the father attending in the same manner
to the boys. In the morning the mother’s first duty was to unlock these
doors.

Various games were played. Blindman’s buff was a great favorite for
moonlight nights. There was also a game called cuatrito, in which the
players threw bits of stone at a mark drawn on the ground at a certain
distance.

“In my time,” said a prominent Californian of to-day, “we used to play
this game with golden slugs instead of stones; there was always a basket
of slugs sitting door. We liked them because they carried well, and we
thought it nothing unusual to use them as playthings. They were abundant
in most of the houses; my mother and her friends used them as soap
dishes in, the bedrooms.

“In the spare rooms was always a little pile of money covered by a
napkin, from which the visitor was expected to help himself if he
needed. We would have considered it disgraceful to count the guest
money.”

“Our parents were very strict with us,” said another Californian,
“much more so than is the custom to-day. Sometimes while the parents,
brothers, and sisters were eating their meal, a child who was naughty
had for punishment to kneel in one corner of the dining room before
a high stool, on which was an earthen plate, a tin cup, and a wooden
spoon. It was worse than a flogging, a thousand times. As soon as the
father went out, the mother and sisters hastened to the sorrowful one
and comforted him with the best things from the table.”

The clothes were not laundered each week, but were saved up often for
several weeks or even a month or two, and then came a wash-day frolic.
Imagine wash day looked forward to as a delightful event! So it was,
however, to many California children. Senorita Vallejo, in the Century
Magazine (Vol. 41), thus describes one of these excursions:--

“It made us children happy to be waked before sunrise to prepare for
the ‘wash-day expedition.’ The night before, the Indians had soaped
the clumsy carreta’s great wheels. Lunch was placed in baskets, and the
gentle oxen were yoked to the pole. We climbed in under the green cloth
of an old Mexican flag which was used as an awning, and the white-haired
Indian driver plodded beside with his long oxgoad. The great piles of
soiled linen were fastened on the backs of horses led by other servants,
while the girls and women who were to do the washing trooped along by
the side of the carreta. Our progress was slow, and it was generally
sunrise before we reached the spring. The steps of the carreta were
so low that we could climb in or out without stopping the oxen. The
watchful mother guided the whole party, seeing that none strayed too
far after flowers, or loitered too long. Sometimes we heard the howl
of coyotes and the noise of other wild animals, and then none of the
children were allowed to leave the carreta.

“A great dark mountain rose behind the spring, and the broad, beautiful
valley, unfenced and dotted with browsing herds, sloped down to the bay
[of San Francisco]. We watched the women unload the linen and carry it
to the spring, where they put home-made soap on the clothes, dipped them
in the spring, and rubbed them on the smooth rocks until they were white
as snow. Then they were spread out to dry on the tops of the low bushes
growing on the warm, windless southern slopes of the mountain.” After
a happy day in the woods came “the late return at twilight, when the
younger children were all asleep in the slow carreta and the Indians
were singing hymns as they drove the linen-laden horses down the dusky
ravines.”

As at the missions, soon the ranchos, little was raised for sale save
hides and tallow from the cattle. It was not the fault of the settlers
that, living in so fertile a country, they made so little use of its
productiveness. Spain’s laws in regard to trade were made entirely
in the interests of the mother country, the settlers of New Spain,
especially of Alta California, having no encouragement to raise more
than they needed for use at home. They could not sell their produce to
ships from foreign countries, for the penalty for that was death to the
foreigner and severe punishment for the colonist. All trade had to be
carried on in Spanish vessels, and it was forbidden to ship olive
oil, wine, or anything that was raised or made in the home country.
As California and Spain were much alike in climate and soil, this law
really stopped all outside trade except that arising from cattle.

After the territory became a Mexican province, the rules were not so
severe in regard to foreign trade, and finally the New England vessels
freely entered the ports by paying certain duties to the government.

To the young people upon the ranchos the arrival of a trading vessel was
a great event. If the port was not far from the house, the Patrona and
the young ladies sometimes went on board to select for themselves
from the miscellaneous cargo the things they desired; but as they were
generally afraid of the water, especially of trusting themselves in the
ship’s boats, the father and boys often represented the family on such
occasions.

When news arrived that a ship was coming down the coast, elder sisters
became very kind and attentive to younger brothers, who accepted panocha
(a coarse brown sugar cast in square or scalloped cakes) and other gifts
contentedly, knowing well they would be expected to “coax Father” to
buy the ring, sash, necklace, or fan which the good sister particularly
desired. Often a ranchero would go down to the harbor with ten or
fifteen ox carts loaded with hides, skins, and tallow, and return with
ranch implements, furniture, dishes, sugar, other food, clothes, and
ornaments of all kinds. Such laughing, chattering, and excitement as
there was when the squeaking ox carts came into the courtyard! The whole
household, from the Patrona and her guests to the Indian mothers with
their children from the kitchen precincts, gathered to watch the slow
unloading of the purchases. Slow, indeed, seemed the process to the
eager children of the family. Except on horseback for a short dash, the
Californian never hurried. For a journey the usual gait was a little jog
trot, hardly faster than a walk.

Senorita Vallejo, in the Century Magazine, describes the loading of a
ship’s cargo: “The landing place for the mission of San Jose was at the
mouth of a salt water creek several miles away. When a trading vessel
entered San Francisco Bay, the large ship’s boat would be sent up this
creek to collect the hides and tallow; but if the season was a wet one,
the roads would be too bad for the ox carts; then each separate hide was
doubled across the middle and placed on the head of an Indian. Sometimes
long files of Indians might be seen, each carrying hides in this manner,
as they trotted across the wide, flat plains or pushed their way through
the little forest of dried mustard stalks to the creek mouth.”

No such thing was known as a Californian breaking his word in regard to
a debt. Yankee ship owners trusted him freely. Once, when a ship was
in port, the captain left it for a little while in charge of the clerk
whose business it was to sell the goods, but who had never been in
California before and knew nothing of its customs. Down to the shore
came a ranchero attended by servants and ox carts. He came on board and
bought many things, intending to pay later with hides and tallow which
were not then ready. When he ordered the goods taken ashore with never
a word as to payment, the clerk informed him that he must either give
money or else give some writing saying that he would pay.

Now this Californian, though rich in lands and stock, could neither read
nor write. When he understood that he was being distrusted, he gravely
drew from his beard a hair, and, handing it to the clerk, said: “Give
this to your master and tell him it is a hair from the beard of Agustin
Machado. You will find it sufficient guarantee.” The clerk saw that he
had made a mistake, and, taking the hair, placed it in the leaves of
his note book and allowed the goods to be taken away. When the captain
returned, he was mortified that there had been any distrust shown.

While California was a Spanish province its chief ruler was appointed by
the home government and was always an educated gentleman of good family,
generally an officer of the army. The coming of a new governor was a
great event in the colony and was celebrated with all possible ceremony
and display.

In 1810 Mexico began its revolt against Spain. In California the people
were in sympathy with the mother country and had no doubt of her final
success. For a long time they received little news of how the war was
progressing. They only knew that no more money was sent up to pay
the soldiers or the expenses of government, that the padres no longer
received any income from the Pius Fund, that even the trading vessels
from Mexico upon which they depended for their supplies had ceased to
come.

Times became so hard that the local government turned for aid to the
missions, which had become largely self-supporting. Many of them were
indeed wealthy communities, and the padres responded generously to the
demand for help. For several years they furnished food and clothing to
the soldiers, and money for the expenses of government, for the most of
which they never received payment.

Gradually the fine clothes of the Californians wore out, no vessels
arrived from which they could purchase more, and again it was the
missions which came to the rescue. Their cotton and woolen goods were in
great demand. Indian spinners and weavers were busy from morning until
night making clothes for the “gente de razon,” or “people of reason,”
 which was the term by which the white settlers were distinguished from
the natives.

In 1822 a vessel came up from the south, bringing to the governor
official notice that the war had been decided in favor of Mexico, and
that California was therefore a Mexican province. This was disagreeable
news to the Californians, but after consultation held by the governor,
his officers, the padre who was the president of the missions, and some
of the leading citizens, it was decided that they were too far away from
Spain to be able to resist, and that they should take the oath to be
true to the Mexican government. For the padres, who were all Spaniards
and loyal to the home government, this was a hard thing to do, and they
never became reconciled to the change.

From this time California was not so well governed. Mexico, which was
then an empire but soon became a republic, had its hands full looking
after its own affairs, and little attention was paid its far-off
province. Its best men were needed at home, and the governors sent up
the coast were not always wise or pleasing to the people. There were
several revolutions with but little bloodshed. One governor was sent
back to Mexico. At one time the Californians declared that theirs was
a free state, and a young man named Alvarado was made governor. General
Vallejo, who was his uncle, was given command of the army. But soon
the Californians quarreled bitterly among themselves, so that this
government did not last long and the territory went back under the rule
of Mexico. That government, in order to have peace in the province,
confirmed Alvarado and Vallejo in their positions.

During the war between Mexico and Spain a South American pirate paid a
visit to the coast of Upper California. Monterey was attacked and partly
destroyed, also the mission of San Juan Capistrano and the rancho El
Refugio, the home of Captain Ortega, the discoverer of San Francisco
Bay. In the crew of the pirate ship was a young American named Chapman,
who had found life among his rough associates not so interesting as he
had hoped it would be, so he deserted, but was taken prisoner by
the Californians and imprisoned in a canyon near the present site of
Pasadena. Later he was brought down to Los Angeles and set at liberty.
He found the people of the pueblo planning to build a church on the
plaza, and he told them that if they would let him have some Indian
workmen he would get some large timbers down from the canyon. He
accomplished this successfully, and it was considered a wonderful work.
The stumps of the trees can yet be seen far up on the mountain side, and
the timbers are still in the plaza church.

Visiting San Gabriel, young Chapman found the padres having trouble
to keep the flour which they ground in their new stone mill from being
dampened by water from the mill wheel. Knowing something of machinery,
the American remedied the defect by means of a flutter wheel, and there
was no more trouble.

For years the catching of otters for their fur along the lagoons and
bays about San Francisco and Monterey brought considerable money to the
northern missions. Chapman, finding that the padres of San Gabriel were
anxious to engage in this trade, built for them the first sea-going boat
ever constructed in southern California. It was a schooner, the various
parts of which he made in the workshop of the mission. They were then
carried down to San Pedro, where he put them together and successfully
launched the vessel.

Finally, to close his history, it is recorded of Mr. Chapman that he
fell in love with the pretty daughter of Captain Ortega, whose home
he had helped his pirate associates to attack, that he married her and
lived to a good old age. The country had few more useful citizens than
this capable man, the first American to settle in the southern part of
California.

With the secularization of the missions in 1833-34 came a change in the
peaceful pastoral life. In each section all that was of interest had
from the first centered around its mission. One of the chief pleasures
of the early Californians was the feast day, “La Fiesta,” which
celebrated a saint’s birthday. During the year there were many of these
festivals. First there were religious exercises at the mission church;
then in the great square there followed dancing, games, and feasting,
in which all classes took some part. These happy church festivals ceased
with the breaking up of the mission settlements. Some of the Indians
disturbed the community by disorderly conduct, and the ill treatment and
suffering of the rest of these simple people caused sorrow and dismay
in the hearts of the better portion of the settlers. There was a wild
scramble for the lands, stock, and other wealth which had been gathered
by the missionaries and their Indian workmen.

Many of the beautiful churches were sold to people who cared nothing for
the faith they represented. In some, cattle were stabled. The mission
bells were silent, and many of the mission settlements, once so busy and
prosperous, were solitary and in ruins.

Life in the great ranchos still went on much as before, but it was no
longer so simple and joyous. A change had begun, and not many years
later, with the coming of the Americans at the time of the Mexican war,
the peaceful, happy life of Spanish California was brought to an end.



Chapter VI

The Footsteps of the Stranger



At no point does the early history of California come in contact with
that of the colonies of the Eastern coast of the United States. The
nearest approach to such contact was in the year 1789, when Captain
Arguello, commander of the presidio of San Francisco, received the
following orders from the governor of the province:--

“Should there arrive at your port a ship named Columbia, which, they
say, belongs to General Washington of the American States, you will
take measures to secure the vessel with all the people aboard with
discretion, tact, cleverness, and caution.” As the Columbia failed to
enter the Californian port, the Spanish commander had no chance to try
his wits and guns with those of the Yankee captain.

It would seem as though the Californians lived for a time in fear of
their Eastern neighbors, since prayers were offered at some of the
missions that the people be preserved from “Los Americanos;” but after
the coming of the first two or three American ships, when trade began
to be established, there arose the kindliest feeling between the New
England traders and the Californians. The ship Otter, from Boston, which
came to the coast in 1796, was the first vessel from the United States
to anchor in a California port.

La Perouse, in command of a French scientific expedition, was the
first foreigner of prominence to visit California. Of his visit, which
occurred in the fall of 1786, he writes in his journal: “The governor
put into the execution of his orders in regard to, us a graciousness and
air of interest that merits from us the liveliest acknowledgments, and
the padres were as kind to us as the officers. We were invited to dine
at the Mission San Carlos, two leagues from Monterey, were received upon
our arrival there like lords of a parish visiting their estates. The
president of the missions, clad in his robe, met us at the door of the
church, which was illuminated as for the grandest festival. We were led
to the foot of the altar and the Te Deum chanted in thanksgiving for the
happy issue of our voyage.”

La Perouse’s account of the country, the people, and the missions is
of great value in giving us a picture of these times. In regard to the
Indians he said that he wished the padres might teach them, besides the
principles of the Christian religion, some facts about law and civil
government, “Although,” said he, “I admit that their progress would be
very slow, the pains which it would be necessary to take very hard and
tiresome.”

Captain Vancouver, with two vessels of the British navy, bound on
an exploring voyage round the world, was the next stranger to visit,
California. So much did he enjoy the courtesy of the Spanish officers
that when his map of the coast came out it was found that he had honored
his hosts of San Francisco and Monterey by naming for them two leading
capes of the territory, one Point Arguello and the other Point Sal.

As early as 1781 Russia had settlements in Sitka and adjacent islands,
for the benefit of its fur traders, and in 1805 the Czar sent a young
officer of his court to look into the condition of these trading posts.
Count Rezanof found the people suffering and saw that unless food was
brought to them promptly, they would die from starvation. San Francisco
was the nearest port, and though he knew that Spain did not allow trade
with foreign countries, the Russian determined to make the attempt to
get supplies there. Loading a vessel with goods which had been brought
out for the Indian trade of the north coast, he sailed southward. The
story of his visit is well told by Bret Harte in his beautiful poem,
“Concepcion de Arguello.”

Rezanof was warmly welcomed and generously entertained by Commander
Arguello of the presidio of San Francisco, but in vain did he try to
trade off his cargo for food for his starving people. The governor and
his officers dared not disobey the laws of Spain in regard to foreign
trade. While they were arguing and debating, however, something happened
which changed their views. The Count fell in love with the commander’s
beautiful daughter, Concepcion. Then, as the poem has it,--

“. . . points of gravest import yielded slowly one by one, And by Love
was consummated what Diplomacy begun.”

It seemed to the governor that the man who was to be son-in-law in the
powerful family of Arguello could not be considered as a foreigner, and
therefore the law need not apply in his case. Thus the Count got his
ship load of food and sailed away, promising to return as soon as
possible for his betrothed wife. One of the most interesting pictures of
early California is the poem which tells of this pathetic love story.

Count Rezanof was so pleased with the beauty and fertility of California
that his letters interested the Czar, who decided to found a colony on
the coast. An exploring expedition was sent out, and the territory about
Russian River in Sonoma County was purchased of the Indians for three
blankets, three pairs of trousers, two axes, three hoes, and some beads.
Fort Ross was the main settlement, and was the home of the governor,
his officers and their families, all accomplished, intelligent men
and women. Besides the soldiers there were a number of mechanics and a
company of natives from the Aleutian Islands, who were employed by the
Russians to hunt the otter. Up and down the coast roamed these wild
sea hunters, even collecting their furry game in San Francisco Bay and
defying the comandante of the presidio, who had no boats with which
to pursue them, and so could do nothing but fume and write letters of
remonstrance to the governor of Fort Ross. Spain, and later Mexico,
looked with disfavor and suspicion upon the Russian settlement, but
the people of California were always ready for secret trade with their
northern neighbors.

In 1816 Otto von Kotzebue, captain of the Russian ship Rurik, visited
San Francisco and was entertained by the comandante, Lieutenant
Luis Arguello. With Captain Kotzebue was the German poet, Albert von
Chamisso.

The Russian captain, with brighter faith and keener insight than any
other of the early visitors to the coast, says of the country: “It
has hitherto been the fate of these regions to remain unnoticed; but
posterity will do them justice; towns and cities will flourish where
all is now desert; the waters over which scarcely a solitary boat is
yet seen to glide will reflect the flags of all nations; and a happy,
prosperous people receiving with thankfulness what prodigal nature
bestows for their use will dispense her treasures over every part of the
world.”

In the writings of Albert von Chamisso can be found a most interesting
description of his visit. To him is due the honor of giving to our
Californian poppy its botanical name.

In 1841, the supply of otter having become exhausted, the Russians sold
their property and claims about Fort Ross to the Swiss emigrant,
the genial John Sutter. In 1903, through the agency of the Landmarks
Society, this property and its still well-preserved buildings came into
the possession of the state of California.

As early as 1826 there were a number of foreigners settled in
California. These were mostly men from Great Britain or the United
States who had married California women and lived and often dressed like
their Spanish-speaking neighbors. Captain John Sutter, the Swiss who
bought out the Russians of Fort Ross, came to California in 1839. He
obtained from the Mexican government an extensive grant of land about
the present site of Sacramento, and here he erected the famous Sutter’s
Fort where all newcomers, were made welcome and, if they desired, given
work under this kindest of masters. Around the fort, which was armed
with cannon bought from the Russians, he built a high stockade. He
gained the good will of the Indians and had their young men drilled
daily in military tactics by a German officer.

Governor Alvarado, at the time of his revolution in 1837, had in his
forces, under a leader named Graham, a company of wandering Americans,
trappers and hunters of the roughest type. Although there was no real
war, and no fighting occurred, yet when Alvarado and his party were
successful, Graham and his men demanded large rewards, and because the
governor would not satisfy them they began to persecute him in every way
possible. Alvarado says: “I was insulted at every turn by the drunken
followers of Graham; when I walked in my garden they would climb on
the wall and call upon me in terms of the greatest familiarity, ‘Ho,
Bautista, come here, I want to speak to you.’ It was ‘Bautista’ here,
‘Bautista’ there.”

To express dissatisfaction they held meetings in which they talked
loudly about their country’s getting possession of the land, until
Governor Alvarado, having good reason to believe that they were plotting
a revolution, expelled them from the territory and sent them to Mexico.

The United States took up the defense of the exiles and insisted on
their being returned to California. It does not seem that the
better class of Americans who had been long residents of the country
sympathized with Graham and his followers, but from this time there were
less kindly relations between the Californians and the citizens of the
United States who came into the territory.

We come now to the story of the conquest.

At the beginning of the year 1845 the United States and Mexico were on
the verge of war over Texas, which had been formerly a Mexican province,
but through the influence of American settlers had rebelled, declaring
itself an independent state, and had applied for admission to the
American Union. Because the question of slavery was concerned in this
application, it caused intense excitement throughout the United
States. The South was determined to have the new territory come in as a
slave-holding state, while the men of the North opposed the annexation
of another acre of slave land.

Eight Northern legislatures protested against its admission. Twelve
leading senators of the North declared that “it would result in the
dissolution of the United States and would justify it.” On the other
hand, the South resolved that “it would be better to be out of the Union
with Texas than in it without her.” The South won its point. Texas was
admitted, and at once a dispute with Mexico arose over the boundary
lines, and war at length followed, being brought on in a measure by the
entrance of United States troops into the disputed territory. During
the long discussion over Texas the United States was having trouble
with Great Britain over Oregon, which was then the whole country lying
between the Mexican province of California and the Russian possessions
on the north coast (now Alaska). Before the invention of steam cars and
the construction of railroads, the Pacific coast region had been thought
of little value. The popular idea was expressed by Webster when he said:
“What do we want of this vast, worthless area, this region of savages
and wild beasts, of deserts, of shifting sands and whirlwinds of dust,
of cactus and prairie dogs?” But now the United States was waking up,
and things looked different. Of Oregon the Americans were determined
to have at least a portion. California, so far away from Mexico and so
poorly governed, they would like to take under their protection,--at
least the region around the great Bay of San Francisco.

As early as 1840 the United States government urged its consul at
Monterey, an American named Larkin, secretly to influence the leading
Californians to follow the example of Texas, secede from Mexico, and
join the United States, where he was to assure them they would receive a
brother’s welcome. Just as he felt he might be successful his plans were
overthrown.

One morning in 1842 there came sailing into Monterey Bay two American
men-of-war. Suddenly, to the consternation of those watching from the
shore, one of the ships was seen to fire upon an outgoing Mexican sloop.
After making it captive the three vessels proceeded to the anchorage.
Great was the excitement in Monterey. Neither the comandante nor the
American consul could imagine the reason for such strange conduct. It
was soon explained, however, by the arrival of a ship’s boat bringing an
officer who delivered to the authorities a demand for the surrender
of the fort and place to the American commander of the Pacific fleet,
Commodore Jones, who was on board one of the newly arrived vessels.

The Mexican officials and the officers of the army were astonished; so,
too, was the United States consul. They knew of no war between these
countries. Since he had neither men nor arms to resist this strange
demand, Alvarado, who was acting for the absent governor, gave orders
to surrender, and the next day the Mexican flag and forces gave place to
those of the United States.

After the ceremony of taking possession, Commodore Jones had a talk
with the American consul, Mr. Larkin, and learned to his dismay that the
letters upon which he had acted and which indicated that war had been
declared were misleading, and from the latest news it was evident that
there was peace between the two countries.

The commodore saw at once that he had made a serious mistake, “a breach
of the faith of nations,” as it was called, which was liable to involve
the United States in grave difficulties. How best to undo his rash
action was now his thought.

He apologized to the Mexican commander and gave back possession of the
fort. Next, he had the unhappy task of taking down the American flag and
replacing it with the cactus and eagle banner of Mexico, to which the
guns of his vessels gave a salute of honor. From Monterey he sailed
away to San Pedro. There he waited while he sent a messenger to Governor
Micheltorena, who was living in Los Angeles, asking permission to
call upon him and apologize in person. This request was granted, and
Commodore Jones and his staff came up to Los Angeles, where they were
the guests of their countryman, Don Abel Stearns, who, as he had been
working with Consul Larkin to win the Californians to the United States,
was most anxious to undo the mischief of the flag raising. For the
benefit of this history, Dona Arcadia Bandini, who was the beautiful
Spanish wife of Mr. Stearns, tells the story of the visit:--

“We gave a dinner to the governor, the commodore, and their attendants.
Everything was very friendly; they seemed to enjoy themselves, and the
uniforms of the two countries were very handsome. On the next day but
one the governor gave a ball. It was to be at his home, which was the
only two-story house in Los Angeles. To show the Americans how patriotic
the people of California were, the governor requested in the invitations
that all the ladies wear white with a scarf of the Mexican colors,--red,
green, and white. Of course we gladly complied, though some of us had to
work hard to get our costumes ready.

“The day of the ball came, but with it came rain, such a storm as I
never had seen. As it drew toward evening the water came down faster and
faster. The governor had the only carriage in California, and this he
was to send for the commodore, Mr. Stearns, Isadora, and myself; but
the poor young officers had to walk, and their faces were long when they
looked out at the rain and then down at their fine uniforms and shining
boots.

“Our California horses were not trained to pull loads and would not work
in the rain, so when the carriage came for us it was drawn by a number
of the governor’s Cholo soldiers. We got in quite safely, and it was
only a short distance we had to go, but as I was getting out the wind
suddenly changed and down came a torrent of water on me. It was clear
that I could not go to the ball in that condition, but the governor
immediately ordered the soldiers to pull the carriage back to my home,
where I soon made another toilet. The ball was delightful. The governor
and the commodore vied with each other in exchanging compliments and
courtesies.”

It was a sad fact, however, that in spite of apologies, dinners, and
balls, Consul Larkin now found it difficult to persuade his California
neighbors that the United States looked upon them as brothers, and they
began to regard with suspicion the host of American emigrants who were
coming into the territory.

In 1842 Lieutenant Fremont, under orders from the United States
government, made the first of his wonderful journeys over deserts and
rough mountain ranges into the great unknown West. Soon he was to become
famous, not only in his own country but in Europe, as the “Pathfinder,”
 the road maker of the West. Already many an Oregon emigrant had blessed
the name of Fremont for making plain the trail for himself and his loved
ones.

In 1846 Captain Fremont, conducting an exploring and scientific
expedition, entered California with sixty men and encamped in the valley
of the San Joaquin. Later he moved down into the heart of the California
settlements and encamped on the Salinas River. Possibly, knowing that
war would soon be declared between his country and Mexico, he had
determined to see as much of the enemy’s position as possible, not
caring particularly what the Mexican authorities might think.

As a natural result, General Castro, commander of the California forces,
objected; Fremont defied him, and there seemed a likelihood of immediate
war. There was no actual fighting, however, and in a day or two Fremont
continued his journey toward Oregon.

He had gone but a little way when he was overtaken by a captain of the
navy named Gillespie, bringing him letters from the officers of the
government at Washington. Upon reading these, Fremont immediately turned
about and marched swiftly back to Sutter’s Fort, where he encamped. Just
what orders the messages from Washington contained, no one knows; but it
is thought that perhaps they informed Fremont that war would be declared
very soon and that the government would be pleased if he could quietly
get possession of California.

If this was so, he had the best of reasons for his later actions.
If not, then in his eagerness to obtain for his country the valuable
territory he so well appreciated and in his desire to win for himself
the honor of gaining it, he brought on a war that caused the loss of
many lives and much property, and the growth of a feeling of bitterness
and distrust between Americans and Californians that has not yet
entirely passed away. Still it is by no means certain that California
could have been won without fighting, even had Fremont and the American
settlers been more patient.

Soon many Americans were gathered about Fremont’s camp; but though there
were a number of rumors as to what General Castro was going to do to
them, there was no action contrary to the previous kindly treatment all
had received from the hands of the Californians. Still the emigrants
felt that as soon as war was declared an army from Mexico might come up
which would not be so considerate of them and their families as had been
their California neighbors.

Having good reason to feel certain that Fremont would stand back of them
if they began the fight, a company of Americans attacked one of Castro’s
officers, who, with a few men, was taking a band of horses to Monterey.
Securing the horses, but letting the men who had them in charge get
away, they hurried them to Fremont’s camp, where they left them while
they went on to Sonoma. Here they made prisoner General Vallejo,
commander of that department of the territory, together with his brother
and staff.

