By the Golden Gate by Joseph Carey

Team BY THE GOLDEN GATE or San Francisco, the Queen City of the Pacific Coast; with Scenes and Incidents Characteristic of its Life By JOSEPH CAREY, D.D. A Member of the American Historical Association 1902 To My Beloved Wife this volume is affectionately inscribed. PREFACE This work now offered to the public owes its origin
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San Francisco, the Queen City of the Pacific Coast; with Scenes and Incidents Characteristic of its Life



A Member of the American Historical Association


To My Beloved Wife

this volume

is affectionately inscribed.


This work now offered to the public owes its origin largely to the following circumstance: On the return of the author from California and the city of Mexico, in November, 1901, his friend, the Rev. John N. Marvin, President of the _Diocesan Press_, asked him to contribute some articles to the _Diocese of Albany_. From these “sketches” of San Francisco this book has taken form. There are chapters in the volume which have not appeared in print hitherto, and such portions as have been already published have been thoroughly revised. Much of the work has been written from copious notes made in San Francisco, and impressions received there naturally give a local colouring to it in its composition.

It is not a history, nor yet is it a guide book; but it is thought that it will be helpful to tourists who visit one of the most picturesque and interesting cities in the United States. It furnishes in a convenient form just such information as the intelligent traveller needs in order to enjoy his walks and rides through the city. The writer in his quest among books could not find any thing exactly of the character here produced; and therefore he is led to give the results of his observations and studies with the hope that the perusal of this volume, sent forth modestly on its errand, will not prove an unprofitable task.


November 1st, 1902.




























Choice of Route–The Ticket–Journey Begun–Pan-American Exposition and President McKinley–The Cattle-Dealer and His Story–Horses–Old Friends–The Father of Waters–Two Noted Cities–Rocky Mountains–A City Almost a Mile High–The Dean and His Anti-tariff Window–Love and Revenge–Garden of the Gods–Haunted House–Grand Canon and Royal Gorge–Arkansas River–In Salt Lake City–A Mormon and His Wives–The Lake–Streets–Tabernacle and Temple–In St. Mark’s–Salt Lake Theatre–Impressions–Ogden–Time Sections–Last Spike–Piute Indians–El Dorado–On the Sierras–A Promised Land.

The meeting of the General Convention of the Church in San Francisco, in 1901, gave the writer the long-desired opportunity to visit the Pacific coast and see California, which since the early discoveries, has been associated with adventure and romance. Who is there indeed who would not travel towards the setting sun to feast his eyes on a land so famous for its mineral wealth, its fruits and flowers, and its enchanting scenery from the snowy heights of the Sierras to the waters of the ocean first seen by Balboa in 1513, and navigated successively by Magalhaes and Drake, Dampier and Anson?

The question, debated for weeks before setting out on the journey, was, which route of travel will I take? It is hard to choose where all are excellent. I asked myself again and again, which line will afford the greatest entertainment and be most advantageous in the study of the country from a historic standpoint? The Canadian Pacific route, and also the Northern Pacific, with their grand mountainous scenery and other attractions, had much to commend them; so also other lines of importance like the Santa Fe with its connecting roads; and the only regret was that one could not travel over them all. But one way had to be selected, and the choice at last fell on the Delaware and Hudson, the Erie, Rock Island, the Denver and Rio Grande, and the Southern Pacific roads. This route was deemed most feasible, and one that would give a special opportunity to pass through cities and places famous in the history of the Nation, which otherwise could not be visited without great expense and consumption of time. It enabled one also to travel through such great States as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, as well as central California. As the return journey had also to be determined before leaving home, the writer, desirous of visiting the coast towns of California south of San Francisco, and as far down as San Diego, the first settlement in California by white men, arranged to take the Southern Pacific Railway and the direct lines with which it communicates. In travelling over the “Sunset Route,” as the Southern Pacific is styled, he would pass across the southern section of California from Los Angeles, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana, the line over which President McKinley travelled when he made his tour in the spring of 1901. From New Orleans, by taking the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, he would journey through southern Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and so back through Ohio from Cincinnati, and across Pennsylvania into the Empire State, over the Erie and the “D. & H.” Railways. By the “Sunset Route,” too, the writer could avail himself of the privilege of going into the country of Mexico at Eagle Pass, and so down to the City of Mexico, famous with the memories of the Montezumas and of Cortez and furnishing also a memorable chapter in our own history, when, in September 1847, the heights of Chapultepec were stormed by General Pillow and his brave followers.

The journey from beginning to end was one of delightful experiences, full of pleasure and profit, and without a single accident or mishap. This is largely owing to the excellent service afforded and the courtesy of the railway officials, who were ready at all times to answer questions and to promote the comfort of the passengers. The obliging agent of the “D. & H.” Railway in Saratoga Springs made all the necessary arrangements for the ticket, with its coupons, which was to take me to and fro; and baggage checked in Saratoga was found promptly, and in good condition, on my arrival in San Francisco. How different our system, in this respect, from that of the English and Continental and Oriental railways! Luggage in those far off countries is a source of constant care, and in Continental Europe and Asiatic lands a heavy item of expense. The old world might learn in several particulars from our efficient American railway system, which has for its prime object facility of travel. The ticket was an object of interest from its length, with its privileges of stopping over at important towns; and strangely, as I travelled down the Pacific coast, with new coupons added, it seemed to grow instead of diminishing. One could not but smile at times at its appearance, and the wonder of more than one conductor on the trains was excited as it was unfolded, and it streamed out like the tail of a kite. It was most generous in its proportions as the railway companies were liberal in their concessions.

It was on September the 23rd, 1901, a bright Monday morning, when I stepped on the “D. & H.” for Albany, thence proceeding from the Capital City to Binghamton, where I made connection with the Erie Railway. Travelling on the train with me as far as Albany were Mr. W. Edgar Woolley, proprietor of the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga, and Mrs. James Amory Moore, of Saratoga and New York city, whose hearty wish that I might have a prosperous journey was prophetic. The country traversed from Saratoga to Binghamton by the “D. & H.” Railway affords many beautiful views of hill and valley, and, besides Albany with its long and memorable history and magnificent public buildings and churches, including St. Peter’s and All Saints’ Cathedral, there are places of note to be seen, such as Howe’s Cave and Sharon Springs. By this branch of the “D. & H” system, Cooperstown, rendered famous by James Fenimore Cooper in his works, is reached. On alighting from the train at Binghamton I was greeted by my old friends, Col. Arthur MacArthur, the genial and accomplished editor of the _Troy Budget_, and that witty soul, Rev. Cornelius L. Twing, Rector of Calvary Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., who had come here for the purpose of attending the Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery of the State of New York. At Buffalo I had sufficient time, before taking the through sleeping car “Sweden,” on the Erie Railway, to Chicago, to visit the Pan-American Exposition grounds. The scene, at night, as I approached, was very impressive. The buildings, illuminated with electricity furnished by the power-house at Niagara’s thundering cataract, looked like palaces of gold. The flood of light was a brilliant yellow. The main avenue was broad and attractive. The tower, with the fountains and cascade, appealed wonderfully to the imagination. Machinery, Agricultural, and the Electrical buildings, had an air of grandeur. Music Hall, where the members of Weber’s Orchestra from Cincinnati were giving a concert before an audience of three hundred persons, had a melancholy interest for me. It was here, only a short time before, that President McKinley, at a public reception, was stricken down by the hand of an assassin; and the exact spot was pointed out to me by a policeman. In that late hour of the evening, as I stood there rapt in contemplation over the tragic scene which deprived a nation of one of the wisest and best of rulers, I seemed to hear his voice uplifted as in the moment when he was smitten, pleading earnestly with the horrified citizens and officers around him, to have mercy on his murderer,–“Let no one do him harm!” It was Christian, like the Protomartyr; it was the spirit of the Divine Master, Who teaches us to pray for our persecutors and enemies! Happy the nation with such an example before it!

In travelling westward one meets now and then with original and striking characters. They are interesting, too, and you can learn lessons of practical wisdom from them if you will. They will be friendly and communicative if you encourage them. Answering this description was a Mr. H.W. Coffman, a dealer in Short Horn cattle, who was travelling from Buffalo on the Erie road to Chicago. He lives at Willow Grove Stock Farm, a hundred miles west of Chicago on the Great Western Railway, one mile South of German Valley. Naturally we talked about cows, and we discussed the different breeds of cattle, especially the Buffalo cows of the present-day Egypt, and the Apis of four thousand years ago, which according to the representations, on the monuments, was more like the Devon breed than the Buffalo. The names which he gave to his cows were somewhat poetic. One, for example, was named “Gold Bud;” and another, called “Sweet Violet,” owing to her fine build, was sold for $3,705. As the conversation drifted, sometimes into things serious, and then into a lighter vein, Mr. Coffman told a story about a man who had three fine calves. One of them died, and, when his foreman told him, he said he was sorry, but no doubt it was “all for the best.” “Skin him,” said he, “and sell his hide.” Another one died, and he said the same thing. When the last and the best died, his wife said to him, “Now the Lord is punishing you for your meanness!” His reply was, “If the Lord will take it out in calves it is not so bad.” I could not but moralise that the Divine judgments on us, for our sins, are not as severe as they might be, and that few of us get what we deserve in the way of punishment or chastening. I also met a horse dealer, who said that he shipped some sixty horses every week to a commission merchant in Buffalo. The latter made three dollars per head for selling them. They brought about $60 a piece. When shipped at New York, by English buyers, for France, South Africa, and elsewhere, they cost about $190 a head. The farmers of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin, are getting rich from horse culture and the raising of cattle. He said that fifteen years ago, the farmers, in many instances, had heavy notes discounted in the banks. Now they have no such indebtedness. When formerly he entered a town he would go to a bank and find out from the cashier who had notes there; and then he would go and buy the horses of such men at reduced rates. All is different now. The European demand has helped the American farmer.

At Akron, Ohio, the energetic and successful Rector of St. Paul’s Church, the Rev. James H.W. Blake, accompanied by his wife and Miss Graham, his parishioner, boarded the train; and I found them most agreeable travelling companions to San Francisco. In Chicago, in the Rock Island Station, I was met by tourist agent Donaldson, in the employ of the Rock Island Railway Company, and during all the journey he was most courteous and helpful. Here also I found my old classmate in the General Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Alfred Brittin Baker, Rector of Trinity Church, Princeton, N.J., Rev. Dr. Henry L. Jones, of Wilkesbarre, Pa., Rev. Dr. A.S. Woodle, of Altoona, Pa., the Rev. Henry S. Foster, of Green Bay, Wis., and the Rev. Wm. B. Thorne, of Marinette, Wis., all journeying to San Francisco. It was a pleasure to see these friends, and to have their delightful companionship.

