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position to discriminate between these two official report upon the subject, cattle that classes; nor indeed to say whether the extra- have walked into California from the Westvagant anticipations may, or may not, be the ern States, will not be fit for eating imcorrect ones. We had a notable illustration mediately upon their arrival thither. Of all of this a short time ago, during our own rail- this we read unmoved, save to wish, as was way delirium; in the evil consequences of the wont of Goldsmith's immortal Vicar, that which both the innocent and the guilty are our cousins in the States may be “the betnow alike involved. And more particularly ter” for their new acquisition, not exactly in connection with an individual—“O breathe “this day three months,” but rather when not his name !"-who carried, not only con- the excessive speculation to which it has fidence, but apparent success, wherever he given rise, together with its long train of went; every property with which he con- subsequent and inevitable evils, shall have nected himself immediately rising in value. passed away, leaving the country to a legitiThat success was subsequently found to be mate development of its natural resources. delusive ; but for a considerable time there We trust that no hasty person will hereexisted absolutely no data upon which any upon assert that we have called California a judgment as to its reality, or otherwise, bubble; because in that case we shall be could be founded. Particular facts were under the disagreeable necessity of telling then apparently against those who, judging him that he has run away with only half from general principles only, deemed that an idea. We do say that there has been this sudden increase of wealth was unreal, bubble-blowing in connection with it; and and must therefore sink under the general this, in its results, is as injurious to the morals law of unsound speculation.
of a community as it possibly can be to its We have, as we have said, widely differing pecuniary interests. It is a thing not to be opinions and statements tendered to us. One tolerated. voice from the West assures us that the re- The volumes before us are, we imagine, duction of the attenuated, yet brilliant fabric, the first literary results of the extraordinary to that little disappointing spit of soap and events that have been taking place on the water which every bubble-blower must re- shores of the Pacific, within the last two member falling on his up-turned face, as the years; and a very entertaining and interestglittering sphere dissolved in mid-air, is just ing view do they give of them. Both pubon the point of taking place. Another does lications are derived from personal acquaintnot see why it ever should. A third, Mr. ance with the scenes depicted
Mr. Taylor Taylor, holds a middle course, and thinks is an American. By the way, why does no two or three years may pass before the col- one devise a more discriminating name for lapse, inevitable on such over-inflated specu- one born in the United States? We might lation as has been indulged in, in connection as well call a Frenchman, simply a European. with Californian matters, shall ensue; and Statesman would be the correct term, but it that then it will not be so complete as some is preoccupied. However, American let it be, people fear.
till something less vague is found out. And Had an idea which was talked about some he tells us that he did not visit California fifteen years ago, that of making over Cali- with the intention of writing a book; though fornia to Great Britain in payment of the one naturally arose out of his engagements Mexican debt, ever been carried out, we there, and all his observations were made should not have been able to take these con- with that purpose in view. We presume flicting statements so coolly as we now per- that he went out as our own correspondmit ourselves to do, being simply lookers on. ent” to the New York Tribune, in which We do not, however, regret that the Ameri- paper the germ of these volumes appeared cans have got the gold region, instead of our in the form of letters; for he neither traded, selves. We feel not the slightest emotions nor speculated, nor dug gold, save one day, of envy stirring within us, as we read their when by way of experiment, taking a " butchglowing anticipations of the wealth that is to er-knife," he went into one of the forsaken accrue to them from the development of its holes, in the diggings, and lying on his back, capabilities: of its inexhaustible mines of gold as he had seen others do, attempted, in vain, and other metals, its widely-spread com- to pick out some grains from the crevices of merce, its rich wines, its beeves innumerable, the rock. His visit was later than Mr. that are to be fed to fatness on its fertile Ryan's: indeed, his arrival at San Francisco plains, which grow grass and oats for noth- would about coincide with the departure of ing. For, as it is discreetly remarked in an | the latter from that city; so