General Vallejo was one of the leading Californians of the north, a man
of fine character, quiet and conservative, generous toward the needy
emigrants and favorable to annexation with the United States. When he
saw the rough character of the men surrounding his house that Sunday
morning, he was at first somewhat alarmed. A man named Semple, who was
one of the attacking party, describing the event in a Monterey paper
sometime afterward, says: “Most of us were dressed in leather hunting
shirts, many were very greasy, and all were heavily armed. We were about
as rough a looking set of men as one could well imagine.” When they
assured the general that they were acting under orders from Fremont, he
seemed to feel no more anxiety, gave up his keys, and arranged for
the protection of the people of his settlement. He was first taken to
Fremont’s headquarters, then for safe keeping was sent on to Sutter’s
Fort.

Meanwhile the party which had been left in charge of affairs at Sonoma
chose one of their number, a man named Ide, as their leader. Realizing
that they had begun a war, they felt the need of a flag, and not
daring to use that of the United States, they proceeded to make one for
themselves. For their emblem they chose the strongest and largest of the
animals of California, the grizzly bear. The flag was made of a Mexican
rebosa or scarf of unbleached muslin about a yard in width and five feet
long. To the bottom of this they sewed a strip of red flannel; in one
corner they outlined a five-pointed star, and facing it a grizzly bear.
These were filled in with red ink and under them in black letters
were the words “California Republic.” The temporary government of
the followers of the Bear Flag is generally known as the “Bear Flag
Republic.”

As soon as it seemed probable that the Californians under General
Castro were marching to attack the Americans, Captain Fremont joined his
countrymen, and from that time the United States flag took the place of
the banner of the bear. A little later Captain Fremont took the presidio
and port of San Francisco, and to him is due the honor of naming
beautiful Golden Gate.

About two weeks after the capture of Sonoma, Commodore Sloat, with
two vessels of the United States navy, entered the harbor of Monterey.
Although he had come for the purpose of taking the territory for his
country, and had orders to see to it that England did not get possession
of California ahead of him, yet he had been cautioned to deal kindly
with the Californians, and he hesitated to take decided steps. It took
him six days to make up his mind, and then he came to a decision
partly on account of the actions of Fremont and his men. Slowly up the
flagstaff on the fort of Monterey rose the Stars and Stripes. Unfolded
by the sea breeze, the beautiful flag of the United States waved again
over the land of the padres, and this time to stay. A few days later
Commodore Stockton reached California to take command in place of
Commodore Sloat, who returned home. Stockton appointed Fremont commander
of the American forces on land, and together they completed the conquest
of the territory.

It was unfortunate that Commodore Stockton had so lately arrived from
the East that he did not fully understand the state of affairs. As he
believed the wild rumors which, falsely, accused the Californians of
treachery and cruelty, his proclamations were harsh and unjust to
the proud but kindly people whom he was conquering. Many of the late
historians find much to blame in the treatment given by the Americans
to the people of California. Severity was often used when kindness would
have had far better effect.

Los Angeles and San Diego were taken by Stockton and Fremont without
any fighting, and leaving a few troops in the south, both commanders
returned to Monterey. They were soon recalled by the news that the
people of Los Angeles had risen against the harsh rule of Captain
Gillespie, who had been left in command; that the Americans had
surrendered but had been allowed to retire to San Pedro, and that all
the south was in a state of active rebellion.

Landing at San Pedro, Stockton waited a few days, then fearing the
enemy was too strong for his forces, sailed away to San Diego. Here the
Americans received a hearty welcome, and much-needed assistance, from
the Spanish families of Bandini and Arguello.

Mr. Bandini escorted a body of the United States troops to his home
rancho on the peninsula of Lower California, where he gave them cattle
and other food supplies. For this aid to the invaders he was forced to
remove his family from their home there, and on the journey up to San
Diego. Mrs. Bandini made what was probably the first American flag
ever constructed in California. As they neared San Diego the officer in
command discovered that he had neglected to take with him a flag. He did
not wish to enter the settlement without one, and when the matter was
explained to Mrs. Bandini, who was journeying in a carreta with her
maids and children, she offered to supply the need.

From the handbag on her arm came needle, thimble, thread, and scissors,
and from the clothing of her little ones the necessary red, white, and
blue cloth. Under the direction of the young officer she soon had a
very fair-looking flag, and beneath its folds the party marched into
the town. That night the band of the flagship Congress serenaded Mrs.
Bandini in her San Diego home, and the next day Commodore Stockton
called to thank her in person. The flag, it is said, he sent to
Washington, where it is still to be found with other California
trophies.

The most severe battle of the war in the state of California was fought
on the San Pasqual rancho in San Diego County. The forces engaged
were those of General Andres Pico, who commanded the Californians, and
General Stephen Kearny, who had marched overland, entered the territory
on the southwest, and was on his way to join Stockton. Hearing that the
country was conquered and the fighting over, the American officer had
sent back about two hundred of his men, but he was afterward reinforced
by Captain Gillespie and fifty men sent by Stockton to meet him. Several
American officers were killed in the battle of San Pasqual, and their
brave commander severely wounded.

Commodore Stockton, on his march from San Diego to Los Angeles, twice
engaged the enemy, once at the crossing of the San Gabriel River and
once on the Laguna rancho just east of the city. The Californians
behaved with great bravery. All of them were poorly armed, many having
only lances and no fire-arms, and what powder they had was almost
worthless; yet three times they dashed upon the square of steadily
firing United States marines.

This was the last battle in the territory. The Californians retreated
across the hills to the present site of Pasadena. Here, at the little
adobe house on the banks of the Arroyo Seco, they separated. General
Flores, their commander, was to ride with his staff through the stormy
night, down El Camino Real toward Mexico. General Andres Pico, upon whom
devolved the duty of surrender, was to ride with his associates to the
old Cahuenga ranch house, the first station on the highway from Los
Angeles to Santa Barbara. There he met Captain Fremont, and the treaty
was signed which closed hostilities. The terms proposed by Fremont were
favorable for the Californians and did much to make way for a peaceful
settlement of all difficulties.



Chapter VII

At the Touch of King Midas



It was by chance that gold was discovered in both northern and southern
California, and by chance that many great fortunes were made.

Juan Lopez, foreman of the little ranch of St. Francis in Los Angeles
County, one morning in March, 1842, while idly digging up a wild onion,
or brodecia, discovered what he thought lumps of gold clinging to its
roots. Taking samples of the metal, he rode down to Los Angeles to the
office of Don Abel Stearns, who recognized it as gold.

Soon Juan and his companions were busy digging and washing the earth and
sands in the region where the little wild flowers grew. These mines
were called “placer,” from a Spanish word meaning loose or moving about,
because the metal was loosely mixed with sand and gravel, generally in
the bed of a stream or in a ravine where there had once been a flow of
water which had brought the gold down from its home in the mountains.

From these mines Don Abel Stearns sent, in a sailing vessel round Cape
Horn, the first parcel of California gold dust ever received at the
United States mint, and it proved to be of very good quality.

The San Fernando mines, as they were called, because they were on a
ranch that had once belonged to San Fernando mission, yielded many
thousand dollars’ worth of gold dust. It is on record that one firm in
Los Angeles, which handled most of the gold from these and other mines
of southern California, paid out in the course of twenty years over two
million dollars for southern gold.

The true golden touch, however, was to come in a different part of the
territory among people of another race and tongue. It was to transform
California from an almost unknown land with slight and scattered
population to a community so rich as to disturb the money markets of
the world; a community sheltering a great host of people, all young, all
striving eagerly for the fortunes they had traveled thousands of miles
to find.

After the signing of the treaty of Cahuenga between Colonel Fremont
and General Pico, the Spanish-speaking people settled down quietly and
peacefully. The only disagreements were between the American leaders,
General Kearny and Commodore Stockton, and between Kearny and Fremont,
who had been appointed by Stockton military governor of the territory.
This appointment General Kearny disputed. General Vallejo tells in one
of his letters of having received on the same day communication from
Kearny, Stockton, and Fremont, each signing himself commander-in-chief.

Whoever was right in the quarrel, Fremont was the chief sufferer, for
General Kearny, after Stockton left, ordered him to return East under
arrest and at Washington to undergo a military trial or court-martial
for mutiny and disobedience of orders. Although the court found him
guilty and sentenced him to be dismissed from the army, the President,
remembering his services in the exploration of the West, and quite
possibly thinking him not the person most to blame, pardoned and
restored him to his position. Fremont, feeling that he had done nothing
wrong, refused the pardon and resigned from the army. The next year the
new President, Taylor, showed his opinion of the matter by appointing
Fremont to conduct the important work of establishing the boundaries
between the United States and Mexico.

General Kearny, when he departed for the East, left Colonel Mason, of
the regular army, as military governor of California. Mason chose as
his adjutant, or secretary, a young lieutenant named Sherman, who, years
later, in the Civil War, by his wonderful march through the heart of the
South, came to be considered one of the greatest generals of his time.

Soon after the Mexican war many settlers were gathered about Sutter’s
Fort and San Francisco Bay. There were about two thousand Americans,
most of them strong, hardy men, all overjoyed that the territory was in
the hands of the United States and all eager to know what would
finally be decided in regard to it. Reports kept arriving of parties of
emigrants that were about to start overland for California.

“They are as certain to come as that the sun will rise to-morrow,” said
genial Captain Sutter, “and as the overland trail ends at my rancho, I
must be ready to furnish them provisions. They are always hungry when
they get there, especially the tired little children, and the only thing
for me to do is to build a flour mill to grind my grain.”

“Well and good,” said James Marshall, one of his assistants, an American
by birth, a millwright by trade; “but to build a flour mill requires
lumber, and lumber calls for a sawmill.”

“We will build it, too,” said Sutter. “Take a man and provisions and go
up toward the mountains; there must be good places on my land. I leave
it all in your hands.” The place was found on a swift mountain stream.
Near the present site of Coloma, in the midst of pine forests, on the
water soon to be so well known as the American River, the sawmill was
located. Marshall also marked out a rough wagon road forty-five miles
long down to the fort. Captain Sutter was delighted.

“Set to work as soon as you like, Marshall,” he exclaimed. “This is your
business.” Soon the mill was built and almost ready for use.

“You may let the water into the mill race to-night,” said Marshall to
his men. “I want to test it and also to carry away some of the loose
dirt in the bed.”

Down came the water with a rush, carrying off before it the loose earth;
all night it ran, leaving the race with a clean, smooth bed. The next
day, Monday, January 24, 1848,--wonderful day for California--James
Marshall went out to look at the mill race to see if everything was
ready to begin work.

“To-morrow,” thought he, “we will commence sawing, and put things
through as fast as possible. The men are waiting, we have plenty of
trees down, there is nothing to hinder;” but at that moment as he walked
beside the bed of the tail race he saw some glittering yellow particles
among its sands. He stopped and picked one up. The golden touch had
come.

The following is Marshall’s own description as published in the Century
Magazine (Vol. 41). “It made my heart thump, for I was certain it was
gold. Yet it did not seem to be of the right color; all the gold coin I
had seen was of a reddish tinge; this looked more like brass. I recalled
to mind all the metals I had seen or heard of, but I could find none
that resembled this. Suddenly the idea flashed across my mind that it
might be iron pyrites. I trembled to think of it.”

Finally, to make sure, Marshall, like Juan Lopez, mounted his horse and
rode away to find some one with more knowledge than himself. That some
one was Captain Sutter, who looked in his encyclopedia, probably the
only one in the territory at that time, and by comparing the weight of
the metal with the weight of an equal bulk of water found its specific
gravity, which proved it to be gold. Still Sutter thought that he should
like better authority. General Sherman, in Memoirs, tells how the
news came to Monterey, where, he was the governor’s gay young military
secretary:--

“I remember one day, in the spring of 1848, that two men, Americans,
came into the office and inquired for the Governor. I asked their
business, and one answered that they had just come down from Captain
Sutter on special business and they wanted to see Governor Mason in
person. I took them in to the colonel and left them together. After some
time the colonel came to his door and called to me. I went in and my
attention was directed to a series of papers unfolded on his table, in
which lay about half an ounce of placer gold.

“Mason said tome, ‘What is that?’ I touched it and examined one or two
of the larger pieces and asked, ‘Is it gold?’ I said that if that were
gold it could be easily tested, first by its malleability and next by
acids. I took a piece in my teeth and the metallic lustre was perfect. I
then called to the clerk, Baden, to bring in an ax and hatchet from the
backyard. When these were brought, I took the largest piece and beat
it out flat, and beyond doubt it was metal and a pure metal. Still we
attached little importance to the fact, for gold was known to exist at
San Fernando at the south and yet was not considered of much value.”

About this time some of the business men who had settled in the little
town of Yerba Buena, finding that all ships that entered the harbor were
sent by their owners not to Yerba Buena, of which they knew nothing, but
to San Francisco, persuaded the town council to change the name of the
settlement from Yerba Buena to San Francisco, which was already the name
of the mission and presidio.

“Gold! Gold!! Gold!!! from the American River,” cried a horseman from
the mines, riding down Market Street, waving his hat in one hand, a
bottle of gold dust in the other.

When words like these dropped from the lips of a messenger in any of the
little communities, the result was like a powerful explosion. Everybody
scattered, not wounded and dying, however, but full of life, ready to
endure anything, risk anything, for the sake of finding the precious
metal which enables its owner to have for himself and those he loves the
comfortable and beautiful things of the world.

The result at San Francisco is thus described in one of its newspapers
of 1848: “Stores are closed, places of business vacated, a number of
houses tenantless, mechanical labor suspended or given up entirely,
nowhere the pleasant hum of industry salutes the ear as of late; but
as if a curse had arrested our onward course of enterprise, everything
wears a desolate, sombre look. All through the Sundays the little church
on the plaza is silent. All through the week the door of the alcalde’s
office remains locked. As for the shipping, it is left at anchor; first
sailors, then officers departing for the mines.”

And how was it at the logging camp where Marshall made his great
discovery? The new sawmill, built with such high hopes, was soon silent
and deserted. No more logs were cut, and no lumber hauled down for the
flour mill. There were no men to be found who were willing to cut and
saw logs, build mills, or put in the spring wheat when they might be
finding their fortunes at the mines.

The newly arrived emigrants suffered no doubt from hunger; maybe the
children cried for bread; but most of the men, as soon as they had
rested a little and knew what was going on, got together money enough
to buy the simple implements of knife, pan, pick, and cradle, which were
all the tools necessary for the easy placer mining of those days, and
joined the endless procession of those who were pushing up toward the
streams and canyons round Sutter’s famous sawmill.

As summer came on, the excitement became intense. Not only from the
region around San Francisco Bay, but from San Diego and Los Angeles,
people came flocking to the mines. Reports were current of men finding
hundreds of dollars’ worth of gold a day, gaining a fortune in a few
weeks. It was almost impossible to hire laborers either in San Francisco
or on the ranches. Even the soldiers caught the gold fever and deserted.

In the summer, Governor Mason and Lieutenant Sherman visited the mines.
Upon their return to Monterey, having seen for themselves that many even
of the wildest rumors were true, they made arrangements to send on to
Washington official announcement of the discovery.

How this was accomplished is interesting. A lieutenant of the army was
appointed by the governor for the important office, and a can of sample
gold was purchased.

The only vessel on the coast ready for departure was a boat bound
for Peru. On this ship the lieutenant with his pot of gold and the
governor’s report embarked at Monterey. He reached the Peruvian port
just in time to catch the British steamer back to Panama. Crossing the
Isthmus on horseback, he took a steamer for Kingston, Jamaica. There he
found a vessel just leaving for New Orleans. Reaching that city he at
once telegraphed the news to Washington, trusting it would be in time to
form part of the President’s message.

On December 5, 1848, the President, in his message to Congress, after
speaking of the discovery of gold in California, said, “The accounts
of the abundance of gold in that territory are of such extraordinary
character as would scarcely command belief but for the authentic reports
of officers in the public service who have visited the mineral districts
and drew the facts which they detail from personal observation.”

The certainty that the wonderful reports of the gold country were true,
electrified not only the whole country but the whole civilized world.
Large numbers of people began immediate preparation for making the
overland journey as soon as the weather should permit; while others, too
impatient to wait, left for California by the way of the Isthmus.

In February, 1849, there arrived at Monterey the Panama, the first
steamboat to visit the coast. The whole population turned out to see
and welcome it. The Californians as they compared it with the stately
frigates and ships they had been accustomed to see, exclaimed, “How
ugly!” Although it was not a beautiful vessel, its arrival was an event
of great importance, for it was the first of a line of steamers which
were under contract to ply monthly between San Francisco and Panama, and
with its coming began such an immigration as the world has seldom known.

In 1849 nearly twenty-five thousand people came by land and almost as
many more by sea, from the States alone. There were between thirty and
forty thousand from other parts of the world.

San Francisco at the time of the discovery had about seven hundred
inhabitants, and shortly after only the population of a hamlet, because
so many had gone to the gold fields. Now it suddenly found itself called
upon to give shelter to thousands of people bound for the mines, and
many also returning, some successful, others penniless and eager to get
work at the very high wages offered, sometimes as much as thirty dollars
a day.

There were streets to be surveyed, houses and warehouses to be built,
lumber and brick to be provided. People were living in tents, in brush
houses, even in shelter made by four upright green poles over which were
spread matting and old bedding. Hundreds of ships lay helpless in the
harbor waiting for crews, often for men to unload the cargoes. No longer
could the papers complain of lack of business. The town was like a hive,
but such a disorderly one as would have driven wild any colony of bees.

All was mud flats or water where are now the water front and some of
the leading business streets of the city. On these flats old unseaworthy
vessels were drawn up and did duty side by side with rough board
buildings as dwellings and stores. In the rainy seasons the streets were
lakes of mud where mules and drays were sometimes literally submerged.
The arrival of the mail steamer was the event of the month to this host
of people so far away from home and loved ones. Guns were fired, bells
rang to announce the approach of the vessel, then there was a wild rush
to the post office, where the long lines of men, most of them wearing
flannel shirts, wide hats, and high boots, extended far down the street.
Very high prices were sometimes paid, as high even as one hundred
dollars, by a late corner to buy from some one lucky enough to be near
the head of the line a position near the delivery window. Then if no
letter came, how great was the disappointment!

One man thus described the mines:--

“I was but a lad and my party took me along only because I had a knack
at cooking and was willing to do anything in order to see the place
where such wonderful fortunes were made. It was a hot summer afternoon
when, crossing a region of low, thinly wooded hills, we looked down upon
American River; away to the east were high mountain ranges, their peaks,
although it was still August, snow-tipped.

“From them came swiftly down the already famous river. Its volume was
evidently diminished from the heat, and along its gravelly bed men were
digging the sand and gravel into buckets. As I reached them and watched
them work I was greatly disappointed. It seemed like very ordinary dirt
they were handling; I saw no gleam of the yellow sands of which I had
heard such stories. I followed one of the men who carried the buckets
of earth to something that looked very like our family cradle with the
footboard knocked out. Where the slats might have been there was nailed
a piece of sheet iron punched full of holes. Above this was a chute in
which the dirt was emptied. The cradle was then rocked violently while
water was poured over its contents. The lighter earth and gravel were
carried away, while the gold, being heavier, rested either on the sheet
iron or between the slats on the cradle bottom.

“Some of the men had no cradle, only a large pan made of sheet iron.
This pan, when half filled with dirt, was sunk in the water and shaken
sidewise until the dirt and gravel were washed away and only heavy
grains of gold remained. There were enough of these to make my eyes
open wide. The men who had the cradle were making pretty steadily from
eighteen to twenty dollars a day apiece.

“After a day or two I visited the dry diggings. Here I saw things that
were more astonishing to me than anything that I had seen at the placer
mines. Some men were at work in a little canyon, and I sat on the
bowlder and watched them digging into the earth with their knives and
picking up every few minutes spoons of earth in which there were plainly
visible little lumps of gold the size of a pea. This was considered a
rich find; the men were joyful over their success. Suddenly one of the
older ones, looking up at me, sang out:--

“Say, Sonny, why do you sit there idle? Out with that bread knife of
yours and dig for your fortune. Across this ridge is another ravine. It
may be like this. Try your luck, anyway.’

“Somehow, until that moment, it had not entered my boyish mind, that I
might join this great mad race for wealth. I sprang to my feet. My heart
began to pound faster than it did on the glorious day when in my boyhood
home I had won the mile race at the county fair. There was a singing
in my ears; for the minute I could scarcely breathe. I had heard of the
gold fever, and now I had caught it.

“I dashed up the hillside, fairly rolled down into the rocky little
valley beyond, and began to dig wildly; but I found only good honest
earth, rich noble soil so like our fertile bottom lands at home. My
spirits began to sink, my heart to resume its natural beats. I worked
half an hour or so without finding any sign, as it was called, and
began to feel discouraged. In the canyon, which was very narrow, a large
bowlder blocked my progress. I determined to dig it loose. This was the
work of some time, but finally I succeeded in dislodging it, and drawing
up my legs out of its way watched with a youngster’s delight its wild
dash down the mountain side to the stream far below.

“Slowly I turned to resume my work, but what I saw brought me to my
feet with a yell. The socket where the stone had rested was dotted with
yellow lumps of gold as big as a pea, some even larger. Down I went upon
my knees and I fell to work with a will--the strength of a man seemed in
my arms. Off came my coat, and spreading it out I scooped the rich dirt
into it by the handful. I had happened on a pocket, as it was called;
a turn in the bed of some old mountain stream. The dirt from this when
washed yielded me about five hundred dollars, but it was all except
cook’s wages that I ever made at the mines.

“Before I left the gold fields I saw some small attempt at hydraulic
mining which later proved so successful. From a stream up in a canyon
some enterprising men had built a log flume and connected with it a
large hose and nozzle they had brought up from the coast. Turning
the water in this on a dry hill rich in gold deposit, they easily and
rapidly washed the dirt down into a sluice or trough below. This had
bars nailed across, and water running through carried the dirt away
while the gold dropped into the crevices between the bars.” This method
of mining and also quartz mining, that is, digging gold and other metals
from rock, is described in another chapter.

The gold-bearing earth extended along the west slope of the Sierra
Nevada and their base, from Feather River on the north to the Merced
River on the south, a territory about thirty miles wide by two hundred
and fifty long. In this district are still some of the richest mines in
the world.



Chapter VIII

The Great Stampede



The rush of people to the Pacific coast after the gold discovery may
well be called a stampede. The terrible overland journey, over thousands
of miles of Indian country, across high mountains and wide stretches
of desert, was often undertaken with poor cattle, half the necessary
supplies of food, and but little knowledge of the route. On the other
hand, those who preferred going by water would embark in any vessel,
however unsafe, sailing from Atlantic ports to the Isthmus.

In New York the excitement was especially great. Every old ship that
could be overhauled and by means of fresh paint made to look seaworthy
was gayly dressed in bunting and advertised to sail by the shortest and
safest route to California. The sea trip is thus described by an elderly
gentleman who made the journey when a boy of ten:--

“Together with the news of the discovery of gold came also reports of a
warm, sunny land which winter never visited, where life could be spent
in the open air,--a favorable spot where sickness was almost unknown.
It was, I think, as much on account of my mother’s health as to make his
fortune that my father decided to go to California. The water route was
chosen as being easier for her.

“The saying good-by to our relatives had been hard; but by the time we
were three miles from home we children ceased to grieve, so interested
were we in new sights and experiences.

“I had never seen salt water until that morning in New York, when we
boarded the gayly trimmed brig, the Jane Dawson, which was to carry us
to the Isthmus. To my sister and myself it was a real grief that our
vessel had not a more romantic name. We decided to call it the Sea
Slipper, from a favorite story, and the Sea Slipper it has always been
to us.

“On the deck there were so many unhappy partings that we became again
downhearted, a feeling which was intensified in the choppy seas of the
outer bay to the utter misery of mind and body. We got ourselves somehow
into our berths, where, with mother for company, we remained for many
hours. Finally the sea grew calmer and we were just beginning to enjoy
ourselves when off Cape Hatteras a severe storm broke upon us. The
vessel pitched and rolled; the baggage and boxes of freight tumbled
about, threatening the lives of those who were not kept to their berths
by illness.

“Although I was not seasick I dared not go about much. One night,
however, growing tired of the misery around me, I crawled over to the
end of the farther cabin, which seemed to be deserted. Presently the
captain and my father came down the stairs and I heard the officer say
in a hoarse whisper. ‘I will not deceive you, Mr. Hunt; the mainmast is
down, the steering gear useless, the crew is not up to its business,
and I fear we cannot weather the night!’ I almost screamed aloud in my
fright, but just then a long, lanky figure rose from the floor where it
had been lying. It was one of the passengers, a typical Yankee.

“‘See here, captain,’ he said, ‘my chum and I are ship carpenters,
and the other man of our party is one of the best sailors of the
Newfoundland fleet; just give us a chance to help you, and maybe we
needn’t founder yet awhile.’ The chance was given, and we did not
founder.

“Some days later we anchored in the harbor of Chagres. There were many
vessels in the bay, and a large number of people waiting to secure
passage across the Isthmus. They crowded around the landing place of the
river canoes and fought and shouted until we children were frightened
at the uproar, and taking our hands mother retired to the shade of some
trees to wait.

“It was almost night when father called to us to come quickly, as he had
a boat engaged for us. It lay at the landing, a long canoe, in one end
of which our things were already stored. Some men who were friends of
father’s and had joined our party stood beside it with revolvers in
hand watching to see that no one claimed the canoe or coaxed the boatmen
away. Mother and Sue were quickly tucked beneath the awning, the rest
of us tumbled in where we could, and at once our six nearly naked negro
boatmen pushed out the boat and began working it up the stream by means
of long poles which they placed on the bottom of the river bed, thus
propelling us along briskly but with what seemed to me great exertion.

“To us children the voyage was most interesting. On either side the
banks were covered with such immense trees as we had never dreamed of.
The ferns were more like trees than plants, and the colors of leaves
and flowers so gorgeous they were dazzling. The fruits were many and
delicious, but our father was very careful about our eating, and would
not allow us to indulge as we desired.

“The night came on as suddenly as though a great bowl had been turned
over us. For an hour or more we watched with delight the brilliant
fireflies illuminating all the atmosphere except at the end of the boat,
where the red light of a torch lit the scene. After we had lain down for
the night the moon rose and I could not enough admire the beauty of the
tropical foliage, with the silvery moonlight incrusting every branch and
leaf.

“The second day we left the boats and took mules for the rest of the
journey. To my delight I was allowed an animal all to myself. Sue rode
in a chair strapped to the back of a native, and our luggage was taken
in the same manner, the porters carrying such heavy loads that it did
not seem possible they could make the journey.