Many interesting chapters might be written about this journey; and to give all the incidents by the way and descriptions of places visited and pen pictures of persons met would detain you, dear reader, too long, as you are hastening on to the City by the Golden Gate. Some things, however, we may not omit as we travel over great prairies and cross rivers and plains and mountains and valleys. At Rock Island our train crossed the Mississippi, reaching Davenport by one of the finest railway bridges in the country; and as the “Father of Waters” sped on in its course to the Gulf of Mexico, it made one think of the Nile and the long stretches of country through which that ancient river wends its way; but the teeming populations on the banks of the Mississippi have a more noble destiny than the subjects of the Pharaohs who sleep in the necropolis of Sakkarah and among the hills of Thebes and in innumerable tombs elsewhere. They have the splendid civilisation of the Gospel, and they are a mighty force in the growth and stability of this nation, whose mission is worldwide. At Transfer we passed over the Missouri by a long bridge, and entered Omaha, a city picturesquely situated, the home of that doughty churchman, Rev. John Williams, and of Chancellor James M. Woolworth, a noble representative of the laity of the Church. Well may this place be called the “Gate City” of the Antelope State. Towards evening we reached Lincoln, the home of William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 1896, and also four years later. The house where he lives was pointed out to us. It is a modest structure on the outskirts of the city, comporting with the simplicity of the man himself. In the morning we found ourselves riding over the plains of Colorado. Here are miles and miles of prairie, with great herds of cattle here and there. Here also the eye of the traveller rests on hundreds of miles of snow fences. At last we have our first view of the Rocky Mountains, that great rampart rising up from the plains like huge banks of clouds. It was indeed an imposing view; and it reminded me of the day when, sailing across the sea from Cyprus, I first saw the mountains of Lebanon. You almost feel as if you are going over a sea on this plain, with the Rocky Mountains as an immovable wall to curb it in its tempests. One thought greatly impressed me in the journey thus far, and this is the wonderful agricultural resources of our country. We were travelling over but one belt of the landscape. Its revelations of fertility, of cultivation, of products, of prosperity, of thrifty homes, of contented peoples, made one feel indeed that this is a land of plenty, and that we are a nation blessed in no ordinary way.

The City of Denver is beautiful for situation, with the Rocky Mountains fifteen miles to the west. As it is on the western border of the great plain, you can hardly at first realise what its elevation is. Yet it is 5,270 feet above the sea, lacking only ten feet of being a mile above tide water. The atmosphere is clear and crisp, and the mountain air exhilarates one in no ordinary degree. Although founded only as far back as 1858, it has to-day a population of 134,000, and it is steadily growing. It has well equipped hotels such as the Palace, the Windsor, the Albany and the St. James. It has also fine public buildings, flourishing churches and schools, and many beautiful homes. There is an air of prosperity everywhere. Here among other places which I visited is Wolfe Hall, a boarding and day school for girls, well equipped for its work, with Miss Margaret Kerr, a grand-daughter of the late Rev. Dr. John Brown, of Newburgh, N.Y., for its principal. I also met the Rev. Dr. H. Martyn Hart, a man of strong personality. I found him in St. John’s Cathedral, of which he is the Dean, and of which he is justly proud. It is a churchly edifice, and it suggests some of the architectural form of Sancta Sophia in Constantinople. Dean Hart showed my companions and me what he calls his anti-tariff window. The window was purchased abroad, and the original tariff was to be ten per cent of the cost price. This would be about $75. The window cost $750. Meanwhile the McKinley tariff bill was passed by Congress, and as the duty was greatly increased he would not pay it. Finally the window was sold at auction by the customs’ officials, and Dean Hart bought it for $25. As we rode about the city the courteous driver, a Mr. Haney, pointed out a beautiful house embowered in trees, which had a romantic history. A young man of Denver was engaged to be married to a young woman. She jilted him and married another, and while she was on her wedding tour her husband died. The house in which she lived was offered for sale at this juncture, and the original suitor bought it and turned her out into the street. He had his revenge, which shows that human nature is the same the world over. Had he offered her the house to live in, however, it would have been a nobler revenge, “overcoming evil with good.”

It is but a short ride from Denver to Colorado Springs, which is a delightful spot with 21,000 inhabitants, and here is a magnificent hotel a block or two from the railway station called the New Antlers. The Rev. Dr. H.H. Messenger, of Summit, Mississippi, an apostolic looking clergyman, with his wife, accompanied us from Denver to Colorado Springs, and also to Manitou, at the foot of Pike’s Peak and the mouth of the Ute Pass. From Manitou we drove to the Garden of the Gods, comprising about five hundred acres, and went through this mysterious region with its fantastic and wonderful formations, which seem to caricature men and beasts and to mimic architectural creations. Here we saw the Scotchman, Punch and Judy, the Siamese Twins, the Lion, the elephant, the seal, the bear, the toad, and numerous other creatures. We also viewed the balanced rock, at the entrance, and the Gateway Cliffs, at the northeast end of the Garden, and the Cathedral spires. Everything was indeed startling, and as puzzling as the Sphinx in old Egypt. Nature was certainly in a playful mood when, with her chisel and mallet, she carved these grotesque forms out of stones and rocks.

On the outskirts of Manitou the “Haunted House” was pointed out by the guide, who said that a man and his wife and their son had been murdered here. No one would live in the house now. He asked me if I believed in “Ghosts.” I said I was not afraid of dead men, and that I did not think they came back to disturb us. He seemed to agree with me, but hastened to say that he “met a clergyman yesterday who said he believed in them.” The house in Manitou which, of all others, interested me most, was the pretty vine-covered cottage of Helen Hunt Jackson, who wrote “Ramona.” It was she, who, with a fine appreciation of nature, gave this wild and secluded spot, with its riddles in stone, the suggestive name of “The Garden of the Gods.”

At noon on Friday, October 7th, I boarded the Pullman train at Colorado Springs, on the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, for Salt Lake City. On this train was my old friend the Rev. James W. Ashton, Rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Olean, N.Y., whom I had not seen for years, and from this hour he was my constant travelling companion for weeks in the California tour, ready for every enterprise and adventure. At Pueblo were some quaint Spanish-looking buildings, and farther on we were among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Our train gradually ascended the heights skirting the bank of the Arkansas River, which was tawny and turbid for many a mile. But the Grand Canon of the Arkansas, with its eight miles of granite walls and its Royal Gorge towering nearly three thousand feet above us! It is rightly named. I cannot undertake to describe it accurately. Here are grand cliffs which seemingly reach the heavens, and in some places the rocky walls come so near that they almost touch each other. As you look up, even in midday, the stars twinkle for you in the azure vault. As the train sped on, toiling up the pass through the riven hills and crossing a bridge fastened in the walls of the gorge and spanning the foaming waters, you felt as if you were shut up in the mysterious chambers of these eternal mountains. It is a stupendous work of the Creator, and man dwarfs into littleness in the presence of the majesty of God here manifested as when Elijah stood on Horeb’s heights.

It was a pleasant task to study the scenery, wild beyond description at times; and then you would pass upland plains with cattle here and there, and mining camps. That is Leadville, a mile or so yonder to the north; and the children who have come down to the station have valuable specimens of ore in their little baskets, to sell to you for a trifle. Off to the left hand, a little farther on, was a “placer mine,” with water pouring out of a conduit, muddy and yellow with “washings.” This emptied itself into the Arkansas River, which, from this point down to the foot of the mountains, was as if its bed had been stirred up with all its clay and other deposit. Above this junction the waters of the river were clear and sparkling. It is a picture of life, whose stream is pure and sweet until sin enters it and vitiates its current. Miles beyond are snow sheds, and the famous Tennessee Pass, 10,440 feet above the sea level. This is the great watershed of the Rocky Mountains, and two drops of water from a cloud falling here,–the one on the one side and the other on the other side of the Pass,–are separated forever. One runs to the Atlantic Ocean through rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, and the other to the Pacific Ocean. So there is the parting of the ways in human experience. There are the two ways, and the little turns of life determine your eternal destiny!

Even after a night of travel through the mountains and across the Colorado Desert, we still, in the morning, find our train speeding on amid imposing hills, but now we are in Utah. This we entered at Utah Line. At length we cross the Pass of the Wahsatch Mountains at Soldier Summit, 7,465 feet above the sea, and some thirty miles farther west we enter the picturesque Utah Valley. At length we see the stream of the River Jordan, which is the connecting link between Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake, and at last we find ourselves in the city founded by Brigham Young and his pioneer followers in 1847. There is a monument of the Mormon prophet in Salt Lake City, commemorating this founding. Standing on the hill above the present city and looking out on the great valley, with his left hand uplifted, he said: “Here we will found an empire!” And here to-day in this city, which bears his marks everywhere, is a population of 54,000 souls, two-thirds of whom profess the Mormon faith.

Here we were met by Bishop Abiel Leonard, D.D., of Salt Lake, who was a most gracious host and who welcomed us with all the warmth of his heart. He had engaged accommodations for us at the Cullen House; and when I went to my room, I looked out on a courtyard bounded on one side by the rear end of a long block of stores. There I saw a wagon which had just been driven into the grounds. Two men were on the seat, the driver and another person, and seated on the floor of the wagon, with their backs toward me, were four women. They wore no hats, as the day was balmy, and I noticed that one had flaxen, another brown, and the two others dark hair. Seeing everything here with a Mormon colouring, I said, “This is a Mormon family. The Mormon farmer has come to town to give his four wives a holiday.” It reminded me of similar groups which I had seen in old Cairo, on Fridays, when the Mohammedan went with his wives in the donkey cart to the Mosque. And is there not a strong resemblance between Mormon and Mohammedan? The Mormon husband alighted and gently and affectionately took up one of his wives and carried her into the adjoining store, then a second, and a third. My interest deepened as I watched the proceeding. I said to myself–“How devoted these Mormon husbands, if this is a true example, and how trusting the women!” When he took up the fourth wife to carry her in where her companions were, he turned her face toward me, so that I had a good view of her, and then, to my surprise, nay, amazement, I discovered that she had no feet! But quickly it dawned on my mind, that, instead of real, living Mormon wives, I had been looking on waxen figures, models for show windows! Well, are there not manikins in human life, unreal creatures, who never accomplish more than the models in the windows, who may be looked at, but who perform no noble and lasting deeds?

Our sojourn in Salt Lake City gave ample time to visit the Great Salt Lake, eighty miles long and thirty miles wide, with two principal islands, Antelope and Stansbury; to make a complete study of the city, whose streets run at right angles to each other, with one street straight as an arrow and twenty miles long, and many of them bordered with poplar trees which, as has been facetiously said, were “popular” with Brigham Young; to attend the Saturday afternoon recital on the great organ, in the Tabernacle, which is oval in shape, and has a roof like a turtle’s back, and where some three thousand people were assembled; to walk around Temple Square and examine the architecture of the Mormon Temple, which is like a great Cathedral, and into which no one is admitted but the specially initiated and privileged among the Latter-day Saints; to visit many buildings famous in Mormon history, and especially “Zion’s Co-operative Mutual Institute,” which, in its initials has been said wittily to mean, “Zion’s Children Multiply Incessantly;” and on Sunday morning to attend the beautiful service in St. Mark’s Church, where Bishop Tuttle, of Missouri, preached a striking sermon from the text “A horse is counted but a vain thing to save a man;” and in the evening to participate in the grand missionary service in Salt Lake Theatre, where the congregation was led by a choir of sixty voices, and stirring addresses were made by Bishop Leonard of Salt Lake, Bishop Gailor of Tennessee, Bishop Jacob, of Newcastle, England, Bishop Dudley, of Kentucky, and Bishop Tuttle, who was formerly Bishop here, before an audience of four thousand people, made up, as the Bishop said, of “Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Hebrews, Latter-Day Saints and Churchmen.”

What I saw and heard here in Salt Lake City and in other parts of Utah would make a book of itself, but I may say that the only place in which to study Mormonism in all its workings is here in its seat. While polygamy must drop out of the system owing to the laws of the United States, the religious elements will not so soon perish. It has enough of Christianity in it to give it a certain stability like Mohammedanism; but we believe that the Church of the Living God will sooner or later triumph over all forms and teachings which are antagonistic to the Christian Creeds and Apostolic Order. I visited a Mormon bookstore, among other places, and I was amazed at the number of volumes which I found here on the religion of the Latter-Day Saints. In a history of Mormonism, which I opened, was this pregnant sentence–“The pernicious tendency of Luther’s doctrine.” Surely here is something for reflection!