that his narrative brings us nearer to the present date by quence of one of those attacks of revolutionary four months, the time of his stay in the fever to which Mexico is constitutionally liable. country. His volumes do bim credit as a How everbody rushed thither, when gold spirited, intelligent, good-humored writer, was first talked of, is too well known to reand traveler; and just such a determined quire comment. How soldiers and sailors looking at the bright side of things as might deserted, when they got within the charmed be expected from one so constituted, and circle, and how parties sent to apprehend the especially from an American, who is delight- deserters, only ran after them to the mines, ed with the bargain “ Uncle Sam” has got, to begin business on their own account; and in the acquisition of the gold regions. how even the governor himself, tempted be
Mr. Ryan is, we presume, a naturalized yond endurance, at last joined the chase subject of the States, English or Irish by through the abandoned fields and deserted birth ; who proceeded to California as a towns, is fresh in every one's remembrance. volunteer during that war with Mexico which In 1849, the influx of Americans alone was ended in the cession of the upper province to eighty thousand, forming an addition to the the Americans, in May, 1848, one month be- population of one hundred thousand, within fore the important discovery of her metallic a twelvemonth. treasures ! When peace was concluded, his The immediate advent of a golden age was corps was disbanded, and he, not particularly looked for. Hints were thrown out, even pleased with either the pay or treatment here, in all seriousness, as to the probable dewhich he had received from his adopted preciation of our currency in consequence of country, tried gold-hunting on a small scale, the anticipated influx of gold. Our cash, like unsuccessfully ; then house-painting to ra- fairy-money, was to turn to slate-stones in ther better purpose ; and finally, not being our pockets; and, for once in their lives, even of robust constitution, left the country, debi- the "holders” of sovereigns thought that litated with hardships and climate, after a re- shares were “looking down." We must own sidence in the upper province, which is all that we never felt inclined to treat ours any we are now concerned with, of six months. less respectfully on this account.
The two works are tinctured by the cha- Two years have now elapsed : and the ofracters and circumstances of their writers. ficial estimate of the amount of gold obtained Mr. Taylor could afford to take a cheerful from the mines in 1848 and 1849, is 40,000,view of men and things. Mr. Ryan has, oc- 000 dollars, about £8,000,000;.one half of casionally, perhaps somewhat of the tone of which, in the general scramble, is supposed to the disappointed, frame-shaken man. And have fallen to the share of foreigners. This yet we have the impression that his has been, has for some time been a grievance ; but is and will be, a true type of the experience of now to be amended. Mr. Butler King, in hundreds who have flocked to the land of pro- his official report on Californian affairs, admise, under the delusion that in that lottery dressed to the home government, (U. S.) in there were no blanks.
March, this year, among other regulations For about ten years before the accidental which he suggests for adoption in the new discovery (on the south fork of the Ameri- states, proposes that of excluding foreigners can River, forty-five miles from Sacramento from the privilege of purchasing permission City,) that gold was one of its products, the to work the mines on the ground that they tide of emigration had been tending to Cal- “ belong to, and in his judgment should be ifornia from the States. Bands of emigrants preserved for the use and benefit of the Amehad, from time to time, crossed the Rocky rican people"-meaning, "all citizens, native Mountains, and the Salt Plains, enduring and adopted.” In 1849, also, General Smith hardships innumerable, and even horrors un made an attempt to expel foreigners; but his mentionable, in that slow pilgrimage of two prohibition was not much heeded. thousand miles to the “far west;" a point to- In giving us an estimate of the gold sent wards which, the American, if he be but an from California, Mr. King might perhaps have out-lyer on the borders of civilization, seems contributed to the furnishing us with the means irresistibly drawn. At the close of the war of forming a more accurate judgment of the with Mexico, it was supposed there were from present value of the province, if he could ten to fifteen thousand Americans and Califor- have stated how much had been sent to it. nians in the province, exclusive of the con- " The progress of San Francisco," says Mr. verted Indians, formerly living under the pro-Ryan, "might be said to be, in some degree, tection of the Romish-missions planted there ; paid for by foreign capital actually brought but which were dispersed, in 1836, in conse-l into the country.