“To my sister and me, the city of Panama was amazingly beautiful, with
its pearl oyster shells glittering on steeple and bell tower, and the
dress of the people as magnificent as the costumes described in the
‘Arabian Nights.’ In Panama we waited a long time for a steamer. The
town was crowded and many people were ill. My mother was constantly
helping some one until my father forbade her to visit any stranger,
because cholera had broken out and many were dying.

“It was a joyful morning when we boarded the steamer California, steamed
out on the blue Pacific, and headed northward. We had more comfortable
quarters and better food than when on the Atlantic; but never on the
steamer did we feel the sense of grandeur and power that came to us on
the brig when, with white sails all set, she rushed like a bird before
the wind.

“Toward the close of the voyage there was so much fog that our captain
did not know just whereabouts we were, and for that reason kept well out
to sea. One morning there came a rap at the stateroom door, and a loud
voice cried, ‘Wake up, we shall be in San Francisco in less than an
hour.’ What a time of bustle followed! The sea was rough. Sue and I
fell over each other and the valises in our eagerness to get dressed. I,
being a boy, was out first. The sun was shining as though it was making
up for the days it was hidden from us. The water was blue and sparkling,
the air warm and delightful after the cold, foggy weather.

“We were steaming due east, and almost before I knew it we had passed
through Golden Gate and were in the quiet water of the bay. By the time
mother and Sue were on deck, we were nearing the wharf. I thought then
that San Francisco was rather disappointing in its looks, with its
unpainted houses of all kinds of architecture, and the streets like
washouts in the hills, but soon I learned to love it with a faithfulness
which was felt by many of the pioneers and will end only with life.”

Such were some of the hardships and discomforts endured by those
who traveled to California by water during the period of the gold
excitement. Yet those who made the journey by land often suffered even
more.

The first immigrant train to California started in 1841.

It brought among its members a young man named Bidwell, afterward United
States representative from California. Describing this journey in the
Century Magazine (Vol. 41), Mr. Bidwell says:--

“The party consisted of sixty-nine persons. Each one furnished his own
supplies of not less than a barrel of flour, sugar, and other rations in
proportion. I doubt whether there was a hundred dollars in money in the
whole party, but all were anxious to go.

“Our ignorance of the route was complete. We knew that California lay
west, and that was all. Some of the maps consulted and supposed to be
correct showed a lake in the vicinity of where we now know Salt Lake to
be, that was three or four hundred miles in length, with two outlets,
both running into the Pacific Ocean, either apparently larger than the
Mississippi River. We were advised to take along tools to make canoes,
so that if we found the country too rough for our wagons, we could
descend one of these rivers to the Pacific.” It was two years later that
Fremont, the pathfinder and roadmaker of the West, surveyed the great
Salt Lake and made a map of it. The Bidwell party after many hardships
reached California in safety.

The unhappy Donner party, also home seekers, made the journey in 1848.
They lost their way and became snow-bound in the mountains. A number of
them died from cold and starvation, but the remainder were rescued by
relief parties sent out from Sutter’s Fort. Their sufferings were
too terrible to be told, and yet they started with fair hopes and as
excellent an outfit as any party that ever crossed the plains. The
following is from an account of the journey written by one of their
number for the Century Magazine (Vol. 42):--

“I was a child,” says Virginia Reed Murphy, “when we started for
California, yet I remember the journey well. Our wagons were all made to
order, and I can say truthfully that nothing like the Reed family wagon
ever started across the plains. The entrance was on the side, and one
stepped into a small space like a room, in the center of the wagon. On
the right and left were comfortable spring seats, and here was also a
little stove whose pipe, which ran through the top of the wagon, was
prevented by a circle of tin from setting fire to the canvas. A board
about a foot wide extended over the wheels on either side, the full
length of the wagon, thus forming the foundation of a large roomy
second story on which were placed our beds; under the spring seats were
compartments where we stored the many things useful for such a journey.
Besides this we had two wagons with provisions.

“The family wagon was drawn by four yoke of choice oxen, the others by
three yoke. Then we had saddle horses and cows, and last of all my pony.
He was a beauty, and his name was Billy. The chief pleasure to which I
looked forward in crossing the plains was to ride on my pony every day.
But a day came when I had no pony to ride, for the poor little fellow
gave out. He could not endure the hardships of ceaseless travel. When I
was forced to part with him, I cried as I sat in the back of the wagon
watching him become smaller and smaller as we drove on until I could not
see him any more. But this grief did not come to me until I had enjoyed
many happy weeks with my pet.

“Never can I forget the morning when we bade farewell to our kindred and
friends. My father, with tears in his eyes, tried to smile as one
friend after another grasped his hand in a last farewell. My mother
was overcome with grief. At last we were all in the wagon, the drivers
cracked their whips, the oxen moved slowly forward, the long journey had
begun.

“The first Indians we met were the Caws, who kept the ferry and had to
take us over the Caw River. I watched them closely, hardly daring to
draw my breath, feeling sure that they would sink the boat in the middle
of the stream, and very thankful I was when I found that they were not
like the Indians in grandmamma’s stories.

“When we reached the Blue River, Kansas, the water was so high that
the men made rafts of logs twenty-five feet in length, united by cross
timbers. Ropes were attached to both ends and by these the rafts
were pulled back and forth. The banks of the stream being steep, our
heavy-laden wagons had to be let down carefully with ropes so that the
wheels might run into the hollow between the logs. This was a dangerous
task, for in the wagons were the women and children, who could cross the
rapid stream in no other way.

“After striking the great valley of the Platte the road was good, the
country beautiful. Stretching out before us as far as the eye could
reach was a valley as green as emerald, dotted here and there with
flowers of every imaginable color. Here flowed the grand old Platte--a
wide, shallow stream. This part of our journey was an ideal pleasure
trip. How I enjoyed riding my pony, galloping over the plain gathering
wild flowers! At night the young folks would gather about the camp
fire chattering merrily, and often a song would be heard or some clever
dancer would give us a jig on the hind door of a wagon.

“In the evening, when we rode into camp, our wagons were placed so as
to form a circle or corral, into which, after they had been allowed to
graze, the cattle were driven to prevent the Indians from stealing them.
The camp fire and the tents were placed on the outside of this square.
There were many expert riflemen in the party, and we never lacked game.
I witnessed many a buffalo hunt and more than once was in the chase
close behind my father. For weeks buffalo and antelope steaks were the
main article on our bill of fare, and our appetites were a marvel.” The
Reed family was the only one belonging to the Donner party, it is said,
who made the terrible journey without losing a member.

To the young people and men there was often much pleasure in crossing
the continent in a prairie schooner, as the white-covered emigrant wagon
was called; but to the women it was another matter, since they had to
ride constantly in a wagon, attend to the little children, and do the
cooking, often under great difficulties. Many of them learned to be
experts in camp cooking, requiring nothing more than a little hollow
in the hard ground for a range; or if there were plenty of stones, the
cooking place might be built up a little. Over this simple contrivance,
with the aid of a couple of iron crossbars, a kettle, a frying pan, and
coffee pot, many a delicious meal was easily and quickly prepared.

Mrs. Hecox, in the Overland Monthly, says: “I am sure the men never
realized how hard a time the women had. Of course the men worked hard
too, but after their day’s travel was over they sat around the camp
fire, smoked, and told stories, while the women were tending the
children, mending clothes, and making ready for the next day’s meals.

“After we crossed the Mississippi, it commenced raining, and for days we
splashed through the mud and slush. When we camped at night, we had
to wade about and make some kind of shelter for our fires, and I was
obliged to keep the children cooped up in the wagons. Here let me say
that I never heard an unkind word spoken among the women all the way
across the plain. The children were good, too, and never out of humor
either, unless some cross man scolded them.

“At one place a drove of buffalo ran into our train and gave us a bad
scare. I was in the wagon behind ours attending a sick woman when I
saw the drove coming. I knew the children would be frightened to death
without me, so I jumped from the wagon and ran, but I was too late.
Finding that I had no time to get into the wagon, I crawled under it,
where a wounded buffalo cow tried to follow me. I kicked her in the head
as I clung to the coupling pole, and somehow broke my collar bone.”

As soon as the grass began to get green in the spring of 1849, after
the news of the discovery of gold reached the States, the overland march
began. In white-covered emigrant wagons, in carts, on horses, mules,
even on foot, came the eager gold seekers. How poorly prepared were
many of them, it would be hard to believe. They were a brave and hardy
company of people, but they suffered much. It is estimated that at least
eight or ten thousand of the young, strong men died before the year was
over. Many of these deaths were due to overwork and exposure, to the
lack of the necessaries of life at the mines, also to the fact that
a great many of the gold seekers were clever, educated people, quite
unused to extreme poverty, and therefore lacking in the strength that
comes from self-denial.

Those who remained formed the best material for the making of the state.
To this class belonged those who endowed the two great universities
which are now the glory of California. For many years the highest
position in public life was held by men who came to the Golden State
over the plains or by the uncomfortable ocean route in the days of ‘49.



Chapter IX

The Birth of the Golden Baby



The birth of the Golden Baby, in other words, the coming of the Golden
State into the Union, was a time of struggle and uncertainty,
when feelings were deeply stirred and hope deferred caused bitter
disappointment. When the treaty of peace with Mexico was ratified by
Congress it left the Pacific coast settlements in a strange position--a
territory containing thousands of people, with more coming by hundreds,
but with no legally appointed rulers.

As soon as Congress accepted the treaty, the military governor ceased to
have any power, for there was then no longer a state of war; yet he was
still obeyed by courtesy, until some one with a better right took his
place. The only other official was the local alcalde of each community.
This was a Mexican office, but was at that time often filled by an
American who had, perhaps, been in the territory only a few months and
knew nothing of Mexican laws, but ran things as well as he could after
the Eastern fashion.

The Rev. Mr. Colton, chaplain of the warship Congress, was made alcalde
of Monterey, and his book on those times is most interesting.

“My duties,” said he, “are similar to those of the mayor of an Eastern
city, but with no such aid of courts as he enjoys. I am supreme in every
breach of peace, case of crime, disputed land title, over a space of
three hundred miles. Such an absolute disposal of questions affecting
property and personal liberty never ought to be confided to one man.”

The country owed much to Mr. Colton’s work while alcalde. He soon gained
the confidence of law-abiding residents, but was a terror to evil doers.
Those he put to work quarrying stone and building the solid structure
afterward named Colton’s Hall. Here one of the first of California’s
schools was opened, and here was held the first convention.

Perhaps the truth that “as a man sows, so shall he reap,” that a wrong
action is apt to bring its own punishment, was never more plainly shown
than in the Mexican war. The war was brought upon the United States in
a great degree by those interested in slavery, not because they had any
just cause of quarrel with the people of Mexico, but because they wanted
more territory where slaves could be held.

California, which was the name generally given to all the country
extending from Mexico northward to Oregon and the Louisiana Purchase,
and eastward from the Pacific Ocean to Texas, was what they really
fought for, and when they got it, it became their undoing. When a
commissioner went to Mexico to arrange for peace, he demanded California
for the United States. As is usual, the conquered had to yield to the
victor, and Mexico agreed, “provided the United States would promise not
to permit slavery in the territory thus acquired.”

“No,” replied Mr. Trist, the American commissioner, “the bare mention
of such a thing is an impossibility. No American president would dare
present such a treaty to the Senate.”

The Mexican authorities persisted, saying the prospect of the
introduction of slavery into a territory gained from them excited the
strongest feelings of abhorrence in the hearts of the Mexican people,
but the American commissioner made no promise.

In the summer of 1848 the President, in a special message, called
the attention of Congress to California and asked that the laws of a
territory be granted to it. The South agreed, provided half should
be slave territory. The Northern people, who disliked slavery, had
no commercial interest in it, and felt it a disgrace to the nation,
resisted this demand. Then began a bitter struggle over California and
the question of slavery on her soil, which lasted for two years and
called forth some of the grandest speeches of those mighty leaders,
Webster, Clay, and Calhoun.

In 1849, while this fight in Congress was still going on, an amendment
to tax California for revenue, and another which would result in making
her a slave state, were added to the regular appropriation bill which
provided for the expenses of government and without which the government
would stop. Congress was supposed to close its session on Saturday,
March 3d, at midnight. The new President, Taylor, was to take office on
Monday.

There had been many times of excitement in that Senate chamber, but this
night, it is said by those who were present, was equal to any. Such a
war of words and a battle of great minds! Many eyes were turned to the
clock as it drew near the hour of midnight. Would the stroke of twelve
dissolve the meeting and the great government of the United States be
left without funds?

To many of the senators this seemed a certainty, but Mr. Webster
insisted that Congress could not end while they remained in session.
So, through the long night, the struggle went on. About four o’clock
the amendment in regard to slavery was withdrawn, and the bill for the
government money was passed.

Meantime the American settlers in California were extremely
dissatisfied. To be living without suitable laws was an unnatural and
dangerous state of affairs which could not be tolerated by men who loved
their country and their homes. The Spanish Californians, also, were
anxious to know what they had to expect from the laws of the United
States. At last it was decided by the people, and agreed to by the
military governor, Riley, who was a man of good judgment, that
delegates should be chosen to a convention which should arrange a state
constitution and government. It was determined, however, to wait for
word from Congress, which had closed in such tumult.

News would certainly arrive by the next steamer, the Panama, which was
long overdue. It was a favorite amusement in those days for the boys of
San Francisco to go upon the hill and watch for her coming. The 4th of
June they were rewarded by the sight of her. As she came into harbor a
large part of the population hurried to the wharf, eager to learn the
action of Congress. Was California to be a state or not?

The disappointment was great when it was found that nothing had been
done except to pass the revenue laws, which meant taxation without
representation. In the plaza and on the streets the crowds were loud in
their disapproval. The excitement was almost as great as in Boston, so
long before, when the news of the tax on tea arrived. A mass meeting was
called.

“It is plain they expect us to settle the slavery question for
ourselves,” said one. “We can do it in short order,” said another.

Monday, September 3, 1849, the constitutional convention met at
Monterey.

“Recognizing the fact that there is need of more than human wisdom, in
the work of founding a state under the unprecedented condition of the
country,” says the minutes of that meeting, “the delegates voted to open
the session with prayer.” It was decided to begin each morning’s work
in this way, the Rev. S. H. Willey and Padre Ramirez officiating
alternately.

There were present forty-eight delegates, seven of whom were Spanish
Californians. Of these Carrillo of the south and General Vallejo of
Sonoma were prominent. They were able men, who were used to governing
and who understood fairly well the needs of the times. Later, in the
United States Senate, Mr. Webster quoted Mr. Carrillo of “San Angeles,”
 as he called it. Another delegate, Dr. Gwin, was a Southern man who had
recently come to California for the purpose of gaining the position of
United States senator and of so planning things that even though the
state should be admitted as free soil, it might later be divided and
part be made slave territory.

He depended for this upon the boundaries. If the whole great section was
admitted as California, he thought division would surely follow with
the southern part for slavery. The people, however, showed themselves
opposed to slavery in their new state, and Dr. Gwin soon found that he
must either forego his hopes of becoming senator or give way on this
point. The constitution finally adopted was that of a free state with
its boundaries as they are to-day. The new legislature chose Colonel
Fremont and Dr. Gwin senators, and they left in January, 1850, for
Washington, taking the new constitution to offer it for the approval of
Congress.

While the people of the Pacific coast had been making their
constitution, Congress was in session, and the subject of California and
slavery was still troubling the nation. The discussion grew so bitter
that in January Clay brought forward his famous Omnibus Bill, so called
because it was intended to accommodate different people and parties, and
contained many measures which he thought would be so satisfactory to
the senators that they would pass the whole bill, although part of it
provided for the admission of California as a free state.

At once Southerners sprang forward to resist the measure. They realized
keenly that slavery could not hold its own if the majority of the
country became free soil. They must persist in their demand for more
slave territory, or give up their bondmen. Calhoun, the great advocate
of slavery, who was at that time ill and near his death, prepared a
speech, the last utterance of that brilliant mind, which was delivered
March 4th. He was too ill to read it, but sat, gaunt and haggard,
with burning eyes, while his friend spoke for him. It closed with the
declaration that the admission of California as a slave or a free state
was the test which would prove whether the Union should continue to
exist or be broken up by secession. If she came in free, then the South
could do no less than secede.

Three days later, March 7th, Webster delivered one of the great speeches
of his life. In it he said, “The law of nature, physical geography, and
the formation of the earth settles forever that slavery cannot exist in
California.”

Seward followed with a speech mighty in its eloquence. He said:
“California, rich and populous, is here asking admission to the Union
and finds us debating the dissolution of the Union itself. It seems to
me that the perpetual unity of the empire hangs on this day and hour.
Try not the temper and fidelity of California, nor will she abide
delay. I shall vote for the admission of California directly, without
conditions, without qualifications, and without compromise.”

On September 9, 1850, California was at last admitted.

From that time the country advanced steadily onward to the terrible
period of 1861, when the South put her threat into execution. The Civil
War followed, and the abolition of slavery; but from the sorrowful
struggle there arose a better and happier nation, a united North
and South. There are two things to be remembered: that into the new
territory gained from Mexico slavery never entered; and that the wealth
which came from the mines of California did much toward strengthening
the North in the conflict.

Over half a year the Californians had been waiting for their
constitution to be adopted, and for their representatives to be received
in Congress. Sometimes it seemed as though the good news would never
come.

One October morning word came down from the lookout on Telegraph
Hill: “The Oregon is coming in covered with bunting. All her flags are
flying.” Almost at the same moment throughout the city could be heard
the quick booming of her guns as she entered the harbor. With shouts
and clapping of hands the people rushed to the wharf. Tears were pouring
down the faces of men who did not know what it was to cry; women were
sobbing and laughing by turns. The shrill cheers of the California
boys rose high above all. There was the report of guns, the cracking of
pistols, the joyful pealing of bells. New York papers sold readily at
five dollars each. No more business that day. Joy and gayety reigned. At
night the city was ablaze with fireworks and mighty bonfires, which the
boys kept going until morning.

Messengers started in every direction to carry the news. The way the
word came to San Jose was exciting. The new governor, Peter Burnett, was
in San Francisco on steamer day. On the very next morning he left for
San Jose on the stage coach of Crandall, one of the famous drivers of
the West. The stage of a rival line left at the same time. There was
great excitement: a race between two six-horse teams, with coaches
decorated with flags, and the governor on the box of one of them.

They had to creep through the heavy sands to the mission, but beyond
there they struck the hard road, and away they went, horses at a gallop,
passengers shouting and singing. As they passed through a town or by a
ranch house people ran out, aroused by the hubbub. Off went the hats of
all on the coaches.

“California has been admitted to the Union!” some one would shout in his
loudest voice, and, looking back, they would see men shaking hands and
tossing hats on high, and small boys jigging while shouts and cheers
followed them faintly as they disappeared in the distance.

Past San Bruno, San Mateo, Mayfield, they went with a rush, then swept
through Santa Clara, then at a gallop down the beautiful Alameda to San
Jose, the governor’s coach but three minutes in advance of its rival.

A few days later there was the grand ceremony of admission day, which
was described in the papers not only of this country but of England as
well.

Still, after the rejoicing came a time of anxiety and sorrow. In its
treatment of the land question in California the United States made one
of the gravest mistakes ever made by a civilized nation.

The man whom the government sent out to investigate the subject, W. C.
Jones, was an able Spanish scholar, skilled in Mexican and Spanish law,
and his carefully prepared report declared that the greater part of the
rancheros had perfect title to their lands, and all that was necessary
for the United States to do was to have them resurveyed.

In Congress, Senator Benton and Senator Fremont in most points supported
this report as the only just plan. Against the bill that was finally
passed Senator Benton protested vigorously, saying that it amounted
to confiscation of the land instead of the protection promised by the
American government, through Larkin and Sloat.

This law made it necessary for every Californian, no matter how long he
had lived on his land, to prove his title to it, and that, too, while
the United States attorney resisted his claim inch by inch, as if he
were a criminal.

Thus the Spanish American, who was seldom a man of business after
the standard of the Eastern states, was forced into the distressing
necessity of fighting for what was his own, in courts, the law and
language of which he did not understand. Meantime his property was
rendered hard to sell, while taxation fell heaviest upon him because he
was a large land owner. Often, too, he would have to pay his lawyer in
notes, promising to give money when he could get it, and in the end the
lawyer often got most of the land which the United States government had
left to the unhappy Californian.

The way in which unprincipled men got the better of the rancheros would
fill a volume. Guadalupe Vallejo, in the Century Magazine (Vol. 41),
tells how a leading American squatter came to her father and said:--

“There is a large piece of your land where the cattle run loose, and
your vaqueros are all gone to the mines. I will fence the field at my
own expense if you will give me half of it.” Vallejo agreed, but when
the American had inclosed it, he entered it on the record books as
government land and kept it all.

This article also describes the losses of the ranchmen from cattle
stealing. It tells how Americans, who were afterward prosperous
citizens, were guilty of selling Spanish beef which they knew had been
stolen.

The life of the Spanish-speaking people at the mines was made miserable.
The American miners seemed to feel that the Californian had no right
to be there. Of course there were some of the lower class, many of whom
were part Indian, who would lie, steal, or, if they had an opportunity,
murder; but often those who were persecuted were not of this type.
A woman of refinement, who under the title of “Shirley” wrote her
experiences at the mines, says:--

“The people of the Spanish race on Indian Bar, many of whom are highly
educated gentlemen, are disposed to bear an ill opinion of our whole
nation on account of the rough men here. They think that it is a
great characteristic of Columbia’s children to be prejudiced, selfish,
avaricious, and unjust.”

Because in a quarrel a Mexican killed a drunken miner, the men of the
Bar determined to drive away all Californians. They captured several,
not the guilty one, banished some, and two they sentenced to be flogged.
Shirley from her cabin heard what was going on. She tells how one of
them, a gentlemanly young Spaniard, begged in vain to be killed rather
than be disgraced by whipping. When, finally, he was released, he swore
eternal vengeance against the American race.

In San Francisco the disorderly state of affairs caused by the host
of criminals gathered there from all over the world, attracted by the
discovery of gold, became unendurable. On the city streets robbery and
murder were of frequent occurrence, no one was safe, and wrongdoers went
unpunished because, frequently, the officers of the law were in league
with them. At last the best citizens felt that for the sake of their
homes and families they must take matters into their own hands, so they
formed an association, seven thousand strong, which was known as the
“Vigilantes.”

Those who committed crimes were taken by this organization, and, after
careful trial, punished. Several of the worst offenders were executed,
many were banished from the country, and unjust officials were removed.
When law and order were restored, the Vigilantes disbanded.

The example of San Francisco was followed in various parts of the state,
especially in the mining camps, where there were many crimes; but not
all the Vigilantes displayed the same care and fairness as the people of
the larger city, and sometimes terrible mistakes were made, and innocent
people suffered.

With thousands of newcomers on the Pacific coast, and the long distance
between them and their homes, it was often of the greatest importance
to get their parcels and mail to them as promptly as possible. For this
reason several express companies were started and did excellent work;
but the mail route called the Pony Express was the most interesting. It
is well described by W. F. Bailey in the Century Magazine (Vol. 56).

One day in March, 1860, the following advertisement appeared in a St.
Louis paper:--

“To San Francisco in eight days. The first carrier of the Pony Express
will leave the Missouri River on Tuesday, April 3d, and will run
regularly weekly hereafter, carrying letter mail only. Telegraph mail
eight days, letters ten days to San Francisco.”

From St. Joseph, Missouri, the first start was made. A large crowd was
present to see the rider off. The same day, the same hour, the Western
mail started on the thousand-mile ride eastward. There would be ten
riders each way, with horses changed every twenty-five miles.

Both Sacramento and San Francisco were full of enthusiasm. It was
planned to give the first messenger a rousing reception when he should
arrive from the East. He was received by crowds as he galloped into
Sacramento, and hurried to a swift river steamboat which immediately
started for the Bay. News of his coming was telegraphed ahead, and was
announced from the stages of the San Francisco theaters so that when he
arrived at midnight a large number of people were awaiting him, bands
were playing, and bells were ringing; and a long procession escorted him
to the company’s office.

In all, there were sixty riders of this express company, all young men,
light in weight, accomplished riders, coolheaded, and absolutely brave.
They were held in high regard by all, and with good reason. Each when he
entered the service signed this pledge:--

“I agree not to use profane language, not to get drunk, not to gamble,
not to treat animals cruelly, and not to do anything incompatible with
the conduct of a gentleman.” They also had to swear to be loyal to the
Union.

The average journey of one man was seventy-five miles, this to be
accomplished in one day, but the men frequently had to double the
distance, and once, when the messenger who was waiting was killed by
Indians, “Buffalo Bill” (Mr. Cody) made the long trip of three hundred
and eighty-four miles, stopping only for meals and to change horses.

By day and by night, through rain and storm, heat and cold, they rode,
these brave men, one facing east, the other west, alone, always alone,
often chased by Indians, though, owing to their watchfulness and the
superiority of their horses, they were seldom caught. A number were,
however, killed by immigrants, who mistook them for Indians or robbers.

The great feat of the Pony Express was the delivering of Lincoln’s
inaugural address in 1861.

With the Southern states claiming to be out of the Union, people were
wild to know what the President would say. To St. Joseph, Missouri,
the address was hurried. Here it was carefully wrapped in oil skin,
consigned to the saddle bags, and amid wild cheers the express was
off. Horses were waiting every ten miles. What a ride was that! “Speed,
speed! faster, faster!” was the cry. Each man tried to do a trifle
better than the last, while the thousands on the Pacific coast seemed to
be straining their ears for the sound of the galloping hoof beats which
brought nearer to them the brave message of the grand new President. And
when the last rider came in, making the final ten miles in thirty-one
minutes, what a cheer went up!

One thousand nine hundred and fifty miles in one hundred and eighty-five
hours, the message had traveled--at an average of a little more than ten
miles an hour--straight across the continent.

When we read of the speed-breaking special trains of to-day, let us not
forget what these brave men of the first overland express accomplished
in the days of ‘61.



Chapter X

The Signal Gun and the Steel Trail



Boom! Boom! Boom! Never in history did the firing of a gun have such
a powerful effect as that which sent the first shot at the flag of the
Union, as it floated over Fort Sumter on that memorable Friday, April
12, 1861.

Fired at a time when most people were hoping for a peaceful outcome of
the sectional troubles, it astonished the world and stirred the whole
country to its depths.

Across the dry plains and rugged mountains of the West its echoes seemed
to roll. The startled people of the Pacific coast looked at each other
with anxious, uncertain eyes. No one felt quite sure of his neighbor,
and they were so far from the scene of action that the government could
not help them. They must settle the great question for themselves. Who
was for the Union? Who was against it?