From Salt Lake City to Ogden, the great centre of railway travel, where several lines converge, is but a ride of thirty-six miles. Here the train, which was very heavy, was divided into two sections, and, after some delay, we went on our journey with hopeful hearts. The Salt Lake Valley and the Great Salt Lake, which we had traced for a long distance, finally disappeared from view. The journey was begun from Ogden on what is known as Pacific time. There are four time sections employed in the United States, adopted for convenience in 1883,–Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific. It is Eastern time until you reach 82-1/2 degrees west longitude from Greenwich, Central time up to 97-1/2, Mountain time till you arrive at 11-1/2, Pacific time to 127-1/2, which will take you out into the Pacific Ocean; and there is just one hour’s difference between each time section, covering fifteen degrees. So that when it is twelve o’clock, midday, in New York city, it is eleven in Chicago, ten o’clock in Denver, and nine o’clock in San Francisco. You adapt yourself, however, very readily to these changes of time, in your hours of sleep and in other matters.

One of the places of special interest through which we passed before leaving Utah is Promontory. Here the last tie was laid and here the last spike was driven, on the 10th of May, 1869, when the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railways were united and the great cities of the Atlantic seaboard and San Francisco at the setting sun were brought into communication with each other by an iron way which has promoted our civilisation in a marked degree. A night ride over the Alkali Plains of Nevada, famous for their sage brush, was a novelty, and in the clear atmosphere they looked like fields of snow.

At Wadsworth, where our train began to ascend the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, were several Piute Indians. They sell beads, blankets, baskets, and other mementoes. A papoose, all done up in swathing bands, aroused no little curiosity, and when some venturesome passenger with a kodak tried to take a picture of the infant, the mother quickly turned away. They think that the kodak is “the evil eye.” There was an old squaw here with whom I conversed, who had a remarkable face on account of its wrinkled condition. She said her name was Marie Martile, and at first she said she was one hundred years old, and later that she was one hundred and fifty. At Reno I saw more Indians with papooses. The thought, however, that this old race is passing away like the fading leaf before the “pale face,” is saddening. Soon we arrive in the El Dorado State, we are at last on California soil, and the train with panting engines climbs the dizzy heights of the Sierras, through beautiful forests, along the slopes of hills, through tunnels, beneath long snow sheds. These sheds are a striking feature, and are, with broken intervals, forty miles long. The scenery is remarkable, entirely different from that of the Rocky Mountains; and Donner Lake, into whose clear depths we look from lofty heights, recalls the terrible story of hardship, isolation, suffering and death, here in the winter of 1846 and 1847, when snow-fall on snow-fall cut the elder Donners and several members of this party off from the outside world, and they perished from cold and starvation. Oh, what a tragic, harrowing history it is!

At Summit Station, the loftiest point of the pass over the Sierras, in the path of our railway, engines are changed, and while the train halts passengers amuse themselves by making snowballs. Then we begin the descent along the slopes of the mountains into the great valleys of California. Already we have passed from the region of perpetual snows to a milder clime. We begin to feel the tempered breezes from the Pacific fanning our cheeks. Yes, we are now in the land of a semi-tropical vegetation, a land of beauty and fertility, which in many respects resembles Palestine; and surely it is a Promised Land, rich in God’s good gifts. Blue Canon and Cape Horn and beautiful landscapes with vineyards and orange groves are passed, and as night with its sable pall descends upon us, we rest in peace with a feeling of satisfaction and thankfulness to Him Who has led us safely by the way thus far. When the train halted at Sacramento, I had a midnight view of it, and then we sped on to our destination. Some three weeks later, in company with Rev. Dr. Ashton, I visited the valley west of Sacramento, Suisun and Benicia, that I might not lose the view which night had obscured. The Carquinez Straits, with the railway ferryboat “Solano,” the largest of its kind in the world, and the upper view of the great Bay of San Francisco, make a deep impression on the mind. I was well repaid for all my pains. But on that first night, as we hastened to our goal, amid landscapes of beauty and fruitfulness traversed in the olden days by the feet of pioneers and gold-seekers, it all seemed as if we were in fairyland. Will the dream be substantial when we enter the City by the Golden Gate?



Arrival at Oakland–“Ticket!”–On the Ferryboat–The City of “Live Oaks”–Mr. Young, a Citizen of Oakland–Distinguished Members of General Convention–Alameda–Berkeley and Its University–Picturesque Scenery–Yerba Buena, Alcatraz and Angel Islands–San Francisco at Last.

It was on the morning of Wednesday, October the second, 1901, when I had my first view of that Queen City of the Pacific coast, San Francisco. Our train, fully nine hours late, in our journey from Salt Lake City, arrived at its destination on the great Oakland pier or mole at 2:30 A.M. The understanding with the conductor the evening before, as we were descending the Sierra Nevada Mountains, was that we would not be disturbed until day break. When the end of our long journey was reached I was oblivious to the world of matter in midnight slumber; but as soon as the wheels of the sleeping coach had ceased to revolve I was aroused with the cry, “Ticket!” First I thought I was dreaming, as I had heard the phrase, “Show your tickets,” so often; but the light of “a lantern dimly burning” and a stalwart figure standing before the curtains of my sleeping berth, soon convinced me that I was in a world of reality. This, I may say, was my only experience of the kind, in all my travelling over the Southern Pacific Railway, the Sante Fe, and the Mexican International and Mexican Central Railways. There was little sleep after the interruption; and when the morning came with its interest and novelty I was ready to proceed across the Bay of San Francisco. Our faithful porter, John Williams, whose name is worthy of mention in these pages, as I stepped from the Pullman car, said, “Good-bye, Colonel!” He always addressed me as “Colonel.” The porters on all the western roads and on the Mexican railways are polite and obliging, and a word of commendation must be said for them as a class.

The Rev. Dr. James W. Ashton, of Olean, N.Y., my fellow-traveller, and I were soon in the ferry house. We ascended a wide staircase and then found ourselves in a large waiting room, through whose windows I looked out on the Bay of San Francisco for the first time. Off in the distance, in the morning light, I could catch a glimpse of the Golden City of the West. Near by was a departing ferryboat bound for San Francisco. Just then a young man, evidently a stranger, accompanied by a young woman, apparently a bride, accosted me and asked the question, “Sir, do you think we can get on from up here?” Looking at the bay-steamer fast receding, I assured him, somewhat pensively, that I thought we could. In a few moments another steamer appeared in view and speedily entered the dock. The gates of the ferry house were opened and we went on board at once. Most of the passengers at this early hour were those who had come across the Sierras, but there were a few persons from Oakland going over to their places of business in San Francisco. Oakland, so named from the abundance of its live-oaks, has been styled the “Brooklyn” of San Francisco. It is largely a place of residence for business men, and from fifteen to twenty thousand cross the Bay daily in pursuit of their avocations. It is pleasantly situated on the east side of the Bay, gradually rising up to the terraced hills which skirt it on the east. The streets are regularly laid out and lined with shade trees of tropical luxuriance as well as the live-oaks. Pretty lawns, green and well kept, are in front of many of the houses in the residence part of the city, and here the eye has a continual feast in gazing on flowers in bloom, fuschias, verbenas, geraniums and roses especially. At a later day I visited Oakland, and found it just as beautiful and attractive as it looked in the distance from the deck of the ferry boat. It has several banks, numerous churches, five of our own faith, with some twelve hundred communicants, also good schools, and some fine business blocks. Trolley cars conduct you through its main streets in all directions. Landing at the Oakland pier, one of the largest in the world, and extending out into the Bay some two miles from the shore, the Southern Pacific Railway will soon carry you to the station within the city limits. As you wander hither and thither you see on all sides tokens of prosperity. There is an air of refinement about the place, and you find the atmosphere clear and stimulating. There is not a very marked difference in the temperature of the climate between summer and winter. Frosts are unknown. It is no disparagement to San Francisco to say that Oakland for delicate persons is more desirable. The trade winds as they blow from the Pacific ocean, and make one robust and hardy in San Francisco, when there is vitality to resist them, are tempered as they blow across the Bay some fourteen miles or more, while the fogs, so noted, as they rush in through the Golden Gate and speed onward, are greatly modified as they reach the further shore. As it has such a splendid climate and natural advantages, and enjoys the distinction of being at the terminus of the great overland railway systems, it is constantly attracting to itself population and capital. Ten years ago it had 48,682 inhabitants; to-day it numbers 66,960.

Its people are very hospitable and are glad to welcome the traveller from the east to their comfortable homes. On the ferry boat I was accosted by a ruddy-faced and genial gentleman, a Mr. Young, a resident of Oakland, who was proceeding to his place of business in San Francisco. He gave me some valuable information, and pointed out objects and places of interest. He seemed to be well informed about the General Convention appointed to meet on the day of my arrival, in Trinity church, San Francisco. He spoke with intelligence about its character and purpose, and with enthusiasm concerning its members whom he had met as they were crossing the Bay. The names of Bishop Doane, of Albany, Bishop Potter, of New York, and Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, were as household words on his lips, and there was a gleam of delight in his eye as he pictured to us the pleasures and surprises in store for us during our sojourn in the Capital of the Golden West.

“That town,” said he, “which you see to the south of Oakland, with its long mole, is Alameda. It is a great place of resort, a kind of pleasure grove. Alameda in the Spanish language means ‘Poplar Avenue.’ Many people go there on excursions and picnic parties from San Francisco, and other places along the Bay. It is, as you see, a very pretty spot. In time it will become a part of Oakland. It has to-day a population of over sixteen thousand people.” When I asked him if it had an Episcopal Church, he said, “Yes. Its name is Christ Church, and there are in it four hundred communicants. Do you know its rector? He is the Rev. Thomas James Lacey.” Mr. Young, who was a native of Massachusetts and just as proud of California as he was of his old home in the east, turned with considerable elation to Berkeley, the University town. “There,” said he, “to the north of Oakland is Berkeley, with a population of thirteen thousand. It is, as you see, situated at the foot of the San Pablo hills, and is about eleven miles from the Market street ferry in San Francisco. To reach it you go by ferry to the Oakland pier and then take the cars on the Southern Pacific road.” As I gazed northward, there, as a right arm of Oakland, was the classic town with its aristocratic name, nestling at the foot of the hills in the midst of trees and flowers. It was like a dainty picture with the Bay in the foreground. A nearer view or a visit to it brings the traveller into line with the Golden Gate, through which his eye wanders straight out into the Pacific ocean with all its mystery and grandeur. The University of California was organised by an act of the Legislature in 1868. A law passed then set apart for its work $200,000, proceeds from the sale of tide lands. To this endowment was added the sum of $100,000, from a “Seminary and Public Building Fund.” There was also applied to the new university another fund of $120,000, realised from the old college of California, which had been organised in 1855. Then by an act of Congress appropriating 150,000 acres of land for an Agricultural College, which is a part of the equipment of the University, it became still richer. It embraces 250 acres within the area of its beautiful grounds, and so has ample room for expansion. It has departments of Letters, Science, Agriculture, Mechanics, Engineering, Chemistry, Mining, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Astronomy and Law. The famous Lick Observatory, stationed on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, is a part of the institution. It has prospered greatly under its present efficient President, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, LL.D.; and it now has three hundred instructors, with over three thousand students. Tuition is free to all students except in the professional departments. It has a splendid library of seventy-three thousand volumes. It will be readily seen that with such an institution of learning, and with the Leland Stanford Jr. University, at Palo Alto, the State of California is giving diligent attention to matters of education. While also there are the various schools and academies and seminaries of the different denominations, it may be said that the church is not backward in this respect. St. Margaret’s School for girls, and St. Matthew’s School for boys, as well as the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, at San Mateo, where Bishop Nichols resides, and the Irving Institute for girls, and Trinity School in San Francisco, are an evidence of what she is doing for the welfare of the people intellectually, aside from her spiritual ministrations in the dioceses of California and Los Angeles and the Missionary Jurisdiction of Sacramento. Mr. Young was forward to mention the fact that in Berkeley there is the large and influential parish of Saint Mark with a list of nearly four hundred communicants; and this is a great factor for good in the life of such a unique University town. As my eyes turned away from Berkeley, I naturally recalled the great Bishop of Cloyne, after whom the place is named; and as I took into view the wider range of the coast lands, and the blue waters of the magnificent Bay, some fifty miles in length, and, on an average, eight miles wide, and reflected on the significance which attaches to this favoured region, and the influences which go out from this seat of power, and fountain head of riches, I instinctively recalled the noble lines which the eighteenth century prophet wrote when he mused, “On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America:”

“Westward the course of empire takes its way; The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day: Time’s noblest offspring is the last.”

