W. L. Marcy

William L. Marcy

  It was the brains and statesmanship of Wm. L. Marcy, when he was secretary of war under President Polk, that inaugurated and generaled the movements that resulted in our securing possession of California–by his expeditions, sent by sea and by land, of regular forces, followed by the volunteer regiment of one thousand men, under the command of Col. Jonathan Stevenson, as the following able State paper indicates: [Confidential.] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, June 3, 1846. SIR.– I herewith send you a copy of my letter to the governor of Missouri for an additional force of one thousand mounted men. The


On my return, in looking over my finances, I was no poorer than when I left. It must be evident to the reader that I had acquired no wealth to astonish my friends with my riches, which was the visionary expectation of the early pioneers to the gold Eldorado. I have been writing from personal recollections of events that occurred forty-five years ago. Of course, there was nothing in my enterprises, or the little fluctuations of fortune that would be of particular interest to any one; but in the form of a personal narrative, it was the only way I

Scenes On The Pacific Ocean

The course of the steamer is frequently in sight of land. The storms I have referred to were tropical storms, lasting but a short time. The ocean is generally very mild all the distance, three thousand five hundred miles from Panama to San Francisco. North of San Francisco the storms are somewhat similar to the Atlantic ocean storms. The passengers on the return trip were in the best of spirits; they were returning home; all of them had been more or less successful in California, and I can recall to my mind many pleasant times we had on board the

Jesuit Mission Stations

There were about sixteen Jesuit missionary stations in the country before the discovery of gold, and were there for the purpose of converting the Indians to the Catholic church, and when converted, generally made them work to sustain their missionary establishments. Mission Stories of Old California Missions of California and the Old Southwest California Indian Missions I had returned to my office on the North Beach after my only trip to Stockton on my brig. My friend R. was progressing with his brewery. He had received a favorable letter from Lieutenant S. about our Touwalma city, and informing me that

My Blanket Man

When he wrote me that he had traded the blankets for flour, and had gone to the Yuba river with the flour, I knew that it was a lie, and that he was a rascal, and I found that blankets had been in great demand, at a high price, and likewise learned that he had been connected with a forgery in New York city, but that his brother was a respectable merchant there, so for the time I gave up my $800 as lost. What was my surprise after six weeks at my hotel (which was an expensive one), to

The Man In His Tent

The man in his tent, who had squatted on Rincon Point, an elevated locality, that commanded a grand view of the bay, informed me that when he squatted there with his tent, that he could find no person who claimed the land. He had been there but a few days, when some parties came to him and offered to give him so much a month for the privilege of putting up their tent near his. He said he had no objections. They paid him. Then other parties who wanted to put up their tents were referred to him. From these

Daniel Knower

The Adventures Of A Forty-Niner

The discovery of gold in California, in 1848, with its other mineral resources, including the Alamada quicksilver mine at San Jose, which is an article of first necessity in working gold or silver ore; and the great silver mines of Nevada, in 1860, the Comstock lode, in which, in ten years, from five to eight hundred millions of gold and silver were taken out, a larger amount than was ever taken from one locality before, the Alamada quicksilver mine being the second most productive of any in the world, the one in Spain being the largest, said to be owned

The Despondent Miner

Home Sickness

When a person was attacked with it, it seemed the worst kind of malady, as it would take them months to return if they had the money to pay their passage. Many were married men, separated a great distance from their wives and children. Others, young men, who had their engaged ones waiting for them to return, with their fortunes made in the gold mines, to marry them. I can recall several instances where I have known them to lie down and die from despair. I was talking with an old Californian of those days. He said he had once

The Captain and the Runaway Sailor

His Gold Story

He said he was a book-keeper for a firm in Newport, Rhode Island, at a small salary. He made up his mind that if they would not raise his pay $100 per year on the 1st of January he would leave them. They refused, so he lost his situation, and it was dull times, and he could not get another one, so he shipped on a whaling vessel as a sailor. His health was poor, and he found he could not stand the hardships of that life. The vessel put in the harbor of San Francisco for water and fresh

The Man who Escaped from the Sandwich Islands

The Grizzly Bears

One warm afternoon my friend Me and myself thought we would take a walk over to Pesedeo; that was about three miles to the Pacific ocean. The seal rocks is where the sea lions or seals can always be seen. It was the entrance to the Golden Gates, where the roar of the Pacific ocean is twice that of the Atlantic, it being six thousand miles broad, twice that of the Atlantic. On our way we stopped into a tent to get a drink of water. We found it occupied by three miners, one of whom was quite lame. I

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