In Washington the President and his advisers waited with keen anxiety to
learn what wealthy California would do. Senator Gwin had often spoken in
Congress and elsewhere as though it would certainly be one of the states
to secede. He and others had talked too, in a confident way, of the
“Grand Republic of the Pacific” that might be then formed out of the
lands of the Western coast. To lose this rich territory would be a
terrible blow to the Union.

From the time of California’s admission there had been a constant
endeavor on the part of Southern sympathizers to introduce slavery into
its territory. A large number of politicians, especially those holding
prominent positions, were Southerners, some of whom, like Dr. Gwin, had
come to the Pacific coast for the express purpose of winning either the
new state or some portion of it for the South and slavery.

They had succeeded in giving it a fugitive slave law that was
particularly evil. Under it a colored man or woman could be seized,
brought before a magistrate, claimed as a slave, and taken back South
without being allowed to testify in his or her own behalf. Neither could
a colored person give testimony in a criminal case against one who was
white.

Opposed to this strong Southern party one man stood almost alone as the
friend of free labor and free soil. This man was David C. Broderick. For
years he fought the slavery interests inch by inch in San Francisco, in
the state legislature, and finally in the United States Senate.

When he went to Washington he found the same state of affairs as
in California--President Buchanan yielding to the Southern demands,
Southern members ruling and often terrifying Congress. Broderick at once
joined Stephen A. Douglas in the struggle he was then making for free
soil in Kansas and the territories, and his speeches were clear and
often fierce.

In reply to a speech from a Carolina senator in regard to the disgrace
of belonging to the working class, Mr. Broderick said (Congressional
Globe, 1857-58), “I represent a state where labor is honorable, where
the judge has left his bench, the doctor and lawyer their offices, the
clergyman his pulpit, for the purpose of delving in the earth, where no
station is so high, no position so great, that its occupant is not proud
to boast that he has labored with his own hands. There is no state
in the Union, no place on earth, where labor is so honored, so well
rewarded, as in California.” Mr. Broderick died in the midst of his
bright career, murdered in a duel by one of the leading members of the
slavery party.

When he died, those of his fellow-citizens who believed much as he did,
yet had let him fight secession and slavery lone-handed, recognized what
he had done for them--their “brave young senator,” as Seward called him,
who had kept the evil of slavery from their soil. His work, stopped by
the bullet of his enemy, was taken up by the people, and his name became
a rallying cry for the lovers of the Union, of honest labor, and of free
soil.

News that the war had really begun brought forth the strongest
Union sentiments from many of those who had before been careless
or indifferent. A mass meeting of the people of San Francisco was
held--business was suspended, flags were flying everywhere, while
eager-faced people listened to earnest Union speeches. A few days later
the legislature, by an almost unanimous vote, declared in the strongest
terms for the Union, offering to give any aid the government might
require. No one could longer have any doubt of the loyalty of the state
of California.

There were certainly many people from the South who were deeply in
sympathy with secession; but these, if honorable men who were able to
fight, hurried east to join the Confederate army, or if they chose to
remain under the protection of the flag, were generally wise enough to
keep their feelings to themselves.

Some there were, however, who, while they enjoyed the law and order of
the peaceful state, still spoke, plotted, and schemed for secession. To
keep such as these in order it was found necessary to retain most of
the California troops in the state for home defense. Those who did reach
Eastern battlefields fought well and nobly.

One of San Francisco’s ministers was unwise enough frequently to express
disloyal views in the pulpit, until one Sunday morning he found the
banner he would dishonor floating over his church, and hanging to a post
in front of the door a figure intended to represent himself, with his
name and the word “traitor” pinned to it. The next day he left for
Europe, where he stayed until the close of the war.

Another minister, Thomas Starr King, was one of the most earnest
supporters of the government. He organized the California division of
the Sanitary Commission for the assistance of sick and wounded soldiers.
Chiefly through his influence California gave over a million and a
half to that cause, which was one third of the whole expenditure of the
Commission.

In 1862 Leland Stanford became governor. He was devoted to the Union,
always striving to influence his state to give liberally of its wealth
to help the government; and its record in that line was second to none.
“A good leader, energetic and long-headed,” the governor was called; but
no one dreamed that long before he was an old man, he would give for the
cause of education in California the mightiest gift ever bestowed by any
one man for the benefit of humanity.

During the war, California furnished 16,000 men, two regiments of which
were among the best of the Union cavalry. One regiment of infantry
was composed of trappers and mountaineers, from whom were taken many
“sharpshooters” so famous in assisting the advance of the Northern
troops.

In the southern part of the state there was a body of volunteers known
as the California Column, also the California Lancers, who, far off
though they were, found enough to do. They drove the Southern forces out
of Arizona and New Mexico, fought the Apache Indians in several battles,
met and defeated the Texas Rangers, and took various military posts in
Texas.

Great was the excitement in San Francisco when one morning the United
States marshall captured, just as she was leaving the wharf, a schooner
fully fitted out as a privateer. She was filled with armed men, and in
her cabin was a commission signed by Jefferson Davis in the name of the
Confederate States, also a plan for capturing the forts of the harbor,
the Panama mail steamer, then en route north, and a treasure steamer
soon to, sail for Panama.

In Los Angeles disloyalty was more outspoken and unrebuked by public
opinion. Sometimes the surrounding ranchmen, many of whom were in
sympathy with the South, on the news of a Southern victory would come
into Los Angeles to celebrate with disloyal banners and transparencies.
Living on Main Street there was a Yankee, one of the leading citizens,
who upon such an occasion would take his rifle and, promenading the
flat roof of his wide-spreading adobe, hurl down defiance at the enemy,
calling them “rebels” and “traitors” and defying them to come up
and fight him man to man. But there must have been a feeling of good
fellowship through it all, since no stray bullet was ever sent to put a
stop to the taunts of the fiery old Unionist.

Some Spanish soldiers of the California Column, however, grew weary of
such open disloyalty, and one night, when off duty, captured two of the
Southern ranchmen and proposed to hang them to the oaks in the pasture
near where the city of Pasadena now stands. The American officers of the
troops, hearing of the affair, hurried out from Los Angeles and begged
their men to give up so disorderly and unsoldier-like an idea. “Yes,
sirs, it is true, all that you say; but they are rebels, they talk too
much; why suffer them to cumber Union ground?” This seemed the only
reply they could obtain; but finally the captives were liberated, though
advised in the future to guard well their tongues and actions.

The desire for war news from the Eastern states led to the completion
of a telegraph line between the Missouri River and San Francisco, and
on all sides the need of an overland railroad was also being recognized.
Plans for such a road had been frequently presented to Congress, but
straightway slavery entered into the question. The South wanted the
road, but it must be through Southern territory, while the North favored
the middle or northern route; and they could not agree.

On one such occasion Senator Benton spoke in favor of a line that had
just been surveyed by Captain Fremont. He was told by those who had
other plans that his route was not possible, that only scientific men
could lay out a railroad and determine the most practicable ways and
easiest passes. But Senator Benton’s answer is worth remembering.

“There is,” said he, “a class of scientific engineers older than
the schools and more unerring than mathematics. They are the wild
animals--the buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, and bear--which traverse the
forest, not by compass, but by an instinct which leads them always the
right way to the lowest passes in the mountains, the shallowest fords in
the rivers, the richest pastures in the forest, the best salt springs,
the shortest practicable route between two distant points. They are the
first engineers to lay out a road; the Indian follows. Hence the buffalo
road becomes the war path. The white hunter follows the same trail in
the pursuit of game; after that the buffalo road becomes the wagon road
of the emigrant, and, lastly, the railroad of the scientific man.”

Through her senators and representatives California spent several years
in pushing this matter. In vain they called attention to the fact that
the distance from Washington to San Francisco by the way of Cape Horn
was 19,000 miles, or more than the entire distance round the earth in
the latitude of San Francisco; and that by Panama it was as far as from
Washington to Peking in a direct line.

In 1859-60 there appeared in Washington a young engineer named Judah,
who had been sent by the people of the Pacific coast to urge the
immediate building of the road by the middle route that which was
finally chosen. Mr. Judah knew more about the matter than any other man,
east or west, and he failed in his mission only because the troubles
over slavery and the prospect of immediate secession took up the whole
attention of Congress.

However, he came back in no way discouraged, and continued to urge the
matter in his cheerful, hopeful way. That he should be hopeful does not
seem strange to us who know that the road was built and that it was a
great success, but then conditions were different.

“What, build a railroad over those mountains, with their terrible winter
snows and landslides, across the desert, where there is absolutely no
water? It is impossible, and these men know it; they only want to get
the people’s money.” Such was the type of article one might read at any
time in the papers of the day.

Still, Mr. Judah’s talk had its results. One June day in 1861, Leland
Stanford, a young lawyer, who was at that time Sacramento’s chief
grocer, Mark Hopkins and Collis P. Huntington, hardware merchants, and
Charles Crocker, proprietor of the leading dry-goods store, met and
organized the Central Pacific Railroad Company, with Stanford as
president, Huntington as vice-president, Hopkins as treasurer, Judah as
engineer, and Crocker as one of the directors.

This action seems sensible enough as we write of it, but it was one of
the most daring undertakings ever attempted by any body of men. None of
the four was rich, all had worked hard for the little they had; but they
felt that the country must have the railroad, that without it California
could never become a great state. But if they could only push forward,
as soon as they had themselves accomplished something, help would come
to them from the East and their success would be assured.

Again Mr. Judah went to Washington, and this time he was successful. The
war had made the government feel the need of the railway, not only to
bind the Pacific coast closer to the eastern half of the continent, but
to transport troops to defend its western shores. There were many now
ready to vote for the road, and in July, 1862, the bill, having been
passed by both houses, was signed by Abraham Lincoln.

It provided for the building of two roads, one from the Missouri River
westward, the Union Pacific, and one from the Pacific coast eastward,
the Central Pacific, the two to be continued till they met and formed
one long line.

On the day that Leland Stanford was inaugurated governor of California,
he had the further satisfaction of beginning the construction of the
overland railroad by digging and casting the first shovelful of earth.
This took place in Sacramento, in the presence of a large gathering
of the leading people of the state; and from that time the work went
speedily on. It was estimated that the road would cost an average of
eighty thousand dollars a mile, though in the mountains the cost was
nearer one hundred and fifty thousand.

Not only the right of way, but a large portion of the near-by public
lands, were granted by the government to each road, and at the
completion of each forty miles of track there was to be further aid. The
state of California, the city of San Francisco, and the counties through
which the railroad passed, each gave generously to the Central Pacific;
but all this did not bring in enough ready money. Huntington in the
East and Stanford in the West almost worked miracles in getting funds to
begin the work.

In the death of Mr. Judah, which occurred at this time, the company
suffered a great loss. Although the enterprise went on to a successful
ending, his name dropped out of sight; but those who know, feel that to
him California owes a great debt of gratitude. Though she was sure
to have the overland sometime, it might have been years later in its
accomplishment, but for the faith, energy, and perseverance of Theodore
D. Judah.

Charles Crocker now took charge of the building of the road; to
accomplish the work he imported Chinese, whom he found peaceable,
industrious, and quick to learn. They were arranged in companies moving
at the word of command like drilled troops--“Crocker’s battalions” they
were called. There was need of the greatest haste to get the different
portions completed in the time allowed.

“Why,” said Crocker, “I used to go up and down that road in my car like
a mad bull, stopping along where there was anything wrong, raising Cain
with the men that were not up to time.”

Neither Mr. Crocker nor Mr. Stanford ever recovered from the strain of
that time. It is said that it eventually caused the death of both men.

Meantime the Union Pacific was pushing overland westward as fast as
possible. Each road was aiming for the rich plains of Utah. If the
Central stopped at the eastern base of the mountains, it would make this
road of little value except for Pacific coast traffic; but if it could
reach Ogden, the line would pay well.

It was a mighty race all through the winter of 1868 and 1869, Crocker
and his men working like giants. What he accomplished then was scarcely
less wonderful than Napoleon’s passage of the Alps.

All the supplies for his thousands of workmen, all the materials and
iron for the road, even the locomotives, he had to have hauled on
sledges over the mountains through the winter snows.

Ogden was finally made the place where the two roads joined; but they
first met, and the last work was done, at Promontory, a point fifty
miles northwest of Ogden. There in May, 1869, the last tie was laid.
It was made of California laurel, handsomely polished, and on it was a
silver plate with an inscription and the names of the officers of the
two roads.

It was an eventful meeting on that grassy plain, under the blue Western
sky, while all around rose the rugged peaks that had at last been
conquered by man’s energy. The telegraph at this spot was, for the
occasion, connected with all the offices along the line and in the
leading cities of the country, where crowds were in waiting to hear that
the great work was finished.

Two trains were there with their engines, as Bret Harte describes them,
“facing on the single track, half a world behind each back.” Around
stood the guests and officers of the roads waiting for the final
ceremony. “Hats off,” clicked the telegraph. Prayer was offered, and
then the four gold and silver spikes, presented by California, Nevada,
Idaho, and Montana, were put in place by President Stanford of the
Central Pacific and Dr. Durant of the Union Pacific.

As the silver hammers fell on the golden spikes, in all the telegraph
offices along the line and in the Eastern cities the hammer of the
magnet struck the bell--“tap, tap, tap.” “Done,”--flashed the message to
the eager crowds.

All over the land the event was celebrated with great rejoicing. In
Buffalo, as the news came, hundreds of voices burst out in the singing
of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In Boston, services were held at midday
in Trinity Church, where the popular pastor offered “thanks to God for
the completion of the greatest work ever undertaken by men.”

To the four men who were the builders of the Central Pacific, the public
and particularly the state of California owes much. They not only built
the road, but made it a grand, complete success in all its departments.
Without it, California would still be a remote province, little known.
With it she is one of the chief states of the Union, and in the great
business world she is known and felt as a power.

Later the corporation became very wealthy and powerful. Then it was that
it began to abuse its power, working often against the best interests of
the inhabitants of the Pacific slope. In some cases, as in the eviction
of the people who were settlers in the Mussel Slough District, it was
guilty of extreme cruelty and injustice, such as is almost certain to
bring its own punishment. But in reckoning with the Southern Pacific,
for so the company is now called, the people of California should be
careful to look on both sides of the question, remembering the terrible
struggles of those early days, when the building of the Overland,
that greatest achievement America had ever seen, was to them like
the miraculous gift of some fairy godmother, seemingly beyond the
possibility of nature.



Chapter XI

That Which Followed After



About the time that the people of California were beginning to feel
the trouble arising from the unlimited wealth and power of the great
railroad corporation, they discovered what they felt was danger coming
from another quarter. This was in the large number of Chinese pouring
into the state. Already every town of importance had its quaint Chinese
quarter, bits of Asia transplanted to the western hemisphere. Yet these
sons of Asia, with their quiet, gliding motions and oriental dress, had
been of great service in the development of the new land. Many of the
most helpful improvements were rendered possible by their labor, and for
years they were almost the only servants for house or laundry work to
be obtained. Never did the housewives of the Pacific coast join in the
outcry against the Chinese.

Although all this was true, it was also a fact that an American
workingman could not live and support his family on the wages a Chinaman
would take; and when the white man saw the Chinese given the jobs
because they could work cheaply, he became discouraged and angry. Was he
to be denied a living in his own country because of these strangers? For
this reason the working people became very bitter toward the Chinese.

Their complaints were carried to Washington, and because of them
the government finally arranged with China for the restriction of
immigration, but not, however, before the matter caused much trouble in
California.

During the years 1876-77 times were rightly called “hard” along the
Pacific slope. Often laboring men could not get work, and their families
suffered. The blame for all this was unjustly given to the Chinese, who
were several times badly treated by mobs. The general discontent led at
last to a demand for a new state constitution, which many people thought
would remedy the evils of which they complained. For twenty-five years
the old constitution had done good service. On the day it had been
signed, Walter Colton, alcalde of Monterey, wrote thus of it in his
diary: “It is thoroughly democratic; its basis, political and social
equality, is the creed of the thousands who run the plow, wield the
plane, the hammer, the trowel, the spade.” Still it had its faults, the
greatest of which was the power given the legislature over public moneys
and lands, as well as the chance it allowed for dishonesty in voting.

Unfortunately many of the delegates to the convention which was to make
the new constitution were foreigners who knew very little of American
manners, customs, and laws, and few of them were among the deeper
thinkers of the state, men who had had experience in lawmaking. That the
new constitution is not much better than the old, many who helped in the
making of it will agree. It was adopted in May, 1879. Since that time it
has received a number of changes by means of amendments voted for by
the people, and in spite of whatever errors it has contained, the state
under it has gone forward to a high degree of prosperity.

In 1875, during the administration of Governor Pacheco, the first native
state governor, an invitation was extended to native-born boys of San
Francisco to take part in the Fourth of July celebration. A fine body
of young men were thus assembled, of whom Hittell in his story of San
Francisco says, “They were unparalleled in physical development and
mental vigor, and unsurpassed in pride and enthusiasm for the land that
gave them birth.” This gathering led to the founding of the “Native Sons
of the Golden West,” an organization which now numbers many thousands
and of which the great state may well be proud. Later there was
organized a sister society of native daughters, and this also has a
large membership. As stated in their constitution, one of the main
objects of these sons and daughters of the West is “to awaken and
strengthen patriotism and keep alive and glowing the sacred love of
California.”

An event of the utmost importance to the southern part of the state was
the completion of the railroad between San Francisco and Los Angeles,
which occurred in 1879. Its route lay through the rich valley of the San
Joaquin. Work had been carried on from each end of the line, and it was
a very happy assembly which gathered to witness the junction of the two
divisions, the event taking place at the eastern end of the San Fernando
tunnel. This road was afterward extended from Los Angeles eastward by
the way of Yuma and Tucson, and is to-day the Southern Pacific Overland.
Later the Santa Fe Company built its popular road between Los Angeles
and the Eastern states. Both these companies now have lines from Los
Angeles to San Diego, and the Southern Pacific has a coast road the
length of the state, along which the scenery is of great beauty.

Indians

In the history of the state the most pathetic portion is that which
relates to the Indians. Bancroft says, “The California valley cannot
grace her annals with a single Indian war bordering upon respectability.
It can boast, however, a hundred or two of as brutal butcherings on the
part of our honest miners and brave pioneers as any area of equal extent
in our republic.” Miners and settlers coming into the country would
take up the waters where the natives fished, the land where they hunted,
driving them back to rocky soil, where there was nothing but acorns and
roots to support life. As a result the poor, unhappy creatures, driven
by hunger, would steal the newcomers’ horses and cattle. It is true that
the white men depended, in a great measure, upon their animals for the
support of their families; but they thought only of their own wrongs,
and would arm in strong parties, chase the wretched natives to their
homes, and tear down their miserable villages, killing the innocent and
guilty alike. The government was the most to blame, because it did not
in the first place enact laws for the protection of the Indians in their
rights.

About the towns, many of the natives gathered for work. In some places
the authorities had the right to arrest them as vagabonds and hire them
out as bondmen to the highest bidder, for a period often of as many as
two or three months at a time, with no regard to family ties. Little
seems to have been done to assist them to a better kind of life. In Los
Angeles, when working in the vineyards as grape pickers, they were paid
their wages each Saturday night, and immediately they were tempted
on all sides by sellers of bad whisky and were really hurried into
drunkenness. Their shrieks and howls would, for a time, make the night
hideous, when they were driven by the officers of the law into corrals,
like so many pigs or cattle, and left there till Monday morning, when
they were handed over to whoever chose to pay the officers for the right
to own them for the next week.

Near the Oregon line lived some of the most warlike and troublesome
Indians of California. Here there were one or two severe fights, the
worst of which was with the Modocs, in the northern lava beds. It
was here that General Canby was killed. To-day the Modocs are still
suffering keenly. In the upper part of the state the Indians have no
lands of any kind, and noble men and women of California are working to
secure for them their rights from the government. In the south, whole
villages have been found living on nothing but ground acorn meal, from
which miserable diet many children die and older people cannot long
sustain life.

The Sequoya League, an association for the betterment of the Indians of
the Southwest, has done much toward opening the eyes of the public and
of the government officials to the unhappy condition of these first
owners of the soil. Congress, in 1906, appropriated $100,000 to be used
in buying land and water for those Indian reservations or settlements
where the suffering was greatest. This was a good beginning, but as the
needy Indians are scattered all over the state, much more is required
before they can be so placed that they can earn a living by their
labors.

Sheep Industry

Gradually the cattle industry, which was for so long a time the leading
business of the country, gave way to sheep raising. During summer and
fall large flocks of grayish white merinos could be seen getting a rich
living on the brown grasses, the yellow stubble of old grain fields, and
the tightly rolled nuts of the bur clover; while in winter and spring,
hills and plains with their velvet-like covering of green alfileria
offered the best and juiciest of food. This was the time of the coming
of the lambs. As soon as they were old enough to be separated from their
mothers they were put during the day in companies by themselves. A band
of five or six hundred young lambs, playing and skipping over the young
green grass they were just learning to eat, was a beautiful sight to
everybody save to the man or boy who had them to herd. They led him such
a chase that by the time he had them safely corralled for the night,
every muscle in his body would be aching with fatigue.

Shearing time was the liveliest portion of the herder’s life, which was
generally very lonely. First came the shearing crew with their captain;
next arrived the venders of hot coffee, tamales, tortillas, and other
Mexican dainties; brush booths were erected and a brisk trade began. The
herds were driven up and into a corral where several shearers could work
at a time. Snip, snip, snip, went the shears hour after hour. It was the
boast of a good shearer that he could clip a sheep in seven minutes and
not once bring blood. As fast as cut, the wool was packed in a long sack
suspended from a framework. The dust was dreadful, and the man or boy
whose duty it was, when the bag was partly full, to jump in and tramp
the wool down so that the bag might hold more, would nearly choke before
he emerged into the clear daylight.

The passage of the no-fence law by the legislature of 1873, while it was
opposed by the sheep and cattle men, was one of the greatest aids to the
growth of agriculture, especially in the southern part of the state.
It provided that cattle and sheep should not be allowed to run loose
without a herder to keep them from trespassing. This saved the farmer
from the necessity of fencing his grain fields, a most important help in
a country where fence material was so scarce and expensive.

Colony Days

For some time after California’s admission to the Union most of the
events of importance in its history took place around the Bay of San
Francisco and the junction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin; but early
in the seventies the south land awoke from its long sleep and took part
in history making, not in such stirring incidents as those of the days
of ‘49, but in a quieter growth that was yet of importance in the making
of the state. People in the East had begun to find out that southern
California had a mild, healthful climate and that, though the sands
of her rivers and rocks of her mountains were not of gold, still her
oranges, by aid of irrigation, could be turned into a golden harvest,
and that all her soil needed was water in order to yield most bountiful
crops.

As little land could be bought in small ranches, those wishing to
settle in the country chose the colony plan. A number of families would
contribute to a common sum, with which would be purchased a large
piece of land of several thousand acres with its water right. Each man
received from this a number of acres in proportion to the amount of
money he had invested. The first colony formed was that of Anaheim; then
followed Westminster, Riverside, Pasadena, and many others, and by that
time people began to come into southern California in large numbers.

The overland journey was much longer, then than now, but quite as
pleasant. At twenty-two miles an hour the country could be seen and
enjoyed, acquaintance made with the plump little prairie dogs of the
Nebraska plains, and their neighbors the ground owls, which bobbed grave
salutes as the train passed by. Bands of galloping deer, groups of grave
Indian warriors sitting on their ponies watching the train from afar,
an occasional buffalo lumbering along, shaking his shaggy head, were the
things that interested the traveler who took the overland trains in ‘74
and ‘75.

At that time between San Francisco and Los Angeles there were two forms
of travel: a hundred miles of railroad, with the rest of the distance by
stage; and the steamship line. Families chose the ship. From San Pedro
to Los Angeles was the only railroad of the southern country. In Los
Angeles the flat-roofed adobe buildings, where people could walk about
on the tops of the houses, were a wonder to the Eastern strangers.
Beautiful homes some of them were, where glimpses could be had of
stately senoras in silks and laces, and beautiful senoritas whose dark
eyes made havoc with the hearts of the colony young men. The young
Californian, who seemed a very part of his fiery steed, was at once the
admiration and envy of the Yankee boy.

Queer sights were to be seen at every turn. Creaking carretas, whose
squeaking wheels announced their coming a block away, filled the
streets, some loaded with grapes, others with rounded shaggy grease-wood
roots or sacks of the red Spanish bean and great branches of flaming
red peppers. The oxen, with yoke on the horns, seemed as if out of some
Bible picture.

Life in the different colonies was much the same. The newcomers had many
things to learn, but they made the best of their mistakes, and days of
hard work, such as many of them had never known, were often ended with
social or literary meetings, where minds were brightened and hearts
warmed by friendly intercourse.

When the rains were heavy, the swift mountain streams could not be
crossed, and often provisions gave out; then with neighborly kindness
those who had, loaned to those who had not, until fresh supplies could
be obtained. To this day the smell of new redwood lumber, the scent of
burning grease-wood brush, will bring back those times to the colonists
with a painful longing for the happy days of their new life in the new
land. Many never gained wealth, while some lost lands and savings; but
it was these earnest, intelligent men and women who developed the rich
valleys of the south land and to whom we are indebted for the bloom and
beauty found there to-day.

The result of the land laws and the ill-treatment of the Mexican
population at the mines was a period of highway robbery by bands of
outlaws, each under the leadership of some especially daring man. The
story of some of their adventures reminds the hearer of the tales of
Robin Hood. Not so mild as Robin’s were their lives, however. Often
their passage was marked by a trail of blood, where bitter revenge was
taken because of bitter wrongs. Last of these bands was that of Vasquez,
who robbed the colony folk gently with many apologies. He was finally
captured and executed, and with him the bandits passed from the page of
state history.

Alaska

One night in 1867 there took place in Washington an event that was to be
of great importance to the western part of the United States. This was
the signing of the treaty for the purchase of Alaska. As early as 1860
Mr. Seward, in a speech delivered at St. Paul, said:

“Looking far off into the northwest I see the Russian as he occupies
himself establishing seaports, towns, and fortifications, on the verge
of this continent, and I say, ‘Go on and build up your posts all along
the coast up even to the Arctic Ocean, they will yet become the outposts
of my own country.’” So long ago did the desire for Alaska, or Russian
America as it was then called, possess the mind of the great statesman.
But it was not until seven years later that he found the chance to win
the government to his views. One evening, while the matter was under
discussion between the two countries, the Russian minister called upon
Mr. Seward at his home, to inform him that he had just received the
Czar’s sanction for the sale.

“Good, we will sign the treaty to-night,” said the American statesman.

“What, so late as this, and your department closed, your clerks
scattered?” remonstrated the Russian.