East of us, in picturesqueness, as in a panorama spread out, were the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, with their receding hills, and Mount Diablo, 3,855 feet in height, lifting up its head proudly. Farther to the south was the rich and beautiful valley of Santa Clara, with its orchards and vineyards. On the west across the Bay were the counties of San Mateo, and San Francisco, with their teeming life, covering a Peninsula twenty-six miles long, and extending up to the Golden Gate; while off to the north, and bordering on the ocean was Marin in its grandeur, crowned with Tamalpais, 2,606 feet above the sea;–and skirting San Pablo Bay was Sonoma with its vine-clad vale. There were the islands of the Bay also, which attracted our attention. Not far from the Oakland pier is Goat Island rising to the height of 340 feet out of the waters, and consisting of 300 acres. It was brown on that October morning when I first saw it, but when the rains come with refreshment in November the islands and all the surrounding country are invested with a robe of emerald green, and flowers spring up to gladden the eyes. Goat Island was so named because goats which were brought in ships from southern ports to San Francisco, for fresh meat, were turned loose here for pasturage for a time; and as these creatures multiplied the island took their name. But it formerly bore the more euphonious title, Yerba Buena, which means in Spanish “Good Herbs.” Later in my journeyings to and fro I overheard a lady instructing another person as to the proper way in which to pronounce it, and she made sad work of it. She gave the “B” the sound of the letter G. It also had another name, as you may learn from an old Spanish map of Miguel Costanso, where it is called–Ysla de Mal Abrigo, which means that it afforded poor shelter. It is a government possession, as also the other islands, Alcatraz and Angel. Alcatraz, which Costanso styles, White Island, is smaller than Yerba Buena. In its greatest elevation it is 135 feet above the Bay, and it embraces in its surface about thirty-five acres, about the same area as the Haram Esh-Sherif, or sacred enclosure of the Temple Hill in Jerusalem, with the Mosque of Omar and the Mosque el-Aksa. On its top is a lighthouse, which, on a clear night, sailors can see twelve miles outside of the Golden Gate. Nature, with her wise forethought, seems indeed to have formed this island opposite the Golden Gate, far inside, in the Bay, as a sentinel to watch that pass into the Pacific, and to guide the returning voyager after his perilous journeyings to safe moorings in a land-locked haven. Farther to the north is Ysla de los Angeles, Angel Island, with a varied landscape of hill and plain, comprising some 800 acres of land.

Here are natural springs of water, and in the early days it was well wooded with live-oak trees. To the eyes of Drake and other early navigators and explorers it must have been a vision of beauty, lifting itself out of the waters. Not many trees are seen here now, however, but you may behold instead in harvest time fields of grain. It is especially noted for its stone quarries, and out of these were taken the materials for the fortifications of Alcatraz and Fort Point–as well as the California bank building. It was my privilege at a later day, in company with many of the members of the General Convention to sail over the Bay and around these islands, which one can never forget. The steamer “Berkeley” was courteously placed at the service of the members of the Convention by the officers of the Southern Pacific Railway; and it was indeed a most enjoyable afternoon under clear and balmy skies as we rode along the shores of the Peninsula, and up the eastern side of the Bay, and northward towards San Pablo, and then around Angel Island and Alcatraz strongly fortified, a distance altogether of forty miles. But now on the first morning, veiled partly with clouds, San Francisco rises on the view, that city of so many memories by the waters of the Pacific, where many a one has been wrecked in body and soul as well as in fortune, while others have grown rich and have led useful lives. Yes, it is San Francisco at last! And while it looms upon the view with its varied landscape, its hills and towered buildings, I am reminded of another October morning when I first saw Constantinople, when old Stamboul with its Seraglio Point, and Galata with its tower, and Pera on the heights above, and Yildiz to the east, and Scutari across the Bosphorus, all were revealed gradually as the mists rolled away. So the Golden City of the West is disclosed to view as the shadows disappear and the clouds break and flee away and the morning sun hastening across the lofty Sierras gilds the homes of the rich and poor alike, and bathes water and land in beauty. There is another city on the shore of a tideless sea, and it will be the joyful morning of eternal life, when, earthly journeys ended, we walk over its golden streets!



San Francisco–Her Hills–Her Landscapes–Population of Different Decades–The Flag on the Plaza in 1846–Yerba Buena its Earliest Name–First Englishman and First American to Build Here–The Palace Hotel–The Story of the Discovery of. Gold in 1848–Sutter and Marshall–The News Spread Abroad–Multitudes Flock to the Gold Mines–San Francisco in 1849.

As we stand on the deck of the bay steamer and are fast approaching the San Francisco ferry-house which looms up before us in dignity, we look out on a great city with a population of 350,000 souls, and we observe that it is seated on hills as well as on lowlands. Rome loved her hills, Corinth had her Acropolis, and Athens, rising out of the Plain of Attica, was not content until she had crowned Mars’ Hill with altars and her Acropolis with her Parthenon. Here in this golden city of the Pacific the houses are climbing the hills, nay they have climbed them already and they vie in stateliness with palaces and citadels in the old historic places which give picturesqueness to the coast lands of the Mediterranean. There is indeed in the aspect of San Francisco, in her waters and her skies, and all her surroundings, that which recalls to my mind landscapes and scenery of Italy and Greece and old Syria. Yonder to the northeast of the city is Telegraph Hill, 294 feet high, a spot which in the olden days, that is, as far back only as 1849, was wooded. Now it is teeming with life, and it looks down with seeming satisfaction on miles and miles of streets and warehouses and dwellings of rich and poor. But there are not many poor people in this Queen City. In all my wanderings about the city for a month, I was never accosted by a professional beggar. Everybody could find work to do, and all seemed prosperous and happy. Off to the west, serving as a sentinel, is Russian Hill, 360 feet high. It is a striking feature in the ever-expanding city, and it is a notable landmark for the San Franciscan. In the southeastern part of the city is Rincon Hill, 120 feet in height, attracting to itself the interest of that part of the population whose homes are in its shadow. There are other hills of lesser importance as to altitude, but over their tops extend long streets and broad avenues lined with the dwellings of a contented and thrifty people. The business blocks and hotels, the printing houses and railway and steamship offices, the stores and art galleries, the places of amusement and lecture halls, the stores and shops, the homes and the churches, fill all the spaces between those hills in a compact manner and run around them and stretch beyond them, and at your feet, as you stand on an eminence, is a panorama of life which at once arrests your attention and enchains your mind. It was all so different fifty or sixty years ago. According to the census returns the population of San Francisco in 1850 was 34,000. In 1860 there was a gain of 22,802. In 1870 there were in the city 149,473 souls; while in 1880 there was a population of 233,959 including 30,000 Chinese. The census of 1890 gives an increase of 64,038 during the decade, and the last enumeration shows that there has been a gain of 44,785 in the ten years. If the towns across the bay and northward, as well as San Mateo on the south, which are as much a part of San Francisco as Brooklyn and Staten Island are of New York, there would be a population of more than 450,000. The growth, as will be seen, is steady, and San Francisco offers to such as seek a home within her borders, all the refinements and comforts of life, all that ministers to the intellect and the spiritual side of our nature as well as our social tastes and desires.

There can be no greater contrast imaginable than that between the San Francisco of 1846, when Commodore Montgomery, of the United States sloop of war _Portsmouth_, raised the American flag over it, and the noble city of to-day. And no one then in the band of marines who stood on the Plaza as the flag was unfurled to the breeze by the waters of the Pacific, in sight of the great bay, could have dreamed of the golden future which was awaiting California–of the splendour which would rest on little Yerba Buena in the lapse of time. Yerba Buena was the early name of the settlement. This was applied also, as we have learned, to Goat Island. The pueblo was then insignificant and apparently with no prospect of expansion or grandeur. There were only a few houses there, chiefly of adobe construction, clustering about the Plaza. The Presidio, west of the stray hamlet, and the Mission Dolores, to the southwest, were all that relieved a dreary landscape beyond. There were the hills covered with chaparral and the shifting sands all around, and far to the south, where now are wide streets and great blocks of buildings. The ground sloped towards the bay on the east, and a cove, long since filled in, which bore the name of Yerba Buena, extended up to Montgomery street. The population of the town was less than a hundred; there was hardly this number in the Presidio, and not more than two hundred people were connected with the Mission Dolores. In 1835 Captain William A. Richardson, an Englishman, the first foreigner to enter the embryo town, erected a tent for his residence; and on July 4th, 1836, the second house was built at the corner of Clay and Dupont streets. The story runs that the first American to build a house in San Francisco proper was Daniel Culwer, who also founded Santa Barbara. This pioneer was born in Maryland in 1793, and died in California in 1857. He lived long enough to see the greatness of the city assured. But on that day when he finished his modest house on the corner of New Montgomery and Market streets, he little thought that in after years there would spring up, as if by magic, under the skillful hands of the Lelands, famous in San Francisco as in Saratoga in the olden days, the magnificent Palace Hotel, with its royal court, its great dining halls, and its seven hundred and fifty-five rooms for guests, rivalling in its grandeur and its luxurious appointments the palaces of kings.