That part of California known as the gold its continuity, an immense bank, which forms an region, is a tract four or five hundred miles admirable natural protection against the fierce long, and from forty to fifty broad, following winds that frequently sweep the coast with un
mitigated fury. the course of the Snowy Mountains, between which and the low coast range it lies. This second entrance to the bay barred by an enormous
" Proceeding up the strait, we found the real or comprehends the valley of the Sacramento rock, which offers a capital site for a fort." and San Joaquin ; the one flowing north, the other south of the Bay of San Francisco, into
Here lay a flag-ship, with other vessels, which they empty themselves. It was in the anchored at this inconvenient distance from northern portion of this tract, which is also the town, which is six miles off, in order to considered to afford the greatest amount of prevent the men deserting : no easy matter, fertile land, so far as the country has been on one occasion, eighteen from one vessel yet explored, that the first discoveries were seized a boat, and went ashore to make their made. Subsequent ones, however, have very fortunes, under fire from every vessel in the greatly extended the sphere of mining opera- harbor! It is said, that on the 1st of Janutions, both north and south ; till the modest limits originally assigned to it, a square of ary, this year, two hundred and fifty ships
were lying in the bay, all deserted by their about seventy miles, have expanded to those we have just given. The central land is desert-like ; the only signs of human visitation a considerable height, being past, the bay it
The rock, rising sheer out of the water, to in the Great Desert, west of the Colorado, self was gained :are “ the bones of animals and men scattered along the trails that cross it."
" Its first aspect is that of a long lake, lying emSan Francisco, the “great commercial me- bosomed between parallel ranges of mountains, in tropolis on the Pacific coast,” with its fine the midst of a country of alpine character ; but bay, seems naturally to claim our first atten- the eye soon perceives that the monotony of its tion. Mr. Ryan gives us a good sketch of glassy, surface is broken, and varied, and renderthe bay, which he entered in April, 1849. ed eminently picturesque, by the several islands Its entrance is through a strait three or four with which it is studded, and which rise to the
height of 300 to 400 feet; preserving in the main, miles in width.
the bold and rugged character of their parent “ This opening, as seen from the ocean, presents others are luxuriantly clad with a mantle of the
shores, some being mere masses of rock, while the complete appearance of a mountain pass-ab- very richest verdure, bespotted with flowers of the ruptly cutting in two the continuous line of the coast
gaudiest hues. range--and is the only water-communication hence to the interior country. The coast itself is of the and forming a back-ground of unsurpassed, ma
" Immediately opposite the entrance to the bay, boldest character, and of singular beauty in respect jesty of appearance, rises, at a few miles' disof distinctness of outline. The mountains bounding it on the south extend in the form of a narrow shoot aloft to an elevation of two thousand feet
tance from the shore, a chain of mountains, which range of broken hills, terminating in a precipitous above the level of the water, and whose summits headland, against which the surges break angrily, are crowned by a splendid forest-growth of ancasting up millions of briny spangles, which glis- cient cypress, distinctly visible from the Pacific, ten in the sunbeams with all the colors of the and presenting a conspicuous land-mark for vesrainbow. To the north these mountains rear their sels entering the bay. Towering behind these huge crests, like so many granitic Titans, in a again, like the master-sentinel of the golden resuccession of varying altitudes, until, at the dis- gions which it overlooks, is the rugged peak of tance of a few miles, they attain an elevation of Mount Diablo, (O what a name !) rearing its froin two to three thousand feet, the seaward antediluvian granite head, hoar with unmelted point presenting a bold promontory, between which and the lower headland lies the strait I shows, to the height of 3770 feet above the level
of the sea.” have already mentioned, and which, although appearing so narrow, on account of the immense bulk of mountain forming its shoulders, is never
The immediate shores of the Bay pretheless one mile broad in the narrowest part.
sent“ Having passed through this gap, or I might more properly call it a gate, (it is named the "A front of broken and rugged hills, rolling and Golden Gate,) we found the strait extend about undulating lands, and rich alluvial shores, havfive miles from the sea to the bay itself, which ing in their rear fertile and wooded ranges, admithen opens right and left, extending in each di- rably adapted as a site for towns, villages, and rection about thirty-six miles, its total length being farms; with which latter they were already dotmore than seventy miles, with a coast line of about ted. The foot of the mountains around the south275. The land on each side of the strait is irre- ern arm of the bay, is a low alluvial bottom-land, . gular and picturesque, resembling, on account of extending several miles in breadth, being inter
spersed with and relieved by occasional open clothing were sent to China and the Sandwoods of oak, and terminating, on a breadth of wich Islands for the necessary “purificatwenty miles, in the fertile valley of San Josef.”tion.”