“It can be done,” replied Mr. Seward; and it was. At midnight the treaty
was signed. The price paid for Alaska was less than the cost of two of
our modern battleships. Every year has proved more and more the wisdom
of the purchase. The discovery of gold in particular has immensely
increased its value and has brought to California an enlarged commerce.

Spanish-American War

In 1898 came the war with Spain. The tidings of the 15th of February,
1898, filled the hearts of the people of California with indignation
and grief. That the United States battleship Maine had been blown up
in Havana harbor and numbers of our seamen killed, seemed to many
sufficient cause for immediate war. Some, however, feared for the
Pacific coast settlements, with insufficient fortifications and no war
vessels of importance, except the magnificent Western-built battleship,
Oregon. This vessel was at Puget Sound when the news of the blowing up
of the Maine reached her. At the same time came orders to hurry on coal
and proceed to San Francisco. There ten days were spent in taking on as
much coal and provisions as the vessel could carry. Then, with orders to
join the Atlantic fleet as quickly as possible, on the morning of March
19 she steamed through Golden Gate and turned southward, to begin one of
the longest voyages ever made by a battleship.

The people of California were sad at heart to part with their noble
vessel, and when, in April, war was declared, thousands followed the
loved ship and her brave men with their interest and prayers. All alone
upon the great sea she was sailing steadily onward, to meet, perhaps, a
fleet of foes, or worse still, a dart from that terror of the waters,
a torpedo boat; yet always watchful and always ready for whatever foe
might appear, she journeyed on.

The order given by Captain Clark to his officers in case they sighted
the Spanish squadron, was to turn and run away. As the Spanish ships
followed they were almost sure to become separated, some sailing faster
than others. The Oregon having a heavy stern battery, could do effective
fighting as she sailed; and if the enemy’s ships came up one at a time,
there might be a chance of damaging one before the next arrived.

Through two oceans and three zones, fifteen thousand miles without
mishap, the Oregon sailed in fifty-nine days. When she joined the fleet
where it lay off Cuba, she came sweeping in at fifteen knots an hour,
the winner of the mightiest race ever run, cheered at the finish by
every man of the American squadron. All honor should be given to her
wise captain and brave crew and to the Western workmen who made her so
stanch and true.

On a fair May day, while California children were rejoicing over their
baskets of sweet May flowers, the first battle of the war was fought,
the first, and for California the most important. When Dewey destroyed
the Spanish fleet on that Sunday morning (May 1, 1898) in Manila Bay,
he not only won an important victory, but a greater result lay in the
change of attitude of the United States toward the rest of the world.

It was a change which had begun long before; many events had led up to
it, but possession of the Philippines and other islands of the Pacific
forced our country to recognize the importance of Asia and the ocean
which washes its shores.

Commerce has always moved westward, going from Asia to Greece, to Rome,
to western Europe, to the western hemisphere; and the race which takes
up the movement and carries it forward is the one which gains the
profits. All must realize the truth of Mr. Seward’s prophecy when he
said, “The Pacific coast will be the mover in developing a commerce
to which that of the Atlantic Ocean will be only a fraction.” “The
opportunity of the Pacific,” some one has called it. Nearly two thirds
of the people of the earth inhabit the lands washed by the waters of
this western sea, and the country which secures their trade will become
the leading nation of the world--a leadership which should be of the
best kind, supplying the needs of peaceful life, building railroads,
encouraging the things that help a people upward and onward. To the
young men of California, Hawaii and the Philippines offer every chance
for daring, energy, and invention. If to honesty and energy there be
added a speaking knowledge of the Spanish language, there lie before
the youth of the Pacific coast the finest opportunities for active,
successful lives.

As soon as President McKinley issued his call to arms for the Spanish
war, the men of California responded with a rush. A large number of
those who had enlisted were hurried to San Francisco, where the military
authorities were quite unprepared to furnish supplies. For a day or two
there was real suffering; then the Society of the Red Cross came to the
rescue, and thousands of dollars’ worth of food and blankets were sent
to the camp. As soon as the always generous people of San Francisco
comprehended the state of affairs, there was danger that the hungry
young soldiers would be ill from overfeeding.

The twenty-third day of May, 1898, is a day to be remembered in the
history of our country, for on that day went out the first home regiment
from the mainland of the United States, to fight a foe beyond the sea.
When the twelve companies of California Volunteers marched through the
city from the Presidio to the docks of the Pacific Mail and Steamship
Company, two hundred thousand people accompanied them. So hard was it
for our peace-loving people to understand the real meaning of war that
it was not until the brave lads and earnest men were actually marching
to the steamer which was to carry them thousands of miles to meet danger
and death, that many quite realized the sorrowful fact. Men cheered
the regiment as it passed, but the sobs of the women sometimes nearly
drowned the hurrahs. Said one officer, “It was heartrending. If we had
let ourselves go, we would have cried our way to the dock.” But in the
war the record of the California troops was one that gave new honor to
their state.

Annexation of Hawaii

“The Hawaiian Islands,” said Walt Whitman, in the Overland Monthly,
“are not a group. They are a string of rare and precious pearls in the
sapphire center of the great American seas. Some day we shall gather up
the pretty string of pearls and throw it merrily about the neck of the
beautiful woman who has her handsome head on the outside of the
big American Dollar, and they will be called the beautiful American
Islands.”

In 1893 the native queen of the islands was deposed by a revolution
conducted in a great measure by Americans living in Hawaii. A
provisional government was formed and an application made for annexation
to the United States. Through two presidential terms the matter was
discussed both in Congress and by the people all over the country.
Many were against extending our possessions beyond the mainland in any
direction. Others thought it unfair to the natives of the islands to
take their lands against their will. It seemed to be pretty well proved,
however, that the native government was not for the advancement and best
interests of the country, and that in a short time these kindly, gentle
people would have to give up their valuable possessions to some stronger
power.

Captain Mahan, writing of these conditions, said: “These islands are the
key to the Pacific. For a foreign nation to hold them would mean that
our Pacific ports and our Pacific commerce would be at the mercy of that
nation.”

In the early part of the Spanish war (July, 1898) the resolution for the
annexation of the Hawaiian Islands was passed by Congress and approved
by President McKinley, and the string of pearls was cast about
Columbia’s fair neck.

Pius Fund

It seems strange that the first case to be tried in the peace court of
the nations at the Hague should have been in regard to the Pius Fund of
the Californias collected by the Jesuit padres two hundred and thirty
years before, to build missions for the Indians of California. The way
in which this money was obtained is described in Chapter IV of this
history. It grew to be a large sum, of which the Mexican government took
control, paying the interest to the Roman Catholic Church in Upper and
Lower California. After the Mexican war, Mexico refused to pay its share
to the Church of Upper California. The United States took up the matter,
claiming that according to the treaty which closed the war, the Catholic
Church of the state of California had a right to its Mexican property.

In 1868 it was agreed by the two countries to leave the matter to the
decision of Sir Edward Thornton, English ambassador at Washington. He
decided that Mexico should pay an amount equal to one half the interest
since the war. Mexico did this, but had paid nothing during all the
years which had passed since that time. To settle the dispute finally,
it was decided to leave it to arbitration by the Hague court. The
verdict given was that Mexico should pay the Roman Catholic Church of
California $1,400,000 for the past, and one half the interest on the
fund each year from February, 1903, forever.

Panama Canal

The natural result of the nation’s need in the Civil War was the
overland railroad. The danger to the Oregon on its long journey,
the difficulties in getting reinforcements to Admiral Dewey, and the
possession of new lands in the Pacific led to decided action in regard
to the building of a ship canal through the Isthmus of Panama.

For years the plan had been talked over. In General Grant’s first term
as President he saw so plainly our need of this water way, that he
arranged a canal treaty with Colombia, and it seemed as though the work
would soon begin, but the Colombian government refused to allow the
matter to go on, hoping to make better terms with the United States.
This was not possible then, so the plan was not carried out. Later,
a French company undertook to build a canal across Panama, but after
several years of work failed.

Many of the Americans favored the route through Nicaragua, but after the
government had spent much money and time in considering carefully both
propositions, the preference was given to the Panama route. In 1902 an
act for the building of the canal was passed by Congress and approved by
President Roosevelt. It provided, however, that should the President be
unable to obtain a satisfactory title to the French company’s work and
the necessary territory from the republic of Colombia on reasonable
terms and in a reasonable time, he should seek to secure the Nicaragua
route. The matter was almost settled, when again Colombia’s greed got
the better of her judgment and she refused to ratify the compact.

When the people of the province of Panama saw that they were likely to
lose their canal through the action of their government, they promptly
revolted and declared themselves independent of Colombia. The United
States recognized their independence, and a satisfactory treaty was at
once concluded with them. In March, 1904, the commission appointed by
the President for building the canal sailed for the Isthmus.

Nearly one fourth of the work had already been done by the old company,
but there was yet a great deal to do. Besides the actual building of the
canal, its dams and locks, the fever district had to be made healthful
enough for workmen to live there, marshes had to be drained, pure
water brought in from the mountains, and the fever-spreading mosquitoes
killed. In addition to all this, the natives of the land and the many
bands of workmen of different races had to be brought into an orderly,
law-abiding condition. In less than a year it was found necessary to
alter the commission, the President choosing this time men particularly
noted for their energy and power to make things go. The work progressed
with great rapidity, until, in August, 1914, the canal was opened to
navigation.

The Orient

In the latter part of the nineteenth century the eastern portion of Asia
began to stir itself, rising up from the sleepy, shut-in life it had
led for hundreds of years. The eyes of the world watched in wonder the
progress of the war between China and Japan (1894-95). In it was fought
the first battle in which modern war vessels were engaged. It was found
that the Japanese, of whom so little was then known, could fight, and
fight well.

As a result of the war, China ceded to Japan the territory of Manchuria
and the right to protect Korea. Russia and Germany objected, however,
and France agreed with them, so Japan had to give way. Soon Russia began
taking possession of the disputed territories, but she had constant
trouble with Japan, and early in 1904 war broke out. Before the close
of the year the civilized world stood astonished not only at the wisdom,
patriotism, and fighting qualities of the Japanese, but also at their
humanity, which would not have discredited a Christian nation.

There took place a series of great battles, both on land and on the sea,
in which the Japanese were generally victorious. The terrible loss of
life and destruction of property led the President of the United States,
in the spring of 1905, to urge upon the two countries that fighting
cease and peace be arranged.

Few statesmen believed that Mr. Roosevelt would be successful in his
humane endeavor, but he pushed his suggestion with patient perseverance
until, in September, 1905, Americans had the satisfaction of witnessing
upon their soil, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the signing of the treaty
of peace between Russia and Japan.

Japan’s methods of conducting the war had advanced her to a standing
among nations which she had never before occupied, and all realized the
wisdom of securing commercial relations with her people, who were so
rapidly adopting the habits and customs of the rest of the civilized
world. In this competition for her commerce, California, by her position
on the western shore of the United States, has unusual advantages, a
fact which was soon proved by the amount of money invested in increasing
her facilities for production and manufacturing. Unfortunately little
has yet been done in the matter of shipbuilding, and few vessels which
enter her harbors have been built in the state.

Some Recent Events

“I’ll put a girdle around the earth in forty minutes,” prophesied Puck
in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The boastful fairy did not succeed in
accomplishing this wonder until midnight on the Fourth of July, 1903. On
that day the Pacific cable from the United States to Hawaii, to Midway
Island, to Guam, and to Manila, began operations. The men worked hard
that last day of the cable laying, and by 11 P.M. the President of the
United States sent a message to Governor Taft at Manila. Soon after was
the old prophecy fulfilled, when President Roosevelt, no doubt with Puck
at his elbow, sent a message round the world in twenty minutes, thus
bettering Puck’s idea by half.

The saddest year in California’s records is that of 1906. On the morning
of April 18, a great and overwhelming calamity overtook the beautiful
region around San Francisco Bay. A movement of the earth’s crust which
began in the bottom of the ocean far out from land, reached the coast
in the vicinity of Tomales Bay in Marin County. Wrecking everything
that came in its direct path, it shivered its way in a southeasterly
direction to a point somewhere in the northern part of Monterey County.
The land on the two sides of the fault moved a short distance in
opposite directions. Thus in some straight fences and roads crossing the
fault, one section was found to be shifted as much as sixteen feet to
one side of the other. The severe vibrations set up by this break and
shifting extended a long distance in all directions.

Although the earthquake was by no means so severe in San Francisco as
in the region of Tomales Bay or even in the vicinity of Stanford, Santa
Rosa, San Jose, or Agnews, it caused greater loss of life and property
on account of the crowded population. Many buildings were wrecked,
especially those poorly constructed on land reclaimed from swampy soil
or built up by filling in.

People who had prophesied that, should an earthquake come, the high
buildings such as those of the Call and the Chronicle would surely
collapse, were astonished to see those giant structures apparently
unharmed while buildings of much less height, but without the steel
framework, were completely wrecked.

The earthquake was a sad calamity, but had this been the sum of the
disaster the city would only have paused in its progress long enough to
clear away the wreck and to sorrow with the mourners. It was the fires
which sprang up while the water system was too damaged to be of use that
wiped out old historical San Francisco, leaving in its place a waste of
gray ashes and desolate ruins. Santa Rosa, San Jose, Stanford, Agnews,
all suffered severely from the earthquake; but in few cases did fires
arise to add to their loss. The State Insane Asylum at Agnews, which was
built on swampy ground, was a complete wreck with large loss of life.

The marvelous bravery and cheerfulness with which the people of
San Francisco bore their cruel fate gave a lesson in courage and
unselfishness to humanity. The magnificent generosity with which not
only the people of southern and northern California, but of the whole
country, sprang to the relief of the unhappy city gave a silver lining
to the black cloud of disaster.

Before the embers of their ruined homes had ceased to smoke the people
began the work of rebuilding, and at the time of the visit of the
Atlantic fleet of the United States navy in 1908, business had so
revived as to be almost normal, and the welcome accorded the silent
vessels in white by the gallant City of St. Francis was as hearty and
generous as any that greeted them during their progress.

October, 1909, was marked by two events of importance to San Francisco.
One was the visit of President Taft, to whom the great state of
California had given all its electoral votes. The second was the
celebration, at the same time, of the discovery of the bay, which
occurred in the fall of 1769, the founding of the presidio and mission,
which took place in the fall of 1776, and the rebuilding of the burned
district. On this occasion the people of San Francisco and their guests
gave themselves up to a time of merrymaking--a three days’ historical
carnival called, in honor of the commander of the expedition during
which the great bay was discovered, the “Portola Festival.”

In 1915 the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San
Francisco. It contained many novel and beautiful features, and was
attended by vast multitudes of people. Another notable exposition was
held at San Diego, beginning in 1915 and continuing in 1916.



Chapter XII

“The Groves Were God’s First Temples”



If the people of this century continue the destruction of trees as they
are doing at present, a hundred years from now this will be a world
without forests, a woodless, treeless waste. What a desolate picture is
this! What a grave charge will the people of the future have to bring
against us that we recklessly destroy the trees, one of God’s most
beautiful and useful gifts to man, without even an endeavor to replace
the loss by replanting!

During the last hundred years the American lumber belt has moved
westward over a wide space. In the early days of our history nearly the
entire supply came from Maine, and what interesting stories we have
of those brave pioneer loggers and settlers! Gradually the noble woods
which furnished the tall, smooth masts for which American ships were
famous, were destroyed; and the ringing ax blows were then heard in the
forests about the Great Lakes and in the middle Southern states. This
supply is by no means exhausted, but to-day the heart of the lumber
interest is on the Pacific coast.

Around the great central valley which is drained by the Sacramento and
the San Joaquin rivers, six hundred and forty miles long, lie mountain
ranges on whose slopes are some of the noblest forests of the world.
To the north of the central valley the trees of the east and west join,
forming a heavily wooded belt quite across the state.

In the trade, the greatest demand is for lumber of the pine and fir
trees, and of these California has as many species as Europe and Asia
combined. She has, indeed, only a little less than one fifth of all the
lumber supply of the United States. Her most valuable tree for commerce
is the sugar pine. It attains a diameter of twelve feet or more and
is often two hundred feet high. But the most interesting trees of
California and of the world are the Sequoias, the oldest of all living
things. Very far back, in the time of which we have no written history,
in the moist days of gigantic vegetation and animals, the Sequoias
covered a large portion of the earth’s surface; then came the great ice
overflow, and when that melted away, almost the only things living of
the days of giants were the Sequoias of middle and upper California, and
those on some two thousand acres over the Oregon line.

The Sequoia sempervirens, which is commonly called redwood, is
distributed along the Coast Range, the trees thriving only when they
are constantly swept by the sea fogs. For lumber this tree is nearly
as valuable as the sugar pine. From Eureka to San Diego, this is the
material of which most of the houses are built. Because of its rich
color and the high polish it takes, especially the curly and grained
portions, its value for cabinet work is being more and more appreciated.
On account of the presence of acid and the absence of pitch and rosin
in its composition, it resists fire and is therefore a safe wood for
building. When the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco, a six-story building
of brick and wood, burned down, two redwood water tanks on the top of
the only brick wall that was left standing, were found to be hardly
charred and quite water-tight.

It is the redwood which furnishes the largest boards for the lumber
trade. Not long ago a man in the lumber region built his office of six
boards taken from one of the trees. The boards were twelve by fourteen
feet, and there was one for each wall, one for the floor, and one for
the ceiling. Windows and doors were cut out where desired.

In the heart of the redwood and pine forests there are some thirty mill
plants, and they own about half of the timber district. The methods of
lumbering are exceedingly wasteful. Scarcely half of the standing timber
of a tract is taken by the loggers and what is left is often burned or
totally neglected. Replanting is unthought of and the young trees are
treated as a nuisance.

Three fourths of the forests of California grow upon side hills,
generally with an incline of from fifteen to thirty degrees. When the
trees are gone, therefore, the rain soon washes away the soil, leaving
the rocks bare. When the next rainy season comes, the water, not being
able to sink into the earth, and so gradually find its way to the
streams, rushes down the hillsides in torrents, flooding the smaller
water courses. Then the rivers rise and overflow, causing great damage
to property; but their waters quickly subside, and when the dry season
comes they have not sufficient depth for the passage of ships of
commerce. The total destruction of the forests would soon destroy the
navigability of the principal water highways of the state, while
another serious result would be the lessening of the water supply for
irrigation.

The second variety of the Sequoia, the gigantea, or “big tree,” as it is
called, grows much farther inland than the redwood, being found on the
western slopes of the Sierras. There are ten separate groves of these
trees, from the little company of six in southern Placer County to
the southernmost Sequoia, two hundred and sixty miles away on the Tule
River. The whole put together would not make more than a few hundred
thousand of extra-sized trees, and of the giants themselves not more
than five hundred. These rise as high as three hundred and fifty feet,
and are from twenty to thirty feet through. Near the Yosemite the stage
road passes through the hollow center of one of those monsters. In a
grove owned by the government some cavalry men, with their horses, lined
up on a “big tree” log, and it easily held fourteen, each horse’s nose
touching the next one’s tail.

How old these trees may be is yet unsettled, but Mr. John Muir, their
intimate friend and companion, tells of one which was felled which
showed by its rings that it was 2200 years old. Another which had blown
down was fully 4000 years old. Later investigation makes it seem not
unlikely that some have existed for even 5000 years. It seems a sin to
destroy a living thing of that age.

The great basin of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which contains a large
collection of the Sequoia sempervirens, belongs to the United States
government. So, too, do the Mariposa grove of Sequoia gigantea, and the
General Grant park, and Tuolumne grove, each of which contains a small
number of fine specimens of the big trees. These properties will be
protected, but all other groves, in which are the giant Sequoias, are
in great danger. There has recently been a movement by the government
toward purchasing the Calaveras grove, which has the finest collection
of the big trees known, but nothing decided has been done. Meantime
there are a number of mills engaged in devouring this noble forest.

Unless the people of California take up the matter with earnestness
and energy, the state and the United States will stand disgraced before
mankind for letting these wonders of the world, these largest and oldest
of all living things, be destroyed for the lumber they will make. They
should be purchased by the government and protected, then some movement
should be started in all lumber districts by which waste in logging may
be done away with, young trees protected and cleared, and forest land
replanted with suitable trees. The law excluding cattle and sheep from
the forests is already proving its wisdom by the new growth of young
trees. Only among the giant Sequoias of the Tule and King’s River
district are there to be found baby trees of that species.

The lumber trade is one of the most interesting and necessary industries
of the state. Work in the camp is healthful and well paid. Many a
delicate boy or young man in the city would grow strong and healthy and
live a much longer time if he would cast his lot with the hardy choppers
and cutters of the great forest of the Pacific slope. A logging crew
consists of thirty men, including two cooks. The discipline is as rigid
as that of a military system; each man knows his own particular duties,
and must attend to them promptly and faithfully. Trees are not chopped
down, as used to be the custom; with the exception of a little chopping
on either edge, a saw run by two men does the work. Oxen are seldom
used, as in early days on the Atlantic coast, to haul out the logs,
for they have given way to “donkeys,”--not the long-eared, loud-voiced
little animals, but the powerful, compact donkey-engines.

Lumber schooners and steamers are the chief features of our coast
traffic. Almost all the large cities of the Pacific coast owe their
foundation and prosperity to this trade. San Francisco and Eureka in
Humboldt County are the principal ports of the trade. Mendocino has a
rock-bound coast, with no harbors, but she has fine forests. Here the
lumber steamer secures its cargo by means of suspended wire chutes as
trolleys. The outer end of the trolley wire is anchored in the ocean,
the wire crosses the deck of the moored steamer, the slack being taken
up to the ship’s gaff, thus making a tight wire up and down which the
trolley car with its load is sent.

Sometimes a great raft made of lumber is taken in tow by a steamer
loaded with the same material and they start on a voyage down the coast,
but this is a dangerous venture. If the sea becomes rough the raft may
break loose from the steamer and go plunging over the waves, no one
knows where. The brave captains of our coasting vessels fear nothing so
much as a timber raft adrift which may crash into a vessel at any moment
and against which there is no way of guarding.



Chapter XIII

To All that Sow the Time of Harvest Should be Given



In all but savage countries, wheat is the most important product of the
soil, A large proportion of human beings living on the earth to-day are
so poverty-stricken as to make the question of food a matter of anxiety
for every day. The prayer for bread unites more voices than any other.

The padres who settled California understood this well. A number of
bushels of wheat, snugly incased in leather sacks, formed a precious
part of the cargo of the San Carlos, that stout Spanish vessel which
in 1769 brought the first settlers to California. This seed-wheat
was divided among the early missions and as soon as possible was
planted--not with success at first. For a time the padres made little
progress in crop raising. They had to learn by their failures. In San
Diego the first wheat planted was sown in the river bottom and the seed
was carried entirely away by the rising of the stream in the winter; and
the next year, which proved to be a dry one, it was planted so far from
the water that it was almost all destroyed by drought. At San Gabriel
the first crop was drowned out, but the second, planted on the plain
where it could be irrigated, was a success. San Gabriel was chief
among the missions for wheat raising, and was called the “mother of
agriculture.”

Grain planting and harvesting, in the days of the padres, differed
widely from the methods which prevail to-day. Then the ground was plowed
once or twice, but in what manner? A yoke of oxen, guided by an Indian,
dragged a plow with an iron point made by an Indian blacksmith. If iron
could not be obtained, the point was of oak. Seed, which had been
first soaked in lye, was sown by hand, broadcast, and harrowed in with
branches of trees. The grain was cut by the Indians with knives and
sickles. It was afterward placed on the hardened floor of a circular
corral made for the purpose, and into it was turned a band of horses
which were urged to a run by the shouts and whips of the Indian
vaqueros. After running one way they were frightened into turning and
going the other. In this manner the grain was trampled out of the husks.
It was freed from the chaff by being thrown high in the air by the
shovelful, when the wind was blowing hard enough to carry away the light
straw.

Next, the grain was washed and dried, then ground, generally between
two stones bolted together. A pole for a handle was also fastened by
the bolt, and the stone was turned, sometimes by mules, sometimes by
Indians. La Perouse, the French scientist who visited the coast in 1786
and gave to the padres of San Carlos a handmill for grinding grain, said
that it would enable four Indian women to do the work of a hundred by
the old way. Before many years the padres at San Gabriel built a water
mill of stone and adobe which ground grain in large quantities, but not
with entire success, until Chapman, the first American in that region,
gave them his assistance to perfect the machinery. This interesting
building has been restored by Mr. H. E. Huntington and is an object of
interest to those who visit San Gabriel.

In 1815 the missions raised enough wheat to supply the whole population,
and there was even an attempt to ship grain to Mexico. This was a
failure, but a little grain was sold to the Russians at Fort Ross. At
the time of the change in the mission settlements, when the padres were
sent away, all agriculture declined. During the Mexican War and when the
crowd of gold seekers came, there was very little grain or flour to be
had. Some of the gold hunters, who had been farmers in the East, failing
to find a fortune in the river sands, and seeing the lack of food
stuffs, went back to their old occupation. They put in crops of wheat
and barley along the waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin, and were
amazed at the fertility of the soil and the success of their venture.

From this time the cultivation of wheat increased rapidly. In 1899 was
harvested the largest crop recorded. After that there was a decline in
wheat raising, because many farmers planted much of their grain lands to
fruit for canning and drying. To California inventors is due the credit
of substituting steam for hand labor in planting and harvesting grain.

Let us look at the busy scene on a grain field in the California of
to-day. It is fall or early winter, and the time for planting has
arrived. Into the field, which is several thousands of acres in extent,
comes a great engine, one that does not need a track to run upon. Over
the ground it rolls. With strength equal to fifty horses it draws behind
it sixteen ten-inch plows, four six-foot harrows, and a press drill to
match. It takes only a few men to manage it, and in a short time it has
plowed, harrowed, and sown the broad acres; nothing is left to do until
the harvest time arrives.

When the grain is ripe, there comes another great machine. This is the
harvester, whose knives or cutters may be as much as twenty-six feet
wide. This one machine cuts off the heads of wheat, thrashes them,
cleans the grain, and sacks it, clearing seventy-five acres in a day,
leaving on the fields the piles of sacked wheat ready for market. It
is most interesting to watch one of these giants of steel and iron
traveling over the uneven ground, crossing ditches, crawling along side
hills, without any trouble or change of pace, gathering in the ripe
grain, turning it out snugly tucked away in the brown gunny-sacks
waiting for its long journey by ship or car. How the padres would wonder
if they could see it working!

The grain of the California wheat is white and soft, and contains much
gluten. No matter what hard red or yellow varieties are brought from
other countries and planted here, in a year or two they change to the
California type. It is not certainly known what causes this peculiarity.
The grain most in favor through the state is called “club wheat” from
the form of the head, which is blockshaped, instead of long and slender.
The “club wheat” holds fast its grain so that it can be harvested
without falling to the ground, which, in so dry a climate, is a great
point in its favor.