The growth of San Francisco was very rapid after the discovery of gold. The population immediately leaped into the thousands. California was the goal of the gold-seeker, the El Dorado of his quest. Men in search of fortune came from all parts of the world to the Golden West. It was on the 19th of January, 1848, that gold was discovered. The story reads like a romance. Captain John Augustus Sutter, who was born in Baden, Germany, February 15th, 1803, after many adventures in New York, Missouri, New Mexico, the Sandwich Islands, and Sitka, at last found himself in San Francisco. From this spot he crossed the bay and went up the Sacramento River, where he built a stockade, known as Sutter’s Fort, and erected a saw mill at a cost of $10,000, and a flour mill at an outlay of $25,000. Here in 1847 he was joined by James Wilson Marshall, born in New Jersey in 1812. Marshall was sent up to the North Fork of the American River, where at Coloma he built a saw mill. This was near the center of El Dorado county, and in a line northeast from San Francisco. The mill, in the midst of a lumber region, was finished on January 15th, 1848, and everything was in readiness for the sawing of timber, which was in great demand in all the coast towns and brought a high price. The mill-race, when the water was let into it, was found too shallow, and in order to deepen it Marshall opened the flood gates and allowed a strong, steady volume of water to flow through it all night. Nature, aided by human sagacity, having done her work well, the flood gates were closed, and there in the gravel beneath the shallow stream lay several yellow objects like pebbles. They aroused curiosity. The miller took one and hammered it on a stone. He found it was gold. He then gave one of the “yellow pebbles” to a Mrs. Wimmer, of his camp, to be boiled in saleratus water. She threw it into a kettle of boiling soap, and after several hours it came out bright and shining. It is yellow gold, California gold, there can be no mistake! Next, we see Marshall, all excitement, hastening to Sutter’s Fort, and informing his employer, in a mysterious way, that he has found gold. Sutter goes to the mill the next day, and Marshall is impatiently waiting for him. More water is turned on, and the race is ploughed deeper, and more nuggets are brought to light. It is a day of supreme joy. The excitement is great. Even the waters of the American River seem to “clap their hands” and the trees of the wood wave their tops in homage and rejoice. At the foot of the Sierras is the hidden treasure, which will thrill the civilised world when it hears the tidings with a new joy, which will bring delight beyond measure to thousands of adventurers, which will enrich some beyond their wildest dreams, and which will prove the ruin of many an one, wrecking, alas! both soul and body. Sutler’s plan was to keep the wonderful discovery a secret, but this was impossible. Even the very birds of the air would carry the news afar to the coast in their songs; the waters of mountain streams running down to the Sacramento River and on to San Francisco Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean through the Golden Gate would bear the report north and south to all the cities and towns, to Central and South America, to China and Japan, to Europe and more distant lands; and the wings of the wind would serve as couriers to waft the story across the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and the plains, till the whole world would be startled and gladdened with the cry, Gold is found, gold in California! One of the women of Sutler’s household told the secret, which was too big to be kept in hiding, to a teamster, and he, overjoyed, in turn told it to Merchant Smith and Merchant Brannan of the Fort. The “secret” was out in brief space, and like an eagle with outspread wings, it flew away into all quarters of the globe. Poor Sutter, strange to say, it ruined him. The gold seekers came from the ends of the earth and “squatted” on his lands, and he spent all the fortune he had amassed in trying to dispossess them. But his efforts were unavailing. The laws, loosely administered then, seemed to be against him, and fate, relentless fate, spared him not. Almost all that was left to him in the end was the ring which he had made out of the lumps of the first gold found, and on which was inscribed this legend: “The first gold found in California, January, 1848.” It tells a melancholy as well as a joyous tale, in it are bound up histories and tragedies, in it the happiness of multitudes, and even the fate of immortal souls! The California legislature at length took pity on Sutter, and granted him a pension of $250 per month, on which he lived until he was summoned, at Washington, D.C., on June 17th, 1880, by the Angel of Death, to a land whose gold mocks us not, and where everyone’s “claim” is good, if he be found worthy to pass through the Golden Gate. Marshall, too, died a poor man, August 8th, 1885, having lived on a pension from the State of California, which also has seen fit to honour his memory, as the discoverer of gold, by erecting a monument to him at Coloma, the scene of the most exciting events in his life. The names of these two men, however, will endure in the thrilling histories of 1848 and 1849, as long as time lasts–for all unconsciously they set the civilised world in motion, gave new impulse to armies of men, spread sails on the ocean, filled coffers with yellow gold, and added new chapters to the graphic history of San Francisco and many another city. When the tidings of the discovery of gold reached the outside world thousands on thousands set their faces towards the El Dorado of the Pacific slopes. There were many new Jasons. The Golden Fleece of the sunny West was beckoning them on. New Argos were fitted out for the new Colchis. The Argonauts of 1849 were willing to brave all dangers. It is Joaquin Miller who sings–

“Full were they
Of great endeavour. Brave and true As stern Crusader clad in steel,
They died afield as it was fit–
Made strong with hope, they dared to do Achievement that a host to-day
Would stagger at, stand back and reel, Defeated at the thought of it.”

There were three ways of reaching the gold fields. Men could travel across the plains in the traditional emigrant wagon. It was a weary, lonely journey, life was endangered among hostile Indians, and happy were those who at last were strong enough to toil in the mines. Alas, too many fell by the way and left their bones to bleach in arid regions. It is the experience of life. We have our object of desire. We often come short of it. Ere we reach the goal we perish and the coveted prize is forever lost. Not so is it to him who seeks the Gold of New Jerusalem. The Gold of that land is good, and all who will can find it and enjoy it.

Another way was by the Isthmus of Panama, and then up the coast in such a ship as one could find. It was the least toilsome journey and the shortest, but still attended with hardships. Many fell a prey to wasting fevers which burn out one’s life, and so never reached the destined port of San Francisco, through which they would pass to the gold fields.

The longest way was around Cape Horn. Still there were those who took it, even if months, five or six, it might be, were consumed in the journey. The gold they sought would compensate them at last. These too had to encounter storms, face probable shipwreck or contend with grim death. Many who sold all to equip themselves, who turned away from home and kindred, for a time they thought, to enrich themselves, who would surely return to their loved ones with untold treasure, never fulfilled their desire. Some perished in the voyage, others died in San Francisco, and were laid to rest till the final day in her cemeteries by the heaving ocean. Such as reached the mines did not always gain the gold they coveted. There were those who were fortunate, who made a success of life, who realised their day dreams; and some of these returned to the old home, to the waiting parents, to the longing wife and children. Some with their gold settled in San Francisco and sent for their kindred. And what happy meetings were those in the years of gold mining, when ships coming from many lands, from American and foreign ports, brought to the city through the Golden Gate the beloved ones whose dear faces had ever been an inspiration to the toilers in darkest hours! Methinks the meetings of loved ones parted here, on the shores of the crystal sea, will compensate for all life’s labours and trials. Yes, if we only have the true treasures, the true gold of the Golden City.

In those days of 1848 and 1849 and during 1850 and 1851, San Francisco–on which we are now looking, the stately, comely city of to-day, was a city of tents in a large measure. Ships were pouring out their passengers at the Long Wharf. They would tent for a time on the shore, then hurry off to the mines. In those days you could meet in the streets men of various nationalities. Here were gold seekers from New England and old England, from our own Southland and the sunny land of France and Italy, from Germany and Sweden and Norway, from Canada and other British possessions, from China and Japan. And it was gold which brought them all here, the statesman and the soldier, the labouring man and the child of fortune, sons of adversity and sons of prosperity, rich and poor, lawyers, doctors, merchants, sailors, scholars, unlettered,–all are here for gold. Such is the San Francisco of those early days. It is a romance of reality, of the Golden West!



St. Andrew’s Brotherhood–Patras–The Cross at Megara and the Golden Gate–Portsmouth Square and its Life–Other City Squares and Parks–Golden Gate Park, its Beauty, Objects and Places of Interest–Prayer Book Cross–Chance Visitors–Logan the Guide–First View of the Pacific Ocean–“Thy Way is in the Sea”–The Cemeteries of San Francisco–World-wide Sentiment–Group Around Lone Mountain–Story of the Graves–Earth’s Ministries–Lesson of the Heavens.

When my companion Ashton and I landed at the Market Street Ferry House, an imposing structure of two stories, with a wide hall on the second floor and offices and bureaus of information on either side, our newfound friend, Mr. Young, bade us a “Good-by” with a hearty handshake, hoping he might meet us again. Before leaving us, however, he introduced us to a young man a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, who took us to the temporary office of the Society in the Ferry House, and gave us necessary directions about the street cars, hotels and churches. We were in a strange city on the western shore of the Continent, yet, we felt at home at once through the cordial greeting of the Brotherhood. The St. Andrew’s Cross, which our young guide wore on his coat, was indeed a friendly token. It spoke volumes to the heart; and I was carried back in memory to that early morning, when, having sailed over Ionian Seas, our good ship cast anchor in the Bay of Patras, and my feet pressed the soil which had been consecrated by the blood of the Saint, whose cross was now a token of good will and welcome at the ends of the earth. I could not but recall besides a memorable incident in connection with the Saint Andrew’s Cross. We had passed the Isthmus of Corinth, and our train halted for a space at Megara, a town of six or seven thousand people, where is the bluest blood in all Greece; and as I alighted from my coach on the Athens and Peloponnesus Railway, I saw, some twenty rods away, a Greek Papa or Priest, who made a splendid figure. An impulse came over me to speak to him, and I knew there was one sign which he would recognise and understand. It was the Saint Andrew’s Cross, which I made by crossing my arms. He immediately came to me and we conversed briefly as the time would permit, in the old language of Homer and Plato, which all patriotic Greeks love. He asked me if I was a Papa, and was pleased when I said, “Yes.” I introduced him to my companions in the coach, and he greeted them warmly; and as the train began to move on we bade each other farewell. We may never meet again, but the Cross of Saint Andrew was a bond between us, and we felt that we were brethren in one Lord, Saint Andrew’s Divine Master and ours. So the sight of that Cross there by the Pacific, with all its history of faith and love and martyrdom, caused our hearts to beat in unison with our brethren by the Golden Gate. I thought then it would be a special advantage to strangers in strange cities, if in some way the Brotherhood could serve as a Bureau of Information to travellers, who understand the meaning of the Cross. It would not be a matter of large expense after all if Chapters in large centres would extend greeting to men and women who are journeying hither and thither and who often stand in need of just such services as the Brotherhood could give. In a few hours after our arrival we were ready for the opening service of the General Convention, in Trinity Church, on Gough street at the corner of Bush street.

At intervals when duty would permit we made a study of San Francisco and its life, rich in scene and incident, and most instructive as well as attractive. Some of the noticeable features of the city are its parks and squares. In the northern part or section, Washington and Lobos Squares greet you, while Pioneer Park adorns Telegraph Hill, and Portsmouth Square or the Plaza is just east of the famous Chinese restaurant and close by police headquarters. This last was famous in the early days as the centre of Yerba Buena, and here the American flag was raised for the first time when our marines under Commodore Montgomery took possession of the town. Indeed some of the most exciting scenes in the early history of San Francisco were witnessed in this locality. Volumes might be written about its Spanish and Mexican families, its adobe buildings, its gambling places, its haunts of vice, its public assemblies, its crowds of men from all lands, its social and civic histories.

But all this is of the past, and it seems like a dream of by-gone days. When I visited it on two occasions, in company with friends, it was a quiet place enough; and the casual observer could never have thought or realised that around this romantic spot fortunes made by hard toil of weary months and years had been lost in a few short hours in the saloon and gambling places for which the vicinity was noted, that the worst passions of the human heart had been exhibited here, and that betimes amid the laughter of the merry throng in midnight revelry and above the strains of the “harp and viol” one could have heard the voices of blasphemy and the sharp, loud reports of pistols in the hands of careless characters, whose deadly bullets had sent many a poor unfortunate wayfarer or unwary miner from the gold fields to his long home.

If, in your saunterings, you go through the central part of the city you will find Lafayette Square, Alta Plaza, Hamilton Square, Columbia Square, and Franklin and Jackson Parks, at varying distances from each other and affording variety to the tourist. In the south section you will see Buena Vista Park and Garfield Square, while to the west you have Hill Park and Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate Park is now famous the world over and vies in beauty and splendour with Central Park in New York, nay, in some respects surpasses this, in that it has a magnificent frontage on the Pacific ocean, a long coast view and a wide range of sea with the Farallone Islands, about twenty miles off in the foreground of the picture, and visible on a clear day always, and most enchanting in the sunset hour as we gazed on them. The Golden Gate Park dates back only to the year 1870, when the California Legislature passed an act providing for the improvement of public parks in San Francisco. At that time this lonely spot, now so like a dream of fairy land, was but a waste, a wide stretch of sand dunes among which the winds of the ocean played hide and seek. Its entrances, with a wide avenue in the foreground running north and south, are some five miles from the Market Street Ferry. The afternoon that my friend Ashton and I visited it was clear and balmy. Just as we were entering the park carriage I was greeted by a young friend from the East, whom I had not seen for years; and then, more than three thousand miles away from home, I realised how small our planet is after all. As we rode along the flowery avenues with green lawns stretching out on either hand and losing themselves in groups of stately trees and hedges of shrubs and Monterey Cypress we were filled with delight. We could see the birds, native and foreign, flying from branch to branch of trees which grew within their gigantic cages, and occasionally we heard the notes of some songster. Yonder, too, we saw deer browsing, and elk and antelope. There also were the buffalo and the grizzly bear; and apparently all forgot that, shut in as they were in wide enclosures, they were in captivity. We could not fail to observe the bright flower-beds on every hand, the pleasant groves, the shady walks, the grottoes of wild design, the woodland retreats, the sylvan bowers. The park, we were told by our communicative driver, John Carter, comprises ten hundred and forty acres of ground. He also pointed out various places and objects of interest. The Museum, by the wayside, in its Egyptian architecture, is like one of the old temples of the Pharaohs on the banks of the Nile.