Towards the end of August in this same To the town of this name the seat of gov- year, 1849, San Francisco had a population ernment is transferred. The military gover- of about six thousand souls, lodged in tents nor of the province resides at San Francisco. and canvass houses, with a few frame buildThe Bay is a little Mediterranean in itself," ings. Three weeks later, Mr. Taylor says :with an average breadth of at least from ten to fifteen, some say twenty miles. Its head is nearly forty miles from the sea ; and at
“ The town had not only greatly extended its this point is connected with the valleys of the limits, but seemed actually to have doubled its
number of dwellings since I left. High up on Sacramento and San Joaquin. Its waters are
the hills, where I had seen only sand and chapof a depth to admit the largest vessels.
paral, stood clusters of houses ; streets which The town stands at the south side entrance had been merely laid out, were hemmed in with of the Bay, in a “ sort of irregular valley," buildings and thronged with people; new waresurrounded by the lofty hills already men
houses had sprung up on the water-side, and new tioned.
piers were creeping out towards the shipping; It was in the streets of San Francisco that the noise, motion, and bustle of business and la
the forests of masts had greatly thickened ; and Mr. Taylor had his first view of what is now
bor on all sides were incessant. Verily, the place the staple business of the country-gold was in itself a marvel. To say that it was daily hunting:
enlarged by from twenty to thirty houses may not
sound very remarkable after all the stories that Walking through the town, I was amazed to have been told; yet this, for a country that imfind a dozen persons busily employed in the street ported both lumber and houses, and where labor before the United States Hotel digging up the was then ten dollars a day, is an extraordinary earth with knives and crumbling it in their hands. growth. The rapidity with which a ready-made They were actually gold hunters, who obtained house is put up and inhabited in San Francisco, in this way about five dollars a day. After blow-strikes the stranger as little short of magic. He ing the fine dirt carefully in their hands, a few walks over an open lot in his before-breakfast specks of gold were left, which they placed in a stroll; the next morning a house complete, with peice of white paper. A number of children a family inside blocks up his way. He goes were engaged in the same business, picking out down to the bay and looks out on the shipping ; the fine grains by applying to them the head of a two or three days afterwards a row of storepin moistened in the mouth. I was told of a houses, staring him in the face, intercepts his small boy having taken home fourteen dollars as view." the result of one day's labor.”
Six weeks later, about the beginning of He considers this was chiefly produced by November, the population was about 15,000. leakings from the miners' bags, and the sweepings of stores.
“A year before it was about five hundred," Seeing these two gentlemen have done us
says Mr. Taylor. “The increase since that time the honor of coming to England to find a had been made in the face of the greatest disadvanpublisher for their books, we wish they had tages under which a city ever labored; an uncul. paid us the further compliment of express tivated country, an ungenial climate, exorbitant ing money value in terms more familiar to rates of labor, want of building materials, imthe generality of English readers than are
perfect civil organization-lacking everything in American ones.
short, but gold dust and enterprise. The same Sums computed by dollars
expense on the Atlantic coast would have estabreally convey a very indefinite idea at first lished a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants." sight. Thus, among various instances of the fabulous prices that have been current Its great want was society. in this wonderful region, that of washinglaundress's washing, not gold-washing- “ Think of a city of thirty thousand inhabbeing from eight to twelve dollars the dozen, itants, peopled by men alone. The like of this bad as it sounds, does not sound half so bad was never seen before. Every man was his own as if “done into English;” some 21. 12s. the housekeeper, doing in many instances, his own dozen: or, as Mr. Ryan phrases it, by way sweeping, cooking, washing, and mending: of making it more startingly apparent, “six than experience, came conveniently into play.
Many home arts, learned rather by observation shillings for a shirt." The consequence of
He who cannot make a bed, cook a beefsteak, or cleanliness being thus converted into so ex
sew up his own rips or rents, is unfit to be a citipensive a virtue was, that large quantities of zen of California."