Wheat is raised all over the state, both on high and on low land. Some
of the largest grain ranches are along the tule lands around Stockton.
These were marshes once, but have been drained, and now are choice grain
fields. Wheat was first sent out of the state to England as ballast for
returning ships, but the trade gradually increased until there are
now over one hundred of the finest sailing vessels engaged in it.
Unfortunately, few of these vessels are American, perhaps but one
fourth. It is a pity that our countrymen should not benefit more by this
trade. During the grain season at most of the Pacific ports the flag
of nearly every nation on earth is represented. All styles of shipping,
from the largest modern steamer to the smallest ocean sailing vessel,
are then to be found in the harbors of the coast.

Grain is carried to the docks in barges, schooners, or on cars, and is
seldom shipped except in sacks. Wheat, unless it needs to be cleaned or
graded, is kept in the sack in which it leaves the home field. To watch
the grain being loaded in the ship is a sight well worth seeing. If the
wharf, or car, or warehouse where it lies is higher than the deck of the
vessel on which it is to be shipped, the sacks are placed on an inclined
chute down which they descend to the hold of the ship. If the deck of
the vessel is the higher, sometimes an endless belt, run by electricity,
is placed in a chute, the sacks are laid on the belt, and so carried to
their resting place.

In loading wheat for export, a number of sacks in each row are bled;
that is, a slit is made in the sack which allows a small quantity of
grain to escape and fill the spaces round the corners and sides of the
sack, thus making a compact cargo which is not liable to shift. At Port
Costa is located a grader, where, when necessary wheat can be cleaned
and graded; here also are many large warehouses.

For a long time about two thirds of the wheat crop of the state was
sent to Ireland, but now our new lands in the Pacific take much of
it. California has an immense trade in wheat that has been ground into
flour. Over six million dollars’ worth of flour is shipped each year,
nearly three fourths of it going to China, Japan, and the islands of the
Pacific.

It is believed by scientific agriculturists that better results will be
obtained in wheat raising as smaller ranches become the rule, where the
farmer can give more attention to the needs of the grain, adding what
is necessary to the soil. Often the alternation of crops increases the
yield--wheat doing much better if planted where beans or other legumes
were raised the year before. Where the grain fields are not so large,
irrigation can be depended upon instead of the rainfall, and crops then
are sure and more even in quantity.

Barley is the grain next in importance to wheat in California. It can
be raised where wheat can not, as it needs less moisture for its
development; and if the rains fail, it can be cut for hay which always
brings a good price. Barley hay, with the heads on, is in California the
chief food of horses, and in many cases of cattle. A horse for ordinary
work fed on barley hay gets all the grain necessary. If on account
of heavier work, stronger food is required, rolled barley is given in
addition. A large quantity of the better graded barley grain raised in
the state is used by the brewers for malt.

Corn does not do so well through the state in general, but in some
locations it is justly claimed that a man can ride on horseback down
the rows of corn without being seen over the tops. This, too, the padres
brought into the state. The tortilla, the common food of the Spanish
settlers, was made of coarse-ground or pounded corn.

Alfalfa, the wonderful forage plant of dry regions of the West, is a
member of the clover family. Throughout the southern and middle portion
of California are large ranches devoted to its culture for hay. It
is also raised extensively for green feed for horses and cattle. It
produces from three to six crops a year according to location and care
given it, and is treated for the market much the same as barley hay,
except that it is generally made into smaller bales. Alfalfa is
raised by irrigation, the best method being from flumes opening into
indentations, not so deep as furrows, from which the water spreads,
flooding the whole surface.

Many a California young man from high school gets his first taste of
work away from home in the harvest fields. Generally this is a good
experience for him. He receives some pretty hard knocks, and sees the
rough side of life, but if he has self-control and good principles, he
will be the better for the venture, returning more manly, earnest, and
self-reliant.



Chapter XIV

The Golden Apples of the Hesperides



The orange, like many other of California’s most valuable products,
was brought into the country by the patient, far-seeing padres. Orange,
lemon, and citron, those three gay cousins of royal blood, traveled
together, and soon were to be found in many of the mission gardens. The
most extensive of that early planting was an orchard at San Gabriel,
set out by Padre Sanchez in 1804. In the height of its prosperity,
this mission is recorded as having two thousand three hundred and
thirty-three fruit trees, a large proportion of which were orange
trees. San Fernando had sixteen hundred trees. San Diego had its orange
orchard: how many trees is not recorded, but its olive grove numbered
five hundred and seventeen flourishing trees. Santa Inez had nearly a
thousand trees. As early as 1800 Santa Barbara and San Buenaventura also
had valuable orchards.

Outside the missions the first orange trees in any number were planted
in 1834, the famous Wolfskill grove in 1841. By 1862 there were about
twenty-five thousand trees of this variety in the state, and two thirds
of these belonged to Wolfskill, of Los Angeles. A little later several
large orchards were planted in the region around the Mission San
Gabriel. In Riverside, often called the mother of orange culture in the
state, the first seeds were planted in 1870, the first trees from these
seeds in 1873, and from that period is dated the beginning of extensive
planting. This was largely the work of colonists. About the time the
orchards came into bearing, the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe
Overland were completed, so that an Eastern market was gained for the
fruit, with the result that the new industry fairly bounded forward. So
much was sometimes made from an acre of trees that it seemed as though
people could not get land and plant fast enough. Occasionally an income
was reported of three thousand dollars from an acre, and eight hundred
to one thousand dollars per acre was not an uncommon crop.

Although at this time there were a few orange trees in the middle and
northern parts of the state, for many years it was supposed that only
the southern country could raise this fruit suitable for the market, but
to-day people know better. Excellent oranges are grown as far north as
Shasta, and Butte County, which leads in the northern orange culture,
has a number of large and valuable orchards. From Tulare County and
other parts of the valley of the San Joaquin, choice fruit is being
shipped to the markets of the East. From San Diego all the way up
the state one may find trees of the citrus family flourishing; still,
whether north or south, in planting an orange orchard, the greatest care
has to be taken in the choice of location. Jack Frost is the enemy to be
avoided, and generally in any strip of country the lower lands are the
ones he visits first. So the highlands are preferred, and even here the
currents of air must be studied. A strong, uninterrupted, downward sweep
of air from the snowcovered mountains will often, at night, drive away
the needed warmth gathered during the day, so that land protected by
some mountain spur which makes an eddy in the current is the best for
this heat-loving fruit.

There are several popular varieties of the orange. The Valencia late is
being planted by many in preference to others because, besides being a
fine fruit, it keeps well, ripening when the days begin to be long
and hot, and is therefore doubly welcome. The sweet orange from the
Mediterranean country, and the St. Michael, with its paper rind, are
also favorites, as are the delicious little Mandarin and Tangerine
varieties, with their thin skin and high flavor; but the king of them
all is the Washington navel, which has gained for the state its high
position as an orange-raising territory. This is not a new variety,
though many may believe it so. A book published in Rome over three
hundred years ago gives an interesting description and pictures of this
and other kinds of oranges and the way they should be raised. The title
of this rare old volume is “Hesperides, or about the Golden Apples,
their Culture and Use.” Among its many fine illustrations is one of
Hercules receiving the golden apples. Another shows the bringing of the
fruit to Italy by a body of nymphs and goddesses in Neptune’s car. Mr.
Charles F. Lummis has translated portions of the book in the California
magazine Out West.

On its travels the navel orange finally reached Bahia, Brazil, and
there, sometime during the Civil War in the United States, a lady
who, it is said, was the wife of the American consul, discovered the
deliciousness of this fruit. So pleased was she that she determined to
share her enjoyment with others; so upon her return to her own country,
she described this orange to Mr. Saunders, head of the government’s
experimental farm at Washington. He became interested in the subject,
sent to Bahia, and had twelve navel trees propagated by budding. These
were shipped to Washington, where they arrived safely, and were placed
in the orangery there. They all grew, and from them a large number of
trees were budded.

Still they had not reached California. Bringing them to the Pacific
coast was also the work of a woman. Mrs. Tibbetts, wife of a fruit
grower of Riverside, was visiting in Washington and to her Mr. Saunders
presented two navel orange trees, which she brought home with her. They
were planted beside her doorstep in Riverside. The trees grew rapidly,
and when they bore fruit it did not take the California orange growers
long to discover that here they had a treasure of more value than the
largest nugget of gold ever found in the state.

It was at a citrus fair in Riverside in 1879 that this golden king first
appeared before the world. Then from all over southern California came
orange men to get buds from these trees. Back home they went with the
precious bits of life. Acres of seedling oranges were quickly shorn of
their green crowns. Cut, cut, went knife and shears till only the stock
was left, and then into a carefully made slit in the bark was placed the
navel bud. It soon sprouted, and everywhere one could see the stranger
growing sturdily on its adopted stem. Thousands of buds were sold from
the two parent trees until there were hundreds of thousands of their
beautiful children growing all over the state, giving golden harvests.

If we owe to two ladies the success of orange culture in California, it
was a third who saved the industry when ruin threatened it. For a
while all went merrily with the orange grower; then in some way,
from Australia, there came into the country an insect pest called the
cushiony scale, which settled on the orange trees and seemed likely to
destroy them. “What can be done to save our trees?” was the cry from
the people of the southland. What they did was to bring from Australia
a different visitor, the dainty bug called the ladybird. She was eagerly
welcomed. No one dreamed of bidding her, in the words of the old nursery
rhyme, “fly away home.” She was carried to the diseased orchards, where
she settled on the scale, and as it was her favorite food, she soon
had the trees clean again. In time other pests came to trouble vine
and fruit growers, but it is interesting to know that scientists
nearly always succeeded in finding some insect enemy of the troublesome
visitor, which would help the horticulturist out of his difficulties.

In the business of orange-growing, success is due in a large measure to
care in the picking, packing, and shipping of the fruit--care even
in those little things that seem almost of no consequence. The more
particular Californians are to ship only the best fruit in the best
condition and properly packed, the higher prices will the fruit bring,
the higher reputation the state gain.

The lemon industry comes closely second to the orange. This fruit does
not need so much heat as does the orange, but neither can it stand
so much cold. It needs more water, but it bears more fruit and can be
marketed the year round. The lemons not sold as fresh fruit are made
to yield such products as citric acid, oil of lemon, from which cooking
essences are made, and candied lemon peel. In this latter branch of the
trade, however, the citron is more generally used, though it is not of
so delicate a flavor.

The pomelo, or grape fruit, is fast gaining in favor and increasing in
value.

To the stranger who visits California the orange is the most interesting
of trees. To pick an orange with her own hands, and to pin on her breast
a bunch of the fragrant blossoms, is to an Eastern woman one of the most
pleasant experiences of her visit to the Golden State.

In the history of the growth of southern California, and especially of
its orange culture, the use of water on the soil plays a prominent part.
It was the discovery that the most sandy and unpromising-looking land
became a miracle of fertility when subjected to the irrigating stream,
that caused the wonderful prosperity of the dry portions of the state.

Irrigation, which means the turning of water from a well, spring, or
stream, upon land to promote the growth of plant life, has been used by
mankind for thousands of years. In Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico,
there are remains of irrigation canals made by people who lived so long
ago that we know nothing of their history.

The padres who settled California were adepts in this science. In
founding a mission they always chose its site near some stream, the
water of which could be turned upon the cultivated fields; and the dams,
canals, and reservoirs which the padres constructed were so well built
that many of them have lasted until the present time.

It will seem strange to many people to learn that the highest-priced,
most fertile farm lands in the United States are not to be found in the
rich valleys of the Eastern states or the prairies of the middle West,
but in the dry region between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Colorado, which belongs to the land of little rain, has in proportion to
its size the richest mines of any state in the Union, yet the product of
its farms, all irrigated, equals the output of its mineral wealth.

All the flourishing towns of southern California depend for their
wonderful prosperity upon the fertility of the irrigated country
surrounding them.

Trees and plants require water for their growth, but they do not
all need it in like quantity, nor at the same time; therefore, the
scientific farmer on arid lands, where there is an abundance of water
for irrigation, has an immense advantage over his Eastern brother who
depends for water upon the rainfall alone.

While the valuable raisin crop of the Californian is drying in the sun
and the slightest shower would damage, or perhaps ruin it, just beyond
lies the orange orchard, the trees of which are suffering for water.
The fruit, the size of a large walnut, is still hard and green, and must
have an abundance of the life-giving liquid if it is to develop into the
rich yellow orange, filled with delicious juice, which adorns the New
Year’s market. How would our ranchman prosper if he depended upon rain?
As it is, he furrows his orchard from its highest to its lowest level;
then into the flume which runs parallel with the highest boundary of
the grove he turns the water from pipe or reservoir, and opening the
numerous little slide-doors or sluice-gates of the flume, soon has the
satisfaction of seeing each furrow the bed of a running stream, the
water of which sinks slowly, steadily, down to the roots of the thirsty
trees. After the water has been flowing in this manner for some hours,
it is shut off, for it has done enough work. In a day or two the
ranchman runs the cultivator over the ground of the orchard, leaving the
soil fine and crumbly and the trees in perfect condition for another six
or eight weeks of growth.

The first attempts of the American immigrant at irrigation were very
simple--just the making of a furrow turning the water of a stream upon
his land. Then, as he desired to cultivate more land and raise larger
crops, his ditches had to be longer, often having branches. Soon
neighbors came in and settled above and below him. They too used of
the stream; there was no law to control selfishness, so there were
disagreements and bitter quarrels over the water. Lawsuits followed and
sometimes even fighting and murders. The remedy for this state of things
was found to be in a company ditch, flume, or reservoir, with the use of
water controlled by fixed laws.

There are some crops, notably grapes, which are grown without
irrigation. The grapevine, instead of being treated as a climber, is
each year trimmed back to the main stem, which thus becomes a strong
woody stalk, often a foot or more in circumference, quite capable of
withstanding the heat and dryness of the atmosphere and of drawing from
the soil all the nourishment needed for the fruit.

Wheat, barley, and oats, both as grain and as hay, are largely raised
without irrigation. Olives, and many deciduous trees, by careful
cultivation may flourish without water other than the rainfall; yet
notwithstanding this, for a home in southern California, land without a
good water-right is of little value.

The wealth of the region is in a great measure in its expensive water
system, which, by means of reservoirs, dams, ditches, flumes, and
pipes, gathers the water from the mountain streams and conveys it to the
thirsty land below.



Chapter XV

California’s other Contributions to the World’s Bill of Fare



By 1874 people in the Eastern states had begun to talk of California
canned fruits. Apricots and the large white grape found ready sale, but
California raisins, though on the market, were not in demand. That line
from the old game “Malaga raisins are very fine raisins and figs from
Smyrna are better,” represented the idea of the public; and figs,
raisins, and prunes eaten in the United States all came from abroad. But
how is it to-day?

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners of our Eastern friends owe much to
California. She sends the seedless raisins, candied orange and lemon
peel, the citron and beet sugar for the mince pies and plum puddings.
Her cold-storage cars carry to the winter-bound states the delicious
white celery of the peat lands, snow-white heads of cauliflower, crisp
string beans, sweet young peas, green squash, cucumbers, and ripe
tomatoes. For the salads are her olives and fresh lettuce dressed with
the golden olive oil of the Golden State. Of ripe fruits, she sends
pears, grapes, oranges, pomegranates. For desserts, she supplies great
clusters of rich sugary raisins, creamy figs, stuffed prunes, and
soft-shelled almonds and walnuts. All these and other delicacies
California gives toward the holiday making in the East.

But it is not only to the homes of the wealthy that she carries good
cheer; to people who have very little money to spend, and those who
are far away from civilization, as soldiers, surveyors, woodmen, and
road-builders, California’s products go to help make palatable fare.
To these her canned meats, fish, and vegetables, and canned and dried
fruits, are very welcome.

The canneries and fruit-packing establishments of the state bring in
many millions of dollars each year and give employment to a host of
people, a large number of whom are women and young girls.

Most of the fruits California now raises came into the country with
the padres. Captain Vancouver tells us that he found at the Santa Clara
mission, at the time of his visit in 1792, a fine orchard consisting
of apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots; and at San Buenaventura all
these with the addition of oranges, grapes, and pomegranates. Alfred
Robinson describes the orchards and vineyards of San Gabriel mission as
very extensive. Wine and brandy were made at most of the missions, San
Fernando being especially noted for its brandy. Guadalupe Vallejo tells
of bananas plantains, sugar cane, citrons, and date palms growing at
the southern missions. Palm trees were planted “for their fruit, for the
honor of St. Francis, and for use on Palm Sunday.”

Not only did the padres enjoy fresh fruits from their gardens, but
raisins were dried from the grapes, citron, orange, and lemon peel were
candied, and much fruit was preserved. It is not recorded that they had
pumpkin pie in those days, but a small, fine-grained pumpkin was raised
extensively for preserves. It is still a favorite dainty among the
native Californians, and no Spanish dinner is complete without this
dulce, as it is called. Spanish-American housewives excel their American
sisters in the art of preserving. Pumpkin, peach, pear, fig, are all
treated in the same manner, being first soaked in lye, then thoroughly
washed and scalded in abundance of fresh water, and then cooked in a
very heavy sirup. The result of this treatment is that the outside
of the fruit is crisp and brittle, while the inside is creamy and
delicious.

The first of California’s dried fruits to come before the public was the
raisin. Raisins are merely the proper variety of grapes suitably dried.
Some think that they are dipped in sugar, but this is not the fact. The
only sugar is that contained in the juice of the grape, which should
be about one fourth sugar. The only raisin grape for general use is the
greenish variety called the Muscat. The rich purple or chocolate color
of the raisin of the market is caused by the action of the sun while
the raisin is being cured. If dried in the shade the fruit has a sickly
greenish hue. The seedless Sultana is a small grape, fast coming into
favor for a cooking raisin.

The proper planting of a raisin vineyard requires a large amount of care
and labor. But the summer is one long holiday, as there is little to do
to the vines from early May until August. Then comes picking time. From
all the country round gather men and women, boys and girls, and the work
begins.

To be a successful raisin grower and packer, one must take care in
all little things. The workman who neglects to cut from the branch the
imperfect or bad grapes, or who lays the fruit in the trays so that
it will be in heaps or overlapped, is apt to be soon discharged. After
about a week of exposure to the sun and air, the grapes are turned by
placing an empty tray over a full one, and reversing the positions. Then
after a few days longer in the sun, the fruit goes to the sweat-box, a
hundred pounds to the box, and is placed in a room in the packing house,
where it lies about ten days. The bunches go into this room unequally
dried, with still a look and taste of grape about them, but after this
sweating process they come out uniform in appearance, rich, sugary,
tempting,--the raisins of commerce, with little suggestion of the fruit
from which they came. Then they are boxed.

There are generally three grades: very choice clusters, ordinary and
imperfect bunches, and loose raisins. Raisins of the third class are
sent to the stemmer and a large proportion of them then go to the
seeder. Seeding raisins for mother and grandmother at holiday times
used to be the duty and pleasure of the older boys and girls of the
household. But seeding is now done by machinery. A machine will seed on
an average ten tons daily. Before entering the seeder the raisins are
subjected to a thorough brushing, by which every particle of dust is
removed. They are then run through rubber rollers which flatten the
fruit and press the seeds to the surface; then through another pair
of rollers, with wire teeth which catch and hold the seeds while the
raisins pass on down a long chute to the packing room, where women and
girls box them for market.

With all fruits the drying process is much the same, though peaches,
apples, and pears are first peeled. California figs, when dried,
sell well. This is a fruit which is growing in favor, whether fresh,
preserved, or dried. Fruit canning is an interesting process. The fruit
is not boiled in sirup and then placed in cans, as is frequently the
custom in home preserving, but when peeled it is placed directly in the
cans, in which it receives all its cooking and in which it is finally
marketed.

The raising of beets and the converting of them into sugar form an
industry which is growing rapidly, and is of the utmost importance to
the people of the Pacific slope.

The canning of fresh vegetables is a new industry which is bringing into
the state a steady stream of money, and in addition is proving a double
blessing to thousands of people, both those who gain from it their
living, and those who could not otherwise have vegetables for food. A
sailor said recently that if he could not be a sailor he would do the
next best thing--can vegetables for other sailors. When Galvez
received the order from the king of Spain to found settlements in
Upper California, one of the chief reasons for so doing was that fresh
vegetables might be raised for the sailors engaged in the Philippine
trade. To-day the Philippines use a large portion of California’s canned
goods.

In the southern counties olive orchards are being extensively planted.
Near San Fernando is the largest in the world, covering thirteen hundred
acres. Doctors have said that a liberal use of California olive oil will
do much to promote the good health of mankind, and it is thought by many
that the manufacture of olive oil will be one of the greatest industries
the state has known.

Nut raising is keeping pace with fruit in importance. To an Eastern
person it seems strange to see nut-bearing trees cultivated in orchards;
though profitable, this method does away with the pleasures of nutting
parties.

California’s crystallized fruits are in constant demand, especially for
the Christmas trade. This crystallizing is a process in which the juice
is extracted and replaced with sugar sirup, which hardens and preserves
the fruit from decay while still keeping the shape.

One sometimes reads the saying, “Fresno for raisins, Santa Clara for
cherries and prunes, and the northern counties and mountain-ranches for
apples.” But in fact, California’s fruit industries are well distributed
over the state, and the really excellent work which is being done in all
sections will still advance as the people learn more of the necessary
details and methods.

In spite of mistakes and experiments the steady progress on the
California ranches is being recognized. Of one of our leading fruit
growers, Mr. Eliwood Cooper of Santa Barbara, the Marquis of Lorne
writes in the Youth’s Companion: “He has shown that California can
produce better olive oil than France, Spain, or Italy, and English
walnuts and European almonds in crops of which the old country hardly
even dreams.”

A history of California’s products would be incomplete without a
reference to him who is called the “Wonder Worker of Santa Rosa.”
 “Magician! Conjurer!” are terms frequently applied to Mr. Luther
Burbank, the man who is acknowledged by the scientists of the world to
have done more with fruits and flowers than any other man. Mr. Burbank
waves his wand, and the native poppy turns to deepest crimson, the white
of the calla lily becomes a gorgeous yellow, rose and blackberry lose
their thorns, the cactus its spines. The meat of the walnut and almond
become richer in quality, while their shells diminish to the thinness of
a knife blade.

Yet in these seeming miracles there is nothing of “black art” or sleight
of hand. The experiments of this wonderful man, the surprising results
he gains, are obtained, first by a close study of the laws of nature,
then, where he desires change and improvement, by assisting her process,
often through years of closest application and unceasing toil. He is a
man of whom it is truthfully said, “He has led a life of hardships,
has sacrificed self at every point, that he might glorify and make more
beautiful the world around him.” Any boy or girl who knows something
of how plants grow and reproduce themselves will find great pleasure in
following Mr. Burbank’s simple methods.

It is only recently that his countrymen have begun to appreciate the
work of this great naturalist. A short time ago a resident of Berkeley,
a student and book-lover, one who knew Mr. Burbank but had given little
attention to his productions, was in Paris. While there he had the good
fortune to be present at a lecture delivered before a gathering of the
most eminent scientists of Europe. In the course of his address the
speaker had occasion to mention the name of Luther Burbank. Instantly
every man in the audience arose and stood a moment in silence, giving to
the simple mention of Mr. Burbank’s name the respect usually paid to the
presence of royalty. It is a name now known in all the languages of the
civilized world, and numbers of the wisest of the world’s citizens cross
the ocean solely to visit the busy plant-grower of Santa Rosa.

Luther Burbank was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1849, and while
yet a lad his strongest desire was to produce new plants better than
the old ones. His first experiment was with a vegetable. For the sake
of getting seed, he planted some Early Rose potatoes in his mother’s
garden. In the whole patch only one seed-ball developed, and this he
watched with constant care. Great was his disappointment, therefore,
when one morning, just as it was ready to be picked, he found that it
had disappeared. A careful search failed to recover the missing ball,
but as he thought the matter over, while at work, it struck Luther that
perhaps a dog had knocked it off in bounding through the garden. Looking
more carefully for it, he found the ball twenty feet away from the vine
on which it had hung. In it were twenty-three small, well-developed
seeds. These he planted with great care, and from one of them came
the first Burbank potatoes. The wealth of the country was materially
increased by this discovery; the wealth of the boy only to the amount of
one hundred and twenty-five dollars, which he used in attending a better
school than he had before been able to enjoy.

In 1875 Mr. Burbank, to secure, as he said, “a climate which should be
an ally and not an enemy to his work,” moved to Santa Rosa, California.
For ten years of poverty and severe toil he was engaged, for the sake
of a livelihood, in the nursery business, making, in the meantime, such
experiments as he had time for. During the next twenty years,
however, Mr. Burbank was able to give nearly his whole time to his
nature-studies. His energy is tireless, and his aim is to supply to
humanity something for beauty, sustenance, or commerce better than it
has possessed.

Perhaps among all his productions the greatest good to the world will
arise from the spineless cactus. The scourge of the American desert is
the cactus, commonly known as the prickly pear, the whole surface of
which is covered with fine, needlelike spines, while its leaves are
filled with a woody fiber most hurtful to animal life. When eaten by
hunger-crazed cattle it causes death. After years of labor Mr. Burbank
has succeeded in developing from this most unpromising of plants a
perfected cactus which is truly a storehouse of food for man and beast.
Spines and woody fiber have disappeared, leaving juicy, pear-shaped
leaves, weighing often twenty-five or fifty pounds, which, when cooked
in sirup, make a delicious preserve, and in their natural state furnish
a nourishing, thirst-quenching food for domestic animals. The fruit
of this immense plant is aromatic and delicate, and its seeds are at
present worth far more than their weight in gold, since from them are
to spring thousands of plants by means of which it is believed the
uninhabitable portions of the desert may be made to support numberless
herds of cattle.

Another of Mr. Burbank’s achievements is the evergreen crimson rhubarb,
which is not only far less acid than the old variety, but richer in
flavor and a giant in size.

The pomato, a tomato grown on a potato plant, is most interesting. The
plant is a free bearer, having a white, succulent, delicious fruit,
admirable when cooked, used in a salad, or eaten fresh as our other
fruit.

The experiments with prunes conducted at the Santa Rosa ranch have been
of the greatest value to the state. For forty years the prune growers of
the Pacific slope had been searching for a variety of this fruit
which would be as rich in sugar and as abundant a bearer as the little
California prune of commerce, and yet of a larger size, and earlier in
its time of ripening. Mr. Burbank with his famous sugar prune filled all
these requirements, and revolutionized the prune industry of the state.
Besides this triumph he has succeeded in obtaining a variety of this
fruit having a shell-less kernel, so that the fruit when dried much
resembles those which are artificially stuffed.

The flowers which Mr. Burbank has evolved by his methods, and those
which he has simply enlarged and glorified, are far too numerous to be
named here.