You are carried into the realm of immortal song when you gaze on the busts of Goethe and Schiller, and your patriotism is stirred afresh as you behold the monument of Francis Scott Key, author of the Star-Spangled Banner. The Muses also have their abode here on the colonnaded Music Stand or Pavilion erected by Claus Spreckles at a cost of $80,000. Another interesting feature is the Japanese Tea Garden. Then there is the well equipped Observatory on Strawberry Hill from which you can look far out to sea, and where star-gazers can study celestial scenery as the Heavens declare God’s glory. Seven lakelets give charm to the landscape, but the eye is never weary in looking on Stone Lake, a mile and a quarter in circuit, beautiful with its clear waters, its shelving shores, its bays and miniature headlands, while on its calm bosom, ducks of rich plumage and Australian swans are disporting themselves.

That, however, which attracted our attention most of all was the great grey stone cross on the crest of the highest point of the Golden Gate Park. This, chiseled after the fashion of the old crosses of lona and linked with the name of St. Columba, is the monument erected by the late George W. Childs, of Philadelphia, Pa., to commemorate the first use of the Book of Common Prayer on the Pacific coast, when, in 1579, under Admiral Drake, Chaplain Fletcher read Prayers in this vicinity, either in San Francisco Bay, or a little further north in what is called Drake’s Bay. But more of this anon. As we walked from the carriage road, beneath some spreading trees, to get a nearer view of the Prayer Book Cross, numerous partridges were moving about, without fear, in our pathway; and had we been minded to frighten them or do them harm we would have been restrained by yonder symbol of our redemption, which teaches us ever to be tender and humane towards bird and beast and all others of God’s helpless creatures. The Prayer Book Cross is seen from afar. It looks down on the city with its innumerable homes, on the cemeteries within its shadow, on the Presidio with its tents and munitions of war, on the Golden Gate and on the waters of the Pacific, and it brings a blessing to all with its message of love and peace. It is a guide too, to the sailor coming over the seas from distant lands. As he strains his eyes to catch a glimpse of the coast the Cross stands out in bold relief against the eastern sky, and it tells him that he will find a hospitable welcome and safe harbourage within the Golden Gate. So it is dear to him after his voyage over stormy seas as was of old

“Sunium’s marbled steep”

to the Greek sailor nearing home.

Near Stone Lake we met the head commissioner of the Park who saluted us with all the easy grace of the Californian; and on the way we had the opportunity of receiving a Scotch gentleman and his wife into our carriage; and, later, a clergyman who had been wandering about in the midst of sylvan scenes, rode with us to the entrance of the Park, where we bade our new found friends good-bye, each to go his own way, at eventide.

The third day after our arrival in San Francisco I had a longing to gaze on the Pacific ocean which I had never seen. There were no laurels for us to win, such as Balboa justly deserved when he discovered the Pacific and first beheld its wide waters in the year 1513; but it was a natural desire to look on its broad expanse and to stand on its shores, along which bold navigators had sailed since the days of Cabrillo and Drake. Taking a line of cars running out to the Presidio, Ashton and I walked the rest of the way. A young man named Logan, a cousin of the famous General Logan, who was in the service of the government as a mail carrier, but off duty that afternoon, volunteered most courteously to be our guide. He accompanied us for more than a mile and a half of the distance beyond the Presidio, but then had to return to meet an engagement. We went forward climbing the steep hills and finally found that we were standing on the heights above the immense ocean, in the grounds of the Government Reservation. It was a solemn moment when we for the first time beheld the Pacific, and we were greatly impressed. There the mighty waters, across which the ships sail to China and Japan and the Sandwich Islands and the Philippine Archipelago and the South Seas, lay before our eyes. The darkness of the night was coming on, but the sky far off across the waters, away beyond the Farallone Islands, was tinged with red and gold, the fading glories of the dying day. We could see in the glow of evening the heaving of the sea and the motion of its comparatively calm surface, in that twilight hour.

Gathering clouds hung over the horizon and formed the shadows in the picture. Every picture has light and shade. It is a portrait of life. We stood silently for a time drinking in all the beauty of the scene, well nigh entranced, awed, thrilled betimes; and at last in order to give fitting expression to the thoughts within our hearts, I suggested that we should hold a brief service in recognition of His power who holds the seas in the hollow of His hands, Who had guided our feet in safe paths and byways of the world, often over its troublesome waves. Ashton said an appropriate Collect from the dear old Prayer Book of so many tender and far off memories, while I expressed my feelings in the grand words of the Psalm–“Thy way is in the sea, and Thy paths in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known.” We felt God’s presence in that hushed hour, we saw in vision the divine Christ walking over the waters to us!

In our wanderings about the city the sleeping places of the dead naturally attracted our attention; and where, especially, on Sunday afternoons, the living congregate to mourn over their loved ones, to scatter flowers on their graves, or to while away an hour amid scenes which have a melancholy interest and tend to sobriety and remind one of another land where there is no death for those who pass through the Golden Gate of eternity. Cemeteries have always attracted the living to their solemn precincts at stated times, anniversaries and fiestas. It is so in all lands, among all peoples no matter what their creed, and in all ages. Jew and Gentile alike, Mohammedan and Christian, by visiting tomb or grassy mound with some token of their affection, the prayer uttered, the tear shed, the blossoms laid on sacred soil, after this manner cherish the memories of the departed. And it is well! Scenes which the traveller may witness in the Campo Santo of Genoa or in the Koimeteria of Athens, on Sundays, in the Mezaristans of Skutari on the Bosphorus and Eyub on the Golden Horn, on Friday afternoons, and in the Kibroth of old Tiberias by the Sea of Galilee or outside of the walls of Jerusalem, on Saturday or in the Cimenterios of Mexico City on fiestas, all testify to the universality of the deep and tender feelings of reverence and affection which animate the human heart and make all men as one in thought and sentiment as they stand on time’s shores and follow the receding forms of their kindred and friends with wishful eyes bedimmed with tears across the Dark River!

While there is a Burial Place for the soldiers who die for their country or in their country’s cause, on the grounds of the Presidio, the principal cemeteries of San Francisco seem to cluster around Lone Mountain in the northwestern part of the city and south of the Military Reservation. These are Laurel Hill, Calvary, Masonic and Odd Fellows. The Jews have their special burying ground between Eighteenth and Twentieth streets, and the old Mission cemetery where some of the early Indian converts and Franciscan Fathers sleep their last sleep, is close by the Mission Dolores, on the south side.

The group around Lone Mountain is dominated by a conspicuous cross on the hill top, which, as a sentinel looks down with a benison on the resting places of the dead, and, in heat and cold, in storm and sunshine, seems to speak to the heart about Him “Who died, and was buried, and rose again for us.” To this picturesque spot too the Chinese have been attracted, and they bury their departed west of Laurel Hill, with all the rites peculiar to the followers of Confucius.

But what thrilling histories of men from many lands are entombed in all these tens of thousands of graves, what fond hopes are buried here, what withered blossoms of life mingle with this consecrated soil by the waters of the Pacific! Many a one who sought the Golden West in pursuit of fortune found all too soon his goal here with unfulfilled desire, while anxious friends and relatives beyond the seas and the mountains or on the other side of the continent awaited his home coming for years in vain. Here, indeed, are no rolls of papyrus, no hieroglyphics, as in Egyptian tombs, to tell us the story of the past, but it is written in the experiences of the gold seekers, it is interwoven with the life of the city, now the mistress of the great ocean which laves her feet, and it is burned into the memories of many living witnesses.

If yonder grave could tell its tale it would speak to you of a misspent life which might have been a blessing–of midnight revels and mad excesses and Circe’s feasts, the ruin of soul and body. And this grave could talk to you about one who, far away from home and kindred, had pined and wasted away in his loneliness, and had died of homesickness. But while you are touched with the pathetic recital, that grave near by reads you a lesson of patience, of heroism, of faith, of purity of soul and body preserved in the midst of fiery temptations, even while strong men were yielding themselves up to “fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

The shrubs and trees and flowers on which you gaze, and which are green and blossom the year round, now beautify all and mother earth softens with her ministries the severities of the past, and sunlit skies bend over the dead, as of old in many lands, and star-bedecked heavens tell still to the living, as once to those whose bodies mouldered here, the story of the life beyond, where glory and riches and honour are the heritage of the faithful!



Triangular Section of San Francisco–Clay Banks, Mud and Rats in 1849–Streets at That Time–Desperate Characters–Gambling Houses–Thirst for Gold–Saloons and Sirens–The Bella Union–The Leaven of the Church–Robbers’ Dens and Justice in Mining Camps–The Vigilance Committee and What It Did–San Francisco Well Governed Now–Highway Robbers and the Courts–Chief of Police Wittman and His Men–A Visit to Police Headquarters–The Cells–A Murderer–A Chinese Woman in Tears–A Hardened Offender.

The traveller to the City of the Golden Gate, as he approaches it, having crossed the great bay from Oakland, notices that the hundreds of streets which greet his gaze run from east to west, and cross each other at right angles, except a triangular section of this metropolis of the west. This part of the city may be compared to a great wedge with the broad end on the bay. It begins at the Market Street Ferry house and runs south as far as South Street at the lower end of China Basin. This triangle is bounded on the north by Market Street, which follows a line west by southwest, and on the south by Channel and Ridley Streets, the latter crossing Market Street at the sharp end of the wedge-shaped section. The portion of the city within the triangle embraces in its water-front the Mission, Howard, Folsom, Stewart, Spear, Fremont, and Merrimac Piers, together with Mail and Hay Docks. Here you may see steamships and sailing vessels from all parts of the world moored at their piers, while others are riding at anchor a little way out from the land. The whole scene is at once picturesque and animated and suggests great activity. We must remember, however, that where now are these massive piers with their richly laden ships and noble argosies, as far back only as 1849 there were no stable docks, no properly constructed wharfs, no convenient landing places. Here only were clay banks, which gave no promise of the great future with its commercial grandeur, and everything was insecure and unsatisfactory, especially in rainy weather, which began in November and continued with more or less interruption until April. The new comer, not cautious to secure a sure footing would sometimes sink deep in the soft mud or even disappear in the spongy earth. With the ships too came not only the gold-seekers from many lands, but rats also as if they had a right and title to the rising city. These swarmed along the primitive wharfs, and at times they would invade the houses and tents of the people and go up on their beds or find a lodging-place in vessels and cup-boards. Some of these rodents which followed in the wake of the new civilisation were from China and Japan, while others, gray and black, came in ships from Europe and from American cities on the Atlantic seaboard. Even wells had to be closed except at the time of the drawing of water, in order to keep out these pests which made the life of many a householder well nigh intolerable.

The streets were few in number then, not more than fifteen or twenty, as the town, at the time of which we are speaking, had only a population of about five thousand people. As San Francisco grew, however, under the impetus which the discovery of gold gave to it, the streets were naturally multiplied; and, to overcome the mire in wet weather and also the sand of the dry season, which made it difficult for pedestrians to walk hither and thither or for vehicles to move to and fro, they were planked in due time. Wooden sewers were also constructed on each side of the street to carry off the surface water. A plank road besides ran out to Mission Dolores, the vicinity of which was a great resort on Sundays, especially in the days when “bull fighting” was a pastime and the old Spanish and Mexican elements of the population had not been eliminated or had not lost their prestige.