On this visit he found rents had risen of furniture, and ate his simple, though substan“ rather than fallen.” On his arrival he had tial” (he might of added, extravagantly dear,) paid twenty-five dollars the week for a “ fare from pine boards. Now lofty hotels were wretched garret with two cots in it. One of met with in all quarters, furnished with home
luxury, and aristocratic restaurants presented the hotels, a frame house of sixty feet front, daily their long bills of fare, rich with the choicest was rented at one hundred and ten thousand technicalities of the Parisian cuisine." dollars yearly; of which sixty thousand12,0001. Iwas paid by gamblers, who had At one of these hotels, board and lodging the second story; while a cellar, twelve feet were a hundred and fifty dollars a month : square and six deep, was offered, for an office, considered unusually cheap. At another of at two hundred and fifty dollars a month. them, a room alone was two hundred and
The wages of labor had fallen a little. fifty dollars the month. But, he observes, Money, (currency, from a variety of causes," the greatest gains were still made by the has been very scarce) was fourteen per cent. gambling-tables and eating-houses. Every monthly. The climate he found vastly im- device that art could suggest was used to proved. “The temperature was more equa- swell the custom of the former.” ble and genial, and the daily hurricanes of Gambling, indeed, and drinking—not the summer had almost entirely ceased.” drunkenness, Mr. Taylor saw little of that,
During that season a high, cold wind from are the two leading vices of the country. the sea blows constantly, from noon to mid- In Stockton, the halting-place to the southern, night; and this, together with the fogs, ren- as Sacramento is to the northern mines, Mr. ders San Francisco, Mr. King says, “ pro- Ryan found“ every other hut either a grogbably more uncomfortable, to those not gery or a gambling-place.” And Mr. Tay. accustomed to it, in summer than in winter, lor's more recent account is full of allusions when the atmosphere is tolerably mild." | to this former propensity. The native inTo add to the annoyance of these sweeping habitants were addicted to it; but the preblasts, the dust there is something almost sent peculiar circumstances of the country preternatural. In the valley of San Joaquin, have given great impetus as well as scope to Mr. Taylor, having some mules in his charge, the spirit of gambling: “ Wherever there is could only see whether they were in order, as gold, there are gamblers.” The steamer they trotted in file before him, by “counting which carried Mr. Taylor from Panama to the tails that occasionally whisked through the San Francisco had on board " a choice gang cloud.” Mr. Ryan's experience was worse. of blacklegs from the States,” going thither In a café at San Francisco, he tells us- on a professional visit. And such gather in
large harvests. " There was dust on the counter, on the Mr. Ryan, we have said, was a practical shelves, on the seats, on the decanters, and in gold-hunter, and made nothing of it. Gold them, on the tables, in the salt
, on my beefsteak, is not altogether to be had for the picking and in my coffee. There was dust on my polite landlord's cheeks, and in his amiable wife's eyes, up, even in California. Mr. Taylor, the which she was wiping with the corner of a dusty looker-on, gives us a very entertaining view apron. I hurried my meal, and was paying my both of the process, and scene, of operations, score, when I caught a sight of my own face in in his visit to the “ diggings” which had been a dusty-looking and dust-covered glass near the discovered about two months previously, on bar, and saw that I, too, had become covered with it, iny entire person being literally encrusted wiih trict. After a ride through some country,
the Mokelumne River, in the southern disa coat of powder, from which I experienced considerable difficulty in cleansing myself.”
of which he speaks in terms of the highest
admiration for its richness and beauty, though In the rainy season, which lasts from the the heat was intense, —in the glens and middle of November to that of May, all this canadas, 110°, -he arrived at the little dust, of course, undergoes a conversion ;
town, three weeks old, which had "sprung and then the lower parts of the town stand up for the accommodation of the miners, in a huge basin of mud."
and which already boasted at least a dozen At the time of Mr. Taylor's departure, gaming-tables. The “ hotel” was “an open the town had increased greatly, both in size space under a branch roof; the appliances and in the substantiality of its buildings. meals, and one for monte,” (the universal
were two tables of rough plank, one for Four months previously,
gambling game,) “with logs resting on forked " The gold-seeking sojourner lodged in muslin limbs, as seats, and a bar of similar marooms and canvas garrets with a philosophic lack | terials, behind which was ranged a goodly