In 1905 a grant of ten thousand dollars a year was bestowed upon Mr.
Burbank by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., for the purpose
of assisting him in his experiments. Seldom has money been better
placed.



Chapter XVI

The Hidden Treasures of Mother Earth



Thousands of years ago, before the time of which we have any history,
there were rivers in California,--rivers now dead,--whose sides were
steeper and whose channels were wider than those of the rivers in the
same part of the world to-day. Rapid streams they were, and busy, too;
washing away from the rocks along their sides the gold held there,
dropping the yellow grains down into the gravelly beds below. After
a time there came down upon these rivers a volcanic outflow; great
quantities of ashes, streams of lava and cement, burying them hundreds
of feet deep, until over them mountain ridges extended for miles and
miles.

Other changes in the earth’s surface took place, and in the course of
time our streams of to-day were formed. As they cut their way through
the mountain ranges, some of them crossed the channels of old dead
rivers, and finding the gold hidden there, carried some of it along,
rolling it over and over, mixed with sand and gravel, down into the
lower lands under the bright sunlight. Here it was found by Marshall and
the gold hunters who followed him. These were the placer mines of which
we read in Chapter VII.

Gradually the best placer mines were taken up and the newcomers to the
gold fields traced the precious metal up the streams into the gravel
of the hillsides. Then was begun hydraulic mining, where water did the
work. In the canons great dams were constructed to catch the flow from
the melting snows of the mountains, and miles of flumes were built
to carry the water to the mining grounds. Immense pipes were laid and
altogether millions of dollars were invested in hydraulic mining. The
water coming down under heavy pressure from the mountain reservoirs
passed through giant hose which would carry a hundred miner’s inches,
and, striking the mountain side with terrific force, washed away the
earth from the rocks. Down fell the sand and gravel into sluices or
boxes of running water where cleats and other arrangements caught and
held the gold, which was heavy, while the lighter mixture was carried
out into the canyon.

The material thus dumped on the mountain side was called debris, and
to any one living in the mining region of the state that word means
trouble--means fighting, lawsuits, ruin. For the debris did not stay
up in the canyon, but was washed down into the rivers, overflowing farm
lands, spoiling crops and orchards, and making the streams shallow,
their waters muddy. So great was the destruction this process caused
that, in 1893, the Congress of the United States enacted a law which
provided for the creation of a Debris Commission to regulate the
business of hydraulic mining in California. The result of the
investigations of this commission was to put a stop to all hydraulic
mining in territory drained by the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, or
any other territory where the use of this form of mining should injure
the river systems or lands adjacent. Thus, almost in a moment, the
important industry was stopped.

It is estimated that over one hundred million dollars were invested
in hydraulic mining. Much of this was entirely lost, as the expensive
machinery rusted and the water system fell into ruins. It was very hard
for the miners, as well as for the commerce of the state, but the act of
the government was based upon the principle that one man’s business must
not damage another man’s property. Clever engineers in the pay of the
government are still trying to find some way by which the debris can
be safely disposed of in order that this valuable system may resume
operation.

Deprived of the use of water as their agent, gold hunters next tried
mining by drifts; that is, by tunneling into the mountain’s side until
the bed of a buried river is reached. These tunnels are often five
thousand to eight thousand feet long. The gold is brought out of the
ground before it is washed clean of the gravel. Sometimes it is mixed
with cement, when it has to be crushed in rollers before it can be
cleared of other material. The counties where drift mining is most in
operation are Placer, Nevada, and Sierra.

Quartz mining is the most expensive manner of getting out gold, and a
great deal of valuable and complicated machinery has been invented for
this branch of the business. The quartz mines of California are among
the richest in the world, and some of the greatest fortunes of modern
times have been made from them.

In a mine of this kind there is generally a shaft, or opening,
extending straight down into the earth, from which, at different levels,
passageways branch out where the veins of gold are richest. The openings
must be timbered to prevent caving in, and there must be pumps to remove
the water as well as hoisting works to take out the material. Then
on the surface, as near as possible to the mouth of the mine, must be
located the quartz mill. When possible, a tunnel is used in this mining,
which makes the handling of ore less expensive, for then there need be
no hoisting works or pumps, since the tunnel drains itself.

Gold in quartz rock is generally in ledges or veins, one to three feet
in width. Digging it out is not very hard, save where there is not
enough room to stand upright and use the pick, or when, in a shaft deep
in the ground, the heat makes it difficult to work. A California boy at
the mines wrote recently: “Mining is not so bad; that is, if I could get
along without the occasional whack I bestow upon my left hand. Last
week I started a little tunnel and pounded my hand so that it swelled up
considerably. Drilling is not hard, and loading is a snap, but it’s
all interesting work and there is the excitement of seeing what you are
going to find next.”

When the ore reaches the surface it is sent to the mill, where it is
first pulverized, then mixed with a chemical which goes about catching
up the grains of gold--arresting and holding them fast. It is quite
a long process before the gold is completely separated from all other
material and ready for shipment. Often the quartz contains other
minerals of value, the separation of which requires much work.

There is a very rich mine in Nevada called the Comstock, which some
years ago had sunk its shafts so deep into the earth that it became
almost impossible for the miners to work on account of the great heat,
the bad air, and the quantity of water which had constantly to be
pumped out. How these troubles were remedied is the story of one of
California’s greatest and best citizens. Adolph Sutro was a Prussian
by birth, and his adopted state may well be proud to claim him. He had
built a little quartz mill in Nevada, near the Comstock mine. Seeing
the suffering of the workmen in all the mines on that mountain side, he
thought of a plan for the construction of a large tunnel which was to
begin at a low level at the nearest point of the Carson River and
run deep into the mountain so that it could drain all the rich mining
section, give good ventilation for the deep underground works, and
afford a much cheaper and more convenient way of taking care of the
ore. It was to be four miles long, with branches extending from it to
different mines. Its height was to be ten feet; width, twelve, with
a drainage trench in the center to carry away the waste water to the
Carson River, and tracks on each side for the passage of mules and cars.

At first the mine owners were pleased with the project, and Mr. Sutro
succeeded in forming a company to build the tunnel. Then he went to
Washington, where the government became so interested in his plans that
on July 25, 1866, there was passed an act of Congress granting Sutro
such privileges in regard to public lands as would safeguard his work.
About the time that the news of this action reached the West, the men
who owned the mines and had made an arrangement for the use of the
tunnel, decided that they did not want the work done; it is said, for
the reason that they found Mr. Sutro too wise and far-seeing for them
to be able to manage him. At all events, with all their wealth and power
they tried to ruin him. They said that his plans were worthless, and
any one was foolish to invest in the tunnel company. Then Mr. Sutro,
by means of lectures upon the subject, appealed to the people. In
California, Nevada, the Eastern states, and even Europe, he told what
his plans would do for the miners and the good of the country. It was
not long before he gained all the help he needed, and the great work was
begun.

As the workmen progressed into the mountain side there were many
difficulties to overcome. Day and night without ceasing the work went
on. Laborers would faint from the combined heat and bad air, and be
carried to the outer world to be revived. Carpenters followed the
drillers, trackmen coming closely after. Loose rock, freshly blasted,
was tumbled into waiting cars and hauled away over rails laid perhaps
but half an hour before. Constantly in the front was Sutro himself, coat
flung aside, sleeves rolled up. In the midst of the flying dirt, great
heat, bad air, dripping slush, and slippery mud he worked side by side
with the grimy, half-naked miners, thus showing himself capable not
only of planning a great work, but of seeing personally that it was well
done, no matter with what sacrifice to his own ease and comfort.

After the tunnel was completed, Mr. Sutro sold his interest in it for
several millions of dollars. How that money was expended, any visitor to
San Francisco well knows. With it were built the great Sutro baths,
with their immense tanks of pure and constantly changing, tempered ocean
water, their many dressing rooms, their grand staircases, adorned with
rare growing plants, their tiers of seats rising in rows, one above
another, with room for thousands of spectators, and their galleries of
pictures and choice works of art. Over all is a roof of steel and tinted
glass. Nowhere else in America is there so fine a bathing establishment.

Besides this there are the lovely gardens of Sutro Heights, developed
by Mr. Sutro’s money and genius from the barren sand-hills of the San
Miguel rancho. In addition to these is the choice library of about two
hundred thousand volumes, which is of great use to the people of San
Francisco. Perhaps neither San Francisco nor California has yet quite
appreciated the value of the work of Adolph Sutro.

Since 1848 the state of California has sent to the United States Mint
over one billion dollars in gold. Of this, little Nevada County, which
seems to be worth literally her weight in gold, has sent over two
hundred and forty million. The Empire Mine is the leading producer of
California, but there are others nearly as rich. Nevada City is in the
center of this mining country. The streets are very hilly, and after
a heavy rain people may be seen searching the city gutters and
newly-formed rivulets for gold, and they are sometimes rewarded by
finding fair-sized nuggets washed down from the hills above.

A visitor to one of the deep mines of California says:--

“We descended to the seven hundred foot level, where the day before a
pile of ore had been blasted down. A little piece of the quartz, crushed
in a mortar panned out four dollars in gold. I picked out one piece
of rock, not larger than a peach, and the manager, after weighing and
testing it, announced that it contained ten dollars in free gold. The
kick of a boot would reveal ore which showed glittering specks of pure
gold.”

In the estimate of many people all very valuable mines are supposed to
be of gold, but this is a mistake. While gold is king in California,
copper mining is rapidly becoming of great importance. A continuous
copper belt, the largest yet discovered in the world, exists under her
soil, and while a comparatively small depth has been so far attained,
the profit has been considerable. One of the largest quicksilver mines
in the world is at New Almaden. The value of the output of the borax
mines is over a million dollars a year. There were mined in California
in 1907 over fifty different materials, most of them at a value of
several thousand dollars a year, with some as high as a million and
over.

The mineral product of California outranking gold in value is petroleum,
which has added greatly to the wealth of the state. Natural gas and
mineral waters are also valuable commercial products.

To many, the most interesting class among minerals is the gems, of which
California yields a variety. The beautiful lilac stone, Kunzite, was
discovered near Pala, San Diego County. This county has also some fine
specimens of garnets, and beautiful tourmalines are being mined at a
profit. San Bernardino County yields a superior grade of turquoise
from which has been realized as much as eleven thousand dollars a year.
Chrysoprase is being mined in Tulare County, also the beautiful new
green gem something like clear jade, called Californite. Topaz, both
blue and white, is being found, and besides these, many diamonds of
good quality have been collected, principally from the gravels of the
hydraulic mines. In 1907 there was discovered in the mountains of San
Benito County a beautiful blue stone closely resembling sapphire, more
brilliant but less durable. It was named, by professors of mineralogy in
the state university, Benitite, from the place where it was discovered.

Perhaps the most valuable of all the products of California is its water
supply, either visible as in springs and streams, or underground as in
artesian water. Of its use in irrigation, we have already spoken. In the
production of electricity it is coming to be of the greatest importance,
making possible the most stupendous works of modern times. Such is
the undertaking of the Edison Electric Company in bringing down to Los
Angeles, over many miles of the roughest country, power from the Kern
River, tapping the tumultuous stream far up in the Sierras. The taking
of the necessary machinery to those heights was in itself a wonderful
labor. The power thus created is a blessing to a wide region.



Chapter XVII

From La Escuela of Spanish California to the Schools of the Twentieth
Century



In no line has California advanced so far beyond the days of the padres
as in her schools. In the early settlements there were no educated
people but the priests at the missions and the Spanish officers with
their families at the presidios. Later, clever men of good families
came into the territory, took up land, and made their homes on the
great ranchos, but among these there were few who would take the time
or trouble to teach the children; so life to the young people was a long
holiday. The sad result was that they grew up so ignorant as to astonish
the educated strangers who visited the coast.

At the missions the padres had schools where they taught the young
Indians something of reading and writing, religious services and songs,
and the trades necessary for life. This, with their duties in the church
and the extensive building and planting of the mission settlements,
took all the time of the hard-working priests. Occasionally, an educated
woman would teach her own children and those of her relatives, but like
most attempts at home education, it was so interrupted as to amount to
little.

In 1794 a new governor came from Spain who was so shocked at this state
of affairs that he at once ordered three schools opened. The first,
December, 1794, was held in a granary at San Jose and was in charge of a
retired sergeant of the Spanish army. The children had been so long free
from all restraint that they did not like to go to school, and their
parents did not always take the trouble to insist. There were some
reasons for this, as the masters did not know much about what they were
trying to teach, and the use of the ferule and scourge (the latter a
whip of cords tipped with iron) was frequent and cruel. There were no
books but primers, and these were hard to obtain. The writing, paper was
furnished by the military authorities and had to be returned when the
child was through with it, that it might be used in making cartridges.
These schools were for boys only, girls not being expected to learn
anything except cooking, sewing, and embroidery.

Slowly the state of things improved, and in 1829 in the yearly report
to the Mexican government, it was stated that there were eleven primary
schools in the province with three hundred and thirty-nine boys and
girls. One of the best of these schools was that of Don Ignacio Coronel
of Los Angeles.

In 1846 the first American school was opened at Santa Clara by Mrs.
Oliver Mann Isbell. It provided for children from about twenty emigrant
families and was held in a room of the Santa Clara mission on the great
patio. The floor was of earth, the seats boxes; an opening in the tiled
roof over the center of the room allowing the smoke to escape when, on
rainy days, a fire was built on a rude platform of stones set in the
middle of the floor. Wherever the Americans lived, they would have
schools, although their first buildings were bare and inconvenient,
with no grace or adornment either inside or out. In some out-of-the-way
places, whole terms of school were spent most happily under spreading
live oaks.

In the making of the first constitution, educational matters were not
forgotten; one section providing that there should be a common school
system supported by money from the sale of public lands. On account
of the minerals the lands so allotted were supposed to contain, it was
believed that they would sell for such vast amounts that the state would
have money sufficient for the grandest public schools that ever existed.
In fact these lands brought in altogether, after a number of years,
less than a quarter of a million dollars. The act provided also that
the schools be kept open three months in the year. An effort was made to
extend this period to six months, but was defeated by Senator Gwin.

Considering the state of the country when the public schools were begun,
and the short time in which they have been developed, the California
free schools are a credit to the state and to the men and women who have
helped to make them what they are. No community is so poor and remote
but that it may have its school if the inhabitants choose to organize
for the purpose. Hardly can the settler find a ranch from which his
children may not attend a district school over which floats the stars
and stripes.

Money for educational purposes is now raised by state and county
taxes on property, this sum, in cities, being largely increased by the
addition of the city taxes. High schools have only recently been given
state aid, and that moderately; the larger ones still depending, in a
great measure, upon the special tax of the city, district, or county,
according to the class to which the school belongs. The state supports
one Polytechnic school, that at San Luis Obispo, where there are three
courses, agriculture, mechanics, and domestic science.

About 1878, in the endeavor to teach the children of the worst parts of
San Francisco a right way of living, the free kindergartens were begun.
Perhaps their success cannot be better shown than in the fact that
in the first year of the work along “Barbary coast,” one of the most
turbulent districts of the city, the Italian fruit and vegetable dealers
who lived there, brought the teachers a purse of seventy-five dollars,
because the children had been taught not to steal their fruits and
vegetables or to break their windows. The first free kindergarten was
started on Silver Street in “Tar Flats” and had for its teacher a pretty
young girl, with beautiful eyes and a mass of bronze-colored hair, whom
the ragged little urchins soon learned to adore. That little school was
the beginning of one of the best kindergarten systems in the country,
and the pretty young teacher is now Kate Douglas Wiggin, one of
America’s best loved writers, the author of those delightful books,
“The Birds’ Christmas Carol,” “Timothy’s Quest” and others equally
interesting. There have been many gifts to these kindergartens. In
memory of their only son, Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford gave one hundred
thousand dollars, while Mrs. Phoebe Hearst supported entirely three of
the schools. Kindergartens may now form part of the primary department
in the school system of any community so desiring, and are to be found
in most of the cities.

Nothing in the educational work of California is of more importance than
the five normal schools, which graduate each year hundreds of teachers
thoroughly prepared in all branches for the important work of training
the children of the state.

As the crown of the free school system, stands the state university at
Berkeley. Many an interesting story might be told of the noble men,
who as early as 1849 began their long struggle to gain for the youth of
California the chance for higher education. The Reverend Samuel Willey,
the American consul Mr. Larkin, and Mr. Sherman Day were leaders in
this enterprise. There was much against them; men’s thoughts were almost
entirely given to the necessities of everyday life, and few seemed
able to see that a grand and beautiful future was coming to the new
territory. The university secured its charter in 1868, but it was not
until the adoption of the new constitution in 1879 that it was placed on
a firm basis which could not be changed by each new legislature.

The coming of Mr. Benjamin Ide Wheeler to the presidency was one of
the best strokes of fortune the institution has ever known. Under his
management it has taken a great stride forward. In the work it does, and
the high standard it demands, it takes its place side by side with the
best universities of the older Eastern states. The work of its college
of agriculture is becoming of great service to the farmer and fruit
grower. The result of its experiments in determining the best wheat for
the soil is of very great importance to the grain industry of the state.

Connected with the university are: the Lick Observatory on Mount
Hamilton; the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, the Hastings College
of Law, and Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, in San
Francisco; and an admirable University Extension Course which offers its
advantages to the people of any locality throughout the state who may
desire its help.

One of the most practical and important associations in the state is
the Farmer’s Institute, which, under direction and control of the
university, holds a three days’ meeting once a month in each locality
throughout the state. Also, once a year, an institute of a week’s
duration is held at Berkeley, where eminent scientists give their
services, and the results are most helpful.

The university has received many gifts from distinguished citizens. Mrs.
Phoebe Hearst has devoted much of her time and a large amount of her
money to its improvement, and plans are under way to make it the most
finished and beautiful educational institution ever owned by any state
or country.

Barely one hour’s ride from San Francisco south, lies the Leland
Stanford Junior University, which at the time of its foundation, in
1885, was the greatest gift ever bestowed upon humanity by any one
person. In this noble movement Mr. and Mrs. Stanford were as one. Their
only son died in 1884, and the university is a memorial of him, a grand
example of the way in which those who are dead may yet live, through the
good done in their names. Although entirely a private benefaction, its
doors are open to students absolutely free of all tuition charges.

This university started with a large endowment, but after the death of
Mr. Stanford, a lawsuit with the United States, and a shrinkage in the
value of the properties it owned, ran the finances so low that for a
short time it was found necessary to charge a small entrance fee.
Even then, the college was kept open only through the economy and
self-sacrifice of Mrs. Stanford and the members of the faculty, who
stood by the institution with noble unselfishness. By the year 1906
the financial condition had become satisfactory and the attendance had
materially increased. Two handsome new buildings, one for the library
and the other for the gymnasium, were about completed when, on April
18, an earthquake, the most destructive ever experienced on the Pacific
coast, shook all the region around San Francisco Bay. Stanford suffered
severely: the two new buildings were ruined; so, too, was the museum and
a portion of the chemistry building. Both the noble arch and the
mosaics in the front of the memorial chapel were destroyed. Beyond
this, comparatively little damage was done to the college buildings. The
graduating exercises were postponed until the fall term; otherwise the
disaster did not interfere seriously with the routine of study, neither
did it affect the attendance in 1906-7, which was unusually large.
In the fall of 1907 President Jordan stated that he was empowered
to announce that Thomas Weldon Stanford, brother of Senator Leland
Stanford, had decided to give the university his own large fortune of
several millions.

It is generally recognized that the university owes a great part of its
present success to the splendid talents and faithfulness of President
Jordan, who has given the hardest labor of the best years of his busy
life to helping it onward and upward. Its educational work is thorough,
and its requirements are being steadily raised. It stands for the
highest education that is possible. Addition is constantly being made to
its group of noble buildings. Beautiful Stanford is the sparkling jewel
in California’s diadem.

Not far from the University of California in the suburbs of Oakland
is situated Mills College, which for many years was the only advanced
school for girls of which the state could boast. This institution had
its beginning as a seminary in Benicia, but was moved to its present
situation in 1871. In 1885 it became a college with a state charter. In
plan of studies and high Christian aim, it resembles Mount Holyoke, from
which many of its leading instructors have been graduated.

There is no place here to speak of all the leading private schools of
the state. Throop Polytechnic in Pasadena, the Thatcher School in the
valley of the Ojai, and Belmont Military Academy are among the best. A
word, however, must be said in tribute to Santa Clara College, without
which the California youth of from twenty to forty years ago would have
been lacking in that higher education which stands for so much in
the making of a state. Incorporated in 1851, it was opened with funds
amounting to but one hundred and fifty dollars, yet it grew steadily.
With a clever Jesuit faculty, this college has done admirable work of so
thorough a character as to win the praise of all those who have come
in contact with its results. From it have been graduated such men as
Stephen M. White, Reginaldo del Valle, and many other of our leading
professional and business men.



Chapter XVIII

Statistics



The state of California lies between the parallels 32¡ and 42¡ north
latitude, extending over a space represented on the eastern coast by the
country between Edisto Inlet, South Carolina, and the northern point of
Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Its northern third lies between 120¡ and 124¡
26’ west longitude. From Cape Mendocino, its most westerly point, the
coast trends southeastward to San Diego Bay. The total coast line on the
Pacific is 1200 miles.

The state’s greatest width is 235 miles, which is between Point
Conception and the northern end of the Amaragosa Range on the Nevada
line. It is narrowest between Golden Gate and the southern end of Lake
Tahoe. Its area is 158,297 sq. miles, second only to Texas of all the
states.

The population of California, according to the United States census
of 1920, is 3,426,861, which has since been greatly increased. The
following table shows the counties of the State:--



Counties of California

  Area      Population   Valuation
  Name            Origin and Meaning of Name
  Sq. Mi.    1920    1910 of Property County Seat

  Alameda         Sp., Shaded promenade
  764 344,127 246,131 128,681,766 Oakland
  Alpine
  710     243     309     422,063 Markleeville
  Amador          Sp., Sweetheart
  632   7,793   9,086   4,918,908 Jackson
  Butte           Fr., Rounded, detached hill
  1,660  30,030  27,301  16,057,766 Oroville
  Calaveras       Sp., Skul’s (from Indian battle ground)
  1,080   6,183   9,171   6,177,285 San Andreas
  Colusa          Ind.
  1,088   9,290   7,732  12,188,096 Colusa
  Contra Costa    Sp., Opposite coast
  728  53,889  31,674  21,753,956 Martinez
  Del Norte       Sp., Of the North
  992   2,759   2,417   2,882,445 Crescent City
  Eldorado        Sp., The gilded (name given to fabled land of gold)
  1,796   6,426   7,492   4,668,840 Placerville
  Fresno          Sp., Ash tree
  6,152 128,779  75,657  34,302,205 Fresno
  Glenn
  1,270  11,853   7,172  10,645,524 Willow
  Humboldt        (named for Baron von Humboldt)
  3,496  37,413  33,857  24,911,492 Eureka
  Imperial
  4,200  43,383  13,591             El Centro
  Inyo
  10,294   7,031   6,974   2,316,319 Independence
  Kern
  8,050  54,843  37,715  24,050,871 Bakersfield
  Kings
  1,176  22,032  16,230   7,883,009 Hanford
  Lake
  1,328   5,402   5,526   3,258,020 Lakeport
  Lassen
  4,520   8,507   4,802   4,590,748 Susanville
  Los Angeles     Sp., The angels
  4,200 936,438 504,132 169,268,166 Los Angeles
  Madera          Sp., Timber
  2,062  12,203   8,368   6,732,495 Madera
  Marin           Ind.
  549  27,342  25,114  14,489,582 San Rafael
  Mariposa        Sp., Butterfly
  1,510   2,775   3,956   2,270,246 Mariposa
  Mendocino       Sp., (from Mendoza, viceroy of Mexico)
  3,626  24,116  23,929  13,131,995 Ukiah
  Merced          Sp., Mercy
  1,932  24,579  15,148  14,877,086 Merced
  Modoc           Ind.
  3,741   5,425   6,191   4,076,680 Alturas
  Mono            Sp., Monkey, or pretty
  3,020     960   2,042   1,151,109 Bridgeport
  Monterey        Sp., King’s forest
  3,340  27,980  24,146  18,962,554 Salinas
  Napa            Ind.
  780  20,678  19,800  13,840,291 Napa
  Nevada          Sp., Heavy fall of snow
  972  10,850  14,955   7,203,349 Nevada City
  Orange          (named for its chief product)
  750  61,375  34,436      13,812 Santa Ana
  Placer          Sp., Loose (from placer mines)
  1,365  18,584  18,237   9,677,724 Auburn
  Plumas          Sp., Feathers
  2,694   5,681   5,259   2,792,091 Quincy
  Riverside
  7,323  50,297  34,696  16,373,296 Riverside
  Sacramento      Sp., The Sacrament
  1,000  90,978  67,806  41,333,337 Sacramento
  San Benito      Sp., St. Benedict
  1,388   8,995   8,041   6,499,068 Hollister
  San Bernardino  Sp., St. Bernard
  19,947  73,401  56,706  21,392,228 San Bernardino
  San Diego       Sp., St. James
  4,278 112,248  61,665  20,807,594 San Diego
  San Francisco   Sp., St. Francis (of Assisi)
  47 506,676 416,912 564,070,301 San Francisco
  San Joaquin     Sp., name of a saint
  1,396  79,905  50,732  34,740,353 Stockton
  San Luis Obispo Sp., St. Louis the Bishop
  3,310  21,893  19,383  13,680,235 San Luis Obispo
  San Mateo       Sp., St. Matthew
  434  36,781  26,585  18,999,564 Redwood City
  Santa Barbara   Sp., St. Barbara
  2,632  41,097  27,738  18,849,976 Santa Barbara
  Santa Clara     Sp., name of a saint
  1,286 100,588  83,539  61,390,817 San Jose
  Santa Cruz      Sp., Holy Cross
  424  26,269  26,240  12,560,071 Santa Cruz
  Shasta          Fr., Chaste, pure
  3,876  13,311  18,920  10,902,036 Redding
  Sierra          Sp., Sawtoothed Ridge
  960   1,783   4,098   1,844,560 Downieville
  Siskiyou
  5,991  13,545  18,801  10,560,650 Treks
  Solano          Sp., name of a mission
  900  40,602  27,559  20,195,481 Fairfield
  Sonoma          Ind., Valley of the Moon
  1,620  51,990  48,394  30,380,419 Santa Rosa
  Stanislaus
  1,456  43,557  22,522  12,834,108 Modesto
  Sutter          (named for J. A. Sutter)
  622  10,115   6,328   6,621,047 Yuba City
  Tehama
  3,008  12,882  11,401  11,674,562 Red Bluff
  Trinity
  3,282   2,552   3,301   1,651,362 Weaverville
  Tulare          Sp., Reed-covered
  4,952  59,032  35,440  17,447,042 Visalia
  Tuolumne        Ind., Stone wigwams
  2,208   7,768   9,979   7,089,725 Sonora
  Ventura         Sp.
  1,722  28,724  18,347  11,171,219 Ventura
  Yolo            Ind., Rushes
  996  17,105  13,926  17,640,436 Woodland
  Yuba            Sp., Uba, wild grapes
  636  10,375  10,042   5,898,350 Marysville



List of Governors



  Gaspar de Portola, April, 1769
  Pedro Fages, July, 1770
  Fernando Rivera y Moncada, May 25, 1774
  Felipe de Neve, Feb. 3, 1777
  Pedro Fages, Sept. 1O, 1782
  Jose Romeu, April 16, 1791
  Jose Arrillaga, April 9, 1792
  Diego de Borica, May 14, 1794
  Jose Arrillaga, Jan. 16, 1800
  Jose Arguello, July 24, 1814
  Pablo de Sola, March 31, 1815

  California became province of the Mexican Empire, April 11, 1822

  Luis Arguello, Nov. 10, 1822, First native Governor.