As one went to and fro then and encountered men of all nationalities, it was not an uncommon thing to meet many who had the look of desperadoes, whose upper garment was a flannel shirt, while revolvers looked threateningly out of their belts at the passerby. All this of course, was changed after a time, when the days of reform came, as they always come when the need arises. There is an element in human society which acts as a corrective, and wrong is finally dethroned, and right displays her power with a divine force and a vivid sweep as a shaft of lightning from the sky. We need never despair about the triumph of the good. It is a noble sentiment which Bryant utters in “The Battle Field:”

“Truth crushed to earth shall rise again: The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, And dies among his worshippers.”

And never was there a community or a city where Truth asserted her sway more potently in the midst of evil than in San Francisco in the trying days of her youth. With the rush from all lands to California for the coveted gold came the lawless and the blood-thirsty. Men in the gambling houses would sometimes quarrel over the results of the game or over some “love affair.” Fair Helen and unprincipled, gay, thoughtless Paris were here by the Golden Gate. The old story is constantly repeating itself since the Homeric days. Duels were fought betimes as a consequence, and the issue for one or both of the combatants was generally fatal. Gambling in those days was, from a worldly stand-point, the most profitable business, that is for the professional player or the saloon-keeper. Indeed it was looked upon as quite respectable. It has a strange fascination at all times for a certain class, with whom it becomes a passion as much as love for the wine-cup, and one must be well grounded in principle to resist its influences. Many once noble souls who had been tenderly brought up were led astray. Away from home and its restraining associations, gambling, drinking, and other sins and vices became their ruin. In calm moments when alone or under some momentary impulse of goodness there would rise before them the vision of God-fearing parents–of open Bibles–of hallowed Sundays; but the thirst for gold could not be quenched, the mad race must be run, and to the bitter end, dishonour, death, the grave! Shelley, if he had stood in the midst of the gamblers, staking all, even their souls, for gold, in those California days of wild revelry, could not have expressed himself more appositely than in his graphic and truthful lines, in Queen Mab:

“Commerce has set the mark of selfishness; The signet of its all-enslaving power
Upon a shining ore, and called it gold: Before whose image bow the vulgar great, The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, And with blind feelings reverence the power That grinds them to the dust of misery. But in the temple of their hireling hearts Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn All earthly things but virtue.”

The saloons fifty years ago were the centres of attraction for the over-wrought miner, the aimless wanderer, the creature of impulse, the child of passion. They were decorated with an eye to brilliant colours, to gorgeous effect, to all that appeals to the sensuous element in our nature. They were the best built and most richly furnished houses in the San Francisco of that period. The walls were adorned with costly paintings, and the furniture was in keeping with this lavish outlay. In each gambling house was a band of music, and a skillful player received some $30 per night for his services. Painted women were the presiding geniuses at the wheels of fortune and these modern Circes or Sirens played the piano and the harp with all the passion of their art to drown men’s cares and make them forget duty and principle and honour. The tables of the players of the games were piled high with yellow gold to serve as a tempting bait. The games were chiefly what are called in the nomenclature of the gambling fraternity. Rouge-et-noir, Monte-faro, and Roulette. The men who lost, whatever their feelings might be, and they were often bitter, as a rule disguised their sore disappointment. They would try their luck again, but this only led them deeper in the mire. Many an one lost a princely fortune in a night. The gambling houses were located chiefly around the Plaza or Portsmouth Square, of which we have already spoken. They were filled, as a general thing, all night, with an eager throng, especially on Sunday. Indeed everything then had its full course on Sunday. There were various sports; drinking and gambling ran riot. Blasphemous words filled the air. Men swore without the least thought. But profanity is not alone restricted to a frontier or border community, where laws and a sense of propriety are wanting. One may hear it in old and civilised towns, as he walks the streets, and sometimes from the lips of boys. In these saloons people of all ages congregated from youth up to hoary hairs. Here were the Indian and the Negro, the American and the Mexican, the Spaniard and the Frenchman, the Italian, the Dutchman and the German, the Dane and the Russian, the English, the Irish and the Scotchman, the Chinaman and the Japanese. One of the most noted of the saloons was the Bella Union, a Monte Carlo in itself. Woe betide the miner from the mountains with gold who entered it. Here was a richly appointed bar to tempt the desire for drink, while costly mirrors were arranged in such wise as to reflect the scenes of revelry, and pictures that were worth large sums of money hung on the walls. The silverware too would have done credit to a royal board. Both the tables and the bar were well patronised at all times.

Naturally with such elements of society, with the mad thirst for gold, with the loose morality which prevailed to a large extent, there would be great lawlessness. It must be borne in mind however that the Christian Church was at work in those perilous times, which live only in memory now, and was gradually leavening the whole lump. There were devout men and true women in early San Francisco, who, in the midst of “a crooked generation,” kept themselves pure and “unspotted from the world.” And is it not true that men can hold fast their crown, that no man take it from them, if only they will make use of the grace of God? God has His faithful witnesses in every place, in every age, no matter how corrupt. There are the “seven thousand” who do not bow the kneel to Baal, there are the faithful “few names” even in Sardis who do not defile their garments with the world. San Francisco had them in those days of special temptation, brave and noble souls who could say with Sir Galahad:

“My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure.”

In this strength they rose up and purged the place, even though as difficult as a labour of Hercules. The men of the Vigilance Committee will ever live in song and story. Even up in the mountains in the gold mines of El Dorado county and elsewhere the spirit of the men of San Francisco was at work in the camps. Robbers were there, bold characters, dark-browed men, who would not hesitate to steal, and kill, if need be, in their nefarious work. The miners had their perils to encounter in these bandits. The robbers had their dens in the mountains in lonely places, beside a trail sometimes, and in the depths of the forests. The dens had generally two rooms on the ground floor and a loft which was reached by a ladder. If a belated miner sought shelter or food here he was given a lodging in the loft. If he drank with his “host” it would most likely be some liquor that was drugged, and in his heavy sleep he was sure to be robbed. In the morning he had no redress, and he might consider himself fortunate if he escaped with his life. Sometimes however the robber was brought to quick justice by the miners. Robbery was not countenanced in the camps. If one should steal, his fellows would rise up, try him in a hastily convened court, and condemn him to death, and hang him on the nearest tree. It was a rule that the body should be exposed for twenty-four hours as a warning to others. All this may seem harsh, but under the circumstances it was the only way in which justice could be dealt out to offenders. The camps were in consequence orderly and safe. We must not think, because the Vigilance Committees of the mining camps and of the city took the administration of law into their own hands that therefore they were lawless and that their rule was that of the mob. No, this was the only way in which peaceable citizens could be protected from the violence and crimes perpetrated by the turbulent and disorderly and vicious elements of society. In the years 1851 and 1852 there was great lawlessness in San Francisco. Bad men, who had served terms in prisons for their misdeeds, and men who wished to disorganise society, who had the spirit of anarchy in their breasts, organised themselves into bands for the purpose of stealing and killing, and good citizens stood in mortal fear of them. Buildings were burned at pleasure, houses were broken open and robberies committed, and even murder was resorted to when the wrongdoers found it necessary in the accomplishment of their hellish purposes. The officials of the city were careless in punishing offenders, indeed they were powerless to do so, and the lawbreakers knew this. It is said that over a hundred persons were murdered during the period of six months; and the blood of these victims cried to Heaven for vengeance. To assert the majesty of law and to punish criminals a large number of the best citizens, who grieved over the evils which prevailed, organised themselves into the famous Vigilance Committee. The seal which they adopted showed their worthy purpose. In the centre was the figure of a human eye to denote watchfulness. Above the eye was the word, Committee,–beneath, Vigilance; then the name, San Francisco. Around the edge of the seal ran the legends: “Fiat Justitia Ruat Coelum. No creed; no party; no sectional issues.” While not constituted exactly like the Court of Areopagus, yet the Vigilance Committee of San Francisco did for a time exercise authority over life and death like the Athenian judges on Mars’ Hill. The shaft of lightning first fell on an ex-convict who was caught stealing. Eighty members of the Committee tried and convicted him, and on the same night he was hanged in Portsmouth Square in view of the saloons. A thrill ran through the whole community, and when, the next morning, the people read the names of the prominent citizens who served on the Committee, their action made a deep and salutary impression. The Vigilance Committee prosecuted its work till the city was purged of its evils, and it exercised from time to time its authority until the year 1856. As a result of its firmness, its promptness in punishing criminals, and its high-minded aims, the land had rest for twenty years. A weak administration of justice is an encouragement to wrong doing. Municipal and state officials can best serve their city and country by dealing quick and severe blows at lawlessness; but to be effective they must be men of integrity, above reproach, and withal just. To-day San Francisco is one of the most orderly and best governed cities in the United States. During my rambles through its streets I went to and fro at all hours without being molested. I never met a drunken man or a disorderly person. The city feels the effect of the Committee’s good work even to this latest hour. It serves as an example. Justice is dealt out speedily to offenders. There are few if any technical delays of the law and the criminal rarely escapes without punishment. Some examples have occurred recently which show that the judges of the superior courts are alive to their duty and that they can perform it when the occasion arises. A man named John H. Wood, a former soldier, was convicted of highway robbery, and he was speedily sentenced to imprisonment for life in Folsom Penitentiary. Judge Cook who passed sentence on him took the position that a man who used a deadly weapon in the commission of his crime should receive the full penalty of the law. A man who holds a pistol to shoot will take life, therefore he ought to have a life sentence. Wood, who belongs to a wealthy family in Texas, has a checkered history. He served as a soldier for a time in the Philippine Islands. Here he deserted his post and committed highway robbery. He was tried by court martial for larceny and convicted. Then he was brought to San Francisco and put in the military prison on the Island of Alcatraz. He was finally discharged from the army in disgrace. A few months ago he tried to rob a showcase man and held a revolver at his head while he seized a watch and chain. He was immediately arrested by three officers, and a month after he was sentenced for life. As showing the depravity of the man he said after receiving sentence: “That is an awful dose, and I haven’t had my breakfast yet.” Possibly in prison he will reflect upon his evil life, and be softened, and repent. He might have been a good citizen, worthy of his country; but he hardened his heart and sank deeper and deeper in his degradation. Oh, the hardening of the heart! It was Pharaoh’s sin. It is the sin of many an one now.

Another highway robber, Edward Davis, was sentenced at the same time with Wood to serve in the State Penitentiary for thirty-three years. He also pointed a pistol to the head of his victim. But thirty-three years! He will probably die in prison. It is a life thrown away, one of God’s best gifts. But if stern justice be meted out here in this world, what must the unrepenting sinner, who has trampled the divine law under foot, expect in the world to come? San Francisco teaches a lesson which reaches farther than an earthly tribunal. The judge on his bench is an image of the Judge who weighs human life in His balances.

There is of course crime in San Francisco as in all other cities. Indeed crime is universal, whether in the Orient or the Occident. The Chief of Police Wittman accounts for highway robbery, to the extent in which it prevails, from the fact that San Francisco is a garrison city. Here are numerous recruits and discharged soldiers, and, as a seaport, it draws to itself the scum and offscourings of all nations, Hindoos, Chinese, Malays, and all other kinds of people.

The police force is hardly adequate to patrol the entire city. It consists only of 589 men all told, and they are fine, manly looking guardians of the law, always ready to do their duty, always courteous to strangers, answering all questions intelligently. It is claimed, moreover, that the criminal element of the country drifts to San Francisco in the winter on account of the climate and also through the attractions of the racetrack. The police also find that the places where poker-games are played are a rendezvous for criminals. In 1887 and 1888 there was an outbreak of highway robbery, but the grand jury acted promptly in the matter and the courts soon suppressed it. Property and life therefore are jealously guarded in the City of the Golden Gate, and bad characters who go thither to prey on the public soon get their deserts. In this respect then San Francisco is a desirable place in which to live.

