Forty Niner Two

The Way By Panama

Of the three roads to California that by Panama was the most obvious, the shortest, and therefore the most crowded. It was likewise the most expensive. To the casual eye this route was also the easiest. You got on a ship in New York, you disembarked for a very short land journey, you re-embarked on …

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The Vigilantes Of ’56

This execution naturally occasioned a great storm of indignation among the erstwhile powerful adherents of the law. The ruling, aristocratic class, the so-called chivalry, the best element of the city, had been slapped deliberately in the face, and this by a lot of Yankee shopkeepers. The Committee were stigmatized as stranglers. They ought to be …

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The Urban Forty-Niner

In popular estimation the interest and romance of the Forty-niners center in gold and mines. To the close student, however, the true significance of their lives is to be found even more in the city of San Francisco. At first practically everybody came to California under the excitement of the gold rush and with the …

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The Vigilantes Of ’51

In 1851 the price for one commodity became too high. That commodity was lawlessness. In two years the population of the city had vastly increased, until it now numbered over thirty thousand inhabitants. At an equal or greater pace the criminal and lawless elements had also increased. The confessedly criminal immigrants were paroled convicts from …

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The Storm Gathers

The foundation of trouble in California at this time was formal legalism. Legality was made a fetish. The law was a game played by lawyers and not an attempt to get justice done. The whole of public prosecution was in the hands of one man, generally poorly paid, with equally underpaid assistants, while the defense …

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The Storm Breaks

The Governor of the State at this time was J. Neely Johnson, a politician whose merits and demerits were both so slight that he would long since have been forgotten were it not for the fact that he occupied office during this excitement. His whole life heretofore had been one of trimming. He had made …

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San Francisco In Transition

By the mid-fifties San Francisco had attained the dimensions of a city. Among other changes of public interest within the brief space of two or three years were a hospital, a library, a cemetery, several churches, public markets, bathing establishments, public schools, two race-courses, twelve wharves, five hundred and thirty-seven saloons, and about eight thousand …

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Spanish Days

The dominant people of California have been successively aborigines, conquistadores, monks, the dreamy, romantic, unenergetic peoples of Spain, the roaring melange of Forty-nine, and finally the modern citizens, who are so distinctive that they bid fair to become a subspecies of their own. This modern society has, in its evolution, something unique. To be sure, …

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The Mormons

In the westward overland migration the Salt Lake Valley Mormons played an important part. These strange people had but recently taken up their abode in the desert. That was a fortunate circumstance, as their necessities forced them to render an aid to the migration that in better days would probably have been refused. The founder …

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