  March 26, 1825, California became province of Mexican Republic.

  Jose Maria Echeandia, Nov. 8, 1825
  Manuel Victoria, Jan. 31, 1831
  Jose Maria Echeandia, Dec. 6, 1831
  Jose Figueroa, Jan. 15, 1833
  Jose Castro, Sept. 29, 1835
  Nicolas Gutierrez, Jan. 2, 1836
  Mariano Chico, May 3, 1836
  Nicolas Gutierrez, Sept. 6, 1836
  Jose Castro, Nov. 5, 1836
  Juan B. Alvarado, Dec. 7, 1836
  Manuel Micheltorena, Dec. 31, 1842
  Pio Pico, Feb. 22, 1845, to Aug. 10, 1846, end of Mexican rule.

  The following were Governors under Military Rule, U.S.A.

  John D. Sloat, July 7, 1846
  Robert F. Stockton, July 29, 1846
  John C. Fremont, Military Governor, Jan. 19, 1847, for 50 days
  Stephen W. Kearny, Military Governor, March to May 31, 1847
  R. B. Mason, Military Governor, May 31, 1847
  Persifer F. Smith, Military Governor, Feb. 28, 1849
  Bennet Riley, April 12, 1849



  Peter H. Burnett, Dec. 20, 1849, First State Governor, Democratic,
     received 6716 votes, total vote, 12,064.
  John McDougall, Lieutenant Governor, became Governor Jan. 9, 1851,
     Democrat
  John Bigler, Jan. 8, 1852, Democrat
  John Bigler, Jan. 7, 1854, Democrat
  John Neely Johnson, Jan. 9, 1856, American Party
  John B. Weller, Jan. 8, 1858, Democrat
  Milton S. Latham, Jan. 9, 1860, Democrat
  John G. Downey (Lieutenant Governor), inaugurated Jan. 14, 1860,
     Democrat
  Leland Stanford, Jan. 10, 1862, Republican
  Frederick F. Low, Dec. 10, 1863, Union Party
  Henry H. Haight, Dec. 5, 1867, Democrat
  Newton Booth, Dec. 8, 1871, Republican
  Romualdo Pacheco (Lieutenant Governor), inaugurated Feb. 27, 1875,
     Republican (native state Governor)
  William Irwin, Dec. 8, 1875, Democrat
  Geo. C. Perkins, Jan. 8, 1880, Republican
  Geo. Stoneman, Jan. 10, 1883, Democrat
  Washington Bartlett, Jan. 8, 1887, Democrat
  Robert W. Waterman (Lieutenant Governor), inaugurated Sept. 13, 1887,
     Republican
  H. H. Markham, Jan. 8, 1891, Republican
  James H. Budd, Jan. II, 1895, Democrat
  Henry T. Gage, Jan. 4, 1899, Republican
  Geo. C. Pardee, Jan. 7, 1903, Republican
  James N. Gillett, Jan. 9, 1907, Republican
  Hiram W. Johnson, January, 1911, Republican; reelected on Progressive
     ticket, 1914
  William D. Stephens (Lieutenant Governor), inaugurated March 15, 1917,
     Progressive



Electoral Vote



  1852, Democratic, 4 votes
  1856, Democratic, 4 votes
  1860, Republican, 4 votes
  1864, Republican, 5 votes
  1868, Republican, 5 votes
  1872, Republican, 6 votes
  1876, Republican, 6 votes
  1880  Republican, 1 vote
        Democratic, 5 votes
  1884, Republican, 8 votes
  1888, Republican, 8 votes
  1892, Republican, 1 vote
        Democratic, 8 votes
  1896, Republican, 8 votes
        Democratic, People’s and Silver parties, 1 vote
  1900, Republican, 9 votes
  1904, Republican, 9 votes
  1908, Republican, to votes
  1912, Democratic, 2 votes
        Progressive, 11 votes
  1916, Democratic, 13 votes
  1920, Republican, 13 votes



Bibliography

  Bancroft--“History of California,” vols. I, II, Ill, IV, V, VI, VII.
  Bancroft--“California Pastoral.”
   Bancroft--“History of North Mexican States.”
   Hittell--“History of California,” vols. I, II, III, IV.
  Royce--“History of California.”
   Blackmar--“Spanish Institutions of the Southwest.”
   Montalvo--“Sergas of Esplandian.” Translator, E. E. Hale, Atlantic
  Monthly, Vol. XIII, p. 265.
  Vancouver--“Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean,” vol. III.
  Geronimo Boscano--“Chinigchinich,” “History of Mission Indians.”
      Translator,
  Alfred Robinson--“Life in California.”
   Francisco Palou--“Life of Fray Junipero Serra.”
   Junipero Serra--“Diary.” Translated in magazine Out West, March-July,
     1902.
  Hakluyt--“Drake’s Voyages.”
   Vanegas--“History of California.”
   Davis--“Sixty Years in California.”
   Colton--“Three Years in California.”
   Fremont--“Memoirs.”
   Sherman--“Memoirs.” Century Magazine, vols. 41-42.
  Stoddard--“In the Footsteps of the Padres.”
   Lummis--“The Right Hand of the Continent.” Series, Out West Magazine,
     1903.
  Lummis--” Spanish Pioneers.”
   Jackson--“A Century of Dishonor.”
   Jackson--“Ramona.”
   California Book of Louisiana Purchase Exposition.



Index



   Abalone, 22
   Acapulco, 68
   Admission to the Union, 179-182
   Adobe, 93
   Alameda, 182
   Alaska, 214
   Alba, 110
   Alcalde, 104, 108, 173, 174
   Alfalfa, 244
   Afileria, 209
   Alta, 86
   Alvarado, 125, 133, 134, 136
   American government of California, 173-179
   American River, 150
   Americans in California, 129, 134, 140-146, 149
   Anaheim, settled, 212
   Anian, Strait of, 53, 62
   Apricots, 256
   Area, 289
   Arguello, Captain Lulls, 128, 131, 132
   Arguello family, 145
   Arroyo Seco, 97, 146
   Ascension, Padre, 8, 670
   Atole, 94
   Avalon, 68
   Ayala, Lieutenant, 88
   Bahia, 249
   Bailey, W. F., quoted, 185
   Bananas, 257
   Bancroft, quoted, 206
   Bandini, aids Americans, 145
   Bandini, Dona Arcadia, quoted, 137
   Bandini, Mrs., makes flag, 146
   Barley, 255
   Bautista, 134
   Bear Flag Republic, 142
   Beets, 260
   Belmont Military Academy, 287
   Benitite, 277
   Benton, Senator, 182, 195
   Berkeley, State University at, 283
   Bidwell, quoted, 166
   Bolero, 116
   Bonito, 22
   Borax, 276
   British, visit California, 130
   Broderick, David C., 190, 191
   Buffalo Bill, 186
   Burbank, Luther, 262-266
   Burnett, Peter, 181
   Butte County, oranges in, 247
   Cable, Pacific, 225
   Cabo de Pinos, 55
   Cabrillo, Juan Rodriguez, 48-56, 72
   Cacafuegos, 60
   Cactus, 265
   Cahuenga, treaty of, 146, 148
   Calaveras grove, 235
   Calhoun, 179
   California, area of, 289
   California, climate of, 13-18
   California, geography of, 13,14
   California, name, origin of, 11, 12
   California Column, 198
   California Lancers, 193
   Californite, 276
   Camisa, 116
   Canneries, 257, 260, 261
   Cape Mendocino, 67
   Capitol, 204
   Carmelo River, 71, 87
   Carmenon, Sebastin, explorations of, 67
   Carne seco, 101
   Carquinez, Strait of, 14
   Carreta, 116, 118, 213
   Carrillo, in convention, 177
   Castillo, Domingo, map of, 12
   Castro, General, 139, 140, 142
   Cattle raising, 108, 113
   Celery, 256
   Central Pacific Railroad, 197-201
   Chagres, Panama, 163
   Chamisso, Albert von, 182
   Chapman, 125, 126
   Cherries, 262
   China, war with Japan, 223
   Chinese, in California, 202, 203
   Chinese, work on railroad, 198
   Chinigchinich, 25, 33-36, 45, 47
   Chippa, 43-45
   Cholos, 138
   Cigaritos, 109
   Citron, 246, 256
   Civil War, 180, 189-194
   Clay, Henry, 178
   Cleeta, 19-29, 45-47
   Climate, 13-18
   Club wheat, 242
   Cody, Mr., 186
   Coloma, mill near, 150
   Columbia, and Panama Canal, 222
   Colony days, 211-214
   Colton, Rev. Walter, 173, 174
   Colton, quoted, 203
   Comandante, 136
   Comstock mine, 271
   Concepcion de Arguello, 130, 131
   Conquest of California, 139-146
   Constitution of 1849, 178
   Constitution of 1879, 203
   Constitutional Convention of 1849, 177
   Cooper, Ellwood, 262
   Copper mining, 276
   Corn, 244
   Coronel, Don Ignacio, school of, 280
   Cortez, Hernando, 12, 53, 74
   Cotopacnic, 46
   Counties, 290, 291
   Cradle, used in mining, 158
   Crespi, Juan, 75, 100
   Crocker, Charles, 197-199
   Cuatrito, 117
   Cuchuma, 22, 26, 32, 35, 45
   Cushiony scale, 250
   Day, Sherman, 284
   Debris, 268
   Del Valle, Reginaldo, 288
   Dewey, Commodore, in Spanish war, 217
   Dios, 110
   Dolores mission, 88
   Donner party, 167
   Dragontea, 57
   Drake, Sir Francis, 57-66, 12, 73
   Drakes Bay, 63
   Dress of early Californians, 115, 116
   Dried fruits, 260
   Drift mining, 269
   Dulce, 258.
   Earthquake (1906), 225-228
   El Camino Real, 95
   El Refugio, 125
   Empire mine, 274
   England, explorations, 59-66
   Escuela, 279
   Explorations, 48-73, 81-83
   Farallones, 81
   Farmer’s Institute, 285
   Ferrelo, 56, 57, 85
   Festivals, 126
   Fiesta, 126
   Figs, 260
   Flores, General, 146
   Flour trade, 243
   Forests, 229-236
   Forty-niners, 156, 172
   Fremont, Captain, 139-143, 146
   Fremont, dispute with Kearny, 148, 149
   Fremont, elected senator, 178
   Fremont, explorations, 139, 107, 195
   Fremont, on land question, 182
   French, visit California, 129
   Frijoles, 98
   Fruit, 246-263
   Fruit, canned, 257, 260
   Fruit, crystallized, 261
   Fruit, dried, 260
   Fruit, preserved, 258
   Fugitive Slave Law, 190
   Galli, Francisco, 66
   Galvez, Jose de, 75-78, 84, 87
   Gems, 276
   Gente de razon, 124
   Gentiles, 80
   Gesnip, 19-33, 38-47
   Gicamas, 70
   Gigantea, 234
   Gillespie, 140, 143, 146
   Gold, discovered, 147, 151, 155
   Gold, early mining, 154-160
   Gold, modern mines, 267-271, 274
   Golden Hind, ship, 66
   Governors, list of, 292
   Graham, 133, 134
   Grain, 238-245
   Grape fruit, 252
   Grapes, 254, 258-260
   Guam, 225
   Gwin, in convention, 177
   Gwin, senator, 178, 189, 190, 281
   Hague, 220, 221
   Harte, Bret, 180, 200
   Harvester, 240
   Hawaii, 218-220, 225
   Hearst, Mrs. Phoebe, 283, 285
   Hecox, Mrs., quoted, 171
   Hittell, quoted, 205
   Hopkins, Mark, 197
   Huntington, Collis P., 197, 198
   Huntington, H. E., 239
   Hydraulic mining, 160, 268, 269
   Ide, 141.
   Immigration after 1848, 156, 161-172
   Indian Bar, 184
   Indians, aborigines, 19-47, 54, 63, 64
   Indians, baskets, 43-45
   Indians, boats, 39
   Indians, clothing, 21, 31, 32, 33, 43, 63
   Indians, food, 28, 29, 38, 42, 45-47
   Indians, houses, 26
   Indians, hunting, 23-25, 42, 43
   Indians, myths, 80, 45
   Indians, worship, 33-36
   Indians in Santa Catalina, 70
   Indians, mission, 91-105, 127
   Indians, on ranches, 110-112
   Indians, recent history, 206-208
   Irrigation, 245, 252-255
   Isadora, 138
   Isbell, Mrs. Oliver Mann, 280
   Jacal, 26
   Japan, 223-225
   Jesuits in New Spain, 76
   Jiminez, 53
   Jones, Commodore, 136, 137
   Jones, W. C., 182
   Jordan, President, 287
   Juan, 48, 51, 52, 56
   Judah, Theodore D., 196-198.
   Kahhoom, 43-45
   Kearny, General Stephen, 145, 148, 149
   Kern River, electric power from, 278
   Kindergartens, 282
   King, Thomas Starr, 192
   Klamath, 37, 38
   Korea, 223
   Kotzebue, Otto von, 132
   Kunzite, 276
   Ladybird, 250
   La Fiesta, 126
   Laguna rancho, battle of, 146
   Laguna rancho, sheep on, 210
   Land question, 182, 183
   La Perouse, 129
   La Posesion, 55
   La Purisima mission, 89
   Larkin, consul, 136, 137,139, 284
   Leland Stanford Junior University, 285-287
   Lemons, 245, 251
   Lick Observatory, 284
   Lollah, 30
   Lopez, Juan, 147
   Lorne, Marquis of, quoted, 262
   Los Angeles, beginnings of, 107, 108.
   Los Angeles, captured by Americans, 143
   Los Angeles, church built by Chapman, 125
   Los Angeles, during Civil War, 194
   Los Angeles, in colony days, 213
   Los Angeles, Kern River power, 278
   Los Angeles, old palms in, 144
   Los Angeles, State Normal School, 283
   Lumber, 229-236
   Lummis. Charles F., author, 249
   Macana, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 37, 38, 41, 42, 44, 46
   Machado, Agustin, 122
   McKinley, President, 218, 220
   Maestro, 113
   Mahan, Captain, quoted, 220
   Malaga, 256
   Manchuria, 223
   Mandarin orange, 248
   Manila, cable to, 225
   Manila, trade, 67, 74, 77
   Manila Bay, battle, 217
   Marin County, 226
   Mariposa grove, 234
   Marshall, James, 150-153
   Mason, Colonel, 149, 154
   Mayor domo, 110
   Mendocino, Cape, 67
   Mendoza, 72
   Merced River, 160. 111
   Mexican government of California, 124
   Mexico, dispute over Plus Fund, 221
   Mexico, revolt against Spain, 122, 124
   Mexico, war with the United States, 134-135, 140, 174
   Micheltorena, Governor, 137
   Millay, 48
   Mills College, 287
   Mines, modern, 267-277
   Missions, 76-105
   Missions, aid government, 123
   Missions, irrigation, 252
   Missions, orchards, 257, 258
   Missions, schools at, 279
   Missions, secularized, 103-105, 126
   Missions, wheat raising, 237-239
   Modocs, 208
   Monterey, attacked by pirate, 125
   Monterey, captured by Jones, 186, 137
   Monterey, captured by Sloat, 143
   Monterey, mission founded at, 85
   Monterey, presidio of, 87
   Monterey Bay, discovered, 55, 71
   Monterey Bay, Portola at, 81
   Mountains, 18-16
   Muchachas, 110, 112
   Muchchos, 110
   Murphy, Virginia Reed, quoted, 168
   Muscat grape, 258
   Mussel Slough District, 201
   Nahal, 31
   Nakin, 29, 47
   Native Sons of the Golden West, 205
   Navel orange, 248-250
   Nevada City, 274
   Neve, Felipe de, 107
   New Albion, 64
   New Almaden,  quicksilver mines, 276
   Nihie, 35, 36
   No-fence law, 211
   Nopal, 29, 32-36, 40, 41, 43
   Normal schools, 283
   Nuts, 257, 261, 262
   Oats, 255
   Ojai, 287
   Olives, 246, 255, 261
   Ollas, 22, 26, 85
   Oranges, 246-254
   Oregon, voyage of the, 216, 217
   Oregon Country, 135
   Ortega, discovers San Francisco bay, 82, 83
   Ortega, rancho attacked, 125
   Otter hunting, 132, 183
   Outdoor life, 17, 18
   Outlaws, 214
   Pacheco, Governor, 205
   Pacific cable, 225
   Pacific Ocean, importance of, 18, 217
   Padres, 51, See Missions
   Pala, chapel, 89
   Palou, Francisco, 75, 79, 88, 100
   Panama Canal, 221
   Panocha, 120
   Papas pequenos, 70
   Pasadena, settled, 212
   Pastorel, 97
   Patio, 94
   Patron, 111
   Patrona, 110, 112
   Payuchi, 25-47
   Pepe, 49, 50
   Pesos, 60
   Petroleum, 276
   Peyri, 95, 96
   Philippine trade, 58, 71-78, 201
   Philippines, 217, 218
   Pico, General Andres, 145, 146, 148
   Pinos, Point, 55, 71, 80, 81
   Pius Fund, 76, 220
   Placer mines, 347, 158, 268
   Plaza, 107
   Pocket, in placer mining, 180
   Pomato, 265
   Pomelo, 252
   Pony express, 185-188
   Port Costa, wheat grader at, 243
   Portola, Captain, 77-80, 88-85
   Prairie schooner, 170
   Preserved fruit, 258
   Presidios, 85, 108
   Prunes, 262, 266
   Pueblos, 106-108
   Pumpkin, preserved, 258
   Quartz mining, 270
   Quicksilver, 276
   Railroad, 196-201, 205, 206
   Rainfall, 14, 16
   Raisins, 250, 258-260
   Ramirez, 177
   Ranch life, 109-127
   Rancheros, 121, 122, 183
   Ranches, modern, 262
   Ranchos, 109
   Rebosa, 118
   Reyes, Point, 67, 81-88
   Rezanof, Count, 130, 181
   Rhubarb, 205
   Riley, Governor, 176
   Riverside, founded, 212
   Riverside, oranges at, 247, 249, 250
   Robinson, Alfred, quoted, 257
   Rodeo, 113, 114
   Roosevelt, 222, 224, 225
   Ross, Fort, 131, 133
   Routes to California, 101-172
   Rurik, ship, 182
   Russia, sells Alaska, 215
   Russia, war with Japan, 224
   Russians in California, 131-133
   Sacramento, founded, 133
   Sacramento, pony express at, 186
   Sacramento, railroad begun, 198
   Sacramento valley, 239, 269
   St. John de Anton, 61
   St. Michael orange, 248
   Sal, Point, 130
   Salinas River, 189
   San Agustin, 67
   San Antonio mission, 87
   San Antonio, ship, 79, 83-85
   San Benito County, benitite in, 277
   San Bernardino County, gems in, 276
   San Bruno, 182
   San Buenaventura mission, 89, 99
   San Buenaventura mission, fruit trees, 246, 257
   San Carlos, ship, 79, 88, 287
   San Carlos de Borromeo mission, 85, 86, 100, 120
   San Diego, captured by Americans, 143-146
   San Diego Bay, discovered, 50, 68
   San Diego mission, 80, 92
   San Diego mission, fruit trees, 248
   San Diego mission, Indian revolt, 102
   San Diego mission, wheat, 287
   San Diego presidio, 108
   San Diego, ship, 68
   San Fernando mines, 148
   San Fernando mission, 89,90
   San Fernando mission, brandy, 257
   San Fernando mission, fruit trees, 246
   San Francisco, city named, 153
   San Francisco, disorder in (Vigilantes), 184
   San Francisco, during Civil War, 192, 198
   San Francisco, earthquake and fire, 226-228
   San Francisco, gold excitement, 158, 154
   San Francisco, growth after 1848, 156
   San Francisco, in war of 1898, 218
   San Francisco, kindergartens, 282
   San Francisco, pony express at, 186
   San Francisco, Sutro baths, etc., 273, 274
   San Francisco Bay, discovered, 88, 87, 88
   San Francisco mission, 87, 88
   San Francisco presidio, 108
   San Gabriel mission, 87,90
   San Gabriel mission, Chapman at, 125, 120
   San Gabriel mission, mill at, 239
   San Gabriel mission, orchards, 246, 257
   San Gabriel mission, wheat, 237
   San Gabriel River, battle of, 146
   San Joaquin  Valley, 239, 247, 269
   San Jose, beginnings of, 107
   San Jose, early school at, 280
   San Jose, earthquake, 226
   San Jose mission, 89, 121
   San Jose mission, Indian revolt, 102
   San Jose, ship, 83
   San Juan Bautista mission, 89
   San Juan  Capistrano mission, 89, 98
   San Juan  Capistrano mission, attacked by pirate, 125
   San Luis Obispo mission, 87
   San Luis Obispo Polytechnic School, 282
   San Luis Rey mission, 89, 95
   San Mateo, 182
   San Miguel, Cabrillo at, 50, 55-57
   San Miguel mission, 89, 123
   San Pasqual, battle, 145, 146
   San Pedro, Bay-of, discovered, 54, 71
   San Rafael mission, 89
   San Salvador, 53
   San Tomas, ship, 68, 71, 72
   Sanchez, Padre, 246
   Sanitary Commission, 192
   Santa Barbara mission, 89
   Santa Barbara mission, fruit trees, 246
   Santa Barbara presidio, 108
   Santa Catalina, 22
   Santa Catalina, discovered, 53, 68
   Santa Clara College, 288
   Santa Clara mission, 89
   Santa Clara mission, Indian revolt, 102
   Santa Clara mission, orchards, 257
   Santa Clara mission, school at, 280
   Santa Cruz, town founded, 107
   Santa Cruz mission, 80
   Santa Fe, 78
   Santa Inez mission, 89
   Santa Inez mission, fruit trees, 246
   Santa Rosa, 226, 264, 266
   Saunders, and navel oranges, 249
   Scale, orange, 250, 251
   School taxes, 282
   Schools, early, 113, 279-281
   Schools, modern, 281-288
   Sempervirens, 230, 234
   Senor, 56, 133
   Senora, 213
   Senorita, 213
   Sequoias, 230-235
   Sequoya League, 208
   Serra, Junipero, 75-80, 83-88, 102
   Serra, Junipero, death of, 100
   Serra, Junipero, work of, 91, 92
   Seward, 179, 214, 215
   Shasta, oranges in, 247
   Shasta, Mount, 275
   Sheep Industry, 209-211
   Sherman, Wm. T., 149, 151, 164
   “Shirley,” quoted, 184
   Sholoc, 22-82, 85, 36, 89, 46, 47
   Shumeh, 31
   Sierra Nevada, 14, 16, 56, 100, 282
   Slavery struggle, 175-179, 190
   Sloat, Commodore, 142, 148
   Soil, 16, 18
   Solano mission, 89
   Soledad mission, 89
   Sombrero, 111
   Sonoma, captured, 141
   South Sea, 58
   Southern Pacific Railroad, 201,290
   Spain, colonies, 75, 77
   Spain, colonies, explorations, 48-57, 66-73, 81-83
   Spain, colonies, revolt against, 122, 124
   Spain, colonies, trade laws, 119-122
   Spanish government of California, 77, 122
   Spanish-American War, 215-219
   Stampede of 1849, 161
   Stanford, Leland, gifts for education, 283, 286
   Stanford, Leland, governor, 193
   Stanford, Leland, railroad work, 197-200
   Stanford, Mrs. Leland, 283, 286
   Stanford, Thomas Weldon, 287
   Stanford University, 285-287
   Steamboat, first in California, 155
   Stearns, Don Abel, 137, 147, 148
   Stock raising, 108, 113
   Stockton, Commodore, 143, 146, 148
   Stockton, grain center, 242
   Sugar, 260
   Sultana grape, 239
   Sutro, Adolph, 271-274
   Sutro baths, 273, 274
   Sutter, Captain John, 133, 150-152
   Sutter’s Fort, 133
   Sutter’s mill, 150, 153
   Tamales, 209
   Tangerine orange, 248
   Telegraph, 195
   Texas, 134, 135
   Thatcher School, 287
   Throop Polytechnic School, 287
   Tibbetta, Mrs., and navel oranges, 249
   Titas, 45
   Tomales, 226
   Tortilla, 93,111, 244
   Trade, early, 119-122
   Tres Re yes, ship, 68, 82, 83
   Trist, 175
   Tsuwish, 43, 45
   Tuscon, 206
   Tulare County, products, 247, 276
   Tules, 30, 31, 35, 39, 40
   Tuolumne grove, 284
   Union Pacific Railroad, 197-201
   United States, conquers California, 134-146
   University of California, 283-285
   Valencia late orange, 248
   Vallejo, General, 125
   Vallejo, General, captured, 141
   Vallejo, General, in convention, 177
   Vallejo, General, loses land, 183
   Vallejo, General, quoted, 118, 148
   Vallejo, Senorita Guadalupe, quoted 118, 121, 183, 257
   Vancouver, Captain, 130
   Vancouver, Captain, quoted, 257
   Vanquech, 35
   Vaquero, 111
   Vasques, 214
   Vegetables, 256, 257, 261
   Ventura, Cabrillo at, 54
   Vera Cruz, 74, 75
   Vigilantes, 184, 185
   Vizcaino, Don Sebastian,  explorations of, 68-73
   Wash-day expedition, 118
   Webster, Daniel, 176, 179
   Westminster, settled, 212
   Wheat, 237-245, 255
   Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 284
   White, Stephen M., 288
   Whitman, Walt, quoted, 219
   Wiggin, Kate Douglas, 282
   Willey, Rev. Samuel, 284
   Wolfskill grove, 246
   Yerba Buena, 152
   Yosemite, 238
   Zanja, 94





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