One evening in company with a party of friends, Rev. Dr. Ashton of Clean, N.Y., Rev. Dr. Reynold Marvin Kirby of Potsdam, N.Y., Rev. Clarence Ernest Ball of Alexandria, Va., Rev. Henry Sidney Foster of Green Bay, Wis., the Rev. William Barnaby Thorne of Marinette, Wis., and Doctor Robert J. Gibson, surgeon in the United States Army, stationed at San Francisco, I visited the police headquarters, situated on the east side of Portsmouth Square. This is a large building of several stories with numerous offices. The chief in his office on the main floor, on the right hand of the entrance, received us courteously and assigned to us a detective according to an arrangement previously made with Ashton. In the office were portraits of police commissioners and the chiefs and others who had been connected with the department for many years. Entering an elevator we were soon on the topmost floor where were the cells in which prisoners just arrested and waiting for trial were confined. The doors of the cells, all of iron, were opened or closed by moving a lever. It was now about 9:30 P.M., and officers were bringing in such persons as had been arrested for theft, for assault and battery, for drunkenness and other kinds of evil doing. Towards daybreak the cells are pretty well filled, but now they were nearly empty. How true His words who knows what is in man. “Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil!”

One young man who had killed another in a quarrel was pointed out to us. The woman who loved him and who expected to be his wife, and still had faith in him, was at his side, with her sister, conversing with him between her sobs, in a low earnest tone. He seemed greatly agitated. A detective stood a little way off from the trio. The evidence was strong against the murderer, and an officer said to us that there was no chance for him to escape from the penalty of the law. In a cell was a young Chinese woman, just brought in, possibly for disorderly conduct. She could not have been more than fifteen or sixteen years old. She was pretty and refined in appearance and handsomely dressed, and she wept as if her heart would break. Not yet hardened by sin, and probably imprisoned for the first time, she felt the shame and degradation of her lot. I could not but feel pity for her, and expressed sorrow for her, though she may not have understood my words. At least she could interpret the signs of sympathy in voice and expression. These are a universal language. Maybe she was more sinned against than sinning,–and that Divine One Who reads all hearts and knows the temptations and snares which beset unwary feet, would say to her–“Go, and sin no more!”

In another cell was an old offender who had a face furrowed with sin. As we looked at her I could see that she regarded our presence as an intrusion. I recalled Dr. Watt’s lines:

“Sinners who grow old in sin
Are hardened in their crimes.”

Yet there is an awakening of the conscience at last, and even a prison house with its corrections may be a door of escape from that other prison of the sinful soul from which no one can go forth, be he culprit or juror, counsellor or judge, until his pardon is pronounced by Him who can forgive sins.



The Streets of the City–Numbers and Names–Example of Athens–Names of Men–Names of States and Countries–American Spirit–Flowers and Trees–Market Street–Pleasantries–Mansions of California Avenue–Grand Reception–Art in California–Cost of Living in 1849–Hotels and Private Houses now–Restaurants–New City Hall–Monumental Group–Scenes and Representations–History of a Cannon–Chance Meeting with General Shafter–Mission of the Republic.

The streets of the city! They are an important feature, and the traveller naturally observes their direction and studies their character. In the description of New Jerusalem, St. John noted the fact that its street was “pure gold.” The streets of earthly cities cannot vie with the celestial, though the gold of commerce may be found in their warehouses and mansions; but if men were as earnest in seeking after the treasures of Heaven as were the tens of thousands who flocked to the gold-fields of California in 1849, they would surely win the fortune which awaits them within the Golden Gate of the City on the banks of the Crystal River. San Francisco has her noted streets, just as the City of Mexico has her San Francisco promenade, leading from the Alameda to the Plaza de Zocalo; or Rome her famous Corso, the old Via Flaminia, with its shops and its teeming life; or Athens her Hodos Hermou, with its old Byzantine church of Kapnikaraea; or Constantinople her Grande Rue de Pera, with its hotels and theatres and bazaars; or old Damascus, her “street that is called straight,” Suk et-Tawileh, the street of the Long Bazaar, with its Oriental life and colouring; or Cairo her picturesque Muski, where you may find illustrations of scenes in the Arabian Nights, and gratify your senses with

“Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the Blest.”

The streets of the city by the Golden Gate have an interesting nomenclature, which well deserves one’s study for what it teaches. Some streets in the triangular section of San Francisco, already spoken of, are numbered. These begin west of Fremont street and run up to Thirteenth, being bounded by Market street. Then the numbered streets take a turn to the left hand and go from Fourteenth to Twenty-Sixth, in the southwestern section of the city, and run due west. Numbers on the streets of any city are of course a convenience, but such a nomenclature has nothing else to commend it, and lacks imagination and sacrifices bits of history which may be interwoven with municipal life and show progress from small beginnings and perpetuate pioneers’ names and benefactors’ memories. Modern Athens in naming her streets has very wisely called them after some of the demigods, heroes, generals, statesmen, and poets of Greece; and grateful too for the work of Lord Byron in behalf of her independence, she has honoured him who in immortal song spurred on her sons to arise and cast off the Turkish yoke, with a name on one of her thorough-fares–Hodos Tou Buronos–which the traveller reads with emotion, even as he gazes also with admiration on the beautiful Pentelic monument reared to the memory of her benefactor, near the Arch of Hadrian, while Athenae is represented as crowning him with the victorious olive. With feelings and sentiments akin to this the sons of the Golden West have associated forever with the streets of their great city the names of men who either benefited California or take high rank in national life or are otherwise worthy of perpetual commemoration. Hence we have a Berkeley street, a Buchanan, a Castro, a Fillmore, a Franklin, a Fremont, a Grant, a Hancock, a Harrison, a Hawthorne, and a Humboldt street. Juniper street is a memorial of Father Junipero Serra, founder of Franciscan Missions. Kepler takes us up to the stars, which shine beautifully over the lofty Sierras, California’s eternal rampart; while Lafayette speaks to us of friendship and chivalry, still alive in these matter of fact days. As you walk through the streets you see also the name of Kearney, not Dennis of “sand-lot” fame, but that of General S.W. Kearney, whose sword aided in placing the star of California in our Nation’s Flag; you read too the name of the old Indian chief, Marin, and that of Montezuma takes you across the Rio Grande and back to the days of Mexican romance and barbaric splendour. Here also Montgomery is remembered, the patriotic commander of the Portsmouth, who gave orders to his marines to raise the Stars and Stripes, in place of Spanish ensigns and the Bear Flag, on the Plaza of Yerba Buena, old San Francisco, in 1846. We find also such well known names as Scott, Sherman and Stanford. We have too a St. Francis street and a St. Joaquin street; Sumner, Sutter, Tilden and Webster are remembered also. Nearly all the states of the Union speak to us by these waters of the Pacific in the stones of the streets. All the original Thirteen except Georgia have been honoured. Possibly this will receive recognition in the future. It is to be noted, however, that the adjectives are omitted in the Carolinas and New Hampshire. New York is the exception together with Rhode Island. The other States which have given their names to streets are Alabama, Arkansas, California, the Dakotas without the qualifying adjective, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The natural inference from this is that San Francisco has drawn her population from all parts of the land; so that here you have representatives of our great country, north, south, east and west gathered together. While there are many who delight to call themselves Native Sons, yet their fathers have sprung from households in New England and in the South and in the Middle States and elsewhere and new peoples are steadily migrating to the Pacific slopes, notably to this Queen City by the Golden Gate. In my intercourse with San Franciscans, this or that worthy citizen would say, with no little pride, I was born in New York, Boston is my birthplace, I am a native of Albany, or Saratoga, or Philadelphia, or Baltimore, or Savannah or New Orleans. Sometimes one would say to me, I came from the East. What part? The answer would be at times, Chicago, or St. Louis, or Omaha, as the case might be. But one thing was very noticeable, that they were all loyal Americans. I think it may be truly said that the spirit of patriotism is even stronger in the Pacific States than at the East. You could see the Flag of the Union everywhere, and there was abundant evidence in the life and speech of the people of San Francisco and of California generally that they were an integral part of the Republic and as anxious to have it prosperous and great and united as the most ardent American in any other part of the land.

The cosmopolitan character of San Francisco is further indicated by the names of foreign countries and places which some of her streets bear. Here we note in our walks the names of Denmark and Japan, Honduras and Montenegro, Trinidad, Venezuela and Valencia, and also the Spanish town De Haro. Certain names also of cities tell us whence people have come to the City of the Golden Gate. We find an Albany, an Austin, and a Chattanooga street. There are also streets called Erie, Hartford, Vicksburg and York, San Jose and Santa Clara, while Fair Oaks speaks of one of the great battlefields of the Civil War. Some of the counties of the State have also fixed their names on the streets as Butte, El Dorado, Mariposa, Napa, Solano and Sonoma. The Potomac River has a name here also, while Sierra and Shasta represent the mountains. There are names of streets besides which take us among the trees and shrubs, such as the Cedar, the Locust, the Linden, the Oak, the Walnut, the Willow, the Ivy, the Laurel and the Myrtle. Of flowers there is a profusion in San Francisco. They bloom on every hand; and wherever there is a bit of ground or lawn in front of a house there you will see plants or flowers in blossom. Fuschias attain the height of ten feet in some places and are magnificent in the colour and beauty of their flowers. The heliotrope climbs up its support with eagerness and its blossoms vie in hue with the blue skies. You may also see the pink flowers of the Malva plant in abundance, the chaste mignonette and the Australian pea-vine. The latter is a favourite and clothes the bare walls of fence or house or trellis with a robe of beauty which queens might envy. Roses are rich and fragrant, white and pink chiefly, and delight the eye, no matter which way you turn. The Acacia grows here in San Francisco as if it were native to the soil; and the Monterey Cypress, green and beautiful, makes a handsome hedge, or, when given room and air, it attains to stately proportions. Here also you will find the Eucalyptus tree in its perfection, stately in form with its ivy-green foliage, and you look upon it with an admiring eye. California may be truly called a land of flowers as well as a land of fruits; and we err not in judgment when we say that close association with these beautiful products of the earth has a refining and an uplifting influence on the human heart. A man who has love for a flower is brought near to the Lord of the flowers, Who said as He walked over the meadows of Palestine–“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” So they have their sweet message of love and gentleness and peace for all, yes, these “stars of the earth,” as the poet calls them. Such thoughts come to you as you gaze on the rich gardens of San Francisco and note their wealth of bright blossoms, brightening man’s life and filling his soul with poetry and sentiment and longing for the beautiful and for the good.

As we walk through the city we note that it is rapidly extending itself towards the south and the slopes of the Pacific, and new homes are constantly appearing in its suburbs, even climbing up the hills to the west. Market street, broad and straight, is San Francisco’s main artery of business activity, and the cable cars which run through it are so numerous that a person who undertakes to cross this great avenue, especially during the busy hours of the day, must be careful lest he be run over. It reminds one of Broadway, New York, in this respect. All streets of the city converge towards Market street. Crowds of people throng it, and this is true, particularly during Saturday night, when the labours of the week are ended and the populace seek recreation. There are many large and attractive buildings on this street, as for example “The Call Building,” “The Chronicle Building,” “The Palace Hotel,” and the “Emporium.” As you walk up and down studying life you note many things, and you see good nature depicted in the faces of the people whom you meet. They all look bright and intelligent. I think there is something in the surroundings and in the exhilarating atmosphere which promotes fellowship and good feeling. There is a keen sense of humour often manifest. Among many of the things which I saw was an illuminated